Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist

Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist
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In my book How Not to Die, I center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine.

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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.

In my book, How Not to Die, I suggest we try to center our diets around whole plant foods. But, some plants are healthier than others. For example, you can apparently live extended periods eating practically nothing but white potatoes. That would, by definition, be a whole-food, plant-based diet—but not a very healthy one. All plant foods are not created equal.

The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessarily interchangeable. Some foods and food groups have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. For example, sulforaphane, the amazing liver-enzyme detox-boosting compound, is derived nearly exclusively from cruciferous vegetables. You could eat tons of other kinds of greens and vegetables on a given day, and get no appreciable sulforaphane if you didn’t eat something cruciferous.

It’s the same with flax seeds and the anticancer lignan compounds. Flax may average a hundred times more lignans than other foods. And mushrooms aren’t even plants at all; they belong to an entirely different biological classification, and may contain nutrients (like ergothioneine) not made anywhere in the plant kingdom. (So technically, maybe I should be referring to a whole-food, plant- and fungus-based diet, but that just sounds kind of gross.)

It seems like every time I come home from the medical library buzzing with some exciting new data, my family rolls their eyes, sighs, and asks, “What can’t we eat now?” Or, they’ll say, “Wait a second. Why does everything seem to have parsley in it all of a sudden?” or something! They’re very tolerant.

As the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I made a checklist, and had it up on a little dry-erase board on the fridge, and we’d make a game out of ticking off the boxes. This evolved, into my Daily Dozen: the checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. 

By beans, I mean legumes, which also includes split peas, chickpeas, and lentils. You know, while eating a bowl of pea soup or dipping carrots into hummus may not seem like eating beans, it certainly counts. We should try to get three servings a day. A serving is defined as a quarter-cup of hummus or bean dip; a half-cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu, or tempeh; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils. Though peanuts are technically legumes, nutritionally, I’ve grouped them in the Nuts category, just as I would shunt green beans, snap peas, and string beans into the Other Vegetables category.

A serving of berries is a half-cup fresh or frozen, or a quarter-cup of dried. While biologically speaking, avocados, bananas, and even watermelons are technically berries, I’m using the colloquial term for any small edible fruit, which is why I include kumquats and grapes—and raisins, as well as fruits that are typically thought of as berries, but actually technically aren’t, such as blackberries, cherries, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

For other fruits, a serving is a medium-sized fruit, a cup of cut-up fruit, or a quarter-cup of dried fruit. Again, I’m using the colloquial rather than the botanical definition; so, I place tomatoes in the Other Vegetables group.

Common cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, collards, and kale. I recommend at least one serving a day (typically a half-cup), and at least two additional servings of greens a day, cruciferous or otherwise. Serving sizes for other greens and vegetables are a cup for raw leafy vegetables, a half-cup for other raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables, and a quarter-cup for dried mushrooms.

Everyone should try to incorporate one tablespoon of ground flax seeds into their daily diet, in addition to a serving of nuts or other seeds. A quarter-cup of nuts is considered a serving, or two tablespoons of nut or seed butters, including peanut butter. (Chestnuts and coconuts, though, don’t nutritionally count as nuts.)

I also recommend one-quarter teaspoon a day of the spice turmeric, along with any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you may enjoy.

A serving of whole grains can be considered a half-cup of hot cereal, such as oatmeal, cooked whole grains, or so-called “pseudograins” like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa, or a half-cup of cooked pasta or corn kernels; a cup of ready-to-eat (cold) cereal; one tortilla or slice of bread; half a bagel or English muffin; or three cups of air-popped popcorn.

The serving size in the beverage category is one glass (twelve ounces), and the recommended five glasses a day is in addition to the water you get naturally from the foods in your diet. I explain my rationale in my video, How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day?

Finally, I advise one daily “serving” of exercise, which can be split up over the day. I recommend ninety minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, such as brisk (four miles per hour) walking or, forty minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging or active sports) each day. I explain my reasoning for that in my video, How Much Should You Exercise?

This may all sound like a lot of boxes to check, but it’s easy to knock off a bunch at a time. One simple peanut butter/banana sandwich, and you just checked off four boxes. Or imagine sitting down to a big salad. Two cups of spinach, a handful of arugula, a handful of walnuts, a half-cup of chickpeas, a half-cup of red bell pepper, and a small tomato. You just knocked out seven boxes in one dish. Sprinkle on your flax, add a handful of goji berries, and enjoy it with a glass of water and fruit for dessert, and you just wiped out nearly half your daily check boxes in a single meal! And, then if you just ate it on your treadmill—just kidding!

Do I check off each glass of water I drink? No. In fact, I don’t even use the checklist anymore; I just used it initially as a tool to get me into a routine. You know, whenever I was sitting down to a meal, I would ask myself, Could I add greens to this? Could I add beans to this? (I always have an open can of beans in the fridge.) Can I sprinkle on some flax or pumpkin seeds, or maybe some dried fruit? The checklist just got me into the habit of thinking, How can I make this meal even healthier?

I also found the checklist helped with grocery shopping. Although I always keep bags of frozen berries and greens in the freezer, if I’m at the store and want to buy fresh produce for the week, it helps me figure out, you know, how much kale or blueberries I need.

The checklist also helps me picture what a meal might look like. Looking over the checklist, you’ll see there are three servings each of beans, fruits, and whole grains, and about twice as many vegetables in total than any other component. So, glancing at my plate, I can imagine one quarter of it filled with grains, one quarter with legumes, and a half of the plate filled with vegetables, along with maybe a side salad, and fruit for dessert. I happen to like one-bowl meals where everything’s mixed together, but the checklist still helps me to visualize. Instead of a big bowl of spaghetti with some veggies and lentils on top, I think of a big bowl of vegetables with some pasta and lentils mixed in. Instead of a big plate of quinoa with some stir-fried vegetables on top, I picture a meal that’s mostly veggies—and, oh look! There’s some quinoa and beans in there, too.

But there is no need to be obsessive about the Daily Dozen. On hectic travel days when I’ve burned through my snacks, you know, stuck in some airport food court somewhere, sometimes I’m lucky if I even hit a quarter of my goals. If you eat poorly one day, just try to eat better the next.

To help track your progress, volunteers created Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen apps for both iPhone and Android. You can download and use them both for free; no ads, no cost.

My hope is that the checklist will just serve as a helpful reminder to try to eat a variety of some of the healthiest foods every day.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Ana Victoria Esquivel. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Icons created by Danil Polshin, H Alberto Gongora, Tomas Knopp, Grégory Montigny, AomAm, Parkjisun, Arjuazka, Artem Kovyazin, Creaticca Creative Agency, Matt Gray, You Luck, Erica Loh, Vladamir Belochkin, Laymik, Nikita Kozin, Ben Davis, Balam Palma, Vectors Market, Oliver Guin, Lucas Fhñe, Tom Glass Jr., Coco Studio Milano, Mint Shirt, Dan Hetteix,and Yeoul Kwon from the Noun Project.

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.

In my book, How Not to Die, I suggest we try to center our diets around whole plant foods. But, some plants are healthier than others. For example, you can apparently live extended periods eating practically nothing but white potatoes. That would, by definition, be a whole-food, plant-based diet—but not a very healthy one. All plant foods are not created equal.

The more I’ve researched over the years, the more I’ve come to realize that healthy foods are not necessarily interchangeable. Some foods and food groups have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. For example, sulforaphane, the amazing liver-enzyme detox-boosting compound, is derived nearly exclusively from cruciferous vegetables. You could eat tons of other kinds of greens and vegetables on a given day, and get no appreciable sulforaphane if you didn’t eat something cruciferous.

It’s the same with flax seeds and the anticancer lignan compounds. Flax may average a hundred times more lignans than other foods. And mushrooms aren’t even plants at all; they belong to an entirely different biological classification, and may contain nutrients (like ergothioneine) not made anywhere in the plant kingdom. (So technically, maybe I should be referring to a whole-food, plant- and fungus-based diet, but that just sounds kind of gross.)

It seems like every time I come home from the medical library buzzing with some exciting new data, my family rolls their eyes, sighs, and asks, “What can’t we eat now?” Or, they’ll say, “Wait a second. Why does everything seem to have parsley in it all of a sudden?” or something! They’re very tolerant.

As the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I made a checklist, and had it up on a little dry-erase board on the fridge, and we’d make a game out of ticking off the boxes. This evolved, into my Daily Dozen: the checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. 

By beans, I mean legumes, which also includes split peas, chickpeas, and lentils. You know, while eating a bowl of pea soup or dipping carrots into hummus may not seem like eating beans, it certainly counts. We should try to get three servings a day. A serving is defined as a quarter-cup of hummus or bean dip; a half-cup of cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu, or tempeh; or a full cup of fresh peas or sprouted lentils. Though peanuts are technically legumes, nutritionally, I’ve grouped them in the Nuts category, just as I would shunt green beans, snap peas, and string beans into the Other Vegetables category.

A serving of berries is a half-cup fresh or frozen, or a quarter-cup of dried. While biologically speaking, avocados, bananas, and even watermelons are technically berries, I’m using the colloquial term for any small edible fruit, which is why I include kumquats and grapes—and raisins, as well as fruits that are typically thought of as berries, but actually technically aren’t, such as blackberries, cherries, mulberries, raspberries, and strawberries.

For other fruits, a serving is a medium-sized fruit, a cup of cut-up fruit, or a quarter-cup of dried fruit. Again, I’m using the colloquial rather than the botanical definition; so, I place tomatoes in the Other Vegetables group.

Common cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, collards, and kale. I recommend at least one serving a day (typically a half-cup), and at least two additional servings of greens a day, cruciferous or otherwise. Serving sizes for other greens and vegetables are a cup for raw leafy vegetables, a half-cup for other raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables, and a quarter-cup for dried mushrooms.

Everyone should try to incorporate one tablespoon of ground flax seeds into their daily diet, in addition to a serving of nuts or other seeds. A quarter-cup of nuts is considered a serving, or two tablespoons of nut or seed butters, including peanut butter. (Chestnuts and coconuts, though, don’t nutritionally count as nuts.)

I also recommend one-quarter teaspoon a day of the spice turmeric, along with any other (salt-free) herbs and spices you may enjoy.

A serving of whole grains can be considered a half-cup of hot cereal, such as oatmeal, cooked whole grains, or so-called “pseudograins” like amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa, or a half-cup of cooked pasta or corn kernels; a cup of ready-to-eat (cold) cereal; one tortilla or slice of bread; half a bagel or English muffin; or three cups of air-popped popcorn.

The serving size in the beverage category is one glass (twelve ounces), and the recommended five glasses a day is in addition to the water you get naturally from the foods in your diet. I explain my rationale in my video, How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day?

Finally, I advise one daily “serving” of exercise, which can be split up over the day. I recommend ninety minutes of moderate-intensity activity each day, such as brisk (four miles per hour) walking or, forty minutes of vigorous activity (such as jogging or active sports) each day. I explain my reasoning for that in my video, How Much Should You Exercise?

This may all sound like a lot of boxes to check, but it’s easy to knock off a bunch at a time. One simple peanut butter/banana sandwich, and you just checked off four boxes. Or imagine sitting down to a big salad. Two cups of spinach, a handful of arugula, a handful of walnuts, a half-cup of chickpeas, a half-cup of red bell pepper, and a small tomato. You just knocked out seven boxes in one dish. Sprinkle on your flax, add a handful of goji berries, and enjoy it with a glass of water and fruit for dessert, and you just wiped out nearly half your daily check boxes in a single meal! And, then if you just ate it on your treadmill—just kidding!

Do I check off each glass of water I drink? No. In fact, I don’t even use the checklist anymore; I just used it initially as a tool to get me into a routine. You know, whenever I was sitting down to a meal, I would ask myself, Could I add greens to this? Could I add beans to this? (I always have an open can of beans in the fridge.) Can I sprinkle on some flax or pumpkin seeds, or maybe some dried fruit? The checklist just got me into the habit of thinking, How can I make this meal even healthier?

I also found the checklist helped with grocery shopping. Although I always keep bags of frozen berries and greens in the freezer, if I’m at the store and want to buy fresh produce for the week, it helps me figure out, you know, how much kale or blueberries I need.

The checklist also helps me picture what a meal might look like. Looking over the checklist, you’ll see there are three servings each of beans, fruits, and whole grains, and about twice as many vegetables in total than any other component. So, glancing at my plate, I can imagine one quarter of it filled with grains, one quarter with legumes, and a half of the plate filled with vegetables, along with maybe a side salad, and fruit for dessert. I happen to like one-bowl meals where everything’s mixed together, but the checklist still helps me to visualize. Instead of a big bowl of spaghetti with some veggies and lentils on top, I think of a big bowl of vegetables with some pasta and lentils mixed in. Instead of a big plate of quinoa with some stir-fried vegetables on top, I picture a meal that’s mostly veggies—and, oh look! There’s some quinoa and beans in there, too.

But there is no need to be obsessive about the Daily Dozen. On hectic travel days when I’ve burned through my snacks, you know, stuck in some airport food court somewhere, sometimes I’m lucky if I even hit a quarter of my goals. If you eat poorly one day, just try to eat better the next.

To help track your progress, volunteers created Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen apps for both iPhone and Android. You can download and use them both for free; no ads, no cost.

My hope is that the checklist will just serve as a helpful reminder to try to eat a variety of some of the healthiest foods every day.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Ana Victoria Esquivel. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Icons created by Danil Polshin, H Alberto Gongora, Tomas Knopp, Grégory Montigny, AomAm, Parkjisun, Arjuazka, Artem Kovyazin, Creaticca Creative Agency, Matt Gray, You Luck, Erica Loh, Vladamir Belochkin, Laymik, Nikita Kozin, Ben Davis, Balam Palma, Vectors Market, Oliver Guin, Lucas Fhñe, Tom Glass Jr., Coco Studio Milano, Mint Shirt, Dan Hetteix,and Yeoul Kwon from the Noun Project.

Doctor's Note

Normally we just show you the science from the primary sources in the peer-reviewed medical literature, but I want NutritionFacts.org to be more than just a reference site. I want it to be a practical guide on translating this mountain of data into day-to-day decisions. So, that’s where my Daily Dozen slips into the mix. It’s available for free on iTunes as well as an Android app, thanks to an amazing group of volunteers through our Open Source Initiative.

Here are direct links to the two videos I referenced in the video: How Many Glasses of Water Should We Drink a Day?  and How Much Should You Exercise?

For more intro-type videos, check out:

Okay, but how do you actually incorporate those Daily Dozen foods into your diet? Check out my new How Not to Die Cookbook! (All the proceeds I receive from that and all my books goes to the 501c3 nonprofit that runs this site.)

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

173 responses to “Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen Checklist

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  1. IT IS very important for those new to Nutrition Facts and Dr. Greger to note that you should NOT be overly influenced by any one commenter in these comment sections, especially when their comments are contrary to the years of videos collected here, and they offer nothing but links to largely disproven articles and videos produced by others (with other motivations in some cases). In some cases they may not have even read How Not to Die, yet.

    Please make a note of it.




    95
    1. Yeah. Warning. Why should your comment be influential but not others? In other words, if other people should not be influence by comments, why is your own comment exempt?




      7
    2. There is only one truth and one man who knows what that truth is. To believe or say otherwise is heresy. That what science tells us isn’t it?

      I have a large stack of books to burn. Are ashes nutritious?




      4
      1. Sorry, Rick Bergles, but it’s a waste of our time & energy to deal with those who come here with ulterior motives & continue to repeat the same mis- & disinformation ad nauseum even after it’s been totally debunked by the moderators & others.
        Actually, I’m not sorry at all.

        Thank you Wade.




        43
        1. Is it really necessary to “deal” with people who disagree with you, Ms. Nancy? Science is never complete; otherwise it would be religion.

          There is no “ultimate truth,” (or if there is, it is unknowable.) And lesser truths can be debated by reasonable people. Does the use of a bold font (“shouting”) indicate fear of opposing ideas? Insecurity? A psychological need to “bully?”

          You and Wayne Patton would do poorly in philosophy class, but would excel in Bible College. “Certainty” is the refuge of small minds – don’t be a bug in a vinegar jar.




          11
          1. #Rick Bergles
            Puh, this is hardly tobacco… isn’t it?
            “science is never complete” – right, especially science and nutrition can’t be complete but (!) a lot’s of studies show the way it can go to have a long time a good health. And in this point of view I totally agree with Wade Patton when he says: “…especially when their comments are contrary to the years of videos collected here,…” that means, that it can be, that in one special case in one special video of Dr. Greger it can be, that other studies showed others. But it is wrong, totally wrong to see only “this special video” and make a conclusion to the whole topic. I don’t know wheter you understand this. Let it explain a little bit more. In my case, when I started to dive deeper into the secrets of nutrition I read a lot of books, internet sites and more but after every book, article etc. I have had more question marks in my brain the answers because there was always a “but” in my mind – maybe (also) because of 45 years of television consumption, a medicine scool and more… but then the more information I got and get it started to develop picture, what good health can be and how to reach it. That means Wade Putton as an advice for “beginners” – they should not leave Dr.Gregers site immediately but look for more information or/and write a comment with there questions…
            To say is shortly with the words of Dr. Champbell: Any study, irrelevant if good or bad, be considered as “doupted” if any one, irrelevant who, in the public says: “there has been mistakes in it” – like the “China Study”, as a professional puppeter this in public says… a lot’s of oppositions used that circumstance immetiately to say: “Look, the China Study is completely wrong” because nobody (or the exceedingly few) analyzed who was it, who doubted the China Study, has she the knowlegde to do it?
            And the same happens often here…




            7
          2. Rick, I don’t think anyone comes here looking for the ‘truth’. I sure don’t. I come here to look at the facts. Scientific facts. And then I make my decisions based on the facts. I don’t care if you or anyone else uses a crystal ball to decide what to eat. It’s none of my business.

            I find it interesting how you & a couple of others insinuate that we’re the ones who act like religious zealots when you’re the ones who come here making claims without producing one single shred of scientific evidence to back said claims. The debates took place, the claims were debunked, the theories completely unraveled, but you still refuse to accept it because you don’t want to. And that’s fine with me, because I really don’t care what your criteria is for deciding what you eat. But who’s the bug in the vinegar jar now? Who’s the religious zealot now? You know the old saying that sometimes when you point the finger at someone else, three are pointing are pointing back at you.




            18
            1. WFPBNancy – Thank you for your post. As a scientist with a science degree from an accredited University I, too, follow this site because I am interested in the facts. The whole reason I follow the WFPB discipline is because of the scientists who followed where the facts led them over decades – and I am referring to Campbell, Esselstyne, Ornish, Fuhrman, Klapper, Novick, Kim, McDougall, et. al., as well as Greger, and, now, many others. Like you, I am not a guru-follower. As a scientist, I appreciate the scientific method and the understanding that truly useful knowledge is garnered by gathering the greater preponderance of the evidence to move hypothesis toward theory.
              One of the things I particularly enjoy about gathering facts to move hypothesis toward theory is the automatic inclusion of change. If further discovery shows, . . over time and with continued gathering of facts . . .. that the current hypothesis is incomplete or is moving toward a new direction (by the gathering of facts), then the hypothesis can change to follow the facts. Scientists understand that a part of the movement of hypothesis toward theory will automatically show and include outlier information as a part of the process. Over time, outlier research will be shown to be discarded as poorly conducted research or possessing some anomaly that can’t quite be explained by the greater preponderance of the evidence. It may display as some as-yet unexplained exception as well but in general does not refute the preponderance of evidence as a whole. So a single or a few ‘studies’ that refute WFPB lifestyle of diet and exercise cause me, personally, no concern. It is people like Campbell, et. al., mentioned above, whose body of work stands broad, deep, and solid for itself against an individual outlier study of not much consequence.
              What we continue to see is further development of the foundation of the WFPB hypothesis and continued development of hypothesis-to-theory in WFPB nutrition. So those who continue to attempt to refute Campbell, et. al, mentioned above, on this site with one or two little links ultimately do nothing but illustrate the glaring difference in size of the mountain of WFPB evidence to the ant hill of other hypotheses.
              I’m with you Nancy.




              17
              1. Rachel and Nancy, thank you for a great explanation. You and the other scientific minded individuals who post in the comments section here are such a valuable addition to this website. I have learned so much over the years from the discussions here, which I consider a supplementary knowledge base to the videos. From the links to valid research papers referred to in the comments section, I have acquired many details that fill in missing pieces of the WFPB way of eating. And having been a scientist myself before retirement, I don’t accept anyone’s statements blindly and frequently read the research papers in the “sources cited” to get more details.

                Most of us come to this site to learn new information about nutrition. And 90% or more of the comments help in this regard. Keep up the good posts … myself and hundreds of regular readers that visit here appreciate your comments.




                11
          3. Rick writes,

            Is it really necessary to “deal” with people who disagree with you, Ms. Nancy? Science is never complete; otherwise it would be religion.

            Not exactly. The foundations of science, including the laws of logic, are “complete,” in the sense that they’re the ultimate bases for the proper methods of induction and deduction.

            There is no “ultimate truth,”

            stated categorically as if it were itself an ultimate truth.

            “Certainty” is the refuge of small minds.

            Are you certain of that? And if you’re not, then on what grounds do you say so? And if you are certain of it, does that make you a small mind?

            Certainty, based on a careful evaluation of the facts, is indispensable to self-confident and decisive action. Chronic doubt is psychologically self-sabotaging.




            0
    3. Wonderful video. One can and should be always improving his or her diet. I need to eat more starches like beans and whole grains as Dr. McDougall recommends. A plate of mostly vegetables and I am hungry in an hour.




      0
  2. I look at this app quite often and I absolutely love it. But after the arsenic series, brown rice is still listed as some of your favorites on the daily dozen. I thought that you recommend choosing a lower arsenic option like quinoa?




    7
      1. And, Steven, I think the photos for ‘Cruciferous Vegetables’ and ‘Greens’ got mixed up. There’s a tablespoon of horseradish under ‘Greens’.

        Thank you for all you do at NF.




        0
    1. I’ve been living in Argentina for a few years, I don’t know enough as to say that the rice we get here is contaminated also or if, it coming from another place of origin it doesn’t have that much (if any contamination)..
      question then is: do the statements about arsenic in rice apply worldwide, or mostly to the USA?

      and, in a broader sense, can we people living in places other than USA, generalize and assume that our food is being produced in the same way as yours? laws and regulations differ worldwide, being so, methods of production must differ somewhat too, hence:
      how do we know when and if this sort of information applies to the country we live too?

      thanks in advance!




      0
  3. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen app is terrific! I thought I was doing pretty well until I got the app & started ticking things off. It made me realize that I wasn’t eating enough beans & lentils & that I needed to eat more fruit. It really helps to keep me on track. And if I didn’t make my quota in one group, it helps remind me to get it the following day. My diet has become much more varied since using the app.




    19
  4. How should we adjust the dozen checklist according to one’s daily calorie needs?What’s the approximate amount of calories in your checklist? Thank you.




    6
    1. In general these are minimums. I think i figured it out once that depending on which fruits, grains, etc you choose, it equals out to 1200 to 1600 calories. It is okay to eat more of the boxes, if you need more calories, like 4 servings each of beans, grains, and fruits. This isn’t a food plan, saying ‘eat this many servings of these foods’, its more of a health goal.




      9
    2. The daily dozen accounts for between 1300-1500 calories depending on (mostly) the types of grains and beans and “other” vegetables you eat. You can burn calories with exercise, but you need to remark that the suggested exercise is more stringent than 30 minutes per day (you may have heard that recommendation elsewhere). If you are 5’8″ 160 lb man with long-hours office job and if you are trying to lose weight and so you are on a 1500 calorie per day diet, there is no room at all for fun in your diet. There is no room for any animal products because they are so calorie dense compared to plant foods. I average 16/24 and my best ever is 22/24 over 6 months of devoted practice so for me it is disappointing I have never achieved perfect regularly, but satisfying knowing that I’m feeling better in general. For me, I take one day off per week because it is a tough diet to stay on without going insane. Remember though the final recommendation: do what you can and just try to think long term.




      5
      1. Lewis,

        I’m curious as to what, specifically, makes this diet tough for you. I admire your persistence in the face of that, but I’m curious.

        Over the years, before learning about whole food plant based eating, I went on many diets to lose weight. This started with Weight Watchers back when you had white fish five days a week and liver once, continued through Atkins, the HCG Diet, later iterations of Weight Watchers, and many others. All the diet books tell you that it’s a lifestyle and give you guidelines for the few things you can add back after losing weight. NONE of them ever appealed to me to continue with, so of course I always eventually regained the lost weight. But the whole foods plant ONLY diet is so much more varied, interesting, and tasty than any other diet I’ve ever followed that it’s a joy. There are lots of cookbooks and bloggers – some with simple recipes, others with more complex ones. And it’s much easier to maintain my weight. My BMI is 21 these days – not 29 like it was a couple of times.

        I had to adjust my meal planning so I wasn’t thinking of a chunk of animal plus a salad and two side veggies. Now the main dish may incorporate everything. There are lots of soups, stews, and salads to choose from. Lots of creative people have adapted recipes to suit this way of cooking. Now I seldom make the same dish twice. Well, we do have our favorites, but I try new things all the time.




        16
    3. Go to Sparkspeople, Chronometer, Livestrong or any site you know that has a calorie calculator and start entering servings from the list. You can easily do this for yourself. Better still, eat a good balanced whole food plant based diet and stop worrying about calories.




      11
      1. I have been on a WFPB diet for 6 years now. I gained 10-15 pounds. I am not very good at keeping track of everything I eat, especially when a dish has multiple ingredients. I am healthy, but at 4’10” every pound shows!




        1
        1. Patty – if you find yourself gaining weight (and I had to learn this too), reduce your grains and starchy vegetables and up the intake of green and yellow non-starchy vegg. Also reduce or stop nuts and high fat items like avocados and dips made with oil in them (like hummus for example). Stop eating in restaurants (if you do) because restaurants add gobs of fat that you can’t see. These suggestions are per John Mcdougall, M.D., also a WFPB physician. Google his website where his wife, Mary, has posted a gigantic number of recipes that all meet their healthy eating guidelines.

          I found, personally that, at my age (mid-60’s) that I do better weight-wise if I eat my starchy vegg and grains earlier in the day, by 2pm if I can and eat much lighter in the evening with a huge salad, balsamic vinegar dressing (no oil) and green steamed vegetables (with balsamic again and/or tamari and a sprinkling of sesame seed). If I get hungry again in the evening, . .. I eat another green salad and/or more green vegg. I built in 12hrs of fasting at night. This made a huge difference for me and let me take off the weight I needed to lose, . . .effortlessly. Hope this is helpful. Stay the course. :-)




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    4. #Nicole
      I understand the DD App as an percentage distribution, not a hwole plan for everybody. Because every people are different in things they are doing, take me for example, I run my racing bike, nearly daily, about 70 km and when I eating only like the DD App I would run out of energy very fast. Also, if you drink coffee or some alcohol daily you need more vitamins then if you drink only water and/or tea… for me, the DD App are the basics, the minimum not more but not less… and I feel great (also my wife and my dog ;-))




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    5. I thought the same thing…but then I thought that serving sizes depend on one’s calorie-intake needs. On nutrition labels of most food products the serving sizes are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, which is exactly what is written on the labels. So if a particular person is smaller than the average size male or female, then I assume that the serving size would have to be smaller in order to account for proper calorie and nutrition needs of that unique individual. Please, anybody, correct me if I am wrong about this assumption.




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  5. “Coconuts don’t count as nuts.” Hm, what do they count as? Is whole coconut or whole coconut butter (like peanut butter but made from whole coconut) not recommended?




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        1. You eat a lot of whole coconut do you? That would make you an unusual fellow. If you don’t eat a lot, then you don’t need to worry about it.




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      1. That’s an interesting site but it is not evidence that “Coconut is the best nut, fruit and seed ever.” – whatever that might mean.

        As far as I know, only people,who are suckers for internet marketing hype and saturated fat worshipers share your views (and people with links to the industry)




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    1. Go to the original email, before the video. Right click on the image. Save as “Greger’s Daily Dozen”, …. as a landscape orientation in Microsoft Word. I think you have to have a color printer.




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    2. Hi Kristen, this is the work of one of our amazing volunteers! We are planning to incorporate it into some physical items soon :)




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      1. I don’t have a smart phone and therefore can’t use the app. I, too, would like to be able to print out the beautiful Daily Dozen print and stick on my fridge. So when it’s ready, please let us know. I’m in!




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  6. What happened to the mushrooms, which contain ergothioneine, not found anywhere in the plant kingdom? Why aren’t they part of the Daily (Baker’s!) Dozen? :-)

    P.S. A “Baker’s Dozen” is 13.




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      1. Yes would be nice if it allowed us to add additional items to track. But nice way to start and realize that non-profit with limited resources etc.




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    1. William, I am a moderator in NF team. Actuallt is a great suggestion, I will let Dr. Greguer know to add mushrooms in the list. I believe its been included in other vegetables but put it as a special 13 is not a bad idea. Thank you!




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  7. What does Dr. G think about pastas made with lentils or chickpeas for the servings of beans? Would they count?

    Also, what about soy or almond milk? I consume up to 2 cups a day, including coffee, cereal and smoothie, so I would like to check off a box or two for them….or are they just calories?




    2
    1. Check the nutritional label on your almond milk. Then consider that a half gallon contains virtually no almond at all. It is a waste of money, in my opinion.
      Dr John McDougall does count soy milk as a serving of beans, and the nutrient content of soy milk, with a protein count as high as dairy etc, makes it a good choice for ceral and smoothies, but I don’t count it as beans. No fiber, for one thing.




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    2. I think a clue is that Dr. Greger advocates a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. Soy and almond milk are not whole food – they don’t have the fiber that whole foods have. This is also why he advocates whole fruit and not fruit juice.




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      1. “I think a clue is that Dr. Greger advocates a Whole Food Plant Based Diet. Soy and almond milk are not whole food…”

        — Neither is tofu, yet, it’s in the list. And what fibre do green tea or hibiscus tea have?




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    3. Hi Rama I am a moderator in NF team, also a Nutritionist. So in my opinion I would totally count pastas of lentils and chickpeas as servings. As for the soy milk and almond milk, I’d only count soy milk as a servings. Almond milk is okay as a substitute sometimes but doesnt provide you with as much nutrients as the whole almond. Make sure that both have not been added with tons of sugar!




      3
  8. For the sake of record keeping, what category does lettuce fit into? Lettuce isn’t specifically mentioned under “Greens” but raw leafy vegetables are listed under “Other Vegetables”.




    1
  9. Per the dietetic textbooks, lettuce is still considered a vegetable. Hope that helps! :) McGuire M., Beerman K: Table of Food Composition for Nutritional Sciences: From Fundamentals to Food. (3rd ed). Belmont, CA. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. 2013.




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  10. For people like me that are relatively new to the WFPD way of life and at the same time new to meal prep/cooking I think it would be very inspiring and helpful if Dr. G and other leaders in this field would post their own meal logs so we could see how they accomplish the Daily Dozen each day as well as give us meal ideas we have not thought about or discovered in the menagerie of websites posting WFPD recipes.




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    1. Hello DQ! I am a humble moderator. In my own world, I fill the grocery cart with one of my favorite superfoods lists (very similar to Dr. G’s- in fact I love his app!). I’ve been doing this for years before the app came around. I mentally tick off colors (what colors did I eat for breakfast?) and I simply work my way through the groceries in the hope that nothing spoils. While recipes are a ton of fun, I don’t use them during my busy week. If I can learn how to thrive in the kitchen, then so can you! I use my eyes and my sense of smell. I whip it up and hope that it tastes good. Most of the time, it does. I want to encourage you just to play in the kitchen. (And 5 minute YouTube videos are terrific!) I “smell” my spice and taste my food. If the taste and the smell work well together– your brand new dish will be terrific. I hope that helps?! Happy cooking :)




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  11. Variety, yes, but eating such haphazard combinations like this daily dozen, no.
    Mixing all these super foods in one meal is simply indigestible. Your approach to eating healthy is so mechanical. Our stomach is not of such kind.
    No need to have everything you mention in one meal, it is confusing to our gastric system, we can have all that you’ve mentioned but not in same meal. And fruit after meal… ridiculous.
    How come you never heard of your fellow countryman Dr. Herbert M. Shelton and the Natural Hygiene movement from the last century?
    Find out what Dr. Shelton wrote about the physiology of digestion.
    I wonder what your stool look and smell like after all this haphazard intake of so various foodstuff.




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  12. I wish Dr. Greger would specifically address the issue of RDAs for various nutrients. Every so often I track what I eat on cronometer.com (free app) and find that on my typical 2100-2300 cal per day diet (which keeps my BMI around 19), I exceed all RDAs (forgetting B12 and D, which I supplement) except, typically, B5 and choline. Even in those cases I usually get 85-95% and since I am slim this does not particularly concern me. But still it is quite easy to be low on some nutrient unless one pays some attention to the distribution in different foods. I’d also be interested to know if anyone else has noticed or addressed this issue?




    1
  13. Yes, I have. As a previous dietetic student, I’ve been playing with nutrition software for several years. It led me to more questions and more research. With regards to choline, if an individual consumes an adequate variety of foods, the body has the ability to make more. This is an extremely interesting topic and more can be found if you search the National Academy of Dietetics website. I apologize– I have this article in my office, but I don’t have the article at my fingertips right now. Keywords would be choline and vegetarian (I believe).

    Secondly, soil content affects plant nutrient composition. So the RDAs are a guide– not black and white!! Lastly, I first became a little skeptical when I realized that I couldn’t reach the calcium requirement without drinking at least one glass of cows milk. Further research led me to realize that the recommended daily intake of calcium is much lower in other countries (than the US). I think the RDAs are a good guide– but it is only a guide. If I am eating a variety of clean food most of the time, my bloodwork looks good and I feel pretty good– then I am not worried. Does that help?? I hope so.




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    1. Deborah Moderator – You made some great points about getting “sufficient nutrients”. Fifty years ago, when I stopped consuming dairy, I had people tell me that I was making a big mistake. Fifty years later my lack of cow calcium seems to have made no difference (no milk, no yougurt, no cheese, no dairy, no excuses). I have no osteopenia at 65 years of age. However! I do use my body physically. It is the pulling of muscles on bones, not calcium, that stimulates osteoblasts to build bone.




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  14. Thanks, Deborah, It’s nice to hear from someone knowledgeable on the topic. Your conclusion is pretty much the same as mine, although I am a bit on the obsessive side.




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  15. 90 minutes of walking a day ???
    i do 45 and i thought i was doing good :/
    i dont eat as much grains as he speaks of…im too close too being prediabetic…so i back off of that much..and yes they do raise my blood sugar …i dont eat much oatmeal rice etc..this helped to lower mf hg1AC to within normal range
    otherwise im following his pretty closely….i probably eat more nuts and seeds then he recommends

    no mention of tofu…i guess thats tempeh




    0
    1. Eating more of any sources of fat is the last thing to do if you have blood sugar problems and thats probably why your body dont fix it at time bu thats true grains have a pretty high glycemic load(index is outdated), higher than most fruit for exemple.

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/diabetes-as-a-disease-of-fat-toxicity/

      http://nsm08.casimages.com/img/2014/08/02/14080207563217279112428500.jpg




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      1. The videos you referred to by Dr Greger only refer to  fat from animal sources and not  vegetable sources..I havent seen any from him implicating fat from vegetable sources such as avocado,flaxseed and nuts as contributing to insulin resistance and  type 2 diabetes diabetes




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    2. Tofu is cited within the beans category (but not among “some of my favorites”). I guess then it should include soymilk as well, since from a nutritional standpoint both white unfermented tofu and soymilk are virtually the same (soymilk contains more water, though, so it should have made it into the beverages category).




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  16. I would add an item to the list, to make it 13 (-: hot pepper – a very effective way of reducing inflammation, the kind of which Big Pharma just recently advertised in a new drug as an alternative to the apparently losing battle against cholesterol.

    I’ve been eating hot pepper daily for the last 7 years, and my CRP has constantly been (way) under 1. In Canada it came out 0.2 a couple times when I measured it. Here in Germany they don’t give it to me with decimals, it just says <1.

    Some say that with such a low inflammation, even if you do have higher cholesterol, chances of it forming deposits on non-inflamed blood vessel walls are highly reduced. Which is important to me because my cholesterol is not getting low enough (around 230), despite eating exclusively plants and no oils for the last 8 years.




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    1. Steven A – Thanks for mentioning hot pepper and its inflammation reducing ability. I found this:
      “All chili peppers include capsaicin (the hotter the pepper, the more capsaicin it has), which is a potent inhibitor of substance P, a neuropeptide associated with inflammatory processes. ”

      What kind of hot peppers do you consume?




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      1. Hi Dorothy,

        I consume any kind of hot peppers that I can find, but most often I find the usual red hot chili pepper (cayenne). I eat about 2 per day, with seeds and all. Started with one/day but then I became addicted. :)




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        1. Thanks Steven!! – I am going to assume you are talking about raw peppers, yes? or pickled, or both? I am going to see what I can do to start adding them to my diet. Do you eat peperocino’s ?
          Thanks!




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          1. Yes, raw. Peperocino’s too, but I don’t find them hot at all, so I’m not sure how much of the good stuff they have in them.

            You can eat hot peppers with pretty much anything (heck, there’s even hot pepper jam), but if the peppers are hot you definitely want to avoid eating them with hot (temperature-wise) food, as it makes the hotness of the pepper much, much stronger.




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  17. i know it is just me but i always seem to want details that are missing or get frustrated with measurements. i can not understand the use of volume for solid ( and usually fluffy ) items. weight(mass) would be better. exercise, it should be standardized to time above a percent of resting heart rate, or better but harder to calculate, a percent of basal metabolic rate. regarding spices, it should be specified whether in the studies the spice was consumed raw or cooked.




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  18. Survey: How many of you eat the Daily Dozen? Vote Thumb Up if you do, or no vote if you don’t (the thumb down was taken away).

    In term of plant foods, I actually eat the Daily 15 if you count herb, mushroom, coconut oil as separate categories.

    I vary slightly from Dr G. In term of cruciferous vegetables, I eat much more than his required one serving.

    But for whole grain, I cut down on his 3 cup servings per day to about 1.5 to 2 cups per day of rice and oatmeal due to the carb and I want to maintain my daily carb to below 200 grams.




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  19. The great thing about the daily dozen is that it provides goals, both for food and exercise, and there are lots of ways to meet goals. Reminds me of the “Aerobics” book by Dr. Ken Cooper. The provided lots of ways to meet exercise goals based on type of activity and duration. That helped me to get started walking and then running in 1969.




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  20. I’m loving the app. I have a few suggestions, if it’s possible to add vitamin D exposure that would be awesome! (The world health org recommends face and arm exposure for 30 mins a day) I would love to help my elderly mother track this since she can be forgetful. Also, I’d love to be able to add profiles for my kids. Thanks again for the app!




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  21. In general I think the Daily Dozen is a pretty good list of guidelines, but there are areas where I disagree with Dr. Greger.

    I’m not exactly what you would call a fanatical supporter of Dr. Greger, so I often feel out of place in the comments section. I think the work he does is generally valuable, but I only agree with him about half the time, even though I have been committed to whole food, plant-based living for many years.

    In my opinion his work is too reductionist in nature and relies too heavily on inconsistent deficiency theories that he shares with his two closest associates, Drs. Joel Fuhrman and Michael Klaper. Both of them are supplement salesmen. And Dr. Greger links directly to them via his site NutritionFacts.org. I find it odd that no one here seems to mind that Dr. Greger is pushing the very supplements that his friends are selling. If you did that in my line of work without clearly disclosing potential conflicts of interest, you would risk losing your license. I’ve often wondered if Dr. Greger receives a commission for his referrals to Drs. Fuhrman and Klaper.

    The first problem I have with the Greger Diet is nuts. Seeing a lecture by Jeff Novick, a friend of Dr. Greger, is what first led me to be critical of the nut studies. After reading them myself, it became clear that the association is not quite the slam dunk that the researchers want you to think it is. Are nuts in fact healthy for plant-based eaters who are not replacing unhealthy foods with nuts? Perhaps, but the jury is still out. Can they cause weight gain in plant-based eaters even in small amounts? Absolutely. My wife lost 15 pounds in a year after we gave up our one ounce per day. I lost about 10. We made no other changes.

    Vitamin D is another thorny subject. There is no evidence that supplementation works in anyone except elderly, institutionalized white women. In general it takes only minutes of sun per week during spring, summer, and fall to build up enough vitamin D stores to last through the winter. This is true even for northern latitudes. Don’t believe me? Try it yourself. I used Dr. Michael Holick’s sensible sun exposure tables to determine how much sun I needed. In the summer it’s about 8 minutes per week. In fall it’s about 25 minutes per week. That’s it. For the past few years I’ve had my blood tested at the end of winter, and my levels are normal. There are significant risks associated with vitamin D overdose (e.g. death), and considering the lack of regulation in the United States, I think it’s significantly safer to get your vitamin D naturally. That’s also the only delivery method that’s proven to be helpful anyway.

    Even though I’m being critical here, I should mention that I am in fact a monthly supporter of this site. The bibliographical value of the videos alone is tremendous, especially since I prefer to read the studies myself. If you have a good public library or better yet public university library nearby, I suggest you do the same. You’d be amazed what journals they’re subscribed to. Whatever you do, though, I think it’s important to keep Dr. Greger’s interpretations of the science in perspective and understand that there are multiple competing narratives all based on the same data. Personally I don’t follow any one doctor in particular at all. I think gurus are dangerous. I just regularly look at the top 20 plant-based doctors and pay attention to what their recommendations have in common. In some cases Dr. Greger ends up being the outlier, and it’s exactly then that you should start asking why.




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    1. I agree with you on that we need to restrict on nuts and seeds, not because of the calorie and fat which does not cause weight gain unless you eat a ton but because of the Omega 6 and PUFA fat which cause inflammation. I suspect that inflammation causes you and your wife to gain weight and not the fat.

      I also cut down on grain and eat below what Dr G recommends because of the carb content.

      I disagree with you on supplements because we need some.

      Dr G does not talk enough about herbs except for a few times.

      And of course fat, especially saturated fat, is a subject that I disagree big time with Dr G.

      And thanks for being critical and not be a blind follower of any guru.




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      1. Regarding inflammation, I have to say it never occurred to me before that it caused my weight gain. But after quitting nuts I also found that my recovery time after physical activity plummeted. I doubled the amount of cycling I did per week and went from strength training twice per week to four times per week. So maybe inflammation did actually have something to do with it.

        Rip Esselstyn refers to nuts as “inflammatory bombs” in his book The Engine 2 Seven-Day Rescue Diet. When I quit nuts I wasn’t necessarily thinking of inflammation, or any particular nutrient, or the amount of calories, or the mechanism by which they cause problems. I had simply heard from too many people that they felt better after getting off nuts and decided to give it a try. The most compelling arguments against nuts (for me at least) were whole-food vegans I knew with cystic acne whose skin cleared just weeks after quitting nuts. And guess what happened when they started eating nuts again? Their faces and bodies broke out in huge, swollen pimples.

        Anyway, I have no idea why, but I do much better without eating nuts. I wouldn’t trade my current level of physical fitness or attractiveness for a food that could theoretically be healthy according to studies funded by influential lobbying groups who want people to buy their products.




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        1. Mike C, I used the word inflammation in a liberal manner to describe every manner that the body overreacts negatively. You know good inflammation is when the body reacts to let say combat an infection, and bad inflammation is when the body overreacts in a bad way by inflaming the wrong parts of the body when you eat some foods. So because you said that you gain weight, and take more time to recover after an exercise and so I just think that something not good is happening inside your body. The Paleo people will tell you not to eat nut and seed because it’s PUFA or Omega 6 fat that will cause inflammation. They also tell you not to eat carb, i.e. from bean and grain because carb is sugar. And there are scientific studies to back them up.

          https://paleoleap.com/many-dangers-of-excess-pufa-consumption/

          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11724453

          http://preventdisease.com/news/17/083017_Diet-Cuts-Liver-Fat-20-Percent-In-Nine-Days.shtml

          Personally I still eat nut and seed and grain and carb in general because I think that is it beneficial (for me) and I have not seen any bad effects yet. But at the same time, I start to limit how much nut and seed and grain and limit my carb to be under 200 grams excluding fruit and vegetables. You can use chronometer to calculate your carb intake.

          So back to the Daily Dozen by Dr G, what I don’t like is that he lists nuts as a separate category like you have to eat it to stay healthy. Same with whole grain. Those foods should be lumped into one optional category. Then he lumps mushroom and herb into one category called “other vegetables”. I think that herb and mushrooms are too important that they should have their own categories like berries.

          I also agree with you that the benefits of nuts and bean are probably overblown. Cultures that eat them are healthy but it could be that it is thanks to the other foods that they eat. For instance, Japanese and Korean and French don’t eat nut and bean but they are healthy.

          So I don’t think that there is a one size fit all diet for everybody. Skip the foods that give you trouble. Otherwise eat them but keep reading what other people are saying too to adjust accordingly.




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          1. “Japanese and Korean and French don’t eat nut and bean but they are healthy.”

            Jerry, so I guess you’ve never had cassoulet, which is a well known bean dish in southwestern France. Or Provencal French beans (aka flageolets) Maybe the French lentil is a figment of the imagination? Sometimes they eat them with walnuts. And what about all those street vendors selling roasting chestnuts on street corners all over Paris & other cities & towns? So you’ve never had a Mont Blanc, which is made from chestnut paste. Have you never heard of the tart aux noix (walnuts) from Quercy? What about my French friend who proudly brought me (& other friends) bags of walnuts every year from her backyard tree during the decades I lived there? So I guess all the walnuts they grow in the Perigord & Grenoble go to waste? I think not.

            And what about the Japanese Ginko nut? And the Japanese walnut, chestnut & horse chestnut?

            As usual, you’re just making stuff up.




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            1. LOL Nancy, I was in France and Japan too. Do people there eat nut? Yes they do. Everyday? No, only occasionally. You cannot attribute somebody health to a food that they eat occasionally, For instance if I am healthy and I eat mango occasionally, I cannot say that mango is a super food although I know that it is a beneficial fruit.

              Furthermore all studies on nut are purely observational and are funded by the nut council. LOL if a study of the benefits of coconut is funded by the coconut council then I am sure that you and a lot of people on this board will jump in and accuse of bias.

              And last if not least, nobody can point out and prove that there is any compound in nut that makes it a superfood. They hypothesize that when people eat nut then they are more full and therefore eat less other (junk) foods. If that’s the case then fat will give the same result.

              http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2013/11/21/246549388/nuts-for-longevity-daily-handful-is-linked-to-longer-life

              “One note about the NEJM study on nuts: The major part of the study was funded by the National Institutes of Health. The researchers also accepted a grant from the International Tree Nut Council Nutrition Research and Education Foundation to cover the cost of analyzing the data.”

              “And Frank says millennials love the variety. Young adults aren’t just snacking on nuts — increasingly, they’re tossing them in salads and sprinkling them in yogurt and cereal.”

              May be it’s the yogurt that makes them healthy.




              1
            2. My understanding is that the Japanese eat a lot of beans, most famously in the form of tofu and natto (ie soy beans).
              https://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2002/04/28/food/japan-grows-some-mean-beans/#.WbkMX8gjHIU

              Ditto for Korea where tofu and bean sprouts are a traditional food and still apparently widely consumed.
              https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849024/

              So, yes, Jerry sounds quite reasonable at times but then veers off and simply makes things up as he has done here. Then he tells us that those things he made up are true. Very sad.




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                1. Jerry. You claimed – it’s there in black and white – that beans are not consumed in the French, Japanese and Korean cultures. This is simply not true.
                  You apparently don’t like people saying you “make stuff up” when you make such false claims. How else would you like people to describe your habit of making factually incorrect statements?




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                  1. TG, your attempt to smear me and to portray me as a guy who made up things, it not only laughable but also childish. For one thing, I am not in a popular contest here and calling me by anything has zero effect, nada. When you cannot counter with scientific evidences anymore then it is attack attack, LOL.

                    Back to the subject, I have lived extensively in France and Japan in my past job and so I know exactly what they eat every day and nut and bean are not on their plate every day. If you say that the Mexicans eat bean then everyone can believe it. For instance if I eat mango every 4 months or 3 times a year, do I call myself a mango eater?

                    So by casually googling at random French and Japanese recipes, I don’t see bean and nut mentioned anywhere.

                    French recipes:

                    http://www.saveur.com/classic-french-recipes#page-32

                    Japanese recipes:

                    https://www.japancentre.com/en/cookings/61-japanese-meals




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                    1. Posting the facts, and thereby exposing false claims, is not smearing anybody.

                      And if you are still claiming that beans are not eaten in Japan and Korea, then I can only say ….. “unbelievable”.

                      You have been given the references which show that beans are eaten widely in both countries,

                      Yet here you are still maintaining an obvious fiction and complaining when people observe that you “make stuff up.” Frankly, many people would think that that is a very polite way of describing what you do.




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          2. Dude, omega-6 FAs are a particular kind of PUFAs, and so are omega-3 FAs which are considered to overall have anti-inflammatory effects. Then you have gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which in spite of being an omega-6 PUFA is considered to have anti-inflammatory properties.




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        2. “…studies funded by influential lobbying groups who want people to buy their products.”

          Would that be Big Nuts? Sorry, couldn’t resist. Lol.




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    2. Mike C. – Regarding VitD and sunlight. I work outdoors and get regular half-days of full sunshine in a very sunny state. My VitD testing shows that I am consistently below the ‘normal’ reading. So, unlike you, a minimal amount of sunlight is apparently insufficient for me to get to normal blood levels of VitD3. (And I do not interrupt sunlight on my skin with sunblock).
      As others have mentioned, I, too, don’t consume as much grain as Dr. Greger suggests – my age has definitely slowed my metabolism so I fill up on less calorically dense foods. I, too, find that my A1c is easier to control with fewer grains in my WFPB diet. And if I do consume them, I try to eat them in the morning so I can burn them off during the day.
      I bring this subject up because its illustrative of the difference among and between individuals.
      I view Dr. Greger’s recommendations of his Daily Dozen as a set of suggestions that one might begin with on a path to health. We each have lifestyle and physiological circumstances that necessitate tweaking Dr. G’s Daily Dozen so that it fits us individually. I don’t see that as disagreeing with Dr. Greger or making him ‘wrong’. I see that as adjusting his recommendations to make this lifestyle choice work for me – which it does.
      Before going WFPB I was 30lbs heavier, prediabetic, rising cholesterol, gout. And I hated my complicity in the torture of animals at CAFO farms and industries. I am much happier overall with Dr. Greger’s recommendations, . . which I adjust for my own physiology and lifestyle.




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    3. hi Mike C, I was having trouble understanding your post when you referred to Dr Furhman and Dr Klaper. I have been using the NF site for a few years now, but have yet to see links to Drs Furhman or Klaper directly from this site. Though these doctors are all known to each other, I don’t believe there is any “association” between them.. but someone can certainly correct me. Also, Dr Klaper does not sell supplements to my knowledge.. correct me if I am wrong, please. http://doctorklaper.com




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      1. Thanks Nancy for your explanations and further questions. (I did not read the donations list before, ty)

        I think maybe Mike C is confused on some issues. Dr Greger speaks about reductionism and deficiency mentality in this video, https://nutritionfacts.org/video/reductionism-deficiency-mentality/ Mike may want to check what Dr Greger actually says about it before making assumptions. Furthermore, Dr Greger tells us that the healthiest diet is a B12 fortified diet of whole plant foods, and shows us examples of how to meet nutrient needs here on this page https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/

        Have to agree with Mike on the nuts issue though,.. just too many calories to take in on a regular basis (and I swim lengths daily ) 1 tbsp of ground flax covers the omega 3 issue for me.




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    4. “And Dr. Greger links directly to them via his site NutritionFacts.org. I find it odd that no one here seems to mind that Dr. Greger is pushing the very supplements that his friends are selling.” … “I’ve often wondered if Dr. Greger receives a commission for his referrals to Drs. Fuhrman and Klaper.”

      Mike C: There’s a general link to Dr. Fuhrman’s website on the donation page, but I don’t see one for Dr. Klaper’s website. Nor have I ever seen any links going the other way around on either of their sites. And so for you, a general link on a donations page to one website that sells supplements = being in cahoots with each other to sell supplements? And what commissions for what referrals are you talking about? I don’t think I’ve ever heard Dr. G make any references or referrals whatsoever to any particular brand of supplement, Dr. Fuhrman’s or anyone else’s. The only time I’ve ever heard him make any kind of reference in that regard was buying B12 in bulk online.

      You also said: “In some cases Dr. Greger ends up being the outlier…” So on the one hand, you’re saying that they’re all in cahoots. Now you’re saying that Dr. G sometimes ends up an outlier. If that’s the case, I think that’s a good thing because it avoids the ‘group-think’, ‘being in cahoots’ mentality that some like to talk about.

      I’m impressed that you have so much free time on your hands that you can go to the library & read all the studies yourself, all while regularly following the top 20 plant-based doctors to see what recommendations they all make in common. Personally I’d rather just get my information from a ‘narrative’, as you call it, with no agenda, & that’s not trying to sell me anything.

      Other than that, thanks for sharing your personal experience with nuts & vitamin D. I prefer to get my vitamin D from the sun as well.




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      1. I live in Australia and we have a lot of sun. This is evidenced by the high rates of melanoma and other skin cancers here.
        http://www.smh.com.au/national/health/australia-has-worlds-second-highest-melanoma-rates-20160712-gq46tl.html

        Even so, many Australians are vitamin D deficient. According to a Deakin University study, 73% of Australians have less than optimal levels and 31% are actually deficient. Consequently, I am not personally convinced that sun exposure is necessarily a reliable source of vitamin D, and could even be a two-edged sword if sun exposure, unless very tightly monitored, does indeed increase skin cancer risk.
        http://www.deakin.edu.au/research/research-news/articles/vitamin-d-deficiency-strikes-one-third-of-australians




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  22. I hope the new cookbook is for beginners and non-cooks. Someone in the comments said experiment and create your own recipes. That is so not me. I know some people complain when a cookbook has a recipe that says spread peanut butter on a slice of apple but that is the level and the tastiness I need. It is so surprisingly yummy. I need very basic recipes to use everyday with few ingredients, simple prep, and yummy. How do you incorporate beans when you don’t like beans? I don’t need a lot of recipes. I need simple, delicious recipes that are super easy and fast.




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    1. The Happy Herbivore is amazing. She is in to SIMPLE menus. She shares her own recipes on her website and her YOuTube videos. She also has some cookbooks out that are Very easy to read and cook with.




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  23. The graphics and productions values of the videos have steadily improved and are now very professional looking without being distracting. So proud of this site.




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  24. The daily dozen app. is easy to use, very helpful with keeping track, as I can get stuck in certain food categories, a good reminder of other possibilities. Thank You for your continued effort towards good nutrition in the ever changing world of nutrition!




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  25. Green category to me is not clear.
    In list: https://github.com/nutritionfactsorg/daily-dozen-android/blob/master/app/src/main/res/values/strings.xml . Should green vegies like: Chives or Valerianella locusta or Grean leafs of Savoy cabbage or Scallion be on that list(Scallion is even on greens picture)? What decide if something is treated as green, what not? Because current green list seems quite small and I think it should include as many avaliable source as possible.




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    1. Thank you for the video. I am eating a diet very similar to what you talk about I have been suffering for six months with degenerative disc disease herniations bulges in my lower and upper spine trying everything including chiropractor physical therapy home exercises and plan on trying to go to a acupuncture. I’m trying not to take shots get surgery or take medication for the pain but I don’t know how much longer I can go with this pain without the medication that I do not want to ingest in my body since it’s not healthy for me. does anyone have any suggestions. Thank you




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      1. Candy – I SO feel for you. Disc pain is very debilitating and I have gone through bouts of it over the years. Let me say to begin with that I don’t know what your specific situation is and I am not a Chiropractic physician, physical therapist, or MD of any sort. I have, however, dealt with my own very lower disc pain . The subject is complex. I can’t say that what you are dealing with is what I am dealing with. But I will share my information with you and you can see if any of it fits for you. There are a couple of things that were helpful for me.One was stretching all of the lower back and hamstring muscles as well as the upper back muscles. Go to Youtube and look for lower back and hamstring and upper back stretches. When any of those muscle groups are tight, they can exacerbate disc pressure. So perhaps start there. One set of Youtube videos that I found extremely helpful were videos on the McKenzie Method. Various Physical Therapists post their videos on this topic on Youtube. I found the lower back stretch for McKenzie method to be very helpful as well as the McKenzie method for sciatica stretching. It’s all related.
        Years ago I fell off of a 6-foot ladder and landed exactly on my left sitzbone. I have had trouble on the L side ever since. What I have discovered is that if I keep my lower back muscles and hamstrings stretched out – daily!! – I have achieved half the battle. So stretching muscles out and keeping the pressure off from tightening muscles is something you can do with no therapist involved. Stretch, stretch, stretch!
        I still, however, had some trouble. Then I had a giant piece of luck come my way. An old friend of my brothers was passing through town and needed a place to stay for a bit. He is an excellent chiropractor. Long story short, he showed me that providing traction to my lower back was the missing piece to my disc problem. He showed me a number of ways to use gravity to create traction – very small stretching of the spine – to relieve pressure on the disc. When pressure on the disc is relieved, it can re-hydrate and plump up again relieving the pressure on the nerve root at the spine. So – stand at your kitchen counter, put your palms on the counter, lean forward and remove your body weight from your feet and transfer it to your palms and let your lower back and legs “dangle” without weight. Just let it hang for as long as you can. Do this 2, 3, 4, times and then DO NOT SIT DOWN. Sitting increased the pressure on those discs. If anything, lie down. But do not compress the disc by sitting or standing. Give your spine a little vacation from the pressure of gravity. Continue to find ways to relieve the pressure on your lower or upper back. I have a sofa with big overstuffed arms that I lean my upper body over and let my lower back/legs dangle while “sitting”. When I am driving, and stopped at a red light, I put my R arm on the seat (elbow locked) and left arm on the arm rest and lift my upper body to relieve pressure on my lower spine. Some times I shake my lower body to continue the loosening effect. This is traction by gravity. There are a whole variety of forms that this type of traction can take. Just find a way to take the pressure off your spine. This has worked wonders for me. I am completely pain free. But remember to stretch those muscles or you will be right back where you started as muscles naturally like to contract and shorten, worsening your problem.
        I don’t know if any of this is helpful to you, . . but see what you think. And, oh ya, . . drink fluids so that when you provide relief for your discs, your body has fluid to plump your disc up again. Take your time. Keep at it.




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    2. Why whole-wheat pasta is on list, but whole-wheat Porridge is not? Does only wheat in list are recommended or should it be just whole grains?




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    1. Chris, make sure it says ‘Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen’ from NutritionFacts.org. When I did a search for it, several other apps came up before it, so you may have to scroll down to find it. It should have a green logo that looks like the Nutrition Facts logo, but cut in half to look like a check mark.




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  26. I find his check list very helpful. I do think more about what I can add to make something even more healthy or tasty. I think his app is awesome!




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  27. No government, law or organizations entirely care about your complete health therefore you need to stand up for yourself otherwise you’re gonna end up like most Americans obese, sick, tired and miserable. Nowadays everything is about money and power so you’re your own saviour. Go on a healthy plant based diet and save yourself. By doing this, you’ll do animals and environment a huge favour too. Vegan diet saved me.




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  28. One thing that has always bugged me about nutrition guidance is that the servings are usually referenced in terms of a cup or half cup. Those measurements are arbitrary and not consistent. For instance what is a cup of greens? Are you suppose to chop and smash into the cup or keep the leaves loose? Likewise, broccoli spears are also awkward to measure. I would much rather see a serving size in terms of grams. As I use a scale when cooking, not measuring cups, this would be most helpful.

    Scientific studies use grams when determining serving sizes and it seems different studies use different sizes to determine a serving. The recent PURE study that was panned by critics used 120 g as a serving size. In the past I have see serving sizes around 70 grams for fruits and vegetables. Quite a difference.

    Another for instance, I have weighed a half cup of beans and generally they are generally around 70 grams but the FDA serving size for beans is 90 grams.

    Yes, maybe I am being too picky about this and getting caught up in perfect serving sizes is a bit reductionist perhaps but as long as we are trying to be scientific I would like to see serving sizes in grams.




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  29. I want to thank Dr. Gregor for this app. Also I want to thank him for not being militant. Every one seems to worry about if they are doing this lifestyle correctly but they shouldn’t. Any improvement even if it comes in increments is better than none. The more you adapt, the bigger the rewards.




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  30. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I have been on many websites and Facebook pages reading comments on other issues. It is nice to see people on this site fighting over fruits and vegetables and grains!

    I recently moved toward a WFPB diet, but fell off the wagon of good food. I am just climbing back on again effective tomorrow September 13. I live in Canada and with the fall colours comes harvest time for fruit and vegetables. A great time to hit the reset button for healthy eating…

    Again, thanks to everyone for your comments — even from the critics. It is refreshing to see so many people take so much time and energy researching the food that they eat and expressing their feelings with such passion for healthy living. You inspire me!




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  31. Hi! Thanks for the App. Just one comment, the servings metric doesn’t make sense in grams. The Imperial serving metric is a volume metric while grams refer to weight. 1 cup of green raw veggies aren’t 60 grams. Can you check?




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    1. A further useful feature to be added would be the possibility to keep track of your progress by storing all the daily data of each category, so they could be displayed in a graph vs. time.




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      1. I’ve just learned that a number of the above suggestions are included in the Android version of the app (but not yet in the app for iOS). The 30-minute subdivision of the exercise category isn’t one of them, though.
        I’ve thought up a few other questions and suggestions. Where should olives go, with avocados? And why “Concord grapes” instead of just grapes? Concord grapes are native to North America and exotic to Europea markets. In fact, most of the fruits listed here and many of the vegetables are exotic to much of the world (and therefore, quite often overpriced): lychees, mangos, papaya, pluots, avocados, limes, passionfruit, pineapple, açaí berries, cranberries, goji berries, raspberries, kumquats, blueberries, cranberries, bok choy, mustard greens, okra, yams, different squash varieties (other than zucchini), red lentils, etc.




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  32. In which category do carob pods fall? They’re loaded with dietary fibre and polyphenols. And how about dried hibiscus flowers? They aren’t equivalent to hibiscus tea since they contain all the solid stuff you wouldn’t ingest with that tea.




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    1. It hasn’t been fully addressed yet. From a nutritional standpoint soymilk is almost equivalent to white unfermented tofu (except for its additional water content), and tofu is mentioned in the beans category. According to Roger Nehring, “Dr John McDougall does count soy milk as a serving of beans” (see above).




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    2. Thanks for your question.

      Perhaps not, but depends on the point of view as much of the fiber is no longer present. Nevertheless, soy milk is a viable alternative for calcium and to milk for plant based eaters.

      Hope this answer helps.




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  33. I love the idea of this, but find that it’s just SO much food. For the past month I’ve been diligent in my attempts to eat everything on the chart each day and I’ve gained over 5 pounds, have a little pot belly, and find that throughout the day I have to force myself to eat even when I’m not hungry just to be sure that I’m hitting my daily requirements! I don’t mind the weight gain since I know it’s all from healthy food and I’m quite petite, so anything extra shows easily on me. But I wonder if anyone else is struggling with this? I know that my mother, also a healthy vegan, had to stop tracking her daily intake for the same reason–too much food!! Thoughts? Pointers? Thanks!




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    1. hi Lotus729, maybe one of the NF volunteers will respond to your questions at some point , but until then, I thought I could offer a little encouragement. I love the idea of the Daily Dozen too, but I don’t eat as per the list. I don’t see it as a regimen to be strictly followed but more of a suggestion or framework on which to build our health. So, how do I use it ?

      I basically have a bowl of oatmeal with ground flax in the am, a bowl of minestroni soup and small green salad for lunch, and a vegie curry or curried beans with greens for supper and a side salad or sweetvpotatoe. I use 3 to 5 fruit a day for snacks. I hike and swim a lot but still can not eat “all I want” . All soups, salads and curries I eat are home cooked, packed with vegies, spices, herbs, and greens. Each meal would be around 400 to 500 calories, or less. Even with all the activity I do, it might take 2 days to eat the daily dozen. And I dont eat nuts. Everything I DO eat is on the list though 99 % of the time though I feel no compulsion to eat more. Hope that helps !




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      1. Thank you–I truly appreciate you taking the time to respond! I’ve been so strict about the daily dozen for a month or two now and so serious about hitting each and every item in the check list each day. Thinking of it more like a framework to work around would be so much easier…and then I get anxious about not getting in everything my body needs each day! Feels like as a full-fledged vegan we need to be so aware of what we are putting in our bodies every day! I’ll keep tweaking it and really am thankful for the time you took to respond to me!




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  34. Perhaps someone can help me with a flax/hemp/pumpkin seed question. In my morning smoothie I have 1 serving raw hemp seeds and 1 serving flax seeds. I also have 1 serving of pumpkin seeds in the early evening. Is this too much of a good thing? Or do they work well together? Thanks!




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  35. Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen seems nearly perfect to me, and I can hardly imagine it could be improved. He’s essentially recommending nine servings of produce per day (5 veg, 4 fruit), 3 of beans and grains, 1 of nuts/seeds, 1 of flaxseeds, and 1 of herbs/spices.Could this be improved healthwise? I doubt it. but many will struggle because this is a spartan diet (no oils, desserts, animal products whatsoever). I think as a ‘crash’ diet to prevent or treat a major disease (cancer, heart disease, diabetes) nothing could be better, but for the general public, I’m not so sure.

    Greger’s Daily Dozen reminds me of Furhman’s gbombs (greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, seeds), and there’s much overlap, but notice that Fuhrman omits whole grains in his scheme…and also fruit besides berries. Furhman may be onto something with his mushrooms, however, as they have special properties–which Dr. Greger has mentioned often. Furhman may also be right in emphasizing seeds over nuts, as I think aside from flax you have really stellar nutrition in pumpkin seeds (Magnesium), sesame seeds (Calcium), and sunflower seeds (Vit. E), just to mention a few. Nuts are not quite as good, and because they’re tastier, they may incline people to over-indulge more than seeds.

    I think the recommendation to drink 60 oz. of water would depend on what fruits one eats (I tend to easily down a Kg. or more of watermelon, so wouldn’t need as much water), as well as the weather (more water in hot weather or when exercising).

    My biggest qualm has to do with his exercise recommendations, which seems excessive however laudable. If the average American is just barely getting 22 minutes per day of moderate exercise, then Dr. Greger is proposing to quadruple that. How realistic is that?

    We all know that Americans only get about half as much fiber as recommended by the health authorities (25/38 g/day for women/men). Would Dr. Greger recommend they get 100 and 152 grams respectively for women and men–quadruple the standard recommendation? Probably not. He probably wouldn’t even recommend they quadruple what they are actually eating (15-20 g/day). So why the push to get people walking 90 minutes at 4 MPH (six miles per day)?

    I used to exercise at this level but now in my mid 60’s I find I have muscle and tendon pain, so I’ve cut back to 3 or 4 miles a day. I suspect that Dr.. Greger’s exercise recommendation needs to be adjusted to age.

    In terms of health outcomes, a Lancet study a couple of years ago indicated that those doing 35 MET-hours per week (about 65 minutes per day of walking) had the lowest death rates in the study, and essentially overcame all the bad effects of sitting in desk jobs (8 hours or more/day). So I think that’s the threshold we should aim for. That’s triple the current standard recommendation.




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  36. Dear nutritionfacts team,

    I was wondering how to apply the daily dozen to small kids around the age of 3 to 5 years old. e.g.: should I halve the serving sizes?
    I would like to use the daily dozen as an inspiration to privide recommendations to a daycare to increase their sustainability and improve the kids health from a purely scientific stance (they now follow national guidelines which are clearly designed not only for the public’s health but also to make sure people still finance big animal ag.). Of course I will do some additional research myself, but I love the daily dozen for being so clear and simple to use.

    Many thanks,
    Eva




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  37. do these serving sizes apply to children? If not, can someone on the team help with a daily dozen for kids in various stag s of growth? I find my kids are full pretty quick and I want them to get all their nutrients. I do t want to push where I don’t have to.




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    1. Mary: One of the concerns when feeding children a healthy diet is that they get enough calories. Their bellies are so small and their calorie needs relatively high, that they often need more high-calorie-dense foods compared to adults in order to get enough calories. You can learn more about this concern and how to deal with it in the following article: http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/kids.php The article starts at infancy. Just keep going to the section that applies to you. If you want to bring in the Daily Dozen, you can keep the calorie-density information in mind and combine it with what you learned from the Daily Dozen in regards to *proportions* of foods. ie: about equal volumes of fruits, grains and beans, etc.

      Another recommendation for people with kids is to get the book that Dr. Greger also recommends in How Not To Die: Becoming Vegan. For a lay person, all you need is the Express Edition in my opinion. That book is a great reference book. Even better, it has a chapter for kids and includes helpful meal plans. There’s even an age ranged table for various nutrients. The book might help you feel more comfortable about what your kids are eating if they are generally meeting the recommendations of the book. If interested: https://www.amazon.com/Becoming-Vegan-Express-Plant-based-Nutrition/dp/1570672954/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1505661951&sr=8-1&keywords=becoming+vegan+express+edition




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  38. Hi, the app is very useful to make tracking your food diversity a habit. I am waiting for the Apple Watch version and please make the process easier (instead of going into each category and increase the number, just make this function available in the main screen of the app).

    Keep up the amazing work!




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  39. I love the daily dozen, it’s very much in line with the approach I take in my plant-based diet and health book – ‘The Alkaline 5 Diet’ and new podcast, ‘Eternal Health’.

    Dr Greger is almost a lone voice exposing the industry-funded COI research going on and giving us lucid, simplified and comprehensive information. Great work!
    Laura




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  40. I have been on a vegan diet for a year and a half. My new blood tests say that my HDL has plummetted down to 36 it was 49. Also I lost 15lbs in the first 6 months but over the last year I can’t seem to lose any weight. I need to lose 40 lbs. I do not have Facebook page but I just tried to ask this question on Dr. Greger’s live video on youtube. Does he not see any of the questions via youtube? Do I need a facebook page to participate in the live videos? The same person Shea kept ;coming up through the whole videos getting her questions answered again and again. What is going on? Please let me know if youtubers live chat is not visible to the doctor during live videos so I don’t waste my time. Thank you.




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    1. I can’t answer your youtube vid question directly other than to say that Dr. G is so overwhelmed with 100s of questions on a daily basis that he has a team of us moderators helping him.

      Regarding your “vegan” diet, we would need to know exactly what you’re eating. Keep in mind that a diet of nothing but potato chips and coke qualifies as “vegan”, but is very high risk. The ideal lifestyle is “whole food plant based”. That means nothing processed…from plant to mouth so to speak. Any added sweetener, juices, oils etc are major “no-no’s”

      Also keep in mind that lipid ratios are important. As an example, if your HDL was 60, but then dropped to 40, while an original total cholesterol of 500 dropped to 150, would be a big improvement in these markers even though your HDL dropped, since the ratio improved.

      Dr. Ben




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  41. Your app has made me gain more than 2 kg in just a week (even though I never reached 24 points). I can’t eat so many food servings every day without putting on weight.




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