How Not to Die Launch

There Was No Book… Until Now!

People are more likely to die during December and January than any other time of the year. Fitting, then, that my new book How Not to Die hits stores today! If you missed it yesterday, I created a video tour through the book, highlighting the differences between what’s in the book and what’s up on I wanted to write not just a reference book—one that compiles all the most compelling evidence in one place—but also a practical guide on translating the mountain of data into day-to-day decisions. That’s something that’s been partially missing from, because I’ve wanted to just stick to the science. But I’ve always yearned to share so much more.

What about my favorite recipes, my favorite kitchen gadgets, my favorite meals? That’s not what the website was made for. It’s NutritionFacts, not nutrition opinions! Interviewers are always asking me “What do you eat, Dr. Greger?” and I have to say, “It doesn’t matter what I eat; all that matters is what the science shows.” OK, but how do I take all this amazing science I’ve learned and transform it into what I actually feed my family? How do I make it digestible? (Literally!) Well, I’ve just never had an outlet to share all those personal judgements before… until now.  That’s Part 2 of the book, in which I introduce my Daily Dozen checklist of all the things we should try to fit into an optimal diet. The book details both my life and my life’s work, all rolled into one.

Find it in your local bookstore or online at:

My favorite endorsement this week came from Dr. Esselstyn:
“HOW NOT TO DIE by Michael Greger is an absolute rhapsody of informational wisdom on how to achieve a life of health and longevity without disease.”
-Caldwell Esselstyn Jr., MD
Ask Me Anything
On Thursday, December 10, I’ll be answering your questions live on Reddit starting at 10:45am ET and going for at least 5 hours. Reddit is a social media platform that is great for hosting Q&A’s. To ask a question on Thursday, go to my Facebook page and I’ll have the link to the live Q&A posted.

If you’d like to ask me a question in person, most of my December speaking events are sold out, but there is still space available in Baltimore, Tucson, and Detroit. Then I’ve already got another 60 dates confirmed for 2016.

Social Media
Please feel free to post pictures of your books as they arrive at your house and share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #HowNotToDie.

Why This First Week is So Important
This first week of book sales is my big chance to make it onto the New York Times Best Seller list, since all the pre-orders to date count towards first week sales. If I make it on the list, my hope is that it will interest mainstream media and expose millions more to this life-saving information. So if you’re thinking about buying copies for all your friends and family this holiday season, please consider getting them by Saturday, December 12.

Thank you for your ongoing support as I enter this new chapter of my life (actually 16 chapters! :)

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, More Than an Apple a Day, From Table to Able, and Food as Medicine.


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.

33 responses to “There Was No Book… Until Now!

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  1. vegan DHA supplements contain not enough EPA?

    Vegan DHA supplements have way more DHA than EPA and I have read claims that the desired ratio is one of more EPA than DHA, and that getting more DHA than EPA can cause mood issues, depression, energy issues. Any data on this, and any vegan supplements that contain more EPA than DHA?

    1. I have not looked at the ratios in a while. Each brand varies. The body converts EPA > DHA so either are likely fine sources. What claims have you read that show EPA is more advantageous? One thing research has been showing is the EPA from fish oil may not be unsafe and carry PCBs – industrial pollutants.

      1. I’ll see what I can find. I read this a ways back, various claims a ways back. I think I’ll be able to give you some sources and links. Thanks, Joseph. And I think this might be why some people suggest krill oil instead of regular fish oil, as krill has a ratio more balanced (not sure if that is actually correct). Either way, is it true that there is little if any science/data showing or even suggesting that properly processed krill oil does not contain harmful pollutants, heavy metals, etc.?

  2. As a WFPB transitioning retired Family Physician I simply want to applaud your calling to scour and summarize to date the EB data on the topic and place it a form of a usefully structured book in “How not to Die”…..(and the website of course)..I tip my hat with sincere appreciation! The data in this format can certainly be shared with our peers and patients in a meaningful way. A job well done and may it continue to evolve for the benefit of many. You certainly have my support…an “n” of one….with intent to make it a “n” of many. Thank you, BCM

  3. Hi, this is for Mr. Gonzales or Dr. G.. I’m a vegan and workout with weights daily.. I do an after workout drink with pea protein(isolated) berriesand chia seeds. since i only eat a WFPB.. does the fact that the pea protein being pure with no added sugar or fillers , fit into our dietary lifestyle?

    1. I consider myself HFPB. But i do use PPI for intra exercise supplement as i do a lot of endurance exercise. I don’t see it any difference to using B12 or D, it serves a specific purpose that i can’t find elsewhere. I also use glutamine at the same time because the body can’t replenish it fast enough.

      1. The issue that I see with isolated protein powders is that we really don’t need all that extra protein even if we work out a lot. The vast majority of people need about 5%-7% of their calories to come from protein. This is the amount metabolic ward studies have shown results in nitrogen balance. Confirmation from human physiology is the fact that human breast milk averages around 5%-6% of calories from protein, and this is for a time when we are adding lean tissue on a percentage basis faster than we will at any other point in our lives. The USDA RDI of 10% (50 grams at 4 calories per gram for a 2000 calorie diet) is a 100% factor of safety o make sure the few percent of the population on the far right end of the protein requirement bell curve are covered as well by the RDI. So for most of us 10% is actually double what we need.

        When trying to build lean muscle tissue we do need more total grams of protein than we normally eat to be sure, but we also need more total calories as well, so the percent of calories from protein stays about the same. So if we eat more of the same healthy foods high in complex carbohydrates that we have always eaten to get the extra calories we need, then the additional protein required will just take care of itself. The only time I could see this being different is when we are trying to build muscle while simultaneously trying to loose weight really fast (i.e. Biggest Loser approach of extreme workouts on next to no calories). Then I could see that the protein in small amount of whole unaugmented natural foods might not meet the number of grams such a routine would need. But if you take the healthier approach and take the weight off slowly, the daily calorie deficit required is small enough that a WFPB diet should still supply all the protein necessary without supplementing with isolated protein.

        In fact with endurance exercise it would seem that the need is to add calories while maintaining the total number of grams of protein, since the focus isn’t on adding muscle and your body is actually very good at recycling the amino acids from the proteins broken down/degraded during exercise. So with all the extra calories you have to eat you could probably reduce the percentage of protein calories in the food you eat and still get enough total grams of protein to satisfy your protein requirement. And remember that the body can only store a very limited amount of excess amino acids. The result is that any protein in excess of your immediate need is broken down by the liver to ultimately glucose (and used as energy, stored directly as glycogen in the muscles, or converted to fat and stored) and urea (which puts an unnecessary load on the kidneys to excrete).

        If I am wrong about this, hopefully Joseph will jump in and correct me.

        1. The issue is not how much protein i need to build muscle or repair muscle, of for my daily living function, it’s how much protein my body uses during extended exercise periods and the best and easiest way to get it into my blood stream.

          There are many factors for muscle damage during exercise, direct shock tears, increased stress, oxidative damage, and also protein scavenging for other bodily functions that need protein.

          If you hard at it for 6 hours and burning through 3000 calories then you need to put that protein into your body. The beauty of PPI is that it can be added to liquid fuel for those of us who aren’t very good at taking solid fuel while we’re on the move.

          And at 3000 calories at 5% protein, i still need approx 40 grams of protein in my fuel. It’s therefore very easy to just add 50 grams of PPI @ 80% protein and not have to worry about getting it from elsewhere.

          1. Not sure if I have all this straight. If you are burning an additional 3000 calories on top of a baseline of 2500 or so required to just stay alive, and you don’t want to or simply can’t eat the additional pounds of whole foods necessary to get those extra calories, I can see trying to eat high calorie density foods to get calories without the bulk.

            But if you are saying that you are consuming 3000 calories a day, then I don’t see how you are not getting enough protein with reasonable volume of whole foods. Many plant based foods have a high percentage of calories from protein. Whole beans, peas and lentils are probably the best source for high percent protein in a relatively dense food. Black beans for example get 27% of their calories from protein and 72% from starch and contain 227 calories per cup. Leafy greens have the highest percentage. 50% of the calories in spinach come from protein, but they are also the least calorie dense with a cup of raw spinach only containing 7 calories and a cup of cooked spinach still only up to 47 calories. Of whole grains (per cup, cooked) whole wheat pasta is 16% protein and 225 calories (packed), brown rice is less at 9% protein and 248, and quinoa is also good at 15% protein and 222 calories. (quinoa has a “better” essential aminio acid profile than wheat, but no better total percentage) . Even non-starchy vegetables have a high percentage of protein. Carrots are around 9% and beets are 15%.

            So a hearty meal of two cups of brown rice and a cup of black beans with a cup of diced beets (with lots of performance enhancing nitrates) would be 15% of calories from protein (28.1 total grams) and 767 calories. In fact unless you eat a lot of fruit or drown everything in liquid oil (which pretty much what the standard “healthy” salad is) it is pretty tough to get less than 10%-15% of your calories as protein. Using 15% as an average percent protein for whole plant food meals, you would get 113 grams of protein in a 3000 calorie diet.

            If you need to pack in the calories without the volume nuts are the highest calorie density. A cup of chopped pecans have 753 calories (94% from fat) yet 5.3% of the calories in pecans are still from protein.

            BTW, all nutrient data from the USDA Nutrient Database.

            1. I’m saying that i can burn 3000 calories on a bike ride alone, on top of my daily calorie needs. 6 hours at 500 calories an hour is quite reasonable for a reasonably fit cyclist.

              And eating fats ain’t no good for cycling, if they were the whole pro peleton would be taking fat based gels. I have no desire to make my body run on nut fat. I have more than adequate supplies of body fat to cycle 24 hours, let alone 6. Fat ain’t ever the problem, it’s the glycogen and protein that’s the problem.

              If i’m only doing up to 90 minute run, swim or skate i don’t supplement anything as i can get through 90 minutes with my reserves and simply replenish with a wholefood smoothie when i get home.

              I only do the pea protein and glutamine when i’m taking it beyond 90 minutes.

              I’m currently training up for half ironman distance triathlon, then i’ll be moving up to full ironman distance, and that can be up to 16 hours of non stop exercise when it’s all put together. Altogether i’m thinking something like 8000 calories of low fibre, low bulk, rapidly absorbing, rapidly useable, carbs and amino acids.

              1. OK, completely understand. Extreme exercise requires some extremes in nutrition. No way that you are going to eat 3000 calories of high fiber plant food and then go on a 6 hour bike ride. So basically you are eating the extra protein for its energy content, not so your body can actually use it to make new proteins. Serious question, since carbohydrates and protein both contain 4 calories per gram, why not just consume the extra calories as purely refined carbohydrates which burn clean and completely rather than protein which leaves an “ash” from the amine part behind that your body has to first detoxify to urea and then excrete through the kidneys? Basically what does protein as a source of energy bring to the table that carbs don’t?

                1. The protein is for amino acids not energy. You don’t just use amino acids for building muscle. They’re used in many processes throughout the body and the harder and longer you exercise the more you’re going to use.

                  Think back to breast milk. 6.5% calories from protein. Therefore if you burn 3000 calories you’ll need about 40 grams of protein. It doesn’t matter how you burn those calories, just stick to the 6.5% from protein and you’ll always be fine. It’s my golden rule, and i’ve found it works. It’s what the body needs.

                  The other thing that i have in mind is that when i finish exercise there is already a good supply of readily available plant based aminos in my blood stream going through my muscles, and some still being digested because i fuel right up until i finish, so while the muscles are at their thirstiest for amino acids, directly after exercise, they have a good supply while i can get on with making a good smoothie to boost.

                  At 51 years old, i’m the fittest i’ve ever been in my life and i’m getting faster and going longer with each week that goes by and i don’t ever get ill. So it’s definitely working. But maybe it’s just placebo. But then even if it is all placebo, i’ll take this placebo effect any time.

                  Where it goes fucked up is with the keto crowd, who i’m aware are using protein for energy like you say, and animal protein also. And they’re doing well over 6.5%. Even then they’re not completing triathlons without adding some carbs. I’m not aware of anyone my age doing this. It’s all young people and i don’t think they’re going to survive to 50 if they keep treating their livers and kidneys in this way.

  4. Reading my ebook version of How Not To Die I came across the topic of phytates and nuts and how the former have been maligned in the past. Since I switched diets through Dr Greger’s videos, I’ve taken to eating pre-soaked then dried nuts on a daily basis. I had read somewhere that they should be soaked for maximum nutrient absorption. Please clarify if I should keep on going as before or can the soaking be dispensed with.

    1. michel1959: I *still* haven’t gotten my copy of the book, so I don’t know what it says. But I have seen Dr. Greger’s videos on phytates and assume the information is about the same. From that information, my take has been to generally dispense with worrying about soaking for the purpose of worrying about phytates. Especially for nuts, because there is so much positive evidence shown here on NutritionFacts concerning nuts – which were not likely soaked. So, why worry?
      What do you think?

  5. I ended up in the ER the day my copy arrived. Sadly, I did not have time to open the package before spending the next 10 hours being shuttled from a clinic, to an urgent care, to an ER in a regional hospital, followed by an hour long ambulance ride, and finally to a big city ER. It was thought that my retina was detaching and all of the small town opthomologists on call were at Christmas parties. Anyway, how great it would have been to have had my copy of “How Not to Die” along for the ride. :) When I arrived home with dilated eyes I wish I had ordered the audio version, which I will do this week! :)

  6. Dr Greger-

    Thank you so much for your Daily Dozen and the loads of scientific references. The fact that you are giving your profits of this book to charity is incredible- if someone hasn’t told you that yet, today. Your stories of the durian fruit and Dr. Fardy gave me quite a chuckle. Thank you- you are a gem!!

  7. I purchased the digital book today on to read it on my tablet with the Kindle app. As my mother tongue is French, I turned on “Wise Word”. When this is on, you get a definition above the more complicated words. I was very surprised to find a definition over the word “broccoli”. It seems to be a word not easily recognized by most readers ! Keep the good work Dr Gregger !

  8. The book is wonderful!! All of your great work packed into an easy read. I love it! One suggestion. You should come out with a cookbook of your favorites at home. In your book you have so many wonderful tips on incorporating whole foods easily throughout the day. If you could put it all together in a daily living recipe compilation that would be fabulous! Thanks for all your research!

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