I Almost Died
On October 11, 2009, I was running in my neighborhood, as I had done every morning for the last five years. I was 52 years old and believed myself to be in good condition. My doctor had no concerns at my last checkup a few months earlier and I had no history of heart disease in my family.
But this morning, I was running fine, then staggered a couple of steps and hit the ground unconscious, under full cardiac arrest. About half of all heart attacks are of this type and for cardiac arrest outside of a hospital, the survival rate is about 3%. Some firefighters go their whole career without ever getting a save. You probably know friends or relatives who just suddenly keeled over and died.
However, on this Sunday morning, there were 17 people involved intimately in saving my life. From my neighbors and their relatives to the firemen, from the paramedics to the ambulance crew, from the ER staff to the specialists in the cardiac catheter lab, due to the quick action and competence of these folks, not only did I survive, I did so with no detectable brain or heart damage, which is even more rare than surviving cardiac arrest.
After a couple weeks of recuperation and some further tests, my cardiologist said I could go back to my life the way it was.
What My Doctor Didn’t Tell Me
At first I thought it was great that I could go back to my life the way it was. But the more I thought about it, the more I figured that my life the way it was probably caused my heart attack. So I began reading everything I could get my hands on about the causes of heart disease and how to prevent it. I quickly discovered a large body of scientific knowledge, thousands of studies published in refereed scientific journals. Here are some of the astonishing things that I found:
- Heart disease is completely preventable.
- Heart disease is reversible.
- You probably don’t need medication.
- Within some communities, heart disease is unknown.
- Genetics have almost nothing to do with heart disease.
- Most doctors do not know or will not tell you how to prevent and reverse heart disease.
- Traditional treatments such as statin drugs, stents, and cardiac bypass surgeries just don’t work.
Enough with the suspense already. How can we prevent and reverse heart disease? In a single word: Nutrition.
You’ve probably heard people say that fruits and vegetables are good for you. You’ve probably also heard that red meat can be harmful. I’d heard these things also but didn’t pay much attention. So let me be really blunt:
Eating meat, eggs, and dairy products is killing you.
Eating processed foods with added oil and sugar is hurting you.
Eating a whole plant-based diet will lengthen your life and protect you from heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, osteoporosis and about 30 other diseases.
I've spent the years since my heart attack reading professional journals, scouring the Internet, reading books, attending conferences and talking to experts. At first it was very confusing, with a lot of contradictory information. But as I tracked various claims back to carefully constructed scientific studies, it became clear to me that there is a core of solid self-consistent science but there are also a lot of people making statements with no solid science behind them that are intended to mislead the public into buying various food products, drugs, procedures, and services.
As I learned more, it felt to me like Alice in Wonderland falling down the rabbit hole. In the body of science and my newfound understanding of the operation of the medical establishment, I have found things that I have found astonishing. I invite you to join me in this adventure of discovery.
Here are some ideas for you.
- Read my reviews of what I think are the best books on nutrition science.
- Get a brief overview of the diet shown to be the most healthy.
- Browse recipes for tasty dishes that adhere to the healthy guidelines.
If you have questions about nutrition science that aren't answered on this web site, please call me at (626) 872-4050.