Doctor's Note

Also check out: Plant-Based Atkins Diet

Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out the other videos on avocado as well as breast cancer. Also, there are 1,449 subjects covered in my other videos–please feel free to explore them!

For more context, check out my associated blog post, Stool Size and Breast

See tomorrow's video Are Avocados Bad for You? and the follow-up Any update on the scary in vitro avocado data?

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Please feel free to post any ask-the-doctor type questions here in the comments section and I’d be happy to try to answer them. Be sure to check out the other videos on avocado as well as breast cancer. Also, there are 1,449 subjects covered in my other videos–please feel free to explore them!

    • Lilly

      Why does the Gerson therapy recommend low fat foods. Avacados are on their forbidden list because of the fat content.

  • maybush1

    So, I assume that since avocado persin “rips cancer cell’s chromosomes apart from limb to limb” and that it does so in “normal cells, too” that avocados are NOT good for you? My poor avocados! Must I really say goodbye?

    • Michael Greger M.D.

      Unholy guacamole? Don’t shoot the messenger! The ending is just a preview of Monday’s continuation of the avocado story and there is indeed some concerning data. Let me know if you have any followup questions after watching part 2.

      • SMO404

        This is truly a cliff-hanger!! :-) I love my avocados so I’m really going to lose sleep this weekend until part 2 comes out. (Great site by the way!) :-)

        • Kmbrly

          Me too! I was literally eating avocado on (whole grain) toast as I watched this video – feeling quite smug that of course the answer would be a resounding YES! Avocados are absolutely good for you!

          What should I do with the other half of my avocado? How can I possibly wait until Monday to find out??

      • Duane Crickmore

        Does a avacodes have mercury in them? I get real sick when I eat anything made with them, no, bad!

      • MaryClareHunt

        If someone viewed ONLY the first video four years later (like I did) and stopped, they wouldn’t get to the second video’s message. I’m still confused as to goodness or badness, but millions of people eating avocados and still living can’t be wrong. I’ll side with their results and assume all is “well”.

  • SArmstrong

    Bim-dependent apoptosis?? Man, I love it when that happens to cancer cells…….

  • Chris Brogan

    My cholesterol came in at 239, HDL 81 and LDL 160.  I eat mostly fruits, vegies, nuts, and fish.  I also exercise at least 3 times a week.  At 5’9″ 128 lbs, I feel in great health.  If I completely cut out the occasional piece of cake (about 3-4 times a year), will that lower my cholesterol?

    • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD

       In my clinical experience it isn’t the occasional stuff that gets us in trouble and it would depend of course on the recipe for the cake (e.g. vegan vs non-vegan). To lower your cholesterol you need to avoid all animal products as they all contain cholesterol. Avoid all saturated fat which the body makes into cholesterol. Saturated fat is found in all animal products plus processed oils and is even higher in some plant foods such as coconut oil than in butter see http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-coconut-oil-good-for-you/. It is somewhat complicated see http://nutritionfacts.org/video/extra-virgin-olive-oil/ and the other videos on saturated fats plus the videos on Omega 3’s.  So the first step in your diet would be to stop the fish… see any of Dr. Greger’s 60 videos for reasons to avoid fish from the cholesterol and saturated fat to toxic chemicals  such as mercury to carcinogens such as dioxin to other substances such as medications. The exercise is helpful in many respects but has a minor effect on cholesterol about a 1-5% reduction depending on amount. Dr. John McDougall has information on his website under Hot Topics which you might find interesting and useful. It is important to work with your physicians for further modifications.Good luck.

      • BrahmanIsAll

        not all cholesterol is bad.

        trans fat is the only bad fat. fat is protein, fish is high in fatty cholesterol.

        • http://www.DonForresterMD.com/ Don Forrester MD-NF Moderator

          Fat and protein are two macronutrients which are useful to our body. They are very different. We require two fats, omega 3 and 6… called essential for that reason and 8 or 9 essential amino acids from protein. Consuming adequate calories will provide enough essential amino acids. Cholesterol is produced by our bodies so we don’t need it. I’m not aware of any reports on patients with a cholesterol deficiency so we don’t need to consume it. If you believe that fish is healthy I would recommend reviewing some of Dr. Greger’s video’s on fish. Of course it is situational and if faced with starvation I would definitely eat fish. However, most folks have alternatives which are more healthy and cheaper. Fish usually contains many persistent organic pollutants, mercury and arsenic along with saturated fat. The fish don’t make the omega 3’s but get it from the plants that they eat. You can review Dr. Greger’s video’s on omega 3’s for more information.

          • BrahmanIsAll

            so what makes him the Total authority? most of these authorities have some kind of monitary payoff to some corp benefactor. its best just to know your own genetic make up and take care of yourself.

            I know nutrition quite well and understand the diffs between supposed good and bad fats, and the intake of complex and simple carbs. the latest understanding is that the only bad fat/protein is Trans. the rest of the old theories that animal fats are bad and cause high cholesterol and heat attacks, seemingly does not stand up any more, when its mostly our own bodies that are the creators of such. my parents have high cholesterol and i have kept my own in check by diet and working out, in the low 200s, and i am 66,

            there are pollutants in everything we breath and eat at some level. by pushing the body physically, eating well (very little white carbs) and drinking vast amounts of water. i live in a very warm climate and this time of year i easy drink a gallon a day, not having to make myself.

            do you still stand behind avacodos are unhealthy?

            galen vansickel
            st georg, utah

          • mjs_28s

            “so what makes him the Total authority? most of these authorities have some kind of monitary payoff to some corp benefactor. its best just to know your own genetic make up and take care of yourself.”

            You dork.

            Dr. Greger cites all the studies in his videos while also including the cover pages for the studies so you can look them up and read them for yourself.

            He is not a total authority but he is a great source to find multiple studies on subjects all in one area rather than having to crawl all over the internet through pile of research reports to find what you are looking for..

          • BrahmanIsAll

            “Hes not the total authority’ ….is what i have insinuated, as there are no as this site is called.

            and you are a name caller and that says a lot about your authority ;)

          • mjs_28s

            “…is what i have insinuated, as there are no as this site is called”

            ?

            I see how you are. You are a myopic person and since you think a certain way you believe that others do as well.

            I am NOT the authority and I never claimed that nor even implied that. I clearly stated that the information is gathered from many other research papers and those reports are cited in the videos. Seems as though I am saying that there are multiple sources of the data. How is that even close to me saying that there is someone that is the authority?

            Even my closing statement lays out the fact that Greger is simply gathering, summarizing, and reporting on what data is out there. No authority there either.

            Troll. Yes, I am calling you a name there because you are lying and a troll.

          • BrahmanIsAll

            WOW, you are nuts, obviously.

            you came on this thread that i posted to a month ago and trolled me! but here you are lashing, spitting and fuming like a 6 year old. all you do is name call, grow up and attempt to enter a normal conversation. i have a right to an opinion as do you. get a life, name calling fool. i have read all the studies, so why are you the one here attacking me like a little a victimized idiot?

          • BrahmanIsAll

            so doc Greger is your boss.

            in reality, there are no nutritional facts. i am sure you guys know what your talking about, and i will agree with most of it, and even though Greger donates all proceeds to his 501, he still receives wages as a principle of that non-profit, and his reputation causes the cost to rise in using him as an MD. not being negative here, but sometimes you guys over-say things that latter turn out to be unfounded, no facts. if you can present a 20 year controlled study, it gets us closer.

            i use a lot of virgin olive oil, starting with 3 tablespoons with whatever my breakfast for the day is. and a lot times i just start with a half an avocado, or oats with dried fruit/berries and a large portion of ground flax. i eat a lot of fruit and veggies, and limit my meat intake, but do eat more in the later years along with cheeses, which i did not allow myself to have for over 20 years. i am big on omega 3s, as much as i can shove in, in a day.

          • mjs_28s

            “…though Greger donates all proceeds to his 501, he still receives wages as a principle of that non-profit, and his reputation causes the cost to rise in using him as an MD….”

            And you know this for a fact because? Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe legally he has to and maybe he takes the minimum. Maybe he takes out as much as he can.

            ” not being negative here, but sometimes you guys over-say things that latter turn out to be unfounded, no facts. if you can present a 20 year controlled study, it gets us closer.”

            And then you back that claim with nothing.

            Have you only watched four videos or something?

            For starters, many of his videos do include some long-term large studies but not every health related issue or food has had long-term massive studies done. They report what is out there. As far as things that later turn out to be unfounded “no facts”, like what? You make this claim and then you dont offer any evidence of such.

            However, assuming that you are a thinker, whenever new science or a newer study comes out that supports, contradicts, or brings new information to light, Dr Greger talks about it. You see, science and research is always on going and new tools and methods are applied over time. The science gets better, testing gets better and thus, sometimes conclusions have to change.

            Dr. Greger puts his science to work in his life as well. There are several videos in which he clearly mentions that he used to think X and included something in his diet. As some new studies came out and it turned out that the previous data was incorrect, Dr Greger changed over his eating to go with the new science. He didn’t delete the old video. He didn’t hide anything. Dr Greger just reads the data and reports on them. He just puts it out there as well as gives his opinion sometimes, shows you where the data comes from and that is it.

            Your comment here takes the cake, remember you say that this site reports things that later on turn out to be unfounded, and have no facts but in another comment you drop this idiocy:

            “I know nutrition quite well and understand the diffs between supposed good and bad fats, and the intake of complex and simple carbs. the latest understanding is that the only bad fat/protein is Trans. the rest of the old theories that animal fats are bad and cause high cholesterol and heat attacks, seemingly does not stand up any more, when its mostly our own bodies that are the creators of such. my parents have high cholesterol and i have kept my own in check by diet and working out, in the low 200s, and i am 66,”

            Care to list your evidence and citations? We all know that exercise can help with cholesterol, but that said your example is just anecdotal and disproves nothing.

            No soup for you!

          • BrahmanIsAll

            i don’t need your whiny soup!

            you are an employee ;)

            i know as much if not more from personal experience of over 30 years.

            i asked the moderator a direct question about what is bad about avocados and he disappeared.

          • mjs_28s

            “i don’t need your whiny soup!

            you are an employee ;)”

            Again you lie.

            Pointing out the fallacies that you spew out is not whining.

            I am not working for anyone so whom do I work for? I’d love to hear your next lie.

            “i asked the moderator a direct question about what is bad about avocados and he disappeared.”

            You did more than that which, makes you a liar again, by omission which seems to be your approach.

            You asked a question, nice and simple. It was answered, you didn’t like the answer and your opening line on your response was “so what makes him the Total authority? most of these authorities have some kind of monitary payoff to some corp benefactor.”

            That pretty much reeks of internet troll so he stopped engaging you and went on to, I assume, read and answer many of the other hundreds of questions that are here. It doesn’t take much experience to see someone like you will just pull them into an endless string of argument.

            Me, however, I hate liars and bullies and I call BS on people. You, are lying and attacking someone’s character without any evidence. Me, I attack your character with plenty of evidence. You also defend your position with a single person sample (you) using anecdotal evidence and think that you are standing on firm ground.

            Let me argue like you:

            cigarettes are horrible for you and greatly increase your risk for disease, especially cancer.

            Yeah, but my uncle smoked all the time for decades and he exercised a few times per week and lived to be 98. All you have to do is exercise a little, Problem solved.

            Sound like a valid counter point? Because it sure isn’t and it reads much like yours did. No wait, your was actually worse. Check it:

            “I know nutrition quite well and understand the diffs between supposed good and bad fats, and the intake of complex and simple carbs. the latest understanding is that the only bad fat/protein is Trans. the rest of the old theories that animal fats are bad and cause high cholesterol and heat attacks, seemingly does not stand up any more, when its mostly our own bodies that are the creators of such. my parents have high cholesterol and i have kept my own in check by diet and working out, in the low 200s, and i am 66”

            What you did there is argue that animal fat and proteins are ok to eat, despite the science behind it, and then you use yourself as an example of someone who eat fish and what not. Then you tell the world that your cholesterol is over 200 still – which is too high!

            Your question: “do you still stand behind avacodos are unhealthy?” was also answered in the video, if you watched the whole thing. Specifically in this video, along with the other part, speaks to the avocados need to testing as the testing that was done used avocado extract / compound. Until there are more studies using whole food avocado that you should “reduce your intake” until we know more.

            Here is the other part…that was release within days of this one, four years ago: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/are-avocados-bad-for-you/

          • BrahmanIsAll

            you are obviously a crazed employee, without a life

            avocados are a super food, duh.

            there is nothing wrong with limited meat intake, a new study says so, and that only trans fats are bad for the heart. you guys can’t even keep up.

            my last post, you are totally crazy and proves this site is just a money grabbing piece of sht and makes everything right which i have stated because you have gone off the farm, and need therapy!!!!! they really need to quit lying on this site and hire more mature people, you are a SICKO. good luck promoting BS…… heeeeyaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

          • mjs_28s

            “you are obviously a crazed employee, without a life”

            Again, another set of lies on your part.

            “there is nothing wrong with limited meat intake, a new study says so, and that only trans fats are bad for the heart. you guys can’t even keep up.”

            So link your evidence so people can review it and see for themselves and check for bias, such as who sponsored and who carried out the research and created the reports that you refer to.

            “my last post, you are totally crazy and proves this site is just a money grabbing piece of sht and makes everything right which i have stated because you have gone off the farm, and need therapy!!!!!”

            See, that is why you only got one reply from the moderator. People can smell you out a mile away.

            Everything on this website is free. The thing that you pay for is DVDs of the free videos. That way they are in a convenient package but the free content is the same thousands of videos.

            ” they really need to quit lying on this site and hire more mature people, you are a SICKO. good luck promoting BS…… heeeeyaaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!”

            I am not sick and I don’t work for this site or any other. Lying again?

            Can’t you serious look in the mirror and ask yourself why you cannot actually address, specifically, anything that you are challenged with? Instead you keep throwing out lie after lie after lie and arguing about some new studies but you never provide links. Also, you have clearly not even seen the videos about meat and eggs, the egg ones are the best, in which even the USDA advises not to call eggs a health food. Even the most biased studies paid for by the Egg farmers was unable to show eggs as healthy but they lie about eggs still. Same with meat. So many unhealthy things with meat. Eating some meat now and then and calling it healthy is like smoking now and then while calling that healthy.

            Here is one link for you, but it involves reading: http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/03/26/peeks-behind-the-egg-industry-curtain/

            Here is a simple video focusing only on estrogen in meat, dairy and eggs, that contains research reports from ten different studies. Just refute one of them with facts.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/estrogen-in-meat-dairy-and-eggs/
            It would be the first one yet for you.

          • BrahmanIsAll

            http://www.cbsnews.com/news/butter-red-meat-not-so-bad-for-you-after-all/

            personally i don’t eat red meat, but a lot of nuts/fruit/vegies and my carps are brown in nature.

            you are nuts, grow up, at least get your GED, wacko :)

          • mjs_28s

            “you are nuts, grow up, at least get your GED,”

            More lies, but thanks for the link…FINALLY.

            I will watch / read it and be back.

          • mjs_28s

            Interesting but a very narrow study:

            “Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis were undertaken of RCTs, published prior to 1983, which examined the relationship between dietary fat, serum cholesterol and the development of CHD.”

            “2467 males participated in six dietary trials: five secondary prevention studies and one including healthy participants.”

            “National dietary guidelines were introduced in 1977 and 1983,”

            So the studies looked at research and data pre 1983, as if nutritional science and testing methods have not improved over the last 32 years. Then they tested a total of 2,467 males over six studies.

            Not very good controls in some of the testing either:

            “The LA Veterans study17 recorded the lowest RR for CHD deaths for the intervention group: 0.816 (figure 3). However, there were important differences in the groups at study entry. The intervention group had 12 octogenarians, compared with 21 in the control group. Eleven per cent of the experiment group were heavy smokers (more than one pack a day) compared with 17% of the control group.”

            Did you also notice that some of the fats used were not whole food sources? they use vegetable, soy, and corn oils on some of the people! Isolated fats, on a small sample size of people with a huge variance of age, no females, and they included people that were heavy smokers.

            Interesting study but they had a sever lack of a good control group, small numbers, and no females. Seriously, do you think that with one of the groups containing 11% heavy smokers that changing the dietary source of fat would matter much when smoking alone contributes to heart disease as well as other health problems?

            Then including octogenarians, those are people from 80 to 90 years of age, do you think that they should have been included? Some of those folks could have had seven decades of CVD building up so what kind of change do you expect over the time of this study when they were using things like oils for the fat sources rather than whole plant foods?

            That study, while taking lots of work into account by others, was not setup well at all.

            A contrapositive type of study to that would, without controls, to think about is this:

            Would it make sense to study how eating a full plant based diet improves the health of people but you don’t control for people entering the study that are already vegans and have been all their lives? Then narrow that study to only men.

            Its flawed right out of the gate, just like taking the normal person and changing fat intake from meat to a fat intake from isolated oils while also including heavy smokers and people, that pre-1983 that were older than the average life span by 10 to 15 years.

            Its good that you are looking at stuff like this, but you have to look out for red flags like those. Guess what? Even when Dr Greger reports on a study that would appear to be in his favor, his shows you where the bias is, such as the avocado one that got you on a rod in the first place. He clearly states that the science is not in yet and more research needs to be done. Until then, based on the testing on avocados so far, probably best to avoid them.

            Thanks for dropping in the study and bringing this back to a more civil discussion.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Angela-Banks/100001388127437 Angela Banks

    I AM LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE FOOD THAT IS GOD FOR YOUR HEALTH AND ITS IN ARE STORES
     

  • bee

    How much avocado would a person need to eat for it to be harmful?

    Are there ANY foods that u recommend people focus their diet on?  lol

  • susano22

    so am I to take from this that limiting the intake of guacamole should be observed? I am so vexed by this whole diet thing. I gave up white refined anything, grain, starchy root veggies, fast food (which I never really ate anyway) I eat organic at every turn, lots of veggies and yet I still seem to have digestive issues both upper and lower and have sneaking suspicion that I am suffering from some sort of inflammatory condition. I did not give up alcohol and have 2 drinks a day, mostly wine and 2 cups of 1/2 caf a day as well. Those are my only vices…… where do I go from here eradicate what feels like acid indigestion…. I tried all the ppi’s to no avail except having to wean off…..

  • Roberto

    Hi Doctor, my name is Roberto. I am a fruit and vegetable consumer and I generally don’t eat meat or dairy. I eat plenty of avocado howerver. I was wondering, should I stop eating avocado?

  • Pam

    Not very happy as I have been eating them almost daily for over a year and love them!!!! What’s a girl to do?

  • David/Nutritarian

    I would like your thoughts on Avocado Seeds!!!!! http://www.realfarmacy.com/avocado-seeds-superfoods-health/

  • drew4021

    Hello Dr Greger, I’ve heard that the Avocado seed is also good blended in a smoothie for example. What are your thoughts on this?

  • Howard

    Howard Johnson 41 minutes ago
    I’ve been asked to post this again so here it is:

    Howard Johnson 1 hour ago
    How about eating avocado pits? Blending The Avocado Pit = Scrubbing Your Arteries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghBJHwC-H3k Blending the pit of an avocado to clear out the digestive track! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXuthHmm2O8 Please disregard the fact that she is hiding behind a lot of hair
    I’ve been asked to post this again so here it is: Howard Johnson 1 hour ago How about eating avocado pits? Blending The Avocado Pit = Scrubbing Your Arteries https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghBJHwC-H3k Blending the pit of an avocado to clear out the digestive track! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXuthHmm2O8 Please disregard the fact that she is hiding behind a lot of hair
    Read more Show less
    Reply · 1

    ▼ Edit Remove this comment

    Howard Johnson 2 hours ago
    How about eating avocado pits?

    Blending The Avocado Pit = Scrubbing Your Arteries
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghBJHwC-H3k

    Blending the pit of an avocado to clear out the digestive track!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iXuthHmm2O8

    Please disregard the fact that she is hiding behind a lot of hair

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Yay! Thanks for reposting. I do not see any research supporting the inclusion of avocado pits in the diet. Eating avocados on the other hand offer some nutritional benefits. There are so many foods that can help “clear” the digestive tract and “scrub” arteries. Eating the pits of any fruit is probably not a good idea. Folks have tried doing this with apricots, here, and found no benefit only concerns about side effects.

  • duck-duck-goose

    It is interesting to note that our ancestors ate lots of butter, grains, eggs, red meat, potatoes, milk,etc. regularly and worked hard physically; most grew their own veggies and fruit (or picked wild, including wild greens), butchered their own meats (or they traded with their neighbors), and MOST lived well into their late 90’s.The old folks did NOT eat fast foods, convenience foods, nor store bought processed foods. About the only soda they had was birch beer and root beer(homemade);they drank switchel(a mainstay on the table before pop). They canned or dried their own food or stored it in root cellars, and predominantly ate what was in season -they didn’t get tropical fruits, as they were not available unless one lived in the tropics. They did NOT go to doctors unless absolutely necessary(broken bones IF they couldn’t set the bones themselves, etc.);cancer was RARE. Prior to that, mankind was the hunter/gatherer- and there were no doctors, and they lived a long life. It was only after doctors started doing business that the life span was greatly reduced to 40 yrs. Disagree? Here’s a fact: when the drs. when on strike in L.A. yrs ago, the death count went DOWN; when they went back to work, it went back UP! All this diet hoopla is just that…HOOPLA! Purify your soil by growing
    sunflowers one yr., then, fortify it with soy beans the next yr., and get growing! Stop worrying
    about these excessive crazies who use you all as guinea pigs to
    ‘support’ faulty ‘research’. Remember the whole egg scam? Or how about the milk scam? They ‘later found out” that eggs do NOT have harmful cholesterol, and the fat in milk was actually beneficial (without it, people tended to ‘make up for it’ by eating lots of the wrong things which caused obesity). Can’t you all see the manipulation in these ‘experts’ who claim to know what’s good for you? Your BODIES know what they need, hence the cravings.

    • Kelley Harvey

      I appreciate this post, not because it is generally accurate or insightful, as it is not. What I like about it is that amidst the ranting and rambling the OP touches on a little bit of truth. We are better off without processed foods. Agriculture today is nothing like family farming 100 years ago. Eating fresh, unprocessed produce is the best thing you can eat. The fact that the OP has demonstrates no understanding of the dietary harms of today’s animal agriculture, is unimportant. Nutritionfacts.org can bridge the gap between misinformation, disinformation and actualy understanding what is good to eat and why. Keep watching and reading.