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Former president Bill Clinton turns 66: 'A vegan diet saved my life'

Former U.S. president Bill Clinton celebrated his 66th birthday on Aug. 19, 2012, and is leaner and healthier than ever, thanks to a vegan diet.

Clinton switched to a plant-based diet in 2011 and lost 24 pounds several months later. The previous year, he had two stents placed in his coronary artery after having undergone a quadruple heart-bypass surgery in 2004.

Bill, who has a family history of heart disease and struggled with weight for years, credited his new diet for saving his life.

"I was lucky I did not die of a heart attack [in 2004]," Clinton told CNN. After his first surgery, the former president cut back on calories and reduced his dietary cholesterol intake but continued to eat the hamburgers, steaks, chicken enchiladas, barbecue and french fries he so loved.
Clinton's veganism has inspired other celebrities to embrace a vegan diet, including actress Michelle Pfeiffer and MSNBC host Rev. Al Sharpton, who has lost almost 50 pounds since 2010.

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