How a Heart Attack Saved My Life

by Dennis Heinz, Fruitland, WA

It has been a very interesting, rewarding and enlightening experience since I dropped meat, dairy, eggs, chicken, pork, seafood, and fast-food and adopted an eating pattern of vegetables, fruits, grains, legumes, and some nuts. I am a researcher at heart. After reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell and “Prevent and R everse Heart Disease” by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyne, plus getting a nutritional certificate, I started research on my body. After reading the aforementioned writings my wife and I dove feet first into a Whole Foods Plant-Based (WFPB) diet, never to look back. I also had my lipid profile done every 7 months so I could track my cholesterol; a complete panel is taken once a year. This said, here are the bullet points of results after four years. I should mention I was off all nine heart meds within twelve months post-heart attack. I was originally told I would have to take them for the rest of my life.

I lost 75 pounds and have kept it off without struggle, my blood pressure has been rock solid at 100 – 110/60, I have more energy and am active, my total cholesterol has varied between 85 and 108, (since quitting statin drug 3 years ago), certain moles and skin tags have vanished, E.D. has regressed and my backaches are much less! The IBS I used to suffer has also completely vanished! 

I start every day with a bowl of oatmeal and blueberries, have some kind of leafy greens every day, as well as beans, lunch is a veggie sandwich, beans and rice etc., although I still have a good old PB&J occasionally. I honestly eat a much bigger variety of foods now than I did in my prior 60 years of life. My wife joined me on this journey and has experienced much the same results

It should be noted that my cardiologist repeatedly told me that I was in the 1% that did something this positive after a heart attack. When I asked him why he doesn’t share this info with his other patients, he said: “If I did that, I would have fewer appointments and sell less drugs”. He was right! I have not seen him since or needed any drugs for nearly 3 years now.

Think of this, veterinarians know more about what to feed your pets than most Drs. can tell you what to eat. Meats and processed foods are killing Americans by the droves. (700,00 die each year in the U.S. alone from heart attack, stroke and cardiovascular disease. (this is a disease that need not even exist!!! Really!!!) 

Type 2 diabetes is hugely on the rise in this country and striking younger and younger people. I personally know people who have reversed their type 2 diabetes. Obesity is running rampant. Why? IT’S THE FOOD!!! It would be naïve to think that what you eat does not affect your body. 

As you start the New Year at least try to cut back on processed meats, fast foods, fried foods. For women, dairy is especially bad for you. Most Americans do not eat 1/3 of the veggies they should, which means very little fiber in your system and fiber is extremely important as it relates to health. 

Not to worry, you will get plenty of protein eating this way. There is no question that a plant-based diet (not vegan) is by far the healthiest, most varied and most sustainable of any eating regimen one could engage in! You do not need Atkins, Jenny, WW, South Beach, Keto, “or diet trend of the day”. You just do not need them. Yes, they all will help you lose weight however, they are not sustainable over a lifetime. Whole Foods Plant-Based is totally sustainable throughout life and should be consumed for a much healthier body. 

I realize that many of you reading this will dismiss my article and life experiences, but, interestingly, some of my own friends who were naysayers and deniers have now come to me for information as they find out their cholesterol is sky high or blood pressure is out of control or they get diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. My primary Dr. asked me recently if he could share my information with two friends that had recently had heart attacks. I must be doing something right!

I will be holding short 2 and 4-hour seminars in the general Spokane area that cover nutrition as it relates to heart attack, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and obesity during 2020. Some will be recipe-driven. If you would like more information please email me at You can find more on Facebook @what’s your shelf life.

The benefits are incredible and with health care costs sky high, why not take care of your body in the first place!!