So, how come a meat-eating, junk-food-loving former President became a vegan? Bill Clinton has five words for you: To get a healthier heart! The 65-year-old had a quadruple bypass in 2004, and stent surgery in 2010.
But once researchers discovered that heart disease is a food-borne illness, and intensive dietary changes can prevent it, and maybe even reverse it - Clinton embraced it completely. He’s now a vegan, just like his daughter Chelsea, who served vegan food at her wedding.
Veganism is the strictest form of vegetarian diet because it eliminates all animal products – including eggs and dairy. According to Elizabeth Turner, editor in chief of Vegetarian Times, vegetarians have a lower risk of heart disease and cancer. They also tend to live longer, and are less likely to be overweight. Bill Clinton dropped 24 pounds going vegan. But going vegan won’t automatically make you healthy. Here are the common mistakes that can make a vegan diet unhealthy:
#1: Eating your usual meals, but just leaving out the meat. That leads to a diet low in protein, iron and zinc. The fix: Swap meat for plant proteins, like beans and peas.
Another vegetarian mistake: Becoming a “carbo-tarian” – and eating a diet of bread, pasta and rice. Experts say the healthiest meals contain colorful, disease-fighting produce.
Also, just because a package says “vegan” or “vegetarian” doesn’t make it healthy. Cracker Jacks, Red Bull and Oreos are vegan.
Finally: Don’t become a cheeseaholic. Cheese may be high in protein, but it’s also high in calories, salt, and saturated fat.