Dining by Traffic Light: Green Is for Go, Red Is for Stop

Dining by Traffic Light: Green Is for Go, Red Is for Stop
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A video explaining my traffic light system for ranking the relative healthfulness of Green Light vs. Yellow Light vs. Red Light foods.

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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.

Whenever I’m asked at a lecture whether some food is healthy or not, my reply is: “Compared to what?” For example, are eggs healthy? Compared to some breakfast sausage next to it? Yes, but compared to oatmeal? Not even close. Think of it as having $2,000 in your daily calorie bank. How do you want to spend it? For the same number of calories, you can eat one Big Mac, 50 strawberries, or a half a wheelbarrow-full of salad greens. Now, they don’t exactly fill the same culinary niche—I mean, if you want a burger, you want a burger—and I don’t expect quarts of strawberries to make it onto the Dollar Menu anytime soon. But, it’s an illustration of how mountainous a nutrition bang you can get for the same caloric buck.

Every time we put something in our mouth, it’s a lost opportunity to put something even healthier in our mouth. So, what are the best foods to eat and the best foods to avoid? Here’s how I like to think of it.

This is my traffic light system to help quickly identify some of the healthiest options. Green means go, yellow means caution, and red means stop (and think before you put it into your mouth).

Ideally, on a day-to-day basis, green category foods should be maximized, yellow foods minimized, and red category foods avoided. As far as I can figure, the best available balance of evidence suggests the healthiest diet is one that maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes (which are beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices. Basically, real food that grows out of the ground—these are our healthiest choices. In general, the more whole plant foods and the fewer processed and animal foods, the better. So, more green light foods and less yellow and red. Like running red lights in the real world: you may be able to get away with it once in a while, but I wouldn’t recommend making a habit out of it.

My traffic light model stresses two important concepts: Plant foods tend to be healthier than animal foods (in terms of being packed with protective nutrients and fewer disease-promoting factors), and unprocessed foods tend to be healthier than processed foods. Is that always true? No. Am I saying that all plant foods are better than all animal foods? No. In fact, the worst thing on store shelves has been partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening—it’s even got vegetable right in the name! Even some unprocessed plants—such as blue-green algae—can be toxic. Anyone who’s ever had a bad case of poison ivy knows plants don’t always like to be messed with. In general, though, choose plant foods over animal foods, and unprocessed over processed.

What do I mean by processed? The classic example is the milling of grains from whole wheat—for example, to white flour. Isn’t it ironic that these are then called “refined” grains, a word that means improved, or made more elegant? The elegance was not felt by the millions who died from beriberi in the 19th century, a vitamin B-deficiency disease that resulted from polishing rice from brown to white. White rice is now enriched with vitamins to compensate for the “refinement.” A Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of the cause of beriberi and its cure—rice bran, the brown part of rice. Beriberi can cause damage to the heart muscle, resulting in sudden death from heart failure. Surely, such a thing could never happen in modern times. I mean, an epidemic of heart disease that could be prevented and cured with a change in diet? Check out my videos on heart disease.

Sometimes, though, processing can make foods healthier. For example, tomato appears to be the one common juice that may actually be healthier than the whole fruit. The processing of tomato products boosts the availability of the antioxidant red pigment by as much as five-fold. Similarly, the removal of fat from cacao beans to make cocoa powder improves the nutritional profile, since cocoa butter is one of the rare saturated plant fats (along with coconut and palm kernel oils) that may raise cholesterol.

So, for the purposes of the traffic light model, I like to think of “processed” as nothing bad added, nothing good taken away. So, in the above example, tomato juice could be thought of as relatively unprocessed, since even much of the fiber is retained—unless salt is added, which would make it a processed food, in my book, and bump it out of the green zone. Similarly, I would consider chocolate processed (since they add sugar), but cocoa powder not.

The limited role I see for yellow-light foods in a healthy diet is to promote the consumption of green-light foods. They can be the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. So, if the only way I can get a patient to eat oatmeal in the morning is to make it creamy with almond milk, then tell them to add almond milk. The same could be said for red-light foods. If the only way you’re going to eat a big salad is to sprinkle it with Bac-Os, then sprinkle away.

Bac-Os are what are referred to ultra-processed foods—bearing no redeeming nutritional qualities or resemblance to anything that grew out of the ground, and often with added badness. Bac-Os, for example, have added trans fats, salt, sugar, and even Red #40, a food dye that may cause thousands of thyroid cancers every year. As a red light food, it should ideally be avoided, but if the alternative to your big spinach salad with Bac-Os is KFC, then it’s better to sprinkle. The same goes for real bacon bits.

I realize some people have religious or ethical objections to even trivial amounts of animal products. (Growing up Jewish next to the largest pig factory west of the Mississippi, I can relate to both sentiments.) But from a human health standpoint, when it comes to animal products and processed foods, it’s the overall diet that matters. For example, without hot sauce, my intake of dark green leafy vegetables would plummet. Yeah, I could try making my own from scratch, but for the time being, the green ends justify the red means.

On the same note, it’s really the day-to-day stuff that matters most. It really shouldn’t matter what we eat on special occasions. Feel free to put edible bacon-flavored candles on your birthday cake (I’m not actually making those up). Though I guess from a food-safety point of view, a raw cake-batter Salmonella infection could leave you in dire straits. In general, it’s really your regular routine that determines your long-term health. Our body has a remarkable ability to recover from sporadic insults, as long as we’re not habitually poking it with a fork.

That’s why, from a medical standpoint, I don’t like the terms vegetarian and vegan, because they are only defined by what you don’t eat. When I taught at Cornell, I had vegan students who appeared to be living off of French fries and beer. Vegan, perhaps, but not terribly health-promoting. That’s why I prefer the term whole food plant-based nutrition. In general, the dividing line between health-promoting and disease-promoting foods may be less plant- versus animal-sourced foods, and more whole plant foods versus most everything else.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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.

Whenever I’m asked at a lecture whether some food is healthy or not, my reply is: “Compared to what?” For example, are eggs healthy? Compared to some breakfast sausage next to it? Yes, but compared to oatmeal? Not even close. Think of it as having $2,000 in your daily calorie bank. How do you want to spend it? For the same number of calories, you can eat one Big Mac, 50 strawberries, or a half a wheelbarrow-full of salad greens. Now, they don’t exactly fill the same culinary niche—I mean, if you want a burger, you want a burger—and I don’t expect quarts of strawberries to make it onto the Dollar Menu anytime soon. But, it’s an illustration of how mountainous a nutrition bang you can get for the same caloric buck.

Every time we put something in our mouth, it’s a lost opportunity to put something even healthier in our mouth. So, what are the best foods to eat and the best foods to avoid? Here’s how I like to think of it.

This is my traffic light system to help quickly identify some of the healthiest options. Green means go, yellow means caution, and red means stop (and think before you put it into your mouth).

Ideally, on a day-to-day basis, green category foods should be maximized, yellow foods minimized, and red category foods avoided. As far as I can figure, the best available balance of evidence suggests the healthiest diet is one that maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, legumes (which are beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices. Basically, real food that grows out of the ground—these are our healthiest choices. In general, the more whole plant foods and the fewer processed and animal foods, the better. So, more green light foods and less yellow and red. Like running red lights in the real world: you may be able to get away with it once in a while, but I wouldn’t recommend making a habit out of it.

My traffic light model stresses two important concepts: Plant foods tend to be healthier than animal foods (in terms of being packed with protective nutrients and fewer disease-promoting factors), and unprocessed foods tend to be healthier than processed foods. Is that always true? No. Am I saying that all plant foods are better than all animal foods? No. In fact, the worst thing on store shelves has been partially hydrogenated vegetable shortening—it’s even got vegetable right in the name! Even some unprocessed plants—such as blue-green algae—can be toxic. Anyone who’s ever had a bad case of poison ivy knows plants don’t always like to be messed with. In general, though, choose plant foods over animal foods, and unprocessed over processed.

What do I mean by processed? The classic example is the milling of grains from whole wheat—for example, to white flour. Isn’t it ironic that these are then called “refined” grains, a word that means improved, or made more elegant? The elegance was not felt by the millions who died from beriberi in the 19th century, a vitamin B-deficiency disease that resulted from polishing rice from brown to white. White rice is now enriched with vitamins to compensate for the “refinement.” A Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of the cause of beriberi and its cure—rice bran, the brown part of rice. Beriberi can cause damage to the heart muscle, resulting in sudden death from heart failure. Surely, such a thing could never happen in modern times. I mean, an epidemic of heart disease that could be prevented and cured with a change in diet? Check out my videos on heart disease.

Sometimes, though, processing can make foods healthier. For example, tomato appears to be the one common juice that may actually be healthier than the whole fruit. The processing of tomato products boosts the availability of the antioxidant red pigment by as much as five-fold. Similarly, the removal of fat from cacao beans to make cocoa powder improves the nutritional profile, since cocoa butter is one of the rare saturated plant fats (along with coconut and palm kernel oils) that may raise cholesterol.

So, for the purposes of the traffic light model, I like to think of “processed” as nothing bad added, nothing good taken away. So, in the above example, tomato juice could be thought of as relatively unprocessed, since even much of the fiber is retained—unless salt is added, which would make it a processed food, in my book, and bump it out of the green zone. Similarly, I would consider chocolate processed (since they add sugar), but cocoa powder not.

The limited role I see for yellow-light foods in a healthy diet is to promote the consumption of green-light foods. They can be the spoonful of sugar that makes the medicine go down. So, if the only way I can get a patient to eat oatmeal in the morning is to make it creamy with almond milk, then tell them to add almond milk. The same could be said for red-light foods. If the only way you’re going to eat a big salad is to sprinkle it with Bac-Os, then sprinkle away.

Bac-Os are what are referred to ultra-processed foods—bearing no redeeming nutritional qualities or resemblance to anything that grew out of the ground, and often with added badness. Bac-Os, for example, have added trans fats, salt, sugar, and even Red #40, a food dye that may cause thousands of thyroid cancers every year. As a red light food, it should ideally be avoided, but if the alternative to your big spinach salad with Bac-Os is KFC, then it’s better to sprinkle. The same goes for real bacon bits.

I realize some people have religious or ethical objections to even trivial amounts of animal products. (Growing up Jewish next to the largest pig factory west of the Mississippi, I can relate to both sentiments.) But from a human health standpoint, when it comes to animal products and processed foods, it’s the overall diet that matters. For example, without hot sauce, my intake of dark green leafy vegetables would plummet. Yeah, I could try making my own from scratch, but for the time being, the green ends justify the red means.

On the same note, it’s really the day-to-day stuff that matters most. It really shouldn’t matter what we eat on special occasions. Feel free to put edible bacon-flavored candles on your birthday cake (I’m not actually making those up). Though I guess from a food-safety point of view, a raw cake-batter Salmonella infection could leave you in dire straits. In general, it’s really your regular routine that determines your long-term health. Our body has a remarkable ability to recover from sporadic insults, as long as we’re not habitually poking it with a fork.

That’s why, from a medical standpoint, I don’t like the terms vegetarian and vegan, because they are only defined by what you don’t eat. When I taught at Cornell, I had vegan students who appeared to be living off of French fries and beer. Vegan, perhaps, but not terribly health-promoting. That’s why I prefer the term whole food plant-based nutrition. In general, the dividing line between health-promoting and disease-promoting foods may be less plant- versus animal-sourced foods, and more whole plant foods versus most everything else.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Video created by Purposeful Films

Doctor's Note

This is one of those rare videos I do that’s not just straight peer-reviewed science. If you want more of this kind of analysis, this is what comprised the second half of my book How Not to Die. Note all of the recipes from my How Not to Die Cookbook are comprised of 100% Green Light ingredients. Wait—how do you make something taste salty without salt? Sweet without sugar? Check it out! (all proceeds I receive from all my books donated to charity).

I explore another one of the tools I introduced in the book in another video, Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist.

Let me know if you like these more light-hearted animation approaches or you’d rather me just stick to the science.

If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my videos for free by clicking here and to my audio podcast here (subscribe by clicking on your mobile device’s icon). 

200 responses to “Dining by Traffic Light: Green Is for Go, Red Is for Stop

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  1. Fantastic video, thank you. The way Dr. Greger and his team could fit in most of the basics of healthy eating in one concise video, while also making it understandable and practical, is impressive. This is a must-share with friends and family who don’t know where to begin.

    The only thing I would add is the importance of variety (when it comes to healthy food, of course) in one’s diet.

        1. The only animal food listed in your link is “egg white” as a source of protein.

          Who here is buying eggs and eat the white to get their proteins ? Dr Greger ?

            1. Good sources of casein, which is not very good for prostate cancer.

              Does Dr Ornish really read the scientific litterature before suggesting to his patients to eat those things ???

              1. Dr. Ornish’s research CREATED the literature. Dr. Ornish CREATED the research, published it in peer reviewed journals. And if you truly look into his program he allows one to use it on a sliding scale – the more one adhere’s to a totally plant based eating plan the better the results will be per his program guides.
                Ornish has clearly reversed heart disease and has also reversed low grade prostate cancer as well.

              1. I take it you mean ‘other primates’ as humans are primates. Primates comprises about 230 species, too broad and varied a group to draw meaningful conclusions about the ‘optimal’ human diet. Chimpanzees eat animals, including termites, young baboons and even other chimpanzees, and they’re our nearest relatives. Ornish could just as well have recommended algae-based DHA/EPA as Dr Greger and Dr Fuhrman do.

                1. gengogakusha, it’s actually very rare for chimpanzees to eat meat. For example, Jane Goodall observed a group consisting of approximately 50 chimpanzees had killed 95 small mammals within a period of 10 years, and the behavior could have been influenced by the disturbance of being observed to an extent or at least that’s what the writer speculates. You can read more about it here: https://www.vivahealth.org.uk/resources/wheat-eaters-or-meat-eaters/meat-eating-chimps-online
                  These things tend to get blown out of proportion because the internet and public LOVES a shocking headline – especially one that can be used to help humans justify eating other animals.

                  1. S-
                    >>>”it’s actually very rare for chimpanzees to eat meat.”
                    I appreciate the attempted clarification but unfortunately, the information at the url you posted is based on reports dating back many decades, and is now known to be false. Although they eat mainly fruit, chimpanzees are predators and hunt in packs. Their predatory habits cannot be rationalized as aberrant behavior. To quote from The Predatory Behavior and Ecology of Wild Chimpanzees at http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~stanford/chimphunt.html :
                    “At Gombe, we now now that chimpanzees kill and eat more than 150 small and medium sized animals such as monkey, wild pigs, and small antelopes each year. … have been recorded to eat more than 35 types of vertebrate animals. … Among the great apes (the gorilla, the orangutan, the bonobo, and the chimpanzee) and ourselves only humans and chimpanzees hunt and eat meat on a frequent basis”. … “And the amount of meat eaten, even though it composed a small percentage of the chimpanzee diet, is substantial I estimate that in some years, the 45 chimpanzees of the main study community at Gombe kill and consume more than 1500 pounds of prey animals.”

                    As a vegan (ethical, in contrast to ‘strict vegetarian’) , I don’t think the hunting behavior of non-humans, even of our closest kin, could provide a serious excuse for human hunting or possibly excuse the terrible cruelty involved factory farming. But it is not helpful for vegans to provide bogus or outdated information. By the way, my original statement came from a standard textbook on evolution (Strickberger, Evolution 3rd ed., 2000, p. 466).

                    1. gengogakusha, according to the Jane Goodall Institute of Canada, meat and other animal products make up for merely 5-8% of a chimpanzee’s diet and so I call that rare compared to the way I’ve read others describe it (I’ve read headlines and blogs about chimps and you’d think you were reading about lions). Obviously non-human animals hunting isn’t a viable excuse for humans to do so, however, like “plants have feelings too tho,” it’s been done and so things like this tend to get exacerbated on the internet e.g. chimps hunt so suddenly people start talking about what big meat eaters apes are because the headline is usually where they stop reading. It’s a little absurd to say that I provided bogus information when referencing one of or the earliest observation(s) that chimpanzees hunt smaller animals and I’d hardly call it outdated… old, but still relevant. But I don’t think you needed to get so worked up because your link was better than mine, I just supplied a quick half-assed reference to give a general idea of the numbers which I felt you gave a misleading impression on, personally. If it were a more serious topic like I don’t know… a diabetes cure, I’d have made sure I provided a scientific source.

                    2. Also, I wasn’t saying it to make a case for veganism ;) I had commented only because I felt your post was a bit misleading on the amount chimpanzees consume other mammals and had simply mentioned that I believe this tends to be exaggerated due to society’s love of shocking headlines paired with the fact that people love a good “we should eat meat because” story these days. Of course in retrospect I guess that may have seemed like I was referring to your post and really I was just thinking “out loud” about past experiences so then I apologize if I came across wrong.

    1. More crap to support animal food eating. I am referring, of course, to yellow light “unprocessed animal foods,” whatever that means. Dr Campbell has shown from his China Study that health risk goes up for every bite of animal foods eaten (see bottom page 80 in his book). In other words, the more you eat, the more you risk unhealthy outcomes. I’ve even heard his lectures say that you can undo other healthy “green light” choices with even a little animal food intake, so avoid it all.

      Please stop trying to justify eating animals. As I’ve said before, my brother is a former Harvard public health professor and he is endlessly talking about “everything in moderation.” Thanks to your book, and your yellow light proceed-with-caution approach, he is now even using your work to justify eating animals. Of course, a little will usually become a lot – but it’s okay, we’ll just eat a little less tomorrow. Somehow, tomorrow never comes. I have been a whole vegan, ala Dr John McDougall and Dr Milton Mills, for about 10 years now. My brother and I are about 2 years apart in age, in our mid-seventies. His approach has led to high cholesterol, arthritis, pre-diabetes, symptoms of Alzheimers, and 50 pounds of overweight. Just like our parents. And that is only what he will tell me about. My BMI is about 22 and I have none of these problems. The only pills I take are B12 and D.

      All along I thought you allowed unprocessed animal foods to satisfy your publisher and avoid food disparagement laws. Now I see that you are advocating a chemist’s and public health view of human nutrition. This approach inevitably leads to “a little is okay once in a while, because little improvements on average mean more health on average.” But more health usually falls short of the best health. We are individuals, not statistics. And, when you add ethics and concern for the environment to the equation, then you get to the position of “none, ever.”

      I urge you and your readers to go all in. Stop eating animals. It harms them, it harms you, and it harms the earth we all share. It’s the right thing to do.

      1. In Dr Greger’s book, an indian study documented that vegetarians who eated meat again even only one time a week had a huge boost in all morbidity risks, 30% more risks of cardio-vascular diseases if I correctly remember.

        So to put hamburgers in yellow seems quite inadequate as recommandation.

        1. Eating meat even one time a week may fuel bad bacterias for a while and trigger TMAO production causing atherosclerosis and heart disease, as well as insuline resistance and cancer

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28641532

          I hope Dr Greger will not recommend to enjoy meat enriched with pharmaceutical TMAO fighting chemicals instead of normal meat in the future.

      2. If you really listen to his words and watch his videos he is not advocating, “Everything in moderation.” He advocates such practices as adding some almond milk to oats if that’s the only way one will eat oats, or adding a “drop” of animal protein to an enormous salad if that’s the only way one will eat a salad. By the way, Dr. Greger IS a vegan in his personal life, but his main public service mission is about health and how to get there and not about veganism, per se.

  2. How about nutritional yeast? The final product contains lots of synthetic B vitamins, shown to be harmful. Basically, processed product containing synthetic B’s.

    1. Hey Ishay, I eat nutritional yeast (“Titan” brand) almost daily, so your comment caught my attention. Do you have any scientific paper on that? Cheers.

      1. I do know that Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a strong advocate of eating “unfortified” nutritional yeast and says the additives in typical store bought varieties are not good for you. I have found one source of natural unfortified nutritional yeast online but not yet tried it. It’s made by Sari Foods. Here’s the link for the USA Amazon site. https://www.amazon.com/Natural-Non-fortified-Nutritional-Protein-Beta-glucans/dp/B00PJ3IPMI/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1521069805&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=nutritional+yeast&psc=1

    2. shabby, just get unfortified nutritional yeast. Sari brand is amazing, Kal brand has an “unfortified one” and I believed their blatant lie till I read it contains folic acid.

    3. Not all brands of nutritional yeast have added vitamins. There are some on the market that are straight nutritional yeast with nothing else added. You simply have to make a choice about which brand you might want to purchase.

  3. Yeah, and nutritional yeast is also added to lots of vegan products. Final product ends up containing synthetic vitamin pills. The B12 isn’t considered synthetic but the other B vitamins in it have been, namely folic acid which Dr. Gr. has and other vegan doctors have warned about, giving it a “RED LIGHT”. Yet, gets confusing since Dr. Gr. consumes nutritional yeast. Were you aware of this synthetic B vitamin issue in Nutritional yeast, Dr. Gr.?

      1. What brand do you use Dr. Greger, cause i’d like to use it but the brands i know of grow there nutritional yeast with synthetic B’s in the growth medium, and even if they do not add synthetic B’s into the final product they are able to call it “un-forrtified”. Kind of a loophole of sorts to claim something isn’t fortified. And some add in the synthetic after the yeast is grown, thus then having to call it fortified. Thanks for a brand suggestion.

        1. For those who decide to supplement with Nutritional Yeast, I recommend choosing a brand processed at lower temperatures, and to at least avoid any of the “toasted” varieties. Cooking foods at high temperatures creates glycotoxins ( https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reducing-glycotoxin-intake-to-prevent-alzheimers/ ) also known as AGEs, that have a wide range of toxic effects aside from the ones Dr. Greger touches on in his video. (see https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257625/ )

          For my part, I use Lewis Labs Brewer’s Yeast 100% Pure Yeast Flakes. I chose them after contacting a half dozen companies some years ago, to find out about their processing methods. At the time, this brand used the lowest processing temperatures. Others have given this brand good reviews over the years.

          If you feel curious about the levels of AGEs in foods, check out: Advanced Glycation End Products in Foods and a Practical Guide to Their Reduction in the Diet J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:911-916. at https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/065b/64ec0a95e0263f94cc5f9a188409dc1b74c8.pdf

          What sort of a difference can cooking temperatures make? A lot – cooking a food at too high a temperature or for too long can even turn a green light food into an AGE laden red light food.

          And what effect might a high AGE diet have on health and longevity? In one study, Dr. Vlassara’s group at Mt. Sinai found increased average and maximum lifespan for mice on a lower AGE/less cooked diet. When all of the animals eating the regular AGE diet had died, over 40% still survived of those who ate the lower AGE (50% the AGEs) diet. And the insulin levels of the lower AGE group only increased by 70% from young to old animals (.17 – .29) – less than one third the increase seen in mice eating the regular diet (.16 – .56) – where insulin levels increased 250%.

        2. Sari brand is truly unfortified and they’re an awesome company who believes things should be kept natural. Their metal tests came back good too, which they were more than happy to share with me when contacted. Definitely a trusted company by me. Their actual product is the best I’ve ever had.

      2. If you want to see what’s wrong with American medicine in general, look at Dr. Gregor’s video on Hidradenitis Suppuritiva, link above by Dr. Gregor.
        The reaction to patients being told they had a choice, medicine or diet change, and the nasty responses by the medical community. What, ‘you didn’t get informed consent?’
        Maybe why clinicians are afraid to bring up diet and lifestyle, while focusing on drugs and surgery?
        Thank you Dr. Gregor for what you do!

  4. Not only does processing of tomatoes increase the availability of lycopene five fold, the processing of vegetables into juice increases the bioavailability of the antioxidants alpha-carotene and lutein. “We found, for this study population, that women who were consuming vegetable juice had almost three times the serum concentration of α-carotene compared to those consuming the same amount of α-carotene from raw or cooked vegetables. We also found that women who were consuming vegetable juice had nearly 50% higher serum concentration of lutein compared to the women consuming equivalent amounts of raw or cooked vegetables. However, serum concentrations of β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene were not statistically significantly different between the juice and no juice group.”

    http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/8/3/227

    1. Should I feal healthy to know that the organic tomato juice that I use may be the product of the exploitation of african migrants in Italia ?

      1. Obviously these “African migrants” went there because the place they came from was significantly worse. I am sure they are being compensated to a certain degree and they are much better off than they were. Let’s not interject politics into nutrition. Nobody forced them to go there and nobody is forcing them to stay.

        1. Well, there are some local tomatoes the summer here, and one grows some too. But otherwise, one has to trust the supermarkets.

          One watched a documentary about the tomato business, and it was shown that particularly in the little fields which are not mechanized that african migrants were exploited in organic plantations.

          Misery in their countries caused by unbalanced worlwide economy make them go try their chance in Europe, but they finally found worst conditions than in Africa, according to some interviews.

          I guess many people in the world are exploited in order to produce fresh plant-based foods.

          1. t seems that giving somebody any kind of paid employment is exploitation by this kind of logic.

            Will these people actually be better off with no work and no income?

            Anyway, grow your own if you want to avoid all exploitation of workers, migrant or otherwise. Or buy “fair trade” products.

          2. Let’s not be ridiculous John. Slaves in America were brought here against their will and basically tortured and died working as slaves. If they tried to leave the plantation, they were shot or hung. The Italian government has opened their borders to these people and they are getting benefits from Italian tax payers. I am sure they are being paid cash under the table on top of that, although I am sure it is for below the minimum wage, to do agreed upon farm work. If they were offered free transportation back to where they came from or to stay in Italy, I think we can both agree on which choice they would make. Most Europeans came to the USA with the clothes on their back, a few bucks in their pockets, and one suit case each. They then struggled and learned that in order for their children to do better, they would have to work hard and endure the struggle. Italy is on the cusp of financial collapse, what else do you want them to do for these people? They were facing certain death. Northern Africa is mostly desert. That is why 2 1/2 million years ago most humans migrated away from there and spread to other continents. We have deserts here in the USA, but nobody lives there… These people are the first of their lineage to figure out that after 2 1/2 million years, its time to move. Most of these people have never used indoor plumbing. Should the Italian government give them a bank account, food stamps, and government housing, and a driver’s license, the moment they walk on shore? These cultures and many others in the Middle East and Africa are ingrained with a tribal/nomad culture that doesn’t exactly dovetail with capitalism. At some point, someone has to take the first step in the transition and its not going to be easy. The alternative of repeating the same failed philosophy for 2 1/2 million years which just get you more of the same.

    2. Fat/oil with a meal also increases absorption of lycopene and beta-carotene, etc. I know “oil” is a four letter word but wish Dr. Greger had touched on this topic.

      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids
      Carotenoids are best absorbed with fat in a meal. Chopping, puréeing, and cooking carotenoid-containing vegetables in oil generally increase the bioavailability of the carotenoids they contain.

      http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/dietary-factors/phytochemicals/carotenoids#food-sources
      The relatively low bioavailability of carotenoids from most foods compared to supplements is partly due to the fact that they are associated with proteins in the plant matrix (145). Chopping, homogenizing, and cooking disrupt the plant matrix, increasing the bioavailability of carotenoids (3). For example, the bioavailability of lycopene from tomatoes is substantially improved by heating tomatoes in oil (146, 147).

      I strictly limit oils (none other than 1-2 tsps per day EVOO in my somewhat processed spaghetti sauce frequently) but make sure to eat nuts/seeds with salads, which I assume works well.

  5. The diluted approach to plant-based nutrition, accepting some forms of animal foods in it, doesn’t stand the ethical examination.

    1. If animal foods are really unecessary from a biological point of view, then accepting some forms of animal foods just because one can eat them distracts from the fact that we do not need to exploit or to kill other animals in order to live.

    2. It seems to one that the less killing and exploitation is involved into one’s plate, the healthiest one can be as a whole, not only as an individual, but also as a global society.

    3. Aren’t you kind of missing the point?

      This site is about nutrition – not ethics or the environment. It is not a vegan advocacy site. It is a site about nutrition facts.

      I choose to eat a 100% vegetarian diet for ethical and environmental reasons. From a nutritional point of view though, it may be that a WFPB diet containing a small amount of animal foods is equivalent or even superior to a 100% WF plant diet. We don’t know for sure. Dr Greger is simply telling it like it is

      1. The problem with this diluted plant-based nutrition approach with bits of animal foods here and there is that it has not been “put to the test” concerning the production of TMAO and its side-effects on health.

        Only a plant-based nutrition without any animal foods whatsoever warrants no production of TMAO.

            1. Association is association not causation. Low cholesterol is associated with certain cancers, liver disease etc – that doesn’t prove low cholesterol causes those things.

      2. TG is right that this site is strictly about nutritional science, and even an animal rights activist vegan like me appreciates this and I’m glad Dr. Greger presents the unbiased science behind it. However, apart form my known moral/ethical stance, based solely on the collective evidence, I think it’s obvious that an optimal diet is that of a 100% WFPB diet rich in the foods that Dr. Greger recommends. In any case, Dr. Greger certainly helps make it clear that we’re able to thrive on this diet and the addition of animal products are at best, completely unnecessary – something he wouldn’t be effective at making clear if he approached his research through bias.

    1. well Ishay, what is it about the hundreds of videos compiled on this site detailing the horrors of animal products (tmao, IGF 1, viruses, methionine, sat fat, etc etc) that leaves you unconvinced that animal products are clearly best left out of our diet ?? They say people just want to hear good news about bad (indefensible) habits…

    2. Health is not only individual health, physical health, but also psychological health, environmental health and the health of a society where killing and exploitation of human beings or animals is avoided.

      Countries that divide themselves from the rest of the world in so-called entities called “nations” are unhealthy, because they divide the world for their own particular interests, whereas human beings are basically the same all throughout the world.

      Animal agriculture is too much of a conditioning and is not merely a health problem but a cultural problem. A culture that lives by the exploitation and killing of other animals, and through the wars (military or economical) with other cultures, whereas it may be totally unnecessary in order to live healthfully and peacefully.

      1. ab30: All interesting points, and I agree with most of them.

        I was just reminding all of us that this website has a particular purpose.

        1. You’re right, thanks to point it out, but it seems to one that one should not lose from sight the bigger picture equally, as also pointed out by Dr T. Colin Campbell in his book “Whole: rethinking the science of nutrition”.

  6. I like this change up from the straight science – it gets the point across with, as you say, “a spoonful of sugar”. But keep doing the science-based videos too.
    Love the book and the recipes.
    Thank you.

  7. Fantastic video. I’ve been trying to teach my children the gray area with diet, and this video explains it perfectly. This video makes a whole food diet more flexible and accessible to the greater public. Thank you!

  8. I like them both for different reasons. While I am always the sceptic and want to know why, the didactic is helpful with my day by day protocols.
    I also like it for ease of application, for friends and relatives who are wary of the science and the geeks they fear they might become if they depart from the common culture.

  9. Quick question. Many of your comments on Chicken are more about the processing than the actual chicken. Are there any “ greenish light” ways to have chicken?

    1. I highly doubt it, Andy. If you haven’t done so already, I would suggest searching ‘chicken’ on this website & watching as many videos you can. Don’t take my (or anyone else’s) word for it. See for yourself what the science says.

    2. It turns out that there are both intrinsic and added substances that make chicken a “red light” food. Even organic chicken is contaminated with bacteria and viruses that can cause human infection and other illnesses. Also, despite it’s reputation for being low fat, chicken has a significant amount of saturated fat, the kind that raises LDL cholesterol, which itself leads to atherosclerosis. Also, reviews of multiple large studies find that protein derived from animal sources promotes multiple illnesses, including several types of cancer, while protein from plant sources does not.

      Best, Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  10. OUTSTANDING VIDEO!!! So when is the USDA going to get rid of the “MyPyramid” “MyPlate” … and go with the “MyTraffic-Light”. Even my college students “should” be able to figure this one out.

  11. Dr. Greger, Should there be 1 clarification in your transcript regarding rice? I thought you have removed rice from green light foods due to the arsenic. I know there is a statement in the new cookbook about this, about substituting other grains for rice. Might you clarify that in the comments for this video?

    1. Good point. I no longer eat rice. As a New Years resolution I decided to make 2018 as much as possible an arsenic free year.

      Also, with respect to green light “whole foods,” I personally limit that designation to actual whole foods, not processed in any way unless I do it myself.

      This means foods such as “whole wheat flour,” and in fact powders of all sorts made from whole foods, or liquids allegedly (according to the labeling) made from whole foods (no added ingredients), do not qualify as green, because of the increased possibility of unintentional or even intentional contamination and of adulteration during the manufacturing process.

      Turmeric powder seems a particularly bad example of this. Turmeric has pretty much made it to the top of my list as a superfood, a food that now has an impressive set of benefits, validated by an ever expanding set of well-controlled research studies. And because of this, many people for the best of reasons have started increasing the amount of turmeric in their diet, or begun taking it as a supplement to improve their health. Unfortunately, some of these people – perhaps even many of these people – may have instead metaphorically shot themselves in the foot because of the deliberate adulteration of this product with lead chromate, a known poison, to improve (believe it or not) its COLOR ( http://www.astaspice.org/the-american-spice-trade-associations-statement-on-lead-in-turmeric . See also “Ground Turmeric as a Source of Lead Exposure in the United States” http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0033354917700109 )

      Because of this, with respect to powders, these days I look for sources that certify that they test their products for lead and optimally, also that their product meets California Prop 65 limits.

      As a consequence, I give most manufactured powders and liquids made (according to the label) from whole foods a green-yellow light rating, not a green light, and I do at least a quick search to find out if any of them have problems. Some, like conventional turmeric powder, get a red light. And I often make my own powders from whole foods – especially spices – from their whole food counterparts using my coffee grinder. Anise powder from anise seed for example. This has the added benefit that I’ve found spices made from scratch far more flavorful that commercial powders that have sat on the shelf for months or even years after grinding before anyone purchases them.

      1. You can also buy whole (amla, turmeric, etc.) and slice it yourself, so there is no potential to add toxic powders along the process.
        John S

      2. Is there one universal book that lists what to eat and what no to eat that is fool proof? I have been using McCormack’s powdered turmeric for years. Now I find out that some brands of turmeric might be poisoned with heavy metals. Is McCormack’s safe? After eating a bowl of steamed brown rice the other night, I happened to read on here that most rice contains arsenic. Even Dr. Gregor’s book has items people here disagree with that are healthy or unhealthy. Grow your own? Where in the same soil behind my house that has 70 years of grass seed, fertilizer, pesticides, lime, etc… and who knows what poured into the soil before I moved here? What do you eat, and where do you buy it from?

        1. Hi Jack, thanks for your question and comment. You referred to rice having arsenic. The way you can get rid of it to some extend is to boil the rice in a large volume of water and once it is nearly cooked and the rice grain is softened you can drain the rest of the water. I have used McCormack’s spices however there are also organic turmeric in the market to make a better choice. “[a]rsenic levels are lower in rice from certain regions, [like] California and parts of India.” I hope that is useful to you.
          How Much Arsenic in Rice is Too Much?

          1. Thank you. I wish you had a more comforting answer because I remember sometime in the recent past where “Whole Foods” was caught selling products that were labeled as organic, but were later tested not to be.

        2. Hi I’m a RN health support volunteer. Thanks for your great questions. No there is not a universal book that will tell us how we should eat. That would be wonderful, but everyone would need to agree for that to happen. The great thing about Dr. Greger’s work is that it is not his ideas or his diet he came up with. He spends nearly all his time reviewing the properly done research and peer reviewed medical journals- note this is very different from just reading a book or something on the internet. Dr. Greger reviews the scientific literature. And science is always growing and expanding and learning new things. I think that’s a better way to look at it than, always changing or contradicting itself. It’s important to look at the research, and not just listen to anyone or anything.
          So we don’t have a universal book, but we do have population studies that have shown us what the healthiest people have eaten, For example:
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-diet-should-physicians-recommend/
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-okinawa-diet-living-to-100/

          Yes we may hear about issues such as arsenic in rice and heavy metal in certain spices, but we know populations who eat diets high in things like rice, like the Japanese, and turmeric such as in India, are healthy in spite of this. Dr. Greger has addressed the arsenic in rice. There are ways to cook it and rinse it to reduce this.
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-to-cook-rice-to-lower-arsenic-levels/
          And turmeric can help reverse the damage from Arsenic:
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/benefits-of-turmeric-for-arsenic-exposure/
          And there is far more arsenic in meat based products than rice:
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/where-does-the-arsenic-in-chicken-come-from/
          https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cadmium-and-cancer-plant-vs-animal-foods/

          Remember, as Dr. Greger says, your body is always trying to heal. It wants to heal. You will get exposed to carcinogens and toxins. You can’t avoid it altogether. But if you are putting the proper food in it, you are helping set up the best environment for it to heal from that.

          Dr. McDougall (friend and mentor of Dr. Greger’s) has a great talk called diet wars where laid out all the proponents of healthy, plant based eating such as Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Campbell, Rip Esselstyn, and pointed out that the differences are minimal and really they are all promoting the same thing.
          https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/videos/free-electures/the-diet-wars/

          NurseKelly

        3. Jack, Greger explains in another video which rice has the highest and lowest arsenic (depending on where it’s grown). Don’t worry TOO much, just choose companies that you can trust. You can contact companies you currently use and ask what kinds of tests they perform and whatever else you want to know and/or look for new companies. Typically rice grown in California has low arsenic levels. Lundberg is a good brand. For turmeric, I currently have mine from Terrasoul because I can buy in bulk for a low price and they seem to be a really good company, but someone on here shared this company: https://naturerestore.com/pages/our-story as they specifically talk about the purity of their products so I think for my next purchase I’m going to try their turmeric (not that there’s anything wrong with Terrasoul’s). I also trust Simply Organic/Fronteir co-op for spices because they say where their spices are from and they do their own tests. I learn about things through communicating with companies. It doesn’t take too much time and you find some companies you can trust so you don’t have to drive yourself crazy worrying and wondering. I think transparency in food as well as cosmetics is extremely important and I think it’s great that people are becoming more aware which in turn, holds companies more accountable. And incidentally, I’m seeing a lot of very aware companies out there more and more. In the meantime, don’t stress about it too much because that’s definitely not good for our health!
          If you want to grow a garden, try a box garden and use pure soil and organic fertilizers, you don’t need to mix with the old soil from your yard… that’s actually what I do :)

          1. And remember, we can only do our best, we can’t be perfect. But our best is pretty freaking awesome – especially if you’re grading on a curve!

  12. I have been putting nutritional yeast into my morning smoothies for a few weeks now, daily, without fail. I was unaware of potential synthetic B vitamins being placed into it. DANG. Please let me know of a particular brand of nutritional yeast that is free of the synthetic vitamins that I am supposed to avoid. I currently just spoon mine right out of a bulk bin at the local health foods store. Thank you. Oh…GREAT video!

    1. Even if not placed in final product, they could also be using it to grow the yeast, and are in these cases not required to label it “fortified”. It is a loophole.

    2. If you are doing it for vitamin b12, check this out! https://alpineorganics.co/
      Compliment supplement by lightdrop. Personally I think one of the creators, matt Frazier author of no-meat athlete, is a man of integrity and I know a fan of dr. Gregor’s, but go ahead and make up your own mind :)

    3. Jason, you can purchase an unfortified variety on Amazon. The manufacturer is Sari. I haven’t tried it myself because it’s not available from the Canadian Amazon site. The dollar exchange and shipping make a higher priced specialty product ridiculously expensive. It has very good reviews on Amazon.com.

      https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B00PJ3IPMI/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1521133483&sr=8-1-spons&pi=AC_SX236_SY340_QL65&keywords=sari+nutritional+yeast+flakes&psc=1

    4. Jason, Sari brand is amazing. Best tasting nutritional yeast I’ve ever had and their’s is authentically unfortified. They actually advocate things being all natural and unfortified, I adore their company and companies like their’s! They do tests for metals and all that, too. I contacted them years ago and they shared their reports with me, I didn’t even have to ask them to.
      It’s true some companies unfortunately sneak synthetic vitamins into their products while labeling it “unfortified” such as Kal brand… truly sickening thing to do and there needs to be stricter labeling laws. Nonetheless, I’m sure you’re fine. I used to use BRAGGS fortified all the time and was healthy, but I do feel much better on the natural stuff and no excessive peeing thanks to all the folic acid and what not! Plus, it tastes SOOOO much better. I actually just had this recipe with Sari nutritional yeast today and I’m still in bliss over it: http://thevegan8.com/2013/12/28/vegan-garlic-alfredo-sauce/ (I use Ancient Harvest quinoa linguine noodles and add steamed sliced mushrooms on top!)

  13. Thank you for doing both types of videos! I follow your advice very carefully, and appreciate the care (and humor!) you put into your work.

  14. Very cute animation and a great refresher, but overall this family prefers the science videos. On the other hand, there’s a case to be made for appealing to new people just learning about this. Thanks for asking!

  15. There are still people, probably that you see everyday, that still eats a pastoral diet. The old pastoral diets (with animals) were formed due to a geographical condition. They were not form due to seeking best health. Yet, many people are still stuck in a thousands of years away like if they were living in a remote isolated location. Plant base diets have been proven a better choice. In pastoral diets people lived a short life because of external causes and when they got a disease they were stuck because that is all they could eat, so they thought that is how life is supposed to be. The geographical condition also made them blind to cruelty since cruelty made them live. They thought cruelty is good.

  16. Excellent video. Definitely great for sharing with others precisely because it isn’t too “sciency” or too puritanical about the ethics and practicality of animal foods for most people. I think it’s good that the bulk of videos are scientifically in-depth, but I believe these types of videos are equally as important, if not more so.

    We always have to keep in mind that there is no use preaching to the choir, i.e. trying to convince people who already agree with us. The most productive course of action is to make healthy eating more palatable ;) to the public at large, and that means using “skillful means” to provide them baby steps to get to where we find ourselves. Just like the Traffic Light system, it is best to think in terms of “what is better than the status quo” rather than “what is best,” lest we make the perfect the enemy of the good.

  17. Likewise, for those lamenting that people should not be eating animal products out of compassion, realize that people are rarely, if ever, convinced to do anything that they aren’t clear will benefit them personally in some way. This isn’t evil of bad or cruel; it’s just a consequence of existing as an individual that experiences themself as a separate self from everyone else.

    This is why it is important to make our strongest and most direct appeals to the personal benefit of adopting any course of action, like eating healthy, and make it easier for people to do so. At least until they are able to reap the benefit for themselves and become self-sustaining in their progress.

    So, should people be moved out of the goodness of their own hearts to achieve world peace, go vegan, and spread love throughout the universe? Yeah. But insisting that they “should be” just means that they aren’t and one is in denial of that fact. We have to meet people where they are, and that’s what videos like this are for.

  18. It is interesting to hear your philosophy at a wider level.

    It feels like a preview of your diet book philosophy.

    My feedback is that when I was eating meat, hearing Big Mac versus 50 strawberries made me want to not even look at vegan, because strawberries seemed so unsubstantial in comparison.

    It feels like, mentally, meat eaters need a transition, which makes more sense to them. Feels like you need to look at resources like Eat this and Not that – not for knowledge, because you clearly have knowledge, but for how to set up analogies so that meat eaters and processed food eaters and vegetarians have a stepping stone to vegan. Chicken to Veggie Chickn is a transition that is a mental stepping stone which makes sense.

    I like that you did Bacon and Bacos. Is bacos the same as the vegan bacon and, if not, could that be cooked, cooled and crumbled on top of the salad? That would be a stepping stone type of thing.

    Feels like the mental math of the gray area needs that type of direction, so that people can know whether they are moving from bad to not as bad to good to best.

    I know that it is easy to make mistakes. Your eggs being healthy compared to this or that needs to be refined. You need the risks and the choices of things to use other than eggs to be before the choice is made. I think it is an organization thing.

    Eggs, Egg whites, Egg Replacer, Tofu Scrambles, Aquafaba and I think they even use flax as egg replacer in some things. Feels like if you organize the foods based on what vegans use and have your light system for each thing, and then, if they need the eggs in a baked dish to get something else nutritious, it might depend on serving size or something. I used to eat eggs in baked goods, but not in omelets.

    I am not sure I am saying this clearly, but I expect more from you, because you have already analyzed chicken versus organic chicken versus chickn compared to health risks, so when you put out this next book, I expect it to show what you have within you.

  19. And, yes, I am immediately going to call you out for the egg comment, because of the risk one of your videos said about “once a week eggs” was it. I can’t remember if it was that, but it was a small amount of eggs still had risks and I am holding you accountable for that understanding you have.

    I am laughing that I am saying this to you, because I am being presumptuous already and David from the Torah / Old Testament prayed not to be presumptuous. I say the truth to you that I struggle mentally and would get confused if this was the type of resource you put out for me to figure things out by.

    I challenge you, because you have such a scientific mind on one hand, but you also have an easy going good personality that it feels like you present such strong arguments, then, you back up after presenting clear risks even at small amounts.

    You did it with mammogram and I understand that you want woman to make their own decisions, but you now are backing up and are starting right off with eggs as a negotiable, without talking about it as try not to have them even once a week or some sort of major qualifying sentence.

    Dr. Ornish chose egg whites, probably out of his understanding and I don’t know if that undoes the risks, but if there are risks at eating eggs whites, then, both of you should mentally show other ways of using other things even in recipes and then, maybe say, if you have a baked good at a holiday and it has eggs in it, don’t worry, but if you go to that holiday party and start making your own egg nog and drinking it every day, you are risking having your bad bugs making tumors out of the choline.

    I am sorry for being the one who is going to call you out. I genuinely want more from you.

  20. Thank you so much for this. I am drawing up a mindful eating program to teach to senior citizens. I was searching online for a video to share with my students that differentiated healthful from unhealthful food choices, while at the same time not using the word vegan (I am a long-time vegan), and also not treading on their long-held beliefs and strong emotions regarding eating meat. Love the approach that you use here!

  21. Maybe the concept is overlooked, but I tend to do better with zero junk rather than occasional/rare junk, for the reason that it is addictive, it seems harder to just eat that single piece of chocolate without following it down with 3 more, for example.

  22. Dr. Gregor has improved his videos and retains his excellent nutritional advice. Extremely admirable. The only missing piece in this video is my favorite Dr. G expression, “Put it to the test”.

    Yes, I am a Dr. Gregor

  23. “Growing up Jewish next to the largest pig factory west of the Mississippi…” So what did you think of the Coen brothers film, A Serious Man?

  24. I also am understanding that I don’t understand processed food as well as I need to.

    For instance, I see Dr. McDougall products everywhere and I am pondering those as processed foods. Not to pick on him, but it is like a “Ghost Buster” crossing of the streams thing I have going on right now.

    Maybe there are processed food stepping stones toward the organic, lower salt versions and simple ingredient versions.

    With Dr. Barnard, it would be look at the saturated fats.

    Or avoid the sugars and salts and vegetable oils.

    This video is already causing the broken part of my brain to start processing harder.

    I can’t figure out the logic of the bringing in the red light foods if it is the only way you will eat the green light foods.

    Not sure it works.

    Unless the red light suddenly becomes shades of red – where downright toxic is a dark red and just on the list, because it is processed, becomes a pink of some sort.

    Seems like you need something other than just a red light yellow light green light system.

    Something like the Road Less Traveled where you maybe are trodding a path and have been on the SAD road and need to work on a different path is going to be my suggestion and I am not sure if you would use suggestions.

    Alton Brown said not to give him suggestions, because lawyers won’t let him use them, but I am in the suburbs and the owner of the garage who has repaired my cars for 35 years just passed away and he did things old school and would drop off people’s cars and see their lawn was covered in leaves and would pick up a rake and pull them to the curb for them in time for leaf pick up. That is more how I like living, but I know you are in the professional world and there are rules over there.

  25. Seems like it would depend on people’s goals.

    I go back to the comments from your last mammogram video, where they talked about the Radical Remission book, and the people who succeeded at getting their cancer in remission, radically changed their diets and used herbs – were two dietary things that helped them succeed.

    People doing that process, who have a disease they are trying not to die from, need to know how far they need to go to succeed.

    People who are healthy, have a wider path to walk on.

    I looked at the herb section of the grocery store last night and would like to hear more about those. Did they do the herbs in the head to head videos yet?

    Those are easier for me to eat than the spices.

    Dr Barnard is doing what it takes to reverse Diabetes. Dr. Ornish is doing what it will take to help with heart disease.

    There might be transitions toward making enough change to have it work, but that needs to be pointed out.

    Somehow, someone like you needs to write your sentences to not undo the science.

  26. The red light on blue-green algae got my attention. For the past year, I’ve added a 1/2 teaspoon of Spirulina to my breakfast bowl of oats, seeds, berries and nuts without any side effects.

    What does Dr. Greger say about Spirulina?

      1. I pondered it, because the dangers are toxins, which can hurt the liver and also many of them tested for heavy metals.

        Seems like if so many fishes test toxic, that other things found in the sea might not be so clean either? Maybe.

  27. I am laughing, because people like your common sense approach and you immediately caused my football type penalty thrown on the field by the way you are using your logic.

    Could you tell me is arsenic healthier than cyanide or something so I can have some really useful way to plan my lunches?

    LOL! I came here and didn’t want to hear that my cheese and eggs and milk were going to be what is causing everything and I can’t even handle it that I am going to buy into what you are doing, then, you are going to back up in your logic.

    And I already know that you don’t have the brain problem excuses that I have and that you are in the three percent of doctors who know how to read statistics.

    So, Dr. Michael Greger, what is the backing up all about?

    And if it is just practical, you still need to have the risks alongside of the advice.

  28. When I tell people that I eat a Whole Food Plant based diet they will often say, “You mean, whole foods like the store?” So I find it easier to cut a long story short by just telling them I’m vegan.

    I’ve got my college student daughter checking out the Daily Dozen now. Her goals are all about losing some gradually added weight and trying to get rid of her acne. The weight is coming off, she has more energy and I think she’s a happier person. Now I just have to encourage my son and husband to open up to a WFPB lifestyle.

    I appreciate the break in the science Dr G, and like the reminders to keep me on the right path. Thanks Dr G!

    1. I enjoyed watching the video, but I admit I am disappointed that it seems fast foods including the burgers and fries made it into the yellow light category. This is a real let-down after watching hundreds upon hundreds of videos explaining in detail how these things are harming us, and why we should avoid them in the future. Soy milk or tofu might be a yellow light food in my book.. or a purchased salad dressing for emergencies, or maybe a prepared quality granola or bread.. but the hamburger and fries to me is in the same category as the hot dog and soda. This isn’t encouraging, it’s regressing . Speak the science, and let the chips (with all the AGE’S) fall where they may.

    2. As far as your son and husband are concerned, you could point them to the data from the 7th Day Adventist mortality study. These suggest that they will live significantly longer and be less sick if they adopt a 100% WFPB diet.

      There, so-called vegans (in actuality, they were just people who ate a completely vegetarian diet) among males had the very lowest mortality risk of all. Just 72% of the risk of male omnivores. (“Vegan” women however didn’t fare as well at only 97% of the risk of omnivorous women.)
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/

      See especially table 4
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4191896/table/T4/

      1. My husband just got his blood work results…not good news. Verging on diabetic. Dr said let’s do a redo, and maybe think about putting you on some medication. He told the Dr…. let’s wait on the redo; I’m going to alter my diet, lose weight, incorporate exercise into my daily schedule; I am not interested in medication. Now I can steer him towards WFPB and watch him reap the benefits. He’s pretty miserable about the prospect, but then he’s pretty miserable about lot of things right now. I’m hoping his outlook will improve as he gets back to good health.
        My son is going to take a lot of persuasion – he’s 22 and thinks he knows it all. One positive is that I send him recipes to try out, and he actually does try them…small steps in the right direction.

        1. Julia,

          I was diagnosed with coronary heart disease nearly 2 years ago. The arteriosclerosis was not far advanced but significant enough to be a wake up call. I told my cardiologist I’d like to try WFPB eating instead of a statin and he agreed. After 6 months of pretty rigorous adherence (but perhaps too many nuts) I had lost 45 lbs. However, my cholesterol had not decreased at all. I was very disappointed. In the meantime, I learned even more about the potential to reverse heart disease with a WFPB lifestyle. I chose to continue to pursue my nutritional approach despite strong pressure from the cardiologist to take a statin. This past December, after releasing another 15 lbs (I’m now at a healthy goal weight) I went in for blood tests again. Miraculous results with total cholesterol down 69% to 153 and HDL up.

          1. My brother has had a similar experience. Had an unstable plaque, which led to a stent and strong pressure to go on a statin (he had previously quit taking a statin b/c it caused muscle pain). Switched to an all plant diet.
            Cholesterol dropped like a rock to 130 and LDL 70, which was the target the doctor set. When he asked the cardiologist why he never recommended the diet, he replied that he used to but no patient ever adopted one, so he quit.

            My 40ish daughter, on the other hand, has type 2 diabetes but won’t adopt one b/c she says she could never comply and met for in keeps her blood sugar levels normal. It can be hard to persuade people, unfortunately.

  29. Dr. Greger, You know that this country would NEVER subscribe to labeling processed or ultra-processed foods as RED (dangerous) food that should be avoided as this country makes tens of billions selling these types of food. Why on earth are we selling sodas of any type to children or adults, knowing EXACTLY what they do to our health? Money rules in America, despite how many lives it costs, but WE can certainly control our own behaviors (dietary and otherwise) IF we’re willing to make healthy living as a goal for a long, healthy life. As always, forever grateful for your wonderful videos, nick

  30. Is that really how you do logic is my serious question?

    I do logic starting with risks of things like Cancer for 1 egg per week, meaning that I can’t eat 1 egg per week, then I search for what to use to replace eggs for my weekly basis, then I back up to ponder if 1 egg per month might be safe, because that is about what birthdays and holidays amount to. I don’t have a logic about whether 1 egg per month is safe, but I have a principle now that 1 egg per week isn’t safe.

    If I have a red light system, 1 egg per week is a strong red light.
    1 egg every two weeks is probably an inner flashing red educated guess.
    1 egg per month would be my holidays and birthdays and I have that as a solid yellow light and probably won’t have things with eggs every holiday and every birthday.
    1 egg per year, is my guess at a blinking yellow light

    That is how I organize my mind to build logic.

    I watch your science videos and feel like that is how you build logic, too. Or is it how the people who did the studies build logic?

  31. I am not trying to be a wise-cracker.

    I am honestly contemplating how you are doing this.

    Other people aren’t bothered, so either it is that I am confused or it is that I have a broken brain, but used to test perfect for logic and am trying to straighten out that inner logic and I struggle more than other people when there is a logic leap, which I am not expecting or understanding.

    Is it that your logic is more “nutrient” oriented, so you can back up on eggs if it is the only place people use kale?

    That puts a standard around maybe antioxidant value or something?

    Is that what it is?

    I put risk factors in the red light section.

    I put vitamins and antioxidant and disease fighting factors in the green light section.

    And maybe salt, sugar and some use of small amounts of oil and processed food in the yellow light section or something like that.

    I hadn’t defined those things, it is just more how my brain organizes your concepts.

    1. I further organize it per condition.

      Going back to eggs, if I suspect that I have Cancer and am trying to reverse it, eggs become permanent red, until I am sure it is gone.
      If I am trying to reverse Diabetes, all of the saturated fats foods move into a Monopoly Jail, until I know my Pancreas is working properly.
      If my numbers aren’t that bad, I might make it a minimum security Monopoly jail and allow it to enter my society at parties or something.

      I don’t know if this is helping you, but it is helping me.

      I can’t do the process the way the video does it, maybe because I am trying to get over undiagnosed health issues.

      Once the symptoms are gone, then, I might be able to revisit this and see it from this perspective.

  32. I gotta say I have always loved tomato or “V8” juice, but the sodium content is incredible. Thankfully, there are low-sodium versions out there. The version of V8 I buy is very high in potassium per serving. Yummy!

  33. Wow, amazing visuals, graphics and production values—very artistically done. So much eye candy that I had to play it again—I think Dr. Greger was saying something.

  34. It feels like the risk factors need to be the limiting factor.

    The vslue of something like greens has to be dealt with separately, but not as a justification to eat a red light item.

    For instance, my brothers might only eat vegetables on pizza or on top of burgers or in omelets and I “get” why someone would say, keep eating all of that so that you have done nutrition at all, but it seems like if is encouraging wrong thinking.

    The fruits, vegetables and herbs and spices are more about sources of vitamins and minerals, so someone could only eat fruit and still get the nutrition that someone who also eats greens gets.

    In that case, missing greens isn’t an equal balancing risk factor to justify eating something dangerous.

    If someone only eats turmeric on chicken, there is no math yet to figure out whether the turmeric is such a strong positive that it offsets the strong negative enough to have me think it is logical to recommend it to anyone.

    It is a brilliant video, but you have several months to reevaluate things before your book and I am hoping you will test your own logic.

  35. Thank you, Dr. Greger, for your touch of humor in this video. Please consider adding a video for the challenges of eating out while traveling. What strategies do you use for eating healthy on the road?

    1. Nancy H, I think when traveling you just have to look at ingredients, talk to waitstaff — and sometimes relax the standards a bit. My husband has been on two trips recently to a small town in the south, so he was frequently eating sides (rice, beans, veggies) and salads (he’s not a big fan of fruit). But even there, some restaurants offered a plant based entree — usually a veggie pattie or grilled veggie sandwich. He ate grits for breakfast, with toast — but didn’t ask if the grits were made with milk or butter. He said the alternatives were sugary cereals. I tend to travel with granola, then buy fruit, dried fruit, and nuts for snacks between meals. It can be a challenge.

  36. Yes, I liked this video and wouldn’t mind seeing this change up once in a while. Not sure if I would like to see this animation theme all the time, but certainly this variation is fine. Thanks for all the information you provide!

  37. I am pondering that everybody other than me finds this common sense and easy to understand.

    Dr Greger, I have been watching you for a few months and LOVE that you are almost never common sense.

    Each study you share is opposite of common sense.

    I mentally want to make a joke that, aside from when Thomas Paine used it, America has probably been destroyed the most by our collective common sense.

    I don’t know if that is statistically the truth, but it is a hypothesis.

    You are the statistics guy.

    I see that you want to do something simple and entertaining in teaching people how to eat, but I don’t want you to back up from WFPB when you do your How Not to Diet book.

    You are the one who says to tell the people the truth and you have been doing that.
    I would rather you have a chapter for people who can’t do Whole Food Plant Based and keep that out of your logic.

    I say that, because letting them in is where your logic gets holes.

    Acknowledging them and giving them a separate strategy is fine, but write your book as if you believe the data you have been sharing.

    Spark People would be a site, which encourages WFPB, but they encourage one change at a time.

    You give the real exercise study numbers, they get people to exercise ten minutes a day and people succeed at losing weight, because starting at ten minutes a day, they slowly get more energy.

    You do need pathways to the statistics which people can move directionally toward, but this video gave them the exact logic they already use, except maybe now they know that eggs are healthier than their Bologna.

    It would be great to have a head to head of the worst things so people can know it, but they need to be encouraged in simple steps toward health.

    Spark people has people just drink their water and exercise ten minutes a day and people lose 100 pounds.

    1. I couldn’t disagree with you on common sense more, Deb. On the contrary, I feel common sense is an endangered virtue and devalued these days. Without it, we can’t even apply the knowledge Dr. Greger brings to us, we’d instead have to be told exactly what to do at all times and I see this happening a lot these days.
      It isn’t common sense that damages anything, it’s the lack of it.

    2. I agree with you on the rest though and think you said it well, except I do think this video was very helpful for people who fear they have to eat perfectly all the time or all is lost, it gives a helpful perspective and while yes it’s common sense, considering we’ve been lied to for so long and have to relearn how to care for ourselves, that kind of assurance can be very helpful to some.
      But while I think this was a great video in many ways, it did seem to me in certain parts to be a bit lenient for the reasons other Dr.’s give milder suggestions as you’ve explained and I agree, I love the unadulterated truth we get from Dr. Greger.

      My takeaway is that this is a really good addition to the video library, but not a new style I’d like to see him take on.

  38. Are you advocating for a little bit of moderation because otherwise people will eat worse or because it’s actually harmless? I’m confused.

    More specifically, if someone is eating a wfpb diet, is there an amount of daily (or weekly if necessary) extra virgin olive oil it would be safe to eat without bad effects?

    1. Hannah, yes you can safely consume extra virgins olive oil in moderation at times in a WFPB diet, I do it all the time and I’m very healthy, I just approach it cautiously and do so in modest amounts and avoid oil most of the time. I also use Himalayan salt modestly with certain meals or snacks but I reduced consumption drastically thanks to Dr. Greger, I don’t even eat salt everyday which at one time was unthinkable to me.
      Not advocating adding salt and oil, but sharing my own experience and preference.

    2. Hannah,
      Thank you for your question regarding moderation. I think that’s a personal decision we each make based on our circumstances and health goals. I’ve heard Dr. G say in an interview that he does the best he can when he travels (which is a lot with his speaking schedule) but its not possible to be 100 % adherent to WFPB on the road. A person with low blood pressure may decide to use EVOO sparingly and find they have no adverse effects from it. Another person who is trying to lower their blood pressure may decide its not worth the risk.Hopefully as you learn from the evidence presented here you will be empowered to manage your health.

  39. It feels like you need to examine which foods go in which categories and give what criteria you are using.

    If there is a health risk double blind study, the food should be in red.

    If there is a seriously good health benefit, proven by studies it should be in green.

    Yellow is one, which you need to think about the logic and clarify.

    I guess I would have things maybe which might lead to obesity or which don’t have much nutritional value, but will be thibgs people fill up on and cause them to not eat the superfoods?

    I don’t know. I just know that your logic for yellow confuses me.

  40. I feel like the problem I am having is that you switched streams from WFPB to a different system and,, then, you have to figure out how that other system works and it is like Back to the Future Part 2 and 3.

  41. Hello Dr. Greger and the entire NutritionFacts.org team. I wanted to thank you warmly for your work and what you bring to society. Contributing to the well being of each and the planet. I am very grateful to you. May you inculcate your knowledge for a long time. Guillaume

  42. When I talked about my real inner egg process, where I eat birthday cake several times per year and intuitively suspect that it is few enough eggs to not feed the bad guy bacteria.

    The thing is, there are no studies for it.

    When you leave the studies and go into the intuitive, your logic disappears.

    The thing which worries me about it is I can trust you, except with those things.

    When you go into the gray areas, you switch from conservative in your analyzing to liberal and I am not talking political.

    I am talking, you let go of the logic process and throw your coat on the proverbial couch after you set up a closet to hang it up in and you don’t give a logic for why you didn’t hang it up.

    I would accept any logic, which makes sense, even “I was rushing” or was “too tired” but you don’t give the logic all the way and people don’t care about every logic leap, but you are someone who all the other diet doctors will hate to argue with, because of your studies and images, but Dr Amen only uses a logic based on observations of brain scans and he would not be able to argue as well against the hardening of arteries images.
    When you step out of the studies and images, you become on level playing ground with everybody else.

  43. I can give you an example from B12.

    I watched a panel of vegan doctors who don’t have a logic for B-12 and you gave cyano, because you aren’t worried about the cyanide and because there was at least one study where the methyl prefix didn’t work, but both of them have studues where they work.

    I looked it up and it gave how much cyanide and it should be enough for my body to process, if my body produces enough glutathione, but I don’t know the answer to that question so I have a logic question mark and some of my B vitamins have mega dosed cyano and I don’t have a logic for them doing 2000 the RDA.

    I got rid of the multi-vitamin B12 and alternate forms, including nutritional yeast, because I already had brain problems possibly from not supplementing, and that is what I do when my logic falls apart.

    I tell my friends, both have studues saying they work, methyl had at least one fail, methyl doesn’t have an advantage, the RDA changes, depending on which one you use, I am not hearing people getting poisoned by Their B-12, but if you are low in glutathione or megadose cyano, it is conceivable to me that you could cause some sort of problrms, but homocysteine is already a much bigger problem than which form of B12 you take. If yours is working, then B12 becomes a nonissue. If you have money problems Cyano, if you mentally are doing everything clean methyl and if you hate taking pills, nutritional yeast.

    That is my logic on the matter and if I am wrong, I am willing to change it.

    1. What I know is that logic changes with more information and also that there has to be room to not dot every “I” and cross every “t” because we all are human and only the strictest disciplined moral vegans will do it closer to perfect.

      Going back to my B-12 real process, I won’t ever perfectly trust methyl, because it didn’t work for everyone and I have brain problems and can’t risk not getting enough B12 and I won’t perfectly trust my nutritional yeast, because I don’t have a measured dose method of using it and if it is fortified, I don’t trust that any of these companies are perfect for doses, and I don’t perfectly trust that there isn’t enough cyanide in some of these pills that if I have metabolism problems or something like leaky gut or something that there wouldn’t be a possible harm and I don’t perfectly trust the optimal dosage, for no particular logic reason, except maybe that I often find myself chewing my sublingual pills, so I would rather have expensive pee than not get enough, so maybe a bowl of cereal now and then might cover things better.

      You see, people come to you, because of how tricky the logic for every single decision we make truly is.

      1. What I understand about you is that you know that adding in all the complexity confuses people and I am sure B12 and soy and gluten and which vegan diet is better would be things people ask about in almost every Q&A.

        I ponder it, because my B12 answer might complicate it so much for someone who only needs to look at their lab result and know that they are doing it properly.

        But, there is a “methyl form police” and “gluten-free police” and a “soy-is dangerous police” and the soy police says, that 90% of the soy is GMO and I read the web-site they said it on and get lectured by Starbucks workers for ordering soy milk in my Matcha – and they don’t lecture me for ruining my antioxidant values, they lecture me for ‘soy is dangerous’ and don’t believe me when I tell them the studies, because I don’t wear a stethoscope and can’t do the statistics properly, and they don’t believe me that you can test perfect in logic, without being able to do the math, and I laugh, because I can use my logic to find the people who can do the math and they don’t seem to succeed at that, so who knows?

        I appreciate your contribution to my logic process.

        Sorry if I give you a hard time when the math gets more complicated.

  44. Really good video but come on Dr. Greger, we all know at this point that unprocessed animal foods belong strictly under the red light… yellow lighting that doesn’t exactly coincide with the profound collective evidence. Also, I think your explanation of terms you don’t like to use from a medical stand point is very clear and important to point out to people, however I would like to add that veganism isn’t actually a diet but rather a way of living, so for this reason it shouldn’t be used as a diet label and indeed we all know it’s easy to live a compassionate lifestyle while eating like crap.

    I’d say there’s some exceptions from the greens justifying the means (if I’m remembering that right) e.g if the only way someone will eat their berries is in a little dairy yogurt or a smoothie with dairy milk, the dairy can inhibit the antioxidant absorption from the berries.

    1. That’s a good question. I know that he has some videos on here about coconut milk, so I’d say it’s definitely not in the green. I would do a search for all his coconut milk videos to help you decide.

      1. Thank you for your help! Yellow is probably enough reason to avoid it, find a better solution, and spend my food money more beneficially. Thanks for your kindness!!!

  45. It feels like all meat and dairy and eggs have to be in red, because of studies risk factors and maybe even salt and white flour and sugars and oils and processed food.

    Yellow – maybe needs to not have food assigned to it, but the word “Occasionally” or something and then, you could define how much is occasionally based on the statistics.

    Eggs, mentally, I would have thought once a week was occasional enough, but it isn’t. The meat and gut bug study tells me that there is a level where you can probably eat some and get away with it, if you are a clean mean bad gut fighting machine the rest of the time, but we don’t have data of whether the gut bacteria show up after a week of wrong eating or two weeks or two days, so everything that is going to cause the problems should be red, but the yellow has to have questions to see whether it is okay to eat the things occasionally. Do you have heart disease? Do you have Cancer? Do you have Diabetes? etc.

    So it changes yellow to a “Stop and Ask yourself” zone rather than looking at French fries as not so bad.

    Does that help? (I really am trying to be helpful, but sometimes it is something like a misunderstood thing like a fever that helps.)

    Yes, I am more like a canary in a coal mine than like Einstein.

  46. Or a second way to organize is that any food with a disease risk goes under red light, and any food with little nutritional value goes under yellow light, and the health promoting foods go under green light.

    But red light could be a solid red light if you have health issues and more of a blinking red light if you are healthy, where you have to STOP and pause and think and ask questions, but can probably get away with occasionally going through.

    I like having the low nutritional foods getting yellow, because if people eat them, they won’t eat as many of the health promoting foods.

    Then, if people need extra help making decisions within each category, you could break it down further without moving them out of the categories. That would be the how bad is bacon and how bad are eggs.

    1. I like Stop and Think as a K.I.S.S. way of doing things.

      Yes, I will process everything and make it complicated and you have to make it simple for everybody else.

  47. I like that better, because the 65% of the people who obey authority figures may also obey authority symbols.

    And the 97% of doctors who can’t figure out statistics might not know what to tell their patients if there are arbitrary answers.

  48. I am going to end with how much I respect you, because I would not have done this process if I didn’t see brilliance in what I have learned here already.

    If I did this to someone I didn’t highly, highly, highly respect, I would just be a bully and I am not trying to be one.

    You are doing something so special here and it may save my life or save my brain.

    People are bullies and part of me regrets putting my thoughts here, but I want the same standard for your coming book as your videos and this series has potential, but it isn’t organized properly.

    If my brain was functioning better, I might have been able to unravel it quicker.

    Genuinely sorry about that.

    This quality about me is why I have to walk through these brain issues without support, but I risk telling you my genuine feedback, because your mind is so strong that you might be the one person who doesn’t get angry and blackball me.

    Though I will be careful to not do this too often.

    1. I am tearing up now, because what I know is that people around me are dying and these topics are deadly serious, and I am heckling you in a playful manner sometimes, but it is more that my mind can process logic easier with jokes than with scholarly logic, but I would be devastated if people used my broken brained humor against respecting you and I know the opposing logic cultural people already will, because you show pictures and diseases get reversed. I care about that. Joke around, but don’t let people disrespect you, because lives might depend on who gets respected.

  49. Yes!! More light-hearted animation approaches IN ADDITION TO the straight peer-reviewed science ones.

    This one was a gem — and because it’s done by YOU, Dr. Greger, it’s “science” to me.

    Warm thanks!!

  50. When you do your how not to diet book, I feel like you need to use the studies and I would rather you skip foods than be inconsistent.

    You have come against industries and you cannot ever be willy billy.

    You can’t.

  51. This was an excellent video. Well-rounded with plenty of variety for both newcomers and those of us who enjoy being reminded about the lifestyle we’ve chosen to follow. Thank you, Dr. Greger. I am highly impressed. I hope you do more of these lighthearted, animated style videos. Take care.

    1. I am not quoting your Mr. Hyde side to force you to choose, but to show you that you have a genuine paradox within you.

      I don’t know if you knew it.

      Seems like, unless you want the people arguing against WFPB to quote you while debating with you, you need to not do this type of process.

      1. We all probably have lots of paradoxes, because life is way more complicated than B Vitamins.

        I just am fascinated that you have that blog paired with this video. It brought your paradoxes closer together.

          1. I think this video was a breakthrough for me.

            I understand that I watch things and they trigger me and the problem with my brain has made the logic process take so much longer. Somehow, I have to learn to do the math inside of my head, instead of shooting one-liners at people, but that is the part, which is broken. I feel like I am learning that when my brain misfires, it is that something is wrong with the logic and I can’t figure it out causes distress within me, but I still can figure it out over time. It just takes days per confusing video. Hoping this will help my brain plasticity and will help your organizing for your book process.

            I am understanding why you are micromanaging each food to help people understand which foods are worse than others, but if you don’t watch out, you will end up with your next book put in the wrong section of the book store and you would never live that down.

            Feels like you should move all the animal products to the red light, so we will be able to find your book.

            1. You need to examine that your logic standard is more like a risk oriented gambler and health-oriented people versus moral vegans probably are “How much can I get away with without it harming my health?” And that is why vegeteaian and flexitarian and vegan and friititarisn etc exist.

              Each has a different logic. You genuinely are more flexitarian in some of your logic, even though I am sure you are closer to whole food plant based in your eating and that is the cause you fight for.

              To me, that would be a conversation you need to have with the committed WFPB doctors.

              I say it, because there might be space for wiggle room, but you need to face that head on and word things carefully.

              Dr Barnard is vegan without wiggle room, but he puts wiggle room with the oils.

              Dr Ornish has egg whites wiggle room and Protikin isn’t vegan that I see, even though it is plant promoting.

              You genuinely need to know what you are and how to explain it.

              1. I suspect that yiu have multiple logic processes going at the same time, plus you are trying to simplify and be entertaining and it feels like you need to set your logic first and separate the logic threads and communicate them separately.

                For instance, Dr Barnard simplifies no animal products and that is as simple as possible and he gives suggestions on how to succeed, but you are giving suggestions maybe to people who can’t succeed, but that process needs to be outlined separately and communicated separately, I think.

                If you don’t separate the threads and communicate it properly, you become flexitarian.

                Dr Ornish wasn’t promoting WFPB as much as he was focused on getting over diseases.

                You have to use the studies.

                1. Watch your video again and ask yourself which studies justify your points.

                  You are the studies presented by topic in a disciplined and entertaining way.

                  If someone came here for the first time, they wouldn’t understand how hard you have worked with all of the studies.

                  1. Your humor is where some of your logic goes wrong.

                    It works in the framework of the studies, because you aren’t building logic around it.

                    You do a lot of sarcastic contrasts and it works when the studies are what you are showing.

                    You need a different style of humor contrast:

                    For instance: which came first the chicken or the egg could be which is worse the chicken or the egg.

                    Your other style punctuates the logic of the studies, but here suddenly you are implying eggs might be good for you and people can’t do statistics math and can’t do logic, do they might not have any sense if you use irony.

                    People have written songs about irony without understanding irony.

                    1. Over in the studies videos, those jokes are funny.

                      Here they aren’t jokes at all, they are logic about how people make decisions about what to eat.

                      Look at a Dr Barnard video and his jokes are family stories of his mother not telling his father that she is feeding him vegan.

                      Or starting the vegan study and having the cooks put bacon and cheese on the veggie burgers.

                      Or his experience of writing books and having his parents not listening.

                      He identified with the dieters.

                      You need that type of identificational humor.

                      Do you have funny stories of trying to go vegan?

                    2. Dr Greger, your book and video series is so highly organized and you have made it entertaining throughout.

                      You are doing so many complicated processes and doing 99.7% of it well.

                      You have to have twenty plates in the air at all times.

                      You give excellent TED Talks and will interview with anybody and the visual part on Kelly and Ryan was powerful, if they wasted you by not engaging your personality more. Your book is phenomenal. Your cooking videos need as much thought as your other videos and you need the kids to be having more fun, before their taste tests and need the camera on their eyes and smile and expressions. Those are my twenty cents.

                    3. Part of the logic problem is that you don’t have your audience set.

                      Burgers in yellow is not a WFPB audience.

                      But from the first sentence, you are assuming an audience who has read “How Not To Die” or watched the videos on so many topics.

                      This one video, people would need to have watched: eggs, processed meats, French fries, burger meat and already understand how to evaluate the risk factors.

                      I have been here for a few months and haven’t watched French fries yet and just learned the whole nitrosamines thing and people have to remember the details, and most people don’t know how to analyze statistics.

                      Dr Greger, much of this audience is doctors and moral vegans. Some will stumble here because of health issues. And many will be here, because they are Keto or Paleo or sell eggs or love bacon and want to argue with you.

                      This video is unacceptable for every single one of those audiences, except the people who already made all their dietary decisions and are just coming to be entertained and maybe for the gambler personally trying to figure out how much they can get away with.

                    4. If I was one of the people interacting with you about this series, I would have started with maybe, “Eggs might have something beneficial about them, but even eating them once per week is linked with……” Then, you could throw in a chicken joke or bacon joke, because both are mentally linked with eggs. You could even do both jokes, but you need at least one “risk factor standard” is my made up term to help you have a standard to your logic.

                    5. $79.85 $22.00 $(0.00) $6.47
                      I was pondering your humor and you like “crazy contrast” humor very much and it genuinely works with your studies, but you need to know your audiences and which one you are aiming your next book at.

                      That humor works on vegans and it makes them feel proud to be smart enough to be a vegan. It causes the keto people to want to fight you, rather than turn vegan. Your studies work better than humor with them,.

                      Mostly, that “crazy contrast” type of humor doesn’t work with SAD diet people, because they genuinely use the logic, “You have to die from something.” Or they say, “They say everything is going to kill you. Butter is bad for you. Then Margarine is bad for you. Then butter is bad for you again. Now it is eat butter. Use vegetable oil. Don’t use vegetable oil. Use coconut oil. Nope, now that is bad for you, too. They don’t know what they are talking about…..” That is their type of logic.

                      The pictures and simple sentence real risks works best for both of those groups, but you will reach a bigger audience by being more entertaining, but you need to know whether you are writing for the doctors and scholars and moral vegans and sick people or whether you are writing for “the masses” because they are so different in their understanding of every single thing.

                      My friends would totally shut out your intellectualism, but I would be drawn to the studies and the sarcastic humor, because sarcasm is about exposing logic. They would think you are insulting everybody. I look and see someone trying to fight for a cause of life and death importance and someone who likes to be playful and creative. Your book “How Not to Die” is breathtaking – as is the whole concept and video series. If I were you, I would be selling longer video compilation sets of it for people who really suddenly have relatives who need it.

                      Your moral vegans started commenting here. Not wanting you to compromise. Your doctors and scholars and researchers might not even watch you anymore if you go in this direction and the Keto people would be so confused by what you stand for looking at it.

                    6. You need to understand that you are teaching the masses to think flexitarian and to do moderation and base their decisions on gamblers odds and saying, at least I am not as bad as the real bacon eater and that is already how America thinks, except that we never succeed at moderation.

                    7. And any of your interns who couldn’t reas all of my comments, because they can’t get past the same name coming up too often can’t help you.

                      You need someone who can separate each thread of logic. And you might be the one who doesn’t really read it. Not sure. If you genuinely read every journal. You might be okay.

  52. Hello. Not sure how else to communicate this question to you so I just picked a random video, I hope you get this because I would really appreciate your view.
    I am vegan and have been for almost a year. I have joined the movement, but I want to do more. I want to help people to eat well and save themselves through making changes in their diet. But this appears to be a hard thing to do. It appears that I have two options. 1) Undertake a degree in nutrition for thousands of dollars either full time for three years (I can’t afford to do that), or part time for 6 years. And what will I learn? I can bet that most of it probably wouldnt align with what’s on this site. Or 2) I could take a short course/s for a year +, and not have a formal government recognised qualification, and not be sure that I have learnt all I need to, and not have the respect from the curent practitioners in the industry. This movement needs an army of armed, capable, knowledgable troops, and when I look at the comments on the sites, I can see lots of passionate and dedicated people who want to make a difference, but how do we do this?
    What do you recommend?

    1. Hello Harriet. I understand what you want. I recently read an article that did a study (I’ll look for it & send link) using nursing assistants in the doctors office— giving them a 3 week semi-formal nutrition course—. Not in depth, but they called patients at home after doc visit to talk about their eating habits, answering questions along the doctors recommended diet, encouragement. Some even did it in the office. The study was successful but the NA said at times they did not feel adequate. I myself feel this is better then no contact at all after doc sent you home with instructions to eat less, drop weight etc. Perfect spot for you to propose to a group of doctors type of practice. (NA training is very short, not too expensive, you can do other things in the office and still spread the word about nutritious eating— maybe not wfpb but it’s a way in and better then nothing to help folks. In addition there are several online courses you can take— if the docs like your idea they might pay it. This gives the docs time with MORE patients, more income coming in.

  53. At age 67 got tired of popping pills and decided to be serious about what I eat. I find the good doctor’s info to be spot on. Recently moved to Italy and the city we live in has fruit and veggie stands everywhere. The quality of food reminds me what it used to taste like in the fifties and sixties. Trying hard to stay in the green zone and feeling good. Love the book. Looking forward to downloading the cookbook next time I’m in the USA (too hard to cook in Italian).

  54. Great Video. I love this approach where you give your opinion and explanation, not only the science. I love the scientific based videos too, but would love to see more opinion/summary or main take away points at the end of some of them. Thanks for all you do!

  55. I sure wish you spoke more slowly. Its like you’re on speed or something. Very hard to keep up or digest what you are saying without
    watching the videos numerous times.

  56. Good question. Keep in mind that your link is not a study; it’s a news article which is not evidence. The study link can be found in the news article, so that’s what I will comment on. First, lets start with what we know: the vast body of published clinical studies points to the fact that less premature death and disease is found in people that eat an unprocessed whole food plant based diet. That means eating fruits and vegetables from farm to mouth with no factory or machinery in between. The study that you referenced compares omnivores that eat everything, to vegetarians. More than half the vegetarians in this study eat eggs and dairy which have been shown to increase death and disease. So this study compares two groups of people eating an unhealthy diet which does not give us WFPB eaters any information of value.

    Dr. Ben

  57. Excellent video and info.. as always!
    A huge thank you for what you do and how generously you share your work!

    Also…
    What are your thoughts about Vitamin K?
    Especially the relationship to Vitamin D.

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5613455/
    “…vitamin D and calcium supplementation along with vitamin K deficiency might also induce long-term soft tissue calcification and CVD, particularly in vitamin K antagonist users and other high-risk populations. At this moment, we should be careful about supplementing high-dose vitamin D, unless indicated differently. More clinical data about the potential interplay between vitamin D and vitamin K metabolism is urgently needed before broader treatment recommendations can be given. “

    1. KDB,
      Thank you for your question and for sharing the article link. The concern in the article was with “vitamin D and calcium supplementation along with vitamin K deficiency” and with high-dose vitamin D. Vitamin D supplementation is not considered high dose until you get to 4000 IU or higher. Vitamin D supplementation at 2000 IU daily is considered safe. Calcium supplementation is not recommended for the general population. In addition, your intake of vitamin K is likely to be high if you eat a WFPB diet. I hope this helps. Check out the following links for more information on vitamin D and K.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vitamin-d-supplements/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vitamin-k/

      1. Kjgrier,

        Thank you for your very thoughtful reply and info. Both are much appreciated!

        Just to clarify… my concern is not about excess Vitamin D nor Calcium but about not enough K to assist the D in “doing it’s job”.

        You mention that WFPB diet typically supplies enough K, which does make sense. However it is K1 (Phylloquinone) which appears to be quickly excreted.
        K2 is primarily supplied by fermented foods, gut conversion, and some animal based foods.
        Please know, I’m not advocating a supplementation with K, but rather an investigation and awareness of possible benefit.

        It would seem very helpful to many if Dr. Greger became interested in taking a closer look at Vitamin K (perhaps in conjunction with D) and it’s role (if there is one) in prevention (and perhaps treatment?) of Osteoporosis and Vascular Calcification. Being a Postmenopausal woman – this is of great interest to me and I assume it would be to others as well, including a large population of men and women with vascular calcification.

        At risk of too much info…this below info is from NIH: Granted, the participants were not from a WFPB population.
        https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminK-HealthProfessional/

        Phylloquinone (K1) is present primarily in green leafy vegetables and is the main dietary form of vitamin K [3 [6]]. Menaquinones (K2), which are predominantly of bacterial origin, are present in modest amounts in various animal-based and fermented foods [1 [7],4 [8]]….

        Cockayne and colleagues conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials that examined the effects of vitamin K supplementation on bone mineral density and bone fracture [34 [9]]. Most of the trials were conducted in Japan and involved postmenopausal women; trial duration ranged from 6 to 36 months. Thirteen trials were included in the systematic review, and 12 showed that supplementation with either phytonadione or MK-4 improved bone mineral density. Seven of the 13 trials also had fracture data that were combined in a meta-analysis. All of these trials used MK-4 at either 15 mg/day (1 trial) or 45 mg/day (6 trials). MK-4 supplementation significantly reduced rates of hip fractures, vertebral fractures, and all nonvertebral fractures.

        A subsequent clinical trial found that MK-7 supplementation (180 mcg/day for 3 years) improved bone strength and decreased the loss in vertebral height in the lower thoracic region of the vertebrae in postmenopausal women [35 [10]]. Other randomized clinical trials since the 2006 review by Cockayne et al. have found that vitamin K supplementation has no effect on bone mineral density in elderly men or women [36 [11],37 [12]]. In one of these studies, 381 postmenopausal women received either 1 mg phylloquinone, 45 mg MK-4, or placebo daily for 12 months [37 [12]]. All participants also received daily supplements containing 630 mg calcium and 400 IU vitamin D3.

        At the end of the study, participants receiving either phylloquinone or MK-4 had significantly lower levels of undercarboxylated osteocalcin compared to those receiving placebo. However, there were no significant differences in bone mineral density of the lumbar spine or proximal femur among any of the treatment groups. The authors noted the importance of considering the effect of vitamin D on bone health when comparing the results of vitamin K supplementation studies, especially if both vitamin K and vitamin D (and/or calcium) are administered to the treatment group but not the placebo group [37 [12]]. The administration of vitamin D and/or calcium along with vitamin K could partly explain why some studies have found that vitamin K supplementation improves bone health while others have not.

        In Japan and other parts of Asia, a pharmacological dose of MK-4 (45 mg) is used as a treatment for osteoporosis [5 [13]]. The European Food Safety Authority has approved a health claim for vitamin K, noting that “a cause and effect relationship has been established between the dietary intake of vitamin K and the maintenance of normal bone” [38 [14]]. The FDA has not authorized a health claim for vitamin K in the United States.

        CORONARY HEART DISEASE

        Vascular calcification is one of the risk factors for coronary heart disease because it reduces aortic and arterial elasticity [39 [15]].
        Matrix Gla-protein (MGP) is a vitamin K-dependent protein that may play a role in the prevention of vascular calcification [5 [13],40 [16]].
        Although the full biological function of MGP is unclear, a hypothesis based on animal data suggests that inadequate vitamin K status leads to undercarboxylated MGP, which could increase vascular calcification and the risk of coronary heart disease. These findings might be particularly relevant for patients with chronic kidney disease because their rates of vascular calcification are much higher than those of the general population [9 [17]].

        In an observational study conducted in the Netherlands in 564 postmenopausal women, dietary menaquinone (but not phylloquinone) intake was inversely associated with coronary calcification [41 [18]].
        Menaquinone intake was also inversely associated with severe aortic calcification in a prospective, population-based cohort study involving 4,807 men and women aged 55 years and older from the Netherlands [40 [16]]. Participants in this study who had dietary menaquinone intakes in the mid tertile (21.6-32.7 mcg/day) and upper tertile (>32.7 mcg/day) also had a 27% and 57% lower risk of coronary heart disease mortality, respectively, than those in the lower tertile of intake (<21.6 mcg/day).
        Phylloquinone intake had no effect on any outcome.

        Despite these data, few trials have investigated the effects of vitamin K supplementation on arterial calcification or coronary heart disease risk. One randomized, double-blind clinical trial examined the effect of phylloquinone supplementation in 388 healthy men and postmenopausal women aged 60-80 years [42 [19]]. Participants received either a multivitamin (containing B-vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin E) plus 500 IU vitamin D3, 600 mg calcium, and 500 mcg phylloquinone daily (treatment) or a multivitamin plus calcium and vitamin D3 only (control) for 3 years. There was no significant difference in coronary artery calcification between the treatment and control groups. However, among the 295 participants who adhered to the supplementation protocol, those in the treatment group had significantly less coronary artery calcification progression than those in the control group.

        With kindness, KDB

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