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Vegan Diet

  • 1.  Vegan Diet

    Posted 02-11-2020 15:35
    Greetings - 51 yo, had a heart attack and two stents put in my LAD (100% blockage).  Although I consider myself healthy (annual physicals always had good cholesterol, goo blood pressure, non-smoker, non-diabetic, maintain healthy weight), my Dad died at 52 of heart attack.  So very surprising, but it happened.  So now to keeping myself as heart healthy as possible.  My cardiologist, primary and cardiac rehab all state a diet that is rich in fruits and veges, whole grains, low sodium and low carbs.  That's pretty much it, they say eat smart and indulge in moderation meats, cheeses, etc.  Limit alcohol and sugars the most.
    And after never taking meds, I am now on brillinta (for at least six months), baby aspirin, a stain (Lipitor) and blood pressure med that slows my heart rate.  No side effects after 2 months so far, but would rather not be on them....

    now, time after time from family and friends tell me I MUST go vegan, never touch anything with a face or had a mother ever again.  They all love me and want to see me around for a long time, but I feel that is very extreme?  I love my seafood, a steak or good burger once a week, and my daily 2 eggs vege omelet.   I eat greek yogurt with berries daily, and do love the cheese now and then.  But to rid all of that???

    What does the group say?  Appreciate the time and thoughts.



  • 2.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 02-12-2020 00:47
    I have heard people say to go vegan, but I've not heard any doctors say it. Low sodium, much fruit & veg, more veg than fruit (cuz of fructose) and limited dairy and meat because of the sodium and fat. Legumes are good, so long as they aren't the canned variety, or if they are, they're low sodium & rinsed super well. Whole grains, but minimize breads in general and go for things like quinoa and organic brown rice, with protein built in. Cheese, for me, is right out, which was very sad.

    I eat grilled chicken breast, eggs, and fish a few times a week. Not each, but all together. Not a big red meat person to begin with, myself, so I don't do burgers, but every once in a while wouldn't be too awful, I should think. Sounds like you're eating healthy otherwise to me. Are you tracking your daily amounts of sodium? I count mine (and fluid intake) on spreadsheets.

    Rachel McGonagill

  • 3.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 02-12-2020 09:51


                  I'm nine + years post OHS. My wife keeps an eagle-eye on my diet and allows me one (preferably) low-fat 4 oz. burger a week. (I had been a 3/week, plus fries, guy). We eat fish two or three times/week (including low-sodium, canned tuna), a turkey sandwich from the deli weekly, and lots of chicken (white meat, skinned). Ample fruit and veggies but, totally, vegan...? No way. Nothing wrong with it, but definitely not necessary.

                  My numbers are good; I am fit and feel terrific.

                  Oh yeah, egg white omelets are fine. I hear that opinions vary on yolks.

    Bob Levin


    Co-author, with Adele Levin, of "I Will Keep You Alive: A Cardiovascular Romance"



    Sent from Mail for Windows 10


  • 4.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 02-12-2020 15:32
    Hi Rick,

    I had a heart attack and emergency quintuple bypass surgery two years ago.  At the time, I had high blood pressure controlled by medication, slightly elevated cholesterol but with a high HDL and excellent ratio, I followed a healthy, Mediterranean style diet (although with poor portion control), and was a serious weightlifter and had been for half a century.  I was, however, about 30 pounds overweight.

    Post-surgery, I have maintained a body weight around 30 pounds lighter than pre-surgery, am still an avid weightlifter at soon to be age 70, and try to walk or bike every day.  My diet is still Mediterranean style, with lots of fish (mostly salmon, which is and always has been my favorite), occasional white meat chicken but without most sauces except occasionally tomato sauce, plenty of vegetables of all kinds and whole grains, nuts in moderation and legumes, particularly chick peas and hummus.  I love cheese but try to keep it in moderation and stick to low fat varieties.  I rarely eat eggs but was never a big egg eater.  I didn't eat sweets before and still don't.  It's not terribly different than my pre-surgery diet, but I exercise significantly better portion control.  I also cut out completely the occasional cheeseburger, red meat and, most of all, my favorite grill cheese and bacon, although I'm not sure that having one of these infrequently is a big deal.

    I've toyed with the idea of going vegetarian or even vegan but I'm currently just not motivated to go that route and don't know that it would matter anyway even if I did.  At 70, I'm content to just live out my life in as healthy a manner as possible, without depriving myself of foods such as fish and chicken that are commonly regarded as healthy and which I love.

    Hope this helps.


    Ira Reid
    Hoboken NJ

  • 5.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 03-01-2020 07:08

    Hi, Rick, sorry for the late response, I'm just seeing your question now. I had a near fatal heart attack 12 years ago and 4 stents in the nick of time saved my life. After a week in the hospital I was sent home and prescribed 5 medications probably similar to the ones you are taking (Plavix, Lipitor, Metoprolol, etc) and told I would most likely need to take these for the rest of my life. Looking for an alternate path for my future health and wellness, I began to read books by Drs. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn who believe eating a vegan diet can prevent and even reverse cardiovascular disease. I decided to try it, and changing my diet to just eating plants, vegetables, and fruits didn't happen overnight. It started with beef, then chicken, then fish, then eggs and dairy. I felt better each time I eliminated one more animal product. It took about six months. 

    I've been off these medications for 11 years now - with my doctor's approval. I still have the same cardiologist who performed the surgery and primary doctor. This is important - I was able to stop taking these medications because my doctor said I didn't need them anymore. You have to decide what is more extreme - eating medication for the rest of your life or eating whole food organic plants, vegetables, and fruits?

    My best,


    Michael Anthony
    Film / Television
    River Edge NJ
    (917) 447-7710

  • 6.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 03-01-2020 07:24
    Thanks all so much for the has been very helpful.  I see my cardiologist again in may so will have another lab test to be sure all is well especially with taking the meds.... total vegan life is mot for me, and yet i dont know enough about the meds thing and the havoc that could be doing to will keep trucking along!!



  • 7.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 03-01-2020 07:56

    Hi, Rick, why do you say just eating plants, vegetables and fruit is not for you so quickly? Not eating animals has changed my life. I realize now when I see cows, chickens, and pigs I don't stare stare at them with hunger like a wolf or lion. Why? It's not in our nature. Isn't it nice that these meats are all cut up and packaged in the supermarket for convenience?

    Now when I go to an apple orchard, an orange grove, or a grape vineyard my mouth begins to water; just thinking about apples, oranges, and grapes makes my mouth water. Try it. We are not wolves or lions - our digestive system is much different - a narrow tube 5X longer. And no fangs and claws to rip and tear too. A knife or spear or rifle doesn't change your digestive tract.


    Mike Anthony
    River Edge, NJ

  • 8.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 03-01-2020 08:18
    Hi Mike - i totally get it!!  What i mean is i never really ate a-lot of animal products to begin with , maybe a steak or burger once a month, some sandwich meats here and there , some seafood a few times a month, but cheese, yogurt, eggs  have been my vice big time (vegy omelets yum!) , my cholesterol and BP levels have always been good, im atheltic and exercise regularly, i never smoked, and am a very easy going stressless guy...i guess cause i happen to have a dad and grandfather that died early of heart disease...even with annual physicals, stress tests, calcium tests, ct scans, one could predict for forewarn my heart attack and thus 2 stents in have all said im good, but keep red meats and dairy limited, sugar/carbs minimal, maintain exercise, and take a statin and baby aspirin for rest if life(statin is to keep arterial walls smooth and strong? - since i have no issues with cholesterol) ....hoping to come off the toporol xl if not needed why take it? (Doc said it can help me sleep better and he had concern with anxiety and said it helps with that too?).....everyone is different, we have been eating animals for quite some time, and people love i to there 100s eating animal products and being pure vegan....all im saying :)



  • 9.  RE: Vegan Diet

    Posted 03-01-2020 08:31

    Rick (and anyone else reading this), check out the Blue Zone books by Dan Buettner. These books tell you how people around the world living 100+ years live and eat. 

    Take care,


    Mike Anthony
    River Edge, NJ