Free App for Android and iPhone and Top 10 Videos of 2015

Top 10
The second half of my new book (and New York Times Bestseller for the third week in a row—I’m still pinching myself!), How Not to Die, revolves around my Daily Dozen, a checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessary interchangeable. While some nutrients, such as vitamin C, are found throughout the plant kingdom, other beneficial compounds are found concentrated in certain foods, like the anti-cancer lignans in flaxseeds or the sulforaphane in cruciferous vegetables. So if we don’t eat them every day we’re going to miss out.

It seems like every time I come home from the medical library buzzing with some exciting new data, my family rolls their eyes, sighs, and asks, “What can’t we eat now?” Or they’ll say, “Wait a second. Why does everything seem to have parsley in it all of a sudden?” My poor family. They’ve been very tolerant.

As the list of foods I tried to include in my daily diet grew, I made a checklist and kept it on a little dry-erase board on the fridge. We would make a game out of ticking off the boxes. This evolved into my Daily Dozen. Now, thanks to the kind volunteer efforts of two software developers, including Allan at digitalboro.com, and photographer Sangeeta at kumarimages.com, no more stinky dry erase marker smell! They came up with a “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” smartphone app. Download the free Android app here and the free iPhone app here. I’m hoping it will serve  as a helpful reminder to try to eat a variety of the healthiest foods every day. Perfect timing for all your New Year’s resolutions!

Please pass along any suggestions you have to make the app more useful, and if you yourself dabble in app development we’d love your help to take it to the next level. Like wouldn’t it be cool if it had a graphing function to chart your progress, or social media sharing buttons? Maybe an Apple Watch version? If you’re willing to share your ideas or talents please contact us.

Best of 2015

Thanks to the collective enthusiasm for sharing NutritionFacts.org by our subscribers, twitter followers, and nearly 400,000 Facebook fans, we topped a record 2.2 million page views last month. But it’s not about the numbers; it’s about the people whose lives we’ve touched, changed, or even saved. That is why I volunteer my time to get new videos and articles up each and every day. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who has made this public service possible.

NutritionFacts.org arises from my annual review of the medical literature. With the help of 10 researchers and a team of 72 active fellow volunteers, we reviewed more than 10,000 peer-reviewed papers on human nutrition in 2015. Right now I’m in the process of recording the next batch of new 2015 videos. How do I choose which studies to highlight? In general, I strive to focus on the most groundbreaking, interesting, and useful findings, but which topics resonate the most? Is it the practical ones, offering cooking or shopping tips? Or those that dissect the studies behind the headlines? Maybe it’s the geeky science ones exploring the wonderfully weird world of human biology? As you can see from the below list. the answer seems to be a bit of all of the above:

#10 Book Trailer for How Not to Die

Book Trailer for How Not to DieComing in at #10 is the video tour I gave of How Not to Die. You can catch a glimpse at the full Daily Dozen list at minute 5:25.

 

 

 


#9 The Saturated Fat Studies: Set Up to Fail

Saturated Fat Studies Set Up to FailNumber 9 goes part of my two part series on how the dairy and meat industries tried to undermine global consensus guidelines to reduce saturated fat intake. The conclusion can be found in The Saturated Fat Studies: Buttering Up the Public.

 

 

 


 #8 How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have Every Day?

How Many Bowel Movements Should You Have Every Day?No surprise a poop video made the top ten! Most people have between 3 bowel movements a day and 3 a week, but normal doesn’t necessarily mean optimal.

 

 

 


 #7 Ginger for Migraines

Ginger for MigrainesAn eighth teaspoon of powdered ginger was found to work as well as the migraine headache drug sumatriptan (Imitrex) without the side-effects. Just wait to see what it can do for menstrual cramps—stay tuned!

 

 

 


#6 Flax Seeds for Hypertension

Flax Seeds for HypertensionExtraordinary results reported in a rare example of a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized trial of a dietary intervention (flaxseeds) to combat one of our leading killers, high blood pressure. Hibiscus tea may also beat out drugs. See Hibiscus Tea vs. Plant-Based Diets for Hypertension.

 

 


#5 What Causes Diabetes?

What Causes Diabetes?Saturated fat can be toxic to the insulin-producing beta cells in the pancreas, explaining why animal fat consumption can impair insulin secretion, not just insulin sensitivity. So what should we eat? See another 2015 hit, Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes.

 

 

 


 #4 The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100

The Okinawa Diet - Living to 100In the #4 video of the year I explored what would happen if you centered your diet around vegetables, the most nutrient-dense food group.

 

 

 


#3 If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?Does the fructose naturally found in fruit and fruit juice have the same adverse effects as excess “industrial fructose” (table sugar and high fructose corn syrup) and if not, why not? After you watch this one you may be interested in the follow-up: How Much Fruit is Too Much?

 

 


#2 The Problem With the Paleo Diet Argument

The Problem With the Paleo Diet ArgumentThe Paleolithic period represents just the last 2 million years of human evolution. What did our bodies evolve to eat during the first 90% of our time on Earth? The other paleo video I did late in 2014 was also very popular: Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise.

 

 

 


#1 Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet

Food as Medicine - Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with DietHands down the most popular video was my live 2015 year-in-review. In my 2012 review, Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death,  I went through the list of the 15 leading causes of death, exploring the role diet may play in preventing, arresting, and even reversing our top 15 killers. In my 2013 review, More Than an Apple a Day: Combating Common Diseases I ran through the list on how a healthy diet can affect some of the most common medical conditions. Then came From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food, in which I explore the role of diet in correcting some of our leading causes of disability. This year I covered the most dreaded diseases. What’s my annual review talk going to be about this year? Good question–we’ll both find out when I write it this summer!

 

Thanks to everyone’s end-of-year generosity, we are now powered up to take on another year of providing the latest in evidence-based nutrition. So far I’ve already collected 4,960 papers towards the 2016 batch. Time to get reading!

Looking forward to sharing another healthy happy new year,

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.

  • uma7

    I think it would be nice to have B12 (You take 2500 mcg and the next day it stays checked and says 6 days remaining or something. If you put your birthyear in the settings it could use the daily dose for 65+ year olds) & iodine (sea veggies or a 150 mcg pill) as part of the checklist since most people have no idea what a sea vegetable is and avoiding added sodium is basically a chapter in the book.

    • Thea

      uma7: Great ideas! Having a reminder about B12 in that app could be a great way to make sure people don’t miss that vital substance.

    • Alexandre

      +Vit D!!

  • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

    Amazing that for the 3rd week in a row “How Not To Die” remains a New York Times Bestseller!

    For the large community here who use this site, who are always on the ball asking crucial questions, teaching me, and each other by pointing to articles or finding that perfect video on the website, THANK YOU fro the bottom of my heart! You are the reason why this website runs, and why Dr. Greger does what he does, and why he hired me to help answer questions and join the discussion. It has been an absolute joy working as the Nutriton Director for NutritionFacts.org! I plan on spending 2016 as an active NF volunteer, as we want to see more utilization of researchers gathering data for Dr. Greger and having volunteers (YOU) fielding questions. I hope everyone continues following and learning from the best website on the planet for your daily Nutrition Facts!

    Best in Health,
    Joe

    • Thea

      Joseph: Is this your last day? We are all going to miss you so much!
      .
      I’m glad you are going to stay with us as you can. That speaks to your sincerity when you talk about the value of the experience you have had in this job. I hope, as you say, that inspires many others to volunteer and help out on the forums. There are so many questions and people just reaching out. All the help we can get would be great.
      .
      Thanks for your great work on this site. You have helped lots of people, including me. Best of luck to you.

      • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

        Yes, technically. Thanks so much, Thea! And yes I am still going to be around volunteering so we’ll be in touch :-)

    • George

      Joseph: Thank you very much for your contribution to NutritionFacts.org and best of luck to you on your next adventure.

  • davidhbarr

    Thanks to Allen and Sangeeta for developing the “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen” app!
    Perfect, just what the Dr. ordered.
    How come there is no check box for turmeric?

    • lentower

      Tumeric with black pepper!

  • H S

    Wish you had an app that would run on windows 7 …… I don’t have any devices, can’t afford a phone etc

    • Thea

      Ooh, another awesome idea. I don’t either. But I believe that there are applications out there that can be put on Windows 7 and which then allow you to run phone apps. Something you could look into…

    • guest

      …….and on Macs too please.

    • Ⓥince Green

      Not really the same, but you can try out cronometer.com. It is very useful if you want to track your eating habits.

    • Jim Felder

      It would be pretty easy to make an Excel or Numbers spreadsheet to track your daily dozen on a PC or Mac respectively. Or you could use the web based Google spreadsheet app. A column before the column with each of the foods could serve as a check box. Just put an “x” in it.
      If you have some facility with VBA, you could put an actual check box in the spreadsheet so all you would have to do is click the box and it would put a check mark in the box. Click it a second time to clear the check mark. A “clear all” button at the top of the column to uncheck all the check boxes at the same time would be handy. With just a little more VBA coding, an archive button in place of a clear button could copy the value of the check boxes to a new column in an archive worksheet and put the corresponding date in the first row and then clear the check boxes. This would give you a way to look back and readily see how well you are getting the target foods in your daily diet.

  • 1stnewmy

    I download your App this AM. Fun little app. Yes, a graphing feature would be nice to see over time what areas one might be falling short. It also would be nice if we could get extra credit or stars if we exceed a recommendation. Make it kind of game like. Like eating more servings of vegetables, or exercising for 2 hours on a particular day. The one thing that is confusing is that items listed as greens overlap somewhat with items listed as cruciferous.You have Kale under greens but not under cruciferous. Maybe some definitions could be sorted out on the next update.

  • Len Tower Jr.

    There needs to be a version of the Daily Dozen app that works in any web browsers for those who only have a laptop or desktop.

    • lentower

      Thanks for all the excellent reviews of the current medical research on a well designed website !!!

  • Len Tower Jr.

    On my Dell Venue 7, touching a square button does not check it off, but takes me to the data page underneath. Where I can use the triple pane +/- buttons to check a portion off. This is too much work/time to do severval dozen times a day.

    You should replace the square buttons with the +/- tri-panes.

    • lentower

      The middle of the tri-pane could be a fraction showing the recommended portions.

      E.g. for beverages, it wouild start at “0/5”.

  • Richard Pendarvis

    In your video on coconut oil, you stated that the main problem with coconut oil was its palmitic acid content. You further stated that palmitic acid content was the real culprit in beef fats. Could you provide the reference citation(s)?

    Considering the effects of palmitic acid cited, has anyone studied the health effects of palm oil in the diet?

    Thanks

    Richard Pendarvis, Ph.D.

  • NatureLover

    Thank you for the free app, it is a great compilation of the research into a practical tool! It is already helping me to learn what makes for healthy habits. I have a few suggestions for later versions if you can get volunteers!: 1) To give a checkbox/radio button for turmeric/spices; 2) to allow the checkboxes/radio buttons to be clicked directly (with an info icon next to each that goes to the page of servings info) rather than requiring navigating into the info page; 3) a graph icon next to each food item to reveal a graph of history for that food, and a larger graph icon for an overall foods score graph; 4) a way to enter changes in medications by date; a way to enter mood by date; and a way to enter bio stats by date to produce graph lines — e.g., showing changes to weight, LDL cholesterol, systolic BP, diastolic BP — that display right in the foods consumed graph(s), to immediately see how the foods may be impacting the bio stats. If medications and mood are quantified (eg. a scale of 1-5 for mood), they can also be graphed. (I was inspired in these ideas from Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Planner and Journal, ISBN-10: 0983795282.)

  • Wegan

    I enjoy the new app too, thank you, and I also have a few ideas: have 4 boxes for exercise 10 min vigorous or 25 min moderate. What about Brazil nut, b12, mushrooms, and sea vegetables? It is very easy to get iodine deficient

  • Great app! I’d like this app to keep track of our score for each day. That could give us interesting stats (ei. average number of beverages during the week/month, or what is our usual weakness).

    Also, I think the number of hours of sleep should be added.

  • I wish exercise was broken up into two “servings” instead of one. I frequently take a 45 minute walk with my kids, or do a fairly intense 25 minutes workout, but rarely get the recommended “serving.” I’m working on getting more daily exercise, but it would be nice to be able to get credit for what I’m doing already.

  • Mare

    I had aggressive breast cancer 15 years ago and was told that both soy and flaxseed were great for preventing bc, but not good if you’d had it because both are estrogenic in their effect and could cause recurrence in people who had estrogen positive tumors. I read in your book that this has changed? Can I really eat these things??.

  • Michael Wilson

    I love the app; I tried making a spreadsheet to track my intake of the Daily Dozen, and found it rather cumbersome. As others have mentioned, a check box for spices would be helpful. Also, Dr. Greger’s name is misspelled at the top of the screen!

  • Snarky Vegan

    I usually have roughly 3/4 cup of soy milk with my morning raw oats, nuts, and fruit. But I can’t find the section to add the soy milk on the app. Soy and nut milks aren’t listed. Are they not included because they’re both processed versions of whole foods? Thanks!

    • Thea

      Snarky Vegan: Dr. Greger has spoken positively of soy milk in at least one video. So, I don’t think it was left off necessarily because it is a processed version of a whole food. My guess is that while nondairy milks can very much be part of a healthy diet, they aren’t special enough to make the Daily Dozen. In other words, they aren’t bad, but they aren’t important enough to make “Dr. Greger’s Recommended Daily Target”. There’s no target for soy milk. There is a target for beans, of which soy is a great option. But soy milk doesn’t have all that much soy compared to say tofu or tempeh. So, it’s not included in the app. That’s my understanding. What do you think?

  • Red Health Potion

    A nice visual look to the app!

    I noticed that the images for greens and cruciferous vegetables are swapped. Greens shows horseradish, broccoli sprouts, and chopped kale. Cruciferous shows beet greens and mesclun mix.

    Keep up the good work!

  • Emilie Höhner

    The Daily Dozen App seems to be a helpful and practical tool. Sadly, I
    was unable to install it on either one of my two Android devices (from
    Google Play Germany). So, I haven’t tested the app yet. But reading the
    recensions of those who successfully installed it, I too think including
    a history or some sort of progress tracking would be a great additional
    feature.

    Being unable to install the app, I went looking for
    some sort of online summary of the daily dozen. Unfortunately, I could
    not find one. I bought the “How not to Die” audiobook on audible and
    listened to it. But for a non-native English speaking European,
    following, converting and remembering listings of insane (sorry)
    measurements in cups and ounces is asking a bit too much. If there’s a
    summary of the daily dozen somewhere out there (maybe on this website
    even), I’d really appreciate a link. Thanks a lot.

    • Thea

      Emilie: The following page has a video of the trailer for the book How Not To Die. If you watch it, somewhere in there, Dr. Greger flashes the diagram for his daily dozen. You could pause the video and make up your own page of those checkboxes. And then print out multiple copies for yourself to use until you get the hang of it and don’t need the boxes any more. Or you could use a white board and just keep using the same board starting fresh every day.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/book-trailer-for-how-not-to-die/
      .
      The only thing missing from the video is telling you how much a serving is of each type of food. But maybe you could get that information from the audio book you purchased? Or maybe you could check out the book from your local library just to quickly get that information?
      .
      Good luck.

      • Thea, thanks a lot for your reply! I’ve managed to install the app by now and ticked my first checkboxes already — not sure where the problem was, bad connection, some bug, who knows. The descriptions within the app of the different food groups and the serving sizes are very helpful (though ounces and cups still aren’t for me.) Our local library doesn’t have the book. I’m not even sure if they’d acquire it since it’s English language non-ficiton. Cheers.

        • Thea

          Emilie: So glad you got the app to work. That’s the best solution. Maybe they can do a version for proper measurements in the future. :-)

  • Sarah Ball

    I downloaded the app, its great! It would be even better if there was a way you could track your progress, track past data, maybe in a calendar or graph. And a way you can track how your feeling, in terms of mood, pain, sickness, energy levels.