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  • HorseLover

    Dr. G,

    I have been on a plant based diet, vegan but had a problem with daily serving of sugary processed food! I tried the reboot with Joe Cross, having nothing but fresh produce, mostly juiced but also chewed for a couple of weeks. Felt and looked better. And loved the plan. Lost 10 lbs and kept it off. But I still have 20 to go.

    I have looked at your juicing videos. What about fresh, local, organic juice that is mostly veg? Safe? And for how long? Disadvantages?

    Also what is the best way to determine ideal weight? I heard BMI isn’t the best tool.

    Dawn

    • siriusfarm

      Here is a link to a video that Dr G did discussing waist circumference to height as a better measure than BMI

    • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

      HorseLover, if you are trying to lose weight, fruit juices are a very concentrated source of calories. You will not be satiated compared with eating the whole orange. I would recommend sticking to whole food sources. Another recommendation would be to restrict oil consumption, with cooking and with salads. This is extremely calorie dense, as 1 tbsp of oil jhas 120 calories. Over the course of a day, this adds up quickly.

  • Wade Patton

    Is 1% meat/fish enough for B12 requirements? Or did the water provide enough B12 for the Okinawans? I yet hold that most well water has B12, but don’t have a lab at my disposal to prove it. Taking supplemental B12, which I’ve decided to mix in with my seasoning salt. I’m going to make my own seasoning salts, B12 and amla will be components.

    • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

      If I remember correctly the actual amount of B12 we need on a daily basis is 5 mcg. B12 is made from bacteria which is in the dirt that surrounds us and our colon, and in the past we weren’t so clean conscious so we were getting adequate amounts (eg. dirt on your hands, finger nails, unwashed fruits and vegetables, or you could eat your poop like gorillas Gorilla eating Poop). Now, however, our society has become much more clean conscious and we wash our hands more often and clean all of our fruits and vegetables before we eat them so we have restricted our normal intake by our “cleanliness”.

      My guess is they weren’t ‘clean freaks’ back then just like we were not at that time either. Times have changed though thanks to highly virulent bacteria such as E. coli 0157:H7, MRSA and pesticides.

      More seems to be better because of it’s anti-inflammatory effects (reduces homocystiene levels), hence Dr. Greger’s researched Recommendation of 250 mcg daily.

      I hope this helps

      • Wade Patton

        I take cobalamin. I’d like to find some research on natural water supplies. Of course I’ll be converting to rainwater when I go off-grid, and that’s a different situation.

      • Ray Tajoma

        If B12 is made by bacteria that live in soil, why not eat the soil ? Perhaps a table spoon a day with all the bacteria that will also strengthen the immune system ?

      • Rebecca Cody

        In the same vein, I once asked Sally Fallon if she thought Dr Weston A Price would have found healthy vegetarians and/or vegans had he traveled to India to study healthy populations. An Indian friend told me of her grandfather, who was healthy with no dementia, into his very late 90s in India. Fallon said they probably weren’t as clean and were eating some insects with their vegetarian diet. Maybe she was right.

        • Charzie

          I know it’s repulsive to us, but eating insects makes a whole lot of sense on many levels. I wish I could convince myself to try…free food, population control, and if we are really so much like our primate relatives who take full advantage of them too, I’m sure it would contribute to nutrition. Any “bug” eating studies out there? I know it is still a major dietary component in ancient cultures in Asia, etc. and there seems to be a growing number of fans even here. LOL, when I told my 7 y.o. grand daughter that some cultures eat bugs, she wanted to try, which astounded me because she is terrified of spiders and such. Revenge?

          • Enna

            In Mexico we eat crickets( roasted ), maguey worms, ant larvae, stink bugs (called jumiles) and more. Ant eggs are a delicacy and very expensive though. Crickets are the ones easier to found.
            There are tons of studies out there, they are very high in protein.
            I myself dislike crickets a lot (alive and dead) so I don’t eat them, but my boyfriend, mom and dad, eat them, they say they are very good.

      • Will

        Our family has been vegan years before it became a fad. My 94 yr old Mom was told by her doctor to make sure she did NOT have any B-12 supplements as her B-12 levels were way to high as a vegan.

        According to new studies conducted by Loma Linda University and other researchers, those on a plant-based diet have a higher level intake and development of B-12 in their body than those on a carnivorous diet. After all, a cow eats grass, the plant, digests it and their body produces the B-12 then people eat the cow to get the second hand nutrients which they can get first hand by eating the green plant to begin with. We are both mammals.

    • Kimberly

      Just to add to what HemoDynamic has said, the B12 issue is a problem of the way we currently obtain our food and water, not the fact that we’re excluding animal foods. Looking at the science, our anatomy, etc. it really does seem as though we’re meant to be herbivores. Our natural diet (plants plus a small amount of soil and insect matter on our food, water from springs, etc.) would have provided us with all the B12 we needed, and it doesn’t really make sense to add foods that don’t seem to be a part of our natural diet (based on the effects they have on us) in order to obtain one micronutrient we should be getting elsewhere.

      • Wade Patton

        The problem I have with the current science about how “we obtain our water” is that is ASSUMES that no one utilizes water wells or springs. I cannot find ANY literature/research with regard to natural water that MANY rural folks drink, cook, and bath in every single day.

        Sorry Kimberly my angst it not with you, it’s with the “everything is fluoridated/chlorinated” attitude. It’s not. I’m barely over 50 miles from the capital city of this state. A LOT of neighbors as well as myself are quite happy with our natural water supplies, and I suspect we have B12 in them just as man evolved consuming. I’ve been on city (shitty) water. It gets nasty really quickly if you let it sit. My well water will not. I’ve seen this in water bottles and hydration pack bladders many times. I try not to drink that stuff.

        I believe that we can eat anything such that we can survive extremes of drought and other conditions that upset/interrupt plant food sources/collection but that OPTIMUM health is only obtained by a diet predominantly of plant foods.

        • Charzie

          We have well water too, but because it is more sulfurous than eggs, not too appealing as it comes out of the tap, hence an RO system, which doesn’t thrill me either because it removes all minerals indiscriminately. So once in a while I get a little crazy and cook with the stuff…gives an interesting egg essence to pasta and such! Since everyone else has some kind of water treatment, I am wondering if the stuff is even safe now? Could they drill and tap a well with unhealthy water?
          I am also infuriated because the I recently found out that the lovely canal that runs alongside our house is being treated with glyphosate, among other treasures, to kill all plant material, way too close to our well for my comfort. Gonna have it tested methinks! And to think I was pissed because my neighbor likes to spray the crap around our adjoining fence line! Grrrrrr!!!

          • Wade Patton

            There are wells overloaded with sulfur in my area too, some so bad that the sulfur in the air eats up the electronic things in the house, corrodes the faucets horribly. Most only use that for bathing and washing, but some drink it.

            There are also mildly sulfurous wells that many think nothing of drinking from-my Mom’s house is one. Makes great tea. But most I know on well water and springs have fine, neutral-flavored water without all the by products and chemical tastes from the processing that it takes to make river water safe to drink.

    • Gary

      Their Vit D, B2 and B12 levels were quite low according to the study. 10.7% of them had cracked dry lips = low B-2 riboflavin.
      They had high levels of C, E, folate, and B6.
      Their water was high in calcium and other minerals.

      • Guest

        Yes, the diet seemed to be unbalanced when 69% of their calories came from sweet potatoes. Better to eat a whole variety of veggies.

        • Gary

          I think if they had a slab of fish or shrimp a couple times a wk that would have gone a long way in solving their vitamin deficiency. Living on a tropical Island with good easy fishing all around them, I don’t get it.
          They must have just settled on being poor farmers eating what they could grow.

          • thorn324

            In one of the charts you’ll see daily fish consumption is given as 15 grams; that’s about 0.5 ounces. A typical serving size in the West is 3.5 ozs. = 100 grams. So, according to the chart, that would come to somewhere around a single “slab” of fish per week.

          • Gary

            I also found it interesting that they ate less nuts, seeds and fruit than they did meat. At less than 1%.
            At least now I don’t have to fret about getting enough of the expensive nuts and fruit. Who needs them when good old “calorie restriction” and veggies does most of the work providing a healthy body.

        • Richard

          Yes, so many are living to over 100 why not change what is not broken lol

      • Julot

        You wont get much minerals from water even if some are rich in minerals because we are heterotroph: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heterotroph
        A video about it would be nice~

    • Maybe they’re getting some B12 from nori, too. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4042564/

  • mbglife

    I love sweet potatoes and eat one on most days. So a few years back I was excited to try organic purple ones when my local started stocking them. Almost immediately after eating a small one my facial muscles started to twist, pull and twitch. I had never experienced that before from anything. After a few days I cautiously tried again with a few bites and got the same reaction but to a lesser degree. It’s been several years and I’d like to try again, but it worries me that I seem to react to something in them. Anyone with a similar reaction?

    • guest

      SImiliar experiences. Sweet potatoes contain a substance that prevents all of their proteins from being broken down, allowing for undigested protein to circulate the body, possibly, in certain humans. All potatoes adversely affect me. Nightshades are the worst. Arthritic after eating. But sweet potatoes cause me twitching, weird nerve issues, and more.

      • mbglife

        I wonder if purple sweet potatoes are higher in content of whatever it is that bothers me they orange ones.

        Nightshades don’t seem to bother me. How long did it take to feel the affects? What dumps besides arthritis do nightshades cause you? I’ll try to watch for them more in myself.

      • Gary

        I also had a problem with sweet potatoes. Stopped eating them after I noticed my ears would get warm and red while laying down after a supper of them. My right middle finger also warns me of a problem. It might get red and some swelling.
        Now I have 2 foods I don’t eat, potatoes and lemons.

      • Brux

        >> Sweet potatoes contain a substance that prevents
        >> all of their proteins from being broken down, allowing
        >> for undigested protein to circulate the body,

        Do you have a link or data showing this, because I wonder
        what it even means?

        Docs … what about it, can undigested protein circulate
        the body and cause problems … in what way?

        • HaltheVegan

          I’m not a doc, but I remember a NutritionFacfs video speaking to this subject:
          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-cancer-potential-of-sweet-potato-proteins/

          Here’s an excerpt of the pertinent discussion:
          “In 1931 a unique protein was discovered in sweet potatoes. Later renamed, 80% of the
          protein in sweet potatoes is a type of protease inhibitor with
          potential anticancer effect. But how would a sweet potato protein
          ever get into our bloodstream? As soon as most proteins hit our
          stomach they start getting digested. Remarkably, though, this class
          of proteins doesn’t just survive digestion, but may be absorbed
          into the bloodstream intact.”
          Maybe a real doc can explain the details :-)

    • Julot

      sweet potatoes are very rich in oxalic acid which can cause problems also~

    • Alan

      I eat Sweet Potatoes that are purple on the outside and white on the inside. Sweet and tasty as can be.I grow my own and they too are organic. I do not have any problem with them. They are a Korean Sweet potato.

      • lilyroza

        Korea is close to Okinawa isn’t it. I wonder if these are the sweet potatoes the Okinawans ate? Where can I get some?

        • Alan

          Hi Lilyroza. I have no idea if they are the same sweet potatoes that the Okinawans ate. A friend of mine ordered them on line and i got some slips from him. I have dug most of them and have gotten around 115 pounds so far. I do not know the name of them, but i will ask him the name and then i will get back to you and you can go on line and purchase the slips next spring if you want to grow some. They are very good !!!

          • lilyroza

            Hi, Alan, that’s very kind of you! I would love to grow some. I never grew sweet potatoes before, but I do garden. I live in Santa Cruz.

          • Brux

            I read online that they were hard to grow, but I went to my local Whole Foods and bought an organic sweet potato. I put three toothpicks in it and set it in a jar of water. Within days there were tiny roots, and then within weeks there were small plants starting to grow up into the sun. There are quite a few videos on how to do this on You-Tube, but basically you take these little shoots and cut them from the main plant and place them in water until they start to grow roots, and then you transplant them into a small pot, and finally into soil. I am in the South Bay so I am sure they would grow fine in Santa Cruz. Sweet potatoes are very hardy plants, and some books suggest they are a good ground cover/mulch to enrich your soil too.

          • Rebecca Cody

            Sweet potatoes like hot weather and sandy soil. Here in the coastal Pacific Northwest they probably don’t do so well, but I have gotten a few little ones simply from the sweet potato vines they sell in nurseries that people plant in hanging baskets! I was quite surprised the first time this happened, but I ate them and they were good, though small. This last summer was the hottest and driest on record in this end of the country, so they probably would have done well.

          • Alan

            Hi Lilyroza – The name of the Korean sweet potato that i grew is called Murasaki. If you have never grown sweet potatoes before and do not know how to grow them go on line to google or your favorite search engine and you can get all the info you need. If you try growing them a wish you success !!!

          • Alan

            I would like to add, that from my understanding it is a little hard to start slips from them so i do suggest you purchase the slips from a reputable company.

        • Peter C
        • Richard

          They are not sweet potatoes, they are dark purple Japanese yams….however, there is more to their diet.

      • mbglife

        Right, well most people don’t have problems with them, that’s why they are popular. I want suggesting they are a bad food. I was just trying to better understand my sensitivity to them through others experiences, like people do with other allergies and food sensitivities. For example, I love tahini but can’t east that either because I immediately get dizzy and headachy for a whole day. You’re fortunate that your able to enjoy them.

        • Alan

          I have had problems with certain foods before. After Dr Gregor told about the benefits of turmeric i started using it. I Was not feeling good after a while and i told my wife that i thought it was the turmeric. I quit using it and i felt better almost immediatley. Years ago i had a food allergy test done and one thing i was allerig to was sesame seeds. My Dr kept saying seseme seeds of all things. But at that time i was eating tahini pretty much everyday. It caused sinus drainage. I did not know what was causing it, but thought maybe it was the whole wheat bread. I quit eating it and it went away. I went for several yrs without eating seseme seeds in any form. Now i use them ocassionaly and do not have a problem.

          • mbglife

            If I have more than just a light sprinkling of turmeric I get the same headaches and dizziness as I get from the tahini. So I can’t try to use it for health purposes. If I eat a few pumpkin seeds I’m fine. But if I eat that same small amount for more than three days I get similar problems. It took me years to figure all of this out and which foods did and did not bother me. Glad to hear you’ve solved your food issues too.

      • Charzie

        I recently got two new purple varieties… tan skin, purple flesh, and deep purple skin and flesh. Adding them to the white ones like yours, and the good ole orange ones. They are trouble free and grow like weeds here in FL. In fact, I just picked a huge batch of leaves for dinner…they are also edible and delicious, but kind of tedious to strip the leaves from the stem and stalk, though I’m getting better! I also got a few purple potatoes and some eddo? Gotta investigate but they look related to taro or other “elephant ear” type plants. Having a food farm instead of grass is awesome!

  • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

    Very nice piece!

  • User

    Could someone please help clarify the science here:
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/577051/Birmingham-University-Diabetes-four-eggs-week-risk-Type-2
    http://sciencenordic.com/eating-more-eggs-may-reduce-risk-diabetes

    I’d be very grateful for any help in analyzing this. Because Dr. Greger says the opposite. So it’s very confusing.

    • Julie

      Well User, it’s always good to avoid the media hype and go straight to the original research. I could only access the abstract, http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/early/2015/04/01/ajcn.114.104109.abstract but saw nothing to indicate that the researchers controlled for any variables. Maybe the egg eaters exercised more, ate more vegetables, smoked less etc. If anyone has access to the full article, it would be quite helpful in answering your question.

      • largelytrue

        It’s right in the abstract that they controlled for some confounders. The general idea that one should control for confounders is entirely routine in epidemiology and most other forms of research.

    • MikeOnRaw

      In that study they were looking at type 2 diabetes regardless of the study title seeming to indicate it was a study on Heart Disease. I don’t know if I would call eggs a major contributing factor to type 2 diabetes, but more of a potential contributor for heart disease. As such I don’t feel the study referenced really is indicative of anything new.

    • HemoDynamic, MD – NF Volunteer

      People extract from a study what they want to hear! If you want to eat eggs this is welcome news.

      First lets learn about the study: “The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study is an ongoing prospective population-based cohort study designed to investigate risk factors for CVD, atherosclerosis and related outcomes in middle-aged men from eastern Finland, the population with one of the highest recorded rates of CHD.” The Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor (KIHD) Study Background

      These people are studied because of their increased ability to DIE from Coronary Heart Disease. What are they doing with their diet and lifestyle that causes them to die earlier than other people? This is why they have been studied. The data gathered over the years allows statistical analysis to study the risk factors or non-risk factors of the population. Many studies have been generated over the years from these data. If you click on the link above and scroll down you can view those studies.

      Remember there are limitations to all scientific studies.

      This is a quote from a MedPage article about the study, “Limitations of the study included that it didn’t look at how the eggs were prepared, though researchers did take into account eggs eaten as part of a larger dish. Only a few participants ate egg whites only, so researchers could not tell if there was a difference between eating egg whites and whole eggs.

      In addition, the single baseline measurement may have not been long or accurate enough, and may have led to random error, said the researchers.” Which Came First — The Egg or the Diabetes?

      Another significant limitation to studies is variables. The more variables you have the more errors you can have. “A major goal in research design is to decrease or control the influence of extraneous variables as much as possible.”
      Here is a nice explanation of how variables can confound your data. Extraneous and Confounding Variables
      This doesn’t mean the data is useless when you have a lot of variables it just means that you have to be more cautious when interpreting the data.
      With that said go back to the original link in this reply and look at the amount of variables, it’s in gold in the opening chart. About 8000 variables at baseline.

      But how about this data from the same study: If you look again at the original chart that I just discussed look at the chart and the “During the folloow up period”. Look how many strokes there were over the follow up period. 2335 strokes!!!!! There were only 2682 men in the study!! I’m sure some of the stroke were repeats in the same patients but Holy Cow!! However if we did assume the strokes were only counted one time per patient, that would be an 87% stroke rate!!!!!

      You know what I conclude from this data even if eggs did somehow lower my risk for Type 2 diabetes? I would look at their lifestyle and do the exact opposite!!! Don’t be fooled! The data is clear and a low fat, whole food plant based diet confers the lowest risk for type 2 diabetes.
      Here are a couple of nice videos from Dr. Greger that will help you also understand risk and the cause of Type 2 Diabetes

      And in fact my patients that have the best control of their diabetes and the ones that have reversed it are eating a low fat, whole food plant based diet. My patients that have the worst control eat the opposite: a high fat, processed food low in fruits, vegetables and whole grains!
      Remember the choice is yours. But the overwhelming majority of research and my experience as a family physician dealing with this disease daily, and the research and experience of Dean Ornish, MD, John McDougall, MD, Neal Barnard, MD, Michael Greger, MD, Michael Klaper, MD, Alan Goldhamer, DC, Caldwell Essylstyn, MD and many others have shown the exact opposite of the article that you are concerned about!
      I know this is a long response but I felt it was warranted and I hope this helped.

      • Thea

        Great response! I found it helpful myself. Thanks!

      • Stewart E.

        Thanks. I really appreciate this sort of dissection. A few months ago I even saw a butter promoting table at Costco with the Time article “Butter is Back!” based on even more specious nonsense. Many want to believe this sort of stuff and the more a milieu of knowledge exists the more this will be countered. I believe that it is only the science being effectively promoted will a real consciousness of health factors will begin to permeate this and other societies.

      • Charzie

        “Oh, no what’s an egg lover to do? ;-)”
        Drink our well water. lol
        Thanks for the detailed info, very clear!

  • Julie

    I loved reading about the Okinawans in “The Blue Zones” and “The Okanawan Plan”. When you pull together the diets and lifestyles of the documented longest-lived people of the world (Okinawa, Sardinia, Costa Rica, Ikaria, CA Seventh Day Adventists), that’s gotta be strong evidence for how to live a long healthy life.

  • This following study is being used in the low-carb, high-fat movement as proof as
    to why their diet is healthy. I saw this study in a recent presentation
    under the heading “A high fat diet reverses all coronary risk factors
    more effectively than a low fat diet”. Does anyone who is clued up with the science mind investigating?

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18396172
    http://www.nmsociety.org/docs/LowCarbDiet/Dietary_carb_restriction_induces_a_unique_metabolic_state.pdf

    • C.Davenport

      So I took a look, and of course can only see the abstract and a bunch of words I don’t understand. But I kept looking and two of the authors of that study are also authors of a book titled New Atkins for a New You: The Ultimate Diet for Shedding Weight and Feeling Great, and you know what else I found, a review of this book by T. Colin Campbell. I figure he counts as someone who is clued up with the science mind. I’ve attached a link to his review title ‘Imaginary Science’. Hope that helps.

      http://www.amazon.com/review/R2W7KWZKQY6BGJ

      • Thanks for taking the time and thanks for the link! I’ll have a thorough read through.

    • Rami Najjar

      I would ignore this review article, I did light reading, and skimmed through and there are clear shortcomings and perpetuated fallacies. They completely misunderstand the 7 countries study and inappropriately dismiss it. Plant Positive has covered this
      http://plantpositive.squarespace.com/blog/2012/3/25/tpns-36-39-the-infamous-ancel-keys.html

      They cite good calories, bad calories as a scientific source, a book by Gary Taubes. A low carber famous for misrepresenting information.

      They also ignore the fact that protein rich foods raise insulin, more so than carbohydrates and base a large part of their argument on this.
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/66/5/1264.full.pdf+html

      They focus on refined carbohydrates rather than whole food sources

      They ignore that saturated fat plays a critical role in insulin resistance, and claim treatment to the problem by restricting carbohydrates, because carbs raise insulin. This is fixing the symptoms not the problem.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lipotoxicity-how-saturated-fat-raises-blood-sugar/

      I didn’t read everything, but these issues point a finger at bias and selective cherry picking.

  • Leslie

    Dr. G, what the science shows regarding the warming and cooling effect that certain fruits and veggies can cause?
    Bananas make me cold, grapes warm…..pineapple I get cold. Chinese medicine makes lots of claims on this sort of stuff. Is their science on it that is legit?

    • Dan

      A great question Leslie. Ayurveda considers this very important, too (the thermal nature of foods). Amla is very healthful but if I take Amla – not a lot but 1 tsp a day – for a few days I develop cold symptoms and my sinuses begin to act up.)

      • Leslie

        Sinuses acting up from Amla? This suggests to me that the alma is somehow suppressing your immune system, or dong something else that might not be what your body wants. Not every “superfood” out there is super for everyone. Flax makes me sick and exhausted, as does soy (even fermented soy). Tomatoes = inflammation, aching joints.

        • Charzie

          I’ve always wanted to do an elimination diet to see just what specific foods affect me negatively. Since the biggest variable in my life currently is diet, I am very curious why one day I can feel fantastic, yet the following day I am lethargic, kind of foggy, or just not feeling as good as I want to, or know I can. Nothing horrible, but it does make me curious about food related issues I have been oblivious to throughout my life because I just felt rotten all the time before going WFPB.

          • Leslie

            Try grain – free, bean-free, nightshade free. Not all at once. Give each a week + at least.
            One doesn’t necessarily have to go through life without these things, it’s just takes some time to find out what grains, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. can stay in the diet, which have to go. For some, all must go.

            I’d eliminate nightshades completely for a 6 months, soy and wheat as well, right from the beginning. Some people seem to react adversely to anti-nutirnets in beans/grains/nuts/seeds, some don’t. Even soaked and or sprouted beans and certain grains don’t work for me.

            Oranges throw me off, papaya does too,

          • aribadabar

            I have to ask : what are you left to eat in this case? Only leafy greens and non-nightshade veggies?

          • Leslie

            Lots of fruits (there are so many to choose from!), greens (lots of variety, nuts and seeds (buy in bulk containers at organic markets, if possible), steamed veggies (lots of choices), avocados…..

            I am not suggesting you get the rest of your life without grains, beans, nightshades. Give each a fair trial to see if it helps. Some people give up all those at once, and then add one back at a time to see if they react. That might be a better idea as far as judging what might be causing/not helping your problem/issues. These are just suggestions.

  • Christopher Rice

    I don’t think that the Okinawans only ate 1% meat. The study says that it didn’t factor in monthly feasts where meat was a central part of those meals.

    • Kimberly

      I’m guessing that the totals they published were averages of a longer period of time (like a year or something). Which would mean that most days they could have been eating vegan, or closer to, with animal products reserved for their feasts. They weren’t eating a bite of pork a day, for instance, they were eating no pork for a month or two, then feasting on it on holidays (their idea of feasting probably still involving less food than the standard American gorges on).

      • thorn324

        What you say makes much sense, Kimberly, especially when considered in light of the “lifestyle” (for want of a better word) of Okinawa in early-mid-20th Century. I suspect (though don’t know for sure) that refrigeration & freezing wasn’t widespread in homes, so there was a certain urgency accompanying the slaughter of an animal—a pig, for example. There was no such thing as going to Sam’s Club to order butchered/dressed pork! Rather, an animal would be killed, minimally processed, and then cooked for immediate consumption by many people. That bimonthly (at most) blow-out averaged to a daily basis over a year would lead to just a tiny amount. Good for the Okinawans’ health—though not so for the individual pig’s.

    • Rami Najjar

      Occasional feasts don’t contribute overall to the dietary pattern, its about the consistent overall diet that will have the most impact on overall health.

  • JCarol

    It’s a sweet potato jungle out there. Markets sell “sweet potatoes” and “yams” that range anywhere from white to bright orange to nearly red. They tend to use the terms sweet potato & yam interchangeably.
    Is it reasonable to assume that everything in this sweet potato / yam category is equally nutritious (or nearly so)?

    • I grew up in the pacific islands, where “sweet potatoes” came in all sizes and colours, and yams were a different vegetable altogether. I haven’t seen true yams here in the USA. Yams are a bulbous, irregular type of root vegetable, which can grow to a huge size. They have a different flavour and consistency from Sweet Potatoes.

      • Thea

        gypsyjudy: While I haven’t experienced this personally the way you have, my research in the past has pointed out the same information. What I read was that: At some point, the supermarkets wanted to introduce the orange variety of sweet potatoes to American consumers. And they wanted a way to distinguish the new orange kind from the older white kind that everyone was already used to. So, they called the new orange kind, “yams” – thereby creating uncounted confusion for years and years to come. ;-) To my knowledge, true yams are not sold in the United States.

        • Right! Good research! Thanks for that. There are so many types of root vegetables ‘out there’. For ten years my husband and I sailed around the islands of Vanuatu and I put together a book about island produce. There is even a type of root they call ‘wofile’ which is very like English potato, which they feed to pigs, considering it inferior to their other root crops. Each type of root crop also has varieties.

          • Thea

            gypsyjudy: That’s so interesting. I had no idea that there were many edible root options out there. It’s my (completely lay person’s) guess that cooked roots played a major role in human development. So, I’m very interested in the topic. Thanks for that info. Fascinating stuff.

          • They certainly play a big role in the diet of the islanders. We have the benefit of a huge array of wonderful fruits and vegetables on this earth. I believe our bodies were designed to make the most of them – pity we don’t use them as much as we should!

          • Charzie

            Even here in FL, where we have a nice mix of different ethnicities making shopping a lot of fun at the various ethnic markets and farms, there is a huge variety of tubers and other edible roots I’d never even heard of before! Some are cross cultural and identified by different names, some unique, all I’ve tried so far delicious! Off the top of my head, many varieties belonging to the Xanthosoma family (do a search, there are varieties used as staples all over the world) like taro, malanga, dasheen; cassava (yuca, not yucca),coco-yams; batata, a slew of different kinds of potatoes including blue ones; true yams of all different kinds that are taking over my garden now, (there is even a wild type here I’ve foraged that can be HUGE, like 25 lbs, though mine was about 10), all kinds and colors of sweet potatoes including white, purple and orange, jicama; rutabagas and turnips; the list goes on and on. Most of these roots also have edible leaves and stems, which I have been enjoying immensely as I wait for the tubers to mature! Growing in sand here is sure different from the beautiful loam from my home state of CT, but there is a world of plants I am learning that are totally adapted and perennial to boot, which makes permaculture here an absolute joy and adventure! The chore of eliminating the useless resource hogging grass “lawn” and planting a food forest is exhausting, (especially with the iron-rooted stuff they consider grass here, aaack, you can barely drive a sharp shovel through it!!!) but great exercise and so rewarding! Changing my diet has changed my world! Go dig some dirt and plant some food to improve your health even more! Talk about getting “grounded”!

          • So nice to see your enthusiasm! And wow, you have a LOT of root veggies there to enjoy. Would love some of those up here in Canada, where we are at the moment. (Cold!!!) The must delicious green I have ever had has been young taro leaf. It is a staple in the islands – if you can get it, layer it with onion, a little salt and coconut cream and bake it, or simmer it on the stovetop for twenty minutes or so, then eat a little of heaven!

          • JCarol

            Thank you so much clarifying the difference between yams & sweet potatoes. I’ve researched it before but never got a clear understanding about the difference between the two.
            All the comments about tubers and roots are helpful and interesting. I’ll have to be on the lookout for more items in this category while shopping. I live in Southern California where there are many ethnic markets with lots of international fruits and vegetables.

          • Enjoy!

          • Charzie

            LOL, I just noticed I punctuated almost every sentence with exclamation marks, but yeah, I am definitely enthusiastic! Life is good, even if I have barely any income. I think it forced me to really get down to basics and appreciate what I have, and I just enjoy being an (old) kid playing outside in the dirt again. LOL

            Awesome about the taro leaves, I just planted some that grew from a tuber I bought, can’t wait to try it! People here grow a plant called elephant ear that is also a taro…not sure of it’s edibility yet though, but will find out…I hope. It is amazing me how many perennial food plants we can grow here, from all over the world, so many I had never heard of until I went looking. Americans have so little knowledge of the huge variety in real food choices, unless it comes out of a box or package they are clueless, and think MY WFPB diet is boring! S.A.D.. right?

          • Be careful with taro leaves – many varieties have oxalic acid in them which makes them inedible – it gives a horrible pricking/burning sensation in the throat. That’s why you need the very YOUNG leaves – before they uncurl. There is a type of taro which is grown just for the leaf though, and that is OK at any stage. I am not sure what to tell you about Hawaiian taro as I don’t know the varieties there. The locals could help tho. Here’s some interesting info about taro:
            http://www.eatoutzone.com/Taro.htm

          • Charzie

            Thanks, I will check that out. I’ve read some about it because we also have a local variety that grows in the waterways that is so high in oxalic acid all the cooking in the world apparently won’t help. The variety I have had an edible tuber, so I think the leaves should be safe too, but will check.
            I’m excited to be going to an event at ECHO (http://echonet.org/) in a few minutes, an amazing organization that researches and spreads knowledge worldwide about food sustainability and has a huge selection of plants and seeds and info from all over the world. Quite an education!

          • Lucky you! Enjoy!
            Re the taro leaves, the old leaves may be oxalic even if the roots are edible. Just make sure you pick the very young, curled up ones. I promise, you won’t be disappointed with the flavour – cut the centre stem out, chop the leaves roughly and layer with onion, coconut cream and a little salt. Bake/simmer on stovetop, divine flavour!
            When picking leaves, don’t take them all from the one plant, so it can continue to thrive. Wish I were down there to eat some too…

          • Charzie

            Thanks Judy! When they grow more I’ll invite you down or send you some! LOL!

          • Thanks, LOL! I wish…!

          • I don’t envy you the weeds! Where the veggies grow well, the weeds will also :-(.

          • Charzie

            Ha ha, this is one of my favorite websites:
            http://www.eattheweeds.com/yam-c-the-chinese/

          • Wow, great stuff here. Wonderful resource, the internet!

      • Darryl

        I find really interesting that the sweet potato was originally domesticated in Central America or Venezuela, and is found in Polynesia by 1000-1100 AD. Either a lost Native American raft drifted West, or intrepid Polynesians “discovered” the Americas long before the Vikings or Columbus.

        • True…I don’t think we can know exactly how everything spread around the world. Carried by people, no doubt, and some things thrive in one climate, other things thrive in another. All we can do is to celebrate the diversity and enjoy!

    • Rami Najjar

      JCarol, you may find it interesting know that Dr. Greger has covered sweet potatoes here

      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/anti-cancer-potential-of-sweet-potato-proteins/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-best-way-to-cook-sweet-potatoes/

      Also, they are all very healthy, but the purple flesh variety is exceptionally healthy. You will find the purple variety in local grocery stores later this month through November. Its the season.

      • JCarol

        Thanks for researching and posting this, Rami. The second video you listed is particularly helpful because it points out that the more intensely hued the sweet potato flesh, the greater the nutritional content.

  • Sounds Fishy

    To stave off death by a few extra years, a vegetarian diet appears to be superior to a non-vegetarian one, according to results of a study of more than 73,000 people published today (June 3 (2013)) in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).

    The study, the largest of its kind, compared the longevity of meat eaters to that of four types of vegetarians: vegans, who eat no animal products; lacto-ovo–vegetarians, who consume dairy products and eggs; pesco-vegetarians, who eat fish but rarely meat; and semi-vegetarians, who eat meat no more than once weekly.

    The winners, in terms of cheating death the longest, were the pesco-vegetarians, followed by vegans, and then the lacto-ovo-vegetarians. The vegetarian groups, on average, had a 12 percent lower risk of dying over the study period compared to meat eaters. The study participants were all members of the Seventh-Day Adventist church.

    • Guest

      It may have been a statistical fluke that the pesco-vegetarians won out over the vegans, or it could be a number of other things like too much oil, sugar,salt and processed foods in the vegan diet. Or, it could be the protective effect of omega-3’s in fish. That’s why it’s advisable to take two tablespoons of flax seed a day.

      • AZ DONALD

        there’s so many variables in these studies that aren’t even considered. chips and coke are a vegan diet. if they could single out the true “no fat” vegans I bet they would win out hands down. there are no real rural veg and fruit peoples to do studies on so they’re done on ‘sick’ people but the poison definitely is the oils. 4 1/2 years ago I was diagnosed with progressive, inoperable brain disease (think heart disease) and told to go home and enjoy the few months I had left, my symptoms came on fast and the images were quite disturbing. it was either going to be a very massive stoke ending up in a nursing home or if I was lucky then just death. I studied night and day until I found esselstyn and his prevent and reverse heart disease videos and information. I went pure, no fat vegan overnight as did my 78 year old mom and wife. 20 months later the 3 areas of my anterior cerebral arteries which were nearly completely blocked were absolutely clear, not even a hint of disease or prior restriction but completely open. also, my diabetes was gone in 3 days and my mothers was gone in 6 based on our morning sugars. there’s always something they miss in these studies and everyday something else that’s bad for you is good for you because they are doing these tests on ‘sick’ people in the first place. if you regularly eat double whoppers and milkshakes then they do a test on you with nuts or eggs, sure your numbers will come down but that doesn’t make them good for you. pasta, rice, oatmeal, potatoes and tons and tons of fruit are what reversed my ‘terminal’ illness. I follow esselstyns ‘prevent and reverse heart disease’ book (and gersons theories too) to the letter except about fruit. esselstyn believes in minimal fruit. I figure since we lived in trees eating only fruit and leaves for our first 5 million years of existence that it’s still got to be in our genes and good for you. I don’t think we lost the ability to assimilate fruit in the last 1.5 million years. note to naysayers, I wont argue any this, i’m only passing on my experience to those who want to learn from my experience. on a side note, we believe the immunosuppressant crestor that I was put on is what caused my lyme disease to erupt from a tick bite I had in 1991 but never got sick from. I’m on my 10th month of antibiotics along with a boatload of nutraceuticals but have been improving from a (2nd) living hell. I was told everything from it’s the side effects of the crestor to you’re just getting old or it’s just in your head. turns out that now i’m one of the CDC statistics, many of whom have been told it’s in your head. you must fight if you want to live because most doctors know absolutely nothing about healing, just making excuses, giving out pills and acting like they know it all.

  • charles grashow

    How much does calorie restriction play into the effects of their diet?

    http://okicent.org/docs/anyas_cr_diet_2007_1114_434s.pdf
    Caloric Restriction, the TraditionalOkinawan Diet, and Healthy Aging
    The Diet of the World’s Longest-Lived People and Its Potential Impact on Morbidity and Life Span

    TABLE 1. Traditional dietary intake of Okinawans and other Japanese circa 1950

    Total calories 1785
    Total weight (grams) 1262
    Caloric density (calories/gram) 1.4
    Total protein in grams (% total calories) 39 (9)
    Total carbohydrate in grams (% total calories) 382 (85)
    Total fat in grams (% total calories) 12 (6)
    Saturated fatty acid 3.7
    Monounsaturated fatty acid 3.6
    Polyunsaturated fatty acid 4.8
    Total fiber (grams) 23

    Food group Weight in grams (% total calories)

    Grains
    Rice 154 (12)
    Wheat, barley, and other grains 38 (7)
    Nuts, seeds <1 (<1)
    Sugars 3 (<1)
    Oils 3 (2)
    Legumes (e.g., soy and other beans) 71 (6)
    Fish 15 (1)
    Meat (including poultry) 3 (<1)
    Eggs 1 (<1)
    Dairy <1 (<1)

    Vegetables
    Sweet potatoes 849 (69)
    Other potatoes 2 (<1)
    Other vegetables 114 (3)
    Fruit <1 (<1)
    Seaweed 1 (<1)
    Pickled vegetables 0 (0)
    Foods: flavors & alcohol 7 (<1)

    http://www.healtheiron.com/Websites/healtheiron/images/The_Okinawan_diet__health_implications_of_a_low-calorie__nutrient-dense__antioxidant-rich_dietary_pattern_low_in_glycemic_load.pdf
    The Okinawan Diet: Health Implications of a Low-Calorie, Nutrient-Dense, Antioxidant-Rich Dietary Pattern Low in Glycemic Load

    http://apjcn.org/update%5Cpdf%5C2001%5C2%5C159-164%5C159.pdf
    History and characteristics of Okinawan longevity food

    http://fanaticcook.blogspot.com/2010/07/traditional-okinawan-diet-sweet.html

    Traditional Okinawan Diet: Sweet Potatoes

    • Thea

      Charles: re: “How much does calorie restriction play into the effects of their diet?”

      What did you think of the video’s answer to this question?

      • charles grashow

        http://www.pkdiet.com/pdf/vegetarianism.pdf
        Ten Years of Life
        Is it a Matter of Choice?

        CONCLUSIONS:
        Choices regarding diet, exercise, cigarette smoking, body weight, and hormone replacement therapy, in combination, appear to change life expectancy by many years. The longevity experience of Adventists probably demonstrates the beneficial effects of more optimal behaviors.

        Question – how do we separate out the individual factors?

        • Thea

          I think your own reply shows that looking at the Adventists for comparison answers your question about calorie restriction. Judging just by the list of conclusions in your post above, the Adventists don’t practice calorie restriction. Now you are bringing in other factors/questions. But your original question seems answered.

          When looking at entire populations, you can always say, “Oh, I think it’s this aspect, not that one.” Or “There are too many factors to say we know anything.” That’s why you never rely on just one study. You take all the studies together into account and then you have a big picture where you can start to draw conclusions like: It is likely the diet rather than calorie restriction that had the biggest impact on the Okinawan’s health and long life.

          For example, if you only considered Okinawans, then you might have lots of questions. But when you consider all the Blue Zones (including comparing to the Adventists) and notice that they all have one thing in common – mainly plant based diets – then you can start to feel pretty confident that you have a good idea on what is the main contributing factor(s). Combine that information with the rest of the body of evidence, including those highlighted here on NutritionFacts, and you have an even stronger case.

          Also, I’ll add that separating out the individual factors doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to. Reading the book Whole by Campbell put a whole new perspective on what is important in figuring out what counts as healthy food and healthy behaviors.

          One more thought that related to the comment above: That list of choices from your study above are not independent issues. What I mean is, diet and exercise affect body weight. Smoking might affect how much exercise you can do. Etc. The behaviors interact with each other to create bigger effects with more complex sources/reasons. Trying to separate out the individual factors is likely to lead to a very incomplete or incorrect understanding of what healthy living is.

        • 2tsaybow

          Isn’t this examined by Dan Buettner in his Blue Zone books and research? Certainly not smoking, not being fat, and not being stressed help, but there is no question that societies that eat animal products less that six times a month are longer lived. This is true even when you take all of these other behaviors into consideration.
          It was Dan Buettner that said animal products should be regarded the same way you consider exposure to radiation. Determine how much exposure you can tolerate because the more exposure you get, the more likely you are to have health consequences of that exposure.
          Animal products are not good for you, even if they helped make you thinner Charles.

          • Brux

            >> Animal products are not good for you

            the majority of people on Earth eat animal products. the vast majority of the longest lived people that we see every few months that have lived the longest, very few if any were vegetarians. no one is saying plant-based is not good, but the reverse – saying that animal products are not good for you is pure and unsupported exaggeration. Look at almost any one of these videos and they all have limits and problems.

            Saying that after even first pointing out that everything has its safe parameters is even contradicting yourself.

            People’s need to believe in something brings out an almost religious fervor about vegetarianism that frankly to me is scary.

            I read this website because I want to learn more about plants, especially what to eat and how to grow it, cook it, find it, and what quality it is likely to be, but many here are really over the top and argue about things that are even if they were based on science are quantitatively insignificant … based on their own ideas of what facts are.

            This is downright dangerous. I just got an email update about someone who even doubted they needed to supplement with vitamin B12. A lot of good work in this website, but failure to correct or confront people who say wrong things because it might alienate them from being customers is not a good thing.

          • 2tsaybow

            I’m sorry that my statement upset you Brux. I have been eating a WFPB diet for only a year and I do know that my consumption of a SAD diet was unhealthy. The primary focus of an American diet is meat, eggs, and dairy and it’s not healthy.
            I know vegetarians can adopt unhealthy lifestyles, I’m old enough to have had a few of my friends die from their drug and dietary choices.
            But, just because many people eat meat doesn’t mean that it’s healthy, or the best choice on a planetary level. Most people in the world don’t have access to a lot of meat because of cost and so their diet is healthier because of economic conditions in their life.

            I can’t tell you why are there only a few cultures who only consume meat on special occasions, or not at all. But I do know the way our culture developed as opposed to say the Hindu’s in India gave us little or no respect for the killing of animals in order to survive.

            I didn’t make my statement to make you angry. The truth is, it would not hurt the world for us to kill less in order to keep ourselves and the planet healthier. Animal products may be tasty, but they are not the most healthy choice for us as individuals, or for our planet.

          • Brux

            2tsaybow, I’m not upset in the least. I think it is great
            that you are eating a WFPB, or whole foods plant
            based diet for whatever reason.

            The SAD, standard American diet is not the only way
            to consume animal products though.

            I also never made the argument that – because someone
            eats meat they are healthy or the best choice or good
            for the planet. If you read all your WFPB literature like
            you read my post, maybe you should re-read that too.

            It is also true that many people who eat less costly
            diets are healthier than those who eat more expensive
            foods, and also nothing I said disagreed with that either.

            I am really not upset or angry and I don’t think you posted
            to make anyone angry in the least. I am trying my best to be
            as precise as possible and point out a lot of exaggeration
            and misinformation in what sometimes is said on this
            subject. I think if you listen to what is actually said by
            the Dr. on this site most of it is good information and to
            avoid the processed products of our food industry is a
            very good idea, but nowhere do they present evidence
            that eating any meat is deadly.

            I eat much less meat than I did when I was younger and
            did not know what I know today, but I learned a lot from
            this website, but a lot of people seem to have learned the
            wrong thing or believe they know more or can avoid
            dying if they only avoid all meat.

          • 2tsaybow

            but nowhere do they present evidence
            that eating any meat is deadly.

            That is just not true. There is plenty of evidence that meat is deadly.

            Here are a few videos and documents for you to review.

            One about arterial inflammation after eating meat:
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/dead-meat-bacteria-endotoxemia/

            One about cholesterol at what is considered a “good” level in our current diet:
            http://nutritionfacts.org/video/heart-attacks-and-cholesterol-dying-under-normal-circumstances/

            Here is an article on the risks of red meat and processed meats:
            http://www.pcrm.org/sites/default/files/pdfs/dropthedog/Red%20and%20processed%20meat%20fact%20sheet.pdf

            Here is a cancer prevention infographic (remember that 1 pound is about 460 grams):
            http://www.pcrm.org/media/infographics/cancer-prevention-infographic

            And of course you could always watch Dr. Greger’s presentations at the bottom of the front page of Nutritionfacts.org. The From table to Able one is particularly good http://nutritionfacts.org/video/from-table-to-able/. I believe his most recent one is also very good http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/.

            Here are the professionals who say that meat and other animal products are deadly:

            Dr. Greger
            Dr. T Colin Campbell
            Dr. Esselstyn
            Dr. Pritkin
            Dr. Ornish
            Dr. Bernard
            Dr. McDougall

            And I would suggest you look at Dr. Melanie Joy’s work as well https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0VrZPBskpg

          • Brux

            I am familiar with all that stuff. Having just read
            Colin Campbells book “Whole” I am also familiar
            with his work, and it is good work.

            But there are a lot of variables here that you have to
            look at, and you just cannot say that meat is deadly,
            and if you do you are just ignoring the evidence in
            front of your eyes. The most obvious being the people
            who live the longest almost always eat some meat.
            You guys just rationalize that over and over or ignore
            it.

            I am not talking about something who has diabetes,
            or a heart condition eating meat, or something with
            other medical problem like COPD, or cancer or whatever.
            I would never say that everyone should eat meat or that
            most people should eat a lot of meat, or any of the
            exaggerations you have accused me of.

            You don’t look at say some of Essylstyn’s work and
            get critical of him because he and others make claims
            that veganism will cure anything.

            Even Kemperer’s rice diet only helped 2/3’s of the people
            on it.

            Have some critical thinking skills. By the way Essylstyn
            has his own food processing company, and his products
            are junk. Go buy some of it and tell me what you think
            about the quality. This guy is selling junk and pushing
            hope on people who try to micromanage everything they
            eat and blame themselves if they get sick.

            I think Greger’s site is much better, he more gives the facts,
            but there are also claims made here that I think are over the
            top. We do not yet understand that much about the human
            system or how what we are eating and exposing ourself
            to affects it to say anything by a WFPB diet is more healthy,
            and that does not mean do not eat any meat.

            There is a difference there that when push comes to shove
            maybe even these doctors would have to admit.

          • 2tsaybow

            Dr. Esselstyn does not have produced foods that he sells. You must be thinking of someone else. He has written several books and his son has the Engine2diet.com website. I believe he also contributes to the ForksoverKnives.com website.

            As far as who should eat meat, I don’t think you should worry. Sudden cardiac death is probably not a concern for you and you should eat as much meat or frankly as many animal products as you want.

            It also sounds like you have a strong understanding of carnism and the work of Dr. Melanie Joy so you needn’t worry about that either. The fate of sentient beings is pretty much covered if they get to eat grass first.

            Thanks for your time and for the interaction.

          • Brux

            Yes, the Engine2diet in my opinion is a moneymaking scam.
            The products when I tried them were incredibly overpriced
            and inferior quality.

            But, as far as your comment about “eating all the meat I want”
            this is one thing about the sheep-like followers here that has
            always bothered me – the nasty sarcastic irrational tone you
            take when someone asks you to be moderate or use your
            brain.

            I have no idea of who Dr. Joy is or why you think you can infer
            what I think or what I know because I disagree with your or
            challenge your notions that meat is deadly. What is wrong with
            you? Maybe you need some B12 because your brain seems
            to be malfunctioning.

            Your attitude and logic is really confounding, and your immature
            need to be right about everything or try to spit nastiness at
            anyone who might disagree with you is the bane of all attempts
            at intelligent discussion and discourse … and that pathetic
            “thank you” and pretense of civility is not even funny.

          • 2tsaybow

            I think Charles and you are similar. Do you have the same IP address?

            Dr. Joy is a physiologist who works on carnism. Her work is very interesting. You ought to inform yourself.

            The Engine2Diet was started by Esselstyn’s son a firefighter. There are no food products sold on this website. It has recipes for a whole food plant based diet. You are making statements about a website and a professional that are not true.

            I do have a problem with the fact that you make things up in order to prove your point. You have done this repeatedly as we have interacted. You also have repeatedly put me down personally which is not necessary. There is no reason for you to be nasty.

            I wonder if you really care about what is being said here or if you come here to add confusion. As I said before, your statements about the professionals that I brought up are untrue and when I point that out, you just make up another story.

            You are right, my pretense at civility is not funny. But when I interact with someone who shills for such an ugly industry I get a bit twitchy, and seeing you, in my minds eye, eat a big bacon burger makes me happy. Particularly since you’ve been such a jerk to me.

            Joseph Campbell, do you watch the IP addresses on these comments particularly the people that come here to refute Dr. Greger’s work? Are some of them the same. Does this person have the same IP address as Charles Grashow?

          • Brux

            2tsaybow…

            >> I think Charles and you are similar. Do you have the same IP address?

            Great way to blame someone for something I cannot prove and you cannot prove. You accuse me knowing that, because of course, you could not be wrong. The answer is no. If “Joseph Campbell”, whoever that is, can prove it to you, great … I only wish you would bet the big bucks with me on that ,,, easy money.

            >> But when I interact with someone who shills for such an ugly industry I get a bit twitchy

            You, twitchy, is a big understatement. When you distort what I say into something I did not say, to play it back and make it sound ridiculous, of course that is in service to a “pretty” industry, isn’t it? Where did I ever say or imply “eat a bacon-burger”.

            I believe in the WFPB, whole foods plant based, diet, but many here do not see the significance of that phrase even when it is front of their faces day after day … it says WHOLE FOOD PLANT BASED, not vegan, not vegetarian, not that meat is poison. That is the inference you are supposed to make is that all animal products, in any dose, for any person, ever, is deadly poison. That is BS.

            So when you suggest that I am shilling for an ugly industry and must be lying, and I must be dishonest, when it is you, 2tsaybow, that has been the dishonest participant in this discussion in many ways, you really sound crazy.

            >> … I get a bit twitchy, and seeing you, in my minds eye, eat a big
            >> bacon burger makes me happy. Particularly since you’ve been
            >> such a jerk to me.

            If you can twist “eat a baconburger” out of my words you are delusional, whether it is in your mind or in your reality, but then following that up with what
            you said and why is just foolish. It would be like me, if I was a Christian, saying
            you are such a sinner I am happy you will be going to hell. That would not be very Christian of me to say, even if I though it. You must be very hurt by just being asked to consider the truth? Another reason you would be a poor scientist.

            Science and facts are supposed to mean something, and clearly you have no idea and no training in any scientific method of thinking or speaking, or even thinking with an open mind. So many here are have mere faith and no scientific curiosity. That might be worth a video or two or three, but it seems to be encouraged here. Even the most outrageous statements unsupported by science or the facts are never questioned or corrected.

          • 2tsaybow

            I’m not hurt by the truth, but you are a nasty person and you have been intentionally mean to me every time you have responded to me. You have said I was too stupid to read and understand what you said (1st post) You have said I do not fully understand what Dr. Greger is saying. (Not true, Dr. Greger does not support the consumption animal products.) You said I must be impaired and need B12. Every time you have responded to me you have said something rude.

            Those aren’t scientific facts. They are insults to put me down and to shut me up.

            Why wouldn’t I want to see you hurt yourself? I can be a jerk just like you. Who are you to call me out on my theological perspective?

            Joseph Campbell is the wrong person. He’s a dead theologian actually. I would like the moderator (Joseph Gonzales R.D.) to look and see if you are using different names to support you’re statements. It takes a moderator to see if you are a shill.

            You say you believe in a WFPB diet but in our interaction you have said several doctors I mentioned were hawking food products, which they weren’t. Why are you making stuff up?

            A whole food plant based diet means that you aren’t consuming animal products. It doesn’t mean vegan because you can be vegan and not eat a WFPB diet.

          • Brux

            Here are the first 3 lines you replied back to me:

            > I’m sorry that my statement upset you Brux.

            Very clever, claiming that i was upset by your incorrect statements. I always have a reaction to incorrect statements, and upset is not what I would call it. I would call it a positive effort to try to get you to see that you are not expressing yourself well compared to what I imagine you probably mean to do. Re-reading my first comment to you there was no insult or rudeness there at all.

            > I have been eating a WFPB diet for only a year and I do know that my consumption of a SAD diet was unhealthy.

            You know it … on faith. I or whomever is reading your comment has no idea what you were really eating, but it does not necessarily have to have been whatever you think you know was making you unhealthy. That is why they have science. Maybe you ate too much salt. Maybe you did not get any exercise. Maybe a thousand different things, and we don’t know anything about you either. How much stress you are under. What your physical condition is or your genetic background, mental stability. Because you are here on this website you seem to imagine that anyone who might question you a little bit is being mean to you.

            > The primary focus of an American diet is meat, eggs, and dairy and it’s not healthy.

            I never claimed the average American diet was healthy … ever, yet you have repeated played back different exaggerated versions of that kind of comment throughout.

            Yeah, cognitively, in this small email exchange, you seem to have a problem.

            Again, I don’t care what you say about me, insult away, I consider the source, but when you get things wrong, and make claims that are not supportable … that, along with your tendency to mis-think and argue poorly provokes some criticism from me. Since I see you cannot take criticism and do not want to question or think about anything, and you are passive-aggressively hostile I don’t think it is worth the energy to try to communicate with you further.

          • Thule

            In fact, you could change the world meat for tobacco, you’ll see the deja vu, same exact phrases they used, same empty rhetoric of “long living people do it, is not deadly”

            No matter all the evidence in front of them. If it wasn’t because is as tragic as was with tobacco (worse, a lot of innocents are killed for their vice) it would be comical.

          • Brux

            > you could change the world meat for tobacco, you’ll
            > see the deja vu, same exact phrases they used, same
            > empty rhetoric of “long living people do it, is not deadly”

            That’s BS and you know it.
            What is wrong with you people.
            Tobacco has no nutritional value, meat has nutritional value.
            Do you even think about what you are saying or does it
            just fly out like projective vomit?

          • Thule

            What nutrients? The saturated fats and cholesterol? The heme iron that is strongly linked to colon cancer?
            And we are just beginning. It is strongly linked to cancer and many metabolic diseases, and 100% to arteriosclerosis. That is what kills most everyone in the western world.

          • Brux

            You can find micronutrients in plants that are not good
            for people too. You focus too much on these small studies
            that are often superseded in months to years.

            If people eat a lot of meat and only meat they have a lot
            of meat sitting in their systems and the attendant problems
            we hear the doctor talk about. That is under certain conditions,
            but what you seem to want to do is to take it to a linear
            limit, and that most doesn’t work.

            It is like a little vitamin C is good for me, so I will take it until
            I throw up or get sick. People that do not understand math,
            and particularly how to deal with multiple variables in their heads
            at one time and understand how to look at variable that
            interact with each other look a these little linear tweaks and
            then try to microtune their diets in a way that they think will
            have them living forever. I think that is very unlikely.

            Stress is probably as important or more important than eating
            or not eating a reasonable portion of meat, and of course
            eating your veggies and getting your exercise.

          • Thule

            You said: “The most obvious being the people

            who live the longest almost always eat some meat.”

            Actually the longest living people in the world are WFPB, and among people who livest the longest historically, some were smokers too, thus they lived that long DESPITE being smokers and/or eating toxic stuff as meat.

            Perhaps you can list what wonderful nutrients do (I am going to omit the euphemisms) pieces of corpses contribute to anyone’s diet?

          • Brux

            >> Actually the longest living people in the world are WFPB

            WFPB != vegan or vegetarian

            Think about what you are saying.
            Think about what you are defending.
            The previous poster said meat is toxic.
            Pay attention to the subject man!
            Almost everyone in the world eats some meat.
            We do not all die from eating meat.
            Vegetarians die, and many vegetarians die because of their diets.
            The fact that just about every time they find the oldest person
            in the world they eat eat is indicative of something, and most
            of you just dismiss that out of hand. That proves that you are
            not interested in science or thinking, but just in being part of
            the herd … maybe that goes with the territory of eating vegetables
            and following the herd.

            I am simply saying meat is not poison to most people.
            That in many cases it is fine for people, and even healthy.
            As we have seen from Dr. Greger’s studies a lot of times
            there are vegetarian things that have nutrients that are not
            good for us in excess too.

            Even if meat was, the threat in poison is the dose not the poison.
            Perhaps you peolpe who want to pick up the glove and
            argue about this can be flipping honest for change?

          • Thule

            You said “I am simply saying meat is not poison to most people.”

            That when most everyone is dying of atherosclerosis? Look, true carnivores and omnivores can eat as much meat as they want, they NEVER get atherosclerosis, but bunnies, people and the rest of natural vegetarians do.

            And you reverse it just with a WFPB, it meat (and related products) were healthy, and not the root cause of the disease, a diet full of meat, cheese, salami etc would reverse it.

            But as happened with tobacco, only QUITTING restores people’s health.

            The only “herd” and “religious” people, are the ones that cling to their irrational beliefs despite all evidence. And please, save yourself the trouble of posting industry sponsored “studies”, same as they did with tobacco, they try to save themselves for as long as they can. And people like you will keep the same mantra as did smokers.

            But will end the same way.

          • Brux

            >> That when most everyone is dying of atherosclerosis?

            You cannot just eat meat. And you cannot neglect to eat
            your veggies. There are many people, and that includes
            most all of the longest lived people in the world that have
            eaten meat in proper proportion along with other healthy
            foods without a problem. You cannot just say they would
            live longer if they ate no meat, because there are people
            who did eat no meat, and they are dead – – – they are not
            there.

            You must learn how to interpret what people say correctly,
            that is parse sentences in a way that does not lead to
            nonsense replies.

            Another thing, maybe study some statistics.

            You pick and choose the stats you like, but up until the
            point of factory farming overdose this country got bigger
            more healthy people that lived longer when we produced
            more meat. Then people began eating less processed
            foods and leading sedentary lives. Open you eyes and
            look at the whole picture. A little meat is not going to
            kill you.

            You have a point when you are talking about someone
            that has or is developing atherosclerosis meat is not good

            for such people. Just like sugar is not good or oil is not
            good … there is no one size fits all brain dead prescription
            for life, diet or thinking.

          • Brux

            2tsaybow, I’m not upset in the least. I think it is great
            that you are eating a WFPB, or whole foods plant
            based diet for whatever reason.

            The SAD, standard American diet is not the only way
            to consume animal products though.

            I also never made the argument that – because someone
            eats meat they are healthy or the best choice or good
            for the planet. If you read all your WFPB literature like
            you read my post, maybe you should re-read that too.

            It is also true that many people who eat less costly
            diets are healthier than those who eat more expensive
            foods, and also nothing I said disagreed with that either.

            I am really not upset or angry and I don’t think you posted
            to make anyone angry in the least. I am trying my best to be
            as precise as possible and point out a lot of exaggeration
            and misinformation in what sometimes is said on this
            subject. I think if you listen to what is actually said by
            the Dr. on this site most of it is good information and to
            avoid the processed products of our food industry is a
            very good idea, but nowhere do they present evidence
            that eating any meat is deadly.

            I eat much less meat than I did when I was younger and
            did not know what I know today, but I learned a lot from
            this website, but a lot of people seem to have learned the
            wrong thing or believe they know more or can avoid
            dying if they only avoid all meat.

      • thorn324

        Although I’m not Charles, I thought I’d throw in this thought based on what I’ve seen (in pictures) of Okinawans. Given their generally small size (at least in contrast to many Westerners), daily calorie consumption under 2000 may in fact not be calorie restriction at all. And if that is so, then the issue of CR becomes moot.

        • Thea

          thron324: That’s a *fascinating* thought and one that I haven’t heard before. Interesting to think about!

          • largelytrue

            This is like controlling for some confounders, or recognizing that correlation isn’t causation generally. It occurs easily to the average person because it’s pretty obvious to researchers in the relevant field, and when average people bring it up generically as a serious criticism, it’s likely that they haven’t actually engaged with some of the research in question. The research may still be contentious but you should follow estimates of energy requirements if you want to suppose a better estimate of energy status. The Okinawans were probably calorie restricted compared with the similarly small Japanese of the time, who also ate in a fairly plant-based manner.

        • Rami Najjar

          Thorn, I have heard this before, but you have to recognize that when these populations migrate to the west, they develop the same chronic diseases that American’s do.

          • thorn324

            Yes, Rami Najjar, I’ve often read that it is true that those who migrate to “industrialized nations” do end up suffering from diseases caused by “affluenza.” In that case CR might to some extent help to prevent such diseases. But my comment was made in light of the data presented in this video—where the food *quality* in what was likely already an appropriate *quantity* (i.e., not necessarily low in calories, though certainly not high) is the reason for the exceptional health & longevity. In the West, in general, the opposite conditions are widespread: lesser quality & greater quantity—what the World Health Organization in one of its Bulletins in 2002 called “the problem of overnutrition.”

    • Rami Najjar

      Dr. Greger has addressed this, please see here.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/caloric-restriction-vs-animal-protein-restriction/
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/caloric-restriction-vs-plant-based-diets/

      The effects of calorie restriction seem to mimic plant based diets.

  • Acreech

    Great video. Unfortunately, the Okinawan sweet potatoes, at least the one I just ate on Maui, weren’t all that sweet in comparison to the orange varieties. The purple skinned Japanese sweet potatoes are excellent however. I could eat those everyday!

    • Thea

      Acreech: Interesting reaction. For me, the ‘not as sweet’ quality is a huge plus. The slight sweetness of them is nice, but I can still usually use them like a regular potato without greatly changing the flavor of a dish. Plus, I’m just not that fond of the taste of the orange varieties.

      I can sympathize with you, though. There are so many videos/ideas on this site where I think, “Dang! I don’t like that food. Why can’t something I really like be good for me?” I just happened to luck out that finally, the Okinawan sweet potatoes are just my thing.

      • Acreech

        It could been just the ones I got that day too. Overall, I found mixing them with beans made them great calorie fillers.

    • Rami Najjar

      Acreech, there are different varieties of purple sweet potatoes. I found the Okinawan purple sweet potatoes to be particularly sweet, but that was me. It is also purple skinned like the japanese sweet potato. I have had white skinned purple sweet potatoes and I don’t think they are as good.

  • Rhombopterix

    How many Person-years have you just added to the world’s peoples? We cant know the number but I know you are a lifesaver/lifeextender of at least 1. MINE! Cheers for that Dr. G

  • Brux

    How about some sweet potato recipes. I bought a purple sweet potato once … but I had no idea what to do with it? What would really help the most is to include options on HOW to eat all of this plant-based stuff. Another thing that is completely ignored is community cohesion and the effect social support has one people in terms of stress reduction.

    • VegGuy

      Also not mentioned was that most Okinawan centenarians haven’t eaten sweet potatoes since WWII. Sweet potatoes were a famine food. When asked if she eats imo (sweet potato) centenarian Kamada replies, “No”, she snorted. “I ate imo for breakfast, lunch and dinner for 50 years. I got tired of it.” (The Blue Zones, p. 78)

      • Brux

        Ha! That is interesting. A lot of these studies are hard to verify. People answer questions in various ways for various reasons.

        I went to a Asian restaurant some months back and got a purple sweet potato veggie thing … it was surprisingly good … but I think the sweet potato was fried too. That is why I want to know how you cook these things and eat them. What I liked was that it was not too sweet. It had a delicate flavor that I really enjoyed, but in a restaurant they really charges a lot for it.

        I never understand how the vegetarian dishes always seem to cost more. I guess they pay less for the ingredients so they feel they have to charge more overall for the meal? How crazy is that?

    • dogulas

      I really like them best plain. My favorite way to eat yams/sweet potatoes (same thing) is to chop them into pieces about the size of strawberries, and microwave them until they’re nice and soft, even almost dry. They taste very good that way. You can’t get that texture and taste by boiling or baking.

      But another favorite way is to slice them into quarters, the long way. And bake them for a long time. The outside gets crispy and sweet. Delicious.

  • chassy

    alkaline diet is best ,which is plant type diet ,food that makes us acidic kills you in the end ,sugar is the worst food of all

  • Biba

    Just wondering, my excellent vegan protein powder has quite a bot of leucine in it. I really enjoy this particular mixture and weight loss/ energy level (without highs and lows of reactive hypoglycemia) have been great. Just hope that i don’t need to cut this out as well. Any tyoughts, anyone?

    • Charzie

      Just curious why you are using a protein powder when the whole point of a whole food diet, is WHOLE food. Even though it seems to be animal proteins that are related to negative health issues, I’m not sure what you are hoping to gain by adding protein powder to your budget and agenda, when you should get all you need from a decent WFPB diet?

      • gentlegreen

        Indeed.
        I’m on a weightloss diet at the moment and got persuaded by an Atkinser that I needed more protein so started adding 125g of tofu to my lunchtime lentil and vegetable soup in place of brown rice. After watching Dr. Greger’s video on protein requirements I went back to brown rice to give my kidneys a break.

        • Biba

          Was a proponent of atkins for years and ate a modified atkins diet for about 15 years or so (no red meat, just low carbs alot of water). One of my consistent concerns was the potential inflammatory ways that atkins worked. I know that so many diseases are inflammation based but because my personal system had difficultirs dealing with carbohydrates i chose this modified approach. As far as kidneys go…i have been back and forth on the kidney issue. The problem is that doctors will often use excreted protein as a sign of kidney dysfunction. I typically use creatinine/bun and a urinalysis. We monitor functioning close with these but do keep a close eye on protein excretion. If you have excess protein in your diet, your kidneys will help to get rid if it. So then the question is, the protein in the urine is “extra” protein excretion, or renal irritation, then releasing protein as a sign of inflammation. I dont feel that there is a clear cut answer on that.

          So given that, if i cut out animal protein (because of numerous negative characteristics) but supplement soy free, organic, non gmo, vegan protein….and kept an eye on my renal functioning, inflammation markers AND felt energized…couldnt that be the answer for me…we will see. So far so good from my end.
          Thank you for your response.

      • Biba

        Thank you so much for you ur reply. I do a decent amount of weight training. For about 6 months i was eating without additive protein to my diet and my recovery time was long and i was feeling like my strength was pretty low. Im a physician and i always talk to my patients in regards to getting to know subtleties about their body, whIch will tell them what they may be lacking. I have found that certain supplements, although not WFPB (which i support 100%), is helpful for some of these symptoms. Plus, for me, it is an efficient, quick (convenient….i am an american LOL) way to throw into a shake and for breakfast and “lunch” (not actual lunch but drink between patients). Im also pretty sensitive when it comes to reactive hypoglycemia and it seemed with the protein addition i was more stabilized without the dramatic “low sugar” sensation.

        Also I am acutely aware of concerns as far as inflammatory additives and soy/animal based protein increase IGF-1, but just tyrin to do some biohacking. Again, appreciate the response. Im always interested in other views.

    • Rami Najjar

      Biba, there is no dietary need to supplement protein. In fact, protein powder, animal or plant derived, tend to raise IGF-1 because protein powders aim for very high proportions of amino acids.

      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12629084
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17571965
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/animalistic-plant-proteins/

      Please see here regarding vegetarian protein status.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/do-vegetarians-get-enough-protein/

      • Biba

        Excellent points. Although my protein is actually Soy Free, and i havent seen in the literature other types of protein(pea, cranberry, hemp…organic as well). Interested in your thoughts. Im a physician and really push organic/vegan diet. Love the whole foods idea as well, altough supplementing with vegan protein some people really enjoy.

        • Rami Najjar – NF Moderator

          I would ask, why supplement protein if there is no need to do so though? I personally prefer staying on the safe side since something unnecessary to ones diet is rarely neutral and more often negative than not.

          • Biba

            Very true. Thank you

  • Darryl
    • Timar

      Bitter melon leaf tea is available at most Asian grocery stores and very inexpensive. Trying to reconcile myself with the somewhat muddy taste (which, surprisingly, is hardly bitter at all), I figured that blended with some ginger it becomes actually quite enjoyable.

    • Timar

      Another Okinawan habit one should keep in mind is that they traditionally drink turmeric tea.

  • Magda1963

    Dr. Greger, a bariatric surgeon tells me that “cholesterol level and triglyceride are barely affected by diet and mostly by liver. If you have good genes – great, if not – the evidence is clear that diet matters not” Is that true???? I have been mostly plant-based for 3-4 years and never felt better. So is it because I have good genes and a healthy liver, or is it because I eat plant-based diet and exercise?

    • Guest

      Studies by Ancel Keys back in the 60’s and 70’s showed that saturated fat and trans fat had a more dramatic effect on cholesterol levels than did eating cholesterol levels itself. That means we should avoid animal products,the main source of these fats, and oils which all have some level of saturated and trans-fats. You may have good genes in one area, say in dealing with cholesterol, but not so good ones when in comes to fighting cancer of kidney disease. What ever the weakest link is, that’s what a poor diet will uncover. As they say the genes load the gun but the diet pulls the trigger.

      • Timar

        I don’t think you can make a case for generally avoiding vegetable oils because of their saturated fat content. Except for the tropical plant fats (coconut, palm, cocoa) which are of course very high in saturated fat, the content in liquid vegetable oils is rather low and much lower in some oils. Cottonseed oil comes is highest at ~25% and should be avoided anyway because it is a waste product from cotton production, likely to contain high levels of pesticide residues. Peanut, soybean and olive oil all contain about 15%. Given that the former are always solvent-extracted and industrially refined and that only extra virgin olive oil contains healthy polyphenols and has not only a thousands-of-years old culinary record but also a immaculate research record, one should stick to the latter. Sunflower and safflower oils have around 10% but in my opinion should be avoided not only because they are mostly refined but also because they are quite susceptible to oxidation and have an abysmal ratio of alpha-linonenic (omega 3) to linoleic (omega 6) acid. Canola oil comes out lowest at about 7%, is very high in oleic acid just like olive oil and has a extremely favorable omega 3-to-6 ratio of 1:2. It is most often refined of course, but also available expeller-pressed, containing a certain amount of polyphenols and gluconisolates. Despite some popular diet dogmas, I think (based on a variety of evidence) that a moderate amount of virgin olive oil and expeller-pressed canola oil are a healthy and sensitive addition to a plant-based (or any other) diet. Besides, even Ancel Keys was a great advocate of vegetable oils, particularly olive oil.

    • largelytrue

      Dietary cholesterol and saturated fat are known to affect the way liver affects serum cholesterol; this was in part discovered through Nobel-prize winning research. Don’t be fooled by studies based on variation at high levels of intake or by crude comparisons between dietary cholesterol intake and the total amount of cholesterol in serum.

      If you know a little of Garth Davis’ interaction with the plant-based community, you probably have a good idea that there are at least some bariatric surgeons who disagree with the one you just spoke with, in spite of the bias that is likely carried as baggage in the trade.

    • Rami Najjar

      The misunderstanding stems from the fact that if you have high cholesterol already, adding saturated fat or cholesterol will hardly change it all.

      “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be expected once baseline dietary cholesterol was >400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal level”

      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/55/6/1060.full.pdf

    • Joseph Gonzales R.D.

      I’d also suggest looking into Dr. Garth Davis’ clinic he’s a well known baricatric surgery physician.

    • Tom Goff

      As a bariatric surgeon, he would by definition be dealing only with obese patients.Such people have damaged metabolic systems and consequently “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol are less effective in the obese. The most effective way for obese people to normalize their blood lipids is to lose weight”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16256004

      and “many studies show that excess adiposity attenuates the expected lipid and lipoprotein response to a plasma cholesterol–lowering diet. Diets low in SFA and cholesterol are less effective in improving the lipid profile in obese individuals and in patients with metabolic syndrome. In contrast, lean persons are more responsive to reductions in dietary SFA and cholesterol. Multiple mechanisms likely contribute to the altered plasma lipid responses to dietary changes in individuals with excess adiposity. The greater rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis in obese individuals suppresses the expression of hepatic LDL receptors (LDLR), thereby reducing hepatic LDL uptake. Insulin resistance develops as a result of adipose-tissue induced inflammation, causing significant changes in enzymes necessary for normal lipid metabolism. In addition, the LDLR-mediated uptake in obesity is attenuated by alterations in neuroendocrine regulation of hormonal secretions (e.g. growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol) as well as the unique gut microbiota, the latter of which appears to affect lipid absorption. Reducing adipose tissue mass, especially from the abdominal region, is an effective strategy to improve the lipid response to dietary interventions by reducing inflammation, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and improving LDLR binding.”
      http://advances.nutrition.org/content/2/3/261.full

      He is therefore probably correct in his views but only in the case of his (obese) patients. However, the evidence clearly shows that in lean people diet does affect lipid profiles.

  • sv

    please can u make a video (if there are studies published) on indian populations especially the south as its very very strict vegetarianism (b/ of cultural n religious beliefs of the south)

  • dogulas

    What did they eat during the winter and spring? Frozen sweet potatoes? How do you have set potatoes year round?

    • Israel Navas Duran

      There’s no winter in Okinawa.

  • Jaron Legel

    So I am a bit confused. The Okinawans had their plant based diet for centuries, also Ethiopians so I understood from a colleague. But no one told them about the B12 vitamin and that you need to take it. And they lived all these centuries very happy and without (I guess) the B12 deficiency symptoms.
    So why does modern humans have to take supplement their plant-based diet with B12?
    Until now I took the supplement as a good boy supposed to, but I always had my doubts, and this is the reason why. If people ate during history a total plant based diet or nearly, without supplements, and lived healthy, long and prosperous, why should the modern man have to take it?
    Where are we different than these people?

    • largelytrue

      We’re cleaner, no? Also even if the amount of animal product consumed was low in these Okinawans and animal products were the only source for them, they would be eating in a pattern that spreads animal consumption thinly throughout most meals, improving absorption. Secondly, they would not be turning their nose at liver, which is extremely rich in b12, and incidental insect consumption from stored grains and tubers cannot be discounted so easily. Basically your assumption that we have very good estimates of b12 bioavailability in preindustrial diets is wrong in the first place.

    • dogulas

      There’s good reason to believe that the use of antibiotics in modern times has made us lose the ability to absorb B12 from our own digestive tract using some eliminated or reduced species of gut microorganisms. And the sad thing is that if any mother in your ancestry took antibiotics, that could have been sufficient to ruin a microbiome that was evolved over many thousands of years. It has been shown that it’s very very difficult if not impossible to successfully introduce new helpful bacteria to the digestive tract at any time other than the days after birth (birth allowing the baby to get the mother’s microbiotia). You can feed what you already have in there and change the proportions, but introducing or reintroducing new strains is proving to be very difficult at any time other than days after birth when there are “vacancies” down in the gut.

      Also, if you don’t purify your water, and drink from streams, or anything that has water from unpurified sources, you’ll get plenty of B12. But you also have a high risk of infection. I’d rather take the B12 supplement and avoid getting sick.

      • Brux

        Good reason, huh? What would that be please?

  • largelytrue

    Was I the only one surprised to see Greger counting all consumed rice as a whole food in this video?

  • Jan

    I saw an Okinawan woman in a video/movie saying that they ate a lot of sweet potatoes during WWII because that was what was available during the war, not because they were traditionally a big part of their diet. She said she hated sweet potatoes because they had to eat so many, and she was thrilled to go back to a more traditional diet of other vegetables, grains and beans after the war was over.

  • Rush

    Not clear about SOD activity!

    The article says there is no difference in SOD activity between centenarians and octogenarians of Okinawans. But Dr. Greger’s voice says that there is no difference between Okinawans and general (e.g. American) population.

    Make it clear please!

  • Wyman

    Dear Dr G. Excellent presentation, the one aspect missing though is the Spiritual, as an Adventist, faith and love for God is the major contributing factor overlooked, Trust In God brings peace, stress is diminished. Romans 15 [13] Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

  • Rodrigo Cardoso

    Legendado em Português / Translated to Portuguese:
    http://nf.focoempatico.net/a-dieta-de-okinawa-vivendo-ate-aos-100/

  • Rebecca Cody

    Many years ago I read about a healthy group of natives in Mexico (I think a mountainous areas of NW Mexico) who lived exclusively on sweet potatoes and their leaves. I’ve never seen anything about this since and I can’t remember where I read it. Has anybody else ever heard of this? If so, can you point me to more information?

    • Tom Goff

      Your memory may be playing you false. The sweet potato doesn’t usually do well in cold climes and mountainous areas tend to be pretty cool. The most famous “healthy group of natives in Mexico (I think a mountainous areas of NW Mexico)” are the Tarahumaras but their staples are reportedly beans and maize. The sweet potato was reportedly a staple of Mayan peoples but they primarily lived in what is now southern Mexico and on down to Honduras.

      • Rebecca Cody

        My memory as to where they lived was just a guess based on a very vague impression. But what astounded me was that sweet potatoes and their leaves supposedly comprised their entire diet. Since I’ve never read anything like that since, and I read nutrition info constantly, possibly the article I read was wrong.

        I have read a bit about the Tarahumaras, and how they remain healthy, yet those in Arizona who have adopted the usual USA style junk diet have one of the highest rates of diabetes of any group in the country.

  • vegank

    yes the animal protein is used more like a garnish , just for taste, the vegetable & grains being the main portion.
    It’s interesting that in western countries it’s the other way around. So with the increase in high fat & processed food in modern Japanese diet, the healthy& fit grandparents(or great grandparents) are the ones burying their children and grandchildren.

    • Brux

      That’s true, and America has surely overdone it, but the funny thing is that for much of the 20th century American nutrition was very good. Because of not getting enough to eat most other countries average size was very small whereas Americans were large people, and at that time large did not mean fat/obese. Americans got enough protein, and as we still do think to always that bigger and more is better. Obviously not true. Asians were always portrayed and thought of as small people, and you can see people in Europe were smaller by going and looking back and the old theaters or opera houses where an average American or European of today would not be able to fit.

      We went wrong thinking more is better and then giving up control of what was in our food and how it was produced, not thinking about it and trusting giant conglomerates who only wanted more and more money and power. Now lots of innocent people are paying for it, and nothing is being done to fix things. The other day in the supermarket I happened to notice someone selling chocolate covered Twinkies. Yuck!

      • vegank

        I know the feeling(the Twinkies), I find cooking programs disturbing these days probably since going Plant based whole food. All the olive oil that is literally poured onto things and the half a bowl of sugar going into the cake mix and so on.
        I remember how lethargic I got before trying to stick with the Plant based whole food diet. It was hard but you feel so much better within weeks.
        I think for both countries (America & Japan), people got further away from their whole food culture until the repercussions surfaced and now hopefully the pendulum is turning back again and possibly even better because of the scientific knowledge we have. I hope to live like my late grandmother who was healthier than my parents, disability free and independent. By the way I agree with HorseLover, as soon as you give up sugar you feel the difference ! Good luck.

        • Brux

          My whole life I loved and ate sugary things, sweets, especially chocolate.
          Trying to eat vegan versions of this stuff just makes me want to eat the
          real stuff, and going without drives me nuts to the point that I break down
          at some point and buy a candy bar or ice cream. I really do not know if
          I can do it. But when I eat sugary stuff now I get kind of shaky and sick
          to my stomach because I go for so long without it, when I get it I really
          feel it.

          The other thing is coffee. The coffee drinks. I think that is when I started
          having a problem. I never had a cup of coffee in my life until I was about
          35, and never really liked it. Then I started with the coffee drinks at work,
          and they made me gain weight. That is another thing that sometimes I
          just don’t seem to be able to control.

          I think the companies that make these things knows damn well what they
          were doing. All our companies our out to screw up in any way that gets
          them money and they don’t care what they do to who or the planet.

          • vegank

            The coffee issues you have is interesting, is there any chance of that being associated with how coffee can cause havoc with some people’s blood sugar etc ? That’s why I had to give it up. I love coffee but the consequences weren’t worth it (eg. feeling dizzy and irritable after approx 30mins to an hour).
            As to quitting sugar I had a very sweet tooth as well and could not have given it up without paracetamol !
            After a month of quitting I think we adjusted, and now it’s been about 10 months. I do get tempted of course from time to time to sneak a chocolate bar .Maybe it is not such a bad thing to succumb to cravings sometimes and try the sugary or dairy or meet that you used to consume all the time, I find that my body now seem to react as if they’re poison, and you realise that it was only the idea that seemed nice. Perhaps the longer we try it gets easier to stay away from sugar.

          • Brux

            WOW, I never really liked coffee, and only had my first cup when I was almost 40.
            But I drank a lot of sodas with caffeine.
            Then about 10 years ago they came out with those coffee drinks and
            I drank them like every day for a while and yes, I get the same thing now.
            dizzy, irritable, just all around feel bad, and sometimes if I drink some of
            these new store bought fresh coffees I get what my eye doctor calls
            visual migraines, which is a kind of chaotic staticky pattern superimposed
            over my field of view. That really creeped me out, especially when I
            connected it to coffee.

            I am addicted to sweets and I don’t even like coffee, but I find myself
            drawn to it like magic … it is like I imagine heroine or crack would be.
            Compared to this I had no problems quitting cigarettes.

            I don’t know but I suspect this is a lifelong addiction problem.

            I quit drinking sugary soft drinks once for over a year, and then one very hot
            day I had one Coke, and it was like the nectar of the gods … I could just feel
            it pouring through my body and it just tastes so good.

            I cannot stand the taste of Coke now, but I do occasionally have a GUS
            soda, which has 1/2 the calories, and it seems to taste good, but I feel
            bad sooner or later. This is a huge challenge to stop this and stay away
            from it. It is everywhere, and eventually I just cave. Odd, that I have
            such an addictive personality to sugar and caffeine, but have never
            had any problem with drugs or been interested in alcohol at all.

          • vegank

            With the “chaotic staticky pattern superimposed over my field of view” you mentioned, do they look like black dots? I occasionally got that when I used to drink coffee, following a migraine and the other symptoms.
            My mother who was put off by children who at age 4 or 5 had to get teeth extractions because of sugary drinks causing tooth decay , banned all such drinks as well as candies etc (sweets only fro special occasions), so I never had to get any fillings – even to this day. Of course as a child I resented the strictness when moms packed multiple bags of sweets and juices on every field trip for the other children , as an adult I’m relieved she took those measures. I don’t consume alcohol either because I simply don’t like the taste and physically can’t take it , so it’s interesting that we have the same reactions to certain things. Perhaps there is a certain body type like ours?
            With avoiding cravings or temptations to do with sweets , I found that not walking down the aisle in supermarkets helped at the beginning, now I don’t even think about it.
            Not suffering from the effect of junk food is all worth it, even-though I was relatively healthy the difference now is remarkable.

  • Sue Reuser

    I’ve been trying to find out if there is any scientific research on lysine. Taking 500 mg or more of lysine daily does prevent or lessen an outbreak of oral herpes cold sores for me and many others but I can’t find science to back it up. It’s said that plants are high in arginine and low in lysine and herpes thrives with arginine and hates lysine. This does seem to be true in my body, but where is the science?

    I’ve been a vegan for years and strict WFPB for the past year. It just doesn’t feel right that I should have to take supplements just to keep from getting cold sores. I’m also concerned because I haven’t found much information about lysine. Can it promote the growth of cancer cells? It is higher in animal proteins than plants. I would rather deal with some cold sores than cancer. I love my delicious WFPB diet. I’m happy, healthy and energetic.

    • Tom Goff

      Lysine certainly works for me in stopping cold sore outbreaks. I don’t take them on a daily basis though – only when I get that tell-tale tingly feeling that a cold sore is about to erupt. Of course, I eat a lot of cereals which are naturally low in lysine and that is probably why I get the occasional outbreak in the first place. The lysine supplements stop them in their tracks though. That said, I should probably lower my cereal intake and increase my bean intake instead to ensure I consume an adequate daily amount of lysine to prevent cold sores.

      Pauling, of course, advocated Vitamin C and lysine supplementation to prevent heart disease. You could look at his books on this topic if you want more details. You could also look at the links below and follow up the references they provide.

      https://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/supplement/lysine
      http://www.drugs.com/npc/lysine.html
      http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-237-lysine.aspx?activeingredientid=237&activeingredientname=lysine

      • Sue Reuser

        Thanks for your
        comments. I’ve followed your advice and continued my online research. I did find the only article that mentions cancer and lysine, but unfortunately I was unable to decipher its meaning. I’ve fallen into this spot where I’m looking at the tiny particle instead of the whole food
        where I want to be. I’m forced here because I have the occasional cold sore and a lysine supplement will prevent that and I’d rather use lysine than an antiviral drug.

        I did find out that indeed, lysine is one of the amino acids in casein, the protein that Dr. Campbell demonstrated to promote cancer cell growth. I can’t help being somewhat concerned about this though no one else seems to be.

        • Tom Goff

          It’s a complicated area and I can’t say that I fully understand it. However, there is some evidence that lysine actually has an antitumour effect eg
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15879623
          http://iv.iiarjournals.org/content/19/1/179.long

          That said, it is probably better to aim for obtaining lysine from the diet rather than supplements. Campbell’s new book “Whole” sets out the broad argument. Beans and other legumes are good vegetarian sources of lysine. That includes tempeh and tufu (made of course from soy beans). That is one reason to consume beans. There are many other reasons to eat more beans. Not least because around the world, eating beans and other legumes is the most important dietary predictor of low mortality (among older people at least) …… “the legume food group showed 7-8% reduction in mortality hazard ratio for every 20g increase in daily intake”
          http://apjcn.nhri.org.tw/server/APJCN/13/2/217.pdf

          Dr Greger also has an interesting video on this topic
          http://nutritionfacts.org/video/increased-lifespan-from-beans/

          Hope this helps – certainly, I’ve never seen any convincing evidence that lysine in the diet (or in supplements) promotes cancer.

          • Sue Reuser

            Thanks or the reminder. I do want to buy “Whole” though I have already been convinced by Drs. McDougall and Greger. This is why it bothers me so much to have to take lysine as a supplement. I have seen all of Dr Greger’s videos and I do eat a lot of legumes. I’ll make sure I get a more consistent supply when I’m done with the outbreak and just in the prevention phase. I feel better that it’s probably doing no harm and possibly even some good to take extra during outbreaks. Thanks, it’s great to have someone to talk to. Are you a nutritionist?

          • Tom Goff

            No, I’m not a nutritionist but I have spent a lot of time looking at nutritional approaches to health since I had liver damage from statins and had to discontinue them some 20 years ago. I also worked in a national government health department (not US) for over 20 years which gave me access to many articles behind paywalls.

            Yes, I agree diet is the best approach but supplements can be essential especially B12. I think Dr Greger’s 2003 presentation is particularly relevant here:
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7KeRwdIH04

  • john tiffany

    Ask the doctor
    Is vitamin D not really a vitamin but a hormone? How, exactly, is it made? If we take it as a supplement, does it come from animal? Plants? How does our skin make the stuff? How do apes get enough of it?

  • Strangelove

    Dr. Greger (and anyone who wants to comment),

    This is probably off-topic, but since this is the latest video mentioning antioxidants I thought I’d ask here: what do you think about this news? http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/antioxidants-may-make-cancer-worse/

    The main point seems to be that “while antioxidants might prevent DNA damage—and thus impede tumor initiation—once a tumor is established, antioxidants might facilitate the malignant behavior of cancer cells”. I don’t know if the earlier studies they refer to have been addressed in the past here in NF, but if not, they probably should be.

  • Andrey Yusupov, M.D.

    This is a timely video. The current oldest human alive today (she is 116+ and happens to live in the US!). She wakes up, eats 4 strips of bacon, eggs, and grits. Then she eats bacon throughout the day. Longest living human on earth. How can we explain that? She got lucky? Well, human physiology doesn’t discriminate. It does not differ from human to human as far as I know. I am interested to know what you folks think.

    • largelytrue

      {Human physiology] does not differ from human to human as far as I know.

      And you are a doctor?! The space for genetic and environmental variation in susceptibility to chronic diseases is probably quite huge and complex. Most variations aren’t necessarily frequent, but tend to be much more frequent in those who live the longest out of hundreds of millions of people, simply as a matter of natural selection. This is why it’s a horrible idea to try to base dietary advice on the experience of one long-lived person, and why medical research is not seriously interested in adjusting their science in response to a new record-breaker in longevity, in case you haven’t noticed that yet. If you manage to live into old age for whatever reason, issues other than heart disease, diabetes, and cancer tend to be what limit your longevity from there on. Human physiology does vary with age and from human to human, even though much tends to remain the same most of the time.

      • Brux

        That is sort of true, but it is also true that in the general population of the US all that would smear together and round out and we would see the influence or veganism much more if it was so significant.

        The pat answer here from vegans is “imagine how long she would live if she was a vegan” … meaning that they are answering this question politically and outside of the facts. Why do they even bother coming here for the facts of these studies when they do not really look at facts except when they agree with them. From reading comments it seems like many will agree with or accept anything that makes them feel good.

        • largelytrue

          There is no limit to how tall a tale can be, or how much some people may presume on behalf of a favored hypothesis. Some will want to avoid uncertainty altogether and say that practice X always improves the situation unconditionally.

          However, what I said was a bit more than sort of true, I think, and I took some care to distance myself from what you have in mind about blatantly biased thinking and to leave room for investigations of long-lived populations more generally by focusing on the relative absurdity of inferring optimal nutrition for everybody from the poorly measured practices of just one person.

          • Brux

            You don’t seem to understand, these are not just one person … these are the only people left from there entire cohort. They are what’s left after everyone else has died. They are hardly randomly selected insignificant people, and the fact that you say that tells me you are not looking at this in proper perspective.

          • largelytrue

            I said that they were subject to statistical selection. I’m aware that they represent an order statistic and that many characteristics that are rare in the general population may be more common in such supercentenarians; I explicitly said that latter part in my first comment. I don’t think you are reading me carefully at all.

      • Andrey Yusupov, M.D.

        I was talking about basic human physiology, ie. how chemicals interact with the human body, etc.
        Yes I am a physician, diagnostic radiologist. Which means I interact with other physicians who are top in their respective fields, as my customers.
        I stand by my statement. Genetic variablity has little influence on BASIC physiology and biochemistry. I guess you got your medical background from google or webmd? :) I was simply interested in hearing your guys thoughts and if there was an explanation. Good day.

        • largelytrue

          You didn’t say basic chemistry. If you had in mind that chemistry in all humans is subject to universal physical law, but the chemical backdrop in which interactions take place varies from human to human and from life stage to life stage, that wasn’t at all clear. Because the latter idea would basically answer your own question about plausibility, it actually seemed that this wasn’t what you had in mind and that your simplistic statement was a reasonably accurate reflection of your thinking at the time.

          Don’t get huffy that the Internet is a free-for-all, by the way. While doctors are worthy of respect and often know things that can be useful in making a good judgement on medical topics, it’s good to remember that they aren’t practicing scientists, by and large. An M.D. is good, but it isn’t even close to being the sole benchmark of authority on this topic. I think it’s great that you are asking questions and engaging in discussion, but I would personally like it if those identifying as doctors here engaged in a little more critical thinking, a little more thoughtfulness, and a little more intellectual guidance. Some seem to do little more than cheer. I recognize it can be difficult to find time to produce sophisticated thinking, but if doctors are coming here to inform and be informed, they do have to invest some of their time.

          • Andrey Yusupov, M.D.

            Point taken. But what it does do, is put you in a unique position to separate good from bad data, and you develop an intuition into if what is presented in a study, can be translated to real people in the real world.
            I would argue that being in the position of the basic scientist/researcher is somewhat of a less favorable one than a (nonresearcher) physician.
            It is different to sit in a lab and apply the scientific method, than to see before your eyes functional, anatomic, physiologic effects in patients on a day to day basis.
            Think about it. The researcher pigeonholes their mind often intl what their PI wants to publish (I’ve been there, and you don’t realize this until much after). I can speak to this because I have friends in both the clinical and research careers.

          • largelytrue

            Clinicians readily turn into quacks these days in part because of that focus on their personal case series, I’d say. It’s a bit unreasonable to say that clinicians are uniquely equipped to know their field and to think about what the evidence supports for clinical treatment. The indications for treatment which most clinicians follow basically emerge from a consensus of expert researchers. Even more importantly for the topic at hand, researchers in nutritional epidemiology have important skills in processing statistical ideas, which many clinicians seem to lack almost altogether.

            This is relevant even in this discussion, I’d say. If you were more familiar with statistical thinking then you would almost immediately recognize that Brux’s comment (to which you responded earlier) is mere speculation that isn’t warranted by what he had said up until that point. Absent concrete information all we can say is that supercentenarians will tend to have a combination of traits that are common in their birth cohort, and traits that are not so common in their birth cohort but which are covariate with factors that improve longevity. And if we think about it, is getting set in one’s ways common among the elderly? Were wealthy countries with reliable birth records over a century ago particularly rich in people eating the equivalent of a well-planned vegetarian diet? Were they even moderately poor in omnivores?

            Brux’s reasoning in response to your “different” question could just as easily be used in opposition to Brux’s claim that vegetarians have to be better represented among American supercentenarians than they are if healthy vegetarianism is truly conducive to longer life. It’s hard to tell what he’s thinking in full, but the fact that his response doesn’t anticipate and counter this kind of criticism suggests that he’s thinking partially there.

          • Brux

            Way to cast aspersions without saying anything, largelytrue. Pfffffftttt to you!

            This would be as if everyone had to take an IQ test and no one that went to college scored a passing grade on it, and then they all claimed it had no significance.

          • largelytrue

            You were the one saying nothing in support of your claim. Do you want me to challenge you directly there? Have a discussion? Do you care to support your claim?

          • Andrey Yusupov, M.D.

            You seem like a nice guy, and you take the time to write your responses, which is to be saluted.
            But I will expose your first paragraph, because you are dead wrong. When you mentioned “the indications for treatment that clinician’s follow…”, I don’t treat patients. Period. I am actually anti-pills at heart. My field is purely diagnosis, except in rare cases with interventional radiology. The diagnosis which totally depends on a very comprehensive knowledge of ALL the organ systems. What I have been surrounded with is physicians from all specialties and scientists (they are my customers) for the last decade. In addition, a medical center’s lab where I can perform any test under the sun on myself including send-outs not even used in clinical practice.
            So I can assure you, I am not biased in the “evil western medicine that tells us we need to stuff pills down every patients throat”. This is where most people get it wrong. Physicians (even in the US believe it or not), still try to do what is best for the patient. The problem is we (when I say we I mean my clinical colleagues) have to prescribe treatments that we think the average uneducated, entitled, and undisciplined American can follow. Do you honestly think that folks the top 2% of undergrad and top 10% of medical school students, that can succeed in business without much effort, are that dumb that they cant see past the beaurocratic and pharm bullshit? Give some more credit, you are embarassing humanity.

            This goes back to what I said before, why are world class performers (who by the way are generally familiar with “statistical thinking”) in all varieties of disciplines across the board, why do few of them (<<3%), choose to be vegan? Again, you need to give folks that change and improve BILLIONS of lives, and actually make a huge impact in this life, some credit in that they would choose veganism if the risk-benefit was there.

          • largelytrue

            I’m aware that you are in diagnostics. I don’t think you are wildly biased in the “evil western medicine” model, precisely because your specialty is pretty narrow and you haven’t being speaking too dogmatically or anti-inquisitively so far. I agree that physicians still try to do what is best for the patient even when they are biased or ignorant for various reasons (one of them being this kind of condescention in the patient-doctor relationship while holding to Medical Authority privately). And yes, I think a non-negligible portion of MDs are prone to faddism and soft thinking. For instance, the number of American doctors holding to an Atkins or ‘Paleo’ diet is lower than the general population, but still rather embarrassing. Do you seriously think that people in the research community aren’t also brilliant in general, that there isn’t more money in the private sector for those training to take that path?

            If you are still wondering why few “top performers” are committed to the vegan diet, then you simply don’t understand the allure of culturally prestigious practices connected with omnivory, or the benefits of going along with the flow while focusing on excellence in the area you are becoming excellent in. Getting back to my earlier point, it takes effort to inform yourself against a gradient of bias grounded in hedonism and money, and effort to do what mainstream society doesn’t accommodate very well in social and material terms. Appealing to the set of “top performers” in various and sundry fields as if they were all well-read, well-trained experts in nutrition is fallacious. I’m surprised to see you pushing that button so eagerly and repeatedly, in spite of what Brux has just said to you.

          • Brux

            > And yes, I think a non-negligible portion of MDs are prone to
            > faddism and soft thinking. For instance, the number of American
            > doctors holding to an Atkins or ‘Paleo’ diet is lower than the
            > general population, but still rather embarrassing.

            Having had a couple meetings with dietitians, I agree with you that
            training is lacking in presenting different choices to people. But it
            may not be about what doctors believe, it could be an artifact
            of dealing with thousands or millions of people who either simply
            cannot hear options like veganism, or WFPB, that is they cannot
            change their behavior so drastically. The brainwashing most of us
            have had makes that very difficult, not to mention the reinforcement
            it gets a million times a day with commercials, fast food signs all
            over the place, the over-stimulated design of supermarkets, etc.

            Where do you get the number of doctors that hold to the Atkins
            or Paleo diet from? It could be that their patients mention this to
            the doctor and the doctors having limited time and energy to educate
            or in some circumstances, to argue, reason that it is better to try
            something than nothing and so recommend any change.

            I have a friend that has had dietary problems for a long time and
            we have talked about this website many times. No matter what
            I tell her, she has a “thing” for the Paleo diet. She is already had
            two heart surgeries and just wants what she wants. She grew up
            cooking and around food her whole life. She cooks major dishes
            and invites people over to share dinner. That is where he life is
            centered.

            How much time and energy do you think there is to spend
            endlessly trying to teach people who are no receptive to new ideas
            how to value scientific data, when they do not think it is relevant
            to their lives? Sometimes doctors might have to just try the best
            thing they can think of.

          • largelytrue

            I’m looking for the source survey in which doctors identified their diet by type. It may take a bit of time for me to get to it.

            Most doctors are pretty frank about their lack of training in nutrition and are interested in becoming better at giving more advice, based on what I know. Giving advice about nutrition is about as easy as giving advice about smoking, but with more variables. It’s very easy to make an argument from your authority as a doctor and say something like:

            “from what I’ve seen, I wouldn’t recommend what you are doing now as your best option. Compared to what you say you were doing before, the consequences of your growing cardiovascular disease will likely be delayed by a decade or two, but you still face substantial risk compared with this other option over here”

            Even if the individual patient is unresponsive to advice, there is a public health imperative to take a firm stance anyway if you have a strong evidence-backed recommendation in hand. Doctors’ relative silence on nutrition over the years and their equivocal statements about diet are an important reason why many people think that doctors don’t really know what they are talking about when it comes to nutrition, or that they do but they believe that whatever the patient happens to be doing is truly on the right track. This impedes the effort toward primary prevention through diet, which a great many patients are interested in but about which they are uninformed or misinformed for various reasons. In other words, one of the benefits to giving accurate advice on such an important issue, beside the ethical imperative, is that the culture will change over time as a result even if the individual patient does not.

            And of course, even if the patient is resistant to following the doctor’s advice in the initial visit, it certainly can make them more interested in following the advice later when they feel the pangs of angina as the doctor predicted or whatever. I certainly think smokers benefit from a message that authorities repeat to them even during the phase of their life when they are unwilling to try to quit, and I don’t see how unhealthy eaters are fundamentally different in this regard.

          • largelytrue

            I may have just been remembering the graphic from the Medscape Physicians Lifestyle Report and misremembering that there was no Atkins-type category or looking at the report from a previous year in which there was.

            It’s interesting to try to compare different surveys to see how physician diets are different from the general population. For instance in the most recent Gallup Poll on the topic that I can find, 2% report as vegans, though 7% responded as saying that they don’t know. An unequivocal 5% reported vegetarianism.

            Compared with what you see in the Medscape report, the results fall in line with my general expectations. Doctors are better equipped to evaluate nutritional claims, somewhat younger, and more interested in health than the general population. Thus they would be expected to follow vegetarianism at higher rates than the general population, which is what we find, with what looks to be around 10% of physicians eating vegetarian or vegan. However, they aren’t exactly the pristine image of people who are ultra-knowledgable in primary prevention through lifestyle and ultra-willing to follow the best evidenced guidelines no matter what it takes. 50-60% seem to be overweight or obese, depending on gender, and around 40% or so seem to follow a “typical American” diet or eat “meals on-the-go” despite how bad we know these practices to be in general and for how long we have known it.

            As much as 27% of the population reported trying to avoid ‘carbohydrates’ recently, by the way. It’s hard to tell for sure but it looks like physicians are somewhat less inclined to follow that kind of path. Physicians again seem to be doing moderately, but not wildly better than the general population on matters of nutrition.

    • Brux

      I’ve been asking that question for months. All that bacon is a bit extreme, but my point is that a little meat is not poisonous, and that if vegetarianism was marginally influential we would see a marked increase in the number of vegetarians in the older population. much more than we do.

      • Andrey Yusupov, M.D.

        Well put. Never thought of looking at it from that standpoint, but thats a great point.

        Aside from that, why are top performers in their respective fields (business, policy, medicine, philanthropy, etc.) almost universally omnivores? If vegetarians are 3% of the population, why are seemingly much less than 3% of world class performers?

        • Brux

          >> Aside from that, why are top performers in their respective fields (business, policy, medicine, philanthropy, etc.) almost universally omnivores?

          That is a different question. But those trends are set long before the body shows sign or aging disease or death. One thing that I saw on a fantastic documentary called “Unnatural Causes” which I urge anyone to seek out and view, is that in a corporate hierarchy, like a primate hierarchy, the man at the top lives longer because he has less stress. They looked at health outcomes in the British civil service and it stressed people out to have someone over them telling them what to do or having power over them.

          The other thing is that I wonder if it is possible that meat makes people more aggressive. We have lots of memes about eating meat, bloody, carnivore, power, etc … it could be that meat encourages psychopathy or aggression and we certainly reward that in our society.

          But also meat can be associated with money and a prosperous upbringing and good education and social and business connection to society and perceptual stimulation. So, it very well could not be the meat as a primary factor. But I am just guessing off the top of my head.

    • TheHulk

      So you want to conclude based on a single person which may or may not be an exception ?

      • Brux

        If you think you can ignore over and over how the oldest person on the planet invariably is NOT vegan, then that is your problem.

        I don’t think it is correct though that this person eats bacon all day … I’d like to see a link to that, and even then I’d say whoever it is is on the payroll of the bacon lobby.

        • TheHulk

          I get your point, however how can you say that it’s because she is eating bacon all day, she lived so long ? It’s naive to pin it on single factor. May be she is blessed genetically (I am not saying that she is, just raising a possibility). There is a man in India who is 118 years old named “Premsai Patel” who lived mainly on vegetarian diet (due to religious constraints), can I conclude that vegetarianism is the reason he lived longer ? Obviously not, there are too many vegetarians dead in early age too.

          So stories of single person are no good to draw a conclusion for population as a whole.

          • Brux

            If you think I said she lived long BECAUSE she ate bacon all day, you did not get my point. Looking at the sequence of the longest lived persons on the planet is not looking at a single person, it is looking at a very specific relevant population of people.

          • TheHulk

            Care to share what those “sequence” of longest living persons are ? You mentioned a single one and that’s what I was pointing at. What relevance ? The example you cited above is from a different race, I believe.

          • Brux

            Man, you are really dull witted. Every so often the oldest person in the world dies, and a new oldest person in the world takes their place. That sequence. It is very rare that this sequence of people has someone who is a vegan or vegetarian

          • TheHulk

            How did you come to that conclusion ? I think your dull mind really accepts every single event as a conclusion. Go home, do some better work then spamming for the meat industry. This is nothing different then when you guys peddled that smoking is a wonderful thing.

  • Linda

    Please capture the piechart in video and make a poster of it! I want it! Do you own rights to it? Can I snag it? Is it reproduced in your coming How not to Die?

  • Sebastian Tristan

    Too bad I can’t find purple sweet potatoes.

  • Sebastian Tristan

    I debated a friend who was arguing against a vegan diet and he pointed out that, in regards to this study on Adventists http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11434797, the vegetarians are described as “Vegetarians are defined as those eating meats never or less than once per month”. So, theoretically, the “vegetarians” Adventists could also eat meat once per two months, etc. It’s still very little, but can we really say that “they eat 100% meat-free”?

    • Brux

      NO, and that is why is it called WFPB, whole foods plant based, ie mostly plants.
      What is so hard to understand about that to some people here, or for the doctors
      here to accept and work with instead of constantly throwing the innuendo that is
      picked up by many that any amount of meat is poison and will kill you?

  • Joy Schwabach

    How many grams of plant-based saturated fat do you suppose they had each day? Or in laymen’s terms, what percentage of total calories each day would you guess were devoted to nuts and seeds?

  • Wondering

    Does anyone look at what life was like in say 1915 to 1950? Was life then more or less conducive to living longer? I have 90+ yr old relatives and in looking at what their lives were like growing up it makes me wonder if that isn’t part of why they are so long lived and still in very good health. They worked and played out doors, didn’t drive everywhere and their vegetarian diets were full of, legumes plus dairy and eggs. They lived through the depression. How does this play into any of the studies that are done?

  • Don

    Great video! But it fails to mention that in addition to far fewer heart attacks, etc, the Okinawan centinarians also had almost none of the so-called age-related conditions of dementia, arthritis, etc. They not only LIVED to 100 (and beyond) but were vigorously HEALTHY as they did so.

  • Morrys

    How can somebody with soy, beans, good portion of nuts and seeds food intolerance follow a plant based diet?

  • Craig McDonald

    What is a good source of calcium, if dairy is eliminated? Why don’t Okinawan women get osteoporosis?

    • Thea

      Craig: tofu, soy milk and legumes are good sources of calcium. Some of the best sources are dark green vegetables (except for spinach, swiss chard, and beet greens). Did you know that you “…absorb 40 to 70 percent of calcium from dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, Chinese greens, turnip and mustard greens. You absorb close to twice as much calcium from those foods as you do from milk.” from: http://www.choose-healthy-food.com/brenda-davis-interview-calcium-rich-foods.html
      .
      Having healthy bones is a two part formula. A healthy diet is one part. That healthy diet needs to contain foods high in all the components your bones need (calcium is just one of those components), and not include foods that are calcium stealers. The second part to healthy bones is weight bearing exercise. Both pieces are necessary. I imagine that the women from traditional Okinawa got a lot of good weight bearing exercise.

      • Craig McDonald

        Thanks, Thea.
        Craig

  • BelgianBicyclist

    There is purple potato ICE CREAM. Yes, I know, kind of defeating the purpose. Hormel does a booming business in Okinawa. You know, the company that makes SPAM?! Again, the fact that the U.S. military COMPLETELY controlled the island from 1945 to 1972 altered traditional tastes. I was fortunate enough to be a participant in a follow-up to the Okinawan Diet in 2007, just before being transferred to Belgium, land of frites a hundreds of varieties of beer. Dr. Suzuki and Willcox and their assistants recruited Americans living on the island to be a control group. I was an omnivore back then, but I rode my bike across the island to work every day, 10 miles each way.

  • What I love about looking at communities like this is that they don’t take supplements, they don’t track their nutrition or worry about getting their daily quota of anything, they just eat to live. To me it serves as proof that eating can be and should be simple, as long as we’re eating real foods that we’re meant to eat, plant foods.
    It’s bizarre to me the way studies are done on these cultures for their astounding health and instead of just recommending to us western worlders to eat a diet consisting of plants, they give us ratios, and caloric intake, and supplementation, etc.

  • What I love about looking at communities like this is that they don’t take supplements, they don’t track their nutrition or worry about getting their daily quota of anything, they just eat to live. To me it serves as proof that eating can be and should be simple, as long as we’re eating real foods that we’re meant to eat, plant foods.

    It’s bizarre to me the way studies are done on these cultures due to their astounding health and instead of taking the information and simply recommending to us western worlders to eat a diet consisting of plants, they give us ratios and caloric intake and supplementation and miracle pills, etc. It’s insanity to me. Just like the fact that we’re all taught to fear the sun and that the sun is the biggest ager, yet… communities around the world who use little to no sun protection have less skin cancer and less premature aging and one particular community, despite a lot of sun exposure and using no sun protection except hats while farming, are known for their youthful skin (among other things) well into their old age, proven not to be genetic but a result of their diet, which consists mainly of starchy vegetables. I’m referring to the Yuzurihara community which is close to Tokyo, too, so they’re next to pollution, at that. But of course, all this evidence is thrown out the door as we’re told to slather on spf every time we step in daylight or we’ll turn into a cancer-ridden ash. And why shouldn’t they throw that evidence out the door when there’s big money to be made off our fear and desperation.

    I think it’s clear that nature is not the enemy here and that all the attempts at simulating perfect and natural health that man makes, will always pale in comparison to what nature provides us. In fact, it often fails completely.

  • Sam

    “In 1992 scientists at the Department of Community Health, Tokyo Metropolitan Institute of Gerontology, Japan published a paper which examined the relationship of nutritional status to further life expectancy and health status in the Japanese elderly[1]. It was based on three epidemiological studies. In the first, nutrient intakes in ninety-four Japanese centenarians investigated between 1972 and 1973 showed a higher proportion of animal protein to total proteins than in contemporary average Japanese. The second demonstrated that high intakesof milk and fats and oils had favourable effects on ten-year survivorship in 422 urban residents aged sixty-nine to seventy-one. The survivors revealed a longitudinal increase in intakes of animal foods
    such as eggs, milk, fish and meat over the ten years. In the third study, nutrient intakes were compared between a sample from Okinawa Prefecture where life expectancies at birth and sixty-five were the longest in Japan, and a sample from Akita Prefecture where the life expectancies were much shorter. It found that the proportion of energy from proteins and fats were significantly higher in the former than in the latter. ”

    Shibata H., Nagai H., Haga H., Yasumura S., Suzuki T., Suyama Y. Nutrition for the Japanese elderly. Nutr & Health.

    “And what do Okinawans eat? The main meat of the diet is pork, and not the lean cuts only. Okinawan cuisine, according to gerontologist Kazuhiko Taira, “is very healthy-and very, very greasy,” in a 1996 article that appeared in Health Magazine.19 And the whole pig is eaten-everything from “tails to nails.” Local menus offer boiled pigs feet, entrail soup and shredded ears. Pork is cooked in a mixture of soy sauce, ginger, kelp and small amounts of sugar, then sliced and chopped up for stir frydishes. Okinawans eat about 100 grams of meat per day-compared to 70 in Japan and just over 20 in China-and at least an equal amount of fish, for a total of about 200 grams per day, compared to 280 grams per personper day of meat and fish in America. Lard-not vegetable oil-is used in cooking. Okinawans also eat plenty of fibrous root crops such as taro and sweet potatoes. They consume rice and noodles, but not as the main component of the diet. They eat a variety of vegetables such as carrots,white radish, cabbage and greens, both fresh and pickled. Bland tofu ispart of the diet, consumed in traditional ways, but on the whole Okinawan cuisine is spicy. Pork dishes are flavored with a mixture of ginger and brown sugar, with chili oil and with “the wicked bite of bitter melon.”

    Deborah Franklyn, “Take a Lesson from the People of Okinawa,” Health, September 1996, pp 57-63

    http://stan-heretic.blogspot.com/2009/10/beware-of-okinawa-diet-scam.html