Anyone who has seen recent photos of former US president, Bill Clinton cannot help but notice that he is considerably thinner than he was during his presidential days as a Mac Donald’s customer.
Mr. Clinton, who underwent quadruple by-pass heart surgery in 2004 and had two stents inserted this year, was encouraged by his doctors to drop some weight after his cardiologists discovered that his arteries, which had been surgically cleared of fat deposits, were beginning to re-clog.
Daughter, Chelsea who is a vegan, also asked her dad to slim down a bit for her wedding. She had been urging him to change his eating habits. After struggling with his weight for years, this seemed like the perfect time for Clinton to do something. He has lost 24 pounds on a vegan diet.
Clinton recently appeared on TV with David Letterman and Wolf Blitzer to show off his slimmed down shape, and to discuss his diet of legumes (plants of the pea or bean family), fruits and vegetables. He drinks a protein supplement every morning made with almond milk mixed with fruit and a protein powder.
The diet changed his whole metabolism, Clinton says. He has lost 24 pounds and weighs the same as he did in high school.
He started the diet because even after his two heart surgeries, cholesterol was again building up in his arteries. Cholesterol is found in animal and dairy food and in food containing saturated and trans fats.
Clinton didn’t want any more heart incidents and decided to do some research. He discovered that many by-pass patients who have gone on a plant based diet with no meat or dairy of any kind, (he does eat a small amount of fish) have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage is said to clear up, along with the calcium deposits around the heart.
The American Dietetic Association says that a well planned vegan diet can be healthy at any stage of life.
Some vegans, in addition to not eating meat, poultry, fish or dairy, may avoid all animal by- products such as fur, leather or wool.
The vegan diet can be deficient in Vitamin B-12 and Calcium, iron, Vitamin D, zinc and riboflavin .Vegans must find alternative sources.
Vitamin B-12 can be found in enriched breakfast cereals, fortified soy products, nutritional yeast, or supplements. Calcium exists in nuts, dark green vegetables, blackstrap molasses and calcium fortified foods such as fruit juices and breakfast cereals.
Zinc and Riboflavin can also be found in these foods. Protein is found in a variety of legumes including nuts and seeds.
Most grocery stores carry an array of vegan and meat substitute products. Veggie burgers, fake bacon and sausages and tofu hotdogs can make the vegan diet more interesting and familiar. Most crackers and baked goods are vegan, as are tortillas, tacos and brown rice.
Like Bill Clinton, a vegan diet might be just what you are looking for to lose weight and keep cholesterol out of your arteries. However, there has been no official news yet on the condition of Mr. Clinton’s arteries. Let’s hope the news will be good.