Flashback Friday: Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?

Flashback Friday: Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?
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Freedom of Information Act documents reveal that the U.S. Department of Agriculture warned the egg industry that saying eggs are nutritious or safe may violate rules against false and misleading advertising.

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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 American Egg Board is a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government, whose “mission is to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers.” Now, if an individual egg company wants to run an ad campaign, they can say whatever they want. But, if an egg corporation wants to dip into the ten million dollars the American Egg Board sets aside for advertising, because the board is overseen by the federal government, corporations are not allowed to lie with those funds. What a concept! Which leads to quite revealing exchanges between the egg corporations that want to use that money, and the USDA—on what egg companies can and cannot say about eggs.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, I was able to get my hands on some of those emails. Of course, a lot of what I got looked like this: “Please note a number of items” about our “Salmonella Crisis…Module…any questions[?]” Or, even better, entire sheets of paper that literally just said this [“Please consider the environment before printing this email”]. That was the whole sheet of paper. Our tax dollars, hard at work.

But check this out. This is some egg company trying to put out a brochure on “healthy snacking” for kids. But because of existing laws against false and misleading advertising, the head of USDA’s Poultry Research and Promotion program reminds them that “you can’t couch eggs [or] egg products as being ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious.’” See, the words “[nutritious and healthy carry certain connotations” (you know, that a food is actually good for you). But, “because eggs have the amount of cholesterol they do” (plus all the saturated fat), the words healthy and nutritious “are problematic” when it comes to eggs. This is the USDA saying this! However, the USDA helpfully suggests, you can say eggs are “nutrient-dense.”

Wait a second. Why can you say eggs are nutrient-dense, but not nutritious? Because there’s no legal definition of nutrient-dense. You can say Twinkies and Coca Cola are nutrient-dense, but legally, you can’t say something is nutritious unless it’s actually nutritious.

So, for example, the egg industry wanted to run this ad calling eggs a “Nutritional POWERHOUSE [that] aids in weight [loss].” The USDA had to remind the industry you can’t “portray eggs as a diet food, because of the fat and cholesterol content.” In fact, “they have nearly twice the calories of anything that can be called low-calorie.”

“‘Nutritional powerhouse’ can’t be used, either.” Fine, the industry said. They’ll “move…to PLAN B, and headline the ad “Egg-ceptional Nutrition.” Nope, because again, given the saturated fat and cholesterol, you can’t legally call eggs nutritious. So, the ad ended up: “Find true satisfaction.” And, instead of weight loss, they had to go with “Can reduce hunger.” USDA congratulated them on their “clever[ness].” Yes, a food that, when eaten, can reduce hunger—what a concept.

You can’t even call eggs a food “relatively low in calories.” Can’t say “eggs are low in saturated fat”—they’re not. Can’t say they’re “relatively low in…fat.” Can’t even call them a rich source of protein—because they’re not.

It’s illegal to advertise that eggs “pack a…nutritional wallop.” “Can’t [truthfully] say that.” Or, have a “high nutritional content.” You can’t say eggs are “nutritious” at all. Can’t say “nutritious;” cannot say eggs are “nutritious.” (Sometimes you have to tell the industry a few times.) Eggs have so much cholesterol, you can’t even say they “contribute[s] nutritionally.” Can’t say eggs are “healthful,” certainly can’t say they’re “healthy.” Have you seen how much cholesterol there is in those things? Can’t say “healthy.” Can’t even say eggs “contribute healthful components.”

Since you can’t say eggs are a “healthy…start to the day,” the USDA suggests “satisfying start.” Can’t call eggs a “healthful ingredient,” but you can call eggs a “recognizable ingredient.” Can’t truthfully say eggs are “good for you.” Can’t say they’re “good for you.” By law, the egg industry “need[s] to steer clear of words like ‘healthy’ or…’nutritious.’”

For a food to be labeled “healthy” under FDA rules, it has to be low in saturated fat. Eggs fail that test—and less than 90mg of cholesterol per serving. Even half an egg fails that criteria. For the same reason you can’t tout “an ice cream” for healthy bones, you can’t say eggs are healthy—because they exceed the limit for cholesterol.

Egg corporations aren’t even allowed to say things like “Eggs are an important part of a well- balanced, healthy diet” on an egg carton, because it would be “considered misleading,” according to the USDA’s National Egg Supervisor—”since eggs contain significant amounts of fat and cholesterol,” and, therefore, contribute to the leading killer in the United States, heart disease.

The industry can’t afford to tell the truth about eggs, or even the hens that lay them. The industry crams five to ten birds in cages the size of a file cabinet their whole lives, but when providing footage to the media, the American Egg Board instructs, “Do not show multiple birds in cages—they look too crowded and open us up to activist criticism.” In other words, do not show the truth.

Not only is the industry barred from saying eggs are healthy; they can’t even refer to eggs as “safe.” “[A]ll references to safety must be removed,” because more than a hundred thousand Americans are salmonella-poisoned every year from eggs.

The egg board response to this eggborne epidemic is that salmonella is “a naturally occurring bacteria.” The egg industry didn’t think that should necessarily be the key message, fearing, “It may be counterproductive by implying there is no avoiding Salmonella in eggs aside from avoiding eggs all together.”

That’s why the American Egg Board can’t even mention anything but eggs cooked hard and dry. No “soft-boiled,” no “over easy,” no “sunny side up,” because of salmonella.

The American Egg Board’s own research showed that “The sunny-side-up [cooking] method should be considered unsafe.” And, because of “avian influenza,” as well, not just salmonella. In light of bird flu viruses, eggs must be cooked “firm.” The “VP [of[ Marketing” for the Egg Board complained to the USDA, saying they’d, you know, “really like to not have to dictate that yolks are firm.”

You know, what about some “Washington Post article” saying runny yolks may be safe for everyone, except “pregnant women, infants, the elderly [or] those with chronic disease”? Turns out that was a “misquote”—they can’t be considered safe for anyone.

Instead of safe, you can call eggs “fresh,” the USDA Marketing Service helpfully suggests. But you can’t call eggs “safe,” you cannot say eggs are “safe to eat,” can’t say they’re “safe,” can’t even mention “safety,” can’t say they’re “healthful.” All “[r]eferences to healthfulness must be deleted,” as well.

Wait a second. Eggs can’t really be called healthy? Eggs can’t even really be called safe? Says who? Says the United States Department of Agriculture.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to psgreen01 and akeg via flickr

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 American Egg Board is a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government, whose “mission is to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers.” Now, if an individual egg company wants to run an ad campaign, they can say whatever they want. But, if an egg corporation wants to dip into the ten million dollars the American Egg Board sets aside for advertising, because the board is overseen by the federal government, corporations are not allowed to lie with those funds. What a concept! Which leads to quite revealing exchanges between the egg corporations that want to use that money, and the USDA—on what egg companies can and cannot say about eggs.

Thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, I was able to get my hands on some of those emails. Of course, a lot of what I got looked like this: “Please note a number of items” about our “Salmonella Crisis…Module…any questions[?]” Or, even better, entire sheets of paper that literally just said this [“Please consider the environment before printing this email”]. That was the whole sheet of paper. Our tax dollars, hard at work.

But check this out. This is some egg company trying to put out a brochure on “healthy snacking” for kids. But because of existing laws against false and misleading advertising, the head of USDA’s Poultry Research and Promotion program reminds them that “you can’t couch eggs [or] egg products as being ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious.’” See, the words “[nutritious and healthy carry certain connotations” (you know, that a food is actually good for you). But, “because eggs have the amount of cholesterol they do” (plus all the saturated fat), the words healthy and nutritious “are problematic” when it comes to eggs. This is the USDA saying this! However, the USDA helpfully suggests, you can say eggs are “nutrient-dense.”

Wait a second. Why can you say eggs are nutrient-dense, but not nutritious? Because there’s no legal definition of nutrient-dense. You can say Twinkies and Coca Cola are nutrient-dense, but legally, you can’t say something is nutritious unless it’s actually nutritious.

So, for example, the egg industry wanted to run this ad calling eggs a “Nutritional POWERHOUSE [that] aids in weight [loss].” The USDA had to remind the industry you can’t “portray eggs as a diet food, because of the fat and cholesterol content.” In fact, “they have nearly twice the calories of anything that can be called low-calorie.”

“‘Nutritional powerhouse’ can’t be used, either.” Fine, the industry said. They’ll “move…to PLAN B, and headline the ad “Egg-ceptional Nutrition.” Nope, because again, given the saturated fat and cholesterol, you can’t legally call eggs nutritious. So, the ad ended up: “Find true satisfaction.” And, instead of weight loss, they had to go with “Can reduce hunger.” USDA congratulated them on their “clever[ness].” Yes, a food that, when eaten, can reduce hunger—what a concept.

You can’t even call eggs a food “relatively low in calories.” Can’t say “eggs are low in saturated fat”—they’re not. Can’t say they’re “relatively low in…fat.” Can’t even call them a rich source of protein—because they’re not.

It’s illegal to advertise that eggs “pack a…nutritional wallop.” “Can’t [truthfully] say that.” Or, have a “high nutritional content.” You can’t say eggs are “nutritious” at all. Can’t say “nutritious;” cannot say eggs are “nutritious.” (Sometimes you have to tell the industry a few times.) Eggs have so much cholesterol, you can’t even say they “contribute[s] nutritionally.” Can’t say eggs are “healthful,” certainly can’t say they’re “healthy.” Have you seen how much cholesterol there is in those things? Can’t say “healthy.” Can’t even say eggs “contribute healthful components.”

Since you can’t say eggs are a “healthy…start to the day,” the USDA suggests “satisfying start.” Can’t call eggs a “healthful ingredient,” but you can call eggs a “recognizable ingredient.” Can’t truthfully say eggs are “good for you.” Can’t say they’re “good for you.” By law, the egg industry “need[s] to steer clear of words like ‘healthy’ or…’nutritious.’”

For a food to be labeled “healthy” under FDA rules, it has to be low in saturated fat. Eggs fail that test—and less than 90mg of cholesterol per serving. Even half an egg fails that criteria. For the same reason you can’t tout “an ice cream” for healthy bones, you can’t say eggs are healthy—because they exceed the limit for cholesterol.

Egg corporations aren’t even allowed to say things like “Eggs are an important part of a well- balanced, healthy diet” on an egg carton, because it would be “considered misleading,” according to the USDA’s National Egg Supervisor—”since eggs contain significant amounts of fat and cholesterol,” and, therefore, contribute to the leading killer in the United States, heart disease.

The industry can’t afford to tell the truth about eggs, or even the hens that lay them. The industry crams five to ten birds in cages the size of a file cabinet their whole lives, but when providing footage to the media, the American Egg Board instructs, “Do not show multiple birds in cages—they look too crowded and open us up to activist criticism.” In other words, do not show the truth.

Not only is the industry barred from saying eggs are healthy; they can’t even refer to eggs as “safe.” “[A]ll references to safety must be removed,” because more than a hundred thousand Americans are salmonella-poisoned every year from eggs.

The egg board response to this eggborne epidemic is that salmonella is “a naturally occurring bacteria.” The egg industry didn’t think that should necessarily be the key message, fearing, “It may be counterproductive by implying there is no avoiding Salmonella in eggs aside from avoiding eggs all together.”

That’s why the American Egg Board can’t even mention anything but eggs cooked hard and dry. No “soft-boiled,” no “over easy,” no “sunny side up,” because of salmonella.

The American Egg Board’s own research showed that “The sunny-side-up [cooking] method should be considered unsafe.” And, because of “avian influenza,” as well, not just salmonella. In light of bird flu viruses, eggs must be cooked “firm.” The “VP [of[ Marketing” for the Egg Board complained to the USDA, saying they’d, you know, “really like to not have to dictate that yolks are firm.”

You know, what about some “Washington Post article” saying runny yolks may be safe for everyone, except “pregnant women, infants, the elderly [or] those with chronic disease”? Turns out that was a “misquote”—they can’t be considered safe for anyone.

Instead of safe, you can call eggs “fresh,” the USDA Marketing Service helpfully suggests. But you can’t call eggs “safe,” you cannot say eggs are “safe to eat,” can’t say they’re “safe,” can’t even mention “safety,” can’t say they’re “healthful.” All “[r]eferences to healthfulness must be deleted,” as well.

Wait a second. Eggs can’t really be called healthy? Eggs can’t even really be called safe? Says who? Says the United States Department of Agriculture.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to psgreen01 and akeg via flickr

89 responses to “Flashback Friday: Who Says Eggs Aren’t Healthy or Safe?

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  1. Hello Dr. Greger and fellow nutritionfacts visitors.

    A couple of days ago there was a discussion in the video topic “Is cheese healthy”, in the comment section two reactions were posted about the topic of saturated fat in plant foods.

    The fist comment (1) was coming from Joshua Pritikin were he claimed “there’s only one healthy way to enjoy the unique taste of saturated fat: coconut flakes”. As a reference to his comment he linked to a nutritionfacts video called “is coconutmilk good for you?” (2).

    Another comment (1) was coming from a Nutritionfacts moderator named Christine Kestner, MS, CNS, LDN, where she claims that there is some saturated fat in a whole food, plant-based diet if it includes nuts and seeds and that “when you get your saturated fat from whole foods such as nuts, it appears to have a protective effect on cardiovasculat health.”

    The official Nutritionfacts page on coconuts (3) claims that “based on studies of Malaysians (4), whose diets are rich in coconuts, consumption of coconut flakes may be harmless to the body and may even be beneficial” and it goes on “As a whole plant food, coconuts appear to be harmless for consumption.”

    There’s only one problem that I have with all this information; none of it is true…

    The truth is that while there is some saturated fat in plant foods, the saturated fat is not at all “beneficial” for you. Whole plant food is healthy DESPITE it’s saturated fat content, I think this relativation is needed to put things in context. Please read on in my second comment below.

    (1) https://imgur.com/a/sXARA2V
    (2) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-coconut-milk-good-for-you/
    (3) https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/coconuts/
    (4) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2796.1993.tb00986.x

  2. The Nutritionfacts video “is coconutmilk good for you?” (2), quoted by Joshua Pritikin to claim that coconut flakes have “healthy saturated fat” refers to a 2004 study titled “The cholesterol-lowering effect of coconut flakes in humans with moderately raised serum cholesterol” (5). One should realise that the coconut flakes you can buy in a store are called shredded or dessicated coconut flakes. They are just finely ground coconut with the moisture removed. In other words, it still has as much fat content as a regular coconut and that includes the saturated fat.

    Even more so, when compared to coconuts, shredded coconut flakes have an even higher fat content, pound per pound, because all the water was extracted. The flakes being used in the study to lower cholesterol were not regular store bought flakes, as we know them, but flakes as what is called “coconut residue”, a by-product of plant food processing. When you press out all the moisture and defat the flakes by extracting the coconut milk (the fat part) what you are left with is coconut residue. This residue is just as with coconut flour a defatted product, it has a fat content between 2 to 14%. This is really low compared to the flakes we tend to use in the kitchen, which have a fat content of around 65%. For the whole extraction process see here (6).

    I can thus assure you, there will be no cholesterol lowering if you are putting regular shredded coconut flakes on your oatmeal. (at least not from the shredded coconut). You are unlikely to find coconut residue in a store as the product is normally trown away after making coconut milk or it is used in animal feed.
    Please read on in my third comment below.

    (2) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-coconut-milk-good-for-you/
    (5) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15298758
    (6) https://www.semanticscholar.org/paper/Extraction-and-characterization-of-dietary-fiber-Ng-Tan/1bd2131039b09bbb3ff169a7560ccf76982c25f3/figure/2

    1. We looked at a few studies this week that were sponsored by the dairy industry as well as a couple of examples from the beef industry that were intentionally deceitfully designed to bring about a conclusion by researchers that was not true in favor of the animal product promoted. Why is the Dept of Agriculture not going after these industries since the ‘studies’ are used as promotional devices in the media to boost sales ? Certainly they qualify as false and misleading.

      Note to Netgogate: excellent points you raised. I found it really disturbing that a Nutritionfacts moderstor would make a statement like the one you quoted about sat fats. Obviously Dr Ornish and Dr Esselstyn don’t consider sat fat ‘healthy’ or good for the cardiovascular system. My husbands cardio surgery team don’t either. (Dr Ornish allows 3 servings of fatty foods… before you get excited about that consider that 1 serving examples are 2 tsp ground flax, 6 peanuts, 1 walnut, … and Dr Esselstyn allows ground flax, period)

    2. Such is the obsession with Cholesterol and Sat fat that you can be in danger of missing the elephant in the room. Take oats for example, try eating a bowl of porridge for breakfast and then test your blood sugar 1 to 2 hours afterwards. Now compare this with eggs, even eggs with a slice of wholemeal bread. I did both and my 1 hour blood sugar for oats (made with water and nothing else) went from a fasting 80 to 116. With eggs on a single slice of toast it only hit 95. Now I dont know about you but if you gave me a choice between regular blood sugar control and avoiding food with cholesterol like eggs I would without a doubt go for good blood sugar control.

      1. Mark – As someone who has a BMI of 23, exercises regularly, tries hard to be WFPB and mostly succeeds, yet due to a strong family history is also hovering in the pre-diabetic range, I couldn’t agree with you more. My body cannot process the carbs necessary to fill me up on a WFPB diet. Beans, whole grains, brown rice, sweet potatoes, etc., play havoc with my blood glucose levels, zooming it from 100 to 150 or higher. I already have a small area of diabetic type retina damage. Having had one family member go blind and others suffer amputations, I am terrified about the consequences of high blood glucose levels.

        As it is, I already eat more tofu than is probably good for me (about 6 oz. per day). Yes, I eat some nuts every day, but the latter aren’t filling (or healthy) enough for me to make a meal out of them. Therefore I’ve added egg whites back into my diet and also an occasional sprinkling of feta cheese on my salads.

        I’m still successfully avoiding meat, but as you pointed out, I must decide which is the greater threat to my body – egg whites and a bit of dairy or elevated blood glucose levels. Talk about having to choose between the devil and the deep blue sea.

        If other have found solutions to this conundrum, I would greatly appreciate your input.

        From where I sit, my options are very limited. Most WFPB foods are centered around foods my body doesn’t tolerate well.

        1. Hi jcarol

          I would suggest first getting breakfast sorted out. There is a sound connection between naturally elevated cortisol in the morning and insulin resistance.This means anything that increases morning insulin is really asking for trouble. One school of thought is to avoid breakfast all together but for many this is asking too much. I would therefore suggest testing yourself as I did for various breakfast foods. I found that oats were dangerous but eggs and indeed beans on toast were not. Occasionally I also have mackerel on toast. These are the only occasions I eat bread, avoiding it the rest of the time. Unlike some on here I eat fish, the longevity and health of populations that eat fish speaks for itself but I do avoid larger fish and stick to wild salmon, mackerel and anchovies

          1. I also have trouble figuring out snack foods. One can only consume so many bell pepper strips, celery and other crudites. Fruit spikes my glucose levels unless I’m consuming it as part of a meal – berries in a salad, for instance. What to do, what to do? I sincerely miss the days of eating without giving great consideration to every morsel.

      2. High blood cholesterol and high saturated fat consumption are both associated with greater mortality and higher rates of adverse events – heart attacks, strokes, heart surgery etc. Dismiss that as an ‘obsession’ if you will but facts are facts. The evidence that both are dangrous is pretty conclusive whatever people selling trashy books or making YouTube videos might claim.
        https://academic.oup.com/eurheartj/article/38/32/2459/3745109
        https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510

        As for oats, short term spikes are one thing but Harvard reports:

        ‘A meta-analysis of 14 controlled trials and two observational studies following people with type 2 diabetes found that, compared with the control groups, oats intake (specified as “oats or oatmeal or oats-containing products”) significantly reduced levels of fasting blood glucose and hemoglobin A1c (a test that measures average blood glucose over the previous 2-3 months) particularly in those with a high baseline A1c. It also significantly reduced blood sugar and insulin rises after eating a meal. [7]
        A randomized controlled trial looked at the effects of a 30-day dietary intervention given to 298 adults with type 2 diabetes, with follow-up at one year. Two of the four intervention groups received either 50 grams or 100 grams daily of “whole grain oats” along with a healthful diet. The oats were equivalent in nutritional value to minimally processed oat groats. The other two groups had either no dietary change or followed a generally healthful low-fat high-fiber diet. Both oat intervention groups saw a significant reduction of blood glucose after meals compared with control groups, with the higher oat intake showing a greater reduction. The study also showed modest weight loss at one year in the 100-gram oat group. [8]’
        https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/food-features/oats/

        And if you don’t want blood sugar spikes, stay away from instant and quick cooking oats. The less processed the oats, the lower their glycamic index. As in suggested in the quote from Harvard above, oat groats are probably the better option.

        The real elephant in the room is not that highly processed plant foods (eg instant oats) are a bad option, it is the fact that we have known since the 1930s that type 2 diabetes can be reversed with plant based diets
        https://nutritionfacts.org/2018/09/20/how-to-reverse-type-2-diabetes/

        .

        1. My personal numbers came from using steel cut oats as suggested in your quote studies. As for those studies most heart health benefits are usually quoted against drops in risk which is equated to lowering cholesterol. This is a link I am not convinced about. Also the study put people on a healthy diet plus oats. I would suggest that if you replace peoples breakfast with oats they will benefit simply because many of them will be eating wheat and wheat is strongly linked to heart disease. Replace bread, pancakes or just brekkie cereals with oats and you will see an improvement. What I am saying is that in me, and others should test themselves with a simple finger prick test, I get a much lower blood sugar spike with my main breakfast which is beans with occasional eggs and mackerel for variety. It is hard to dismiss consistent 95 post brekkie blood glucose against consistent 116

          1. ‘drops in risk which is equated to lowering cholesterol. This is a link I am not convinced about.’
            You may not be convinced but the global scientific and medical communities are. I have already posted te EAS’s summary of the evidence on this matter. The US and UK health auhorities have done similar exhaustive anlyses of the evidence and come to the same conclusions..

            Wheat is not strongly linked to heart disease as you claim. Refined carbohydrates certainly are but whole grains are not. Quite the contrary.

            ‘The results showed that people who ate 70 grams/day of whole grains, compared with those who ate little or no whole grains, had a 22% lower risk of total mortality, a 23% lower risk of CVD mortality, and a 20% lower risk of cancer mortality.’
            https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/press-releases/whole-grains-lower-mortality-rates/

            1. The China study data clearly shows as Denise Minger pointed out that the greatest association was between wheat and HD. Cholesterol was a poor indicator. I got hold of the China study data myself and analysed it, even wrote a blog entry on it and I came to the same conclusion as Minger. Wheat had the greatest association. There are many studies that show no association between cholesterol and HD,

  3. Just out of curiosity I did a web search on the phrase: “Are eggs healthy?” and the first hit was a WebMD article. (See excerpt below:) Did they not get the message?

    Also, the CNN website was the next hit and they had a very similar article.

    WebMD excerpt:

    “Good Eggs: For Nutrition, They’re Hard to Beat
    The egg is no longer a nutritional no-no

    By Kathleen M. Zelman, MPH, RD, LD
    FROM THE WEBMD ARCHIVES
    What would we do without the egg? It’s a dietary mainstay, not only for breakfast but to feed finicky kids, stand in for a quick lunch or supper, blend raw into holiday nogs, and as an ingredient in all kinds of sweet and savory dishes.

    But for a few decades there, eggs had a rather unwholesome reputation. Thanks to its high cholesterol content, the egg was deemed villainous. Years went by while many of us shunned eggs, ate only the whites, or ventured into the world of egg substitutes.

    Then, in 2000, the American Heart Association (AHA) revised its dietary guidelines and gave healthy adults the green light to enjoy eggs once again. The AHA’s guidelines now allow an egg a day for healthy adults while still advising a total daily cholesterol limit of 300 mg.

    The confusion over eggs stems from their cholesterol content. One large egg contains 213 mg of cholesterol, accounting for two-thirds of the recommended daily limit.

    When scientists learned that high blood cholesterol was associated with heart disease, foods high in cholesterol logically became suspect. But after 25 years of study, it has become evident that cholesterol in food is not the culprit — saturated fat has a much bigger effect on blood cholesterol. Full-fat dairy products and fatty meats are examples of foods that are loaded with saturated fat and which trigger the body to produce cholesterol.

    Let Us Eat Eggs
    With science on our side, we can once again enjoy the wonderfully nutritious egg. Along with milk, eggs contain the highest biological value (or gold standard) for protein. One egg has only 75 calories but 7 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and 1.6 grams of saturated fat, along with iron, vitamins, minerals, and carotenoids.”
    .

      1. Thanks for posting that Tom.

        I have been bothered sometimes by what I read on WebMD.

        Advisory board of the Egg Nutrition Center and advising the National Dairy Council!

        The “It’s not cholesterol” movement is out there. I will have to watch the cholesterol videos again after reading that.

      2. Nicely done, Mr. Fumblefingers. Wiki says starting in 2003 Zelman started dovetailing her work as advisory board consultant with weekly features in WebMD… which helped get the ENC and NDC’s messages out to a trusting public.

        That’s another reason I’m so grateful for the work Dr. Greger and NF.org is doing. Where else would be get the rebuttal discussion to the industry propaganda?

      3. Fumblefingers, Yes, it’s discouraging how the MSM, magazines, and certain websites have become a mouthpiece for the meat, egg, and dairy industries. Not to mention certain government agencies who have been infiltrated.

    1. I do not share your enthusiasm for cows milk or any other animal milk beyond human milk up to the age of 1 year. I understand the nearest to human milk in terms of growth factor is Horse milk so if you cannot resist the milk of other species try horse or goat which does not seem to have the Casein mutation that cows milk has

      1. TRM,

        According to the writer of the link you posted, “As you can see, the egg yolk has more actual nutrients, but in my opinion the entire egg gives the most complete nutrition.”

        https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Should-I-Eat-Egg-Whites-Whole-Eggs-44557621

        People who are allergic to eggs are usully allergic to the white, not the yolk.

        http://www.onegreenplanet.org/natural-health/reasons-egg-whites-arent-the-healthiest-choice/

        (No. 3 mentions “loss of biotin.”)

      2. The fact that a food or drink contains more nutrients doeesn’t automatically make it the healthier option. Cola and whisky have more nutrients than plain water but I am pretty sure that water is the healthier option for example.

        What about the cholesterol, saturated fat, animal protein, IGF1 etc etc that are also in eggs? It might be worth revisiting Dr Greger’s videos and blogs on eggs instead of just accepting the Egg Nutrition Center’s line on egg nutrition as much of the popular media appears to do.

      3. Not only are there bad nutrients, there is also too much “good” nutrients. Methionine is a good examples. Eggs are loaded with it. Sure its an essential amino acid, but it’s also required for cancer growth. Restriction of methionine is also a cancer treatment. Our society suffers from overnutrition. Eggs contribute to this.

        Dr. Ben

  4. Nutritionfacts moderator Christine Kestner (1) and Nutritionfacts.org claim that saturated fats ingested as whole plant foods are beneficial for health and have “a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health” (3).

    One reference they use to proof these claims is a study from 1993 titled “Apparent absence of stroke and ischaemic heart disease in a traditional Melanesian island: a clinical study in Kitava” (4). It is part of the Nutritionfacts video “What About Coconuts, Coconut Milk, & Coconut Oil MCTs?” (7). In this study we have some limited information about the island Kitava where inhabitants eat low amounts of coconuts. Researchers interview the inhabitants and preform some ECG readings to asses overall cardiovascular disease prevalence on the island. But truth is, we don’t have any good information to asses cardiovascular disease prevalence on these islands.

    Even more so, that same video shows us the infamous Pukapuka and Tokelau islands (8). On one island no coconuts are eaten and on the other island the diet contains a high amount of coconut consumption. The study clearly shows a high major difference in serum cholesterol levels, considered to be due to the higher saturated fat intake from coconuts of the Tokelauans. The study goes on “vascular disease is uncommon in both populations and there is no evidence of the high saturated fat intake having a harmful effect in these populations.”

    What should be emerging by now is a somewhat different picture about the claimed “healthiness” or “beneficial” effect from saturated fats in whole plant foods. Truth is; even in these foods, your serum cholesterol levels will become raised in a similar fashion as with animal saturated fats. That is for coconuts and probably cacao mass, granted this effect is less so with nuts and seeds because nuts and seeds have a different lipid profile which combines that saturated fat with ample amounts of unsaturated fats and in doing so inhibit some of the negative cellular effects seen from SFAT consumption. Another difference is that we have no proof that this (SFAT consumption from whole plant foods) will lead towards a higher risk for cardiovascular disease; but it will raise serum cholesterol when you eat specific sources of plants.

    PS.
    Free living primates tend to eat tropical fruits, and these fruits are not like our store bought fruits, tropical fruits contain a high amount of saturated fat. What this means is that the ratio of saturated to unsaturated fats in the diet of most free living primates is around 50% to 50%. Because the amounts of dietary fat are overall low, the saturated fat doesn’t seem to cause any trouble for these species. When the fruit season is over they also tend to eat less fruits and more foliage. But also in these primates there seems to be a link between saturated fat consumption and narrowing of the arteries. Howler monkeys in particular inhabit and ecological niche where they eat fruits that are even higher in saturated fat, sometimes as high as or higher as the daily limit recommended by the American Hearth Association (for humans). And autopsies on these monkey cadavers clearly show atherosclerosis, while the amount is fairly moderate and would be comparably to the amount of atherosclerosis typically seen in a Western child.

    I hope this will give some perspective and there need not be any health claims for saturated fat in plant foods. I think Dr. Greger can concur with this. I am still writing my book, and this was something I wanted to share; you can follow me on twitter @netgogate

    (1) https://imgur.com/a/sXARA2V
    (3) https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/coconuts/
    (4) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1365-2796.1993.tb00986.x
    (7) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-about-coconuts-coconut-milk-and-coconut-oil-mcts/
    (8) https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7270479

    1. ‘“a beneficial effect on cardiovascular health” (3).
      I couldn’t find that statement in that link.

      You might also want to pursue your argument with Colin Campbell who thinks that saturated fat in the context of a low fat whole plant food diet is a non-issue.
      https://nutritionstudies.org/fallacious-faulty-foolish-discussion-about-saturated-fat/

      There’s even saturated fat in broccoli. Is broccoli good despite its satfat content or does the satfat potetiate absorption of other nutrients? I don’t think that we have enough evidence to conclude that saturated fat in small amounts in whole plant foods is bad, good or neutral – but,sure, satfat in large amounts in plant foods does seem unhealthful.

  5. I am delighted with these flashbacks. I saw this video awhile back, but it takes on new importance after a lengthy Thanksgiving conversation with a scientifically oriented friend. He will be getting the link to this video for his Black Friday viewing! When even the federal government says that eggs are not nutritious or safe, we should all sit up and take notice.

  6. Most (if not all) of the articles I see on eggs address the consumption of whole eggs. However, what about pasteurized egg whites which are available in any grocery store? There is no cholesterol/fat in egg whites and being pasteurized, there should be no fear of salmonella contamination. Dr. Dean Ornish, who is a respected proponent of plant based diets for the reversal of coronary artery disease, does allow fat free dairy and eggs whites in his diet program which is based upon clinical evidence. I’ve read where dairy and eggs are responsible for arterial inflammation but that is likely based upon normal, high fat dairy and whole eggs. I’ve not seen any articles or studies on the association between fat free dairy/egg whites and disease. Comments?

    1. Perhaps, but egg whites still raise IGF-1 and are implicated in Cancer, so it doesn’t get rid of all of the health risks, even if what you are saying is true.

      1. There are so many egg replacers now. Even just the flaxseed or buying one of the brands that are out there.

        For eating more like eggs, there is still tofu.

        I haven’t tried making a tofu scramble myself, and I am not sure I could pull it off, but I did have a good one in a restaurant in Chicago decades ago.

        I think I had a good one in Minneapolis, too. Trying to remember if it was Minneapolis.

        I used to think that I hated tofu, but with someone who knows what they are doing, it really can approximate eggs.

    2. There is a very smart man named T. Colin Campbell. He is the chair of the biochemistry department at Cornell University. He says that dairy protein causes cancer. He wrote a book bout it. It’s called “The China Study”.

    3. Low fat dairy is recommended in various dietary guidelines in preference to full fat dairy. If you don’t take supplements, egg whites and low fat dairy may possibly be sources of B12 and some other nutrients not always available in unplanned completely vegetarian diets. However, even the US dietary guidelines recognise that their consumption is unnecessary if you eat a well planned completely vegetarian (commonly but mistakenly called a vegan) diet.
      https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/appendix-5/

      However, as Deb has pointed out, they are still high in animal protein and things like IGF1 and neu5Gc (although nu5Gc is believed to be relatively low in egg whites). These can promote systemic inflammation and increase cancer risk. This may be why eating animal protein compared to plant protein is associated with higher mortality eg

      ‘Replacing animal protein of various origins with plant protein was associated with lower mortality. In particular, the HRs (95% CI) of all-cause mortality were 0.66 (0.59–0.75) when 3% of energy from plant protein was substituted for an equivalent amount of protein from processed red meat, 0.88 (0.84–0.92) from unprocessed red meat, and 0.81 (0.75–0.88) from eggs.’
      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5048552/

      I am not aware of any studies that look specifically at egg whites and no or low fat dairy but I can’t think of any good reason why they would be anu safer than any other form of animal protein.

  7. Dr. Greger,

    How can they get away with blacking things out and abide by the Freedom of Information Act?

    Do they get a warning for that or is it allowed?

  8. But, if the USDA gets everything wrong all the time, why would you now assume they actually got this right?

    People have been eating eggs for centuries with no issues because they also got adequate exercise and ate predominantly fruits and vegetables.

    1. Jared

      How do ‘know’ that people have been eating eggs for centuries with no issues?

      You’d have to compare people eating eggs with people eating the same diet but where the calories from eggs were replaced by an equivalent number of calories from say fruits, vegetables and whole grains, to know this.

      Otherwise, it’s not a statement of fact but just a statement of belief (or possibly wishful thinking).

  9. Why do our bodies tend to crave things (food, chemicals, drugs, dangerous activities) that are unhealthy for us? Shouldn’t our brains instinctively know when something is unhealthy and cause us to naturally avoid it? How can our brains have evolved to the point that it triggers infection fighting properties instinctively to keep us healthy, but when it comes to temptations like unhealthy foods, drugs, etc…the same brain allows for these things to be indulged, even to its own detriment? How can our bodies have the incredible ability to regenerate cells for the sake of maintaining health, yet maintain pleasure seeking regions in our brains that can’t fight temptation, even when we know it is bad for us. Is this natures way of recognizing that as human beings we have evolved into a destructive species, and that these pleasure seeking regions were purposely developed to control our over-population growth?

    So, if you eat properly, exercise, meditate, and have positive moods, would your brain eventually eliminate these pleasure seeking areas, including the desire to have sex beyond the instinctive need to procreate? Just some thoughts…Thanks.

    1. I think you just went into the Pleasure Trap range of topic at a biological level.

      You go to evolution, but I would go to people making billions of dollars tricking people into going into pleasure directions because human beings studied how the brain works and want to hijack people’s brains to get power and money might be a true explanation, which is beyond something you can explain with evolution.

      Those of us who are spiritual might give other answers.

      As a Christian, the Bible separates the flesh from the spirit and the flesh is easily corrupted. The world (culture) and the flesh war against the spirit might be something most religions recognize.

      1. If a despot rose up and decided to damage the DNA of every child or make a billion clones for an army or destroy sections of infants brains to make them all angry or pleasured or gave them all crack, would you call it evolution?

        I know that people can’t necessarily do it as a spiritual concept, but most religions do fasting, meditation, prayerfulness, being present, controlling appetites and thoughts, moderation as how to “succeed” at life, but there are other voices of culture saying, “More, More, More” as how to be even happier.

    2. Hi Jack, thanks for your question. I remembered a while back Dr Greger had blog about this topic which I sharing with you regarding dopamine and pleasure centers in the brain.”Dopamine is considered the neurotransmitter primarily involved in the pleasure and reward center of our brain, helping to motivate our drive for things like food, water, and sex—all necessary for the perpetuation of our species. It was healthy and adaptive for our primate brains to drive us to eat that banana when there wasn’t much food around. But now that fruit is in Loop form, “this adaptation has become a dangerous liability.” The original Coca-Cola formulation actually included coca leaf, but now, perhaps, its sugar content may be the addictive stand-in.

      Those eating calorie-dense diets may have a reduced capacity to enjoy all of life’s pleasures by deadening dopamine pathways in the brain.

      The food industry, like the tobacco companies and other drug lords, has been able to come up with products that tap into that same dopamine reward system. Why a picture of a cheeseburger rather than sugary soda pop? Well, now we know fat may have similar effects on the brain as well. You feed some people some yogurt packed with butterfat and within 30 minutes you can start to see the same changes in brain activity you get when you drink sugar water. People who regularly eat ice cream, sugar and fat, have a deadened dopamine response in their brains to drinking a milkshake. It’s like when drug abusers have to use more and more to get the same high. Frequent ice cream consumption is related to a reduction in reward region responsivity in humans—they’re talking about the “pleasure center” in the brain, paralleling the tolerance observed in drug addiction. Once we have so dulled our dopamine response, we may subsequently overeat in an effort to achieve the degree of satisfaction experienced previously, which contributes to unhealthy weight gain.

      What do fatty sugary foods have in common? They’re energy-dense foods. It may be less the number of calories than their concentration. Consumption of a calorie-dense diet compared to the same number of calories in a calorie-dilute diet leads to that numbing of the dopamine response. It’s like the difference between cocaine and crack—same stuff chemically, but by smoking crack cocaine we can deliver kind of a higher dose quicker to our brain.

      As an aside, I found it interesting that the control drink in these milkshake studies wasn’t just water—they can’t use water because our brain can actually taste water on the tongue. I didn’t know that! So, they had to use artificial saliva. They made people drink a solution designed to mimic the natural taste of saliva. Ewww! Anyway, with this new understanding of the neural correlates of food addiction, there have been calls to include obesity as an official mental disorder. After all, both obesity and addiction share the inability to restrain behavior in spite of an awareness of detrimental health consequences. Now, that’s one of the defining criteria of substance abuse—you keep putting crap in your body, despite the knowledge that you have a problem that is likely caused by the crap. Yet, you can’t stop.”
      Nutrition Facts with Dr. Greger

    3. I have read the postings of those that say their cravings vanished when they adopted a wfpb diet. They often claim that the excellent nutrition seemed to magically satisfy them and eliminated cravings. I have also noted however that often these folks were very new and very enthusiastic to plant based eating. (it could well be possible though..)

      Speaking only for myself, and as someone who does eat well, exercises, meditates, and emphasizes the positive in outlook, I see it as coming down to making a decision. Not only deciding to give it a try, but daily, in sticking with it, and sometimes moment to moment as well. I have a sweet tooth, but I just don’t ‘entertain it’.

      1. Jack, I should probably add a couple of quick notes here. One is that our tastes do change, even among the most resistant us. Eat good healthy food, and your sense of taste will change to relish it. Also, success breeds success they say, and that might apply here too. Taking pride in making good sound decisions in life, in how great you feel even after a short time of eating, and exercising, and establishing meditation practice is justified, and fuels further successes imo. So, does it get easier ? I would have to give a resounding yes to that.

        1. Barb,

          I am not sure that it is always a decision.

          I watch documentaries on drug addiction, for instance, and the 12 step programs are not the best way to treat addiction. They have medicines which are highly effective at getting rid of the cravings and that works so much better. It does go back to the neurotransmitters, brain chemicals, hormones, nutrition.

          I do know that my cravings for chocolate went away for 2 years, just by keeping up on Magnesium.

          I also know that when I stopped eating fruit, my sweet cravings came back, but not right away.

          Anyway, I have friends who got over drinking and it was zero sweat with the meds. Zero cravings. No big deal. I have other friends who basically hiked up the addiction mountain through the 12 step way and they do not say, “Wow, I am surprised how easy it was” like the one who was put on meds.

          He already wrecked his life and went to jail and lost his driver’s license and job, etc. But he has been sober for years now and is getting his driver’s license back. I am not sure anyone will hire him, but he went from decades failing at it to “Wow, that was easy” like the Staples commercial with meds.

          1. I went for 50-something years trying to get off of chocolate and fixed my nutrition and never even thought about it for 2 years. I am eating 92% cacao now and I do have a few squares of it per day right now. Maybe tempting fate? Not sure. Just seeing if I can handle it and if it really was the nutrition. This site will be the ones I will tell if I fall off the wagon and start eating junk food.

            1. Not saying that there isn’t a decision involved, but 99.9% of people fail on dieting, for instance, and of the 1% most of those still gain the weight back.

              WFPB is the thing, which I believe changes that paradigm. Maybe.

              I will let you know in a few years.

              The thing is we have ways of “putting the responsibility on the addicts” and that fails 90% + of the time, and I hate that process and that system. To me, there are better systems, which are more effective and which don’t add as much burden to people. I watched a video of an alternative setting where the addicts went into places which are more like compassion centers and being given things which really help and the whole “dysfunctional – denial process” turns out to be because it is illegal and people don’t want to get in trouble. They didn’t have the people declaring themselves lower than a salt shaker and powerless, in fact, they were trying to empower them and help them to feel safe enough to be honest.

              Hoarders have the same “safer” system and “judgment” system and I have watched people get over hoarding when they have the less judgmental, more supportive, more caring help. I have more than one person who it took helping them to clean their houses more than once, but once they felt safe, they stopped shutting down and learned what their issues were and didn’t put labels on the issues, they just found systems, which worked and stopped needing to hide. I like that type of process better.

                1. I am not big on meds, but addiction is one where I have seen it work so easily.

                  The man I am talking about is a Vietnam Vet and went for maybe 50 years on alcohol and smoking with everybody giving him the “You are making bad choices” lecture. Anyway, after his jail time, he went on meds, which got rid of his addictions completely and it was overnight and it has genuinely been years. Smoking did take longer than drinking, partly because he was afraid of giving up both at once, but he is off both.

                  1. I thought of one thing Dr. Lisle said, which helped me.

                    I came from sexual abuse and if you go to OA, they tell you that 80% of the people who are overweight came from sexual abuse by a father or father figure.

                    Dr. Lisle said, “It is lucky that nobody in Asia got abused.” or some sentence like that. I am just saying that I always believed that my eating problems were subconscious ways of insulating myself from the pain of past gunk or whatever, but it turned out to just be that I was eating the wrong food.

      2. I agree that it’s all about sticking with your decision.

        There’s a learning curve in the beginning, and in that regard it does get easier. But years later after you have made this lifestyle your own, there will be times when your motivation is diminished and your resolve will be tested. It’s difficult to recognize when it happens because you think you’re in control …maybe it starts with making meals out of the “lowest-hanging fruit”, and before you know it you’re only eating fruit because you’re too busy to think about what you’re eating.

        Living with folks who are not engaging in this lifestyle can be troublesome. Sometimes their convenience foods look desirable even if you have never liked those foods. Generally, home folks won’t change their habits, but you have some tricks to help you stick with your decision.

        But if your tricks don’t work when motivation disappears, then ignoring crap will require more energy than you have. It truly helps to not have junk food in the house, but that’s the problem with home folks who won’t budge.

        I believe failure to make a wise food choice is mostly due to frustration rather than temptation, but it looks like temptation every time …like the fish that swallows a lure just because the fisherman is repeatedly tossing it in front of his face. The problem is failure to manage frustration when you’re tired and hungry, not because you’re tempted by crap.

        1. Bette,

          I already know that you are right about the fact that other people eating junk food can cause bad behaviors and that after you stop learning you go into a mode where it is easier to backslide.

          You are astute about that.

          I think that is partly why people do tend to watch every video and read every book in the beginning – to help them succeed. I don’t think I would have succeeded without this website and other Youtube teachings.

          I feel like I am learning who I am because this is a lifestyle, rather than a diet, but having it be a lifestyle was better because I didn’t “give up” at all, when I ate a slice of cake or a slice of pizza, earlier this year. Diets, it was all willpower and willpower fails miserably 99% of the time, statistically and even the 90% of the 1% it fails. I guess that is the whole point. Only a very, very few people succeed with willpower.

          Changing my beliefs and thinking about food has made it so much easier.

          It doesn’t even matter what I ate for Thanksgiving because my mind is not the same mind as I used to have. I don’t have to work up the willpower to think differently. I just am different. It would be so challenging to change back, even if I worked at it. It is like the cave. Once you come out and see the light, going back in doesn’t take the light away. You mentally can’t go back and believe the same way.

          That is the difference between a lifestyle and a diet. A diet, you want to lose weight or change one of your health numbers. A lifestyle, those indicators aren’t even important really. And that probably is because I have been successfully indoctrinated WFPB, but I have not been indoctrinated to become health-motivated, which is funny because I always thought I would grow up and become health motivated and that is when I would change as if the fear of something could change me.

          Nope. It is the simplicity of WFPB and that it actually works that changed me.

          I go back to the documentary on addicts and they said that 12 step programs failed just as often as diets, but that the addiction meds work to get rid of the cravings pretty well and have a high success rate. The man who is off of alcohol and cigarettes didn’t “do” anything. He just heard there was an easier way of getting free and he picked up a prescription and didn’t even go to counseling or 12 step programs. He just didn’t even need it because he just never craved alcohol again.

          I feel that way about cheese and meat. I feel less secure about sweets, but mentally, I “get” that I don’t crave them the way I used to. I just could eat them without the compulsion I used to have, which probably came from fake sweeteners affecting my brain. Maybe, I learned that and stopped those and maybe it was that, instead of the Magnesium, which delivered me. I just know that it has not been all that dangerous even eating a holiday cookie or piece of pie. It doesn’t do what it used to. It has been depowered.

          My houriends don’t even know that is possible and wouldn’t know how to take responsibility for their eating. Some of them are actually from the “take responsibility 12 step” perspective, but they don’t know if they stopped drinking soda, their brains and gut microbiome might help them out. They don’t know any of it and don’t know what is possible and Keto is how they are taking responsibility and there is a 99% chance they will fail and beat themselves up on the inside and gain weight by the end and they will say, “It is my fault. I made bad decisions” and I know alcoholics who say those things and I know one man who just took a medicine and never drank again and never did any of it and I know that WFPB has done that for me.

          It is like a magic trick and they don’t know that it is just the food. They will think the rest of you have powers and are better at self-control and you are but it is the food, and health in your brain, not you being better.

          1. I used the word magic trick and maybe, for decades I tried to do things by will power and it was like Bullwinkle with “That trick never works” and I didn’t understand that the people who were raised differently didn’t even have to put much effort into it.

            I already tried everything else and failed miserably and WFPB is like for the first time in my life, there isn’t anybody tricking me about this.

            Everything else was a trick and this isn’t a trick. Those of you who just were smart enough to never fall for any of it and never lost confidence or started judging yourselves or had professionals who don’t have the answer focus on personal responsibility and offer a spend all your time and money only to fail every time as their best solution. Fools gold. Hard to believe real gold even exists anymore in any area.

          2. Deb, Thank You for mentioning the 12 Step program, because it reminded me of a book that made an impression on me years ago, written for sugar addicts, by an substance addiction specialist …… https://www.amazon.com/Sugar-Addicts-Total-Recovery-Program-ebook/dp/B001ODEQ4S

            I forgot something useful from that book that I’m going to start doing again ….eating potato before going to sleep for uninterrupted sleep all night. It’s incredible how much we forget, which is probably why we continue to search for new information.

            I continually search for vegan recipes in order to maintain my interest in good food. A couple of times during my vegan years I’ve become bored with my recipes, and falling into a food rut is a signal that motivation is decreasing. I find very few vegan recipes without sugar, oil and salt, but The How Not To Die Cookbook proves that vegan recipes without sugar, oil and salt can be interesting and delicious. More recipes, Please.

            Thanks again Deb for your remarks about addiction, which reminded me of the book which taught me something I forgot about….to eat potato before bedtime for quality sleep.

    4. Great thoughts to which I believe I found a logical answer to in the book “Why Buddhism is True” by Robert Wright (Chapter 3 “Why Feelings are Illusions?) if you have the time or inclination.
      “Natural selection designed our feelings in a particular environment-an environment with no junk food, an environment in which the sweetest thing available was fruit. So a sweet tooth served us well; it gave us feelings that, you might say, were “true” in the sense they steered us toward things that were good for us. But in a modern environment…..these feelings become “false….” This applies to some other temptations or feelings as well.

      1. Yes, Matthew, a sweet tooth served people well when fruit was the sweetest thing available.

        Matthew, excellent point!

        One of the doctors quoted that. Might have been Dr. Greger or Dr. Lisle. Not sure. I just know that I heard someone use the logic.

        In Christianity, the term “counterfeit” is used. Possibly Judaism, too, because it comes from the OT and is something we talk about in Bible Studies.

        People would say that when God gave a gift, the enemy gave a counterfeit to make things more confusing. I know that for nonspiritual people that type of a sentence might not make sense, but there is real and Memorex, gold and fools gold, love and a counterfeit of love, which most of us found out about growing up.

        The very same thing for food. The fake version of things makes life more confusing and maybe seems to fill a need, but it doesn’t really work. The fake sugar causing the brain to desperately want real glucose would be an excellent example.

    5. I have been on a WFPB diet for three years now. My experience is that a WFPB diet is extremely addictive. I can’t help but gorge on potatoes, beans, corn, squash, oats, barley, fruits, vegetables and other WPF’s at every meal. To the point of stuffing myself. The funny thing is, the more I eat, the leaner and healthier I get.

  10. When I was a teenager my Mom used to encourage me to eat 5 egg omelettes with cheese because she was obsessed with protein. We now know that human protein requirements are quite modest (at most 1g/kg body weight) and that an excess of protein is detrimental to health. The fat and cholesterol in eggs are only part of the lopsided nutritional profile that make them a poor choice.

    1. plant this thought, yes, everybody was obsessed with protein. The great protein fiasco video on this site was enlightening.

      That one was not your mother’s fault.

  11. After eating a lot of the wrong stuff yesterday, I retired home and slept pretty good, but this morning WOKE UP DREAMING OF FRUIT!!! (I don’t often dream of food). My gut biomme was talking to me.

    Tastebuds change, cravings change, health changes; One simply cannot “know” this truth without feeling it.

    And then “McDougall’s Revenge” of course (John himself made that ref in a video). So I had stone-ground grits with bananas and blueberries and cranberries. It was lovely. And purple tea (acai/blueberry).

    On a lark I started eating cooked cranberries with everything–no sweetener and love ’em. I’m pretty sure they have good stuff in them too.

    But I’ve now adopted Dr. Lisle’s non-confrontational approach to telling others (I avoid it). Even though I’ve got a doctorate-and understand studies and research and years of my own experiences, nobody wants to hear from me- about food. So I don’t anymore. Have other mountains to climb. Most of them don’t want to hear what they consider to be quite impossible. I’ll help ’em out when they get serious and ask.

    1. You are so wise Wade – think I should keep my mouth shut too, and also stop keeping company with those that prefer to talk about their (chronic) illnesses rather than the lifestyles that got them there. Time is better spent elsewhere, agreed. Thanks!

      Your breakfast and your tea do sound lovely!

    2. Wade,

      I suspect that when we stop trying to indoctrinate people and genuinely listen and care, that is when the doors always seem to open. Almost immediately.

      It is the power struggle process, which seems to actually work against having people listen.

      I think Dr. Ornish is the one who talks about listening and caring and today, I had another friend go into the ER and I am just focusing on actually being a caring friend and being present for people and listening to them and when I focus there, they talk about their food struggles, along with their health struggles and I don’t even have to say anything, true love just opens the doors.

      Me judging them or getting sick of them being sick or feeling superior because I landed on this website and they landed on another doctors website isn’t going to help them.

      I gave 2 sick dear friends love tonight. Just loved them and listened to them and bonded more deeply with them.

      I am going over to one of their houses this week and just going to sit and listen and be an actual friend and not take a stance against them.

      I could see the faces soften. They know who I am and what I am trying to do and I know who they are and what they have been trying to do and we are past those things and now, just will be present for each other. I think the transition, when we argued which logical position was better, probably is what shouldn’t have happened. I needed to do it differently. I needed to share from “This is what I am doing and why I am doing it and why it doesn’t need to threaten you” without being the clever one at all.

      1. I think learning all of this pit me against them in a way, where I backed up a half a step but stopped being a real friend.

        I think Dr. Ornish is the one who has it right.

        Just be a real friend in a real relationship and be present for them and help them understand how to be present for you.

        My father has started being more present for me than I am for him and he isn’t vegan and he isn’t a Christian and I immediately know that it is the most important thing he could ever do for me.

        I had friends who we started pulling apart because of politics and this process and watching their faces, they are so vulnerable and just want love and that is what I want. They may never eat properly, but we are going to enjoy each other again.

  12. People make their own stories based on what they want or desire. The stories appear rational on the surface but they originate on deeper primitive behaviors that are not conscious or rational. So how can you have a reasonable discussion about things like desire? Well… maybe by looking at the overweight hospital customers. They suffer from a conflict of stories but they don’t want to surrender their story and admit defeat. They rather go to someone that validates their story but takes their money. The conclusion is to star freeing yourself and stop eating eggs. Then make a new story.

    1. Panchito,

      You use language in almost a romantic way.

      Make a new story.

      That is a beautiful sentence.

      It makes me think of the song, “Unwritten”

      I have found it so challenging changing eating, maybe because it required so many thoughts to change and desires and taste buds and belief systems to change. Sometimes it is easier to take on one thing at a time and focus there.

      Giving up one food or one type of food is easier for me to figure out.

      When I used to be suicidal, I was able to grab onto one concept from the Bible and that was all that I needed. The concept was: There are 2 paths before you one way leads to life and one to death. Choose life.

      WFPB fits so well within that belief system in so many ways.

      There aren’t many Christians in this movement but I already know that choose life is what fits this eating style and it is what I can say to my Christian friends.

      1. I am an atheist but it is perhaps worth noting that, in the King James Bible, references to ‘meat’ almost always mean ‘food’. The meaning of the word has changed significantly since the KJB was first produced. That doesn’t stop some religious apologists attempting to justify flesh eating by referring to biblical statements.

        ‘It does not appear that the word “meat” is used in any one instance in the Authorized Version of either the Old or New Testament in the sense which it now almost exclusively bears of animal food. The latter is denoted uniformly by “flesh.” The word “meat,” when our English version was made, meant food in general; or if any particular kind was designated, it referred to meal, flour or grain. The only real and inconvenient ambiguity caused by the change which has taken place in the meaning of the word is in the case of the “meat offering.”‘
        http://kingjamesbibledictionary.com/Dictionary/meat

        That original meaning of the term ‘meat’ still survives today in the term ‘sweetmeats’.

      2. I think it used to be less complicated knowing who to believe.

        Back then, the sticking the head in the sand because people didn’t want to give up things was true.

        There are so many confusing things now. That changes the dynamics. People REaLLY do not understand ANY of it and they feel tricked all of the time and genuinely ARE being tricked about all of it.

        People who landed in WFPB or who were raised that way do not understand.

        Today, I saw part of Dr Axe on PBS and he says that the absolute best thing for your gut is Bone Broth and he recommends things like Spirulina and tries to get people off of carbs if they have candida gut and every week is a different charming, attractive, confident, intelligent doctor spouting wisdom and giving the latest studies.

        My friends believe in bone broth and collagen and coconut oil and soy and wheat came up as Thanksgiving topics as being bad for you.

        We didn’t argue. I added in that non-GMO, non-salted soy is good for people and they can get sprouted soy if they are afraid of the anti nutrients.

        It was so nice to not get confused and so nice to not argue, but I am literally the only one of my family and friends who thinks the way I am and it isn’t denial. They are putting in effort and changing their diets to Keto foods and are willing to sacrifice and have belief systems about vegan, which I can defend better now.

        My relationships are starting to heal because we don’t need to fight about any of it.

        1. I find the same confusion with every area of life. Washing machines have planned obsolence now. I ended up buying a Speed Queen because our old one lasted 30 years without needing repair and my brothers new dangled one needed 4 repairs in 5 years. Speed Queen uses metal parts so maybe it will last the rest of my life, but most things in life are so tricky to figure out and Consumer Reports didn’t even mention Speed Queen and one year they recommended against buying any of the washing machines in our price range saying that none of them cleaned clothing at all. Life is so tricky. It really is.

          1. We live in an age where there are years Consumer Reports says not to by a washing machine because we tested them all and the clothing comes out just as dirty as when you. Put them in.

            And all of the fish supplements tested toxic and none of the 100% aloe in most brands has any aloe at all.

            We need to have mercy on the fact that people shut down and can’t follow any of it because they also intentionally don’t teach logic and your computer gives you the logic you get from what you click on.

            1. The last age only 1% of people succeeded at losing weight and it was similar rates for getting off some drugs.

              And that age, it was mostly just convenience and fast foods hooking people’s brains.

              This age, scientists have used MRI’s to up the ante and make sure everything is way more addictive.

              People only succeeded 1% before those changes and of that 1% most of them gained the weight back.

              Now that they have perfected making the foods more addictive, we also live in a generation where if you buy something, you are given coupons and discounts and your computer pops up ads and your search engine puts the ads up and the opoliticians hear exactly what each audience is addicted to.

              Children are raised not only on hours per day of television, they also have cell phones and social media and Google glasses and cell phones all overstimulating their passive brains.

              You people who grew up healthy in houses where you went outside and got vitamin D and ate your vegetables will never understand that it isn’t their fault in the first place and they have been shaped like a sci fi movie or like Wall-E from birth and probably were abused sexually and emotionally and mentally and they can’t get over to where you are from where they are.

              1. Someone who was probably from a healthy family where they really were at fault for not living how their parents raised them and their parents raised them well with love and discipline and confidence cannot understand that the “personal responsibility” model is for them and should be.

                The 1000 pound person or person who is homeless sleeping on the sidewalk or taking drugs even after their skin is coming off and their arteries are collapsing or hoarding until the walls of their houses are moving will just get injured by you and you will try to put individual responsibility on each and every one because you don’t know what it really is like and it overwhelms you so much that you don’t want to know, so you take boundary classes to get away from it.

                1. There was a missionary who talked about taking in infants who had been thrown out and they could not get the infants to choose life unless they physically held them and showed them positive images 24 hours a day. As infants they already wanted to die.

                  Religion is what generally steps in at these points.

                  They are Dancing Because They Cannot Fly is a story of a church run by drug addicts who were set free.

        2. These are confusing times. This is the era of the flat knowledge, where all knowledge is democratic. This is good and bad. It means that the knowledge of an amateur is the same as of a professional. Imagine amateurs with many followers imparting knowledge. Also, he knowledge from commercials has agendas but nobody can tell what is a commercial as it is not disclosed. Educational content is now itself commercial. Experts may have an educational site tied to a store front end. All offered for free but not really free. And since not many people are smart, lying has become a profesional way of life.

    1. Liz,

      You are one of the lucky ones.

      The reason we are over-analyzing is that people are suffering so much from diseases and there are things like cholesterol and saturated fats which are linked to disease. Yes, my father and his wife eat eggs and they have outlived the national life expectancy already and have only had a heart attack, a stroke and cancer and one diabetes med and some blood pressure meds between them, so all is well.

      But Medicare will go bankrupt in 3 years if the elderly don’t adjust their diets to WFPB so they will not need blood pressure meds, so there are moral reasons to do some of these things. Reasons like caring about the grandchildren’s generation.

  13. I have always been told eggs have every vitamin in them with the exception of C. There are beneficial minerals too. I tried the vegan thing religiously for 18 months and my fingernails became so weak and flaky I decided I had to add some animal protein back. I eat modest amounts including eggs. It took about 3 months but my nails are back as strong as they were before.

    1. Vicki,

      What were you eating for your vegan protein?

      Wondering how it is possible that you were deficient.

      I can guarantee that you must not have been doing Dr. Greger’s program.

      Lentils have 18 grams of protein per cooked cup

      Nutritional Yeast has 14 grams of protein per ounce.

      Beans have 15 grams of protein per cooked cup

      Tempeh and Tofu and Edamame have about 19 grams of protein per 4 ounces

      Seitan has 25 grams of protein per 3.5 ounces

      Green peas has 9 grams of protein per cooked cup, which is more than a cup of milk

      Chia or flax seeds have 6 grams for 1.25 ounces.

      Hempseed contains 10 grams per ounce

      Amaranth and quinoa provide 8–9 grams of protein per cooked cup

      Wild rice one cup cooked has 7 grams of protein

      Ezekiel Bread has 8 grams of protein.

      Spelt and teff provide 10–11 grams of protein per cooked cup

      That doesn’t include the amount in broccoli, sweet potatoes, spinach, bananas, etc.

      Seems like there are so many vegan ways of getting enough protein that maybe you just didn’t look up how to do it that way.

    2. This site promotes a healthy whole food plant based (WFPB) diet not ‘vegan’ or vegetarian diets as such. There is a difference and there are plenty of unhealthy ‘vegan’ diets being eaten out there. WFPB diets can contain small amounts of animal foods eg

      ‘A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes or minimizes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.’
      https://www.forksoverknives.com/whole-food-plant-based-diet/#gs.mtt_4Vs

      I can’t see any good reason to eat eggs myself but good luck to you.

  14. I am so happy today.

    I have started re-feeding my dog and he is back to eating sweet potatoes and tempeh and a few other things added to the baby food.

    The reason I am happy is that he has 5 to 10 times more strength and energy after the water fast than he had before.

    He walked outside and walked around the yard a few times, then came back and walked up the back steps, which he couldn’t do a few weeks ago. Then, I went back outside for something and he followed me back out and walked around the yard again. Then, walked back in again and walked around the house trying to get me to go into the kitchen and feed him again. Anyway 3 or 4 walks around the yard and ins and outs and he looked so good. He didn’t collapse and look tired. He wanted me to pet him and cuddle with him, but he looks sooooooooooo much better! I didn’t know how much difference it made until the re-feeding part of the process, but that is what the science community said. Refeeding is when the new stuff happens. It worked!

    Two weeks of water fasting, plus one and a half weeks of mimicking fasting and I have a brand new dog.

    1. Nashwanzee,

      Thanks for sharing!

      I believe it might be a study which Dr Greger already has a video.

      Look under topics. I think prostate cancer is at least one place synergy is covered.

      I know that he did one where they took small amounts of 4 things and there was synergy. I tried to read the one you posted, but ended up lost within all of the detail.

  15. I was looking at the station which covers video games and there are a lot of VR games.

    You can get a brain tumor in the frontal lobe now and just keep your phone right there and play free games for hours.

    Those of us with executive function issues are pondering autistic and ADHD kids and those because I talked with a young man who does Dungeons and Dragons and he said that all of the people are antisocial people who struggle to get along with other people, so that is their social outlet and the mother of the young autistic man I hired is looking into it for him. He has been doing so well working for me. Not one incident. Not one negative minute. He just can’t take getting bullied and nobody here will bully him.

    I feel like that part of the brain is already an area not functioning in these kids, what will VR do to them.

  16. Truly awful to see those memos! “Well done” tricking the public in your advertising for eggs, they say. No wonder we can’t trust our own government to give us any straight, unbiased information on nutrition.

    That said, there is a lot of controversy surrounding saturated fat now. They have seen great results with a low fat vegan diet for heart disease, but they are also reportedly seeing good results with a paleo diet. Some say coconut fat is healthy, some don’t.

    1. What people selling sensational books, or cranks on YouTube, say and what the science shows are two different things. There is no controversy about saturated fat among serious scientsts. .The evidence is quite clear. That is why every credible health authority from the World Health Organization downwards advises us to limit saturated fat consumption. The AHA summarises the evidence on saturated fat and heart disease here:
      https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1161/CIR.0000000000000510

      The only ‘controversy’ is deliberately generated in the public mind as a result of misleading studies by academics with links to the meat/dairy/egg industries or the Atkins diet empire, and of claims by people selling stuff and their enthusiastic followers.

      Yes, you can lose weght on a keto or a paleo diet, and you are likely to see short term biomarkers improve because of weight loss, but that doesn’t prove it is a healthy diet. You can lose weight on all sorts of unhealthy diets. You can even lose weight on the Twinkie diet and see your short term biomarkers improve.
      https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-katz-md/chewing-on-the-twinkie-di_b_782678.html

      This is how sellers of fad diets and foods high in saturated fat sow confusion in the public mind. It seems to me that it ia all deliberately designed to] deceive people.
      https://nutritionfacts.org/2016/10/04/how-to-design-saturated-fat-studies-to-hide-the-truth/

  17. Several physician-friends of mine consume the egg-white as a part of their breakfast. They use up about 3 eggs almost every morning.
    Their view is the yellow is bad but the white is highly nutritious. I will appreciate your thoughts on egg-white. Thank you.

    1. Hi, pradeep! While you can eliminate some risk by eating egg whites only, because much of the cholesterol and saturated fat are in the yolk, a concentrated source of animal protein, such as egg whites, can raise levels of IGF-1, which promotes cancer growth. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-not-to-die-from-cancer/ I think it would be much better to have some beans for breakfast. I hope that helps!

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