Bill Clinton Loses 20 Pounds on Vegan Diet

Bill Clinton has converted to veganism, saying that he believes the regimen is helping to reverse the damage to his heart and blood vessels caused by cardiovascular disease.

Former President Bill Clinton has dropped more than 20 pounds since embracing a vegan diet, CNN reports. His new lifestyle is about 20 years into the making, and came after two heart procedures and some doctor’s advice.

Clinton reached the White House having grown used to a diet of whatever he wanted. According to CNN, he loved hamburgers, steaks and French fries, though he would often eat whatever he could get his hands on. Then First Lady Hillary Clinton stepped in.

Hillary asked Dr. Dean Ornish to work with White House chefs to help create a new, healthier diet for her husband. He switched out meat for soy burgers, and ate tofu and salmon. Still, Clinton had a family history of heart disease against him and his growing problems failed to attract the attention of presidential doctors.

In 2004, Clinton had his first heart surgery. He underwent quadruple bypass surgery to restore blood flow to his heart, CNN said. After that, the former president cut down on his calories, though it didn’t stop him from needing another heart surgery last year.

Ornish told him because of genetics, he was going to need to make some profound changes in his diet. Now, Clinton says he eats no meat, no dairy, no eggs and almost no oil. His goal is to avoid food that could damage his blood vessels.

Now Clinton is healthier than ever; he’s dropped weight and is encouraging others to do the same. CNN reported that the former president is involved with a group that seeks to make kids’ school lunches healthier.

Clinton described it as trying to turn a ship around “before it hits the iceberg,” but says he is confident in the changes taking place.

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