Doctor's Note

What response was there from the meat industry? Find out in Cattlemen’s Association Has Beef With EPIC Study. For more from the EPIC study, see Meat & Multiple MyelomaThousands of Vegans StudiedEPIC Findings on LymphomaEPIC StudyOmnivores vs. Vegan Nutrient DeficienciesBowel Movement Frequency; and Low Meat or No Meat?

For further context, check out my associated blog posts: Poultry Paunch: Meat & Weight GainDiet and Cellulite; and Diet vs. Exercise: What’s More Important?

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  • What response was there from the meat industry? Find out in tomorrow’s video-of-the-day Cattlemen’s Association Has Beef With EPIC Study. For more from the EPIC study see Meat & Multiple Myeloma, Thousands of Vegans Studied, Low Meat or No Meat?, EPIC Findings on Lymphoma, EPIC Study, Omnivores vs. Vegan Nutrient Deficiencies, and Bowel Movement Frequency.

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

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Maybe your above statement should read, “Cattlemen’s Association has COW with EPIC study.

      Don’t make me “Bust-a-gut” you might add.

      • Leslie Stanick


  • Another great post.  Thanks!  

  • Mary

    Wow!  For years before I became a vegan I heard that red meat was bad for you.  So the only meat I ate was chicken, the “ok” meat.  Apparently, I got only half the truth.   Maybe even less than half, as the preponderance of evidence, per these videos, seems to be against chicken (poultry)!

  • I wonder what the explanation for that effect would be? What can cause weight gain without an increase in total calories. I thought the calories in vs. calories out theorie where true! Could it be the estrogens in farm raised chickens?
    I’m currently testing this out on my own body. I’m eating 1000kcal over my maintenance level on a whole foods plant based low fat diet. So far I can only report muscle growth but no visible fat accumulation. Interesting! Let’s see the results in a few month…

    • Ashish Nair

      The fat you eat is the fat you wear. Isn’t it the case physiologically that the fat from food is converted very efficiently to fat on our body? Carbohydrates are pretty much the opposite, that is its very costly turning it into fat, and that any excess is burned off through movement and heat, i.e. dietary thermogenesis. The science and studies about this are in Dr Mcdougall’s Starch Solution, but he may have them online somewhere… 

    • Robb Bonner

      Most people are unaware how insulinogenic beef and chicken are. This has a substantial impact on weight gain.

  • Lincat13

    What about all those claims for high protein diets like Atkins etc.?  I understand the fact that these diets are unhealthy.  But I always thought that the concensus was that people really did lose weight on them. Could it be the low carb thing?

  • I don’t really doubt that meat can contribute to weight gain.  Perhaps because it has no fiber, it lingers in the digestive tract and thus more calories are absorbed.  However, I don’t really think a study that is based on retrospective recall of food intake can really accurately control for calorie consumption.  One would need to have a rigorously controlled experimental prospective study where calories are measured and where the subjects could only eat what had been measured out.  You never can guarantee that the diets are isocaloric when the study is based on recall.  Certainly people will not remember how much food they consumed unless they weigh and measure everything and carefully record the portion sizes.  The study I quoted about dieting and exercise in the previous posting was rigorously controlled and the calorie deficits were carefully matched- this produced identical weight loss.  It also sounds like some of the nut studies your mentioned more rigorously matched calories.  This study probably has truth, since there are other studies which corroborate it, but calories have to be carefully measured before one can say they don’t matter.  Probably calories always matter, but calories from some foods are more absorbed than from others, perhaps.

    • Robb Bonner

      Most people are unaware how insulinogenic beef and chicken are. This has a substantial impact on weight gain over and above just the caloric density vs other foods.

      • Alien Chronicles

        What do you mean by insulinogenic?

  • dar

    hmm,we know that fattening up critters with antibiotics is common & eating them puts weight on us…does poultry get more ccs per ounce than cows&pigs? or is it the  arsenic added to chicken feed ?

  • greenme

    In general, I love these videos.  I was getting ready to share this one on Facebook until I got to the last comment about the poultry influence not applying to sick people or those who lied about their diet.  Why would you even put that one on the graph, if it’s not proven?  I really don’t want to share skewed results.

    I’d like to see more on the adverse affects of chicken, since that’s what most of my family/friends eat instead of beef.

    • Veganrunner

      Greenme there are many videos under Browse Topics regarding chicken. Had I not watched them I would have still believed it wasn’t so bad for us. The video on chicken an arthritis is particularly enlightening.

  • NZBoomer

    Thank you for all your hard work educating us. So glad I found your videos starting with the series of 8. My husband is a medical doctor and I am a nurse so we need the science. We have been going vegan for 2 years and want to be sure we are doing it properly and getting the right nutrients. There is too much pseudo science in  the alternative therapy community.

  • Is this perhaps because the estimate for the amount of calories in steak was incorrect due to an incorrect assumption of the fat to protein ratio? Because fat has 9 calories per gram while protein has 4 calories per gram even a small ratio change could skew results significantly. This could potentially explain while poultry had a higher gain than even steak, because poultry today is even higher fat than it use to be and could be significantly skewing results based upon how the fat to protein ratio was calculated/measured.

  • Ginny

    Help. I am a vegan and wonder if I should occasionally eat an egg or meat. I don’t really want to but not sure what is the ideal diet for humans as we discuss it in our family. I see that eggs are like cigarettes and that meat is bad for you. But then, I read articles such as this one:

    Please help!

    • Toxins

      I would argue that nutrient dense starches such as wheat, barley, sweet potatoes and beans are better fuels for our brain considering that our brain runs off of glucose and uses most of the bodies glucose.

      Continue eating you whole, plant based vegan diet without fear. They raise a non issue.


    I can’t find anything on the “Series of 8”, could you please provide a link?

  • Elizabeth

    Great video. After becoming a vegetarian I lost 50 pounds over a span of 2 years and lost 10 pounds when I became a vegan. When I was a meat eater I ate a lot of processed meats like turkey and ham slices, hot pockets with meat and cheese, chicken nuggets, etc and maybe a hamburger every once in awhile.

    • ron

      I doubt that anything once in a while is bad for you.

  • LaShay Canady

    Yep! If you keep expecting different results when you keep doing the same thing, you get the same results over and over. No matter what diet a person has – meat eater, vegan, vegetarian, etc – if you don’t have the correct hydrochloride acid levels and the correct pH levels, your proteins are rotting, your carbs are fermenting, and your fats are going rancid. Has nothing to do with the meats. It has to do with achlorhydria (complete absence of HCL) or hypochlorhydria (diminished HCL). Until there is a ‘largest study’ with the correct digestive environment as comparison, you will get these same old results over and over again. Reactions
    to foods – exclusive of allergies – is often a significant indication
    of dysfunction of certain systems of the body or of unbalance of the
    body chemistry. Disturbance caused by fats? Gallbladder and liver
    dysfunction. Disturbance caused by carbs?
    Liver and pancreas dysfunction. Disturbance caused by proteins
    diminished gastric secretion. Disturbance caused by milk and dairy
    products? Spleen-thymus dysfunction. Eating grass fed meat is not the

  • Stacey Vas

    Great video! Although, I’m confused where athletes and body builders fit in? Some physique athletes and body builders eat huge amounts of animal products (in excess of 5 servings a day) and their fat percentage goes down; they lose weight. I’m 100% in favour of a plant based diet but it would be interesting to know why it’s different for athletes.

  • Roberta

    I was about to show this to my meat eating body building son, however only at the end was it clear that “weight gain” meant fat gain. Weight gain in muscle mass could be a looked at as a good thing.

  • Fred Bloggs

    Who the hell cares about weight gain? Its fat gain we dont want, all this study shows is that meat eaters become more muscular. Why are you so biased?

  • Kristine Pasto

    Did the study include fish consumption? Does fish consumption contribute to weight gain?

  • Terri B.

    I have severe neuropathy in both feet with arthritis in both ankles. My CRP rate was 27.9 !!! Would I benefit from the plant based diet? Will it help with the painful neuropathy and restless legs at night? I don’t want to take drugs and am desperate for any “natural help” I can get. I eat eggs, tuna, chicken, salmon with veggies like the Paleo diet and the weight keeps creeping back on. Help Please??

    • Thea

      Terri B.: It sounds like you are asking about 3 problems. I did a quick search on the term ‘neuropathy’ and it looks like there is at least one video that addresses that specific topic. Other videos and posts may also be related. Here are the videos:
      As a thought for you: whether a healthy diet reverses the neuropathy or at least keeps it from getting worse or even if it does nothing on that score: a healthy diet will help prevent other diseases from plaguing you. That’s the last thing you need! It seems like going on a healthy diet would be a big priority for you. The diet you are eating now does not sound very healthy. Eating healthy is at least worth a try. Do you need some help on making a transition?
      For arthritis, NutritionFacts has a lot of information that I highly recommend you check out. Here is the topic page for arthritis:
      For the topic of losing weight, I have some great resources I can refer you to. It is a long-ish post, so let me know if you are interested and I’ll give you that information in a follow up post.
      Note that the diet that is good for neuropathy and the diet that is good for arthritis and the diet that is good for losing weight is pretty much all the same diet. This is great news as you can switch to one single healthy diet and maximize your chances of doing well. Best of luck to you. I hope you are able to fix your problems or at least keep them from getting worse.

  • Robert Haile

    My wife and I have exercised at least 2 hours a day for a lifetime, ate tons of fruits veggies and nuts but continued to gain weight as we aged. But when we stopped eating all meat and dairy(And we did not even eat much), without any caloric restriction, both of us continued to lose weight up to 78 pounds combined and now are at our slim high school weights with our BMI’s dropping from slightly overweight to 23-24.

    • Robert,

      Great work…amazing how one’s body can readjust. Your obviously on the right track. Keep up the good work. As a side note I’b bet your elimination of the meat and dairy had a significant impact on your hormones, in a positive manner considering these were your only changes. Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. greger

      • Robert Haile

        Hi Alan. Thank you. I developed highly malignant(Gleason 8) locally invasive, node positive prostate cancer( Developed at age 35 with pudendal nerve damage ) with prostatectomy age 50 and hormone suppression for 5 years. At 67 my PSA is still undetectable and I’m sure I’d be dead by now if I did not give up hormone loaded meat and dairy. I have retold this story to give hope and control for those with prostate cancer. I still surf(I live in a Blue Zone-Guanacaste Costa Rica.), play tennis, run/walk, and do vigorous core exercise. I can not thank Dr Greger, yourself, and others on this site enough for the great nutritional guidance which I did not learn about in Medical school, although I use this site to guide my patients and strongly recommend they read How Not to Die by Dr Greger. I have also meditated daily as as the long term (75 year) Harvard study has shown thank my wife of 48 years on October 12 for contributing so much to my happines and survival.

  • GreatLifeFood

    My son is a competitive football athlete and his trainers say he needs to eat a lot more meat to gain weight. The last couple months I have been trying to decrease our meat consumption and serve more of a whole foods, plant-based diet. His trainers are telling him he needs to eat more burgers and other meat products. I’m concerned about the health ramifications of going back to a high animal based diet. What would you recommend?

    • Thea

      GreatLifeFood: You son is lucky to have you. The short answer is that the diet that is healthy for the general population is not only healthy for athletes, but supports superior athletic performance. Even top, world-class football athletes see gains after going 100% whole plant foods. Sadly, your son’s coaches are ignorant of basic nutritional science.

      Below is a large list of just ***some*** examples and resources for athletes. I wonder if you shared this information with your son, maybe he would see the value of what you have been telling him. And maybe he could start something good with his whole team. Also, note that NutritionFacts has some helpful food tweaks for improving athletic performance. Here is the topic page for athletes (though I think it might be missing the tip about watermelon ):

      I hope this is helpful.

      (from Meetout Mondays)
      Plant-Powered Athlete: Griff Whalen [NFL Player]
      His teammates say he has the most enviable body on the team. They say he consumes an average of 6,000 calories and 200 grams of protein a day. They also say, he does it all by eating plants!

      In a recent interview on, Indianapolis Colts’ wide receiver Griff Whalen, talks about his vegan ways.

      “I feel a lot lighter, faster, quicker on the field. There isn’t that heavy feeling, that groggy feeling after I eat,” says Whalen.

      Hooray for another plant-powered athlete for us to cheer on. w00t! w00t!

      Read the full article on :
      (from Meetout Mondays)
      NFL’s David Carter on Living Vegan: In an interview last month on Rich Roll’s podcast, 27 year old Chicago Bears’ defensive lineman, David Carter spoke of a day in the life of the NFL, what he eats daily, his vegan journey, and his commitment to animal advocacy.

      “I can honestly say that being vegan is not only the most efficient way to be full-body strong, it’s also the most humane; everyone wins,” Carter said on the podcast.

      Carter is also the founder of The 300 Pound Vegan, a lifestyle blog where the NFL player writes about his journey through veganism and shares plant-based recipes. If nothing else, Carter shows us that living on plants is not just for endurance athletes or yogis but can positively impact heavy hitters in terms of their size, speed, agility, power, and quickness. Aww, yeah! Thanks for being so rad, David. We love it!

      Listen to the full interview on Rich Roll:
      Or for a written story with sample menu plan:
      (article from meatout mondays)
      Vegan Bodybuilders Dominate Texas Competition

      The Plant Built ( team rolled into this year’s drug-free, steroid-free Naturally Fit Super Show competition in Austin, TX, and walked away with more trophies than even they could carry.

      The Plant Built team of 15 vegan bodybuilders competed in seven divisions, taking first place in all but two. They also took several 2nd and 3rd place wins.

      For More Info:

      There was that other guy who just did a world record in weight lifting. “Congratulations to Strongman Patrik Baboumian who yesterday took a ten metre walk carrying more than half a tonne on his shoulders, more than anyone has ever done before. After smashing the world record the Strongman let out a roar of ‘Vegan Power’…” For more info:
      another article on the same guy:
      And another article: “I got heavier, I got stronger, I won the European championship title in powerlifting, I broke three world records so everything was going perfect … my blood pressure went down, and my recovery time was so much faster so I could train more.”
      Here’s a story about a bodybuilder who doesn’t use any supplements. Just eats whole plant foods:
      Mr Universe – “Since going vegan, he has actually gained even more mass, now at 107 Kilos…”
      Bite Size Vegan has a youtube channel
      “In this video series, you’ll hear from various vegan athletes from all walks of life and athletic abilities speaking to such topics as vegan athletic performance, building muscle on a vegan diet, vegan endurance running, bodybuilding, body image, and more!”
      Here’s another site that I like:

      I found this story on the above site: “Pat Reeves has set a new world powerlifting record at the WDFPA World Single Lift Championships. The 66 year old lifter, who has been vegan for 46 years, lifted 94 kg to set a record for the under 50.5kg weight class while competing in France in June 2012. The lift was more than 1.85 times her bodyweight, which is exceptional for her division. Pat is now officially the oldest competing weightlifter in Europe.”


      Story of Mac Denzig, winner of season six of The Ultimate Fighter

      And another article from Meetout Mondays:

      Vegan Figure Skater Takes Silver
      Canadian Olympian Meagan Duhamel and her partner Eric Radford won a silver medal in pairs figure skating at this year’s Olympic games in Sochi, Russia.

      Duhamel proudly took to Twitter announcing that she is an “Olympian, vegan, yogi and nutritionist.” Wonderful! Congratulations to Meagan for being an outspoken and shining example of what healthy vegan eating looks like. …


      And another article from Meetout Mondays:

      Record Setting, 92 Yr Old Vegan Runner

      Mike Fremont has been vegan for over 20 years, and has been setting single age marathon running records just as long.

      “At age 88 [Mike] ran a 6H5M53S marathon in Cincinnati Ohio and at age 90 ran a 6H35M47S marathon in Huntington West Virginia. [He] also set a single age world record for 90 years old in the half marathon in Morrow Ohio in August 2012,” said Veg World Magazine.

      According to an interview with Veg World Magazine, Fremont credits his vegan lifestyle for his continued record setting runs, at his age.

      We love seeing vegans making positive media waves, and what better way to showcase the health benefits of plant-powered living than Mike’s awesome running career. Here’s to you Mike, and vegan athletes of all ages!

      Learn more about Mike Fremont a

      from Meatout Mondays:

      World’s First Vegan Pro Soccer Team

      The Internet went wild last week as the news that English soccer (A.K.A football) team, the Forest Green Rovers, announced that the entire team and club is going completely vegan.

      “We stopped serving meat to our players, fans and staff about four seasons ago,” said club owner Dale Vince (via a recent article on He continued, “We’ve been on a mission since then to introduce our fans to this new world.” The article explains that while the club has been vegetarian for the past few years, they’ve decided to take the next step in going fully vegan (including their beer and cider options). Also cool to know: the club’s field is organic and they collect rainwater to use for irrigation. This is seriously super cool, you guys. Keep it up!

      Read the source article on:

      from Meatout Mondays:
      Vegan Arm Wrestler: Rob Bigwood

      “Some of his opponents say that since going vegan Rob is stronger, his stamina grew, and he became more difficult to pin,” notes an interview-style Facebook post by ‘Starry N Ight.’

      A competitive arm wrestler since 2000, Rob Bigwood has been making a name for himself in the arm wrestling community—not only as the one to beat but also as the guy who eats plants. Rob has said, “I was concerned at first [about not eating meat for strength] but didn’t care. I made a conscious and ethical decision to give up meat…It is more important to practice what I believe in than to worry about being a strength athlete. I have never felt better in my entire life and it was one of the smartest decisions I ever made.”

      Check out one of Rob’s interviews on

      from Meatout Mondays:
      Vegan Bodybuilder Bucks Stereotypes

      Vegan bodybuilder Joshua Knox shares his game changing and inspiring vegan story during a TEDxFremont, California presentation.

      In this five-minute long video, shared by Mercy for Animals, Knox talks of his ‘meat and potatoes’ upbringing and what led him to give veganism a try. The results were nothing short of wonderful.

      “Not only was I able to continue increasing my strength and performance but also saw massive gains in endurance as well… [and] rather than feeling like I was missing out on foods I really felt that I was opening my mind to so many things I would have never put on my plate…” Knox said during his presentation. Joshua also noted a drop in his cholesterol, while experiencing mental and emotional health improvements as well. Rock on, Josh! Thank you for sharing your story

      Watch the short video on Mercy for Animals’ youtube channel:

      from Meatout Mondays:
      Vegan Breaks World Record in Push-Ups

      A vegan from Kerala (a South Indian state) has just broken the Guinness World Record for knuckle push-ups (press ups). K.J. Joseph—a manager of an ayurveda centre in Munnar—completed 82 push-ups in 60 seconds, beating out Ron Cooper from the US who held the record at 79 push-ups in 2015. “Joseph has already entered the Universal Record Forum by doing 2092 push-ups in an hour. He is currently the record holder in the India Book of Records,” notes Thanks for making us vegans look good, Joseph. And congrats on your win!

      Check out the original story:


      From PCRM Weekly News Update:
      What do the world’s top male and female tennis players have in common? They love vegan food! In a new Huffington Post piece, Dr. Barnard talks about plant-powered Novak Djokovic’s recent win at the French Open.

      from Meatout Mondays:

      Professional Bodybuilding Couple Celebrate Veganism
      Named 2014 Mr Universe, Barny Du Plessis and his fiance, named UK’s strongest woman, Josie Keck are excited to share and to celebrate their one year vegan anniversary this month. In a comprehensive interview by British publication, Daily Mail, the vegan (literal) power couple are “…serious about [their] crusade to save the Earth, the animals, [themselves], and our dignity as a species,” said Barny. The articles noted that, “Barny is on a mission to destroy the idea that eating meat is associated with manliness.” He said, “I’m living proof that you simply don’t need to eat meat or animal products to make great gains, be strong, healthy, fit, and feeling mighty.” We couldn’t agree more, Barny. Congratulations to you both on your anniversary! We’re so jazzed you’re passionate about veganism.

      “When training for competitions Barny eats up to 4,500 calories a day, while Josie consumes 2,200 of vegan food. While preparing for a competition their typical diet consists of a wide variety of vegetables; fruit such as apples, bananas, dates and berries; grains such as basmati rice, quinoa and tapioca, pulses like chickpeas and brown and red lentils; as well as powders such as rice protein, hemp protein and vegan protein blend.” And the article includes a sample daily menu for each of them.


      When Robert Cheeke started in 2002, being the only vegan athlete he knew of, he may not have imagined that the website would quickly grow to have thousands of members. Robert says, “We’re discovering new vegan athletes all the time, from professional and elite levels… to weekend warriors and everyone in between.”

      For More Info:

      • GreatLifeFood

        Thank you, so very much for all this information!! I will spend time today working through it.