A reader sent me a link to a rah-rah article about former president Bill Clinton’s vegan diet that appeared on the AARP site.  Let’s look at some quotes:

The former president is now a devoted vegan, meaning no meat, fish or dairy products, and he has pursued a healthier way of life for more than three years. While I figured our lunch menu might be bland, that would be a small price to pay for private time with a world leader who is anything but.

As we enter a private room overlooking Manhattan’s busy Rockefeller Center, I’m struck with a dazzling kaleidoscope of a dozen delicious dishes: including roasted cauliflower and cherry tomatoes, spiced and herbed quinoa with green onions, shredded red beets in vinaigrette, garlicky hummus with raw vegetable batons, Asian-inspired snow pea salad, an assortment of fresh roasted nuts, plates of sliced melon and strawberries, and rich, toothsome gigante beans tossed with onions in extra-virgin olive oil.

Hmmm … toss in some salmon or grass-fed beef, that would almost be a whole-foods paleo diet.  I think we’re getting a clue here as to why Clinton’s diet has improved his health – and it isn’t because he gave up meat.

Clinton traces his decision to change back to the morning in February 2010 when he woke up looking pale and feeling tired. His cardiologist quickly brought him into New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery to insert a pair of stents. One of his veins had given out, a frequent complication following the quadruple-bypass surgery he had undergone in 2004.

Prodded into action, Clinton started by rereading Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease, which urges a strict, low-fat, plant-based regimen, along with two books that were, if possible, even more militantly vegan: Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, by Caldwell Esselstyn, M.D., and The China Study, by Cornell biochemist T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. (When I suffered a heart attack in late November 2010, Clinton sent me all three books.)

As Denise Minger pointed out her AHS 2011 speech, what do Ornish, McDougall, Esselstyn and other big-name doctors promoting veganism as the cure for heart disease have in common?  They have their patients give up sugar, white flour (and most other refined carbohydrates), processed vegetable oils, processed foods, smoking and alcohol.  Oh, and meat and dairy products, too.  They also prescribe lots and lots of fresh vegetables.

Then when their patients get better, they declare that they’ve proved meat causes heart disease.  It’s not the meat, of course.  It’s all the other junk the vegan doctors have their patients stop eating.  Let’s keep reading:

He no longer craves steaks, but bread is a potential pitfall. “Heavily processed carbs, you really have to control that,” he says. When Caldwell Esselstyn spotted a picture of him on the Internet, eating a dinner roll at a banquet, the renowned doctor dispatched a sharply worded email message: “I’ll remind you one more time, I’ve treated a lot of vegans for heart disease.”

Excuse me?!  Did I read that correctly?  Let me copy and paste that last bit again and see if it was just my computer playing tricks on me.

When Caldwell Esselstyn spotted a picture of him on the Internet, eating a dinner roll at a banquet, the renowned doctor dispatched a sharply worded email message: “I’ll remind you one more time, I’ve treated a lot of vegans for heart disease.”

That can’t be right.  Vegans don’t get heart disease.  Just ask them.  Meat and dairy products cause heart disease, and vegans don’t eat that stuff. Maybe if I just copy and paste the last sentence …

“I’ll remind you one more time, I’ve treated a lot of vegans for heart disease.”

Well, well, well … the famous vegan doctor doesn’t want Bill Clinton to eat a white-flour dinner roll because he’s treated a lot of vegans for heart disease.  I can only conclude that the famous vegan doctor believes white flour can promote heart disease.  But surely other heavy starches are fine.  Let’s see how many of those Bill Clinton is consuming:

The former president has a tip for those who crave starchy food: “You can make whipped cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes, and it’s great.”

Uh … um … why would a vegan need to find a substitute for mashed potatoes?  Potatoes are vegan, and it’s those evil non-vegan foods that cause weight gain and heart disease.  Just ask the vegans.  Thank goodness Clinton doesn’t eat, say, eggs or fish.

Once a week or so, he will have a helping of organic salmon or an omelet made with omega-3-fortified eggs, to maintain iron, zinc and muscle mass.

Uh … um … isn’t a vegan who eats salmon and eggs to maintain his muscle mass not actually a vegan?  And why would anyone need to consume animal foods to maintain muscle mass?  There are lots of muscled-up vegans in the world.  Just ask the vegans.  They can all name the same two or three vegan bodybuilders.

So what we’ve got is a formerly overweight president who eats a lot of vegetables, fruit, nuts and legumes, doesn’t consume white flour, recommends whipped cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes, and eats salmon and eggs now and then to maintain his muscle mass.

And it’s giving up meat and dairy that made him healthier?  I don’t think so.

Speaking of vegans, my buddy Dave Jaffe wrote a parody news story about animal-rights zealots on his Write Good! blog.  Here’s a taste:

An animal welfare group responsible for spilling red paint on a butter cow sculpture at the Iowa State Fair is threatening to intensify their attacks until a fearful public shakes its head in annoyance and mutters, “Well, I never!”

“You have forced our hand and now butter must suffer!” read a news release from the Iowans for Animal Liberation that claimed responsibility for the vandalism. “Sorry! Enjoy the rest of the fair.”

You can read the rest of the piece here.

105 Responses to “Bill Clinton’s Vegan Diet”
  1. Bill Lagakos says:

    From Bill Clinton’s bread, to vegans & heart disease, to exchanging potatoes for cauliflower, to vegans on salmon & eggs for muscle –> ROTFL
    Great post, Tom.

    Thank you, Bill.

  2. charles grashow says:

    I must find a wall so I can hit my head against it ASAP

    • Walter Bushell says:

      Don’t do that. It might injure your brain. It will in fact injure your brain and we are going to need all our mental abilities in the coming struggle.

      ‘You Are A Radical, And So Am I: Paleo Reaches The Ominous “Stage 3″’

      Ephesians 6:12
      King James Version (KJV)
      12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

      One thing, I am no little danger of single vision and Newton’s sleep.

  3. alexandra says:

    Bill Clinton is Paleo and doesn’t even know it.

  4. Judy Barnes Baker says:

    Check out the debate between T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Eric Westman. Go to the end where they are answering questions and you will hear Campbell say this about fish: “I eat it sometimes,” while still insisting that it is deadly.

    Also, in Jimmy’s new book, “Cholesterol Carity,” there is a quote from Dr. Davis about Dean Ornish’s diet: “We know
    that of the less than thirty high-risk patients who started on his Lifestyle Heart Program, something like twenty-eight out of the thirty people in the five-year period of his program ended up having a heart attack, a heart procedure, or some other hospitalization. In other words, these were not twenty-eight people who were walking around, happy and dancing, eating a healthy diet. These were people who had very, very serious problems during their five years in this trial.” And yet Ornish continues to brag that his regimen is the only one ever shown to reverse heart disease!

    Since Dr. Davis has reversed heart disease, Ornish should really stop saying that.

  5. Bill C. says:

    Looks like Bill Clinton is trying to follow in Eisenhower’s footsteps.

  6. Jordan says:

    Thank you for this. I’m sending it to my in-laws, dad and aunts (mom doesn’t use email). My mother in law has an Ornish cookbook and I doubt I’ll change them, but I’m going to keep trying.

    I gotta believe anyone looking at vegans, Clinton, Ornish and Campbell included, see how emaciated and weak they look.

    Keep on fightin’ the good fight!

    Take that diet and add some real meat to preserve muscle, it would be a good diet.

  7. Lori says:

    It sounds like Bill Clinton is a vegan in the same way he’s a monogamist.

    Hope he’s taking a vitamin–there’s not much iron or zinc in eggs or salmon.

    I’m only going to say this one more time … I did not masticate with that cow.

  8. na says:


    Clinton or me? You should probably clarify.

  9. Gerard Pinzone says:

    Reminds me of an old joke. A scientist puts a frog on a table and yells, “Jump!” The frog jumps. He then surgically removes a leg from the frog, puts the frog back on the table and yells, “Jump!” The frog jumps again. The scientist surgically removes another limb and repeats the experiment. The frog jumps when commanded, just like before. He does it a third time. “Jump!” he exclaims after removing another limb and the frog jumps. He removes the last limb on the frog and tries again. “Jump!” he yells, but the frog remains still. “Jump!” he repeats, but no response. The scientist writes his findings in his notebook: “Upon removing all four limbs, the frog becomes deaf.”

  10. Justin McCullough says:

    I saw that article about the vegan “militants” throwing fake blood on the butter cow. I really stared at it for a solid 5 minutes TRYING to figure out how doing that would convince anyone that they should be come vegan. The only thing I could think of is that it would people hate vegans more. People at the butter fair love butter and probably would be very angry they wasted all that butter. Of course, they are also probably rather mild mannered and just shrugged and walked away instead of having an equally “militant” response.

    For those who don’t know, the Write Good! parody was referencing this incident:

    • Andrea says:

      The PETA tee-shirts that you usually see at the Iowa State Fair are the ones that say “PETA – People for the Eating of Tasty Animals.” “There’s room for all of God’s creatures – right next to the potatoes” is another popular one abound here.

      Which reminds me of a joke. Do you know how to tell a vegan in a crowd? Don’t worry, they’ll tell you.

      Or just look for the most emaciated person in the crowd.

    • Justin B says:

      If any of you haven’t seen the movie “Butter”, I’d highly recommend it. Its about a butter carving competition. Amazingly enough, they only made a single joke about it being unhealthy: there was a scene like what you mentioned. At one point, Rob Corddry’s character yells out something like “Don’t you know that eating this stuff will kill you!”, which is immediately responded to with boos and hissing from the crowd.

      I wish I’d been in that crowd scene. No acting required on the booing.

  11. Lynda says:

    Oh dear, oh dear… I saw Dr Neal Barnard on the Dr Oz show recently and he too was talking about his wonderful vegan diet which included “fortified” soy milk. It needed to be fortified of course because nobody can actually survive on a vegan diet!

    I loved this post Tom, thank you.

    But perhaps if the soy milk comes from grass-fed soybeans, it won’t have to be fortified?

    • Dana says:

      They probably mean they added vitamins A and D to it the same way they do to cow’s milk, by law.

      Mind you, I used to use soy milk to treat menstrual cramps. I have actually seen vegans claim that there isn’t much estrogen in soy–I beg to differ. And to think, men willingly eat this stuff. And fat women, who are already making too much estrogen.

  12. Digger says:

    Sounds like another much talked about “Vegan” NFL’er, Tony Gonzalez.Totally vegan 247lb. tight end. Except for the salmon,chicken and other meat products.


    I’m surprised AARP hasn’t done an article on his vegan diet.

    • Steve says:

      Supposedly Arian Foster went vegan in the off season. That’s just plain dumb if true.

      As a Titans fan, I hope he sticks with that vegan diet during the season.

      • Bob Johnston says:

        Foster was vegan last season and has since stopped the nonsense this year. I think it showed in his performance; he wore down towards the end of the season and his yards per carry was way down for the year.

        Rats. If he figured it out, the Titans have reason to worry about him.

    • Firebird says:

      Baseball player Prince Fielder became a vegan after his wife saw a documentary on factory raised animals. Prince is a big boy. His game hasn’t deteriorated which makes me wonder if he’s slipping eggs into his diet.

      Or he may be supplementing with vegan protein powders, as the vegan body-builders do.

      • It didn’t last with Fielder…

        “However, his time as a vegetarian was short-lived; in January 2012, in his introductory press conference as a Detroit Tiger, he stated, ‘I’m not a vegetarian. I was, for like three months.’ ”


        He must not have done it right.

  13. Andrea says:

    I always get a chuckle from reading about vegans who occasionally eat meat. So. . . not even a vegetarian, then.

    Like I should talk, though. We worked a fair in southwest Kansas this year and I bought supper at a taco wagon three nights running instead of eating our sous vide steak. It was all super fresh and entirely paleo, except for the corn tortillas. I ate them anyway. And we split an ear of roasted corn that i slathered with ghee instead of the melted margerine they had at the corn stand. And we had a homemade horchata. I farted my way through that fair.

    At another fair I feed a vegetarian balloon twister we’ve come to know well over the past ten years. She was eating cereal from her hotel breakfast bar and and the Lion’s Club free popcorn all day. It hurt my tummy just thinking about it. She was amazed at what an incredible vegetarian salad I could make in minutes. I just didn’t add the sous vide steak to hers but added extra cheese and egg to get enough protein into her.

    I’ve cooked for lots of vegetarians and even vegans over the years. Every one of them has said they ate better at my table then at home. I just don’t give them the meat and use olive oil instead of ghee on their vegetables.

    I don’t think a corn tortilla is so bad. I’d eat one of those before a slice of white bread.

    • Andrea says:

      Yes, but the point is, I say I eat low-carb paleo but for three days running ate non-paleo, high carb things. While I say that I occasionally indulge like that if there is fresh, whole, yummy regional food available and that it’s good to enjoy that instead of being a neurotic absolutist, it’s still just as dishonest or hypocritical as someone who says “I’m a vegan but I sometimes eat meat.”

      You can reclaim your honesty by saying you eat low-carb paleo most of the time.

      • Paul says:

        The difference between paleo and vegan is that vegan is usually an ethical code, and had a line that cannot be crossed… Ie, no animal products. If you cross the line, you’re not vegan, end of story. Paleo on the other hand is usually a health choice, and you can be 80:20, treating paleo add guidelines rather than hard and fast rules, and still get to say that you’re paleo.

        That should be what paleo means, but the paleo movement has its share of zealots too.

        • Dana says:

          There’s nothing wrong with having an ethical code. Although, if one made Paleo an ethical code, I daresay it’d be less destructive to the biosphere than if everyone were eating vegan. Especially if permaculture were involved.

          • Raynote says:

            Giving myself the best chance at survival (= living a healthy, fulfilling and looong life) by eating paleo is an ethical code, it’s MY ethical code!
            I’ve just got this one life that Nature gave me, and it would be unethical to waste it by not eating, moving, exercising, etc, the way I was intended to. (hope this is good English…, it’s not my native language, and I sometimes wonder..)

      • Kristin says:

        I have trouble with zealot behavior from any viewpoint. Every person has their own perfect diet and even that probably shifts over time as the person changes. Not even the Paleo community can agree on what the definition is I loved the satiric vid going around for a while where this over the top Paleo couple are giving sound bites about Paleo attitude. “It’s okay if I have dairy, I’m Swiss Paleo.” Hilarious and with some great points made. Soooo, you would be Mexican Paleo then.

        I’m actually rather comforted when I hear a vegan say they sometimes eat meat. I hear that as someone who has some ability to listen to their body rather than behaving like a sheep. My diet is mostly paleo but I eat raw dairy and make wild sourdough bread once a month. I don’t think of myself as a hypocite but just following my own inner wisdom. I will never turn down fabulously made real food offered by a heartfelt person.

        • Dana says:

          Having dietary rules was how we knew what was OK and not OK to eat back before there were scientists and the FDA and USDA. It was also how we managed to stay relatively healthy in spite of all those crazy things we did.

          We think dietary rules are a luxury now because we’ve got worldwide just-in-time food distribution but keep in mind this can’t last forever if the peak oil goo-roos are right about that supply being finite. It might be wiser to stop bleating about not wanting to be a sheep and start looking at what’s feasible to grow and raise in your local climate and then start making dietary choices from there.

          Not that I can talk; I still use almonds and coconut milk, and those are certainly not local to Ohio. Though I’d like to think that if they went away I’d cope just fine.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      And I’d eat the white bread before the whole grain bread. Unless I was literally literally starving.

  14. Steve says:

    Actually I don’t personally know any true vegans, but I do know many vegetarians. Every single one of them eats a ton of bread and pasta. Even before I was aware of the macronutrient issues as I am today, I was very confused by this. I (incorrectly) assumed vegetarianism was typically a quest for health and it seemed to me to be common sense that wheat flour wasn’t any less so “just empty calories” than beer. By the way Tom if you don’t know already avoid The Woodlands vegetarian buffet it is as big of a carb fest as a sundae bar.

    I was a bread-and-pasta-eating vegetarian back in the day. I believed the nonsense about whole-grain breads and pastas being good for our health.

  15. It’s a pity he didn’t go vegan when he was President, then he could have blamed meat for all his lustful thoughts too. The ones that led to the actual lustful deeds. Well, at least now his diet is virtuous.

    Well, the vegan diet as promoted by the Kelloggs brothers (founders of the cereal company) was designed to cure men of lust.

  16. js290 says:

    The healthiest, self proclaimed vegan I know eats pastured eggs from her sister’s chickens regularly. It really doesn’t take that much protein to be healthy or even to build muscle.

    • Firebird says:

      I know I achieve fullness eating more protein than eating more fat. I’ve tried lowering protein and raising fat intake and it leaves me wanting to eat again in 2 hours.

      Protein does it for me, too. I believe in listening to your body, and my body is happy with protein/fat meals, not just fat meals.

    • Dana says:

      She’s not a vegan.

      And you don’t use protein just to build muscle. You need it for making other things as well, some of your body’s chemicals for instance. You are always breaking down proteins in your body for the production of the latter and not all of that is going to be recycled back into muscle tissue again, so you always need to eat at least some.

      And don’t forget your bones. It’s all very well and good to get minerals in your diet but your bones have a protein matrix that must be maintained.

  17. Digger says:

    Things that Vegans don’t count as meat. This could be a cool blog post.
    Chicken wings
    pickled eggs
    poached eggs
    deviled eggs
    fish and chips
    vitamin E from fish oil
    Back Ribs
    Side ribs

    • FrankG says:

      Puts me in mind of the Roman Catholic Church back in the days when every Friday was supposed to be fish and no “meat”…

      Apparently in South America when the local clergy could not get fish, they allowed themselves such delicacies as Capybara — which counted as “fish” because of the amount of time it spends in water 😛

      Heh-heh-heh … the “no meat on Fridays” rule was instituted to support the fishing industry.

      • Walter Bushell says:

        And in Medieval Europe beaver was declared likewise a fish so that Catholics could eat beaver during Lent.

        Geez, why not declare bears to be a type of fish? They get in the water to go fishing.

  18. mezzo says:

    Saw B.C. in an interview last night. He looks ill and older than he is.

  19. Ryuukun says:

    I tried to explain this flaw to many many vegans but they just don’t get it. I would link them to this great article but in the end they would just say things like “tom naughton is a comedian, not a doctor” or “tom naughton is a fraud that’s just trying to make money”… How dare people try to make a living. Rational arguments, hell, arguments at all are nowhere to be found, I guarantee. And to top it all off they’ll send me wonderful youtube videos like “plant based vs low carb” zzzz.

    I guess if a comedian quotes directly from an article written by a journalist chum of Clinton’s, that means the quotes aren’t accurate?

    • Firebird says:

      Great, and ask the vegans next time, just what is Morgan Spurlock? He’s not a doctor, he was just out to make money.

    • Dana says:

      There’s nothing wrong with making money, but when money is your only motivator, people will suspect you of not being sincere, and there’s very good reason for that.

      You must have some other motivation other than money or you won’t give your job your very best.

  20. LaurieLM says:

    I recently watched a vegan acquaintance (his skin was sickly gray) give his unhappy but very cute 3-year-old vegan kid a pack of potato chips. It stunned me. Virtually all parents (and this one I know for sure) want only the best for their children. But he’s completely misinformed if he thinks withholding animal fat, cholesterol and well sulfated animal protein is good for her brain and body….very sadly he’s dead wrong. I know more now than I did when my kids were 3, and also I can no longer eat potatoes (too much damage done), but I knew then not to feed them potato chips instead of meat. How did highly processed starchy potatoes that are practically cremated and crucified, then dredged in invented Frankenstein healthyvegetableoil become a good healthy brain and body developing food? Maybe once in a while wouldn’t damage a growing body and mind, but instead of voluptuous, velvety fatty, cholesterolly MEAT all the time. No Way.

    Good grief. Give those kids an egg or a burger.

    • Firebird says:

      My local Fox affiliate’s Facebook page just posted something about “Cool Sculpting” where fat cells in the stomach and love handles can be frozen and destroyed, leaving a flat tummy. It’s very temporary as the fat cells that remain simply grow in size to store the fat that the removed cells would have stored.

      One comment was from a woman who said, “I have an idea. Why not just put down the burger and go for a walk?” I was curious if she was eating her morning Dunkin’ Donut and sugar loaded Hazelnut coffee when she wrote that.

      Ugh. Millions of people have tried putting down the burger and going for a walk without getting any leaner. I found a video awhile back from when I was a regular jogger. I was fat in that video.

      • Galina L. says:

        I believe it could be some benefits in things like Cold Sculpting and Laser Cavitation. After losing fat many people reach a weight-loss plateau way sooner than they achieve a desirable weight because smaller fat cells signal to a body that a starvation took place. It is especially true for females who are middle-aged and over. Probably, the destruction of fat cell would help to keep leptine level not too low.

      • JasonG says:

        Tom, Can you post the video of you as a fat jogger? Were you a Vegetarian at that time?

        It was an old VHS tape. I don’t know if I even have a VHS player in the attic anymore. If so, I’ll try to transfer it someday. Yes, those were my vegetarian days.

        • Walter Bushell says:

          I’m sure there are services that would transfer the tape for you.

          Ah, there is a service in NYC that will do it for $25, which at your rate makes it not worth your while to find the VHS deck and fiddle it something reasonable.

          I’m not sure I’m motivated enough to dig it out of box of tapes.

          • FrankG says:

            Admittedly low-tech and not very “HiFi” but you could just play the VHS tape over your TV and record the picture & sound using a digital camera.

  21. Galina L. says:

    I convinced several people (each of them asked me what I was doing to age so well) to eat more butter and animal fats while avoiding bread and limiting carbs. As an illustration about the benefits of eating fat, I often use Bill Clinton. I tell people to Google his image right before his diet and the current one. He is aging fast on his mild starvation diet and looks like 10 years older than his age. My mom who is 76, thought that Bill was her age.

  22. Mark. says:

    Bill Clinton deserves to be vegan. Too bad he has the sense to cheat.

  23. Nick S says:

    Go vegan! Except hey maybe you need the nutrients and protein in meat… So eat that occasionally. Still vegan.

  24. Sue says:

    So, paleo/low-carb types like to point out that their diet is much closer to the vegan diet than to the ‘standard American diet’ of junk carbs, but the vegans deny vehemently that any such similarities exist (see, for instance, the Jimmy Moore interview with Dr. John McDougall) and continue to use the magical ‘vegan’ label when consuming dead animals sometimes! I’ll stick with the non-hypocritical side and eat my vegetables with meat.

    McDougall, Ornish, Bernard, etc., believe eating animals is immoral. So they append “meat” to the list of foods that are actually bad for us and hope nobody checks the evidence.

  25. Dianne says:

    This is just TOO funny — salmon and eggs. Way to go, Vegan!!!!

  26. Steve g says:

    Michael Clark Duncan was another famous actor who after three years of being a vegetarian, died of heart disease at the age of 54. But he probably didn’t do it right. You better keep this information locked up tight. I can envision the vegan secret police scouring the internets and deleting any information that links heart disease to veganism or non-animal sources.

    If Michael Clark Duncan was a vegetarian for just three years, he probably had heart disease before then (plaque usually builds up over many years), but we know three years of vegetarianism didn’t save him.

    • Dana says:

      Lab markers improve immediately for people going low carb and doing it properly. If you have made a dietary change that really does lead to better health then you shouldn’t be dropping dead of a heart attack three years later. If the damage is that bad you ought to die sooner.

      He’s not the only one to die under such circumstances. Steve Jobs was a fruitarian; pancreatic cancer. Davy Jones was said to be vegetarian and he was a jogger and he had a heart attack. There have been a few others I’ve heard of in the past few years as well. No dead Paleo celebs yet though. Not that I think Paleo prevents death, mind you, but I’m just not hearing the heart-attack and cancer stories, and if they were happening the press would be all over them.

      • FrankG says:

        Oh no?!? Surely you forget that Dr Atkins died of an “heart attack” or so we are told repeatedly — but only AFTER he fell on an icy sidewalk and hit his head.

        And Vilhjalmur Stefansson died of a stroke — a week shy of his 86th birthday IIRC 😛

        So the key to avoiding heart disease is to not hit your head on a concrete curb.

  27. i j mcleod says:

    soy milk? soy milk? its bean juice people–milk comes from critters not beans

    But … but … but it’s called “milk”!

  28. Julie says:

    Geeze, I had no idea Bill Clinton was going downhill so fast. I googled him so I could see what he looks like today, and he looks pretty similar to the way my husband’s grandfather did at age 89. I guess that’s what a healthy “vegan” diet will do for you.

    I think it’s funny that he eats eggs or salmon once a week to maintain muscle, but… I really don’t think a weekly egg is going to do much for you.

    He does look old for his age to me, but I don’t know if it’s the diet, the stress of heart surgery, genetics, or some combination. I do believe animal fat is good for the skin.

  29. Juliane says:

    I love reading your blog and watching your movie. Truly entertaining and educational. I’ve learned so much and I thank you. Oh and your pizza recipe is awesome. You’ve saved me because that’s one of the things I missed the most in the beginning.

    I’m grateful for people like you who help educate others with the truth in things.

    Poor Bill Clinton and others who don’t believe in fat and protein. I get the skeptical look when I explain fat is not evil. In this aspect there’s still work to be done to educate others.

    There’s a lot of work to do, but I do believe more and more people are getting the message. I recently had a work associate tell me he turned his diet around after he read a book called “Wheat Belly.” He told me I should read it … heh-heh-heh.

  30. Sizzlechest says:

    Rick Rubin goes from vegan to paleo and turns his life around:


    Listening to Howard Stern yields a lot of head-bang-on-desk moments, though. Howard is still stuck in the 70s as far as nutrition though. He recently lost a lot of weight by starving himself. He says he feels fine except for the fact that he almost faints when he stands up now. Robin turned vegan, and then had a health issue that was never fully revealed. Now she’s cutting out grains, she claims. I don’t know what she’ll have left to eat, but it should make for interesting radio.

    “Some sort of caveman diet.” Love it.

  31. Could it be that a lot of vegitarians considers shit-food such as pasta, coke and bread… food.

    Interesting Swedish study:
    Holmberg S et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. Food choices and coronary heart disease: a population based cohort study of rural Swedish men with 12 years of follow-up. 2009 Oct;6(10):2626-38. Epub 2009 Oct 12. This study examined mens eating habits dirung 12 years to investigate correlations between cardiovascular decise and food choices. The study showed that a daily intage of fruit and vegetables togheter with diary fats was positive for the heart.

    Poor quote translation:

    “Fat food combined with fruit and vegetables can lower the risk for heart conditions.
    Our hypotesis is that fruit and vegetables contain healty substances, but many of them are fat soluble, so the body cannot utilize them withouth fat in the diet. ”

    – Sara Holmberg, med dr

    That’s why I always put butter or olive on oil the veggies.

  32. Firebird says:

    Here is another article about a vegan athlete. He’s an MMA fighter.


  33. Ulfric Douglas says:

    So many comments gone by the wayside without repeating Lori’s gem, so I’ll carry on the good news!

    Lori says:
    August 13, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    “It sounds like Bill Clinton is a vegan in the same way he’s a monogamist.”

    Did his doctor mention the cigars?

    I’m not touching that one … the cigar, I mean.

    • Walter Bushell says:

      Hey, we have a *lot* of low carb and paleo types who are a little theoretical too. Except that for us, it’s not a *moral* issue.

      Or only secondarily due to our debt to the people we love or have special responsibility to.

  34. Grant says:

    And to think… this very same cockroach, who now eats oh-so-healthy, can only afford to do it because he spent his entire adult life implementing political policies (of all varieties) that made life possible for one segment of the population at the expense of another. His bleeding-heart (cheap-carbs, empty-calories, big-agra-fueled) nonsense is the only thing keeping Darwin at bay for the former – and it’s the same thing keeping the later dependent upon those same food sources for the bulk of their nutrition (because they have to pay for the former’s very existence, so they can’t afford to eat like Lord Clinton). A**hole.

    • Dana says:

      Darwin no longer applies. You subscribed to a complex, agricultural-industrial civilization that depends on (1) people being domesticated (think dogs versus wolves) and (2) the food being locked up. In a system in which people are required to pay fees of money in order to have the right to live, and in which the food is locked up, there will always be poor people who have to have help obtaining food. No one would maintain the system we have now if they didn’t have to fear starvation. The poor exist to keep everyone else in line and keep the elites happy.

      You can’t have evolution continuing in a natural, healthy way in a situation like this. People who were fit to survive “in the wild” have been killed off or subdued by people who can barely find their butts with both hands and a map. That’s not Darwin. People survived for three million years in the first place because they looked out for one another. Now it’s all “I got mine screw you.” That’s not Darwin.

      Clinton’s policies are the Good Cop to the Bad Cop of the Republicans and the Libertarians. One side wants us dispossessed but pacified; the other side wants us dispossessed and starving. Both sides want us dispossessed, though. But hey look! Escalades! iPads! We have SCIENCE now! And it still hasn’t cured starvation, but maybe we’ll get to go to Mars soon!

      You have the same aspirations to lordship as Clinton did. Your attitude about the poor shows that. I know you didn’t come out and say “the poor” but some of us can read between the lines.

      I have aspirations to lordship? Surely you jest. I’m a libertarian. That means I want to take over the government and then leave people alone. My attitude towards the poor is that they’ve been made permanent dependents of government in part by an over-regulated economy that doesn’t provide the jobs or the opportunities for starting a business that it would under a freer economic system. Rates of poverty in this country were in steady decline for decades — until our government decided we needed massive programs to “help” them. Then the decline in poverty rates flattened.

      Just because I don’t support the left’s methods of “helping” the poor doesn’t mean I don’t care about the poor. I view the left as the doctor who insists on bleeding the patient to cure him. When someone like me points out that bleeding the patient is a bad idea and will only make the patient sicker, Dr. Left screams, “Aha! So you don’t care if he dies, huh?! At least I’m trying to cure him!” Yeah, and you’ll kill him with your cure.

      • Jean Bush says:

        I think the best way to win is to eat the low carb high fat/protein diet, which will keep us healthy, our minds sharp and give us boundless energy.

        That will defeat any NWO Elite, government takeover, you are slaves, agenda.

        A healthy slave is not!

  35. Elenor says:

    “It’s very temporary as the fat cells that remain simply grow in size to store the fat that the removed cells would have stored.”

    Dja’ll know that a problem that not infrequently crops up in the years after liposuction is that because you’ve had a boatload of fat cells removed from, say, the abdomen, butt, and thighs, the body starts throwing the fat it HAS to store into remaining fat cells somewhere else that are usually ‘less active’: hence “cankles” and fat throat and upper arms and other weird places?

    • Galina L. says:

      I guess, a middle-ground approach could be useful. It is one thing to remove a boatloads of fat by massive liposuction instead of trying to loose weight first through a working diet, another – use some laser treatment after a diet to remove some amount of too many small fat sell from stubborn spots.
      I met a women who had a lipo from knees up to boobs, and she was the case of extra fat going to her face and upper arms if she gained some, so she really, really watched her diet .

  36. Craig Rich says:

    This isn’t about your current post, but I just had to tell you how much good you have done for me. I watched “Fat Head” about 4 weeks ago and was amazed at the information contained therein. I thought I was just going to see someone mock “Supersize Me”, which would have been fun enough, but you educated me on so much. I’ve shown your film to every member of my family (via Amazon prime) and they too thought it was awesome. Also read “Good Calories, Bad Calories”, “Why We Get Fat” and reading up on your blog.

    Mostly wanted to thank you for the new health I’ve found. I remember I lived in Taiwan some years ago and decided to lose weight and ended up getting depressed (eating mostly grains and veggies). I thought I was home-sick and there were other things I blamed, but I’m pretty sure now it was my diet. I’ve always felt weak and never knew what it was. Always took vitamins and tried all kinds of super foods. Some worked ok, but none were great. I feel awesome now. I’ve always felt, for lack of a better description, cold. Not physically, but my hands were always cold to the touch, and I always kind of felt like I was on the edge of feeling shock; like how your body goes cold when you go into shock, even though you aren’t physically cold. Now that I’m eating much more meat and avoiding carbs and grain, I feel warm. Like the warmth you feel when you’re having a good day and everything is going right. It’s amazing. Thank you so much for the work you’ve done. I know you get a lot of hate on your blog and on a lot of reviews, but you’re doing an amazing amount of good.

    I appreciate the kind words and I’m glad you’re feeling so much better. The haters don’t ruffle me at all. At least once a week, usually more than once a week, I receive a “you changed my life” email. One of those negates all the hate mail anyone could spew at me.

  37. Jay Jay says:

    I’ll never forget the time a TV news crew caught Bill Clinton jogging on his way to McDonald’s, back when he was President.

    His response, as he was jogging, was, “I only eat the fries! Never the cheeseburgers! They’re not healthy! ”

    I can’t imagine why he ended up with heart disease.

    • Daniel Kirsner says:

      This conjures fond memories of the late, GREAT, Phil Hartman:


      The McLean burger! One of the rare flops at McDonald’s.

      • Walter Bushell says:

        It should have been obvious. I think many of Micky D’s customers come for the fat — they may not know it, but it’s a biological drive.

        • Walter Bushell says:

          And there is the syndrome where a person is “good” all day maintaining low fat starvation diet, and in the evening eats a pint of premium ice cream.

          I’m sure some of the readers here are familiar with the syndrome.

          Even people who identify as Vegans methinks.

    • Rae says:

      Maybe if that was back when they still used tallow to fry in, the fries wouldn’t have been SO bad. I wish I could find someplace that uses a decent frying fat. Not that I mind making fried sweet potatoes with lamb fat at home, of course…

      Chareva fries them in bacon grease. They’re awesome.

  38. K2 says:

    Hi Tom,

    Unbelievable that a journalist would even put that out there. I assume s/he put their name on the article? I’d be embarrassed…

    On the vegan-heart-health angle, this video is of a vegan doctor giving a lecture about how the vegetarian and vegans diets don’t offer protection from heart disease, cancer, Alzheimers, etc. WTF? I thought their diets made them bullet proof. He starts with the example of Dave Thomas, founder of Wendy’s and cheese-burger fanatic, who died at 67 of a heart attack and of a vegan activist – raised and lived as a vegetarian until 26, then vegan for 40 years – died of a heart attack at 66. So, the beef and cheese bought Mr. Thomas a year. 🙂

    The interesting thing, though, is this Dr. Greger has figured out the problem: the lack of B12 and omega 3’s in vegan diets!! Not to worry….he has solved the problem. Eat meat, eggs, and fish, i.e. natural sources of those nutrients? Nope. Grounds flax seeds, B12 fortified crap, and the like. Yep, just like our ancestors got from the local GNC.

    WARNING: This guy’s voice and speech pattern will make alley cats scream in agony. I only made it a few minutes into the video, hopped around a couple more minutes, then turned it off to save myself. I will not be responsible for people who put a sharp stick in their eye to stop the pain. Aside from that, it is good for a laugh to see how entrenched vegan beliefs are DESPITE large studies showing their diets are really no better than others.


    Thanks for pointing out the article. I think you and others commented above that health improvements seen by anyone is from removing the junk and eating real food. Amen. My own diet is more evenly spread across the macros, because as a runner, I feel better with some yams and roasted potatoes. In the end, it is about real food, preferably cooked at home and shared with those you love.

    Take care. The best to you and all your readers!


    Being a vegan won’t make you live longer and may damage your health. So be a vegan and take these supplements. Amazing.

    • j says:

      Carmelo Flores Laura is a man thought to be the world’s oldest person at an age of 123. Whether that’s accurate or not, he credits his age to lots of walks, not eating sugar and pasta, and says he ate what would they could find in the wild. Interestingly enough, that included skunk meat, lizards, etc. Hmm..and I thought only vegans lived forever..according to some of them anyway..

      I’ll probably skip the skunk meat.

    • Moi Aussi says:

      That Dr. (and other vegan health advisors) are telling vegans to take supplements because they understand that vegans want to be vegan because of their feelings for animals; it’s not a health motivation for them. That emotional attachment to another’s suffering may or may not be some sort of pathological mental condition, it’s not for me to say. (You will say it is mental illness, of course.)

      But if someone is hell-bent on being veget’n or vegan, then possibly adding these supplements will undo some of the damage caused by their deficient diet. So, try to be a little bit more understanding. Alcoholics and tobacco lovers, so many of them, can’t “just stop”. So, advising them to improve their diet or take supplements might be of some help.

  39. Emily says:

    Anyone can enjoy vegan food if they have the right recipes. I’m not even a vegan and I often cook the recipes here: http://dietingstory.com/are-you-sure-thats-vegan-review/

    I think some vegan recipes make excellent side dishes for the meat.

  40. Pierce says:

    Veganism isn’t about diet, it’s about animal rights; mainly the right for other sentient beings to not be used as property.

    I’ve been vegan for nearly a decade and consume no animal products

    I cycle 125+ miles a week and I’ve been doing that for about six years

    You don’t need animal products to be healthy, fit or athletic.

    Maybe you don’t. I do. What you and the other vegan evangelists don’t bother to find out before commenting is that I (and many, many readers who have shared their stories) went through a vegetarian phase and suffered health consequences. The vegans I’ve known in person all had major health issues — not that any of them would be willing to admit the diet was to blame.

    • Lorna says:

      Exactly, Pierce! Since my 12-year stint as a vegetarian, I now believe that depriving yourself of meat does a real number on your brain, where you can’t make those connections between your diet and your health. It could be the B12 deprivation, or that fact that the symptoms creep up slowly over time so you don’t connect them with your diet. I suffered energy loss and drowsiness to the point of narcolepsy, hair loss, brittle nails, fuzzy thinking … at the same time raving about how healthy it was to be a vegetarian. At some point, that label becomes part of your identity as a “healthy” person; it’s an ego thing.

      I have friends who insist that their new vegan diet is so healthy and try to convince me of that, at the same time they’re yawning and shivering under several layers of clothes in warm weather. Their muscle loss makes them look like stick figures. I haven’t made much headway trying to enlighten them so these days I try to zip my lip and change the subject, knowing that they’re on their own learning curve just like I was. Hate to see them waste away like that, though.

  41. Nancy M says:

    I am about the same age as you. I had bypass surgery more than 25 years ago. I used to be a vegan, but you can’t keep it up. Nuts only go so far. You need protein at this age! Also all those carbs will increase your sugars. I know how to eat and I consume low fat milk and Greek yogurt and plenty of low fat chicken, beef and fish. Live a little-your body craves it. My husband has 100 percent diabetics in his family. He went on a meat and cheese diet with only low carb vegetables. His weight dropped and his sugars dropped to the safe range from pre-diabetic. His HDL increased to 80. His LDL decreased to 80 from 280. Go figure. The medical community has not figured out heart disease or diabetes yet.

  42. Melanie says:

    It does not appear Clinton eats grains except quinoa or soy. Grains and soy are major components of vegan diets. Yes, with weekly salmon/eggs, he is closer to Paleo than vegan.

  43. Laura says:

    I wish everyone would stop arguing and belittling every kind of eating. It is completely confusing and depressing and paralyzes people like me who have no idea what to eat to lose weight long-term.

    I already know I am addicted to sugar and white flour to the point of becoming a shell of a person, wanting to sleep most of the time, my head in a fog, and considered suicide. I will not because of my daughter.

    I read about animal products causing heart disease. I just read an article on Nat Geo about the frozen iceman they found who is like 2,000 years old. His diet was mainly meat, yet he had hardening of the arteries. It actually kind of makes my stomach turn to see slabs of dead flesh all packaged up in the store. I don’t know what to do.

    All I know is I am not living, I am addicted to something no one seems to acknowledge seems as bad as being addicted to drugs, don’t know what to do, and don’t need judging or looks of contempt for my being fat. I know it already and nothing anyone could say would be any worse than I think every single day.

    • Lorna says:

      Laura, I think the best thing you can do is stop reading the scary stories–that fear’s gonna be as deadly as any kind of food you could eat. Honestly, there are bizarre stories everywhere you turn; most of them aren’t backed up by any kind of facts in context and are written just to scare you.

      Just start eating a balanced diet, with a little less meat and more veggies than the traditional American diet, cutting out as much processed food as you can. Variety and balance are good. Meat does not cause heart disease. But not eating meat can set off all other kinds of health problems.

  44. Thank you Tom.
    “You are not entitled to your opinion you’re entitled to facts” Richard Dawkins.

    Whatever diet we all promote, we were not entitled to bend the truth. Dean Ornish is guilty as sin of this. All vegan doctors who promote veganism as the healthiest diet either have their head in the sand with scientific research or are liars.

    Hear Dr. Ron Rosedale debate Dr. Dean Ornish. http://www.meandmydiabetes.com/2012/07/17/ron-rosedaledean-ornish-debate-from-1999/

  45. Lorna says:

    I tried the vegetarianism thing for 12 years, then added meat back into my diet and found out how sick I had become from the symptoms of protein deficiency. Boy, was I pissed when I realized we are all being lied to about the health benefits of giving up meat!

    When I heard Bill went vegan, I wondered how long it would take before he, too, would admit to problems with the diet. A lot of people say how great he looks, as if thin = healthy. I think he looks emaciated and low-energy these days. In a September interview with Letterman, Clinton complains of muscle loss from his diet …

  46. Moi Aussi says:

    While I’m not 100% vegetarian (I like to eat fish from time to time), I know that vegetarians get all kinds of diseases or medical “conditions”, all kinds. You name it, they get them. Here is what I can’t quite grasp, maybe you can help me: When meat eaters/omnivores get sick, it’s, well, just because. You know, it’s a fallen world, shit happens. When a vegetarian or vegan get that same illness, ah, it’s because they don’t eat meat. I’m a sincere person, help me out here.

    No, when meat-eaters get sick, it’s from a bad diet. When vegetarian zealots compare themselves to meat-eaters, the “meat eaters” include those who consume the standard American diet, which is mostly garbage. Eating meat doesn’t prevent you from becoming ill if you also consume donuts, Pop-Tarts, ice cream, Little Debbie Snack Cakes, Big Gulps, and all kinds of processed foods. So along comes a Dean Ornish or some other vegetarian-promoting doctor and has his patients give up sugar, white flour, processed vegetable oils, processed foods in general, smoking, alcohol … oh, and meat too. When his patients get healthier, he says he’s proved meat is bad for you. Nonsense.

  47. Moi Aussi says:

    I’d judge any and all diets by how healthy you are if you can follow them virtually perfectly for at least 10 years.

    I judge a diet by how healthy you are if you follow it most of the time. “Perfectly” is not a realistic standard.

  48. Moi Aussi says:

    Also, there are factors other than diet that contribute to making us sick. It’s not only an issue of how “good” we think our diets are. Everybody gets sick sooner or later. Sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the cause but if one is a zealot then he’ll blame the other person’s sickness on what he ate. It’s the human condition to be so simple-minded. If people disagree with how I raised by children, even if they are pretty good kids, if they ever have a serious issue of any type even 30 years down the line, it’ll be attributed to Mother having done something wrong. Ah, well…

  49. health-seeker says:

    Interesting article; but why are the only choices to either be fat-phobe vegan or a paleo eating 50 pounds of meat, daily?! From my extensive reading it seems that i should avoid soda, sugar, potato chips, white flour bread, white flour pasta, booze, cigarettes, candy, white rice, vegetable oil, crisco; like the plague; but consume plenty of vegetables, leafy greens, sweet potatoes, pistachios, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened peanut butter, whole grains, berries, fruit (NOT the juice); with some stevia extract, organic cage-free eggs, perhaps some wild-caught fish, & get good sleep, physical activity, good job, good books, fun with friends, independence. Perhaps since the termites, locusts, grub worms are slated to be gotten rid of anyway; we could use them as food rather than poisoning them then throwing them away. Dairy is probably bad idea. What hunters do is far LESS cruel and dirty then what factory-farms/slaughter-house do; but nobody should be forced to eat meat if they truly not wanting to. But eating meat does not mean you are bad either. What bothers me is that lack of rational middle ground & the exclusionary policies/extremes. How about you eat some meat 1 – 9 times per month; rather than huge amount each day? After all; it is the junk food/sugar & fat-phobes who are killing us; not whole grains and vegetables. The fat-phobes restrict or bad items like coconut oil, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, unsweetened coconut milk, unsweetened creamy peanut butter, & egg yolks from eggs laid by healthy happy hens. The fat-phobes & sugar put into most of the food supply is what is causing diabetes & obesity & mental problems globally. It is the sugar, soda, white flour, & fat-phobes killing human diet health; not the vegetables , berries, whole grain. Can we find a healthy logical middle ground for people to eat healthy; rather than exclusionary politics?

    Paleo isn’t about eating 50 pounds of meat per day. It’s about avoiding neolithic foods that cause health problems.

  50. pragmatic-healthview says:

    I refuse to buy white-flour pasta, bread, cereal, etc. I also refuse to buy sugar, soda, potato chips, reduced fat peanut butter, juice, koolaid,

    I go to trader joe’s & buy stevia extract; it is good for diabetics and tastes great. I buy coconut oil & use fish oil. I eat eggs almost daily. I stopped buying fruit juice; but buy lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, some eggs, and while I go days or even sometimes weeks without meat; I am not vegan. I reject hotdogs, salami, bologna, I would get organ meat, lamb, (most nutritious) I eat egg yolks. I think since there are so many insects causing problems on earth & so many hungry kids; that the bugs could be food source. Also stop subsidy of corn-ethonol (sugar-cane derived fuel is much better!) and the factory farms meat that both waste so much grain & water that should instead be given to hungry humans.

    but i do not need to be screaming fat-phobe hating all who eat meat

    but i do not need to be eating 30 pouns of meat & milk daily and refusing vegetables, berries and whole grains.

    I want logic, fairness, freedom, & health for all.

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