Doctor's Note

Check out your local public library for cookbooks—I’ve been amazed at the selection in all of the cities I’ve lived. Or for those for which books are just so 20th century, the online Rouxbe Cooking School holds healthy cooking classes. Their next course starts July 23rd. Check out

More on fast food:

Some other unsavory bits about the food industry:

I think this is the only other mention of celebrity chefs I have:
Paula Deen: diabetes drug spokesperson

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  • guest

    What does the science say about sprouting grains to make bread VS. using unsprouted grains to make bread? Is the sprouting-thing that is so often “pushed” in the health community just a myth?

    I have the option of buying organic sprouted corn tortillas VS. regular organic corn tortillas. Is there any quality studies that have resolve the debate on this topic?

    • Adrien

      I don’t know about bread but antioxidant is very often boosted by sprouting seeds. Nutritional content is in general better when sprouted, that being said, you don’t have to sprouts everything in order to be healthy or to eat a healthy diet. Some sprouts have a great potential, broccoli sprouts are particularly interesting for exemple. And they are also very cheap.

      • Guest

        So many folks claim that sprouting grains eliminates the anti-nutrients, as well as promotes better utilization and digestibility/availability of vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.

        • mbglife

          Adrien, Dr Greger recently discussed this point, at least for phytates. Others have discussed as well and pretty much it was all based on bad conclusions. Proving that a little knowledge can be a bad, or at least wrong thing. I used to believe this info from the Weston Price Group and others too. But after reading more, I side with those who believe there is no truth to it. Good luck in deciding for yourself. For me it was a long hard process.

    • Darryl

      AFAIK, the major advantage of breads from sprouted grains over breads from whole-grain flours is as their kernel structure is more intact their glycemic index is lower (ca. 55 vs 75). Corn tortillas, like other unleavened breads (including wheat tortillas) have relatively low GIs (40-50), so I doubt sprouting helps in this respect.

  • drdeb

    Excellent video. How much cooking skills does it take to assemble a salad or soak beans overnight and boil the next day; or steam veggies? Next to none. I think it has been simply more of a cultural shift to convenience food consumption. I watch cooking shows when I can and (forgive me) I wonder what the chefs total cholesterol is; or what his/her glucose level is or do they have high blood pressure…. because, so much bacon and butter and salt is required by most chefs. I play around with making dishes by substituting things to make it vegan. Again, thanks Dr. Greger for another amusing, informational and educational video! Excellent.

  • Ginger C

    I love these videos. I would love to use some of your statements as quotes but alas I can’t copy them down as quickly as you say them. Sure wish you also published the text. But…even without that I benefit tremendously from the information. Thank you.

    • Thea

      Ginger: Your wishes have been anticipated! Click the ‘Transcript’ link under the video of interest. The section will expand and show you a script of the video. :-)

      • Ginger C


    • KT-1000

      Look for the word Transcript a little ways under the video.

    • Maureen Okun

      Ginger C, look down under the video box, and you’ll see “Transcript”; click on that, and you’ll get the entire text of the video in written form. Thank you thank you to the volunteers who make the transcripts!

    • Joevegan

      Under the video click on Transcript; you can then print the written transcript.

  • Julot Julott

    And most raw foods have more nutrients so not cooking at all and eating raw is even healthier!

    • Guest

      See Dr. Greger’s 18 videos listed in the alphabetical side bar to the upper left on “raw food.” Sometimes the nutrients from cooked foods is better absorbed as a result of the heat breaking down the matrix of fiber that they’re encased in. Carrots are a good example of this.

      • Ben

        Yep, an all raw diet is not an ideal diet. Dr. Fuhrman addresses the issue pretty well in this article:

      • Julot Julott

        I know hence “most raw foods” and its why all raw diet is indeed ideal if it is not based on raw vegetables like carrots and similar, it mean a diet mostly based on easy digestible raw ripe fruits, nuts ans greens~

        • Ben

          I recommend a book by Dr. Wrangham, “How Cooking Made Us Human.” You have been taken in by the raw food philosophy. It’s good for losing weight over the short term, but it’s not the healthiest way to go long-term. And I have done the diet, I did Dr. Graham’s 811rv for two years.

          • Israel Navas Duran

            Have you ever seen Bushmen cooking vegetables? I wonder how could they do so without pottery. Burying roots close to hot rocks?

          • Vege-tater

            Like we used to do camping, set it on a rock or whatever, near the embers where the heat will steam it inside it’s own skin. Also, not sure if you are aware of it, but you can boil water over fire even in a styrofoam cup. The top will melt off, but anywhere the water is in contact will stay intact. Not that bushmen would be using it, but my point is any vessel (skin, organs, wood, even leaves) filled with liquid would be equivalent.

  • Laloofah

    Although they don’t get near the buzz that the carcass cooking shows do, there are several plant-based cooking shows out there! Here are four I know about: Jazzy Vegetarian (which is vegan, on PBS), Delicious TV’s Vegan Mashup, Christina Cooks, and Everyday Dish TV. Not every recipe will necessarily be “Nutrition Facts” healthy, but they’re a huge improvement over the sad stats cited in this video!

    • Thea

      Laloofah: Thanks for this post! I was aware of 2 of the 4 shows you mentioned It is exciting to learn about the other two.

      • Laloofah

        My pleasure! And as you know, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of all the healthy vegan cooking videos on YouTube!

  • Anita Turner

    i love this and i totally agree, I cook most days and on the lazy smoothies to the rescue

  • Guest

    That online Rouxbe Cooking School has a tuition of $1500! That would buy a whole lot of kale with some left over to show this web site some love. For those of us who can’t afford such a pricey indulgence, is there anyone who can recommend a good vegan cookbook for around $20?

    • Laloofah

      Ten or 15 years ago, this would have been a quick and easy question to answer because there were only, like, five vegan cookbooks. :-) Now, it’s delightfully difficult to answer because there are so many, with new ones coming out every day! My advice is to check some of the vegan food bloggers and find one or more whose recipes you really like – many of them have come out with cookbooks, and that might make it easier to choose, based on your particular food and cooking preferences. Two of my favorites (of many!) are Oh She Glows and FatFree Vegan Kitchen (she doesn’t have a cookbook yet, but is promising one!) Good luck and have fun!

    • Thea

      Guest: It is so hard to pick! I’ll give you some of my current favorites:

      1) Let Them Eat Vegan
      2) Vegan on the Cheap
      3) Everyday Happy Herbivoire
      4) Great Vegetarian Cooking Under Pressure

      And even though I just got it, I think the following is going to quickly become a favorite: Happy Herbivore Light and Lean. And I learned some great tips from Jeff Novick’s Fast Food cooking demo DVDs. (which includes recipes too).

      It really depends on what you are looking for. Are you concerned mostly about healthy foods? Easy foods? Impressive food? Fast to prepare food? Inexpensive food? Food that will help with a particular medical condition? (heart, bones, etc) Etc. You can usually find food that meets almost all of these criteria, but certain books might do better at one of these criteria over others.

      If you can afford it, I recommend buying 3 or 4 books so that if one book really doesn’t speak to you, you won’t get discouraged.

      Hope this helps and good luck!

      • Penny

        So glad you mentioned Happy Herbivore. I was looking forever trying to find vegan recipes that didn’t include 1700 ingredients and take 9 weeks to prepare. I was also looking for recipes that were oil-free. Then I found the Happy Herbivore website.

        Lindsay focuses on fast and easy, yet tasty, recipes that you don’t need a bunch of specialized tools to prepare. Some of her recipes are on her website and I believe she now has 4 cookbooks available.

        She even offers meal plans for those who are just getting started or just want to make their lives a bit easier. Most of these meals can be prepared in a few hours and then refrigerated or frozen to grab out throughout the week. This is a great option for those of us who are busy.

        I am not in any way affiliated with that website, I just found it to be a godsend for me. gave me the information I needed and Happy Herbivore helped me implement it into my life.

        • Thea

          Penny: Thanks for jumping in! I agree that her recipes just seem to fit the bill. I also agree that while can give people some motivation to change, the various recipe sites and recipe books can help a great deal with the practical side of putting it all into practice. Happy eating to you!

    • mbglife

      Most vegan cookbooks I see usually call for a lot of oil and or sugar. I try to keep cooking with sugar and oil at a minimum, especially those high in omega 6. For this I think that those recipes and cookbooks by Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish, McDougall, Fuhrman, or the Firehouse Diet to be most in line with the vegan way I eat. (Many libraries seem to stock some or all.) These experts varying on how much fat is acceptable in the diet. I personally don’t worry about plant based fat (except coconut), as long as I’m keeping my omega 3 to 6 ratio close. And I recall that a pub med study I read a year or so ago that found that it’s not enough to be within a ratio of 1:4 of omega 3 to omega 6, you need to have low enough levels of 6 for the 3s to be absorbed.

      • Israel Navas Duran

        Your worry about coconut may well be unfounded. If you’ve been following Dr. Greger’s videos you may remember the tentative explanation he gave on why saturated fat usually correlates with greater risk of cardiovascular disease.

        In some of the videos he explains that the action mechanism could be the presence fat of animal origin of endotoxin, and trans fat in the case of unsaturated animal fat.

        On the other hand in the immense majority of cases studied (in lab animals as well as in humans) that saturated fat either came from animal food (e.g., lard), or from previously heated saturated fat such as palm oil. Coconut is rarely used in lab studies (at least alone) because it is significantly more expensive than other fat alternatives.

    • Joevegan

      I get most of my recipes online, Fat Free Vegan, is one of my favorites. Also, Chef AJ’s website has videos showing the preparation of different recipes; look for the “The Chef and the Dietitian”.
      Oh oh oh; don’t pass-up Dr. John McDougal’s website…lots of recipes.

    • Vege-tater

      A trip to the library is usually a big help for me. If it’s really good and worth buying I know before shelling out the bucks I don’t have! lol

  • Han

    They didn’t watch vegan black metal chef! :-)

    • largelytrue

      I think maybe they did. Healthiness with respect to other vegan choices is not the videos’ selling point.

  • Sergio Núñez

    Hi Dr. Greger or admins, I would like to post a translation for this video to Spanish in an attempt to spread this valuable information to everyone who does not understands English but is willing to check these videos to learn and get more informed about a whole-food plant based diet, I’ll to do a translation for all videos posted from now on (and maybe some older videos if time allows it) and I ask for nothing in exchange, just for you to keep up the great work you’re doing in getting all this amazing information for us, please let me know a way to get you the translation to Spanish, either by email or by commenting here.

  • Idunno Maybe

    The doc is stating the obvious.
    People know better but don’t eat right because they are lazy and wealthy.

  • nonyabizzz

    Bbbbut I want McDougall compliant dinners at 4 star restaurants… Is that too much to ask?

    • Thea

      Not at all! But if you had said 5 star, I would have said you were crazy. ;-)

  • Jason Williams

    This is a pretty good guide on cooking veggies at home (not spam)

  • Blaice

    “Survival technique,” haha. It is sad, but true. I know I have personally done a lot of nutritional research starting years ago during my MPH, but it still blows my mind the unfathomable ignorance the general populous possesses when it comes to nutrition in general. I’d say around 75%+ of Americans would consider an unbleached “wheat” sub-sandwich with turkey, lettuce, and tomato as equivalent to broccoli and cauliflower with some whole wheat/flax pasta.