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Foods to Eat to Help Prevent Diabetes

Why is meat consumption a risk factor for diabetes? Why does there appear to be a stepwise reduction in diabetes rates as meat consumption drops? Instead of avoiding something in meat, it may be that people are getting something protective from plants. Free radicals may be an important trigger for insulin resistance, and antioxidants in plant foods may help. Put people on a plant-based diet, and their antioxidant enzymes shoot up. So, not only do plants provide antioxidants, but they may boost our own anti-endogenous antioxidant defenses, whereas, on the conventional diabetic diet, they get worse.

In my video, How May Plants Protect Against Diabetes, I discuss how there are phytonutrients in plant foods that may help lower chronic disease prevalence by acting as antioxidants and anti-cancer agents, and by lowering cholesterol and blood sugar. Some, we’re now theorizing, may even be lipotropes, which have the capacity to hasten the removal of fat from our liver and other organs, counteracting the inflammatory cascade believed to be directly initiated by saturated-fat-containing foods. Fat in the bloodstream—from the fat in our bodies or the fat we eat—not only causes insulin resistance, but also produces a low-grade inflammation that can contribute to heart disease and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Fiber may also decrease insulin resistance. One of the ways it may do so is by helping to rid the body of excess estrogen. There is strong evidence for a direct role of estrogens in the cause of diabetes, and it’s been demonstrated that certain gut bacteria can produce estrogens in our colon. High-fat, low-fiber diets appear to stimulate the metabolic activity of these estrogen-producing intestinal bacteria. This is a problem for men, too. Obesity is associated with low testosterone levels and marked elevations of estrogens produced not only by fat cells but also by some of the bacteria in our gut. Our intestinal bacteria may produce these so-called diabetogens (diabetes-causing compounds) from the fats we eat. By eating lots of fiber, though, we can flush this excess estrogen out of our bodies.

Vegetarian women, for example, excrete two to three times more estrogens in their stools than omnivorous women, which may be why omnivorous women have 50% higher estrogen blood levels. These differences in estrogen metabolism may help explain the lower incidence of diabetes in those eating more plant-based diets, as well as the lower incidence of breast cancer in vegetarian women, who get rid of twice as much estrogen because they get rid of twice as much daily waste in general.

Either way, “[m]eat consumption is consistently associated with diabetes risk. Dietary habits are readily modifiable, but individuals and clinicians will consider dietary changes only if they are aware of the potential benefits of doing so.” The identification of meat consumption as a risk factor for diabetes provides helpful guidance that sets the stage for beneficial behavioral changes. Meat consumption is something doctors can easily ask about, and, once identified, at-risk individuals can then be encouraged to familiarize themselves with meatless options.

Plant foods may also protect against diabetes by replacing animal foods. Learn more with my Why Is Meat a Risk Factor for Diabetes? video.

What if your entire diet was filled with plants? See Plant-Based Diets and Diabetes. Find out which plants may be particularly protective with these videos: Amla Versus Diabetes, Flaxseed vs. Diabetes, and Diabetics Should Take Their Pulses.

Unfortunately, cinnamon has fallen out of favor. See my Update on Cinnamon for Blood Sugar Control.

I also have an ever-growing series on the science behind type 2 diabetes:

For more on the estrogen connection, see Relieving Yourself of Excess Estrogen and Breast Cancer and Constipation.

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:


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.

206 responses to “Foods to Eat to Help Prevent Diabetes

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  1. Oh happy day! As I sit here and eat my oats and fruit – smiling. Less hot flashes and risk of cancer is my goal and now I have the facts. Thanks Dr. Greger.

    A proud monthly supporter of

    1. Tom, I really respect your knowledge and research in the area of nutrition. I have a question for you. I have been researching the consumption of distilled water for health. This is controversial. Dr. Mercola says that drinking distilled water is bad for you because it removes the minerals from your bones. People who drink distilled water say that Dr. Mercola is only telling a half truth. These people say that drinking distilled water only removes the INORGANIC minerals that clog up your arteries such as calcium, and it removes other mineral build ups in your system such as kidney stones and the such. The people that drink distilled water say that the water has a negative charge and that the INORGANIC minerals have a positive charge and therefore the two are able to bind and the body is then able to rid itself of calcium deposists in the arteries and else where. On the other hand, ORGANIC minerals in your body such as the calcium in your bones has a negative charge just like the distilled water and these ORGANIC mineral molecules are not removed from your body like Dr. Mercola suggests. People who drink distilled water say that they can get all of the minerals they need from eating a whole plant food diet and these ORGANIC minerals are not washed out. People who drink only distilled water, and many of them have been drinking distilled water only for years and years, claim that it has greatly benefited their health. I can’t find any scientific research on this topic and Dr. Greger has no articles on distilled water. So, Tom, what do you think?

      1. Thanks John.

        I can’t say I know too much about this and there isn’t a lot of high quality modern research on this topic.

        The article on the Mercola site is not by the man himself but it doesn’t seem to be particularly well grounded on hard facts. For example, the claim that the adverse health effects of soft drinks are due the fact that they are made using distilled is not true – I understand that Pepsi ans Coca Cola use reverse osmosis. Distillation is just too expensive and makes no commercial sense anyway.
        Also, the author just references his own books and some other popular health books – all from 20+ years ago – which doesn’t lend any credibiilty to his analysis

        The most credible summary still remains this old World Health Organization paper. It does provide grounds for some legitimate concern if people exclusively use distilled water. I am not sure that all the studies that are discussed there would meet modern standards for rigorous methodology but it is still concerning. Anyway read it and see what you think

        Thanks for raising the question. Back home in Oz I usually use the tap water for cooking, making tea etc but use a carbon filter for drinking water. I am currently living in the Philippines and everybody who can afford it drinks bottled water because the tap water is considered unsafe. I usually drink my water as *herbal” tea rather than plain water which may go some way to addressing the problems. But I don’t know for sure since there’s no good research on this point either that I am aware.

        I’ll have to think about this and perhaps consider alternating between boiled tap water and bottled water. Of course, even boiling the water wouldn’t have helped much if you lived in Flint so you have to reaerch local water quality. Distilled water is usually the most expensive option though so perhaps the WHO paper provides a sufficient reason to go with a cheaper but good quality filter water.

        1. HI guys, I am a little bit confused with the enormous amount of books.
          Can you help me which books are obligatory to buy ?
          I have already Dr Greger books. Which other books Dr Greger recommend ?
          Kind regards J

          1. Thank you for your question. I assume it is related to diabetes. I would recommend any of Neal Barnard’s books, including Dr Neal Barnard’s program for reversing diabetes. Have a look at his website Joel Fuhrman’s books are all excellent. For me ‘eat to live’ was very influential but he also has written a book called The end of diabetes. T Colin Campbell is a world authority on plant nutrition. Of course read the China Study and I really enjoyed his book Whole, rethinking the science of nutrition. His website, is excellent too

            1. I can summarize the book in one sentence: “eat WFPB cruciferous vegetables to treat all diseases”. You are done with the book. It’s pretty boring although I have to admit that it reinforced my eating of cruciferous vegetables in the old days.

                1. I don’t just read it but I also bought the audiobook afterward to listen while I exercised. I also bought like a dozens of his book to give as Christmas present that year. This was back then when I was very amateurish.

                  Whether you want to believe or not and it’s up to you but I was a die hard fan of Dr G and I also got into the “raw food” stuff and I used to eat tons of vegetables everything from veggie smoothie to vegetable juicing day and night. Although I was generally in good health, I don’t feel good with my digestion and I had very low energy.

                  Since then, I have learned by leap and bound and I found out that Dr G is biased in a number of things. Contrary to the accusation and profiling and stereotyping of some people, I did a lot of research whenever I read something and never take anything at face value whether it comes from Pubmed or from an university or research institution or from the “Internet doctors”. I think I have perfected my health. This is like n=20 samples but I make my entire family and close relatives including my 96 old Dad, very healthy. I literally rescued my Dad from his deathbed.

                    1. Lots of cruciferous vegetables, some fruits, sprout, herbs, mushrooms, bean, some grain (not too healthy – I may cut it), nut/seed, fermented foods, tea/coffee/cocoa, MCT oil/coconut fat, bone broth with tons of herbs inside, some clean joint meat/fish, organ meat, supplements.

                    2. Interesting. Sounds like you only eat a little bit of meat.

                      I cheat on meat also. I will consume some salmon about

                      once a week. Soooo, what supplements are you taking?

                    3. I forgot to mention that I eat black sweet potatoes too to look like the Okinawans.

                      I only eat selective meat for the DHA/EPA, amino acid such as glycine, glutathione, collagen, proline, other essential and conditional amino acids, minerals such as selenium, zinc and copper, etc.

                      As for supplements, there are so many to be listed here but in general they are CoQ10, probiotics, vitamin D, K2, minerals such as zinc and magnesium, selenium, iodine, mushroom concoction, resveratrol, fish oil, MCT oil, etc.

                    4. Jerry,

                      I can that you are really trying to be healthy.

                      I like Dr. Greger with his 100 percent vegan

                      “preaching” because he keeps me from straying

                      to far off the path of health. Like I said, I eat a little

                      meat about once a week. If I was not listening to

                      Dr. Greger scaring the crap out of me, I would probably

                      be eating meat everyday, plus cheese, and maybe eggs.

                      His constant reminders help to keep me on the straight

                      and narrow path and I don’t cheat as much as I would

                      if I were not listening to him.

                      OK, so do you have any health issues?

                      How old are you, and have you ever had a sonogram

                      to check for plaque in your arteries?

                    5. I have had the Calcium scoring test for calcium in the arteries. Though I have always been a meat eater and have eaten low carb, high fat for months on end, and though my cholesterol has been up a bit higher than they like in recent months( but blood pressure and triglycerides pretty low), I scored zero on that test, an absolutely perfect score. Go figure. I was surprised.

                    6. John, there is no reply button down below and so I have to reply to this post.

                      I give credit to Dr Greger to get me to really eat WFPB and the Daily Dozen really drove me to eat the necessary variety of plant foods. Before, I always ate healthy in my life except my idea of eating vegetables means eating the lousy lettuce and cucumber and raw tomatoes that do not get absorbed and so on. So that’s a good starting point, and I didn’t do it because I was sick or anything but it brings the awareness in me. Before when I went to the supermarket, I bought whatever are on sale, broccoli if it was on sale on no broccoli for days or weeks if it was not on sale. Now I have to buy kale, broccoli, collard green, spinach, cabbage, celery, sweet potato, onion, garlic, turmeric, herbs, mushroom, seed, bean, etc. no matter what the price is.

                      Then I kind of graduate from this basic healthy WFPB eating. I have always been a meat eater, albeit not eat a lot but enough of it for my quick protein. So meat, egg, dairy and cheese were never bad if you know where to buy, which part to eat and how to cook and that’s what I learned over time from a lot of sources and not from Dr Greger obviously. But this is very important because if you go deep into nutrition, you will find out that there are more than just eating WFPB.

                      My last learning is my debunking of the obsolete fat theory about 2 years ago. Previously because of this bad theory, I have been eating vegetable oil, muscle and lean meat, low fat milk, etc. for pretty much of most of my life and luckily it has not made me sick yet, or something already happened inside my body, who knows.

                      On the outside appearance, I am extremely healthy, I mean not having a single cold or headache ever. I used to get sick slightly every 2 years but not anymore. I am lean, no fat anywhere and can exercise for hours. All of my vital signs are good and it’s something that I monitor very closely and regularly, especially after eating certain amount of fats.

                      So unless you know what you are doing, your best bet is to eat WFPB and a little of meat like you said, especially wild caught salmon. Doing what I am doing is pretty complex. I am by no mean knowledgeable about nutrition and there are still a lot of things to learn, and I know some people on the Internet that have even more sophisticated diet than me, from the raw juicing crowd, to the ketogenic crowd. I like to see how healthy they will be in 5, 10 years before I will try something more extreme.

                      I am middle age if that’s matter. If I have any onset of diseases then it should happen already by now but I have not seen any, thank you Mother Nature or whatever your belief is.


        It’s well known that cardiovascular deaths, including sudden cardiac deaths, occur far less frequently in areas that have hard water, which contains lots of minerals, compared to areas with soft water, which is relatively mineral free. British researchers took a close look at this data and narrowed the protective effects to one specific mineral: magnesium.

        Magnesium is a viable option for preventing sudden cardiac death because it plays key roles in several aspects of cardiovascular health, and deficiencies are linked to an increased risk of hypertension, heart attack, heart failure, and death. Subpar levels also promote electrical instability in the heart and are associated with a variety of rhythm disturbances, including ventricular arrhythmia and sudden cardiac arrest.

        Harvard researchers published a study in which they followed more than 88,000 women who were initially free of heart disease for an average of 26 years. They compared the magnesium intake and blood levels of the women who died of sudden cardiac arrest with those of a control group and found that a high blood level of this mineral reduced risk of sudden cardiac death by 41 percent. Other large studies have found similar associations with men, showing that low magnesium status is an important predictor of sudden cardiac death and that increasing intake reduces risk.

        Unfortunately, nearly half of all Americans and two-thirds of teens and people over age 70 don’t even get the RDA of 300–400 mg of magnesium. With paltry numbers like these, it’s no wonder sudden cardiac death kills so many. That’s why I believe that everyone, regardless of health status, should take supplemental magnesium.

        * if you want calcium out of your arteries…try a vit K supplement?

        1. Marvin,

          I agree that magnesium is critical to health.

          However, I drink distilled water. I get my

          magnesium by eating a lot of spinach,

          aurugula, and other green leafy vegetables,

          plus other fruits and vegetables. Plus,

          I take an epsom salt bath several times

          a day. Then I have the sea salt oil of

          magnesium spray that I use on my skin.

          But, I feel much better switching from city water

          to distilled water. After just 2 days of drinking

          distilled water, I have felt 200 percent better.

          Go to the internet and type in the keywords

          “benefit of distilled water”.

    2. In this kind of fake study, they merely compared unhealthy meat eaters who eat processed foods or SAD diet with Healthy vegetarians or vegans such as the Seventh Day Adventists and of course the vegans are healthier. Why don’t they compare lousy meat eaters with “vegans” who eat potato chip and vegan burger? Such a fake “study” is typical to convince people of a fake theory that went on for half a century and cause so much havoc to the health of the Entire World. This is a crime against humanity.

      The idea of meat eaters who eat no plant foods are so old that it should be put to rest because nobody do it these days except for people who do not care about health.

      Just watch the following video by Dr Fat Hyman to see him talking about eating mostly plant foods, and only a small amount of healthy fats and animal foods.

      1. Jerry These aren’t fake studies that compare healthy vegetarians or 7th Day Adventists to unhealthy junk food omnivores. Anybody who bothers reading them – not you obviously – can see this. You just make these false accusations up from thin air because you need an excuse to ignore the evidence. You are just peddling your own brand of Whoppers.

        You should also know that eating mostly plants and a few animal foods is actually a plant-based diet
        “A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products.”

        The traditional Okinawan Diet for example was only 6% naimal food (by calories content).

        In the video all Hyman does is give us his opinions – no evidence – just his opinions. Some things he says are sensible – no refined carbs, no processed foods, and lots of plants but other stuff he says is not based on the latest science. For example, on his website he notes “Interestingly, all of these patients who had heart attacks did not have high LDL or elevated total cholesterol. In fact, 75 percent of those people had “normal” LDL cholesterol, with 50 percent having optimal LDL levels. So much for the high LDL contributing to heart attacks.

        Here’s where it gets interesting. Only 10 percent of the participants had levels of HDL (“good”) cholesterol over 60. This means that 90 percent of these patients who suffered a heart attack had HDL levels under 60. Low HDL is a big red flag for pre-diabetes, or what I call diabesity. And we now know that low HDL is the real driver of most heart attacks and heart disease.”

        What he does not say is that heart attacks cause cholesterol to fall – of course those patients did not have high LDL or HDL cholesterol: they’d just had a heart attack, that’s why.

        His claim that HDL is the real driver of heart disease is also contrary to the science but very convenient for saturated fat apologists because saturated fat drives up HDL as well as LDL cholesterol. I am not aware that any credible health authority agrees that low HDL “is the real driver of most heart attacks and heart disease.” In fact, people often have low HDL because they are sick or on drugs rather than the other way around:

        “HDL-C levels are decreased in association with recent illness; starvation and stress; smoking; obesity and lack of exercise; medications such as thiazide diuretics, steroids, and beta-blockers; hypertriglyceridemia; and in elevated immunoglobin levels.
        HDL-C levels are increased in association with moderate ethanol consumption, insulin, and estrogen. [1] Additionally, regular aerobic exercise, smoking cessation, decrease in body mass index, and statin therapy (mild) increase HDL-C levels. Statins or HMG-CoA reductase inhibitors modestly increase HDL-C levels. The mild rise in HDL-C levels from these drugs may be related to inhibition of rho-signaling pathways with activation of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)–alpha. Increases in HDL-C levels may also be attributable to decreasing plasma cholesteryl ester transfer protein (CETP) activity by statins. [6]”
        Trials increasing HDL cholesterol have uniformly found no benefit, and thus refute Hyman’s claim. As Darryl has commented elsewher “The “HDL is causally protective” hypothesis is untenable after the past decade:

        Meta-analysis of 108 randomized controlled trials effecting HDL levels (statins, fibrates, resins, niacin, n-3 fats, ACAT inhibitors, ABCA1 inhibitors, CETP inhibitors, PPAR activators, diets, bariatric surgery): No effect. Subsequent AIM-HIGH niacin trial No effect. ABCA1 gene loss of function No effect, LCAT gene single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) lowering HDL: No effect, composite HDL effect from 20 SNPs No effect, 19 SNPs affecting HDL from a genome wide association study (which don’t simultaneously affect LDL) No effect.”

        I don’t know whether Hyman is just an ignorant physician or he is deliberately failing to mention these facts in order to sell books. After all, it is very difficult to grab headlines and achieve No1 bestseller status by telling people to eat their vegetables and control their cholesterol levels. Either way his advice is often faulty and not to be trusted. Like yours.

        1. Dr. Joel Khan has solved the riddle. Trimethylamine (TMA) is produced in the small intestine of meat, dairy and egg omnivores. Our liver oxidizes TMA to TMAO. It is the compound directly deposited in our arteries. High colesteral is a “marker” for possible heart disease. High TMAO confirms you have heart disease. Stress raises cortisol levels, thus initiating a heart attack or stroke. Vegans “Do Not Produce TMA” in their guts. When vegans are switched to an omnivor’s diet (meat, dairy & eggs) they begin to produce TMA. The reverse is true. Omnivores put on a vegan diet (plant based whole food) soon see TMA levels drop.

        2. The problem is, if we ignore him, he will continue spamming this site with his false assertions and ideology.. Unsuspecting casual visitors to the site might think he was dispensing standard nutritional science advice or at least reflecting Dr G’s or NT’s views. That’s why I think it is important to expose the falsity of his views every time he posts something.

      2. Dr. Greger does not post one single item about self-styled “vegans” who eat processed junk. I don’t know where you get that erroneous notion. His focus, like that of all the ACLM members, is on research involving a whole-food, plant-based diet. Try re-reading and re-watching the content here.

      3. “Such a fake “study” is typical to convince people of a fake theory that went on for half a century and cause so much havoc to the health of the Entire World. This is a crime against humanity.

        Well, Jerry, why don’t you tell us why scientists and researchers around the world have been doing fake studies for 50 years to convince people of a fake theory and damage their hesalth?

        That’s pretty amazing if true. Who and why (and how for that matter)?

        1. Thanks John. But I doubt that the food industries would bother doing this sort of thing. It’s expensive and could be damaging if the news ever got out (and it inevitably would). I

          Besides which, there are way too many cranks who are willing to do this sort of thing for free. YouTube is full of them and just imagine how many people have bought the Hyman book or the Perlmutter book, then there are all the Atkins books, Taubes etc. No there are hordes of people who believe this stuff. Justb like there are creationists and young earth believers who jump in and make equally bizarre claims whenever there;s a video or blog that mentions evolution or our species history.

          I think Jerry is totally sincere but addicted to pseudoscinece, poor soul.

        2. Hi John, this is an interesting idea. I wish that Big Foods will pay me, so that I can stay home and have time to prepare foods and eat properly – you know what I eat takes a lot of time to prepare. Unfortunately they prefer you guys, especially TG, who write posts after posts that are page long with links of “researches” that are half a century old. Nobody has any idea about what he is saying but it looks like it comes out from some kind of “scientists” and that’s what matters.

          So why does Big Foods like you guys? It’s because of you guys push for low fat, or no fat at all. No big deal, Big Foods simply get rid of saturated fat and substitute it with transfat and carb and corn syrup. Most people are naive and they only look at the label to see if there is any saturated fat and they don’t care about the rest. And then when they get hungry and have low energy, they will eat more carb and more sugar, and that will increase consumption. All those weight loss programs will eventually fail because people cannot stand being hungry for too long and they will go back to eating binge of so-called “low fat” or “no fat” foods but full of carb and sugar. Then when they get sick then here we go, Big Pharma will come to the rescue with statin drug. And there are doctors who make a living on low fat. This is a Huge industry.

          You know that I just read that low cholesterol will cause colon cancer. This is on top of Alzheimer’s that I already knew a while ago. This low fat fake theory will make people sicker and that’s what Big Pharma loves about.

          For guys like you who are vegans, it’s no big deal because you guys count less than 5% of the population anyway, plus you guys still eat carb and sugar as long as it is not animal foods. The 95% remaining of people will still eat animal foods no matter what, either for pleasure but mostly for necessity, because most people don’t have time to sit and eat sufficient plant foods all day but they have to grab a hamburger quickly and go to work.

          The biggest fear for Big Foods and Big Pharma is guys like me who are very informed, seriously. Why? Because we only eat a small amount of animal foods just enough for the nutrition and when we do, we want organic, grass fed and free range. Or we want non pasteurized and raw milk with zero preservative and that makes it hard for Big Foods to keep food very long before it spoils. We don’t get fooled with the low fat label but we look to see how much transfat, carb and sugar there are in a food. We don’t fall into the trap of Big Pharma because we don’t buy into the obsolete cholesterol level and we look at CRP and refuse to take statin drug unless it is absolutely necessary due to gene mutation and cholesterol shoots up out of control. And when we do eat fats, we demand healthy fats and none of the junk fat such as those in vegetable oil. Oh I forgot about vegetable oil because this is a Huge Industry worldwide from America to Europe, Asia and Africa.

          All of the above requirements from people like me are very costly for Big Foods. If I am them, I prefer the low fat crowd because that’s where Big Money comes from. I wonder how this economy will be when the low fat theory is finally debunked? On one end, we will save billions of dollars in healthcare but on the other hand, we will lose trillions of dollars worldwide because Big Foods and Big Pharma will lose money, and countless of Weight Watchers and low fat “experts” will lose their jobs.

          P.S. CNN is talking right now about the opioid epidemic. Part of the problems also comes from this low fat theory because when people eat (healthy) fat, they don’t have that much issue with depression and other mental issues.

            1. John, this is very helpful info. Do you know where is the FAT industry so that I can apply for a job? The other day, I applied for a job with Big Vegetable Oil but they turned me down because of my postings against it.

          1. Hi JL I want to know which books you have in your library ? I am confused because there is so many books about diet I dont know which books to trust ? One say meals is good for you ,another books say opposite so its big confusion. Please help me to find the right books ?
            Kind regards

            1. Juld, interestingly my only book on nutrition that I have is Dr Greger book “How not to die”. Since then, I have advanced much more from the content of that book and I find that book kind of “boring” because it talks about the same WFPB diet for all diseases. And since I have read so much on the Internet already, I don’t think I want to buy more books plus I come up with my own diet now which is pretty much all of the best diets combined.

              But if I have to recommend a book to you then I would say that you read “How not to die” book by Dr Greger first to have a good grasp on eating WFPB to have the necessary basics, and then advance to “eat fat get thin” book by Dr Hyman to get a good balance. And also read web sites of Dr Mercola and DrAxe on top of NutritionFacts daily to get a balanced view and eventually you will come up with your own diet that suits you best.

              1. Hi TG, I would like to know your opinion which books in general are must to read about general nutrition. Btw I am not asking for diabetic, I am looking in general .I am really confused because I read books only from real doctors and every book is opposite. One say eat meat ( Deep nutrition – Dr Catherine Shanahan ) another book say totally opposite. To whom I can trust ? One day the same doctors say eat fat or fish, another day another doctor say fat or fish are dangerous. Honestly I am kind of sick of so different opinions. If the science and medical doctors giving so much confusing signals for general public like me finally we will say to all of them shut up! I am sorry if that sound rude, but why all theese doctors can not reach agreement based on evidense ?

                1. Judd, you ask some very good questions! It is the same way regarding research for all kinds of medical issues and supplements. I am afraid bias reigns supreme in the research world.Bill

                2. Doctors are human beings like everybody else. They want to be rich and famous too.

                  Also their publishers know what helps a book to sell lots of copies. So some doctors write very sensational books that say exciting and different things but which are contrary to the science. Unfortunately, medical doctors usually have very little training in nutrition.

                  Some non-medical doctors on the other hand do. People Colin Campell who wrote The China Study and Whole. And some medical doctors have learnt a lot about nutrition and written books about it. These include Dr Greger (how Not to Die), Dr Esslstyn (How to Reverse Heart Disease) and Dr Dean Ornish and Dr John McDougall. All of their books are worth reading.

                  However some of the best books though are online and free. They are very good books because they are written by groups of scientists who are world class experts in in nutrition and human health. You can find these books here:




                  The only problem is that these reports are all very long and very technical. However, they all seem to say we should eat more vegetables, fruit and whole grains and very little of anything else.

                  Good luck!.

    3. Dear Tom, I would like to know which book I have to read to educate myself about nutrition and what to eat. I have read some books where one book say we should eat meat- for example Dr. Chanahan and other books saying totally different things. All books are written by doctors and I am confused to whom to believe? Where is the truth? I am talking in general nutrition, not for diabetes. Kind regards Julian

      1. Hi Julian

        See my reply to Juld above. Some other posters above have also made very good suggestions. The trouble is some of the very best books are difficult reads and some of the worst are easy and entertaining reads.

        But I would start off with the big three online nutrition reports, even if you only read the summaries, then Campbell’s China Study and Dr Greger’s How Not to Die.

        Happy reading.

  2. Hi,
    Since production of estrogen slows after 30 years, and as a 65 yr old women with chronically low estrogen-resulting in hot flashes, mood swings and other related conditions would you say this article is directed to men and young women?
    with thanks, Sharon

    1. I also wondered about the applicability of these findings to women of different ages. I am suffering negative effects of low estrogen due to menopause. Do I want to excrete more of it?

      1. Almita, fortunately plants are loaded with phytoestrogens. Phytoestrogens bind to the estrogen receptors that help maintain bone mass and reduce hot flashes, and they do not bind to the estrogen receptors that promote cancer. So, basically the best of both worlds. We want to flush out animal/human estrogen (fiber) and have lots of healthy plant estrogens on board.

    2. Hi I’m a volunteer moderator with NF. Thanks for your great question. Dr. Greger does not recommend different diets for different ages. A whole food plant based diet is the best diet for humans. A plant based diet should not lower your estrogen levels and worsen menopause. It should have the opposite effect. Here is some information from NF on menopause symptoms.

      Best of luck

  3. I have been eating a plant-based diet for more than 30 years. My blood sugar has always been acceptably normal, thank God, but too high for my standards – it was 94. 100 is the starting point for prediabetes. Recently, I increased my intake of virgin coconut oil, which, according to Dr. Greger, would theoretically increase my blood sugar and put me at increased risk for diabetes because it is saturated fat. After 3 months, my blood sugar went down from 94 (which I was not at all happy with) to 73. My A1c, which is an even more reliable indicator of glucose levels because it is a 3-month average, went down from 5.1 to 4.6. (A1c is a measure of the amount of glucose that gets stuck to your red blood cells, so it is a measure over time. 5.0 is considered normal, 6.0 is a red flag.)

    In fact, when I read some coconut oil lists and blogs, I learn that instead of taking insulin when people’s blood sugar goes too high, they take two or 3 teaspoons of coconut oil. Their blood sugar plummets to normal within a half an hour.


    1. You are exactly correct! Congratulations for making a wise decision and not following the mainstream and a half a century old false theory.

      This saturated fat fake theory has caused so much damage to the health of the entire World.

      As a bonus to your consumption of coconut oil, you will find that your brain will be more calm and clear and you will sleep better. And if you check your cholesterol which is simply a lousy indicator, you will see that it is the same as before or slightly higher in TC, but higher HDL and lower triglycerides.

      And you should notice that you don’t gain one ounce of weight but instead lose weight, after consuming healthy fats.

      1. Jerry, well, now that you asked – on last check, my triglycerides were 40 and my HDL was 118. LDL was 80. LDL has come down since I added flax seed and more avocado to my diet. I am very happy with those changes. Regarding coconut oil, I have to stop consuming it by midafternoon, because if I don’t, it will keep me up all night. That includes putting it onto my skin. Dr. Bruce Fife, author of many books on the subject, has found the same thing about coconut oil – he has to be very careful of it in the evening.

        I am not new to coconut oil. I started eating it in 2004.

        1. Nina, you are correct. Everybody is different and you should do what your body tells you.

          In my case, I can eat coconut fat all times of the day but I mainly do in the morning to have energy and metabolism for the entire day.

          I mainly consume MCT oil, 2 tablespoons of it. As for coconut oil, I eat it only by default when I use coconut oil for frying and coconut flake for baking, and coconut milk to soak my chia seed for one day and chia seed is my source of Omega 3 along with flax seed.

        2. Dr Bruce Fife, or Dr Dropo as he used to be known, previously sold books on creative clowning and how to make balloon animals. You can still find those books on Amazon and Google books.

          At some stage though he decided to start selling books on coconut oil instead and acquired a “doctorate” in naturopathy and a certificate in nutrition. I have no idea how he obtained them or where these “qualifications” come from. It is not discussed on his website. I did however note that his website claims

          ” up until a few years ago the people of Sri Lanka used coconut oil in all their cooking. Each person consumed about 120 coconuts a year. Despite this high rate of consumption they had the lowest heart disease death rate in the world—1 out of every 100,000. Compare that to Americans who eat essentially no coconut oil yet nearly 1 out of every 2 deaths is heart related.”

          Yet the real facts are apparently somewhat different. Let;s go back a few years and we find
          “The recent estimates for mortality from CVD (cardiovascular diseases) for Sri Lanka was 524 deaths per 100,000 which is higher than that observed in many high-income countries.1
          Coronary artery disease (CAD) is the leading cause of death in Sri Lanka while stroke is the third cause of death.2, 3 CAD accounted for 34% of deaths in an autopsy study.4 For comparison, CAD accounts for only 17% of deaths in the US and UK.5”

          If you really want to take advice on nutrition and health from a clown, I would do a lot of due diligence fact-checking of his claims before believing everything he writes.

          It takes an iron will not to mention you-know-who when talking about not taking health and nutrition advice from a clown. Clearly I do not possess an iron will.

          1. And that is also the clinical picture that my husband, a cardiologist sees in his south asian patients. He tells them, “No coconut oil”.

    2. How do you eat the Coconut oil? Do you cook with it? Dr. Hyman said he eats a tablespoon a day.
      I would love to do what you are doing.

    3. Nina Moliver, that is very interesting indeed about your blood sugar in response to coconut oil. And your experience correlates well with the study I posted here today where they compared T2 diabetics and pre T2Ds on a low fat, low calorie, moderate carb diet vs high fat, low carb diet. The high fat generally gave MUCH better results in fighting diabetes and getting folks of diabetes meds.I see folks have been calling Jerry Lewis a shill for the meat industry. Am I also a shill for them, an more importantly are the folks who did the study I linked to shills and trolls for the meat industry? I’d just like to know what really works. I do know that during the 40+ years that the authorities have pushed low fat and higher carb, and successfully got us to trade butter for vegetable oils and margarine, the nation has had a massive increase in diabetes and obesity. Those things may not be the true blame, or not the total blame, but it can not be argued that the lower fat and higher carb our nation went, the fatter and more diabetic it became. However, it must also be obvious that a true WFPB diet would also be a low carb diet. It is hard to get many net carbs from vegetables.

      1. Bill, unfortunately you and me both work for a poor Meat Industry while the people here works for Rich Big Pharma.

        Our boss:

        Their boss:

        Their boss looks very scary. There is no doubt that the low fat theory will lead to a lot of sick and depressed people who will eventually use depressant drug and opioid.

        I give up convincing these people that the 50 year old low fat theory is so devastating to the health of the entire world. I saw today that thei even argue that statin drug is beneficial because of those biased tests made by Big Pharma. Just think of the following to see their “logic” or lack of:

        – statin drug damages the liver, kidney and heart, the organ it tries to protect in the first place.
        – People can live for a long time in wheelchair, hospital beds. The Okinawans and people in the Blue Zone which they base their fantasy on (these people eat plenty of saturated fat) certainly don’t use statin drug.
        – If the cholesterol drops in sick people and people with cancer then what does it say about the logic that they don’t want to eat fat to keep the cholesterol low?

        Like I said, I give up explaining to these people except for poking fun from time to time. They will find out the hard way that the low fat theory is harmful when they will get sick. You can already sense through their anger because low fat will affect brain health.

  4. Everything in the blog is correct except for the meat consumption and of course saturated fat portions. This is like a broken violin.

    If meat causes diabetes then 95% of the population will be diabetic but in reality only the population who eats processed meat and sugar are. So the population that eat processed foods and SAD diet should not be lumped together with meat eaters, in particular Healthy meat eaters who eat a diverse diet composed of both Whole plant and animal foods. By the same token, we should not lump people who eat potato chip and vegan burger with real vegans who eat WFPB.

    From a scientific point of view, the ALA, DHEA, DHA/EPA, essential and conditional amino acids, certain minerals, that are found mostly and in some case ONLY in animal foods, are all anti diseases including diabetes and anti oxidant and anti inflammation.

    And last but not least, Real Fats will help the metabolism of people who no longer find the needs to consume sugar and too much carb, all contributors to inflammation and diabetes.

    1. <So, Jerry, that doesn't explain why in the 7th Day Adventist mortality study, meat eaters had the highest mortality and male "vegans" had the lowest relative mortality risk of any group.

      Just another fake study I suppose. We can always tell fake studies, They show that dietary saturated fat is a risk factor for CVD, some cancers, dementia and various cognitive impairments. Oh, and all those studies that show high LDL cholesterol is a significant risk factor are fake also.

      The only good studies that aren't bogus are studies that appear to show dietary saturated fat is harmless or healthful and ditto for studies that present high LDL cholesterol as harmless or "protectve".

      Simple really. Thanks for clearing that up,Jerry. Somebody had better tell all those scientists and doctors to go home and put their feet up though – they obviously don't have a clue.

      1. TJ, you are simply comparing apple and oranges. The study simply compared 7th Day Adventist versus meat eaters who don’t eat plant foods along and we don’t even know if those meat eaters eat healthy animal foods or processed foods. This is very old and nowadays we already know that plant foods contain more anti diseases compounds than animal foods. Nevertheless, although animal foods contain less anti diseases compounds than plant foods, they contain some nutrients that are very hard to find or non existent in plant foods such as collagen, essential and conditional amino acids, minerals, some vitamins such as Vit A and B12. So any meat eaters with an ounce of brain already know that they need to eat more plant foods than animal foods but eat along some animal foods and fats for complete nutrition.

        Why do you keep dragging these unhealthy meat eaters in the conversation? It’s like comparing yourself to a 5 year old kid and say that you are stronger. What is your point? Are you weaker than a 5 year old kid?

        I never compared meat eaters with vegans who eat potato chip and so why you keep comparing the other way?

        Your one page long posts with half a century old links prove nothing. Zero.

        1. You can’t help yourself can you Jerry? In the 7th Day Adventist study, they looked only at 7th Day Adventists.. The vegetarians were 7th Day Adventists, the meat eaters were 7th Day Adventists. That is why it is called the 7th Day Adventist study. Yet here you are claiming it is a study of 7th Day Adventist vegans compared to some random unhealthy meat eaters. You simply don’t care about the facts – you just make up your own because then you can be sure to hear what you want to.

          As for eating junk food, there are plenty of “vegan” junk food eaters out there, a fact you also conveniently forget.

          Something else you routinely misrepresent is the quality of the evidence you choose to ignore:
          ” half a century old links prove nothing. Zero.”

          Let me see, the 7th Day Adventist health study article I linked to was published in 2013, and the scientific statements I link to because they show your assertions about dietary saturated fat and blood cholesterol are blatant untruths were published earlier this year. But that doesn’t fit with your repeated assertions so here you are describing them as “half a century old links”.
          Not only is the evidence offensive to you, so too evidently are simple facts.

          Your claims then are just two more Whoppers from Jerry.

          Frankly, how you can write these things when anybody can check the links and the 7th Day Adventist study and discover that you have been fibbing big time, beats me. But, still as I suggested earlier, perhaps you are just using the tried and tested techniques developed by Joseph Goebbels. Here is another apparent quote of his which your posts make me bring to mind

          “A lie told once, remains a lie but a lie told a thousand times becomes the truth”

          This is perhaps why you keep making your false claims over and over again despite repeatedly being proved wrong. It certainly feels like you have said the same thing a thousand times, here. And of course with absolutely no evidence.

          Looking at those quotes attributed to Goebbels, I came across this apparently from Hiter’s “Mein Kampf”

          “The most brilliant propagandist technique will yield no success unless one fundamental principle is borne in mind constantly and with unflagging attention. It must confine itself to a few points and repeat them over and over. Here, as so often in this world, persistence is the first and most important requirement for success.”

          It does seem to describe pretty well what you have been doing here.

          1. TG, you either have a severe reading comprehension or you are just a stubborn person or both. What I said above and many times is that everyone already knows that plant foods contain the most anti diseases nutrients and so it is foolish and stupid for anyone not eating it. On the other hand, animal foods contain a few nutrients that are very essential also such as certain amino acids both essential and conditional, certain vitamins, certain minerals. And healthy fats have certain benefits as well. If you want optimal health then you eat all 3 with emphasis on plant foods.

            That’s what all the so called “meat eater” doctors are saying but it does not matter.

            As for the 7th Day Adventist “study”, it does not matter if it was done yesterday, today or in the future. it is based on the 50 year old theory because this is where the money comes from and it is all biased to fit an obsolete theory. And so I don’t care which “meat eaters” they compared with the vegans, if those “meat eaters” whether they are 7th Day Adventist or Joe 6-pack, if they don’t eat plant foods then they have bad health. Period. This is an old knowledge so why do you keep chewing on it to confuse the issue and make your page long post like it is something scientific when it is all used car salesman pitch?

            And last, TJ is expert at trashing and profiling and stereotyping and digging dirt at any person or doctors who say opposite views of what he wants to believe. He said so many contradicting things and now I have no idea of what he said, but I thought that he claimed that he is not a vegan. Yeah whatever that suits him at the time. Who cares.

              1. Jerry You seem to change the subject randomly and consistently misrepresent the facts.

                First, how on Earth can an observational study of what people ate and their subsequent mortality be based on an obsolete 50 year old theory. It makes no sense. You wrote
                “As for the 7th Day Adventist “study”, it does not matter if it was done yesterday, today or in the future. it is based on the 50 year old theory because this is where the money comes from and it is all biased to fit an obsolete theory.”
                really Jerry, that is complete tripe. Which theory and how on Earth is the study based on it? You write the most bizarre things.

                You dreamt some equally bizarre objection to the academic papers on the traditional Okinawan diet. Here is something I wrote about this totally false allegation which is apparently regarded as Holy Writ amongst nutritional cranks, in response to another militant cholesterol and satfat ideologue
                “The claims about the Okinawan diet also seem to derive from fringe websites. Nobody except, well call a spade a spade, crackpots argues that the Okinawan Diet study was “bogus”. There is no evidence whatsoever for this claim. The study itself is based on official survey figures from 1949 and 1950 when Okinawans and mainland Japanese were eating largely traditional diets. Attempts to muddy the waters by pointing to what Okinawans etc were eating at later dates when US fast food outlets and Western style eating practices were spreading possibly as a result of the large numbers of US forces there and increasing affluence, are just that. Attempts to muddy the waters. The traditional Okinawan diet was mainly plant foods and fewer than 4% of calories came from animal foods. Mainland Japanese, who also enjoyed good lonegity at that time but not as good as that of Okinawans, ate rather more animal foods at less than 7% of total calories with the extra calories coming mainly from fish (which doesn’t support the idea that eating more fish is necessarily healthy).”

                As for “trashing”, this is merely your term for exposing the facts about internet marketers. Isn’t a good thing to know about how people like Hyman fail to tell the true facts or how people who call themselves ‘Dr” for marketing purposes may in fact not have a doctorate from a reputable accredited degree awarding institution.

                For example, you are a cholesterol and saturated fat “sceptic”. Another celebrity cholesterol and saturated fat “sceptic” is “Dr” Jonny Bowden. He has a “PhD” from the Clayton College of Natural Health – a well-known diploma mill that has apparently closed down.

                Brice Fife the cocoonut oil promoter is a clown and we have no idea where his PhD came from.

                Pointing these things out may be highly inconvenientt for you Jerry, but exosing the facts is not “trashing”

                As for me Jerry, I am not a vegan although I do try to eat a completely vegetarian diet. Vegans also eat a completely vegetarian diet but the fact is that great majority of people who eat a completely vegetarian diet are not vegans either. In fact, I venture to say that the majority of people who call themselves “vegans” are not vegans either. Vegans are people who use no animal products in their life
                “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

                Plants contain fats and protein as well as carbohydrates. There is no need to eat meat and no crediblke health authority says it is nevessary. Howewever, a number do recommend several fish servings a week. In any case, consuming a small amount of animal foods is consistent with a whole food plant based I am not sure what you are arguing about. The Okinawans on their traditional diet ate a small amount of animal foods – about 4%. And Dr Greger notes that if people eat an exclusively plant WFPB diet they should supplement.

                However, the amino acid claim was shown to be a fairy story years ago as this letter by McDougall makes abundantly clear

    1. And so it is what it is. We can’t control everything. Ultimately, people are responsible for their own health. All that they need is in the website when it comes to evidence based nutritional information. And of course, there is the book and now a cookbook! Yay!

      So frankly, if someone does not take the time to read and listen to the evidence based information that Dr. Greger puts on this site and that he writes about, then they are making that choice and that too is really none of my business. They are making a choice with the best level of critical thinking that they have.

      Truly, most people who are very motivated to engage a WFPBD instinctively know the difference because that is what brought them here in the first place.

      Let’s celebrate each other and wade through the crowd and enjoy this site focusing on our own health and sharing with others who seem on the same page. So much less stress and it makes this site the miracle of wellness that it is, again and again.

      Just saying.

      A proud monthly supporter of

        1. Yes. Even then, though, the crackpots and trolls still parachuted in on a regular basis,

          Most of them were booted out once they became too abusive or repeated unscientific claims over and over again despite being shown the evidence, I seem to recall people who were more reasonable and much less repetitive than Jerry being ejected. I even thought that the three strikes and you are out policy was a little harsh in some of those cases.

          I also find the new system a huge step backward. Disqus never used to lose my posts because it did not like some of the links. The present system does so on a regular basis. I also knew when people had replied to my posts. The current system stopped advising me of replies a month ago. Tech support hasn’t been able to help.

          For that matter, under the old system, I didn’t have to go out to YouTube to watch the video (because the NF version is too big for the screen), and then come back in again to read the comments.

          Yes, I know, we are supposed to embrace change but I don’t think degraded performance is what was intended when people talked about embracing change.

          1. Agreed. As I understand it wasn’t it a financial decision to switch? I too preferred Disque. Seeing that this is a people powered website I am feeling a bit disrespected. Yes agreed we did have the occasional drop in but those conversations were at least interesting.

            Are you still in Australia?

            1. I am in Cebu (Philippines) at the moment but will be flying back to Oz on 15 November. Have to complete my tax return and check on my unit (Australiann for flat or condo)!

              1. Tom are you loving that Jackfruit? In Southern California I have a hard time finding them but when I do I am in heaven. A cross between a pineapple, strawberry and cantaloupe? The flavor is amazing. A bit labor intense to clean but so worth it.

                And thanks for all the work you are doing on this site. You keep the candle burning. And you keep me laughing.

  5. I am extremely interested in improving my health, yet I do not want to give up meat. Limit it, yes. I have many health issues. I am in “denial” & only see the doctor maybe once a year. I understand your emphasis on eating healthy rather than taking medicine to “tolerate” a condition…i.e. high blood pressure, diabetes, cancer, sleep deprivation due to nerves. I find you very interesting. Thank you for making nutritional knowledge available. Are the books that you offer tangible or would I have to read them from the screen?

    1. Dr. Greger’s books are tangible. “How Not to Die” is a New York Times bestseller, and a #1 bestseller on Amazon. It’s the book to read if you are interested in preventing or reversing our number one killers– so informative and easy to read (and full of humor).

  6. It would be very helpful and convenient if the list of speaking engagements included the city/state where it is happening. As it is now the web site for each one has to be visited to determine the location and that is very time consuming and tedious. Why the location is not listed is beyond understanding!

  7. First, big thx and kudos to Dr Greger and NFO team! I’ve been vegan for over 6 mths and on the eve of my 49th have amazed my specialist with improved blood work, appearance and general improved health even with an AI disorder. Still on meds but doing much better then should be. My hubby is 65 and still in process but gave up meat, eggs and most dairy and oil etc. He’s off all meds and doing great!

    Posted this comment before but good to know truth about plant based eating getting out and making big aggro nervous here in Canada:

    Per Globe and Mail Oct 27/17:

    ‘Secret’ memos reveal efforts to influence Canada’s Food Guide.

    “As Ottawa moves closer to releasing a new Canada’s Food Guide, the federal department responsible for promoting agriculture has been lobbying Health Canada to soften its language on limiting red meat and dairy, The Globe and Mail has learned.”

    Here’s a link but I think it’s restricted:

  8. OUCH!! Your comments to Jerry seem disrespectful.


    We are not all created the same way. I follow this website because I enjoy the research Dr. Greger presents. I completely support a diet of whole plant foods and no food-like substances. However, I don’t kid myself that this is all I need to know. I’ve been observing this forum for quite some time without posting, but I would like to say something here.

    First, as much as I love WFPB and eat many servings of plants and fruits every day, I cannot eat grains, even whole grains, or carbohydrates because they raise my LDL and total cholesterol. They also raise my triglycerides, which is a risk factor for me. Obviously, sugars and processed grains are bad for us all, but I cannot eat the whole grains or even some of the carbs either. I am not alone in this, according to my cardiologist.

    I can, however, eat saturated fats, whether from plants or fish, and lower my LDL. I have a genetic predisposition to high LDL due to elevated Lp(a), which puts me at risk for strokes and congestive heart disease. Some 20-30% of the population have this genetic factor; it’s the most common of these genetic variations. My Total Cholesterol soars to 300 when I do not eat fish or coconut oil or some other MCT oil. I spent 12 years working with the Philadelphia Heart Institute testing my diet every 6 months looking for the foods that would lower my risks for stroke and congestive heart disease. The tests we used were NMRs that looked at the molecular levels for lipids. These tests also tested for Insulin Resistance and, of course, HbA1c.

    I’ve had two EBCT scans to look at the calcification of my arteries (the first one was 15 years ago; the last one was one year ago) as this is usually a result of elevated Lp(a). My arteries remain clear of calcification — and I’m 71 years old. My cardiologist who is a lipid researcher at the Medical University of South Carolina agrees with me that my health status is the result of my diet and exercise and very likely some of the supplements I have taken over the years.

    And, by the way, I have been a life-long runner, walker, exerciser, practice T’ai Chi and Qi Gong, and keep mobile on a daily basis. No sedentary lifestyle here.

    I’ve looked for research on how a completely plant-based diet would affect the levels of Lp(a) and have not found this research. However, I do find research that supports my eating fish (or taking high doses of Omega-3) and getting goodly amounts of saturated fats and avoiding whole grains and even beans, which I eat only after soaking and sprouting them and then cooking them.

    I know that I am an N=1, but aren’t we all at some level? Perhaps one of the things that this website can do for us is to help us all understand how we can all do our own research as N=1. How do we set up our own research, understand and evaluate our blood labs, and then share our personal health histories? How can we learn from one another here?

    Best, Cindy

    1. Well a couple of questions come to mind. Have you ever completely given up animal intake of all kinds and at the same time stopped all processed oils. (Coconut, Olive etc.) without that bit of information you are limiting your data of your case study. (N=1) Whole vegetables and fruits are carbohydrates. Are you saying you have to limit them or do you mean simple processed carbohydrates?

      Anyhow bravo on the exercise.

      1. WFPBRunner — do you have a name? I would like to personalize this. And thanks for taking the time and interest to reply to me.

        No, I have not given up all animal intake (other than fish), but do limit my non-fish intake. On occasion I have a bite or two of some organic pastured meats. That’s mostly in my role as chief cook and taster here in my family. But I eat only organic meat when I eat it, local farm meat. But meat in general is not part of my general diet.

        I don’t eat processed oils in general and have not eaten those knowingly most of my adult life. I really did not move from a so-called normal “SAD” diet to a healthy one. I’ve been on this journey since my 20s.

        Since my family members die early from heart disease, I decided in my 20s that diet must be a factor. I got into organic foods and pretty much stayed tuned in to diet research. I followed Adele Davis in the early years and saw the benefits of her dietary recommendations. I also took up running in my 20s. Exercise was critical to my well-being.

        I avoid processed foods in general, always have. They just are not healthy under any circumstances. My inclination has always been to eat whole foods, foods that I have prepared myself. I think this is key to basic good health.

        When I was testing with the Philadelphia Heart Institute, I ate some chicken once a week or so on occasion, maybe a few ounces if that. But in general, I ate fish three or four times a week, sometimes more, again only a few ounces a day. But I did eat a soft-boiled egg daily. Eggs do not present a problem for me. I think the pertinent information is that I don’t ever eat more than 2 to 4 oz of any meat or fish per day when I eat it. I don’t eat a typical American diet. Never have.

        I eat no trans fats or other vegetable/seed oils other than cold-pressed coconut oils and some organic cold-pressed olive oils on my salads. I don’t eat refined carbs. I read labels, and I eat no oils that have been previously heated. Trans fats and ALL heated oils are not healthy. I eat no processed foods. They often contain heated oils and those I consider to be unhealthy. Trans fats are a big problem for those of us with Lp(a).

        With the carbs, it’s mostly the beans and whole grains that I limit. Beans have to be sprouted. I avoid grains in general. I do NOT limit fruits and veggies. I can eat all kinds of those — fresh. I love those! I sprout my beans or I don’t eat them. That is the problem for me with the Lp(a). It’s not other kinds of vegetables. It’s beans and grains in particular. My cardio doc says she has others like myself in her practice who also cannot eat beans and grains without elevating the Lp(a). Of course, sprouting makes beans a plant. This affects my triglycerides and I pay attention to those numbers.

        Also, I do think something else played a part here. I eat within a certain period of time during the day. I believe this is referred to as intermittent fasting. I stop eating by 3pm each day. That makes a difference for me. I also keep my weight down — definitely a factor. I’m about 5’2″ and keep my weight no more than 128lb.

        Oddly enough, I can drink red wine with health benefits. I’ve been following the genetic testing and I see where there are some of us who actually benefit from drinking alcohol – raises our HDL. In my case, I can drink red wine and see health benefits for HDL as well as lowering of Lp(a). We have a gene that enables this benefit. I have seen in the Lp(a) research that others with this lipid anomaly also benefit from drinking red wine. Are there other hazards of drinking alcohol? Of course…. my job is to understand where I am on that spectrum.

        So what I would like to see is a forum that helps us all learn to understand how we can be healthier as individuals. I tried vegetarianism, low- to no-fat diets and they don’t work for me. I can prove this with the lab reports. Yes, I think that most of my diet should be WFPB and I love it. That’s what I do. I’ve had that for years. But I do need to include Omega-3 fish oils and some saturated fats for me to be healthy. I can eat fish and some of these oils and maintain health.

        I would like to see a health blog site that teaches everyone how to become that N=1. How can we use this site to learn how to be healthier and share our stories with others? We all have things to learn from each other. Why should we be exclusive of others with different experiences?

        Best, Cindy

        1. HI Cindy
          My name is Gale.
          “I would like to see a health blog site that teaches everyone how to become that N=1. How can we use this site to learn how to be healthier and share our stories with others? We all have things to learn from each other.” This is the perfect site for you to be on. I would highly recommend watching each and every video Dr. Greger has posted. Every question you can come up with has a video to answer the question–with few exceptions. Additionally old videos have great conversations in the comment sections. Underneath each video is the research he read to make the video. I find this area most interesting because I want to know he is using the most current research on that given day.

          At one time the majority of the commenters had professional experience to add. I believe most have left and don’t participate as they once did. Either because of the constant trolling or lack of good conversations.

          This is definitely a comment section that encourages teaching and learning. And yes experiences. But when Jerry contradicts the research it becomes tiring. There is a video that covers everyone of his statements. Trust me he has been going on for over a year. I post a video for him to look at and he says Dr. Greger cherry picked the data.

          Processed oils are any oils that are not in their whole state. Olive oil or coconut oil are both processed. Now this may not be an issue for you but for anyone who has heart disease (number 1 killer in America) this is a very important point. Reversing heart disease is not for the faint of heart. If this is your interest I highly recommend Dr. Esselstyn’s work. (after watching every video on that topic listed above)

          I too have heart disease in my family so I take the most current research very seriously. I don’t have the ability to be laissez-faire when it comes to my health so I am WFPB with no added oil and no processed foods. I eat no animal. And the health benefits have paid off. The chance of me dyeing from a heart attack at 51 as my father did is pretty close to zero.

          I am really sorry if I offended you by being offended by Jerry but he just won’t stop. If he makes a comment about the benefits of saturated fats and cholesterol he needs to post a good research article but he is unable to do that. And unfortunately he is here everyday.

          1. Hi Gale,

            Ok, I promise — last post here!

            I’ve been watching this site, reading the blogs, watching the videos, for over a year, and I have Dr. G’s book How Not to Die. I am an avid researcher and pay close attention to the details. I’ve been through the older videos as well. I also attended Dr. Greger’s research webinar.

            Again, no offense taken. Yes, over the decades I’ve followed the ongoing research on heart disease and Lp(a). I do take this seriously. I do recall the past responders you mention. I have read Dr. Esselstyn’s book, followed Pritikin’s work, Willett’s and Sinatra’s work. I follow all the different research on heart disease.

            I definitely will continue to learn from this research, some of which I have seen before. No harm in repeating the research as I pick up details each time. I’ve been at this for decades, but really got into the depths when I was seeing my doctor at the Philadelphia Heart Institute. I was fortunate to have met three cardiologists who were lipid specialists over the last two decades who knew all the research and had experience with people with Lp(a). We always discussed the research, both theirs and mine.

            Thanks for your suggestions! I appreciate them. See you in the threads!

            Best, Cindy

            1. Hi Cindy
              Great to have such civil discussion. I believe I am a bit confused. Weren’t you saying your cholesterol runs high? I thought that is what we were discussing.
              So nice to have a fellow runner. Is that daily?
              I love running. It’s my time to be by myself and reflect. Great way to clear the head.

            2. Cindy you got me curious so I pulled out my old blood work. As I suspected my Lp(a)-P was high risk-164. All this blood work was only run because I went to a new doctor who ran these tests as part of the normal blood work. Because my cholesterol is low (total 150 and LDL 75) I wasn’t concerned. I mean what exactly could I change? I am not going to start eating animal or dairy. But what was cool to see was my inflammatory marker- CRP was <0.3. She said that is the lowest number she has ever seen! Very exciting.

              I have uncles and cousins and siblings in various states of heart disease. It's great to see that by being WFPB I am literally running away from heart disease.

              The gene thing I get but I really enjoy the work I have seen on epigenetics. We don't have to be that person.

              1. Okay, now you have me excited. I just got my CRP results back yesterday. Mine was 0.2! I could not be happier. WFPBRunner, can you please tell me the significance of that and why I should be excited? And what is Lp(a)-P, and what does it mean?

                1. Ok. So CRP is a measure for inflammation. This is important when we are considering the inflammation in our arteries and coronary artery disease.

                  Look at you! Excellent.

                  LP(a) Is a genetic marker for heart disease. That we can’t do much about except have a low LDL.

                  But not for me because I have low LDL!!

                  Here is a great discussion from the Cleveline Clinic

    2. Thank you, Cindy, for the informative letter here. I have the same problem taking in carbs and grains and you gave me some oils to try to change my own chemistry.

  9. The reason why I unsubscribed was because of such an increase in emails. I try to limit the amount of time on the computer. I am wanting to learn.
    Just don’t want to spend all day & night reading,. Thanks anyway.

  10. I don’t see Jerry Lewis as a troll any more than Cindy is. Where is the requirement that we all have to agree with everything Dr. Greger says? Where is the requirement that we all have to be vegan? I find differences of opinion very enlightening. Many of the things that Jerry Lewis says have been said by other serious writers and researchers. The topics we are talking about are very controversial. While we are airing this stuff, I have to say that, although I have learned a great deal from Dr. Greger and I am reading his work carefully, in many areas he cherry picks his evidence. Someday, when I have the time, I will show examples.

    Please all take a look at the “Comment Etiquette” post at the top of this list: “The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

    “To make a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.”

    So as long as nobody advertises, makes personal attacks, makes racist statements, and so forth, as far as I am concerned, their thoughts are welcome. To me, telling people that their personal opinions are off-limits on this list is inappropriate, especially when they are talking about topics of food and health that we are all interested in.

    1. To me the difference is that some people refer to unproven, unsubstantiated “theories” instead of hard science. Dr. Greger goes through boatloads of studies before he posts. I don’t call that “cherry picking.”

      1. That is the difference. Nicely said. I am not interested in opinions from other websites or my health care providers for that matter if it is not science based. That is where we are trying to dig ourselves out of in the medical community.

        1. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. This section is really unique and as many of us feel-important. I am not understanding why NF doesn’t share the same opinion.

          Since you’re on here I want to catch you up on my niece. She is down 80 pounds! She is running 5 days per week and we are training for some races! She is a moderator on one of the How Not To Die Facebook pages. She really has changed her life. Yahoo!

        2. Liisa and WFPBrunner: I tried two different browsers and was unable to find a ‘reply’ button to either of your latest posts. Older posts have the reply button but the newest posts do not. (This is a bug (or something else?) I’ve seen before.)

          Liisa: Thank you! And I fully agree that there are lots of great people really helping out here. Still a ton of awesome and helpful hand posts happening.

          WFPBrunner: That’s such great news about your niece! Thanks for the update. You have a lot to be proud of in your niece. :-)

      2. Liisa. How can you prove he hasn’t cherry picked? You can’t. Can anyone show a study that can differentiate between heart disease caused by a high sugar, processed diet with trans fats, oxidised industrial seed oils and different types of fats. Some polyunsaturated some saturated some monounsaturated. The point is Trans fats have been used in high quantities for decades. How can one prove or disprove that it is the saturated fat and cholesterol causing the initiation of a fatty streak and subsequent atheromatous plaque? As Dr Gregor so often says “maybe its the…”
        Nina makes some very good points but the lemmings don’t like it. Humans are not obligate herbivores. We can be flexible. Is Dr. Gregor vegan because of the science or is he vegan for some other reason? ( which is fine ) If it is the latter then the site will be biased unfortunately. I’m 90/95 % WFPB but everyone has different genetics. It’s ridiculous to expect biology to behave in the same way for different people. Bit of a rambling post but there are so many issues to discuss.

        1. Scott I think Dr G’s views on saturated fat and blood cholesterol are firmly rooted in the science and there’s no serious debate their role in cardiovascular disease. There’s a bit more wiggle room on diabetes because both dietary fat and endogenous fat appear to be significant players

          As for your statement about distinguishing between heart disease caused by trans fats, refined carbs and saturated fat. That’s true as far as it goes but only as far as it goes. There;s certainly some useful evidence of the role of different fatty acids in the recent AHA/ACC .presidential advisory statement and the older World Health Organization review of fats and fatty acids in human nutrition.

          1. Scott I had a follow up response which has disappeared and I didn’t keep a copy. Grrrr.

            Anyway, in brief, Dr Greger says a whole food plant based diet is the healthiest.. He doesn’t say that the science conclusively shows that w whole food plant only diet is the healthiest; He includes various diets in this group – “semi vegetarian”., “lacto ovo” etc – of plant based diets eg

            and his Okinawan diet video makes it clear that he considers that diet, which includes up to 4% animal foods, as a whole food plant based diet, So I see no reasons why your 90-95% plant diet sould also be considered a plant based diet. I suspect Dr G would concur.

            As for your other point, yes everyone has different genetics but that’s no reason to do nothing. Some people smoke all their lives and live to 100. That’s no reason to stop advising people to quit smoking. Getting people to replace saturated fat with polyunsaturated fat reduces CVD by only 30% not 100%. it’s still worth giving people this advice even if it doesn’t help everybody.

        2. Hi Scott Dr. Greger is WFPB because he saw his grandmother transform from a woman with heart disease in a wheelchair unable to walk in her 60s to a woman heathy and vibrant into her 90s once she changed her diet.

          Science is not perfect but pretty close. If you read a resource Dr. Greger has used and you think it isn’t a great study that happens. It happens because more research is needed.

          Anyhow—seeing that we are talking about our health I’ll take science over snake salesman anytime.

  11. When I say cherry picking, I mean that he takes certain studies to support his opinion and ignores other studies that show a contrary opinion. His material on cholesterol is an excellent case in point. Most current researchers do not agree that your entire heart health depends only on getting your LDL below 70. Even Dr. Esselstyn does not agree with this. Dr. Greger rides his entire argument on the opinion of Dr. Roberts, who is a distinguished authority but only one authority. I have the article that he cites from Dr. Roberts. Dr. Roberts’ statement, in fact, was only one point of view in an article that synthesized many points of view, including a somewhat different point of view. Although most researchers today, backed by thousands of studies, put a lot of emphasis on HDL and the ratio between triglycerides and HDL, Dr. Greger does not mention them in his book. That is what I mean by cherry picking. In my work as a research editor, it is part of my job to make sure that academic writers present all sides to a story.

    1. Nina Dr. Greger has never said “your entire heart health depends on getting your LDL below 70.”
      There are videos on the role inflammation plays. There on videos on the importance of exercise. There are videos on saturated fat. There are videos on the mechanism high blood pressure plays. There are videos on obesity.

      He rides his argument on what the research says. Not what any man (Dr. Roberts) says. His videos are about research. Good research. As it should be in medicine.

      1. Gosh, Jerry, you love the health “emtrepeneurs” like Perlmutter don’t you? And you seem to loathe the panels of experts who review the science on nutrition and health, and on lipids and health, and write major reports on these matter and develop national guidelines

        Very strange. Here is a couple of analyses of Perlmutter’s claims which everyone really should read before watching his video

        “he has sold everything from “Empowering Coconut Oil” to supplement blends tailored for specific demographics, like the $90 “Scholar’s Advantage Pack” for “young adults seeking to optimize cognitive function,” and the $160 “Senior Empowerment Pack,” a “combination of formulas designed to help keep you cognitively sharp as you age.” One book pointed readers to an $8,500 brain detoxification retreat run by Perlmutter, which included shamanic healing ceremonies. (He even has his own organic foaming hand soap.)”

        1. LOL, this guy TG is expert at trashing and digging dirt at anyone he does not like or fit his agenda. He should be a politician.

          To tell you the truth, I have no idea who Perlmutter is, now TG knows more about him than me. I am most interested to learn about Dr. Sarah Hallberg to see her title because TJ likes title (only when it comes to his agenda but otherwise a drug dealer who talks against “saturated fat” would be fine), and in this interview (which is good by the way), she stated her title and she is Director and Professor at Indiana University and so she is no “dummy” per TG.

          I also have no idea who Dr. Sarah Hallberg is, this is the first time I know about her when I watched another Tedtalks video and her video came right after. Anyway, she tells no new info and this is known knowledge for years for anyone who understand true nutrition and not koolaid kale and low fat diet. But I am glad that now there will be clinical trials from an institution or research facility and not stuff coming out of Mercola, Perlmutter mouth which is easy target for people like TJ to trash. By the way, Dr Hyman is also some type of Director at the Cleveland Clinic.

          I don’t want to exploit somebody bad health, this is certainly not my style. I am more complacent and understandable than anything because it can happen to me tomorrow. Anyway, TG has a number of health issues himself. If I am him, I will listen with an unbiased ear to updated knowledge and not filtering out all info he does not want to hear. I don’t know him but I am suspicious that his stance on low fat and strict veganism is behind his illness. Wake up before it’s too late, TJ.

          1. And by the way, TJ is a victim of statin drug himself, so why does he keep insisting on the obsolete cholesterol theory himself? By the way, today Dr G video is about eating foods to lower “cholesterol” which I am all for but he stated another important thing which is LDL below 70 that his diehard fans have denied that he ever said so. So here is the proof that he did say. I will comment later about this “cholesterol” theory when I have time. But just to put in a few words, while low cholesterol is a goal, blindly do anything to lower it including taking statin drug, is committing suicide.

            1. You are misrepresenting things again. Someone falsely claimed, if I recall correctly, that Dr G said that the only thing that matters is to get one’s LDL cholesterol under 70. Simply pointing to videos where Dr G says it’s important to get one’s LDL under 70 does not prove that that claim was correct. It just proves that you misrepresent people’s words to suit your own agenda and that you are desperate to undermine Dr G’s credibility.

              n fact in that video, I don’t remember Dr G even mentioning LDL cholesterol under 70 at all. But hey, we know you aren’t a stickler for factual accuracy. That’s just petty, eh? So let’s just ignore that. After all, what is one more Whopper among so many? .

              The cholesterol theory is not outdated. It is the cholesterol loons who are outdated and clinging to clinging to 100 year old ideas that rising cholesterol is a normal part of aging and protective.

              Further, there is no serious scientific debate about plasma cholesterol levels being a risk factor.

              However, there is money to be made pushing the cholesterol is harmless idea and the egg, meat and dairy industries are sympathetic to it, but there is no doubt about its correctness of the current scientific consensus . You are just deluding yourself and attempting to delude others.

              “We assessed whether the association between LDL and ASCVD fulfils the criteria for causality by evaluating the totality of evidence from genetic studies, prospective epidemiologic cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials of LDL-lowering therapies. In clinical studies, plasma LDL burden is usually estimated by determination of plasma LDL cholesterol level (LDL-C). Rare genetic mutations that cause reduced LDL receptor function lead to markedly higher LDL-C and a dose-dependent increase in the risk of ASCVD, whereas rare variants leading to lower LDL-C are associated with a correspondingly lower risk of ASCVD. Separate meta-analyses of over 200 prospective cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials including more than 2 million participants with over 20 million person-years of follow-up and over 150 000 cardiovascular events demonstrate a remarkably consistent dose-dependent log-linear association between the absolute magnitude of exposure of the vasculature to LDL-C and the risk of ASCVD; and this effect appears to increase with increasing duration of exposure to LDL-C. Both the naturally randomized genetic studies and the randomized intervention trials consistently demonstrate that any mechanism of lowering plasma LDL particle concentration should reduce the risk of ASCVD events proportional to the absolute reduction in LDL-C and the cumulative duration of exposure to lower LDL-C, provided that the achieved reduction in LDL-C is concordant with the reduction in LDL particle number and that there are no competing deleterious off-target effects.”

              1. So TG, what do you say now? Do you have problem with the truth or do you show sign of Alzheimer’s?


                “What we care most about is LDL, though—so-called bad cholesterol, shooting for under at least 70, ideally. No impact of the placebos, but again, just about a half-teaspoon of amla, which would cost you about five cents a day, so like a buck fifty a month—and boom.”

                1. Jerry

                  They both have four letters but the words “most” and “only” actually have different meanings. It’s true – check the dictionary.

                  Alzheimer’s? Glad you raised that point

                  “Several lines of evidence support the theory that an elevated blood cholesterol level is related to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. In experimental models, animals fed high-fat and high-cholesterol diets exhibited impaired learning and memory performance compared with animals on control diets and also demonstrated more A-beta deposition in the brain, greater loss of neurons, and other Alzheimer’s disease-related neuropathology.[15,16] One study of 444 Finnish men found that an elevated blood cholesterol level (> 6.5 mmol/L) in midlife was associated with 3 times the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease in late life.[17]
                  The 3 prospective dietary studies conducted in Chicago,[20] New York,[21] and Rotterdam[22] also examined the relation of dietary fat intake to the development of Alzheimer’s disease. The Chicago study reported the strongest evidence of an association. High intake of saturated fat doubled the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, and even moderate intake of trans fat increased the risk by 2 to 3 times.[20]”

                  Saturated fat? Wow, aren’t saturated fats what you coyly refer to as “healthy fats’?

                  Here’s some more

                  “In a study published online in JAMA Neurology, researchers found that dietary saturated fat reduced the body’s levels of apolipoprotein E, also called ApoE, which helps remove amyloid beta proteins out of the brain. Essentially, people who received a high-saturated-fat, high-sugar diet showed a change in their ApoE, such that the ApoE would be less able to help clear the amyloid.

                  ApoE4 status is associated with an increased risk of cognitive decline and elevated brain amyloid deposition.”

                  This data is in line with previous studies showing a link between higher amyloid in the brain of patients with ApoE4 and diets high in saturated fat increasing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s.”

                  Dietary saturated fat and high blood cholesterol aren’t just risk factors for CVD, they appear to be risk factors for Alzheimer’s and cognitive impairment too. Your previous posts have of course already given rise to concerns about your health in those departments. Since you seem to champion dietary fat and pooh-pooh concerns about blood cholesterol, it seems reasonable to assume you choose to eat saturated fat and are unconcerned about high cholesterol. That would suggest that you are at risk.

                  1. Your only response to the facts is not to acknowledge but to denigrate the people who point them out.

                    Why you insist on believing and actively promoting nonsense is beyond me, Of course some people believe in astrology, tarot cards and divination too. You and they seem equally irrational because there is no evidence for any of your core beliefs.

  12. The subject of diet is personal and sensitive. Some people argue that listening to unwelcome opinions is costly and that they should be banned. It is true. These are 3 stages:

    1 avoidance (banning) Lowest emotional cost
    2 competition (arguing) Highest emotional cost
    3 tolerance (listening) Middle emotional cost

    1. Panchito I have done all of the above in regards to the trolls. Well obviously not banning but completely avoiding and skipping his posts but when people who are new to this site have a conversation with him about his good advice if kinda makes me want to throw up. :-)

  13. So true Esben. Thank goodness for people like you who keep everyone informed. And todays video! Oy Vey! He is going to have a field day.

  14. thanks alot for the videos, i do sports and went from eating 600g of fish a day to the same amount in legumes. was wondering what the deal is with TVP, heard its processed, are there any studies or is it still considered soy which is beneficial for >3-5 servings/daily. Also, what’s the preference between pea protein, brown rice protein, and soy protein poweders?

    1. Hi, donald. TVP is textured vegetable protein. It is processed. As far as protein powders are concerned, I generally think it is best to get nutrients from whole foods. Rather than choosing between pea, brown rice, and soy protein powders, I would recommend eating minimally processed whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds, including minimally processed soy foods such as edamame, tempeh and tofu, as tolerated. I hope that helps!

  15. I used to deeply value and learn from this comment section. And I looked forward to reading through it. It has in the past greatly helped me to iron out the extreme confusion I experienced around diet. These days I’m finding it tiresome and time wasting sifting through the varied comments, arguments and now intrigue. I think I’ve had enough!

  16. This is a reply to Liisa, whose msg does not seem to be on the web page now, but I’ll try replying anyway.

    I have not seen any studies that indicate that a small amount of meat is dangerous either. :-) One of the best safety indications I have seen concerns people who do not eat anything and get all of their nutrition intravenously through TPN(total parenteral nutrition). The amino acid profile in TPN is very close to what would be in a small amount of meat protein. Since they don’t eat anything and thus get none of the additional components of a conventional meat-based diet, this would be similar to eating a small amount of very carefully selected and prepared meat. These folks can live many years like this without any of the things documented in the meat-based diet studies. The only significant nutrition related problem is caused by the use of linoleic acid(a fatty acid in soybean oil), which in 5 to 10 years causes some folks to have fatty liver problems. These folks do have many other problems, usually related to the reasons why they have to take TPN in the first place, and not nutritional in nature. This would seem to indicate that getting all of one’s nutrition with an amino acid profile close to that of meat protein is indeed safe.

    Studies that are considered to be “evidence” are usually large, very expensive, long-term studies involving thousands of people. NO ONE is going to run such a study to show that small amounts of meat WITHOUT saturated fat, AGEs, hormones, pollutants, etc are “safe”. And, if you look at such studies in great detail, you will often find that there are many assumptions made as part of the process. You should consider which people were selected, or rejected, how and what kinds of data were collected and “corrected”, and possibly rejected, and other parameters.

    It is not been conclusively shown that meat *protein* BY ITSELF, *without* the additional things that usually come with it, is responsible for the effects seen in these large studies that included the additional components. Indeed, in many discussions, these additional components are often mentioned as the things that might be actually causing the problem. This is important because if it actually is the components that are largely responsible for the effects that are seen, then improper selection, cooking, and preparation of vegetables can also generate these additional dangerous components.

    Also, almost everything is dose-dependent. The big studies used LARGE amounts of meat plus significant amounts of MANY additional components, all of which are independently known to be dangerous in their own right. The result is we don’t really know what caused the effect. And, given the above, if the study result was only a bit above statistical significance, and if similar studies do not reach statistical significance, as is the case here, then one may infer that the effect is not really that strong. One sees this all the time in drug studies in which a new VERY expensive drug is only a tiny bit better than an existing drug, but, since as a tiny bit better, it will be approved for sale by the FDA, and the resulting huge marketing campaign will make the drug company $1 billion.

    So, given the large amounts of meat and many additional components in the study that were needed to produce a statistically significant result, it may very well be that small amounts of meat without the additional components are actually quite safe. That is why I was asking about results that pertain ONLY to the meat and/or amino acids. The more I look the more it seems as though the additional components may be more dangerous than the meat itself.

    Given there will not likely ever be a study to prove it safe, a decision to eat small amounts of VERY carefully selected and prepared meat will end up to be a personal decision. Everything I’ve seen so far indicates that it is likely to be safe. But, if anyone has precise information to show that “careful” meat is not safe, please let me know.

    1. I am not sure that you will ever find small “amounts of meat WITHOUT saturated fat, AGEs, hormones, pollutants,”

      You might be able to avoid AGEs by eating raw or boiled meat. But all meat contains natural hormones and saturated fat. And I don’t think there is any animal on the planet – including ourselves – that hasn’t absorbed at least some pollutants. The best you could do would be to reduce these as far as possible.

      Of course, “careful” meat will contain cholesterol and heme iron, which can be problematic. There is also the question of Neu5Gc found in the meat of all mammals (except ourselves) which is thought to be cancinogenic to humans.

      You might well be safe eating small amounts of meat a couple of times a week. That’s what Harvard thinks
      “As for how much meat consumption is “safe,” many studies show a small rise in the risk of disease at levels of 50 to 100 grams (1.8 to 3.5 ounces) of red meat consumed daily. Processed meats (salted, smoked, or cured) are also associated with a higher risk. In contrast, there does not appear to be a measurable risk from eating red meat once or twice a week.”

      Of course, on that basis you might also be safe smoking a single cigarette once or twice a week .

      In the 7th Day Adventist mortality study – not considered, I suspect, in the Harvard advice – “semi vegetarians”, the term they used for people who only ate meat no more than once a week, did better than regular meat eaters but still had higher mortality risk than “vegans”, pescovegetarians and lacto ovo vegetarians who basically ate no meat. Of course, this was just a broad prospective cohort study and you might want to ignore it like Harvard did. On the other hand, why take any risk at all if you don’t need to?

      1. Thanks for the reply. I figured out why there was no response from Liisa – I replied to the “foods to eat…” discussion as opposed to the “foods to avoid…” discussion which is where Liisa’s comment was. :-)

        I am, of course, not looking for “amounts of meat without saturated fat etc.”. As I mentioned, everything is dose-dependent and I’m trying to understand what the threshold dosage is that actually can cause a problem. It is not a digital issue, it’s an analog issue, and a knowledge of the amount is necessary to make good decisions.

        Too many things are usually lumped together in “meat-based” studies. I’m trying to understand which PARTS of a meat-based diet are the most significant and hazardous. From what I’ve seen so far it would appear that the things that go along with the meat-based diet, and not the meat itself, are the source of the hazards.

        Thanks for the Harvard reference. Unfortunately, one has to sign up for their newsletter to be able to read your reference and thus follow their line of reasoning and references that led to that statement. Any additional info would be much appreciated.

        Your reference to cigarettes does not address the kind of trade-off that goes along with food. Consider arsenic, for example. Is there arsenic in the food you eat? Almost certainly yes, but you still choose to eat that food for other reasons. Your rationale for doing so is that the arsenic dose is low enough that it is very unlikely to cause any problem for you. Everything is dose-dependent.

        The seventh Day Adventist study was very interesting. I can see why you suspected that Harvard might not have considered that study. The opening line of the study is “some evidence suggests vegetarian dietary patterns may be associated with reduced mortality, but the relationship is not well established” – not a good start for zero-meat true believers. :-))

        They do, however, separate out results for some components. The good: nuts, fruit, cereal fiber, PUFAs, green salad, Mediterranean, “healthy” dietary patterns, and others. This was encouraging because I eat a LOT of veggies – about a pound with each meal, with all of the above and some additional emphasis on low-carb veggies. The bad: potatoes, high glycemic load, increased energy intake, and, of course, red meat, processed meat and others. They concluded that “vegetarian diets, OR SIMILAR DIETS WITH REDUCED MEAT CONSUMPTION, may be associated with lower risk of death”. That seems to fit my diet quite well, but a better understanding of EXACTLY how bad the various components are would provide good guidance for selecting a better diet.

        1. Careful eater have you read The Blue Zones? It is so interesting and puts meat consumption into perspective. I think you will find it interesting.

          The Blue Zones, Second Edition: 9 Lessons for Living Longer From the People Who’ve Lived the Longest

          1. I have not, but have checked out some of the large amount of info on the net re that book. I can see why you think it is interesting. It talks about many of the things discussed here, most of which I already have info about. I did make some summary notes re the content, and authors comments, as I checked it out. It suggests:

            a predominately plant-based diet-
            didn’t necessarily avoid meat or animal products
            lots of veggies / plenty of high antioxidant foods-
            loads of fiber
            smaller amounts of animal protein foods
            High-quality dairy products, like grass-fed goat milk and homemade cheeses
            probiotic foods-
            Fermented products like yogurt, kefir, tempeh, miso and natto
            inflammation is at the root of most diseases.

            only eat high-quality animal products-
            animal products always locally, grass-fed, pasture-raised, wild-caught and free
            from harmful substances commonly used in the U.S meat and dairy supply, like
            antibiotics and growth hormones.

            Avoid Processed, Packaged Foods
            small amounts of natural sweeteners
            high in healthy fats
            Get a good night’s sleep.
            Exercise Often but Make It Enjoyable
            Spend More Time with Family and in Nature
            people who are having sex after the age of 50, at least twice per week, have
            about half the rate of mortality than people who aren’t gettin’ it.
            [this is probably popular :-)) ]
            alcohol increases flavonoid absorption
            Turmeric has been associated with lower rates of cancer, and healthier hearts.
            If you’re living out in a suburb around a forest of junk food places, you’re not
            going to escape un-healthiness.

            I do essentially all of the above – I eat even more veggies that they suggest. :-) And some additional things not mentioned in the book or on this site. I’m considering reducing protein, but need more biochem-level info to make a final plan on that front. Also reconsidering sat fats but need a lot more biochem-level info to make a final plan on that front.

            Thanks for the reference…

            1. You nail it, careful eater.

              I am just wondering about the following statement “alcohol increases flavonoid absorption”. If this is correct then I do it right by making and drinking my own aged garlic by submerging my garlic in alcohol for years (the older, the better) but I only use the (light) alcohol to prevent the garlic from spoiling. I just look it up and it’s true.

              As for protein then the general guidance is to limit it when you are young but when you get older to increase it slightly to maintain and rebuild your muscle. I am using selective protein such as creatine amino acid and I am looking at whey protein.

              1. I also wondered about the flavonoid statement. I put it in my notes because, for me, it was a new and interesting statement, and I put it in as a reminder to me to check it out. I still haven’t checked it out thoroughly, but did take a very quick one minute look at a couple of NIH papers that suggested alcohol may increase the solubility of polar flavonoid components. It was probably NOT a very important part of the overall message. There is a very large number of flavonoids though, with different biochemical properties and metabolisms, so my guess is they don’t really understand the true effect of alcohol. My view is that the current knowledge about flavonoid biochemistry is still fairly crude.

                Your comment about a bit more protein for older people is consistent with what several very good (listed in the “best doctors in America” book) doctors and nutritionists have told me, and what I have seen on my own from reading medical journal papers. That is, in part, why I am evaluating the suggestions to reduce protein as suggested on this site. I’m one of these older people. :-))

                EVERYTHING is always a trade-off, and it is a good idea to understand ALL the potential consequences of decisions you make. The one-size-fits-all approach where X is suggested for everyone does not seem to be anywhere near an optimal approach. People are different, sometimes very different, with different needs.

                I understand the benefits of creatine and whey protein, and use both of them as part of an intensive exercise program. Yes, they are processed, but processed in a way that eliminates many of the known bad nonprotein things that come with, say, red meat. It is not clear to me that they are anywhere near as bad as many/most people on this site seem to think they are. If someone has NIH papers that describe why they are SOOOO bad that they should not even be considered by anyone, for any set of different needs, in the normal trade-off process, please tell me. Maybe, for some people, they are pretty good choices. :-))

                  1. We all know eating lots of flavonoids can help us a lot with many health issues including cancer. In the video he mentions that the alcohol effect is reduced significantly if flavonoids are taken with the alcohol. Maybe alcohol DOES help flavonoid absorption after all. :-)) Make your Bloody Mary drink reeeeally bloody – use tomato paste. :-) EVERYTHING is a trade-off…

                    I do multiple anticancer things based on good biochemical level studies, but these are off topic for this site. It’s a worthwhile battle.

                1. Careful eater, I forgot if you were the one asking for recommendation on nutrition book but I don’t think you need one because you already know a lot. There are all kind of info on the Internet and I can read anything but my motto is always “trust but verify” and I don’t take anything at face value. For one thing, you have an independent mind and you don’t get fooled easily by the Kool Aid Low Fat crowd.

                  Back on the subject, several studies have shown that frail people don’t withstand diseases very well and so while you don’t want to be overweight, be skinny like a stick without any muscle is not a good idea, especially when you get old. So while you are young then you need adequate protein and creatine to build and repair the muscle that you may damage while playing sport or exercise. When you get older then your muscle will get weaker overtime and that’s a fact of life you cannot avoid – but you can slow it down by doing weight lifting, and increasing your protein and creatine intake. Dr Hyman (people over here hate him but that is another story – they are ignorant and biased and so who cares) who don’t normally recommend dairy, advises to consume whey protein for brain health. I am still in the “trust but verify” phase and so I have not taken any yet. But as you know, whey protein is “processed” in a good way to eliminate the bad stuff from milk.

                  As for alcohol improving flavonoid and quercetin absorption, I am interested because by default I consume aged garlic that are preserved with alcohol. Only difference is that I currently use whiskey or sake because the recipe calls for but I can switch to red wine if I need to because the studies use red wine. This is by no mean drinking alcohol because I consume 2 tablespoons per day and there is tons of garlic and not much alcohol in my jar, and then I dilute heavily with water.

                  As for “red meat causing cancer” theory, this is not exactly correct. The reason that people get cancer is that because red meat is steak and people usually cook it too long or burn it. Otherwise, steak is the most nutritious meat if it comes from grass fed cow. My motto is to minimize meat eating but if I have to do then I choose the best and most nutritious one. Grass fed cow meat has ALA. I cook meat sous vide these days with my Instant Pot to not overcook. Coking sous vide cooks at 140 degF for one hour so that the bacteria are killed while the meat is not overcooked and it also produces the best juicy meat ever, like cooked by a chef in a restaurant.

                  1. I was not asking for book recommendations, but a few were so overwhelmingly suggested that I thought I’d check them out. The kind of books that are most useful to me are medical textbooks used by doctors trying to learn certain specialties in medical school. These books contain information at about the level I’m interested in, and give very pertinent references for learning more details. I have about 20 of these medical textbooks and have learned a LOT from these books, but “a lot” needs to be put in the proper context. I once calculated that it would take a good reader, reading all day long every day, about 700 YEARS to read everything that has been written about medicine. The amount that any one person can know is only a tiny fraction of everything that is known. And, it would take you more than 24 hours to read all the new writings that are produced every day, so you can’t even stay even. :-)

                    I understand the sarcopenia issue, and am doing things to make sure I don’t have that problem. So far it is working quite well. I use whey protein isolate – you might check out the various whey products to see what sounds best for the trade-offs in your particular situation.

                    Regarding the flavonoid comment, given what you do with garlic I didn’t think you are actually consuming that much alcohol – that was not my assumption. It might be interesting to check the compounds of interest and see whether they are water or oil soluble.

                    I understand the issues relating to how meat is usually cooked, and have commented on this, in part, in other articles on this site. I also touched briefly on how one can significantly improve the quality of meat and reduce the hazards using a careful selection process – but that takes you rapidly out of the kinds of meat you will find in most supermarkets. Unfortunately, there are ways of cooking vegetables that can produce similar problems, and if you do these you could end up with something as dangerous as the reviled meat-based meal.:-)

                    I have also taken up sous vide cooking. I did it primarily to get more delicious meals, but it is indeed a less dangerous way of preparing foods if you do it properly.

                    1. Careful eater- if you are interested in books with more science, I would recommend Dale Bredesen’s book, ‘The End of Alzheimer’s’, look it up. I found it well worth the read.

            2. Hi careful eater My take away from The Blue Zone was that these groups of people that live to be over 100 eat meat rarely. Generally with a family celebration.

        2. Re the Harvard article, you can just sign up for the newsletter (it’s free), read the article then unsubscribe from the newsletter. I get the newsletter though – it’s only once a week I think and fairly short..

          I don’t think that the science is there yet to do what you seek. You’d have to lock groups of people up for a lifetime and just vary one component in each group’s diet. Even then, you’d never be able to investigate each and every possible permutation of food components and amounts. You’d need an almost infinite number of experimental groups to do that.

          Also, consider whether the French Paradox might mean, for example, that saturated fat is a higher risk factor with lower levels of vegetable consumption and a lower risk factor when there are higher levels of vegetable consumption. Or perhaps the combination of a given level of saturated fat consumption in tandem with higher levels of trans fat consumption magnifies risk while that same level of saturated fat consumption together with lower levels of trans fat consumption might mean only a low level of risk. We don’t know and I can’t see experiments being done to find out given the total number of both possible risk factors and possible protective factors involved in eg heart disease. As I say, the number of possible permutations would be huge.

          In any case, emphasis is now moving away from fixating on individual nutrients or components to dietary patterns. Colin Campbell wrote a book – Whole – on the problems of looking at just individual nutrients in an attempt to find what is healthful and what is unhealthful. The latest US dietary guidelines reflect the current thinking and now focus more on “dietary patterns” and less on individual nutrients.

          There’s also the “nutritional geometry” approach pioneered by Professor Le Couteur and others in Australia. He looked at various permutations of macronutrients and their effects on the lifespan of rats. Whether these results are fully relevant to humans is moot and I don’t think they got down to the level of distinguishing between animal/vegetable fats, SFA/PUFA/MUFA fats, animal/vegetable protein or refined and complex carbs. Nevertheless the approach and the findings are interesting and it’s probably nearest to the sort of approach you appear to be seeking 9although it doesn’t discuss meat as such at all).

          ‘Nutrition has profound effects on ageing and lifespan. Caloric restriction is the major nutritional intervention that historically has been shown to influence lifespan and/or healthspan in many animal models. Studies have suggested that a reduction in protein intake can also increase lifespan, albeit not as dramatically as caloric restriction. More recent research based on nutritional geometry has attempted to define the effects of nutrition on ageing over a broad landscape of dietary macronutrients and energy content. Such studies in insects and mice indicate that animals with ad libitum access to low-protein, high-carbohydrate diets have longest lifespans. Remarkably, the optimum content and ratio of dietary protein to carbohydrates for ageing in experimental animals are almost identical to those in the traditional diets of the long-lived people on the island of Okinawa.”

          1. Thanks for the reply. When I checked out the Harvard article it said that to read the article I’d have to login, and immediately below that was a box I can click on sign up for their newsletter at five dollars a month. In checking out your comment, I found out that the free offer is in a pop-up, but since I block pop-ups and ads it didn’t appear, so that’s why I thought it would cost me five dollars a month to read the article. I might sign up for the newsletter.

            As you described, I don’t think the level of detail I am interested in can be addressed in very large studies. They can give you a high level one-size-fits-all viewpoint, but that’s about it. The results can be useful if you’re trying to make suggestions to all 250 million people in your audience, and doing so may actually improve the statistical health of these 250 million people.

            The reality, though, is that people are different enough that an individualized diet may work much better for them than a one-size-fits-all approach. The same is true for complex medical cases. We are not there yet in the general population for either the nutrition or medical fields, but some of us are working our way along that pathway. This in-depth tailored approach has been exceedingly successful for me and my family.

            Mostly what is useful for me is putting together the information from a number of smaller studies, each one adding another piece to the overall puzzle. I fill in holes in the puzzle until a reasonable overall picture is produced, and that gives me something I can do. If possible, I like to test things to see if they actually work, but this is often too hard, expensive, or time-consuming to do well.

            I checked out your guidelines and other references, and some additional papers they referenced. The nutritional geometry article is quite interesting, and allows us to delve into the components a tiny bit to give us a bit more insight. It’s a novel approach. As I was reading it I was wondering if it could be made more informative if one used n-dimensional space instead of two or three dimensions. You can’t visualize it, of course, but it may allow one to generate a more detailed overall picture. Has anyone tried to do that?

            Again, I appreciate your reply.

  17. FTI. The “Broken Brain” series of video are replayed for free this weekend. I recommend for everyone to watch with an open mind and you can decide for yourself not to follow afterwards if you want. I will watch Episodes 7 & 8 first and the entire series later if you want.

    1. I doubt whether Dr Grege/NutritionFacts would endorse Dr Hyman or his latest product, even if Jerry is a big fan. After all, Hyman is the guy who mentions on his website a study which found heart attack patients in hospital had ‘normal” or even low levels of cholesterol and said this disproves the LDL cholesterol theory – but curiously didn’t mention that heart attacks lower cholesterol levels. He’s also co-authoredan anti vaccine book.

      The videos are free to watch this weekend but the whole exercise basically a sales pitch for some very expensive DVDs promoting pseudoscience. if you have an open mind,check what the real science says as well as or instead.

      Here are some commentaries on the “functional medicine” claim
      “We at Science-Based Medicine often describe “integrative medicine” as integrating quackery with medicine (at least, I often do), because that’s what it in essence does. The reason, as I’ve described time and time again, is to put that quackery on equal footing (or at least apparently equal footing) with science- and evidence-based medicine”

      “Functional medicine (FM) is not a branch of medicine. The term ‘functional medicine’ is a marketing term: it is more like integrative medicine or orthomolecular medicine than, say, translational medicine. In Europe, ‘functional medicine’ refers to a type of energy medicine known in the U.S. as bio-energetic* Again, these are not branches of medicine, but branding terms that describe various alternatives to science-based medicine. The basic ideas of those promoting functional medicine are not unique, but nobody has united and packaged the whole collection of questionable medical practices quite like the main defenders of functional medicine such as S. Bland and Mark Hyman”

      it’s hardly surprising, Jerry, that you would recommend people watch pseudoscience videos but you should be upfront and tell people that these things have naught to do with evidence based medicine,

      1. ****

        “Only the group with low cholesterol concentration at both examinations had a significant association with mortality (risk ratio 1.64, 95% CI 1.13-2.36). INTERPRETATION: We have been unable to explain our results. These data cast doubt on the scientific justification for lowering cholesterol to very low concentrations (<4.65 mmol/L, 181mg/dl) in elderly people"

        1. Illnesses and trauma lowers cholesterol sometimes before illnesses are diagnosed. Sick or injured people are more likely to die.

          But then you know this Jerry,.. So sad ….

          1. Perhaps I should add that many chronic diseases that result in declining cholesterol, commence decades before clinical diagnosis of the disease. Cancers are an obvious case in point and, In Alzheimer’s, this study (ironically also from Hawaii) shows that cholesterol began declining in men who went on to develop dementia over 15 years before a formal clinical diagnosis.

            Cholesterol levels in men with dementia and, in particular, those with Alzheimer disease had declined at least 15 years before the diagnosis and remained lower than cholesterol levels in men without dementia throughout that period. The difference in slopes was robust to adjustment for potential confounding factors, including vascular risk factors, weight change, alcohol intake, and use of lipid-lowering agents.
            A decline in serum total cholesterol levels may be associated with early stages in the development of dementia.”

            The same appears to be true of chronic infections also. In hepatitis C, cholesterol levels are lowered.
            “The viral effect on patient serum lipid profile has recently been confirmed in a large scale study in China including 11,000 patients that reported HCV viremia statistically associating with lower serum cholesterol and TG levels [47].”

  18. I’m not at all sure the science is settled yet on whether or not meat and/or fat causes diabetes yet. Dr. G, and folks commenting, what do you think about this study? In which those eating a high fat, low carb diet ( NOT calorie restricted) for 3 months did better in almost every aspect of diabetes related parameters, including doing far better the ability to get off of diabetic meds? Better compared to those eating a moderate carb, low fat, calorie restricted diet(normal ADA type diet?).

    Also look at this link, which is a table showing all the parameters looked at or measured. In almost every aspect, the high fat does better, especially insulin and insulin resistance. In the few items where high fat does not do better, high fat does virtually as good. How is this even possible if saturated fat and/or meat cause insulin resistance and finally diabetes?

    Notice that insulin resistance, HOMA2-IR, decreased 25% in the high fat group, but increased 7% in the low fat, low cal, mod carb group. Same dif in favor of more fat with fasting insulin and blood sugar, more or less. Triglycerides dropped 18%(High fat) vs 2.3%, LDL dropped slightly more in the low fat group( 3.45% vs 2.35%) BUT HDL also dropped by 2% vs an increase of 1.8%(a good thing) for high fat, almost a 4% spread in HDL in favor of high fat. And of course, as usual, low carb lost twice as much weight. And the big one, 4 times as many folks decreased 1 or more diabetic meds in the high fat group, compared to the low fat group.

    I realize they did not look at a vegan diet, but they did look at some things that are part of a vegan approach: High fat vs low fat, mod carb vs very low carb, and lower caloric intake. Going totally vegan might have any number of benefits, for fighting cancer for example. But unless this study was totally biased or incompetently done- always a possibility with any study- it seems to me the evidence from this study is that low carb/high fat is a far superior way to approach diabetes. It is hard to argue with 4 times greater numbers reducing diabetes meds in 3 months or less, without even cutting calories being a requirement.

    Thank you in advance for any opinions, and please don’t shoot the messenger. Here is a lonk to a less technical article discussing the study.


    1. Hi Bill, you are exactly right but your post won’t make a lot of people here happy because they like to drink the low fat koolaid. To add to what you said above, low fat is also associated with high mortality and a lot of diseases including something very serious like cancer and mental issues and liver damage.

      Just in a nutshell, cholesterol is used by the body to repair the damage in the arteries. When you see cholesterol in the arteries of dead heart patients, they are the “rescuers” and not the culprit that caused the disease in the first place. It’s like if there is a crime happening and then you see a lot of ambulance and medics and of course they are not the criminals. ****

      low cholesterol was significantly associated with all-cause mortality, showing significant associations with death through cancer, liver diseases, and mental diseases. Triglycerides > 200 mg/dl had an effect in women 65 years and older but not in men.

      “The J-curve association was observed between average TC or LDL-C concentrations and total mortality. Malignancy was the most prevalent cause of death. The health of patients should be monitored closely when there is a remarkable decrease in TC and LDL-C concentrations with low-dose statin” ****

      “Only the group with low cholesterol concentration at both examinations had a significant association with mortality (risk ratio 1.64, 95% CI 1.13-2.36). INTERPRETATION: We have been unable to explain our results. These data cast doubt on the scientific justification for lowering cholesterol to very low concentrations (<4.65 mmol/L, 181mg/dl) in elderly people"

      1. Low fat is associated with a lot of mortality and disease yo say. Really? Evidence please.

        The healthy centenarians eating the Okinawan diet ate just 6% of total calories in the form of fat. Mainland Japanese eating a traditional diet, and also long lived, ate just 8% fat. I think you make this stuff up Jerry.

        As for cholesterol and mortality, this association exists especially in older people.. But then older people tend to be sicker than younger people, The association exists because a whole array of diseases and trauma cause cholesterol to decline. Sickness and trauma cause cholesterol to decline. No wonder declining cholesterol is associated with greater mortality in older people. ( I think weight is also, for the same reason). For example,

        TRAUMA “Hypocholesterolemia is an important observation following trauma. In a study of critically ill trauma patients, mean cholesterol levels were significantly lower (119 ± 44 mg/dl) than expected values (201 ± 17 mg/dl). In patients who died, final cholesterol levels fell by 33% versus a 28% increase in survivors. Cholesterol levels were also adversely affected by infection or organ system dysfunction.”

        You always refuse to mention this in your hordes of posts because you want to give the misleading impression that cholesterol causes illness rather than acknowledging the fact that sickness and injury cause cholesterol to dropp.

        1. Tom, your points are always interesting. I find the discussion interesting overall. I am learning a lot. I would like to see you be civil when you post. I don’t see why you have to attack people to make your points. That goes for others on the list as well.


          Nina Moliver, Ph.D.

          Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics

          I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

    2. Sorry but I don’t really have time to analyse this article in depth but I note that this is a group that appears to be associated with the Atkins Diet empire. Phinney is a fairly big wheel in Atkins and has authored at least one book promoting the Atkins Diet. I also note that over 80% of the standard diet group were obese – more than in the experimental group.

      Here though are some comments that I put together previously on the various RCTs that appear to show benefits to low carb diets. I hope they are helpful.

      “However, I imagine that it is like all the other low carb studies that do the same thing. They all “game” what’s already known to generate a stream of studies appearing to show that low carb diets are healthful.
      They use one or more of five main techniques to do this. The first one is use only very overweight and obese people as subjects. The second is to ensure the high fat diet is high in unsaturated fats and low in saturated fats. The third is to have the high carb/low fat diet group eat a relatively high fat (eg 30% or more of total calories) diet instead of a genuine low fat diet like the traditional Okinawan diet, Ornish or Esselstyn diets which are all less than 10% fat. The fourth technique is to include unhealthy refined carbs in the low fat diet. This is usually obvious when the “high carb” diet is relatively low in fibre. or no actual The fifth technique is to have the low carb group experience greater weight loss. Weight loss itself improves biomarkers. “The most effective way for obese people to normalize their blood lipids is to lose weight”

      However, let us just briefly consider the most common technique – to use only very overweight people in the studies. Such people have damaged metabolic and endocrine systems. They respond very differently to normal weight people.

      “Multiple mechanisms likely contribute to the altered plasma lipid responses to dietary changes in individuals with excess adiposity. The greater rate of hepatic cholesterol synthesis in obese individuals suppresses the expression of hepatic LDL receptors (LDLR), thereby reducing hepatic LDL uptake. Insulin resistance develops as a result of adipose-tissue induced inflammation, causing significant changes in enzymes necessary for normal lipid metabolism. In addition, the LDLR-mediated uptake in obesity is attenuated by alterations in neuroendocrine regulation of hormonal secretions (e.g. growth hormone, thyroid hormone, and cortisol) as well as the unique gut microbiota, the latter of which appears to affect lipid absorption.”

      It is therefore quite wrong to assume that these studies show a comparison with a real low fat diet, or are generalisable to people without damaged metabolic and endocrine systems. Or that they are safe for long term use.

      Don’t get me wrong, low carb diets can be effective weight loss tools for obese and (pre) diabetic people and this will improve biomarkers. However, there are long term doubts about the safety of such diets (low carb diets are associated with higher mortality) and there is substantial evidence saturated fat consumption, especially chronic high level saturated fat consumption, will damage insulin producing beta cells. It’s not surprising that experts are reluctant to recommend them.

      1. re the fourth techique, I was going to say “or no actual figures for fibre consumption are reported”.but unfortunately got distracted.and failed to complete this phrase.

      2. Thanks for your reply and analysis, TG. I think studies can be gamed in both directions. I have a few times seen studies that showed no difference in results between low carb and low fat diets, for example, where the carbs were not reduced enough to reach ketosis. So what was really being compared was a normal or maybe low fat diet and a somewhat lower carb diet. You are right, Phinney has authored a book about Atkins diet approach. But I’m not sure if his bias influenced his study results or if his study(this and/or previous studies) results gave him his bias. For example, what would folks say regarding bias- if Dr. Greger was the lead author on a study of the consequences of dietary saturated fat? We could probably already make claims about a bias in the studies he reports, since you will not see a study like I just linked to from him, unless he is planning on showing all the ways the study was poorly done. But mostly, you won’t see them.

        You point out that one way the system is gamed is by using very Obese people. Of course, any study of T2 diabetics is unlikely to have very meany skinny people. But in this study, the average weight was about 220 lbs, not 300 or 400. So definitely on the obese side(as are so many Americans), but the average weight could certainly be a lot higher. And regardless, if overweight folks are used, excess weight is a major problem for Americans today and associated with all types of health problems like insulin resistance and diabetes. So I’m not sure how big of a negative that is.

        Regarding damage of the insulin producing cells, I wouldn’t know, especially long term. This study is only 3 months, but certainly no sign of that in this study, since every single diabetes related parameter improved markedly when the fat was increased and the carbs were decreased, relative to the higher carb/lower fat group. Including the very important clinical guide line: the use of drugs needed to treat their diabetes. Which, if anything, seems to point to improved function of the pancreas, but certainly not worse. But 3 months is probably not enough to know.

        Thanks again for the response!


        1. You’re quite right about studies being gamed in both directions! I’ve read several thousand medical journal papers and, after a while, that becomes fairly evident. But “gaming” might imply a deliberate intention to deceive. I think biases can be introduced in multiple ways.

          Everyone has beliefs, and in general people will say and do what they believe. It is especially true in people who develop strong beliefs. People have “belief filters”that tend to filter out things that are contrary to their beliefs. A scientist with strong enough beliefs may produce biased science and not even be consciously aware that they are doing so. The biases may be more subtle and the scientist will likely deny that they even exist. One way to test this is to present the scientist with information that is contrary to their beliefs – this may give a glimpse of their belief filters in action. Typically, they will find SOME possible defect, no matter how small, in contrary information and use that to dismiss ALL of the contrary information. A strong believer will do just about anything to preserve their strong belief. It is good to keep this in mind when reading this site. :-))

          Thanks again for broadening the overview of things related to this topic.

    3. That was a VERY interesting paper you mentioned! It contributes to a more balanced overview than one is likely to find on this site. I appreciate comments that broaden the overview. I’m also not sure about the causality of meat PROTEIN and certain kinds of fat in producing diabetes.

      I was thinking of the fat-caused insulin resistance as a slower longer-term process, but this paper demonstrates a significant change over a rather short time. I need to rethink that part of the process.

      There is almost nothing about the underlying biochemistry that may be responsible for the results they see. Do you know of any such information? If so, please let me know. Causative biochemistry is much more convincing than large-scale correlation.

      Regarding potential bias, the study references a number of other papers that show similar things. One would have to wonder how widespread the bias is if numerous papers are reporting similar things.

      Thanks very much for the reference.

  19. “Moderate carb” can mean anything. It can permit all kinds of junk food and refined products. I would take a high fat diet over the ADA diet any day.

      1. Dr. Greger’s research was done with meals entirely devoid of fat. The ADA diet has some fat and lots of refined junk.

        Nina Moliver, Ph.D.

        Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics

        I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

          1. I’m talking about what he reports.

            Nina Moliver, Ph.D.

            Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics


            I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

              1. Dr. Greger refers to research in the diabetes chapter. Please go back and review it. I don’t have time to continue on this thread very much.

                Nina Moliver, Ph.D.

                Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics


                I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

  20. Most of these negative reports about the consequences of low cholesterol come from people who got there by using statins. They are not studies of people who lowered their cholesterol through diet. There are very few people who have lowered their cholesterol naturally to below 150 without statins, so these studies will not include such people for the most part.

    1. The same is true for blood pressure. There is a J-curve effect for blood pressure, where lower blood pressure in the elderly is associated with higher risk of stroke and heart attack. But that applies only to people who have lowered their blood pressure through medications, not to people with naturally lower blood pressure.

    2. But you have to achieve low cholesterol while eating healthy, and that includes eating certain amount of healthy fats and not eat just vegetables to get below 150. I think by doing that, you will also encounter mental issues and insulin resistance and other diseases while accomplishing nothing with regard to heart disease.

      1. Brilliant Jerry!

        No need for evidence, let’s just ask for Jerry’s opinion. In fact we absolutely have to ignore the evidence, if we want to believe Jerry.

        Why do you write this stuff when “Genetic evidence demonstrates that individuals with naturally very low LDL-C levels are healthy and have a low risk of CVD. Clinical evidence has shown that those patients who achieve very low LDL-C levels through using lipid-lowering therapies (LLTs), such as statins, have reduced CVD risk compared with patients who only just achieve recommended target LDL-C levels. These data show that the incidence of adverse events in patients achieving very low LDL-C levels using LLT is comparable to those reaching the recommended LDL-C targets.”

  21. I’m interested in the current view on the impact on diabetes of fats from plant-based foods, like nuts,seeds, and avocados. Should these foods be limited for diabetics and pre-diabetics? I find it hard to get enough calories from just vegetables, fruits, beans & grains. What are suggested guidelines for the % of fat in the diet, to keep diabetes at bay. Thanks!

    1. In my opinion, it is very important to consume plant-based fat, exactly as you say. No, these will not promote diabetes. When I increased my plant-based fat, my blood glucose fell from 94 to 73, and my A1c fell from 5.1 to 4.6.


      Nina Moliver, Ph.D.

      Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics

      I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

      1. Plant based fat is always the choice of course except that you will get fats from animal based foods by default when you eat like bone broth, fish, shellfish, egg, some meat, etc. for your other nutrients such as amino acids, collagen, certain vitamins and minerals if you care about them. Otherwise nobody should put animal fats in their mouth on purpose. Anyway, plant based fat such as from coconut is demonized and associated with the faked saturated fat theory. In general, saturated fats are harmless in limited quantity no matter its sources, and semi high cholesterol is harmless when you get what you get from eating certain fat such as coconut fat. Sometimes it goes up slightly and sometimes it goes down. CRP is what you should care about.

        The goal of keeping cholesterol low is like the goal of saving money but not at the detriment of not spending on healthy foods and education. That’s the analogy.

    2. Thanks for your great question. I’m a volunteer moderator with NF. Interestingly, whole food plant based sources of fat have not been shown to have the detrimental effects of animal based fats or processed oils such as olive oil. Avoid all oils and animal based sources of fat. Dr. Greger recommends everyone eat nuts everyday. They are a great thing to add to your diet if you are struggling to get enough calories. Dr. Greger has many videos on diabetes you might enjoy. Here are just a few:

      He also has a lot of videos about the benefits of nuts. For example:

      I would recommend eating everything on Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen:

      Best of luck to you.
      NF Moderator

      1. I do my best to avoid oils in my diet because of the teachings of Dr.
        Esselstyn. However, it is really hard to avoid a little processed oil when you start buying vegan hamburger patties. As you all know, these patties look like beef, but are made up of a lot of plant based products. But, when you read the labels they always have soy oil, and other oils as constituents of the pattie. Hopefully, it’s just a little bit of oil and it won’t be enough to harm you. However, Dr. Esselstyn is emphatic: no oil……No Oil……NO OIL…..

        1. Hi, John, I agree that it is hard to avoid oil especially when one is out somewhere. When I’m at home, I have been microwaving a few chunks of plain potato and a tomato (e.g., one of each,) for about 4-6 minutes in the microwave with a smidgen of water. When these come out of the microwave, I add a couple spoonfuls of commercial no-fat hummus, (Oasis has one with red pepper in it,) and a couple spoonfuls of commercial salsa. I stir it up–I find this to be a tasty, easy, and quick alternative to burgers and hope it helps you, too. You can vary it by adding some mushrooms, say, along with the potato and tomato–or whatever else you might like….

        2. I believe that it is scientifically still correct to speak of essential fats and proteins(but not of essential carbohydrates, as I don’t think there are any). Essential meaning required for health but must be eaten since the body can not manufacture these essential fats and proteins.  So if there is to be NO oil(fat) in the diet, not even plant oil, how is one to get these essential fatty acids, such as EPA? And what about DHA? Isn’t that important for brain health? Can you even get that from plants, much less from fat/oil free plants?
          Isn’t the brain mostly cholesterol and fat, or at least in large part? Jut seeking info on how one can get adequate essential fats without eating any fat? ( If “no oil” means the same thing as “no fat”?)

          1. I don’t know if I can answer your question Bill. All I know is that Dr.
            Esselstyn works with people who have arteries blocked with plaque which is a combination of fat, cholesterol, and calcium. When Dr. Esselstyn says NO OILS he is mainly referring to cooking oils, salad dressings, and other oils added to foods like soy oil, coconut oil and the such. Esselstyn only allows his patients to eat maybe 4 or 5 nuts PER WEEK. From what I gather he also is NOT in favor of eating avocados. But, you do bring up a good point that the human body needs essential oils like omega 3’s. I think Esselstyn advocates taking an omega 3 supplement like Dr. Greger does. He also advocates a B-12 supplement. Anyhow, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish seem to have great success in getting their patients to develop healthy arteries by advocating a strict….really strict whole plant food diet. It seems to work for them.

          2. No fat and no oil are NOT the same thing. Oil is not a whole food. It is extracted from a food, with all of the balancing elements left behind. Fat is a natural component of healthy food. Get your fat by eating whole foods, such as avocado, nuts, seeds, and coconut. Not all of these work for me, but they may for you. Typically, I eat avocado with one meal and seeds with the others. I agree, you do need some fatty foods in your diet.

            Regarding Dr. Essy, I think his diet is designed for people who were very sick. I think some of his restrictions are unnecessary for most people. So far, the diet that has worked the best for me is Dr. John McDougall’s Starch Solution. His diet is actually quite different from that of Dr. Greger. They are both plant-based, but Dr. McDougall’s diet is much more systematic and well organized. For Dr. Greger, maximizing the quantity of antioxidants is the name of the game. For example, he will never eat a green cabbage, because purple cabbage has more antioxidants. But when I looked at how he ate, I was not moved. He will leave an aluminum can of beans open in the refrigerator to remind him to eat beans. Personally, I eat all my beans from bulk-purchased, dried, and soaked beans, which I then cook myself for a long time. He uses a lot of electromagnetic energy in his cooking, and he loves snacks. If you need a lot of snacks, something about your way of eating and your blood sugar balance is not right. Dr. Greger is very rooted in the reductionist model, and he does not really help us understand how to create an organized, balanced system for eating on a daily basis.

            Interestingly, Dr. McDougall’s diet is really a superset of macrobiotics, with some exceptions. I followed macrobiotics for many years, but parts of it didn’t work for me. Macrobiotics is also a very systematic, well-organized diet. However, it does include cooking oil and quite a bit of salt – too much for me. Dr. McDougall’s diet will really work for people who have trouble eating a lot of grains and/or beans. In that case, peas and potatoes will work wonderfully.


            Nina Moliver, Ph.D.
            Full-service dissertation consulting, editing, APA, statistics

            I am using voice recognition software. If you see mistakes and typos that don’t look like me, that’s probably why. My apologies in advance.

            1. Thanks for clarifying about the difference in oil and fat, or at least whay you guys specifically mean when you say “no oil”. Although of course, Olive Oil, for one example of many, is virtually 100% fat. Still, I see how now how you guys can be saying “zro oil” but not mean “zero fat”.

  22. Reply to Liisa-

    You said “it is not the alcohol helping; it is the orange juice helping.”

    Of course! I was not suggesting otherwise – it is the flavonoids that are doing the desirable biochemistry. Some flavonoids, though, are not water-soluble but are alcohol soluble, so adding a bit of alcohol and putting them in solution may increase the bioavailability of the flavonoid. You say the alcohol is not helping, but if it increases the bioavailability and it does actually help the flavonoid to do its job.

    The reference you gave shows this quite clearly. The active ingredients in citrus peels are oils, and are not water-soluble. Adding some alcohol will help to get some of these active ingredients in solution and thus do their job more effectively. Alcohol can help. :-)

  23. Thank you for your question. Yes, your mother should adopt a high carbohydrate, low fat, plant based diet. This diet has been shown to be more effective than the standard american diabetic association diet in controlling diabetes and may even help reverse diabetes. The diet should be centred on whole plant foods, including fruits, vegetable, legumes and grains. It should avoid added oils and processed food. If your mother is already on treatment for diabetes then she should be careful when changing her diet as a plant based diet can lead to very rapid improvements in blood sugar and hence increase the risk of low blood sugar on medication. Therefore, please make the transition with the support of your doctor.
    I suggest these books for further information: The End of Diabetes: The Eat to Live Plan to Prevent and Reverse Diabetes by Joel Fuhrman and Dr Neal Barnard’s program for reversing diabetes

  24. Indeed great information regarding diabetes, a lot of peoples are getting diagnosed with it even the youngster’s. Their are a lot of symptoms which alarms that you need to consult a doctor as mentioned by above, but diabetes can be treated with proper diet and medication. Fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals but diabetic patients need to understands that what fruits and vegetables they can eat or what not. Ayurved is helping a lot of people’s by treating and curing their diabetes with proper medication,exercising and diet just check this out Nirogam ayurvedic diabetes medicine

  25. While your comments about how whole food plant based nutrition are accurate, focuses on sources that are research-based. There are indeed many resources on this site and other evidence-based websites that provide the science-based reasons treating diabetes with diet.

  26. I am beginning to think this WFPB is a sham as far as diabetes is considered. I took some advice you guys have given me and nothing works. Gregor misleads people by saying statistics show that people get off their diabetes meds within weeks. Bull! If anything my glucose numbers have gone up. I’ve called and left messages with no return. They have created a huge demand for something that does not work all so that they can make their fortunes. Gregor recommends Klaper who charges to just view one of his videos. It’s all about creating a demand for their services! I have watched all the videos studied the requirements, downloaded the apps and even started the god awful Amla that tastes like shit.

    Somebody tell me something that makes a difference.

    1. I work with diabetics, (biochemist trained in nutrition). I do not recommend a high carbohydrate, low fat diet! The studies done on those diets did not get people under an A1c of 7. Not acceptable! You have to get your A1c down to 6 or below to avoid diabetic complications.
      If you want to control your diabetes you need to severely limit carbs. Even fruit and vegetable carbs, and get enough exercise to use those carbs.

      Do I think plant based diets are the way to go? Yes! Lots of nutrients in plants, but you cannot eat grains, flour, sweet fruits (berries in moderation, ok), potatoes.

      Check out Dr. Richard Bernstein, has a book ‘Diabetes Solution’, also website and monthly podcast, also Jenny Ruhr, book ‘Blood Sugar 101’ website also.

      Dr. Gregor does good research, and is mainly speaking to people with mild, bad diet caused diabetes. Same with Dr, Fuhrman. Their advice will help people eating a SAD diet. Frankly the Barnard studies were a failure. He is a psychiatrist after all.
      But if you have full blown diabetes, you need expert advice from people who work successfully with diabetics.
      Check them out! Best wishes to you.

    2. Joe,

      I’m sorry to hear you’re having a difficult time. Can you tell me more about your current diet and what you have been eating? If your blood sugar is going up then you may need to adjust your carbohydrate intake. This is still possible on a WFPB diet. Also, most people are not going to be able to get off their medications within weeks. It is a process that involves working with your primary care provider or endocrinologist to slowly wean your medications as tolerated. It takes a long-term healthy lifestyle approach to successfully manage diabetes. Best of luck.


      1. Julia,

        I like your answer. The other person who responded to his post was really pessimistic about a whole plant food diet helping diabetics. She said that diabetics need to stay away from carbohydrates such as all grains, fruits, and many vegetables. What does that leave you to eat? Meat, cheese, eggs, dairy products…. If you go that route then you will wind up with plaque in your arteries and we all know that red meat really increases one’s chances for colon cancer. Meat can carry all kinds of worms and parasites. Your answer is appropriate, which is it takes time and then one needs to slowly wean off of their medication. Plus, I wonder how much exercise he was undertaking.

        1. John, pessimistic is people being told there is no way for them to control their diabetes. That they just have to accept the side-effects of the heavy meds they are on.

          Not eating grains, potatoes, and sweet fruits certainly does not mean you have to eat meat! Why would you think that? Not a lot of protein in those foods anyway.
          Most all vegetables are fairly low carb, except for some of the root vegetables like potatoes and beets. Berries, and some citrus like grapefruit is ok for most people.
          People can fill up on those vegetables, there are so many to choose from, 3/4 of their plate per meal. Everyone should be getting lots of vegetables in their diet anyway.
          Then add some of the usual vegan proteins, tofu, soy products, beans, lentils, nuts, for example.
          Good grain substitutes are almond flour or soy flour. They are also high in protein and make good muffins, pancakes, etc.

          The idea is for them to test blood sugars and find out what they can eat without making their sugars go over 125 or so after a meal. Each person is different.
          A Swiss study showed that normal people don’t go higher than that after a high carb meal.
          Restricting high carbohydrate food is better than having a heart attack, dealing with neuropathy, losing your eyesight or a foot. All results seen daily working with people with uncontrolled diabetes. To enjoy life a person needs to be healthy! Surely experimenting with diet to control blood sugar and A1c is worth the effort!

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