After realizing that meat consumption was negatively affecting his heart health, New York’s Highland Hospital Chief of Cardiology has adopted a plant-based diet. John C. Teeters, MD was inspired by a speech given by longtime vegan doctor Caldwell Esselstyn at the American College of Cardiology Conference, in which Esselstyn described remarkable success stories for patients with heart disease after they switched to a plant-based diet rich in whole, unprocessed foods. The day after he heard Esselstyn’s speech, Teeters—who grew up consuming a meat-centric diet in North Carolina—eliminated animal products from his plate. Since his transition, the cardiologist lost 57 pounds, and has become an advocate for plant-based education. On a recent interview on the podcast “Connections,” Teeters spoke to the fact that most medical professionals are ill-informed when it comes to proper nutrition. “One of the sad things about medical education is that we don’t get a lot of dietary education,” Teeters said, “and patients empirically trust us to know these things.” The doctor’s conclusion is well supported by vegan medical professionals such as Michael Greger, Kim Williams, “America’s Heart Doctor” Joel Khan, and Neal Barnard—who founded the Barnard Medical Center, the country’s first vegan medical facility.
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