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Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

4.37 of 5 stars 4.37  ·  rating details  ·  1,649 ratings  ·  153 reviews
A powerful call for a paradigm shift in heart disease therapy.

Based on the groundbreaking results of a twenty-year nutritional study by Dr. Esselstyn, a preeminent researcher and clinician, this book illustrates that a plant-based, oil-free diet can not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease but can also reverse its effects. The proof lies in the incredib
Kindle Edition
Published (first published February 1st 2007)
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Sep 11, 2011 Aubrey rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Aubrey by: Rip Esselstyn in The Engine 2 Diet and Forks Over Knives
First off, I'm not sure why I didn't read this book sooner. Second off, there is no questioning why Clinton was impacted by this book. Third off, read this book (though I would start with The China Study) even if you don't know a single person with heart disease or affected by it (which is highly unlikely) because it will impact you.

Like Campbell, Esselstyn has a way of writing scientifically but putting it in layman's terms. He even makes it fun. I couldn't put it down and finished it in hours
D Scroggy
In November I travelled to Georgia to visit my daughter. While there we had dinner with one of Morgan’s friends and her mom. During dinner this lovely, lean woman described the “diet” she had been following for the past 6 months. She described it as “the Bill Clinton diet” and said she had learned about it from a book written by a doctor named Esselstyn. She described the plan, in a nutshell, as no meat (nothing with a face, nothing with a mother), no dairy, and no oil – not even “healthy” oils. ...more
This ball got rolling when I saw "The Last Heart Attack" on CNN. My dad had just had heart surgery, so I was looking for something to help him, and to help me to avoid the same outcome. When I watched the CNN special and saw the amazing things a plant-based diet was doing for President Clinton, and the others that were highlighted, I knew I had to do some more research. I looked up Dr. Esselstyn's book, and immediately downloaded it to my Kindle. The electronic pages blurred by as I read about t ...more
An absolutely wonderful book. Very well written, extremely engaging and extremely motivating. It focuses on heart disease, but the lessons are applicable to many areas of chronic disease, and indeed to various cancers and dementia (and erectile disfunction). Dr. Esselstyn's approach is that a complete shift is needed - that there is no such thing as just a little being ok. This will make it challenging for many (including myself) without the "motivation" of an extreme health event. However the d ...more
Written by "a former surgeon, researcher and clinician at the Cleveland Clinic" this book is a must read for anyone who has a history of heart disease or who's family history puts them at risk of heart disease.

The first half of the book is what is important - it comprises the full discussion of the issue with a straightforward presentation of the evidence and what you need to do to avoid the onset of heart disease and for those with a history, to arrest it and in some cases reverse existing cor
Connie Faull
I purchased this book after watching Dr. Sanjay Gupta's special on CNN entitled "The Last Heart Attack." Dr. Esselstyn, although not a cardiologist, has been doing research regarding plant based diets and the prevention, arrestment, and in some cases reversal of heart disease. He has stories of some of his patients who had had heart attacks, and either were not candidates for surgical intervention or chose to try his diet instead. All of his patients, after only a few weeks on his plant based di ...more
Apr 28, 2008 Patricia added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Dr. Esselstyn gives a lot of information about his group of 23 cardiac patients who had no more hope with the surgical medical community who came to him for his nutrition program which advocates NO fat--not even the so-called "healthy fats"- olive or canola oils, NO animal products, and lots of vegetables, some fruits, and lots of whole grains on a daily basis. The book includes about 150 pages of recipes starting with breakfast and moving on through the day. The ones we have tried so far have s ...more
At 58 years of age, I had emergency stents inserted into a
main artery leading to my heart. Shocked, because as a vegetarian we
all thought I was healthy in spite of family history with
heart issues.

I found this book when I saw an interview with Dr. Esselstyn and
Bill Clinton. I quickly found out all I had been doing wrong.
Reading this book, I realized I didn't have a death sentence. That was 3 years ago and I haven't even had a twinge of angina.

I highly recommend this book to anyone with family h
Kim Haritopoulos
He brings up many good points regarding diet - however there are other populations that ingest much in the way of "heart healthy" fats/oils ( Greeks, Italians - EVOO, Polynesians - coconut oil) and they have VERY little heart disease - so not sure we can attribute heart disease to ingestion of healthy fats -
Also ? study size which was very low - would love to see larger group of persons in this type of study - however diet is extremely restrictive -
Jennifer Welch
Eyes opened when I watched various nutrition documentaries on Netflix, including Forks Over Knives, which in-turn opened my eyes to this book. Knowledge is power, a must read for those brainwashed/held captive/doomed by the western diet.
David Meyer
When my uncle passed away from a heart attack at 37 I was shocked. My former boss passed away from a heart attack at 42, and a college teacher passed away from a heart attack at 38. Recently my masseuse let me know that at the hospital she works there are people there who are 21 years old that are there for heart problems.

I have followed the Esselstyn way of eating for over 13 years and am currently writing a book on this approach to living.

My numbers are like this after following this lifesty
Beth Barnett
Interesting explanations about heart disease and diet.
The good news: a low-fat, vegan whole grain and plant based diet will lower one's cholesterol and either remove or diminish one's risk for heart disease put themselves at risk for due to eating a diet rich in animal food (depending on how long that person has been eating badly!), and actually a number of diseases and conditions that most Americans are at high risk for - such as several cancers, diabetes, obesity, dementia, stroke.

This book i
I give it only three stars just because I would have preferred more meat [*ahem*] about the research. The China Study really presents more of the background, and Esselstyn takes vegan a step further by eliminating added oil from his patients' diets.

The sample set is small, but his results are intriguing and have held up over time. His initial study was made up of cardiac patients who were literally at the end of the line. Surgical intervention had failed, and their own cardiologists had told th
It has information that we already know about but explains his theory, which he has proven with studies, that our diet truly can affect our health. His food plan is strict but does include lots of great food stuffs, all of which are natural and plant based. No dairy, no meats, no fish, no eggs, no oils, no refined grains, no nuts. He explains how the cholesterol builds up when eating a diet that the RDA recommends, the how, the why, etc. and then explains how his food plan is better at "curing" ...more
My husband read this and close-to-recited the text along the way out of excitement and outrage. I feel like I've already read it but want to get the first-hand experience. If you watch the Forks Over Knives documentary you get the core of Esselstyn's nutritional stance on health, but the book is packed full of legitimate proof for his theories. My husband and I have been close to vegan for some time so eating strictly plant-based, whole foods isn't a difficult change for us. If it seems tough to ...more
Premise: Heart disease can be prevented and reversed with strict adherence to a NO fat diet.
-Don't eat anything that has a mother or a face.
-No oils, no dairy products, no nuts

Eat fruit, vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains


3/4 of the world doesn't have heart disease.
Get cholesterol below 150. 150mg/dL is the number; used to be 250, then 200, no 150

Low fat diet restores the endothelium's capactiy to manufacture nitric oxide when keeps blood vessels pliable. Healthy vessel lik
Fascinating book about stopping and/or reversing your heart disease. If you want to be heart attack proof, or if you find yourself in heart-trouble, this is the book to read.
Dr.Esselstyn was a surgeon at the Cleveland clinic for 35 years and eventually saw angioplasty, bi-passes, and all other invasive techniques as a bandaid to symptoms of a serious disease rather than a cure. He proved (with some very sick people) over the course of a 20 year study that the answer lies with the individual and
Bob Stocker
In Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D. prescribes a simple diet: no meat poultry or fish; no dairy products; no oils of any kind; and generally no nuts or avocados. Esselstyn's research indicates that such a diet can reverse heart disease. I'm willing to buy that in spite of the constant flow of contradictory reports from the medical and dietary community about what's good and bad for you to eat and my perception that every diet book promises wondrous results. I'm les ...more
Wandoo Ityavyar
Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease is written by Cadwell B. Esselstyn, Jr, who believes that coronary artery disease need not exist and if it does it need not progress. Caldwell Esselstyn comes from a long line of doctors. His father was a doctor as well as as his father in law. However, this didn't give either of them immunity against the diseases of nutritional extravagance. Cadwell Esselstyn, Snr died of a heart disease in 1975 and before he passed, he left his son Esselstyn Jnr with a charge ...more
This is the prelude to Forks over Knives. Very well put together and readable. A vegan lifestyle is presented as an answer to our current overwhelming problem with heart disease. This is the first time I have heard of the vegan lifestyle being other than AGAINST the treatment and killing of animals. His results are amazing and very compelling. As a companion book, I am reading Veganimicon for recipes and enjoying a good laugh in its light-hearted presentation.
Tony Rogers jr
This is an excellent book on the nutrition-based approach to preventing and reversing heart disease. Dr Esselstyn asserts that through dietary changes and in some cases low doses of medicine, the science is clear that almost anyone can prevent or reserve heart disease. He sums it up clearly in this statement "Coronary artery disease need not exist, and if it does it need not progress." His program consists of eating a plant-based, low-fat, oil-free diet, its aim is to eliminate the ingestion of ...more
This book has the right amount of science for everyone. Anymore and I might not have made it through. I think because of that it will appeal to a larger audience. After reading the book I wanted to send a copy to every member in my family. I felt like I knew a very important secret that could save their lives. Let's hope they read it!
What a wonderful book! Dr. Esselstyn has proven, beyond any doubt, that changing to a healthy lifestyle will stop and even reverse heart disease. This is extremely important, because heart disease kills at least half of all people in the country.
Rich Szabo
Was astounded by the before-and-after pictures of heart vessels HEALING THEMSELVES, WITHOUT SURGERY or STENTS. I am privileged to have met Dr. Esselstyn as a child and again as an adult. He and Colin Campbell are revolutionaries.
This made me re-think "healthy oils" and look at my oil labels and really see how much saturated fat is in them. We focus so much on mono-unsaturated fat that we forget to consider what else is in that "healthy" oil in terms of saturated fats. I am also rethinking the standards for what the medical community deems as healthy in terms of cholesterol numbers and realizing that my "low high" number is indeed a greater concern than I realized. If you are a seeking person about optimal health, I high ...more
Martha Smith
At the time I read this book I was convinced of Dr. Esselsyn's arguments. But after a health crisis eating this way, I have reevaluated my high praises of his book.
This is an excellent book for anyone with heart disease (and anyone who wants to prevent this killer disease). Dr. Esselstyn explains things clearly and convincingly. I have been eating a plant-based diet for 8 years but had never believed that I also need to eliminate oils from my diet. This book convinced me! Only 126 pages are text. The rest of the book is filled with recipes that look pretty darn good. I was originally going to send this book to a friend of my husband who is battling heart d ...more
Nov 06, 2013 Dickie rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who has heart disease or a risk for heart disease.
This was the book that I've looked forward to during the 2 years that I've been looking for answers on reversing heart disease.
Jenny Stringham
A lot of good information, and a lot of good reasons (and statistics) to take care of your heart, but his ideas are rather extreme. As awesome as it might be to completely live a plant based diet and only have fats from those sources (NO reg oils like canola, olive, veg, etc) with the occasional walnut if your heart is healthy enough just didn't seem practical to me. If you wanted to try this diet you'd have to have the whole family on board - big time. About 3/5 of the book is recipes and some ...more
Important! I have made significant diet changes after reading this book.
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“This tragic sequence helps explain the fearful loss of cognition in coronary artery bypass patients.3 But neuroradiologists also report that using magnetic resonance imaging, they can detect little white spots in the brains of Americans starting at about age fifty. These spots represent small, asymptomatic strokes (see Figures 18 and 19 in insert). The brain has so much reserve capacity that at first these tiny strokes cause no trouble. But, if they continue, they begin to cause memory loss and, ultimately, crippling dementia. In fact, one recently reported study found that the presence of these “silent brain infarcts” more than doubles the risk of dementia.4 We now believe, in fact, that at least half of all senile mental impairment is caused by vascular injury to the brain.” 0 likes
“protein, or HSCRP. This test measures the levels of a specific blood protein that increases with inflammation of the coronary arteries, and it is considered by many cardiologists to be even better than a standard cholesterol measurement at assessing your risk of heart attacks. All those patients who failed turned out to have elevated HSCRP levels.” 0 likes
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