Are Pre-Cut Vegetables Just as Healthy?

Are Pre-Cut Vegetables Just as Healthy?
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Endotoxins can build up on pre-chopped vegetables and undermine some of their benefits.

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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.

Seven years ago I introduced the endotoxin theory literature, which sought to explain how a single meal of sausage and egg McMuffin could cripple artery function within hours of consumption. Maybe because such a meal causes inflammation by inducing a low-grade endotoxemia: endotoxins in the bloodstream within hours of consumption. Endotoxins are structural components of gram-negative bacteria like E. coli, and certain foods have such high bacterial loads, like ground meat, the thought was that it was the endotoxins in the food that was triggering the inflammation.

Critics of the theory argued that because we have so many bacteria already living in our colon, so many endotoxins just sitting down there in our large intestine, a few more endotoxins in our food wouldn’t matter much in terms of causing systemic inflammation. After all, we have like two pounds of pure bacteria down there where the sun don’t shine; so, there could be like a whole ounce of endotoxin. And the lethal dose of intravenously injected endotoxin can be just like a few millionths of a gram; so, we could have a million lethal doses down there, but the apparent paradox is explained by compartmentalization. It’s location, location, location.

Poop is harmless in your colon, but shouldn’t be injected into your bloodstream, or eaten for that matter—particularly with fat, as that can promote the absorption of endotoxins up in the small intestine, even well-cooked poop.

You can boil endotoxins for two hours straight with no detriment in their ability to induce inflammation. You could easily kill off any bacteria if you boiled your poop soup long enough, but you can’t kill off the endotoxins they make, just like you can’t cook the crap out of the meat. The consumption of meat contaminated with feces doesn’t just cause food poisoning. It can spill out onto the skin during the evisceration process, when the digestive tract is ruptured.

Even when slaughterhouse workers trim off the visible fecal contamination, the trimming itself can, ironically, sometimes lead to an increase in certain fecal bacteria, thought to be caused by cross-contamination from one carcass to the next. Then, even when properly stored in the fridge, endotoxins start accumulating, along with the bacterial growth.

What about other foods? The highest levels of endotoxins were found in meat and dairy, and the lowest levels in fresh fruits and vegetables. But that was testing whole fruits and vegetables. “Most spoilage organisms cannot penetrate the plant’s surface barrier and spoil the inner tissues.” That’s why fruits and veggies can just sit out there all day in the sun in the fields. Once you cut them open, though, and bacteria can gain access to the inner tissues, within a matter of days, your veggies can start to spoil. So what does that mean for all those convenient pre-chopped veggies these days?

While endotoxins were not detectable in the majority of unprocessed vegetables, once you damage “the protective outer layers of vegetables,” you diminish their resistance to microbial growth. So, while freshly-chopped carrots and onions start out with undetectable levels, day after day, even kept chilled in the fridge, you start to get the growth of bacteria, and along with them endotoxin buildup. Not as much as meat, but not insignificant. Enough to make a difference, though? You don’t know, until you put it to the test.

What would happen if you switched people between a diet expected to have a lower endotoxin load to foods containing more endotoxins, like going from intact meat like steaks and whole fruits and vegetables, to more like ground beef and pre-chopped veggies and more ready-made meals? After just one week on the lower-endotoxin diet, people’s white blood cell count, which is an indicator of total-body inflammation, dropped 12 percent, but then bumped back up 14 percent after just four days on the higher endotoxin diet. And, they actually lost a pound and a half on the lower endotoxin diet, and slimmed their waist a bit.

But they weren’t really eating otherwise identical diets. Looks like they were eating more meat and cheese overall on the higher endotoxin diet, and maybe getting more food additives in the ready-made meals. So, how do we know endotoxins had anything to do with it? That’s where the onion study comes in. A new study was designed based on two meals that differed in their content of bacterial products, but which were otherwise nutritionally identical. So, they compared freshly chopped onion to pre-chopped onion that had been refrigerated for a few days. It wasn’t spoiled; it was still before the “best before” date. So, would it make any difference?

Within three hours of consumption, the fresh onion meal caused significant reductions in several markers of inflammation. That’s what fruits and vegetables do; they reduce inflammation. But these effects were not observed after eating the prechopped onions. For example, here’s one inflammatory marker. Three hours after eating fresh-chopped onions, a significant drop in inflammatory status, but three hours after eating the exact same amount of pre-chopped onions, no significant change. So, it’s not like the pre-chopped onions caused more inflammation, like in the meat, eggs, and dairy studies, but they did appear to extinguish some of the anti-inflammatory effects of the onion. In conclusion, the modern trend towards eating the pre-chopped vegetables rather than whole intact foods is likely to be associated with increased oral endotoxin exposure. It’s definitely still better to eat pre-chopped vegetables than no vegetables, but chopping your own might be the healthiest.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: fruitnet.com via flickr. 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.

Seven years ago I introduced the endotoxin theory literature, which sought to explain how a single meal of sausage and egg McMuffin could cripple artery function within hours of consumption. Maybe because such a meal causes inflammation by inducing a low-grade endotoxemia: endotoxins in the bloodstream within hours of consumption. Endotoxins are structural components of gram-negative bacteria like E. coli, and certain foods have such high bacterial loads, like ground meat, the thought was that it was the endotoxins in the food that was triggering the inflammation.

Critics of the theory argued that because we have so many bacteria already living in our colon, so many endotoxins just sitting down there in our large intestine, a few more endotoxins in our food wouldn’t matter much in terms of causing systemic inflammation. After all, we have like two pounds of pure bacteria down there where the sun don’t shine; so, there could be like a whole ounce of endotoxin. And the lethal dose of intravenously injected endotoxin can be just like a few millionths of a gram; so, we could have a million lethal doses down there, but the apparent paradox is explained by compartmentalization. It’s location, location, location.

Poop is harmless in your colon, but shouldn’t be injected into your bloodstream, or eaten for that matter—particularly with fat, as that can promote the absorption of endotoxins up in the small intestine, even well-cooked poop.

You can boil endotoxins for two hours straight with no detriment in their ability to induce inflammation. You could easily kill off any bacteria if you boiled your poop soup long enough, but you can’t kill off the endotoxins they make, just like you can’t cook the crap out of the meat. The consumption of meat contaminated with feces doesn’t just cause food poisoning. It can spill out onto the skin during the evisceration process, when the digestive tract is ruptured.

Even when slaughterhouse workers trim off the visible fecal contamination, the trimming itself can, ironically, sometimes lead to an increase in certain fecal bacteria, thought to be caused by cross-contamination from one carcass to the next. Then, even when properly stored in the fridge, endotoxins start accumulating, along with the bacterial growth.

What about other foods? The highest levels of endotoxins were found in meat and dairy, and the lowest levels in fresh fruits and vegetables. But that was testing whole fruits and vegetables. “Most spoilage organisms cannot penetrate the plant’s surface barrier and spoil the inner tissues.” That’s why fruits and veggies can just sit out there all day in the sun in the fields. Once you cut them open, though, and bacteria can gain access to the inner tissues, within a matter of days, your veggies can start to spoil. So what does that mean for all those convenient pre-chopped veggies these days?

While endotoxins were not detectable in the majority of unprocessed vegetables, once you damage “the protective outer layers of vegetables,” you diminish their resistance to microbial growth. So, while freshly-chopped carrots and onions start out with undetectable levels, day after day, even kept chilled in the fridge, you start to get the growth of bacteria, and along with them endotoxin buildup. Not as much as meat, but not insignificant. Enough to make a difference, though? You don’t know, until you put it to the test.

What would happen if you switched people between a diet expected to have a lower endotoxin load to foods containing more endotoxins, like going from intact meat like steaks and whole fruits and vegetables, to more like ground beef and pre-chopped veggies and more ready-made meals? After just one week on the lower-endotoxin diet, people’s white blood cell count, which is an indicator of total-body inflammation, dropped 12 percent, but then bumped back up 14 percent after just four days on the higher endotoxin diet. And, they actually lost a pound and a half on the lower endotoxin diet, and slimmed their waist a bit.

But they weren’t really eating otherwise identical diets. Looks like they were eating more meat and cheese overall on the higher endotoxin diet, and maybe getting more food additives in the ready-made meals. So, how do we know endotoxins had anything to do with it? That’s where the onion study comes in. A new study was designed based on two meals that differed in their content of bacterial products, but which were otherwise nutritionally identical. So, they compared freshly chopped onion to pre-chopped onion that had been refrigerated for a few days. It wasn’t spoiled; it was still before the “best before” date. So, would it make any difference?

Within three hours of consumption, the fresh onion meal caused significant reductions in several markers of inflammation. That’s what fruits and vegetables do; they reduce inflammation. But these effects were not observed after eating the prechopped onions. For example, here’s one inflammatory marker. Three hours after eating fresh-chopped onions, a significant drop in inflammatory status, but three hours after eating the exact same amount of pre-chopped onions, no significant change. So, it’s not like the pre-chopped onions caused more inflammation, like in the meat, eggs, and dairy studies, but they did appear to extinguish some of the anti-inflammatory effects of the onion. In conclusion, the modern trend towards eating the pre-chopped vegetables rather than whole intact foods is likely to be associated with increased oral endotoxin exposure. It’s definitely still better to eat pre-chopped vegetables than no vegetables, but chopping your own might be the healthiest.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: fruitnet.com via flickr. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Here are those old videos I mentioned: The Exogenous Endotoxin Theory and Dead Meat Bacteria Endotoxemia.

For some other practical veggie vids check out Best Way to Cook Vegetables and How to Cook Greens.

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

172 responses to “Are Pre-Cut Vegetables Just as Healthy?

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    1. Agreed, and to add to that, here I was thinking that prepping food on Monday for the rest of the week was good too :( So, maybe batch cooking wasn’t as healthy as I thought it was either?

      1. Holly, my thoughts exactly. I prep a lot of vegetables on Sunday night for the coming work week. I don’t know if I could eat this way if I didn’t have the equivalent of a salad bar in my fridge during the week.

        This study doesn’t cover cooked foods, though. The fate of my Sunday pot of soup eaten through the week is still unknown.

        1. He does say to ‘chop your own’. I would have to see if properly washed vegetables, chopped in my own kitchen, were a problem before I change habits. I do usually prep lots of veggies the day after I shop. That way I can get salad, soups, or stir-fries on the table in minutes for weekday meals. I don’t do onions or garlic ahead as that takes barely any time.
          This video didn’t answer the questions I am left with.

      2. Right, so then the only people who can eat a healthy diet are those who have time to prepare everything from scratch every single meal every single day and who have the financial ability to throw away most of their produce because they won’t eat a whole onion or avocado or watermelon, etc., at a time. And this we know because of two groups of people were fed onions once.

        1. Stereotyping a bit there, S.

          I am on a low income I eat a lot of free and “waste” food and I don’t throw away whole produce. If I have spare onion I will turn it into something else.

          Who, over the age of 12, leaves part of a watermelon uneaten!? Not in this house. :D

          1. Sarah, umm… you’re very confused at my comment. You should reread it and the discussion it was made as a response to. I was making a point. I wasn’t even saying that people throw away whole food, what I was saying was very clear: people don’t, shouldn’t, and can’t throw away good fresh plant foods because they can’t eat it all in one sitting. I’m not sure what you thought you read.

      3. I was came to the same realization after watching that video. Maybe freeze the food in the interim if it won’t ruin the texture for the next meal.

    2. Anything to do with convenience and keeping people less active is not too good.

      I like Arugula and have never heard of a food recall for it….. so think about that.

      If they don’t have fresh, I might buy pre packaged. But when you open it you can smell
      the chlorine they put in because it has been chopped. So I rinse in filtered tap water.

      I also like watercress on occasion. It is great. Everything in moderation.

      1. Yerky, people often prepare food ahead of time and buy prepare food BECAUSE they are active living their lives and taking care of themselves and others so that is a ridiculous statement that you could unjustifiably argue about anything including the internet being a bad idea because people don’t get off their chairs and travel to libraries as much.

    1. Pre-chopped flash frozen vegetables are fine. They don’t sit around for hours until frozen. They are chopped, bagged and frozen. No time for spoilage.

      1. Wondering if frozen vegetables and fruits have this problem too. Also that means that all restaurant food would have this too since they pre chop everything.

    2. Yes! I wondered about pre-cut frozen veg, canned tomatoes, pre-cut fruit that’s frozen or in a can. I live in the upper Midwest. My selection of fruit and veg are going to be mighty limited if I lose these options.

      Would organic versus conventional make a difference?

      I make my own easy pickled onions that are stored in jars in the fridge. Would the acidity make a difference?

      I make my own beet and balsamic hummus. It’s just me, so there’s no way I can eat a batch in one sitting.

      1. While others have pointed out that when fruits and vegetables are frozen they are quickly processed without long times for nutrients to be lost. Actually some fruits and vegetables end up having more nutrients when frozen compared to others that are picked but then travel long distances or are stored for long periods of time. While I found no studies comparing the relative loss of nutrients after cutting between organic and conventional, it makes sense to consider that organic has slightly more nutrients to begin with their loss due to cutting would be about the same. Studies on acidity’s affect on nutrient loss due to cutting were not available either, but putting this in perspective; Picked onions and been and balsamic hummus )sounds delicious!) are heatlhy snacks which you can enjoy and feel good about eating, especially if you also are eating a variety of other fruits and vegetables, whether fresh, canned or frozen.Enjoy!

    3. Pre-cut and packaged produce, whether merely cooled or frozen, is subject to greater oxidation by increasing the exposed food surface, and by “breaking’ the plant’s tougher, outer tissue layer. Based on Dr. Greger’s general comments about oxidation of phytonutrients, the process alters and often degrades the value of produce. Oxidation is also a “natural” process, but not beneficial when uncontrolled, as in food spoilage.

    4. I would like an answer to the question too,

      “Does this mean that pre-cut frozen vegetables do not have the same anti-inflammatory
      benefit Intact frozen vegetables do?” or if the video above only referring to fresh vegetables that are pre-cut either when bought at the store as a convenience? Can we extrapolate this toileting when we cut our fresh veggies at home for weekly food prep? Will they no longer have this anti-infammatory benefits is prepped in advance. Essentially meaning that if you want the full anti-inflammatory benefits of these plant foods you should only cut them immediately before cooking?

      Furthermore… should we extrapolate that even further to consider leftovers, What is a cut all my veggies for the meal I am making that night but I make a double batch to eat off all week, Do I not enjoy those benefits bc as the food sits in the refrigerator it is losing its anti-inflammatory benefits?

      It would be really helpful to me to know these things as it would/could significantly impact how I prep and eat food. Thank you in advance for a response someone on Dr. Gregors team. There are a lot of corrollaries that follow from this. Thank you for your help. Jenna

      1. Hi, Jenna Taylor! Please see NF Health Support Volunteer Joan-NurseEducator’s response to Annette above. I would add that we should not drive ourselves crazy with the details, nor make the perfect the enemy of the good. If advance prep and using frozen fruits and veggies means that you are able to eat more of them, then that is probably a good thing. Dr. Greger has said in other videos and posts that the best way to prepare whole plant foods is the way that makes people most likely to eat them. I hope that helps!

        1. That is super helpful, Christine. I would agree with you on that front. This certainly makes sense for the average person but what about people who suffer from auto-immune diseases? For example, Lupus. Many lupus patients eat a WFPBD to reduce inflammation from animal food products and benefit from the anti-flammation this diet provides. Therefore, in these specific circumstances people with SLE would want to understand this subtle difference because it could impact their lives significantly. They would be highly motivated to make changes to the way they prepare food is there is indeed a difference. If you have any other insight as it pertains to this, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you, Christine.

          1. Hi, Jenna Taylor! According to Dr. Brooke Goldner, who has done a lot of work with autoimmune diseases, including healing herself of lupus, the best approach is a high raw, whole food, plant-based diet. She writes that it is okay to use frozen fruit, but that greens should be fresh. I have modeled my work with clients who have autoimmune conditions on her advice, and it has been effective. I hope that helps!

  1. I remember a previous video where Dr. Greger advises to chop broccoli some hours ahead of cooking in order to increase one of the beneficial anti-cancer components. I have read the same thing from another source about garlic. I wonder if this would then decrease the anti-inflammatory components, also. Maybe it is the timing–chopping a few hours wouldn’t be as bad as a “few days” as tested with the onions.

    1. For broccoli he suggested prechopping if u choose to cook, bake or deep fry. Broccoli has components which activate during steaming process or during chopping but otherwise get destroyed during cooking, microwaving, baking or frying. If u love ur broccoli baked, then do so, however it tastes best to you. If the convenience of prechopping a couple of days is best for you because it’s lower price, or simply uses less time, u can do so. Just make sure u know it might be a bit less of a bang. Someone whom does everything from whole scratch might get more bang but uses lots of time. Despite all that, still healthier than any omni diet~

      1. Yes, as Dr Greger says, eating veggies is preferable to not eating veggies. If the only way we can manage is to do some prep ahead of time, still better than an egg McMuffin :)

    2. April, my thougts too. In his broccoli video, I believe he suggested we leave it sit after cutting for about 40 minutes. Doesn’t seem that would pose the same risk as precut for days.

    3. It is 45 minutes ahead so that sulforathane can be enzymatically created. An interview of a researcher at Johns Hopkins on Rhonda Patrick’s site has the researcher sharing that gut bacteria also create sulforathane from cruciferous vegetables with varying degrees of conversion possibly due to differences in microbiota. I personally have switched to no prechop and lightly steaming broccoli then sprinkling mustard seed powder as the mustard seed has benefits beyond just contributing myrosinase such as the production of the related sulforaphene (not sulforaphane) from mustard’s components. This should increase availability of nutrients and prevent bacterial growth as well.

    4. April, it’s 45 minutes and same for any crucifer as this allows the sulforaphane to peak before cooking. He does it some hours before to have them ready for later in the day.

      There is no saying that it would do anything to the anti-inflammatory benefits of the broccoli even if purchased pre-chopped, this was one very small, singular study done on one type of food that may have had variables that I mentioned in another comment, I didn’t read the study itself so I don’t know and sometimes studies don’t answer all the detailed questions about the products studied that might come to mind.

  2. My knives are very good to me! Often I don’t eat the whole onion, but it’s only cut in half or quarters before going into fridge. I only chop what I’m using right now this meal.

    Pre-shredded greens are way of life out here in the rural areas of the country, unless we grow our own-and I’m soon taking up that practice as well as micro-greenery and sprouting.

    1. Collards are a southern staple Wade. You should be able to grow them year round down there in middle Tennessee. They have some varieties at Fedco Seeds in Maine, that will overwinter in New England believe it or not.

      1. Blair,

        Thanks for the tips! I just discovered Fedco Trees; I never thought to look at their seeds. I live in CT, though, and I’d like to try growing greens in a cold frame. But I have to rearrange some parts of my back yard first. I guess that’s why gardening is always a work in progress.

        1. Dr. J,
          I think you will love Eliot Coleman’s books if you haven’t seen them already. This is the one I started with and subsequently made a cold frame out of a recycled picture window and some lumber. I’m in a very snowy part of Michigan and was taking lettuce(!) out in March after over-wintering it.
          https://www.amazon.com/Four-Season-Harvest-Organic-Vegetables-Garden/dp/1890132276/ref=sr_1_3?keywords=eliot+coleman&qid=1576714505&s=books&sr=1-3
          Coleman lives in Maine, if I’m not mistaken, and was looking at a map of the world and was thinking about how Parisians grow things year round although they’re at a similar latitude to people in Maine which led him to think of ways to protect growing crops from snow in the winter.
          Nowadays I have a very good CSA that grows greens year round so I am no longer messing with cold frames. I feel very lucky. My last bundle yesterday included some Asian greens, kale, collards, and cilantro, among other things, (onions, fennel, acorn squash, butternut squash, etc.)

        2. I recommend the “cascade glaze” and “variegated” varieties of collards. They are amazing plants and remarkably delicious. They won’t, strictly speaking, grow in the cold frame during the winter months in CT because the day length is too short. But it will protect the existing plants and allow you to harvest all winter. Direct seed on the first of July to avoid flea beetle. Spray with Bt for cabbage worm up to first frost. It’s after frost that they really come into their own as far as flavor and beauty goes.

  3. without comparisons to other vegetables, onions may be a poor candidate for this study because of another factor somewhat unique tp them (and garlic), namely their natural antibiotic/antiviral effect. Garlic especially has many known antibiotic phytochemicals, the most potent of which is created as a combination of two others into an extremely potent one.

    Once created by breaking the cell membranes it is oxidized pretty quickly and within about 20 minutes is mostly gone greatly reducing the antibacterial effect, so there is a good bet that chopped and stored onions have lost much of their innate antibacterial activity. That would seem to predict that comparing whole onions with chopped onions will have a greatly exaggerated effect when compared with other vegetables that only rely on the intact skin surface to prevent bacterial growth.

    I do believe that whole vegetables freshly chewed are superior, just saying that this experiment needs more data with other vegetables

    1. I agree. It would be worthwhile to study other vegetables along like categories: cruciferous, legumes, and root vegetables for example. Onions may be a poor candidate for a generalization

    2. All vegetables have hundreds of phytochemicals. They just have not been quantified yet. The testing for phytochemicals is new science. Vegetable analysis as it is now is only a couple of years old in terms of what has been published.

    1. Barb – Thanks for that information from the Canadian government on mushrooms. Very interesting. Some additional info: not all mushrooms are grown on manure. Many mushroom growers use sawdust and/or wood chips as a growing medium (for those who have the manure-ick feeling). Lastly, I don’t bother to take the time to chop mushrooms. I just tear them apart into the size I like and throw them in the pan after washing. I discovered I can tear them apart faster than I can chop them. One more piece of interesting mushroom information, William Li, M.D., the fellow who wrote “Eat to Beat Disease” about the various foods that science has shown can support our healthful physiology, has stated that the most potent part of the mushroom is the stem. I can’t help but wonder if that’s true of other vegetables as well.
      Thanks Barb.

      1. Cleaning mushrooms is such a drag. I don’t want to swish them in water but using a paper towel leaves me wondering if I am getting off all the dirt. Any suggestions? Cause I do love mushrooms especially shiitake.

        1. Lola, why not swish them in water? They are already mostly water. And new advice on cooking them is to simmer in broth. If you want them sautéed just use the amount of broth that will be cooked away.

          1. Marilyn Kaye,
            I have never tried them that way because I have always liked them roasted or sautéed with minimal oil but I may try this. Thanks!

    2. I buy sliced mushrooms and cook the hell out of it. Mushrooms themselves, cut or whole, have toxins that can be destroyed by through cooking. So I figured that if I were to cook the mushrooms anyway, why not take the easy path. I don’t know if cooking destroys the endotoxins in mushrooms.

      1. George,

        According to the video, boiling food for up to 2 hrs does not destroy endotoxins. I don’t know about pressure cooking them, sautéing them, or oven-roasting them.

  4. Dr. Greger,

    You have just caused such a big mental process for those of us who eat more vegetables when they are pre-chopped and who often throw them away if I bought them whole.

    I feel like I need to call up a math major, but I need some more of the variables.

    Is the poop section a factor in organic vegetables? Isn’t that why they triple wash?

  5. Doc could you please comment on endotoxins in prepared frozen vegetables? I have seen that in many cases the nutrition values of frozen vegetables and fruit such as blue berries for instance is higher than in the whole.

  6. Damn, so much for the convenience, not to mention the time-saving, of pre-chopping vegetables for use in a week’s worth of salads! This is especially true because I prefer a large variety of species in every salad…

    1. I do wish there were a little more info on how long, but early in the video I think it said 4 days. So it seems you could do your chopping on Sunday evening and know that you’re getting all the benefits through Thursday and certainly not harming yourself on Friday, and/or cut add a chopping day mid-week.

  7. Could someone please clarify for me?
    At minute # 3:19 Dr. G begins talking about the bacteria growth and the written information on the page references TLR2 and TLR4 stimulants. It appears that this research was done with two difference concentrations of something added to the food – TLR – to possibly stimulate bacterial growth for this experiment. What is that? What is TLR 2 and 4?
    I do not knowingly add TLR of any sort to my food. So I can’t help but wonder how applicable this research is to those of us who just eat our food without TLR added. Am I the only one confused by this information?
    Thankyou!

        1. Wow Deb … I just watched the first video of the links you posted. Not sure if I understood it all, but those were some really cool and powerful graphics!

          1. Hal,

            Yeah, I love all the animated science videos.

            I knew nothing at all about any of it at all when I came here.

            Well maybe I could hum the head bones connected to the neck bone, but other than that, I genuinely knew nothing at all.

            1. I am not to the point where the science has come together in a big picture but people probably can’t teach it that way.

              There was a woman who did a TED Talk about why it is hard to starve cancer and at one point she showed how many metabolic pathways there are and it was huge and I need that great big map so I can locate what I am learning about, but that is just metabolism.

              1. Deb, I agree that all the interactions taking place in a living organism is mind-boggling. And our human brains are not constructed to be able to comprehend all that complexity. But I do think that progress can be made using computer modeling and simulations. Computers and AI have truly revolutionized many fields of science.

  8. FFS if eating healthy isn’t difficult enough now I need to chop everything myself…

    Where I in a normal work week are we supposed to find the time for all of this?

    1. It is about “whole food – plant based. I suppose It’s no longer whole when we chop. But occasionally I want meals to be a little less tome consuming.

      1. But occasionally I want meals to be a little less tome consuming.
        —————————————————————————————-
        Maybe reading smaller books would leave time to chop your own veggies?

    2. Cb,

      I sympathize. My cooking mantra is “Easy, simple, quick.” And I can often find the first two, but rarely the third. I need to learn to cook better and more efficiently — but why do so many recipes seem so complex and time consuming? I even have the time, but I don’t want to spend so much of it cooking.

      1. Probably most of us don’t live right in our society any more. People living together in groups/extended families could share the chopping/cooking/clean-up. Now we’re spread all over the map because of our jobs and lifestyles. I don’t like it. I’ve already got one grown-up child in NY and another about to leave to who-knows-where. I miss having everyone all gathered together…. The Blue Zones people have it right….

      2. “but why do so many recipes seem so complex and time consuming?”

        Great question. I believe it is a partly from food writers wanting to use the funky new ingredients to appear better than other writers. Also the strong French cooking influence that is really just expending labor to show off control of the peasant laborers contributes to the problem. Just look for more recipes for any dish and you will find some that have a smaller ingredient list. Those recipes are often better. The closer you get to traditional mom cooking the less labor and cost required unless it is Korean or Japanese. I never use stock or broth. Soy sauce with a few drops of fish sauce (not vegan) can replace about any broth or stock unless the stock is hugely important like with ramen. Foodie media tends to be a vortex of evil where fads and fixations are exploited to keep you watching so an endless stream of wares and funky foods can be sold. It’s like Vegas. Enjoy the flashing lights but don’t play.

        1. Interesting discussion thank you for sharing your thoughts.

          I save myself the bother of even reading recipes. I open my fridge to see what fresh veggies I have.. and which grains/legumes I have.. and which herbs/spices I fancy.. ta’da.. nutritious meal..

          My problem was that I could never follow instructions, so live without them. :)

  9. There also is the issue of chopped veggies shrink wrapped in plastic, like in the photo accompanying this video, is exposing more surface area of the veggies to endocrine disrupting plasticizers; bisphenol A, bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP) etc. Another reason to avoid prechopped veggies.

    This study showed a dramatic drop in plasticizers in urine when participants switched to fresh, whole food diets free from canned goods and plastic packaging
    https://ehp.niehs.nih.gov/doi/full/10.1289/ehp.1003170
    Three days of eating food with limited food packaging was associated with substantial reductions in BPA and DEHP exposures. Results of this study suggest that removing BPA and DEHP from food packaging will significantly decrease exposure for adults and children. More generally, these results illustrate how intervention studies of chemicals in consumer products can inform regulatory decision making, product formulation, and consumer choices.

    Dr Greger has looked at this issue in the past, here is a good video
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/avoiding-adult-exposure-phthalates/

    1. Mims,

      I bought some cotton produce bags that I can wash, and they work well in the store — but my produce shrivels when stored in them in the fridge. That’s one reason I like plastic produce bags; they seem to keep produce fresher longer. Though maybe not nutritionally. But they seem more “edible.”

      1. Dr. J,
        I’ve tried to switch to glass containers but the only ones I can find are tiny ones, (even on Amazon,) — only big enough for food after I have cooked it. My collard greens and kale this week don’t even fit in one of my supermarket market plastic bags.

      2. I struggle with that too Dr. J. I still re-use plastic produce bags…I just wrap leafy greens like chard/kale in cotton tea towel, then put in plastic bag. I also started putting carrots, parsnips, celery in the really tall mason jars. I keep shrooms in brown paper bag. I also have a bunch of beeswax wraps, some I made from cotton cloth and beeswax/parafin and some I bought (Trader Joes even has them now!) and those work well especially for awkward things like halved winter squash, cabbage. I am definitely not perfect, but I have reallly cut back on plastics dramatically. I still buy some things frozen: artichoke hearts, okra, edamame and hard to avoid plastic there.

  10. Wow, interesting. Once I bought a big piece of an orange squash, at a farmers market, that was wrapped in plastic. Soon after eating it, I got some gastro intestinal distress, that lasted almost 2 days…Wondering now if it was endotoxin!
    But I often buy cut pieces of watermelon, and jack fruit sometimes, and never got sick from that …

    1. David L,

      I was surprised to learn that food poisoning can occur from a few minutes to up to several days after eating the contaminated food. It depends upon the bacteria. So it’s tough to figure out what it was that caused any particular GI distress. Though I wonder if there are fewer candidate pathogens in plant foods?

  11. Oh, another time I bought a large papaya ,that might have had surface damage. Got sick from that too. Eventually felt better after throwing up

  12. Dr. Greger

    I’ve learned a lot from your videos and appreciate all your work — you helped me transition to WFPB two years ago.

    That said, I have to say I find the latest videos hard to watch because your image on screen distracts from the written/graphic information. It’s a trend in informational production on the web, such as the way newspapers use an animated graphic to catch my eye. My attention is diverted to the non-essential moving object instead of being able to comfortably read the written content or take in the graph or graphic.

    I find the text clips, graphs, and simple illustrations helpful in understanding your message. I can’t say the same for your image because it distracts. Lately I’ve found myself looking away from the monitor or I try to just listen to it, but I miss the production format you used to use because reading along while you talk lets me absorb the information better.

    I understand my comment will probably have no influence on whomever directs or produces your videos, but I’ve just gotta say the visual clutter has grown over time and I now prefer to read the blog posts or catch up on older videos.

    Again — thank you for sharing your expertise.

    1. My attention is diverted to the non-essential moving object instead of being able to comfortably read the written content or take in the graph or graphic is the truth written elegantly.

      Dr. G. already has asked for feedback, but it takes a while for the feedback to become new videos because the videos are made months before.

      He is listening. You will see his response in a few months.

        1. “Approximate” is good enuf for me. Even with charts, statistics, and the latest so-called scientific evidence, I take much of it with a grain of salt, and just go with my gut. Okay, I’m b-a-a-a-a-a-d.

    2. I rather like the new format.

      If I want to read the extract, I either pause the video or go to the ‘sources cited’ to view the relevant article.

    3. I’ve been having the same problem with the new format, but it seems to be an influence from news media that permeates everything now. Some crafty mind is prolly already imagining ways to utilize a “crawler” at the bottom of the screen ;)

  13. The BEST vegetable is THE ONE YOU EAT!
    for those of you considering the convenience question, if you were going to grab an alternative, then pre-cut vegetables are a good choice.
    If meal prep one day a week guarantees that you are able to eat plant meals all week, than it is the better choice! It would be a shame to miss out on all the wonderful benefits of plants because avoiding the “pre-cut.”
    Ideas to maximize the whole plant:
    –throw a whole pepper in your purse, and eat like an apple.
    –carry a whole cucumber on a hike. You can eat the peel.
    –add a knife with cover to your lunchbox.

    1. Arielle – thanks for your commen sense comments and practicality.
      And if you look at the bar graph in the video, and the text in the scientific papers, one sees that the first 4 days are mostly unaffected.
      Why let perfection be the enemy of the good?

  14. YR – The point that “C” is making and with which I agree is that reading the transcript isn’t the answer. We want to be able to read the science paper itself that Dr. G is referencing and highlighting in the videos. In this video in particular the print on the scientific paper isn’t readable because it’s small and behind Dr. G. I get a lot more information when I stop the video and read some of the science itself. I’m with those who find Dr. G’s image distracting and not adding to the video.
    Great that you are satisfied with the transcript. Others of us are not.
    Thank you.

  15. There are so many stories now about food waste in this country. Buying whole vegetables means either storing what is not used or throwing food away. Especially if there is no real food value retained after you cut it. What about greens? Who eats a whole head or bunch of greens? You take what you need and store the rest for another day.

    Sometimes this site is exhausting because basically you have to dedicate your life to learn not only what to eat (that is the easy part), but how to prepare it and each type of veggie or fruit is different. I work 50+hours a day and I thought just eating whole foods was what it was all about, but now you have to get it whole and prepare it and forget about storage for more than a few days.

  16. My sister-in-law got her yearly physical lab results today and her doctor said that her numbers were better, but that he could tell that she wasn’t eating enough meat because her protein levels were lower, so she ended up getting a freezer full of meat for Christmas. For her health. Doctors orders.

    1. but that he could tell that she wasn’t eating enough meat because her protein levels were lower, so she ended up getting a freezer full of meat for Christmas. For her health. Doctors orders.
      —————————————————————————————————————
      Deb, show her the video below and she will learn that one of David Sinclair’s 5 things to do for healthy aging is keep a low protein intake.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nXop2lLDa4

      1. Thanks, Lonie!

        She isn’t responsive right this second because of the doctor’s orders, but what pleased me a little bit was that they hadn’t been eating as much meat and she said that it was like a Christmas present and that she didn’t know what happened. Her cholesterol and triglycerides and blood sugar and blood pressure were all good. She is overweight and that would be the one thing other than “eat more meat” that her doctor would say to deal with, but all of the people around me hear, “Eat more meat” when the doctors’ think their protein is low or “Eat 5 eggs” or some variation of that.

        It always seems like I am in an MC Escher print except that, other than online, I have never met anybody going in my direction.

        http://www.artnet.com/artists/mc-escher/dag-en-nacht-day-and-night-HpuRpaQniNNfpb2wZCyLfw2

        1. Despite spending years studying to be a doctor, they receive almost no education in nutrition. Imagine how much healthier people could be.

          1. Annette,

            Yeah, I agree.

            Almost all of my friends who go to doctors frequently have ended up Keto or being pushed toward meat and eggs, so they do have some nutrition, but no WFPB nutrition.

            Twice, I have gotten that particular brothers’ family to eat less meat and twice it was the doctors plural who pushed them back the other direction.

            The nutritionist don’t seem to have a grasp on WFPB nutrition either around here because all of my Diabetic friends and relatives who have gone to nutritionists have ended up further away from WFPB than before. Same with the Cancer patients.

            I have never seen any doctor, except online who went in this direction. Not heart doctors or cancer doctors or primary care or the nutritionists or doctors walking my relatives through kidney problems or their dieticians. My friends are under doctors who don’t in this direction either. Including ones who are under dieticians for weight loss.

            I don’t think it is only that they don’t have the nutrition classes. They have a different philosophy and a different understanding of science.

            The doctors all say, “Don’t listen to internet doctors” and I appear to be the only one who does listen to internet doctors and I happen to like them better.

        2. Deb,

          My husband discussed his diet — he says “vegan” as short-hand, but I prefer “whole plant foods, which means I avoid animal products and plant foods” as more accurate and informative — with his opthamalogist, who admitted that he knew nothing about nutrition, just like all the other older doctors like him. The doctor said that they were taught about diseases, and how to cure diseases. Nothing about nutrition.

          I was disappointed that my husband didn’t whip out one of his outreach cards for his doctor — that’s why we have them! I’m even going to give my PCP the Eating Guide, which I call the “Quick Reference Guide” for busy people. I love having these on hand; I’m going to order more.

          1. Dr. J.,

            Yes, that is why we do outreach. You and your outreach cards are inspiring.

            I will say that, so far, the doctors I have tried that with and the vet have been even more resistant than the Keto people. I think they genuinely feel threatened and feel like they are the experts and as if someone who isn’t qualified is trying to teach them.

            The most “open” to it are the SAD people. It is interesting because often they are further away, but just don’t have any competing belief systems.. The people who are already following a particular teaching tend to be very authoritative toward their belief systems.

          2. Dr J.,

            The sentences about curing diseases and not learning about nutrition is the biggest thing.

            They don’t believe nutrition CAN cure diseases.

            My sister-in-law’s experience today is one that I can tell you, without the science and nutritional understanding, she just has an almost magical sense that her numbers were good without knowing why and neither did her doctor. She genuinely felt like it was just a lucky break. Magic.

            I actually do understand it related to blood pressure. I was one of those whose blood pressure was low even though everybody except for my mother was SADDDDDDD!!!!!!!!!!!!! diet and she was just a simple version of a SAD diet – portion-controlled, moderation. She didn’t eat as much junk food and when we were drinking Big Gulps, she would have a 6 ounce soda. She is the one who died young. We all outlived her age and my junk food and pizza and burger junkie father is still alive in his elderly years. But it was all, well, I eat tons of salt and just happen to have magic numbers and don’t really understand any of it, but Whoo Hoo.

            Now, I have principles. Maybe not all of them yet, but I have a whole lot of principles.

            The weight loss principles are ones where other people have just lost weight, but I have things like not sleeping until 4:30 in the morning and getting out of work after 7 pm and lots of things that have been conspiring against me and I now am learning the principles for those things. What I know for sure is that I changed my diet completely and didn’t have the same results as most people and I can go back to blood pressure and there are people who grew up not eating salt and sugar and things like that who can’t get their blood pressure under control and I struggle to see a real change in weight no matter what I do.

            There are principles attached is what I know now. Decades of night shift will be part of it. Decades of processed food, even when it was things like non-dairy bean burritos will be another factor. Losing 50 pounds and gaining it back and losing it again and gaining it back again affecting hormones will be another.

            It is harder than I thought it would be. Much, much, much harder, but I am still pressing in.

          3. About 15 years ago I went to an Ophthalmologist instead of my regular optometrist for a regular checkup.

            At the very end of the exam I asked her is it true carrots are good for the eyes?

            She said something only about well they are high in vitamin C.

            I didn’t say anything, but carrots are very high in vitamin A, but very low in Vitamin C.

            It’s amazing how the mind can remember certain 1 sentence conversations.

        3. The same thing happened to me one year with my doctor and my “protein.” I did nothing different about which I am aware and that number resolved itself somehow.

    2. That story just shows how frighteningly ignorant many physicians are .

      The idea that meat is the only source of protein was, I thought, restricted to idiots and people connected with the meat industry.

      And on the face of it, assuming that a low blood protein score indicates low protein consumption is gobsmacking. It can be a marker of a number of pathological conditions. She might want to get a second opinion..

  17. Very interesting! It makes me think of the bag of chopped frozen onions I have in my freezer. I think I will continue as I have been, using raw onion (red) in my salad freshly cut and use the frozen (Occasionally) in my cranberry bean soup as it is immediately available. Probably, one cancels the other. I’m happy as is. I DONT purchase anything else that is precut like butternut squash or spiral cut squash, shredded carrots or any of that. I’d have to be pretty lazy not to cut up my own as it doesn’t save THAT much time. It’s more of a money maker for the store/farmer then a time saver. My local grocery store has several employees that cut up these pre cut veggies, charge more per pound and they do HAVE to pay the employees. I will continue as I have been. Be Well friends! WHOLE foods means WHOLE food! (Loving the new book, great information even for those that are not overweight).

  18. Just when I was about to do the responsible thing and batch prep my weekly salads! So…. What about refrigerating portions in vacuum containers? Although none of the 7+ brands I saw on Amazon were very affordable, it might be the way to go. It’s known among Japanese knife enthusiasts that an ultra sharp, thin blade produces better flavor due to less cell damage. You never know till they put it to the test!

    1. “Place knife in hand, take aim, and go chop-chop. :-)”
      – – – –

      Although, I find that a kitchen scissors works better with some veggies. Tonight, for instance, I’m using one to cut the white centers off my collard greens, in order to steam them.

      1. YR, having worked in a grocery store long time ago, I would never buy cut, prepared veggies or fruit chunks. (Other than salad greens sold in clear boxes from the grower ) The store manager had us ‘rework’ veggies sometimes by peeling, cutting and wrapping so they were in effect life-force depleted before they were even wrapped.
        It isn’t difficult to throw a spud in the oven and steam some broccoli, or cut a squash in half, scoop the seeds, and bake upside down on a cookie sheet lined with silpat, parchment or foil.

  19. A lot of angst over nothing.

    Last sentence of the transcript. “It’s definitely still better to eat pre-chopped vegetables than no vegetables, but chopping your own might be the healthiest.”

    1. Yes cp, agreed. Planning meals and buying fresh produce accordingly avoids a lot of waste too. I had 2 hand surgeries this past summer and lived off of frozen soup I had made prior, or, baked potato and salad.

      1. * Frankly, most days I am thankful I HAVE food to chop!
        If it takes me 20 min to chop veg and herbs for soup, great – makes me feel like I am livin’ in the Garden of Eden.

      2. “I had 2 hand surgeries this past summer”
        – – – – –

        Sympathies, Barb. :-( There’s not much you can do with a useless hand except look forward to when you can start physical therapy. I know…I’ve been there.

  20. Dr. J and others,
    Your comment about produce shriveling in the refrigerator: A few months ago I went on the web and looked for non-plastic ways to store veggies. The site I liked best was the Berkeley Farmers’ Markets site “How To: Store Fruits and Vegetables. It gives details about how to store about every vegetable and fruit. I now use cotton muslin bags and light towels for many vegetables but I get the towels or bags damp first, wring them out well and wrap the veggies in them. They work great for broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and kale. Salad greens and several other veggies each go into a large glass bowl with a tight fitting lid. Everything stays very fresh for a few days, the cabbage I have successfully stored longer. I wash the bags and towels each time I get new veggies to keep them fresh or at least very 5 to 7 days if I’m storing cabbage that long. Usually I’m storing whole veggies which I chop at the time of use, though with onions I just cut off what I need and store the remaining larger piece in a glass bowl. Sometimes I chop enough salad greens and added salad veggies for two days and they stay quite fresh in a covered glass bowl.

  21. What about if I take a whole onion, slice off a few pieces for a meal, then put it in the fridge. Then over the course of the next week or so, slice off more pieces for future meals? Would the part of the onion that isn’t “chopped” have the beneficial effects and only the exposed portion would lose its efficacy? Or conversely, would the entire onion be affected since the outer skin had been compromised?

    1. What about if I take a whole onion, slice off a few pieces for a meal, then put it in the fridge. Then over the course of the next week or so, slice off more pieces for future meals? Would the part of the onion that isn’t “chopped” have the beneficial effects and only the exposed portion would lose its efficacy? Or conversely, would the entire onion be affected since the outer skin had been compromised?
      ————————————————————————————————————————
      Brendan, my guess is that the onion would indeed lose its efficacy as food.

      Reason I say that is because my maternal Grandmother, during the “Spanish” Flu outbreak in the early part of the 20th century, was someone people would call on when someone came down with the illness.

      I don’t know what her whole regimen was but I do know that one thing she did was make an onion poultice for the person to wear.

      I read a few years ago that once you cut an onion it filters flu and bacteria (I think both) out of the air. Many people wore said poultice as prevention. I have no evidence of efficacy… that is, I don’t know if everyone wearing said poultice was protected.

        1. the mind is very powerful. :-)
          —————————————
          Heh, but so is the aroma of an onion grown in the hot West Texas sun. ‘-)

            1. would the onion have an aroma all by itself without there being something to perceive it? Quantum mechanics, “if a tree fell in the forest,” and all that. :-)
              ———————————————————————————————————
              If, as you’ve suggested the mind perceiving the aroma were doing the healing, then your hypothesis is true.

              But my position is that the aroma of the strong onion in the ether is only acting on the killer microbes, entirely independent of the wearer’s sense of smell. ‘-)

                1. But isn’t the mind behind it all, nevertheless? It’s what decided to check out the onion in the first place, yes? And it then declared that, wow, this onion is potent stuff! It’s attacking my killer microbes!

                  Or something. :-)
                  —————————————————————————–
                  O.K., in the spirit of Christmas I give you this as a face-saving gift. ‘-)

                    1. Whose face…..yours, right? *_^
                      ———————————————-
                      Heh, O.K., I’ll give you this one as a second face-saving gift.

                      But just so you know… I am now officially out-of-the-Christmas-spirit!!!

                      ‘-)

                    2. Aw, Lonie, now I feel bad. :-(

                      I stopped getting into “the spirit”t decades ago. Always happy when it’s over. Bah, humbug!

                    3. Aw, Lonie, now I feel bad. :-(

                      I stopped getting into “the spirit”t decades ago. Always happy when it’s over. Bah, humbug!
                      ————————————————————————————————-
                      Well, now I feel bad… realizing my face saving comment was over-the-line of polite conversation.

                      Apoligies. ‘-)

                    4. Lonie, thanks for your *ahem* sincere apology, but I was only kidding! Truly, I didn’t feel at all bad. :-)

                      In the spirit of Christmas, I’m thinking you’ll be looking for Santy Claus to leave you a whole lot of stuff under your overly-decorated tree — one that you spent hours throwing tinsel on and getting the lights to look just right.

                      And you’re probably one of those who keeps the damn (oops, I mean lovely) twig up until February. Am I right? :-)

    2. “… and only the exposed portion.”
      – – – –

      When you say exposed, do you mean you don’t cover it before you put it in the refrig.? No glass jar, no plastic bag, no nothing?

    3. Good question, but I don’t think there’s an answer unless he’s leaving out other studies in his video. I’m not sure what his response would be but it would be nice if he would give one. I would say, common sense-wise, that if food were that vulnerable, we would be decrepit creatures walking around and plant based diets wouldn’t be shown to have such great effects.

    1. Dr. Greger, hello,

      I am against the new video format for 2 reasons:
      1. it distracts me
      2. it is time-wasting.
      With the old format, you could be in your pajamas and still producing videos.
      Now you have to waste so much time to wear, unwear and clean the suit, the shirt, the tie.

      And , time management is especially important for you because you do treadmill while you do live Q & A, in order – as you have said – to do better time management.

      Better return to the old format and save the time for more videos or/and for your self and your family

    2. If the evidence is what is presented above, we have no idea because they were weren’t studied. I would also like to see the onion study replicated.

      1. Lisa, I think you meant to write “powdered” so actually, we already know that powdered turmeric and ginger are extremely anti-inflammatory with a vast array of other benefits which have been shown in numerous studies.

  22. I’m interested in a plant based meal delivery program subscription that flash freezes their meals. Now I’m not so sure about eating these meals! Can freezing kill endotoxins?

  23. Ok well I think that testing a pre-chopped onion in one study is not enough to make eating healthy HARDER. People already use the excuse of not having the time to eat more WFPB, so now because someone fed two groups of people onions people are going to think they can’t prepare food for the week? I’m sorry, but that makes eating optimally IMPOSSIBLE for a person with any kind of a life. I just don’t believe that especially given the incredible evidence shown in people from eating plant foods which I’m sure are not always fresh and intact. And that makes it impossible then, for someone to enjoy red cabbage because it’s kind of hard to eat a whole red cabbage at once. Or even to slice a tomato… better not unless you can eat the whole tomato? Or use some onion… better throw out the unused part of the onion? I think this is ridiculous. One study… This just causes more hysteria as if there isn’t enough already.

  24. Videos like these do a lot more harm than good.

    Worrying too much and thinking negatively about healthy things can make healthy things not work as well… I’ve read this and seen this somewhere in a video around here–maybe it was thinking negatively about unhealthy things having a greater negative impact I don’t remember. If this were true, it would be financially impossible and unsustainable, but I’m rambling.
    Worrying about every minute thing, also, is harmful to health and causes so much stress which of course cause inflammation among other things. And for what? For one study? I think it’s irresponsible to put this kind of fear out there with such flimsy evidence. I mean you already have people afraid of chopped kale and kale wasn’t even study. For that matter, an onion wasn’t even studied more than once.

    1. “Worrying about every minute thing, also, is harmful to health and causes so much stress which of course cause inflammation among other things.”

      – – – – – –

      I agree with you on this one, S. Too much angst over every little thing, health-wise and being influenced by fearmongering. “Don’t sweat the small stuff.”

      1. Well you didn’t actually learn how food was impacted in this study, Sarah. What you or any of us learned from this study–going by the video, I did not go and personally read the study–was that a single product of a pre-chopped onion was not show to have anti-inflammatory benefits compared to a purchased, freshly chopped onion. This study speaks of an onion, and hardly, at that. There is no telling if the same thing would happen with kale or broccoli or a thousand different food items. And we don’t even have any idea if this study was a fluke or not… a study needs to be able to be replicated, flukes happen all the time. For that matter, we don’t even know if one or both onions were organic or gmo or non-gmo or if preservatives were put on the pre-chopped product (these things aren’t always labeled as they should be), we don’t know when the onion was chopped and how long it was sitting on the store shelf, etc. etc…

        What we DO know, though, is that prepared plant foods that have been processed, such as herbs, spices, dried powders like cacao or cocoa and amla berry and so on, are shown to be some of the healthiest and most anti-inflammatory foods on the planet.

        So this study not only is very flimsy and in my opinion, nothing worth presenting, but it is a flimsy study that he’s basing a theory on for all plant foods and that just creates unjustified paranoia and hysteria. There is no reason to assume things about pre chopped produced over this study. It really isn’t known. Even the onion in this single incident could have many variables.

    2. Worrying too much and thinking negatively about healthy things can make healthy things not work as well… I’ve read this and seen this somewhere in a video around here–maybe it was thinking negatively about unhealthy things having a greater negative impact I don’t remember. If this were true, it would be financially impossible and unsustainable
      ——————————————–
      Hear, hear … hear hear!

      Personally, I would like to see every “warning” video accompanied by a “solution” video.

    1. Your question is a good one, Sarah, but it seems the answer is more complicated than just looking at a type of food or a specific external process since endotoxins develop after exposure from many sources and the research indicates it is indeed a complex process with studies focusing more on the biological response not the “trigger” causing severe inflammatory reaction. While we know meats can form endotoxins, there are not studies I could identify making the leap showing that fruits and vegetables being cut in factories that process meat create endotoxins in folks who eat those other foods, cut or not.
      Here is one study reviewing the complex process that creates endotoxins if you’d like to go further on this topic, but again there was no identified sources for contaminants that create endotoxins other than specific bacterial diseases.
      Best to focus on knowing that meat can create endotoxins in the body and recognizing that cutting fruits and vegetables then allowing for long exposure could increase health risks, so best to eat fresh and intact or frozen/canned when foods are processed quickly after cutting. Hope this puts things into perspective even though I know it didn’t answer your question.

      1. “and recognizing that cutting fruits and vegetables then allowing for long exposure could increase health risks”

        That is quite a grand statement going off of what evidence? This small onion study? Even Dr. Greger in this video gives a strong “MAYBE” message as that’s really all anyone can do is speculate because there isn’t strong evidence to support such a statement, not if all the best evidence is presented in this video. Looks like they just did one study with an onion in regards to consumption and for that matter, in this small study there were no identified health risks, it simply wasn’t as anti-inflammatory.

  25. I think this is a bit misleading. Even by Dr. Greger’s words there are a lot of maybes here. This video could lead someone who is trying to go plant based to just figure it’s to hard and give up. I didn’t actually count them but there we plenty of “maybe”

    1. Totally agree with you, Russell. A video like this, makes me very nervous to recommend the website to others and would rather they read his books. I commented above at how flimsy (I keep using that word, but it works so well) I feel this little study was and why.

  26. Fascinating! Thanks for this. I’m not sure it’s practical to cut a fresh onion with every meal! :-( I usually cut onions and cook mushrooms in bulk so they will last for several days…

  27. So does this also go for those of us trying to save time by buying vegetables intact and cutting them up ourselves in the fridge to have a salad bar style prep ready for a busy work week? Listening to this gives me a little bit of anxiety that I can’t pre cut my own vegetables to save time about having endotoxins.

  28. Hello,

    In the study looking at food products alone, they were purchased pre-chopped and there is no mention of washing in the study prior to testing. In the trial on actual people consuming these foods and subsequently measuring their inflammatory markers, there is no instruction giving with regard to washing, so it would depend on what the individuals did. Unfortunately that is a detail we can’t clarify.

    I hope this helps answer your question,
    Dr. Matt

  29. As many others expressed, this video is concerning and confusing to me. I generally do prep. my veggies a few days ahead of time, so that I can aim for the full rainbow on a daily basis. It’s totally impractical for me to cut only the amount I will be eating in a particular meal – or even for the day – and I consider myself a die hard nutrition nerd. This video leaves me with so many follow-up questions! I hope Dr. G will present us with some additional data on this subject.

  30. Optimizing the nutritional value of every bite of food you consume will drive you nuts. I pre-cut my vegetables so I can easily take meals to work and consume more of them at home without spending hours every day preparing.
    What works best for me is simplicity, like Dr. McDougall recommends and optimizing whenever possible like Dr. Greger recommends. I try for a balance that fits my life and leaves time for things other than cooking.
    Nutritionfacts.org is the best site out there.
    Thank you Dr. Greger for all the wonderful information and life saving advice.

  31. Alan,

    The whole key is to get the highest grade of nutrient rich products into your diet…. so yes, you’re totally on the right track and finding a balance is the essential part of a good diet/lifestyle.

    I know that Dr. G will appreciate your well wishes, thanks.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

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