Best Foods for Colon Cancer Prevention

Best Foods for Colon Cancer Prevention
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A low-fiber diet is a key driver of microbiome depletion, the disappearance of diversity in our good gut flora.

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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.

We have “100 trillion micro-organisms” residing in our gut, give or take a few trillion, but “the spread of the Western lifestyle has been accompanied by microbial changes,” which may be contributing to our epidemics of chronic disease. The problem is that we’re eating these meat-sweet diets, characterized by “a high intake of animal products and sugars, [processed foods], and a low intake of [whole plant foods].”

Contrary to the fermentation of the carbohydrates that make it down to our colon—the fiber and resistant starch that benefit us “through the generation of [these magical] short-chain fatty acids” like butyrate—”microbial protein fermentation [when excess protein is consumed…that] generates potentially toxic and pro-carcinogenic metabolites involved in [colorectal cancer].” And so, what we eat can cause an imbalance in our gut microbiome, and potentially create “a ‘recipe’ for colorectal cancer,” where a high-fat, high-meat, high-processed food diet tips the scale towards dysbiosis and colorectal cancer, whereas a high-fiber and -starch, lower-meat diet can pull you back into symbiosis with your friendly flora, and away from cancer.

We now have evidence from interventional studies suggesting that “adopting a plant-based, minimally processed high-fiber diet may rapidly reverse the effects of meat-based diets on the gut microbiome.” So, what may be “a new form of personalised…microbiome…medicine for chronic disease”? It’s called food, which can “rapidly and reproducibly alter…the human gut microbiome.” Switch people between a whole food plant-based diet and more of an animal food-based diet, and you can see dramatic shifts within two days, which can result in toxic metabolites. Switch people to an animal food-based diet, and levels of deoxycholic acid go up, which is “a secondary bile acid known to promote DNA damage” and liver cancers. Why do levels go up? Because the bad bacteria producing the stuff triple—in just two days.

And, over time, the richness of the microbial diversity in our gut is disappearing. Here’s our bacterial tree of life that’s getting depleted. Why is this happening? The “fiber gap.” “A low-fiber diet is a key driver of microbiome depletion.” Yeah, there’s antibiotics, and Caesarean sections, and indoor plumbing, but “the only factor that has been empirically demonstrated to be important is a diet low in…MACs’ (not Big Macs), “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates,” which is just a fancy name for fiber found in a whole plant foods and resistant starch, found mostly in beans, peas, lentils, and whole grains.

Our “intake of dietary fiber,” our intake of whole plant foods, “is negligibly low in the Western world” when compared to what we evolved to eat over millions of years. “Such a low-fiber diet provides insufficient nutrients for [our] gut microbes, leading not only to the loss of [bacterial diversity and richness], but also to a reduction in the production of [those beneficial] fermentation end products…” that they make with the fiber. We are, in effect, “starving our microbial self.”

What are we going to do about “the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in” whole plant foods? Create new-fangled “functional foods,” of course, and supplements, and drugs—prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics. Think how much money there is to be made! Or, we could just eat the way our bodies were meant to eat. What kind of value is that going to get your stockholders, though? Don’t you know probiotic pills may be “the next big source” of Big Pharma billions?

Why eat healthy though, when you can just have someone else eat healthy for you, and then get a fecal transplant from a vegan! Researchers compared the microbiomes of vegans versus omnivores, and found the vegan’s friendly flora were churning out more of the good stuff, showing that a plant-based diet may result in more beneficial metabolites in the bloodstream and less of the bad stuff like TMAO. But while the impact of a vegan diet on what the bacteria were making was “large,” the “effect on the composition of the gut microbiome [was] surprisingly modest.” They “only [found] slight differences between the gut microbiomes of omnivores [versus] vegans”? That was a shocker to the researchers; this “very modest difference…juxtaposed against the significantly enhanced dietary consumption of fermentable plant-based foods.” The vegans were eating nearly twice the fiber. Anyone see the problem here? The vegans just barely made the minimum daily intake of fiber. Why? Because Oreos are vegan, Cocoa Pebbles are vegan, french fries, Coke, potato chips; there are vegan Doritos and Pop-Tarts. You can eat a terrible vegan diet.

Burkitt showed that you need to get at least 50 grams a day (of fiber) for colon cancer prevention. And that’s only half of what our bodies were designed to get. We evolved getting about 100 grams a day. And that’s what you see in modern populations that are immune to epidemic colorectal cancer. So, what if instead of feeding people a vegan diet, you just fed people that kind of diet, a diet centered around whole plant foods? We’ll find out, next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

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

We have “100 trillion micro-organisms” residing in our gut, give or take a few trillion, but “the spread of the Western lifestyle has been accompanied by microbial changes,” which may be contributing to our epidemics of chronic disease. The problem is that we’re eating these meat-sweet diets, characterized by “a high intake of animal products and sugars, [processed foods], and a low intake of [whole plant foods].”

Contrary to the fermentation of the carbohydrates that make it down to our colon—the fiber and resistant starch that benefit us “through the generation of [these magical] short-chain fatty acids” like butyrate—”microbial protein fermentation [when excess protein is consumed…that] generates potentially toxic and pro-carcinogenic metabolites involved in [colorectal cancer].” And so, what we eat can cause an imbalance in our gut microbiome, and potentially create “a ‘recipe’ for colorectal cancer,” where a high-fat, high-meat, high-processed food diet tips the scale towards dysbiosis and colorectal cancer, whereas a high-fiber and -starch, lower-meat diet can pull you back into symbiosis with your friendly flora, and away from cancer.

We now have evidence from interventional studies suggesting that “adopting a plant-based, minimally processed high-fiber diet may rapidly reverse the effects of meat-based diets on the gut microbiome.” So, what may be “a new form of personalised…microbiome…medicine for chronic disease”? It’s called food, which can “rapidly and reproducibly alter…the human gut microbiome.” Switch people between a whole food plant-based diet and more of an animal food-based diet, and you can see dramatic shifts within two days, which can result in toxic metabolites. Switch people to an animal food-based diet, and levels of deoxycholic acid go up, which is “a secondary bile acid known to promote DNA damage” and liver cancers. Why do levels go up? Because the bad bacteria producing the stuff triple—in just two days.

And, over time, the richness of the microbial diversity in our gut is disappearing. Here’s our bacterial tree of life that’s getting depleted. Why is this happening? The “fiber gap.” “A low-fiber diet is a key driver of microbiome depletion.” Yeah, there’s antibiotics, and Caesarean sections, and indoor plumbing, but “the only factor that has been empirically demonstrated to be important is a diet low in…MACs’ (not Big Macs), “microbiota-accessible carbohydrates,” which is just a fancy name for fiber found in a whole plant foods and resistant starch, found mostly in beans, peas, lentils, and whole grains.

Our “intake of dietary fiber,” our intake of whole plant foods, “is negligibly low in the Western world” when compared to what we evolved to eat over millions of years. “Such a low-fiber diet provides insufficient nutrients for [our] gut microbes, leading not only to the loss of [bacterial diversity and richness], but also to a reduction in the production of [those beneficial] fermentation end products…” that they make with the fiber. We are, in effect, “starving our microbial self.”

What are we going to do about “the deleterious consequences of a diet deficient in” whole plant foods? Create new-fangled “functional foods,” of course, and supplements, and drugs—prebiotics, probiotics, synbiotics. Think how much money there is to be made! Or, we could just eat the way our bodies were meant to eat. What kind of value is that going to get your stockholders, though? Don’t you know probiotic pills may be “the next big source” of Big Pharma billions?

Why eat healthy though, when you can just have someone else eat healthy for you, and then get a fecal transplant from a vegan! Researchers compared the microbiomes of vegans versus omnivores, and found the vegan’s friendly flora were churning out more of the good stuff, showing that a plant-based diet may result in more beneficial metabolites in the bloodstream and less of the bad stuff like TMAO. But while the impact of a vegan diet on what the bacteria were making was “large,” the “effect on the composition of the gut microbiome [was] surprisingly modest.” They “only [found] slight differences between the gut microbiomes of omnivores [versus] vegans”? That was a shocker to the researchers; this “very modest difference…juxtaposed against the significantly enhanced dietary consumption of fermentable plant-based foods.” The vegans were eating nearly twice the fiber. Anyone see the problem here? The vegans just barely made the minimum daily intake of fiber. Why? Because Oreos are vegan, Cocoa Pebbles are vegan, french fries, Coke, potato chips; there are vegan Doritos and Pop-Tarts. You can eat a terrible vegan diet.

Burkitt showed that you need to get at least 50 grams a day (of fiber) for colon cancer prevention. And that’s only half of what our bodies were designed to get. We evolved getting about 100 grams a day. And that’s what you see in modern populations that are immune to epidemic colorectal cancer. So, what if instead of feeding people a vegan diet, you just fed people that kind of diet, a diet centered around whole plant foods? We’ll find out, next.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

129 responses to “Best Foods for Colon Cancer Prevention

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  1. Has anyone calculated how much daily fiber one would consume by eating the “Daily Dozen” diet? I know the daily dozen can be quite varied, so let’s say, an “average” amount of the typical foods recommended in the Daily Dozen. Are we at the 50 gram level or more up around the 100 gram level?

    1. Darwin- I know I get the daily recommended amounts of whole grains, legumes, nuts, flax, greens, and berries. I also have 2 tall cups/glasses of thick fruit and veggie smoothie everyday. I don’t know how many servings of fruits and vegetables that ends up being. What I do know is that what I eat averages out to 83g of fiber each day according to chronometer.com.

      I hope that helps!

        1. Thanks for bringing the topic up, Darwin, it is a good thing to know.

          I ended up using the calculator in the link, but it didn’t let me put in things like my mushrooms and my pomegranate seeds.

          I ended up low if I don’t eat breakfast.

          I am not sure how many cups of kale I actually have. I ate a container of it today and it says 5 oz. I think it is usually more than that, but I don’t usually buy it by the container like I did today, but they were out of kale and arugula at the Whole Foods I went to and they were out of broccoli sprouts and broccoli microgreens and other things and their salad bar didn’t have organic. Yikes!

          I ended up a pack of mushrooms, a package of pomegranate seeds and an artichoke and a box of kidney beans with some no oil ginger miso salad dressing. I had lentils for lunch, but all of that together was less than 50. Even with my ounce of nuts.

          1. Hi Deb, I would think that the grams of fiber that one needs would be highly dependent on one’s weight and activity levels, too. So I’m really not too concerned about the exact amount. And as Darryl pointed out in a comment yesterday, the kind of fiber is important, too, such as the MAC’s and resistant starch fiber from cooked beans, whole grains, and sweet potatoes that have been first cooled before eaten.

    1. Not to quibble, but it doesn’t look soup-y enough for me to call it soup. Looks more like a solid dish, something I’d eat with a fork, not a spoon.

      Might be a combo of peas, rice, corn, potatoes, celery (?)….various seasonings. Looks good though.

        1. Looks complicated. Lots of spices in the “tempering” process for Chana dal. I counted 11 including some I’ve never heard of before.

          And it uses Ghee (I had to look that up in Bing).
          Ghee: clarified butter from the milk of a buffalo.

          Hmmm. Haven’t seen any buffaloes around my market recently.

          1. Dal of any sort, Chana or otherwise, does not require buffalo ghee nor any ghee. Spices do tasted better and many “hidden” flavors come out of them if the are sautéed in some form of fat. So your choice, just omit the ghee/oil completely or substitute a very small amount of a nut or seed oil like olive or sesame. It takes very little to get those flavors, MUCH LESS than any recipe I’ve seen calls for.

            1. Thanks for that tip, Geoffrey. It’s much easier to modify things when you know the purpose of the ingredient you’re trying to replace.

            2. I used a recipe on page 5 of “The 30 Minute Vegan’s Taste of the East” called Indian Dahl. It calls for oil, but is REALLY EASY to make with no oil. People say you have to use oil to get the spices to work, but I LOVE the mustard seeds just thrown into the pot along with the cumin seeds. You might be able to get this book at your library. I also didn’t use jalapeno. Although I like the flavor of them, I find this dahl plenty spicy without. I’m including a link to this book on Amazon for identification purposes: https://www.amazon.com/30-Minute-Vegans-Taste-East-Recipes-ebook/dp/B003Y8YWHC/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=taste+of+the+east&qid=1562873217&s=gateway&sr=8-1

            1. You can add coconut milk in place of ghee.

              As for spices, in place of individual spices you could just add raw curry powder.

        2. Barb, thank you so much! This looks delicious. Don’t think all the spices are necessary, I usually simplify most recipes anyway.
          Have just added these beans to my ‘save for later list’, have too many others to use first. But don’t want to forget to try them.

          1. Don’t think all the spices are necessary, I usually simplify most recipes anyway.
            ———————————————————————————————————-
            Marilyn, I have a different way of thinking. That is, I’ll take the simplest of dishes and turn them into a powerhouse of nutrition by adding herbs and spices along with complimentary foods… like adding tomato/pepper/onion salsa to chicken noodle soup. One spice I add to almost everything without fail is turmeric powder.

            1. Lonie, I add lots of spices also, plus turmeric, garlic, onions to most meals. But I have already premixed groups of favorite spices so I just dump an applicable bunch in. I have most veggies washed, prepped after I grocery shop. Keep red onions peeled and ready in the frig. Some veggies, like sweet potatoes, already steamed, etc. We usually have a minimum of 5 different full servings of vegetables per meal. To start from scratch for weekday dinners is too time-consuming.
              That’s what I mean by simplifying. Less time spent, not fewer ingredients. I try to whip up a tasty, healthy meal in 30 minutes or so. More complicated meals need to wait till the weekend.

              1. But I have already premixed groups of favorite spices so I just dump an applicable bunch in.
                ——————————————————————————————————————————–
                Ohhhhh I C. Like me you use Mrs. Dash too. ‘-) ‘-) ‘-)

                1. Actually Lonie, I like the organic no salt spice mixes at Costco to which I add turmeric and pepper flakes. If you belong to Costco it’s really good. I do make some of my own, like a ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove mix for baked apples, winter squash and sweet potatoes. Also like thyme, rosemary, marjoram, basil, and oregano mix. This is making me hungry! :)

              2. Hi, Marilyn,
                I am trying to transition to glass containers but can’t seem to find any big enough for storage of my vast amount of weekly vegetables from my CSA. I see you are storing prepared vegetables in your fridge and wonder if you have solved this problem without using plastic. My CSA advises storing their kale bunches in plastic bags, for example. A bunch of kale takes up quite a big of room–more than my usual glass containers. This is not to mention the basketball-sized lettuce I sometimes get! Also, I’m looking for rectangular or square containers for better use of the area in my fridge. Do you have any thoughts on this?

    2. It reminds me of a brown rice and lentil soup that appears in Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book “Appetite for Reduction.” That soup has red lentils, carrots, onions, garlic, brown rice, veg broth, cumin, and coriander. It’s delicious. I keep all the ingredients on hand in case the craving strikes. Looks like the soup/stew in the photo has potatoes, chickpeas, and green peas, but I’d be willing to bet that red or yellow lentils give it the creaminess.

    3. To me it looks like chick peas and short grain brown rice (from dried), green peas (from frozen), and diced onion, with fresh lemon juice and parsley. Whatever you decide to put in yours, happy cooking!

  2. Well, Dr. Greger… I know you always expend considerable effort researching and producing these excellent, highly informative, and (literally) life-saving videos for us. I just thought you’d like to know that the thing we found most fascinating about today’s video is the dal picture on the splash screen up there. =]

    1. the thing we found most fascinating about today’s video is the dal picture on the splash screen up there. =]
      ——————————————————————————————————
      My first impression was it contained creme corn as its primary ingredient.

        1. looked pretty corny to me too.
          —————————————–
          I think I remember a creme corn can in my pantry. Guess I know what I’ll be having for my meal today… unless it is more than 8-10 yrs past its use by date. ‘-)

  3. I agree that eating a diet high in animal food is bad.

    But I have never seen anything about a diet high in fruit, vegetables etc,
    with just a small amount of 100% fresh grass fed beef (and no other animal food).

    I eat a large pot of collard greens or kale with red sweet potato, wild blueberries, apple,
    grapefruit, etc. and one small piece of 100% grass fed beef which I eat slowly with
    the vegetables.

    1. You have not seen it because no research has been done on it. The research does indicate that 5% total calories from animal products likely not a problem. Dr Fuhrman has said that he thinks a small %age of people, maybe 1% need a little animal protein to really thrive and be fully healthy. I’ve found that I am one of them. I won’t eat factory farmed anything (unless starving to death is the only option) so yes, grass fed or wild caught all the way for me.

      1. Geoffrey Levens:

        Thank you for your positive comment.

        I see below some people seem to think anything less than 100% vegan is sinful. An attitude like that is not fact based.

    2. Isn’t there a carnivore website more appropriate to your WANTS? It seems you only come here to disagree when you chose to walk into a room of vegans.

      1. 5% is hardly “carnivore”. And I had no idea that veganism was a requirement. Whole foods plant based means mostly from plants. There are “moral” and/or “emotional” reasons for being 100% vegan but so far, per the research, health is not a reason

        1. Jimbo, your angry comment makes it sound like you consider this website a members only vegan club. It is in fact science based teaching a whole food, plant based, approach.

          1. Lida, I didn’t see your P.S. yesterday! How did it show up here now….and dated on the same day, etc. Weird things are happening!

          1. Sydney, just guess, but I think she might have been addressing Jimbo. He posted at 12:06 PM, and Lida posted at 12:23 PM.

      2. Jimbo,

        I am trying to walk as a vegan.

        When I was younger, I went closer to carnivore – because I was eating Atkins, but didn’t like the vegetables or berries I could have had and while interacting with vegans who switched to carnivore, I had the revelation that if I had stayed eating that way, I might have been responsible for the death of 80,000 to 100,000 animals if I lived just an average life span. That still makes me tear up.

        I developed a meat allergy and went junk food vegetarian. Now, I eat my vegetables.

        Sometimes you can’t care fully about the animals until after you switch your diet.

          1. Geoffrey,

            I was just going to say that I have still never ever met a vegan in my whole life, but there is a woman who works at Starbucks who is vegan. She hasn’t been there long and is going to college to become a mortician in August, and I don’t see her often, but I finally interacted with one.

        1. Hi Deb:

          One time I was hiking down a trail and I saw a frog/toad hopping wildly up the trail toward me. When the frog/toad saw me it hopped off the trail into the bushes. Then I saw a snake quickly slithering up the trail. Obviously it had been chasing the frog/toad. When the snake saw me, it turned into the bushes on the other side of the trail.

          I didn’t know whether to be happy I saved the frog/toad, or sad that I inadvertently robbed the snake of a meal.

          My point is that all life depends on other life to exist. Even plants depend on animals living or dead it is called fertilizer).

          I think frogs/toads eat insects and snakes eat frogs/toads (etc). both are animals. Emotions have nothing to do with what animals/plants ingest to live. I believe humans would do well to eat as other animals based on our biochemistry snd genetic adaptation, NOT based on emotions.

          1. Sydney,

            I understand that you are looking at things from a natural order of things perspective.

            I will tell you that I am thriving as a vegan and I enjoy the food just as much. I don’t miss meat at all.

            That is why I said that a lot of times, people don’t gain compassion and emotion about the genuine emotion animals go through until they go vegan. I will say that is true for me.

            I remember watching animal shows where I could see clearly that the animals had the same emotions that I have.

            There have been several on PBS and National Geographic and other channels.

            I can see it in my dog. He is so bonded with me and he is so emotional and his emotions are so obvious.

            I know that there are countries where people eat dogs and that would always have been difficult for me, but what has happened is that now that I don’t eat them, I get to care about all of them.

            1. There are human beings who eat people and who kill people without caring about that and people who feel like it is good for people to die from disease to heal the earth.

              Hardening of the heart is one of those things which tends to be that we use logic in certain ways.

              You have used logic the way you do and it makes it easier to eat animals.

              Someone else would use logic that they want you to die out of population control and, trust me, there are a lot of people who use logic that way.

              Logic deadens emotions and it can be a slippery slope.

              What I admire most about Dr. Ornish is that he includes being emotionally sensitive and emotionally vulnerable and open as part of health.

              Sydney,

              I know that I am using logic in a way that can creep you out and it is not my own logic. I want you to be healthy and I also care about animals.

              1. I am going to use cannibalism as logic.

                Donner party or the plane crash in the middle of nowhere or the explorers whose ship got ice-jammed for so long that everybody would die versus porned-out serial killer

                Justification of atrocities versus lust of the flesh from someone abusing power.

                Is there ever a moral question in your mind about eating animals or how they are treated or are you anything goes?

                  1. I can use a less traumatizing example.

                    My great-grandmother’s generation was very poor and they had 6 kids and were from families with 6 siblings and people were so poor and they generally couldn’t afford meat, but they did raise animals a few times.

                    Bunnies for meat and chickens (mostly for eggs)

                    They did have a story when our relative came home from Iwo Jima bringing a war friend that they cooked the rooster they had and it was so tough and not good to eat but they wanted to honor the soldiers.

                    Back to the bunnies. The kids were not allowed to play with the bunnies or name them or emotionally bond with them. That is the difference between pets and meat.

                    Roger and Me is one of those documentaries which has a woman selling bunnies for “pets or meat” and what I will tell you is that I have a friend who used to raise bunnies for show and won awards for them, but she had to get rid of them because she couldn’t afford them anymore and what I will tell you is that they were sold on the condition that the bunny had to be a pet, not meat.

          2. Yes Sydney but snakes, lions etc need to eat meat. We don’t. That’s the difference.

            Therefore, it is a choice for us whether or not we eat meat. Snakes and tigers don’t have that luxury

            If you are happy with the ethics of what you are doing, fine, but I don’t think that your story works as a philosophical justification.

            From a nutritional point of view though, fish and non-mammalian meat are probably safer choices than red meat.

            ‘Because Sias are not found in plants, and Neu5Gc is not synthesized by microbes, the dietary source of Neu5Gc must be foods of
            animal origin. Major sources appear to be red meats (i.e., lamb,
            pork, and beef) and, to a lesser extent, milk products (76). In
            contrast, Neu5Gc is not found in poultry, and amounts in fish seem
            to be low (76). Thus, within limits of current analyses, the primary
            source of human tissue Neu5Gc appears to be foods of mammalian
            origin. In this regard, many epidemiological studies have shown an
            association of red meat ingestion with increased risk for various
            diseases, including carcinomas (82–84), atherosclerosis (82, 84),
            type-2 diabetes (85), and age-dependent macular degeneration’
            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024026/pdf/pnas.200914634.pdf

            See also
            https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-inflammatory-meat-molecule-neu5gc/

          3. Sydney,

            I laugh that both you and I have a hopping frog, which gets spared from being eaten story.

            I am going to ask, do you have pets? Have you ever had pets? Are there any types of animals you get compassionate about?

            I am not goading you. I am genuinely interested in understanding what goes on in your mind.

            When I was young, we weren’t allowed to have pets, but my uncle’s dog knew the heart of a young girl and he would come and meet me at my bus stop in the morning and at school during recess and at my best friend’s bus stop in the afternoon.

            Yes, it was in the days before leash laws and cats and dogs in this area were just let out the back door and they would come home for dinner.

            That dog only saw where I lived one time and showed up the next day at the exact bus stop time. He was a hunting dog and I was the one he seemed to be hunting.

            1. Are you,

              “No cats or dogs, but anything else”

              Or

              “Cats and dogs are fine, except when they are pets”

              Or do those sound cruel, but you understand it if they live in a different country?

              Or is it

              “Beef, but only if the animal was treated kindly”

              1. What occurs to me is that both of our world views might have been framed by our frog experience.

                I let the frog live and felt happy about that and enjoyed not killing animals.

                You let the frog live, but felt bad for the snake and you couldn’t feel good no matter which outcome and ended up in ambivalence about animals dying.

      3. @jimbo,
        That kind of attitude is what I find most off-putting from my fellow vegans. It doesn’t help the cause at all.

        Look at it this way: If your primary concern is reducing harm to animals, wouldn’t you rather convince 10 people to cut their animal product intake in half than to convince only 1 to give up animal products completely?

        1. Look at it this way: If your primary concern is reducing harm to animals, wouldn’t you rather convince 10 people to cut their animal product intake in half than to convince only 1 to give up animal products completely?
          ————————————————————————————————————
          Who do you think you are?… Solomon? ‘-)

        2. Michael F Ellis, while I agree with your main point about the good sense of maintaining a generous attitude toward others, (and indeed the NF comments policy demands it) in this case I can somewhat understand jimbo’s irritation. We do get trolls on this forum, and we also get folks who insist on posting the same thing over and over again defending their animal foods, (for over a year or two) while at the same time asking the same question over and over regarding their health issue, AND refusing to read the many links (with sources) given to them on why eating animal products are not in their best interest.

      4. Jimbo:

        I thought this is supposed to be a scientifically fact based web site, NOT a vegan website. If I seem to criticize, it is only because some people seem to be in an emotionally driven (rather than fact based) rush to condemn animal foods.

      5. Jimbo: As far as I know, there’s no rule that only vegans can visit and comment on NF.org. In fact, Dr. Greger has said that he doesn’t even like the word vegan and that his goal is to get people to eat as much whole plant foods as possible. (If it’s 100% whole plant food, great; if it’s only 90% plant food, it’s better than 80%.)

    3. I eat a large pot of collard greens or kale with red sweet potato, wild blueberries, apple,
      grapefruit, etc. and one small piece of 100% grass fed beef which I eat slowly with
      the vegetables.
      ——————————————–
      Sydney, I go for spells without eating any kind of meat. But your fare appears healthier than mine sans meat.

    4. “just a small amount of 100% fresh grass fed beef (and no other animal food).”

      Just a small amount of saturate fat, cholesterol, global warming, environmental destruction (see Cowspiracy), and murder of a helpless creature (if you care about that).

    5. Syndey,

      For Cancer, by the time you get to 10% of your calories from animal products tumors start growing.

      Dr. Greger has already done videos on how each serving of meat added per day increases the risk of Diabetes by some percentage.

      There are risks to the gut microbiome, but that has not been measured yet for the small amount of meat you eat.

      It helps that the rest of your diet is very healthy.

      You still will have some risk for meat viruses and AGES depending on how you cook your food.

      You are doing way better than the average SAD, but there are probably not going to be exact answers for your exact diet.

      1. And, Sydney, I am trying to give you some guidelines.

        5% seems safer for Cancer, but 10% is not safe.
        Each serving of meat does increase the risk of Diabetes.

        You can check your blood sugar and A1C and blood pressure and cholesterol and know where you are.

  4. Jimbo-
    If the goal is to be a tiny, morally superior church of correct behavior, kicking out anyone who eats anything animal is a great idea.

    If the goal is to discuss how to eat healthy diets, it’s a terrible idea.

    Only a tiny percent of Americans eats less than 10% animal diet per day.

    You could sit in a room with three friends and tell each other how great you are and lock out everyone else, but it doesn’t seem to be much of a solution.

  5. An observation at 5:27 . . .

    “That’s only half of what our bodies were *designed* to get.”
    is immediatedly followed by
    “We *evolved* getting…”

    Either we were “designed,” which requires a Designer (a design requires a designer) – or – we ‘evolved,’ which means by blind chance, undirected, random mutations.

    We were designed, or evolved? It cannot be both.

    1. “We were designed, or evolved? It cannot be both.”

      Why not? Even humans, have designed random number generators that work quite well.

    2. Evolved or designed – can’t the history of living beings simply be considered an iterative approximation process in which the living beings sometimes have an advantage – depending on the respective environmental changes – through gene A and then again through gene B?

      A fixed aim requires a non-changing world.

      designed evolution, evolved design – both is fine!

  6. Laughing.

    Nope, nothing at all to say today.

    My dog sounded a little better this morning. Water fasting might do it again. We shall see.

  7. Microbiota available carbohydrates isn’t just a shorthand for fiber.

    Most of us may lack a microbiome that can make any use of the cellulose in plant cell walls. MACs are fermentable fiber + digestion resistant starch. When one looks into where most of the fermentable fiber occurs in diets, one comes down to beans, bran (and whole grains), and bulbs.(Allium vegetables like onions, leeks, garlic).

    Chassard et al 2010. The cellulose-degrading microbial community of the human gut varies according to the presence or absence of methanogens. FEMS microbio eco, 74(1), pp.205-213.

  8. What is all this quarreling about? Pushing my beliefs on others is useless. This website, and the tireless work of Dr. Greger are meant to be a service to the public. When I researched impact of foods on the thyroid, it took me two days. He does the work for me, and I am extremely grateful, as everybody should be.
    At age 70 I was diagnosed with an overgrowth of H Pylori and colitis. I was a wreck. After mountains of antibiotics, I started a vegan diet and
    felt like a new person. Three years later, I forgot that I had certain limitation, with a piece of pizza here and bread there, my sugar addiction was renewed, and a piece of meat or chicken renewed the previous poor diet. 2018 I was sicker than before. Once again, I went back to my vegan ways, but too much raw spinach now caused kidney stones, and 1 liter of soy milk/day seemed to interfere with my thyroid. All in all, I found that I could not stay on a vegan diet. After about 3 days, I experienced fatigue, enormous malaise and other discomfort, which only was removed once I ate a piece of fish etc. Then came the diagnosis of hypothyroidism. Now, I hope to be able to go back to 100% vegan, once my thyroid is regulated. But whatever people decide, if 100% vegan works for them or 90% or 85%, if that is what works for them, let them be.
    I am most certainly against animal cruelty, but right now, at 75, I would like to live 10-15 years more in comfort and health.

    1. Tettah,

      We do what we gotta do. IMO, there is no “one perfect diet” for everybody. We’re individuals, after all.

      (I’d put myself in the 90% category…but “vegan” has nothing to do with it. More accurately, a WFPB diet. Definitely works for me.)

    2. I am most certainly against animal cruelty, but right now, at 75, I would like to live 10-15 years more in comfort and health.
      ——————————————————————————————————————————————————————
      Tettah, it sounds like you have enough time or your hands to watch the 2+ hour podcast linked to below. I only post it because you are hoping for 10 to 15 more years… PAH!!! CHUMP CHANGE, IMO.

      https://alivebynature.com/david-sinclair-on-joe-rogan-podcast/

      1. The man certainly is supplement happy. You are too, though, aren’t you Lonie? Seems to me, you have a whole litany of creative concoctions that you add to your foods every day. :-)

        Yikes…(because of family history, I guess), he’s even been taking a statin.

        1. The man certainly is supplement happy. You are too, though, aren’t you Lonie?
          ———————————————————————————————————–
          Heh, as a supplement taker he’s rather a wimp. ‘-)

          I just now finished counting my capsule/tablet/dropper bottles and stopped at 68. Of course I don’t take all those daily… some maybe once a week (one, once a month) some on alternating days and others only at night (oh! that reminded me of two more I haven’t counted.)

          One of them is a new one (the sublingual one I’ve mentioned elsewhere) that I’ve started because of Sinclair and one I won’t replace once I run out (Nicotinamide Riboside) because it seems redundant to the NMN… which may be easier absorbed and therefore, having to take less of it is cheaper.

          He seems a hybrid that is both medically inclined and yet has a natural basis for his health promoting ideas. And while I hate the idea of synthesized interventions, I will listen to the evidence with a (slightly) open mind.

    3. Tettah,

      I like to eat a variety of foods, from the basic list of veggies and fruit, beans and whole grains, and nuts and seeds. Eating more to less as I go down that list. (Or even better, following the guidelines in Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen)

      So for me, a liter of soy milk per day would be too much; I might consume 1/2 to 1 cup of soy milk a day (or not, as I prefer to drink water, tea, or coffee), and perhaps some other soy foods, such as soy yogurt, edamame, tofu, or tempeh, but all in modest servings. I would also not eat a lot of raw spinach; there are concerns about its role in kidney stone formation since it’s high in oxalic acid. So, I would eat small amounts of spinach (but maybe not daily), raw or cooked, and other greens as well, such as kale or collards or arugula or dark green lettuce.

      And, as Dr. Greger points out in the video, there are a lot of junk/highly processed foods in what could be called a vegan diet. So I don’t eat a vegan diet, but instead eat what he calls a plant-based whole foods diet, which means for me no animal products and minimal to no processed foods, including no to minimal added sugar, oil, and salt.

      And here’s to good health for all.

          1. (and a triangle nose wouldn’t hurt either ‘-)
            – – — –
            You with only one (left) eye should talk?

            I can’t figure out to give it a nose from the front view. It would look like this, if I did: (Not a pretty picture.)

            * *
            _^_

            1. Your right… not a pretty picture. I guess it works as a pumpkin without the nose… somehow just doesn’t seem menacing though. ‘-)
              (^_^)

              1. Oh hell, it’s not trying to look menacing, it’s trying to be a happy pumpkin! (*_^)

                Now you got me hungry for pumpkin pie. Back in the day, I used to make it (Libby’s canned comes to mind)…along with apple, cherry, banana, etc. Even rolled out the crust the old-fashioned way. And I made a cheese cake to die for! Those were the days! *starts to burst out in song….*

                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AyaTIXdN5fI

                1. I was thinking of the Archie/Edith Bunker version… “Gee our old La Salle ran greatttt… those were the dayzzzzzz.

                  The pumpkin pie sounds great… I used to scrape the pie part off the crust and only eat the pie part.

  9. My spouse has ulcerative colitis. It would be almost impossible (according to the chart someone posted earlier) to consume 100 mg of fiber a day! I am discouraged. Sigh…

    1. There is a product called inulin… it’s a powdered form of some plant or another. I don’t have ulcerative colitis but I noticed a better stool result. I really think it would help your husband. I take about a quarter or third of a teaspoon once a day. I’m willing to bet a full teaspoon (work up to that amount) per day will be of a benefit to him.

      But keep this under your hat… if word gets out, many doctors and pharmaceutical companies may have to start driving Fords and Chevys instead of Mercedes and Lamborghinis. ‘-)

      1. “… if word gets out, many doctors and pharmaceutical companies may have to start driving Fords and Chevys instead of Mercedes and Lamborghinis. ‘-)
        – – – –

        Maybe you should worry about your own hide, Lonie. Folks like you (who know things) have been “suicided” — i.e. they die under very mysterious circumstances. :-(

        https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=suicided

        1. Maybe you should worry about your own hide, Lonie. Folks like you (who know things) have been “suicided” — i.e. they die under very mysterious circumstances. :-(
          ——————————————————
          Already covered… told friends and family if my death is termed suicide, don’t believe it… and get even. ‘-)

    2. Like Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis is a form of IBD

      “Existing IBD guidelines from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), World Gastroenterology Organisation, and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America [10], regarding fibre intake, are very cautious: they all agree that dietary fibre consumption should not be limited in IBD patients in remission (except patients with strictures of the bowels).

      Based on studies summarised in the article, dietary fibre shows significant clinical benefits in patients with IBD. Supplementation of some types of dietary fibre can help to maintain remission and reduce lesions of the intestinal mucosa during the course of the disease. The described effects are primarily associated with increased luminal production of SCFA after administering dietary fibre. SCFA have immunomodulatory properties, they accelerate healing and regeneration processes of the intestinal epithelium, and they lower colonic pH thereby stimulating growth of the beneficial microflora and inhibiting growth of the pathogens”

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4607699/

  10. I apologize in advance for ‘derailing’ this chat, but an article and study just came across my desk regarding:

    “Very low levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol may raise stroke risk”
    Published Thursday 4 July 2019

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325650.php?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_country=TH&utm_hcp=no&utm_campaign=MNT%20Weekly%20%28non-HCP%20non-US%29%20-%20OLD%20STYLE%202019-07-10&utm_term=MNT%20Weekly%20News%20%28non-HCP%20non-US%29

    I am citing this article in relation to a video I saw from Dr. Greger stating that an LDL of 50 mg was what we were born with, and what we should strive for…as I do.

    Further quote: “The likelihood of having a bleeding stroke was 169% higher among the participants whose LDL cholesterol levels were below 50 mg/dl than among those whose levels were 70–99 mg/dl”

    1. The problem with headlines about these types of studies is that they infer causation from simple associations.

      The studies usually aren’t able to demonstrate causality. We know that a large number of conditions (from infections to injuries) cause cholesterol to deline. Ot is possible that lowered cholesterol is a marker for stroke risk not a cause – just as it is a marker for certain cancers, hepatitis, angina etc.

      Does the disease state cause lowered LDL cholesterol or does the lowered cholesterol? It is pretty simplistic thinking to assume that because low cholesterol preceds and actual stroke then the lowered cholesterol must have caused the stroke (or liver failure in hepatitis patients for example).

      Also we have to ask:do people who have their LDL cholesterol lowered by drugs to very low levels suffer increased stroke risk? The answer is no so I’d suggest that the association is not causal.

      ‘Recent trials using novel treatments to lower cholesterol have reached extremely low cholesterol values with no increased risk for major side effects, but the follow-up was relatively short.
      In some cases it is not clear if low cholesterol causes the health problem or if it’s the other way around. For example, people with depression may have low cholesterol levels, but it has not been proved that lowering cholesterol with statin therapy causes depression.
      However, the benefits of lowering total and LDL cholesterol have been demonstrated extensively, particularly in individuals with heart disease or at high risk of heart disease or strokes.’.
      https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/expert-answers/cholesterol-level/faq-20057952

      it seems to me that this another headline generating news story based on an associational study that ignores the results of experimentals studies that show that lowering cholesterol actually reduces stroke risk.
      .

      1. Also, by what possible mechanism could low levels of LDL cholesterol actually cause a stroke? No one has been able to suggest any, to my knowledge.

        Furthermore, certain conditions that result in lowered cholesterol levels also raise stroke risk eg hepatitis C These would seem to be a better explanation for the association between low cholesterol and stroke risk than some hitherto unknown causal mechanism, given that inteventions that lower cholesterol are also observed to lower stroke risk

        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3827221/
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3712309/

  11. hi; i am not sure but i think this video data picks. no one else seems to have mentioned this.
    see about 5:31 in the video. i do not think that this table should be used to justify a plant based
    or vegan diet. i do not ‘believe’ in the modern ‘paleo diet’ it never replicates the hard water drunk,
    nor the bugs eaten or any other of the icky parts of the diet.
    the table shows the ratio of pufa:sa, the 6:3 ratio in the two diets… but if you justify with this table to
    eat more fibre then you also would have to use this table and increase your cholesterol intake. and
    we all know where cholesterol comes from in out diet…yes b u g s.

    1. Not really. The table shows that the paleo diet included less than twice the amount of cholesterol but more than 6 times the amount of fibre and morea thn 6 times the amount of vitamin C found in the modern diet . It’s the scale of the difference that is striking

      Also, it’s being used to argue for more fibre in the diet not for a ‘vegan’ or ‘vegetarian’ diet. In fact he even says

      ‘whereas a high-fiber and -starch, lower-meat diet can pull you back into symbiosis with your friendly flora, and away from cancer’

  12. Dear Mr. Fumblefingers,

    “Also, by what possible mechanism could low levels of LDL cholesterol actually cause a stroke? No one has been able to suggest any, to my knowledge.”

    Thanks for picking up my post and responding. I actually had you in mind when I posted. You are one who can always be counted on for a thorough and detailed, well-thought-out explanation and response.

    Best,

    LG

  13. I noticed this week that NF web pages are slow to load. It gets to the point where just the video star ratings, the green support button and the comment section need to ‘open’ but there 8s a delay. Anyone else notice this? It’s very annoying especially when working between a few tabs formulating replies.

  14. MAC is not the same thing as dietary fiber. It refers specifically to fermentable fiber, which is only one type of dietary fiber (the other two types are bulking fibers and viscous fibers). For instance, cellulose is a great bulking fiber but it is not fermentable. It absorbs water and helps push everything through the intestinal tract, but it is not a MAC. Resistant starch is a great fermentable fiber that feeds the intestinal microbiota, but it is not in all plants. You have to specific types of foods to get it – beans, lentils, green bananas, raw starches, unprocessed whole grains or supplements. Other plants contain lower levels of fermentable fibers – onions and garlic have low levels of inulin and oligosaccharides, apples and fruit contain low levels of pectin, grains contain low levels of arabinogalactan, etc, but resistant starch remains the type of MAC (fermentable fiber) that is will shift the microbiome toward health. A plant-based diet is broadly helpful but including information on what types of foods contain resistant starch and other fermentable fibers would be more helpful.

    1. The point I was trying to make was that fiber in general does not reduce cancer risk. The Australians have shown this. They have increased their population’s consumption of fiber significantly over the past couple of decades, but their incidence of diseases (diabetes, CVD, cancer) has not been reduced. The CSIRO points out that they have not increased their fermentable fibers, which is a key point.

      Consuming raw potato starch will certainly be a good way to add resistant starch and fermentable fibers.

      It is hard to know how much resistant starch will be in your box of organic potato starch. If the starch was extracted through harsh processing, a lot of the resistant starch will be destroyed. A more gentler drying process would have preserved more of the resistant starch but you cannot tell just by looking at it.

      Natural resistant starch is insoluble. It will not dissolve in water – you can suspend it in water by vigorously stirring it, but it will never dissolve. The advantage of this insolubility is in the intestine, however. Because it is insoluble, it ferments slowly – the bacteria in your gut cannot rapidly consume the starch all at once. So, the resistant starch ferments all the way through your intestinal tract and you can tolerate higher doses without getting gas or bloating. In contrast, soluble fibers like inulin and FOS are fermented quickly and will give you gas much faster.

      I would recommend that you try it and see. You can tell if you’re getting resistant starch because it will increase regularity, help control your appetite and produce a mild amount of gas.

  15. Rhonda Witwer, thank you very much for your response.. I am sure many readers, as well as myself, will benefit from your explaining the difference between resistant starches and the soluble fibers. I will make a point of increasing resistant starch in my diet, thanks again!

  16. Thanks for posting these videos now.

    I have another wacky idea that I’d like to share. Test the effectiveness (if any) of electrical grounding on post meal endothelial function. Test subjects by feeding them some fat and do the flow mediated dilation test. Control are not tied to ground, while treatment group are tied to ground for some number of hours. That number of hours should cover the time that impairment usually lasts for. If it’s effective then heart disease patients could eat some nuts and seeds safely (to cover all bases) by being tied to ground for a few hours after every meal. It might be useful for everyone.

  17. I’ve learned about reducing methane production of cattle by feeding them seaweed. Would it have a similar benefit to humans?

  18. So, is it possible that all the leaky gut inducing foods (low fiber) in the Standard American Diet in combination with heavy meat consumption is creating some kind of low-grade sepsis (blood infection)?

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