In a recent article in MindBodyGreen.com, cardiologist Dr. Robert Ostfeld says that during his education at Yale and Harvard, he never received any nutritional training. Now he understands his experience is not unusual. He rectified the situation by seeking out the information he wanted. Today, he has one cardinal rule he follows for his own health, and he shares that with his patients.
That rule is to follow a plant-based diet.
For many years, Dr. Ostfeld has been the Director of Preventive Cardiology at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, New York. When he began, he prescribed guideline-based medications and recommended standard medical procedures. Those were useful, but he noticed that even when patients got somewhat better, they did not experience a full return to health. He wanted to give them a tool for transformational change.
Around that time, he received a copy of the book, The China Study, which recommended plant-based nutrition. Using the principles from the book, he founded the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore. He says the results have been inspirational.
Dr. Ostfeld says his patients have experienced an incredible depth and breadth of benefits from following a plant-based diet. He described the main guideline he shares with patients: If it has a face or comes from something with a face don’t eat it (and he things oysters have a face).
This cardiologist says it is never to late to embrace healthy habits. He has patients in their eighties who have experienced profound improvements in their health. He describes on particular patient, whom he calls “Mr. J.” He had chest pain from cholesterol blockages in his heart after walking only a short distance. He had been advised to begin medication and have a heart stent implanted. Instead, however, he made the choice to begin with a plant-based diet. His cholesterol dropped significantly, he lost weight, and his blood pressure returned to normal. The discomfort in his chest disappeared, and he now jogs more than four miles every day.
Naturally, Dr. Ostfeld continues to use medications and procedures when indicated. He says doctors need an “all of the above” strategy to help patients.