Plant-Based Diet for Your Heart | Dr. Robert Ostfeld

Plant-Based Diet for Your Heart | Dr. Robert Ostfeld

The position of the Medical Executive Committee of SUNY Downstate Medical Center, as recommended by the Committee and Plant-based Health and Nutrition, is as follows:

Plant-based nutrition – emphasizing consumption of vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes, and fruits – can prevent, treat, or reverse certain chronic diseases in adults based on current best research evidence.

The chronic diseases studied most include obesity, high body mass index, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, and hyperlipidemia. Plant-based diets, however, are not a cure-all and should not be substituted for existing medication or therapy unless supervised by a physician.

Statements Based on Research Evidence
Individuals who report eating more plants have lower body mass index (BMI) and lower blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, fasting glucose, C reactive protein, and inflammatory profiles than do individuals who report eating fewer plants in their diet. Strong evidence based on over 700,000 subjects in population and cohort studies.
Plant-based diets can reverse existing coronary artery disease (evidenced by angiography) and can reduce body weight, oral diabetic medication needs, and blood levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, fasting glucose, c reactive protein (CRP), and hemoglobin A1c. Moderate evidence based on randomized trials and cohort studies that are mostly short-term (weeks to months) and have varying rates of adherence to plant-based diets over time.
Individuals who report eating more plants are less likely to develop hypertension, ischemic heart disease, type 2 diabetes, colon cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, and cancer overall in subsequent decades. Moderate evidence based on population and cohort studies that lose some subjects over time and have diverse methods and outcomes (e.g., are heterogeneous).
Individuals who report eating more plants are less likely to die from cardiovascular disease, ischemic heart disease, cerebrovascular disease, some cancers (pancreatic, lymphatic, hematopoietic), and from all-cause mortality. Moderate evidence based on population and cohort studies that lose some subjects over time and have diverse methods and outcomes.
Individuals who eat exclusively plant-based diets have lower rates of obesity, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease than those who eat plant-based diets with some animal products. Weak evidence based on population and comparative studies with minorities of participants on exclusively plant-based diets and with variations in how these diets are defined.
Additional Considerations
The evidence mostly supports increased consumption of plants as beneficial, in contrast to simply removing animal products from the diet. Within the category of plant-based diets there is some evidence that eating only plants is best, with growing evidence that a whole food plant-based diet has more benefits than one that contains refined plant foods.
Many different plant-based diets have been used in research studies, making it difficult to generalize results and raising concerns in some cases (e.g., highly restrictive low-fat diets) about the ability of individuals to adhere to these diets for long periods of time.
Some of the observed health benefits of plant-based diets may be due to other lifestyle interventions that often accompany these diets, such as smoking cessation, limited alcohol consumption, stress reduction, and a greater emphasis on exercise and fitness.
We support the American Medical Association’s resolution from 2017 to “call on US hospitals to improve the health of patients, staff, and visitors by providing a variety of healthful food, including plant-based meals and meals that are low in fat, sodium, and added sugars”


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    Does the fat in Tofu or Nut Yogurts hurt your heart vessels?

  6. Craig Clarke on October 16, 2021 at 9:43 am

    I heard that sugar oxidises the cholesterol ? It doesn’t matter if your cholesterol is high as over 50% of people who have heart atacks do not have high cholesterol.

  7. Androboff Preznev on October 16, 2021 at 9:46 am

    Thanks Dr Ostfeld for such an explanation and clarity 👏

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  10. Mr. Speyside on October 16, 2021 at 9:51 am

    I’m so happy I went plant based. I feel amazing and I no longer have any guilt about eating animals.

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    I agree that a plant based diet is the way to go but I’m a bit confused in that the dentition and digestive tract of the human is that of an omnivore, this makes me wonder if going entirely vegan is a good thing.

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    We need a lot more medical professionals and people in general with the insight and enthusiasm that Dr. Ostfeld has. I hope everyone watches "Forks Over Knives" to learn the basics of eating healthy in an easy to watch video. This is as big a game changer as figuring out smoking cigarettes was incredibly bad but we had to fight the tobacco industry for 50 years to finally get the message to most people.

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    If you have O+ blood type, it says meat is essential for my diet, and that grains can severely compromise my ability to burn off the calories and it is true for if I have grains, pastas or certain beans, I put on weight almost overnight… so im confused about all this?

  28. LD JT on October 16, 2021 at 10:17 am

    They don’t mention coronary artery calcium deposits, just fatty deposits. so can a whole foods plant based diet reverse calcium deposits too?

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    I am very happy to hear this message from a Cardiologist
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  30. Michael Dillon on October 16, 2021 at 10:26 am

    A lot of this information is really confusing . I have been interested in nutrition and disease since reading Dr Burkitt’s work about 40 years ago . My religious inclinations tend towards eating a vegetarian diet . However, there iare some very compelling lectures on YouTube by very highly qualified physicians who have even moved from recommending keto to recommending Carnivore . They give equally compelling evidence about the value of carnivore diets . I would like to see a conference where the experts go head to head . I admire both groups because at least they are thinking about how to prevent and reverse disease by diet rather than by pharma which med school trained them to do . The other thing is that both groups should combine to campaign to get refined carbohydrates out of the food chain . Yudkin’s seminal work ‘ pure, white and deadly ‘ about the dangers of refined carbs deserves a retrospective Nobel prize in medicine ✌️.

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