Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist who believes strongly in plant-based diet benefits, has a goal of preventing 1 million heart attacks through education. His work and coaching speaks for itself—here, four of his patients, who have undergone dramatic weight loss through plant-based eating, share their success stories.
You can read study after study touting plant-based diet benefits, but the best way to understand how it can change your life is to read real-life stories of people who have changed their lives on it. Here are four plant-based diet success stories.
When Allan, who stands at 5’7’’ tall, hit 274 pounds, he knew something had to change. His joints hurt from cholesterol-lowering drugs, walking up the stairs made him feel winded, and he had to take blood pressure medication that wasn’t working.
“I’d tried dieting on my own, including counting points, high protein, low fat, low carb, etc., but whatever weight I lost, I would just put it back on plus a few more for good measure,” he says.
Allan eventually stumbled across Dr. Kahn’s website and bought a vegan cookbook. He tried kale, quinoa, steel-cut oats and farro.
In the 13 months that he’s been on the diet, he has lost 76 pounds. His blood pressure and cholesterol are now normal and he lost 10 inches off his waist.
Other plant-based diet benefits? Fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are much cheaper per pound than meat, fish and poultry, and he can eat as much as he wants and continue to lose weight. Now, Allan says that he doesn’t need to eat as much to feel full anymore—a piece of fruit will do the trick!
Allan has even started to blog about his progress where he shares recipes as well.
Neal had a quintuple heart bypass surgery in 2007 that led to years of medications for high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin for type 2 diabetes.
In 2014, after meeting with his new cardiologist, Dr. Joel Kahn, he agreed to try a whole foods, plant-based diet. It was drastically different from the Western diet he was raised eating.
It was hard for Neal to find diet-compliant foods that he enjoyed, especially because he isn’t a cook. His transition to plant-based eating happened in stages, over several months. First, he limited eating meat to once a week. Along with the other plant-based foods, he was motivated by his ongoing weight loss and drop in blood sugar numbers. After two months, his blood sugar remained in the 80s to 90s range, and he discontinued his insulin. His total cholesterol levels dropped over 100 points, and his triglycerides level was cut in half. In addition to the health benefits measured by blood work, he’s lost more than 35 pounds, which gave him renewed energy and a new outlook on life!
“Plant-based diet benefits for me were a cure—not just a management program—for diabetes!” Neal says.
Marc, Former Football Star
As a young person, Marc was a healthy, athletic football star who played on a full scholarship at the University of Michigan. Back then, Marc ate whatever he wanted without worrying about health or weight issues. But by age 21, he was 6’2’’ and weighed 305 pounds.
Marc’s mother suffered from complications of diabetes, including kidney failure, vision problems and heart disease, as he grew up, and today, all four of his siblings also suffer from the disease. Marc began taking the diabetes medication Metformin at one point.
But after Marc saw the movie Forks Over Knives and learned about the multitude of plant-based diet benefits, he was inspired to transform his approach to eating to a plant-based one, and the results were quick and dramatic. After two months, he was off all of his medications.
“It’s been almost 3 years since I began my new lifestyle, and I’m proud to say that I am no longer diabetic,” Marc says.
When Paul had chest pains in 2013, he learned he had one fully blocked artery and two others that were nearly blocked. He didn’t want to have surgery, so he chose a “heart reversal program” he learned about at the hospital and committed to eating a plant-based diet.
“After donating about 95 percent of the food in my kitchen to charity, I switched to plant-based nutrition,” Paul explains. He learned how to cook meals with fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains without added oils. Since he made a change in his diet, he’s lost 45 pounds and lowered his cholesterol more than 100 points.
These days, Paul passes all his stress tests, works out hard and plays tennis again. He also founded a support group to help others learn about the benefits of plant-based diets and how to achieve the same results that Paul has.
After 25 years of practicing cardiology, I’m continually inspired by people like Paul, Allan, Neal, Marc and many others. For patients challenged by heart disease and diabetes, there are many plant-based diet benefits that are supported by the research of esteemed doctors around the world. I suggest you give a plant-based diet a try-you may be amazed by your own improved health!
- There are so many plant-based diet benefits, from weight loss to improving heart health
- Dr. Joel Kahn, a cardiologist, has a goal of preventing one million heart attacks through education about plant-based diet benefits
- Through a plant-based diet, Allan lost 76 pounds and his cholesterol and blood pressure are now normal
- Neal lost over 35 pounds on a plant-based diet and has lowered his cholesterol and blood sugar
- Marc is off his diabetes meds since going on a plant-based diet
- Paul has lost over 45 pounds and lowered his cholesterol by over 100 points since going on a plant-based diet
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