Are Avocados Good for You?

Are Avocados Good for You?
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The nutritional benefits of guacamole extend beyond just the nutrients avocados themselves contain.

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Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Avocados have been described as “a major dietary source of antioxidants,” and this may be true compared to much of the stuff people eat. But, compared to other common fruits, avocados are not necessarily anything to write home about.

They do, however, contain those two carotenoid eye nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may explain why Mexican-Americans tend to beat out other ethnicities. The critical carotenoids are concentrated “in the dark[est] green flesh close to the peel.” And, because of this, consumers should be advised to use the “nick and peel” method to obtain the nutrient-rich outer section of the avocado. The Tufts University Nutrition & Health Letter detailed what that means:

“1. …[C]ut [the avocado] in half lengthwise around the seed.

2. Rotate a quarter-turn and cut lengthwise [again] to make quarter-avocado segments.

3. …[S]eparate the quarters and remove the seed.

4. …Starting from the tip, nick and carefully peel,” so as not to lose that nutrient-rich darkest green flesh immediately under the skin.

Avocados can also boost the absorption of the carotenoid phytonutrients in other vegetables, because carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are fat soluble. “However, many of our best foods for obtaining carotenoids—[like] sweet potatoes, carrots, and…greens, contain very little fat.” So, if you eat them straight, without any source of fat in your stomach, you may end up flushing a lot of that nutrition down the toilet.

Remember, it’s not what you eat; it’s what you absorb. Here’s the amount of beta-carotene that ends up in your bloodstream two, three, four, five, six hours after eating a little over a cup of salsa. There’s a little bump. And, the same thing with the red pigment lycopene. Okay, but now here’s that same amount of salsa with an avocado added—tripling the absorption. That means if you eat tomatoes without some source of fat at the same meal—avocados, or nuts and seeds—most of that bright red, beautiful lycopene will end up in the toilet bowl rather than your bloodstream.

Same thing eating a salad composed of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. With a fat-free dressing, hardly any beta-carotene makes it into your body. But, add an avocado and 15 times more beta-carotene ends up circulating throughout your body. Do you have to use a whole avocado, though? What about half an avocado? Pretty much same effect; works just as well. What about a quarter of an avocado? We don’t know “the [minimum] amount of dietary fat required for optimum carotenoid absorption.” It may just be a few grams per meal though, in which case an eighth of an avocado would fit the bill, or just one or two walnuts.        

Interestingly, avocado consumption may not just enhance absorption of carotenoids, but then also enhance their subsequent conversion inside the body into vitamin A. People were given baby carrots with and without guacamole, and the same thing we saw before: way more beta-carotene in the bloodstream in the hours following the meal with the guacamole added, compared to the same amount of carrots alone. In fact, over six times more. And, since beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body, there should be six times more vitamin A too, right? No; they ended up with over 12 times more vitamin A.

There was also a big increase in vitamin K levels, another fat-soluble vitamin, though that’s partially because avocado contains vitamin K itself. Not too much, though, claims this avocado industry-sponsored review, that people on the anticoagulant medication Coumadin have to worry. But that’s not true. We’ve known for decades now that even though there’s not an inordinate amount of vitamin K in avocados, it still interferes with the drug Coumadin, also known as warfarin, though we’re not exactly sure why. It may boost your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or prevent absorption of the drug. But, either way, those on the blood thinner Coumadin may want to put walnuts on their salads instead.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: silviarita via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

Avocados have been described as “a major dietary source of antioxidants,” and this may be true compared to much of the stuff people eat. But, compared to other common fruits, avocados are not necessarily anything to write home about.

They do, however, contain those two carotenoid eye nutrients found in dark green leafy vegetables, lutein and zeaxanthin, which may explain why Mexican-Americans tend to beat out other ethnicities. The critical carotenoids are concentrated “in the dark[est] green flesh close to the peel.” And, because of this, consumers should be advised to use the “nick and peel” method to obtain the nutrient-rich outer section of the avocado. The Tufts University Nutrition & Health Letter detailed what that means:

“1. …[C]ut [the avocado] in half lengthwise around the seed.

2. Rotate a quarter-turn and cut lengthwise [again] to make quarter-avocado segments.

3. …[S]eparate the quarters and remove the seed.

4. …Starting from the tip, nick and carefully peel,” so as not to lose that nutrient-rich darkest green flesh immediately under the skin.

Avocados can also boost the absorption of the carotenoid phytonutrients in other vegetables, because carotenoids, like beta-carotene, are fat soluble. “However, many of our best foods for obtaining carotenoids—[like] sweet potatoes, carrots, and…greens, contain very little fat.” So, if you eat them straight, without any source of fat in your stomach, you may end up flushing a lot of that nutrition down the toilet.

Remember, it’s not what you eat; it’s what you absorb. Here’s the amount of beta-carotene that ends up in your bloodstream two, three, four, five, six hours after eating a little over a cup of salsa. There’s a little bump. And, the same thing with the red pigment lycopene. Okay, but now here’s that same amount of salsa with an avocado added—tripling the absorption. That means if you eat tomatoes without some source of fat at the same meal—avocados, or nuts and seeds—most of that bright red, beautiful lycopene will end up in the toilet bowl rather than your bloodstream.

Same thing eating a salad composed of lettuce, spinach, and carrots. With a fat-free dressing, hardly any beta-carotene makes it into your body. But, add an avocado and 15 times more beta-carotene ends up circulating throughout your body. Do you have to use a whole avocado, though? What about half an avocado? Pretty much same effect; works just as well. What about a quarter of an avocado? We don’t know “the [minimum] amount of dietary fat required for optimum carotenoid absorption.” It may just be a few grams per meal though, in which case an eighth of an avocado would fit the bill, or just one or two walnuts.        

Interestingly, avocado consumption may not just enhance absorption of carotenoids, but then also enhance their subsequent conversion inside the body into vitamin A. People were given baby carrots with and without guacamole, and the same thing we saw before: way more beta-carotene in the bloodstream in the hours following the meal with the guacamole added, compared to the same amount of carrots alone. In fact, over six times more. And, since beta-carotene is turned into vitamin A in the body, there should be six times more vitamin A too, right? No; they ended up with over 12 times more vitamin A.

There was also a big increase in vitamin K levels, another fat-soluble vitamin, though that’s partially because avocado contains vitamin K itself. Not too much, though, claims this avocado industry-sponsored review, that people on the anticoagulant medication Coumadin have to worry. But that’s not true. We’ve known for decades now that even though there’s not an inordinate amount of vitamin K in avocados, it still interferes with the drug Coumadin, also known as warfarin, though we’re not exactly sure why. It may boost your liver’s detoxifying enzymes or prevent absorption of the drug. But, either way, those on the blood thinner Coumadin may want to put walnuts on their salads instead.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: silviarita via Pixabay. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

This is part of my latest slew of avocado videos. For other burning guac questions, see:

Doesn’t the egg industry brag about lutein and zeaxanthin? You’ve got to be yolking! See my video Egg Industry Blind Spot.

Why would we care about lycopene absorption? Check out my videos Lycopene Supplements vs. Prostate Cancer and Tomato Sauce vs. Prostate Cancer.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here.

155 responses to “Are Avocados Good for You?

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  1. It’s fascinating how nutrient/food synergism plays such an important role in staying healthy. Nutrition science is probably just scratching the surface in this area. There are undoubtedly many more food interactions not discovered yet. My method of taking advantage of this concept is to blend a wide variety of foods together and eat it as a smoothie very slowly. And for the fat, I take a small spoonful of nut butter mix (walnut, pecan, almond, etc.) with my meal.

    1. If the carotenoids are close to the skin, why not do an extra step – take a spoon and scrape what’s left after peeling to make sure you capture everything?

      1. That’s exactly what I do since I saw that in an earlier video, I’ll cut the avocado in half, remove the seed, sprinkle a little hot sauce on the halves then scoop out the “meat” with a spoon, scraping the sides.

  2. If you have high cholesterol that will not get down to 150 or less on a purely whole food plant based diet. Is it better to continue to eat high fat nuts and seeds and avocados, or try to reduce your fat intake per Caldwell Esselstyn recommendations. If you do follow Esselstyn, does that mean you get a huge reduction in the amount of nutrients absorbed from your super healthy diet. Therefore, you seem to have the choice, cholesterol levels low enough to avoid heart disease, or phytonutrient absorption high enough to reduce all cause mortality. Or has this been Put To The Test?

    1. Perhaps Esselstyn would allow for ground flaxseed. I am fairly sure that this is not off his diet. Flaxseed has healthy fat, which could aid in absortion, but is very low in saturated fat and has a good omega 6/3 ratio. If I remember correctly, I think even John McDougall might allow up to one ounce of Walnuts per day in his diet. And Greger seems to say it doesn’t take THAT much fat to aid in absorption of these fat soluble Vitamins.

      1. I think the difference is, Esselstyn treats people with morbid heart and artery disease and his diet is a last ditch effort to prevent those people from dying, and to reverse the blockages. If your not in that boat then it’s probaly ok to eat some fat. My grandad ate 3 eggs and 3 slices of bacon and toast everyday of his life. Every single day! He lived to his early 70’s, when he was murdered. So I don’t know how much heart disease he had, but never had surgery or heart attack. The point is be careful with saturated fat, but unless your too far gone it’s probably alright to have some. BTW I’m not condoning bacon, just pointing out that it’s possible there more to artery disease than just cholesterol.
        I’m often amazed at people who’ve eaten crappy their entire life and wonder why the body won’t heal itself in a few months.

        1. David, I also am amazed at people who eat crappy all their lives, smoke packs of cigarettes a day, and never exercise and live into their 70s or 80s with no ill effects. Although, I always say I’d rather live by the rules and be safe than hope to be the exception to the rule and take my chances!

          1. Dr. Carleton Fredericks, PhD, used to call these amazing people “good eggs.”

            By that he meant there are some people who are just born constitutionally stronger. Their bodies are simply anomalies and one of life’s mysteries!

            Are *Seven* count’ em seven, CAPTCHA barriers really necessary to post? grr

        2. “I’m often amazed at people who’ve eaten crappy their entire life and wonder why the body won’t heal itself in a few months.”

          Exactly. It’s like some people don’t want to understand, even when the information or resources are given to them, that our bodies are intricate systems and we have to change our diets and allow them to heal and balance themselves out. I don’t understand it but it seem that some of the sickest people who are constantly in pain and miserable would still rather stick to their unhealthy habits and hope for a drug or supplement to fix everything right away than actually take it upon themselves to actually heal and become well. I don’t get annoyed at lack of awareness, I do get annoyed when people are uninterested even when given the information and resources and instead just continue on, keep complaining about their misery, and blow it off.

        3. Back in the 1970s, Mann et al autopsied the bodies of 50 Maasai tribesmen. They all had extensive atherosclerosis.

          “Measurements of the aorta showed extensive atherosclerosis with lipid infiltration and fibrous changes but very few complicated lesions. The coronary arteries showed intimal thickening by atherosclerosis which equaled that of old U.S. men. The Masai vessels enlarge with age to more than compensate for this disease. It is speculated that the Masai are protected from their atherosclerosis by physical fitness which causes their coronary vessels to be capacious.”
          https://academic.oup.com/aje/article-abstract/95/1/26/167903

          Another explanation is genetic adaptations. It is known for example that Maasai have “several specific genomic regions under selection ….. which contain polymorphisms in genes associated with lactase persistence and cholesterol regulation.”
          http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0044751

          Genetic differences between individuals in Western societies mean that some will be better adapted to survive high fat and high cholesterol diets than others. This may even apply to other lifestyle aspects like smoking. Mendelian randomisation studies have already shown the effects of genetically high/low cholesterol on heart disease risk.

          However, a healthy diet and lifestyle can vastly improve our chances of a long and healthy life in the huge majority of cases. Following on from this, overnight (my time at least) the (US) Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion recently of the issue of updated community wrkshop resources based on the 2015 US dietary guidelines. The first 5 are about diet and weight loss, while the sixth is about physical activity. They may be useful even though they aren’t promiting WFPB diets as such.

          https://health.gov/news/blog-bayw/2018/04/download-new-eat-healthy-be-active-community-workshops-based-on-the-2015-2020-dietary-guidelines-for-americans/?source=govdelivery&utm_medium=email&utm_source=govdelivery

          If anybody is thinking about offering wellness or nutrition education in their community, these may be very helpful. However, they aren’t vegetarian or vegan but it is important to note that the US dietary guidelines themselves clearly identify a healthy “vegetarian” dietary pattern (although this contains eggs and dairy which, the last time I checked, aren’t actually vegetables. The guidelines also state
          “in addition to meeting the same nutrient and Dietary Guidelines standards as the Healthy U.S.-Style Pattern. Based on a comparison of the food choices of these vegetarians to nonvegetarians in NHANES, amounts of soy products (particularly tofu and other processed soy products), legumes, nuts and seeds, and whole grains were increased, and meat, poultry, and seafood were eliminated. Dairy and eggs were included because they were consumed by the majority of these vegetarians. This Pattern can be vegan if all dairy choices are comprised of fortified soy beverages (soymilk) or other plant-based dairy substitutes.”
          https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-5/

          Therefore it should be entirely possible to deliver workshops that are WFPB and even vegan yet which are entirely consistent with the 2015-20 US dietary guidelines.

      2. As you can read here, Dr Esselstyn allows 1 – 2 tbsp ground flax or chia seeds on his plan, but no nuts or peanuts. His objection is that they are high in saturated fats. http://www.dresselstyn.com/site/faq/ I have seen people query him on this citing studies of the benefits of walnuts for example. His response was similar to Dr McDougall’s which was in effect, doubting that most people lack self control in eating nuts.. a view I find condenscending.

        Dr Ornish allows 3 or less ‘servings’ of nuts and seeds. As you can see here, the servings are teenie ie 1 walnut = 1 serving. https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/nutrition/

        Dr McDougall says repeatedly that nuts are for Christmas. I do not have a link.

    2. Have you reduced your intake of sodium enough?

      It wouldn’t surprise me if Dr. Esselstyn wasn’t aware of this information when he made that recommendation, given a lot of these studies are fairly new, and that he would probably suggest those 2 walnuts in a salad Dr Greger mentioned in the video or better yet the 2 tbsps per day of Ground Flax Seed Dr Greger , and Daniel, mentioned in previous videos not only for it’s Omega 3’s but the healthy fats and blood pressure lowering effects.

      After going on a whole food plant based/high carb low fat vegan diet, reducing my sodium intake (less than 1500 mg a day) and adding 2 tbsps of ground flax seed to smoothies (or whatever I can add it to) my cholesterol and blood pressure are normal after about 2 decades of being high.

  3. Just be careful about your teeth! Sipping smoothies (any form of grazing actually) tends to damage teeth more than separate meals after which you can rinse your mouth.

    1. Easy enough to rinse your mouth after grazing. You can also use a straw for smoothies. I’m a big fan of glass straws for their sustainability and being a safe material. I use hummingbird glass straws, you can get different widths. They have some wide ones that are good for thick smoothies.

  4. I do not have availability of avocados where I live in Bangalore. What would you recommend I add to my diet to adsorb beta carotene?

    1. Purnima, any whole plant food that is a good source of fat should work. Nuts and seeds or nut/seed butters, some people on here have mentioned olives which I love but I don’t eat a ton of them because they’re usually packed in a lot of salt (I actually rinse them off when I eat them, I’m not sure how much of the salt it gets rid of but I imagine it helps a bit).

    2. Hi Purnima – I’m Janelle, a Registered Dietitian and also a Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org. Thanks for your question! Adding another healthy source of fat at meals will help with absorption of beta carotene. This may include nuts (any type, with walnuts being an excellent choice – https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/walnuts/), seeds, nut butters, chia or flaxseeds for example. I hope this helps!

      1. So most of the benefits of the avocado is that it’s a fat? Seems a bit misleading to talk about the benefits of eating the avocado with all the other food when we can do the same with like you said walnuts or seeds.

    3. Don’t worry – nearly in every northern country, including Europe, Avocados has been unknown until several years ago. And? have you ever heard that the people of europe tent to die out because they haven’t have any avacados available? Bullshit!
      First of all, like Dr. Greger says also, any smal amoubnt of fat makes the fat-soluble vitamins available and, more interesting ist the question, is it necassary to get a big amount of fat-soluble vitamins or is a smaler absorption rate enough? Maybe the nature by it self has set this regulation, because to much is not better – remember al vitamins E,D,K,A you also can get to much!
      Hornestly, sometimes I hate my decision starting thinking about my nutritions – when I didn’t think about my foot to much, I ate what I liked – meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, olives, butter, bread, nuts, chocolate and I drunk beer, wine… the life has been much more easy by not to think to much about get I enough iodine today, what about enough vitamin c for enough iron absorption? Dit I get enough fiber today?
      I mean – it can be easily be overdone and if you always think about nutrition, food, health and so fort – your psyche will go down and you will went to go crasy despite all this healthy food.
      My advice for you is – in India you have so much good plant food, including nuts, seeds and (best of all) all this wounderful herbs – enjoy your life witout this stupid avocado!

      1. Yes, exactly! I went to the first source listed and saw that it was “Supported by: The California Avocado Commission, Irvine, CA”. I’m sure that avocado’s, as a source of fat, help with nutrient absorption. But that’s not the question. The question is two-fold: 1) what is the minimum fat that is helpful, and 2) what sources of fat are acceptable ways of getting that fat. If you only need a couple of grams of fat, then you can get that from quinoa, beans, etc… Or toss in a few nuts. Anyway, no need to especially avoid avocados or worry about it if you don’t have any.

        1. hi,

          Yes any kind of fat boost the absorption of liposoluble vitamins. So if you add nuts, almond, flaxseeds, peanuts or even coconut will work. We dont know exactly how much will be the right amount, I suggest at least 2 nuts or 3 almonds.

          Yared, Health Support Volunteer

    4. Hello Purnima. You could include cashew nuts in your diet, I’m sure just a few nuts daily would be as good as an avocado. Sesame seeds and sunflower seeds are also rich sources that are probably available in Bangladore. ❤️

  5. This video’s closed captioning is in Cyrillic for me. The Doc’s other videos don’t do that (just checked my settings).

    1. Mine was in Bulgarian (but that was on YouTube).for some reason.

      It’s fixed by just going into the settings and turning it off or going to English etc)

    1. Olives! That’s good news.

      I eat olives daily with my only meal (midday).

      But every week or so when my two brothers and I eat out, I order nothing but guacamole. I like olives by themselves so I’ll just snack on those when I need a nutrition boost from other foods.

  6. Dr. Greger,

    Great video. Raises a question though.

    Is there any available information on how close together should the foods with fats and those containing fat-soluble nutrients be eaten?

    For example, if I eat a big salad at lunch and eat a snack of nuts 2 to 3 hours later, is that close enough? Is my fat-richer dinner close enough to make my lunch nutrients bio-available? Or, do I really need to mix my salad and nuts or other fat-richer courses together?

    Thanks.

    1. Hi Ashok K Theresa, thanks for your question. Dr Greger indicates in his video that answer is: not fat-free, but fat-filled. What? Why? Because many of the phytonutrients in salad are fat soluble, and so our body needs fat to absorb them. The bioavailability of nutrients is higher when you take in fat. In the study they did assess this and the absorption was better when some fat was eaten with the meal. So for example a few almonds or seeds or sesame seed dressing or cashew nut dressing would be a good choice.
      Forego Fat-Free Dressings?</a

    2. For carotenoids, a smidge of fat from whole fruits/nuts in the same meal boosts absorption. By smidge, I mean the amount contained in a single walnut or a spoon of avocado. This is because the absorption occurs early in transit, in the stomach. Several hours after a meal, food in the stomach has long left the station. That said, don’t sweat the small stuff. A diet of whole fruits, whole vegetables, whole grains, and beans will help you meet each of your health goals.

      Good luck! Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  7. If they ever do a study on the minimums, some of us would be interested.

    I am going to be telling my brother to try a spoonful of tomato paste or a cup of tomato sauce or tomato juice with a few walnuts for prostate cancer.

    Those are the little bits of information where someone could try something like tomato sauce and still blow it.

    I am wondering how much he would really need if he isn’t gonna go WFPB.

    Pizza didn’t work.

    Somehow I have to get very good at making vegan pizzas and have them try it, because some day, it might be what saves their lives.

    1. So you’re saying you brother has prostate cancer and won’t go WFPB? Has he watched the NF videos on prostate cancer? Has he watched Dr. Greger’s “Year in Review” videos? Has he read “How Not to Die”?

      1. Thanks for the link to The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show, recipes are always welcome in my repertoire.

        I want to say something about this new term “WFPB SOS-free”. By design, whole food plant based is without oil, sugar and salt because there is no wholeness in those 3 things. I think it looks kinda stupid that one needs to add sos free. But to be fair, lots of wfpb recipes still include stuff that shouldn’t be there, so it might make things more clear for some. I have seen the term “Vegan SOS-free” also. I don’t know where the term originates perhabs Cheff AJ? I still like wfpb more as it is pure science based without the moralistic nature that a term like veganism implies. I eat wfpb because of the science related to human health, not for the “planet”, not for the animals.

        I think people need to be a little more humble while they are “saving the planet”, you are not, you might be saving the ecosystem that enables multiple cellular life but let’s be honest, the earth is not exactly dying here. Humans live on a very thin layer on earth’s crust that compromises less then 1% of the earth’s mass. Even life itself does not care, it can continue without humans and white rhino’s thanks to the micro-organisms deep in the earth’s surface. It’s not that I am against white rhino’s or against humans or multiple cellular life. it’s just don’t bother me with it, things are as they are because that is the current state of affairs in the economic-political-scientific dimension. Maybe things will change but then they will change structurally, not because I used a paper bag instead of a plastic bag at the supermarket. At least food and health is something you can do right now, on a personal level, with 100% influence on your own health.

        So anyway, this pizza recipe from The Whole Food Plant Based Cooking Show has something wrong with it (despite being sos-free, wfpb). And I see this in lots of recipes, what is wrong here is the calorie density of the food. The daily dozen asks for 1/4 cup of nuts per day. One pizza from this recipes has 10 times as much nuts as recommended for a day. This is pizza is a dessert, if you eat both pizza’s you would have eaten 20 times the daily recommended amount of nuts from the daily dozen!

        One of these pizza’s has more then 2050 ckal’s, ans that is only the calories from the nuts and seeds! That is all the calories some people need in an entire day. Eat both pizza’s and you would have eaten enough for 2 days…!

        People on WFPB tend to have a BMI between 18-22, but if we continue with these cooking shows and this way of eating becomes the standard, get ready for overweight wfpb eaters…

        Take a look at the daily dozen app and the recommended amounts. Learn about calorie density and where “normal food” that you can eat ad libitum ends and where medium and high calorie density food starts.

        1. Netgogate, first I’ll adress your comments on calories and how we “should” be eating…

          All WFPB essentially means is for one’s diet to be built up of whole plant foods. But technically it doesn’t take much for something to be “processed.” And even Dr. Greger permits using some processed foods in recipes. In some cases, processing can actually make something more beneficial in certain ways, such as certain tomatoe products.
          By its strictest definition, I’m not even sure if nutritional yeast qualifies as a “whole food,” yet it’s an extremely beneficial one to most. Vinegar certainly doesn’t qualify as “whole” yet has a number of benefits. I could go on and on.
          If someone is entirely WFPB, depending on how strictly they decide to define it, good for them, but good for anyone else who differs slightly as well.

          Calories are an archaic concept to my mind basing my stance off of all I’ve learned through scientific literature (not saying it isn’t still valued in the scientific world), and observations and my own experience. I am very thin and I eat SO many calories. I just eat until I’m full and don’t worry about how many nuts or calories I’m getting. I’ve found that the longer I’ve been a WFPB vegan (yes that is a moral term, not a diet one, so you’re correct it shouldn’t be used if only for diet) the faster my metabolism seemed to become. I even initially lost weight eating a diet very high in calories but from healthy plant sources. I notice I never gain weight either. Everyone is different so I’m not trying to define mankind based on my experience but through observations, it does not appear to be as significant to worry about caloric intake as previously and even still currently thought so much as where those calories are coming from.

          Dr. Greger’s daily dozen is a very helpful guideline, but it it does not mean that people who eat less or more of something are wrong or doing something bad… they could be doing something good even! I mean his reccomendations even vary from other doctors who reccomend wfpb eating. Your obesity concerns would hold more weight (no pun intended, just a happy coincidence) if the very cooking show host weren’t thin and fit as is her daughter who has a recipe on the channel and the host has before and after pictures up and has lost weight eating the recipes she makes for her family.

          Meanwhile, Freelee looks like she needs at least 50 more bananas a day but we’ve learned that it takes more energy to break down raw foods which is just another example of how the source of the calorie is more significant than the number of calories… I liked how one doctor once put it (read it a couple years ago, don’t remember the name), so to ROUGHLY paraphrase, if our bodies were simple machines then the whole “calories in calories out” idea would make sense, but we are complex beings, 100 calories of broccoli would react very differently than 100 calories worth of a snickers bar.

          No prob for the link.

          But onto your global warming denialist themed comments… yes humans are actually destroying the planet through our horrifically unsustainable actions and yes, animal agriculture is one of the most detrimental things to the planet and yes plastic bags are a huge epidemic causing absolute horror to wildlife and the coral reefs. I’m sure it’s easy for you from where you’re sitting to say otherwise, but that’s why it’s usually the people who witness these things like the great plastic island in the ocean, the wasteland that was the Salton Sea, the country of Indonesia (in general), the dying coral reefs, etc., or the people studying these issues, who report what’s really happening to the planet. And common sense dictates I don’t need to explain why such reports to the contrary by opinionated commenters hold little relevance.
          It must be a luxurious thing to care so little for others, but your apathy doesn’t really mean much.
          I do admire your ego though, I certainly wouldn’t have it in me to be able to tell others exactly what will happen and why and how it will happen to a planet that’s been here billions of years before us with an ecosystem that even the most well researched environmental scientists cannot fully define or comprehend…. Speaking of approaching things with humility…

          It only takes about a calorie’s worth of common sense too see that human behavior is destroying an entire planet’s brilliant ecosystem and causing unbearable suffering in doing so.

      2. The vegan pizza crust recipe contains 177 grams of fat from just the almond meal and flax meal. That is more than a week’s worth of fat for me. I would not think it healthy for anyone.

        1. I disagree Donna. I’m extremely healthy and don’t worry about that (“that” being fat from healthy whole plant foods). But I don’t believe someone would typically sit down and eat this entire pizza. I suspect science will reveal that fats from whole plant foods aren’t the same as extracted isolated fats or animal sources of fat. In the meantime, I approach it differently but certainly don’t advise others and don’t pretend to have any medical authority.

          1. Also, I find with high fat plant foods, that they tend to fill you up much faster. Not only do I want to stop eating once my body signals I’ve had enough, but I couldn’t eat if I tried. But I do remember back when I was a vegetarian, I could keep eating incredibly fatty foods from horrible sources and yet it didn’t give me that full feeling like I get from nuts and seeds or things made with nuts and seeds. It’s hard to overeat things like that in my opinion.

    1. Yes, I try to have a bit of oil with everything which might contain oil soluble nutrients and generally within a half hour. FWIW, a “couple of walnuts” , meaning two, weigh about 10 grams with 6 grams of oil which one would think should do for a whole meal and scaling back from there for snacks.

      1. Cool, so then I would imagine that adding my 2 tbsp of golden ground flax in my morning smoothies is more than efficient for enhancing nutrient absorption?

  8. does it necessarily have to be eaten at the same meal to help the absorption? Could you say eat an avocado toast in the morning for breakfast at 10:00am then have ur smoothie with all your greens and veggies at 1:00pm and would the avocado fat still help with the absorption of nutrients of the smoothie eaven tho it was eaten 3 hours prior. I guess its prob easier to just save 1/4 the avocado and throw in smoothie but thought i’d ask since was curious if its a meal to meal thing or if theres a time limit for the affects.

    1. Hi chris. The avocado or other fat source must be eaten at the same meal. After a couple of hours your first meal is completely digested, so adding avocado won’t enhance the absorption of carotenoids that have already been digested.

      So save some of that morning avocado to eat with your green smoothie for lunch.

      Ever since i stopped using salad dressing, I put half an avocado on my large salad everyday.

    2. Chris,
      When making my smoothie, along with the kale (and other greens) I add a couple of tablespoons of ground flax seed and two tablespoons of raw shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas) along with generous 1/2 cup of frozen berries. This provides sufficient fat for nutrient absorption.

      Cheers!

  9. Great video! It raises the following question for me, however: my skeptical friends are likely to watch this video and use it as a justification to eat bad fats like soybean oil in commercial salad dressing. Anyone know of a video (or other information) comparing the effects on nutrient absorption from the use of avocados as done here to using another “bad” fat like soybean oil in the same way?

      1. Julie, I am aware that all oils impair arterial function, although I still appreciated the link ;). Just trying to fight denial on any front I can and learn what I can myself, so my question still stands.

    1. JKRich, I’m not sure about any videos specific to what you’re looking for, but I would argue back in saying that yes, that fat likely WILL also enhance nutrient absorption, but it’s also adding something harmful to the body and like Dr. Greger says, food is a package deal.

  10. Another fabulous video!
    And good news for avocado lovers…myself included.

    Glad to see the mention of vitamin K1.
    Hoping Dr. Greger will share more info on K1 and K2.
    Especially their effects on calcium and atherosclerosis.

    1. You might find this study interesting.

      Cardiovascular Disease Death Before Age 65 in 168 Countries Correlated Statistically with Biometrics, Socioeconomic Status, Tobacco, Gender, Exercise, Macronutrients, and Vitamin K.

      BACKGROUND: Nutrition researchers recently recognized that deficiency of vitamin K2 is widespread and contributes to cardiovascular disease (CVD). The deficiency of vitamin K2 or vitamin K inhibition with warfarin leads to calcium deposition in the arterial blood vessels.

      RESULTS: Female and male cohorts in countries that have vitamin K2 < 5µg per 2000 kcal/day per capita (n = 70) had about 2.2 times the rate of early CVD deaths as people in countries with > 24 µg/day of vitamin K2 per 2000 kcal/day (n = 72). The attributable risks of the variables in the CVD early death formula were: too much alcohol (0.38%), too little vitamin K2 (6.95%), tobacco (6.87%), high blood pressure (9.01%), air pollution (9.15%), early childhood death (3.64%), poverty (7.66%), and male gender (6.13%).

      1. Interesting but the results may simply be a statistical assocaition resulting from confounding by other variables. Eg by the fact that both poor countries, and poor people in wealthy countries, have lower rates of K2 consumption than wealthy countries and wealthy people.

        Another example in this same article may be that
        “the current study found that exercise correlated positively with early CVD death (i.e. the more the physical activity the more the early CVD deaths) in the univariate analysis (exercise: r = 0.35, P < 0.0001)."

        which seems at odds with most other studies which usually find that exercise is associated with decreased mortality risk.

        1. The multiple regression formula included socioeconomic factors including poverty and found an independant CVD risk of vitamin K2 deficiency.

          This study was attempting examine the factors leading to early CVD death before age 65 years, which is more common in low and middle-income countries. In general, the positive benefits of exercise relate to decreased mortality risk rather than risk of early death such as early CVD death.

          Although there was an associated with Vitamin K2 deficiency and early CVD death, there was no such associated with Vitamin K1.

          In conjunction with vitamin D, vitamin K2 regulates the deposition of calcium, so bones and teeth receive calcium while blood vessels such as coronary arteries do not. Vitamin K-dependent proteins in arterial walls require vitamin K2 and not vitamin K1 to prevent the deposition of calcium and the stiffening of arterial walls. Vitamin K2’s role in keeping calcium out of arteries and into bones may account for its beneficial role in blood pressure as well as early CVD deaths.

          Vitamin K1 comes primarily from green leafy vegetables. Some vitamin K2 comes from dietary animal products without bacterial action. Other vitamin K2 originates from bacterial action in animal and human guts and from bacterial action in fermenting plants and dairy products..

          Fermented plant based foods such as sauerkraut, miso, and natto might be healthful way to boost vitamin K2 levels rather than relying on animal products. Otherwise I’m not sure how we can ensure adequate vitamin K2 with a WFPB diet.

          I would also love

          1. Well said Alex.
            Thank you for the additional info and clarification around K1/K2 and K2’s importance for healthy bones and vessels.

            I have been finding mixed opinions/info regarding Miso as a source for K2.
            Do you happen to have any resources for that?

          2. Thank Alex.

            “The multiple regression formula included socioeconomic factors including poverty and found an independant CVD risk of vitamin K2 deficiency.”

            That is what the article says. However, it found for K2 consumption a decreased risk of 6.95% in all countries but only a 0.77% decrease in risk in wealthy cohorts. I am no statistician but this suggests to me that the regression formula used here inadequately controls for poverty.

            “In general, the positive benefits of exercise relate to decreased mortality risk rather than risk of early death such as early CVD death.”

            Do you have a source for this statement? As far as I know, the mainstream view is that exercise helps reduce the risk of early CVD death. My assumption was that this finding was a statistical artifact resulting from the fact that poor people are more likely to engage in arduous manual labour and less likely to own a car etc (and therefore likely to spend more time walking). However, that is just an assumption on my part – I woud be very interested to see any data you have on this.

            1. “That is what the article says. However, it found for K2 consumption a decreased risk of 6.95% in all countries but only a 0.77% decrease in risk in wealthy cohorts.”

              The paper specifically addressed issues regarding poverty. The authors state that: “The big differences in the subset analyses of the wealthiest countries (n = 35, cohorts = 70) and the poor countries (n = 133, cohorts = 266) may be attributable to the factors in Table14“.

              The authors further argue that: “Wealthy countries tended to have more dietary animal products, sugar, and vitamin K2 along with higher mean BMIs and FBSs (fasting blood sugars), while cohorts in poor countries had higher mean SBPs (systolic blood pressure). As people in developing countries have adopted the diets and lifestyles of those in Western countries, their premature deaths from CVD have declined, but, like people in wealthy countries, they have become increasingly susceptible to obesity and type 2 diabetes.”

              This finding supports the authors contention that vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the risk factors in early CVD death that occurs in poorer countries. Or to put it another way, wealthier countries have higher consumption of vitamin K2 and thus lower rates of early CVD death.

              “The current study found that exercise correlated positively with early CVD death (i.e. the more the physical activity the more the early CVD deaths) in the univariate analysis.”

              The above correlation is from a univariate analysis – in other words, no confounders were accounted for. The authors specifically state that exercise was not included in the multiple regression formula for CVD risk because of the association of exercise with other CVD risk factors. In other words, no conclusion can be made on the correlation of exercise with early CVD risk in this study because it was not included in the multiple regression formula.

              I think a more detailed discussion on the statistical analysis of this paper are probably not relevant to this site! The take how message is that vitamin K2 may be an under recognized risk factor in the development of CVD and further research is needed. The issue of vitamin K2 is certainly now on my radar!

              1. Other human obervational studies have also demonstrated an associated between CVD risk and vitamin K2 deficiency.

                An eight-year-long observational study involving 4,807 men and women aged 55 years and older in Rotterdam, Netherlands found that people in the lowest tertile of intake (vitamin K2 32.7 µg/day).

                As per the Multi-Ethnic Study of Atherosclerosis (MESA) in the United States, CVD incidence over 11 years of observation increased progressively as vitamin K2-dependent protein activity decreased, with event rates of 5.9 and 11.7 per 1000 person-years in the highest and lowest quartiles, respectively.

                A recent paper also discusses the role of vitamin K2 in bone health.

                “Inadequate calcium intake can lead to decreased bone mineral density, which can increase the risk of bone fractures. Supplemental calcium promotes bone mineral density and strength and can prevent osteoporosis (ie, porous bones), particularly in older adults and postmenopausal women. However, recent scientific evidence suggests that elevated consumption of calcium supplements can raise the risk for heart disease and can be connected to accelerated deposit of calcium in blood vessel walls and soft tissue.

                In contrast, vitamin K2 is associated with the inhibition of arterial calcification and arterial stiffening, which means that increased vitamin K2 intake could be a means of lowering calcium-associated health risks. However, since 1950, the consumption of vitamin K has decreased gradually, and even a well-balanced diet might not provide vitamin K in amounts sufficient for satisfying the body’s needs.”

                Some food for thought regarding vitamin K2 deficiency and calcium supplementation.

                  1. It is my understanding that vitamin K2 is produced as an endogenous substance by our bodies by intestinal bacteria and serve similar purpous as vitamin K1.

                    The reason for why you can find studies that can isolate health benefits from K2 is probably is as follows.

                    Vitamin K1 is coming from eating things like greens. Vitamin K2 is coming from intestinal bacteria.
                    Healthy people not only eat more K1 from greens they also produce more vitamin K2, endogenous synthesis is always higher in healthier people as with hormones, vitamin D etc…

                    That is why these studies can find a correlation for K2 with health benefits. These benefits are not caused by the K2 they are coming from people who are healthier to begin with.

                    Even if you would consider taking a supp K2, which you should not. The safety and efficacy has not yet been proven in a clinically controlled trial. And that’s the end of that.

                    1. I know Dr. Fuhrman advises you to take the supp but he also is selling the thing. As in making money when you buy that bottle. Better buy one off his cookbooks.

              2. Thanks Alex

                However, I can’t follow your argument

                “This finding supports the authors contention that vitamin K2 deficiency is one of the risk factors in early CVD death that occurs in poorer countries. Or to put it another way, wealthier countries have higher consumption of vitamin K2 and thus lower rates of early CVD death.”

                That argument just doesn’t seem consistent with the argument that regression analysis took adequate account of factors like poverty.

                That said, I agree that further discussion of the statistical analysis would be unproductive especially since my statistical skills are very limited. However, the point is that observational studies like this are notoriously vulnerable to confounders. Especially multi-country analyses. This study seems a fairly weak justification for recommendations to consume more foods containing K2.

                However, if you are interested in K2, Life Extension Foundation has published some interesting reviews of studies on K2 over the years. Of course, LEF is essentially a seller of supplements so their analyses have to be treated with some caution
                http://www.lifeextension.com/Search#q=Vitamin%20K2&sort=relevancy&f:hierarchicalcategory=%5BMagazines%5D

                As for the exercise point, I was trying to get some info about your previous statement that “In general, the positive benefits of exercise relate to decreased mortality risk rather than risk of early death such as early CVD death.” which again I am finding very difficult to understand.

                .

      2. Alex, It is interesting info. Thank you for posting it! Hopefully, more studies/info will bring to light the importance of vitamin K2 for CVD and Atherosclerosis.

        Links:

  11. Hooray! More reasons to enjoy delicious avocados! I actually “greased” a cake pan using an avocado a few weeks ago and it worked perfectly! So now I’m going to try to use it for “oiling” the pan for sautéing, excited to see how it comes out. I’ve been water sautéing and even though things come out tasting good, often just as good or arguably more good in some cases, I do sometimes miss the dark caramelized effect it has on the onions or the little bit of crispiness on certain foods like sweet potatoes and kale so it will be pretty awesome if the avocado works in a similar way.

  12. This raises questions for me about how much fat I need with the meal. If I heard Greger correctly, they are not quite sure what the minimum is. While I have not gone as far as Esselstyn in reducing fat, I do make sure I keep total fat intake down as I have been diagnosed with arteriosclerosis of my coronary arteries. It’s not highly advanced but I am out to reverse it. I’ve reduced my cholesterol by 69% with a plantbased fat component. But I was still shy of the 150 or lower goal coming in at 153 total cholesterol. Recently I measured my daily intake using Cronometer and was surprised to discover I was often getting as much as 17 to 20% fat in my daily meal. I get my fat mostly from nuts and seeds and also some soy products. So I took out the 14grams of nuts I have with my morning oatmeal and am now achieving a 10 to 15% daily fat intake. There is however 1 cup of soy milk and 1 T of ground flax seed with my breakfast meal. Is that enough? I have 14g of nuts or seed with lunch and dinner. Another surprise source of fat, though not a huge one, was dijon mustard. It’s not really a surprise when you stop to think about it as it is made with a seed. Dijon is typically discounted as a nutritional player other than the higher sodium content. But is it a player in the fat conversation? I cut back on the Dijon when I saw this. I’m now reconsidering that. A tablespoon of Dijon contains .87g of fat, which is probably more than I get on a serving of salad but I do eat huge salads. Is that enough to enhance absorption of all those wonderful nutrients? Any one know? Otherwise, I’ll be sure to reserve a few grams of nuts for my salad or put some nut butter into my actual dressing recipes.

    PS: This video doesn’t address the quantity conversation. It may be true that eating a salad with a fat free dressing greatly reduces absorption of nutrients, but we still absorb some. What then, do we say if the size of that salad is very large. My salad is often big enough to serve what typical people would see as four servings of salad. I typically eat a 1/2 lb salad. I actually intentionally add some denser heavier vegetables like carrots, broccoli, tomatoes and cabbage to scale down the volume and make eating it manageable.

    1. Craig,

      What a fabulous process you just did!

      I have been doing the same types of thoughts mentally.

      The flax seed stays. The handful of walnuts probably stays. The cup of soy milk in my latte is something, which I want to keep.

      I got rid of the Avocado, which I often was having in my wraps, and I have been symbolically pulling my hair out trying to figure out how many almond servings or cashew servings or soy servings are in some of my cheeses or milks.

      Laughing, because I know I am eating so many fruits and vegetables, because I want microgreens and broccoli sprouts and pomegranate seeds and all sorts of other super foods. I had never thought that I wouldn’t be absorbing the nutrients.

      Do I have to eat my oatmeal with flax seed and walnuts and salad ingredients altogether at breakfast?

      1. Have you thought about an alternative to soymik in your latte?

        It’s known that soy milk blocks the benefits of tea. There’s a possibility it could do the same for coffee.
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/soymilk-suppression/

        This is why I usually drink my tea and coffee black. However, on those rare occasions when I do add milk, it is oat milk (it is still possible that oat milk could block the benefits also but this hasn’t been tested)

  13. If I only want to have say 1/4 of an avocado per day, how can I preserve the remainder? I have tried putting it in water and lemon juice, nothing seems to keep it from going yucky brown. If I could just make it last for two days That would be great. I don’t want to overeat avocados – so easy to do – so delicious.

    1. I think this came up in the comments from another avocado video but can’t remember all the suggestions. I do recall suggesting that a good way to keep the air from the remaining avocado was to cover it in coconut oil. Coconut oil has anti-bacterial qualities and should seal out any air. I assume one could just wrap the remaining avocado pieces in a paper towel before eating if they didn’t want to consume it.

    2. Watercress, I cut avocado in half, use one half, and put the other half peel side down (with pit out), fill with lime juice, turn it over and push down in the lime juice, peel side up.
      Need to use a container only big enough for the avocado piece.
      If the avocado is not too ripe when cut, it will keep till the next day in the frig. Just have to scape off a bit of brown in the center.
      Having my half for the day, chopped up on top of homemade black lentil soup.

    3. Make guacamole with it and add more lemon juice than you have and put it in an air tight container? Maybe.

      I wonder if you could just put it in an OXO type container as is? Not sure.

      I do know that my local grocery store puts enough lemon in their guacamole that it doesn’t brown the same way that Whole Foods did.

      It doesn’t work perfectly, but I can buy their big container of it and use it for a few days after opening and the Whole Foods one went bad the next day.

    4. Also… if the avocado is very ripe or over ripe, they seem to brown faster.
      It’s just oxidation, similar to what happens to apples, and although it can be unappealing, it’s not “spoiled”.

    5. Hi Watercress – I’m Janelle, a Registered Dietitian and also a Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org. Thanks for your question! A few suggestions I have for storing the remainder of a cut avocado include: 1) Continue to squeeze a little lemon/lime juice on the exposed part of the avocado. 2) Also tightly cover the avocado either by wrapping it with plastic wrap (this has worked well for me every single time) or putting it in a sealed container. 3) And lastly, I’d recommend then putting it into the refrigerator to store for an additional 1-2 days maximum. I hope this helps!

    6. Freezing would probably work but I’m not sure how good they’d taste later on. I do know they make avocado ice cream though (I’ve never tried it but have had avocado used for other desserts and it works really well), so I’m sure the freezing doesn’t ruin it.

  14. Hi Craig Addy, thanks for your question. I could not find any particular research to explain the quantity of fat for absorption of phytochemical. Yes, but it depends on the nutrient and the content of the meal. Fat-soluble vitamins, such as A , D, E,K are better absorbed with a meal containing at least a little fat. But if the meal contains lots of fiber, that will block the absorption of a portion of some minerals. Vitamin C does help your body absorb iron from nonheam sources, but only if these nutrients arrive in your intestines at the same time, which usually means they must be eaten at the same meal. The mustard you mention for example a tablespoon has 2.3 g fat and if you have a small amount of nuts and seeds form your daily amount with your salads I think you are doing good.

    1. Thank you spring03 That gives me some peace of mind around the issue. Perhaps there is no conclusive guidelines for this issue at this time. I think I’ll make a point of being sure there is a small amount of fat in all my salad and vegetable dishes. That’ll be easy given I am already doing that most of the time. Thanks for the reminder about the vitamin C too. I’ll pay a little more attention to that too.

      My blood work was pretty much stellar across the board last time. I guess that’s the most important thing to pay attention too and watch. I’m paying particular attention to the fat issue with the intention of nudging that total cholesterol down below 150. I’m so close as it is. I’m sure I can do it.

  15. I really appreciate what Dr. Greger does, but I have concerns regarding what seems to be the promotion of the idea that if something is good for us, then more of it is better for us! Is there a reason to believe that increase absorption of nutrients that the addition of avocado or walnut causes is necessary? Or, in general, should we be eating nutrient dense food? Is there a problem that nutrients that are not necessary or do not get absorbed be washed out of our bodies? Or, that when we eat nutrient dense food such as nuts regularly, we put unnecessary load on our organs on a daily basis? I personally have been living on fruits , vegetables, and some beans for years, and have not shown or felt lack of any nutrients in my Physical Exams or overall health! Again, thanks for promoting human food!

    1. I just wrote the health benefits of avocado when associated with other nutrients. “The avocado affair” means how the avocado is not only a mythic aphrodisiac fruit but a carrier to help the nutrients to be presented to the cellular membrane to be absorbed and start to work. As the other rare plants coming from the Jurassic era, avocado has numerous nutrients now subjects to pharmacology investigations. The book is going to be in bookstores in May after numerous delays from the publisher. We are all excited to see people using Avocados to improve pregnancy, brain development and help to age graciously.

    2. Great point, and thanks much for your comment. He does mention that the amount of healthy fat in just one walnut is sufficient to boost carotenoid and lycopene absorption. That said, eating the way you are doing, with diverse whole fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and beans (and supplementing with B12) will prevent deficiency and provide all of the complex phytonutrients we need to thrive.

      -Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  16. With regard to vit K, leafy green salad should contain plenty of it, and whether you help its absorption with avocados or walnuts it shouldn’t make much difference.

  17. This is interesting but to be frank I find the taste of avocadoes and salad oils unpleasant so I won’t using avocadoes or oils for any purpose.

    However, I usually have oats for breakfast. 100 grams of dry oats contain 7 grammes of fat. With salad or wholemeal pasta , I usually add a generous handful of olives and/or chickpeas. With rice, on my table it’s usually paired with tempeh or beans and perhaps with a banana or a handful of raw peanuts for desserts. All of these food combinations seem (to me at least) to deliver adequate amounts of fat for nutrient absorption without needing to resort to avocadoes or oils/dressings

    Am I wrong? Do we really need to ensure we eat high fat foods like avocaoes, oils/dressings or tree nuts with every meal to ensure effective nutrient absorption?

    1. Also, 100 g of whole wheat bread contains more than 3 grammes of fat.

      Even a couple of medium sized boiled potatoes or a couple of cups of (dry) white rice will give us those three grammes of fat.

      Worrying about adding high fat foods to meals seems unnecessary if we eat plenty of these starchy foods. Or am I missing something here?

      Note that this info comes form the SelfNutritionData website
      http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/cereal-grains-and-pasta/5812/2

      1. Tom, your logic sounds sound to me.

        My question would be what did the people actually eat to not have the nutrition absorb, if the numbers you said are real?

        The answer to that question would tell me if we need higher fat foods or not.

        It would make it hard for anyone to fall short, but people do.

        1. Also I ponder that nuts are linked to longevity.

          I don’t know if it is because of nutrition getting to the brain or something else, but….

          Again, if meats and dairy has fats and junk food has fats and potatoes and wheat bread has fats, then what in the world were the people eating to not have the nutrition get to the brain? How did we even find out about it?

    2. There is significant individual variation in both absorption of b-carotene as well as conversion of b-carotene to Vitamin A.

      Some individuals are characterized as responders and others as low- or nonresponders. In this study, the mean absorption of b-carotene was 3.32% when given together with 16g fat. In other studies where b-carotene was dissolved in oil and emulsified, absorption of b-carotene was 9-17%.

      If you are a low or nonsresponder, this can be an issue if your only source of vitamin A is from plant based b-carotene. The type of fat doesn’t affect the absorption of b-carotene, but the quantity of fat does – for some people more than others. I agree with Dr Greger that adding some extra fat is helpful for absorption of b-carotene – particularly in people who eat a WFPB diet.

      Since there is so much individual variation, if you could always discuss getting a Vitamin A level done with your physician during your next blood panel.

      Regarding the other fat soluble vitamins – vitamin D is mostly produced in the skin via UVB light. Dietary vitamin D is much less important, although consumption of a small amount of fat (11g) was shown in increase absorption of vitamin D. Vitamins E and K are not routinely tested.

      1. Alex, it’s my understanding that there doesn’t appear to be a difference in absorption of oral vitamin d supplementation whether it’s taken with fat, with meals, or on an empty stomach. Some studies had shown fat helps, others showed slightly more was absorbed with no fat, and basically it was just mixed and there doesn’t seem to by any significant difference.

        1. I am sure there is interindividual variation with vitamin D absorption.

          One study showed that vitamin D is best absorbed with a low-to-moderate amount of fat, compared to no fat or lots of fat. 11 grams of fat lead to higher absorption than either 35 grams or 0 grams, at 16% higher and 20% higher respectively, although it didn’t affect plasma vitamin D levels.

          Another study showed a 32% higher vitamin D levels when people ate a meal with 30 grams of fat, compared to a fat-free meal.

          Keep in mind that both of these studies examine the effects of a monthly 50,000 IU vitamin D-3 supplement rather than daily dosing.

          Nevertheless, given that vitamin D is a fat soluble vitamin, it makes sense to take vitamin D supplements with at least some fat or at the very least with food rather than on an empty stomach.

            1. Great point kb – Sublingual and IM doses of vitamin D are taken directly into the bloodstream so don’t have the same issues with bioavailability and potential malabsorption than oral doses of vitamin D.

    3. Tom, it certainly can’t be true for all sources of antioxidants. I read a study conducted with cold pressed water melon juice vs consumption of tomato paste with oil and those drinking the watermelon juice with no cooking and no added fats had just as much (maybe more, I don’t remember specific numbers but they were relatively the same either way) lycopene in the blood as those in the tomato paste/oil group.

      Also, according to various things I’ve read, antioxidants in green tea are supposedly best absorbed when green tea is taken on an empty stomach, of course I’m not sure what research they’re going by. But I don’t think the main antioxidants in tea are fat soluble.

      It’s also been my understanding, based on things I’ve read, that cooked tomato products have bioavailable lycopene but that it’s raw tomatoes which need to be eaten with fat to get any lycopene, but perhaps even with cooked tomatoes you get more with fat?

      Then I wonder how much of an influence black pepper may have. Could we need less fat if we add black pepper? Do we absorb just as much curcumin if turmeric is taken with black pepper vs. black pepper and fat?

    4. Tom, the video seems to suggest as I read it that they do not really know the lowest level of fat that may have this effect.
      A quarter cup of avocado seems tested but that is still a large amount of fat. Below that is seemingly a unknown.
      Your diet as described has varying sources of fat present in measurable amounts.
      Just my personal opinion here as another blogger with no special qualification….I would not at all sweat the fine print for the story…..your choices seem very well thought and are providing fat in sufficient quantity to perform normal metabolic functions and assumed absorption of nutrients until or unless proven otherwise.

      You could of course have blood work done with a specific focus to confirm my assumption as you know. Avocadoes seem greezy to me so I only eat them occasionally in or as dips.
      I eat plenty of fats so don’t have a dog in the fight of the no fat crowd. I do add a tiny bit of hemp oil to my smoothie in the mornings. I’d guess like a tenth of a teaspoon to aid absorption. But I have bunches of stuff in my smoothies, leafy greens berries all sorts of things, beets arugula mustard greens today ;)
      Some have theorized Pritikin may have had more success with his fight against cancer if he was not of the no fat crowd. But I suspect that is all theory no science to it.
      Problems with high blood pressure high cholesterol body weight or some similar issues of course one must go the no fat added route to my opinion.
      Others I suggest should be moderate in intake. I want to be around my weight to maintain some strength and could not with no fat. Though even my diet would be considered low fat by American standards.

      If on no added fat I would add vegan EPA DHA supplementation. That is a fat but probably a healthy one to take.

      I am still trying to figure out how my goji berries show 120% of Vitamin A by content analysis on the package by serving but vegans seem worried about beta-c absorption?
      What am I missing there?
      I don’t think the video is implying things like we should add fat to our green tea to enhance its nutritive absorption properties. That is simply silly.
      Eating a bunch of healthy foods with significant fiber as well….that common sense wise evolutionarily wise may have a positive by a small amount of fat such as found in oatmeal or other source. Our ancestors did not include fats commonly as we may oils, but they likely did not also exclude for fats as E and some other docs advocate. They had to have eaten nuts and such. I agree with one poster who says his focus, E, is to combat and treat CVD. Not all have CVD.
      High cholesterol I would not go eat some fat for nutrient absorption, that also would be silly.

      1. Thanks Ron. That all sounds very sensibe to me.

        I think the fuss about vitamin A and vegetarian diets essentially is dust raised by paleo and animal food advocates who need a reason to justify their diets. Since plant foods don’t contain pre-formed vitamin A, they use this as an argument against vegetarian diets and for animal foods diets.

        However, like beta carotene, the preformed vitamin A in animal foods still has to be tranformed into retinol and retinoic acid to be useful so there isn’t much dfifference in principle between the two. However, preformed vitamin is absorbed much more efficiently than beta carotene

        Apparently, the body’s efficiency in transforming beta carotene into these useful forms is lower (than with preformed vitamin A) and varies according to amount of beta carotene consumed (efficiency is higher when lower amiunts are consumed). Lots of scope for confusion there but I am not aware of probems for strict vegetarians generally eating plenty of greens and eg sweet pioatoes, although there will always be exceptional cases. Note that some studies have shown lower risk of cancer for people consuming lots of beta carotene from foods. While animal food and vitamin A supplement consumption have bth been associated with increased cancer risk.

        https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminA-HealthProfessional/#h6

  18. I have a question, which I will write down here, even though it is more related to the podcast, where more of the supplements cause cancer and cause it to spread faster and Dr. Greger mentioned that it might be the dosage of the extracts.

    He said that they tested things like beta carotene supplements, green tea extract supplement, lycopene supplement form and selenium supplements and vitamin E supplements got more cancer and had it spread faster and causing DNA damage.

    Okay, my friend has just started selling essential oil supplements. That isn’t the same as an extract, but if it was the dosage of the extracts that caused the cancer, then essential oils might cause more, because they are concentrated forms?

    I am not saying that the essential oil form will cause the same results, but it has a much higher dose, doesn’t it?

    I know that one drop of orange essential oil to a 16 ounce glass of water is still strong.

    1. Deb just wanted to mention..in regards to this…”
      Dr. Greger mentioned that it might be the dosage of the extracts.
      He said that they tested things like beta carotene supplements, green tea extract supplement, lycopene supplement form and selenium supplements and vitamin E supplements got more cancer and had it spread faster and causing DNA damage.

      Dr Greger has also mentioned in video that very many of the supplements tested have been found to not contain the substances they claim to contain and in some manners may have undergone changes which make them unsuitable for use. Milk thistle I think is one substance which is harvested wet and tends to mold which produces things which work counter to healthy liver function. Which is why people take milk thistle..to enhance liver function.
      So tested is will show adverse behaviors upon the liver.

      AS one example but to say…who knows with supplements, what is in them or not. We can only really say they do not work and may harm…but really do not know. So many tested show as not containing the materials they claim to contain. Pomgranate juice I think was one notable example of all tested samples some had zero pomagranate juice. So how will a study of those juices come out…..showing nothing of value leaving us knowing not a thing about the juice.
      Fish oils many were significantly contaminated prior to 2010. So any study done of affects prior to 2010 could be a read on the contaminants not the oil.
      And on and on….
      Warren Hatch removed regulation of the supplement industry in the late 1990’s, since then there is no telling what is in many of them. WE may check our sources by doing the homework….. who says a researcher does as well?

      Most researchers are going to use normally available and found supplements in testing. None have the resources to manufacture and produce their own supplements for testing purposes.
      So with supplements we in the main are left not knowing. As without FDA oversight we simply do not know.
      Thank Orin Hatch.

      1. Ron,

        I never had the thought that anybody would do studies with over-the-counter supplements.

        I always assumed they were attached to Universities and Hospitals and would have labs provide them.

        When I was in college, I briefly fed lab mice. Very briefly. But I know I had to mix the food up from powders, which were there. I don’t remember much about the job, but I definitely was the one mixing powders and food. I hated the job and have since watched lab animals getting mistreated videos and still feel upset about it. I am too emotionally sensitive even for that subject. I am closer to “Animals are people, too.” I ate meat as a young person, but honestly couldn’t do it now, and it isn’t a moral issue for me, because I am more Biblical and God let people eat meat. Though when He led them through the wilderness and kept them from diseases, he had them not eat meat. I just am too emotional to ever eat meat, even if my food allergy to it went away. I watched the animals being abused in “Eating You Alive” and won’t ever be able to get the images out of my head.

  19. Laughing, because she invited me to an essential oil party and she has been studying it (and so had I) and they use essential oils for all sorts of things, and Dr. Axe used frankincense essential oil as part of treating his mother.

    I guess I am questioning whether essential oils are high doses or just concentrated doses?

    But they say that it will enter the cells, through the skin, so it is possible to get high concentrations of it.

    That makes me go back to question whether it is dose or something else involved in supplements being related to people getting more cancer.

    1. Deb I would be extremely careful about ingesting essential oils. They can be toxic. Personally, I wouldn’t use them. Even peppermint oil in breath mints etc can cause problems if consumed in large amounts. The liver has problems handling the very concemtrated chemicakls in essential oils – it’s more used to amounts contained normally in foods. Even applied topically (on the skin), essential oils can be absorbed by the body and cause liver toxicity.
      https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs00204-017-2062-2

      Also, oil and water don’t mix so you will still be ingesting undiluted orange essential oil even if you consume it in lots of water.

      You can mix them with so-caled carrier oils – food grade oils – if this is something you really want to do. But it is much safer to use them only for aromtherapy or to apply them topically. But even then, topically, most of them should be applied diluted via carrier oils if at all. There are some exceptions eg tea tree oil and lavender oil for eg athlete’s foot etc but by and large, they should be applied only in a carrier oil
      https://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/news/20170809/essential-oils-natural-doesnt-mean-risk-free

      1. Tom,

        THAT is the answer I was looking for!

        I don’t take any pills at all now and was pondering them, because some of them have helped the brain.

        My friend is selling them and people are ingesting them and are having good reports, but liver toxicity is the only sentence I need to hear.

  20. I guess there aren’t essential oils of lycopene or green tea to test.

    So, I take it back.

    They would have to make a high enough dose lycopene tomato essential oil to figure it out.

  21. Then, they would just need a group of people willing to risk getting cancer from the high dosage…..

    So, it looks like it would have to be in a foreign country….

    1. I would highly doubt that about B12 and omega 3 (assuming you’re referring to algae oil). But in the case of B12, I would say the benefits would far outweigh any risks even if hypothetically there was one, because without it we just couldn’t live. If anything I would say being low on B12 would create a better environment for cancer because your body would be lacking in such a vital nutrient it wouldn’t be functioning as well as it should be. For the algae oil, the benefits of brain health would likely outweigh any hypothetical risk for at least some people.

      From my understanding of essential oils, you have to be extremely cautious about taking them internally because they are very high doses. It takes pounds of lavender, for example, to create just a small amount of essential oil. So it’s very concentrated. I would love to see more research on essential oils addressed here! Especially after seeing the video on topical use of honey (which I am against the use of, details of why can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0N8UYgMGDQ) and how the reason it’s beneficial for the specific use mentioned in the video is due to the compounds in the flowers and it’s also pointed out in the video that lavender and chamomile have both been shown to have positive effects for certain topical uses.
      I would not choose to take them internally unless there was sound research and evidence showing that it was both safe and beneficial. Also, when purchasing essential oils and oils in general, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the real product so getting from a reputable company is important. I read once where if it doesn’t have the latin name in the ingredients or listed somewhere on the bottle, then that could be considered a red flag for an inauthentic or adulterated essential oil.

      1. Thank you for your response.

        My friend is studying it with a company and they are quoting studies and she is reading anecdotal evidence.

        I am not really as interested it it, except that there are studies for uses of it.

        Wild Orange, they say helps with anxiety, which I don’t have at all during the day, but I have in the middle of the night. It seems compounded by not sleeping and that is when my brain doesn’t function as well. It is good all day long and even evening, but the middle of the night, is when I find out that my brain really is off.

        Is the Peppermint oil, for instance, an essential oil? That is what they tried with the colonoscopy, so I know people really are using them internally.

        I ponder them for scents, and assume they are safe for that.

        Feels like everything in every category is up in the air for safety issues.

        I told my friend that I am already using both fresh and dried versions of all of the spices she mentioned as having essential oils of.

        I know she is doing this as a business right now and I am pondering which things can help me with early onset Alzheimer’s symptoms.

        I think it was orange, rosemary, lemon balm and……… I can’t remember the other one on Dr. Greger’s list.

        Will have to buy those and be a supportive friend, but not buy supplements of them without mega-research.

        Laughing, because she isn’t interested in WFPB and I want her to see the studies and she wants me to believe the research she is looking at and it is by a company selling it causes me to be skeptical.

        But we both are finding ways to use Turmeric and Rosemary and Marjoram, and I just like the taste of the real stuff better anyway.

        1. The whole spices are definitely better and safer. Whole foods are always best! Yes there’s peppermint essential oil, that too we wouldn’t want to take too much of. Dr. Greger actually talks about it in one video. Mint is great and can possibly enhance athletic performance, but too much can have a negative impact on males and Dr. Greger points out in one video how just a few drops of essential oil is the equivalent of a lot of mint. I don’t remember the exact details and numbers and I wish I could remember the title of the video.

          Lavender might have been the other one on that list. I know Dr. Greger has a video on it here about how the scent of lavender oil is both good for anxiety and enhances mental performance. In the study, it showed that those given math equations who had sniffed rosemary had improved on their speed in solving or attempting to solve the equations, but those using lavender aromatherapy had improved on both speed as well as actual accuracy. Since seeing the video on lavender oil, I decided to try it out for my own anxiety and I was actually amazed that I noticed anything. I have OCD and it has been severely crippling in the past with extraordinary amounts of anxiety and in the past when I was taking medication, only one drug had ever mildly worked, so I really notice when I actually notice a difference from something.

          I also read somewhere that breathing in lavender oil and other essential oils (although I think I remember them being specific to lavender oil in this paper) could raise glutathione or something like that… I have no idea if that is true and I barely remember the details because I was just browsing through a bunch of different stuff at the time. But I would love for more, real science to shed some light on all this!

          And speaking of aromatherapy… I noticed that I LOVE the smell of cardamom (in spice form), not so much the scent in and of itself, but it has such an invigorating effect… it might sound weird but it’s like the natural, non-toxic version of the odd attraction to the scent of things like rubber cement glue. I’ve been wondering if it doesn’t do something good for brain stimulation similar to other things such as rosemary, etc.

  22. I just saw this earlier today. Apparently, if we want to ensure maximum absorption of nutrients from food, it would be a good idea to stay away from canned foods

    “”We found that zinc oxide (ZnO) nanoparticles at doses that are relevant to what you might normally eat in a meal or a day can change the way that your intestine absorbs nutrients or your intestinal cell gene and protein expression,” said Gretchen Mahler, associate professor of bioengineering.

    According to Mahler, these ZnO nanoparticles are present in the lining of certain canned goods for their antimicrobial properties and to prevent staining of sulfur-producing foods. In the study, canned corn, tuna, asparagus and chicken were studied using mass spectrometry to estimate how many particles might be transferred to the food. It was found that the food contained 100 times the daily dietary allowance of zinc. Mahler then looked at the effect the particles had on the digestive tract.”
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/04/180409161305.htm

    Although vegetarians generlally have lower levels of zinc, chronic consumption of high levels of zince can be toxic
    https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional/

    1. Tom…that study does specify …” certain canned goods for their antimicrobial properties and to prevent staining of sulfur-producing foods

      And their conclusion that we are then getting 100 times the amount of zinc from canned goods….seems to defy our history in that regard. Many institutions use canned foods in food preparation and I see or hear not of widespread zinc overdoses occurring. Which would seemingly be occurring as canned corn is one such commonly used food. I could see canned asparagus as not regularly consumed items but corn…? Chicken? Chicken and corn in one meal..common I would say canned in a institutional setting.
      100 times would produce symptoms of zinc overdose I would assume if regularly consumed which canned corn would probably be in institutions of varying sorts.

      Seems the study is valid but confounds logic in the real.

      1. Perahps Ron but I imagine that using nano-particles is pretty new and we would be talking about long term chronic zinc toxicity. You’d have to eat a can every day or two for years for any effects to emerge.I suspect. Also, the effects might be quite subtle – eg impaired immunological response and lowered HDL. I doubt if many physicians would identify such smptoms as the result of high zinc intake.
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK222317/#ddd00653

        That said, I really put the link to that article there because it says the zinc nano articles affect nutrient absorption

  23. Wow, Tom, thanks!

    Unfortunately, I have been doing more canned goods, because of beans and tomato pastes and sauces, but I can use the dry beans and make my own sauce. Wondering how hard it would be to make tomato paste. Never thought of that concept before this second.

    1. Tom,

      You have caused me to buy an instant Pot to cook my dried beans without soaking and I bought glass freezer containers to replace my plastic ones, because I don’t trust anyone anymore.

      I am honestly considering replacing my Oxo dry goods nonBPA plastic storage with glass containers with air tight lids, too.

      I am suspicious of everything now.

      1. Laughing my head off.

        I am already going to return the glass storage containers and ask for help.

        I read that some of the glass containers are made in China and have lead and cadmium and arsenic and mercury.

        So, I planned to return the ones I bought and found a brand, which says, “Made in the USA” and I looked at the critical reviews and so many people said it exploded just sitting on the counter or in their refrigerator or while they were loading them with the left over foods from their slow cookers.

        Some of us want to hear the answer to that, before I buy something else.

        I was reading that the BPA replacements have sometimes proven to be just as bad as BPA.

        Laughing, I need it to be someone who has genuinely searched out a real answer to give me an answer.

        Okay, what do you store food in, Dr. Greger?

        1. Yes. I like Pyrex or other high quality freezer/microwave safe glassware. They do have plastic lids usually though.

          I stick to European or US made glassware and I don’t cook with it. For that I use stainless steel. Mind you my cooking is limited to boiling and steaming.

          However, I believe the US-made Pyrex now has weaker glass than before but the European manufactured Pyrex still has the original, stronger glass.

          The cheaper brands almost always come from China and, I understand, have high levels of heavy metals. Of course, so do those old expensive chrystal drinking glasses (the modern ones have no lead).

          Arcoware and Luminarc are pretty good ….. but they are French ….. and they actually manufacture the Pyrex products under licence in Europe. The Visions cookware is from a US company though

          1. Thanks Tom, that helps quite a bit!

            Yes, the American Pyrex has so many compliments.

            Most of the companies say that they manufacture in China, but they give “to our high standards” rather than a sentence that they test for heavy metals.

            Yes, there are brands which the glass is made in America and the kids are made in China.

            There are brands with silicone lids, would that be safer?

            I did read someone saying that Ball Mason Jars test lowest for lead. It wasn’t an official test site so I have to take it with a grain of salt, but they are so cheap that I am going to be getting them for my dry goods and I will move my OXO to non food items.

            I briefly had thought, “Oh good, there are tomato pastes in glass jars” earlier today, but now I need them to say where their glass jars are made before I can buy them.

            1. Tom, those cans hurting people and the BPA being replaced by something similar and a quote from “Eating You Alive” about the soil being destroyed and the toxic fish showing that the water is being destroyed and the air pollution….

              That is what I have been thinking about doing this process.

              I am a Christian and during a small group meeting years ago, people talked about the Bible book Revelation where it describes a third of the fish in the seas dying and I never imagined it might really happen, because of pollution.

              Now, it seems inevitable.

              It makes this process so much more compelling for me.

              People who grew up with healthy eating have no idea how hard this is, even to figure out who is telling the truth.

              Struggling with my brain has been the hardest thing I have ever gone through in my life and it is less painful, because of the researchers.

              Thank you Researchers wherever you are.

            2. Thanks Deb.

              Yes, the silicon lids are supposed to be safer because silicon does not leach into food. However, silicone with an “e” on the end, may contain fillers as well as pure silicon. We don’t really know about those fillers. However I don’t worry too much about container lids because I ensure that the contents don’t come into contact with the lid.

              re Pyrex and exploding cookware you might be interested in this

              “Pyrex-branded glass products have been the subject of urban legends and safety concerns. Beginning in the 1980s, production of clear Pyrex glass bakeware was switched from a more thermally resistant borosilicate glass to mechanically stronger soda-lime glass. The concern stems from the fact that soda-lime glass is more susceptible to breaking when exposed to sudden temperature differences. This change received greater attention after the Corning Consumer Products Company was spun off by Corning, Inc. The consumer affairs magazine Consumer Reports investigated the issue, in January 2011, confirming that borosilicate glass bakeware was less susceptible to thermal shock breakage than tempered soda-lime bakeware. However, they admitted their testing conditions were “contrary to instructions” provided by the manufacturer.[9][10] STATS analyzed the data available and found that the most common way that users were injured by glassware was via mechanical breakage, being hit or dropped, and that “the change to soda lime represents a greater net safety benefit.”[11]

              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corelle_Brands

              1. Thanks again, Tom.

                I know that they are still shattering.

                People on Amazon have photos of all of the glass fragments next to their slow cooker, from trying to load the left overs into Pyrex and they said that it was long after eating, so the food wasn’t as hot as original. One woman said that hers exploded in the refrigerator, when she never had heated it. They have photo evidence, so I tend to believe that it is real. One said it was just sitting in the sink and exploded while she was across the room. That one could have been contact, but the others look like temperature changes, but they swore it was room temperature to cold and room temperature having hot foods added. That is a little too unstable for me to even consider.

  24. The oil in avocados~~is there more oil available in an avocado when it is riper? It seems to me that the harder an avocado, the less oil is in it. Can you explain the amount of oil in avocados as it ripens…more oil available the riper it is?

  25. Well, Dr Greger, this video has caused a situation for me, because I just cut back on fats and finally was near a scale and weighed myself and went back a few weeks later and cutting out the avocados, I lost 6 pounds and now you are dragging me back in.

    1. Honestly, I didn’t own a scale and might have also been losing weight eating avocado.

      I got paranoid, because a few people on a vegsn site said they had gained weight going WFPB and so did one person on YouTube, and I am doing closer to Vegan, Sometimes Closer to Whole Food Plant Based and Sometimes Just Plain Vegan, so I thought I better check.

      The truth is though that a few of those people are closer to sometimes Pescaterians and sometimes Junk Food vegans with lots of desserts or chips.

      I am going to wait before bringing avocado back in, but it made my wraps taste better.

    1. i will look up valorie density.

      It feels like I have watched things on it.

      Is that the thing where the salad fills the whole stomach?

      I know that I have watched a lot on stretch receptors, but the only thing which comes to mind for calorie density is salad versus oil.

      Is it the 4 versus 9 thing?

      Laughing.

      I do understand the 4 versus 9 conceptually.

      I am less confident about how much fat a brain with early onset Alzheimer’s needs, but that is because the brain injury community gets good results with keto and I am not going keto, but I have Dr Amen’s brain scans and the whole brain shrinkage thing going on in my head.

      I am not using oils, but I genuinely need a few more research studies showing that brain issues go away without the good fats.

      And yes, I am aware of the less risk of Alzheimer’s from blood flow to the brain studies, but how is Leto helping people’s brsins?

      It is a different mechanism involving fats, is my internal guess.

      I am not making a decision about what to believe about any topic.

      I am waiting for information in studies.

  26. Hello Dr. Gregor,

    First and foremost I would like to say that you have changed my life and set me and my family on a healing corse that we will never deviate from. I also believe that with what you are doing the world has changed and will continue to change with your perseverance. Thank you for that

    I greatly appreciate your FREE information you put out in the world. I enjoy your researched videos, this one with the avocado fat absorption got me thinking about supplements. You see I believe my body does not absorb the supplements properly (as you would say, flushed down the toilet) and got me thinking at 4am……what if…..

    I was wondering if there is a study done that taking supplements with a little GOOD fat (walnut, avocado….etc ) will help with absorption.
    Keep healing the world we need you

    Thank you
    Pat

    1. Hi Pat,

      I am not a moderator and am a newbie who has also had my life changed by Dr Greger and who is astounded by how much good information I have already revived for free on this web-site.

      Pat, you are right about supplements, but supplements are a mixed topic. Some of them like B12, Vegan Omega 3 and D3 are necessary. Dr Greger has a list of his recommendations at the bottom of his site, read the categories and one is his recommendations.

      If you go to his latest Podcast and listen to the first half of it, you will hear a group of supplements which sound good for you, but which cause Cancer to spread at higher doses.

      I looked it up and one of them they did have a test that it caused Cancer to grow in a dose dependent way.

      Anyway, that exact topic, which you just brought up is in that podcast, except avoid most supplements and try to get your nutrition from food and add fat to that is the diesction the teaching goes.

      I threw most of my supplements out and started buying spices and herbs and teas to go with my fruits and vegetables and I did add in healthy fats like olives, nuts, seeds and avocados, but have limited the portion sizes of those.

      Congratulations on making a life transition! I feel the same way as you do. This isn’t a diet. This is a lifestyle that I already find effortless, even though it takes excruciating effort to sort through all the information.

      1. Deb,
        Thank so much for your information and your reply. I also do a lot of spices and natural teas, maybe I don’t need all the supplements after all. You surprised me about the supplements. I will go check out his info and podcast.

        Thanks
        Pat

    2. Pat,

      Indeed there are numerous studies showing that the absorption of many nutrients require fat at the time of ingestion. This is especially true for the oil soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K), such as Vitamin D. Check out this study of 13,000 supplement taking individuals and their findings when it came to adding fats.

      Not surprisingly the lutein and zeaxanthin are also fat soluble nutrients from the veggies and exhibit the higher uptake, with fats. On the other side of the coin the water soluble nutrients will not necessarily be impacted.

      The flushed down the toilet issues is not a fair method of characterizing the water soluble nutrients, as they all go that route ultimately. Many individuals are indeed needing supplementation of the water soluble group (B&C). Consider the many variations in our genes, digestive enzymes, diets, lifestyle and the list goes on….and yes there are specific tests such as the SpectraCell and Genova lab nutrient panels for a higher level of clarity.

      As an example consider the vegan diet and B12….. would taking this nutrient be a waste, of course not. I’d contend that the use of supplements has it’s place. After testing thousands of patients for B12 deficiencies via MMA tests (B12 reflective), seeing the difference with active forms of folinic acid , noting the many test results with genetic issues in the methylation pathways and the subjective changes in their health, it’s clear to me that supplements are a necessary additive to most peoples dietary needs.

      Please also consider the changes in our digestive enzymes as we age as another component of absorption. When we see the big picture it’s prudent to apply some fats strategically, along with possibly supplemental vitamins and enzymes to maximize your absorption.

      Dr. Alan Kadish Health Support volunteer for Dr. Greger http://www.CenterofHealth.com

      1. Dr. Alan Kadish,
        Thank you very much for that I will look into it. I’m glad you mentioned Vegan and B-12. It was one that I was unsure of. I am changing my lifestyle (eating habits) its been 1year that I have started on the right path. First I was pescatarian, a few months later I became a vegetarian and in January I introduced all plant base. In a few week I will be trying to go raw for a while. I want to see what effect it I will have.

        The change in how I feel is unbelievably. Makes me want to kick myself for not starting sooner…..But I didn’t know Michael Gregor before haha.

        The reason I starting this journey is because I was having lots of pain…..Joint, muscle, beginning stages of gout….etc As soon as the gout pain started happening, I came across a blogger (can’t remember his name) he was describing all my issues. I had nothing to loose as I tried almost every other diet out there and nothing worked except staying away from meats & dairy….Now I want to tell everyone but nobody wants to listen…..everyone is all about the fear of protein from meat. My family is also following what I’m doing so I’m happy about that. Funny thing is I never forced it on them or anyone…they saw the change in me and decided to take a leap. I think I created monsters….hahaha
        Thanks again
        Pat

  27. Quick Question: How about a tablespoon of avocado oil in morning to start your day. Does the avocado oil have the same effect & does it last the day or is it more effective if you take a tablespoon of avocado oil before each meal?
    -Thanks

    1. Hi I’m a health support volunteer with NF. Thanks for your great question.
      Avocados are indeed good for you. They are a whole food. But, we discourage all oils. When you take the oil out of the avocado or anything, you just suck the fat out. None of the fiber or antioxidants or vitamins . . . It then becomes a highly processed food, not a whole plant based food, that is very high in calories from nothing but fat. Even “healthy” oils like olive oil and avocado oil have been shown to have adverse health effects. Eat the avocados not the avocado oil. Eat peanuts not peanut oil etc. Get your fats from whole food sources like walnuts. Here are a few videos Dr. Greger has done on that:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/olive-oil-and-artery-function/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/extra-virgin-olive-oil-vs-nuts/

      All the best to you,
      NurseKelly

  28. I knew avocados were good for you and now this makes the point even better. I love avocados as a whole food fat and now I know that by mixing it with other whole foods it will help me be even healthier. Go Avocados!!!

    1. Rivaroxaban is one of the non-vitamin K antagonist oral anticoagulants (NOAC). The NOACs work by directly inhibiting clotting proteins – factor Xa in the case of rivaroxaban. NOACs work independent of vitamin K, so avocados should be ok. There are no know dietary interactions with NOACs, although there are plenty of drug interactions.

  29. Question: soluble in oils/fats – so is this effect solely for avocado / walnuts when eaten as a whole plant food [healthier – yes, affordable not always], or can this effect be substituted with the addition of salad dressing (or similar) which is oil containing?

    Thank you

  30. When it comes to increasing absorption of phytonutrients, such as beta-carotene, it is necessary to consume fat with your meal. The fat can come from a whole food such as avocado, or from other fats such as oils.

    Julia

  31. As always, thanks for continuing this work.

    I’m wondering two things:

    1. Is there any research covering the effect of avocados on post-prandial blood sugar levels?

    2. Is the saturated fat in avocados (and nuts, for that matter) a different type from what’s found in animal flesh? Specifically, does the saturated fat from plant foods have the potential to become intramyocellular lipids like the saturated fat from animal foods does?

    Thanks,

    Brandon

    1. Brandon,
      Thank you for your questions. I’m not aware of any studies on post-prandial blood sugar effects of avocados. However, since avocados are very low on the glycemic index scale and only have about 9 grams of carbohydrate per serving (1/2 avocado) its very likely to have a very small blood sugar effect.

      Saturated fat is saturated fat regardless of where it is found. The difference is the amount of saturated fat and the other components of the food that you choose to eat. Avocados are primarily monounsaturated fatty acids and they contain fibers and phytonutrients. The small amount of saturated fat does not appear to cause any health problems when eaten in moderation probably because of the effects of the other nutrients. Here is video that discusses avocado and cholesterol. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avocados-lower-small-dense-ldl-cholesterol/

  32. As a warfarin patient (AFIB), I was struck by the comment about avocado and warfarin interaction. After watching, I did a quick internet search on avacado and warfarin and nothing turned up. I also discussed with my anti-coagulation clinic and they were not aware of any specific issues. Could you confirm the interaction and point me to a reference? Thank you.

  33. What about avocado seeds? I’ve been reading and some say they are good for you and other say they are toxic. I’ve been searching studies and documentations but haven’t found anything that clears the subjet Do someone know?

  34. Hi, Kay. I am not sure where you have been looking for information. Some sources are more trustworthy than others. According to this study,
    “Avocado fruits have high nutritional quality and contain high levels of vitamins, minerals, proteins, and fibers, as well as high concentrations of unsaturated fatty acids, beneficial to health [3]. In addition, avocado peel and seed have high contents of bioactive phytochemicals such as phenolic acids, condensed tannins, and flavonoids, including procyanidins, flavonols, hydroxybenzoic, and hydroxycinnamic acids [4–6]. These bioactive compounds have shown various biological activities such as antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The antiinflammatory activity of phenolic compounds is largely related to their ability to scavenge oxidative radicals, which is important for cell and oxidative stress regulation [7].”
    Almost anything can be toxic if taken in sufficient quantities. This study tested avocado seed extract on rats in doses as high as 10g/kg of body weight. An equivalent dose for a 150 pound human would be about 682g! The researchers were unable, even with such enormous amounts, to determine an oral median lethal dose. They stated that, “In conclusion, the aqueous seed extract of P. americana is safe on sub-acute basis but extremely high doses may not be advisable.
    I hope that helps!

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