Can heart disease be reversed? As incredible as it sounds, the answer is an emphatic yes…and there has been multiple peer-reviewed scientific studies that have shown this to be the case.
More importantly, while this article is being geared towards seniors, one of the examples I will be giving in this article is myself…as there was a time several years ago when I was very overweight, out-of-shape and was experiencing constant heart palpitations…at a time in my life when I had no health insurance and could not get myself checked out.
So I write from personal experience here, and often that is the best way to teach…
How I Answered “Can Heart Disease Be Reversed” for Myself
Let’s go back to 2007. At the time I was 60 pounds overweight and lived a sedentary life. Very little movement to begin with and no structured exercise at all.
And it was at this time, when I was at my physical worst, that I started to experience heart palpitations…chest pains. And I can tell you that at age 36, that is not a good feeling to say the least.
So if I can be that bad at age 36, I can only imagine how bad it would be for seniors.
How A Solution Presented Itself
Note: Nothing that I am writing here should be considered a recommendation for you NOT to see a doctor and get checked out. ALWAYS seek out competent medical advice IMMEDIATELY if you are experiencing similar symptoms.
The book was titled “Eat More Weigh Less“ by Dr. Dean Ornish. And if you were overweight would that title intrigue you?
After taking it out of the library and reading it…while the book is long about 80% of the book was recipes, the science was contained to the first 90 pages or so.
In it, Doctor Ornish outlines how he has cured atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of arteries that leads to heart disease, heart attack, stroke, etc…through lifestyle changes alone!
To me this was stunning. Here was a medical doctor saying that that the answer to “can heart disease be reversed” was an emphatic yes, but that it would be done WITHOUT surgery or medications.
And at the time I didn’t have health insurance as I said, so my philosophy was simple. What did I have to lose?
So I decided to give it a go.
The Ornish program comes down to 3 core principles:
- A minimum of 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily (a good power walk would do it)
- Yoga and meditation to deal with stress and the spiritual aspects of healing
- An EXTREMELY low-fat diet, where no more than 10% of your calories come from fat
In looking at the 3 principles, it’s pretty obvious to see that the first and second are not that bad. The third is the kicker.
Obviously, the third is the key to the program and the most difficult to pull off. But I can tell you from personal experience that when you are concerned about chest pains, it is a hell of a lot easier to have the discipline to eat right than under normal circumstances.
How I Did It
Let me quickly go over the first two. I started going to the gym and got more than the recommended 30 minutes a day of exercise. And I did the yoga for a while but have to admit that it really isn’t “my thing” so I sometimes did my yoga and sometimes didn’t.
To this day I will easily do a one-hour, four-mile power walk but have difficulty keeping the concentration to do even a 30-minute yoga routine.
But when it came to eating, that is the tough part…and let me tell you how I did that.
While Ornish advocates a vegetarian lifestyle, I followed what I would describe as being a “semi- vegetarian”. For most of the time, I did eat only vegetables, but the times that I ate meat I made sure it was lean meats and grass-fed varieties as opposed to grain-fed.
As Dr. Ornish said, “If you cannot be a vegetarian, at least you can eat one.”
Pre-Planning Your Meals
There was NOTHING that was more important to me than planning my meals the night before. In this respect I knew…
- What I was eating the next day and when
- How many calories I was consuming
- By reading the nutrition facts label I was able to calculate how many of those calories were coming from fat
And most of all, by planning my meals in advance I was able to avoid the fast food runs that plague us all.
Well, can heart disease be reversed? I can tell you from personal experience it can. I lost 60 pounds over the course of 6 months and a few months later, had to go to the hospital to have a cyst removed.
When I started to have the preliminary blood work done, the doctors felt it wasn’t necessary to complete most of the tests.
The reason? My results were so good that those remaining tests were unnecessary. It was rare that they came across someone whose cholesterol, blood pressure, A1C levels, triglycerides…the works…were that good.
So while I am definitely suggesting that you go to the doctor and get yourself checked out, you can be rest assured that assured from my personal experience that you can successfully answer the question yourself, “Can heart disease be reversed”.