Tag Archives: heart attack

After a heart attack

What do you do after a heart attack? Cardiac rehabilitation is the recommended treatment, and the good news is that following a plant-based diet during rehab leads to a better outcome.

OK, so what is cardiac rehab? Cardiac rehabilitation is a medically supervised program designed with the goal of halting or reversing the progression of cardiovascular disease and improving outcomes. It can be an essential component of care for patients with coronary artery disease. Several studies have shown that participation in CR after a heart attack, getting a stent, or coronary artery bypass graft (CABG) surgery, significantly reduces the disease, risk of dying, and hospital readmission rates in a cost‐effective manner.

Core components include: (1) patient assessment, (2) nutritional counseling, (3) weight management, (4) blood pressure management, (5) cholesterol management, (6) diabetes management, (7) tobacco cessation, (8) stress management, (9) physical activity counseling, and (10) exercise training.

So how does a veg diet help? Studies show that people treated with a plant-based diet showed significantly better improvements in weight management, blood pressure management, cholesterol management and diabetes management than those on a standard American diet. They also reduced their emotional stress and experienced better quality of life. Depression can commonly follow a heart attack. 80% of people who followed a plant-based diet as part of their rehab showed a reduction in their depression.

In this age of tight budgets, it’s important to know that one study showed that for every dollar spent on rehab with a plant-based diet, $5.55 in medical expenses were saved.

We’ve written before on how a plant-based diet can effectively treat obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes. It gets even better. While you’re improving your cardiovascular health, a plant-based diet can also reduce your risk of other diseases such as prostate and colon cancer.

Following a plant-based diet as part of a cardiac rehabilitation program is a wise strategy which will improve outcomes, lower the risk of recurrence, and lower the costs of treatment.

This article is for informational purposes only. Any changes or treatments must be made with your physician. Show our professional level article on preventing and treating heart disease with a plant-based diet to your physician.

Heart Disease – No. 1 cause of death

Artery scanning

Dr Chan Hwang scans the carotid artery of a Vegfest attendee.

Heart disease is still the number one cause of death for both men and women. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. A plant-based diet can reduce your risk of a heart attack by 40%. If you wish your doctor knew about this, we want you to know that we do too! That’s why we wrote a letter to the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. They published an Expert Consensus Decision Pathway on the role of non-statin therapies for lowering LDL Cholesterol, but they “forgot” to include the plant-based diet!  We told them about their omission, and we published it as an open letter, complete with references to all the latest research on the topic. Read more

Spring Clean your Heart

Three heartsSunday is Valentine’s Day, and so, naturally, many people will be concerned with affairs of the heart. But did you know that February is also Heart Health month? And while it’s not quite spring yet, many people will be starting their spring cleaning early by cleaning out the clogged arteries that lead to heart attacks, high blood pressure, strokes and dementia, just to name a few.

Heart disease is a major problem. Every year, about 715,000 Americans have a heart attack from clogged arteries, and for a significant portion of those victims their first heart attack will be fatal. Heart disease is still the leading cause of death for both men and women. Even the threat of being at risk for a heart attack, or having to undergo surgery to bypass clogged coronary arteries, has given many a man and woman more than just a few sleepless nights. Read more