Kempner Rice Diet Whipping Us Into Shape

Image Credit: Andrew Hide / Flickr. This image has been modified.

Introducing the Kempner Rice Diet

Franklin Delano Roosevelt brought us through the Great Depression and World War II. Who knows how history would have been different had he not died in his fourth term as President from a massive stroke. In the following days and months, we learned that Roosevelt had suffered from severe high blood pressure for years. In spite of this, he was on no medications or other treatments. The reason for the lack of treatment is stark and simple: there were none. The state of the art at that time was death. Death, from so-called malignant hypertension—out-of-control high blood pressure—for which, it was thought, there was no remedy. But they were wrong. There was Dr. Walter Kempner and his rice-fruit diet.

A physician-scientist, Kempner trained with the best, fled Nazi Germany and set up shop at Duke, where he began treating malignant hypertension patients with a radical diet consisting of only white rice and fruit, with strikingly favorable results: a rapid reduction in blood pressure, rapid improvement in kidney failure, eye pressure, heart failure and other manifestations of this previously fatal illness.

He figured that if a low salt diet helped with blood pressure, a low protein diet helped with kidney function, and a low fat and cholesterol diet helped the heart, why not take it to its logical conclusion and design a no-salt, no cholesterol diet of almost pure carbohydrate. So, he designed a diet with less sodium than any low-sodium diet, less protein than any low-protein diet, and less cholesterol and fat than any other low-fat diet.

His hope was that it would just stop progression of the disease. Instead, something miraculous happened. In about two-thirds of cases, the disease reversed. There were reversals of heart failure, reversals of eye damage, and reversals of kidney failure. At the time, this was effectively a terminal disease where people just had a few months to live, but with Kempner’s rice diet, they got better. In my video Kempner Rice Diet: Whipping Us Into Shape, you can see before and after pictures of the back of people’s eyes. They started out swollen, bloody and leaking and then were nearly normal in a matter of months.

After being effectively cured by the diet over many months, many patients could then relax the diet to a more conventional plant-based diet and go on to live a normal, active life. The rice diet may actually drop blood pressures too low; so, we have to add back other foods to bring the pressures back up to normal.

An editorial in the New England Journal of Medicine described Kempner’s results as “little short of miraculous.” Practically speaking, there’s probably no more effective diet for obese cardiac patients. The problem, though, is that most physicians lack the extraordinary persuasive powers required to keep the patient eating such a restricted diet.

When Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn presented his study results demonstrating in some cases reversal of near end-stage heart disease with a whole food plant-based diet, the Chair of Cleveland Clinic cardiology department asked, “How can we expect patients to stay on a strict diet like this when we can’t even get them to quit smoking?” Just like penicillin drugs don’t work at all unless we take them, plant-based diets don’t work unless we actually eat them.

The answer may be that the physician must have a zealous belief in the diet and must convey that passion to the patients. For Kempner, to keep his patients on the rice diet, he “brow-beat, yelled at, and castigated them when he caught them straying.” And he didn’t just browbeat them; he sometimes actually beat them. It came out in a lawsuit in which a former patient sued Dr. Kempner, claiming that he had literally whipped her and other patients to motivate them to stick to the diet.

Reminds me of the famous diabetes physician back in the 1800s, Arnoldo Cantani, who knew the remedy for diabetes was not in the drugstore, but rather the kitchen. To ensure compliance, if necessary, he would lock a patient up in a room for six weeks.

Thankfully, in terms of personality, Dr. Esselstyn is the opposite of Dr. Kempner. He is polite, soft-spoken, gentle and able to keep his patients on track without whipping them. And last but not least, Esselstyn walks the talk, following the diet himself, whereas Kempner died of a heart attack (though at the age of 94). Kempner’s work continues on in Durham, where they continue a relaxed version of the diet, allowing actual vegetables.

A year before Roosevelt died, Kempner had already published his miraculous results. It seems highly likely that had the rice diet been “provided to President Roosevelt a year before his death, his disease might have been controlled before his fatal stroke, and that this fatal event could have been averted.”


For those unfamiliar with Dr. Esselstyn’s work, check out:

Kempner was a lifestyle medicine pioneer. What’s lifestyle medicine? See, for example:

For more on Kempner’s work, see:

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live, year-in-review presentations—2013: Uprooting the Leading Causes of DeathMore Than an Apple a Day2014: From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, 2015: Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet, and my latest, 2016: How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers.

Discuss

Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.


79 responses to “Introducing the Kempner Rice Diet

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  1. Having no willpower to make lifestyle modifications is obviously a big issue. Often it is not until a patient can see the “cemetery wall” that they even start to contemplate diet/ behavior changes. Esselstyn called his study group “the walking dead” — no wonder they were compliant. The results are the incentive, but getting patients to that place is the challenge. Nowadays, MDs don’t have the passion to challenge their patients but rely on the prescription pad to get them through each day.

    1. The prescription pad on which you say doctors rely is what stands between them and a malpractice lawsuit. Big pharma funds medical schools so why on earth do you think they’d allow anything that looks like a viable alternative to drug therapy?

  2. I really believe many people who want to correct their diet and reverse disease would need an in-house program to be successful. Traditions, habits, customs and enablers would get in the way if these people tried to do it on their own. I have family members in this category and I wish there were more in-house programs such as the rice diet, the Mcdougall program and True North Center. But, family doctors would have to recommend the programs and insurance would have to pay for them.

    1. I agree! I have mentioned this website and the WFPB way of eating to many, many family members, friends and acquaintances, and only a very few have followed through. I think one of the key personality factors in determining whether or not a person will follow through is their having an “open mind” about new ideas, a scientific inquiring attitude, and similar type characteristics. And, sadly, a big motivator is being sick/feeling badly, and not having any success with curing the ailment with the “standard” approaches!

      I have always been the scientific, inquiring, questioning type, so when I found this website, I immediately started reading it every day! I had already converged, over the years, on a basically WFPB diet (from my knowledge of evolutionary theories), but I still ate a little meat, fish, and eggs, based on how the mainstream media (and gov’t) kept saying they were fine and we needed them for protein. But this website is where I became convinced that WFPB is the way to go! Of course, in my early years as a child, my parents fed me the SAD diet, because that was the mainstream way of eating when I was growing up. Better late than never! Let me add the caveat that I realize everyone has individual needs, so one’s diet has to be tailored to their individual needs. Just saying that, in general terms, the scientific evidence seems to support a WFPB way of eating and it seems to work for me. (If I die at an early age, I’ll let everyone know it didn’t work :-)

      1. I seem to be outliving friends my age and younger and all around me is cancer and heart problems while I go about with my genetic thyroid disease, no cold since the late 80s and active with yoga and weights. I became vegetarian while in college then vegan and now WFPB 15 years. I love doing my 3 week water fast every two years though I used to do them once a year but my blood pressure goes down too low now. May try the brown rice for at least once a week as I love the stuff though water fasts are much more cleansing. I still do those a week at a time a couple times a year. I just feel better afterwards feeling I’ve given my body a rest. All this works for me.
        Dr. Furhman has written an excellent book on fasting and describes his long fast more than three weeks. If one has health issues, he/she should see a doctor familiar with these issues and fasting.
        I have a friend who was seriously overweight taking 9 meds with lots of health issues including diabetes who did a month’s water fast at True North and was able to get off all meds but went on a trip overseas and started eating meat, came home and is now back on her 9 meds seeing her old doctors again. What a shame.

    1. This is not new. The vast majority of people in developed countries (esp. US) eat too much salt. However, zero or very little salt is not good either. Especially in summer, when I go out and play baseball with 25 year olds for 3 hours in 90 degree heat, I sweat a lot. You need to get the electrolyte back. Olives are better than gatorade :) John S

    2. WOW, these researchers only considered a diet to be high in sodium if it exceed 6 grams of sodium a day! And “low” sodium is anything less than 3 grams a day!

      Commentary on this study highlights that the researchers used a spot urine method rather than 24-hour total to determine sodium intake. Since the body excretes excess sodium as rapidly as possible, the amount of sodium in the urine would naturally rise and fall throughout the day. A single data point would only coincidentally reflect the actual sodium intake.

      Also the commentary says that the researchers never discussed the possibility of reverse causation, where seriously ill and dying people simply consumed less food and so less absolute amounts of sodium. Also people often don’t get really serious about their diets until something seriously goes wrong with their health. So it is also possible that people deliberately cut their sodium intake but only after they are very ill. So reality could be that low sodium isn’t a cause of increased mortality, but rather that illness prior to death is a cause of low sodium intake.

      These two factors are enough for me to not give much weight to the results.

  3. I would love to try this diet and hopefully get off my BP meds
    Any info on amounts and types of fruits to consume daily? I am thinking of trying it for two weeks and evaluating the results

    1. Lida Krieger: I’m really glad Will came up with that link. It is really helpful.
      .
      I just want to point out a couple of things. First, in one the videos on NutritionFacts, Dr Greger points out that the strict Kempner diet should only be done under a doctor’s close supervision, because there are some potential dangerous situations that may need correction. Who says? Dr. Kempner himself…
      .
      However, unless you are at death’s door, you can follow a diet by yourself that is both perfectly safe and a lot more tasty/full of variety. Here’s how Dr. McDougall puts it in the article that Will provided:
      .
      “The diet I recommend, the McDougall Diet, is for the living. The Rice Diet is one that I reserve for the “nearly dead.””
      .
      So, you can research Dr McDougall’s diet. Or consider the free program from PCRM (Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine) called 21 Day Kickstart. The program will “hold your hand” for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions.
      http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/
      (Click the green “Register Now” button.)
      .
      Or you can do your own thing following some guidelines like these:
      * no meat, diary, eggs, oil (extracted oils)
      * no added salt
      * mostly low fat, whole plant foods such as: beans, grains, fruit, veggies, mushrooms. *Some* higher fat foods like nuts and seeds and avocados may be OK or even desirable depending on your situation.
      * don’t forget your vitamin B12 pills (and maybe also vit D and algae-based DHA — see Dr. Greger’s recommendations: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

      * eat about equal amounts of the main 4 food groups: beans, grains, fruit veggies. And eat as often or as little as you want as you want until you are full, but not over full.
      .
      Hope that helps!

      1. Thx Will and Thea
        Will definitely follow through and read
        I have noticed some products at grocery store with Dr McDougall as provider
        Has anyone tried and can recommend? I am working hard at reducing meat intake
        Doing well with fruits and grains but definitely need to work on incorporating more veggies
        Cheers!

        1. Hi Lida, The McDougall products have his name on them, but he does not personally produce them, per an interview he gave at one point. The products taste ok but are not very filling and are often high in sodium. When you look at a carton, many are tagged as being “2 servings” so if you double the sodium listed per serving, you’ll see how high they really are, even the ones branded as ‘low sodium.’ I don’t know anyone who would only eat half of such a small carton and feel satisfied. If you are able to cook for yourself, better to go that route and save the McDougall cartons for an emergency lunch or to take along when backpacking. Some people put only half the flavoring packet in as one way to reduce the sodium.

          There are many good websites with tested recipes to help you find good substitutes for meat and tasty ways to incorporate more veggies into your meals. Try Forksoverknives.com, engine2diet.com, fatfreevegan.com, as well as drmcdougall.com for great recipes. Chef AJ has videos with cooking shortcuts and recipes at eatunprocessed.com. Good luck! Enjoy the journey.

        2. I recall that Dr. McDougall divested himself of interest in the brand, but do not have a reference for that. Could have been in one of his books, or may be somewhere on his website, drmcdougall.com. So the formulations may or may not be his originals. These products can get you by in some situations, such as travel, but probably should not be depended on daily. There are many quick and easy recipes on the internet. Dr. McDougall’s (actually his wife Mary’s) recipes are here: Dr.McDougall Newsletter Recipes Index be sure to bookmark it. Clicking on a recipe title will link you to the recipe in a newsletter issue. All recipes and information on his site is free. There is also

          his free ten-day program, with recipes as are provided in his ten-day residential program at this link: Dr. McDougall’s Free McDougall Program Meals can be repeated to fill out the 14 days or you can pull from the recipes index. Do not forget beans! And leafy greens. See Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen for what he tries to get in his own diet on a daily basis: Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen Free App for Android and iPhone

        3. “reducing meat intake”??
          Try “reducing smoking”.
          Try “reducing alcohol intake” (if u r a fellow drunk).
          It does not sound as if u have decided that u really want to b well, yet.
          Empty your kitchen of the crap, don’t bring it home.
          Don’t eat out.

    2. Two weeks is all it will take. By chance i had a doctors appointment after two weeks of this diet and my blood pressure was very normal. If you have high blood pressure it’s definitely the way to go. Unfortunately, I did not stick to the diet. It’s tough.

      1. The book to which you refer is only loosely based on Dr. Kempner’s original program. Rice is not even prominently featured in the food plan.

    3. Check out The Rice Diet Report by Judy Moskovitz on Amazon. This book was written by a woman who stayed at the Duke facility and subsequently worked there. She has all phases of the diet listed in her book. I did phase one for five weeks and lost 31 pounds. I then moved on to a more traditional McDougall diet.

    1. The benefits outweigh the risks.

      And surprisingly, rice grown overseas has less arsenic than rice grown in the USA, in particular Louisiana and California also (?)

    2. hid
      what really amaze me that the folks in the western world have no clue how that over 1.7 billion people eat white rice as their main dish for every meal with veggies and very little meat and are so much healthier than the western world people are so easily brain washed by the milk and diary, and the meat industry i have been to china in Beijing theres 20 million people like a sea of people and in my thirty traveling around in china i only saw 2 people who were heavy not fat heave probably15 lbs over weight
      the only fat person i saw was in my hotel on the bund she was leaving going back to the states. all the people there were slim and trim and it look like they were all made with a cookie cutter same built

  4. Be careful. This diet needs to be monitored by a knowledgeable practitioner. It can lead to nutrient deficiencies and serious harm if you don’t know what you are doing.

    1. I vote it;s safe for 10 days or less , McDougall has suggested to do 10 days of just potato . Pretty sure he considers that safe.

      1. esben andersen: Interesting point. How many days could someone go on the Kempner diet without supervision and have it be safe? And would that be enough days to make an impact? Interesting.

        1. With some fruit juggling (cantaloupe for vitamin A, pineapple for more minerals, etc), one can get pretty close to adequate intakes of most micronutrients in a Kempner rice diet, except the essential amino acid lysine, vitamins B2, B12, and E, and minerals calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

          I’d expect the first apparent deficiency would be for B2, but when WWII conscientious objectors were fed riboflavin restricted diets at similar levels (~0.5 mg), ariboflavinosis required many months to become symptomatic. B12 deficiency has the most severe consequence, irreversible neurological damage, but given the body has large stores that can require years of depletion. E is fat soluble so hangs around, the one depletion study among mental inpatients ran for six years, and found symptoms in 1-2 years. The skeleton offers a substantial buffer for calcium intake. Magnesium intake, while low, is in the typical American range. The low sodium content of the Kempner diet may obviate the need for as much potassium. And the lysine restriction, while limiting muscle growth, seems a good candidate as an effective mechanism of the diet. It appears the basic Kempner diet wouldn’t cause symptomatic deficiencies for months, and most of its nutritional deficiencies could be patched with B12, a multivitamin, and some greens for the calcium.

          1. Darryl: Thank you for that very interesting analysis. It all makes sense to me.
            .
            So, either Kempner was just guessing about potential problems with his diet if done without supervision, or he saw some problems in patients that you didn’t cover above, or he wasn’t doing careful “fruit juggling”. That last point may be key. I also wonder if some people are close to B12 deficiency before starting such a diet, then it may be very quickly that problems arise if someone does not know to take a B12 supplement.
            .
            So, between your information and my own thoughts, my guess is that the Kempner diet may be safe to do on one’s own for at least a couple of months, but only if someone understands some important details. And thus maybe directing people to work with a professional who understands those details may be good general advice to give. What do you think of that?

            1. When one looks at surveys like this, its clear that many Americans currently eat diets more lacking in essential nutrients than the Kempner diet. This probably has health impacts, but it takes really severe cases like the B1 deficiency common in chronic alcoholism, or long-term vegan diets without B12 supplementation, before acute deficiency syndromes appear.

              Kempner’s rice diet program began in 1939. The vitamins B1-6, E, and K had just been identified in the mid-late 30s. B9 would be isolated in 1941, and B12 in 1948. Doctors in that era couldn’t prescribe a preventative multivitamin, they could just identify symptoms of acute deficiencies and halt their elimination diets, perhaps offering then available yeast and liver extracts. There was enough uncertainty about nutrient requirements and the typical timescale for deficiencies to appear that supervision made sense. I suspect medical supervision of a rice diet today is less due to uncertainty about nutrient requirements, than rare preexisting conditions that prevent absorption of some vitamin forms.

    2. The Kempner Rice Diet in the video is just to prove that a simple rice diet can fix a lot of diseases. It is better than the SAD diet but it is by no mean the diet anyone wants to use today after there is more knowledge on nutrition science. Use Daily Dozen diet instead.

      1. Jimmy: You wrote: “…it is by no mean the diet anyone wants to use today…” I would take the opinion of a doctor over that statement. There are people who are in really bad shape where the Kempner diet is called for even today. See previous quote from Dr. McDougall.
        .
        Thus, there are people today who may need to start with Kempner’s diet under the supervision of a doctor. paul’s warning is well received. That doesn’t mean that there is no place for the Kempner diet.

    3. …and yet, no monitoring is needed to overeat at McDonald’s, Burger King, Taco Bell, or, well, you get my point. Considering that the average American is slightly overweight to obese, I’m guessing little harm can come of eating rice and fruit for a few weeks– though I’d highly recommend buying only organic. For chronic health conditions do check with a doc. Many doctors, however, are going to pooh pooh this regimen. That’s what docs are trained to do. That’s what big pharma requires. I wouldn’t tell my doctor a thing!

  5. I doubt if President Roosevelt’s personal doctors would have allowed him to undertake the Kempner Rice Diet. They would have complained that the success Kempner had was simply anecdotal, and there needed to be many more double blind studies. Besides, if this really worked they would have known about it a long time ago. And most significantly of all, this diet was not FDA approved, and it smacks of being just another fad diet….or maybe even quackery. Sound familiar?

  6. A great story to help those with such maladies. Hope you find a way to condition people through Pavlovian method to change behavior to a more healthy diet/lifestyle. A lot of our maladies are the result of profiteering motives: it is almost impossible to have a healthy and tasty food in almost all eateries around the country. Happy hours are filled with stressed out office workers consuming lots of alcohol, greasy/salty/fatty but “delicious” foods never aware of what they are doing to themselves while wasting their hard earnings to slowly destroy their lives. The profit motive is the basic villain and we have to find a way to make healthy food profitable and edible if the intent is to have a physically/mentally healthy society. So much of our ills could be cured if we found a way to create a social order that guarantees a decent life for all in sickness and health, youth and old age with incentives to work within the tolerable levels of each. Until then, your efforts are the most important factor of keeping people healthy. May the FORCE be with you.

    1. Extraction: you lose your tooth. Root canal: you still have the tooth but sometimes there are complications such as infection. Personally I had root canal in the past and it still stands solid today and probably lasts a lifetime. But some people at my workplace get infection and pain.

      1. I’ve heard that root canals can create internal bacterial issues long-term. Actually, a lot of info on this online, people saying to consider opting out of them. Glad to hear it has worked for you.

        1. I think the key thing to consider is that if you are prone to infection then don’t do it, otherwise do. Plus pick a good dentist. I don’t like the idea of missing teeth in my mouth. Mine is like the original teeth, strong and I can bite food like a real one. And it looks real too.

    2. Many people will tell you that root canals are frequently associated with breast cancers on the same meridian. I’m not offering my opinion, but suggest you read some of those who think they should be avoided before making up your mind. Here are three to get you started: http://www.burtongoldberg.com/page79.html, naturalsociety.com/the-hidden-dangers-of-root-canals/, https://www.hugginsappliedhealing.com/root-canals-toxic.php.

      Your dentist will probably disagree with these, so read about their opinions, too.

  7. hat is the difference between McDougall Diet and Dr. Fuhrman? I’ve been trying to follow Dr. Fuhrman, are they basically the same thing, just a few minor philosophical differences, per say?

    1. No they don’t seem the same , McDougall is starch based , so lots of potato, rice ,whole grains , seems easier to me than Furhmans , both have good points .

      1. I prefer the Daily Dozen by Dr Greger which contains both whole grain, seed, nut and vegetables (variety), fruits (variety), spices. It is more complete than the other 2 diets and you need all to fight diseases. There is no weight gain after eating this much.

        By the way, the Kempner Rice Diet in the video is just to prove that a simple rice diet can fix a lot of diseases. It is better than the SAD diet but it is by no mean the diet anyone wants to use today after there is more knowledge on nutrition science.

        1. I did phase one of the Rice Diet for five weeks. I lost 31 pounds. The low calories cause you to lose your appetite. By the end of the five weeks, I couldn’t even eat the recommended quantities, which only added up to about 700-800 calories a day anyway. My doctor was astounded by the drop in my blood pressure. I gradually phased in the McDougall diet, lost another 14 pounds, and my primary starch continues to be rice. :) I just love the stuff. Some days are “Kempner days,” in that I’ll only eat rice and fruit, especially if I’m really busy. :)

  8. Durianrider, an Australian bicyclist/raw food enthusiast and infamous vegan Youtuber, has been on an updated version of the Kempner diet for many years now. The original Kempner diet included refined sugar and vitamin supplements in addition to the rice, fruit and fruit juice..

    1. I remember hearing that he chose white rice for a reason…maybe it had less protein? Denise Minger, yes the one who challenged the China Study, has a video (“Lessons from the Vegans”) and long blog post that are both favorable to Kempner and similar diets. She one of the most open-minded people in the paleo camp.

      1. Probably more likely that brown rice wasn’t available or was too expensive. I ate brown rice while I was on the diet, but also ate black rice, jasmine rice, white rice, or mixed brown and lwhite rice together which is still my favorite way to eat rice.

    2. I ate brown rice, white rice, a mixture of the two, jasmine rice, and black rice when I was on the diet. I did it for five weeks, lost 30 pounds. Any starches are really allowed, even in phase one, it’s just that the quantities are limited Phase one is not ad libitum eating, it’s why the weight loss is so dramatic, it is about 800 calories a day.

  9. I love the article! Two years ago, the end of August 2014, I got the results of a Coronary Calcium Score that was rather high. I decided to do my own research and discovered the WFPBNO approach advocated by Dr. Caldwell B Esselstyn Jr. and complimented by T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Dr. Michael Greger, as well as others. I subsequently traveled to the Cleavend Clinic and did their intensive – Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program. I completed the Certificate Program in Plant based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell at eCornell. The bottom line is this: People need an awakening! But a suspect some people will never awaken. However, it is possible to change. It is possible to be the change you want to see in others. It is however, important to walk the life ourselves so others will see and come to desire what we have.
    I am now a committed WFPB guy! I now just walk, live and share with others as I have opportunity. #eatyourveggies.
    FB: Steven Jay Mattis, Instagram @SteveMattis for food diary.

    1. I think it’s a shame it takes most of us a lifetime of poor habits and the big scare to seek out the WFPB info that could have benefited us so much more had it been the default diet. That is what I hope to see! Granted though, it is never too late!

      1. Dr. McDougall’s 10 day live-in program costs less than 25% of the annual cost of treating a “new” diabetic. Plus u get to keep both feet, kidneys, eyesight and your life. I believe (but do not know) that some insurance companies pay for Ornish and Pritikin. More will b forced to pay for PCRM, DrMcDougall, etc. as the “disease treatment” industry collapses.

        These inexpensive programs that actually work, are not for everyone: most people prefer pills and butchering: for most the protein addiction (God put morphine in milk to make sure babies would nurse. That’s why most vegans miss cheese much more than meat) is just too strong.

    2. Steve, great story and thanks for sharing. Have you read Dr. Esselstyn’s book How to Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease? Great book. He and two of his really ill heart patients are discussed and featured on the DVD Forks Over Knives.

      1. Hiya, . . The Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Program, which Steve mentions he attended at the Cleveland Clinic, is Dr. Esselstyne’s program as well as the title of his book. Esselstyn spent his career at CC and is married to the granddaughter of the George Crile, Sr who started the Clinic all those years ago. Steve did one better than just read Esselstyn’s book – he took the course.

  10. Loved this article. I was a nursing student at Duke when Dr. Kempner had his program there. Elvis and Colonel Sanders were among celebrities coming to get this treatment. Early one morning I found myself on an elevator with colonel Sanders in his traditional suit. He looked exactly like the Southern gentleman in his pictures. For a minute I thought I was dreaming. I have a feeling if Elvis had stayed on the program, we would have had him with us longer.

    1. The diet doesn’t cure drug addiction, unfortunately. Wasn’t Presley an alcoholic or addicted to pain meds or narcotics? Colonel Sanders at the Rice House – priceless.

  11. Let’s not forget that FDR was a cigarette and cigar smoker; he was famous for his cigarette holder-between-the-teeth profile. It would be appreciated if someone could take the time to read and critique an argument for smoking being the cause of death notwithstanding his SAD eating habits. Neither is a healthful way to live ones life, but when I mentioned today’s column to my 76 year old omnivore wife (with high blood pressure and diabetes), her immediate retort went to his lifetime smoking habits. It is for my domestic tranquility that I ask the question: Which, in FDR’s dietary case, is the lesser of two evils? It’s a very 2016 conundrum. Here is the article: http://hubpages.com/politics/Enemies-from-Within-Killed-Former-US-President-Franklin-D-Roosevelt

    1. Tired of War: Your comment got caught in the SPAM filter. I released it, but I don’t think when I release it that people will get an e-mail about your post. Your post is so interesting, I’ll repeat it here in the hopes that one or more of our well researched participants will give it a go for maximizing your marital bliss:

      “Let’s not forget that FDR was a cigarette and cigar smoker; he was famous for his cigarette holder-between-the-teeth profile. It would be appreciated if someone could take the time to read and critique an argument for smoking being the cause of death notwithstanding his SAD eating habits. Neither is a healthful way to live ones life, but when I mentioned today’s column to my 76 year old omnivore wife (with high blood pressure and diabetes), her immediate retort went to his lifetime smoking habits. It is for my domestic tranquility that I ask the question: Which, in FDR’s dietary case, is the lesser of two evils? It’s a very 2016 conundrum. Here is the article: http://hubpages.com/politics/E…”

  12. Introducing the Kempner Rice Diet Food Challenge for competitive eaters! Guaranteed to be healthier than hot dogs or other foods typically used in competitive eating contests! Sometime I’ll try this after doing a triathlon-like workout…. then I’ll probably feel so energized that I’ll be compelled to do another triathlon!

    1. The original Rice Diet is calorie restricted, hence its success in weight loss. I did it for five weeks and lost 31#. So, no, your scenario doesn’t sound likely.

  13. help anyone?
    what really is a GOOD diet?
    I am diabetic ; HBP; glaucoma; and a blocked heart NERVE
    what is the truth about EGGS? GOAT milk? rice? oats? quinoa? potatoes? fish [Hg]
    chicken? beef?
    When I eat plants broccoli; cabbage; cauliflower; asparagus; celery; ..within 20mins a mad race to the WR…terrible diarrhea!

    so what is this fantastic plant diet that is reversing so many diseases?

    1. Hi Justin: Thanks for visiting our site! I think our intro videos would be a great place for you to start. You can find them here. Dr. Greger recommends a whole-food, plant-based diet – this is a diet that’s rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans/lentils, nuts, and seeds. He does not recommend eating eggs, goat’s milk, fish, chicken, or beef. You can check out Dr. G’s Daily Dozen for a list of recommended foods. You might also find the Forks Over Knives documentary helpful.

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