Alternatively, you can read the transcript below.
Disclaimer: This article and podcast episode is not a substitute for personal medical or dietary advice. Talk to your doctor before making major dietary changes or starting a new supplement. See our Disclaimers for more details.
About Cole Adam, RD
Cole Adam is a vegan dietitian who works at an outpatient cardiac rehabilitation center in Denver, Colorado.
He specializes in diet and lifestyle interventions that can help prevent and treat our most common chronic diseases. His interest in this topic began while working with indigenous populations in Northern Arizona, a demographic that is disproportionately affected by these diseases.
He is passionate about plant based eating and the health, environmental, and animal welfare benefits that can come from it.
- The Seven Countries Study: 2,289 deaths in 15 years
- Healthful and Unhealthful Plant-Based Diets and the Risk of Coronary heart Disease in US Adult
- 2021 Dietary Guidance to Improve Cardiovascular Health: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association
- The Vegan Society
- Simon Hill on Instagram
Cole: So there is no single, ideal, best diet for heart health.
It can look like a number of different diets, but they do all have similar common denominators.
Christine: Welcome to the powered you podcast! This is the resource for all things vegan nutrition.
I’m Christine, your host and vegan bestie, and I also happen to be a dietitian.
As a disclaimer, this podcast is just providing education and a bit of entertainment.
If you have any questions about your health or diet, talk to your own healthcare provider. Talk to your doctor before you start a supplement.
Our full disclaimers will be linked to in the show notes below. Now let’s get to the episode.
Hello Cole, welcome to the podcast!
Cole: Hello! Thanks for having me!
Christine: Sure! Today we are talking all about the vegan diet and heart health.
So I knew Cole would be an awesome person to come on the podcast as he is a dietitian who works in cardiac rehabilitation and also identifies as a vegan.
And if people are like what’s cardiac rehab? We’re going to get to that in a minute.
But first Cole, could you tell us how you became vegan?
Cole: yeah, so I’ve been vegan for about 10 years now.
So back in about 2012 I had been eating more plant based from a health standpoint.
You know, just as I kind of studied nutrition, I started eating more plant based.
And then I watched the documentary called Earthlings, which looks at all the ways
that we use and exploit animals.
And I’ve always been sort of an animal lover.
So seeing that I think I I kind of knew I think beforehand what was going to happen, but seeing that film definitely made me consider my choices from a animal welfare standpoint.
And then at the same time I was reading a book by Doctor Richard Oppenlander
called “Comfortably Unaware,” which looks at the environmental impact of our food systems and and animal agriculture.
So those two things roughly at about the same time and the fact that I was already eating plant, you know relatively plant based.
It was just one of those things where I was like, why don’t I just go completely,
you know, vegan, especially from an animal and an environmental standpoint.
Christine:You know, I think two other guests, one or two, have already said that they watched Earthlings as well, and that kind of pushed them.
And I I have not watched that yet. I just watched the trailer and I was like, you know, I cannot. That’s enough for me.
Cole: I kind of forced myself to watch it.
My wife couldn’t even finish it because it’s just.
You know, it shows you slaughterhouse footage and it shows you a circus -how they train these days. And so it really, I mean, it’s graphic.
And I forced myself to sit down and watch it because I knew if I did, I would, – it puts it/ makes it more realistic.
Cole: And it made me almost overnight kind of change.
Christine: Yeah, films like that can really do that.
But anybody, if anyone out there is wondering, you don’t have to watch a film.
You can literally just read what the standard procedure is for animals and make the decision for yourself.
So back to the cardiac rehab stuff, can you explain to the listeners what you do in your day to day?
So I work in cardiac rehab and it’s attached to a hospital system here in the Denver area. It’s an outpatient clinic.
It’s basically a gym and patients come in when they after they’ve had some sort of
cardiac event or procedure or bypass surgery or bypass surgery, open her surgery, and they’re basically looking to rehab from that and get their strength back and exercise with the heart monitor on-so they can make sure everything looking good.
And as part of that program and the exercise component, we we offer a stress
management in some classes, we offer some group support classes and then we
offer nutrition classes and we want to.
We we run a different couple different programs and each one offers nutrition classes.
Some of them are more detailed, some of them are just a little more superficial like the basics of a
heart healthy diet.
So that’s the bulk of what I do is teaching group classes to groups of patients that are coming through cardiac rehab.
And as part of that program and the exercise component, we we offer a stress
management in some classes, we offer some group support classes and then we
offer nutrition classes and we want to.
We we run a different couple different programs and each one offers nutrition classes.
Some of them are more detailed, some of them are just a little more superficial like the basics of a heart healthy diet.
So that’s the bulk of what I do is teaching group classes to groups of patients that
are coming to cardiac rehab.
Christine: Cool. Do you do like cooking demos there as well?
Cole: We don’t. We don’t have a kitchen or cooking facility.
If we did, we probably would, but we don’t on our site.
Christine:Yeah, well that would be really awesome if they they did because if
anybody knows Cole on Instagram, he’s always posting these delicious recipes.
So let’s start us off with the question of the hour probably: is there actually 1 diet that is best for heart health?
Cole: There is not.
Christine: Not even the carnivore diet? (they laugh)
Cole:No, unless you want to end up in cardiac rehab that’s probably a good choice
And then you know in when we look at the nutrition and and heart health
connection which we have you know decades of studies now going back to like
the seven country study in the 1950s that first started looking at the fat dietary fats and heart health.
But there’s a consistent pattern it’s it’s a diet that’s rich in plants on unprocessed or minimally processed plants at high in fiber it’s low in saturated and trans fats
And so that can take shape in many different forms, that can be a vegan diet, it doesn’t have to be, It doesn’t have to be- that can be a vegetarian diet.
That could be a more plant based diet, that could be a Mediterranean style diet, that could be a dash diet which is a diet for high blood pressure, that could be a lower carb plant based diet!
So the the most important thing is that we’re eating more plants and we tend to
reduce or minimize animal products, animal fats as well as processed foods and
So, that can take shape in many different forms.
So there is no single ideal best diet for heart health.
It can look like a number of different diets but they do all have similar common
Christine: Being plant based.. pretty much?
Cole: yeah predominantly I say predominantly -mostly centered on plants.
Those kind of things are much more- I think approachable for people that are used
to a traditional meat and potatoes diet.
And some examples of that (I’m sure) would be like the Mediterranean diet-I’m guessing, which interestingly I think we kind of like say it’s “one” diet, but it was made-up of like several countries, eh?
Cole: Yeah, I mean it was kind of, it was first described I think on the island of Crete.
But it kind of looks at southern Italy and some of the Greek islands, you know, and that’s sort of where it started and looking at the diet patterns and populations in those regions.
But yeah, but the traditional Mediterranean diet was 90/95% plant based.
So it definitely fits into that category.
Christine: Is really popular.
So I’m sure a lot of people think about that automatically when we talk about heart health.
So speaking to ethical vegans for those- who don’t include any animal products at all- what kind of foods specifically- we could say broadly-broad categories-
What should they emphasize if they want to reduce their risk of heart disease?
So I will start by saying we have a couple of recent studies that have looked at plantbased diets and and heart health and overall health.
But they’ve kind of filtered people who are eating more of a processed junk food
plant based diet versus a healthy wholesome plant based diet.
And we find that if you’re eating a diet based on highly processed junk food, even if
it’s still vegan or vegetarian, that alone might not be enough to significantly lower
your risk of heart disease.
So it is important to focus more on a healthful plant based / vegan diet because,
That’s where the magic happens, that’s where we see a reduction in heart disease
And so that’s going to be a diet centered on unprocessed or minimally processed plants such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, which includes things like beans, lentils, including soybeans and soy products like tofu and edamame, and then nuts and seeds as well.
So fruits, veggies, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds.
And if you’re making those foods the bulk of what you’re eating, you’re going to be in a really good spot.
Christine: And when you, you mentioned processed foods, right?
So is there like a definition for “processed foods?”
Because of course, you know, like canned beans can be “processed.”
What were they really talking about, (do you) think in that study?
Cole: The word, (I guess I should rephrase it), ultra processed food is generally what we
call it so things that don’t resemble anything that comes in nature.
So Twinkies and Cheetos and Mountain Dew, those are kind of the ultra processed
foods that we should really shy away from.
If something’s minimally processed, we generally refer to that as where nothing
good is being taken away and nothing that unhealthy is being added.
So something like soy milk or whole grain bread, you know, they’re processed to some extent, but you don’t have the fiber being taken out, you don’t have the protein being taken out, things like
that and you don’t have a lot of additional ingredients that are being added that
make it less healthy, such as something like a potato chip where you know, we’re
frying it and we’re covering in a tons of salt that would fall into the more highly processed category.
Christine: Yeah, yeah, that makes sense.
I think when you put it that way, it’s, it’s a little more obvious.
Cole: I call Ultraprocessed-I call it gas station food.
I’m like, go to a gas station, walk around and if most of what you see there is going
to fall into that ultra processed.
Christine: Oh yeah, it seems like every year we have a new diet trend, right?
Like we’ve had keto and Paleo, and this year is probably the year of the Carnivore
diet, which raises a lot of concerns for healthcare professionals it’s pretty
easy to bump up the saturated fat with the carnivore diet.
However, there’s still so much confusion about saturated fat.
Can you kind of clear up saturated fat?
Is it good?
Is it bad for us?
Um, is animal saturated fat different than, like, say, coconuts?
So the research on it is pretty clear where these differing opinions come from-
You know, various routes: personal agendas, biases, selling diets or diet books or
But the research is fairly consistent that saturated fat in excess is not something
we want in our diet.
And we know that that as we consume more saturated fat, that does have a negative impact on our
cholesterol, especially our bad cholesterol, our non HDL or LDL cholesterols.
So that isn’t something we wanted to do from a heart standpoint.
So In general, yes, saturated fat is something we want to cut back on.
The main sources of saturated fat in the American diet are dairy fats, fatty meats, and like desserts.
So those are foods we should all be kind of cutting back on anyways, largely due to
their saturated fat content.
So that’s the most important thing.
Then you know there are different types of saturated fats and some appear worse than others.
Saturated fat, rich foods in the plant Kingdom-such as coconut oil is a popular one.
We still see that there’s a negative impact on cholesterol levels.
If we’re habitually consuming coconut oil or coconut milk, it doesn’t appear as bad as some of those saturated fat animal sources, but it still appears to have a negative impact on cholesterol.
So one of the the studies kind of concluded that that coconut oil is not as bad as
butter, but it still has that negative impact on cholesterol.
Another plant source of saturated fat can be dark chocolate.
But again, a different type, and that one doesn’t appear as harmful.
It actually appears fairly neutral.
Christine: Which I’m so happy about because that’s my favorite dessert.
Cole: The dark chocolate is definitely one that’s that’s OK to choose from, especially if it
replaces something less healthier, like a candy bar or ice cream or something like that.
Do you like dark chocolate, by the way?
Cole Oh, I love it.
I had some this morning.
What percentage, though, are you like a high percentage bro?
Cole: Yeah! 😀
Christine: You are.
What’s the highest like percentage?
Cole: I’m like the 90%! (talking about cacao percentage)
Christine: OK, yeah, me too.
Cool. That’s cool. I wonder if that’s like a dietitian thing.
I don’t know.
Cole: It could be. I don’t know.
Christine: I don’t know.
I will say, I didn’t like it that dark (before), but I just kind of like graduated up there, you know what I mean?
Cole: For sure!
Christine: it’s like I but I actually do enjoy it.
Cole: So it’s an acquired taste, right?
Like wine or coffee, you know, saturated fat- we definitely want to cut back especially those animal sources.
You do find a little bit of saturated fat in healthy foods like nuts and seeds but it’s such a small percentage.
And all the other fat that’s in those foods are some of the healthier ones, like the
polyunsaturated fats that we want to include in our diet.
So again, the the pros appear to greatly outweigh the potential cons of just having a small amount of saturated fat in some of those foods.
Christine: Yeah, Speaking of nuts, you know some vegans are intimidated by nuts for for whatever reason and you mentioned that they do have a little saturated fat, but should
vegans be worried about nuts for some other reason or should they be including it in a heart healthy diet?
Cole: They should definitely be including nuts and seeds in a heart healthy diet.
We have an overwhelming amount of research showing that nuts and seeds are
beneficial to our health including heart health, so that is something that is
definitely a good part of the health.
A common recommendation is maybe a handful or or two a day of mixed nuts or seeds into your diet.
Christine: And do you know if that also includes like nut butters or it really does it really matter?
Just as long as we’re…
Cole: Intact nuts would probably be the best choice because the fibers are intact and you have to sit there and chew them and that’s that’s good.
The nut butters are perfectly fine – something like peanut butter, which is
technically a legume but we count it as a nut butter.
You know, sometimes they add palm oil or hydrogenated oils to it and so,
Those would be the ones we would want to stay away from and just stick with the
ones where the the ingredients are just peanuts and maybe like a little bit of salt or something like that. So, so that would be good. Almond butters are great option.
You know those, those also are good choices. They just might not be as good as intact nuts.
Christine: of course, if you are allergic to a certain food, do not eat it.
Hey friends, I just wanted to pop in really quick to tell you about my awesome resource, plantpoweredyou.com
It is a dietitian created resource for those wanting to start or sustain a vegan diet. We’ve got information about transitioning, information about selecting vegan products! So so go ahead and check it out- It’s all free! plantpoweredyou.com
All right, friends, let’s get back to the episode.
Christine: Cool, So I hope that cleared up some of the confusion about saturated fats.
So, you know, vegans don’t have to worry about the animal fats because they don’t
eat any animal products.
But then there’s, you know, palm, coconut oil. So those are a few things to be mindful of.
And now let’s get into a little more specific questions about the AHA, a statement.
Umm, let me get the exact reference here.
OK, so I’m looking at the 2021 paper on dietary guidance to improve cardiovascular health from the American Heart Association, and I’ll put the link in the show notes to this study.
But it talks about healthy protein choices and while it does suggest includeplant based protein-
Like nuts and legumes, it also suggests a regular intake of fish and seafood.
And of course, vegans do not eat fish and seafood.
So should vegans be concerned that maybe they won’t be as healthy because they
don’t include these?
Cole: When it comes to fish in the paper – inexplicitly says this is there appears to be 2 benefits of including fish into our diet.
One is that some fish are rich in omega-3 fats, which is a type of fat that appears to be beneficial.
It’s essential in our diet and certain fish, oily fish are rich in it. So they do offer that.
Now we can get those fats elsewhere from plants. So you find some of those fats and things like walnuts and flax seeds.
It is a a different form of that fat and it’s maybe not as good as some of those
marine based omego 3s?But what vegans can also do is instead of eating fish, (if they want to get those
Omega threes), they can go to the original source in the marine food system which is actually algae.
And so the little microscopic plants, the algae in the ocean, are actually the ones that produce those omega-3 fats.
And then little fish eat them and little fish eat them, and bigger fish-and it goes up the food chain and then you find it in oily fish.
So instead of eating fish for Omega threes, vegans can skip the middleman and just go right to the source and take an algae oil omega-3 supplement if you choose to. It’s the exact same fat you find in fish or fish oil or any of those other omega-3 supplements.
So it’s much more sustainable.
There would be less pollution compared to fish because you’re lower on the food
chain and it’s the exact same fat.
So if anyone’s going to take an
omega3 fat supplement, that would be the preferred source. With pregnant women and things like that who are told to limit, fish high in mercury but also get some of those Omega threes like the DHA and
Yes, you could take a fish oil supplement. But again, you could just take the algae oil supplement, which is the exact same thing in fats.
Christine: And just a personal question, do you take algae oil?
Cole: I do.
Christine: You do?
Cole: I’m not very consistent about it. I’ve started recently.
From a heart standpoint-there was a Big Cochrane review a year or two ago.
That didn’t find that taking omega-3 supplements appeared to have a big impact on heart health overall.
It might help lower triglycerides.
It might be you know-associated with some benefit, but But overall, it was kind of a wash. So from a heart standpoint, it’s kind of optional.
Some people like to take it, some people want to take it.
But if you don’t, and you’re getting that at least from your diet, you probably don’t need to supplement it from a heart standpoint.
But there might be benefits to brain health as we age, there might be benefits for
So I do take it just kind of as a safety net, even though I eat things like walnuts and flax seeds and other good sources of those Omega threes on almost a daily basis.
Christine: Talk to your doctor before you start a supplement.
Cole: The other kind of benefit which- just kind of follow up on that initial question, of eating fish and why you see this often recommended for a heart health is we always have this sort of “compared to what” situation in nutrition.
Whereas if you need one thing-is it healthier -well compared to what? and so in in those guidelines you you referenced, the
biggest benefit we see of eating fish is that it displaces what in the diet? Meat!
Christine: probably bacon!
Cole: Yeah, some high saturated fat meat! So if you’re eating fish in place of steak or burger or fried chicken or something like that- that is a healthier choice.
But if we look at fish compared to maybe beans or nuts intake, it doesn’t appear to be that much better if better at all.
So we don’t need to include fish in our diet to have a heart healthy diet.
But for those who choose to, it can be part if if they want to so.
So it’s really kind of optional.
But if for those who don’t eat fish, they just want to ensure that they’re getting some omega-3 fats in their diet, and then they want to ensure that they’re getting a sufficient amount of plant protein from beans and other legumes in their diet as well.
Christine: Yeah, and I think the paper even mentioned that fried fish was not associated with the benefits.
So if that doesn’t tell you anything about, you know, the more processed food then you
know there’s something!
And then a bonus question, though, what if someone comes at you and says like,
Well, you know, the Mediterranean diet- they ate all this fish.
What do you say to that? Is that even true?
Cole: That’s not really true! So we have, again, we have studies out on the original kind of Mediterranean diet in southern Italy and in some of these Greek islands.
And when you look back at some of their food records, fish was only consumed maybe once a week, maybe twice at most, because a lot of these populations that boasted longer, healthier lives and populations were a little bit further inland.
They weren’t along some of the coasts, so, it was there but it wasn’t abundant.
It wasn’t like we see now we’ve kind of Americanized the Mediterranean diet where we think of these big seafood platters and we’re eating fish every single day and large, steaks of of tuna or salmon.
I usually joke with people and I say, you know- salmon is often touted as being this part of a Mediterranean diet, but no salmon species live in the Mediterranean Sea!
So it’s obviously not a part of the traditional Mediterranean diet where they eat.
Christine: did they eat like anchovies or something?
Cole: Yeah, I mean, typically smaller,
A lot of the healthier populations were poor agricultural communities.
So smaller fish like anchovies, sardines, things like octopus, cuttlefish, you know,
things that aren’t (typically) in the American diet.
It was kind of peasant food.
And again, that’s maybe once or twice a week.
Then when we look a little bit closer at some of the Mediterranean diet studies, the thing that appears to offer the biggest benefit is the abundance of plants in those
Not necessarily a fish, not necessarily a red wine.
The things that we sometimes glamorize, it’s the fact that most of what those populations are eating are plant foods, and that appears to offer the biggest benefit.
Christine: Yeah, yeah, for sure.
The red wine thing always gets me because, you know, like-
Alcohol is a toxin.
We have to remember that. So don’t start it (don’t start alcohol). It’s not worth it.
And that’s something that the European guidelines advised people to really kind of restrict alcohol from a heart standpoint because we know that alcohol in excess is is not something that’s healthy for us.
And there’s even a condition called “Holiday Heart,” which is where it describes the fact that we see more hospital admissions for heart issues around the holidays.
Christine: I’ve heard about that.
And it’s thought we don’t know exactly why, but it maybe it’s the stress of the holidays, maybe it’s the cold weather in some regions.
But one thing appears to be the excess of alcohol as well because we know that can lead to some arrhythmias in individuals.
So yeah, alcohol and excess is definitely not something that would be encouraged for heart health.
So we mentioned wine, we mentioned fish… Olive oil is another popular one for sure with the Mediterranean diet.
Which brings us to something popular in the vegan space, which is the “SOS diet,” otherwise known as the salt, oil, sugar free (diet).
It’s kind of trending a little bit.
And I just want to know from you, Cole, do you think that we should be eliminating all salt, oil and sugar or should we just keep them really low?
What do you think when it comes to preventing heart disease?
Cole: Honestly, the less is better of some of those items.
So if we look specifically at salt, we see that most Americans probably eat too much salt.
So it is worth cutting back salt.
And I believe about 70% of the salt in in the American diet comes from processed foods and restaurant food.
So eating more meals at home is a great way to cut back on salt-using less processed ingredients, you know, cooking a little bit more- as much as possible.
And that is worth doing for for most individuals because we know that too much
salt in the diet can potentially increase blood pressure which is a major risk for heart disease. So that is worth it is worth cutting back on salt.
Now, do you have to completely avoid all salt?
No, because we need a little bit of sodium-the mineral in our diet- we need about 500 milligrams of sodium.
So if you’re sweating more, if you’re living in a hot climate or or you’re exercising a
ton, you actually might need more than that.
But we physiologically need sodium, which is a part of salt.
The problem is we just get way too much, and that’s where it can backfire.
Typical low sodium diets are about 1500 to 2300 milligrams or less.
And if you’re in that range that’s likely fine and that’s likely going to be a great option where it doesn’t have to be completely salt free all the time.
We just want to drastically cut back from where most people are are at.
When it comes to sugar, the same thing kind of is true. You you know we eat... (pauses)
Christine: (laughs) I asked you so many questions in that question! !
Cole: Oh that’s fine! ! I mean the SOS is easy to remember so we’ve got.
Well, the next thing is sugar and the same thing, We know most Americans eat way too much added sugar.
You know, we’re not worried about sugar in fruit.
We overwhelmingly see fruits, a healthy food despite its sugar content, but
added sugars, sugary beverages, desserts, candy bars, muffins, cupcakes, etcetera, those are the added sugars and the foods that contain them we do want to try to
But again, it doesn’t have to be 0, we can still include a modest amount of sweeteners..um, consume desserts from time to time, special occasions, birthdays, whatever it may be.
We just don’t want to be eating those foods every single day in excess.
That’s where they they start to cause problems.
So definitely cutting back, but definitely doesn’t have to be 0 in the diet when it
comes to added sugars.
And then with oil you get a couple of camps out there that’s are very adamant about “no oil” and and that just doesn’t really pan out when we look at the research.
Yes, you don’t have to consume oil to be healthy.
There’s things like nuts and seeds that can offer some healthy fats in our diet, but a heart healthy diet and a healthy diet in general may or may not include a modest amount of oil. And I’m specifically referring to low saturated fat oils.
So vegetable oils, seed oils, olive oil, canola oil, avocado oil, any of those that are
liquid at room temperature are going to be generally good options if you are using a little bit of oil when you’re cooking.
So those can definitely be included in a heart healthy diet.
We we don’t see harm from those in the diet and in normal amounts and we don’t see or and we do see sometimes that they can actually offer a health benefit if they
replace a less healthier fat in the diet.
So if you go from cooking with butter or lard or ghee or crisco or something like that, those are the fat types we really want to avoid.
And if you swap those out for a low saturated fat oil in cooking, that’s going to be a big health swap that you can make.
Now you could cook in water or or do oil free cooking.
That’s an option too, if you want to do that.
Christine: Yeah, yeah, those are options for sure.
I I think also like when people are trying to eat healthier, for example-they’re coming from,
you know, a really less optimal diet, (if we can put it that way), to something that’s healthier and you know, adding a little oil to your vegetables, you know, sautéing them, whatever, that just makes them more palatable for a lot of people.
Christine: And so that’s a bit of the issue I have with with this (you know just everyone needing to go on this diet for sure).
Christine: Well, is there anything else (before you go), is there anything else we didn’t cover
that-You’re like, oh, everyone- every vegan out there needs to know this about heart health nutrition.
Cole: Yeah, I mean specifically to vegans, again, we want to be eating this high fiber diet
based on a variety of plant foods.
We do want to cut back our saturated fat from things like coconut or palm oil.
We want to avoid trans fats or the hydrogenated oils that are largely found in
processed foods like commercially prepared baked goods, pie crusts, margarines, things like that.
We probably want to cut back on the salts and added sugars and then you know we kind of mentioned alcohol.
One thing that would be worth mentioning is: vitamin B12.
Being deficient in B12 can lead to an increase in something called homocysteine, which we know can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease over time.
So ensuring an adequate source of vitamin B12 is definitely important for vegans to do.
Vitamin D might be worth considering supplementing because we’re seeing more and more that that appears to be important.
Or at the very least just get tested and see where your levels are.
But those are things that all kind of play a role into heart health that are more specific to the vegan population that’s that’s worth mentioning I think.
Christine: Yeah that’s that’s awesome that you mentioned the connection with heart health and and vitamin B12 too. We don’t often talk about then that’s so true. Something we need to keep in mind.
So yeah, talk to your doctor about supplementing.
And another thing I wanted to ask are there any good resources for vegans that you recommend about heart health? Like websites or good IG (Instagram) pages?
Cole: Yeah, that’s a good question.
Christine: Totally didn’t send you that one (ahead of time)!
Cole: That’s OK. I mean, for vegans, when I look at vegans specifically-there is the vegan society, which has a website, I think they’re based out of the UK.
They have a website that’s really good.
They, they have a lot of information about certain nutrients.
So if you’re looking at
omega 3 fats, like which foods are rich in those, they typically provide good resources in that.
That’s a really good reference for for just overall health, but it’s geared towards heart health.
I’m trying to think if there is any other specific outlets, I mean on social media, I think Simon Hill from the plant proof does a great
job of interpreting the data on various topics including LDL, cholesterol and and all those types of things.
So he’s a good voice online that I feel like is is pretty reasonable and consistent and and a great resource.
Those are maybe the two kind of just off the top of my head.
Christine: OK, cool.
And just a little fun ending question then for you too.
If you could have any dish at this moment, what would it be?
Plus, you get to pick one famous vegan to eat it with, and this person has to be alive currently.
So who are you eating this awesome dish with?
Cole: The awesome dish- don’t know. I love pasta. So I’m a big fan of just a whole grain pasta with like a red marinara sauce and you know that I’m pretty content with that.
Maybe some beans in there and some sautéed spinach that’s kind of my, one of my go-tos for a quick healthy meal.
So I’ll say that as my my dinner, a red pasta tomato based pasta dish. and who I would be eating with, I honestly, I don’t know!
I looked at like famous vegans and you know, some of them are celebrities and I don’t really pay attention to the celebrity world.
Some of them are, you know, musicians and whatnot that I don’t really listen to.
So I don’t have like a famous vegan that I would love to sit down and chat with for a couple hours.
Cole: I can’t think of it, honestly.
Christine: Wow that’s the first I got so far!
Cole: It’s kind of lame so..
I mean, there’s some that seem like they’re they may be cool people, but I don’t know enough about them to to maybe want to sit down and have to have a dinner.
Christine: No one you’d want to meet up in a public place?
Cole: Yeah! I don’t really get too geeked out on celebrities and and whatnot and famous people like that, so.
I don’t know, I guess I’m going to be eating by myself, which probably isn’t good for my health, but alright. (they laugh)
Christine: Well, you get to just enjoy it all by yourself. All right.
Well, thank you so much, Cole.
And let everybody know where they can find you before you go.
Cole: Yeah, the, my main outlet is on Instagram and it’s the eco dietitian with the little
period in between the eco and dietitian. So that’s my my profile and I post recipes.
Some memes I post, a lot of hiking photos and videos, and just kind of a a way a little creative outlet.
So yeah, check it out if that’s something you think you’re interested in.
Christine: He has some stunning photography on his Instagram page, so even if you’re not into the plant based thing,
definitely check him out for that.
Cole: Thank you!
Christine: Like have you ever considered doing that? Like a side hustle- like photography?
Cole: Not really…
I’ve taken some classes with the actual camera, but honestly I don’t use an actual camera that much anymore because the phone cameras have gotten so good, so easier to just take that when I go hiking or or traveling or whatnot, so.
Christine: So those are from your phone. Wow!
Cole: Yeah. Pretty much all the ones in the past few years are just phone photos.
Christine: Wow. Well, that’s cool. I have a really old iPhone, so it’s the camera quality...Isn’t that great?
Well, cool! So definitely check Cole out on Instagram, and… I guess that’s it.
Thank you so much for coming, Cole.
Cole: yeah! Thanks! Hopefully you find that useful for heart health, for vegans and anyone else.
Thanks for having me!
Hey friends, I hope you enjoyed that awesome conversation I had with Cole!
This just helps us get out to more people.
Check out the plantpoweredyou.com for resources about vegan nutrition.
Until next time!
Did you enjoy that episode and want to hear other totally rad conversations with fellow dietitians who also happen to be vegan, check out our other episodes on the podcast!
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