The Engine 2 Diet
The Engine 2 Diet is a unique vegan diet with a slight twist – there are no vegetable oils allowed.
What Is The Engine 2 Diet?
A firefighter and athlete named Rip Esselstyn founded the diet, and wrote his best selling book, The Engine 2 Diet: The Texas Firefighter’s 28-day Save Your Life Plan That Lowers Cholesterol and Burns Away the Pounds.
Esselstyn’s book covers everything you need to know about his diet and how the vegan diet can prevent or possibly even reverse heart disease. Esselstyn’s great grandfather, George Crile, was a founder of the Cleveland Clinic, and his father served at the facility as chief of surgery, conducting years of research on how plant-strong diets affect heart health.
The Vegan Diet On Steroids
While other diets limit fats, mostly saturated fats from animal products, the Engine 2 diet takes this approach a step further. According to Esselstyn, the best way to incorporate vegetable fats in the diet is by consuming them in their whole form.
Consuming excess amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, like those found in vegetable oils has been shown to increase the risk of developing heart disease, cancer, and even autoimmune diseases.
Esselstyn also believes that these fats promote the formation of plaque that clogs arteries, which obviously increases the risk for heart disease.
Following the Diet
As a professional athlete, Esselstyn makes sure that the Engine 2 diet plan includes a fitness plan to help you improve your overall health. He believes that weighing yourself and getting a cholesterol test before you start the program will help you make your progress.
Once you do that, you can start the program – which will instantly cut out animal products, vegetable oils, and processed foods.
You’ll then be given two choices to follow the program. You can either complete a lifestyle overhaul, or the “fire cadet” approach.
The cadet method is a 28-day challenge, and it may be more appealing, especially if you’ve followed a more mainstream diet. Unlike the complete overhaul, the 28-day challenge gives you the ability to slowly cut back on animal foods and vegetable oils.
If you decide to follow the 28-day challenge, then you’ll follow something like this:
— Week 1: Eliminate Processed Foods And Dairy Products
— Week 2: Remove Animal Products Like Eggs, Fish, And Meat
— Week 3: Eliminate Added Oils From Your Diet
— Week 4: Start Truly Following The Program And Settle In
In Esselstyn’s book, he has plenty of recipes and menus, and there are more on his website. It may be a great idea to buy the book if you want to follow his diet, since it will have everything you need to succeed on this diet.
Regardless of which method you use, the diet will call on consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and legumes. Meat, processed foods, and anything with added sugar is strictly forbid. Your diet must literally be a diet that consists of only natural foods.
Are There Health Benefits?
It’s a known fact that plant-strong diets have several benefits on an individual’s health. While many similar diets don’t quite go to the extreme that Esselstyn does, there are still benefits to going heavy on plant consumption.
Using a plant-based diet to reduce cholesterol levels are still currently being studied, since cholesterol production is based on several factors, not just based on diet.
Stanford University recently conducted a comparison of two diets in their ability to lower cholesterol levels over a 4 week period. One diet was a standard low-fat diet, and the other diet was a low-fat diet with an emphasis on plants like fruits and vegetables. As you could imagine, the group consuming more plant foods saw a greater drop in cholesterol levels.
The NIH reported in 2012 that greater fiber intake thanks to a plant-based diet is likely to be the contributing factor to healthier triglyceride measurements, as well as lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
Various surveys also have found that meat eaters often weigh heavier than vegetarians and spend more on medical expenses. Those who eat meat also are more likely to develop a chronic illness than those who don’t.
The Downside To The Engine 2 Diet
The biggest downside to this diet is that you are required to supplement with vitamin B-12, since it is only found in animal foods. If the body lacks vitamin b-12, red blood cells may become enlarged and muscles may experience weakness. There may be a connection between neurological issues like dementia and vitamin b-12 deficiency as well.
This is really the only downside though since other minerals like zinc and iron can be found in many plant-based foods. Leafy greens, nuts, and legumes will satisfy these mineral requirements, so you should not really concern yourself over it.
Final Thoughts On Engine 2 Diet
Since Esselstyn published his book, the Engine 2 Diet has garnered a lot of attention and a substantial following. If you have the ability to give up the plant oils and meat, then this diet can potentially provide a significant improvement in your health.
You may be able to lower your weight, cholesterol levels, and dramatically improve your overall health with this diet. You’ll have to buy Esselstyn’s book however, since it has the most detailed guidelines and information about the Engine 2 Diet, how to follow it, and meals and recipes to make sure you can follow this strict plant rich diet.