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What Do the Longest Living People Eat?

The dietary guidelines recommend that we choose meals or snacks that are high in nutrients but lower in calories to reduce the risk of chronic disease. By this measure, the healthiest foods on the planet—that is, the most nutrient dense—are vegetables, which contain the most nutrient bang for our caloric buck. What would happen if a population centered their entire diet around vegetables, like the Okinawa Japanese? They end up having among the longest lives in the world.

Of course, any time you hear about long-living populations, you have to make sure it’s validated because it may be hard to find birth certificates from the 1890s. But validation studies suggest that, indeed, Okinawans really did live that long.

As I discuss in my video The Okinawa Diet: Living to 100, the traditional diet in Okinawa is based on vegetables, beans, and other plants. There’s a common misconception that their traditional diet included a substantial contribution from fish or other meat, but if you look at their actual dietary intake that doesn’t seem to be the case. The U.S. military ran Okinawa until it was given back to Japan in 1972, so we have actual data on what Okinawans were eating from the U.S. National Archives.

If you look at the traditional diets of more than 2,000 Okinawans, it breaks down as follows: Only 1% of their diet was fish, less than 1% of their diet was other meats, and less than 1% was dairy and eggs, so it was more than 96% plant-based and more than 90% whole food plant-based as they ate few processed foods. And their diet was not just whole food plant-based; most of their diet was made up of vegetables, one vegetable in particular: sweet potatoes. The Okinawan diet was centered on purple and orange sweet potatoes.

Eating a 90+% whole food plant-based diet makes it a highly anti-inflammatory and highly antioxidant diet. If you measure the level of oxidized fat within their systems, there is compelling evidence of less free radical damage. Maybe Okinawans just have genetically better antioxidant enzymes? No, their antioxidant enzyme activity is the same as other populations. What may be making the difference is all the extra antioxidants they were getting from their mostly vegetable diet.

Okinawa has 8 to 12 times fewer heart disease deaths than the United States, 2 to 3 times fewer colon cancer deaths, 7 times fewer prostate cancer deaths, and 5½ times lower risk of dying from breast cancer.

Some of this protection may be because they were only eating about 1,800 calories a day. They were actually eating a greater mass of food, but whole plant foods are calorically dilute. There’s also a cultural norm not to stuff oneself. The plant-based nature of the diet may trump the caloric restriction, though, because the one population that lives even longer than the Okinawa Japanese doesn’t just eat a 98% meat-free diet, they eat 100% meat-free. The Adventist vegetarians in California have perhaps the highest life expectancy of any formally described population. Adventist vegetarian men and women live to be about 83 and 86, respectively, which is comparable to Okinawan women, but better than Okinawan men. The best of the best were Adventist vegetarians who also had healthy lifestyles, such as being exercising nonsmokers. They live to 87 and nearly 90, on average. That’s 10 to 14 years longer than the general population. They have 10 to 14 extra years on this Earth by making simple lifestyle choices.

And this is happening now, in modern times, whereas Okinawan longevity is now a thing of the past. Okinawa now hosts more than a dozen KFC restaurants. Okinawans’ saturated fat levels have tripled. They went from eating essentially no cholesterol to a few Big Macs’ worth. They tripled their sodium and are now as potassium-deficient as Americans, getting less than half of the recommended minimum daily intake of 4,700 mg a day. In just two generations, Okinawans have gone from the leanest Japanese to the fattest. As a consequence, there has been a resurgence of interest from public health professionals in getting Okinawans to eat the Okinawan diet too.

Why do those eating plant-based diets live longer? For some people the “why” doesn’t matter, but I’m fascinated by all the mechanisms. If you are too, check out:

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.

198 responses to “What Do the Longest Living People Eat?

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  1. Excellent summary of very compelling evidence for a WPF way of eating. These posts are a good reminder of the detailed evidence presented in previous videos. Thank you Dr G and Team!

  2. Yes great stuff…

    Paleo crowd and others, just ignore things like this. Seems their diet may more closely resemble that of our ancestors.
    One doc now is speaking to our evolutionary history and the various things that point to us being in the vast majority a plant based peoples.
    Things like our problems with Hem Iron in my opinion speak directly to large meat eating as being a impossibility in evolutionary terms.
    Probably that percent of meat and dairy would come somewhat close to what we ate and perhaps even no meat or fish at times as certainly it was a opportunistic endeavor to hunt and fish not a sustainable continual occupation.

    This meat at every meal is a total aberration considering our likely anthropological history.

    1. Considering our anthropological history, I am always a littke surprised that the paleo crowd do not emphasise consumption of insects, worms, grubs and molluscs. These would have been widely avvailable and low risk sources of calories for our ancestorsi in the paleo era..

      Some cultures today still value these foods eg the French and snails (and frogs), Australian Abogines and grubs. Thais and insects, and worms are eaten by various native cultures around the world.
      Mealworms though aren’t really worms, they are beetle grubs I believe.

  3. There is an error in this article. It refers to sweet potatoes. Okinawans and other Asians eat yams. Sweet potatoes are a North American vegetable.

    1. Mitch is incorrect, but so are you. Sweet potatoes and yams are botanically unrelated. But the Okinawans eat sweet potatoes, not yams Sweet potatoes were brought to Japan from America somewhere between the late 1400s and early 1600s. In the states, African slaves called sweet potato “yam” as they reminded them of African yams. The origin of the English word “yam” goes back to West African languages (cf. “njam”, “nyami”, “djambi”, meaning ‘to eat’). A consequence, the word ‘yam” came to be widely used for sweet potatoes in the southern US.

    2. Okinawans eat purple sweet potatoes (same botanical family as orange ones). But they are more fibrous, longer and thinner, than the orange ones. They are tan on the outside, purple and tan inside, when steamed turn the water green. Most likely lower glycemic than orange ones. Take a bit longer to cook. More nutritious also.
      I don’t find the orange sweet potatoes/yams a good substitute.
      Btw, true yams are different altogether, different botanical group. U.S. uses the terms sweet potato and yam interchangeably.

      1. The purple and orange colors likely give us a different set of antioxidants. As all doctors nowadays say, “Eat the colors of the rainbow!”
        John S

    3. Not so. The sweet potato probably originated in South America not North America was introduced to Asia including Okinawa by the Spanish centuries ago, after which it soon became a local staple. The Okinawans do eat sweet potatoes.

  4. You can’t mess with success… Scientifically and anecdotally the results speak for them selfs. I believe the Okinawan and Adventists are part of the blue zone areas of longevity.. The trick is the quality of their lives.. Not 90 in a nursing home zoned out with tubes and monitors on you,but a fulfilling active life style…
    Works for me!!


    1. Agree 100%. What is the point of living long if you can do not a thing….seems pointless

      To be 90 and able to do a thing or two that is it.
      These peoples I have seen the videos they remained active until death as well. Gardening and stuff till the end. Not at al like our old folks in general.

    2. As can anecdotally be confirmed by my husband’s SDA vegetarian grandfather. He will be 102 in March. Other than being profoundly hard of hearing, he’s in great shape. He is frequently at a nursing home because he works there as a Chaplin! Lives independently with minimal help cooking and cleaning. Was vegan for many years but now loves ice cream. I’m thinking once you’ve made it to 100 all bets are off on ice cream.

      1. See Jerry, her father has been a vegan and a vegetarian and look how it has helped him to go beyond 100 years of age. Take note and follow his example.

  5. While I believe it is important to eat natural food, free of chemicals and pesticides, I am always amazed to learn what many super-centenarians eat (and drink)! It is not uncommon to hear super-centenarians getting their daily doze of meats, bacon, eggs, etc. and even alcohol. Is it in the genes? I find it so interesting.“>“>

    1. For years the oldest woman on earth from France until several year before her death smoked one cigarette a day and ate a chocolate bar as well.

      So you never know. I personally presume our deaths are fated. Steve McQueen years ago was being treated for cancer latrill and all that, asbetous in the mariner industry, he was a sailor by trade. What I heard was his eventual death was from a AMI….
      Just his time to go. If not from this from that..he was going.

      What we do till that fateful day is the thing to my personal opinion.

      1. smoked one cigarette a day and ate a chocolate bar as well.

        She smoked, she drank wine daily, and ate dark chocolate. She also was a very surly person.

        Maybe that last quality is the secret to longevity. ‘-)

        1. First of all, her last name is spelled Calment. Secondly, I remember reading an article on her about the time of her death and the reporter mentioned the surliness (I guess if true, it might be due to her advanced age when the reporter may have interviewed her) but a quick search done just now doesn’t mention that in the two or three links I checked.

          I withdraw that description of her after reading one of her quotes was that she laughed a lot.

          She is the main reason I eat dark chocolate every day. But I take resveratrol instead of drinking wine daily even though chocolate has some resveratrol in it, as does green tea IIRC.

          1. You may know this story on her.
            A reporter asked her on one of her birthdays..So dear do you think I will see you again next year? …She responded well I think so, you look in fairly good shape to me !!!

            Her landlord made some sort of conditional tenant agreement that froze her rent when she was in her eighties I think it was….he said he assumed he had made that as she would pass in a year or two. Much to his surprise….

            1. Heh, yeah this was the first story I heard by word of mouth about her. IIRC, a guy bought her house with the stipulation she could live in it until her death. Sort of like a reverse mortgage of today.

              She outlived the land lord.

              1. Drinking one glass of red wine a day is probably good for you. So is a small dark chocolate, and being tough. Her siblings lived past 100 too. That is genetic. Even Dan Buettner says that lifestyle can help you but don’t expect to be a centenarian.
                John S

                1. Drinking one glass of red wine a day is probably good for you.

                  Yes on the genetics… her mother lived into her 80s and her father lived to 93. I wasn’t aware of siblings as it was not mentioned in anything I’ve read.

                  I disagree with the glass of red wine daily (she drank a port wine that had been sweetened with Brandy.) It’s the alcohol part I disagree with… it really does kill brain cells.

                  Besides, I can get the good part by just buying liquid resveratrol. I haven’t figured it up but I bet the resveratrol is cheaper than the wine, and personally, I’ve never liked the taste of wine.

                  1. Lonie resveratrol is expensive. You can get the good part by drinking dealcoholised wine. Grape juice probably gives you most of the benefits. That said, there are some provocative animal studies that suggest that grape juice is actually superior to red wine

                    However, IMHO, eating red/purple/black grapes is probably best of all.

                    1. Actually I find the resveratrol is affordable. The brand I consume (NOW) gives me 380 mg per serving along with some other polyphenols. I add it to almond milk, sprinkle some sugar beet-derived Lewis Labs brewers yeast on it, some powdered canary seed, some Ashwagandha powder, a sprinkle of Niacin powder and a few splashes of Angostura bitters and vanilla to help the powders to mix in with the almond milk. To top it off I add a dropper of Lo Han sweetener (monk fruit) to create a drink I have come to like and look forward to having.

                      That said, your grape juice and/or grapes sound like a good enough solution. Haven’t read your links yet (but I will.)

                      I’m curious if they include raisins? No one ever talks about raisins in re: resveratrol, that I’ve come across.

                    2. O.K. Tom, I made the time to read your links. One seemed to favor Red Wine over grape juice while the other was strongly the opposite.

                      But it seemed to me their objective was solely on the outcome of heart health.

                      I would submit that resveratrol in its concentrated state is more of a longevity-centric supplement as the data in the link below suggests.


                      Granted the research specifies the analogues of resveratrol for the exciting outcome of application, but I’m confident that one can reach that same result by the intake of resveratrol to have those analogues teased out to work their magic. ‘-)

                    3. Lonie/John

                      According to Berkeley, there isn’t much resveratrol in raisins

                      There is a lot of excitement around resveratrol but I tend to be a bit wary of isolated nutrients even though I do take some supplements. Since I usually eat a bunch or red or purple grapes every day, I’m hoping that I am covered on the resveratrol front.

                      Thanks for the Exeter link – very encouraging. The Linus Pauling Institute has reviewed the evidence on resveratrol. Their summary is generally positive but they do note
                      “Until more is known about the estrogenic activity of resveratrol in humans, women with a history of estrogen-sensitive cancers, such as breast, ovarian, and uterine cancers, should avoid resveratrol supplements (see Estrogenic and anti-estrogenic activities) (150).”

                    4. Tom, first of all, GREAT finds on the raisins for one, but especially on the resveratrol link. Didn’t notice the date on that one but great source of the benefits of resveratrol pre-Exeter findings.

                      I had personally only thought of resveratrol as being one of three Sirt1 activators and since I was already taking Nicotinamide Riboside for that purpose and occasionally taking the Oxalacetic Acid for the same purpose, I would only take a bottle of resveratrol vegi-capsules on a monthly or even yearly basis.

                      Your link shows that it is much more than that and even has nice additional benefits along with the “magic” uncovered by the Exeter (and Brighton) research. And one thing that I am going to do (without anything other than intuition for cause) is eat a few wedges of grapefruit before drinking my previously mentioned resveratrol concoction.

                      That is, I read before that one shouldn’t take medications after eating grapefruit because it slows down their uptake. Since resveratrol seems to have a certain allotment of time where it shows up in one’s plasma, maybe this will hold it in the system even longer.

                      Thanks again for the link Tom… this slightly older information combined with the new Exeter/Brighton revelations suggests to me anyway, that resveratrol may be the most important supplement among the many that I take.

                    5. Lonie, you are wasting your time asking TG about supplements, unless you just want to chat to socialize. First of all, grape contains just a small amount of resveratrol and in order to get the sufficient amount, you have to eat a lot of grapes which get into the problem of cost and sugar. Secondly, the good resveratrol supplements that are sold on the market, get its resveratrol extracted from the leaves from another plant and it is not grape (look it up, I forget the name). And third, all trials that find no benefit of resveratrol use a tiny amount of resveratrol, or people just eating a few grapes. In order for resveratrol to work, you have to have 500 mcg or mg per day, I forget. All good resveratrol supplements contain the proper dosage.

                      Personally after using resveratrol supplement, I find myself to have more energy and can exercise more without getting tired. Some people say that they get better clarity in their mind. I don’t see that since my mind is already pretty clear :)

                    6. Jerry you really should sneak a peek at Tom’s link from the Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State U summarizing what was known at the time about resveratrol. Then read my link about a BREAKTHROUGH concerning what resveratrol can do for senescent cells.


                      Oh, and the source of resveratrol from a plant you were unable to remember… it is Japanese Knotweed. Many of the ones I take are from this source.

                    7. Lonie

                      I read the article. Thanks for sharing. It’s good to know that there is science backing up my eating habits because I do eat a ton of blue berries, black berries, strawberries, and raspberries. I eat a bar of 99 percent dark chocolate about once a month. I will buy some red grapes about once a month. I never drink wine. But, maybe I should look for non-alcoholic wine and start drinking some. I wonder if pomegranate juice is high in reservatrol?

                    8. John, glad to hear you are getting some resveratrol, but to get the senescent cells to revert to a younger state, I think you need a certain level of resveratrol every day.

                      I’m actually going to let some of my regular supplements run out and not replace them in order to afford continue taking the resveratrol.

                    9. The research article that you pointed out to us referred to “food” and not supplements. At this point in time, I just don’t feel that you can isolate these molecules and get any benefit. Dr. Greger calls it reductionism. I am still of the thought that primarily RAW food is the best food for getting these nutrients. A supplement is not like a live piece of fruit, it is just processed chemicals, or powders with all kinds of absorbents, preservatives, and fillers. The contents inside a supplement is just “dead” looking granules of powdery stuff. It’s been heated, cooked, filtered, gone through soakings of things like alcohol or maybe even turpentine. The contents of a supplement has been so processed that I can’t even see how it even compares to eating raw food in order to get those vibrant living nutrients from say ….. a handful of blue berries. Supplements just look like a bunch of INORGANIC chemicals to me. Good luck with your supplements. I’ll take my chances on eating tons of blueberries, black berries, raspberries, Indian goose berries, mangos, apples, oranges, grapefruit, and hundreds of other fruits and vegetables. Most of us plant based folks only eat a small percentage of edible plants in our daily diet. There are tons and tons of other fruits and vegetables that we can tap into instead of spending money on expensive supplements. Anyhow….that’s how I see. Like I say, good luck on those supplements. As for me, I am not going to spend $49 on a bottle of capsules filled with stuff that was manufactured in China. I’ll take my chances on blueberries. Besides phytonutrients are very fragile.
                      Vitamins are very fragile. It seems to me that all of the chemical and heating processes that they use in China to make these supplements are going to destroy phytonutrients and all you are left with is a bottle full of capsules or tablets with a nice looking label on it and a price that could vary from $19 all the way up to $79. I bet the health food store makes more money than the illicit drug dealers across America. No sir….I’ll spend my money on REAL FOOD with real phytonutrients.

                    10. Lonie, I don’t know which link you talk about but the 2 links that TG quoted talk about wine. That’s old stuff because wine or eating grape directly including the skin, do not provide enough resveratrol to be effective.

                      Your link about the role of resveratrol on anti aging just reaffirms what I already read. There is a certain doctor at Harvard who did some research on mice using resveratrol and CoQ10 and he was able to double the mice lifespan. OK I know that what works on mice do not always work on human and we don’t expect to live to 200 but I think 100 and a little bit beyond is achievable if we do all the things to stop DNA damage, inflammation and provide foods for the brain including good fats.

                    11. The research article that you pointed out to us referred to “food” and not supplements. At this point in time, I just don’t feel that you can isolate these molecules and get any benefit. Dr. Greger calls it reductionism. I am still of the thought that primarily RAW food is the best food for getting these nutrients.

                      John, I respect your decision but the research was based on analogues (6, I think I read in a link within the link I posted) of resveratrol.

                      That means it probably takes a large amount of resveratrol to break down into the analogues that splice into the senescent cells to make them begin to divide and renew their telomeres.

                      They used the analogues in vitro to observe the fantastic results… I’m guessing it takes the kind of numbers you get from a concentrated form of resveratrol in vivo, as found in a supplement.

                      As you may have guessed, we differ on how to achieve sufficient levels of a nutrient.

                      Anyway, I’m going down the path that I feel gives me the best chance to reach the outcome in the research. But we each are our own candle… it is our choice how much of the wick to burn up. ‘-)

                    12. Your link about the role of resveratrol on anti aging just reaffirms what I already read. There is a certain doctor at Harvard who did some research on mice using resveratrol and CoQ10 and he was able to double the mice lifespan. OK I know that what works on mice do not always work on human and we don’t expect to live to 200 but I think 100 and a little bit beyond is achievable if we do all the things to stop DNA damage, inflammation and provide foods for the brain including good fats.

                      Jerry, I get it that we read on automatic pilot at times and think we comprehend what we have read.

                      And I think you have missed the point of the research… that is, it is not about prevention of aging but actually reversal. That is, cells that have entered senescence, a state of inactivity, are being awakened. They made sure they were not just going through apoptosis (death) causing them to think the lack of remaining senescent cells were skewing their results. They proved this was not the case and the senescent cells were actually being re-awakened and starting to divide as when they were young and create new telomeres.

                      Sure resveratrol still affects SIRT1 in a positive way, but this new discovery is unrelated to the SIRT1 pathway.

                      Obviously not everyone shares my enthusiasm for what this means to living well into the later years of whatever lifespan we have individually. That’s o.k.

                      I just felt the need to share it as there are many on this forum of an age that doing this one thing could be helpful if done now.

                      For the rest of us, this Youtube video is a plan for the future. ‘-)


                    13. Lonie

                      My understanding is that “resveratrol analogues” are not found in reveratrol itself and nor does reveratrol break down into these analogiues. Instead, they are substances analogous to resveratrol. They are often synthetic substances created in a lab..

                      At least some of them are thought to be much more potent than resveratrol itself so the results delivered by analogues may not be achievable by resveratrol.


                    14. Tom, can’t remember where I saw the table, but in it were actual resveratrol and the different analogues, presumably to determine which analogues affected what.

                      But the statement below suggests resveratrol itself was used in this study.

                      “NHDF cells were seeded at 6 × 104 cells/cm2 in 6 well plates, allowed to grow for 10 days then treated with 5 μM of each compound for 24 h in 3 biological replicates, with vehicle only controls (DMSO). Resveratrol 1 acute treatment was at an initial dose of 5 μM, followed by culture without further treatment for 4 weeks. For chronic treatment regimes, resveratrol (or DMSO vehicle) was added once every 48 h during 4 weeks.”

                    15. Lonie, I have watched your video on longevity. It is very interesting and I learn a lot but don’t put too much hope on it yet. Stem cell treatment is still decades away, probably past our lifetime if it ever works.

                      Right now, not too many stem cell treatment works. The most well known one is the bone marrow transplant for cancer treatment but otherwise nothing else works and it can be fatal and resulting in death if not done properly.


                      The theory of stem cell is that you collect stem cells from other parts of your body that don’t age fast, or collect your own stem cells when you are young and healthy, and then inject your own stem cells into the parts that age, and magically the cells will regenerate. It sounds good on paper but in reality, you have to do some extraction and processing to pick the right stem cells.

                      I still have a lot of hope on stem cell research because the field is progressing very fast with supercomputers and scientists can decode the genome faster but we still have a long way to go.

                      In the meantime, I count on my body to do the major lifting by providing all the help that it needs. Unlike a number of people think, I think that (good) supplements are just foods in concentrated form and processed for absorbability. So I provide all the nutrients to my body (including good fats mind some people), and prevent my body from oxidizing, getting inflamed, prevent from DNA damage.

                    16. Lonie, I have read the article that TG provided the link. That guy is hopeless and stubborn and stuck with 70 year old theories and you are wasting your time convincing him of anything. Not only he is stubborn but I found out that he is a j. and don’t mind to trash anyone who disagrees with him with the most vicious words. So I don’t waste more time helping him but only ridicule him.

                      Anyway, the following paragraph sums it all. The “study” uses a tiny amount of resveratrol which may not be even bioavailable.

                      Metabolism and Bioavailability
                      Initial studies of the pharmacokinetics of trans-resveratrol in humans found only traces of the unmetabolized resveratrol in the plasma upon oral exposure of single trans-resveratrol doses of 5 to 25 mg. Indeed, trans-resveratrol appears to be well absorbed by humans when taken orally, but its bioavailability is relatively low due to its rapid metabolism and elimination (6). Once absorbed, resveratrol is rapidly metabolized by conjugation to glucuronic acid and/or sulfate, forming resveratrol glucuronides, sulfates, and/or sulfoglucuronides. Sulfate conjugates are the major forms of resveratrol metabolites found in plasma and urine in humans (7).

                    17. Lonie, I have watched your video on longevity. It is very interesting and I learn a lot but don’t put too much hope on it yet. Stem cell treatment is still decades away, probably past our lifetime if it ever works.

                      Jerry, this was posted just a few days ago. We are now in the age of Quantum computing and Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. I’ll not try to predict when death is an option rather than a sentence, but it’s coming. The final piece of the puzzle will be put in place by a machine rather than a human, I suspect.


                      The theory of stem cell is that you collect stem cells from other parts of your body that don’t age fast, or collect your own stem cells when you are young and healthy, and then inject your own stem cells into the parts that age, and magically the cells will regenerate. It sounds good on paper but in reality, you have to do some extraction and processing to pick the right stem cells.

                      Actually, that is not quite right as they are able to create stem cells using Induced Pluripotent Stem cells.

                      And speaking of induced, Induced Tissue Regeneration is where we will eventually arrive. We can actually grow new parts of the body right now with a 3D printer… but those parts don’t have the small blood vessels… only the larger ones so far. Induced Tissue Regeneration will make it possible to grow a new arm, a new heart etc, in vivo. Not sure if you are aware but I’m pretty sure bio scientists have already created a potential human from scratch… they didn’t carry it past the embryonic stage but could have. And of course we can cut out bad code or insert new code in our DNA right now and this is being done on humans in China using CRSPR cas/9 and other enzymes than cas/9 as we learn more. We use it to change crops and animals only at the present here because of govt. restrictions. (Not saying this is a bad thing)

                      In the meantime, I count on my body to do the major lifting by providing all the help that it needs. Unlike a number of people think, I think that (good) supplements are just foods in concentrated form and processed for absorbability. So I provide all the nutrients to my body (including good fats mind some people), and prevent my body from oxidizing, getting inflamed, prevent from DNA damage.

                      Agree in full with this.

                    18. Lonie, I have read the article that TG provided the link.

                      Jerry, I found Tom’s link to the Linus Pauling Institute very informative. As I’ve stated in another post, I previously considered resveratrol to be a SIRT1 agonist. Tom’s link opened up many other possibilities that mean I can cut out some redundant supplements, so his link was very important to me.

                      Of course, the info had nothing to do with the rejuvenation of senescent cells (just discovered) so it had no bearing on whether or not I will take resveratrol. The Exeter/Brighton findings trump all other information on resveratrol. Any other benefits are just gravy. ‘-)

                    19. Re: Jerry, this was posted just a few days ago. We are now in the age of Quantum computing and Artificial Intelligence and machine learning. I’ll not try to predict when death is an option rather than a sentence, but it’s coming.

                      Lonie, I invest in biotech stocks and I am very familiar with this area of technology. For instance there are companies that research cancer drug that uses immunotherapy to program the T-cell to go and kill the cancer cells. It is promising on paper but they have not got the drug approved yet and they had several deaths during their trials.

                      Likewise I used to invest in drug companies that research in drugs that eliminate plaque of Alzheimer’s patients. Well it does not cure Alzheimer by getting rid of the plaque because it is a symptom and not the cause. So now if I hear any companies doing research on drug to eliminate the plaques, I stay away. The theory of plaque and fat deposit in the brain is as fake as the saturated and cholesterol theories.

                      I am not discounting anything related to stem cells research but I am just cautiously optimistic.

                    20. Re: Jerry, I found Tom’s link to the Linus Pauling Institute very informative.

                      Lonie, I reread the Linus Pauling Institute article and I don’t see anything special or groundbreaking. It talked about the benefits of resveratrol. OK but you will read the same things if you read articles about fish oil DHA/EPA, Coenzyme, glycine, glutathione, NAC, etc.

                      I don’t think that resveratrol is THE only food / supplement that we can count on but I spread my bet on a number of ones. Each food / supplement will upregulate your gene in a different manner.

                    21. Likewise I used to invest in drug companies that research in drugs that eliminate plaque of Alzheimer’s patients. Well it does not cure Alzheimer by getting rid of the plaque because it is a symptom and not the cause. So now if I hear any companies doing research on drug to eliminate the plaques, I stay away.

                      Yeah, I think Bio-tech will moot the Big Pharmaceuticals in the not too distant future, as we will be able to make our own drugs based on our own personal genome. At least that is what some futurists are saying.

                      I’m personally invested in a distributorship that will provide human stem cells (ethically harvested from human placenta) for injecting into damaged ligament, tendon, cartilage and other damaged flesh of sport horses. The results of initial trials are utterly amazing. The animals return to performing as good as new.

                    22. Re: I’m personally invested in a distributorship that will provide human stem cells

                      Lonie, you may be interested to watch this Ted Talk. There is a misconception that stem cells are collected from (aborted) dead fetus, which is not true. Stem cells are mainly collected from the umbilical cord of moms when they give birth.


                      Anyway, it is not as simple as collecting stem cells and then inject in somebody body. Not only it may not cure anything but it can be deadly.

                      Ted Talks for instance are mostly respectful talks but they are just talks as its name implies. They talk about concepts but the reality is a different thing. If you look up “cholesterol” or “saturated fat” for instance, you will find plenty of misleading talks about this faked theory.

                    23. Stem cells are mainly collected from the umbilical cord of moms when they give birth.


                      Anyway, it is not as simple as collecting stem cells and then inject in somebody body. Not only it may not cure anything but it can be deadly.

                      Ted Talks for instance are mostly respectful talks but they are just talks as its name implies. They talk about concepts but the reality is a different thing. If you look up “cholesterol” or “saturated fat” for instance, you will find plenty of misleading talks about this faked theory.

                      Jerry, no offense but none of the above concerns me. Our dealings are with a multi-national company who we trust implicitly to know what they are doing. The die is cast.

                  2. Lonie

                    Thanks for the feedbck on the resveratrol analogues point. My comment was based on the Exeter media release that you linked to earlier. It stated

                    “The researchers applied compounds called reversatrol analogues, chemicals based on a substance naturally found in red wine, dark chocolate, red grapes and blueberries, to cells in culture. The chemicals caused splicing factors, which are progressively switched off as we age to be switched back on.”


                    “Professor Harries said: “This is a first step in trying to make people live normal lifespans, but with health for their entire life. Our data suggests that using chemicals to switch back on the major class of genes that are switched off as we age might provide a means to restore function to old cells.”

                    This is why I wonder whether resveratrol itself will be able to deliver similar results in vivo.

                    1. Thanks for the feedbck on the resveratrol analogues point. My comment was based on the Exeter media release that you linked to earlier.

                      Tom, I’m just going by the quote (found by following the link within the Exeter link) referencing resveratrol.

                      I’ve also found another reference in the Exeter link to resveratrol in the small picture at the beginning of the presentation. It’s hard to read but says “Live cell capture image following resveratrol treatment.

    2. Ranger, you bring up something that is interesting for societies in the future. That is, some people gonna eat what they eat and do what they do.

      Well in the video link below could lie the answer to how those who are not as committed as Evidence based consumers are, to better health through food as fuel. Science is just gonna have to save them from themselves, if they have the wherewithal to get the treatments.

    1. Don’t know but….then everyone in India would live very long lives as it is quite popular there. But that is not the case.
      Point being I think the study references not one singular item but a complete whole foods plant based diet as the key to this groups longevity.
      I take any one item as being a key as a failed endeavor that will never pan out..But it does sell lots and lots of supplements some of which I take to be honest.

      1. No one in India drinks turmeric tea, no one even heard of such a thing. Turmeric is used as a spice so only about 1/2 a teaspoon is added to hot oil as seasoning for a dish. I do not know how potent that little quantity would be, though it is added to all vegetable savory dishes so eaten everyday.

        1. That said, lots of people lived long and healthy lives in India. My own grandparents are living examples, they ate a vegetarian plant-based diet and while they did eat dairy, their diet wasn’t heavy with it. They ate fresh home-cooked food and lived in an era where fast food and convenience food was not available. They also lead a humble life that was not luxurious so the lifestyle lent itself to plenty of functional physical activity. All of those things have changed now in India and it is leading the world in heart disease and diabetes.

        2. Yes I was referencing the consumption of turmeric not the tea. To my experience turmeric is a component in many Indian dishes. Do you want a source reference for that..I will provide one if necessary. Is your statement then we would find more turmeric in tea than in a common indian dish…I find that unlikely.

          The average life expectancy as per WHO is 67 and 69 for Male and female Indians as per 2012-2015 figurees. I can also provide reference if necessary Which is up appreciably from earlier days..

        3. Quote on tumeric from NDTV
          TurmericHindi Name: हल्दी

          Turmeric is considered as a skin food in India and many other popular cultures. It is a bright yellow powder made from the rhizomes of turmeric. It is available as a whole root or in powdered form. India and Pakistan are the leading producers of Turmeric.

          From a substantial part in daily cuisine to medical practices, Turmeric has always taken a prominent place. It is also regarded as the golden spice of life, an important ingredient in culinary all over the world, majorly in South Asian and Middle-eastern cuisine. In Persia, it is used as a starter ingredient.

          In many parts of India, Turmeric is considered highly auspicious, and has been extensively used in various ceremonies.


          It imparts a musky flavour and yellow colour to curries and is extensively used in Indian dishes, from vegetables to meats. Though it is generally used in powdered form, but turmeric is also used fresh like ginger. In Indian dishes, turmeric is most often used to impart a rich yellow color to the various recipes. It is also used in baked products, canned beverages, dairy products, ice-creams, yoghurts, orange juices, cereals, cake-icings etc.”

          I believe India produces 90 percent of the worlds tumeric.

  6. I recently heard Dr Greger mentioned that technically there is no such thing as dying from old age and that when people die of a disease after they are 100 years old it’s found that had they not been affected by that disease they would have lived much longer because the rest of their body seems to be fine. So my question is what diseases do Okinawans traditionally die from if not from “old age”?
    Thank you in advance.

    1. I don’t know on that.But there is genetic mutation as we age, it happens.

      The idea we can live forever seems a pipedream unless we can totally stop genetic mutation. We can slow it at present with diet and such but stop it……seems no.
      Show me someone 75 or so with natural color hair…..I can’t find any perhaps there is one somewhere……genetic mutation.

      All our organs suffer the same fate. Gene science perhaps we may remediate death with that in some future time. Naturally no seems not possible. If not this organ it will be that.
      Jack Lalane a great fitness guy died of pneumonia…his immune system had aged as well the organs, excepting those producing antibodies were fine.

      1. Everything is impermanent. Of course we’ll die eventually.
        I wouldn’t want to be immortal, anyway.
        I just want to be healthy and functioning well, then bam! Drop dead quickly, no costly lingering with exploitation by the medical industry.

        1. Yes good for you.
          People 75 or older will invariably unless their hair is dyed have white or grey hair. Not all but almost all. This is one consequence of gene degeneration. Our hair does not just turn grey it is that the gene has modified and changes our hair color in this fashion.

          All genes modify as they replicate over time. Each organ ages with the modification but to differing degree. Skin is a organ and is also a good read on gene modification as we age. It becomes less elastic and thinner as a result. More prone to wrinkling and age spotting in ligher races.
          Good diet helps all this through beneficial effects on tollemers but there is no stopping of the aging.It is only slowed.

      2. There was about a ten year period when my mom still had dark hair and mine was much whiter, like the women on my dad’s side. She ate as healthily as she knew to do, and if I’d known about WFPB when she was in her late 80s she would have adopted it and I think she would have made the century mark like she wanted to. But no, she only lived to 95.

        1. Can’t beat that with a stick. My dad lived to 93 I think it was, but had problems with dementia for years and years. Probably as I read it now from a very early age 60 or so, with a very gradual deterioration.. Not classical alzheimers I think it was completely of cerebrovascular, likely arterial compromise, poor diet high blood pressure heart meds, the whole nine yards. Which accounts for the very gradual decline.

    2. What Dr G said is not true. People do not always die of diseases but the body just shuts down one day for reasons we don’t quite know yet. The oldest person living on earth is a Japanese lady and when she died at 130, she had just 2 cells that can reproduce. And the theories that people who eat animal foods or fats will die of diseases are faked and made up by fantasy books writers. In reality, people who eat a diverse foods diet including animal and plant foods and some fats, including saturated fat, will live a very long and healthy life. They just die one day when the body shuts down.

      I take some precaution to prevent this body shutdown such as eating and taking supplements that prevent DNA damage, and prevent oxidation and inflammation which damages the cells too, and consume collagen to rebuild the aging and dying organs and joints.

          1. Wikipedia is a research reference????
            Wikipedia is a handy tool and I use it often but it does not qualify as a research reference by any stretch of the imagination

              1. Rebecca asked for research references. What you are providing are not research references. Statistics are not research references unless they are statistical summaries of research references.

                Again it is to no benefit when cognitive problems present and one starts calling others names. There do exist many venues which may provide assistance with your difficulty.
                And we here also may help. WE need to be only asked.

              2. Jerry

                I find it telling that when people disagree with you, or point out that there is no evidence to support your opinions, you accuse them of being angry. Your frequent references to being angry suggest to me that you yourself get angry when you are contradicted and/or your false claims are exposed as untrue.

                1. The other angry man just wake up to take over Ron in New Mexico shift. It’s about time because Ron is just about to burst his veins.

                  1. Gerry I have no hatred for you nor am I angry with you.
                    I had a similar situation in a local gym a while ago. This person was acting to my opinion of my interaction with him a bit strange. So I basically started to treat him roughly. Basically I was setting him up for a fight. I thought his strangeness was directed for some unknown reason to me.

                    He had a personal trainer. And his personal trainer picked up on this and informed be the fellow had been in a car accident and has some problems as a result interacting with others. Though he was totally 100% in capacity he had communication problems due to injury.
                    So I cut him some slack and we became friends eventually. When before he was a half step from having more problems. Hitting someone in the head that had a significant history of head injury…likely I would be in jail right now.

                    In any event I am not saying you have had a accident or anything like that. But you do have some problems evidenced by your behavior today. Name calling and such is not a normal mode of behavior to those who do not incite it.
                    And evidenced by your taking most overtly a youtube video of some street stall vendor in Japan evidence of how Japanese ate for a thousand years….cognitive problems. To name just one, basically your whole thing today is just in error. Spanish people are not really but Italian and a study on them has not yet even begun and you draw some strange conclusion on eating anchovies?
                    This is not normal.

                    Talk to whoever is important to you. I know you will take this as a attack but really I am picking up on a thing. And it is not normal behavior.

      1. No one has just two cells that can reproduce. You probably mean something else, so perhaps rephrase it.

        Bodies shut down with systemic organ failure. That is not a unknown cause.
        You are combining centegarian experience of a singular nature and applying it to people in general. To live to be a hundred one already has a genetic advantage as obviously that is above the statistical norm in any society. What rules of living apply for genetically advantaged individuals and us commoners may be of variance.

        As I mention for quite a while the oldest living person was a woman in france who ate a chocolate candy bar daily and also up until several years before her death (she was smoking had declining eyesight and set something on fire) she smoked one cigarette a day. She stopped due to that incident.

        Chocolate may have application and also she consumed wine but smoking is not a thing that is normally good for anyone. But good genes apparently it did not matter for her..
        So we cannot simply apply their experience to ours. In some aspects but not in a general fashion. AS in that person smoked lived to a hundred so we may.
        Observational studies are simply not conducted in that fashion when studying life expectancy outcomes.

          1. Filty mouth???? What under gods good sun are you talking about.

            I read the article what they are talking about is her white blood cells originating from two stem cells.
            Not that she had just 2 cells that can reproduce.
            Listen if you have some research or medical information and it is just to challenging for your comprehension….I am here for you.
            I can explain it to you….just ask.

              1. Again you are calling names but that will not help any with your difficulties of comprehension.

                Calling all the names in the world will not help.
                You have to ask for help. If not here in your home environment. Your doc. Many venues are available for assistance.

                There is no shame to it. Many suffer from cognitive decline particularly as they age. It means only change has occurred. Nothing more than that. Nothing to be ashamed of nor afraid of.

            1. On your second point….people do die in their sleep and often not from a specific disease. . Yet their deaths are not from unknown cause. If a autopsy is performed(though usually they are not in the elderly who die of natural causes) a specific cause is generally found.

              Natural causes suffices when a autopsy is not performed. Natural cause does not infer unknown cause. A unknown cause of death upon autopsy is typically issued when for some reason the autopsy is incomplete due to missing toxicology or other report.. .

              Typically upon autopsy a cause of death in sleep by the elderly would be cardiac arrest or cardiac arrest proceeded by respiratory arrest.
              Basically typically they have a period of sleep apnea from which they never recover. Hence natural cause. …

              1. So Ron in New Mexico, if you eat the WFPB diet recommended by Dr G then you have no disease and you will live forever, right?

                (Gosh, Ron will live forever. Hope that there is only one Ron in this world).

                1. That is called a straw man argument. You take a false thing and represent it to be a thing another has said and then proceed to denigrate or destroy it.

                  I never said either of those things.

                  And there is no need for the personal reference under your statement. It simply has no relevance to the discussion nor your point.
                  It has to put it simply, no place here.

            1. Lonie, there are good and not so good news on stem cells. First, the Japanese has tried to use stem cells to cure macular degeneration for the first time. The not so good news is that I cannot find any positive article that says that it works but it could be that it is too early



              At a press conference after the procedure, Takahashi said that the surgery had gone well, but that success cannot be declared without monitoring the fate of the introduced cells. She plans to make no further announcements about patient progress until all five procedures are finished. “We are at the beginning,” she says.

                1. O.K., just checked the second link from mid 2017. Much more current on macular degeneration stem cell repair.

                  Personally, I’m hoping to never need stem cell treatments (with the possible exception of some created from my own skin, fat, muscle, sperm?!!!… yes, sperm cells are embryonic and I’m guessing scientists are working on a way to utilize them to regenerate “us.”

                  1. If stem cell therapy works in the future then we will all need it because your body will deteriorate somewhere at some point no matter how you take care of yourself.

                1. I am not paid subscriber either but I can read. I use Chrome browser and I think it works in anonymous (incognito) mode by default. Google for how to do with your browser.

      2. Can you provide any sources for the claims that “The oldest person living on earth is a Japanese lady” and “when she died at 130, she had just 2 cells that can reproduce.”?

        I’ve never heard of anyone living beyond 117 years whose age has been verified. Also, how would they know that “only 2 cells could reproduce”? Did they examine every cell in her body?

      3. Cleary Dr vG is a much more credible source of information than Jerry.. Poor old Jerry seems to believe every crackpot dietary theory he finds on the internet. Dietary collagen and bone broth are cases in point

        ““The idea that because bone broth or stock contains collagen it somehow translates to collagen in the human body is nonsensical,” says Dr. William H. Percy, an associate professor and biomedical scientist at the University of South Dakota who has spent more than three decades studying the ways the human gut breaks down and absorbs the food we eat. “Collagen is actually a pretty poor source of amino acids,” he says.”

        1. Tom, if everyone on this forum would just tell Jerry Lewis how eating a whole plant food diet has improved their health then that would prove his love for saturated fats, oils, butters, creams, meats, bacon, to be wrong.
          He won’t listen to science. But, maybe he will listen to the hundreds of us on this forum who have benefited from all of the work that Dr. Greger has done unselfishly. Jerry Lewis must be a paid troll because he is on his computer 24/7 and specifically on this forum 24/7 ready and eager to undermine you, Dr. Greger or anyone else who is trying to save their health with a whole plant food diet. Nobody with a real job would be monitoring this forum 24/7 like Jerry Lewis does. He must therefore make income from the meat, dairy, egg industry in order to spend this much time and energy trying to destroy the work that Dr. Greger has done. Nobody with a real job would have the time to do what Jerry Lewis does.

          1. Hi John

            Well, he has said that he has a well-paid job that gives him lots of free time. I am inclined to believe him on this since I can’t imagine anyone paying him to post such obviously false claims and gross irrationality. In my experience, most paid trolls put forward more or less rational arguments.

            His posts are so full of blatant falsehoods and specious reasoning that some people have even suggested that he is a plant (geddit?) by the NF team because he makes everybody else look good by comparison.

            Personally, I think that he is a sincere but troubled individual not a paid troll. When he first came here, he revealed that he had a twofold purpose. First to harass Dr Greger and the NF website, and secondly to promote the bizarre pseudoscientific beliefs and spurious “facts” that he has picked up from the websites of intermet marketers and cranks. He has delivered in spades but nobody, I think, would regard his behavious here as normal.

          2. John

            Just a quick further thought. My impression is that in practice Jerry actually eats a WFPB diet. He has previously said that he eats a very large amount of whole plant foods implying that his bone broth and animal fat consumption may constitute a quite small proportion of his total calorific intake ….. just as animal foods constituted a small prortion of the traditional Okinawan diet and the healthier diets observed in the China Study.

            I could well be wrong of course but that is what I inferred from some of his earlier posts. If that is actually so, it would mean that, in the words of the old joke, he may be crazy but he ain’t stupid.

            1. Re: My impression is that in practice Jerry actually eats a WFPB diet. He has previously said that he eats a very large amount of whole plant foods implying that his bone broth and animal fat consumption may constitute a quite small proportion of his total calorific intake …..

              You are right TG. I eat exactly like the Okinawans or even better, if it you understand correctly what the Okinawans are actually eating.

              Like them, I consume a lot of plant foods including vegetables, sweet potatoes, bean, nut, grain (rice), mushroom, herbs, tea, fruits, coffee. Like them, my fats come mainly from bone broth and occasionally bacon, lard, tallow which I substitute with MCT coconut oil (2 tablespoons) and fish oil which is non saturated fat plus Omega-3 (flax, chia). For meat, like the Okinawans, it eats the amount of meat about half the size of my hand. When I say meat, it includes either beef, pork, chicken, fish, shellfish.

              So since fat and meat are calorie and nutrient dense, what the Okinawans eat and what I eat are more than 3% of the calories.

              So if you are in agreement with what the Okinawans actually eat then I eat exactly like the Okinawans or even better. For instance, I don’t see herbs and fruits listed in the foods that the Okinawans eat. I also take a number of supplements which are foods in pill form.

          3. John, do you know that I work for ISIS and my job is to make Americans eat unhealthy and get sick? Wait if that’s the case then I should not tell them to eat saturated fat but instead scare them with saturated fat and cholesterol fake theories. and tell them eat a very low fat diet. I am a bad ISIS. They should have hired you and TG.

  7. I’ve been to Okinawan lived there for 7 months. The Okinawans look young. Haha i tried to ask this lady out who didn’t look much older and I found out she was nearly 50 and I was 22. It made me laugh. At first I thought she was lying or joking. But no joke. I would have guessed early 30’s. They age very well.

    Okinawa being a small island in the middle of the ocean, no bigger than 50 miles long and about 15-18 miles wide, I can’t buy that they only ate 1% of their food from the sea. That number is probably extremely low. They are surrounded by reef so they get plenty of small game fish and lobster and everything one would find in the sea. Basically it’s perfect place to look for ocean based food. I’m
    Sure they ate lots of veggies, but 1 % seafood is at best an guesstimate that’s way off.

    1. I too find the very low fish consumption very suspect , even today there are fishing charters off the island . One would think they would avail themselves of the abundant fish .
      7thDA may have something else in common with the Okinawan people and that is a tendency to calorie restrict in their diet .

      1. Google for people living in some island in Spain who are mostly obese, smoker, and yet live very long. Why? Because they eat a lot of anchovy fish.

        1. Your going to have to have something better than that for reference. Google some fat people in Spain living on a island and smoke…..

            1. Ok….first this is Italy not Spain…

              Second the study as evidenced and here quoted from the NY Post has not yet even initiated……

              “Researchers for the study plan to collect blood samples and distribute questionnaires to the group over the next six months to see what role genes play in keeping these folks alive. Maisel hopes to start a university-run longevity clinic in the area to see how they can put their findings into action.
              But even more important than genes and anchovies is that village residents both young and old don’t sweat the small stuff.

              “They sit around a lot and drink coffee, which turns into wine in the evening,” says the doctor. “It’s a stress-free life. There’s a joie de vivre.”

              Again if you have problems with cognition I or others can read and explain things to you at your request. Most here are pretty helpful…we are glad to help.
              Honestly I did not bother with the second link there is no point.

      2. It doesn’t follow that living on an island with access to fish must mean that the official US and Japanese government figures on fish consumption are “suspect”…,

        For example, Tasmanian Aboriginals (Tasmania is a large island in the South of Australia) did not eat scaled fish despite their ready availability. There may also be cultural or practical reasons why fish apparently represented such a small proportion of the traditional Okinawan diet

  8. I wonder if you could show your work on your calculation of what percent of their diet is fish. This blog seems to imply that fish is a VERY small portion of their diet. However, when I calculate what percent of calories would be provided by a 3oz serving of fish from an otherwise plant based diet, I get that one serving of fish a week would translate to 1% of their calories from fish. This is a much different conclusion that I would otherwise reach by reading your commentary. I will show my math for 2, 3oz servings of wild caught salmon (Mediterranean recommendations). 6 oz of salmon would provide 42 grams of protein. At 4 cals/grams, this would be 324 calories a week. For an 1800 calorie/day diet, this would be 12,600 calories a week. Calculating the percent of calories from fish per week (assuming no other animal based protein) 324/12,600 is 2% of calories from the fish. So it seems, they had one serving of fish a week? Am I interpreting your article and the math correctly? I think calculating percents to real food on the plate is much more actionable for most of my patients.

  9. “Death and taxes…” as the saying goes.

    It is how I experience my life that matters more to me than when I die. I do not want my vital life energy used up for suffering from preventable chronic dis-eases when it could be better used for great vitality, loving and play. I work in and have helped those who sadly suffer from the revolving door of chronic illness and I made the choice to do otherwise.

    A WFPBD is the best way to not disrupt my hormones and therefore all of my body functions within the realm that I can control. Food as medicine- what a concept!

    Happy New Year to all, especially Dr. Greger and team!

    A healthy and proud monthly supporter of

  10. The statistics the US have on this Island is from 1972. That was 45 years ago. Do we know what they are eating in this millennium? What they were eating while the USA was on their home might have changed a lot since they were independent. A McDonald’s could have opened last year.

      1. How very selective of NFO to publish stats about 1949 Okinawa and not compare stats about North America in the same time frame .What are you afraid of .

        1. A sadly typical comment from you.Buster.

          Just what purpose would this serve even assuming the data existed? It doesn’t to my knowledge. There is food supply data for that time but that includes spoilage and wastage.

          What is your actual point then? Apart, that is, from fulfilling your mission as someone employed by a dairy company to promote online the marketing of dairy products and undermine the credibility of people and organisations that refer to the adverse health effects of dairy consumption.

          1. I hate it when on the rare occasion TG is right about something and this is that occasion . Okinawan people don’t eat much fish at all , they eat pork , they eat more pork than the Japanese national average , they eat 17 pounds of the stuff per person yearly , plus they use lard to cook their sweet potatoes in as they normally don’t have any other oil .

            1. This is the best post of the day, even month, or year (BPOY). Yes TG is always right. He knows what Okinawans eat along with other people in Asia, they eat pork, lard and talon. Poor people don’t have money to eat fish and the original Okinawans are poor. They melt pork fat to use as cooking oil. They don’t have the luxury as in the West to use vegetable oil.

              TG is always right.

              1. Jerry

                I am pretty sure that lard is more expensive than cooking oil, even in Okinawa.

                However, the point is that when I make a statement or claim, I usually endeavour to provide supporting evidence. You have an unfortunate tendency to invent your own “facts” which are often in direct contradiction to real world facts.

                It is interesting though how the satuarated fat crowd and other cranks always seem to conveniently confuse the current Okniawan diet with the traditional diet, to claim that health benefits of the traditional diet actually derive from the modern diet. In fact, the modern Okinawan diet appears to be driving increasing obesity and rates of chronic disease on the island.

                I am never sure if those people actually believe this twaddle – although you’d think that it wouldn’t fool an intellectually retarded hamster – or if they are deliberately trying to deceive people in order to promote sales of their diet plans or whatever.

              1. Jerry

                “And now thanks to TG, we know that Buster is employed by the dairy industry.”

                No, to his credit, Buster himself told us that some months ago. I remind people of this fact though when I think it is relevant.

            2. Buster You are talking about a different thing altogether. Probably deliberately.

              The traditional healthy Okinawan and Japanese diets are those documented in official government surveys from 1949 and 1950. The proportion of pork in the traditional Okinawan diet was extremely low since all meat inckuding chicken represented less than 3% of total calories.

              But, yes, today Okinawans probably do eat large amounts of pork and cook in lard, consuming more pork than the Japanese national average. That would handily explain why they are now the most obese population in Japan

              The current Okinawan diet is not thought to be healthy. The traditional diet is.

              “Much of the longevity advantage in Okinawa is thought to be related a healthy lifestyle; this includes the traditional diet [29], which is low in calories yet nutritionally dense, particularly with regard to vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients in the form of antioxidants and flavonoids [1]. However, dietary change since World War II has been largely deleterious, with younger Okinawans developing a higher risk of obesity and other chronic disease risk factors [30,31] versus older Japanese”

              But you probably know that ….. but that’s how disinformation works eh?

      2. I figured you might know the correct answer to this but is it true that the okinawans ingested
        very few, if any herbs, and they rarely, if ever, used spices. A spice-free diet, no turmeric, ginger,
        pepper, etc.? Thanks for any info.

  11. The Okinanwans have by and large shifted to a much higher fat, less healthy western-style diet, as have the Japanese. Their health and longevity has started to suffer as a result.

    1. Wrong, the young Okinawans are now eating a SAD diet, along with vegetable oil. They no longer eat saturated fat the way that their ancestors eat, pork, bacon, lard, talon, squid, shrimp, oyster, etc. Young French don’t eat butter and cheese anymore.

      1. Jerry Lewis –

        >>>Wrong, the young Okinawans are now eating a SAD diet, along with vegetable oil.
        Huh? I said Okinawans now eat ” much higher fat, less healthy western-style diet“, i.e. a SAD diet, so how was I wrong on that?

        I did not specify what kind of fat they now eat but I am sure they get plenty of saturated fat.

        Are you claiming the traditional Okinawan diet provided more saturated fat than what the current SAD-type diet provides? If so, please cite your sources.

        1. Yes, SAD dieters and processed food eaters eat Transfat, not saturated fat which is harmless and stable. Okinawans and all Asians and Mediterraneans traditionally eat saturated fat in form of butter, cheese, real milk, unprocessed bacon, lard and talon, bone broth, unprocessed coconut, seafoods other than fish that contain tons of cholesterol such as all shellfish. It’s when they start eating vegetable oil because of the cholesterol and saturated fat faked theories, and the young people eat processed foods, that they get into all kind of health problems these days.

          There are several misconceptions that need to be clarified:

          – Eating (healthy including saturated) fat does not make you fat.

          – Eating cholesterol foods do not raise your cholesterol, if that has any importance.

          – Eating foods that cause inflammation such as sugar, fat that gets damaged (transfat, rancid and heated vegetable oil) will cause your body to be inflamed and that is detectable through CRP blood test and not necessarily cholesterol blood test.

            1. If you want to believe the guy who makes a living and career on the faked cholesterol and saturated fat theories then go ahead. Or believe the guy who wrote a fantasy novel on what people in China eat then go ahead too. Unfortunately you cannot sue them later for malpractice and you know that.

              1. Jerry

                “the faked cholesterol and saturated fat theories”

                Why do you continually embarrass yourself by making these crackpot statements? They just identify you as one of the tinfoil hat brigade.

      2. Jerry

        You have used the term “talon” svereal times now. What are you referring to? I am aware of the usual meanings of this word, including the sexual one, but not in refernce to food stuffs/ Or is this just a typo for tallow?

      3. Jerry

        You love to invent your own facts don’t you?

        Saturated fat represented less than 2% of total calories in the traditional Okinawan diet. This is incredibly low. For comparison, nearly 3% of the total calories in rolled oasts come from staurated fat.

        Meat in the Okinawan diet represented less than 3% of total calories and fish less than 1% of total calories.

        Your willingness and indeed enthusiasm for misrepresenting documented facts is simply appalling.

        1. Ladies and gentlemen, my vote is for Tom Goff and Dr. Greger. I can tell from Tom’s writings that he is a genuine truth seeker and like he has mentioned in the past he is doing everything he can to protect his own health. The thing about Tom is that he researches and researches and researches. He has no business agenda. He has no political agenda. And just the fact that he spends so much time debating those who seek to undermine Dr. Greger shows me that Tom is on the right track and is to be trusted in his views. Tom is not getting any kind of recompense for all the work that he does, he just wants the truth and to find out what really improves health and what harms health. I don’t know about the rest of you, but I am rejecting Jerry Lewis’ ideas about eating saturated fat, and I am putting my money on Dr. Greger and Tom.

    2. And by the way, Japan and Korea longevity has steadily increased and not decreased. And the Okinawans longevity is sensation of the past. Nowadays plenty of people live above 100. I think Koreans live on average 90 or above. I was in Korea many times and I know what they eat, lots of seafoods, the ones with cholesterol like shrimp, squid, etc. and it is soup with bone broth everywhere.

      1. >>And the Okinawans longevity is sensation of the past.

        I think most people know that the Okinawan diet has steadily deteriorated in recent decades. So what?

        >>I think Koreans live on average 90 or above. I was in Korea many times and I know what they eat, lots of seafoods, the ones with cholesterol like shrimp, squid, etc. and it is soup with bone broth everywhere.

        Sorry, Jerry, but if you had checked the facts, you would have found their average lifespan is closer to 80 than to 90 or over. According to
        the average lifespan in S. Korea is 82.4, putting them at #12. Wouldn’t you agree that 82.4 is closer to 80 than “90 or above”?

        >>>And by the way, Japan and Korea longevity has steadily increased and not decreased.

        Not surprising. Increases in lifespan in recent times is due to a variety of reasons, e.g. better healthcare for more people. There’s no clear connection to eating animal products, bone broth or whatever.

        I’d say you are 0 for 3 on this one.


      2. >>>And by the way, Japan and Korea longevity has steadily increased and not decreased.
        Re: Okinawan longevity, cf.
        Okinawa had the longest life expectancy in all prefectures of Japan for almost 30 years prior to 2000.[1] The relative life expectancy of Okinawans has since declined, due to may factors including westernization.[2] In fact, in 2000 Okinawa dropped in its ranking for longevity advantage for men to 26th out of 47 within the prefectures of Japan.

        1. You have np idea what Okinawans eat today, may be the youth eat a SAD diet and drink soda drink. So it’s apple and orange comparison.

          Interestingly, the countries that eat the most saturated fat and cholesterol these days live the longest.

          “Women in France, Japan and Spain also were expected to live longer. Currently Japanese women live the longest, but their progress will probably stagnate, the study said.

          South Korea also led the list for longevity in men, followed by Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands; men from all of those countries were expected to live beyond 80 on average.”

          1. “Interestingly, the countries that eat the most saturated fat and cholesterol these days live the longest.”

            You are probably right Jerry. In fact the saturated fat and cholesterol “sceptics” have been making this comment for many years.

            Naturally they never mention that, as soceties grow wealthier, they tend tio consume more rich foods that are high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Or that wealthy countries tend to have the best healthcare systems and best access to effective drugs. Poor societies by comparison can’t afford to eat a lot of expensive animal foods high in saturated fat and cholesterol. They also tend to have poor healthcare systems and inadequate access to medicines and care. As a result, people in rich countries tend to live longer than people in poor countries.

            Plantpositive has a couple of interesting videos addressing this highly misleading argument (which naturally ignores all the experimental evidence about diets high in saturated fat and cholesterol):

            The saturated fat promoters probably know all this but they also know that simple but misleading comparisons like these will convince some people.

            1. You made an excellent point Tom. The individual at plant positive is an amazing speaker and debater. He has a really sharp mind. But, I doubt if Jerry Lewis will even bother to listen to Plant Positive, because remember Jerry is a paid troll and his goal is to undermine all of the work that Dr.
              Greger has done. Dr. Greger’s sole motivation for putting up this website and putting up the videos on YouTube is simply to help people like you and I, and yet there are people like Jerry who have the “Judas” spirit that will destroy good for 30 pieces of silver.

            2. Hold on a sec, Tom. You’re giving Jerry Lewis too much credit. According to
              “Dietary Fat Intake – A Global Perspective”Elmadfa, I.; Kornsteiner, M. (Vienna) Ann Nutr Metab 2009;54(suppl 1):8–14.


              Saturated fat intake as percent of calories in Japan was 6.6%; S. Korea 6%. Respective total fat intake was 24.9% and 21.1%..

              In contrast, the respective SFA and (total fat intakes) in the US were 11.3% (33.7%), Norway 12.2% (31%), Sweden 12.6% (33.5%), UK 12.6% (33.5%), Denmark 15.2% (36.3%), France 12.6% (38.2%).

              So Japan and S. Korea, as of 2009 were not high from a global perspective in either SFAs or total fat.

              The study stated: “Eight countries had a lower SFA intake than 10%E,
              ranging from 3.1%E (China: Guangxi Bai Ku Yao and Han populations) to 9.5%E (Portugal). The remaining countries had a higher SFA intake (10.0–25.4%E) than
              the recommended ! 10%E [8, 10] . The highest SFA intake (25.4%E) was observed in rural dwellers in Northern Nigeria, whereas urban dwellers ate only 5.7%E of SFAs. The
              region comparison demonstrated that SFA intake was highest in European countries (11.8–16.5%E), with the exception of Portugal and Italy ( ^ 10%E; table 1 ).”

              This study does not, not unexpectedly, support Jerry’s “Jerry-facts”.

      1. Sweet potato hash, similar to potato hash, is nice too, although takes a bit more time. Grate sweet potatoes, traditionally we add a teaspoon of oil and sizzle some cumin and green chillies and then add the grated sweet potatoes and salt. Cover and cook on low medium stirring occasionally. Leaving out the oil is easy.

      1. Many of us buy sweet potato vines at the nursery in spring to plant in hanging baskets. At the end of the season I’ve eaten the small sweet potatoes that grew from the vines. If they were in a sandy plot and the climate warmer I’m sure they would get much bigger.

        1. Hi Rebeccca,

          I ordered some of the purple slips last year from a heritage seed company. Grew them in one of those five gallon felt pots with mostly coconut coir mixed with some compost/manure mix.

          Only grew a few and gave them away as there were only enough for one family sized serving.

          Kept one small root and have it in water and the little roots are starting to show. According to what I’ve read, I should be able to harvest enough slips from the root to grow some next year.

  12. Yes, the last paragraphs describe the irony of this. Now that western diets have intruded into their culture with the second and third generations, there’s an effort to preserve that traditional diet and not undermine their historical legacy. Same as with the so-called blue-zone populations in Europe who are experiencing similar cultural and dietary changes.

    I worked with a guy whose grandparents and great-grandparents participated in some early surveys of their traditional Okinawan lifestyle. He returns often and says that pork consumption in their family village has zoomed and that the fast-food culture has a foothold now. It’s a status symbol for younger people to adopt western habits. This is also true of home cooking elsewhere in Japan. There’s a whole hybrid culture there now of adapting western home-cooked recipes to Japanese tastes, and there’s a giant fad now of adapting Japanese traditional street-food culture to western street food cooking. That means mostly fried and oblivious to healthy practices.

    He also says that very few people are eating the purple sweet potato dishes of previous generations–the plant that is native to Okinawa and was the basis for these old studies. No one he knows really can prepare it properly. His family is now eating a lot of fast food and pork and does not know much about the so-called traditional Okinawan diet that was the basis for these studies.

    1. It would be nice to see Japanese speaking vegans or whole plant food Japanese people somehow use the internet to influence the Okinawans to go whole plant food. Maybe, someone could start a Japanese YouTube channel branded to teach Japanese about the benefits of whole plant food diet. I am sure that Japanese people want to be healthy too.

        1. That linked you tube video is a video of a Japanese street stall not what they ate in Japan for thousands of years…
          The title…
          Street Food Japan – A Taste of Delicious Japanese Cuisine Compilation
          Once again we are here to help you if cognitive problems are presenting.
          There is no reason to get angry and call peoples names it will not help a thing.
          Just ask for help.

        2. How do we explain Jerry’s weird and wonderful claims? Perhaps his championing of saturated fat is the clue

          “higher intakes of saturated fatty acids (SFA) have also been associated with cognitive impairment. Cross-sectional and longitudinal correlational studies indicate that higher intakes of SFA in young adulthood, mid and later life are associated with worse global cognitive function, impairments in prospective memory, memory speed and flexibility and an increased vulnerability to age related deficits and neurological diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [34,35,36,37].”

      1. Don’t know her name but I think there is one. She was on one of the cooking shows and was not allowed to continue as she refused to cook meat. They decided to require her to do that.
        But I am sure she has a youtube channel.
        I think it was plant based news out of the UK you tube channel that did a feature on that.

  13. The article says:

    If you look at the traditional diets of more than 2,000 Okinawans, it breaks down as follows: Only 1% of their diet was fish, less than 1% of their diet was other meats, and less than 1% was dairy and eggs, so it was more than 96% plant-based and more than 90% whole food plant-based.

    To what do those percentages refer? Weight, volume, calories…? If 4% of their diet comes from animal products, 4% of what? I assume it’s calories. Is that correct?


    1. None is true and so don’t waste your time looking. The Okinawan and China diets are novels and fantasies written by someone sitting in his bedroom in the U.S.

      For one thing, meat and fat are calorie dense and so you eat the equivalent of a few tablespoons of fat per day and meat and seafood the size of a hand, and a bowl of bone broth and you get a lot of nutrients but it dwarfs in volume compared to eating a big bowl of kale and vegetables. Both are beneficial and Okinawan and Asian and people in the blue zone eat both.

      Just spend $1000 and travel the world and see what people eat instead of reading the fantasies and novels written by someone sitting in the USA.

      1. The China study on Chinese diets as already referenced to you was a composite of peoples production to include nutritionists in china, and supported by the government of China.
        Yet you continue to spout that this was the product of someone sitting in his bedroom in the US.

        1. China study..
          “he China–Cornell–Oxford Project—the “China-Oxford-Cornell Study on Dietary, Lifestyle and Disease Mortality Characteristics in 65 Rural Chinese Counties,” referred to in the book as “the China Study”—was a comprehensive study of dietary and lifestyle factors associated with disease mortality in China. The study compared the health consequences of diets rich in animal-based foods to diets rich in plant-based foods among people who were genetically similar.[10]

          The idea for the study began in 1980–81 during discussions between T. Colin Campbell at Cornell and Chen Junshi, Deputy Director of Institute of Nutrition and Food Hygiene at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine. They were later joined by Richard Peto of the University of Oxford—Professor of Medical Statistics and Epidemiology as of 2012—and Li Junyao of the China Cancer Institute.[9]

          In 1983 two villages were chosen at random in each of 65 rural counties in China, and 50 families were chosen at random in each village. The dietary habits of one adult member of each family were examined—half male, half female—and the results compared to the death rates in those counties from around 48 forms of cancers and other diseases during 1973–75.[9]”

          Wikipedia. This is not a research reference but a encyclopedic reference.

      2. Don’t be foolish Jerry. These were official Japanese and US government dietary surveys. Only crackpots pretend that they were bogus and “faked”

        You will invent any falsehood necessary to justify your bizarre dietary beliefs it seems.

      3. @Jerry Lewis:

        I have been studying nutrition personally and academically for thirty years. I have a masters degree and have been published in academic journals as well as lay publications. I have specifically researched how the composition of diets affect health parameters, athletic performance, and body composition. I’ve studied everything from Eat to Win to The Zone to Atkins to Ornish to McDougal to Paleo to Keto and beyond. I’ve presented original research on MCTs. I’ve personally interviewed a few of the “inventors” of major diets. I know the drill.

        I’m not a vegan. I’m not even a vegetarian. But I do *KNOW* that large portions of animal products are not optimum for long term health and longevity. Since you believe the China Study and Okinawan program are fantasies then the Blue Zones will be your Game of Thrones. Give it a look. When you finish, read Carbohydrates and Weight Management by Dr. James Hill and Dr. Barbara Rolls (can be difficult to find). That will be your Lord of the Rings. Fantasy literature in this field abounds.

        So keep eating whatever you want. Eat all the meat and animal products you want. We’ll still be here spreading truth long after you are gone. :-)

        1. The whole basis for my conversion to veganism was indeed a moral one. And I adopted it way before it was a thing. in 86 to 1990. The term was really not even that common.And average peoples did not know it.

          Now however strictly speaking I am not a vegan, though I continue to use the term. I do not.look for it hardly ever find it in anything I use but will eat honey. It does not provide more harm to bees than not eating it by my study. And lanolin I have had sheep herding in my family and people sheering sheep as well. I don’t agree with the killing of sheep for food but the sheering process is not a harmful one nor are sheep normally factory farmed. So it really Is not like cows and leather. Nothing dies when you sheer a sheep.So in a serious discussion I will admit to being in the main a vegan in diet but not strictly.

          And PETA says we must not even ride a horse a carriage nor own a dog or cat if we really want to be vegan, vegan here described not as solely diet but in lifestyle….so there is some nuance to that even within the community. Most vegans by majority do not agree with that.
          Mostly we just do not want to harm animals and will do the best we can to stop that reasonably. I would eat meat if starving but that acknowledgement does not stop nor recind the moral imperitive, not the slightest bit. If one thinks a thing must be absolute to engage morally…no offense but you have a major structural defect somewhere in your elemental educational process…you do not understand some basic thing and must now try to reeducated that area of understanding.

          That all said this meat every day at every meal is simply absurd. Peoples never did eat that way we know that with certainity. In the Roman catholic religion even as late as the 1960’s there were meat free Fridays as a expression of religion, certainly meat free lent a usually 30 day period each year and prior to that meat free Wednesdays and possibly even Saturdays in some select subsets of Catholicism.
          Catholics are not just weirdly representing things of earlier days they represent earlier days….peoples did not eat meat that often it was a luxury a thing for the holidays. .

          Our difficulty with iron excess in only animal form but not plant form our inability to have a reserve store of vit C or lack of teeth to kill other animals with our bodily structure which is one of grasping and gardening not killing our attraction to bright colors which are the colors of flowers and things that produce fruit, our long long intestines, our inability to scavange dead things bodies without getting ill, all these speak to a nonmeat eating history anthropologically.

          But like trying to tell people back in the day reasonably we are but one habitable planet there have to be thousands if not millions when people at that time did not even know of any other solar system with planets but ours….I am met with complete denial on this.,

          Throw your caveman assumptions out the door people….that anthropologically speaking was a very minor blip in our history. And if that be considered even then we could not expand entire gross sums in hunting as we are just really not that good at it abstracting weaponry. WE are real real good at getting yams off the ground and putting them in our mouth. And remembering where we will find yams in season. Hunting compared to any other predator….that is a complete myth…we suck at it.

          Meat at very most is a very very little engaged thing in our diet in a anthropological considereation.But I could not tell peoples of other planets in other solar systems then I cannot tell you this now.

          YOu think yourself grand. You are not grand great hunters killer rulers of the world….you ate if you ate meat at all…some mice bugs and things of that kind. You were not suited to take anything larger on without weaponry which anthropologically speaking is a relatively recent thing to the thing of human. For most of our evolutionary history we did not have weapons. So our body is simply not suited to this thing of meat every day and always…it kills us. Our lack of mediation for cholesterol and some type of saturated fat speak directly to that but we will not listen to it.

          WE think ourselves great…hunters and all the rest, as once we thought we only were alive in the universe, to think otherwise means we may not be special….and we will never ever admit that.

          1. Sorry I get ahead of myself.
            You stilll think you are the only living thing in the universe.
            That presumption you continue to exhibit.
            So omit that singular part.

            So great is our overwhelming sense of self and our presumption of greatness other life forms of a intelligent kind could never ever allow us to perceive their existence.
            We are or would be quite offensive to them. A thing to be watched but never interacted with.
            But that is another matter.

    1. I think the point was older Okinawans eating a traditional diet had longer life expectancy, longer disease-free life and a greater proportion of centenarians than other populations? It wasn’t that the current Okinawan population is particularly healthy or that Okinawans currently have the world’s lonhest life expectancy.

  14. Could you please cover a video on Fibroadenoma, i’m having a hard time getting any information on treatment and future prevention of more benign breast fibroids. And what causes it. Thanks!

  15. Dr. G ;
    You have changed my life , double cancer survivor, vegan 9 years now, feeling better than ever, staying healthy and helping people.
    Now my husband and kids r vegan too and they are happy with their knowledge and choice.
    We love ur bood and ur newsletter.
    Thank You so much for ur wisdome.

  16. The sidebar says you are coming to speak at Kaiser Permanente on 6/9/18. I’m a Permanente physician and I heard nothing about this great news! Which Kaiser will you be speaking at???

    1. As we are all aware a new diet comes out every day and this one, while it does promote fruits and veggies, is restrictive on many veggies and does not promote the variety that is the cornerstone of a good diet folks can stay on. Why not focus on the nutrient dense commonsense approach Dr. Greger advocates for maximum health and safe, sustainable weight loss? Check these videos out if you haven’t already:

      Hope that helps!

  17. Dear dr Greger,

    Thank you for this wonderful article. I have a question, though. Vegans did great in Adventist Health Study-2 in all categories (considering the data we know). They also had 15% less risk of all-cause mortality than nonvegetarians. However, pescovegetarians were ‘better’ and had 19% less risk of all-cause mortality compared to nonvegetarians. How can you explain this difference? So maybe it is better to include a little bit of fish in a diet?

    Hope you can address this question.




    1. You’re right in noticing that Pescatarians did have the best mortality in AHS-2. Not all epidemiological studies found the same, though. In the Nurses’ Health Study and Health Professions Follow Up Study, an analysis of protein sources and mortality, found that all animal sources of protein were associated with higher mortality compared to plant sources of protein. Here’s a link:

      Dr Greger has several articles and videos on the Mediterranean Diet pattern (which includes fish) compared to a whole food, plant based diet, including this one: Another fish concern is of mercury and lead contamination, discussed here:

      Some folks do use the info from the AHS-2 study to conclude that fish should be a part of the diet. But there is also info that counters that. Hope this is useful.

      Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

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