Don’t Wait Until Your Doctor Kicks the Habit

Don’t Wait Until Your Doctor Kicks the Habit
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Just like most doctors smoked in the 1950s, most physicians today continue to consume foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary disease.

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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.

When famed surgeon Michael DeBakey was asked why his studies published back in the 30s linking smoking and lung cancer were simply ignored, he had to remind people what it was like back then. We were a smoking society. It was in the movies. It was everywhere. Medical meetings were one “heavy haze of smoke.” Smoking was, in a word, normal. It’s like the debates over cigarettes and lung cancer in Congress taking place in smoke-filled rooms. (Makes me wonder what’s served at the breakfast buffets at the Dietary Guidelines Committee meetings these days.)

I previously talked about a famous statistician by the name of Ronald Fisher, who railed against what he called “propaganda…to convince the public that cigarette smoking [was] dangerous.” “…Fisher made invaluable contributions to the field of statistics,” but “his analysis of…lung cancer and smoking [were] flawed by an unwillingness to examine the entire body of data available.” His smokescreen may have been because he was a paid “consultant to the tobacco industry,” but also because “he was himself a smoker.” “Part of his resistance to seeing the association may have been rooted in his own fondness for smoking”—which makes me wonder about some of the foods nutrition researchers may be fond of to this day.

It always strikes me as ironic when vegetarian researchers come forward and list their diet as a potential conflict of interest, whereas not once in the 70,000 articles on meat in the medical literature have I ever seen a researcher disclose their non-vegetarian habits—because it’s normal.

Just like smoking was normal. How could something that’s so normal be bad for you? And, it’s not like you smoke one cigarette, and fall over dead, right? Cancer takes decades to develop. Since, at that time, most physicians smoked themselves, and could not observe any immediate deleterious effects, they were reluctant to accept even the possibility of such a relation, despite the mountain of evidence.

It may have taken 25 years for the Surgeon General’s report to come out, and longer still for mainstream medicine to get on board, but now, there are no longer ads encouraging people to “Inhale to your heart’s content!” Now, there are ads from the CDC, fighting back.

For food ads, you don’t have to go all the way back to “Meat…for Health Defense,” or “Nourishing Bacon,” or doctors prescribing meat, or soda, for that matter. “Thank heavens!” “Trix are habit-forming.” You know things are bad when the sanest dietary advice came from cigarette ads.

In modern times, you can see hot dogs certified by the American Heart Association, or sirloin tips, for that matter. And, of all foods, which was the first to get the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “Kids Eat Right” on their label? Was it an apple? Broccoli, perhaps? No, Kraft prepared-cheese product.

Now, just like there were those in the 30s, 40s, and 50s on the vanguard trying to saves lives, today, there are those turning ads about what you can do with pork butt, to what the pork can do to your butt. An example is the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “Meat Is the New Tobacco” campaign. As Dr. Barnard tried to get across in an editorial published in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, “plant-based diets [can now be considered] the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.”

How many more people have to die, though, before the CDC encourages people not to “wait for open heart surgery” to eat healthy, as well?

But, just like we don’t have to wait until our doctor stops smoking to quit ourselves, we don’t have to wait until our doctor takes a nutrition class, or cleans up their own diet, before choosing to eat healthier. No longer do doctors hold a professional monopoly on health information.

There’s been a democratization of knowledge. And so, until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health; for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up with the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Dr. Kim Allan Williams became president of the American College of Cardiology. He was asked why he follows his own advice to eat a plant-based diet. “I don’t mind dying,” Dr. Williams replied. “I just don’t want it to be my [own] fault.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Meditations via pixabay. Image has 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.

When famed surgeon Michael DeBakey was asked why his studies published back in the 30s linking smoking and lung cancer were simply ignored, he had to remind people what it was like back then. We were a smoking society. It was in the movies. It was everywhere. Medical meetings were one “heavy haze of smoke.” Smoking was, in a word, normal. It’s like the debates over cigarettes and lung cancer in Congress taking place in smoke-filled rooms. (Makes me wonder what’s served at the breakfast buffets at the Dietary Guidelines Committee meetings these days.)

I previously talked about a famous statistician by the name of Ronald Fisher, who railed against what he called “propaganda…to convince the public that cigarette smoking [was] dangerous.” “…Fisher made invaluable contributions to the field of statistics,” but “his analysis of…lung cancer and smoking [were] flawed by an unwillingness to examine the entire body of data available.” His smokescreen may have been because he was a paid “consultant to the tobacco industry,” but also because “he was himself a smoker.” “Part of his resistance to seeing the association may have been rooted in his own fondness for smoking”—which makes me wonder about some of the foods nutrition researchers may be fond of to this day.

It always strikes me as ironic when vegetarian researchers come forward and list their diet as a potential conflict of interest, whereas not once in the 70,000 articles on meat in the medical literature have I ever seen a researcher disclose their non-vegetarian habits—because it’s normal.

Just like smoking was normal. How could something that’s so normal be bad for you? And, it’s not like you smoke one cigarette, and fall over dead, right? Cancer takes decades to develop. Since, at that time, most physicians smoked themselves, and could not observe any immediate deleterious effects, they were reluctant to accept even the possibility of such a relation, despite the mountain of evidence.

It may have taken 25 years for the Surgeon General’s report to come out, and longer still for mainstream medicine to get on board, but now, there are no longer ads encouraging people to “Inhale to your heart’s content!” Now, there are ads from the CDC, fighting back.

For food ads, you don’t have to go all the way back to “Meat…for Health Defense,” or “Nourishing Bacon,” or doctors prescribing meat, or soda, for that matter. “Thank heavens!” “Trix are habit-forming.” You know things are bad when the sanest dietary advice came from cigarette ads.

In modern times, you can see hot dogs certified by the American Heart Association, or sirloin tips, for that matter. And, of all foods, which was the first to get the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics “Kids Eat Right” on their label? Was it an apple? Broccoli, perhaps? No, Kraft prepared-cheese product.

Now, just like there were those in the 30s, 40s, and 50s on the vanguard trying to saves lives, today, there are those turning ads about what you can do with pork butt, to what the pork can do to your butt. An example is the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine’s “Meat Is the New Tobacco” campaign. As Dr. Barnard tried to get across in an editorial published in the American Medical Association Journal of Ethics, “plant-based diets [can now be considered] the nutritional equivalent of quitting smoking.”

How many more people have to die, though, before the CDC encourages people not to “wait for open heart surgery” to eat healthy, as well?

But, just like we don’t have to wait until our doctor stops smoking to quit ourselves, we don’t have to wait until our doctor takes a nutrition class, or cleans up their own diet, before choosing to eat healthier. No longer do doctors hold a professional monopoly on health information.

There’s been a democratization of knowledge. And so, until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health; for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up with the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Dr. Kim Allan Williams became president of the American College of Cardiology. He was asked why he follows his own advice to eat a plant-based diet. “I don’t mind dying,” Dr. Williams replied. “I just don’t want it to be my [own] fault.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Meditations via pixabay. Image has been modified.

Doctor's Note

I find this to be such a powerful concept that I have come at it from different angles. For other takes, check out Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health and How Smoking in 1956 is Like Eating in 2016. Are the health effects of smoking really comparable to diet, though? Check out Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking.

The food industry certainly uses the same kind of misinformation tactics to try to confuse consumers. See, for example:

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

54 responses to “Don’t Wait Until Your Doctor Kicks the Habit

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      1. Hi Joe,
        It was kinda funny to me to see a cardiologist at work, who was smoking a cigarette tell a patient to stop smoking!!! Nice guy but I guess he did not get it..
        Died at 42 from a heart attack…
        m




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        1. mitch, That’s too bad about the smoking cardiologist, although, one would think that he or she would be acquainted with the risks of both smoking and a diet high in saturated fat.
          To call such person a “health professionals” seems an interesting misnomer.




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        2. A cardiologist recently commented “poor bugger” when I told him my husband had been vegan for 7 years. Husband has perfect heart, 74 years. Cardiac tests because he had arrhythmia after a general anaesthetic. Found to be intolerant of opioids, heart fine. With a comment like that I suppose a cardiologist would have vastly less business if everyone were on a plant based diet. Pretty terrible joke though.




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      2. Joe Caner, thanks for sending that link. I’ve seen it a few times and always find it amusing. I’m compiling information on why we eat a whole foods plant based diet for skeptical family members who don’t think we’re getting sufficient protein, and who don’t want to make such a change, all of whom are growing fatter while we’re growing slimmer, and I just added that link to my paper. Nobody will probably read it, but I still find it important to do.

        In 2006-7 I took a nutrition course that advocated a diet based on the Weston A Price Foundation’s recommendations. I met Sally Fallon a couple of years later, and it looks like she’s gained 30-40 pounds since then. That was kind of shocking. She wasn’t as thin as Pam Popper when I met her, but she wasn’t heavy, either.

        Yesterday I had my annual physical with a doctor who I recently changed to because he was the only one in my community on some list of doctors from a website recommending whole foods doctors. He is a fan of David Katz, who recommends a Mediterranean diet, but he said probably the healthiest diet is vegan. I explained to him that we now call people who eat vegan for health reasons whole foods plant based, and gave him a link to Jeff Novick’s video on the Mediterranean diet. He said he’d watch it. It’s nice having a doctor whose mind is more open than most. All my numbers were normal – no protein deficiency, of course. Still working to bring cholesterol down from 175 to 150, but I’m getting there.




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        1. livewire: re: ” I’m compiling information on why we eat a whole foods plant based diet for skeptical family members who don’t think we’re getting sufficient protein…” If you haven’t seen the following page yet, I highly recommend it: http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html I also have links to some really great McDougall articles on the topic. Let me know if you want me to dig those up.




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        2. Hi livewire, I’ve been eating a WFPB diet for seven years now, but I still have had issues with weight management. Recently, I have embraced Dr John McDougall’s protocol of making starch the foundation of my eating plan with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables to round things out, and I have experienced some rapid, pain free weight loss, 10 pounds in two months. The diet is naturally low in fat and sodium and very high in potassium. The diet plan I was eating before was high fat, but I noticed under my old eating plan that I would not always get my RDA for potassium. I have no such problems getting adequate potassium with a starch centered diet because of the relatively low calorie density of the the food and the shear quantity one ends up eating because of it. It is very satisfying.
          It took me a long time to give a starch centered diet try. I always minimized starch consumption because it was difficult to overcome my prejudices against these foods, but in my case, it was just what my body needed. I feel good. I have lots of energy, and I am exercising more because of my increased energy, and because it feels so good to do. I look forward to my workouts now instead of just enduring them, and my workout durations are longer because of it.
          Dr. John McDougall interviewed several of the early pioneers of lifestyle medical treatments such as Dr. Roy Swank, Dr. Denis Burkitt and Nathan Pritikin. It wish there had been more interview of these people, but if not for McDougall, we would not have had these few interviews. We owe these people a debt of gratitude for their work, and in Dr. Greger’s case, he owes Nathan Pritikin some 30 odd additional years with his grandmother.
          Anyway, the following book marked URL is a point in McDougall’s interview where Nathan Pritikin observers that one could not devise a diet that is adequate in calories that is deficient in protein. I have heard T. Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn make the same statements, but I did not bookmark the exact location in the interviews. Dr. Kempner was able to cure kidney failure, diabetes and a myriad of other ailments with a high carbohydrate, low fat and protein (25g/day). Perhaps, you could share these with your friends and family. Good luck:
          Nathan Pritikin: A Casual Conversation with Dr. McDougall, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qOj4rzSkqok&feature=youtu.be&t=2393
          Rice Diet CURES Most Diseases – McDougall, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=plpiRcVMbg0
          Dr. T. Colin Campbell Dispels the Protein Myth, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D-fMG5VVvs




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          1. Wow, Joe, thanks for all that information and the links.

            I’ve been following pretty much the same plan for a couple of years now. I first heard of Dr McDougall after watching the interview on Chrisbeatcancer.com with Ruth Heidrich. She had a remarkable healing of her stage 4 breast cancer by going on his diet after her mastectomy. I don’t know why they did a mastectomy, since it was already stage 4, but they did.
            She is one remarkable lady and fantastic athlete, still running marathons and doing Iron Man contests in her 80s, if I understand correctly. Anyway, she led me to Dr McDougall.

            I’d love to interest both my and my husband’s children in this kind of eating, but they don’t want to hear about it, so they must come by the information, if they ever do, from someone they respect and trust, not that kooky Rebecca (or mom, whichever). They are all getting to ages where they will begin feeling the effects of their poor diets pretty soon.

            I, too, had a hard time giving up fat, but I’m convinced now that we get all of it we need from food. It just makes sense that our ancient ancestors didn’t have bottles of oil hanging on the bushes to cook the roots they dug up in.

            I’ll add your links to the info I’m gathering. Maybe someday it will help somebody!




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            1. livewire a.k.a. Rebecca, You are welcome. Glad to be of service. I had dug up these links while gathering information for a couple of friends, one with gallstones and the other with elevated PSA levels. They are both really receptive to trying an intervention that doesn’t involve surgery. I’ve been at them both to change their unhealthy ways for some time now, but now they are motivated. As John McDougall is fond of saying, “eating potatoes is easy. Open heart surgery and the nonstop ingestion of medications is what is hard.

              Keep planting those seeds. Some day, hopefully not due to some life threatening calamity, something will come up, and they will be all ears…
              Until then, continue to be the change you want to create!
              Best Regards, Joe




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              1. Thanks for the encouragement. I imagine some of them will come around one day, but it will take time to tell for sure.

                Good for you, working with your friends. I hope they both see the benefits quickly.




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          2. I’m just curious what you were eating on whole food plant based that was so high in fat? The only veg fats are in nuts seeds and avocado. Unless you were deep frying everything in oils, (which is not a whole food) I don’t understand how you could gain so much weight on such a diet? Curious.




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            1. Betty, I was eating more tofu, walnuts, nut bars, dried fruit, etc than I should have. I would get hungry late in the evening and snack on fruit and walnuts. My fat was run as high as 30% of calories consumed.
              On my current eating plan, I a running about 10% max fat, and often less. I make sure that I keep a 1 to 1 ration of omega-6s to omega-3s fats by front loading my morning porridge with flax sees and berries. My total SF are now running about 2.5 grams/day.
              Anyway, it’s working for me, and I am feeling really good.
              YMMV, Best Regards…




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          3. wow Joe Caner wtg! It’s a real pleasure to read about your recent successes ! I too have had some preconceived ideas about starchy foods, but several regulars from this forum enjoy great results including more starchy foods in their diet.. so, I am making a point of baking a few potatoes at a time now just for convenience .

            Also, I really enjoy listening to the old talks by Nathan Pritikin. Not sure if you have heard these yet, but I listen to them often. https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/podcast/nathan-pritikin/ What an amazing man.




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            1. susan, It is hard not to have some preconceived notions about starchy foods when you’ve been told over and over again that they make you fat. After a while, you are going to start believe it, and it’s true in a certain sense. Starchy foods are fattening because they add or deep fry them in fats so they comes out dripping in the stuff. It’s not the potato or whole grains that are the problem. It all the stuff that is added to and removed from them that make them fattening.
              Starches are staple foods that makes a great foundation for a healthy diet. But man, or woman, does not live on bread alone. Toss some garlic, onions, capers, cucumbers, tomatoes, cold boiled potatoes, romain lettuce or maybe even some broccoli spouts, a few pumpkin seeds, some basil and a splash of balsamic vinegar into a bowl, and you’ll have a killer salad to go along with that crusty whole grain bread!
              Sounds good doesn’t it? That’s a good and satisfying way to eat.
              Most of the calories from a meal like that would come from the starch, but that’s okay.

              BTW, Thank you for the link to the Nathan Pritikin lectures!




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              1. I think the complaint of many wfpb nutritionists is that starchy veggies tend to be lower in nutrients and therefore, not to be over consumed on an optimal diet. Personally, I think it’s a more practical way to eat. Starches are satisfying and filling and I think that’s the point mcdougal Makes when he recommends them. I eat them almost everyday. Potatoes, corn and lots of whole grain rice.




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                1. Betty, McDougall lays a good foundation with his advocation of starches, and I really appreciate the great information we get on NutritionFacts regarding how best to dress up that high carbohydrate diet in order to maximize one’s nutrition:
                  Lots of greens, beans, berries, fruit and mushrooms; Whole grains should make up some of those starches; Nuts and seeds; No oil or animal products. Don’t forget the spices because the pack an antioxidant punch; Diet isn’t enough. One also needs exercise so get up and get moving.

                  It’s good stuff! Get’s you healthy, and keeps you healthy.




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              2. The ‘Joe Caner salad’ sure does sound great !! It is henceforth written into regular meal rotation, with thanks for all the inspiration today!




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                1. You’re welcome susan, I hope you like the salad. It’s actually a riff on the kinds of salads, my mother and grandmother would make, but of course, they would have also added olive oil for which I substitute some kind of nut or seed. I sometimes get daffy and throw in some sliced strawberries of some other berry. It makes for interesting and delicious outcomes. By botanical definition, tomatoes are also berries so there is definitely president to adding berries to a salad. :)




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          4. Well yeah whole food plant based is good but too high fat(around >15-20%) can bring a lot of problems like you had, lack of energy, weight gain and even blood sugars and cardiovascular problems from too much O6 rich nuts and/or oils.




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    1. My corollary to that is never trust a fat chef!
      I like to watch cooking shows sometimes. I ALWAYS look at who is doing the cooking and take that into consideration. If Im seeing a rotund instructor I know I am just watching entertainment, not someone I want to pick up a recipe from. :-)




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      1. Unfortunately it’s not just the fat chefs that are to be avoided. I know she wouldn’t qualify as a “chef” exactly, but it drove me to the brink when I was in cardiac rehab and they had Rachel ray, blaring away on all the TVs while we worked out (with our heart monitors on) . I told the rehab nurse that watching her smother butter and cheese on everything and literally using a cup of oil in every pan, did NOTHING to help those of us trying to get our arteries unclogged. I mean, WTF?! Unfortunately, as a cardiac patient you run into this kind of hypocrisy and sheer ignorance ALL OF THE TIME. And forget it if your goal is to get OFF medications and fix yourself through diet and exercise alone. They don’t like that either. My cardiologist actually had the audacity to tell me that I would have to stay on statins the rest of my life because “you can’t lower cholesterol enough through diet alone.” I have many many MORE stories, wanna hear them? Haha




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        1. Betty, I have the exact same stories to tell re conversations with cardiologists about diet. I was told I wouldnt be able to knock off less than 18 mg LDL with diet.. I kid you not.

          I am all for taking responsibility for one’s health. BUT! The cardiologists are supposed to know, PAID BIG DOLLARS to know, and its their JOB to inform us of all options. I am also angry with their peers who toss off this lack of professional integrity with barely an eye roll. I would say, that its most important to be your own advocate. Know your subject (your health issues) and what information you are seeking from the doctor. And always take pen and paper with you and write it down !




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    2. Or never trust an overweight doctor who advocates the Weston-Price diet while offering chelation therapy to unclog the pipes! Hmm. Golly, do ya think it could be what you’re eating that’s clogging those arteries? Even after showing my reductions in daily BG, as well as my overall emotional improvement of health and weightloss, he still insists that I risk yeast infections and that I don’t understand food-body chemistry. I cannot understand why this is so hard for him. You would think he’d celebrate with me. In addition, I too have watched a certain farmer who is an advocate of and once a provider of our raw dairy and pastured meat, gain significant amounts of weight to the point of now being considered obese.

      Anyone have any answers for what to say the next time this doctor mentions candida yeast overgrowth as a rebuttal against a plant-based diet?




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      1. Hi Carol. Hi! My name is Dr Renae Thomas and I am one of the medical moderators. I think it’s time for a new doctor. I have not seen any published research demonstrating even a probably link between yeast infections and WFPB diet. Can the doctor perhaps supply one? Dairy and meat are some of the main contributors to weight gain. I’m sorry you don’t have the support! I’d ask him to provide research showing such suggestions! Yeast infections/candida are over-exaggerated with many ‘alternative doctors’… so many people say they have Candida, but when tested, they show negative. Those actually with it usually have suppressed immune systems, and generally easily treated with antibiotics. This is a good video too, showing a relationship between diet and yeast infections- http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bacterial-vaginosis-and-diet/
        And an article-
        http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/01/23/preventing-bacterial-vaginosis-with-diet/




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  1. Like the “general overview” sort of video this is. It’s a wide-angle lens looking at WHY WE DON’T ACT on the best available nutritional science, where “WE” represents modern Western society.

    Greed is a big part of it, with Wealth protecting itself at every turn. There are some flaws of human nature we’ll always battle. Greed uses ignorance (by fostering ignorance in confusing the research) to keep folks from having to CHANGE. Because we all hate to change.

    I got sick and tired of being sick and tired and now I’m not. I changed my diet and it changed me. Personal responsibility can be a chore, but it can also be a blessing. The biggest drawback to changing is how few family and friends will actually learn from your example, but continue down the SAD path to continued suffering and self-destruction. We have to live healthy lives parallel to those who cannot see.

    That and we’ll have to attend a LOT more funerals (assuming we die naturally) than the meat munchers.

    Meat, it’s what’s killing US.




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    1. Not sure it is just meat….. Statistically I might have 10-15 years left and am in the process of more or less divorcing my siblings due to their unwillingness to wake up and change. My observation is that somewhere around 50-60 many people simply stop “growing” and just “settle in” on past experiences. When associating with this kind of person becomes a hazard is when it’s time to let it go….

      They tend to have a meat centric / dessert based diet. The women in the family tend to make foods that are not healthy and convince themselves they are doing you a favor my providing such to you. If you mention that maybe the food is not healthy they see it as a personal insult. They live in a world created by Betty Crocker…..and Betty Crocker groupies. Time to say…sigh…ya Nora.




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  2. I’m a VERY senior citizen, doing just fine on WFPB foods and I give thanks to Dr. McDougall for a wake up call that changed my life many, many years ago. A new cardiologist was assigned to me and he said I cannot give you any more medicine. “Lose weight or die.” I never had any physician talk to me that way. I was angry and went to hide in the stacks at the library–finding a book “Program for a Healthy Heart.” By McDougall. I said I can do that! How come no one told me about it? My weight went down 70 lbs effortlessly, cholesterol went to 120 and now I spend time talking about Dr Greger and his book (I own it) to others . Nutrition is my favorite topic as it is for many of us on this forum. (When I went back to the cardiologist after receiving a post card reminding me of a follow up visit, he said I was “cured” and off medicine.) This forum provides so much knowledge and information. Thank you for it. Be Well!




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    1. Pat: That’s an awesome story! Thanks for sharing.

      FYI: There is a “Testimonial” link at the bottom of the page. If you want to submit a formal testimonial, I think your story would be a good one. :-)




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  3. Our long-time pediatrician went WFPB himself, and told us about Dr. Greger’s videos, which of course changed our whole family’s health for the better. So, sometimes physicians do the right thing! :) Big kudos to them!!




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  4. This makes so much sense. We sure seem to be on a parallel with the heavy smoking culture of the past.
    Society has changed so much in its view of smoking since then. This gives great hope of society changing greatly its view of WFPB eating, too.




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  5. We’re mostly plant foods see primatologist Dr. Jane Plant “Seeds of Hope”. Our physiology is to digest soft leaves, shoots, fruits, nuts, … much like the other primates do. We are not built like a carnivore with sharp teeth highly acid stomachs and short intestines, and of course no other mammal eats milk as an adult and especially not milk designed for a different mammal.

    Statistics do show up health benefits from occasional fish so we so some a couple times a week. I haven’t read pro and con from Nutritionfacts.org on this.
    Oh, we do omega 3 from algae grown in drinking quality water, Fish don’t make omega 3, they eat it from algae at the bottom of the food chain. Oceans are getting pretty polluted.




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    1. Thanks for your comment Jerry.

      Indeed there is research to support the health benefits of consuming fish and that is why a lot of health authorities recommend 1-2 portions a weak. On the other hand, what the same recommendations or report do not mention is the negative effects of fish consumption on human health and I believe Dr Greger and the team at NF do a wonderful job of exposing that information.

      I highly recommend you can to check the summary on fish and explore any links attached on this article to see the evidence I am mentioning in this comment.

      Algae based oil is a good and clean source of omega-3 EPA/DHA and whilst it is not essencial to supplement (provided that you have a more than adequate consumption of ALA), it is a convenient and effective source of this nutrient and more sustainable for our planet, as well as ethical.

      Hope this answer helps.

      Hope this answer helps.




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  6. thank you dr greger. my husband is a doctor who learned about nutrition thanks to my crazy vegan idea and really bought it after listening to u in Food Choices doc. We love u and follow and thank u ever since.




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  7. Just wondering when Dr. Greger’s “HOW NOT TO DIE” ‘Recipe Book‘ is coming out?

    If I remember correctly, he earlier stated that it would be sometime in 2017, is there any tentative dates???




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  8. A little about me and my lifestyle before getting into a revolutionary treatment I’ve just completed.

    Food is nothing more than fuel to me for the most part… every now and then the thing I’m eating tastes delicious and if healthy, I may add that to my list of things I’ll eat. I really don’t obsess over whether I’m getting nourishment from x vegetables or x fruits or x grains… just that it is primarily plant based.

    (To that end, I may go for days with my diet consisting of unadulterated peanut butter, maybe a teaspoon or two of almond butter, a mixture of cocoa powder/cactus plant powder/ a recently introduced Indian gooseberry powder/ niacin powder/MCT oil/Walnut oil… some hot distilled water to blend the mixture and topped off with a nut milk like cashew or almond.)

    To put it into a nutshell, I don’t obsess over WHICH plants my diet is based on, just that it is plant based (with the occasional tin of kipper snacks or albacore tuna.) For the most part I am more concerned if my diet loosely qualifies as a Ketogenic diet.

    But I also follow the Ray Kurweil approach of downing various supplements by the handful. (My regimen consists of daily Niagen (Nicotinamide riboside), Oxaloacetic Acid, Milk Thistle-turmeric-Vitamin C, White Willow Bark-Magnesium, Bilberry, Chamomile, Bitter Melon, Beta Sitosterol, NAC (N-Acetyl Cysteine), B-Complex vitamins, Activated Charcoal, a clove capsule, an artichoke capsule, CoQ10… and quite a few others.

    I really love the information provided on this forum and it has helped push me toward being primarily plant-based in my dietary approach. And while I don’t think it is Dr. Greger’s aim to cover every aspect of longevity, I think it is in everyone’s interest (interested in healthy longevity) to explore other avenues of accompaniment to optimal health.

    That is why I recently enrolled in a patient funded study of the benefits of adding the plasma from a matching (blood type) 16-25 year old donor to an over-35 year old recipient.

    Long story short, after the age of 35, proteins in our blood lose viability to repair and protect our organs. Transfusing young donors’ plasma (7 units over a three hour period) contains the young version of these proteins and according to animal studies and limited human experience, will act as a modified “fountain-of-youth”.

    I’ve just returned from a clinic in Tampa FL, one of the two (the other is in Monterrey CA) involved in the Ambrosia initiated study, where I received the treatment.

    aside: I’ve experienced no weirdness during the treatment or the following day other than a cold right arm as the just thawed plasma went in.

    In a month I will undergo a follow-up blood test to reconcile with the pre-treatment blood test to determine the level of new, younger proteins. Maybe my gut feeling is from placebo effect, but I have good feelings that my experience is justified both financially and timewise.




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    1. Should also mention the dark chocolate (unsweetened) the oranges, bananas, grapefruit, dried plums, beet juice, I eat and drink as snacks throughout a day.




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  9. My Doctor was a wonderful person. She always put her patients first and was a talented diagnostician. She was overweight and smoked. As she would give advice she would flick the ash into the ashtray at her desk… She died of a stroke. I miss her terribly. Not kidding….




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  10. Wow!!!! i was waiting for this video. My thesis is about this. Doctors and non communicable diseases treatment. I worked in a hospital were cardiologists (for example) were obese, were the nutritionist didn’t prescribe a healthy diet for a patient who just had a heart attack, because is more expensive! I was shocked.




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  11. Hey DR Michael Greger,
    Thx a lot for your valuable info on the book.
    May I please ask you some question?
    1. I am vegan and doing lots high intensity sports,like weightlifting,powerlifting and Crossfit. I have bit Low recovery and training cause me back pain and shoulder pain.
    Do you have any suggestions for better recovery and avoid injuries?

    2. I ask this question for my friend.
    She is 27yrs old and has rheumatism ,lives in U.K.
    Do you have some suggestions for her to treat and avoid any further pain?

    Thx a lot for your time.




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    1. Thanks for your comment Shao.

      While I do not have the expertise to make physical activity recommendations, I can however point out some nutritional factors that may perhaps be of use to you.

      In a publication by Furhman & Ferreri et al (2010), the authors state and I quote:

      There are several concerns about micronutrient adequacy of a vegan diet V some of these concerns are justified, and others are not, assuming that the diet is based on nutrient- rich, whole plant foods rather than refined carbohydrates and oils. The ADA has identified key nutrients for vegetarians V omega-3s, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12

      Therefore, it is good to check whether your intake of this nutrients is adequate. Other major factor in vegan athletes is total energy intake:

      A diet for vegan athletes must take into account additional energy requirements above those of moderate activity levels. The low calorie density of many plant foods make energy requirements a consideration.
      During exercise, there is increased protein oxidation and breakdown, followed by enhanced muscle protein synthesis and further protein breakdown during recovery (3). The rise in circulating amino acids after a protein-containing meal stimulates intramuscular protein synthesis and also slightly suppresses muscle protein breakdown (45). Ingesting carbohydrate alone fails to induce this increase in muscle protein synthesis. Similarly, benefits to immunity, muscle soreness, and overall health by protein-containing meals compared with carbohydrate-only meals have been suggested in the literature (3). For these reasons, timing of content of protein in meals may be an important factor in recovery and muscle mass maintenance and gain.

      Insufficient protein ingestion leads to negative nitrogen balance and insufficient recovery. An early nitrogen balance study of sedentary subjects and strength athletes revealed that for zero nitrogen balance, sedentary subjects required 0.69 g/kg/day and strength athletes required 1.41 g/kg/day. This demonstrates that 1.41g/kg/day represents a minimum for muscle maintenance in strength athletes.

      For injury prevention, in soccer at least, one publication has suggested:

      Strategies for activities involving hydration, diet, sleep and cold water immersion have been reported to be effective, with regard to their ability to counteract the mechanisms associated with muscular fatigue (Nédélec et al., 2012). Recovery strategies aimed at reducing acute inflammation from muscle damage and speeding the rate of inflammation removal are prevalent in professional football settings.

      Being overweight causes more mechanical stress in certain sports activities, increasing risk of injury.

      It has been reported that energy intakes below 30-35 kcal/kg lean body mass (excluding exercise) accentuate fatigue, immune-suppression and the predisposition to injury (Loucks et al., 2011). Furthermore, low- energy diets in which calories are not consumed via a variety of foods typically have low nutritional quality. Insufficient energy intakes combined with poor dietary choices increase the risk of players being deficient in nutrients such as vitamins B or C; minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium (…) vitamin D status may be a consideration in injury prevention. Unfavourable lipid profiles (pro-inflammatory) due to excesses in the diet of trans-fat, saturated fat and excessive omega 6 fat from vegetable oils should be avoided.

      inappropriate ingestion of alcohol will have implications for subsequent performance and thus risk of injury.

      In regards to rheumatism, if you are referring to Thanks for your comment Shao.

      While I do not have the expertise to make physical activity recommendations, I can however point out some nutritional factors that may perhaps be of use to you.

      In a publication by Furhman & Ferreri et al (2010), the authors state and I quote:

      There are several concerns about micronutrient adequacy of a vegan diet V some of these concerns are justified, and others are not, assuming that the diet is based on nutrient- rich, whole plant foods rather than refined carbohydrates and oils. The ADA has identified key nutrients for vegetarians V omega-3s, iron, zinc, iodine, calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12

      Therefore, it is good to check whether your intake of this nutrients is adequate. Other major factor in vegan athletes is total energy intake:

      A diet for vegan athletes must take into account additional energy requirements above those of moderate activity levels. The low calorie density of many plant foods make energy requirements a consideration.
      During exercise, there is increased protein oxidation and breakdown, followed by enhanced muscle protein synthesis and further protein breakdown during recovery (3). The rise in circulating amino acids after a protein-containing meal stimulates intramuscular protein synthesis and also slightly suppresses muscle protein breakdown (45). Ingesting carbohydrate alone fails to induce this increase in muscle protein synthesis. Similarly, benefits to immunity, muscle soreness, and overall health by protein-containing meals compared with carbohydrate-only meals have been suggested in the literature (3). For these reasons, timing of content of protein in meals may be an important factor in recovery and muscle mass maintenance and gain.

      Insufficient protein ingestion leads to negative nitrogen balance and insufficient recovery. An early nitrogen balance study of sedentary subjects and strength athletes revealed that for zero nitrogen balance, sedentary subjects required 0.69 g/kg/day and strength athletes required 1.41 g/kg/day. This demonstrates that 1.41g/kg/day represents a minimum for muscle maintenance in strength athletes.

      For injury prevention, in soccer at least, one publication has suggested:

      Strategies for activities involving hydration, diet, sleep and cold water immersion have been reported to be effective, with regard to their ability to counteract the mechanisms associated with muscular fatigue (Nédélec et al., 2012). Recovery strategies aimed at reducing acute inflammation from muscle damage and speeding the rate of inflammation removal are prevalent in professional football settings.

      Being overweight causes more mechanical stress in certain sports activities, increasing risk of injury.

      It has been reported that energy intakes below 30-35 kcal/kg lean body mass (excluding exercise) accentuate fatigue, immune-suppression and the predisposition to injury (Loucks et al., 2011). Furthermore, low- energy diets in which calories are not consumed via a variety of foods typically have low nutritional quality. Insufficient energy intakes combined with poor dietary choices increase the risk of players being deficient in nutrients such as vitamins B or C; minerals like iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc and selenium (…) vitamin D status may be a consideration in injury prevention. Unfavourable lipid profiles (pro-inflammatory) due to excesses in the diet of trans-fat, saturated fat and excessive omega 6 fat from vegetable oils should be avoided.

      inappropriate ingestion of alcohol will have implications for subsequent performance and thus risk of injury.

      In regards to rheumatism, if you are referring to rheumatoid arthritis, then I highly recommend you check the following videos and links:

      Plant based diets for rheumatoid arthritis

      Why do plant based diets help rheumatoid arthritis

      Turmeric/ curcumin and rheumatoid arthritis

      Diet for rheumatoid arthritis

      Rheumatoid Arthritis

      Hope this answer helps.




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  12. I love all the videos on here. Thank you so much for making them. They are very helpful to a newbie plant based vegan. I tried going vegan once before and always had an upset stomach….I went back to eating animals and it settled out and I realized it was the high amount of almond mile I was drinking (I guess I have a little bit of a sensitivity). So now I’m trying it again. The only problem I am still having is cold sores. I’ve gotten them since I was a kid – maybe one or two cold sores a year. And my mother taught me to take L-lysine when I first feel one coming on and it would go away before you could see it. However, on a vegan diet….both the first time and this time….I find myself eating L-lysine like candy because I am getting multiple cold sores a week. When I went off the vegan diet they went away and I didn’t have to take anymore L-lysine. So what is causing this? Is it bad to take L-lysine supplements? Is there a way I can stay on a plant based diet, not get cold sores, and not have to take L-lysine?




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    1. EMak: Your mother is a smart woman. Following is a copy of a post from a well respected participant, Rebecca. See if this helps: (You might be able to help yourself by avoiding the foods listed…)

      “Micca, I have to watch out for this, too. Foods that are high in the amino acid arginine stimulate the herpes virus, which causes cold sores, shingles, and other forms of herpes outbreaks. Many of thos e foods are those we love as whole foods plant based eaters. Foods with the highest arginine levels are most nuts, seeds, chocolate and oatmeal. There are others, but levels aren’t as high. If you eat a lot of nut butters, they could be the culprit.

      Most of the time I can keep the virus under wraps by taking the amino acid L Lysine, which opposes arginine. I have to take 2,000 mg daily, on an empty stomach. Even so, if I get into the nuts too heavily, it will stimulate an outbreak. The minute I feel it coming on, I take 3,000 mg about three times that day and lay off the high arginine foods. I then back the dose off a bit, but still take more than my maintenance dose for a few days. This usually stops the outbreak before it gets a good start.”




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