Doctor's Note

You can download the Plant Based Diet booklet here.

So exciting to see the practice of lifestyle medicine. For more on this new medical specialty:

Unfortunately much of medical training is substandard when it comes to nutrition:

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  • Mmmeat

    I am sure it probably tastes ok but the black beans with kale and yams -looks totally unappealing. Consideration should be given to the presentation of food. The experience of food is more than just nutrients packed in different colours and textures put on a plate. Make food look nice and people are more likely to eat it. :-)

    • Sally

      I love the presentation of three brightly colored healthy foods!

      • Geoffrey Levens

        Mmm perhaps somebody’s palette is jaded and conditioned to eating a very limited and adulterated diet I think

        • Elizabeth Kiessling


      • Lori

        Funny, I love the combination of the kale, beans and yams and the colors are beautiful. I also know for a fact that they are delicious together too. :)

      • Guest

        Vegetarian 40 years, vegan 22… we eat more versatile and delicious then most corpse, period & secretion eaters :D

    • brad

      i would eat that plateful in a heartbeat

    • laguna

      How appealing is a piece of a dead animal on your plate?

      • Mmmeat

        That would depend if one ate meat or not and obviously how it was presented and cooked. Meat presented in the same way as above would be just as unappealing (less if one is vegan ) . Here is some science on food presentation

        Really presentation is important and should not be discounted.

        • Adrien

          I agree with you, since I worked in the field of culinary photography, my dad’s specialty. I answered to Kate-Frances to say why I think the photos are the way they are.

        • yogachick

          The only way to make a chunk of flesh look appealing is to top it with a bunch of beautiful, colorful, plant foods.

    • gracie

      I agree. They should have used a professional food photographer and stylist. People (including myself) will often look at a picture before text and will decide whether to continue based on the attractiveness of the image.

      • tbatts666

        I’m going to stereotype plant based eaters here.

        In my experience most plant based eaters are sort of rugged people. They don’t care too much about aesthetics.

        Maybe that affects advocacy?

        • Jackie Thomas

          well, we’re not talking about plant based eaters. And…the meat eaters probably do care about aesthetics.

        • greyjaybee

          If you mean they tend to think about what they are consuming rather than how pretty something looks, then yes I have to admit to being rather that way.

    • yardplanter

      it’s the green plate….

      • Diane

        A bright sunny yellow plate would have looked much better! =)

    • Nicole Nieddu

      Imho, it looks delicious!! Before I went whole-food-plant-based, it would never have appealed to me. But now, omg. My tummy is growling. :) I just made some sweet potato/kale/black bean enchiladas. :p

      • Michelle Vela

        Hey-sounds awesome!!! Recipe please?

    • Carol J

      To me, the food looks great, but I see your point. The photo has an institutional look about it. They’re just starting out. Maybe the next time they can make the picture sing.

    • Jacquie

      Seasonings used can make a big difference to whether you enjoy the food or not.

    • b00mer

      I have to agree. The photography itself is poorly done, and personally, despite the fact that I eat all those foods, I never eat them in that sort of configuration. The average SAD eater may be more enticed were those foods made into a sweet potato black bean burger, some sort of pasta dish, chili, etc. Something really tasty looking with a caption to indicate what they’re made out of. I’m a serious bean eater but even I never just eat a pile of plain beans. If this were my first introduction to a wfpb diet, I would not be interested. And even as a seasoned wfpb eater, I’m still not interested… I’ll take my incredibly seasoned and aromatic chickpea ratatouille and crusty bread for lunch today thank you.

      But despite the poor presentation, I hate to sound like a negative nelly. I’m sure the photos will get better. Overall this is pretty great news. Many if not most people I encounter (even professional scientists) still have serious misconceptions about the healthfulness of a vegan diet.

    • Robert

      Having just read the 47 comments which mostly focus on the photography in the brochure, I was wondering why this huge shift in nutrition policy isn’t a major news story. Searching online I only found vegetarian and animal rights groups reporting on this new policy, ie; nothing in the NYTimes or any other large media provider. Also wondering why Dr. Greger reports this over a year after the fact. Anyway congratulations for your ongoing contribution Dr. Greger!

      • b00mer

        I know he makes each “season” of videos in advance, then releases them one by one, so he may have made this one quite a while ago.

        I also noticed but was not surprised by the lack of media coverage when this came out. 9 million people, that’s about 1 in 30 Americans that this directly affects, and not a peep about it. What a shame.

      • tbatts666

        It would create cognitive dissonance. That probably wouldn’t help readership at the Times.

        Maybe that is why we haven’t seen it so widely reported on. Good thing we got people like Dr G tootin the horn.

    • INDEED! These pics are white-knuckle healthy food pics! Very unappetizing to me! Food photography is a specialty and Kaiser can afford it!

    • Gaz

      I think you judge the food on today’s standards, where absolute junk food is dressed up to look amazing. It’s trickery.
      Good looking food, is that that is nutritionally good, to me.

    • Jay M

      It’s the aqua-colored plate that looks unappealing. The food itself looks gorgeous.

    • A View From the Nest

      Riiggghhhht . . . . and a dead carcass, and other slop is really appealing. Idiot.

      • Thea

        A View Form The Next: Name calling is not allowed on this site. This site is for supportive and scientific dialog. Feel free to express your opinion without resorting to personal attacks.

    • miriammarcus

      What? this looks delicious!

    • stargazer

      it made me hungry.

    • Pete

      This looks delicious to me too…Food photography pimping (aka “putting lipstick on a pig”) is essential for serving up animal carcasses and feces. Real healthy foods don’t need it though.

    • Karin Parsons Curran

      I totally agree. The colour of the plate is only the first thing wrong with that presentation – government institutional 1950s blue is not something that says “yum” and the “plop in on the plate like school lunches” just makes it worse. Honestly, it looks seriously unappealing (and I eat this way!!). It’s kind of no wonder many people think WFPB eating is unpalatable.

    • Plant-Based Diet Girl

      Heart Disease, Colon Cancer, High Blood Pressure, etc., are what’s unappealing to me. This plate of food is beautiful!!!

    • tbatts666

      It does look really appealing to me.

      But I think mmmeat has a point. If we are going to try to encourage a plant based diet as a way to make our communal health better, we need to modify our standards.

      I got a big mess of veggies going in the slow cooker right now, but not everyone views the world through veggie eyes.

    • BeeZeeEcoKid

      Vegetarian 40 years, vegan 22… We eat more versatile & delicious then most corpse, period & secretion eaters :D

    • Lizzie

      I think it looks totally delicious!!

    • Rebecca Pearl-Smith

      I would eat the HECK out of this dish! The picture was taken with flash which always makes things look a little less appealing. Even the most scrumptious food can look like crud with weird lighting!

    • Roberta Peck

      It looks absolutely delicious to me.

  • Veganrunner

    Wow. Very impressive. Good job Kaiser!!

  • Laloofah

    Kaiser has really been in the lead on this for a while. Kudos to them – and to Dr. Greger and all his colleagues who practice lifestyle-based medicine, encouraging (and embracing themselves) this healthy and compassionate way of eating and living!

  • tbatts666

    Wow. I want to go work for Kaiser!

  • NG

    I think it is really great Dr. Greger’s website was cited by Kaiser Permanente. A lot more people will now be exposed to benefits of a plant based diet. Dr. Greger: congratulation and thank you very much for your hard work and everything you and your team do for all of us following your work!

  • littlethinker

    I attended a nutrition seminar sponsored by my local Kaiser. It was presented by a young RD who was not aware of the website. She wrote the website address on the flip chart and pretty much everyone wrote it down. People are “starving” for great nutrition resources. Glad to see Kaiser put your site on their list of recommended things to do to go plant-based. I consider myself an ambassador of the website as I have given it to many people looking for knowledge on going plant-based. It speaks to the issue so much better than I ever could.

    • guest

      I know, me too. I am so excited to see this database of knowledge be further extended to the population! I pray daily that it can one day become as routine a check for medical questions as webMD.

  • Shar Hakimzadeh

    I actually saw this document few months ago.

    Here’s the actual URL to the Kaiser’s “The Plant-Based Diet”

    • Brenda

      Thank you so much for this!

    • Thea

      Here, here! Thanks for this link!

    • Having worked with KP for 30+ years I am glad to see that they are starting to get the message out. The booklet is well done and a major step in the right direction. I hope the next iteration will correct some of the many errors in the section discussing selected nutrients such comments on fatty fish helping heart disease and the difficulty in converting plant based omega 3’s… but on balance a big step forward. Thanks for posting the link.

    • waynecarrigan
  • Charlie Behrens

    This is great news! Thanks for highlighting it.

    BTW: There’s a typo on the screen just before the end of the video showing the “Year in Review” videos. They should be labeled 2013 and 2014.

    • Brenda

      Year in Review – 2014 isn’t over yet, those are the two previous years in review. :)

      • Charlie Behrens

        Thanks Brenda. I guess the use of “2012-2013” and “2013-2014” as is used on the homepage is too big for the little screenshot.

  • Paul Harry Stevens

    What?! They’s no meat on thet plate!!

    • Bruce Cropley

      Well spotted!

  • Misterimpatient
    • Lido Lani

      Well, changes like this don’t happen throughout a large system overnight.

    • RIght, this is the Kaiser we see! “Dig into Dairy,” indeed!

    • Misterimpatient

      I note that the post I linked to has this footer:
      Reviewed by: Carole Bartolotto, MA, RD, June 2014

      • Thea

        Misterimpatient: Perhaps a case of the right hand not knowing what the left had is doing? Or perhaps a case of the brain at war with the heart?

  • Thea

    Quote from the video: “They offer tips to get started, meal plan ideas, and, I’m honored say, good taste in websites.”
    Me: Last but not least!!!

    I loved this video. It was uplifting. Nice to get some good news about now.

    • val

      INDEED! It may be a start to turning this ship around…and we need all the help we can get here in America…so much DIS-ease and suffering that is not necessary.

  • Dr. Duda

    The second source cited looks intended to be a link to the patient education material, but it links to the same manuscript as the first link. I would like to see that patient education material. Am I missing something?

    • Veganrunner

      Shar links it above. PDF file.

    • Thea

      Dr. Duda and Gayle: Tommasina from NutritionFacts has kindly fixed that second link. Thank you both for pointing out the problem.

      And thanks again to Shar for tiding us over.

  • Maor Kadosh

    thank you so much Dr michael greger, i saw their findings a few weeks ago and i wished someone would simplify their findings.
    thank you for promoting a heathier life style that it isn’t part of the ordinary (drug prescription) way. your videos and articles are inspiring! and helps promote an compassionate life style!!

  • SeedyCharacter

    Exciting to see Kaiser promoting plant based diets and it makes sense given that they profit when they reduce patient visits and procedures. I’m not sure how widespread the practice is, but a Kaiser in San Francisco featured a weekly farmer’s market.

  • Wegan

    The paleos are rolling in their early graves.
    But 2-4 fruit per day. What’s that based on?

  • Kate-Frances

    Excellent advice, but I think the photographs of the food and the meal suggestions in the booklet are enough to put anybody off! Imagine presenting someone used to eating, oh I don’t know…a Big Mac and fries, say, with a plate of plain Bok Choi and a slab of tofu and a mound of plain brown rice instead. How long are they likely to stick with their new meal plan?!
    There are so many amazing recipes on the web for plant based foods – so many inspiring blogs such as Green Kitchen Stories for instance, which look far more enticing for anyone about to change their eating habits. Seems like quite an old-fashioned view of ‘veganism’ offered by the nutritionist who designed the booklet.

    • Adrien

      I agree. My dad is a professional photographer – now almost retired – his specialty was in culinary photography. I work with him for a little while. And I assure you that those photos could be much better. However I understand why the photos are the way they are, it give a crystal clear sense of volume and partition of the plate for average people. It could be more appealing indeed, but in doing so you could loose the educational purpose behind it.

      • Indeed! Those photos are not appetizing. This reminds me of the required “advertisements” for the first electric cars by GM, the EV. They had a very old woman promoting it in a TV add and complained they just couldn’t get enough buyers!

  • James Rivet

    Amen and hallelujah… Do you hear angels singing? You’re getting through to some people. Congratulations Dr Gregor !

  • Joy T

    This is astounding. Never thought I’d see it in my lifetime. Kudos to Kaiser and Dr. Greger.

  • Such good news! I am so glad to see Kaiser promoting this.

  • We were thrilled to view this and read the article! Alas, we saw it just after I had come home from the South San Francisco Kaiser where I supported a friend through surgery. As I have done at the two San Rafael,CA Kaisers, I checked out the cafe and the coffee shop. You would NEVER have known this paper had been published! And apparently over a year ago! I have written letters to Kaiser asking the walk the THRIVE walk, and at least offer some heathy plant based meals, snacks, lattes. I pointed out the docs I had watched enjoying their doughnuts etc. I got only form letter responses. Our three Kaiser Docs have never betrayed the slightest interest in, nor knowledge of WFPB diets. Yesterday’s nurse responded to my query about the quality of food at the hospital said they were trying to do away with french fries and have had huge resistance from the staff. And she said that there are regular games and staff competitions for which the prizes are ice cream nights.
    SO! Is there any hope? How come we have seen NOTHING to suggest anyone we have met at Kaiser have ever heard of these directives?

  • What a fabulous, good news video! Thank you, Dr. Greger. As someone mentioned below, I too, was unable to get to the second source,

    Kaiser Permanente. The Plant-Based Diet a healthier way to eat. Kaiser Permanente 1-20.

    • Tommasina

      Gayle, have you tried the link in the Sources Cited tab? I hope that helps!

  • Janie

    With a history of hemorrhagic stroke, should one eat a diet higher in fat and cholesterol? I just read a study that links low cholesterol and hemorrhagic stroke.

    • b00mer

      Hi Janie, could you post a link to the study so we can take a look?

    • mbglife

      I don’t have a link but I remember Dr Joel Fuhrman saying in a video or paper that people on an optimum vegan diet who are eating only good fats and oils (like whole food nuts and avocado) are at a higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke, because as a group, their blood tends to be thinner. But he goes on to say that that the risk is minimized by reducing sodium intake to reduce permeability of the blood vessels.

  • macbev

    So glad to hear this, BUT it is easy for Kaiser to publish some materials, but they are not really pushing their doctors to do this. It needs to become part of the treatment standards physicians use. The active promotion of plant based eating needs to be a REQUIREMENT, not just a suggestion. I left Kaiser, because I found a physician who really supports plant-based eating.

  • Tan

    LOL, “good taste in websites”. One more for the good guys.

  • K. Garcia

    Is there a way to get one of these publications? I would like to use it in my teaching.

  • Suzanne

    I agree Mmmeat….I am a chef. NEVER serve food on a blue plate. No matter what it is it will always look unappealing. Kaiser should have looked me up to prepare a dish from my healthy cookbook, The Passionate Vegetable.

  • HemoDynamic, M.D.


    • Thea

      Your lack of enthusiasm is so disappointing. ;-)

  • Confused about diet

    Dear Dr.Gregor,

    I have been following the 80/10/10 diet “to a T” for 4 years (raw vegan carb based diet), and I was doing great until last year, then I suddently started loosing so much weight that I now are so thin that I look ill. My question is: since I havent changed my diet, why is this happening? And what changes should I apply to reverse this process? Should I switch to a cooked diet? Maybe follow Dr.McDougall’s dietary recomendations for instance?
    Your advice is much appreciated.

    • Your history of sudden weight loss is concerning. I would work with your physician(s) to help figure out what is going on. If you can obtain an accurate diagnosis then you will be more likely to make the best decision. Good luck.

  • JoAnn

    My friend who works at Kaiser says they have promoted a plant based diet for 5 years and that some doctors think their patients need more protein than a plant based diet provides. So they don’t agree with what their employer, Kaiser, is promoting. Is this true? How many of their doctors actually suggest a Plant Based diet to their patients? How can doctors continue to promote the protein myth?

  • Unfortunately, the facts are that it takes an average of 17 years for physicians to come around to changing their opinions after that facts are out. For example, lots of doctors still think saturated fats are bad, even though the AHA now admits they are not.

    On the bright side, the suggested diet seems much better than the USDA diet.

  • michmav

    Could this be a coincidence with the fact that Obamacare came into play? More common sense care equal less bills that the government will have to pick up. Either way, its good to see this is making it into the mainstream medical field.

  • Sandra Yamashita

    Where can I get my hands on this pamphlet? Not for myself, as I am a new/returning vegan. But for my father who has had prostate cancer. Suffers from Lupus and Rheumatoid Arthritis. He eats animal products at every meal and I just know if he had access to this information he’d feel better and might even reverse some of his conditions.

  • Jeeee-en

    That looks like diarrhea.

  • MarkMelchiorre

    I have a patient with pre-diabetes. Her Kaiser doctor had her attend a diabetes prevention nutrition class at Kaiser Sunset Los Angeles last week. This booklet was not presented nor was plant based diet recommended. They got the 3 tennis balls of fruit, protein that fits the palm of your hand talk. Sad. At least she got the booklet and links from me!

    • Thea

      MarkMelchoiorre: She is lucky to have you in her life.

  • Lori C

    We eat with our eyes first. I’m not finding that image terribly appealing either my friend, especially on the seafoam-colored plate. In attempting to win over non-vegans, one could certainly do so much more with presentation, cooking techniques and garnishes. Check out’s plant-based cooking course. There is a feast for the eyes, body and soul.

  • Brianna

    Wow great way to make people sick so you have to treat them…..I see many nutrient deficiencies and diabeties on that plate..

  • gager

    This diet will eventually lead to cancer and other health issues. I’ve seen it to often.

  • Bruce Cropley

    Off topic: in the email and web page version of “My top 10 most popular videos of 2014”, there are two links that should be to this page – the one from the heading, and the one from the video picture. The latter points at the #2 video (about eggs). It’s too late to change the email, but perhaps the web version could be fixed?

  • Skeptic

    Imagine if everyone ate this way! I’ve seen figures that suggest up to 70% of chronic disease could be prevented with this type of diet. No doubt Kaiser realizes they would have far fewer claims if their subscribers widely adopt this plan, which would allow Kaiser to under price their competitors and still make more money. What a great idea to out compete the other insurers…and drive our rates down! We can be healthier and save money.

  • Can anyone update with the good news that Kaiser is REALLY teaching WFPB to their docs and patients? We have seen no sign on our visits and the KP site makes it hard to find any mention of WFPB much less promoting it in the Health and Wellness section. I fear KP’s fear of offending big food clients has won out. Is there any hope? Anything we, as members, can do to cheer them on? (THEA, any ideas?) This week, UC Davis Integrative Medicine Program is making a big online splash including their Facebook page. So that is good news. They are offering a free virtual get started class April 23-26 UCD Summit on integrative…. Sign up advised to get in.

  • KaleMuncher

    How do I get a copy of this brochure? I would love to show this to my doctor. He is not in the Kaiser network.

    • MarthaLA

      It’s the second link in Sources Cited (in the black bar to the right of the video).

  • c

    My (obese) doctor laughed at me when I told her… but I cleared most symptoms of “fibro” (whatever that really is) with diet. But it was a rather extreme diet which began with fasting on green juices and sweats to detox .. but in 3 days 25 years of pain was greatly reduced, in a week I began wondering if anything was really wrong with me.. .but problems do reoccur to remind me to keep mindful

    • Thea

      c: re: “…in a week I began wondering if anything was really wrong with me…” Wow! Good for you!!!! This site contains all sorts of testimonials from people who had to take their own health into their hands and were able to fix problems that way. I think those stories are a great inspiration to others. Thanks for sharing.

  • Lizzie

    I honestly think this look absolutely delicious, first thing I thought was , “Oh, I gotta make that!” and second, “OMG I gotta EAT that!!”

  • DA

    Has Kaiser Permanente backed away from it’s Whole Food Plant Based diet recommendations since this publication? As a member, they seem to be recommending the USDA choose my plate dot gov format, which leaves 1/4 of the plate for “protein” (okay, could be beans), separate from the 50% of the plate for veg / fruit, 1/4 for grains and a circle beside the plate specifically for Dairy.

    • lilyroza

      Where did you see that recommendation? Online or is there a pamphlet? I imagine there will be a transitional period, and there are still some leftover educational materials, being handed out by doctors and nurses who didn’t get the memo? Boy, will their faces be red when they realize they’ve been recommending an out-dated disproven disease-producing diet!

  • Carl Prakaashana

    Plant-based protein? As opposed to all those plants that do not contain protein?

  • MaryClareHunt

    Kaiser Permanente has been promoting this for a year, what changes/results have they been able to document?

  • Caterina
  • Charles C.

    As a recently widowed gentleman, I would love the presentation. However, I am learning to cook for myself, I would make the same meal in one pot, the pressure cooker. Cook the beans first under pressure, about 30 minutes, then let the pressure drop naturally, then add cut sweet potatoes, and bring back to pressure, about 6 more minutes, then a natural release of the pressure. When pressure is down, remove the lid, and add the cut up greens and or other veggies, bring back to pressure for 1 minute, release pressure quickly by running cool water over the cooker. Open the lid, season to taste, (I use a variety of mostly Indian spices (cumin, cardamom, coriander, turmeric, black pepper, and sea salt, find your own favorites) and enjoy! Complete meal cooked from scratch in less than an hour, make enough for at least two meals and you have lunch for the next day! You can soak the beans for eight hours in cool water before cooking if you want to save even more time (about 10 minutes in first cooking)

  • Robert

    I have been eating to live about 95% of the last 15 years.
    I’m tired of these goofy smoothies that appeal more to taste than health. Even the Mayo basic smoothie appears wimpy.
    Let’s some of us get together online and design a 10 day CANCER (diabetic, heart, etc.) SUPER menu (like dr. Mc, E, O, etc) and RECIPES for meals and blended (not juiced) smoothies with plenty of spices watered down with hibiscus tea made from Kangen water (dr. G says u can get the ph by adding baking soda but the k water makes water taste so good u won’t ever go back to tap water.). Let’s design it based only on the highest nutritional value, not taste. Just adding the kale, red cabbage, Apple (skin, seeds and all), garlic, sour kraut, sprouted broccoli and wheatgrass and spices and nuts and ground flax seeds, rejuvalac, etc makes over A HALF GALLON AND TAKES ONE HOUR FROM washing the veggies to clean up (it wrecks the kitchen) even if u mix up the 12 or so spices in advance!!!!! I funnel it into 20 ounce recycled soda bottles and freeze what I can’t drink in one day. Next day, toss a couple in the gym bag and out the door. Plus, the recipe gets complicated: u have to add pepper to the turmeric, cook the tomatoes and broccoli, let the garlic sit for ten minutes, etc, etc. Then u have to stop by the grocery store every other day and need a second fridge. Girls won’t put up with this very long. If I still had kids and a job I could not manage.

    It is strange that u can get vegan and veggie meals in most jails and prisons but not n hospitals: They r called religious diets (I guess they r, why not?). The international food service providers and states and counties have been sued enough times by inmates that the word gets around. Too bad the doctors that run hospitals and idiots that run pubic schools are not smart enough. Maybe some do know but understand it is bad for business.

    • VegEater

      Why include the apple seeds? I try to avoid ingesting arsenic.

  • waynecarrigan

    There is a great 60 day online cooking cooking course from The Plantrician Project and Rouxbe called Culinary RX.

  • Katye Hegedus

    Can someone please read and respond to the anti-vegan information provided in this article?

  • Kater Mikesch

    Thank you for the Plant Based Diet booklet! In the comments there is a lot of objection to the food presentation/photography. If you are interested in contribution (donation) for an updated version please contact me. Though the main focus is on the important content a more contemporary presentation will give the brochure even more attention, especially from younger people.

  • Robert Haile

    I eat pragmatically. What does my body need. How can I avoid pesticides, herbicides, other toxins, pathogenic bacteria? I don’t need fake meat, eggs, or dairy. That is what I will eat. It is not that I do not like tasty well presented food but that is secondary.