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Cardiologist Kim Williams, M.D. Wants To Eradicate Heart Disease
By Rich Roll

 

Cardiologist Kim Williams, M.D. Wants To Eradicate Heart Disease

“There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data.”
Dr. Kim Williams

Rich Roll is a 50-year old, accomplished vegan ultra-endurance athlete and former entertainment attorney turned full-time wellness & plant-based nutrition advocate, popular public speaker, husband, father of 4 and inspiration to people worldwide as a transformative example of courageous and healthy living. He interviewed Dr. Kim, and below he shares some statistics about heart disease and what we can do about it.

Heart health is serious business.

Serious as a heart attack, as the saying goes, given that currently 1 out of every 3 people in America die from cardiovascular disease (CVD) – our #1 killer.

According to the American College of Cardiology, CVD currently accounts for approximately 800,000 deaths in US. Among Americans, an average of one person dies from CVD every 40 seconds. Right now, more than 90 million Americans carry a diagnosis of CVD. And over 45% of non-Hispanic blacks in the United States live with heart disease.

But this isn’t just an American problem. On a global level, CVD is the single largest cause of death in developed countries and accounts for 31% of all mortalities.

If you take a moment to ponder these staggering statistics, you quickly realize just how vast the epidemic of heart disease has become.

And yet there is hope. Because this disease that’s debilitating and killing millions annually is entirely avoidable. It’s completely preventable. And it’s even reversible.

The solution begins with personal responsibility. It’s about what you put in your mouth. It encapsulates your lifestyle choices. And it extends to erecting systemic changes in our health care model to prioritize prevention over symptomatic treatment.

To walk us through these important issues I sat down with former American College of Cardiology president Kim Williams, M.D. — one of the most inspiring, intelligent and pioneering leaders in the growing movement to modernize how we think about, treat, avoid, and prevent our most onerous threat to human health.

Rich Roll’s detailed hour long interview video with Dr. Kim Williams:

 

Ellen Jaffe Jones (The Vegan Coach), had an inside month-long look at Hospital process and food when her non-vegan husband suffered a devastating heart attack:

Ellen Jaffe Jones took these photos and here she makes a plea for change.

“I’d watched too many relatives go through bypass surgeries.

For anyone who says a vegan diet is complicated, THIS is complicated:

Think a vegan diet is difficult? THIS is difficult. Difficult for the patient. Difficult for any loved one to watch.

Isn’t eating colors of the rainbow much easier?

In the waiting room, free food and condiments were offered to family. Butter and cream in the fridge.

I was encouraged to sleep at the hospital, which I did, for the better part of the month my husband was there. This was about the only breakfast they served that I could eat. Bagels with hydrogenated peanut butter. Our home was far away. I brought in what food I could, when I could.

My husband was ordered to be on a liquid diet for most of his stay to deal with a multitude of complications. He would later say, ‘If I had known about all these complications, including my total loss of taste (common in bypass surgery and meds they require), I would have done things differently.’ People get desperate on their deathbeds, I always say in my cooking classes. True, once again. Most mind-boggling…the head of the unit, a doctor, and several other doctors told us, ‘You know more about nutrition than I do. Bring him whatever you want.’ So I parked my veganmobile as close as I could to the entrance and brought in my Vitamix. Doesn’t everyone?”

“It’s about to get gruesome. Here’s what I found in the cafeteria. I posted many of these on Facebook and have never had such engagement. I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves and hope that someone in a position of power might see these and be as outraged as I and so many others are. That patients and their families, the most vulnerable population, have this to choose from when they are captive in a hospital is despicable. New York Times? (link to their health reporter) Anyone?

 

 

Hot dogs, hamburgers, fried something, jello encasing canned peaches on a bed of whipped cream, fries. I chose the kale decoration, which still had rubber bands holding it together, and the cashier said, ‘You’re going to eat that?’ ‘Yes, my husband just had a heart attack. Kale is one of the healthiest foods you can eat.’

Ham in the spinach. Why? Dressing for the wilted lettuce. No thanks. Have a little burned sausage with that?

Dr. Neal Barnard would say that’s one boatload of crispy heterocyclic amines. He’s the first hero doc I know who started connecting the dots between charred meat and cancer.

In case the bacon or sausage by itself isn’t enough, sausage-wrapped-bacon. Even to a non-vegan, this must be hard to see if your relative just had a heart attack.

Nothing but pity for the employees who have to eat this. Why don’t they rebel? What can we do?”

 

More about Dr. Kim Williams:

A graduate of the University of Chicago and the Pritzker School of Medicine, Dr. Williams currently serves as Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center, and is board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Diseases, Nuclear Medicine, Nuclear Cardiology and Cardiovascular Computed Tomography. In addition to his tenure as President of the American College of Cardiology (2015-16), Dr. Williams has also served as the President of the American Society of Nuclear Cardiology and Chairman of the Board of the Association of Black Cardiologists.

Tangential fun fact? Dr. Williams was also a teen chess champion before becoming Illinois’ No. 3 singles tennis player at 15 years old with no previous background in the sport. Faced with a choice between pursuing professional tennis or medicine, he chose medicine.

Back in 2003, Dr. Williams became concerned that his LDL cholesterol — the kind associated with an increased risk of heart disease — was too high. After some research into the positive benefits of adopting a plant-based diet, he decided to give it a shot. It worked, bringing his LDL down to normal levels. He then began prescribing his nutritional protocol to his patients. That worked too.

Then an interesting thing happened. Dr. Williams became president of the American College of Cardiology, a 49,000-member medical society that is the professional home base for the entire cardiology profession. This gave him a broad platform of authority to advance awareness and the legitimacy of a plant-based diet as both a treatment and preventive protocol for heart disease.

Back to May 2018 Issue

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