Doctor's Note

Some foods don’t just lack fiber but may interact with our gut flora to contribute to disease in other ways. Check out my last video Microbiome: The Inside Story.

This amazing prebiotic story helps explain why fiber-rich (i.e. whole plant) foods are so good for us. See, for example, Dr. Burkitt’s F-Word Diet. This reminds me of The Broccoli Receptor: Our First Line of Defense, in terms of our body using what we eat as cues to optimize immune function.

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  • Welcome everyone to day #3 of Julieanna Week! Joseph is taking a week to do offline work for us, and so Julieanna Hever, R.D. is stepping in to be NutritionFacts.org’s resident dietician. This is everyone’s opportunity to take advantage of her vast knowledge of how to take all the science and translate it into day-to-day healthier living for your family. We’re just so honored to have her on board this week!

    • Thank you so much, Dr. Greger! Honored to be on board and love the new video! For those of you who don’t know me, I am known as the Plant-Based Dietitian and I am an author, speaker, and tv host. I work with clients around the world using whole food, plant-based nutrition to help improve their health and performance. Looking forward to answering questions and discussing all things prebiotics and anything related to nutrition, health, and parenting plant-eaters…

      • New to WFPBD

        What is the Daily recomended value of fiber? And what are fiber rich foods?

        • Great question! The Institute of Medicine’s Adequate Intake for fiber can be found here (it varies according to age). The suggestion stems from the previous recommendation of 14 grams of fiber per 1000 calories each day. For example, someone consuming 2000 calories per day should aim for 28 grams of fiber per day. Yet, a mere 3% of the U.S. population meets the minimum recommendations! Less than 3%! This is because the typical diet consists primarily of processed foods and animal products. This is one of the infinite benefits of following a plant-based diet…it is very easy to get more than the minimum recommended intake since the only place you can find fiber in the food supply is in plants! All whole plants have varying degrees of fiber and there are various types of fibers that help via different mechanisms. For example, beans have viscous fibers that help lower cholesterol levels and veggies have insoluble fibers that help increase transit time through the GI tract and remove toxins from the body. Focus on eating plenty of legumes each day (about 1 to 1.5 cups), opt for whole grains over refined, try a small helping of nuts and seeds, and fill at least half your plate with vegetables and fruits (including the peel when possible) to ensure adequate fiber intake.

          • Misterimpatient

            How much is too much of a good thing(Fiber)? I have the odd day where I get 100 grams of fiber. Normal is closer to 60grams. I had an RD (vegan) suggest that too much fiber could leech nutrients out of my system. Any truth to that?

          • Excessive fiber is rarely a concern in healthy individuals eating whole plant foods and drinking adequate fluids. On the other hand, concentrated sources of fiber in large doses – such as from fiber supplements or bran cereals – may cause an issue. High fiber foods found naturally in whole plants are rich sources of minerals, which should help balance out the concern of any losses. An average vegan diet contains approximately 70 grams of fiber, so what you are consuming (averaging 60 per day) sounds about right!

          • vmh

            I’m new too. Are there any health conditions where that many beans would be detrimental? Years ago, when I was first diagnosed with macular degeneration, I quit a high-bean diet (about one-and-a-half cups per day) because I thought too many phytates would bind nutrients my retinas needed. Since then, I’ve changed my shopping habits away from processed foods. I started shopping mainly the produce aisles and meat counter. NOW I’m trying to give up most of the meat. I’ve started combining beans/lentils with grains to get protein that way, but I’m still scared of the phytates. If I eat a cup-an-a-half of beans every day, would that have a negative impact on minerals getting to my retinas? (I’m eating lots of other vegetables but taking no supplements other than vitamin D3.)

          • MikeOnRaw

            I can not imagine that a primarily whole food plant based diet would lead to phylates stealing so many nutrients that your eyes would suffer. And if you are eating a variety of vegetables primarily you shouldn’t need to worry about protein.
            Have you seen Dr. Greger’s video on macular degeneration? He discusses Dietary prevention of the disease.
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dietary-prevention-of-age-related-macular-degeneration/

          • vmh

            Thanks. I’d looked at the videos but hadn’t read the comments. I see they’re a wealth of info.

          • I am curious where you hear about any connection between your retinas and mineral absorption…

            From increased lifespan to cardiovascular benefits, legumes should be embraced. Phytates get a bad rap due to media hype and diet trend misinformation. Dr. Greger has a slew of compelling videos describing the myriad health benefits of phytates, including the fact that they may play a role in the reduction of cancer risk and perhaps even cancer treatment. They also seem to reduce risk of osteoporosis and may promote stronger bones despite calcium being one of the minerals implicated as potentially blocked by the phytates.

            Good for you for moving away from processed foods and including more whole plant foods. Giving up animal products will be a huge added bonus because meat intake has been associated with age-related macular degeneration (as well as with other chronic diseases.

          • vmh

            I quit the high-bean diet about 5 years ago. (Back then I was still eating processed food and not many vegetables — I was trying the high-bean-no-sugar diet for anxiety issues.) I just now googled “phytates mineral absorption” and these two links popped up in the top four:

            http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/living-with-phytic-acid/

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1657026

            So you get the drift of where I’ve been. Zinc uptake being one of my major concerns while finding a new direction.

            The vegan/paleo information online is polarized. I’m not a scientist and it’s hard for me to judge which PhD is right. The retinal specialists I’ve gone to ARE scientists but their main interest seems to be charting my decline.
            They’re playing it safe, not going out on any limbs. How much proven science is there for diet in populations who have madular degeneration? None. My frustration is that I have to find a limb and the price of getting the wrong one could be my eyesight. Lately I’m questioning my quasi-paleo limb (modified with lots of vegetables), so here I am, trying to figure out something else.

          • I would absolutely err on the side of whole food, plant-based, since there is so much evidence supporting its benefits on every chronic disease studied thus far! We know the harmful effects of eating animal products. That primary study you linked to is really old and concludes that phytates need further investigation. If you look at what we cited above, it looks like phytates are nothing but wonderful! Plus, vegans tend to fare better health-wise with decreased risk for chronic diseases and mortality. Further, you can look at the cultures around the world throughout time (I highly recommend the book The Blue Zones) illustrating the fact that the longest-lived societies thrive on whole plants…

          • vmh

            Thanks so much for your kind reply. I’m definitely leaning your way!

          • drew

            also eat tons of organic blueberries !

          • Markus

            Do your own n=1: get a lab value for zinc, eat a whole food plant based diet for several weeks, take another lab test. Remove the grains and the beans and replace it by animal products, get another lab test for zinc (and ferritin & Magnesium). Then see how your own body has reacted.

            Regarding macular dgeneration, I’d use this protocol a starting point for my own research:

            http://www.lifeextension.com/protocols/eye-ear/macular-degeneration/page-01

          • vmh

            Thanks so much to everyone. I appreciate the links and time spent to help out.

          • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

            Hello VMH, Dr. Greger covers phytates here, check out the video. Phytates are generally deactivated with cooking and soaking so this is not really a concern either way.

            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/phytates-for-the-prevention-of-osteoporosis/

            In addition, the weston price foundation is known for quackery, I would not use them as a source of information. More details on their quackery here.

            http://plantpositive.com/blog/2012/3/25/tpns-26-weston-price.html

          • vmh

            Wow, I that German study you link to in your last sentence is very helpful to me. I never, never would have found it on my own. Thanks!

          • drew

            Weston a price used to publish articles on how good smoking cigarettes are for you in the 80s. today they’re still full of sh*t with advice like “if you have high cholesterol, eat more organic meats”

          • Fred

            Bifidobacterium vs cancer….

            http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/11/151105143815.htm

            “Gajewski and colleagues found a similar pattern in the mice they use for cancer research. They noticed that mice purchased from Jackson Laboratory (JAX) tended to have a robust spontaneous immune response to small melanoma tumors implanted under their skin. Mice from Taconic Biosciences (TAC) showed only a weak immune response.

            But when the researchers put the mice from both sources in cages together for three weeks, they found that co-housing “completely abolished the differences in tumor growth,” Gajewski said. This made them suspect that by sharing exposure to various types of bacteria, the TAC mice had acquired microbes from JAX mice that somehow enhanced their immunity to tumors.

            They confirmed their suspicion by collecting fecal matter from JAX mice and transferring it into the stomachs of TAC mice. It worked. Treated TAC mice were then able to mount a strong immune response and delay tumor growth. The reverse process, transferring fecal bacteria from TAC to JAX mice had no effect.

            Next, they compared the effects of bacterial transfer against a checkpoint inhibitor, anti-PD-L1 antibodies. They found that introducing the bacteria was just as effective as treating them with anti-PD-L1 antibodies, resulting in significantly slower tumor growth. Combining the benefits associated with the bacteria with anti-PD-L1 treatment dramatically improved tumor control.

            So they began searching for the specific bacteria that made the difference. They identified microbes from the digestive tracts of JAX and TAC mice by large-scale sequencing. Although there were significant differences in 254 taxonomic families of bacteria from the two sets of mice, three groups were prominent.

            When they tested the effects of each group on the mice’s immune systems, one group, the Bifidobacterium, stood out. Within two weeks of oral administration, TAC mice that received just Bifidobacterium species had a marked increase in the anti-tumor T cell responses.

            Mice treated just with Bifidobacterium, rather than the full fecal transfer, displayed tumor control comparable to those who received the full mixture. The effect was long-lasting. TAC mice exposed to tumors as late as six weeks after the Bifidobacterium transfer were still able to mount a robust immune response.”

          • Linda

            Hi Fred,

            You sound very knowledgeable from your comment here. i have metastatic melanoma, and have been on immune boosting meds (ippiilmumab and nivolumab) for 5 months now. I have had a great response to the meds and The tumors in my heart, lungs and liver have shrunk considerably from this treatment. I am highly interested in your comments. Is there a supplement that you can take that will boost Bifidobacterium -and which strand? and how much per day? It is recommended that I stay on bi-weekly infusions for 2 years, but I know this will be a life long battle to make sure the tumors never return. I am not able to eat very well right now due to nausea and vomiting quite frequently, so I am taking a high quality pro biotic from my Chiropractor call “Innate Choice – Probiotic Sufficiency” – have you heard of it? It has Bifidobacterium biffidum 0.75 billion CFU’s, Bifidobacterium longum 0.75 billion CFU’s, Bifidobacterium breve 0.75 billion CFU’s along with other strains of bacteria. Do you have any recommendations for me? I printed a copy of this study I may show my Dr.

          • Fred

            I know no more than the study mentions. Seems like you might want to increase the amount of Bifidobacterium? You’d want to clear that with your doctor though…you don’t want to cause some kind of adverse effect. good luck.

          • Sunshine99

            Hi Linda, I recently learned that scientists in Latvia have developed a viral immunomodulator that has been effective in treating melanoma with no harsh side effects. It is called Rigvir, for “Riga virus.” You can do a literature search for rigvir in pubmed.gov to get more up-to-date information on the research and outcomes. Good luck!

          • kate

            hello VMH – I have early macular degeneration (AMD) and I am still quite young. I used to eat lots of veges and whole grains but also quite a lot of red meat because we raised our own animals on a small holding. I thought I was doing the healthy thing. But my iron levels were too high with the red meat and I am fairly sure that caused the drusen in my eyes that are the hallmarks of macular degeneration. So ‘mineral absorbtion’ is a double edged sword – meat that is high in zinc is also high in iron and iron is known for its proxidant and proinflammatory effects, and is linked to AMD in many studies. So getting your zinc from non-meat sources would seem the best strategy. If you are concerned about phytates, just aim to get a bit extra zinc (maybe through a small supplement).

          • drew

            ditch all of the meat, if not all meat right away, definitely without question all red meat immediately. work towards 0 meat, replaced with quinoa, beans, tofu, nuts

          • Sudha Zaveri

            any fiber supposed to decrease transit time through G.I tract.

        • Billy Dee

          I eat 136 grams of fiber a day and feel great. More fiber, more cleaning going on. I make “bean shakes” much tastier than they sound.

          warm up in a pan 2 cups of cooked drained beans and 1 cup of water
          in a blender add
          2 cloves crushed organic garlic (wait 10 minutes after crushing before adding it)
          Juice of 2 lemons more or less depending on preference
          Handfuls of spinach – adjustable to preference
          then pour warmed beans in blender over spinach lemon and garlic and blend it.

          Drink it down. Delicious and super healthy.

          • Thea

            Billy Dee: That’s awesome! I aspire to be you. :-)

          • Wow, Billy! I love beans and I LOVE hummus, but this one…well, I will have to try it! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

          • Shea

            Are you 100% vegan? If so, how long have you been vegan? I will assume for now that you.

          • I am 100% vegan and have been for almost 10 years!

          • Shea

            Right on. Also, what percent, on average, is your total daily fat intake…..percentage of daily calories from fat?
            And do grains make up a big part of your diet? Coconut meat, coconut oil?

          • I am a rare dietitian that does not calculate percentages and calories in my own (or most of my client’s) diet(s). Instead, I focus on the overall content. I eat oil-free, but enjoy tahini- or nut-based dressings on my salads and sauces on my food typically. So, I probably get about 15-20% of my calories from fat on average. I do include whole grains (I am gluten-free because I have an allergy). I do not use coconut oil except on my hair and skin sometimes and will make a dessert with coconut maybe once or twice a year…

          • Alan

            I’m not a dietition yet but I am about to begin studying Naturopathic Nutrition in a week’s time. I’ve turned my own health around through diet and I’m with you on not calculating percentages and calories. I just get the good stuff in and eat until I’ve had enough. I’m glad that there are dietitians out there who also think like that, it reassures me that I’m probably on the right track – although my good health should be the best indicator of that.

          • Good for you! And, yes, your own health is a perfect indicator that you are indeed on the right track! Happy studying!

          • Rebecca Cody

            That sounds like a delicious and quick bean soup to me!

          • Charzie

            Awesome, I love to read what other people are doing for quick and easy WFPB meals like this, because let’s face it, making 3 meals a day from scratch can be challenging at times…like when I am lazy and don’t have anything leftover! Thanks!

          • Absolutely! Me, too, Charzie! As a working full-time Mom, easy, quick, healthy dishes are my favorite!

          • Kim Churchman

            More ideas like that please!!

        • Mick

          Gosh, this acronym (WFPBD) is so complicated and thus annoying… why don’t we use “W diet” for example… I mean, seriously, acronyms are supposed to make are lives easier, not harder…

          • Thea

            Mick: if it’s any consolation, most people just write WFPB, leaving off the “D”.

          • Charzie

            A friend of mine was explaining her “WFPB” diet to someone and said she never eats anything fake, only Whole, True Foods. Being one of those goofballs who like to make puns and stuff, I picked up on those initials and said… “WTF”! I got a weird look and it took her a minute to process it, and then she said, “Oh well, I guess THAT acronym is already taken, huh”? Too bad. lol

          • Thea

            Too funny!

      • José Luis

        Guapísima!!! (sorry)

      • Hi, Jul,

        Let’s talk about phytonutrients.
        It’s turning out that many of them ARE pre-biotics, right?

        What’s your take on the anti-cancer alchemy of flavonols? http://eatandbeatcancer.com/2016/02/04/part-3-whats-on-and-off-your-anti-cancer-platter-flavonoids-and-the-mighty-italian-triumverate/

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    Absolutely an amazing piece. Makes so much sense now that I remember having Crohn’s patients During residency and they would put them on a low residue diet which is a low fiber diet and I would see these people progress to Bowel resection. Fantastic investigational work and thanks for bringing it here for us to see. And thanks Julianna for being our guest nutritionist this week I truly appreciate you being here.

    • Thank you, Doc! Truly extraordinary to witness the recommendations made for IBD patients by traditional healthcare practitioners and yes…I have seen them progress downwards when they follow those instructions! Fiber is fabulous and love how this video explains one of the myriad reasons why…

      • mike

        Hey Julieanna, I suffer from IBS-D/food sensitivities and have found it very difficult to maintain a high insoluble fiber diet. I am now on a low-fodmap diet to heal my gut but still have the occasional flare-up. Would a buterate suppliment be helpfull for IBS? or does it have to come from real food?

        • Ann

          Same here. I also have been recently diagnosed with IBS and have been on a plant based diet for over 3 years.

        • Hi Mike! Fascinating question. Supplements generally don’t seem to have the same effect as does the actual food, though I am not well-versed on the evidence on butyrate supplements and IBS, specifically. This study seems to show promise, though the data are limited…

          • Mike

            Thank you for the feedback Julieanna!

        • California veg

          Hi Mike – We are a vegan family for 5 years and my daughter had an intense case of IBS 2 years ago. There were two pearls of wisdom on our journey worth sharing here. First, we discovered that she was gluten intolerant. Years of consuming gluten we suspect left her susceptible to IBS. Second, our Osteopath recommended 5-HTP (rec came from a study his neurologist friend participated in – sorry don’t have link here to share – maybe Julieanna or Dr Gregor know of studies w/5-HTP and IBS) along with regular probiotics to help reduce the pain and support digestion. This combination reduced the discomfort within days and allowed us to expand her diet beyond only soluble fiber. After this, I cooked and blended all legumes and served most of her veggies in the form of soups and stews. After about 2 months she tolerated raw fruits and veggies again. She has been IBS free for 2 years now.

      • Julot

        Peoples with these problems need fiber yes but mainly soluble fiber from ripe fruits and not all fruits and mainly skinless for some fruits, they shouldnt eat any raw vegetables only well cooked so they are soft untill their GI tract healed enough so probably for months at least.

  • Maureen Okun

    What a great video to watch as
    I and my colon critters chow down on berries, prunes, and steel-cut oats. Ahh. I think we’ll go gaze fondly at the Bristol stool scale again.

  • BB2

    Thank you for this amazing video. Welcome Julieanna!
    I’ve been posting as BB, but just noticed there’s another BB on the forum, so I’ll be BB2.

    • BB

      I am the other BB. I enjoyed reading your previous posts!

      • Bruce Cropley

        LOL! I’m not either of you ;) Anonymity has its price!

    • Thanks, BB2!

  • Veggie Eric

    Best way to start the day is with a nutritionfacts video and big bowl of oatmeal n blueberries!

    • Dasaniyum

      Indeed, I just finished my bowl of oatmeal with triple berries

    • Charzie

      Some of us just gotta be different…I am just making my oatmeal, for tomorrow, lol. I cook about 3/4 C oats in plain water, (I like to add some ground nuts or seeds or both…sesame/almond is a favorite)and let them cool to below 100 or just warm. I add in a big heaping TBS of Shiro (white) miso, dissolved in a little liquid, a TBS of ground flax seed, mix it all together, pour into a bowl, cover, and leave it out on the counter overnight. The microbes in the miso ferment the oat mix into a lovely mellow-sweet probiotic bowl of yum, (the longer the better). IF you warm it to eat, make sure to not make it hot or you will destroy the probiotic benefits. I used to set the glass bowl into a bigger bowl of hot water, but I am lazy and have learned to enjoy it best at room temp. I have never been a morning person or breakfast eater, but the combo of having it ready and the gentle, mellow flavor has made me a convert!

      • Veggie Eric

        That is so interesting you put miso in your breakfast oats. Does it come out tasting more savory than sweet? I’m up for new things, I might have to give it a try. Sounds like a big bowl of happy tummy. I’ve been on a cream of buckwheat kick lately, super easy on the digestion. I top it with date sugar and bananas or raisins after seeing this video on the healthiest sweeteners.

        Here ~~~> http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-sweetener/

        • Charzie

          It’s so interesting because there is some sweetness, but I’m gonna call it savory because I can’t do sweet first thing in the morning, and have no problem with this! (You could certainly add some more sweet if you enjoy it! The flavor can work either way.) I’ve tried using the miso without cooking the oats first…just letting it ferment… and that version didn’t seem to have the underlying sweet note…but I guess that kind of thing is subjective. I sometimes have tummy issues with oats, (not related to gluten, which I’ve tested too and have no problem with) not sure why, but this little trick seems to eliminate that completely. My guess is seems to predigest the oats somehow, the way it kind of liquefies it. Whatever, it works all around…cheap, easy quick, healthy, added probiotics, yummy…yeah you get it :) If you or anyone else try it, I am curious to know what you think! I have kind of an adventurous palate, but even the (not so adventurous) grandkids love it.
          I love buckwheat too! The whole grain makes awesome sprouts, thanks for the reminder, I need to order some!
          Ya know, isn’t it amazing how when you ditch animal products, a whole world of food options “bowls” you over? (You can’t hit me!)

          • Veggie Eric

            Very cool! I’ll give it a try and let cha know what i think. I’ll have to pick up some mellow white miso, I usually by the dark stuff. I’m a big fan of using miso in lots of stuff. I make a decent salad dressing with water, red miso, lime juice, tumeric and amla as a base. I’ve been doing more of a chunky salad these days… big homegrown tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, avocado, olives, cauliflower, red leaf and spinich. I eat some version of that at least once a day. You got it right, being plant based is great! So many new foods I would have never discovered had I not made the switch from being a full on crapitarian the last 40 years. lol.=D

          • Charzie

            LOL, crapitarian, I love it!!! Hope you don’t mind if I appropriate that occasionally!

            I love and use miso a lot too! If you already have and enjoy the dark miso I don’t see any reason not to just use that if you try the miso oats? It might even be better since it has more goodies in it!

            Ah a fellow gardener, too cool! I live in Florida, you would think a lot of families would grow stuff here, but almost nada! Back when our kids were little in CT (before you were born I bet…mid-70’s) we always had a garden, and then I began having all these issues with severe arthritis and fibromyalgia, major depression, etc., that precluded all of it and literally knocked me off my feet. A whole long ugly story, but the upshot is diabetes saved my life because when diagnosed I poured myself into research and found WFPB, gave it a trial and never looked back. All those years of agony, disability, the diabetes, obesity, all the lethal pharmaceuticals and many other health issues…became history. The damage was done so I wish I had known all this so many years ago and spared all that. I hope anyone who wonders or questions it will at least TRY it, I mean legitimately, and see for themselves…while they still have un-ravaged parts!

            Blah blah blah, boy can I ramble! The point is I can garden again, not as vigorously as I would like, but hey, I CAN, and amongst a whole lot of other reasons, couldn’t be happier! I’ll be 63 in a few weeks, and feel better than I did 30+ years ago! Who knows if I’d even still be alive (or want to be) the way I was headed. Thanks to the likes of Dr Greger…and other eminent outstanding doctors and educators…you are not only saving lives, but dramatically improving the quality! Hugs and sloppy kisses! lol

          • Veggie Eric

            Right on, Ramble away! Love to hear stories of others success. Me too, all my health issues cleared up…even life long asthma is down to almost nothing and I use to be on multiple neutralizer treatments every day all my life. Insulin resistance gone, kidney stones gone, colitis/IBS/ulcers gone and I have not been sick in the last 4 years I’ve been Vegan. I was vegetarian first for about the first 6 months, just couldn’t ditch the cheese. Then I found nutritionfacts, Forks over Knives and the rest of the plant based Drs and the floodgates were opened.

          • Charzie

            Good for you Eric, congratulations, gave me goosebumps! I just wish there was a way we could all band together and convince the hard headed to stop being denialists and ACT! My DH and sons included, they have the fatalistic attitude that everything will kill you so to hell with it all…as for my “example”…apparently they’re convinced I must just be a lucky fluke? They sure do NOT want to hear otherwise! So frustrating!
            Hey, about the cheese…ever hear of Miyoko Schinner? I don’t know if you’re interested, but I have her book “Artisan Vegan Cheese”, and she also has a website and a load of videos on Youtube…fun and remarkably easy for some darn good ringers for all kinds of “cheese”, some instant and some actually fermented! (Some with miso too!) Awesome. I’m saving up for her latest book about creating vegan options for the kitchen staples we all have grown fond of. (Especially appealing after I finally got to a “Whole Foods” market around here, hoping to stock up on some hard to find items, and totally see why they call it “Whole Paycheck”! OMG!) I have a very anemic income, when I have any, so yeah, I’ll be making stuff myself! lol Best of luck!

          • Veggie Eric

            I hear ya, the old saying rings true all to often. “You can lead a horse to water..” Food is such an emotion thing. Death-by-burger seems like a fair trade to many who would rather have open heart surgery then give up bacon. What can ya do? Some just don’t want to hear it.

            I was looking at Miyoko Schinners book too. I’d love to find Vegan cheese that didn’t taste like melted tire. Thanks for the tip!

          • Charzie

            “Food is such an emotion thing”. You hit the nail on the head! It has so many subconscious associations people cling to, even when it’s literally killing them, and they don’t (won’t) make the connection. (even when you ‘tap them on the shoulder’…and most just get defensive no matter how you approach it!) Ahem, not that I ever did that! lol
            “Vegan cheese that doesn’t taste like melted tire”! You are a freakin’ riot, thanks for the chuckle!

    • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

      Have a costco nearby? They sell a giant bag of organic frozen “mixed berries” (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries and pomegranate seeds) for only 10 dollars. Its quite a deal for how much you get. I actually mix that with my morning oats, its so good.

      • Veggie Eric

        Hey! Thanks for the tip. I do indeed have a Costco near by. I’ll have to go grab some of those. I usually get a big bag of frozen ‘wild blueberries’ from my local health food store. I heard wild blueberries are better than regular but who knows… Might be a great topic for an upcoming video… imagine in Dr Gregers voice… “whats the best blueberry” =)

        • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

          Indeed, usually the smaller the fruit the more antioxidant rich it is compared to the larger counterpart.

          • DanielFaster

            The smaller the object the more surface area per mass or volume. If antioxidants concentrate in the skins, this would be an explanation.

          • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

            Exactly, although it is more mysterious for me why that is the case for leafy greens as well.

      • Charzie

        Ten bucks? That’s my weekly grocery allotment! LOL! Well, close! Having no income sucks, but being “induced” to garden and forage has been an all around blessing… motivation, better nutrition, exercise, contact with nature and the resulting mental stimulation/peace/balance! It amazes me how something as negative and complicated as poor health (mental and physical), a diabetes diagnosis from a lifetime of “dis-ease”, and losing my beloved firstborn adult son, can turn into something that ironically simplifies, heals, and brings deep peace and even joy unlike anything I’d known before! Life is such a profound mystery, but we CAN chose which road to travel…just wish I knew how sooner. Getting ancient has some advantages I guess!

        • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

          Ten bucks for a giant bag of organic berries is pretty good in my opinion, I have never seen cheaper around here. Our local grocery stores such as HEB, whole foods and Kroger sell organic frozen berries at much higher prices. It sounds like you have found cheaper though in your area, which is good!

          • Charzie

            Oh I don’t doubt it, I was just saying I couldn’t do it unless I was a “fruitivore”, cuz I couldn’t afford much else!

  • george

    Ironically, a good source of butyrate is rancid butter!

    • Jim Felder

      Any idea if the butyrate will make it through to the large bowel where it would do good or would it be absorbed in the small bowel. If it could make it through to where it is needed, it might be a potential therapeutic for patients who must go on a short term low residue diet such as surgery until they can start eating fiber again.

      • george

        Hi Jim: I’m just thinking aloud here. Small intestine doesn’t use butyric acid as a major source of energy; it uses L-glutamine. This could mean that any butyrate in the food, at least most of it, should reach the colon. If that’s the case, you have a great idea.

        • Jay M

          Sorry, but any reasonable amount of butyrate taken orally will not make it to the colon.

  • LWC

    Is this soluble or insoluble fiber? Does it matter?

    • Jay M

      It is mostly soluble fiber than leads to short chain fatty acids (ie acetic, butyrate) in the colon.

  • Craig

    just a small point. evolution doesn’t have a purpose, i.e. bacteria don’t do what’s in their best interest. they simply do everything/anything that doesn’t cause their extinction. people are like that too. they do all kinds of things that are not in their best interest. only if our actions are imcompatible with survival do those behaviors cease.

    • HaltheVegan

      ” only if our actions are imcompatible with survival do those behaviors cease” … I’ve seen a few of those incompatible actions on the “Darwin Awards” on Youtube ;-)

      • Craig

        i love your comment Halthevegan.

        • Charzie

          Love your spine!

  • Thea

    I really love this video. It’s does such a good job of explaining a complex situation in terms that are easily understood. Also, there has been many a time when a poster has exclaimed with absolute authority that there is no requirement for fiber in the human diet. I hope I will be able to find this video again the next time I see a post like that. This is the most compelling argument I’ve seen yet for the vital importance of significant amounts of fiber in the diet.

  • Elmarie

    Hi there! I am vegan and just started taking isotretinoin, 40mg/ day. How do I minimize the deleterious effects it will have on my triglycerides, cholesterol and overall gut health? What foods do you recommend? Thank you!

    • Jay M

      Are you by any chance a low-fat, whole foods vegan?

    • Elmarie

      @Michael_Greger_MD:disqus @PlantDietitian:disqus :)

  • Panchito

    Thanks for the great video that brings about new ways of understanding. It makes me think about the education of doctors and the purpose of the low residue diet they sometimes prescribe with authority – wearing the white coat and name tag. Could it be that some doctors, with regards to nutrition, are no better than state licensed shamans? Assuming that nutrition is the foundation of health, some doctors disconnecting nutrition with medicine would be as blind as bats. But doctors are just normal people that went to school. They carry their own baggage of ideologies and those of the social system they belong to.

  • vlp

    Wow, this was a great explanation of this amazing information! Thank you so, so much Dr. Greger! You’ve saved my life and I am sure many others as well. This is a revolution and we are all part of it here on this page. I am convinced that the future of the planet and the human race is dependent upon all us of making the change to a plant based, whole foods diet…may it be so.

  • Acreech

    I have a patient with diversion colitis. I wonder if an enema of high fiber foods (and I’m saying this with a straight face) would cool the inflammation down rather that using the mesalamine we are currently using? I wonder if it has ever been tried?

    • Rebecca Cody

      I don’t know about an enema of foods, but Dr Perlmutter – like him or not, this seems like a good idea in some instances – sometimes uses enemas with the contents of six probiotic capsules daily for about a week to quickly reestablish a better balanced gut microbiome.

    • Lawrence

      There appears to be an existing protocol for an enema that combines both mesalamine (5-ASA) with butyrate, thus exploiting multiple mechanisms of action. I’m no doctor, but given what I’ve seen in both Dr. Greger’s outstanding video and the video endoscope presentation of diversion colitis in the attached link, this combination approach may be not only helpful to your patient, but also readily accessible in the VA healthcare setting.
      http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2212097113701389

      As an aside, I am also the patient of a VA Nurse Practitioner and I have nothing but good things to say about her. She has helped me immeasurably, and like yourself, is willing to think outside the box. I salute you who have chosen to be a part of the VA healthcare system. America needs you more than ever before, and I thank you.

      • Acreech

        Thanks for the article!

  • Fred J Pollack

    A related article, on the benefits of SCFA (short-chain fatty acids) and the harm of medium and long chain saturated fatty acids w.r.t. multiple sclerosis (MS):

    “Dietary Fatty Acids Directly Impact Central Nervous System Autoimmunity via the Small Intestine” in the Journal of Immunity, published Oct 20, 2015.
    http://www.cell.com/immunity/abstract/S1074-7613(15)00392-1

    Wonkish explanation: this study identifies dietary saturated FAs as crucial modulators in the gut, shifting Th1 and Th17 versus Treg cell balance in autoimmune neuroinflammation.

    Simpler explanation/key-points:

    * 2 short-chain SFAs (SCFAs) were shown to be beneficial: Propionate (C3:0) and Butyrate (C4:0). Both are produced by our gut bacteria from fiber, as Dr. Greger notes.
    * Both medium-chain SFAs (e.g. Lauric Acid, LA) and long-chain SFAs (e.g. Palmitic) worsen disease in an animal model of MS.
    * How? An LA-rich diet shifts the gut microbiome (decreased Prevotellaceae and Bacteroidetes) to produce less SCFAs (i.e. Propionate and Butyrate).

    The last point is applicable to everyone, not just people with MS.

    Also, note that since coconut oil is 47% Lauric acid, it is not a healthy oil.

    An important side note for people with MS (and, perhaps people with some other autoimmune diseases):

    The results of this study is consistent with the Dr. Roy Swank’s research and treatment of MS patients with diet. There are many articles on this. This is one from the Lancet (July 7, 1990):
    “Effect of low saturated fat diet in early and late cases of multiple sclerosis.”
    http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PII0140-6736(90)91533-G/abstract

    Dr. Swank was unaware of the SFA and fiber mechanisms. He based his initial research on diet vs. MS frequency in various populations in the 1940’s. Dr. Greger has a short overview (with links) that explains this: http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/07/22/how-to-treat-multiple-sclerosis-with-diet/

    Also, from an historical/evolutionary perspective, you may find this 1998 interview transcript of Dr. Roy Swank by Dr. John McDougall interesting: https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/featured-articles/articles/mcdougall-interview-with-dr-roy-swank-md/

  • rajiihammr

    “Going down with the ship” nice play on words…But they DO intend to go down with the shi_.

    • thorn324

      At the point Dr. Greger said that I had to pause the video: I knew I’d otherwise miss whatever followed because I was laughing so loudly! Thank you, Dr. G, for the wisdom you communicate with such wit.

  • primal_gluten

    Is there a reason that “bad” bacteria don’t give off butyrate? Do “bad” bacteria always want to evacuate the gut?

  • MateuszSz

    what if somebody has infection ?

  • MateuszSz

    what if somebody has infection ? take antibiotics ? I follow low fat vegan diet and my digestion is terrible, I took nifuroxamine (non absorbable antibiotic) and my digestion is through the roof ! no bloating, pain, whatever, and bowel movements are great

    • Rebecca Cody

      So, MateuszSz, what are you saying? I think you’re saying the nifuroxamine affected the bad bacteria in your gut rather than be absorbed earlier. Is that it? And are you saying you killed off the overload of bad critters and then the good critters came back into balance?

  • Psych MD

    I remember years ago when food companies discovered there was money to be made in fiber. One bread in particular, New Horizons, ranked number one and raked in a bundle. That is until the public learned of their secret ingredient: saw dust.

    • Thea

      I had forgotten about that! Thanks for the reminder. :-)

  • caoimhghin o croidheain

    Another great video. I have been on the Whole Food, Plant based diet since February this year. I have also compiled a list of resources based around this diet including embedded Dr Greger’s videos, essay (Plant-based diets) and new book here- http://gaelart.net/lowfatvegan.html.

  • Thea

    I haven’t watched ahead in the videos, so this may be a spoiler post. (If so, sorry Dr. Greger!) But I got too excited to hold back when I saw the following page on PCRM.

    “People who eat vegan diets have the healthiest intestinal bacteria, according to a new study published in the journal Gut. …” for more:
    http://www.pcrm.org/health/medNews/healthy-intestinal-bacteria

    So cool!

  • Courtney brown

    On a budget. Which fruits and vegetables or “superfoods” are a must for a healthy diet? If you had to choose top 5 fruits and top 5 vegetables? Just curious. I’m working on building a meal replacement smoothie for breakfast and lunch considering I’m always on the go and very little appetite when im busy.

    • dancer80

      I also have little time and constantlt on the go due to working as NP while working towards doctorate degree, hence I have meal replacement smoothies that I make in the morning to put inside 2 thermos containers.

      I use baby chard, spinach, purple sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, in a liquid base of freshly made soymilk I always have in the fridge (I have a soymilk maker) and chia seeds. Put everything in a Blendtec blender and good to go.

      • Courtney brown

        Where do you get purple sweet potatoes?

        • dancer80

          I used to get purple sweet potatoes (pale skin/ purple flesh) at Asian supermarkets but now I get them at Whole Foods ever since they started carrying those, believe it or not it’s cheaper at Whole Foods. Try to choose the ones that don’t have as much “strings” growing on the peel, it means the potatoes are older and after cooking they will be drier in texture. Also when choosing them, check the ends to see if the end points are limp or “bendy”, that means it’s old too. The way I cook sweet potatoes, not just purple sweet potatoes, is to steam them in pressure cooker after peeling them of course. If you can’t find purple sweet potatoes, you can also substitute Murasaki sweet potatoes (maroon purple skin/ creamy yellow flesh) that Trader Joe’s currently carry. The Murasaki sweet potatoes are very similar to the Japanese variety of sweet potato, but maybe starchier not as creamy as the Japanese variety though close. But if you can’t find those, then just regular pale skin/ yellow flesh sweet potatoes that regular supermarkets carry will be fine. Don’t get the “yams” which are orange fleshed, I find they don’t blend as well and a little too sugary.

          My mom’s side of family is from Okinawa so I know my sweet potatoes, nothing beats freshly roasted sweet potatoes (roasted whole with skin on, peel just before eating). But now I think it’s easier and less time consuming to steam them in pressure cooker, I invested in an Instant Pot just for the purpose of cooking sweet potatoes and adzuki beans (another Okinawa favorite). Both you can make a batch that’s good for few days to use in smoothies or in other dishes.

          • Thea

            dancer80: Great tips. I hadn’t thought about using my Instant Pot for potatoes. How many minutes do you use? And do you put them in the pot whole?

            I like cooking potatoes in the microwave with about 1 inch of water on the bottom. And flip half-way through. Works great. But using the Instant Pot as also appeals. I’m curious to try it. Thanks.

          • dancer80

            Hi Thea, I cook potatoes in Instant Pot using 2 ways: 1) fill the pot with about 1-2 inches of water, put 3 medium size, peeled, whole potatoes, cover and set to high/ steam setting for about 20-25 minutes. 2) fill the pot with about 2-3 inches of water put in the steam rack (i purchased a sturdier steam rack designed for electric pressure cookers, on Amazon for under $12), arrange medium size potatoes, peeled and cut in half so that they’re like size of small potatoes, cover and set on high/ steam setting for 16-18 minutes.

            I only eat sweet potatoes and I know from experience they take longer to cook than regular potatoes, so you might want to adjust down the time if cooking regular potatoes. Also the second method, steaming on steam rack produces creamier potatoes, whereas the first method you get pretty much boiled potatoes.

          • Thea

            dancer80: Great info. Thank you very much!

            I’m going to look for that steam rack you mentioned…

          • Sunshine99

            Hi Thea, I love Japanese sweet potatoes and cook mine in an IP. I leave the skins on, since I buy organic and believe the added fiber from the skins is very healthy and nutrient-rich. I cook mine for 6-8 minutes, depending on size. I press Manual button, then lower the time to the amount of minutes I want, rather than use any preset cooking button. I also put only 1 cup water in the bottom, and put the potatoes on a rack. I fill the cooker with sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, and sometimes a butternut squash so I have food ‘for the week.”

          • Thea

            Sunshine99: Thanks for all the details!!

    • dancer80

      I also have little time and constantlt on the go due to working as NP while working towards doctorate degree, hence I have meal replacement smoothies that I make in the morning to put inside 2 thermos containers.

      I use baby chard, spinach, purple sweet potato puree or pumpkin puree, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, in a liquid base of freshly made soymilk I always have in the fridge (I have a soymilk maker) and chia seeds. Put everything in a Blendtec blender and good to go.

  • gp65

    Kale, blueberries, cinnamon powder, amla powder ( available from Indian grocery stores), purple cabbage. Though connamon is not strictly veg or fruit, it is something that can easily be put in a smoothie hence I included it. I am just going by foods that are high in intxidants, highly anti-inflammatory and not high cost.

    • gp65

      My comment was in response to Courtney Brown’s question.

    • gp65

      My comment was in response to Courtney Brown’s question.

      • Courtney Brown

        Thanks. Red cabbage has a strong taste what are the health benefits?

        • 2tsaybow

          Here is an answer to your red cabbage question: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/superfood-bargains-2/
          Short answer is that it’s packed with anti-oxidants and you only need a bit. Also, I find sprouting lentils and mung beans a cheap way to get nutritious food.

        • John

          Cheapest antioxidants available. Ferment it. It’s delicious.
          John

        • gp65

          Actually I meant purple cabbage. Anyway per Dr. G, of all the anti inflammatory things out there – bronze medal goes to cinnamon, silver medal to cloves and gold medal to purple cabbage.

  • gp65

    Kale, blueberries, cinnamon powder, amla powder ( available from Indian grocery stores), purple cabbage. Though connamon is not strictly veg or fruit, it is something that can easily be put in a smoothie hence I included it. I am just going by foods that are high in intxidants, highly anti-inflammatory and not high cost.

  • GLS

    This video made me wonder–Is there a starvation colitis? If diversion colitis is “just” the absence of SCFA’s
    then fasting and starvation would essentially be a “whole intestine colitis.” I don’t remember in my studies
    hearing about colitis as a complication of fasting or starvation. And if I understand the literature there appears
    to be many salutary effect from fasting. Hmmmmm??

    • Thea

      GLS: What a fascinating thought. I don’t know the answer, but I wanted to thank you for the question.

      • Johanna Martin

        Hey, Thea–unrelated, but I wondered if you’d seen this: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2013/05/26/sunday-review/26corn-ch.html?ref=sunday

        • vmh

          Also, the book “Eating on the Wild Side” is very good and in the same vein: http://www.eatwild.com/PDF%20files/Eating%20On%20The%20Wild%20Side_3.pdf

          • John

            That is a really excellent resource. I agree.
            John

          • Johanna Martin

            Yes, it is EXcellent!

        • Thea

          Johanna: Thanks for sharing. I’m aware of the general concept, though I’m not sure I’ve seen that particular graphic before. It’s a neat graphic. Colorful and clear and interesting.

          My thoughts are: Some of those “better” foods are easy for me. Purple fleshed sweet potatoes? Bring it on! They not only taste the same to me as the white fleshed ones I like, but they are incredibly pretty in dishes.

          But other ones, like say crab apples vs fuji or dandelion greens vs spinach – ugh. Give me fujis and spinach please! In thinking about these foods, I tend to fall back on Dr. Greger’s saying that goes something like: Which one is best? The one you will eat!

          What are your thoughts?

          • Johanna Martin

            I recommend the book, if you haven’t read it. It makes fascinating as well as easy reading. For example, choose the reddest apples amongst red apples because the red ones were closer to the top of the tree and got “all around” sunshine/nutrients.

          • Thea

            That does sound helpful – truly practical advice that I could use without having to eat crab apples. :-) Thanks! I’ll put that book on my list.

          • Johanna Martin

            Another one is “World Peace Diet,” which convinced me not to eat fish–what with all the benefits being hawked for fish/fish oil. I rebelled against reading it thinking it looked “hippy-ish” and not truly scientific enough, but the book definitely has merit and it’s not just about fish; I pushed myself to obtain and read it on the recommendation of an acquaintance. Of course, “The China Study” is King. That’s what got me going on the right path. I saw PlantPure Nation last night and think Forks Over Knives was better in the videos department. Do you have any recommendations for me? (movies/books? other?)

          • Thea

            Johanna: Oh no you didn’t! Asking me for recommendations? Now you have me all jazzed up and typing furiously!

            I would have included The China Study and Forks Over Knives if you haven’t already read/seen them. I haven’t seen Plant Pure Nation yet and appreciate your thoughts on it.

            I’m a *huge* fan of the movie Cowspiracy. I think everyone in the entire world over the age of 10 should see it.
            http://www.cowspiracy.com/ (note how there is a very cheap download option if you don’t want to buy the DVD)

            Here’s a free lecture on you YouTube. The speaker is one of the experts from Forks Over Knives. The title is: How to Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind. Even if you have no weight problems at all, I think the video includes some very helpful information about human biology, given in a format that is most entertaining. And once you have seen the video, you will have a good reference you can give to other people who are struggling with weight.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ

          • Thea

            Shoot. I hit the wrong key and my post went in the middle of typing. So, here’s part 2:

            We all have our particular interests when it comes to health. For me, two subjects I’m particularly interested in is type 2 diabetes and bone health. If these are topics that interest you, then I would highly recommend these books (which I have read multiple times):
            http://www.amazon.com/Neal-Barnards-Program-Reversing-Diabetes/dp/1594868107/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446856433&sr=1-1&keywords=program+for+reversing+diabetes
            http://www.amazon.com/Building-Bone-Vitality-Revolutionary-Osteoporosis–Without/dp/0071600191/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1446856399&sr=1-1&keywords=building+bone+vitality

            I’m assuming you have seen Dr. Greger’s hour-long yearly summary videos. If not, they are a must-see:
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/from-table-to-able/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/more-than-an-apple-a-day-preventing-our-most-common-diseases/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/uprooting-the-leading-causes-of-death/
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine

            I have some other recommendations I would make. (For example, some material from Jeff Novick has been transformative for me.) But I feel like maybe there is such a thing as too many recommendations. Let me know if you want any more. :-)

          • Johanna Martin

            Thanks–Building Bone Vitality is not one I’ve seen! Thanks!

          • Johanna Martin

            There is no such thing as too many, but take to heart my recommendation to you, if you will–The World Peace Diet…. In spite of my initial reluctance to read it, it quite solidified my tendencies.

          • Johanna Martin

            I’m pretty assiduous about following this stuff, but I am always looking for things I might have missed and I respect your knowledge and suggestions that I see on the comments here. I’ve read The China Study, and seen Forks Over Knives as well as Cowspiracy. I still need to lose weight; I WAS borderline obese at one time–pre “The China Study” and am now “overweight.” Eliminating oils has been my latest effort, but it’s hard when I find myself “out” and unprepared. I’ve seen the video you reference, but think I should watch it again–THANKS! :D

          • Thea

            Johanna: I took a look at the Amazon page for the World Peace Diet. Based on your description and the reviews on Amazon, it sounds like a really great book. However, also based on those two sources, it sounds like I’m already familiar with the information in that book. I might get it just to have in my library to lend to people though. I appreciate the recommendation. I just purchased the wild plant book.

            If losing weight interests you, I recommend taking a look at Jeff Novick’s Fast Food DVD series. I got some great practical ideas from those videos. All those videos are are cooking lessons, showing how to put some low calorie density ideas into practice. I don’t make those recipes per-say at the moment, but I apply some of those ideas all the time now.
            http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_2?url=search-alias%3Dmovies-tv&field-keywords=fast+food+jeff+novick&rh=n%3A2625373011%2Ck%3Afast+food+jeff+novick

            Jeff Novick also has a video on calorie density. I felt that Jeff’s talk was the perfect compliment to Lisle’s free talk on youtube. It was watching both of those videos multiple times (watching with family and friends), that I really absorbed the concepts. (Though applying it all the time is a serious challenge for me. Love those vegan donuts, etc… Argh!) Unfortunately, the DVD is sold out and has been for a while. I don’t know if you could get a used copy somewhere. I keep mentioning this in the hopes that people will get Jeff to produce some more of those DVDs. The talk is priceless.
            http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Calorie_Density.html

            Another option I’m guessing you are already familiar with, but I’ll mention just in case is PCRM’s free 21 Day Kickstart program. They will hold your hand for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions.
            http://www.pcrm.org/kickstartHome/
            (Click the green “Register Now” button.)

            Best of luck to you. I hope you meet your goals.

          • Johanna Martin

            Hi, Thea. I ran through the PCRM 21 Day Kickstart, but the series that was *really* good was Roseane Oliviera’s online event. She’s doing another one (http://www.ucdintegrativemedicine.com/) right now but she’s doing it a little differently. The reason her first(?) one was so good is that she lined up a bunch of speakers on different topics related to eating and they were *superb!* Included was Chef AJ talking about being vegan and still overweight; Chef AJ said she was told by McDougall(I think?) to eliminate ALL fat from her diet and that worked for her–her extra weight fell off. In practice, I find eliminating fat all the time tedious. I also tried fasting one day on the weekend when I could loll around and I found that helpful, but for some reason I have not been successful at repeating the experience.

          • Thea

            Johanna: re: “Roseane Oliviera”, thanks for the tip! I’ll definitely check that out. I’m a big fan of Chef AJ.

            I enjoy fasting once a year for religious reasons, but I don’t see fasting as a good tool for weight control myself. I understand that some people swear by fasting, but I don’t see it as any kind of failure on someone’s part if they choose not to make fasting part of their normal routine.

            Best of luck to you!

          • Johanna Martin

            I re-watched the Doug Lisle video. Since I appreciate your recommendation I was more careful watching it this time. Thanks for the recommendation. I’ve seen Cowspiracy and agree with you about it.

          • Johanna Martin

            I’m certain you’ll like it!

    • Lauren Hacker

      This would be a great question for a doctor at True North (http://www.healthpromoting.com/) to address.

  • David Barbour

    Dr. Greger is my doctor. I’ve never paid him a cent. Maybe I should make a donation….

    • Joe Caner

      Dam straight David. I just donated $50 based upon your post. It’s a mere token for the treasure which is freely and generously lavished upon us. Given with gratitude and my thanks. Cheers, Joe Caner

  • Éric Bourdon

    Very nice video, it’s so simple to understand with the good info, tanks!

  • Shelley Chapman

    Thank you for this video lesson on eating more fiber and less “Spam on Wonderbread”.
    I love your take on nutrition and I appreciate you translating the medical publications into terms that laymen can understand.

  • Joe Caner

    Wow! Fascinating explanation of the mechanism responsible for the well being of our colons. I got the following quote and citation from the Wikipida page for butyrate:
    “Butyrates are important as food for cells lining the mammalian colon (colonocytes). Without butyrates for energy, colon cells undergo autophagy (self digestion) and die.”
    The Microbiome and Butyrate Regulate Energy Metabolism and Autophagy in the Mammalian Colon (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3099420/)

  • Paul
    • Charzie

      Only available in Canada. Drat!

  • Years Restored

    Fabulous information!!, We found out that high fiber diet (whole plant based diet) puts Lyme Disease in remission. Is it because prebiotics feed the good bacteria. Does meat feed the bad bacteria?, since in lyme a bacteria is involved?

  • jbull88

    Hello, I have a question. I have a friend with pretty bad diverticulitis. Ever since he first started suffering from it, the doctors have suggested he eat less and less fiber, and he’s only gotten worse. He’s lost 50 lbs and seems to be disappearing, and is hoping to have surgery as soon as he gets his health insurance in order.

    So my question is–why would doctors suggest to someone with inflammation in their colon to stop eating vegetables and whole grains, and instead eat white breads and meat all day? Where is that rationale coming from? It’s certainly not helping my friend.

  • Steve

    Thanks for this video. My daughter was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 13 and I have been searching for a way to help her. This information seems logical to me. The only stumbling block is that her Gastroenterologist recommended a low-fiber diet because he said it irritates the lining of the colon. I’m between a rock and a hard place. Any suggestions on how to increase butyrate production in the colon without fiber?

    • Thea

      Steve: Have you seen these two NutritionFacts videos on ulcerative colitis?
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/preventing-ulcerative-colitis-with-diet/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-ulcerative-colitis-with-diet/
      I wonder if the doctor is correct about avoiding fiber?

      I found quite a few videos on ulcerative colitis in NutritionFacts that may be helpful to you:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/?s=colitis

      Good luck to you and your daughter.

      • Steve

        Thank you, Thea. I will watch those videos. I appreciate you taking the time to find those for me and for your concern for my daughter.

    • Charzie

      Steve, I got tons of conflicting advice from the doctors too, but they weren’t helping so I went out on a limb and gave a whole food plant based diet a trial for added fiber AND the multitude of other benefits…and never looked back. I don’t want to misdirect you, but it’s the way we have always eaten (high fiber), but these diseases are common now that we eat a SAD diet. Doctors can be wrong because they don’t get nutrition…not part of the curriculum, so they do pass on antiquated paradigms instead of something as “simple” as doctor Greger essentially does for them! Busy doctors apparently don’t always have the time or inclination to learn new stuff? I know it’s not you and so kind of scary to disregard what the doctor says, but do the research, and bring it to him if necessary. You and your daughter have a lot to gain!

      • Steve

        Thank you for your reply. I am sold on moving to a plant-based diet and have begun gardening to grow my own fruits and vegetables. It’s actually been kind of fun and gives me exercise. My challenge now is convincing my wife and daughter to move in this direction. Now I have to learn to be creative and start cooking.

        • Thea

          Steve: Best of luck on bringing the family over. We have seen lots of stories on NutritionFacts of people agonizing over family members who just don’t get it. And personally, I can feel your pain. We have also seen plenty of success stories. Being a good role model and taking over the kitchen are *GREAT* starts to your goal. I think you are on the right track.

          Most people seem to agree that strong pushing does not help. But a little nudge now and then, say with occasionally sharing some NutritionFacts videos or movies like Forks Over Knives or Cowspiracy or Food Inc might also help.

          If you want some recipe ideas for beginners, let me know.

          Again, good luck to you and your whole family.

        • Charzie

          Great to hear, I do hope you try it out, I know it isn’t always easy but the rewards are so worth it! I wish we were neighbors, I am doing the same thing with gardening and trying to dig up the useless grass and plant everything to eat…and getting into the permaculture/food farm concept and all! And exercise it certainly is, the “grass” here is horrible to try to dig up, (FL) it has roots the size of your finger and made of iron, so slow going…but slow and steady, right? I have the same frustrations with getting other loved ones on board who could REALLY benefit! Best of luck!

  • Matt K

    I’m curious as to why the paleolithic diet described at 5:11 had calcium intake that was over 2 folds higher than the modern diet as well as zinc being 3 folds higher…

  • Hawk

    My husband has been diagnosed with bacteria overgrowth in the gut. We both have been plant based for four years. He has a very steady diet which includes: Breakfast – oatmeal, applesauce, whole wheat zucchini bread. Lunch – potato, sweet potato, tofu, onions, mushrooms and a kale banana smoothie. Dinner – some kind of veggie/bean soup and burger made with beans and whole grains.

    What more could he do to get more fiber or is it the RIGHT kind of fiber in his diet to help his issue? Thank you.

    • plantman

      Is he eating salads? Raw veggies, lots of leafy greens? The most powerful foods on the planet are plants in raw form. I would add or sub a fruit bowl some mornings and big salad for lunch. Try to kick up the lighter plant foods like romain and spinach for roughage rather then so many heavy foods at every meal. Go for more colorful light vegetables steamed or raw that are nutrient dense. Hope this helps.

      • Hawk

        Thanks for responding, Plantman. He does eat a lot of vegies in the form of soups and smoothies. He has chewing issues which prevent him from eating raw. Doctor says his diet is great and attributes this condition to age and says nothing can be done. But – this video prompted me to ask the question.

        • plantman

          I would try adding some apple cider vinegar and garlic to his diet to combat the overgrowth. If he has chewing issues, I would suggest boiling veggies for 5 min until the broc softens and turns bright green for maximum nutrient uptake. A good veg boil would be Broc, cauliflower, red cabbage, mushrooms, asparagus, zucchini. Sprinkle a little onion and garlic powder over the veggies with a little ACV, and maybe decrease the tofu a bit. See if that helps.

          • Hawk

            Great suggestions. We’ll try the apple cider vinegar. I’ve been hearing so much about ACV but have not tried to incorporate into our diets.
            Thanks again.

          • san

            Wait wait wait. your husband got sibo while on a plant based diet correct?, and he is still doing it?. how is he these days?

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Legendado em Português: http://nf.focoempatico.net/prebioticos-cuidando-do-nosso-jardim-interno/
    Subtitled in Portuguese

  • p

    Hi Julie,
    I am an avid Dr Gregor fan and was an avid whole plant with beans fan for around 5 years. 3 years ago became ill with constipation and malnutrition finally diagnosed with dysbiosis, SIBO, and Lyme, nutrient depletion, diabetes. I did not respond to prescription and herbal antibiotics, also lots of fluids with and without additional electrolytes. Doing much better on animal protein, lots of fat (all pasteured, clean and organic) and whole foods but longingly wonder how I can have regular BM, blood sugar and still eat fiber. I’d happily go back to 100% plants if I could keep blood sugar and constipation in control. Is there a magic potion that everyone else has but me?

    • RichardVG

      “Doing much better on animal protein, lots of fat”

      lol, oh really? Lots of fat and animal protein huh? I’m sorry but this reads like a low-carb Paleo plug post disguised as a question. Is there a low-carb blog site or Paleo book you’d like to plug? might as well as long as your at it.

      • Leonid Kalichkin

        The fact that a whole food plant-based diet is good for the majority of population doesn’t mean that it’s suitable for every individual. Believe it or not, some people can do better on an animal-based diet. They probably won’t have a better overall health, but they could see an improvement in their condition that has the most detrimental effect on their well-being. We all have different genetic backgrounds, underlying health conditions and food sensitivities, some of them may make use of a plant-based diet limited or not feasible.

        Of course there is a possibility that a whole food plant-based diet can be adapted to the condition of p, and an animal-based diet could be not the single solution, but you can’t argue much with ‘I feel better now’.

        • RichardVG

          Sorry, I call it like I see it. It’s an agenda driven fake post by some Paleo proponent. It has all the tell tale signs of paleo trolling. “lots of fat”, “animal protein”, “disparages beans”, etc.. those are all paleo rhetoric points and it’s transparent what the underlying reason was. Some meat and fat eaters just can’t help but post this rubbish on plant based sites to stir the pot.

      • san

        You are a moron that has no idea what sibo is.

        • Thea

          san: Name calling is not allowed on this site. Your post will be deleted. Please review the rules for posting on NutritionFacts. You can find those rules on FAQ page. There is a link at the bottom of this page.

  • Betsy

    HI, I am in stage 3 kidney disease. Is there anything specific you would suggest? Most dietitians are not plant based so I have a hard time relating. Thanks, Betsy

  • LAURALEAH

    Mind blowing!!!!! I have become completely obsessed with the microbiota!!!!! Keep it coming, Doc!!!!!

  • Dr Paul Stevens

    The NLPR1 protein might have something to do with it too> ?

  • NCharles84

    Something I have always been curious about so good bacteria in your gut eats fiber, what does the bad bacteria thrive off of?

  • The Detonator

    Hi, late to the comments, but how about resistant starch? I’ve read a lot of good things about it in regards to gut flora (as well as lucid dreaming, but that’s another story). It looks like things like cold beans (think three bean salad) cold potatoes (nice, light yogurt-based potato salad anyone) and things like plantain powder not only feed but protect the good bugs through our stomach acid so they actually reach the place where they do their best work.

  • Jay M

    At 5:47 in the video, it says psyllium does not replicate a diet naturally high in fiber, but doesn’t psyllium increase butyrate, lower inflammation and lower cholesterol as indicated in various studies (ie http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10022641)?

  • Haverford

    Hello, I’ve actually been having some fiber issues. I have been eating lots of fruits and veggies and some grains and things of that sort and have been having obscenely numerous bowel movements, around 4-7 a day. The movements themselves have been solid, not loose or anything of that sort. The frequency has seemingly inflamed my rectum as now there is redness and pain every time I have a movement, so much so that it hurts to do anything but sit down. I don’t know what to do honestly. I’ve been to a doctor and they thought it was a fungal infection and so they prescribed an anti-fungal cream which didn’t seem to help much because I’ve noticed that the pain and redness go away when I eat animal foods because there is no fiber and so my movements are less frequent. So I guess the question I have is how can I eat vegan and avoid these problems?

  • Here are some new estimates on microbiome numbers. A ‘reference man’ (one who is 70 kilograms, 20–30 years old and 1.7 metres tall)
    contains on average about 30 trillion human cells and 39 trillion bacteria, say Ron Milo and Ron Sender at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada. Their paper is currently under review at Nature.
    http://www.nature.com/news/scientists-bust-myth-that-our-bodies-have-more-bacteria-than-human-cells-1.19136

  • san

    so eat more butter for butyrate

  • Dr8david

    Hi everyone, I’m a 19 year old male and 5 months ago my doctor found H. Pylori in my stomach that consequently gave me gastritis, (I just switched to a whole foods plant-based diet 1 month ago exactly) two weeks ago I started a treatment with antibiotics clarithromycin 500mg one capsule once a day, amoxicillin 500mg two capsules twice a day, and nexium 40 mg once a day on fasting for 10 days, during and after the treatment my bowel got inflamed (like if it were filled with helium) and that didn’t happen before I started the treatment, have switched to a vegan lifestyle it’s amazing even though I just did it 1 month ago; I’ve been eating 1 apple, 1 banana, and 116gr of vegan cereal with 1 cup of almond milk at breakfast, almost 3 hours after I eat a Colombian arepa ( made with milled corn, salt and water ) with about 60-70gr of quinoa and 60-70gr of green kale, at lunch 150gr of brown rice, a small russet potato, 38gr of black beans 70gr of spinach, 45gr of a variety of lettuces, 5-6 baby carrots, then almost 3 hours after 2 bananas and 1 mango tommy, at dinner the same quantity as lunch, in my opinion I’m eating quite well, but these last 4 days I haven’t slept well, so I did some research and came to a conclusion that I most likely got Dysbiosis due to the treatment with antibiotics. I thought this might be te right place to seek advice with these issues, I thank everyone in advance for any NATURAL and REAL advice that can help me get rid of all these issues and heal once and for all. Pd: please don’t tell me to ask my doctor, since I’m NOT willing to retake any treatment that has to do with ANY kind of drugs and my parents don’t believe in this lifestyle ( that’s ironic because I wasn’t going to take the treatment but I did obeyed them to take it… anyway) again thank you for your time!

  • I have many patients with inflammatory bowel disease, but the GI MDs recommend low fiber diets to them. I am a physical therapist so I don’t directly treat GI issues, but I would like to help. A current patient has enteritis, prior ileostomy now taken down, and repeat hospitalizations for abdominal pain and diarrhea. The MD says low fiber. What would you suggest? A list of foods maybe with evidence she could provide to her MD? Why would they recommend a diet that makes the condition worse? Wouldn’t the history of their many patients’ responseso
    guide their recommendations?

    • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

      MaryAnn: Thank you for your comment. I have heard GI doctors talk about “bowel rest”, which may be the rationale for recommending a low fiber diet. I think that this amazing video by Dr. G. shows that your patient is being given very poor advice; it shows that depriving the colon of contact with healthy bacteria is exactly the wrong thing to do. I am not sure what your patient should do. The state of nutritional knowledge among us doctors is really bad. One of my colleagues on the NF.org volunteer team knows of a link to find doctors with knowledge about whole food plant-based diets. I will try to find that link and send it to you.

    • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

      Here is the link to look for a doctor well-versed in nutrition: http://www.plantbaseddoctors.org/.

  • StarGlory

    I don’t know if anyone will be answering questions on here still, but — what is your opinion on inulin/FOS as a prebiotic for IBD? Is “regular” fiber just as good or is inulin especially good for Crohns/UC, as I’ve heard?

  • mpeck

    Dr. Greger, what is your opinion on pure bovine colostrum in helping to heal the gut? I have bad intestinal pain, and I keep seeing Numedicas bovine powder to aid in healing. Please help!

  • Mike

    Really suffering with ibd…i think I may have toxic megacolon or diverticulitis. Doctors not helping ne and getting desperate.

    Considering starting enemas. Are they safe? I cant slep because my body is constantly filtering fermenting food in my colon..

  • Devin Beverage

    I read something about fermented foods helping your healthy “good” gut flora, especially for treating things like excess gas that can come with eating many vegetables. However, I also saw two videos here that show Kombucha Tea and Kimchi to be harmful… Are fermented foods in general harmful? And also, if simply increasing fiber the only way to help our gut flora, what if we don’t have “enough” good bacteria in the first place?