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Brian Asbill, MD, board certified in Cardiovascular Diseases and Clinical Lipidology, had a career defining moment back in 2013 (he’ll talk about this during the podcast). One of his patients, who had already survived two open heart surgeries and was still experiencing chest pain, came in to see him after a recommendation for a third surgery by a different doctor. Brian had a book in his office by Caldwell Esselstyn called Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, which he decided to share with the patient. This book, which recommended switching to a plant-based diet, changed this patient’s life. Three months later and 27 pounds lighter, he no longer needed many of his medications and his chest pain was gone. 

This began Brian’s path to Lifestyle Medicine, becoming the first board certified physician in Lifestyle Medicine in 2017.

Brian co-founded Ruckus Health, dedicated to supporting people holistically in uncovering their innate ability to live in physical, mental, emotional and spiritual balance.

Dr. Asbill is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and is a professional member of the American College of Physicians and the North Carolina Medical Society.

“It’s complex, but there’s no question, all the data supports that eating more of a plant-based diet is cardio-protective. The only two doctors who have looked at cardiovascular disease reversal, Esselstyn and Ornish, both used a whole food, plant-based diet regimen. It works. And there are a lot of reasons that it works. One of the reasons it works is that the two things that increase your serum cholesterol levels – and there’s some debate about this and you’ll see some nonsense, really, on social media – our understanding is that dietary cholesterol, primarily saturated fat, elevate your serum cholesterol level, your blood cholesterol levels. Dietary cholesterol is only found in animal products. Plants don’t make cholesterol.”

-Brian Asbill, MD

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Key Takeaways

  • Finding Lifestyle Medicine
  • Career as a cardiologist
  • Transitioning to a whole food, plant-based diet
  • Detecting cardiovascular disease if you’re asymptomatic
  • Reversing cardiovascular disease 
  • Cardio protection with plant-based diets
  • Foods that are a no-go 
  • The 6 pillars of Lifestyle Medicine
  • Stress management tips



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