The First Studies on Vegetarian Athletes

The First Studies on Vegetarian Athletes
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Meat-eating athletes are put to the test against veg athletes and even sedentary plant-eaters in feats of endurance.

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

In 1896, the aptly named James Parsley evidently led a successful vegetarian cycling club to victory. Their competitors evidently having to “eat crow with their beef.” Evidently some Belgian put it to the test in 1904, with those eating more plant-based supposedly lifting some weight like 80 percent more times, but I couldn’t find the primary source in English. This I could find, though: a famous series of experiments at Yale, published more than a century ago, on the influence of flesh-eating on endurance.

Forty-nine people were compared: regular athletes (mostly Yale students), vegetarian athletes, and then just sedentary vegetarians. “The experiment furnished a severe test of the claims of those flesh-abstainers.” Much to the researchers’ surprise, the results seemed to vindicate the vegetarians, suggesting that not eating meat leads to far greater endurance compared to those accustomed to the ordinary American diet.

Check it out: the first endurance test was how many minutes straight you could hold out your arms horizontally: flesh-eaters versus flesh abstainers. The regular Yale athletes were able to keep their hands out for about 10 minutes on average. It’s harder than it sounds; give it a try…. OK, but those eating vegetarian did like five times better. The meat-eater maximum, was only half that of the vegetarian average. Only two meat eaters even hit 15 minutes, whereas more than two-thirds of the meat-avoiders did. None of the regular diet folks hit a half hour; whereas, nearly half of the healthier eaters did, including nine that exceeded an hour, four that exceeded two hours and one guy going for more than three hours.

How many deep knee bends can you do? One athlete could do more than 1,000, averaging 383, but they got creamed even by the sedentary plant-eaters. That’s the crazy thing—even the sedentary abstainers surpassed the exercising flesh-eaters. The sedentary abstainers were in most cases physicians who sat on their butts all day. I want a doctor that that can do a thousand deep knee bends!

And then in terms of recovery, all those deep knee bends left everyone sore but much more so among those eating meat. Among the vegetarians, of two that did like 2,000 knee bends one went straight off to the track to run, and another went on to their nursing duties. On the other hand, among the meat-eaters: one guy reached 254, went down once more and couldn’t get back up, had to be carried away and was incapacitated for days, another impaired for weeks after fainting.

It may be inferred, without reasonable doubt, concluded the once skeptical Yale researcher, that the meat-eating group of athletes was very far inferior in endurance to the vegetarians, even the sedentary ones. What could account for this remarkable difference? Some claimed that flesh foods contained some kind of “fatigue poisons,” but one German researcher who detailed his own experiments with athletes offered a more prosaic answer. In his book on what looks like physiological studies of uber-driving vegetarians—I told you I only know English—he conjectured that the apparent vegetarian superiority was just due to their tremendous determination to prove their point and spread their propaganda; so, they just make a greater effort in any contest than do their meat-eating rivals. The Yale researchers were worried about this; and so, special pains were taken to stimulate the flesh-eaters to the utmost, appealing to their college pride. Don’t let those lousy vegetarians beat the “Yale spirit.”

The experiments made it into The New York Times. Yale’s flesh-eating athletes—sounds like a zombie movie—beaten in severe endurance tests. “Yale professor believes that he has shown definitely the inferiority in strength and endurance tests of meat eaters compared to those who do not eat meat.” Some of Yale’s most successful athletes took part in the strength tests, and Professor Fisher declares they were obliged to admit their inferiority. How has the truth of this result been so long obscured? One reason, Professor Fisher suggested, is that vegetarians are their own worst enemy. In their fanaticism, they jump from the premise that meat eating is wrong—often based on scripture or some kind of dogma—and jump from that to meat-eating is unhealthy. That’s not how science works, and such logical leaps get them dismissed as zealots, and prevent any genuine scientific investigation. Lots of science, even back then, was pointing a distinct trend toward more plant-based eating, and yet the word vegetarian—even 110 years ago—had such a bad, preachy rap that many were loath to concede the science in its favor. The proper scientific attitude is to study the question of meat-eating in precisely the same manner as one would study the question of anything else.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Balcer~commonswiki via wikimedia.org. 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.

In 1896, the aptly named James Parsley evidently led a successful vegetarian cycling club to victory. Their competitors evidently having to “eat crow with their beef.” Evidently some Belgian put it to the test in 1904, with those eating more plant-based supposedly lifting some weight like 80 percent more times, but I couldn’t find the primary source in English. This I could find, though: a famous series of experiments at Yale, published more than a century ago, on the influence of flesh-eating on endurance.

Forty-nine people were compared: regular athletes (mostly Yale students), vegetarian athletes, and then just sedentary vegetarians. “The experiment furnished a severe test of the claims of those flesh-abstainers.” Much to the researchers’ surprise, the results seemed to vindicate the vegetarians, suggesting that not eating meat leads to far greater endurance compared to those accustomed to the ordinary American diet.

Check it out: the first endurance test was how many minutes straight you could hold out your arms horizontally: flesh-eaters versus flesh abstainers. The regular Yale athletes were able to keep their hands out for about 10 minutes on average. It’s harder than it sounds; give it a try…. OK, but those eating vegetarian did like five times better. The meat-eater maximum, was only half that of the vegetarian average. Only two meat eaters even hit 15 minutes, whereas more than two-thirds of the meat-avoiders did. None of the regular diet folks hit a half hour; whereas, nearly half of the healthier eaters did, including nine that exceeded an hour, four that exceeded two hours and one guy going for more than three hours.

How many deep knee bends can you do? One athlete could do more than 1,000, averaging 383, but they got creamed even by the sedentary plant-eaters. That’s the crazy thing—even the sedentary abstainers surpassed the exercising flesh-eaters. The sedentary abstainers were in most cases physicians who sat on their butts all day. I want a doctor that that can do a thousand deep knee bends!

And then in terms of recovery, all those deep knee bends left everyone sore but much more so among those eating meat. Among the vegetarians, of two that did like 2,000 knee bends one went straight off to the track to run, and another went on to their nursing duties. On the other hand, among the meat-eaters: one guy reached 254, went down once more and couldn’t get back up, had to be carried away and was incapacitated for days, another impaired for weeks after fainting.

It may be inferred, without reasonable doubt, concluded the once skeptical Yale researcher, that the meat-eating group of athletes was very far inferior in endurance to the vegetarians, even the sedentary ones. What could account for this remarkable difference? Some claimed that flesh foods contained some kind of “fatigue poisons,” but one German researcher who detailed his own experiments with athletes offered a more prosaic answer. In his book on what looks like physiological studies of uber-driving vegetarians—I told you I only know English—he conjectured that the apparent vegetarian superiority was just due to their tremendous determination to prove their point and spread their propaganda; so, they just make a greater effort in any contest than do their meat-eating rivals. The Yale researchers were worried about this; and so, special pains were taken to stimulate the flesh-eaters to the utmost, appealing to their college pride. Don’t let those lousy vegetarians beat the “Yale spirit.”

The experiments made it into The New York Times. Yale’s flesh-eating athletes—sounds like a zombie movie—beaten in severe endurance tests. “Yale professor believes that he has shown definitely the inferiority in strength and endurance tests of meat eaters compared to those who do not eat meat.” Some of Yale’s most successful athletes took part in the strength tests, and Professor Fisher declares they were obliged to admit their inferiority. How has the truth of this result been so long obscured? One reason, Professor Fisher suggested, is that vegetarians are their own worst enemy. In their fanaticism, they jump from the premise that meat eating is wrong—often based on scripture or some kind of dogma—and jump from that to meat-eating is unhealthy. That’s not how science works, and such logical leaps get them dismissed as zealots, and prevent any genuine scientific investigation. Lots of science, even back then, was pointing a distinct trend toward more plant-based eating, and yet the word vegetarian—even 110 years ago—had such a bad, preachy rap that many were loath to concede the science in its favor. The proper scientific attitude is to study the question of meat-eating in precisely the same manner as one would study the question of anything else.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: Balcer~commonswiki via wikimedia.org. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

This is the 2nd in a 3-part series on vegetarian athletes. If you missed the previous video, check out The Gladiator Diet – How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up. Stay tuned for Vegetarian Muscle Power, Strength, and Endurance.

How many deep knee bends can you do in a row? How long can you hold your arms out for—let me know in the comments below!

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

159 responses to “The First Studies on Vegetarian Athletes

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  1. We’re the vegetarian students in this study eating eggs and or dairy products? According to the definition of vegetarian, they were. If so, what percentage of calories?

    1. If the study was done over a century ago, seems to me vegetarians — those eating dairy and/or eggs — were much more prevalent at that time than those following a strict (NO animal products) veggie diet. What some refer today as “the vegan diet.”

      Dr. G., how many deep knee bends, etc. can YOU do? For? :-) Thousands, right?

      1. I found the paper for the third source listed under Sources, “Yale’s fleash Eating Athletes….” and they describe in that paper vegetarians as abstaining from all animal flesh. They go on to say that because that is the reason they chose the descriptive categories of flesh eaters vs non-fleash eaters, though the lines were somewhat blurred with some entrants. In the non-flesh eaters there were one or two people that ate small amounts of ‘flesh’ several times per week and it was shown how the numbers would not change significantly if those persons were added to the other carptegory instead. So, my take was that historically, vegetarian meant abstention from animal products. I will have to look up the history of veganism to see when it arrived on the scene.

        1. The term ‘vegan’ was invented in 1944. It is completely redundant but was politically expedient at the time.

          The term ‘vegetarian’ was apparently coined about 100 years before that, to describe what was previously known as the vegetable diet. Note that in those days a vegetable was basically any edible plant/mushroom/algae since, under the Linnaean system, everything was either classed as animal, vegetable or mineral.

          I recommend this history from the International Vegetarian Union
          https://ivu.org/history/Vegan_History.pdf

        1. I did 15 years ago 3 times a week (1500/day) touching finger tips to floor along my lateral ankles while training MMA/ submission wrestling. This and the 1000 push-ups a day took a while (several months) to work up to.
          A bit excessive, time-consuming and not necessary in long-term once conditioning in place.
          Not Vegan at the time and no longer have time to do submission wrestling.
          In my mid-50s and demands of career, family, and keeping body intact override masochistic impulses.

          To do this cold without a training for it is very impressive, although don’t know what type of training or events these young college athletes did. My recollection at the time reviewing old school-as in 1 to 2 centuries ago-training among athletes involve lots of body weight calisthenics. Jack Lalanne popularized this type of training in the 1940s through early 2000s.

          For a more recent perspective- Nathan Pritikin sponsored team of five plant-based ultramarathoners, including Dave Scott ( premier ultramarathoner of his generation), in the early 1980s. They took the top four spots in the Iron Man triathlons in Hawaii. This beast included 2.5 mile open swim in Pacific, 26 mile run and approximate 120 mile bicycle ride with huge elevation games.

        2. I’m 76 and go to the gym 3 times/week and always included deep “squats” to finish my routine, normally doing about 50 at a time. (going over 50 I once had a back sprain so I kept it at 50. But then when I discovered an enlarged prostrate last year, my doctor told me to stop the squats and do sit ups or another exercise. Seems it interfered with my prostate.

          1. In what way did deep squats interfere with your prostate? Did you have symptoms? Did the doc claim the squats were causing, or exacerbating the hyperplasia? Did you notice any changes when you quit the squat regimen?
            I ask, because I am 72, lift weights 4 times a week and have had BPH for years. No doctor, including the urologist, has ever advised against doing squats, nor have they even inquired about types of exercises.

            1. I was wondering the same thing as I am almost 72 and hbave significant BPH. I do squats frequently both with and without weights . It’s common to be told that bike riding can aggravate symptoms because of the pressure from sitting on a bike seat, but I have never encountered anyone including my urologist who recommends against squats. It’s hard for me to see why they would be a particular problem. I also do lunges, dead lifts, KB swings, leg presses, and more. I would not give up any of these exercises for the lower body unless I could clearly determine it significantly aggravates the problem.

              Aside: for some people, taking ~90 mg once per day of beta-sitosterol (see e.g. the overview at consumerlab.com on an empty stomach can improve symptoms. (At much higher doses, beta-sitosterol, which is derived from plants and appears safe for long term use, is used to lower cholesterol.) Pumpkin seeds can also help improve symptoms, it seems.

      2. YR
        ‘If the study was done over a century ago, seems to me vegetarians — those eating dairy and/or eggs — were much more prevalent at that time than those following a strict (NO animal products) veggie diet’

        What’s your evidence for this statement? I am not aware that we actually know this one way or the other..

        1. Well, then it’s a moot question, isn’t it! We’ll probably never get the answer one way or the other.

          I’ll say I go with my intuition, but you of course do not believe in intuition.

    2. In that first study, they weren’t really described as ‘vegetarians’, they were described as flesh abstainers or non meat eaters. It was Dr Greger who more often used the term ‘vegetarians’.

      As far as I knw,, they didn’t study diets – just the performance of flesh eaters vis-a-vis the performnce of non flesh eaters. Whether the non flesh eaters ate eggs, diary and/or fish and if so how much doesn’t seem to be known. Nor does it seem to be relevant to th purpose of that study.

        1. Thanks Barb. Yes, I too feel that the term vegetarian

          ‘properly means an abstalner from all animal foods (even eggs, milk, cream, and butter)’

          …. hence my earler comment.

          1. But what did the writer of the article back in 1907 intend when he/she wrote “non-flesh eater”?” Therein lies the rub.

            I downloaded the whole article and, true, no specific foods were mentioned. So will we ever know, or just conjecture?

            From the article: “In general it may be said that, whatever the explanation, there is strong evidence that a low-protein, non-flesh, or nearly non-flesh dietary is conducive to endurance.”

      1. As far as I knw,, they didn’t study diets – just the performance of flesh eaters vis-a-vis the performnce of non flesh eaters. Whether the non flesh eaters ate eggs, diary and/or fish and if so how much doesn’t seem to be known. Nor does it seem to be relevant to th purpose of that study.
        ———————————————————————————————————-
        When watching the video, the first thing that popped into my mind was the lumping of all flesh eaters into one classification. That is, were the flesh eaters primarily beef, pork, deer, elk, moose (red meat) eaters? Fowl was not separated so we will never know if eating chicken or turkey exclusively caused the same limitations… that is, until someone puts it to the test.

    3. It seems worth noting that the “1907 Standard American Diet” differs in many ways from the “2018 Standard American Diet” today, and I expect in many respects seemed MUCH better – no pesticides in foods, no hydrogenated vegetable oils, processed foods with huge amounts of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup and corn oil, arsenic in chicken, mercury in fish, chemical contaminants in red meat ( “polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins and dibenzofurans (PCDD/Fs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfl uorooctane sulfonate (PFOS), perfl uorooctanoic acid (PFOA), pesticides, toxic metals, and veterinary drugs” https://www.researchgate.net/publication/282798500_Chemical_contaminants_of_red_meat ) and so on.

      1. And of course, unfortunately, despite how much more we know today, for the same reasons, on average the “1907 Vegetarian Diet” in many ways seemed superior to the average “2018 Vegan Diet” today, as in 1907 vegetarians also did not have pesticides in foods, hydrogenated vegetable oils, a large % of their diets of processed foods with huge amounts of added sugar, high fructose corn syrup and corn oil, arsenic contaminating their rice, and so on. To eat a healthy plant based diet in today’s world, even a WFPB diet, regrettably requires more than nominally following the rules, it requires, as Mad Eye Moody would put it, “Constant Vigilance!” :(

        1. This is thought provoking and valid analysis of the difference in food quality then and now. Twentieth century disease caused I believe by petrochemical fertilizers are an additional reason for the current plague of disease.

          1. And if it turns out in Dr. Greger’s next video that 21st century vegans do not perform as spectacularly well as they did in 1907, differences in food quality and contamination might go a long way towards explaining such a result . . .

        2. Great points alef1. Which taken into account, speaks even louder about the negative impacts meat consumption has on the human body considering the flesh (I love that they used the term flesh, I prefer to refer to it as that) they consumed was much more pure and natural and I highly doubt they were pumped up with salt water making a chicken breast more sodium-rich than a bag of potato chips.

          I don’t find it takes too much diligence to avoid all the bad stuff, but it is definitely annoying. Like having to make sure where things are grown, especially things like rice. I adore companies that make it easy. One of my biggest annoyances is the bulk sections which do not state where something is grown but does have “information available upon request” on the label, yet when you ask, they have no idea and have to wait until the supplier comes in to find out…. now tell me, WHY can’t they just have the supplier LEAVE that information after each shipment?! Why… It’s ridiculous. Ok I’m done.

        3. alef1
          you are guessing that there were no pesticides in food , yet arsenic has a long history of use . What about the non hygienic way food was handled back then? It would be hard to find meat ,milk and other products that had not already started to turn . What about the water situation , millions died in the 1800,s from bad water . Pure lead pipes were used first for running wwater in homes , unknown numbers of people succumbed to lead in water .
          Yes we have contamination today , but yesterday as well . To imply otherwise is unfortunately misleading and ignorant .

          1. No, or course we had pesticides in food, not to mention contaminants and adulterants. I did not mean to imply otherwise. A book I read years back that brought this home to me, The Good Old Days: They Were Terrible! (Still available on Amazon)

            People added plaster of Paris to milk to “extend” it, sawdust to “extend flour,” all to increase profit. And as far as meat goes, read Upton Sinclair’s the Jungle.

            However, the sheer quantity of the pesticides in use today, and the kinds of pesticides in use today differs enormously from those used in the past.

            With the invention of synthetic organic pesticides in the 40’s, and with the 1000’s of additives also never before ingested by humans in history now added in large quantities to our foods, we have entered a whole new era. And the businesses that manufacture and sell us this stuff as “food” care about profit first and foremost. Any concern about the long-term health and well being of their customers only shows up when not doing so might negatively impact their bottom line, by making them vulnerable to significant legal penalties or lawsuits.

      2. Perhaps we shouldn’t get too rosy-eyed about the diets of yesteryear.

        Everything you say is true but they had other problems to face. Contamination and adulteration of food stuffs including bread, canned foods, coffee, tea, jams, cereals etc etc were a major issue. That’s one reason why the Pure Food and Drug Act was passd in 1906. The unsanitary conditions in slaughterhouses being one important aspect.

        Then as now, whole plant foods were probably safest. However, even there I suspect that people were much less rigorous then about minimising oesticide residues on produce – not to mention excreta from livestock contaminating produce. The reason that there is a whole raft of laws and regulations now governing food safety is that in the past unscrupulous business people would do all sorts of cheap tricks to boost profits which hared people’s health. We’ve seen the same sort of thing in recent years in China where enterprising business people routinely adulterate food to boost profits.

        1. Given that the ancient Sumerians used pesticides on crops over 4,000 years ago, it’s highly unlikely that US produce in 1907 was grown without pesticides.

          I understand that copper acetoarsenite (Paris green) for example was fairly widely used by big producers form the late 1800s onwards.

    4. Hi!

      According to the article “The term ´flesh-abstainer´is employed in this article in preference to “vegetarian”, since the latter term properly means an abstainer from all animal foods (even eggs, milk, cream, and butter), and since it usually suggest a person who abstains not on hygienic reasons, but on religious, ethical or theological grounds (…)

      So, I guess terminology was a little bit different a century ago. In any case, it’s an interesting study, and you can read it online here:

      https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=inu.30000098881653;view=1up;seq=9

  2. Although that literature is pretty dated. I am amazed by how much better the meat-abstainers did compared to the meat-eaters. Eluid Kipchoge, the current marathon world record holder must not be held back at all by his low-meat diet.

    1. Hi Joseph, thanks for your comment.

      I looked at the references cited by Dr. Greger in the video, and I believe weight was not measure, nor was a variable in the study.

  3. Dr. G. asked “How many deep knee bends can you do in a row? How long can you hold your arms out for—”
    – – – –

    Did you mean to add the word “for,” Dr. G.? :-) After a dozen deep knee bends, I got bored. Also got bored with the arm thing, although am sure I’d could do a few minutes of it.

    Am wondering how many of you can get yourselves up from you chair without holding on to anything…and how many times. I’ve never had a problem with that one. However, for me, balancing on one foot requires more effort:

    https://posturemovementpain.com/2014/01/30/how-long-should-i-be-able-to-balance-on-one-leg/

      1. “A centipede was happy – quite!
        Until a toad in fun
        Said, “Pray, which leg moves after which?”
        This raised her doubts to such a pitch,
        She fell exhausted in the ditch
        Not knowing how to run.”

    1. Am wondering how many of you can get yourselves up from you chair without holding on to anything
      ——————————————————————————————————————————-
      This brought to mind a TV show with the rotund Mr. William Conrad playing a detective who never left his home but had an assistant who would go to a crime scene and relay to him a description thereof, and he would then solve the crime.

      His competitor, a police lieutenant would be sent for and the Conrad character would then explain the crime. The Conrad character later relayed to his assistant that the police lieutenant would arise from his chair without holding on to anything knowing it would infuriate the Conrad character as he could not do that.

      There’s a guy I have coffee with who’s always talking about his athletic achievements (golf, handball, etc) and though he is my age, he’s had both knees replaced and still is unable to walk without a cane. Has to have something to hold on to in order to slowly get up from his chair.

      I was never an athlete (wasn’t interested in athletics much though I did run a record setting 220 (yards) in track that I think still stands for my school district.) And now I pop up from my chair sans help and clear the table before holding the door open for him. ‘-)

      sidebar: He’s a confirmed and proud beefeater. ‘-)

      1. Interesting, Lonie — good for you!

        I’ve been doing yoga and other exercises for yo! those many years, so there’s that.

        Another question: Can you bend over and touch the floor with your whole palms — and hold that posture for at least a minute? It’s good to get the blood flowing to your head from that angle once in a while.

        1. Can you bend over and touch the floor with your whole palms — and hold that posture for at least a minute? It’s good to get the blood flowing to your head from that angle once in a while.
          ——————————————————————————————————-
          I can’t do that but I believe it is because of body type. If you observe people as I do you will notice that some have shorter legs while others have longer legs… some people have an equal proportion of leg/torso ratio. I just look for symmetry although I do not qualify as symmetric myself.

          As for getting the blood flowing to the head, I have an inversion table that I used to hang upside down on while counting to a long number and twisting one way for a time and then twisting the other way. I first worried I might pass out and with no one around to help me get upright, I might just die hanging upside down by my feet. After doing that for a few times in short sessions, I became assured the contraption wasn’t going to kill me so would hang upside down until I became bored and would pull myself up with the vertical hand bars.

          Reason I started doing that was because I had a bout with my sciatic nerve that was so bad I had to roll out of bed and with knees on the floor, would have to gradually get vertical by holding onto the bed. Walking, ice packs, chiropractor treatments, and the inversion table finally got me through that painful time. That was maybe 15 years ago and no problems since.

          1. “As for getting the blood flowing to the head, I have an inversion table that I used to hang upside down on while counting to a long number and twisting one way for a time and then twisting the other way.”
            – – – – – – – –

            Lonie, I take it you no longer partake in that — for me, that would be a bit much. Nor would I be able to do the headstand. What I DO do, is the shoulder stand for several minutes every morning along with my other routines — creature of habit that I tend to be.

            https://www.artofliving.org/yoga/yoga-poses/shoulder-stand-sarvangasana

            From there, I move into the plough (some spell it plow) posture:

            https://www.verywellfit.com/plow-pose-halasana-3567105

            1. I take it you no longer partake in that — for me, that would be a bit much. Nor would I be able to do the headstand. What I DO do, is the shoulder stand for several minutes every morning along with my other routines — creature of habit that I tend to be.
              —————————————————————————————-
              Correct, I no longer do that because I don’t have room (house is kinda filled up with wardrobe, props, and other related production items… + multiple computers and displays) to leave the inversion table setup and it is kinda awkward getting both sides of its hinges to slip in properly while holding the heavy part up. So I just leave it propped up against the wall in my equally cluttered garage. Besides, I don’t have any maladies that require the use of it, although it would probably be useful as a preventative.

              But I am quite impressed with your regimen. When I read of these things I try to put myself into the place of the person doing them using my imagination, and I just cannot see me doing even a shoulder stand without toppling over.

              Perhaps with practice… I used to sit in the Lotus position (you know… legs crossed) but got out of the habit of doing that. I think spending more time in front of the computer in a chair with arms caused me to no longer do it. Can’t think of any physical reason for stopping.

        2. It’s good to get the blood flowing to your head from that angle once in a while.
          ———————————————————————————————————-
          Oh, forgot to mention that beet juice and dark chocolate are two good foods for creating Nitric oxide (NOx) that will re-perfuse the brain.

          1. Yummy to the dark chocolate! I’ve managed to down me three or so squares for dessert (my ONLY dessert) every night following the evening meal. Great way to end the day. (I’ve been doing that for *covers mouth* years now.)

              1. I prefer a cannabis dark chocolate brownie
                ———————————————————-
                Just curious… Is Mary Jane your real name or your nom de consumption? ‘-)

        1. And you might be a tiny bit proud of rubbing things in people’s faces.
          —————————————————————————————————
          Deb, I have no idea what size shoe anyone here wears… but if the shoe fits?….

            1. Cinderella is a really dumb concept unless she has unnaturally big or small feet.
              ————————————————————————————————————
              heh, the person in question was certainly no Cinder-fella. ‘-)

      2. In the past, when I followed a Weston A Price diet with lots of flesh, eggs, and dairy, I had painful knees if I didn’t take a glucosamine supplement (it had a few things in it for cartilage). If I ran out, the pain would return in about three weeks, and then it would take another three weeks on the supplement to stop the pain. I figured it was genetic, since my dad had a total knee replacement way back in the 1980s. His mother spent her last many years in a wheelchair because of knee arthritis pain. So I felt fortunate to have found an easy answer.

        I’ve been eating WFPB for about five years now and I no longer need the supplement. I can’t even remember the last time I used it. I exercise with a class at the local senior center (I’m 75), doing aerobics, strength training with weights, and balance training three mornings a week, and I’m thrilled not to need the expensive supplement any more.

        1. In the past, when I followed a Weston A Price diet with lots of flesh, eggs, and dairy, I had painful knees if I didn’t take a glucosamine supplement (it had a few things in it for cartilage). If I ran out, the pain would return in about three weeks, and then it would take another three weeks on the supplement to stop the pain.
          ————————————————————————————————————-
          Thanks for the supplement testimonial along with your WFPB testimonial. Those of us who use supplements to complement our diet salute you! ‘-)

        2. My 75 y.o. brother had painful arthritis in his hands. He switched to a 100% WFD (because heart related issues) and soon after his cholesterol dropped to ~135 (LDL 77) and much to his surprise (not mine), his hands were no longer painful.

          Exercise itself is linked with lower rates of arthritis: http://www.drmirkin.com/joints/inactivity-linked-to-arthritis.html

          and protects your brain: http://www.drmirkin.com/morehealth/aging-and-risk-for-dementia.html

        3. Rebecca,

          Thanks for sharing!

          I didn’t have a lot of pain, except for walking up the back steps which are somehow a different height than the rest of the steps I my life, but it really does seem better and I also stopped spending a fortune on supplements.

    1. I haven’t read the Time Magazine article, but I suspect a lot of the things published that are considered suspect here are maybe based on their reading the nutrition data on a food rather than on the studies that may lean to being unhealthy that are exclusively pointed to here a NF.o

      Just a possible explanation for the different POV.

  4. Could anyone explain or debunk what I call “The Phelps Paradox”? Clearly one of the greatest athletes on the planet and loads up on 1000’s of animal based calories per day during training and competition. How does he do it?

    I’ve already been questioned twice by friends, and had no answer but to say “yeah, it’s not hindering his performance at all, but that doesn’t mean he’s not loaded with plaque and increasing his risk of cancer and heart disease etc.”.

    1. How do you know “it’s not hindering his performance at all”? Seems more like you can be sure it IS hindering his performance. Right? Or am I missing something? Yea, he’s fit but unhealthy and would perform even better if he changed his diet.

      1. Well, I’m pretty sure it’s not adversely affecting his performance based on the following:

        “most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time,[7] with a total of 28 medals. Phelps also holds the all-time records for Olympic gold medals (23),[8] Olympic gold medals in individual events (13), and Olympic medals in individual events (16).[9] When he won eight gold medals at the 2008 Beijing Games, Phelps broke fellow American swimmer Mark Spitz’s 1972 record of seven first-place finishes at any single Olympic Games.”

        It’s impossible to know how a plant-based diet would have improved his performance but it doesn’t seem to really matter now does it?

    2. I wonder how many MORE medals Phelps could have earned had he been eating whole food plants only.

      Are you old enough to remember Jim Fixx? He appeared totally fit, running marathons, and promoting running through his best-selling book, saying runners lived longer and didn’t have heart attacks. Well, he died of a heart attack in his prime, at age 52.

      https://www.nytimes.com/1984/07/22/obituaries/james-f-fixx-dies-jogging-author-on-running-was-52.html

    3. Phelps needs 8000 calories a day while he trains, probably in part, because being immersed in cold water several hours a day would lower his body temperature too much otherwise. I don’t think it’s possible to eat 8000 calories of plant food in a day because of their high water and fiber content. This results in plant foods filling the stomach rather quickly and suppressing the appetite well before than many calories could be consumed.

  5. What about the scientific study of “anything else,” or of bread as the source you displayed actually says? I know that bread is a major source of sodium in my diet and it and flour may be too finely milled and processed to be considered low glycemic and healthy. I also have doubts about even whole grain bread, and that’s aside from any possible problem with gluten. I’ve tried to give up eating bread in favor of whole grains such as rice, oats, barley and so on, but I always have failed. It seems to me that it’s likely that bread has something in it that’s addictive. I’m often not satisfied with a meal if I don’t eat bread even if I feel stuffed.

    1. Ron,

      Highly recommend Ezekiel bread in your case. Sprouted for superior nutrition, very low sodium, 80mg per slice, and 80 cals per slice. If you haven’t tried it, definitely heat it up for a few minutes to enhance the texture and taste.

      1. Ron, I second Casper on that. I also had a problem with bread, particularly whole wheat sourdough.
        I particularly like the Ezekiel muffins, good with almond butter or sliced fruit.

        1. good with almond butter
          ————————————–
          For the longest I disliked the fact that my almond butters were made from roasted almonds. Recently found a brand, MaraNatha that offers a Raw Maple almond butter. Just bought it so haven’t tried it yet as I want to finish the jar I’m on currently.

          Interestingly though, beside it I found a jar of “Barney Butter”. That is, almonds that have been blanched, then dried. It is a powder that I did try in my cocao powder + multiple other nutrient powders. I added some of the almond powder to that and did not experience any off taste, so I think I’ll keep adding it to heighten the nutrition index of my cocoa concoction.

      2. I have one piece of Ezekiel toast with my morning pigout. Delicious, although it does have gluten for those who must avoid it.

        Am thinking of going back to Berlin Bakery Sourdough Spelt bread once in a while, just for something different. The sprouted is said to be healthier. Unfortunately, I have to bus down to Mother Earth’s health food store to get it; Stop&Shop apparently feels the product is too exotic. None of the branches carry millet either. The managers claim to have tried to order it, but the Big Honchos don’t feel like giving it to us. Bummer. :-(

        https://www.berlinnaturalbakery.com/collections/spelt-bread/products/sprouted-sourdough-spelt-bread

        1. YR, I bake my own sourdough bread — whole grain, in fact. I started with yeast and whole wheat flour, using the no-knead method, which I stumbled on while researching bread ingredients in loaves available at local stores (I didn’t know what a lot of them were! When I found out, I didn’t want to eat them.) In any event, the no-knead method is simple and fool proof, and any bread you make at home is far better than any store bought. I gradually progressed to sourdough and then whole grain flour (which I eventually starting grinding at home, but that’s not at all necessary). A great book for beginners is “Josey Baker Bread” by Josey Baker. I still refer to it from time to time.

          1. Dr. J., maybe I’ll go back to bread baking too. Back when my hub was alive, I’d crank out two loaves of whole wheat bread every couple of weeks or so. No white flour in it, of course. Delicious toasted. An old guy, one of our neighbors, used to say, “You could make a meal out of this!” :-)

    2. Ron,

      I agree with Casper. Ezekiel Bread is found in the freezer section and it has a low sodium version.

      Norway did a correlational study between bread eaters and non-bread eaters and looked at people who ate 9 slices per day and they lived longer.

      It was correlational, not double-blind placebo, and I am not sure whether it was a Norwegian industry study or not. Industry studies distort the facts by comparing their products to something worse.

      I just say it in case you are wondering.

      If you have Diabetes, you need to watch your saturated fats, per Dr. Barnard. I don’t know if you do have it, but getting rid of animal products, sugar, oils and white flour are part of his plan.

      1. I suspect that the Norwegian study wasn’t funded by the bread industry because it shows that white bread eaters have significantly higher mortality.

        “RESULTS:
        Norwegian whole grain bread eaters were less likely to be smokers, were more physically active, had lower serum cholesterol and systolic blood pressure, and ate less total and saturated fat as a proportion of energy intake than white bread eaters. After adjustment for age, energy intake, sex, serum cholesterol, systolic blood pressure, smoking, body mass index, physical activity at leisure and work, and use of cod liver oil or other vitamin supplements, hazard rate ratios (HRR) for total mortality were inverse and graded across whole grain bread score categories (category 5 vs category 1 HRR: 0.75, 95% confidence interval 0.63-0.89 in men and 0.66, 0.44-0.98 in women).

        CONCLUSION:
        Protection by whole grain intake against chronic disease is suggested in Norway, where four times as much whole grain is consumed as in the United States.”
        https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11305627

  6. I grew up eating a Sunday meal of cornbread sticks split open beside mashed potatoes and both covered in flour gravy made from some of the leftover Crisco oil battered fried chicken leavings. (Not sure I could pass by a steaming hot plate of all that even today without stopping and eating, knowing it may be unhealthy)

    Of course I would eat light bread as a sandwich but never developed a taste for rolls. Eventually gave up all breads two or three decades ago, except for Rye Crispbread. Eventually even stopped eating that but for financial considerations more than any other.

    I’ll eat oatmeal, but I think not eating bread has served me well.

  7. A couple of points. The referenced fanaticism is similar to Dr. Greger’s silence on anything redeeming about meat, even though evolutionary eating behaviors, ad libitum, resulted in meat-eating. And ethnographers, studying human populations have documented the physical and health status inferiority of human populations after their departure from hunter-gatherer status to neolithic grain eater status, including markers, e.g. height, dental caries, muscle and bone mass, osteomyelitis, infant mortality, etc. And athletes, unprejudiced by ideology have gravitated to omnivorous diets. Of course, athletes and all of us can be uninformed or misinformed about diet and physical performance, admittedly. On another theme, vegetarians (and how are you defining that?; interesting that you are not making the vegetarian vs. vegan distinction- a conspicuous omission), probably have much less body mass, and more functional mass, so their bodies are much easier to move.

    1. “Interesting that you are not making the vegetarian vs. vegan distinction- a conspicuous omission),”

      – – – – – – – –

      IMO, the word “vegan” probably shouldn’t even be in the picture. Maybe “whole foods, plant-based diet (WFPB)” would work better. Which means, no animal foods whatsoever.

      I agree with your “Of course, athletes and all of us can be uninformed or misinformed about diet and physical performance, admittedly.” There’s LOTS of disinfo out there.

      1. >>>Which means, no animal foods whatsoever.
        No, “-based” does not rule out animal food. It only requires that animal foods be a “minor component”, which itself is a rather vague notion.

        1. Ah yes…which is why I originally called myself “Mostly WFPB.” But how to define “minor component,” is the question.

          Like Lonie here, I think 90% (however that figures out to be) WFPB is a good place for me to be at this juncture of my life.

          1. I think the fact is that when animal products are roughly less than 10% of intake calories, there is no solid evidence that there are negative health consequences. As many have pointed out, the longest lived populations seem to be by and large not solely plant eaters e.g the Okinawans who eat their traditional diet. Interestingly, Fuhrman states that the longest lived 7th Day Adventists were, in fact, the nut-eating vegans (I have not been able to find confirmation of this but assume he is correct).

            1. gengogakusha,

              I am not sure that your numbers are true for every condition.

              When you keep your animal products to 5% of your calories, they don’t cause Cancer to grow. At 10% Cancer does grow.

              There are other studies, like heart attacks, where there are still risk factors until you get all the way down to the vegan level.

              Also, there are meat viruses and heavy metals and meat causes you to have bad gut bacteria and if you have leaky gut, you can get autoimmune conditions and those do affect your health.

    2. And ethnographers, studying human populations have documented the physical and health status inferiority of human populations after their departure from hunter-gatherer status to neolithic grain eater status, including markers, e.g. height, dental caries, muscle and bone mass, osteomyelitis, infant mortality, etc. And athletes, unprejudiced by ideology have gravitated to omnivorous diets.
      ———————————————————————————————
      No basis or desire to challenge what you wrote. My thinking is that a balanced diet that includes non-red meat (chicken or fish) is a good diet for growing a human unit into adulthood.

      In the latter third of a lifespan, however, I think a diet should evolve to something like a 90% WFPB diet since there is less need for the IGF-1 (Insulin like growth factor) due to excess physical activity and having the protection of a library of anti-bodies to repair or protect our bodies.

      At that third trimester of life, we are more in need of interventions to rejuvenate our different systems by returning them to a younger state.

      Good news… through science, those interventions are coming! ‘-)

    3. Hey Craig, I figured I’d go ahead and respond to some of your points. “evolutionary eating behaviors” evolution doesn’t care what’s best for us, only what will enable us to pass on our genes. We evolved to be able to tolerate meat as a way to increase calories but that doesn’t mean it’s an optimal way to eat. Actual carnivores don’t get atherosclerosis, cancer, and fatal pathogens from uncooked meat. So the argument that we should eat meat because we evolved the capability is silly.

      As far as Neolithic grain eaters, you have correlation and causation confused. Their poor health was mostly from their environment. They lived very different lives than their gatherer counterparts. The grain eaters lived in the first towns and cities where close proximity and complete lack of sanitation caused the rapid spread of parasites and dangerous pathogens. These conditions did lead to high infant mortality, osteomyelitis (infection of the bones), and decreases in height since childhood infections can stunt growth.

      Their diet also negatively impacted their health but not how you’re assuming. Crop failures were very common when humans first began cultivating grains. They also didn’t have the variety of foods/crops that we are spoiled with today. These factors lead to caloric deficits and frequent malnutrition. Of course they has decreased height, muscle, and bone mass. Living in communities they also were much more sedentary than their neighbors the gatherers. Again this would decrease muscle and bone mass.

      On to athletes. No, they aren’t prejudiced by ideology. They’re only prejudiced by their families, friends, culture, and media to be omnivores. Being an omnivore is the ‘default’ in our society so of course that’s what they “gravitate” towards. There is ample evidence that eating more plant based improves recovery times allowing athletes to train harder and that it can improve performance. You can knock a minute off of your 5k time just by eating beets and spinach for a start.

      As far as the “conspicuous omission,” as others in the comments have pointed out, vegetarian back when these studies were carried out meant plant based. The word “vegan” wasn’t even invented until decades later lol.

      And if their bodies are easier to move because they have more “functional mass”
      … so what? Isn’t that the only kind of mass you would want? Being leaner is a blessing in these modern days of rampant obesity.

      There are literally no redeeming qualities to meat. Anything you can get from meat, you get from plants but without the cancer and heart disease. And if you’re thinking b12, no. That comes from bacteria and not from animals. You’ll find after a little digging that farmers have to supplement the livestock with b12 injections these days.

      I hope I’ve helped clear some things up.

    4. Craig

      The population explosion following the transition to an agricultural lifestyle suggests that your healthy hunter gatherers had much higher mortality than te farmers. What does that say about their health and lifestyle?

      Also, I would have thought that by now that you would know that Greger doesn’t advocate either ‘vegetarian’ or ‘vegan’ diets? He says that whole food plant based diets are the healthiest. These may or may not include small amounts of animal foods. However, he can only discuss the available evidence and it seems reasonable to assume that so-called vegetarians and vegans eat more whole plant foods and eat little or no meat. Hence their relevance to a disussion of whole food plant based diets.

      As for meat, the expert scientific agency established by the WHO to analyse cancer concluded that processed meat is carcinogenic and red meat is probably carcinogenic

      It’s not surprising then multiple studies show an association between meat consumption and increased mortality eg
      https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/104/4/1137/4557128

  8. How cool is this going back a hundred years for this type of research – I was fascinated. Strictly anecdotal but at age 70 I play in a competitive Wallyball League and hold my own against younger players who could be my children and grandchildren. Vegan for nearly three years and never felt better in my life thanks in part to Dr. Greger’s work…

  9. They were just talking about the correlation between infection and mental health issues.

    They said that looking at more than 1 million Danish children, those who had been hospitalized for severe infection had an 84% increased risk of being diagnosed with a mental disorder before age 18. 84%

    1. Deb, that’s crazy but completely believable. I read lately that they now think there are even bacteria that reside in the brains of healthy individuals.

      1. Ryan,

        Yes, it makes sense that bacteria would be there. It makes it medical in my opinion.

        How many kids are being treated by psychiatry when maybe a week of water fastibg might get rid of their infections or decrease the bacterial and fungal and viral loads enough that their bodies can function normally?

        I don’t have a high trust of doctors, but I have a deeper distrust of psychiatry.

        A few years ago, some parents tried to deal with their child medically instead of using the psychiatric model and it went to court and psychiatry was more powerful than medical and parents.

        That gave me the Heeby Jeebies.

        1. Dr Amen said that he was guessing based on symptoms most of the time and that 80-something percent of the referral doctors change their diagnoses and plan of treatment after his brain scans.

          I don’t neccessrily like his brain scans, because I think you need to expose yourself to something toxic to find out if your brain is broken. Plus it costs thousands of dollars.

          But I looked it up, in case I couldn’t fix my brain on my own.

          My brain is a zillion times better than it was.

          My brain couldn’t process information and I was having more than one type of experience, which I still couldn’t explain if I tried.

          1. They don’t check for medical problems first.

            Second, in a SAD society, they don’t check for nutritional deficiencies.

            Third, in a society where 1 out of 3 girls and one out of 5 boys are molested, they don’t check for thibgs like that.

            Fourth, they don’t do tests, like brain scans or draw bloodwork before putting people on meds.

            I had a friend whose daughter got seriously depressed after a marriage break-up, but they went to meds and she got worse and ended up institutionalized and got even worse. Ten years later, they got her daughter off the meds and she lost most of the symptoms and came back to normal and it was long enough after the divorce that she was no longer depressed by that, but she still had to recover from memories of the institution and in many ways that was harder than recovering from her failed marriage.

  10. “There has been a long-standing claim that the word was derived from the latin ‘vegetus’ – apparently meaning ‘whole, fresh, lively’, but as far back as 1906 a writer in the Manchester-based Vegetarian Society’s own magazine knew this was myth, and also suggested Alcott House as the probable real origin. The survival of the ‘vegetus’ myth is probably due to the need to get round the eggs/dairy problem, and a way of claiming that ‘vegetarian’ was not just about eating vegetation,”

    From: https://ivu.org/history/societies/vegsoc-origins.html

    1. I wonder how many “I said it first” myths there are.

      Do Re Me Me Me Me Me Me Me Fa So La Te Do

      Okay, I am wondering how many moral vegans are on this site.

      I see a whole bunch of health-motivated semi-vegetarians aiming plant-based.

      I slept today. (Fell asleep while I was having new tires put on my car. They gave me a comfortable seat in such bright sunlight that I closed my eyes to shut out the brightness. The whole process took an hour and I slept probably a half hour of it.)

  11. Yes, that is absolutely the proper scientific attitude when examining the physical effects of consumption of animal products amongst humans. But I think that is an easy and entirely unjustified scapegoat to blame “preachiness.” We’re not pixies (I once read that pixies could only experience one thought/emotion at a time… not sure if that’s true in the mythology), we’re critically thinking beings (or at least should be) and there are often multiple aspects of the same subject. When it comes to consumption of animals, there is the moral and ethical point, so exists the environmental aspect, and naturally there is the scientific aspect. These things coexist all at once and to say that acknowledging each or more than one of these at a time distracts from a single one of the issues is just silly and again, unjustified. For one thing, many including myself went vegetarian and even vegan solely for moral purposes and not only had no idea about the fact that it’s the natural and optimal diet for human beings, but also believed the hype that we might be deficient in this or that. I for example believed I had to work extra hard to get protein (but I didn’t) and all that but my attitude since I was 9 years old was that I didn’t care because I knew I could survive and I cared about animals. I didn’t even know meat was bad for you in the least and in fact, I only started to learn about that through things shared by animal activists I spoke with.
    You could even argue that to get people to stick to a healthy plant based diet 100% of the time, the best way to do that is through concern for the victims. I’m sure it’s true for some and not for others, but I so often hear how people knew these things were bad but were only ever to fully commit when they learned about what happened to the victims.
    So yes, there is the scientific point that these things are harmful to us and that should be stuck to when talking about the physical effects these things have on our bodies. But there are also other equally (to say the least) legitimate reasons as to why humans should not be consuming these things. Personally, I believe it’s no coincidence that the science aligns so brilliantly with the morals which aligns so brilliantly with sustainability which aligns so brilliantly with the science… It’s profound and amazing.

    1. “For one thing, many including myself went vegetarian and even vegan solely for moral purposes and not only had no idea about the fact that it’s the natural and optimal diet for human beings, but also believed the hype that we might be deficient in this or that.”

      I meant to elaborate my point on that which was that many vegetarians THEMSELVES had or have no idea that their diets are optimal for their health.

      1. S, you are absolutely correct as far as I am concerned — except that I’ve been a vegetarian for 46+ years for sustainability reasons. Plant based eating uses far fewer resources (land, water, fossil fuels) and is far less degrading to the environment; I’ve more recently learned that it avoids the cruelty to animals and workers, and contributes less to antibiotic resistance. But for most of those years, I had no idea that this way of eating was healthy. Quite the opposite, in fact; I always encountered criticism that it was dangerous to my health: “But where will you get your protein?” “How can you be healthy?” “Why would you eat a diet of such extreme deprivation?” etc etc etc I am thrilled to learn that these so-called “concerns” were wrong! And I wish I’d ditched the dairy and eggs 46+ years, ago, too; that happened only over the last 5 years or so.

        And I have for years used the term vegetarian to mean eating eggs and dairy, and vegan to mean no animal products at all. But I sometimes used the term ovo-lacto vegetarian. Now, if I really care to know, I ask people what they mean by the terms that they use.

        1. You were right. Vegetarian means eating eggs and dairy, and vegans do not eat any animal products. That’s the difference between them though some think of vegans as those who don’t wear leather or use animal products either. I like “nutritarian” from Joel Furhman, M.D.

          1. >>> Vegetarian means eating eggs and dairy This way of putting it is not, to my mind, right — there is no such implication. A vegetarian could be a pesco-vegetarian, or a pesco-lacto-vegetarian, etc., or even eat no animal products.

          2. Joy, vegans don’t wear leather or use other animal products so that thinking is correct. Veganism is about abstaining from harm and exploitation of animals by what is possible and practical, it’s not actually a diet; people just sometimes use it to describe eating plant based but that’s actually a misuse of the term.

        2. My experience was very similar to yours, Dr. J. I used the term vegetarian but consumed other animal products. And I received those same kind of remarks all my life, although there was at least one positive conception by some of my friends come to think of it, which went “you’re lucky you’re skinny, it’s because you don’t eat meat.”
          I wish I had known more, too, so as to not eat other animal products as well. I also would have loved to know I was helping the environment at all by my choice, I was an environmentalist since I can remember.

          Oddly, even though my reasons for going “vegetarian” were for the animals (was completely unaware of what happened to them for eggs and dairy and completely unaware about environmental issues and other global issues) I didn’t make the connection about leather which I continued to wear in thinking what most do, that it’s a by-product of the meat industry that would otherwise be thrown away. Of course that is not the case.

            1. Deb,

              there are specific places where you can get all vegan shoes, I’ve heard of brands, but what I do is just pay attention to the materials things are made with and make sure they’re all man-made materials or other natural materials. A lot of places will actually specify that an item of clothing or accessory is vegan now, so that’s cool. When first becoming vegan, some don’t get rid of all their leather shoes and so on and just wear them out and simply won’t buy them anymore, others are more comfortable completely getting rid of them, there’s no right or wrong way to go about it, the important thing is to no longer buy them.

    2. I agree with you about sustainability aligning so brilliantly with science. I would add compassion.

      But I do agree that something happened where the most vocal vegans really turned people off with their language.

      I say it, because it caused most of the people around me to shut down. I have slowly been getting them to engage in deeper discussions, by using compassion language and humor, but they had a “hatred” toward veganism, which comes when any group uses a “morally superior” power language.

      The thing is, the ads and talks about compassion for animals can be presented in ways where it genuinely generates compassion or it can be presented in a finger pointing pouring blood on people’s fur coats or leather briefcases or spewing judgment at them for wearing sneakers and that is what happened and what people got turned off by.

      I am a Christian and Christianity did the same stupid process and alienated everybody and the communities went from these grace and love oriented communities helping the poor and afflicted to morally superior great big jerks to people who don’t think the same.

      There are comedians talking about vegans talking judgmentally.

      I am not saying it as an enemy of veganism. I am living something like 99% vegan or, maybe, I am living 100% vegan most days of the year, but every once in a while I have a piece of birthday cake and I had one creamer in my coffee at a baby shower.

      1. S,

        The leaders of the WFPB movement are kind-hearted, compassionate and positive. That helps me bond to the movement.

        The people around me bonded emotionally to Keto and a few to Paleo.

        Nobody around here bonded emotionally to the DASH diet.

        People like Dr. Greger being funny and kind and passionate and putting up videos has accomplished so much.

        I listened to Dr. Barnard speaking and if you watch his interviews, what comes across is that he is such a good listener.

        Them being positive and having messages like this one is what already has broken through.

        Vegan was the most popular trend diet last year or some wording like that.

      2. Deb,

        Yes, compassion! I kind of meant that by moral reason but used the term moral to sort of lump sum compassion and justice.

        It’s true that those lashing out about anything could turn anyone off. But I don’t have a lot of patience for those who use that as an excuse and find it’s mostly exaggerated.
        When I was still just a “vegetarian,” I was into animal rights and getting to know more like-minded people and I had one vicious remark said to me, but my attitude was that I appreciated them caring so much or the animals and didn’t take it personally. I was still very ignorant at the time, now I can understand their frustration but it would have been more suited to someone who knew about what went on but just didn’t care. It didn’t stop me from listening to others and learning though–the idea of it giving me an attitude towards the truth about things and the victims always seemed stupid to me and still does.

        I don’t support name calling or lashing out like an idiot and the vast majority of animal rights activists feel the same and that that type of behavior is actually selfish as it only serves venting their own anger and harms the animals in the long run. But I rarely see this happen, collectively. Most of the time what I see is people becoming offended by polite but clear explanations, images, or other means of shedding light on the realities of animal agriculture and instead of concerning themselves about the issue and their role in it, they worry about their own feelings and how hearing and/or seeing the truth makes them feel, then take it as a personal offense and accuse those shedding light on a holocaust as being preachy or whatever else and for people like that, I have no patience.

        In exposing the truth, I’m all for the blatant truth and that may seem hardcore to some, but it’s just reality so I’m not sure why anyone would take that as extreme other than being unrealistic and catering to their own peace of mind which seems childish to me. The sheer truth being exposed is what woke me up and was the reason for me going vegan. But I don’t think there is one right or wrong way. With any movement in history, it’s always taken multiple approaches to create change–people are reached in different ways. The only thing I consider wrong is speaking like a violent idiot or behaving like one which once again, is a selfish act and does nothing to help anyone. So I fully agree that people like that hold things back and are more harmful to any cause than even those adamantly against the cause. But I also have no patience for those trying to say their specific brand of activism is THE right way and the only way which I see happen too often. But again, lashing out like an idiot is an exception because that is definitely the wrong approach.

        1. S,

          You are right that any movement will have multiple approaches, but some will become emotionally-compelling movements and others will cause backlash.

          I am not against the truth coming out, even the hardcore truth, but I agree with Dr. Ornish that understanding the internal motivations of people is so much more effective at getting them to change.

          I could show the actual footage of the animals being mistreated and have friends who are Keto right now, but they are so emotionally sensitive about protecting cats and dogs and other animals, that I know for a fact would stop eating animals on the spot if they saw the footage, but they would get so turned off if I looked down on them as meat eaters.

          They are meat eaters because they are looking at all of the diet wars information and chose Keto for health reasons. They are focused on their own lab numbers and blood sugar numbers and all I would have to do is show the footage of the animals and they would cry their eyes out. I have a few friends who are like that.

          If I shouted the information at them, they would not hear one syllable of it.

          The sun and the wind trying to get the coat off the people of America.

          1. I just got blessed about ten times in a row without deserving any of it.

            It made me come back and say S., you have not been negative at all that I have seen. I haven’t seen you lash out and I appreciate that you share from your heart and that you give information.

            What I know is that everybody dances between competing logic.

            FIji water is an internal example for me where drinking it helped me get over hallucinations but it hurt my conscience and caused an inner war because the people of the island can’t use the spring and struggle to get clean water.

            That is enough for me to not want to buy their product. My brain getting better drinking it is the warring thought, which makes it complicated.

            My friends really would struggle inwardly if I showed them the animal footage and what I know is that they would be more likely to respond to it if I don’t somehow put myself in the middle. I could make them run away from WFPB and that is inwardly something I am aware of.

            1. “but some will become emotionally-compelling movements and others will cause backlash.”

              That is a very good point, Deb. Very true and worth keeping in mind for just about anything.

              Speaking of the logical contradiction of caring about the protection of some animals while accepting the systemic abuse of others and peoples’ personal motivation, there’s a video by a social psychologist that came to mind that I thought you might find interesting: https://www.facebook.com/livekindlyco/videos/550357601979485/

              “but they would get so turned off if I looked down on them as meat eaters.”

              Yeah, that is not a good approach or even an honest one since at one point, most of us ate meat and other animal products.

              Thanks so much for your kidn words, Deb :) I’m not sure what your blessings were, but I’m sure you deserved them.

              I can see how that would be a tough choice with the Fiji water for you. If it helps, thanks to you sharing the information on it here, I purposefully boycott their water and suggest the same to others.

              Good luck with your friends if you’re planning on showing them footage. You’ve probably heard of the documentary Earthlings, but that is a powerful collection of footage if you wanted to pick one.

        2. “I don’t support name calling or lashing out like an idiot”

          Ok, I had to laugh at myself for that sentence. Haha. Clearly there must be exceptions, lol… I mean, people ARE idiots sometimes and when properly used, it can be relatively peaceful and very useful! Like in the case of referring to violent mob mentality. So to clarify, I don’t support name calling as a means to win an argument and so on. But sometimes, the world demands words like “idiot.”

    1. According to Wikipedia, Fisher, who was named professor of political economy at Yale in 1898, was diagnosed w tuberculosis that same year, triggering an interest in health. He spent 3 years in various sanitaria (Battle Creek?), published a book on health in 1915 that argued for avoiding red meat, and was a founder of the Life Extension Institute, something w which Taft and Alexander Bell were associated. He was also apparently said to have been the greatest native-born American economist ever by Schumpeter, Milton Friedman, and James Tobin. He was an advocate of vegetarianism (sadly, died at 80), was an early econometrician and had a theoretical physicist as one of his two advisors when he received the first doctorate in economics given by Yale. I would bet he was competent, credible, and would not have falsified his results.

    2. “Studies are over 100 years old…. hardly reliable.”

      Adam, so by that logic, any and every current and future study is only relevant within a timeframe… How in the world would science have ever progressed if that were the case?! It makes no sense, you’re not really thinking this through, are you? A study is a study, it doesn’t matter how old or new it is–it’s the quality of a study that deems its value.

  12. I just tried the arms straight out in front of me and did it for 29 minutes. I think I could have done it ten minutes longer but the temptation to lower them grew. I’m a vegan, so this proves it! I did better than all the meat eaters listed and about half the athletic vegetarians.

    1. Kudos, Joy! How many deep knee bends can you do? And can you hands (not just the fingertips) on the floor without bending your knees? I also do a dozen or more pushups every morning, although am sure I could get it higher.

      It seems nobody else has anything to report. Not even Dr. G. :-(

    2. I forgot to mention that I’m a 62 year-old women and I assume these men were in the prime of youth. I do a lot of yoga, but I’m not very muscled, so I do think a plant-food diet makes a difference. Irving Fisher is a famous economist and would have been very careful with this study.

  13. FWIW, the author of the Yale study appears to be the same Irving Fisher who said in 1929 that stocks had reached a permanently high plateau. And the vegetarians appear to have been drawn from Battle Creek Sanitarium, associated w the Kelloggs and the Adventist Church. So they presumably would have consumed eggs and dairy, judging from SDA practice then and now.

    1. I agree, Jim. I’m willing to bet big bucks this study was done on vegetarians who ate eggs and/or dairy.

      From a link I posted up the hill somewhere: “For people who aren’t plant-eaters, vegan and vegetarian are often perceived to be the same thing. SINCE BEING VEGETARIAN MEANS YOU EAT DAIRY and being vegan means you don’t, to someone who avoids animal foods, a vegetarian dish is the last thing they want. So they are quick to make a sharp distinction between the terms.”

      https://nutritionstudies.org/vegan-plant-based-diet-or-what-label-works/

    2. Wasn’t the point of the study simply to research the difference between flesh eaters and non flesh eaters?

      Why are you getting hung up on how many of the abstainers ate dairy or eggs (or fish for that matter)? The information is simply not there but you want to invent it? Why? What are you trying to argue here? People who completely avoid animal foods couldn’t possibly perform better than meat eaters? Is that what you are suggesting?

      And the statement ‘SINCE BEING VEGETARIAN MEANS YOU EAT DAIRY and being vegan means you don’t,’ is simply ignorant rubbish.

      1. Oooooh, so now you’re debunking writers for T. Colin Campbell’s Center for Nutrition Studies! *tisk tisk*

        Hung up? “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.”

        1. Yeah, Campbell’s mob have that wrong.

          I mean how bright do you have to be to understand what ‘plant based’ means? If it was supposed to be a whole food exclusively plant diet, it would be called a whole food exclusively plant diet

          While defining vegetarianism as a diet that excludes meat is just as intelligent. Yes, vegetarianis don’t eat meat. You might just as wel define fruitarianism as a diet that excludes fish. After all fruitarains don’t eat fish. The meaning of the two terms is in the names themselves. Vegetarians eat a vegetable diet, fruitarians eat a fruit diet.

          Yeah, you seemed hung up on this for reasons I can’t fathom. it’s qyuite clear from the article that the abstainers were simply people who didn’t eat meat – whether any of them were ‘proper’ vegetarians in Fisher’s terms is simply unknwn so why speculate or invent facts? What’s the point?

            1. It’s just an excuse for me to get on my soap box and have a good rant. It’s positively therapeutic. So, next time somebody accuses you of being good for nothing, you will have the perfect response :)

              But, really, what was the purpose of speculating about how many of the ‘abstainers’ did or didn’t eat dairy or eggs? You and Jim must have had some point in mind surely?

              1. I can’t answer for Jim (Jim, where are you?), but I think it was more “what is the definition of vegetarian?” rather than what the athletes actually ate. We both thought that, back in those days, “vegetarian” MOST LIKELY included the eating of cheese/dairy, but some of the posters here — including yourself? — thought otherwise: that “vegetarian” technically meant nothing whatsoever from an animal. IMO the whole subject is not worth quibbling about. How many here can do the arm-holding and deep knee bends, etc….that’s what I’m more interested in. Only a couple of us answered Dr. G’s question (he too was a chicken, haha).

                Take a look at the very first post if this thread. She too brought up eggs and/or dairy, so the definition of “vegetarian” seems to be very common, yes? According to the Seventh Day Adventists.

                “Eggs and dairy products are acceptable in the Seventh Day Adventist Diet but should be consumed in moderation to keep cholesterol intake under control. Low-fat dairy is the preferred choice for those who choose to consume dairy. Alternatives such as soy, almond and rice milk are also acceptable.”

                https://www.livestrong.com/article/441583-what-foods-are-on-the-7th-day-adventist-diet/

                It’s a new moon day so start yourself an exciting new project! Like, learn to simmer down!

                1. YR

                  I am not entirely convinced that disagreeing with you is automatically tantamount to being either aggravated or boiling mad. In fact I find you more entertaining than irritating. Nevertheless, I prostrate myself before your sublime wisdom.

                  However, as a mere mortal, i still can’t fathom why the interest in how many people among the abstainers ate dairy and/or eggs.

                  A possibly more relevant and more interesting question to my mind would be: was there a difference between the smoking and drinking rates among the flesh eaters and flesh abstainers? Tobacco and alcohol use might well have impaired athletic performance.

                  My ‘intuition’ suggests that there could have been such a difference between the two groups (given that a large proportion of the abstainers were from Battle Creek).

                  1. “…i still can’t fathom why the interest in how many people among the abstainers ate dairy and/or eggs.”
                    – – – – – –

                    Where, in any of my comments, did I ever wonder “how many” of the flesh abstainers/athletes ate dairy and/or eggs? Are you getting me mixed up with the first poster?

                    Here’s what Gert posted: “We’re the vegetarian students in this study eating eggs and or dairy products? According to the definition of vegetarian, they were. If so, what percentage of calories?”

                    1. YR

                      I had the impression that you thought ALL the ‘flesh-abstainers’ ate eggs and dairy – judging by this sentence of yours:

                      ‘I agree, Jim. I’m willing to bet big bucks this study was done on vegetarians who ate eggs and/or dairy.’

    3. Yes, my husband has quoted that remark of Fisher’s to me many times, about the permanently high plateau. Amusing, but I agree with your other assessment of Fisher. Many economists make erroneous predictions and are still competent.

      1. No offense to economists meant, but economics is a field where even very smart people can make poor, even in retrospect seemingly ridiculous, predictions. It’s just the nature of the field, and Fisher, who was brilliant, was no exception.

  14. Well, this was a waste of time.

    Reminds me of that satirical study by some University on Mr. Fletcher, the great masticator.

    But jeej Belgium!

    Hope the next video will be better.

    1. Hang around for then next few videos, Netgogate. Dr. Greger is just setting the stage. I’m sure he’ll give evidence that recent studies confirm these early results.

    2. Alas, he couldn’t find an English translation of the Belgian study.

      Hey, don’t knock masticating. It is a powerful process.

      I like the video. I like knowing that there is a Belgian study and I like that the Vegans weren’t these weak, frail, sand-kicked-in-their-face people, which is how culture portrays it. There are meat-only and Keto people still trying to portray veganism that way.

      1. You have to give him points for most unique language translation.

        Uber driving vegetarians.

        Makes me think he might not be the best one to choose translators for “How Not to Die” which I am thinking will be translated “How to Not Die” for sure.

        1. Whenever I think about translation problems, I think about seeing My Fair Lady with French subtitles in Paris.

          During the Rain in Spain song whole paragraphs would be sung and the French translation on the screen simply said, “Oui”

          1. Not saying they were wrong to not translate every word, but I understood the concept of lost in translation from that moment forward.

        2. I think that was just Dr Greger making a self-deprecating joke about the German title of the study rather than it being an actual translation error.

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