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664 of 675 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The land of Esselstyn... where the living is easy!
My cousin turned me on the Esselstyn lifestyle. Her husband, who has suffered from genetically high cholesterol, had seen many male family members die before their time due to heart disease. When vegetarianism and then veganism didn't solve his problem, they went hardcore into the Esselstyn lifestyle.

In 5 short months, my cousin (average size 12 American...
Published on September 6, 2007 by MyRedSandals

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781 of 824 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably accurate but very difficult to follow
After searching for books on reversing cardiovascular disease I came across this one. He makes an excellent case for reversing heart disease and provides before & after angiogram pictures as well. I have no argument with the science. I also have a bone to pick with experts that don't like this doctor because he is not a heart specialist. Since when do all things correct...
Published on March 5, 2009 by Anna Katerine


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664 of 675 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The land of Esselstyn... where the living is easy!, September 6, 2007
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My cousin turned me on the Esselstyn lifestyle. Her husband, who has suffered from genetically high cholesterol, had seen many male family members die before their time due to heart disease. When vegetarianism and then veganism didn't solve his problem, they went hardcore into the Esselstyn lifestyle.

In 5 short months, my cousin (average size 12 American female) lost almost 30 pounds, much of it by foregoing the core of their vegan diet: olive oil, nuts, avocados, etc. Her husband also lost weight; better yet, his high cholesterol finally responded and is now in the excellent range.

My cousin then recommended the Esselstyn book to me, as my husband's cholesterol has stubbornly remained above 200, and he, too, has a history of heart disease in his immediate family. Though we believed we were already eating a healthy diet, several hours of reading through Esselstyn's findings soon proved we were wrong. We made a pact to try the diet for just 1 month and evaluate where we stood.

Well, 1 short month convinced us that this is the way to eat for life! We've now been following the program for 37 days, and the changes are already obvious. My husband has lost about 12 pounds and 3" in his waistline. He feels "lighter" and less bloated, and is "completely satisfied" (his words) by the wide variety of natural and delicious foods we eat.

As for me, I have lost about 9 pounds and a total of 12"; I will soon need new jeans! My mid-afternoon cravings are miraculously gone. And no one was more surprised than I to discover that we do not miss eating the staples of our previous diet, such as grilled salmon, eggs, olive oil, fat-free dairy products, dark chocolate, and an occasional 96% Laura's Lean sirloinburger. Another side benefit is that we are spending less at the grocery store!

If you're on the fence about this one, do what we did... try it for just 1 month (but be sure to give it 100%) and then make your decision.
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396 of 406 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Meet Dr. Esselstyn, say goodbye to your cardiologist, February 10, 2007
By 
LA FAM "Elvin" (Malibu, California USA) - See all my reviews
Dr. Esselstyn's brand new book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, delivers just what the title promises. 21 years ago, Dr. Esselstyn took 17 people who were very sick. They had had heart attacks, bypass operations, angioplasty, pills, you name it. These people had by and large been sent home to die by their cardiologists, their heart disease so severe nothing further could be done. Doctors told several they would be dead in "less than a year."

But they didn't die. Instead, each agreed to become part of Dr. Esselstyn's study, and adopted a low-fat plant-based diet as their medicine. 12 years later every one of these patients was alive, free of heart disease, and living full, active lives. Even those originally given a death sentence of "one year to live" are alive today 21 years later; and all thank Dr. Esselstyn for giving them knowledge, inspiration -- and recipes -- to save their lives. Their experiences as well as the many in his ongoing counseling, are documented in this amazing, highly readable book and backed up by 20 years of rock hard, peer reviewed science.

This is not a book just for people with heart disease (one out of every two Americans will die of heart disease). This is a book for anyone wanting to regain or preserve their health, anyone wanting to enjoy great health throughout their entire life.

The infomation in Dr. Esselstyn's book can save your life, and the recipes alone make it a must-have.
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310 of 318 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Does it really work?, April 4, 2008
By 
Justa Thought (San Diego, Ca. United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Paperback)
With all of the promises being made regarding health cures it is hard to figure out which ones really work & which are vehicles to remove dollars from your wallet. I am a skeptic about these apparent fad cures & diets because most ultimately fail while an author or guru gets rich.

I have heart disease and things were going well after my bypass over 7 years ago. After the surgery I changed to a lowfat diet, exercised more and felt good. Throughout my 20's I was a triathlete and was top condition - training 2 to 3 hours 5-6 days a week and understood, so I thought, the value of exercise and an effective diet.

Thinking I had my heart problem beat (pardon the metaphor) after favorable results from 2 extensive thalium treadmill tests 3 & 5 years ago, I went about eating the great American Diet that included the occasional burgers, sodas and the rest.

I found that I was short of breath during heavy exercise (Jiu Jitsu), I decided to have my heart tested with the elaborate systems in the hospital - thinking that it must be my age of 53 years catching up with me and nothing else. I got the shocking news that my heart condition had gotten 50% worse since I had the same test 3 years before! That was truly bad news...

Being fully depressed but determined to not have my quality of life wither away, I decided to do something about it and not wait for the doctors to give me more meds since surgery was not an option. My doctor said that the only reason he could see for my diminishing condition was an increase in cholesterol in my diet that has started to block other heart vessels.

I stumbled upon this book with this bold title including "reversing" written by a heart surgeon - a heart surgeon indeed!

I read it along with the China Study (if you want a tech book about the western diet, this will blow your mind) and made the dietary change - of course, family members gave me grief for eating a plant based diet.

Four months later my results are as follows: Cholesterol went from 230 to 150. Weight 236 to 202, great for someone who is 6'4". My energy during exercise is 50% better than before my checking 4 months ago. Mental clarity improved significantly and that is the short list.

So, does it really work? Try it and find out.

PS
One family member & wife who scoffed loudly is now on the diet simply by seeing my results (I had no interest in defending or arguing about my choice because I decided to extend my life). They read the China Study as well and decided to give the fast food industry a miss from their eating habits. Read it and you will think twice about it as well.
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781 of 824 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Probably accurate but very difficult to follow, March 5, 2009
This review is from: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Paperback)
After searching for books on reversing cardiovascular disease I came across this one. He makes an excellent case for reversing heart disease and provides before & after angiogram pictures as well. I have no argument with the science. I also have a bone to pick with experts that don't like this doctor because he is not a heart specialist. Since when do all things correct have to come from only specialists? This guy treats patients that cardiologists have given up on when their invasive treatements fail. Angioplasty & bypass only relieve symptoms & do not cure the disease. My father found that out! After seeing what he was like after bypass surgery perhaps we need to do nearly anything to avoid that like the plague.

While the science is very compelling, and I believe it is right, the diet itself is extremly hard to follow unless you really love eating beans & vegetables, some fruit, and grains (no white bread or white pasta). The basis of his recommendations are no dairy at all, no meat, no fish, no eggs (not even egg whites), no cheese, no oil of any kind, no high-fat vegetable sources like nuts & avocado. Pretty sparce eating to me.

The author says that eating any oil at all, whether in animal or vegetable form, affects the arteries in a negative way & in at least one patient contributed to his angina. That statement ups the ante and leads you to believe that oil is not just undesireable but extremely dangerous. I find that eating out is nearly impossible as just about all food not prepared on your own is cooked in oil or has oil as part of the food....refried beans, soup, bread, crackers, tortillas, etc. Wanna eat out? You are pretty limited to steamed vegetables & some fruit, maybe rice (no sauces unless they are totally fat-free, and who can know if the marinara sauce has soybean oil in it?). Thinking that eating salad will solve your problems? Naw, not unless you like to eat it naked or carry around your own homemade dressing. Commercial fat-free salad dressing is NOT fat-free, and ANY vegetable oil at all is not allowed.

Sticking to this diet has been a huge struggle, but I've only been on the diet for 14 days. The hardest part is finding prepared foods, like bread, that have no fat at all in them. So far I've only found one manufacturer and the loaf costs $4.00. Can't even find tortillas that meet that criteria, and you really have to pay attention to labels. Fats go under other names like glycerin, mono & diglicerides, lethecin.

Do I sound frustrated? Yeah, I am. Most of the positive reviews I've read are written by folks with blocked arteries who welcome anything to keep them out of surgery, and having had a parent who had quadruple bypass surgery I totally get that. My dad's mother died of a heart attack, and so did her father. So, despite my frustration I'm going to adhere to this diet because I am convinced the author is right & I hope to avoid the fate of my relatives.

I have cooked many of the recipies in the book and did not like the majority of them. I don't like vegetables very much, and therein is my struggle. Try them anyway........

Do I like the book? Yes, it's very thorough. Do I like the diet it recommends? Nope, but I'm going to do it anyway.
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134 of 138 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, August 30, 2009
This review is from: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Paperback)
This book literally saved my life. I have been following Dr. Esselstyn's advice since the last week of March, 2009. When I went in for my annual cardiologist visit in july, I has lost 62 lbs. My colestrol was 124, down from 260 the year before. In July of 2008 I was pre-diabetic, weighed 325 lbs, and my entire blood panel was a disaster. The doctor was so concerned, she ordered an angiogram. This year, everything was perfect, or low after four months on the program.

Better yet, I have more energy, I sleep better, and I'm not as angry. My wife says, "I'm a different person." No calorie counting, no portion measuring, no exercise regimine, and you can drink in moderation.

Words of warning; the first week is hard. Would I like a big plate of Tex-Mex? You bet, but the short term gratification isn't worth the long term concequences. I'm 67 years old, with two children, and five grand children.

Words of warning number two; This is a lifestyle change, not a diet. Before, I would go on Adkins and lose 30 or 40 pounds, only to gain it all back, plus some when I got off the diet.

More good news; I go to the farmers market once a week, and spend about $20 for a weeks supply of food. (Not including beer or wine)

I can not recommend this book highly enough. It saved my life. Please e-mail me with any questions. I love to talk about what Dr. E's program has done for me.

Richard Berry Humble TX
[...]
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99 of 102 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book and man who saved my life, October 9, 2010
This review is from: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Paperback)
I'm 34 years old. My father died of a massive heart attack at age 56 in this country, eating an unhealthy diet and being overweight. His father, my grandfather, died of a massive heart attack in Korea at age 56. My grandfather was a doctor on a US military base and ate a western diet. Most of his peers ate a traditional Asian diet and it was rare for a man to die of heart disease in Korea (most males were killed because of Japanese control during WW2 or the Korean war in combat). I am determined not to die of heart disease like my father and grandfather.

Since my father's death 10 years ago, I've been determined to eat well and exercise. I chose lowfat milk over whole milk, chicken breast and over red meats and ate a lot of fish. Everything a "healthy diet" was supposed to be. Plus, I exercised 4-5 week at the gym with a personal trainer through moderate-heavy cardio and weight training. Except, I kept gaining weight and my blood pressure and cholesterol numbers kept rising over the years.

My cholesterol at the beginning of April was 200, LDL of 100, blood pressure was 130/88. I had gained about 10 pounds during the winter months. That's when my doctor had strongly suggested that I take blood pressure pills and cholesterol lowering statins. At the same time, my wife had purchased Dr. Esselstyn's and Dr. Campbell's books.

I remember skimming Dr. Esselstyn's "Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease" thinking, "Wow, no meats, no chicken, no dairy, no eggs, no oil, no nuts...is this guy crazy? I'll be crazy if I follow this quack's diet!!" The book is a quick read. A lot of stories about his experiences in the Cleveland Clinic in the 80's and how these dying individuals made their change to a plant-based diet and their successes with it. It was at that point I decided that my wife and I needed to make the change in my diet in order to save my life.

My wife and I ate all the foods in our fridge and freezer but replenished them with fruits and vegetables. Finished was the skim milk first and then switched to vanilla almond milk from Almond Breeze (tastes MUCH better than skim!) Gone were the meats that my brother had sent from Kansas city BBQ...threw it right out. Ate all the fish and left the chicken breast to my dog. Eggs were next. I think the moral of this is to do it in stages. It's hard to switch cold turkey to all plant diet (pardon the pun). My wife read the back of the book and she's glad that there is so much information for recipes. You can't write a book about switching to plant-based diet and NOT give you any help!

After almost 3 months of Dr. Esselstyn's book, my cholesterol was at 137, LDL of 70, blood pressure of 115/70. All values are normal. I lost 25 pounds in 3 months. The only unfortunate side effect is that NONE OF MY CLOTHES FIT! My wedding band is huge and I cannot wear it anymore until I get it re-sized. I tell people, "If I can do it, anyone can". I do take vitamin supplements for B12 and D. I have more energy during the day and I don't feel sluggish at work anymore. I get very upset when I see ads or news stories about what a traditional healthy diet includes. I'm sorry but that's all money from lobbyists from the dairy, beef, chicken and egg industries. Magazines like Men's health is nothing more than a scam, like a snake-oil salesman trying to tell you what's healthy.

I recently met Dr. Esselstyn and his wife Ann at the NY Vegetarian expo in Albany, NY. I saw his movie, "FORKS OVER KNIVES" which comes out in March 2011. It's the same as the book, so if you don't want to read the book, watch the movie. Dr. Esselstyn and his wife are really nice and kind. It was a real pleasure that they both signed our book. Thank you Caldwell Esselstyn for saving my life.

Sincerely,
G. Park
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140 of 151 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for anyone who wants to remain alive as long as possible, February 8, 2007
By 
This is an extremely important book. Dr. Esselstyn has conducted the longest-running study, with the most impressive results, of any study in which heart disease has been arrested and reversed. I have read it once and plan to read it a second time. I had known of Dr. Esselstyn's work prior to reading this book, but it is wonderful to have all of his thinking and recommendations available in one easy-to-read book, together with a treasure trove of wonderful recipes supplied by his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn. Dr. Esselstyn points out that everyone over 60 who has been eating the standard American diet has some level of heart disease and it is increasingly found to be starting in children and young adults.

I used to think that there was nothing one could do about the chronic diseases of aging such as heart disease and strokes. It is exciting and heartening to learn that there is something one can do to prevent, arrest and even reverse heart disease. The proof is shown in the stunning photos of actual angiograms before and after Dr. Esslestyn's treatment (you can actually see that the arteries are wider after the treatment!) and more importantly, in the remarkable improvement in his patients that he tells about.

I have decided to follow Dr. Esselstyn's lifestyle guidance and I encourage all of my friends and associates to do the same. I direct a residential special needs school and have changed the menu plans for the 230 students at our school to follow Dr. Esselstyn's guidelines. I plan to send a copy to a cardiologist I know. I wish every physician would read this book. Do yourself a favor and read this book. It could be a life-saver, literally.

Matthew L. Israel,Ph.D.
Executive Director
Judge Rotenberg Center
Canton, MA 02021
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84 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars JUST SAY NO to heart disease, May 6, 2007
By 
Expat of (Dalkey, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This is a very clear, very concise book.

A plant-based diet can prevent and reverse heart disease.

It has the potential to save millions upon millions of lives.

My cardiologist suggested that I try the South Beach Diet. Somebody slap him for me. Living proof that medical school nutritional education is NOT only pathetic, BUT actually DEADLY. I'd love to be able to say that this was a joke. Actually, it was. But true too.

Luckily I had read Ornish. McDougall is great. Esselstyn is the clearest and most up to date AND he recommended a vegan diet PLUS statins, with ZERO further cardiac events for those who followed the program. What more did you want? Did my cardiologist thank me for excitedly passing on that information? HA! Have you got a lot to learn ...

BUT you are not alone. You have Drs. Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn and (biochemical) Dr. T. Colin Campbell. As for an actual live family practioner or a cardiologist, you may get lucky, but unfortunately I wouldn't count on it. When you have a new diagnosis of heart disease and you are petrified, or 'they' are shoving a coat hanger up your leg, is that tough? Oh Yeah ;-).

Younger doctors may be more open and/or have less to lose? (Sample size = 1 ;-) ).

Find support on McDougall's online forum and see if Dr. Esselstyn starts one. The very best of luck to you.

May you be as lucky (and Iron Willed) as those already happily following the advice.

(REMEMBER the one about the Formula One driver in Australia. A spectator says to a friend of the driver, "He's very lucky." To which the outraged friend replies, "Yeah mate, and you know what? The harder he works, the luckier he gets!"). Trust Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish and McDougall, be lucky and you'll do fine.

Esselstyn recommends reading The China Study. Having now done so, all I can say is "My God. What you don't know can SERIOUSLY damage your health." So that is why Ornish, McDougall and also Esselstyn say NO DAIRY. Got Cancer?

Can't do it? Willpower of a gnat? That's too bad because from here on heart disease is surely suicide by fork and spoon.

Tip - You can start with partial adherence; get used to it; then gradually increase the compliance. % compliance is entirely up to you. Better to have tried and failed than not to have tried at all? Plus the secret is: following the diet becomes extremely easy as it becomes a daily habit. In about a year.
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42 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Book which Helped me Avoid Heart Disease, April 23, 2010
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This review is from: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure (Paperback)
A litte over 2 years ago, I had a physical and my total cholesterol was 282,my LDL was over 190 and my HDL 48. I figured it was a fluke because for the prior 46 years, my cholesterol was alway perfect. Two year later, about 6 months ago, I had another physical. My total cholesterol was 274, LDL 190, and HDL 51. Mmmmmm. Immediately, my internist wanted to put me on statins. I don't believe in taking any medications unless there is no alternative so I told her I would change my diet and exercise more. She said "Go for it" but warned me that at those levels it was highly unlikely anything would change. Three months later, I came back, after having only changed my diet a little and only exercising a little bit more and now total was 282, LDL 191 and HDL 50.

Lucky for me, a that time, another friend of mine who just 6 months prior, who was admitted into a hospital, who was going to have bi-pass surgery, read this book and 6 months later he was doing fine. His doctors were amazed. He continues to improve. He recommended the book to me and within 2 weeks, my cholesterol dropped 100 points to 181, LDL 119, HDL 40. My cardiologist, the best in Los Angeles, Dr. Bruce Samuels (practices evidenced based medicine and is open minded), who encouraged me to try this diet (said it was worth the try)was impressed. So with this book and true exercise, I believe it has saved me from future heart conditions and problems. It is not a joke or voodoo. This stuff works. Dean Gould, Los Angeles
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85 of 92 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caldwell Esselstyn, June 7, 2007
This is the best heart book ever written period. I have about 50 health books. Ornish's book made me think about it, Esselstyn's book made me do it. All other health and heart books are just noise, they will just confuse you. This one is the best in many ways. In many ways the study is more powerful, and the book is more powerful than the Ornish books by far, though I think Ornish is admirable. This book really should be read along with The China Study, as the two authors refer to one another and their work in the two books. The China Study goes more in depth about the science and rational behind what Esselstyn is suggesting. The China Study is also an outstanding book. Congradulations to Mr Esselstyn, he is by far the best thing going at the Cleveland Clinc, this from one of its angioplasty patients. The only addition I would make to his analysis, is once you are able to, you need to add reasonable exercise, it is essential. But I understand his reasons for sort of omitting it. I suggest Mr Esselstyn write a Reversing Heart Disease Part 2, or "Advanced" there I am sure he would suggest strongly about exercise, as seen with himself and his own family. And I am sure he also has a lot to update us on. Great book, a must for anyone with heart disease.
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Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
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