Doctor's Note

Similar comparisons have been made between the risk of smoking and eating processed meat (see Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat), and cell phone use and processed meat (see Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? and Hot Dogs & Leukemia). Though healthy eating may help mediate the devastating effects of smoking (see Smoking Versus Kale JuicePreventing COPD With Diet; and Treating COPD With Diet), if you do smoke, please stop. As a physician, I’ve just seen too many good people die horrible deaths from cigarettes. Here at, check out my videos on nuts; my videos on exercise; my videos on fiber; and my videos on oats.

For more context, check out my associated blog posts: Stool Size and Breast Cancer RiskEating To Extend Our LifespanThe True Shelf Life of Cooking OilsCholesterol Lowering in a Nut ShellNuts Don’t Cause Expected Weight GainTop 10 Most Popular Videos of the YearBoosting Gut Flora Without ProbioticsTreadmill Desks: Stand Up For HealthPlant-Based Diets for Metabolic SyndromeGo Nuts for Breast Cancer Prevention; and Treating Parkinson’s Disease with Diet.

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  • Michael Greger M.D.

    Similar comparisons have been made between the risk of smoking and eating processed meat (Prevention Is Better Than Cured Meat) and cell phone use and processed meat–see Do Cell Phones Cause Cancer? and Hot Dogs & Leukemia. Though healthy eating may help mediate the devastating effects of smoking (see Smoking Versus Kale Juice, Preventing COPD With Diet, and Treating COPD With Diet.), if you do smoke, please stop. As a physician, I’ve just seen too many good people die horrible deaths from cigarettes. Here at there are 38 other videos on nuts, 32 videos on exercise, 25 videos on fiber, 5 videos on oatmeal, and hundreds of videos on a thousand other topics.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      This is one of my favorite vids of all time!  Keep up the great work!

      • SJ M.D.

        Yes – better keep this a secret from my mother-in-law…………

  • People get so upset when approached about their smoking; they get defensive and start to find reasons such as politics, individual rights/freedom to justify it instead of seeing it as a health issue. And, while I understand that part of it, I cannot honor it: Their rights step on mine when they smoke, so I’m involved. I’m forced to breathe in their pollution and now my health is at risk.  So where did my rights go? From what I understand, second-hand smoke is deadly.

    • Absolutely. They’ve taken over the sidewalks in the city as they’re on their breaks. If I was a smoker, I wouldn’t be so inconsiderate to others. It’s nasty in every way and intrusive.

      •  As a teen I worked in restaurants for years, and I always thought the “smoking section” was such a joke. As if the smoke magically stays confined around the person smoking.
        I also find if offensive and inconsiderate. I don’t know why so many don’t.

    • HemoDynamic, M.D.

      Second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke (the particulates on the persons body that uxude from them like the Peanut’s character Pigpen)
      are both toxic and cancer causing.

      I had two patients that came in to see me that smelled so atrociously of smoke (They smoke 3-4 packs per day) that I firmly told them to never come back to my office smelling like that again.  I would be happy to treat them but not if they put my life at risk. 
      My throat was sore the rest of the day and the smell of smoke, according to my MA, could be smelled on me the rest of the day as well.  We actually had to spray the room and leave it open for the rest of the afternoon just to get the smell out.

      Yes I’m with you on them infringing on your right to breath clean air and don’t be afraid to speak up (In a nice way of course).

      Interestingly those patients both came back and they didn’t smell half as bad.  But I made the office visit as short as I could.

      • Sue

        I am a home health nurse, and I always try to see patients who smoke at the end of my day, so I can go home and shower and change clothes (not necessarily in that order). Even if they are kind enough to not smoke while I am there, I still absorb the stink.

        And, I am a CWOCN (wound, ostomy, continence nurse), so I get to rant at people who have diabetic foot ulcers yet will not quit smoking. If you have any of them as patients, document, document, document! It should come as no surprise to anyone when their feet are amputated! Sheesh!

        •  Sue, have  you noticed any health problems in yourself from this second-hand smoke?

          • Sue

            No. Just temporary discomfort in the chest. I don’t have asthma or any other respiratory problems, though. If I did, the smoke residue could cause problems.

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          I had a patient like that recently that came in with two leg wounds that weren’t healing and she was deathly afraid that they might be cancer so she wanted me to look at them.   

          Right next to me was her 4 wheeled/seat walker and sitting on it was her purse.  Guess what I saw in the side pouch?  A pack of cigarettes.

          So after listening to her story, I asked do you really want to decrease your risk of cancer?  And she of course said Yes.  So I reached over pulled out the cigarettes and told her (kindly) that she needs to stop smoking.  You should have seen her face–she blushed slightly (but that was hard to see because her skin was a nice hue of ashen grey).   I added that the worst and last patients a surgeon or CWOCN wants to work on are smokers!  They have the poorest healing rates for any surgeries or wounds.  In fact, when I was a resident on my ortho rotation about 85% of the patients we saw were smokers.  The Orthopedist I worked with said tobacco is job security for him.

          Anyway she stated that she was not going to quit.  (in the words of Gomer Pyle, “Surprise, Surprise, Surprise!”)

          So she got a few antibiotics and a referral to wound care. (In the words of Metallica, “Sad but True”)

          • Sue

            People also don’t realize that about 2/3 of people who get bladder CA smoke. I think they should make billboards with a photo of a good looking guy (I think the word is “hot”) with his shirt off, smoking a cigarette, and a nice urostomy pouch in place. “This Could be YOU!” 

            So, you sent her to wound care. Of course. lol!

          • Mary J

            Folks, I understand how your disgust with smokers.  I am not (and never was) a smoker, but I have family members who are.  Please have some compassion for smokers who want very much to quit but are simply too addicted to do it. I saw my mother go through hell many, many times trying to quit before she finally succeeded.  If you’ve never smoked, it all looks so simple — just quit!  But you’re talking about a very powerful addiction with physical and psychological “hooks”.  Ask anyone who treats smokers and drug addicts; they’ll tell you more people succeed in kicking heroin than nicotine.  

          • WholeFoodChomper

            Agreed. The key to assisting smokers with quitting is UNDERSTANDING and COMPASSION, not finger shaking (and definitely not violating their personal space by taking something out of their bag or berating them for smelling bad).  

            I, too, come from a long line of smokers, and am an ex-smoker myself (4+ years).  It took me MANY MANY attempts before I finally quit, and still I crave a cigarette every once in a while.  My family (both parents and sister), sadly are still very much addicted and unable to quit at the moment. My father did quit for a couple of years a while back, but started smoking again. 

            Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to overcome.  Smokers already know that smoking is bad, ostracizing them does not encourage them to stop.  In fact, it does the opposite of making them even more defensive and resistant to change.  

            Back in my college days, I went to see a university health doctor for a regular check up, and to encourage the importance of quitting smoking he did not reach in my backpack and pull out my cigarettes, or tell me that he would no longer see or treat me if I came in smelling of smoke.  Instead, he reached over to his prescription pad and wrote “Quit Smoking”.  What ensued was a nice mini-intervention where we talked about possible options of quitting and how I could access them.  I was not ready to quit at that time, but I believe that the seed to quit was planted then.  His method, and more importantly, his professional compassion, did more than a guilt trip ever could.

            On a related note to this video and discussion, a good friend of mine (who happened to be an RN and a participant in the Nurses’ Health Study), passed away recently in her sleep at the age of 69 (just a week short of her 70th birthday).  She was an absolutely amazing educator and an engaging, vibrant, interesting, compassionate, open-minded, and no-nonsense woman.  She was also a heavy smoker, not a plant-based eater, and even though she was an RN shunned all medical care and doctors. To be sure, smoking and diet hastened her untimely passing, still her death was a shock to us, because she was in seemingly good health (the day before her passing, she was preparing for work the next day) and was not suffering from any overt signs of disease. I will miss her greatly.  And, I thank her for the many gifts she has given to the world, including to her contributions as a participant in the Nurses’ Health Study.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            I understand you are addicted to those cigarettes and it’s not your fault. And I know you don’t understand you are putting my health at risk with your bad behavior. I know you have no understanding that I feel sick from the horrific smell that is exuding off your body and are clueless that your stench is making everyone in the office you pass cough and feel sick.
            No really it’s OK. How can I help you today!

          • Han

            I told a colleague he should avoid standing in his own smoke. He didn’t believe me so he tested me a few times, discovered my precision rate was 100% and from then on avoided standing in the smoke.

          • beccadoggie10

            I think feeling the pain of smoking is what made it easier for me to quit. And, with my husband, it was commitment for the health of our expanding family rather than denial.

          • beccadoggie10

            I smoked for several years in the early 70’s and then, when I could not climb a hill without my lungs hurting, I quit COLD TURKEY. I never smoked again.

            My husband made a pact with me that he would quit smoking the day our daughter was born. I went into labor at 6 a.m. on January 23, 1974, and before that he was down to one cigarette per day. However, HE NEVER SMOKED AGAIN.

            Don’t tell me compassion is needed! Determination/ tenacity is required.

          • I smoked for 32 years Mary, starting in the early 60s. Smoking was in vogue back then, my parents both smoked, everyone did.We were all addicted to nicotine. I quit 19 years ago, cold turkey because I finally educated myself to the pitfalls of nicotine. No, it wasn’t easy, I was a monster to live with that first month, but every day as that nicotine leaves the body, seeps out of the skin, everyday I felt better and every day I was more resolved to make sure I never ever smoked again. At 68 years old, my body has never been healthier. Anyone can quit and quit without the toxic pharmaceuticals we see on the TV. Willpower is the greatest tool we have, if people would only use it. It’s 100% free.

          • beccadoggie10

            I read some time ago that TCDD dioxins had been discovered in tobacco smoke. This could be because of the chlorinated pesticides used to grow the tobacco, which when burned produced dioxins, and other polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

            Dioxins are among the chemicals known to damage the immune system, as well as cause certain cancers, and more.

        •  and then WE have to foot the bill (bad pun, i know) for all the free stuff they get through medicare for diabetics. NOT fair.

      • beccadoggie10

        What sprays did you use to clear the room of the odor of smoking? Were they synthetic or natural?

        • HemoDynamic, M.D.

          I really don’t know and don’t work there anymore.

  • Sophie

    I really find these quick analysis really outrageous Dr Greger and you should know better how to look at figures and so called studies! Figures can be twisted and manipulated whatever way people want, and this really is a perfect exemple of plant based diet maniacs telling the world all animal products have a negative impact on our health. I am actually a vegetarian so I shouldn’t have any personal problems with this approach.. except that I would like proper facts to get out there, not pure nonsense! Eating an egg a day the same risk as smocking 5 cigarettes??? Hello!!! The debate on cholesterol has been really challenged and debated a lot the last few years so you should know better. Besides, this nurses’ studies is notorious for being very biased and floppy, Nurses do shifts, eat badly (bad hospital food I know about it) and  nothing is taken in consideration like how they cook their egg, if the stuff they eat is organic, all other parameters etc.. Eating vegan is not a solution for most people, we all have different metabolisms, plant based food is great and should be the bulk of what we eat, but we also need to be nourished with protein and fat. What we need is good organic and sustainable food and none of this rubbish that is american food. I am really shocked by this post and shall unsubscribe today. Cheap quick analysis and conclusion.

    • Rob

       Truth hurts Sophie.

      • R Ian Flett

        Sophie has a legitimate point. The egg debate is not that simple statistically. The cholesterol source in the study is is important but is not indicated. Cholesterol from meat is also correlated with heme iron, nitrosamines, saturated animal fat, and other negative components relating to mortality.

         We know in the case of eggs that they vary enormously in their protective omega 3 content (Greek eggs have up to 9 times more than  US eggs), and scrambled is much more dangerous than boiled, poached or raw as it destroys the essential amino acids in the egg whites. If you eat eggs with a salad and fibre you get different post postprandial results, than if you eat them with bacon and saturated fat as in a burger.If people properly eat good quality eggs the crude equation with cigarettes can reduce to zero. Of course if you restrict yourself to egg whites they probably decrease mortality. Many people I know have two eggs every morning and others consume only two a week. These are entirely different risk profiles and cannot be statistically lumped together with the consumption of cholesterol from meat.

        • Toxins

           R Lan, current levels of omega 3 in eggs are highly inadequate and one must consume around 30 eggs to reach an acceptable level of omega 3 for the day. A male needs around 1.6 grams of omega 3 per day, a female needs around 1.1 grams a day.

          Furthermore, Omega 3 processes to EPA which is also processed to DHA, which is highly anti inflammatory. Omega 6 processes down to arachadonic acid which is highly inflammatory. The fact that eggs are the top source of arachadonic acid nulls and voids benefits received from the omega 3 in the egg itself. High intake of arachadonic acid is linked to autoimmune diseases such as  rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, as well as a clear link with  cancer development.

          In regards to egg whites, although true they are a good source of protein, this is possibly the only positive statement that can be made of it. Here is some evidence of a major component of egg whites, Methionine, possibly causing human harm.

          1. Egg whites are high in the amino Acid Methionine. Rice has 14 times less of this amino acid and beans 7 time less. When one consumes Methionine in a large quantity (like that found in egg whites), it is broken down into sulfuric compounds. these sulfuric compounds are buffered by the calcium of the bones. the result, over time, is osteoporosis and kidney stones.

           2. Cancer cell metabolism is dependent upon methionine being present in the diet; whereas normal cells can grow on a methionine-free
          diet feeding off other sulfur-containing amino acids.

          3. Insulin like growth factor is raised significantly by Methionine. raised levels of IGF-1 = accelerated aging/tumor promotion.

          4. Sulfur from Methionine is known to be toxic to the tissues of the intestine, and to have harmful effects on the human colon, even at low levels,
          possibly causing ulcerative colitis.

          The balance of evidence is clearly against even moderate consumption of eggs, and I fail to understand how one can consider this food “ok” once it is understood what exactly happens when we eat eggs.

          • HemoDynamic, M.D.

            Great response!

    • Barbara9093

       Dr. Greger doesn’t say anything about eating an egg a day. He says “consuming the amount of cholesterol found in an egg”. 

      In other words, that amount of cholesterol, consumed every day, will shorten the average lifespan of a large group of women by as much as smoking 5 cigarettes a day for 15 years will. 

      • R Ian Flett

        Equating cholesterol with cigarettes as a risk factor is purely statistical and OK as mere numerical correlation, but to even mention eggs and cigarettes in the same sentence is to equate them through a non causal link. Correlation is not causation, but merely a possible sign of it. 

        All cholesterol consumption is not equal; it has to be taken in context. Why mention eggs  unless you wish to blame eggs as much as meat based cholesterol, which we know is harmful?
        Eggs are not a prime measure of cholesterol. For information, I do not eat eggs, but for the reason that it’s nearly impossible to buy healthy ones unless you have your own chickens. If I did eat them I would do so in the absence of any saturated fat and in a salad.

    • Sheslike5

       lol cause i get absolutely no protein and fat from my vegan diet… smh

    • Gale

      Do you mean animal protein and animal fat? You really believe that is necessary? 

    • Carrie

      Wow, there is good fat and bad fat, good protein and bad protein.  I get my good fat and good protein from my whole foods, plant based diet.  And I feel 100 times better than I did when I ate animal products.

      • Live2b100

        Carrie, I’m a new vegan-4 months-my adrenals are no longer blown out to the point I feel weak and about to pass out several times a day; my blood pressure is normal for the first time in 5 years; and my cholesterol is coming down really; really fast. I am sure it will be within normal range soon, if it isn’t already. I also feel calmer, and my belly fat went down within a few days when I first started-even more, now. I save money not buying meat, and I can’t say I miss it at all. I was guilted into going vegan by a friend who is on her 2nd go-round of cancers in 18 months, still smokes, couldn’t even go a full week without animal products, and she wonders why her cancer came back. Some people are just in denial. Her doctor told her she would lose weight and stave off life threatening disease by going vegan, and she still won’t do it. Some people would rather take pills, have chemo, never understanding they have all the power when it comes to their health.

        • Sonia

          So true!!

    • Jola


    • Jola

      The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study may not be perfect (very few
      scientific studies are and that is why replication of scientific data is
      so important).  Despite some of the weaknesses of the study design (and it
      has been refined over the years), the study has provided us with hundreds of
      peer-reviewed studies that have provided and still provide investigators (and
      the public) with reliable health information (not to mention additional areas
      to continue to investigate). As far as opposing studies go (e.g. “the debate on
      cholesterol”), Dr. Greger says it best (
      “The answer [when analyzing contradictory scientific evidence] is to look at
      the balance of evidence and ask yourself before making any decision “What does
      the best available evidence show right now?”.”  At the moment,  even
      though “cholesterol has been really challenged and debated a lot
      the last few years” the balance of scientific evidence still overwhelmingly
      indicates that low fat, high fiber, plant-based diets are the healthiest ways
      for most humans to eat. Regarding your last point about being nourished with
      proteins and fats, plant- based diets provide plenty of proteins and fats
      necessary for a healthy metabolism (,

    • Nicole

      I actually agree a lot with you Sophie about how figures can be twisted… Since I started researching nutrition for myself it seems like nothing but contradictions. I will come across one study, say for example this one, which sounds great, exactly what I want to hear (I am plant based myself) but then because Idon’t like to assume that one study says it all, I will continue my research, and 9 times out of 10 can find another study that “proves” the exact opposite… After all my research, I’ve come up with the fact that everyone seems to agree to refined carbs/sugars and processed foods as a common enemy, that eating unaltered & organic grass/grain fed meat MIGHT not be as harmful as we think and that dairy seems completely unnecessary… So, even though I think there’s possibility that meat isn’t exactly the enemy, I personally feel that it’s unecessary and it seems that there’s no reason to rely on meat for any specific nutrients, especially when plant based sources have the ability to give you everything meat can, plus more (antioxidants, fiber, etc)…

      • Coacervate

        Nicole, you said …” 9 times out of 10 can find another study that “proves” the exact opposite… ”

        Really?  You mean like Dr. Atkins?  He sure had some strong beliefs.  The whole thing about plant-based/whole foods is its evidence basis.  He liked meat.  You think maybe not so much.

         It doesn’t matter that a person might FEEL that meat is not required in their diet…the science shows that it is very very bad food.  Some think organic is the key to good health or growing by the lunar cycle.  Feelings, like the Morris Albert song from the 70’s says, nothing more than feelings.  Dr. G is about using your head.

        I’d like to see a reality show about a group of folks, sick on SAD, who nut it out using their good judgement and decide to go vegan.  We would watch them transform in Prime Time.  And they would talk about their beliefs and feelings (maybe they could get a witch and some druids, heh) and all the while the risk factors go away.  Whoa whoa whoa feeling again in my arms…and legs and all over the place.

        • Sandycollins16

          That show already was on the air in June! Dr. Furhman was on the Dr. Oz show with three women who were SAD eaters and become plant food diet devottee’s with ETL. Amazing transition!

      • SJ M.D.

        Nicole – it is not correct. Do you read original peer-reviewed papers?

        The best performed studies points only in one direction – the optimal diet is plantbased – whole grains, vegetables, fruit, legumes and probably a little soyproducts. In fact, not many contradictions in “good science”.

        The problem is that the best performed science is buried in a lot of junk-science (stating what people want to hear – eggs is not bad, you need meat, dairy is essential for bones – hence you read that in the newspapers and magazines) and probably even propaganda from various interest groups.

        Evidence suggests that a plant based diet prevents and improves CVD (cardiovascular disease), cancer, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes etc. No doubt.

        A recent prospective study of 500,000 people showed clearly that eating red meat increases cancer mortality, CVD mortality and total mortality (R. Sinha et al., Meat intake and mortality, Arch Intern Med 2009)

        I am not interested in studies showing that meat or eggs is not harmfull (which it of course is), I am interestet in studies showing that meat or egg consumption prevents or reverses cancer, CVD, high cholesterol, diabetes, high cholesterol, inflammatory diseases. Just one study! And I am NOT interested in junk-science – it has to be a well designed, thorough, performed study – and of course peer-reviewed.

        • Wickedchicken

          Wow you sound prettttty convinced there.

          Have you watched ‘the food revolution’ on YouTube. It’s a presentation by a Swedish doctor, completely scientifically backed, on paleo diet. You should (all) watch it. I agree with Nicole that if you are investagive, honest, and critically thinking you will find counter arguments for and against everything discussed in plant-based health. It is frustrating, but at least we are searching for the truth not an agenda.

          • Jola

            I have not heard of that video and will have to check it out.  

            As to your other points, I agree, there will always be counterarguments to any issue, as there should be, especially in scientific investigations. However, just finding one (or a few) counterpoints/arguments is not enough in making a case for scientific concepts.  In scientific inquiry what makes a case or concept stronger is 1) reproducible results that are thoroughly (and usually anonymously) peer-reviewed for publication and 2) a balance of evidence showing a concept to be more true than not.

            As in life, biases, conflicts of interest, agendas, and opinions make their way into scientific inquiry and studies (science is not a perfect science).  So, yes, critical thinking needs to come into play when debating or analyzing scientific findings, specifically when discussing and trying to understand the complexity of human nutrition. There is a lot of information out there–much of it seemingly conflicting.  All we can do is look at what the current balance of scientific evidence states. 

            Unfortunately, most people do not have the time or the ability to read all the research that gets published in scientific nutrition journals about diets to enable them to make informed lifestyle choices and decisions.  That is why this web-site is so helpful for the public in general (and for those trained in the field of medicine and nutrition as well).  This site synthesizes the latest findings in nutrition and
            health research in order to understand the role of health and nutrition in the
            prevention and treatment of disease. 

            The “agenda”/goal here is preventing and treating disease by way of diet.  And to that end, it is clear from the available scientific evidence that some diets are better at preventing and treating disease than others.  It just so happens that “the [current] balance of
            scientific evidence suggests that the healthiest way to eat [to prevent and treat disease] is a vitamin
            B12-fortified diet of whole plant foods”. At the moment, it seems that there is not enough evidence to indicate that other diets are capable of preventing and treating disease to the same degree that a plant-based diet can for most people. And, that is an “agenda” that I will gladly swallow.

    • Nicole

      I wasn’t able to edit my last post, just wanted to add in, yes, the last part was all my OPINION… That’s all you really find anywhere on the Internet is research with someone’s “opinion” attached, not always facts even though they’ll claim it to be… Although I prefer to base my beliefs on facts, in the case of nutrition, it seems I have to put some faith into my beliefs because otherwise it’s all confusing, frustrating and discouraging… My advice to everyone, don’t believe the first thing u hear just because it’s what u want to be true…. Take some time to do a little extra research for yourself, THEN make your decisions

    •  “but we also need to be nourished with protein and fat”

      Thanks for the chuckle, that made my day.

    • Coacervate

      But Sophie, this is different from the sort of “twisted and manipulated” reports we see in the media because the its in the DATA of a peer-reviewed paper.  The investigators analyzed data from the Nurses’ study.  Dr. G distilled the paper into a short, accurate synopsis of their results and conclusions.  He does it so we don’t have to. 

      Emotion aside, you make a series of claims.  If you wish to participate (and I HOPE you do not unsubscribe)  then support what you say.  I for one would love to feast on eggs again, but I won’t until you or someone shows, using geometric logic, that they are not harmful, harmless, rather that they are a healthy addition to the diet.

    • Toxins

      Sophie, have you researched any harmful affects as resulting from eggs? This is not the first post on eggs and the harms that result from egg consumption are quite significant. Here is a summary I have put together on eggs based on some of the studies Dr. Greger has pulled out.

      Eggs are actually highly inflammatory due to marked levels of
      arachadonic acid contained in this food which is clearly linked with
      autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis,
      as well as a clear link with cancer development.
      The Harvard physicians study followed 20,000 doctors for 20 years and
      those that ate just one egg a day had significant increase in all cause mortality.
      In fact, David Spence, director of stroke prevention/atherosclerosis
      research center and one of the worlds leading stroke experts, said that
      based on the latest research, you can eat all the eggs you want IF your
      dying of a terminal illness. Eggs are not considered health promoting
      nutritionally speaking.
      Eggs have been linked with heart failure
      As well as type 2 diabetes.
      Furthermore, in the Canadian Journal of Cardiology, David Spence, David Jenkins
      (the inventor of the glycemic index) and Jean Davignon (director of
      atherosclerosis research group) posted a review on eggs claiming that
      the egg industry has been downplaying the health risks of eggs through
      misleading advertisements. As soon as you eat one egg, you expose
      your body to several hours worth of oxidative stress, inflammation of
      ones arteries, endothelieum impairment (what keeps you blood running
      smoothly) and increases the susceptibility of LDL cholesterol to
      oxidize (beginning stages of heart disease).
      The egg industry has claimed that cholesterol from eggs is not important
      and does not raise cholesterol levels. The fundamental flaw in the study
      the egg industry has used to make this claim is that they measured
      FASTING lipid levels at night and not levels through out the day after
      egg consumption. “Diet is not all about fasting lipids; it is mainly
      about the three-quarters of the day that we are in the nonfasting state.
      Fasting lipids can be thought of as a baseline; they show what the
      endothelium was exposed to for the last few hours of the night.”
      A single egg yolk contains approximately 215 to 275 mg of cholesterol. A
      safe upper limit can be capped at 200 mg if one is looking to prevent
      heart disease. One egg far exceeds this daily upper limit.

      Furthermore, there is no evidence that we need saturated animal fat and animal protein. In fact, all whole plant foods contain complete proteins and saturated fat is clearly linked with heart disease. A plant based diet provides all the polyunsaturated fat the body requires. Omega 3 and omega 6 are the only fats the body needs, otherwise, the liver produces all other necessary fat.

      • Gale

        Toxins….I love you!

        • Toxins

           Thanks for the kind words!

          • Gale

            No problem. I have been so enjoying this comment section. Everyday I come back to it and more has been posted. We have vegans, vegetarians, and paleo enthusiasts all arguing whose science is best. Very passionately I might add. 

            After watching Dr. Greger’s hour long video he posted I started thinking, “who doesn’t want some of that!” 

            He was so much energy and is so full of health and vitality that he encourages a better way. 

      • SJ M.D.

        I guess, no need to debate eggs anymore. Case closed.

      • egg-cellent! baha!

      • Nealg

        I am confused. You mentioned one study:

        “The Harvard physicians study followed 20,000 doctors for 20 years and
        those that ate just one egg a day had significant increase in all cause mortality.…”

        I looked at one study that you mentioned and it seemed to conclude that there’s no problem with eggs. But I must admit, I don’t really fully understand it so perhaps you can describe what is being said. Thanks.

        • Toxins

          The Harvard nurses study made a statistic of this point. “In this prospective cohort, we demonstrated that infrequent egg consumption up to 6 eggs per week was not associated with MI, stroke, or total mortality in healthy US male physicians. In addition, consumption of 7 or more eggs per week was associated with a modest but significant increased risk of total mortality in this population.”

          Of course, we cannot conclude that eggs are now healthy as long as we eat only 6 eggs a week instead of 7. The point I was trying to make is that eggs are implicated in increasing mortality rates for those with high consumption, and based on the evidence outside of this study, I would expect that eating 6 eggs a week would still be quite harmful indeed.

          • Andrea

            Yet the studies are showing associations but not causality. Isn’t it likely that there are other similarities in the diet or other non-diet related confounding factors could account for the difference in risk that were not measured? Just as I find it hard to believe any one food is the ultimate super food I also find it hard to believe egg consumption alone could be responsible as indicated. This is too complex an issue.

    • Dr. Matthew

      I also do not eat meat products – but more for philosophical than health reasons. I strongly agree, Sophie, that this quick video analysis completely lacks critical thinking and reflection. In addition to the title of this post “What Women SHOULD Eat”, take “Rob’s” comment below: “Truth hurts.” Watering reality down to black and white categories e.g. should vs. shouldn’t, true vs. false etc. reveals a profound conceptual laziness.  It is VERY easy to live in a world of watered-down complexity.

      Despite MY choice to not eat meat I do not hold others hostage to my perspective. In fact, I recognize that there may be myriad advantages to eating meat. Opposite points of view always have some validity – and failing to acknowledge that merely discloses ones blind fanaticism.  Attempting to universalize personal preference is not science; it’s myopic and dangerous thinking.  

      A greater sensitivity and openness to discourse on human nutrition might enrich this site.  When it comes to the pure diversity of human health, attempting to only espouse “the facts” teeters on the precipice of ignorance.

    • Jola

      The Harvard Nurses’ Study may not be perfect (very few scientific studies actually are–that is why replication of scientific findings that are peer-reviewed is so important to contributing to scientific knowledge). Despite some of the weaknesses of the Nurses’ Study design (and the study has been refined over the years), the study has provided the scientific community and the public with hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and findings that have greatly contributed to our understanding of health.

      As far as opposing studies go (e.g. “the debate on cholesterol”), Dr. Greger says it best: “The answer [when analyzing contradictory scientific evidence] is to look at the balance of evidence and ask yourself before making a decision “What does the best available evidence show right now?”  At the moment, even though “cholesterol has been really challenged and debated a lot the last few years”, the balance of evidence still overwhelmingly indicates that a low fat, high fiber, plant-based diets are the healthiest ways for most humans to eat.  (I have yet to hear of an individual who was able to reduce their heart-disease –or improve his/her health outcomes– on a high cholesterol diet.)

      Regarding your last point about being the importance of being nourished with proteins and fats for a healthy metabolism, plant-based diets provide plenty of protein and fats necessary for a healthy metabolism.

    • Lloyd

       “Eating vegan is not a solution for most people”

      It’s not chosen by most people. Is it safe to assume you really like your eggs and dairy?

    • Candice McMillan

      Wow, Sophie, I am entertained that you bash a respected study, calling it ‘floppy’ and then suggest that ‘protein and fat’ is not plant based food. Whether nurses are ‘biased’ has nothing to do with the HARVARD nurses study. It uses nurses as subjects, dear.

    • beccadoggie10

      Good bye, Sophie.
      Dr. Greger was reporting on the study. This is his blog and his site.

      I came here to learn more about eating in an increasingly toxic world with herbicide intensive GMO lab created crops. Eating animals even organically raised and produced, is better than conventionally or factory farmed. But animals accumulate and concentrate toxins in their bodies, and when they produce eggs or embryos, the lifetime of poisons are dumped into the new being.

      BTW, organic and sustainable agriculture is at risk of being contaminated by herbicides, and other pesticides, as well as other manmade poisons and genetically modified DNA that has escaped into the environment. That is a fact of life.

      Humans are the top of the food chain. And, if humans want to live longer, eating animals and animals’ embryos (eggs) are not the way to go.

      Wake up and become enlightened, Sophie.

  • Guest
  • Guest

    The Harvard Nurses’ Health Study may not be perfect
    (very few scientific studies are and that is why replication of scientific
    data is so important).  Despite some of
    the weaknesses of the study design (and it has been refined over the years), the
    study has provided us with hundreds of peer-reviewed studies that have provided
    and still provide investigators (and the public) with reliable health information
    (not to mention additional areas to continue to investigate).

    As far as opposing
    studies go (e.g. “the debate on cholesterol”), Dr. Greger says it best (
    “The answer [when analyzing contradictory scientific evidence] is to look at
    the balance of evidence and ask yourself before making any decision “What does
    the best available evidence show right now?”.”  At the moment, even though “cholesterol has been really
    challenged and debated a lot the last few years” the balance of scientific
    evidence still overwhelmingly indicates that low fat, high fiber, plant-based
    diets are the healthiest ways for most humans to eat. 

    Regarding your last point
    about being nourished with proteins and fats, plant- based diets provide plenty
    of proteins and fats necessary for a healthy metabolism (,

  • Tonya Sneed

    When the study compares the risk of eating cholesterol found in 1 egg with smoking 5 cigarettes for 15 years, what is the time frame for consuming that amount of cholesterol?  In other words, are we talking about eating 1 egg a day for 15 years as well or for a year or ??  Thanks!

  • “…we confirmed that casein does have (ncourage the growth of experimental tumors) this property (thus supporting the
    preliminary research of others) and, second, we learned how it does it
    (involving multiple ‘mechanisms’). In the traditional sense, the
    evidence was overwhelming. Using traditional science practice, we should
    be concluding that casein is a chemical carcinogen, perhaps the most
    relevant carcinogen that we consume.”

     – Colin T. Campbell

    So yeah, dairy is pretty cancer causing, I even remember him stating in a speech that it is the most carcinogen known to man and if it were in cigarettes it would be banned. Meat and dairy should be treated like cigarettes.

    • Coacervate

      Josh,  A long time ago, in a grad lab far far away I used my new fangled spreadsheet program to compare the amino acid compositions of the 100 or so proteins that had (at that time) been published.  I was quite surprised to find that there is virtually no difference between animal and plant protein in terms of their amino acid proportions.  I’ve followed up on this from time to time and it is still true.  So what is going on.  I don’t dispute Dr. Campbells evidence.  But casein of all things…its intended to be digested.  Human infants are nurished by the casein in human breast milk.  I find this incredibile.  Could anyone please provide the references for the work that elucidates “how it does it (involving multiple ‘mechanisms’). ” 

      much obliged

  • Wickedchicken

    That egg cigarette comparison is way too extreme. Ludacris. There is also a mass of literature out there that says dietary cholesterol plays little role in health outcome prediction – see all the scientists who preach paleo. We have to investigate to see where truth lies, but comparing 1 eggs worth of cholesterol per day to 5 cigarettes is madness!

    • BPCveg

      It is about time that someone conducted a longitudinal study of overall health on followers of a paleo diet versus those on a whole foods plant-based diet.  I just don’t know whether ethics committees would even allow this kind of study!

      • Sandycollins16

        Thank you so much Dr. G for you amazing video’s. I follow Dr. Fuhrman’s nutritarians way of eating and I am 90% vegan. I am pushing for total vegan, which I hope to maintain for the rest of my life. My husband who used to eat am egg a day, sometimes, two stopped cold turkey and now he eats beans after seeing some of your research. Thanks for all you do to separate fact from fiction. I will keep eating my nuts!

      • Toxins

         I am not sure if you have seen this, but Dr. Greger covers the paleo diet on his free ebook here.

    • Toxins

      Sadly, the “scientists” who preach paleo also ignore all of the evidence pointing away from their diet.

      • Dr. Matthew

        And “scientists” who preach veganism ignore all of the evidence pointing away from fromt their diet. So what’s your point? Obviously scientists are people before they are scientists and too often only validate what supports their point of view. Unfortunately, this site is guilty of this type of bias in its recommendations. Why isn’t it obvious yet that no way of eating has a monopoly on truth? Trying to universalize ones preferences is manipulative–especially when its done under the guise of “science.”

        • Toxins

          Please present data that shows the ill effects of a vegan diet? I know of no well done studies that show a vegan diet to increase the risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes or another chronic illness. Furthermore, a vegan diet resembles the diets of some of the liveliest populations, such as the Okinawans back in the late 60’s. They had the most centenarians per capita in their population. Lets look at their diet.

          Caloric restriction, the traditional Okinawan 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)

          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)


          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)

          Data derived from analysis of U.S. National Archives, archived food records, 1949 and based on survey of 2279 persons.

          Some points:

          Their diet was 85% carb, and 6% fat.  Sweet potatoes (a Japanese sweet potato) made up almost 70% of their calories.  Nuts were less than 1% of calories (the equivalent of 1/10 of an ounce a day)   Oil was less than 2% of calories (which is about 1 tsp a day) and sugars were less than 1% of calories (less than a tsp a day)

          The total animal products including fish was less than 4% of calories which is less then 70 calories a day.  That is the equivalent of around 2 oz of animal products or less a day.

          Furthermore, we understand more and more what specific nutrients in animal foods are harmful and the mechanics behind this. As this mountain of knowledge continues to build, it becomes more clear that a plant based diet is indeed truly superior to any other diet out there.

          • Dr. Matthew

            I feel foolish here having to argue
            against the way I eat as I have already mentioned that I AM A
            VEGETARIAN. But I will model what I am encouraging you to do, which is recognize that being a vegan or vegetarian has
            limits because there is no panacea diet (this is the crux of my
            argument). Evolution requires adaptability and prefers diversity.
            The human diet is not immune to this reality as the current and
            historical multiplicity of diets suggests.

            1. You need to stop copying and pasting
            the Okinawan diet study. You’ve sent it to me like three times. It’s
            a great study but it’s one study.

            2. You also can’t abstract an ancestral
            diet from it’s evolutionary context and simply transplant it to all
            other populations and think that it will function identically. This
            mechanistic thinking is terribly obtuse.

            3. You also don’t need to convince me that
            being a vegan or vegetarian has health benefits. I know it does; I
            wouldn’t be a vegetarian if I didn’t feel good and believe that it
            worked for me. But, once again, I don’t feel the need to tell
            everyone that it’s the best way to eat for them.

            4. There are studies that highlight the
            problematic side of veganism/vegetarianism. Anecdotally, most of the
            people I consult with eating disorders, especially adolescent
            females, are vegan or vegetarian. Furthermore, these ways of eating
            are associated with higher levels of neurosis (which explains all of
            our blogging about this haha) and mental illness. Here’s a few
            studies and there is a lot more out there worth exploring. For some
            folks, because of the way they are wired, not eating meat is
            problematic and can aggravate/exasperate underlying or existing
            mental illness. I have seen it. And conversely, there are others that
            it helps. Again, we are all different and have different needs.




            This is an interesting study that seems
            to reinforce the no grain hypothesis of the paleo folks. I know this
            sheer and utter blasphemy for a vegetarian to actual consider the
            other’s point of view (please not sarcastic tone).


            Also, every vegan and vegetarian should
            read The Vegetarian Myth. It’s an insightful and though-provoking
            counter argument.


            Lastly, Loren Cordain wrote this
            interesting piece worth considering.  Read it with an open mind. What do you have lose other than your sense of being totally “right” in your opinion.


            We live in a world marked by increasing
            change and complexity. Fanaticism, in any form, eclipses the ability
            to fully grasp the magnitude of this reality. With exponentially
            growing populations, shrinking space, and compressed time it is
            understandable to search for black and white recommendations – but
            doing this covers the reality of our individuality and uniqueness.
            In fact, it is this uniqueness that always confounds and transcends
            blanket statements on what “human” nature is and what its needs
            require. Progress will not hinge on finding the “Truth” of diet
            or whatever. Instead, progress will unfold through discourse and
            meeting each individual’s needs – in all it forms.  

        • SJ M.D.

          All the data pointing away from veganism? Please explain supported by peer-reviewed articles. Not the old story with B12 and Zink, it is well known and easy to overcome. Truly I am interested in a serious article showing that a plant strong diet is bad for you, and/or meat and eggs prevent heart disease, cancer, hypertension, diabetes, inflammatory disease etc.

        • Wickedchicken

          Dr. Matthew I fully agree. I am searching for truth, not for ‘convenient agreement with my current diet and lifestyle beliefs’. Diet Fanatics who preach religiously are just not familiar with scientific literature. There are arguments for and against everything. I repeat, Everything!

          • Dr. Matthew

            Yes, Wickedchicken. This comment section is quite frustrating. I’ve tried to post research links a number of times and I don’t know if it’s not working or if the post is being pulled off. In any case, why does this video start with the comment that the study in question is “the most definitive study ever” for older women’s health. This is an epidemiological study. By nature, epidemiology is NEVER definitive unless you’re making inferences from incomplete data while ignoring confounding factors. Citing studies like this as “evidence” is not only ridiculous–it’s simply bad science.  

          • WholeFoodChomper

            Dr. Matthew,

            You may want to write an email to the Disqus ( to see why your links are not posting and what you can do about it. Sometimes my links do not post or get cut off as well.  I think it has to do with the comment platform (which is being provided bu Disqus) and not the NutritionFacts web-site.  

          • WholeFoodChomper

            Specifically, you can go here (
   ) for technical help with posting comments using Disqus.

          • Dr. Matthew


          • Dr. Matthew

            That’s funny, somehow my posts just magically appeared.

          • Gale

            Isn’t ones diet mainly an individual thing. We all have histories that influence the way we eat. My father died when he was 51 from a massive heart attack and his brother at 42. That definitly influenced what was going on in our home. My mother threw out the salt shakers and started skinning the chickens. I became very aware that what we put into our bodies directly influences the health of all systems in our body.

            For health reasons I have decided to be vegan. I have always enjoyed seeing how my body responds to food and exercise. However, I do not try and talk my patients into my choices. I let them know that eating the most nutrient dense foods and avoiding junk is most important.

          • Everything? Really, So if I find arguments in favor to have sex with 10 years old and make my cat film it, it’s OK?

    • Laura

      “Ludacris” is a rapper.  The word you are looking for is “ludicrous.”

      That said, I agree with you.  Implying that eating one egg a day is as bad for your health as smoking 5 cigarettes is just beyond the pale and casts doubt on everything else Dr. Greger claims.

      • Gale

        OMG you guys are not getting it. Dr. greger is introducing us to various research articles that have been preformed by other researchers. He did not do the nurses study. These research articles are out here for everyone to read. In the article the data is the same for 5 cigarettes and one egg.

        Do you all think he is making it up? He is simply presenting us with published articles. Published articles are different than going on a Paleo website, reading what the bloggers has to say and believing it as fact.

        Obviously too many people here are not familiar with the discipline involved in being published.

  • Joanbunney

    Born in 1945 started smoking in 1962 at the age of seventeen. I smoked (the whole world smoked in this era),  for thirty-two years. Quit cold-turkey 16 years ago. Difficult for a few months, but the rewards are mind boggling. I urge people rather than resort to dangerous pharma, their  after effects, toxicity to the body, to go with good old-fashioned will-power. The power of the mind, perseverance and change never fails us.

    • Charzie

      I know this is going to be an extremely unpopular opinion here, but if it helps just one person, it is worth being ostracized. LOL! After smoking 2 PAD for over 40 years and trying unsuccessfully to quit numerous times, I was discouraged and disgusted with myself for being so “spineless” and “weak” and so lacking in willpower. I won’t go into the long boring background, the point is, each passing year became scarier and the self recrimination was unproductive. Coincidentally, both sons each bought me a version of the then new electronic cigarette, a supposed reduced risk nicotine delivery device that mimicked smoking. It produced vapor instead of smoke and still allowed the approximation of the addicting habit that owned me so completely. I was able to toss the smokes for the vapes, and gradually reduce my nicotine consumption to zero, at which point I just had to deal with ending the habitual motions. Vapers don’t want e-cigs advertised as smoking cessation devices because then the FDA steps in, so I hope they will continue to be billed as reduced risk devices, but they were a real godsend for me and millions of others! People that only know about them from the “popular press” don’t really know anything factual about them, trust me! My success at finally quitting smoking not only improved my health, but my self image and my ability to meet other important health challenges that were long neglected too. I doubt if there are any smokers here, but if you know anyone who smokes who you would love to see quit, I STRONGLY recommend they try e-cigs or go to for more info. By the way, I don’t have any connection with any companies or anything! (I wish I did though!:)

  • Adam

    you are what you consume that includes what you perceive with your senses or enjoy or nurture; the thoughts you nurture the most become the dominant ones which can be changed; same for food and healthy or unhealthy things.

  • Gale

    Dr. Mathews I am not understanding the argument regarding the book you sited above. We know feed lots are environmentally unsound. So short of the world becoming hunters and gatherers what is the solution? The other data suggested that young adults who are vegetarians may have eating disorders? Ok.

    I am not convinced to start eating meat and cheese again.

    Also I find that posting from iPhone/ iPad can be a bit problematic.

    • Dr. Matthew

      Hello, Gale. The most promising method(s) of farming I have scene are integrated farming and polyface farms.  Yes, feedlots are horrendous but surely meat eating cannot/should not be reduced to mass industrial feedlots.  Also, mass agriculture does not have a better track record than feedlots as agriculture has decimated topsoil, prairies, forests, ecosystems, and to a large extent, biodiversity.  Whether we are eating grains or meat we’re punching the environment in the face. This  suggests that maybe the problem is that the earth, as we know it, isn’t equipped to cater to almost 7 BILLION people. If you’re interested in this topic, the interface between nature and culture, Wendell Berry has written some wonderful essays that were collected in a book called The Art of the Commonplace. Also, William Jordan III, wrote a book called The Sunflower Forest: Ecological Restoration and a New Communion with Nature. Very interesting book.

      • WholeFoodChomper

        You are adding way to much to my reading list. :)

  • WholeFoodChomper

    Dr. Matthew,

    You raise some interesting points/counterpoints.  I look forward to reading up on some of the links and recommendations that you offer. (It looks like I will need set aside quite a bit of time since you have shared so much.)

    Although, as a quick response, I have to say, your point #4 made made me wonder a few things: 

    1) “Anecdotally” speaking, what do most of the overweight/obese people that you consult with eat, 

    2) one needs to be careful about proving a point using anecdotes (or case studies alone), 

    3) what came first the veganism /vegetarianism or the eating disorder, 

    4) do all people interested in making better dietary lifestyle choices (e.g., vegan, vegetarian, DASH, TLC, Mayo, Weight Watchers, Volumetrics, Ornish, Eco-Atkins, Paleo, etc.) exhibit higher levels of neurosis and/or mental illness, or is it just the vegans/vegetarians?,

    4a) what kinds of mental illness are we talking about here? (if it is in one of the links you included, I will read it), 

    5) I’d venture a guess that non-plant based commentary boards elsewhere have just as much activity as the commentary board here does. I hardly think that posting comments in a forum created specifically for discussing and sharing viewpoints is a good measure of  one’s neurosis, well, at least it is not the only measure to be sure), 


    6) Dr. Greger has posted a few videos about some serious risks associates with a vegan diet– addressing some mental health considerations as well (

    Again, thanks for sharing the links and recommendations to some other viewpoints. Should be some interesting reading to be sure.

  • Absolutely phantastic video and information. I’m a women of 54 years “young”, feeling like I’m 35. I’m so glad I found Herbalife 18 years ago, so since then I have my regular daily intake of plant nutrients, fibres and especially also the intake of Nitric Oxide (NO), supporting my energy, circulatory and vascular health and avoid heart disease.

  • Oflynnoregan

    Jesus,I cant take in the information this guy is giving, his voice is sooo annoying. 

    • Toxins

      Well thats not very nice is it?

    • Roger Seamanz

      Thank you Dr. Gregor for making this information so very palatable. Never before have I listened/watched nutrition videos because the information is so often too deadpan to endure.

  • Maybe I’m the unpopular one for saying things that are shameful in the Christian world. But perhaps how to be healthier longer is the better question (as you’ve suggested). Indian and Chinese medicine use the term longevity instead of health. Makes you think of medicine in a much different way. So far I’ve found only one reference in ancient medicine (Chinese in this case) that says children at one hundred is possible. Chimps don’t do menopause til 90% lifespan (bonobos probably, other mammals not sure, but likely homo sapiens (recent ones) do the worse), and if ours is 120-140+, then maybe this is possible. Imagine the world long ago before “stress”, organization, when democracy really existed, living among trees, picking food directly from the ground (with variety suitable to the local climate and all parts of the plant available [leaf, fruit, root], everything without pollution, non-monotheistic religious experience that sort of let people be (happy) as whatever they were), and the pre-Christianity world where work wasn’t valued over everything else, and yes this was possible before.

  • Liz

    Is there some reason that cereal fiber would be more healthful in preventing heart attacks than other fiber sources?

    • Toxins

      No, all whole plant food fiber is going to be equally as healthy as grain fiber.

      • Liz

        I wondered about the cereal fiber because the study specifically referred to cereal fiber.  

  • Dr. Matthew

    From the conclusion of a HUGE study (“Egg consumption and risk of coronary heart disease and stroke: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies”) from January 7th, 2013 in the BMJ:

    “Conclusions: Higher consumption of eggs (up to one egg per day) is not with increased risk of coronary heart disease or stroke.”

    Here’s the link:

    Why was this never mentioned on this site? Or how about the results of all these studies examining the impact of eggs on ones health:

    Oh, and while I’m we’re at it how about some studies on low cholesterol actually INCREASING health risk:

    Honolulu Heart Study e/ 8,000 participants (2001):

    Long-term persistence of low cholesterol concentration actually increases the risk of death. Thus, the earlier the patients start to have lower
    cholesterol concentrations, the greater the risk of death.

    Japanese Lipid Intervention Trial with over 47,000 participants (1993):

    “The highest death rate observed was among those with lowest cholesterol
    (under 160mg/dl); lowest death rate observed was with those whose
    cholesterol was between 200-259mg/dl”

    Report of the Conference on Low Blood Cholesterol: Mortality Associations

    video, “cholesterol and heart disease”.

    Australian Aborigines have the lowest blood cholesterol levels and the highest
    incidence of cardiovascular disease (30 times more than France)—whereas the Swiss have the highest levels of blood cholesterol and an incidence of CVD that is 1/3 of the UK.

    Toxins (AKA Dr. Gregor), if you’re really spending all day looking through journals, then how do you miss all the studies that contradict some of your most basic premises? I have two guesses: 1. you only look for that which validates your perspective causing you to see only a small piece of what’s out there or 2. even worse, you see what else is out there and intentionally ignore it because you simply can’t turn back now that you’ve so fully committed yourself to an ideology. The problem is that ideology are not grounded in scientific skepticism.

    Last, my point is not the eggs are good or bad – or any other food for that matter. My point is that when it comes to diet there is and will always be some ambiguity about what is best for people because of the myriad variables that determine each individual’s health. We are all different. Therefore, universal diet recommendations i.e. “truths” are really nothing more than socially, culturally, and personally constructed views. I would have no problem if you simply said, “I’ve studied the human diet for years and have felt great from being a vegan. Here’s why I think you should consider it too…..” This would be so much more honest than trying to substantiate your views with a piece-meal representation of scientific literature on diet and then assert that it’s a “fact” eg the name of this site: “Nutrition Facts.”

    But instead, I’m going to get the all too familiar defensive “toxins” response with the same handful of studies attached which ultimately just illustrates my point. And that is a shame. This site does so many great things for vegans and vegetarians (like myself). I just don’t get why it can’t be more transparent about it’s largely personal intellectual commitments.

  • tree

    please address the issue of the so called cholestrol myth and that we do not absorb cholestrol into our blood from the foods we eat (nb i am vegan have friends and family who arent!!!)

    • Veganrunner

      Hi Tree,

      When we ingest animal protein we do absorb the animals’ cholesterol. Dr Greger has many posted videos under “browse topics” that covers cholesterol. We also make all the cholesterol we need for our tissue and hormones. (There is a rare condition where this isn’t true but again that is rare.)

  • pretty venomous vegans ’round here. Wonder how healthy that is for your chakras or whatever? be well

  • Julia

    I agree with you Sophie! Regardless of the claims of this study, it is absolutely irresponsible for Dr. G to summarize the outcome of a complex and possibly flawed study in a 2 minute clip. Not to mention how reckless to make the outrageous claim of eggs causing as much bodily harm as cigarettes without exploring all other possible variables that might explain this correlation! I’m really curious what variables the Harvard Nurse’s study measured for (high blood pressure, inflammatory diseases, liver health, adipose tissue, the amount of processed foods consumed???). These are the factors responsible for high cholesterol! Humans have been eating eggs for thousands of years and heart disease, high cholesterol, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s are ailments that have only been seen in our modern world. Interesting to note too, the advent of low-cholesterol diets (including limiting eggs) and the unbelievable over-prescription of statins such as Lipitor have zero correlation with a decrease in these conditions. Quite the opposite in fact. These conditions continue to rise at epidemic proportions. Might there be something else going on? Obesity, no exercise, stress, environmental toxicity, insomnia, liver dysfunction, and the most obvious here….diets high in processed, fast and packaged foods not to mention GMO foods which are linked to the influx of allergies we are seeing today and therefore inflammation (one of the strongest risk factors associated with high cholesterol!!!) Toxins….the studies you posted are fairly irrelevant given the fact that the intake of arachidonic acid is only associated with increased inflammation in people who already have high levels of inflammation in the body (it then exacerbates the inflammatory response by acting as an inflammatory mediator). Interesting that these studies don’t talk about the actual role of arachidonic acid in the body (brain health, muscle growth and liver health). Also interesting that no one seems to pay attention to the role of cholesterol in the body or the fact that our bodies make approximately 70% of the cholesterol present (for hormone synthesis, cell membrane structure, bile production, etc.) I have all the respect in the world for the scientific process and base my work as a nutritionist on fact based evidence. That being said, we need to question results, critically analyze them and not take them for truth automatically or just because some doctor buys into them or they get on the news. Come on people! Use your heads. Show me a person who eats high quality eggs daily and has a relatively healthy lifestyle otherwise (eats whole foods, exercises, low stress, is not obese, etc) and compare that to a smoker who eats the SAD…..guess who will have more health concerns! There is no diet right for everyone. Someone who has heart disease and high blood pressure, or other modern ailments perhaps needs to limit the amount of saturated fats and cholesterol containing foods, but not someone who is in good health.

    • Veganrunner

      Julia don’t be curious, read the Harvard Nurses study for yourself. “I’m really curious what variables the Harvard Nurse’s study measured for high blood pressure, inflammatory diseases, liver health, adipose tissue, the amount of processed foods consumed???”

  • Oatmeal with nuts, cocoa powder and peppermint

    3 1/2 cups of strong peppermint tea
    2 cups of whole oats (soaked in the peppermint tea overnight)
    2 cups of almond milk (unsweetened)
    1 medium banana (as sweetener) or 1-2 dates
    1/2 cup of cocoa powder (no alkali processed)
    1 teaspoon of cinnamon
    1/4 cup of nuts
    1 tablespoon of flax meal


    (1) Place oats in a bowl
    (2) Blend almond milk, cocoa powder, banana and cinnamon.
    (3)) Combine oats and almond milk mixture.
    (4) Garnish with nuts and sprinkle a tablespoon of flax meal.

  • Eve

    First link in “sources” is broken

  • pitikuss

    ..this “study” is idiotic farce…presenting this in all seriousness makes comic Michael Gregor to moron with MD title and thus his blog/s will be same garbage as well..I am leaving this “health” page for good.. (comparing cholesterol which even human body produces to cigarettes …this is too much for any reasonable human) ..go eat your cigarettes you cretin..

    • Not nice. What are you so angry about. It is fine to disagree, but not to be mean. Attack the ideas not the person.

  • karine

    I have a question –
    how do Predators in nature, live “long” and healthy lifes? isnt meat a bad thing?

    • beccadoggie10

      I suspect that wild animals, who are predators, do not have sedentary lifestyles. They are very lean because they are always stalking prey; either walking or running when not resting/sleeping.

  • ceciliastone

    daz scan for parkinson

  • I really don’t know and don’t work there anymore.

  • Sofia

    Dear Dr. Greger,

    In this video you mention that the competing risk
    analysis says the cholesterol intake in one egg appeared to be comparable to
    smoking 25,000 cigarettes, or 5 cigarettes a day for 15 years.

    Can you please tell me how did you come up with this cigarette number?

    I’m reading and re-reading your source and I don’t
    see this figure. In the graph you show it says it is comparable to a 46 pack
    year history which would be 20 cigarettes for 46 years.

    I would really appreciate it!

    Many thanks,