Doctor's Note

How Much Cancer Does Lunch Meat Cause? Good question—watch the video!

Can even just cutting down on meat extend our lifespan? Find out in Do Flexitarians Live Longer?

I think the role of health authorities is to share with patients the pros and cons of all the options and let the patients, their families, and their doctors all decide together what’s right for them. For example, check out:

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  • HaltheVegan

    That graph of meat consumption at 3:52 in the video is really interesting. Doesn’t the year when the meat consumption line starts plummeting coincide with when the NutritionFacts.org website began :-) Great website … many thanks to Dr G and his team!

    • HemoDynamic, MD

      Actually I think it coincides with Presidnet Clinton going Vegan after the publishing of T Colin Cambells The China Study

      • Jen

        President Clinton was -never- vegan. He was following Ornish’s program, eating fish and eggs and left that to go Paleo several years ago.

    • fencepost

      It might coincide with high meat prices, and then the financial hard times many Americans have suffered since 2008 might have contributed to the decline. What food they shifted to instead is anybody’s guess.

    • Joe Caner

      It doesn’t look as though price pressure was the cause of meat consumption. I appears that in inflation adjusted dollar, pork and chicken prices were in decline just prior to 2007.
      The China study was first published in January 2005.
      Bill Clinton made his dietary modification after his February 11, 2010 cardiac event.
      Forks Over Knives didn’t hit the US theaters until May 6, 2011.
      Perhaps, it has something to with safety concern due to e coli outbreaks from the time.
      http://www.marlerclark.com/case_news/view/cargill-e-coli-outbreak-minnesota

  • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

    Hello! As a practicing family physician, I want to comment on this great video by Dr. G. We have seen the story about the link between meat consumption and cancer get a lot of publicity — see recent cover story in Time magazine, with an “X” made by two pieces of bacon. And yet, I don’t see many of my colleagues discussing the links between diet and cancer with their patients. Dr. G. has some excellent videos on the poor medical education we doctors receive in nutrition. When we doctors feel that we don’t have a good understanding of an issue, we are reluctant to discuss it with our patients, which is understandable. So what needs to happen to get more doctors on board with the important information Dr. G is sharing? I think that you patients need to take more of the lead. Share information with your doctor: don’t overwhelm us, maybe just one pithy link from NutritionFacts. And make dietary changes on your own, and then when your cholesterol levels drop, share that with your doctor. I am starting to share links from NutritionFacts with my colleagues, and it makes a difference!

    • Thea

      Dr. Jon: re: “I think that you patients…” I think it will be a team effort. Patients have a role to play, but hero/leader doctors like you also make the difference. Thanks for your post!

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Very true, Thea, thank you.

    • Richard

      I have not once asked a doctor about nutrition. I suspect most of them know less than I do…

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Unfortunately, probably true.

      • maggie

        Richard, I have not had a doctor ask me about nutrition not once ever. A cardiologist friend of mine said that while in medical school the only class on food was how to order a low sodium diet. Amazing! His usual breakfast was 6 slices of bacon and 2 slices of untoasted white bread. Unbelievable. I haven’t eaten meat for over half my life years only fish for a few years before going vegan and the last 14 years as strict plant based lifestyle. I know I know more about food and nutrition than any doctor I’ve had but I’ve never once had one ask me about my diet which is even more amazing.

        • mbglife

          For 6 years I lived in a condo and shared a front door space with a young (30s) heart surgeon. We often talked nutrition (I talked he listened) and he would ask for NF links. He always said that I knew way more than he did and that he needed to get serious and change his diet. I moved away about 2 years ago and haven’t kept up with him, but I doubt he has changed. And he was young and eager to do more preventative work than surgery.

    • payoung NF moderator

      Dr Jon, I think this is an excellent recommendation. I often look at my colleagues as they stuff their faces with all kinds of unhealthy “ordered in” lunches and I realize that it’s very difficult for them to recommend something that they themselves are not adherent to. It’s likely they know very little if anything about what it really takes to maintain health. I do my best to educate them but they’ve started hiding their food whenever they see me coming. Perhaps if they see an example in their patients every now and then they might come around.

      • Vege-tater

        I can relate, instead of even being considered a good influence, now when everyone goes out to dinner, I never get asked because I am just a reminder of what they want to ignore or avoid!

        • John

          Almost every day when I go to eat lunch with the other teachers, someone asks me what I’m eating. Shirataki with leeks, olives and garlic. Natto and amla, walnut and dandelion burritos in nori wraps. Rice with avocado, black salsify greens, soy sauce and chile. Many of my ideas come from Dr. Greger’s videos, that I have synthesized into some blend of good tasting food. If people learn that it is possible to make better tasting food cheaper and healthier, they will want to make it, as the graph of declining meat showed.

          • Vege-tater

            Cool, wish you were a neighbor, we could co-op our meals, sounds right up my alley! I love shirataki, in fact just today I was thinking about making another batch of konnyaku, the slab version of shirataki I make at home with konjac powder and food grade calcium hydroxide! Weird stuff, but fun to play with! Cuts costs and is more versatile too…you can add flavors to it, (seaweeds are common) pan roast slices for a bit of interesting texture, or run it through a mandolin to slice into something resembling shirataki, or this… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ps_9DMq6e1Y which I think is pretty cool! I think cooks and mad scientists are just different branches of the same tree, but they often overlap! lol

          • HaltheVegan

            Vege-tater: Cool knot … looks like one of my sailing knots :-)

          • John

            Better watch out-these days, someone will call you a knot-sey!

    • guest

      The problem with this suggestion is that the average doctor in the US does not want the patients to follow a healthy life style and avoid health problems but want them to be dependent on drugs and surgeries. to deal with their health problems The sicker the patients, the more money the doctor makes. There’re three things that need to be done to to change this system: 1) Pay doctors a salary, not by the number of patients they see. 2) Ban doctors from taking bribes from pharmaceutical companies and purveyors of medical procedures. 3) Make nutrition education the number-one priority of medical schools.

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        I feel that our medical system is badly broken, and you have some good suggestions, except maybe #1 which would take away any incentive to work harder — but I don’t want to start a long discussion about that. I am sorry that you are so disillusioned with doctors that you feel that we want our patients to be sick. I know a lot of doctors, and I don’t think any of us feel that way. I totally agree that we MDs are way too focused on prescribing medications, and doing procedures. The more I learn, the less I prescribe medications. Procedures are very well reimbursed, compared with spending time educating patients, and that needs to change. Believe it or not, there are still lots of idealistic and altruistic health care providers out there, who are trying to treat their patients the best they can. Maybe if your 3rd suggestion could happen, things would improve?

        • Vege-tater

          I can’t believe someone would intentionally invest a ton of cash and 12 years of their life to help people if their only motivation was to get rich, but I also see how easy it is for some to go with the flow when it’s more profitable. How about doing what they used to in the orient? Doctors got paid as long as their patients stayed healthy, but payment was withheld when they got sick!

      • maggie

        I wonder if that will ever be possible. Can you imagine if a cure for cancer was found tomorrow and applied, this nation would be in serious financial trouble. Just look at the cancer industry today!

      • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

        I only glanced through others comments below so if this has been mentioned, my apologies. Health care delivery in the U.S. is starting to change from a fee-for-service system to an outcomes-based system. It is a SLOW process but it has started. The doctor of tomorrow will get paid more for keeping their patients healthier, thus costing insurance companies less money. Those with sicker patients who cost the insurance companies more money will make less. That will be the incentive to get our patients healthy (as if seeing our patients healthy, vibrate, active, and happy isn’t incentive enough). The hard part of all that is making that shift in payment models…it doesn’t happen overnight. How much should you make for keeping someone healthy? How much is your time worth for giving advice on nutrition (not much right now…)? All questions our payer systems have to answer…and they are starting to answer.

        • baggman744

          This is what they do in the UK I beleive.

          • Dr Miriam Maisel _NF Volunteer

            In the UK, where I have worked for years, it is a salary system, in hospital but for primary care doctors get paid by a calculation of how many patients are on their “list”, including some demographic features (more for elderly, very young etc). There is a system which rewards practices for attaining certain goals like immunization rates, making sure diabetics have eye checks etc, people with hypertension get bp checked from time to time, asthmatics get checked from time to time. It involves a lot of box ticking and delegating many of these activities to non medical personell, thus fragmenting patient care even further, like someone with blood pressure and cholesterol and copd and diabetes would have to go to 4 separate nurse clinics… Since payment is by capitation (number of patients on the list) and not by service, the doctor gets paid whether the patient is (ever) seen or not. In many parts of the UK, patients complain about how hard it is to get to see their doctor, and I think part of this is because practices have too many patients on their books. So not really an ideal situation. In the past there was a code called “med rev” (medication review) and patients on chronic medications had to be seen and have their medications reviewed by their doctor once in 6 months,(not just keep getting repeat prescriptions) and often have a double appointment, where everything could be discussed. This seems to have disappeared and been replaced by the fragmentation I mention above. When I started working in the UK in 1997 (having trained in America) one of the attractions was that it was a socialized system and everyone could get care. It is true, and also even now prescriptions are basically free. It means there is no economic dis-incentive for patients to want a non pharmacological alternative! No system is perfect. Also I think everyone has to be clear that medicine and health are not the same thing; people have to take responsibility for their health behaviours, but equally doctors have to be better trained to make supporting health a priority. A dozen years of studying and working in a pressure cooker with no sleep–which is what happens in medical training–does not make for a healthy beginning, even for the doctors themselves. There have been changes in a better direction but there are economic pressures everywhere and I recall clocking in 100 hour weeks in residency, only to find my paycheck stated “40 hours”. When I did the math I realized that the cleaners were getting a better hourly rate than us docs! At present I do still work part time in the UK system, and I try to discuss some aspect of nutrition in every (10 minute!) consultation, as well as issuing prescriptions for books they should read. Some people appreciate it but not everyone. Change is indeed slow and there are limits to what can be done within any of the systems that I am familiar with….By the way there are pitfalls to the encouraging of healthy outcomes–it means insurance companies and clinics can be motivated to only have the healthy patients on their books, and then where are the sick people to go? or the people with disabilities? birth defects? injuries? rare conditions? I think we still need to have a lot of humility and compassion, not everything can be fixed so easily…

          • Thea

            Dr. Miriam: That was such an interesting and informative peak into the UK system. Thank you for your post and including your thoughts.

          • Dr Miriam Maisel _NF Volunteer

            Thanks Thea, Of course I do not represent the system, am more like a fly on the wall….;-)

          • baggman744

            Ok, a while ago I saw a special where GPs were given financial incentives if they successfully got their over weight patients to loose weight, diabetics to lower blood glucose with exercise, etc. This is no longer true? I’m certain is was in the UK.

          • Dr Miriam Maisel _NF Volunteer

            It may well be true, in individual localities, since there is a degree of autonomy on how funding is used. As far as I know, this is not a universal practice. There definitely are interesting local initiatives here and there. When I was working in a hospice unit in the local hospital, there was a physiotherapist who joined with the dialysis team and got dialysis patients to exercise on stationary bicycles during their dialysis. What a great idea!

      • MikeOnRaw

        in my heart, I do not believe that is true for the majority of Doctors. But I do believe that the system has been setup so that the EASY choice for a Doctor is to just write a scrip. I think that is changing to some degree, because the youth seem to see health as important and some of those youth are now Doctors. And the big win here is insurance companies are seeing that they can make more money insuring healthy people. And since insurance companies are involved in hospitals and such, some of that is trickling down.

    • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

      Dr Jon, and for all physicians out there, and for all who need some plant based cooking skill building, Dr. G has anexcellent video</ on cooking and in its introduction references the Rouxbe plant based cooking course (on line of course!). I have recommended this course for some of my clients who want to move to plant based cooking. Glad to see Dr G’s remarks on this!

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Thank you very much, Lisa. You have great information. I’m sure I learn more than I teach by helping as a moderator on this site. I hope to get a lot of my physician colleagues educated about WFPBN, as I learn more myself. They will, at least, take what I say seriously.

        • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

          We all have a lot to learn :-)

        • Vege-tater

          Thank you and congrats to you, we need many more of your intellect!

    • MikeOnRaw

      My mother in law has significant heart disease (In January she had angioplasty performed after she essentially died waiting in the ER after having chest pains and was given CPR to recover) and recently was diagnosed as iron deficient. . I suggested she eat a couple servings of broccoli each day. Her doctor told her to eat more red meat and particularly liver.
      At least she quit smoking I guess.
      I wish all doctors would be as educated as you seem to be.

      • Rhombopterix

        Shoot him

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Oh my! I am so sorry for your mother in law. We doctors can be so mis-guided. Maybe she can find a plant based doctor via this website: http://www.plantbaseddoctors.org/

        • maggie

          Plant based doctors seem to be impossible to find. I’ve been looking for one for 14 years to no avail.

          My doctor wanted me to have a heart check up though no symptoms. The cardiologist did all the tests and then told me he didn’t know what I was doing but to continue doing it cause I was ridiculously healthy but didn’t ask me about my lifestyle. I later had another checkup referred by my GP a few later. He said I was fine. I then told him that I exercise, hadn’t eat meat in over half my life and ate a plant based diet. He looked at me and said with a straight face, “I guess you’re not going to die like the rest of us.” I was floored but then he was probably 25-30 pounds overweight. I told my GP this and he said Dr. M. was probably in a bad mood???

        • Rebecca Cody

          Dr John, I looked on the website linked above and there isn’t anybody within a workable distance from me. My doc is alternative, but geared to Paleo, so I don’t follow his advice. Several years ago I went back to school and became a nutritional therapist, but my classes taught more Paleo type eating, so I don’t follow that any more. I let my certification lapse since I don’t have a business. BUT I probably know more about WFPB diet than most doctors in my town. What would it take to be put on your list?

          • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

            Hi Rebecca, what do you mean by being put on my list? Do you mean becoming my patient?

          • Rebecca Cody

            I was just kind of kidding, wondering what it takes to be put on the list of doctors and other therapists on the website you posted. I feel like I know more about plant based whole foods diet, and even Paleo, for that matter, than at least 95% of the doctors in this town, and nobody on that list is within 50 miles of here. But I wasn’t really serious, since I no longer have a nutrition consulting business.

        • bhrollin

          If they can’t find a local PB doctor, there’s nothing stopping someone from surfing this website for a couple days. Or reading “How Not to Die” or “The Starch Solution” by Dr. McDougall. The latter even offers a 10 day live in program to learn WFPB lifestyle and heal under a PB doctor’s care.

        • MikeOnRaw

          Unfortunately only a Pediatrician is within 100 miles, and my mother in law is not going to be convinced by me that anything could change her outcome. I was going to give her Dr. Gregers book How Not To Die, but she told me she wouldn’t read it. I may try again.

      • A Newton PhD RD_NF Mod

        Hi MikeOnRaw, the doctor did not provide an uneducated answer because red meat and beef liver are high in heme-iron, and your MIL would need to eat 18 servings (~9 cups) of broccoli a day to get her recommended amount of iron (broccoli only contains ~1 mg of iron per 1/2 cup serving, most women require 18 mg per day). However, white beans are very high in iron (even higher than beef liver).

        I say all that not to disagree with you, but to simple state that our doctors need to be more educated in alternative options to meat consumption and for the promotion of the WFPB diet. If doctors can provide patients with all the facts they afford them the benefit of making educated decisions about what they put in their body. Dr. Greger actually did a nice video on Heme- (animal based) versus Non-heme (plant based) iron that you may want to show your MIL. The link is here http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-safety-of-heme-vs-non-heme-iron/

        • MikeOnRaw

          I agree, beef liver, or other read meats are sources rich in iron. But she is a cardiac patient with real problems and never ever in her entire life has a doctor told her that if she would stop eating so much meat and dairy, and started eating more plants, she could maybe reverse her health problems. So what chance to I have, a son-in-law have of convincing her of otherwise? My wife and her sisters won’t talk to her about it because they don’t want to make her angry.
          Thanks for the information on broccoli. And yes, there are better options, I just pulled that one out of my butt when I was talking with her about it. I’ll see her again at Easter when I’ll be bringing a vegan ham to share from a vegan butcher shop here in Minneapolis so I’ll see if I can give her a book then and talk to her some more. Maybe even at least read to her Dr. Gregers part talking about his mother.

          • A Newton PhD RD_NF Mod

            I understand your frustration completely. I counsel patients daily and I constantly battle with the barriers they put up to change. It can be very defeating especially when you are coming from a place of compassion and concern. All you can do is continue to promote healthy habits in a positive, scientifically-based, and reasonable way and understand that you are doing all you can. Be the advocate by personal example and your family may come around.

          • mbglife

            But meats are good sources of hemed-iron. Plants offer non-hemed-iron, which doesn’t put the brain at risk with over consumption.

      • mbglife

        Can you get her a second opinion or maybe a book by Dr. McDougall, or Ornish or others who have books related to diet cures for heart disease? The Pritikin book is a good one even though it’s old. I like all the stories in it about the senior citizens who were bedridden for years and after doing a plant based low fat diet started walking miles every day. Many did marathons in their 70s and later. Inspirational. Good luck to your mother in law.

    • MikeOnRaw

      Now a good story. My niece recently messaged me on Facebook to ask for suggestions on what is good to eat on a plant based lifestyle. She said she is starting the CHIP program. One I hadn’t heard of but when I dug into it some more it looked good. I assume this came to her from her Doctor or someone in a clinic. I was very happy to answer her questions. Thanks to you and other doctors that really see how important this information can be.
      https://www.chiphealth.com/

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        From what I’ve heard, CHIP is a great program. I’m thinking of doing the training myself.

    • Rhombopterix

      I do agree but I wish you could know my experience. My GP was very cool towards me when i gave him the FoK DVD. My cardiologist saw me at the garden shop and said ” You look GREAT! I wouldn’t have recognized you…see I told you!” that woman never told me didly. None of them have ever given even lip service to WFPB.

      I’m only human. just cant take it anymore I don’t participate in the medical mystery tour anymore. I treat my self with the best medicine out of my own garden. I’ll live till I die this way…unless I break a bone, they can keep their mess.

      Thanks for being here. This blessed plot. This cyber-island. This Greger-land

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Here is a link on how to find a plant based doctor: http://www.plantbaseddoctors.org/ Hopefully there is someone in your area. Meanwhile, it sounds like you’re doing just fine without needing to get advice from a doctor (except what you see on this great site!!).

        • Rhombopterix

          Thank you. When we get a plant-based dr in New Zealand, I’ll be first in line…along with my pet Swineopteryx

          • Vege-tater

            Can your pig fly?

          • Rhombopterix

            I put that just for you! All I know for sure is
            ~
            Time flies like an arrow
            but fruit flies like a banana
            ~

      • maggie

        Bravo! Enjoy your good health.

    • amyr

      I love this. I always share this website with people who have no idea about the foods they are eating. Clients of mine need step by step instructions on what to eat. There is too much info for them to figure what is acceptable and not. I refer to palatability as a decision they have to make for their health. Mostly, goes in one ear and out the other. So as much as I can I help them create meals that lead to grocery lists and sometimes shopping trips. I agree we need to pass this site along everyday.

    • mbglife

      Dr Jon, by percent of groups, (change a lot, change a little, don’t change) what kinds of responses do you get from your patients when you advise diet changes?

      BTW, fy doctor of 15 years (at Kaiser Permanente, HMO) supports my being vegan (no oils, few fats). But he would also not say a word if I ate only meat. He’s mentioned that he wishes he could get even a tenth of his 1,300 patients to have lab results even close to mine. Yet, when I’ve offered to send him even “one pithy little link” he has politely declined. Seeing the diets and health of friends, family, and the general public makes me grateful that I have the health/diet beliefs I have and the dedication to not compromise.

      • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

        Great question, mbglife, and one concerns me, a lot. I would say, as a rough guess, it is:
        Change a lot: 5-10%, Change a little: 50%, Don’t change: 40-45%. I know that I need to do a better job of using a team approach: involving a plant-base nutritionist, a culinary expert, and support people who could make followup calls.

        • mbglife

          Thanks for the reply. I asked because I’ve known so few friends and family who have changed their diets, although some say that they are reducing meat consumption.

          I’m surprised that the levels of adoption/trial are as high as they are. Congratulations. You must be doing something right. And who knows how many of the others will remember your advice later when they hit a low (health) point and are desperate enough to try a diet change.

          The first book that made a difference in how I ate was “The Pritikin Promise” by Nathan Pritikin. It was the early 1980s and I was in my late 20s. My favorite part was the testimonials from people who were too sick for heart surgery and often bed ridden. They would first described their condition, then the changes to their diet and the addition of “exercise” (usually walking), and they’d concluded with amazing achievements in their health and quality of life. Many went from being bed ridden seniors to walking miles every day. Their stories were exciting and inspiring, just like Dr Greger’s story about the Pritikin Center saving his grandmother’s life through diet and inspiring him to go into medicine. In his book, Pritikin says that the youngest person to write him about their improved health was 10 and the oldest 91! Amazing (although it shouldn’t be)!

          I mention the testimonials in the book because they inspired me and I wonder if you could increase patient adoption or trial rate by recommending that they read testimonials from this or similar (maybe newer) books or movies, like Forks Over Knives movie. Or maybe you could ask your patients who’ve changed their diets to write short testimonials of a paragraph or two, like in the book. Maybe you could post anonymous before and after lab results (w/patient concent). You could display them on your walls or post them online if you have a site. Maybe you could even print a two sided page of some patient quotes with a link to a page with more info. I’ve always heard that the way to get a group of people to accept something is not to have the experts tell them, but to have their peers tell them. Anyway, you get the idea.

          Sorry for the long note. Thanks for all your work and for volunteering here. You’ve saving lives.
          Mark G.

  • Dr.Jon_NF Volunteer

    Sorry: I made two hyperlinks that didn’t seem to show up in my recent comments; Here they are, again:
    1) “cover story” (in Time magazine): http://time.com/4091457/bacon-cover/
    2): “poor medical education”: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/physicians-may-be-missing-their-most-important-tool/

  • Gumbootgoddess

    I am ten months WFPB and you couldn’t PAY me to go back to the old way. I’m just wondering if the Boomers of the fifties have had any influence on the graph showing a reduction in meat consumption. Heaven knows, as a demographic we’ve always made a huge impact, could it happen here too? We’re at the age where we love to talk about our ailments – except me – I don’t have any, thanks to WFPBD.

    • Julie

      I also think the Millennials may be eating more plant based. Veganism and vegetarianism are really common among my daughter’s friends and co-workers.

      • veg_runner

        Agreed. Millennials far outnumber Boomers and are much more receptive to veganism/vegetarianism. Though not necessarily from a health standpoint, usually from an ethical viewpoint.

        • Millennial

          Indeed, I became vegan from an ethical viewpoint, as most my friends did. I guess I had an idea it might be healthier, but didn’t know how much. Though it’s important to note – being vegan not necessarily make you healthier, there is a lot of processed junk out there. It’s necessary but not sufficient. Said that, when talking about veganism, I’m always emphasizing the health benefits one could get from going vegan. It would be understandable if people would not go vegan if it would harm them, but the fact it’s actually good for you changes the picture.

          • Vege-tater

            Which is why I like the acronym WFPB or something else more descriptive than vegan, because I know too many vegans who are just doing a non animal SAD. If we’re going to make the world a better place, shouldn’t we want to be healthy enough to be around enjoy it?

          • veg_runner

            A very good point! If questioned about what I eat, I respond WFPB and am then asked if I mean vegan. Opportunities to educate!

          • veg_runner

            Absolutely. One does not become healthy by eating vegan Oreos.

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Interesting point. Here is a link to a USDA report back in 2005 showing beef consumption decreasing per capita with age: Factors Affecting U.S. Beef Consumption. I don’t know where those stats would be now and this article only looked at beef consumption in terms of the age of the population.

    • John

      People are shocked when they ask what medications I’m on and I say “Vegetables and Exercise”. Is skateboarding a pharmaceutical? I think we can start to help people understand.

  • Julie

    I find it quite insulting that authorities continue giving us diluted dietary guidelines because they think these science-based recommendations wouldn’t be acceptable to the public. Dr. Greger has certainly proved them wrong; “How Not to Die” wouldn’t have gotten on the NY Times best seller list if people didn’t want to know how to eat!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Your comment “they think we can’t handle the truth” sums it up perfectly. The opposite is actually true when presented with the facts.

      • Vege-tater

        “when presented with the facts” being the key pronouncement!

  • http://grokjs.com/ Alexander DiMauro

    I think these studies miss the point, the ‘elephant in the room’, as it where. This idea about what is ‘acceptable’ to the public is really just an excuse. The truth is that profit has become the new God of the world. More important than human life, more important than the environment, more important than the survival of the human race. Profit rules the world. It’s not about what is ‘acceptable’ to people, but ‘acceptable’ to corporations. They would rather poison the Earth and watch millions die of horrible diseases than lose a single dollar of profit.

    • Joseph Fleischman

      I don’t think that the profit motive encourages physicians to ignore dietary associations with the Western diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. First, many of them don’t know any better. Their training in diet is poor. Second, most of them eat poorly themselves. They’re addicted to the same poor eating habits as is the rest of the country. So they’ll say “cut down on sugar and processed meats” instead of saying “cut them out, as a smoker would cut out tobacco”.
      Joseph in Missoula

      • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

        Agreed. No training in nutrition, patients who ask for health in a pill. It’s complicated, and a bit interdependent.

      • http://grokjs.com/ Alexander DiMauro

        Yes, the pharmaceutical companies fund the medical schools, and make sure they are learning about what drugs to prescribe instead of proper nutrition. Yes, that is true. But when they have their own practices, pharmaceutical companies regularly visit and pressure them into selling their drugs. The doctors make a lot of money prescribing drugs, plain and simple. They don’t make the money by prescribing a healthy diet. Is that not a profit motive?

        Remember the recent case of the doctor who was falsely telling people they had cancer and prescribing chemotherapy making huge profits off of them? Sounds like a profit motive to me. He took it to an extreme, but he is certainly not the only one prescribing for profit. I even read how the field of psychotherapy has pretty much died. Visit times have dropped from 45 minutes on average down to 15 minutes. They basically just go there to get a prescription these days, not to talk to someone.

        Yes, I realize that people are asking for these prescriptions. It’s because they are brainwashed by the only country that actually allows drug ads on tv. But, instead of telling the the truth, doctors are just prescribing away, over-medicating the public at the request of the pharmaceutical companies.

        Not all doctors, of course. Some are finally starting to change. Just not enough of them. And doctors like Dr. Greger are definitely rare, but their numbers are slowly growing, which is encouraging.

      • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

        Remember that physicians are trained in “evidence based interventions.” It is really important for plant based diet advocates to understand why many nutritional studies can’t pass the evidence based threshold. Dr. Greger addressed this in 2014 with this excellent videoon evidence based or evidence biased information. It is vital (in my humble opinion) for us to understand the weaknesses in this evidence based approach and how its design inadvertently restricts certain types of helpful information.

        • WFPBRunner

          Lisa wouldn’t you agree that this is an evidence based website? That is the only reason I frequent it. I think I may have missed your point. IMHO we use the best possible data/information we have–anything else is a shot in the dark.

          • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

            This is of course an evidence based website!! Of course. When I used “evidence based interventions” in quotes I was referring to what MD training considers the Gold Standard, a Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial. Dr G explains eloquently why doing a RCT with people in dietary interventions is not possible, since people know what is happening to them with food interventions. What NutritionFacts does so well is to go through ALL of the clinical studies that have been done on dietary interventions(which is going through ALL the scientific evidence) so we don’t individually have to. I hope that clarifies my post, and answers your question.

          • WFPBRunner

            Gotcha. Many don’t even think of food as medicine. I recently had a patient with heart issues. Can you believe the cardiologist never mentioned diet? So difficult to wrap my brain around that.

          • SeedyCharacter

            A friend had early signs of a heart attack, was rushed to the hospital and had stents put in two coronary vessels that were 90% occluded. When she got home I asked her if the cardiologist gave her any recommendations for changes in her diet. “Eat a balanced diet.” is all he told her.

            It made me wonder if any patients have sued their doctors for medical malpractice when they do not make dietary prescriptions when there IS plenty of evidence based research related to diet, e.g. say a person has a 2nd heart attack but was given no dietary counsel . . .

      • Stewart E.

        Joseph, I quite agree about the motivation. I had a very idealistic internist who told me to avoid avocado because of the cholesterol. When I corrected her she immediately looked it up and found to her chagrin that I was right. Funny but after that I alway had high respect for her because she did listen and did check.

        As to poor eating habits, when I developed T1 diabetes, my first doctor was obese from atrocious eating habits. My curent endocrinologist is borderline obese. So I am supposed to take health advice from him?

    • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

      Sigh. I agree Alexander that profit drives many things. Most of the time, it is unseen, folded into the consciousness of the health care system (which as we know is a sick care system), driving the way health is discussed and ill health is treated. There is always an opportunity for impacting people one at a time, through introducing them to sites like Nutritionfacts.org. What works for you?

  • Mama of 3

    I started listening to Dr. Gregor years ago. In the beginning I felt that there was no way I could live without meat in my diet. Not that I loved the taste, but what else would I eat or feed my family?? Fast forward a few years and my family is now living a mostly plant based diet. I am proof that given enough information and time, unlikely people will change their and their family’s diet!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Excellent comment! Could not agree more…you got the information and then made the decision for you and your family. Keep it up!

    • Vege-tater

      Kudos to you mama, I wish I had the drive and/or resources when my kids were growing up! I never even liked eating animals, but was clueless about how to effectively nourish my kids when veganism was a fringe, rather alien concept then, and trying to feed your kids that way would have been akin to being a “commie”! (Apologies to any not old enough to get that ancient cold war slur!)

      • SeedyCharacter

        Not to mention how lousy the first generation of veggie burgers/dogs were. Kids like to eat what other kids eat and those first burgers/dogs were pretty hideous!

  • lilyroza

    It’s not that most people aren’t willing to make changes for their health, but that they are bamboozled by the relentless chorus of misinformation, largely generated by the meat dairy egg and fishing industries, and then echoed by other industries that profit by embracing the lowest common denominator (cooking shows that include recipe demos, for example), and then enlessly repeated by many who don’t understand what they are talking about but safety in numbers, and take comfort in feeling like they are informed and doing the safest thing, s possible as recommemded by the “authorities.” I remember begging a dear friend to consider a WFPB diet as his health failed, but he refused to hear it, saying that if it had any merit, his doctor would have told him.

    Another friend who likewise, for years, has shut me down curtly whenever I get a sentence or two into concerns for his health; has finally expressed interest when I showed him How Not To Die, and told him it’s on the best seller list. I decided to buy a few copies of Dr. Greger’s book for loaners. He’s always reading something, for people like this, what works is putting the book in their hands.

    • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

      This is a great comment. I am also personally moved by Dr G’s discussion in today’s video regarding the difference between what is the best acceptable scientific information on a healthy diet versus worries about whether people will accept advice. As I dietitian, I often come up against people who won’t give up cheese, as one example, or alcohol, as another one. Yet, they long to lose weight! I balance what the science says with what people want to hear – and lose clients as a result!!! However, having faith in people finding their way based on accurate information is a positive, powerful and upbeat message, one that I will hold close to heart! Thanks Dr. G!

    • Gumbootgoddess

      Thank you for writing such a thoughtful comment, I think many of us a travelling on parallel pathways. Well done.

    • Stewart E.

      Good point lilyroza. I have purchased 11 copies so far and given away 8. I might need to buy more. Guess I have to face it, he is more eloquent that I.

      • WFPBRunner

        I gave a copy of How Not to Die to a patient of mine. Her family has adopted many of the suggestions and they are going to Santa Rosa to stay with Dr McDougall in a few months! And they have sent 3 of their friends there. Slowly but surely people are coming on board.

        • Thea

          Wow, that’s awesome!

    • Vege-tater

      Well said, and a very telling fact of life for so many of us here. I am obnoxious enough to keep posting on FB and alienating people when they complain about their poor health yet opt to not see or hear the truth for exactly the reasons you stated. At some point someone might benefit and I can’t stop trying to get the truth out there because not knowing almost killed me. If someone wants to ignore it, too bad for them, but NOT KNOWING is the worst cut of all.

  • Pete Greider

    Dr. Gregor. Did you ever do Part 2 of the video about Omega 3’s? I think the second installment was going to be about why we should take Omega 3’s for brain health. I haven’t seen it come through. Thanks.

    • Thea

      Pete: Dr. Greger was giving us a head’s up that there will be a part 2. But he said that he has to wait to publish the video until the study that he references is published. We are waiting on that. Stay tuned!

  • Tobias Brown

    Shift subsidies from unhealthy foods to healthy foods. Give people a tax break if they meet certain health parameters. Good leadership would help. But politicians have to cater to their beef farmers. Where is scence in all this? It’s so conflicted, with no central mouthpiece, that “studies” today add more to confusion than to clarity.

    • esben andersen

      like yesterday on dr oz , carbs cause lung cancer, more confusion

      • Kitsy Hahn

        Last week the good Dr. Oz had Ted Brown (former homeless man “with the Golden Voice”) on his show. Apparently, Dr. O. wanted to discuss the subject of high blood pressure, so he strapped the cuff around Ted’s (skinny) arm — all the while babbling away at him and no doubt causing Ted some stress. He, of course, had to respond to Dr. O’s prattle.

        But for a more accurate reading, Ted SHOULD have been sitting quietly for several minutes before it was taken. When the reading turned out to be (surprise, surprise!) “high,” one of the solutions was to set him up with an expert who just happened to be waiting backstage — all part of the script, doncha know. One has to wonder how often Ted has been “used” like this.

        • Thea

          While I was never fooled by Dr. Oz, I used to be entertained by his show on occasion. But the more I learned/saw, the less able I was to find any entertainment from it. The show just makes me angry now.

          Thanks for sharing. It is a great illustration of TV gone wrong.

        • abc

          white coat hypertension is the worst

          • Kitsy Hahn

            Right. And I’m sure (if he has any brains at all) Dr. O. knows this. At the very least, I hope he felt like a dirty rotten rat for roping Ted in like that. :-)

      • Vege-tater

        Oh brother! Brother indeed, mine loves the guy, and it drives me nuts because I think he is the epitome of sleazy salesmanship! It amazes me he is still on the air even after being taken to task, and it disheartens me to see how many rabid followers he still has! If our cumulative mentality is this deficient, is it any wonder we are in such SAD shape?

    • Vege-tater

      So true and good ideas, I vote Tobias for president! (Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could actually vote for a worthwhile candidate instead of throngs of disingenuous, corrupt puppets?) It should be so obvious to people that something is seriously amiss when the veggies that are fed (or should be at least) to the herbivorous animals can cost 5X as much per pound as the poor creatures themselves! (But who, besides us, buys produce these days to even notice?) I am a huge proponent of awareness, but it’s horrifying to me now going into a supermarket, and being struck by the slaughter that seems to scream at me from almost every aisle. My friends and family find it hilarious and think I need psychiatric help, (no news there! :) but it really is distressing when you open your eyes to the reality and can’t shut them anymore.

      • Tobias Brown

        Imagine if we put as much effort into providing ourselves with FRESH, EDIBLE, and AFFORDABLE fruit and veggies as we put into animal production… and all the waste would be recyclable.

  • Mike

    My sister who lives out of state, has been a guest at my table a few times. Her comment was that she could eat vegan all the time if she had me too cook for her. She understands that vegan cooking is more time consuming that eating at fast food restaurants or than popping a frozen package of manufactured food in the microwave. With her desire for the good life, resulting in her working both a full-time and a part-time job, plus her athletic training and social life however, she doesn’t have the time or inclination to cook very often. I think she also needs some basic vegan cooking skills and some training on how to eat vegan. So So, I think the problem may be a lack of time and skill rather than inclination to eat healthy, in many people.

    • Thea

      Mike: I understand what you are saying and can understand why people feel this way. I just wanted to share that I disagree that it is a matter of not having enough time. Everyone has enough time for those things that they make a priority. Also, there are a ton of vegan cookbooks with fast recipes. Cooking healthy food takes more time than eating fast food from a restaurant, but it doesn’t take as much time as most people fear and it doesn’t take any more time to make a good healthy vegan meal than it does to make a non-vegan meal.

      In my opinion, people who say that they don’t have enough time are deciding that good health is not a priority. Saying there is not enough time is, in my opinion, just an excuse. (One that I have made myself in the past, so I really do get it.) I agree that people need some guidance/”how to” help to make a transition. But that help is available for free for those who want it… That’s just my 2 cents.

    • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

      We often fantasize that a more positive future would be possible if only we had someone to “help” (i.e. do it for us). We imagine it is too difficult. I like the recommendation I heard recently from Dr Mark Fuhrman. Every day, do three things: eat one big salad, made with leafy greens, your favorite cruciferous vegetable, raw chopped onion (Dr G talks about Chopped onion in this video:
      any other vegetable that you enjoy, tossed with a no oil dressing. I personally like 2 tablespoons basalmic vinegar, 2 tablespoons fat free hummus, and a teaspoon of dijon mustard. YUM. Eat a cup of vegetable bean soup. Finally, eat a serving of steamed broccoli, cauliflower, brussels sprouts or another brassica family vegetable.

      You can recommend something simple like this to your sister, and suggest she just concentrate on this. What happens? The vegetables “push out” the less healthy food. People can begin to make changes in this way, too, without feeling like they have to cut the cord completely.

      I of course, am a vegan, but believe that encouraging people through campaigns like The Humane Society of US’s Meatless Monday is a great way to move people closer to a plant based future.

      • GaryG

        Great comment about Dr. Joel Fuhrman. thanks for the salad dressing idea!

      • Stewart E.

        Easy fast vegan cooking does take getting used to. I can open and spice a can of beans faster than going to MacDonald’s. Cook a big handful of greens, add spices, mushrooms and onion and it is heathier, better, cheaper, as well as faster.

        We just need to see this kind of thing more often.

      • Vege-tater

        So true, most of us tend resist change, and the harder it seems, the less likely we are to even attempt it. If it’s presented as something easy or doable and there is a tangible reward, the chances are much better that someone would take the time to focus their efforts on even attempting it. Something as simple as adding a daily big green smoothie to replace unhealthy food was my first effort, and even just that offered such positive feedback, the rest fell into place.

    • http://www.mindfulbenefits.com Lisa Schmidt,MS,CN,NFModerator

      Just wanted to pop in another comment Mike – Dr G has discussed that most adults don’t know how to cook in this Nutrition Facts Video from 2014. He also notes an excellent on line plant based cooking school which I often recommend to my clients. In my work with people, I’ve learned that many adults just can’t cook! This is not true for everyone, but for many people. It can seem overwhelming to some to ponder how to make a vegan meal, but maybe they just need some education!!

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Just to add to what others have said, as I do hear this a lot, also. In fact, my mother has said her and my dad would go vegan if I’d just move in and cook for them. Yes, it does take more time to cook…but it’s cooking in general that takes time, not necessarily “vegan” cooking. Plan and simply, we are not going to get healthier as a society if we don’t start to cook for ourselves. And, once you get it down it, it actually can go very smoothly and efficiently. Now, I even look at the time I spend cooking as mediation. It’s relaxing. I listen music and really don’t think about anything else while I’m doing it.

      Another thing I would add…you don’t have to cook to get a lot of the bad stuff out of your diet…think of what folks snack on while they are around the house…getting that stuff out and replacing it with healthy options is a great start and will go a long way.

      • Vege-tater

        My top 3 most helpful things in regard to cooking… Having a handful of nearly effortless meals to fall back on when you can’t or don’t feel like spending time in the kitchen, stuff like a microwaved sweet potato with a can of vegetarian beans as a topper, and steamed veggies or simple salad. Not bringing anything into the house I shouldn’t eat, because I am no good at moderation. If it’s there, it will call to me… better to shut it out than try to shut it up, and like you said, having quick healthy snacks on hand when the urge to nosh strikes. The third is making large quantities of energy and time consuming ingredients like cooked legumes, grains, broths, stews or soups, and freezing portions to have on hand. Just don’t forget to mark it like I always do, and end up playing meal roulette, which can either be an adventure or a disappointment! Frozen stuff seems to morph into a mysterious chunk that is nearly impossible to identify until it is already thawed.

        • SeedyCharacter

          Masking tape and a sharpie work well to label stuff in the freezer. I cook big batches as you do, vege-tater, and always have marinara, bean stews, veggie soups in the freezer ready for quick heat up. I microwave broccoli and other veggies these days. Takes just one minute. I dip the florets in whatever dip I have around–generally it’s hummus or salad dressing. Yum! I always have baked yams and purple potatoes in the fridge, too. And I keep my rice cooker busy–forbidden (black) rice is my current fave.

  • Jerry LA

    What price health? Doctors must advise people how to be healthy first, prevention first, then tell them if they choose not to follow healthy habits there are “pay for procedure” medical practices which may help. We changed to mostly plant foods based on “The China Study” (2006) Amazon, etc. and many other journal reports since. The best thing we can do for our kids is be healthy. Problem is healthy lifestyle is hardly a part of medical schools, and there are many conflicting publications luring people into unhealthy life style such as from Dairy, Inc. in spite of overwhelming evidence Dairy regions are exactly breast cancer regions, Scientist Jane Goodall details carnivore digestive tracts are much different than herbivore digestive tracts like ours. Yet another study people with blood folate (from food, proven that folate pills didn’t work, not even the same chemical structure) blood levels in the lowest third were 330% more likely to get Alzheimer’s, people with homocysteine (animal foods) blood levels in the highest third were 450% more likely to get Alzheimer’s. Reference is in The China Study p.221. Have you heard that from your doctor?

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      I agree, Jerry. It’s a complete lack of nutrition education in the medical school system. It will take the re-education (or just the education if you will) of doctors, and all of society for that matter, to get us where we need to be. Unfortunately, politics and big business plays a huge role in all of those. Fortunately, however, we have folks like Dr. Greger and many others who are helping to get the word out!

  • mdouble

    The decline in meat consumption may be a side effect of another powerful motivation. That motivation is likely the result of a number of people watching friends or family die of cancer. Death is a rather potent motivation, as are pain and suffering. Few things alter behaviour as quickly as fear. Close encounters with chemotherapy or surgery will tend to focus attention on the realities of cancer.

    • PharmGirl

      Imagine the surprise I had six months ago when in my late thirties I was diagnosed with breast cancer; me, a hard-core vegan for the last 4 years of my life (when I found this website) and
      not much of a meat eater before that. I resent the implication that because I have cancer, I must eat a lot of processed meat and dairy. I’ve tried to incorporate many, many of Dr. It’s suggestions, but they didn’t protect me from this…..and no….I’ve never smoked or drunk alcohol.

      • A Newton PhD RD_NF Mod

        PharmGirl I’m sure that was a serious shock especially when you have been making a conscious effort to protect your health. Your comment is definitely a reminder that we are all individuals and no one answer or recommendation is universal to everyone. We just have to continue trying to make the best and most informed choices everyday.

      • Vege-tater

        So sorry to hear it, and I know it’s probably not helpful, but by the time it’s diagnosed, you’ve probably already had it for ten years or more. it’s the knowing that is so impossible. Try to stay positive, get the best nutrition you can, and trust that your body wants to heal, however you approach it. Best of everything!

  • Antonio

    Thanks for all the great work!
    Could you please make a video about grains and inflammation?
    This is something people are told everyday: grains equal inflammation.
    Yet, when I read peer-reviewed studies, whole gains are very often associated with health benefits, so I’m wondering what’s actually going on in the end?
    Thanks again!

    • A Newton PhD RD_NF Mod

      Hi Antonio, great question and I know the resources out there on grain are confusing. It’s important to remember that the title ‘grains’ is very broad and can relate to anything from brown rice to highly refined muffins to a number of other products. However, whole grains have many bioactive constituents (that may be lost in the processing of grains) that have anti-inflammatory properties. Dr. G touches on that in this video on Oatmeal and Heart Disease (http://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-oatmeal-reverse-heart-disease/). I’ll keep searching to see if I can’t find a video that is solely related to grains and inflammation though!

    • Tom Goff

      Some individuals out there appear to be conflating refined grains with whole grains (perhaps deliberately). Whole grains seem to be anti-inflammatory whereas refined grains may be pro-inflammatory.
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821887/
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17218824

      It also appears that many proponents of meat eating and animal food consumption in general appear to focus on the effects of (refined) grains as a way of distracting attention from the inflammatory effects of animal foods. Dr G already has a number of videos on inflammation and animal foods.

      As you write, whole grains appear to deliver significant health benefits and their consumption is associated with lower mortality.

    • Vege-tater

      Considering recent DNA evidence from the teeth of our real paleo ancestors, it appears we have been thriving on grains and even legumes for millennia, so I think it’s time for them to update their dogma, though I doubt implicating meat for it’s inflammatory properties will fit that bill! .

  • Alice Marshall

    If doctors would talk more about fruits and nuts and less about leafy green vegetables compliance would go up. People are more open to increasing intake of blueberries and almonds than broccoli.

    • A Newton PhD RD_NF Mod

      Yes Alice, you may certainly be on to something! Having an overall conversation about fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, seeds, and nuts would absolutely be best, but our physician’s often only remember the one thing that they probably grew up hearing from their parents (i.e. eat your broccoli!).

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      To add to what Dr. Newton said, we as physicians simply are not trained in nutrition. I graduated medical school in 2011 and I received zero hours in nutrition. I have self-educated myself in nutrition over the last 2-3 years, and I’ve had to put many hours into it. I started off just doing it for myself, then realized this is more about my patients then it is about me. When doctors don’t know what you’re suppose to eat, how are they to educate their patients? And doctors have to do more than tell their patients. Frankly, they have to live it. I actually give out recipes to patients when trying to get them to eat the right stuff…and it’s stuff that I just had the night before or perhaps even minutes ago at lunch before I saw them. The medical education system has to change in this regard, and folks like Dr. Greger are trying to foster than revolution. Change will come. It has to. I can’t stand eating plain broccoli, but put it together with in a whole-wheat pasta dish, and I can’t even tell I’m eating broccoli.

  • BrettS

    What’s with the click bait ads on NF? I thought you don’t do Ads, Dr. Greger.

    • Tom Goff

      I don’t think it is NF or Dr G that is doing this – it might be Disqus or the ISP. Anyway, let’s hope that NF staff can fix it.

    • Wade Patton

      block that stuff

    • Thea

      BrettS: : The ads are a mistake from disqus and NF staff are working on it. NF staff says: “Regarding ads on the site, we should *NEVER* have ads on the site… Our web developer is fighting with Disqus for their third ‘accidental’ advertising stint on the site in a week.”

  • clyde

    Unfortunately, as with most arguments there is truth in both sides and I have experienced both. I would have become a vegetarian had my cardiologist presented me with that choice after my first stent but he told me to eat only the white meat of poultry. The result? I ended up with a double bypass and an additional stent in 3 years. I have now been a vegetarian for 7 years (problem free) and am going down the vegan road presently while removing salt and sugar from my diet. I have had customers tell me emphatically that they would NEVER quit eating meat, butter or ice cream (one had already had 2 triple bypasses). My own wife has told me she would never quit eating meat. She tried and didn’t like it and all the facts seem to make little difference.

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Good point, Clyde. Nothing about shifting dietary preferences is easy. I did it just 2 years ago and I still get the urge every now and then to cross back over for a brief moment, though I haven’t actually done it. I just got through reading Dr. Esselstyn’s “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” and he discusses how your desire for fat in food actually disappears after 3 months of its absence from your diet. When people are desperate enough (i.e. facing stent placement, an initial bypass, or even a second bypass), they are willing to make changes, as he addresses in the book. If you haven’t read the book, I highly recommend it for both you and your wife. It’s a short read and can certainly give you the motivation to help you continue to succeed.

  • Wade Patton

    I’m so sick of the stupid “subscribe” popup BS every other login. Give it a break!

    puh lease.

    • Wade Patton

      I don’t need any subscription to a site on my daily startup tabs. I don’t need emails telling me what I’m reading already. dayum.

      • Kimberly

        I understand why they do it, and one or two sites doing it wouldn’t annoy me so much, but it gets to be a bit much when almost everyone is doing it! What next?

  • Robert Haile

    Do you think the fact that the meat industry producing more polluting gases than all transportation combined, the massive fecal production and associated pollution, the destruction of rainforests, and the massive overuse of water has any impact on people eating less meat as, personally, my grandchildren’s future has an even greater impact on me than my own health.

    • DrAlex_NF_Moderator

      Great comment. I think it certainly has its role. The “if not for you, then do it for your kids” argument. Though, the same could be said about your health…the way you take care of yourself certainly has an impact on your family, both in how they take care of themselves and in terms of whether they have to physically take care of you in the future. I look at it as a win-win, a win for the environment and a win for your health.

  • Tom Goff

    Those sponsored adverts appear to be back. Unfortunately, I don’t appear to be able to do a printscreen dump but the advert appears immediately before the comment section.

    • Guest

      I see an ad for a cream ro remove eye bags. How does Disque know that I’ve been staring at NF.org for a while? a perfect targeted ad.
      These ads wouldn’t be giving a good impression to a first-visitor.

      • Tom Goff

        I got a sponsored advert about farting so count yourself lucky!

        • jj

          Today the ad on my screen is ” Don’t Pay for Medigap Plan F Until …”

          • jj

            Now the ad is about new rules for drivers and shows a picture of tires.

          • Kimberly

            My ad is about some celebrity (I assume?) I’ve never heard of doing something to get back at her ex-husband! Yuck, get this garbage out of here, guys!

          • Thea

            jj: : The ads are a mistake from disqus and NF staff are working on it. NF staff says: “Regarding ads on the site, we should *NEVER* have ads on the site… Our web developer is fighting with Disqus for their third ‘accidental’ advertising stint on the site in a week.”

    • Vege-tater

      My free ad-blocker deprived me of that illustrious event, glad you caught it and spoke up, and hope they fix it quick! Our little corruption free “island” doesn’t need the corporate pollution!

    • http://metalrhino.com/ Scott

      Use uBlock or uBlock Origin ;-)

    • Thea

      Tom: Thanks for trying. We know more for sure now. The ads are a mistake from disqus and NF staff are working on it. NF staff says: “Regarding ads on the site, we should *NEVER* have ads on the site… Our web developer is fighting with Disqus for their third ‘accidental’ advertising stint on the site in a week.”

  • grndzro

    Occasional fasting, and iodine supplementation would do more to prevent cancer than any dietary measure.

    However. Eating plenty of foods/spices that have been shown to kill cancer could prevent it from ever gaining a foothold in the first place.

    • Tom Goff

      “Occasional fasting, and iodine supplementation would do more to prevent cancer than any dietary measure.”

      Evidence?

  • Kate

    Could you address Dr Mark Hyman’s new book, Eat Fat, Get Thin. He does admit in a sentence or two that one can reach the same healthy ends he suggests on a vegan diet. But he claims all animal and fish products are okay if they are raised without antibiotics and or are grass fed. He also claims most of the diet studies are wrong because the meat eaters studied probably ate beef, smoke, drank, ate few vegetables. Those on his diet eat “clean” animals and vegetables, cutting out most all grains and for many beans and legumes and of course processed foods. He says he has results for a couple of thousand patients. He is now head of Functional Medicine for Cleveland Clinic. Would you even find his theories worth testing?

    • Tom Goff

      His diet is almost certainly better than the standard Western diet (SWD) high in processed foods, trans fats etc. This would explain why he gets “good” results. As ever, the key issue is “good” compared to what? Nevertheless like the SWD it is still a high-fat high-protein diet. Most of the low carb and paleo diet approaches espouse exactly the same argument as Hyman.

      It is a very seductive theory for many people but, as Churchill ls supposed to have said, however beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. The simple fact is that such low carb diets deliver higher mortality:
      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989112/
      http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/5/e001169.full
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/

      • Rhombopterix

        Tom, this is way OT but check this out sometime
        http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=387089.0
        i’m Procyan…your pic is driving me around the bend as you will see…too many electrons on my hands, heh

        • Tom Goff

          Aah, I see. I found that picture online a while ago when I needed a photo for my Facebook account. It seemed a lot better looking than my real photo so I pinched it. It looks like other people have had the same idea – what good taste they have!
          While I’m from the UK originally, I’ve lived in Oz since 1989 (but I also have a holiday home in the Philippines).
          Cheers

          • Rhombopterix

            Ha, thats a hoot. Home in the Philipines, nice going! we just watched “General Luna”. Have you seen that? Could not believe it *war between USA and Philippines! cripes, there is just no end to war

          • Tom Goff

            Hi. No, I haven’t seen that program. Of course, you are right about war Did you know that the Brits occupied Manila between 1762 and 1764 but left as part of the peace settlement at the end of the end of the Seven Years’ War?
            I first went to the Philippines because I could get a couple of crowns replaced, have 3 weeks in a 3-star hotel and pay for the travel — all for less than it would have cost me just to have the crowns replaced in Oz. Even now, staying there pretty much pays for itself because of the lower cost of living.

          • Rhombopterix

            We marvelled that we never heard about this war, the American-Philippine war in school. too many wars to cover them all. I guess it is just a footnote in the USA. I have a friend from Manila…tells me to go there. Maybe someday.

    • Wade Patton

      I have yet to see ANYthing ANYwhere that finds any difference in “selected” animal product and “run of the cheapest” animal product, or call that “boutique” vs. “grocers’ top selling items”.

      I don’t really pursue that line of thought these days, so I may have missed something.

      Maybe the best point to make of it all (I gotta write a book) is that “Organic/Specialty” animal products cost more to MAKE and thus cost more to consume. That this fact may help some SAD folks reduce their overall meat intake to maintain their budgets and thus their health improves.

      Baby steps.

      Of course no meat is a bunch cheaper and healthier than any meat, but that’s the BIG STEP (in our minds only). Baby steps can start the avalanche. Wait, wasn’t it just this video that shows a decline in meat consumption (‘merican). That alone has given me some hope for our future nutritional status.

    • Vege-tater

      I just commented recently on the same issue, and I think he is a dangerous charlatan and purveyor of BS using the current trends to make a profit. I want to see proof of his claims because they contradict good science and personal experience. Eating fats got me diabetes, and getting rid of them reversed it, like many others. Yet he claims the opposite because he is manipulating symptoms and not fixing anything.

  • http://twitter.com/veganpat pat sommer

    …nail on the head with the reference to the “information cloud”; more like info-fog. Folks want to eat healthy and mostly BELIEVE they do with so much conflicting chatter.

    Example: a mom announced to me that her daughter’s neurological issues (sleepwalking anxiety) and her gut issues have improved with an anti-inflammatory diet. Terrific. I checked the website guiding them: grass-fed beef and oily fish daily.

    Where is an authoritative, easy to comprehend definition of anti-inflammatory diet? For fiber rich or heart healthy or anti-cancer?
    That would be palatable indeed.

  • Elizabeth Martinez

    I did a lot of reading and thinking about the China Study after I read it. I was still wondering if the organic, non-processed version animal foods might be less harmful. To be on the safe side, I limited animal products to eggs from my own chickens and wild caught, small fish. THEN I was introduced to this web site, and pretty much overnight, I threw out the fish and went vegan. BECAUSE finally I had clear scientific information. Hey, I’m 70 and I have still have things to do and horses to ride. I don’t care how delicious a food might be, if it isn’t making me stronger and healthier, I don’t want it.
    But some people are so fond of the way they have eaten all their lives that they do find it very hard to change.

    With regard to how physicians can help people make these kinds of changes…. I was interested to read about the OWCH training program was developed by Dr. David L. Katz and colleagues at the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center. Pasting from the web site, “The OWCH program focuses on the essentials of lifestyle counseling in primary care. You can earn CME credits for completing the training and taking a short quiz after each module. We have created this program with the intent of creating a standard approach to lifestyle counseling to maximize your potential to help your patients lead healthier lives and have provided a user-friendly approach for integrating lifestyle counseling into your practice.”.

  • Kate

    Thanks. Would you ask him to do a more rigorous study?

  • HemoDynamic, MD

    Hey is anybody else getting the sponsored Ad on their screen from Female First? It shows a pic of Adele. WTF! It’s embedded under comment etiquette.

  • Georgie

    I get so confused by all the messages on eating meat. I’m on a paleo diet and eat red meat at least once a day.. But my meat is grass fed, organic and when I eat bacon, it’s nitrate free. Is this ok? Unfortunately I can’t eat seafood or chicken.

  • amyr

    There was an article in Roll Call, A DC newspaper, on 14 March. Front page read The Cancer Caucus. Not one mention of nutrition.

  • cafwen

    Hi guys – sorry that this is off topic, but raising it on older videos/sections doesn’t get response (obviously) :-) I see there is still a HUGE amount of confusion over the cholesterol ‘myth’ – or is it a myth, what’s the actual science, etc. While there is of course a lot of information on this site, a lot of it is posted earlier than the ongoing plethora of new studies purporting the *protective* nature of saturated fat and cholesterol. Believe me I am not the only one very confused! There are a lot of comments on ‘the cholesterol myth’ section of this site asking for further clarification. I have recently adopted a whole plant based diet, and as I love this site and use it as my go-to resource for information, it is very frustrating not to have current advice available; or current information which opposes these studies, or why their studies are flawed, etc. Many of the articles currently available have seemingly good science behind them, and without having an adequate understanding of the hard science it is difficult to see for yourself why they would be flawed. Can anyone help? Or perhaps even raise their hands if they are as confused as me? :)

    • mbglife

      Here are things I’ve concluded:
      – The meat industry is like the cigarette, oil & gass industry, and egg industry putting out bogus studies and claims, to confuse consumers. See this NR post on egg ads and the embedded videos:
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/03/06/egg-industry-caught-making-false-claims/
      – Some of the recent studies I’ve seen in the news are about how cholesterol doesn’t seem to impact diets for losing weight.
      – Other studies reported in the news only pick up part of the info and you have to read several of them (using google news site to compare them is a big help).
      – Paleo people cherry pick data to support their views.
      – Dr McDougall has some good info on cholesterol. You might want to search his site or some youtube videos on it.
      – My regular, conservative physician told me that “the best available evidence is that cholesterol matter: keep it low!”
      For me, this is settled.

      • cafwen

        Thank you – I will have a look at some of McDougall’s info as well! Thanks for all the great suggestions :D

    • Tom Goff

      The allegation of a “cholesterol myth” is just a wild claim by people selling something and the ignorant, naive and deluded who believe them. It makes a great attention-grabbing headline.
      Yes there is individual variability in how people respond to dietary cholesterol and blood/plasma cholesterol is only one of a number of risk factors. So, it is possible to cobble together arguments based on cherry-picked evidence and studies that dietary and/or blood cholesterol are unimportant. Some of these studies have been funded the dairy/egg/meat industries (or the Atkins Diet empire) or have been conducted by reserachers with strong links to those bodies.
      However, cholesterol is an important risk factor. If you have the time and can endure the technical jargon, reading the UK and US guidelines is worthwhile for a thorough examination of the evidence:
      http://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/cg181/evidence
      http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/129/25_suppl_2/S1.full.

      • Alan

        Thanks Tom for telling it like it is. There is way to much evidence to show that a saturated, cholesterol containing diet is harmful and that a WFPB lifestyle is very healthful. There is NO Myth !!!!!!!!

    • KPLindsey, NF Moderator

      Hello! It’s no wonder you’re confused, there just is not enough data available to know for certain the health impact of saturated fats one way or another just yet. More accurately, there is a lot of evidence on both sides of the question, suggesting that the answer (as usual) is… “It depends.” And also note that while government guidelines are reasonably authoritative, they are updated VERY infrequently. For example, some of the links below reflect position statements developed over a decade ago. I think the evidence supports the notion that dietary saturared fat intake raises plasma cholesterol more than does dietary cholesterol intake, and this is reflected in recent updates to the US Nutritional Guidelines.

      I found this really interesting (somewhat sensational, and likely controversial!) article about it that describes some of the possible forces at work. I don’t agree with everything in the article, but it raises some fascinating points for discussion. Government revises dietary guidelines for Americans

  • baggman744

    Good news: the DARK act was defeated! Its just one round, the fight is not over.
    http://ecowatch.com/2016/03/16/senate-rejects-dark-act-gmo-labeling/

  • plant_this_thought

    I like to say that “curing” cancer is like trying to put a broken egg back together. Much easier to prevent the egg from getting broken in the first place. Great video.

  • Alan

    The article said – Yet, we continue to get diluted guidelines and dietary recommendations,
    because authorities are asking themselves: What dietary changes could be
    acceptable to the public, rather than just telling us what the best
    available science says and letting us make up our own minds about
    feeding ourselves and our families. Personally i think that the main reason that dietary changes needed are not being pushed more is the BIG money that the Meat, Dairy and Egg industry spread around to keep it low key.

  • Sophie

    The best thing is to teach the young, before they become fully brainwashed. This needs to be taught at schools, instead of what we are taught right now in health classes: we are taught that meat is important for protein and other shit like that.

  • vlp

    Just wanted to remind readers that it isn’t just meat, but dairy consumption as well, that is associated with colon cancer. I’m the poster child for that issue. I ate the perfect vegetarian diet for decades…only the purest oils, all organic, the finest cheeses…and all natural all the way…until I was diagnosed with stage 3 colon cancer last year. I’ve been 100% WFPB now for a year, and cancer free! So thankful that I found Dr. Greger’s work and this website. Am sharing this to give hope and strength to others out there.

  • El Cid

    The key observation here is that Dr. Greger’s ideological position is adherence to the concepts of ‘evidence based medicine’. If this adherence is carefully followed, inevitably, the vegan diet will be proposed as the ‘standard of care’ for both healthy and ill people. Working against this proposition are the drug companies who receive benefit from managing the chronically sick (heart, diabetes, Alzheimer’s) and for whom they cannot offer a real “cure”. Nevertheless, the majority of research dollars are committed to the agenda of big pharma. In other words, the drug companies “own” the scientific medical ‘space’ in the consumer’s mind. The consumer does not see food as medicine, yet.

    “Vegans” often come to being vegans based on other ideological positions, not aligned with ‘evidence based medicine’. It is here where the problem occurs that is addressed by Dr. Greger. Clearly the USDA, for one, cannot speak out against the entire food industry where millions of people make their livelihood. The Vegan revolution will need to be ‘grass roots’, so to speak. And, Dr. Greger’s approach cannot be criticized on an ideological basis since it IS the basis of medical science. The food industry will restructure based on consumer demand–I think we will need more people employed to deliver nutritious food, not less.

    What the US needs is more dollars dedicated to the type of research that Dr. Greger is reviewing and less dollars going to projects on the track of big pharma. We don’t need expensive ways to manage chronic disease, we need ways to eliminate it!

    Those paragraphs need some work. I hope the concept came through.

  • leonkag

    A recent article in NY Post cites research on danger of vegetarian diet in India. I would appreciate if Dr Grieger or someone on the stuff looked at it
    http://nypost.com/2016/03/30/being-a-vegetarian-could-kill-you-science-warns/

  • lookingtolearn

    I applaud the great info Dr Greger presents on this website. I am sure there are studies that contradict each other. Is there any measure Dr Greger keeps of how many studies agree with the nutrition facts view vs the opposite? Here is a response I received from my co-workers when i shared the whole food story.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/03/29/long-term-vegetarian-diet-changes-human-dna-raising-risk-of-canc/

    Quote:
    Researchers from Cornell University in the US compared hundreds of genomes from a primarily vegetarian population in Pune, India to traditional meat-eating people in Kansas and found there was a significant genetic difference.

    “Those whose ancestry derives from vegetarians are more likely to carry genetics that more rapidly metabolise plant fatty acids,” said Tom Brenna, Professor of Human Nutrition at Cornell.

    “In such individuals, vegetable oils will be converted to the more pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid, increasing the risk for chronic inflammation that is implicated in the development of heart disease, and exacerbates cancer.

  • Kathy

    I fully understand the frustration. Right now my husband is battling colon cancer. We have chosen to forgo the surgery and radiation in exchange for extreme diet changes and supplements. However… as time moves on, he is reverting right back to his old ways and I an ready to give up. He started out listening well to me since I am the one that has done hours and hours of research and have almost every book on alternative cancer treatments ever published. But after months of ‘deprivation’ and small signs of progress he would rather have his ham and eggs and fried chicken; the things that caused this problem in the first place!! I am resigning as his mother!! Even after all my sharing information and reading articles to him (establishing someone besides me as the authority) he still doesn’t understand the big picture. Oh well, all I can do is love him and pray for a revelation. But I LOVE the information and will continue to apply it to my life!! Thank you!!