A Cowboy Goes Vegan to Save His Life

Rocco, a dangerously unhealthy cowboy accepts Dr. Oz's challenge to go vegan for 28 days. Dr. Mehmet Oz challenged Rocco to change his diet now to reverse dangerous heart disease. A scan of Rocco's heart revealed that he was in the 97th percentile for plaque in his arteries, meaning that only 3 percent of the population his age group has more plaque in their arteries. Dr. Oz told Rocco that he has the heart of an 85 year old man.

When Dr. Oz presented Rocco with the challenge to adopt a vegan diet Rocco proclaimed “I can't look back, I've gotta look forward” and as a cowboy he will “make the best out of a bad situation”. When Dr. Oz explained to him that a vegan diet not only excludes meat, but eggs and dairy as well Rocco joked “that's not a change of diet, that's a change of venue”.

Dr. Oz choose 28 days for his challenge to give Rocco 2 weeks to break old habits, and 2 weeks to create new ones. During week one of the challenge Rocco will detox, eating mostly raw, and replacing the protein he used to get from meat with nuts and seeds. Week 2 is titled “go faux”, during which Rocco will replace meat with substitutes such as soy and seitan. After tasting a bite of faux meat Rocco exclaimed “I'm still with ya, that's actually good”! Week 3 Rocco is encouraged to add snacks, but with caution. A trap vegans often fall into is thinking that if it's vegan it's good for you. Not all vegan snacks are good for you. Choosing fresh fruits and veggies as a snack are your best options.

Week 4 of Dr. Oz's challenge is titled “vegan meets reality” in which Rocco was encouraged to add meats back into his diet, but in small portions and not as the main course. Unfortunately, this is where Dr. Oz fails with the challenge. While changing eating habits and removing animal products from the diet can be challenging for a lot of people, it can be done. Knowing that fat and cholesterol found in animal products is responsible for many cases of heart disease, Dr. Oz should encourage Rocco to remain meat free for the health of his heart.

While week 4 is a disappointing addition to the challenge, Dr. Oz did encourage his audience to follow along with Rocco and take the challenge as well. Anything that gets the general population thinking about their health in terms of the foods they are putting in their body is a step in the right direction.

The video of his first appearance in the show was removed from Dr. Oz website.
Click here to watch his return after 28 days.