Flashback Friday: Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?

Flashback Friday: Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?
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Nutritional quality indices show plant-based diets are the healthiest, but do vegetarians and vegans reach the recommended daily intake of protein?

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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.

The largest study in history of those eating plant-based diets recently compared the nutrient profiles of about 30,000 non-vegetarians to 20,000 vegetarians, and about 5,000 vegans, flexitarians, and no meat except fish-eaters, allowing us to finally put to rest the perennial question, “Do vegetarians get enough protein?” The average requirement is 42 grams of protein a day. Non-vegetarians get way more than they need, and so does everyone else. On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day.

Surprising that there’s so much fuss about protein in this country when less than 3% of adults don’t make the cut—presumably folks on extreme calorie-restricted diets who just aren’t eating enough food, period. But 97% of Americans get enough protein.

There is a nutrient, though, for which 97% of Americans are deficient. Now, that’s a problem nutrient. That’s something we really have to work on. Less than 3% of Americans get even the recommended minimum adequate intake of fiber. So, the question isn’t “Where do you get your protein?” but “Where do you get your fiber?” We only get about 15 grams a day. The minimum daily requirement is 31.5, so we get less than half the minimum. If you break it down by age and gender, after studying the diets of 12,761 Americans, the percentage of men between ages 14 and 50 getting the minimum adequate intake? Zero.

“This deficit is stunning in that dietary fiber has been [protectively] associated…with the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease…, obesity, and various cancers as well as…high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood [sugars]. Therefore, it is not surprising that fiber is [now] listed as a nutrient of concern in the…Dietary Guidelines…” Protein is not.

“One problem is that most people have no idea what’s in their food; more than half of Americans think steak is a significant fiber source.”

By definition, fiber is only found in plants. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or eggs, and little or no fiber in junk food. Therein lies the problem. Americans should be eating more beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains—how are we doing on that? Well, 96% of Americans don’t eat the minimum recommended daily amount of beans, 96% don’t eat the measly minimum for greens. 99% don’t get enough whole grains. Look at these numbers. Nearly the entire U.S. population fails to eat enough whole plant foods. And, it’s not getting any better; a “lack of progress [that’s] disappointing.”

Even semi-vegetarians, though, make the minimum for fiber. And those eating completely plant-based diets triple the average American intake. Now, when closing the fiber gap, you’ll want to do it gradually, no more than about five extra grams of fiber a day each week, until you can work your way up.

But it’s worth it. “Plant-derived diets tend to contribute significantly less fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and [foodborne pathogens], while at the same time offering more fiber, folate, vitamin C, and phytochemicals…all essential factors for disease prevention, and optimal health and well-being.”

And, the more whole plant foods, the better. If you compare the nutritional quality of “vegan [vs.] vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets, traditional healthy diet-indexing systems, like compliance with the dietary guidelines, consistently indicate the most plant-based diet as “the most healthy one.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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

The largest study in history of those eating plant-based diets recently compared the nutrient profiles of about 30,000 non-vegetarians to 20,000 vegetarians, and about 5,000 vegans, flexitarians, and no meat except fish-eaters, allowing us to finally put to rest the perennial question, “Do vegetarians get enough protein?” The average requirement is 42 grams of protein a day. Non-vegetarians get way more than they need, and so does everyone else. On average, vegetarians and vegans get 70% more protein than they need every day.

Surprising that there’s so much fuss about protein in this country when less than 3% of adults don’t make the cut—presumably folks on extreme calorie-restricted diets who just aren’t eating enough food, period. But 97% of Americans get enough protein.

There is a nutrient, though, for which 97% of Americans are deficient. Now, that’s a problem nutrient. That’s something we really have to work on. Less than 3% of Americans get even the recommended minimum adequate intake of fiber. So, the question isn’t “Where do you get your protein?” but “Where do you get your fiber?” We only get about 15 grams a day. The minimum daily requirement is 31.5, so we get less than half the minimum. If you break it down by age and gender, after studying the diets of 12,761 Americans, the percentage of men between ages 14 and 50 getting the minimum adequate intake? Zero.

“This deficit is stunning in that dietary fiber has been [protectively] associated…with the risk of diabetes, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease…, obesity, and various cancers as well as…high cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood [sugars]. Therefore, it is not surprising that fiber is [now] listed as a nutrient of concern in the…Dietary Guidelines…” Protein is not.

“One problem is that most people have no idea what’s in their food; more than half of Americans think steak is a significant fiber source.”

By definition, fiber is only found in plants. There is no fiber in meat, dairy, or eggs, and little or no fiber in junk food. Therein lies the problem. Americans should be eating more beans, vegetables, fruits, whole grains—how are we doing on that? Well, 96% of Americans don’t eat the minimum recommended daily amount of beans, 96% don’t eat the measly minimum for greens. 99% don’t get enough whole grains. Look at these numbers. Nearly the entire U.S. population fails to eat enough whole plant foods. And, it’s not getting any better; a “lack of progress [that’s] disappointing.”

Even semi-vegetarians, though, make the minimum for fiber. And those eating completely plant-based diets triple the average American intake. Now, when closing the fiber gap, you’ll want to do it gradually, no more than about five extra grams of fiber a day each week, until you can work your way up.

But it’s worth it. “Plant-derived diets tend to contribute significantly less fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and [foodborne pathogens], while at the same time offering more fiber, folate, vitamin C, and phytochemicals…all essential factors for disease prevention, and optimal health and well-being.”

And, the more whole plant foods, the better. If you compare the nutritional quality of “vegan [vs.] vegetarian, semi-vegetarian, pesco-vegetarian and omnivorous diets, traditional healthy diet-indexing systems, like compliance with the dietary guidelines, consistently indicate the most plant-based diet as “the most healthy one.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Doctor's Note

The only nutrient Americans may be more deficient in than fiber is potassium. See 98% of American Diets Potassium-Deficient. For more on how S.A.D. the Standard American Diet is, see Nation’s Diet in Crisis.

Americans eating meat-free diets average higher intakes of nearly every nutrient. See my video Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management. 

Isn’t animal protein higher quality protein, though? See my videos:

For more on protein, see: Plant Protein Preferable and Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio.

And for a few on fiber:

Since this video originally came out, I’ve got more videos on protein:

And fiber:

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

 

158 responses to “Flashback Friday: Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein?

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  1. GOODDAY DR, I AM 79 YRS OLD…..HAD A QUADRUPLE HEART BYPASS IN MAY 2016.
    INITIALLY I RECOVERED WELL….HOWEVER I LOST 16 KG IN WEIGHT AND LOST MUCH
    MUSCLE MASS. I AM A VEGAN NOW AFTER HAVING BEEN A VEGETARIAN.
    I AM CURRENTLY TAKING ADDITIONAL PROTEIN POWDERS IN AN EFFORT TO REGAIN MUSCLE
    MASS AND WEIGHT. HOWEVER I HAVE ONLY GAINED 3 KG. SHOULD I TAKE CREATINE AND WHAT
    ELSE. I LOOK REALLY BAD AND SELF CONSCIOUS TO GO WITHOUT A SHIRT. THE HEAVIEST I HAVE
    BEEN IS 87 KG. MY HEIGHT IS 1.8 M. I AM A GRADUATE PHYS ED SPECIALIST AN NEED A LOT OF HELP.

    KIND REGARDS.
    PIERRE ESTERHUIZEN
    E-MAIL…….pierreaest@vodamail.co.za

    1. Pierre, glad you’re still with us.

      I’m far from an expert but I’ll chime in and say I would avoid at all costs “Protein powders” of any sort. These are often isolated proteins and could do more harm than good. Also, same goes for Protein shakes, and protein bars. Usually terrible stuff.

      I’d choose caloric plant foods… Legumes, Pasta, Hemp Seeds, Walnuts, Pecans, Avocados, Sunflower Butter, etc… even a daily smoothie with 2 bananas inside…. and try to add 500 Calories a day above what normally keeps you at the same weight. See how that goes by end of April.

      1. Hi Pierre, thanks for your question. It is great that you have taken action with your diet and I wish you good health. Also thanks for Casper response which I would also agree increasing fats from whole foods such as nut butters and seeds butter would add extra calories to the diet . Also making sure your B12 and vitamin D is also in the optimum region.
        https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/vitamin-b12/
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist-2/

      2. You get your protein from starch, beans, rice and patatoes, here you have your protein.
        You are nature the rest is marketing and $
        What is so hard to get here, how does a Gorilla get his Protein , pffff .
        Do not make him angry.
        Just eat a good diet, non GMO and Natural .
        Again keep it simple..
        John Mc Dougall & Neil Bernard ..
        John mc Dougall tedd talk, I am a Doktor who really makes people better, by letting the body heal itself by giving the right food what it is made for by Nature.
        The body will restore itself, just do not put Diesel in a Gas engine .

    2. PIERRE ANDRE ESTER-HUIZEN:

      There was a report from the U of Iowa that said ATF4 causes muscle atrophy in the elderly. But: Tomatidine (found in Unripe tomatoes and in Organic Tomato puree) and Ursolic Acid (found highest in apple Skin) block the action of ATF4 in causing muscle atrophy. The report talked about skeletal muscles in mice, but I am 77yo and have very good results by eating apple skin and organic Tomato puree not just in skeletal muscles, but also: in the layer of muscle in the leg veins (the swelling in my feet went down about 90%, the urethral muscles (no more “accidents”) and the ciliary muscles (improved vision).

      Two notes:

      I found because my muscle mass increased I became cold unless I took small amounts of iron supplements. (Presumably the iron was needed in the expanded amount of myoglobin.)

      I stopped eating oats and found the efficacy of the apple skin and tomatoes increased significantly. Perhaps something in oats interferes with the ability of Ursolic Acid and Tomatidine to block the bad effects of ATF4.

      1. Sydney,
        This information is incredibly interesting.
        How much of the Apple skin and the organic tomato purée do you eat daily ?

        1. Lida:

          I have trouble eating sweet fruits so I eat only 1/3 of an organic Granny Smith apple per meal and three or four strips of apple skin per meal. I drink about two to three glasses of Appalachian Naturals brand of organic tomato puree per day. (I make sort of a cocktail of the tomato puree, organic pure cranberry juice (no sugar added) and Brooklyn Crafted stevia sweetened ginger ale (with actual ginger).

          Note: The report said the Tomatidine deteriorates as the tomato ripens, but that there is still some of the Tomatidine in a ripe organic tomato. I started out cooking unripened hydroponic tomatoes, but I find the organic tomato puree to be effective and much less trouble. I also find the Appalachian Naturals brand of organic tomato puree to be more effective than Lakewood organic tomato juice.

          1. Sydney,
            Thx for that summary. I am anxious to try that formula. And Marilyn always adds another helpful dimension.

            Thx Marilyn Kaye!

      2. Sydney – Hi, I think I may have found the article you mention: https://medcom.uiowa.edu/medicine/natural-compounds-could-revive-older-muscles/
        This is very interesting information and thanks for bringing it up. Here is the research that article references: http://www.jbc.org/content/early/2015/09/03/jbc.M115.681445 Here’s some Wikepedia info on tomatine: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tomatine
        And here is some on ursolic acid, which, it appears, is good for a lot of things! https://selfhacked.com/blog/ursolic-acid/

        Many of the spices that are sources for ursolic acid are found in a typical poultry seasoning. Sage, oregano, thyme. I add poultry seasoning to broth all the time to enrich the taste and flavor of a good vegetable broth. Add some rosemary – also rich in ursolic acid – and you’ve got a great health concoction! Apparently you can find ursolic acid as a supplement, but I like the idea of consuming the amounts that we find in nature.

        Thanks Sydney for sharing your information with us.

    3. Mr. Estergurzen

      So happy to see that you are trying to improve your health after a serious heart condition.
      According to current scientific research including Drs. Esseltstyn and Dean Ornish, reversal of heart disease and continued excellent health was obtained on a diet of whole plant foods(greens, other vegetables, beans, fruits), water, daily vitamin B12 and aerobic exercise. To increase and improve muscle strength, please add some muscle strengthening exercises. Sleep at least 7 hours daily. Dr. Esseltstyn avoids nuts and seeds to minimize fat intake in his patients who already has coronary artery disease as yourself. Dr. Ornish also included stress reduction.
      Please avoid protein powders and creatine. You will get enough protein on your healthy plant based diet. Muscle is not derived from ingesting protein. The cow and many other large herbivorous animals including weight lifters, ingest grass and plant food.
      Dr. Greger has an app (DailyDozen) which can serve as a guide.
      Excellent health to you.

    4. Try Amino Acid complex and health food store..what you dont need your body will excrete. Take 4 pills before and after workouts…alternatively, you can eat 2-3 pounds of raw broccoli and combine w/some beans

      Dr. Cohn

  2. We are plant eaters from build up in nature .
    How does a Cow get his protein , from gras duh !
    How does a Horse and Gorilla gets his Proteine, from planttbase food .
    Keep it simple..
    Meat and diary clogs up our arteries, therefore heart and vascular disease killer nr !

  3. The brief mention of “gradually building up fiber intake” (t=3:30) made me smile. The pull-quote says, “Drastic, sudden increases in dietary fiber intake may result in discomfort or other unwanted adverse affects.”

    I kept thinking about poor Al Borland having to work with Tim the Toolman after Tim ate a big bowl of beans the day before. =]

    If you want to jack up your fiber 5 grams a day and enjoy a treat at the same time, consider Medjool dates. One date has about 5 grams of fiber and plenty of sugar to reward yourself after a well-disciplined day of WFPB. I keep mine in the freezer – it’s just like a frozen Milky Way bar without all the… Milky Way bar.

    1. This makes me remember a week long camp out I used to go to with a bunch of ‘hippies’. Everyone there claimed to be vegan for the Earth granola bars, but after eating vegan food for just one day it was obvious who was used to eating that amount of fiber and who clearly was spending way too much time with a roll of toilet paper because they were full of ….

    2. dr cobalt,

      When I read that statement about gradually increasing fiber intake, I wondered if folks who claim that beans, or whole grains, or veggies, or fruit, don’t “agree with them” were actually experiencing the effects of intemperate intake of these foods: suddenly eating too large a serving, or too many servings in too short a time? I never thought to ask.

      1. Yes, I think that can happen. I think changing to WFPB too abruptly could dissuade some new “converts” from adopting this lifestyle. To say it perhaps a different way, some who are new to this information might try to switch too quickly: drop the SAD cold turkey, switch from grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch to kale salads, swap out soy milk for cow’s milk, and begin consuming bowls of steam-ironed oat groats with flax meal for breakfast. It might be better to gradually phase one regimen in and the other out. Otherwise, an unhappy lower GI might give the wrong impression that the switch was a mistake.

        Did I read you correctly?

        1. Dr Cobalt,

          That is interesting.

          What I do know is that I used to get so gassy from beans and I had gotten to the point where I couldn’t eat garlic or onions at all and I loved garlic bread and onions.

          Going Whole Food Plant Based, now I don’t have problems with any of it. I can eat raw onions in my wraps and can add garlic to everything and I can eat beans 3 meals a day.

          I hear those things from other people and I find it interesting.

  4. I know a guy (don’t we all?) who says that bowel movements once a week are optimal. I ask him “for whom?” Most WFPB people I know say one or two movements a day are necessary for them. Guess who’s actually getting enough fiber???

  5. It’s sad that Fiber and Phytonutrients are the Kings of superior health and yet most people in modern societies are grossly deficient in these two guys.

    Too busy loading up on Protein or Fat following this Keto crap or Wheat Belly.

    It’s funny, even Mr. Wheat Belly (aka The most dangerous man in America) only aims for 20g and he tries to get his victims to obtain fiber from the silliest sources.

    1. Yes perhaps that might explain why colorectal cancer rates are increasing in younger people in the US since they are the ones most likely to adopt these fad diets

      ‘a meta-analysis of eight geographically and technically diverse fecal shotgun metagenomic studies of colorectal cancer (CRC, n = 768), which was controlled for several confounders, identified a core set of 29 species significantly enriched in CRC metagenomes (false discovery rate (FDR) < 1 × 10−5). CRC signatures derived from single studies maintained their accuracy in other studies. By training on multiple studies, we improved detection accuracy and disease specificity for CRC. Functional analysis of CRC metagenomes revealed enriched protein and mucin catabolism genes and depleted carbohydrate degradation genes. Moreover, we inferred elevated production of secondary bile acids from CRC metagenomes, suggesting a metabolic link between cancer-associated gut microbes and a fat- and meat-rich diet.'
      https://www.nature.com/articles/s41591-019-0406-6

      1. ‘Similar to incidence rates, CRC death rates in adults
        younger than 50 years of age increased by about 1% per
        year from 2005 to 2014 following decades of decline
        (Figure 5). This trend is in contrast to older age groups,
        among whom death rates are decreasing by about 1% per
        year in individuals 50-64 years of age and by 3% per year
        in those 65 and older. ‘
        https://www.cancer.org/content/dam/cancer-org/research/cancer-facts-and-statistics/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures/colorectal-cancer-facts-and-figures-2017-2019.pdf

  6. I’d like to see the question, Do Vegans Get Enough Calcium? answered. I tried vegan for 6 or 7 months last year and my nails became soft and bendy The tech at the nail salon said “Your nail is open. That means you don’t have enough calcium in your body.” I went back to eating dairy, but it makes me sad. Has anyone had this experience and overcome it?

    1. Theres no reason to go back to dairy especially because someone at a nail salon told you to. Come on, really? In fact, dairy is the most overrated source of calcium. Dr. G and countless others have provided info on Calcium, where to get it, which Sources are best absorbed, etc.

      Get off DAIRY ASAP… that’s a friendly order. You’re worried about your nails but don’t care about increased risk of serious disorders consuming DAIRY?

      Remember DAIRY is SCARY!!

      SOY milk – Calcium
      CHIA seeds – calcium
      Collards/Kale – Calcium

      Also, I’d look into other Zinc-based foods, and load up on Beta Carotene based foods.

      I would not worry so much about Calcium, and maybe someone could confirm or disprove my belief that Research does not really implicate Calcium in soft/open nails issues.

      I’d say: Iron, Zinc, A/betaC … but again, could be wrong.

      What I know I’m right about is the best thing you could immediately do for yourself and every open-minded family member or friend is get them OFF DAIRY asap. ✌

      1. Oh, and Biotin foods.

        Also, remember, just because you went Vegan doesn’t mean you took in a variety of Whole plant foods loaded with Phytonutrients. So, it’s not necessarily that eating a Vegan diet was the issue, could be you didn’t do it correctly and became deficient in certain minerals and vitamins that Animal foods previously provided.

        But if you go Whole Plant Based, and follow Dr. G’s advice, you’ll be the healthiest you could ever be and should have no deficiencies at all.

      1. What is interesting is that I have read Vegan sites where people’s nails started growing faster and getting stronger.

        Most of the sites I looked at pointed to Biotin through food, if possible – lettuce, cucumber, oats, walnuts, raspberries

        That is what the most successful studies involved.
        Silica Fiji water has silica. I hate them because they don’t allow the island to have access to their water, but I got rid of aluminum in my brain from drinking it for the silica
        Omega 3 Did you eat seeds and nuts and take a vegan Omega 3?
        Folic Acid from beets, citrus, avocado, spinach
        Vitmain A from things like citrus fruits, spinach, apricots, apple, yam
        Zinc from things like cashews, soybeans, flax seeds, spinach, kidney beans, pumpkin seeds
        Vitamin D3 from the sun / supplements
        Iodine seaweed / supplement if you don’t use salt – they sell it in shaker bottles to use as a spice if you don’t like it

    2. Hi Linda Michelle Lacek, thanks for your question. The greens have a clot of calcium as well as seeds such as sesame seeds. Making a home made nut bars would help. Dr Greger indicates in this blog that there calcium sources available without health-related risks; Dark green leafy vegetables, like kale, broccoli, and bak choy, are relatively rich in calcium that is absorbed about twice as well as the calcium in milk. What’s more, they also contain fiber, folate, iron, and antioxidants, some of the very nutrients lacking in dairy. I recommend getting at least 600mg of calcium daily via calcium-­rich plant foods—preferably low-­oxalate dark green leafs, which includes all greens except spinach, chard, and beet greens (all very healthy, but not good calcium sources due to their oxalate content).
      https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/calcium/

    3. Hi Linda Michelle Lacek – I am sorry that I no longer have the link to the medical research presentation I watched a few years ago, but you may be interested in the information I gleaned from his presentation. The topic was vitamin K2 which is found in all green leafy vegetables. His presentation was explaining the physiology of K2 in our systems and what it does ( at least what his part of the research showed). K2 is the vitamin that allows the calcium that is free in the blood to go into the bones and teeth where it is needed and stored and can be used by the body. When K2 is not present, the calcium cannot get into the bones, muscles, teeth etc, . . it continues to circulate in the blood. What his research was showing was that when people were taking calcium in pills without sufficient K2 it collected in the blood vessels and hardened blood vessels in the heart and other areas in the body. You can now go to your doctor and ask for a calcium scan to see if you have hardening of the vessels of your heart. Doctors are reporting seeing more and more of this dangerous situation and are recommending now to not take additional calcium pills. When there was sufficient K2 via greens in the diet, the calcium could go where it needed to in the body. He did not mention finger nails, but it makes sense to me that one’s finger nails could be negatively affected with insufficient K2. Greens gives us both calcium and K2 together in one package. And I, personally, think that this is no mistake – Mother Nature has a way of giving us what we need. All of the great grass eating animals of the earth – with lots of various horns and keratin structures (hair, nails, hooves, tusks, etc) like elephants, rhinoceros, buffalo, gorillas, etc, – don’t worry about eating dairy for sufficient calcium. Cows, also, don’t worry about eating dairy. Hope this helps :-)

        1. Marilyn Kaye, Thanks for the reference, on Vit K, K1, & K2. Fortunately, I found an Asian grocery store nearby where they sell Natto, a good source of K2, And I would think that would be a better and more reliable source than a supplement!

    4. Most so-called vagan diets are unhealthy. For health reasons, it is important to eat a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet. A whole food plant based (WFPB) diet is not necessarily a whole food plant diet. It can include a small proportion (fewer than 10% of total calories) of animal foods. For ethical and environmental reasons, however, it is preferable that this WFPB diet is a completely vegetarian one.

  7. I’ve had the same problem. First with low carb and muscle loss then low protein with chronic tiredness. The vegan diet i’ Sorry to admit was a failure for me. Had to restart eating a little meat once or twice per week. It was the only way I succeeded in feeling better. No one I knew could guide me. Not even my dietician. General guidelines wasn’t enough. Thinking of taking cooking classes but for now that’s all I can do.

    1. Anne,

      Sorry you didn’t have the advice of Dr G and all the other brilliant leaders of Plant Based Nutrition or you most likely would have succeeded. Your dietitian couldn’t help because I guarantee he or she wasn’t a plant based dietitian. In any event, I strongly suggest trying again and following the Fuhrman plan blended with the McDougall plan. You’ll have success. I’m sure of it.

      No inclusion of Animal foods had ever in any shape or form been proven in scientific literature to be more helpful than plant based options when done correctly. So… I’m just sayin… and believe me, you’re not the only one… I’ve heard Jillian Michaels say “Vegan diet didn’t work for me” but she never once has laid out explicitly what she ate daily for seven days a week while trying it. So we can’t just take anyone’s word on what they think the problem is…. we’d need to have a detailed list of every calorie that entered your system for a week to analyze it and find where you need to make adjustments.

      1. @Casper agree that people experiencing issues on wfpb nutrition should enter their daily intake in https://cronometer.com/ or similar service for insight one what macro nutrients [ compex carb = fiber + starch + sugar, fat and protein ] they are and are not getting enough of and options for correcting it.

        I’ve done that pretty consistently and the catch 22 i’m finding is the protein sources like nuts are very high in fat as well so they really drive up fat numbers. The protein sources like legumes [ black beans, pintos ] are high I protein without much fat. The protein sources like whole grains [ rolled oats, brown rice ] and tubers [ potatoes and sweet potatoes ] are not very high I protein or fat seemingly making them mostly a source of starch.

        My take away from this data is that the most concentrated source of protein for wfpb eater comes for 1cup of legumes daily which according to chronometer would have to be around 3 cups a day to get the bulk of a man’s 56g rda with the remainder coming from the other sources. That seems like a lot of legumes.

        In chronometer I entered 1 cup of rolled oats + 1 serving of walnuts + 2 cups of black beans + a medium sweet potato + 1oz of brown rice + 1 fda serving of cashews and that shows as 52.1g or only 93% of the daily protein rda of 56mg. I didn’t include my other daily fruit and vegetable intake in this list because they don’t appear to contribute much of anything to my daily protein macronutrient numbers.

        Any thoughts on which wfpb protein source i’m missing to get 100%+ every day or if that isn’t necessary. Even at 93% show above taking in 2 cups of legumes each day in my evening bowl of vegetables involves a whole standard size 15oz can of precooked legumes which is not quite 2 cups. Perhaps i’m measruing something incorrectly or interpreting cronometer data wrong.

        1. A 15 oz can of precooked legumes will have a high water (and probably sodium) content. it would likely only be equivalent to 1.5 or 1.75 cups of dry beans.

          You need to check if your target data use cups of dry weight, wet weight or cooked legumes as units of measure.

    2. Anne Cyr,

      I have no idea what a “vegan diet” is. There are so many processed junk foods that are vegan: sodas, potato chips, pretzels, candies, cookies, cakes, “pizzas,” “health bars,” faux meats, faux cheese, etc. I also have no idea why anyone would try to eat a low carb diet — what does that even mean? — or a low protein diet — and what does that even mean? Carbohydrates are found in all plant foods; they also have protein, though some have more than others.

      Plant Based Whole Foods eating, on the other hand, means no animal products (Plant Based) and minimal to no processed foods (Whole Foods) — so, cooking at home. That means eating veggies and fruits, beans and whole grains, and nuts and seeds in moderation. Whole grains does not mean processed grains, such as white flour, white rice, white flour pasta or bread or cereal, etc. I am also trying to limit added sugars, oils, and salt, none of which are good for us.

      Check out the videos, blogs, and other info on this site. Dr. Greger also published two books, “How Not to Die,” which is loaded with information, and the “How Not To Die Cookbook,” which has both information and recipes. These are excellent resources. NutritionFacts.org is a non-profit, so any profits from his books go back into supporting the foundation.

      There are many other resources as well; two that come to mind are https://www.forksoverknives.com and https://www.pcrm.org.

      I hope you try again. Perhaps you could find a dietician who supports Plant Based Whole Foods? My brother switched his PCP from one who didn’t to one who did. He’s done phenomenally after switching to PBWF eating: lost 70 pounds, and went off meds for high BP, high cholesterol, GERD, and diabetes, among others. It was a slow change, over years, and he also started exercising.

      1. @Dr J, perhaps you have some thoughts on why the https://cronometer.com/ numbers I outlined in previous response seem to come up short on protein even though all the proposed wfpb primary sources are being included in my daily food pile.

        1. myusrn,

          Sorry, I don’t know what the chronometer is. I have read that if you are eating a varied wfpb diet and getting enough calories, then you are also getting enough protein. Rule of thumb, but I tend to live by them. To me, nutrition science seems like a very inexact science, especially at this time.

          I also know that algorithms can vary tremendously in how effective they are; differences exist in the data base (which might be extensive or limited, appropriate or way off base, junk or worse, etc) as well as the model used, for starters. Has this chronometer been peer reviewed and published? Does it provide information about how it was developed, and what data base it relies on? Has it been tested, and if so, are the test results available?

          1. @Dr. J, I originally heard of the cronometer, not spell checker corrected chronometer, service [ https://cronometer.com ] in some mic the vegan youtube channel [ https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGJq0eQZoFSwgcqgxIE9MHw ] talks. He is a pro nutritionfacts.org / dr. greger wfpb nutrition person. In his talks he always include study and research references so that they are oriented as presenting considered to be accurate facts vs opinions.

            When you add any food in the cronometer.com dairy | add food | add food to diary search box there is a “Source” column that tells one what the data source was for the nutritional data that will be added to your totals. They outline their primary data sources in https://cronometer.com/help/foods/#data where the most common source in the case of wfpb sources would be “Nutrition Coordinating Center Food & Nutrient Database (NCCDB)” followed by the “United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference (USDA SR28)”. The sources after those I expect come into play more so for niche local markets only processed foods which isn’t relevant here. All the items I mentioned in my earlier comment post where I was raising questions about what it was taking to get my daily 56g rda of protein had NCCDB as their data source.

            I have asked there support folks to if possible to check out references to their service in this comments section and provide any additional input they might think relevant on the data sources for nutritional break downs and whether they have had any trusted 3rd party reviews of their calculator service output to confirm its correctness.

            1. Hi myusrn, I’m not a medical person or dietician, but I do use cronometer. Here’s a suggestion, if you are eating all of the recommended fruits and veggies (both green leafy and berries) you might be surprised how much protein there is in them. Enter what your diet would be if you ate the daily dozen from this site and you will not be protein deficient. I get over 70 g average and over a third of this is from greens and fruits, especially greens. What I see is that I’m almost always in excess in Vitamin K but since I’m getting it from kale, spinach, broccoli, etc I’m not worried about the “red” flag. I’ve used this tool to help me fine tune what I’m eating to make sure I’m not deficient in any of what they track, but if you are eating all of the daily dozen with a little extra greens you will be surprised how much protein you are really getting.

              1. @Bonnie thanks for the input on this matter this got me to revisiting the specifics of my other daily contributors and one I haven’t been using.

                In my evening bowl of vegetables always has either a cup of romaine hearts [ or spinach or kale ] and a cup of red [ but I see purple ] cabbage. When I look at each of those they only come in at approximately 1g of protein.

                In my morning green apple and orange followed by bowl of rolled oats + walnuts + banana + strawberries/blueberries/blackberries + almond milk with the exception of the rolled oats and walnuts when I look at each of the other items they only come in at approximately 1g of protein and .1g in the case of the blackberries.

                The one thing I haven’t been using which dr. greger mentions a lot and you called out above is broccoli where a 1 bunch raw comes in at an unexpected 17.1g of protein.

                Therefore my take away is the key contributors to hitting my daily protein minimum rda of 56g [ for men / 46g women ] would be the rolled oats 10.7g + 6tbsp/handful of walnuts 4.6g + cup of black/pinto beans 14.2g + bunch of broccoli raw 17.1g + handful of cashews 5.5g = 52.1 where the remainder would be covered by the approximate 1g coming for the other sources I noted above. That said eating a “bunch” of broccoli is what I would think a lot and eating this whole set of items every day in my case often exceeds my hunger levels.

                If my analysis is correct i’m wondering how bad coming in a little under on protein requirements is for a person on a regular basis. What side effects would I experience or look for. I’m definitely having no trouble hitting and/or exceeding my daily complex carb [ fiber/starch/sugar ] and fat macronutrient requirements with what I have been eating. Adding a “bunch” of raw broccoli will add approximately 206.72 calories to the complex carbs side of that equation the rest being primarily its protein contribution.

              2. @Bonnie, correction on my previous post.

                Cronometer daily diary converts 1 “bunch” of broccoli to 8.56 cups of broccoli making that unexpected 17.1g of protein source I mentioned not feasible as only 1 cup of broccoli is likely consumable on a daily basis and that shows as only having 2g of protein.

                I punched in all my daily intake items noted in prior post leaving broccoli in but this time with 1 cup portion vs unreasonable 1 “bunch” and added my avocado, tomatoes canned, carrots, onions and mushrooms all of which are approximate 1g protein contributors and my total is coming out to 54.8g of protein not 56g or greater.

                All of this food takes a healthy appetite to consume daily. I’ve read the daily dozen checklist and watched daily dozen challenges and I frankly don’t see how I could eat that much food every day let alone maintain job and other life responsibilities while spending so much time acquiring and preparing the food. Throw in being on the road for business and/or vacation and no chance.

              3. @Bonnie and @Dr. J here is an even more interesting conundrum. I visited https://cronometer.com/ and picked a calendar day to create a separate diary entry in this case one for a animal products based eater.

                So a added two eggs + 2 pieces of bacon + toast for breakfast and a hamburger for lunch and for dinner a piece of salmon with baked potato. In that scenario the total protein level come out to 47.4g / 85% of the 56g target. So it seems that a typical animal products nutritional plan also comes up short on protein and those all folks think they are fine and exceeding protein requirements.

          2. Hello Dr.J,

            As Myusrn has mentioned, all of Cronometer’s generic foods are sourced from the NCCDB and USDA, both of them compile results from different lab analyses and research papers to provide a comprehensive nutrient profile for the average foods consumed by Americans.

            All other branded foods submitted by users (CRDB), are reviewed before being added to the database. https://cronometer.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360018239472-Data-Sources.

            The RDAs for both macronutrients and micronutrients used in Cronometer come from the USDA Dietary Reference Intakes. You can learn more about there here: https://www.nal.usda.gov/fnic/dietary-reference-intakes These are set based on your age, sex and in some cases, how many calories you have burned.

            Weighing and logging your foods is the most accurate way of making sure you are meeting all of your targets ;)

    3. Anne,

      I am succeeding with vegan whole food plant based, but I know what you mean that some places in the country don’t have people who could guide them. It took a while to learn the recipes and the cooking and food choices guidelines.

      I wonder if you were eating things like beans and lentils and soy throughout the day and if you were eating things like sweet potatoes and grains and seeds and nuts and avocado.

      It seems like sometimes people skip something like soy or beans or grains and find themselves hungry and miserable.

    4. Anne Cyr – Hi Anne, I have sometimes felt some of the challenges you mentioned. . . sometimes not enough energy and not feeling quite right. I also have to mention that at 66 this could also be some normal slowing down in the aging process and/or insufficient exercise (talking for myself here). But one thing I’ve done to help with some of the symptoms you mentioned is to increase my lentil intake. Lentils do have more protein and seem, for me, to make me feel less hungry and help me to have more energy. Also, I have found that adding some seitan to my diet is sometimes helpful when I’m feeling the need. There are seitan products on the market but it is all gigantically easy to make your own seitan. There are lots of recipes on the web. I’ve experimented with flavorings and cooking methods. You purchase vital wheat gluten and follow the directions on the package.
      I hope some of these ideas may be helpful to you – just know you’re not the only one that may need to find out what works best for you. Stay encouraged :-). Best of luck :-)

      1. Hi YR, I haven’t started watching the McDougall video you posted yet. (I noticed it’s an hour and a half long) But I did glance at some of the comments and they do seem very negative! I have watched Dr McDougall in various forums over many years and he seems to promote a healthy plant-based diet so maybe it’s his presentation style that has changed. I’ll come back and comment again after watching the full video.

        1. Hal,

          You let me know. I am not going to watch it. The comments saying things like “we NEED keto” already made me not want to see it. But if something is wrong with Dr. McDougall, I am not going to watch. Maybe later, so I can see for sure. I genuinely care about him as a human being and I genuinely will pray for him.

          I have learned from so many of his videos, but do know that he does not back off of a fight. I also know that the people who oppose his diet are often ridiculously frustratingly unwilling to listen.

          Nope, I will tear up if he is in trouble.

          1. I already am.

            He has helped so many people get healthy and he made a program which is more accessible than almost any of the other WFPB diets because he used things Americans already eat and found new ways to prepare them so they don’t feel hungry and don’t feel deprived.

            People who do this lifestyle genuinely are indebted to him.

            1. Okay, I watched it and he went “animal killer and planet destroyer” about the interviewer’s book / 3 season diet.

              He did look a little off.

              Is he having hearing problems? That was what it looked like the most. Were those things in his ears for hearing? Or is something else going on?

              1. Barb, this recipe looks really good! Am definitely going to try it. I love italian food, especially anything with tomato sauce. Thanks for posting.

        2. “…he seems to promote a healthy plant-based diet.”
          – – – –

          Hal, I think what he wants to be known for is “The Starch Solution.” He says we should follow a diet of mainly potatoes, rice and corn. If nothing else, you could start watching at the half-way point. You’ll be shocked at the way he looks, sounds and acts, is all I’m saying. :-/

          Poor guy. But he’ll never give up, never give up, never give up….that ship!

          1. YR, I watched some of his talks over the years, but I did not care for his presentations. I did watch this one though and I’m not surprised by what I saw. Not good. Whatever else he has going on, there is no call for rudeness to his peers.

            1. Barb,

              He is usually much, much more professional in interviews and I have never seen him shifting and swaying like he was. I have seen so many of his videos and he is usually really good to listen to. This one was uncomfortable, but usually, I am impressed by him. He is a little too willing to do the fat vegan thing, but he has so many amazing videos.

              1. Yes Deb, agreed.. there are so many good talks on youtube, and at his website. I have enjoyed watching his old one interviewing Nathan Pritikin many times. He is knowledgeable, insightful, and hope-filled. That’s probably what I like best, is that open, encouraging, confidence that he lavishes on those that have seen the worst of times, healthwise. And they succeed! It’s likely we may never know what went on with the interview, and that’s fine.. just as well. His son is following in his footsteps from what I hear with the McDougall program.

                1. mrpinkerton, that’s for sure! But then so does Dr McDougall. Never heard of him before, but then I never heard of Dr McDougall either until a few years ago when someone posted a link at this site. Not sure what it is about chiropractors with aspirations in the nutrition field…

          2. YR, Deb, Barb, OK, I watched the first 20 minutes of the Dr Mcd video. I’ll finish the rest later. From what I saw so far, he seems much more emphatic and passionate about the starch diet than in his past panel discussions with other doctors. From what I have observed in other people as they near retirement age, they all seem to lose a little “reservation” and “politeness” in stating their opinions! And I guess Dr McD has been through these interviews so many times, he’s probably a little frustrated at hearing all the same arguments against his theory on starch-based dieting. So I can see how he would appear to be “rude’ to someone who has never heard of him and his work before, hence all the bad comments below the video.

            But my view on presentation style, is simply to try to ignore the style, bad or good, and concentrate on the message rather than the messenger’s style! After all, the content is what’s really important, not the style of how it’s presented.

            And as the interviewer pointed out, Dr McD is one of the pioneers in the recent movement towards plant-based eating, advocating for 40 years. (I say “recent movement” because if I remember correctly, the Greek mathematician, Pythagoras, was a vegetarian along with all his followers back in 500 BC!) So we do owe Dr McD many thanks for his contribution to the current knowledge base of plant-based eating, as well as people like Dr T. Colin Campbell, Dr Fuhrman, Dr Barnard, etc., etc. and, of course, our beloved Dr G!

            1. I agree that I love all of the doctors and I am deeply indebted to all of them, but watching old footage of Dr McD, he was there the whole time and has not changed his stance. I don’t mind his positions at all. I just have watched so many interviews with him and he does seem to be swaying and fidgeting more and he doesn’t use diplomacy about the book the interviewer just wrote, nor just logic. He went straight for the vegan argument and what I can’t explain is that I am personally closer to the exact argument, which he used. I just know that every time I listen to “the world” talk about the topic, it is similar to what WNPR recently did, “How to do Whole Food Plant Based vegetarian without the lecture.” He passionately went to the lecture. Laughing. But he looked so fidgety and he did the same type of confrontation in a recent interview with a person from a different country. He has the right to be as passionate as he genuinely still is. I just agreed that I prefer it the hundreds of times where he gives the fuller arguments and the statistics and studies.

              1. Deb, I agree with all who noticed that Dr McD did seem to be much more “blunt” in this interview than ones in the past. But I also noticed that after most of his “rants”, he ended up smiling, so I think there might have been an element of just having a little fun with this interviewer. BTW, I have never heard of this interviewer, John Douillard, so I don’t really know his background or position on nutrition.

                1. John Douillard kept harping on the same subject. Dr McD gave good explanations and Douillard kept asking same stuff. At one point Dr McD said that the interview was over if Douillard was just going to keep pressing him to say what Dr McD wasn’t going to say. Douillard may have been more mild mannered but very rude in his own way.

      2. Do the ear tubes mean that he has an infection?

        With my elderly relatives infections near the brain did cause even changes in personality.

        He almost looks drunk, but the ear tubes make me think ”infection” and makes me remember when my sweet uncle spit hospital applesauce in my face.

        We had to put him in rehab for a few months until he was healed because it was the only time I ever saw him be combative.

        He genuinely does look sick.

      3. The brain needs some healthy fats to function properly. Why I prefer Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet, and Dr, Gregor’s advice to eat nuts, and avocados.

        1. Yes, I agree we need some fats in our diet. Not only does Dr. McD’s skin look pale, it also looks prematurely wrinkled and dry. Ditto to his hair.

          Mainly, though, what happened to his personality? He’s turned into a crotchety old coot.

          1. Laughing.

            The crotchety old coot part is the part that I am not worried about at all.

            Crotchety old coots live longer.

            I can say that my relatives who lived into their 90’s all started just saying everything straight out without filters eventually.

            My polite, timid, sweet servant, nurse, caretaker grandmother started swearing and laughing about it by her 90’s.

            Same with my father’s brother who was an “image-conscious-flies-first-class-everywhere, businessman”

            My brother talked about it as losing whatever part of the brain is in charge of social filters.

            1. I may have the opportunity to test this diet on brain health. MicroPulse ICES sent me more studies I can be part of and one has a brain gauge so that I can really take tests and measure exactly how much the superfoods and healthy fats affect my brain.

              I hadn’t planned to do it because my dog’s vet appointment cost so much and I knew that it was coming and I have been re-saving for my last two renovations projects. I have the money for one, but the two should happen at the same time.

              I have a credit card with no interest until December, so I could just pay for the brain gauge and pay it off 2 months from now. I don’t like using credit cards, but it won’t charge me interest and I could have a real measure of what is going on. It is tempting to me.

              I feel like I am inwardly doing an eenie meanie minee moe process between my kitchen countertop coming sooner and my brain being healed sooner. The study is happening now and I just got back to eating the brain superfoods, so it genuinely is tempting.

              1. Nootropics are foods and supplements, etc., that are reported to have beneficial effects on cognitive function and memory. This study is being conducted by my neuroscientific colleagues at Cortical Metrics. The purpose of this first study (in a planned series of studies on the brain) is to see if we can measure the effects of foods, certain supplements, and PEMF on cognitive function. This study will generate publishable scientific data, so you need to have a Brain Gauge to participate. Many of the people on this list already have a Brain Gauge, so if you do, the rest of the study should cost you nothing. Studying the effects of PEMF on cognitive function is optional in this study, you do not have to do so, but we are quite interested to see if PEMF really has the many benefits for brain function that people regularly report to us anecdotally.
                If you are interested, you can read more about the nootropics study at this link:
                http://www.corticalmetrics.com/study/nootropics

                So, I can really put this to the test myself with them using it however they want, but I can have real data about my brain.

                1. Hey, I should put that study out on some Whole Food Plant Based sites.

                  I know that Self-Hacked has everybody doing Keto and supplements and that this is a real study.

                  It would be nice if Whole Food Plant Base would be represented.

                  There will be other brain studies is what they said, but this one is about which things work.

                  1. Though, I am perfect for it.

                    Loading it up with people who have been WFPB for decades would probably skew the results away from WFPB.

                    I wonder if there are any new McDougallers?

                    They could defend the diet.

                    1. New McDougallers? That’s the problem. Changing diet generally doesn’t have immediate negative consequences. That’s why all the keto rage. It may take years for the health deterioration to show up. Although I had one person who ended up in the hospital with kidney and liver damage in a few months.
                      I only consider longevity studies, such as the 7th day Adventist, or the BlueZones, to be really useful guideposts.

                    2. I ordered the brain gauge. I am going to be able to see how each food affects my brain.

                      I am not sure whether to do the study but now I have an objective quantitative measure of what is happening in my brain.

                2. ‘Electrical activity in the brain known as “gamma” brainwaves help connect and process information throughout the brain. These gamma waves are diminished in Alzheimer’s disease. New research in Alzheimer’s disease mouse models shows that exposure to light flickering at the rate of 40 flashes per second or 40Hz increased gamma brainwaves and led to clearing of beta amyloid plaques in the brain, a key abnormality in Alzheimer’s disease. This project will test the ability of a novel iPad App (“ALZLIFE”) that delivers light therapy at 40 Hz combined with cognitive therapy to improve cognition, function, and quality of life in Alzheimer’s disease.’
                  https://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT03657745

                  1. Fumbles, I heard there is also some investigations into using 40Hz sound waves to create similar benefits for brain function.

                    https://alzheimersnewstoday.com/2016/04/22/study-alzheimers-patients-finds-low-frequency-sound-stimulation-improves-cognition/

                    Here’s a link where you can try it out with a good pair of headphones hooked to a computer:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZGHbKWGgH_E

                    Here’s one with light & Sound:

                    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uaiiJsfgP58

                    1. Thanks. Yes, I’d seen similar reports too. Unfortunately, the sound recordings I came across all used binaural techniques. I seem to have lost most hearing in my right ear so binaural probably won’t work for me.

                      However, the last YouTube recording you referenced doesn’t seem to use binaural technology – which is exactly what I want. Many thanks!

                  2. Wow, thanks, Tom!

                    I have my own gamma blinking light from the MIT study and there was a study with gamma sound, too. (I use YouTube gamma sound) and I use the gamma setting on my Micropulse ICES.

                    A brain gauge is on the way and should arrive by Wednesday, so I will have their app.

                    But I hadn’t heard of the one you just mentioned.

                    That is so cool.

                    More apps.

                    I am going to be doing gamma Micropulse ICES, gamma blinking light, gamma sound waves and nutrition with the brain gauge.

                    I feel like I want to know whether to nutritionally focus more on antioxidants and superfoods or whether it is omega 3 and some healthy fats for my brain. I don’t think I will add oils back in, but I will get to test the macros and I really am excited.

                    I am going to be able to say exactly which parts of my brain are injured maybe by next weekend. That is so exciting to me. Plus, the concept of doing studies versus paying thousands of dollars for medical care is also so exciting. My brother starts his immunotherapy study next week. I love researchers.

                    1. Wow, I just clicked on the link and I can get that app, too! That is so cool!

                      I also started using my vie light knock off nasal light again tonight. That definitely increases blood flow to the brain. I can feel it while I use it.

                      This is so exciting.

                      My phone just told me that I am supposed to go to bed and I have still been sleeping at night, but this is so exciting that it might take an extra half hour.

                    2. The brain gauge lowered their prices so people can get one for $29 a month.
                      $114 for 6 months or something like that.

                      I can afford the gauge already and can still save to finish my last 2 renovation projects.

            2. “Crotchety old coots live longer.”
              – – – – –

              *NOT laughing* You’re making a blanket statement here. A sour, thoughtless disposition can also be a sign of early dementia, especially if you weren’t that way when you were younger.

              Furthermore, aren’t no-animal eaters supposed to be cool, calm, and collected? And not get all wrought up, with unblinking, bulging eyes, fingers pointing at the camera, flailing back and forth, and screaming in a high-pitched voice about god-knows-what?

              It’s gotta be hard being in the public eye. People are always scrutinizing you and making comments. But, hey, if you wanna get your big bucks by hawking something or other, this comes with the territory.

              1. YR, I agree with you here. I have watched countless numbers of his talks . My impression was that he had anger management issues which really can interfere with his presentations. In the link you posted, I noticed he referenced “personal habits” several times, and I automatically thought he was speaking about his drinking/alcoholism. Wether he drinks or totally abstains is up to him and him only, but I believe the time is long past where he should be declining interviews. He is not doing himself, his family, or the “message” any favours with scenes like that one.

                1. Barb,

                  Yes, he looked like he had been drinkkng.

                  I am going to back out of the conversation now because if he was at an event before the interview or has a drinking problem, that brings it outside of all of the other topics.

                  It is harder to have self-control after a few drinks, if that is what it was.

                  I genuinely now don’t want to analyze him. We don’t know him and dementia and alcoholism are guesses, but none of us would be here if it weren’t for Dr MacDougall.

                  YR, the crotchety old person came from personal experience, but also from a statistic given in a psychology course when I was a young person. People who have that type of personality do tend to be stubborn enough to live to advanced age.

                  I was saying it light-hearted though because he is someone who is a bit of a character and he is from a generation where that was seen as a good thing.

                  He is not afraid to speak his mind and he is authentic.

                    1. YR,

                      Yes, there is a continuum between authenticity and sensitivity.

                      When he has brought some of these topics up before, he was just being real and telling the truth about the topics and it was done in a professional way. Now, he has an attitude and is being blunt, rather than developing a logic-based argument.

                    2. The truth is YR,

                      I am not comfortable analyzing him because he has changed my life and because he looks vulnerable.

                      I know that he went through things like a house fire and an accident and that Barb pointed out that he used the word, “personal” and I don’t buy into “public” people not being allowed to have their struggles be personal. I feel like he didn’t sign up to be a celebrity. He was a doctor who felt like he had answers for changing the world and he is still saying the same things he always did. He has saved so many lives and no matter what happens from this day forward, nobody can take his contribution to the world’s health away. He brilliantly chose starch as a solution to the health problems of a country where people ONLY eat white potatoes. One of Dr. Greger’s videos has what people in this country eat and potatoes were the only category, which people did succeed at and he found a way to turn that reality into a diet, which still saves lives.

                      I know that he is insensitive often, but look at the audience and we are so insensitive and in the back of my mind this whole time is that Dr. Greger is being mentored by this man and that they clearly care about each other. I am grieved if Dr. McDougall does have something wrong. Deeply grieved. And I have never met the man. If it is something, then his friend, who is being mentored by him is someone I would like to be more sensitive about this topic in front of.

                      I will agree with you that there seemed to be something different and wrong about the video, and if I was his friend, I might be contacting him and saying, “Are you okay?” but I know that he has gone through so much over the past few years and I just want to give him grace and to be sensitive to Dr. Greger and his staff and pray for them all.

                      I hate the culture where it is okay to treat celebrity by a different standard. When people are going through, they need space and privacy so that they can face what they need to face and do what they need to do.

                      If I were his friend, I would be sending him one of his amazing interviews and that one and would be asking only, “Are you okay?” That is the only thing, which matters about him to me now.

                      I have brain problems and I know that when it was worse a few years ago, long before finding WFPB, I did and said so many crazy things and not one person asked, “Are you okay? Is something wrong with your brain?” Not one person understood to care about my health more than my off-sentences. We judge people who have brain problems and it doesn’t help them at all.

                    3. I genuinely lost my mind about 6 years ago. I can’t even describe it to you.

                      What I did while I was losing my mind was invent 4,000 products to save the world and solve Vincent van Gogh’s ear and I can’t even explain any of it because the list was too long.

                      Now, on this side of it, I can see that I was analyzing things, which didn’t make sense or things where people were vulnerable and I was responding to it, but my brain was so broken that I couldn’t process the information properly and couldn’t communicate.

                      What I know is that “Are you okay?” is the only question that matters. It is the only question that matters, if John is sick or if he has addiction or dementia or is just sick of everybody. If something is wrong, he ceases to be a public figure IMO, and he needs to focus on being healthy.

                    4. Deb, you are one of the few (these days) who knows when to use “fewer” as opposed to “less.” And that impressed me!

                      It’s amazing how many people (even Dr. Oz) don’t seem to know how to use those words correctly. They’ll say stuff like “less calories” instead of fewer calories, for instance. (And, “I could care less” instead of “I couldn’t care less.)

                      So, your brain seems pretty okay to me! :-)

        2. Marilyn,

          I do eat nuts and avocados. I really do want to do the brain study. I contacted Bob Dennis and asked if he knew whether we could choose which nutritional things we use and test.

          I could do fats for a length of time, then do lower fat for a length of time and compare or something like that.

          That would be interesting for me and I would come to understand the exact effects of the macros on my brain.

          That would be so cool.

          I just wanted to wait until I pay off my dog’s vet visit when this CC payment is due, but I don’t really have to wait for it. I have the money. I just like spreading everything out.

        3. Marilyn Kaye, Re: “Why I prefer Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet, and Dr, Gregor’s advice to eat nuts, and avocados.”

          We’re fortunate to have a growing number of WFPB doctors, each with a slightly different perspective. That way, we can each integrate the variety of knowledge and tailor it to our own needs. It seems to me that Dr Greger has the broadest view and is more thorough in referencing what he reports with scientific studies.

    1. One of the best and most convincing interviews from dr. John Mcdougall, I am seeing so far. He is passionate and he started saying at the beginning of the interview, that he will not accept arguments contrary to what he is going to say.

      I will continue watching and enjoying, especially his spirited and lively face and body movements.

  8. info in the vid seems incomplete. much research presently on various proteins and effect on general and molecular health. tryophan e.g. as an NAD percursor.
    Doc needs possibly to address Q of identity and types of protein gotten exclusively from plant source and also compare e.g. with numerous benefits of whey protein supplements combined with creatine which in my anectodal experience causes a significant increase in energy as opposed to the general Q of enough protein.

    1. Various things including cocaine and coca leaves cause an increase in energy. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they are a healthy choicw.

      Most of us here are more interested in the effects of diet on mortality and chronic disease risk. In this respect, diets employing vegetable proteins seem to be healthier than diets based on animal proteins eg

      ‘Higher animal protein intake was positively, whereas plant protein was inversely, associated with mortality, especially among individuals with at least one lifestyle risk factor. Substitution of plant protein for animal protein, especially from processed red meat, was associated with lower mortality, suggesting the importance of protein source.’
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048552/

  9. I am very concerned about my heart disease and diabetes with eating nuts. Some Dr.’s claim all nuts should be avoided if you have heart disease. Some say it is beneficial. Please help. I want to enjoy nuts occasionally, though I don’t want to enjoy heart disease.

    1. Christina – “Heart disease” is a catch-all term for all sorts of things that can go wrong with the heart. My suggestion to you is to contact one of the many plant-based cardiologists. Also, you can consult with Dr. Michael Klapper, a plant-based physician who will consult with you over the internet. You can find him here:
      https://www.doctorklaper.com/contact
      YOu can also go to a session with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn who famously reversed heart disease.
      If you have heart disease and diabetes you should be under professional care and getting professional advice. Best to you!

    2. Christina, the comments below by Ruth are right on. Doctors are professionals who looking art research can disagree when interpreting research which is why you have learned about seemingly conflicting advice.
      While nuts are generally regarded as a healthy part of a whole food plant based diet, their inclusion is not recommended by some doctors, for those with heart disease, as Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn explains: “As nuts are a rich source of saturated fats, my preference is no nuts for heart disease patients. That also eliminates peanuts and peanut butter even though peanuts are officially a legume. For those with established heart disease to add more saturated fat that is in nuts is inappropriate. For people with no heart disease who want to eat nuts and avocado and are able to achieve a cholesterol of 150 and LDL of 80 or under without cholesterol lowering drugs, some nuts and avocado are acceptable. Chestnuts are the one nut, very low in fat, it is ok to eat.”
      Not all cardiologists agree with such a total restriction of nuts, although almost universally cardiologists recommend minimizing saturated fats. Since you’ve indicated you have heart disease, this is a question to discuss with your physician who knows your individual risks. Be aware that should you determine that eating a small amount of nuts is safe for you, certain nuts are better than others and remember how easy it is to overindulge in nut consumption. The risk from adding a tablespoon of slivered almonds over your salad is very different that grabbing a handful (or more) for a daily treat. I hope that puts your question into perspective.

  10. A plant based diet tends to have plenty of copper. I looked at some content on the website. I’d like to know if there are any plant compounds that can reduce copper absorption. I saw somewhere in the comments on the zinc deficiency video about flavonoids quercetin and kaempferol working together to reduce absorption of copper during digestion. Anything else? What kinds of foods should i eat to get these or any other suitable plant compounds? I want to improve my zinc absorption and would like to eat mushrooms every day for the b vitamins instead of one or two servings a week.

    1. Why do you want to reduce copper absorption?

      ‘High dietary zinc intakes increase the synthesis of an intestinal cell protein called metallothionein, which binds certain metals and prevents their absorption by trapping them in intestinal cells. Metallothionein has a stronger affinity for copper than zinc, so high levels of metallothionein induced by excess zinc cause a decrease in copper absorption. In contrast, high copper intakes have not been found to affect zinc nutritional status (2, 15).’

      ‘It is important to note that serum copper largely reflects serum ceruloplasmin and is not a sensitive indicator of copper nutritional status (39). Serum ceruloplasmin levels are known to increase by 50% or more under certain conditions of physical stress, such as trauma, inflammation, or disease. Because over 90% of serum copper is carried in ceruloplasmin, which is increased in many inflammatory conditions, elevated serum copper may simply be a marker of inflammation that accompanies atherosclerosis. In contrast to the epidemiological findings linking increased serum copper levels to heart disease, two autopsy studies found copper levels in heart muscle were actually lower in patients who died of CHD than those who died of other causes (40). Additionally, the copper content of white blood cells has been positively correlated with the degree of patency of coronary arteries in CHD patients (41, 42). Further, patients with a history of myocardial infarction (MI) had lower concentrations of extracellular superoxide dismutase (SOD) than those without a history of MI (43). Thus, due to a lack of a reliable biomarker of copper nutritional status, it is not clear whether copper is related to cardiovascular disease.

      https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/minerals/copper

        1. Thanks Marilyn but that study concerns serum copper-zinc ratios. As the second quote in my previous post notes

          ‘It is important to note that serum copper largely reflects serum ceruloplasmin and is not a sensitive indicator of copper nutritional status (39). Serum ceruloplasmin levels are known to increase by 50% or more under certain conditions of physical stress, such as trauma, inflammation, or disease. Because over 90% of serum copper is carried in ceruloplasmin, which is increased in many inflammatory conditions, elevated serum copper may simply be a marker of inflammation that accompanies atherosclerosis’

      1. Do copper and zinc compete for absorption? So having too much of one would block absorption of the other? On cronometer when i put in what i eat, copper is like 300% of daily intake and i’m not even getting enough zinc to meet the goal. That’s why i’m thinking about reducing copper absorption so i can get more foods in me and reach the zinc target.

          1. Thank you. I should search before I post. But sometimes my search goes down the wrong path and I get the wrong idea about the problem. I’ve looked for that issue a long time ago and got the wrong ideas.

  11. It would be helpful if you had a video titled “best sources of protein for vegetarians”. I looked at the list of articles and couldn’t find anything that helped. You say we shouldn’t use protein powders, but what if we don’t like most vegetarian sources of protein (at least the ones I’m aware of). A complete list would be super helpful – maybe there is something I would like.I believe your claims that we should eat vegetarian, but I don’t cook and I’m a diabetic, so many of the foods that might make beans or other foods more palatable (eg pasta) are no-nos.

    Articles for non-cooks would help, too.

    1. These are not “claims” Dr. Greger makes, they’re cited scientific evidence.

      Palatable is a matter of opinion but keep in mind that our tastebuds change based on regular diet. There are tons of whole food plant based recipes out there from low fat to no fat to no added sugars and so on. And the plant foods highest in protein are pretty well known: beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains. There’s so many ways to prepare them and there are so many varieties of them. For example, a kidney bean tastes nothing like a pinto bean which tastes nothing like a black soy bean which tastes nothing like an edamame bean which taste nothing like geeen lentils which tastes nothing like red lentils which tastes nothing like split peas which taste nothing like chickpeas and so on… it’s really hard to say for example, “I don’t like beans” … how many have you tried and in how many recipes have you tried them? Just speaking generally, not to you particularly.

    2. caffrey, you can use bean pastas, such as black soybean spagetti, red lentil pasta, etc. Tempeh and tofu are high in protein, low in carbs. These can be combined with lots of low glycemic vegetables. Also there are low carb breads such as Dave’s killer bread, thin sliced. Organic, and only 9 carbs a slice. Top with nut butter for more protein and fiber. Fiber slows down absorption if you are type 2.
      None of this requires a lot of cooking. In fact, raw vegetables are lower glycemic than cooked, salads are easy. Raw vegetables can be eaten with hummus for snacks.
      But steaming vegetables is pretty simple, and takes little time.
      Adding some spices makes food more palatable. Can add some asian chili sauce, tomato sauce, siracha, pesto, etc. to beans.
      You say you don’t cook, but it’s not hard to make these simple foods.
      I have found with my patients that, as they transition to a healthier diet, their tastes change. They start to enjoy real food. Start with just one recipe. You can find lots of ideas on the internet.

      1. Speaking of raw foods, you might find you like sprouted beans and lentils. You have to eat more of them, though. 1 cup of sprouted beans or lentils is a serving. I believe sprouted mung beans are lowest in antioxidants and protein. Sprouted lentils are probably the healthiest.

    1. Hi Dr Greger.

      I’m 62 Yrs of age and 172 cm and I have basically given up eating animal fat by eating a plant based diet. I still eat ocassional dairy, sugar treats. I have been losing weight since Christmas 2018. In all I’ve lost 12 kgs and BMI now is 23.8. I’m not sure if I am losing muscle as well and my wife is worried. What do you think of my rapid weight loss?

      1. I lost a pound a week when I went WFPB, but I was still using oil then….
        No one was worried about my muscle, but some were worried about my protein! :D

        1. I guess I should further clarify that I was eating healthily except for the oil so because of the oil my diet was not really WFPB then….

          1. I see it a bit differently. I think that a WFPB diet isn’t necessarily only ever putting in your mouth 100% only whole plant foods. Some people might add a little salt or a little sweetener that isn’t an actual whole date or date sugar (which is a whole date) or a little oil. I think a WFPB diet can also be considered a diet built up of whole plant foods but may include small amounts of other things. And I kind of prefer it more open like this because if you get overly technical about it I think for one thing, at that point you could start getting technical over lemon juice and vinegar and smoke flavor and ground grains and so many other things.

            1. Hi, Shaylen, I think it is easy to eat too much oil which is why I mentioned it. Oil is a continuing concern for me when I am eating out. Due to my personal life, I find myself eating out a lot and I am a caregiver, the demands of which make it difficult, time-wise, for me to prepare food ahead of my local traveling. I understand your point about lemon juice or sweetener, but a “little bit” of oil can drastically alter your percentage of dietary fat.
              A little bit of lemon juice and the like hardly affects the percentage of WFPB food in one’s diet.

              1. Liisa, I can definitely see your point. Eating out regularly would make it very hard to control how much oil you have, and salt for that matter. I personally don’t worry about the percentage of my dietary fat so long as it’s from whole plant foods, and when I use oil, I always use it in moderation and pair it with high fiber, high antioxidant, naturally low fat or fat free foods. I can certainly understand going oil free as Dr. Greger himself suggests, I just consider myself to be WFPB despite still including modest amounts of oil depending on a recipe and the way I use it, it doesn’t affect how many whole plant foods I’m eating because it’s only ever used as a dressing or something. But that’s a good point, if people were counting the amount of fat in their diet, I could see the oil unfortunately replacing nuts, seeds, and other whole plant foods.

      2. Joseph, I don’t know how accurate they are, but they have scales that measure lean body mass. And do you know if you’re getting enough protein? People over a certain age MAY need more, so you might want to incorporate more beans/legumes in your diet. I think most people lose weight when switching to plant based diets and in my experience and observation, it tends to be extra fat they’re losing. Also, it’s probably a good idea to do some resistance training if you don’t already, but we really all should be doing that anyway.

      3. There are many reasons for weight loss and while changing your diet to a healthy plant-based version can certainly result in weight loss, I’d recommend you check with your healthcare provider if you haven’t yet, just to rule out any negative cause for that weight loss. Two pounds per week loss is possible for a significantly improved diet, but you also want to verify you are not losing muscle (Are you having any symptoms?) or any medical conditions going on. If not you can feel good about obtaining a good BMI thanks to your proactive measures (and relieve your wife’s worry!).

  12. The many thousands of flint arrow heads and spear points found by archaeologists indicate that our ancestors ate animal protein for thousands of years. Should this fact be considered in our choice of foods?

    1. Carl J, why go back thousands of years when you can go back MILLIONS: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-problem-with-the-paleo-diet-argument/

      Regardless of any of that, the current best available collective scientific evidence is worth more than any single time period of our ancestors and the evidence is extremely clear and growing. So I would say no, that shouldn’t be considered if the theory or time period doesn’t align with what is shown to actually go on in our bodies when we consume animal products and other unhealthy things. However, if you do want to apply that, I would refer you to the first 90% of our evolution to go by as pointed out in the video above.

      There’s also a lot of misunderstanding. For example, Native American Tribes from the Northeast typically relied heavily on crops and rarely did they fish and even rarer did they hunt.

    2. Carl, arrowheads are not evidence of what people ate, but their fossilized feces is. The fossil record does not lie. The 100g + of fiber found in fossilized feces is clear proof of our ancestors eating a plant based diet. Bone analysis of the Roman Gladiators clearly proves they were vegans. Meat consumption occurred occasionally when there were no plants around, and the meat our ancestors ate was ridiculously lean….like 7% of calories from fat, compared to 30% of calories from fat in skinless chicken breast. Meat consumption was rare, and when they did eat it, it was unlike anything you could ever obtain today unless you live way out in the wilderness and hunt your own food.

      1. “…clearly proves they were vegans.”
        – – – –

        Volunteer Ben, I don’t mean to sound picayune (oh yes I do!), but I doubt if there were any “vegans” back then. Most likely, they were WFPB.

      1. YR, thanks for posting. Important info for vegans.
        Fuhrman understands that genetics matter. Also like his food pyramid in the first video. except I would take out the beef and most dairy.
        Most patients aren’t willing to be vegan. So this is basically the diet I recommend particularly for diabetics, healthy, plant based and low glycemic.
        Good points about DHA. I’ve found that most whose ancestors come from coastal areas (where fish was plentiful), cannot convert ALA to DHA and EPA. Some of those, particularly Celts, northern Germans, Scandinavians, also don’t efficiently convert beta carotene to vitamin A.

          1. S, the published study was sent to me by a doctor educated in Ireland a few years ago. Sorry, I can’t access it myself.
            But it taught me to take a person’s ancestral diet into account.
            An example, a woman presented with severe migraines and the MRI found white spots on her brain. Knowing her mother was born in Ireland, I checked with an Irish doctor to see if Celiac can have similar symptoms.
            He said to tell her to try gluten-free for 6 weeks. End of headaches. Six months white spots receeding. Genetics matter.

            1. Interesting stuff, Marilyn. It reminds me of something I once read, an article (I have no idea how to find it now or if I could) about generational vegetarians having the capability of converting omega-6 into DHA/EPA. It kind of makes me think, apart from avoiding famine in the past in certain circumstances, how much the consumption of animal products has held back what our bodies might be capable of.

        1. Marilyn Kaye, I really enjoy Dr Fuhrman’s talks too (thanks YR, I hadn’t seen those ones). This link here makes somes points about conversion that concern me… I would probably run out and buy fish oil today if it weren’t for these points I am not clear on. One is that women convert at a higher rate than men. Mr Fumblefingers posted this study some time ago too. And, when a person takes supplements, the body can stop converting ala altogether!. I will ask my doctor if I can get tested before I take any supplements.

          https://livinginnaturalharmony.com/blog/2018/01/12/omega-3-conversion-ala-epa-dha/

          1. Barb, women convert at a higher rate when making enough estrogen. After menopause, conversion rates apparently go down. But, as Fuhrman said, people vary, hopefully you are one who converts well.

          2. Barb, smart choice based on those points you’ve mentioned! I forgot about that info Mr. Fumblefingers posted. I would actually love if Dr. Greger touched on that in a video. But in regards to fish oil, if you decided to supplement, why not take algae based DHA/EPA supplements as per Dr. Greger’s recommendations? Much more sustainable, too.

  13. Hello, I love a wfpbd and am still learning but I have lost some weight. My weight seems stable but I would like to gain a few pounds. Can you give me ideas on how to add calories so I can gain some weight?
    Also, my dr recommends to have 1200 mg Calcium a day from dietary sources. Any ideas on how to do this?

    1. Hi, Iracema! This post on gaining weight healthily should help you out: https://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-is-a-healthy-way-to-gain-weight/. Regarding calcium, good sources include broccoli, kale, bok choy, collard greens, other leafy green veggies, sesame seeds, tahini, calcium-set tofu, almonds, oranges, and figs.
      In terms of veggies, low-oxalate dark green leafies are preferred – this includes all greens except spinach, chard, and beet greens (all very healthy, but not good calcium sources due to their oxalate content). Dark green leafy vegetables like kale, broccoli, and bok choy are relatively rich in calcium that is absorbed about twice as well as the calcium in dairy. For more information, see here: https://nutritionfacts.org/2011/09/12/dr-gregers-2011-optimum-nutrition-recommendations/ and here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/calcium/.

  14. Great point on fiber. However you lost be at beans and whole grains. Look up “lectin” on the internet. It’s something found in beans and some grains and vegetables that are linked to infection. Bread is no bueno. Also Dr. Sebi’s diet receives a lot of praise. It’s a diet comprised of many plants and fruits and does not include either beans or whole grains.

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