(The below is an excerpt from an article titled, Bill Clinton Declares Vegan Victory, that was published by USA Today on Aug 25, 2011)
Where’s the beef? Not in Bill Clinton’s diet.
The former president, known for his love of burgers, barbecue and junk food, has gone from a meat lover to a vegan, the strictest form of a vegetarian diet. He says he eats fruits, vegetables and beans, but no red meat, chicken or dairy.
Clinton, 65, who had quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and then stent surgery in 2010, is following this eating plan to improve his heart health.
He talked about his plant-based diet last year, saying he lost 24 pounds on it for his daughter Chelsea’s wedding, and he chatted about it again recently on TV, drawing national attention to the potential health benefits of this type of diet….
About 3% of U.S. adults are considered full-fledged vegetarians because they never eat meat, poultry, fish or seafood, and about 1% of people are vegans because they also never eat dairy, eggs or honey, says the Vegetarian Resource Group. “The percentage of vegetarians has doubled since 1994,” says John Cunningham, consumer research manager for the organization…
Elizabeth Turner, editor in chief of Vegetarian Times, says, “A much larger number of people — 22 million based on a poll the magazine did in 2008 — are what I’d describe as vegetarian-inclined. These are the people who might have the occasional chicken or fish. They’re interested in vegetarianism and moving in a veg direction, but they aren’t all the way there yet.
“What the science shows is that people who are vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer, especially colon cancer, and they tend to live longer,” Turner says. “They’re also less likely to be overweight.”…
Clinton says he was inspired to follow a low-fat, plant-based diet by several doctors, including Dean Ornish, author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease. Ornish has been working with Clinton as one of his consulting physicians since 1993.
After Clinton’s angioplasty and stents in 2010, Ornish says he contacted the former president “and I indicated that the moderate diet and lifestyle changes he’d made didn’t go far enough to prevent his heart disease from progressing, but our research proved that more intensive changes could actually reverse it,” he says.
View our earlier post on this in January 2011 that features a short video interview with Mr Clinton about his dietary changes…
RESOURCES ON DIET:
Caldwell Esselsytn, M.D. – Heart Attack Proof — T. Colin Campbell Foundation — Dr. John McDougall’s Health and Medical Center — Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine — CHIP – The Coronary Health Improvement Project — The Engine 2 Diet – The Wellness Forum – Pam Popper, N.D. — TrueNorth Health Center — Alona Pulde, M.D. And Matthew Lederman, M.D. – Transition to Health — Ruth Heidrich — Gene Baur – Farm Sanctuary — Mercy for Animals