American Heart Health Month: “Eat More Red Meat,” Says Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Philip Ovadia

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla., Feb. 15, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Contrary to prevailing medical theories, Cardiac Surgeon Dr. Philip Ovadia urges patients to eat more red meat and stop taking drugs to lower cholesterol.

“I believe heart disease prevention and management starts primarily with the food we eat. People should eat red meat. In fact, the absence of red meat is likely harmful. There is no evidence that red meat is harmful,” said Dr. Ovadia, author of “Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day.”

He bases his opinions on 20 years of seeing patients and reading medical research reports.

“After performing more than 3,000 heart surgeries, I decided I needed to put more attention on prevention and less attention on treatment,” he said.

“If you have coronary artery disease, heart disease, high cholesterol, or diabetes, my operating table is the wrong place for you to start caring about your health,” he said.

“I am a proponent of eating whole, real foods, and eliminating processed foods, including anything labeled low fat, including vegetable and seed oils with ‘heart healthy’ labels. They are not healthy for us. They may in fact make us sick,” said Dr. Ovadia, who focuses on heart disease prevention and management. “These are not standard status quo views. The status quo view is to manage heart patients with medications. Many doctors focus on heart disease management which is why heart disease is the #1 killer of Americans every year. I focus on heart disease prevention because I believe that fewer people should suffer from heart attacks.”

Contrary to popular opinion, Dr. Ovadia does not believe high cholesterol levels are the primary cause of heart disease.

“I also do not believe cholesterol is the primary driver of heart disease. My professional experience supports that, and the scientific literature supports that as well. For instance, studies show half of the patients who come into the hospital with a heart attack have low or normal cholesterol levels. I would say most of them have been following the mainstream advice. However, they are still ending up on my operating table,” he said.

“So simply putting people on medications to lower their cholesterol levels or telling them to eat a low-fat diet to lower their blood cholesterol levels is not adequate prevention in my mind,” Dr. Ovadia said “And it may be harmful.”

“Heart disease remains the number one killer. That tells me we are not doing the right things to prevent heart disease,” he said.

He bases his ideas on medical research and his personal story.

“I was morbidly obese. I lost 100 pounds and reversed my pre-diabetes. I am in the best shape of my life, including my heart health. I eat a carnivore diet and have no evidence of heart disease,” he said.

Scientific literature supports his views.

“I’m on a mission to prevent chronic disease,” said Dr. Ovadia, whose practice is based in St. Petersburg. He also sees patients nationwide via telemedicine.

In addition to his medical practice, Dr. Ovadia offers educational services to people around the country, including:

  • Group and individual coaching via telemedicine
  • Courses on healthy eating

Because 88% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy, Dr. Ovadia built a free quiz to help people discover their risk.

Even among Dr. Ovadia’s health conscious audience, 2 out of 3 people are still at elevated risk of heart attack.

Anyone who wants to avoid a heart attack can assess their own risk at

“We can take steps depending on their results,” he said.

“Dr. Ovadia understands the central role metabolic health plays in the body, knowledge which enables him to keep potential future cardiac patients off his operating table,”  Robert Lufkin, MD,  Professor of Radiology, USC Keck School of Medicine.


Dr. Ovadia is available for media interviews and podcasts. Contact Cherish Thompson at 727-472-9995 or

About Dr. Ovadia

Dr. Ovadia is a board-certified Cardiac Surgeon and founder of Ovadia Heart Health.

“In Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day,” he  shares the complete metabolic health system to prevent disease. His book has sold over 15,000 copies.

Dr. Ovadia grew up in New York and graduated from the accelerated Pre-Med/Med program at Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College. This was followed by a residency in General Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at New Jersey and a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts—New England Medical School.

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SOURCE Dr. Philip Ovadia