New RD Joseph Gonzalez

Introducing Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

First, I want to thank all those that applied for the Nutrition Director position. I am so thrilled my work attracts such talented folks! We received dozens of applications from doctors and nurses and dietitians who dedicated days of their lives slogging through a grueling application process all for the honor of serving you. And that honor goes to Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

Let me turn it over to him so he can introduce himself:

Untitled.001Hello everyone!
I am so thrilled to join the team. It’s always been a passion of mine to help others. Let me tell you a little about my background:
Professionally, I started working as the Health Coordinator for Head Start – a federal program providing early childhood education, health, and nutrition for children. To focus on more nutrition-related efforts, I took a position in Washington, D.C., as Staff Dietitian with the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). There, I helped organize their Food for Life Programs, where certified instructors teach cooking classes dedicated to nutrition education for disease prevention. I also helped coordinate and publish clinical research studies, working closely with research study participants for nearly 4 years. I left the Physicians Committee to pursue medical school but took a detour and ended up working with the University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Integrative Medicine Program, specifically, as a dietitian in a comprehensive lifestyle study for women with breast cancer. It’s been a privilege to work alongside such courageous women.
My passion for both nutrition and helping others is perhaps best exemplified by my volunteer work in the Marshall Islands. I served at the Diabetes Wellness Center with the Director of Nutrition, Brenda Davis, R.D., helping people to control (and in some cases even reverse) type 2 diabetes with dietary changes.

For years, I have witnessed the power of eating healthy in my own life, and through the lives of many friends, family, and research study participants. As Nutrition Director, my hope is to forward the mission of making advances in the field freely available and accessible to all by helping people wherever they are at with improving their diets.
I may not have all the answers to your questions, but I can help find them for you. Please leave a question in the comments section under any of the videos or blogs and I’ll do my best to help.
Joseph Gonzales, R.D.
Nutrition Director

I can’t tell you how excited I am to have Joseph on board! I’ve always envisioned would someday become a place where people can not only learn about the latest research but get all their nutrition questions answered. I can share the why’s of eating healthy, but what about the how’s?  What Joseph can bring is helping to translate  what I present into practical advice on incorporating the best available science into our day-to-day lives. I think we’re going to make a great team.

This is all for you, and all thanks to you. It was everyone’s donations last year that put us in the position to offer even more free resources for everyone on how to best feed ourselves and our families to lead long healthy productive lives.

-Michael Greger, M.D.


Michael Greger M.D., FACLM

Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM, is a physician, New York Times bestselling author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues. Dr. Greger has lectured at the Conference on World Affairs, the National Institutes of Health, and the International Bird Flu Summit, testified before Congress, appeared on The Dr. Oz Show and The Colbert Report, and was invited as an expert witness in defense of Oprah Winfrey at the infamous "meat defamation" trial.

119 responses to “Introducing Joseph Gonzales, R.D.

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  1. So totally Awesome to have you aboard, from someone who check this site each and every day at 7:00 AM Central. We all are so blessed to have this site and information available to us, so needed today, and even more so globally going forward. Thank you for being a part of this and working with the dedicated team.

    1. I appreciate the kind words! Whoa! Everyday? Awesome! I’ll do my best to answer questions so you can keep spreading the word about the value of Dr. Greger’s site! Thanks so much. joseph

      1. Glad to have you on this great team. “Everyday” is not unusual; I wake up, brew my white tea, and then log on to this site. You guys are how I start each day; then I check back in the evening to read comments. Many health conscious people view this site; I believe it has the best information on health and nutrition available.

      2. The end of the video (Turmeric Curcumin, MGUS, and Multiple Myeloma)
        states that eating pickled vegetables increases
        risk of multiple myeloma, but the gut microbe folks say we should eat that. I
        am so confused. HELP!!!!

        1. Hi Susan. Have you seen my comments on the tread from that video? I think I address that concern. Indeed it is confusing perhaps the idea is to find healthful fermented sources and eat them in the right amounts?

            1. Forgive me I meant to say I commented on this topic on the MGUS video. I am reposting :) see if this helps? Thanks, Susan J.

              Apple cider vinegar is still okay, but don’t mess with the pills. Check out Dr. Greger’s video about if kimchi and sauerkraut are harmful. Seems a little bit of sauerkraut is okay, so perhaps with things like capers a little is fine to consume. I like this powerpoint from a dietitian from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center in Seattle presenting at AICR on fermented and picked foods on cancer risk. Explains a lot about fermented foods.

  2. Congratulations and welcome, Mr. Gonzalez! That’s an impressive resume (especially liked seeing PCRM on the list!), and I look forward to learning much from your expertise and experience.

    1. Thanks, Laloofah! PCRM was a great experience. I leaned a lot from study participants and leading research studies. I look forward to your comments and input!

  3. Welcome :) I’m glad to see growing. Since you are looking forward to answering our questions…. here is one that I asked in February of 2014, but haven’t received a response to (other then Dr. Greger was working on a video for it that should be out in 6 months, but that hasn’t happened yet).



    I have been a subscriber for a little while now and vegan for several years. I love the informative videos and articles posted on this site. Well done.

    However, there is one thing I have yet to find on this website (or many others) that I would appreciate if Dr. Greger could comment on; demineralized water.

    I have recently become concerned with the amount of heavy metals and VOCs in my municipal water source and have been looking at reverse osmosis or distillation systems for home water consumption. However, there seems to be some controversy over consuming demineralized water (these two systems remove ALL dissolved solids including beneficial ones like Calcium and Magnesium), as it is said to have negative long term consequences to ones health.

    “For about 50 years, epidemiological studies in many countries all over the world have reported that soft water (i.e., water low in calcium and magnesium) and water low in magnesium is associated with increased morbidity and mortality from cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to hard water and water high in magnesium.”

    There has been an increase in popularity (that I have even seen expressed though the comments of your subscribers) in only consuming demineralized water. It would be greatly appreciated by not only myself, but many of your subscribers (I assume) if Dr. Greger could address the issue of long term consequences to ones health with the steady consumption of demineralized water.

    Thank you.

    Kindest Regards,

    1. I endorse this wholeheartedly. Our bodies are fueled by the food we eat, the water we drink, the air we breathe and the sunlight we absorb. I realize that air and sunlight might be outside the scope of nutrition, but certainly the water we drink is just as important as the food we’re consuming daily. Please do a segment on water, it would be greatly appreciated!

      1. Agreed. Water is vital! I will respond to Jonathan’s questions above, as it’s an important one! Thanks for this endorsement, Chris.

      2. I am very curious also. We live in south Florida where the well water smells so strong of sulfur and whatever else, when the neighbors water their lawn you can tell without looking! Houses are stained orange/brown from the over-spray of their sprinkler systems. There is no way this stuff is palatable, so some type of purification system is needed here! We didn’t like the usual system based on sodium, so invested a lot in an RO system, but now I’m concerned it may not be the great thing we thought it was at the time, with all the talk about minerals in the water being beneficial. Damned if we do, and damned if we don’t? No way I would even consider bottled water, we couldn’t afford it anymore for one, and second, it’s quality is just as questionable from what I’ve read, and I do drink a LOT of it! I would be very interested in studies on water quality in regards to health.

    2. Thanks, Jonathan! Goodness our apologies for not responding to this great question. As you can imagine we receive hundreds of emails and comments daily. I just came along and I plan to get to ALL relevant questions in time. Thanks for your patience. You bring up an important issue. Water ought to be pure and healthful but what’s best? Dr. Greger has some info on water but I don’t see anything about demineralized water. A quick search in pubmed finds over 500 studies when I just search “demineralized water”. Here is one study that stood out, Demineralization of drinking water: Is it prudent?. Check out the section on “Minerals in Water: The Debate”, if interested. It points to a few things you mention about demineralized water possibly leading to lesser health. One thing caught my eye in this report, that “Drinking water soft or hard has been a subject of debate and discussion and controversies” So I suspect we need more research before making a conclusive answer. Let’s keep this conversation going. if others can help me find more research on water and minerals please chime-in!

      1. As far as I know you can get all the minerals you need from food you eat, but drinking dirty water is bad so drinking distilled water would seem like a good plan and then eating mineral rich foods, but I have heard people say that drinking distilled water, which has no minerals in can cause problems with the distilled water pulling minerals back in to it, out of your body, and so it can be negative because of this. Not sure how true that is, I just heard it and it made sense that it might cause a reaction in the body.

        I would say some kind of remineralised distilled water would be the cleanest water, however I would say spring water that is tested and checked for bacteria and or pollutants, which is shown as clean would be the healthiest, just due to being distilled by nature and then being so mineral rich due to travelling via many mineral rich places before being collected.

        However, I have heard people say that they think drinking liquids in fruit form is the best solution as you get so much of the minerals from the fruit. My issue would be how much sugar is in it. But drinking liquids that comes from plants would mean a lot of dodgy chemicals and pollutants would be filtered out by the plants, so long as there not sprayed with loads of pesticides, which is less likely to happen with organic produce. this would probable be pretty healthy and clean in smoothie form, and even in juice form, so long as there is no sugar added and the juice is not naturally high in sugar. I think this would be a good way to get clean liquids rich in minerals.

        So a video on the healthiest fruit or vegetable juice and or smoothie, could be useful. :)

        1. Using organic fruit and veg for all your daily fluids would be massively expensive and the calories would be ridiculous. Far easier to move to a town that uses spring water or water from deep bore holes that is regularly checked for contaminants. And also an area that doesn’t adulterate the water with flouride. You’ll notice from the smell that good deep borehole water doesn’t have very much chlorine added to it as it doesn’t have the contaminants that surface water does.

          My personal smoothie recipe…

          Thoughts on juice v smoothie (with lots of videos from here to back it up)

          1. Most cities do not use just chlorine anymore. I live in Tucson & although we (LUCKILY) hadn’t enough revenue in the 90’s for a floride treatment plant ( yea !), most cities use chloramine (nasty combo of chlorine & ammonia) which is almost impossible to clean up with filters or anything else. Chlorine mixed with ammonia = more $ for companies (as it’s cheaper) but deadly for consumers….but if one dies they already have many more to take their place, Showering with that water is toxic….especially in HOT showers…

          2. Thx for the smoothie recipe, always on the lookout for more choices; but, I need oz and teaspoons, not the European measures; I am way too busy to convert. thanks,

          3. Buying loads of spring water is as expensive as organic foods. If you don’t have much money distiller and a way to reminilise the water would be the cheapest way.

      2. Thank you for your reply and my apologies on the delay in response.

        That article seems to confirm the WHO report with the caveat that more testing is needed. I assume (as of now) the best option is to have your water tested and then find a third party certified (NSF) filter to remove any contaminates that are present without removing any essential minerals.

        If anyone is interested, this is the filter I installed about a year ago. So far, so good.

        And through this link you can check off any specific contaminates in your water and see which filter/unit has been verified to remove it.

  4. Congratulations and welcome! I’ve been here for almost two years and am frequently blown away after putting the knowledge into practice for myself and my family. I keep thinking “I’ll donate when I can afford it”, with this appointment of Mr. Gonzalez, how can I not contribute. I’m enjoying watching Dr. Gerger’s word making its way around the Internet and within my family. You can not put a price on the body of work presented here. Thanks and I wish you much continued success!

    1. Stu. This is the very reason I wanted to work here! Whatever I can do for you and your family that leads to a healthier lifestyle please don’t hesitate to ask! I appreciate your considerate note. Best to you and yours, joseph

  5. Welcome. So glad to have another expert from whom I can learn.

    I do have a question – I have been mostly vegan for 10+ years (vegetarian for 20 years). All of a sudden, my usually outstanding health is the pits – diagnosed with hypothyroid, osteoporosis, general malaise. I am wondering if my diet is to blame….. What is the easiest way to determine if I am getting sufficient nutrients? My diet is low-carb, moderate fat, with very little processed food (a veggie burger every now and then…) and mostly organic. I take supplements. I know that you can’t diagnose my specific concerns, but am looking for advice on how to determine. Thank you

    1. Thanks, DB Johnson. Hard to know if diet is to blame. I don’t like “blame” in general so let’s forget it! You are dealing with some concerns and that is all you need to do, in my opinion. Note that I cannot give medical advice so I encourage you to discuss with your healthcare team, but please feel free to relay anything you read here! I can’t speak to any diet in general, but filling up on whole foods and following a vegan diet may be a great choice, according to so much of the literature. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics wrote a position paper in 2009 on vegetarian and vegan diets finding them to be healthful at any stage of life, but with any “diet” it must be well-rounded and planned. I am linking a few or Dr. Greger’s videos and info on thyroid health, osteoporosis, and fatigue. They may help? Lastly, Dr. Greger has optimal nutrition tips that may be worth a gander. Thanks for your post and let me know how else I can help. Joseph

        1. DB Johnson just out of curiosity how do you manage a low carb diet as a vegan? What are you eating to make up the difference in fat and protein? Do you actually mean you don’t eat junky carbs?

          1. It’s tough and I do a low-carb as I can. The carbs that I eat are measured. 1/2 cup beans, 1/4 dry lentils or dry barley. 1/2 banana, 1/2 sweet potato etc. I used to eat a lot of pasta, rice etc. A serving of organic, whole wheat pasta, for me, was 6 oz, uncooked. I actually did fine with that. But, DH needed to change his diet, to low carb, due to health.

            1. Hi DB,
              Yes so you are talking about simple processed carbs. Have you ever entered your food into an app? It is pretty difficult to eat all those plants and call it low carb. But no junky carbs. I agree. Nice day of food.

            2. Hi DB, in my heart of hearts, I just would find it hard to believe that a whole foods plant based diet would cause all of those problems… it just doesn’t make any common sense when the ONLY thing you’ve left out is toxic meat, fish, poultry, oils and sugars. There just CANNOT be anything good about eating such toxic foods (especially when they are basically just a “middle man” for the greens that we are already eating anyway)… but having attended Dr. John McDougall’s Ten Day Live-In Program, we were taught that supplements can cause severe problems…. you may want to google Dr. McDougall and Supplements. I used to “live on” supplements and I started to experience some problems, so I’d just either take more supplements or find new ones to try to “fix” the problems never realizing that it was the supplements CAUSING the problems. I’m anxious to hear how you make out. Wishing you the best DB. Nancy Nurse :))

              1. What an interesting comment. Thank you for caring! You are right. i am only leaving out stuff that we know is bad for health, the environment, animals… Maybe it is one/all of my supplements. I will Google Dr McDougall and maybe even stop my supplements to see what happens (except for B12) With appreciation

  6. Good luck with the new job! I already have a request for you. I am interested in FASTING and it’s effects on human health. You would help a lot if you found and shared any studies you find on that topic. Thank you for your effort.

    1. You got it, Zuppkko! Thanks for the warm welcome. Are you talking about fasting with water only or doing a type of “cleanse”?Unfortunately I am not an expert in this area. I can say that I have not seen any promising studies on fasting. Much more literature on eating the right foods to help with disease prevention. I know a lot of folks are into “fasting” but I am very cautious about it and would never recommended it. Happy to learn more about together, if you ever come across new research please share!

      1. If you ever get a chance look up True North in Santa Rosa California. It is run by Alan Goldhammer and the physician is Michael Klapper, MD. They are right next to Dr. McDougall’s health and wellness center. They do water fasting up to 60 days medically supervised and have great results.

  7. Congratz to the winner !!!

    I have to say that you’re going to have a LOT of work to do, but i think that you will became an essential member of this growing community.

    I hope the best for the future,

    Mauro (aka Merio, BS in Biotechnology, MS student in Medical Biotechnology)


    This song is perfect for your “victory”

    1. Dear Merio,

      Considering I am a die hard hockey player and fan, this song speaks volumes! I hope I can help make a difference. All candidates were qualified for this role, so I better do a great job! Please help me. The music video is a great start for motivation!


      1. Unfortunately i do not have the time to follow this site properly because of my university studies, but there are a lot of great volunteers here on NFs and you have only to ask for help and they will respond quickly !

        I suggest to work on a FAQ section for this site (maybe looking on other plant based sites) since i have seen a lot of videos where people bring the same questions over and over again and after a while it became annoying… a FAQ section will be perfect to solve/minimize this problem (not immediately, but a sort of work in progress).

        Glad that you love the song (XD); The Queen are simply the best !!!

  8. I’ve had a question regarding iodine for some time.

    As far as I know there are few options:
    – iodised salt
    – seaweeds
    – supplement

    I believe sodium-intake should be minimised, so that’s a no. I’ve also read about many pollutants in seaweeds these days.
    Is supplementing currently the best way to go?

    1. Thanks, Vince Green. Hard to say? Depends on overall diet. You only need 150 micrograms a day. Iodine is also found in veggies grown near costal areas. The amounts vary and the values are not always available. You are spot on with other sources of iodine in iodized salt, seaweed, and supplements. Some good info on iodine here. Not sure all seaweeds are polluted. Some research shows seaweed/sea vegetables can be beneficial. It is also worthy to note that too MUCH iodine may be as bad as too little. Not sure supplementing is the best way to go, you may not need it if eating plenty of costal veggies, some nori, and using a bit of iodized salt. I cant recommend what’s best, as I simply don’t know! But I would start with reading some of this info. Always best to consult with doctor about supplements right for you. Thanks for your post.

  9. Congrats Joseph! Impressive background. I’m wondering if you could shed some light on the value of becoming an R.D. in today’s climate. I am a huge believer in WFPB diets and am looking to further my education on optimal nutrition across the lifespan but am concerned that current R.D. educations are not modernized to focus on WFPB and food as medicine. Or perhaps there are certain programs you’re aware of that agree with many of the themes of for example?

    1. Please Becky go for it!!! We need more health educators, plain and simple. I don’t think it matters too much on where you go to school. Any place that offers a degree in dietetics I support. Essentially, you’ll learn the basics of nutrition; how vitamin E is transported and absorbed, how to draw and understand amino acid structures and enzymes in biochem, but ultimately once you graduate the field of nutrition is vast! You can get jobs in healthcare, food service, outpatient clinics, public health, etc. Having the RD credential is important in my eyes, even if you think (which I agree to some extent) schools don’t focus enough on “food as medicine”. You may actually be surprised to see the times are changing, even if just a tad. I had a class in college called “whole-food nutrition”, so there are surely nutrition curriculum that focus on more of a whole-foods angle. I suggest you stay up to date with the science, with the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and their position papers and their wonderful Dietetic Practice Groups, and increase your dietary knowledge, then when you are a new RD you will have much opportunity to work where you feel you can make the most impact. Not sure if this is helpful or I am just ranting ;0 let me know! Good luck on your quest. Joseph

  10. Super that you joined!!! I have been following this site for the past three years. As a breast cancer survivor (by the way I was treated at MD Anderson), I use to do my own search until I found this site. Now, I let Dr. Greger do all the work and I just delight myself reading/watching his work. I am glad that now questions will be answered and I am wondering where I can drop some.

    1. Thanks, Cida! Glad you follow the site. Even more glad to hear you are around to do so! Keep up the good fight. Let me know if I can ever help.

      Best to you,

  11. Hi Joseph,

    Welcome aboard. Thanks for joining in to help us all.

    I recently learned of a new report published by the highly reputable Worldwatch Institute that states that 51% of global warming is caused by raising animals for food. The previous understanding as published by the IPCC was 18%, second only to buildings, which is huge enough. But if it’s 51%, that’s big news. Can you or anyone you know shed any light on this? Is this peer reviewed? Does it make sense to someone capable or evaluating the report? Here’s a link to it

    Thank you, and again, welcome.


    1. Hey Keith. Thanks for the welcome. Not sure? I have read this report but I am no expert in environmental health. Can anyone else jump-in and supply some references? I know the report is almost 10 years old but to my knowledge the same concerns exists re: animal agriculture and green house gasses. I saw a great flick, Cowspiracy, that points to a lot of what you mention. Lets see if others can add their input.

      Take care,

  12. Congratulations, its good to see another male dietitian in the field, im surrounded by women, ahhhhh, I also applied for the job, but im an Intern at the moment.

  13. Nonprofits aren’t permitted to give practical advice. You can’t get donations to give advice or counseling; you better stick to explaining how things “may” be applicable in circumstances.

  14. Hi Joseph and welcome! So glad to be able to have my questions answered!

    I have two questions:
    I have 7 month old twins and was wondering when and how to start supplementing them with b12 (currently breastfed and I take b12 cyancobalim 1000mcg twice a week I hope that’s enough?!) –

    2) are there any resources on how to feed babies a plant based diet, what first foods should be and whether or not to Puree or go with baby led weaning (self feeding) et cetera? I am finding that they are getting very constipated and squealing in pain when they need to ‘go’ even though so far they have been eating only plant foods; fruits (pureed apple pear prunes banana), vegies (potato sweet potato brocoli cucumber avocado) and baby porridge and drinking apple juice diluted in water. My diet is a starch based plant based diet so I shouldnt be causing it through my milk. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi, Sara! Thanks for your questions, I am trying my best! Will take a bit to get to everyone who has commented on other posts. Check this out from the Vegetarian Resource Group. Scroll down to Nutrition Information and there is a boat load of info on feeding children. Of course, discuss feeding patterns and supplements with your doctor, but there is no reason a well-planned plant-based diet cannot suffice. Let me know if these help.

      Best you and your little bambinos!

  15. I currently use a device similar to RO but not sure about the safety of it and would like to know ASAP. Thanks! Don’t wanna harm my body.

  16. Welcome to the latest member of the best nutrition site on the web! (But you already knew that since here you are!) It is great to have you on board, and I feel bad you are already getting blasted with so many questions! I won’t do that. Heh heh, not YET anyway! LOL! It is so nice to have an accurate source of nutrition information that isn’t governed by the latest fad or financial agendas, and with you on board it can only be even better. Best of luck to you, and thanks Dr Greger for all your hard work and passion!

    1. Thank you, Charzie. Please don’t feel bad at all. I am happy to be here. I appreciate your nice words. Look forward to your contributions in the discussions.


  17. Welcome to!!! Since you asked, here is the question I’m currently struggling with: lists the iron content of various foods. For example, it claims that I TBS of Blackstrap Molasses contains 3.5 mg of iron. Does this value already have absorption assumptions built in?

    For example, assume the following:
    — I am a premenopausal woman with woefully inadequate iron consumption.
    — I consume 1 TBS of Blackstrap Molasses at a meal that:
    — Does not include known iron inhibitors (tea, calcium supplements, etc.)
    — Does include a good source of Vitamin C
    — Does include a good source of Lysine

    Given those assumptions, how much iron will I absorb from the molasses?
    — Roughly 3.5 mg?
    — A bit more than 3.5 mg?
    — Considerably more than 3.5 mg?
    — Whatever is in the box that Jay is bringing down the aisle? (Too young to get a Let’s Make a Deal reference?)

    1. I’ll take “Whatever is in the box that Jay is bringing down the aisle”, Monty Hall!. Completely joking :) Thanks for your detailed question. The Institute of Medicine sets nutrient guidelines on iron (18 mg for premenopausal women 19-50) but they don’t take absorption into consideration. Meaning, they factored rates of absorption into the guidelines so that the public would not have to calculate percentages at every meal :) Technical question about how much would “really” be absorbed. Depends on her current iron stores, as well. You’d absorb far less than 3.5mg I suppose, but the vitamin C will help. I’m blocking on the studies that measure iron absorption percentages, but what I might say is molasses is great! Actually one of the healthiest sugars. The fact it has so much iron is amazing to me! If other foods were added, iron-rich foods like dark leafy greens, beans, lentils, tomatoes and citrus, iron needs could be easily met.

      Thanks, Lottsagreens

  18. Welcome Joseph! I just wanted to say that in the top picture you are smiling and look happy but in the one where you’re wearing a white coat you look sad. Can we photoshop a smile on your face?

    1. Thanks so much HemoDynamic, MD! Research is serious business ;) Ha! I promise to smile more in next photo-op. Appreciate your contributions to the site over the years!

  19. Could you please give me the name of the blood test that give me a list of all the minerals, vitamins, and the condition of my health. I would really like to be able to get a blood test and know if I am deficient in anything and need to eat healthier, but I am not sure what the name of this test would be called? Something similar to the person in this video would be useful:

    1. Hmm I am not sure, Stephan. I would recommend typical blood tests ordered by your doctor. Ask about minerals and vitamins, specifically, and if that kind of testing is needed.

      1. Nutrient panel? I live in the UK. So would it be a Nutrients test? If you were going to do a test to make sure someone was in optimum health what would you test for?

        1. I found one place calling it a ‘nutritional screen’. That was at Looks incredibly comprehensive but it’s £499. I had a look on NHS website for common blood tests that they do and they don’t even mention nutrient tests.

          If i had £499 spare i would probably do it out of pure interest, but i certainly can’t afford that. Shame one can’t get them on the NHS, makes me wonder what the NHS agenda truly is by not doing them? Don’t they want people to be healthy? Probably not, healthy people do not make profits for Big Pharma, healthy people do not keep healthcare professionals in employment.

    2. I think it’s called a ‘nutrient panel’ which checks for nutrient levels, various kinds so you’d need to check what nutrients are being checked for and if the panel you’re getting is the one you actually want before you pay for it.

  20. Welcome, Joseph! I am a regular follower of the site. A WFPB diet has changed my life from being someone who was hopelessly overweight to being what one of my colleagues calls her “role model.” I am a wound care nurse (CWOCN) and work a lot with diabetics, stroke patients and mostly overweight people in a rehab hospital. Nutrition is so critical to wound healing but I just despair at what is served up for meals to my patients. Patients are also free to bring in whatever they want and of course soda flows freely everywhere. So many of my patients are in their state of poor health due to their lifestyle but I almost never bring this up for fear of being inappropriate or offending (we get graded big time on “patient satisfaction”). What’s the best way to start the conversation with people who may not be interested in change?

    1. Hi, Kay R.N.,

      Tough questions. Are their R.D.’s who work with you and educate the patients about nutrition and wound care? Do the doctors? Perhaps a handout could be in place at the very least. So much research on protein, zinc, vitamin C and wound care, if my MNT serves me right? Forget the amounts of nutrients off top of head (I think it’s based on wound severity) but surely if brought up in a caring and gentle way your patients can connect to I see no harm there. Practice what you may say before hand. Sometimes you’d be surprised to find out pts DO want to learn more, they just have not gotten the right advice. To counter your point, how inappropriate or offensive is it for you to “not” say anything? I am not sure if there is a right answer. Just trying to see the situation from all angles.

    2. That’s a very difficult thing to do. I haven’t had much success (yet…), but here are a couple of ideas that may help:
      – Enlist your enthusiastic colleague to advocate for your experience and success. Then hopefully you may have more authority with a referred patient.
      – Use lots of “I” statements; describe what you have done, the process and the results.
      – Ask them if they want to talk about diet, and respect their decision if they say no.
      Good luck!

  21. Hello there Joseph!

    I enjoy the scientific basis for this site’s nutrition opinions and I think a dietitian with research experience is a great addition. Good on ya.

    As a current dietetics student, I find I’m more interested in the “why” behind all of the information than the actual diet planning piece. If you don’t mind me asking, how did you become more involved in a research career? That is where I think my interests match best, but I’m not sure if I can jump into an MPH or PhD financially. Would you have any advice for nutrition research and what is most realistic? I would appreciate that very much.

    My best, B

    1. Hi, Bethany!

      Thanks for your questions :) I didn’t actually plan to do research as a dietitian, the opportunity simply arose when I took my job in DC. I loved it and was very interested in doing more, so that led to more opportunities. I am really unsure the best path for you. I suggest learning about the different dietetic practice groups within the Academy. They must have some geared toward research. I highly utilized my instructors and preceptors during my internships, they are obviously super helpful. If nothing else helps, email us and I may be able to connect with RD colleagues in public health and research for more ideas.

      Best to you on your quest!

  22. I have thoroughly appreciated Dr. Greger’s blog and advice and he has become my go-to guy for most things nutritional. Glad that there will be a place now for questions/answers and very happy that you will be working with Dr. Greger, Dr. Gonzales. So, here is my first response to an article and a question, If fish oil supplements do not provide any real benefit to our health, what about the capsule forms of flax seed oil. I am a vegan and have been taking these now for a couple years. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for your note, Lee Marie,

      The research is mixed on flax oil. There is better evidence to suggest eating ground flaxseed than flax oil. I think that supplementing omega-3 fats need to be individualized, and perhaps DHA is better than flax oil. I made several comments regarding omega-3 fats on his last blog. If interested please check-out: The Reversal On Fish Oil

      Please keep adding to this discussion! Omega-3 fats are essential, but how much to take, in what form, when to take them, etc. are important questions to ask!


  23. Welcome Joseph. I look forward to hearing more from you, as time goes by. Thanks to Dr. Greger for bringing us such a distinguished addition to help us in our journey of health. Lynn

  24. Welcome, doctor! This site has done loads for me and my health in just a short time, not to mention the health of my wife and daughter. I do have one question that I have been meaning to ask someone, and since you opened the door to ask questions, here it is: When I do my own review of studies that purport this or that, how can I find out who funded them? I am especially intrigued in this because it appears I might be dealing with white coat syndrome, and I see lots of studies on the matter but want to follow the money to determine whether any of the conclusions could be biased or tainted. Thankyou!

    1. So glad to hear this site is helpful for you and your family, Mark! You bring up a good question about bias studies due to funding. Luckily, at the end of all publications authors are mandated to disclose any conflicts of interest. You should be able to see them clearly. In fact, Dr. Greger has a few tips on this. If interested, Aren’t all studies funded by corporations biased?. Let me know if that helps?

      Best to you,

  25. Congratulations Joseph! Dr Gregor iand the research he shares is wonderful. You will be a great addition to the NutritionFacts Team. Bringing ihealthy eating specifics to the people. I love it. I’m so proud to be a dietitian again. Have you joined Dietitians For Professional Integrity on Facebook? We welcome you!!
    I wish you the best,
    Laurie Carter Haessly V ( on Facebook)

  26. Welcome. As a BC survivor I would love to know what your nutritional program at MD Anderson for breast cancer patients entailed.

    1. Hi, Rosalie,

      Thanks for your interest. Our main nutritional efforts within the study were based on the book, AntiCancer, by David Servan-Schreiber. I think it is a great book that provides many references on nutrition and cancer.

      Here are a few hyperlinks with loads of information about MD Anderson:

      Integrative Medicine Program
      The Servan-Schreiber/Cohen Anticancer Fund – An Intensive Lifestyle Intervention Program to Modify Cancer Outcomes
      Lecture Series – Integrative Medicine Program (hour-long video presentation)

      I hope these may help.


  27. I really appreciate your work!

    Just wondering if spinach and kale should be eaten cooked instead of raw as stated below.
    “The truth is that both spinach and kale are very healthy for you. Unfortunately, it really needs to be steamed before it’s eaten. Steaming or cooking deactivates the oxalic acid content that they have, making them more nutritious. Oxalic acid binds with the calcium in our food making it unavailable for digestion. Over time this can lead to a plethora of health issues, osteoporosis among them. The acids can also irritate the kidneys.”

    1. Hi, Lisa. Thank you so much!

      Raw and cooked vegetables both have their place. The oxalate content in vegetables decreases when cooked. Boiling has a larger effect than steaming.However, only spinach, mustard greens, and beet greens are the stubborn vegetables that wont give you any of their calcium. Kale does just fine in term of absorbable calcium. The cruciferous veggies (Kale, broccoli, cabbage) when eaten raw can be problematic, but you have to eat like 10 cups a day! To some folks (AKA: “cruciferous junkies”) I know this is doable. Please. Don’t let this be you, Lisa ;) (totally just kidding) Not sure about some of the other health issues, but to my knowledge these veggies exhibit more health benefits.

      I hope this help!

  28. I am also an everyday addict! I post links to these videos on the Dr. Ornish Spectrum website all the time. Any chance of getting a video or write-up specifically on the topic of Carnosine as a supplement?

    1. Hi Susan J! Thanks for your post. Yes, I’ll look into carnosine supplements. I’ll review some of the literature soon, but in the meantime one of my dietitian colleagues, Jack Norris, RD already has some research on the matter. If interested please visit here.


  29. I haven’t found this topic yet on this website…Thought this would be a good spot to ask… Do you have a favorite, most efficient and helpful app for nutrition? Mainly for food diaries, etc. I’m not focusing on calories, but would mainly like a convenient way to log a simple food journal.
    I’d like to be able to recommend the best one to my clients. Thank you! -Jami O’Day, MS, RD

  30. Hi Dr. Joe! So I’m a college student, totally interested, inspired and ready to start my vegan life!! However, I have tried and failed a few times already. I have history of anemia and gluten-intolerance, though I consider myself a healthy eater compared to others around me. I want to know how I can thrive on this lifestyle! What am I doing wrong? After a few days, eating was feels like a ton, I feel sluggish with low energy. Can you offer what a simple, well-balanced day on a vegan diet looks like? I’m ready to do this! I just need some help. Thanks so much for all you do!

    1. Anna: I thought I would offer some ideas. First, you mention that you have tried eating vegan in the past and felt to sluggish to continue. There could be multiple reasons for this, but Dr. Klaper has a good talk on this subject with a theory that some people may experience this problem because their bodies are literally addicted to meat and animal protein. Such a person’s body may have stopped producing an important substance. You can learn more from this snippet of the talk here:
      The good news is that if that is your problem, then it is fixable. Not shown in that video clip is Dr. Klaper’s recommendation of going vegan slowly instead of cold turkey. Start by figuring out the smallest amount of meat that you can eat each day and still feel OK. Then stay on that amount of meat for a couple weeks to stabilize. Then see if you can go every other day. Etc. Take your time until your body adjusts and starts to work like a healthy body. Treat meat as medicinal, not food. And at some point (could be months down the road), you will realize that you don’t need it any more.
      The other part of your post was asking for help on what a healthy daily diet looks like. If you can get ahold of Dr. Greger’s new book, How Not To Die, he answers that question with his “Daily Dozen”. This information is also available free from downloadable phone apps.
      Alternatively or in addition to Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, you might consider checking out the free program from PCRM (Physician’s Committee For Responsible Medicine) called 21 Day Kickstart. The program will “hold your hand” for 21 days, including meal plans, recipes, videos, inspirational messages, and a forum (moderated by a very respected RD) where you can ask questions.
      (Click the green “Register Now” button.)
      At the end of the program, you will have a very good practical knowledge about how to eat with healthy and “low” (normal for most people) calorie density.
      For so many people in college, worrying about diet and health is a low priority. I think it’s awesome that you are interested in this topic and hope that these ideas help.

    2. Hi Anna,

      Thanks for reaching out! Gosh, I am behind on weighing in on questions, but I see so much support and so many new faces and volunteers on the site! Please, keep asking your questions. Thea laid out some info below that could help. I think once you learn what constitutes a healthful whole foods vegan diet and you focus on those foods and experiment with different whole foods you’ll find what works for your body. Assure you are 1) eating enough 2) getting enough beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and include some nuts and seeds, and 3) take B12. Many books like Dr. Greger’s new one and meal plans on the web could help. Let me know if you need some suggestions? I’d suggest reading up on plant-based diets and going thru more of Dr. Greger’s videos. It also sounds like you may benefit from a support group or local veg meet up group. We’ll find something that works!


  31. Well Joseph, it has been nearly 10 years since I originally emailed you regarding a RELENTLESS gas problem that I have had to deal with ever since I started a diet that contains about 100% of the RDA for fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. As of TODAY (May 29, 2019), I have been on this diet for EXACTLY TWO DECADES! My gas issue has continued despite my efforts to target SOLUBLE fiber and avoid INSOLUBLE fiber because most foods that contain soluble fiber ALSO contain INSOLUBLE fiber! It is VERY difficult to find SOLUBLE-RICH foods that contain LITTLE to NO insoluble fiber! I have been referred to nutritionists, then to gastroenterologists, then back to nutritionists again. To date, nothing has changed. Although I have been in the BEST of health (consistently 100% PERFECT blood test results… better than ANYONE else in my family), I am still dealing with a relentless gas problem that has turned my ENTIRE life UPSIDE DOWN, INSIDE OUT, and EVERY WHICH WAY BUT LOOSE (unlike ANYONE else in my family)!

    You stated before that humans can typically handle 30-40 grams of fiber daily without much of a problem. Well as you are aware of, most humans’ diets do NOT contain 100% of the RDA for fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. According to statistics, LESS THAN 3% of all Americans actually consume 100% of the RDA for fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. So here is MY position: Most nutritionists do NOT understand the LONG TERM effects that a high fiber diet can have on a person’s life because THERE ARE NOT ENOUGH HUMANS ON THIS EARTH WHOSE DIETS ACTUALLY CONTAIN 100% OF THE RDA FOR FIBER AND NUTRIENTS DAILY. If the typical American diet DID contain 100% of the RDA for fiber and nutrients, nutritionists would then have a better understanding of the LONG TERM effects of fiber on a person’s life, but because trying to find ordinary everyday people whose diets actually contain 100% of the RDA for fiber and nutrients is like trying to find “a needle in a haystack,” how can nutritionists possibly understand the consequences that a high-fiber, high-nutrient diet will have on a person’s life 10 years down the road… 20 years down the road… 30 years down the road… 40 years down the road… etc???

    If you truly believe that most people can handle 30 to 40 grams of fiber daily without much of a problem, then I would ask that you do me this one favor: PLEASE provide me with CASE STUDIES of human beings who started a diet containing 100% of the RDA for fiber and nutrients EARLY in their adult lives… let’s say between ages 20 and 30… and CONTINUED their “optimum” diets THROUGH THEIR SENIOR YEARS ALL THE WAY TO THE AGE OF 100 AND BEYOND… and NEVER reported that their lives were in any way turned upside down at ANY point in their 70+ or 80+ YEARS of following their “optimum” diets! If you are unable to do that (which I honestly believe that neither YOU nor ANY other health care practitioner can do that), then you must admit that I make a VERY good point!

    Whenever you have spare time, I would like for you to read an online article that… from my understanding… CLEARLY indicates a relationship between a high fiber diet and RELENTLESS gas! My understanding of this article is this: If you are not CONSTANTLY passing gas, then you might not be in EXCELLENT health. After reading this article, perhaps you will see things differently. Please let me know how you feel about the article (and about what I said in the above paragraphs). Here is the URL to the article:

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