Bill Clinton, the U.S. president who left office in 2000, was known for his tremendous love of junk food. There is a McDonalds close to the White House, and he would often sneak out at night in a clandestine motorcade to fill-up on Big Macs. During his last two years in office he gained 8 kilograms. All that changed a few years after he left the White House.
Hillary Clinton had tried to get Bill to change his diet, but without much success until Bill suffered a massive heart attack in 2004. After a quadruple bypass surgery, he cut out the junk food, and dropped his weight a little, but despite those measures, in 2010 he needed another heart surgery, this time to place a couple stents in his coronary vessels. After this second surgery, he decided to radically change his diet: he became a vegan, a strict diet that goes beyond vegetarianism because it also cuts out dairy and egg products.
Clinton reluctantly made that radical change in his diet because he was influenced by Dr. Dean Ornish, a prominent prevention medicine specialist in the U.S. who has long claimed that his ultra-low fat diet could not only prevent further heart disease, but that it could actually reverse damage that had already been done. Ornish published results of his clinical research in the medical journal Lancet in 1990, and since then, a number of U.S. heart specialists have claimed that radical diet changes should be tried in selected heart patients rather than surgical treatment.
The Ornish heart program (he calls it the Spectrum Program) doesn’t require people to become vegans, but demands a very low fat consumption, so the diet consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, soy products (for protein), and legumes, combined with moderate exercise and stress reduction in the form of yoga and meditation.
Here is a linkfor more details about Bill Clinton’s dietary journey, along with a CNN video interview filmed in New York. And here, Dr. Ornish talks for 3 minutes at the famous TED conference about “The World’s Killer Diet”.
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