Doctor's Note

Just in the last few weeks I’ve come out with a few videos on this similar theme of bowel health:

What if your doctor tells you that you shouldn’t eat healthy foods like nuts and popcorn because of your diverticulosis? Share with them my video Diverticulosis & Nuts.

Sorry for the cliff-hanger, but I’m really trying to be good about limiting how long my videos get. Stay tuned for Does Fiber Really Prevent Diverticulosis?

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

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  • Clinton McMurray

    I look forward to your coverage of the topic in the follow-up video, as I found the inconsistency in those studies to be confusing. Thanks for your work here.

  • Misterimpatient
    • Misterimpatient

      Are they kidding?

      “We found no difference between the cases and the controls in mean
      dietary fiber intake (14.8 grams versus 15.3 grams per day, p=0.2) and
      reported supplemental fiber intake (5% versus 5%, p=0.7) (Table 1).
      Correspondingly, we found no association between dietary fiber intake
      (OR 0.96, 95% CI 0.71–1.30) and diverticulosis when comparing the
      highest quartile of fiber intake (mean 25 grams/day) to the lowest (mean
      8 grams/day) (Table 3).
      We also found no associations between dietary fiber intake by subtype
      (beans, grains, fruits and vegetables) and the presence of
      diverticulosis (Table 3).”

      Comparing 15 grams to 25 grams, both values well below the recommended levels?

      • Spoiler alert! :)

        • Misterimpatient

          It would have been much too long a weekend to wait. :-)

        • guest

          Doctor Greger: you left me on a cliff hanger – on a Friday.

      • Slim055 .

        No one in the study actually had a high fiber diet. It’s like comparing a “low fat” diet at 30% fat vs. 50% fat and saying that heart disease is not correlated to cholesterol or saturated fat intake. I don’t especially try to eat fiber, but with whole fruits, brown rice, beans, whole potatoes and greens have 80-90 grams of fiber daily per cronometer.

        • Wade Patton

          I calculated my fiber since going WFPB and it was ~90. My colon thinks I’m the greatest guy now.


    I truly enjoy your videos, finally the truth is being spread. Unfortunately a lot of my family in the Northeast doesn’t believe this. Crazy.

  • Satoshi Chomsky

    Wow! I, too, am looking forward to the next video. And I can’t help but wonder: Do current medical students watch these videos?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      We hope so! I know many do, as we always encourage medical students to engage in the website.

  • Eddy Basch

    My question is, Can Diverticulosis be reversed?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Hi Eddy. From what we know this Canadian brochure is accurate: “In general, increasing the amount of fibre in the diet is recommended with adequate fluid intake. While this will not cause the diverticula present to become smaller or go away, the high fibre diet may reduce the formation of other diverticula. There is no evidence that avoiding foods such as popcorn or those with small seeds such as strawberries or tomatoes is useful, although this has been recommended in the past.”

      From Dr. Drost and Dr. Greger: Diverticulosis would not be expected to reverse, but may help from getting worse. And a high fiber diet can help bowels keep moving so that current diverticulosis doesn’t get infected and become diverticulitis.

      • I also think once presence of diverticula is confirmed, the next best step is to prevent further diverticula and prevent inflammation of the current one, which is through high fiber diet that facilitates bowel movement.

      • Mike Quinoa

        What about small unground seeds (like whole flax seed) that may be present in a whole-grain bread? (I do grind my flax seed to sprinkle on cereals.) My friend told me that a doctor told him small seeds like that remain lodged in your intestinal tract undigested. Any truth in that?

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Doesn’t appear so. It’s an old way of thinking (and rightly so) that small seeds could get stuck, but there is no data on this theory. If I am mistaken and you find a study let us know! Then we can contact that Canadian Digestive Foundation and see if they might want to update their brochure.

    • Why not? Increase fiber and remove the waste that collects in the pouches. The body wants to heal itself and be in a state of homestasis. Give it what it needs.

  • pam

    Maybe we need a few blogs on recognizing bogus studies so we don’t get fooled by whoever it is that has an axe to grind- or profit to make.

  • Lorri

    I have divertiulitis and have had to have the right side of my colon removed yet still have diver on my left. I’ve been dealing with it for over ten years. I just thought that I would mention that I typically ate a diet rich in fiber for the most part and was mainly vegetarian for about 3 years, years ago. I can say that yes, fiber is important and I know this because green smoothies seem to keep me from having flares. However, I consider hydration, stress management, exercise, and probiotics the real game changer here. I was on flouroquinoline antibiotics several times and I think that they were one of the main causes of the damage to my colon’s mucosal lining and the rest of me. But I mention dehydration as it makes a huge difference in how the bowel is able to move things through and stay healthy. And probiotics keep the e-coli at bay. I believe that usually e-coli is the offending culprit to flares (infection) and it was the sudden cases of UTI’s that accompanied my flares that led me down the path of this thinking. Also, I personally believe that we do have to be very careful to give our digestive system what it needs and be careful of stress. I’ve read that 75% of our immune system is in our gut. Makes sense as stress can cause a flare and we don’t feel our emotions in our head (brain) but we do feel it in our second brain (the gut). Thanks for all you do doc. Just thought I’d add in my experiences and thoughts with this disease.

    • guest

      Lorri: Thank you for sharing your experience and glad that you’ve found ways to control and manage the condition. Would you mind telling me the kind of probiotics that helped you? Thanks.

    • Randy Bolton

      There’s some new hour long lectures (videos) on YouTube on probiotics that you should watch. Not the same old stuff, but brand new medical study stuff that is truly nothing short of AMAZING. They took obese people and gave them (injected) some “gut bacteria” from people with fast metabolisms. The obese people became skinny and have stayed skinny for years now, not being able to gain weight if they try, plus other studies. They gave some people who were allergic to nuts some gut bacteria from people who weren’t allergic, and the people with the allergies stop being allergic. It’s mind blowing. Btw, you’re also right about stress. Stress IS a killer and forces weight gain. I’m living proof of that. I was completely stressed out in Los Angeles and a belly to go with it. I said “screw it” one day, moved to the Bahamas (now in Miami), never changed my diet, and have lost 22 pounds, am tan, relaxed, stop having anxiety attacks and have cut my meds in half. In L.A. I would hit the alarm clock and stress would begin, not really noticeable, but even trying to get to work “on time” to please some manager is a form of stress. Then there’s traffic stress, radio talk show getting you upset stress. Rent is stressful, car payments are stressful. I said screw it and now have a bike and a studio condo. I LOVE my life!

      • Fred

        How bout some links?

        I take a probiotic….

        Also give one to my dog….which probably mixes in real well with what he gets from the bird poop he likes so much. He did get into a bit of trouble when he got into the poop from a couple of turkey vultures when out on a walk. He’s an idiot. ;-)

        Probiotics can be fairly expensive…the above is only $3-4 per month. Results? Find that it smooths things out…less issues with candida…less issues with minor inflammations…etc. Over time they seem to drive out the irritant biotics.

        Also take an oral probiotic…helps with teeth/gum issues.

        Just sent for a book on probiotics….

        Brain Maker: The Power of Gut Microbes to Heal and Protect Your Brain–for Life

        Looking for a poop donor from a skinny person….;-)…or maybe just some references for the biotic strains involved.

        • Before you waste your time and your money, try reading “The Problem With David Perlmutter, the Grain Brain Doctor”
          By Alan Levinovitz

          • Fred

            Book is on the way….used…but I paid more than I usually do. I read a lot of stuff…much of which is contradictory to some extent. But just about anything beats the allopathic medicine train…and it is my belief that the best way to stay healthy is to do it yourself. I find that if you pay attention to the results…your best bet is just to try stuff…if it is somewhat reasonable….and go with what seems to work. I usually try to find some corroboration for ideas and generally don’t get into supplements/training(?) specific to one person. Disregard my alkaline diet foray and my homemade colloidal silver. ;-)

        • Randy Bolton

          I’m sorry I didn’t put a link. I thought this looked a little hokey at first, but quickly realized it was a very serious medical lecture. .

          • Fred

            Very good link. Puts things in perspective. Thanks.

        • Lisa Lane

          I’ve eaten whole foods plant based for 4+ years. I have poop to spare. I remain slender for my height, feel great & look shockingly young (I’ve been told). Let me know how I can help. BTW–I live in Arizona.

      • Cory

        Please share links!

        • Randy Bolton

          I’m sorry I didn’t put a link. I thought this link looked a little hokey at first, but quickly realized it was a very serious medical lecture. .

      • Any peer-reviewed references in that video?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks for your great addition here! You remind me of Dr. Greger’s video on the “brain-gut connection”.

      • Parissa M.Kh.

        I watched that video, the interesting part is that our exposure to outside world through our guts is even more than skin! That itself is sufficient to explain the role of our gut & what we eat in our overall health. Despite general thought considering gut as a tube for passage of food, our gut determines our overall health by digestion, absorption of nutritious elements necessary for our growth & development, processing thousands of antigens and …Furthermore our eating habits can reflect our emotions (e.g. emotional eating). One can benefit from a balanced nutrition not only through having healthy, strong body but emotional stability, which is necessary for prospering.

  • brucegray

    No doubt diverticulosis propensity will be multifactorial and not just a fiber issue. Hydration, psychoemotional stress load, and activity level, can influence peristalsis and stool firmness. Microbiome health and even infection effect stool consistency and intestinal epithelial health; not forgetting 55-60% of stool bulk is intestinal bacteria. And I suspect the mechanical effects of poor posture may directly compromise peristalsis and indirectly via compromised autonomic nerve control.

  • Darryl

    Given the rural African staple has been low-to-moderate fiber corn meal for some time, the real answer to their low diverticulosis risk might not be just fiber, but resistant starch and prebiotic dietary components generally. Add under a cup of cornstarch to a diet, with just 1.8 g fiber (7% intake), and fecal weight jumps 30%, probably bacterial mass. One can treat constipation in rats with resistant starch and prebiotic polysaccharides. And in a small clinical study, the prebiotic lactulose was about as effective as fiber in diverticular management.

    • Jeewanu

      What would it take to persuade you to do a blog. Once a week, once a month…anything. We need you Darryl. Others have said it…you know its true. quit your day job and dedicate your life to we the living.

      BTW/ I read the ref’s you listed on fasting…I decided to try it for a day…I got to 11:30 AM and caved. I wonder how a person can fast if they work and need to think on an empty tum tum?

      • Psych MD

        Jeewanu, I have been practicing daily intermittent fasting for two years. My feeding window is basically 12:30-20:30, give or take half an hour. I work in a psychiatric hospital. I arrive at 7:15 and over the course of the next hour drink two cups of coffee as I review medical records of the newly-admitted patients. From that point on I virtually always have a cup of some sort of tea in my hand. I have absolutely no desire for food until lunch. I’m sure all that liquid sloshing around my stomach has something to do with it, but it also apparent that my organism has adapted. It takes a few weeks to become accustomed to this pattern of eating, but once you do it’s a piece of cake (haha). Ori Hofmekler has written extensively on IF and one comment he made really stayed with me. He said that one must “endure hunger” just as one endures exercise. ie. sort of like Nike’s slogan “just do it.”

        • Jeewanu

          Well I have been saying that I want to drink more green tea. I’ll give it a try, thanks

        • Fred

          I’d agree with the “endure hunger” idea. If you don’t experience hunger now and then…you forget what it feels like. I’ve sometimes gotten into a thing where I’m seeming to continually trying to keep blood sugar levels at a high point…a sure way to gain weight and make oneself sick. Just stop…experience hunger.

          In summer I keep a gallon of green tea/ginseng/lemon cold brewed tea in the fridge…only 6 bags per gallon…but it is refreshing.

        • I object to the misnomer intermittent fasting. Waiting until noon to eat is barely a fast as it merely amounts to skipping breakfast, a common practice. Current IFers are just time shifting.

          In my book, intermittent fasting is eating every other day, e.g., water fast Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Sunday, etc., and eating Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Monday, etc.

      • Great idea, Jeewanu. I suggest we crowd source some funding and get Dr. Greger to pay Darryl for all his helpful commentary. Anybody with me?

        • Rhombopterix

          If he has the time and interest that would be great. But this thread is getting old. If we want to start a grass-roots movement we should repost early after next vid goes up. Darryl, if you are a dillitante then I’m a non-existant Scottish sea-serpent with polygonal fins!

      • Gary

        I also tried my first 36 hr fast or “calorie restriction”. Ate just 300 cal, 32g was protein, I didn’t want to mess up my hard fought muscle in the process. Drank a gal of water and tea.
        The only thing I noticed was a prickly feeling in my head and arms. Got on the scales when I was done and see I lost near 4lb.
        I don’t have to go to work, but did the shopping and light cardio exercise.

        Well after doing that it should be easy for me to cut my feeding window to around 8 hrs a day.

    • Jeewanu

      I stumbled upon this paper that describes 4 kinds of resistant starch. Corn is type 1 I think. 2 is raw granules from potato or banana. the other 2 sound like artefacts of cooking or processing (like the baked goods you described right?). Would you have an opinion on the best sources for gut health? My wife is sensitive to corn so we are looking for alternatives.

      • Darryl

        Most will varieties of type 3, with the amounts of RS determined by amylose (linear starch) content and preparation. Higher amylose content is found in beans, but even lower amylose starches like refined wheat pasta and potatoes will develop significant amounts of RS through retrogradation as they cool after cooking (which can increase further as leftovers are reheated). For example, the caloric staple of rural East & Southern Africa is a refined corn meal polenta, but its generally eaten throughout the day after its cooled and undergone retrogradation. Generally, starchy foods with lower glycemic indices (GI) have higher amounts of RS, inviting speculation that its higher RS content, rather than limited glycemic spikes, that may account for the health benefits of low GI foods. This page (focused on GI) offers an approachable description of some preparation details.

        • Much corn, however, is low in amylose and high in amylopectin, which is not resistant.

          Witner told me this about that special cornmeal from Africa:

          “The resistant starch used in the South African/African American study (and in more than 70 additional clinical trials) was Hi-maize resistant starch from high amylose corn. You can buy it at or on Amazon. King Arthur calls it Hi-maize natural fiber.”

          More at

        • Darryl,

          Is it ok if I quote your following comment in a chapter on cell signalling for a book I’m writing on diet and cancer? If so, how would you like to be identified?

          “Its a really fascinating tangle of wires down there on the switchboards. No person
          well ever have a complete knowledge of the network, but the regulatory hubs are
          fewer and more comprehensible. Less than a dozen, including NF-kB, Nrf2, AMPK, mTOR,
          Sirt1, PPAR etc. pop up repeatedly in the past decade’s literature on nutrition
          and disease prevention at the cellular level. In
          a few decades, some of these will be as familiar as “spleen” or
          “pancreas”, at least to those who want to know why some
          diets prevent disease”

          • Darryl

            Feel free, heck steal it if you like the phrasing. I’m not sure “Darryl R, autodidact” is a compelling credential.

        • Iggy Dalrymple

          How ’bout green banana flour?

          green banana flour 1/4 cup, uncooked 10.5-13.2
          Banana, raw, slightly green1 medium, peeled 4.7
          High amylose RS2 corn resistant starch 1 tablespoon (9.5 g) 4.5
          Oats, rolled 1/4 cup, uncooked 4.4
          Green peas, frozen1 cup, cooked 4.0
          White beans 1/2 cup, cooked 3.7

    • Amanda

      I would just like to add that the “staple” African maize consumed by those mentioned in the study from Baragwanath hospital in Johannesburg is hardly cornstarch. Cornstarch is much higher refined. We are talking more the consistency of what I believe Americans call grits. What the study does not take into account is that for centuries, another “staple” in the aforementioned diet is mageu – a lactic acid-fermented maize drink made from fermented cooked maize meal porridge that undergoes the same fermentation process as yoghurt. Perhaps the presence of probiotics might account for some the healthier results.

      • sarah

        Another important factor is that their corn porridge is often eaten as “leftovers.” Cooling after cooking means a much higher amount of Resistant Starch (type 3), which seems to be really a really important prebiotic for colon and general health.

  • jack p

    Off topic but within the rules, I believe: Have you seen the very recent web blitz on heavy metals (particularly thallium) in cruciferous vegetables (particularly kale) as a source of subtle poisoning among those consuming a lot of those foods? Apparently the reporting starts with a story in Craftsmanship(!) on the work of an enterprising microbiologist purporting to show that at least some crucifers, and perhaps other leafy greens bioaccumulate toxic heavy metals from the soil (in the soil from uncertain sources, but if anything more concentrated in these vegetables when organically grown). I would find this easier to dismiss if my partner and I, both Gregeresque, Esselstynish WFPB enthusiasts who have been serving up cooked kale as a generous part of most most dinners — were not heavily prone to the kinds of vague complaints cited in the article. If Dr. Greger, Joseph Gonzales or the estimable Darryl would be willing to take a look and respond I would very much appreciate it. Meanwhile, I think I’m planning a millet-and-squash dinner tonight(!) Thanks,
    Jack P

    • lebepotter

      Sorry, I left out the link I’d intended to post in my query above re: kale and thallium

    • Darryl

      Cruciferous vegetables *can* accumulate thallium from soil (1, 2, 3), as can other vegetables like beets and spinach. The major concern isn’t with contamination by human activity, but soils derived from naturally thallium-rich bedrocks, which can elevate levels to much higher levels. This is the case for parts of China (4) and the Czech republic (5).

      There is some detectable thallium in most U.S. topsoils, but the mean and medium of row crop topsoils in California (where most vegetables are grown) was a “low” 0.3 mg/kg, while the maximum was only 0.6 mg/kg.

      • elsie blanche

        And how about this, sunflower seeds known to draw lead out of the soil.

      • lebepotter

        Thanks, Darryl. I’ve followed your links; I think on the whole they lend credence to to the possibility of too much of the crucifers maybe sometimes leading to thallium toxicity. Sheesh! We thought they were the most heroic vegetables and that overdoing them would have to be on the scale of the woman who landed in the hospital with severe thryroid trouble after living on practically nothing but (raw, I think) bok choy. We’re not kale-eaters on that scale, but I do think we’ll cut back, even cut it and the rest of the cabbage family out for a while, and see if we’re better for it. Could take a while to tell, though… I don’t think heavy metal clearance is a quick project. Thanks again!

        • Darryl

          As greater cruciferous vegetable intake appears to have entirely positive effects, testing may be an option to allay your concerns. Urine and whole blood thallium tests run around $45 (to providers), and are widely available as they’re used to monitor industrial exposures. Chronic thallium poisoning manifests as white streaks in fingernails (Mee’s lines), anorexia, headache, and pains in abdomen, upper arms and thigh. I eat about a pound of California grown kale weekly in the context of a whole plant based diet, my nails are unstreaked, and I’ve never felt better.

          • lebepotter

            Thanks for the testing tip. We don’t keep up with your kale and broccoli consumption (though we fill in with a fair amount of arugula and some other crucifers). I know we’re grasping at straws here, but that’s perhaps what one does after a few years of exquisitely faithful WFPB diet and vague failure to thrive (symptoms that do not include Mee’s lines(!)) We’ve been on antiretroviral drugs for 19 years– after near death– and our docs are, on the whole, pleased with us. We think their standards need raising.

      • lebepotter

        Well, on the off-chance that high crucifer intake might, for some idiosyncratic reason, have caused thallium toxicity in this household… sounds like the pretty high potassium intake in our diet (even with reduced kale!) should help to speed excess thallium out through the kidneys. That’s good– perhaps not such a slow trial as I’d expected. Thanks

    • jj

      That is a very interesting article. I’ve cut out kale lately to see if it makes a difference in my digestive problems. Am going back to eating the veges more like I used to because something isn’t agreeing with me with all this “healthier eating”.

      • Adopting a WFPB diet is a great start but some folks continue to have difficulties. I think it is certainly reasonable to try and ID plants that may be at fault. This can be done one food at a time or one can try a diet such as the one recommended by Dr. McDougall… he calls it the “Diet for the Desperate” and it is explained in his December 2002 newsletter article by that title. It is good to minimize one’s exposure to persistent organic pollutants and heavy metals but there are issues beyond exposure such as absorption. Dr. Greger addresses many of these issues in his video on Cadmium see… It is also to be aware of the sources of heavy metal. I wasn’t able to find a video on Thallium… maybe a topic for a future video??

    • Kate Scott

      An “enterprising microbiologist” who just happens to have ties with a company producing some purported heavy metal detoxifier….(see comments under the delish article posted above – the original study is posted there).

    • elsie blanche

      sunflower seeds known to draw lead out of the soil.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Thanks, jack p. Yes we have. Someone sent this Care2 post to Dr. Greger about thallium and kale and asked me to make a write-up on this topic. I’ll be posting more information shortly. Stay tuned…

      • lebepotter

        Thanks, Joseph. I always stay tuned! Darryl’s replies and links have been helpful, too. –Jack

        • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

          Hey jack p. I included Darryl’s reply in my new post and featured your comment. Here is a new post on kale and thallium. Thanks again for mentioning!

  • Dommy

    re: kale . . . I’d seen this Yahoo link earlier but ignored it until reading these posts. Went back just now and to read …. Seems worth linking here

  • Jeewanu

    Everyone told me things like, “Yep its the same thing my father had” and similar Just-accept-it type bromides. I thought it would kill me it hurt so bad. So embarrassing I quit going out. It took some 6 months eating strict WFPB but the horror subsided and is now gone.

  • Lorrie

    I saw a mention of corn and/or corn meal. For a very long time I ate no corn products after I was diagnosed (and nearly died from Diver) and now I eat very little as most of the people I know with this disease. My reason was two fold. First of all it tends to go out in the same condition that it goes in. It’s obviously very difficult for the body to break down so I have considered this to be a bit too harsh on the intestines. Also corn is a big GMO treated crop. At least here in the USA and I don’t want anything to do with it, especially after I researched how it works on plants eating insects. I wonder but what all of these diseases or damage to the colon are linked, such as Crohns, IBS, leaky gut, etc.

  • Dommy

    Unable to wait I just looked up and read the cliff-hanger study shown at the end of the video.
    The researchers basically have NO answers and recommend further study.

    • Wade Patton

      Uh, but yet we have several “anecdotal accounts” posted here and in the myriad of other “lower g.i.” video discussions where individuals have successfully minimized or eliminated the complications and pain of diverticulitis in their lives.

      These, though not a study, should count for something. Maybe just be inspirational for others to give WFPB a try. SO MUCH good generally comes from it.

      Anyone here who has not previously reported his/her diverticular improvements (or not) after getting serious with the WFPB?

      • Dommy

        My comment was only about that particular 2013 study, nothing more.

  • Diane Folvi

    What about the addition Of Diatomaceous Earth in your diet ?

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I would not suggest it. The FDA has a few documents on Diatomaceous Earth here and here. I posted an older comment here for another person who asked about its use. It seems very little research, if any, exists on toxicity and safety in human trials.

      • jj

        As far as I can see Diatomaceous Earth is only good for putting around pet beds and lounging areas to kill fleas. Not sure it even does a good job of that.

  • Russell Mariani

    Thank you Dr. Greger for the great explanation with illustrations of what diverticulosis is, the precursor to diverticulitis. I have helped many people over the years with acute Diverticulitis who were facing surgery to avoid that surgery. It took more than changing diet and adding probiotics. In the narrow window of time given in those situations, a comprehensive herbal colon cleanse alongside proper daily hydration, nutrient dense fiber rich mostly plant based whole foods diet, supplemental digestive enzymes and supplemental probiotics were all required. The good news is that this approach is totally safe and effective for most people as long as they take the time to become properly educated about their condition, be willing to take responsibility for healing themselves with proper guidance, and that would include the responsibility of seeking medical attention if they experience another attack in the course of clearing out their colons; which is a distinct possibility. Fortunately in the cases I have worked with, additional attacks did not happen. Clearly the best thing to do is to prevent diverticulosis/diverticulitis from happening in the first place. And, it’s important to know that there are safe and effective remedies even for those people who have already suffered from this increasing common and very uncomfortable experience. Not only can diverticulosis-diverticulitis be prevented it can be completely reversed, cleaned out and healed, so that a normal, properly functioning colon has been restored. Russell Mariani, Director, The Center for Functional Nutrition, author, Healing Digestive Illness.

    • Russell Mariani knows his stuff and speaks the truth. If you’re suffering I highly recommend reading his book.

  • Tobias Brown

    Fascinating report here! Mind-blowing really. Anyway. I have a question.

    Dr Greger and many others often refer to the “vegan diet.” However, after studying the topic for about three years, I’ve come to appreciate only recently how many vegans eat what we might describes as “the vegan SAD diet.” This is SAD just with no animal foods. So, lot’s of fried or high fat foods, processed foods, refined foods, sugar foods, etc etc. Question: What proportion are “unhealthy vegans”? Are they the rule or the exception to the rule? 10%? Over 50%? 80%? Do we know? How can we know?

    • Darryl

      Judging by cookbook titles, I’d say the majority of younger vegans fall into that category. Followers of Drs. Campbell, Esselstyn, Barnard, Fuhrman, Greger et al. often use the phrase “whole-food, plant-based diet” to distinguish their health-oriented vegan diets.

      • Tobias Brown

        Ahem! By those images, veganism represents a sugary cupcake revolution!

        It seems that veganism does not offer a positive human food agenda. It focuses ONLY on a negative food agenda, which is: “do not eat animal protein. period.” That’s all well and good. They aren’t dietitians after all. That’s not their purpose. Problems arise though when vegan followers infer some “positive advice” in veganism on human ways of eating, which doesn’t exist, so before you know it… anything goes, as long as it’s not animals. Cupcake heaven. It all comes down to your interpretation.

        This doesn’t seem to be a failure of veganism per se. They accomplish their largely laudable aims whenever a new person stops eating animal protein. Instead, it’s a failure of those who become vegans to think hard enough about optimal ways to eat. Veganism though opens the door for such failures. (And now that the program has been laid out, it’s hard to change course.)

        • Wade Patton

          To whom are you speaking? The majority of us here are WFPB eaters and are quite aware of the “SAD vegan” ways. I won’t use the term “vegan” to describe my way of eating because I’m not 100% no animal and also because I wear leather boots and belts and woolen socks, use antler, bone, and horn for handles… etc.

          I do believe that part of Dr. Greger’s drive is to HELP the “SAD Vegans” learn to be truly healthy and not the “vegans” that drag down the statistical results when veggie/veganism is considered. (It’s such a small group that we all get lumped in together nearly every time).

          If I was going to “go nuts” over a dietary category it would be “vegetarian”. Makes no sense to me how excluding flesh but including eggs (unborn flesh) and mammary gland secretions (white poison) could ever be considered healthful or a “VEGGIE” way of life. Dairy is the first thing I learned was killing me silently-via sinus issues. Eggs, holy hell-bacon is more healthful.

          • Tobias Brown

            Kudos to you for resolving your sinus issue by stopping milk products.

            Dr Greger and others often refer to vegans or vegan diets. It’s a common idea that veganism suggests some type of a diet for humans. As far as I can tell, at least in the dietary domain, veganism only says DON’T EAT animal products. Period. That’s it. There is no “vegan diet”, it makes no suggestions beyond the negative “no animals” so vegans CAN EAT in a wide variety of ways, some healthy, some unhealthy (what we might call SAD vegan-style). It makes sense because they don’t focus on diet specifically but on animal rights. If you convert from eating animal foods to not consuming them, then veganism has another victory. Good for them but goodness help the vegan who selects the SAD vegan-style option. Does veganism care? No.

            I agree that the “vegetarian” word could use some serious shaping up. I go to Moe’s Southwest Grill for a quite healthy vegetarian burrito and before I can specify toppings the server is throwing cheese on my wrap. Ahem! I’m like cheese is vegetarian? He shrugs his shoulders. But milk and eggs products have become such an ingrained part of what most think of as vegetarian that to an extent we accept it. We use words as they are commonly used I guess and not as we’d like them to be used. I normally say “strict vegetarian” but still folks eyes still probably glaze over with that one. :(

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Here is a link where one can find NF translated to Portuguese so we can share with our family and friends who don’t understand English fully –

  • There is a movement to reduce the world’s population and one means is through compromising people’s health. It is ridiculous that “science” exists like the study Masterimpatient pointed out and Dr. Greger will point out. I love science, but it has brought as much ill into the world as it has good, and maybe even more. ~

  • Randy Bolton

    In The China Study and other more recent looks at WFPB lifestyles, sweet potatoes seem to be a HUGE answer in the search for health. Is it because people fill up on them rather than eating a lot of fat? Is it because people fill up on them rather than chowing down chicken which has Arachidonic Acid which CAUSES inflammation to go through the roof, or could it be that sweet potatoes have a lot of vegetable fiber because they’re actually not a potato, they’re a vegetable. You can Google that one. Is it because they have potassium? Biggest question… Does it really matter? Why can’t we all just start eating a lot more of them. I see lot’s of people ordering chicken burritos, but finding anything sweet potato FAST for lunch or on the go is almost impossible to find. Btw, there are 29 varieties of sweet potato. Where are they? There’s only one kind at the supermarket. If you want a link on this one, it’s all from The China Study.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      There are perhaps many reasons why sweet potatoes are so healthful. Fun fact: They have three times the beta-carotene as carrots! The China Study has such valuable information. Thanks for sharing this, Randy and let us know when you try all 29 varieties of sweet potatoes ;-) That sounds marvelous.

  • Soe diverticulitis cases are caused by mercury poisoning. Mercury causes chronic inflammation; get the mercury out of

    the body, and the condition will rectify itself. The problem is most people are not disciplined enough to practice a very low dose oral

    chelation. Let me know if you’d like to know more.

  • springtn

    I am currently taking Devil’s Claw for arthritis pain in my knee. Since I also have diverticulosis, I would like to add Cat’s Claw. Are there any known problems with taking both herbs together. Thank you

  • Hanne

    Hi, i’m having difficulty raising my fiber intake. ex:. Each time i eat more than one peace of fruit a day i have a lot of cramps and watery stool. I always have too soft stool and eating more fiber only seems to make it worse. How is this possible and how do i overcome this? Thank you.

  • JohnRHarker

    What about the SDC diet ( This is an area that has been confusing to me. In a plant-based diet, we rely on whole grains, rice and legumes for a lot of our protein. However, those with “intestinal disorders such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis of the pancreas,” seems to need non-plant based proteins and simple carbohydrates, which is counter to what is preached for vegans. Can you possibly respond at some point to the recent research in this area, and how these disorders get corrected in a plant-based diet? Thanks.

  • JohnRHarker

    My apologies. the New diet is SCD. The research on it can be found at:

    Any help you could give to direct our use of grains, legumes and flax versus their diet recommendations for those with gut problems would be helpful

  • vincenti

    An acquaintance of mine has this disease and often suffers stomach
    pains. He’s a meat eater but seems open to knowing about things to eat.
    He commented. “They say it’s caused by what you eat but they don’t seem
    to know what to eat.” Referring to his medical doctors. How do I tell
    him that it could help to avoid inflammation to eat a high fiber diet?
    And that black beans, chickpeas, lima beans, lentils, avakado, berries
    and assorted veggies seem to be the most viable option?

    How do I
    tell him?!??! This is my biggest problem with knowing that a plantbased
    diet is basically best for everything. I can’t convince people because
    mostly they won’t listen. I even managed to get a diagnosis and comment
    from a psychiatrist when I mentioned my passion for healthy eating. His
    exact words in my journal was “Over-valuing ideas on health and it’s
    impact on quality of life. Obsessive Compulsions.” I basically just told
    him that I manage anxiety by exercising and making sure I eat an
    optimally healthy plant-based diet as best I can… He got Orthorexia
    from that. So if I can’t even persuade my psychiatrist to acknowledging
    that exercise and nutrition has impact on mental health, what hope do I
    have of helping my friend with his stomach problems??

    I’m so grateful for all the help you’ve given me. To all of the staff a heartful thank you and many big hugs!

    Vincenti Zghra

    • Thea

      Vincenti: You are not alone in this problem. So many people post here with pain in their words that their loved ones and friends will not listen to advice that would give them their best chances at health.
      While there is no way to force someone to change, there are some ideas that might help For example, would your friend be open to watching Dr. Greger’s latest summary talk together? It’s free here: Or for a more polished documentary, the film Forks Over Knives has been very helpful for a lot of people. If your friend is focusing on anti-inflammatory diets, there are several videos-of-the-day on the topic. Here is a topic/overview page on inflammation:
      Sometimes a completely different approach works. Your friend may not be ready to care about animal suffering, but if he cares about the environment and global warming, then watching the movie Cowspiracy together may be the motivation that will help him help not just the planet, but himself.
      Finally, note that for a lot of people, diet change is a process, not an overnight decision. So, be patient. And perhaps offer tastes of delicious dishes made of whole plant foods. Contemplating change is always easier when it comes with known pleasant side effects instead of the fear of unknown and fear of suffering. Good luck to both of you!