Doctor's Note

I detailed the pilot study that started it all in Slimming the Gecko.

Imagine how much money companies can save! See, for example:

More on some of the downsides of corporate influence in videos like Collaboration with the New Vectors of Disease and Taxpayer Subsidies for Unhealthy Foods.

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  • veganchrisuk

    Off Topic – just FYI for those with access to BBC1 – this evening at 9pm, there is an hour long Panorama special entitled “Can you cure my cancer?”.

    “Panorama special reporting on the cancer patients who are pioneering a new generation of drug treatments. Patients given just months to live are keeping the disease at bay for years – for some there is even talk of a cure. Huge advances in genetics are transforming doctors’ understanding of the disease and how to combat it. Reporter Fergus Walsh visits the Royal Marsden and Institute of Cancer Research, talking to the patients, their families and medical teams.”

    Sounds interesting…..

  • Veganrunner
    • brad

      i was shocked as well. especially after dr greger’s eloquent presentation before this committee.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Yes it appears to be true. The problem I see is that cholesterol only comes from animals and eating animals is a package deal exposing us to way too much animal protein, carcinogens, saturated fat, arachidonic acid, etc. So the problem arises when a powerful advisory board says Cholesterol isn’t that bad (they’re correct in a skewed way) that people will start taking in all these other problematic molecules which we do have very hard facts on their toxicity to the human body.

      John McDougall, MD states it well:

      Significant amounts of cholesterol are found only in animal foods. Plants (starches, vegetables, and fruits) are “cholesterol-free” foods.

      The problem is “the animal foods” – blaming individual components (i.e. cholesterol) is a risky business:

      In common, animal foods (meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and seafood) are:
      High in fat and/or high in protein
      Contain no dietary fiber
      Contain no energy giving carbohydrate (mammal milk is the exception)
      High in environmental contaminants (POP)
      Transmitters of microbes (zoonosis) – bacteria, viruses, parasites, prions
      Expensive (money) sources of calories

      Meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy are:
      Deficient in essential fats (omega 3 and omega 6)
      Deficient in vitamin C
      A (the) major source of global warming gasses and environmental damage (land and water)
      Loaded with allergens that cause autoimmune diseases through molecular mimicry
      Meat, poultry, and fish are deficient in calcium and dairy is deficient in iron

      *Deficient means that they are unable to meet dietary needs of children and adults
      John McDougall, MD

      • What next? Nicotine is not poisonous, so cigarettes are A-OK?

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.


        • Charzie

          Great analogy! Just what we need, something else to give everyone yet another excuse to do what they shouldn’t already!

      • Veganrunner

        Exactly. And the problem is that people will be more confused then they already are. I just left a patient who said oh that’s great I can start eating steak and eggs now. What it does is undermine the science of nutrition. The general population is not buying into the lifestyle changes that are required for good health. They’re getting fatter and they’re exercising less. To confuse them more is a travesty.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.


          • Veganrunner

            And of course they wouldn’t come out with a statement like, “Just stay away from animal food. It isn’t good for you.”

          • YES this is the Main character (Villian) missing in the play as described by the Advisory Council.!

          • So the nutritional powers that be can’t tell when they’re being bamboozled by number-fudging meta-analyses and faulty comparisons?


      • Daniel K Morris

        These are some very good points, we need to be focusing on the food as a whole and its effects on health or chronic disease risk factors rather than the individual components. If we look at diabetes, there could be a number of factors in meat effecting blood glucose levels or insulin resistance such as fat, saturated fat and environmental toxins as can be seen in the videos here Or take a plant-based food such as coffee, there can be both positive and negative factors effecting vascular health as in the video here It is important to ask what does this actually mean for the health of the individual and to focus on whole foods as alternatives such as beans and green tea rather than trying to remove individual components.

        • Micheline

          I totally agree with you. I think this is a step in the right direction. Rewarding employees for healthy choices is a great way to boost morale. Not only that, it definitely will cut back on the medical bills! There are so many factors contributing to disease but focusing on plant-based foods that offer a multitude of benefits is definitely key.

      • Dominic

        This is a great response by Dr. McDougall. I would just add that meat, poultry, eggs, dairy and seafood also lack health-promoting phytonutrients.

    • Linda Illingworth,RD

      As I explain to my patients, health isn’t about just one nutrient like cholesterol. In fact many people have healthy cholesterol levels. Instead, we focus on reducing inflammation for results that extend beyond the cardiovascular system while better managing those LDLs and HDLs. The bottom line is if you don’t eat enough plants any aspect of your health could be at risk. The effectiveness of an anti-inflammatory diet stems from the foods you INCLUDE, as much as the foods you avoid. I think Dr. Greger did a great job with this post and of course the entire NutritionFacts site explains how incredibly beneficial a plant- based whole foods diet is to the entire body. Here’s one of my favorites: Lifestyle Medicine: Treating the Causes of Disease

  • Mark

    has anyone seen this? I saw it on the news this morning! This stuff just makes me angry!

    • Veganrunner

      Mark I just linked the same article. Can you imagine the confusion this is going to create?

      • Mark

        Unbelievable! People will go out and eat 4 eggs for breakfast because “they don’t have to care about cholesterol anymore” The government is so corrupt, anything for the good ole Greenback!

        • Valerie

          Agreed! seems to be ALL ABOUT THE $$….sick shit…(sorry but it is)

        • Arjan den Hollander.

          Your bi party system is rigid and has lost the ability to listen to its citizens.
          Take a glance if you will at this map:

          Its pretty much open mike all the time and if the little voice gets ignored but finds favor among the people the big parties start losing support fast. This pretty much forces the bigger guys to keep listening and adapting to popular demand.
          This is represented by the movement on the political spectrum map of the individual groups.

          Yeah its messy, but better messy than getting ignored and overpowered by finance and industry.
          Time for an overhaul maybe?

    • brec

      It’s my impression that the effect of dietary cholesterol on serum cholesterol and on end points such as CHD are relatively small and subject to genetic variation. Of course dietary cholesterol is very often “packaged” with saturated fat and animal protein; but what the Feds are talking about is singling out dietary cholesterol per se as distinct from saturated fat.

      That said, this paragraph does seem odd with respect to eggs…

      The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter.

      …as eggs contain about 20% of calories from saturated fat. Whether this oddity is due to the article’s author or the committee I can’t say.

      • Frank

        This is a HUGE victory for the American Egg Board. Dr. Greger has in the past warned us of the egg industry and its power to mislead the public. Apparently now it has misled the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. This is a SAD day for public health.

        • Laloofah

          Sad day for chickens, too. :-(

          • Joevegan

            Factory Chickens have a sad day everyday of their miserable lives.

    • Dasaniyum

      This article raises red flags in us nutritionfacts dwellers

    • Mark, these special committees appear whenever special interests need to shore up their corrupt agendas. Happens in all matters from governments to board rooms to sports.

      [“Almost every single nutrient imaginable has peer reviewed publications associating it with almost any outcome,” John P.A. Ioannidis, a professor of medicine and statistics at Stanford and one of the harshest critics of nutritional science, has written. “In this literature of epidemic proportions, how many results are correct?”]

      Coa: This fellow exemplifies why i quit the food science game. big shots like this, who are unable to distinguish good research from shlock papers by mediocre scientists, these guys run the show. “Confusion to the enemy” is their toast, creed and motto. We are the enemy. It is like being trapped in a science fiction movie.

      [Cholesterol has been a fixture in dietary warnings in the United States at least since 1961, when it appeared in guidelines developed by the American Heart Association. Later adopted by the federal government, such warnings helped shift eating habits — per capita egg consumption dropped about 30 percent — and harmed egg farmers.]

      Coa: harmed egg farmers?? there it is in black and white…the feds agenda is to keep egg consumption high.

      • Lawrence

        To say nothing of the chin-strokers at the American College of Cardiology and the American Heart Association. The alimentary canal is the Rio de Oro with all its tributaries. Trickle-down economics indeed!

        • Stewart

          Lawrence, I like your turn of phrase. Never thought of it quite like that but the alimentary canal as the “Rio de Oro” is so true and outstanding imagery.

      • What is “Coa”?

        • b00mer

          I believe Coa-cervate is distinguishing his commentary from his quoted sources.

    • Laloofah
      • I would like to see a more specific response to the controversy and the Time and Washington Post articles from Dr. Mc Dougall… and of course from Dr. Greger! Specific critiques of studies, outcomes, and emphasis. What IS true and reasonable in the new perspectives on cholesterol, and what needs to remembered to follow a healthy diet?

  • Frank

    While some companies are taking measures to improve the health of their employees, back in April 2008 the Japanese government implemented their own “fat tax”, requiring most employees between the ages of 40 and 75 in large businesses to have their waists measured once a year. Men would be considered fat if their waist size exceeded 33.5 inches, and women are fat if their waist exceeded 35.5 inches. The nation would be required to have a reduction of overweight employees of 25 percent by this year. Non-compliant companies would have to pay extra money into the national health insurance program. Well, 2015 has arrived, and everybody in Japan is anxiously waiting to hear if the country has slimmed down. Of course, some people are excluded, including sumo wrestlers.

    • 35.5″ for a Japanese-sized woman? That’s HUGE!

  • Ryan Harlow

    So when low-carbers present information thats shows an increased number of mitochondria in the brain, as well as a decreased amount of ROS, while eating high-fat….they forget to also offer the information that there exists a total-body decrease in the functioning of mitochondria as well as a total-body increase in ROS. What they see as benefit from high-fat is actually a protection mechanism against high-fat, not improvements.

  • Terri

    Thank you for this video!!! I run workplace wellness plant-based programs for companies and what you said is absolutely true! This video is so timely as I am presenting to a potential new client tomorrow and will definitely include this video! Thank you so much for making my job tomorrow even easier!!! ~Terri

    • Are they hiring? Just kidding, but I would add that I used to work for a USA company that was amazing in “walking the talk”. They had a beautiful Gym and personal trainers that people actually used, the whole place had this atmosphere that said “we are all in this boat together so lets help each other AND our customers be safe, healthy …happy. There are some good things happening in the USA and wouldn’t it be just like the yanks to do it on their own while the gov dithers away at who knows what? As my grandpappy used to say “the best way to get a tough job done is to tell [a US American] it can’t be done. Best wishes Terri.

    • Joe Gonzales

      Awesome to hear, Terri! I was so impressed by the results of this GEICO study on workplace wellness. The improved cholesterol and blood sugar levels of study participants gives me hope that plant-based programs will succeed. One major solution to improving health among employees is as simple as making healthy food available to employees. And perhaps most importantly, making sure the food tastes good and is offered it at a decent price. If more companies invested in this GEICO model, I feel we would see healthier individuals and more profits for the companies themselves.

      Good luck in your position! I hope you continue to influence your clients.


  • We’ve just been invited back for a second year of pro plant-based power for an Integrated Worksite Wellness program in Michigan! The body composition results and laboratory biomarkers results are nice to see, but it’s enhanced quality of life that really highlights the every day benefits of lifestyle change!

  • Lauren Bateman

    Yes, it seems to be true; it’s a great opportunity to remember to watch the Forks over Knives documentary if one hasn’t already, and use this site as the best reference for unadulterated, un-skewed, unbiased up to date nutritional science for health.

  • Something just hit me about the new dietary guidelines that say cholesterol is OK but trans fats and saturated fats are not healthy. The problem is that the foods ppl eat that are high in cholesterol but low in saturated fat are eaten WITH trans fats or saturated fat!!!

    Eggs + sausage/bacon

    Lobster + butter

    Shellfish like shrimp fried in oil that is constantly reused (transfats)

    Yes, they are emphasizing the importance of plants in the diet and acknowledging a healthy vegetarian diet in the same par as the Mediterrean diet pattern, but the lack of cholesterol guidelines will prove to be a disaster in practice despite articles like this:

    • kylemeister

      Reminds me of atherosclerosis researcher JD Spence referring to the “bacon and egg effect.”

      • Kyle,

        In December, I was informed that the article Dr. Spence responded to is in the Christmas edition of the BMJ, which is a spoof issue. It mixes spoof articles in with legitimate articles which often trip up the media that’s clueless about the Onion-esque nature of the issue.

        Therefore, I am confused. Is this the original article author’s apparently serious endorsement of Nina Teicholz’s book Big Fat Surprise, a full-on gag, a semi-serious essay written tongue in cheek, or a sincere and dead serious academic document?

        I have just sent an email to the original author asking as much. I’ll try to remember posting here if I get an answer back.

        Very cool that Dr. Spence included Dr. Greger’s videos along with his academic citations.

  • Charzie

    Also sort of off topic…has nothing to do with the workplace, but I need some advice! I feel so betrayed. I just called my brother to wish him a happy 70th birthday and his message box was full. I called my DH to get see if he had my brother’s home phone # on his cell, since I couldn’t find it, and lo and behold, he says, here, you can talk to him, and hands him the phone. I wish him happy birthday, and he mentions DH is taking him out to dinner for his birthday! Just the two of them…without me. No mention prior! Yes, they are close, but um, so am I…but I don’t eat like they do. I opted to turn my poor health around 5 years ago with a WFPB lifestyle and they are both still diabetic, my DH has lost a leg to it, and my brother is in poor health and uses a walker after multiple knee replacements…
    In one sense I feel silly for feeling “left out” of their twisted “club”…if you get me, but on the other hand, I am being shut out of the short time we have left together because I chose to eat differently. I really need guidance right now because I am feeling really confused and hurt. I would appreciate any responses. TIA!

    • LoveYourFamily

      Ouch. That hurts. Could you explain that you really want to be with them, and it’s important to you to take care of your health with your eating habits, and just say you’ll eat before, or after, but you just want to come along? You could even sneak some almonds in your purse and nibble while they eat. I feel ya, girl. Sometimes the choice to eat healthy comes with costs that we never thought of.

      • Yes, LYF and Charzie! The unexpected costs! We have found friends avoiding including us at food-related events because they just don’t know how to provide for us. It helps if we tell them 5 times that we want their company and are very happy to eat before, bring our food and something nice to share, or suggest a simple dish that would really, honestly be great for us even if they find it odd!

    • Lawrence

      Hi Charzie. Your dilemma brings to mind a recent talk given by Patti Breitman. Here’s her book:
      and here’s her presentation. All the best and good luck!

      • Charzie

        Bless you all and thank you so much for the kind words and understanding! I wish you all lived next door! Great presentation too! I normally have a handle on all this, I just got caught off guard. I guess I just needed to take my ego out of the equation and try to understand we all are just trying to cope to the best of our ability. Thanks again!

    • Thea

      Charzie: You already got some great replies. I just wanted to add my sympathy and 2 cents worth. You are in a very sad and unfortunate position. I can just imagine the hurt.

      I am guessing based on your description that voicing that hurt isn’t going to get you anywhere. Here’s my suggestion: Call your brother and say something like, “Hey, it’s great that DH took you out for your birthday and you got to have some one-on-one time. I love you too and want the same thing. I’m taking you out for dinner [or breakfast or lunch] this ___. Where do you want to go?” Or if budget is an issue, you can present a couple of places that will work for your budget. Or just take him out for “coffee”. Once you get there, keep the conversation away from food an health. Just enjoy your time together. If the restaurant has little that you can eat, you can always eat before you go and just order a drink and maybe a side salad for yourself when you get there.

      Just a thought. I think it is really wonderful that you want to spend time with the family you love and are looking for ways to make it happen even though you are hurt. Lots of people can’t get past the hurt. So, good for you.

      • Charzie

        Thanks Thea! I actually invited him over for dinner, but since he has issues with access here, he hemmed and hawed. I love my “bro” dearly, but we are very different people and even sitting over coffee would be awkward for him, sad to say, so social events are better. I did go visit him on his day, and talked to my SIL about it. Their kids are coming down from the frozen New England area (we are in S FL) soon, so we will all go out and celebrate together belatedly, which works great!
        Like I said, I usually figure out a way to maneuver through the maze of issues that can arise with the differences we face, when I have the chance. This “problem” happened before I had a chance to think, and for me was mostly about jumping to “confusions”. They basically wanted “guy time” and freedoms from whatever, but I guess my ego/emotional overload was bigger than my sensibility. Being human can sure be confusing, huh? I was just watching some lovely egrets flying overhead, thinking, I wonder what THAT life would be like? LOL!

        • Thea

          Charzie: re: “I actually invited him over for dinner…” You are ahead of me then. Good for you.

          I can say from my own family issues (not around food, but other things), navigating family is extremely difficult. I admire you for sticking in there and keeping the big picture/your ultimate goals in mind.

    • candacedunn

      I am so sorry to hear that you are being left out. I have been in similar situation for many years. I have been vegetarian for 12 years (quickly going to an even more plant-based diet), and I am from a small town in Indiana. My family does not understand my choices and lifestyle and label me a weirdo. Fact is, we cannot change everyone’s minds, and it seems the closer we are to people, the less we can change their minds.

      I have started just inviting people to my house and preparing food from the Forks over Knives cookbook and most of them do not miss the animal products!! Love and persistence is all we can do!!!

      Also, send them to these links…sometimes, family members tend to believe and “hear” those on the outside!

      • Charzie

        I occasionally post links on my FB page, (which I rarely use), but they almost NEVER get read, no matter what tact I try to take! :(
        I LOVE F.O.K., (nice acronym), it was probably one of the major influences on my huge lifestyle change! Thanks for the kind words, you are so right!


    Its like being stuck in “The Day of the Triffids”. Most of the people have gone blind and they keep getting bad information about plants!

  • guest

    Great study! GEIOC

  • Heather Johnstone

    As a nurse coach, I find that the workplace programs are generally well-appreciated by employees. They enjoy the individual attention to their wellness work which coaching provides for them.

  • Lori Hopkins

    So, can anyone explain why many people with diabetes (I speak primarily of Type 2) are encouraged to eat carbs WITH protein, or carbs WITH fats, when so many of the studies presented here show that, over time, high-carb, low-fat, plant based, whole food diets can, in essence reverse the disease?

    I hear fellow diabetics say that it is to prevent post-prandial blood glucose spikes. The thought is that the post-prandial hyperglycemia is lowered because the fat or protein slows down the digestion process, causing the carbs to not rush into the blood stream. I know that hyperglycemia damages delicate blood vessels and nerves.

    Has anyone studied or addressed this? As in, is it better for the newly diagnosed person with diabetes to focus on having *every* blood sugar reading within an ideal range (70-140)? Or is it better for the newly diagnosed person to eat a whole-food, low-fat, plant-based diet (maybe avoiding high-glycemic fruits & focusing on high-fiber intake, per Dr. Neal Barnard)? The strategy of the second tactic is based on the assumption that this diet 1) is healthiest overall, 2) causes the person to quickly reduce their weight, which frequently restores insulin sensitivity, often within months.

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      Not sure why? Perhaps so many diets for diabetes are bing studied and many can show weight loss and involve blood sugars. The question is what diet is best long-term and how can diabetes educators learn about the different dietary methods so they can give the patient a choice? Maybe educators might not know about Dr. Barnard’s research or have the same mindset that their patients wont follow even if they knew? Hard to say what is best, however working on the studies with Dr. Barnard I have seen how plant-based diets can be beneficial. Vegan diets help improve diabetes even better than standard diets prescribed for diabetes. Same for this video above, the GEICO participants also had improvements. These are promising results and the more research we have the better this dietary approach can be recommended.

  • courtonaquest

    Does metabolic damage exist?

  • techwoman

    Now that the egg board has been exposed for trying to bribe online journalists, among other things, I wonder if it used strong-arm tactics to influence the earlier articles saying eggs are no longer bad for you.