Transcript: The Dangers of Broccoli?
Though there are thousands of new studies on nutrition published every year, the overall thrust of the findings are remarkably consistent. As Michael Pollan summed up, “Eat food…”—meaning not junk—”mostly plants.”
But I diligently continue to scour the medical literature every year—open-minded; you never know what you’re going to find. Rarely does something truly throw me for a loop, but I did put my fork down for a few moments after I opened up a journal, only to find a case report entitled “The Dangers of Broccoli.”
First a little background: a Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery is when you cut out 90% of the stomach. You chop the small intestine in half, and staple it to the bottom of your esophagus. So, instead of swallowing food into your stomach, and then out through your intestines, this whole region is cut out of the loop. The stomach is bypassed; the food just kinda goes straight down into the little pouch, which is a little chunk of what used to be top of the stomach. So you can only eat like a thumbful of food at a time. Your entire meal is a quarter cup, or otherwise you’re in trouble.
Which brings us back here. 316-pound woman, three months postoperative, at an all-you-can-eat buffet. I don’t like where this is going. She was so good though, choosing really healthy foods. She just forgot to chew. Her staples blew, ended up in the ER, then the OR. They opened her up, and found “full chunks of broccoli, whole lima beans, and other green leafy vegetables” inside her abdominal cavity. “The vegetables were almost completely fully formed, without evidence of having been chewed.”
A cautionary tale to be sure, but less about chewing food better after surgery than about chewing better foods before—so you can keep all your internal organs intact.
To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by veganmontreal.
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