Tag Archives: Bill Clinton

Consumer Reports Fails to Give Life-saving Information

Maybe we were just naïve, but when we saw that Consumer Reports magazine was focusing this month’s cover story on “Protecting Your Heart”,  we thought that there would a major emphasis on healthy vegetarian diets, or at the very least prominent mention of this life-saving solution. Alas, there wasn’t a word. Consumer Reports positions itself as a rater of all things that people across the county need or want to know more about.  Given its glaring omission, we thought it just might be high time we gave our rating of this rater.

To be fair, there are a few good points in the article.  They do stress that lifestyle changes are the best prevention, and they do emphasize that some procedures such as angioplasties are not effective in preventing heart attacks, under most circumstances, as a front line treatment. They also point out that “people tend to view a heart doctor as some sort of action hero, and think that the more aggressive, the better.”

However, large-scale studies such as the Framingham Heart Study or The China Study, and the interventional studies such those conducted on heart patients by doctors including Dean Ornish, John McDougall and Caldwell Esselstyn, have clearly shown the significant benefits of a healthy vegetarian diet. The new movie, Forks Over Knives, which emphasizes these benefits, has created quite a stir, and there’s been much talk in the media about the great results former president Bill Clinton has achieved in treating his heart disease on a veg diet. So there really is no excuse for their failure to mention the importance of a vegetarian diet, and we can only give Consumer Reports a failing grade for choosing not to give their readers this lifesaving message. How did Consumer Reports miss the study showing that a veg diet was as powerful at lowering cholesterol as the American Heart Association diet and a statin drug combined? How did Consumer Reports miss the insurance industry study showing that for every dollar spent on switching patients over to a veg-diet centered heart disease program, $5.55 were saved in treatment costs? A healthy vegetarian diet, and especially a healthy vegan diet, is the most powerful tool to protect your heart, and in most cases, may even be the most powerful tool to heal your heart once disease has already set in. 

The article quotes Dr. Steven Nissen of the Cleveland Clinic, lamenting the failure of most doctors to act on so much of the medical research when it comes to heart disease. He says “It may take years for evidence to trickle down to private practice.” It seems that the same is true of many mass market magazines, such as Consumer Reports.

It’s Official: Bill Clinton Goes Vegan

Ending a few months of speculation and uncertainty, former president Bill Clinton announced that he’s a vegan on CNN. This is a story of transformation and turnaround if there ever was one. When he first began his presidency, Bill was known for his love of beef steaks, chicken enchiladas, and the somewhat less presidential McDonald’s hamburger. Word is he wasn’t picky and would go after most meat items often with a certain amount of enthusiasm. In short, he loved meat. The problem is these foods didn’t love him back.

In 2004, less than four years after leaving office, the 58-year-old Clinton felt what he described as a tightness in his chest as he returned home from New Orleans, where he was promoting his memoir, “My Life.” Days later, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery to restore blood flow to his heart. “I was lucky I did not die of a heart attack” Clinton said.

The problem is that bypasses tend to clog pretty quickly if the patient doesn’t mend their ways. Last year, the former president went to Haiti to support the relief efforts but he felt weak. When he returned home, he learned he needed another heart procedure: two stents to open one of the veins from his bypass surgery, which had become, in Clinton’s words, “pretty bent and ugly.”

Enter his new nutritional advisors: Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, both famous for showing how plant based diets can reverse heart disease. The results couldn’t be better. The former president lost 20 pounds so far and says “All my blood tests are good, and my vital signs are good, and I feel good, and I also have, believe it or not, more energy”. The good news, of course, is that you don’t have to have Clinton’s presidential clout and connections to get the same results.

While Clinton may be the first former president to go vegan he’s certainly not the first significant White House worker to take up the plant based way. We may mention with, bipartisan spirit, that chief Bush speech writer and author of the influential animal rights book, Dominion, Matthew Scully has long been recognized as an enthusiastic vegan. Let’s hope the trend continues!