Does Diet Soda Increase Stroke Risk as Much as Regular Soda?

Does Diet Soda Increase Stroke Risk as Much as Regular Soda?
4.88 (97.5%) 8 votes

Sugar is no longer considered just empty calories, but an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. So what happens if you switch to artificial sweeteners?

Discuss
Republish

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.

Recommendations to limit sugar consumption vary around the globe, with guidelines ranging from “Limit sweet desserts to one every other day” to “Keep sugar consumption to 4 or less occasions per day.” In the U.S., the American Heart Association is leading the charge, “proposing dramatic reductions in the consumption of soft drinks and other sweetened products.” They recommend sticking to under about 5% of calories a day from added sugars, which may not even allow a single can of soda.

Why the American Heart Association? Because the “[o]verconsumption of added sugars has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”— meaning heart disease and strokes. We used to think that added sugars were just “a marker for [an] unhealthy diet.” At fast food restaurants, people are probably more likely to order a cheeseburger with their super-sized soda than a salad.

But the new thinking is that no, the added sugars in processed foods and drinks may be “an independent risk factor” in and of themselves—worse than just empty calories, but actively disease-promoting calories, based on data like these.

This is how much sugar the American public is eating. Only about 1% meet the American Heart Association recommendation to push added sugar consumption to 5 or 6% of your daily caloric intake. Most people are up around 15%, and that’s where cardiovascular disease risk starts to take off, with a doubling of risk at 25% of calories, and a quadrupling of risk for those getting a third of their daily caloric intake from added sugar.

We went from eating seven pounds of sugar every year 200 years ago, to 50 pounds, to now over 100 pounds of sugar. We’re hardwired to like sweet foods, because we evolved surrounded by fruit—not Fruit Loops. But, this adaptation is “terribly misused and abused” today, hijacked by the food industry for our pleasure, and their profits.

“Why Are We Consuming So Much Sugar Despite Knowing [How] Much [it] Can Harm Us?” Well, yes, it may have an addictive quality. Yes, there’s that hard-wiring. But, the processed food industry isn’t helping.

75% of packaged food products in the United States contain added sweeteners, mostly coming from sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, thought responsible for more than a hundred thousand deaths worldwide, and millions of years of healthy life lost.

No problem, why not just switch to diet? By choosing diet soda, can’t we get the sweet taste we crave, without the downsides? Unfortunately, “[r]outine consumption of diet soft drinks is [associated with] increases in the same risks that many seek to avoid by using artificial sweeteners.”

Here’s what studies have found for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with regular soda, and here’s the cardiovascular risks associated with diet soda. “In other words, the belief that [switching to diet soda will] reduce long-term health risks is not [well] supported by scientific evidence, and instead…may contribute to the very health risks people [were] seeking to avoid” in the first place.

But why? I mean, it makes sense why drinking all that sugar might increase stroke risk, with the extra inflammation and triglycerides. But why, in this pair of Harvard studies, did a can of diet soda appear to increase stroke risk the same amount? Yes, maybe the caramel coloring in brown sodas, like colas, may play a role. But, another possibility is that “artificial sweeteners may increase the desire for sugar-sweetened, energy-dense beverages/[and] foods.”

See, the problem with artificial sweeteners “is that [there’s] a disconnect [that] ultimately develops between the amount of sweetness the brain tastes and how much [blood sugar] ends up coming [up] to the brain.” The brain feels cheated, and “figures you have to eat more and more and more sweetness in order to get any calories out of it. As a consequence, at the end of the day, your brain says, ‘OK, at some point I need some [blood sugar] here.’ And then, you eat an entire cake, because [nobody] can hold out in the end.”

If you give people Sprite, Sprite Zero, or unsweetened carbonated lemon-lime water, and you don’t tell them what is what, and what the study’s about, and then, later on, you offer them a choice; they can have M&Ms, spring water, or sugar-free gum. Guess who picks the M&Ms? Those that drank the artificially-sweetened soda were nearly three times more likely to take the candy than either those that consumed the sugar-sweetened drinks or the unsweetened drinks. So, it wasn’t a matter of sweet versus non-sweet, and it wasn’t a matter of calories versus no calories. There’s something about noncaloric sweeteners that tricks the brain.

Then, they did another study in which everyone was given Oreos, and they asked people how satisfied the cookies made them feel. And again, those that drank the Sprite Zero (the artificially-sweetened Sprite) reported feeling less satisfied than either the normal Sprite or the sparkling water. “These results are consistent with recent [brain imaging] studies demonstrating that regular consumption of [artificial sweeteners] can alter the neural pathways responsible for the [pleasure] response to food. The only way [to] really prevent this problem – to break the addiction – is to go completely cold turkey and go off all sweeteners” – artificial, as well as [table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup]. Eventually, the brain resets itself, and you don’t crave it as much.”

We’ve always assumed that “[c]onsumption of both sugar and artificial sweeteners may be changing our palates or taste preferences over time, increasing our desire for sweet foods. Unfortunately, the data on this [were] lacking”—until now.

Twenty folks “agreed to cut out all added sugars and artificial sweeteners for 2 weeks,” and afterwards, “95%…found that sweet foods and drinks tasted sweeter or too sweet, and…said moving forward they would use less or even no sugar” at all. And most “stopped craving sugar” within the first week; “6 days.”

This suggests a two-week sugar challenge, or even one week, may “help to reset taste preferences, and make consuming less or no sugar easier.” And so, maybe we should be recommending it to our patients. 

“Eating fewer processed foods and choosing more real, whole, [and] plant-based foods make it easy to consume less sugar.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: SimonQ via flickr. Images have been modified.

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.

Recommendations to limit sugar consumption vary around the globe, with guidelines ranging from “Limit sweet desserts to one every other day” to “Keep sugar consumption to 4 or less occasions per day.” In the U.S., the American Heart Association is leading the charge, “proposing dramatic reductions in the consumption of soft drinks and other sweetened products.” They recommend sticking to under about 5% of calories a day from added sugars, which may not even allow a single can of soda.

Why the American Heart Association? Because the “[o]verconsumption of added sugars has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”— meaning heart disease and strokes. We used to think that added sugars were just “a marker for [an] unhealthy diet.” At fast food restaurants, people are probably more likely to order a cheeseburger with their super-sized soda than a salad.

But the new thinking is that no, the added sugars in processed foods and drinks may be “an independent risk factor” in and of themselves—worse than just empty calories, but actively disease-promoting calories, based on data like these.

This is how much sugar the American public is eating. Only about 1% meet the American Heart Association recommendation to push added sugar consumption to 5 or 6% of your daily caloric intake. Most people are up around 15%, and that’s where cardiovascular disease risk starts to take off, with a doubling of risk at 25% of calories, and a quadrupling of risk for those getting a third of their daily caloric intake from added sugar.

We went from eating seven pounds of sugar every year 200 years ago, to 50 pounds, to now over 100 pounds of sugar. We’re hardwired to like sweet foods, because we evolved surrounded by fruit—not Fruit Loops. But, this adaptation is “terribly misused and abused” today, hijacked by the food industry for our pleasure, and their profits.

“Why Are We Consuming So Much Sugar Despite Knowing [How] Much [it] Can Harm Us?” Well, yes, it may have an addictive quality. Yes, there’s that hard-wiring. But, the processed food industry isn’t helping.

75% of packaged food products in the United States contain added sweeteners, mostly coming from sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda, thought responsible for more than a hundred thousand deaths worldwide, and millions of years of healthy life lost.

No problem, why not just switch to diet? By choosing diet soda, can’t we get the sweet taste we crave, without the downsides? Unfortunately, “[r]outine consumption of diet soft drinks is [associated with] increases in the same risks that many seek to avoid by using artificial sweeteners.”

Here’s what studies have found for the increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with regular soda, and here’s the cardiovascular risks associated with diet soda. “In other words, the belief that [switching to diet soda will] reduce long-term health risks is not [well] supported by scientific evidence, and instead…may contribute to the very health risks people [were] seeking to avoid” in the first place.

But why? I mean, it makes sense why drinking all that sugar might increase stroke risk, with the extra inflammation and triglycerides. But why, in this pair of Harvard studies, did a can of diet soda appear to increase stroke risk the same amount? Yes, maybe the caramel coloring in brown sodas, like colas, may play a role. But, another possibility is that “artificial sweeteners may increase the desire for sugar-sweetened, energy-dense beverages/[and] foods.”

See, the problem with artificial sweeteners “is that [there’s] a disconnect [that] ultimately develops between the amount of sweetness the brain tastes and how much [blood sugar] ends up coming [up] to the brain.” The brain feels cheated, and “figures you have to eat more and more and more sweetness in order to get any calories out of it. As a consequence, at the end of the day, your brain says, ‘OK, at some point I need some [blood sugar] here.’ And then, you eat an entire cake, because [nobody] can hold out in the end.”

If you give people Sprite, Sprite Zero, or unsweetened carbonated lemon-lime water, and you don’t tell them what is what, and what the study’s about, and then, later on, you offer them a choice; they can have M&Ms, spring water, or sugar-free gum. Guess who picks the M&Ms? Those that drank the artificially-sweetened soda were nearly three times more likely to take the candy than either those that consumed the sugar-sweetened drinks or the unsweetened drinks. So, it wasn’t a matter of sweet versus non-sweet, and it wasn’t a matter of calories versus no calories. There’s something about noncaloric sweeteners that tricks the brain.

Then, they did another study in which everyone was given Oreos, and they asked people how satisfied the cookies made them feel. And again, those that drank the Sprite Zero (the artificially-sweetened Sprite) reported feeling less satisfied than either the normal Sprite or the sparkling water. “These results are consistent with recent [brain imaging] studies demonstrating that regular consumption of [artificial sweeteners] can alter the neural pathways responsible for the [pleasure] response to food. The only way [to] really prevent this problem – to break the addiction – is to go completely cold turkey and go off all sweeteners” – artificial, as well as [table sugar, and high fructose corn syrup]. Eventually, the brain resets itself, and you don’t crave it as much.”

We’ve always assumed that “[c]onsumption of both sugar and artificial sweeteners may be changing our palates or taste preferences over time, increasing our desire for sweet foods. Unfortunately, the data on this [were] lacking”—until now.

Twenty folks “agreed to cut out all added sugars and artificial sweeteners for 2 weeks,” and afterwards, “95%…found that sweet foods and drinks tasted sweeter or too sweet, and…said moving forward they would use less or even no sugar” at all. And most “stopped craving sugar” within the first week; “6 days.”

This suggests a two-week sugar challenge, or even one week, may “help to reset taste preferences, and make consuming less or no sugar easier.” And so, maybe we should be recommending it to our patients. 

“Eating fewer processed foods and choosing more real, whole, [and] plant-based foods make it easy to consume less sugar.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: SimonQ via flickr. Images have been modified.

Doctor's Note

Speaking of stroke, did you see the last video? Chocolate & Stroke Risk

This is part of an extended video series on added sugars. Check out a few of the others:

I’ve previously touched on artificial and low-calorie sweeteners if you’re interested:

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

115 responses to “Does Diet Soda Increase Stroke Risk as Much as Regular Soda?

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

    1. Ishay: I agree, it is a very good video.
      .
      But you have to agree: it is a bit of “tough love” to remind us that sugar is an independent risk factor for heart disease this time of year–when sweets are especially prevalent. Oh how education can hurt! ;-(




      0



      0
      1. I hear you Thea, but I don’t seem to share your experience. I do like something sweet occasionally, but honestly I don’t know why that desire can’t be fulfilled with the kind help of dried fruit, bananas, or even other fruits such as strawberries and blueberries which we all know are extremely healthy. I am often responded to such statements with oblique, “you’re weird” kind of looks, but I still don’t know what all the fuss is about.

        If anything, I found eliminating all oils from my diet more challenging. And the other thing is, since I eat (almost) only whole plant foods now, I struggle to get enough calories to maintain even my current, underweight state. Yes, I do eat quite a lot of nuts and seeds, as well as whole grains, legumes, fruits and starchy vegetables etc.




        0



        0
        1. Ishay: I want to say, “lucky you” for not being so tempted by the sweets, but I also think it is rude because your problems are no less bothersome to you than mine are to me. Good for you for tacking your weight issues with nuts and seeds etc rather than junk food. You are a good role model.




          0



          0
        2. Oh I envy you! I don’t have a sweet tooth either, and eat only whole foods with no oil, limiting the higher calorie foods and still can’t get near where I’d like to be!




          0



          0
        3. My desire for sweets can also be satisfied with some dried fruits like raisins, dates, and figs. The majority of my diet is WFPB but I still have a little bit (<200 calories) of fish or eggs every other day and a little (<1 Tbsp) of coconut or olive oil per day. I've been able to lose several pounds when I really wasn't trying to!




          0



          0
        4. I would be curious whether adding moderate amounts of oil with proper omega-3 ratio is bad in calorie deficit situations. Obviously it can be a big problem in calorie surplus situations, but I don’t want to overgeneralize. Vegetable soup tastes better if you add a bit of canola to it, so this may be a good way to take the middle ground.




          0



          0
        1. Hard to know what to eat anymore HaltheVegan! The glycotoxin video did me in LOL.. figs are way up there on the list.. 2665 for 100gm ! I shouldn’t have looked…




          0



          0
      2. If it all turns to glucose anyway, I wonder why some of us crave starches and others sweets? No matter how hard I try with the energy density foods, if I don’t get my starches I feel deprived! No oil, no sugar, no processed stuff, very few nuts or avocados, but ad libitum doesn’t work for all of us, it still takes effort. :(




        0



        0
        1. Vege-tater: I have an idea for you. I know you eat a fantastically healthy diet. I have no doubt that you eat healthier than I do and healthier than anyone I know. But your issue isn’t the quality of your food. The issue is that you are still gaining weight or at least not losing it.
          .
          In the past, you spoke about eating your own homemade bread. This gives me the idea that while you may not be eating the typical foods that we think of when we think of processed foods, you do eat what is known as “dry goods”. As Jeff Novick points out, breads are a high calorie dense food. http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html I wonder if you could tweak your diet so that it still has about half of starches, but not the heavily processed starches where the water is removed? ie, eat the potatoes and wheat berries, but not the breads and crackers.
          .
          Worth a try??? It’s just something to think about. The main gist of my post is to look for areas where healthy, but higher calorie dense foods might be sneaking into your diet. You could be right that eating ad libitum just doesn’t work for you. But it may also be that you could eat ad libitum if you tweak your diet some more???
          .
          Or maybe for you, the preferred option would be to try that intermittent fasting that others have mentioned. I don’t know if it is a good idea or not. Dr. Greger has promised to cover the subject in the future. In the meantime, it might be worth trying?
          .
          Good luck!




          0



          0
          1. I wish! I only make bread a couple times a month at most, and it’s always low GI sourdough, made mostly with sprouted grains, so pretty moist and dense, not the light fluffy stuff you get from the store. I only have a couple of thin slices as toast for breakfast, to mix up the oatmeal ritual, and slice and freeze the rest to use whenever, so it lasts.
            I think yo yo dieting for half a century really messed up my metabolism because I apparently will gain weight on under 1200 calories. I am so tired of counting them, but I had to see. I am not as active as I would like to be because of physical issues, but still…




            0



            0
            1. Marge: Are you Vege-tater? Is Marge your new call-sign? :-)
              .
              re: the dry goods thing. Ah well, it was just an idea. As I said, I know your diet is very healthy.




              0



              0
            2. Vege-tater & Marge, Have you watched Chef AJ’s video called From Fat Vegan to Skinny Bitch? She had the same problem, but lost the extra weight after learning about caloric density. It’s on Dr McDougall’s site, and probably Youtube as well. Thea is onto the crux of the problem. There are so many more calories in flour than in intact wheat, you’ll gain weight just reading about it!




              0



              0
              1. That is funny, I was going to recommend the same video. I went WFPB 3 years ago and got rid of debilitating arthritis but could not lose weight. I watched Chef AJ’s video and thought it was worth a try. I cut out the olive oil and nuts and have lost a pound a week for 9 weeks. I don’t eat wheat, though, it makes my arthritis come back. It is hard to believe cutting a couple tablespoons of fat out can make such a big difference.




                0



                0
        2. Have you looked into metabolic typing? Some websites have online questionnaires that will help you determine if you need more carbs or protein in your diet. Do you feel satisfied when you eat nuts or other foods with fats? How do you feel about salty foods? With salt, if I get under 2000mg/day I can start getting chest pains from heart arrhythmia and leg cramps – so obviously I’m going to go with what feels right for me.

          I know some of my questions may go against the grain on what is advocated here, but my point is that you as an individual may not fall under the umbrella of generic nutritional advice.




          0



          0
        3. Thats the million dollar question isnt it Vege-tater? I cant help but wonder if there are genes that influence the tastes for sweetness , carbs or whatever? Hey, if there is a gene for coriander like we saw a couple of months back, then there has to be one for sugar or starch wouldnt you think ?




          0



          0
        4. Just a guess…but I would say your brain is deprived of glucose? Try a couple TBS of MCT oil?

          Not really a popular idea on this site though….. But we should be looking for the truth…not what fits a predefined pattern?




          0



          0
          1. I appreciate your concern, and I’m not at all invested in opinions or what is “popular” as even my doctors grossly misguided me due to ignorance of nutritional science. I AM concerned what the best scientific *consensus* is, and what works, which is why I value this site. It isn’t about Dr Greger’s “opinion”, it is the cumulative body of the best current scientific published information, and it literally saved my life and many others. It’s been known for quite a while that T2 diabetes is caused by intramyocellular lipids, or too much fat in the cells causing insulin resistance, but my doctors and the ADA continued to push the drugs, gadgets and low carb, high fat, “moderation” nonsense that got me diabetic in the first place! It wasn’t coincidence that my diabetes was history within a couple of weeks of starting a trial of a whole food plant based, LOW fat diet, (under 10%, unlike the 30% or more the high fat proponents consider “low fat” when bashing the ineffectiveness of lowfat diets) and many other amazing improvements followed. Five years later I’ve never looked back nor felt better, but I had to do it myself because I got no support from those who should know best, and despite the dramatic improvements! I did lose over 100 lbs too over time, but would love to lose at least 30 more. I guess my entire family has an abundance of “thrifty genes” because most were obese back in the 1950’s, way before the current curve, and ate the same as everyone else, or even better because we always had fruits and veggies and a garden. (Back then Crisco and margarine were “healthty” fats, and smoking was beneficial!) We finally got the message about the perils of cigarettes, but will we never learn that free oils and animal fats are totally superfluous (except as a source of emergency calories in food shortage) and we get all we need from plants? I doubt any caveman ever took the trouble or effort to extract and carry around a bottle of oil or a vat of lard to prepare his dinner!

            Dr Greger wasn’t born WFPB either, he learned to apply what the studies showed, like we have. I had done extensive research on my own, he just verified what I learned and took it to the next level. There are all these fad diets with claims of success whose proponents appropriate bogus information by taking quotes out of context, using sponsored studies to suit their agenda, and even using totally unrelated citations knowing most people won’t bother to investigate because it panders to their beliefs and preferences, and call it proof. This BS cycles around verbatim from proponent to proponent and on to their followers because people love to hear good news about their bad habits, instead of engaging some critical thinking or even common sense. Until another diet can actually be PROVEN to reverse heart disease, stroke, diabetes, MS and other diseases like a WFPB diet has, it’s pretty obvious what the default should be. Any diet that improves on the SAD is of course going to help, but if real health is the goal, and especially if you are already sick, there is a proven solution. I’d tried everything, so it’s pretty blatant to me just what does actually work to reverse chronic disease, and so could obviously prevent it in the first place. Anything else is just wishful thinking in my book.




            0



            0
      3. So true, it is a tough love I suppose. This is his first video where I really felt like this quotation:

        “When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.” – Henny Youngman




        0



        0
  1. Fat, sugar, chocolate, glycotoxins, hmmm not exactly a season of good cheer ! I would have to disagree with the last statement about ‘make it easy to consume less sugar’. To be honest, I face the same hundred decisions about sugary confections in a day that my unhealthy relatives makes, and just because I say no most of the time, doesnt make it easy.

    Excellent video in discussing the artificial sweeteners. I would like to add something of my personal experience here if I may. When I quit smoking years ago, I found that some of the nicotine replacement products and all of the chewing gum available on the market contains artificial sweeteners. They are addictive , and I believe pose health risks not because they lead you to crave sugar, but because they set in motion inflammatory processes of their own. For me, this led to problems in oral health, stomach and gut issues, skin reactivity. I would encourage anyone thinking of quitting smoking to avoid these products. Just my two cents..




    0



    0
  2. Brings up three questions:
    1. What about monkfruit or erythratol? Are healthier sweeteners perhaps different somehow?
    2. What about fruit? Does fruit increase craving or does it have some special properties?
    3. What about fruit smoothies? If fruit is good, does the concentrated or quickly digested nature of a smoothie somehow negate that effect?




    0



    0
    1. Hi, Richard. I am a NF volunteer. I think that the gist of this video is that a sweet taste without providing glucose may increase the desire for sweets. That might also be true for monkfruit, but I do not know, and this topic has not yet been covered on NF. This might be a good topic for a future video. I will suggest it. Erythritol, which is a sugar alcohol, is covered here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/erythritol-may-be-a-sweet-antioxidant/ With regard to fruit, check out this video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/if-fructose-is-bad-what-about-fruit
      There are also videos about fruit smoothies. Here is one that might interest you: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/liquid-calories-do-smoothies-lead-to-weight-gain/ I hope that helps!




      0



      0
  3. I suppose it would be a good idea to stop using erythritol and stevia. Not because they are necessarily bad for me, but because they prevent my brain from resetting.




    0



    0
    1. Can’t we overcome and reset our own brains? I have heard this argument before against Stevia use but I am not buying it. I have a choice, a will. My brain can get it’s glucose from complex carbs like rice, potatoes, dates, and occasionally from a moderate use of sugar like my slightly sweetened granola.




      0



      0
      1. I believe that what you say is true for many people. Perhaps most, but just as with any other addiction/habituation issue, alcohol, cigarettes, and so on, some people struggle a great deal more than others.




        0



        0
    2. That depends, it seems to me, on whether the use of those sweeteners fuels cravings. I do not find that to be the case, as I use them in coffee, tea sometimes, and for cranberry sauce. I also sweeten oatmeal with molasses, but I rarely ever crave cookies or candies, even though they are in the house for my wife.




      0



      0
  4. How does eating fruit figure into this? If going cold turkey on sweeteners resets the brain in 6 days, does that mean you have to give up fruit as well? I eat a lot of fruit but no added sugar. I do use some stevia and erythritol in tea. I can see that maybe I would benefit from giving up the stevia and erythritol given what this video says, but I would still be tantalizing my brain with the sweet taste of fruit. Do I have to give that up as well in order to reset my brain to craving less sweetness?




    0



    0
    1. Fruits dont taste as sweet as pure sugar not even close even dried fruits because there are more or less water and nutrients/fibers, jam/jelly for exemple tastes extremely sweet, too much for most peoples, extremely low nutrients/fiber/water.




      0



      0
    2. Tim Miller: I’m not an expert in this area, but here’s my understanding of this video: There are two problems being discussed in the video. One problem is the type of added sugars that involve calories. One problem with the video is that added sugars is not defined. So, in light of what we have learned about erythritol, I’m not sure if that’s a problem or not. For (what I think of as) traditional added sugars like say refined sugar cane or honey or maple syrup, the substances may be an independent risk factor for heart disease because Americans eat way too much of these added sugars. Some is OK. But start going above a certain amount and we may have a problem.
      .
      But note that this is a concern for “added sugars.” “Added sugars” does not mean fruit. Our bodies are set up to process the substances in whole fruit very well. It is part of our evolution. So, fruit is not an independent risk factor for heart disease. Following is the overview page for fruit. Note how “heart disease” is on the list of diseases that fruit protects us from. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fruit/ If you are familiar with Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, his daily food recommendations, the Daily Dozen includes eating 1 serving of berries and 3 servings of “other fruits” every day. So, no problem with enjoying your fruit (presumably up to about 4 servings a day).
      .
      The other problem discussed in this video is artificial sweeteners. Consuming artificial sweeteners is where we have the problem of confusing our brain. Sadly, the video does not define artificial sweeteners either. But based on the example of “Sprite Zero”, I’m thinking artificial sweetener means a zero or near-zero calorie sweetener. Something like stevia may fit the bill as an artificial sweetener/zero calorie sweetener, but my understanding is that erythritol is a low-calorie sweetener, not a zero-calorie sweetener. Also, I don’t think it is as sweet as table sugar. Also note that in the Doctors Note above, Dr. Greger refers to an older video that promotes the benefits of erythritol.
      .
      The point I’m leading up to is: While I don’t think that you want erythritol to be a major part of one’s diet, it is probably not going to affect the brain the same way that artificial sweeteners do, and it may not be an independent risk factor for heart disease the way that other added sugars are. So, I’m thinking it is still a pretty good sweetener for when sweeteners are called for. I don’t know this to be true for a fact. I’m just sharing how I put all this together.

      .
      What do you think?




      0



      0
      1. Thanks Thea. I’m pretty sure fruit it healthy. I was just wondering, in light of what Dr. Greger said in the video, if it acclimates our brains to sweet tastes, and that if we ate very little fruit, our desire for sweetness would go away that much more. But I don’t think I can give up fruit, or even get down to 4 servings a day. I just like it too much. Previous videos of Dr. Greger have mentioned: 1) that he uses erythritol daily, or at least used to, in tea; 2) stevia powder may mess with good gut flora. And of course this video implies that eliminating stevia would make me desire sweet tastes less. But again, I’m not sure I can!




        0



        0
  5. I have yet to conquer my addiction to diet sodas, although I have reduced consumption quite a bit. However, I have conquered the impulse to indulge in rebound sugar consumption. I do suspect, however, that even my limited consumption of diet soda has something to do with my very slow weight loss on WFPB, and my feeling of being hungry much of the time.




    0



    0
    1. Not everybody is affected by aspartame the way I am, but it is still harmfully toxic to everybody.

      Probably the most dramatic moment of my life was the moment I came to in a hospital 32 hours after having an aspartame-caused seizure.




      0



      0
  6. IBrown et al (2010):

    “Presently, there is no strong clinical evidence for causality regarding artificial sweetener use and metabolic health effects”

    “Beneficial effects of artificial sweeteners have been shown in adults, as well. For example, the Nurses Health Study II found decreased weight gain among adults who consumed artificially-sweetened beverages (23). More importantly, randomized controlled studies in adults have shown mildly beneficial results of artificial sweetener use, including decreased weight regain after dieting (24), and weight-stability or minimal short-term weight loss compared with caloric-sweetener supplementation (25,26).”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2951976/




    0



    0
  7. Interesting, but specific mention of the relationship of diet soda to stroke was never mentioned. This is presumably based on the article from Bernstein AM1, de Koning L, Flint AJ, Rexrode KM, Willett WC. Soda consumption and the risk of stroke in men and women. Am J Clin Nutr. 2012 May;95(5):1190-9?
    Seriously though…out of ALL the things that promote stroke (sodium, lack of potassium and magnesium, saturated fat, lack of omega-3’s, obesity, inactivity, psychosocial distress, excess alcohol, too LITTLE alcohol, etc.) how much risk does diet soda REALLY play?




    0



    0
    1. Have you any reference to support the statement that too little alcohol increases stroke risk? That sounds improbable, since our bodies do not require alcohol for health. This is what I found and it has to do with ischemic strokes, which would be a clotting issue. Garlic would be better than alcohol. Further, “Although the researchers found an association between alcohol and stroke risk, the study does not prove cause and effect. The researchers said factors other than alcohol use may have affected the results.”

      http://www.upi.com/Health_News/2016/11/25/A-little-daily-alcohol-may-cut-stroke-risk/5181480105086/




      0



      0
      1. The fact that our bodies don’t need X for health doesn’t imply that X is unlikely to reduce the risk of certain health problems. For that argument to be sound, you’d need to add the premise that only things our bodies *need* can reduce the risk of any health problem. But why would anyone believe that? Alcohol has a known J-curve association with cardiovascular risk factors. That is, people who drink a “moderate” amount have lower risk than those who don’t drink at all, but those who drink more than that amount see their risk rise sharply. “Moderate” usually means two drinks per day for men under 65; one a day for women of any age and men over 65. The reason for the J-curve is still debated but one possible explanation is that low-dose alcohol is a vasodilator. See http://eurheartj.oxfordjournals.org/content/21/1/74?ijkey=f615320958f4b9283eade622f3bce90a26bdd481&keytype2=tf_ipsecsha This effect would perhaps be enough to reduce the risk of ischemic events.




        0



        0
        1. Similar to pharmaceuticals, though they have a desired effect, they also carry risks. I’ve often wondered if some of the health benefits attributed to wine in Europe may have some association with the way the wine was made? The equivalent of processed food, the shortcut mass produced product we get with added sulfites and other chemicals is a whole different “animal” than the naturally fermented fruit wine ripe with probiotics our Portuguese friends make and share…a happy buzz and no headache!




          0



          0
        2. That is what the article I linked to said. It also said that it is not a proven cause. As I said, garlic is healthier and should provide the same benefit. If you want to have two drinks a day, feel free. Many of us cannot for assorted reasons. I would never encourage anyone to consume alcohol in any amount due to its wretched effects on multiple systems and its habituating/addicting quality. It is also a significant source of empty calories.




          0



          0
          1. You seem to think I’m *advocating* alcohol consumption. I don’t know why you think that. I’m simply pointing out that multiple studies show the J-curve association with cardiovascular risk factors. And the explanation for that association is still in dispute. If, for example, one’s dietary and other lifestyle choices are such that those risk factors would be low or nonexistent in the first place, even moderate alcohol consumption might be superfluous. Note the words “might be”–because no one knows. Mainly, I wanted to challenge the fallacious logic of the claim that because alcohol is not *needed* by the body it therefore cannot be effective in promoting health or fighting disease. That is simply unsound.

            Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that most of the alleged beneficial effects of alcohol are psycho-social. Having a glass of wine at dinner is a way to relax, put away the stresses of the day, and enjoy conversation. It is necessary for these things? Absolutely not, but that doesn’t gainsay the fact that this is probably the most healthful and least problematic way to use alcohol. So maybe moderate alcohol use is just a surrogate marker for a willingness to relax and let go of worries. I don’t pretend to know one way or the other.




            0



            0
            1. As one who has struggled for decades with alcohol abuse, I get testy at the suggestion that alcohol is beneficial. I shouldn’t attack so aggressively, but as much as I have loved drinking, it is toxic, in every way, IMO.




              0



              0
        3. Furthermore, the study you linked showed a temporary effect from the alcohol, but stated in conclusion that “Flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery increased significantly
          after de-alcoholized red wine and this finding may support the
          hypothesis that antioxidant qualities of red wine, rather than ethanol
          in itself, may protect against cardiovascular disease.”




          0



          0
    2. Hi Rick, I think the degree of increased risk with diet soda would be correlated with the quantities consumed and also the other combined risk factors that are relevant to the individual. If someone were smoking tobacco and drinking sodas, and didn’t want to change everything at once, I make stopping smoking the priority initially. But the bottom line is, if people are drinking low sugar soda because they think it is healthy—they should know that it is not a health product…




      0



      0
      1. Dr Miriam Maisel, for those who are vulnerable, I would note that the seizure I mentioned having above came after only two cups of decaf coffee sweetened with Equal. I’ve been seizure-free for many years after I figured it out, and am very careful never to ingest aspartame, and to list it as an allergy on all my medical records, since it’s in some medications and bowel prep products used before a colonoscopy.




        0



        0
    3. Hi again Rick, the abstract of the article you mention shows an relative risk of stroke of 1.16 (16% more risk) for consumption of sugar sweetened sodas and unsweetened sodas. If you click on the article, it will come up and the information is in the first lines of the abstract. Hope that is helpful.




      0



      0
  8. You say that we like sugar because we used to be surrounded by fruits. Also. Primary reason, I suspect, is that breast milk is sweet, and that brings back good memories.




    0



    0
    1. We all are very atracted by the sweet taste simply because we have a lof of sweet receptors in our mouth as a frugivorous species…and we always had them, nothing to do with evolution in fact.
      On the opposite carnivorous species dont like or crave sweet taste because they have no receptors for it, however they a lot of proteins and lipids receptors in their mouth.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i_e-DGDgc3Q




      0



      0
  9. Very good video, better to eat chocolate with cocoa 75%, it is best to eliminate sugar and increase fats, as recommended by Pedro Grez here in Chile, which has brought much media controversy in the main media in the country, eliminate carbohydrates And increase fats? … many people say that that is the best solution to lose weight, in fact Mr. Pedro Grez has revolutionized his audience, even the Medical College of Nutritionists had to go out to say that the method of Pedro Grez goes against the scientifically proven, who will be right?




    0



    0
    1. “who will be right?”

      Regarding nutrition — We already know. It’s not the low carb advocate who apparently doesn’t know the difference between simple and complex carbohydrates and has little regard for the clogged arteries of his followers.

      Regarding $$ — Being controversial and providing a means for fast (although transient) weight loss is an easy way to make money.




      0



      0
      1. What Mr. Grez recommends to lose weight here in Santiago de Chile is the following:

        Breakfast: you can include products like butter, bacon, eggs, avocado, olive oil, coffee and cream. The idea is to eat foods that do not convert to glucose, do not raise blood sugar and do not activate insulin. In addition, they must be nutritionally dense fats, to generate satiety and thus avoid getting hungry at lunch time. –
        Lunch: fats are set aside, and preference is given to protein intake (meats of all types, fish and seafood) and vegetables (except tubers). For dessert it can be a chocolate with 85% cocoa. According to Grez, that’s enough not to feel hungry the rest of the day. –
        Dinner: if the person is in his size and with his health indicators in normal ranges, he can incorporate the consumption of carbohydrates like rice, pasta, cereals, fruit, bread, etc. Ideally, they should be small portions to keep insulin levels from rising.

        However, if the person has excess body fat and poor health indicators, it is preferable to leave the carbs overnight only once a week, and the rest of the days protein and salads dine. Even if the goal is to further lower body fat levels, carbohydrate consumption can be left to once every 15 days or once a month.

        Y debo decir que la gente que ha seguido esta dieta ha bajado muchos kilogramos en muy poco tiempo, dejando de comer azúcar y comiendo mas grasas.

        Saludos desde el fin del mundo, Chile.




        0



        0
          1. Exactly right! … Leading to my question with the ‘new paradigm.’ Can someone discuss whether this risk for CVD is appearing with sugar consumption on low fat diets, or just the high fat diet culture promotes and the ‘population’ loves. The study’s graphic states ‘adjusted hazard ratio’ but is that adjusted for risk due to fat? I expect that sugar is risky when combined with fat (which is diabetogenic and obesegenic – like my new word there?) but I don’t know.??




            0



            0
            1. Hi Tim — great quetion!

              I looked at the studies references in these vidoes — In these studies, they controlled for ‘health eating index,’ ‘diet quality,’ and the like — meaning that this effect it independent of other nutritional factors.

              From the video:
              “Why the American Heart Association? Because the “[o]verconsumption of added sugars has long been associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease”— meaning heart disease and strokes. We used to think that added sugars were just “a marker for [an] unhealthy diet.” At fast food restaurants, people are probably more likely to order a cheeseburger with their super-sized soda than a salad.

              But the new thinking is that no, the added sugars in processed foods and drinks may be “an independent risk factor” in and of themselves—worse than just empty calories, but actively disease-promoting calories, based on data like this.”

              In this video, sugar is stated to be an ‘independent risk factor’ meaning that the sugar alone can cause harm.

              To health!




              0



              0
              1. Well I am fascinated, I cannot see New Unsweetened Truths About Sugar in full but I was under the impression that the largest of CVD studies never found events occurring in Cholesterol less that 150. Has sugar consumption alone caused high cholesterol and atherosclerotic plaque then?




                0



                0
                1. Sorry Moderator, lets see what that means, the main study all this is based on is Yang et al which ‘adjusted for age, sex, race/ethnicity, educational attainment, smoking status, alcohol consumption, physical activity level, antihypertensive medication use, family history of CVD, Healthy Eating Index score, body mass index, systolic blood pressure, total serum cholesterol, and total calorie intake.’ This does NOT suggest controlled for fat intake, it is conspicuously everything else but that.

                  Look at what the ‘Healthy Eating Index score’ does (from the same NHanes study):- https://www.cnpp.usda.gov/sites/default/files/healthy_eating_index/healthyeatingindex2005factsheet.pdf

                  it awards points for meat eating, milk drinking, and oil consumption!

                  The so-called Healthy Eating Index score is clearly white-wash for low-fat, low protein, high carb eaters.




                  0



                  0
                  1. hi Tim Schlank, .. I am just a lay person with some medical history who finds your comments and questions really interesting. Are you saying then that the study is saying that added sugars in the context of a diet that might be SAD/mediterraneanish with oils, fats, meats , dairy etc, does the damage ? And that perhaps a vegan wfpbd with added sugars would not result in arterial damage ? Just wondering. Thanks




                    0



                    0
                    1. Yes, the study only shows unhealthy fatty diets and deliberately obfuscates the low fat wfpbd by weighting it equally with other unhealthy diets. That Healthy Eating Index is totally bogus and I suggest even completely non-scientific. But that is the interesting question isn’t it – how resilient is the artery of a wfpbd to sugars free radical damage? Somehow I don’t think the so-called ‘new paradigm’ will be in hurry to find out. No meat-sellin’ disease-mongering in that (no apologies for my ultra cynicism)!




                      0



                      0
        1. Jorge it looks to me like a diet that it may lead to a better feeling of satiation than a standard omnivore diet. It is also clearly a diet well designed for higher levels of CVD and type 2 diabetes.




          0



          0
          1. So Stewart is a diet for people with obesity, high cholesterol and diabetes, here in Chile has generated a whole debate about this way of eating, Pedro Grez is not a nutritionist, but wrote a book about it, I do not follow This diet, since I am thin, but it is interesting and wise the discussion regarding the subject, by which people who use this method results, and lose weight quickly.
            Saludos desde Santiago.




            0



            0
              1. It is confusing since they lose weight and see some immediate health benefits. I got into quite the discussion with my Nurse Practitioner who is in a national study for low carb. She has lost 40 pounds and decreased her blood pressure and glucose. She was alarmed I don’t eat meat and even had my albumin tested (which was normal).




                0



                0
    1. Just finished reading about this recently… sounds like wishful thinking by an aging man who doesn’t have much to lose either way. The results are mixed and it hasn’t been used over enough time to be definitive, but I wouldn’t waste money on it.




      0



      0
  10. I wonder if dextrose or glucose syrup is a safer junk food component compared to sucrose and high fructose corn syrup. Don’t those low-carbers blame the fructose portion of sugar for society’s health problems?




    0



    0
    1. My guess basing on reading that I won’t try to review right now, is that the term “safer” should be replaced with “less unsafe”. Fructose that is not part of actual fruit may be associated with elevated triglycerides that is not as much associated with dextrose or sucrose. This video though makes it clear that sugars of any kind removed from their whole food sources are unhealthy.




      0



      0
    2. HFCS taste like shit and is worse than sucrose. Its a highly processed product, with cominants. I dont get how you people in the US tolerate it.




      0



      0
  11. AHA!

    Now I get why my dear mother, with her “low cal” sodas, has SUCH a strong desire for sweets/desert later in the day. She likely won’t change, but now I get what’s driving that super-sweet tooth.

    Yet another reason calorie counting just doesn’t work!




    0



    0
    1. I assume that the explanation is similar to that for opiate use. Opiate use can deliver excellent pain relief in appropriate circumstances but that is not inconsistent with findings that chronic use has adverse health effects.




      0



      0
        1. I am not sure that I follow you. The ill effects of sugar consumption are apparently associated with long term regular sugar consumption. The rice diet, on the other hand, was a a time-limited intervention.

          There were no adverse effects from sugar consumption on the rice diet reported because nobody looked for them.

          Studies reporting adverse health effects from sugar consumption are quite separate from the rice diet studies.




          0



          0
            1. No, I said there were none reported. We do not know one way or the other if there were adverse effects from sugar consumption on the rice diet. I am not assuming that there were adverse effects from sugar consumption. Nor am I assuming that there were no adverse effects.

              I understand that the Kempner rice diet was originally short term and required hospitalisation but was later used over extended periods of time Either way it was time limited (and usually residential).
              https://www.drmcdougall.com/2013/12/31/walter-kempner-md-founder-of-the-rice-diet/
              https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_diet

              The idea that it can be used as a lifetime diet is new to me and may be a modern addition by the “Rice Diet of Central Florida” people but I don’t know for sure. I don’t think Kempner himself ever said that it should be followed for life. However, I understand that if used for an extended period of time, a multivitamin supplement is needed.

              There have been – to my knowledge anyway – no long-term studies of the effect of sugar consumption on the rice diet. Indeed, i am not aware of any long term trials of the rice diet itself.




              0



              0
              1. Tom Goff: To support your point about the original intension for longevity of the Kempner diet, I think the following quote from another NutritionFacts video is telling:
                .
                “Well, the rice diet is pretty drastic. Definitely don’t try this at home. The rice diet is dangerous. It’s so restrictive that it “may cause serious electrolyte imbalances, unless the patient is carefully medically supervised with frequent blood and urine lab testing.” Dangerous, says who? Said the world’s #1 advocate for the rice diet—Dr. Kempner himself.
                ” from: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/can-morbid-obesity-be-reversed-through-diet/
                .
                If I remember correctly from the discussion under that video, Darryl thought that it might not be such a problem long term??? But that’s neither here nor there when addressing how long Kempner intended people to be on the diet.




                0



                0
  12. So, is there a way to reduce the negative effects of refined sugar? Im thinking spices, antioxidants and fiber helps. Im a sugar addict and i have been drinking 1.5L Pepsi (sucrose) almost every day for 10 years…




    0



    0
    1. 1.5 L of Pepsi contains about 174 g of sugar. I suggest you weigh out 174 g of sugar into a clear plastic bag and look at it until the sheer mass of it sinks in. That’s 205 ml of sugar. Hopefully you get some motivation from that experiment to stop drinking soda pop. If that isn’t motivation enough then weigh out a week’s worth, or a month, year or 10 years.

      The American Heart Association recommends that an adult man eat no more than 36 g of sugar a day. You are getting almost 5 times that in your Pepsi alone. (That’s *no more than* not a daily requirement for.)

      A healthy diet of exclusively (or almost exclusively) whole plant food will reverse much of the damage, along with exercise and time.




      0



      0
    2. I stopped a daily habit of sugar-laden sodas less than two years ago. I had been drinking them for 35 years. Not what you’re looking for, but you simply CANNOT “erase” the negative impact you are dealing your body with 1.5l of soda per day. It would do you good to rethink this. Start with one-hour, then two. Work your way up to a FULL day without your soda. If you can do one whole day, you can do a week and it builds from there.




      0



      0
      1. Its too hard to quit and i love the energy i get from eating a big meal + drinking sugar afterwards. I only do it in the last meal of the day.

        When i was younger i felt the negative effects when i ingested too much sugary drinks and food. Now i dont feel any negative effects, unless i am too much sedentary. I do strength training and cardio so i think it negates alot of the negative effects of refined sugar. I have done fasted glucose test and my blood sugar control is remarkable. Even after super high carb meal, it was within what is considered normal fasting blood sugar.




        0



        0
  13. In my experience there is a cultural inclination for high sugar consumption. I can remember as a kid hanging around the kitchen one Thanksgiving when the women were finishing up a cake…lavishing the icing on it. I couldn’t really understand the need for the icing…since for my tastes the cake itself was plenty sweet enough. Told me to get out of the kitchen….afraid I’d learn what they were up to…. ;-)

    Now of course all the women still alive in the family are obese…basically brainless wonders as far as healthy food intake. They have it seems a competition in trying to come up with various concoctions that people just can’t resist.

    I buy an occasional pie during the holidays….with usually at least 2xs the sugar needed…IMO. Very difficult to buy anything in a grocery that isn’t over salted…over sugared…cheap oiled.
    .
    I think sugar feeds the brain and people use a lot of it to feel good…till it makes them sick….

    My theory on obesity…is that once a person is metabolically on that path it is almost impossible to turn it around. Once you put the fat on…it is very difficult to lose it. Probably not news to most people?




    0



    0
    1. Not at all. Once I felt the goodness of less oils, sugars, and animals-my weight dropped without any extra effort or exercise.

      Also, I LOVE wheat bread, but the store-bought stuff tends to be too sweet. I can make my own, but instead I eat corn tortillas mostly now, making them myself much of the time.




      0



      0
  14. I got over prostrate cancer 3 years ago. My doctor said part of the cancer was caused by the aspertame in diet soda. I drank 2 big gulps a day for over 5 years. Stay away from the stuff its not good for you.




    0



    0
  15. Russ, I buy oat milk sometimes, and it says it has no sugar, but when I make it at home it isn’t sweet like the kind in the box. It makes me wonder if there isn’t an unlisted form of sugar in the oat milk at the store. Does anybody have an answer to this?




    0



    0
    1. You know Rebecca, I was wondering that myself. It says it is unsweetened, but it really packs a sweet punch! Maybe I’ll contact the maker Pacific Foods and ask. Or maybe someone else knows why.




      0



      0
  16. Please help me guys!

    I switched to a nutrient dense vegan diet half a year ago and I tried extremely hard to make it work, but I failed. I thought it would improve my health but it made me feel tired and anxious, and I got fat for the first time of my life. The main problem was that I never felt satiated, not even after a several thousand calorie meal, and the result was of course overeating and a stressful relationship with food. I tried eating more fat and protein, vegetables, vitamin supplements, stuffing myself to the point of feeling sick, but nothing really made me feel truly “full”. A few weeks ago I was desperate and decided to do something crazy; I ate 3 scrambeled eggs, and it was a very strange experience. At first I was skeptical and even afraid because of the aversion I had developed towards animal foods, but I soon felt calm and the anxious thoughts about food vanished for the first time in months. I only ate 300 calories but didn’t get hungry until 10 hours later! Now I eat fish, eggs and whey protein and I loose fat rapidly eating around 1000 calories a day without hunger. Trust me, I really want to eat exclusively plants for the environment and the animals, but I can’t ignore my body’s signals. Why do you think this happened to me? I’m 100% positive that my body needed something in those eggs. Maybe high BV protein, non-supplement B12 or vit D, saturated fat or cholesterol? Maybe I don’t do well with carbs? I know that body fatness is strongly associated with a bad blood lipid profile, and I actually eat less saturated fat now than when I was vegan. Maybe I’m improving my blood lipid profile despite the animal foods? I’m very confused and I feel guilty because of all the negative things I’ve read about omnivorism.




    0



    0
    1. Momos: I believe everything you wrote about your experience. I want you to know that I am not discounting what you wrote. I reviewed your posts a couple times as a lay person. Here are some red flags that popped out for me: ” I actually eat less saturated fat now than when I was vegan.” and “…a several thousand calorie meal…” and “I tried eating more fat and protein…”
      .
      While you may have been eating a vegan diet, it does not sound like you were eating a healthy or balanced diet. For example, you could not have been eating so much saturated fat on the plant based diet and have been following say, Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. My first recommendation is to get Dr. Greger’s book: How Not To Die and read Part 2 where Dr. Greger describes what a healthy diet looks like. I understand that lots of libraries have the book, but if getting the book is not possible, then you can always download the free phone app if you have one of those smart phones. If not, I might be able to find a brief summary link for you.
      .
      My next recommendation is to watch the following two talks from well respected plant based nutrition experts. The first talk called How To Lose Weight Without Losing Your Mind is from one of the experts from the Forks Over Knives documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xAdqLB6bTuQ The second talk is from the wonderful Jeff Novick: Calorie Density: How to Eat More, Weigh Less, and Live Longer http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Calorie_Density.html The following article from Jeff covers a lot of the same information with some charts that you can refer back to later: http://www.jeffnovick.com/RD/Articles/Entries/2012/5/20_A_Common_Sense_Approach_To_Sound_Nutrition.html Notice how both of these experts are telling you it is OK to eat until you are full. You will not starve. You may have to eat a little more often if you get hungry earlier, but you should be able to eat until you are full and not gain weight as long as you are eating the right foods.
      .
      Jeff Novick also has some great DVDs that show you exactly how to cook very fast, very affordable, and very healthy food. Here’s one of the DVDs in the Fast Food series: https://www.amazon.com/Jeff-Novicks-Fast-Food-1/dp/B00466DP42/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1482362311&sr=8-1&keywords=fast+food+jeff+novick Worth every penny.
      .
      If you give this a try and you still have troubles, please post back and maybe someone else will have some ideas for you.




      0



      0
      1. I’m very grateful for your response Thea! I will get a copy of Dr.
        Gregers book as soon as possible, my ultimate goal is to thrive on some
        variation of the WFPB-diet and I won’t let this failure discourage me.

        A few thoughts on your reply:

        Dr Lisle’s claim that satiety is deterimined by volume- and calorie
        receptors in the stomach makes sense and I think the calorie-density
        approach might be great for some, but for me it seems to fail without
        adequate intake of highly bioavailable protein with optimal aminoacid-
        profile (and maybe other animal derived nutrients). I always suspected
        that my constant hunger was a result of too little protein, but whenever
        I tried to increase my intake of legumes and whole grains I would get
        horrible bloating so I kept it low. I recently learned that protein is superior
        for satiety, and I find it a little strange that plant-based doctors don’t
        emphasize this fact.

        Maybe I’ve got it all wrong. A whole foods plant based
        diet is BASED on plants, not plant-exclusive! I made the
        assosciation with veganism, probably because of the Forks over Knives
        documentary. I just found out that Dr. Pritikin, who inspired our
        contemporary plant based doctors healed his patients with a plant based
        diet containing lean animal protein. I will try this, it was naive of me
        to go on an elimination-diet that excluded elements of the natural
        human cousine. I blame only myself for this, I have great respect for
        Esselstyn, McDougall, Fuhrman and the rest of them.

        Regarding the high saturated fat intake on my vegan diet:
        I averaged 20g of SFA because I replaced bloating-causing carbs with nuts
        and seeds. Now I get 5g (both whey and fish are very low in SFA and I
        don’t eat egg yolks or meat).




        0



        0
        1. @nfdev-b368759b56dbed0f9e5818fe1f7ca8bd:disqus ,

          You started by asking for our help, but I think you are the only one that really can help yourself: only you know how your body feels, you have to decide if those advising us on nutrition are honest, you have to filter out the noise, you have to decide which persons you pay attention to, and if they have some data to back up their claims.

          Based on what I read in the last few weeks (and I am not an expert, I have no medical, no biochemical background, just to be clear), nutrition is a very complex issue, our scientific understanding is still in progress, there are some aspects where we can say there’s a consensus, but there are other aspects on which experts are still debating. Of course, there’s a cause for everything, but there are so many factors involved, so many contexts, so large variability of the effects, that sometimes it seems all is just random (I’m overstating a bit, but you get the idea: you can find an obese on paleo diet, but you can also find an athletic one, you can find a person which feels great on a WFPB, but there are others not that happy with WFPB).

          So, if to the poor scientific understanding of the matter, you add the financial interests of some actors, the ideological motives of the others, the hypocrisy, the biases, or scientific illiteracy of others, or simply wrong results of some well intended, but bad conducted studies – you get a pretty complex and ugly problem.

          For instance, one very often recurring theme in dr G’s message is that some researchers are funded by different industries that have some interests in the results of the researchers’ studies. And dr G says this is a conflict of interests, and this is very true. But, for consistency and to avoid being in the exact situation, after every time he tell us we should avoid animal, dr G must disclose his position on animal rights (if he cares about the suffering of animals and in the same time he tells me to avoid eating meat for a healthy diet – that’s, by definition, a conflict of interests).

          If you say you use cronometer, it means you can monitor your intake of different elements. For 3 weeks, I am on a WFPB, I also use cronometer, I can tell you that only rarely I was able to meet the kcal, protein (calculated as 0.8 grams of protein / kg of corporal mass), lipids (I wanted to eat between 20% and 30%), calcium, B2, B3, vit E, iodine (cronometer doesn’t have data about iodine, but for sure I have a deficiency on this, because I didn’t eat kitchen salt or seaweeds) goals. After I switched to WFPB I have cracked skin on my hands and a small crack where the earlobe meets the skull (of course, it can be only a coincidence, but I suspect one of my recent deficiencies). And I think I also lost some muscle mass (due to low protein). And now I also lose some extra 2h/day on shopping, cooking, eating – if I continue like this, in the next 10 years I will lose ~1 year, and for me this is a loss, I am not a food aficionado, eating is just ‘the cost of doing business’, I want to learn about the nature of consciousness, not to cleanse broccoli :)
          So, even if in this site you may see (mostly) only success stories, you are not alone :)

          I’d leave you with this suggestion: the goal is not to eat a certain diet, the goal is to feel good; not all foods are the same, just to be clear, some are better than others, that’s for sure, but if WFPB didn’t work for you, there are other trustable sources whose recommendations don’t exclude all animal products, and you can check them up:
          Harvard School of Public Health: Healthy Eating Plate (see all the link from the left menu)
          USDA + HHS: 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines
          Wikipedia: Healthy diet
          (notice that all emphasize on a varied diet, high intake of vegetables, fruits, whole grains, low consumption of sat and trans fat, added sugars, and they also allow, or some even advise on, some animal products).




          0



          0
          1. Thank you George, many of us are simple plebs whose only interest in food is eating it without killing ourselves or feeling miserable. I got so caught up in the fuzz about “the natural human diet”, blue-zones, “good” and “evil” nutrients, superfoods etc that I somehow forgot to listen to my own body and reduced my diet to categories, numbers and percentages. I learned that I had to eat in a certain way to feel good and achieve good health, but of course my approach should have been the opposite: first evaluating my health and then proceed by changing my diet accordingly.

            I totally agree that the complexity of nutritional science and the bias of its messengers make it almost impossible for health-oriented laypersons to put food on their tables. The “mainstream doctors” are often accused of conducting flawed research because they are funded by the food industry, and while this is certainly true I also think that most plant-based doctors are influenced by the fact that the majority of their supporters are ideological vegans… it’s fairly obvious actually. I should have gone to the government sites like the ones you linked instead of getting involved in all this. The national guidelines actually seem to be quite balanced and healthy!




            0



            0
        2. Momos: Thank you for the additional information. That was really helpful. Your post sparked some additional ideas. You mentioned the impact that beans and grains had on you. Beans and *intact* grains make up a sizable portion of a healthy diet. Those starchy foods are what are going to make you feel full without gaining weight. As you found out, substituting a lot of nuts for the starchy foods does not work in terms of weight management and thus overall health.
          .
          The problem is that some people can’t go all the way at once. What seems to work for these people is starting small and **slowly** ramping up the beans and grains intake. For the beans, I’ve read that people have less problems with small beans, like lentils, than the bigger beans. So, you might start with lentils and eventually work your way up to more bean variety if you want.
          .
          The idea of ramping your way up reminded me of the problem with meat addiction, which requires a ramping down. Dr. Klaper has a great talk on why some people fail to stay vegan. If I remember correctly, Dr. Klaper describes symptoms that are similar to the problems you described. Here is a clip from Dr. Klaper’s talk: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tJyb1wTxg4 The video is only 18 minutes. If you decide that Dr. Klaper is onto something, I would be happy to share the solution/fix with you since I saw the whole talk.
          .
          My final thought is in reaction to you comment about eating fish, but not you say meat, which makes a difference you think because fish has less saturated fat. Points to note: 1) Fish still has plenty of saturated fat, 2) fish *is* meat in terms of the impact on your health. Any time you see “meat” referred to on this site, it includes fish. Here is an overview of the health impacts of fish: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/fish , 3) the health problems attached to meat (including fish) consumption go *far* beyond just the saturated fat content. For example, animal protein (whether from a chicken or a fish or an egg white) is known to promote cancer. There are a couple of mechanisms involved. One example is the impact on IGF-1: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/igf-1/ also note: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/animal-protein/
          .
          The point is: If your goal is to maximize chances of long term health, you might do well to come up with a plan to minimize animal protein consumption while eating a balanced diet of whole plant foods. It is true that you can eat some animal products and be considered eating a whole plant food *based* (WPFB) diet. However, the amount of animal products that would be involved and still fall under the umbrella of a WPFB diet is *very* small. One of the longest and healthiest lived populations were the traditional Okinawans. They had less than 5% of their diet from animal foods. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-okinawa-diet-living-to-100/ That’s a very small amount.
          .
          Best of luck to you. Let me know if you want Dr. Klaper’s plan for getting yourself off of meat/dairy/eggs.




          0



          0
          1. Thea: I strongly relate to the people who are subject to Dr Klaper’s discussion, and I’d love to know his solution for them if it’s not too much work for you. Maybe someday the topic of “plant-based malfunction” will be covered exclusively in a Greger-video!
            Your replies have made it clear to me that the main reason I failed was my poor ability to absorb the nutrients in “rough” plants, resulting in malnourishment and hunger which paved the way for calorie overconsumption and subsequent weigh gain. I made the switch to a WFPB-diet from a standard swedish diet overnight, no wonder my system was taken by surprise! I will go slow this time; well-cooked small lentils, vegetables and different varieties of rice seem to work well at this stage.

            Regarding fish: I lack both incentive and expertise to debate you on the topic, but I’d like to give you my current stance and hopefully get a response. Most fish are so high in heavy metals that fishermen would probably be more successful were they to switch their baits for magnets, and if young children are not allowed to eat them I won’t do it either. However, the difference between atlantic mussels and Baltic sea cod are huge, and I don’t think it’s fair to reject all seafood based on a few select species. Three ounches of mussels have 500mg (100% RDI) DHA+EPA, 500% RDI vit B12, undetectable amounts of heavy metals and <0.5g SFA. Could eating these a few times per week be a good alternative to supplement pills?




            0



            0
            1. Momos: Regarding the fish question: I’m not an expert. I would not eat any fish for a variety of reasons: health being one of them, and ethics being another. On the health side, note that contaminants are just one factor. I listed a bunch of other factors to consider in the reply above. Even though I don’t see a need to take the risks associated with eating fish, that doesn’t mean that it would not be a good choice for you. The question would be: how much fish you could have and still be OK? I don’t think we know the answer to that. Also, the answer would be different for each person. I suspect that a really healthy person, especially one who has been eating healthy their whole lives, would likely in my opinion tolerate some animal products in their diet better than someone who isn’t so healthy or who has been eating not such a healthy diet for a long time.
              .
              My best advice, for whatever that is worth is to do the following when you get your diet to the point that you are eating whole, healthy plant foods and weaned off the meat/fish (also assuming you are eating no eggs or dairy): Figure out the calories of how much fish you plan to eat over the course of a week. Then figure out the percentage of calories that the fish would be compared to the total calories of your diet. You can use a website like cromometer.com to figure this out. Does that fish and any other animal products you are eating come up to 5% or less of your diet? Then maybe that is OK strictly from a health perspective and you could try adding that back into your diet. You lose some of the benefits of being on a complete whole plant food based diet (see this video for an example of why even some meat can be a problem cancer-wise: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/carnitine-choline-cancer-and-cholesterol-the-tmao-connection/ –the tummies of vegans have healthier guts, at least in this one area, and that protection would go away with fish eating ), but maybe eating some fish is a better choice for you. I can’t say.
              .
              To address the part of your post about going “cold turkey”: (Not sure if you know that’s a phrase that describes exactly what you did by eating a standard diet one day and trying to switch to a healthy diet the next.) Even though going cold turkey did not work out for you, I’m often in awe of people who can give something like that a try. Personality-wise, I’m a person who has to ease slowly into a big change like that. I believe I could have done well biologically. I just couldn’t make myself do it. I just wanted to share my appreciation for what you tried to do.
              .
              As for Dr. Klaper’s suggestion, below is what I remember from the talk. It is copied from a pervious post, but even that post was some time after I had heard the talk. So, it is possible I don’t remember all the details correctly. However, I think I remember enough of the details to accurately/fairly represent the solution and to responsibly share it. :-)
              .
              *****************************
              Dr. Klaper says that he has had great success weaning people off meat using this method: Step 1 is to figure out the minimum amount and frequency of meat you have to eat in order to feel perfectly healthy and stabilize on that amount. So, can you get buy with 1/4 cup worth once a day? Once every other day? No hurry. Take some time to figure out the very lowest amount you can take, but still feel very healthy. Stay on that for a bit.
              .
              The second step is to *verrrrrrry* slowly extent the time. So, say you have some meat today and you had stabilized on having that amount of meat every other day. Instead of eating meat again in 2 days, see if you can go 3 days. If so, stay at 3 days for a while. No hurry. If 3 days works at first, but then doesn’t work. Try 2 days one span and then 3 days for the next span and alternate for a while. Then see if you can go 3 days every span. Just keep pushing it out slowly, with no pressure on yourself, that like.
              .
              One of the big points of this method is to treat meat as medicinal, not food. Medicines should be taken just so with a strict schedule, right? So, keep track of what you eat and how you are feeling and schedule your future consumption accordingly. It’s medicine: So be disciplined about it and keep records of your meat intake as well as how you feel. You can use the records to evaluate your progress and adjust as needed.
              .
              Dr. Klapper says that it may take a long time before you are completely off meat. But he eventually talks to patients who are eating some meat every 4 or 5 months or so. Soon after that, they may realize that they really don’t need meat any more.
              .
              I can’t promise that it will work. If you give it a try, good luck!




              0



              0
  17. (I saw this in many other, reputable sources, so don’t consider this a doubt of dr G advice.)

    What’s the problem with added sugars (in comparison with naturally occurring sugars from foods)?
    When the quarks from the protons from the oxygen atoms from the sugars get in our body (or, more literally speaking, become part of our body), they have no idea if they were part of the added, or of the natural sugars. And I don’t actually buy these arguments “sugars naturally occurring in foods is how nature intended” or “all whole foods are good, everything else is bad”.
    What’s the difference between a snack of 2 bananas which can contain 26 grams of sugars and ¾ of a 100 g tablet of chocolate with hazelnuts which contains about the same 26 grams of sugars? (Yes, you can tell me about sat fat, kcal, but let’s ignore these, we are talking about sugars now. And you can not even mention the satiety – I feel more sated after 75 g of hazelnuts chocolate than after 2 bananas.)




    0



    0
  18. I eat a plant based diet for years and cut out sugar 6 years ago. I do drink one diet soda a day. I find that it helps me not crave sugar, though I understand the research shows that is not the usual case. Are you aware of any research that would show if diet soda is harmful if it does not make you eat sugary foods?




    0



    0
    1. Hi Ambrozia — Great question!

      There is research to support letting go of diet soft drinks independent of other sugar consumption.
      This video goes in to the study from Univeristy of Miami associating diet soft drink consuption.

      Here is a piece in Diabetes Care associating soft drink consumption with metabolic syndrome.

      I bet you have seen these videos:
      A Harmless Artificial Sweetener | NutritionFacts.org
      How Diet Soda Could Make Us Gain Weight | NutritionFacts.org

      There are some other methods to overcome sugar craving.

      Going off the topic of your question, I see an opportunity in terms of health to transition from soft drinks to green tea and other herbal teas.
      Here are a number of videos on NutritionFacts regarding tea.
      The health benefits from tea are numerous!

      To health!




      0



      0
      1. Thanks but I’m not sure why you gave me all those links when I said I gave up sugar 6 years ago. And tea in place of soda? With all due respect, that is not a replacement at all. I already drink tea and love it but still…not the same.




        0



        0

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This