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Public Health

Renown Heart Program Supports Plant-Based Diet

bowl of fresh vegetables
Anna Pelzer via Unsplash

In the U.S., one person suffers a heart attack every 40 seconds. That’s according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And as KUNR Public Radio’s Anh Gray reports Renown Health is offering a rehab program by helping patients incorporate a plant-based diet.

The leading cause of death in Nevada is heart disease. Renown Health is offering what’s called a Pritikin-certified program. The program works with patients to incorporate a combination of lifestyle changes that include exercise and a plant-based diet to stave off the disease. Dr. Quinn Pauly is with Renown’s Healthy Heart Program. He says proper nutrition is a vital tool in the prevention of heart disease.

“In particular for coronary heart disease, and cholesterol, plague in your arteries," Pauly says, "I don’t think there is a debate, the best diet is to eat a whole food, plant-based diet.”

Multiple scientific studies have shown that people with heart disease and chronic illnesses like type 2 diabetes can benefit from a whole food, plant-based diets. This way of eating consists primarily of fruits and vegetables with minimal processed or animal-based products.

“Unfortunately our health system is very, I like to say, pill and scalpel intensive—it’s like ‘I have a problem, there must be a pill for it, or if it gets bad enough someone can just do surgery to fix it,' Pauly explains, "I’m not poo-pooing the importance of medication and procedures but there will never be a pill that works as well as changing your behavior and changing the way you live your life.”

Overall, this plant-based foods in gaining popularity. The American Society for Nutrition reports that the number of people who now identify as vegans—people who exclude all animal-based foods from their diet—jumped to 6 percent of people in the U.S. as compared to just 1 percent in 2014.

Dr. Michael Greger is the author of the bestselling book How Not To Die. He’ll be speaking at Renown Health on Monday, September 17th about the science behind plant-based eating. For more info, click here.

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