Benefits of Lentils and Chickpeas

Benefits of Lentils and Chickpeas
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Lentils and garbanzo beans are put to the test.

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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 compared the total antioxidant content of ten different legumes, which do you think would come out on top? Pinto beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, black kidney beans—for which I think they just mean black beans—navy beans, small red beans, black-eyed peas, mung beans, lentils, versus chickpeas. Who can guess the winner and the loser? Quick, pause the video!

Coming in at #10, bottom of the barrel, lima beans. Then, navy beans, both pretty sad. Then, black-eyed peas, then mung beans, which is what they typically make bean sprouts out of. Then, moving into the winners’ circle, kidney beans. I bet there were some of you that guessed that as our #1. But no, they’re just middle-of-the-pack; there are five better. Want to pause again and reconsider?

Next, black beans, and the bronze to small red beans. And who do you think gets the gold? Anyone want to take any bets? Lentil soup or hummus, what do you think? And, it’s…lentils for the win! You can see how lentils pull away from the pack in terms of scavenging up free radicals. Lentils topped the charts based on a variety of different measures, maybe because they’re so small, and the nutrients are concentrated in the seed coat. So, smaller means more surface area? That’d be my guess.

When pitted against cholesterol in vitro, to try to prevent oxidation, lentils also seemed to stand out, perhaps making it the best candidate “for the development of a dietary supplement for promoting heart health and for preventing cancers.” Uh, or you could just have some lentil soup.

I just throw them in my pressure cooker with oat groats when I make oatmeal. “Aside from lentils, black beans, black soybeans, and red kidney beans” also seem to top the list. Here’s the breakfast. Now, if you also serve a bowl of black bean soup—or, just the amount of fiber in that bowl of soup—or, just the amount of antioxidants found in that bowl of soup, which do you think works better?

Whole plant foods can be greater than just the sum of their parts. “Nowadays, it’s popular to isolate and sell functional components of foods as dietary supplements. However, the [extracted] ingredients may not produce the same effects when delivered outside a whole-food [form].” In this study, for example, they compared “the ability of black beans to attenuate [after-meal] metabolic, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses” to a crappy breakfast, “and determine[d] relative contribution of dietary fiber and antioxidant capacity…to the overall effect.” Well, it’s kind of a no-brainer. The results of the whole black beans in a meal “improved metabolic responses that could not be explained by either the fiber or antioxidant fractions alone.”

Beans can even affect our responses to subsequent meals. When our body detects starch in our small intestine, it slows down the rate at which our stomach empties. That makes sense; the body wants to finish digesting before the next meal comes down the pike. So, might “eating a slowly-digest[ing] starch, such as lentils,…trigger these potent…mechanisms to result in a sustained delaying effect on [stomach] emptying”?

Here’s the stomach-emptying rate at a second meal, four-and-a-half hours later, after you eat a quickly-digesting starch, like bread. This is not how fast you’re emptying the bread; this is how fast your stomach is emptying a second meal hours later after you ate bread. But, what about the same meal eaten four-and-a-half hours after eating lentils? Significantly slower, like up to an hour slower, which means you would feel that much fuller that much longer after lunch because you had some beans for breakfast.

Then, when all the fiber and resistant starch make it down to our large intestine, they can feed the good bacteria in our colon. Researchers fed people a little over a cup of canned chickpeas a day, and in just three weeks, some of the bad bacteria—the pathogenic and putrefication bacteria—got crowded out, cutting the number of people colonizing a high “ammonia-producing bacteria” nearly in half, indicating that chickpeas “have the potential to modulate [our] intestinal [microbiome] to promote intestinal health” within a matter of weeks.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

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

If you compared the total antioxidant content of ten different legumes, which do you think would come out on top? Pinto beans, lima beans, red kidney beans, black kidney beans—for which I think they just mean black beans—navy beans, small red beans, black-eyed peas, mung beans, lentils, versus chickpeas. Who can guess the winner and the loser? Quick, pause the video!

Coming in at #10, bottom of the barrel, lima beans. Then, navy beans, both pretty sad. Then, black-eyed peas, then mung beans, which is what they typically make bean sprouts out of. Then, moving into the winners’ circle, kidney beans. I bet there were some of you that guessed that as our #1. But no, they’re just middle-of-the-pack; there are five better. Want to pause again and reconsider?

Next, black beans, and the bronze to small red beans. And who do you think gets the gold? Anyone want to take any bets? Lentil soup or hummus, what do you think? And, it’s…lentils for the win! You can see how lentils pull away from the pack in terms of scavenging up free radicals. Lentils topped the charts based on a variety of different measures, maybe because they’re so small, and the nutrients are concentrated in the seed coat. So, smaller means more surface area? That’d be my guess.

When pitted against cholesterol in vitro, to try to prevent oxidation, lentils also seemed to stand out, perhaps making it the best candidate “for the development of a dietary supplement for promoting heart health and for preventing cancers.” Uh, or you could just have some lentil soup.

I just throw them in my pressure cooker with oat groats when I make oatmeal. “Aside from lentils, black beans, black soybeans, and red kidney beans” also seem to top the list. Here’s the breakfast. Now, if you also serve a bowl of black bean soup—or, just the amount of fiber in that bowl of soup—or, just the amount of antioxidants found in that bowl of soup, which do you think works better?

Whole plant foods can be greater than just the sum of their parts. “Nowadays, it’s popular to isolate and sell functional components of foods as dietary supplements. However, the [extracted] ingredients may not produce the same effects when delivered outside a whole-food [form].” In this study, for example, they compared “the ability of black beans to attenuate [after-meal] metabolic, oxidative stress, and inflammatory responses” to a crappy breakfast, “and determine[d] relative contribution of dietary fiber and antioxidant capacity…to the overall effect.” Well, it’s kind of a no-brainer. The results of the whole black beans in a meal “improved metabolic responses that could not be explained by either the fiber or antioxidant fractions alone.”

Beans can even affect our responses to subsequent meals. When our body detects starch in our small intestine, it slows down the rate at which our stomach empties. That makes sense; the body wants to finish digesting before the next meal comes down the pike. So, might “eating a slowly-digest[ing] starch, such as lentils,…trigger these potent…mechanisms to result in a sustained delaying effect on [stomach] emptying”?

Here’s the stomach-emptying rate at a second meal, four-and-a-half hours later, after you eat a quickly-digesting starch, like bread. This is not how fast you’re emptying the bread; this is how fast your stomach is emptying a second meal hours later after you ate bread. But, what about the same meal eaten four-and-a-half hours after eating lentils? Significantly slower, like up to an hour slower, which means you would feel that much fuller that much longer after lunch because you had some beans for breakfast.

Then, when all the fiber and resistant starch make it down to our large intestine, they can feed the good bacteria in our colon. Researchers fed people a little over a cup of canned chickpeas a day, and in just three weeks, some of the bad bacteria—the pathogenic and putrefication bacteria—got crowded out, cutting the number of people colonizing a high “ammonia-producing bacteria” nearly in half, indicating that chickpeas “have the potential to modulate [our] intestinal [microbiome] to promote intestinal health” within a matter of weeks.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

I’ve since expanded my prebiotic mix to include hulled purple barley and rye berries. Together with oat groats and beluga lentils, that forms the base for many a sweet and savory dish in the Greger household.

More on luscious legumes in:

But what about the phytates? See Phytates for Rehabilitating Cancer Cells and Phytates for the Prevention of Osteoporosis.

And what about the lectins? See:

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

172 responses to “Benefits of Lentils and Chickpeas

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  1. In the Doctor’s Note Dr. Greger talked about sweet & savory dishes from barley, rye, oat groats and lentils. Could you share those favorite recipes?
    Thank you all for shedding light on the truth about food.

        1. Me too, love particularly the black lentils, also black soybeans.
          For those looking for a substitute for pasta. I found a black bean pasta, made of _only_ black beans.
          Brand is Explore Cuisine. It’s organic.
          Nutrition- per 2 ounce serving-
          180 calories, 3gm. fat, 19gm. carbs, 11gm. fiber, 25gm. protein, 1098gm. potassium.
          I found 1/2 a serving was still a decent portion with lots of stir-fried veggies, and fresh herbs.

          Don’t usually do boxed foods, but I do crave pasta at times, break out from wheat, and gluten-free is real junk food.

          1. I use Ancient Harvest pasta when I eat it, it’s made of quinoa and sometimes also corn but they also have some made of black beans but I’ve never tried it (their linguine is amazing). I have gotten pasta made from red lentils though and it was really good! From a couple different companies, I don’t remember their names, they were organic though. Eden foods makes really good whole grain pasta with ancient grains.

            1. S, would the brand of one of them be Explore? I have a box of their organic green lentil penne (13g protein per serving) on my shelf as we speak. Also, some quinoa penne pasta (ingredients; organic rice, organic quinoa, organic amaranth). Amaranth is something I don’t buy too often. More expensive than the other grains, maybe?

              Yes, I buy Ancient Harvest products too.

              1. YR, no I don’t think it was that brand, it doesn’t sound familiar. That sounds good though! And it reminded me that Ancient Harvest has some green lentil stuff too. And now I’m in the mood for pasta, haha.

                I just did a google search, I saw explore. One of the brands I got was Tolerant, really good pasta.

      1. Recipe; While traveling throughout Italy we enjoyed the daily beans mixed with tomato sauce provided at almost every morning buffet. Now our family prefers to simply substitute pastas with a combo of chickpeas and butter beans. The various tomato sauces remain the same.

      2. Could you also share the studies comparing the nutrition of cooked beans? How do various methods of cooking affect the nutrition of beans?
        Does pressure cooking preserve phytonutrients–or is boiling or steaming better for doing that?

        Which phytos are in beans? At what temperatures are they degraded? Do they get into the cooking water or are they totally destroyed?

        Do the various methods of cooking affect the probiotic qualities of the fiber?

        Thanks for your insights.

        1. Hi, Harriet Sugar Miller. You might be interested in this video, which is a bit long, but worth watching: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/prescription-nutrition-episode-3-spilling-the-beans/
          There is a lot to unpack in your question, but I will touch on what I understand as the main points. With regard to sharing studies, unfortunately the best research I have found in this area is not available in free full text, so I cannot share it with you here at this time.
          There are a lot of nutrients in legumes, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, isoflavones, and dietary fiber. Some do get into cooking water, and so consuming them in soups and stews is a good way to avoid losing those nutrients. With regard to prebiotic qualities of fiber, resistant starch is often enhanced by cooking and cooling foods, such as cooked and cooled beans used in a salad. I am not aware of a significant difference in nutrition between boiled and pressure cooked beans, and pressure cooking is certainly faster.
          I have passed on your request on this topic. Meanwhile, I hope this helps!

      3. Hello Dr. Greger, thanks for another great video!

        I have a question though! While reading through the article – Black Beans, Fiber, and Antioxidant Capacity Pilot Study,
        I noted that the authors of the study supplemented the fiber and antioxidant matrix with a whey protein isolate. I apologize beforehand for my possible dearth in nutrition knowledge, but wouldn’t the protein compounds (a.k.a caesin) found in whey have an affinity for binding to the psyllium fiber or Grape seed extract, that are abundant with polyphenols? (With reference to the effects of adding milk to tea/coffee?)

        Might this be a possible flaw in the study design, as this might be one reason why the antioxidant and fiber matrix did not show as much positive postprandial effects when compared to the black bean soup?

        1. James,
          The whey protein was probably added to give the control group a similar macro-nutrient profile. In other words, they wanted both groups to have the same amount of protein, fiber and antioxidants.

    1. While it’s not lentils, How Not to Die Cookbook has one great Savory Chickpea recipe. I substituted Organic no-salt Chili powder for the paprika cause I like spicy food, and I now cook it by the whole bag of chickpeas and not just the “tiny” cup of beans. I no longer have any problem with getting my daily 3 bean servings – a handful of those crispy chickpeas on a salad or just a munchie is wonderful! That one recipe alone makes the cookbook worth the price of the book. My kitchen is never without a bowl to munch on. Looking forward to the next cookbook!

      1. Both chick peas and black eyed peas are excellent raw. Just wash thoroughly and soak overnight. Despite the huge internet misinformation campaign about how all legumes must be cooked or they are toxic, they are in reality completely healthful. They are similar in texture and flavor to a nut but very low fat. I add them to all my salads.

          1. Rob, that only happens with kidney beans. Dr. Greger has at least two really insightful videos on the whole lectin claim. It’s actually healthy for us and only poisonous in kidney beans but it’s destroyed with just the mildest amount of heat. People were eating raw kidney bean powder in some country… Japan, I think? and were getting sick.

  2. Today in my inbox, I received a review of a new paper from a McMaster University study stating their recent study shows up to 5000 mg per day of salt intake is ok for most people. The reference is below. Could Dr. Greger please comment since this conclusion seems to be at odds with the nutritionfacts.org teachings. Thanks.

    Pass the salt: Study finds average consumption safe for heart health
    Posted: 09 Aug 2018 05:20 PM PDT
    New research shows that for the vast majority of individuals, sodium consumption does not increase health risks except for those who eat more than five grams a day, the equivalent of 2.5 teaspoons of salt.

      1. To reaffirm TG’s point, here is a link attesting to the high amounts of salt found in the most commonly consumed dietary product of milk, cheese, in Pizza..
        https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/dec/17/pizza-salt-levels-unacceptably-high

        The milk itself being not so much the focus as regards salt it being relatively low but the cheese a product of the milk industry.
        Which perhaps bears clarification..
        A very large body of information and study supports excessive sodium consumption as being a negative for human health, which certainly could not be overruled by one isolated study supported by a dairy industry funding source. Though media may support it as such and apparently is.
        US RDA and WHO guidelines are not arbitrary nor the result of incomplete nor faulted study. Complete analysis of multiple studies are their result.

            1. A quote from the study…”Approximately 75% of the salt consumed in the UK and other developed countries comes from processed foods, and is added by food manufacturers prior to consumer purchase.20 Based on the National Diet and Nutrition Survey, the top 10 contributors of salt intake in the UK are bread; bacon and ham; pasta, rice, pizza and other cereals; vegetables (not raw) and vegetable dishes; chicken and turkey dishes; savoury sauces, pickles, gravies and condiments; cheese; sausages; beef and veal dishes; biscuits, buns, cakes, fruit pies and pastries.21 Cheese is one of the top 10 contributors and is widely consumed. In the UK, cheese production for the 12 months ending April 2013 was 376 350 tonnes,22 with an average person consuming 9 kg of cheese per year.21 Cheese is an important contributor of salt intake. In the UK, milk and milk products are estimated to contribute about 9% of salt intake, with cheeses accounting for 44% of the salt consumption in this category and the percentage has not decreased over the past 10 years”

              Like the existance of no human caused global warming and tobacco as not harmful science, there will always exist study to disqualify what are concensus opinions in any field of study specific. Media may misrepresent this by focusing on them as opposed to the overwhelming body of evidence to the inverse of such contentions usually by agenda which speaks of corporate interest of some sort.
              Fat sat fat study as no consequence in cardiac events, is of a similar type.

      2. TG, I’ve read that it’s not the sodium levels — or not just the sodium levels — that are a health concern, but rather the ratio of potassium to sodium: the healthy ratio is 4:1, but for most people in this country it’s 1:4. And potassium is found primarily in plant foods.

        OTOH, high levels of sodium are not just associated with high blood pressure; I’ve also read that it’s associated with osteoporosis.

        Do you have any information about either of these topics?

        1. Dr J.

          IV Vitamin C to mop up all the free radicals produced by the sodium intake helped the arteries work better after using sodium in a meal.

          Dr. Greger has a video on that and he has one on the potassium.

          The thing is, even if you are going to eat a pinch of salt you will have to eat way more fruits and veggies, because you have to raise your ORAC value for sure.

        2. Hi Dr J

          Yes,my understanding is that the sodium potassium ratio is thought to be more important than either the sodium or potassium amounts alone.(although this may not necessarily be an absolute truth for all population groups). However, the science on this is still not definitive.
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4224208/

          That said, in Western countries like the US, this is really only of academic interest since pretty much everybody consumes more sodium than potassium, when I think it is accepted that we should in fact be consuming more potassium than sodium . We don’t really know what the ideal ratio is or whether this may vary between different popultion groups. Harvard once stated that our paleolithic ancestors ate a diet with a 16:1 potassium ratio but I am not clear what the source for that claim was.

          In practical terms, though, we all consume way too much sodium and far too little potassium. Therefore, we should focus on reducing added sodium/salt in the diet and on consuming more (plants which are naturally high in) potassium.

          In some groups,though, higher potassium consumotion may increase risk eg those with chronic kidney disease, people taking diuretic drugs etc
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21747015

          As for sodium and osteoporosis (OS) and bone inerl density (BMD), yes a number of studies have found a link but others have not. The latest systeatic review concludes:

          ‘We found a positive association between sodium intake and the risk of OS, while no association was found with urinary sodium. Furthermore, there was no significant correlation between sodium intake and BMD. Due to high heterogeneity in this research, more studies are suggested.’
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29617220

      3. Salt is definitely important to the animal agriculture industry. Even thinking about what people pair these things with, it’s salty stuff… cheese on crackers, pickles with sandwiches and a side of chips, fries, etc.

      1. From the frequently asked questions part of this site..
        “What are the rules for posting comments on this site?
        The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome

        1. LOL!

          Yes, we get off-topic so fast that I ponder the off-topic phenomenon.

          I think this one is a topic, which has to simmer or should I say soak?

          Feels like I need to watch it a few times to digest the useful fiber and antioxidants out of it.

          Some topics have the one-liners, this one is more like when people need to pause to sniff the wine and shake it around and swish it in their mouths before they have something real to say.

          Laughing, alcohol is not a good nutrition topic, but this one is a video which I will lose the details if I don’t work with it a few times.

    1. Hi Ron,

      I am a volunteer for Dr. Greger. Thank you so much for bringing this study to our attention.

      While this data is interesting, there are several significant considerations that must be made before drawing conclusions that the media has quite prematurely, already done. This is epidemiological evidence; and although they controlled for some confounding variables, you certainly cannot control for everything. This is especially an issue in an epidemiological study from 18 different countries. This increases the likelihood that significant confounding variables may be playing a role, as different countries vary greatly in a wide range of factors that influence cardiovascular disease.

      What we really need are randomized controlled trials to test the effects of sodium intake on blood pressure. Unfortunately, there hasn’t been such a study, until….NEVER. To the best of my knowledge in searching the literature, this has never been tested. However, we do have a 7-day high quality trial looking at the effects of sodium intake and endothelial function and vascular function. Both endothelial and overall vascular functioning decreased in the high-sodium group, independent of blood pressure changes, suggesting that regardless of blood pressure changes, our blood vessels do not operate as well with high-sodium diets.

      Lastly, the epidemiological study mentioned divides people into 3 groups: 1) mean of 4.04g sodium 2) mean of 4.7g sodium and 3) 5.75g sodium. The problem here is that these are all VERY high sodium levels. Perhaps the level of sodium to which we see benefits are much lower than 4 grams a day. Essentially, this study is saying that having a high level of sodium (between 4-5 grams essentially) is better than consuming 5.75 grams of sodium a day. If we could find a group that consumed 2-3 grams of sodium a day, and tried to control for as many factors as possible, this would be a bit more reliable. In other words, the beneficial dose of salt may be much lower than 4 grams; therefore, if all 3 groups tested are averaging above that amount, beneficial differences may not be observed, as we see from this study.

      I hope that helps!

    1. Berry, Dr G looked into the healthiest lentil question in this video https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-healthiest-lentil/
      The studies are listed under today’s video in the sources section.
      Usually Dr Greger says that the healthiest one is the one you will eat. I do enjoy several varieties of lentils and find that each is suited particular recipes. The red lentil featured in today’s video cooks quickly compared to others.

      1. Barb: I’m Asian and have been eating lentils all my life. You’re right about red lentils. Of all the many varieties of lentils available in tropical Asia, red lentil, known more commonly as Masoor dhal or red dhal, is by far the most popular. The reason is they cook quickly. Other Asian lentils need to be either pre-soaked or cooked in a lot of water for a long time.

    2. Hi Berry – I’m Janelle, a Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org and a Registered Dietitian. Thanks for your question! In one of the studies referenced in the video, red lentils were used. The nutritional content of lentil varieties is minimal, but the cooking time and flavor may slightly differ. All lentils are great options to include in your diet! I hope this answers your question!

        1. LOL Nasser, I believe Janelle meant to say that there is little nutritional difference between the lentil varieties (they are all good) , but they do differ in colour, size, texture when cooked and cooking times. I can post recipe links suited for various types if anyone is interested. I did also post a link for Berry for a NF video showing red lentils to be the healthiest .

          1. Thank you for explaining, Barb. Regarding red lentils being the healthiest, if this is true then this is the first example I’m aware of where a processed version of a plant-based food is more nutritious than its whole food version; as I believe that red lentils are simply brown lentils with the skin removed. This is particularly hard to believe as the skin is where you would expect to find the bulk antioxidants and fiber. Please tell me what I’m missing here. Thank you

            1. hi Nasser AbuJaber, thanks for your comments, and I do see what you are asking. First let me say I have zip for qualifications so perhaps TG or a nutrionist will jump in here and correct me. Now Janelle did make the point that when we are talking about lentil comparison, we are really splitting hairs. They are all healthy and we can benefit from eating which ever ones we like often. My statement about the red lentils came from an older video Dr Greger did. The difference between red lentils and white rice (as per your example), is that in fact red lentils have huge amounts of fiber and antioxidants both. https://www.sparkpeople.com/calories-in.asp?food=red+lentils Split lentils (dal) have the outer husk removed. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lentil Look under “processing” here for more info.

              So, with your question in mind, let me ask you… if I peel a carrot and cook it my soup, is it still a whole food ? To my way of thinking I did process it somewhat before eating, just as I do with many of my fruit and veg. When I buy lentils though, the bag just says ‘ lentils” .. nothing else.

              Also, I do not have the facts on what nutrition the hulls of lemtils contain, and I have never seen it listed. Red lentils are masoor lentils .. yellow/tan lentils that have been split.

              I know I havent been much help, but check out the wiki page for general info.

              1. Thank you for your kind and patient reply Barb! I really do appreciate it. I too hope that someone who may have these answers would jump in as I am highly skeptical that the nutritional difference between lentils is marginal. Dr. Greger always encourages his community to choose Whole Foods whenever possible. Brown, red, or black rice is preferred over white rice, oat groats are preferred over all the other varieties, Etc… So I would really appreciate the truth on this question. Anecdotally speaking, I grew up in Jordan eating lentil soup made with red lentils, and brown lentils with rice (mjadara). Though our family really enjoyed the traditional lentil soup made with red lentils, we noticed that it would slow our digestion, and sometimes even cause constipation; which never occurred when eating the recipes with brown lentils. Because of this, it’s hard for us to believe that red is anywhere near as healthful is any of the other lentils that we have experienced. 

          1. There are differences between the nutritional content of different lentil varieties but to my mind they are not great. True, whole green lentils have twice the fibre of red lentils but overall the two types seem fairly evenly balanced nutritionally.
            http://www.lentils.org/health-nutrition/nutritional-information/

            Most nutritionists seem to accept that the different lentil varieties offer broadly similar nutritional benefits:
            ‘The slight nutritional differences between various types of lentils are mostly a product of the manner in which the lentils are prepared. For example, whole green and brown lentils contain more fiber than hulled red and black ones; raw lentils are slightly higher in protein than cooked ones; and raw sprouted lentils may be higher in carbohydrates than other varieties.’
            http://goaskalice.columbia.edu/answered-questions/lentil-lentil-lentil

            However, if you want a detailed nutritional analysis of different lentil varieties and the myriad lentil-containing products available in the marketplace, the US Food Composition Database is the place to go.
            https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?maxsteps=6&format=&count=&max=25&sort=default&fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&qlookup=lentil&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=&offset=0&order=asc

  3. Is there any study that looked at what type of lentil had the highest antioxidant activity? Brown, red, yellow, black, or Puy? And in this video he mentions that ‘perhaps the lentils are more effective because they are smaller and the antioxidant is in the skin’……how does that apply to the red lentils shown that are skinned before sale? Which lentil was used in the study?

  4. I’m confused by this video. When referring to lentils, the video illustrates red lentils, which to my understanding, are brown lentils with the skin taken off; this would exclude it from being considered as a whole food. Are the lentils referred to in this study red lentils? And if so, does that mean that they would have an even higher antioxidant content if brown, green, or black lentils were used instead? Or am I mistaken and thinking that red lentils are a processed food, similarly to how white rice is brown rice with the brand taken off?
    Thank you in advance!

  5. Great video.
    When people say ‘There’s no such thing as a superfood’ I always reply ‘Well, there’s at least one – lentils!’

    Sort of OT (but I think the video mentions that added fiber isn’t all that helpful) in AARP Magazine there was this awful article on choosing a better breakfast option that said to go for a bowl of processed high-fiber cereal vs. a bowl of oatmeal. I guess if it were against instant oats with added sugar…
    https://www.aarp.org/health/healthy-living/info-2018/healthy-eating-breakfast-foods.html#quest1
    Is there some sort of dietician malpractice review board?

    1. CD, I saw that article in AARP — and I sent an e-mail to complain. I never heard back.

      btw, I’m not a member; I had access to someone else’s issue. But now that I know the caliber of the information in their magazine, I have no intention of joining.

      But Silver Sneakers (I receive their newsletter) isn’t much better. It’s saving grace is that it’s possible to leave comments.

      1. Dr. J., one of the reasons I stopped subscribing to AARP was because they fill their (boring) periodicals with drug ads. They assume all “old-timers” take a slew of prescription drugs every day. Uh-uh, no way.

      2. I joined AARP when I turned 50 not too long ago since they are the biggest lobbying group for older Americans. They do some good; if it weren’t for them we would not even have Medicare for older Americans. They also recently invested (not donated) $60 million in Alzheimer’s research. I know a lot of people on here think that WFPB turns you into superman/woman and you’ll never ever get sick, but unfortunately that isn’t so. Appropriate lifestyle changes reduce risk for many age-related diseases, sometimes considerably, but AD can still happen, especially if one is unfortunate enough to have a bad gene or two (or in the case of people with Down’s syndrome, an extra chromosome; they have a much higher rate of AD). So I will continue to support AARP and hope that if more people like me join and give feedback, the organization will move towards better health advice and advocacy. Imagine if they got together with the CHIP program that NF covered in the last video and provided the program to AARP members at a significantly reduced rate? Like Medicare, it could serve as an example of how healthcare can be made better for all Americans.

    2. That article is comical. Which is better fried sausage or bacon for breakfast…..geeze louise And the article is mentioning two highly processed with junk added cereals.

      I think Dr Greger has mentioned at least once, however, there do exist some healthy breakfast cereals. Uncle Sam’s produces 40% of the RDA of fiber in one serving and only 6% RDA for salt, less than 1 gm of sugar, and has whole wheat kernels whole flaxseeds salt and barley malt as the only ingredients.

      For those that do not like hot cereals it makes for a handy alternative as it tastes not a bit like cardboard which some of the other healthy ones quite do.

    3. To be fair, most people eat instant oatmeal. These are oats cut very very fine so their nutrients are quickly and easily digested. I imagine that this means that you will get a quick sugar spike from eating instant oatmeal (even if there is no added sugar) at least compared to eg whole rolled oats. The All-Bran flakes on the other hand are relatively large and therefore presumably harder and slower to digest.

      Oats themselves are high in fat – well over 50% more in than All-Bran – including more saturated fat. All-Bran also has more than 4 times the fibre of oats. It is higher in protein, and has various added vitamins and minerals not found in oats.

      On the down side, All-Bran has much more sugar (18.6% by weight and significantly more as a percentage of total calories) and a high sodium content. Oats have less than 2% sugar (by weight) and zero sodium.

      It is therefore in fact arguable which is the healthier breakfast. However, my daily breakfast is traditional porridge (AKA whole rolled oats in the US) cooked in water wth no added sugar.

      https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45233794?fgcd=&manu=&format=&count=&max=25&offset=&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=instant+oatmeal&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

      https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/45244084?fgcd=&manu=Kellogg+Company+US&format=Abridged&count=&max=25&offset=50&sort=default&order=asc&qlookup=&ds=&qt=&qp=&qa=&qn=&q=&ing=

  6. Dr G mentioned ‘beluga’ lentils. I had to look them up to realize that was the little round black lentils. I’ve not seen them in my organic grocery store in the bins. They have red and a tan one that I assume is the green lentils. I’m off to inquire why they don’t have beluga. They have many recipes for beluga with brown rice and wild rice combination on the net. My kind of thing. Here goes for my next search. Even the major grocery chains don’t have them . The images were looked at and I’ve just not seen them. Might have to mail order some. So many things learned from Dr G. Thanks.
    (Some lentils I’ve cooked have a slight peppery taste– not unpleasant– but maybe that’s a sign of more antioxidants.)

    1. Pat, you can order beluga (black) lentils on Amazon. Timeless brand is organic and has a 2 lb. package.
      I find I need to cook them longer than the directions.
      Westbrae brand also has organic canned black lentils. They are great if I’m in a hurry, but more expensive.

  7. On the line chart showing the free radical “scavenging effects of legume extracts”, pinto beans are the second best and chickpeas are third from the bottom in scavenging up free radicals, whereas chickpeas are second best in total antioxidant capacity (TAC). Just an observation that I didn’t notice at first: The bar chart is showing TAC and the line chart is showing scavenging ability, and while lentils are best at both, the other legumes’ strengths vary between the two.

    1. That is fascinating!

      The concept of “legume extract” already confuses me.

      Extracts don’t always work the same as the foods.

      I was pondering that today, because at the pet store, they have a “whole food antioxidant” chews for scavenging up free radicals, but when I read it, I didn’t understand what it meant. It lists things like Blueberries (food) extract and eventually gets to Decaf Green tea extract and I might take a risk on Blueberry extract, but with the Green tea (I believe in extract form) 14 dogs in the study died and the study had to be canceled. I want to write to them and ask them, “Have you studied your ingredients yourself?” My dog has Cancer and green tea is really good at shrinking tumors, but the extract killed people faster in the human studies.

      I am not suggesting that the “legume extracts” would kill people faster, but some of them do and I don’t understand how to figure that out.

  8. Would it defeat the purpose to take a shortcut and buy steamed lentils vs. cooking them yourself? I must confess that staying on track with WFPB requires some shortcuts on my part.

    1. You need to pressure cook the beans to cancel lectins. Only one brand I know off offers pressure cooked beans. 99.9% of canned beans are Not pressure cooked.

      This is the best way to go about it. Cook the beans on a large pot once a week on a programmable electric pressure cooker (9-12 psi). Traditional stove top pressure cookers work at 12-15 psi (faster cooking). Also, pressure cooking increases antioxidants when compared to the slow ‘boiling’ method because the food is cooked faster.

      (with overnight soaked beans)
      stove-top time: ~30 mins (@15 psi)
      programmable electric time: ~40 mins (@12 psi)

      1. All things in cans are retorted which is a big pressure cooker it part of the process that make canned food safe to eat for over two years. I should know coz i worked in the canning industry for over 28 years ; )

        1. lectins and leptin are related. lectin binds to the leptin receptor (hormone) which can case leptin resistance and overweight (keep eating), as well as unconfortable stomach lining problems. Thus, evaluating the beans by nutritional content may be wrong if the lectins are not cancelled. Cooking for 1 second does not remove lectins.

      2. Panchito, people have cooked beans, and been healthy, for centuries without using a pressure cooker.
        Did some of these pseudo-nutritionists start this lectin stuff to sell their products?

    2. Hi Lida! I know we all try to cook from scratch when we can, but when we can’t….Dr Greger says the best ones are the ones you will eat. I think he covered that at one point specifically about canned beans.

      Trader Joes sells some precooked lentils in the refrigerated section (in a vacuum bag with a cardboard label around them) and I will confess that I’ve gotten them and they are really, really good…cold or hot…on a salad, in tomato sauce (as a sub for ground meat)…

      And if you can go to TJs, they also sell the red lentils which really do cook in 15 minutes. I rinse, throw in a pot with water and chopped carrot. I vary the spices–ginger, garlic, curry, paprika, chile powder, turmeric+black pepper. Etc. Very versatile. After they cook, I throw in a big handful of greens and stir for a minute while they cook. Super, super fast! Use more water for a soup; with less you can serve it over rice, etc.

      1. I do everything in an Instant Pot nowadays.

        I think it is because I can cook it in the pot, without monitoring anything. It stops itself, I take what I am going to eat, then, after the sleeve cools for a while, I lift out the inner sleeve with the food and put it on a potholder into the fridge.

        The inner sleeve cleans so well that I like it and it shuts itself off if I get distracted by a phone call.

        Simple Simon.

    3. Steamed is fine. I don’t know about you, but WFPB is so easy as compared to the standard western diet as it’s the ultimate shortcut. I just eat raw fruits and veggies. Most of the time I don’t even need a knife or fork: I just eat the food right from the farm after washing it.

      Dr. Ben

    1. Hi Eileen – I’m Janelle, a Health Support Volunteer for Dr. Greger and a Registered Dietitian. Thanks for your question! Whether you decide to use canned beans or cook your own, both are nutritious options and great ways to increase intake of legumes! In this video here, Dr. Greger mentions that nutrition-wise, canned and cooked beans are about the same (https://nutritionfacts.org/video/canned-beans-or-cooked-beans/).

      So if canned is more convenient for you, you will still reap nutrition benefits. The big thing to look out for with canned beans is sodium content. I hope this helps!

  9. Great video. I notice you said something about the antioxidants contained in the skins of the lentil. But your were showing the refined red lentils which have the skin milled off. What’s the difference in antioxidants in the milled vs the whole lentil. I’ve stopped eating milled lentils personally as I believe they have fewer nutrients, but I’m not sure what the data is. I’d love to hear from NF what the difference is.

    1. I think they’re split peas not real lentils. I asked similar question. Which lentils did the study examine? Split peas are often called lentils

    1. Xiao Wang, I was checking the US database for ORAC values ( downloadable in pdf form for free) and noticed there too that chickpeas are at the ‘loser’ end of the scale for antioxidants. Black beans were very high on the list as were red kidney beans.

    2. Going to the first study, they are differentiating between more than one factor.

      Lentils demonstrated the highest phenolic content (47.6 mg/g), total antioxidant activity (720.68 U/g)
      Amongst the extracts, hydroxyl radicals (•OH) scavenging was higher in black kidney bean (85.68%)

      I already don’t trust the one saying, “Black Kidney beans”

  10. This was another great video. I’ve been curious about supplementing Citrus Bergamot. I’ve been taking it since I had some thickening in my carotid artery based on a Joel Furhman article. Has this study been followed up on and is it worth supplementing when you are on a plant based diet? Thank you!

    1. Matt, I am intrigued by this and read up on it after your post. It is apparently very successful in lowering cholesterol. I am thinking of giving it a try. Amazing what we can learn from each other. I actually had to have carotid artery surgery to clear away plaque.

    2. Matt, the Dutch did studies on vitamin K 2, has to be 2, not 1, for clearing arterial plaque.
      Best food to do that is Natto, which is an acquired taste. But K2 is available in supplements.
      What K 2 does is direct calcium to bones, and out of the arteries. Studies on postlenopausal women using it ( along with magnesium), did improve osteoporosis.

      BUT, if you are on blood thinners you need to either get rechecked after adding, or don’t take it.
      Supposedly 45micrograms is ok, but I still have people get their blood checked, and blood thinner meds adjusted, after adding.

      1. Marilyn, would this apply to baby aspirin taken daily as well? I have been taking D3 along with 90 mcg K2 (mk7) and magnesium while on baby aspirin. Should I be concerned?

        1. Lida, sorry, I can’t answer that. Haven’t seen your blood tests, your medical history, don’t know if you are taking the aspirin on your own, or because of a Prothrombin test result.
          You can of course request the test to be done if you are concerned. That would tell you definitely.
          I can only say none of my clients have had a problem with K2. But everyone is different.

          1. Marilyn, while awaiting your reply I checked with Consumerlab.com where it said that the anti platelet activity of aspirin is different from anticoagulants and that K2 does not interfere with aspirin. Dr. Ted Cooperman initiated this wonderful site but it doesn’t always answer every question. This time it did!

            Thanks for responding.

    3. Matt, A review of the science on PubMed said:

      “Studies were conducted on small sample sizes and not have high quality level. Analysis indicates that BEO aromatherapy could be safe and useful to reduce stress symptoms. One study suggests its potential supportive role in ultraviolet B therapy against psoriasis. Supplementation with polyphenols from bergamot juice reduces plasma lipids and improves lipoprotein profile in moderate hyperlipidemia. Effectiveness and safety of C. bergamia cannot be definitively drawn because of publication bias and low quality level of the majority of studies.”

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27747942

    4. Your question is a valid one, and I have some suggestions, while I am assuming that by “a plant based diet” you mean a whole food plant based diet. There are many schools of thought and one that says that a whole food plant based diet is sufficient to ensure cardiovascular health. Even more, halt the disease and even reverse it. If you read into the work of Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Campbell (China study) and Dr. John McDougall you will witness the incontestable results of their protocols; if you however prefer more focused approach, then you can add herbs, fruits and vegetables with added benefits: flax seeds containing the unparalleled anti-inflammatory omega fatty acids; pomegranate shown to effectively elevates levels of the PON-1 enzyme, in charge of blocking lipid peroxidation reactions; oregano with its mega antioxidant powers. garlic with its anti inflammatory properties, also shown to slow down plaque deposits and in some cases reverse it and last but not least, green tea, with its antioxidant and anti platelet properties, routinely used in Asia to lower blood pressure and LDL levels; and then there are other schools of thought where on top of the above, supplementation is encouraged, such as folic acid, B6 and B12 to keep in check homocysteine, particularly in a 100% vegan diet, alpha lipoic acid, the king of anti oxidants, CoQ10 the queen of molecular oxygenation, resveratrol, vitamin K, vitamin E, also the good old aspirin in its 81 mg baby size. For the supplementation though I strongly suggest you consult a natural health practitioner, as it may interfere with medication you may already be taking. I hope this helps, Dr. Sozanski

    1. I think Dr. Greger is wrong about the black kidney beans being black beans. (Never heard of black soybeans either)

      The other video had 6 beans, but only a few of them overlap here.

      Chickpeas had way fewer antioxidants than black beans and lentils had fewer antioxidants than black beans.

      This one chickpeas and lentils are closer together, because the black bean star of the show is gone and the pinto beans and green and yellow split peas aren’t here either.

      Either that or one of the videos is wrong about the black beans.

      It is one of those graphs, which has its measurements so that the chickpeas don’t look nearly as bad as they did in the other study. Maybe someone has a pro or con chickpea bias.

        1. It goes to show you that some of it can be attributed to the effect of relative values.

          The example I would give is blueberries.

          Blueberries looked pretty good until Dragon’s blood showed up.

      1. You are right. I remember black beans were number one. Black beans are also number one in resistant starch making it the best legume for weight management.

        1. I’ll have to look that up.

          I have a dog who has cancer and I am doing vegan, after seeing dog owners succeed using vegan.

          Resistant starch was one of the topics.

          I think I did learn it, but it was hard getting my dog to eat black beans.

          He has started liking lots of raw vegetables and fruit, but, in beans, he only liked chickpeas and kidney beans. He doesn’t mind lentils, if I spice them properly. He was never fussy until he got sick. Now, he communicates clearly. I will eat this and not that.

      2. Deb, you can get organic black soybeans from Eden Foods. They taste more like black beans to me, but have a nutrition profile more like soybeans, i.e., higher in protein lower in carbs.

    2. Hi, cynthia! I don’t think the purpose of these videos is to encourage people to switch from one type of bean to another. All legumes have health-promoting properties. It is fine to eat both chickpeas and black beans. That said, it is possible that the black kidney beans mentioned in this video are not the same as black beans (Dr. Greger says in the video that he assumes they are, but that assumption could be mistaken), and it is also possible that the particular beans used in one study had different antioxidant levels than the ones used in another study. Generally, plant foods with more color have more antioxidants. That doesn’t mean we should not still eat the ones with less color. I hope that helps!

  11. WHICH lentils, real lentils or split peas? Aren’t the red ones in the photo actually split peas? Split peas are often called lentils.

  12. Dr. Gregor says he has lentils with oat groats in the morning? You can have lentils with cinnamon and raisins and fruit in the morning and it will taste ok?

    1. Ben, adding lentils to my morning hot cereal is certainly something I’d never do. Walnuts or almonds, yes.

      “Different strokes for different folks.”

      1. Yeah, I had the same thought. I would love to get some legumes in my system in the morning. I guess I have have some before. I always want sweet dishes and not savory in the morning, though.

        1. Ben, my legume is the peanut butter I slap on my Ezekiel tortilla. In addition to the whopping bowl of hot cereal with all the trimmings. In addition to… Let’s just say I manage to pack it in pretty well at breakfast time. :-)

  13. In another video here it shows that chickpeas are on the lower side in antioxidants compared to other beans and that black beans were the highest only being beat by red lentils. Such contradictory! Oh well, I guess the message is just… eat beans and legumes. But what are small red beans? Adzuki beans are small, red, and beans, but are they “small red beans?” Never heard of black kidney beans.

    I wish these studies would specify whether they used conventional, non-gmo, or organic considering organic has significantly higher phytonutreints. Maybe growing practices have something to do with the contradictory results.

  14. Question. I am having real difficulty getting started on eating the right foods. Due to illnesses I have spent most of the past 10 years in bed. I also have food addictions, wheat, dairy, chocolate. I have little strength to even to have a shower, dress, after which I am exhausted and need to go back to bed. Then I need to go to the shops. When I get there I only last 10-15 minutes. Brain fog makes it hard get what I need. Then I get home but I am too tired to cook or prepare food, and after a few days a lot of it ends up in the bin.

    Also I can’t figure out this website. i have been attempting to ask this question for several days but sent it to the wrong section by mistake.

    Is there a section with advice for people who can’t do anything to get help to start?

    1. Claudia,

      If you can, try to get Dr. Greger’s book “How Not to Die” &, if you can, order food online to be delivered so you can do everything at home.

      1. Hi Ra-anan

        Thank you for replying to me. I really appreciate your email, you have cheered up no-end. I am currently reading Dr Greger’s book but the recipes seem complicated in my current state of unwellness. I used to do gourmet cooking back in my youth, but that was a long time ago. I will make more effort. There must be a way through this impasse. Thanks for the encouragement.

        1. Claudia, when you have a few minutes feeling better, cook up several servings of simple foods. Foods like oatmeal, vegetable soup, bean soup for example. Then you only have to reheat.

          Interesting list of the foods you are craving, wheat, dairy, chocolate. These are foods that people are frequently allergic to.
          You may feel better if you eliminate them from your diet for a few weeks.
          Just stop buying them for a while. They may contribute to your brain fog.
          See if you feel better without them.

          On shopping, make an exact list before you go so you don’t need to spend much time in the shop.

    2. Claudia said, “I also have food addictions, wheat, dairy, chocolate.”

      Addictions, huh? Might it be that you are allergic to one or more of the above? Have you looked into it? Also, if your blood type is O, you supposedly have a hard time with wheat and dairy products. As for (dark) chocolate, tell me about it! :-)

      According to the debunked book Eat Right 4 Your Type (Dr. G. made a video about this several years ago), I — as an O+ — should not be polishing off peanut butter every day like I’ve been doing — or coffee or tea. Or lentils, for that matter. *sigh*

    3. Claudia, you could try getting pure cocoa powder or cacao powder and mixing that into things, you get all the chocolate-y goodness and amazing antioxidants without the saturated fat and all the other bad stuff that usually goes into chocolates.

      It might be helpful to find a place online to shop from, some places even deliver produce. I like vitacost for non-produce things, they have great prices. Also, if you have problems navigating websites, you could use the phone number to place and order.

      And you can get things that are easy and convenient, like canned beans, quick oats, frozen veggies and berries, etc. Keeping a lot of easy things around like that might make it a lot easier to get started and eventually gain more energy. Good luck!!!

      1. Oh, for dairy addiction, start sprinkling some nutritional yeast on things… so cheesy-tasting and delicious and it’s and incredibly healthy addition to the diet for most people.

    4. Claudia,

      You talk about having spent that many years in bed and I am going to suggest keeping it simple.

      First, think about which fruits and vegetables and starches you like to eat.

      Choose a few recipes on-line. Just one or two to start.

      Generate shopping lists from those recipes.

      Choose simple things. I do a lot of my meals in an Instant pot, because it shuts itself off.

      I have a sense for you, a slow cooker might be even better, if you have one, where you can load it and go back to sleep and hours later, you can eat.

      I do a lot of beans and rice, where the beans are in one pot and the rice is in a rice cooker.

      Aside from the recipes, I do things like wraps with fresh vegetables and things like hummus and fruits and veggies for snacks.

      To me, it starts with making a list of the fruits and vegetables you really like. Then, choose the starches: beans, lentils, rice, potatoes, etc. and look up vegan recipes from those. Both Instant Pot and Slow Cookers should have plenty of recipes.

      My grocery store delivers and also does curb-side pick-up if you order ahead of time.

      There are also on-line food places, which will actually ship you the food and the recipes.

      You might not want them for every meal, and they are limited to someone else’s tastes, but they might help you to get started.

      https://www.foodnerdmeals.com/deliveries/

      https://www.mamasezz.com/pages/mamasezz-delivery-areas

      https://www.purplecarrot.com/how-it-works

      1. Hi Deb

        Thank you for your comprehensive comments. This is very helpful to me and I will do my best to make a start with all you suggest.

        I really appreciate this. Maybe I can get to the point where I can do some of what appear to me to be complicated recipes from Dr Greger’s Cookbook

        1. For things which seem complicated, there might be ways of simplifying it.

          One would be to buy your vegetables and fruit pre-chopped.

          That can save you steps and clean-up.

          Packages of frozen fruits and vegetables are also useful because they usually are chopped already and they retain most of their nutritional value and if you aren’t up for prep-work, it is nice when someone else already did the work for you.

          When I do cook, I tend to do large quantities of 2 recipes and put a serving of each in the refrigerator, then I put the rest of the food directly into 2 cup freezer-safe bowls and put them in the freezer and eat them over the course of the week. I have a rice cooker, an Instant Pot, and a slow cooker, so it is easy for me to do the whole thing at one time. Just fill the pots and come back later and you might need someone to show you how to use them because mine have settings of whether to keep the burner on or have it shut off. My advice is to choose to have it shut off when it is done. Prevents burning.

          Again, I have a sense for you that the slow cookers might be better, because of your not having the energy to face the things right away.

          As far as Dr. Greger’s recipes, if there is something specific, which makes it seem complicated, write it down and ask for help. Often, it will be that there is something you haven’t tried before. Having something be “new” is what can make it seem complicated.

          There used to be a woman’s book about a friend who showed a woman how to eat an artichoke and I have a friend who did that for me back in college, but I will tell you that I still haven’t cooked one because she didn’t show me that part, but they sell them in cans with water and in Whole Foods they have packages in the produce section and I may cook one eventually, because I am slowly trying new things, but if I do, I will celebrate the victories.

          Break the task into action steps.

          My grandmother used to do that when she threw parties for the holidays. She would peel her potatoes the day before and things like that. To keep the stress off. I laugh because she might have done it also to get the things off of her mind. We gave her a beach vacation when she turned 70 and she started packing in April. That made me laugh. I went there and she had run out of coffee, but she disappeared into the other room, and brought some out with her and explained that the coffee was already packed for the trip, which would be almost 3 months later.

          1. Try things and don’t be afraid to fail.

            Give yourself grace and celebrate each victory and have a backup plan if things don’t work out.

            Mostly, always be nice to yourself.

            Take it in steps and give yourself gifts when you succeed, even if they are small ones.

            My cousin is having dialysis and he has been getting too wiped out for fancy cooking for the past year and he used to love cooking so much that he wanted to be a chef. Sometimes, he thinks he will be making a dish and it happens 5 days later. I have the same thing.

            I have wasted so much produce, because of intimidation of this process, but I am still here.

            There are things like sweet potatoes, which can be thrown in the microwave and there are things like triple washed bags of salads.

            Have things like that around, so that not everything you do has to be complicated.

            I generally have finger vegetables and fruits in my fridge and those can be my entire meal without one bit of prep or cooking.

            I will be praying for you because I know that it is intimidating and exhausting to do this process in the beginning.

            I would like you to take the hardest Dr. Greger recipe you can find and put it on a piece of paper and fasten it with a magnet to your refrigerator. That could be your future goal. A challenge to look forward to.

            I really did do that with blueberries, which I have hated since I was a child, but now I can eat them. It took a lot of mental preparation to get to the point of actually putting one in my mouth. In fact, I sat with blueberries in front of me so many times, before I figured out what it would take to get me to eat one. Green grapes worked. I put a green grape in my mouth and put a blueberry in and the blueberry tasted green grape-ish, but it still took months to get past the mental block. My dog has Cancer and I learned that him eating fresh produce would have decreased his risk of cancer by 90% and I suddenly was pre-chewing his food, so that he would eat the things and I am over the mental block with blueberries. I genuinely watched Dr. Greger’s blueberry videos over and over again to celebrate what blueberries do for our bodies as part of the process and when I was ready, I took a bite. I did the same thing with turmeric. Watched the videos and that I put some in tomato paste (inspired by all the mothers who hide the veggies in the sauce.) I put so little in that I couldn’t even taste it and had to add more, but that is probably why it worked so well. For Kale, I started with smoothies with bananas. Banana smoothies are an easy way to hide greens.

            What helped me the absolute most was watching the videos every day and watching the documentaries like Eating You Alive and Forks Over Knives and What the Health and H.O.P.E. and Healing Cancer from the Inside Out. There are others.

            You can stream most of them online.

            Continuing to watch the videos increased the desire to do it. That is what helped me break through.

            When I came here, I was eating so much cheese and I grew up on junk food, fast food, restaurant food and processed package food (maybe with some diet packaged foods and diet milkshakes in alternating seasons.) I genuinely had chocolate every single day. Probably multiple times per day. I probably didn’t eat a piece of fruit for 30 years, except orange juice and apple cider and things like that.

            You really can do this and I want to encourage you.

            You got this!

            1. Just keep watching the videos.

              I would go to topics and watch several videos every day.

              That is what kept me motivated more than anything.

              I watch Dr. Greger on YouTube much of the time because I can go to a topic and the videos will just keep playing one after another without me having to do anything. That can be helpful if you are struggling with this process. I still comment here, but Dr. Greger’s YouTube site has its own value.

    5. Claudia, ordinarily I wouldn’t suggest getting some professional help (medical or otherwise), but have you had a checkup lately? Good health is a holistic venture: Mind, body and spirit all work together. And getting enough daily physical exercise is VERY important, IMO.

      A couple of Dr. G’s videos you might want to take a look at; you can also opt to read the transcripts. Just scroll down the page and pick something of interest:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/depression/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fibromyalgia/

    6. As a nurse volunteer on this site, I am sorry you initially had difficulty with using this site. Because there is such a massive amount of information on this site, it might seem overwhelming. I am glad to see several of our commenters reached out to you with suggestions and as a nurse, I agree that you should be working with a doctor to determine if there are other factors for some of your symptoms beyond poor nutrition, although that can certain cause fatigue. However, being bedridden definitely needs to be evaluated while you are working on better nutrition.
      You asked about advice to get started with a whole food plant based diet. There are several “kick start” programs on the internet (through Physician’s Center for Responsible Medicine, for example. https://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs/
      Another good resource for you might be Forks Over Knives Implementation Plan (book) which gives step by step guidance. Can you find a coach or mentor to help you? Having some support to guide you with shopping and cooking could be so helpful. A local support group can also provide you with the support and confidence you need as you begin to eat more healthfully. Continue reviewing videos on this site. These basic ones (found under “Topics-Introductory Videos” on upper left) might be just the motivation you need:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-you-should-care-about-nutrition/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/taking-personal-responsibility-for-your-health/
      Best of health as you begin making positive changes

  15. Hi,
    I have Familial Hypercholesterolaemia in my family. My diet is pretty good plant based and I exercise for an hour everyday. I still have high cholesterol. My father had a heart attack in his fifties and his mother. Can I fight this with a cholesterol lowing plant based diet if focus on certain foods or do I still need cholesterol lowering drugs? Any thoughts much appreciated.

    1. Loise,

      Dr. Greger has a lot of videos on fighting cholesterol through diet.

      I tried to post a whole bunch of the links for someone else, but my comment is still waiting moderation, so I am going to try to remember the answers.

      Look in the topic cholesterol and you will find videos on fiber from foods not Metamucil type drinks, one on nuts, apples, avocado, flax, kale, phytosterols, and Amla has amazing results and you can fill up capsules if you hate the taste, but get lab-tested GMP if you buy on-line.

      I think Amla might have had the best results, but eating fruits and vegetables and beans and nuts – the whole foods, not juices, because you want the fiber.

      Watch the videos and make your decision after trying some things.

      1. Hi, Thanks for your response, Sorry, think I need to rephase my question! Familial Hypercholesterolaemia is a gentic condition that causes cholestrol not to be removed from the body, as opposed to someone eating cholestrol high foods. So, what I would like to find out is if anyone has had experience of, or knows someone who has managed to survive this hereditory disease without statins, using only diet?

    2. Its best to be treated by an MD or DO that is familiar with evidence based nutrition since without your complete medical history, there is no way to specifically answer your question. In general, a WFPB diet will usually provide a benefit, but lipid lowering drugs may still be recommended by your doctor if your lipids are not brought into the optimal range with diet alone.

      Dr. Ben

    3. Hi, Louise. Have your cholesterol numbers changed since you switched to a plant-based diet? The LDL number might be more important than the total cholesterol. If you have not already seen them, you can find all the materials on this site related to cholesterol here:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/cholesterol/
      I would particularly recommend this one:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-actual-benefit-of-diet-vs-drugs/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/amla-vs-drugs-for-cholesterol-inflammation-and-blood-thinning/
      If you are not consuming cholesterol or saturated fat, then it may be that the cholesterol your body makes naturally is not as much of a risk factor, especially if your diet is full of antioxidant-rich plant foods, because of reduced cholesterol oxidation. I hope that helps!

      1. Hello, Christine. I noticed the last part of your post mentioning “If you are not consuming cholesterol or saturated fat, then it may be that the cholesterol your body makes naturally is not as much of a risk factor, especially if your diet is full of antioxidant-rich plant foods, because of reduced cholesterol oxidation” This is very encouraging for me to hear because even though I am following a very strict whole food plant-based diet, and have no issues with my thyroid, yet I still have elevated ldls. Are there any resources that you can share that can explain this a little bit more?Thank you in advance.

  16. “….but my comment is still waiting moderation, ”

    Interesting, Deb. I didn’t think comments had to await moderation at this site. Do you get a message informing you of this?

    Seems to me the comments do show up initially for all the world to see. But once a moderator gets wind of it, he or she might give the poster a scolding and/or merely delete the comment. Oh, ouch! :-)

    1. My comment is visible to me, but it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.”

      I haven’t figured out the system yet.

      I know it comes from too many links or something, but sometimes I post links and they post and sometimes they don’t post and I can’t see them and they don’t give me the “Your comment is awaiting moderation” message. They just don’t show up.

      A lot of links and I get the “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” The links are all from this site, so it isn’t content.

      No complaints. I just don’t quite get it. Sometimes I can post links and sometimes I can’t.

      1. I think the website security people are all paranoid that robots are going to show up and take over.

        I wonder how big a robot problem there really is?

        There are some medical research sites which have said to me that I have generated too much traffic and they are suspicious and I laughed, because I was looking up 3 or 4 topics, but they thought I was up to something.

        Not sure what the robots do when they invade the websites.

        Do the robots post advertising comments or are they spies coming to find out things?

        Or are they rude to the other people who are commenting?

        I am laughing because I am already so happy that Dr. Greger hasn’t banned me and that he got rid of the captcha process, and that I can post links sometimes.

        I remember when captcha would ask 5 things in a row and it would say click on a bridge and I would look and there wasn’t anything, which looked like a bridge at all sometimes and then it would ask storefront and I couldn’t see well enough without my glasses to know which one was a storefront and eventually, it would get suspicious that I was a robot and I would laugh, because I wondered what the robots would say if they posted on the site.

        I think Hal would leave very polite robot comments.

        Anyway, I don’t mind them screening for robots posting links.

        No complaints here.

        Dr. Greger is genuinely responsive to the feedback. I see it over and over again.

  17. Wow! When Deb gets on a roll, she really R-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-O-LS-!!!

    But then, Deb is always on a roll…….aren’t you Deb! :-D

    1. YR,

      Yes, I end up responding to everybody and trying to help people, on top of my own things.

      I am pondering ways to cut back.

      Maybe just comment on Thursdays.

      I gave my dog a ride in the car last night, even though it isn’t allowed by vet’s orders and my dog smiled the whole time.

      If I knew how to post a thumbnail photo, I would post one of him.

      I am going to try it this week.

      No more comments until Thursday.

      1. Dr. Greger,

        I am going to only be commenting once a week. The unknown factor is whether I will fall out of the habit of it – the way I did with eating my vegetables and taking my B-12. I say it because I am going to try to not have that happen, but if it does, you have been so delightful and I just want to say that.

        Yes, I am a person who falls out of routines if I change focus, but I am also someone who can be so single-focused that I have to change focus.

        I feel like I need to change focus, but I know that focus change is one of those things I can’t always figure out.

        My wall calendar still said March at the last vet visit. My vet changed it to August and marked his next appointment on it.

        Time is a relative concept when you don’t sleep.

        1. Deb, overall sites are benefited by people commenting. It helps the numbers which can be useful for various purposes. It provides content others may like or find useful., And this site provides feedback to Dr Greger as well, I am certain..

          All your comments are relevant to either questions asked or to the subject.
          The only reason for your deciding not to comment is a personal one…if you find it intrusive upon your time.
          If it is monopolizing your time a decrease is probably a good thing, but other than that, really there is no one finding objection to your participation and most I think, quite favor it.

          I noticed in your earlier comments a question on bots.
          There are various ways sites can be manipulated and bots are but one. Most commonly they spam or sell things but they do vary. Bots may also completely disrupt a site if they are intended with that function. They overwhelm a site by exceeding its input capacity and it crashes.

          Any entry into a site such as a edit function, anything that allows a external input can become a source for a hacker to manipulate. Which is why I assume they have no edit program here.Not perhaps that they specified one, but the designer of this program probably decided it was safer not to have one. A hacker can assume entry to not only obstruct the site, but to retrieve personal information only the site administrator has access to. This is relatively common.

          The like function on sites such as this, which prior had one, are easily manipulated by certain for fee software which anyone can purchase. A tell on manipulation can be to many likes coming at all one time or to many from one address or areas of addresses. I assume they ran into that and deleted the function but it is only a assumption. Some sites actually allow this manipulation to continue as they characteristically bump up the viewing numbers, which helps the site to seem more popular than it is.

          They seem to be monitoring the site a lot more closely than before as obvious trolls have been removed, and I find that a welcome change. I can only assume they continue to monitor as few are presenting, much less than in the past. At one time the site was becoming basically not useable.

          Trolling of that type can also be used to render a site unworkable or not able to be commented on. That is a typical tactic on political sties by those in the intelligence field of our own country and others. But I would not exclude corporations or those with political or religious agenda(groups of them) to assume the same tactic in other than political sites for various purposes. Trolling of that sort is never endeavored by only one actor.

          So in any event you certainly are a valued commentator. Though I speak not for the site, I am in no way affiliated with them, I can safely make that statement. A troll you are firmly not and your comments are of use .

  18. Can someone tell me what ‘small red beans’ are, please. I’ve never seen a bean by that name in any of my health/grocery stores.

  19. CLAUDIA, please have a test for LYME disease. My family member had the same symptoms you listed. They could never determine what was wrong after after many tests including spinal tap. The doctor gave her a lab request, as an afterthought, for LYME. About six months later she said that’s the only thing left so she had it done– was ready to give up. And yes, she has LYME disease. I hope you consider this and continue on with the WFPB nutrition. (I eat beans & lentils– very easy to cook in pressure cooker and last night I placed lentils and short grain brown rice in my small rice cooker with a few pieces of garlic and extra water . Done in 45 minutes without supervision. Get the 5.5 oz bag of salad– I like spinach-arugula–cut the top off, throw in little tomatoes, eat out the bag and all you have is used fork to clean. Buy a wide mouth thermos bottle–pre heat with hot water. Then add quinoa , clove of garlic or scallion, tbs of tomato paste, add boiling water, place lid, set aside then meal ready four-five hours later. No cooking. Love it. I wish you well. Sorry to all the other friends on this site for my lengthy comment. I promise they will be much shorter in the future.

  20. Theresa, I just returned from two grocery stores in Florida. Small red beans were in bulk, dry bean bags, and many canned small red beans. Think of red beans and rice in New Orleans. I just googled them and there are many providers. They are wonderful and one of the most sold beans in USA. I visited Native Sun Organic stores. They have them too in many ways they are available.

  21. Beans and nuts are a source of taurine and you might get enough if you eat enough. Link:
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0889-1575(91)90018-2.

    It’s a good idea to eat pulses in every meal, including breakfast, so I’m considering adding black lentils to steel cut oats. They should cook at the same time.

    Aside from this, I want to mention that I should not have eaten pumpkin seed skins. I think they triggered the globus condition because they affect the oesophagus or they trigger an allergy. Now I’m allergic to kiwi fruit skin and seeds.

    Also I have a guess about why brewer’s yeast helps lower blood sugar levels. It might help the pancreas amp up production of taurine. I would look into a taurine supplement to give my father but I don’t trust quality and the doses seem too high.

  22. Great video! An earlier video here suggested black beans were the healthiest, and I was eating those almost exclusively, but then started to like red lentils. So it’s great to see them at the top. I cook them like dal, with spices like turmeric, black pepper, etc…
    I’ve been telling all my friends to eat more lentils, to cure everything…and maybe they think I’m nuts but maybe it’s planting a seed!

    1. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Thanks for your great question. Black beans are still great for you. Even the least healthy beans , or “looser legumes” are excellent for you. They were based on different studies so there could be a variety of variables. They could have been looking at a different type of lentil- brown vs. red etc., and they are continuing to discover new antioxidants. New research is always being done providing updated recommendations. Dr. Greger is always reviewing new research. I wouldn’t looks at this as a contradiction, just newer information. I believe the older video you referring to, The Best Bean was referring only to antioxidant content. This newer video looked at more than just antioxidant content.

      NurseKelly

    1. Mohammad,
      Thanks for your question. Slowing gastric emptying is good because it causes your digestive system to release the sugar molecules into the bloodstream more slowly. This results in minimization of blood sugar spikes and also results in feeling of satiety longer. This is the beauty of nutrient dense foods. You are satisfied longer with less calories. A high fat meal also tends to slow gastric emptying but that’s not so good for many reasons, one being an increase risk of reflux into the esophagus.

  23. Hello! I follow the daily dozen and have been plant based for 7 years. The last year about once a month I have an episode of severe stomach pain and pressure (visual bloating on the left side of abdomen). Ultrasound and all blood tests came back normal. I’m now being told to follow a fodmap diet which denies me hummus, lentils, coconut, wheat, avocado, apple, brocolli, cabbage, cauliflower, mushrooms, beans and soy. These are things I eat almost daily and dont feel like my diet will be as healthy without them. What can you tell me about the validity of this diet? Thank you!

  24. FODMAP can help some people. You didn’t list exactly what you eat. Are you cooking a lot of food? Are you eating mostly raw? If you listed a a food log with a few days of food then we might be able to help.

    There are other possible extraneous factors that can be difficult to figure out. As an example, my WFPB eating son who is in medical school, would get very sick about once per week. Turns out he was so overloaded with school work he wasn’t paying attention to the lentils that he would cook the night before, leave out all night and then eat over several days. I noticed that they had a bad odor and got him to put the cooked lentils in the frig immediately after cooking and throw them out after 24 hours if not eaten. Problem solved: no more illness. This is just one of many many possible examples. I.e.: You could also be eating a contaminated food source.

    Dr. Ben

  25. I mentioned this in an older comment here but it continues to frustrate me… Why is there no mention of the 2008 study that shows a dramatically different chart than this?

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