The Last Heart Attack: Perfect timing for the launch of

The Last Heart Attack

Though bumped last night due to developments in Libya, the new CNN documentary The Last Heart Attack features Bill Clinton’s attempts to reverse his heart disease with a plant-based diet. In From omnivore to vegan: The dietary education of Bill Clinton CNN details Dr. Dean Ornish’s tough love but not-so-tough dietary plan. Having “believe it or not, more energy,” the former President describes, “I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now.”

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., director of the Cleveland Clinic’s cardiovascular prevention and reversal program is quoted as saying heart disease is a “completely preventable foodborne illness,” arguing that an optimal diet could eliminate our number one killer. What greater testament to the power of eating healthy could there be?

This program and others are helping to bring this understanding into the mainstream. The purpose of is to help people take control of their health, to translate the best available new science into practical steps people can take in their day-to-day lives to improve the well-being of themselves and their families. Our first video-of-the-day today documents how plant foods average 64 times more antioxidants than meat, fish, eggs, and dairy–reason enough to transition towards a more plant-based diet.

Despite the convergence of evidence, there continues to be resistance within the medical community. CNN’s The ‘heart attack proof’ diet? quotes Michele Simon suggesting that the conventional diets of many physicians may disincline them towards pushing their patients to eat healthier. Indeed there is evidence that smoking physicians are less likely to ask their patients to quit, for example, and doctors who eat more fat are less likely to counsel their patients about the dangers of cholesterol.

NPR’s health blog conceded that studies show a plant-based diet can lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. “But many of those studies,” dismissed NPR’s Nancy Chute, “though peer-reviewed, were conducted by researchers who are advocates of diets free of animal products.” That’s like the tobacco industry rejecting lung cancer research done by those advocating smoking cessation. Maybe they’re advocates because such diets can… lower the risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

Image credit: World Economic Forum / Flickr

Other blogs on Clinton’s transformation:
‘Heart attack proof’ diet worked for me
Clinton Declares Vegan Victory
Bill Clinton, Champion Of The Plant-Based Diet, Goes Vegan
Bill Clinton became a vegan, lost 24 pounds, healing himself by not ingesting any cholesterol.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please let us know if you experience any glitches on the site, if any of the Sources Cited links don’t work, or there is anything at all you can suggest to make the site even more helpful and user-friendly.

  • Jean Maclay

    Congratulations on the new website ! I’ve invited everyone I know to the launch and plan to post the videos on Facebook as well. See you at the Boston Vegetarian Food Festival in October !

  • MsAdventuress

    What a perfect blog post. Thank you SO MUCH. We need you more than ever!

    (All links opened. Some links opened in the same tab as your blog post, so I’d click the back button to get back to, and continue reading, your blog post. Some links opened in their own new tab, which I love, so I can also keep reading your blog post.)

    You are going to be a daily read and watch for me–and I plan on sharing you with many others! ♥

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thanks to you I went back and made sure all of the links were set to open in new tabs/windows. Don’t want you suffering whiplash from having to go back and forth! :)

  • allenk1

    my first visit.i like what i see so far,and will be checking this sight a lot more often

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Thanks for leaving a comment–I’m glad you’re finding it useful.

  • It will be revealing to hear what the President has to say about his diet. Last he spoke of it, it was pesco-vegan if I recall. Strict no-fat vegan with occasional fish. Conceptually this seems like it may be ideal for many health issues, if one is careful to source fish low in the food chain (minimal heavy metal contamination), rich in n3, B12, D, etc.

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    What did everyone think of the documentary?!

    • MsAdventuress

      I thought it was really important that this issue was aired mainstream.


      They featured The South Beach Diet physician/author, which touts an animal-based diet.

      This perpetuates ongoing confusion, I think, as to what to do about ones health.


  • Great message for everyone to hear. I personally adhere more to the Seventh Day Adventist variant of a plant based diet – I like nuts, and think they are health promoting. That being said, I do see the merit in this strict fat-free “reversal” diet for those where clinically indicated, but it is not practical or required for the general population.

    Dr. Ornish thankfully messaged this when talking of the “spectrum” approach. If our fellow Americans do not get some fat in their diet (from the veg kingdom of course) they will not stick with this in my opinion. I’ll go one step further to say it is probably more healthy for the majority of individuals to eat plant based diet with good fat sources than no fat.

    I would have liked that to have been made a little bit more clear.

  • ks391262

    I saw “The Last Heart Attack” and I was wondering what you thought about what Dr. Arthur Agatston said in the show, as he’s the inventor of the South Beach Diet, I’m wondering how credible his idea that the size of cholesterol particles and your cholesterol number doesn’t matter.