Monday, January 22, 2018 by Rita Winters
Heart diseases are the most common causes of human mortality in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 610,000 people die of heart diseases in the U.S. every year. Caused by poor food choices and a sedentary lifestyle, heart disease is the pandemic of the modern world. Given this devastating chronic disease, what treatments should be done to stop or reverse its symptoms? Modern medicine has not provided a solution for this yet, but a shift in lifestyle choices including food and physical activity may reverse the symptoms of heart disease. A 59-year old man who had a heart attack a decade ago shares how he stopped taking heart medications after switching to a plant-based diet.
Doug Schmidt, a former professional baker with a particularly sweet tooth, had a widowmaker heart attack (a complete closure of the left anterior coronary artery) in 2008 because of his poor diet that consisted of large slabs of meat for dinner and ice cream right before bed. After that, doctors put him on lifelong heart medication advising him that it would keep him well off future heart attacks, but ultimately, not heal his heart. Schmidt decided to turn his whole life around and not just rely on the medications. He switched from meats and ice cream to eating just vegetables and grains, which reduced his weight from 225 pounds to 165 pounds. Just last year, he decided to start exercising due to the excess energy he gets from his nutritious diet. Since then, he no longer takes his heart medications.
Schmidt, a teacher as well, decided to start a food challenge where students and teachers pledged to eat a plant-based diet for 10 days. On the fourth day of launching the challenge, almost 1,300 students, teachers, and administrators from 36 schools in the district signed up. The animal rights group, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), calls him the “Sexiest Vegan over 50,” awarding him with a “vegan cruise” with his wife to the Caribbean due next month. Their children are now starting to slowly adapt to their healthy lifestyle.
The transition to veganism wasn’t perfect though, since he states that he started out eating veggie burgers and fake cheese. However, they moved on to better, whole, and natural foods that makes him feel better than what vegan food corporations produce. He also tips that going vegan shouldn’t be expensive, since rice and beans can cost significantly lower than a pound of sirloin. Snacks, according to him, can be as simple as roasted potatoes with mustard dip.
Going vegan may not be for everyone, but adding more fruits and vegetable to your diet helps stave off the pounds and the unwanted chronic diseases. Diets like the Mediterranean diet provide good examples of a good balance between plant-based and animal-based food. In this diet, red meat isn’t illegal, but is rarely eaten, limited to three-ounce portions. However, you can still eat poultry, eggs, cheeses, and yogurt in moderation.
Keep in mind that there is no single diet that will suit everyone. While some may want to avoid animal-based food, some enjoy its taste. Forcing your family to undergo a specific diet isn’t healthy, and may produce unwanted results, especially if it isn’t recommended by a health professional. To identify what kind of diet your body and your family’s body needs, make sure to consult with your family health expert.
For more stories about the health benefits of raw food, visit RawFood.news.