Are Avocados Good for Your Cholesterol?

Are Avocados Good for Your Cholesterol?
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Can guacamole lower your cholesterol as well as other whole-food fat sources such as nuts, or is it just avocado industry spin?

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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.

If you look at Avocado Board-sponsored reviews, they like to brag that “[a]vocados are the richest known fruit source of phytosterols,” which are cholesterol-lowering nutrients found in plant foods. The operative word, though, is fruit.

Yes, there are more phytosterols in avocados compared to other fruit, but the reason that’s such a misleading statement is that phytosterols are fat-soluble substances; most other fruits hardly have any fat in them at all. So, of course, avocados are going to come out on top, compared to other fruit. But, let’s compare phytosterol content of avocados to nuts and seeds. One avocado has about a hundred milligrams of phytosterols. But, on the same scale, sesame seeds and tahini have 400; pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds have about 300; and almonds and almond butter, flax seeds, and macadamia nuts have around 200. Even chocolate has about twice as many phytosterols as avocados.

Even though nuts and seeds have the highest levels overall, the studies that have been done on lowering cholesterol—lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) with phytosterols—have used supplements, starting at 600mg up into the thousands. So, yeah, you can lower LDL cholesterol about 8% at up around 2,100 milligrams, but that would be twenty avocados a day. That would also be a lot of nuts. But, you can get an 8% drop in LDL just eating a palmful of nuts a day—a single ounce.

So, phytosterols are not the only components of nuts responsible for driving down cholesterol; there must be other components in nuts—like maybe the fiber, or other phytonutrients—that are contributing to the cholesterol-lowering effects. Hmm; I wonder if avocados have such components, too? You don’t know, until you put it to the test.

There are studies dating back more than a half century that appear to show that if you add an avocado to people’s daily diets, their cholesterol drops, and then goes back up when you remove the avocados, then goes back down again. Pretty convincing data—until you see how the study was done. They didn’t just add an avocado, they swapped out animal fat. No wonder their cholesterol went down! So, this may have just as well read: on lard, off lard, on lard, off lard. And, that’s what nearly all avocado cholesterol studies are like.

Ten studies involving hundreds of people, and put them all together. And, it looks like adding avocados led to a significant drop in cholesterol and triglycerides—an average of about a 17-point drop in bad cholesterol. But, these were nearly all strictly substitution studies, where they removed saturated fat from people’s diets, and substituted in avocados. Well, of course, if you cut down on saturated animal fat, your cholesterol is going to drop.

You can tell this review was not funded by the avocado industry, because they point this out: “it is important to note that substituting avocados for saturated dietary fats as opposed to adding avocado to an already established baseline diet poses the greatest benefit.” Just adding avocado may confer no cholesterol benefits at all.

So, yeah, the avocado industry is right in saying that avocados are “a healthy substitute for butter/margarine, cheese, [and] cream cheese”—but that’s a pretty low bar.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Amy Schwartz from The Noun Project

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. 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.

If you look at Avocado Board-sponsored reviews, they like to brag that “[a]vocados are the richest known fruit source of phytosterols,” which are cholesterol-lowering nutrients found in plant foods. The operative word, though, is fruit.

Yes, there are more phytosterols in avocados compared to other fruit, but the reason that’s such a misleading statement is that phytosterols are fat-soluble substances; most other fruits hardly have any fat in them at all. So, of course, avocados are going to come out on top, compared to other fruit. But, let’s compare phytosterol content of avocados to nuts and seeds. One avocado has about a hundred milligrams of phytosterols. But, on the same scale, sesame seeds and tahini have 400; pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds have about 300; and almonds and almond butter, flax seeds, and macadamia nuts have around 200. Even chocolate has about twice as many phytosterols as avocados.

Even though nuts and seeds have the highest levels overall, the studies that have been done on lowering cholesterol—lowering LDL (bad cholesterol) with phytosterols—have used supplements, starting at 600mg up into the thousands. So, yeah, you can lower LDL cholesterol about 8% at up around 2,100 milligrams, but that would be twenty avocados a day. That would also be a lot of nuts. But, you can get an 8% drop in LDL just eating a palmful of nuts a day—a single ounce.

So, phytosterols are not the only components of nuts responsible for driving down cholesterol; there must be other components in nuts—like maybe the fiber, or other phytonutrients—that are contributing to the cholesterol-lowering effects. Hmm; I wonder if avocados have such components, too? You don’t know, until you put it to the test.

There are studies dating back more than a half century that appear to show that if you add an avocado to people’s daily diets, their cholesterol drops, and then goes back up when you remove the avocados, then goes back down again. Pretty convincing data—until you see how the study was done. They didn’t just add an avocado, they swapped out animal fat. No wonder their cholesterol went down! So, this may have just as well read: on lard, off lard, on lard, off lard. And, that’s what nearly all avocado cholesterol studies are like.

Ten studies involving hundreds of people, and put them all together. And, it looks like adding avocados led to a significant drop in cholesterol and triglycerides—an average of about a 17-point drop in bad cholesterol. But, these were nearly all strictly substitution studies, where they removed saturated fat from people’s diets, and substituted in avocados. Well, of course, if you cut down on saturated animal fat, your cholesterol is going to drop.

You can tell this review was not funded by the avocado industry, because they point this out: “it is important to note that substituting avocados for saturated dietary fats as opposed to adding avocado to an already established baseline diet poses the greatest benefit.” Just adding avocado may confer no cholesterol benefits at all.

So, yeah, the avocado industry is right in saying that avocados are “a healthy substitute for butter/margarine, cheese, [and] cream cheese”—but that’s a pretty low bar.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Amy Schwartz from The Noun Project

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

What about adding avocado to a plant-based diet? Would there be any benefit then? That’s the topic of my next video, Avocados Lower Small Dense LDL Cholesterol.

Why do we care about cholesterol? See, for example, Cholesterol Crystals May Tear through our Artery Lining.

What should we shoot for? See Optimal Cholesterol Level.

In addition to adding cholesterol-lowering foods, we need to first reduce our intake of cholesterol-raising foods. See Trans Fat, Saturated Fat, & Cholesterol: Tolerable Upper Intake of Zero.

For more on the health effects of guacamole, check out The Effects of Avocados and Red Wine on Meal-Induced InflammationAre Avocados Healthy?, and Are Avocados Good for You?.

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

120 responses to “Are Avocados Good for Your Cholesterol?

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      1. I think the primary author was Uffe Ravnskov. Independent of any character flaws or agendas of the authors, my question is about the accuracy of the hypothesis.

        Is there high-quality data that clearly shows that higher cholesterol is associated with higher rates of mortality, specifically through heart disease?

        I don’t consider myself a member of any particular dietary activist group. I just want to be healthy and enjoy my life. If we’re on this forum, we probably we can agree that a WFPD is an extremely healthy diet. But even then, there is a wide variance in how you may partition your macronutrients. For example, I’m 100% vegan, while simultaneously eating a LCHF/ketogenic diet. I eat a lot of plant fat and little/no starches or sugary foods and a moderate amount of protein. The ketogenic communities (while yes, they are often pro-meat and anti-vegan) do present interesting arguments and data that is pro-saturated fat and suggest that levels of cholesterol are not a useful biomarker of longevity.

        1. Ryan, the best possible answer to your question about the relationship of cholesterol to mortality is for you to review Dr Gregor’s videos about the subject. You are correct that there is no direct relationship between cholesterol levels and morbidity/mortality but that has to do with the genetics of each person’s liver and obscures the well researched evidence that more cho consumed = higher cho = greater mortality/morbidity. Most media accounts of this research you mentioned, misunderstood it except for the NYT.

          1. Then there is this?

            Your Brain Needs Cholesterol

            Cholesterol is found in animal products high in saturated fat, such as meat or butter and other full-fat dairy products. Over the last few decades, the conventional medical community has unfairly demonized cholesterol. Foods with cholesterol do not cause high blood cholesterol or contribute to heart disease.

            But numerous studies do indicate that cholesterol is actually good for your brain!

            An article in the European Journal of Internal Medicine reviewed the effects of a high carbohydrate, low fat diet on the development of Alzheimer’s disease.5

            * They concluded that deficient levels of cholesterol are directly associated with various processes that destroy neurons and are closely associated with the development of Alzheimer’s disease.*

            Eat Your Way to a Healthy Brain

            Essentially, eating whole foods and avoiding processed foods — that common-sense advice you often hear — is the best way to protect your brain from cognitive decline.

            A diet rich in vegetables and fruits, fish, berries, nuts, whole grains, and healthy fats is your best bet. Meat, eggs, coconut oil, avocados, and cheese, not fried food and processed fat, are what you’re after.

            Learn to eat this way consistently, and you will stack the odds in your favor when it comes to avoiding dementia and cognitive decline as you get older.

            Lee Euler

            note: this opinion is partly contrary to what Dr Greger believes is supported by the science….my question is…if I am older…am I harming myself when my Chol is in the 150-160 range?

            1. The body makes all the cholesterol it needs. You don’t need a high cholesterol or high saturated fat diet for brain heath. in fact

              “studies strongly suggest that aged individuals are more susceptible to damaging effects of high-fat diets than young subjects, making diet intervention and exercise programs even more valuable from the standpoint of preventing further cognitive decline in elderly patients.”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074256/

              “Cross-sectional and longitudinal correlational studies indicate that higher intakes of SFA in young adulthood, mid and later life are associated with worse global cognitive function, impairments in prospective memory, memory speed and flexibility and an increased vulnerability to age related deficits and neurological diseases including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease [34,35,36,37].”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4555146

              “studies that adjusted for other fatty acids consistently showed increased rates of cognitive decline with higher intakes of saturated fatty acids.” and “Of all the different types of fatty acids, the findings are most consistent for an increased risk of cognitive decline with a higher intake of saturated fatty acids.@
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/

              Meat, cheese and coconut oil are all high in saturated fat. Eggs and avocados have more monounsaturated fat than saturated fat but may not be a good choice either since they are relatively high in fat and, in the case of eggs, cholesterol. For reducing the risk of dementia and cognitive impairment, it may be better to focus on polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA)

              “the composition of fatty acids in the diet is one of the more important determinants of the blood cholesterol profile, and cholesterol plays a central role in AD pathology. Further, the most important genetic risk factor for AD, APOE-ε4, is involved in cholesterol transport, and the evidence from studies of mid-life blood cholesterol support a relationship of increased risk of late-life dementia among individuals with a hypercholesterolemic lipid profile during mid-life. There is accumulating evidence from animal models suggesting a number of biological mechanisms”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/

              https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/
              https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/alzheimers-disease/

              1. Thank you Tom for posting this information about fat and older people facing cognitive loss. I have eaten a few avocados recently which I love to eat.
                But, I only eat them sparingly, maybe about 10 per year. Your article has really given me the fortitude to bypass ( no pun intended ) the avocados from now on, especially at my age of 73. When you get to be 73, you have to really make sure that you dot every ” i ” and cross every ” T ”
                nutritionally. You can’t take any more chances when you get into your 70’s.
                No more cheating. Your articles keep us old food addicted folks to stay on the straight and narrow path.

                1. Barbara, every denomination of nutrition have devotees that claim wonderful health and energy from their specific doctrine of nutrition. There are whole plant food diet eaters who make the same claim as the paleo diet eaters. You see, nutrition is like religion. They all have their favorite chapters and verses. Once you understand that then you can begin to understand religion and nutrition. You can find people all around the world eating all kinds of strange things including things that are polluted and filthy….but yet they survive and thrive. Perhaps what religion and diet have in common is the placebo effect. Jesus said that if you believe that you can cast a mountain into the ocean by just declaring it ( positive affirmations ) then so shall it be. Every medical doctor accepts the reality of the placebo effect. Even Tom accepts the reality of the placebo effect. Maybe we should be looking at a strategy of harnessing the placebo effect for longevity, good health, and energy instead of counting calories.
                  Yes, Dr. Greger, please tell us how we can harness the power of the placebo effect to enhance our health.

            2. Many of the young VEGANS, and I mean REAL VEGANS on YouTube experiment on themselves with various diets such as fruitarian diets, high fat vegan diet, fasting at different levels, and so on. But, they always do medical tests on themselves to see how the diets are working out for them. And they do strength tests and emotional evaluation tests and they even test their cognitive levels. Instead of reading all of the books about diet, I think one should pick out the diet that they think stands the best chance of self improvement and then as they continue in that diet they should be doing a lot of blood tests, especially lipid profiles, getting ultra sounds of their arteries, and many many many other tests to verify if the diet they have chosen is actually helping them. There is one such vegan on YouTube that goes by the moniker of Vegetable Police who is always testing his body to see if his diet and exercise programs are working for him. He would probably not appeal to most people on this forum because he is kind of a hippie and has a real crazy since of humor and uses profanity. But, the guy is always testing his blood, strength, and other aspects of his body and mind.

        2. This is a very interesting study that just came out showing a direct link between LDL cholesterol levels and actual plaque in the arteries. The higher one’s LDL the greater the plaque. People with LDL under 60 didn’t seem to develop plaque in their arteries: http://www.onlinejacc.org/content/70/24/2979

          Otherwise there are loads of studies on this site you can look up by typing ‘cholesterol’.

          1. M85 cited study is a sobering view, 80-90 LDL and 40% of people in that range were already in bad shape. I was in that group also, 90 LDL and heart attack. With a healthy WFPB diet and statins I’m now in low 30s LDL. My arteries apparently cannot handle “normal” LDL levels. Maybe the low threshold is due to factors like fatty liver disease, metabolic syndrome, etc.

          2. How do you get your LDL down to 60. I have been doing Whole Plant Food Diet for 3 years now, and my LDL is 80. What am I doing wrong? Maybe I should start taking statins? Does exercise help? Maybe, I should eat just one meal a day? Maybe, I should stop eating avocados?

        3. Ryan, I tend toward a diet very similar to yours and I have found Dr, Gregors site to be extremely helpful and informative in this regard. However, like you, I’am finding very iintersting and apparently well supported positions suggesting that dietary cholesterol and saturated fat along and to some degree, LDL cholesterol to not be a factor in CVD. I understand the importance of individuality as not everyone reacts to the same diet with the same affect. There appears to be science that backs both positions along with highly respected professionals. This makes for a rather confusing situation. I guess the answer maybe in the exact and very speciifc details of each study.

          Jeff

          1. Jeff

            Yes, there are many popular book authors and sellers of diet plans who claim that dietary saturated fat, dietary cholesterol and high blood cholesterol levels are harmless or even healthy. They make their cases by ignoring the vast bulk of evidence that refutes their claims.

            The meat, dairy and egg industries – the main sources of dietary saturated fat and cholesterol in the Western diet – sympathise with these claims and fund a number of carefully designed studies that attempt to show that dietary saturated fat and cholesterol have no or beneficial effects on short term biomarkers and/or on weight loss. Dr Atkins made a huge fortune selling books and associated products pushing high fat diets. The Atkins Foundation and people associated with the Atkins Diet empire are still very active funding and conducting such studies. Then there is the coconut oil industry and the myriad retails of coconut oil retailers on the internet. They all have a strong financial interest in challenging the evidence showing that high blood levels of LDL cholesterol and dietary saturated fat are risk factors for various diseases. And of course many people love to be told that beef, butter bacon and brie are harmless or even healthy. They buy books claiming this in droves and newspapers/magazines know that stories about such claims get big salles tppp.

            However, these claims are completely refuted by the evidence. The American Heart Association convened an expert scientific panel to look at the evidence on fats and heart disease. I think this was in response to all the false claims about the evidence being circulated online and in popular books. Not to mention in poor quality articles in pay-to-publish journals. And some reputable journals like the BMJ in the last five years or so have uncritically published a number of papers which ignore, misrepresent or dismiss relevant evidence How they got through peer review beats me. Anyway, the AHA panel reported earlier this year. It was quite clear that he evidence shod that dietary saturated fat is a significant risk factor for heart disease.

            “This American Heart Association presidential advisory on dietary fats and CVD reviews and discusses the scientific evidence, including the most recent studies, on the effects of dietary saturated fat intake and its replacement by other types of fats and carbohydrates on CVD. In summary, randomized controlled trials that lowered intake of dietary saturated fat and replaced it with polyunsaturated vegetable oil reduced CVD by ≈30%, similar to the reduction achieved by statin treatment. Prospective observational studies in many populations showed that lower intake of saturated fat coupled with higher intake of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat is associated with lower rates of CVD and of other major causes of death and all-cause mortality. In contrast, replacement of saturated fat with mostly refined carbohydrates and sugars is not associated with lower rates of CVD and did not reduce CVD in clinical trials. Replacement of saturated with unsaturated fats lowers low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, a cause of atherosclerosis, linking biological evidence with incidence of CVD in populations and in clinicalrials. Taking into consideration the totality of the scientific evidence, satisfying rigorous criteria for causality, we conclude strongly that lowering intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fats, especially polyunsaturated fats, will lower the incidence of CVD.”
            http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/early/2017/06/15/CIR.0000000000000510.full.pdf

            The whole report is well worth reading as is the earlier World Health Organization expert scientific report which came to essentially similar conclusions.
            http://www.who.int/nutrition/publications/nutrientrequirements/fatsandfattyacids_humannutrition/en/

            However, these are dry technical reads. Although they are free to download, the public and journalists seem to prefer buying highly sensational books which tell them that steak , butter and cheese are harmless even in large quantities. Plant Positive though has a number of interesting videos on how the saturated fat and cholesterol denialists misrepresent the evidence and on the claims they make. His site is a bit old now but it is still highly relevant
            http://plantpositive.com/

            1. Tom, thanks again for your reminding us about the critical research out there, and current research from the AHA that proves that cholesterol is a huge bio marker for cardio vascular disease. Since this video is on avocados, I am wondering if the fats from avocados may contribute to cardio vascular disease. It seems like I heard Dr. Esselstyn say that we should avoid avocados for this reason.

              1. Hi John

                Yes, i don’t eat avocado myself but that’s because i don’t like the taste. My understanding is that, like olives, avocados are high in monounsaturated fat However, polyunsaturated fat is probably better at fighting heart disease (if my reading of the eg AHA presidential advisory on fats and heart disease is correct).

                That said, monounsaturated fat may be harmless or even beneficial for most people without diagnosed disease or significant risk factors.. But, as Esselstyn advises, for people with established heart disease or at high risk, it may be prudent to avoid all high fat foods.

    1. The researchers in the paper acknowledge that “Some of the participants with high LDL-C may have started statin treatment during the observation period and, in this way, may have added a longer life to the group with high LDL-C and some of them may have started with a diet able to influence the risk of mortality.”

    2. Malhotra’s paper is highly misleading. Unfortunately, it is not just Malhotra peddling such claims based on the flimsiest of evidence. Cranks on the internet and people selling sensational “health” books love to promote alternative views like this. The meat, dairy and egg industries are sympathetic to the idea too because their products tend to raise cholesterol levels in many people. Some doctors have also jumped on this particular bandwagon and the claims attract a lot of uncritical media coverage (never let the facts get in the way of a good story)

      Dr Greger did a video on this topic earlier this year
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-do-we-know-that-cholesterol-causes-heart-disease/

      Also earlier year, the European Atherosclerosis Society, alarmed by the pseudoscientific claims about cholesterol proliferating on the internet and in the popular media, issued a consensus statement on cholesterol and cardiovascular disease. After considering all the evidence, they unequivocally concluded that LDL cholesterol causes atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease
      https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109

    3. Ryan Mahoney – Why don’t you check out the video’s and information that Dr. Greger listed under his “Doctor’s Notes” above. I think you find some information regarding your question there.
      Also, cholesterol raises in direct relation to the consumption of saturated fat. The saturation of fat is defined by its chemical structure. Saturated is saturated whether the fat is lard, coconut, palm, pig, chicken, or beef.
      Cholesterol can also rise via other mechanisms as well – sedentary lifestyle for example.
      But give a look to Dr. G’s video, above, Cholesterol Crystals May Tear Through Our ARtery Lining. Worth taking a look at.

    4. From what I’ve gathered reading various views on the matter, it seemed that a lot of the folks asserting that cholesterol isn’t the culprit should have been saying that cholesterol isn’t the ONLY culprit; while everyone was fixated on cholesterol, it turned out that inflammation was also a major contributing factor.

      If you view all the videos on heart health, a big picture begins to emerge: it isn’t cholesterol vs. inflammation as the sole cause of heart disease, but rather, the big picture suggests that it is both cholesterol and inflammation that contribute to the problem. And also TMAO (trimethylamine oxide) from certain gut bacteria breaking down choline and carnitine into trimethylamine, whicn the liver oxidizes. TMAO is a major risk factor for heart disease apart from inflammation and cholesterol.

      However, people don’t eat cholesterol or inflammatory chemicals, but rather, they eat foods that contain them. And the foods that contain one usually contain the other. Animal protein tends to come with saturated fat, cholesterol, choline/carnitine, arachidonic acid (which induces inflammation), while lacking fiber which the gut bacteria convert into anti-inflammatory chemicals such as butyrate and propionate. So in the end, debating whether it is one thing or another is basically a vain exercise, because even if you exonerate cholesterol, you’re not safe eating animal protein because all of the other factors that increase the risk of heart disease are still found in the same foods.

      See this video on how we know cholesterol is one of the causes of heart disease.
      How do we know that cholesterol causes heart disease?

    5. Ryan, good question! Dr. Greger actually has a really good video addressing and explaining this. Cholesterol is definitely linked to heart disease. He explains why it’s now being called flawed. I really only remember the bottom line of the video and that it was pretty fascinating stuff, so I can’t go into detail. I don’t remember the title of the video but perhaps if you search cholesterol in the topics you’ll find it. Anyone remember the video I’m referring to and can share the link?

    6. Yes the cholesterol theory is all fake and it causes so much havoc to world health.

      Inflammation is what causes heart diseases and is measured by a CRP test.

      Speaking of inflammation, avocado is known to decrease it, reducing the risk of heart diseases. The French has rated avocado as a prescription drug to find disease.

      I don’t understand why Dr G is trashing avocado here. Strange things happen with Dr G.

      https://ethixbeautyblog.com/2017/09/15/why-has-france-classified-avocado-oil-as-a-prescription-drug/

      1. Jerry,

        Here is a link by Dr. Berg, a chiropracter, who presents a YouTube video on how to lower your C-Reactive Protein which as you know is a sign of inflammation. Dr. Berg’s lecture goes right along with what you have been saying on this forum for a long time now.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcTm7opfgpA So, Jerry have you had your C-reactive protein measured?

        1. John, now you are reading Dr Berg, the next thing is that you will read Dr Mercola. LOL.

          Seriously, Dr Berg was my to read a while ago but I have “graduated” since and Dr Berg talks about the old stuff I already know. I agree with most of what Dr Berg says except for his anti fruits because of the sugar – yeah you should avoid fruits if you have diabete type 2 but otherwise you will be missing a beneficial food if you avoid it.

          My sources of info these days are mainly from Dr Mercola and Natural News / Mike Adams / Health Ranger. You may like to read Mike Adams because he is an ardent supporter of Pres Trump and a paranoia / doomsday guy … just like you. I don’t read his blog for this but I scan quickly for new info on nutrition and there are a lot.

          You don’t have to be a meat eater to read Mercola and Mike Adams web sites because 95% of the time, they talk about plant foods and they introduce a lot of foods I didn’t know about. I also learn a lot about supplements from them although I buy from different sources.

          Trust me, if you read Mercola and Mike Adams, you will learn a lot. You don’t have to believe everything they said. For instance they talked about the danger of cell phone radiation a long time ago and I ignore it until Dr Greger brought the subject up recently and I start to pay attention about it.

          About CRP or C-reactive protein test, I have been talking about it for eternity. Of course I take that test and my measurement is close to 0.

          1. Jerry,

            I have been subscribing to Mercola’s newsletter for the last 7 years. I watch “The Health Ranger” on YouTube. I watch a wide variety of nutritionists and health advocates on YouTube and I read their websites. I still read Mercola’s daily newsletter, because every once in a while he has something interesting to say that I might act upon to help my situation.
            But, in the long run, I subscribe to the teachings of Dr. Greger. I’ll listen to anybody. A person is a fool not to listen to everything because if you don’t…you might miss something very important. I like Dr. Berg’s mannerism. He is soooo polite and his voice is very soothing. What’s interesting is that Dr. Berg actually has twice the number of subscribers on his YouTube channel than Dr. Greger. And, I think the reason is … is because Dr. Berg has a real soothing and calming attitude and voice, whereas Dr. Greger can get a little snarky at times and that might turn people off.
            But, the amount of reading and research that Dr. Greger does is absolutely phenomenal. And, he can quote all of this research he has read from memory.
            I’ve seen him do it before.

            1. Now I am confused. I think I mistaken you for the other “John” (there is also a more reasonable John S.) but it does not matter which John you are or there is only one John. I am not here to make friend and so it does not matter.

              Anyway like you, I read almost every nutritional doctors, with the exception of Fuhrman who patronages rich people, and McDougall because of his skinny and scary look and his peddling of really bad diet such as eating potato. I don’t spend a lot of time reading but just browse through quickly to see if there is any interesting to read further. I am not a follower of anyone but I will do further research on my own if I come across something that interests me.

              For really deep thought and analysis then I read guy like Mark Apple, or sometime Chris Kresser has some deep analysis also. For light reading and I like especially his recipes then I read Dr Axe. Dr Berg has some good recipes too.

              I outgrow of Dr G years ago although I used to be a big fan of him. I spend most time here mainly for entertainment :)

      2. Jerry,

        I checked the link that you presented on the benefits of avocados. The link is all about cooking and ingesting avocado OIL. So, do you actually ingest avocado oil as a part of your daily routine? And how much avocado oil do you consume? I assume you are taking avocado oil, PLUS coconut oil….correct? Are you ingesting any other oils besides these two oils?
        For example do you cook food in lard such as CRISCO’s white cooking lard?

  1. Why pick/write a apparently negative article on avocado? Over the years I have recommended this sight to many needing to clean up their diets. Lately many of the articles seem to be not helpful and even seem to be leaning the wrong direction. I have stopped looking forward to reading it.
    Just so you know.

    1. Do you want to know the facts or only information that proves you existing assumptions?

      This video is not suggesting that Avocados are unhealthy, but that their effect on lowering cholesterol may be marginal or far exceeded by other plant-foods. Sounds informative to me!

      1. I think, and I say I think that Dr. Esselstyn may be against avocados despite Dr. Greger’s neutral stance on avocados. However, if what Dr. Greger says is true, then eating avocados will not raise your cholesterol and thereby they become a safe food to eat. So, in that sense avocados make a great substitute at meal time. They are one of the few pleasure foods that a whole plant food person can eat…..IF and I say IF they are safe to eat. So, the big question is, will avocados raise your LDL?

        1. “They are one of the few pleasure foods that a whole plant food person can eat” I totally disagree, I think a WFPB diet is very pleasurable in general.

    2. Rick, I am wholeheartedly a Dr Gregor fan, but I believe that he is speaking more to the plant based community on this issue. The substitution issue, is, I believe of much greater importance for the bulk of the population that is eating an omnivore diet. I am glad that he exposed the substitution issue but, on balance, it may be a good idea for omniores to use avocado on their toast in place of butter. Most of them are not going to eat a plant based diet.

    3. If you watch through the entire video, he doesn’t say avocados are bad for you; he points out that avocados don’t confer the benefit that studies funded by the avocado promoting groups claim they do.

      I’m actually really glad that Dr. Greger is objective enough to turn his scrutiny toward any conflicts of interests and exaggerated claims, even if they come from producers of fruits and vegetables. That gives me confidence that he is objective, and isn’t going to hide this out of bias, which ultimately would come back to bite his credibility if a skeptic were to observe these things and point out if he selectively ignores them.

      You should also be glad that he is this objective. This only gives me more confidence that he will report the facts honestly. The site, after all, is evidence based, and is called Nutrition Facts. If it is to live up to the name, and not be “nutrition opinions” or “nutrition bias” or “nutrition propaganda”, he would have to report findings fairly, regardless of what we may be inclined to believe due to our biases.

    4. Rick, how was this negative? He only showed the evidence which could be very important to people taking the avacado route to lower cholesterol without resalizing they should be substituting for animal fats. I’d call this pretty relevant info and I’m grateful to Dr. Greger for getting the truth out there.
      Avocados are a great food and even these studies show that it’s a much healthier fat than butter, cheese, etc. and a great replacement idea. It really does have a buttery taste too, I find it makes an excellent replacement to butter and margarines.

  2. Here is a link to 2017 report issued this summer by the American Heart Association. In order to view the report I had to choose the “print” function to get it to display as a PDF. This is the most recent information released by the AHA that I could find.
    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2017/01/25/CIR.0000000000000485

    Here is the PDF link:
    http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/circulationaha/early/2017/01/25/CIR.0000000000000485.full.pdf

  3. The benefits of fat-type substitution seem well supported by the data presented, and I for one will sub avocados in my baking/dessert cooking more frequently because of this video. However, I agree with Rick Higgins that the presentation has an unnecessarily negative narrative; many people I know won’t really get the bigger picture, which is that it’s worth the bother to develop avocado-sub recipes for heart health. At the same time, I appreciate the anti-hype focus of the analysis.

  4. Scientific studies do not mean something is a fact. Thus Nutrition Facts should consider changing its name. Remove the work “facts”. Generally speaking,the information is good, but take it with a “grain of salt.”

    1. A scientific study can certainly show if something is NOT fact, and that’s what Dr. Greger was pointing out in this video. He showed that the assertion that avocados actively lower your cholesterol levels is NOT a fact. I’m glad that he’s this objective. I’m seeing way too many folks in the comments reject any deflating of hype. He didn’t say avocados are bad for you; he merely pointed out that even when a fruit producer funds studies, shenanigans like switching between animal fat and avocados are used to suggest the erroneous conclusions that avocados somehow actively lower cholesterol. Would you prefer him not to point out conflicts of interest? Fruit and vegetable producers are not somehow immune to the same sort of greed that meat, dairy, and egg producers are. This is not to say that their product is bad for you, but do you want them to lie and exaggerate the health benefits?

      Avocados don’t have to lower your cholesterol above and beyond simply not having any cholesterol to be healthy. That’s basically what this video is saying. You should rather appreciate its honesty. Dr. Greger absolutely has kept this site consistent with the name “Nutrition Facts”. Everything he presents here is evidence based, even if it is contrary to our biases.

        1. Joe,

          You are right. For years many people found good evidence that the earth was flat, but after much experimentation they decided that is was a ball. I think each person has to experiment on themselves to find out what is the best diet for them. But, the experimentation should involve getting blood levels of various nutrients, electrolytes, lipid profiles, and complete blood cell count. Also, one should get sonograms of their arteries to see if the diet they are on is really the right one for them. Bone density tests are also important. It is far superior to get EMPIRICAL data about your body than to be guided by a video made by a guy who likes to share his sense of humor. Life and death issues are not a funny thing.

          1. Umm, wow John. I’m pretty sure Dr. Greger is all for being tested when need be and paying attention to one’s health. The medical industry is not one of prevention though and it’s up to us to be sure we’re doing the most important t tging for both preventative and curative measures, and that is eating a healthy diet.
            Dr. Greger is a pioneer in presenting the best available science to us in showing us what that is.
            It is unrealistic for someone to constantly get everything tested. Most insurance wouldn’t even cover that. Plus who wants to live in a hospital or doctors office? Further more, tests are often flawed as is information given to us. A few examples of that is the fact that breast cancer is actually undetectable until it grows into an issue, we’re told “normal” blood pressure is healthy but it should actually be lower, there’s still a lot unknown about blood levels with certain fats, and so on…

            Greger is guided by science, not his sense of humor… but I’m glad he has an entertaining personality! It would be a lot harder to sit through, pay attention to, or read something from a monotone individual.

        2. joe, as a matter of fact (note the pun), thorough studies looked at from all foreseeable angles is as close to what we have as facts. It is safe to call things a fact when the evidence is strikingly clear, numerous times no less. To say plant foods are healthy for humans and animal products are not, for example, is a fact due to the plethora of evidence.
          Giving us the best available science and walking us through the research to help us understand their relevance or lack of relevance certainly earns the name of this website.
          There’s no need to take anything here with a “a grain of salt” because it’s all presented to us clearly and we can see what is or isn’t missing from a study.
          For the things left unconcluded, we’re given the best available information so we can decide what to do with it from there.
          Dr. Greger is a great teacher among other things.

            1. “nutritionreserachingfindings” would be a ridiculous name lol. Further more I think it would be more in tune to other websites that actually do present research, but not thorough or good research, e.g. making statements based on animal tests. Absolutely nonsensical, why not just call it nutritionalfactsascloseaswecangettofactsbutcertainpeoplenamedjoehaveanissuewithusingthewordfacts.org… put that one in the suggestion box.

            1. joe, you’re overgeneralizing. When it comes to certain aspects of eating, there is truth to it, but generally speaking, one basic way is healthy for everyone and one way is not and that is that humans are clearly meant to eat plants and not animals and when we eat plant based we’re able to achieve optimal health whereas when we eat animals we harm our bodies. That is true for all humans. Just like while some people may bruise more easily than others, getting hit in the head with a ball is still bad for everyone. Or for another example, even my cats sometimes do better on different foods than one another depending on their own sensitivities, but overall they still all need a carnivorous diet because while the details may vary, they still share the same general anatomy.

        3. “research articles are not meant to be facts.” Actually joe, they do the research in order to get to the truth or the facts if you will. The published papers are the collective evidence they find. For example, it has been published long ago after thorough research that there is no safe amount of consumption of transfats for the human body, this has been well established as a fact. Sigh…

  5. If there is an excess of cholesterol, the body will regulate it down by exiting it from the body. The exit point is the liver and the carrier is bile. But in order for the bile to form you need fat. If you eliminate all fat, then you don’t have an exit. Your millage may vary as it is really not that simple.

      1. What you say is true, but it may not maximize bile flow. I think the idea of eating a low fat diet focuses on minimizing cholesterol creation, while I am saying that eating higher fat % focuses on cholesterol elimination as follows:

        1 Fat intake triggers bile flow.The higher the fat intake, the higher the bile flow.

        2 The higher the bile flow, the higher the amount of cholesterol exiting the body.

        1. According to your logic then the more avocados you eat, the higher the bile flows because avocados have a lot of PLANT FAT. However, the higher the bile flows with avocado consumption the higher the cholesterol flows. Is this true?

          1. Chole- means bile in Greek. Cholesterol is made in the liver and is removed through the liver by bile. Instead of looking through a magnifying glass at the intake of fat (cholesterol), you can have a broader picture by paying attention at how cholesterol is removed.

        2. Hi, Panchito. While fat intake may stimulate bile flow (bitter greens also do this), that does not necessarily mean that the bile is exiting the body. Bile is made of cholesterol, which the human body can synthesize in sufficient amounts to meet all of its needs, but bile is recycled unless it is bound to fiber, such as that found in oats, and carried out of the body in the stool. I hope that helps!

          1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cholesterol

            “Plants manufacture phytosterols (substances chemically similar to cholesterol), which can compete with cholesterol for reabsorption in the intestinal tract, thus potentially reducing cholesterol reabsorption.[13] When intestinal lining cells absorb phytosterols, in place of cholesterol, they usually excrete the phytosterol molecules back into the GI tract, an important protective mechanism. The intake of naturally occurring phytosterols, which encompass plant sterols and stanols, ranges between ~200–300 mg/day depending on eating habits.[14] Specially designed vegetarian experimental diets have been produced yielding upwards of 700 mg/day.[15]”

    1. Fat is in all plant foods, just in different proportions. Therefore, you don’t need to work hard to ingest fat if you eat a healthy WFPB diet. Interestingly, Dr. Linda Carney, who has a very informative web site, eats very little of plant foods that have the most fats (avocado, nuts and seeds) and she says her omega 3s are at a normal level. If you are at a normal BMI and have no serious heart disease, then ingesting higher fat foods may be fine and enjoyable. But if you think you should leave it out, don’t worry about not getting enough fat; you still will take in what your body needs if you eat a diversity of other plant foods.

    2. Great theory but the existence of high and very high levels of cholesterol in huge numbers of people pretty effectively shows that this statement, at the very least needs to hedged around with very many caveats. Do you have any evidence to the contrary? Cholesterol homeostasis and regulatory mechanisms do not always work perfectly – especially in the face of long term consumption of unhealthy diets.

      The fact is that in many people cholesterol excretion is not sufficient to keep cholesterol within safe levels. My understanding is that cholesterol excretion is not perfect in many people for reasons that are not completely understood.

      1. Tom, this is an interesting rebuttal to the often heard claim that your body will adjust to any amount of cholesterol that enters the body. You make a really interesting point that I never came across which is a lot of people of a malfunctioning liver to some degree that does not regulate cholesterol to a safe level. For some people, the cholesterol in their system over taxes the liver and it starts to build up in the arteries along with calcium deposits and fat. Dr. Levy MD, who you can find on YouTube and other websites spends a lot of time talking about how to much INORGANIC calcium from supplements, hard water, and other sources also contributes greatly to plaque build up in the arteries. I never hear Dr. Greger ever talk about INORGANIC calcium as a factor in cardio vascular disease. Why is that? Because if it is a factor then Dr. Greger should at least inform us since cardio vascular disease is at the top of the list of problems that people around the planet face. So, what about calcium build up as a component of plaque?

        1. High blood sugars are a big contributer to heart disease, ask any endocrinologist. And high triglycerides are not caused by fat, but by too many carbs, even good carbs in some people and/or not enough exercise.

        2. Hi John

          Dr Levy has authored a number of books which make pretty sensational claims. To my knowledge, though, he has never published anything in the professional journals. I tend to be wary of such people and I can’t say that I have read any of his books or watched his videos.

          That said, coronary artery calcification (CAC) is certainly an important predictor of cardiovascular events.

          However, my understanding is that there are :
          1. “no significant associations of calcium from diet or supplements with any of our measures of calcified plaque, and no greater mortality risk”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4163793/

          and
          2 “there is no specific medical therapy targeting the reduction of CAC, and whether the treatment strategy limits the progression or enhances the regression of CAC or has prognostic impact needs further clinical studies.”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712374/

          In the light of this – lack of consistent evidence of harm and lack of evidence about remedial therapies – I can understand why Dr Greger has not addressed this topic. I suspect that Dr Levy’s claims are highly speculative. I am certainly not aware of any hard evidence of differential effects on human health of organic versus inorganic calcium. On the other hand, there is some evidence I believe that “the intake of soft water, i.e.water low in calcium, may be associated with higher risk of fracture in children (16), certain neurodegenerative diseases (17), pre-term birth and low weight at birth (18) and some types of cancer (19, 20). In addition to an increased risk of sudden death (21-23),” Calcium in water is presumably mainly inorganic.
          http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/nutrientschap12.pdf

          You’ll recall that I previously expressed some concerns about long term consumption of distilled water based on the evidence presented in that WHO paper.

          In sum, though, my understanding is that Dr Greger only addresses issues where there is reasonably good evidence to back up claims of harm. As I wrote earlier, I haven’t seen evidence from human studies of harm from dietary inorganic calcium consumption.

          1. Thank you Tom for that scholarly article that you put together on calcium.
            You made some good points for me to think about. However, I avoid calcium supplements, bone meal, bone broth and the such. I get my calcium only from green leafy vegetables. So, the question still remains. If taking calcium supplements does not cause calcium to build up in the arteries and to cause general calcification in various tissues…..then WHAT does cause calcification of the arteries? There are a lot of people who have heart attacks, and the autopsies show calcification of the arteries. I bet we can point the finger to the good old Standard American Diet. But, what is it in the Standard American Diet that causes calcification of the arteries? Milk?
            Meat? Cheese? Lack of vitamin K-2 ? The American public is hammered over and over again to make sure that we get enough calcium and the powers that be always suggest milk, cheese, and meat as good sources of calcium. But, here is the bottom line: When you analyze the contents of PLAQUE in the arteries it consists of FAT, CHOLESTEROL, and low and behold CALCIUM. We know where the fat comes from. We know where the cholesterol comes from.
            But, nobody seems to know where the calcium comes from. Probably from the same place that the fat and cholesterol came from: Something in the standard american diet.

            1. Yes, that’s the $64,000 question. nobody really knows or, as one of those articles I cited earlier, puts it
              “Despite a significant amount of research addressing CAC, our understanding of the pathogenesis, clinical implication and management of CAC remains limited. In terms of pathophysiology of CAC, the governing factors are not fully understood regarding formation of intimal versus medial calcification, and the clinical significance of these two types of CAC remains to be elucidated.”
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712374/

              Berkley puts it and artherosclerosis generally down to inflammation but this is merely an educated guess and of course there may even be multiple causes of arterial calcifiction as there are in the cases of heart disease and cancer
              http://www.berkeleywellness.com/supplements/minerals/article/calcium-supplement-risks

    3. There are a bunch of videos on how the body purges excess cholesterol through the colon. It isn’t as much a function of bile as much as it is a function of fiber. Without fiber, excess bile salts get re-absorbed, and when they do, they become a significant cancer causing risk.

      See this: How to reduce carcinogenic bile acid production
      (Be sure to see the Doctor’s Notes for this one.)

      I’m having a bit of trouble hunting down which of the thousands of videos explained how excess cholesterol can be dumped into the colon to be removed by fiber, but gets re-absorbed if there isn’t enough fiber in the diet, but if I find it, I’ll post a link to it.

    4. @Panchito The standard American diet had loads of fat in it but also has the worst markers for lipid profiles. Shouldn’t they have plenty of fat to use for bile and cholesterol regulation?

      I would disagree that our bodies are well adapted for handling excess cholesterol. If it was we wouldn’t have the issues with atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease that we have…

      1. This is not erring on the side of caution, but erring on the side of fear and impatience. Please, have the patience to listen to what Dr. Greger actually pointed out. He never said they’re bad for you, he just called out the exaggeration of their ability to lower cholesterol by avocado growers and explained how the studies funded by these avocado promoters were flawed.

        Don’t just swear off a food because his tone of voice got a bit skeptical at some claim about it. You should know by now that he wants everything to be put to the test.

      2. Hi, John. While claims that avocados actively lower cholesterol may not be fully supported by evidence, they are still nutritious foods. At this point, I would say that avocados are still green light foods. The video is not saying that they are bad for you, or even that they are without benefit. It is merely pointing out one claim that is without merit.

    1. Yes it’s still a green light food.

      Watch the whole video. He didn’t say it was bad for you, just that when it was put to the test, it didn’t especially lower cholesterol, and that the studies that suggest it does were badly designed seemingly on purpose because they were funded by avocado promoting agencies.

      I really appreciate Dr. Greger’s commitment to be objective and to be fair, and to call out exaggeration or deception, whether on the part of meat and dairy and egg industry studies, or by promotors of specific fruits or vegetables.

      Avocados are not bad for you. They’re just not actively going to reduce your cholesterol. That’s all this video says.

  6. Hello Dr. Greger,
    My wife, son and I are big fans of your work.
    Someone shared with me a video today about something called “grounding”. The claim is that there are significant health benefits to being physically grounded by standing on the ground or grass barefoot or by “grounding” by other means such as connecting a wire from the bed to the ground. After watching the video in which they feature a few expert opinions and cite some studies, I thought I’d look it up on your site, but looks like you haven’t done any videos or articles on it yet. Would appreciate if you could do a video or research blog on what the scientific evidence says so far on that topic.

    1. Hi Paul,

      Grounding is a basic aspect of eastern energetic practices, such as taiji, qigong and yoga. As a long time practitioner, I would suggest that you explore these traditions and the available literature, which extends back several thousand years.

  7. Hello, I am from Spain, I have been trying this diet since March, no animal products. But I have losing weight and I have been feeling bad for these last two weeks, with little energy and with pain in the chest, nervous…
    In the past I tried for 3 years lacto-ovo vegetarian but finally I felt very bad too.
    I don’t know why I can’t do this diet. I have read many books, I think I know enough. I am desolated.
    What can I do?
    Sorry for my level of english

    1. Hi, Henry. Your English is fine. I can understand you perfectly. Weight loss often happens when people switch from a diet with a higher energy density to one with a higher nutrient, lower calorie density. Without knowing more about exactly what you are eating, it is difficult to comment on what you could do to make this way of eating work better for you. If you have not already done so, you may want to read the book, How Not To Die, and follow the Daily Dozen. With regard to your other symptoms, it would be wise to consult a physician to find out about any underlying medical conditions that could be causing them.

    2. Dear Henry, we are all individual when it comes to the right diet. Although WFPB suits many people it may not suit all. As I understand it studies on genetic profiling and epigenetics are the only way to know for sure what is the ultimate diet for you, the best medications, the best exercise and where the problem areas are. Is it the future? I myself follow a WFPB SOS low fat way of eating but then I never liked animal products even as a child. I prefer fruit above all other types of food. If you are not feeling well seeing a doctor is definitely a good idea. I wish you luck Henry. Stay safe amigo!

      1. Muchas gracias, thanks Charmaine, I hope I can continue with this diet, I have been recommending it to my family and friends all these last months and now I am not a good example.

    3. Henry, my doctor mentioned, for her active patients who on going to a WFBD are losing weight too rapidly she recommends consuming dried fruits to add calories. She reports it works.

      gl

  8. Good morning Dr. Greger,

    Thanks for your videos. I have a request: Can you please make a video about vitamin B-17 (laetrile) and its effect on cancer. Have a great day!

  9. Hi, Maribel. I have passed along your request. Meanwhile, I will address your question to the best of my ability. Amygdalin, also called laetrile and (mistakenly, because it is not a vitamin) vitamin B-17 has been around for a long time. This Cochrane review sums up the results of decades of research nicely. The authors conclude, “The claims that laetrile or amygdalin have beneficial effects for cancer patients are not currently supported by sound clinical data. There is a considerable risk of serious adverse effects from cyanide poisoning after laetrile or amygdalin, especially after oral ingestion. The risk-benefit balance of laetrile or amygdalin as a treatment for cancer is therefore unambiguously negative.” I hope that helps.

  10. The problem with observational studies is that many old people die after a long illness which causes their cholesterol and weight to plummet. So an 80 year old dying of cancer may have low cholesterol and low body weight but neither of these is the cause of their malady . Much of the evidence touting the the benefits of cholesterol in old age seems to make use of this phenomenon .Imho.

  11. Joel Fuhrman has come out with this really interesting book: This is a fascinating interview about nutrition and how nutrition has shaped slavery, politics, world war 2, and today’s high rate of dysfunctional people in the United States. The title of the book is Nutritional Suicide. Fascinating information on how Hitler used nutritional advice from America back in the 1920’s. How the term “red neck” came to indicate someone who is stupid and angry all the time. How Southern whites rose up against Southern blacks after the civil war because of nutritional deficits among Southern Whites. Amazing information.

    https://youtu.be/CGdQr-D4NoA

  12. I have been on a full plant based diet for a little over two months. Throughout my life, my cholorestol has been around 250 with my hdl between 50 and 60 and all the other readings good. I also follow the Budwig diet and I have eaten more fruits and vegetables than meat for about ten years. Even when I cut all cholesterol out of my diet, it stays around 250. I was told that mine is heridity. Now that I have switched to plant based, will my cholesterol drop or will my body just adjust and kick it out. I once had an EBCT scan of my heart because my doctor wanted me to take Lipitor and I wouldn’t do it. The reading was good, very little plaque. If my body makes it, even without meat, do I need to worry? Is there more I should do? Thanks, Steve

    1. Hello Stephen,
      Congratulations on your new diet. I am a family doctor with a private practice in lifestyle medicine, and also a volunteer moderator for this website. On a plant-based diet, your cholesterol intake should be zero. However, cholesterol metabolism is complicated, and your levels also depend on your intake of saturated fat, which is present in quite a few plant foods, especially plant oils, such as coconut oil.

      Probably, your cholesterol levels will be lower on your fully plant-based diet. If they are not, please read this article, which gives tips for people following a whole foods plant based diet, but still have high cholesterol: https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-can-i-do-to-lower-my-cholesterol-it-seems-ive-tried-everything/

      I hope this helps.
      Dr. Jon
      PhysicianAssistedWellness.com
      Volunteer moderator for NutritionFacts.org

      1. Dr. Jon – Thanks for the response. I am anxious to see what this new diet will do. I’m off to Afghanistan for six months starting next month so I won’t be able to check until I get back. Is it true that my liver can produce its own cholesterol and keep mine high? If so, is that bad? Thanks again, I’m not having a problem with the lack of meat. I just think of a chapter in “How not to Die” and I’m good to go. Steve

  13. I’m 62, 5’5″, weight goes from 155 to 160 daily. Vegan PBD and vegan process foods. My last test had a triglyceride level of 152 and A1c at 6.8. Glucose at 118. Everything else is In good range. Test taken 10/5/2017 is this because I love avocado. I was eating one a day be for the test. Drink water and coffee with Stevia (Pyure) brand or Smoothies.

  14. I celebrated the good news of the LDL lowering properties of avocado described in the first video by having a guacamole sandwich, then lamented my decision upon watching the second video, in which the good doctor debunked its purported health benefits. What gives, Dr. Mike?

  15. Hello,
    I am trying to find out the research on whether ghee adversely affects cholesterol. It is a staple in Indian diets. Preliminary research (2010) study suggests its beneficial, but the research sells a product with ghee in it. Was wondering if there was a way to have Dr. Greger do a video on the topic…

  16. Generally nutrients from what we eat are bronken down into several components and regenerated into essetial substancies
    so that’s why we need to eat a variety of plants. What we eat is not what we wear, and it is impossible to take certain isolated
    nutrients for them even collargen. Is that right?

  17. I think the old arguments will be abandoned once the understanding of what makes each person’s unique microbiome thrive and when that is married up with the knowledge derived from the genome project. Dr Zach Bush and Dr Rhonda Patrick are the new breed of doctors that impress me.

  18. So avocados have fewer sterols than sesame seeds by weight, per 100 grams. But sesame seeds have a lot more calories. 100g avocado = 167 calories, 100g sesame seeds = 573 calories if unhulled, 631 if hulled. So if you change it to per 100 calories, avocados -> 75/167 = 45 mg sterols per 100 calories. Sesame, 70 mg sterols per 100 calories using unhulled number, or 63 mg using hulled. Almost all tahini is made from unhulled sesame seeds, and unfortunately we don’t know if more of the sterols are located in the hull or not. Considering that sterols are fat soluble and hulls are mostly fiber/carbs, hulled seem like they might hold onto the benefit here. So they are closer in sterol content than they first appear.

    Pistachios come out to 50 mg/100 calories using this metric, and almonds are 34 mg/100 calories (lower than the avocado).

    This doesn’t take into account any other beneficial components of the avocado or nut/seed. Walnuts dropped cholesterol in a study on this site. And there are a lot of other promising components of sesame seeds, like the lignans.

    Sterol/stanol supplements (used in margarine form mostly) can have 1000-2000 mg of sterols, more than you could ever get from whole foods in one day. Unfortunately the margarine has palm oil and apparently buttermilk. There are some vegan capsule forms on Amazon… perhaps an option for the people on this site who have trouble reducing their cholesterol even on WFPB. If only there were more studies.

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