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From time to time I would like to take the opportunity to introduce you to someone who is leading the shift to Plant Based Nutrition. 

Dr. Dean Ornish’s plant-based diet can reverse heart disease.  Currently it is the only program covered by Medicare & Private Insurance. 

His resume is too long to list.   




 Dr. Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease is the only program scientifically proven to reverse heart disease currently offered in hospitals, clinics, and physician offices that Medicare and other private insurance companies are covering. People are empowered with a proven program that can quickly reverse their heart disease and other chronic conditions, allowing them to sustainably transform their lives for the better.

Here are the latest findings from all of the 3,780 patients who went through the program at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield in Pennsylvania, Nebraska, and West Virginia as of October 2011:

  • Overall attendance after 1 year was 87.9%;
  • 45.2% of these patients had heart disease– 34.0% had type 2 diabetes, and the others had only risk factors (high blood pressure, cholesterol, or weight), yet adherence was comparable in all categories of patients (85-90% after 1 year);
  • The average patient lost 13.3 pounds in the first 12 weeks and 15.9 pounds after 1 year;
  • Significant reductions in systolic blood pressure, diastolic blood pressure, total cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL-cholesterol after 12 weeks were still significant after 1 year;
  • Exercise capacity increased from 8.7 to 10.6 METS after 12 weeks (18% increase) and to 10.8 METS after one year (24% increase);
  • Significant reductions in depression and hostility (the emotions most strongly linked with heart disease) after 12 weeks that were still significant after 1 year;
  • Hemoglobin A1C in diabetics decreased from 7.4% at baseline to 6.5% after 12 weeks and 6.8% after one year (complications of diabetes such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, and amputations can be prevented when hemoglobin A1C is less than 7.0%);
  • 96.5% of patients reported improvement in severity of angina (chest pain) after 1 year.

Dr. Ornish writes:

Joy of living is a much better motivator than fear of dying.

When you make healthy diet and lifestyle changes, most people find that they feel so much better, so quickly, it reframes the reason for changing from fear of dying to joy of living. Joy and love are powerful, sustainable motivators, but fear and deprivation are not.

Trying to scare people into changing doesn’t work very well. Telling someone that they’re likely to have a heart attack if they eat too many unhealthful foods or that they may get lung cancer if they don’t quit smoking doesn’t work very well, at least not for long. Efforts to motivate people to change based on fear of getting sick or dying prematurely are generally unsuccessful.

Why? It’s too scary. We all know we’re going to die one day — the mortality rate is still 100 percent, one per person — but who wants to think about it? Even someone who has had a heart attack usually changes for only a few weeks before they go back to their old patterns of living and eating.

Once we accept fully that we’re going to die one day, then we can start to ask, “How can I live more fully?” As Quincy Jones likes to say, “Live every day like it’s your last, and one day you’ll be right.”

For the same reasons, talking about “prevention” or “risk-factor reduction” is boring to most people. Telling someone they’re going to live to be 86 instead of 85 is not very motivating — even when they’re 85 — for who wants to live longer if you’re not enjoying life?

Sometimes, people say, “I don’t care if I die early — I want to enjoy my life.” Well, so do I. That’s the false choice — is it fun for me or is it good for me? Why not both? It’s fun for you and good for you to look good, feel good, have more energy, think more clearly, need less sleep, taste better, smell better, and perform better athletically–and sexually.

Ironically, some of the behaviors that many people think are fun and sexy — like smoking cigarettes, overeating, abusing alcohol, and chronic stress — are the same ones that leave them aging faster and feeling tired, lethargic, depressed, and impotent. How fun is that?

When you eat a healthier diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate, and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain can grow so many new brain neurons in only three months that your brain can get measurably bigger! Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease. Your sexual organs receive more blood flow, so you may become more potent — the same way that drugs like Viagra work.

For many people, these are choices worth making — not just to live longer, but also to live better. Life is to be fully enjoyed


About Dr. Dean Ornish:  http://www.pmri.org/dean_ornish.html