Doctor's Note

Happy new year everyone!

It’s not surprising that filling up on healthy food right before a meal cuts down on overall caloric intake, but what if we instead eat healthy foods as snacks between meals? Would they have the same weight reducing effect? Find out in my next video Eating More to Weigh Less.

Other videos, related to this topic, that people might find fascinating:

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  • Julie

    With Dr Greger’s book being a New York Times Bestseller for three weeks in a row, maybe 2016 will be the Year of the Vegan. Happy New Year everybody!

    • HaltheVegan

      Aye, Happy New Year to all the NutritionFacts gang!

    • Joy Brown

      Yeah!!!!

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    Good advice for many with the New Years Resolution to lose weight!

    And for those trying to be the healthiest they can be in 2016 you can get Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Free App for Apple or Android to keep track of your daily quest to eat the healthiest foods!

    Welcome to your Year of Good Health!

    • LKSkinner

      I just downloaded the app on my Samsung Galaxy tablet and it’s great!
      I really like the feature that when you touch the food, a page pops up that gives you the details of the food and the recommended servings.
      Thank you so much Dr. Greger, and all the NutritionFacts Team, for your amazing work.
      Happy New Year everyone!

  • Rob

    Thanks Dr Gregor for another interesting and timely topic… Happy New Year and health to everyone!

  • alvarowier

    Dear Dr. Greg, I just download your app and find it very useful! Thanks for making it available for free:) I have two questions regarding the “other fruit” category, as it’s the only one I might not eat sufficient servings of: 1) Do you feel an “other fruit” serving can be substituted by an “other vegetable” serving? (I know the whole idea behind the different categories is that they’re non-substitutable, but veggies like tomatoes and bellpeppers are technically fruits) 2) What do you think of raisins as a “natural sweetener”? I believe they’re slightly inferior to dates and dried figs nutritionally, but they’re so much cheaper and don’t need to but cut into smaller pieces. Thanks!

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Raisins are a great snack, cheap, full of energy and nutrients. Like dates, they are a healthful sweetener.

      Sure, you could eat more veggies vs. fruit. There doesn’t appear to be any upper limit for fruit, but Dr. Greger does touch on how vegetable diversity may be more important.

      • alvarowier

        Thanks for the quick response!

  • Happy New Year also from Germany to Michael Greger, Team and all healthy eating people…and thanks for the good book at christmas. It was the best christmasgift after all.

  • Joe Caner

    A healthy low calorie salad before one’s meal can help one to eat less calories, and so can a healthy low calorie blended bowl of vegetable soup per the following Dr. Greger video, Liquid Calories: Do Smoothies Lead to Weight Gain? (https://youtu.be/Jz_fhXtmd_c?t=240 )

    The mechanism for maximizing meal satiety is by slowing the rate that one ingests one’s meal. A low calorie first course appears to be a good weight loss/maintenance strategy. Happy New Years to all.

  • Guest

    The weight loss tip for using salad is good, but I wouldn’t say that calorie avoidance is the same as negative calories. I think that just confuses people who hear it third hand and is just a play on words. I’d hate to see the good advice get mixed up in semantics.

  • Micki Jacobs

    Nope. Don’t agree at all.
    Satiety is an interesting thing, and more salad does not provide it.
    More fat, however, does.
    Ketogenic diets are the way to lose weight.

    • Joe Caner

      A Ketogenic diet is a way of losing weight if one is willing to accept the possibility of the following side effects as compiled by Ketogenic Diet Resource website (http://www.ketogenic-diet-resource.com/low-carb-diet-side-effects.html ) :
      Frequent Urination, Fatigue and Dizziness, Hypoglycemia, Headaches, Constipation, Sugar Cravings, Diarrhea, Shakiness or Weakness, Muscle Cramps, Sleep Disturbances, Kidney Stones, Lowered T3 Thyroid Hormone Levels, Heart Palpitations and Hair Loss, although, they do state that these side effects are temporary.

      They seem to have omitted a few side effects such as those sited by this body building URL (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/8-low-carb-conundrums.html ): increased irritability, body odor, bad breath, decreased strength and endurance (weakness), brain fog, flu like symptoms, dehydration and depression.

      This does not sound particularly attractive or health to me, although, your miles may vary.
      I’ll just stick with a whole food plant based diet.

      • Ciara Roots

        I have been a vegetarian for 33 years (on my way to veganism!) and one of the reasons I became a veg-head is due to my three weeks on a Ketogenic diet. I lost much weight in that time, but felt so horrible that I finally had to suspend it. Once I stopped it, I did gain back the weight, but felt much, much better. Shortly after that experience, I became a vegetarian. I just ordered Dr. Geger’s book and look forward to learning even more about this healthy way of living.

        • Joe Caner

          It is good that you were attuned to your body, and that you made changes that improved your health. That is incidentally how I made my way to a vegan diet. One ignores such messages at one’s own peril. Be well and stay healthy.

          • Ciara Roots

            Thanks, Joe! Hopefully we’ll both stay healthy and active for many more years!!

    • George

      Hello Micki; Ketosis is an emergency measure the body uses to make sure that the brain can continue to produce energy during the times of starvation. One could lose weight by inducing ketosis because it leads to fat loss, but what happens afterward? Go back to eating the old ways and regain the lost weight and possibly more, or continue ketosis and risk having to deal with all the problems Joe pointed out? I don’t think the risks are worth it, unless one is willing to change the diet after losing weight. Just my opinion.

    • Charzie

      I never quite get the whole ridiculous, confounding concept of losing weight to INCREASE your health by resorting to a ketogenic diet to mimic the desperate situation of starvation we evolved to cope with! This is STRESS the body is reacting to by switching to emergency measures…how can that be perceived as a good idea to purposefully call into play to benefit your health?

    • Tom Goff

      Ketogenic diets, like other low carb diets, are also the way to increase your risk of premature death
      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989112/
      http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/5/e001169.full
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/

      But the Twinkie Diet can also give you short term weightloss. Who knows, it might even be safer than ketogenic diets! The point is though that delivering short term weight loss isn’t proof that a diet is healthy or that it works in the long term.

      “The National Weight Control Registry provides information about the strategies used by successful weight loss maintainers to achieve and maintain long-term weight loss. National Weight Control Registry members have lost an average of 33 kg and maintained the loss for more than 5 y. To maintain their weight loss, members report engaging in high levels of physical activity (≈1 h/d), eating a low-calorie, low-fat diet, eating breakfast regularly, self-monitoring weight, and maintaining a consistent eating pattern across weekdays and weekends.”
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/222S.long

      How do you eat a low calorie, low-fat diet and still avoid hunger? Sounds like a whole food plant-based diet to me ………………..

    • Tom Goff

      By the way, did you even watch the video or examine the sources cited (especially the “Salad and satiety” article) before making your claims?

      They clearly show that your statement “Satiety is an interesting thing, and more salad does not provide it. ” is factually incorrect. Or are the facts simply irrelevant to you keto guys unless they can be used to support your beliefs? I just don’t understand why keto proponents state their beliefs as cast iron facts that need no evidence to justify them, even when the actual facts seem to disprove their claims. It seems quite irrational to me.

      • Ciara Roots

        I had a great salad yesterday: kale, spinach, chard, sprouts, carrots, edamame, garbanzo beans, and broccoli, topped with a great high-protein citrus/chia seed dressing. It was delicious, and I felt very full until the next meal. Of course if all I had eaten was a big bowl of iceberg lettuce, I’d have been hungry in 10 minutes. Salads can be very filling and tasty, you just have to get creative.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Why a keto diet though? We have so many videos on ketosis and why low carb diets may be harmful. Dr. G does mention how some fat, like nuts can be satiating. So I bet there are some agreements here

    • sf_jeff

      Ketosis does not come from eating fats, but rather from not eating carbs in the short run. Eating fats to enter ketosis has always struck me as being similar to eating ice cream to try to burn ice cream.

  • My parents passed by accident around 70 looking both 50 and having blood tests compatible with 50 years people, with identical weight than in their 20s. They were French eating as it is described, rich meals for events and 70% vegetable based diet for the rest of the time. My mother was preparing a salad at every dinner, because my father wanted it. As a young MD I corrected few habits , to prevent kidney stones and other eating related diseases. The weekly plan was making a turn over between celery, artichokes, spinach, avocados, tomatoes carrots and of course salads and green beans the 2 staples of home meals. Pineapple, berries and grapefruits, were also of the everyday nutrition.I applied my family rules to my prescription in France. In the US I use it to make people to lose weight, and it works. The diversity, the taste and the size of the plate you fill makes a significant difference. Satisfaction is part of having a healthy weight

  • Ren Homick

    Little discovery made this last year: Raw dark leafy greens, undressed, have a distinct appetite suppression effect.

    • Louisa Hoffmann-Vocke

      What if you add an oil-free dressing? I make one from dr Mcdougalls book: starch solution, it is mainly vinegar+ mustard + ketchup + agave nectar + agar to thicken it. Or do you find that all dressings negate the appetite suppressant effect? I have found that a bit of exercise helps me stop craving junk food :-) (it must be the endorphins I get from the exercise rather than the junk food)

  • Thea

    3 Tips On This Topic
    .
    1) Eating salad is very hard for me. But I try every once in a while. I was recently asked to bring a salad to a friend’s house for dinner. I had been flipping through Dr. Greger’s new book, How Not To Die, and came across a recipe for salad dressing. I had decided to bring three salad dressings to the event to let people have fun trying different ones. Dr. Greger’s recipe (which is a recipe Dr. Greger got from Michael Klaper’s TrueNorth Health Center) was the clear winner. I liked it so much, I also poured on a bowl of purple sweet potatoes, mushrooms, and broccoli.
    .
    2) I’m a huge fan of using the concept of calorie density to manage weight. This video is a nice introduction, but not enough information in my opinion for someone who is new to the idea and wants to run with it. If you are looking to lose weight and want to get a fuller understanding of the concept and additional tips, check out both of these great free resources:
    .
    How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ
    This talk is from Dr. Lisle who is one of the experts in Forks Over Knives. And also associated with the TrueNorth center I believe, as well as one of the authors of the book The Pleasure Trap
    .
    From Jeff Novick: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html
    Jeff is a very well respected RD whose advice is consistent with this site. And who had a great talk on the concept of Calorie Density. I *highly* recommend this talk if you can get your hands on it. Unfortunately, they do not appear to be selling these DVDs any more. But the above page link provides a lot of the good information from the talk.
    .
    3) Take a look at the links Dr. Greger listed above that provide additional information on the topic of weight loss. I feel that all of that information helps if losing weight is an issue for someone.
    .
    Hope this helps!

    • HaltheVegan

      Ditto on the “Eating salad is hard for me”. My way around it is to blend a mix of fresh salad greens in a blender with a little water, then use it with other already cooked vegetables/beans to make a soup. This works at home, but if you’re asked to bring a salad to someone’s house, I’m sure they wouldn’t want someone bringing a jar of “liquid” salad ;-)

    • I’m so glad you liked the dressing! I was afraid I was the only one :)

      • Thea

        You are definitely not the only one. And there was a full consensus at the party on the best dressing. That recipe is a real winner!
        .
        Tip: I have made it as listed in the book. I also made it with beans replacing the almonds and using the liquid from the can of beans in place of the water. I thought the dressing came out just as good and creamy with the beans. And with that substitution, I can then put whole nuts on the salad itself, which I like. Just an idea for people who are trying to add more beans or maybe cut back nut consumption a bit.

        • Kelly

          Hello Thea, I’m totally new to all this. In fact this is the first time I have heard of Dr. Greger. The reason I took notice was because his name is similar to my new doctor’s name and since I have some serious health issues I was elated to think he would know all this info already! LOL. I do not need to lose weight but I do need nutritional support in the worst way. If you don’t mind, would you mind sharing Dr Gregar’s recipe for the dressing? I am a diabetic and have not found any dressing I can have to put on my salads. Thank you so much and am sorry to intrude.

          • Thea

            Kelly: I’m sorry to hear you are having some medical problems. I would like to offer more nutritional support than just a single salad dressing. First, someone else recently asked about healthy salad dressings. My reply included links to a bunch of salad dressing recipes that are all oil free and free of meat, dairy and eggs. And they look *delicious.* Here is that reply:
            https://disqus.com/home/discussion/nutritionfacts/forgo_fat_free_dressings/#comment-2445783160
            .
            More than that, I want to refer you to a book about diabetes from Dr. Barnard. I’ve read this book multiple times. It is very short and easy read. It is all supported by the science, including experiments that Dr. Barnard has done himself and published in peer reviewed medical journals. Dr. Barnard’s diet for diabetes is 3 times more effective than the ADA diet. Many people in the study were able to reverse their diabetes with diet alone (though exercise is always good!) and others were able to cut back severely on their medications. Dr. Barnard’s diet is fully consistent with the recommendations on this site. And here’s the best part: The last half of the book contains recipes. So, you can learn in a very easy/practical way what types of recipes/food is good for someone with diabetes. Here is a link to the book:
            http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1452395040&sr=1-1&keywords=prevent+and+reverse+diabetes
            .
            I also recommend looking at all the videos on this site about diabetes for some additional tips and understanding:
            http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=diabetes
            http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diabetes/
            .
            In addition to doing scientific experiments and writing books, Dr. Barnard runs a group called PCRM (Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine). PCRM has a *free* program called the 21 Day Kickstart, which is also recommended by Dr. Greger. That program holds people’s hands for 21 days. You get full support, including grocery lists, meal plans, recipes, cooking videos, inspirational videos and e-mail, and a forum where you can get questions asked and connect with other people in the same boat. That forum is moderated by a very knowledgeable Registered Dietician. To join the 21 Day Kickstart, click the green button on this page:
            http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome
            .
            Finally, I highly recommend the “Fast Food” DVD by Jeff Novick. He shows how to make tasty dishes quickly and cheaply. And also fully consistent with the diet recommended here on NutritionFacts and by PCRM.
            http://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Novicks-Fast-Food-1/dp/B00466DP42/ref=sr_1_1_twi_dvd_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1452395213&sr=8-1&keywords=fast+food+jeff+novick
            .
            I hope this helps. Best of luck to you.

    • SeedyCharacter

      Dr. Greger used much of Dr. Rolls’ research for this video. She has published “Volumetrics” and “The Volumetrics Weight Control Plan” and no doubt other books based on the concepts Dr. G just summarized so well.

  • Rebecca Cody

    Several years ago I was eating a raw vegan diet as part of cancer therapy. It worked fine in 110 degree Arizona heat, but when I returned to Washington I was cold all the time. When I found myself turning the heat up to 76 and still being cold I knew it was time to start cooking again. And that worked! Eating all raw seemed like some form of negative calories, though not quite, since I didn’t lose weight except for the period when I did a juice fast for 10 days. So, perhaps if I could have managed feeling so cold, it would eventually have led to a weight loss regime, though a very uncomfortable one that I could not have sustained.

    • guest

      I can’t eat most raw vegetables and any raw fresh fruit in large quantities during the winter, because, they make me feel cold and give me sinus headaches, meaning I can’t eat salads during the winter, so during winter I cook vegetables and eat dried fruits instead of raw ones. I subscribe to the Eastern theory that some foods are cooling to the body while the others are warming and cooling foods can be made less cooling by cooking. There must be a reason why people in the old days ate a lot of salads in winter and soups and stews in summer.

  • Belinda!

    I bought the book How Not To Die, I love it. Will Dr. Greger begin putting out some recipes once in a while based on his Daily Dozen? That would be great!

  • Rick

    Dr. Gregor – Great Video, and I can understand how the celery was 16 calories and the digestive process required 14 (so there was still a net gain of 2 calories) – but to extrapolate using your example with the Pasta and the Salads…I wonder what would happen if you ate a 1/4 pound of Celery and then some Pasta? How about – 1/2 pound of celery and then Pasta? ( One Pound of Celery and then Pasta??? ). By adding EXTREMELY low calorie plant foods to your intake…you can dramatically reduce your intake of the higher-calorie foods. ( Sure – it’s not a negative number, but it can help you with tremendous weight loss results ).

  • Charzie

    Happy New Year to all! This is great…since I heard everyone saying their New Years resolution is to lose weight, I just did a FB post last night urging them to NOT follow the fad diets, but to eat real food, with the points made in this video. Maybe I should add this one too!

  • Michael Green

    I FOLLOW THE LEPTON DIET… I ONLY EAT ORGANIC FOOD , NO PASTA , NOTHING MADE WITH WHITE FLOUR , NO FACTORY FOOD , NO RESTAURANT FOOD , NO ALCOHOL , NO HIGH SUGAR FRUITS, ALL TROPICAL FRUITS ARE FULL OF SUGAR ,I EAT A LOW CARB DIET , I DON’T TAKE NO MAN MADE VITAMINS . COFFEE WILL SLOW YOUR LIVER FROM BURNING FAT . ALL VITAMINS ARE TOXIC AND COME FROM CHINA ARE CONTAMINATED WITH LEAD AND MERCURY .I LOST 105 LB IN 3 YEARS, I AM NO LONGER DIABETIC , NO MORE SLEEP APNEA , NO MORE HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE , I FIRED MY FAMILY DOCTOR , I HAVE NO MORE DEPRESSION . I EAT ONE LEMON WITH FILTERED WATER AND HALF GRAPE FRUIT BLANDED IN A BLANDER EVERY MORNING .I SLEEPING 10 HOURS A NIGHT , i ALSO TAKE OREGANO OIL ONE CAPSULE WITH DINNER TO KILL FUNGUS IN THE BODY . A HEALTHY LIVER HEALTHY BODY .

    ALL VITAMIN SUPPLEMENTS ARE MADE IN CHINA CONTAMINATED WITH LEAD , MERCURY .STOP POPPING POISON FROM CHINA ! YOU WILL GET CANCER , DAMAGED LIVER , DAMAGE KIDNEYS AND HEART .ALL RAW MATERIALS COME FROM CHINA AND PACKAGED IN THE U.S. IT WILL NOT SAY MADE IN CHINA .

    ALSO ORGANIC GREEN TEA FROM CHINA AND JAPAN IS CONTAMINATED WITH LEAD FROM THE RAIN AND HEAVY INDUSTRY GETS ABSORBED FROM THE SOIL AND LEAVES THE RAIN IS CONTAMINATED WITH HEAVY METALS . DON’T BUY ANYTHING FOR ASIA .TAKING VITAMIN D WILL DAMAGE YOUR KIDNEYS SLOWLY ! GO IN THE SUN THAT’S THE REAL VITAMIN D ! AND EAT A VEGETARIAN DIET AND NO ALCOHOL . EAT REAL FOOD ,NO SUPPLEMENTS , NO SOY , NO CASEIN ,

    STOP TREATING YOUR BODY LIKE A GARBAGE DUMP . LAST BUY A FARM AND GET OFF THE GRID AND GROW YOUR OWN FOOD AND SLEEP 10 HOURS A NIGHT . AND DO A ONE DAY FAST A WEEK .FASTING GETS RID OF TOXINS IN YOUR BODY .DETOX YOUR BODY . KEEP YOUR MIND HAPPY . HAPPY POSITIVE MIND YOU WILL POWER .AND GOOD KARMA .NEGATIVE DAYS ONLY BRING SHIT YOUR WAY SO STAY POSITIVE ,,,GO FOR A HOLIDAY OR A WALK IN NATURE BREATH FRESH AIR OR THE COUNTRY SIDE .

    WATCH THE SUNSET HELPS YOUR pineal GLAND STIMULATE YOUR SEROTONIN HORMONE, EAT ONE SPOON OF GRASS FED ORGANIC BUTTER A DAY OR COCONUT OIL , EAT WATERCRESS SALAD TO DECLASSIFIED THE “PINEAL GLAND” .

    EAT A FEW BLACK CHERRIES A DAY THEY HAVE NATURAL MELATONIN HORMONE . BALANCE IS THE KEY TO LIVE A HAPPY HEALTHY LIFE . a HEALTHY LIVER AND A HEALTHY “PINEAL GLAND” HEALTHY HORMONES AND YOU GET LESS CANCER AND LESS INFECTIONS . i FAST ONE DAY A WEEK ..FASTING DETOXES YOUR LIVER AND BODY . STAY OUT IN THE SUN GET THE REAL VITAMIN D .

    • Kim Churchman

      Okaaayyy, but why type in all capital letters? In America that’s considered shouting and it comes across as angry or rude. Is that what you intended? No thanks.

      • Joe Caner

        e e cummings he is not
        perhaps he is going for the opposite effect

    • Tom Goff

      Gee, what’s the Lepton diet? Or do you mean the Leptin Diet? Your post totally confuses me.

      For example, you write “EAT REAL FOOD ,NO SUPPLEMENTS” and then tell us that you take a capsule of oregano oil! You also tell people to eat butter or coconut oil. These aren’t “real food”, they are manufactured products that come from dairies and oil presses. You also tell people to take 15mg of zinc and 5mg of melatonin – so what happened to “EAT REAL FOOD ,NO SUPPLEMENTS”?

    • Krisna

      No soy? isn’t it good??

    • JeramyM

      Buy a farm? I wish I could.

    • Ciara Roots

      Wow! You make some very good suggestions, but realistically most people don’t have the money to buy a farm and they don’t have the time to do all that you recommend. You’re fortunate to have the time and money to do this! The rest of us just have to do the best we can with the resources we have.

  • Thea

    That’s so nice. A very HAPPY NEW YEAR to you too!!!
    .
    And I accept. I’m leaving my vibes open to taking in your love of salads. Thanks for the wish. :-)

  • Joe Caner

    I love Arugula, the spicier, the better I like it.

  • Matthew Smith

    If Green Peppers or hot peppers stimulate the brown fat and make you burn energy, does that mean that they have negative calories? Dr. Greger in his book says you can get Hepatitis E from eating pork.

  • Fred

    Under the heading of “we wish it were so?”….

    http://www.newsmaxhealth.com/Health-News/seniors-weight-BMI-death/2014/03/26/id/561762/

    A new study suggests that current body mass index (BMI) recommendations may be unsuitable for older adults.

    Caryl Nowson, a professor of nutrition and aging at Deakin University, led a research team that examined the relationship between BMI and risk of death in people 65 and older. The findings indicated the lowest risk was among those with a BMI of about 27.5, which is considered overweight by the World Health Organization. Mortality was said to increase “significantly” among those with a BMI between 22 and 23, the normal weight range.

    “It is time to reassess the healthy weight guidelines for older people,” Professor Nowson said. “Our results showed that those over the age of 65 with a BMI of between 23 and 33 lived longer, indicating that the ideal body weight for older people is significantly higher than the recommended 18.5-25 ‘normal’ healthy weight range.”

    The research team reviewed studies published between 1990 and 2013 that reported on BMI and death risk in people 65 years and up. These studies followed 200,000 people over a 12-year period. Results found death risk increased 12 percent when BMI was between 21 and 22, or the healthy weight range. It increased by 19 percent when BMI was between 20 and 20.9, which is still considered within normal range. However, those with a BMI of 33 to 33.9, or the obese range, had an 8 percent increased risk.

    “These findings indicate that, by current standards, being overweight is not associated with an increased risk of dying,” Professor Nowson said. “Rather it is those sitting at the lower end of the normal range that need to be monitored, as older people with BMIs less than 23 are at increased risk of dying.”

    The professor also noted factors other than BMI need to be considered in terms of ideal body weight.

    “Rather than focussing on weight loss, older people should put their efforts into having a balanced diet, eating when hungry and keeping active.”

    …..

    IMO opinion unless one is seriously obese….most effort should be put into eating the right foods….exercising…meditating…finding interesting things to do…etc. The stress and worry of the typical diet will shorten your life? I’m happy with this study because my BMI is around 28…. ;-)

    • One cannot eat healthy and maintain obesity in my experience. I’ll keep on the “skinny” route. Feels better and is so easy.

    • HaltheVegan

      In a study such as this, I would think one must be very careful about distinguishing between “correlation” and “causation” when drawing any conclusion from such statistics. And the last paragraph of this article states:

      “Cardiovascular and cancer risks are still higher for those who are overweight. This new study also didn’t take into account factors such as smoking and illness, which can leave people thinner but not healthy. A study published last month in the journal PLOS ONE that looked at the above factors found that a BMI of 22.5-24.99 was the most favorable for mortality risk.”

      So unless one accounts for other confounding factors, I don’t see how one can conclude anything from a simple correlation.

    • Tom Goff

      This information has been around for years. It is like the studies showing that high cholesterol in older people (in Western countries) is associated with lower mortality risk.

      A number of long latency diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s etc result in weight loss and declining cholesterol levels. Cholesterol often goes down when we lose weight although there are other causes of unintended cholesterol reductions. Such drops (ie not the result of deliberate planned weight loss or lifestyle changes) can often be preclinical symptoms of disease. It is also telling that high cholesterol and weight in middle age are associated with higher mortality. Most of these long latency diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s. cardiovascular disease etc can take many decades to develop … which is why they are much more common in older people than younger people.

      “Unintentional weight loss is common among older adults and is associated with significant adverse health outcomes, increased mortality, and progressive disability. The diagnosis is often associated with an underlying illness;”
      http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/555217

      I don”t think that there is any evidence that older adults who have had stable low weight (and cholesterol) throughout life, or who have achieved low weight through deliberate lifestyle changes, have higher mortality.

      • Colin Wright

        Indeed. Quickly found a study on the mortality of the healthy-eating Seventh Day Adventists that concluded:

        “Very lean men did not show increased mortality. There was a significant trend of increasing mortality with increasing BMI for all endpoints studied… Thus, there was no evidence for a J-shaped relationship between BMI and mortality in males. While the protective effect associated with the lowest BMI quintile decreased with increasing age for ischemic heart disease mortality, it remained greater than one at all ages. The relatively large number of subjects who were lean by choice, rather than as a result of preclinical disease or smoking, may explain these findings.”

        • Tom Goff

          That’s a great find. That last sentence is particularly telling I think.

        • Tom Goff

          On the other hand, a recent study found that women who carry a little extra weight live longer than the men who mention it.

          • HaltheVegan

            So funny :-)

    • dancer80

      Did they account for the people who were underweight/ low-normal weight due to suffering from cancer? That might be a confounding variable. In long-living Japanese, it’s always the thinner ones not the overweight ones.

  • Ray Tajoma

    Regarding Calories & losing weight, there is an older entertaining video on youtube (fast forward to 1:18/19:34) with a quick demo. It’s about 2-3 minutes long. Raw fruits, nuts and vegetables are high in VOLUME and low in calories. Animal products are low in volume and high in calories.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sBrA62J43g

  • dancer80

    In Japan, daikon radish is considered good for diets because it’s filling and has the crunchy texture that makes you chew in order to digest it. Crunchy vegetables like daikon, carrots, cucumbers can be made into fat free salads. I like to do a daikon-carrots pickled salad using low-sugar or plain mirin vinegar, splash of soy sauce, crushed red chili peppers, sesame seeds, and just a tiny bit of crushed garlic, mix everything together and leave in the fridge for at least 30 minutes (I leave it for 2 hours). Very satiating and fun to eat not to mention low calories.

    • SeedyCharacter

      Yes, sunomono is a wonderful salad. I make mine with organic persian cucumbers and daikon. I season with finely minced ginger, black sesame seeds and fresh chives. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days. Mmmmm . . .

  • Anna

    Hello and Happy New Year 2016 to all plant based people !
    I was going to share this funny story with you few weeks ago but caught up with Christmas shopping and work I forgot.
    I attended Dr. Esselstyn seminar Dec.11 in Cleveland and on my way from Calgary to Minneapolis ( as there was no direct flight Cal-Clev. ) I was informed that our carry on was forgotten in Calgary for maybe 12-15 people so people were upset of course. Funny thing, the same week I just purchased “How not to die” and took it with me to read it on the plane so I had the book in my purse with also printed study publication on Heart disease reversal from Dr.Esselstyn. When they made the announcement, I had to laugh even though all my personal belongings were in that forgotten carry on ( like my asthma puffer, tooth brush and on ) but I HAD THE BOOK WITH ME SO I WAS NOT AFRAID AT ALL – I knew I will survive! The first thing I did ( I had only 1/2 hour before my next flight to Cleveland – went to look for hygiene items at the airport to buy and maybe a pharmacy so I could beg for Ventolin ) I was not successful to get it , but by the time I was again passing the gate where we got out of the previous flight and they made again an announcement for us to come backs they found all forgotten carry ons. Well , I was happy about it of course but the already sent it to carousel and I was not able to get it because my flight was leaving in 15 minutes at the time so I just begged them to send it somehow with my leaving plane to Cleveland. The story ended up good – I found my carry on when getting out of my second plane
    in Cleveland and just squeezed my purse with my BOOK! ;-))

    • Thea

      Anna: Great story. Glad you got everything back in the end. But good think you had your priorities straight. ;-)

  • Robin Manoli

    What about foods that only pass through the body, such as whole psyllium seeds or whole flaxseeds?