Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bill Clinton: "I Live On Beans"

September 22, 2010. CNN Transcript:

BLITZER: My last question, and it comes to me as a lot of my followers, as they're called on Twitter, sent me this question. They wanted me to ask you a variation of this question. How did you lose so much weight? What kind of diet are you on?

CLINTON: Well, the short answer is, I went on essentially a plant-based diet. I live on beans, legumes, vegetables, fruit. I drink a protein supplement every morning. No dairy. I drink almond milk mixed in with fruit and a protein powder. So I get the protein for the day when I start the day out.

And it changed my whole metabolism, and I lost 24 pounds, and I got back basically what I weighed in high school. But I did it for a different reason. I mean, I wanted to lose a little weight. But I never dreamed this would happen.

I did it because, after I had this stent put in, I realized that, even though it happens quite often that, after you have bypasses, you lose the veins, because they're thinner and weaker than arteries, the truth is that it clogged up, which means that the cholesterol was still causing buildup in my vein that was part of my bypass. And thank God I could take the stents. I don't want it to happen again.

So I did all this research, and I saw that 82 percent of the people since 1986 who have gone on a plant-based, no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken or turkey, and I eat very little fish. Once in a while, I will have a little fish, not often. But if you can do it, 82 percent of the people who have done that, they've begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up. The calcium deposits around their heart breaks up.

This movement has been led by a doctor named Caldwell Esselstyn* at the Cleveland Clinic, Dean Ornish whom you know out in California, the doctors Campbell, father and son, who wrote The China Study, and a handful of others.

But we now have 25 years of evidence, and so I thought, well, since I needed to lose a little weight for Chelsea's wedding, I'll become part of this experiment, I'll see if I can be one of those that can have a self-clearing mechanism. We'll see.

BLITZER: I hope you're healthy for many years and get to see grandchildren for many years.

CLINTON: Me, too. That's really the big deal. You know, Hillary and I, we're happy. We love our son-in-law, and we admire him, but -- and we'd like to be around if there's grandkids. We want to be there to do our part.

BLITZER: Mr. President, good luck.

CLINTON: Thank you.

* Dr. Esselstyn's diet also omits all oil. No olive oil, soybean oil, corn oil, coconut oil, fish oil, or any other processed or extracted fat/oil.


Unknown said...

Clinton doesn't realize he just inserted himself into a major ongoing food fight: The Atkins vs. The Vegs. He's a walking advertisement for the latter right now.

Bix said...

That he is.

I think very low fat vegan diets and very low carb Atkins-type diets are both helpful for weight loss. I think neither of them are good choices for the long-term.

Also, you absolutely have to match a diet to a person. What works for a 20-year-old in good health does not necessarily work for a 60-year-old with long-standing diabetes, an 80-year-old with kidney failure, or someone with long-standing COPD.

RB said...

Bix, thanks for sharing this. I have been cutting back on the meat and have been eating more greens and beans. I think this is the right thing to do. I also add nuts: Walnuts, Almonds, Cashews, ...

With the right mix of plant foods, meat are not necessary. Chia seeds are also a good and have a high protein quality.

caulfieldkid said...


I tend to agree with you Bix. There seldom is a one size fits all. Also, changing diet alone for weight loss is only taking into account one part of the equation. One is much better off if they also address their activity level in addition to diet.


P.S. I had to look up COPD. I feel smarter now.

Bix said...

I'm sorry, shaun. COPD is Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease. It's an umbrella term for lung disorders like chronic bronchitis and emphysema.

I shouldn't have used the acronym. I make an effort to avoid that but some slip through.