Image Credit: Kristina DeMuth

Plant-Based Is Not the Same as Vegetarianism

Referring to heart disease, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD asks, “Why is there reticence to provide the public with guidelines that will spare them this disease or its progression?” in an article published in The American Journal of Cardiology. “The National Research Council position was that a dietary fat recommendation lower than 30% would be too frustrating for those attempting to achieve a significant reduction. Although it is uncertain to what extent people will adopt the advice, it is nevertheless scientifically and ethically imperative to inform the public what constitutes an optimal diet. We must tell the public the truth about what is best for their health, and let them decide their degree of compliance,” he asserts.

My video Optimal Diet: Just Give It to Me Straight, Doc describes how Dr. Esselstyn challenged an expert panel to answer these questions from patients: “I’ll do anything, but I never want to have heart disease” and “I’ve had a heart attack, and I never want another.” Answers ranged from having them “eat beans, beans, and more beans” to it’s “time for the public to embrace a plant-based diet.”

The recommended plant-based diet is not the same as vegetarianism. Vegetarians often consume all sorts of less-than-healthful foods, such as oils, margarine, dairy products, and eggs. Vegans do, too, for that matter. “This new paradigm is exclusively plant-based nutrition,” Dr. Esselstyn explains. In other words, it consists only of whole plant foods. Why exclusively? Because, as reported in the Cornell China Study, there does not appear to be “a threshold beyond which further benefits do not accrue with increasing proportions of plant-based foods in the diet.” It appears the more plant-based foods and the fewer animal-based foods, the better.

In a separate paper published in The American Journal of Cardiology, Dr. Esselstyn acknowledges that he is “acutely aware of the castigation that accompanies recommending a plant-based diet—namely that the recommendation will be met with skepticism and hostility on the part of the general public”—though less so these days as millions jump on the plant-based wagon. But that hostility is “peculiar,” Dr. Esselstyn continues, “because many cultures sustain themselves with such a diet, enjoying its taste, texture, and variety, as well as its health-promoting qualities. However, dietary preference is deeply personal, and one can easily be offended. Nevertheless, the public has a right to know the truth as understood by experts in nutritive biology about what constitutes the safest and healthiest diet.”

I couldn’t have said it better. The public has a right to know the truth.

“Some criticize this exclusively plant-based diet as extreme or draconian. Webster’s dictionary defines draconian as ‘inhumanly cruel.’ A closer look reveals that ‘extreme’ or ‘inhumanly cruel’ describes not plant-based nutrition, but the consequences of our present Western diet,” Dr. Esselstyn writes, adding that having a breastbone sawed in half for bypass surgery or a stroke that renders one an invalid unable to speak “can be construed as extreme, and having a breast, prostate, colon, or rectum removed to treat cancer may seem inhumanly cruel.” That’s extreme.

Eating a bean burrito is easy.

So what should the cholesterol guidelines be for the prevention of our number-one killer? The answer to that question can be found in my video Everything in Moderation? Even Heart Disease?. You can also learn at what age this information applies to you and your loved ones in my videos How Not to Die from Heart Disease and Heart Disease May Start in the Womb.

If you know someone who already has heart disease, be sure to also watch my video Eliminating 90% of Heart Disease Risk, in which I compare the effectiveness of pharmacological therapies against those of a plant-based diet.

For more information on lifestyle approaches to chronic disease, which can sometimes be not only cheaper and safer but also more effective than pharmacological or surgical approaches, take a look at some of my other videos:

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.

152 responses to “Plant-Based Is Not the Same as Vegetarianism

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  1. This is off-topic but does the report below mean that our next beach holiday will become a legitimate medical expense?

    “A new study conducted by Ohio University scientists suggests that a little more sunlight might help restore damage to your cardiovascular system.

    The study shows that Vitamin D3 — which is made by the body naturally when skin is exposed to the sun — can significantly restore the damage to the cardiovascular system caused by several diseases, including hypertension, diabetes and atherosclerosis.”

    1. The correlation between D3 levels and sun exposure is positive, BUT that’s incredibly difficult to adequately model…heavy sunscreen cuts down on the effectiveness, people produce D3 at very different levels depending on skin melanin levels. During the winter, a short beach holiday won’t cut it to maintain high D3 level-the bump fades quickly, and if you’re in the Nordic countries or northern USA/Canada there’s not enough sunlight even if you do take your shirt off and get a lot of skin exposed (aside from the whole freezing thing). It’s a transient phenomenon (meaning, the increase from a week or two on the beach only stays active in the blood for a short while). Adipose tissue does absorb it, but skinny people with low body fat don’t have high efficiency for resorption, and obese people just sequester it and don’t release it after that. [Brown fat and beige fat are also less efficacious at storing it anyway.]

      Conversion efficiency to 1,25 OHD has a strong genetic component as well, again ethnicity based.

      Very importantly, people who are overweight or obese have lower levels because adipose preferentially sequesters Vitamin D! So that’s a confounder since most of the US population is overweight or obese (and ditto for Europe, although less so, and India / China these days).

      Plant-based diets don’t have any supplemented sources (like Vit-D enriched milk) except UV-raised mushrooms, and D2 has to be converted to D3 (although lots of leafy greens do (somewhat) increase conversion efficiency).

      Age and gender play into – you need more when you’re young and when you’re older, and women need more anyway to prevent osteoporosis (*yes, I know Dr. Gregor would (partially) disagree with me on this, but this is still contentious within the medical community because large-scale supplementation by itself isn’t effective and requires numerous cofactors, so it’s complicated and eliminating confounders is, at best, difficult).

        1. >>Osteoporosis was invented to flog a drug developed for another target.

          No, it’s a medical condition. Ask anyone with it who has fractured some bone.

    2. Supplementation levels are generally MUCH higher than the RDA – more like 4000-5000IU during the winter (if you’re at slightly northern latitudes) – and that’s to hit a minimum of 40ng/dl (to avoid insufficiency; start deficiency is < 30ng) but there's a lot of evidence that we need higher than that (.e.g 60-70), and that those levels are more efficacious at both preventing and reversing the diseases you mentioned above.

      Particularly if you have ANY digestive issues (IBS, GERD, anything) your absorption efficiency from supplements or fortified foods is going to be lower, in some cases substantially lower.

      Supplementation has to be adjusted cyclically with the season, and you have to have titers every couple of months to check the efficacy. Any major changes in digestion or medical status can throw it out of whack too. Losing or gaining weight will mess with it. Antibiotics that kill gut bacteria can shift your microbiota, which will throw it off, and circadian rhythm / sleep issues will as well.

      Homeostatic levels fluctuate with the seasons anyway, and stress can deplete the reserves as well.

      Lastly, blood levels are not the be-all and end-all, although frankly they're the best proxy that the medical community – allopathic, osteopathic, or alternative – has.

      Titers aren't the whole picture, but they're a fairly accurate proxy in most cases.

      As with anything, you're not a Gaussian distribution and check with your doctor.

      1. >>> there’s a lot of evidence that we need higher than that (.e.g 60-70),
        Ok, I’ve heard this claim many times, but can you cite some medical refs., please?

        Dr. Fuhrman says the sweet spot is around 45 (higher than 30 but lower than 50 or more), contradicting your claim. Think I’ll stick with Fuhrman’s advice.

          1. Thanks. Scanned her website under vitamin D and found no scientific references supporting her claim. I don’t accept claims without references I can read and evaluate myself.

            The best level (interval) is controversial. I have read articles (refs not handy) indicating a U curve, with higher all cause mortality above 60 n/dl or whatever the exact number was, but no real benefit above mid-40s to 50,,, in line with Furhman:

            “We should aim for the sweet spot of blood 25(OH)D to be between 30 to 45 ng/ml, as suggested by the scientific evidence.21-23,25-27”

            Still gonna stick with Fuhrman because he always provides references.

            Not sure what Dr. Greger says but I find it easier to locate such info on Fuhrman’s website because he writes succinct overviews. Hint. Hint.

            1. Good points, David, although I think that GAEngineer appears pretty knowledgeable about this

              Having said that, I prefer to rely on high credibility sources rather than some ND/MD/DC with a website or posters who don’t provide references. They are seldom specialists in the matters they pronounce upon and, even if they are clinicians and super-confident about their claims, I don’t believe them unless they can provide the supporting scientific evidence to back up their claims. Life has taught me that very confident people are less reliable guides than they pretend.

              For example the US NIH ODS comments that emerging evidence links potentially adverse effects to levels higher than 60 ng/ml which is what you srite that Fuhrman says.

              I also use the summaries at the LPI at Oregon State University eg

              The exceptions I make to my own rule are Dr Greger and Jack Norris who always set out their analyses and provide citations.

              1. Right, LPI is an exceptionally valuable resource, and Jack Norris is also very informative on specifically plant food diets and nutrition.

                I agree GAEngineer seems quite knowledgeable, and took the claims seriously, I try to keep my level between 45-50, but do not take more than 2000 IU in supplement form per day as I am skeptical taking more is health-promoting. On the other hand, I never use sunscreen.

    3. Vitamin d is not made around here between late September and the 2nd week of March, regardless of how sunny or hot it might be. And generally between 10-3pm people don’t get out during lunch and expose their skin. So if you do get out in the non vitamin D months you are only increasing your skin cancer risks. There seem to be some ocular receptors that do seem to benefit though.

      1. David, that’s a misnomer – it may be synthesized in very low levels, but it’s never absent. Please don’t put that in broad strokes – folks in the souther USA / Europe don’t have that as so much of an issue…and it’s not true that it’s increasing the skin cancer risk if you use a light sunscreen…UV rays trigger the synthesis (that said, it’s easy to get burned in the winter, I got bad burns (some 2nd degree) that took a month to heal when I was at 12,000 feet on a glacier and only had part of face uncovered).

        Now, circadian rhythm is a totally different beast, there are ocular receptors and the blue light does keep your circadian rhythm steady. But that’s a separate thing, as you point out.

        1. Would like to know if I still get some vitamin D when I go out fully covered in my winter coat and gloves, leaving only my face exposed.

          1. That will do wonders to boost your mood and keep circadian rhythm in check, but the amount of D you’re getting depends on exposed surface area, so unless you’re outside for 10 hours, it’s likely not enough.

        2. Eric I line in Texas. NASA has a sight where you can where and when and times during the day the day one can produce vitamin d. I’m a cyclist and ride outdoors most days during lunch. But we are fairly far south and no vitamin D before March end of he first week in March.

          Don’t have time to look up the site now, but perhaps you can look it up. And post it on here for people.

        3. Yes, I spent 6 months in the Falklands once, That’s not too far from Antarctica and pretty cold but spend time outside in daylight hours and it’s easy to get sunburnt ….. except they call it windburn down there. The winds are always strong and cold there.

    4. Probably not: if only that report had said “restore the cardiovascular system”, rather than “restore damage to the cardiovascular system”…

    5. Going vegan doesn’t just impact your organs what I’ve noticed is my skin has gotten dryer I’m losing teeth and I’ve gotten nerve problems where I jerk so I’m not convinced that vegan is healthy for those things

      1. Going vegan is a lifestyle thing not a nutritional approach. Some vegans have a beer and chips diet others have a Jack Daniels and Marlboro diet. Others have diets that include lots of processed foods. Dr Greger has been warning about the pitfalls of poorly planned vegetarian diets for a long time.

        Eating a healthy whole food plant based diet is what Dr Greger recommends.

      2. Midge-
        Most vegans who eat truly healthful whole food plant diet including sufficient necessary essential fatty acids and take the essential supplements e.g. B12, iodine (if not from food), D (if not from sun) and DHA/EPA, etc. per Dr. Greger’s recommendations do not have these problems.

        Nevertheless, some people apparently do not do well on a 100% whole food plant diet.Make sure your diet follows the recommendations before reaching a conclusion.
        Get checked out by a doctor.

        1. Get checked out by a doctor? In the U.K. we are assigned doctors according to where you live and unless you have lots of cash available to pay private you are stuck. My doctor doesn’t have a clue about any of this. Up the creek.

          1. >>> In the U.K. we are assigned doctors according to where you live and unless you have lots of cash available to pay private you are stuck. My doctor doesn’t have a clue about any of this. Up the creek

            Very sorry to hear that about the UK!

      3. I follow 99% WFPB SOS low fat according to Dr. Esselstyn. I’m finding the same issues. Very dry crepey skin, thinning hair and some problems with teeth. The 1% is some rye bread and avocado occasionally. I’m not sure what my cholesterol numbers are and will have that checked in about three months time.

  2. I struggle with my WFPBD when I travel and sometimes have eaten what I don’t want. But now I pack a baggie of chickpeas and chopped yam and no longer need to worry. I want to be WFPB 100% – it is challenging but worth all benefits for me.

    Just to add to the bypass picture, not only are you basically put through a controlled motor vehicle collision physiologically during bypass but your blood is also circulated out of you and stays in a machine during the proceedings. So really? “Draconian”. What a laugh. Eat the burrito.

    A healthy around monthly supporter of

    1. Bobbi,

      Google something like traveling plant based. There are several good bloggers out there who have published articles on the subject of traveling while eating WFPB. Chef AJ carries her Instant Pot on the plane and cooks potatoes in her room! Cathy Fisher describes how she manages road trips, and there are others.

      1. That’s a good idea. The next time I am on a business trip, I will take my Instant Pot with me and cook bone broth in my hotel room. And Amazon Fresh will deliver the foods and ingredients to my room.

        1. Save yourself a few dollars Jerry. Stay in cheap hotels. That way you are able to catch and cook rats and cockroaches. Plenty of protein and stuff there. And all free.

    2. I do extensive travel, for 2-3 months at a time and continually struggle with food choices. My routine includes oat bran and ground flax for breakfast, and I alway carry a bag of raw almonds. I search out local markets, when available, for raw veggies, but will be taking off for Romania and Hungary soon, both meat loving countries. All suggestions are welcomed!!

      1. Hi Risa, I take freezer bags of chia seeds which can be soaked in any safe liquid, VEGA organic protein powder w/ greens, hemp seeds and gogi berries. There’s powdered Moringa and Ujido too. Most of these available at Costco.

        Happy Travels!

    1. Hi Denise,

      I don’t know the recipe for that salad but I have found wonderful recipes on the Forks over Knives website and by using Google for, “Bhudda Bowls”. Hope this helps.

    2. Hi Denise,
      It’s a big bowl of greens topped with roasted veggies, chickpeas, and sweet potatoes. Super easy and super tasty! I also added some avocado. The dressing is a nacho cheeze sauce made from sweet potatoes, cashews, chili powder, turmeric, black pepper, paprika, and garlic– something I just made up. If you have the How Not to Die Cookbook, you could try using the Mac N Cheese sauce recipe in there or any of the healthy plant-based dressings in the book for a salad topper.

      In good health,
      Kristina, Social Media Director

  3. Mercola explains through science that a ketogenic diet causes far less damage to mitochondrial DNA than a diet high in carbs. He prefers food rich in quality fats like avocado and grass fed butter for example. He’s careful about recommending too much protein consumption and cautions that a carb heavy diet is only mutagenic if high in net carbs. We all would love to hear your thoughts on the Fat for Fuel diet prescribed by Dr Mercola.

    1. Somewhere on Youtube is a talk between doctors Mercola and Greger.

      Also, Mercola is in business to sell stuff on his site, so you have to be careful to learn who paid for the research he uses. Dr G does that for us, so WE DON’T HAVE TO!

      1. I put Mercola and Dr. Oz in the same bucket. They’re hawking things that, charitably put, are essentially snake oil that has a patina of legitimacy only because someone somewhere did a study with industry funding that thing X is beneficial, so it’s marginally legitimate enough that they can hawk it without getting sued or FTC crackdown.

    2. David,

      You’re going to likely get an icy response here…Dr. Gregor advocates 100% vegan / WPFB…and against excess protein because of the methionine and cysteine (sulfur-based AAs) causing damage themselves…they are correlated with a lot of chronic diseases and diseases of aging (which is why Mercola cautions against excess protein in the first place). I don’t know enough biochemistry to explain the relevant pathways yet – that’s in a couple of semesters – but animal based fats are really problematic – red meat is really pro-inflammatory in the first place and counters the effects of doing a keto diet. Plus a lot of people now have alpha-gal allergies and so forth.

      Doing keto if you’re WPFB / vegan is REALLY difficult because the only “acceptable” fat sources are avocados, olive oil, and certain nuts.

      That said, I’ve never seen a direct response to whether or not Keto for people that need it (e.g. epileptics and many people with mental health problems) is viable on WPFB…it should be, but that’s gonna be a hard menu to do.

    3. David, you already know what the answer from Dr G will be and so there is no need to ask. Just look up the 70 year old cholesterol theory.

    4. They think their diet works because of fasting. That is, the other things they do to make it sustainable is what keeps the diet afloat. It is like saying that hitting yourself with a hammer is good because you can use bandages at night.

      Fasting. Compensates for weight gain

      Fasting. Recovers from the cellular damage caused by acidosis (ketones are acids)

      Lots of water. Compensates for peeing all the acids away (saves the kidneys)

      Salt. Compensates for peeing away the electrolytes

      Supplements. Make the diet work

    5. Good luck with the Mercola diet…my cholesterol skyrocketed along with my blood sugar. Since finding Dr.Greger I have lost almost 50 lbs, stabilized my cholesterol and blood sugar and upped my “intimacy”.
      Whole food, plant based is the way to go.

    6. ‘Grass fed butter’

      Hmm, last I checked butter is not a plant.

      So right there we know that whatever the guide Mercola promotes isn’t cutting it.


    1. That’s complicated, at best, and Dr. Gregor recommends a diet that is mostly carbs. So any answer I give is from that perspective, and if you’re anti-carbs if they’re whole grains, non-GMO, etc, then nothing I say is going to answer your question in a way that you want to here. Thyroid function is more linked to not having the right micronutrients and eating a pro-inflammatory diet.

      1. Erik, the reason I ask is because I have a low normal thyroid function. I’ve been told it’s from too much carbs. I do eat a lot of raw cabbage and broccoli. So I’m not anti carb. I’m just seeing if a lot of people are like me. And what I might change to help that. I’ve added a lot of beets lately and blueberries. Could it be coffee or caffeine. ?

        So which micros would likely be off to cause this.

        1. >>I do eat a lot of raw cabbage and broccoli.
          Do you get enough iodine (150 mcg/d)? That could be an issue if you eat tons of goitrogenic veggies like broccoli, bok choi, etc.

          1. Thank you and a couple other responders. I don’t know if I get enough iodine. I do eat iodized salt but try to not get to much. Today I ate seaweed after Jerry Lewis mentioned it. Since I exercise a lot, my sodium can be depleted quickly. I’ve been measured both high normal and then months later low. So if I was low on sodium and chloride I guess I was low on iodine too.

            1. I don’t add salt to my food. The way I get my iodine is one heaped teaspoon of seaweed (Maine Coast Dulse flakes) a day. The label says a tablespoon is 330% of RDA; so a teaspoon should be about 100%. I’m hypothyroid, so I err on the generous side and add a heaped teaspoon to my morning smoothie.

    2. My 96 year old Dad has it and he feels cold no matter what is the temperature is in his room. Iodine supplementation fixed the issue.

    3. And David, high carb is not good for your health in general but I don’t think it is related to your inability to control the body temperature. You should lower your carb consumption in general and take iodine and selenium supplementation.

      1. People on low carb diets tend to have higher mortality.

        “Our systematic review and meta-analyses of worldwide reports suggested that low-carbohydrate diets were associated with a significantly higher risk of all-cause mortality in the long run. They also suggested that low-carbohydrate diets might not be protective or harmful in terms of CVD mortality and incidence.”

        And most Blue Zone diets appear to very high carb.

  4. Appreciate Esselstyn’s research and work.
    The only thing, and I believe this is significant, is that no known culture totally
    followed a 100% plant based diet… the question is why?

    1. That’s not true – in India there are plenty of people who always have, and Jainists have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, and they only eat WPFB (well, vegan with further restrictions). And Seventh Day Adventists are strict vegetarians and follow a very tight diet and live as long as anyone in the world.

        1. Some Adventists do, Buster.

          Compared with the (also milk drinking) non vegetarian 7th Day Adventists, the milk drinking lacto ovo vegetarian 7th Day Adventists had a lower mortality risk – just 91% of their non vegetarian co-religionists. However, the non milk drinking “vegan” 7th Day Adventists had an even lower mortality risk at only 85%.

          Not drinking milk (or consuming any dairy) seems to help 7th Day Adventists to live longer.

      1. >>>Seventh Day Adventists are strict vegetarians
        Well, many of them eat some animal products. But you are right that in the studies frequently cited, the vegans had very good longevity. According to Dr. Fuhrman, the vegans who ate nuts, and only those, were the longest lived of all those studied. I have not been able to check that statement.

      2. The problem facing people in most cultures throughout recorded history has been getting enough calories to keep body and soul together. Having an omnivorous diet opens a much wider range of food sources which aids people’s chances of survival in times of famine and food shortage. I

        n addition, eating an omnivorous diet probably ensures access to a wider range of micronutrients than would be available to people in subsistence agricultural economies dependent upon an otherwise very limited range of dietary staples. It is probably for that reason, that omnivorous diets have been embedded in virtually all cultures around the world.

        In wealthy sophisticated societies, people don’t really have those problems so we see the development of vegetarianism occurring in eg Ancient Greece. India etc

        Hunter gatherers may be able to survive on virtually vegetarian diets because of the wide range of plant food they consume (plus conscious or inadvertent consumption of insects and grubs) but a willingness to eat animal foods is probably a survival advantage. However, there is evidence that some ancient hunter gatherers have been vegetarians

    2. How would did you confirm that as fact? Perhaps there actually were plant based societies who just like us where affected by seasonal availability, access and ignorance.

      But today, we have the benefit of researching what we eat and we are often blessed with the ability to access a wide variety of foods that have been tested as to whether they optimize our health or not.

      I try to not let the assumptions of ancient human lifestyle inform me given what I have available in evidence today- especially on Recent is what we it want to be. I choose about 100 years to help me to consider what is best for me in 21st century.

      Evidence based nutrition- what a concept!

      Anyone else have some thoughts?

      1. >>>I try to not let the assumptions of ancient human lifestyle inform me given what I have available in evidence today

        Excellent point that should be stressed more often! The real issue today is how to be healthy when older, not have lots of kids and then die young.

  5. Every time I go 100% plant based for more than a week or so I will get a light headed/dizzy sensation and sometimes some mild jitters or shakes. I don’t know if it is lack of calories or what? I take b12 and eat what should be a well balanced plant based diet with beans, nuts, avocado, greens, etc. It is all free out of the garden so easy to do. What could cause the light headedness? At this point including seafood a few times a week seems to prevent it.

    1. That’s a tough one. I’d say micronutrients. Spirulina and/or seaweed will help with that…that’s a lot of what you’re getting from seafood (iodine, lots of other things). Nutritional yeast also hit a lot of those points.

      What’s your intake of simple carbs look like?

      1. It’s possible he’s getting low on salt too. I think our bodies need time to adjust from expelling to hoarding salt. Worked that way for me.

    2. Ron,

      I experienced the same thing, but I found it takes more time for the body adjust. After about 3 weeks on a very strict Vegan diet, I started to feel great. But the first few weeks were absolutely brutal. My reasoning in going Vegan are because I have AS, and it’s very severe unfortunately. Just thought i’d share, good luck!

      1. It certainly helps to get to the stage where animal products make you so sick that you acquire the will to push through the ‘change’.

        It does even itself out. The body does adjust to a clean diet and then it rejoices, but just like giving up any addictive substance, and animal products are addictive, there will be rebound effects for a while. Eating enough fat with the carbs helps even out the blood sugar issues.

    3. Ron,
      That happened to my daughter when she first went plant based. In her case she was not eating enough food. You will be eating much more volume since your foods are less calorically dense. Keeping snacks around such as fruit, nuts, hummus, smoothies, etc. to eat between meals may help as your body adjusts. Take a look at the daily dozen checklist to ensure you are getting a balanced diet

    4. >>>What could cause the light headedness?
      Losing lots of weight?
      Eating fatty seafood likely increased your total cals. You might also try increasing starchy veggies or even intact whole grains. At one point I had to do that, and increase my nut intake, to get enough calories and not lose too much weight i.e. drop below BMI 19 (I exercise a lot).

  6. Dr. Esselstyn’s diet raises my blood sugar and A1C unless I eat mostly romaine lettuce and very small amounts of beans and fruit. And then it is not stellar. Carbs are very challenging to diabetics.

    1. Kathy, I totally understand. Most advice here isn’t disease specific – well, some is. If you have Type I that’s a hard row to how, as that idiom works. One point that Dr. Gregor’s videos repeatedly emphasize is that Type 2 can be reversed and complete remission achieved using WPFB. A further recent study out of England showed that NHS primary care providers (doctors or nurses) that worked with patients to clean up their diets and got them to lose 15kg and keep it off were able to achieve complete remission of Type 2 diabetes and keep it away for something like 5 years.

  7. Dr. Greger seems adverse to mention that ALL plants contain fat (“phytolipids”.) All animal cells contain fat as well. No cell can exist without fat, elsewise their nucleus and membranes would dissolve in their watery environment.

    And that burrito he mentions? Tortillas are made with processed wheat or corn. And they are held together with lard! Most canned re-fried beans contain lard as well.

    Animal fats are detrimental because they contain all the hormones, cytokines, and pesticide residues that were inside the animals body. Fat in and of itself, in moderation, is necessary for good health; indeed for life itself.

    1. Rick, you are correct and I wish that everyone understood that cell membranes and so forth are made of lipids…but people can go down to like 6% body fat (males) without detrimental effects, so that’s less of an issue. Now, the whole burrito / tortilla thing is another question.
      Processed wheat (if it’s whole wheat) or corn aren’t the enemy as long as the processing is minimal…any hispanic grocery store in the US will have less processed tortilla shells and you can get the flour that’s only been exposed to lye that they traditionally make tortillas with no further processing in Mexico that’s much healthier, and make your own.

      I do agree that you have to be careful about the source of the beans, but you can get vegetarian ones that avoid that issue. It’s far more nuanced than that.

      1. Most USicans wouldn’t get near a Hispanic grocery store (Mexicans are Americans too.) And there are no health-food sections in any of them anyway.

        Real Mexicans don’t eat flour tortillas, since wheat isn’t grown there. Most don’t even eat burritos – its a South West “American” dish.

        1. What I meant was corn-based tortillas; those are made from non-GMO (preferably blue) corn and then hydrolyzed with lye.

          Burritos are a SW thing, yes, but if you use the same tortilla as above it doesn’t matter. Pickiness on the origin of cuisine is always suspicious ;)

          As far as what USAicans will or won’t do – that’s their problem. I eat food every week from recipes from one dozen countries at least, and they’re not in Europe.

          1. Yes burrito and taco and pizza can be made very healthy by using the right ingredients. For instance if you have access to real wheat then it is not harmful to eat. But being a city person who lives in the U.S., I have to use almond flour or coconut flour to replace wheat flour and they have very low carb.

    2. Yep you are right. It’s because meat, dairy and animal fat are processed improperly that it gives it a bad name. Kind of like eating potato chip instead of potato or canned vegetable instead of fresh vegetable, or orange juice instead of orange… But vegans are twisting the facts by equating healthy animal food eaters with SAD eaters.

      1. since humans can quite obviously survive and thrive on plants only, even if contrary to the vast amount of peer reviewed evidence and research it were somehow healthier for human animals to consume the flesh, milk and eggs of farmed animals, it would still be immoral and unethical to commodify, exploit and murder other sentient beings. i believe the following quote puts things in perspective in regards to the hypocrisy, anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism which very sadly permeates our extremely violent and apathetic species:

        “Suppose that tomorrow a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth, beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals. Would they have the right to treat you as you treat the animals you breed, keep and kill for food?” –John Harris

      2. Why are you even on this site, all you do is put down plant eaters? Even if people don’t want to give up animal products, if they all cut down it would help their health and the state of the planet, the earth cannot sustain the amount of animal production, and cows cause methane which is contributing to climate change more than all the cars, planes etc put together.

    3. N.C., Trader Joe’s carries a VEGAN little spicy chipotle black bean dip. It’s not advertised as VEGAN, but all the ingredients are. Per 2TB serving there is 1gm sugar, small amount malic and citric acids. Making your own black beans is very simple too. Make a large batch in an INSTANT POT for veggie burgers, soups, smashed, etc. Put some cooked whole beans in freezer containers for later use. I keep the chipotle jars for eaze. Not a perfect solution, but sure beats consuming unnecessary animal products!

  8. As a Vegan Personal Trainer, I am always telling my Vegan clients that Vegan doesn’t mean healthy. So many think they are eating healthy, just because they are not eating meat.

    I stress eating clean plant based foods.

    1. David, it has been said that vegan junk food and all the vegan ‘meat like’ ready meals and pies etc out there, along with the pretend cheeses etc, are the worst anti-nutritional stuff anyone could ever consume.

      Agri business has managed to cater for veganites by producing some truly awful poisonous stuff and then when said vegan gets sick eating this stuff, comes back at him with, hey, maybe being vegan is just not for you. look how it is harming your health. Have a burger… a real one, and discover how much better you will instantly feel.

      1. >>>Have a burger… a real one, and discover how much better you will instantly feel.
        Right, that’s the road to health. LOL.

  9. Actually, the reason the directives are always presented as eat less of X, never eat NO X, is that psychology has shown that a directive to REDUCE any given behaviour is unconsciously understood as condoning DOING it, so long as some ritual set offs are performed (the vaguer the better, here). So go have a Big Mac, but double up on the salad, or go for a run the next morning. Eat cheese, just accompany it with some veg……

    This devious manipulation has zero to do with how best to approach a recalcitrant public who allegedly don’t want to be told it how it is in black and white terms. That latter is what people do want, desperately, and what they are insidiously denied.

  10. As someone who was a health reporter, I can say much of the problem lies with the media (the mainstream media) which refuses to report on this most vital of issues. I am afraid that Dr. McDougall’s is right when he says “people like to hear good things about their bad habits.” That includes reporters who are probably among the most caught in “The Pleasure Trap” as we tend to seek the thrill of the newest and latest and may have some of the most unhealthy habits of all. I speak from personal experience here, as I was an obese health reporter before an intervention at the Kushi Institute.

  11. The title should really read “Whole-Food, Plant-Based Is Not the Same as Vegetarianism” because “plant-based” is not by definition “whole-food.” I know it’s wordy and it might seem like a technicality, but there really is no consensus that “plant-based” means WFPB so it’s an important distinction.

  12. I like the distinction that is starting to be made using “whole food plant rich” diet vs.” whole food plant based.” If I remember correctly, “plant based” means 50% of calories consumed. I wonder if 50% would qualify as moderation?

    1. I have never seen such a definition and am fairly confident that a mere 50% is what Dr. Greger, Dr. Fuhrman, et al have in mind when using the term. I think they mean no more than 5 – or perhaps even 10% of calories from animal foods, but the term is quite vague. I say this b/c a number of them have mentioned that very low amounts of animal foods have not been shown to be harmful (not that they think the risk is 0 but that there is no evidence to allow a conclusion). I agree it’s a bad term, but “plant rich” does not seem much better.

        1. Well said. The cruelty involved in factory farming, in particular, is more than I think most meat eaters could stand if they really faced the facts.

  13. When searching PubMed for plant-based diet research, every recent article found concluded a plant-based diet is vegetarian. I was trying to find factual information as the Paleo approach and Whole 30 have been hailed as plant-based with quality protein choices.

    What’s your take on the term?

  14. If the aim is to create confusion rather than clarity, keep on using the term “plant-based.”

    There’s no consensus that “plant-based” means vegan diet.

    ““This new paradigm is exclusively plant-based nutrition,” Dr. Esselstyn explains. In other words, it consists only of whole plant foods.”

    Then why not say “only whole plant foods” or “exclusively whole plant foods” or… horror… “vegan diet”? The description “exclusively plant-based nutrition” is complete wish-wash. “Plant-based” can mean “based around, but not exclusively plant food.” If Dr Esselstyn—or anyone else for that matter—really wants to be clear, they’d do away with the term “plant-based” entirely.

    1. >>>exclusively plant-based nutrition,

      Then why not just say: (whole food) plant nutrition/diet? Anyway that’s how I describe my diet: whole food plant diet. Period. End of story.

    2. Agree 100% with Rico
      What is working in the UK is vegan. Most places like the guardian include recipes and such which are invariably PBWF but the title the draw is veganism.
      Of course they take climate change and environmental concern I think a bit more seriously there.

      But really the thing over there is veganism and is dramatically increasing. Here…not so much. Is the confusion part of the problem over here?

      I’d say it will become or is becoming anyone can claim WFPB. A little meat or dairy can convolute the whole thing health wise, but really they can claim that WFPBased as base infers from which one extends. So meat dairy may be extended from WFPB.

      Like with climate change I anticipate americans will be a day late dollar short to the party as a result.
      If this thing is wanted to spread a little study in marketing psychology is important. Most I guess solely concerned with health are little concerned with marketing however.
      Till climate change affects their health that is ;)

      1. Re: Like with climate change I anticipate americans will be a day late dollar short to the party as a result.

        Ron in New Mexico, have you seen in the news that South Africa runs of water? I wonder how they are going to water their kale?

        1. Jerry

          Do you really think that kale, potatoes, maize, oats, wheat, beans etc are more of a problem when it comes to water shortages than cows, pigs, sheep and chickens?

          You believe that crops take up more water than livestock?

          I ask because according to the waterfootprint website

          “From a freshwater resource perspective, it is more efficient to obtain calories, protein and fat through crop products than animal products.”

    3. Rico, have you wonder why people on this board are trashing people who eat plenty of plant based foods and a small amount of animal foods? Are these people vegans in disguise as plant food eaters?

      1. i don’t see that happening Jerry.

        You personally do come in for a lot of criticism of course but that’s because you make wild accusations, often insult others, invent “facts” and refuse to accept scientific evidence. And repeat the same unscientific claims over and over again.

  15. I poop like 4 times a day cause I do plant-based with half a cup on beans at night. Interestingly, I go at the same time everyday too. Fiber y’all!!

  16. The word plant-based does not say anything about weather a person consumes oil or other so called unhealthy foods. Oil is plant-based is it not? Like veganism, you have to make the distinction as to what type of eater you are, junk food vegan is a way to express your preference for example. I feel this is simply an attempt to shy away from the word vegan, and it’s annoying. Sure the word seems heavy and loaded, big deal, life isn’t easy and creating change requires guts and commitment. Vegan means you take all the aspects of avoiding animal products into consideration and it’s animals you’re concerned with, including yourself and the environment. If you wish to take the “politics” out of the diet conversation, use plant-based, if you want to remind others that you care about the totality of concerns surrounding animals, their use and welfare, including humans and the planet, use vegan. What’s the point of having a healthy body if the world suffers? What’s the point of being heart attack proof of there are no animals to share the planet with? That argument aside; I use both terms but for specific discussions, true, but to suggest simply saying plant-based connotates health is simply false, everything needs context. There are several studies that look at this issue specifically, perhaps doctor G’s team should do a video on this topic (the psychology of plant-based vs vegan) with more vigor. To be clear, I call myself an unprocessed, whole-foods-as grown, plant-based vegan …and most people still don’t get it lol!

    1. >>> unprocessed, whole-foods-as grown, plant-based vegan
      Nice. Think I’ll borrow that but unfortunately, many people want a simple label.

    2. Agree
      For purposes of environment and animal concern I think vegan works best.
      AS to popularity I think firmly vegan works best.

      In the health care crowd of course it is WFPB.
      The strict health care crowd to my opinion is usually self involved. So I anticipate really they will always be a small minority.
      If meat was found favorable I anticipate most would quickly advocate for that. We will likely never find that true but most I think can see where peoples are coming it concern for others or self only?

      Self only rarely sells in mass marketing.

  17. Excellent article. I firmly believe that eating large amounts of plant foods can be good for fighting disease though I am a fan some less healthy foods too. Change can be hard but worthwhile. I write a lot about diet and it’s effect on my daughter’s genetic condition neurofibromatosis. She basically has a mutation that causes tumors to grow in her body and put her a step closer to cancer. Diet can be key to controlling the symptoms of this disorder. Here is an inspirational story how one woman was able to reverse symptoms of neurofibromatosis (NF) with a vegan diet.

    1. Many claim WFPBased.
      In a literal interpretation base infers in one context what one extends from. Like the base of a structure. The base may or may not be what is inclusive of other parts of the structure. It is the largest part as base and all extends from it but….

      In that context are some paleo adherants not following a WFBased diet..sure they are and can claim it.

      Meat may be subsidiary or a smaller part of the base of WFPBased diet.
      WE claim that but is it a valid claim? Rationally no it is not.

      I can guarantee you those on the other side a Joe Rogan type if not yet,can and will claim it if this becomes popular.Are they wrong…what in WFPB says a bit of meat or dairy is not in it.
      Vegan yes says that.

  18. My point…

    the lowest part or edge of something, especially the part on which it rests or is supported:
    “she sat down at the base of a tree”
    synonyms: foundation · bottom · foot · support · stand · pedestal · [more]
    a conceptual structure or entity on which something draws or depends:
    “the town’s economic base collapsed”
    the main place where a person works or stays:
    “she makes the studio her base”
    a main or important element or ingredient to which other things are added:
    “soaps with a vegetable oil base”

    Many non vegan diets could as well be plant based whole food diets(processed or unprocessed).
    It is sort of like global warming as opposed to climate change…both seem the same but can be different.

    Our side should be knowledgeable if we want to spread this thing of the successes and failures of that thing. As roughly the same opponants are presently engaged in this fight(corporate interest).
    Clearly as shown with the most recent mammogram video corporate interests do not align with our personal health interests often.

    Those thinking WFPBased are always vegan….no offense but you are wrong in that.

    1. If I was a speaker for or about this thing the way to phrase it would be…
      WFPB vegan diet. There is no other way to be correct in the phraseology.

      Get used to it your concern may only be for yourself and your health to the exclusion of any other things….but that correctly approximates DR Gregers and others of like kind diet.

      So as they say…woman up be real in it and admit it ;)…..WFPB does not comprise Dr Gregers diet at present it is to broad a catagory for accurate description.
      YOu have to abscribe to the term vegan weather you like it or not. If you want to be accurate ;).

      Doubtlessly some have made up their own interpretation of WFPBased but really it has to be inaccurate if vegan is not added.Entirely WFPB really does not cut it as well as the base part is then redundant. WFP encompassing or WFP consumptive entirely…those would be accurate but vegan is so much easier WFPBased vegan diet.Everyone knows what you mean.

      1. Which was the problem with climate change…All the science was out there for about 20 years but the notion of climate change/global warming went nowhere as the scientists did not have the knowledge of communication of ideas that were equal to those in opposition to the communication of those ideas.

        Ability in communication and media was the deciding factor in the spread of the scientific knowledge in the face of concerted opposition to it. Experts in communication and psychology were employed to successfully prevent the adopting of the idea of global warming by the population at large.
        So it is with this thing, in this specific..if one cannot destroy the science dilute it. Global warming is not climate change. And WFPBased may be non vegan. Both ideas become dilutions devoid of essential content by desciription. Do you think we just came to be calling global warming climate change by accident?
        We should here not do their work for them. Gregers stuff at present is vegan(in diet). A type of veganism(in diet).

        1. Yeah I am beating this dog to death but for a reason….
          Racism…people are not naturally racist. The thing we have a tendency for. But as we are exposed to others it devolves always.
          But racism was used by corporate/governmental entity to support by ideology colonialism. the notion others are not equal to us either by genetic determination or by evolution of government….they are not equal to us. So we may endorse our control over their areas..for their own good really. That idea is the idea the allowed us and others to colonialize. And thus reap economic benefit. The UK was the empire of prior before they lost INdia.

          Climate change it is the same. Corporate interests favor a thing so the things name is changed from global warming to climate change. Mostly it goes unnoticed. AS are many things associated with this thing.

          Now this thing diet has the same foes…corporate interests. Our terminology and our means of communication must be firmly considered. In that consideration must be included the lessons of the past.
          Peoples opinions have been manipulated to things essentially since the inquisition of the cathers coincidentally a mainly vegetarian group in southern france around the dark ages.
          The son of the leader of the inquisition by papal order, him killed by a rock thrown by a peasant women, they also were leaders in woman rights, back in that dark day….his son was one of the principals of the founding of democracy the magna carta. His portrait hangs in the US house of reps hallway.
          The son was a English lord and still to this day his family remains.England was a hinterland in that day france was the place to be.

          We learn little of the past fights for public opinion which are necessary in democracies.Once they did not need us. Those in southern france were starting to revolt a bit.Now we have deomcracy so we must be wooed to things as Plate explained.

          But similar tacts are employed in each battle of corporate interest involved. And we succeed or not depending on our understanding of the ways we are persuaded to things.

          Yeah I know most just want to live forever and who cares? But really if we want to spread this thing which some do, we cannot be allowing in our terminology to accommodate some nebulous ideas of a not firm nature. Such as the term vegan being a bit to radical.
          Like the use of global warming as opposed to climate serves purpose.

          I suggest this has not been considered completely.

  19. I love Esselstyn and Campbell et al, but I wish they’d not use the expression “plant-based.” If our optimal dietstyle is ‘based’ on plants, that implies it contains other things that aren’t plants. Surely it would avoid confusion if they spoke of a “whole plants only” diet? Or an “unprocessed” plant diet; both animals and junk being mega-processed.

    And “whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet”… what a mouthful. Only plants are healthy and healing, so only plants are food. Forget the ‘food’ and the ‘-based.’ “Whole plant diet” covers it.

    1. Except in this age of dietary things and oddness like raw……it may mean one is eating only whole plants, not part of plants. I had someone mention that in discussion just this past week on one blog.

      I find no rational to not support the addition of vegan to WFPBased diet.
      As in whole foods plant based vegan diet which is what Dr Greger is advocating for.

      Peoples no longer associate vegan with lifestyle. In any event the diet mention specifies that. About ten years ago Vegan was a lifestyle first diet second. Now it is the inverse.

      I am so rarely right in things when I am right I do glom onto a thing and push it for what it is worth. I think firmly I am right in this.

  20. As per Diana R her post above….this shows my point. A google prompt summary of Whole 30…

    ” Melissa Hartwig is an American author and the co-creator of the Whole30, a 30-day nutritional reset program that emphasizes whole foods. Hartwig has co-authored two New York Times bestselling books, It Starts With Food and The Whole30®: The 30-D…

    Now is not her program being called a whole foods based program??
    But on inspection we find meat and fish are staples. But as Dr Greger states above even the smallest amounts as per the China study and others of such products are to no assist in healthy eating.

    Keto we will find the same thing. Really the corporate intention is to confuse. That is their operational play book. Does not the term without the addition of vegan WFPBased not lead directly to that and what we find right now occurring……a person suggesting as diet which is really not what is desired.

    This would all be fine and dandy if we did not know even the smallest part of animal product ingested did not have a negative effect. But we know it does.
    So I repeat forget the past this is not that. The term has to be WFPBased vegan diet.
    AS others are abscribing to WFPBased.

    If however you want to add to the confusion and more be confused not less..please do continue. It matters personally to me not a bit. I hope for the best outcome in things always but find that rarely the fact….so I have become used to it.

    Yes it means telling Edelstein and them…you are right but you are wrong in the marketing of this thing….but who has the courage to take on one of ones heros, when we find we may disagree a bit…..few do. But few also are reluctant to change a thing any thing at all.

  21. You use this place this blog as a feedback loop in theory…now use it, in the real. It is not a matter of a popular opinion it is a matter of thinking about this thing and what is happening in its social context.

    Dr Greger will be way way more popular if he allows even the slightest bit of meat and diary. Even once a week or month….he will be on every talk show every week for a month, and more.
    But as of the present science he will be selling a popular but untrue thing. Any meat or dairy or fish and nonvegan sourced thing in diet, perhaps only being a supplement lanolin derived vitamin D, is unhealthy. Vegan of course necessitates the addition of WFPBased to make it accurately healthy.

    It is ….if I am wrong in that please correct me.

  22. I don’t know which page to put this on.

    I am doing vegan now, but I will say that everybody around me is going Keto and tonight they were talking about the fact that their cholesterol went down and their fatty liver went down when they went grain free and Keto. They believe it is sugar, which clogs the arteries and they have their own studies.

    I ponder the study where the vegans switched to Keto and clogged their arteries versus these people having their cholesterol drop on Keto.

    Is it meat plus sugar or meat plus grain or something like that, which increases cholesterol?

    I have been trying to sort through this logic, but I am officially confused that their cholesterol and fatty liver decreased on Keto and that other people could have it decrease on Vegan.

    I guess I am pondering how to understand the grain part of the equation.

    I am doing Vegan and almost grain-free right now, low carb and Vegan, but was about to start introducing grains in and the conversations I had tonight made me pause before taking that step.

    This is so confusing.

  23. I probably could have asked that simpler.

    The Keto people around me are having improvements in fatty liver and cholesterol.

    My questions are:

    1) Why is that?
    2) In the study of the people who jumped ship and went to Keto, their arteries blocked by a 51% increase in a year, is that maybe something like fat other than cholesterol? But then, why the fatty liver improvement?
    3) If meats aren’t causing their cholesterol and fatty liver problems, I am guessing that their pre-Keto diets must have had something, which really caused such a big cholesterol and fatty liver problem, maybe dairy or processed food?

    1. just a personal note…..

      But back in the day when Atkins was popular I was part of a group of in the main young males by profession. It became the thing to do to loose weight to use Atkins methods.

      All did in fact loose a lot of weight and the diet excluded almost all carbs.
      One of the main guys who supported it, who had also lost a lot of weight died of a AMI full arrest just after jogging. He sat down on a curb keeled over and that was all she wrote…

      Everyone was upset, he left behind a wife 2 young kids a real tragedy. They called for a special autopsy this and that, he was young fit…how.
      But needless to say all went off the Atkins diet immediately. Most put back on some weight but no more complete arrests occurred.

      Common sense tells us bacon in grease fried in the morning is not a healthy thing to eat. Little suggest human ate in a historical evolutionary way, meat more than occasionally before the use of tools to hunt. Which was 90 plus percent of our evolution. WE are just not that good at hunting being suited for gathering things instead, tools abstracted. Our teeth our intestinal tract the way our muscles function nothing suggest we lived on meat almost to exclusion.
      So it stands to reason going on a no carb diet regardless of any temporary result is unhealthy. We are simply not suited to it.
      Atkins himself was not a tall man and weighed something around 267 pounds when he died. And it is apparent he had been hiding a heart condition for years and years prior.

      Keto does have some more veggies in it usually. But there remains no diet other than a Whole foods plant based vegan diet that was proven in scientific study to reverse heart disease. A temporary lowering of blood cholesterol levels does not translate to removal of plaque from arteries.

  24. I’m Dutch, so excuse my English. I see your videos en read your newsletters for a few years now. What I like to know is whether people who live only on a plant based diet are healthier, especially in the last part of their life, and live substantial longer. I like to see relevant and solid scientific evidence. Essential to that is, of course, to exclude other favourable factors, like social cohesion and exercise. Thank you.

    1. There are several scientific studies on the 7th day Adventists who live mainly on a vegetarian and sometimes vegan diet.
      Here is the summary findings from the first major study on mortality and cause…It references lifestyle but also specific dietary findings…..
      From Wikipedia
      ” Adventist Health Study 1 (AHS-1)[edit]
      An additional study (1974–1988) involved approximately 34,000 Californian Adventists over 25 years of age. Unlike the mortality study, the purpose was to find out which components of the Adventist lifestyle give protection against disease.
      The data from the study have been studied for more than a decade and the findings are numerous – linking diet to cancer[5] and coronary heart disease.[6][7]
      Specifically: [4]
      On average Adventist men live 7.3 years longer and Adventist women live 4.4 years longer than other Californians.
      Five simple health behaviors promoted by the Seventh-day Adventist Church for more than 100 years (not smoking, eating a plant based diet, eating nuts several times per week, regular exercise and maintaining normal body weight) increase life span up to 10 years.
      Reducing consumption of red and white meat was associated with a decrease of colon cancer.
      Eating legumes was protective for colon cancer.
      Eating nuts several times a week reduces the risk of heart attack by up to 50%.
      Eating whole meal bread instead of white bread reduced non-fatal heart attack risk by 45%.
      Drinking 5 or more glasses of water a day may reduce heart disease by 50%.
      Men who had a high consumption of tomatoes reduced their risk of prostate cancer by 40%.
      Drinking soy milk more than once daily may reduce prostate cancer by 70%.”

      A second Adventist health study is ongoing but presents as of the present time, it was begun in 2002 with findings that suggest the long term benefit of vegan and vegetarian diets.
      Note that I am just a blogger here and not associated with this site at all. The query section
      of the website here is not useful for ordinary searches but I know Dr Greger has referenced this study in many videos. Maybe a volunteer here will see your question and respond, but maybe not.
      Similar findings were found in a earlier study of the a Korean peoples located in Okinowa. A mainly plant based whole food eating group whose diet has now transitioned to a western one. At the time they were noted to have the longest life span of any grouping of peoples by study.

  25. Not everyone can eat 100% plant based. I have an autoimmune disease which is triggered by gluten, dairy, soy, legumes, oats, and hemp. There are very few protein sources that I can eat. In addition, part of my disease is protein wasting so I am triggered by a low protein diet as well.
    I eat pescetarian as seafood seems to be the healthiest choice. I would eat 100% plant based if I could but I have gotten sick every time I try.

      1. That is very interesting and very comforting. It has been frustrating for me to dial in my diet. Learning that eating fish is actually beneficial to my health is huge. Thank you so much for sharing that with me.

  26. Vegetarianism is characterized as “the act of keeping away from the utilization of meat – red meat, poultry, fish and the tissue of some other creature”. (1) In my experience ‘going veggie’ can be a twofold edged sword. It can prompt huge medical advantages – when its done legitimately.

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