How Not to Die: An Animated Summary

How Not to Die: An Animated Summary
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We have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity.

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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.

It all started with my grandma. I was just a kid when the doctors sent my grandma home in a wheelchair to die. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations that the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing. Confined to a wheelchair, crushing chest pain; her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do. Her life was over at age sixty-five.

But then she heard about Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers, and what happened next was documented in Pritikin’s biography. It talks about Frances Greger, my grandma. It was a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet, and then started on a graded exercise regimen. They wheeled her in, and she walked out. Within a few weeks, she was walking 10 miles a day—and went on to live another 31 years, until age 96, to continue to enjoy her six grandchildren, including me. Her miraculous recovery not only inspired one of those grandkids to pursue a career in medicine, but granted her enough healthy years to see him graduate from medical school. So, it’s really all thanks to her.

During medical training, I was shocked to find out that this whole body of evidence on reversing chronic disease with lifestyle changes—opening up arteries without drugs, without surgery—was being largely ignored by mainstream medicine. Wait a second, if effectively the cure to our #1 killer could get lost down some rabbit hole and ignored, what else might be buried in the medical literature that could help my patients? I made it my life’s mission to find out. That’s what led me to start NutritionFacts.org, and that’s what led me to write the book How Not to Die.

Surveys show people wildly overestimate the power of pills and procedures to keep them healthy. For example, patients believe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are about twenty times more effective than they actually are in preventing heart attacks. No wonder most people continue to rely on drugs to save them! But our leading killers aren’t caused by drug deficiencies. The dirty little secret is that most people surveyed said they would not be willing to take many of these drugs if they knew how little benefit these products actually offered. Whereas cleaning up our diets is not only safer and cheaper, but can be more effective in preventing, arresting, and reversing some of our leading causes of death—because you’re treating the actual cause of the disease.

Each year, the CDC compiles the 15 leading causes of death. And so, I have a chapter on each: How Not to Die from Heart Disease, How Not to Die from Lung Disease, How Not to Die from Brain Diseases, digestive cancers, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver diseases, blood cancers, kidney disease, breast cancer, suicidal depression, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and how not to die from so-called iatrogenic causes—which is, essentially, death by doctor. That’s the first half of the book. And, the good news is that we have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity—the vast majority of premature death and disability is preventable with a plant-based diet, and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

I didn’t want to just write a reference book, though. Yes, there’s thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific papers, but I also wanted it to be a practical guide on translating this mountain of evidence into day-to-day decisions, and so, that’s what became the second half of the book. First, I start out with a “traffic light” system to classify everything into red light, yellow light, and green light foods. Though there are exceptions that I talk about, the best available balance of evidence suggests the healthiest diet is one that minimizes the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk, and maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, beans (split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices. Basically, real food that grows out of the ground. Those are our healthiest choices.

Some foods, though, have particular medicinal qualities; and so, I then center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. So, for example, I recommend a quarter teaspoon of the spice turmeric a day, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds, berries every day, greens every day. I talk about the healthiest beverages, the healthiest sweeteners, how much exercise to get. The whole Daily Dozen list with recommended serving sizes is available as free apps for both Android and iPhone; just search for Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

There is only one diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients—this plant-based diet. If that’s all a plant-based diet could do—reverse the #1 killer of men and women—shouldn’t that be the default diet, until proven otherwise? And the fact that it can also be effective in treating, arresting, and reversing other leading killers, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Most deaths in the United States are preventable, and related to nutrition. According to the most rigorous analysis of risk factors ever published—the Global Burden of Disease study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—the #1 cause of death in the United States is our diet. The #1 cause of disability is our diet, which has now bumped tobacco smoking to #2. Smoking now only kills about a half million Americans every year—but diet now kills hundreds of thousands more.

So, obviously, nutrition is the #1 thing taught in medical school, right? The #1 thing your doctor talks to you about at every visit, right? How could there be such a disconnect between the science and the practice of medicine?

Doctors have a severe nutrition deficiency–in education. Most doctors are just never taught the impact healthy nutrition can have on the course of illness; and so, they graduate without this powerful tool in their medical toolbox. There are also institutional barriers, such as time constraints and lack of reimbursement. In general, doctors aren’t paid for counseling people on how to take better care of themselves. Of course, the drug companies also play a role in influencing medical education and practice. Ask your doctor when’s the last time they were taken out to dinner by “Big Broccoli.” It’s probably been a while.

It’s like smoking in the 50s. We already had decades of science linking smoking with lung cancer, but it was largely ignored because smoking was normal. Most doctors smoked. The average per capita cigarette consumption was 4,000 cigarettes a year—meaning the average American smoked a half a pack a day. The American Medical Association was reassuring everyone that smoking—in moderation—was just fine. There was this same disconnect between the science and public policy. It took more than 25 years, and 7,000 studies before the first Surgeon General report against smoking came out in the 60s. You’d think maybe after the first 6,000 studies, they could have given people a heads up or something? It was a powerful industry. And today’s meat, sugar, dairy, salt, egg, and processed food industries are using the same tobacco industry tactics to try to twist the science and confuse the public.

Until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health, for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up to the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

A huge debt of gratitude for Malkhaz Geldiashvili of FightMediocrity; we’re so blessed to have such great supporters willing to share their talents to help us help others.

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.

It all started with my grandma. I was just a kid when the doctors sent my grandma home in a wheelchair to die. Diagnosed with end-stage heart disease, she had already had so many bypass operations that the surgeons essentially ran out of plumbing. Confined to a wheelchair, crushing chest pain; her doctors told her there was nothing else they could do. Her life was over at age sixty-five.

But then she heard about Nathan Pritikin, one of our early lifestyle medicine pioneers, and what happened next was documented in Pritikin’s biography. It talks about Frances Greger, my grandma. It was a live-in program where everyone was placed on a plant-based diet, and then started on a graded exercise regimen. They wheeled her in, and she walked out. Within a few weeks, she was walking 10 miles a day—and went on to live another 31 years, until age 96, to continue to enjoy her six grandchildren, including me. Her miraculous recovery not only inspired one of those grandkids to pursue a career in medicine, but granted her enough healthy years to see him graduate from medical school. So, it’s really all thanks to her.

During medical training, I was shocked to find out that this whole body of evidence on reversing chronic disease with lifestyle changes—opening up arteries without drugs, without surgery—was being largely ignored by mainstream medicine. Wait a second, if effectively the cure to our #1 killer could get lost down some rabbit hole and ignored, what else might be buried in the medical literature that could help my patients? I made it my life’s mission to find out. That’s what led me to start NutritionFacts.org, and that’s what led me to write the book How Not to Die.

Surveys show people wildly overestimate the power of pills and procedures to keep them healthy. For example, patients believe cholesterol-lowering statin drugs are about twenty times more effective than they actually are in preventing heart attacks. No wonder most people continue to rely on drugs to save them! But our leading killers aren’t caused by drug deficiencies. The dirty little secret is that most people surveyed said they would not be willing to take many of these drugs if they knew how little benefit these products actually offered. Whereas cleaning up our diets is not only safer and cheaper, but can be more effective in preventing, arresting, and reversing some of our leading causes of death—because you’re treating the actual cause of the disease.

Each year, the CDC compiles the 15 leading causes of death. And so, I have a chapter on each: How Not to Die from Heart Disease, How Not to Die from Lung Disease, How Not to Die from Brain Diseases, digestive cancers, infections, diabetes, high blood pressure, liver diseases, blood cancers, kidney disease, breast cancer, suicidal depression, prostate cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and how not to die from so-called iatrogenic causes—which is, essentially, death by doctor. That’s the first half of the book. And, the good news is that we have tremendous power over our health destiny and longevity—the vast majority of premature death and disability is preventable with a plant-based diet, and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.

I didn’t want to just write a reference book, though. Yes, there’s thousands of citations to peer-reviewed scientific papers, but I also wanted it to be a practical guide on translating this mountain of evidence into day-to-day decisions, and so, that’s what became the second half of the book. First, I start out with a “traffic light” system to classify everything into red light, yellow light, and green light foods. Though there are exceptions that I talk about, the best available balance of evidence suggests the healthiest diet is one that minimizes the intake of meat, eggs, dairy, and processed junk, and maximizes the intake of fruits, vegetables, beans (split peas, chickpeas, and lentils), whole grains, nuts and seeds, mushrooms, herbs, and spices. Basically, real food that grows out of the ground. Those are our healthiest choices.

Some foods, though, have particular medicinal qualities; and so, I then center my recommendations around a Daily Dozen checklist of all the things I try to fit into my daily routine. So, for example, I recommend a quarter teaspoon of the spice turmeric a day, a tablespoon of ground flax seeds, berries every day, greens every day. I talk about the healthiest beverages, the healthiest sweeteners, how much exercise to get. The whole Daily Dozen list with recommended serving sizes is available as free apps for both Android and iPhone; just search for Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

There is only one diet that’s ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients—this plant-based diet. If that’s all a plant-based diet could do—reverse the #1 killer of men and women—shouldn’t that be the default diet, until proven otherwise? And the fact that it can also be effective in treating, arresting, and reversing other leading killers, like high blood pressure and type 2 diabetes, would seem to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

Most deaths in the United States are preventable, and related to nutrition. According to the most rigorous analysis of risk factors ever published—the Global Burden of Disease study funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation—the #1 cause of death in the United States is our diet. The #1 cause of disability is our diet, which has now bumped tobacco smoking to #2. Smoking now only kills about a half million Americans every year—but diet now kills hundreds of thousands more.

So, obviously, nutrition is the #1 thing taught in medical school, right? The #1 thing your doctor talks to you about at every visit, right? How could there be such a disconnect between the science and the practice of medicine?

Doctors have a severe nutrition deficiency–in education. Most doctors are just never taught the impact healthy nutrition can have on the course of illness; and so, they graduate without this powerful tool in their medical toolbox. There are also institutional barriers, such as time constraints and lack of reimbursement. In general, doctors aren’t paid for counseling people on how to take better care of themselves. Of course, the drug companies also play a role in influencing medical education and practice. Ask your doctor when’s the last time they were taken out to dinner by “Big Broccoli.” It’s probably been a while.

It’s like smoking in the 50s. We already had decades of science linking smoking with lung cancer, but it was largely ignored because smoking was normal. Most doctors smoked. The average per capita cigarette consumption was 4,000 cigarettes a year—meaning the average American smoked a half a pack a day. The American Medical Association was reassuring everyone that smoking—in moderation—was just fine. There was this same disconnect between the science and public policy. It took more than 25 years, and 7,000 studies before the first Surgeon General report against smoking came out in the 60s. You’d think maybe after the first 6,000 studies, they could have given people a heads up or something? It was a powerful industry. And today’s meat, sugar, dairy, salt, egg, and processed food industries are using the same tobacco industry tactics to try to twist the science and confuse the public.

Until the system changes, we have to take personal responsibility for our own health, for our family’s health. We can’t wait until society catches up to the science again, because it’s a matter of life and death.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

A huge debt of gratitude for Malkhaz Geldiashvili of FightMediocrity; we’re so blessed to have such great supporters willing to share their talents to help us help others.

Doctor's Note

Last month I was so excited to be approached by fellow YouTuber Malkhaz Geldiashvili of FightMediocrity, expressing interest in animating an overview of How Not to Die. What a perfect addition to my introductory video series. I sent him some narration, and two weeks later it was done!

These videos that depart from my typical deep dives into the primary nutrition science literature are just my attempts at mixing things up a bit, and hoping to appeal to those just opening their eyes and mouths to evidence-based eating. If you want to see the other eleven introductory videos, here they are: 

  1. The Story of NutritionFacts.org
  2. Why You Should Care About Nutrition
  3. Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health
  4. The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org
  5. Behind the Scenes at NutritionFacts.org
  6. How Not to Die from Heart Disease
  7. How Not to Die from Cancer
  8. How Not to Die from Diabetes
  9. How Not to Die from Kidney Disease
  10. How Not to Die from High Blood Pressure
  11. What is the Healthiest Diet?

 Now back to our regularly scheduled programming :)

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

131 responses to “How Not to Die: An Animated Summary

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  1. This is a great video to tell people about who may be curious about what the WFPB thing is all about, but who won’t sit through one of Dr. G’s longer speeches where he really lays it all out.

    1. a little off topic….a little religious

      First, great book
      Second, i wholeheartedly agree that being vegan is the best diet. that we are designed by G_d to exist on plants. I am a christian, believe in Noah’s flood and that it was after the flood that G_d gave man permission to eat animals (but not their blood).
      Lastly, living a long time is certainly to be desired, but to what purpose? It is appointed unto man to die once and then the judgement! So, if one really wants to avoid the second death, then Jesus is the way for eternal life.

      1. Thanks for sharing Noah Kamen!

        In Gen 1.29 our original and best diet was specified. We fell and the standard was lowered.
        Christians should be amongst those at the forefront of eating in a way that honours all of God’s creations.
        Eating this way in the last few months has made me kinder, calmer and more aware of people’s feelings.

        God bless dr G and his team who work tirelessly to educate us all.

  2. Excellent summary! I especially like the last statement of the video … “personal responsibility is key”! I have found that if one waits for “society” to take care of everything, it may be a long, long wait ;-)

  3. “Most deaths in the United States are preventable and related to nutrition.” Food is powerful stuff. That’s why I love Dr Greger’s work so much as it gives us information we can use to control our own health destiny.

  4. You hit home with this one, and i have to agree with you , as a primary health care provider our emphasis in our education lacked the basic fundamentals in the correlation of food vs. diseases..However , it is not too late to better inform the public in the importance of proper nutrition as a means to use it as the most powerful medicine.

  5. Dr. Greger,
    You outdid your self again. What a great animated testimony for our future generation!
    They will say :”Dr. Greger explained how most of our diseases are related to diet. And it took that long to be accepted by society”.Wow!

  6. Home run! Plant based diet cannot be beat. The no. 1 problem however, is that very few are willing to take responsibility for what they put in their mouth. They eat lots of processed foods with the mindset “it’ll never happen to me”! Those are the people that have a stroke or heart attack before they change their eating habits. I’ve been plant based for 6 months now and have lost 24 pounds and feel great. Blood pressure is down as is cholesterol. Try it but be committed to living a better life instead of waiting till something ill happens!

  7. I saw this video on Fight Mediocrity’s YouTube channel before it was released on nutritionfacts.org and I thought he was stealing audio from one of Dr. Greger’s older videos so that he could save time on the voice-over for the video. Now I feel bad for jumping to conclusions but no harm done since I didn’t down-vote it or write any mean-spirited comments.

    It’s a nice animated clip. I prefer the research quotes format Dr. Greger usually does but that wouldn’t fit with the content/story of this video and the animation fills the role nicely.

  8. Plant Food! Plant Food! Rah! Rah! Rah!
    Doesn’t grow hair so there you are!
    Great for the heart, gut and brain,
    Give me 3 cheers for veggies and grain!

    P.S. I couldn’t fit in fruit and nuts and bean and spices and…

  9. This system has come a long way in analysis and prognosis. Looking forward to learning from the participants its practical implications.

  10. Awesome compilation for newbies, great to be able to share with others. I think because of the animation it seems less weighty and easier to watch for the “uninitiated”. Now if only I could figure out the magic to getting people to pull their heads out of the sand for a few minutes to actually care to take the time to watch because they’re either convinced it won’t happen to them, or just think medicine will rescue them if it does.
    In your talks and book you spoke about something I thought was genius to clarify that current state of disconnect with personal responsibly…the part about hitting your shin 3 times a day and then going to the doctor for a remedy instead of avoiding the repeated injury…extrapolated to the damaging foods we put into our bodies! For me it makes the point that people seem oblivious to…that the body WANTS to be healthy and heal, and that each of us have ultimate control over that! May I have permission to share it verbatim from the book as long as I cite it and link them to NF? I don’t think Dr G would mind, but wanted to ask anyway. :)

    1. Vege-tater: It sounds like you are just talking about passing along a quote from the book, making it clear it is a quote and citing the book as the source. There’s no problem with that in our society as far as I know. Quote away! I agree, it is a great analogy. Makes ya think. :-)

  11. Can someone point out some studies that show that chemotherapy and radiation therapy do more harm than good and that a WFPB diet is at the very least as effective in prolonging life. I have to educate some doctors.

    1. Levon, I am not a doctor, nor do I have links to the studies you are requesting. I have seen your post several times now, and thought I could at least point you in a positive direction http://ruthheidrich.com/ Dr Ruth Heidrich is an accomplished athlete, a marathoner in her 80’s who still competes. She has a compelling story.. suffering invasive breast cancer years ago, she adopted a wfpb diet. she saw the studies at that time and was convinced Dr Mcdougall was her doctor .. read her story, its amazing!
      I will try to find something at Dr Mcdougall’s site also. I do hope one of the health professionals / scientists in this community can link you with studies etc. Very best wishes to you and your mom.

      1. Chris Wark has a wonderful interview with Ruth Heidrich at http://www.chrisbeatcancer.com/she-healed-breast-cancer-with-nutrition-then-won-iron-man/. That is where I first learned of Dr McDougall. Both the above website and https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/stars/ have great survivor stories of cancer and many other diseases and conditions, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, obesity, and autoimmune diseases, through diet.

        1. thank you Rebecca! I will really enjoy watching the interview. Ruth is so inspirational and so focussed on helping others. The success stories at Dr McDougall’s site are a joy to read – ty for reminding me.. I see there are a few new ones to catch up on!

      2. Thanks susan. Although I enjoy success stories like these. I am afraid the pro chemotherapy advocates will just see this as a nice anecdote. Unfortunately they don’t see the survival stories of chemotherapy patients as anecdotes as well.
        I am just reading “Mammography Screening: Truth, Lies and Controversy” https://www.amazon.com/Mammography-Screening-Truth-Lies-Controversy/dp/1846195853
        I hope I find interesting facts about chemotherapy and radiation therapy in there too.

      1. Susan, thanks for these. People often contact me about cancer alternatives, and now I can point them to these as they go about making choices.

    2. There are no such studies, and I expect to see none for ethical considerations. The most we might hope for is a study which demonstrates WFPB diets improves outcomes in patients receiving chemotherapy, compared to standard diets.

      We can say that the benefit of chemotherapy is real, but remarkably small, which ties in with this video’s discussion of how we overestimate the potency of technical medicine and underestimate the potency of lifestyle choices.

  12. Very nice succinct overview!
    A recent Globe article pointed me to a $75 million grant to research early stage heart disease and find a cure: http://www.onebraveidea.com/thewinningidea/
    Does anyone see the word “diet” in the press materials? Me neither. Note that it is co-sponsored by AHA, Verily Life Sciences (née-Google Life Sciences) and AstraZeneca.

  13. Hello! I am desperate for some answers…..I live in sweden, where LCHF is really big……and I am so confused! Vegans say that the diet they propose is the best, and that they have the science to prove it – but the LCHF people say the same thing! Going on the internet and doing some resarch only seemed to make the problem worse….And I am in desperate need of improving my health and lose weight ……but I don’t know who to listen to. Please , help!

    1. Catarina, yes it is so confusing–different camps say their way is best. Instead of loading you down with more research, may I suggest just trying the diets? First follow Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen for a couple weeks or so. Take notes on how you feel. Then switch to LCHF for a couple of weeks and take notes on how you feel. Even better if you could document your blood sugar, blood pressure etc before and after each diet trial.

    2. I would be asking the LCHF people if they can produce studies in a reputable journal that show their diet reverses heart disease and lowers cholesterol and lowers blood pressure and reverses diabetes, long term. Longevity studies would also be interesting. I for one would like to see what they have posted, thanks !

    3. Catarina, How much of a science background do you have? Do you want to read the science yourself, or are you ready to TRUST educated knowledgeable folks to tell you what it says. NutritionFacts.org has many, many people with nutrition/health/medical backgrounds gathered in one place to share literally hundreds of hours of their time to parse the best science with those who are ready for change. If you are interested in a deconstruction of the poor LCHF science, then go to the website Plantpositive.com for another couple dozen hours of truth about what we have chosen to chew on through the ages. Those who are selling LCHF are mainly focused on looks, those advocating HFPB are interested in health, both physical and mental; looking good (or better anyway) is just a byproduct of the approach.

      1. I do know how to read resarch, but I also trust other (knowledgeable) peoples ability to do so, and I am glad to any shortcuts. Thank you for your tip about Plantpositive, I will absolutly check it out!

        1. Catarina, Adding to Ken’s excellent reply above, on this site watch the video titled Behind the Scenes at NutritionFacts.org. Dr G talks about the exhaustive research into WHOSE research he is reporting on to be certain they aren’t actually reporting on research that was designed to promote a particular food or drug. In other words, does the researcher have an agenda beyond purely learning from his or her work?

          Over time and reading pretty widely about various types of diets I’ve come to trust Drs. Greger, Esslestyn, Fuhrman, McDougall, Ornish, Goldhamer, Lisle (PhD in psychology), Bernard, Klaper, Campbell (researcher, not MD) and others who promote whole food plant based diets. Even seeing pictures of them, especially as they grow older, they look so much healthier than most of those who promote Paleo and other animal protein diets.

          Ultimately, you must choose who to trust. The doctors listed above come out as the most credible in my estimation.

    4. Low carb diets in general are associated with higher mortality.
      http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e4026
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2989112/
      http://jaha.ahajournals.org/content/3/5/e001169.full
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3555979/

      I am not aware of any very long-term studies of human beings adopting the high fat, low carb diet (as opposed to low carb diets in general). However, there have been animal studies eg
      “C57BL/6J mice were fed with a HF diet (60% kcal/fat) or control diets (15% kcal/fat) for 27 months. One-half of the mice on the HF diet developed obesity (diet-induced obese (DIO) mice), whereas the remaining mice were diet resistant (DR). At 8 months of age, both DIO and DR groups had increased hyperglycemic response during a glucose tolerance test, which was normalized in 16-month-old mice. At this latter time point, all groups presented similar performance in cognitive tests (Morris water maze and inhibitory avoidance). The survival curves of the HF and control diet groups started to diverge at 15 months of age and, after 27 months, the survival rate of mice in the DIO and DR groups was 40%, whereas in the control diet group it was 75%.”
      Source: “High saturated fat and low carbohydrate diet decreases lifespan independent of body weight in mice”
      http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3922950/

      Note that it took half a lifetime before the increased LCHF death rate became obvious. And half the individuals on the LCHF diet became obese. However, there are some indicators that people on HCLF diets experience cardiovascular problems at a relatively young age
      http://sverigesradio.se/sida/artikel.aspx?programid=2054&artikel=5606616

      Try to get your advice from credible health authorities not quacks and cranks selling sensational books promoting unhealthy fad diets eg
      http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs394/en/
      http://www.livsmedelsverket.se/globalassets/english/food-habits-health-environment/dietary-guidelines/kostrad-eng.pdf

      I find that the information on this site is consistent with expert reports on health and nutrition.

      1. Tom Goff: Great post overall. One bit that particularly caught my attention was this statement, “Note that it took half a lifetime before the increased LCHF death rate became obvious.”

        That’s my concern with ketogenic diets and paleo diets in general. People may not experience the harm for a while. A diet that sometimes produces some improvement on some measure short term is not necessarily the diet that promotes lasting health. This is a hard concept to convey emotionally. Thanks for the specific data example.

    5. Hi Catarina . . .I read through the other posts from people who have also responded to your dilemma. And they all offer lots of good suggestions and science that shows that a WFPB diet will serve a person best. And yes, this site is sort ofa science-based nutritional-geek site. I, too, love the science.
      But I would also like to say that one can also revert to their intuitive site and just ask themselves “What do I notice aboiut what other animals in the world eat” For me, I ask the question “What do our next of kin out in the natural world eat?” Well for us humans, we’re talking about chimpanzees who share 98% of our genes. And what do they eat? Plants and fruit for the most part. Yes, they have been seen to eat a very small amount of meat upon occasion and sometimes it is canabalistic meat. But this meat is a very small portion of their diet. So small, in fact, that Jane Goodall, who spent decades folloiwng chimpanzees in the wild, did not document meat eating in chimps for years and years. And I’m not sure that she documented it at all . . .it may have been someone else. But the point I am making here is that the meat eating is so small that it escaped observation for decades of close observation. As well, no one documented chimps eating tablespoonsful of coconut oil, or drizzling oil on their food or seeking out concentrated forms of fat. What the researchers saw decade after decade was chimps in the wild eating lots of greens, plants, fruit and whatever natural forms of caloric starch might be found in their environment. So what I am taking a very long time to explain here is that see what chimps eat. See what gorillas eat. They are our very closest next of kin. It makes complete intuitive sense that we humans should be eating a diet very close in style to what our next of kin in the wild eat. It really isn’t much more complicated than that. Lots of greens and sufficient root veg to fill in the caloric load.
      Best of luck to you.

        1. Catarina: I recommend the free, online, PCRM (Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine) 21 Day Kickstart program. You get 21 days worth of healthy recipes, not just vegan recipes. You don’t have to follow the meal plan if you don’t want to. You can use it as a recipe source. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/kickstart/kickstart-programs
          .
          Some my favorite cookbooks are: Let Them Eat Vegan, Plant Powered Families, Everyday Happy Herbivore, Vegan On The Cheap, and Vegan Casserole (get this one when you have a good blender).
          .
          I think the woman who does the Happy Herbivore series also has a blog with recipes. So, you might look into that. There are a lot of recipe blogs out there, some better than others and some a whole lot healthier than others. If you are doing this for health reasons, my advice is to stick to recipes which are primarily made up of minimally processed whole plant foods, free not only of meat, dairy and eggs, but also plant junk foods like oils and lots of sugar. You might look into Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen as a guide to what a day of healthy eating looks like. Or lookup PCRM’s Power Plate for a super simple overview. Just don’t forget the B12 supplement! (Really only necessary once you make a long term switch, but best to get in good habits from the start.)
          .
          There is often an adjustment period as people’s taste buds change. So, the food may not be as appealing at first. That’s why the PCRM program is 21 days as that gives you time to get over initial hurdles and for your taste buds to change. Instead of going cold turkey immediately, PCRM also recommends that you take a week or two or three to experiment with whole plant food based recipes to find the ones you like. You won’t like them all obviously. So, find dishes you really like. Then, when you have a nice pile of plant based recipes that you know you enjoy, then give healthy eating a solid try for 3 weeks. Note: Some people may find that by the end of their searching experimental period, they are naturally eating a whole food plant based diet because they have found food that they like and they organically realize they don’t need the animal foods any more. That’s just a process option that works well for some. Other people do better cold turkey. Do what works for you.
          .
          Good luck!

        2. I have not seen it mentioned but also good recipes come from the book The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall. Minestrone soup, Thai spicy noodle, Baked Macaroni with Creamy Cashew Sauce, Bean and Corn Enchiladas, Moroccan soup. Another book The Engine-2 diet by Rip Esslestyn has a fantastic Dark Chocolate Brownie recipe and oatmeal cookie recipe.

        3. Hi Catarina, There are lots of good recipes, all free, at drmcdougall.com. These were developed by his wife, Mary, and they use very ordinary, widely available ingredients. Another source of tasty recipes is forksoverknives.com and engine2diet.com. All of these sites focus on whole food, plant-based diets with no added oils. Healthy fats come from whole foods like nuts, seeds, beans and corn. I also like the recipes at straightupfood.com and http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/. If you like demonstrations, there are great recipes and videos of how to prepare each dish at cookingwithplants.com. Anja’s recipes are easy to make and very tasty. Bon appetit and good health to you!

        4. Hi Catarina! I love Lighter! Sign-up is free. You can search for Dr. Greger’s profile on the website and follow his personal recommendations. Happy cooking! Lighter

    6. Hello Catarina, I too have seen the information from Dr Peter Attia and Dr Dominic D’Agostino. I think that the point is to get a body metabolically flexible enough to go from burning glycogen to ketones easily. I have no science background, but I find that basic veggies and fruit with high fat nuts and seeds or grains works well. I try not to have nuts and seeds with a grain. I think Julie gave you good advice, keep an open mind, try both ways. Best wishes for your journey.

  14. Dear Dr, Geger, I read your book cover to cover. But before that, you already convinced me (via a YouTube video of the 15 preventable diseases) to become a Vegan ! My cholesterol dropped 55 points in ~8 months. My Dr wanted me to come in and probably try to convince me to take some statin drug. But I learned the lesson of drugs when ~25 years ago a previous Dr gave me Vioxx because it had no side effects (except early death apparently). Much thanks for sharing your knowledge so that it reaches so many of us who were ignorant for so long. Thanks also to my mom, who instilled the desire to eat healthy, even if she didn’t know the best way to achieve that.

  15. I LOVE the idea of pant base diet, as a matter of fact, I had been a vegetarian for almost 20 years, until my doctor told me that I had high sensitivity/intolerance to soy, eggs and dairy, the main source of protein in my diet. Later on I started to suffer from severe IBS, so mydoctor told me to stop eating gluten, wheat, grains, beans and nuts. So I reintroduced chicken and beef in my diet. Basically, with all my intolerances and sensitivies, I can only eat vegetables, fruits and meats. I’ve been doing this for 3 years and feel great. After listening to Dr. Greger for so long to adopt a plant based diet, I would like it, but I dont know where to get my protein from if I cannot eat eggs,soy,dairy, gluten, wheat, beans, nuts. I feel I dont have a choice other than eat meat /chicken. I dont’ like fish, so fish is out of the question. I wonder what would be Dr. Greger’s thoughts about my situation.

    1. You can eat nothing but potatoes and get plenty of protein. You can eat veggies and rice and get plenty of protein. Try going to Dr. John McDougall’s site and you will see plenty of information there on getting protein. As long as you are eating whole plant foods you will get plenty of protein.
      The protein issue in a WFPB diet is a non-issue.

    2. Hi Gladys,

      There are several sources of plant based protein you can consider – vegetables, non-dairy milk, quinoa, etc. However, given your dietary limitations you may need to consider a plant based supplement such as vegan hemp powder or even chia seeds. You may find as you go to a plant based diet your symptoms improve and allow for beans, nuts, grains as inflammation improves. If you do use a supplement powder, choose one that is western or US based and tests for heavy metals.

      You may also find some of Dr. Greger’s videos on IBS interesting as well.

      http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/irritable-bowel-syndrome/

      Hope this helps in your health journey.

      Best,
      Diana
      Nutrition Facts Moderator

      1. Thank you so much, I will try vegan hemp powder. I do tolerate quinoa as far as I do not eat it too often. However chia seeds cannot digest. Thanks for your information

    3. All whole foods have protein, and the vast majority never need to worry about it. If you get enough calories from varied whole plant foods, in most cases you’re ensured no serious amino acid deficiencies. Indeed, just eating potatoes would cover the requirements. Those who think they need more protein, for example athletes, those seeking appetite suppression for weight loss, or the sedentary elderly with low total calorie intake, may want to concentrate on higher lysine foods like beans, as lysine is limiting amino acid in plant based diets.

      I’m aware of no evidence that grains, beans and nuts cause IBS, only that their microbiota-accessible carbohydrates (MACs) cause discomfort in those with existing IBS, so cutting these out offers symptomatic relief. To the contrary, IBS is arguably caused by dysbiosis due to antibiotic overuse and refined diets deficient in MACs, which allow pathogenic strains to dominate. If there’s a reason IBS prevalence in the US & UK is 3x that of Italy and 4x that in France, its not because we’re eating more grains, beans and nuts.

          1. Thanks for the reply. I do not agree with your statement on face value as “maximizing” can’t be quantified. Some interesting comments on that page though.

    4. Gluten is only present in wheat, rye and barley. All other grains are naturally gluten free. The reason you don’t see packages that don’t contain ANY of the gluten three labeled as being “Gluten-free” is that often the same facility that processes one of the gluten containing grains will also process non-gluten grains like oats, quinoa, teff, millet, rice amaranth, etc., and in the process pick up tiny amounts of grain dust that might contain some trivial amount of gluten. As a result those non-gluten grains are can not be certified as being 100% gluten-free. This is necessary since celiac disease is the result of an allergic reaction to the gluten, and so even the tiniest amounts of gluten can be a problem. However for non-celiacs that suffer from a gluten sensitivity this tiny bit of gluten shouldn’t be a problem. So you should still be able to eat all the other grains besides the problematic three.

      Bummer about the soy, but why does this mean you can’t have other beans or nuts? As for where to get protein, protein isn’t something that is only found in a small group of foods. Very literally everything that you can eat contains protein since it is a fundamental part of every plant (and animal) cell. And people thinK we need far more protein than we actually do. About 10% of our total calories needs to come from protein in order to make sure that 98% of the population gets sufficient protein. However, the large majority of people with do just fine with 5%-6% of calories from protein. With the exception of some most fruits, most whole plant foods get more than 10% of calories from protein. In fact 50% of the calories in spinach comes from protein. Carrots and bell peppers have protein. Even some fruits like apricots (8% of calories) are good sources of protein. So if you are eating whole foods as opposed to eating highly refined foods that get a lot of their calories from refined sugars and refined oils which by definition contain zero protein, you will almost automatically get all the protein you need.

      So even if you can’t eat wheat, rye, barley, or soy, then you can get all the protein you need from all the thousands of other whole plant foods without having to add animal flesh to your diet.

      1. thanks, Jim, very informative, you surely know your stuff. three years ago, I was tested for several grains, nuts and beans and the only one that I was able to tolerate was brown rice IF only IF i eat it with several days in between. But I have been doing very well in the last 3 years, and maybe is time to test again and hopefully I can introduce some of them back. Thanks for all of yr time and information.

    5. Gladys this is alarming. First I would want to know why your doctor said to stop with the “wheat grains beans and nuts.” That is an amazingly sweeping statement without something to substantiate it. What has been left in your diet, ie dead animal, is more closely associated with IBS and other auto immune conditions than any plant based factor. Indeed specific plants can cause an auto immune response. I had psoriatic arthritis and mostly caused it to go into remission by going gluten free. But studying and looking at the overwhelming host of inflammatory factors in animal products I went with a whole food plant based diet. The gluten sensitivity disappeared, the residual swelling in the distal joints disappeared and I never have a flair up now. (and very importantly for me, I can dance again)
      Doctors as a rule know less than the typical person on the street about nutrition. So a sweeping elimination of very healthy dietary elements without any specific indication of a good reason is suspect indeed.

      That still leaves the question of good source of protein. This is one of the most absurd worries we have in the USA. You could get enough protein with an all apple diet if you eat enough apples to get sufficient calories. Throw in mushrooms, greens, various savory fruits such as squash and your protein intake will be much much more than adequate. Eating meat to get protein will give you an over abundance of said protein and for a bonus will provide contributors to Coronary Artery Disease, Chronic Kidney Disease, T2 diabetes, a host of cancers and of course auto immune diseases. (and the list goes on)

      If there is a reason to eliminate any particular plant food then by all means do it. However,, you should never simply assume that plants are the problem and eliminate whole categories. I have known people who could not eat gluten, corn, nightshade, tree nuts, peanuts, soy et al. But what was not excluded was still a very healthy basis for a diet for a very long healthy life.

      By the way, portobello mushrooms and kale both have about 45% of their calories coming from protein. Look at the requirements and the percentages and you will find that you almost need to be on a hard sugar candy and soda pop diet to get too little protein. Even peanut butter cups have more than you really need.

      1. Hi Stewart and thank you so much for taking the time to share your story. You might be right and it might be the meat/chicken I eat that is the cause for inflammation and gluten sensitivity. I need to explore more.
        The reason my doctor took me out of beans/grains/nightshades/nuts/dairy/eggs, etc, 3 years ago, was because I had lots inflammation in my body and also severe constipation and leaky gut. Once I elemminated all those foods except meats/ vegetables (not nightshades) and fruits, I feel great. But listening to Dr. Greger inspires me to eliminate all meats. Thanks Stewart.

  16. I love Dr Greger’s videos and articles, and enjoy checking out the studies he references. Its an amazing resource for which I’ truly thankful. I am feeling discouraged though.. 18 mos of wfpb, hard exercise, and my bp is climbing. 150/70 at last doctor visit and given rx for ACE inhibitor ! Prior to this past year my bp was low 110/65 or less, and no disease, perfect blood chemistry. I thought my health should be improving ? Is this a common scenario?

    1. @allison I don’t think it’s common, but I’ve read of other people having a similar experience. Somebody at the McDougall forum posted something similar a few weeks ago. I can’t guess the reason. Maybe there’s some particular food that you’re eating a lot more of since going WFPB and you’re sensitive to that food, for some reason. Has your weight changed?

      1. thank you for your response Todd. I seem to remember Dr Greger saying in one of the many vids on salt and bp, that most of america gets their salt from bread ! I found that little fact astonishing, maybe because I was not eating much bread. My weight is good, but to stop losing so much weight I did start eating an organic squirrelly bread in the last two months. I will stop for 6 weeks or so and check my blood pressure during that time.
        Great suggestion Todd, I will let you know how it goes. So many things have gone right that I truly am thankful for all that I have learned here at NF. My doctor practically weeps with joy when she sees me… LOL

          1. It struck me as odd but thats what Dr Greger mentioned. I was just looking at high potasssium food lists and Im doing alright but could be better , and will check magnesium now. thank you for the suggestion!

            1. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment with supplements. Not everyone’s diet is perfect, or better said, perfect for them. An acquaintance was able to reverse his mild hypertension with the inclusion of electrolyte supplements such as M & P. I recall someone saying that we added potassium to table salt, we could greatly reduce hypertension.

        1. One of the reasons that bread is such a major contributor of sodium to the average person’s diet, is that we generally eat some type of bread or bread product every day. There has been some industry push back over the past few years so some breads are now lower in sodium, advertising “25% less sodium” on their labels. The best way to determine if the bread you like is high in sodium is to check the Nutrition Facts Table. The % DV is a useful guide. A 5-10% DV for sodium is pretty good but be sure to check portion size to bring it into perspective. For example a small 6 inch wrap at 8% DV for sodium sounds pretty good, but if you would eat 3 or 4 of them, then the sodium contribution to your meal from that food alone would be quite high. Hope that helps!

    2. If you are training hard, do you keep track of your morning resting heart rate? Even a very slight increase will signify the start of a injury long before it becomes apparent to you or your trainer or coach if you have one. That has been my experience. Remember muscle will quickly adapt to whatever level of training your doing but ligaments and bone takes a lot of time. Did you notice what Dr. Greger does ? Easy walking on a treadmill , very safe exercise as the muscle ligaments and bone have ample time to regenerate .

  17. How do you sell this diet to patients? I work as a PA and have talked to patients about this diet and some just brush it off. How do I convince them it is worth adopting and possible to achieve?

    1. @Emily I don’t work with patients, but at least I am one, so I know something about why people might brush it off. First, it sounds fanatical. It’s so far from the norm that people will perceive it that way, and it’s natural for them to do so. They will think, How can the foods that billions of people have lived on be bad? They will think of people they’ve known or known about who lived long healthy lives but ate meat every day–just the way smokers will know about someone who lived just as long and never got cancer but smoked every day. In short, most people will miss the bigger picture.

      This little video is a start, but I think one of Dr. G’s longer talks is a good followup. Most people won’t read a book, but they might be willing to set aside an hour or two to watch a video, especially when it’s a good speaker, like Dr. G. I also think “Forks Over Knives” is a pretty good intro. It’s well made and presents the main points of information in an engaging way.

      After that, if they’re a little bit interested but skeptical about whether they can do it (“I could never give up my X”), I guess the best thing is to suggest a gradual approach, as Dr. G does in his “Transitioning” video. Personally, I did it in one jump but plenty of people will need a ramp. Remind them that backsliding isn’t a disaster; they can just start in again. Give them the 12-step motto: Progress not perfection.

    2. I too work with patients and as a dietitian and I’m constantly nudging people to think of more plant based eating. I give a little explanation about good evidence is constantly showing that more plant foods on our plate is better for our health/health goals. For the hard core carnivores,I find that most people are willing to make small changes and I always champion that. My motto is that ‘no change is too small a change’ when it comes to optimizing health. Most people can start with one meatless meal a week. I share recipes with beans (legumes) and suggest people check out the Meatless Mondays website for ideas and inspiration. And beans are a lot cheaper than meat which is escalating in price here in Canada, so that’s another useful selling feature. I hope that helps!

  18. Can you please clarify the “heart healthy” characteristics of nuts, according to Dr Greger, versus claims by Dr Esselstyn against nuts and seeds (or anything high in oils) for those trying to reverse heart disease. How is it that nuts and seeds are heart healthy in one case but not the other? They seem okay for those w/o heart disease but not for those with it.

  19. I have been on a whole food plant based diet for about 2 years. I am very rigid with the diet following all of Dr. Essyelstyn’s information. I also have had people look at the list of foods I eat and all say they do not know why I can’t seem to get my total Cholesterol lower than 191. Genetics i know plays a role in a small percentage of people.

    Here is my question – I have very bad allergies and use Flonase, a corticosteroid, on a daily basis. I have also used Flonase for several years. I started to do some reading and there does seem to be anecdotal evidence that there may be a connection. I wondered if anyone could direct me to articles that discuss this possible connection.

  20. I recently started sleeping a lot longer than i used to. I’m not more tired during the day than before and i still have lots of energy when awake. I went from sleeping about 8 hours per night to 10. I’m wondering what could be causing me to “need” that extra sleep before i can properly get out of bed. Any ideas? :)

  21. Diatomaceous earth, can you tell me more about this? I’ve been looking into the health benefits but does it contain animal proteins? Does it kill body living parasites in pets? Can it help the way its sold to. Thanks so much for taking the time to do Q&A’s. Xx

  22. Why is Dr. Greger almost systematically attributing all sorts of health benefits to “a plant-based diet” when often (like here with heart disease typically) it should be attributed to at *least* a ***whole-foods*** plant-based (WFPB) diet, if not low-fat WFPB?

  23. Dr. Greger, I have your videos streaming in my waiting room and around 30 copies of “How Not to Die” that I loan to patients. It’s a hard sale in the Ohio valley cattle and dairy farming region of rural KY. Your resources are invaluable to my patients and I very much appreciate what you are doing to help our practice save lives through plants.

  24. You are The Specialist in reading new studies and distilling the information to us.
    Please check out these new, maybe month-old studies.
    I hope two links will post here. It frustrated me to find a place to contact you with this! *I* don’t have this disease, so I’m not asking for medical advice!
    But I love someone who has Parkinson’s. These two studies link gut microbiota to Parkinson’s. I tried to read them, but even with pre-pharmacy study, I don’t follow them all the way.
    New studies are your career and calling! You are the bomb!
    So! I sincerely hope, and request, that you use your medical knowledge to know whether there is a link between these gut bacteria and diet, and therefore, between diet and Parkinson’s.
    For ALL of us.

    http://www.neuroscientistnews.com/research-news/study-demonstrates-role-gut-bacteria-neurodegenerative-diseases
    http://www.neuroscientistnews.com/research-news/finnish-study-establishes-connection-between-gut-microbiota-and-parkinsons-disease

    Thank you.

    1. Hi there, I am one of the NutritionFacts moderators. These studies are quick summaries of early work that shows some correlation between gut inflammation and the interference of the neurotransmitters that function in the brain. Coincidentally I am currently doing an Integrative Medicine fellowship at the University of Arizona and just this month we have been studying just this sort of information and it is very exciting to see this correlation and have some hope that there is the possibility of improvement and prevention. Our professor is Dr. David Perlmutter and he has written several books on brain health and diet that lay people can read and not get lost in too much unpronounceable science speak. Hopefully this helps.

      1. Thank you. Even though pre-pharmacy gives me some ability to follow the articles, I don’t have access, via degree or license, to read full studies, and have some trouble following more than the abstract and conclusion.
        I never *heard* of Prevotellaceae bacteria! It is not like those are sold in the probiotics fridge at my natrual food shop!
        So how can we help ourselves?
        Although I found Dr. Perlmutter’s Amazon page and followed it, I want more angles/interdisciplines on this subject!
        I want Dr. Greger to do a video on these two above studies!

  25. In many places, dr Greger talks about the antioxidant power of different foods, he even ranks them by this criteria.
    In 2012, USDA removed their ORAC database from their website, because of the mounting evidence that the values indicating antioxidant capacity have no relevance to the effects of specific bioactive compounds, including polyphenols on human health. We can find the same info on wikipedia: The United States Department of Agriculture, previously a publisher of ORAC data, withdrew its web publication of ORAC values for common American foods in 2012 due to absence of scientific evidence that ORAC has any biological significance.
    I know USDA list and the list used by dr Greger were done using different techniques (ORAC vs a modified version of the FRAP assay), but I don’t think this invalidates my questions below:

    Why did USDA removed their list? Why do they say that There is no evidence that the beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich foods can be attributed to the antioxidant properties of these foods. The data for antioxidant capacity of foods generated by in vitro (test-tube) methods cannot be extrapolated to in vivo (human) effects and the clinical trials to test benefits of dietary antioxidants have produced mixed results. We know now that antioxidant molecules in food have a wide range of functions, many of which are unrelated to the ability to absorb free radicals.? We put this on the same conspiracies created by the meat and diary industries? I’d really like a response because I am not talking about an anonymous blogger telling us his guesses about food, but about an arm of the US government.

  26. Really loved his book and had so much information, but didn’t have anything on ovarian cysts. I was just hospitalized for a large ovarian cyst rupture and I asked the doctors how this can be prevented in the future and they didn’t have any answers. Are there any foods/spices that can prevent ovarian cysts? Also, are there foods that possibly contribute to the development? I am vegan and have been for about a year now.

    1. The cysts are usually due to hormonal disruptions so you may want to focus on that area of the book. Likewise, there are many things in our environment that contribute to hormonal disruptions, especially chemical that we are exposed to via pollution, plastics, fertilizers, preservatives. To get more information on this area of lesser known toxic effects consult information about Environmental Health. Here is an article to get you started. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19502515

  27. Love the video, have the book (love it too). Also have a question and have been trying to find a place to ask. My friend has Moto Neuron Disorder. I need to know about nutrition to help her make it better. Her naturopath has her on healthy natural injections, etc. But I need to know what else she can do. I cannot just spew out info, I need a Dr. to back me up. Any ideas or cures, or helping concoctions. I want to help her, she cannot walk and is losing feeling/strength in hands and arms. Thanks to anyone.

    1. Hello CB, I am a volunteer moderator for Nutrition facts and help Dr. Greger with questions. I am a plant based dietitian based in Scottsdale, Arizona. I would recommend you see Dr G’s videos on Multiple Sclerosis as a start since his addressing of MS may help you provide some information to your friend with a moto neuron disorder. There are other videos listed that will provide some value as well.
      Thanks so much for your question!

  28. It’s a shame indeed that policymakers ignore science when it comes to health, but why would health only be personal responsiblity? What happened to public health? So many people are not able to take personal responsibility, due to sickness, living in unhealthy environments/food deserts, working 100 hours a week, etc etc. Any government that puts profit over people should be ashamed.

  29. I have read the book and found it very helpful but I can’t meet the daily dozens to save my life, simply because I cannot eat as much. Especially when it comes to beans/lentils and grains I often meet my limits and can get to at most 2 servings of each. How are the units for the servings calculated? I assume they are supposed to cover the requirements for everyone, so that even those that need generally more nutrients (e.g. tall men) can get all the needed nutrients from the dozen, right?
    Can I then as a relatively short and average wheighted woman proportionally scale the servings down?

    I generally have the problem of meeting all my daily requirements on a WFPB diet according to cronometer (which takes my age, sex and height into account), even with the official servings of the daily dozens. I’d have to eat so much in a day that it would be impossible to consume (also way over my normal calorie limit). That has me worried quite a bit.
    I still need to check up at my doctor’s but considering that some deficiencies appear slowly over time I’m not sure if it would give an accurate picture.

    Can anyone offer some advice for me? That would be great and I’d appreciate it a lot.

    1. That_one_person: My understanding is that the Daily Dozen is set to meet about a 2,000 calorie per day diet. If your calorie needs are less, then scale down the servings in each category (except exercise and flax I presume) accordingly. Make sense?

      1. Hello Thea, thank you very much for your answer!

        I must give a warning ahead, I don’t know much about nutrition. Sorry, if what I write is completely bonkers and sorry for the length.

        The question that arises from your advice is in what sense are calorie needs and needs for vitamins, minerals etc. connected, or rather, in which way can I use calories as a “measurement” for my needs for such vitamins, minerals, etc.?
        As far as I understand it calories are just the pure energy that a food provides (e.g. I remember how in the book Dr. Greger explains how the pricing for food is measured via calories per food unit and not overall nutritonal value per food unit).
        As a layperson I derive from this that even though I might need fewer calories, that is, fewer overall energy, this might not necessarily reflect that I also need less of everything else, so a generally lower food intake could lead to defficiencies?
        I’m thinking back to cronometer here that sets my limit for calories around 1800-2000 (I tend to eat around 1800c, then I become full) which never allows me to meet my other nutritial requirements acc. to the website, at least. If I want to get all the vitamins, especially the ones that are harder to get such as potassium, calcium or vitamin e, I’m often at 2200-2300 calories. If I just use the daily dozen servings, which are already quite a lot for me, I get nowhere near covering my requirements.
        Is it possible that cronometer is off either in its calculation for my demographic’s requirements or in its information of ingredients’ nutritional value?

        Additionally, I also end up having to eat pretty much the same food everyday because a variation often means missing out on certain nutrients if I don’t substitute with a food that has either exactly the same properties or I need to puzzle together a completely new and detailed plan of ingredients to eat for a day. Can I take a more approximative approach and is it ok to not meet some daily requirements if you get an excess of the same nutrient another day?

        Sorry again, that I have so many convoluted questions.

        1. That_one_person: I understand your question(s). I’m not an expert, so I forwarded your post to our medical moderators. We do not have enough volunteers to answer every question, but at least your question is in the pile.
          .
          For what it’s worth, I think you are making it way too complicated. If you eat a variety of foods over say every few weeks, including generally reasonable proportions of the main four food groups (beans, grains, fruits, and veggies), then it seems to me that you are likely to get all the nutrients you need, in the right amounts, leading to good chances of great health.
          .
          Compared to the PCRM Power Plate, the Daily Dozen gives some more guidance/details on what to eat. But for yourself, I think I would recommend that you look at and think about the Power Plate for a bit. http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate Bottom Line: I don’t think it has to be as complicated as you are making it out to be. All else being equal, we generally get more than enough nutrients from a healthy diet, regardless of our calorie needs. I recommend enjoying a variety of dishes made out of whole plant foods. Enjoy your diet!
          .
          Good luck.

          1. Thank you very much, Thea!

            This already relaxes me quite a bit and makes me more comfortable to eat as much healthy food as I can but not go over my limits.
            I perfectly understand that there are long waiting times for medical answers due to a shortage in moderators. If they ever get to my question then I’ll be glad but if not I’ll just try to listen to my gut in terms of limits. Thanks! :)

  30. What is your recommendation for eating a plant-based diet for a person who is allergic to peanuts, tree nuts, peas, coconut, sesame, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat, barley, rye, and oats, plus can only tolerate small amounts of soy? It seems almost impossible.

    1. Hi GreenBee: Multiple food allergies can make any eating plan difficult. To substitute the protein in the nuts/seeds, you can focus on getting most of your protein from beans and lentils. You could also try sunbutter if sunflowers seeds are OK. Maybe try hemp seeds too? You can focus on amaranth, buckwheat (doesn’t actually contain wheat), corn, millet, quinoa, rice, sorghum, and teff for grains. Most of these grains contain a good amount of protein as well. You could try rice milk as your dairy alternative. Hope this helps!

  31. My daughter, 23, has been smoking Shisha from a hookah since 10th grade in high school. I don’t even know what Shisha is and if it has any harmful chemicals in it. She also smokes medical marijuana since high school. Recently she told me she has been getting constant stabbing lung pain and that it has been going on for one year. I am very concerned because she let these symptoms go for an entire year without doing anything about it. A few days ago she told me she was having trouble breathing and trouble taking in a big breath. I immediately took her to see the doctor and an xray was ordered. We will have more information next week about the findings. She also said sometimes it feels like her lungs are filling up with fluid. Is this possible and I wonder what could be happening in her lungs?
    I told my daughter that she has to stop smoking but she keeps saying that she’s only going to stop until her lungs stop hurting.

  32. This is really a great overview. I’ve been watching Dr. Greger’s videos heavy for a couple of weeks now. He is not my favorite speaker. I have been vegan since 2010. I recently decided to try and be a more educated vegan. It’s been a bit overwhelming because I don’t cook and I want to and want to base it on the most solid nutrition facts possible. Thanks to Dr. Greger it is all coming together finally and this app is going to be a GREAT TOOL! I just installed it and have been looking it over and so far I am supper stoked!

    The app is organized very well. I love how I can track my daily dozen intake and drill into each item to learn more! This is going to be an invaluable tool!!!

  33. Hi Dr. Gregor! I’m in my junior year of college and I am considering career options. I would love to become a nutritionist or registered dietician, but specifically a plant-based dietician. I am currently double majoring in English and Health & Wellness, and the nutrition class that I took was frustrating, and was clearly influenced by meat & dairy industries. I’m wondering if it’s worth my time and money to take further classes in order to have the qualifications to become a registered dietician, when that information is influenced too?

    Also thank you very much for your work. I loved How Not to Die, and practically my whole family eats plant-based because of the information I learned from you years ago. I continue to watch your videos and learn new things every day.

  34. Hi, Carina. I sympathize with your frustration as a nutritionist who recently (in my early 50s) completed a graduate program in nutrition as a career changer. In my opinion, it is not only worthwhile but critical that more people knowledgeable about plant-based diets become nutritionists and dietitians. The RD credential is more widely marketable than other credentials. If I were still an undergraduate, I would pursue that. I chose a different path, because it worked better for me as a middle-aged person who graduated from college over 30 years ago. Please earn the credentials and join our ranks! I hope that helps!

  35. I love for what you do Dr. Greger. I have been listening to your videos on YouTube and also bought few of your books. Would love to talk to you on a personal note. I live in Ajax, Canada. Now you do have my email address. Please let me know if this is convenient as I know that you have so much on your plate :).

    Thanks a lot,

    Sincerely,

    Amin

  36. Hello everybody,

    After years of just reading and watching this superb website, never posted much….. I wanted to point out something for my fellow Dutch readers on this site, Because I bookmarked this site and just ordered the English version of How not to die, I never looked any further to get my nutrition info. My english is oke [probably already made lots of spelling mistakes…;], but medical and nutrition words are difficult to fully understand for me.
    The sollution is near!

    1; The dutch version of ‘How not to die’ is out. It is called ‘Hoe overleef je’. Even if you have the English version, the Dutch version is worth it!

    2; The Dutch version of ‘Hown not to die cookbook’ should be out 31-5-2018.

    3; The Dutch, I guess sister website, is ‘nutritionfactsnederlands.nl. Already lots of video’s with Dutch subtitels.

    Just wanted to point that out.

    Good day!

  37. Why are recommended servings for men and women the same? Shouldn’t women eat less? If, as a women, I have trouble eating everything on the daily dozen serving recommendations, should I just make sure I eat at least something from each of the categories? Help please! I have 100 pounds to lose and I don’t want to overeat.

  38. In regard to why serving recommendations are the same for men and women, it would be great if Dr. Greger could explain that in one of his videos sometime.

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