There I was, a vegan for 40 years and a keen long-distance cyclist, so my arteries must be clear, right? Nope. Of course I knew all sorts of unhealthy food can be vegan and my parents' families all had heart disease. The Nelder's love of cake then led to angina in order to make 2014 memorable. The chest pains only happened when I cycled hard up local Welsh hills and I thought it was my ancient sternum protesting at the heavy breathing. A blues & twos ambulance ride to Liverpool's Broad Green led to 3 stents being inserted in my coronary artery in June. After cardio rehab I can now cycle fast up 20% gradients again but the hospital dietitians had little to say about my diet. I've read widely this summer about nutrition routes to healthy hearts and discovered the Esselstyn diet. Basically Caldwell B. Esselstyn discovered that young US soldiers had atherosclerosis while rural Vietnamese did not. In fact he found that two-thirds of the world's population - those in rural Asia, Africa and S. America do not have the heart diseases that we have. Those rural people eat very little oil and fat compared to us. Along with other research he now promotes via his books and lectures his diet which is vegan and with only 10% of our calories from oils /fats. This means no more cooking in oil, no avacado and v few nuts. There's science behind it too. In a nutshell [sic] fats lead to damage to the endothilial cells lining our arteries.
I mentioned this to my cardiologists in Broad Green and Chester and while they'd not heard of Esselstyn they agreed it would be fine for me to follow his diet. So I am.
I urge all vegans, non-vegans whether you think you have a heart problem or not to find a copy of Esselstyn's books especially "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" and to freely read his articles and watch his videos on his website http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/
Please ask me questions and argue or agree.
Here's to a healthier 2015 for all of us.