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Plant Based speaks to Dr Joel Kahn about what 40 years of plant based eating has done for him

Green Space Café owner, Dr Joel Kahn, has been on a plant-based diet for over 40 years and after 30 years specialising in cardiology, he has decided to focus his efforts on trying to prevent the onset of heart disease. Dr Joel went back to University and trained in heart disease prevention to help people to reverse their ill health before they reach a hospital table.

Dr Kahn spoke to us about how eating a plant based diet improves our heart health, what we can do to further lower our susceptibility to disease and the key ingredients to add or remove from our diets to achieve optimum results.

Would you say your decision to go plant based is around health rather than ethics?

Yes, as a cardiologist, it’s always been important to me to explore and identify if it was useful for my own health and then as I was treating patients, was it going to be useful to recommend it for the treatment of patients. That is still the primary reason but now I’ve become more involved and concerned about both the welfare and plight of animals.

Back in 1977 we didn’t hear the word vegan, or ani mal farming very often and we also had a cleaner world. Now we have polluted oceans and coral reefs, so the impact on the environment has taken a major role also.

What is the biggest threat to people who do eat meat, dairy and eggs?

I mean the biggest threat, statistically, is developing heart disease and clogged arteries silently for quite a long time and then, but hopefully not, also suddenly developing a heart attack or a stroke.

Right after that is the risk of cancer, which is increased in people who eat meat regularly, particularly what we call processed meats like bacon, sausage and baloney. So [I try] to educate them about the scientific data and come up with a plan that’s going to work for them; maybe just changing breakfast to start with and coming up with some substitutes.

What is cholesterol, what does it do and how does it affect our bodies?

We’re talking about arteries getting progressively clogged so that either the brain or the heart doesn’t get enough blood flow or enough nutrition. Ultimately, there can be a slow deterioration where people can get short of breath, chest pain, or weak.

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About PlantBased

Welcome to the first ever issue of PlantBased magazine! The times are changing and this is perhaps the most exciting time for the vegan movement that we’ve ever seen. You may be questioning why it is, therefore, that the title of this magazine has changed from Cook Vegan to PlantBased. Everything in this magazine is still vegan and we only want to expand and improve upon the content that you’re used to. However, we believe that if we are to make veganism more accessible for all, it is important that everybody feels a part of it; under our new title we feel we can encourage even more people to embrace a plant based lifestyle. Everybody eats plants. The tricky thing can be convincing people that they needn’t eat anything other than plants. With over 75 plant based recipes and ideas, we think we have the magazine that can prove to anybody that plant based eating is delicious and exciting! The food revolution is only just beginning — I hope you will join us and I look forward to being a part of this revolution together.