How Not to Die hits New York Times Best Seller list! Needs Your Help
2015 marks the 4-year anniversary of In that time, our videos and pages have been viewed more than 50 million times—20 million over the last year alone. Over the last 30 days we’ve reached the milestone of surpassing 2 million hits in a single month. Unfortunately, the rate of new donations has not kept up with the rate of new traffic. The more people that access the site, the more lives we save, but the higher the server and email costs.

Financially, 2015 was a great year for thanks to the book advance for How Not to Die. But without new book income in 2016, we are back to relying on our steadfast supporters. The average donation we get is less than $30, but we reach so many millions that even if 1 in 1,000 people pitch in a few bucks we are able to thrive. Please consider doing your part and make a one-time end-of-year donation (we’re a 501c3 nonprofit so donations are tax-deductible). Or even better, become a monthly supporter. 59% of our operating budget now comes from regular supporters who sign up to make small recurring donations every month—they build up! 

Expenses pie chartWhere do donations to go? I don’t take a salary or receive any compensation (other than all the warm fuzzies from helping everyone :), but we do have a growing staff. As you can see in the pie chart, the greatest cost is our research budget. This includes access fees for journal articles and our burgeoning research team.

My goal is to not let a single nutrition study fall through the cracks. There are 30 to 40 papers published on straight nutrition alone every day, in addition to 100 daily studies on cancer, about 20 on heart disease, 20 on obesity, and 20 on diabetes, etc. Even I can’t read 200 papers a day. Twenty people, though, can read 200 papers a day. We can’t afford 20 people, but total coverage is my ultimate goal; otherwise we fall hopelessly behind.

For example, I have an email folder of PubMed alerts on the critical nutrition topics that I follow. (The National Library of Medicine will send you free email alerts any time a study is published on any topic of your choosing—one of the uses of my tax dollars for which I’m most grateful!) In part, because of the 8 months I had to set aside to write the book, I now have 5,000 of these emails sitting in my inbox. That’s when it really struck me. Since each alert can contain up to 200 research summaries, that could be a million citations to go through, with new ones arriving every day. That’s when I realized I needed more help.

Sadly, in order to hire more researchers I’ve had to cut the RD position. So, this will be Joe’s last month. In his all-too-brief tenure with us this year, Joseph Gonzales, RD, answered more than 2,000 questions on the site and responded to innumerable emails. Please join me in wishing Joe a heartfelt thanks for all his hard work. I’m hoping our volunteer army of medical and nutritional professionals will step up to help take up the slack to respond to the multitude of comments and questions posted daily.

Even with this freeing up of funds, hiring additional researchers still puts us $80,000 over our projected 2016 budget. We’ve already raised about $16,000 towards that year-end goal. Would you consider chipping in?

To make a tax-deductible contribution to you can use a credit card, a direct PayPal link, or send a check to “” PO Box 11400, Takoma Park, MD 20913.

As a token of gratitude, anyone donating $30 or more (or becoming at least a $5 monthly donor) will receive a coupon code that can be shared with anyone for a free digital download of any of my nutrition DVDs (must be used by the end of the year).

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Book Update—WE DID IT!
In it’s first week, How Not to Die sold 25,000 copies, propelling it to #6 on the New York Times Best Seller list. The list will run in print on December 27th, and so hopefully that will dazzle media outlets into covering my work in their new-year-new-you type segments. Keep your fingers crossed!

I’ve started to get feedback from those who delved right into it, and the reviews have been overwhelmingly positive. It’s so heartening to hear that my voice really came through and is resonating with so many people. My favorite endorsement this week came from Dan Buettner of Blue Zones fame:

“This is absolutely the best book I’ve read on nutrition and diet.”
-Dan Buetter, Blue Zones Founder and CEO

Together, let’s save some lives this holiday season. Consider sharing copies of How Not to Die with your friends and family (or at least the ones you want to keep around :)

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.

54 responses to “How Not to Die hits New York Times Best Seller list!

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  1. That is fabulous news! I absolutely love the book. Throughout the years you have kept mum about your opinions. If you can’t reference it we don’t hear about it. In the book we get “what would Dr Greger do.” it is so nice to finally get your expert opinions on topics. And I am so excited to give copies away for presents this holiday season?

  2. So sorry to hear that this is Joseph Gonzales’ last month. He’s contributed so much valuable information and support to this site and will surely be missed.

    On the other hand, Congratulations Dr. Greger on hitting #6 on the NY Time Best Seller list!!

    1. So kind of you to say, Julie! I have had the BEST experience here at NF and have loved waking up every morning to various nutrition discussions. I am so thrilled about the website moving forward even though I will not be permanently on staff. It’s about what’s best for the team and for the public. I will still be volunteering and popping my head in from time to time. We’re like the mafia, once you’re in it’s really hard to get out ;-)

    1. I really appreciate that, Veganrunner! My only hope was that folks were better able to utilize and understand Dr. Greger’s videos and the science with some of my suggestions. But really, everyone in the NF community chips in and adds their advice. We also have the most amazing NF volunteers who have helped back me up every step of the way! I have learned so much from them, and our site users. I cannot thank you enough for your feedback and participation.

      1. I’ll give you a good recommendation Joseph! :-) This news is *so* hard to hear. I understand the thinking, but it’s a shame we can’t have it all.

      1. Dr. Gonzales has to leave due to budget cuts. I am sorry to hear that and I have really appreciated your thoughtful and informative answers.

  3. So, I pre-ordered the book like a good subscriber should, but my copy has yet to arrive. Any clue when those of us who pre-order will get ours???

    1. Hmmm. Well, doesn’t actually handle any of the sales of the book, you would have to contact the vendor that you purchased “How Not to Die” from to see when it will be delivered. Sound okay?

    2. Hi jamescknight I dont know if you are having the same problem: I pre ordered mine from Amazon Uk and all the sudden the release date got updated to february 2016 and I was like “wtf? I can die in between so I really need the How Not To Die book sooner” so I ordered from Amazon De and after 3 days it was on my hands (as you can see cause Im here alive and typing)

  4. Dear readers: It’s super easy to set up a recurring monthly donation! That way Dr. G doesn’t have to do so many pitches for funds and there is predictable income for the organization. I’ve been an executive director of a couple of non-profits and our recurring donors were like gold to us. Even if the individual monthly contribution amounts are modest, they add up! If all of us gave what we pay for a cup of chai (or wheatgrass or coffee or turmeric tea!) at our favorite café every week, could expand exponentially!

    1. Well said! Thanks for the super amazing suggestion. I really hope all of us who love and are inspired by NutritionFacts can make that “chia tea” donation to keep the wheels turning.

      1. Since is likely the place we learned about the benefits of our favorite healthy beverage, it’s only fair we tithe a little in thanks, no? :-)

  5. Congratulations Dr Greger , and thank you Joseph for the help you gave us.
    I especially appreciated the latest info & research you pointed me to Re: my child’s problem with Pica,
    it was a tremendous relief. We hope we’ll hear from you from time to time.

    1. So good to hear! Thank, YOU! I’ll see you around. Please don’t hesitate to keep commenting here our community is full of bright folks ready to help make a difference. Plus, our appointed NF volunteers are amazing :-)


  6. Congratulations to Dr. Greger! I’m on my 2nd listen of the Audible version (hardcopy in the library)……17+ hours of bliss. I could not love this book any more than I do! Though fans for years, & vegan – this book has inspired & motivated us to do better. Thank you!

  7. The book is excellent! Loaded with info and it sounds like you speaking Doc. Funny and as light hearted as one can be when discussing death! My father-in-law is dying of heart failure and has diabetes and high blood pressure. I am going to talk with him soon and perhaps he will accept a copy of your book. But then, he already knows everything, so…
    Just chipped in a bit and I encourage everyone to toss in some bucks. Even if all the FB followers gave a dollar, we could kick budget butt!

  8. What can be done so Joseph can stay on NF? Is there still hope somehow he could stay? Is raising enough money for him a possibility?

  9. Joseph, it was great having you with us and benefit from your knowledge and thoughts, and I hope you can still hang out here and exchange with us at the end of your tenure if your schedule still permits.

  10. So sorry to hear that Joseph is leaving. He has been a very valuable addition to the team and we will all sorely miss him. Can we do an on-site “kickstarter” type campaign to keep him on?

  11. Congrats! But very sorry to hear that Joseph will be leaving – he’s been such an important and valuable addition to my NF experience. He offered a such polite, knowledgeable, and personal presence to discussions. Best of luck, Joseph!

    1. Bill: I’m embarrassed to say that I too spent a good deal of time looking on the New York Times site. Then I re-read the post more carefully and noticed that Dr. Greger says that the book will not appear on the list in print until Dec 27. I’m guessing that the on-line lists will follow after that.

    1. Curious George: It’s a fair question. Dr. Greger explains in his book and on the FAQ page on this site that he has a day job. All of the work for NutritionFacts is done in his “free” time.

  12. A quick thank you to Dr. Greger and all the NutritionFacts.Org Crew!
    I only found y’all recently. Subsequently, I’ve purchased How Not to Die and have made it so far as Chapter One and find it a wonderfully compelling read.
    For all y’all do… gratitude and thank you!

  13. “How not to die from infections” (prematurely) not working for me. I’ve had 3 bouts of pneumonia since 2011. Antibiotics worked. Still. Yes we’ve been following The China Study which matches How Not To Die (sic), have had shots, do moderate exercise 5x a week I’m 80, retired and have time.
    “How not to die from cancer” (prematurely) – I had three squamous cell skin cancer surgeries last year despite almonds, pecans, peanuts, …

    1. Thank you Thea,

      I’ve been looking for the source but have had no luck until your post. It’s listed under the heading “ADVICE, HOW-TO & MISCELLANEOUS,” so is not apparent to the casual reader. Apparently the NYTimes has many best seller lists, and one needs to search around to find things.

  14. I’m not sure if you are aware or not, but the How Not To Die (Plant Based) Diet Cookbook which ties itself in with your name is appalling! The cover has a picture of a dish covered in prawns. The recipes include things such as goats cheese, lager, coconut milk, plain yoghurt, honey and stevia. It is written terribly and it sounds like a chinese knock off by someone wanting to make a quick buck off your reputation! I am outraged on your behalf! Even more frustrating is that this cookbook was promoted via Booktopia via a direct promotional email that they sent out recently. I am flabbergasted.

    1. Anja: Lots of people have commented on that travesty. I don’t know if anything can be done about it legally, but that book is certainly immoral. People have been giving it 1 star ratings and explaining why, but I’m guessing that people are still buying the book. Otherwise they would stop selling it. I wish people would do a little research before buying something like that, but given the title and cover I can understand how people could get sucked in.

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