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Tags: bill clinton | vegan | changed | eating | habits

Bill Clinton's Vegan Diet: How Former President Changed His Eating Habits

Bill Clinton's Vegan Diet: How Former President Changed His Eating Habits
Hummus and vegetables lunch, vegan meal - asparagus, cucumber, pepper and tomato on a white plate. (dreamstime)

By    |   Wednesday, 01 October 2014 01:59 PM

President Bill Clinton adopted a largely vegan diet after having chest pain in 2010, which led to two coronary stents.

Today, thanks to his diet, Clinton has lost 30 pounds and kept them off, and he feels as energetic as ever.

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When he won the White House in 1992, the former Arkansas governor's unhealthy diet commonly included hamburgers, steaks, and french fries. CNN said that at one campaign stop, Clinton bought a box of donuts and was consuming them all until an aide stopped him.

Clinton did change his diet to an extent in 1993, at wife Hillary's urging, eating more fish, vegetables, and soy burgers. But at his annual physical in 1999, his doctor noted that he had put on 18 pounds in two years.

In 2004, less than four years after leaving office, Clinton felt tightness in his chest and days later underwent quadruple bypass surgery to bolster blood flow to his heart.

"I was lucky I did not die of a heart attack," he told CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Then came the February 2011 surgery to implant the stents.

After that, Clinton began reading "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease" and several other books on improving dietary health.

"I wanted to live to be a grandfather," he told AARP in an interview. "So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."

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Clinton adopted a vegan diet, eschewing animal products including meat, dairy, and eggs.

Since then, Clinton's meals might include roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes, herbed quinoa with green onions, shredded red beets, hummus, snow-pea salad, fresh roasted nuts, green lo mein noodles, broccoli, sliced melon and strawberries.

"I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now," he told Gupta.

Strictly speaking, Clinton is not a total vegan. His doctor Mark Hyman told The New York Times that Clinton will "occasionally eat fish and lean protein. It's hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch."

In March, with Clinton maintaining his 30-pound weight loss, his daughter Chelsea told ABC news: "His doctor told him that his heart today is much younger than it was even 10 years ago. He's probably the world's most famous vegan. He walks four times a week diligently wherever he is in the world.

"He didn't need my mom or me to pressure him to do that. And I am profoundly grateful that he really radically changed his life."

Clinton's interest in a healthy diet didn't stop at his personal choices. The Clinton Foundation teamed up with the American Heart Association to offer 12,000 schools better lunches and promote exercise.

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President Bill Clinton adopted a largely vegan diet after having chest pain in 2010, which led to two coronary stents.
bill clinton, vegan, changed, eating, habits
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2014-59-01
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 01:59 PM
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