Big Hint, Meat Eaters: The New President of American College of Cardiology Is Vegan

When doctors make significant lifestyle changes for health improvement reasons, we tend to sit up and take notice. Well, pay attention everyone. The new leader of the American College of Cardiologists is vegan — and he thinks you should be, too.

Kim A. Williams, M.D., incoming president of the American College of Cardiology, discovered in 2003 that his LDL cholesterol level was a worrisome 170. He thought he’d been eating right. He avoided red meat, minimized dairy intake, focused his protein intake on fish and chicken. Sound familiar? You’re probably doing that, too.

A few months before getting that result, wrote Dr. Williams recently at MedPage Today, he had reviewed a nuclear scan for “very high risk” patient who suffered from a “severe three-vessel disease pattern of reversible ischemia.” In other words, the blood flow to her heart was partially obstructed. Her situation was of significant concern.

Upon that patient’s return visit six months later, Dr. Williams said he was amazed to see that her condition had vastly improved. Her chest pain was gone and her scan was back to normal. When he asked her what she’d done, she told him she’d gone vegan, began exercising and started meditating. Specifically, she’d followed the program outlined in Dr. Dean Ornish‘s “Reversing Heart Disease” program.

doctor holding plastic heart

Dr. Williams remembered that remarkable patient when he got his LDL cholesterol result. Intrigued, he took a closer look at the Ornish program and the research behind it. He became convinced that Ornish’s highly positive patient outcomes “reached statistical significance.” That day, he wrote, he switched to a plant-based diet.

Not surprisingly, he reports, his bad cholesterol plummeted to 90 within six weeks. He’s been a vegan ever since. He says:

I often discuss the benefits of adopting a plant-based diet with patients who have high cholesterol, diabetes, hypertension, or coronary artery disease. I encourage these patients to go to the grocery store and sample different plant-based versions of many of the basic foods they eat.

Dr. Ornish responded to Dr. Williams’ blog post with one of his own. He noted:

A recent study found that animal protein dramatically increases the risk of premature death independent of fat and carbohydrates. In a study of over 6,000 people, those ages 50 to 65 who reported eating diets high in animal protein had a 75% increase in overall mortality, a 400% increase in cancer deaths, and a 500% increase in type 2 diabetes during the following 18 years.

vegan dinner salad

“After a week, [Dr. Williams' post is] still the no. 1 most-read cardiovascular article on MedPage Today,” Dr. Ornish added. “I admire Williams for his courage and leadership.”

Certainly, Dr. Williams and Dr. Ornish aren’t the only respected doctors who urge people to adopt a vegan diet and other lifestyle changes for health reasons. Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, conducted a study with patients suffering advanced coronary artery disease. Some of them had been told they had less than a year to live.

Dr. Esselstyn put them on a plant-based, oil-free diet. The 17 patients who religiously followed his program thrived — some of them living up to 20 symptom-free years beyond initial projections. None experienced a cardiac event after going vegan. Before they did so, collectively they’d experienced 49 cardiac events.

These results speak for themselves, folks.

dr. williams is vegan

Photo credit: VegNews Facebook Page

Dr. Williams knows he and his colleagues need to treat the cause of heart disease rather than merely address its symptoms. His ultimate desire is an exciting one:

Wouldn’t it be a laudable goal of the American College of Cardiology to put ourselves out of business within a generation or two? We have come a long way in prevention of cardiovascular disease, but we still have a long way to go. Improving our lifestyles with improved diet and exercise will help us get there.

If the plight of factory farmed animals hasn’t convinced you to stop eating meat, dairy and eggs, how about improving your own health?

Eating vegan doesn’t mean you’ll have to sustain yourself on foods that taste like cardboard and grass. Now more than ever, wonderful, tasty and healthy plant-based food choices are available everywhere. Take the plant-based plunge and see what happens.

What’s the worst possible outcome? Afraid you’ll live longer or something?

Photo credit: Thinkstock

287 comments

Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks

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Jerome S
Jerome S2 months ago

thanks

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Jim V
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Jim V
Jim Ven2 months ago

thanks for sharing

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Marie B
Marie B8 months ago

Frank, you are STILL obviously obsessed with any article about veganism.
The title of this article is: "Big Hint, Meat Eaters: The New President of American College of Cardiology Is Vegan", what have you offered except the same old cr*p that we have seen throughout Care2 where you write the same garbage over and over? Everybody knows you won't stop eating dead flesh, so what? Does it make you feel better to tell everyone that you don't care "I'm gonna eat dead flesh no matter what"---who is stopping you? Unfortunately, no one, YET.

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline10 months ago

Here Marie B: How much has "vegans" grown as a % of the populace? See I don't care if Vegans. I really don't.

However as with all other religions if you tell me I must (under some punishment that I will be placed under) eat as you describe, heck no. I'm not the one telling you to eat meat. You are showing your utter fascism by telling me how to do things.

Well, I don't answer to you and never will

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Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

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Marie B.
Marie B2 years ago

'Frank H' you really know how to make a fool of yourself.
Meanwhile, the VEGAN population continues to GROW.
Poor 'Frank H', why don't you fix a plate of disgusting animal corpses and eat.
You don't grasp it, and you never will.

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Frank Hanline
Frank Hanline2 years ago

@ Marie B: Yes, I can read but unlike you, I actually can comprehend what was written

The title is, "Big Hint Meat Eaters.....", shows it was meant for "Meat Eaters" to read. The idea was that when "meat eaters" read it, we were supposed to go, "Oh my, let's become Veganists!"

We did not. Almost if not all Omnivores who responded are not impressed by personal choices that are bereft of real data. NOTE: EATING TOO MUCH OF ANYTHING AND NOT EXERCISING IS BAD FOR EVERYONE

Had we gone, "Oh my! Time to stop eating meat!", then you would want Omnivores here spreading their conversion stories

You are a bully Marie B and I am standing up to your hate and lies

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Marie B.
Marie B2 years ago

Poor 'Frank H', you still don't get it, the article of this thread is titled "Big Hint, Meat Eaters: The New President of American College of Cardiology Is Vegan". Lose a little more sleep 'Frank H'. You know, in the last month, THERE ARE MORE VEGANS THAN BEFORE!! Then there will be more and more and there's nothing you can do about it! 😝 I love it!!

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