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Bill Clinton gave up vegan diet and sugar on the advice of weight-loss expert

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Dr. Mark Hyman is a nationally recognized weight loss expert who is a frequent guest on the Dr. Oz Show, but has quietly been the dietitian for Bill and Hillary Clinton for the past 10 years.

Hyman has worked with the Clintons since 2004, when the former president underwent his first heart bypass surgery. Since then, Bill Clinton has lost 30 pounds and dramatically improved his heart health, thanks to Dr. Mark's sugar detox program.

Interestingly, one of the first things Hyman recently did was to get Clinton, 67, off his vegan diet. "It's hard being a vegan to eat enough good, quality protein and not have too much starch," Hyman told the NYTimes. "I know a lot of fat vegans."

'Sugar Is More Addictive Than Cocaine'

Instead of avoiding animal protein altogether, Hyman prescribed for both Hillary and Bill a sugar-free diet of unprocessed foods, including high-quality proteins such as salmon, and plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Avoiding sugar is the one thing that will make the biggest difference in your health, said Hyman, author of "The 10-Day Detox Diet."

"Sugar is eight times more addictive than cocaine,” said Dr. Hyman, who also wrote the bestseller The Blood Sugar Solution. "Sugar is the new nicotine. Sugar is the new fat — except fat is not addictive in the way that sugar is. And worse, sugar actually causes diabetes and obesity.”

While Hyman's anti-sugar stance may seem extreme, he joins a growing list of medical experts who are convinced that sugar has no redeeming nutritional value and should be avoided as much as possible. Pediatric endocrinologist Dr. Robert Lustig said sugar is an addictive drug and a leading cause of early mortality.

"One-quarter of the world's diabetes is explained by sugar alone," said Dr. Lustig author of Fat Chance: Beating the Odds Against Sugar. "The food industry has contaminated the American food supply with added sugar to 'sell more product' and increase profits. Sugar in excess is a toxin, and the food industry has put us way over our limit."

By eliminating sugar, gluten, processed foods and dairy, Hyman said you will lose weight, eliminate toxins from your system and nourish your body the right way. Bill Clinton has successfully maintained his 30-pound weight loss for the past four years by following Hyman's sugar-free diet, and said he has never felt better.

Dr. Hyman said by making small dietary changes, we can all take control of our health and improve our energy and longevity. "Eat real food, walk a little bit, sleep eight hours, do a few things to relax, write a little bit in your journal, take a multivitamin," he said. "It's not rocket science."

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