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The Esselstyn Diet

The Esselstyn diet is a very low fat vegan approach claimed to prevent and reverse heart

disease. Apart from that, it is also good in treating high blood pressure and cholesterol, lowering inflammation marker hsCRP, improving control of type 2 diabetes and reducing weight.

The diet is split into two categories, food you can or can’t consume.


Foods you CAN’T consume:

  • All animal meat (all types of meat and eggs)

  • All oil (olive oil included)

  • All dairy products (fat free included)

  • Generally no nuts and avocados (small amounts are fine for individuals with no diagnosed heart disease or cholesterol lowering medication)

Foods you CAN consume:

  • Vegetables (All types and varieties)

  • Whole fruit

  • Whole grains

  • Beans & legumes

When adhering to the diet, here are some additional tips to follow:

  • Adding nutritional yeast to give your meals a “cheesy”, mildly nutty & umami flavour. It is a complete protein and contains many nutrients such as: fibre, B-group vitamins & iron. Look for vitamin B12-fortified option to supply your daily requirements, which is scarce in vegan diets. It contains no fat, and is low in energy or calories.

  • Consume 1-2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds or chia seeds daily. Can be added to breakfast or other meals.

  • Ensure that water intake increases as you follow this high-fibre diet to prevent any uncomfortable symptoms such as bloating or constipation.

  • Avoid all kinds of juices, smoothies, coconut and its products, avocado, nuts & fat or oil

  • Limit intake of sugar in all forms, soy and soy products, high sodium foods


*Note: This is for educational purposes only and should not be treated as professional medical advice. If you would like to try this diet or learn more, please consult your doctor or a qualified healthcare professional before doing so.

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