How Smoking in 1956 is Like Eating in 2017

How Smoking in 1956 is Like Eating in 2017
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Given that our diet is the #1 cause of death and disability, surely nutrition is the #1 thing doctors learn in medical school, right? Surely, it’s the #1 thing your doctor talks to you about. How could there be such a disconnect between the available evidence and the practice of medicine? Let’s do a thought experiment…

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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.

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 number one cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of disability in this country, is our diet—which has bumped tobacco smoking to number two. Smoking now only kills about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet now kills hundreds of thousands more.

So, if most death and disability is preventable, and related to nutrition, then obviously, nutrition is the number one thing taught in medical school, right? It’s the number one thing your doctor talks to you about. How could there be such a disconnect between the science, and the practice, of medicine?

Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine yourself a smoker back in the 1950s. The average per capita cigarette consumption was about 4,000 cigarettes a year. Think about that. In the 1950s, the average person walking around smoked a half pack a day.

The media was telling you to smoke. Famous athletes agreed. Even Santa Claus cared enough about your throat to want you to smoke. I mean, you want to keep fit, and stay slender; so, you make sure to smoke. And eat lots of hot dogs to keep trim, and lots of sugar to stay slim and trim—a lot less fattening than that apple there. I mean, sheesh. Though apples do “connote goodness and freshness,” reads one internal tobacco industry memo, which brings up many possibilities for making “youth-oriented” cigarettes. They wanted to make apple-flavored cigarettes for kids.

In addition to staying fit and slender, and soothing your throat, “For digestion’s sake,” you smoke. I mean, “No curative power is claimed for [by] Philip Morris—but [hey], an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Better be safe than sorry, and smoke.

Like eating, smoking was a family affair. “Gee, Mommy, you sure enjoy your Marlboro!” “You’re darn tootin’. ” “Just one question, Mom: can you afford not to smoke Marlboros?” In the 1950s, your kids were giving you cigarettes. Even your dog was giving you cigarettes.

“Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.” “No woman ever says no.” They’re “so round, so firm, so fully packed.” After all, John Wayne smoked them (until he got lung cancer and died).

Back then, even the Paleo folks were smoking, and so were the doctors.

Now, this is not to say there wasn’t controversy within the medical profession. Yes, some doctors smoked Camels, but other physicians preferred Luckies. So, there was some disagreement. “Eminent doctors, on high and impartial medical authority, call for Philip Morris.” Even the specialists couldn’t agree which cigarette was better for your throat. So, best to stick to the science. And, more scientists smoke this brand.

This should not be rocket science—but even the rocket scientists had their favorite: for “the man who thinks for himself.”

We know why the AMA may have been sucking up to the tobacco industry, refusing to endorse the Surgeon General’s report on smoking, after they were handed a ten million dollar check from the tobacco industry.

But, why weren’t more individual doctors speaking out? Well, there were a few gallant souls ahead of their time, writing in, as there are today, standing up against industries killing millions. But, why not more? Maybe, it’s because the majority of physicians themselves smoked cigarettes—just like the majority of physicians today continue to eat foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary diseases. What was the AMA’s rallying cry back then? Everything in moderation. Extensive scientific studies have proven “smoking in moderation”—oh, that’s fine. Sound familiar?

Eating the Standard American Diet today is like being a smoker back in the 1950s. Most everyone you know eats this way. It’s normal—it’s what they feed people in hospitals, for gosh sake. But, you don’t have to wait until society catches up with the science again.

Sometimes, it takes a whole generation for things to change in medicine. The old guard of smoking physicians and medical school professors die off, and a new generation takes its place. But how many patients need to die in the interim?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to stux via Pixabay

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.

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 number one cause of death in the United States, and the number one cause of disability in this country, is our diet—which has bumped tobacco smoking to number two. Smoking now only kills about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet now kills hundreds of thousands more.

So, if most death and disability is preventable, and related to nutrition, then obviously, nutrition is the number one thing taught in medical school, right? It’s the number one thing your doctor talks to you about. How could there be such a disconnect between the science, and the practice, of medicine?

Let’s do a thought experiment. Imagine yourself a smoker back in the 1950s. The average per capita cigarette consumption was about 4,000 cigarettes a year. Think about that. In the 1950s, the average person walking around smoked a half pack a day.

The media was telling you to smoke. Famous athletes agreed. Even Santa Claus cared enough about your throat to want you to smoke. I mean, you want to keep fit, and stay slender; so, you make sure to smoke. And eat lots of hot dogs to keep trim, and lots of sugar to stay slim and trim—a lot less fattening than that apple there. I mean, sheesh. Though apples do “connote goodness and freshness,” reads one internal tobacco industry memo, which brings up many possibilities for making “youth-oriented” cigarettes. They wanted to make apple-flavored cigarettes for kids.

In addition to staying fit and slender, and soothing your throat, “For digestion’s sake,” you smoke. I mean, “No curative power is claimed for [by] Philip Morris—but [hey], an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Better be safe than sorry, and smoke.

Like eating, smoking was a family affair. “Gee, Mommy, you sure enjoy your Marlboro!” “You’re darn tootin’. ” “Just one question, Mom: can you afford not to smoke Marlboros?” In the 1950s, your kids were giving you cigarettes. Even your dog was giving you cigarettes.

“Blow in her face and she’ll follow you anywhere.” “No woman ever says no.” They’re “so round, so firm, so fully packed.” After all, John Wayne smoked them (until he got lung cancer and died).

Back then, even the Paleo folks were smoking, and so were the doctors.

Now, this is not to say there wasn’t controversy within the medical profession. Yes, some doctors smoked Camels, but other physicians preferred Luckies. So, there was some disagreement. “Eminent doctors, on high and impartial medical authority, call for Philip Morris.” Even the specialists couldn’t agree which cigarette was better for your throat. So, best to stick to the science. And, more scientists smoke this brand.

This should not be rocket science—but even the rocket scientists had their favorite: for “the man who thinks for himself.”

We know why the AMA may have been sucking up to the tobacco industry, refusing to endorse the Surgeon General’s report on smoking, after they were handed a ten million dollar check from the tobacco industry.

But, why weren’t more individual doctors speaking out? Well, there were a few gallant souls ahead of their time, writing in, as there are today, standing up against industries killing millions. But, why not more? Maybe, it’s because the majority of physicians themselves smoked cigarettes—just like the majority of physicians today continue to eat foods that are contributing to our epidemics of dietary diseases. What was the AMA’s rallying cry back then? Everything in moderation. Extensive scientific studies have proven “smoking in moderation”—oh, that’s fine. Sound familiar?

Eating the Standard American Diet today is like being a smoker back in the 1950s. Most everyone you know eats this way. It’s normal—it’s what they feed people in hospitals, for gosh sake. But, you don’t have to wait until society catches up with the science again.

Sometimes, it takes a whole generation for things to change in medicine. The old guard of smoking physicians and medical school professors die off, and a new generation takes its place. But how many patients need to die in the interim?

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to stux via Pixabay

Doctor's Note

In this video, I try to answer the question that surely must occur to anyone even dipping their toes into the lifestyle medicine literature: “Wait a second, if this were true, why didn’t my doctor tell me?” If, for example, our #1 killer can be reversed through diet, why isn’t it front page news, taught to every medical student, broadcast from every mountaintop by medical organizations and government dietary guidelines? Still confused? Check out my other videos that address these questions:

For more on the parallels between smoking then, and eating today, see:

Is the risk of smoking and the Standard American Diet really comparable, though? See Animal Protein Compared to Cigarette Smoking.

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

125 responses to “How Smoking in 1956 is Like Eating in 2017

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    1. When Dr Greger isn’t limited to a short video he can make his points even more obvious! For a longer version of the content in today’s video see the last part of “Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Dreaded Diseases with Diet”.
      http://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine
      Start at 54:46 and go to 1:12:20. I love the quotes by Dr Neal Barnard and Dr Kim Williams near the end.




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  1. The only thing I remember from medschool regarding nutrition was my professor in cardiology saying that it is impossible to bring down the cholesterol with diet alone, you need medication, and my professor in haematology saying that it is probably healthy to be a vegetarian, but you will surely develop anaemia, and them I remember a very skilled cardiologist who inhaled huge amounts of cake between the angiograms, not to mention the child oncologist who was a heavy smoker, wrinkled in his face like a raisin and his skin had a slightly yellow tone. When I was an intern, one of my collegues brought his own dinner – chips and coke.
    Regarding nutrition: DONT LISTEN TO YOUR DOCTOR! The chance that he or she on the field of nutrition is an ignorant is probably near 100%




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    1. The interns at the hospital I used to work at were always boasting about how little sleep they got, how crappy their diet was, etc., competing to show how much they could abuse their own bodies, as if this somehow showed their commitment to the profession of helping others to get well.




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      1. I’ve always wondered if, due to the harsh conditions of medical training, there’s selection for particularly physically robust people and that they would, perhaps, be less sympathetic to people prone to illness having not experienced such states themselves.




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    2. That squares with the Youtube video by Dr Klaper who at one time was an anesthesiologist. He watched the heart surgeon pull out long strands of plaque from a man’s arteries, then, after the surgery, saw that same doctor in the cafeteria eating big helpings of the fatty meats that caused the problems he so deftly tried to correct! Dr Klaper is now a whole foods plant based doctor using no sugar, oil or salt.




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  2. Even if they taught more nutrition in medical school it wouldn’t help much if they keep using the current batch of nutrition textbooks. I’m in college for nursing right now and they’re covering nutrition in my class *right now* and I’m having to tune it out to keep myself from interrupting class on how dangerous and outdated the information they’re teaching is.

    Meat and dairy is being referenced as safe and nutritious food. There is hardly mention of how diet impacts health other than preventing deficiencies and obesity. Vegans are lumped in with vegetarians and are only mentioned because of the risk of b12 and vitamin D deficit. I can go on and on… it’s infuriating.

    I don’t know whether it’s more frustrating that a whole generation of new nurses is being prejudiced against a whole plant foods diet or that the professors who say ‘evidence-based practice’ in every other breath won’t bother changing the curricula to match the science.




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    1. Good point. Places where nutrition is taught, it is not exactly Greger, Esselstyn, McDougall, Klaper they refer to.
      “Meat and dairy is being referenced as safe and nutritious food” – OK there is still a long way.
      “nutritional deficiencies (probably referring to vitamin and minerals) – which century does the teachers come from? :-)




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      1. I’ve been eating about 97% vegan for 8 years or so based on the writings of the docs you mentioned, but now I’m very confused because docs like Mark Hyman who is well respected in the functional medicine field and works at the Cleveland Clinic, studies showing to eat more fat – granted its fat like avocado/coconut oil and he says not to eat it with unhealthy carbs, but his talks with other professionals on his Fat Summits don’t seem to be in alignment with the docs you mentioned. In fact I know Dr. Esselstyn thinks all oils are a waste of calories. Mark said on one of the videos that his LDL has gone way up from eating so much coconut oil, but these folks are citing studies too. It’s very confusing.




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        1. Betsy:
          .
          When all is said and done, Hyman is citing studies, but he is misleading people in various ways when he does it. VegCoach found the following 4 minute video about one of Mark Hyman’s claims that demonstrates my point. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RovJRlTbsgw&feature=youtu.be
          .
          Also, the following post from Tom Goff looks into some of the other of Hyman’s claims. http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/03/22/the-effects-of-dietary-cholesterol-on-blood-cholesterol/#comment-2584872026
          .
          I agree that it *is* terribly confusing for most people. It really frustrates me that a lack of integrity and basic human decency is affecting the very lives of so many people.




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            1. Jean: The volume is working fine for me and no one else has mentioned the volume as being an issue.
              .
              I’m not sure if this will be worth it to you or not, but you might narrow down the issue by trying other recent videos on this site to see if you experience the same problem and then try a video or two on a different browser. Maybe whatever you find out with these experiments will help you narrow down the problem???
              .
              Sorry I don’t have anything more concrete for you.




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            2. The issue is that the video was recorded with a mono-microphone and is playing back predominantly on the left channel. If your headphones or your speakers or your head has a problem with the left side it will be a low volume.




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          1. I agree! When Dr. Hyman’s book on the sugar solution came out I got a free advance excerpt. I was stunned to see he recommended BACON!! I tried to engage in a dialogue as to why he thought a high fat, nitrate laden, version of cured meat belonged in anyone’s diet but I never got a response. When I visited the Canyon Ranch Spa this summer and spoke with their medical director he was very sad that one of their former medical directors was clearly less interested in patient health than other priorities. One needs to be judicious as we wade through the conflicting experts.




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            1. docbeccy: Thank you for your reply. That’s some interesting insight.
              .
              re: “…wade through conflicting experts.” One of the biggest mistakes I see people making is along the lines of false equivalencies. I see it all the time here on NutritionFacts. “You say this, but these other people say something else and they have valid points too.” There are times when a “side” is not equally valid. If you give equal weight to all sides without having the ability to filter (as most people do not when it comes to nutrition), then you can end up confused and/or finding a balance between two view points which is not actually reasonable/balanced/based on the evidence.
              .
              I wish there was a way to help people see through this, but I don’t think there is at this time. People are just massively confused, often invested in that confusion, and I don’t judge them. It is tough! At some point, I think the situation will be like the smoking issue and everyone will just get it instinctively, because like the smoking issue at some point the science (and noticing the health of WFPB eaters long term) will win out. In the mean time, we can do our part to help by continuing to volunteer on NutritionFacts. :-)




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              1. Thea: When I was in college, it was mandatory to take a course in Logic & the Scientific Method. Are such courses even taught at all in the schools today? I think such a course would go a long way in helping people sort out which arguments regarding nutrition are valid and which are not. And being able to see the “big picture” regarding nutrition, such as the way T Colin Campbell outlined it in the book “Whole”, would help people put the pieces of the “nutrition puzzle” together properly, rather than looking at each little fact separately.




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                1. Darwin Galt: Thanks for your reply. I agree with you in part. I don’t think people are getting (or got?) enough of an education in basic scientific concepts. I also like your mention of the book Whole, which I think has helped so many of us understand where nutritional science has gone wrong. (And it helped me refine my charity giving.) FYI, NutritionFacts has a video covering the concept of reductionism at a high level: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/reductionism-deficiency-mentality/
                  .
                  However, I’m not sure more science and logic classes in school would solve the problem in this case. Following is a NutritionFacts video which shows what Dr. Greger and the NutritionFacts team go through just to examine and validate a single study: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/behind-the-scenes-at-nutritionfacts-org/. To do such due diligence with enough studies to have a sense of what the body of evidence is telling us is simply an effort that the vast a majority of people do not have time for, even if they had the skill set. Having the time and interest to specialize, like Dr. Greger does, is necessary in almost every aspect of our very complicated society. Figuring out the body of evidence regarding nutrition is not something for a generalist and how many of us can specialize the way Dr. Greger does?
                  .
                  My point is that our society needs experts to function. Needing experts to sift all that data and tell us what it says is not a failing of our education system nor a failing of individuals. It would help if individuals were better at picking and double-checking the experts. That’s where I think we could have some improvement/education. I also want to say that it is natural that there will be legitimate areas where experts disagree. Sometimes the data is not clear and experts will have opposing opinions, and it’s a healthy part of the process. Some disagreements are perfectly valid. Where I think the system is failing is that we have experts who are not acting on good faith. Who are deliberately misleading people for the sake of money, attention, or both. And they are using very clever techniques.
                  .
                  This is a situation that is almost impossible for the average person to figure out. Truly educated, generally clear thinking people get caught up in paleo fallacies. If I remember correctly, the person who put together the Plant Positive videos started out buying all the paleo arguments. “Plant Positive” is obviously an incredibly smart and educated person. And his ability to see through the garbage took untold hours of research. (See http://www.plantpositive.com for a great set of videos debunking cholesterol denialism and paleo claims.) Who has the time or interest to do all that? (Other than Dr. Greger I mean. ;-) ) The point is that I sympathize with the people who are confused and do my best not to judge.
                  .
                  PS: I know this was a long post and probably more than your comment really called for. I just realized as I started to respond that I wanted to express these thoughts/clarify what I wrote above, and your post gave the opportunity/excuse to do that. Thank you.




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                  1. “Having the time and interest to specialize, like Dr. Greger does, is necessary in almost every aspect of our very complicated society.”

                    EXCEPT…that his conclusions from all the advanced science leads back to eating whole foods as was done previously in a much less complicated society…at least less complicated scientifically…but maybe fairly complicated when you consider the learned behaviors passed down by generations? At least the generations BEFORE mass advertising and the stuff sold to people for big profits.

                    It takes complicated science to unravel complicated machinations to sell idiots junk?




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                    1. Fred: I’ve been struggling on how to respond to your post. You write, “… his conclusions from all the advanced science leads back to eating whole foods as was done previously in a much less complicated society…” This sounds like a paleo argument to me and not all that helpful for a variety of reasons. For example, some diets of societies from less complicated times were pretty unhealthy. Take the traditional Inuits for example, who ate that way because they had to, not because it was healthy for them. On the other hand, you can look at “less complicated societies” and find shining examples of healthy eating: the blue zones. I agree in general that the diet of the blue zones is compelling evidence. Those diets are largely whole food, plant based diets. But a) that evidence does not stand by itself and b) that evidence can be interpreted differently, confusing the matter for people.
                      .
                      What I mean by a) is that we have a lot of other science out there that both supports and confuses the matter for the blue zone diets. It is not obvious that all we have to do is look at the diet of the blue zones and everyone should know exactly what to do. How do we know which parts of their diets are health promoting and which parts are not? For example, did the Okinawans live longer *because* of the tiny amount of fish in their diet or *in spite* of it? Or is fish health-neutral? We only know the answer to that question because of the broader context of all the other scientific data out there. The diet of the blue zone cultures is just one data point. Also, how do we know whether adding more fish to the Okinawan diet would not have let them live even longer? We only know the answer to that because of all the other data/studies/non-blue zone information out there. If you have to look at all that other data, then we are back to the points I made in my previous post.
                      .
                      What I mean by b) is that while those diets are largely plant based, the diets have some animal products in them. Some people take that to mean eating significant amounts of meat, diary and eggs is a vital part of healthy eating. We only know that is not true in the context of the other (valid!) studies and information out there. And some people debate how much animal products were really eaten in the traditional blue zone diets. So, again, looking just at that data doesn’t paint a clear, black and white picture.
                      .
                      Bottom line is that I don’t think the situation is as simple as you are making it out to be.
                      .
                      Also, while I’m not sure what you meant by your last sentence, I think you are calling people who eat meat, dairy eggs, oils etc. “idiots”. For all the reasons I posted here and above and for all the social and psychological reasons that apply, that is simply untrue and unfair. That last sentence also comes super close to breaking the posting rules for this site. (Please be more thoughtful with your words. Thank you.)




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                  2. Thea:
                    Thank you for your detailed response. You make some excellent points. As some background, I have been WFPB for many years now, but just recently found this website. I am really impressed by how the NutritionFacts team puts together the scientific research into a short video that people can readily understand and also includes the references. You’re right that most people don’t have the time nor the background to tackle this on their own.

                    And I can see where people who have a limited exposure to nutrition concepts could easily be mislead by nefarious people.
                    Your example of the Plant Positive videos is a good one, where the author changed from Paleo to WFPB. On the surface the argument for Paleo sounds logical, but upon deeper research and exposure to other viewpoints, the inconsistencies of
                    Paleo start popping up and can no longer be ignored. This is where I think training in basic logic would help the average person. Being able to recognize an inconsistency in an argument is crucial. But like you say, one also needs exposure to other viewpoints. Then slowly a big consistent picture begins to emerge. Incidentally, this is how I became WFPB I, too, formerly believed bits and pieces of incorrect information. It was only when I thought through all the inconsistencies and began to see the “big picture” that I became WFBP.

                    This is where I think this website serves such a valuable role. It’s one of the few places on the Internet where there is a wealth of summarized research and it’s very difficult to find any logical inconsistencies in the big picture presented here.
                    Sure there are minor details where there is not enough evidence to make a definite conclusion, but on the whole, the WFPB picture is clear and consistent.

                    Looks like I’m going to become a regular viewer/reader here :-)




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          2. Thanks Thea for the video and link – very interesting. Thanks also to the others who replied to my query. I had planned to try the high fat diet but guess I’ll put the brakes on that!




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            1. @Betsy Apart from the question of whether the study cited by Hyman in any way supports his claims, there is an added problem with that study. That is, while the “reduced fat” diet is truly a low-fat diet, with only 7.7% of calories from fat, the “reduced carbohydrate” diet is 29% of calories from carbs. That is indeed *reduced* from the baseline of 50% carbs, it’s very far from a low-carb diet in the sense Hyman is talking about. So the study is pitting an extreme low-fat diet against a very moderately low-carb diet. Most low-carb advocates will point out that the alleged benefits of this kind of diet don’t appear until carbs are reduced to ketogenic levels, or close to it. That happens at about the 15% level, depending on body mass. The researchers acknowledge this problem, but they didn’t want to permit the high fat levels that would have been needed to drop to ketogenic carb levels, because they wanted to examine *substitution* of carbs by fat, holding the percentage constant.

              So…we can only guess what the outcome would have been if a LCHF diet had been tried. Well, *I* don’t have to guess, having tried it myself on many occasions. But since anecdotes are not science, I’ll skip that part. I’ll just say this: Don’t do LCHF unless you’re confident you can stick to it forever, because if and when you stop, it tends to leave you in a worse place than when you started.




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          3. Hyman is such a quack. He also promotes calcium supplements… Which are apparently toxic according to real science… He is a commercial con-man. He’s about as credible as “authoritynutrition” and Dr. Oz are.




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        2. Well – I think it is important to look at the big lines, because there are small differences between what these great docs (and others) recommend. E.g. McDougall is very fond of starches and has nothing against a little salt, Furhmann is very fond of beans and vegetables, for some a little processed oil is OK, For Ornish small amounts of egg white is OK and so on. Common to them is they recommend a mostly vegan diet – I think that is the important point




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        3. Hi Betsy,
          I have been saying this for a long time. You’ll never see this here, but other scientists critique Dr. Greger’s finding the same way as Thea does about Dr. Hyman below. I just try to listen to all of them that seem to have substance and sift them through my own filter.
          John S




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          1. John S: Did you watch that 4 minute video? I’ve never seen Dr. Greger make a claim about a study where the study actually says the very opposite of Dr. Greger’s claim–not the way that Dr. Hyman did. I highly recommend watching that 4 minute video.




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            1. Yes, I did watch the 4 minute video. I also saw the Klaper video. I was only allowed to see the viewpoint of the person making the video, and he wasn’t honest about what Dr. Hyman actually said. Hyman was talking about calories burned by people when they ate different things,and the video never addressed the issue that Hyman brought up.
              John S




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              1. John: FYI: I looked into this video in the past. I went to Hyman’s site and I read his claims and then examined the claims in the video. I do not remember see any discrepancies. Anyway, glad you got to see the video.
                .
                Note, I did not reference a Dr. Klaper video in the above post. I don’t know what you are referring to.




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              2. John,
                You need to look at the study in that video that is referenced by Dr. Hyman. That study does show that restricting carbs reduced insulin secretion and increased fat burning. BUT, it also found that in the study, those restricting fat LOST MORE WEIGHT! And the study goes into more why that was the case.

                My point, is that Dr. Hyman can show that you can “burn” more calories eating fat vs carbs, but the mechanism is not that simple such that you will still loose more weight restricting fats. That is something that doesn’t fit with the message that Dr. Hyman is promoting, so he doesn’t bring it up.




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        4. It’s true oils are a waste of calories because those 120 calories could have been used on some concord grapes. When you think about it that way, it’s easy to forget about the oils. I have oil still left in my pantry and I use it for lubing up my cast iron so things won’t stick.




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    2. Was just telling MY nursing professor the same sort of thing today when our book and her lecture were touting certain foods, most if which fall in the “animal products” category! There is never a single reference in my nursing books to a healthier lifestyle other than going “low fat” (with the SAD).




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    3. HI Ryan. Thanks for your interest in having Dr. G come to your college. You can make your request by contacting one of the staff members on the “About” page with all of the details.




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    4. With a cast iron pot, methyl b12 supplements, vitamin C supplement ( still have some left over ), vitamin D supplement, and black strap molasses it’s hard for the doctors to find a deficiency in me because I use the cast iron, black strap in my tea daily, and the vitamin C to increase bioavailability. Now I wish I could do something about this restless leg I have but for now I’m forced to march in place until it tires me out.

      Once I run out, ill use my amla powder for the vitamin C supplement from then on. Win win.




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      1. GR,

        Restless leg syndrome can be a sign of a number of disorders and should not be overlooked. I’d encourage you to consider seeing your provider and having them address multiple potentials. I’m curious if you have tried to use some magnesium ? Preferably in the citrate or glycinate form, not the oxide as it’s not very absorbable. It will be a quick test that you can discuss with your health provider. Dr. Alan Kadish Moderator for Dr. Greger




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          1. If there is one thing we count on from nutritionfacts.org it is accurate information. Go to 3:10 in the video and consider the content “…until he got lung cancer and died.” An honest listener will hear this and think that lung cancer was the cause of death. In fact, stomach cancer was the cause of death in very source I found.

            So how does my comment help? It attempts, without contempt for others, to correct verifiably incorrect information in the video.




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            1. Good point. Attention to detail is important on a site like this. It’s possible, I suppose, that the stomach cancer that took John Wayne’s life was a metastasis of the original lung cancer, in which case the original cancer would be cited as the cause of death. But unless we know that for sure, it’s not a good idea to state that he died of lung cancer.




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            2. While Wayne’s 6 pack-a-day cigarette habit might have had something to do with his death, I’m pretty sure that the ultimate reason for his demise was his role as Genghis Khan, in the movie, “The Conqueror.” The film was shot downwind from active, above ground, nuclear bomb testing sites, in 1956, and quite a few of those involved in the filming succumbed to cancer in the years that followed. I fear that there are some historical personalities that one should portray, with great caution.




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                1. Gary-Thank you for your comment. It is dangerous to look at one specific person or case and make assumptions, especially if focusing on that one example causes us to doubt reliable science. No one can guarantee that one individual will not come down with a specific type of cancer or indeed any disease. What we can do is look at overall risk and research that focuses on trends. Yes, non smokers get lung cancer, but that should not make us doubt the strong evidence linking smoking and lung cancer. Likewise with stomach cancer and vegetarian nutrition.




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            3. its a very small difference you note but not significant. I hope you feel better now, because I am sure nobody else give a damn about what you wrote…




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            4. I’m sorry , . . but the quote ” . . until he got lung cancer and died.” . . .. states that after he got lung cancer he died. It does not state that JWayne died from lung cancer. It mere states that Wayne got lung cancer (first) and (then) died afterword. If the quote was ” . . until he got lung cancer from which he died.” then the indicator would be that Wayne died from the lung cancer. Greger’s quote does not state that. (Sorry, . . English major here).
              Having said that, Wayne still could have died from lung cancer that metastisized to his stomach which happens – just like lung cancer often metastizes to the brain which then kills.




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              1. It’s still misleading the public.
                By official law , Maybe it’s not considered misinformation,
                But we expect this site to be reliable more than just a Contract Agreement ..




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          2. I don’t know about you, but there is a certain amount of people for whom the truth is important. And also there are people (like our host) how ask others to point out eventual mistakes in their work.
            Unless you have a hostile relationship with the truth, Misterimpatient’s comment should help you, too.




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          3. hey dipshit technically misterimpatient is correct he died of stomach cancer not lung cancer . Use your logic if i had lung cancer and someone came up and shot me you would say i died from being shot not from the cancer…. this is suppose to be an informative video so having your facts right is a big deal and having them wrong takes credibility away from your argument that is how hes trying to help.




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  3. I think back then tobacco companies were paying off everyone now pharmaceutical companies are paying off everyone. Maybe a lot of doctors smoked back in the day, but I think a lot of doctors like their pills today.
    There is no money in gardening, but there is in pill popping.
    I think sometimes it would be easier just to eat like everyone else, then I remember I don’t want to feel like sh*t like everyone, or be on medications like everyone.




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    1. It sure would be a lot easier. I do a whole lotta kitchen time since we switched to WFPB. But then again, I’m passing most people even 30 years younger than me out on the trail. And I can stand to look in the mirror.




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  4. Hello,

    I was wondering if anyone knew how to treat Lichen Sclerosus with diet, and if anyone had found any scientific based evidence to support this? I can’t find anything on the site.

    Thanks!

    Ellen




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    1. Ellen! I have searched years for anything on LS. Mine, (if diagnosis was correct) has been on and off since I was 12 and I’m now almost 40 :-( Supposedly there is an autoimmune component to it but there isn’t a lot of evidence or study on it. What I have learned for me personally, is stress is a big factor. When I am living by faith and meditating regularly, cultivating charity, etc, I am much more likely to be in remission. Surprisingly, more important than anything I put in my mouth is how much I am eating. Overeating or eating when not very hungry leads to skin problems for me. Fasting and eating as little as possible is extremely helpful (my BMI stays around 18.5 to 19). It makes no sense, but I am better off eating tiny quantities of low quality foods than an abundance of healthy carbs even keeping weight constant. I have done long stints of over a year on high carb raw, Fuhrman, McDougall, and even a few weeks of Gerson with the full juices and everything. Major flareups throughout. Plus a big bloated belly if whole grains or legumes are eaten in any quantity. So my advice might not be the best for general health, but I gave up believing I was detoxing through my skin after a couple months, especially when a water fast clears everything very quickly. It’s like I’m allergic to too much healthy food!




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  5. I hate to be that guy, but this upload seems rather redundant. You’ve made like nearly 3-4 identical videos with essentially the exact same audio and visual content…. I’d rather see new studies and content personally.




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    1. redundant means not needed. Reading this:

      “Given that our diet is the #1 cause of death and disability, surely nutrition is the #1 thing doctors learn in medical school, right? Surely, it’s the #1 thing your doctor talks to you about. How could there be such a disconnect between the available evidence and the practice of medicine? ”

      i cant see how it is redundant. repetitive? perhaps, but necessary. The beat goes on. its a drum beat we all need to dance to. like on american bandstand “I rate this Dr. tops. He’s got a good beat and you can dance to him!” Its the platter chatter we need to hear. Especially with my shortening short-term memory.




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    1. There are many, many types of chronic kidney disease from multiple cause – including diabetes – as well as differing areas of the kidney that are affected by the disease. In nearly every case, people with kidney disease are put on a diet that is low in protein since the large molecules of protein are very difficult for the kidney to filter since that’s how the kidneys work. They filter out impurities from the blood and balance the electrolytes that are also in the blood so our cells can do the jobs they each do. Here is a great video Dr. Greger did on how to treat kidney disease with diet. http://nutritionfacts.org/video/treating-kidney-failure-through-diet/ I hope this is helpful.




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    2. I was diagnosed with CKD stage 3 (gfr-49) in Feb of 2016. I immediately began eating a plant based diet that I learned about here and Dr McDougall’s site. I also began an exercise program (90 minutes a day walking and/or cycling). My Kidney function tests were repeated after 4 months (June, 2016). My GFR has risen to 92 and the Nephrologist told me my kidney problems had resolved.




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      1. Thank you for your comment, kc. As a moderator on this site, I’m glad to see comments such as yours affirming the value of a plant-based nutrition. So glad your kidney function has improved to much and now you know how to keep it that way.




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  6. The situation is no better now. Our hospitals are serviced with Tim Hortons take-out centers that are dispensing donuts, frosted cakes, sugar-and-cream-laden fare that are surely ” killing us softly” through our guts. Can’t dismiss the Orwellian irony here: the hospital that serves to “cure” afflicted patients is the same setting that provides the poison.




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    1. It’s like a dentist owning a sweet shop.. Obviously they care about repeat customers more than they do about health.. Hospitals have jobs to maintain.




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  7. If the field of nutrition itself is dominated by the European dietary bias, where dead animals are a staple, how could the field of medicine break free without first suffering an identity crisis?




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  8. I was so brain-washed in my schooling as a kinesiologist. I wanted to go vegan 6 years ago when I first saw Earthlings and became aware of the horrific state of farming, but was told in 2 nutrition classes, 4 exercise physiology classes, and even my LIFESTYLE DISEASE class that being vegan and vegetarian was not healthy. It is an absolute DISSERVICE to humans, the planet, and especially the animals that we are paying thousands of dollars to be fed this MISINFORMATION. I have never felt so good since switching to a whole foods plant-based diet, my physical performance has improved, my nerve problems have disappeared, and I feel sharper and less sluggish all the damn time. I get so angry at conventional training for this. Thank you so much Dr. Greger for championing the truth!! You are amazing – can’t wait to see Eating You Alive.




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    1. Rebecca, I so understand and share your frustration about the common message taught to us all in our higher education programs. My last visit with my primacy care doc had her asking me (I’m in my 60’s) if I was drinking plenty of milk (addressing my bones). I just simply didn’t tell her that I hadn’t drunk milk since I was a teen. About 10 years ago I did show a very slight “ping” towards osteopenia after a bone heel density test. Nine years ago I went WFPB, SOS diet. The next bone heel test showed no issues. Still haven’t told my Doc that I’m WFPB sos vegan. (SOS stands for no sugar, oil, salt). We all have to individually push back with our own stories and success in regaining our health. In addition to my very slight osteopenia reversal, I reversed gout, reversed pre-diabetes, lost 30 lbs, lowered BP to 110/65 among other improved parameters of health.
      Let me also share that my niece, 29, vegetarian since birth (just would not eat meat!) and vegan since a teen, just gave birth to her totally WFPB vegan, totally healthy baby.
      Because of Dr. G’s site – and other sites like McDougall’s, etc. – we can now share our successes and fight back with the facts of our own experiences. So I am sharing my experiences here with you today so that even though we don’t know each other, you can use my experience as yet another story to re-tell and share to spread the word that not only are WFPB diets not dangerous but are, in fact, the opposite – very healthy.
      Stay the course and don’t forget that we on this site are supporting you in your education.




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  9. The author Sam Harris (https://www.samharris.org/) is trying to adopt a plant-based diet, but is having some trouble. Could Dr. G or a representative of NutritionFacts go on his podcast? :-) Sam Harris has a big following of “thinkers” so I think it would be an accepting audience which would hopefully spread the health message further! He’s quite active on twitter I believe.




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    1. schkorpio: I passed on your idea to the staff at NutritionFacts. They thought it was a great idea. The way the process works is that Sam Harris would have to ask Dr. Greger to do an interview. Here is the reply I got back from staff: “If Sam Harris invited Dr. Greger onto his podcast, Dr. Greger would be very happy to do the interview! Maybe if enough people message/tweet at Sam Harris to ask Dr. Greger to go on the podcast, then he’ll invite Dr. G on!” If you have any connection to Sam Harris or can get people to convince Sam Harris to ask Dr. Greger on, then I’m pretty sure it would happen. If Sam tries and is not sure how to get through, let me know.




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      1. Thanks for the reply Thea!

        I just realised my original message made it sound it a bit clandestine. I should have really mentioned that Sam Harris publicly asked for help on his podcast :)
        (5th of Jan 2016 https://youtu.be/eZmAmok5M3s?t=1818 the diet conversation begins 30 minutes 20 seconds in. (Waking Up with Sam Harris #24 — Ask Me Anything 2))

        As for the rest of you NurtitionFacts’ers: get tweeting :)




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  10. Another good expose’ by Dr Greger. It’s becoming increasingly clear that Big Industry, Big Government, and Big Media have been working hand-in-hand to shape the thinking of the populace for a long time. Now we can add Big Medicine into the mix! It’s unfortunate that the thinking that we’re supposed to believe is usually far from the truth :-(




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  11. Dr. M. Greger, MD, FACLM

    I dont know what FACLM means but my minds eye always reads FACe paLM. As though he just had to plant his face into his hands …again. But this is not our fate. Because of him and his whinny NY intellectual insistence on science fact, his (and his team’s) persistence in getting the message across, the balance is slowly shifting. People who used to smugly look down their nose at my insistence on whole plant foods at social gatherings ….many of those same folks are TELLING ME about studies they’ve heard about… that the real science is leaning (LEANING!) towards WPFoods.

    One man? Well others surely have done great things. Pritikin, Ornish, Esselstyn, Kempner…Yes they are manifold but not legion. And now we have an internet, media-savy savant. Dr. Greger shines a light on the dark dark cogs and sprockets cranking throughout the governemental/pharmaceutical/food manufacturing Industrial Complex that is killing people in their millions.

    I applaud his resilience and courage. Someday soon, perhaps today we will see the captains of the status quo doing this… https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e9d836a764f60a0d18a282171993a189340d7f53821ebca29e07d16cf57c7dc.png

    rats, it was a picture of Captain Picard’s famous facepalm pose. Didn’t show up as hoped..la




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    1. This shows an improvement yes, but relative to what? The answer of course is their previous diet

      If their previous diet was high in saturated fat, red meat and sugar, then it is not surprising that reducing these caused improvements. This is pretty much the existing mainstream advice eg

      ‘You can also reverse fatty liver disease by reducing or eliminating fatty foods and foods high in sugar from your diet. Choose healthier foods like fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Replace red meats with lean animal proteins like chicken and fish.”
      http://www.healthline.com/health/fatty-liver#Treatments7




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    2. I’m not sure why OhYeah would bring up this particular study for discussion. It isn’t contrary or particularly supportive to the subjects discussed here at NutritionFacts.org. That said, the take home message (for me) from the study appears to be that a high fat diet is bad for your health, in this case, for your liver and parameters related to diabetes.

      Methodology Highlights
      All subjects had type 2 diabetes and most had fatty liver disease. These were sick people to begin the study.

      The fat content of their diet prior to the study was 41%. No wonder they were sick. The fat content of the experimental diet was 30% of calories, not optimal but a significant reduction in fat calories.

      The protein content was 30% of calories on the experimental diet compared to 17% prior to the study. Were the results of the study due to higher protein content or lower fat content? The authors cannot honestly say.

      The source of added plant protein was pea protein powder. The added animal protein was more diverse (chicken, fish, etc).

      Neither of the diets consisted solely, or mostly, of whole plant foods. Much of the carbohydrate was refined. Oils were included in the experimental diet. This was not a WFBP diet.

      The study only lasted 6 weeks. That is way too short a time to compare plant protein vs animal protein on important health variables not measured by the investigators, such as the development of cancer.

      Summary

      Liver fat can be reduced by diet, which is a lifestyle result we like to see here at NF.org.

      If OhYeah is trying to make the case for diets high in animal protein or for high protein diets regardless of protein source, then he/she will have to find more convincing studies than this one.




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  12. on the website of drgreger.com under digital downloads volume 32 is this video with the title:

    How Smoking in 2956 is Like Eating in 2016

    instead of

    How Smoking in 1956 is Like Eating in 2016
    Please correct it.




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  13. This video reminds me of 1965 when I was 10. Every time I got some change I would head up to my corner store to get some candy.
    How could I pass up on the candy cigarettes and cigar shaped bubble gum? My dad smoked cigars and everyone else did the cigarettes.
    I think I was 13 or 14 before I started smoking the real cigs.




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    1. Did you blow the powdered sugar out from between the wrapper and candy/gum to very vaguely resemble smoke (enough to entertain a kid-in those days)? It only worked once per “ciggy” as I recall.




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      1. Sure did, as I recall you could get a puff of smoke out of them somehow..lol
        My worst memory was riding in our car (the back seat) and my father would light up a cigar with the windows closed. Of course I couldn’t say a word about it..Talk about being easy to get car sick..ugh those were the days..




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  14. I’d like help finding a recent reference I read but can’t find again. I think it was on nutrition facts that I read a comment or transcript that said that most heart attacks are not caused by a total blockage but by a rupture in the arterial wall (I pictured it as a pimple popping). Does this sound familiar to anyone and if so can you please point me to the citation.

    Thanks,
    Mark G.




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    1. It’s not true as far as I know, Mark. Coronary heart disease (AKA coronary artery disease) is apparently the leading cause of heart attacks.
      http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Heart-attack/Pages/Causes.aspx
      https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/heartattack/causes
      http://www.health.harvard.edu/heart-health/premature-heart-disease

      You may be thinking of coronary aneurysms, aortic aneurysms/aortic dissections or, even rarer, (spontaneous) coronary artery dissection?
      http://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_aortic_aneurysm.htm
      https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000181.htm
      http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/spontaneous-coronary-artery-dissection/home/ovc-20243650




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      1. Hi Tom
        Thanks for the info and the links. You’re always a great resource. Todd answered the citation question for me. It was a point that Dr McDougall made in one of his books that I previewed on Amazon the other day. If I recall it correctly, he said that ‘more’ heart attacks are caused by a rupture of the arterial wall than of a complete blockage (I’m assuming he means a complete closure due to the slow closing of a narrowed area). That doesn’t seem a surprise to me since I’m always understood that a narrow area usually gets blocked when a piece of plaque is dislodged and gets stuck in the narrowed area. I’ll check out the links.

        Mark




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    2. @mbglife:disqus I’ve read this claim in multiple sources. I think McDougall says this in The Starch Solution, but I’d need to look it up. It may even be from Dr. G in his book. The point is that heart attacks occur when (a) there is an eruption of an inflamed piece of artery, comparable to a pimple popping; (b) material enters the blood, which is immediately acted on by the immune system; (c) a clot forms, blocking the downstream flow of blood; (d) some heart muscle dies. The idea is that *old* arterial plaques are fairly stable and scarred over but new ones are susceptible to this process, which is why it’s so important to reduce inflammation.




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      1. Thanks, Todd. The other day I was on Amazon reading some of the preview pages for a couple of McDougall books. Now that you mention him I’m sure that’s were I read it. Thanks for helping me solve that and for the additional info. I’m using it in a discussion with my nephew, who is a fireman/EMT who is interested in medical issues and whom I’m encouraging to move to a plant based diet.




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  15. Not all doctors are preventative medicine docs, that is why nutrition is taught. Medicine is (and has always been), about secondary prevention (not primary). Before you accuse me of being the “Western medicine conspiracy”.. I’m a diagnostic radiologist who does not prescribe any medicine.. I am not a fan of drugs, only medical imaging and diagnosis. I have NO DOG IN THIS FIGHT :) I would not practice clinical medicine, for much the same reason Dr. Greger stopped himself I’d imagine.




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  16. Doctors should at least find out if their patients have even heard of a wfpb diet. If a doctor doesn’t have 3 minutes to tell them about the benefits then leave it as a cliffhanger until next time.




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    1. GR,

      How about if your physician has not asked you details of your diet it might be the red flag to seek care elsewhere ?……….It would be akin to the car mechanic not asking/checking the fuel in your car and why it’s not running properly.

      Dr. Alan Kadish commentator for Dr. Greger




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  17. It makes sense for hospitals and doctors to support & encourage smoking, getting stroke, heart attack, diabetes etc. – just like tire repair shops would love roads with nails in them – it triples their business. Imagine there was no cancer, heart attack or stroke. Overnight multi-billion dollar wall street companies, hospitals and doctors would go out of business. The dieting industry alone is a multi-billion dollar industry that depends on fat people. Imagine everyone was vegan or plant eater, are you kidding me ? Half the US economy is dependent on animal caging and torture industries. Without them there would be no McDonald, BK, KFC and most restaurants and supermarkets would go out of business. The free press depends on these giant multi-national industry advertisement to survive. The reason for keeping the cure a secret makes perfect financial sense to me. Plus you have multi-generational beliefs that meat makes our brains grow faster, we are omnivores, etc. It’s not easy to change a brain’s “Belief” when it is programmed from birth to believe in falsehood.




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  18. As if cigarettes weren’t dangerous enough, it’s unbelievable that they made a ‘micronite’ filter from asbestos.
    https://www.asbestos.com/products/general/cigarette-filters.php

    http://www.motherjones.com/environment/2013/10/lorillard-kent-micronite-filters-asbestos-lawsuit
    “It’s hard to think of anything more reckless than adding a deadly carcinogen to a product that already causes cancer—and then bragging about the health benefits. Yet that’s precisely what Lorillard Tobacco did 60 years ago when it introduced Kent cigarettes, whose patented ‘Micronite” filter contained a particularly virulent form of asbestos.”




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  19. I would like to start eating healthy, moving towards a vegan diet, however I have always been a picky eater. Does anyone have a suggestion or know of resources to help get past being a picky eater?




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    1. Hi Moptop —
      I am really interested in nutrition and behavior change — so your question in right up my alley.

      I like the research of BJ Fogg at Stanford. He talks about and has an online program to promote what he calls ‘Tiny Habits’.
      You can learn more at: http://tinyhabits.com/

      Getting back to your question – I typically encourage patients who identify as ‘picky eaters’ to start very, very, ridculously small.
      Make no big change to your diet — just have 1/3 of a carrot every day for 5 days.
      Or start making a fruit smoothie for 5 days. Then, for the next 5 days, put in 1 leaf of spinach.
      Obviously, you can add a little more spinach as you feel comfortable — but set yourself up for success.

      Before you know it, you will feel great from these foods.. and they will start to grow on you ;)

      To health!




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    2. Here’s some great recipes btw if you want ideas for delicious plant based meals!
      https://engine2diet.com/recipes
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/recipes/
      http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/recipes (Physician’s committee for responsible medicine)

      Check out Dr.Greger’s daily dozen.
      He is also going to put out a cookbook though you’ll have to wait I think for that (Dec 2017?)
      http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/06/30/not-die-cookbook/




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  20. How can we support challenges to Michael Torrey’s role in the new administration’s FDA appointments and further domination of the FDA by industry? Any sort of email or social media campaign of which you are aware? If so, could you share that so we can get onboard? (Apologies if it’s out there and I’ve missed it.)




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  21. So it took over 7000 studies linking smoking to disease before the government got on board back in the last century – I’m wondering how many studies there have been linking consuming animal products to disease so far? I’m also wondering how many more we have to go before the governments and educational and charitable organisations will actually get on board…




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