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Eggs and Arterial Function

Even studies funded by the American Egg Board show our arteries benefit from not eating eggs.

May 14, 2014 |
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Sources Cited

Acknowledgements

Images thanks to cfinkeChristopher, and Yu’an Flickr.

Transcript

In reaction to the study that found a similar exponential increase in artery clogging plaque in smokers and egg eaters, one critic countered that eggs have beneficial effects on vascular endothelium, the inner lining of our arteries, citing this study on egg consumption and endothelial function, funded by the American Egg Board.

It was done on a group of men and women eating the standard American diet, overweight, normal cholesterol, (which is to say extremely high cholesterol) LDL levels twice as high as could be considered optimal. See, it’s often not appreciated that the average blood cholesterol level in the United States, the so-called normal level, has actually been abnormal, accelerating heart disease and putting a large fraction of the so-called normal population at a higher risk for coronary heart disease, our #1 killer.

If you threw a lit match into a flaming pool of gasoline and saw no real difference in the height of the flames, you can’t conclude that throwing lit matches into gasoline is not a fire hazard, but that’s what the egg board study concluded. When the addition of eggs didn’t make the arterial function worse than it already was, they concluded that short-term egg consumption does not adversely affect endothelial function in healthy adults.

The egg board paid for a follow-up using folks who were even worse off, total cholesterol of 244. They report that egg consumption had no effects on endothelial function… as compared to sausage and cheese. Compared to the ingestion of a sausage and cheese breakfast sandwich. Yet instead of sounding the alarm that eating eggs is as bad for arterial function as a McDonald’s Sausage McMuffin, they conclude egg consumption was found to be non-detrimental to endothelial function. And cholesterol as well. They started out with a life-threatening cholesterol and ended up with a life-threatening cholesterol.

Why didn’t it get even worse? Because there’s a plateau effect, you can basically max out on your cholesterol absorption. After a certain level of intake, it’s just another match to the fire. If you’re already consuming the standard American diet averaging 400mg of cholesterol daily, even add two jumbo eggs to one’s diet, and it may already be a lost cause. But to people trying to eat healthy, those two eggs could shoot their cholesterol up 20 points.

But, a fat-free, cholesterol-free egg substitute was beneficial. So, not eating eggs lowered cholesterol levels, not eating eggs improved endothelial function—and that’s what these people needed. Their arteries were already hurting, they needed something to bring the fire down, not throw more matches at it. Same with the other Egg Board study. They were apparently eating so unhealthy that adding eggs couldn’t make things much worse, but eating oatmeal instead of eggs made things better, helping to quench the fire. So even the Egg Board funded studies both said not eating eggs is better for our arteries, yet that’s the study pro-egg folks cite to claim beneficial vascular effects.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

To help out on the site please email volunteer@nutritionfacts.org.

Dr. Michael Greger

Doctor's Note

More on the reaction to the Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis study in my last video, Debunking Egg Industry Myths, as well as further discussion of the effects of the cholesterol in eggs on the cholesterol levels in the blood of egg consumers. More on that in:

I recently featured a food that actually does benefit vascular function. See Walnuts and Artery Function. Though the nut industry did try a similar tactic, see my video Nuts and Bolts of Cholesterol Lowering. The beef, soda, and dairy industries may also be guilty of experimental manipulation. See BOLD Indeed: Beef Lowers Cholesterol and Food Industry “Funding Effect”.

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

  • BB

    It is unfortunate that people do not look deeper into these misleading claims but rely on the designed conclusion that is presented. When I explain how misleading some of these studies are to my friends and family they are surprised and outraged. “How will we know what is true?”, they ask. Look deeper, do a little research. But, most people will just believe what they hear so these false, misleading claims can continue to work for the industries using these tactics. Having NutritionFacts.org as a resource to learn the facts is so valuable!

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Unfortunately most people do not have the time, nor (more importantly) the proper education and tool set necessary to evaluate research studies. This is what the people who fund the studies and make misleading statements count on!

      As one of my co-workers stated to me regarding the claim made on a recent study that “Beef Lowers Cholesterol” (which he left on my desk, and when asked, explained to him how the study was designed and flawed in their conclusions) — “You weren’t actually supposed to read the study.”

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bold-indeed-beef-lowers-cholesterol/

      • Toxins

        The BOLD study is another excellent example

      • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

        Nor do those who would like to read and analyze the studies have access to them past PubMed abstracts.

        So the vast majority of us are getting our info second-hand. Even here at our beloved NF.org. It often comes down to who you trust to filter your information for you.

  • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

    It’s amazing that Dr. Oz / Hyman / Lustig / Gary Taubes / WAPF get taken by such deceptive study claims. Don’t any of them look at the DATA?? Yet, they’ll scrutinize the raw data from the China Study to poke holes in it, or take the word of an English major who’s done so instead.

    Great world we live in.

    What do egg replacement products taste like?

    • Laloofah

      In baking, egg replacers (flax, chia, Ener-G, etc) typically have no flavor but just act as binders or leaven. In vegan dishes such as scrambles, omelets, “egg” salads, deviled “eggs” etc, tofu is usually used for the texture, along with turmeric for coloring and the Indian seasoning kala namak, a black salt (which is actually pink) for a sulfurous egg smell and flavor. Here’s a simple, tasty recipe from Cadry’s Kitchen for Vegan Breakfast Tofu Eggs that has links to more info about kala namak and a new product called Vegg (vegan egg yolk) that I haven’t tried: http://cadryskitchen.com/2014/02/16/vegan-breakfast-tofu-eggs/
      Is this the sort of info you were curious about?

      • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

        Nope. I was more curious about the egg replacer they may have used in the study. Like the commercial Egg Beaters product?

      • Thea

        Laloofah: Nice link! Thanks for sharing that. I’m starting to experiment with the kala namak and am happy to get new ideas. Especially one so simple. Thanks!

        • Laloofah

          You’re very welcome, Thea! I make Cadry’s recipe w/o the oil, just dry-frying the tofu in my nonstick skillet. Works fine. Have fun with your kala namak, I love it in my tofu scramble, too.

    • b00mer

      It looks like the “egg substitute” used in the study was the already separated egg whites you can buy in a carton.

      • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

        Right. That’s what I’m asking. Scramble up some Egg Beaters and what do they taste like? Close enough to the real thing to fool a subject/researcher in a RCT?

        • b00mer

          It wasn’t double-blind, so fooling researchers wasn’t an issue. During the second phase of the trial, subjects consumed either “1/2 cup” of substitute or 2 hardboiled eggs, and there was a crossover phase, so they definitely knew they were getting something different. Dilation and lipid panel seems pretty objective though, so I’m not sure the lack of a perfect placebo is significant.

          It would have been interesting if they added some Vegg to the egg beaters though. :)

          • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

            K. So I’m still asking, from anyone who has personal experience with the product, what do commercial Egg Beaters look and taste like when prepared? :-)

          • Wegan

            Well, you could buy some and try it yourself.

          • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

            That would defeat the purpose of asking in the first place: to learn from other’s mistakes and successes.

          • dancer80

            I actually eat eggs once every 1-2 weeks, for me personally 2 eggs once every 1-2 weeks are okay, the rest of the time I am vegan WFPB diet. I had tried egg replacers in baking, and I found it not to my liking because of a slightly bitter aftertaste it has. So now when I make vegan baked goods, I use ground flaxseed mixed with water or puréed silken tofu to substitute for eggs. If I absolutely have to use eggs then I use egg whites only or mostly egg whites with 1-2 yolks.

          • NotRappaport

            Before I went vegan, I ate a store-brand equivalent of Egg Beaters somewhat frequently. They taste just like conventional scrambled eggs. (But because they contain virtually no fat, they always stuck to my “nonstick” pans unless I added a generous amount of oil to the pan.)

          • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

            Thanks. That’s eggzacctly what I was wondering. :-)

  • Toxins

    This video is my favorite of volume 18, it really shows how nutrition “authorities” can misconstrue the results of the studies and point to these to claim eggs are healthy. The researchers make it easy for them too with the misleading conclusions. This video, along with the abundance of others on nutritionfacts.org really puts the nail in the coffin for eggs.

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      On that note, this particular podcast interview of Evelyn Kocur (aka @CarbSane) is worth a listen, even while disagreeing with her low carb diet choices.

      The Beginner’s Guide to Interpreting Health Research

      http://evidencemag.com/health-research-podcast/

      Basically, the media headlines don’t always say what the data says, the study title doesn’t always say what the data says, the author’s conclusions don’t always say what the data says…and that’s before you even start to analyze the methodology. (:-/

    • b00mer

      I really cannot believe that those researchers were able to do that study and write that article with a straight face. To call their conclusions “misleading” is being kind.

  • Heavydusty

    I’m definitely not against vegetarianism or for eating eggs, I’m all for eating the most healthy food. I just notice that most vegetarians have more visceral fat than they should eating so clean, and a “skinny fat” build. Dr. Greger for example has a belly, from things i have learned belly fat (visceral) increases the risk for hearth disease. Typically vegetarians don’t have an athletic build, lean and muscular. It seems from that perspective they are less healthy.

    • b00mer

      “Typically vegetarians don’t have an athletic build, lean and muscular.”

      I think that typically most people, vegetarian, vegan, or not, will not have a muscular build unless they actively pursue activities to achieve that look. You can easily find many examples of lean and muscular vegans, as well as huge bulky muscular vegans, from ultra runners and ironmen competitors, bodybuilders and fitness models, to professional basketball/hockey/football/tennis players, olympians, etc.

      Personally I think trying to paint all vegans or vegetarians with a certain “look” is as silly as trying to paint all non-vegans as having a certain look/physique/body composition/etc. It would certainly be statistically reasonable for me to say that it seems like non-vegans have a rather overweight or obese look to them, judging from several I’ve seen. But wouldn’t that sound like an extraordinarily off-base observation and conclusion to you?

      Certainly the data is in on vegans and heart disease. Whether you think any particular vegan looks skinny fat or not, a skinny fat vegan has a significantly decreased risk of heart disease than a skinny fat non-vegan.

      • heavydusty

        So the pursuit of just being vegetarian will not keep you safe from heart disease if you still have the extra fat on your body (visceral fat). It seems that Dr. always says that the fat is the fat/cholesterol is the culprit. But some Vegans/ veggies still have to much visceral fat to be considered healthy even when they never eat fat or cholesterol. It makes no sense to me.

        • b00mer

          You are working off an observation that vegetarians have more visceral fat, and then using that to form a hypothesis that this should put vegetarians at greater risk for heart disease. The problem with this hypothesis is two fold:

          1) Your observation is incorrect.

          A vegetarian diet results in greater visceral fat loss than a non-vegetarian diet:

          http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/j.1464-5491.2010.03209.x/

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3697401/

          Statistically, vegetarians are leaner than non-vegetarians.

          http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/5/791.long

          However you seem to believe that despite being leaner overall, vegetarians still have perhaps a higher proportion of visceral fat. If you have any evidence to back up this claim, please share. However, it seems that you are operating more on a basis of personal/selective/anecdotal observations.

          2) The second problem with your hypothesis is that it is already known that the predicted outcome disagrees with reality. We already know rates of heart disease in vegans and non-vegans. And the rates are better for vegans. We do not need to predict the rates of heart disease with different dietary regimes; we already know them. And it would not make very much sense to try to predict what is causing vegans to have more heart disease, when they have less.

          • heavydusty

            My point is: Eating no Cholesterol or Saturated fat does not automatically make you lean and healthy. Lean = healthy metabolism. Healthy metabolism = efficiently burning fat in blood. The point is you can have a healthy metabolism eating meats or veggies. Every one has different metabolism, some can eat as much cholesterol as they want and metabolize it. Some cannot, obviously. Broadly saying eggs or meats are bad or vegan-ism ect is good that is misleading. We are metabolically diverse in every way and that is why humans are still on the earth. Dr. is to biased toward his personal views. That’s all. Some can smoke 50 years and live to 100.

          • b00mer

            “Broadly saying eggs or meats are bad or vegan-ism ect is good that is misleading”

            I know right? That would be like broadly saying cigarettes are bad or non-smoking is good. Why study anything? We’re all different.

          • Wegan

            Some can but most cannot.

          • laguna

            You are only trying to make yourself feel better-nothing more…
            Eat what you want.

        • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

          Excessive calories result in an excessive BMI no matter what the source of calories. Excess weight tends to raise LDL and TG while lowering HDL. So excessive weight on anyone is a concern for all, especially central adiposity.

          Many vegans/vegetarians eat BK veggie burgers, fries, and Coke.… all vegetarian foods but not necessarily healthy. VegJUNKtarians are not exempt from heart disease.

          However, vegans (supplemented properly with Vit B12) still lower their risk for cardiovascular disease by not throwing more dietary saturated fat+cholesterol onto the fire, raising LDL even further than necessary.

        • laguna

          People who eat a whole food plant based diet are leaner by a fair margin. How did you dream up this fat scenario of yours?

    • Jean

      “It seems from that perspective they are less healthy. ”

      A whole foods plant based diet simply prepared is from my perspective a healthier way to live. But many factors play into “health”. I have problems that this way of eating helps and makes me healthier to deal with problems that are not related to diet.

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      Ever see Dr. Joel Fuhrman jump from the floor to the top of his desk?

      Joel Fuhrman: The Doctor Is Out There

      http://www.mensjournal.com/magazine/joel-fuhrman-the-doctor-is-out-there-20121107

    • Toxins

      This is an n=1 approach to things. The universe of vegetarians are not only the ones you have seen. I myself am a competitive rock climber and have only noticed strength gains from going plant based. Exercise increases muscle mass, not diet.

    • laguna

      and the average person looks good to you?

  • hancock

    it is all very confusing. A report I read recently say if you dont eat fish your chance of getting dementia is doubled.

    so all the vegen and vegetarians what do they have to say about that ?

    • Coacervate

      I’m tryin to think but nothin happens

    • largelytrue

      Citing the report, and giving a brief summary to show something of what you remember beside the conclusion you took away, would probably be good.

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      Got data? Link to study on PubMed?

    • Toxins

      I am assuming this is due to omega 3′s? Flax, walnuts and leefy greens are great sources for omega 3′s.

      • http://lazy-couple-180.tumblr.com Julia

        Chia and hemp too, right?

        • Toxins

          Yes, definitely.

  • Coacervate

    I always look for the funding source. You can weed out a lot of propaganda that way. As BD said years ago, “Money doesn’t talk, it swears.”

  • http://www.veganostomy.ca/ VeganOstomy

    How do studies like those end up in peer reviewed journals? The conclusions are so misleading that I’d consider them borderline criminal fraud.

  • Reuven Rosenberg

    I like your informative videos, but don’t understand your war on eggs. Yes, I get what was put across in this video. I think, however, that we can find studies which fit our opinions. What about eggs having their own lecithin built in? And what about cholesterol being primarily a result of endogenous, not exogenous causes? What about high cholesterol and arterial blockage being a consequence of systemic inflammation? Eggs are a powerhouse of nutrients in a small package.

    • largelytrue

      You are the reason. Gregor thinks you are misinformed about eggs in particular and cites information for you in order to counter that. For that matter, I think you are likely misinformed, myself. The wishy-washy bit about it all being relative because we can find studies that superficially support our views is weak. Official recommendations caution to limit dietary cholesterol and if you want to have a different opinion from that you need to reason more closely.

      • Reuven Rosenberg

        I am the reason for what? You did not address my questions.

        • largelytrue

          You didn’t back your objections with anything resembling hard studies, and you apparently appealed to the idea that studies can be used to support any view. Why should anyone pursue a close argument with you if you aren’t going to use the same close standard in developing the argument from your perspective?

          • Coacervate

            Eggxactly! The war is on ignorance. Eat all the little powerhouses you like Reuven. You can take it from me that after your first heart attack they turn into big fat smart pills.

          • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg

            I eat 3-6 eggs a week and my cholesterol is perfectly fine. Are you familiar with Dr. Roger Williams?

          • Toxins

            Perfectly fine being what exactly? Normal cholesterol is not exactly “normal”.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/new-target-cholesterol/

          • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg

            Within normal lab ranges. What is the hysteria about eating a few eggs per week? I had a patient with blood so thick and full of lipids and they lived into their 80s! That’s an exception but it points out the importance of biochemical individuality and that it is very possible for someone to live a long life with no restrictions in their activities, even with such high blood fats. Frankly I scratch my head over the extreme nature of her case. I would like to hear from someone on this thread the acknowledgement that cholesterol is a critical molecule in the body, so important for so many functions, made by nearly every cell, and that low cholesterol is a far higher problem than high. I would also like to hear from someone that inflammation and white sugar are the true problems we all face today. Biomarkers of inflammation are where we should be looking!!! Stop making a war on individual foods. We’ve been through it all already going around in circles. Protein is good. Now its’ bad. We were wrong, it’s really good. Etc. All whole foods are good. Too much or too little of anything is not good. Inflammation and environmental toxins are the true problem.

          • Toxins

            Low cholesterol through dietary means is not an issue.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/videos/can-cholesterol-be-too-low/

            Eggs are inflammatory just as this video demonstrates along with others
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/inflammatory-remarks-about-arachidonic-acid/

            In addition to the the inflammatory effects of animal based foods
            http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/endotoxemia/

        • largelytrue

          For the record, let me also point out that I edited the post to which you are replying for clarity shortly after posting it, but you may not have seen the final version before posting. I apologize for that.

    • Toxins

      Hello Reuven, the nutrients in eggs are of little concern as they are way more abundant elsewhere.

      Eggs are considered good sources of lutein and omega 3 as well as an excellent source of protein. For these reasons, they are considered health foods. Looking at these claims in detail, chickens have lutein due to the fact that they have a varietized feed, these nutrients are not inherent of eggs. Based on the nutrient data found on the USDA database, 10 grams of spinach has approximately 12 times more lutein then 10 grams of an egg. We cannot really consider eggs an appropriate source of this nutrient.

      https://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12354500/Data/SR25/nutrlist/sr25a338.pdf

      Regarding Omega 3, current levels of omega 3 in eggs are highly inadequate and one must consume around 30 eggs to reach an acceptable level of omega 3 for the day. A male needs around 1.6 grams of omega 3 per day, a female needs around 1.1 grams a day. A large egg contains about .037 grams of omega 3. Omega 3 in the ALA form processes to EPA which is also processed to DHA. These fats areanti-inflammatory. Omega 6 processes down to arachadonic acid which is highly inflammatory.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/inflammatory-remarks-about-arachidonic-acid/

      “What about high cholesterol and arterial blockage being a consequence of systemic inflammation?”

      This video demonstrates that eggs causes systemic inflammation in addition to the high intake of arachidonic acid.

      “And what about cholesterol being primarily a result of endogenous, not exogenous causes?”

      “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be ex…pectedonce baseline dietary cholesterol was >400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal levels (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/55/6/1060.full.pdf

      • b00mer

        This is the kind of stuff I think would be great in a faq section! Especially the baseline cholesterol bit. Actually, especially all of it. :)

    • b00mer

      “I think, however, that we can find studies which fit our opinions”

      You missed something here. Did you watch the video? Greger took the major studies egg proponents use to back up their own opinions, which are funded by the egg industry, which explicitly and incorrectly conclude that eggs are non-detrimental, and he simply presented their own data and methodological details in a more honest light to show the erroneous and ethically questionable nature of their conclusions.

      In all of the lay-media coverage on eggs being beneficial or non-harmful, I have not once seen the caveat of “… as a sausage egg mcmuffin”.

      It’s not a war on eggs, it’s simply a war on misinformation, as others have said. All he’s doing is giving you information. Take it in, process it, then do what you want with it. Acquisition of knowledge should not induce a defensive response.

    • Lawrence

      Hi Reuven,

      With respect, this should unruffle your feathers:
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15640512

      As for eggs being a ‘powerhouse of nutrients,’ I’m just not seeing it:
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/dairy-and-egg-products/111/2
      And, at 63% of calories from fat and 35% animal protein, it seems like a very rich food that should be taken infrequently if so desired.

      Finally, one can get as much choline present in one large egg by eating two cups of broccoli, a much better choice imo:
      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/othernuts/choline/

      Have a great day and keep coming back!

      • Ben

        I looked up eggs on the ANDI score list, a ranking of foods based on nutrient density. The only foods that receive a perfect 1000 score are leafy greens like kale and watercress. Berries will give anything from a 200-300 score, but eggs are only a measly 31. Bananas are a 30, but when you consider all the baggage that eggs bring to the table, bananas at 30 are a much better option. So I don’t get why people think eggs are a nutritional powerhouse. Are bananas a nutritional powerhouse? No, but a few bananas a day is ok since they don’t have all that bad stuff in them.

        • Thea

          Ben: I’m not familiar with the ANDI score, but I’m going to look it up. Your post fascinated me. Thanks so much for taking the time to make this post.

  • Ryan

    Dr. Greger you have changed my life completely! You truly are the most caring and selfLESS person i’ve ever come across! Dr. Greger you literally given me YEARS of healthy life that i most likely wouldn’t have had had I not watched your videos and learned how much diet truly affects your life! I probably would have dropped dead of a heart attack in my 50′s had it not been for you!

    (Quoting batman begins)
    “Some men just wan’t to see the world burn” well Dr. Greger just wants to see the world LEARN. an amazing man he truely is!

    • http://YourSleepingGenius.com Gayle Delaney

      I second your enthusiastic praise of Dr. Greger, Ryan. How fortunate we are to know his work! It hurst when I read nasty criticisms of this selfless and very funny man who can bring alive so much nutritional and political information for so many. I love his voice, style, and courage. I hope he will have more Hang Outs whiling on the treadmill. That was fun.

      • Thea

        Gayle: I agree with you. I’m often baffled by the pettiness out there. I can only believe that it stems from a deep rooted fear that Dr. Greger is right, and someone might actually have to change if they want to be healthy. Their unconscious is saying, “better to just shoot the messenger.” I too have a fun time seeing the videos. Thanks for your post!

        • http://YourSleepingGenius.com Gayle Delaney

          Thea: I am a psychologist who studies dreams and problem solving. I hear many dreams about nutrition and my impression is that getting between an eater and his addiction is like getting between a mother bear and …!

          • Thea

            Gayle: Your work sounds absolutely fascinating.

            And I have to say, the end of your post made me smile big! ;-)

    • Thea

      Ryan: I think that Dr. Greger tries to read as many of the comments that he can. While I don’t speak for Dr. Greger, I’m sure he really appreciated your post. And speaking for myself – me too! Thanks for posting and for giving me a fun batman quote that I didn’t know. :-)

  • http://YourSleepingGenius.com Gayle Delaney

    COFFEE BOOSTED? while we are nearly 100% nutritarian and follow Dr. Gregger’s advice very closely, we do drink one or two cups of medium roast coffee a day. But here is how we make it better: 8 oz of coffee dripped through paper, ½ to one tsp. of a mix of equal parts of turmeric, (with dash of pepper), ginger, cardamom, 2 parts cinnamon from Ceylon, 8 oz of unsweetened soy milk, Truvia ( 50* erythritol) or erythritol to taste, all buzzed with a frother to keep a good part of the spices in suspension, and then microwaved. DELICIOUS!

    • Ben

      Thanks, I’ll give it a try. One thing I don’t like is a lot of cardamon, though, I’ll have to just do a pinch.

      • http://YourSleepingGenius.com Gayle Delaney

        Over time, we have come to enjoy more and more spices. I used to be very cloves and cardamom shy. Kevin has always been able to enjoy almost anything we have tried from Drs. Fuhrman and Egger. I have been amazed at my conservatism in taste. But with practice, I become a progressive.

        • http://YourSleepingGenius.com Gayle Delaney

          P.S. I mix all those spices and funnel them into one spice shaker. Saves lots of opening and closing.

  • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

    Just curious. How many eggs do the lacto-ovo Seventh Day Adventists centenarians eat on average?

  • Eric

    I’m into fitness and bodybuilding and have been eating a plant based vegan diet for almost a month now and love it plan to stay this way! I was just wondering what about ‘Ajipure vegan branch chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine will they help build muscle? and are they bad for you?

    • Lawrence

      Hi Eric,

      Welcome to the wonderful world of Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) living! Regarding your questions about taking isolated amino acids, I am writing to emphasize the ‘Whole Food’ portion of WFPB diets. Just shooting from the hip here, have a look at a whole food like black turtle beans:
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/legumes-and-legume-products/4283/2

      I mean, really look at all you are getting from this bean that Dr. Gregor shows us to be The Best Bean:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-bean-2/

      Also, have a look at the amino acids present in one measly cup of cooked black beans:
      http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrientprofile&dbid=87

      All your amino acids of interest are in there in plentiful quantities, along with a wide range of nutrients that no supplement maker in their wildest dreams could ever stuff into a jar.

      And don’t forget about the fiber. Fiber is your BEST FRIEND!!! You won’t get any of it by eating amino acid supplements.

      Finally, there are websites devoted to vegan bodybuilding:
      http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/

      But, as you learn more about how to eat WFPB from Dr. Greger and other reputable sources, I suspect you will become a very savvy consumer of any wonder supplement these sites are promoting.

      Again, welcome to WFPB living and have a great workout!

    • Lawrence

      Eric, you probably already know this, but because you’re new to WFPB I wanted to be sure you are aware of the following.
      1) You MUST obtain a reliable source of vitamin B12. Supplements are easiest to deal with imo; I take 5000 micrograms sublingual methylcobalamin once per week. Here’s a link to all of Dr. Greger’s B12 videos to get you started:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=b12

      2) You must be sure to get omega-3 essential fatty acids; two rounded tablespoons of GROUND flax seeds daily is what I do, and you can eat this stuff any way you like. Omega-6 EFA’s are plentiful in whole plant foods and so that is a non-issue. Here’s Dr. G’s wisdom:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=flax

      3) Processed oils are not a whole food, and it is important to consider how much of this you plan to use going forward. I use canola spray on my waffle iron, but that’s all the processed oil I use. Most processed oils are loaded with omega-6 EFAs that will interfere with your body’s ability to convert the omega-3 EFAs obtained by eating ground flax seeds into EPA/DHA, which are the prized substances for optimal health.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/index.php?s=oil

      All the best and good luck!

  • Humzee

    I have to admit I am frustrated when I see portions of the studies cited in these video clips, but am unable to access the full studies when I go to the links in the “Sources Cited” section because I don’t have access to the articles on the various professional journal sites. As much as I appreciate Dr. Greger creating and presenting these thought-provoking clips, I would like to read the original research papers rather than have them filtered for me. I am able to read enough of the articles by freezing the clips to see that Dr. Greger is often times slanting his remarks toward his overall emphasis on plant-based diets and not presenting the full evidence as it was originally printed. This is a result of the complexity of scientific research and reporting. It would take a clip 3-4X as long to present the material fully and that is just not feasible in our media focuses short news bit world. People would get tired of listening to all the scientific jargon that normally goes with any comprehensive presentation. MAYBE THE CLIPS COULD SHOW A LITTLE MORE OF THE ORIGINAL ARTICLES SO THAT THOSE OF US INTERESTED IN REVEIWING THE SOURCES OF INFORMATION COULD GET A FULLER LOOK AT THE RESEACH?

    • Toxins

      What helps me is if I google the article title in quotes and after the last quote, put pdf. For example, “Article title” pdf

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      I feel your pain.

      I’m sure Dr. Greger would love to show larger portions of the studies he cites, but I’m guessing that showing much more besides a small quote to make a point might be a copyright issue.

      Try looking for titles via Google Scholar. That may reveal a secondary source for a particular paper. Some studies are published in more than one publication.

      I know of one blogger who depends on copies of studies being donated to her by readers who have access to a medical library. But I’m not one of them.

    • b00mer

      Humzee, do you happen to have access to a public university library? A university, particularly one with a good science/engineering program, will have subscriptions to most of these journals.

      Fwiw, I don’t think a bigger screenshot is going to make much of a difference. Whatever you think of Dr. Greger’s interpretation of the author’s prose, in order to decide if you even agree with the author’s interpretation and validity of their own data, you need the whole paper, especially the super fine print methods section, and that’s a section that is never going to be shown in the videos.

    • Jen Drost, Physician Assi

      Hi Humzee, I volunteer for Dr. Greger and have access to a medical library. If you (or anyone else reading this) want an article mentioned in Dr. G’s work, I’m happy to email it to you. Just cut and paste the link into an email to NFvolunteer@gmail.com

  • frankfurman
    • Mike Quinoa

      Good find, frankfurman.

  • Doug

    When he said the study was done by an Egg Board, at that point, I had no interest in their conclusions. Just like when coffee, wine, beer companies fund studies. They are performing many studies until they find one that shows something good and that is all you see published. Lately the avocado advocates are citing studies about the health benefits of avocados. But they don’t mention the fat in them.

    • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

      I saw Dr. Oz one day cite one cup of diced avocado as being “a surprisingly good source of protein”. Pitiful.

      • Coacervate

        You must always remember that the purpose of Dr. Ooze as with all television is to sell soap. Soap, insurance and toothpaste… and cars. Cars, soap, comfy chairs, insurance and toothpaste. and fluffy toilet paper (ftp). … Among the many products sold by Dr. Odz are …now for something completely different…

        • http://macsmiley.tumblr.com/ MacSmiley

          I understand that. Unfortunately, people listen to him. His recommendations are gospel for some, even though he contradicts himself constantly. Makes me wonder who’s writing his script and lining up guests. Dr. Fuhrman on one day, “Grain Brain” Perlmutter the next.

  • Reuven Rosenberg

    The REAL QUESTION IS NOT even about cholesterol and eggs at all. If we are REALLY concerned about cardiovascular health (and not pushing a vegetarian/vegan agenda) and what (micro/macro) nutrients and thus foods are helpful or harmful to this end, then you have to look at BIOMARKERS OF VALUE. The following links go into various aspects of this area

    http://biomarkers.cardiosource.org/Basics-of-Biomarkers

    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/113/19/2335.full

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3632595/

    http://www.aacc.org/…/Docu…/EmergingCV_RiskFactors09.pdf

    http://www.sciencedirect.com/…/pii/S0009912013002750

    Only when you have a decent/reliable set of biomarkers that are effective in predicting CVD can you then move forward in designing a good study testing and then determining whether a given food/nutrient prevents or contributes to CVD.

    This study actually looks at a few of these useful biomarkers (adiponectin and CRP) and found that eggs were beneficial, though she was funded by the egg industry: http://www.nutritionandmetabolism.com/content/5/1/6#

    Or you can just floss more
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24824149.

  • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg

    Does cholesterol cause CV disease? http://vimeo.com/77730824

    • Lawrence
      • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg

        Nearly 3 hours? Lawrence, c’mon, LOL! Please bottom line it for me. ;)

    • Dave

      Your post is part one of a two part program that has been removed from the ABC website for breach of it’s impartiality standards http://www.news.com.au/…/story-fneuz9ev-1226914999262.

      This program has been widely criticised.

      This is the first of a six part detailed discussion and critique of the information presented in this program.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc0fRxFcLHg

      Enjoy.

      • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg

        Dave, thanks. I’m always interested in all sides of the issue. I’m in favor of the Mediterranean way of eating for most people. I think there are extremists on both ends.

      • Lawrence

        Devastating. Thank you, Dave.

        For the record, a few days ago I responded to one of Reuven’s posts, at which time the handle was ‘Reuven…’. But, today this handle has been changed to ‘Dr.Reuven…’ on all posts. Perhaps Dr. Rosenberg would be so kind as to share with the hundreds of thousands of people who visit this site his credentials. Thank you in advance, Dr. Rosenberg.

        • Annoyed by Paleofraud

          Be alert Lawrence, you never know. One clever paleotroll we know has frequently used multiple aliases and personas -often after being banned, again- or being unable to keep them all straight – so you shouldn’t think there are more than just one of them.

      • Paradigms
  • HereHere

    It is a shame that the media gobbles up Industry spin the way they do. It happens on a nearly daily basis. The real shame is those working for Industry (PR firms, communications managers, etc.) will twist deadly things around to make them appear healthy. This has got to stop, but I don’t see our politicians having the guts, the will or the ability to stand up to Industry lobbyists and other pressures coming from the meat, egg and dairy industries.

  • Dr.Reuven Rosenberg
    • Toxins

      You should know better than others that books are hardly sources of good information, especially when the author has the full capability of misconstruing the data. A great example of this is wheat belly and the blood type diet.

      • DanielFaster

        Hey Toxins, Dr. Garth Davis (plant based weight loss surgeon) had a great facebook post the other day on carbs vs. fats in the wake of Fed Up:

        So I post a picture of a vessel loaded with fat [atherosclerotic artery] and tell people to use common sense. I then get a bunch of responses trying to teach me physiology, even though that is my expertise. The fact that I actually go to the meetings where this is discussed and debated, the fact that I actually study the journal articles, the fact that I actually treat patients and have for 12 years, seems to not matter much to some people. So lets get scientific. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

        What matters when you eat is your post meal state. This is far more important than baseline fasting lipid values. A key study was done by Vogel who measured vessel response via duplex sonography after fatty and non fatty meals. AFter a fatty meal there is measurable vasoconstriction. The effect is like putting your finger over a hose. The velocity of the blood increases causes sheer force. He also showed that after a high fat meal the blood was loaded with fat, some of it is oxidized LDL which is exactly what you see in the picture from yesterday. Vogel, R. A., et al. (1997). “Effect of a single high-fat meal on endothelial function in healthy subjects.” Am J Cardiol 79(3): 350-354.

        Now I certainly don’t think added sugar is good for you. Excess calories will create fat. Problem is that sugar itself, in a single meal, is not inflammatory at all, but fat is extremely inflammatory provoking. This study feed people juices vs cream and the difference in inflammation is dramatic. Deopurkar, R., et al. (2010). “Differential effects of cream, glucose, and orange juice on inflammation, endotoxin, and the expression of Toll-like receptor-4 and suppressor of cytokine signaling-3.” Diabetes Care 33(5): 991-997.

        So you have a state after a fatty meal where you are inducing flow changes and inflammation and increasing lipids!!!! Meanwhile, sugar does not create any of these issues. Sørensen, L. B., et al. (2005). “Effect of sucrose on inflammatory markers in overweight humans.” Am J Clin Nutr 82(2): 421-427.

        There has never been an animal model of atherosclerosis created with feeding carbs but many with feeding saturated fat. Population studies from EPIC, to ADVENTIST, to FRamingham, to so many others show definite relationship between high saturated fat and heart disease.

        Chew on this. The National Geographic Blue Zone study found places where people had exceptional longevity. None of these places eat a high fat diet. They eat MAINLY CARBS. The Okinawans live long healthy lives eating yams and rice. If carbs ae so bad why are they so healthy. You may say processed carbs are different and they are in that they lack fiber. Otherwise though, sugar is sugar.

        There are NO long living high fat consuming people. None. Please do not say the Inuits. They live to 50 at best and actually do have heart disease. GJ, f. and V. B (2014). for the origins of the Eskimos and heart disease, facts or wishful thinking? A review. Canadian Journal of Cardiology.
        Of course people love to say the Masaii don’t have heart disease. That is because they die at 45-50 before their 1 st heart attack, but autopsy studies show they do have atherosclerosis.

        The bashing of sugar is backed by this belief that sugar causes insulin to rise and insulin is the real problem, so we should eat steak instead of bananas. Problem is that insulin rises higher after a steak than it does after a banana. A fatal flaw to the argument. Holt, S. H., et al. (1997). “An insulin index of foods: the insulin demand generated by 1000-kJ portions of common foods.” Am J Clin Nutr 66(5): 1264-1276.

        The fact is it is not as simple as fat or sugar. It is really a combination. You don’t usually just eat plain sugar. A doughnut has more calories from fat than sugar. Most sugars are combined with fat, so the insulin release cause the fat to be stored. Eat a banana and there is sugar but no fat to react to the insulin.

        The other absolute thing you have to understand is that active interventions aimed at reducing fat have actually reduced heart disease. THERE ARE NO STUDIES THAT SHOW INCREASING SATURATED FAT DECREASES HEART DISEASE. NONE!!! It is absolutely preposterous. Ornish showed that you can absolutely reverse heart disease with a low saturated fat diet. The North Karelia project showed that an organized government program to reduce saturated aft and cholesterol can work extremely well. Ornish, D., et al. (1998). “Intensive lifestyle changes for reversal of coronary heart disease.” JAMA 280(23): 2001-2007.

        I sit across from patients everyday review their diet logs. I operate on them and see their insides. I cut open vessels and clear out cholesterol plaques. You can choose to believe a blogger or a journalist or you can trust in science that has been around for a long time. You choose.

        • Thea

          DanielFaster: This is such a great article. It’s concise, cites references, and addresses people’s confusion. Perfect.

          Thanks for taking the time to post it! I really appreciate it.

        • Toxins

          Thanks for the post! A nice summary all in one.

        • JacquieRN

          Thank you for posting Daniel.

  • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

    What got me worried is the finding, that vegans have lower HDL levels, which can be because of e.g. “poor diet, especially if high in carbohydrates”.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24712525

    • Toxins

      Having a high HDL is not completely necessary necessary

      A review examining 108 randomized control trials found this.

      “This systematic review and meta-regression analysis of 108 randomised controlled trials using lipid modifying interventions did not show an association between treatment mediated change in high density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk ratios for coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths whenever change in low density lipoprotein cholesterol was taken into account. We found a statistically significant, substantial association between change in low density lipoprotein cholesterol and risk ratios for coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths”

      “Our findings contribute to accumulating evidence that simply increasing the amount of circulating high density lipoprotein cholesterol does not necessarily confer cardiovascular benefits”

      They also note that HDL that is dysfunctional and pro inflammatory may be produced under certain dietary conditions, “recent data suggest that a low fat, high fibre diet, in combination with exercise, converts high density lipoprotein cholesterol from a pro-inflammatory to an anti-inflammatory state.”

      Conclusion: “Available data suggest that simply increasing the amount of circulating high density lipoprotein cholesterol does not reduce the risk of coronary heart disease events, coronary heart disease deaths, or total deaths. The results support reduction in low density lipoprotein cholesterol as the primary goal for lipid modifying interventions.”

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2645847/

      • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

        Thanks for the info.

      • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

        Could you please also comment on the following?
        http://authoritynutrition.com/7-ways-the-low-fat-diet-destroys-your-health/
        It is based on several studies.
        Why I’m asking, 4 weeks ago I switched to a low fat vegan diet (whole foods) and feel like crap – weakness, fatigue, brain fog, very low mood, etc. My doctor insists that I should switch to high fat paleo-like diet instead…

        • Toxins

          The article is incredibly flawed and assumes dietary norms that are untrue. In addition, the information is very skewed. Obviously this is a paleo website, it would misconstrue the data. nutritionfacts.org provides a more balanced point of view. Many would disagree that nutritionfacts.org is balanced, but because the evidence points towards a plant based diet does not mean that its biased in that way, its just what the science says.

          What constitutes your diet, is your diet based on nuts, or complex carbs? Do you consume flaxseed/walnuts? do you consume processed foods of any kind? a 24 hour, honesty dietary food recall is necessary to see if you are consuming adequate foods.

          • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

            OK, you asked for it :)

            First: I do not consume any fast food, sugar, processed food, low grade veg. oil, etc.

            Age: 42, height: 180 cm, weight: 72 kg.

            And here goes an honest 24 hour food recall (in order of appearance ;-):

            Breakfast:
            - 2 teaspoons of cocoa + 200 ml water + 300 ml organic oat drink (water + 10 percent oats);
            - 1 raw banana;
            - 1 teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil (love it though its saturated :)
            - 1,5 tablespoons of flaxseed (crushed and added just before consuming);
            - 0,75 tablespoon of turmeric powder + 200 ml of water;
            - 1 apple.

            Lunch:
            - 1 red beet, boiled + 1 cucumber + 200 ml of kefir + green onion + 1 boiled potato (it’s our national cold soup – I’m from Lithuania);
            - 10-15 cherry tomatoes;
            - a cup of spinach + lettuce;
            - a cup of green tea.

            Dinner:
            - ~2 cups of boiled mung dalas beans (with some ginger, curry spices mix and onions sautéed in a table spoon o virgin olive oil);
            - 2 cups of greens: lettuce, baby spinach, ruccola;
            - a handful of walnuts and almonds;
            - a cup of green tea;
            - a little piece of black chocolate;

            Snack:
            - a cup of mint tea;
            - 1 apple;
            - a handful of frozen cherries.

            Supper:
            - 50 grams (dry) of organic rolled oats, boiled (love my oatmeal despite articles
            like: http://www.marksdailyapple.com/are-oats-healthy/#axzz337CyW4pg);
            - 1,5 tablespoons of flaxseed;
            - 1 banana and some goji berries (dried) added into the oatmeal;
            - 1 teaspoon of organic virgin coconut oil.

            That’s about it :)

            Oh, and supplements: 1 cap of vitamin D3 (800 IU of cholecalciferol), 1 cap of B group vitamins
            (milgamma (R): 40 mg benfothiamine (B1), 90 mg piroxidine hydrochloride (B6)
            and 0.25 mg cyancobalamine.

            Myself, I cannot find any evidence for benefits of meat and saturated fats, have been
            browsing medpub database for a week or so :) My academic background is not very
            far away from medical: I have a BSc in molecular biology, MSc in ecology and PhD in ecology/environmental sciences :) And my family doctor with his paleo meat/fat beliefs is telling me that humans evolved only after they started eating meat and my neurological symptoms are purely because of my vegan diet :(

          • Toxins

            Ok, thanks. I put in your food intake into cronometer, an online nutrition program. Assuming what you gave me was accurate, the results are in the attached image below and are near estimations of your nutrient intake.

            Firstly, I want to tell you that you have a great omega 6:3 ratio, you are consuming plenty of fiber and it is good your diet is primarily based on plants.

            Secondly, I would like you to note that you are consuming trans fat on this diet and a copoius amount of saturated fat, in addition to total fat. This is mainly due to the kefir, and added oils. If you could eliminate these oils and animal products that would benefit you. I would keep the walnuts and flaxseed in your diet and almonds too.

            Third, oats are great for you, just make sure that it is not quick rolled oats (the kind that cooks in 1 min.). The reason is that it is very quickly absorbed which can cause a blood sugar spike, and I have heard a lot of anecdotal evidence from the community around me that they did not feel good after consuming quick oats. After I recommended switching to thick cut oats or regular rolled oats, they did not experience the unpleasant feeling, whether it be lethargy or poor mood.

            Major recommendations: I would continue eating your potatoes, and beans and begin eating thick cut oats, and experiment with adding a greater variety of vegetables such as red bell peppers, squash, mushrooms, etc. to your diet. Keep on with the salads as well. Eliminate all of the added oils, continue with the flax and nuts you already have been consuming, and eliminate the kefir. If you are looking for other starches to include in your diet, brown rice is another tasty and inexpensive option.

            I would up your intake of vitamin D to 2,000 IU’s per day after breakfast, and take 250-500 mcg’s of b12 daily, or 2,500-5,000 once a week. There is no need for the other B vitamins you are taking, you are getting plenty in your diet.

            If you are looking for a quality website of the same caliber as nutitionfacts.org that disseminates the fact from fiction regarding the paleo diet, I would go here. Plant positive is an excellent website.
            http://www.plantpositive.com/

          • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

            Thanks a lot for the insights. But which product contains trans fat in my diet??? The only added oils are virgin olive and coconut oil.
            Regarding oats, those are minimally processed, (15 minutes boiling time), though I boil them only for 5 minutes – I pour boiling water and soak them for a while before consuming.

          • Toxins

            Kefir is the only animal source and contains trans fat. Good to hear about the oats. Free oils do not contribute to health but diminish it, so even the finest quality coconut or olive oil are still unhealthy. Oils are pure fat with no nutrition, its essentially a food extract.

            I think doing that will reduce your fat intake, and eating more starches and a variety of veggies will also help.

          • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

            Also, which program do you use for nutrient intake analysis? I tried cronometer.com for a short while, but somehow abandoned it :)

          • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

            Ouch, only now I noticed you’ve mentioned cronometer as well!!!

  • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

    And the study concludes that “ovo-lacto vegetarian diet may be more appropriate for premenopausal women.”

  • Mindaugas Raulinaitis

    Low HDL C again :(

    Compared with the Western diet, the Vegetarian diet was associated with lower homeostasis model of assessment-insulin resistance (-1.12 mmol/L × mU/L; P=0.05) and lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (-4.77 mg/dL; P=0.09).

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24295929

  • Lee

    Dr. Greger – with regards to high fat diets, including egg consumption, there evidently a study from 1966 by NN Gupta at KG Medical College in Lucknow, India that purports that two ounces of onion eaten with/shortly after consuming a meal with 90% fat (butter, cream and eggs), was a powerful antidote to the ill effects associated with a high fat diet. My question is if you have seen this and/or other research that you can comment on. It seems to be an interesting claim, along with other tremendous health benefits of onions in lowering blood sugar, antibacterial, anti-cancer, etc. I found the reference in the book, “Left for Dead” (pg.145) by Dick Quinn, Thanks, Lee.