• http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1621151310 Nouh Alaoui

    amazing :) thanks

  • lbateman

    Way to go, Dr. Greger: this couldn’t be put any better way!

  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Thank you both for visiting the site and leaving comments. Please let me know if any questions arise.

  • http://www.facebook.com/goddardml Michelle Goddard

    These comparisons of plants to animal products are undoubtedly enlightening and of course we should all be eating huge amounts of salad and greens daily.. but it would be great to see some discussions about grass fed beef/dairy and pastured eggs thrown into the mix, to see how we could improve our nutrition (and animal welfare/food production standards) without giving up some of our favourite animal products too.

    Thanks for the videos, all very informative and thought-provoking..

    Michelle from http://www.mybigfatgreenblog.wordpress.com

    • Toxins

      Regardless of how meat is handled and how animals are raised, animal products in itself are nutrient poor and is a cancer promoter. There are not many positive things that can be said about meat even if it were organic. Its still not healthy.

  • wickedchicken

    LOL at the snickers bar. Love the way you present the data! I wonder, what portion did they use of each? Average portion of lettuce V average portion of fish? I presume. I wouldn’t be eating a whole head of lettuce very often……!

    • Toxins

      I think the measurements were looking at concentrations of antioxidants in the foods.
      “all samples were homogenized, dry samples were pulverized and solid samples were chopped in a food processor…The concentration of antioxidants was measured”
      You can read more about it here http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2841576/ on the “Sample collection and sample preparation” heading.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=706601419 Peter Heeks

        Hi, I have just followed the link you posted and read through some of the original study, including the pdf file with all of the results in. The results really confuse me! The amounts of the foods I considered high antioxidant seem to be a lot lower than I would have thought.

        For example, I eat lots of red lentils & medjool dates, and was expecting them to be very high. Apparently red lentils are 0.23 per 100g (this is a third of the snickers bar mentioned?). USA Medjool dates are showing as only 0.56, so only 2/3rds of the snickers bar?

        I am disheartened by these results, considering I thought I was following a very high antioxidant diet, I don’t have huge quantities by weight of berries and spices very often, so have to rely on my staple foods. Even Broccoli is showing as approx 1.0, compared to a snickers bar being 0.73.

        Could you do anything to put these results in perspective, or are we just consuming much less antioxidants then we might think even following a rich plant based diet?

        • Toxins

          I can only partially answer this question and say that although brocolli may not have a mega dose of antioxidants, antioxidants are phytochemicals but not all phytochemicals are antioxidants. Most phytochemicals being studied for health reasons do function as antioxidants, but many serve additional functions that are unrelated to their role as antioxidants. So brocolli may come close to antixoxidant content of a snickers bar but this is only part of the nutrient profile. Hope this helped!

          • brad mayeux

            chocolate is actually very high in antioxidants… sugar isnt good for you in high quantities, but thats a different story.
            REAL chocolate (cocoa) is a powerhouse of antioxidants (before its processed – heated etc…)

          • sf_jeff

            Unfortunately cocoa nibs don’t taste as good as chocolate bars. :) I would be interested in knowing the best middle ground. My approach is to throw a bit in, but put it in the “treat” category.

          • Thea

            sf_jeff: re: “Unfortunately cocoa nibs don’t taste as good as chocolate bars.” I’m with you there!

            re: “I would be interested in knowing the best middle ground.”
            Here’s a thought for you: Cocoa powder is the cocoa bean without the fat/cocoa butter. Of course cocoa powder by itself is pretty yucky. But there are some fun things you can do with cocoa powder that might meet that middle ground you were talking about. For example, b00mer recently suggested mashing up cocoa powder in sweet potatoes for a kind of chocolate pudding. You might also look into making chocolate-banana soft-serve, which is just frozen bananas, cocoa powder and maybe some dates thrown into a really good blender. Or another idea is adding cocoa powder to Mexican dishes, including making say a mole sauce.

            Just some ideas for you.

          • sf_jeff

            Interesting. Does cocoa powder retain the antioxidant power of nibs even if it is roasted and alkalized? If that’s true then I guess it’s well worth finding a way to incorporate into ones diet.

          • Thea

            sf_Jeff: re: “Does cocoa powder retain the antioxidant power of nibs even if it is roasted and alkalized.” I don’t know the answer to that question. I think cocoa powders are created with different processes with different brands, so there may be some products that are better than others.

            If I had to guess, I would say that just like any plant food, the more processed it is, the less nutrition. But on the other hand, that doesn’t mean that cocoa powder has *none* of the good stuff. From all of the various recommendations I have seen, it seems to me that cocoa powder probably has enough good stuff still in it to make eating it worth while. But that’s just my opinion.

        • sf_jeff

          Just to throw this out there, an easy way to add antioxidants to your diet is to add teas and herbal teas. Search for “hibiscus” (cold brewed) for a good example. Also remember that it is a lot better to drink a little bit of an antioxidant source every three hours then to drink the same total amount once per day (assuming you are not getting too many calories with the antioxidants).

          Another option is to search for the “Amla smoothie” video. If you are getting fiber and polyphenols from your diet but are a bit low in antioxidants, it’s probably easy to spike your antioxidant level with just a few additions.

  • http://www.facebook.com/kamal.s.prasad Kamal Prasad

    Has there been any study done on diet post stroke and recovery?

    • DrDons

      Hi KamalPrasad, Unfortunately I’m not aware of any studies in this area. It would be nice if there was more studies done in this area. We’ll all have to stay tuned. On the other hand there are several studies that show that following a whole food plant based diet will result in lower blood pressures and cholesterol levels which one would imagine would lower the risk of having another stroke. see Dr. Gregers videos nutritionfacts.org/videos/avoiding-cholesterol-is-a-no-brainer/ and nutritionfacts.org/videos/whose-health-unaffected-by-eggs/

  • BarbaraH

    Here’s something I happened to come across recently that might help put the anti-oxidant thing in some perspective. It’s a message board response by Jeff Novick, on a McDougall forum. I hope it’s okay to put the link here. Scroll down to 4) in Jeff’s response, where he starts talking about antioxidants. It’s very long. http://www.drmcdougall.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11112

    • DrDons

      Hi BarbaraH- Thanks for the link. Jeff Novick is one of the best read evidence based registered dieticians I know. His post points added to the videos that Dr. Greger has previously posted point out some of the difficulties in figuring out how much and what type of antioxidants to consume, how to prepare foods, are the antioxidants absorbed(i.e adding a squeeze of citrus to green tea markedly increases absorption), do they make it into the cells or their organelles through the effects of outside factors such as stress.It is complex. See Dr. Greger’s previous videos: http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/mitochondrial-theory-of-aging/ and http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/antioxidant-level-dynamics/ among others for further information. I would just keep up with the science by following reliable sources and make the best choices as you plan your whole food plant based diet.

  • Patrick McNerthney

    Speaking of Jeff Novick, I am a little confused over your opinion of iceberg lettuce versus Jeff’s here:

    Jeff’s conclusion is: “Iceberg lettuce is a healthy food. Not only is it fairly high in nutrient density, it is very low in calorie density. Yet, somehow it gets relegated to the level of junk food.”

    • Toxins

      I have heard this as well from Jeff, I am curious as to what Dr. Greger makes of it.

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Based on it’s nutritional content, it’s the least healthy leafy green on the planet, but even the least healthy green is healthier than a lot of what the public eats! Check out my video Nation’s Diet in Crisis to see just how bad the Standard American Diet is.

      • Toxins

        Ahh, this makes sense. Thanks!

      • Patrick McNerthney

        I agree the Standard American Diet is in crisis, that is not my question at all.

        In your video, you said “Iceberg lettuce, which I think of as bascially just water”.

        This is what I am a little confused about versus examining the actualy nutritional facts of iceberg lettuce. It may be the “least healthy leafy green”, but that does not make it unhealthly. Similarly, grass fed, lean beef may be the “most healthly beef”, but that doesn’t make it healthy.

        It appears at first glance that you have fallen victim to a food myth. Do you really consider iceberg lettuce to be basically just water in nutritional content?

        • Michael Greger M.D.

          Iceberg lettuce is 96% water, but that’s not a bad thing–water is a nutrient too! I’m not saying it’s junk food; I’m just saying that any other green is better so if you have a choice (and even most salad bars these days offer alternatives) pick something better.

          • Patrick McNerthney

            I still think you are dissing iceberg lettuce unjustifiably. Romaine lettuce is 95% water so I don’t see the point about iceberg lettuce being 96% water making them all that different. Is that 1% difference really that significant?

            As long as one is eating a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, iceberg lettuce is a perfectly good and healthy choice at times, even if other leafy greens are available. Some people prefer it, so it might mean that they end up eating more resulting in more net nutrients. Also, if one needed more Vitamin C or E, then iceberg lettuce is the better choice.

            I suppose if one doesn’t eat a proper wide variety of fruits and vegetables, then the slight difference might make a difference. But if one is eating a healthy, plant-based diet and you like iceberg lettuce, enjoy it without any stigma or guilt.

        • Toxins

          Patrick, I think the point Dr. Greger is making is that, yes, iceberg lettuce is healthy but there are other greens and vegetables that are far healthier. Iceberg lettuce is the most consumed by American families and it would contribute to their health if they ate more of the cruciferous greens.

  • Michael Greger M.D.
  • ConcernedVegan

    ORAC value of foods (aside from the vitamin C and E) have never been shown to have any benefit in vivo, they might be potent in a test tube, but have little to no antioxidant benefits in the body.  In fact, only 5% of phytochemical antioxidants are even absorbed and then they’re fast-tracked to the liver for excretion.  The only benefit of phytochemicals is probably their hormetic effect, as the body treats them as a toxin.  Also, the amino acids in meat (and meat has a much more favorable amino acid profile for this and much higher protein density) can be directly used by the body to produce glutathione, the most potent antioxidant in vivo.  Not to mention meat has very high concentrations of CoQ10, the second most powerful antioxidant in vivo, as well as creatine (an indirect antioxidant by boosting mitochondria efficiency), Carnitine and Carnosine (two potent in vivo antioxidants).  All of these meat-derived antioxidants are critical to antioxidant recycling in the human body, which are FAR more important then total antioxidant numbers.  Antioxidants without proper recycling chains just become pro-oxidants.  It’s great that your a vegan (I’m one myself for ethical reasons), but purposely misleading people by presenting information in a bias fashion and/or cherry-picking what studies you analyze is quite unethical and completely goes against what real science is about.  I would never try to stretch the science to make it look like a vegan diet is more healthy than a vegan-style diet that also incorporates 6-10oz of whole-food meats per day. 

    • N_

      Don’t know how this site works, if you will see my reply or not. But have you received an answer on that?

    • Guest

      You’re not a vegan. You’re a meat industry plant.

  • ConcernedVegan

    Why did my post get deleted?  Nice censorship…
    ORAC value of foods (aside from the vitamin C and E) have never been shown to have any benefit in vivo, they might be potent in a test tube, but have little to no antioxidant benefits in the body.  In fact, only 5% of phytochemical antioxidants are even absorbed and then they’re fast-tracked to the liver for excretion.  The only benefit of phytochemicals is probably their hormetic effect, as the body treats them as a toxin.  Also, the amino acids in meat (and meat has a much more favorable amino acid profile for this and much higher protein density) can be directly used by the body to produce glutathione, the most potent antioxidant in vivo.  Not to mention meat has very high concentrations of CoQ10, the second most powerful antioxidant in vivo, as well as creatine (an indirect antioxidant by boosting mitochondria efficiency), Carnitine and Carnosine (two potent in vivo antioxidants).  All of these meat-derived antioxidants are critical to antioxidant recycling in the human body, which are FAR more important then total antioxidant numbers.  Antioxidants without proper recycling chains just become pro-oxidants.  It’s great that your a vegan (I’m one myself for ethical reasons), but purposely misleading people by presenting information in a bias fashion and/or cherry-picking what studies you analyze is quite unethical and completely goes against what real science is about.  I would never try to stretch the science to make it look like a vegan diet is more healthy than a vegan-style diet that also incorporates 6-10oz of whole-food meats per day. 

  • ConcernedVegan

    Sorry, for my hasty assumption.  I see it wasn’t deleted and i apologize.

  • Freepam

    This is an old video but I am wondering why you are comparing anti-oxidant values of plants and meats. Surely people eat meat for protein and fats, and then have the plants for the anti-oxidants. I hear you that meat isn’t great for us and I haven’t even watched any of those videos yet. But I am still eating some grass fed organic raised meat because I got too thin on a plant diet alone.

    • Toxins

      Animal fat, that being saturated fat, serves no dietary purpose for us and the more we consume the less healthy we are.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/trans-fat-saturated-fat-and-cholesterol-tolerable-upper-intake-of-zero/

      As for protein, all whole plant foods contain complete proteins and if one eats till they are hungry till they are full then they are getting adequate protein.
       Just because beef is organic and grass fed does not change inherent traits of meat that make it harmful. For example, bacteria inherently grows on meat and endotoxins found in meat is an inherent trait. These endotoxins cause chronic inflammation.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=endotoxin

      Continue exploring this wbesite and you will  find that the issue with meat is far more then just contamination.
       

      • Freepam

        Thank you. I watched all the Volume 9 videos and I am convinced to try a plant based diet again. I am being tested now for Gluten sensitivity with cross-linked foods so that eliminates most starches from my diet. I’m just scared to go down to 95 lbs again like I did on the vegan diet last time.

  • Micheleski

    Hi, thanks for the video. What is the unit measure based on unit per calorie? Unit per  oz? 

  • Tush

    Doc, your video is useless. Why don’t you actually state vegetable based foods that are high in antioxidants?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      Please click on the next videos. I go into excruciating detail.

  • Moses Nachman

    okay, so let us assume that plant-based foods are far more healthy to eat than animal-based foods. but within the plant foods, which are the healthiest? that is, assuming that the five main categories of plant foods are fruits, raw vegetables, high-starch vegetables, nuts, and seeds, what is the order of the healthiest plant food group to the least healthy?

    • http://nutritionfacts.org/ Michael Greger M.D.

      I’ve got a video on that! Somewhere… Anyone remember?

  • Cynysha Thompson

    The plant kingdom is so vast in nutrients, major minerals, minor minerals, protein, the way nutrients work together and cooperate within the human body and the processes that create vitamins that it will NEVER be known just how all of it works together for the good of the human body. The VASTNESS of what has been proven in clinical studies is not even the tip of the iceberg of how a plant based diet was made for the human race to live life, thrwart disease and THRIVE!

  • Dez

    Fair and thorough — as always. Thanks Doc.

  • Carmen

    I’m vegetarian but I find this was taken completely out of context. Meat was never supposed to be an antioxidant, it’s just protein & fat. Antioxidants are to come from vegetables and fruits. So to say meat doesn’t have antioxidants is like saying plant-based foods don’t have B12 so we should eat meat. None the less, shocked about snickers & coke.

    • BB

      I’m not certain that it’s out of context. Eating animal products means less room for antioxidant-rich foods (plants) in the diet, whereas eating a vegan diet does not mean less room for B12 intake (obtained very easily with a supplement). According to the studies shared by Dr. Greger, the estimated minimum antioxidant need is 8 000-11 000 units, which means rich-antioxidant foods should be consumed practically all day, everyday. It’s harder for people to eat a suitable antioxidant diet if it’s the animal foods take take up the space in their plates… Also, a well-balanced vegan diet of whole foods will also meet the body’s needs for protein and fat…

  • WhoCares

    But the Salmon contains the most powerful antioxidant you can find in nature (Astaxanthin) which is more powerful than even Lycopene.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Chlorella also has this antioxidant and farmed salmon seems to have pollutants. Organic salmon issues concern as well in regards to pollutants. Of course the choice is yours! I worry a bit with chlorella, as a case study on psychosis is enough to issue caution. It does still appears to be super helpful for patients with Hepatitis C and perhaps others, but this case on psychosis was enough to sound the alarm. We’re updating the resources to the Q&A link I sent so stay tuned. Thanks for your note.

  • Rodrigo Cardoso