In the news: high-profile vegans


Shape magazine recently proclaimed that, “Everybody’s going vegan!” and the media is certainly full of stories of high-profile vegans right now, and of the many benefits of pure, plant-based eating.

To give just two examples, in a special fitness feature, Shape has honoured Hollywood stars who follow a vegan diet, reporting that the diet has “taken Hollywood by storm”.

Included in the feature are Ellen De Generes and Portia De Rossi, who say that veganism is “not a sacrifice, but the compassionate thing to do”. Actress Natalie Portman says she was vegetarian for 20 years but turned vegan activitist when she read Jonathan Safran Foer’s hard-hitting book Eating Animals.

Alicia Silverstone, who wrote a book on the topic – The Kind Diet – says the diet can “do wonders for your health,” and we learn that Alanis Morisette went vegan two years ago to lose weight, with Dr Joel Fuhrman’s Eat To Live as her guide. Since then she has lost 20lbs and run the New York Marathon.

And there have been many reports in recent days on ex-President Bill Clinton’s veganism. Clinton, 65, is following the vegan diet for health reasons following quadruple bypass surgery in 2004 and stent surgery in 2010.

According to a report in today’s edition of USA Today, entitled “Bill Clinton declares vegan victory”, the former president says he was inspired to follow a low-fat, plant-based diet by several doctors, including Dean Ornish, author of Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease.

Ornish says he contacted Clinton after his 2010 surgery and, “indicated that the moderate diet and lifestyle changes he’d made didn’t go far enough to prevent his heart disease from progressing, but our research proved that more intensive changes could actually reverse it”.

In the video below, Clinton talks to CNN about his diet, sharing that other than the occasional piece of fish, he is now 100% vegan. He tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that there is 25 years of scientific evidence behind the power of a vegan diet to reverse heart problems, and that in 82% of people who give up all meat and dairy, “their arterial blockage clears up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.”

The former president also shares a side benefit he “never dreamed would happen,” – he lost 24 pounds and got back to what he weighed in high school.

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