How heart healthy are we? Not very! Past President of the American College of Cardiology and Current Chief, Division of Cardiology at Rush University Medical Center, Dr. Kim Williams is with me on Awesome Vegans. We discuss the connection between obesity and Coronavirus, a Chicago Southside study showing the effects of a plant-based diet on an African American community, are plant-based burgers healthy, is being flexitarian enough, his top heart health tips and why it is our patriotic duty to go vegan. LISTEN IN!
7:00 Dr. Kim Williams says that the Coronavirus cases in Chicago and Illinois have been decreasing recently but that Rush Medical Center is preparing for a second wave and a surge of new cases in the fall. “Cardiac disease has been the number one killer in America since 1918 and the last pandemic.” It’s cardiac risk that puts people in trouble and that can come from obesity, hypertension, diabetes and high cholesterol. The Coronavirus likes to live in fat cells so people who are obese are at risk to get much sicker from it. Diabetes impairs your immune system making you more susceptible to viruses like Covid-19. On the other hand there are people who are vegan saying that they cannot get that disease. “It is true that on a plant based diet your immune system is stronger…but that doesn’t mean you can’t spread it to somebody else.” Therefore you have to continue to social distance and wear a mask no matter how healthy your diet is.
20:30 Dr. Kim Williams recommends using plant based meat as a transition food and looking at how much saturated fat, sodium, and heim iron is in different products. Plant based meat will not have cholesterol, it will have fiber while animal meat does not, and it will not have animal heim. Many people are flexitarians where they still eat meat just not very often or not as often as they once were. Dr. Williams shares some studies where people switched just 3% of their daily animal protein to vegetable protein and it was a 6% decrease in death rate. Dr. Williams says flexitarians who cut down their meat by 20% have to only be the beginning. People can do so much better so keep on moving and continue to work it out of your diet.
30:00 Dr. Kim Williams did a study with an African American church in the south side of Chicago where 50 people gave up animal products for lent. They were sent vegan food for 3 meals a day for 5 weeks. Blood tests were done before and after as well as monitoring those people’s weight and blood pressure and tt went very well. Their diabetes and hypertension got better, their weight went down an average of ten pounds, insulin levels dropped 43%, and TMAO dropped 43% as well which is really going to decrease their risk of heart attacks and heart disease. About a third of the people continued eating plant based after lent. Dr. Williams says if he does a research project like this again there should be coaching involved as well. “It’s similar to the phrase, ‘instead of give a man a fish, teach a man to fish.’”
37:35 Dr. Williams shares some of his top tips for being heart healthy 1. Know your numbers because they will motivate you. 2. Find out what your ideal weight should be. 3. Do not smoke, do noy be diabetic, have normal cholesterol, have normal blood pressure, exercise every day and do not be overweight. Dr. Williams has been quoted many times by saying “it is your patriotic duty to go vegan.” He says this because it is very costly for a nation to be sick. Dr. Williams’ prediction for the next 3 to five years is that we’re going to have to have more congressional money going toward medicare to help the system out.
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