The Best Diet for Fibroids

The Best Diet for Fibroids
4.72 (94.4%) 50 votes

The same diet that helps regulate hormones in women may also reduce exposure to endocrine-disrupting pollutants.

Discuss
Republish

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“…[F]ibroids…are the most common benign tumours in women.” They can get up to a foot in diameter, and affect the majority of women before they hit menopause. They “tend to be asymptomatic,” though, but when symptoms do occur, they tend to manifest as “heavy menstrual bleeding”—so much so, women may get anemic, and lots of pain.

So, what can women do? Up to half go for surgery, and get their entire uterus removed. Although it’s “generally considered a safe operation,” obviously, you can’t have kids any more, and complications occur in a significant proportion of patients. The alternative is a variety of hormone-modulating drugs, which can shrink the fibroids and provide relief, but many of these drugs have significant side effects, like bone loss.  So, you really don’t want to be taking them for more than a few months. And so, bottom line: “There is currently no evidence to support the routine use of [drug] treatment in women [for] fibroids.” No wonder many women turn to “complementary and alternative treatments,” such as exercise, diet, herbs, and acupuncture.

Women who exercise seven or more hours a week do seem to have lower risk of having fibroids than women who exercise less than like 20 minutes a day. But, it’s never been put to the test for treating fibroids. And likewise, there’s not a single randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of fibroids, to date, to help guide us.

In terms of herbs, there are two Asian herbal preparations that show promise: a five-herb combo called Guizhi Fuling, and a Malaysian ten-herb formula, which contains “secret” ingredients—so secret, they just list them. But, seemed to work as well as the leading drug. The problem is that traditional Asian herbal remedies may contain a few extra bonus secret ingredients—like “arsenic, mercury, and lead…in most of the samples” tested off Asian market and health food store shelves. And not just a little; some, apparently, had really toxic amounts. So, yeah, these two Asian herbal preparations “may reduce fibroid size, but there [remains] insufficient evidence [as to their] safety.” And, certainly, don’t try to apply caustic herbs internally, as this can lead to “scarring,…stenosis, [and] ulceration.”

Okay, but what about diet? In one of the largest studies of diet and fibroids, fibroid tumors were “associated with beef and ham consumption, whereas high intake of green vegetables seem[ed] to have a protective effect.” They figured that the “association between…estrogen, diet, and breast and [uterine-lining] cancers [might] help us understand [why]. For breast and endometrial cancers, [there’s] a [similar] direct association with the frequency of [meat] consumption,” with a similar “protection…conferred by…vegetables and fruits.” Thus, there may be these shared risk factors between estrogen-responsive malignant tumors, like breast cancer, and estrogen-responsive benign tumors, like fibroids.

See, we know the presence of fibroids seems to correlate with an increase in the amount of estrogens, for example, flowing through your body, and women eating vegetarian have significantly lower levels of excess estrogen. Now, they’re using this to try to explain why there are “lower rates of endometrial cancer [meaning lining-of-the-uterus cancer] and possibly breast cancer” among those eating vegetarian.

But, it could also help explain the fibroid findings. “The incidence of breast cancer among vegetarian…Adventists is [only] 60 to 80 per cent [that of] American women in general,” and the incidence among women in Africa and Asia is even lower.” Why might women eating vegetarian have lower estrogen levels? This famous study in the New England Journal concluded that it was their “increased fecal output [that] leads to increased…excretion of estrogen,” resulting in lower blood levels. Double the output, in fact. You can see all the heavyweight Vs compared to the welterweight omnivores.

And, you can put it to the test. Maybe the same reason African-American women have more fibroids is the same reason they have worse breast cancer survival: too much estrogen in their bloodstream, due to a less-than-optimal diet. So, researchers designed this study to see what would happen if they were switched to a more plant-based, higher-fiber diet. The women started out with much higher estrogen levels, again helping to explain their “increased mortality from breast cancer.” But, put people on a healthier diet, and all their levels come down, suggesting “a substantial reduction in breast cancer risk can be achieved” by adopting a diet centered around more whole plant foods. And, the same appears to be true for fibroids, especially eating lots of cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cabbage, and Chinese cabbage, as well as tomatoes and apples.

Women who underwent premature puberty—starting their periods “before age 11″—may also be at increased risk of fibroids later in life, and we know higher childhood red meat intake is associated with earlier age of starting one’s period, though “total and animal protein” in general may contribute. For example, girls who eat meat tend to start their periods about six months earlier than girls who eat vegetarian. Those that eat “meat analogues”—meaning like veggie burgers, veggie dogs—started their periods “9 months later” on average, and a similar puberty-normalizing influence was found with consumption of whole plant foods, such as beans.

It could also be the endocrine-disrupting pollutants that build up the food chain. Researchers took samples of internal abdominal fat from women, and there appeared to be a correlation between the presence of fibroids with the levels of a number of PCBs in their fat.

So, does that mean fish-eaters have higher risk of fibroids? Researchers did find a “small increase…[of] risk associated with [the] intake…of long-chain omega-3 fat[s],” mostly from “dark-meat fish consumption,” by which they meant like sardines and salmon. This could be because of “the endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly [found] in fish,” or it could just be a statistical fluke. It would be consistent, though, with the “increased risk [among] sport-fish consumers.” They’re talking about this study.

Recognizing that “[d]iet and endocrine-disrupting persistent organic pollutants have been associated with [a variety of] gynecologic conditions including [fibroids],” they’ve looked at consumers of fish fished out of the Great Lakes, and found a 20% increased risk for every ten years they had been eating the fish. This is the most comprehensive study to date. They compared pollutant levels in fat samples of women with fibroids, compared to fat liposuctioned out of women without fibroids—and didn’t just find higher levels of PCBs in fibroid sufferers, but also long-banned pesticides, like DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane, PAHs—polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formed when coal is burned, tobacco is smoked, and meat is grilled, as well as heavy metals, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, levels which correlated not only to fibroids but to seafood consumption or excess body fat. So, “shedding excess weight and limiting seafood consumption [might] confer a protective effect on [fibroid tumor] development” by minimizing “exposure to environmental pollutants as much as possible.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Andriwidodo, Pavel Melnikov, Denis Shumaylov, Michal Czekala, and Aleksandr Vector from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Below is an approximation of this video’s audio content. To see any graphs, charts, graphics, images, and quotes to which Dr. Greger may be referring, watch the above video.

“…[F]ibroids…are the most common benign tumours in women.” They can get up to a foot in diameter, and affect the majority of women before they hit menopause. They “tend to be asymptomatic,” though, but when symptoms do occur, they tend to manifest as “heavy menstrual bleeding”—so much so, women may get anemic, and lots of pain.

So, what can women do? Up to half go for surgery, and get their entire uterus removed. Although it’s “generally considered a safe operation,” obviously, you can’t have kids any more, and complications occur in a significant proportion of patients. The alternative is a variety of hormone-modulating drugs, which can shrink the fibroids and provide relief, but many of these drugs have significant side effects, like bone loss.  So, you really don’t want to be taking them for more than a few months. And so, bottom line: “There is currently no evidence to support the routine use of [drug] treatment in women [for] fibroids.” No wonder many women turn to “complementary and alternative treatments,” such as exercise, diet, herbs, and acupuncture.

Women who exercise seven or more hours a week do seem to have lower risk of having fibroids than women who exercise less than like 20 minutes a day. But, it’s never been put to the test for treating fibroids. And likewise, there’s not a single randomized controlled trial of acupuncture for the treatment of fibroids, to date, to help guide us.

In terms of herbs, there are two Asian herbal preparations that show promise: a five-herb combo called Guizhi Fuling, and a Malaysian ten-herb formula, which contains “secret” ingredients—so secret, they just list them. But, seemed to work as well as the leading drug. The problem is that traditional Asian herbal remedies may contain a few extra bonus secret ingredients—like “arsenic, mercury, and lead…in most of the samples” tested off Asian market and health food store shelves. And not just a little; some, apparently, had really toxic amounts. So, yeah, these two Asian herbal preparations “may reduce fibroid size, but there [remains] insufficient evidence [as to their] safety.” And, certainly, don’t try to apply caustic herbs internally, as this can lead to “scarring,…stenosis, [and] ulceration.”

Okay, but what about diet? In one of the largest studies of diet and fibroids, fibroid tumors were “associated with beef and ham consumption, whereas high intake of green vegetables seem[ed] to have a protective effect.” They figured that the “association between…estrogen, diet, and breast and [uterine-lining] cancers [might] help us understand [why]. For breast and endometrial cancers, [there’s] a [similar] direct association with the frequency of [meat] consumption,” with a similar “protection…conferred by…vegetables and fruits.” Thus, there may be these shared risk factors between estrogen-responsive malignant tumors, like breast cancer, and estrogen-responsive benign tumors, like fibroids.

See, we know the presence of fibroids seems to correlate with an increase in the amount of estrogens, for example, flowing through your body, and women eating vegetarian have significantly lower levels of excess estrogen. Now, they’re using this to try to explain why there are “lower rates of endometrial cancer [meaning lining-of-the-uterus cancer] and possibly breast cancer” among those eating vegetarian.

But, it could also help explain the fibroid findings. “The incidence of breast cancer among vegetarian…Adventists is [only] 60 to 80 per cent [that of] American women in general,” and the incidence among women in Africa and Asia is even lower.” Why might women eating vegetarian have lower estrogen levels? This famous study in the New England Journal concluded that it was their “increased fecal output [that] leads to increased…excretion of estrogen,” resulting in lower blood levels. Double the output, in fact. You can see all the heavyweight Vs compared to the welterweight omnivores.

And, you can put it to the test. Maybe the same reason African-American women have more fibroids is the same reason they have worse breast cancer survival: too much estrogen in their bloodstream, due to a less-than-optimal diet. So, researchers designed this study to see what would happen if they were switched to a more plant-based, higher-fiber diet. The women started out with much higher estrogen levels, again helping to explain their “increased mortality from breast cancer.” But, put people on a healthier diet, and all their levels come down, suggesting “a substantial reduction in breast cancer risk can be achieved” by adopting a diet centered around more whole plant foods. And, the same appears to be true for fibroids, especially eating lots of cruciferous vegetables—broccoli, cabbage, and Chinese cabbage, as well as tomatoes and apples.

Women who underwent premature puberty—starting their periods “before age 11″—may also be at increased risk of fibroids later in life, and we know higher childhood red meat intake is associated with earlier age of starting one’s period, though “total and animal protein” in general may contribute. For example, girls who eat meat tend to start their periods about six months earlier than girls who eat vegetarian. Those that eat “meat analogues”—meaning like veggie burgers, veggie dogs—started their periods “9 months later” on average, and a similar puberty-normalizing influence was found with consumption of whole plant foods, such as beans.

It could also be the endocrine-disrupting pollutants that build up the food chain. Researchers took samples of internal abdominal fat from women, and there appeared to be a correlation between the presence of fibroids with the levels of a number of PCBs in their fat.

So, does that mean fish-eaters have higher risk of fibroids? Researchers did find a “small increase…[of] risk associated with [the] intake…of long-chain omega-3 fat[s],” mostly from “dark-meat fish consumption,” by which they meant like sardines and salmon. This could be because of “the endocrine-disrupting chemicals commonly [found] in fish,” or it could just be a statistical fluke. It would be consistent, though, with the “increased risk [among] sport-fish consumers.” They’re talking about this study.

Recognizing that “[d]iet and endocrine-disrupting persistent organic pollutants have been associated with [a variety of] gynecologic conditions including [fibroids],” they’ve looked at consumers of fish fished out of the Great Lakes, and found a 20% increased risk for every ten years they had been eating the fish. This is the most comprehensive study to date. They compared pollutant levels in fat samples of women with fibroids, compared to fat liposuctioned out of women without fibroids—and didn’t just find higher levels of PCBs in fibroid sufferers, but also long-banned pesticides, like DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane, PAHs—polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons formed when coal is burned, tobacco is smoked, and meat is grilled, as well as heavy metals, arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury, levels which correlated not only to fibroids but to seafood consumption or excess body fat. So, “shedding excess weight and limiting seafood consumption [might] confer a protective effect on [fibroid tumor] development” by minimizing “exposure to environmental pollutants as much as possible.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Icons created by Andriwidodo, Pavel Melnikov, Denis Shumaylov, Michal Czekala, and Aleksandr Vector from The Noun Project.

Image credit: Kristina DeMuth. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

Okay, a plant-based diet may be best, but is there a plant in particular that has been shown to be particularly powerful? I’m glad you asked! That’s the topic of my follow-up video The Best Food for Fibroids, coming up next.

More on contaminated herbal products in videos such as Get the Lead Out and Some Ayurvedic Medicine Worse than Lead Paint Exposure.

I’ve got 71 on videos the effects of diet on estrogens. Here’s a taste:

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

83 responses to “The Best Diet for Fibroids

Commenting Etiquette

The intention of the comment section under each video and blog post is to allow all members to share their stories, questions, and feedback with others in a welcoming, engaging, and respectful environment. Off-topic comments are permitted, in hopes more experienced users may be able to point them to more relevant videos that may answer their questions. Vigorous debate of science is welcome so long as participants can disagree respectfully. Advertising products or services is not permitted.

To make NutritionFacts.org a place where people feel comfortable posting without feeling attacked, we have no tolerance for ad hominem attacks or comments that are racist, misogynist, homophobic, vulgar, or otherwise inappropriate. Please help us to foster a community of mutual respect. Enforcement of these rules is done to the best of our ability on a case-by-case basis.

  1. If this is your first video, or first week of Nutrition Facts exposure, please do read the doctor’s notes and note all the supporting/relevant videos he lists there. Also note that the archive is fully searchable and that all sources are listed for YOU to be able to read the reports yourself and answer many of your other questions.

    There is no prohibition against discussion of dissenting ideas and positions but please realize that this site is about the nutrition facts as found by the latest research, and OFTEN these things will be somewhat different from mainstream and popular belief and thoughts. Also that facts are subject to change depending upon findings, and that nutritional research is a difficult task for many reasons.

    Most common questions and conflicts on very many subjects have been previously addressed and can be found, along with the supporting studies and discussion if one will simply take a few minutes to look for them.

    We are glad to have you here with open mind and ready palate. WFPB works for so many of us, and works well! We hope to support your transition and create a tide of change. Thanks for stopping in.




    11
  2. Would just like to ask the community to post their learned strategies to get rid of metals from the body. I’ve read that zinc can neutralize copper, so I guess there are other interactions for metals.

    Apologies to those who want to concentrate on the fibroid issue, but the metals portion of the video is what caught my attention.




    3
    1. hi Lonie, I looked at this question when NF was presenting the rice/arsenic series. You might find this link interesting. https://www.hindawi.com/journals/jeph/2012/184745/ Seems one of the most effective ways to detox metals is through our sweat. The link looks at a number of studies on arsenic, camium, lead and mercury. Excretionary levels in sweat often exceeds that of urinary levels.
      I take a steam bath when I swim at the community pool in hopes of possibly decreasing the metal accumulation.




      8
      1. SUSAN! Your link is 48… no, make that 96 carat solid GOLD!

        And your idea of adopting the steam bath approach to sweating it out makes complete sense. The only question it has brought to mind is whether or not adopting the various covered methods of getting rid of toxic metals in the research might cause a need to take a mineral supplement in case the methods were to over-excrete our valuable metals needed for health.

        I think I am going to erect a clear plastic teepee-like structure I have ordered to grow plants in during the winter, close to my front door. With the many days of sunshine we have here, I think it will get hot enough to sweat on moderate days giving me that treatment on a regular basis.

        Another benefit from that is to keep blood pressure in check as evidenced in this link on Sauna bathing for blood pressure control.
        https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2017-09/uoef-fsb092917.php




        4
        1. Great stuff Lonie, I really like your link re the blood pressure benefits! I did start slowly with shorter times in the steam bath and showering in between. I can stay in a little longer now. Sweating from any activity like working in the garden, walking or bike riding etc would work too.
          About mineral depletion, I can’t say. I was hoping that eating out of the garden and eating a lot of fresh food would stand me in good stead. Thanks again




          5
        2. Susan & Lonie, the 1st sauna I ever did was in on a vacation in Finland. The Finns do it regularly, & every house has at least 1 sauna. They like to sweat, then jump in a cold lake or roll in the snow. I’ve also done many native American sweat lodges here in the US (there’s one down the road from me) and hot yoga. If you’re able to really sweat from head to toe (& not just a little schvitzing under the arms), it will make your skin softer & moister than any skincare product ever made. You won’t need to use a moisturizer. It’s amazing!

          I usually drink a lot more water when I do a sauna or sweat lodge. I would think that the minerals in the water should be sufficient enough to replace any lost while sweating. I’ve never had any issues with mineral depletion. I also know people who do sweat lodges nearly every week, & I’ve never heard them complain about mineral deficiencies.




          3
            1. Emily, I think one could find out for sure from blood tests, bone density scans. I’m sure there are all kinds of physical indications of mineral deficiencies such as muscle cramps, weakness, fatigue, paleness, hair loss.




              1
            2. Hi, Emily. The symptoms of mineral deficiency depend on the minerals that are lacking. Iron deficiency, for example, may present pale conjunctiva (inside eyelids), and shortness of breath. Calcium deficiency may be responsible for muscle pain and spasms, and tingling in hands and feet, although that tingling can also result from vitamin B12 deficiency. Iodine deficiency can impair thyroid function, and lead to otherwise unexplained weight gain, sluggishness, and unusually cold hands and feet. Selenium deficiency can also affect thyroid function. Magnesium deficiency is associated with blood sugar dysregulation and migraine headaches. Potassium deficiency is associated with insulin resistance, muscle weakness, abnormally low blood pressure, and and irregular heartbeats. Of course, many of the symptoms only occur with severe deficiency. Those eating a variety of whole plant foods including fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are unlikely to have most mineral deficiencies. Eating a bit of seaweed now and then, in salads, cooked into foods, or thrown into smoothies, can prevent iodine deficiency. I hope that helps!




              1
              1. I read your comment about mineral deffiecient I feel like I have all those symptoms from cold feet and hands, shortness of breath, irregular heart beat that’s scary. I need to be tested, can a regular MD test me for mineral deffiecient?




                0
          1. Nancy, thanks for sharing your experience with the sweating regimen.

            I would think that the minerals in the water should be sufficient enough to replace any lost while sweating.

            Since I drink distilled water, I may not get enough replacement minerals. I do have some liquid minerals on hand so I think I can just add those to one or another of my cups of tea and be o.k.




            2
            1. Lonie, I love distilled water. It’s my favorite. Very clean & fresh tasting.

              You might want to consider drinking coconut water to replace electrolytes and some minerals – calcium, magnesium, potassium & manganese.




              1
    2. Hi Lonie: this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski PhD, Moderator Nutritionfacts, there are a number of plants that can extract heavy metals from the body, one is garlic, i like two cloves a day or about 8-15 grams, and providing 4-10 mg allicin; but remembering allicin is not the only active ingredient, I eat the fresh garlic instead of extracts; one other addition is selenium, which is not only anti carcinogenic and lowers LDL cholesterol but it is also a chelator: I eat 6 brazil nuts every Monday morning, or the equivalent of 700 micrograms of Selenium/week; next is vitamin C, and there is abundant supply out there from guava, kiwi, red green peppers, oranges, apples: if you apply the 4 fruits/5 vegetables servings rule daily you can accumulate good amounts of vitamin C; oh and btw, vitamin C helps maintain/produce collagen, so your skin will thank you as well. Finally, there is chlorella, whose major benefit is heavy metal detox, I use 5-10 g daily. I hope this helps. Daniela




      3
  3. When can this polarization of omnivores versus plant food eaters end? Not counting the SAD diet people, I don’t know of any healthy omnivore who is pure meat eater. I am one and in fact we eat a variety of foods, plant foods mostly plus some animal foods for optimal health. And billions of people in France, the Mediterranean region, Asia, etc. they all eat a variety of foods including animal foods + plant based foods and they are all healthy and live a long life. And people in Asia eat a lot of seafoods and have no fibroid issue. The so called China study and Okinawan study are all biased and one side, like these people are only munching sweet potatoes all day, which is not only wrong but also stereotyped. And they eat plenty of saturated fats, from animal foods + coconut fat and have no health problem.




    2
    1. The issue is getting rid of/shrinking fibroids. I am a fibroid sufferer and I tell people all the time do what works for you. My point, in my mother’s case and my own, the vegetarian diet suggested in this video works best for this issue and provides relief of symptoms. I have yet to hear of someone having long term relief from fibroids who continued to eat meat and or take pharmaceuticals. And unfortunately I know far too many women who suffer from this ailment. Fibroids significantly lower quality of life, and the symptoms and issues that arise from this ailment go way beyond what has been listed. I’m sure women who have the opportunity to watch this video don’t care about polarization, and what not, they just want to be healed, and this works. If there is an alternative diet to get rid of Fibroids and its symptoms please share.




      15
      1. I personally changed my diet after awful symptoms from fibroids. In 2 weeks I had a reduction in those symptoms so continued till menopause then they disappeared. I didnt want surgery so lived with reduced symptoms for a few years but they were tolerable. Diet changes incl.no red meat or dairy….of course this was all before learning of Dr. G. Now at 60 and eating plant-based for over a year I feel at my optimal health !




        21
      2. Hi this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, Phd Functional Natural Medicine, moderator with Nutrition facts. I hope your doctor considered evaluation of your thyroid function, since the hypofunction has been associated with increased activity of the pituitary gland trying to stimulate the thyroid to produce more hormone secretions, and this increased pituitary activity may spill over to affect the ovaries and increase their estrogen output. In addition, as part of a functional approach, the liver should be aided in its detoxification efforts, as it is the one organ who has the ability to detoxify and excrete estradiol; if liver is not primed for this process, uterus may respond to the excess by producing fibroids; as focused diet for liver function, dandelion leaves and artichoke, and please research for more plants.
        In addition I suggest you work with a Herbalist for a selection of antiestrogenic plants such as Vitex agnus cactus, Alchemilla, Achillea, raspberry leaves, Bursa Pastoris, hops, black cohosh and/or red clover, which can be made into infusions or tinctures and administered in careful doses. I hope this helps, Daniela




        1
    2. Jerry Lewis, please watch the following video, but since you are convinced everything you don’t want to hear is “biased”, read the sources included as well:

      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-okinawa-diet-living-to-100/

      From the US National Archives, Traditional dietary intake of Okinawans, 1949:
      Average per person per day:
      Sweet potatoes – 849 grams, 69% of total calories
      Oils – 3 grams, 2% of total calories
      Nuts, seeds – <1 gram, <1% of total calories
      Meat (including poultry) – 3 grams, <1% of total calories
      Eggs – 1 gram, <1% of total calories
      Dairy – <1 gram, <1% of total calories

      Do you see "plenty of saturated fats, from animal foods + coconut fat" here? Is 69% of total calories from sweet potatoes not much in your opinion? I'm sure everyone here would like to hear more of your unique way of interpreting reality.




      21
      1. I have travelled extensively to Asia and the rest of the world and i know exactly what people are eating. You can search the Internut for all kind of fake studies you want and they don’t bear one iota of truth.




        1
        1. Sure Jerry, makes sense. Everybody knows that the people who worked for the US National Archives in the 1940’s were all vegans with a secret plan to convert everyone else to veganism.

          Seriously, as WFPB-Liisa mentioned, diets in Asia have become more and more Westernized in the last few decades, and, as expected, rates of Western diseases have gone up exponentially in those areas. Did you visit Japan, or specifically Okinawa in the 1940’s?

          If you want to call every piece of scientific data that you don’t like ‘fake’, I really think there’s nothing for you around here. There are plenty of websites where you can discuss your broscience with like-minded people.




          6
        2. Hi Jerry, I have travelled extensively throughout Asian as well and have been living in China for over 5 years.
          I’m sad to say that Chinese are absolutely not healthy at all in general. I’m talking about the younger generations here. The oldest generations are doing better (and they exercise more). Disease is on the rise rapidly. And what do Chinese eat? Lots of (processed) meat and processed foods, but thankfully more vegetables than their western counterparts. I’ve traveled for my job throughout the country and most of the time I’m working with kids in the south of China. I have seen the same everywhere and I’m talking about thousands and thousands and thousands of people. At some point you start seeing a trend. The only place in Asia I’ve seen that’s worse is the Philipines. I’m not sure that country can be topped.




          1
    3. Dr. G. also mentioned the herbs contamination but you only saw the fish contamination. what may have worked in the past may not work in the future. Nobody talks about the human infestation and its effects as there is nothing to gain.




      1
    4. Wait until you get older and chronic Western diseases start showing up. I too ate what I thought was a balanced, healthy organic foods diet. But I ate too much cheese and yogurt, which contains IGF-1 (intrinsic growth factor-1), which increased the size of my fibroid tumors. The problem is the proportion of animal flesh to vegetables/fruit. If animal foods make up 5-10% of the diet and vegetables/fruit make up 90-95% of the diet, people seem to stay healthy and well. Greater than 15-20% animal foods cause the growth of existing tumors (source: “The China Study,” Dr. Campbell, PhD).




      14
    5. Jerry Lewis – please state the source for your comments on the Okinawan diet. It is a well known and documented FACT that 67% of their diet is from sweet potatoes. They are among the longest lived civilizations, (proven by actual birth certificates), due in part to their mostly plant-based diet. It’s not a matter of polarization. No one is being judgmental of you if you choose to eat some animal products. It’s a matter of looking at what the preponderance of science says.
      The proof is in the pudding. The ONLY diet that is capable of reversing heart disease, cancer, type 2 Diabetes, Lupus and a multitude of other chronic health conditions is a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet. I highly recommend that you and others on this forum read Proteinaholic by Dr. Garth Davis. All the chapters have footnotes for the information and there are 46 pages of scientific references at the end of the book!




      14
      1. In addition, as the diet in Okinawa changed to one eating more animal products and fewer green/yellow vegetables and pulses, their longevity has deteriorated Cf. abstract below. This is the same trend found elsewhere.
        ————–
        Asia Pac J Public Health. 2003;15 Suppl:S3-9.
        Longevity and diet in Okinawa, Japan: the past, present and future.
        Miyagi S1, Iwama N, Kawabata T, Hasegawa K.
        Author information
        Abstract
        Japan has the longest life expectancy at birth (LEB) in the world. Okinawa, Japan’s poorest prefecture, previously had the highest longevity indices in the country. However, the latest LEB for men in Okinawa is no higher than the national average. The purpose of this study is to examine why the longevity indices in Okinawa were once the highest in Japan, and to examine the reasons for their recent decline. In 1990, in Okinawa, the age-adjusted death rates (ADR) of the three leading causes of death were lower than their national averages. By 2000, the standard mortality ratios (SMR, Japan=100) of heart disease and cerebrovascular disease for both sexes in Okinawa had increased, compared to their 1990 levels. Both of the ADR of ischemic heart disease and the ADR of cerebrovascular disease for men increased to 45.5 and 63.5 in 2000, up from 42.9 and 59.1 in 1990, respectively, and the SMR of ischemic heart disease for men in Okinawa reached 101 in 2000. Consequently, the national ranking of Okinawa prefecture for LEB of men has dropped. As of 1988, in Okinawa, daily intake of meat and daily intake of pulses were both approximately 90 grams, which is about 20% and 30% higher than the national average, respectively. Also, as of 1988, daily intake of green and yellow vegetables in Okinawa was about 50% higher than the national average. However, by 1998, daily meat intake and fat energy ratio had surpassed 100 grams and 30%, respectively, and daily intake of pulses and green and yellow vegetables had declined to the level of the national average. Recently, young Japanese, particularly young men in Okinawa, have shown a tendency to avoid the traditional dishes of stewed meat and champuru.




        5
      2. Have you lived in Japan or even visited the country? Obviously no. You only read from somebody who has an agenda and they write like a novel with fantasy stories.

        I see a lot of saturated fat in the following foods. Hmm, the Japanese seem to live very long on average.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCp3aDDhNis

        https://www.lasvegas-sushi.com/japanese-food-what-people-eat-in-japan/

        https://en.rocketnews24.com/2015/02/20/whats-really-for-breakfast-japanese-people-tell-us-what-they-usually-eat-each-morning-%E3%80%90photos%E3%80%91/




        0
    6. >>When can this polarization of omnivores versus plant food eaters end?

      Why should it end? If you want to eat animal products, then go ahead. I see no reason to eat animal products, and that is consistent with my beliefs about not killing animals. I am also in very good health for someone 70 – no meds, low normal BP, normal cholesterol (156), LDL, HDL, a1c, hs-crp, BMI (low normal), energetic and physically very active, including high-intensity interval training, jogging/hiking/walking, strength training of various sorts, and more. So I have absolutely no reason to change.

      And you have not given me one sound reason to even think there is an issue.




      14
      1. Of course nobody wants to kill any other creature, but let’s not be hypocrite. Do you kill insects or torture the bees when you eat kale or honey? When you eat palm oil, do you kill some monkeys in Indonesia due to deforestation? Is the current California fire that burns homes and wineries and perhaps also your almond and walnut farms due to people living closer to forests? Forest fire is a natural thing but normally it didn’t burn properties like this. The guys who pick your kale or who work as policeman or firefighter to protect you, do they have time to eat all the plant foods to get the necessary protein and nutrition, or do they have to grab a quick hamburger and then head to work? Remember that to be able to eat all the plant foods that you want to have enough nutrition requires time and money and it is a privilege from society and Mother Earth. Myself, I have a high paying job with flexible hours, and yet I have a hard time finding enough time to prepare foods and eat. Looking at just the plant foods I eat, I take a heavy toll on the environment. From my selfish point of view, I hope that the majority of people don’t eat like me or the environment will be destroyed.

        So you are killing animals and destroying the environment while eating plant foods, don’t be hypocrite about this. Myself, I never kill an animal in my life but I only buy animal foods from the supermarket. Per your definition then I also don’t hurt animals. I can now get up on the podium and lecture people.




        1
        1. Jerry Lewis,
          Where did you earn your black belt in sophistry? There is so much wrongheaded in your sophomoric reply, I don’t have the time/energy to respond in detail. Besides, this is not the forum for ethical discussions. Nevertheless, I cannot resist a few words in reply to your onslaught.

          Where did I lecture you? It seems to me you are the one prone to lecturing. Do you know what my beliefs are? Perhaps you also have a black belt in mind reading, too. All I said very briefly and in a general way, was that my eating pattern is consistent with my beliefs about killing animals (more specifically, to reduce my ‘cruelty footprint’ as well as I can, to try to improve over time, and to not expect perfection in an imperfect world), and that you gave me no sound reason to alter my views and practice. You still have not.




          8
          1. You wish. Actually it’s quite the opposite and I am at the top of my health and I expect to live past 100. Talk to you again in half a century (if you are still around).




            1
    7. Hi Jerry,

      I happen to agree with you that polarization is not the answer here. It shouldn’t be omnivores vs plant eaters vs carnivores, or what have you. I don’t think Dr. G would advocate for that either. Here is the point, whether you are an omnivore or a vegan who only eats cheetos, cola, and dairy-free ice cream:

      The preponderance of evidence strongly suggests that eating a diet that consists of larger percentages of plant foods leads to better health outcomes.

      I think of it like this. Shoot for 90% of what you eat to be whole, unprocessed plants.

      I encourage you to look closely at the studies you mentioned, including the China Study, as well as research on blue zones, including Okinawa. (Be careful not to lump these together.) No study in isolation, of course, is the answer. But also, I encourage you to look at the Ikarians (another group in a blue zone, Ikaria, Greece) as you mentioned the Mediterranean earlier. They happen to be omnivores that eat meat sparingly. But they also eat large volumes of greens, beans and potatoes.

      So it’s not carnivores vs omnivores vs vegans vs etc. It’s not 100% vs 0%. It’s quite simple. Eat more plants!.




      8
      1. Excellent response, MB! Just EAT MORE PLANTS as close to the way God provides them. Enough said. This site isn’t here to dictate our choices but to make sure we have enough proper information to make informed choices. When we know better, hopefully we do better. It is a journey for most of us. I’m a long way from my destination but I think I’m on the right track!
        Thank you, Dr Macgreger!




        0
    8. Jerry. You just make this stuff up, then present your fringe opinions as absolute facts. No wonder you choose to ignore the evidence – it proves your beliefs are wrong.

      “This Presidential Advisory from the American Heart Association reviewed the scientific evidence of multiple studies regarding the impact of dietary saturated fat on cardiovascular disease. It strongly concludes that reducing dietary intake of saturated fat and replacing it with unsaturated fat, especially polyunsaturated fat, will reduce the rate of cardiovascular disease.”
      http://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/ten-points-to-remember/2017/06/26/11/39/aha-presidential-advisory-on-dietary-fats-and-cvd




      9
      1. TG, if you were born 500 year BC, you would still insist that the earth is flat because all the astronomers said so for thousand of years before.

        So at which point will you admit that this saturated fat and cholesterol theory is phony and you will stop hurting people including yourself? Will you do if you may get dementia or have low energy that you can barely walk, or you will never? I think it’s never since I see that you eat fish while still calling yourself a vegan.




        1
        1. Jerry, could you please reveal what advantage you have over us mortals, that would enable you to know that the earth is a sphere before there was evidence to show it? Are you a fortune-teller as well? Or is your logic “whatever the science shows is wrong”? All scientists today say the earth is a sphere, so it must be a box, right? They also say mercury is extremely toxic… why not sprinkle some on your meals?

          If I ever have dementia, I hope to remember at least one thing that you seem never to have realized: following the current science is probably better than chance.




          6
        2. Jerry, you have to stop this unhealthy obsession with trying to convert people to your beliefs & turning this website into the kind of place YOU think it should be. The only thing you’ve proven to anyone over these past few months is that you have absolutely no credibility whatsoever. Your 2 & 3am rants just make you sound completely unhinged.

          YOU are the one who always focused on our differences. Try focusing on our common ground for a change.




          6
        3. The evidence that high plasma cholesterol and high dietary saturated fat consumption are risk factors for chronic disease is overwhelming. No rational person in possession of all the facts disputes it.

          Someone once said that Atkins was responsible for more deaths than WW2. Looking at the number of deaths worldwide from cardiovascular disease alone since the first Atkins book came out, that may not be far from the truth. How many people have died, had heart attacks or strokes etc because of the obviously false claims about saturated fat and cholesterol made in sensational books and on crank websites?

          Unfortunately people like you are part of the problem.




          3
        4. PS Jerry. I am not a vegan and I do not eat fish. Why do you make this stuff up? It is not like I have not told you this before.

          As for your remarks about dementia, high saturated fat consumption isn’t just a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, it is a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease and vascular dementia, the two mot common dementias, and cognitive decline in general:
          .”Of all the different types of fatty acids, the findings are most consistent for an increased risk of cognitive decline with a higher intake of saturated fatty acids.”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/
          http://blog.alz.org/dietary-saturated-fat-the-risk-of-alzheimers/
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4074256/

          Similarly high cholesterol is a risk factor for dementia as well as for cardiovascular disease:
          “A number of cohort studies that measured total blood cholesterol in mid-life found that participants with higher levels of total cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia had an increased risk of developing dementia in late-life compared with the participants who had normal or low cholesterol levels (Beydoun et al., 2010; Kivipelto et al., 2002; Mainous et al., 2005; Notkola et al. 1998; Reynolds et al., 2010; Solomon et al., 2007; Solomon et al., 2009; Whitmer et al., 2005).”
          https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4107296/




          3
  4. The plausibility of POPs being causative in CFS/ME comes to mind here. Adiposity contributing to POP storage capacity as well. One would do well to eat/exert accordingly…




    1
  5. Video request: What foods should not be reheated? Saw a slideshow that included potatoes, celery, and a number of others and wondering if there is any merit.




    2
    1. CL,

      it’s not that simple. The problem with reheated potatoes is how you store the potatoes after they are cooked. If you cook them and then leave to cool at room temperature (and then leave unrefrigerated), clostridium botulinum could start to grow. Reheating doesn’t always kill them – so always store foods under right conditions and you should be fine. I passed your request to Dr. Greger.

      Hope this helped,

      Moderator Adam P.




      0
  6. Thank you for this comprehensive video on the best diet for Fibroids! I came within a hair’s breadth of dying from complications after a total hysterectomy operation 14 years ago, I elected to have the procedure because of fibroids causing excessive bleeding. My GYN suggested having a total, (ovaries removed), due to a sonogram showing – supposedly – necrotic ovaries. I got THREE second opinions, all of which agreed for me to have the surgery. It turned out that my ovaries were fine and the radiologist made a mistake in the reading and written report. The point is that if I’d been plant-based and never had the fibroid, I would not have had that sonogram. I’ve been WFPB for 11 years. No doubt that this information will make it’s contribution to saving lives! Kudos to the NF team!




    12
    1. Hi, Meuse Pierre. To be clear, you do not get estrogen from plastic, but plastics may leach hormone-disrupting chemicals into water, especially if exposed to heat. The type of filter you want depends on what needs to be removed from the water, and that differs from one water system to another. I would recommend having your tap water tested, so that you can determine what is in it that you might not want. Once you know that, you can choose appropriate filters. I hope that helps!




      0
      1. Thank you so much for the respond, where can I get my tap water tested? I really appreciate you taking the time to email me. I am have fibroids and I have an enlarged uterus, I do not exercised regularly but i am skinny. I look pregnant, I am eat a plant based diet. What are the food that contribute to inflammation?




        1
  7. Wouldn’t keeping fat intake very low also be important in fibroid reduction/prevention? High fat intake seems to affect hormone production and this may be why plant based diets are generally much better, because of their naturally lower fat content.




    5
    1. Hi M85: this is Dr. Daniela Sozanski, PhD Functional Natural Medicine and Nutritionfacts moderator: I agree when it comes to saturated fat, particularly from animal foods. However whole plant based fats, such as avocado, nuts and seeds, particularly flax, have not only an anti-inflammatory effect but are also used in multiple metabolic processes, therefore we need them. I hope this helps, Daniela




      0
  8. I have fibroids and im looking for the best way to either shrink or dissappear them. About the omega found in fish, as explained in the video , is the same if you take omega 3 pills? I just became vegan but Im taking the omega 3 pills as part of pre natal vitamins recommended by my doctor, any thoughts ? Thank you




    1
    1. As an RN, I will only say that no one in this forum is equipped to advise you on something as important and specialized has pre-natal health.

      I would only advise that you seek the recommendations of your health care providers who know you and your needs. Your baby’s health and development requires key nutrients and that information is best supported by health professionals versus people unskilled and educated in prenatal care. Best wishes with your pregnancy.

      A proud monthly supporter of Nutritionfacts.org




      3
    2. Thanks for contacting NutritionFacts. Dr. Greger does have several videos addressing vegan Omega 3 supplementation you may find helpful. For example:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/should-we-take-epa-and-dha-omega-3-for-our-heart/

      Dr. Greger would recommend a vegan source of Omega 3 if you are going to supplement and not a fish oil type supplement:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-fish-oil-just-snake-oil/

      We would definitely recommend dietary sources of Omega 3- walnuts, flaxseed, chia seeds, green leafy vegetables. All things recommended in Dr. Greger’s daily dozen:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/dr-gregers-daily-dozen-checklist/

      NurseKelly
      NutritionFacts Moderator




      0
    1. Bu,

      you can take iron supplements (your doctor should advise what’s best for you) and eat more iron-rich foods such as: tofu, seeds (pumpkin), beans, legumes in general, chickpeas, apricots, potatoes, wheat germ, broccoli… And always eat food high in vit. C with it (fruits/vegetables in general) because it boost iron absorption.

      Hope this helps,

      Moderator Adam P.




      0
  9. I am so thankful I read books from experts like Dr. Gregor, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Goldhammer, Dr. Esser, Dr. T. Colin Campbell and many more. Each have years of expertise and through their own research have shared facts about the plan-based diet and how it allows us to live longer “healthy” lives. I no longer need cholesterol or blood pressure medications and feel better (and sharper) than I ever have. The awesome thing about it is that I eat a larger quantity of food than I ever ate before and reached the ideal weight which increases energy to attain my 10,000 daily steps every day I can. I still eat meat on occasion but my aim it to move even closer to a plant-based diet as possible. My journey started after reading Dr. Fuhrman’s book “Eat To Live”. I’m almost 60 years old, and at the ideal weight. Life is good & I hope my post helps others to give it a try too.




    3
  10. Off topic. I am really confused about whole grains with blood sugar concerns. Are we sure it’s OK to eat things like oatmeal, farro, or bulgur? I have severe health anxiety and I’ve been really worried about my blood sugar after seeing some high numbers about a year ago (up to close to 200 post-prandial peak after Italian food, admittedly a huge meal). I cut out all sugar, and changed the way I ate a lot. No meat, very limited dairy, a lot more beans, a lot of fresh vegetables and lower glycemic fruits like berries. At one point, when I had been walking a ton especially after dinner, I had an a1c of 4.8 — so I stopped worrying about it and stopped checking individual meter readings (checking my sugar all the time was really feeding my anxiety anyway). Now I checked another random a1c and it was 5.2 so I’m all worried again. I’ve been cooking with meal kits like Purple Carrot and Green Chef so I’ve been using more oil and eating more whole grains than I was before but overall it seems like I’m still eating well. I know that’s not a terrible a1c but I’m young, fit, and very thin and it seems like eating WFPB it should be better — I’m concerned at how much it went up just with small changes. What should I do? Do I have to start using a meter again to find out exactly what’s going on? :( And how certain are we that it’s OK to eat the types of ancient grains I mentioned before? I’ve watched all the videos about diabetes on the site. TIA!




    1
    1. Your anxiety is going to negatively affect your health. You’re worrying too much. A1C is the gold standard, but your’s appear on the low side. Are you sure you’re eating enough? If your blood sugar is really above normal range, then it’s not going to be due to insulin resistance as long as you’re truly thin. The only risk would be LADA (Latent Autoimmune Diabetes of Adults) causing decreased insulin production. You can get tested for this though. The normal human body is VERY good at regulating blood sugar levels, so there is no way that I can see that you’d push yourself into insulin resistance on a WFPB diet even if you did overload on grains…as long as they are not processed in any way, other than maybe rolling/cutting/cooking. Make sure you eat enough and that you’re not underweight. Maybe talk to your doctor about this. Check this study:

      https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3447844/

      Dr. Ben




      0
      1. How can one NOT worry?! I have had a lot of x-rays in my life. I had cancer once…. and the treatment involved MORE x-rays. I am at risk for more cancer from the treatment. Truly, how can one avoid worrying?




        0
        1. The xray dosage is a different, mostly unrelated, risk as compared to blood sugar. I suggest you discuss these worries with your doctor as we do not have the data from your physical exam and medical history at our disposal to effectively advise you on these complex matters. We can only speak in generalities.

          Dr. Ben




          0
  11. Hey Women! Help please–I need extra iron during menstruation. I’m in my late 20s, fairly active and eating plant-based, trying to follow the daily 12–this is hard for me, as it feels like a lot of food already, but I’m getting at least 2 servings of beans a day and 2-3cups of dark leaves (usually blanched, but i don’t know what that does to the nutrition/iron content?). Does anyone supplement with iron or know the best way to prepare foods to make iron more bio-available?




    1
    1. I’m a knee-jerk problem solver and when I read years ago that birth control, if taken continuously rather than taking days off to menstruate, can stop menstruation.

      This seemed like a good plan to increase the fertile years… possibly even increasing longevity?

      But then I’ve read that too much iron is harmful to a woman’s health and that menstruating may be a good way to keep the iron levels down.

      Is there a “best practices” solution to the choices listed above?




      1
      1. That’s a great question. If you are eating a plant based diet, you significantly reduce your risk of having too high of iron and you may not need to worry so much about menstruating. You may like this video Dr. Greger made:
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-safety-of-heme-vs-non-heme-iron/
        https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/iron/

        Another way to lower your iron level and help others is to donate blood if you are able:
        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/donating-blood-to-prevent-heart-disease/




        1
  12. Hi Steve, the best way to get an answer for this is to submit it through our “support” button the lower right corner. Thanks!




    0
  13. Just a heads up to anyone out there with a uterine fibroid who is on any kind of HRT – if you go on a WFPB, you may want to watch out for fibroid inflammation due to excess estrogen. I had been eating a handful of nuts and seeds on my cereal, at first I cooked them. My LDL shot up. Trying to figure out why, I thought, well, maybe it’s because I was cooking the nuts/seeds. So I went to raw. Heated the cereal first, THEN put on the nuts and seeds. My fibroid started to hurt. Within 2 days, I was almost screaming. Suspected an excess of estrogen. Got on the Internet and found out just how full of phytoestrogens the WFPB was (not that I’m saying this is a bad thing, mind you). Got rid of the estrogen patch I was wearing. Fibroid settled down.

    Now, this may not apply to every woman, but you may suffer increased fibroid pain with a combination of HRT and WFPB. I suspect that with my patch, the raw nuts/seeds, and the rest of the WFPB, that my estrogen level had skyrocketed. Once I figured out what was causing the pain and inflammation, I was good with chucking out yet another medication due to the WFPB. Didn’t want to take estrogen anyway, but the fatigue was really messing up my day. I had tried phytoestrogen creams, but they didn’t seem to do anything.

    I’m not telling anyone what to do. Just giving my own experiences. And I find it annoying that my doctor, who is a vegetarian (you’d think he MIGHT know more about nutrition than the average MD), didn’t think to warn me about this possibility when I told him I was going vegan for my osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia.




    1

Leave a Reply

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

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This