Bill Clinton went vegan after undergoing emergency heart surgery in 2010. “I’ve stopped eating meat, cheese, milk, even fish. No dairy at all,” the former president said in 2013. “I’ve lost more than 20 pounds so far.” But his physician, Dr. Mark Hyman, told the New York Times that he’ll sometimes eat fish and lean protein. “It’s hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch,” he said.
Maintaining a healthy weight helps to reduce your risk of heart disease, according to Muhlstein, who is on the board of the American Heart Association, Los Angeles division. But doing so can be difficult for vegans, who often have to rely on high-fat, high-calorie foods for protein. For example, it would take 800 calories of almonds to get the same amount of protein as 200 calories of low-fat cottage cheese, according to Muhlstein. So incorporating lean animal products makes sense for someone looking to lose weight and have a healthy heart.
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