The Effects of Avocados & Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation

The Effects of Avocados & Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation
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Whole plant sources of sugar and fat can ameliorate some of the postprandial inflammation caused by the consumption of refined carbs and meat.

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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.

We saw how adding even steamed skinless chicken breast can exacerbate the insulin spike from white rice, but fish may be worse. Here’s the insulin score of a low-carb plant food like peanuts, compared to common low-carb animal foods: eggs, cheese, and beef. But, fish was even worse, closer to doughnut territory. Here’s the insulin spike if you feed people mashed white potatoes. Then, what would happen if you added some tuna fish? You get twice the insulin spike. Same with white-flour spaghetti, and white-flour spaghetti with meat. The addition of animal protein may make the pancreas work twice as hard.

You can do it with straight sugar water. If you do like a glucose challenge test to test for diabetes, where you drink a certain amount of sugar, this is the kind of spike in insulin you get. But. if you take in the exact same amount of sugar, but with some meat added, you get this. And, the more meat you add, the worse it gets. Just adding a little meat to carbs doesn’t seem to do much, but once you get up to like a third of a chicken’s breast worth, you can elicit a significantly increased surge of insulin.

So, a chicken sandwich may aggravate the metabolic harm of the refined carb white bread it’s on. But, what about a PB&J? Well, we saw that adding nuts to Wonder Bread actually calms the insulin and blood sugar response. What if, instead, you smeared on an all-fruit strawberry jam? Berries have even more antioxidants than nuts, and can, indeed, squelch the oxidation of cholesterol in response to a typical American breakfast, and even reduce the amount of fat in your blood after the meal. And, with less oxidation, there is less inflammation when berries are added to a meal.

So, a whole plant food source of sugar can decrease inflammation in response to an “inflammatory stressor” meal. What about a whole plant food source of fat? If you eat a burger with a half an avocado on top, within hours, the level of an inflammatory biomarker goes up in your blood—but not as high as eating the burger without the avocado. This may be because all whole plant foods contain antioxidants, which decrease inflammation, as well as fiber, which is one reason even high-fat whole plant foods, like nuts, can lower cholesterol. And, the same could be said for avocados. Significant drop in cholesterol levels, especially in those with high cholesterol, with even a drop in triglycerides.

If eating berries with a meal decreases inflammation, what about drinking berries? Sipping wine with your white bread significantly blunts the blood sugar spike from the bread, but the alcohol increases the fat in the blood by about the same amount. If you eat some cheese and crackers, this is the triglycerides bump you get. If you sip some wine with the same snack, they shoot through the roof. Now, we know it was the alcohol, because if you use dealcoholized red wine (nonalcoholic wine—the same wine, but with the alcohol removed), you don’t get the same reaction. This has been shown in about a half-dozen other studies, along with an increase in inflammatory markers. So, it may help in some ways, but not others. 

A similar paradoxical effect was found with exercise. If you have people cycle at high intensity for about an hour a half-day before drinking a milkshake, the triglycerides response is less than without the prior exercise. Yet, the inflammatory response to the meal appeared worse. The bottom line is not to avoid exercise, but to avoid milkshakes.

The healthiest approach is a whole food plant-based diet, but there are “[p]romising pharmacologic approaches to the normalization” of high blood sugars and fat by taking medications. “However, resorting to drug therapy for an epidemic caused by a maladaptive diet is less rational than simply realigning our eating habits with our physiological needs.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Myart, H. Alberto Gongora, Sergey Demushkin, Made in France, Anton Noskov, and Creative Stall from the Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Avocado Video.

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

We saw how adding even steamed skinless chicken breast can exacerbate the insulin spike from white rice, but fish may be worse. Here’s the insulin score of a low-carb plant food like peanuts, compared to common low-carb animal foods: eggs, cheese, and beef. But, fish was even worse, closer to doughnut territory. Here’s the insulin spike if you feed people mashed white potatoes. Then, what would happen if you added some tuna fish? You get twice the insulin spike. Same with white-flour spaghetti, and white-flour spaghetti with meat. The addition of animal protein may make the pancreas work twice as hard.

You can do it with straight sugar water. If you do like a glucose challenge test to test for diabetes, where you drink a certain amount of sugar, this is the kind of spike in insulin you get. But. if you take in the exact same amount of sugar, but with some meat added, you get this. And, the more meat you add, the worse it gets. Just adding a little meat to carbs doesn’t seem to do much, but once you get up to like a third of a chicken’s breast worth, you can elicit a significantly increased surge of insulin.

So, a chicken sandwich may aggravate the metabolic harm of the refined carb white bread it’s on. But, what about a PB&J? Well, we saw that adding nuts to Wonder Bread actually calms the insulin and blood sugar response. What if, instead, you smeared on an all-fruit strawberry jam? Berries have even more antioxidants than nuts, and can, indeed, squelch the oxidation of cholesterol in response to a typical American breakfast, and even reduce the amount of fat in your blood after the meal. And, with less oxidation, there is less inflammation when berries are added to a meal.

So, a whole plant food source of sugar can decrease inflammation in response to an “inflammatory stressor” meal. What about a whole plant food source of fat? If you eat a burger with a half an avocado on top, within hours, the level of an inflammatory biomarker goes up in your blood—but not as high as eating the burger without the avocado. This may be because all whole plant foods contain antioxidants, which decrease inflammation, as well as fiber, which is one reason even high-fat whole plant foods, like nuts, can lower cholesterol. And, the same could be said for avocados. Significant drop in cholesterol levels, especially in those with high cholesterol, with even a drop in triglycerides.

If eating berries with a meal decreases inflammation, what about drinking berries? Sipping wine with your white bread significantly blunts the blood sugar spike from the bread, but the alcohol increases the fat in the blood by about the same amount. If you eat some cheese and crackers, this is the triglycerides bump you get. If you sip some wine with the same snack, they shoot through the roof. Now, we know it was the alcohol, because if you use dealcoholized red wine (nonalcoholic wine—the same wine, but with the alcohol removed), you don’t get the same reaction. This has been shown in about a half-dozen other studies, along with an increase in inflammatory markers. So, it may help in some ways, but not others. 

A similar paradoxical effect was found with exercise. If you have people cycle at high intensity for about an hour a half-day before drinking a milkshake, the triglycerides response is less than without the prior exercise. Yet, the inflammatory response to the meal appeared worse. The bottom line is not to avoid exercise, but to avoid milkshakes.

The healthiest approach is a whole food plant-based diet, but there are “[p]romising pharmacologic approaches to the normalization” of high blood sugars and fat by taking medications. “However, resorting to drug therapy for an epidemic caused by a maladaptive diet is less rational than simply realigning our eating habits with our physiological needs.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Myart, H. Alberto Gongora, Sergey Demushkin, Made in France, Anton Noskov, and Creative Stall from the Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Video credit: Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

Meat protein can cause more of an insulin spike than pure table sugar. See the comparisons in my video Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise.

I discussed the almond butter study in my last video, How to Prevent Blood Sugar & Triglyceride Spikes after Meals.

Berries have sugar of their own in them, so how can eating berries lower the blood sugar spike to a meal? Find out in If Fructose is Bad, What About Fruit?

More videos on avocados coming up, and here’s more on red wine:

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

142 responses to “The Effects of Avocados & Red Wine on Meal-Induced Inflammation

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  1. Resorting to drug therapy for an epidemic caused by a maladaptive diet is less rational than simply realigning our eating habits with our physiological needs.

    QOTW!

    but also, that’s where the money is, and that money has brainwashed the masses.




    18
    1. I often worry about what will happen when technology is at such a level that we can merge with machinies, and eat corpses with no ill effects. I’m WFPB for health, not ethical reasons, yet it seems a tremendous boon to be an intelligent, spacefaring race that does not rely on the consumption of sentient life (at least a mode of sentience that is comparable to our own). Imagine the dawn of a transhuman, carnivorous form of cyborg homo sapiens. Sinister.




      0
      1. It looks like such machines could get away with anything, but when considering how such machines should function, you find that they have to be able to do self maintenance, make copies of themselves, etc. There are so many different maintenance tasks that have to be performed to make such machines possible that you need to have so-called universal constructors. Now, the mathematician John von Neumann when working on the theory of universal constructors in the 1940s ended up discovering molecular biology long before the field of molecular biology even existed. And they have to be molecular machines, because any such system that is made out of parts that are macroscopic will be subject to degradation at smaller length scales and there are then no tools to fix the damage at such scales. So, the system will start to degrade at such smaller length scales. So, you’ll then end up having to have molecular scale universal constructors, at these scales things become every rigid, it takes a lot of energy to break atomic bonds. Also when such damage does occur, it can in principle be reversed as the universal constructor is able to intervene at such scales. One cannot get around this problem by replacing entire parts by brand new parts, because the factory that would need to produce the parts will itself be subject to degradation unless it is itself build out of molecular machines and capable of perfect self repair.

        So, you’ll end up with something that is just as biological as ordinary life, it will have its own restrictions about what environment it can live in and about what it can eat.




        1
      1. I don’t know about your “all fruit” jam, but jam called that is frequently sweetened with apple juice or white grape juice, which is intensely sweet. So you would be getting a lot more sugar–albeit from fruit–than is in the strawberries.




        6
  2. What if one were to just eat the fish alone, no other foods at the same meal? Would you get the same insulin spike as you would
    if you added the rice or bread to or wine to the meal?

    So far it makes sense to me, that if you are going to eat fish, to eat it by itself as a small meal. And if not, to eat it with berries and
    or mixed greens.

    Also, wondering about sushi, as does the cooking of meat and fish create a protein that stresses the pancreas, whereas raw fish
    might have a different effect on pancreas, not triggering a surge in insulin?




    1
    1. I’ve often wondered about sushi. Is it healthier than cooked fish? I know in general it is animal protein but just wondering if it is healthier compared to cooked fish.




      1
      1. If you will look into the work of Dr T Colin Campbell, you’ll find that animal protein –
        presumably all of it – stimulates cancer. More recently it was found that animal protein is the primary cause of diabetes. And, with our oceans so polluted, why would you want to eat any fish, especially raw fish?

        Many years ago, long before Fukushima, I worked very briefly aboard a fish processing ship in Alaska. The fish had been filleted and was put on a light table conveyor, where my job was to cut the round worms that were revealed by the back light, out of the fillets. Without the light table they weren’t visible. Do all fish processors do this? Who knows? Yuck!




        7
        1. Fantastic bit of information Rebecca. When I saw Michelle’s question I did indeed think of possible hazards but I did not know of the particular problem you mentioned.

          Years ago I sat on the deck drinking coffee at Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. Watching what flowed by I could no longer think of fish as healthy. Yes some of the fish comes from the “no peeing end of the swimming pool” but some toxins do spread and are then very concentrated as they move up the food chain. And the host of problems consuming animal protein remain even if not cooked. The only one reduced would be the advanced glycation end products.




          4
      1. George – thank you for this link – I found it very interesting. What I like about it is that it shows you the glucose response, the insulin response and the satiety response(how full the food keeps you over time). I’ve been eating a lot of potatoes because of the satiety response and the fact that I have a physical job (mostly boiled or baked with no added fat of course!!). What I found interesting was that although the potato has a relatively high glucose response, the satiety factor is highest of any other food listed in the chart by a very significant amount. And this is what I find. . . that if I eat potatoes in the morning, as I often do since I just can’t seem to get behind oatmeal, I can work all day without feeling famished or without energy. When I do get to the point where I need a little something, I have found that an orange gives me energy and satiety both. . .. and. .. voila!! . .. your chart bears this out with the highest satiety response of all the fruits listed. Thank you for sharing this very interesting link.




        6
      1. Blair – I took a look at the fish link and read the article. Quite a compilation of information – thanks for that. I know one argument for some fish consumption is to get the omega3 fats. And we all know that fish get them from consuming green vegg from the sea like algae, etc. So one can now purchase supplemental vegan dha-epa supplements and even Dr. G. recommends that.
        But here is a piece of information I recently stumbled upon. Some green vegg contain more omega 3 fats than omega 6. Usually foods contain more omega 6 than 3. But I recently discovered certain green vegg that have more Omega 3 than Omega 6 fats. They are kale, romaine lettuce, collards and spinach.
        You can check this out at this site:
        http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2461/2
        Scroll all the way down to the “Fats and Fatty Acids” table for each item you look up.

        This is yet one more reason for us to eat our leafy greens. Who knew . . ?




        7
        1. An excellent plant source of omega 3 is purslane. We’ve all seen it growing as a weed in mid-to-late summer, mostly in places like cracks in sidewalks and other places where it would seem hard for anything to grow. I think it may be the highest common plant source. You can now buy seeds of a larger, more succulent variety, which can sometimes be found at farmers’ markets and even grocery stores.




          5
      2. Holey moley Blair, after watching your linked videos I am sooo glad I do not eat fish! i enjoyed reading the comments section on that first link.. some great ideas for vegetable sushi rolls that include avocado for those that enjoy avocado. I tried purple rice from the philipines recently and loved it – maybe it would make a nice addition to nori rolls too.




        4
    2. Hi michelle,

      I found this paper really helpful! It basically explains the insulin response to lots and lots of common foods. Including fish. It shows that fish alone increases blood insulin as much as grain foods do, so combining is likely to increase this spike further.
      In this other study, it shows that eating fish with rice (sushi) increases blood glucose (and therefore likely insulin too) over eating white rice on its own.
      Hope this helps!




      0
  3. I think I will skip the wine (breast cancer risk) and skip the avocado (saturated fat – heart disease risk) and just opt for a wfpb noninflammatory meal. Its working for me so far.




    23
    1. You missed the most of the avocado’s list of ingredients such as Mg, fiber and BETA-SITOSTEROLS which are demonstrably heart healthy.
      Plus the MUFAs are much higher than SFAs in avocado. In conclusion, it is not a CVD risk to consume avocados.




      12
      1. For people with heart disease, or potentially at risk of heart disease, avocados represent a high fat food best avoided according to some of the plant based docs. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=rWOwZTo6GBE Dr Esselstyn speaks about nuts, seeds, and avocados at that link. This link is a discussion well wrth watching… long time vegan, raw foodist, talks about what happened to him and what diet modifications he was made to prevent the same life threatening situation from happening again (to the best of his ability ) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=AbrYzjRjfe4

        Drs Mcdougall and Ornish also agree . Plants are so jam packed with nutrients in general consuming fat laden calorie dense avocados is not necessary and easy to avoid.




        2
          1. This indicates that you are counting calories.

            I found there to be no need to count calories when eating WFPB. There are many reasons why. I only note the non-WFPB calories, they are the only ones that cause my scales to register bigger numbers.

            Folks are different, but that works for me.




            5
          1. Thank you lisa, I have seen all the avocado videos/articles at this site, and remain unconvinced that they would be a positive addition to my diet. (along with coconut oil and palm oil too ) . I have yet to see a heart disease reversal diet that includes them. https://www.ornish.com/proven-program/nutrition/ Dr Ornish does not include them in his program, and Dr Mcdougall puts avocados in the ‘rare treat’ category. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=W9OW2F8I4bk As I posted above, Dr Esselstyn does not include them either. According to http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fruits-and-fruit-juices/1843/2 1 cup of cubed avocado contains over 2 gm omega 6, and very little omega 3 which is reason enough to avoid them right there. I have to agree with Jim… I’d rather spend the calories (wisely) elsewhere !!




            4
            1. Oh, and I agree with you as well – I love avocados but use them as an occasional indulgence due to their calorie density. They are nice as a garnish, though!
              Glad you’ve seen the other videos!
              Have a good weekend,
              Lisa




              2
        1. To the person who says plant fats are unhealthy and Dr. Esselstyn and McDougall agree. Not so with Dr. Greger nor with Dr. Joel Fuhrman!! Check ALL the facts. The above two doctors also have their bias and as far as I’m concerned, do NOT look healthy!




          2
          1. Yes Suzanne, I said that according to some plant based doctors, avocados represent a high fat food best avoided by people with heart disease or at risk of heart disease. I provided links to those doctors. I realise Dr Greger and Dr Furhman or other doctors may recommend them, but Dr Greger and Dr Furhman ( both of whom I think very highly of) did not perform trials reversing heart disease using their diets. Dr Ornish and Dr Esselstyn did.
            I love avocados, nuts and all good plant foods but even as a thin fit person, I still feel I am better off adhering to proven programs for reversing heart disease and avoiding them for now. My point was, after watching this video, that rather than eating pro-inflammatory foods and using avocado or wine to temper the effects, I will continue to enjoy a whole food plant based diet, oil free, and naturaly anti-inflammatory. All the best to you !




            3
    2. fats from whole plant foods do not cause heart disease risk, I mean I’m not going by any studies here other than the masses of studies suggesting that those eating nuts and other plant foods high in fat have lowered risk among other benefits, but based on my intuition, experience, observations and everything I’ve learned and am learning as well as common sense, we don’t need to worry about fat from whole plant foods, plants are what we’re meant to eat, nature designed it all perfectly. Although technically you can over do anything, even water, but you have to be pretty extreme.




      0
    1. Thanks B, .. I quite agree. I would also like to suggest that you fix the display of the video as it is still cut off at either the top or the bottom. In order to see the graphs I had to scroll up, then down, then up, then down in order to see both the top of the graph and the bottom. I know I am one of many who has expressed this wish to resize the display of the video so the entirety of it can be viewed at once. Any chance there are plans to rework that?




      4
        1. Kporigow – Omgosh that is such a lovely thing to hear. Thank you! – I will, now, just wait patiently. :-)
          Thanks for letting us know.




          4
        2. Hi everyone,
          I have found that you can use the “scroll and ctrl” technique to shrink the monitor image on my laptop.
          You hold down the ctrl key and use the scroll function of your mouse to enlarge or shrink the image.
          This seems to work well and allows you to see the whole video at once.
          Cheers




          2
      1. I found the same thing irritating at first, but now I just click the link for full screen, then click escape when the video ends. It’s no trouble.




        0
  4. I’d like to suggest that grape juice has the good qualities given to wine without the fermentation. There’s a reason why the consumption of drinks containing alcohol are called “intoxicating”. I love these posts, but this one I cannot share.




    3
  5. My retirement plan is to change my diet to bacon double cheese burgers when I hit 60.
    I have very little saved for retirement and that is not going to change.
    So… can you help me with my retirement plan? I don’t want to outlive my retirement money.
    Maybe shrimp egg foo young. that’s gotta be on the list. deep fried shrimp and eggs with gravy on top. YEAH!




    3
    1. If you would become a hobo and live under a bridge eating canned beans…you could make it? Just make sure they are the canned beans without the BPA lining. You’d probably have to set up a local drop with UPS from Amazon.

      Remember. There is ALWAYS a solution…to all problems.




      3
  6. while ago I complained Dr Greger was talking too fast for me. Today I wanted to see the graph after reading transcript. WOW I could watch easily the whole video and enjoy the speed of his talk Tanks




    3
  7. Man, I’m a little worried here. I’ve been listening to the Tim Noakes Trial in South Africa. (http://bit.ly/2pmkoAv) While Listening, I thought he made some interesting comments, one is that studies have such a low bar of proof, that they are almost worthless for the most part. Anyone can cherry pick a study no matter how good it sounds or is seemingly done and make a case one way or another. (Even none sponsored ones) Tim Noakes is redundant in his testimony and I just thought about Dr Greger and how he would come back in a rebuttal on everything he states since he is purporting a high fat low carb style of eating. I have a young child and Mr Noakes logic is that by not feeding kids animal products after breast feeding, those kids develop smaller brains, which then would not have them be as smart long term. I’ve noticed that my 8 year old Vegan son is smaller than the kids his age and I just wrote it off to the growth hormones in the dairy. But one thing that has always made me wonder about all of the great Plant based nutritionists out there is this, of all of the Plant Based Gurus Greger, Fuhrman, Dr. Campbell, McDougall, Bernard, Ornish, Novick etc. How many started out Vegan? Heck, some even mentioned that they grew up on dairy farms! They are very healthy today, no? He had a couple of witness testimonies that really concerned me. As most of you know, the low fat high carb advise from the world wide government agencies recommendations suggest, all go back to Ancel Keys. and what these two women witnesses did on his procedures and methodologies are riveting. There names are Dr Zoe Harcombe from London, and investigative journalist Nina Teicholz. Their testimonies start around the 59-60th audio in the 80 part series. (I download the Youtube videos as MP3’s and listen to them as I drive for my job which is an awesome way to learn as you drive) If what they say is true, we need to really take a second look at what our beloved gurus state. I worry about my son’s long term health and wish I could be sure if what I’m doing is in his best interests. I recommend you look for the videos have on Youtube away from the Trial ones, especially Dr Zoe Harcombe, oh, I just saw this-
    http://bit.ly/2oxJEPC
    While I plan to remain a Vegan, (I still feel that a high fiber plant based style of eating is good as an adult but may not be as good for a child) I need to do more research on the potential growth issues of my son and his long term health benefits. Sometimes I think about how back in the early sixties, people ate meat and bread and an occasional treat and did not have the obesity we have today and all of it’s related problems. If I ever decide to start eating meat, obviously it would eat only organic grass fed, and yes, I’ve seen all of the videos that Dr Greger has on this topic…As for my son, I’m considering buying him organic pasture fed Desiccated liver supplements that have the iron and B complex nutrients including B12. (I just can’t get myself to watch him eating meat) Let me know if you have any info that may help my dilemma, thank you…




    3
    1. Hi Jay – it’s always a worry when we are responsible for doing the best for our children. We don’t want to make a mistake that they, then, get to pay for with their futures.
      Let me offer up that Benjamin Spock, M.D. who died at 96 stated in his last book that children should be raised on a whole food plant based diets (different from just vegan which I’m sure you know). He is a pediatrician who, for the majority of his life, was known as “America’s Pediatrician”. Very well respected in his field. The USDA states that WFPB diets are an excellent diet for children as does the American Dietetic Association.
      My niece, 29 now, never ate meat. She refused from the very beginning. She grew and developed just fine. This year she gave birth to her son of 14 lbs! Both are just fine. Her son will be raised WFPB naturally. Consider that our next closest relatives, the chimpanzees, almost never eat meat and certainly no cows milk products. Their diet, per Jane Goodall who studied them for decades in the wild, is about 2% meat and most of that from insects. Only a very occasional carnivorous meal shared by the tribe, a bite or two at most. Remember the longest lived people on earth, the Okinawans, don’t consume meat and that 69% of their calories come from the Okinawan sweet potato (not rice).
      The following quote is from the American Dietetic Association quoted by the American Academyof Pediatrics:
      .
      ” A vegetarian, including a vegan, diet can also meet current recommended daily requirements for protein, iron, zinc, calcium, vitamin D, riboflavin, vitamin B12, vitamin A, n-3 omega fatty acids and iodine. In some cases, use of fortified foods or supplements can be helpful in meeting recommendations for individual nutrients. Well planned vegan and other types of vegetarian diets are appropriate for all stages of the life cycle including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood and adolescence. Vegetarian diets in general have lower levels of saturated fat, cholesterol and higher levels of complex carbohydrates, fiber, magnesium, Vitamin C and E14 carotenoids and phytochemicals16.”
      You can read the full article here:
      http://letthemeatmeat.com/post/91384994887/the-american-academy-of-pediatrics-on-a-vegan-diet

      Although John McDougall, M.D. was raised on a western meat-based diet, his children were semi-raised on a meat based diet. I believe they, as a family, made the switch when their children were pre-teens (approxiimately). Dr. McDougall now has grandchildren who are growing up WFPB and are now young adults. Here is a nice article he has written about the nutritional needs of children:
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2012nl/sep/children.htm
      Also, . . if you are concerned, you can always write him and he will answer you! I have, twice now, written to his site for a minor question and guess what? . . he answered!

      I know you will find your way with these issues in the best interest of your child. As for the dessicated liver idea. . . even though it may come from grass fed organic cow (or pig?), please remember that the liver is the place where all poisons go to be gathered and processed. It is the holding tank for the body’s garbage. As you go along, I hope you will consider letting us know how you go forward.




      12
      1. Hi there – I am a volunteer moderator helping Dr. Greger answer questions on Nutritionfacts.
        I am so impressed at the level of thought you put into children’s diets. I love your spotlighting Dr. Spock, he was a voice of reason in the busy sea of advice giving for kids.
        We switched my son’s own diet at the age of 13 to lacto ovo vegetarian (included cheese, yogurt, eggs) and occasional salmon; however, as soon as he turned 18 he moved to Paris and ate meat for two years!!!! At the age of 29, he is what I would call a flexitarian. So in other words, we can worry and try our best with our kids, then they often leave the nest and eat lots of things we don’t want them to!
        Under the best of conditions, raising children is an agony.
        Thanks so much for your thorough reply to jay.
        Have a great weekend!




        0
        1. “Under the best of conditions, raising children is an agony.”

          And yet the planet is over-populated to the extent that the ice at the poles is melting…and many other species are dying off.




          2
      2. Hi Rachel,
        Thank you for the links! Listening to the testimony of the two women in the trial I mentioned, really made me think about the phytates in plant foods that make it hard for kids to absorb as much as they need. However, even providing the necessary foods that hone in on these vitamins and minerals, some kids just won’t eat them not to mention that they need to eat more to compensate for the phytates. I downloaded the McDougal link on the Vegan nutritional studies that have the list of all the appropriate foods for those specific vitamins and minerals. It is so easy to think that certain foods can be addictive and cause harm long term like fortified plant milks but I now feel comfortable to not only provide the whole foods that can help him but to also be more educated about the fact that some processed plant milks can help as well. As to his growth, I did not appreciate the high calorie thing very well and I will now focus on getting him to eat more of the foods that provide higher amounts of the calories he needs. Thanks again, this was a real help…




        3
      3. Okinawa people eat a half serving of fish daily ,plus they eat a small amount of pork and use lard as the main fat ingrediant in their cooking , check wikipedia “Okinawa diet”
        Historically no group of people have lived exclusively on WFPB , Which doesn’t mean it’s not a good idea , it most likely is.




        0
    2. Hi Jay, I’m in a similar situation. I eat 99% wfpb and I feel fine but despite all I’ve read, I’m not ready to commit my 2yo son to the same diet.

      So he’s 90% wfpb, with a little milk and meat in case I’m wrong on this one. We just don’t know what the science will say in 10 or 20 year’s time. His milk is 25% dairy and 75% plant-based, he eats 30g of meat three days a week at crèche and everything else is wfpb.

      If he wasn’t getting meat at crèche, I’d feed him a small amount of meat at home, probably sardines. They’ve plenty of omega-3 DHA, b12, etc., they’re wild rather than farmed, and they’re low down the food chain so they have much lower heavy metals and other things that accumulate in bigger fish that live long and eat smaller fish. I’m not saying they’re healthy, just maybe the best meat available.

      With what I know about milk and meat I’m not happy about feeding these to him, but I also wouldn’t be happy putting him on a diet that wasn’t fed to me as a child or anyone I’ve ever known. So the only option is to accept that there’s no right answer, pick a compromise, and relax knowing that I’m feeding him a diet that’s better than 95% or 99% of kids his age.

      Safety of a 95% wfpb diet for kids has been proven by many populations such as the Okinawans, rural Chinese, etc.

      To check for deficiencies, I find cron-o-meter useful. One a month, at the end of the day I put in my foods and portion sizes and sometimes I’m surprised to have low values of one thing or another, so that reminds me to think of foods with that nutrient in future.




      3
        1. I watched the video but there’s nothing about whether a 100% vegan or wfpb diet is healthy/dangerous/beneficial for children. Just a dozen parents talking about animal cruelty and how junk food and hotdogs are unhealthy.

          Reducing or ending animal cruelty is great, but if there’s science saying that reducing by 95% for infants is safe, and no science saying that reducing by 100% is safe, then I’m going to go with the science and be content that reducing animal cruelty by 95% is still pretty darn good!




          2
          1. Ciaran, you need to research the science, because you’re mistaken. Have you read “How Not to Die” yet? The bible of nutritional science. Animal products are toxic to human health. Based on health alone, I wish I had been raised on a vegan diet but am thankful I at least decided to stop eating meat at a very early age (no DHA or EPA supplements either and my IQ is in the 140’s which isn’t to boast but just to give an idea) I’m never having children, but based on the science, I would raise them 100% plant based for health reasons alone. And as for animal cruelty, ending a holocaust at 95% isn’t good enough nor is it doable. As long as there is a demand for any animal flesh, secretion, or form of exploitation, there will be mass suffering. It needs to be illegal to exploit animals in this way and that will never happen so long as everyone kept a 5% demand for their byproducts. Also, the entire world would never decrease animal consumption at 95% for health reasons alone, if that were the case, there wouldn’t be such a high demand for many of the harmful things we put in our bodies by now such as hydrogenated oils, refined sugars, etc.
            Not say that decreasing the amount of animals you consume isn’t good, just not good enough.




            4
            1. Hi S,

              There is no science showing that a 100% plant-based diet for children increases longevity. For a 95% plant-based diet this science does exist because there are populations that have been eating this way for generations and they’ve been studied and their longevity is great.

              There’s also no science comparing the intelligence of children fed 100% vs. 95% plant-based.

              You’re reading about individual aspects of nutritional science and then jumping to a conclusion.




              2
    3. I hope this video helps you to decide. Personally I have meet parents who simply want their children to be big because they were small. I really don’t think big is better. I always lean towards quality over quantity and so if I had my time over I would feed my children a Whole Plant Diet. I have never seen a correlation of bigger body means bigger brain or better health. https://nutritionfacts.org/video/iq-of-vegetarian-children-2/




      3
      1. But, the conclusion was that high IQ at 10 years old increases the chances of being vegetarian/vegan at 30 years old. That tells us about the effects of having a high IQ, not the effects of being fed a plant-based diet.

        I’m sure we all agree that health and intelligence are important. The questions are:

        1) Does a 100% wfpb diet yield better health and intelligence in infants and children compared to a 95% wfpb diet? and

        2) Since we have almost no data about 100% wfpb infants and we have loads of data showing excellent health in 95% wfpb infants (Okinawa, rural China, …), what justifies putting your child on the unproven route?




        2
        1. 95% works for me. I am no study, and I’m just not going to cut the slices that thin. 100% anything is often just a bit much when you mix in something as wildly diverse as Humanity.




          0
          1. 95% of the foods we’re meant to eat that have no harmful effects like cancer and other chronic diseases may be good enough for you, but it isn’t good enough for the planet or the victims who you’re choosing to eat with zero need to.




            2
        2. “But, the conclusion was that high IQ at 10 years old increases the chances of being vegetarian/vegan at 30 years old. That tells us about the effects of having a high IQ, not the effects of being fed a plant-based diet.” <What that tells us is that those who tend to be more intelligent, make the intellectual choice of not eating animals because they either make the connection that it's wrong for moral and ethical reasons or because they're smart enough to make the healthier choice, or both.

          It is proven. All one would need is to supplement them with B12 since it's not really safe to feed them dirt and feces. And studies show that supplementing with EPA/DHA during pregnancy and breast feeding (I believe) yielded children with a higher IQ. I'm not sure if the studies were done strictly with marine algae, they may have been. But Marine algae (the reason why some fish have DHA/EPA in their flesh in the FIRST place) is the only safe way of doing so without harmful contaminants which can actually decline your child's development and brain–it's also the only sustainable way.

          I think people are really being ridiculous in trying to argue over a 5% or less than 5% consumption of animal products, I think it's just a small desperate window for them to feel like they have justification for not giving up some of their favorite, unnecessary and unhealthy foods. Instead of looking at the fact that the Okinawans occasionally eat a small fish which makes up a TINY fraction of their overall diet, how about looking at the actual STUDIES done on fish and how harmful they are to human health? You could take marine algae supplements for DHA/EPA if you wanted, or just eat a good amount of ALA's. In supplement form, you're getting way more EPA/DHA than you would from eating fish, especially a fish that makes up for 5 or less % of your diet. And unless you don't mind the contaminants in dirt thank to the industrial world, I'd supplement with B12.




          2
          1. You’re not citing science. You’re citing opinion-based-on-science.

            There is science showing a 95% wfpb diet is great for health, and there’s science linking meat to cancer, heart disease etc. You’re looking at the latter and in your opinion 100% should thus be healthier than 95%. It’s a reasonable theory. In fact, I agree with you. That’s why I eat 100% wfpb (or at least 99%). But it’s only a theory, it might be wrong. I’m willing to take that risk for myself but for my son I’ll stick with a proven healthy diet of 95% wfpb.

            And the 5% isn’t about justifying unhealthy habits. I don’t think many would consider sardines an irresistible luxury :-)




            1
            1. Ciaran are you serious? Yeah, I’m speaking due to the masses of scientific evidence that I’ve learned about for years as well as my own experience and observation which perfectly coincide with scientific findings. I can’t really explain it any clearer… the findings could not indicate clearer than they already have that it is the PLANTS responsible for the greater overall health and the animal products responsible for our chronic diseases. You seem to want an exact study saying that a 100% plant based diet is better than a 95% plant based diet, but there haven’t been entire societies to do that… yet. However, there doesn’t need to be such a study because the science is blatantly clear. You sound more like you’re being stubborn than anything else or are afraid to think for yourself without a chart making you feel as comfortable as the propaganda we were all indoctrinated into once made you feel. But the closest thing to that study may be the fact that the Seventh-day Adventist vegetarians of California, many of whom are 100% plant based, live even longer than the Okinawans.
              If you’re feeding your son sardines, then I hope you actually watch videos on here and read about what it is you’re putting in his body. They are horrible for us. You live in the western world, if you wanted your son to get some direct DHA/EPA, you have pure micro algae you can supplement him with without all the harmful effects. Also, sardines are endangered. Baby seals can be found starving to death off the coast of California and all around the world due to shortage, among other animals. What is the long term plan? What will your son feed his children when the oceans are totally depleted? The answer would be plants, but once the oceans are dead, the earth is dead. The solution all resorts back to plant based eating. It’s no coincidence that that which sustains our bodies is what sustains our planet and all other life on it.




              2
              1. Of course I’m serious. You’ve explained your thoughts clearly enough. Further explanation won’t change that the science doesn’t exist.

                I’ve seen lots of data about the 11th day adventists but not about the 100% wfpb minority subset of them. If you have links to such studies I’d be interested.

                I wish this data existed. It would probably confirm my (and your) theory that 100% wfpb is best. But the data doesn’t exist.

                As for ocean depletion, this (and factory farming) wouldn’t be a problem if people only ate 90g of meat per week. At a population level, if the goal is to reduce/end over-fishing, then trying to convince the general public to halve their meat consumption would be a far more effective strategy than trying to convince the tiny 95% plant-based population to eliminate the remaining small quantity of meat they eat.




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              2. And as for your theory of small portions of sardines being “horrible for us”, this is contradicted by your previous paragraph about the people of Okinawa. They eat a small amount of fish per day and have amazing longevity.

                I’m not saying sardines or other fish are an improvement on a plant-based diet, but the science proves that small amounts are certainly not “horrible for us”.




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    4. It’s clear you want the best for your son, but so many things come into play here. Is your son small because of genetics? Does he learn easily? How is his speech? There’s a lot to consider, and I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg. Is he healthy or does he catch all the colds and other viruses going around?

      As far back as the Korean war, autopsies on American soldiers killed in action, in their early 20s, maybe even some in late teens, showed the beginnings of heart disease in their arteries. That was back before most junk food had been dreamed up and foisted on the eager public.

      My experience and observation was that most of us, back then, drank milk, ate meat and a few veggies for dinner, white bread sandwiches with tuna or maybe baloney or peanut butter for lunch, and often bacon and eggs for breakfast, alternating with oatmeal, Malt-o-Meal, or even Cheerios or Wheaties. Few were fat, even as late as the early 1970s, but heart disease was what killed most men, often in their 50s, 60s and 70s.

      Judging by what I see of younger children today, a lot of them don’t seem to know nearly as much about school subjects as we did at comparable ages, regardless of the size of their brains. They know a lot about video games, cell phones, and other electronic devices, since those hadn’t yet been invented when I was in school, but it seems to me many of them don’t know the basics – like where the state they live in is on a map, or how to spell or punctuate.

      There are books on how to raise healthy plant based children. I wish I’d raised mine that way, but I hadn’t the knowledge or awareness to do so back then.




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      1. Hi Rebecca,
        I recommend you watch or listen to the Tim Noakes Trial on Youtube, Mr Noakes could have spent just a few dollars to settle this case since it was so meritless and how it even went to court was crazy. However, he took the opportunity to bring all of this nutritional advise to the surface and make it a great opportunity to bring out a lot of the falsehoods associated with what we’ve been led to believe. The two women I mentioned that testified for Mr Noakes break down all that is wrong with all of the studies and concepts that were unscientifically shoved down our throats by Ancel Keys. His dogma is the reason we have all of the health issues we now have around the world. One statistic they mentioned is that only about 1% of all deaths are from heart disease (We are led to believe that we are dropping like flies with heart disease) and that people with lower cholesterol are more likely to have heart disease than those that have higher levels. It is my child that I’m concerned about and not me, I fast 12 to 20 hours per day and eat very clean whole plant foods and have added foods that are now higher in fat, feel great and love life…Again, did Dr Greger grow up a Vegan?




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    5. You don’t need a study, you just need to OBSERVE the world around us, history and present time, and keep observing in the future. Better yet, experience it for yourself. Not all studies are skewed as he so conveniently tries to say (I guess I’d take on that broad argument as well if I were promoting something that all evidence deemed incredibly harmful). Common sense. The proof is in the (vegan) pudding.
      When you look closely at studies, as Dr. Greger does, you see how thorough they are or aren’t and whether there were outside influences, but if you don’t want to trust any study because some guy says you shouldn’t, then again… just look and watch and experience. It’s all blatantly clear. Also, back to the common sense thing… who would be more likely to have an agenda? Some guy promoting the sustained demand for animal agriculture which is one of the most powerful, richest industries currently running most of the world in a very, very large way.. or someone suggesting you should eat food that you could easily grow yourself?
      “Mr Noakes logic is that by not feeding kids animal products after breast feeding, those kids develop smaller brains” <That isn't logic, that's just something that some guy is saying when all the evidence shows the contrary. Kids start developing problems with their arteries due to the SAD, it can even start as early as in-utero. Our body is one intricate system, not one thing is actually separate from the next. When our blood is flowing properly and our hearts are being nourished and not predisposed to heart disease, our brains and everything else in our bodies function at their peak. I have watched vegan children in live interviews and they seem like some of the brightest kids, even babies many of them were, yet speaking and knowing what they were saying. I was a vegetarian since I was little and was not "good" about eating eggs or drinking milk like everyone was taught to believe was so important, my IQ is in the 140's.

      Yeah people who are on plant based diets are very healthy now after switching to a WFPBD because this kind of a diet can REVERSE the damage caused by eating animal products. Have you read "How Not To Die?" I think you'll get a lot of answers from that book.
      Emily of Bite Sized Vegan was a vegan since she was a little girl, you should check out her workout video (she probably has more than one)… now there is someone with extraordinary health, and she's one of the smartest people I've seen speak.

      If your son is small, it could be genetics. There's nothing wrong with being shorter than other kids. Also, if you're comparing him to other kids, many are actually obese, so yes, he'd be on the smaller, healthier side on a WFPBD compared to most kids on a SAD diet. If he's getting all the minerals and plant proteins and vitamins he needs, then his body is exactly where it's supposed to be.

      It honestly sounds like you're concerned over your son because you expect him to be a certain height or weight? If he's at a healthy weight and his doctor says he's growing fine, then he's fine. Are you feeding him enough whole plant foods and enough variety? You could get his minerals checked through blood work. The only reason it's hard is because we've been taught to feed children wrong and feed ourselves wrong, so we have to relearn how to actually nourish ourselves the proper way. Maybe a part of you would find it more comforting and assuring to go back to believing that the majority is secure and has it right like we were all always taught they did despite what the science says?

      I'm sorry but you're not a vegan if you would ever decide to start eating animal flesh. That just means you're currently on a plant based diet. Animals fed grass go to the same slaughter houses as all the other animals and suffer the same abuses in their early life such as castration with no anesthesia, etc. The ones killed on site, that very rare percentage, are still BRUTALLY slaughtered and undergo horrific brutality and abuse and torture and they fight to their last breath. Their flesh causes cancer and heart disease and diabetes and so on, just the same as those fed through tubes or GMO grains.

      And since all of the above is killing the planet, what about the world your son will have to live in, or his kids? Will his kids have an earth that they'll even be able to live on or one worth being born on? What will he feed his kids? Because the oceans are dying, the earth is dying… Nature is perfect in design, we wouldn't need an unsustainable form of sustenance to survive and thrive. Also, biologically, your son and all humans are not designed to even be able to kill and consume other animals let alone thrive off of this toxic and unnatural diet for us. We're literally dying and taking down all other life with us, including the very planet we live on and we still have people questioning what is right in front of them and all around them and within them. You're listening to the wrong people and I suspect it may be for the wrong reasons. I suspect it's more relief from responsibility you're looking for–an easier way to raise your kid, than what's actually best… just a thought.

      Why would you feed your child toxic liver from holocaust victims, for example? For B complex vitamins? Really? Just get some nutritional yeast, pay attention to the beans and legumes and grains he gets which are full of those vitamins or even get him a whole foods vegan friendly B complex vitamin? That makes no sense to feed him a capsule of toxic liver.




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      1. Good Evening, I appreciate your comments and I still have a steady state ideal in being a whole food plant based nutritarian. I will never eat animal products unless they are hidden in some dish I’m not aware of. Listening to those 80 video audios just had me in a tizzie for my child’s health over the long term. Did you listen to them all? The two women that spoke on his behalf were very convincing and made me feel concerned. Again, I pose this question to all of those on Dr Greger site, did all of those plant based nutritional doctors start out in life as non consumers of animal products? That would be a “NO”. They all drank milk and ate some sort of flesh or dairy product, heck some claim they grew up on dairy farms, so, it was later in life that they came to the conclusion that there was a better way. Who knows, eating or drinking clean organic dairy may have some benefits for the short term early in life but I will never know nor will my son. I resolved my concerns about my son getting enough iron and zinc which are high in plant foods but not as assimilable due to the phytates.
        I found some whole food supplements that concentrate these so they are more obtainable in the body. Consequently, I won’t be giving my son any animal products which is a relief! I’ve been studying nutrition for the last 25 years so I know what you state as I have read it over and over. My wife and myself are above average height and that was partly the reason I got concerned, again that trial was very interesting…




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    1. Yes, food combining is totally false. But the idea of “food combining” is that you SHOULDN’T combine certain foods such as combining fruit with protein and fats. This is totally false. What IS true, is that combining different foods can be incredibly HEALTHY and raise antioxidant activity, help control blood sugar, etc. This video isn’t to say that one shouldn’t combine certain foods, what it is pointing out is that animal protein is extremely harmful to us, and among its many detrimental effects, increasing insulin spikes is another. Because of the antioxidants in red wine, it helps with this, but because of the alcohol, it can have a negative effect on the fat in our blood. So the bottom line here was simply that alcohol has negative effects and animal protein has negative effects.




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      1. reply to S
        I don’t get why you say that food combining is totally false? The video gave good examples of good combining and bad combinations .
        Even the temperature of the foods will make a difference .




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        1. I’m saying the typical belief in food combining is false. That belief is that we shouldn’t eat fruit with fat or any other foods because it will sit in our stomach and rot. I’m not saying that combining certain foods can’t be beneficial, I’m saying that the belief that our bodies can only handle certain types of foods together is false. I don’t consider animal flesh or secretions “food” for humans. We aren’t designed to eat them. And alcohol may be a result of fermentation, but it still isn’t really food. Eating a WFPB diet, you don’t need to worry about pairing which foods with which, but can get increased benefits in pairing foods together as opposed to eating only one food type at a time. Benefits such as fats helping you absorb antioxidants from certain foods not containing fats, or an increase in antioxidants, or vitamin c or sulfur from garlic and onions helping you absorb minerals. Here is a great video on all that: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-synergy/




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    2. Some parts are true. For example, when eating iron-rich foods, Dr. Greger and many others recommend also eating something rich in vitamin C to increase iron absorption.

      I saw another example recently about beetroot. I think Dr. Greger said beetroot should be eaten with either a vitamin C rich food or a food high in antioxidants, but I haven’t been able to find the video. If anyone knows the video I’m talking about, please let us know :-)

      Another example is that iron-rich foods should not be combined with drinking tea. Dr. Greger recommends drinking tea between meals rather than with meals.

      But in general, food combining is only important in a small few cases so it shouldn’t be a major consideration when designing a healthy diet.




      1
      1. In some cases it can help if someone has too much iron, but if one is concerned about not getting enough iron, then they should maybe not drink tea or cocoa with iron rich foods or eat extra iron and/or pair those foods with vitamin c for help in absorption. Food combining having benefits and things working together a certain way isn’t really what the term “food combining” is referring to, traditionally. The traditional belief, which has been disproven time and time again, is that you should only eat certain food types of foods at a time and refrain from combining fats, proteins, etc. There are so many I still talk to who believe you should eat no other foods with fruit. Not only are they missing out on some great benefits of fruits mixed with other foods (one of which is in this video), but in my experience, it tends to make one eat less fruits because you avoid eating them if you have or had anything else to eat.




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        1. On the topic of iron absorption, I heard someone say (and I think it was Neal Barnard) that it’s hard or impossible to get too much iron from plant sources. Animal/heme iron is too easily absorbed, the body can’t even regulate absorption. (Maybe because it’s already been digested by another animal?) But plant sources of iron require a bit more work from your body, and your body can decide to do this work or not. So too much iron shouldn’t be a worry for plant-based eaters. But I didn’t check the science.

          You’re probably right about the normal meaning of food combining. The only types of combining I hear people talking about are for mineral absorption or amino acid profiles, but I’m only listening to a subset of the broader nutrition debate.




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  8. I would like to share a fact if it would help. In India, we have cast system where one of the cast people are most intelligent than the other casts and are in high positions. They are vegetarians and absolutely don’t eat meat or eggs but drink a lot of cow milk and yogurt. It is a fact that you don’t need to eat meat for the growth of children. But they are not completely vegans either since they drink milk products.

    I was eating meat very rarely in India, but used to eat more than five times a week here. After reading China study, we eat small quantities occasionally.




    3
    1. I am just wondering if your reference to the cast system has a bias to it? I assume your claim is anecdotal and not supported by any studies? I grew up eating meat and dairy and then I changed in my 50s to vegetarian as I felt I the need for dairy for the calcium. After reading the China Study I converted to a Whole Plant Diet. Too late, I had a heart attack the next year. I am now 65 and still on the WPD and very healthy. I suggest you consider going completely to a WPD and to help you make the change please consider how much animal cruelty there is in every animal based meal. You might also wish to think about the affect it has on the environment and climate change in terms of land clearing and methane production. I wish you well.




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      1. To comment on Lawrence’s post, I was a vegetarian since I was a little girl. When I went completely vegan, just from giving up diary alone (I virtually never ate eggs, they always grossed me out), I felt SO much better. I didn’t expect it to make that much of a difference. I was no longer congested and I haven’t even gotten sick since and it’s been a few years. Skin and hair looks so much better too!




        1
    1. I think pairing wine with crackers naturally low in fat with no added oils would probably be beneficial then, as far as preventing a huge spike in blood sugar.




      1
  9. Dr. Greger is my all time personal hero, the nutrition science is an evolving science, and Dr Greger is always on the edge of newest info, really really thank you for everything my dear doctor




    11
  10. You highlighted this from the O’Keefe article:

    “In contrast, a diet high in minimally
    processed, high-fiber, plant-based foods such as low glyce-
    mic index vegetables and fruits, whole grains, legumes, and
    nuts will markedly blunt the post-meal increase in glucose
    and triglycerides.”

    Simultaneously, in your narration you said: “The healthiest approach is a whole-foods plant based diet.”

    But that very same article also recommends “high biological quality protein”…

    “Thus, protein of high biological quality
    such as egg whites, fish, game meat (and other very lean red
    meats), skinless poultry breast meat, and whey protein (or
    other nonfat dairy protein) when eaten with meals will
    dampen down post-prandial inflammation and can help
    prevent obesity (25).”

    “Additionally, lean protein, fish oil, calorie
    restriction (ideally induced via avoidance of processed foods
    and excessive portion sizes), weight loss, vinegar, cinnamon,
    tea (41), and light to moderate alcohol intake and physical
    activity positively impact post-prandial dysmetabolism.”

    With all due respect Dr. Greger, we understand that you advocate for a WFPBD. And that’s great!
    But apparently, the authors of this article also feel high quality lean protein is also important.




    3
    1. Interesting. So I checked a step further…

      O’Keefe’s statement about “protein of high biological quality … egg whites, fish, game meat” isn’t based on his own research but rather someone else’s, which he cites in reference #25. So I looked at that paper:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1188071/

      And there’s nothing about comparing proteins of different biological quality. There’s no mention of biological quality, nor of eggs, game meat, or fish meat. It’s a study about the effects of different levels of carbs, fat and protein and the conclusions about fats vs. carbs. The word “protein” occurs 10 times in the paper and none of those parts about about post-prandial anything.

      I’m skeptical about certain claims from wfpb proponents and I’m always glad to see someone do some fact checking, but I don’t see any problem with Dr. Greger’s statement. Rather O’Keefe’s statement seems unusual. I had to double check I was reading the right paper.

      For anyone that wants to read O’Keefe’s paper, I found a copy here:

      https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5644424_Dietary_Strategies_for_Improving_Post-Prandial_Glucose_Lipids_Inflammation_and_Cardiovascular_Health

      There’s a blue button in the middle that you can click to see the full text




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      1. @Susan and @ Anonymous Ciaran

        Thank you both for taking the time to delve deeper after my remarks!
        We all need to be very careful and skeptical about the research we rely on.
        It seems pretty much everyone, even those with the best intentions, has an
        agenda which can lead to some sort of bias.




        2
    2. Because protein from animal sources, that which closely mimics are own, is shown to be incredibly harmful DUE to the fact that it so closely mimics our own and thus increases risk for cancer at very significant levels. Dr. Greger is not just going by one singular study, he’s going by all the collected best available and latest science. The authors of this study may have felt that way or may have ben LEAD to “feel” that way because often scientific publications are watered down or even changed in order to please who funds them or to supply info to a people they believe won’t follow such “strict” suggestions so they then suggest they must sugar coat it for them to pay any attention at all. But even if the authors truly felt this way, their suggestion of eating animal protein wouldn’t be based on the science, if it were, they’d be advocating against animal protein; their advocating of animal protein is based on archaic beliefs, not science. Dr. Greger is all about the science and he dedicates his life to keeping up with and research the latest, most thorough, best available science. This is what leads him to advocate a whole foods plant diet.
      Why WOULD Dr. Greger include ramblings of the publishers when those suggestions had nothing to do with actually studying the effects of consuming animal flesh other than insulin spikes? That would be like reporting the fact that The National Academy of sciences deems trans fat, in any amount, extremely harmful and that there are no safe levels and also including their ridiculous end statement which encourages people not to give up the very animal foods that contain this toxin which they report we should never consume… There are agendas at play. Dr. Greger doesn’t play into these agendas, he reports the science.




      3
  11. Best easy to watch and understand video yet. I like the way you did the graphs in different colours and presented the study papers. Really smooth.




    2
  12. I don’t know why but my last comment (well not the one that indicates a mistake was made on the previous comment, but the one just before that) was posted under (as a reply) to a subcomment and not here at the end “in general” video comments.

    I don’t think it can be fixed, but hope that this one postes in the right place. If it doesn’t-well that’s part of the point.

    Because I am genuinely interested in the EDITH function.

    As in will we ever get one? Is it possible in WP (not me, Word Press). Does anyone use a WP site and have such abilities? Can comments be edited there? We cannot here.

    That’s a bit of a problem. Maybe someone with Word Press experience at another forum/format can help us find out how that we could do such a crazy thing here at NF.O. Thanks!




    1
  13. On TV, I saw a documentary about the Nicoyans (Costa Rica, Blue Zone).
    They eat lots of plant foods, but, in comparison to other blue zones, they eat MORE animal products (chicken, pork and fried eggs).
    The Okinawans also eat predominantly plant-based, but include fish on a weekly basis.
    The Sardinians (Italy) and Ikarians (Greece) consume goat’s milk daily.

    If animal products would have such detrimental effect in such small amounts as shown above in your video,
    how do you explain the fact that these people (as I mentioned above) are not completely vegan/plant-based, but are the world’s longest-lived people?

    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not critisising your work (my family eats a whole food plant-based diet), but after learning about the blue zones, I wondered how this is possible, without eating diet completely free of animal products.

    Kind Regards,

    Frederique




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    1. B12 might be the answer. Those populations have been eating 95% plant-based for many generations. For most of this time, the only ways to get vitamin b12 were by drinking pond water, by small amounts of soil and feces contaminating their food, or by eating animals or milk. So, as their water and food got cleaner, eating small amounts of animals or milk became essential.

      So their longevity only proves that a 95% plant diet with b12 is healthier than a 100% plant diet with no b12.

      But nowadays we can take a b12 supplement, so a 100% plant diet with b12 is possible. So the unanswered question is: what’s healthier, 95% plants with b12, or 100% plants with b12.

      This has never been tested by any population.




      1
      1. Ciaran, I don’t think it needs to be tested. The answer is clear based on all the existing evidence. Meat and other animal products are detrimental to human health, B12 is essential. Eating 100% plant based and getting B12 would be the optimal diet.




        2
    2. Good morning Frederique. I noted the point you made about the Okinawans some time ago. Then it occurred to me, the figures given are average and do not consistently apply to everyone. One rich person in the community eating meat of some kind daily might live a long time or not but they will skew the figures for the group as a whole. It does not mean everyone eats fish or some other meat weekly.

      At the same time we do know that the ancient Egyptians ate meat with some regularity but the average was pretty low. Class society and wealth (or lack thereof) dictated that the peasants ate meat rarely if ever. The wealthy, especially the priests, ate it regularly in part because of animal sacrifice and their mummies show substantial atherosclerosis. The poor were rarely mummified because of the cost but the current hypothesis is that whatever diseases of poverty they had, they likely did not have heart disease and other omnivore issues.

      Also look at the Loma Linda Adventists who are consistently vegan for moral reasons. They certainly do not have intellectual failings and the diet is generally pretty consistent with a very long healthy life.




      4
    3. Guess who lives longer than all of the aforementioned peoples? The Seventh-day Adventists Vegetarians of California many of whom are vegan. The answer to your question lies in the fact that about or over 90% of their diet consists of plants. If you took a group of 100% whole foods plant based eaters, they would likely be even healthier. But it’s important to supplement with B12 since we don’t eat dirt.
      Also, keep in mind that they’re comparing those societies to a world that primarily lives off of animal products. The remarkable difference is the proof at how detrimental animal products are to human health. Studies even show that even a slight decrease in the consumption of animal products can have a profound impact on health, so naturally societies that consume animal products in such a tiny, tiny percentage of their overall diet, are going to be insanely healthier and longer lived than most of the world. I think you’re looking at it totally wrong.




      2
  14. I have a medical related question and saw that these should be posted as a comment under a video. I hope this is the right place. My brother has cystic fibrosis and has been advised that he needs to eat a high fat diet consisting of essentially as much junk food as possible due to his body’s difficulty processing fat. Is seems to be pretty much accepted that those who have cystic fibrosis will also develop diabetes. He recently asked his nutritionist and doctor about moving towards a more plant based diet and was advised against it. I’m very worried about the long term implications but have no medical knowledge so was wondering if anyone knows anything about cystic fibrosis and diet?




    0
    1. Hello Jenny! Unfortunately, Dr. Greger is unable to answer most of the questions posted here, however, we do have an amazing team of volunteer doctors, nurses, and dietitians who answer questions. I have forwarded your question to them.
      Please note that we don’t have enough volunteers to get all questions answered, so an answer is not guaranteed.




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    2. I’m not surprised conventional doctors advised against it. They have little to no education in the field of nutrition and simply go with the long familiar concepts of eating eggs, meat, and dairy as regular parts of a “balanced diet.” I hope someone can get to your question about cystic fibrosis. I do recommend Dr. Greger’s book “How Not To Die” which may help, there’s an entire chapter dedicated to diabetes but the whole book should be really helpful. I’m not a doctor but I don’t see why they would advice someone to eat fatty junk food instead of increasing HEALTHY foods rich in fats. For example, nuts have such high fat levels that people often avoid them, but despite their high fat content, they seem to only improve health. Why not advice him to eat a bunch of nuts everyday? There are so many HEALTHY real foods super high in good fats in the plant world. Avacado, flax, chia and hemp for omega-3’s, fat supplements and oils, anything coconut (coconut ice cream is pure and natural but loaded with fat! I like Coconut Bliss), etc.
      Why should your brother have to sacrifice his health to get all these abundant fats? There is just no need and that sounds like horrible advice from people not genuinely concerned about his quality of life. That’s quite honestly, sickening. Just ask them how MUCH fat and how much of what types of fat he should aim to consume. From there it will be easy to eat it from whole food plant form and even adding healthy oils which most people should use in moderation.




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    3. Those with cystic fibrosis often have issues will malabsorption (especially fats), so the advice to consume a high fat diet and processed foods has some grounding as they often become very underweight. Provided the patient uses sufficient pancreatic enzymes as supplements and consumes a high calorie, higher fat diet, it should be perfectly healthy plantbased. I’d recommend incorporating high calorie foods and snacks, such as avocado on toast, smoothies with blended nuts, fruits, and soy milk, snacks of dried fruit and seeds/nuts, durian, pasta with nut cheeses, basically lots of high calorie, plant foods!




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  15. Excellent! This and the last video are the two best visually that I’ve seen of yours since started watching your videos several years ago. More almonds and avocados despite what others say about how fatty they are. Keep up the great work. Should really impress the millenials at Facebook and Google – good luck on your talks there in my neck of the woods!!




    1
  16. This video arrived just in time. I just finished a month on a whole food plant based diet and the changes in my blood chemistry have been wonderful except for the fact that my triglycerides remain stubbornly high. The study discussed towards the end of the video showing the explosion in triglycerides when drinking wine was a real eye opener, because I’ve not limited alcohol and now realize this could be the root cause of my triglycerides problem. Glycerol is apparently produced as a natural by product of fermentation and is even purposely added to beer and wine to increase “mouth feel.” It ALSO forms the BACKBONE of the triglyceride compound . Is there any theory out there that vegans, who primarily have short chain fatty acids in their blood rather than the medium to long chain fatty acids found in meat eaters, might be more prone to getting high triglycerides when ingesting the glycerol found in alcoholic beverages? My research indicates that medium and long chain fatty acids are not absorbed into the blood as quickly as short chain fatty acids. Could this mean that glycerol ingested by vegans is able to form triglycerides more quickly because fatty acids are more readily available for the reaction to take place?




    3
    1. But vegans on a whole foods diet would be eating healthy fats as opposed to dangerous animal fats, so I would imagine, no matter what the case, it’s less harmful to vegans eating whole plant foods. I definitely can’t answer your question, just sharing my thoughts.




      1
    2. What about vegan wines? I’ve just bought a very decent vegan Chianti. I generally drink 1 small glass of red wine per day and, so far, there’s been no impact on my (low to nomal) triglycerides. However, I am not yet fully WFPB. I am more of a ‘flexitarian’. Maybe that makes a difference?




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      1. If you’re not drinking the wine with fatty foods, then that’s probably why. Though I wonder if it would have the same effect with whole plant foods high in healthy fats… Personally, I think if you’re eating a WFPB diet, you don’t need to worry at all other than keeping alcohol to a minimum in general…




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  17. I can’t wait to show this to people who pay attention to the glycemic index of foods and eat meat and other animal products and consider them low glycemic. This is so interesting and I’m also now craving avocados, and wine a little too… I will say this though, ever since learning more about what alcohol does to the body, I can no longer enjoy getting a nice occasional buzz at a party, I’m too busy thinking about my glutathione lol. It’s good to know about the insulin with the antioxidants in wine (grapes and berries obviously working better) but scary to see about the triglyceride levels (flashes of loved ones drinking beer with animal fat laden meals and snacks appear before me… scary). But back to the alcohol point… I think I’m to a point where just one glass of wine gives me a buzz (yes I’m actually trying to figure out a healthier way to get a little drunk) but I wonder if there’s any research on how to immediately lessen the negative effects on the body from alcohol, while drinking alcohol. Obviously choosing something high in antioxidants like red wine would be your best choice, but I wonder if there’s anything you can pair it with that helps blunt the alcohol’s harmful effects in any significant amount. Anyone know?




    2
    1. I’m replying to S about drinking alcohol “healthily”.

      I consume up to 1-2 drinks a week on a Saturday pm (not every week though, sometimes i go months without alcohol) and take 1-2tsp heaped of amla powder before the first drink. Totally subjective and speculation, but the extremely high levels of antioxidants found in amla berries can only help fight the negative inflammatory effects of alcohol. The drink(s) also occur after food that has high levels of antioxidants, not just from being WFPB but also additional “goodies” like dried oregano and marjoram and turmeric and ginger.




      1
  18. How much protein? How much animal protein?

    Blue Zoners eat about a cup of beans daily– and about 3-4 ounces of animal meat a week, according to this NPR article.
    Longevity researchers Drs. Valter Longo and Luigi Fontana suggest that unless you’re young and still growing or elderly and sedentary, limit protein intake to less than 10 percent of calories (around 45 to 55 grams/day maximum). That’s currently the minimum amount recommended in the US for adults ages 19 to 70–and most people in well-off countries get way more.

    But if you’re avoiding animal protein and eating just plant-based protein, higher percentages of protein may be fine, according to the 2014 Levine study, often discussed here. In that study, associations between high protein diets (defined as more than 20 percent of calories) and diabetes, cancer and overall mortality “were either abolished or attenuated if the source of proteins was plant-based.”

    The quality of the protein is important, Fontana says ,and BCAAS (branch chained amino acids–leucine, isoleucine and valine), which trigger cell growth signalling, may be particularly harmful. Other researchers are looking at restricting the amino acid methionine to improve health. Methionine oxidizes easily, creating free radicals of oxygen as it’s burned for energy. Most plants are lower in methionine than animal sources of protein. A small serving (3 ounces) of beef or salmon or chicken (just half a small breast) has around 700 mg. That’s more than three times the amount in a serving (1/2 cup, cooked) of soybeans, the legumes richest in methionine.(See nutritiondata.com for data.)




    1
  19. Speaking of things like the EDITH button/function (don’t look there’s not one-just don’t make mistakes, omissions or errors. Ever),

    What does the “quote” button do? I wrapped a quote in a reply above with the Quote Taggery button in the 4-button header for composing comments. Nada. Not a dang thing changed with the text I attempted to quote. No blockage, no offset, no italics, no bold, no marks…what’s the point?

    Next time I’ll use italics and manually label the quote. I prefer not to steal the words of others, I give credit when I can or should.

    Was trying to here in order to give some continuity to that line of comments. I hate Word Press (as it is deployed here, and our absolute lack of knowledgeable folks to make it work better. I don’t hate much.

    Having 2/3 block of tofu sautéed with jalapeño, onion, shallot, garlic, black pepper/turmeric, seasoned salt. fresh spinach and blueberries. Have a healthy day.




    2
  20. This is off-topic but I don’t know where to go to request Dr G to find out about vitamin B 17. I have heard of it through my own ‘bumping’ around the internet and hear a lot of benefits of it… seemingly without any science behind the ‘hoo-ha’.




    2
    1. Hello Hannah! Unfortunately, Dr. Greger is unable to answer most of the questions posted here, however, we do have an amazing team of volunteer doctors, nurses, and dietitians who answer questions. I have forwarded your question to them.
      Please note that we don’t have enough volunteers to get all questions answered, so an answer is not guaranteed.




      1
      1. Thank you Marie! Just in case in future I have other topics I’d like talked about, where can I go, or click on to submit those questions? Much thanks again!




        1
    2. Hi, hannah. What some people call “vitamin B17 is also known as laetrile or amygdalin. It is a cyanogenic glycoside derived from plant seeds of the Rosacea family. Most of the research on it centers on cancer treatment, and there are some case studies regarding cyanide poisoning related to its use. You might be interested in this update of a Cochrane review on amygdalin:
      http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD005476.pub4/full
      I hope that helps!




      1
  21. Wait a second, he switched gears midway in this video. First we were looking at insulin response, then we switched to lipid response, and he never answered the question promised in the previous video. What happens to insulin response when you add strawberry jam??




    0
    1. I didn’t see the previous video, but it’s not that he switched gears, it’s that another finding came up in this study, a pretty remarkable one too and imo, important. It shows why (or at least one of the reasons) drinking can cause a heart attack.




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  22. The best video style I have seen yet. Only a couple of times did I get a lateral nystagmus with movement of text across the screen. Overall very interesting to watch.
    I still miss the old style videos of Fact vs Fiction with the bunny rabbit and Harvey the rabbit costume! ;)




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  23. Whole food plant based lady here , my blood work showed cloesterol was high and triglycerides high , what is causing this ?
    Leigh




    0
    1. Hi Leigh: Your total cholesterol is the sum of your HDL (good cholesterol) + LDL (bad cholesterol) + 20 percent of your triglycerides. Were all of your numbers high? I want to assume it was just your triglycerides that were high, which likely led to you having a high total cholesterol. If that’s the case, there are a number of factors that can affect your triglycerides. These factors are obesity, poorly controlled diabetes, being physically inactive, frequent alcohol consumption, hypothyroidism, kidney disease, and certain inherited lipid disorders. There are also certain medications that may raise triglyceride levels (estrogen therapy, Tamoxifen, steroids, beta-blockers, diuretics, and birth control pills). I hope this helps a little. I would suggest making an appointment to talk to your health care provider if none of these risks apply to you or if you have any additional questions/concerns regarding your lab values. Best of luck!




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  24. So if meeting our physiological needs by pharmaceutical intervention is a bad thing, why is it okay to take B12 supplements? I’m struggling with that very question. And as I look at the Blue Zones, they’re almost never pure vegan. It seems that adding a weekly dose of fresh caught Alaskan salmon or sardines seems reasonable and prudent if I don’t want to use any artificial supplements. And that still keeps me at 98% plant based. Thoughts?




    0
    1. B12 is a special case – you can get enough from drinking 2 litres of pond water a day, but you might get other things too, like cholera. That’s why we don’t get enough nowadays, our water is sterilised which kills the bacteria which make B12. Nowadays the animals being turned into food also often don’t get enough B12 from dirty vegetables and water, so they are given B12 supplements – so even if you eat a meat diet you’re probably getting 2nd hand B12 supplements.




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