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From: Dr. Neal Pinckney (
Subject:         Re: coffee and sweets
Date: February 22, 2010 at 1:25 am PST

In Reply to: Re: coffee and sweets posted by Ricardo (Brazil) on February 20, 2010 at 7:27 pm:


There seems to be as many views on reversing heart disease as there are "experts".

I remember, almost 17 years ago, when four cardiologists told me, following my angiogram, that I'd be dead in a week if I didn't have a triple bypass the next morning (I didn't have it). Three of those "experts" were much younger than me, and all three of them are now dead, from what I'm told was heart disease.

I can only tell you that I have followed the recommendations of Drs. Ornish, McDougall and Esselstyn. I keep below 10% calories from fat in any single meal or snack, walk briskly at least an hour a day, seven days a week, do weight-bearing exercise three times a week, and avoid almost all processed foods. My diet is whole grains, veggies (with a lot of leafy greens and cruciferous), legumes and fruit. I eat beans about five days a week (please don't walk behind me), and have a big mug of coffee once a week. On occasions, I eat a maximum of a tablespoon of nuts, but avoid seeds. I take one multi-vitamin and one low-dose aspirin every day. I don't take Omega oil supplements. And that's it.

Unless there's a religious or moral restriction, alcohol, coffee and other non-fat items are acceptable in moderation. My reversal goal is to prolong a quality standard of life, but life without little pleasures isn't the kind of survival I envision.

The bottom line: there's no one plan for everyone - we all should find what works best for us and stick to it. With a few exceptions, having lots of energy, sleeping well, having no angina and feeling really good is the best indicator that the plan one follows is working.

In the beginning I wanted lab test results to "prove" that what I was doing was reversing my arterial blockages. Now I don't feel any need for proof beyond how I feel.

After a mountain climbing trip where I was twice the age of the oldest other person, and reaching the top with the guide and only a few of the others (who started dropping out about a quarter of the way up), I decided I need no more tests to tell me what I need to know.

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