Jim. I am replying to your what would you do post separately because you proposed a fictional situation to think about.
On the morning of Friday the 13th of April I suffered a myocardial infarction. I do not know what a mild heart attack is and maybe someone can explain it. I was in pain for almost a week and thought it was gerd because it intensified upon eating. Since I was in pain I ate only legal McD food. Thursday night I went to the ER where the doctor also thought it was gerd after an electrocardiogram and heart enzyme blood test. Then four hours later another test showed I was having a heart attack. They wanted to put in a stent and I refused. A mistake was made. I mostly ate McD. and my blood sugars were between 75 and 85 (I am t2 diabetic). I couldn't be having a heart attack. Then I passed out, went into v fib, remember nothing until I was revived after chest compression and the use of the defibrillator. I said yes to the stent and now must take the standard five pack of meds.
So. You see, for me this is not an academic question. What will I do? One artery was 100% blocked and this got the stent. Another was 100% blocked but had built collaterals. One artery was 50% blocked and a fourth was between 60 and 70% blocked. Had the MI happened at home they would have found my body. I am glad I decided to go to the hospital. I almost waited until morning.
I think I was lulled into complacency by my very excellent blood sugar numbers. I hadn't had an HbA1c in quite a while but a test at the hospital showed an HbA1c of 5.4. Total cholesterol 166, HDL39, LDL 103, Triglycerides, 88. Fuhrman says a diabetic should eat fish twice a week, which I did. I did this for the B12 to avoid taking an unregulated, non standardized supplement. On Easter I had a little ham. Sometimes at my daughter's I will have a handful of chips that are always present--five kids,lots of snacks.
So what will I do? I cannot bring myself to try a high fat low carb way of eating---yet. I am staying with my daughter and have been eating vegetables, beans, potatoes and sweetpotatoes, some whole grain sprouted corn tortillas made with nothing but corn and lime, some oatmeal, some fruit. Another blood test in two weeks.
Did the diabetes doom me to an MI? Esselstyn talks about selective reversal of blockages. Does this mean that some could reverse but some could progress? Excuse me for being a doubting thomas but does everyone who follows the plant based diet 100% avoid an MI?
What about Dr. Davis and his track your plaque program? I believe he has published in peer reviewed journals and has had success with his very low carb program but I have not read any of his articles. Although anecdotal, I do know someone via correspondence who is healthy on a high fat almost ketotic diet for the past 8 or 9 years. Is this the secret to longevity and absence of heart disease? Or is he lucky. Is a plant based diet the secret or are those successful on it lucky?
For the time being, I will eschew all animal products, fats and oils and dairy. A more stringent version of what I have been doing. Will it make a difference? What damage is being done by the drugs I am forced to take? I will be followed by blood tests now since I have fallen into the hands of cardiologists whose diet advice comes on the printed sheet they handed me upon discharge--eat lower fat and lower cholesterol. My question about diet earned a patronizing smile. Will good numbers mean no more blockage or actual reversal? Excuse me for being skeptical. What I do now is no longer a matter of polite debate but of life and death.