Doctor's Note

So What Diet Should Physicians Recommend? Watch the video!

Lifestyle medicine, the use of diet and lifestyle changes to prevent and treat disease, can not only be cheaper and safer, but also more effective. See, for example:

I’ve previously noted just how sad the Standard American Diet is:
Nation’s Diet in Crisis. See how you compare: Calculate Your Healthy Eating Score.

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

To post comments or questions into our discussion board, first log into Disqus with your account or with one of the accepted social media logins. Click on Login to choose a login method. Click here for help.

  • Merio

    In summary: Be the example you want others to follow.

    Now it’s our choice.

  • Veganrunner

    Another great video! This one got my heart jumping….no wait is that the coffee…..?

  • Don

    A clear list of the 7 factors would be helpful.

    • Veganrunner

      Under transcript above–3rd paragraph.

    • Peter

      So the American Heart Association came up with the simple seven, seven simple health behaviors or factors. Not smoking, not being overweight, being “very active (defined as walking at least 22 minutes a day), a few fruits and veggies, below average cholesterol, normal blood pressure, and normal blood sugars.

    • sf_jeff

      It took me a while but I found them:—Lifes-Simple-7_UCM_471453_Article.jsp

      It’s kind of disappointing that they list “eat fish 2-3 times a week” given all the toxins.

  • Veganrunner

    I meet “The Simple 7”!

  • Dasaniyum

    So only 1 in 2000 meet the simple 7. Isn’t that like…less than the population of vegetarians?

    • Peter

      316 million / 2000 = 158,000
      There are about 8 million vegans in the country now, that means only 2% of them meet the “7”.

      • Excellent math :) I am in the simple seven group. Yippee.

        • martygobi

          Do you ever drink coffee, caffeine or chocolate drinks?

          Your posts on this website have been worth reading.

          • I am humbled martygobi. I don’t drink coffee, but I have had a green or black tea once or twice last year and I don’t make a habit out of it. I don’t drink chocolate drinks, but I eat a cacao and almond butter that I have once in a while. I probably made it around 4 time last year, so I don’t make a habit out of it either.

        • Sarah

          Unfortunately, the recommendations appear to include daily meat and oily fish at least twice a week, in addition to 2-3 servings of dairy a day.

      • Jocelyn

        If 316 million Americans, by that account 8 million vegans represents about 2.5% of the population – not sure it is that high (though it is a LOVELY thought!). Regardless, the choice to eat vegan often isn’t related to health – may be ethical or environmental etc – so a vegan isn’t necessarily a good model of healthy behaviours (a point made often in Dr. G’s videos). However, a vegan who does have good health habits (WFPB and moderate exercise) would indeed represent a person of pinnacle health! Cheers!

  • Tobias Brown

    I get so irate over this issue.

    • Why?

      • Tobias Brown

        I’m from Vermont and our state had to drop it’s plans a state-wide health care plan this past week because it’s too expensive, we can’t afford it, and I can only assume it’s because so many of us are so unhealthy that the costs of taking care of ourselves has gone out of reach. This is a immense human tragedy. I feel a profound displeasure with my fellow citizens who for the vast majority, food has little to do with satisfying nutritional requirements and everything to do with entertainment, or what makes them feel good, because it tastes good, because they can’t put any effort into knowing any better. And the problem seems so huge now that it is beyond ever being reversed. Call this pessimistic and you are right but is this not reality? Is there any hope of turning this problem around in 20-30 years? Add the social context of 10,000 baby boomers retiring each day, likely requiring more and more health care. Those of us who take care of ourselves pay dearly for those who don’t. Talk about being in a minority. (I guess the only solace I have is that I’ve realized this situation and removed myself as part of the problem. But little recompense in this given the big picture. Yeah, food and eating habits is a front line issue. It’s significance in terms of human suffering far exceed issues related to terrorism. But look at the money we spend on that… Irate!

        • Brite

          Eating behavior is socially conditioned. Habits and believes are persistent.
          And the food industry knows this too well, and uses it to make profit at the expense of our health and money if we don’t react! “Man is a wolf to man”!
          And the same with tabacco…
          I understand your irritation, Tobias, when it comes to pay for the unhealthy by solidarity. But don’t blame the victim to much, and consider the responsability of the predator. That’s the one to neutralize in the first place to reverse the global situation.
          It’s disgusting, revolting… People mostly buy and eat what they are driven to buy and eat.It’ so sad…
          Thank’s to Dr Greger and team, for working at reversing that!

          • Tobias Brown

            Thanks for the encouragement. (I realized a new dimension to this whole problem these past few weeks when I started taking a longer trip to get groceries, out to Montreal’s Marché Jean-Talon, which is the central food commercial food hub… and finally found a very good fruiterie (fruit and veggie store) Chez Louis. He takes extra care to source quality produce and it shows. Had tastes from potatoes and Jerusalem artichokes that I never knew existed. It’s worth paying extra for quality, at least in this case.

          • Brite

            Thank’s Tobias.I’m glad for you that you know this great market! It happens that I know “Chez Louis”, for I go to the Marché Jean-Talon when stay in Montreal. There, you can find two other great places for shopping spices, “Olives & Épices” and “La Dépense” (full of treasures for exotic cooking, with a thousand of products you can hardly find elswere). They were created by a couple of spices hunters, Ethné and Philippe de Vienne, who founded the “Épices de Cru”. Very interesting. It’s worth the trip for the adventurers in creative cooking!

          • Tobias Brown

            Merci beaucoup pour vos conseils! Je suis en train de repérer tous les bons endroits au marché Jean-Talons. Maybe you haven’t seen The Camellia Sinensis Tea House there yet. Very nice.

          • Brite

            OH yes, I know them. Very kind people, and the quality of their products is irréprochable (in my experience)… not like my english! Sure you can hear my french accent in my writings!

          • Tobias Brown

            For spices, my go to provider, at least until now, has been Will check out these two places next trip, early next week…

          • Brite

            Thanks, Tobias, for the link, I’ll look at it. And here’s the one for the”épices de cru”:
            Have a nice trip!

          • Tobias Brown

            Thing is, my spice cupboard is already overflowing.

            I live next to Marché Maisonneuve so J-T is about 20 minutes by car.)

            I only recently started eating bread, as I couldn’t find my idea of a healthy brand… though since I’ve found Food for Life, I’ve been eating the Ezekiel one(s) regularly. But last trip to M-M I checked out Au Pain Doré. I found it mostly filled with treats but there was a big round crusty bread in the corner. He asked if I wanted it sliced and I declined thinking it would last longer whole… Well, this loaf was so good that I ate the whole thing by the time I returned home. I was saying to myself that it was impossible, it has to have some bad ingredients. Low and behold, it appears not. I have to ask them next time I’m there but it appears that I’m adding a new bread to my menu. It really tastes too good to be true.

          • Brite

            In J-T, you also have Première Moisson with a great choice of very good bread. You can find many other good bakeries in Montreal.
            A tip to make good bread last longer: have it sliced, keep some slices… and freeze the rest when very fresh, and you’ll have fresh bred when needed. Freeze it wrapped in paper before you put it in a plastic freezer bag. Before dooing this, if you turn the slices two by two a quarter turn, it’s easier to separate them.( Two by two because it takes less time than one by one- and it’s the right number for a good sandwich!) Bon appétit!

          • HereHere

            Fellow Canadians, who may be reading this, may know One Degree. It is a brand that sells veganic bread brand and some veganic cereals. I really love it, the texture is great. I have no problem with gluten, and if you enjoy bread as I do, I recommend their breads (lentil bread(!), flax and spelt, ancient grain whole wheat, and sesame sunflower) . Not as good as fresh, but I find it in Ottawa in the frozen food section of select health food stores (e.g. Natural Food Pantry, Rainbow Foods). I have asked Costco to carry it, but so far, they just carry organic white baguettes by another company. (As for One Degree, I do have a major reservation, and that I believe they are trying to water down the definition of veganic to include bee products, so that does concern me. The bread is very tasty however, with great texture).

        • Liisa

          Part of the problem is education. I wanted to eat right but for many years did not know how to eat right–and I’m still learning. My daughter brought the China Study home during a college break, and I picked it up and read it. I was very angry that this information had been kept from me. We are not taught anything about nutrition in school.

          • Tobias Brown

            Dr Oz and The Doctors do their share of misinforming the public. That should be a crime.

        • Tobias always remember that you are blessed that you understand the problem and you do something about it. That’s is my outlook and it stopped me from getting frustrated. I can only change me, so I have to just change me and I am loving it.

        • Garibaldi

          ‘…for the vast majority, food has little to do with satisfying nutritional
          requirements and everything to do with entertainment, or what makes
          them feel good, because it tastes good, because they can’t put any
          effort into knowing any better.’

          One has to wonder whether entertainment doesn’t in fact trump taste.

          I’ve largely given up dining out, not just because of the excessive use of salt and sweeteners, but mainly because people don’t stop talking long enough to taste what the chefs have gone to considerable trouble to prepare. A little mindfulness might be in order!

          If we went to restaurants to savour the fare (slowly, deliberately) as though it were a Renoir painting, and if we saved the compulsive chattering for after the meal, we’d eat less, digest better, enjoy the meal far more — and derive more energy and nutrition from it.

          Otherwise what is the point? Being seen? Scoring points for having dined high on the food chain?

        • guest99

          Austerity is the new normal, whether the population is “healthy” probably has nothing to do with it, your legislature probably determined they don’t have the dough because your incoming state tax haul is too low. Just like all other states you probably have low corporate/wealthy tax rates so “you break it, you own it.” All these anti-tax people can’t have it both ways. Colorado is voting on a single payer system this November as a ballot initiative, and I daresay all the dough they are rolling in from legalized weed is going to bankroll the program. Maybe that’s one reason the federales don’t want to legalize pot.

  • guest

    do the s7 have parameters or are there wide ranges for each listing on what is considered healthy for that factor?

  • Clem K

    I’m trying to make a concerted effort to change my diet since I have high cholesterol and high normal BP. The bottom line on these studies, as good as they are, is that I know what I have to do to get to where I want to go but I’m sometimes too lazy or I slip up or just make the choice to have that crap food. And it’s all on me, I get that.

    I think the time is long overdue where we don’t need more studies telling us the obvious but maybe it’s time more more behaviour modification studies to help morons like myself stick to a healthy plan for the long run.

    As always, enjoy your informative videos.

    • Well said Clem! We don’t need more studies telling us what to do, we need more programs and studies to help us actuallydo it.

    • Stewart

      Clem, give yourself at least a little bit of a break. Yes you do need to make the change definitive. But in my experience it is not the attraction of eating flesh and its products but a cultural phenomenon of moving to the easiest foods that is important. Most of us don’t cook and when we do, we go for something easy like seared flesh or processed foods that we have learned to think of as good.

      The first step in my opinion should be knowing the implications of our dietary behavior and this web site is outstanding for that. There are many more good healthy alternatives from the plant world so it’s not just a matter of what tastes good. But we generally need help in making these fantastic foods taste good In other words, I think a huge component in any behavior modification should be cooking classes.

      And yes behavior modification is important. If you haven’t already you might check out That’s the web site for TrueNorth Health Center in California which specializes in exactly this type behavior modification.

      • Clem K

        Thanks for the reply. I’m actually going to be starting some cooking classes in the next few weeks to include more healthy options.

        • Thea

          Clem: Good for you! I found that cooking classes (along with other supports) was a great help to me in making changes. But I know I need to make more changes too. So, I can sympathize with your feelings about needing that behavior modification.

          As an idea for you (not to replace your classes, but to supplement): Consider going through the free 21 Day Kickstart program by PCRM. They will hold your hand for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos (including “how to cook this” videos), inspirational messages, and a forum where you can ask questions. You don’t have to follow the program exactly. I recommend just signing up for it and getting out of it what you want.

          (Click the green “Register Now” button.)

          Good luck!

      • Jocelyn

        Well said! It is definitely a shift in cultural values that is required. Going from a culture that rushes through meals, gives little consideration to what or who we put in our bodies, and that considers convenience above all else, to one that says food is important, so are its origins, and so are the impacts (be that to my health, to the planet, and to others) of eating it.
        Another thing to consider is Clem, is that the energy comes WITH the shift. WFPB diets are extremely energizing. It may take a little time and commitment at the beginning, but eventually it becomes second nature. And personally, I wouldn’t give up the time my husband and I spend in the kitchen, chopping fresh veggies and prepping these beautiful healthful meals, for anything in the world. It is part of our life and it is something that I don’t NOT have time for.
        In our house, it was the removal of television that really helped this step become a reality. I think this was two fold – for one, we are virtually free of commercials pushing the cultural values of fast food, but we also have taken our time back that used to be stolen as we clamoured in front of the TV for the latest episode of *insert show here*.
        Anyway, good luck with all!

    • We need to continue these studies even though it is obvious to you, and is not obvious to many other people.

      I am personally able to stick with my vegan diet because I haven’t been sick since I adopted it and I love not being sick. I am always super energized and I allow love that. Internally I am closer to God/The Source/Nature and this makes me feel awesome.

    • KWD

      Clem, I feel your struggle and agree that behavior modification is the toughest part. It’s not an easy task to completely overhaul your diet. It requires an investment of effort to learn new ways to cook, trial and error with new recipes and foods, and dedication to the time and planning commitment that healthy eating necessitates. I know, I’ve been working on it myself since 2001. Hang in there and try not to be hard on yourself. I applaud your effort to change and read below that you’re taking cooking classes – this is a great thing to do. I was bumbling along and then a few cooking classes with a vegetable-based chef really put me on track! Wishing you good health.

      • Clem K

        Thx for the encouragement.

    • Matthew Smith

      For high cholesterol this site would recommend nuts, whole grain, flax seed meal, kiwi, grapefruit, red yeast rice, dried apples, amla, beans like chickpeas, and a vegan diet for any period. For high blood pressure this site would recommend beets, hibiscus tea, seaweed, grapefruit, beans, brazil nuts, and whole grains. Perhaps drinking no or less coffee or caffeine could lower your blood pressure by 20 points alone. I wish you long life. Congratulations on your health conscious decision.

      • Clem K

        Thanks for the input Matthew, greatly appreciate the suggestions.

    • Wegan

      Yeah, I just had a mini cupcake, oops. I’m not beating myself up or anything but it was there. These videos help to keep me honest most of the time through brainwashing but the pervasiveness of evil food makes it hard to be good. I’m able to say no to most of it now, it’s been a long process, but cupcakes are hard, and it was there. Anyone who isn’t on the email list and doesn’t regularly watch these videos is willfully ignorant in my opinion.

      • Thea

        Well dang. Now I’m craving cupcakes. There is a cupcake place two blocks form where I work which sells the best cupcakes I have ever had. And they happen to be vegan. I hadn’t thought of them in a while, but now… Now we will see if I stay firm and in my office, or take break… ;-O

        • Liisa

          Whenever I look at a food I shouldn’t be eating, I ask myself whether I want that food or whether I want Then I find the choice easy.

          • Thea

            Liisa: That is a good mind set.

            For the record: I resisted getting the cupcake. But then again, it wasn’t right in front of me. That would have probably been a different result.. :( I will have to work on remembering the diseases.

          • jj

            I have a price limit $1.00 for any goody that i usually don’t eat but crave. Wanted a pecan pie the other day $1. The long ingredient list wasn’t deterring me as it usually does but the calorie count did. Whew!

          • Thea

            jj: Funny you would mention $1. Those mini-cupcakes I was fantasizing about used to be $1. I would get one a week. But they raised the price and I decided it was no longer worth it. I haven’t had one in quite a few months. But I can still crave them…

          • jj

            Same with Snickers ice cream bars. Had a short fling with them last summer but it just reminded me that they are way too addictive and I don’t live that way any more!!! I can go home and make something healthy.

          • Brite

            It’s a good mind set, Liisa, because you move from restriction to choice. And you make the long-term consequence weight its real value in bringing it to your mind. You don’t indulge in the attitude “I’ll behave myself tomorrow!”.

    • Hey clem, what worked for me was having a heart attack and 4ple bypass. not to be a smart A** but I wonder if it could help you to watch a bypass video and imagine your arteries all gooey and yellow?

      If you can throw away the idea that every meal is a feast, make them nutrition opportunities. And maybe make a deal with yourself… 21 days. That’s how long it takes most folks to break the physical (!) addiction to the crap. 21 days of the horror of eating really great and tasty meals. Make alist, get the indredients and make a lentil/rice casserole from the FoK FB recipes. make it fun.

      Finally, what works for me is to trick myself into just doing one thing. Just plant one flower or move some junk …just one little job. LardA**es in motion tend to stay in motion. ;) also there is something compelling about eating the veg you grow. Even the stuff i used to hate I now love. Even a few container plants if your space is limited…all helps.

      Nope it is not all on you. You ain’t heavy bro. Youre among friends. We are turning that corner together. Fight the power. Thunderbirds are GO!

      • Clem K

        I’ll pass on the video but point taken.


      • vegank

        Hi Coacervate , this is a bit off topic but do you have any suggestions for keeping the courgettes mildew free without using commercial sprays? I always find reading your posts worthwhile.

        • Hi Vegank, Thanks for the compliment! We have exactly the same problem. Really, we’ve always sorta lived with it.

          Our strategy has been to keep them as well fed, watered and HOT as they like it…Then they seem to grow faster than the mildew. Learn to spot it early and burn mercilessly, never compost diseased tissue.

          This year we are trying out a small greenhouse to try controlling the environment. I play with small microcontrollers (Arduino?) with the goal of controlling all the factors water, temp, fans *remember i said goal”. We are mid summmer now and so far they are looking good but producing less. Anytime I see a yellowing leaf or anything not perfect I lop it off. BUT greenhouses are weird environments…now our little kefir lime is infested with white fly which will spread disease right through the house so I’m going in with the neem oil.

          ~Oh Love to eat them Zukies. Zukies what I love to eat, bite they little heads off, nibble on the tasty meat.~
          Sorry Gary ;)

          • vegank

            “Then they seem to grow faster than the mildew” ..I like that idea ! Thank you Coacervate for your tips.
            Now that I think of it I probably did miss the signs.
            I agree that we tend to eat even the vegetables we didn’t like before, when we grow our own. It must be in our DNA, the delight of growing and harvesting one’s own produce. Children seem to react in the same way once they learn to grow vegetables.
            Hopefully I will be able to meet the Simple Seven if I keep trying, the one that didn’t quite make it was my blood sugar, but I know this is because I sometimes succumb to temptation and consume white rice now and then, even though I know it won’t be pleasant later.

          • HI, you are in the southern hemisphere I think? Teach your children well…that is the key!

            I don’t meet or even worry about the simple 7. I eat whole plant foods …and spend as much time in laughter as possible. Give in, eat some white rice. you know what I mean? we all gon die. die happy. the best way I figure to die happy is to die as healthy as possible so make white rice and freakin sour kraut and bratwurst your guilty pleasure and then have some fries to boot. screw it. If our biochemistry is so high strung that we have to eat freakin bilberries instead of yummy blueberries, then eat a goat or some ham or something once in a while. eat my landlord, you know?

            Eventually the truth will out. Someday they people will look back upon us and say hokey smokes, didn’t they understand that the facts were right there for so many years? Must be they were caught up in some sort of “Pleasure trap” … oh look, one of them even wrote about it. They gon live till they die, didn’t they know? ” Help us mister wizard

            I lost 5 close friends this damn 2014 year. glad to see the end of it and scared shitless of the the next 12 mo. ha ahahaha, I laugh. Laughing I am this sweet life. Marcello! Come here!

          • vegank

            Don’t worry, I read before the comment was removed it but did not find any “offensive material” !
            I do have some Irish in my DNA anyway : )
            Thanks for your sense of humor, some of us need it !

    • ToBeAlive

      Remember when food was a family/community affair? It is hard planning and cooking every single meal to stay healthy so why not enlist help?
      One very-allergic friend has a neighbor make up a batch of tamales for his freezer once a month. I cook big pots of beans to share with my sister and mother. My neighbor always makes extra soup… Even sharing the shopping can be a help when you can’t make it to the Farmer’s Market.
      Mom of my daughter’s friend wants to start cooking more so for Xmas received a slow-cooker; now I pass along split peas and barley to make sure it gets a good workout!

    • Heather

      You really hit the nail on the head with this one! I work as a registered dietitian and it is part of my personal philosophy that I work with my clients to address why they are making the choices that they are. People have to want to make changes, and in order to get to that place behavior change models must be put into place. There is no question that high fat foods and refined sugars make people feel good. They have drug like qualities on a hormonal level. We need to look more thoroughly at the barriers that exist for people in today’s society and how to address them in the most effective possible way. (You’re not a moron)

  • Robert Haile

    I remember how I hated conferences in Medical School whem all the doctors, especially surgeons, would light up and I would be left choking. Most MD’s I know now do not smoke. We received no education in nutrition, but after seeings hundreds and hundreds of stroke, MI, amputee, ischaemic bowel patients, etc., I started consulting nutritionists on all patients as well as learning from them myself. I started reading the Tuft’s nutrition letter, The China Study, and more recently subscribed to you. Even from medical school on I was aghast at what hospital cafeterias and patients were serving and I vowed never to eat hospital food. Finally, smoking was banned on hospital campuses. I am now retired in a Blue Zone in Guanacaste Costa Rica. I noticed right away the strength of families, spirituality, people, even 90-100 walking or riding bikes up steep hills. The food was locally grown and the little meat they ate came from cows grazing up and down very steep hills thin and looking like long distance runners. Small amounts of seafood, dairy, and eggs were also consumed. Egg yolks here are beyond yellow to orange with happy little chickens scrambling all over the place, keeping tics, that carry Erlichosis down. The water is loaded with magnesium, calcium, and all kinds of minerals, making it impossible to keep filters on taps. My wife and I walk or bike, no car, surf, play tennis, run and make all of our food from scratch, with no additives. At 4 feet 10 inches my wife has ost 36 pounds over three years and I have lost 20. My HDL went from 19 to 72 and my LDL from 70 to 19. My triglycerides once > 2,000, at age 26, are down to 164. My plasma and urine at 26 were white with fat but are now clear. I am soon to be 66. We decided to retire where we could prevent heart disease rather than be where futuristic surgery is needed to treat it. Thank you.

    • Thea

      Robert: Thank you for posting your story. It is inspiring. We know by the good doctors who visit this site, that there *are* good doctors out there who care enough for their patient’s health to do the necessary research. Sounds like you were/are one of those people.

    • kylemeister

      A bit of what you said reminded me of a book from a couple of years ago aimed at American medical students (“First Aid for the Wards”), which admonished its readers that hospital food is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. I’ve noticed an elderly friend of mine, with serious atherosclerosis (I think he has now had one MI and three CVAs) being fed such things as hamburgers and bacon in the facilities he has been in. Plus of course you have things like McDonald’s in hospitals, which was subjected to a bit of snark in the film “Supersize Me” about a decade ago (“at least you’re close when the coronary kicks in”). Though more recently I read that in US teaching hospitals Krispy Kreme is actually #1.

    • Psych MD

      Interesting. I’ve never seen anyone with an LDL of 19. If I saw that I would probably consider it a lab error and repeat the test.

    • MGface

      Are the lipoprotein numbers you’ve given in units different from those used in the US (mg per dL)? As I understand, LDL is not a waste product; the body needs some LDL. I’m astonished that you and your wife are so healthy with such a low LDL level. Thank you.

    • HereHere

      Great story, thanks for sharing. And since you bike and run already, perhaps you can find a triathlon (!) or duathlon in Costa Rica. I did my first one last year and discovered it was fun (and re-discovered swimming after a hiatus of almost 30 years!)

  • I love this video! I appreciate all the work you put in your videos, too, compiling several studies. Let’s root for the docs to get healthy, too.

  • Allison Farr

    I meet it, vegan for 10 years, walk my dogs an hour and half every day and rollerblade 3 times a week, at 51, no smoking, no drinking, whole food plant based diet, very healthy, happy and fully functioning

  • onlyme

    Thank you…this encourages my like so many of your videos. I’m doing everything on the list.

  • My husband and I meet the 7/7!! But, we are definitely known as health nuts. This is quite sad because it implies that to meet the 7 you basically have to be a social deviant – saying no to foods everyone else eats, being super picky at restaurants, etc. thank goodness smoking is no longer the norm in North America. That’s a plus.

    • Charzie

      Right! I’ve discovered I don’t get invited out to eat with friends anymore because I make them feel too guilty and apparently they don’t want to go to the “kind of places” I would be able to find a decent selection! Sad commentary, but that’s okay, I can’t afford eating out anyway! LOL!

      • Yes sometimes a change in diet leads to a change in friends! Sad but true. By I guess same if you give up alcohol – you’re not going to bars anymore very often.

      • Brigitte

        Hi Charzie!
        Thanks for sharing your not so uncommun experience.
        Maybe you don’t know the following book. It could help with that problem.
        “Living among Meat Eaters, from Carol J. Adams, is a very interesting book on the subject.
        It provides advice and tools to foster understanding. A must-read practical guide for discussions questioning vegetarianism as a lifestyle choice.

        • Charzie

          Cool, thanks! Going to head to the library soon, I now have it on my list!

    • Adrien

      “It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
      Jiddu Krishnamurti

      • Brigitte

        I totally agree. Normal does’t mean healhy.
        Nonconformism is safer when considering eating habits in the SAD style!

  • DanielFaster

    Apparently doctors, with no nutritional training and a business model that feeds on disease, may lead us to believe we are eating and doing all the right things.

    • Thea

      DanielFaster: Cool article! Thanks for sharing.

  • I love the direction of this video. Walk the talk, don’t talk the talk!

  • Justin

    You should create your own medical school in which one of the requirements to graduate is that you have to live a perfectly healthy lifestyle.

  • Matthew Smith

    The American Heart Association recommends seven things to prevent heart disease. These include not smoking, not being overweight, being “very active”, defined as walking at least 22 minutes a day, a few fruits and veggies, below average cholesterol, normal blood pressure and normal blood sugars. This site has more specific recommendations, to lose weight, they say the vegans are the thinnest group in the country together with marathon runners. You could also take the recommended dosage of fenugreek, recommended here for cancer, with a small amount of exercise to lose weight. To eat a few fruits and vegetables, you could eat dried apples or golden raisins, eat beets, broccoli, kale, spinach, garlic, tomato, pumpkins, cranberries, lemons, carrots, blueberries, strawberries, or grapes, a salad a day is recommended. To lower cholesterol this site recommends nuts like almonds, whole grain, flax seed meal, kiwi, grapefruit, red yeast rice, dried apples, amla, beans like chickpeas, for normal blood pressure fhis site recommends beets, hibiscus tea, seaweed, grapefruit, beans, brazil nuts, whole grains, to normalize blood sugar this site recommends hibiscus tea, cinnamon, flax seed meal, amla, and beans.

  • Esther Salomon

    AMAZING VIDEO. I am in. What are we waiting for.?
    Dr Gregger Thanks again for underlining the important things

    • Hey there, you must be a fellow Antipodian! Good on ya!

  • Psych MD

    This video is true on so many levels. For 90% of physicians, ordering halibut instead of steak at a pharmaceutical-sponsored meeting is the defining act of healthy eating. My primary colleague is a psychiatrist from Russia. His wife is a hospitalist at Kaiser, Their son, a genius, entered med school at 19 and is now in his second year of residency. I can’t help but be amused when I observe their eating habits. They all employ exactly the same technique of scraping the vegetables to one side, as if they are a contaminant. The dad looks like he is 8 months pregnant. The son maybe six, but he is on his way. Mom is about 30 lbs. overweight. Their attitude is: I will eat what I like because no one lives forever. Hypercholesterolemia? That’s why we have drugs.

  • Mandy

    Whole Foods Market this month offers its E2 vegan diet for healthy eating. You can sign up for cooking lessons & lectures about shopping, cooking & eating healthy. Whole Foods uses the Aggregate Nutrient Density Score (ANDI) score created by Dr. Joel Fuhrman to rank order vegetables, fruit, beans, seeds, nuts. Dr. Fuhrman emphasizes food choices based on GBOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, nuts & seeds.

  • Dick Willi

    After I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrilation my health and mental attitude spiraled downhill for about two years. My doctor chastised me for gaining weight in the midst of this, by the way, but offered no assistance in addressing that issue. A-Fib is ‘manageable’ with meds, yada, yada. Finally, I decided that if I was going to die that I might as well enjoy the trip. I read Eat to Live and went cold turkey, then I got back to running. I lost nearly 80 pounds, dropped all prescription medications and feel great. When I asked my cardiologist why he didn’t just prescribe diet and exercise for my condition (the a-fib went away, too) he said that most people don’t take that advice anyway so he’s just given up offering it! I’m still annoyed that I spent two years in purgatory to figure it out but I’m on my way now.

  • M85

    My total cholesterol went from 181 as a vegetarian eating eggs and dairy every day to 141 as a vegetarian eating little eggs and dairy to 115 as a vegan eating moderately low fat/high carb and quite a lot of whole foods.

  • wendy4RonPaul Great video…shared..always

  • Guest

    These seven behaviors are so simple, so minimal, it really is a wonder that only one out of 2000 meet them. It’s surprising to me that so many folks lack even the basics of health consciousness.

  • “Be te change you want to see in the world”It is not because I am a MD, people are observing what I buy when grocery shopping, it is because I am still size 4, still playing at the monkey barre with young kids and ready to play tennis.

  • Chris Hastings

    I’m interested in clarifying some information i’ve seen in other posts; the first being on eggs and the assertion that cholesterol raises cholesterol. I was taught that saturated fat can increase cholesterol – but that cholesterol does not. Also interested in the post stating that meat increases insulin significantly. Was very interested to hear that – but also wonder it that’s not a bit of an oversimplification as protein also raises Glucagon – which is Insulin’s antagonist. Curious as to what others have to say.

    • largelytrue

      Who in the world taught you that cholesterol doesn’t raise cholesterol? Prominent bodies ranging from the USDA to the WHO recommend limiting dietary cholesterol. Were you also taught that they have another harmful mechanism in mind when they make this kind of recommendation?

      “Cholesterol in the blood and tissues is derived from two sources: diet and endogenous synthesis. Dairy fat and meat are major dietary sources. Egg yolk is particularly rich in cholesterol but unlike dairy products and meat does not provide saturated fatty acids. Although dietary cholesterol raises plasma cholesterol levels (15), observational evidence for an association of dietary cholesterol intake with CVD is contradictory (16). There is no requirement for dietary cholesterol and it is advisable to keep the intake as low as possible (2). If intake of dairy fat and meat are controlled, there is no need to severely restrict egg yolk intake, although some limitation remains prudent.

      Dietary plant sterols, especially sitostanol, reduce serum cholesterol by inhibiting cholesterol absorption (17). The cholesterol-lowering effects of plant sterols has also been well documented (18) and commercial products made of these compounds are widely available, but their longterm effects remain to be seen.”

      • Chris Hastings

        thanks for the reply! My thoughts stem from the fact that 70-80% of our serum cholesterol is endogenous, made in the liver. As mentioned in my initial post I’m aware that saturated fat increases cholesterol – as does dietary sugar, but i’m still not willing to call all foods which contain cholesterol as unhealthy. Personally, I’m in the we all have tremendous biochemical individuality camp.
        I think it’s important to note that cholesterol is a potent anti-inflammatory, an important component of cell membrane stability and the precursor to all of our sex hormones. I believe that not all fats are created equal and that diets that create inflammation increase the endogenous production of cholesterol.

        • largelytrue

          Whoa! That’s some really sparse reasoning on which to doubt a scientific consensus. Of course, it may be that your reasoning is more detailed than that and you do have plenty of opportunity to respond with sources. But from the feel of the conversation so far I really recommend that you spend more time getting familiar with the consensus position.

          For CVD, I recommend this as a place to start:

          As for the other points, you really need to put the rubber to the road with more specific citations, and hopefully with observations of disease as well. Cholesterol may be anti-inflammatory in some circumstances (and a citation is needed for that) but does low serum cholesterol lead to observable problems in most populations with low cholesterol? Is increasing consumption of meat and eggs associated with lower levels of systemic inflammation? How much does sugar raise cholesterol, and how, and in what types of people? We can all have substantial biochemical individuality, but still get heart disease in basically the same way; the appeal to unspecified biochemical individuality too often used as a covert way to justify an unhealthy diet as “healthy for me”.

          • Chris Hastings

            Good points all. This is from Web MD “Part of the confusion comes from the fact that cholesterol in food isn’t the
            same thing as the cholesterol that clogs arteries. To be sure, foods high in
            cholesterol can cause blood levels of cholesterol to rise. But only about one
            in three people seem to be especially susceptible to the effects of cholesterol
            in food.

            “And even then, dietary cholesterol isn’t the biggest worry when it
            comes to heart disease,” says Kathy McManus, MS, RD, director of nutrition
            for Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. “Studies show it’s only about
            half as important as saturated fat and trans fat in raising serum cholesterol

            Would seem to add some justification to my point of biochemical individuality. As an aside I eat significant portions of red meat, butter, and dairy….and my cholesterol as a 50 year old male is 140 (I also pound the vegetables and exercise consistently). There are many risk factors for CVD; Homocysteine, inflammation, obesity, fibrinogen levels, triglycerides are all important risk factors. I’ll look for that cholesterol as an anti inflammatory citing when I have more time.

            Hey, i’m just trying to figure this all out with an open mind. Ancel Keyes was the worst cherry picker of data! He came up with the cholesterol hypothesis and then only used data that supported his hypothesis. Read Cholesterol Myths by Rashnikov (sp?) for that story.

          • largelytrue

            “Ancel Keyes was the worst cherry picker of data!”

            This, together with the reference to Uffe Ravnskov reaffirms my feeling that you have spent too much time studying the arguments of the cholesterol-denialist fringe and not nearly enough studying the scientific consensus on the lipid hypothesis.

            You can look at a counterargument to the ‘cherry-picking’ claim here:


            Even your quote from the webMD article takes care to use hedging language in saying that only 1 out of 3 is “especially susceptible” to dietary cholesterol. 3 out of 3 are recommended to limit dietary cholesterol, in any case.

            It also happens that when you actually look at metabolic ward studies under controlled conditions to see how serum levels respond to dietary cholesterol, you find that it does, and that the marginal increase in serum cholesterol decreases with increasing baseline intakes:


            This diminishing marginal return, together with the variability in biochemical sensitivity to cholesterol which you refer to, tends to mean that some study designs are better than others for showing how the population is likely to respond to various changes in dietary cholesterol on average. When a population eats high levels of cholesterol and cholesterol consumption doesn’t vary that much on average, variation in genetic susceptibility will be comparatively large and the noise will tend to dominate the signal, making a statistically null result more likely. Even worse, if the group under study tends to make reductions in dietary cholesterol in response to poor lipid scores, then within the group, lower dietary cholesterol will correlate with a genetic propensity toward higher cholesterol. This correlation would tend to reduce the effect size and could even give you a harmful association if you are doing a raw cross-sectional analysis that doesn’t correct for “biochemical individuality” in the model.

            It helps to provide links to your supporting material so that people can see what you actually have in mind. I would also be cautious about sources that say that “studies show” something. It’s an extremely lazy approach to science writing and usually represents an effort to handwave away the author’s responsibility to support their claims with specific sources.

          • Chris Hastings

            Your good! I’ll use one of your references;

            observational evidence for an association of dietary cholesterol intake with CVD is contradictory (16)

          • largelytrue

            So? Do you not accept that elevated serum LDL is a cause of heart disease? What’s your point in pointing out this one statement to me, out of context? Remember that the passage also says that there is no dietary is no requirement for dietary cholesterol and it is advisable to keep the intake as low as possible.

          • Chris Hastings

            wait a minute, wait a minute! My argument was never about LDL as a risk factor for heart disease my argument was how much dietary cholesterol effects serum cholesterol and more importantly heart disease. I look at lipid profiles as a very effective way to look at a persons diet and overall health. If someone has high cholesterol and high triglycerides I immediately think that’s a diet that’s not working for that person…The Standard American Diet or SAD is way to high in refined foods, way to high in sugar, way to high in trans and saturated fats. My point was that you can’t throw all fats under the bus (eggs, avocadoes, nuts/seeds, grass fed beef, wild fish et al. We have gone low fat as a nation….and we’re friggin’ huge – because we replaced those calories with processed foods, sugar, and any other manner of sheisse foods! Do you remember when we used to consider John Belushi fat? Look again – he’s downright svelte by today’s standards.

          • Thea

            Chris: re: ” We have gone low fat as a nation…” From every article I have seen, this is not true. From what I have seen, our fat intake has largely been unchanged for decades. Instead, we have increased our overall calorie count, where most of the increases are in protein and carbs. While the ratio of fat may have gone down slightly, that does not mean that we have “gone low fat”.

          • Thea

            Here’s a page with some actual data. I don’t know how good this data is, but if good, it both supports what I was saying and requires a correction on my part. This page shows that total fat consumption remains very high over decades (going down slightly, but still *very* high). The increase in calories comes mostly the carbs, not carbs and protein, as I said in my post above:

            When all is said and done, weight is a function of having more calorie input than output. There’s more to it than that when you factor in what is likely to make a person over consume calories, but any argument that includes the idea of, “We tried low fat and it failed…” is not backed up by the evidence.

          • largelytrue

            I’m not here to throw all fat sources “under the bus”. We are talking about cardiovascular disease. There is a sizable benefit to CVD from cutting out cholesterol-containing foods, insofar as they contain cholesterol (and often saturated fat as well). That alone is not a complete argument for eliminating a particular class of foods.

            Once more, I invite you to do your own research from reputable resources that are reasonably close to the scientific consensus on diet, though a substantial fraction of this is still subject to scientific debate insofar as exact recommendations are concerned (i.e, “to Egg or not to Egg?” Some research still says that an egg a day is okay, though I disagree). Like smoking and anthropogenic climate change before it, the debate is complex not only because of the complexities of the science involved, but because of our human biases and their immediate relevance to vested social interests. The scientific findings on these topics directly affect the sanctity of our lifestyles, and threaten the profits of large industrial markets.

            Even if I were the most capable person to lead you through a complete argument, I wouldn’t have the time to be your personal secondary source about What Foods to Throw Under the Bus.

  • Gayle

    The view transcript button isn’t working. Anyone know how to get it to work?

  • So interesting to hear your presentation. I wrote the AHA’s consumer-facing Simple 7 education, and am studying the habits that lead to Simple 7 adherence. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and your video. I’ll be reading more about your ideas.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Dear Amyindallas,

      Thanks so much for writing the AHA’s consumer-facing Simple 7 education! How great to receive that feedback. Please let us know what recommendations you have for adherence once available. Keep up the good work.

      Joseph Gonzales, R.D.
      Nutrition Director

  • drflora3rd

    Behind my lap top is my trampoline. Nearby is my portable far infrared sauna ($135 drop ship from China). I just made some fresh grape juice.(16 ounces, 4 servings). Trying to do my part

  • paul

    While I agree health care professionals need to practice what they preach, I think our issues are greater than a svelte PCP can counter. The fact that providers, as a group, are just as unhealthy as our patients sort of demonstrates that knowledge and education alone do not change us. Our diets are socially and culturally conditioned into us from the day we get our first bottle of Enfamil. Phrases like “just like mom used to make” and “comfort food,” not science, are used to rationalize our intake. We have whole generations of people who have been raised on processed foods and do not even know what whole food is. We serve grilled cheese sandwiches and tater tots in our kids school lunches. We are constantly peppered with commercials about the joys and good times we’ll have eating pizza and ribs. Feeling good in the neighborhood? Have a Coke and a smile? We only started making headway against cigarettes when it became socially stupid and unacceptable to smoke.

    We are conditioned to eat unhealthy, it is part of our social fabric. Britain has an ongoing, and successful campaign to reduce sodium intake by the general population so there is good evidence that healthy change can be accomplished. But their effort involved social modification vs individual. For instance, Britain got cooperation from the food processing industry to lower salt content in the ‘food’ they produce.

    The most common meal I see my heart patients order after a heart attack and intervention? A hamburger. And it’s on their hospital “cardiac” diet (sans fries, which they all want). (laughing) Most of my patients marvel that they are allowed to have it, but they order it anyway and we authorize and reinforce their eating decision by making it available.