Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods

Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods
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We have an uncanny ability to pick out the subtle distinctions in calorie density of foods, but only within the natural range.

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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.

The traditional medical view on obesity, as summed up nearly a century ago: “All obese persons are alike in one fundamental respect—they literally overeat.” While this may be true in a technical sense, this is in reference to overeating calories, not food. Our primitive urge to overindulge is selective. People don’t tend to lust for lettuce. We have a natural inborn preference for sweet, starchy, fatty foods, because that’s where the calories are concentrated.

Think about hunting and gathering efficiency. We used to have to work hard for our food. Prehistorically, it doesn’t make sense to spend all day collecting types of food that, on average, don’t provide at least a day’s worth of calories. You would have been better off staying back at the cave. So, we evolved to crave foods with the biggest caloric bang for their buck.

If you were able to steadily forage a pound of food an hour, and it had 250 calories per pound, it might take you 10 hours just to break even on your calories for the day. But if you were gathering something with 500 calories a pound, you could be done in five hours, and spend the next five practicing your wall paintings. So, the greater the energy density—the more calories per pound—the more efficient the foraging. So, we developed an acute ability to discriminate foods based on calorie density and to instinctively desire the densest.

If you study the fruit and vegetable preferences of four-year-old children, their liking correlates with calorie density. They prefer bananas over berries; carrots over cucumbers. Well duh, isn’t that just a preference for sweetness? No, they also prefer potatoes over peaches, and green beans over melon, just like monkeys prefer avocados over bananas. We appear to have an inborn drive to maximize calories per mouthful.

All the foods the researchers tested naturally had less than 500 calories per pound (bananas topped the chart at about 400). Something funny happens when you start going over that. We lose our ability to differentiate. Over the natural range of calorie densities, we have an uncanny aptitude to pick out the subtle distinctions. However, once you start heading towards bacon, cheese, and chocolate territory, which can reach thousands of calories per pound, our perceptions become relatively numb to the differences. No wonder, since these foods were unknown to our prehistoric brains. It’s like the dodo bird failing to evolve a fear response because they had no natural predators (and we all know how that turned out––or sea turtle hatchlings crawling in the wrong direction towards artificial light, rather than the moon). It’s aberrant behavior explained by an evolutionary mismatch.

The food industry exploits our innate biological vulnerabilities by stripping crops down into almost pure calories—straight sugar, oil (which is pretty much pure fat), and white flour (which is mostly refined starch). First, they have to remove the fiber, because it effectively has zero calories. Run brown rice through a mill to make white, and you lose about two-thirds of the fiber. Turn whole wheat flour into white, and lose 75 percent. Or, you can run crops through animals (to make meat, dairy, and eggs), and remove 100 percent of the fiber. What you’re left with is CRAP (an acronym used by one of my favorite dieticians, Jeff Novick): Calorie-Rich And Processed foods.

Calories are condensed in the same way plants are turned into addictive drugs like opiates and cocaine: concentration, crystallization, distillation, and extraction. They even appear to activate the same reward pathways in the brain. Put people with “food addiction” in an MRI scanner and show them a picture of a chocolate milkshake, and the areas that light up in their brains are the same as when cocaine addicts are shown a video of crack smoking.

“Food” addiction is a misnomer. People don’t suffer out-of-control eating behaviors to food in general. We don’t tend to compulsively crave carrots. Milkshakes are packed with sugar and fat: two of the signals to our brain of calorie density. When people are asked to rate different foods in terms of cravings and loss of control, most incriminated was a load of CRAP—highly processed foods, like doughnuts, along with cheese and meat. Those least related to problematic eating behaviors? Fruits and vegetables. Calorie density may be the reason people don’t get up in the middle of the night and binge on broccoli.

Animals don’t tend to get fat when they are eating the foods they were designed to eat. There is a confirmed report of free-living primates becoming obese, but that was a troop of baboons who evidently stumbled across some dumpsters at a tourist lodge. The “garbage-feeding animals” weighed 50 percent more than their wild-feeding counterparts. Sadly, we can suffer the same mismatched fate, and become obese eating garbage too. For millions of years, before we learned how to hunt, our biology evolved largely on leaves, roots, fruits, and nuts. Maybe it would help if we went back to our roots and cut out the CRAP.

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Video production by Glass Entertainment

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.

The traditional medical view on obesity, as summed up nearly a century ago: “All obese persons are alike in one fundamental respect—they literally overeat.” While this may be true in a technical sense, this is in reference to overeating calories, not food. Our primitive urge to overindulge is selective. People don’t tend to lust for lettuce. We have a natural inborn preference for sweet, starchy, fatty foods, because that’s where the calories are concentrated.

Think about hunting and gathering efficiency. We used to have to work hard for our food. Prehistorically, it doesn’t make sense to spend all day collecting types of food that, on average, don’t provide at least a day’s worth of calories. You would have been better off staying back at the cave. So, we evolved to crave foods with the biggest caloric bang for their buck.

If you were able to steadily forage a pound of food an hour, and it had 250 calories per pound, it might take you 10 hours just to break even on your calories for the day. But if you were gathering something with 500 calories a pound, you could be done in five hours, and spend the next five practicing your wall paintings. So, the greater the energy density—the more calories per pound—the more efficient the foraging. So, we developed an acute ability to discriminate foods based on calorie density and to instinctively desire the densest.

If you study the fruit and vegetable preferences of four-year-old children, their liking correlates with calorie density. They prefer bananas over berries; carrots over cucumbers. Well duh, isn’t that just a preference for sweetness? No, they also prefer potatoes over peaches, and green beans over melon, just like monkeys prefer avocados over bananas. We appear to have an inborn drive to maximize calories per mouthful.

All the foods the researchers tested naturally had less than 500 calories per pound (bananas topped the chart at about 400). Something funny happens when you start going over that. We lose our ability to differentiate. Over the natural range of calorie densities, we have an uncanny aptitude to pick out the subtle distinctions. However, once you start heading towards bacon, cheese, and chocolate territory, which can reach thousands of calories per pound, our perceptions become relatively numb to the differences. No wonder, since these foods were unknown to our prehistoric brains. It’s like the dodo bird failing to evolve a fear response because they had no natural predators (and we all know how that turned out––or sea turtle hatchlings crawling in the wrong direction towards artificial light, rather than the moon). It’s aberrant behavior explained by an evolutionary mismatch.

The food industry exploits our innate biological vulnerabilities by stripping crops down into almost pure calories—straight sugar, oil (which is pretty much pure fat), and white flour (which is mostly refined starch). First, they have to remove the fiber, because it effectively has zero calories. Run brown rice through a mill to make white, and you lose about two-thirds of the fiber. Turn whole wheat flour into white, and lose 75 percent. Or, you can run crops through animals (to make meat, dairy, and eggs), and remove 100 percent of the fiber. What you’re left with is CRAP (an acronym used by one of my favorite dieticians, Jeff Novick): Calorie-Rich And Processed foods.

Calories are condensed in the same way plants are turned into addictive drugs like opiates and cocaine: concentration, crystallization, distillation, and extraction. They even appear to activate the same reward pathways in the brain. Put people with “food addiction” in an MRI scanner and show them a picture of a chocolate milkshake, and the areas that light up in their brains are the same as when cocaine addicts are shown a video of crack smoking.

“Food” addiction is a misnomer. People don’t suffer out-of-control eating behaviors to food in general. We don’t tend to compulsively crave carrots. Milkshakes are packed with sugar and fat: two of the signals to our brain of calorie density. When people are asked to rate different foods in terms of cravings and loss of control, most incriminated was a load of CRAP—highly processed foods, like doughnuts, along with cheese and meat. Those least related to problematic eating behaviors? Fruits and vegetables. Calorie density may be the reason people don’t get up in the middle of the night and binge on broccoli.

Animals don’t tend to get fat when they are eating the foods they were designed to eat. There is a confirmed report of free-living primates becoming obese, but that was a troop of baboons who evidently stumbled across some dumpsters at a tourist lodge. The “garbage-feeding animals” weighed 50 percent more than their wild-feeding counterparts. Sadly, we can suffer the same mismatched fate, and become obese eating garbage too. For millions of years, before we learned how to hunt, our biology evolved largely on leaves, roots, fruits, and nuts. Maybe it would help if we went back to our roots and cut out the CRAP.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video production by Glass Entertainment

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

A key insight I want to emphasize here is the concept of animal products as the ultimate processed food. Basically, all nutrition grows from the ground: seeds, sunlight, and soil. That’s where all our vitamins come from, all our minerals, all the protein (all the essential amino acids). The only reason there are essential amino acids in a steak is because the cow ate them all from plants. They’re essential—we can’t make them, and the animals can’t make them either. They have to eat plants to get them. But we can cut out the middlemoo and get nutrition directly from the Earth, and, in doing so, get all the phytonutrients and fiber that are lost when plants are processed through animals. Even ultra-processed junk foods may have a tiny bit of fiber still left, but all is lost when plants are ultra-ultra-processed through animals.

Having said that, there was also a big jump in what one would traditionally think of as processed foods, and that’s the video we turn to next: The Role of Processed Foods in the Obesity Epidemic.

We’re making our way through a series on the cause of the obesity epidemic. So far, we’ve looked at exercise (The Role of Diet vs. Exercise in the Obesity Epidemic) and genes (The Role of Genes in the Obesity Epidemic, The Thrifty Gene Theory: Survival of the Fattest). But really, it’s the food.

If you’re familiar with my work, you know that I recommend eating a variety of whole plant foods, as close to the way nature intended. I capture this in my Daily Dozen Checklist, which you can download for free here, or get the free app on iTunes and Android. You will see that there’s also an option for those looking to lose weight: my new 21 Tweaks. But before you go checking them off, be sure to read about the science behind the checklist in How Not to Diet. Get it for FREE at your local public library (but if you do choose to purchase it, note that all proceeds from all of my books go to charity).

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

169 responses to “Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods

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  1. I’ve been a Dr. Greger fan since the Dr. McDougall study weekends, even before nutritionfacts.org was created.

    As a former fat vegan and now BMI 23 and plant-based (still vegan) I just want to emphasize that low-fat is really important.
    In the following video are some studies, one showed that 40% plant fats caused a similar amount of heart attacks vs 40% animal fat.
    https://youtu.be/_A_wy_KrkZA
    Please be careful with the fat content in your diet.

    1. Daniel, I reversed a fatty liver due to being stabbed (and then some) in the liver by a moron doctor and his intern (long story) on a WFPB vegan diet that was NOT low fat, but consisted of healthy sources of fat. My vitals are all perfect according to Dr. Greger’s recommendations and not the standard BP for example. I don’t agree. Maybe if you’re trying to reverse heart disease, I don’t know. I tried the low fat thing for a while and had horrible experiences with my hormones, skin, hair, and mood (due to hormones).

      1. I can’t imagine someone having a horrible experience on a low fat plant-based diet, I’m full of energy, sleep perfectly, participate in 10k runs and my hormones are all ok.

        Probably your fat level was still somewhat low, nowhere near the 30%+ or 40%+levels.

        1. Daniel,

          It’s possible that without trying, I’m still somewhat low like you say. Probably quite a difference compared to those eating a standard westernized diet. I had issues when I was extremely low in omega-6, like even my blood work showed up as low. I was listening to all the omega-6-is-evil hype at the time. My sources of fat now are flax, hemp, whole nuts and seeds, sometimes olive, and extra virgin olive oil in moderation. On holidays (Christmas and Thanksgiving) I allow myself to have things with coconut oil and all that which I otherwise make a point to stay away from.

          I understand that a lot of people do very well on their low fat WFPB diets. I personally find no need to watch nut intake, etc. and thing the source is what matters and this has worked best for me.

        2. You will if you dont eat enough calories from carbs which seems to be a common mistake a on a low fat WFPD because it is not always easy to eat enough volume of foods.

    2. I have to agree with S on the fat issue. The non-fat diets of some wfpb docs are just not sustainable for some of us. Dry skin, cracking/splitting nails, dry hair, hunger pangs and food cravings are just a few of the issues.

    3. God told me if you can’t eat it raw then you’re not supposed to eat it. God made foods ready to eat. If you have to cook it then you’re not supposed to eat it. So that means no potatoes and no corn. Eliminating those helps people lose weight. Also wheat. It’s a plant made by the devil because it has spikes on it. Eliminating that helps drop weight too. Oat bread would be fine though because it’s one of God’s plants. I’m overweight because evil magic people have cast spells on me. Not my fault.

      1. Maybe you need to find a nutritionist that also does exorcisms… On a more serious note, I think regular exercise and eating healthy, with a few things in moderation would probably work better. God built our bodies to move. If he wanted us to be like snails and turtles, he would have made us so.

        1. Most important to me is that I am 86 and a lot of what is said and told doesn’t take into consideration of those who are oldest and what they have already been through in life.

        2. Jack, snails actually move a lot, just slower than we do. Turtles are surprisingly fast when they want to be. My point, I get it’s a metaphor but they’re actually not at all sedentary animals.

          1. Geez…The point is that they “generally” move slowly…Relax S. There is always someone on this board that has to analyze the simplest things. Do you suffer from OCB?

            1. Jack, uh I think it’s you who has to relax… in what way did I come off as wigged out on the subject or anything? Lol, was just randomly mentioning a little something about our snail and turtle friends that indeed had nothing to actually do with your point or anything anyone was taking about. It’s a public forum. if you get that easily annoyed at things others decide to say—light heartedly at that—maybe you’re the one who needs to be checking anxiety at the door or screen in this case. Chill.. Chill like our snail and turtle friends :)

      2. Science proves that wrong. I think you misheard God. You really need to consume cooked beans/legumes and grains for an optimal diet. Check out the videos here on raw diets. And check out therapists in your area first and foremost.

        Btw, even your insanity doesn’t make sense. Are roses evil because they have thorns? Wait, maybe you shouldn’t answer.

        1. I have a BA in psychology and a Master’s degree in Social Work. I don’t need a therapist. I’m a prophet. I have knowledge that you don’t because I pray and ask God questions.

          1. Ashely, I’m a Christian and pray and ask questions too. And I’m also not insane. First of all, we can all have masters in whatever we want to on the internet if you catch my drift… And it’s ironic in two parts, your statement considering from a spiritual view, your “I’m holier than thou, behold!” crap is extremely anti-all spiritual teachings except perhaps that of the Satanic religions. And in regards to psychology, you sound like–among other things–a narcissist. However, I’m thinking you mostly sound like a troll who needs to get a life because I don’t actually believe you’re a real person and probably someone who got annoyed or amused or both by the creationism conversation under the last video, and decided to make up a crazy religions character and go to town. Too much of a coincidence otherwise and too ridiculous too.

            Be more subtle next time.

            1. However, I’m thinking you mostly sound like a troll who needs to get a life because I don’t actually believe you’re a real person and probably someone who got annoyed or amused or both by the creationism conversation under the last video, and decided to make up a crazy religions character and go to town. Too much of a coincidence otherwise and too ridiculous too.
              ——————————————————————————————————————–
              My thinking as well. ‘-)

      3. if you can’t eat it raw then you’re not supposed to eat it. God made foods ready to eat. If you have to cook it then you’re not supposed to eat it. So that means no potatoes and no corn.
        —————————————————————
        As a kid, when my mother would cut up potatos to make french fries, I would sneak off the plate some of them raw and sometimes with salt, sometimes without salt, eat them in their wonderful pre-cooked state.

        Also have seen people pull the shuck back on an ear of corn and if no worms, would eat it raw, right off the cob.

        1. Lonie,
          I lived on a farm for seven years and we grew large produce gardens. I’ve broken plenty of corn ears right off the stalk, pulled the shuck and silk back and ate the whole ear of corn raw. I’ve eaten snap green beans raw, potatoes raw, okra raw, drank raw milk after milking the cow. We eat lots of stuff raw anyway: fruits, peppers, carrots, greens, honey (bee spit) and much more. I didn’t bother washing what I ate either, and I may have gotten B-12 that way. I’ve swam in plenty of farm ponds while hauling hay. That’s like swimming in cow poop water. Farmers regularly wade around in animal poop up to their shins and further and may get immunity from E-coli.

          1. Farmers regularly wade around in animal poop up to their shins and further and may get immunity from E-coli.
            ————————————————————————————————————————————————–
            ‘-) ‘-)’-)… Dan, reason I’m laughing so hard is that your statement above reminded me of a You Tube video I’ve watched in the last few days. Not sure where I saw it but it seems the title was something like “How not to catch Covid-19.

            Anyway, there was this youngish farmer who video-ed cow poop being washed into a container and being treated with chemicals to break it down. Then as it was being transferred to another tank, he takes a bucket and catches a bucket full of the stinkin’ stuff.

            He then sets up the camera and in front of it submerges his hands well past the wrist and lets them soak for a bit. He then pulls them out of the bucket and proclaims that this procedure will keep you from touching your nose or mouth or your phone screen.

            As he is finished he begins walking away, holding his hands up in the air by his side and says aloud that he can’t turn off the camera on his phone. ‘-)

            (p.s. If I saw this on NF.o and am being redundant… apoligies.)

              1. People cannot help touching their face.
                —————————————————–
                Heh, heh… I bet if they tried the hand-in-the-manure-water treatment, they would only touch their face once. ‘-)

                1. Lonie,
                  Gardeners love manure. Back on the farm I would wheel barrow several loads of chicken poop from the chicken house and put it on the garden. Plants glow green from the nitrate. Then we eat the plants.

                  1. Gardeners love manure. Back on the farm I would wheel barrow several loads of chicken poop from the chicken house and put it on the garden. Plants glow green from the nitrate. Then we eat the plants.
                    ———————————————————————————————-
                    Hah! This reminds me of something that happened to an uncle of mine. He had a small op of about 20 acres if memory serves. He was what was called a truck farmer… that is, he would grow vegetables and sell them to grocery stores within bob-tail truckin distance.

                    One year he bought the chicken manure from a chicken operation of some sort. They covered his acreage once over and instead of sayin’ “that’s enough” he instead told them to keep it comin’… and they did.

                    The next year, he couldn’t keep enough water on his produce ’cause the fertilizer made the soil too hot (meaning too rich) so he had to cut way down so he could keep pourin’ the water to the small portion. I think it was the watermelon acreage he saved and still made good money by setting up a stand down by the highway and selling them direct to the public.

        2. It hurts your stomach if you eat those foods raw. Look at the shape of potatoes. They’re round and fat. When people eat foods like that often it makes them plump and fat. The corn is phallic shaped. God told me that it doesn’t make anything that’s phallic shaped to eat. Satan is obsessed with dicks. God told me when people eat foods that are phallic shaped, it makes them obsess about sex and that’s not good. Avoid foods shaped like that. And they’re starches. Another reason to avoid them. A lot of calories in them.

          1. God told me that it doesn’t make anything that’s phallic shaped to eat.
            ———————————————————————————————
            Ashley, you’ve got to quit misquoting me… and Shirley you know better than to refer to me as *it*. ‘-(

          2. “God told me that it doesn’t make anything that’s phallic shaped to eat. Satan is obsessed with dicks.”
            – – – – –

            :-D I guess God doesn’t want us to eat other dick-shaped (sorry, B&S for the filthy-mouth)…..foods like carrots, celery, pineapple (?) and….. If we thought hard enuf, we could probably come up with more foods to add to the list.

            1. God told me that eating phallic shaped foods makes people obsess about sex. There’s foods that God has made & foods that Satan has made. This is the garden of good & evil and it’s not just certain fruit that’s forbidden.

            1. Double whammy for asparagus. Not only is it phallic shaped and needs to be cooked, but it causes “asparagus pee” for some people. God does not like people to stink up their bathrooms needlessly. Y’gotta wonder why He/She/It/Source/All That Is/the Universe created asparagus in the first place. A totally useless veggie, it would seem.

            2. Well…they make our breath stink. Not very good for kissing. So they should be avoided bc if that. & onions make you cry. Why would you eat something that makes you cry? But I do love garlic. So it’s a conundrum.

        1. I’m not a Christian but I do know that God & Satan exist. I believe in reincarnation. There’s people in every living thing. God has its creatures. Satan has its & ive figured out which is which from careful observation. This is the garden of good & evil.

      4. LOL. Good point. Love your comment. I struggle with lectures i was given in my teenage by the wise loved one in my life. And which definitely did not make sense at the time. Here it is. ( GOD Said, RAW FOODS ARE LIVING FOODS. COOKED FOODS ARE DEAD FOODS). I love my potatoes and corn also and of course with the works. Any healthy guilt free recipe? I do enjoy lots of raw foods grains and nuts.

    4. To Daniel – Great point.

      To Dr. Greger – If I had to pick only one video and Doctor’s Note (the first paragraph) you ever did to recommend to anyone it would be this one, Cut the Calorie-Rich-And-Processed Foods, because in a simple and funny way it really does at least briefly, cover everything in the problem and in the solution. Thanks also to Jeff Novick for CRAP.

      1. PS. My book (authored under the pen name Madhava Das) Eat Your Way To Health: Healing, Kindness And The Plant Life Cycle covers the variations in fat intake that other commentators here have brought up.

    5. Thanks for sharing. Did you have fat cravings when you switched to low fat and if so, how did you get past it? I, too, am reaching for a healthy BMI, but the fat cravings are intolerable :(

  2. Off topic, but I have asked this question here frequently, and no one has ever helped me. Dr. Greger recommends cyanocobalamin, but I have searched–hard– and cannot find a VEGAN cyanocobalamin… Can someone PLEASE tell me if a vegan cynocoblamin even exists outside of a shot?? I want to take the B12 he recommends, but it doesn’t appear to exist for those who need it most: vegans. This is a question directly to Dr. Greger if no one else can help because if this is the case, it’s a problem. If vegan cyano supplements are out there, can someone PLEASE direct me to them.

    The supplement industry is so frustrating and so hard for a vegan. Everything is methyl!

    1. Dr. Greger’s point was that any type of B12 was fine, even the cheapest, which was the cyano type. When I first started supplementing the methyl type was rare and expensive. It is now widely available and cheap. Just take any B12 that is available, it will be fine :).

      1. Thanks Alice, I appreciate your response!

        It’s my understanding that it’s just that the methyl hasn’t been tested thoroughly and the cyano has. I did hear him suggest in an interview that if you take the methyl, to take it daily because how it’s stored in the body isn’t known like the cyano. My main reason for wanting cyano is the ability to take it once a week because I don’t like taking in the fillers that accompany these supplements on a daily basis. I’m super picky about purity. I’m ready to grow duckweed if that turns out to be a B12 producing plant. Would be funding that research had I a million or so dollars on hand.

            1. John, you have some mentally unbalanced selective hearing… Nowhere in this video did he suggest “no grain.” He simply used grain as an example of what the refinement process does. He chose grain because it’s one of the most prevalent refined foods on the market so it served as a good example. Dr. Greger recommends whole grains as a daily part of an optimal diet.

              1. I think I’ll wait until I see some fossil evidence that will appear sooner or later on teeth.

                There has to be a huge difference between what was eaten prior to 15,000 years ago compared to what was eaten after that due to the sudden onset of dental destruction and the breakdown of human health. I have been living grain free for a long time now and one of the things I’ve noticed is that my saliva is much thinner than its ever been. Likewise, my previous congestion is all but gone now.

                Saliva unencumbered by the effects of grain is amazing. Likewise the chemistry of the saliva in your mouth without grain is much different as well. Unfortunately I have no means of ordering tests at present or I’d be doing that.

                Having been off grain for a while, now, as much as I enjoy grain based foods, my body physically has no need for them and works better in their absence.

                I’d say, in the face of Covid-19, the human race is better off without grain.

                1. John

                  That article was based on fossil evidence – isotopic analysis of fossil teeth if I’m not mistaken.

                  Your idea that grains affect vulnerability to covid 19 is novel. (but then I doubt if either bats or pangolins eat grains and they are supposed to be the source of infection)

                  1. Wow, you truly don’t get how it works!

                    Grains have widely varying amounts of gluten in them. Most most have very little which makes them inferior for baking anything. But they could be used fo soup and mush. I do use some soup.

                    Plantain was used for flour until about 350 years ago by Europeans. Backbreaking work to harvest no doubt. Now it’s a weed.

                    So any grains used must have been in pretty small quantities.

                    The article you cited said the analysis was done on 20 teeth and did not specify species. When I looked further into it, there are or were about 10,000 species of grass plants the residues could have been from. They had to have been very different from what is consumed today because no dental decay was mentioned. Or maybe they just didn’t mention it. Archeologists are not big on sharing information like that.

                    So more questions than answers.

                    The fact remains, good health is more easily achieved with vegetables than grain.

                    On the other hand, if grain is all you have, it’s better and tastier than nothing.

                    If sticky white rice is all you have, then constipation becomes part of your daily chatter.

                    In our society, constipation is taboo, so most people suffer in silence. Grain, whole or otherwise causes constipation to such a degree that most people think one bowel movement a day is normal. Well it is 21st century normal but not natural.

                    1. John

                      I eat grains every day and I can assure you that constipation is not a problem. What evidence do you have that pooping more often than once a day is ‘normal’ for humans?

                      Also, this statement you made is simply wrong to the point of being bizarre ……….. ‘Plantain was used for flour until about 350 years ago by Europeans. So any grains used must have been in pretty small quantities.’ Plantains are a type of banana and were not grown in Europe.at all. Europeans (and Asians) have been eating grains as their primary source of calories for many thousands of year

                      Your statement is just ………………………. bananas

                    2. Well Tom, read and learn. Your version of bizarre is not bizzare to people who know.

                      Not everyone is subject to the same level of cumulative damage. Or any damage. As you know, thanks to genetics, there are always people who don’t fit the norm. If I were in front of you, I could pick you apart organ by organ and tell you you in somewhat imprecise terms what your physical failings are. I’ve had countless people tell me exactly the same thing. In fact I have a neighbour who is built like a pumpkin who swears she eats no bread. Yet the last time my wife saw her in the supermarket, she had 3 loaves of bread in the cart.

                      Based on your portrait, I’d say you have some dental problems you aren’t telling us about.

                      Yes plantains are a type of banana but the same word is used to describe what we call a type of weed:

                      Broadleaf Plantain is a perennial broadleaf plant that grows in many locations from spring to autumn. Not only is this a vital wild edible plant for overall good health, this wild weed can be used to treat chronic diarrhea as well as digestive tract disorders. Broadleaf plantain is packed with nutrients and is safe to ingest. If a person chomps on some fresh leaves, these can be applied to the skin to treat minor burns, insect bites or open wounds.

                      Distinguishing Features

                      Broadleaf plantain has green, oval to egg-shaped leaves that grow in a rosette. These leaves have thick stems that meet at a base. When these stems are broken, they reveal string-like veins that resemble those in celery. Long-pointed, green, petite flowers grow from the base; these also contain a small pod housing dark seeds. ediblewildfood.com Research on pollen has shown that P. major was introduced to the Nordic countries parallel to the introduction to the first primitive cultivated fields in the stone age nearly 4000 years ago (Jonsson, 1983 ). P. major was spread by man from Europe throughout the world. The Indians named it ‘White man’s footprint’ because it was found everywhere the Europeans had been. This has been adapted into the genus name Plantago that is from Latin planta, meaning sole of the foot.

                      P. major is a plant that many people know only as a weed, but P. major is also an old medicinal plant that has been known for centuries. In Scandinavia this plant is mostly known for its wound healing properties. The common Norwegian and Swedish name for P. major is groblad meaning ‘healing leaves’. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378874100002129?via%3Dihub

                2. John,

                  Evolutionary theories really don’t matter, the data is right in front of our present faces and it’s vividly clear–grains are incredible for our health.

                  Contrary to your claims, I actually was grain-free when first going WFPB for a while and when I started incorporating whole intact grains as a staple, I noticed a dramatic improvement in health. Now, it wasn’t that I wasn’t healthy before, I felt better than ever, so furthering that with the addition of grains was amazing to me that I noticed anything at all. And no difference in saliva consistency, in case you were wondering.

        1. Thanks, Daniel!! I’m saving all these brands to have on hand and for future reference to anyone else looking. You guys have been awesome!!

    2. I easily find vegan B-12. NOW foods brand among others is even certified vegan. And search engine will yield results. Also beware of links with codes at the end for those websites. They link your purchase to that users account so they get a fee for referring you without your knowledge.

      1. There was no affiliate link on the referral I gave. Nor do I think there was one in Daniel’s.

        I’d point out that all I did was go to the iherb website and type in ‘vegan B12’ – many of the search results were methyl but there were some cyano options in different sizes. I am currently using 21st Century brand B12 but NOW are always good value and quality.

    3. S,

      You are right about that. Dr. Greger did point to one during his webinar.

      But there were so few brands of cyano left that it was hard.

      I end up getting the Radiance brand from CVS. It is vegan, but it isn’t the sublingual form.

      They have every brand of supplement they sell lab-tested.

      I chose that because I wanted the 1000 per day and, let’s face it, there are maybe 3 brands to choose from now.

      I can’t remember the Amazon brand Dr. Greger pointed to.

      1. Thanks so much for the responses!

        Yeah it’s disappointing how little brands there are to choose from for vegan cyanocobalmin. It just spiked my memory that I did see the Now Foods option a long time ago, but completely forgot. I didn’t go with it because I didn’t like the fillers, didn’t like the added folate because I prefer to take no added vitamins (but again, at a once a week dose it’s not a big deal), and wasn’t all that fond of Now Foods from experiences with their other products. Part of it is that I’m so picky, but when it comes to what I put in my body, I think we should all have the ability to be picky.

        I was taking VeganSafeB12 because it was the purest I could find to take everyday as it was a methyl blend. Then “Dr” Group added “Energized Trace Minerals” and not only are amounts or contents not listed anywhere on the site, but when reaching out, no one could give me this information just links to his article about the magical energies of the “energized trace minerals.” It was too expensive anyway, I was probably waisting my money.

        1. Plus, with their total lack of transparency, I’m thinking I don’t even trust that it was as pure as listed… it naturally tasted sweet which they said methyl does, but that didn’t align with why everyone else feels they have to add flavors to their product if it’s so naturally pleasant in taste and I don’t think they’re 3rd party tested.

    4. Hi there, i have a vegan gluten free
      Cyanocobalamin B12. I got it from amazon uk. It is a french product, which is not synthetic, but is grown on soil which is where b12 is made in nature and is readily abdorbed by the body. The type of b12 recommended by the hippocrates inst.
      I hope you can find it.

      1. Thanks for your response! That is confusing to me because cyanocoblamin is produced in a lab. The other forms are found from microorganisms in nature.

      1. Wow, that is a great one, Thalia! The most natural cyano I’ve ever seen. That’s like the gold mind I’ve been looking for–I’m kind of amazed. Thank you SO much! Everyone has been so incredibly helpful and hopefully to others who’ve had a hard time finding the right B12 for them. This is a wealth of vegan cyanocobalmin information!

    5. Speaking of vitamins… Is anyone a member of consumer lab? They tested a bunch of Vitamin B supplement brands and 19% failed tests, but the chart is behind a paywall and while it would be cool to have access to the site, I can’t afford to join their website. So if anyone is a member, can they post the results here (which brand failed tests)? If it’s legal to do so, which I have no idea. It really sucks that this stuff is behind a paywall, though. It’s unethical. I realize they’re doing the tests and they aren’t free, but our tax dollars should be paying for the supplements we pay for to be tested and it’s, at its pathetic, disgusting, and insane that this does not occur. These are basic rights and vital knowledge… you can sue if you can prove you’re harmed by a supplement, but you have no protection or rights in knowing for a fact what it is you’re taking so you can avoid the harm in the first place…

      https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Review_Best_B_Vitamins_and_Complexes_Energy_B6_B12_Biotin_Niacin_Folic_Acid/bvitamins/?j=889646&sfmc_sub=18125869&l=850_HTML&u=14474638&mid=7276525&jb=1&utm_medium=email&utm_source=exacttarget&utm_campaign=release&utm_term=&utm_content=b_vitamins_release

    6. S, yes there is a vegan B12. I am in Australia and the product in front of me is from “Nature’s Own”.
      It is an activated Methyl 1000mcg.
      The cobalamin is a synthetic B12, the Methylcobalamin is a natural derivitive.

  3. This cyanocobalamin B12 is vegan:

    https://tw.iherb.com/pr/21st-Century-B-12-500-mcg-110-Tablets/8715?rcode=CGS267

    According to the manufacturer, 21st Century, asking by e-mail if this vitamin is of animal or vegetable origin and, although the advertisement and packaging did not mention it, I was informed that both stearic acid and magnesium stearate are plant origin (both are often found coming from animal sources in many supplements from other manufacturers). Thus, it can be considered that this supplement is suitable for vegans and vegetarians.

    1. THANK YOU, Daniel!!!!

      Preferably I’d like one without the calcium so I will keep looking… I’m super picky about not taking added minerals, even though 8% is a low amount. And come to think of it, if I can take it only once a week, it might work if I can’t find another. Anyways, this is the first time I’ve seen a vegan cyano B12, can’t thank you enough!

      If anyone knows of more brands, please share.

  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjAPTTyLeTc

    NOVA: The Truth About Fat
    The above is currently being shown on TV. I’ve watched it twice. This information is worth thinking about. 1. The foragers are not burning any more calories than people sitting at desks all day. How can this be? 2. Exercising helps but will not do away with your excess weight. The hypothalamus caloric set point will make you (autonomically) return to a set weight, maybe more. Why do a calorie restrictive diet? 3. Fat is not our enemy. It is an important organ (?) that allows for reproduction, hormore production and acts as an energy reserve in lean times. 4. So, what are we doing wrong with fat. The program explains this.

    1. Dan, I also watched that Nova segment on my local PBS station.

      Was fascinated by the African tribe searching for the fat on the freshly killed antelope (and their apparent practice of then eating the animal raw.) But I was even more fascinated to learn the Japanese Sumo wrestlers were actually very healthy. The explanation given was that their fat was not visceral fat (fat around their organs) but was subcutaneous and acted as stored energy.

      I was amazed they kept this separation of types of fat by working out ~ 7 hours a day, if I remember correctly.

      1. Lonie,
        That was the first time I heard fat referred to as an organ. I find it a bit puzzling that the foragers are not expending any more calories than someone working at their desk.

      2. Claims that sumo wrestlers are very healthy seem to be like the claims that Eskimos on traditional diets were very healthy, ie a result of survivorship bias. That is, the sick ones no longer wrestle, so we only ever see the healthy ones in the ring.

        According to Wikipedia

        ‘The negative health effects of the sumo lifestyle can become apparent later in life. Sumo wrestlers have a life expectancy between 60 and 65, more than 10 years shorter than the average Japanese male, as the diet and sport take a toll on the wrestler’s body. Many develop type 2 diabetes or high blood pressure, and they are prone to heart attacks due to the enormous amount of body mass and fat that they accumulate. The excessive intake of alcohol can lead to liver problems and the stress on their joints due to their excess weight can cause arthritis. Recently, the standards of weight gain are becoming less strict, in an effort to improve the overall health of the wrestlers.[19][20]’
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sumo

        The chickens don’t come home to roost until the evening.

      3. Lonie,
        1. The hunters don’t need the fat on the antelope, if you follow the research, in the same program, that the hunters are not expending any more calories than some one at a desk job. Maybe the hunters prefer the taste of fat.
        2. The fat of exercising Sumo wrestlers is sending a chemical signal to the brain (smart fat?) to deposit the fat under the skin and not around organs where damage could occur.

        1. The fat of exercising Sumo wrestlers is sending a chemical signal to the brain (smart fat?) to deposit the fat under the skin and not around organs where damage could occur.
          ————————————
          Yes, that was my point. ‘-)

          And in times of famine, the body uses that fat as fuel (turning it into ketones to fuel the brain and body.)

            1. If you believe that you’ll believe anything.
              ————————————————————
              Not true John, and I can prove it.

              ‘Cause I do believe that but on the other hand, some of the things you post I find unbelievable. ‘-)

              1. Not for long though, because the things I post actually work and work well, which is more than you can say for any of the studies you see constipated scientists come up with in their studies.

                Have you ever taken the time to notice how poorly scientists qualify their test subjects? They do such a poor job of it that most of the time it’s almost an accident when they draw correct conclusions.

  5. Since the term “CRAP” is already a word, while some of its connotations fit, many don’t.

    Based largely on Dr. Greger’s work (and Joel Furhman, Marion Nestle, and Michael Pollan), I propose “doof,” which is food backward. I describe it in my podcast: https://shows.acast.com/leadership-and-the-environment/episodes/319-avoid-doof and in a blog post: http://joshuaspodek.com/avoid-eating-doof.

    Among my friends and family, the term has taken root. I propose it for everyone. It helps avoid people addicted to salt, sugar, fat, and convenience from saying, “I have to eat, I can’t avoid food.” When ‘junk food’ and ‘fast food’ contain the term ‘food’. But you can avoid doof. Nobody confuses beer for water and nobody should confuse Doritos for food. The term ‘doof’ removes the confusion that ‘fast food’ and ‘junk food’ create, which doof producers enjoy.

    1. Whenever I see the Arby’s commercial and hear their slogan “Arby’s! We have the meat!” I also finish the sentence in my mind “sweats”

  6. I bear witness to the calorie concept, even trying to go WFPB.

    The foods I would still binge on would be

    Hummus
    Pasta
    Foods with the cheeze sauce
    Mashed potatoes
    Nut butters
    Pizza – which I have had recently and I immediately had a pizza memory kick in and, no, I don’t need vegan cheese to get food cravings. Sauce and crust is processed enough to cause a food craving. I ate it 3 or 4 days in a row. I have moved back to bean dishes.

    And any vegan dessert, even if it is a healthy one.

    It is still the processed foods, even if it is vegan and no oil or salt or sugar.

    Crust, pasta, nut butter, all processed.

    1. Well by that definition, chewing is a mechanism of processing so therefore everything we eat must be processed. And remember about pasta, that whole grain pasts unlike whole grain flours, acts as an intact grain in our bodies wonderfully enough! Learned that from a Dr. Greger interview.

      I don’t have a problem with overeating because the only thing I consider over eating is eating when I’m not hungry which I don’t have a problem with since going WFPB. I just make sure everything I put in my body is healthy and good. I can eat a lot, too. I noticed a huge increase in my metabolism since going WFPB, although while I’m sure it did positively impact my metabolism, it’s probably mostly due to how these foods are metabolized in the body in general. And I’m very active and physically fit, so the muscles help. One helpful tip for people who want to eat more and maintain or lose weight: build muscle.

      1. Not eating past 7 or 8 is a huge help, too. That is when I feel and function my best. And I really learned to love that not hungry but “empty” feeling before bed. It’s a great way to naturally stay in line by not automatically shoving food into your mouth every time you feel like you could eat.

    1. Deb,

      I make my own hummus at home, from chickpeas cooked in my Instant Pot — though canned would work fine. I add garlic (processed first), the chickpeas, then tahini, lemon juice, and spices (eg, cumin, chili powder, berbere powder, and paprika — but you can add whatever you like), liquid (the cooking liquid plus extra water if needed) then blend it in my food processor. It’s fairly simple. And I store batches in the freezer for later consumption. Because I don’t eat much, I spread it on a slice of bread for lunch (sometimes with mustard and avocados).

      I don’t know how it would be a problem, weight-wise. Consumed in moderation. But, because it does take some effort to make it, I like to make it last. Hence, moderate consumption, so it lasts longer.

      1. Dr J.,

        Hummus is what I crave every morning the first thing I get up, I mentally crave hummus.

        It would be a trigger food.

        Truth is, I have been eating hummus and salad and a few other vegetables for a year and I didn’t lose weight.

        I already know that I won’t lose weight if I switch from hummus to no oil, no cheese pizza either.

        1. Sometimes we crave foods simply because our bodies need something in them. Cravings aren’t always a bad thing. So when you have a good understanding of proper human nutrition, you can tell which cravings are good or bad.

  7. I can even tell that the pleasure pathways are stimulated just eating anything processed.

    I can eat pizza without cheese and without oil and I still will get the emotional comfort food response.

    All is good with the world.

    Even if there is a pandemic outside.

  8. I got stressed out watching the news for the first time today because Trump and Fauci started fighting. Now, I can’t watch any of it.

    Trump has always been insensitive, and I never could watch his show with the “You’re fired” even the commercials. I can’t remember what the show was even called because I would mute even the commercials back then, but I still don’t see this as his fault.

    And I have loved listening to Fauci, but because I have listened, my time line goes back to

    Jan: Fauci told us it was no threat to Americans

    Feb: Fauci told us to continue going to gyms, malls, and the movies

    Mar: Fauci said going on cruises was OK

    Apr: If Trump had listened to us about social distancing there would be fewer deaths.

    If NY had closed when they first became an epicenter we wouldn’t have all of these deaths.

    But it is hard to even have the states set up the meetings and debate the issues fast enough to have things have happened faster.

    Trump didn’t shut down flights from Europe and didn’t quarantine NY.

    Trump and nobody else wanted to spend money on prevention.

    1. Please don’t bring politics into this forum… I’m very tired of the constant bipartisan BS in this country… we don’t need it on a nutrition website. Just my honest opinion. No offense meant Deb, just expressing my feelings on your post.

      1. RenegadeRN,

        That’s okay, I understand.

        Actually, I agree with you.

        Politics is a useless process during a pandemic.

        I have enjoyed watching all of the COVID things until today.

        I won’t be watching any news at all anymore until this is over.

        I do watch MedCram and Dr. John Campbell and he said that South Korea has 116 cases they think is re-infection so this is going to be with us for quite a while.

        Probably into next year if it is genuinely going to come back in the fall.

      2. Yes, PLEASE don’t. I fully agree with RenegadeRN. I think Trump is an amazing president who has done amazing things for this country so far and I understand that not everyone shares the same opinion of me, and that’s fine. When I see stuff like that though it really is hard not to say something for me because there is so much BS as Renegade points out, whether or not he or she is referring tot he same BS as me.

      3. Renegade RN – I completely agree with you. This is a science-based nutritional website. It’s not about politics or god or religion or family or anything else. Science-based nutrition is the topic here.
        Thank you for calling Deb on this issue – she often goes off track and types before she engages her brain. And then over posts on topics not related to the focus of this site.
        Thank you RenegadeRn for returning the focus to where it needs to be.

        1. “she often goes off track and types before she engages her brain”

          That was needlessly mean. These are public forums and Deb doesn’t violate anything here. Ren just made a quick and distinct point to which she responded graciously, she didn’t deserve a dig on your part.

    2. Nice re-tracement of the timeline Deb. I’ve not been a Fauci fan from the beginning. Foremost when he said we don’t need to wear masks. I told a friend that was just wrong because even if they don’t protect us from the virus in the air getting in around the edges, they do protect us from touching our own nose and mouth.

      And when he came out against using any drugs off-label that showed signs of helping those infected with Covid-19, that sealed my disregard for anything he says.

      Nothing to do with politics… more of a “Who do you trust” statement.

      1. “Nothing to do with politics… more of a ‘Who do you trust’ statement.”

        I get that and thought it was well conveyed. Matter of personal choice.

      2. Lonie,

        I think the whole point is that this was unprecedented and nobody knew what logic to use, even the WHO or any state or anybody at all.

        Right now it is a blame game, but there weren’t masks even for doctors is why that logic was the one people like Fauci was using.

        Plus, the science for whether masks help wasn’t conclusive. The experts disagree still.

        I have enjoyed listening to Fauci, but I wanted to shut down in January.

        But I do get that there were trillions of dollars at stake and that there are states like NY who didn’t want to quarantine and we have states rights so they had the right not to. The government of NY was announcing that they were over-prepared and that there was very little risk.

        Where Dr. Campbell was declaring pandemic months before the WHO and he was the one I trusted. Except that there is a reality that we didn’t have masks and didn’t have a population under a central leader who could just order everybody to shut down. We start from the mayors up and the mayor of NY was telling people not to socially isolate and he didn’t see this coming and now he wants the schools shut down for the rest of the year while Cuomo is talking about hoping to open them up. I don’t think there are easy answers.

        This is probably the biggest health topic we will ever see in most of our lives. Plus, the biggest economic one for years to come.

        As far as who I trust, I think I trust that everybody in the process is listening to the arguments from many sides and that they are all trying to do their best and we have a virus that nobody was an expert on making it harder to know what would happen.

        Most of the government officials have been only sleeping 4 hours per night and this situation was impossible because it was a novel virus and we still don’t know all that much about it.

        We didn’t have tests. We didn’t have masks. And some of us have already had people die and that makes it more emotional for us.

        1. You aren’t the only one who has lost someone Deb. The whole point is science. Not “who do you trust” . That’s a different topic for a different site.
          You CLEARLY have no legitimate science background.

          1. Rudy, you sound like a hot-headed snob. I’m sure you’re a scientific genius and we’re all morons, so why don’t you volunteer on this site if you want to be a moderator–although I think you’ll be the first to get a lesson on how things run around here if you do.

        2. Deb, IIRC you were bemoaning the fact that you hadn’t prepared for being in the state we are in and had to do your “prepping” after things had gotten to the point of being serious and shortages were popping up. I bring this up because governments all over the world were equally unprepared.

          Preppers were better prepared because even though they did not know a pandemic was coming… they just figured *something* was coming so they stay stocked up. Their friends who were not prepping likely thought they were just being alarmist about things.

          Personally I was also well stocked… not because I was expecting a disaster, rather BiBBB (Buying in Bulk Begets Bargains’-)

          Yes, there have been people sounding the alarm about a pandemic… for decades. But even I thought SARS and MRSA and Ebola were controllable so why stock up on things that would likely be obsolete by the time we needed them.

          If I’ve understood you correctly, you are disillusioned because of the blame game and seeming inability to cut to the core and get things done. I share that disappointment, but I also understand we are dealing with govts… local, state, and federal. Not only that, local beliefs keep us from reacting in unison due to the conditions on the ground being different.

          Dec. 7, 1941 was different. The attack on Pearl Harbor was an affront to each of us. But the virus is not moving en masse and so the feelings throughout are different. (My little town of 25 to 30 thousand just recorded its first case and death from someone who traveled here.)

          It has taken time but we have been in lock down mode as an order for about the last week or 10 days. My thinking is the disease has only recently become widespread enough for the federal govt. to completely take over the response for the entire nation.

      3. Fauci has probably got it right. He advises against using off-label drugs until safety and efficacy have been demonstrated.

        Chloroquine trials in covid 19 patients in both Sweden and Brazil recently ended early because of severe side effects, for example.

        1. Fauci has probably got it right. He advises against using off-label drugs until safety and efficacy have been demonstrated.

          Chloroquine trials in covid 19 patients in both Sweden and Brazil recently ended early because of severe side effects, for example.
          __________________________________________________________________________________________________________
          Tom, there is a type of insurance for people who sell insurance… it is called E & O (errors and omissions.) Should you ever go into that business, GET THE E & O!!

          Why? Because based on your above post you are prone to making errors including errors of omission. Let me explain.

          I’m unfamiliar with the Sweden trial but the one in Brazil was a two layer trial. That is, one was for a high dose (600 milligrams twice daily for 10 days) and another was for a *low* dose (450 mg for five days, with a double dose only on the first day).

          Yes, the people on the high dose had erratic heart beats and they stopped that part of the trial but not before 2 died. The recommended dose is ~ 200 mgs. All patients in the study also took an antibiotic called azithromycin, which is also known to increase the risk of heart rhythm problems.

          They incorporated the ones from the failed high dose trial into the lower dose trial and plan to continue adding numbers to the trial and finish it. (Without overdosing x3 of the recommended dosage ‘-)

          If you read the comments section under the article, you’ll get a better idea from some of the personal experiences with azithromycin and how people feel about the way the high dose part of trial was conducted.

          https://www.livescience.com/coronavirus-chloroquine-study-stopped-early.html?

          1. Loni

            I am far from perfect but aren’t you projecting here?

            ‘ Because based on your above post you are prone to making errors including errors of omission.’
            ‘I’m unfamiliar with the Sweden trial but…’

            You lecture me about errors of omission and then you can’t be bothered finding out about the Swedish trial. This is all cut from the same cloth as your previous posts though so no real surprise there.

            As for being prone to errors Lonie ……. if the definition of ‘error’ is disagreeing with Lonie’s opinions, then yes you are absolutely right..

            The point I was trying to make is that Fauci’s conservatism is based on genuine concerns and a knowledge that most heavily-hyped drug promises often don’t pan out. Scientific testing to ensure safety and efficacy is prudent.

            1. As for being prone to errors Lonie ……. if the definition of ‘error’ is disagreeing with Lonie’s opinions, then yes you are absolutely right..

              The point I was trying to make is that Fauci’s conservatism is based on genuine concerns and a knowledge that most heavily-hyped drug promises often don’t pan out. Scientific testing to ensure safety and efficacy is prudent.
              ———————————————————————————————————————————-
              Tom, you’ve had ample time to learn that hydroxychloroquine and other off label drug usage has shown excellent results in many cases, yet you cling to the idea that a drug that has been used for decades must wait for a “stamp of approval” from the Faucis of the world while others die awaiting that stamp.

              As for calling me out for not searching out the Sweden trial, it seems to me you may not have even read the Brazil trial, rather just read the headline and figuring it served your purpose, posted without knowing it was actually a positive trial rather than a negative one.

              Or worse, maybe you did know it was a positive but figured no one would know that if you simply abstained from posting the link.

              Tom, you are known for dishing it out… sometimes the right thing to do is just swallow your pride and admit your error of omission? ‘-)

              https://www.yahoo.com/news/emergency-room-doctor-near-death-054816082.html

              https://www.yahoo.com/news/first-arizona-patient-ventilator-survives-104531736.html

              Your failure to acknowledge that there are many life-saving success stories from using these drugs and procedures suggests a pattern of being inflexible.

              1. Lonie

                The point is that there are many life saving success stories about all sorts of supposed cures for this that and the other. They are often based on testimonials or case studies or uncontrolled studies. Look at the French chloroquine patients you always bang on about and the 89% success rate. It’s a great life saving success story alright but is it anything more than a great story?

                ‘ Researchers in France examined the medical records of 84 patients with COVID-19 requiring oxygen who received hydroxychloroquine (600 mg daily) and 97 similar patients who did not get the drug. The primary outcome — transfer to the ICU or death from any cause within 7 days — did not differ significantly between the groups (in a weighted analysis, roughly 21%-22% of patients). The researchers say the findings “do not support the use of [hydroxychloroquine] in patients hospitalised for a documented SARS-CoV-2 pneumonia.” The study appears on the preprint server medRxiv.’

                I find your posts entertaining Lonie and I think you are a flake off the old block. However, dullards like me have to rely on simple 2+2=4 logic, major reports by expert scientific panels and critical analysis of scientific studies to inform my opinions. I am not innately brilliant like you or John Newall, and nor do I have direct personal communication with some omniscient supernatural being.like Ashley deAngelo, Conseuently, I don’t absolutely know what is or is not a great story that will actually pan out. ………….. which is why I support testing before shelling out big bucks and risking people’s health all because of a ‘great story’

                Incidentally, I have this bridge you might be interested in buying ………………….

                1. Sorry also for writing about a claimed 89% success rate. I think it was actually an 80 something% success rate that was claimed.according to S.

                2. Conseuently, I don’t absolutely know what is or is not a great story that will actually pan out. ………….. which is why I support testing before shelling out big bucks and risking people’s health all because of a ‘great story’

                  Incidentally, I have this bridge you might be interested in buying ………………….
                  ————————————————————————————————————————-
                  Tom, I’ve got no problem with your narrow thinking in regard to searching for an off label use of approved anti-viral medications.

                  My problem with your posts are that you poison the waters for those who are experiencing the virus up close and personal. I envision a situation where a Dr offers a patient one of these drugs that other Drs are having success with and their medical power of attorney says no because he/she heard that it may not be safe, so better to just let the patient risk dying.

                  The dead person is no longer suffering but the person who wouldn’t allow the drug has to live the rest of their own life knowing they were probably responsible for the death after hearing later on that the decision to use the drug by medical drs saved x amount of lives.

                  Granted, not all drs are high functioning, but the high functioning ones are the ones who are leading the way for those less able to deduce what works and what doesn’t. I would much rather trust the troops on the ground to make a life or death decision rather than some procedure-following individual in a lab dictating how a mission plays out simply based on war game simulations.

                  Oh, and about that bridge for sale… it had better not be the Brooklyn Bridge ’cause I already own that. If you are trying to sell it, I will bring charges of fraud against you. ‘-)

        2. Tom,

          while Fauci believes in that, he has said that in this situation he would not stand in the way of a doctor’s choice between the doctor and patient because chloroquine is ALREADY FDA approved for other things such as lupus, arthritis, etc.

          While the drug hasn’t been studied enough in regards to coronavirus, there’s been large reports coming from infectious disease doctors around the world having great success when used early on in the disease. And so far there’s been no reports of any harm to any of the patients it’s been used on. I did not hear anything about the patients in Sweden or Brazil. But one of the leading infectious disease doctors in France has treated over 1,000 patients with it and had and 80 some % success rate.

          1. Reading the link you provided. It sound like the patients weren’t monitored enough because the drug has been known to have this effect in high doses. It doesn’t really even seem ethical to have made it double-blind and therefore not knowing who was on the low dose and who was on the high dose… how could they have possibly monitored them appropriately given there are already known side effects to the drug in high doses? Especially in those with preexisting conditions.

          2. And so far there’s been no reports of any harm to any of the patients it’s been used on.
            ———————————————————————————————————————
            The Brazil study did have two people die in the high dose part of the study, but to your point, they weren’t actually what I would call patients… but rather test subjects. And the deaths were not reported in the link I posted as to cause… that is, were they Covid-19 related or tachycardia related.

            At any rate, they were pushed to the max by dosing them with 3x the recommended dosage and were already on another medicine, azithromycin, which also had that as a side effect. In one way this study warns not to test the limits of dose. In another way, it warns (me, anyway) to never be part of a study. ‘-)

            1. Exactly, Lonie… these “patients” were actually test subjects and this drug, like virtually every established drug, can have side effects and it’s supposed to be properly monitored according to the patient. This was just slop and an u ethical study in the first place.

          3. Thanks S.

            As I wrote, I think Fauci is probably right. He is against rolling out national programmes to employ unproven treatments but isn’t proposing legislation/regulations to forbid off-label drug use.

            Many anecdotal claims of marvellous efficacy of treatment have been made by doctors over the decades on the basis of uncontrolled trials and case studies. They often haven’t panned out when ‘put to the test’ of randomised controlled trials. Fauci’s caution is understandable.

    3. Deb,
      This may be a common “head in the sand” response found throughout history. China punished the doctor that blew the whistle on C-19. This doctor died of the virus. The prospect of the WWII German invasion of Russia (millions of lives to be lost) was so horrific that the Soviet spy who warned Russia the Germans were coming was shot on an order by Stalin. This is also called “shoot the messenger.” This phenomenon can be applied to global warming. Trump banned public officials from talking about it, i.e., “fake news.”

      1. “Trump banned public officials from talking about it, i.e., ‘fake news.'”

        Dan C, SPEAKING of fake news…

        THIS is exactly why politics shouldn’t be brought up, there is way too much BS in it these days which is saying something since it’s always been there to some degree.

        1. Won’t check back here to avoid political nonsense so if you want the last word have at it I have better things to do.

          Remember people, it isn’t only in the world of science where checking your sources is necessary and that is all I’m going to say.

  9. Great video — thanks, doc!

    Years ago I was talking with a woman who struggled with her weight. I told her that I eat a lot, and she said something like “It must be nice to have that kind of metabolism.” But that has nothing to do with it. Everyone else in my family was overweight or obese, but my weight was/is the same as in high school. The difference was that I ate much higher quality food.

    In part I attribute this to the fact that I have aphantasia. Primarily that means “no mind’s eye” — no ability to produce an image at will in my mind — which is true for me as well, but I also have no ability to recall taste/smell in my mind. I remember that I like pizza, for example, but unless it is in the room so that I can actually smell it, I can’t recall the smell/taste other than the texture. I think in my case not being able to recall tastes/smells makes it easier for me to eat well, because I am not sufficiently motivated by the mere texture of pizza to go out and buy one. :)

    Anybody else here lack the ability to recall the smell/taste of foods?

    1. Anybody else here lack the ability to recall the smell/taste of foods?
      ————————————————————————————–
      I think I find it more interesting that there are people who can recall a smell or a taste using their imagination. ‘-)

      But as far as the mind’s eye thing goes, I can conjure up an image that is entirely made up… or in some cases, picture where I last saw something I have misplaced and am looking for.

      On the rare occasion I re-arrange the house, I lose that ability of picturing where the object is now… probably because there are so many things being moved I don’t concentrate on individual pieces but rather, unfilled spaces where stuff can go.

  10. I love Dr. Greger, but even after several months of trying to get used to it, I still much prefer the videos where he is audio only. I never find his presence distracting when he is giving a formal lecture or keynote presentation—in fact, enjoy it—but somehow in these videos (maybe because his image is half the screen? Though of course it would be weird otherwise) I find his person incredibly distracting. I wish nutritionfacts videos would go back to the previous format. Just stating for the record. And certainly no disrespect intended.

    1. To be honest, I agree, but perhaps my reasons are different.

      I used to send NF videos to friends to inform them on some topic. I would always say “Here is a video about the research on such and such.” I don’t do that anymore.

      There are LOTS of folks on YouTube sharing their “knowledge” about nutrition. And it is all over the freaking map, some of them telling you to pile on the bacon. If you play in that space, why should anyone listen to you? You are just one more guy standing in front of the camera who claims that *he* has all the answers.

      It’s different when the only thing in the videos is the papers being discussed. No longer is this about somebody claiming to be a nutrition guru — it’s about research. In fact, the one change I would have liked from the old format is to have each video end with somebody plopping the key papers just discussed on the table, showing the titles, reminding the viewer that what you just heard was *NOT* my opinion, but the content of this published research.

      1. That is a really good point, Nicholas. And I can see people unfamiliar with all this automatically taking it that way without really paying attention.

    2. Patricia – Fyi, I COMPLETELY agree. I don’t send anyone a video that has Dr. G as the visual focus in the video. The visuals of Dr. G are so awfully distracting that it is impossible to focus on the topic and facts. SOMEONE SHOULD HAVE TOLD HIM before he released all of these videos with him front and center.

      And I am sorry, but I am going to have to say this, . .. Just because we a NutritionFacts.org think Dr. G is great does NOT mean that the rest of the world does. I, too, NEVER send a video to ANYONE when Dr. G is the focus in the video.

      We – NutritionFacts – folks enjoy Dr. G’s quirkiness and appreciate it. THE REST OF THE WORLD DOES NOT and simply uses Dr. G’s quirkiness to argue that all WFPB people are friggin whackos. We are NOT whackos and Dr. G is not a whacko – BUT HE COMES ACROSS THAT WAY TO PEOPLE WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND the WFPB movement. WHY ISN’T SOMEONE TELLING HIM? ? ? ?
      NUTRITIONFACTS.ORG – WAKE THE HECK UP!!!!

      1. I agree, Erna. Much as I enjoy Dr. Gregor’s humor myself, it seriously detracts from the “here’s some research important to your health” message. It becomes a video for *us*, his followers, rather than a vehicle for a health message that somebody eating the standard American diet is likely to take seriously.

    3. I agree with you. Same here, I enjoy seeing him in interviews. In fact, initially I was excited to see him in the videos. He has a very entertaining and engaging presence. But in the videos, it’s beyond distracting because 1) it turns the scientific charts and highlights, etc., into mere background image and 2) the hand gestures and watching his facial expressions, and just having two separate things to view at the same time when you’re trying to really take in the information forces your brain to multitask which is a stressful thing to do and makes it a lot harder to focus on the data presented.

  11. I’ve been eating plant based since watching Michael Gregor’s lectures and I am loving it and free so much better. I have just recently read I need to eat animal fat for brain health. Is this true?

    1. Hi, BooBooBooBoo! In a word, no. It is not true that you need to eat animal fat for brain health. You can find everything on this site related to brain health here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/brain-health/ In particular, you might be interested in this video: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-butter-really-back-what-the-science-says/ and this one: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/ I hope that helps!

          1. There is this study

            ‘Effects of DHA Supplementation on Hippocampal Volume and Cognitive Function in Older Adults with Mild Cognitive Impairment: A 12-Month Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Trial’
            https://content.iospress.com/articles/journal-of-alzheimers-disease/jad160439

            which showed that daily supplementation over 12 months resulted in greater brain size and better performance on cognitive tests in the supplement group than in the unsupplemented group. Note though that the dose was 2 grammes per day.

            1. But it was a study of elderly subjects who already had mild cognitive impairment. So it doesn’t end up showing that taking DHA is necessary to avoid MCI later in life, but rather that it can help those who have it.

              In regards to actually needing a direct source of DHA/EPA through means of fish consumption or algae oil supplements (or the horribly unsustainable fish oil supplements) in a healthy (WFPB) diet, there isn’t compelling evidence demanding the need. Supplementing with DHA or EPA has never been compared to an optimal, WFPB diet. Not that I’m trying to convince anyone of anything, I’m just offering a different perspective. Dr. Greger personally thinks it’s a good idea to take it so he does but leaves it up to the individual to decide. Based on all I knew on it and now the study above, I’ve always and continue to think it’s a good idea for older people who haven’t followed a WFPB diet long or for anyone who eats a westernized diet.

              1. Yes, that’s all true. But I don’t find Nelson’s or Klaper’s counter arguments at all convincing either. Just because the studies have never been done on people eating optimal WFPB diets for a long, sustained period doesn’t prove that such people won’t benefit from supplementation any more than it does prove that they will.

                And since I ate a standard western diet for the first 55 years of my life, prudence seems to suggest that I personally should supplement. The fact that studies showing benefits from supplementation like that Chinese one, or studies demonstrating an association between higher blood DHA/EPA levels and better brain health, all seem to have been done on plder people with existing cognitive issues isn’t a deal breaker for me. It is not conclusive evidence by any means but it is suggestive of possible benefit in older people
                https://www.j-alz.com/content/can-omega-3-help-prevent-alzheimers-disease

                I’m quite comfortable with Greger’s advice here, especially since the World Health Organization and FAO state (albeit on cardiovascular health grounds)

                ‘For adult males and non-pregnant/non-lactating adult females 0.250 g/day
                of EPA plus DHA is recommended, with insufficient evidence to set a specific minimum
                intake of either EPA or DHA alone; both should be consumed. For adult pregnant and
                lactating females, the minimum intake for optimal adult health and foetal and infant
                development is 0.3 g/d EPA+DHA, of which at least 0.2 g/d should be DHA’.

                http://www.fao.org/3/a-i1953e.pdf

                  1. I agree with you. Even the study you provided is enough for me to think people of a certain age should take it—unless perhaps have been eating WFPB for decades. I would rather my loved ones take it (In the form of algae) who are older and probably anyone on a SAD for at least Potentially preventative measures but I’d rather they change their diet.

                    I personally choose not to take for not feeling the need due to my own conclusions from what we know and also questions/concerns as to how such high doses might interfere with my body’s own natural conversion ability and possibly a balance in fats such as GLA which I once read that fish oil showed lower rates of GLA in some people according to one article but couldn’t find anything else on it. I think the benefits in older people such as in that study outweigh those concerns though.

                    Yes I know algae is sustainable, it’s an amazing plant. I did not see a big price difference between algae oil and more quality fish oil supplements when I looked to compare the difference—some fish oil is more expensive than algae oil. But hopefully prices will decrease. Fishing for fish oil should be banned globally—it’s devastating to the planet. Subsidies could go toward decreasing the cost of algae oil, they need to be redirected and start being used for good and useful things.

    1. Pomegranates are extremely healthy–very nutritious and very high in antioxidants. Some people just cut up open the fruit and pick at the kernels, but I like to take all of mine out first and then eat them in a bowl like cereal…. sooooo good! Also great sprinkled on foods. As a dried snack, such as in the video Steven linked for you, they’re incredibly healthy too.

    1. YR,

      I find that I only trust the doctors who recommend caution right now.

      There were 3 elderly people around me who were shut ins with almost no human contact except for the grocery delivery person who did test positive.

      I maybe don’t obsessively disinfect things. If it is in a cardboard package, I wait over 24 hours to put things away.

      We live in a time when the press particularly ask for answers and the authorities answer questions before they know for sure.

      We say it only affects the elderly and then we say 200 doctors in Italy and 50 teachers in NY died.

      NY said authoritatively that they were over-prepared and that there was little risk but they lost 50 teachers because they waited to shut the schools down and over-prepared didn’t include masks for the doctors or ventilators.

      I have been watching Dr Popper and each of the WFPB doctors talk authoritatively about it and I would say to Dr Popper that we will be opening society too early because of money and Italy already had 200 doctors die and Cuomo talked briefly about re-opening the schools and NY already had 50 teachers die.

      Dr Greger did a brilliant presentation. More than one. If he hadn’t, he would have already heard it from me.

      Boy, he did such a good job of explaining things.

  12. Oh, and what I meant to add was that he did say that if groceries were a risk we probably would be hearing about cases of shut ins who only had contact with grocery delivery so basically he did agree with them and maybe gave “Wash your hands after putting your groceries away.”

    But one of his presentations was how bad people are at washing their hands.

    I have heard of cases like he mentioned.

    Three of them in my area.

    But, yes, he was more wash your hands before picking your nose.

  13. Italy has already lost 200 doctors.

    We aren’t even finished yet and they did shut down.

    I know that we are going to open because of economic ruin exerting pressure from the other direction.

    But still I watched those NY politicians saying how prepared they were when they were rationing ventilators and when so many of their masks went to the record-breaking flu season and the hospitals were filled with flu patients already.

    This will be a costly pandemic in so many ways.

  14. I was watching the Gene documentary on PBS and they got up to Crispr and they said it was discovered because bacteria are at war with viruses and they memorize the genetic material of viruses and when they see it again they dismantle it.

    I wonder about gut microbiome and COVID.

    Are our bacteria trying to dismantle it?

  15. Can’t they just take some COVID and Crispr it and make a vaccine that way?

    Or something like that?

    Seems odd that bacteria can Crispr and we learned how to do it.

    Shouldn’t that be something we try?

  16. I think my 4 year old is broken: she prefers berries over bananas, cucumber over carrots, peaches over potatoes and melon over green beans

  17. Hi everyone,

    We are aware of the benefits of the wholefood plant based diet regarding weight loss,but how about when you actually want and need to gain weight and do it in a healthy way?
    Any thing to add to the diet or to how often you eat?
    I would love to hear some ideas
    Thanks

    1. Hallo Marcia,

      THat’s a fantastic question. It really comes down to calorie-density, but in the opposite direction of weight loss goals. To gain weight we need to eat more calories! This means focusing on starchy vegetables, whole grains, sweet fruits, legumes, avocados, and nuts/seeds. Of course we want vegetables, berries, and other super healthful foods too, but the basis of each meal should be something with significant caloric density to ensure we eat a surplus.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

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