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Get the Facts on Heart Disease

According to the Center for Disease Control CDC

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both women and men in the United States.1

  • Every 34 seconds, someone in the United States dies of a heart attack!
  • Every 20 seconds, a person in the United States has a heart attack.
  • 50% of those who have a heart attack never have a warning or a symptom.
  • 33% of those without any prior symptoms of heart disease DIE from their first heart attack.
  • At least 65% of people with diabetes die of some form of heart or blood vessel disease.
  • In 2009, heart disease is projected to cost more than $304.6 billion, including health care services, medications, and lost productivity.2
Learn how to prevent a heart attack & eliminate the risk factors

Most people are not aware that heart disease can be totally prevented and cholesterol levels dropped radically low, without drugs, by adopting a diet based on nutritional excellence such as I prescribe to my patients; a program for those who want to completely remove their risk of heart disease and not merely lower their risk a little.

By following the recommendations of my high-nutrient diet-style, virtually everyone can improve their heart health. In fact, if you start in time, you actually can make yourself heart attack proof. There is no magic to heart health. Educating yourself with the latest scientific findings and eating a diet of delicious, natural, unprocessed food allows you to protect yourself. Following this approach, you can achieve positive results simply by making the right diet and exercise choices—consistently, without the use of drugs or surgery. Read the case study below.

There is irrefutable scientific evidence that high cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD). The new recommendations of medical authorities are to maintain your LDL cholesterol below 100. Less than 10% of the adult population in America actually has LDL cholesterol levels that meet these recommendations.

My high-nutrient, vegetable-based diet as outlined in Eat For Health enables people to achieve remarkable reductions in these cardiac risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and overweight/obesity). Furthermore, for those who are unable to reduce their LDL below 100 through dietary changes alone, by adding a natural side-effect-free nutritional supplement, like LDL Protect, almost everyone can achieve truly protective cholesterol levels without medications and their risky side effects.

Eating a low fat diet is not sufficient. So many people think by eating a low fat diet, watching their intake of saturated fat with egg whites, fish and chicken, they are protected. They are not. My recommendations are more complex and involve understanding the concept of nutrient density. We must eat a diet-style rich in nutrients that contain the substances needed by the body for blood vessel and heart health. The diet-style that I recommend takes into account some basic facts:
  1. My dietary program, with most of its calories coming from vegetables, beans, nuts and fruit, has been shown in scientific studies to lower cholesterol more powerfully than drugs.3
  2. People who adopt this dietary approach consisting primarily of natural plant foods not only do not develop heart disease, but those who already have heart disease and peripheral vascular disease get dramatic reduction in plaque load in a reasonable time frame.
  3. Studies have shown that people with advanced heart disease, who combine a plant-based diet with cholesterol lowering therapies, are able to both reverse their heart disease and totally prevent the future occurrence of heart attacks.4
  4. Natural (side effect free) substances are effective at lowering cholesterol further, making an LDL cholesterol level below 100 obtainable, without risky medications, for almost all patients.
  5. The same diet that helps protect you against heart disease also reverses obesity, high blood pressure, adult diabetes and protects against cancer.


A Case Study – Dramatic Results with Nutritional Excellence

Hi Dr. Fuhrman,

I wanted to share great news from my Carotid IMT test. This is an ultrasound of the carotid artery walls located in the neck, totally harmless, and takes about 10 minutes. It provides pictures of any significant plaque, blockages, or inclusions, and a verbal description of the findings. The numbers are average thickness of the Intima-Media artery wall, in millimeters. Thinner is better.

Here is my IMT results history, with comments:




(1) After a year on a low-fat diet, the results were same or very slight improvement.

I went on very strict low-fat diet for 2 years, to improve it.


(2) After 2 years on very strict low-fat diet, significantly worse! The radiologist said, "The lesion on the left side is stable, there is some early buildup on the right side. I got a nice picture of a lipid (fat) inclusion in the artery wall."

Started Fuhrman program, I learned of from Jeff Novick.


(3) After 20 months of Fuhrman program, great results!! Thinner artery walls. Radiologist comments: "Borderline evidence of atherosclerotic burden"

No longer talking about a lesion or early buildup!! Barely any sign of atherosclerosis.


In the process of following your program to address my cardiovascular problem, I also lost 10 pounds, to pinch 1/2 inch (I am 6'0" and now 157 pounds). This was my regimen:

  • Run 2 miles/day. (I ran 4 miles/day during the last 2 unsuccessful years of eating a low-fat diet.)
  • Daily supplements: Osteo-Sun, Gentle Care, fish oil.
  • 3-4 oz nuts and seeds daily, after I reached my lean weight (pinch 1/2 inch) which took the first 2 months.
  • Last 5 months eating 2 meals instead of 6+ meals (I believe very valuable)
    (On a low-fat diet, I was living on whole grains, and eating 6+ meals while gaining much less nutrition.)
  • Morning blended salad, noon workout, evening steamed veggies, beans, nuts & seeds, fruit, oatmeal. (No noon meal, no snacks. Evening meal is several little meals, 5PM to 8PM (roughly).

Best regards,


IMT for early detection

The current standard for detecting cardiovascular disease is a standard lipid panel (Total Cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and Triglycerides), but that won't catch all those folks who end up with a heart attack despite their "normal" cholesterol.

An "imaging" test that has been growing in popularity as a tool to detect signs of early plaque and assess overall risk of heart attack and stroke is the Carotid Intima-Media (IMT) test. The IMT measures the thickness of the first two layers of the carotid arteries located in the neck, where blood-flow-blocking plaque first develops. Abnormal, premature thickening of the arterial walls is an early indicator of vascular disease throughout the body. The thicker the arterial wall, the greater the risk for heart attack or stroke.


This part of the artery is called the "Intima". The area just below it is the "Media" or muscular part of the artery. The interface of these two layers of the artery is the site at which atherosclerotic plaque first develops. An example of the location of a plaque in the carotid artery is shown in the illustration.

1. Kung HC, Hoyert DL, Xu J, Murphy SL. Deaths: final data for 2005. National Vital Statistics Reports. 2008;56(10).
2. American Heart Association. Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics-2009 Update. Dallas; AHA:2009. Statistics Committee and Stroke Statistics Subcommittee. Circulation. 2008 Dec 15.
3. Jenkins DJ, Kendall CW, Popovich DG, et al. Effect of a very-high-fiber vegetable, fruit and nut diet on serum lipids and colonic function. Metabolism 2001;(4):494-503.
4. Esselstyn CB Jr. Updating a 12-year experience with arrest and reversal therapy for coronary heart disease (an overdue requiem for palliative cardiology). Am J Cardiol 1999;84:339-341.



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