Heart Disease and Diabetes

One of the better videos I’ve seen that explains and ties together Cholesterol, Metabolic Syndrome, Diabetes, CVD (Cardiovascular Disease) and causes / preventions(s).

Well worth the 35 minute watch time


Hi Jim, I know that he is talking mostly about out type 2 diabetes, so maybe my experience doesn’t really pertain. I am not sure. I had to get emergency stents when following the Bernstein diet in 2010. Over the years, I watched my LDL climb higher and higher, but mostly because of reading the Taubes book, I ignored it.

When this happened my blood pressure was normal, my HDL was about 100 and my LDL was over 200. I could dig out my records and check. My triglycerides were in the 30’s. I do not fit the picture presented at all. The only number that stood out was my high LDL. I was at a normal weight. It is hard for me to believe that my need for stents was not caused by high LDL.

I now eat 10 times the amount of carbs I ate when low carbing, but I eat all healthy plant based carbs and only 15% fat. I had my insulin resistance checked along with a cholesterol study last week. My insulin resistance is under 25. That is as low as this test is capable of showing. I eat 300 carbs a day. No one would know that I have diabetes by looking at my blood tests.


Very interesting talk finally had time to get to. You begin to wonder at what point in life do you stop evaluating all the actionable data that may extend your life. None of us are going to live forever so when do we say we have led a good life and will stick to the basics and not worry about all the ancillary issues that increase the risk of a shortened life.

I was diagnosed diabetic at age 42 in the middle of closing a substantial business deal and one of the terms the investors insisted on was key man life insurance to protect their financial interest. The insurance company came to my office to perform a physical and my BG was near 400. Needless to say they did not insure me, even after promptly getting under control. 7 insurance companies including Lloyds of London said no way. These insurance companies all said that I was not expected to live past age 65 and there was no way I would ever see 70. Well I will soon be 71.

Due to this experience I feel that I am now living on borrowed time, even though I feel great and am generally in great health, the question remains. Do I agonize over everything I do, eat etc., or do I just keep living doing the best I can with what I have?


Keep on keeping on! Obviously the insurance companies were wrong and you are doing well doing what you do.

I went through some old medical records today. My LDL in 2009 was 215. If I remember correctly it was almost 300 by the time I received stents in 2010. If I could do it over again, I would have listened to myself and not books and articles and stopped doing the low carb diet when my LDL started climbing. Clearly it was not a good way of eating for my body. My trigs were very low in the 30’s and my HDL was about 100.

Also found a 20 yr old Alc test that reads 5.1. That was before low carbing and before the low fat plant based way of eating. Hmmm. I did go lower to 4.7 when low carbing, but that is also when I went in for heart stents.

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The more I read about diet, the more I’m coming to believe that there is no one diet that works for everyone. Everyone’s body is so different. I don’t think anyone can read any book and know what diet is best. I think we all have to experiment and find what best supports our health.

I am actually starting a cardiac rehab program at my hospital in about six weeks (I have inappropriate sinus tachycardia, no heart disease). They have already freaked out about some of the foods I’m eating (like coconut yogurt), so I think I will very likely be told that I’m eating too much fat. I am reluctant to limit my diet beyond food allergens, but I am somewhat considering trying a diet similar to yours. I travel for work and I already can’t eat dairy or eggs (and many other things) and I bring all my own food when travelling. Bringing meat is stressful due to refrigeration issues, and I usually can’t buy meat in stores due to allergens or cross-contamination risks, so on my two upcoming trips, I’m going to try bringing no meat, which essentially will mean they will be plant-based meals.

I think that a plant-based diet would be far easier for me to manage with my food allergies than a low-carb diet was, especially if it makes travel easier rather than more difficult. I don’t think I will be strict with it, as eating out is already nearly impossible and if I can eat out somewhere but only eat meat I would not turn that down, but I may give this a shot and see if it helps my health.


I hope that this works for you Jen. You will probably miss the fat at first. I thought I would never drink black coffee for instance and now I can’t imagine putting cream in it. I find that food in its truest form is tastier than it was previously.

Jen, you are such an inspiration to me. You have been dealt a difficult hand, but you don’t let it stop you.



I don’t drink coffee due to my allergy and heart rate issues, so no worries there. :slight_smile: The very odd time I do drink coffee (maybe half a cup twice a year) I have it black with a bit of stevia. Most of the fat I do eat is in adding olive oil to things I cook or recipes I use, and also nuts and dairy-free chocolate. Coconut yogurt is one of the few processed products I’ve been eating, but I’ve started reacting to rice now, so if my allergist says I need to eliminate rice the yogurt I’ve been eating (and reacted to last time I had it) contains rice starch, so I’ll have to either eliminate the yogurt or make my own. I understand your diet is very, very low fat, but do you eat some fat? I thought some fat was needed for survival?

I only drink 1/2 cup of decaf a day. I mix it with an herbal coffee. Fat equals 10 to 15% of my diet. I am a small person so it doesn’t take much fat to reach that percentage. I use a bit of chia and flax seeds on my 1/4 cup cooked oats groats in the morning along with fruit. I also put pumpkin seed kernels on my food. The cookies we make have a few walnuts, chocolate and a bit of coconut in them. Right now I eat 4 daily because I love them. I also take a couple of vegan fish oil capsules.

We cook with water or vegetable broth. We don’t use oil of any kind.

When switching to this kind of eating your insulin needs will probably lessen, so you have to be careful not to give yourself too much insulin. Most people lose weight on this diet. I lost 10 lbs even after being on a low carb diet.

All of the heart experts I listen to think this is a great diet for heart health.

Yes, I think that diet falls in line with what doctors recommend for heart health. I don’t have heart disease and am not the typical patient who goes through a program like cardiac rehab, but I am overweight and so would really like to lose weight. If it weren’t for my weight I’d just continue eating the way I’m eating now (not particularly low or high carb). Do you find you are hungry eating this way?

Right now I use only olive oil for cooking and some vegan margarine (Earth Balance) for baking. I can’t eat any store-bought vegetable broth due to my severe food allergies, but could probably make my own. Baking may be a harder issue. I find bread very convenient for lunches and travel and other meals where I’m not at home, and those recipes usually do require some fat. I will probably transition slowly as in the beginning I’ll try to mostly for travelling. I don’t know if I would ever be super strict about fat, but if it’s the only way outside of a low-carb diet that I can lose weight, then I’d give it a try.

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I wasn’t aware that I had heart disease, except for high LDL, before I found I needed stents. Broth is pretty easy to make. We don’t bake anything besides garbanzo bean cookies and potatoes, and squash.

No, I am rarely hungry. Our meals are very filling with lentils,root vegetables,legumes etc. My husband usually makes a big pot of whatever I want and it lasts me for about 10 days. In the summer we buy local organic vegetables and have huge salads with garbanzo beans. We could make dressing, but We never use it anymore. The food is delicious and very satisfying.