One diet proven to prevent and reverse heart disease

I just read Heather Greenwood Junkermeier’s monthly column for National Heart Month titled “These steps can help protect a person’s heart” (The Maui News, Feb. 18). This is an important topic, as heart disease is the leading cause of death in our state and country. She covers the six things to look at to improve heart health.

Unfortunately, near the bottom of the list is the most important factor in heart health: diet. Also unfortunately, all three diets she suggests do not really do the trick. All still contain cholesterol and/or saturated fat, the real culprits in coronary artery disease. The only diet that actually has been proven to prevent and reverse heart disease is a low-fat, plant-based or vegan diet.

Like all treatments there are some side effects to this dietary approach. You will probably lose some excess weight; lower your blood pressure to normal levels; and lessen your chances of getting many ailments like diabetes, strokes and kidney disease. Generally you’ll just feel a whole lot better too. So if you can handle these side effects, this is the diet you should be looking at.

You can hear more about this at a presentation by interventional cardiologist Heather Shenkman, M.D., titled “The Vegan Doctor’s Guide To Reversing Heart Disease, Losing Weight and Reclaiming Your Health” at the Cameron Center on March 15 at 7 p.m. Admission and heart-healthy refreshments are free.

Stephen Beudner