Benefits of CHIP and eating a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet


Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet in Action

The images below demonstrate the dramatic improvement in coronary artery blood flow that can be achieved with lifestyle changes alone.

Above: Coronary artery angiogram in a 44 year-old surgeon. The left hand image is from an angiogram performed on the day of the patient’s heart attack. The severe lesion in the left anterior descending artery was felt to not be amenable to stent placement or bypass surgery. The right hand image is from an angiogram performed after 3 years on the Esselstyn diet. The patient received no medication. He improved on diet alone. Most results will not be this visually dramatic but even minimal improvement in appearance will yield tremendous clinical improvement because the resistance to blood flow in an artery varies as the 4th power of the radius.

The Esselstyn Diet consists of whole plants: whole grains, legumes, vegetables, greens, roots, and fruit. The diet minimizes all processed foods including sugar, white flour, white rice, and other refined or “fractionated” foods. The diet eliminates all animal products as well as all oils, nuts, seeds, avocado, and coconut.

The images below are from the cardiac PET scans on 4 different patients. The left hand images demonstrate significant ischemia at baseline. The right hand images demonstrate normal or near-normal myocardial perfusion after adopting the Esselstyn diet. Note how rapidly the improvement is demonstrated. Also note the profound drop in cholesterol.

USPSTF Recommendations

The United States Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) recommends that lifestyle intervention programs for prevention be offered to all patients who qualify.  Grade A and B recommendations = “Offer or provide this service.”

From the USPSTF website:

USPSTF task force recommendation chart

Based upon proven results in numerous scientific studies and journal articles, the following conditions will almost certainly show improvement:

  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Hypertension
  • Prediabetes
  • Diabetes
  • Hypercholesterolemia
  • Obesity
  • Overweight

Based upon results in scientific studies and journal articles, conditions that have shown improvement in some patients:

  • Early prostate cancer ² (in the watchful waiting phase)
  • Gallstones and Kidney stones
  • Endometriosis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus
  • Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease
  • Graves’ disease
  • Depression

According to the CDC, much of the chronic disease burden is attributable to a short list of key risk factors; most US adults have more than one of these risk factors:

  • High blood pressure
  • Tobacco use & secondhand smoke exposure Š
  • Obesity (high body mass index)
  • ŠPhysical inactivity
  • Excessive alcohol use
  • Diets low in fruits and vegetables
  • Diets high in sodium and saturated fats