Paleo Diet Studies Show Benefits

Paleo Diet Studies Show Benefits
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What happens when Paleolithic-type diets are put to the test?

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There have been about a half-dozen studies published on Paleo-type diets, starting around 20 years ago. In what sounds like a reality TV show, ten diabetic Australian aborigines were dropped off in a remote location to fend for themselves, hunting and gathering foods like figs and crocodiles.

In my video on wild game, I showed that kangaroo meat causes a significantly smaller spike in inflammation, compared to retail meat. Of course, ideally, we’d eat anti-inflammatory foods, but wild game is significantly better—so low in fat, you can design a game-based diet with under 7% of calories from fat. Skinless chicken breast has 14 times more fat than kangaroo meat. So, you can eat curried kangaroo with your cantaloupe, and drop your cholesterol almost as much as eating vegetarian.

So, how did they do? Well, nearly anything would have been preferable to the diet they were eating before—evidently centered around refined carbs, soda, beer, milk, and cheap fatty meat. But, they did pretty good; significantly better blood sugar response, thanks to a ton of weight loss. But it’s because they were starving. They evidently couldn’t catch enough kangaroos, and so, even if they were running around in the desert for seven weeks on 1,200 calories of their original junky diet, they may have done just as well. But we’ll never know, because there was no control group.

Same problem with some of the other Paleo studies: short, small, no control group. But favorable results were reported. No surprise, given they cut their saturated fat intake in half—presumably because they cut out so much cheese, sausage, or ice cream. Same with this one. Nine people go Paleo for ten days. They cut their saturated fat and salt intake in half, and their cholesterol and blood pressure drops, as one might expect.

The longest Paleo study was only three months, until this one, 15 months—but, done on pigs. It was a Paleo pig study. But the pigs did better, because they gained less weight on the Paleo diet. Why? Because they fed the Paleo group 20% fewer calories. The improvement in insulin sensitivity in pigs, though, was not reproduced in people—though there were benefits, such as improved glucose tolerance, thanks to these dietary changes. The Paleo group ate less dairy, cereals, oil, and margarine, and more fruit and nuts, with no significant change in meat consumption.

A follow-up study also failed to find improved glucose tolerance over control, but did show other risk factor benefits—and no wonder. Any diet cutting out dairy and doughnuts, oil, sugar, candy, soda, beer, and salt is likely to make people healthier and feel better. Compare these representations of a day’s worth of food on a Paleo diet, versus the Standard American Diet. Although it looks like there’s a tomato peeking out behind the Frosted Cheerios, the Paleo diet has lots of foods that actually grew out of the ground. So, this kind of Paleo diet would be way better.

Won’t it hurt people to tell them to stop eating beans, though? Hardly anyone eats beans. More than 96% of Americans don’t even reach the measly minimum recommended amount—only like 1 in 200 middle-aged American women. So, telling people to stop isn’t going to change their diet very much.

I’m all for condemning the Standard American Diet’s refined carbs, “nonhuman mammalian milk,” and junk foods, but proscribing legumes is a mistake. As I’ve noted before, beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils may be the most important dietary predictor of survival. Beans and whole grains are the dietary cornerstones of the longest living populations on Earth. Plant-based diets in general, and legumes in particular, are a common thread among longevity Blue Zones around the world.

The bottom line may be that reaching for a serving of kangaroo may be better than a cheese danish—but, foraging for an apple might prove to be the most therapeutic of all.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to hbieser via Pixabay

There have been about a half-dozen studies published on Paleo-type diets, starting around 20 years ago. In what sounds like a reality TV show, ten diabetic Australian aborigines were dropped off in a remote location to fend for themselves, hunting and gathering foods like figs and crocodiles.

In my video on wild game, I showed that kangaroo meat causes a significantly smaller spike in inflammation, compared to retail meat. Of course, ideally, we’d eat anti-inflammatory foods, but wild game is significantly better—so low in fat, you can design a game-based diet with under 7% of calories from fat. Skinless chicken breast has 14 times more fat than kangaroo meat. So, you can eat curried kangaroo with your cantaloupe, and drop your cholesterol almost as much as eating vegetarian.

So, how did they do? Well, nearly anything would have been preferable to the diet they were eating before—evidently centered around refined carbs, soda, beer, milk, and cheap fatty meat. But, they did pretty good; significantly better blood sugar response, thanks to a ton of weight loss. But it’s because they were starving. They evidently couldn’t catch enough kangaroos, and so, even if they were running around in the desert for seven weeks on 1,200 calories of their original junky diet, they may have done just as well. But we’ll never know, because there was no control group.

Same problem with some of the other Paleo studies: short, small, no control group. But favorable results were reported. No surprise, given they cut their saturated fat intake in half—presumably because they cut out so much cheese, sausage, or ice cream. Same with this one. Nine people go Paleo for ten days. They cut their saturated fat and salt intake in half, and their cholesterol and blood pressure drops, as one might expect.

The longest Paleo study was only three months, until this one, 15 months—but, done on pigs. It was a Paleo pig study. But the pigs did better, because they gained less weight on the Paleo diet. Why? Because they fed the Paleo group 20% fewer calories. The improvement in insulin sensitivity in pigs, though, was not reproduced in people—though there were benefits, such as improved glucose tolerance, thanks to these dietary changes. The Paleo group ate less dairy, cereals, oil, and margarine, and more fruit and nuts, with no significant change in meat consumption.

A follow-up study also failed to find improved glucose tolerance over control, but did show other risk factor benefits—and no wonder. Any diet cutting out dairy and doughnuts, oil, sugar, candy, soda, beer, and salt is likely to make people healthier and feel better. Compare these representations of a day’s worth of food on a Paleo diet, versus the Standard American Diet. Although it looks like there’s a tomato peeking out behind the Frosted Cheerios, the Paleo diet has lots of foods that actually grew out of the ground. So, this kind of Paleo diet would be way better.

Won’t it hurt people to tell them to stop eating beans, though? Hardly anyone eats beans. More than 96% of Americans don’t even reach the measly minimum recommended amount—only like 1 in 200 middle-aged American women. So, telling people to stop isn’t going to change their diet very much.

I’m all for condemning the Standard American Diet’s refined carbs, “nonhuman mammalian milk,” and junk foods, but proscribing legumes is a mistake. As I’ve noted before, beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils may be the most important dietary predictor of survival. Beans and whole grains are the dietary cornerstones of the longest living populations on Earth. Plant-based diets in general, and legumes in particular, are a common thread among longevity Blue Zones around the world.

The bottom line may be that reaching for a serving of kangaroo may be better than a cheese danish—but, foraging for an apple might prove to be the most therapeutic of all.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image thanks to hbieser via Pixabay

Doctor's Note

I’ve reported previously on the disappointing results: Paleo Diets May Negate Benefits of Exercise.

The underlying philosophy behind “caveman” diets may be flawed in the first place:

So, What’s the “Natural” Human Diet? Watch the video!

The wild game video I mentioned is Modern Meat Not Ahead of the Game. Kangaroo is kind of the Australian version of venison. Note it matters how the animals are killed as well: Filled Full of Lead.

 And more on the musical fruit in:

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

279 responses to “Paleo Diet Studies Show Benefits

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    1. It is working. GREAT!!!!! VIDEO. Yes, very much expected that Paleo in general is going to be better than the Standard Diet in Western countries. Just stop eating processed foods in general you’ll be doing better.
      Too many people around me don’t want to change anything simply because they don’t think they can change it all. I point out that just change a little and you can benefit but they just don’t see it.

      We just need to keep beating the drum. Eventually the message will be impossible to ignore.




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    2. Doctor Greger, there is no post because of all the censorship that goes around your forum because no constructive discussion is allowed. I am sure this is not what you want to see but you may want to take a look at some of your overzealous mod people.




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    3. Thanks great video as always. What are your thoughts on legumes for those of us with autoimmune conditions or even SIBO? I’ve been told constantly to avoid legumes but I would like to eat them!




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      1. Georgie do you feel better when you don’t eat them? My doctor also showed me that diet when I was having stomach issues. I looked at it and had a good chuckle. “You know I am vegan right?” So I never even considered it. Do you feel better when you don’t eat legumes?




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        1. Hi runner, I’ve never eaten a lot of legumes to make that comparison, although when I do eat them, I get very bloated (similar to eating starchy veg). I can literally put on a kilo overnight from eating one sweet potato!
          I’m curious to know if legumes actuly affect Antibody levels as im trying different methods to bring mine down.
          Have u noticed any difference if u remove them from your diet?




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          1. No I didn’t notice anything. I have been eating WFPB for 4 years now. I have to stay away from gluten, that’s about it. Last week I had an IPA beer. Oh man acid stomach ache for two days.




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        2. I was wondering that as well. I have IBS and am on the low FODMAP diet, which only allows a tiny bit of lentils and chickpeas, as well as drastically reduced starchy foods. I would really like to eat more WFPB, but unable to at this time.




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          1. Better not to eat much insoluble hard fibers(usually grains and legumes, raw végétables) with IBS problems to let GI tract heal better then should be able to eat more~




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    4. Time and time again plants beat out animal foods , not only for health , but longevity, environmental and simply how a person feels . Even if there was no clear advantage to a whole plant food diet , we would still live a much kinder , less violent life . Thanks Dr Greger ! I think everyone is getting ready for the last long weekend of the summer.




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    5. Time and time again plants beat out animal foods , not only for health , but longevity, environmental and simply how a person feels . Even if there was no clear advantage to a whole plant food diet , we would still live a much kinder , less violent life . Thanks Dr Greger ! I think everyone is getting ready for the last long weekend of the summer.




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    6. As I’m usually up and online before you post the videos, I started to reply first thing. But I couldn’t keep my venison/roo comments out of it and didn’t want to start off the whole comments section from my strongly herbivorous, yet omnivorous point of view (SHO).

      I’ll know next time to go ahead and light things off, for functionality and all. Cheers!




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    7. Dr Greger, I am a big fan of you and I owe my current health thanks to your advices. And I also learn a great deal discussing with other people on your forum on some difference in health viewpoints. But lately, the forum of your web site has been plagued with censorship by one or a few of your mods. No discussion out of some boundary that this individual imposes is allowed and your forum has become a one way forum where no different viewpoint is allowed. I am sure this is not what you want to see happening. If you visit other health doctors blogs such as Dr Mercola, Dr Weil, Dr Axe, Authority Nutrition, etc. you can see that everything is allowed to be said and there is not even a mod. There is a free flow of information and ideas. Not at your forum lately.

      I am pretty sure that this post will last a few minutes before getting deleted. This mod is watching 24/7 like a hawk.




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  1. It makes sense that if Paleos really follow the diet, they will be eating more fruits, vegetables, and mushrooms, which should benefit, even if they do eat some other things that don’t help. I think it’s useful that for those that eat meat, wild is leaner and almost surely less full of antibiotics, hormones and unhealthy practices for the animal and for those who eat it. My problem with the paleos I meet in real life is that most of them seem to use that as an excuse to eat huge portions of meat, and the fat they eat is usually not olives, avocados, nuts and seeds.




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    1. Paleo is only sustainable if it is restricted to a very small number of people. There are just far too many of us. If even a small percentage oof people in the developed world switch to eating wild game, every single game animal would go extinct in very short order from the intense hunting pressure to feed millions of people. We are already seeing this with wild fish. So Paleo is only possible if it is restricted to a privileged few.




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          1. Because people like their fat. As soon as we bring a wild animal species into pens or pastures to raise for commercial sale, they stop having the nutritional profile of truly wild animals. Not only do they not move as much as their wild brethren, but their feed is richer, even if that feed is grass because they are the only ones grazing that grass and usually their feed is supplemented with hay and silage to make sure they consistently get lots of calories so they grow as quickly as possible. The end result is couch potato elk eating from an endless buffet like there is no tomorrow.

            The Montana Elk company brags that their farm raised elk, at 22% of its calories from fat, contains far less fat than beef and pork. What they don’t say is that wild elk average 15% of calories from fat.

            And if “game” animals become more popular, expect to see them being bred to gain weight even faster and be more “tender”, which is just code for being fatter.




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      1. Regardless of the amount of wild game available it is not the best diet…Prove that you have something better than whole plant-based and you will have my attention. Prove that you can reduce the detrimental impact on this planet to a safe level with another diet and I will give you a gold star!




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        1. Anyone suggesting that a diet of insects is better than a whole plant-based diet is lacking in nutritional knowledge. No doubt insect protein is likely better than animal protein but insects do not replace the good nutrients in leafy greens, beans and whole grains…




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  2. “Note it matters how the animals are killed as well”…WHY do we still promote killing of sentient beings when we have zero need? whatever happened to common sense and compassion?




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    1. Mary, I couldn’t agree with you more! It saddens me to no end to see these beautiful animals walking to their own deaths and THEY KNOW WHAT’S HAPPENING TO THEM!!! It’s soooo horrendous! Humans are the cruelest.




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      1. I once read a Paleo argument that many of our meat animals, like cows, would be extinct by now if we weren’t raising them to eat. Since most of them are in meat factories, not farms, I think they would probably rather be extinct!




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        1. Rebecca Cody: I think that argument is akin to saying that horses are extinct because we don’t use them for transportation any more. Oh wait, they aren’t extinct! ;-)
          .
          I read a book by Karen Pryor which talked about a protected cow herd that lives unmolested on someone’s estate. From what I gathered, no one interferes with the cows. They feed themselves, etc. (I think.) Definitely no one hurts them. So, human watchers/researchers noticed that the lead male cow was always seen eating mid-day with the same female cow. Was she his favorite love interest? No, he ate lunch every day with his mother. Cows form lasting family bonds when allowed to.
          .
          I share that story because I think cows are amazing, and I like to share that story. I don’t think people realize just how aware and sensitive cows are.
          .
          The same book even has a story about one cow who made a Sophie’s choice. She gave birth in the field and brought back a calf, which the farmer took away like always so that the farmer could take the calf’s milk. But the cow was not producing enough milk. What was happening? The farmer hired someone to figure it out. That hired person followed the cow around and discovered that the cow had given birth to twins. The mother made one of the babies stay out in the field each night instead of bringing that one in. The investigator begged the farmer to let the mother keep her calf, but the farmer refused.
          .
          I can’t imagine cows going extinct unless we take away all their land.




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          1. Thea, It wasn’t MY story, just one I heard somewhere. I love your stories about the cows.

            Certainly other grazing and browsing animals haven’t gone extinct. In fact, without predators deer populations definitely grow.




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            1. Rebecca Cody: Sorry for the confusion. I knew it wasn’t your story. I was just talking with you/sharing how I react to people who say the same thing to me. I’ve actually had someone say something similar to me. It’s a real shocker that anyone would believe that. (But it was clear to me that you were just repeating a justification you read. My post had an implied “wink, wink.” I should have written it. ;-) )
              .
              Thanks for the feedback on the cow stories. I love spreading the cow love. :-)




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              1. Thea, what you don’t know about me is that I was raised in a VERY literal family, so I don’t always get the subtleties. You’d think after a lifetime…

                Anyway, I wasn’t quite sure if you thought I believed the cow extinction thing or not. No harm done.




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    2. I think there was a time when indigenous people had a relationship with the animals they killed and ate. That time is long past, however, and the fact that we now know it is absolutely unnecessary to kill other sentient beings to survive makes our behavior even more abhorrent. All life is conscious, the question is when are we going use our consciousness to become aware of what we are doing?
      It matters now more than ever because it affects not only our physical health, but our mental health and the health of our planet as well.




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    3. Because the most people accept the “common sense” that the human body “needs” animal based protein, that animal protein is ‘higher quality’ protein, that milk is a terrific source of calcium to ‘build strong bones’, etc ad nauseum. Where do you hear on the TV machine, or on the radio, or in the newspapers that there’s no need to slaughter animals for their flesh? I liken having an awareness that there’s a way to feed ourselves without exploiting animals to being awakened from The Meatrix (sic). Most people walk through their lives thinking that eating flesh is just the way things have been and always must be. And don’t look to industry, politicians or most religious faiths to suggest an alternative. It’s only when someone thinks too deeply about where that flesh came from and starts asking questions about how those animals were treated during their lives of neglect and exploitation that one takes ‘The Red Pill” and starts to think about other ways to sustain oneself.

      Dr Greger has talked about how the food producers manipulate the government agencies like the US Dept of Ag to deliver messages that don’t threaten their access to consumers… if the message is about the beneficial effects of eating more fruit and veg, that’s supported because it supports increased sales. If the message is about reducing/avoiding meat/dairy/eggs/etc to avoid the health hazards of cancer and obesity, then it is fought tooth-and-nail to be removed from dietary guidance & teaching materials. If the science is so strong that it can’t be totally removed, then it’s obfuscated by saying ‘minimize/reduce fats or carbohydrates’ instead of clearly saying ‘DON’T eat meat/sausage/bacon/cakes/cookies’ etc.

      I don’t fault the average consumer because a) so much dust is thrown up by the food producer groups, b) so much deliberate misinformation is spread around by hucksters who want to make a buck, actually lots of bucks, off of selling fad diets to confused consumers, c) the medical industry is coöpted by Pharma, d) patients would rather take pills than change their diet, and e) it is natural for people to gravitate to good news about their bad habits so they can continue doing what they’ve always done. The only real hope for information like what Dr Greger uncovers to get out to the average Jo/Joe is the Internets (which is why net neutrality is important) and for us to share our success stories with those who notice the good health we have or notice our unusual dining choices.




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      1. Yes! It’s the hundredth monkey thing. When enough people get the new thing, many adopt it simultaneously, even in distant places. I see it happening, but the tide is still running strongly toward animal consumption. And, in countries that are adopting our sad ways, the people still must think it’s a better way than that of their healthy ancestors.




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      2. Yep, like that grocery store that refuses to stock Dr. Greger’s book because it fears lost sale of meat and dairy. Big business runs this country.




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        1. You made me curious enough to check on that grocer; it’s Natural Grocers, a growing chain of US markets from TX to MN and AR to NV, which apparently banned Dr Greger’s book for a time, but now allows it in, likely buried near Eat For Your Blood Type and food charts for each of the popular four blood types (nothing for M, N, Rh-, etc)
          It’s there through the end of this month, maybe to see if anyone buys it. Though I’ll be in Lincoln soon, don’t think I’ll stop by their store, but someone may try, with all the outlets.




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    4. I don’t understand how the campaign of ‘not killing of animals’ by Americans…and the continued (drone & other methods) killing of innocent civilians in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, and other countries by Americans…goes together?




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      1. innocent civilians are being killed by drones?not sure if that is a fact. Myself am against killing of people even more so than killing animals .




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        1. The US government disputes civilian casualty counts based on available information like newspaper reports, etc but refuses to say what its statistics are.

          A report by Washington think tank The New America Foundation found that 32% of the more than 1,200 people killed since 2004 were innocent bystanders rather than terrorists.

          A leaked Pakistani report investigated 75 CIA drone strikes and five attacks by NATO between 2006 and 2009. According to the report, 746 people were killed in the strategic attacks. At least 147 of the victims were civilians, and 94 were children.

          Lastly, the US government used a drone when it killed a 16-year-old US citizen, Abdulrahman al-Awlaki in Yemen. While the Obama administration has never publicly explained why he was targeted, an anonymous official did say it was a case of “being in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

          In presenting this information I’m making no judgement regarding the necessity / defensibility of these attacks… I simply felt the need to speak against the attempt to cast doubt on the effects of our government’s actions. While our government doesn’t like to acknowledge the fact that innocents are being killed by our drones, it is a fact, especially for the families who lose their loved ones.




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      2. Who said it does? I do not see see PETA advocating for drone strikes. You are making a false comparison on two levels.

        First, as an individual, you have a choice about not killing animals because you can elect not to buy meat etc. As an individual, you essentially do not have the same choice about drone strikes.

        Secondly, animals are killed deliberately by Americans in their hundreds of millions annually. Civilians are not killed deliberately. They die in thousands annually because of accidents. Civilians are not the targets of drone strikes etc.

        Your attempt to equate the two is flawed both factually and morally. You come up with some weird justifications for animal slaughter. Didn’t you previously say that a cabbage is as sentient as an animal so if it’s OK to eat cabbage, it’s OK to eat animals?




        1
    5. there is a song by a vegan band where they take an author who writes that sort of stuff (about killing the animal properly and eating every part of the animal) they take his words and twist them back on him as if they were killing and eating him, with kindness and compassion of course




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      1. LOL. I wonder what the paleo’s would do if one fine day an alien species invades Earth and decides humans make tasty snacks but tells them “don’t worry we’ll let you roam and eat grass outside and kill you as pain free as possible before we devour your flesh; we’ll even say a prayer to our God saying thanks for the bounty of earthling flesh”




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  3. Paleo studies with tiny sample sizes and lacking controls? I am shocked. Why would they test health hypotheses on the animals they kill and eat? An attempt to confer the benefits by ingestion? I think someone should explain it doesn’t necessarily work that way XD. All trolling aside, I seem to see a lot of anti-WFPB advocates for paleo talk a lot of trash on animal-based studies. It surprises me to see one done with animals tbh.




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  4. First of all, let me make it quite clear that the health benefits I have received from following the nutrition guidelines of Dr. Greger have been amazing, and I have no intention at the moment of changing. BUT, after falling down this nutritional rabbit hole I’m finding I now have even more questions, I think I am the leader of the “confused general public” I have no scientific background, but an enquiring mind, so looking for more information I have come across the works of Dr Peter Attilla, Dr Dominic D’Agostino and Dr Thomas Seyfried, all of whom have impeccable qualifications. They espouse a diet of nutritional ketosis, which in my understanding, is a cleaner way for our bodies to burn energy, producing less free radicals. It also has huge implications for the suppression of cancer tumours, and has been used for many years as a treatment for uncontrollable seizures. I eat some form of legume every day, and I’m reluctant to give them up. I’m also tossing the idea around of eating the occasional egg, surely our bodies have evolved to cope with the cholesterol, I think they would have been an easy food source for primitive man.
    Sorry for the long post, but you folks are the only people I know who’s eyes won’t glaze over in boredom, and I know I can rely on your input. Thanks.




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    1. I feel for you. There is so much to know and so much contradictory information out there. Long story short, ketosis is a failsafe metabolic back door that allows animals (people) to survive periods of famine. It’s like driving on a doughnut tire. It works, and may even be therapeutic for certain diseases, but is not optimal for living.

      Secondly, the idea that a paleo diet translates to 21st century living makes no sense. Regarding eggs and cholesterol, when lifespan was 40 years, the consequences of cholesterol didn’t have time to make themselves seen. The children were grown and that’s all nature cares about, perpetuation of the species. We have other objectives; living long and healthy.

      I know it’s hard when so many voices in nutrition have contradictory solutions that “make sense” and they all cannot be true. And Dr.
      Greger is just another voice out there. But he’s right and the others are wrong. Trust me. :-)




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      1. From a video Dr. Greger did in the past I came up with this first line to a speech I recently gave.
        In 1996 the USDA did a telephone survey of American households with over 40% agreeing with the statement “There are so many recommendations about healthy ways to eat, it’s hard to know what to believe”
        Does it feel like it is any different today?
        I proposed in my speech that it can even be harder today than it was in 1996 because of the more direct access to the media that is pushing ideas everywhere, most with just enough information to get people to buy the thing they are selling.

        Any advantage for nutritional ketosis is going to have at it’s heart, the same thing you can achieve by eating a diet based on a variety of whole plant foods. People just keep trying anything they can to keep eating high fat diets of animal products.




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      2. Hi Steve, thanks for replying. I’m not espousing the Paleolithic diet, but I sure miss eggs in my diet more than meat. My thinking is that eggs would have been an easy food source to find, maybe only in the spring when birds nest, and then they would have been a seasonal delicacy. Who knows?!?! Have you read about Dr Bruce Ames triage theory of nutrition? What an amazing man, in his eighties and still running a full time research lab. He has an interesting point of view.




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        1. Hi. Regarding eggs, or any food really, their consumption by stone age humans really has nothing to do with what science tells us in the 21st century. Regarding giving up foods that are hard to give up, we do know that new habits do form in fairly short order. But on one side,the science is the science. On the other side, you get to decide what to put in your body.

          I am not familiar with Dr. Ames and his triage theory, but the notion that the body prioritizes how to use resources is pretty well accepted.




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    2. You can have it all! Eat vegan but only for 8 hours a day (skip breakfast). This puts you body in a fasted, gentle state of ketosis by drawing energy from your stored fat. Also, you can do a three-day water only fast every six months. Think if it as a 3-day ketosis binge. Current research indicates that fasting revs up autophagy, where your body derives energy as it eats up damaged, potentially harmful proteins in your body, and it also reboots your immune system as your body clears out and, after the fast, replaces defective white blood cells, having them for lunch. I found a three day fast to be relatively easy after getting use to my daily 16-hour fast.




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      1. Hello Quinn, Thank you for sharing, I have also been looking at intermittent fasting and have started to skip breakfast. Sometimes I forget and am out in the garden and pop a couple of cherry tomatoes in my mouth without thinking, darn it!!!!
        I have learned that I’m not going to die of hunger if I miss a meal, but I wasn’t sure if sixteen hours was long enough to generate a therapeutic state of ketosis. I guess I just keep reading and listening. I’m not up to a three day fast yet, it’s more mental than physical, but eventually I’ll get there.




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    3. It’s only a small anecdote, so not scientifically valid, but the two breast cancer patients I know who adopted the ketogenic diet didn’t live long. I considered it but found that those I’ve read about who have healed themselves of cancer have mostly done it with plant based diets, raw vegan diets, and juicing, along with many other treatments, both allopathic and herbal and, for that matter, energetic.

      I have a friend who was treated by Dr Gonzalez following mastectomy 13 years ago. She has not had a return of that cancer, even though it was aggressive. He took her off all animal protein, though for some patients he prescribed meat. After seven years she returned to eating fish and chicken, and maybe eggs. Now she has a much tougher, stage four lung cancer.

      I still place my trust in avoiding animal protein.




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      1. Thank you Rebecca, a cautionary tale indeed. I have friends who also have cancer and I wish they would all embrace a WFPBD. However, I am concerned about metabolizing processed carbs, from my reading it would appear to stimulate cancer tumours because fermentation is their only source of energy. I think we are on the right path though.




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        1. I think so. I don’t think you need to worry about whole carb foods contributing to cancer. Colin Campbell showed many times that you can turn cancer growth on by eating animal protein and off by withholding it. That’s enough for me. And of course, cutting out the refined foods is another aspect, as you know. Also, the low methionine diet helps stop and/or prevent cancer.

          The lowest methionine foods are fruits, as used in conjunction with a WFPB diet, in the NORI Protocol to arrest and even cure cancer.




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    4. I feel quite the same, Gumbootgoddess. I live in a very small town; several hours from the nearest “big” city. Therefore, the library and the Internet are my information sources. I’ve recently been diagnosed Hypothyroid. Because my local practitioner wants to keep giving me more and more medication, and never addresses environmental or lifestyle issues, and because the more I look up information online, the more conflicting information I find, I have sought out a functional medical doctor. I want a medical school educated professional that can monitor my medication (hopefully getting me off of it completely) while they advise me on ways to eat and live that will cure my ailments. There nearest one is three hours away. I’ve been browsing his website, and he has extensive educational information (much like Dr. Greger), explaining that disease and illness begins in the gut. He claims the two biggest culprits are grain and sugar. He recommends various websites and books for additional learning. One such book is Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD. Perlmutter expertly lays out the facts and research that our bodies need more fat and cholesterol and that grain is horrible. He explains how grain was genetically modified by Norman Borlaug, solving world hunger, but creating myriad problems for the human body. It’s all ground (no pun intended) in solid science, just like Dr. Greger’s information. It becomes a matter of who to believe, who to trust, who to follow. I am a college-educated person. I know how to do research. But there is just so much conflicting information available. And both sides, Paleo and Vegan, make valid, educated, researched arguments. How can I eliminate grain and sugar from my vegan diet? How do I know that will heal my ailments unless I try?




      1
      1. AprilB I am going to not get into Grain Brain. I believe Dr. McDougall does a great job of exposing the silliness.
        https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2014nl/jan/smoke.htm

        That being said I am a gluten-free vegan. I get an upset stomach and pain when I eat wheat or gluten. You can be tested for celiacs before giving it up. (Do a little research on that.) However you can also have a gluten sensitivity. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/gluten/

        On a personal note. I gave up gluten and felt better. I should have gone through all the tests beforehand.

        My husband also did the challenge for 6 weeks. Then had a dinner of pasta and bread. The next morning he never felt better!




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        1. WFPBRunner, thank you for the links. I will definitely look them over. I get so aggravated with all the conflicting info out there. I’ve been fully vegan for only one month now, which is probably not long enough to feel the full benefits. And I have not taken grain out yet either. How long after being gluten free did you notice an improvement?




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          1. Right away. I had stabbing pain. Gave it up and never had the pain again. You sound frustrated. Just give it more time and I know you will start feeling better. Is your thyroid issues what has you bothered most?




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            1. I would say my most irritating symptom is chronic sinus issues. Thyroid symptoms follow closely behind. I was very hopeful when I found a functional doctor who actual went to medical school and practiced medicine, but now I’m worried. I read McDougal’s article about Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. Makes sense and ticks me off that so much bs can be published and fed to us as solid factual health info. Thanks again for sharing.




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              1. You have just started down your path. Don’t worry you’ll get there. I also was frustrated when I first started. I had a few bothersome autoimmune issues. I was frustrated that the MDs weren’t offering up any solutions. I started reading research articles and came up with a plan. Hopefully this person you found can be helpful but until then….WFPB is the way to go. And for sure stop any dairy. Have you watched all related videos under the various topics?




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                1. Oh man dairy especially cheese is the worst food ever when you have sinus/respiratory problems but also ears problems and such…i would take whole meat over it anyday if i had to choose…




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              2. I am loath to mention gluten sensitivity to most people because they will frequently generalize to assume that it applies to everyone. It’s real but wheat is very good food UNLESS you have a problem with it. I’ve a sister with celiac disease and the consequences are very real. I developed psoriatic arthritis and looked at the possible factors stimulating this auto immune problem. Turns out that something like 15% of the sufferers have a gluten sensitivity. I eliminated the gluten and in about 10 days the cure was with me. Still I had problems any time I got the slightest bit of gluten. So I kept reading
                I came across this sight and immediately took note of all the inflammatory factors in animal products.

                So I went totally plant based. It took about 2 months but slowly the swelling in my toes disappeared and I no longer had problems with that little bit of gluten. So after about 6 months I tried to eat something wheat and, ta dah, NO Problem. and I am back to enjoying my portobello sandwiches.

                So your question about how long is difficult to answer. It took me two weeks to two months depending on which stage you’re talking about. The whole food plant based approach is salubrious whether or not you need to eliminate something else from your diet. Just give it time and keep looking.




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                1. yeah a lot of peoples have a GI tract not so healthy, they eat healthier whole food plant based w/o gluten then try again gluten few months later and bam no more stabbing pain, GI tract healed, i think thats the difference between gluten sensitivity and celiac~




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      2. Thank you AprilB for taking the time to reply. I too am hypothyroid, and have found that a vegan diet has helped hugely with the symptoms of fatigue, dry skin, thin hair, and constipation. So much so that I decided to wean myself off the synthroid. (No I didn’t tell my doctor!!) Anyway I decided that if three of my symptoms came back, I would begin taking the meds again, after about a month they did so now I’m back on the wagon so to speak. Hang in there, a WFPBD will work wonders.




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        1. such an interesting conversation. I have hashimoto’s (auto-immune hypothyroid) and all advise I read is about Paleo or a very strick auto immune paleo. I am now eating mostly vegetarian (95 percent) and eat a bit of yoghurt (for probiotics? is there a non dairy alternative?). But I am sooooo confused, my doctor says to eat meat because my B12 and iron are consistently low. So I am following this conversation as when I google on Hashimoto and vegan, not one success story comes up. But reading your experience convinces me more to implement WFPBD more and more. Let me know if others have Hashimoto and benefit from eliminating all animal products? Many thanks




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          1. Veronique: I don’t really know anything about hasimoto’s and can’t comment on that part. But I did want to comment on this part: “…my doctor says to eat meat because my B12 and iron are consistently low.” I am not an expert by any means, but from what I can tell, those are *no* reasons to eat meat. Meat, like any food, is a package deal. You get the bad along with the good. There’s so much wrong/bad with meat that eating meat for B12 and iron makes no sense.
            .
            Here’s what I would recommend looking into: Plenty of people who eat meat are also deficient in B12 and iron. What would a doctor tell those people to do? Take a supplement. There are very safe and effective supplements for both B12 and iron. You can learn about B12 on this site, including Dr. Greger’s recommended test for B12 levels.
            .
            As for iron, I remember “WPFBrunner” saying that she did a lot of research and came up with a really good brand. I can try to find that for you if you want or maybe WPFBrunnner will see this post and jump in. There are also videos on this site about iron. And if you don’t know it already, I’ll point out that there are things you can do to increase your body’s absorption of iron, such as eat citrus foods along with foods that are higher in iron.
            .
            I bring this up only because you sound interested in a WFPB diet. Since you want to try it, you should know that there are ways that people typically meet those two problems you mentioned without eating meat. You may have a special situation I don’t know about, though. So, take that information for what it is worth. :-)
            .
            Best of luck to you!




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              1. Veronique: re: “good iron” Please note that I’m not personally recommending this brand nor is this website. What I’m saying is that WFPBrunner is a well respected, quality poster and if I needed iron, I would start by looking into her recommendation since I think WFPBrunner does good research and she has used it herself with good result. But that’s all I can say.
                .
                The product is: Gaia. It is a liquid. Last I looked (a long time ago when I looked into it), the product was available on Amazon. Good luck!




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    5. Agree that it is mind numbing when so many books and websites are filled with contrasting opinions by authors with MD after their name. As a practicing MD and research scientist i would caution you regarding “impeccable credentials.” Not all docs (above) have completed training beyond medical school, are licensed to practice medicine or have ever actually treated patients long term. Their own research is not necessarily peer reviewed and would not be acceptable to peers if they were talking about something like cancer or trauma. I am hard pressed to come up with one example of any healthy culture in the world or in history that voluntarily practices ketosis. None of the documented longer living cultures come close. Oft cited examples such as the traditional Inuit eat digested roughage from the stomach of animal kills and berries whenever they can. The Masai generally eat cornmeal except for a few years as young warriors. Neither live particularly long. I am not a Vegan but one has to respect the preponderance of scientific evidence regarding the health benefits of plant based eating.




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      1. Thank you Wade for taking time out of what I am sure is a very busy day to reply. I think that from my perspective I see so much polarization in western medicine, the dogma is so very solid. I am trying to listen to people whose work I can check on, and who seem to keep an open mind.




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    6. i understand. I may have communicated poorly. What I was trying to say was that just because someone (including myself) has MD after their name, does not mean they have credentials or knowledge as believable experts in nutrition or health matters. However, some seem to use the MD as a tool to sell ideas and products. I have been asked many times to “coauthor” diet or exercise books because the author needed an MD to enhance credibility. There are many credible physician experts who do sensible research and have good insights, But you are right, best to look for open minds and beware of us docs who expect you to believe everything we say just because we have a degree! best wishes




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    7. There are many ways to reach ketosis – unfortunately a common one, LCHF, involves eating a high amount of the worst kinds of animal products (since they are lacking in carbs). NF.org arms you with the evidence that this is a very bad idea.




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      1. A friend of mine went a registered nutritionist who recommende turkey ham and canned sausages whenever she wanted to eat, and also processes triangle cheeses, but she couldn’t eat tomatoes and carrots… Well, let me tell you, things in portugal are getting pretty bad. Everyone is paleo now. I’m new to WFPBD and if it wasn’t my inquisitive mind and a little english reading skills I woild be doomed to a very unhealthy diet. The information just isn’t out there, people have been brainwashed by the food industry, even dietitians. I’ve been postkng my diet and recipes on the app secret app, maybe I can hell some peolle at least think there is a choice! It’s sad, and this laleo craze is awfull, because everyone eats a whole lot of animal products, especially chicken. I would really like to do something about all this but I feel powerless.




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  5. Dr. Greger, Some of us are quite young in the world of nutrition, but thanks to you we are learning and becoming much smarter. I heard Dr. Hyman refer to what he called the Pegan diet. So doesn’t part vegan and part paleo make more sense? I wish I had know about all this long ago but at age 82, I hope I still have time.




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    1. I imagine it would depend upon what part of the Paleo diet was being kept… vegan by definition is all vegetative… if one grafts the fish or eggs or meat etc from the Paleo onto the vegan diet, it’s not vegan any more… it’s probably just a more veg-focused Paleo diet. If one is adding more vegetable to the diet for their benefit, why not just focus on the vegetables? Maybe it’s a ‘bean free’, ‘grain free’ minimally processed vegan diet… unnecessary avoidances in my experience… I’d have a hard time living just on fruit, non-starchy veg and leafy greens.

      When I went ‘vegan’ a couple of years ago, I was a heavy egg & dairy vegetarian à la South Beach Diet. Like Mark Gillono’s quote below from Isaac Bashevis Singer, I went vegan not for my health, but for the welfare of the chickens and cows who suffer being treated like machines to generate the by-products I was consuming. I’ll be honest, even though I’d successfully been a vegetarian for well over a decade (well, successful if we overlook that ‘little’ unpleasantness of the massive heart attack two years earlier) I had some trepidation about cutting out the meat that I’d been told I needed to make strong bodies, the milk that was supposed to do a body good and deliver strong bones, the ‘perfect’ protein found in egg whites (even if it came with a massive cholesterol dose in the yolk)… I’d been so programmed by the deceptive advertising campaigns from all the food processor associations that I had a vague sense that I’d be putting my health at risk if I were to turn-away from all their ‘healthy’ foods.

      To make a long story short, after two-and-a-half years eating whole-food, salt-oil-sugar free vegan I’ve dropped another 40 lbs, been able to drop 4 of the 5 meds my cardiologist had me on, have cholesterol so low I stopped my statin. My allergic sensitivity is reduced, joint pains are gone and I easily walk 3-4 miles a day now. In summary, after finding my best wife and surviving my heart attack, discovering the health giving benefits of a WFBP, SOS-free diet is the *best* thing that ever happened to me. My intuition tells me that no matter when we start, even at age 82, the benefits of eating this way are alway there for the taking. I wish you only good fortune and good health.




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        1. Unbelievable or not, it’s true, and I’m not alone in making such a choice. Happily, I got improved health as a beneficial side effect.




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      1. Generally Pegan is meaning vegan but with grain free and low or no legumes, or another way to think of it is ‘HCLF Vegan’. We use it as a search term to find grain free recipes and I have never seen a Pegan blogger who is not a vegan first.




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    2. I am not familiar with exactly what Dr Hyman diet is but in general, I eat a little bit of fat when the food has it but I don’t do on purpose. I am a reduced meat eater but I eat also truckload of vegetables, grains and legumes / beans.

      Regarding your “pee too much” question you asked the other day, I suspect that at your age, you may have inflamed prostate which squeezes on your bladder which causes you to want to go to pee. My 95 year old dad had exactly the same problem and we gave him saw palmetto supplement and the symptom went away. It’s a cheap supplement that you can get let say at Trader Joe for a few bucks. You go through one bottle and if the symptom does not get reduced or eliminated then you stop the supplement. Like I said, it’s only a few bucks in cost and no side effect that I know of.

      http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/health-centers/men/nighttime-urination/




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    3. Ron, I try to help you but my posts keep getting deleted.

      Regarding your “pee too much” question you asked the other day, I suspect that at your age, you may have inflamed prostate which squeezes on your bladder which causes you to want to go to pee. My 95 year old dad had exactly the same problem and we gave him saw palmetto supplement and the symptom went away. It’s a cheap supplement that you can get let say at Trader Joe for a few bucks. You go through one bottle and if the symptom does not get reduced or eliminated then you stop the supplement. Like I said, it’s only a few bucks in cost and no side effect that I know of.




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    4. Ron, I try to help you but my posts keep getting deleted.

      Regarding your “pee too much” question you asked the other day, I suspect that at your age, you may have inflamed prostate which squeezes on your bladder which causes you to want to go to pee. My 95 year old dad had exactly the same problem and we gave him saw palmetto supplement and the symptom went away. It’s a cheap supplement that you can get let say at Trader Joe for a few bucks. You go through one bottle and if the symptom does not get reduced or eliminated then you stop the supplement. Like I said, it’s only a few bucks in cost and no side effect that I know of.

      http://www.drweil.com/health-wellness/health-centers/men/nighttime-urination/




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  6. I haven’t joined the discussion before, but I couldn’t resist after watching this. The video compelled me to immediately fire up my pressure cooker (beans) and press my wheat grass.




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  7. So this study shows that 10 diabetic aborigines’ health improved on a starvation diet which included wild kangaroo meat. Well even if the study was properly done (with more people and a control group and eating realistic ‘conventional’ meat), I would never go Paleo because of the emphasis on eating ‘organ meats’ :P. Plus I’m afraid the Paleos all going to die of atherosclerosis and colon cancer.




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  8. the extremely sad thing is that while humans are completely obsessed with their own health and well being, very few seem to be concerned about the health of the kangaroos and other animals who have no choice in the matter.

    “I did not become a vegetarian for my health, I did it for the health of the chickens.” –Isaac Bashevis Singer




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    1. If famine strikes and you get hungry and desperate enough, you’ll break into your best friend, Isaac’s yard and cook his chickens on a stick. And if you won’t, give me his address so that I can eat them to keep myself alive. The same goes for his other animals. I hope he’s got his dog securely fenced in. In the meanwhile, while there’s plenty, I prefer to eat all plants. By the way, why would Issac keep chickens if he’s vegan?




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      1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Isaac_Bashevis_Singer

        “The real struggle in being vegan doesn’t involve food. The hardest part about being vegan is coming face-to-face with the darker side of humanity and trying to remain hopeful. It’s trying to understand why otherwise good and caring people continue to participate in needless violence against animals – just for the sake of their own pleasure or convenience.” -Jo Tyler




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      2. While I understand that when it is a matter of survival people would do what you say, still a word of caution, historically and without exception, the next in the line were humans beings, widespread cannibalism, many times it didn’t take long at all, and not just from the ones who died on their own. The most horrifying things.

        Trying to understand what went on, I noticed that in a very high proportion of those cases people followed the road of less resistance, that is, was easier to kill whatever was in front of them, than to take the trouble of foraging, or finding out ways to catch fish etc. Only a few cases there wasn’t any other options.

        So it is a slippery slope, folks who are very used to flesh in their diet are far more likely to cross that barrier, people who consider animals lives as unimportant follow in the same road. Looks like a huge step, but you would be appalled to find out that it isn’t.

        So while I understand your position, personally I don’t share it. (And I am afraid I would defend the dog’s life etc, sorry learn to forage).




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  9. I got a pretty good intro to what our paleo ancestors ate thanks to my nutty friends who opted to go on hikes into the woods for a few days to a week or more, with just some knowledge of local edibles and canteens of potable water if all else failed. You quickly get a wake up call as to how ill suited we are to hunt without inventing tools, and what a huge waste of energy (calories) and time it is over the picking and gathering we are much better rewarded and suited for! Nature always provides it’s creatures with everything they need to feed themselves, we are no exception. Despite what we have learned to like from the grocery store, it’s a no-brainer that our physiology dictates we are gathers, not hunters!




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    1. If you have an interest in history.look up “Mantle site” on wikipedia , Before white man showed up in this area the natives were farmers living on 62 % corn , living in the midst of plentiful game and fish . This is exact opposite of what a lot of natives to day believe , I know a lot of them believed their forefathers lived on all meat and that has influenced them to live on animal products . The natives here today have a much higher rate of diabetes for example . Just yesterday we were at a funeral for my oldest friend of 52 years ,we were friends since we were 13. He had somewhat looked at this site but rejected it in favor of a more ” natural ” diet.




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    2. I reckon that early man (in the company of his woman, of course) went around walking all day, picking weeds and edible greens, and they got plenty of omega-3’s that way. They were too slow to catch a bird, a squirrel or a rabbit- let alone a kangaroo. Maybe they could have caught a clam- if they lived by the ocean and had a crow bar to pry one off a rock. Since he had hands to grasp and color vision to easily distinguish fruit from foliage, he and his sweetie probably also gorged themselves on fruit during season.




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      1. Bob, so sorry, but clams don’t attach to rocks. That’s barnacles. The natives around here ate a lot of clams, salmon, berries, and other native foods. I’ve never read anything about how long they lived or how they died, but it would be interesting to find out, if that were possible. They still eat salmon, clams and berries, but of course they have adopted a lot of junk, too, so they’re no healthier than most Americans.




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    1. Hi all, thank you Dr. G. for a very educational video. I can deduct from this video that the benefit of calorie restrictions and increase physical activity has potential health benefits. As it has been proven that weight reduction of up to 10 percent has a great health benefit. That is what happened in this study as subjects intake was reduced and their access to processed food was restricted and they were more active as well.

      I don’t think the issue is comparison of Paleo diet with WFPB diet. As a dietitian one has to look at an individual with holistic approach as far as diet and life style is concerned to improve health. Of course the more individual aim towards Whole Food Plant Based diet the better it will be for their health and the health of the planet.

      Dietary restriction: critical co-factors to separate health span from life span benefits.




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      1. Hi spring03. As a dietitian, are there clients/patients you have that do need meat in their diet? I posted above about my own issues. I am planning on seeing a functional/integrative medical doctor, and I expect he may advise a Paleo type of diet for me as this is what the info on his website leans toward. He advocates the elimination of grain and sugar due to their negative impact on the gut. How does the elimination of grain and sugar effect a WFPB diet? I feel so conflicted with all the information available. I prefer a vegan diet simply for the ethic reasons (for the chickens as Singer would say), but I am to the point where I need to be healthy and feel good I cannot keep living with mysterious ailments. UGH! It becomes so overwhelming…




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        1. AprilB: I know you are talking with spring03 and my comment is in no way meant to come between that. I just thought I could also help.

          I can so sympathize with your confusion. You are not alone! One of the problems that contributes to so many people’s confusion is that the some popular figures are able to publish books which sound so scientific and look like everything is all backed up, but really it is just so much pseudo science.

          You wrote: “One such book is Grain Brain by David Perlmutter, MD. Perlmutter expertly lays out the facts and research that our bodies need more fat and cholesterol and that grain is horrible. … It’s all ground (no pun intended) in solid science, just like Dr. Greger’s information.”

          From everything I have read, Dr. Perlmutter’s work is not ground in science at all. I think you might be interested in this article: http://nogluten-noproblem.com/2012/03/wheat-belly-busted.html I found an even more damning article about the Wheat Belly book, which a lot of people also think is compelling, solid science. But it is not: http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2012/03/wheat-belly-busted.html (And this is from an anti-gluten site!)

          My perspective is that when you can find a set of sources that you can really trust, the amount of conflicting information goes down greatly.

          This may not be a satisfying answer to you. I just thought it *might* be helpful. Good luck and I hope you get the answer you were looking for.




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          1. Thea, thank you so much for those links. Perlmutter looks like a snake
            oil salesman at first glance but too many people give him unwarranted
            credibility. So his book has been on my “necessary but reluctant to
            read” list for some time. These articles will, I think, suffice.

            Seems that while he looks like a snake oil salesman at first glance, on careful examination all doubt is removed.




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        2. AprilB: One more thought – there is a good talk from Dr. Klaper who talks about why some people may need to eat meat for a while, until they can wean their bodies off of it. Here’s the talk and if you find this idea worth trying, let me know and I’ll tell you what steps Dr. Klaper recommends to fix the problem: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tJyb1wTxg4




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          1. Thank you, Thea. I will definitively take a look at those articles ASAP. I feel like I so easily fall for whatever book is in my hand! I appreciate your comments and the articles you shared. I am a lone vegan in a family of meat eaters and a small town of hunters and carnivores, so this interaction and help really is priceless to me.




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            1. AprilB: Oh gosh, I totally feel for you. That’s one of the great things about this forum, I think. It can serve as a source of support for people in your position. As a person who has been participating on this forum for years, I can tell you that you are not alone. Do keep in touch. Let us know how it goes.




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          2. thanks Thea ! after almost 1 year on whole plant diet I’m still in the learning curve of things . This video explained it so well . When we started a year ago , I could not eat beans at all , only green peas ans chick peas , now I can eat a half a can of beans in tomato sauce without any difficulty . Hopefully I’ll be able to hang around a few more years , who I really want to influence is the kids and grandkids




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            1. esben andersen: How fun to read your post! I especially like the bean story. There are lots of people who come on this site and talk about how hard it is to eat beans. When I can, I like to explain that someone can get used to them over time using various techniques. It’s great to read a success story like you. I think you will be around many year to come!




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    2. While I am a reduced meat eater, I don’t like the Paleo diet because it eliminates grain, legume and bean, all essential foods. I don’t think that our ancestors ate like that.




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  10. Re Blue Zones, I’ve read the book, but still wonder: How do we know the connection between bean consumption and long life is causal? The author shows correlation, but not, IMO, causation. I’m dubious about these kinds of conclusions. Wouldn’t be just as easy to point to the 100-year-olds who drink and smoke, and then make the (wrong) suggestion that if you want to live to 100, take up smoking?




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    1. It’s good to know that you are informing yourself about this subject. One of the other things that you should do is read some of Dr. T Colin Campbell’s books, and of course you should buy, “How Not to Die,” by Dr. Greger.

      There are plenty of other studies that show what beans in our diet can do for us. It is because of the two types of fiber found in them. They help pull fat out of our body. I know, it’s how I lost 60 pounds; by eating beans three times a day. Did you know that your blood sugar is affected for a full twenty for hours after the consumption of legumes? They are a remarkable food. Here is Dr. Greger’s video on the subject of beans and blood sugar: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/beans-and-the-second-meal-effect/

      Here are a few videos about beans and diabetes: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/diabetics-should-take-their-pulses/
      Oh gosh! Here’s the whole dang search: http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=beans+diabetes&fwp_content_type=video




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      1. “They help pull fat out of our body. I know, it’s how I lost 60 pounds; by eating beans three times a day.”

        This is what happens to me too. I eat beans twice a day and the more I eat, the more weight I lose contrary to conventional wisdom.




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    2. I haven’t read the book yet, but I heard a long interview with Buettner and it seems to me that he was looking for correlations (and above all overlapping correlations), not arguing causation. Also, from what he explained, they were very rigorous in their criteria for selecting the given populations–any population without government records like birth certificates, for example, was eliminated immediately regardless of the apparent longevity of the population. The required solid documentation–proof–of longevity. In your example above, there might be smokers here and there who live to 100 (n of 1 or 2 in a given population) but there is no society of people as a whole that smokes and also has a large percentage of centenarians. N of 1 or anecdotal evidence might be interesting, but it’s not reliable data for correlation purposes.




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  11. Thanks for the video. The proper way would be to do a comparative study between diets. Some studies are setup with a framing. As Dr. Greger explained, the participants came from a bad diet and with already bad numbers. When put on a better diet, the participants did better. That does not mean that the diet is healthy. If the participants sat down on a rock drinking water for ten days, probably they could have got much better numbers. Thus, fasting, according with this framing, would be healthier. What about only a twinkei a day with a pepsi (still dieting)? Manufacturers could frame a study and show ‘improvements.’




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    1. Lets get say a thousand or more folks who are adamant about following a true paleo diet, and a thousand or more folks who are absolutely adamant about following a whole food plant base diet and follow them for 5 years. Then we would know which is better.

      Start with a detailed questionnaire including dietary history to see what they used to eat and how long they have eaten paleo or WFPB. Also include a medical history to see who has had specific medical conditions in the past, what their “numbers” were before switching diets. Then get blood work and exam for each participant at the start of the study so we know where everybody starts out and check in yearly with blood work and physical exam. See where each group ends up at the end of 5 years. Seems pretty straight forward. The cost of the study could be held to a minimum if the participants authorized their doctors to send the results of an annual exam and blood work to the researchers since the patients (or more likely their insurance) would be paying for the exams. Might add a test or two like a glucose challenge and hCRP that isn’t included in most annual exams or blood tests.

      Between annual tests the study could run a website where participants are welcome to log their food. This would make data collection much easier since the participants do most of the work. Maybe work a deal with some site like cronometer where they serve as the collector with special authorization signed by the participants to allow researchers to view their food logs. Encourage participants to log what they eat for at least 24 hour period once a month, but allow complete logging if they want.

      True there are drawbacks to this approach, such as groups not being randomized since the participants would definitely be in charge of which group they are in. But on the plus side it would remove the potential confounders where one or both arms of the study are not motivated to follow the particular diet of the group they are in. You see this all the time in studies where participants start off following the study diet, but drift back towards their previous diets as the study progresses. So true believers would make it much more likely that all participants closely followed their particular diet for the duration.

      Also hopefully the health status of the participants would represent a range of initial values so that not all of them are elderly obese people, which seems like such a popular study group (likely because just about any improvement in the miserable diet that got them into such a sad state would show dramatic improvement). Rather each group would contain a range of ages and medical conditions in order to gauge the impact of the diet given different starting conditions. And the 5 year duration, the starting health and diet questionnaire and possible staring blood work and exam would eliminate the issue of reverse causation where people switch to a healthy diet because they are already sick rather than because the diet makes otherwise healthy people sick.

      And it doesn’t have to be limited to these two groups. Other potential groups are folks on the DASH diet, and the National Diabetes Association diet. It could even include a cohort of folks following the Weston A. Price Foundation’s deluded dietary ideas. Vague and nebulous diets like a “Mediterranean Diet” probably couldn’t be included because there is no clear definition of what that means (other than the American variant where you pour olive oil all over everything in your current diet and think you have done something healthy).

      What do people think? Any researchers looking for a nice long term study to try to get funding for?




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      1. Jim, a true Paleo diet is not healthy as they exclude grain and legume/bean. How about a reduced meat + daily dozen vs. vegan WFPB diet?

        P.S. Hope that this post won’t get deleted by the cop.




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      2. No discussion is allowed on this board, even constructive. Censorship is at its peak. Soon no one want to discuss anything except for chanting that Dr Greger is great. Dr Greger needs to clean up a few bad apples on his staff.




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  12. I believe the founders of the paleo diet were funded by the meat industry in order to compete with the increasing popularity of the vegan diet and vegan consciousness. The meat, egg, and dairy industry are going to fight tooth and claw to protect their financial empires.




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    1. Almost all of the American born diets (Paleo, etc) have the following addendum in the advanced recommendations.

      “Oh, by the way. You also need to do intermittent fasting to compensate. Otherwise you’ll get fat”

      They rely on hiding that detail till your diet identity has been sold.




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      1. My first reaction was that this must be just for read meat and and that total meat consumption was still going up. but the 4% is for total meat consumption. The National Chicken Council has a table of beef, pork, chicken, turkey, and fish/shell-fish consumption from 1960 to 2016. Their numbers on total land animal consumption is indeed down 3.2% per capita by their numbers. Red meat consumption (beef and pork (which is still classed as a red meat despite the pork producers best efforts to convince us otherwise)) is down 10% in since 2007 and down 29% from a peak of 149.6 lbs per capita in 1970.

        However, 2007 was a bit of a peak in meat consumption. Since 2012 meat consumption is up 6%. And the long term trend is definitely higher with total land animal consumption today at 30% higher than 1960 (the earliest data on the above sited report). So a nearly 30% reduction in red meat and the 30% overall increase is the result of a 217% increase in poultry. So people are selecting to get their saturated fat, cholesterol, and unhealthy animal protein more often from birds rather than cows and pigs. Hard to see any real improvement in the nation’s diet.




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    2. While there have been anthropologists advocating diets more like those of late Paleolithic cultures since the late 80s, the movement got its bible and most of its dogmas from Loren Cordain (PhD Exercise Science) and his book The Paleo Diet™, in 2001. Wonder why paleo advocates avoid legumes despite abundant evidence of health benefits, and their habitual consumption in the Pleistocene? Credit Cordain. The original audience was bodybuilders seeking to “cut” (lose subcutaneous fat), and like any higher protein diet, its helpful with appetite control. Cordain probably hates how the term later took off to provide a sheen of repectability for post-Atkins refugees looking for a rationale to gorge on decidedly non-Paleo options like bacon and butter. Hates it all the way to the bank.




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      1. It would not surprise me if the meat industry gave money to Dr. Atkins many years ago. They could have purchased many of his books, paid for news releases, payed someone to pay him to make speeches. And then once Loren Cordain came onto the scene I am sure that they would have financially gravitated over to him. Maybe, they did not finance him in the beginning, but once he came into the lime light, it would not surprise me that the meat industry helped him in many indirect ways to boost the sales of his books, get other people to pay him good speaking fees, and on and on. Anybody who is an advocate for meat in a loud way, will surely draw the attention of the meat industry and get some kind of kickbacks. It would not even surprise me that people that put up really good websites supporting the eating of meat are rewarded in some indirect fashion. Even people who have YouTube channels that have thousands and thousands of subscribers, and who also advocate meat probably will be able to eat a few crumbs that fall from the table of the meat industry.




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        1. Perspective is in order. Paleo (and whole plant based) advocates are tiny (but vocal) minorities in nutrition. They (and we) are important in internet forums but in the real world, fringe. Mainstream academic nutrition edges ever closer to embracing WPB, as it offers a solution to Western chronic diseases that paleo doesn’t improve upon.

          Agribusiness interests could care less about a few would be Groks that spend their disposable income filling their freezer with artisan grass-fed beef. None of the paleo studies were in high impact journals. The corporations do care about sowing confusion as to which foods are harmful, hence disseminating poor science like the saturated fat meta-analyses..




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          1. I was watching a DVD called “Second Opinion” by Ralph W. Moss, PhD. In the video he tells about the time when the Cancer Institution offered him a lucrative job as a science writer, if he would just stop talking about laetrile. A group of doctors tried to buy out Dr. Burzinski many years ago. The “industries” always try to buy out any form of competition. So, I still think they will support anyone who advocates their products. They are always spending money on all kinds of things unrelated to their business such as libraries, grants for any kind of research, donations to politicians and lobbyist, and the list could go on and on. So, I still think they give financial assistance to the leaders in the paleo movement. The more popular the paleo movement, the more meat, and eggs that are going to be sold. My neighbor, and many of my friends are paleo devotees and I debate them constantly showing them research papers that Dr. Greger has listed, but all to no avail. I see more and more people turning to paleo. You can’t tell me that the leaders of the meat industry do not notice the paleo movement. Dr. Greger has quoted from many of their journals where they have articles that present the challenge of the vegan movement to their bottom line. If they notice the impact of the vegan movement, then by logical deduction one can safely say they notice the rise of the paleo movement, and the most logical conclusion is that they are going to support it financially.




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  13. Still would like to hear some feedback on the question relative to “autoimmune disorder” and Paleo vs all plant based. While I am primarily plant based, even when eating Paleo (little meat for supper only) – I struggle with the desire to be fully bean, legume, nuts and seeds… I have a mild autoimmune disorder (gutate psoriasis) but am an ultra runner that puts a significant amount of stress on my body while running. Unfortunately, I actually feel better when eating Paleo (no eggs, no dairy, no grains or wheat) but again just a bit of animal protein for supper..




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    1. 95% whole plant based is a whole lot better than the average person. And you are likely getting the majority of the benefits of being 100% plant based. So if a little meat at dinner is what you need to get the majority of calories from plants, then you have done so much more that the vast majority of people not just for your health, but the health of the environment as well as drastically reduced the number of animals that had to die.

      I would be curious as to just how little animal foods you need to maintain your sense of well-being. Does it need to be daily or would twice a week be sufficient? What is your reaction to legumes and non-gluten grains (anything but wheat, barley and rye) and starchy root vegetables since all of these are sources of just the right percentage of complete or very nearly complete protein?

      With regards to your guttate psoriasis, there are some doctors who speculate that most autoimmune diseases share a common root cause, the constant stimulation of the immune system from short amino acid chains that resemble sequences in human proteins. Also known to stimulate an immune response is the sialic acid Neu5Gc. Humans ancestors used to make it along with the very similar Neu5Ac, which our bodies still can make. Primates are unique in that we have lost the ability to make Neu5Gc. All other land animals still make both Neu5Gc and Neu5Ac. However, even though we can’t make it, we can still absorb it and incorporate it into our cells. The trouble is that our immune system is no longer able to recognize Neu5Gc as “self” and so it elicits a mild immune response and contributes to the general systemic inflammation caused by animal foods. So there is a chance that the even small amount of meat you still eat might be playing a role in your autoimmune disease. Eliminating food (basically all animal foods) containing Neu5Gc has been shown to reduce rheumatoid arthritis.




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  14. I was curious about the Venn diagram at about 4:20 in the video. Wish it were larger so I could read the whole thing. So I clicked on the reference, the one for D. Buettner and didn’t find it. But I did find what the site called a vitality compass, a health quiz that asked about my diet, exercise, social life, etc. Don’t know why it asked about my education or income; do you have to be well educated and rich to be healthy? It also asked how often I’d been angry in the last week. I put down once because when the handle on my shopping bag broke the other day and my groceries spilled out onto the ground, I used the F-word, shocking myself. The result of the quiz: I’m going to live to be 93, but I could live another 5 years if I eat some fish, some dairy and if I learn to better control my temper. I won’t be buying his book.




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  15. Unrelated to the video.
    Could Dr. Greger please enlighten us with the benefits (or, whereas, lack of them) of the so-called “oil pulling”? I’ve found a dozen studies, although mostly done by the same team, so I’d really love some insight.
    If it is so great as oil pullers claim, it should be known! Otherwise, it is a myth to be finally tackled.
    Thanks!




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  16. From what is mentioned in the video, I actually see value in people being interested in Paleo diets if they have come from SAD eating. It is not as good as WFPB diet, but it a step in the right direction with eating more real foods. Plant-based is the best, but I suspect many people would see it as too great a leap from their comfort zone to even dare it, however paleo is more enticing and easy. It is a great transitioning step! SAD -> paleo -> WFPB.




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    1. There is definitely a spectrum to improve health- everyone should be encouraged to just eat more plants, regardless of where they currently are on the spectrum from SAD to WFPB/SOS-free. As evidenced in the Adventist Health studies, almost every condition of health improves step-wise as the amount of animal products reduces. The issue with the paleo diet I feel though is people end up eating MORE meat, and LESS wholegrains/legumes :(




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      1. No discussion is allowed on this board, even constructive. Censorship is at its peak. Soon no one want to discuss anything except for chanting that Dr Greger is great. Dr Greger needs to clean up a few bad apples on his staff (not you Renae of course :))




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      2. Completely agree :-) and actually just about the last comment, I saw another nutrition facts video recently that actually looked at the fact that, the main thing that people who turn paleo change in their diet, is actually increase vegetable intake! Not increase meat so much. which may be why so many report benefits of going paleo. Little do they know they’re actually becoming more plant based!




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  17. One reason for not commenting is that the results are not surprising. Whole plant-based diet remains the best till science finds something better…




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  18. my partner is paleo and I am far closer to vegan, as she has a moslty plant diet there are a lot parallels to make it work but it is a big struggle once you bring a child into the mix, she keeps feeding him meat products and bone broth and worrying that he is eating too much fruit (yes, seriously too much fruit) and I keep my mouth shut, as soon as he is old enough I can show him this site and he can make his own choices.




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    1. Benjamin: I’ve heard of mixed mariages, but never thought about it applying to diet. That’s tough. Good luck. I bet your kid makes a smart decision. He’s got a smart dad.




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    2. Has she read “How Not to Die”, or watched the most recent summary video on this website covering much of the same information? I have read several books by the main Paleo promoters and the level of science contained in those books is simply bad. No getting around. The arguments are shot through with all kinds of logical faults from Appeal to Nature fallacies to entire trains of Just So Stories. In comparison the science presented here and in HNTD is like a solid brick wall with a solid foundation and each brick tying together with all of the others to make an overwhelming and coherent story.




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      1. Thanks for the reply Jim, neither of us have read HTND, its on my list of presents for Xmas, so it might be a while. The problem is she is no longer open to outside information, she had a thyroid condition and part of the healing came from removing gluten (she has a sensitivity) so she inherently trusts certain paleo advocates. It is only recently I convinced her that beans were not evil. Its a work in progress and once we have HTND I will get her to read it!




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  19. I am a BIG fan of Dr Greger. His careful research and peer review make him a standout in a crowd of others who sway facts in their favor. This is a minor point, but Dr. Greger (per the transcript) says that skinless chicken breast has 14 times more fat than kangaroo meat. I haven’t found super credible sources, but a quick search showed that 88 grams of light chicken meat (100 calories) has 1.45 grams of fat while 100 grams of kangaroo meat (102 cal) has 1.3 gms of fat. This is clearly far from the 14 times more figure. I’m sure I am missing something, which is why I am posting this question.




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    1. Oregon Veg: I don’t know the answer to your question, but maybe this will help. I like to go to the NutritionData.Self website as it reports USDA numbers. I don’t which chicken category Dr. Greger might have been looking at, but when I look at 100g chicken breast on this page: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/poultry-products/10046/2 , it says 18g fat. It does not surprise me that they did not have kangaroo. But 18g fat gets closer to the “14 times”, though not fully. But maybe wild kangaroo is less than you found??? I really don’t know. Just thought I would show that the numbers we find can really vary.
      .
      I think it is great to keep Dr. Greger on his toes. Always good to double-check.




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    2. Oh wait. I just did the math after reading your post more carefully. So, 1.3 * 14 = 18.2, which is just about what the USDA database is showing for 100g of “chicken breast tenders”. So, maybe that does help!




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  20. Some of these studies appear to have odd ideas of what a paleo diet is (or was). Or perhaps they are merely gaming the existing knowledge base to make the paleo diet look good. For example, in the Swedish study quoted by Dr G:

    “The following items were recommended in limited amounts for the Paleolithic diet: …………. potatoes (≤1 medium-sized per day), rapeseed or olive oil (≤1 tablespoon per day), wine (≤1 glass per day).”
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2724493/




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    1. Tom, I don’t know where the current Paleo diet comes from because this is for sure not what our ancestors ate because it excludes grain, legume and bean, all healthy parts of a diet.

      P.S. I predict that this post will be deleted in a few minutes by a mod who watches this forum 24/7 but it will go into your mailbox.




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    2. Tom, I don’t know where the current Paleo diet comes from but this is for sure not what our ancestors ate because it excludes grain, legume and bean, potato, all healthy parts of a diet.

      And then the most important food of all is potato that Paleo diet excludes is potato and I think that includes sweet potato. Sweet potato is the most important food of all that the Okinawans eat and that’s account for 75% of their foods. I currently eat 3, 4 sweet potatoes per day and I am thinking about increasing the amount because I love it.




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  21. What these researches show, has been in practice in the Indian sub continent for centuries, with the exception of dairy. (Since cow is considered sacred… The origin of which theory is disputable) More like Vegetarians than vegans, obviously it isn’t absolute but still, then why is it the diabetic capital of the world? Why isn’t say US the diabetic capital? I’ve read about thrifty genes but that’s more of a hypothesis. Can somebody help decipher this? (like the Hispanic paradox video) I recently turned vegan and my family is of the opinion that we should eat everything in moderation and that new studies keep coming every year. I can’t help shake this off. India forms 1/6th of the world’s population and there are multiple health practices in different parts. Although most of the population lives below the poverty line, still considering the Hispanic paradox.
    Our daily diet revolves around whole foods. Pulses. North India dwells on whole wheat, the south on rice (not brown… So here’s one answer, but diabetic capital? I’m not convinced) Yes, there’s a lot of refined oil used. And ghee. But why no paradox here?




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    1. Talk to any housewife in India, she’ll tell you all the benefits of Haldi(turmeric). Mothers give their daughters ginger during periods. A normal day is spent around 3 meals of whole wheat, vegetables, pulses and rice. I’ve read How not to die, and most of it only proves what our grandmother’s have been urging us for years. Open up YouTube and most, if not all home remedy videos originate from Indian households. But we never paid much heed because they were not “research based”.
      But walk across any public place here and everybody is either fat with a bloated tummy or is completely malnourished. Most people die in their 60s out of “heart attack”. And diabetes is everywhere. What am I missing? What is the paradox here??




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      1. We only started getting processed food not more than 5 years back, at max 10 years. Here, a burger isn’t non-vegetarian unless proven. KFC has a vegetarian menu in India. As a population, we are far from paleo diet, let alone processed foods.




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        1. Despite my limited familiarity with Indian cuisine, I might suggest a few thoughts. Ask yourself how much fat and sugar are in the standard Indian diet. Ghee, yogurt, milk, vegetable oils, sweeteners. White rice? These foods/ingredients would potentially contribute to diabetes. Do people in Indian who are farther down on the socioeconomic ladder use the same ingredients and/or eat the same foods as though father up?




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          1. Yes, you’re right, our deserts are not just sweet but fried and sweet. And the population isn’t capable of buying brown rice. The cooking practices involve a lot of refined oil. So can we say that despite being vegetarian, majority calories come from refined oil and ghee and rice? And that whatever protection the Hispanics got from eating beans, the Indians don’t get it from a mixture of different lentils? And that we’re eating so much of the bad stuff that there’s not enough room for the lentils to be protective enough? Is that it?
            As for the lower socioeconomic strata:
            If you give 10 rupees to a beggar kid, you’d see him buying a packet of chips, or a Samosa(refined floor and potato deep fried), rather than having 2 rotis (whole wheat). It’s impossible for him to get the protective stuff.




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            1. There are so many potentially health-giving qualities in the vegetarian cuisines of India. It would not surprise me to learn that many, many years ago, the cuisine might have been less reliant on oil, dairy products, and sugar. As is the case in other cultures, economic growth can lead to greater availability to more people of “luxurious” foods: fat, sugar, dairy, and refined grains. It seems that when those from the upper socioeconomic classes eat a particular food (e.g., white flour), it becomes a status symbol, a sign of “success,” and thus desirable. How unfortunate that these desirable foods (meat, white flour, sugar, fat) are the very foods that will eventually undo human health. I would be very interested if you know of any articles or studies that might provide information on the foods of early, agricultural populations of India.




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              1. I found a pretty exhaustive presentation from a little googling.
                http://www.academia.edu/3760984/Looking_at_Indian_food_and_cusine_in_the_past-_a_historicl_analysis
                If I find something else, I’ll remind myself to post it here.
                Whats the difference between white rice and brown rice? I thought white rice is just polished brown rice. However I’m told that once you take out the outer shell of the rice seed, it’s white. Is that polishing? Traditionally, in India, when I was young, 20 years from now, I’ve visited places where women would just beat the harvested rice on stone to get rid of the husk, the resultant would be a white coloured rice seed. A little greyish, but definitely not brown.




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                1. Thanks very much for the link. An interesting read. There is a wealth of information, again, regarding the foods of the wealthy, the court, the foreigners. I’m still interested in the food of the those at the very bottom of the socioeconomic ladder, which might be indicative of the oldest, traditional foods. There was mention in the article early on, but then the author gravitated to the better documented foods of the more well off. Sadly, history often neglects those who have the least influence. And I certainly understand that discovering what people populating the subcontinent ate 10,000 years ago is a challenge. I think I’m looking for foods before the domestication of animals. If I can find anything, I’ll let you know.




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        2. Very interesting question. Based on the review linked below, the increasing incidence and prevalence “of diabetes in India is multifactorial and includes genetic factors coupled with environmental influences such as obesity associated with rising living standards, steady urban migration, and lifestyle changes. Yet despite the incidence of diabetes within India, there are no nationwide and few multi-centric studies conducted on the prevalence of diabetes and its complications.” The rest of this article also discusses that rural rates of diabetes is about 1/4 of the urban population.

          There is a great book out called What the World Eats by Peter Menzel.. Depicts diets from around the world.. It is fascinating to see what is consumed on a traditional diet. So many issues plague good nutrition in so many areas of the world. I found it truly fascinating!!

          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3920109/




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          1. Thank you. I’ll surely like to go through the book. I guess, as a population we should have stuck with grandmother’s advice. If only Dr. Gregor was born in the previous century before our economic boom. As this article shows how north Indians have a lower rate than south, one reason could be as white rice is staple to South and whole wheat to the north. Anyhow, I hope a better study comes up explaining this. I wish there was a way I could know Dr. Gregor’s opinion on this.




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    2. Vegetarian diets are not necessarily healthy. Whole food plant based diets are. Actually this is what true vegetarian diets are – diets based on consuming vegetables (defined as any edible plant or plant-part) – but the meaning of the term “vegetarian” has been degraded over the years. In modern usage, “vegetarian” seems simply to be used to describe anybody who does not eat meat. However, I digress.

      Since vegetarian diets are not necessarily healthy and nobody here claims that they are, there is really no paradox. Alcoholics living on whisky and cigarettes are consuming an entirely vegetarian diet and are extremely unhealthy. Nobody sees that as a paradox. Indian “vegetarians” consuming dairy foods (high in saturated fat), cooking vegetables etc in vanaspati (trans fat and saturated fat) and eating large quantities of sweets have high levels of heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Even the wholemeal bread is prepared using vanaspati. Again, to my mind at least, there is no paradox,

      You may find this article from a few years ago worth a read:
      http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/100/Supplement_1/359S.full

      Much shorter is this article from The Hindu of 3 years ago
      http://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-national/tp-tamilnadu/being-a-vegetarian-does-not-reduce-risk-of-heart-disease/article4441411.ece




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      1. Thank you so much. These articles are really informative. I needed some concrete reasoning points to argue with my parents for the change in diet. The article from AJCN, this is exactly what I was looking for. These will definitely help.




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        1. My pleasure.

          Regarding the Hispanic paradox, there is also a European Hispanic paradox in that Spanish people with equivalent risk factors to people in the US, UK etc generally have lower mortality and chronic disease rates. Researchers sya that
          “Effect measures of vascular risk factors were mainly as reported worldwide and support the hypothesis that protective factors not considered in this study must exist as to explain low rates.”
          http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1402280/

          In other words, consumption of higher levels of eg beans, fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, olives etc may have protective effects not captured by traditional risk factor assessments.




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    3. Dr. Greger’s videos on diabetes might help illuminate one aspect of the problem. It seems that diabetes is caused by intramyocellular fat and NOT carbohydrate consumption (high blood sugars upon carbohydrate consumption is a manifestation of symptoms–carbs are not the cause). It’s fat that “gums up the locks” and prevents insulin from acting as a key to shuttle sugar into the cells. I LOVE (LOVE!) Indian food, but have noticed there is generally a tremendous amount of oil in it, which you also indicated in your post. I wonder if ghee and oil were eliminated from the diet (or at least greatly reduced) if the same problems with diabetes would be prevalent. Here is the first video in a 3-part series: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/what-causes-insulin-resistance/




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      1. Thank you, I just watched the video.
        So does this mean, that even if we have to take in healthy fats from nuts, they should be consumed AFTER carbohydrate ingestion? And never before… Considering the 3 hour effect.




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        1. I am not qualified to answer that question, but it does seem clear that not all fats are created equal. Saturated fats and trans fats (ghee, hydrogenated vegetable oils, etc) seem to be the worst. Also, it can be fat from your own fat stores spilling into your bloodstream, too, which helps explain why obesity is an independent risk factor for diabetes. See http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lipotoxicity-how-saturated-fat-raises-blood-sugar/ and http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-spillover-effect-links-obesity-to-diabetes/ Dr Greger also has a number of videos on nuts which you might want to check out. They are very healthy, but most WFPB doctors recommend eating them in limited quantities (2 oz or so per day) to keep the overall fat content of the diet in check. I think there is a lot of variability among individuals in terms of how much healthy fat (from nuts, avocados, etc) is optimal.




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  22. I wonder if pasture raised animal products have the same benefits as wild game. Given that they spend their lives out and about, with plenty of sunshine and grass to eat. Conventional meat is filled with metals, growth hormones and GMO fats from grains.




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    1. Gerardo Hernandez: It’s a fair question. My understanding is that a good deal of the problem is that the animals humans typically eat/raise in pastures are genetically different than their wild cousins. NutritionFacts has a video about chickens having been bred over the past 100 years or so to literally have a lot more fat in the cells. So, unless you want to capture a chicken from the wilds of a rain forest, I think you will not see much difference health-wise.
      .
      Also, I’m sure you picked up on this, but I’ll point it out for anyone else who may not have watched the video or watched it closely: “Benefits” is kind of a strong word when you take the details of the studies into account: short term, largely flawed studies on small numbers of people, or pigs. The lesson I get from this website, including this video, is that doing “better” on some type of animal product or other usually means just sickening at a slower pace. It does not mean the product is actually healthy.




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      1. Thea,
        Thank you for such a thorough response. I agree with your reasoning. It’s like saying, “Drinking some soda is better than drinking a lot of it. It has water to hydrate you”. An inevitable culprit of all in meat and dairy are chemicals used in plastics and tubing throughout processing that leech into it.




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    2. I am a vegan, but before I became vegan, for a few years, I would only eat cage-free, humane animal products. Not for my own health benefits, but for the concern I had for livestock after seeing horrific torture videos inside animal factories. I think the health benefits would be substantial IF we ate chicken, cow and pigs raw. But since they are burnt (extremely heated like cooked, fried, BBQed, etc…and eaten with vegan spices to block the nasty taste) before it is put in the mouth, the effect I think is only psychological. But psychology is a very important part of human health.




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    3. Wild games has its own problems. These include a variety of parasites but also an interesting range of diseases including rabies and tuberculosis. I wouldn’t get too impressed by the praises of wild game sung by some meat advocates
      http://icwdm.org/handbook/damage/wildlifediseases.asp
      http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=wildlifenews.view_article&articles_id=400
      http://www.idph.state.il.us/about/fdd/fdd_fs_wild_game.htm
      http://www.extension.umn.edu/food/food-safety/preserving/meat-fish/parasites-and-wild-game-venison/
      http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/trichinellosis/hunters.html




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    4. Another point to add to the other comments to you is that the breeds of the different animal species raised for food bear almost no resemblance to their wild ancestors or even breeds common just 50 years ago. They have been bred specifically to increase the amount of fat they accumulate as well as grow at much faster rates. The result is that even if pasture raised, their flesh will have far more fat than is normal for any wild animal. So even if that extra fat is higher in omega-3 rather than omega-6 fatty acids from being grass-fed, the percent of calories from fat will be far higher than game animals and most of the fat will still be saturated fat




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  23. I have to chuckle since you seem to be reluctant to give props to the paleo diet even after the studies. I have been on the paleo diet for years and it’s changed my life. Most of my physicians cannot believe the change in my lipid/triglycerides. I thoroughly enjoyed your book “How not to die” and have incorporated MORE plants into my diet such as beans and legumes. So now I am torn between paleo and a purely plant based lifestyle. Thanks so much for your tireless work and incredibly valuable information. Here’s to evolving! :)




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    1. You may do well with the Paleo diet from the cholesterol (lipid/triglycerides) point of view but what missing and hidden are the anti-disease benefits of legume/bean, whole grain and (sweet) potato that the Paleo diet excludes. It’s only when and if you get into diseases due to aging then you will know you should eat a complete WFPB diet composed of vegetables, legume/bean, whole grain, (sweet) potato. You want to prevent diseases rather than cure diseases and so a lot of stuff that you eat show no apparent benefits but they are essential.




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    2. Just about any diet that adds more whole vegetables and eliminates nutritionally denuded plant foods and bovine breast milk will give results that are wonderful next to the standard American diet. And Paleo, if not used as an excuse to just gorge on factory meat, will also reduce the health burden from the large amounts of saturated fat and omega-6 fatty acids coming from all the corn and soy feed (though the cancer promoting effects of the animal protein will remain). So I think with a shift to Paleo you made a giant step away from the least healthy diet.

      But to know that there is no need to avoid whole grains, legumes and other starchy all we have to do is look around the world and through out history to see that populations that center their diet around whole starchy foods have the lowest rates of the chronic diseases that are common in the developed world. So adding legumes was another major step. But don’t be afraid of the last step and add whole grains and starchy roots like white and sweet potatoes back to you diet.

      You don’t even have to completely remove animal products as long as you keep them to the infrequently consumed tiny portions that was the norm for the common people until the advent of mechanical agriculture allowed us to increase yields of our common food crops so much that we could afford to throw most of it away by feeding it to animals.

      So indeed, here is to evolving!




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      1. Jimmy, if you are reading this, I replied to you article but it wouldn’t post because it said that the moderator had removed your reply to me. I have no idea way it would have been removed, since I could find nothing objectionable or wildly off-topic about it. Here is what I was trying to post in reply:

        ====

        This recent video by Dr. Greger references a study comparing non-drinkers to light drinkers that showed a measurable increase in breast cancer rates equivalent to an additional 5000 deaths a year in the US due to 1-2 drink a days. So I would say that the drinkers in the Blue Zones likely lived as long as they did in spite of their light drinking not because of it. It is just that the rest of their diet was so healthy that their light drinking didn’t dramatically reduce their life spans.

        Still even in the blue zones the vast majority of people still don’t make it to 100. One wonders if the percentage of those reaching 100 wouldn’t increase even in the blue zones if nobody drank alcohol.

        So on the whole I have trouble accepting that alcohol in any amount adds to your health. That said I still have a glass of wine a couple times a week and maybe a beer once or twice a month because the relaxation and enjoyment that I experience is still worth the increased risks. But studies like the above have definitely caused me to cut back from a beer after work and sometimes two on weekends and wine when dining out with friends (which is still within that 1-2 drinks a day range).




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        1. Jim Felder: Jimmy has been banned (something exceedingly rare for this site and not done lightly or by a single person). We are trying to make it stick, but he changes e-mails and IP addresses with every post. Please don’t encourage him. Thank you.




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        2. Jim, as you may know already, I am banned from this forum and now no matter what I post as a guest, somebody follows me 24/7 and delete my post immediately. But it does not matter because once I reply to someone, my post goes into their mailbox and they can answer to themselves like you do here.

          Anyway, that’s what I thought. Alcohol is not good to you in general but if someone is already eating healthy then a little bit of alcohol won’t hurt them. It may actually helps them from a social life point of view. But the writer of the Blue Zone article takes what these people do in common and deduct that it must be all good. Let say they all smoke one cigarette per day for their social life, are we also smoking cigarette to be healthy? Obviously not.

          ——————
          About the amino acids you replied to me the other day, you misunderstand what I said. I didn’t say that all plant foods do not contain all amino acids but I say that some plant foods contain less of certain amino acid and so let say if you just eat one single plant food (obviously not) then you may exceed your protein RDA while being short on a few amino acids. So you “combine” or eat a variety of plant foods (not necessarily at the same time).




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  24. Dear Dr. Greger and fellow discussion board members,

    Thanks again for another informative video; this time pointing out the weaknesses of some paleo diet studies. I am wondering about perhaps a weakness of a fully plant-based diet as I am currently learning more about vitamin A. From what I understand, vitamin A can be obtained through plant sources as these contain carotenoids, of which beta-carotene is the most important one, that the body can convert to vitamin A. Though, the effectiveness of this conversion varies greatly among humans (http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/75/5/900.long // http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/71/6/1545.abstract // http://jn.nutrition.org/content/130/3/503.full). The conversion process may not be as effective in children as in adults. And pregnant women who are not efficient converters of beta-carotene may not produce enough vitamin A to provide the foetus or the baby (through breastmilk) with, which could lead to very dangerous deficiency and impaired growth (especially of the eye).

    In the context of optimal health, adequate nutrition, and healthy growing in children, I would love to see this topic covered more in-depth. I am very curious if other discussion board members could contribute to a conversation about this topic and I am wondering what Dr. Greger’s perspective is.




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  25. Am i the only thinking dairy products (especially cheese) if consumed regularly is even more unhealthy than animal flesh? This video tend to confirm it~
    Also the crazy amount of mucus the body produces after eating dairy shows how irritating it is on the body…
    Most peoples seems to feel much better after removing dairy than after removing just animal flesh(i dont mean cheeseburger and barbecue).




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    1. The breast milk of every species is a very functional food. Besides providing the raw material for growth it also contains signals to the developing body of the infant to GROW! One primary way is the high levels of methionine and leucine amino acids in the protein that stimulates the liver of the infant to produce elevated levels of IGF-1. The amount of protein in the milk is directly proportional to the doubling rate of the infant. Species with rapid doubling rates have higher protein levels and those with low doubling rates have lower protein levels. Cattle have a doubling rate about twice that of humans. As a result bovine breast milk has about twice as much protein as human breast milk. The very last thing an adult human needs is biochemical signals in our food that stimulates the release of IGF-1, which mostly stimulates the growth of things we don’t want, such as unpleasant things like acne, but also life-threatening things like cancer.

      Also some recent studies have found that mothers also put some microRNA strands into their milk that are able to pass through the intestinal wall and into the blood supply of the infant. There they activate growth related genes. The bovine and human versions of these mRNA are identical and activate the same genes in us that they do in cattle. Again very appropriate for infants, but wildly inappropriate for adults.

      So besides all the other things that are nutritionally in common between bovine breast milk and the tissue of bovines and other animals such as high levels of saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, milk has an extra level of not-goodness, at least for those of us old enough to no longer needing to nurse from our mother’s breasts.




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  26. The MS Society gave a million dollars to study people with MS try the Wahl’s diet ( Terry Wahks MD) which is a strict Paleo ( ketosis) diet used by Dr Wahls to reverse her primary progressive MS. There won’t be a control group but otherwise looks like one to watch.




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    1. Hi Laura: about 8 years ago I read an article Dr. Wahls wrote while she was going through her self care. I remember her mentioning exercise, electrical stimulation and vegetables and fruit. Getting rid of junk food was the main aspect of her diet and eating whole foods. I couldn’t find the original essay but here is a blog post she wrote around the same time.
      http://terrywahls.blogspot.com/2008_10_01_archive.html?m=0

      What do you think? Is that Paleo with an emphasis on ketosis or has she remade herself? It really surprises me when people bring up this Paleo connection because at the time I wouldn’t have seen the connection. Her fish/organ meat is a small part of her diet. Does she eat red meat now?




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    2. I found this article about her diet. On her actual website you have to pay for menu.

      http://www.everydayhealth.com/multiple-sclerosis/diet/can-you-beat-ms-with-paleo-diet/

      Something strange is going on. Either the Paleo crowd high jacked the diet and called it Paleo or she has changed the diet since she originally started to progress. Not sure what happened but interesting. On her website there is actually a picture of a plate with a sausage on it. That does not jive with the above blogpost or what I read in 2007-2008.




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      1. She has a book that’s more recent. She talks about being a vegetarian for a long time and why she has added meat back, to heal herself.




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        1. Here’s the thing. She was healed when she was a vegetarian. That was the point of her essay I read. And her essay was instrumental in me figuring I could heal myself too. She seems to have changed her story.




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          1. I am not sure what you want me to say if you have not read her book. She specifically addresses vegetarianism vs incorporating organ/meat in it and that being a vegetarian DID NOT work for her. The link you attached above talks about her eating meat as part of her diet, not an essay about her healing while still being a vegetarian. Here are her own words about adding meat back in to heal herself: http://terrywahls.com/could-vegetarianism-increase-your-risk-of-autoimmune-disease/




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            1. Her own words. “Diet recommendations: Each day maximize your micronutrients-
              9 cups of vegetables and fruits
              3 cups should be dark green or from the cabbage family,3 cups should be deeply colored, for example red, orange, or blue, and 3 cups of your choice
              Organ meats once a week
              Fish or seafood three times a week.”

              I guess I don’t see that as Paleo. Maybe I am wrong. At that point she was riding her bike 10 miles a day. And seeing patients without the wheelchair. My point is she healed before being a Paleo favorite.




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              1. Thank you for the Don Matesz piece. A friend of mine loaned me her book, and I only got as far as her recommending lots of meat products, with virtually NO studies to support her contentions, before putting it down. The lesson we need to remember, when considering the recommendations of presumably well-intentioned people like Dr. Wahls, is “show me the data!!” It’s great that there will be a big study to investigate the efficacy of The Wahls Protocol. Hopefully it will be done properly, so as to minimize bias — for example, have the people on the two different diets cross-over for a period of time, i.e. switching to the other diet, to see which is better.




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    3. It is quite the day that the MS society actually acknowledges that diet might play a role in the progression of MS. My wife’s mother suffered horribly for more than 40 years with MS before eventually dying from the disease. My brother’s wife is currently battling the MS. Through Dr. McDougall we found the work of Dr. Roy Swank (not in time to help my Mother-in-law, but perhaps in time to help my Sister-in-law). Dr. Swank’s work on the effectiveness of diet on halting the progression of MS goes back over 50 years. He had 150 patients in two waves in a formal clinical trial with follow-ups that covered 50 years. 95% of his patients were successful in halting the progression of their disease. And the only think they had to do was change their diet. No drugs with side effects as bad as the disease itself as is the case with those currently used to “treat” MS. I put that in quotes because the effectiveness is so small it is hard to measure. And yet when my wife, who dutifully contributed to the MS Society for decades, asked them why they never recommended the Swank diet, they arrogantly responded to her that they were focused on a “cure” for MS. Certainly neither my Mother-in-law or Sister-in-law’s neurologist ever mentioned the possibility of halting the disease with diet.

      So for the MS Society to actually say with dollars that “diet” and “treatment of MS” actually might have something to do with each other is tremendous progress. But I am curious as to why they would chose to invest in Dr. Wahls’ diet that contains the very foods high in saturated fat Dr. Swank so successfully showed would cause his patient’s MS to progress. Perhaps is the traditional problem with the medical profession continuously underestimating their patients willingness to make radical changes, and so the doctors at the MS Society are just “sure” that people won’t give up meat, eggs, and dairy even if it can stop the progression of their MS. So if they have to look at the potential of a dietary treatment for MS, then they want to look at one that they think patients will be willing to stick with (even if it perhaps isn’t as effective as Dr. Swank’s diet). Because they sure wouldn’t want to expand on a diet proven to be 95% effective because it is too “radical”.

      Perhaps Dr. Wahls will be able to find something that Dr. Swank didn’t with her million dollar grant. I wish her really good luck. But until then I will continue to recommend Dr. Swank’s diet with its over 50 years of proven success.




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        1. Oh, fabulous! Thanks for that information. Here is to hoping that they get lots of dedicated subjects to volunteer that will really stick with both diets so that the responses can be accurately measured.

          One thing that does bother me a little is that the study sounds like it is really only aimed at reducing the chronic fatigue associated with MS rather than measuring a reduction in exacerbations and/or additional sclerotic plagues in their brains. Well I hope that even if the researchers aren’t doing MRI scans that scans done by the subjects own doctors as part of their individual medical care will somehow be able to be included in the study results.

          Do you know how long the study is planned to run? I certainly hope that it will extend at least long enough to allow the diets to be gauged whether they will reduce exacerbations which is the progression of the actual disease and not just how well they reduce the symptom of chronic fatigue.




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            1. 4 years should be enough time. And sadly they will only be focusing on the fatigue aspect rather than the overall disease progression. Still it would be a shame to not gather information on exacerbations and maybe even MRI scans from the subjects since this is information that the subjects would have as part of the normal care and would take little extra effort to gather.




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      1. ” Individuals with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis and fatigue are invited to participate in a research study to determine whether the Wahls Elimination Diet and Swank Diet are effective treatments for multiple sclerosis related fatigue. “




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        1. I am kinda curious Laura. Is the original diet she wrote about when she caught my interest the same diet today? (Fish 3 times per week and organ meat 1 time per week) It doesn’t seem so.




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                1. Laura Lyer: None of your comments have been deleted (let alone edited, which I don’t think is possible to do to someone else’s e-mail?). I’m seeing all of your posts as ‘approved’. Note: Sometimes disqus posts are hard to find. But you can still see them in your ‘profile’ and everyone else will see them when they reveal all comments or if they have posts sent to their e-mails.




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  27. I can testify from my own experience! I was a vegetarian for 15 years, albeit a very poor one (too much sugar, and grains didn’t work for me). Switched to Paleo about 5 years ago and lost 20 lbs…awesome! Felt great, but then the weight started coming back on and for 3 years I couldn’t lose it no matter what I tried within the Paleo diet and my low-carb experience was the worst! Nothing moved the scale or made me feel better. Then I did a whole food, plant-based cleanse, was feeling better and finally started losing weight and no more constipation (a life-long issue)! I got your book, Dr. Greger, and finished it this weekend. I believe I am on the right track now and at the age of 67, never felt better! Thank you for all you are doing to help wake up America to frightening state our healthy. We are building more Children’s Hospitals, at least here in St. Louis, than I have ever seen before and no one seems to notice. That’s just frightening.




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  28. 1) What is unique about beans that make them such a contributer to longevity? They don’t seem that high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, flavinoids, etc. I’m not doubting, just curious….. 2) Are there people who should avoid legumes because of the phytates and lectins, such as those with autoimmune disorders? (Talking about paleo, this is widely propagated in the popular Paleo Autoimmune Protocol [AIP])




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    1. In addition to what is in beans, it is also likely what foods beans displace. We tend to associate “protein” only with a small subset of foods, basically meat, eggs, and dairy, and beans. So most people think that they have to eat substantial quantities of these in order to get enough protein. Since we generally eat a fix (though all too often excessive) number of calories a day, any amount of beans likely displaces an equal number of calories of meat, eggs, and/or dairy. So it might not just be beans directly contributing to longevity, but also helping by kicking off of the plate other foods that we know contributes to ill-health in a number of proven ways.




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  29. I’m sure this is not the place to ask this, but I can’t find anywhere else to make contact. Question is: I am 5’1″, 104lbs, my husband is 6’4″, 210lbs (cute couple)….are we to eat the same serving sizes and amounts of the daily dozen?




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    1. No, the daily dozen is standardized to the amounts appropriate to a 2000 calorie diet. Adjust the recommended amounts by the ratio of your total caloric requirements (what you should be eating given your age, height, weight, and activity level, not necessarily what you currently are eating) to the 2000 calories.




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  30. This was interesting and educational ! I understand that this is a comparison between the Paleo and the Standard Western diet, but isn’t plant based protein still better for you than consuming animal based protein? I am a little confused, though I still prefer the whole food plant based diet.




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    1. vegank: My take is that each video can only cover so much as there is a time limit. So, when looking at studies covering “paleo” diets, you can only report what the studies show. These studies were deeply flawed, short term studies. They showed some benefit over a Standard Western diet, but as we have seen time and again, just about anything is better than a Standard Western diet. Putting this video in context with the site as a whole, which attempts to cover the body of scientific evidence as a whole, it seems clear to me that yes, you are better off with a Whole Plant Food Based (WPFB) diet.
      .
      What do you think?




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  31. I’m following you since a long time now and I’m on a mostly raw vegan fruit based and very low fat diet since almost ten years now. It seems to work fine for me, except my teeth, that are not in a good shape any more. I’m also 5 moth pregnant now, so I’m studying nutrition now even more. Looking for more information about tooth health and nutrition I came across the research of Dr Weston A. Price (link: http://www.westonaprice.org/health-topics/abcs-of-nutrition/principles-of-healthy-diets-2/ ), it scared me a lot about a vegan nutrition for a long term… Please could you help and clear this out a little bit? Is it fruit that could be the cause of a poor oral health and vision problems, should we eat more greens and legumes, or should we really include some animal products in our diet to keep it sustainable for a long term. What about pregnancy and children? Please help.




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    1. Karolina. Dr. Price was a dentist int the 1930s from my city of Cleveland, Ohio. He hypothesized that the poor dental health and incomplete development of the facial structure such that there was no longer room in the jaw for wisdom teeth was due to the increasing amounts of industrial foods (grain fed animals, refined grains, sugar and the like) they were eating. He traveled around to the world looking in the mouths of people in primitive societies who still followed traditional diets and of their close kin who followed a “modern” diet high in processed foods. He observed that those who followed a traditional diet had marvelous teeth, while those in the culture who had switched to a modern diet did not. He eventually wrote a book, “N




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      1. Thank you very much for the answer, I do understand and I totally agree with you… But it doesn’t answer the question what should vegans do to have healthy teeth and good vision please? What are the scientific recommendation? Should we supplement? Should we eat some specific food? How much fruit is safe for teeth? Please help?




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        1. Hello Karolina, Dr. Greger has done several videos about dental health and plant based diets. This one shows that yes, eating fruit, especially acidic fruit such as citrus, can erode enamel from your teeth. Also, anything sugary, including fruit juices, gets converted to acid by bacteria in your mouth. There are several practical suggestions here that might help. Your should rinse your mouth with water after eating acidic fruits. You should brush your teeth twice a day with flouride-containing toothpaste. You should wait at least 30 minutes after eating anything acidic — such as citrus fruits — before brushing your teeth, because the acid can soften the enamel, making it more prone to erosion.

          Here’s a recent video about green smoothies which can also soften the enamel of your teeth, especially if you swish the smoothie around in your mouth before swallowing. The recommendation, again, is to rinse your mouth with water after eating.

          So, developing dental caries, unfortunately, could be an undesirable effect of certain plant foods. But the dental health of our remote ancestors was excellent, as mentioned in this video. It might help you to avoid eating excessive citrus fruit, and fruit juices — which have less fiber and hence more sugar.

          Regarding vision, Dr. Greger has several videos showing the benefits of eating vegan, like this one, about preventing glaucoma with greens. I don’t know of any reason why eating a vegan diet should harm your vision.

          I hope this helps.




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        2. The reasons for people following a whole food, plant based diet are likely healthier is likely many fold. One is likely because plants are a much better source of vitamins and minerals than animal products when compared on a per calorie basis. In addition to the known vitamins there are thousands of biologically active plant chemicals that we know that the body uses in many of its functions. These phytonutrients, as they are called, do not result in an accute illness if they are missing, and so are not deemed to be essential vitamins. But the do seem to very important to proper development and to maintaining overall health. Animal foods contain almost none of these phytonutrients and refined plant foods contain very little. “Enriched” flour and rice only have added back the known and named vitamins, but not any of these non-essential phytonutrients. It is likely that consumption of a diet rich in foods without all of these thousands of phytonutrients would not support good health.

          Also animal foods and perhaps especially dairy send signals to the body to generate more growth hormones like IGF-1 and TOR. The result could be improper growth rates as children develop resulting in the ill-formed dental arches and crowded teeth that Dr. Price described. Once teeth and the jaw are developed, a plant based diet also helps to maintain good oral and dental health. Animal foods result in systemic inflammation. This can effect the gums around the teeth leading to gingivitis, a leading cause of tooth loss. Also diets high in processed foods and animal foods promote the growth of bacteria that cause tooth decay, while plant based diets promote the growth of more beneficial oral bacteria that actually play an important role in of all things heart health. Dr. Greger has done a number of videos on how a plant based diet effects dental health.

          I have read that vision problems are mostly due to the eye in developing children growing into the incorrect shape. My speculation is that the same artificial stimulation of increased IGF-1 and TOR production that could be causing improper growth of the jaw and teeth could be causing children’s eyes to grow incorrectly. Even fractions of a millimeter can be the difference between normal vision and one that needs glasses to correct. Other indicators that animal foods cause improper growth in children is early onset of puberty and acne. In adults a plant based diet appears to play a central role in preventing cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, and diabetic retinophathy (a leading cause of blindness).

          As for what foods to eat, everything that Doctor Greger has presented in the thousands of videos he has created summarizing thousands of different research studies points to simply eating a variety of whole plant foods, making sure to eat enough to get sufficient calories to maintain weight. Not eating the much larger volume of food required to get enough calories is a common mistake made by those switching from a diet high in foods with a much higher calorie density, like meat, eggs, dairy, and large amounts of vegetable fats/oils. You can do this by putting complex carbohydrates, more commonly known as starches, at the center of your diet. That is whole grains, legumes, root vegetables like potatoes. Add to this a wide variety of colorful non-starchy vegetables (peppers, broccoli, kale, onions, etc.), fruit, seeds and nuts.

          With regard to fruit in particular, my reading of the research presented here is that it is difficult, but not impossible to eat too much fruit. Some people have managed to live well on a very high fruit diet, but even these so called “fruitarians” still eat substantial percentage of there calories from higher calorie, higher protein starchy foods. Your concern about how much fruit is safe for teeth is a valid concern. Acidic fruits, as well as other acidic foods like vinegar, have been shown to slightly soften the surface of tooth enamel for a period of 30 minutes to an hour after eating them. Tooth brushing during this period can result in increased erosion of the enamel. So simply wait until the pH of your mouth returns to normal before brushing. Simply swishing with plain water after each meal will greatly accelerate the return to normal pH and the re-hardening of the enamel. But I do not think that this is a reason to limit your consumption of fruit.

          To make eating a healthy plant based diet this easier, Dr. Greger has put together what he calls his “Daily Dozen”, which is a list of the types and amounts of food he personal tries to make sure he gets in his diet each day. This is only a goal and reminder not a strict injunction, so don’t worry if you don’t get all of them every day.

          I hope this helps.




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          1. Thank you sooooo much, that the most detailed answer I’ve ever received… I will try some more legumes and good fats in my diet according to the daily dozen and I will see If it makes the difference… I’m eating a very high fruit and vegetable diet, maybe it’s not enough substantial food for my body, add some more legumes, grains and nuts and seeds should change a lot of things. Thank you very much for the support that you offer here… I’m sure it’s life changing for many…




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  32. HI, How about raw food vs cooked food? John Rose seems to have figured out that cooking the food is the main problem with humans and that we should only be eating raw food, no meat..




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    1. Mike: If you review the evidence on this site for whole grains and legumes, you will see that there is a lot of evidence to support the healthfulness of cooked food. For example, people who eat beans live longer than people who don’t. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/beans/ http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/grains/
      .
      This old NutritionFacts video comparing raw to cooked broccoli is very educational: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-vs-cooked-broccoli-2/ It turns out that both raw and cooked is good. Here is a video on raw vs cooked veggies regarding heart disease: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-veggies-versus-cooked-for-heart-disease/
      .
      I don’t know who John Rose is, but it seems unlikely to me that he came up with enough evidence to trump the evidence in the above pages.




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  33. Dr. Greger, Thanks for this video. Along the anti-grain mindset of Paleo, do you have any videos on commercial vs. natural wild yeasted breads? How people with wheat intolerances or IBS can enjoy natural fermentation sourdough? It seems to be along the same lines as processed foods or supplements. Commercial yeast is isolated lab grown yeast of one type while wild natural grown yeast contains a plethora of species and variety, aiding the microbiome of the gut in a healthy way similar to a supplement of one phytochemical does not compare to the benefits of the broad range of nutrients in whole plant foods. I was recently educated about this through Michael Pollan’s documentary, surprised and excited to learn something new after years as a nutritionist: https://www.instagram.com/p/BKB4a_PAybs/?taken-by=truliemyers




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  34. I’m not sure I would agree with the headline of the article. Here’s why: while most “diets” have beneficial elements we have to look at the bottom line. The Paleo diet may have its own benefits by eliminating the processed foods and including more fresh foods, but the truth is that most people that follow this diet over consume animal products. It’s widely interpreted as a free pass to eating large quantities of meat, with the argument that the “caveman” ate that. Well, the caveman was chasing the animal he was eating, instead of buying it at the butcher shop. He also didn’t live long enough to develop heart disease from that kind of diet. I’m also pretty sure he was eating lean game not hormone injected beef, chicken and pork, which is what the Paleo “dieters” are consuming. Yes, it’s great that the diet includes lots of veggies and fruits, but it likely doesn’t compensate for all the animal products it so highly recommends. It also eliminates foods that are actually beneficial (such as processed foods that are made with whole grain).

    The trouble with this article is not so much the content as it is the headline. People read the headlines and often make up their mind before going in depth or even reading the article at all. As such, the message could be taken that the Paleo Diet is something that one should follow, when in fact that would be a mistake. While some aspects of this diet may benefit people, there are far better ways of improving one’s health through diet




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  35. Hello,
    I’m 17 years old, and I was diagnosed with PCOS a few months ago. I’m short, at 4’8, and I weigh 55 Kg. I want to lose weight so badly, but I don’t know which diet to follow. I’ve watched several videos of women with PCOS thriving on a HCLF Vegan diet, managing to lose weight, and to reverse their symptoms. However, every time I try to search anything up online about PCOS and the science behind why the HCLF vegan diet has worked for some women, all I see is a bunch of people saying that I need to follow a low carb diet, and not a high carb vegan diet, which just seems miserable as I have to eliminate so many food, and that includes rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, berries, mangos, bananas, pineapples, etc. I do not have a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and grains where I live so I can’t afford to eliminate so many foods. I would have to resort to eating animal products and that’s something I never want to do. I went vegan about a month ago, for ethical reasons, and when I looked more into it I discovered more about the health benefits of veganism. I’m confused as to which diet is safe for me to follow, because I know what PCOS can lead to. I know that I’m at higher risk of getting heart disease, type two diabetes, uterus cancer, etc. I’m terrified, because so many of my family members DO have diabetes and cholesterol and heart disease. I’ve decided to try the high carb vegan diet for two months and see how it goes. I have already have been doing it for 3 days. Is it safe for me to do the 80/10/10? Why or why not? Other than meat and dairy and oils, which foods should I avoid? Why has the high carb low fat vegan diet helped a few women with insulin resistance and PCOS? What’s the science behind that? And why isn’t it working for other women, who instead follow the high fat (with animal products) low carb diet? I have so many questions and I won’t know who or what to turn to. Please, please help me. I would appreciate it so much. Thank you.




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  36. Hello!!! I wonder if eating a vegan low-carb – high fat diet has the same effects on longevity as eating a high-carb low-fat vegan diet. Are there any studies on the matter??
    Keep up the good work!!! (I wish you could create a network worldwide and send ready organic healthy delicious meals to our houses !!!!)




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  37. So, how does on reconcile the supposed benefits from following an AIP ( anti-inflammatory paleo diet). Wouldn’t most people find they feel worse by eating more animal proteins? It could be possible that they feel better because they are eating more whole foods, but still, the amount of AP consumed I would think would cause more inflammation. What about for diseases like Hashimoto’s where the AIP seems to work but a vegan diet does not?




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  38. “Beans and whole grains are the dietary cornerstones of the longest living populations on Earth. Plant-based diets in general, and legumes in particular, are a common thread among longevity Blue Zones around the world.

    The bottom line may be that reaching for a serving of kangaroo may be better than a cheese danish—but, foraging for an apple might prove to be the most therapeutic of all.”

    Seems to me that the bottom line is proper studies have really not been done yet! Beans, legumes, fruit, veg does make a far superior diet to SAD but still, that has not been compared to long term outcomes of a very low glycemic, higher fat, very moderate amount of meat containing Paleo diet. We really have no idea. We would need to compare the Blue Zone type diets to an isocaloric, true, hunter-gatherer diet to really see which of those is superior in long term outcomes.




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  39. I am a plant-based eating believer, and legumes are a major part of our diet. It is good to know facts behind the paleo diet which I do not buy into. Thank you.




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  40. I had a discussion with an epidemiologist who was not impressed by the blue zones in relation to low satfat/total fat intake. Maybe they would live even 10 years longer if they’d eaten some more!




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    1. What a peculiar argument. In all those places where they do actually eat some more saturated fat, people have shorter lives.

      It just shows how even well-educated professionals can come up with the most implausible rationalisations for their bad habits.




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      1. She was in defense mode. She also was very negative about studies like the Potsdam study (healthy living is the best revenge: in this study diet, exercise, smoking and BMI is measured in relation to diseases): she argued that ‘if you look at all those parameters at the same time you cannot distinguish what the factors are which are influencing the outcomes’. This same argument was used by the Dutch Health Authority when I gave them the list of articles from the True Health Coalition for the new dietary guidelines of the Netherlands back in 2015. They did not take those studies into consideration. But they did look at epidemiological studies which only do statistical adjustments for all factors not measured. Go figure.




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  41. Hello,

    I was looking for specific info in this thread and many posts came close but didn’t fully answer what I’m looking for. My bloodwork shows I’m gluten intolerant, and with a high probability of Celiac (endoscopy to follow shortly). Much of the discussion here keeps referring to grain-avoidance as a rare concern for Celiacs only, but then doesn’t elaborate on the implications of that requirement for Celiacs who wish to follow a mostly plant-based diet.

    Many of the gluten-related websites raise concerns even about pseudo-grains like quinoa and buckwheat, because of the high risk of cross-contamination. I don’t care so much about giving up gluten or pseudo-grains (or even corn, which I seem to have a problem with too), because I’m happy enough sticking to potatoes/sweet potatoes/and starchy veggies, but what concerns me is that so many of these sites ALSO say that I should give up beans/lentils too, because the indigestability of beans/lentils can perpetuate leaky gut.

    I have been happily eating whole food plant based for years, and really don’t want to go and rely on animals for protein. But very few of the Celiac experts out there seem to be plant-based experts, and very few of the plant-based experts seem to give a straight answer on the nutrient concerns of Celiacs. So to sum up, my question is this: If I have to drop the grains and pseudo-grains, can I get enough of whatever nutrients are missing simply by sticking with my plant-based (inc nuts/seeds/beans diet)? And how serious is the concern that beans/lentils will continue to damage my gut? Do I have to soak/sprout my beans (and even nuts) all the time in order to continue with a mostly whole-food plant based approach? Thanks for any info anyone can provide.




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    1. Nancy: I just saw your question about soaking beans and nuts. The recommendation to soak is usually based on the false concern about phytates. http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=phytates&fwp_content_type=video So, no you don’t have to soak. On the other hand, soaking some foods and sprouting them can increase the nutritional value of those foods. So, if it is something you want to do, there’s no harm and it may even be helpful. Good luck!




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    2. Whole food plant based celiac here. I have had no issues at all eating most of the things you mentioned, like quinoa, corn, buckwheat, legumes. It might be different where you live (I’m from the Netherlands), but I’ve lived in the US and Australia and never had any problems. Also never heard other celiacs say they had problems eating these things. The only thing I would stay away from in terms of cross contamination are ” regular” oats. Get gluten free oats instead.




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  42. For the past year, I have been gradually shifting my eating habits. Slowly adding more fruits/vegetables and phasing out unhealthy foods with sugars and saturated fats. Your videos have been of a great asset to me In this ongoing journey in deciding what to eat and what not to eat. 35 pounds lighter and almost normal blood lipids again, still with a little work left to be done.
    I would be interested in seeing some videos having to do with what the science says about not eating. Specifically, Intermittent Fasting. The idea that by not eating for 12 or more hours you can start burning your fat stores instead of glucose. Other variants I have seen also being Ketosis diets and water fasts. I put this under the video about the Paleo diet because it relates somewhat to the idea that hunter/gatherers are evolved to eat when the food is available, and are optimized to work on little to no food for periods of time. It all sounds good, supposedly promoting health and longevity, but I would like to see you “Put it to the Test”.




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    1. Alan: I’d guess that intermittent fasting is the most requested topic on NutritionFacts. I have heard Dr. Greger say that he is working putting something together to cover the topic, but it’s a complicated topic and he wants to do it justice. So, I don’t know when such videos will be coming out.

      I’m happy to hear that the information on this site has been helping you so far. You are the one who has decided to make changes, which is really hard to do. So, good for you!




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  43. I have had MS for 44 yrs and my walking ability is diminishing. I went Vegan 70 days ago, hoping to stop my disability.
    I’m trying to get a blood work-up to know what my omaga 3 to 6 ratio is and the count of all vitamins, minerals, heavy metals and whatever else I should know.
    My family Doctor never heard of such a thing. Do you have any ideas of who I can contact?
    I started taking protein this week (Whey) 1/2 scoop a day
    Thank You so much for your youtube video I saw on Nutrition, My attitude has already improved.
    I’m excited, but there have been no substantial improvements so far.
    I am a male 74yrs. old and have been going to the Gym since I was 60.
    I have also seen Terry Wahls and Neal Barnard info. (All Good)
    Thanks again
    Cliff
    cell 513-200-8413




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    1. If you read all the opinions, you learn there are multiple Theories. One is grass fed beef is a plus, not a killer.
      Read Terry Wahl’s plus diet. Not proven, but convincing.




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  44. I have an autoimmune disease and have been encouraged by MANY people to go the autoimmune protocal (AIP). However, the autoimmune diet seems like a much more strict form of the paleo diet. Lots of meat, no gluten. I am trying to locate scientific information on what is the best “auto-immune” diet, since I have a difficult time believing more meat and no grains is the correct answer. Any suggestions? I have a difficult time defending my decisions not to follow a paleo “anti-inflammatory” diet to others, even dietitians, nutritionists, and doctors I think it would be helpful to have information out to the general public on what diet is really best for autoimmune diseases. Currently, if you go to Amazon or google and search for auto-immune diets it’s chock-full of Paleo diets.




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  45. Thanks for your great question. I’m glad you are so quick to jump on the paleo truck.
    Dr. Greger has made numerous videos about various autoimmune disease and plant based diets:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-do-plant-based-diets-help-rheumatoid-arthritis/
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/potassium-and-autoimmune-disease/
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/fighting-lupus-with-turmeric-good-as-gold/

    This video is long, but if you have time, it is a talk Dr. Greger gave about preventing disease which cause disability, many of which are autoimmune:
    https://nutritionfacts.org/video/food-as-medicine/

    Best of luck to you.
    Kelly
    Moderator.




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