I just spent my Saturday morning with Dr. Robert Ostfeld, Director of the Cardiac Wellness Program at Montefiore and Lauren Graf, nutritionist to the program. This was a half-day workshop intended for cardiology patients and their significant others, which they teach numerous times during the year. The purpose evidently is to help people adopt their new no-oil Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) lifestyle, and helping the process by involving their household. The general tenet of the program is that, the whole foods plant- based diet of Dr. Esselstyn and T. Coin Campbell, Ph.D. is the way to go and except for in severe cases, a small amount of oil in the form of oil-rich fruit, e.g. nuts, avocado, etc., is healthy, but that it is mostly the added oils that cause harm, so you want to avoid added oils in all forms.Patients come in and cry over the progress they are making with a Whole Foods Plant-Based Diet; nobody ever cries tears of joy over a Lipitor prescription.
Robert J. Ostfeld, MD. MSc.
There were perhaps 30-40 people in attendance, and the workshop was both practical, and deeply informative, showing the scientific foundations of the dietary approach/ life style that is being taught in this program, as much as hands-on dietary recommendations. There was a nice lunch catered by Tastee Vegan. Check out their site. They have catered among others for Mike Tyson, who is vegan now too! The meal was an absolutely delicious sampling of vegan dishes, with lots of inspiration for stuff you could try at home.
Good for what ails youBeing that Dr. Ostfeld is a cardiologist, that is his primary focus, but the WFPB lifestyle is about more than that - it is about the whole new nutritional paradigm of eating Whole Foods, and stopping the fallacy that you can make it up with supplements: Whole foods are in, expensive urine is out. Even supplements of vitamin B12 and vitamin D are needed only sporadically and in small amonts, not necessarily every day.
Good for what ails you is the motto here, and besides the massive improvements in heart health that Dr. Ostfeld routinely sees with the WFPB diet, he produced a chart with a list of other health outcomes that are positively impacted by the adoption of a WFPB diet, which - with a little tongue in cheek - he calls the kale scan.
|The Kale Scan|
- Skin Appearance (acne is a nutritional deficiency)
- Ear infections
- Periodontal Disease
- Acid Reflux
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Lung Disease
- Breast Cancer
- Heart Disease
- Colon Cancer and Constipation
- Lower Back Pain
- Sexual Function (ED is the canary in the coal mine for CVD - Cardio Vascular Disease)
- Athletic Performance
- This is obviously an area where half-measures are not much help, although Dr. Ostfeld is willing to work with people in steps.
- Added oils of any kind will collapse your veins for upto six hours after the intake, which in practice means you should avoid them at all cost, and all oils and fats are equally bad for heart health.
- At the supermarket, read the label, not the claims on the front of the box.
- Avoid most sweeteners, including sugar, with the possible exception of Stevia, or some blackstrap molasses.
- Juice is not generally a good idea - getting the sugar without the pulp is a bad idea, while on the other hand eating whole fruits is not a risk factor with Type 2 Diabetes, but instead can be a help.
What's next:On Friday October 27th, 2017, there will be an all-day conference, the Montefiore Preventative Cardiology Conference (you can register at the link), that is open to the public. Speakers will include:
- Robert J. Ostfeld, MD, MSc, Host
- Paul M. Ridker MD, MPH - Beyond LDL Cholesterol: Does Inflammation Matter?
- Neal D. Barnard, MD - Nutrition in the prevention and Treatment of Diabetes
- Kim A. Williams, MD - Personal evolution towards lifestyle changes for prevention and treatment of CVD (CardioVascular Disease)
- Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr. MD - Nutritional Reversal of Coronary Artery Disease: Fact or Fiction?
- Robert j. Ostfeld, MD: The Impact of Lifestyle Change in Cardiovascular Risk Factors and the Bronx
The Bronx's #not62 program to improve health outcomes in the Bronx has not (as yet) been very successful, yet this program at Montefiore deserves to be a center piece in the strategy.