Bill Clinton Explains Why He Became a Vegan

Bill Clinton shows off an all-veggie lunch spread (Photo: Ben Baker/AARP The Magazine)

Former American President Bill Clinton is speaking out about changing his life and choosing to live a healthier, vegan lifestyle.

An AARP Magazine profile this month says that the 42nd president of the United States has been adhering to a vegan or mostly vegan diet since the beginning of 2010. The lifestyle change came after he suffered complications from the headline-grabbing quadruple-bypass surgery he had in 2004.

“I just decided that I was the high-risk person [for heart problems], and I didn’t want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather. So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival.”

After three years on a vegan diet, Clinton has dropped 30 pounds, says he doesn’t crave steak and he’s enjoying his diet free of dairy, meat and fish. But, he admits that the transition was difficult.

“The main thing that was hard for me actually — much harder than giving up meat, turkey, chicken and fish — was giving up yogurt and hard cheese,” he said. “I love that stuff, but it really made a big difference when I did it.”

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