Doctor's Note

This is part two of my five-part video series. If you’re just joining the fun, make sure you go back and check out the first installment: Are Green Smoothies Good for You?

Coming up to settle the issue once and for all (until new science comes out, that is), the upcoming final three are:

Frankly the more beans, the better, however you get them:

What about the phytates though? They’re good for you!

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  • Tobias Brown

    You point to the downsides of rice flour. Does this apply to wheat flower as well? Should I be concerned about insulin issues if I eat a considerable amount of whole wheat flour bread, the six grain version which also contains whole grain parts in addition to the flour?

    • SeedyCharacter

      I’ve heard that if you can buy sprouted no-flour whole grain breads such as Alvarado Street Bakery (sold at Trader Joe’s with their label on it–many varieties) and Ezekial, it’s much better in terms of blood glucose spiking.

      • largelytrue

        Sprouted bread is somewhat like eating bread made with malted grain, no? Which product are you talking about as being no-flour and does it seriously not contain pulverized grain (i.e. flour) of any kind?

        • Thea

          largelytrue: re: “does it seriously not contain pulverized grain (i.e. flour) of any kind?” Having seen and tasted the bread in the past, I had assumed this was true, but your question made me want to check. For what it’s worth, I found:

          “We use absolutely no flour. Studies have shown that grinding grains into flour increases the surface area upon which enzymes in the body can work to more quickly convert starch into glucose.”
          http://www.foodforlife.com/about_us/ezekiel-49

          If you are curious and have a Trader Joes near you, you can get this bread from them. (At least you can at my Trader Joes.)

          • Thea

            I also found this quote on their FAQ page:

            “Q: How can Food for Life make bread without flour?

            A: We start with whole, certified organically grown grains, beans and seeds, and sprout them in water. Then, we take the freshly sprouted live grains and slowly mash them, mix them into dough in small batches and slowly bake into bread.”

          • Charzie

            I do this sometimes, just sprout, blend and even “bake” a flat version in this intense Florida sun! Makes me feel so creative and thrifty! LOL!

          • Nadege

            “Food for life” corn tortillas are also delicious. I really love their products.

          • Sheian

            That’s amazing! Could you make rice milk using the same method?

          • Thea

            Sheian: It’s not really the same thing, but I’m sure you could start the rice milk process with a sprouted rice grain if that’s what you are asking. What I mean is: There are all sorts of rice milk recipes on line (here’s one example: http://www.food.com/recipe/d-i-y-rice-milk-51109), and I don’t see why you couldn’t start with first sprouting the rice if you wanted to.

            But I’m not sure how pre-sprouting the rice grain would produce a superior milk product to any significant degree. Unlike with bread, with milk you are deliberately consuming a product that is not a whole food. How much nutrition boost would one get from milk make with sprouted rice rather than pre-sprouted? I really don’t know, but I’m thinking it’s not worth worrying about. Instead, I focus those concerns on the food I eat. That’s just my opinion. If you try it, let us know how it goes!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I would suspect so, but I’m not convinced that whole grain flours are to be avoided completely. Perhaps if someone is really struggling with glycemic control and diabetes then more caution is warranted, but in healthy individuals whole grain flour is fine. In fact, even in diabetics who were eating whole grain flours, and encouraged to do so, improvements in glycemic control were seen. It probably depends on how much you’re eating and the brand if bread? If there is tons of fiber in the diet already it may be less of a problem. Total diet matters! So again the question is relative to your total diet.

      It does seem apparent in order to gain the most benefit from our foods eating whole intact grains (whole wheat berries, oat groats, etc) are best. Some of the brands of bread Seedy listed below may be superior in nutrition to other breads.

      • HaltheVegan

        Speaking of whole wheat berries and oat groats, I’ve been buying steel-cut oats as a compromise between the whole intact grain and the rolled oats, mainly because of the shorter cooking time than the whole intact grain. Probably not quite as good but more convenient.

      • Tobias Brown

        I guess I’m overly concerned at the moment as I found a locally-made sour dough whole flour plus six grain (some seed) bread that I can literally eat a whole loaf of in a day. Simple solution: Eat normal amounts. :) Though I would still like to know if eating a considerable amount of this bread could be undesirable (for someone who eat large amounts of fiber per day, almost 100 grams, whole plant diet, etc etc.

      • SeedyCharacter

        My favorite bread in the world is from a local bakery (Companion Bakery in Santa Cruz) that sprouts the grains and uses a sourdough starter with all of its breads. The rye loaf is SO dense that when I asked the staff person to slice it for me, she said the slicer can’t handle it! It is a really heavy brick of a loaf and tough to hand slice, but I do still have all ten fingers and it is quite heavenly when lightly toasted . . .

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Sounds good. And perhaps homemade breads too because you can actually control what’s added. We need more farmers and bakers in the world creating quality products.

          • SeedyCharacter

            Yes, I hear more farmers are planting lower gluten cultivars of wheat and other grains. They likely won’t be mainstream for a while though–only available to trendy foodies I’m afraid.

      • Julot

        Anyways whole bread and whole pasta cant be considered a whole food since flour is always a processed product and not a whole food~

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Perhaps technically you are right it’s still processed, but whole grain flours are still better than white bread or white pasta (although even white pasta has a lower GI) and it does count believe it or not as a whole grain. You are absolutely right though ‘real’ whole foods are better!

    • Julot

      Well the video says whole flour products have a much higher GI, bread and whole flour pasta are whole flour processed products.

  • Cathy Katin-Grazzini

    While blended beans do not spike blood sugar and insulin response, do their fiber and nutrients make it down to our colon to feed our gut bacteria or are they absorbed into the bloodstream in the small intestine? Apart from the glycemic response, is it advisable to consume most of our fiber-rich beans in their whole form?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      It’s not too clear in the video, as Dr. Greger states “But if your grains, beans, and nuts are finely ground up into flour or paste before you eat it, you may be leaving your gut flora high and dry.” I would think some of the fiber makes its way down, but perhaps does not have the same effect as intact (chewed up and swallowed beans, grain, or nuts). The 2014 study on cell metabolism (click “sources cited” section to find) will probably give us more answers. Let me know what you find or if you want me to dig further. Thanks, Cathy!

      • I would expect virtually ALL of the fiber makes its way down to the colon. Fiber is generally indigestible in the small intestine. Gut flora helps break down fiber in the colon, not so much in the small intestine. According to the video, the nutrients attached to the fiber probably do not reach the colon.

      • BettB

        After my exuberant response earlier about chewing with abandon, someone replied clearing up a thing or two, and I went back and re-read the transcript. And I did see this, which appears to clear up this point entirely:

        “There are special classes of phytonutrients in fruits and vegetables
        that appear to protect against colon cancer. They can escape digestion
        and absorption in our stomach and small intestine and end up in our
        colon to act as prebiotics. No matter how much we chew they stay
        attached to the fiber. But if we use a blender, might we prematurely
        detach these nutrients? No. Even if you blend in a high speed blender
        for five minutes, they remain bound to the fiber for transport down to
        your colon bacteria.”

        So there’s your answer to this particular question : )

  • Slim055 .

    These are exactly the type of questions I want to see discussed in terms of the “finer points” of following a WFPB diet. Beans, greens and veggies in the blender is one of my favorite ways to make winter soups. But I’ve been following Caldwell Esselstyn who says “don’t put fruit in there!.”

    • Esselstyn is freaked out by the release of fructose and the bypassing of salivary action in typical smoothy drinking with a straw. In soups which get eaten with a spoon, I guess it’s mostly fructose he’s concerned about. I don’t share his POV on this point.

      • Sunshine99

        His other concern, conveyed by coaches in the Engine2 Extra program, is that drinking one’s food bypasses the chewing stage so the brain does not get the satiety signal started. It’s easier to overeat when drinking food compared to having to chewing the same amount.

      • Toni

        Everyone posting here sounds as if they are already following a pretty healthy diet, and are searching for the healthiEST way to eat. As someone who has just begun trying to incorporate the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables into a daily diet that’s been sorely lacking them, I’m going to assume that green smoothies, including fruit, are a good thing for me – if that’s the ONLY way I’ll get the nutrition from them. I’m hoping that once I’ve established a routine of buying and consuming them, I’ll branch out into eating them whole. If I’m truly going to eat five or more servings a day, then smoothies and salads are going to have to be the bulk of my meal plan for the time being. I do note that my fasting blood sugar has not come down as much as I’d hoped; I knew the smoothies would kick it up, but I’d hoped the addition of oats and the increase in beans and green veggies would help even it out. I’m not diabetic – yet. Just hovering there at the line…

        • Stewart

          Hi Toni. You’re probably right about relatively experienced people posting but we are all still (hopefully) learning. If you are consuming no animal products and add little or no oil to your food then you are likely OK and will be. If you have been doing this for some time, say several months, and still have somewhat elevated fasting blood glucose then it might be time to look more closely at what is going on.

          I have type 1 diabetes, aka insulin dependent, and my beta cells produce no insulin. So for me everything depends on diet and the amount of insulin I take. If I consume a high fat meal at night, I have continuing difficulty all the way until the next morning keeping my blood sugar under control even with a larger bolus and the basal rate set higher on my insulin pump. Our bodies have lots in common and lots of individuality so different suggestions might help you. You might be just eating too much of the wrong thing. High fat is a likely suspect.

          The development of diabetes is a gradual process that goes by different names like pre diabetes or metabolic syndrome. If your weight is in a good range and you are eating no animal and getting lots o whole food plants then things should be in a good place. If not then there might be something else to consider.

          I developed my diabetes due to auto immune disease as a very young man. Whether this was because of something the Navy exposed me to or due to my standard American diet I cannot say. Both are strong candidates. I came around to this dietary approach several years ago when I developed another auto immune disease and the change cured my arthritis. So this might be instructive in that the insulin producing capability of your body might well decline with an auto immune attack on your beta cells that you are not aware of. When the beta cells are still producing insulin but not adequately, this is referred to as type 1.5 diabetes. If everything else is being done right and your blood glucose is still a bit elevated, then you might have been at the beginning developing type 1.5. The good news is that the solution for either situation is the same, a whole food plant based diet. Without animal products the auto immune phenomenon is likely to decrease or be eliminated and your insulin sensitivity is likely to increase.

          I hope is see further posts on how you’re doing in this regard.

          • TwoBarnetts

            Hi, Stewart, and thank you for the great info. Yes, fat is my downfall; I was unaware of its impact on blood sugar. I have much to learn. There is sooooo much info available here from many knowledgeable people, it can be a bit overwhelming. I get bits and pieces of things – the videos here are wonderful sources of information – but piecing them together in a coherent fashion escapes me. Can you recommend any sort of “beginner’s guide to nutrition” that talks about all these aspects, individually and connectedly, in logical progression? (Does that even make sense, lol?)

            My weight is NOT under control; it is the most out-of-control it’s ever been, and it took a pretty drastic jump in a short amount of time. Although my diet is not great, I suspect lack of movement is more to blame. I found your comments about your arthritis most interesting; I’ve had both hips replaced, five years apart, due to OA. I can tell it’s coming on in other joints, so it’s encouraging to know that there’s a possibility I can forestall any further damage if I get my diet right.

            I’m vegetarian but not (yet) vegan. I eat a lot of cheese and butter (seldom use milk, though). Last year for a good three months, I subsisted almost entirely on one green smoothie (made with almond milk) which I drank mid-day, and dinner of either black-eyed peas, lentils or lima beans cooked in vegetable broth with spinach and brown rice. Oddly (to me), I didn’t lose weight eating that way (and now I can hardly stand the sight of a legume, lol).

            I just really need to get serious about buying, preparing and eating a variety of healthy foods, and make it my lifestyle; and incorporate exercise. It’s one thing to know what I need to do, and another to actually do it.

            Again, thanks for your guidance, and I’m serious: If you know of a good basic source of nutrition “lessons,” I’d love it if you’d share that with me. – Toni

          • Stewart

            Hi Toni. Sorry to take so long to respond. I cannot give you definitive answers but hopefully can help.

            It’t hard to teach cooking healthily because we all have different backgrounds and skill levels in the kitchen. Additionally we have problems with the historical cultural phenomenon of associating pleasure, wealth and luxury with cooking and consuming animal products. This in turn has lead to “diseases of affluence” such as CAD, diabetes and arthritis.

            One of those animal products is butter. Containing 9 calories per gram as opposed to 4 calories per gram for carbohydrates, it would appear obvious that carbs should be preferred. However, in terms of calorie density it is actually much worse than that. I was a master baker and owned my own bakery many years ago. I made one of the healthiest breads in the world. It was all whole grain and delightful to eat. A nice serving would have about 100 calories which, because of the abundant fiber, was poorly absorbed and even provoked little spike in blood sugar. It also was a nice addition to the daily intake of phyto nutrients.

            On the other hand I also made the best tasting croissants in the state. The raw unprocessed dough had about 50% of the calories coming from fat. So the same size piece of bread would be about 200 or more calories. But I did not stop there. I also would “roll in” butter that was equal weight to the non buttered dough. So once I had a finished product, about 90 percent of the calories were coming from fat. AND that croissant had about the same weight as the very healthy bread giving about 100 calories.

            Enjoy getting fatter or enjoy being healthy. Remember, more fat will -> more insulin resistance. It will give more AGEs and therefore more insulin resistance. It will add inches to the belly and derriere which will give more insulin resistance. It will make it harder to exercise which will give you more insulin resistance.

            Dairy products are very strongly implicated in osteoporosis as well as osteoarthritis and indeed other forms of arthritis as well. In addition, Colin Campbell who headed the Cornell, Oxford, Beijing study of nutrition in China declares that based on that study as well as numerous lab studies he and others have done, milk protein is the number one carcinogen in this country. It has only been 2 years since I had a family member die from cancer so I have no problem staying away from it. Having had arthritis, I now have a true aversion to all animal products. Part one of a healthy diet is staying away from all animal products. The disease from these are ubiquitous and you have experienced them already.

            Part 2 of a healthy diet is what you do eat and this can be much more difficult. How do you cook that way when you have always been taught to make it simply and of course fattening. I sure feel for you on that. And yes, I get your point about beans. So, I’m going to suggest you look in the following place for ideas.

            The movie, available on Netflix, Forks Over Knives is a great place to start. Also go to their web site and sign up for recipes.

            Then go to http://fatfreevegan.com/ for some great recipes. Also check out http://engine2diet.com/. If you have a Whole Foods market near you, they might have a 28 day Engine 2 Challenge going on that you could participate in. I think that might be a big help.

            Dr Greger is careful to not write a prescription for a particular diet other than being whole food and plant based.
            What I’ve cited above are not necessarily the best available but I am familiar with them and think you would find them very beneficial.
            The sources I’ve given you will give you the tools to defeat diabetes, perhaps completely. In any case you should be able to get additional links on those sites that might suit you better. My own wish is for a fairly short cooking school which would teach these practices and make them tasty. Until that comes along I will be groping somewhat.

          • Stewart, I followed you here from another video. I was wondering if you eat nuts and seeds and how much of them do you eat? I am reading Dr Neal Barnard book on diabetes and one of the things he talks about is how fat intake relates to insulin resistance. That was the number one thing my husband and Dad cut out in order to keep their blood sugar level under control. They do eat nuts and seeds though. My Dad had a tendency to binge on peanuts so I told him at first he might need to keep it down to one handful a day. He also had trouble drinking enough water which caused some imbalances with his potassium level. But that was normalized once he began drinking enough water consistently. But I am curious about your intake of nuts and seeds since you mentioned in one comment that you have trouble regulating how much insulin to take when you have a meal with too much fat. I appreciate your response. thanks.

          • Stewart E.

            Hi Tereza. Again I’m amazed and impressed that so many in your family are taking charge of their wellness.

            First to your nut question. They rarely contribute to a problem for me.I am good about limiting myself to a couple a hands full a day. They are very healthy when not over consumed. That also does apply to what you told your dad about peanuts. Dr Barnard has suggested that it seems like they inject nuts with heroine to make them so addictive. So this is is an area where self control can be difficult. However they are plant fats and mostly omega 6 and n 3. So unless seriously over consumed, not likely to cause too much difficulty..

            I get into trouble eating out and getting foods with added oils. Even when keeping it vegan it can result in difficulties.

            It has been years since I knowingly consumed any animal product but even plant sourced saturated fat can cause elevated cholesterol. Vegans who are not careful about this are prone to blame genetics.

            However back to insulin resistance. High saturated fat consumption will cause added insulin resistance. But unless it is from an animal source it will likely not be that bad. There is growing evidence that branched chain amino acids (from animal), works with the saturated fatty acids to induce insulin resistance and inflame the beta cells. So no I do not have a serious problem with this but with T1 diabetes small fluctuations can seem significant.

            So I will suggest that a whole food plant based diet with NO added oil, will give consistently good insulin sensitivity.

          • Hi Stewart, thanks for your reply. WFPB diet with NO added oil that is exactly what we are doing. Specially my Dad. I will occasionally use coconut oil in my cooking when I bake. But he adds no oil to his food. He used to drench his food in olive oil. :D That’s our joke now! What he thought was healthy was actually keeping him diabetic. He hasn’t completely quit milk in his coffee yet though. I tell him that it’s probably what is not bringing his blood sugar low enough. :/ But he’s doing a whole lot better. His blood sugar used to be 250 taking the diabetic medication. Now it’s 120. I am hoping he will quit the milk soon. Dairy is very addictive. :/ Do you have an email or website that I can contact you through? thanks.

          • Craigson Burg

            I hope when you say “fat is my downfall” you are referring to bad fats ie trans fats. Good fats like high vitamin butter oil, coconut oil, avocado oil etc etc are great for you!

          • Clinton

            NO OIL!

          • Sunshine99

            Hi TwoBarnetts, A good “primer” on nutrition with both the whys and the how to, is a fairly new book by Lani Muelrath called “The Plant-Based Journey.” She covers how to make the transition step by step, and provides recipe templates for easy-to-make meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner. She covers how to deal with cravings and other challenges, like eating out and while traveling, and how to get back on track without doing a guilt-trip. Her style is engaging and non-judgmental. She has a chapter on exercise and how that actually helps one make better eating decisions! She even covers mindset. Good luck!

        • Thea

          Toni: re: “As someone who has just begun…”, I just wanted to offer you some encouragement. Good for you for making this effort and for recognizing that you are on a journey that is just beginning. One step at a time and before you know it, you will be there!

          • TwoBarnetts

            Thank you for the encouragement, Thea!

        • kmlr123
  • HaltheVegan

    I’m wondering about the storage of blended Fruits and Vegetables. Does the refrigerated storage of blended F & V for a few days decrease their nutrient content significantly? How about frozen? Does the frozen storage of blended F & V for a few weeks decrease their nutrient content significantly? Are there any research studies showing graphs with nutrient content vs storage time?

  • Alice

    I hope the issue of oxalates gets covered. The example smoothie in video #1 has a cup of spinach, and that could predispose some people towards kidney stones especially if ingested daily. I read a case study of a young man who was drinking a green smoothie every day with spinach in it and he had severe hyperoxaluria.

    • Will

      It’s really person specific I think…in my n=1 sample, I have a smoothie per day in which I have roughly 100 grams of both spinach and kale…and have suffered no adverse effects…and been doing this for a couple years.

    • brit

      also curious about people like myself with low thyroid as I have read that most leafy greens raw are goitrogenic and harmful to low thyroid?

    • Phyllis

      It is person specific because there are many other factors like genetics that influence how we handle the oxalates. Also in general oxalates are a bigger problem when the spinach is cooked versus raw. Finally that’s why our diets should contain variety. There is no single food that anyone should eat everyday.

    • Thea

      Alice: NutritionFacts has some videos on oxalates already. Maybe one of these will answer your concern?
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=oxalates

    • Check out Dr. Greger’s video Volume 25 · June 12th 2015 · Michael Greger, M.D.How to Treat Kidney Stones with Diet

      Decreasing animal protein and sodium intake appears more effective in treating calcium oxalate and uric acid kidney stones (nephrolithiasis) than restricting calcium or oxalates.

    • Charzie

      Without going into all the details, I’ve found that if I eat exclusively a low fat, whole food plant based diet, the issues they warn about (eating a typical diet) don’t seem to apply nearly as much, but of course we are all different. I used to have kidney stones and barely ate greens… since switching I have been free of them and eat tons more oxalates than ever! I had a low thyroid problem that seemed to resolve, diabetes and a ton of other stuff I won’t bore you with. I think the oxalate, allergen, auto-immune, etc.. issues effect omnis a whole lot more, from what I’ve read too. Plants rule!

  • MikeOnRaw

    Loving this series. one question and a comment pop out to my mind with this one. #1 – Do people who do not have diabetes, and have normal blood sugar and insulin response need to really even worry about “blood sugar spikes”? I.e. isn’t the spike and the handling it exactly what our body is supposed to do? #2 – the binding of the phytonutrients so securely to fiber is really an important point for people to understand. Manufactured fibers are not going to get you this. It is very important to be increasing whole plant foods into your diet to gain the full benefit from fiber.

    • Julie

      Blood sugar control is important for everyone, not just diabetics. The lower and more stable you can keep your blood sugar (up to a point–don’t want hypoglycemia) the less damage the blood sugar will do to your tissues. Blood sugar binds with body proteins producing advanced glycation end products (AGE’s), even at “normal” blood sugar levels. The higher the blood sugar, the more AGE’s produced, the more tissue damage occurs.

      • MikeOnRaw

        I guess I would need to understand the interaction of AGE’s. I have a feeling that a WFPB diet would be quite protective against AGE’s.

      • Reference, please.

        • Julie

          MacSmiley. Here’s one review article; let me know if you need more. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257625/?tool=pubmed

          • Stewart

            Julie, I can’t thank you enough for that reference you posted. I’m even printing it. I have been lucky to avoid diabetic complications for the last 45 years but as we age…. Dr Greger’s videos on AGE’s were an eye opener for me. So with the elimination of the worst exogeneous sources of AGE I have improved my prognosis for a longer healthier life. However, the in vivo development within myself is still an issue. So now, I have some ammunition to explain to my doctor my need for a constant glucose monitor system.

            Your citation goes into a good deal more detail that is certainly going to be useful to me in understanding and avoiding these complications. You mentioned that MacSmiley should let you know if more is needed. I could certainly use more. Thanks.

          • Julie

            Stewart, I’m so glad that you like the article! For additional references, what specifically are you looking for? I can relate to doing everything possible to stay healthy as a diabetic, since my daughter also has Type 1. Have you heard of the new over-the-counter continuous glucose monitor coming out in 2016? http://diatribe.org/abbott-freestyle-libre-transforming-glucose-monitoring-through-utter-simplicity-fingersticks

          • Stewart

            Julie, thanks for that reference in Diatribe. I do get all my supplies through the VA so I will need to see whether that one will be available through them. Might just get it myself anyway since it does seem to offer some distinct advantages.

            Well back to the AGEs; I’m still trying to figure out just what percentage of AGEs are eliminated by removing 90% or so of the dietary ones. That of course depends somewhat on blood sugar control and I certainly will be doing more on that. My doctor did once tell me that I was the best controlled diabetic she had seen but it’s not good enough.

            So, having said all that I’m wondering if there is anything we can do to reverse the accumulation or counter it in some way. All the phytonutrients in a wfpbd must help but I haven’t seen the evidence and would like to.

            I developed diabetes for my 21st birthday (OK I began having symptoms at about that time), was diagnosed about 6 months later but did not find out for a number of years about the side effects. The Med pros just neglected to tell me. So it was an inconvenience but not something that particularly bothered me most of the time. Learning about it became very empowering and decades later I can’t get over that need to learn. There’s always new knowledge developing.

            How old was your daughter when she developed it? I’m guessing she was somewhat younger than I was since you have obviously been immersed in gaining the knowledge necessary to have power over this. The biggest challenge you may have is getting her the take the control and responsibility for being her own “primary care giver.” That can be difficult when they develop it young.Very often, I’ve noted that children feel like they are unjustly singled out for unwanted restrictions and attention. But,,, your familiarity with much of the leading knowledge suggest that you are something of an autodidact which can only be a very good example.

            Anyway, AGEs are now a major concern of mine and I would appreciate seeing anything pertaining to AGEs or type 1 diabetes in general you might come across. Thanks so much for sharing.

          • Julie

            Hi Stewart. I have always had a hunch that the antioxidants in a diet rich in vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts do help combat AGE’s. In addition to diet and blood sugar regulation, some supplements look promising at combating AGE’s, like benfotiamine. http://www.lifeextension.com/magazine/2007/1/report_benfotiamine/page-01 Proteolytic enzymes seem to help reduce inflammation and help clean out arterial plaque (not finding a good reference but this can get you started). http://www.wellnesswatchersmd.com/feature_articles/serrapeptase.php

            My daughter has been type 1 since age 8 so she understandably has some challenges from growing up diabetic. When young her blood sugar was tightly regulated, so she’s working on regaining her freedom from having had her diet and life controlled. Any advice that you can give her since you have been so successful at avoiding complications for so long?

          • Stewart E.

            Julie, I cannot claim to be any kind of authority other than having a good memory of what it was like being a child and not being in control. So take this in light of what I consider to be good principals of education.

            First I was lucky in that I did not have that total dependency stage because I was 21 when I developed the condition. But, how do you instill in someone the drive to “know” indeed to be empowered over their own destiny? Dr Greger is on to something with this site by giving good scientific information. Many, many of us have become addicted to these pages because of the sense of empowerment over our own lives, health and even destiny that this knowledge can convey. I believe your daughter could likely benefit in some similar way.

            Parental lecturing rarely does the job but she must understand the long term costs of poorly controlled diabetes. [Potential blindness, constant pain from neuropathy, nephropathy, greatly accelerated heart disease, and etc…] But, knowing the cost of poorly controlled diabetes can easily result in depression and even more lack of capability to do anything about it. So she must be given the antidote as well. That antidote is the empowerment that comes from knowledge.

            OK so far I almost feel like I’ve rehashed the obvious. You cannot give her knowledge. You can only give her tools to develop knowledge. You use this web site and referred me to an article on http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles. There might be better ones for her to start with but I don’t know them. These are great tools and certainly there are others as well.

            What I consider to be most important is for you to encourage her knowledge by respecting it. Refrain from advice as much as possible and ask her opinion. Respect is key, it is important for her to have self respect and that is essential for her motivation to live long healthily and beautifully. That motivation is not something you can give her, you can only foster it and encourage it. But ultimately it must come from within.

            Finally (I think) I must say that your daughter must be her own “primary care giver.” She is anyway but she must know it. Her doctor does not live with her. And even living with someone else, no one can possibly have the insight she will have if she has that empowerment from knowledge.

          • Julie

            Thank you very much Stewart. Beautiful advice.

          • Julie

            Hi Stewart. Thought you might be interested in this promising device. https://www.diabetesdaily.com/blog/author/GingerVieira/

          • Stewart E.

            Julie, wow. That is interesting. Thanks for sending the link. I can no longer imagine being without needles or pump. Whole new mind set might be in order.

            Thanks again.

          • Andrea Kladar

            I cannot seem to be able to find those videos on AGEs by Dr. Greger and I am very interested in seeing them. Do you perhaps have links handy that you can share here? Thanks so much!

          • Stewart E.

            Andrea, I posted the links this morning early but the post was blocked for some reason. I’d sure be interested to know why. Anyway I’ll try again. I spent the weekend studying this stuff and the various references and it is fascinating.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-a-sugary-grave/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/glycotoxins/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-glycotoxin-intake-to-prevent-alzheimers/

          • Thea

            Stewart: I don’t know what happened to your previous post, but I thought I would let you know that I can see this post on the site now.

            Nice post.

      • Panchito

        FYI, people that don’t eat carbs (to avoid blood sugar), but chose instead fats with the idea of avoiding AGEs, are in reality achieving the opposite goal. High fat food have the highest measured AGEs. That may explain why people on high fat diets age faster and post their high school pictures on the cover of their diet books.

        http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T2/

    • dogulas

      Most leaders in the whole food movement don’t put much stock in glycemic index https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1cl2IX94GCI because as long as you’re eating low fat, your muscles can take up the blood sugar very quickly. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a blood sugar spike, as long as it drops back down very quickly. It’s the elevated insulin for longer periods of time that causes the real damage. Eat low fat, and eat minimally processed carb and sugar sources. As long as it’s not table sugar with large amounts of fructose that can hit the liver all at once (rather than be slowed by the fruit fiber), your low-fat body can take care of the sugar just fine.

  • Julie

    What an awesome video! I love it when Dr. Greger connects all kinds of different information together. Who knew that grinding whole grains doubles the blood sugar spike? Also interesting to learn that intact grains, beans and nuts provide more food for our gut bacteria than ground. I bet the researchers who do these studies are also grateful to Dr. Greger for reporting the findings of their research to the general public.

  • The one question I hope is coming is how much the food nutrients are destroyed by the blending action. (Heat and oxidation). Brian Clement of Hippocrates Health Institute says 90% in 90 seconds blending.

  • mbglife

    Dr Weil cautions not to eat raw spinach nor raw mushrooms because they have toxins which, while neutralized by cooking, will compromise our immune systems if eaten raw. Is this correct, and if so, should we not put spinach in smoothies?

    • Veganrunner

      hi mbglife. If you go above and look under mushrooms you will find your answers there. Sure enough here is the video.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/toxins-in-raw-mushrooms/

      Whenever I have a nutrition question I go to Health Topics. Dr Greger is the go-to-guy!

      • mbglife

        Hi V-
        Thanks for the reply. I should have been clearer, because I already knew the answer for mushrooms, I was just using it as an example. My real question is on spinach, which I also suspect is correct. But even if something is technically correct (like cynocobolamine B12 giving off cyanide) it doesn’t mean that it’s a problem as a practical matter (again, as with cynocobolamine).

        Thanks again. I always appreciate the community help on NF.

    • Correct on the mushrooms. I doubt it for the spinach.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/toxins-in-raw-mushrooms/

      Spinach, however, is one of the plants which have often been contaminated with animal originated contaminants (read E. Coli), which may be reason enough to cook it. I prefer baby leaf spinach for smoothies.

    • Lizr.

      I am so glad you asked this question because I had not heard this about mushrooms before. It prompted me to read what Weil said, and also to search Dr. Greger’s comments on the issue. Come to find out Dr. Fuhrman has also warned against consuming raw mushrooms, and Dr. Greger concurs. Wow. I had no idea. I eat lots of raw mushrooms. I will be stopping promptly.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Sounds like my job here is done! ;-) Great answers and links below. Spinach is fine, but high in oxalates and not a good calcium source. Green plants are so important that in 1777, President George Washington told his troops to forage for wild greens for proper health. I love this video because Dr. Greger says literally just 3 leaves of spinach can make a difference!

      • mbglife

        Thanks, Joseph, but I see nothing in the video you linked so say is spinach is not good to eat raw. In fact, the photo shows spinach in a pan. Is that intentional. I know it’s good for one to eat. I just don’t know if eating it raw puts a strain on one’s immune system.

        Mark G

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          I was just mentioning a video about it. If you want the whole scoop just look for spinach. Raw or cooked it’s awesome stuff. I have’t seen the research on toxicities if you find any just post it! Thanks!

      • Charzie

        We should all follow Georgie’s advice! Nothing like wild greens to perk up nutrition!

        • Veganrunner

          Charzie I have been adding purslane to my smoothies! Lovely weed growing in my backyard. My family thinks I have gone off the deep end! Too much fun!

  • Bat Marty

    ehy…I wanted to know now..

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Me too! Please wait until Labor day! No breaks for our team we’ll be here working so check back Monday Morning :-) Thanks, Bat Marty.

      • Bat Marty

        Thank you Dr Gonzales…I cannot help it, I am now kind of addicted to your videos :-) thank you for your work!

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          WooHoo! That’s the idea glad we could hook you ;-) For the record I am not a doctor I’m a Registered Dietitian with some experience in research. Thanks for the nice comment.

          • Bat Marty

            thank you, you do a wonderful job, I love your website!!

    • MikeOnRaw

      If you really want to know, you can buy the DVD for digital download and see all the videos at your leisure.
      http://www.drgreger.org/downloads/latest-in-clinical-nutrition-volume-26-digital

  • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

    No matter what – Vitamixing fruit and vegetables is an easy way to get huge amounts of fruit and vegetables, and hence a lot of phytochemicals, fighting all kinds of cancers and degenerative diseases.

    • Lawrence

      Ol’ Papa Barnard would agree with you! (Must see, ladies, if you want a good laugh.)
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJ0uz6YdTcM
      BTW, $35 in 1949 is worth $341 in 2015.
      http://www.dollartimes.com/calculators/inflation.htm

    • Adrien

      I eat a plant based diet (with added B12, D and exercice) and I’m blending berries fruits AND dark green leafy vegetable, boosting my consumption and absorption of the best possible food on earth !! But wait a minute.. My bloog sugar spike after a meal beyond the ‘fasting blood sugar’ range ! OH MY GOD, OH MY GOD, AM I GOING TO DIE ??? HEEEELP MEEEE !!!

      • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

        Seek medical attention immediately !!!!! No wait……. dont.
        With that diet, exercise and the smoothie, you will probably live to be 100 – despite a little spike.
        To spike or not to spike….

  • I love all things NutritionFacts.org! I have to say that variety is the spice of life. Lots of variety, eating all of your colors (plants) cooked and raw, pureed, chewed or in a variety of ways in moderation, is great. But consistently, and regularly. This seems to be a good idea for most people.

  • dogulas

    Awwww… such a tease! Haha. Can’t wait for the next video. I’m getting very tempted to donate so I can get ANOTHER digital download for early access :)

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Does this mean that quick oats are better than oat bran since the bran is more finely ground? Oat bran has more fiber and protein.

    • Ryan

      Bran is the outer layers of the grain. It is not a whole food. Steel cut oats win for flavor, texture and nutrition. Quick oats are partially-cooked rolled oats. They are oats smashed between steel rollers and steamed before being dried. You could at least get a little texture in there by eating rolled oats, which are not partially cooked. Steel cut oats are whole, raw oats that have been cut into 2-3 pieces each. Much closer to the ideal, and they cook faster than un-cut oats would. Still, they take about 30 minutes on the stove with occasional slight stirring. Alton Brown had a wonderful episode of Good Eats explaining how best to cook them without making them paste-like. Basically, don’t stir so much as push-them-around-a-little, don’t stir often, and don’t add salt (if you plan to) until after the first 20 minutes or so.

      • Wegan

        I put whole oats in a mini crockpot in the evening with 2-1/2 parts water and they’re ready in the morning. You can add spices and dried fruit before or after they cook.

        • Johanna

          What a great idea! Thanks!

      • David Johnson

        Quaker sells 3-minute Steel Cut Oats, which is what I eat. I have no idea what causes the reduction in cooking time but if someone knows for sure, please let me know (I’m hoping the oats are just cut into smaller pieces and not steamed)…

        • Ryan

          They are partially cooked. Basically, you’re rehydrating cooked oats. Great time saver. Probably not as tasty or nutritious. Oats are so good for you I think this falls into the “whatever preparation gets you to eat the most” category. If your morning routine allows, try some of the slow oats and see if you like them more. If not, don’t sweat it! Still an excellent, nutritive breakfast! And far more palatable than paste-like rolled oats.

          Btw, I have seen frozen, cooked steel cut oats as well. Think it was at Trader Joe’s. I still definitely prefer fresh, but everyone has different time needs.

          We haven’t had as much luck with the slow cooker overnight, though I’m sure it can be done well. What we DO have success with is cooking up a couple cups (dry measure) at a time and refrigerating the leftovers. They stay fresh for about a week in our fridge. We just microwave portions until it’s time to make a new batch. When we do this we do not season the oats in the pan: we add spices before eating, which allows for variety. You can even cook up a weekly batch while making dinner, since there’s very little “active” cooking involved.

  • Does any of this smoothie data apply to juicing? The blending & juicing camps seem to make different claims. Can these findings be extrapolated to juicing veggies?

    • Joe Caner

      Blending leaves the fiber. The juicing process removes much of the fiber and concentrates available sugars presumably boosting its glycemic index. Juicing is a sub-optimal means of eating one’s food.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hey BadNeck76. To second Joe’s note, please check out Dr. Greger’s video on juicing. Let me know if that helps? I would also say either method, juicing or blending, is not “bad” or “good” but relative to how many whole fruits and veggies are consumed and what the total diet looks like.

  • Jo

    So, should we avoid rice milk and oat milk?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I don’t know. What does the rest of your diet look like? Are you getting enough calcium? I tend to recommend plant-based milks over cow’s milk for various reasons. I haven’t run observed any problems when folks drink fortified rice and oat milks, but some folks (like a few site users here) like avoid them based on the added nutrients (B vitamins, etc.). So it’s a personal call and depends on overall diet. Hope that helps a little.

  • JR

    What do you think of protein powders like Vega?

    • Adrien

      Protein powder are protein powder, plant protein are preferable than animal protein and whole food source of protein are preferable to isolated form of protein. Everybody has to earn a living, so some may come with their sponsored brand but in the end it’s not very needed. People are using powder because it’s cheaper and more convenient for a post workout meal replacement and depending on your main goals.. Is it ‘being healthy’ or ‘getting big’ ? In the first case you may want to avoid them entirely, in the second case you may want to eat more and train more.. that only will work, but a post workout ‘gainer’ as is it called – generally composed of isolated protein and sugar – will do the job, but we can’t call that a healthy meal.. An healthiest choice might be tofu – I personally use small packaged block of tofu (averaging at 15-19 grams of protein per 125g) when I can.

      Here a must read about special requirement for vegan athlete, including protein requirement and potential dangers of excess.
      https://www.drfuhrman.com/library/vegan_athlete.pdf

      Hope this can help.
      In Health.

      • JR

        Thanks for the response. I drink Vega’s “protein and greens” as a post workout snack and often add it to morning smoothies. It’s mostly composed of oat and other grain proteins. I guess my question was more directed at the video content: a) does it spike blood sugar and b) are there missing fibers/nutrients that make it less nutritious. Perhaps I’ll skip it and just throw tofu and broccoli in the blender? I’m not by any means an athlete but I enjoy the convenience of the product and the assurance that I’m replenishing protein. Thanks!

        • Ryan

          According to the resources on this site, there is not really any such thing as functional protein deficiency. Even if you are trying to build muscle mass, an especially high protein diet might not be a good idea. That said, everyone has room for more beans. Instead of tofu, which is high in fat, you could add some rinsed canned beans. Plenty of room for experimentation, though mild-flavored white beans are probably a good start. Research reported on this site indicates that protein powders and other isolated protein products may be more unhealthy than just eating meat. It’s not about it being less nutritious: this sort of chemist-food may actually be disease promoting. Whole foods for the win.

        • largelytrue

          It would probably more convenient just to stop worrying so much about replacing protein right after working out. Do you have any concrete evidence that this is particularly helpful, rather than one example of abundant broscience? People are so neurotic these days.

          • JR

            You all are so nice to reply. Here is the link to the nutritional information: http://myvega.com/product/protein-greens/. The site promotes its use of whole food, plant based ingredients. It’s made from savi seed, peas, hemp, and brown rice, plus greens of kale, broccoli and alfalfa. The other supplement that I use regularly is Green Vibrance and that makes me feel great almost instantly and has billions of probiotics.

            I wouldn’t say I’m overly concerned about getting protein. I have about one scoop a day which is about 100 calories of my overall diet. I do find that the 20g of protein often curbs my appetite and I actually enjoy the taste and convenience of the product.

            I eat mostly a plant based diet (always vegan). Oatmeal for breakfast with berries and nuts, big salad for lunch, fruit for snacks, and beans/vegetables for dinner. It’s true I like the tofurkey, beyond meat, field roast and gardein products and sometimes include them in dinners. I sometimes get hungry at night and eat the Grape nuts cereal with almond milk.

            Since discovering this site I’ve overhauled my diet from a TV dinner pizza vegetarian to a health conscious/ animal friendly vegan. I’ve quit soda and drink hibiscus tea.

            So I don’t know if Vega counts as a vice, but was looking for science based information on its health benefits or detriments. It’s true that whole foods would probably be better than products, I would readily submit to that thinking. Thanks again for the responses.

      • charles grashow

        One of the sources in Dr Fuhrman’s article

        http://www.jissn.com/content/4/1/8
        International Society of Sports Nutrition position stand: protein and exercise

        “The recommendation of the International Society of Sport Nutrition is that individuals engaging in exercise attempt to obtain their protein requirements through whole foods. When supplements are ingested, we recommend that the protein contain both whey and casein components due to their high protein digestibility corrected amino acid score and ability to increase muscle protein accretion.

        “It is the position of the International Society of Sports Nutrition that exercising individuals need approximately 1.4 to 2.0 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight per day. The amount is dependent upon the mode and intensity of the exercise, the quality of the protein ingested, and the status of the energy and carbohydrate intake of the individual. Concerns that protein intake within this range is unhealthy are unfounded in healthy, exercising individuals. An attempt should be made to obtain protein requirements from whole foods, but supplemental protein is a safe and convenient method of ingesting high quality dietary protein.””

        • Adrien

          The quote from Dr Fuhrman’s article, pretty similar:

          There is no demonstrated benefit for an athlete to consume
          more than 2 g/kg/d protein, and in fact, excess protein
          may affect negatively calcium stores, kidney function, bone
          health, and cardiovascular health

          Protein supplement is real business, did you see the video related to protein consumption, IGF-1 and cancer ?
          I think it’s pretty important to aim for plant based protein instead of whey or casein. Whole foods preferably, of course.

          In health.

  • Thea

    Here are the thoughts/questions this video brought up for me. The info about effects on blood sugar for ground grains vs ground beans is fascinating. But there is an important difference I think: When the experiments were done on grains, the dried grain was first ground to a flour and then cooked. ie: “But what if we ate the same amount of brown rice, but first ground into
    brown rice flour, so like a cream of brown rice hot cereal?” But information about hummus is based off of beans/food that is cooked first and then blended into a paste. (That’s typically how hummus is made. At least in my experience.)

    So, would we expect the hummus/bean results to be different if the hummus was made from garbanzo bean flour? And vica versa, could we expect different results for grains if the grains were cooked intact and then ground into a paste afterwards?

    I don’t expect a definitive answer from anyone. Though of course, anyone else interested in speculating/commenting is very welcome. I just think the questions are interesting and worth sharing. My guess is that the distinction (ground first and then cook vs cook first and then grind?) is important and that some of the foods that I was so proud of myself for making out of garbanzo bean flour may not be quite as healthful as I was hoping… (Though I suspected that all along. Now I wonder if I have a bit more evidence to lend support to that idea.)

    • Stewart

      Thea I will offer some speculation and a question. First cooking grain flour is more likely to add greatly to the ready availability of the starches for digestion as they will be at least partially gellatinized. However with the beans, the structures of both the starches and the proteins are somewhat different so the effect, I am guessing, would likely be considerably less. I also think cooking and then mashing the grains would be less of a problem. OK that’s my best guess on that.

      I really like falafel but it is always fried at restaurants, so I get mixes and just grill it on a non stick surface and then serve with a tahini sauce. Using flour instead would be sooo much more convenient. Is that what you do? And how would you rate the culinary quality?

      I’m also a fan of humus but commercially prepared it has oil added and grinding the cooked garbanzos is a bit of a hassle, so are you able to use the flour for this as well?

      • Thea

        Stewart: Sorry I didn’t reply sooner. I lost track of your post.

        I agree on falafel: I like it, but it is always fried when I eat out. So, really not that healthy then. Funny you should mention falafel since I just had another conversation with someone else about falafel today. I’ve made it myself with a recipe that called for baking it. But that was some time ago (probably about 3 years). I haven’t made it recently. I remember really liking my homemade baked version, but I don’t remember if the recipe used any flour or not, but if it did, I think it would be very little. The recipe was from a book called Appetite for Reduction. I’ll have to look that up again to see what the recipe had in it.

        I remember that I had tried another falafel recipe later on that involved using corn flour on the outside to make a crust. It sounded good in theory, but didn’t come out very good when I tried it myself. But that could have been my poor cooking skills rather than a problem with the recipe.

        When I make hummus, I don’t have any trouble putting the hummus in the food processor and using an oil-free recipe. I think it is easy and usually comes out tasting pretty good. So, I don’t use any type of flour for hummus.

  • john tiffany

    How healthy are vegan cheezes, cheeses or whatever you call them? How about a nice moldy vegan bleu cheez? Would the mold give you that “mushroom vitamin” you have talked about?

    • Thea

      john tiffany: “How healthy are vegan cheezes…?” I think the devil is in the details here. Are we talking about a store-bought highly processed product full of isolated nutrients like pea protein and titanium dioxide? (For example, the popular and tasty Daiya brand cheese.) Or are we talking about a homemade nut-based cheese made out of a home made probiotic and ingredients like nutritional yeast and miso? I would say that the former is not so healthy for everyday eating (a small amount on holidays, etc would be reasonable).

      The later (the homemade kind made out of whole plant foods) seems pretty healthy as long as it is not overeaten. That would still be a very calorie dense food and very easy to over eat. (Been there, done that.)

      Of course: You can get some store bought cheeses that fall in the middle of these two examples or even closer to the healthy one described above. And you can make some home made cheeses with plenty of highly processed foods like coconut oil that might not be so healthy.

      So, as I said, the devil is in the details. I don’t have an answer for you about the mold. Seems like the mold itself would probably be fine, but since food is a package deal, you would have to consider the whole food to evaluate it’s overall healthfulness. That’s just my 2 cents. What do you think?

  • Will

    My cross country coach says that eating cruciferous vegetables the night before a race is bad because the fiber would be clogging the digestive system for the morning race. I do not believe him, but I would love some information about this! Thanks!

    • Veganrunner

      Hi Will. No. Fiber doesn’t clog the digestive system. Quite the opposite. Sometimes when people go from the standard American diet (SAD) they have some gut issues like gas. But “eat your veggies” is always a wonderful thing. Good luck this season!

    • Ryan

      I’ll add to Veganrunner’s post that any rapid increase in fiber intake can cause
      bloating & constipation. If you eat fiber-rich all the time, you’ll
      have NO problems emptying the digestive system in the morning!

  • lgking

    Here’s the real question:

    Are ‘smoothies’ PROCESSED FOOD…?

    I say YES

    I see digestion as a 3-step process. The first 3rd is chewing and masticating your food and excreting saliva all over it to begin the chemical break-down process. Next down the gullet and into the stomach where further chemical breakdown occurs. And then, finally to the small intestine where there food is ‘cherry-picked’ over for it’s various nutrients.

    While I concur with the logic of the blender further breaking down cell walls for greater release of micro-nutrients…that all makes sense. However, in my mind, 33% of the digestion process is bypassed. It looks to be a trade off.

    It’s the old story of 10,000 years+ of Inca Indians chewing Coca leaves vs. Cocaine. Nobody ever got into any trouble chewing Coca leaves. In fact, they are quite healthy for you, and why the current president of Bolivia has legalized them for the indigenous population.

    “Did he just say that smoothies are like cocaine…?”

    • 2tsaybow

      Say yes all you want, but it ain’t so.
      Processed foods defined in a whole food plant based diet are foods prepared by the food industries, like pop tarts, or dehydrated hash brown, or some other crapola that you find at a grocery store.
      You can make up any definition you want, but really, there is a difference between food you make at home from whole grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables and junk you buy at the grocery store on those inner store shelves. That is the processed food being defined in these videos.

      • lgking

        Olive Oil is considered a ‘processed’ food, and I have friends in Sonoma Valley that press their own olives at home.

        • 2tsaybow

          So?
          And olives or even ground up olives would be better than squeezing just the oil out of the olives. That is why we are eating a Whole Plant Food Based Diet, So, are you arguing that this why ground up food is “processed”?

          What I said is still reality; food manufactured put into cardboard boxes and sold as “healthy” is processed food. It is not healthy and it is not good for you. Whole plant foods well prepared are good for you. Even if you want to call them processed they are still good for you and that is not the “processed foods” being discussed in these videos.

          Nomenclature in nutrition and medicine is kind of specific. You may see words as meaning one thing, but sometimes doctors and dietitians mean something else. It doesn’t mean that the disciplinary of nutrition is incorrect and you know something they don’t..

          I’m sorry, I don’t mean to argue with you, but by calling foods “processed” you infer that they are not healthy because they were prepared for consumption. It’s just isn’t true and it might confuse someone reading the comments section.

    • Plantstrongdoc M.D.

      Well – I am high on smoothies!

    • Lauren

      There’s a whole spectrum of “processed.” You could say that peanuts in the shell are “processed” because the dirt has been washed off of them. You could say that peanuts in a jar are “processed” because the factory took the shell off for you. You could say that raw peanut butter is “processed” because all the peanuts have been pureed. And so on until you get to the “peanut butter” in a Reeses’ cup. The trick is knowing where to draw the line for health, and my guess is it’s probably going to be different for every food.

    • ReluctantVegan

      Weird fact: Many indigenous “primative” cultures “process” some of their whole food by chewing it up and then spitting it back out to use as an ingredient in a recipe. I’m glad I have a food processor! But lets do think more on that first 1/3 of digestion bit you mentioned. The blending is doing some of that digestion too – and doing a more thorough job than our teeth and perhaps even our amylase – and it makes the food more accessible to the other 2/3 of the digestive process.

  • Elizabeth

    Thank you for the great videos!

    If possible, a series on GREEN JUICES would be a fabulous follow up to this one. :)

    There is so much conflicting information on juicing, and it would be great to have some research on what foods it is ok to juice, and what foods it is not a good idea to juice.

    Thank you again!

    • VeganZen

      That question was already asked and answered above. (See Joseph Gonzales reply to BadNeck76.)

    • Veganrunner

      Elizabeth go up to health topics and you will find info on juicing. Not ideal because the fiber is taken out and that affects absorption etc.

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    Green Smoothies and Green NF Mod Avatar update. This is only a test.

    • Adrien

      looks great :)

  • Hi, does anyone know a book or nutritional information about fast recovery after muscle-building workout.

    • Ryan

      Dr. Gregor has posted a video about nutritional yeast being great for athletes post-workout.

  • Devin

    This is such an awesome mini-series! Can’t wait for the conclusion!

    So if blended beans aren’t the same as grains, wondering if say, a black-bean pasta (on the market to serve the GF crowd) would be a better choice than a whole wheat pasta? I certainly love my WW pasta, but am very curious to try the GF varieties made with bean flours now!

  • do not disclose

    Aw, man, I’ve cut so much out of my diet already – don’t want to part with my hummus too!

    • VeganZen

      No, you don’t have to stop eating hummus! Do a cost/benefit analysis to clarify it for yourself from the scientific evidence presented in this video.

      Benefits:

      1) Blended legumes have the cell walls broken down so much that your own body absorbs all the nutrients. (You yourself are fully benefiting from all the good things about beans and seeds, the reason why you eat them in the first place.)

      2) Blended legumes still have the same blood sugar lowering effect as unblended legumes.

      Costs:

      1) Since you yourself are absorbing all the nutrients from blended legumes, your gut bacteria aren’t left with any of the nutrients in the legumes.

      Are you worried that the costs are too high for your gut bacteria and they will starve to death? Well don’t worry about that because your bacteria will not die, they will just lay dormant, waiting until something else comes along that they can eat.

      Even if you go on a long fast, you won’t die and your gut bacteria won’t die; both you and your bacteria will be ready for when you start eating again after your fast. You would have to starve yourself to death before you would be able to starve your bacteria to death. (If you wanted to do them in, you could take some oral antibiotics; but even then, some will survive. Even if none survived, they will quickly reestablish and repopulate when you stop taking the antibiotics.)

      • do not disclose

        Thank you for this!!!! Lots of great information, and much appreciated.

    • Thea

      do not disclose: Cut out hummus? I think hummus came out looking very good in this video. re: “… unlike grains, blending legumes does not affect their glycemic response.” That’s a good thing! I think people would recommend that you enjoy an oil-free hummus. But definitely enjoy that hummus because those blended beans are very good for you.

      FYI: This site has a TON of videos on how healthy beans are:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beans/
      (The above topic page for beans was just updated last Friday!)

  • Lauren

    I stopped doing green smoothies about a year ago because they were upsetting my stomach and making me lightheaded. I’m hoping the next video provides an answer of why that might be. Perhaps too much spinach? Too few berries? Too cold? Too much at a time? It was one of the only ways I could get greens down my kids’ gullets so I’d really like to bring it back into my morning routine if I could stomach it.

    • Wade Patton

      How long did you drink them before you had problems? Did/Do the kids have problems with them? I never had any such problem but that they kept my metabolism running so high, and digestion happens so quickly that I was nearly continuously hungry or eating (but got skinny). But that was in my mostly fruit days-and when i ate sugar and oils.

      • Lauren

        The effects were right away, but I kept on drinking them, thinking that my gut bacteria or insulin…receptors?…just needed some time to adjust. But after six months of trying, I decided it just wasn’t working out for me. It could also be the acidity of the smoothies, my mom forbid me from drinking orange juice as a kid because I threw it up a few times. I have never been a big fruit eater and thought green smoothies would help with that, too.

        Anyway, I’ve lost 50 pounds in the last seven months and thinking I should give it a try again, now that my insulin stuff is probably better controlled. If it’s really the sugar in the smoothies causing light headedness, perhaps the weight loss will prevent that from happening as much.

        • Wade Patton

          Maybe avoid citrus if that’s an issue. Mine were always banana-based with added fruit (berries or anything) and a handful of fresh spinach. Banana/cocoa was-is my frozen or just chilled snack/recovery drink.

          I’d certainly recommend trying them again, but go easy on the quantity and try to adjust the ingredients to what your body tells you. It knows best.

    • ReluctantVegan

      I also got lightheaded when I used to juice greens (before I was vegan, back when I HATED vegetables). I hated greens so bad, that I would juice up a glass, hold my nose, slam it down as fast as I could to get it over with. Then, very soon after, I would get lightheaded and sort of have a “buzz” for a little while. But at least I was getting some greens. Now, I just eat them.

    • mbglife

      I have the same light-headed problem with green smoothies, but no stomach problem. Although, if I eat more than a basic serving if any leafy green I get a clear water based diarrhea fruit smoothies don’t do this to me.The dizziness is pretty immediate and strong. I no longer have them.

  • BB

    If blending makes some nutrients more available, is it possible that it could also make some undesirables (e.g. heavy metals, etc.) more available as well? (maybe, for example, by breaking the structure of matter (such as fiber) that attaches to the bad stuff?) Thank you.

  • Guest

    So we shouldn’t be eating whole grain bread then?

  • zm4jk0

    I’m glad i dont add grains into my smoothies. (who does that?)

  • Eddie Alarid™

    DId anyone notice that Dr Greger shaved??? look at his new pic on the main page. Looks more like a Doctor now :)

    • Mike Quinoa

      I actually liked his beard better—it suited him.

  • Scot Lyf

    On the matter of breads/flours versus more so intact grains, I find the best bread/grain-food for me is soaking-fermenting oats and kamut (both crushed like ‘oatmeal’) in water, such as in a glass pitcher for a couple days, just enough water to keep them all moist and fermenting after the initial soaking up. Then pouring off the cultured water which you can save in a jar in the refrigerator for the next batch. Then kneading the mass with your hands and/or a wood spatula in a wood bowl (personal preference of wood, plastic can work too) for a few minutes, then forming it with the spatula into a nice round sort of loaf within the bowl, then letting it set for a few hours or a day, then scraping out some of the ‘loaf'(which is very moist and soft) and putting about a 1/2 to 3/4″ layer in stove pan, then bake in the stove at 350F for an hour to hour and a half, depending on thickness. Add salt to taste before kneading. Btw, this grain food is basically white, it’s not brown colored, it’s white in color, it’s 100% whole grain white bread as a matter of color. Whole grain flour bread is brown because the brain and germ are much much finer in size and so they color up the endosperm brown through leaching of the color from the bran and germ. Also, this grain/bread food recipe is not like typical bread at all, it’s a grain-loaf-food of an enjoyably hearty modestly fibered texture. Powerful good, unlike and better than any grain food or bread I’ve ever had.

  • Scot Lyf

    On the matter of breads/flours versus more so intact grains, I find the best bread/grain-food for me is soaking-fermenting oats and kamut (both crushed like ‘oatmeal’) in water, such as in a glass pitcher for a couple days, just enough water to keep them all moist and fermenting after the initial soaking up. Then pouring off the cultured water which you can save in a jar in the refrigerator for the next batch. Then kneading the mass with your hands and/or a wood spatula in a wood bowl (personal preference of wood, plastic can work too) for a few minutes, then forming it with the spatula into a nice round sort of loaf within the bowl, then letting it set for a few hours or a day, then scraping out some of the ‘loaf'(which is very moist and soft) and putting about a 1/2 to 3/4″ layer in stove pan, then bake in the stove at 350F for an hour to hour and a half, depending on thickness. Add salt to taste before kneading. Btw, this grain food is basically white, it’s not brown colored, it’s white in color, it’s 100% whole grain white bread as a matter of color. Whole grain flour bread is brown because the brain and germ are much much finer in size and so they color up the endosperm brown through leaching of the color from the bran and germ. Also, this grain/bread food recipe is not like typical bread at all, it’s a grain-loaf-food of an enjoyably hearty modestly fibered texture. Powerful good, unlike and better than any grain food or bread I’ve ever had.

  • BettB

    This is SO great! My grandmother used to sit at the side of the table next to Dad and command: “Masticate!” She used to make us chew 40 times, believe it or not. When she wasn’t present we would practically inhale our food, possibly our little form of rebellion against the chewing torture, which to that extent really was awful. Then once I was at boarding school it was a matter of who could eat the fastest, because (s)he who finished first got seconds. I’m not sure we were chewing much at all, at that point. We must have had the healthiest colons in Berkshire County.

    My Dad did the same, possibly for the same reason. In fact, recently, at age 97, he had to undergo rehab and relearn how to chew and swallow properly after being hospitalized for pneumonia caused by eating wrongly – possibly from the same ingrained impatience with all that darned chewing that we all endured at any table over which Grandma presided!

    Grandma was a wonderful and loving (and loved) person, but was a true Victorian, born in 1892, and Held Certain Beliefs. And wielded a firm hand in our upbringing, instilling those Beliefs in us to the best of her formidable ability. Because of her exhortations I’ve struggled to force myself (often forgetting) to chew carefully ever since I hit my 40s or so. I figured now I was getting on a bit in years, I should be more careful.

    But I’m very glad to hear that chewing less completely is a good thing, because I do enjoy just eating and enjoying my food rather than thinking about it, So I think I’ll throw caution to the winds and chew with only slightly careful abandon, the careful bit being sure that things go down the right way, so down the road a bit I don’t reproduce Dad’s narrow shave due to chewing and swallowing wrong.

    • VeganZen

      Yikes! Please do not ”throw caution to the winds and chew with only slightly careful abandon” as you concluded. I think somehow you heard what you wanted to hear in the video, perhaps due to unpleasant emotions regarding chewing from your dear grandmother.

      Dr. Gregor said at the beginning, ”Chewing is good, but blending is better, in terms of digestive efficiency and absorbing nutrients.” The reason you eat in the first place is for your own health: chew well, and blend some of your foods so that you benefit fully from its nutritional content.

      Dr Gregor later says that, ”Some have even suggested that diabetics and obese persons not chew their food so much.” Yea, he says, if your food contains no nutrition like a five cheese pizza, then you won’t be missing out on its nutrition by not chewing it, and will have less of a blood sugar spike by not chewing it. But better advice to diabetics and obese persons, he says, would have been to change the foods they are eating instead (change the ‘five cheese pizza’ habit, to eating ”high fiber foods like beans, which have been shown to blunt blood sugar spikes”) and enjoy it by chewing it and not risk choking on it, as well as benefit more fully by the healthy food’s nutrition by chewing it well, and sometimes blending it.

      I did appreciate that you shared your personal story of your dear grandma. We had a grandma similar to yours in our family too. She made the family chew well because they were very poor and had little to eat, and apparently she was very smart because her family may have gotten every possible nutrition out of what little food they had because they chewed it well.

      The other side of our family was poor too, but very large and without a strong authority figure, so eating became a competition where everybody ate as fast as possible to avoid having food taken away by those who ate faster. They perhaps could have benefited from a more domineering yet loving matriarch who could have calmly said, ‘look, we don’t have much food so let us all just enjoy it and take our time chewing it to get as much benefit as possible from it; and I hope you are not left hungry and unsatisfied because we are doing the best we can do in these hard times.’

      • BettB

        VeganZen, thanks for your response – I did go back and re-read and I think I’ll adopt something in the middle. : ) As for pizza, (on the relatively rare occasions I even have it) there are not 5 but no cheeses at all . . . so that’s a good thing. : D But since it’s lots of crust, which means flour, maybe that can be an exception . . .

        I’m glad I wasn’t the only one with a chewing-obsessed grandmother as well . . . and the other side of your family sounds like my high school experience!

        For those who insisted on thorough chewing, I do think this was a product of their era – whatever a family had to eat, certain folks who concerned themselves with doing the healthiest thing urged complete chewing. I think that the literature available at the time advocated this. I guess others who may not have focused on such things just felt that getting the food into oneself was enough and one’s digestive tract would do the rest.

        As a side note – I know someone who is the youngest of 8 and had the same experience as the other side of your family. He told me that if the younger ones didn’t eat fast enough, the older kids would literally take food off of their plates. Can you imagine? They weren’t actually raised by wolves, either, their parents are loving and intelligent, but I guess dealing with that many children meant there were things you got involved in and things you didn’t.

  • john tiffany

    If we want to live to be 100 or 110 what should we do about breakfast and dinner? I have been skipping breakfast, on the intermittent fasting theory….

    This video implies we should eat breakfast like a king and dinner like a pauper. Do you agree?

    http://bigthink.com/videos/blue-zones-and-diet

  • Sheian

    So what about rice milk if grains are better intact..???

  • mw

    I wish the info was more straight forward. Eat this, do that, not that, etc..He brings up more questions than he answers??? Feels like an infomercial for the next video.

  • Scott

    I’d love to know Dr Greger’s thoughts in “cheat” days once a week. No animal still but a bit of fat and sugar, naughty vegan junk food washed down with an all veg green smoothie?
    Is the damage to the epithelial cells minimal if maintaining a daily strict WFPB diet during the week?

    • Thea

      Scott: I can’t speak for Dr. Greger, but I can speculate on what his answer would be. Have you had a chance to read the new book, How Not To Die? In it, Dr. Greger talks about how he eats yellow foods, but tries to make it count with eating only the really good stuff, like his favorite olives. I would translate that to mean that Dr. Greger is good with how you describe a “cheat” meal (but not day?), though the devil would be in the details. Sound about right to you?