Flashback Friday: How to Prevent a Stroke

Flashback Friday: How to Prevent a Stroke
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Insufficient intake of fiber-rich foods may lead to the stiffening of our arteries associated with risk of having a stroke.

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High dietary fiber intake may prevent strokes. The belief that dietary fiber intake is protectively associated with some diseases was postulated 40 years ago, and then enormously fueled and kept alive by a great body of science since. Today, it is therefore generally believed that eating lots of fiber helps prevent obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. Strokes are the second most common cause of death worldwide. Moreover, stroke is a leading cause of disability, and so preventing strokes in the first place–what’s called primary prevention–should therefore be a key public health priority. All best studies to date found that fiber appears to significantly protect against the risk of stroke. Different strokes for different folks, depending, evidently, on how much fiber they ate. Notably, increasing fiber just seven grams a day was associated with a significant 7% reduction in stroke risk. And seven grams is easy, like a small serving of whole grain pasta with tomato sauce, and an apple.

What’s the mechanism? Well, fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Or could just be we’re just eating more vegetables, or fewer calories, or less meat and fat, or improving digestion, slimming us down, lowering our blood pressure and the amount of inflammation within our bodies. Does it really matter though? As Dr. Burkitt commented on the biblical passage that reads, “A man scatters seed on the land—the seed sprouts and opens—how, he does not know.” But, he doesn’t wait to find out. Had the farmer postponed his sowing until he understood seed germination, he would not have lasted very long. So yes, let’s keep trying to figure out why fiber is protective, but in the meanwhile we should be increasing our intake of fiber, which is to say whole plant foods.

And it’s never too early. Strokes are one of many complications of arterial stiffness. Though our first stroke might not happen until our 50s, our arteries may have been already stiffening for decades leading up to it. Hundreds of kids were followed for 24 years, from age 13 in junior high through age 36, and they found that the lower intake of fiber during young age is associated with stiffening of the arteries leading up to the brain, and so we need to promote consumption of fiber-rich foods among the young. In fact, even by age 13 they could see differences in arterial stiffness depending on diet. This emphasizes the view that increases in fiber intake should be pursued already among young children.

And again, it doesn’t take much. One extra apple a day, or an extra quarter cup of broccoli, might translate to meaningful differences in arterial stiffness in adulthood. But if you really don’t want a stroke, we should try to get 25 grams a day of soluble fiber, which is found in beans, oats, nuts, and berries, and 47 grams a day of insoluble fiber, found primarily in whole grains. One would have to eat an extraordinarily healthy diet to get that much, yet these cut-off values could be considered as the minimum recommended daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber, to prevent stroke. They admit these are higher than those commonly and arbitrarily proposed as “adequate” levels by scientific societies, but do we want to be patronized as to what authorities think is practical, or do we want them to just tell us what the science says, like the researchers did here?

Someone funded by Kellogg’s wrote in to complain that in practice such fiber intakes are unachievable. Rather the message should just be the more, the better, ya know, just have a bowl of cereal or something. Wink, wink.

The real Dr. Kellogg, who was actually one of our most famous physicians, credited for being one of the first to sound the alarm about smoking, may have been the first American physician to have recognized the field of nutrition as a science, and would today be rolling in his grave if he knew what his company had become.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to ML Cohen via Flickr.

High dietary fiber intake may prevent strokes. The belief that dietary fiber intake is protectively associated with some diseases was postulated 40 years ago, and then enormously fueled and kept alive by a great body of science since. Today, it is therefore generally believed that eating lots of fiber helps prevent obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular diseases such as stroke. Strokes are the second most common cause of death worldwide. Moreover, stroke is a leading cause of disability, and so preventing strokes in the first place–what’s called primary prevention–should therefore be a key public health priority. All best studies to date found that fiber appears to significantly protect against the risk of stroke. Different strokes for different folks, depending, evidently, on how much fiber they ate. Notably, increasing fiber just seven grams a day was associated with a significant 7% reduction in stroke risk. And seven grams is easy, like a small serving of whole grain pasta with tomato sauce, and an apple.

What’s the mechanism? Well, fiber helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Or could just be we’re just eating more vegetables, or fewer calories, or less meat and fat, or improving digestion, slimming us down, lowering our blood pressure and the amount of inflammation within our bodies. Does it really matter though? As Dr. Burkitt commented on the biblical passage that reads, “A man scatters seed on the land—the seed sprouts and opens—how, he does not know.” But, he doesn’t wait to find out. Had the farmer postponed his sowing until he understood seed germination, he would not have lasted very long. So yes, let’s keep trying to figure out why fiber is protective, but in the meanwhile we should be increasing our intake of fiber, which is to say whole plant foods.

And it’s never too early. Strokes are one of many complications of arterial stiffness. Though our first stroke might not happen until our 50s, our arteries may have been already stiffening for decades leading up to it. Hundreds of kids were followed for 24 years, from age 13 in junior high through age 36, and they found that the lower intake of fiber during young age is associated with stiffening of the arteries leading up to the brain, and so we need to promote consumption of fiber-rich foods among the young. In fact, even by age 13 they could see differences in arterial stiffness depending on diet. This emphasizes the view that increases in fiber intake should be pursued already among young children.

And again, it doesn’t take much. One extra apple a day, or an extra quarter cup of broccoli, might translate to meaningful differences in arterial stiffness in adulthood. But if you really don’t want a stroke, we should try to get 25 grams a day of soluble fiber, which is found in beans, oats, nuts, and berries, and 47 grams a day of insoluble fiber, found primarily in whole grains. One would have to eat an extraordinarily healthy diet to get that much, yet these cut-off values could be considered as the minimum recommended daily intake of soluble and insoluble fiber, to prevent stroke. They admit these are higher than those commonly and arbitrarily proposed as “adequate” levels by scientific societies, but do we want to be patronized as to what authorities think is practical, or do we want them to just tell us what the science says, like the researchers did here?

Someone funded by Kellogg’s wrote in to complain that in practice such fiber intakes are unachievable. Rather the message should just be the more, the better, ya know, just have a bowl of cereal or something. Wink, wink.

The real Dr. Kellogg, who was actually one of our most famous physicians, credited for being one of the first to sound the alarm about smoking, may have been the first American physician to have recognized the field of nutrition as a science, and would today be rolling in his grave if he knew what his company had become.

To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video. This is just an approximation of the audio contributed by Katie Schloer.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to ML Cohen via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

This may sound familiar—an abridged version was included in one of my year-in-review live presentations (From Table to Able: Combating Disabling Diseases with Food). More on preventing strokes can be found here:

More on the wonders of fiber in:

It really is never too early to start eating healthier. See, for example, Heart Disease Starts in Childhood and How to Prevent Prediabetes in Children.

I’ll be doing a whole series of videos on stroke risk factors coming up in a couple of months. Stay tuned, and subscribe to the daily video feed here to have the day’s video delivered to your inbox.

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

84 responses to “Flashback Friday: How to Prevent a Stroke

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      1. Barb,

        That is interesting.

        So, going to the concept of “the stroke belt” and the South.

        So, is it their “belt” size.

        Is there more air pollution in the South? Hard to imagine that.

        Do they sleep fewer hours in the South? The concept of them being bigger night owls and party people than the Northeast or California?

        Are they bigger drinkers?

        Are they less active? I don’t have a concept of them being less active. Do they spend as much time indoors as the Northeast?

        Hmmm, it is interesting to figure out the biggest risk factors.

        1. I looked at it and people who leave the South as children still have an increased risk, not as much of a risk as those who stay until they are teenagers, but still even a short time there increases risk.

          People who come there as adults have an increased risk, too.

          So being socialized elsewhere wasn’t all that protective.

      2. Barb, from your “what causes strokes” link:

        “But new evidence suggests that regularly taking a short daytime nap can help your body stay stroke-free, too.”

        Ive been a big fan of afternoon naps from way back. They’re what get me through the rest of the day. When I lived and worked in NYC I used to go into St. Pat’s Cathedral while on my lunch break and snooze for 5-10 minutes. Somehow I was always able to wake myself up before it became much longer.

        https://www.huffpost.com/entry/famous-people-who-nap_n_5248739

    1. YR,

      That title: Even if they move away as teenagers.

      I feel like that sentence needs emphasis.

      Even if they move away as teenagers.

      How damaging is that lifestyle?

      Seems to confirm Dr. Greger’s video about when the damage starts.

    2. YR: My 2 cents on the “stroke belt.” I grew up in the Midwest and have lived in Alabama (2 times), South Carolina, Mississippi and now living (retired) in “Lower Alabama” also known as the NW Florida Panhandle, I never ate fried foods as a child. In the South, fried food is the norm, not the exception. Fried shrimp, fish, chicken, turkey and okra to name a few. All this fried stuff has to affect ones weight and coronary system. When first stationed in the South I did notice all the fried foods and that people smoked more than where I grew up. As for having the risks when moving away I suspect being raised on a diet of fried foods that type of eating continues on where one moves.

      1. Wolf,

        “When you fry a vegetable in oil, it doesn’t count as a vegetable any more; it’s junk food.”

        From “Fast Food Genocide” by Joel Fuhrman, p 55. An interesting book, with some interesting theories about the effects of food and nutrition on history. Also about the history of junk food.

    3. I’m glad Oklahoma is not in it (:-0, because I ate more than my fair share of fried okra. In the link, I saw reference to the (flawed?) study that vegetarians / vegans have a higher risk of stroke than meat eaters. I would like to see a better study on this.

  1. Hmm.. 25g soluble fiber seems easy, that’s an apple plus two cups of beans at most.

    But any tips on getting the 47g of insoluble fiber?

    I’m seeing 6g of fiber (hopefully mostly/all insoluble) in a cup of cooked barley, maybe 7g-8g in a cup of various wheats.

    Is there some ultra-high insoluble fiber food I’m overlooking? Or am I going to have to start eating tree bark?

        1. Barb,

          The problem is, a vegan diet is not necessarily a healthy diet. I discovered as a vegetarian that a LOT of junk food is vegetarian, and even vegan. Potato chips, soda, candy, pastries, etc. I don’t eat faux meats, faux cheese, etc because these foods are highly processed, and often contain ingredients I wouldn’t eat, as well as high amounts of added oil and salt, and other refined food components, all of which I try to avoid. And it doesn’t necessarily contain veggies and fruit, legumes and whole grains, and nuts and seeds (in moderation). After all, an Impossible Burger with fake cheese on a white flour bun, with fries and a Coke, could count as vegan — but never as healthy.

          Then there’s the problem of nutritional deficiencies, most notably vitamin B12. I wonder how many vegans know that they should take B12 supplements? Maybe if they’re eating fortified CRAP — Calorie Rich And Processed — products, that isn’t as much of a problem. At least not in the short term. And there are all the other plant nutrients, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients, fiber, etc that might be missing from a vegan diet.

    1. First, thanks for sharing the article. I think the author may have had an epiphany. At the end, the stance softened.
      Given the time to really think about it, most people know the truth. Except for organ meats, you can find a vegan substitute for just about anything, these days. I found this article helpful to the Cause.

      1. Thanks for offering your positive impression Clark Smith, it helps a lot and I will keep it in mind in future. I suppose too I am not without predjudice either since I have read so many articles (some of them written with almost a mocking tone). and tend to see the negative in them quickly.
        I would like to suggest a topic for Dr Greger’s review, and that would be about the amino acids carnitine, taurine, etc found in popular protein drinks and sold also as individual supplements.

    2. OK Barb,

      I read the first article you linked to.

      Here is a proposed reason as to why vegans are loathed:

      “ In the case of eating meat, Rothgerber suggests we have a number of strategies – around 15 – which allow us to avoid facing up to the meat paradox. These include pretending that meat has no link to animals, imagining that we eat less of it than we really do, wilful ignorance about how it’s produced – helped by the cartoons of happy farm animals that we’re exposed to from childhood – and only eating meat from animals which are “humanely” farmed….

      But when a vegan turns up at a dinner party, suddenly we’re bumped out of the comfortable “mainstream diet” category and into the unsettling “meat-eating” category. By their mere existence, vegans force people to confront their cognitive dissonance. And this makes people angry….

      The reputation of vegans probably isn’t helped by the fact that non-meat eaters really do think they’re better than everyone else; vegetarians tend to rate the virtuosity of other vegetarians more highly than that of non-vegetarians. But it’s also true that most of us agree with them – and this is a major source of animosity…

      In the end, our fear of being judged far outstrips any respect we might have for their superior integrity.“

      This reminds me of the reactions I frequently encountered over the almost 50 years of being vegetarian (and most recently, a whole plant food eater): if asked why, I responded because it was more sustainable and less environmentally degrading to eat plants rather than the animals which eat plants. The response was very negative, to the point of what I eventually realized was food bullying. Which I even later realized was because they felt judged by my reasons — and they were found lacking. Which, I must admit, was correct, without my realizing it. And that approach is not persuasive.

      As the article says, vegans who eat this way for health reasons are perceived as less “irritating.” So Dr. Greger’s arguments that whole plant food eating is healthier is less irritating, and perhaps more palatable, than my original reasons, and newer additional ones (animal cruelty, GHG emissions, antibiotic resistance), all of which seem like excellent reasons to me to change. But not apparently to most people.

      Interesting article. Food for thought. And not exactly anti-vegan, rather the opposite.

      1. Dr. J.,

        As the article says, vegans who eat this way for health reasons are perceived as less “irritating.”

        That is the truth.

        Vegans who want other people to eat this way for health reasons go back to being totally irritating again.

        LOL! Even when we don’t mean to be.

        I will tell you that a friend of mind has a mother who just got diagnosed with a health problem and I immediately gave a testimonial from Forks Over Knives and she lashed out and I genuinely wanted to kick myself. No, probably not genuinely kick. But inwardly, symbolically whatever is close to kicking.

        Well, I apologized and explained my struggle and she backed down and called me to make sure I was okay and it opened the door for us to talk about what I am learning as if I am a student learning topics that she doesn’t feel threatened by because I am not telling her what to do.

        Much less irritating.

        Except that I am probably irritating Ron by posting it.

        Sorry to this community for my long short stories.

      2. Dr. J., maybe you could just tell people you stopped liking the taste and smell of meat and decided to quit eating it then and there. AND that you feel much healthier as a result.

        You could then just drop the subject. No need to blather on about all the other “good” reasons. Maybe they’ll feel the “lure” someday themselves. We all move at a different pace.

      3. Thanks Dr J. Colin Campbell’s experience with the bbc a while back had a problem or two. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OnQfXvOap9c

        Don’t get me wrong… I spend a lot of time at various parts of the bbc sites, and enjoy them all. I have noticed that they could use a proof reader.

        Anyway, kind of thought we would have had a heart topic today being Valentine’s Day… happy day everyone!

        1. Barb,

          I did look at the second article you linked to; I see your point. It seemed to be riddled with mistakes, errors, and falsehoods. The conclusion seemed to be a cautious: Well, maybe a vegan diet could be ok, perhaps healthy, but only if vegans stuffed themselves with fistfuls of supplements. Too bad. I wonder who funds this site? Or this series? Or perhaps the bbc itself? Because it sounded as though it might be the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Or maybe that’s just who funds the nutritionists and experts relied upon by the author.

    3. Bucking the status quo in any area causes waves that can rock the boat and cause people to be uncomfortable. I heard a speaker, from the Vegetarian Objectionist Society (long time ago) liken meat eating to slavery of animals. Does this mean we have another civil war to fight? Our economy trades largely on animal agriculture. There is even data showing there is more human slavery going on today than ever before (human trafficking). Traditional religions state that animals were created for our use. Modern science, to this day, may deny that creatures, lower than humans, have consciousness. Science is still clueless about consciousness in humans. Ethics in human culture may be an oxymoron that obscures what is really below the surface.
      While treating pets humanely is a growing trend, it seems to me that better nutritional health is a bigger motivator for change. Is rocking the boat worth it. From a selfish, survival view point, better health may be a pathway of least resistance and is worth rocking to boat.

  2. Really like this video. I am a big fan of Dr. Greger. I am also vegan except for occasional fish or seafood when eating out. I eat mostly fruit, vegetables, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Every time I correspond via email w my overweight sister who is 5 years younger than me and lives in VT, she tells me about another friend who just died at a rather young age (today it was 61 yrs old). My sister and most people I know would never consider eating like me. I try not to bring it up, but when will some people finally catch on that they would feel better, be healthier, enjoy life more, etc. if only they changed the way they eat. Of course lifestyle factors would help too. I am 74 years old and walk about a mile every day outside plus do other types of exercise indoors (every day).

      1. I just now tried the Science Daily method, and found that I could reach a whole hand’s worth. I can also put my whole palms flat on the floor while standing and touching my toes (keeping legs straight).

        Yup, flexibility is one benefit to everyday yoga exercises — which I’ve done for many decades now. Healthy habits rock! :-)

        1. YR,

          I used to be able to reach beyond my toes. But, recently my lifelong scoliosis has worsened — a surprise to me, I didn’t know that it could get worse — and arthritis has set in. So I can no longer do that. Yoga actually made my back pain worse — despite being told that it would help. I think that I now have a pinched nerve, maybe due to the increased curvature (which also contributed to a significant decrease in height). So, does that mean my arteries are also stiff?

          I have a friend with a congenital hip problem, mostly corrected by surgery in early childhood, but which has recently worsened to the point of disability. I’m pretty sure she couldn’t reach anywhere near her toes.

          I guess what I’m saying is that some of us need a different measure of arterial stiffness.

          ps: walking helps with the back pain. So, I am walking more now, even during the winter, but looking forward to spring. Not because of the cold, but because of the snow and ice, which have been minimal this winter. Which I both like and worry about.

          1. “But, recently my lifelong scoliosis has worsened — a surprise to me, I didn’t know that it could get worse — and arthritis has set in.”
            – – – – –

            Dr. J., you say “recently.” You’ve been on the vegan diet for some years now, so what foods do you think could be causing this? Because, isn’t the blame usually put on the foods we eat (or don’t eat) for our poor heath and physical ailments?
            +++

            Yoga actually made my back pain worse — despite being told that it would help.
            – – – –

            That’s a bummer! :-( It’s very important to get a good instructor, for starters. I also think the earliest you can learn the poses, the better. I started the exercises in my mid-twenties and never looked back, as they say.

            1. YR,

              Whole plant food eating seems to be a very healthy way to eat. But, there is no 100% guarantee that all ailments will be avoided on it.

              Plus, I have only eaten this way for about 4 years. Prior to that, I was a vegetarian, for about 44 years. And I ate my share of CRAP. Not as much as most people today, though. And I probably didn’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, definitely not enough beans (I thought once a week was a lot!) and definitely not enough whole grains.

              I am now reading “Fast Food Genocide,” by Joel Fuhrman, who claims that the earlier we eat whole plant foods, the better off we are. Certainly for cancer. Maybe for some other conditions as well. Though it’s never too late to change, perhaps the later the change, the smaller the benefits, especially for certain conditions.

              Also, I first took yoga about 40 years ago, in my late 20s, then I did it at home for years, with occasional classes. I considered it my PT, that without it I wouldn’t be able to move and do the things I wanted to do. And I think I was right. But arthritis has appeared (osteoporosis is an old acquaintance), and perhaps for that reason, my scoliosis has worsened. I could not move this past summer due to severe back pain. (Maybe cancer treatment didn’t help.). So, I ended up visiting a physical therapist, who was very helpful. Now I do modified yoga at home, walk, and pretty much most of what I want to do (which includes snow shoveling, yard work, and gardening — knock wood). Though I do think you are right: a lot of instructors are not very good.

              Peace.

              1. Dr J,
                I am sorry I addressed YR, below, when I meant to send this post to you.
                It seems to me you understand that your problem is thinning bones, and you are probably right. We brought my mother to live with us when she was around 90 years old and she had very frail bones from a very deficient diet and extremely limited activity. She accidentally sat down on the bathroom floor and fractured her pelvis. I gave her a heaping tablespoon of pure dried nettle powder in juice with VD3 once a day, along with WPFD. Her pelvis healed so quickly that she was walking without a walker with no pain in less than a month. I walked with her around the house 2 or 3 times a day. She tumbled around a lot after that, with no cracks or even bruises. At your age your bones aught to recover nicely.

          2. Dr. J.
            I am 60 now and stiffness has been setting in for years. I can still touch my toes but it is a slow process. On a house painting job last year I may have herniated a lumbar disc. I was on a stroller for over a week; then a crutch, then a cane and now walking fairly well. I can run but this takes lots of warming up and several tries. I do much better during warmer months. With this mild winter I am getting to the gym and working on limbering up. I like swimming. I wonder if a version of Parkinson’s is setting in.

            1. YR
              It seems to me you understand that your problem is thinning bones, and you are probably right. We brought my mother to live with us when she was around 90 years old and she had very frail bones from a very deficient diet and extremely limited activity. She accidentally sat down on the bathroom floor and fractured her pelvis. I gave her a heaping tablespoon of pure dried nettle powder in juice with VD3 once a day, along with WPFD. Her pelvis healed so quickly that she was walking without a walker with no pain in less than a month. I walked with her around the house 2 or 3 times a day. She tumbled around a lot after that, with no cracks or even bruises. At your age your bones aught to recover nicely.

        2. I used to be more flexible. I am working on regaining some of it. Getting older makes the grade a bit steeper. The article makes logical sense, i.e., “If your body is flexible, then maybe your blood vessels are also.”

    1. I looked for technical information for you which appears below, but I think the more practical approach given by Mister Fumblefingers may be more helpful!

      Searching out an answer for you turned out to be somewhat complex, but what I learned is that the traditional assessment of arterial stiffness involves using ultrasound and applanation tonometry. Applantion tonometry involves measuring the abnormal flattening of a convex surface. According to this resource (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12022246) :“Pulse wave analysis (PWA) is a technique that allows the accurate recording of peripheral pressure waveforms and generation of the corresponding central waveform.”
      This not only sounds complicated, but apparently it is difficult to implement, as this article indicated https://biomedical-engineering-online.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1475-925X-11-6 Non-invasive assessment of arterial stiffness using oscillometric blood pressure measurement which used blood pressure equipment “…simpler and easier methodologies are required because the application of tonometry transducers or ultrasound probes on target arteries can be rather difficult.” It seems there are several ways to measure arterial stiffness involving rather complicated mathematical equations, but some of the less invasive measurement techniques are not as accurate as this study concluded: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2293959/ Noninvasive measurements of arterial stiffness: Repeatability and interrelationships with endothelial function and arterial morphology measures: “The three noninvasive modalities to study arterial stiffness reliably measures arterial stiffness however, they do not correlate with ultrasound measures of vascular function and structure in young and apparently healthy subjects.”

  3. I have been thinking about Barb’s stroke risk article and 5 hours sleep per night.

    As of today, I have lost 9.6 pounds since the Vitamin D blog.

    That is more weight loss than my transforming my whole diet and adding in exercise.

    I am not sure if the single megadose of Vitamin D will keep having a benefit.

    But it will either be Vitamin D, sleeping at night, eating breakfast (but I didn’t lose weight adding in breakfast. The sleep and weight loss started the same day I took the one megadose of Vitamin D from the D and sleep study)

    The other thing is that my D also has K2 sea iodine, so I guess it could be my thyroid kicked in.

    It is going to be fascinating to see if I keep losing weight now without changing diet or exercise.

    I am still eating a late dinner because of my work schedule, but D, K, sleep and breakfast has outperformed every other change I made.

    Chronobiology just became much more interesting.

  4. Hi!
    I REALLY REALLY want an APP for my phone that covers “How Not to Die/t” – it would let me enter what I eat each day & then tell me what I still need to consume . It would tell me how well (or poorly) I’m treating my Gut-Biome, it would tell me how much fiber I’ve eaten vs how much I’d ideally eat, it would give me suggestions on what I could eat to increase my fiber (even really trying I only get to about 55g in a day – how the heck do you get to 100g!??!), it would probably give me some sort of “gold star” for a good week, or for a significantly improved week if I’m using it regularly, it would let me input my exercise too, and tell me how much more I might need. Basically, I put in all I eat & all my exercise and it tells me what I’m doing right & what I need to do better at. I’m working on my own analog version of this from the three books “How Not to Die/t” & “Brain Wash” by David Perlmutter MD, Austin Perlmutter MD. Being able to track my Nature exposure, meditation time, social time & technology exposure time in the app would be a real bonus!! I want something that I can ACTUALLY TRUST that I can use to quantitatively track how well I’m doing by myself & my total-being health. I’d pay for an APP like that, from someone, Like YOU, that I actually trust.

    Thanks for taking the time to Listen,
    Tracy O.

    1. Tracy,

      That fantasy app sounds really cool.

      Listening to Chef AJ’s summit, I think the Whole Food Plant Based movement went in a direction of simplifying the process and just gave the wider margins so that people don’t try to micromanage everything.

      Some people like micromanaging and some people like just having guidelines.

      I did Sparkpeople and Fit2me and another site for keeping track of data for years and I liked it but it was so time consuming that eventually, each time, when life got busy I would suddenly find out that I missed a whole week of entering the data.

      The friends I had made on the site ALL eventually fell away. Then most of them came back a year later. Then everybody fell away again.

      Watching nutrition videos every single day has been easier to stick with than logging everything all day long.

      1. And I think watching videos every single day has improved my behaviors and mindset more than trying to improve my behaviors and mindset all of my life without videos.

        It is as if I am borrowing somebody else’s will-power and decision-making skills.

      1. Tom,

        That was fascinating.

        So he has switched what he teaches more toward WFPB but Grain Brain is still selling like gluten-free hot cakes even though his newest teachings don’t even mention gluten or grains?

        That is fascinating.

        Grain Brain is still selling so many copies that it never went paper back and he might not even believe it anymore himself?

        Wow!

        Unringing these best selling book bells has to be complicated.

    2. Tao-Coo,

      Your comment raised some interesting questions.

      First, how much fiber do I consume in an typical day? i did a rough back-of-the envelope calculation, and came out to about 50 grams.

      But then I wondered: how much fiber would be consumed, on average, by following the DailyDozen recommendations? I don’t recall seeing that anywhere on this site; has anyone else? I may try another guesstimate, though it would take more time. But I’m really hoping that a Volunteer will step in with the answer.

  5. I think it was always hard to be perfect at record-keeping every single bite and every single exercise and every single emotional shift and sleep cycle.

    But keeping the information in front of my eyes has been easy peasy.

  6. Kellogg the physician was not Kellogg the cereal guy, although they were brothers. Kellogg the physician was named John Harvey Kellogg. Kellogg the cereal guy was named Will Keith Kellogg. Although the brothers did initially work on developing cereal together, the Kellogg Company was founded and owned by Will Keith Kellogg, not his brother. So when Dr. Greger says that Kellogg would be disappointed to see what his company had become, he really should have said John Harvey Kellogg would have been disappointed to see what his brother Will Keith Kellogg’s company had become (I know, it lacks the rhetorical punch!).

  7. Off topic: I just learned that McDonald’s French fries in the US are not vegan, or even vegetarian, as they contain “natural beef flavor” and “hydrolyzed milk” among their 19 ingredients (though a few of the ingredients are used twice, because the fries are partially fried in oil before they are frozen). But the base is real potatoes. https://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/01/22/mcdonalds-french-fries-ingredients_n_6528848.html

    But the French fries appear to be vegan in the UK: “Potatoes, Vegetable Oil (Sunflower, Rapeseed), Dextrose (predominantly added at beginning of the potato season).
    Prepared in the restaurants using non-hydrogenated vegetable oil. Salt is added after cooking.” https://www.mcdonalds.com/content/dam/uk/nfl/pdf/nutrition/Allergen-booklet-29thjan.pdf

    I just cooked some potato fries oil- and salt-free in an air fryer lid in my IP, with ACV and spices added. Pretty good.

    1. Thanks, Tom.

      I am still in the middle of watching the videos from Chef AJ’s summit from today, but I will try to get back to it.

      I am interested.

      Dr. Greger did a great job at the Summit.

  8. I am enjoying watching some of the talks too Deb. Watched Dr Jenkins earlier, and now the Drs Sherzai.

    Interesting to me that Dr Jenkins is not a potato fan either really.. he said he gains weight too. I guess their can be individual tolerances for starchy foods in the diet? Marilyn Kaye might have noticed that in her work.

    1. Yea, it is interesting.

      I am wondering how time of day foods are eaten fit in based on how the foods spike blood sugars more later in the day.

      I haven’t tried it yet but it makes sense to me that maybe I could eat potatoes for breakfast and succeed versus potatoes for dinner?

      1. Great question Deb! I am sure you will succeed regardless, (you will! you are!) but I have no idea how people do in general other than Dr Greger’s videos about eating more, earlier. Many people can eat loads of potatoes wth great results (chef aj is an example). There are more new ideas to try out, and I’m trying to keep a flow of all things new happening but without confusing issues too much.

        I am trying to establish, or add to, good habits. So far the no food after dinner, glass of water at bedtime, change meds to night time, no phone etc after bed time, 1 new food or recipe per week have all stuck. We will get there.

        1. Barb,

          Thanks for the encouragement.

          I am so happy that I FINALLY have started losing weight.

          I am so excited about it. I FINALLY lost a clothes size.

          I ended up looking up Vitamin D and weight loss and there is a study where overweight women, in particular, lost weight and BMI and improved other lab tests just taking Vitamin D.

          I had been supplementing, but the overweight people needing more D and my not taking enough of it and not taking it every day was something I thought I should test.

          The fact that the study did 50,000 IU every day for 6 weeks and I did a single dose of 25,000 IU and it immediately fixed my sleep, which has helped me to eat breakfast, which is helping me to eat fewer calories at night.

          I am the Little Engine That Could and I want to transition straight to “I know I can. I know I can. I know I can.” and, I genuinely feel like I can lose some weight now, finally. I am not sure yet that I feel like I can get all the way down to ideal weight, but I finally feel like my weight is going to budge.

          I may be buying a Total Gym.

          I have a gym membership at Planet Fitness, but I end up doing the treadmill and it is hard to stay there for long enough to do everything. I like the treadmill. But I would like a Pilates Reformer or a Total Gym. I loved Pilates when I lived out in California and I loved it when I went through Physical Therapy, but the Total Gym comes fully assembled and uses body weight. I am pausing a month to see if I really want it.

          I am a little freaked out that I have continued to spend so much money, but my house makes me happy now and I have invested in a few select pieces of All-Clad and William Sonoma has a half-price sale on the perfect size Le Creuset pan, so cooking tools are set.

          I delayed buying the steamer for water only cleaning until I use my cleaning supplies, but I haven’t changed my mind on which company.

          One thing after another is falling into place and maybe the stress of every single thing being up in the air is starting to settle down.

          I finished researching making my own oat milk and a woman said that she got less slimy oat milk by only soaking them for 3 to 5 minutes and by using a strainer rather than a bag. With that, I just need to find out if the whole phytates getting soaked off thing matters or not and whether 3 to 5 minutes is enough. I already got a container to put it in.

          One learning process after another after another after another.

          I am so grateful for the “passionate regulars” on this site, like you. You are all part of my success.

          Thank you all.

          1. There really is so much to learn.

            I felt overwhelmed a little bit after the Summit. I think most of the Summits are 3 to 5 days and this one was 9 days and 5 speakers each day.

            But I encouraged myself with the thought that eventually, it will be getting to recipe videos and figuring out a schedule, but I couldn’t get out of learning just about every topic.

            People set aside years and go to college to learn it and that is not a luxury I am afforded right now, but there are so many free to small donation Summits on the internet and each new topic just takes time.

            When Dr. Greger was talking greens yesterday, I paused and knew that I haven’t learned that whole concept yet, but I know there is a video coming eventually and I will be able to hit pause and rewind and pause and rewind and that is just what it takes.

            It is so much harder for the “masses” who learned every single thing wrong to do this process.

    1. Fiber is a great thing Dan, but you might find better studies by searching videos connected to Fiber here ay NutritionFacts. Your study was funded in part by Kellogg’s , and they were looking for an additive to sprinkle on cereal. Note the viscous fiber powder was so grosse that on half portions could be used in the study… it was unpalatable. If you enjoy that type of thing, okra and eggplant are said to be good whole food sources.

      1. Eating (washed) orange peel may be a good choice. It’s high in fibre, vitamin C and polyphenols. It is also thought to be helpful in controlling LDL cholesterol levels. However, there may be pesticide residues on the skin so we should always wash it first.
        https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2004-05/acs-otp051104.php

        Eating (washed) banana peels may deliver similar benefits according to livestrong.com
        https://www.livestrong.com/article/457082-what-are-the-benefits-of-eating-banana-peels/

    1. The association between high B12 levels and increased mortality risk in that Dutch study cited by PCRM is completely consistent with other European studies that find that high consumption of red meat is associated with higher mortality risk.

      Also, as with all association studies, we have to consider reverse mortality. It is pretty poor science to assume that since A and B are associated, A must cause B. First it is possible, that the association is not causal at all but merely reflects a third variable – eg most probably animal foods consumption which was notb
      assessed in that study. The more animal foods people consume, the higher their B12 levels are likely to be (and ‘vegans’ are notorious for having low b12 levels) . Secondly, if there is a causal relation, the increased mortality risk (specifically the underlying disease/illness leading to increased mortality) may cause the increased B12 levels eg

      ‘Chronic myeloid leukemia is one such disease, in which the elevated vitamin B12 levels are thought to be due to release of excess B12 carrier proteins from the cancerous white blood cells. A June 2013 review article published in the “Quarterly Journal of Medicine” reported that high vitamin B12 levels most commonly occur with liver cancer. One of the main causes of increased vitamin B12 with liver disease is release of stored vitamin by liver cells that have died due to the disorder. An increased blood level of vitamin B12 is sometimes caused by kidney disease, including diabetic kidney disease’
      https://healthfully.com/causes-of-high-blood-levels-of-vitamin-b12-5908404.html

      We would need to see clinical trials of supplemental B12 leading to increased morbidity/mortality for this simple-minded assumption that higher B12 levels somehow cause increased mortality risk to be valid Or possibly Mendelian randomisation analyses. However, to my knowledge, we don’t have any such data.

      n wealthy Western countries, I suspect that high B12 levels are simply a marker for high consumption of animal foods and/or a marker of underlying cancers or kidney disease. In which case, the association and between B12 and mortality is exactly what we would expect

      I haven’t bothered looking at vegsource since Nelson’s his bias and misrepresentation of the evidence, mean that I can only tolerate so much in any given week

      Either way, I have considerably more confidence in Dr Greger’s advice on this point than scaremongering based on simplistic and obviously confounded associational studies. The highly respected Jack Norris of veganhealth.com comes to very similar conclusions on B12, to Dr G.
      https://veganhealth.org/daily-needs/

        1. Fumbles, ty for your comments. This is an excellent link that shows a kind of diagnostic flow chart (scroll down) https://www.b12-vitamin.com/high-blood-levels/ so you can get the gist of how complicated the situation is.

          There are reasons why I bring this up, and post vegsources linked video. I have elevated b12. So does jeff nelson, and so do many other commenters. The scary part for me is seeing how many people do not use a doctor, have testing done at all, and blindly taking supplements. I was told to stop taking supplements, as was jeff nelson. He is going for retesting soon, but I have to wait weeks. This on top of iron deficiency anemia yet again is frustrating. Going to the trouble (and it is trouble!) of eating the Daily Dozen for years and years now to have this trouble is not what I call a good time. I am thankful however that I am frequently assessed by my doctors and not supplementing blindly.

          1. Thanks Barb. But is there any evidence that elevated serum B12 in and of itself is unhealthy? I am not aware of any,

            As far as I know, elevated B12 is either a marker for high animal foods consumption, a marker for some kind of medical condition or simply a false test result.

            I also see no reason to worry about taking B12 supplements in the dosages recommended by Dr Greger and Jack Norris. According to the US National Institutes of Health

            ‘The IOM did not establish a UL for vitamin B12 because of its low potential for toxicity. In Dietary Reference Intakes: Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline, the IOM states that “no adverse effects have been associated with excess vitamin B12 intake from food and supplements in healthy individuals” [5].

            Findings from intervention trials support these conclusions. In the NORVIT and HOPE 2 trials, vitamin B12 supplementation (in combination with folic acid and vitamin B6) did not cause any serious adverse events when administered at doses of 0.4 mg for 40 months (NORVIT trial) and 1.0 mg for 5 years (HOPE 2 trial) [65,66].’
            https://www.b12-vitamin.com/high-blood-levels/

            Jeff Nelson appears committed to a position which rejects any and all supplements. In my experience, he seems not above misrepresenting study results to support his beliefs and omitting discussion of trials which don’t appear to support his beliefs.

            I have never bothered having my B12 tested because

            1. ‘It is now known that the test results of numerous laboratories are distorted if the patient has a very high number of intrinsic factor (IF) antibodies in the blood. The test then shows extremely high values beyond 1000 pg/ml of B12, although in reality there could well be an extreme vitamin B12 deficiency present (27-29).;
            https://www.b12-vitamin.com/high-blood-levels/

            2. blood levels of B12 .don’t necessarily reflect tissue levels (and may even indicate B12 malabsorption issues)

            Consequently, reducing supplementation below levels recommended by Dr G may be risky and there is no known hazard arising from high serum B12 levels in and of themselves – ie they appear to be a marker for other issues not an independent risk factor

            1. We essentially agree Fumbles. Why I get tested is because it is important to not be deficient, and I did take proton pump inhibitors for years… so the high b 12 could be a marker for malfunction in absorption process. I can’t push the doc into doing things faster lol. Often test results are skewed by either supplements taken too close to test date, or citrus fruit eaten or many other causes.

              Thing is, I have noticed in youtube comments that people are either devoid of medical care entirely, or say they had 104 on their b12 test and ask, is that bad? Or taking 1000 mcg 3 x week and their last test scores were 1450, and everything in between.
              I don’t know if large doses are harmful or not, but I do want to find out if I have absorption issues of some kind, and try to remedy what’s going on. I just think people should be aware how frequently issues of one kind or another come up.

              1. Ah, OK. I just got the impression from the PCRM piece that it was saying or at least implying that B12 supplements in excess of the RDI could bump up serum B12 levels and that high serum B12 levels in turn may lead to increased mortality.

                I think PPI drugs artificially increase serum B12 levels.

                Also, I think it is accepted that many people over 60 have malabsorption issues, which is why Greger recommends that older people take 1,000 mcg per day (presumably irrespective of serum B12 levels although he doesn’t say as much).

                1. Fumbles, this link was posted at pcrm and jeff’s video. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2758742 I can’t cut and paste here, but they did find significant results.. higher mortality with higher b12 serum levels after adjusting for a number of issues, and they don’t know why.

                  My point is, if you have higher serum b12, you want to know about it, and investigate it. If all checked out fine, I would be taking as little b12 as necessary to get me in the normal range.

      1. Yes, I am looking forward to the new videos.

        The mortality study I saw, on B12 the high doses of B12 were correlated to high BMI rather than high supplement dose.

        I don’t know if there is more than one new study.

  9. Hi, I want sure where to all this so…. Here is my problem and I am wondering if anyone has any suggestions… I don’t have a colon. It was completely removed 10 years ago, when I was 22. I didn’t have cancer or anything. They called it colital inertia… My colon just didn’t work. I don’t have an ostamy bag. When I try and eat fiber or greens I get excruciating heart burn that kills all through my stomach. I’ve been to the hospital once thinking in was having a heart attack. There is not a lot of info about health without a colon. Do you have any suggestions? I’m also worried that I don’t have all the good bacteria I need. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks a million!

  10. What about hemorrhagic vs. ischemic stroke? Is it possible that plant-based diets (Vitamin K in greens) thin the blood, making the former more prevalent among plant-based eaters? There is some reporting on this but I’m not sure how sound it is.

  11. Has anyone experienced heartburn with oats and oat products and, if so, what are other sources of (grain) soluble fiber? It might be the avenalin in the oats that causes this, but I’m not sure.

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