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Cardiologist champions vegan diet: James Cameron goes plant-based to save planet

James Cameron champions plant-based diet.
James Cameron champions plant-based diet.Photo by Caroline McCredie

When it comes to weight loss, everyone's searching for the perfect diet. Paleo pundits proclaim the caveman way to be the best, while high fat ketogenic diet experts advocate their approach. Now a Chicago cardiologist is challenging both approaches by slamming those plans and championing vegan diets, reported the Chicago Tribune on August 16.

Dr. Kim Williams began his journey from meat eater to meat-free mogul by deciding to do something about his high level of LDL (also known as the "bad" cholesterol reading). He switched from turkey to tofu, replaced beef with beans and says it took only six weeks for his LDL tests to report that he was healthy.

Now, as he prepares to become president of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Williams is preaching plant-based diets for cardiac patients. No meat, no fish, no eggs, no dairy - but generous helpings of controversy have resulted.

Although some applauded the cardiologist's stance, others called him a food cop. They criticized Dr. Williams for championing what they called an extreme diet.

"Doctors who recommend a vegan diet are experimenting on their patients," declared Dr. Jack Wolfson, an Arizona cardiologist who believes that the Paleo diet is the ideal. But Dr. Williams disagrees.

"Anything someone does to move away from the Standard American Diet will make a huge difference in terms of diabetes, hypertension, obesity and heart disease," he declared. "Given the health implications of diet, putting the issue in front of people who live with an epidemic of heart disease is not a bad thing," he added.

Director and producer James Cameron and his wife Suzy are also believers in the benefits of plant-based diets. The award-winning entertainment entrepreneur contends that vegan diets can do more than help with weight loss and health: They can save the planet, reported the Las Vegas Informer.

"I've had an epiphany recently…I want to challenge all of you as people of deep conscience, people who are environmental stewards of the earth and oceans…by changing what you eat, you will change the contract between the human species and the natural world," said Cameron.

The director appeared on CNN recently to publicize his views. He explained that 60 percent of our crops are used for feeding animals. Shifting from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet reduces your carbon footprint by one-third.