Weekly Top 10

About PETA Prime Are you ready to make a big difference for yourself, animals, and the Earth through simple day-to-day choices? PETA Prime has all the information you need to live a healthy, humane, and rewarding life.

PETA Business Friends


  • Feb
  • 4

Celebrate American Heart Month–Have a Healthy Heart

Posted by at 5:14 AM | Permalink | Comments (3)

heartFebruary is American Heart Month, and if you need another reason to do more to safeguard your heart, take a look at this compelling personal story about heart surgery, written by my coworker, Paula Moore:

Last year, my boyfriend’s cousin, Marilyn, underwent open-heart surgery. Five of her coronary arteries were 99 percent clogged, and when the doctors opened up Marilyn’s chest, they discovered that her heart was encased in a one-inch layer of fat. The surgery was expected to take about five hours. It took eight instead because the doctors first had to cut away all the fat from Marilyn’s heart. One surgeon said that Marilyn’s heart looked like a Butterball turkey.

Marilyn’s story is a stark reminder that we are what we eat.

Heart disease kills more people in North America than anything else. Until recently, it was assumed that, as we got older, our arteries would inevitably become clogged. In fact, one commercial for a cholesterol drug describes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries caused by plaque build-up) as a “progressive disease.” Well, yes, it is, if you keep eating pepperoni pizza and Buffalo wings like there’s no tomorrow (as there very well might not be).

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Two doctors-Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn-have proven that heart disease can be prevented and even reversed with a low-fat vegetarian diet. As Dr. Esselstyn describes in his book, Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, he has had 100 percent success in taking people with advanced stages of heart disease and stopping the disease in its tracks-and even, in most instances, reversing it. Dr. Dean Ornish, author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease has consistently seen similar results over the past decade when he puts heart patients on a regimen that includes a low-fat vegetarian diet, moderate exercise, and relaxation techniques, like yoga. If you know someone who has had a heart attack or heart bypass surgery, you should buy them one or both of these doctors’ books-they could change, and perhaps save, your friend’s life.

Dr. William Castelli, the director of the Framingham Heart Study, the longest-running epidemiological study in medical history, feels that “Vegetarians have the best diet. They have the lowest rates of coronary disease of any group in the country. … [T]hey have a fraction of our heart attack rate, and they have only 40 percent of our cancer rate.”┬áDavid Jenkins, a researcher at the Clinical Risk Factor Modification Center at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, agrees that “the evidence is pretty strong that vegans, who eat no animal products, have the best cardiovascular health profile and the lowest cholesterol levels.”

And it’s not just heart disease that a vegetarian diet helps prevent. The American Dietetic Association (ADA) performed an extensive review of scientific studies about vegetarian diets. They found that vegetarians have lower rates of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, cancer, and obesity than meat-eaters do. The ADA‘s position paper on vegetarian and vegan diets concludes that vegetarian and vegan diets are appropriate for all stages of life, including infancy and pregnancy, and that they have “health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”

Don’t want to have a heart that looks like a Butterball? Then don’t eat one! Take it easy on your heart by sampling some of tasty, heart-friendly recipes at www.VegCooking.com.

How about you-have you had success with lowering your cholesterol or blood pressure on a vegetarian diet?

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Ann says:

    Great article!!! I saw on the internet that osteoporosis is also “almost nonexistent” in vegetarians who exercise. Good news for those who have a family history!!!

  • Sidharth says:

    Very informative and helpful,keep adding……….

  • Pamela says:

    Thank you for the reminder that the fat we see on our body is just unsightly; the fat inside our chest cavity that we don’t see is what really kills us.

About Health

Improve your health, save animals, and protect the planet.

Recent Comments


The information and views provided here are intended for informational and preliminary educational purposes only. From time to time, content may be posted on the site regarding various financial planning and human and animal health issues. Such content is never intended to be and should never be taken as a substitute for the advice of readers' own financial planners, veterinarians, or other licensed professionals. You should not use any information contained on this site to diagnose yourself or your companion animals' health or fitness. Readers in need of applicable professional advice are strongly encouraged to seek it. Except where third-party ownership or copyright is indicated or credited regarding materials contained in this blog, reproduction or redistribution of any of the content for personal, noncommercial use is enthusiastically encouraged.