Former President Bill Clinton has had a legendary appetite. When he first took office his diet was a vegan’s nightmare; steaks, hamburgers, chicken and a little bit of fish thrown in for good measure. Over the past two decades Clinton has gone from being an omnivore with a love of greasy hamburgers to a happier, healthier vegetarian and now, vegan.
Ecorazzi reported in 2010 on Bill Clinton’s almost vegan diet, although the former President was careful not to call it vegan because he ate fish on occasion. We are happy to report that almost a year later PETA’s “Person of the Year” claims that he is now fully vegan.
Clinton had often struggled with his wieght while in office, but wasn’t his only health concern. A family history of heart disease would also catch up to the 42nd president. In less than four years after Clinton left office, he had a heart attack. Since 2004, Clinton has undergone quadruple bypass surgery and angioplasty.
In an interview with CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Clinton remembered how lucky he was that he did not die of a heart attack when he felt the first tightness in his chest before the quadruple bypass and the need to cut down on calories and lower his cholesterol.
He continues in the interview by telling Gupka of the reasons he had to make a profound change in the way he eats, “I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette because even though I had changed my diet some and cut down on the caloric total of my ingestion and cut back on much of the cholesterol in the food I was eating, I still — without any scientific basis to support what I did — was taking in a lot of extra cholesterol without knowing if my body would produce enough of the enzyme to support it, and clearly it didn’t or I wouldn’t have had that blockage. So that’s when I made a decision to really change.”
Clinton now enjoys a diet that includes no meat, no dairy, no eggs, and almost no oil. He told Gupta, “I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now.”
Since Clinton’s change over to a vegetarian/vegan diet he has dropped 20lbs, is healthier, and claims he has more energy. According to CNN, his newest weight goal is 185. The same weight he was when he was 13 years old.
Clinton’s non-profit, The Clinton Foundation, has partnered with the American Heart Association to promote exercise programs and healthier lunches to children. His goal is to help children eat healthy today so years from now they won’t have the same health troubles that he has had.