Olive Oil & Artery Function

Olive Oil & Artery Function
4.49 (89.74%) 117 votes

Does extra virgin olive oil have the same adverse effect on arterial function as refined oils and animal fats?


The relative paralysis of our arteries for hours after eating fast food and cheesecake may also occur after olive oil. Olive oil was found to have the same impairment to endothelial function as the rest of these high-fat meals. Sausage and Egg McMuffin was the worst, but olive oil wasn’t far behind.

Studies that have suggested endothelial benefits after olive oil consumption have measured something different—ischemia-induced, as opposed to flow-mediated, dilation—and there’s just not good evidence that that’s actually an index of endothelial function, which is what predicts heart disease. Hundreds of studies have shown that the test can give a false negative result.

But, it’s not just olive oil. Other oils have also been shown to have deleterious results on endothelial function; a significant and constant decrease in endothelial function three hours after each meal, independent of the type of oil, and whether the oil was fresh, or deep fried. Olive oil may be better than omega-6-rich oils, or saturated fats, but most of the studies showing adverse effects were done on regular, refined olive oil, not extra virgin.

Extra virgin olive oil retains a fraction of the anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in the olive fruit, and so doesn’t appear to induce the spike in inflammatory markers caused by regular olive oil. But what does that mean for our arteries?

Extra virgin olive oil may have more of a neutral effect, compared to butter, which exerted a noxious effect that lasted for up to six hours—basically right up to our next meal. In the largest prospective study ever to assess the relationship between olive oil consumption and cardiac events, like heart attacks, there was a suggestion that virgin olive oil may be better than regular olive oil, but neither were found to significantly reduce heart attack rates after controlling for healthy dietary behaviors, like vegetable intake, which tends to go hand-in-hand with olive oil intake.

There have been studies, though, showing even extra virgin olive oil, contrary to expectations, may significantly impair endothelial function as well. So why do some studies suggest people’s endothelial function improves on a Mediterranean diet, a diet rich in olive oil? Perhaps because it’s also rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and walnuts, as well. Dietary fruits and vegetables appear to provide some protection against the direct impairment of endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil. So, improvements in health may be in spite of, rather than because of, the oil. In terms of their effects on postprandial endothelial function (after a meal), the beneficial components of the Mediterranean diet may primarily be the antioxidant-rich foods—the vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives, such as balsamic vinegar. Just adding some vegetables to a fatty meal may partially restore arterial functioning and blood flow.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to LoveToTakePhotos via Pixabay, Annelise and

OCAL (here, here, and here) via Clker.com.

The relative paralysis of our arteries for hours after eating fast food and cheesecake may also occur after olive oil. Olive oil was found to have the same impairment to endothelial function as the rest of these high-fat meals. Sausage and Egg McMuffin was the worst, but olive oil wasn’t far behind.

Studies that have suggested endothelial benefits after olive oil consumption have measured something different—ischemia-induced, as opposed to flow-mediated, dilation—and there’s just not good evidence that that’s actually an index of endothelial function, which is what predicts heart disease. Hundreds of studies have shown that the test can give a false negative result.

But, it’s not just olive oil. Other oils have also been shown to have deleterious results on endothelial function; a significant and constant decrease in endothelial function three hours after each meal, independent of the type of oil, and whether the oil was fresh, or deep fried. Olive oil may be better than omega-6-rich oils, or saturated fats, but most of the studies showing adverse effects were done on regular, refined olive oil, not extra virgin.

Extra virgin olive oil retains a fraction of the anti-inflammatory phytonutrients found in the olive fruit, and so doesn’t appear to induce the spike in inflammatory markers caused by regular olive oil. But what does that mean for our arteries?

Extra virgin olive oil may have more of a neutral effect, compared to butter, which exerted a noxious effect that lasted for up to six hours—basically right up to our next meal. In the largest prospective study ever to assess the relationship between olive oil consumption and cardiac events, like heart attacks, there was a suggestion that virgin olive oil may be better than regular olive oil, but neither were found to significantly reduce heart attack rates after controlling for healthy dietary behaviors, like vegetable intake, which tends to go hand-in-hand with olive oil intake.

There have been studies, though, showing even extra virgin olive oil, contrary to expectations, may significantly impair endothelial function as well. So why do some studies suggest people’s endothelial function improves on a Mediterranean diet, a diet rich in olive oil? Perhaps because it’s also rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and walnuts, as well. Dietary fruits and vegetables appear to provide some protection against the direct impairment of endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil. So, improvements in health may be in spite of, rather than because of, the oil. In terms of their effects on postprandial endothelial function (after a meal), the beneficial components of the Mediterranean diet may primarily be the antioxidant-rich foods—the vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives, such as balsamic vinegar. Just adding some vegetables to a fatty meal may partially restore arterial functioning and blood flow.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to LoveToTakePhotos via Pixabay, Annelise and

OCAL (here, here, and here) via Clker.com.

Doctor's Note

Fatty Meals May Impair Artery Function so much that a single high-fat meal can trigger angina chest pain. But whole food sources of fat, such as nuts, appear to be the exception. See Extra Virgin Olive Oil vs. Nuts and Walnuts and Artery Function.

Using the same test, find out what other foods can do:

If olive oil can impair our arterial function, Why Was Heart Disease Rare in the Mediterranean? I’ve got a whole series of videos on the Mediterranean diet.

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

504 responses to “Olive Oil & Artery Function

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

    1. I swear by Dr Greger’s videos but some are incomprehensible because he sounds as if he’s speaking with marbles in his mouth and trying to win a words/second competition.

  1. It was difficult for me to give up olive oil. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh crushed garlic and diced onions tossed into a pool of hot olive oil as a prelude to making tomato sauce. I had to give up on a lot of cultural biases in order to do so, and now that I have made the transition, I feel so much better for it. I get very flavorful results by simmering my sauces with added vegetable broth or water. What make great sauce great is not the olive oil. It is the slow cooking times which allow for a mingling of flavors.

    I travel quite a bit for work so I invariably do eat some foods prepared using oils, and now that food just tastes greasy to me. I can feel post prandial effects on my blood flow. My tastes have changed, and I no longer miss it.

    1. So true Joe. It’s like everything else about making these dietary changes. I just started using less oil and then realized I didn’t need it. And I agree. Olive oil on a salad makes it just taste greasy.

        1. STFU you loser.
          I am the healthiest brightest person on the planet..no heart meds, no cholesterol problems, no operations, not obese, bright eyes 150+ IQ..you fat pig..wake up loser on meds…probably ride in a fatty chair…so many fat loser pigs in the US. It is disgusting.

          1. My goodness David you burn a short fuse. Do you need to rethink your diet to see if you can eat something to calm down long enough to improve your social skills?

          2. Your words say your dumb. I’m sure you’re exaggerating your intelligence. Then again, maybe you’re a book smart social idiot

      1. David, I understand you wanting to state your opinion, but seriously?
        Using the words bogus and evil and calling people liars?
        You seem such an agitated person and it’s a shame you’ve closed the door on opinions other than your own.
        I feel sorry for you only because perhaps it is you who has been lied to about olive oil?
        I think we all need to open our minds to heart disease for example, that brews silently in people who appear to pass all the tests, duped into believing they are invincible.
        Good luck with that!

              1. So many experts endorse the use of extra virgin olive oil and its proven to be a healthy part of the renowned Mediterranean diet, so I would rather believe them than you. It’s also been used and consumed for over 4000 years! The pressing of olives to make olive oil dates back to about 3000 B.C.E.!

          1. This information is outdated. Coconut oil and butter are saturated fats and required by the body to function. The real dangerous fats are PUFA’S, trans fats and any oil used for frying, as frying disrupts their chemical composition.

      2. David calm down there is no to point fingers at people who would rather not eat olive oil. Don’t get so hostile everyone has there own opinions . In the past I consumed a ton of olive oil because of all of the so called trends out there making people think that it’s a health food. In reality it’s really not now don’t get me wrong it’s taste awesome I had pure fresh press olive oil shipped from relatives overseas. I chose to give it up because I followed these trends An the Paleo diet an the Mediterranean diet an my cholesterol was high an also I would like to point out that I have Italian family an all of my uncles an aunts had heart problems one actually died of heart attack an the other an a triple bypass surgery . You can’t get caught up with of the noise that the Paleo ,grain brain medical communities. I’d you feel good An your numbers are good then stick with works for you but you shouldn’t get so angry because someone is pointing out . Keep an open mind. Peace ✌️

    2. To me it was the realization that this ritual of saute-ing is just unnecessary for good flavour. You are right. It is a cultural thing. Now when I smell the garlic, onions, turmeric and cumin in a little water I get the same yummy reaction. We try to cook the sauce the day before to get the mingling flavours. Life is good.

      1. I think you will find that as you reduce the use of oil that you will have a similar effect to sodium reduction where your taste will auto range to the point where you become increasingly sensitive to it. Of course, YMMV, best regards

          1. Oh yeah. When I stopped salting to my food, I got to the point where I could taste the sodium in Spinach and Swiss Chard. I travel some so it’s difficult to avoid eating in restaurants where the food is usually over salted per my current taste preference.

    3. I have had the same experience…now I don’t even like the flavor or “mouth feel” of oil in my food. The odors and flavors of garlic, onion and herbs plus spices still come through, perhaps even more clearly sautéed in water or vegetable broth. But it’s important to acknowledge the powerful cultural and emotional challenges of “giving things up” and I appreciate your doing so. Thanks.

    4. you shouldn’t really heat olive oil. maybe that was the cause of the toxins from heating it? it’s a very healthy oil if it’s cold-pressed and eaten raw. (without heat) it will toxify when heated and cause inflammation

  2. Hi Dr. Gregger, a good question for you on this topic:
    does impaired endothelial function increase risk of heart attack only during the time it’s impaired, or does it cumlatively increase risk the more that it happens over time?

      1. So can avoiding the things that caused the damage in the first place, (oil etc) repair the damage? Say by increasing one’s consumption of plants?

        1. There were studies that showed REVERSAL of atherosclerotic plaques due to unhealthy high fat diet with lifestyle modification. The answer is YES, healthy lifestyle not just prevent the atherosclerosis and arterial narrowing but following a healthy lifestyle (including healthy diet, exercise, avoiding smoking, managing stress) can actually reverse previous damages.

        2. Diet surely has the ability to repair any damage or prevent it in the first place. I suggest looking into Dr. Esselstyn’s research on plant-based diet and heart disease. Dr. Esselstyn published research showing how a plant-based diet can be a way to reverse CAD. Meat can cause inflammation and saturated fat appears to have other deleterious effects such as increasing the risk of heart disease. “A nutritionally poor dietary pattern, characterized by a high meat and alcohol consumption and low micronutrients intake, is related to an increased stiffening of large arteries.” Other foods that may help arterial stiffness are turmeric and coffee.

          1. I,ve just gone vegan so giving up meat and dairy is first on my list of priorities, I will decrease olive oil and salt but thank god we can drink coffee.

      2. Joseph, also, I’m surprised Dr. Greggor didn’t mention what constitutes a “high fat” meal in these series of videos. That is, where is the threshold to stay below? Would it be a certain amount of fat in grams in one meal, or a percentage of the macro nutrient ratio of a meal?

        1. Hard to say! Dr. Greger always says it’s more about diet quality over quantity. Fat is tough because of course one can overdo it in the nuts and seeds category, even if they are raw. There is no set grams of fat that adults need per day, according to the Institutes of Medicine (IOM). They do recommended about 20-35% of kcals from fat, which actually seems a bit high to me, especially when considering the studies Dr. G features where women with breast cancer were supposed to meet a goal of 20% of kcals from fat, but really failed to do so (getting more like 35% fat) and it turned out the only women in the study who ate lower in fat and actually met their goals did better and had less chance of a cancer recurrence. Anyway, here are all of his studies and videos on lower fat diets. Let me know if that helps?

  3. Nothing new for me, but I’m thankful that you make this video a reality. Now I can share it with some friends. Because every time I say Olive Oil is not good for us, people are shocked. They all believe that is going to do good instead of harm and use it almost with every meal..

    1. I was just talking with family members a few weeks ago with whom I hadn’t spoken for some time and one of them asked, “So, are you still eating that flax seed and such?” I then proceeded with the yes, and I’m not using any processed oils either. And the ‘there’s no such thing as heart-healthy oils, they all damage the inner linings of our arteries, including olive oil, etc.’ Obviously, this was a very brief exchange because I didn’t want to be ‘that guy’, if you know what I mean. I was really thinking of forwarding this video to them as follow-up, like ‘see, this is what I was talking about…’ But, I probably won’t. When you are trying to make the point that olive oil isn’t some sort of super-food, you have an uphill battle against ‘news’ like this::

      Good luck with your friends! I haven’t made a dent (that I know of) with my family despite years of trying. Probably time to give it a rest.

      1. “I haven’t made a dent (that I know of) with my family despite years of trying. Probably time to give it a rest.”

        It’s so frustrating though to see everyone you care about literally making themselves sick and not being able to share what we know without feeling like a fanatic when you hear comments like “we’re all gonna die anyway, I’m not giving up what I love because somebody came out with yet another warning that they’ll take back next month!” The sad thing is if you aren’t really into nutrition, it’s so true, the media keeps everyone so confused they burn out and do not want to hear anymore conflicting info, so they just cherry-pick what suits their tastes and block out the rest, and I almost can’t blame them. Manipulation of the population ….keeping them fearful, confused and entertained…is what the popular media does best. I stopped the newspaper and TV years ago, and I am so much happier and healthier for it!

        1. I really like making a small snack with the advice from this site and sharing with my mom. Some nuts, some nori seaweed, some strawberries or blueberries, some kiwi, some golden raisins, one white button mushroom, and then I feel like we’re all sharing in the Whole Foods Message. We could go and watch the individual videos and talk about the benefit of the individual parts. I think many people might be hiding food allergies or some long term religious abstention. I like to think about Whole Foods Plant Based as an addition, not a subtraction. Good for you getting rid of your TV. I think scientists have a very good idea of what the best human diet would be and how to implement it for human health and they’re not talking. I think with the government fortification programs they realize that the fortifications are too low and people are going to be sick but it’s a compromise and they do not share this information with doctors or medicine to their great horror and frustrations. What medicine doesn’t realize is that people are getting less of the foods then when the RDA and fortifications were created. Less salt for heart disease, less sunshine for skin cancer, less grain because its fattening, and now Iodine deficiencies, D3 deficiencies, and subclinical pellagra are returning.

          1. There is what is called the original diet: grains, fruits, nuts, seeds etc.
            In their most basic nature they were really good for humans. Eaten raw or cooked just enough to make them edible, they are still good for humans.

            1. Thank you very much for your post! Are you raw? That saves a lot of energy! I bet it really adds up. I love dried fruit and nuts! I think seeds might find themselves as the next health food. I am really interested in whole grains. I think for some reason it is easier to digest polished rice, which means I must have developed an allergy some where down the line. I think what is robed from us by milling is making us sick! I love the original diet! These foods are all botanically fruits, are you a part time fruitarian?

              1. Every now and then (at least once a year) I do the fruit diet for about 30 days, usually with nuts and honey though. It cleanses my system and helps keep the weight under control.
                I prefer brown rice.

                1. Good for you! I am really happy that I found some plant proteins. I think some people are going to discover the vegan diet as a weight loss measure. It’s really effective. You say the fruit based diet is even more effective? I think most of my favorite vegetables, string beans, green peppers, are actually fruit. There are many weight loss programs, but most people gain weight on these. A vegan program for weight loss might be one that could actually say compliance assures weight loss. So you eat fruits, nuts, grains, and seeds. I am amazed that you have found a full diet with fruit when many are talking about how much you have to cut to do the whole foods plant based diet. You have a more restrictive diet without the sacrifice. Your diet sounds really rewarding. Great work!

                  1. Even fruits, green leafy sprouts (7 days old), baby greens, nuts and seeds, and fermented foods work without grains. My mentor, Dr. Wigmore, and I became fruitarians 3 months out of the year when we were in Puerto Rico. Easy to do when it’s hot. We thrived. Of course, we were supplementing the fruits with weeds lke lambsquarter, purslane, and dandelion, when we were travelling and lecturing..

              2. A lot of whole grains have mold now in the United States because of storage and humidity. Many people respond better to white rice, even though it’s nutritionally lacking.

        2. All you have to do is read the book “Mechants of Doubt” about how the tobacco industry co-opted science and used tame scientist to so confuse the public that they just tuned out the health advocates who had the real independent science on their side to understand that the food industry is the one stirring the pot of doubt, so to speak, not the media. The media is just their stooges in all of this. It is in their best interest to “teach the controversy” so as to obscure the actual science. The more that these incredibly narrowly focused nutritional studies keep flip-flopping the recommendations, even if some go against them, the more that the eating public tunes the whole thing out. Or the public does like what you said and only pay attention to what fits with their personal prejudices.

          Encouraging is the fact that eventually the solid science became so overwhelming that the doubt merchants could make it all disappear with their smoke and mirrors. Then people woke up to the reality of cigarettes and started to change in large numbers. I think the same thing will happen with food. The science as Dr. Greger shows here there is a growing tide of solid independent science that the ADMs and Tysons of the world won’t be able to sweep it back very much longer.

        3. Well said, Charzie. I agree 100%. There’s a fine line between trying to be helpful and finger-wagging; no doubt I have crossed it several times. But no more. Truth be told, the only finger-wagging I’ll be doing is in the mirror given my latest blood work. Here’s a fun fact: Hypertriglyceridemia is an independent risk factor for peripheral neuropathy. Who knew? Fortunately, thanks to the WFPB ‘usual suspects’, and help/encouragement from my ‘medical support team’, I have the skills/knowledge/determination to turn things around. We’ll see how it goes.

        4. I don’t read the newspaper or watch TV news much either (probably wouldn’t watch TV at all if my husband weren’t addicted), and I have a rule never to take health and/or nutrition advice from any periodical that advertises for Big Pharma or Big Food.

        5. I don’t read the newspaper or watch TV news much either (probably wouldn’t watch TV at all if my husband weren’t addicted), and I have a rule never to take health and/or nutrition advice from any periodical that advertises for Big Pharma or Big Food.

      2. Oh I certainly didn’t spoke of my family. They won’t change a dime and will always say black when I say white. I’m too I’m ‘that guy’ with them. I spoke for the people I know that have disease and are welcome to any suggestion. People that I can help with this knowledge. Some people won’t that’s their problem. It’s sad indeed when it’s the people you care about, like your family. It’s the way it is. I made my mind about this.

    2. There was an article in the NYT about Statins and heart disease and one person commented that he now DRINKS olive oil to increase his HDL (good cholesterol.) I suggested this video to him.

  4. Okay, so a HIGH fat meal paralyzes the arteries, anti-oxidents consumed along with alleviates the effect. So I’m willing to eat a number of no-fat meals, but sometimes…. Anyway, it would be useful to know how much fat one can get away with before it becomes a high fat meal and has the deleterious effect. I used about a quarter teaspoon of EVOO (along with water) (minimum I’ve found to keep em from sticking to the pan) for each Gardein burger, along with vegetables including lima beans and a salad with another half teaspoon evoo each for dressing, with toasted pumpkin seeds (2 Tablespoons for me, 4 T for him (low BMI). Does that qualify as a high fat meal? Can you tell if arterial function is impaired by taking blood pressure an hour or two after your meal, and comparing it to a meal with absolutely no fat? I do have bp that fluctuates between normal and high, he has good BP, but is underweight since going vegan (even though a muscley construction worker). I have real doubts about reducing fat in his diet. it was the only fat we had all day except for almonds, flax and soymilk in our morning smoothie.

    1. Just a comment on the last line to say that all whole plant foods have some fat in them, so you do get some fat regardless of what you eat if you are eating a whole food diet. Just like we have been trained to think of protein only coming in certain foods, we have been similarly trained by our food environment to think of fat only coming from a limited number of sources like refined oils or in certain obviously high fat whole foods, like nuts and seeds. Neither is true. Every whole plant food has both protein and fat in it, if for no other reason than plants, like us, are made of cells and every cell uses fats and protein in its construction and operation.

      Broccoli is a good example. It isn’t something that many people would identify as a having any protein let a lone a high percentage of its calories coming from protein and even fewer I would imagine would think it had any fat at all. In fact 33% of the calories in broccoli come from protein and 10% come from fat. Now broccoli isn’t a high calorie food with only 31 calories in a cup, so you aren’t going to get a lot of fat (0.34 g), but it adds to the total for the meal. So don’t ignore that you are getting fat in whole foods.

      This is all part of the incidiuous effect of “reductionism” that Dr. Campbell warns about when talking about how science is done, and how inappropriate it can be, particularly in nutrition research. The effects of scientific reductionism isn’t confined to the research lab, it has become the zeitgeist of how our society thinks about just about everything including food. And like any zeitgest, it is invisible unless you deliberately try to focus on it and see it.

    2. That does not seem high fat. 1/4 teaspoon of EVOO is like 10 calories! The concern with oil is when people go “glug glug glug” and it comes pouring out. No one needs to drink bowls of oil. ;-)

      I do not think measuring BP after a meal will tell you about your arterial function. Flow-mediated dilation is the gold standard, as Dr. Greger described. Here’s a fun timetable of what happens after you eat a high fat meal and how blood becomes more viscous.

      It does not sound like you or the other person you mention is consuming too much fat. We’d have to dig thru the studies to find out exactly how many grams of fat the researchers defined a high-fat meal. Let me know if you want exact numbers? Keep up the good work!

      Best in Health!

      1. Thank you for this common sense reply. It is what I intuitively believed to be true, and understood why when I read the way you framed it. I will continue to use a slight (and I do mean slight) amount of EVOO when sauteing onions and garlic before adding them to soups, stews and sauces. The info in this video will serve as a helpful reminder to keep the amount tiny.

        1. If one goes the Caldwell Esselstyn route:

          ~15% of total calories from fat is what one is shooting to get under for meals 10-15%-ish? I think that was his approximate “safe range” or something?

          As others have said, many plant foods have some natural amount of fat in them, it’s more just the adding oils for the sake of adding oils that gets folks into trouble. Basically just adding pure processed oily calories with little or no nutritional benefit…

          1. There may be little or no nutritional benefit, but for some people there is a huge taste benefit. If someone wants to use a little EVOO with their salad or to saute onions, garlic, and ginger for use in a soup, and they would otherwise not enjoy that meal nearly as much, then I don’t think it is a big deal. “Pure”, “100%, “light” and other terms used to describe heavily processed and often adulterated oils derived from olives is another thing. Good for oil lamps, perhaps, but I wouldn’t eat it. EVOO seems fairly neutral as far as fats go, especially in the context of minimal use as part of a largely whole foods plant based diet.

            1. There must be something wrong with my taster. I find EVOO to be bitter and harsh, yet many people rave about its’ taste. In exploring a bit further, it turns out that the biting quality I dislike is the antioxidants! The more antioxidants, the worse it tastes to me. I have read that some olive oils with high antioxidants don’t have this bitter quality (which is what I guess some describe as peppery, but it tastes nothing like pepper to me), but finding one is an expensive proposition, and not worthwhile as I see it.

              1. Yeah, there is a lot of bad olive oil out there. To my taste, the higher the quality of olive oil in terms of nutritional content, the better it tastes. Low acid (less bitter), fresh extra virgin olive oil is quite easy to access where I live, so I will continue to enjoy it. If I couldn’t easily access it, I wouldn’t substitute it for bad tasting oil (of dubious quality), and I’d simply go without.

                1. According to a radio show I heard by the guy who wrote that book about olive oil, Extra Virgin, I think it was called, fresh extra virgin oiive oil has a sharp peppery taste. About that time I got interested in olive oil and went to my local Whole Foods and looked at all the olive oils there … and other supermarkets.

                  What I found was that I could not find anything that was under a year old. They are supposed to label the date pressed, but few of them do this. I finally decided for good or bad this was just another hyped product to sell more olive oil. Most people don’t know what they are getting, but they have this image in their minds they get from commercials and hype like this.

                  I don’t like oil much so I just decided that I don’t really know anything about it, I cannot verify what I see in the stores and from what I could see, I don’t trust the stores, so I just do not use much oil, in fact much of any. I will occasionally use butter.

      2. One of Dr. Wigmore’s researchers at Harvard Medical Center said that more than 2 ounces of fat a meal causes the liver to store it, instead of processing it. That might be a rule of thumb.

    3. If you are using 1/4 tsp of oil….why on earth bother with it. I’m sure it adds no flavor detectable! I just don’t get the reason for still using it at all….does nothing for us…probably harm so why even buy it and use it. Throwing some ground flax seed into the meal (a whole food source of omegas) ….good to go. Like said in below comments….everything has fat in it. We are so indoctrinated to believe otherwise …same with protein. It’s like saying a few puffs off someone’s cigarette a week won’t harm your health much – why bother really?

      1. Like I said, a quarter teaspoon (per burger) is the minimum I found will keep the burgers from sticking to the pan. And I choose to include a little oil because my construction worker is lowing weight, and having a hard time meeting caloric needs. Do you even read the comments you reply to? And for a variety of other reasons I choose to use a little oil. Is that how you speak to your wife and kids? Spare me!

  5. Looking at studies like this one: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19632695 it seems like there is some nuance as to how you construct a meal / diet and how that works for the individual. In that study, the low fat meal worsened post-prandial FMD, and the high fat meal improved FMD.

    Isolated ingredients seem difficult to study. It’s interesting looking the second referenced article which shows a decreased FMD with olive oil. They’re eating olive oil + bread — about 6 slices worth of bread over maybe a quarter cup of liquid fat. High glycemic carbohydrates like bread are associated with significant decreases in FMD http://content.onlinejacc.org/article.aspx?articleid=1139786 I would be curious to see the difference between a bright garden salad + high-phenol olive oil (eg. a normal paleo / mediterranean way to eat a high fat meal) as compared with this bright salad and 6 slices of bread (eg. a low fat control meal) vs a high-fat+high-carb meal like they were studying.

    1. I think this is one of the reasons large-scale population studies are so nice to have. They bigger the picture the less minutia challenges meaningful answers. Also that genetics can generally be ruled out when genetic groups have moved about or otherwise undergone significant dietary changes. Every time we get down to lab-specifics things have a way to begin to break down around individualism/exceptions.

      1. Good call. Thinking about a high-fat meal, if I have a tablespoon of olive oil over arugula with a handful of almonds, that’s close to an 84% fat meal by calories — is that a dangerous meal? Now, if I add a non-fat starbucks iced carmel macchiato over the top, the fat macro has become the smallest macro, and it now supplies a healthy 2:1 – 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein — does this improve healthiness of the meal?

        1. Thank you very much for your hard work on behalf of extra virgin olive oil. I think we should campaign for “cloudy” extra virgin olive oil. I am sure that the Whole Food evidence will continue to come, saying that we should stay away from fruit juice. What about Mormons, where drinking fruit juice is part of their religion? Fruit juice without the fiber can lead to low blood sugar. I think Dr. Greger really objects to the straining of extra virgin olive oil. The filtering. He has a video were he says that cloudy apple juice is the healthiest, has some of the fiber. I think your viewpoint represents that of culture, media, and modern medicine. Extra virgin olive oil seems to be regarded as pretty neutral here, the calories negative. Olives are a super food for culture. So is the Pomegranate for the Jewish faith. Is broccoli a symbol to the Whole Foods movement? Why are praised foods not standing the test of times to whole foods science? I wish plants could be a bigger part of the Whole Foods Plant Based movement. I think you for sharing the empowerment many people feel being with olives.

          1. Would like to know where you got the information that drinking fruit juice is part of the Mormon religion. I’ve been Mormon for 40 years and have never heard that. Our “Word of Wisdom” health code actually embraces a whole foods plant based diet although many members disregard its recommendations and suffer the consequences.

            1. My sincere apologies for my ignorance. I mean you a complement, not disrespect. I am referring to your prohibition on tea and coffee and meant to acknowledge your health promoting lifestyle. I am curious as whether another American religion, Christian Scientists, use this website as a reading room, given their prohibition on using medicine. I imagine orthomolecular medicine, the use of vitamins to treat disease, would be of use to them. I am unable to answer this question, I imagine they are allowed to take vitamins. I wonder if Ken Burns would make an “American Religions” documentary. America has created so many faiths. Always nice to talk to a Saint.

          2. Matthew, broccoli sprouts are so much better for us than mature broccoli, according to Harvard research, and old juices are very acid. Fresh juices, drunk within sometimes as little as ten minutes after making, are alkaline in the body. Old citrus juices are very, very acid, especially when they are unopposed by fat..

        2. Chocolate is a food with more than a single constituent. Adding sugar to dark chocolate did more than dilute the amount of saturated fat in the chocolate because saturated fat is obviously not the only bioactive molecule in cacao. When taken in isolation, the %FMD decrease due to saturated fat is dose dependent. This says plainly that the positive effect of on FMD was from a molecule not saturated fat that was already present in the chocolate prior to dilution by sugar and the effect of that substance was stronger than the known negative effect of saturated fat.

          As for high polyphenol olive oil, 1000 mg per liter sounds pretty darn good until you pause and reflect that 1 kilogram of olive oil contains 9000 calories. Even worse 1 liter of brewed green tea delivers 890 mg of polyphenols with precisely zero calories. So high polyphenol olive oil might look good until you realize that 1000 mg/1000 g for the very highest polyphenol olive oil puts it waaay down the list of foods with the highest polyphenol level. [From the journal Nature, the 100 foods riches in polyphenols http://www.nature.com/ejcn/journal/v64/n3s/fig_tab/ejcn2010221t1.html. BTW, this is list is for 100 g, not 1000 g.] The highest food of polyphenols is cloves at 151,000 mg per kilogram. Hard to eat that much cloves at a time, but 1 g of cloves is only equal to 0.13 teaspoons and contains 151 mg of polyphenols. This is a very reasonable amount of cloves in a recipe. To get the same amount from even the highest polyphenol olive oil you would have to ingest 151 grams, 5.3 ounces or 1360 calories of olive oil. Doesn’t seem like such a good source to me.

          And if cloves aren’t your thing, just put 10 grams of ground flax seed or about a rounded tablespoon containing about 50 calories in your morning smoothy to give you the same 151 mg of polyphenols. So which do you think is the healthier way to get a 150 mg of polyphenols, 50 calories of ground flax seed or 1360 calories of olive oil? Oh and those 10 g flax seeds also give you 27 g of fiber and 2.2 g of ALA (the shortest and only essential omega-3).

          1. Perhaps some molecules are a bit more useful for the body than others — melatonin for example, it’s one of the body’s strongest fat/water-soluble antioxidants, how much does your body use in a day? Something like less than half a single milligram. More is not always going to be better or necessary.

            Do cloves improve blood flow as well as cacao? Does flax? While 2.7g of fiber from flax is nice, that’s hardly any fiber. Isn’t ALA not associated with cardiovascular benefits yet associated with an increased risk for a few types of cancer? Isn’t the main polyphenol in cloves, eugenol, hepatotoxic?

            1. I start out each day with a set number of calorie “dollars” in my caloric budget to use to “buy” non-caloric nutrients. At the end of the day my goal is to have purchased all the non-caloric nutrients that I need for the day without overdrawing on my calorie account since I don’t want to gain weight. The converse is also of critical importance because if I don’t invest my calories wisely I won’t purchase the nutrients my body requires to be healthy before I run out of calories to spend.

              So with each thing I might consume I have to look at how many calories does it deduct from my daily allotment and how much of a return in necessary nutrients do those calories buy me. In my book olive oil has one of the very poorest nutrient return on my caloric investment. There simply are much better foods to invest my calories in than olive oil. Now if I invest wisely, I can splurge on occasion with low nutrient food like olive oil, but to make it a significant portion of my daily calories is nutritionally reckless.

              Can you point to any non-caloric nutrients contained in olive oil at a higher nutrient to calorie ratio than are available from any other food?

              1. That seems like a sensible approach, Jim. I don’t take that approach because I don’t tend to put on weight easily when not consuming meat, eggs and dairy. So if I use a little EVOO in my meals, it’s no biggy and it is still only a very small proportion of my total calories. If I did put on weight easily, I would probably consider cutting olive oil before anything else. Eating extra virgin olive oil has benefits,for me, besides nutrition. I derive pleasure from it. Pleasure isn’t the be all and end all – I love mutton curry too but choose not to eat it. Still, the psychic benefits should not be discounted entirely.

                1. Weight is not health. It is not sufficient to simply be at a weight appropriate for your gender, height and build. Health is to a greater degree a biochemical issue than a simple body size issue. Jim Fixx was an extremely lean and fit sick man.

                  1. Weight alone is not the single-factor, but statistically lean-muscle-mass is the number one predictor of longevity is what I have read. It does seem to be true that all the very old people you see, none of them are what anyone would call fat.

                    1. Brux, I agree completely. What I am saying is that a lot of people seem to view it as the only factor. As in “if I can just get down to xx lbs I’ll finally be healthy”. If a person thinks that way, they can justify eating anything just as long as they are losing weight. You can have lots of lean tissue, incredible muscle tone and a very low percent body fat and still be eating food that is hollowing out your health from the inside. The shell still looks great, but the inside is crumbling. And the one day the beautiful body suddenly dies, or worse slides into decades of slow decline that robs you of life as you continue to live on.

                      We used to eat dinner every Saturday with my in-laws at their retirement community, so I used to see literally hundreds of very old people on a regular basis. Since we were changing our diet at the time, I really took note of who was healthy and what they ate. There were very few slim *and* vigorous older people, but they tended to eat better (which I know from experience is very hard to do in that shrine to meat and gravy). Lots of terribly overweight people hobbling around the dining room with florid faces and always out of breath that ate cringe worthy food. And you are right, most of the very old people did tend to be thin but also very frail who struggled to manage even their own body weight. Who were so thin not because they ate appropriate amounts of healthy food, but because they ate hardly at all due to ill-health resulting from many chronic diseases and were reaching an end point after decades of steady decline in their health and vitality.

              2. Perhaps I have a difference viewpoint coming from the other side. I’m usually on the underweight-side and very active with minimal body fat storage, preferring to eat lots of leafy things and vegetables, while not craving many sweets or starches, where I hit lots of nutrients with very few calories. I hit my micronutrients on cronometer to fill to solid green at around 1200-1400kcal after several plates of plants, and with a multivitamin on top, it’s really a sealed deal. (I don’t necessarily believe that a greater intake of micronutrients provides greater health results after a certain point and full stomach.) My caloric needs for the day are often up closer to 2500-3000kcal, where a tablespoon of olive oil or 4 doesn’t really throw me off at all, sometimes I’d rather eat that than try to eat another 120 strawberries for the energy.

                I prefer to eat olive oil with food (it’s odd just drinking it), where I usually get a greater nutrient:caloric ratio eating things like kale, spinach, chard, radish, peppers, dandelion greens, herbs, etc with some EVOO than I would eating something like a bowl of fruit for the same calories. While I could eat those plants without the oil, I would then not get enough energy for my day. I do not have enough room in my stomach to eat the plates of vegetables and the plates of fruits, and the plates of vegetables with evoo provides a greater nutrient density.

                1. Arugula is great. I will eat a mix salad with 2 cups of arugula and 3-4 cups of romaine with broccoli sprouts (top source of sulforaphane) red pepper, cucumber, green onion, toasted pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and sometimes sliced almonds. With the seeds and nuts I don’t need fat in my dressing to get a boost in bio-availability, so I usually opt for a high flavor intensity dressing like balsamic vinegar and Dijon mustard in a 3 or 4:1 ratio. The nice thing is that the nuts and seeds also bring other nice nutrients to the party as well as the fat. Plus they add a great flavor and crunch of their own.

                  But whether it is a teaspoon or two of EVOO in the dressing or nuts and seeds to add the fat, the key thing is that we both are consuming a lot of very high nutrient density food and so are far outside the mainstream of the common American eating pattern. So I agree with your focus on maximizing the nutrient density of your diet while making it still palatable to you.

                  1. Sulforaphane is an interesting compound, although I don’t go out of my way to include it into my diet. You get a nice hormetic response that might decrease inflammation and increase antioxidants, but you’re spiking NRF2 to do so. NRF2 expression increases plasma lipids and liver cholesterol, and leads to enhanced atherosclerosis in animals with antiapoptotic effects that might play a role in plaque composition and progression.

                    I’m guilty of doing both — a nice neon salad with all sorts of plants, with some nuts and seeds for that flavor and crunch (my favorite is soaked and dehydrated shelled pistachios), some vinegar, some mustard, then some robust olive oil.

                  2. Hope you’re soaking your almnds, Jim. from 4 hours to overnight. The tannic acid will come out in the water and needs to be thrown away and then the almonds are ready to be eaten.

    2. Very good thinking! Frankly this video is just like the reductionist thinking that permeates way too many nutrition studies and it is garbage in garbage out. planypants below did a great analysis of this that, to me negates the whole idea that olive oil is dangerous to the arteries.

      I still come over to this site for the tiny bit of good information it has sometimes, but just like the paleo sites, and many other nutrition sites, the cherry picking and bad analysis of studies, as a nutritionist just put me off. Human biochemistry is just more complicated than these isolated studies imply.

      1. To be fair, I think the authors of many of these studies would agree that their findings should do imply wholesale changes in diet should be made, but that they are simply another piece in the puzzle. Human biochemistry will not be fully understood for a very long time, if ever, so we should welcome all attempts at progressing our understanding, outside of serious misconduct. That said, I agree with your general point.

      2. Dr. Esselstyn’s chapter on no oils, no oils, no oils has compelling research behind it, with the pictures to prove it though.

        1. Then Dr. Esselstyn doesn’t know his clinically relevant lipid biochemistry! (Importance of fatty acid metabolism, phospahtides, phospholipases and membrane turnover, PUFA-Derived cell reguation products, , peroxisomes, PPAR@ Heterdimer nuclear regulations etc. etc.)

    3. That would be a good study to conduct. Interesting how the second one used cornflakes. I could have told you what cornflakes will do to blood sugar! Thanks again for sharing all of this.

      1. It’s interesting looking at Table 3, which shows the %FMD after eating these low-fat meals. Looking at those in the lowest BMI category, postprandial %FMD dips down to 8.5 and 9.3 for some of these meals, which is lower than any of the recorded postprandial %FMD’s from the other study that had people eating tons of bread covered in tons of fat.

  6. Yes, this is the same result as you have done video/articles on before with regard to the Oil/Mediterranean confoundment. I was satisfied of the veggie-connection previously.

    What puzzles me is how the NaCl video was introduced with a promise of more NaCl discussion:

    _I’ve badly neglected sodium on NutritionFacts.org, but that’s all going
    to change. I have about a dozen salt videos queued up that dive deep
    into the existing controversies._

    But then there were none (more). Will there be any more salt videos in the short term? Thanks.

    1. The late Dr. Abram Hoffer and Dr. Andrew Saul, leading vitamin experts, write that the evidence between salt and blood pressure is weak and that another deficiency is responsible. “Recent evidence has appeared linking hypertension to Calcium deficiency, not to Sodium excess. Salt restriction lowers high blood pressure in only 5 percent of any hypertensive population, and many hypertensive people are already on a low-sodium diet. A few animal studies show that sodium can actually lower blood pressure.” Orthomolecular Medicine for Everyone by Abram Hoffer and Andrew Saul. I think I’m going to watch a dozen videos saying salt is bad for me. I’m really grateful to it for the Iodine it provides. I certainly would hope to tell people with hypertension to take Calcium, Magnesium, and maybe MSM. The message Salt is bad for you has already gotten through. It hasn’t helped hypertension. I am interested in why so many blood pressure medicines are calcium channel blockers. http://www.researchgate.net/profile/Richard_Cook4/publication/13216285_The_influence_of_dietary_and_nondietary_calcium_supplementation_on_blood_pressure_an_updated_metaanalysis_of_randomized_controlled_trials/links/00b495183b337ee27b000000.pdf
      This idea is not popular in science. The effect of using calcium to lower blood pressure is statistically significant, consistent, but “too small” to be recommended. Bigger than with Salt. The smear campaign is on.

      1. If I understand Linus Pauling’s work, on the chemical bond, and I don’t, Salt does not really disassociate into Sodium and Chlorine ions in the body when dissolved in the blood unless the body wants to use either of those elements. It stays Sodium chloride, and probably is excreted as Sodium chloride. When things dissolve their bonds just spread out, but their linkage is retained. The body would have to use enzymes to do a reaction on the molecule. Sodium chloride as a molecule does not necessarily change the pressure properties of our body fluids. Cations like Potassium, Magnesium, and Calcium have that property. The neurotransmitter Hydrogen Sulfide might regulate this process.

      2. There are so many conflicting studies, who knows how to interpret them, and who listening to whose who do interpret them has confidence in the interpretations?

        The studies you quote sound plausible, but the backing arguments, such as “The message Salt is bad for you has already gotten through. It hasn’t helped hypertension.” are not really arguments. Sure, people learned that salt was bad for them as at the same time processed food makers and junk food makers HAD ( or so they say ) to add more and more salt to their products because people wanted more of the taste of salt. Look at the failure, and the awful taste of most low-salt products, such as canned soup.

        The high-blood pressure thing really needs a mode of test where they take some human population and experiment safely on them, but I am not sure anyone, or rather anyone who make money off food, health, commodities, etc wants to really know what is going on.

        Then there is the question of – does taking calcium in whatever form actually get absorbed, and does it really help with high-blood-pressure?

        I watched a documentary about the calcium buildup in arteries being the best predictor of fatal heart disease, and the new advent of the calcium scan to determine whether this is a problem as being the best predictor … used by NASA and other serious organizations who really do want to know. How would you know if the calcium you take in goes to lowering your BP, or whether it gets deposited in your arteries?

        There are a lot of variables there, and a lot of noise in the talk about those variables, because so far, the noise helps people make money in many different ways.

        1. This has got to be my favorite post here. Thank you for your helpful, provocative, informative, moderating, and insightful post. That you would even consider my comment has turned my mind and opened my eyes. I love NASA. I love that NASA wants to help the nation’s hearts. I love that NASA is studying the men who have too much Calcium in their arteries. I am disappointed that this product was rejected by health insurance because it was too sound. I would want a Calcium scan when I’m older. You have an actual insurance conspiracy. Calcium in the arteries is bad. Could it be a sign of a D3 deficiency? D3 can rebuild bones in the right place given all the elements needed. Would you need more vitamin K2 to put it in the right place? Dr. Greger said that phytates, from plants, the leading source of Phosphorus from plants, can prevent osteoporosis. I think the body is harvesting the Phosphorus from bones, literally dissolving them, for energy metabolism, and storing the extra Calcium in arteries. I hope to eat lots of plant phytates as an elder. I think of unfortunate doctors being a victim of this profit machine. They were trained to save lives and are being robbed of it by the drug companies that sponsor lunches. Why would the profit making machine embrace a solution that uses atoms? If you had a Calcium scan and the results are too much Calcium in the heart I don’t think the answer is to use less Calcium. I think it could be a sign of a Phosphorus deficiency and you’d need to eat more Phylates. When I went on high D3 therapy I felt huge chunks of material break away from heart for many weeks. My arteries were either damaged or storing something. Let’s say that Dr. Hoffer and Dr. Saul are right. How much Calcium would you take for High Blood Pressure? Where would you go with this idea knowing that this research would eliminate all very profitable blood pressure medicines? No one can patent Calcium. Would you take 3 grams of Calcium a day? Thank you for warning me that my noise is making money for the profit making machine. I have heard people of all political persuasions argue this and I guess there are some things that the money making machine doesn’t want to no, and we will have to wait. They won’t allow the Calcium scan because it means a specific kind of care for cash cows for the drug companies. They won’t allow cations for high blood pressure for a similar kind of reason, it would involve a real change in diet, not just a line item elimination.

      3. You wrote” “I am interested in why so many blood pressure medicines are calcium channel blockers” Maybe you might want to read both “The Magnesium Miracle” by Carolyn Dean MD ND and “The high blood pressure Hoax” by Sherry Rogers MD. Both of these physicians are putting part of the blame on Magnesium Deficiencies as Magnesium is nature’s calcium Channel blocker. Dr. Rogers makes the point that in order to develop the Calcium Channel blocker drugs, the pharmaceutical companies have to know the biochemistry of magnesium but they are not about to suggest magnesium supplementation as they would not make any money that way, plus they rely on physicians’ ignorance of clinically relevant biochemistry to use them to prescribe the Calcium Channel blockers

        Having said that not all high blood pressure is caused by a magnesium deficiency, sometimes it is a potassium deficiency or loss, or other things. But the cause of high blood pressure is definitely not a calcium channel blocker deficiency. The trick is to find out why one’s BP is high, and looking at a possible magnesium deficiency is a good place to start.

        1. >> Maybe you might want to read both “The Magnesium Miracle” by Carolyn Dean MD ND and “The high blood pressure Hoax” by Sherry Rogers MD.

          Normal people have better things to do than read book after book of conflicting nonsense that is obsolete or irrelevant in months, and that just fills the pockets of authors who cannot prove their theses.

          We’ve seen book after book of this and that and most often they are forgotten and useless, it is a waste or time and money. If someone has the answer to high blood pressure or any other health problem it ought not be that hard to support their conclusions with experiments and data instead of innuendo and anecdotal stories that cannot be repeated.

          1. Right, and Dr. Gregor and only Dr. Gregor knows anything worth knowing. I come to this site because there is some good information to be found here, but there are also tons and tons of Dr. Gregor Groupies who are not interested in doing any research on their own or actually searching to see if there are other opinions also worth looking at. The physicians, whose books I have mentioned, have just have much education as Dr. Gregor and often much more. Dr. Dean, for one, has both an MD and ND after her name.

            And of course you assume you, as a “normal person” are an expert in what is obsolete or irrelevant in months?

            Normal people had better wake up to other opinions. Like they say in the South, if you don’t want to learn anything, well “Bless your little old heart!” Give me a break!

            1. > Right, and Dr. Gregor and only Dr. Gregor knows anything worth knowing.

              Didn’t say that or imply that in any way.

              > And of course you assume you, as a “normal person” are an expert in what is obsolete or irrelevant in months?

              Didn’t say or imply that either.

              > if you don’t want to learn anything,

              Ditto, never said or implied anything like that.

              I’ve been around long enough to know that there are lots of books that say lots of things, and most of them are wrong. Can’t deal with that without making up lots of pointless attacks … not my problem.

            2. Everyone is entitled to believe in the tooth fairy if they so choose, Dr Gregor is only reporting on published studies, not doing them himself! If you think he is cherry picking, as you’ve commented before, read the reports in the sources yourself, or do your own searches if you disagree. Why do you assume he has some kind of bias just because you chose not to agree with what’s covered?

        2. Thank you. Searching on Magnesium and blood pressure I found that many people are recommending it as a safe supplement. Many of the plant foods we talk about everyday like leafy greens are rich in Magnesium are known to reduce blood pressure. Dr. Greger named Magnesium mineral of the year and has a video on it.

          1. Thank you Matthew. Unfortunately leafy greens (and I eat tons of them) and other magnesium rich foods have been becoming less and less rich in magnesium over the years, as the soil becomes depleted by chemical fertilizers, and overloaded with pesticides and more. Magnesium deficiency is becoming rampant in our society. And Magnesium oxide as a supplement is practically useless. Works mainly as a laxative. Mag citrate is also laxative in higher doses. I use Magnesium taurate and love it, and I take a lot of it daily. I also supplement with potassium. My particular health problems are miriad and I lose a lot of potassium despite eating tons of veggies, and my use of magnesium supplementation is for more than one reason as well but at least my BP is great! LOL

    2. I try to break up long series so there’s nothing but salt videos on the site for a whole month, or just apple videos or whatever. But don’t worry–I’ll mix in all the salt videos in the coming months. If you haven’t already, make sure you’re subscribed to my email newsletter to get announcements about future videos. Sorry to keep you waiting!

      1. Thanks for the information Doc. Well you have run several “series” of videos and that was what I had expected when you spoke of more NaCl/Sodium videos. That topic is far from “settled” in my mind, whereas most of the rest of my nutritional ideas are much better developed. I quite hate overfilling my inbox, and NF.O is one of my startup tabs, but I might “sign-on” for a bit just to see if I’m missing anything.

        I transitioned from a somewhat SAD to WFPB in March and couldn’t be happier with the observed results-which happen amazingly fast. I’m quite sure that I’m not going back and will be healthier and live longer because of such. Thank you and,

        Thanks again for the great public service you provide.

  7. When discussing oils I wish there was more comparing better oils, if any, like coconut oil, for those of us without educational degrees to understand all this stuff. I know doctors like Dr. Esselstyn opposes all oil, but then healthy fats are recommended by many.

    1. Hi rob, in case you were not aware, Dr. Greger addresses coconut oil in many videos. (This is a very common question, which leads me to think the marketing of this stuff is just relentless…) If you click on ‘Health Topics’ and then ‘C’ and scroll down to ‘coconut oil’ you are likely to get some answers to your questions about coconut oil.
      Another benefit of using Health Topics is one gets to see lots of other topics on which one would have questions. Have a great day!

  8. So.. whats a guy to do to obtain the fat benefit of mixing turmeric with fat in the same meal? ground flax seeds would be enought? thanks!

    1. Hi Alexandre,

      Keep in mind that most diets, especially if you east whole plant foods are not completely devoid of fat. What might merit more investiagation, though, is how much fat is actually needed for increasing the bioavailability of fat soluble compounds like the curcumin in turmeric, vitamin D, and vitamin A as beta-carotene. This study, for instance, suggests that eating higher amounts of fat in dressings boosts cartenoid bioavailability from salads.


      Dr. Gregor also examines below how black pepper can boost turmeric’s bioavailability as well:


  9. Great info, as ever, but I wonder… if even olive oil is not that great anymore either, which are still good sources for us vegans to get some fat in our diet? I love nuts and avocado’s, but I suppose eating a handful a day of nuts and one avocado a day is not going to cover my dietary need for healthy fatty acids. Grateful for your advice!

    1. It’s incredibly hard to track down a reliable published source on your minimum required fat intake. I have seen studies going as low as 2.5% with no ill health effects (aside from the reported unhappiness of the study participants), and I have been quoted that even just 1% is sufficient by a Biochemist who specializes in human physiology, that’s only 20 calories a little over 2 grams of fat. The handful of nuts should be enough to meet your minimums and the avocado probably puts you over the top.

    1. Studies may suggest, show, indicate, but studies rarely “prove”. Also, nobody says that a study being published means the results actually indicate the conclusions the authors make… context helps. Dr. Greger’s video points out that olive oil isn’t actually beneficial… it is simply less bad than most regular alternatives. This is done by directly looking at the effect of giving someone olive oil, and looking at their endothelial function using an accurate test. Do any of your papers challenge that position? I think not, but lets check:
      Study #1 … Cardio-metabolic and immunological impacts of extra virgin olive oil consumption in overweight and obese older adults: a randomized controlled trial. Here, obese people on bad diets replace some of their fat intake with olive oil… and do better. This does not challenge the “olive oil is less bad” premise. They compared Olive oil to something worse, not something better (like walnuts).

      Study #2 Shows olive oil is less bad than Corn oil (a predominantly omega 6 oil… IIRC) in health subjects.
      Study #3 shows exclusive olive oil is ‘less bad’ vs normal diet (of worse oils)
      Study #4 is in rats, which is worth noting in that it might not translate to humans… and still shows the ‘less bad effect’ vs normal rat chow.
      Study #5 People who used olive oil vs other oils had slightly better outcomes… still consistent with a “less bad” effect.
      Study #6 Virgin olive oil is better than other oils compared.

      So nobody here seems to be lying per se… but Dr. Greger’s evidence here shows that if you are better with olive oil than other oils, you are even better off with no oil at all.

      1. adamas, I think your exercise is a great demonstration of critical thinking that is necessary to evaluate all the “proven exhonerations” of fats and animal protein that we are presented with.

    2. Well, Guest, all your studies side stepped Dr Greger’s main thesis that the the *presence* of oil (including olive oil (OO)) is deleterious to our arteries. Nearly every abstract you offered looked at substituting OO for other oils and the rest added OO on top of oils already being ingested. NONE of the studies looked at comparing the use of oil to the avoidance of oil.

      Furthermore, you muddied the waters bringing up anecdotal scenarios about animals eating fats in the wild. True, that does happen but the focus of the doc’s article was on the impact of olive oil in humans. I saw nothing in what you offered that addressed Dr Greger’s main point.

    3. Exactly. But studies can only suggest things, not prove anything, and it is always the TOTAL nutrition picture of the individual that has to be looked at. Dr. Gregor does the same thing all the other one-size-diet-fits-all/the-diet-I-believe-in-is-best-for-everyone-diet gurus/fanatics do. He cherry picks the studies, does NOT dig deeper, and proselytizes to death.

      1. Thanks, Linda. You have said that in an earlier comment. Please note Dr. Greger and I do not think “one-diet-fits-all”, in fact, we do not recommend any particular diet here over another. One comment you made was that “plant-based does not mean plants-only”. I agree, and anyone is free to choose to eat however they feel is right for them. You may like this video on flexitarian diets, as Dr. Greger mentions the benefits of a “flexible plant-based diet.” I do appreciate your thoughts and opinions.

        Best in Health!

    4. Let me rewrite the abstract of just the first paper into real terms.

      Cardio-metabolic and immunological impacts of
      extra virgin olive oil consumption in overweight and obese older adults:
      a randomized controlled trial, Rozati, et. al.

      Background: We know we can no longer deny that excess fat hurts the immune system and will make you sick no matter how much we would like to do so. What we don’t know is how bad the health impacts of olive oil is compared to other types of fat in older people who are already obese and in ill health. So we are going to find out.

      Objective: We replace the unhealthy amounts of fat eaten by small group of sick older Americans with unhealthy amounts of olive oil to see if it makes them sick at a rate faster or slower than the fats they are currently overeating.

      Methods: We did a lot of scientificy sounding things (random, single-blind [really they couldn’t tell if it was corn oil or EVOO! Must be some pretty awful olive oil], placebo-controlled) to basically put a very small group of 65 sick people who have been eating a disease promoting diet for decades to the point it has destroyed their health into two groups. We gave both groups bottles of oil to take home and required that they consume the same unhealthy amount of fat for a period of time too short to really see much of a difference with such a trivial intervention while making sure they continued to eat all the other disease promoting foods common in the Standard American Diet. Then we measured a few things about their immune system to see if they got sicker, stayed about as sick as they were, or became slightly less sick. To do this we are going to focus on just a couple of measures of immune functioning. What we would never do is compare the results in context to healthy, non-obese older people to get a feel for where the results are on a more absolute spectrum. After all that wouldn’t be fully reductive.

      Results: The group eating too much olive oil didn’t get healthy. They weren’t able to go off their medications, they didn’t lose weight, their blood pressures and LDL didn’t get into the healthy range. But a couple of immune changes show to a small degree they were getting sick quite as fast as the other group. But actually most of the things immune functions we measured didn’t change, bummer. In fact we had to bring in a couple non-immune effects like insignificant changes in blood pressure and HDL in order to have something positive to say. This is not surprising because we had so little control over what these people actually ate and how they used the oil we gave them. We actually have no idea just how much olive oil they did eat and how much was disposed of after frying. In fact when we measured oleic acid content in the participants blood, the fat that in theory makes olive oil healthier, we found a very slight 2% increase on average with the range of -3.84% to +7.32%. So we don’t really know if these results are in fact due to the olive oil, but we are going to pretend they are because that is what we are getting paid to do.

      Conclusions: If you are going to insist on eat stupid amounts of fat as part of a high-fat, low-nutrient, low-fiber Standard American Diet, then at least use olive oil. Then you won’t get sick as fast, maybe.

      Acknowledgements: Thanks to the Deoleo Olive Oil company for paying for all of this.

      Conflicts of interest: The authors declare that they have no competing interests.

      I love the last two

      What this study in no way says is whether adding olive oil to your diet would further improve or better maintain your health if you are already eating a very healthy diet high in whole plant foods and low in animal and processed foods.

      1. ROFL, Jim! You made my day!! What a fabulous job you did of rewriting how ridiculous even just this first paper was in terms of trying to tell real people what to eat to remain or get healthy.

        If many of the rest of the people commenting on this blog want to now give up healthy amounts of EVOO due to these studies and then proselytize and fear monger to every one they know how horrible EVOO is and how they better give it up or they are going to die, they are free to do so. But for these studies showed me no such thing and reasonable amounts of olive and other oils are staying right where they are in my plant-based but not plant only diet.

      2. Jim, your plain language stating the absurdities of the questions posed and standards used is superb here. I might actually pass along your rewrite to some friends who keep telling me that their fish, cheese, chicken and egg diets are ok because they use Olive oil a lot. Seriously man you do get to the heart of the crap methodologies that have been passed around forever.

  10. Like others, I am interested in whether problems arise with a 1/2 teaspoon per serving of EVOO or does the trouble start with 1/4 cup. I am not a fan of dry, water or broth sauteed onions or garlic, so I use a teaspoon (or less) of EVOO for four servings.

    I mean, I know broccoli is healthy, but perhaps ten pounds per meal would be less so. Likewise, a cup of EVOO might be deleterious but perhaps a little bit is not such a bad thing when coupled with lots of vegetables in a lentil stew.

    Then again, perhaps I’m just looking for absolution or a loophole to justify my current (and likely future) cooking habits…

    1. Picture you walk into an art gallery out of a bright sunny day and immediately look at the art. It will likely look dull and dim with little detail or interest. If you immediately just said that all that art is just crap and turned around and went back outside, you would never know that in fact the room is actually very well lit and that there are some very interesting images to be seen and enjoyed if you had just given your eyes even a few minutes to adjust. And in fact if you had stayed for a while, you might find the sunny day outside impossibly bright and might retreat back into the soothing light of the gallery.

      1. I’ve tried variations numerous times, but water, veggie broth or dry saute just don’t float my boat when it comes to garlic or onions.

        Happily enough, after reading remarks here from Jim Felder about the plant fats I’m ingesting anyway, and Joseph Gonzales about the relative number of calories, I’m realizing that it’s unnecessary to eliminate my intake of – at most – 1/2 teaspoon total per day of EVOO.
        At 120 cal per TBSP, 1/2 tsp. is 20 calories.
        Pfffttt… as my relatives would say, Ahh fuggedaboudit!

        1. Exactly. Everyone is up in arms but the thing is there is no perfect answer, and as Dr. Forrester always helps me remember, IT’S ALL RELATIVE! If you have a perfect LDL cholesterol and a prime body weight and you eat 10 servings+ of fruits and veggies, plenty of whole grain, and beans, and exercise daily, than 20 extra calories from a polyphenol-rich extra virgin olive oil is likely not going to wreak havoc on endothelial function. On the flip side, some folks cannot use “just a tad”, and others believe changing their taste buds to rid themselves from craving added fat is a good thing. Everyone is technically right. Another situation where I’d caution even a wince of oil is if endothelial function is already damaged and someone is at risk for heart disease and extremely overweight. Sure, even still, a 1/4 teaspoon may not do much, but why even eat it in the first place? I suppose the same argument could be made for the heathy person; why even expose myself to olive oil? And that is of course for all of is to decide.

          Loving the comments today on this complex topic! So many folks are engaged and posting more research. Thanks for your contributions.

          1. Sure, if one’s endothelial function is already damaged, they should probably forgo the EVOO. They should probably largely forgo the nuts too at that stage, as they are likely to have the same effect, gram for gram of fat (albeit with some potential benefit absent from EVOO consumption). As you say, it’s all relative.

        2. Oh I agree with you. There is “perfect” and then there is so good it is hard to tell the difference. Even if you used a whole tablespoon of EVOO to sweat your onions and garlic and then make a 8-9 serving pot of chili with them, I think the impact on health would be very hard to see, even if you could distinguish it from background noise. The risk comes when the rest of a person’s diet also has a tablespoon of olive oil per serving in a salad dressing (because green leafys are super healthy but they need some kind of dressing) and then some canola oil in the cornbread to go along with the pot of chili (because oil-free cornbread is as dry as dust), and polish off the meal with some nice pan-fried apples (cooked with just a teaspoon of vegan margarine) with a very modest scoop of tasty vegan coconut milk ice cream for that whole apple pie ala mode comfort food finish. Then all the little bit here and little bit there add up to a whole lot of fat. And this all assumes you are cooking from scratch and not eating out or cooking with packaged food with their own whole oil slicks worth of added oil.

          So if it is really just the wee bit of EVOO to make those onions and garlic smell so good, then I can’t see the harm in healthy people. But if that is just the tip of the iceberg, then that can be a different story.

          1. Good points. I am personally very disciplined about oils and fats, but understand the dangerous slippery slope you described.

            Getting away from sugar? That, my friend, is a horse of an entirely different color.

          2. I’m in the first group. EVOO is the only added fat I consume. Actually, I occasionally use unsweetened desiccated coconut in curries, both for the flavour and the oil present. The EVOO not only tastes great itself, but distributes the flavour of aromatics throughout a dish in a way that simply can not be achieved without using oil. That said, much more of the fat I eat daily comes from nuts and other whole foods. I do tend to use a little more of it when training hard for a long distance wilderness hike or bike ride, but I am one of those that find it difficult to keep weight on, and in such circumstances I eat more of everything.

            The second group you describe is a different thing altogether. If it is just the tip of the iceberg, then a discussion about olive oil use is the wrong discussion to begin with.

    1. It means the anti-oxidant capacity of all those veggies is wasted mopping up for all that fat rather than being put to better use offsetting all the oxidative stress from other sources that can’t be so easily avoided.

  11. I use a small amount of EV olive oil when preparing my raw and cooked vegan meals. It significantly enhances the flavor and seems necessary for absorption of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K). I do eat avocado, nuts, and seeds daily, but the rich taste of my marinara and the yum from my garlic bread comes from the olive oil. EVOO in small quantities seems relatively harmless, especially if it increases intake of veggies.

    1. The EndoPAT score from the Itamar device looks to be measuring current endothelium functionality. Basically it looks like it gives you an idea of how much of your endothelium do you have left. It does not measure, as far as I could determine, how your endothelium responds to insults like a high fat meal, especially one that isn’t also accompanied by significant amounts of anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds as mentioned in this video. The brachial artery test does measure this directly by measuring the rebound rate of the arterial diameter after a secondary stressor, in this case reduction in blood flow from a blood pressure cuff. It is simple observed fact that the rebound rate is suppressed compared to baseline after a single high fat meal. It doesn’t get more black and white than that. The type of fat doesn’t seem to matter much. Over time that additional stress causes endothelial cells to die at a rate faster than they can be replaced by endothelial progenitor cells and so your endothelial functioning drops. So if the EndoPAT score is a true measure of endothelial functionality, you will see the effect of a high fat diet, not in a single score, but in the trajectory of scores over time as the endothelial lining of your arteries is eroded away. Of course if you wait the years until your score has dropped to know for certain that your high fat diet is causing you harm, your proof might come in the form of dropping over dead from a heart attack.

      1. SO – if I consume a highj fat meal containing whole milk kefir, avocado, nuts, seeds, etc. AND include things like pomogranate seeds, blueberries, cherries then exactly how much damage is being done?

        For example – in this study
        Two consecutive high-fat meals affect endothelial-dependent vasodilation, oxidative stress and cellular microparticles in healthy men

        “Test meals
        At the meal visit, each subject received two standardized fatrich mixed-meals at breakfast (08:30 hours) and lunch-time
        (12:30 hours). Each meal consisted of 50 g of fat, of which 60% was saturated, 55 g of carbohydrates and 30 g of protein. The
        breakfast consisted of an EggMcMuffin (McDonald’s, affiliation Amsterdam-Sloten, the Netherlands), croissant with butter and marmalade, 200 mL of milk, combined with 20 mL of cream. The lunch consisted of Quarterpounder (McDonald’s), croissant with butter, and 200 mL of milk. The subjects were instructed to consume each meal within 15 min.”

        Now – this is CRAP that I DO NOT EVER EAT. How revelant is this study compared to someone who eats a whole foods non-processed diet?

        This study
        Acute Effect of High-Fat Meal on Endothelial Function in Moderately Dyslipidemic Subjects

        “In all subjects, the protocol was repeated on the same day, 6 hours after they had consumed an OFL consisting of 680 kcal/m2 of body surface with 83% fat, 5% proteins, 12% carbohydrates, and 600 mg cholesterol over a 20- minute time interval.”

        Again – how revelant is this? What percentage eat a meal like this?


        A High-Fat Meal Increases Cardiovascular Reactivity to Psychological Stress in Healthy Young Adults

        “The high-fat meal consisted of a McDonald’s breakfast: 2 hash brown patties, a Sausage McMuffin and an Egg McMuffin [820 kcal (3433 kJ), 42 g of fat, 17 g of saturated fat, and 270 mg of cholesterol]. The isocaloric low-fat meal consisted of Kellogg’s Frosted Flakes, skim milk, Source fat-free yogurt, a Kellogg’s Fruit Loops fruit bar, and Sunny Delight orange juice [830 kcal (3475 kJ), 1g of fat and 15 mg of cholesterol]. The low-fat meal included a 1000 mg sodium supplement to balance sodium intake between the 2 meals.”

        Again – these test meals are PURE CRAP and I NEVER eat these foods.

        1. Charles, my guess is that you are doing more damage to your endothelium if you eat a high percentage of calories as fat plus high anti-oxidant foods than if you ate a low percentage of calories from fat and the same amount of high anti-oxidant foods.

          As for the original brachial artery test where they fed the research subjects crappy McDonalds, this is just one study. This study has been replicated numerous times with other foods as well as just pure fat. Here is one where they just injected the fat straight into their veins. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3006255/. The results are the same. The degree of flow-mediated dilation as
          measured by the brachial artery test follows a dose dependent response
          to the amount of lipids introduced into the blood stream. It really doesn’t appear to matter how the fat gets into the body. It sounds like impairment of endothelial function really just depends on how much fat is in the blood.

          The amount of anti-oxidant/anti-inflammatory containing foods consumed
          with the fat looks like it have a mediating effect on endothelial
          stress. So if you are going to eat a lot of fat, then try to eat a lot
          of anti-oxidant foods along with it to mitigate the damage. My best guess for endothelial health, keep the total fat down and anti-oxidants high.

          1. Injecting fat straight into the vein to study the effects of a high fat diet is ludicrous at it’s core. The human body was not meant to have fat injected straight into the vein. Fats were meant to be digested using the digestive system with fat digesting enzymes and all the other components of the complete digestive system.

            Once again this shows how ludicrous most of these reductionist nutrition studies are. I agree with Charles.

            1. Linda many people on this site prefer to eat whole foods. There is nothing wrong with that. And there is nothing magical about adding oil to foods. If it is something you prefer that is fine but you seem a bit irritated. Dr. Greger has convinced many of us that whole foods are the best way to go most of the time. So yes I may decide to sauté in oil at a meal just as I might choose to eat some coconut ice cream. But making it an everyday occurrence is probably not wise for those with CVD or a family history of CVD.

              1. Your reply has absolutely nothing to do with my post. I am a nutritionist who also eats whole foods. Definitions of this obviously vary. But back to the point: No matter what one’s nutritional views, injecting fat straight into the vein to study its effects is far removed from any definition of a whole foods diet as fats were meant to be digested using the digestive system, not injected into the vein!

                1. I suppose I was reading all your posts from this video and wondering what offends you so. I am not sure you read the articles. You are very passionate about your statements and you equate this site to paleo sites. As a “nutritionist” are you comfortable recommending oil specifically to your clients with heart disease? For those who have heart disease would you recommend as Dr. Esselstyn and others do keeping your fat at or below 10%? Many people were drawn to this site because they have some health issue and would like to try and heal themselves through diet if possible. I am sure that makes sense to you.

                  1. I too got into nutrition to heal myself, and thus decided to then formally study it. I probably would not be alive today if I had not gotten into applying and then studying clinical nutrition and functional medicine.

                    I am not offended, but, yes I do see marked similarities between this site, and paleo sites, as well as raw foodie sites and other such exclusive diet site. Do you not think those who took the paleo route wanted to heal themselves as well? Of course they did. And many did reverse diabetes and other illnesses just like many on this site have. No one diet is right for everyone because of biochemical individuality.

                    But along those same lines, the followers of those diets are just as dogmatic in their beliefs as those on this vegan site. Most of those followers would not touch a grain or starchy carbohydrate if they were starving on deserted island. Sad. But, from where I sit, such a view is just as dogmatic as many vegans on this site who think meat or oil is just as much a consummate evil.

                    I have heard followers of veganism on this site claim that paleo followers of the paleo dietary are “addicted to their meat”. Well if you’ve ever been at a paleo blog they claim all of you are addicted to your carbs! LOL!

                    It is the dogmatism on all sides to which I object. Neither side is willing to look at any of the research the other side has to offer. And one can find studies on both and all sides of the issue to support whatever view one believes. Ever heard a raw food enthusiast rail against the evils of cooked food? I have. And I eat raw food as part of my own diet, but I also eat cooked food as well.

                    I repeat: A study that actually injects fat into the blood stream is not a realistic study of how and how much fat affects the vascular system. Food fat was never meant to be injected directly into the blood stream. Fat was meant to be eaten (regardless of whether one believes that added fat should be part of a meal or not). It was meant to be digested into fatty acids first.

                    And how about the part that has the participants eat 6 pieces of bread (presumably SAD type garbage wheat bread with HFCS and other nasties in it) to down the oil they are studying.

                    These are ridiculously designed studies no matter on which side of the isle one sits when it comes to whether or not added fat in our diet is bad or good. My personal opinion on this is irrelevant.

                    1. Calling this a “vegan” site because you eat animal products is a bit of a stretch. Dr Gregor and many others base their diet on the info from the latest science and studies, he recommends a WFPB diet…the rest is YOUR interpretation.

                    2. Oh brother, you refuse to get it huh? Apparently you have to slap a label on what intelligent people choose to eat based on evidence, so call it whatever you need to, just ridiculous. So what may I ask are YOU promoting and what are you looking to prove on this “vegan promoting site”???

                    3. I really like the idea of adding plants to my diet based on this site. Could you see trade growing or more nations becoming wealthy with us eating more diverse plants? If you are plant based, you probably would eat double the number of plants a non plant based person eats at least. I would love to eat more plants and eat a variety of plants. Or are you already eating a large variety of food?

                    4. Heh, I just stirred the pot. :) You can’t deny that the message is a bit slanted. That being said, I decided to go vegan myself based on research too. Come for a hug, sister. We friends ? :)

                    5. So in your studies you should have learned how to critique a research article. Right? There are 17 research articles attached to this video. Are you saying you critiqued all of these articles and decided Dr. Greger cherry picked? Ridiculously designed studies? All of them? Linda many of the people on this site have a formal science education so would be able to determine if a article is bad. If you are going to make comments like that you should site the tile and give us a bit of a critique. Otherwise it is a bit hard to read your comments without suspicion. Didn’t you once say something about a total cholesterol of below 150 being ridiculous? (maybe is was someone else) Just saying……

                    6. Also it would be interesting for you to post articles when you make a comment. So for example if you say consuming animal is healthy then you should post a research article that we can critique and substantiates your claim.

                    7. Spot on. Challenge the evidence and cite your own, not spouting opinions.

                      Vegan Runner, Do you have your own website by any chance? I think I have just subscribed to it. Looks very good.

                    8. One last question. You didn’t respond to my inquiry about your recommendations to your clients with heart disease.

          2. From the study

            “After two fasting baseline blood samples were drawn, subjects received, in random order, on separate days, either an 8-h infusion of 1) normal saline at 40 ml/h, 2) 20% intralipid at 20 ml/h (32 g of fat, low iv fat), 3) 20% intralipid at 40 ml/h (64 g of fat, high iv fat), or oral fat load with either 4) 32 (low oral fat) or 5) 64 g of fat (high oral fat). The 20% intralipid solution is a long-chain triglyceride emulsion composed of 50% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 26% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 19% saturated fatty acids. During the intralipid and normal saline infusion studies, subjects remained fasting. For the low (32 g fat/8 h) and high (64 g fat/8 h, or ∼100% daily fat value based on 2,000-calorie diet) oral fat load studies, participants received fat with FFA composed of 33% polyunsaturated fatty acids, 34% monounsaturated fatty acids, and 22% saturated fatty acids. The oral fat load in either low or high dose was given in four equally divided doses at 0, 2, 4, and 6 h.”

            This is RIDICULOUS. What does this have to do with reality?? My meals consist of fats, protein, carbohydrates, fiber, etc. Is this really the best you can do?

          3. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3170142/

            “Test meals
            Isocaloric LF and HF meals (726 kcal) were given to the subjects at the study site in the morning after an overnight fast. The HF meal (50.1 g fat, 14 g saturated fat, 443 mg cholesterol, 22.3 g protein, 43.8 g carbohydrates) consisted of two eggs, hash browns with cheddar cheese, dry toast, margarine, and tomato ketchup. The isocaloric LF meal (5.1 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 31.3 g protein, 135.8 g carbohydrates) consisted of buttermilk pancakes, cherry topping, egg substitute, tomato ketchup, and commercial fruit juice. To assure consistency across subjects, meals were ordered from the same commercial restaurant.”

            OOH – the isocaloric lf MEAL IS soooo – it’s CRAP.

            Again – I don’t eat this garbage.

  12. Let’s assume olive oil is not that bad for a moment.Still, buying a quality product is very difficult. Despite what’s advertised 99% brands of extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil are you find in groceries are terrible products. I remember this scandal in Spain where they discover a specific brand was adding other oils into their bottles. Do I wanna spend 40$ for 500ml of liquid fat ? no thanks.

    1. You’re right about the quality, or lack thereof, of many olive oils in the market. A few years ago, many of the top selling brands in Australia were tested. Around half of the EVOOs did not meet the international standard, and a greater proportion did not meet the more stringent Australian standard. Some were partially adulterated with horrible products. Fortunately, it is straight forward for Australians to get hold of good quality EVOO, but it takes a bit of research.

      Here is a link to an article – ‘Inside the murky world of olive oil’ – from a major Australian newspaper on the issue if you are interested:


    1. I make a salad dressing with flax-seed in it to improve absorption of carotenoids. It also has ginger, garlic, mustard, dates, cumin, lemon and tomato paste in it.

    2. Or you could put some dry toasted sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds on your salad and get a little fat to help with absorption. But do not the amount of fat required is very small on the order of 6 grams (http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/20040727/fat-helps-vegetables-go-down). That is the amount of fat in just 12 grams or about 2 teaspoons of sunflower seeds. So just a few nuts or seeds on your salad and you get the fat you need plus all the other nutrients besides just the fat, while OO or other oils just adds calories. What seals the deal for me is that nuts and seeds taste better than liquid oil to me, so I get even more flavor in my salads.

      My favorite dressing is just a couple tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, one to two teaspoons of Dijon mustard, a 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup and maybe a little water wisked together as needed. Huge flavor, no oil and next to no added calories. Lets me eat mixing bowl sized salads with huge amount of nutrients without busting my calorie budget.

      1. You aren’t getting anywhere near your calorie budget the way you eat, you fucking nut job.

        Or maybe you’re one of these old farts who sits around all day dicking around with food while you sit on the internet writing your crackpot theories because you have nothing interesting going on in your life.

        Am I wrong? (nope).

        Salad didn’t fuel civilization, you fucking reject.

  13. Like many others it seems, I too wonder about some of the real world interpretations of this information. I happen to eat a no added-oils vegan diet. I quite enjoy it and the results and have no interest in adding a bunch of oil to my diet, but – I wish sometimes we could see studies that instead of using e.g. 6 slices of bread and 1/4 cup of oil, used something a little more realistic.

    For example, if I were to make a giant batch of vegan chili (~8 servings), and used a tbsp of oil in sauteeing the veggies vs water sauteeing the veggies, if a person were to eat a single serving of that big bowl of beans and veggies either with or without the 1/8 tbsp of oil, does that result in a significant measurable difference?

    Personally I find it hard to believe it would, even as much as I generally extol the benefits of low fat plant based diet and follow it myself. I certainly have no desire to add any unnecessary processed foods (ie oils) to my diet and don’t really care either way, but I do wonder about it sometimes. Particularly in the context of advocacy. If someone’s trying to rein in their heart disease, diabetes, weight, etc, it’s a no-brainer to minimize the fat, but if someone otherwise appears to be in perfect health, does it matter? Dr. Esselstyn says that as long as someone’s cholesterol is under 150, nuts/seeds/avocado are fine in his opinion. He’s obviously the “NO OIL” guy, but what would he say if someone ate an otherwise WFPB diet, with small amounts of oil as I describe above, and still had a cholesterol < 150? Or is that considered impossible? Anyone have personal experiences/numbers to share? Or would he still say that even with levels <150, damage is still occurring and the oils should still be avoided?

    1. I think Esselstyn was committed to a good experimental design with the specific goal of stopping or even reversing CHD. In order to achieve that end he had to go staunch. Boomer, it is your life. Your risk. We choose not to sit in the closet with the lights out. There is no way to eliminate all the risk. The point is we at least deserve the straight dope about what the risk is. We now know that Oil is proportional to harm. Now does hormesis come into the picture at some low level? I dont think we know that yet. Darryl can tell us probably

      1. I think Esselstyn was committed to a good experimental design with the specific goal of stopping or even reversing CHD.

        Right, and that’s part of the issue I was getting at. I don’t have heart disease, excess weight, etc. Every health parameter I’ve had tested is perfect (or typically “lower” than perfect). My cholesterol is < 150. So if tomorrow I started eating 1/4 tsp of oil per day on top of the rest of my diet – literally pounds of veggies, whole grains, beans, and fruit – that would be putting my life at risk? That would result in significantly different outcomes, ie heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, etc? Really?

        Now if I added oil to my diet, and gained weight, cholesterol went up, etc, then that would make sense to remove it. And if it didn't have any of the anticipated negative effects? Well then we're engaging in fear mongering, not scientific advocacy to still be labeling it as "fatal if consumed in any amount". To be clear, I'm not saying it would or it wouldn't have those effects. I'm saying, "Would it?", specifically, at levels much lower than what have been tested.

        We now know that Oil is proportional to harm.

        That’s kind of my whole point. 1/4 cup of oil is harmful? Of course it is. To then claim with certainty that 1/4 tsp is going to be significantly harmful? That is an unsupported assumption at this point. My point here is a matter of ‘limit of detection’, not ‘sensitivity’.

        The point is we at least deserve the straight dope about what the risk is.


        I dont think we know that yet. Darryl can tell us probably

        This gave me a chuckle. Yes, Darryl can probably tell us. :)

        1. I don’t know, maybe it is just a USAmerican thing. This splitting of hairs. How many decimal places do you require? You have the info. Make your decision.

          Maybe I should put it this way. You know that old saw, “the poison is in the dose.” There are atoms of lead in that oil. There are atoms of Arsenic in your flax. Don’t you see? You’ve got to decide if eating a little oil is worth the risk. A single molecule of oil is like an atom of 238U.

          Remember that Imp, Mxyziptyl (sic)? Superman had to get him to say his name backwards to send him safely back to his dimension. Isn’t it like that with your dilemma? Perhaps if you say Lio when you add the oil it will make it safe to eat?

          I really don’t understand this incessant search for loopholes. To me, the question we should ask is related to hormesis. Not the disgusting potted meat-like product from Hormel…rather the principle introduced to me here some years ago by Darryl, that a small amount of “irritant” activates our natural defenses against harm. to wit, alcohol’s “J-curve”. Now that WOULD be worth teasing out.

          1. In my experience and opinion, hormesis is in some ways a sciency way of special pleading for a hypothesis that one is engaging in a bad habit at the optimal level. Yes, hypotheses of hormetic mechanisms and j-curves exist and should be considered, but we need strong empirical evidence to actually give them tooth. There’s also some generally slipperiness in the hormetic idea when it isn’t extremely certain of the exact mechanisms by which a hormetic benefit comes about. It may be that there are several interventions that can be shown to be beneficial on average at just the right amount in general populations, but it doesn’t follow that this describes correct dosage when applying all these interventions at once in someone pursuing a diet that is already known to modulate the burden of many chronic diseases.

            1. When he first mentioned it i was so skeptical i asked him, “Is your other brother named Darryl?” I usually end up regretting snark.

              What you say, Largelytrue, is largely true, but how does it help us?

              1. Doesn’t it help to reflect on the types of evidence that are likely needed to support a particular class of hypotheses?

                Again, hormesis as it is usually discussed is a tricky concept since it is talking about a tiny band of exposure at which the effect bucks a global trend of toxicity. Given any body of evidence, there is always going to be some hormetic hypothesis that isn’t excluded, therefore we must be especially careful to test hormetic claims in a way that exposes them to other forms of falsification that evade special pleading for a substantially positive effect at sufficiently low exposure. Then once you have a window of benefit in one controlled situation, you have to be very careful in extrapolating that window to other situations; we require a lot of good evidence not just to confirm the hypothesis that hormesis exists, but to make very reliable predictions about where the hormetic region lies in various situations. Practically by definition, you are likely to wind up paying money to give yourself a substantially harmful exposure if you mess up your estimates by even a moderate amount.

                The biggest point that I was aiming at is that hormesis can always be hiding under a rock somewhere, so it isn’t impressive that we simply “don’t know” yet whether there is a hormetic region for dietary fat on FMD. The idea-in-general is simply unfalsifiable, and this is precisely why we should be cautious about giving the hormetic idea any weight in guiding our actions. In guiding our efforts to expand our knowledge, yes, it certainly should be part of our toolkit for crafting hypotheses about possible threshold effects. But to take it seriously in practical decisions, we need a lot more specificity than you might otherwise think.

                1. Well! I’m no Darryl but if I was I’d say Harrumph!

                  LT, I really brought up hormesis to give Boomer an out of what I thought was a very short sighted comment. i don’t care heaps about it.

                  Still, dont you find the notion that we might learn to turn on our naturally occurring protective mechanisms…like superoxide dismutases and such…isnt there any intellectual pull in that direction by following up on hometic hypotheses? What if we learned to lift that minor effect into a life-extending application? Now that would be science in action.

                  1. I said that hormetic hypotheses are important in research. They are in fact about as important as dyshormetic mechanisms and any other nonlinearity or threshold effect within the range of reasonably possible exposure. But my point is that as end-users of science, we shouldn’t rush to give credibility to these possibilities for which a model is not yet well-established, which is kind of what you were doing when giving special attention to the idea that it hasn’t been proven that there isn’t a hormetic regime for the consumption of fat on FMD.

                    As a scientific idea the existence of some hormesis somewhere is unfalsifiable, so the main reason to fixate on it seemed to me to be related to ideas of actual practice in an environment of uncertainty, rather than the effort to conduct research per se. This site is in the first place more a gathering of lay practitioners than of rigorous researchers.

                    1. aw come on. i dont want to win agains you. you said it was untestable…What do you want? I think a loophole is a false, accidental gap in the rules that allows someone to do something bad. If you want think that I think hormesis is a loophole ok , point to you. game set match to LT. Just for that I’m going to drink a whole bottle of Brent light ‘n sweet and its all your fault.

                    2. I said that the generic idea that there is some sort of hormesis there is untestable. However, specific hypothesis about specific dose-response curves, are.

                      In my first comment I was observing that in my experience that this line of thinking is often invoked to justify moderate vices. Because people are often primed to accept this sort of thinking on thinner evidence than usual, we should be a little more cautious about the arguments we see. You agree, I think, while I probably stumbled in trying to clarify the meaning of my first comment.

                      Your general commentary is not really wrong. I wonder if we may be talking somewhat at cross purposes, given the context in which you seem a bit on edge in the conversation with b00mer as well, and the feeling that I have not responded accurately to your critique. If in this way I have helped to foul your mood, I’m sorry.

                    3. No no, i’m happy really. I try to be outrageous to bring attention to the subject and make a point. But it becomes tiresome, this sorting out of priorities. I know my family is reading this and I try to hide my ID so I can point to it later and say see, others agree with me….jigs up init?

          2. You might be misinterpreting my concern, I’m not splitting hairs in trying to decide if I personally want to eat oil. I don’t eat it on a daily basis and I have no desire to. This isn’t some desperate quest of mine to justify eating oil and I’m not looking for any “loopholes”. I’m perfectly happy with no oil! I’m merely questioning why no researchers are addressing a very obvious and pertinent follow up question to the studies that have been done with rather unrealistic amounts.

            You find out something is harmful, that’s step one. Then you find out dosage/exposure/route of administration/chronic/acute etc. Lots of things are “toxic” in some amount, but that’s only the beginning. Uranium-238 is naturally occurring. Should we hide from all rocks and dirt to avoid all possible exposure? Of course not. Because we know the practical parameters for legitimate toxicity. This is just a simple matter of curiosity about the world. I’m merely musing about what the answer is to a question we don’t have the answer for. Neither of us consume oil. If you’re not curious what the threshold level is for health damaging effects, that’s fine, but I am.

            When I first heard about oil-free eating it was a curiosity to me. I tried it almost on a whim and never went back. It was effortless since aside from oil I was already whole foods plant based. But I know others are different, some people do really love their oil, and hey, if there’s some small amount that does appear to be safe for those who don’t have any immediate danger from CVD, it might be a significant factor in getting them to try a plant based diet, which if started early enough, might in itself give them the leg up on preventing all sorts of diseases.

            So partially my concern is in regards to effective advocacy, but also frankly it is just a huge, obvious, mathematical gap in the research that regardless of the particular subject matter is just begging to be filled in. I can’t believe such an obvious question hasn’t been addressed.

            Perhaps if you say Lio when you add the oil it will make it safe to eat?

            I got a really big kick out of this :) Too funny.

            1. b00mer: I think you have a very good point.

              My take on it is: I treat oil the same way I treat sugar. I have some of both in my diet, but I try to limit them and I don’t kid myself that either one is a health food. Small amounts may not hurt my health, but it is too easy to consume more than small amounts as a little here and a little there really add up. So, I try to be careful with how much I consume.

              Now, if some people really need a hard number of how much is safe vs not safe because having a number will help them eat an otherwise whole plant food based diet, then I agree that some more research would be helpful for those people.

            2. I could not disagree more. Your trying to violate the laws of thermodynamics. Its about signal to noise ratio. Scientists have precious little money, at least the good ones it seems. My compatriot, Ernest Rutherford said “we didn’t have money so we had to think”

              So they pose a question…or rather a disprovable guess and then do what they can with what they have to disprove it. You can’t do that by collecting data that is polluted with noise. So they turn up the volumn and let rip.

              You want me to spend more on science to delve down into that noise? so you can know how many mg of oil you, individually can safely slather on…??? really, aren’t you a bit smarter than that? Yes you are.

              My contributions will be spent on good science to help the teeming masses overcome their societally engineered ignorance of good nutrition…your minutia can wait. Don’t get mad…i do like you more than most of the humans.

              Valter Kempner, channeling through Rhombo

              1. Well, the devil is in the detail, so we’d better get around to them sooner rather than later. You make some good points about relevant scarcities, but your “I could not disagree more” seems rather extreme. Dose-response is not minutia. I agree with boomer’s desire for further and more realistic testing, but I understand why this has not happened.

                I personally do eat extra virgin olive oil. Not a quarter of a cup at a time, but some. Does it increase my risk of cardio vascular disease? Maybe. It makes up a very small part of my largely whole foods plant based diet, and on balance appears fairly neutral. What isn’t neutral is the utility I derive from consuming it. I love the stuff. I probably eat more healthily with it than without it. I also like to jump out of planes for fun – an activity with obvious inherent risk – so perhaps my attitude toward risk lays away from the average closer to one end of the spectrum.

              2. You can’t do that by collecting data that is polluted with noise. So they turn up the volumn and let rip.

                You want me to spend more on science to delve down into that noise?

                The idea that data at the low end is obfuscated by an unfavorable signal to noise ratio is conjecture on your part, and would have required some attempt at data collection at the low end to have determined that. Do you have some knowledge of these alleged failed experiments? If so, that would be very interesting to read about, but if not the whole point is that there is no data at the low end for you to base this statement on. We go from zero, to unrealistic and huge amounts. If data on minimal intake is attempted, and the data is of poor quality, then there is a decision to make as to whether it’s worth it to troubleshoot. If it turns out that it’s not the effort to continue, that’s fine, and if we get reliable data on the first try, that’s fine too.

                Regarding expense, if you’ve already wrangled up a bunch of volunteers to eat something and then measure arterial dilation, it isn’t going to bankrupt anyone to have them eat a couple different meals, take a couple more measurements to get some data points in between, and do the same analysis on all of them. Especially when doing so would render the study infinitely more meaningful in the context of real life for most people. We’re not talking about reinstituting the shuttle program here.

                I’m not sure why I’m spending so much time defending the idea of curiosity and knowledge over remaining determinedly ignorant on a topic. What does having another couple of data points hurt? Why is the idea of asking a simple question so threatening? I’m not sure why you are so determined to label me as an angry olive oil devotee in disguise. I explained clearly that I do not eat it and do not wish to. To continually insinuate that I’m lying and continue making condescending statements towards me is your choice, but that is generally not a productive mode of conversation.

                1. ha ha ah I am so impressed Kate! those others are pikers… Even Elvis was in here during my operation! “This ain’t the heart-break hotel!” I tells him. Its a constant fight to suppress them….only listen to Rhombo!

      2. With the above studies, the shoddy way in which they were designed, in my humble opinion, we are still left in the dark. These studies do not give the straight dope! They are just as badly designed as most of the other reductionist nutrition studies out there.

        1. Oh my. So if you don’t think research has value then you put more credence on expert opinions? That will get you into trouble most of the time and is how medicine has been practiced for too long. I will put my faith in the overwhelming data that has been collected. I want to take advantage of the current best research available. Yes there are bad studies. And with time conclusions may change. That is the nature of what we are talking about.

          1. Good research and good studies are good research and good studies. Shoddy studies and shoddy research are shoddy studies and shoddy research. I’ll put my faith in the good stuff. Nough said.

    2. W.r.t. your question, I’ve been eating a LF-WFPB diet for a little over 6 years. I use about 1 tbs of extra-virgin olive oil a day. On no meds, my TC is 128, LDL 65, TG 65, HDL 50. Dr. Esselstyn distinguishes his diet from his son’s Rip as Plant Perfect vs Plant Strong.

      Stated another way, dose matters. Simple sugars and salt are demonized. And high doses of both should be. But as McDougall often says, if adding sugar to oatmeal in the morning is going to get you to eat your oatmeal, add the sugar. Similar rules for salt. Jeff Novick has some good guidelines on salt.

      But, like I explained in my rather long comment about 30 minutes ago, olive oil intake is not going to show up negatively in your cholesterol numbers – its negative effect is more stealthy. Thus, be very careful about the “dose” of olive oil, just as you should be with sugar and salt.

      1. McDougall often says, if adding sugar to oatmeal in the morning is going to get you to eat your oatmeal, add the sugar.

        Fred, I actually had this exact quote in mind when I first commented here on this. Some people really like their oil. Personally I don’t, but I recognize some people are different. And if they would be so turned off by absolutely zero oil that they might not try a plant based diet at all if they felt that was a requisite component, or if they might decide ‘hey what’s the point in even trying’ and keep pouring huge amounts rather than using some smaller amount sparingly that was deemed relatively harmless, then I think that would be a shame.

        I did read your other response and I have always found that green monkey study very fascinating as well. And of course at the same time, I still have to wonder about the dose-response issue. If the monkeys were living a full lifetime of nothing but greens and fruits every day and added a fraction of a tsp of oil, would that make a difference over time? Maybe, maybe not. Knowing wouldn’t make any difference for me, I’m happy with no oil! But it may for others, and I think it’s a pertinent question. A study like that would obviously take some time, but in the meantime even some FMD data with more reasonable doses would be interesting to see. Oh and thanks for sharing your numbers and experience. Btw they look great! You’re clearly doing something right. :)

        1. Vitamin E is made from plant oils. There is a little bit of Vitamin E in Olive Oil. Could some of the health benefits perceived to be from olive oil from its Vitamin E content? For many millions of people, their only source of vitamin E is plant oils or multi vitamins. Almonds are one of the best sources of vitamin E. Do we have a vitamin E deficiency problem? Vitamin E has many heart benefits. Is the olive fruit, pre domestication, trying to help the hearts of a distributor? Possibly. Possibly there are some of those benefits in the olive oil, with more in the whole food.

  14. THANK YOU. I’m putting a star next to this one to show my friends who are hooked on their “healthy oils”. Looking at the comments below I see the classic signs of addiction. People look for loopholes when they feel threatened. That is a good sign. It means they are not able to live with the discord. Lets hope they CAN handle the truth. Eat WHOLE FOODS, not refined oils, sugar, starch.

    1. I think addiction is a massive overstatement for most who are commenting below. Preferring to use a bit of oil while cooking otherwise WFPB and trying to learn if some levels are an acceptable risk is hardly the same as Jonesing for a heroin fix.

      1. I’m not even sure if Rhombopterix watched the same video. We seem to have taken away different messages. Unfortunately, the response to fat from nuts (gram for gram of fat content) was not tested, and I strongly suspect it would be similar to EVOO (albeit without the other benefits).

        Nothing like jonesing for a heroin fix at all. I find some people’s all or nothing attitude to risk quite perplexing here. Do they all want to live in bubbles? “to show my friends who are hooked on their “healthy oils”. Maybe they are justifying something harmful by practicing self deception. Maybe they take the headlines in the newspapers as the final word. Maybe they really like oil and removing it from their diet is not worth it for them. I certainly wouldn’t remove it from my diet without much more and better evidence. The trade offs always seem to go unnoticed in these comment threads.

      1. This is probably too much info, but people ARE funny. Whenever I would start running or anything like regular fitness, in my tobacco addicted, alcoholic family that was viewed as … i dont have the words…above my station or being phony. Can you imagine? No you cant! I’ve decided to stop hiding from health. Its just die-ing to get hold of me. People of Earth Attention: LIVE, find and be your real self.

        I like your name. = Run Vegan Runner. or Ride a bike or just do what makes you happy. choose your family carefully. Teach the children. Push |>

        1. Some people have odd opinions about exercise I agree! I have treated patients who think it is an absolute waste of time to train because it is all about the brain. I once read an interview one of my patients gave. I asked him why he called his strengthening program a stretching program. He responded that he was embarrassed for people to know he exercised! I told him people respected those who exercise. He then reported that he had since changed his description and calls it a strengthening program.

          I think I should have used WFPB-runner. Not as catchy?

      1. Thea, thanks for sharing the link.
        It is very strange that someone like Dr. Greger recommends rotten products for human consumtion.
        Vinegar is a product of bacterial fermentation and our food cannot digest in the presence of acid (other than or own HCL acid), whether it is starch or protrin we consume.
        Even a trace of acid with our meal is enough to completely arrest digestion and to destroy ptyaline as well as pepsin.(That is why fruits are recommended to be taken alone, as a separate meal, because it’s acid.)
        It will also arrest the flow of gastric acid, HCL, in which ONLY, our food can be digested.
        I am reffering to Dr. Herbert Shelton’s book Food combining made easy, where the rules of proper food combining are thoroughly explained.

        1. I can ask him if you’d like, but I can assure you he’ll point to his research articles already available here. Food combining or eating fruit alone may help some folks, but to my knowledge it’s all anecdotal evidence. Having a banana in your morning oatmeal seems to be completely tolerable and I never tell patients to eat fruit by itself. If I am missing some crucial research please let me know.

      1. Dr. Gonzales, with all respects, I watched the videos, but they are only saying about vinegar lowering one thing or another, they are not saying anything about acid arresting digestion, like in the Shelton’s book on food combining, or in traces in your famous Guyton, if my memory serves me well.
        Are you saying that the physiological rules of our organism’s proper functioning suddenly changed and that nowadays one can digest with the add of poisons like acetic acid?
        I eat only proper combined fruit for breakfast, and that means sweet fruits with sweet fruits and acid fruit with acid fruit, for more than 20 years now, and my three children since they stopped breast feeding, and this is far from anecdotal, if you don’t mind. My son is now 16 and my daughters 12 and 8 years old.
        Hence my question is not anecdotal but comes from a real life and my interest for physiology of digestion.
        Since you’ve mentioned it, one should also know that mixing sugars, like bananas with starches, like cereals will almost certainly result in fermentation in the stomach.
        I think your approach to this thing is more technical or mechanical in nature, counting calories and haphazardly gulping smoothies, and never spoke a word about proper food combining, although I heard Dr. Greger say that it’s not what you eat but what you digest, if I am not wrong.
        Hence my reaction.

        1. Predrag1970 the one thing to remember is that Dr. Greger will not make a statement unless it is backed up my a research article. I am not aware of any research articles on food combining but if you go to PubMed and search you will find out. You then can read the articles and determine if they make sense. But as Dr. Greger will tell you “he reads them so we don’t have to.” But oftentimes he will make a statement in a video and then I pull up the articles he referenced and see for myself. I then can understand where his statement is coming from.

        2. The idea that our bodies would be only capable of digesting certain types of food at a time strikes me as a good topic to sell books and not much else, just silly.

          1. Timing is essential. The perfect time for us humans to eat our food is when the food reach it’s full ripeness. After that, microorganisms will return the food to elementals. At that point the food starts to be theirs, microorganism’s, and it becomes poisonous to humans. It’s not ours anymore.
            Of course, the phenomenon of some human’s need or habit to eat unripe food or to eat pickles or vinegar or other rotten stuff, as well as to use alcohol and tobacco, could be explained to an intelligent person.
            The physiology of digestion is of essential importance and in your country once lived great men who spent their lives investigated this and left their heritage so we can EVOLVE, and it is most strange how modern medicine treats human digestive tract merely as a garbage can. Of course, with some vinegar added.
            I’m not selling any books neither. I’m curious to find out more precisely about Greger’s ideas.

            1. Yes, ripeness is certainly desirable, but consider that microorganisms will also naturally PRESERVE that ripe food and gift us with probiotics when we eat them, improving our digestion and utilization of the food we eat.
              Evolution will happen with or without men investigating digestion, as it has up to now. If we eat as we evolved to instead of as we are inclined, we would all be a lot healthier. The gut and microbiome are hugely more important than anyone ever guessed, and it’s study has applications that not only affect digestion, but our entire physiology.

      2. Joseph, since its what we digest or assimilate that is of great importance why can’t I find any videos on digestion. Wouldn’t this be just as important as all the minutia about toxic meat and dairy?

        1. Many videos mention digestion. “Digestion” is a complex process coupled with peristalsis and absorption. I think we have many videos that discuss this process.

    1. I would also be curious at the difference between the REAL fermented vinegar complete with it’s beneficial microbes, and processed, distilled, whatever, vinegar. I also find it really confusing when the term “pickled” can mean either lacto-fermented with live microbes, or just boiled in vinegar… not comparable in my book. A few reports here kind of negate fermentation of say kimchee or kombucha, but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive on many levels!

  15. Question… Does the results of the Brachial artery test show the same if a fatty veg or nut is eaten? I understand with the pure oil but what about the food they come from?? If I eat olives and walnuts and take the test will they stiffen up as well?

  16. I would so love if you can do some up dating on studies on the intake of
    avocado’s… most of what I find you have here on avocado is 3, 4, 5,
    7, 8 years old… hope more research is out there & we can get more
    information on the whole avocado… thank you… :)

    1. This sounds like an interesting upcoming study with avocados:


      It will measure postprandial endothelial function using FMD. (Although, we’re looking at a high fat meal with 1/2 avocado and a high fat meal with 1 avocado, vs a control meal that’s high in saturated fat combined with high amounts of carbohydrates eaten by overweight / obese adults.)

  17. There is an article in the April 2015 issue of The Life Extension magazine entitled “Olive Oil Offers Unique Cardiovascular Protection”. The article is a review of 36 liturature references. So What is the deal???

    1. I dunno. Got a link to the article?

      Just because a source uses references doesn’t mean its reasoning is good. This is especially true of popular sources. The calorie restriction movement has some ingrained cultural preferences for Zone-type diets, so it’s not exactly unexpected that they would praise oil.

      1. Look at the Life Extension website, http://www.lef.org. Look for the April 2015 issue of the magazine. Also someone posted links to nih website saying olive oil is good. So what about the antioxidants in EVOO. Maybe these studies used the fake stuff.

        1. So it looks like they have another moneyed bias toward promoting supplements of special nutrients. Focusing on hypotheses about special, unique health-promoting chemicals in olive oil with no alternative sources in other foods that may become a target for supplementation in the future is to some extent a win-win for them. Never mind that the results they seem to cite are for diets that are pretty poor in polyphenols and other plant foods generally (such as PREDIMED).

          But even if we suppose that special olive polyphenols are key to heart health on a whole food plant based diet, it does not follow that olive oil is a sharp way of introducing them. On a per-weight basis, olives generally appear to have 2-3 times the polyphenol content of extra virgin oil, which is quoted as having 550mg/kg: http://phenol-explorer.eu/reports/45

          Even in research on EVOO especially high in polyphenols, it doesn’t seem that levels get appreciably higher than 1500mg/kg: http://jn.nutrition.org/content/138/6/1074.full.pdf

          Thus we know that on a per-calorie basis, olives are an even richer source. Which would you rather eat on health grounds: the approximately whole plant food or the extracted oil?

          A general idea that you may be missing is that it’s perfectly compatible for EVOO to be a complex package with both positive and negative effects on health. The fat may promote poor endothelial function, particularly with the abrupt absorption associated with its refined packaging, while the antioxidants may lead to metabolic changes that help free-living people who have acquired advanced disease (and who are therefore likely to be eating unhealthily). is entirely possible for the positive effects to be magnified in the sick and for the negative effects to be magnified in the healthy, so we shouldn’t immediately clamp down on the idea that EVOO is an important addition to a heart-healthy diet, with no superior alternatives.

        2. a dozen years ago it was red wine and before that it was milk and before that it was,,,i don’t know, champagne with radium. Now it is coconut oil…next it will be radium again.

          1. So don’t be so sure that what you hold to be very healthful now will be shown not to be so great in the future. Remember when Avocados were advised against here? Hibiscus tea unstrained was maybe a good way to consume it? Credit where credit is due, both of those opinions were updated when new evidence emerged. But it does serve as a reminder to moderate one’s confidence and remove certainty.

    2. http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2015/4/Olive-Oil-Offers-Unique-Cardiovascular-Protection/Page-01
      Olive Oil Offers Unique Cardiovascular Protection

      “Endothelial Function
      Another way olive oil exerts its beneficial cardiovascular effects is by improving endothelial function of arteries. Endothelial dysfunction, an early step on the path to coronary artery disease—and ultimately, heart attack and stroke—occurs when arteries are unable to perform in ways that help maintain healthy blood flow and normal blood pressure.17

      Endothelial dysfunction has not only been found in patients with coronary artery disease, but also in those with type II diabetes, hypertension, obesity, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome (a cluster of conditions that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes).18,19

      In a 2013 double-blind clinical trial, US and Italian researchers found that consuming 30 mL (2 tablespoons) of polyphenol-rich olive oil daily for four months significantly improved endothelial function in adults with atherosclerosis.20

      Excitingly, olive oil improves endothelial function in as little as two hours after consumption.20 However, plant polyphenols don’t stick around in the blood very long, so the study authors proposed that ingredients in olive oil likely alter the expression of long-term endothelial modulators, such as nitric oxide synthase.20 Endothelial nitric oxide synthase is an enzyme that generates nitric oxide (NO).21 Nitric oxide is a protective molecule that signals arteries to expand so blood can flow through more easily, thus lowering blood pressure.22

      Even more encouraging is evidence that polyphenols in olive oil can interact with a hereditary gene variant of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (the NOS3 Glu298Asp polymorphism, which is a risk factor for hypertension and coronary artery disease), to improve endothelial function after meals.19 So, even if genetics are not in your favor, olive oil may help.”

      Beneficial effects of polyphenol-rich Olive Oil in patients with early atherosclerosis

  18. http://jama.jamanetwork.com/article.aspx?articleid=199488

    Effect of a Mediterranean-Style Diet on Endothelial Dysfunction and Markers of Vascular Inflammation in the Metabolic SyndromeA Randomized Trial

    Main Outcome Measures
    Nutrient intake; endothelial function score as a measure of blood pressure and platelet aggregation response to L-arginine; lipid and glucose parameters; insulin sensitivity; and circulating levels of high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) and interleukins 6 (IL-6), 7 (IL-7), and 18 (IL-18).

    After 2 years, patients following the Mediterranean-style diet consumed more foods rich in monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, and fiber and had a lower ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Total fruit, vegetable, and nuts intake (274 g/d), whole grain intake (103 g/d), and olive oil consumption (8 g/d) were also significantly higher in the intervention group (P<.001). The level of physical activity increased in both groups by approximately 60%, without difference between groups (P = .22). Mean (SD) body weight decreased more in patients in the intervention group (−4.0 [1.1] kg) than in those in the control group (−1.2 [0.6] kg) (P<.001). Compared with patients consuming the control diet, patients consuming the intervention diet had significantly reduced serum concentrations of hs-CRP (P = .01), IL-6 (P = .04), IL-7 (P= 0.4), and IL-18 (P = 0.3), as well as decreased insulin resistance (P<.001). Endothelial function score improved in the intervention group (mean [SD] change, +1.9 [0.6]; P<.001) but remained stable in the control group (+0.2 [0.2]; P = .33). At 2 years of follow-up, 40 patients in the intervention group still had features of the metabolic syndrome, compared with 78 patients in the control group (P<.001).

    A Mediterranean-style diet might be effective in reducing the prevalence of the metabolic syndrome and its associated cardiovascular risk.

  19. I am now beyond confused and starting to think that the only way we can be healthy is to eat raw vegetables. While I am ok with some of that, good luck with kids. Is the only healthy way to not eat raw to eat everything steamed? I do not see this happening any time soon.

    I am a huge fan of this site and everything that Dr. Greger teaches but heck, it starts to feel like we should just stop eating anything unless it is vegetables, fruits or nuts/seeds and, they are raw.

    This is close to impossible in today’s crazy busy life, and is impossible for people on a budget. So are we all destined for a heart attack and the operations that follow that? It seems wrong. I am sure there is a healthy balance we can achieve with a combination of an active lifestyle and eating as many healthy foods as makes sense. Am I wrong?

    1. Schalk: I can understand how it might feel that way, but that is not a good representation of Dr. Greger’s videos on this site. This site shows the virtues of whole grains, cooked (as well as raw) veggies, fruits, and nuts and seeds (plus a B12 supplement). Here are Dr. Greger’s overall nutrition recommendation.

      I’m guessing that you are thinking that you have to use oil to cook your veggies and other foods. But you don’t! There are some great alternatives to using oil and food will still taste great. Your kids will still love it. Is that enough of a reply, or would you like me to provide specific examples and websites that provide guidance/examples which are in line with NutritionFacts?

      1. Ooops! I left out legumes (beans) from the list of food categories that are very healthy. There’s a ton of variety beyond raw veggies!

        I should also add that it may be difficult to get enough calories in children if you tried to feed them only raw veggies. A site called the Vegetarian Resource Group has some great advice for feeding kids in a healthy way.

        I should also address the part of your original post that talked about eating on a budget. There are a couple of great books that can help with that:
        Vegan on the Cheap (one of my favorite cookbooks) and
        Eat Vegan on $4 Per Day

        The first book does include some oils in the recipes, but the oil is usually just for sauteing the onion and garlic, which as I mentioned is very easy to get around if you decide you want to cut back on your oils.

        Hope that helps.

        1. I agree that children can eat healthy plant based food and like it , being accustomed to it from say age 2 makes it easier.On the other-hand I saw children who would not touch a green bean with a 10 foot pole by the age of three.
          I don’t blame them either because they way the vegetables are presented (boiled until they are limp and tasteless) wouldn’t tempt me either.

          By the way
          ” Vegan made easy ” is a great recipe book too (e-book/kindle) , only about $10, not complicated and with recipes on condiments as well, helpful especially if going oil – free. The author’s first name is Anja if I remember correctly.

            1. Thanks Thea,
              we tend to miss the texture of food most, so Anja’s recipe which includes oil-free condiments and easy vegan cheeses is really helpful. Her Flax seed crackers + Sunflower seed cream-cheese is my favorite .
              You can pick and choose the recipe you want to use and then try to get into WFPB approach more as you go.
              I found that there’s not only the animal protein craving to get over at first, but also the fast food mentality (fry a couple of steaks and we’re done-mentality). This is hard to do without a recipe especially when considering what to pack for lunch or what to have on the go.

              The author’s name is Anja Cass ( I remembered at last – I should be taking my B12 more regularly like Dr Greger told us to !), people can find her recipes and videos at http://www.cookingwithplants.com or on You Tube.
              Hope this helps.

              1. vegank: Nice post! I think you are so right that switching to whole plant food based diet is as much about getting over mental hurtles as anything else.

                I wanted to wait to reply to your post until I had a chance to check out your link. Great site!! (At least what I have seen so far.) Thanks for supplying that link. I’m definitely adding Anja’s website to my list of go-to places for ideas and referrals.

                1. Hi Thea, I’m glad you liked it, You don’t need very exotic and expensive ingredients with Anja’s recipes which is the great part. I like the fact that it does not take too long to make the dishes, eg the vegan fat-free Pizza.
                  I tweak the recipes if the ingredients might affect my blood sugar , at least there is no need to reinvent the wheel.
                  Going back to the making vegetables more child-friendly, I think the Raw-food people do a great job of making vegetables visually appealing (and tasty), as well as the way it’s cooked in Asian cuisine.

        2. I would just like to add to the above, that a WFPB diet is CHEAPER by FAR than a S.A.D. and so much simpler! No way I could afford that processed junk or meats and dairy! I grow a lot of my own veggies and get the rest from a farm market, my grains and seeds from a bulk store. On the rare occasions I have to go into a standard grocery store, my jaw drops when I see the high price of what is essentially chemical sludge on the shelves! My pet peeve is seeing people at the checkout with carts full of processed garbage, chips, cookies, soda, etc. and using food stamps! Food stamps are supposed to be for FOOD, no?

          1. Charzie: I understand your pet peeve and share it. But I don’t really blame the people buying the food. I blame the system we have in place that keeps those people in ignorance and often unable to focus on the healthier foods. (For example, not all farm markets will accept food stamps I don’t think…) I think all we can do is be role models and support efforts like NutritionFacts which are trying hard to set things right.

            By the way, I thought your post is well worded. I got a kick reading it. Thanks.

          2. Yes the prices are part of the reasons why healthy eating is not easy for all.
            I’ve started in the last two years to add home grown vegetables too, went through a learning curb with the timing for sowing etc but finally getting into a cycle of planting and harvesting this year.
            I am also looking forward to pre-ordering Dr Greger’s new book.
            (I am having technical difficulties with Discuss today)

        1. Happily! Here’s my take: Many, many, many recipes that I see for mostly Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) eating which happen to include some oil usually have oil just for sauteing the onions, garlic and/or mushrooms. There are two ways to get around using oil in these circumstances and the recipe will still come out great. (I can’t tell the difference once the whole recipe is put together.)

          One way is to use a technique called a water saute. The idea is to use a tiny bit of water to prevent sticking, but not enough water to actually steam the food you are cooking. I don’t have a specific resource showing how to use this technique, because I use the second technique myself. But lots of people have success with water sauteing and you can find descriptions and probably videos on line.

          The second method is to use the microwave. I have had wonderful success getting mushrooms and onions perfect with a few minutes of microwaving. Just put the chopped up food in the microwave without any oil or water. If the onions come out tasteless, you cooked them too long. They should be translucent, but still sweet and flavorful. The benefit of the microwave is that it requires no skill and no time standing over an oven. I’ve never burnt nor had to scrub a pan with this method.

          Rami pointed out that Forks Over Knives has a page on how to cook without oil. I don’t have that link at my fingertips, but hopefully you could find the page. You might also want to spend some time checking out the Forks Over Knives website. They have 275 recipes, all oil free. An example title/recipe: Sweet Potato Lasagna. Now that’s not just rabbit food!

          Or pick up a cookbook that is oil-free for more ideas. In addition to the Forks Over Knives cookbook, you might check out the book Better Than Vegan. Or Chef AJ’s book Unprocessed. I don’t think any of McDougall’s books use oil.

          Also, some bloggers focus on oil recipes. The blogger Fat Free Vegan does not use oil in her/his recipes and I believe she/he caters to a family including young kids. So, you know the food has to pass some pretty high standards. http://fatfreevegan.com/

          But really, as I said above, you don’t have to limit yourself to recipes that don’t have oil in them. I find that the vast majority of the time, whatever recipe that interests me will taste great simply leaving out the oil. I even managed to replace 1/2 cup of oil with water in a sauce and then did a taste test with a group of people. They thought the sauce was wonderful and didn’t miss the oil at all. The sauce had plenty of other rich ingredients, including nut butter, so that the oil wasn’t needed.

          If you have kids, I think it is helpful to check out the website called Vegetarian Resource Group (VRG). They based their advice on some good research and have some pages specifically about feeding vegan kids:
          The above pages do not talk about going oil-free per say. But they help you to make sure you avoid the mistakes that might be made when trying to feed kids a healthy diet.

          I don’t know where your family is on your diet journey, but I suspect that if you have already made the jump to being free of meat, dairy and eggs, it should be a pretty easy adjustment to wean yourselves of the oil.

          Truth in advertising: I use some oil myself. But not for everyday cooking. I tread oil like sugar. Good for occasional desserts or rare holiday meals. I do use it. But I don’t kid myself that it is healthy. When I eat healthy, I enjoy a wide variety of food (even cheap food most of the time) and simply don’t need the oil.

          Hope that helps!

    2. I agree with Thea. And note the video is not saying no oil no way no how! To me it’s saying if you use it, maybe cut down a bit if you have heart trouble, which of course many people have. Also, olive oil is not all cracked up to be some amazing health food. There are some polyphenols in EVOO so I think if you’re using it shoot for EVOO. Kids are different and depending on their overall diet may benefit from some EVOO. Of course an active lifestyle is great, and loading up on veggies may counter any negative effects, so really we have a lot of solid information now that we can put into practice! Let me know if you want other resources on kid’s health?


  20. When I first began my vegan diet, I was still experiencing angina. A cardiologist wanted to implant stints or perform quadruple bi-pass surgery saying two of my heart arteries were blocked. I said, “I’ll think about it.” Meanwhile, a friend who’s a Dr. of Nutrition suggested I stop olive oil. I did so, and the angina ceased immediately even with rigorous exercise. As long as I avoid all oils, my heart does just fine! It is an outrage that olive oil is promoted as heart healthy. More big business propaganda. Oh, btw… did you know the Greeks have the highest heart attack rate in Europe!

    1. Thanks metrov, I keep clicking the thumbs up but it only gives me one vote! I lived the medical nightmare. How I wish I trusted my own council instead of the quacks. I still remember and “feel” the two halves of my sternum sliding against each other whenever I moved…the horror of showering with all those ugly stictches…the Zipper! The helplessness, the drugs, the rude creepy hospital drones…All for nothing except to line the pockets of cranks.

      1. Rhombopterix, that is horrific. I can see why you feel so strongly about no oil. Definitely the right choice! No one should have to go through that. Hope your recovery has gone well.

        1. My cardiologist, a nice person really, but after I was back on my feet I told her I still had the angina. Tears ran down my face as she explained to me that some of the goop was too deep into my heart to reach, to bypass…so there it was. I’d just have to live with it, die from it. I’ve told this story here and everywhere I can because I actually planned to end my miserable life and fear others will too, needlessly. (angina, IBS, migraines, joint pain you name it) when by pure chance I saw Forks over Knives. When you hit bottom you are ready to try something as “extreme” as eating healthy. And within a week the joint pain was gone and I could smile. 3 months and the IBS was gone and i could walk up a gentle incline without that fist clenching my heart. And one day i actually fainted because the drugs were dropping my bp BELOW minimum. I laughed because I realized what was happening. Now i laugh because my wife no longer asks if i’m “doing ok” when we go for a walk. There is no more angina. I really wonder if it is possible for you, who have no heart disease (!) to grasp what that means to me. I would do anything to reach people who I know and those I don’t BEFORE they go through this….and of course, I am the lucky one out of most who die from their first heart attack. Mine was a warning. There, thank you. I can go AFK for a while.

          1. Great story. Wonderful that you were able to turn things around without resorting to serious surgery and meds. May you continue to live in good health.

            It is a good thing that you share your story, but you likely had a very different starting point than many. For those that have followed whole foods plant based diets long term, and who show no easily measurable of any chronic disease, further restricting diet may well not be necessary. In fact, some populations that Dr Greger has brought attention to through this site, who display little or no heart disease, consume dairy, or oils, or both. Given that, it seems likely that getting plenty of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes and whole grains, and avoiding animal products and processed junk, is by and large what is most important in order to avoid cardio vascular disease. Eating this way from early in life, regardless of whether the diet is truly optimal (to the extent we even know what that is currently), would free future generations from developing these diseases to begin with.

            Best of luck

          2. You couldn’t be any clearer! Good for you kn figuring it out. My father died from a massage heart attack at 51. Oil? Not such a necessity.

            1. Thanks, I always feel like i’m sounding dramatic but i relive it everytime i write it. Sorry your lost your dad that way…me too and he was 52. We’ve got to teach the youth…You will appreciate, my wonderful daughter and soninlaw , because of our constant but gentle banging on have decided to raise our two grandkids WFPB! I cant describe the feeling watching little 2 year old ankle biter insisting on more kale! There is hope

    2. And it may be because if olive oil is used as almost the sole source of unsaturated fatty acids, the body converts it to mead acid, and when the essential n-3- and n-6 acids are deficient, mead acid accumulates because the desaturase is free to act on the oleic acid. Also the metabolism of PUFA’s is affected by magnesium, zinc, and B6 deficiencies. One again, not so simple as these reductionist studies imply.

  21. How much olive oil are we talking about??? One of the studies looked at 40 TBS in a meal, which was ridiculous, and really detracts from the message. Our meals made with olive oil usually have about 1 TBS per serving. I really wonder about this…..

  22. The best proof that increased intake of olive oil promotes coronary heart disease (CHD).

    1 tablespoon (13.5 g) is 119 kcal, and 13.5 g of total fat. The fat breakdown is: 1.9g of saturated fat, 9.8g of monounsaturated fat (MUFA), and 1.4g of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA). W.r.t. fats, there is scientific consensus on reducing saturated fat by substituting an equal amount of polyunsaturated fat reduces cholesterol levels and lowers your chances of coronary heart disease (CHD). But there is disagreement with monounsaturated fat, which is olive oil’s main type of fat.

    In long-term human studies, it is impossible to isolate results of one nutrient (e.g. monounsaturated fat, i.e. oleic acid, which occurs in high-levels in both red meat and olive oil). And, in human studies that compare the mediterranean diet to the western diet, is it the EVOO (extra vrigin olive oil) or simply eating less unhealthy foods. So some studies show a positive correlation with CHD incidence and some show a negative correlation. (Note that Greger has reviewed PREDIMED mediterranean diet study that shows the highest correlation with reduced CHD is vegetables and nuts – not olive oil.) Nevertheless, the harmful/helpful question of monounsaturated fat, the main fat in olive oil persists.

    But one can look to the animal studies to get an answer. Strong animal rights advocates don’t like to reference such studies, for obvious reasons. But I will.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7489230 – abstract, but the full 1995 article is available for free.

    This was an 5 year experiment with African Green monkeys, divided into 3 groups. Each group was fed a diet high in just one of these kinds of fats: saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Compared to the saturated fat group, both the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated groups had better cholesterol (i.e. lower LDL). But cholesterol is just an “indication” and not a result. People die from heart disease, because of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in their arteries). And, as it turns out, the monounsaturated monkey group had just as much plaque buildup as the saturated fat group.

    Here is the key excerpt from the abstract:

    “In sum, the monkeys fed monounsaturated fat developed equivalent amounts of coronary artery atherosclerosis as those fed saturated fat, but monkeys fed polyunsaturated fat developed less. The beneficial effects of the lower LDL and higher HDL in the animals fed monounsaturated fat apparently were offset by the atherogenic shifts in LDL particle composition. Dietary polyunsaturated fat appears to result in the least amount of coronary artery atherosclerosis because it prevents cholesteryl oleate accumulation in LDL and the coronary arteries in these primates.”

    Note the mention above of “Cholesterol Oleate”, and LDL particle composition. For additional info:

    1998 – Same kind of study but using transgenic mice.

    2010 – Review article, “Dietary Monounsaturated Fatty Acids Appear Not to Provide Cardioprotection”

    2009 – “LDL cholesteryl oleate as a predictor for atherosclerosis: evidence from human and animal studies on dietary fat”

    2013 – “LDL particle core enrichment in cholesteryl oleate (CO) increases proteoglycan binding and promotes atherosclerosis”
    2nd sentence from abstract, “Diet enrichment with MUFAs enhances LDL CO content.” Note: MUFA = monounsaturated fat, i.e. the main fat in olive oil.

    Case closed.

    1. Good to know. If you are going to feed your African green monkey unwise amounts of fat in his diet, best to make it polyunsaturated fat. But what about the monkeys fed a healthy amount of just a single type of fat? Did they show the same results? Or is it only when taken to an extreme do the results show the health effects documented in the study. But there was no low-fat monkey group(s) were there. So how do we know how the results of this study apply to human diets with healthy percent of calories from fat.

      I get very leery of any study that feeds its subjects an unhealthy amount of fat and then makes statements related to the relative health of different types of fat. Nutrition is not reducible to single linear relationships that apply to the entire range of consumption of a single nutrient. You can’t just extrapolate results from one end of the dietary range to the other. It is entirely possible that monosaturated fat is healthier in low amounts than either saturated or polyunsaturated fats. Or it could be that all three are equally healthy just as long as the total percent of calories is kept under a certain amount and only become a differentiated when that percentage of calories is exceeded.

      1. I 100% agree with your statement, “Nutrition is not reducible to single linear relationships that apply to the entire range of consumption of a single nutrient.” And, I agree with Campbell in his book “Whole” that it is misleading to look at the effect of foods by their individual ingredients. But people, including the medical/nutrition researchers, do.

        Unfortunately, most people and the mainstream media believe the EVOO is a health food.

        It is reasonable to be skeptical of the Green Monkey study. That is why I also included links to other studies that look at the biological reasons (i.e. operating at the cellular level) that would explain the results of the Green Monkey study. The Green Monkey study is also in accordance with intervention trials that substituted PUFA for SFA, and reduced CHD incidence. And the Green Monkey study also explains why the short-term intervention trials substitution MUFA for SFA show an improvement in cholesterol numbers (LDL down, HDL up). But the human trials w.r.t. MUFA and CHD are mixed.

        And, then there are also the regression studies, i.e. by Ornish and Esselstyn, that showed a regression of coronary plaque on a LF-WFPB diet. What you may find interesting is that there were regression results in animal studies as well. Here is one from 1976 that summarizes some of the results from those studies:
        “Evidence of regression of atherosclerosis in primates and man”

        But having said that, dose does matter (one of your points – which I agree with). As I noted in a different comment, I use about 1 tbs of EVOO a day, and add sugar to my oatmeal. And, even add salt to my rice.

        1. I wasn’t disagreeing with you, just trying to be cautionary. “Whole” had a significant impact on how I view a lot of science including my own field of research which has nothing to do with human nutrition, but does have a lot of very complex interacting systems where the adage that the whole is, if not greater than, then certainly very different than the sum of its parts is very true. So rather than trying to lock everything down and vary a single parameter at a time to understand behavior of the system, I am trying to use more multi-variant methods, even going so far as using genetic optimizers to let different combinations of variables duke it out for “survival” until only one remains.

          I too am not “pure” in my diet. I add oil very sparingly and try to do it where it would have maximum effect and not just as a matter of course, but I certainly don’t shun it entirely. And what is oatmeal without some good real maple syrup and chopped pecans. As for unsalted rice, shudder!

    1. It appears that we do not “need to use” any sort of oil whatsoever to be healthy. That one might choose wisely and use quite sparingly (relative to the SAD) if he/she decides that his health or tastes require additional fats. Again, from all the dozens of videos and articles here, there is no “need” to add oil to your diet.

      Also, the reason OO has been pushed so hard is that there are lots of companies, small and large who have a profit to make selling it. It trickled down through the medical fields I’d say. Then became mantra-and popular (in every diet book and program) as it is _perceived_ to be much easier to change oils than to quit oils.

      Quitting isn’t hard, everything with oil/fat tastes nasty/greasy once you make the leap. But once in a blue moon, I’ll have an oily/fatty serving or two for nostalgia/tradition-but that’s my option (always keep options).

      Question authority and seek the truth where commercialism has any input ever.

      Maybe use a BP cuff and check your own endothelial response for kicks.

  23. What about olive leaf extract’s reported benefit in lowering blood pressure? I haven’t seen much in research but it has helped lower my bp

    1. Are you doing this on top of eating a whole-food plant-based diet with no animal products and no refined oils? If not, you are just treating a symptom of vascular ill-health rather than treating the actual root cause of that ill-health.

      Like Dr. Greger says, when your sink is overflowing you can work continuously for the rest of your life to mop up the mess to try to contain the damage, but that does nothing to fix the problem. You fix the problem by turning off the tap. Find the root cause and eliminate it and the symptoms will go away on their own.

    2. It does seem to work on BP. Life Extension has a useful summary of the evidence (but of course they are pushing their own brand of supplements so it may not be a “warts and all” review):

      However, olive leaf extract has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. This affects our gut bacteria but, to my knowledge, there’s not a lot of evidence on this. Therefore, we can’t conclude that the effect is either beneficial or adverse although it may be prudent to take a good quality probiotic. However, I would strongly endorse the points made by jim Felder

  24. It seems like we’ve been told for DECADES that olive oil was good for
    you. Now the pendulum has swung the other way and it’s now bad for you.
    This is all very frustrating. We are headed down the path that the only
    foods GOOD for you will be raw fruits & veggies–if you can find
    any that don’t have poison sprayed on them. It’s like cultural food bias
    has modified our taste receptors to the point of no return–anything
    that tastes good is bad.

    1. We are headed down the path that the onlyfoods GOOD for you will be raw fruits & veggies–if you can find
      any that don’t have poison sprayed on them

      Such is not the case with the recommendations found here. Nearly all grains, beans, lentils, peas, nuts, seeds, fruits, vegetables, herbs, spices, mushrooms, in raw or cooked form as preferred, (i.e. simply a whole foods plant based diet) are promoted here. And even non-organic fruits and veggies are emphatically recommended over an alternative of no fruits and veggies.

    2. Shubus: I totally understand your frustration. But I find this video to be a breath of fresh air. This video shows how the science behind olive oil really hasn’t changed. It’s just “our” ability to communicate and understand the studies that has been a problem.

      This site and other respectable ones show that there is a wide range of very healthy food and that the boom line message of the science which supports this set of foods has largely been unchanged for decades. Eat in great abundance: veggies, fruits, legumes, and whole intact grains. Add about an ounce nuts and seeds. And don’t forget the B12. Voila!

      re: “that don’t have poison sprayed on them”
      This site has a great video series on organic food. Watching that series would help put this fear of poison sprays into perspective. The risk from non-organic food (especially in the context of a whole plant food diet) is not as big as I’m guessing you think.

      re: “anything that tastes good is bad.”
      Tastes can and do change. Many people find that after they eat healthy for a while, they not only like their new healthy food, but the old unhealthy food just doesn’t taste very good any more.

  25. So, have they tested ALL kind of fats explicitly for this arterial impairment?

    That is, can it be shown that the same happens regardless whether the fats contain or are exclusively composed of mono- / poly-unsaturated fats, omega 3 fats, saturated fats, trans fats?

    Or have the tests not been done to that level of detail, thus we don’t know which forms of fats or specific fatty acids are to blame for the post-prandial arterial function decline?

    Some, I won’t name names, claims that it’s just the unsaturated fats and/or oils that are to blame and that “saturated fats” are NOT to blame or are even health-promoting (or at worst non-harmful). I don’t necessarily buy it…

    Would like a definitive answer, if there is one.

    Likewise, interested to know whether high doses of fructose (which we should now by now isn’t handled well by the body and converts to cholesterol / fatty acids in the blood) will see the same impairment of arterial function, given they convert to circulating blood fatty acids, likely not unlike what you get from high fat meals? If so, at what dosage do sugars (in particular fructose) start doing similar damage or otherwise impairing function?

    Been following the fat vs. sugar debate for a few years, and can see both sides, just haven’t see the “definitive test(s)” yet that nail down one or the other or [likely] both as [equal?] culprit(s)… Seems like the anti-sugar folks sometimes say “fats are fine, it’s the fructose that’s the problem,” and the anti-fat folks say that carbs are fine and it’s the fats we need to pare down on. I just wonder if it’s a little of both (fats being a problem, but fructose also being a problem, since it does double duty in getting converted into fat in the bloodstream [that eventually turns into adiposity])…

    1. Sorry I can’t give you that definitive answer, but feel compelled to comment. As I’ve learned (mostly from here as I’ve been digging and scratching through these archives since the first of the year) one is probably best without any added sugars or fats.

      So that’s how I roll, and it is wonderful. Feel better, got lighter, cannot WAIT to get my cholesterol and lipids checked. Also fully expect better performance on the bike when I get back into training.

      My point is that once one makes a dietary shift such as I have, there is no reason to waste another wink of energy on which sweetener is better or which oil is better. My consumption of either is so minute as to render their impact on my health completely inconsequential.

      It’s a good place, and eating each meal until one is satisfied with ZERO regrets or reservations is a great thing too.

      1. there is no reason to waste another wink of energy on which sweetener is better or which oil is better. My consumption of either is so minute as to render their impact on my health completely inconsequential.

        It’s a good place, and eating each meal until one is satisfied with ZERO regrets or reservations is a great thing too.

        Hear, hear! I think for the most part, once we’re all past the WFPB diet point, we tend to get into the area of the “narcissism of small differences”, as Jeff Novick once referred to it. I also agree that anxiety about these things has the potential to do more harm than good.

        1. >> narcissism of small differences

          Wow, that is a great phrase. See a lot of that these days. Maybe we get it from advertising, or an unconscious understanding of how stupid little things affect us all?

          1. Yes, advertising I’m sure plays a role. Few messages we receive are from a place of true advocacy. Most come from a place of someone trying to sell us one particular thing. Also I think a lot of people like the feeling of identifying with a certain “camp”. In addition in some cases I think it’s fueled by people who hope that all of their issues can be solved by getting that one tiny thing in their life right, as opposed to looking at their food and lifestyle in a more holistic sense. If you can say with certainty that you’re absolutely right about this one little thing, well then you’ve got it all figured out haven’t you! Whereas other people I think are a bit more comfortable with uncertainty in general. Or perhaps it’s an issue of perfectionism, where some are happy with a 90-99% “perfect” diet, where others will settle for no less than 100%.

            If you want to see Jeff in action here it is. Relevant section is from 40 sec to about 3 min mark. I sometimes think that whole statement should be offered as a disclaimer prior to every conversation about nutrition.


          2. The entire basis of most nutritional research is to reduce the focus of investigation to smallest degree possible with small perturbations of a single variable so that any resulting changes can be shown to be the direct effect of that change. This highly reductionist approach works relatively well in physics, somewhat in chemistry, poorly in biochemistry and not at all in nutrition. But this focus on small differences to the point of narcissism is held up as the gold standard for research in nutrition. How many times have we heard, “well yes you can see that in large populations studies, but those studies can only generate correlations and (say it with me here) correlation doesn’t equal causation. It has it been verified in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled cross-over studies?”, as if the results of such a narrowly focused study would somehow overturn the observed fact that the health of societies varies with the dominate eating pattern and that some eating patterns are associated with healthier societies and other eating patterns are associated with sicker societies. We don’t need to wait on the ultimate reductionist trial to know which way the nutritional winds are blowing and in which direction we should be sailing.

            And all of this has bleed over into the way the general public views nutrition research unfortunately without any real understand of the limits and pitfalls of such a reductionist approach. I think it is leading to an orthorexic eating disorder in many people and those who follow a plant-based diet are not immune. And in fact might be more susceptible than most.

            Highly, highly highly recommend reading T. Colin Campbell’s book “Whole” for an eye opening discussion of this issue.

            1. “highly recommend reading T. Colin Campbell’s book “Whole” for an eye opening discussion of this issue.” Especially diet tweakers that just wait for the latest research on the whatever to get their diet just right.

            2. as if the results of such a narrowly focused study would somehow overturn the observed fact that the health of societies varies with the dominate eating pattern and that some eating patterns are associated with healthier societies and other eating patterns are associated with sicker societies. We don’t need to wait on the ultimate reductionist trial to know which way the nutritional winds are blowing and in which direction we should be sailing.

              I couldn’t agree more, Jim. As much as I support a sense of curiosity and scientific inquiry without limits, sometimes I wonder what would happen if we put a moratorium on all health/nutrition research and funneled all of that money into commercials, billboards, educational TV specials, educational programs for physicians etc, just to get the word out to the general public about the massive amount of life changing disease eradicating information we already know. Watch disease rates plummet, then reassess where the truly meaningful questions lie and where we want our money to go.

              Imagine if we had all the research we already have on smoking and lung cancer and 99% of the population still smoked, yet saw almost nothing about quitting smoking in the general media, in fact were continually exposed to intense advertising in favor of cigarettes, and saw only vague recommendations like “choose healthier cigarette options” from the organizations in charge of promoting public health. And random studies showing tenuous and contextually irrelevant links between lung cancer and perhaps shampoo or tv preferences were picked up and obsessed over by the lay media. And everyone sits at home on the couch, smoking, thinking oh boy better look into that shampoo connection.

              Sorry for the rambling. Democratization of knowledge and social media certainly tends to amplify all of the reductionist irrelevant stuff, but I have hope that the broader truths may at some point be amplified to a point of general awareness and consensus as well. After all we all managed to find our ways here. I’ve gotta send some recipes this week to the in laws at their request, so there’s hope for the future yet.

              1. “Imagine if we had all the research we already have on smoking and lung
                cancer and 99% of the population still smoked, yet saw almost nothing
                about quitting smoking in the general media, …”

                We call that the 1950s. And perhaps like we did with cigarettes, one day advertising junk food on TV, especially food aimed at children, will be banned and for exactly the same reason.

    1. Only because modern diets are in general devoid of nutrients. Refined carbohydrates and oils and animal products do not contribute to meeting our vitamin C needs and they displace from our diets the unrefined whole plant foods that do. The answer isn’t to take pills, it is to eat more of the food that has the nutrients we need and less to none of the foods that don’t. When you do that getting enough vitamin C is no effort at all. Really just that simple.

      1. Okay, so humans and some apes, including Gorillas, can’t make Vitamin C. We are alone in the animal world, with the exception of guinea pigs and some bats and a bird in our lack of ability to make Vitamin C. Did you know that the USDA recommends Guinea Pig food to have about 800 mg of Vitamin C? They quickly get heart disease and die without it. I challenge you to find a diet that has that much Vitamin C for people, or anyone who is on one. Our recommended daily allotment of Vitamin C is one tenth that, and we obviously are much bigger than guinea pigs. http://orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v06n08.shtml
        These are Dr. Linus Pauling’s arguments. Many people here challenge the paleolithic diet. As primates, we probably sampled leaves and seeds all day filled with the vitamins C and Niacin for a longer period of our evolutionary history. We seem to have adapted to live with scurvy as a species, because of the advantage of keeping our glucose instead of turning it into vitamin C. Dr. Greger has many videos showing that there are oxidation spikes in the diet at meal time, and once healthy food is adsorbed. Likely animals make vitamin C at these times. Dr. Pauling simply is modern chemistry, and is the chemistry both medical and high school students study, and he even found a link between Vitamin C and heart disease as he was being dismissed for saying Vitamins were good for us. Vitamin C and lysine, he found, could unplug arteries in doses of 6 and 3 grams a day each respectively. I hope that there is more than one solution for the health problems of the world, because surely you know it will take some time to get people onto this diet. We are clearly missing a few plants in our diet and not everything about plants is above what biochemistry we understand. I love NASA.

      2. You are probably right but in practice I find that if I do not supplement with vitamin C, I get the flu or heavy colds 3 or 4 times a year. If I do supplement, 1 gram in the morning and 1 gram in the evening, then I just don’t get these infections.
        Of course, my whole food plant based diet is less than perfect so that might be the reason but I do eat plenty of greens and fruits everyday.

  26. Another great piece from the best site on the internet, and so many of the comments are really helpful too. I have a question: Are there any oils that are healthy (or neutral) that I could either cook with OR add to my salad? Think the answer is no but wanted to double check.

    1. Extra virgin olive oil still seems pretty neutral. If you doubt that, or are unwilling to deal with the associated risk (but to be clear, we don’t yet know what it is), then maybe best to avoid it.

    2. I would be cautious with oil Gary. Although it may taste good, its one of the most calorie dense foods on the planet providing the least nutritional value. Yes extra virgin has a tiny amount of antioxidants in small amounts, but the overall nutrient density is extremely poor. Take a look at its nutritionfacts. http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2

      1 tablespoon is about 120 calories, at that point your eating oil with salad not salad with oil. This is especially a problem for those who struggle with weight loss, although that may not be specific to your situation. Here is a great article on how to cook without oil and some substitutes.

      1. Thankyou Rami, Roger and Rhombo – sound like a group! For taking the time to reply. I will try and apply the wise advice, just another example of how you can be an unhealthy vegan. Putting on weight isnt one of my concerns actually, keeping it on is more of a challenge since switching to plant-based eating.

  27. This is a good reminder. Even here one sees people defending Olive Oil like it was a close friend or their ingredient for life support. You see big fat cooks on the cooking shows slopping olive oil into their foods like it was water, or medicine. As many of the You-Tube doctors remind us … oil is pretty much oil. I’ve never used oil, olive or otherwise on salads. I use Balsamic vinegar or just lemon juice … perhaps you can tell me if that is as bad for us as the oil?

  28. Hi Dr Greger. Would this be the same for nut oils? Say for walnut oil. Ive been infusing olive oil with tumeric and thought i was onto a good thing. Im on a vegan raw diet growing my own sprouts but dont want another heart attack. Thanks Steve

  29. I have a suggestion, because all these reductionist studies and opinions make my head spin. I try to imagine myself in an environment where I have to provide myself with all my food. Personally, I’m not going to kill anything, suck the milk from other animals, or go through all the trouble to squeeze the hell out of a perfectly good food so I can use just the greasy drippings. WHY would I when I can just consume the food it is part of ??? We are so brainwashed by what we’ve become accustomed to, we don’t think. I just make it simple for myself. Eat a wide variety of WHOLE food in season, drink clean water, “listen” to my body, and stay off my butt for long periods of time, as we have for millennia . The rest is food for thought.

    1. > go through all the trouble to squeeze the hell out of a perfectly good food so I can use just the greasy drippings.

      Hahaha, that’s hilarious.

      I think all these customer came out of honest attempts at survival. For example people used to salt food so they could have something to eat when they could not catch game. Milk was a source of fat and calories and you can make cheese from it and store it. If I had to guess at some reason for all of this I’d say it was the expansion of the human population past the point of hunting and gathering which was the idea to support.

      And the reason we have to have high population is the same reason today, bigger populations take over. It’s war. The root cause of all this stuff is that humans cannot get along and fight over everything, so in our respective societies we call give up a lot of our lives and health, and something die or kill others in horrible ways so that our traditions prevail over others … even if there is not logical reason for them to.

      An insane species rules this planet, no doubt. The folks who make a move to drop some of the more obvious toxic traditions and turn to science and rationality even seem weird for that we are so used to business as usual.

  30. I wish to ask the doctor: Why do you not talk about antinutrients in
    grains and seeds and nuts and beans and the need to soak the seeds
    (usually overnight) before cooking? There are many antinutrients in whole wheat for example–gluten in just one of several. It is claimed traditional cultures soak or sprout nearly every grain and seed. Vegetables too have toxins–parsnips for example. Cassava (AKA manioc, yuca) is notoriously poisonous before processing.

        1. Well I took a hiatus in January and never got up to speed since due to a variety of factors. You will be seeing more of me around.

  31. I was wondering what would be a good substitute for olive oil. I know fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E,K) need fat to be absorbed in the gut. Previously I thought adding olive oil and vinegar to salad can facilitate this process but regarding this video, what should be used to help absorption of these vitamins while eating a salad.

    1. Hey Parissa, Jeff Novick has thoughts on this. I will share them here.

      Absorbing more doesn’t automatically equate to better health outcomes.

      Speaking of health outcomes, which is what really matters, lets put all of this into proper perspective.


      “‘Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids’, Food and Nutrition Board. Institute of Medicine. National Academy Press, Washington D.C. Pp. 343-344 (2000)”


      “These data, although in varying populations, suggest that 3 to 6 mg/day of β-carotene from food sources is prudent to maintain plasma β-carotene concentrations in the range associated with a lower risk of various chronic disease outcomes (see Table 3).”

      Table 3:


      As just detailed, plasma and tissue concentrations of carotenoids have been associated with a variety of health outcomes; that is, higher
      concentrations are associated with a lower risk of cancer, coronary heart disease, and all-cause mortality. This could be used as a possible indicator for establishing requirements for carotenoids. However, the limitation of this approach is that it is not clear whether observed health benefits are due to carotenoids per se or to other substances found in carotenoid-rich foods.

      Thus, these data are suggestive of prudent intake levels, not required levels of intake. Recommendations have been made by a number of federal agencies and other organizations with regard to fruit and vegetable intake. Nutrient analysis of menus adhering to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines and the National Cancer Institute’s Five-a-Day for Better Health Program, for example, indicates that persons following these diets would be consuming approximately 5.2 to 6.0 mg/day provitamin A carotenes on average if a variety of fruits and vegetables were consumed (Lachance, 1997). Similar levels would be obtained by following Canada’s Food Guide for Healthy Eating which specifies a minimum of five servings of vegetables and fruit (Health Canada, 1997). Other food-based dietary patterns recommended for the prevention of cancer and other chronic diseases would provide approximately 9 to 18 mg/day of carotenoids (WCRF/AICR, 1997).

      NOTE: this is 3-6x the amount recognized as being enough to lower disease risk

      It is also based on the WCRF/AICR report from 1997. In many other discussions here, I have quoted the WCRF/AICR newest report from 2007 saying that they now more than ever, recommend dietary “patterns” over recommending specific “individual foods”.

      So, in other words, if Americans would just get in the recommended amounts of fruits and veggies, it would not only provide carotenoids, but more than enough of all of them to produce the beneficial health outcomes, including reduced risks of cancer. And anyone following a Whole Food plant based diet, as recommended here, would already be consuming WAY more than enough.

    1. Italians use fresh olive oil. “Olive oil, unlike wine, does not improve with time. Just the opposite. Olives, after all, are a fruit. And just as with fruit juice, olive oil is at its zenith of flavor and nutritional goodness immediately after it’s pressed. This is why the locals in the olive-growing regions of Italy, Spain, Greece, and other Mediterranean countries use fresh-pressed oil.” T. J. Robinson

      1. While that is partially true, most Italians consuming olive oil are not consuming it in the form you describe. Olive oils certainly vary greatly in composition, and fresh extra virgin olive oil is clearly superior.

    2. Italians have also been consuming larger quantities of fresh vegetables and fruits, whole grains and legumes for centuries. I think that they are healthy to the degree they are in spite of the olive oil, not because of it and would be even healthier if they cut back.

      And the supposedly healthy Italians rapidly becoming less so as they adopt more of the American way of eating lots of animal foods and increasingly more and more prepackaged and highly processed foods and fewer whole plant foods. The thing that is remaining constant is the olive oil. If the source of their health was in the olive oil, their health would probably not be declining as rapidly as it is.

      OBTW, the healthy Mediterranean diet that is talked about comes mostly from a study of the people living on the island of Crete in the years after World War II when the island was trying to crawl out from the devastation of the war. The people were extremely poor and ate a diet with lots of simple whole plant foods especially wild greens. And they walked on average 9 miles a day up and down their hilly island because there was the only way for most to get around. It may have not done great things for their spirit, but the privation did great things for their health. The diet those people ate bears little in common with the current Italian or Spanish diet other than the olive oil.

      After a couple of decades Crete fully recovered and the people there started to eat the same crap that all the richer countries around the Mediterranean were eating and got as sick and as fat as they are.

      The only thing that make people around the Mediterranean appear healthy is that they are not as sick and as fat as we are. Compared to truly healthy cultures like rural Africa, China and India, who still eat simple plant-based diets with very little animal foods, the Italians don’t look so healthy.

      1. Many in rural India eat a good deal of dairy and oil. Clearly, the source of health is not the dairy and the oil, in the same way olive oil is not the source of health for Italians, for the reasons you pointed out. Nor is it making them sick. You may reply that they are well despite the dairy and oil. I would agree. But I would also say that these foods are not nearly as bad as they are made out to be in the context of a highly nutritious largely whole foods plant based diet high in antioxidants. In the context of the standard American diet, they suck. For people with far superior diets, they seem to do little harm.

        1. The problem with “J” curves with regard to the non-linear health response to varying amounts of unhealthy foods is that the knee in the curve where the negative health effects sharply increase is not visible and you don’t always know which side you are operating on until possibly years in the future when the damage may already be done and you are consigned to the much tougher task of trying to reverse the damage rather much simpler task of avoiding damage in the first place.

          I know at some level of consumption that meat, eggs, dairy, refined oils and refined sugars will damage my health. Further I know that not consuming these things will not damage my health. So rather than trying to finesse right up the edge of harm with these foods, I simply avoid them to the greatest extent possible so that I have confidence that I am well back from the inflection point.

  32. I would like to know if saturated fats from plant foods like nut butters would also cause the artery impairment. I know that nut butters are not as noxious as animal fats in that they are better metabolized and in some cases have been shown to exert some protection against arterial plaques. That would lead me to think that they may not cause this kind of endothelial impairment. This is just my conjecture, though. Dr. Greger any answer you have will be much appreciated.

    1. Nut butters contain more than just fat. Nuts also contain many other molecules that are active in the body that are likely the explanation for why nuts, whole or as ground butters, are health promoting while the amount of fat they contain would indicate that should have a negative impact on health. It isn’t because the fat is somehow magically different in the whole food as opposed to as extracted oil. It is that during the extraction process, the health promoting aspects are left behind.

        1. It will, greater or less depends on specific nuts and their Omega-3 content, but nuts are beneficial in the long-term. It is possible that olive oil has some health promoting effects, but the main point of this site is that whole food is always better than extracts. Olives and nuts are better than olive oil, though it doesn’t mean that olive oil is unhealthy. If you need extra calories, olive oil is better than sugar, I suppose.

          1. I’m not sure that it is the main point of this web-site, but that is certainly what the science reviewed on this web-site shows.

            And why would olive oil be better than sugar if you needed extra calories? Neither is great in large quantities, but the body basically runs on carbohydrates, and so it can make more direct and immediate use of the calories. Fat can not be used in the same way. The problem with sugar is the same one as olive oil and that neither brings anything to speak of to the party except calories. Better to eat some fruit if you need some quick energy and nuts or seeds if you want some fat because you also get something more than just calories in the deal.

            1. Because olive oil contains healthy (or somewhat neutral) fats and some phytonutrients, is slowly absorbed, while sugar doesn’t have any beneficial components and is rapidly absorbed, causing spikes in blood sugar, which can’t be a good thing.

              I’m totally for nuts, seeds and fruits. But they take space in your stomach, which is limited. What if we need more calories than we can consume with whole foods? It’s not a problem for most people, but what about highly active individuals and kids? Kids have smaller stomaches, what if they need extra calories for proper growth?

              1. If you have normal insulin sensitivity, blood sugar spikes aren’t a bad thing. It is only when fat has so clogged your muscles that they don’t respond to insulin signaling as they should does high blood sugar become a problem because it stays high chronically. That isn’t to say that you want to guzzle sugar water all the time because eventually all that extra sugar will exceed the ability of the body to store it as glycogen and it will be converted to fat. Still not a good idea to eat refined sugar or refined fat because they are nutrient deserts.

                As for kids, even the most active can get all the calories they need from whole foods. Even more important is that they also need a lot of nutrients in order to grow properly, and refined sugar and oils don’t have any. So giving them this type of food is cheating them out of the nutrients their bodies desperately need. I have read a report that pediatricians are now treating obese kids with acute vitamin deficiencies. Simultaneously overfed and malnourished.

                The trouble is that kids like all humans prefer artificially concentrated foods like sugar and fat because of evolutionary triggers that says that these things are good and should be sought out. We evolved that because these things used to be hard to get. You would have to walk miles to hunt down an animal sometimes at considerable risk to get a bit of fat or work for hours to harvest berries to get a bit of sweet. The reward circuits in your brain gave you a little “at a boy” when you could get some extra sweet or extra fatty food to encourage you to put out the effort to find more. Today we just have to open the refrigerator or cupboard. As a adults we in theory have the ability to go against that innate drive because we understand the consequences, but kids can’t. And so they will go for the junk as often as they can. Our job as adults is to protect them from themselves until they are old enough to make better decisions on their own and help them along the way to learn what those better decisions are.

                  1. You don’t think that is the case? My son is two and a half years old. He eats oil in his pasta sauces. He also eats meat, eggs and dairy, but for the sake of family harmony there is little I can do about that at the moment. Our major government health bodies all promote eggs, dairy, fish and lean meat as important components of a healthy diet.

                    When I am walking in the wilderness with a backpack, or bike packing, I eat plenty of fatty meals. I need to carry my food with me and I need that food to be very dense in calories. I have sweet things too, but too much sugar just pumps me up only to crash a little later. Having some higher fat meals helps to balance out my energy throughout the day.

                    1. I think WFPB is sufficient to meet energy needs of most people (well, you have to eat a lot), including kids, but I’m not a reputable source, how can I convince other people?

                    2. WFPB or not, getting my boy to eat enough vegetables it tough. I’ve succeeded thus far, but not without enormous effort. I understand how parents fall into the convenience trap.

                    3. Leonid: re”… how can I convince other people?”

                      I don’t know if there is a particular scientific paper or not, but I can say that there are lots of people raising kids on a whole plant food diet, and the kids are *thriving.*

                      Another bit of info that might be helpful is this quote:
                      “It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes.”

                      Or check out:

                      But it’s my guess that if you are having to “convince other people,” none of these sources is going to be compelling to them. The only thing that might work is for them to see the WFPB kids with their own eyes, but even that may not work. Getting our culture to understand and follow healthy eating habits is just going to be a long road I think. Not that we shouldn’t try. We should! But I don’t think there is a smoking gun for this particular question. Just my opinion.

                    4. Yes our government largely works to support the health of the animal food industry rather than the health of the American public. That should be no surprise. Most of the high level executives in the USDA come directly out of the ranks of lobbyists for Big Food or were executives in a Big Food company. And when they retire from government service they return to the swamp from which they crawled.

                      The 2015 dietary recommendations are a real shot across the bow of these immense financial interest. It will be very enlightening to see how successful these huge commercial interests are as they deploy their toadies inside the USDA to eviscerate these actually healthy recommendations.

                      And when backpacking I too look to maximize the caloric density of the food I carry at the expense of its nutrient density. On trips of a week and longer, I would carry freeze-dried food to get the maximum density. Some Native Americans and fur traders did something similar with pemmican, a mix of dried meat, fat and sometimes dried fruit and for exactly the same reason. But I am glad that I don’t have to do this everyday, since eating this way frequently would not be good for long term health.

                1. As a child I did not have a sweet tooth, as my brother did, but I did eat fat from cuts of meat before I would get stuck into the meat itself. It is very unlikely this was due to some deficiency, as our household ate a great deal more fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains than our neighbors did, in part due to the preference for Indian dishes that my father grew up with. I have long suspected that my reward system was just wired up that way and my brothers was wired up more for sweet things. Despite my fat cravings and my brother’s love of the sugary, we both had low BMIs in the normal range throughout our childhood.

          2. Sure, nuts have benefits in the long run, it seems. But my question was very specific and was about arterial function following a meal as measured by the study discussed in this video.

              1. Fascinating share Leonid, I am unsure if there should be a final conclusion made though, it seems there are mixed results depending on the health of the individuals and other factors. For example, this study http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109706019127 highlighted in this video http://nutritionfacts.org/video/walnuts-and-artery-function/ found that walnuts improve FMD. The study you shared actually discusses this study in the discussion section: “Another explanation for the lack of a whole walnut effect on endothelial function could reflect the participant population studied. In a study conducted by Cortés et al. (13), acute consumption of walnuts (40 g) ingested with a high-fat meal increased FMD (24%) in hypercholesterolemic adults (TC: 250 ± 25 mg/dL) compared with the same meal with olive oil (25 g) but not in adults with normal TC concentrations (TC: 185 ± 27 mg/dL). In the present study, participants had TC concentrations that were comparable with the normocholesterolemic participants in the Cortés et al. (13) study, which may explain why we also observed no postprandial change in endothelial function after whole walnut consumption.”

                Interesting results indeed, I would be interested if more research came from this. We have a few interesting studies but more needs to be done to reach a final conclusion in my opinion.

        2. I wouldn’t think so. For one nuts have considerably more nutrients including anti-oxidants and infinitely more fiber than olive oil. As this video mentioned, the anti-oxidants in vegetables in the Mediterranean diet mediate the impacts of the olive oil on the endothelium. I would expect the anti-oxidants in nuts to do the same. Also the fiber in the nuts changes the rate that the fats in the nuts is absorbed, so that would change the amount of fat in the blood, since the body is also working to remove the fat and put it into storage. So a slower pace allows the body to stay more even with absorbtion.

          1. Perhaps so. I see that it would possibly be the case. I’d like to see the evidence though. 1/4 cup of olive oil with bread versus 1/4 cup of fats from nuts eaten as whole nuts, so whatever amount that happens to be. I suspect the difference would be negligible, so I’ll have to wait for the evidence.

  33. This one is gonna be tough. It’s one of those things I had a premonition about, but was hopeful for a different result…It is nice to read all of the support coming in though about how much better it is on the other side. I expect to find the same eventual repulsion as I now do to meat, butter, cheese and milk creams. Thanks for the video.

    1. You are tough Daniel enuf. You will learn a new level that transcends tough and takes you to brouf…grouff…brombeldroufff. For me it was like reestablishing contact with … me.

      but you know that cuz yu did that stuff you listed. Dont even thinkaboudit

      like when rocky got up real early in philidelphia and drank those raw eggs and they played that great music, and it hurt the first time but then he just ran up the courthouse steps that one morning and it didnt hurt cuz he had guts, he had 1 ton of guts…except dont drink the eggs….please dont drink the eggs. heh

  34. I finally got over my cheese addiction…and now olive oil! I’ll will try giving up using oil in cooking…gradually! As I learn to cook without it….I will try hihi

    1. What Rami said … plus i add that we (me and ann) decided to wean ourselves off oil. YOU CAN! we just went to our minimum oil use which was 1 scant tsp of oil olive in the pan to complete the required sacrificial ritual sauteing of the onions and then …

      really happened…

      we stopped and looked at each other with that look …and then just put in water and cooked up the food and the onions and Gazelle (great name btw), it was just fine…the saute thing…that smell hit when ur cooking…do it with water onion cumin asafoetida old sox anything! its all food that you cook up and smell. learn to love it. OK the dirty sox was vor shock value but you dig it.

  35. Hi Dr. Greger,

    I love your videos! A whole foods plant based lifestyle has been the best thing that ever happened to me. A friend of mine sent this study on olive oil after I shared your video on olive oil and artery function. He is also vegan but is adamant about extra virgin cold pressed olive oil being healthy. I myself always cook oil free. Just wondering your thoughts about this study. Thank you. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25460732t

  36. Here where I’m living now, Portugal, I see that people are proud of their “Mediterranean diet”, mentioning olive oil as a main reason. But they use it mostly to bathe their cod fish, fry their steak and braise their rice, and spice the little (really little) lettuce + tomato salad, the key component that allows them to say they eat vegetables and healthy. Soup is mostly for the kids, ‘forced’ on them in exchange for candy, since their taste buds are pretty addicted. Just thought you would find interesting to know.

    Here’s another translation aiming to change exactly that: http://nf.focoempatico.net/azeite-funcao-arterial-endotelio/

    1. This study showed that there is no significant benefit to bone and muscle health in postmenopausal woman from vitamin D supplementation, and only. I don’t think we should expand these results on other groups of people. You can’t tell anything about cancer and mortality rates based on this study. One year is too short to assess many effects of vitamin D supplementation, and this study doesn’t put accent at them. I suspect that young vegans living closer to the North Pole who exercise regularly will benefit more than any other group, but there are no studies like this. There was no calcium supplementation with that intervention. I think this study is too limited to make any conclusion from it.

      1. Thanks for looking at it. Dr. Popper has discussed many other vitamin D studies as well, that was just the latest one. Some are probably better than others. She typically only shares two or three specific reports in each of her videos, but has been doing this sort of work for a good while.

        1. There are some people who dutifully take 400 IU of D3 a day until their doctor runs a D3 test and they get found deficient. The D3 daily requirement level was recently raised, I think this is international news, but I was unaware of the change until recently. D3 was twice released by the pharmaceutical companies as an anti-cancer drug. D3 is a hormone that is linked to treating many diseases, and in my opinion, has powerful youth promoting even resetting abilities. D3 is a hormone that helps the body remember how your bones are shaped. You turn over your body weight in ATP everyday, with much of the Phosphorus coming out of your bones to be redeposited. D3 is part of the rebuilding process. So, people with COPD and MS have been cured with D3. The sunniest places on the Earth, near the equator, have much less cancer (but more skin cancer), asthma, and obesity because of D3. D3 is one of the federally mandated supplements in milk. The federal government knows it is good for you, even very good for you, and is making you take it. If you are not drinking milk you need to take D3, according to this website. The federal government’s program does not reach everyone as intended and a D3 deficiency (lung and colon disease) is all around. Why let them choose for you? Make sure you ask for a D3 blood test.

          1. I never looked at anyone’s recommendation but Dr. Greger. The government?! Milk?! I have no interest in either of these things. Most especially the latter one. I listen to doctors (the few I choose to trust) comment on studies and reports of research that is deemed to be reasonably unbiased and accurate. None of those think that the consumption of any dairy cow milk is a good idea and one is convinced that the D added to milk is completely ineffective.

      1. I’ve yet to find any convincing evidence that I need to reduce sodium/salt intake. So that means nothing to me. I’m here waiting and Dr. G is over there promising many more NaCl videos. I do understand that for salt-sensitive and SAD eaters there can be problems, but none here and Dr. Pam is quite learned in the field whether she practices “actual” cut and paste medicine or not. She’s a refreshing bit of work compared to the salesmen and liability dodgers and pill pimps.

  37. With people like Walter Willett promoting olive oil and the suggestion that it may be neutral on endothelial function, I’d be more inclined to go with the overall benefits, not just endothelial function. Cancer, dementia, depression, diabetes, longevity, overall mortality. And like cloudy apple juice in one of Greger’s other video’s and after reading Jo Robinson’s “Eating on the Wild Side” it’s not enough to test extra virgin olive oil, it has to be “unfiltered” extra virgin olive oil. Cloudy extra virgin olive oil. If it says “unfiltered” on the label and it doesn’t look cloudy, I’m not buying it.

    Likewise just saying polyphenols and looking at total amounts is selling the oil short. Squalene (the shark anti-cancer nutrient) oleocanthal, oleopeurin etc are unique chemicals. Other plants have other polyphenol combinations and regular olives are full of sodium which carries it’s own risk. For me right now, I’d say looking at this debate, there seems to be general agreement 1/4 cup is too much and 1/4 teaspoon is ok. All right fair enough. 2 teaspoons. 80 calories. The dose is the poison after all. To each their own. Planty pants and Jim made some good points on each side. Thanks for the discussion.


    1. Unique doesn’t equate to well proven, or without alternatives in chemical or source. There are tons and tons of unique chemicals with thin benefits hypothesized for them but not demonstrated to be robust. It’s a little ironic that you mention squalene in an argument promoting unique sources of unique chemicals, not only because I suspect that it has more basis in hype than in evidence — that sharks don’t get cancer is a popular myth around which hype can be built, and the chemical’s manifest purpose in the shark is buoyancy, making an anti-cancer adaptation less plausible to begin with — but also because squalene itself is quite literally always at your fingertips.

      1. Well proven that the chemicals are in the oil or well proven that they have healthful properties? Alternatives. Of course there are alternatives, trade offs. Higher sodium in whole olives. Higher concentrations of oleic acid, oleopeurin, oleocanthal, and squalene. Sharks getting or not getting cancer is a red herring, forgive the fish pun. The point is that squalene has anti-cancer properties http://cebp.aacrjournals.org/content/6/12/1101.long http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4057827/ The potential role of olives and products like olive oil should be considered carefully particularly since Dr. Greger said that the oil might neutral on endothelial function but with evidence it might do a whole of help more than harm in other areas. Are there any prospective cohort trials showing olive oil consumption causes heart attack or stroke, diabetes, autoimmune disease, metabolic syndrome. FMD is a marker. How hard is the evidence that olive oil consumed in moderation poses any health risk. After all you take two asprin you get headache relief. You swallow half the bottle and your on your way to the emergency room to get your stomach pumped. The dose is the poison. Are there any studies showing that someone consuming two teaspoons of unfiltered extra virgin olive oil has reduced endothelial function? no. Do we know that it wasn’t the bread that cause the endothelial dysfunction in the second reference that planty pants makes? No. Juries still out for me. I know olive oil is caloric but that is what measuring spoons are for. :)

        1. It has anti-cancer properties in some situations. The first review basically says that there are a few animal studies i and a few in vitro studies, n

          1. The Newark article points a mechanism for action in the animal data that is corroborated by human trial. Remember part of the Bradford Hill criteria is establishing a mechanism. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradford_Hill_criteria That and the Rahmani reference demonstrates a large health benefit from olive oil across a range of conditions, not just heart health which Greger concedes is neutral. And we don’t even know if the oil was unfiltered or not. One the two teaspoons, sure lower dose can mean lower effect but it’s the total package that makes the final health outcome. And I am comfortable I’m not getting fat on 80 calories of oil. But am getting some unique polyphenols which will produce a wide range of human health benefits with strong epi and clinical data. YMMV

    2. All benefits that apply to olive oil also apply to olives, but to a greater degree. If your aim is in maximizing benefits from your food, then you would better eat whole olives, nuts and seeds, than oils from them. When you consume oils, you are getting a lot of calories with little nutrition, while you can get the same amount of calories but with higher nutrition density from whole foods. Your TDEE limits the amount of healthy foods you can eat in a day, and consuming oils/sugars/other processed food you are limiting it further.

      1. Ok, true but regular olives are high in sodium, and olive oil isn’t. 2 tsp is 80 calories and its misceable. I can mix it in with other flavor components such as vinegar, garlic, lemon zest, etc. Mixes better, lower sodium. I think some of each rather than all or nothing.

        1. I am glad someone mentioned that.
          I’m not a salt lover, and most olives I just cannot eat.
          I can take a light sprinkling of olives on my Subway vegetarian sandwich,
          but that is about the only time I can stand them. Everybody always talks
          about how great olives are … OK, great for them – for me they are too salty.

  38. I am an old man of 67, concerned about my endothelium. How can
    folks like me increase nitric oxide production? Would arginine help?
    Are there any plants high in arginine?

    1. Hello. Peanuts and peanut butter are rich in arginine. As are soybeans, whole wheat, and sunflower seeds. Beets are really recommended here and it is said that beet juice can improve nitric oxide production on the web. Garlic might be good for your endothelium, and there is an article here that walnuts are really good for the endothelium. Do you get your vitamin C and D3 (or sunshine)?

    2. Many of the recent vidoes on nutritionfacts.org are relevant to your question, I think there is a theme. Raw, unprocessed Cacao has a lot of Arginine, and while fish oil may only have a placebo effect, plant based omega 3s are very good for nitric acid production if you have an omega 3 deficiency. This would include flax seed oil or flax seeds. Niacin also has benefits and it’s hard to get enough of this nutrient from modern diets. I got this information from an internet search. They seem to be on more than one webpage. I hope this information is accurate.

  39. The famous Lyon Diet Heart Study made medical history–those on the olive-oil based diet had an unprecedented 76 percent lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or suffering heart failure, heart attack, or stroke. This would seem to refute the impairment of arterial function.

    1. >> those on the olive-oil based diet

      Really, there are people on an olive oil based diet, that’s news to me, thanks for the information. ;-)

      1. People eating a traditional diet on the island of crete, as reported by Keys ins the 1960s, derived up to 40% of their calories from olive oil. That’s an olive oil based diet indeed… and a very healthy one!

    2. The Lyon Diet Heart Study administered canola oil, not olive oil

      The fatty acid profile of both oils is prettys similar. Olive oil lacks the omega-3 while canol oil of course lacks the oilve polyphenols. This is why I use both oils in my kitchen.

  40. http://www.nature.com/nutd/journal/v5/n7/full/nutd201523a.html
    Extra virgin olive oil use is associated with improved post-prandial blood glucose and LDL cholesterol in healthy subjects

    Post-prandial glycemic and lipid profile were investigated in 25 healthy subjects who were randomly allocated in a cross-over design to a Mediterranean-type meal added with or without 10 g EVOO (first study), or Mediterranean-type meal with EVOO (10 g) or corn oil (10 g; second study). Glycemic profile, which included glucose, insulin, dipeptidyl-peptidase-4 (DPP-4) protein and activity, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) and glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide (GIP), and lipid profile, which included, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (LDL-C), oxidized LDL (ox-LDL), triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (HDL-C), were analyzed before and 2 h after the meal.

    In the first study, 2 h after meal, subjects who assumed a meal with EVOO had significantly lower blood glucose (P<0.001), DPP-4 protein (P<0.001) and activity (P<0.001), LDL-C (P<0.001) and ox-LDL (P<0.001) and higher insulin (P<0.05), GLP-1 (P<0.001) and GIP (P<0.05) compared with those without EVOO. The second study showed that compared with corn oil, EVOO improved both glycemic and lipid profile. Thus, a significantly smaller increase of glucose (P<0.05), DPP4 protein (P<0.001) and activity (P<0.05) and higher increase of insulin (P<0.001) and GLP-1 (P<0.001) were observed. Furthermore, compared with corn oil, EVOO showed a significantly less increase of LDL-C (P<0.05) and ox-LDL (P<0.001).

    We report for the first time that EVOO improves post-prandial glucose and LDL-C, an effect that may account for the antiatherosclerotic effect of the Mediterranean diet.

  41. Have tried submitting a general question relating cooking oils and was rejected and instructed to post question here.

    Cooking oils are an important part of dietary preparation; there’s no point in trying to eat healthier if such action deteriorates the quality of life (which for many people the quality and enjoyment of food is an important measure of the quality of life).

    As such, it is my belief, that the NutritionFacts email response (below) to my question (below) is inappropriate as it fails to consider or recognise that good advice must be given in consideration to the environmental facts at hand (i.e. that people want to eat good food and to enjoy life) – thus the implicit advice given to cut out oils is inappropriate advice.

    Most dry heat cooking relies upon the use of some form of fat or oil.

    None of the oils listed below are derived from animal products.

    All of the oils have differing make ups of saturated, polyunsaturated, and monounsaturated components.

    Additionally other considerations should come into play when determining an appropriate cooking oil for optimum health (whilst balanced with optimum quality of life – as most individuals consider quality of food when grading quality of life).

    Aug 18, 11:05 PM

    Would Dr Greger please advise (general advice) upon cooking oils.
    What are the healthier / better recommended oils/fats with which to cook?

    All of my attempts at research into this topic return results heavily
    influenced by folk wisdom and advertising; thus prove undesirable as
    reliable sources of information.
    It would be appreciated if the
    discussion were reserved to the commonly available cooking oils: i.e.
    canola, peanut, vegetable, olive, rice bran, grape seed, sunflower oils
    as it is pointless to discuss relatively unobtainable oils such as, for
    example, walnut oil [as even if they may be healthy they are not able to
    be sourced].

    Thank you

    Nutritional details:

    – As advised in his recent yearly update, 2015, olive and canola
    (rapeseed) oils contain trans fats resulting from processing mechanisms
    (and indeed these trans fats are listed on the food labelling).
    – His recent video (17th Aug) details some of the undesirable side effects of olive oil consumption.

    – All oils are fats (37KJ/g = 9Kcal/g[Cal/g]) which is a greater
    energy density than carbohydrates and proteins (17KJ/g = 4Kcal/g)
    however the body does utilise fats as an energy source in lower exertion
    activities and insufficient fat consumption can lead to problems.

    Submitted from: http://nutritionfacts.org/

    The response received read:

    for your email. Dr. Greger just had a video on olive oil! Have you seen
    it? Basically no oil is best, as whole plant fats (where the oils are
    made) like avocado, olives, coconut themselves are best, which are only
    needed in small amounts (not so much coconut unless LDL is in good
    shape).I know there is so much commentary on the website. Would you mind
    reposting your question to the comment’s section and we can explore
    further? Just post it here: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/olive-oil-and-artery-function/

    Here is another video on shelf life of oils: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-true-shelf-life-of-cooking-oils/

    See if any of these help and let me know? Thanks for considering reposting


    In relation to the response;

    It is recognised that when advising an obese patient as to their fats and oils intake to advise that no oil is good may encourage them to decrease their energy intake to that of a diet without, or with only minimal, oils. However this advice should not be recommended for most healthy individuals, for the following reasons:

    – The higher the daily physical exertion the more important dietary consumption of triglycerides becomes (note that it is stated in their website documentation by both the Australian and the New Zealand Institutes of Sport (each respectively) that in either of the two nations that the populations do not consume sufficient carbohydrates in their diet (the exact detail of what was considered sufficient wasn’t mentioned in what I read); the important consideration from this is that for individuals who do even a moderate level of exercise those individuals utilise fat intake to supplement energy output (obviously we are not talking about litres of oil, the discussion still rests in the realm of small quantities).

    – As mentioned in the paragraph above, assuming that the individual is of a healthy weight and maintains even a moderately active lifestyle the body does not and is not able to derive it’s entire daily energy requirements from carbohydrates, during periods of minimal physical exertion the body consumes greater quantities of fats (triglyceride) confer carbohydrates. Fats are sourced both from dietary fat intake and from carbohydrate storage. In the small intestine fats are emulsified and hydrolysed into triglycerides which are absorbed and stored or used by the body. We (myself and others) have been advised on multiple occasions by doctors that it is not safe (for a male) to maintain a body fat of less than roughly 17% (a female is apparently a higher percentage).

    The response given that “basically no oil is best” completely misses the point. The question as originally asked was not what was the oil that was “best” as meaning healthy – the question was “What are the healthier / better recommended oils/fats with which to cook?”.
    This question does not suggest that any oil or fat is ‘healthy’ in of itself – the response to most complex questions is “it depends”.
    The question was, and still remains, in the professional opinion of Dr Greger, who is a respected and learned individual in the field of nutrition, what is his general advice (i.e. non-specific – not for the treatment of any patient) regarding which are the better recommended oils/fats with which to cook when (the “it depends” part) the term ‘better’ is interpreted from the perspective of being more healthy / less potentially detrimental (note that this doesn’t suggest that the oil/fat is healthy in of itself).

    Thank you

    1. AlanPreston: I don’t think anyone replied to your post. You may not like my response, but I thought you deserved a response.

      There is one thing you and I can *totally* agree on: that eating is an important activity for the vast majority of people and that enjoying food is an important quality of life activity.

      From there, we diverge. For example, you seem to think that it is necessary to use oils to cook, especially for “dry heat cooking”. This is not true. There are all sorts of ways to cook without oils. People do it all the time. Rami recently pointed people to a page on the Forks Over Knives website that gave various methods for cooking without oils. I wish I had kept that link, but maybe you can find it if you are interested.

      I also got the feeling reading your post that you think that food will not taste good unless it is cooked in oil. This is also not true. Enjoying greasy food is an acquired taste. People learn to like their food with oil in it. And what can be learned can be unlearned–even to the point that foods with oil in them come across as unpleasant, especially texture-wise.

      At one point, you used the term “optimum health”. I agree that is the goal. But as this video and others on this site have shown, consuming oils is not the path to optimum health. You can have some oils in your diet, but you shouldn’t kid yourself that it is any more healthy than eating sugar. If you really must identify and consume a “lesser bad” oil in your diet, I suggest considering canola oil. It has more omega 3s than olive oil and is easily attainable and affordable. And you can get some that is made for high heat. And knowing that oil is not all that healthy for you, you would just put up with any transfat that might have crept into the oil during the processing that you mentioned. (Or maybe find a brand with better processing???) Use the possible existence of trans fat as incentive to consume as little oil as possible.

      You also write: “insufficient fat consumption can lead to problems.” and “the body does not and is not able to derive it’s entire daily energy requirements from carbohydrates”. I understand where you are coming from. Lots of people think that we have to eat oils to get fat. But think about it, those oils actually come from whole plant foods. Instead of eating corn oil, eat the corn. Heck, even broccoli has fat in it. (And very healthy fat!) No one is recommending that people eat a fat-free diet. (This is a key point. So, please consider reading the previous sentence again.) Eating fat-free is almost impossible on a whole plant food based diet. Instead, people are recommending that a healthy (and very tasty) diet is free from processed oils. You don’t need any oil–for health and most of the time, for taste either. In addition to eating lots of greens, consider adding some ground flaxseeds and walnuts to your daily diet. With nuts and seeds, you not only add a significant amount of fat, but also some really great health-promoting nutrients, like lignans! You don’t get much nutrition other than fat from most oils.

      As I said, I don’t expect you to like this answer. But this way you know you aren’t being ignored. I understand your points, I just don’t personally agree with them. I think the videos here on NutritionFacts do a good job of showing what the science says on the topic of oils and health. And my personal experience and the experience of many others shows that you don’t need oils to thoroughly enjoy your food either.

  42. Some years ago, I read about a study of people ingesting vitamins (C and E perhaps?) before eating a fat-laden meal and having a different reaction in their blood vessels than the control group.

    Is this study still being referenced? I eat a giant salad for dinner, but I like the tablespoon of olive oil (chopped garlic + lemon juice) I add to it.


  43. Very interesting video, thank you. I have a related question about veins and not arteries. If olive oil is not beneficial to arteries does that mean that it also has a similar effect on veins. I have a friend, who is undergoing gamma knife treatment and unfortunately the location is proximal to the jugular vein and her doctor said the treatment could compromise the integrity of the vein. She loves olive oil. Would it be better for her to avoid olive oil post treatment?

  44. Sorry, I just cannot buy it. It is well known that cultures that consume very high amounts of olive oil (higher than we would ever eat even if we tried) characteristically live longer. Yes there are other factors such as veggies. One of the oldest lived people (she lived to 127 I believe) said publicly that she doused everything she ate with olive oil. Endothelial function, as some of those studies not in favor of olive oil have defined it, how can we be sure correlates to a worse outcome in the real world? Its an arbitrary definition ie. endothelial function vs. dysfunction that scientists came up with.

  45. I often hear the argument that we need so called healthy fats ( olive oil) for proper absorption of vitamins and minerals that are fat soluble. Could you comment on this please?

    1. Hi Janet- it’s true that some vitamins, specifically the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K, require fat to be absorbed so getting some healthy fats in your diet is crucial. Healthy fats can be obtained from plant-based sources, such as nuts and avocado, so no need to go with added oils. Thanks for your question!

  46. I wanted to ask about a newly released result of the PREDIMED study that seemed to show a significant reduction in breast cancer risk when 20 % of calories came from EVOO, as compaired to the group receiving 10% of calories from nuts. Of course you have to wonder where the other 10% of calories came from in that second group, maybe from cancer promoting cheese? Anyway, the American Congress of Ob GYN published/promoted this study, of course, saying that EVOO may be protective against breast cancer. The journal article even listed all the phytonutrients, lignans, etc in EVOO that seem to have anti cancer properties in vitro. What do you think? Thanks so much.

  47. On the subject of oil — there’s a lot of hype around algae. Particularly, algae oil. What are your thoughts on the benefits? It’s now being touted as the most healthy oil out there.

    1. Hi SFH- Dr. Greger recommends taking a daily algae sourced omega 3 supplement. Here’s a short video on the topic: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/algae-based-dha-vs-flax-2/. Given this video is 8 years old, I checked his new book, “How Not to Die” and the recommendation is unchanged, along with a plant-based diet, consider taking a daily 250 mg supplement of algae derived long chain omega-3. Aside from this, there shouldn’t be a need to take additional algae oil.

  48. One confounding variable when trying to research extra-virgin olive oil is that there is widespread fraud and about half of all olive oil labeled “extra virgin” ain’t. e.g.

    Mar 5, 2014 Forbes on line: The Scam Of Olive Oil, And Its Antidote
    Also, the “active ingredients” may not survive improper storage e.g. clear containers, high heat, being exposed to air after bottle is open for long time.

  49. Please clear up this issue: Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn recommends NO oils, no nuts, no avocados, no vegan mayo, etc. His assertion is that even a small amount of these can impact artery function. Other evidence-based diets allow for some of these as along as the bulk of the diet is packed with fruits and veggies. Dr. Greger, what is the evidence? What do the studies show? Common sense tells you that large amounts of these calories dense foods are probably not the best, but is a small amount of these foods good or bad within the context of a diet rich in leafy greens, deeply colored veggies, etc?

    1. Hi Marta,
      While I *can’t* speak for Dr. Greger directly, there’s now a large body of data supporting whole nuts as an exceedingly healthy part of diet, as long as not consumed in excess since they are calorically-dense. Dr. Fuhrman is also a big proponent of whole nuts. Think whole foods, and it’s hard to go wrong (so along these lines and the evidence from the video above, best to keep any extracted oils or any processed food including vegan mayo to a minimum or none at all).

  50. Though eating oils like extra virgin olive oil with salad can help you absorb much more antioxidants, some that you might not otherwise even absorb, like one of the antioxidants in raw tomatoes that you either only absorb when cooked or when eaten raw with extra virgin olive oil (and I imagine any fat). I forget what the antioxidant was. Any videos or info here on those benefits of oil and veggies?

    1. Sheylen: re: “…only absorb when cooked or when eaten raw with extra virgin olive oil (and I imagine any fat).” Yes, your body will absorb some of those extra nutrients if you eat those leafy greens with healthy and whole foods containing fat. This means that you could choose to eat your salad with a healthy food like nuts or a tofu dressing or even some whole olives instead of a highly processed single-nutrient food like oil–if you want. In other words, it is by no means necessary to eat oil directly, and as Dr. Greger has shown in several videos, including this one, you are better off without the oil.
      If memory serves, you already got some excellent replies to your questions about oil. I just couldn’t remember if anyone directly answered this specific question.

      1. I know your stance on any extracted oils, and I’m not sure what comments you’re referring to other than your own from previous posts. I do not agree with your stance on extracted oils, only in that in large amounts they become harmful. But I believe small amounts can be very beneficial. I think in this day and age, extracted algae oil is an extremely good idea for people not eating a whole plant foods diet, and even a good idea for those who do. Dr. Greger has stated it’s probably a good idea for pregnant or nursing mothers. Though I do suspect they’d do fine if they were eating a very healthy whole plant based diet. But in this day and age I’m all about the “insurance policy” when it comes to nutrition. Though I respect your differentiating views on this topic, I don’t want to get in a debate about it as I already know where you stand. That being said, I do agree with your stance on whole plant foods being the best thing for our health. I don’t think anyone could argue that… though many try.

        1. Shaylen: In my post above, I was just responding to your implied question in the phrase: “…(and I imagine any fat).” I was saying, “Yes, you are correct!, any fat…” Even if you are not personally interested in the answer, I think others are. I also think it is important for people to understand that they can get that “insurance policy” (as you put it) by eating whole, high fat plant foods such as nuts and seeds as Dr. Greger recommends in this video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/forego-fat-free-dressings/ . In other words, people do not have to consume the extracted oil to get that potential extra benefit that you are interested in/talking about. And it is good that people understand that there are benefits to choosing the whole food route since consuming the whole food means getting yet even more nutrients than one would get from extracted oils.
          Also for anyone reading this conversation, I want to make sure that what you said about Dr. Greger recommendations for “extracted algae oil” is clarified: We are expecting some more information on the topic of DHA pills when an expected study is published (soon?), but as of this moment, the most Dr. Greger is recommending is that people *consider* taking a DHA/EPA algae based pill/supplement for brain health (not for any other reason). When I eyeball it, I would guess that the amount of oil in these pills is less than 1/2 teaspoon in a day. That’s how much extracted oil Dr. Greger would recommend for people–at most. And it’s not even part of the Daily Dozen. About 1/2 teaspoon is what “a small amount” of extracted oil translates into based on Dr. Greger’s interpretation of the science. That’s important to clarify because “a small amount” is too undefined and means different amounts to everyone.
          I understand that you, Shaylen, feel differently about the value of extracted oils than is recommended on this site. I’m not arguing that point with you in this post. We can agree to disagree on the value of say olive oil. I just want to make sure the recommendations of this site are clarified. (At least the recommendations as they stand as of this writing and as I understand them.) It sounds like you feel that your current diet is serving you well. I think that’s great and wish you lots of healthy years into the future.

  51. Dr Greger, I have a question that’s been bugging me for some time… You know how Coco Chanel said we shouldn’t put anything on our skin that we wouldn’t put into our mouths…? Well, what do you think about about using coconut oil on our skin instead of commercial creams that contain stuff that we certainly don’t want in our bodies?

    I’m aware that some say coconut oil is ok, even though it’s high in saturated fat, because it’s from a plant source (but is nevertheless processed). I’m also aware that for reversal and prevention of heart disease, we should avoid ingesting saturated fat.

    In addition, we know that anything we put on our skin is absorbed directly into our bloodstream, even though it doesn’t enter the digestive process. (Friends of mine have had HRT creams that were rubbed into the inside of the upper arm or thigh and obviously, these are very effective in producing the intended result.)

    Heart disease is strongly indicated in my family, so I’m trying to avoid it, and have been eating a WFPB diet for about 30 months now, but this question keeps niggling me. I hope this gets to you! :)

  52. All the people who are commenting that olive oil is clogging arteries and making them sick, I’d be interested to know what kind of olive oil you use? Most olive oil in super markets are fake. even the organic kind. i’m no expert but i have heard eating cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil is healthiest and the only true olive oil. and this is not sold in most grocery stores.

  53. I was attempting to find information regarding the Thrive Culinary Algae Oil that has recently gone on sale. The claims are that it has the highest level of monounsaturated fats, a high smoke point (up to 485 degrees F, and 75% less saturated fat. It is used for sautéing, pan cooking and baking. My wife would love to be able to use a cooking oil again if there were no impairment of endothelial function as there is for other cooking oils. Anybody know? Thank you.

    1. Sarah: Great questions. Sadly, there are no healthy oils. Oils are like table sugar. They are empty calories. In the case of table sugar, they are pure, simple carbohydrates. Oils are essentially pure fat. This video talks about olive oil. Here’s a great fun excerpt from a talk from Jeff Novick on olive and coconut oils:
      So, what to do about sautéing and salad dressings? If you do an internet search on vegan, oil free dressings you will get a lot of matches. Most of the recipes are very easy to whip up. Here’s a page with 10 recipe ideas on it: http://veganamericanprincess.com/10-simple-recipes-for-no-oil-vegan-salad-dressings/
      For sautéing, I have two ideas for you. Do some research on ‘water sauteing’. I believe that Forks Over Knives has a page that gives instructions. The point is that when done right, you can use non-fat liquids like water, broth, and wine to keep the food from sticking, but not to actually boil/water cook it. It takes more skill than using oils, but I understand that lots of people have figured it out.
      For myself, I don’t enjoy sauteing in anything. I don’t have the patience for it. I use the microwave. For example, I find that microwaved mushrooms and onions have the same taste and feel as sauted versions, just not greasy.
      Does that help?

      1. The question of raw is one I still ponder about and someday I may incorporate more. I’ve been following traditional medicines which seem to discourage uncooked foods, though perhaps that is a later development and not necessarily in the original texts. Cooked can make foods lighter to digest, and for many that are not too active, that may help. Changing amounts per season is also an idea.

        As for cooking methods, if cooked grains, legumes, vegetables, etc are the foundation of the diet, if one is eating such things or switches to such a diet, why not also change cooking methods? I eat only those things combined into a one-pot stew. Everyday. No need for oil. Add some ground flax, cashews, etc., or recently, I throw in a raw unprocessed tree-picked olive and by the time the food is cooked, the olive has mellowed out and released a nice olive flavor throughout. Soup, stew, porridge, kitchari: eating in such a way has been done for a long time.

        1. emp: Those are some interesting thoughts. It sounds like your diet is extremely healthful as-is. I’ve seen experts recommend a mix of raw and cooked foods as there are advantages to both, but your diet sounds so healthy that I don’t know if I would even worry about it.

          I did have one specific comment. You wrote, ” Cooked can make foods lighter to digest, and for many that are not too active, that may help.” Typically, cooking food makes it easier to digest more/get more calories out of what you are eating. That’s not necessarily a positive for someone who is trying to lose weight. When someone posts that they want to lose weight, I tell them about the concept of calorie density. Cooked foods tend to be more calorie dense. So, if someone is “not too active” and thus maybe prone to weight gain, adding some raw salad to their diet (depending on what goes with it) might help with the weight problem.

          Thanks for your thoughts.

          1. My diet is pretty good these days. I’ve been eating the same way for several years, though before I often also indescriminately ate out and that has stopped. Recent research into the bitter and other flavor components of plants has led me to favor other more flavorful vegetables that are not commonly sold and hard to find in North America. For example, I get 40-60% DV of calcium in a 100 g serving, plus use copious amounts of herbs and spices, also tending to favor the higher calcium herbs like dill and coriander (of what has been tested). 2500% DV in a 2000 calorie day, including a bit of soy milk and black sesame, is quite possible. As far as other nutrients, who knows; many say wild plants are more nutritious. Of what can be found, there are a few more flavorful and nutritious, and for example, eating a quality of amla fruit equal to an apple provides quite a bit of Vitamin C. 800-1000%+ DV is possible in that case. I’m continuing to search for such bitter, sour, astringent, and less sweet foods, usually finding them in various ethnic stores, sometimes frozen, as well as searching farmers markets for other parts of common plants that have more nutrition but are not usually sold since they are more bitter and North Americans have lost the taste for such things.

            As far as a mix of raw and cooked, indeed it’s something I’m considering though I haven’t tried much yet. I’ve been going by various works on Indian and Chinese medicine, and from one particular contemporary work, there’s a general recommendation of 5% (calories?). I’m not sure if that is true or what are other traditional recommendations, and indeed it changes according to season, as too digestive strength changes with weather. Deepak Chopra has a few paragraphs about raw in his new book.

            As far as cooked foods and weight loss, I’m not sure. Though one thing I’m fairly certain about, traditional diets used a variety of grains and legumes, and many were quite aware of the warming, cooling, humecting, constipating, stool increasing, etc. properties of each food. For instance, millet is said to be constipating. Quite nutritious for the extremely active. A friend says he avoids it since the only walking he does is mostly to and from the commute train, though his father of 80+ walks several hours a day and eats it still without issue. As far as weight loss, the traditional medicines mostly agree and favor mung beans and barley over other legumes and grains. Another grain, coix-lacryma jobi, easily found at Asian markets, is even more highly prized for weight loss, and I believe there are at least a few studies showing that, as well as showing that it is perhaps indeed the strongest anti-cancer grain, lending support to its current use in China as well as other East Asian countries as a health food. Another thing for weight loss, Fuhrman’s works are interesting and I’ve started to adjust number of servings to be closer to his recommendations. It’s only been a month so far, and while not including raw, and using fruits and vegetables quite more nutritious than what most people eat, it’s going quite well.

  54. So this study you site: “Olive oil polyphenols decrease blood pressure and improve endothelial function in young women with mild hypertension.” seems to be bearing great EVOO news, but –You aren’t buying the conclusion because of the method of measurement used? Is that correct? I just want to understand as much as I can to make the best choice for myself. -A WFPB vegan, very low sodium intake and still with BP occasionally higher than one would suspect for someone following such a diet and exercising regularly. I’d been planning to purchase the EVOO with the best independent lab profile, buying close to harvest, storing and using optimally and minimally. -I heard you on fb yesterday indicate that you have no oils in your house, so clear on the conclusion you’ve made so far for yourself.

  55. Dear all,
    I just went through the article about olive oil and artery function and I wonder, what may be a substitute?
    Fat is needed to absorb nutrients – say, turmeric works if we eat it with oil…
    May sesame seeds paste (Thina) be a good alternative?

    1. dida: Yes, nuts and seeds work very well if you want a whole plant food that is high in fat. Dr. Greger recommends 1/4 cup whole nuts or 2 tablespoons of nut butter a day, and certainly tahini could be part of that. Another whole plant food very high in fat is avocado. Tofu and other traditional soy products are also high in fat.
      But keep in mind that most whole plant foods come with some fat built right in – even broccoli. So, worrying about getting fat beyond eating a small amount of the whole plant foods that Dr. Greger recommends doesn’t make a lot of sense to me. Good luck.

    1. This is from the piece:
      “The present systematic reviews provides some evidence that olive oil might exert beneficial effects on markers of inflammation and endothelial function. Since improvements in these parameters have been described in individuals adhering to a Mediterranean diet, olive oil might represent a key ingredient of this dietary pattern mediating these favorable effects.”

      My next research question would be — how does olive oil effect the health of people who are already consuming a whole foods plant-based diet?

      This study reminds me of the effects of alcohol on health — if a person eats a less healthy diet and has diminished vascular flow, alcohol can improve thier health. Yet, if the person is already eating whole-foods plant based, alcohol may have negative effects.

      To health!

  56. I have recently begun a plant based lifestyle based on Dr Esseltyn’s work, and I realize the importance of eliminating oils. I do take one particular supplement which I need though, and it is in a base of organic cold pressed olive oil. 1/2 teaspoon a day total is the amount I must use. I have been struggling to stop worrying about this minute of an amount, but when I do something I believe in doing it right. Is this amount of olive oil going to be detrimental to my efforts, or should I just quit worrying about this minor of an amount? Thanks.

    1. Hi Norman — great question.
      In my judgment, you would be better off not worrying about it.
      If you are eating mostly whole foods plant-based and getting Dr. Greger’s ‘Daily Dozen’ (donwload the app for your phone if you haven’t already!)… In my view, you are not doing anything ‘detrimental to your efforts’ and you are good to go.
      I am a big fan of being compassionate and easy on ourselves as we make small changes every day to optimize our health.
      It sounds to me, from the tone of your message, that you are well on the journey… carry on.
      To health!

  57. Hi, I’m Akbar from UAE. I had a hemorrhagic stroke for 6 years on the right side. This was so tough for me because i never imagined myself in this way. I lost my speech and i was oabviously useless because i could not perform any activity without any support, i could not walk, i used to enjoy driving but none of this i could do again. I was totally paralyzed. The worst part was the emotional aspect of it. I cry very easily and have no control over it because all the doctors or physiotherapist i met were not helpful at all. I am, however, very lucky that i was able to find a very effective alternative natural treatment to stroke that cured me completely. It has been two years now and i still can drive, i actually thought the cure was not permanent but now i am fully convinced and that is why i decided to write this. If you have stroke or any paralysis just contact Dr Joseph on (josephalberteo @ gmail. com) for more information or advise and i am sure his medicine can help you too. I hope this helps someone out there.

    1. The conclusion of this recent research: “The Traditional Mediterranean Diet, especially when enriched with virgin olive oil, improved HDL (high-density lipoprotein/”good” cholesterol) atheroprotective functions in humans.”

      Other recent research concludes: “Olive oil interventions (with daily consumption ranging approximately between 1 mg and 50 mg) resulted in a significantly more pronounced decrease in C-reactive protein… Values of flow-mediated dilatation were significantly more increased in individuals subjected to olive oil interventions… These results provide evidence that olive oil might exert beneficial effects on endothelial function as well as markers of inflammation and endothelial function, thus representing a key ingredient contributing to the cardiovascular-protective effects” – Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586551/

      I like to believe that eating nuts & seeds is better than using oils. But I get confused by these articles. Dr. Greger, or another expert, would you please address this..?

      1. Hello Robberto, thanks for your question. I am a volunteer medical moderator who helps Dr. Greger answer questions. I am also a whole food plant based dietitian located in Scottsdale, Arizona.

        Dr. Greger seems to answer your question in the video. Here is a paraphrase of what he says at the end of the video:
        “So why do some studies suggest people’s endothelial function improves on a Mediterranean diet, a diet rich in olive oil? Perhaps because it’s also rich in whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans, and walnuts, as well. Dietary fruits and vegetables appear to provide some protection against the direct impairment of endothelial function produced by high-fat foods, including olive oil. So, improvements in health may be in spite of, rather than because of, the oil. In terms of their effects on postprandial endothelial function (after a meal), the beneficial components of the Mediterranean diet may primarily be the antioxidant-rich foods—the vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives, such as balsamic vinegar. Just adding some vegetables to a fatty meal may partially restore arterial functioning and blood flow.”
        So from his perspective, he speculates that it is the whole food plant based diet approach which the Mediterranean diet is known for that is beneficial, rather than the isolated compound of olive oil.

        Thanks for your question, and for visiting Nutritionfacts.org!

        Lisa Schmidt

  58. I have a problem with most of the reasoning in these questions, oil this or oil that, our foods have oils, as one quoted we even have fat in broccoli, olives, nuts etc , why do we try to justify processed oils or sugars are more beneficial than natural oils or sugars ? Whole foods can supply all our needs, its been proven, rather than our wants! Man likes too feel important by saying, if I do this or that it will be better for me, that’s where we get the SAD diet! We need to simplify our diet’s I believe! If I want oil, have it in the olive, nuts and other sources, the best and fastest lifestyle is Whole Foods, in my estimation! It’s simple and effective for all I believe! The easiest way to go is have as many colours that you can get in one sitting and do not mix fruits (females=seeds inside ) with vegetables (males=seeds outside) because they have different sugars that may cause combustion at times to some people, what do you think?

  59. In the recent Tufts Health & Nutrition Newsletter (March 2017) A. Lichtenstein states “scientific evidence shows that cutting out fat isn’t the goal-about a third of our calories should come from fat…the type of fat is key: we should strive to replace less healthful fats with more healthful ones. The best data we have to date suggest there’s an advantage for cardiovascular health when animal fats….are replaced with vegetable oils high in polyunsaturated & monounsaturated fats. This appears contrary to Dr. Greger’s stance of an extremely low fat intake, especially of processed oils. What should a person follow?

  60. Hi, Pat Kolchins. I am Christine, a NF volunteer nutrition moderator. First of all, Dr. Greger does not advocate an extremely low fat intake. The Daily Dozen, representing his view of the ideal diet, includes nuts, seeds, and other whole plant foods that are relatively high in fat. Following the Daily Dozen tends to result in a diet that is up to 25% fat, which is not a low-fat diet. While it is true that switching from animal fats to plant fats can improve health, Dr. Greger feels it is best to get these fats, as with as other nutrients, from whole plant foods rather than extracted oils. Oils are concentrated fat sources. For example, it would be necessary to eat very large quantities of olives to get the amount of fat that is in a tablespoon of olives. The whole olive includes fiber, antioxidants, and other nutrients along with the fat, making it a healthier choice than the oil, which includes few, if any, of these other nutrients. I hope that helps!

  61. Dr. Greger ,
    I was just curious to know whether coconut oil prevents cancer? There is a lot of buzz about the consumption of coconut oil and prevention of cancer. I thought it would be the best to ask you about whether it is beneficial or not. Also , I would really appreciate the group members to step in and share their views. You guys always help so so much! Sir , there are innumerable diets which claim to prevent cancer and help in increasing the life span. But , all are so much distinct from each other. I really religiously swear by your diet and of course it has helped all of us so so much… We are really very happy… Also , I am an Indian and consumption of ghee (clarified butter) here in India is encouraged and is considered really very healthy. Does that help? Really looking forward to all the replies…
    Thank you…

    1. Anushka Vyas: I forwarded your post to our volunteer medical moderators so that they could look up some research to see if there is anything to the idea that coconut oil prevents cancer. We don’t have enough volunteers to answer every question, but at least your question is in the pile.

      In the meantime, I’ll point out that there are several videos on this site about coconuts and coconut oil. In general, coconut oil looks to generally be harmful food, not a healthful one. Also, this site has a ton of pages on cancer in general and various cancers. You can see what types of food promote cancer and what types of food fight cancer. I don’t see anything in the list that would lead me to believe that coconut oil would fight cancer.

    2. Hi, Anushka Vyas. I have seen no credible evidence that coconut oil prevents cancer. Dr. Greger has discussed coconut oil in many videos and posts. A few are listed here:
      I hope that helps!

  62. Am hoping for legit research on essential oils. We use them and in most cases they work as well or better than over the counter drugs. In some cases they may not be. Some are taken orally but the dosage is tiny. I realize, though, that they are highly refined and because of that are not considered whole food. This is, however, a growing market and shining a light on it would help a lot of people.

  63. Am hoping for legit research on essential oils. We use them and in most cases they work as well or better than over the counter drugs. In some cases they may not. Some are taken orally but the dosage is tiny. I realize, though, that they are highly refined and because of that are not considered whole food. This is, however, a growing market and shining a light on it would help a lot of people.

  64. Contrasting evidence. I am not suggesting that I either agree / disagree with the results shown in the paper below. I am just posting it, and for those of you who choose to read the paper below and have the skill to evaluate the quality of the study, please post your comments.

    “Extra-virgin olive oil ameliorates cognition and neuropathology of the 3xTg mice: role of autophagy”

    – published 6/21/2017.

    A corresponding summary of the above original paper appears in Medscape: “Olive Oil Key Ingredient in Alzheimer’s Prevention?”

  65. Hello Gregor and Team!
    Im a HUGE fan of all of your work. Live by your book and your website. Became inspired and started a Instagram called _emannate_ and now my boyfriend Nathan and I are beginning a youtube channel! Plus more to come!!:)
    Im going to school to become a nutritionist and I use your site and book to find more research behind things they say are beneficial. Such as olive oil, salt, animal products, etc.
    I want to be able to site your work, along with the articles you have found stating these facts. Where can I find the links or studies shown in your videos?
    I also want to let you know that Nathan and I look up to you. We are so thankful to have this as a resource and can’t wait for you to see our channel!
    Em an’ Nate

  66. Wow! this article confuses!
    Ive seen so many articles which push the benefits of extra virgin olive oil!

  67. at time mark 2:43 in the video: the sentence of the conclusion is cut off:
    [….] derivatives such as vinegar, *and omega-3-rich fish and canola oils.*

  68. Lately I’ve been seeing lots of praise over a new algal cooking oil. Dr. Gundry lists the one called Thrive as the go-to safest oil to cook with. Is there any data out there showing if this Thrive algal oil really is a healthy cooking option?

  69. Hello,

    Would you please do a video or provide information on high oleic sunflower oil? I get it that oils are bad, and high in omega-6, I was just wondering if high oleic sunflower oil is any closer to “neutral” if I see it as an ingredient in a product, for instance, that appears to have other whole food/vegetable ingredients. Thanks

  70. Just seen UK Channel 4 documentary ” Super Food” extolling virtues of oleocanthal, only found in extra virgin oil. Apparently it combats and is preventative re Alzheimer’s. Does not show up on any search I did on Nutrition Facts .Org. Perhaps not surprising given that Dr G has a downer on olive oil. Any opinions on this?

  71. Dr. G bases his opinions on peer-reviewed clinical research in reputable journals. Oleocanthal, as far as I can tell, has only been studied in the lab. Clinical findings will always override lab findings.

    Dr. Ben

  72. What a great topic. I along with many just assumed that olive oil was just a healthy oil and as long as I was cutting out meat in my diet olive oil doesn”t really matter.Wrong Wrong Wrong.This is the reason I am not making progress like I would wish.I have a Question though regarding salad dressing.What do you use instead of Olive oil ? Especially if you want to use Apple Cider Vinegar ? You definitely want to stay away from other oils I heard canola oil ,which is commonly found in salad dressings can actually wreck red blood cells ! Yikes I remember seeing some of Dr.Gregers other videos that flax can act as a thickener so maybe there is something there…… perhaps add some of that sugar substitute maybe turn the cranberry pink juice into a salad dressing ?????/ Any ideas are welcome please……

    1. mkells: Good for you for having an open mind to take in this new information. As for dressings: I’ve tasted some truly fabulous salad dressings that just happened to be oil-free. Dr. Greger has one in his book, How Not To Die, page 319. Other vegan cookbooks have good ideas also. There are also lots of free options on-line. I’m sure you would be able to find some that you like. Some of the recipes include vinegar. You could just use apple cider for your vinegar. Here’s some sources:

      Healthy Girl’s Kitchen Big List of No-Oil Salad Dressings
      > Volume 1: http://healthygirlskitchen.com/2011/09/big-list-of-no-oil-salad-dressings.html
      > Volume 2: https://sites.google.com/site/hgkprintablerecipes/the-big-list-of-oil-free-dressings-volume-ii

      > Fat Free Vegan, Buttermilk Dressing: http://tinyurl.com/hr5stk7
      > 10 Simple Recipes: http://tinyurl.com/zvxkt6t
      > Magical Recipe: http://tinyurl.com/jt2kmgp

      I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something in all those recipes that appealed to you. Please report back and let us know how it goes.

    2. Hi, this is Dr. Sozanski, PhD and Functional Naturopath, Moderator for Nutritionfacts. I like the comments on diluted tahini. I usually go along the same lines: pureed olives, mixed with some form of nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, peanuts or almonds) ground into a butter; add crushed garlic, some oregano and other spices… mix continuously with a wooden spoon and add water slowly to the desired consistency. This is nothing but a mayonnaise with garlic and nut base. Awesome, plus, sky is the limit on the combinations. Also, if you leave it thicker it will be a tapenade, which represents a fantastic dip for raw vegetables plates. The Apple Cider Vinegar I usually take it in a tablespoon before or during the meal just by itself. I hope you have a great day, Daniela

    3. Hi Mkells, this is Dr. Sozanski, PhD and Functional Naturopath, Moderator for Nutritionfacts. I like the comments on diluted tahini. I usually go along the same lines: pureed olives, mixed with some form of nuts (walnuts, Brazil nuts, pecans, peanuts or almonds) ground into a butter; add crushed garlic, some oregano and other spices… mix continuously with a wooden spoon and add water slowly to the desired consistency. This is nothing but a mayonnaise with garlic and nut base. Awesome, plus, sky is the limit on the combinations. Also, if you leave it thicker it will be a tapenade, which represents a fantastic dip for raw vegetables plates. The Apple Cider Vinegar I usually take it in a tablespoon before or during the meal just by itself. I hope you have a great day, Daniela

  73. I’m curious if you have other resources regarding oils. Which are the “best” oils to consume? And when it comes to heating oils, which are the best to use in cooking or baking?

    1. That’s a great question. Based on the current research, Dr. Greger recommends no oil. You can use things like broth and water in place of oil when cooking.
      Here are some videos that explain a little more:


  74. Without some fat or oil on an otherwise fat-free meal such as salad and vegetables, fat soluble vitamins such as D, the carotene family, and K, will not be well-absorbed.

  75. I too think the olive oil can be dispensed with (no pun intended),with no sacrifice in flavor of complex dishes prepared by experienced cooks who know how to also also maximize nutrition. Try it.

  76. Thanks for your great question. There is a lot of mixed information out there about oils. But based on current research, Dr. Greger does not recommend the use of any oils. We don’t need them and they all cause harm. Here are several videos which explain some of that.


  77. Website is very very slow to load, particularly in mobile.

    So t turns out that extra virgin olive oil is fine after all, as the numerous studies suggest. Disappointing that the results claimed in the video are so vague. How much extra virgin olive oil do you have to consume to have an adverse effect on endothelial cells function? A teaspoon or what? Is the effect permanent or transient? There are numerous other studies, which contradict what Dr Greger claims. Can we get clarity on that please?







    Also there is another video on YouTube, where Dr Greger labels olive oil and organic canola oil as good and should be consumed! Very confusing!



  78. It is hard to sort through all the conflicting information out there. It is hard to know what to listen to.
    When Dr. Greger is asked if something is healthy, he always says, “Compared to what?”. Some of the information you linked here is comparing olive oil to other oils. Or comparing a Mediterranean diet to other diets. Olive oil is likely more healthy than some oils. And a Mediterranean diet with olive oil is probably more healthy than a lot of other diets. Certainly better than the standard American diet. In the information I sent, I didn’t see any study that had a group eating a whole food plant based diet without any added oil. We would need that control group to really weigh the benefits of the oil itself.

    Oil is a processed food. You can think of it as the fruit juice of the oil world. None of the fiber or protein or vitamins taken out of the olives or peanuts or corn or whatever type of oil it is. Just the fat. Dr. Greger recommends no added oil and whole food plant based eating. There are some controlled studies that show that you do not need the olive oil to reap the benefits of the Mediterranean diet. Here are a few videos which explain that:

    There are about 120 calories with nothing but fat. No fiber. No protein. You could be using that 100 calories on something much healthier.

    It looks like all the information you linked specifically mentions endothelial function. You can receive the same benefits to endothelial health from a plant based diet without the oil.

    Endothelial function is only one issue to look at. There are other health concerns with high fat intake including cancer and type 2 diabetes.

    Thanks for your questions.

  79. How about the fact that tomatoes are supposed to be cooked with a little oil to improve the absorption of lycopene, which is fat soluble? Is it worth it when cooking with tomatoes. Does a bit of oil help with absorption of nutrients in general, or should it be avoided?

    1. Hi, Walt! You’re right that certain fat-soluble nutrients, such as lycopene, are better absorbed with a source of fat. While oil may help in the absorption of certain fat-soluble nutrients, it would also come with the downside of impairing postprandial endothelial function. To boost lycopene absorption without the negative effects of oil, you could instead include a fat-rich whole plant food in your meal with the tomatoes; olives, nuts, seeds, avocado, or tahini would all be good options.

  80. Unfortunately there is no useful information in the referenced meta-analysis for WFPB eaters. The only comparison that is of any use to us would be a WFPB diet with the addition of olive oil. This was not done. The closest comparison in the study is MedD+Olive Oil vs. Low Fat Diet. In this comparison group, the most important parameter is FMD (flow mediated dilatation) as it is a known risk factor for cardiovascular disease. The limited data that they present in the meta-analysis shows no significant difference in FMD between the two diets. Keep in mind this was a review of short term interventions only. Long term, the “fat you eat is the fat you wear” and the fat you deposit goes to the organs (visceral fat) first, which is a known risk factor for many diseases. Do we have definitive evidence that the vast number of free oils decrease FMD and thus increase the risk for disease and death? Yes. Do we have definitive evidence that olive oil does not increase the risk for death and disease? No. If you don’t eat olive oil, a WFPB diet is protective of death and disease. There is no evidence that adding olive oil to this is beneficial, so any addition of olive oil simply increases your risk.

    Dr. Ben

    1. Thank you for the reply, Ben. While I agree that the meta-analysis doesn’t directly address the situation of WFPB eaters, it’s also true that very few nutritional studies of anything do. Many, many studies that Dr. Greger cites as evidence for various conclusions do not involve the direct investigation of WFPB eaters. The use of FMD is indeed a short-term measure, but that doesn’t prevent Dr. Esselstyn and, indeed, Dr. Greger himself in this video, from approving it as an indicator of CVD risk. Quoting from the transcript, “Studies that have suggested endothelial benefits after olive oil consumption have measured something different—ischemia-induced, as opposed to flow-mediated, dilation”. The implication is that it would be better to have FMD data. Well, the meta-analysis does include such data.

      I’m not making a case for the wanton use of bottled oils. As you say, oils in general are obesogenic (a great word; it sounds so much better than the traditional “fattening”!). I do, however, question your statement, “If you don’t eat olive oil, a WFPB diet is protective of death and disease. There is no evidence that adding olive oil to this is beneficial, so any addition of olive oil simply increases your risk.” Logically, the inference from “no evidence that it’s beneficial” to “increases your risk” is fallacious. If we understand “beneficial” to mean “causing one to be better off than one would otherwise be” (which seems reasonable) then “not beneficial” simply means “not causing one to be better off”; it doesn’t mean “causing one to be worse off.” In plain English, the data do not support the inference that using olive oil in a WFPB diet increases risk, as long as it’s not done to an extent that causes weight gain.

      That is, if it’s true that the only *known* harm involved in consuming olive oil is the harm of consuming too many calories, as the meta-analysis would seem to support, then I think that’s worth knowing. To give a specific instance, suppose I’m choosing a jar of tomato sauce at the store. There are several brands that look good — natural ingredients, no chemical additives, added sugar, etc. — but all of them contain some amount of olive oil, from 1g per serving to 8g per serving. I might want to choose the one with the 1g. If I’m concerned that even the smallest drop of olive oil will adversely affect my arterial function, I might decide not to buy any of them. If, however, that concern is unfounded, I can make an informed decision based on the amount of oil present, and overall caloric load.

      1. Tmoody: I disagree with your conclusions. The study in question does not bring any new data to light. It shows that olive oil ingestion is likely not as risky as ingesting other oils. Dr. G covered that already. This finding is applicable to people that eat other oils and are willing to change to olive oil. It is not applicable to Dr. G, me and others that don’t eat oil or other processed fats as the study does not contain any definitive evidence that adding olive oil to the way we eat decreases our risk for disease or death (or has a neutral effect.) This is an important distinction between the two eating styles (oil vs no oil). Adding a food item to ones diet from a class of foods (oils) that are generally recognized as a risk factor, and that we are already avoiding, must be supported by much more stringent evidence of safety as opposed to adding a new food item from a class of food (ie. unprocessed veggies) that is already been shown to support optimum health and that we are already eating. This is the least risky eating strategy. In conclusion: This study does not contain enough information, to warrant a WFPB eater to add olive oil to their diet. It does support, as has already been shown, that changing from other oils to olive oil may reduce risk of disease and death.

        Dr. Ben

  81. From what evidence we can generalize that all oils are bad? we know there are different types of fat inside, some of them raise cholesterol more than others do. Also, some oils have a different fraction of phytonutrient. Adding to this that one might just eat a piece of bread with olive oil a day couldn’t that be considered just irrelevant from a health perspective in a context of a whole food plant-based diet.
    I am not saying that some oils can be healthy, but maybe curtains oils can have a smaller effect on cardiovascular disease, but maybe a more neutral one?
    Thank you

    1. Hello,

      Thank you for your comment. Here is a response from one of our Volunteer Health Supporters, Dr. Jon Sheline:

      Hello Niccolo and thank you for your question,

      I am a family doctor with a private practice that emphasizes proper nutrition, and am also a Health Support Volunteer for this website. This video by Dr. Greger makes the point that even extra virgin olive oil, which is generally regarded as being fairly healthy, can impair endothelial function. But he is not saying that everyone should avoid all olive oil.

      Within the general category of oils and fats, there are large differences. In general, the order from worst to best types of fat is: trans-fat < saturated fat (animal sources generally are worse than plant sources due to contamination with industrial pollutants) < refined oils < whole seeds and nuts. However, there are exceptions to this ordering, because some refined oils (e.g. flaxseed oil) is healthier than some whole nuts, such as coconuts, which are high in saturated fat. The healthiest oils have a high omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acid ratio. The ordering from highest to lowest of omega-3 to omega-6 ratio is: flax > chia > canola > hemp > walnut > soybean > olive > avocado > pecan > corn > pistachio > sesame > poppyseed > cashew > sunflower > cottonseed > almond. Here is my source for this information: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ratio_of_fatty_acids_in_different_foods

      For patients with known advanced coronary artery disease, it is probably wise to follow the advice of doctors like Caldwell Esselstyn who encourage their patients to eat virtually zero refined oil of any kind, and even to eat only small amounts of nuts and seeds.

      However, there are some fats which are healthy and indeed essential: “essential fatty acids”. Without these, humans develop various deficiency symptoms. Dr. G. has done various videos over the years looking at this issue:

      1) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/extra-virgin-olive-oil/ — old (2007), but discusses good vs. bad fat

      2) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/forego-fat-free-dressings/ — about role of fat in absorbing nutrients

      3) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-we-take-dha-supplements-to-boost-brain-function/ — nice summary about essential fats

      4) https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-vegans-take-dha-to-preserve-brain-function/ — shows how DHA and EPA are essential for long-term preservation of brain function.

      So, unless you have very high cholesterol and/or known coronary artery disease, I think that you should feel fine about consuming a small amount of “healthy” oils. This is what I tell most of my patients.

      I hope this helps.

      Dr. Jon
      Health Support Volunteer for NutritionFacts.org

  82. I feel as though “may partially” is quite an understatement. What about the study you once showed where they found women consuming olive oil (I can’t remember if it was extra virgin or not) and vinegar dressings on their salad had a BOOST in arterial function and they found it was the antioxidants in the vinegar that achieved this, however it didn’t only negate an impact on arterial function that the oil itself would have likely caused but it actually improved arterial function despite the inclusion of the oil.
    Therefore I would be much more interested in seeing various oils (and when testing extra virgin olive oil, making sure it’s authentic) served in moderation with antioxidant rich plant foods as opposed to oil and what I imagine was refind bread.

    This isn’t to make an argument for the addition of oil or to advise or convince anyone of anything.

  83. A systematic review by the National Institute of Health of the literature and studies on olive oil says that it IMPROVES arterial function. Here is the study


    Let’s face it, if olive oil were that bad the Med folks who consume upwards of 50% of their calories from oils would have been dead by the age of 60. Instead in the past generatioins you’ve had some of the healthiest and long lived peoples of the Blue Zone in this area consuming lots of oil.

  84. The problem is that there are numerous variables at work here, so it’s challenging to tease out which benefit or detriment is attributable to which nutrient. The consensus from the skeptics is that the olive oil itself is detrimental as proven by flow mediated dilatation studies, but that extra virgin olive oil has the remnants of “olive juice” in it that is beneficial, so the lowest risk behavior based on the available evidence is to avoid olive oil and just eat fruit instead.

    Dr. Ben

    1. Dr. Ben, I appreciate the response, but still doubt omega six, or omega three oils cause damage to the arteries.  Do I believe that flow mediated dilatation occurs after a massive high fat meal?  Of course.  But there is no proof that this normal physiological response to high fat meals cause any kind of permanent damage.  High sugar meals when fed to subjects causes the arteries to expand and improve flow mediated dilatation.  Does this tell me that eating lots of sugar is healthy?  Of course not.  It again is just the natural response of the body to excess sugar required to get blood glucose levels back into the safe range.  Then we have the studies done on monkeys in the 70’s when they were fed a diet high in cholesterol for two years.   They developed heart disease.  The doctor then put them on two diets for several years, one with omega 6 oil and the second was very low fat and no oils.  The first diet was loaded with omega six oils and the monkeys reversed their heart disease simply at a slower rate than the monkeys fed their normal chow diets without oils.  Ancel Keys research proved to him that olive oil was healthy.  He ended up living what he believed and lived to be one hundred years of age.  And again, if the folks in Keys studies on the Med region high in olive oils wouldn’t have lived to be over one hundred years of age if consuming olive oils was so detrimental  to human arteries.

  85. Am I intaking too much olive oil if i regularly adorn my nightly salad with green olives and garlic cloves preserved in oil (olive, presummably)?

  86. I suppose it depends on your health goals. One or two olives a night probably won’t make much of a different for most goals. A larger amount of olives would have a lot of calories (relevant to a goal of weight loss), lots of salt as they’re often packed in brine (relevant to endpoints like high blood pressure or heart failure). Garlic cloves packed in oil are not likely to be in extra virgin olive oil. They’re often in soybean or other cheaper oil, plus may have added high fructose corn syrup and salt added: check the label. Fresh garlic stores pretty well and only adds a few seconds to the preparation of a dish, so perhaps consider its use instead of the oil-packed kind.

    Best to you! Dr Anderson, Health Support Volunteer

  87. I’m a 65-year-old man without symptoms of heart disease. I have been vegan and Whole-Food Plant-Based for 14 months now, and I feel great. I’ll leave out the details, but a lot of “old-age” symptoms have vanished.

    I feel that people in the vegan-WFPB category are suffering from a deficit of useful information about the occasional use of the least-damaging plant oils (such as, extra-virgin olive oil). Dr. Esselstyn has been saying for many years (at least since 2009) that long-term studies of endothelial function find no significant difference in endothelial impairment between people consuming the Standard American Diet (meat, cheese, eggs, salty snacks, etc.) and those consuming plant oils — even the least damaging oils. I find this difficult to comprehend. (If this is merely my inaccurate interpretation of Dr. E, it comes from listening to the man himself, so there may be a lack of clarity there. The mantra of “NO OILS,” though unequivocal and memorable, is insufficiently informative for people who want enough data to make their own decisions.)

    Do plant oils and fats result in (or perpetuate) cholesterol-like plaques that stay with you and continue to restrict arterial throughput? Or is the effect of plant oils more transient, so that it might be accurately characterized as postprandial? (Pace, Dr. Greger. Yes, we live in a postprandial world.)

    I ask these questions for a real-world reason. Like most vegans, I eat plenty of salads. While it’s possible in many situations to have a salad with a dressing containing no oil, it’s sometimes impossible and always pretty depressing. However, if cutting out all plant-based oils is a must to prevent the dreaded arterial plaque, I suppose I have no real choice but to cut them out. After all, if I can do without hamburger, obviously I’m prepared to cut out tasty salad dressings – but only if I must.

    I’m mindful that plant oils have a lot of calories, but I’m fully capable of keeping my eye on the weight scale. If I start putting on weight, I adjust. But the threat of adverse endothelial effect is (for me) far more serious.

    Does Dr. Greger have any specific or more current information for vegans on this question?

    1. Neal: Congratulations on the food journey you have taken so far. Good for you.

      I don’t have an answer to the question you are asking. I hope you get the information you are looking for. Instead, I want to challenge you on the statement that salad is just plain sad without an oil-based dressing. I’ve tasted some truly fabulous salad dressings that just happened to be oil-free. Dr. Greger has one in his book, How Not To Die, page 319. Other vegan cookbooks have good ideas also. There are also lots of free recipes on-line. I’m sure you would be able to find some that you like:

      Healthy Girl’s Kitchen Big List of No-Oil Salad Dressings
      > Volume 1: http://healthygirlskitchen.com/2011/09/big-list-of-no-oil-salad-dressings.html
      > Volume 2: https://sites.google.com/site/hgkprintablerecipes/the-big-list-of-oil-free-dressings-volume-ii

      > Fat Free Vegan, Buttermilk Dressing: http://tinyurl.com/hr5stk7
      > 10 Simple Recipes: http://tinyurl.com/zvxkt6t
      > Magical Recipe: http://tinyurl.com/jt2kmgp

      The latest recipe that I absolutely LOVE (and I don’t even like salad) is the orange-miso dressing from PCRM. https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes/orange-miso-dressing I used frozen orange juice from concentrate and replace the black sesame seeds with tahini. I blend it all together in a blender, making 3 or 4 times the recipe at time. It never goes to waste.

      I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something in all those recipes that appealed to you. If you decide to give it a go, please report back and let us know how it goes.

    2. Neal: I tried to reply and my post disappeared. It’s possible it’s this d@ng forum which doesn’t allow more than one or two links. Here’s my post again with a link to a comment that has the links. I hope this one goes through.

      Congratulations on the food journey you have taken so far. Good for you.

      I don’t have an answer to the question you are asking. I hope you get the information you are looking for. Instead, I want to challenge you on the statement that salad is just plain sad without an oil-based dressing. I’ve tasted some truly fabulous salad dressings that just happened to be oil-free. Dr. Greger has one in his book, How Not To Die, page 319. Other vegan cookbooks have good ideas also. There are also lots of free recipes on-line. I’m sure you would be able to find some that you like:

      Here is a link to a comment I made some time ago that has links to a large number of oil-free dressing recipes.

      Something new: The latest recipe that I absolutely LOVE (and I don’t even like salad) is the orange-miso dressing from PCRM. https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes/orange-miso-dressing I used frozen orange juice from concentrate and replace the black sesame seeds with tahini. I blend it all together in a blender, making 3 or 4 times the recipe at time. It never goes to waste.

      I’d be surprised if you didn’t find something in all those recipes that appealed to you. You may decide that eating the oil is worth it. However, if you decide to give oil-free a go, please report back and let us know how it goes.

      1. Thanks, Thea. Great links and great advice. I’ll check out some of Dr G’s recipes. That’ll take care of eating at home, but going out will remain a problem. Thanks again!

        1. Neal: Oh yes, restaurants really do put a kink in things. For what it’s worth, here’s my philosophy on it: If I am eating very healthy at home and if I don’t eat out too often, then I don’t worry about all the oil/grease I am getting from my restaurant meal. I order a meal free of meat, dairy and eggs and indulge in whatever oil they give me. That doesn’t seem so bad a diet plan for a person who does not have heart disease. And it is why I work so hard to eliminate oils from my home meals, where it’s easy. Then getting oil from the occasional restaurant visit doesn’t seem so bad. :-)

          I treat oil the same way I treat sugar. A little (especially low-saturated, plant oils) is not likely to do a lot of harm. I just need to make sure I don’t kid myself that oil is somehow healthy.

          Good luck to you!

    3. I hear ya, Neal. The deal is that, unfortunately, even olive oil adversely affects endothelial function. Outcomes like heart disease/atherosclerosis and heart attack are not as bad with olive oil as with oils with higher amounts of saturated fats (coconut oil, butter, lard) or trans fats, which are thankfully leaving the food system after having been banned. Saturated fats and trans fats causes the worst outcomes. But this doesn’t mean olive oil itself is a health food.

      You’ll need to decide for yourself how to proceed given this info. Here’s another video by Dr Greger on this interesting topic: https://nutritionfacts.org/video/extra-virgin-olive-oil/

      Meanwhile, don’t be depressed about eating greens without oil! There are so many delicious options! Dr Greger’s How Not To Die Cookbook has delicious options. Here’s a delicious Ceasar dressing and salad from Dr Greger: https://nutritionfacts.org/recipe/super-salad/

      Here’s one from PCRM’s Food for Life: https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes/mustard-vinaigrette

      Another great idea is to combine 1/4 of balsamic vinegar with 2 teaspoons of Dijon mustard and combine well: it’s creamy and utterly delicious.

      And here is my personal favorite, also from PCRM: orange miso dressing. https://www.pcrm.org/good-nutrition/plant-based-diets/recipes/orange-miso-dressing

      Try these and get more ideas from How Not to Die, PCRM’s website, Forks Over Knives cookbook and website. No more depressing salads!

      1. Thank you for this. What I’ve been searching everywhere for is a healthy vegan butter alternative. Our family has made the switch to cooking without oil and making oil free salad dressings, etc…but sometimes when we sit down with a nice piece of (healthy,whole grain, of course!) bread, I’m really missing the taste of butter. Earth Balance and all the others are just filled with unhealthy oils and I’ve tried to make a few at home but they haven’t been too tasty. Does such a thing as an oil free butter exist or do we need to just carry on without? :)

  88. I recently saw the documentary “Foods that cure disease” documentary where Dr. Greger is being interviewed. There was a chapter where oils (including olive oil) are discussed, in a negative way for our health.
    I am a bit confused. Is extra virgin olive oil good, or bad for us?


  89. Dr. G reviews the evidence and presents it well. The fact is that olive oil is not a whole food. It is processed. Processing is bad. In addition, any oil that is fed to humans paralyzes arteries as shown in the flow mediated dilation test which correlates closely with risk for premature death. No population eating any oil has ever been shown to live longer than people that don’t eat oil, so why take the risk?

    Dr. Ben

  90. The last part of the sentence from the “conclusions” portion of the study “The postprandial effect of components of the Mediterranean diet on endothelial function.” was left out.

    The whole sentence is:

    “In terms of their postprandial effect on endothelial function, the beneficial components of the Mediterranean and Lyon Diet Heart Study diets appear to be antioxidant-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives such as vinegar, and omega-3-rich fish and canola oils.”

    The part about and omega-3-rich fish and canola oils was left out of this video. It seems to be saying fish and canola oil are beneficial aspects of these diets in addition to vegetable, fruits and vinegar.

  91. The study by J Ruano and others sources cited indicates that virgin olive oil is actually good for heart health. Is this correct?

    1. Hello Andy,

      What the Ruano paper was looking as is the phenolic (antioxidant) content of olive oil. They found that oil with high amounts of phenolic compounds was better for artery function than oil with low amounts of phenols. This does not mean that they found virgin olive oil to be good for heart health, just that it’s “less bad” than the counterpart. Furthermore, they assessed arterial function using ischemia-induced dilation as a measurement, which Dr. Greger states in the video is a poor measurement of arterial function. Overall, I would not say that that paper indicated that virgin olive oil is healthy by any stretch.

      I hope this helps,
      Dr. Matt

      1. I have a similar question to Andy above. All the plant based doctors recommend to eliminate oil from the diet, including EVOO. I cannot find any studies though showing that EVOO specifically does impair arterial function or promote diabetes. So many studies actually have findings that support that EVOO reduces risk of CVD or has no effect on endothelial function. I have completed the T. Colin Campbell Plant Based Nutrition Program and do not have any studies from that either supporting this. Does anyone actually have the research to back up why no EVOO?
        Thank you.

  92. Does anyone know of, or use perilla oil? I came across this reference and before I give it a go I’d really value from any insights/feedback – Thanks!
    “…the [perilla] seed oil contains the omega 3 fatty acid alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). In comparing to other plant oils, perilla seed oil consistently contains the one of the highest proportion of omega-3 (ALA) fatty acids, at 54–64%. The omega-6 (linoleic acid) component is usually around 14% and omega-9 (Oleic acid) is also present in perilla oil. These polyunsaturated fatty acids are most beneficial to human health and in prevention of different diseases like cardiovascular disorders, cancer, inflammatory, rheumatoid arthritis etc.” (Cited in Oriental Pharmacy Experimental Medicine. 2011 Mar; 11(1): 51–59. Published online 2011 Mar 4. doi: 10.1007/s13596-011-0002-x)

  93. I understand why all cooking oils are bad for you, but what I can not seem to find an answer on is if the oils in tahini and peanut butter are safe. Under some standards tahini and peanut butter would be considered processed like cold pressed olive oil is. I would be grateful for any clarification.

  94. Hi Cher, thanks for your question. Yes as you rightly recognize the whole food which has fat and when is prepared freshly from home the fat is not exposed to heat and has better quality than the fats that are highly processed and exposed to heat and time. The olives are crushed at a mill and the oil is extracted via mechanical means – versus refined oil extracted through the use of heat or chemicals, the quality of that oil is different from the heat and chemical treated oil. Cold press means that is once pressed through mechanical process. The benefits that you find in literature about olive oil is mostly because of its Polyphenol compounds. Polyphenols were determined to reduce morbidity and/or slow down the progression of cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, and cancer diseases. The mechanism of action of polyphenols strongly relates to their antioxidant activity. Polyphenols are known to decrease the level of reactive oxygen species in the human body.

  95. I am extremely late to the party but was just wondering if anyone else has terrible difficulty understanding Dr. Greger’s diction? By the time I can translate his slurring, syllable-skipping manner of speech in my head I’ve missed most of the next sentence. I appreciate that this content is free but a transcript (with cited sources) would be awesome.

  96. We don’t know what “research” you’re referring to. There are many “talking heads” on the internet that say they have “research” to support a claim, but that research cannot be seen anywhere. This needs to be ignored. Real research is published in peer-reviewed major scientific journals for all to see. This is what Dr. G reports on and references the research clearly in his videos under the “sources” tab. If you have a link to the actual peer-reviewed journal article that you’d like us to read, please post it here and we’d be happy to look over it and let you know if it contains compelling evidence.

  97. The Vogel articles started the anti-olive oil ball rolling.
    The first Vogel article mentions 7 subjects. The second Vogel article mentions 10 subjects. These numbers are too small to take seriously. Also, the studies were not double-blind, therefore subject to experimenter bias.
    I’m not ready to give up olive oil on the basis of such flimsy evidence.

  98. Vegbo,

    I’m not in disagreement as the current literature has not been showing these same results. Mind you their methodologies are different, and it appears that there continues to be a substantial number of publications still suggesting the health benefits from olive oil, including arterial dilation.

    I’d bring your attention to this publication, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6770023/ and then to “Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” where they evaluated 8 studies for inclusion. Their conclusions: “Values of flow-mediated dilatation (given as absolute percentage) were significantly more increased in individuals subjected to olive oil interventions (mean difference: 0.76% (95% CI 0.27 to 1.24), p < 0.002, n = 8 trials)" https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4586551/

    The many observational studies and others that try to understand the impact on the arterial function at times are misleading or at best questionable. Take for instance this study conclusion: “dilation was worse” after 24 people, 12 healthy and 12 with high cholesterol levels, consumed olive oil. Five teaspoons of olive oil swallowed after salami-and-cheese meals did not help the arteries relax and expand. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17045905… not sure what to do with this info,,,,

    There appears to be a consensus that some limitations on oil intake are advantageous , the use of EVOO with high concentrations of phenolic compounds is preferable (Network Meta-Analysis of Metabolic Effects of Olive-Oil in Humans Shows the Importance of Olive Oil Consumption With Moderate Polyphenol Levels as Part of the Mediterranean Diet 2019), and many more considerations are in order to be really certain of the effects of EVOO on our system.

    Not unlike other considerations on our diet moderation, purchase of real minimally processed products and a wide variety are probably one of the best bets toward a healthy outcome.

    Dr. Alan Kadish moderator for Dr. Greger http://www.Centerofhealth.com

    1. @drkadish Thanks for the literature references. I was not aware of them. In return, I’d like to call your (and other readers) attention to two studies.

      The first was run in Australia, studying the effect of EVOO on a non-Mediterranean population:

      The Effect of High Polyphenol Extra Virgin Olive Oil on Blood Pressure and Arterial Stiffness in Healthy Australian Adults: A Randomized, Controlled, Cross-Over Study (https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/12/8/2272)

      The second is a mouse study, suggesting a positive effect of EVOO on cognitive function:

      Extra-virgin olive oil preserves memory, protects brain against Alzheimer’s (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/06/170621103123.htm)

      I find the second study particularly interesting because most of the buzz about OO has to do with its effects on the cardiovascular system. Of course, the brain has a blood supply, but this is the one study I know of that specifically tests the effect of OO on cognitive function. It shows a positive effect.

  99. My first issue with this video is the screenshot of the conclusion from the study mentioned at the end. Why did you blank out the rest of the sentence after “vinegar”? The full sentence in the study reads “In terms of their postprandial effects on endothelial function, the beneficial components of the Mediterranean and Lyon Diet Heart Study diets appear to be anti-oxidant rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives such as vinegar, and omega 3 rich fish and canola oils.” Why did he not quote the rest? This seems like a misleading way to highlight a quote from a study.

    In the European cohort mentioned, why didn’t Greger mention that they still found a modest reduction in CVD risk when adding olive oil to a Mediterranean diet even after controlling for dietary patterns (I.e. fruit and vegetable consumption)? Meaning it seems to have provided an additional benefit. Not only that, but in the conclusion of the study, the authors say that their “findings back the need to preserve the culinary use of olive oil within the Mediterranean dietary tradition.” Seems misleading to have left this out of the video.

    Another issue with the video: in the screenshot of the Study at around 0:23, why did he leave out or not mention what it says right after “these high fat meals”?? The next sentence reads “This impairment, however, was also totally eliminated when vitamins C and E were given. As with antioxidant supplementation, olive oil, eaten with vinegar on a salad did not impair endothelial function”. I feel like not including or mentioning this leaves out important context and seems very misleading.

    Additionally, there was a systematic review and meta analysis (higher level evidence) that included the large cohort that Greger brought up. The title of the study is “Olive oil consumption and risk of CHD and/or stroke: a meta-analysis of case-control, cohort and intervention studies” (Br J Nutr. 2014). The study had even more participants (over 100,000) and looked at case control, cohort, and intervention studies. It found that the available studies support an inverse association of olive oil consumption with stroke (and with stroke and CVD combined) but no significant association with CVD alone.

    About endothelial function, there was another more recent meta analysis and systematic review of randomized controlled trials (again higher level evidence) that looked specifically at olive oil and it’s effects on markers of inflammation and endothelial function (and yes they measured FMD). The study is titled “Effects of Olive Oil on Markers of Inflammation and Endothelial Function—A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis” (Nutrients. 2015). It found evidence that olive oil might exert beneficial effects on endothelial function as well as markers of inflammation. I understand that this video came out before the study was published. However, I feel like Dr. Greger should address studies like this in a new video instead of small scale studies such as Vogel’s since meta analysis and systematic reviews pool the results of multiple studies and have higher statistical power and significance.

    Lastly, is there enough evidence to suggest that postprandial endothelial dysfunction leads to worse CVD outcomes as opposed to chronic endothelial dysfunction?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This