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Dr. Oz talks health with NeNe Leakes and vegan diets for weight loss

NeNe talks about her health scare.
Photo by Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

TV star NeNe Leakes has become famed for her energy on shows such as the "Real Housewives of Atlanta." But she experienced her own health scare recently, she revealed on the Dr. Oz show Thursday. On the same episode, Dr. Oz discussed how to use a vegan diet for weight loss.

NeNe suffered from intense pain in November. She told Dr. Oz that she delayed getting help, first thinking she needed a new pillow.

But the pain got worse, even though she tried to work through it. Finally she forced herself to go to the emergency room, where physicians found that she had a pulmonary embolism, which can be deadly.

Dr. Oz noted that although we don't usually think of blood clots as something that occurs to younger people, risk factors include taking birth control pills, high blood pressure and extended periods of sitting in the same position, such as occurs when you travel. To prevent this problem, Dr. Oz recommends being careful to follow a healthy diet and take supplements such as vitamin D, omega-3s and multivitamins.

NeNee tweeted her appreciation to Dr. Oz: "Love u @DrOz (aka Smartie-Pants)! Had so much fun on the show n learned so much."

On the same episode, Dr. Oz touted the benefits of plant-based weight loss plans. He urges vegans to take 25 microgram vitamin-B12 supplements.

In addition, for weight loss benefits, Dr. Oz advocates the approach created by Mark Bittman. Rather than immediately follow a plant-based diet all the time, eat vegan until 6 p.m.

Mark authored a book with this approach detailed: "VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6:00 to Lose Weight and Restore Your Health . . . for Good." In it, he describes how you can get the most from plant-based principles while still enjoying meat, fish and dairy on this flexible diet.

Dr. Oz suggests using beans, soymilk, quinoa, tofu, peanut butter and oatmeal for protein but avoiding packaged foods. In addition, Mark has concocted a VB6 cookbook: "The VB6 Cookbook: More than 350 Recipes for Healthy Vegan Meals All Day and Delicious Flexitarian Dinners at Night."

A new study spotlights the benefits of protein in the diet, reported LiveScience on Wednesday. Researchers found that people who ate more protein had reduced risks of stroke.

Moreover, the study indicated that the VB6 approach that provides the weight loss benefits of vegan diets while including some animal protein may be the healthiest.Researchers found that diets high in vegetable protein were less successful in protecting against stroke than those with animal protein.