The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org

The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org
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If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families.

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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.

I’m often asked what my opinion is about one food or another. I know what they’re saying, but, you know, I’m not interested in opinions. I’m not interested in beliefs. I’m interested in the science. What does the best available balance of evidence published in the peer-reviewed medical literature show, right now?

For trivial decisions in life, it doesn’t matter. Want a new toaster? Get a shiny one, or get the pretty one, or get the one your friend likes, or the one recommended by some stranger on the internet, right? How much does it really matter?

But, what we eat on a day-to-day basis is the number one determinant of our health and longevity. It’s one of the most important decisions of our lives. In fact, the three most important decisions of our lives may be what to eat—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We’re talking about the health of our families. What could be more important? These are literally life-or-death decisions. Yet, when I ask people why they eat what they do, I get, “Oh, I read something online,” or “I heard about this new diet at the gym.” That’s like asking a parent on some family skydiving trip why they’re folding everyone’s parachutes in some weird, new fashion, and getting an answer like, “Well, I heard about some fad, where like, you know, like, if you’re blood type A, you gotta fold it like…”

If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families. If there’s anything to put a little critical thought into, it should be what we eat on a daily basis. So, when I, or anyone else, says anything about something as life-and-death important as diet, your immediate response should be, “Show me the science.” Right? None of us were born with this information; where did we find it? And don’t just tell me the source; show me the source.

That’s why, if you look at my videos, I don’t just talk about the science; I show you the science. I don’t just cite a study; I show you the study—the actual graphs, tables, figures. I don’t just share a quote; I show you the quote. And then, you can click on the Sources Cited button next to every video, and get a list of links to all the sources I used. So, you can download the PDFs; read the studies yourself. Make sure I didn’t, you know, take anything out of context.

When it comes to critical, life-altering decisions, it’s not enough for “some expert” to just cite their sources. They should give you their sources, so you can make up your own mind.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

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.

I’m often asked what my opinion is about one food or another. I know what they’re saying, but, you know, I’m not interested in opinions. I’m not interested in beliefs. I’m interested in the science. What does the best available balance of evidence published in the peer-reviewed medical literature show, right now?

For trivial decisions in life, it doesn’t matter. Want a new toaster? Get a shiny one, or get the pretty one, or get the one your friend likes, or the one recommended by some stranger on the internet, right? How much does it really matter?

But, what we eat on a day-to-day basis is the number one determinant of our health and longevity. It’s one of the most important decisions of our lives. In fact, the three most important decisions of our lives may be what to eat—for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

We’re talking about the health of our families. What could be more important? These are literally life-or-death decisions. Yet, when I ask people why they eat what they do, I get, “Oh, I read something online,” or “I heard about this new diet at the gym.” That’s like asking a parent on some family skydiving trip why they’re folding everyone’s parachutes in some weird, new fashion, and getting an answer like, “Well, I heard about some fad, where like, you know, like, if you’re blood type A, you gotta fold it like…”

If there’s anything in life that we should demand evidence for, it should be that which affects the health and wellbeing of ourselves and our families. If there’s anything to put a little critical thought into, it should be what we eat on a daily basis. So, when I, or anyone else, says anything about something as life-and-death important as diet, your immediate response should be, “Show me the science.” Right? None of us were born with this information; where did we find it? And don’t just tell me the source; show me the source.

That’s why, if you look at my videos, I don’t just talk about the science; I show you the science. I don’t just cite a study; I show you the study—the actual graphs, tables, figures. I don’t just share a quote; I show you the quote. And then, you can click on the Sources Cited button next to every video, and get a list of links to all the sources I used. So, you can download the PDFs; read the studies yourself. Make sure I didn’t, you know, take anything out of context.

When it comes to critical, life-altering decisions, it’s not enough for “some expert” to just cite their sources. They should give you their sources, so you can make up your own mind.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Videography courtesy of Grant Peacock

Doctor's Note

Wait a second, though. Why do so many of the videos on this site seem to be biased against certain foods? For the same reason that the website of the American Lung Association probably seems biased against tobacco. The Philip Morris Corporation has come up with more than a hundred studies showing the health benefits of smoking. For example, the nicotine may help schizophrenics with psychotic symptoms, and smoking may affect immune function sufficient to benefit ulcerative colitis. The tobacco industry used these studies to accuse former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop of “selective reporting” when he argued that smoking caused cancer.

The reason Dr. Koop chose to focus on anti-tobacco studies is presumably because he was trying to accurately reflect what was in the scientific literature. The best available balance of evidence strongly suggests smoking is bad for people’s health overall—and the same could be said for many foods. So, when the tobacco industry dismisses public health professionals as being biased against tobacco–of course they’re biased against tobacco! To be biased against smoking is to be biased against death and disease. That’s kinda their job.

No one has to smoke, but everyone has to eat. So, there’s an additional opportunity cost to eating unhealthy foods, beyond just how bad they themselves may be for our health. Every Twinkie we put in our mouth is a missed opportunity to eat something healthier.

This video is part of an experiment to find ways to appeal to those new to the site. So much of what I do is targeted towards those who already know the basics, but in the user survey about a thousand of you filled out a few weeks ago, many of you asked for me to take a step back, and do some videos targeted more towards those new to evidence-based nutrition.

So, with the volunteer help of videographer Grant Peacock, I came up with ten introductory and overview-type videos for both new users to orient themselves, and for long-time users to introduce people to the site.

The first three are already up:

Stay tuned for:

What we’re going to do is alternate between these broader overview-type videos, and the regularly scheduled content, so as not to bore those who just crave the latest science.

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

222 responses to “The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org

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  1. Thank you, Dr. Greger! Your wonderful site has changed my life and made up my mind. Long time visitor, first time poster. I try to live a WFPB lifestyle everyday thanks to you.




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      1. You deserve thanks too, Thea. Although I have been lurking on this site for over a year now, I never posted anything. I have, however, looked through the comments section on just about every video or article I’ve viewed because moderators like you do great work and your responses are always informative. Dr. Greger has become a hero of mine because of how profoundly this site has impacted me and my family. I felt it was way overdue that I express my appreciation, and who can resist the allure of posting first?




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        1. Audrey Hufsmith: You sure got the ball rolling today! And I saw that you are helping people today too. Nice. :-)
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          Also, thanks for that super nice feedback. You made me smile big. :-)




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  2. I gotta tell you, it works. Giving us the science is so much better. I have seen numerous articles arguing for one thing or another but I always end up wanting to say, “show me what you got.” You do that and it is indeed convincing. The biggest problem is that there are still those who will just not look.




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    1. Stewart, there is also a lot of junk science being quoted out there in diet-land. So, for those of us who don’t have the training to read the papers ourselves and understand what they actually say, it is also imperative to seek out the actual truth by finding people like Dr G who are both trustworthy and not being paid to promote one diet or supplement or many others. This took years and years for me. It all started in about 1963 when my mother sent me a check for $4 or so and told me to buy Adelle Davis’ book.

      I became fascinated with nutrition at that point, and how we really are responsible for our own health and that of our families, to a huge degree. But what Davis said was probably the truth she understood, but not the truth I now have certainty about. I’ve read dozens of books, maybe hundreds, then studied nutrition in a more formal program, which focused on the research of Price and Pottenger and others who advocated eating meat, eggs, butter, and whole grains as well as veggies and fruits.

      It took getting an aggressive cancer and researching how best to support whatever treatments I decided to take before I discovered The China Study and other books, at that time mostly promoting a raw vegan diet. It took more reading and a few more years before I came to totally trust this way to be the best and healthiest, most earth-friendly, and kindest way of eating. It has been a long and rocky road to get this far, and I was actively working at it, but without the background to trust one researcher over another. When people stumble upon the WFPB diet and follow it without question, I think a huge measure of luck and/or guardian angel is also involved.




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      1. Rebecca, I can readily appreciate what you’re saying. I have from the early seventies been interested in nutrition but without doing great diligence. Yes, I read Adele Davis as well as a diet for a small planet but was not completely convinced.

        Well several family members with cancer were depressing and inspiring me to keep looking. But it became an obsession when I developed psoriatic arthritis. Pain can inspire a lot of focus. The doctor wanted to put me on methotrexate which I assume would have shortened my life maybe 10 or 20 years. So I began in earnest to look for nutrition factors. Showing me the science was convincing and after following this site for about a month I switched to a whole food plant based diet.

        Dr Greger had not addressed autoimmune diseases that I could find but all the inflammatory factors in meat suggested a likely connection. The upshot is, the pain was gone quickly, and the residual swelling disappeared in a few months. Now I cannot stop studying this stuff. I even did Colin Campbell’s plant based nutrition certification at Cornell.

        So to another critical point,,, I am an historian and economist by training. I was just doing a review of medicare and the explosion of the costs of the system. Medicare is pretty efficient so might well be considered a proxy for the whole system. When looking at the explosion in cost due to lack of lifestyle medicine, (over 7000% in the last 30 years) I must conclude that we are faced with an economic anvil which could well sink the US economy as that anvil continues to grow with the American waistline. Some might argue that medicare is the problem but how ever the medical costs are paid for they will be a burden. Indeed medicare has greater efficiency than the other health insurance programs so ending that will likely exacerbate the problem




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        1. Hi Stewart E., So glad to hear that a dietary change helped your symptoms. If you are interested in knowing more, look on the website under health topics, rheumatoid arthritis, (the prototypical autoimmune disease), psoriasis, autoimmune diseases. You will find in each case a short essay and also a selection of relevant videos. There are so many people suffering from really serious health conditions, where nutrition could make a huge difference. Nutrition is sort of acknowledged by the main stream as a factor in heart disease, blood pressure, diabetes and some cancers, (though not yet in autoimmunity although there have been a fair number of good medical papers published over the years) But I think the main stream still does not understand how important nutrition is. I hope that as this knowledge reaches more doctors, and as existing knowledge is applied, the medical guidelines will change, and a whole food plant based diet will become the universally recommended diet. At this time there are efforts being made by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) to make school and hospital food healthier among other things. Would be great if a good economist could figure out how much Medicare could save if a significant proportion of the population changed their diet. Or even just to figure out the savings in your case of psoriatic arthritis, with improvement “just” with diet.
          I do always encourage people who have had good results with their dietary change to go back to their physician and show them how well they are doing, maybe even suggest they could write a case report for a medical journal, or at least get a letter published in a medical journal. It can really help expose physicians to the possibility and lead to helping many others with the same condition.




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        2. Stewart E, Thank you for sharing your story, especially as it illustrates how quickly you turned your health around. The body is always trying to normalize function if it is only given what it needs, and toxins withheld.

          I have an old friend from high school who has psoriatic arthritis. I suggested he go to Dr McDougall’s website for diet advice, because I had seen a testimonial of someone there who had turned that condition around with WFPB diet. He told me he had changed to a similar diet, and I hope he has gotten the same good results you did.

          I’ve also toyed with the idea of doing Colin Campbell’s eCornell course, but haven’t decided on that.




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      2. Does Dr. G take a loss on NF.org? I doubt it. I would bet you its a wash or he turns a profit. So to say he “does not get payed to promote one diet vs. another” is a bit misleading unless you’ve spoken to Dr G. or better yet, his tax accountant. :)




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        1. NutritionFacts.org is run as a charity and proceeds from Dr G’s book, How Not to Die go to charity as well. Dr G is NOT beholden to any industry or drug company to promote either diet or supplements. As he might say, how much could Big Broccoli pay him if they wanted to?




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          1. That is good to know. I think most of the research presented is well-intentioned. However, the bias is definitely there. I can hear a sense of doubt of stutter in his voice when some benefits of fish or the unfavorable omega 6:3 ratio of a vegan diet comes up, but that bit of stutter is followed by – well here is a way you can do it vegan and “you should be fine”. Not to take away from his hard work which is well evident, and much appreciated. After having watched 100-200 videos I don’t think in good conscience one can call this website entirely “unbiased”. There is a pink elephant in the room and I don’t need to tell you what the bias of this site is :)




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        2. Andrey Yusupov, M.D.: To reinforce what Rebecca Cody said: Dr. Greger never personally takes a penny from this website, his books, nor his speaking engagements. He wants to make sure there is no conflict of interest. Dr. Greger donates his time and all proceeds are donated to charity. Lately that money is plowed back into NutritionFacts to pay for computer stuff and staff. (Dr. Greger does not count as staff.) This has been clearly stated in several places for as long as I have been following Dr. Greger.




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          1. Dr. Greger is a great man, no doubt. I aspire to be as giving as he is one day :) But, I know that for a physician who is presumably no longer seeing patients, and spending a huge chunk of time pouring over research and making these videos, this will not keep the lights on or his family fed. I am sure there are things behind the scenes that none of us know.




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            1. Dr. Andrey Yusupov, MD: Dr. Greger has a day job. He has a salary. (http://nutritionfacts.org/faq ) To insinuate about “things behind the scenes” regarding money made from donations, book and DVD sales and speaking engagements is unfounded and uncalled for. You have no basis for that accusation. Some people really do volunteer their time to help others.




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  3. I love these introductory videos. I didn’t know I wanted them, but now I do. I want to tie everybody I know to chairs in front of a screen and and make them watch the full series.




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    1. Me too! I have a friend who is just recovering from chemotherapy but refuses to change her eating habits. She freaks out when anyone opens a bottle of nail polish in her vicinity calling it toxic cancerous stuff and how dare anyone does so, and then goes on to wolf down bags of gummy bears, cheap sugar filled candy and processed meat without a second thought. I’ve given up…. and feel bad for doing so.




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      1. Sometimes it can be easier to forget about telling people what not to do, and suggest, just eating more vegetables, or eating more of foods that they may like that can also be healthy. Sometimes chemotherapy actually can cause a change in the taste buds and that may be affecting your friend.




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    2. Well, if you find a study that shows that tying people to chairs will help open their minds it might be ok, but otherwise sounds rather dangerous! I have to say that often giving advice when people haven’t asked for it can be counterproductive, and as a doctor, even when people ask my advice (and even if they are paying for it!) they may be very resistant. Often people need to either have a lot of curiosity, or witness a miracle, or have some kind of crisis which makes them ready to be open to new ideas….




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    3. The only thing harder to change without a persons active and willing participation than what they eat is their religion, and even then I am not so sure that changing someones religions wouldn’t be easier As my wife says, “change brings fear and uncertainty into our lives, even good change”.

      So I think the best first step is to feed them. Make something that is of a style that you know they like and then make it WFPB and super tasty. Don’t go crazy wild with odd combinations of ingredients, even if the result is just awesome. People are afraid that if they make this change they will be giving up all their favorite foods and eat nothing but weird vegan food forever. So feed them their favorite comfort food, just with a little WFPB flair to show them that there will still be some familiar landmarks in this new world. And It is hard to think of WFPB food as dreary and lifeless when you have direct experience to the contrary. And if they like to cook, give them recipes from time to time of tasty, easy, and healthy food. Make it clear that you aren’t trying to “convert” them, just that it is really good and you thought they might like it to go along with their meaty, cheesy dishes.

      Hopefully when they know that they won’t have to live off rabbit food and never be able to eat their favorite meals ever again, then they might be ready to hear the message.




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      1. Your and Dr. Maisel provide excellent advice; nagging people that aren’t interested rarely seems productive so other techniques like feeding them great meals would appear to be much more effective. But that’s on a personal interaction level and since people are subtly influenced by a lot of factors in their lives, I’m still glad that people like Dr. G are fighting the good fight on the public policy level, however frustrating that might be.




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  4. Would you please find out and share what the plant extracts in the research paper cited below are. The abstract said they were “previously cited” and only mentioned sail alba (white willow bark.” “Six plant extracts delay yeast chronological aging through different signaling pathways.” Lutchman V1, Dakik P1, McAuley M1, Cortes B1, Ferraye G1, Gontmacher L1, Graziano D1, Moukhariq FZ1, Simard É2, Titorenko VI1. Thank you.




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  5. There is so much BS out there it is mind boggling, and the majority of sheeple buy into whatever suits what they WANT to believe instead of what the best science shows. Thanks for being the voice of reason and sanity in a cyclone of conflict and confusion, you are changing and saving lives!




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    1. Yes but respect, many say vegans are sheeple as well. They, not unlike others, are attracted to like minded people and rarely challenge things.




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      1. Well, here’s your challenge from a WFPB eater (could be considered a subset of vegan diet). I changed from SAD to WFPB largely because of this website which I stumbled on while trying to provide the best care for my aged grandparents (of blessed memory) and my husband who was diagnosed with fatty liver disease. Because I am not a “sheeple” (love that!), I insist on solid scientific evidence before making broad lifestyle changes. I was impressed by the quality and volume of studies reviewed and cited on this site – these are not white papers – these are often double blind, randomized, placebo controlled studies printed in known and respected peer reviewed medical and scientific journals. Sheep don’t usually go to the medical university library to read the original research and compare conclusions! Interestingly, once I changed diets, we started going occasionally to vegan restaurants, where I started interacting with vegans for the first time. That is how I discovered that I am really not “like-minded” with a lot of vegans who have various reasons for being vegan, and whose food choices are often not guided by concern for their health (high fat, high salt, and processed) and whose vegan choices extend beyond food (clothes, animal testing, etc.). Many of them were guided by conscience rather than health or science. I will say it was a bit of a culture shock for me. You might be right that many vegans (and other kinds of groups) join up to be “in style” or in sinc with their friends, but I’m just saying that I am one example where that simply doesn’t apply. (Also notice my user name – a banner for “not like-minded, but convinced”). I WAS challenging the norm when I went in search of better health through diet. So I agree with Vege-tater.




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        1. I agree with your broad lifestyle perspective. As to “sheeple”, people self segregate for all kinds of reasons today, and we need not find another reason such as food to do so. Someone who eats a burger now and then is not evil, and shouldn’t be demonized. I think the forest and trees analogy applies to food as well. Just because the good doc mentions something like acai berries, not everyone needs to go out and buy them. It’s always going to be the totality of your lifestyle that determines your health. Another person passionate about well being said, “It’s all of life that feeds us.” I like that. Diet, as important as it is, is just one part of life.

          I’ve never eaten SAD as an adult. The nutritional science against it has been around for decades, long before the Internet became public. I started reading books on the subject back in the 80’s, many of which dated decades before that. Titles such as, Food as Medicine, or something like that, have been collecting dust in libraries long before I read them. But that’s because I’ve always had a passion for health and fitness. I don’t feel any guilt if on a holiday, or occasion I have some cake, or ice cream.




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          1. Sorry but it didn’t seem to me that anyone was making any statements about you are anyone else feeling guilty about eating cake or ice cream. I thought the original comment was only that people can rather uncritically fall for appeals to authority and that scientific evidence can often provide a buffer to that, ergo it’s nice to have a site that engages in reporting scientific evidence. How saintly anyone is about living up to useful advice seems a little beside the point.




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          2. Humans seem to have a need to compartmentalise everything, so a minority group calling the majority “sheeple” is one way to resolve matters in their head.

            As a plant-based eater for 8.5 years and vegan for only 9 months, I believe the majority of people are kind and loving. These people reject violence, suffering, abuse and murder, but as they have not extended these moral “codes” to beings other than their own species and animals regarded as pets, they are complicit in the aforementioned acts of cruelty. Only when someone knows and accepts that their actions result in exploitation, suffering and murder do they become evil. And thankfully most people who make the connection with what humans do to the animals we share this planet will become vegan. I’m hoping in my lifetime that the minority becomes the majority ✌




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          3. I think you will actually find many like minded individuals participating in this forum. Many of us, like @reluctantvegan:disqus, are driven by a desire to know what the best science is on the subject of human nutrition. However in addition to not being experts in the field few of us have the time to do the extensive research required to come to a well grounded conclusion based only on a directly reading the original research papers. The result is that we are looking for a fair broker who will do most of the heavy lifting for us. As Dr. Greger says in his overview of NutritionFact, he reads every nutrition related articles in every English language journal in the world, so we don’t have to. That amounts to something like 10,000 articles every single year. As a research scientist myself (in a completely unrelated field), I recognize such a fair broker in Dr. Greger. Nearly all of his videos consist of him reading key portions of significant research papers rather than filtering it through his own words. Also every video has a links to all the sources used directly or indirectly in the video, so you are only a click away from reading at least the abstract if not the entire peer-reviewed journal article for yourself. Can you think of any other reporter on nutrition science that does this?

            To some it might look like Dr. Greger has an agenda because so many of the studies given a positive review reinforce the conclusion that he has clearly come to that a whole food plant based diet is likely the best at supporting human health, and many of the studies given a negative review purport to show the health promoting effects of animal foods or at least that try to cast doubt on the health damaging effects of specific nutrients found exclusively or in much greater amounts in animal foods and/or highly refined plant foods like sugar and vegetable oil.

            But is it an agenda or bias if the superiority of a whole food plant based diet is really what the science actually says. What if the strongest research studies end up supporting that a plant based diet is indeed the healthiest. And what if most of the articles showing the health benefits/affects of a diet containing animal products are indeed weak, poorly designed, misleading, biased or even outright fraudulent. After all being fair and objective is not incompatible with coming to a conclusion based on the preponderance of the evidence. It is only biased if those conclusions are never modified when new evidence comes to light. Dr. Greger has shown that he is not afraid to change his mind. This video is an excellent example.




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            1. Yes, but does the doc ever present a positive study on anything that’s not WFPB nutrition? There are countless studies out there. Is every single one false? I’ve scanned a few of his sources, and did find a few that were not as conclusive as he says they are, and found relevant data omitted. That gives me pause. I don’t recall where, so I can’t provide them. But I know what I read. Still, I appreciate his work and listen and watch with great interest and open mindedness.




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  6. I completely agree with the philosophy of NutritionFacts.org as stated by Dr. Greger in the video. NutritionFacts.org is the best resource available for laypeople to learn about diet and health, and since I discovered it I use it regularly, and look forward to every new video.

    But I have one small, nagging doubt. One suspects that Dr. Greger is a dedicated vegan. Nothing wrong at all with that. But what if the science showed that regularly eating some animal derived food promoted health and longevity? Imagine a study, confirmed repeatedly, that showed that eating an ounce of yogurt once a week improved health. How would NutritionFacts.org treat such a fact?




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    1. CMV78: Critical thinking is good. In case this will help, I’ll note that NutritionFacts has a video talking about eating insects may be the healthiest animal product: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/good-grub-the-healthiest-meat/ . Someone committed only to the ethical side of being vegan would not point this out.

      Dr. Greger also made a point both on this site and in his book that in one area, there is one type of dairy that is not linked to a bad outcome: fermented dairy. There are other health problems with fermented dairy products, but if the production process removes the galactose (sp?), then one of the links to cancer may not be there. Again, someone committed to the ethical side of veganism only would overlook this information.

      I’ll also point out that in Part 2 of Dr. Greger’s book How Not To Die, he talks about conditions in which he would even say that bacon was OK to eat. (When doing so in small amounts would get you to eat more salad/green light foods.) …

      You get my point by now I think. Dr. Greger may be a vegan at heart, but when he is reviewing the science and making health recommendations for people, I think he does a very good job of being aware of his biases and not letting them get in the way of his recommendations. That’s why Dr. Greger reviews *all* the science, not just the science that supports a vegan diet. This way, he will be aware if something changes in the big picture. No one is perfect. I’m not saying Dr. Greger is perfect. I’m just saying that this is not a particular worry that I share.

      Finally, I’ll note that Dr. Greger tries to make a distinction between the diet he recommends and a vegan diet. A Whole Plant Food Based diet is not the same as a vegan diet, though they can be when done just so. :-)

      What do you think?




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      1. Thanks for the link to the insect video. It’s reassuring to me that Dr. G is willing to follow the evidence where it leads since, as you say, some vegans would be reluctant to mention eating insects (even though we still produce chitinas, the enzyme for digesting insect exoskeletons).




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      2. Thanks for your response. I was unaware of the insect eating video and the other instances you cite. I don’t doubt that Dr. Greger is committed to the science of nutrition, and the science sure seems to support a Whole Plant Food Based diet.

        When I first discovered NutritionFacts.org I immediately loved it for the vast amount of scientific information it has about diet and health. I had no inkling that Dr. Greger might be a vegan or committed personally to Whole Plant Food Based diet. I had been a big fan of NutritionFacts.org for weeks when one day I was watching a video where Dr. Greger seemed to be having too much fun disparaging an animal derived food. (I have forgotten the specifics of the video.) It was then that I first suspected that there might be a bias here against animal derived foods.

        I think it might be helpful, if Dr. Greger is personally committed to not eating animal derived foods, to disclose that fact more openly. That’s the only point behind my post. I admire Dr. Greger’s commitment to science and to animal welfare. A statement that he is personally committed to eating solely plant derived foods, but that he will report on the science wherever it leads, would suffice.

        Incidentally, although I remain an omnivore, as a result of this website and Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not to Die,” I have changed my diet to the point where it is 99% plant base. (I have an occasional weakness for cheese.)




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        1. CMV78: Congratulations on your diet changes towards what sounds like a pretty healthy diet!

          re: disclosing personal diet.
          Fair enough! Though for what it’s worth, I think Dr. Greger discloses his diet all the time. For example, all of Part 2 of his book is about Dr. Greger’s personal eating choices. It seems like in interviews, Dr. Greger talks about his history and how in college he initially ate like everyone else until… In other words, I don’t think this is a secret. And then when you look at Dr. Greger’s recommendations as expressed here on this site and elsewhere, it would be hypocritical of him if he ate meat, dairy and eggs.

          My personal thoughts: This idea of Dr. Greger disclosing his personal diet comes up every now and then on this forum. As I said above, I think Dr. Greger does disclose his diet. But aside from that, I always wonder: Do people make the same demands of researchers who eat meat, dairy and eggs? Isn’t it just as much a bias if someone eats those foods and recommends them than if someone does not eat those foods and recommends abstaining? But I never see people asking those other doctors (though maybe I miss it–should we start a trend?), “Do you eat meat?” This is a perspective I want to throw out there.

          If every doctor disclosed this information, I would be fine with that. I don’t see the point of asking some doctors to disclose their personal diets, but not others. And anyway, if I’m feeling that humanity is good at that moment, I presume the doctor is following her/his own recommendations. So, I know what they are eating. :-)




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          1. Thanks for your thoughtful response. My point isn’t about Dr. Greger’s actual diet, it’s about whether he is philosophically committed to not eating animal foods. That is not a subtle difference. Dr. Greger’s personal commitment to a plant based diet may not be a secret, but it also is not immediately apparent nor is it conspicuously disclosed. It was not apparent to me until I saw the video that made me think, “Wait a minute! This is a dedicated vegan website.” In my case it was weeks after I discovered this website before it dawned on me that Dr. Greger might have a personal dietary philosophy not based solely on science.

            I am convinced that Dr. Greger is absolutely committed to revealing the scientific evidence about diet and health. And I love NutritionFacts.org. But obscuring the fact of his apparent philosophical commitment to a certain diet has the potential to undermine the credibility of NutritionFacts.org.




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            1. I get the impression that if the science said eating steak everyday was healthy, that is what Dr. Greger would eat; it just doesn’t. He probably is biased since at a young age diet reversed his Grandmother’s chronic illness, but it doesn’t mean he is wrong. The truth never changes.




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            2. “But obscuring the fact of his apparent philosophical commitment to a certain diet has the potential to undermine the credibility of NutritionFacts.org.”

              No it doesn’t. It only would if Dr. Gregor ignored science that supports animal food consumption. Where is that science? It does not exist. And you did not answer the question about the biases of animal food eating doctors. What about them? They are equally biased if they are recommending meat, but it’s even worse in their case, because they truly are undermining their credibility because the science is full of evidence that animal foods are unhealthy.




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              1. I respectfully disagree. If Dr. Greger is indeed committed to not eating animal foods for philosophical reasons (and do we even know that for sure?), his obscuring of that fact does indeed raise questions about the objectivity of NutritionFacts.org. I can say that confidently because of my experience here. I originally had no idea that Dr. Greger might be philosophically opposed to eating animal food. It wasn’t until I saw one video where it seemed to me that Dr. Greger was delighted to bash an animal food. That’s when the notion struck me, “NutritionFacts.org is a dedicated to veganism!” Since then I have come to believe that Dr. Ggeger is indeed committed to exhaustively reviewing all the science and distilling it objectively so non-scientists can make informed decisions about healthy eating. But I did, at least briefly, have real doubts about the objectivity of this website.

                I don’t care what any nutrition expert actually eats. What matters is what the nutrition expert believes as a matter of principle. If a nutrition expert is philosophically opposed to eating certain foods, irrespective of the science, then the expert should disclose that fact.




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    2. I have the same doubt. Dr. G is careful to say he goes by the “weight” of the evidence, but different people will weigh evidence in different ways. There’s no “evidence scale” we can use. For example, Dr. Andreas Eenfeldt, at https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/science has an approach that is in many ways similar to Dr. G’s. He’s suspicious of “industry money” and appeals to published studies to make his points…but his points are pretty much diametrically opposed to Dr. G’s. It’s not easy to know where the weight of the evidence really lies. At least, I find it confusing.

      I find it particular concerning that population studies, such as “blue zone” research, deal with “near-vegan” populations, but never with vegan populations, because there are no vegan populations. And our primate cousins aren’t quite vegans either. Chimps, our closest relatives, get about 7% of energy from meat. One possible conclusion is that all these near-vegan populations and primates would actually be better off if they were completely vegan. Another is that it doesn’t matter. Yet another possibility is that some non-zero intake of animal food is beneficial, even if the amount needed is small. I don’t think we know the answer yet.

      For example, G.B. Shaw, lived a long healthy life as a near-vegan. But he consumed a small amount of desiccated beef liver on a regular basis. Liver is a good source of pre-formed vitamin A and B12, and a few other things. If taking this stuff is a good idea on an otherwise vegan diet, I’d want to hear about it.




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      1. Did a quick review of Dr. Eenfeldt’s website and I notice a major flaw. Dr. Eenfeldt seems to be making a very common mistake of the low-carb advocates and that is confusing a diet which causes weight loss with being one that is health promoting. True if you are seriously overweight, losing weight by any means will likely improve your health compared to the deplorable state it likely was to start with. But losing weight won’t all by itself result in optimal health. If it did, then the healthiest “diet” would be a heroin addiction, since that will strip the weight off faster than just about anything.

        The real question is what diet helps with weight loss and also to improve one’s health. Low -carb diets will help with weight loss, no question, but, while they do improve some biomarkers of health risk, they don’t improve them much and some key markers not at all. Take the paper by Santos that is the first paper lined to on the page you linked to.

        This is a meta-analysis of 17 studies looking that the effects of a low-card diet. Only the abstract is visible. The rest is behind a paywall. But even with just the abstract the problems start right way. There were 1141 subjects in total in these 17 studies, but they were all obese. Not fat-shaming, just pointing out that obese people tend to have on average high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and high insulin resistance that has often progressed to full type II diabetes. I recommending reading this article by Geoffry Rose on the methodological risk of using a sick population. We have no idea where these subjects started out on the reported biomarkers since the abstract only addresses changes with no baseline values given. The result of using this sick population is that an unhealthy diet might not make their biomarkers noticeably worse and the reduced calories they consume in order to lose weight will likely make them somewhat better regardless of the overall healthfulness of the diet. On the other hand, studies like this do not and can not say anything about whether a low-carb diet is healthy for already healthy people (BMI < 25), cholesterol <150), blood pressure <105/70) and undeminished insulin sensitivity). Already healthy people would almost certainly see their markers get substantially worse on a low-carb diet since we have direct observation of what increasing saturated fat, animal protein, refined carbohydrates and refined fats do to people that start at a healthy levels.

        Also not answered, at least in the abstract, is where do these results sit in relationship with other types of diets. Do all diets give the same tiny improvement in biomarkers? From the studies that Dr. Greger has shared, we know of other researchers who obtained substantially better reduction in biomarkers as well as helping with weight loss on a whole food plant based diet, so the answer would have to be that low-carb diets, while effect at initial weight loss are not the healthiest way to lose weight.

        So if listing this paper first is an indicator that this study was his strongest scientific evidence that he uses to reach his conclusions, then I have to say this it is not an encouraging start. Further down he lists the Siri-Tarino Meta-analysis. I’ll let the review by plantpositive of this study show you why this is one of the worst and most misleading studies in recent times right up there with 2014 Malholtra’s 2014 meta-analysis, which plantpositive reviews as well. If you want examples of how to abuse the scientific method to get the results that you want, there are few examples as good as Siri-Tarino’s.

        In fact plantpositive does a full review of Dr. Eenfeldt directly. Oh, and a comment on plantpositives videos, he doesn’t use his name because he isn’t offering his expertise in the subject (which is obviously very extensive). Rather he is simply taking the statements of people like Dr. Eenfeldt and the references they use to back it up and just looks at what the references actually say.

        So no I don’t think Dr. Eenfeldt has, even vaguely, the same approach as Dr. Greger.

        As the the second part of you comment, I don’t see why you are concerned with there being no large traditional vegan populations. There are populations in the world that get vastly different percentages of their calories from animal products. The trends in non-infectious chronic diseases with animal product consumption in these populations is very clear and positive. Also there are observations over time in the same population as animal food consumption fell due to calamity and then rose again (such as those in occupied countries during world war II). True the lowest consumption of animal products in any population is around 10% of calories. And these are indeed correlations, so causation can not be directly determined from these correlations. But there is much clinical research that shows us the biochemical pathways for how animal foods can be causally linked to the most common chronic diseases. A high degree of correlation in combination with viable pathways for how they can be causally linked gives us the basis to say that there is very likely a cause and effect relationship. The confidence that this is the case goes up when other factors that are associated the rates of disease aren’t as strong and/or don’t have biological pathways over which other potential causes can yield the observed effects. The only other strong correlations with viable biological pathways are with highly processed plant foods, namely sugar and refined fat. This doesn’t mean that only one can have a causal effect, and in fact much to say that both animal foods and highly processed plant foods do cause much of the chronic diseases we observe.

        So for diets that get 10% or more of calories from animal foods, we have a pretty clear picture, animal foods have a causal link to chronic disease. The only question then is what happens below 10% of calories. Dr. Campbell from his study in China said that the trend line above 10% was pretty straight right down to 10%. As such there is no reason to suspect that the reduction in disease rates doesn’t continue to decrease below 10%. But at present there isn’t anything that definitively shows this. So if you will only take action on things that are known with a high degree of certainty, then stay at 10% of calories from animal products because there is a slight chance that the true optimal amount of animal products is somewhere between 0% and 10%. But there is no reason from a health aspect to eat more than 10% because we know what the trend line is in that case.




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        1. Confounding the problem of establishing a precise range of safe animal food intake, is the economic status of a population with near 0% intake: if you can’t afford occasional meat you can’t afford heating in winter, malaria preventing bed nets, a roof that does not leak…

          There are always individuals that forgo meat (and other luxuries) for spiritual or charitable reasons. A less-than-10% population would either be poor in the case of rural Asia or Africa or affluent in the case of Europe or North America in my well traveled opinion.




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        2. Thank you for your detailed reply to my comment. I appreciate that time and effort that went into it. I’m going to take the time to study the sources you cite, rather than “shoot from the hip” in replying. I recognize that the Santos paper doesn’t show that a low carb diet improves ALL cardiovascular risk factors, but I think that the improvements shown are worth mentioning. One could easily get the false impression that it has been shown that the effect of low carb diets on CVD risk factors is uniformly negative.

          It’ll take me some time to evaluate the plantpositive critique of Eenfeldt. As you know “cherry-picking the data” is a commonly heard accusation from all sides of nutritional (and other) debates. This is because there’s just so much data out there and choices must be made.

          Concerning the 10% boundary…it’s an interesting point. Personally, I am not convinced by the logic that if >10% animal foods is increasingly worse for health, 0% is probably best. I suspect that certain nutrients, such as B12, K2, long-chain omega-3 fats, and pre-formed vitamins A and D, are very important and good for us, but small amounts of animal foods.

          Weston Price gets a lot of flack on this site, and some of it is justified (such as the notion that his work justifies a very meat-heavy diet), but he did make some important discoveries. One of them was his discovery of what he called “factor X”, a substance in butter from cows fed rapidly growing (spring) grass. We now know that this factor X was vitamin K2. Natto is a vegan source of K2, but this was not available to most of the people Price studied, so they got it from animal sources. The importance of K2 is only now beginning to be understood. Price also recognized the importance of pre-formed vitamin A. As you know, vitamin A is not found in plant foods. Beta carotene is obtained from plants, which is converted to vitamin A, but there’s considerable variation in the conversion rate. But it would only take a small amount of animal food, such as liver, to correct any vitamin A shortfall. See http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/91/5/1468S.full

          Dr. Greger notes that we can get omega 3 fat from plant sources, which is true, but it’s also true that human beings didn’t have continuous access to walnuts and flax seed during most of their history. And, as he points out in various videos, to get enough omega 3 from leafy greens you’d have to eat bushels of the stuff. How did “ancestral” humans get their omega 3? Why do chimps bother to hunt mice and vervet monkeys for a measly 7% of their chow? Maybe the answers are linked! One way to get those omega 3s is to eat the omega-3-rich tissues of animals, such as brains. Is it a coincidence that chimps preferentially tear the heads off the mice and monkeys they catch?

          I’m not advocating brain-eating. I’m just pointing out that there may be very good reasons why human and pre-human populations that could have been 100% plant-based in their diets (based on availability of abundant and diverse plant foods in some locales), nevertheless weren’t, and aren’t. That is, I believe there’s a reason why there are no vegan populations, apart from modern intellectuals such as those of us reading nutrition web sites and watching Dr. Greger’s videos, or those, like some Adventists, whose diets are guided by religious principles. I’m not convinced that if <10% is good, 0% must be better.

          Meanwhile, I'll study the material at the plantpositive site, which I have never visited before. Thanks again for the link.




          1
          1. If I had to guess why most non-industrial societies still include/included animal foods in their diet, I would say that it comes from the challenge of feeding yourself from the work of your own hand. It is the constant challenge to get enough calories on a regular basis. Including some animal sources aids in meeting this challenge in a number of ways. First grazing animals can access land that is often not ideal for cultivation and foods that aren’t edible to people (both from grazing only land, but also from crop residue from harvest). Second animals generally feed themselves and so don’t require a large investment of calories/time on the part of the people (like the owner of a business with employees can make money than a sole proprietor since the owner makes money from direct work but also from the efforts of her employees). Third animals can act as a way to “preserve” calories in a form that won’t spoil so that you can “eat” the summer grass in the depths of winter. And lastly before chemical fertilizers maintaining soil fertility was a constant struggle. Animals function as rapid composters that transport nutrients from non-crop land and concentrate nutrients in their manure and spread them back onto the land.

            You can see this dynamic in action in China. The farmers in southern China with moist fertile land with long and even year-round growing seasons eat very little animal foods, while herders and pasturalist in northern China eat considerably more animal foods since a large portion of the land is not suitable for crops and the growing season is short with long periods periods where little grows.

            And as you point out when industrial processes were not/are not available to extract B-12 and potentially vitamin A and vitamin K2 from non-animal sources and there were no other sources like B-12 from contaminated water, animals would have served as a source of these nutrients. But we know that animal foods come with a price on our health with impacts on cholesterol and stimulating growth hormones like IGF-1 and TOR.

            And none of these factors applies to a modern industrial society with refrigeration, industrial processes for producing vitamins and fertilizer and long-distance transportation. In this society there is no struggle to obtain sufficient calories from the effort that you can put into producing them, no worries about starving to death during the winter or getting critical nutrients. So the we can safely not eat animals and so avoid even the small negative health impact of eating animals at less than 10% of calories.

            BTW, with regard to chimps, nearly all of the 5-7% of calories the average chimp gets from animal sources actually comes from insects. Termites are actually a very good source of B-12 since when consumed the entire contents of the digestive tract of the insect with its attendant bacteria is consumed as well. Also not all troups of chimps eat meat on a regular basis and the Meat/organs is not uniformly shared with all members of the troup. As such meat would not represent reliable source of any critical nutrients.




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            1. I think the point is larger than what can be explained by challenges of agriculture. To my knowledge, there is no evidence of any human or proto-human population anywhere, before or after the start of agriculture, that was vegan. For the entire duration of the stone age, some 2.5 million years, where stone tools have been found, the remains of butchered animals have also been found: bones cracked open to get marrow, etc. I grant you that it’s facile to infer from this that these humans and hominins were eating almost nothing but meat, and better methods of investigation are indeed showing the traces of many plant foods. But the fact remains that a 100% plant-based diet is very much an invention of the modern world, especially among the well educated. It is alien to the rest of the human race, for as long as there have been humans or anything like them.

              The basic premise of “paleo” is that the best diet for any species is the diet to which that species has had the most time to adapt. Humans and proto-humans have been eating animal foods for the entire time they have existed. If they are still better off without these foods then that premise is false. I’m open to that, but not without a great deal of cognitive dissonance!




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              1. OK, the basic premise of paleo is to eat the foods we evolved eating. That means nobody can actually eat a Paleo diet. To actually replicate nutritionally the diet we evolved to eat would require us to eat the same mix of species that existed on the plains of East Africa from 2-3 million years ago until about 100,000 years ago when modern humans migrated out of Africa. Thus to eat paleo would mean not eating any domesticated animals, since those animals did not exist during the Paleolithic. The same especially goes for all domesticated plant foods, since even more than domesticated animals, domesticated plant foods bear almost no resemblance nutritionally to their wild ancestors. On top of that most of the plant and animal species we domesticated mostly did not originate in Africa and so even eating the wild ancestors of our current domesticated plant and animal foods wouldn’t be sufficient either to eat the diet you evolved eating.

                And if you really want to go full paleo you would also have to drink untreated water. Whose to say that drinking untreated surface water from East African with its particular mix of bacteria wasn’t important to the evolutionary success of paleolithic humans. After all that is all humans ever drank for millions of years and so it must be what we evolved to drink. I know sound far fetched, but is it really any more so than than the argument that we have to eat meat because that is what humans ate when they were naked on the plains of Africa. Who really knows exactly what aspect of paleolithic human’s lifestyle is embedded in our genes and we ignore at our peril.

                However, all of this is besides the point. Paleo, in my opinion, is founded on the fallacy that to be a healthy long lived individual human we should eat what our ancestors ate. But eating the a diet that maximizes individual longevity is not a requirement of evolutionary success of a species. The only requirement from an evolutionary stand-point is that the diet consumed serves to result in more off-spring that survive long enough to reach independence than others of your species. Evolution is not competition of the fittest, it is competition of the most adequately fit. So the only requirement of the diet consumed by paleolithic humans is that in the very specific environment in which they existed it was the one that yielded more surviving children .

                But there is nothing that requires the diet that maximized our ancestors chances to produce more off-spring to also be the diet that maximizes our odds to live disease free lives until we are 95 years old. In fact it is entirely possible that the foods we ate as naked apes living on the plains of Africa will reduce the chances a given individual will ever be a healthy 95 year old.




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                1. As one who has been involved in the paleo diet debate for a long time, I know too well the ambiguities of the paleo concept. Most concede that a “reenactment” approach to paleo is impossible or at least highly impractical. As you say, there is no way to single out one imagined paleo eating pattern to emulate. But one version is the NEGATIVE paleo thesis: We should not eat the foods that our stone age ancestors couldn’t have eaten. All are agreed that this would include, or rather exclude dairy foods (possibly excluding soft cheese). Most believe it also excludes grains and legumes, most of which entail cooking to be edible. Many starches are also excluded, for the same reason. That leaves meats, eggs, low-density vegetables, fruits, and nuts.

                  I bought into this for a long time, although I found myself unable to practice it for very long. I tried over and over and failed to adhere to it for more than a few weeks or months at a time. My health has taken a hit as a result.

                  I’ve given up on the paleo idea for the most part. For one thing, I think there’s more we don’t know than we do know about what humans and proto-humans ate, and new evidence is coming in all the time. In addition, just as you’ve explained, modern foods bear little resemblance to ancient wild foods anyway.

                  But I have a hard time reconciling the notion that animal foods are bad in any amount–the vegan claim–with the fact that humans and proto-humans have ALWAYS eaten animal foods, in greater or lesser amounts. This gives me an incredible pang of cognitive dissonance. But…with time and reflection, and hopefully with some success in putting plant-based nutrition into practice, I hope to get over it.




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                  1. Good point about the negative thesis. My issue there is just because we didn’t eat a given food while our species was evolving does not automatically mean that it is bad for us to eat it. It simply could mean that physically wasn’t available, at least not in meaningful quantities. It is possible but of course impossible to prove that if paleolithic humans had access to the food that they could have successfully incorporated it into their diet.

                    After all humans have if anything proven time and time again that we are extremely flexible eaters that can not only survive, but thrive on a very broad range of diets. This has allowed our single species to spread into an extreme range of environments not equaled really by another species. There are some families of species such as the cat family that collectively cover as broad a range, but they do so with a number of different species, not a single species being able to live in all the different enviroments where some member of the cat family lives. In fact the only single species that can live in the same range of environments as humans is the domestic dog, and even there we do selective breeding to get subspecies tailored to the local environment.

                    This high dietary adaptivity is something that Paleo promoters actually celebrate when they point out all the broad range of diets consumed by the few remaining gather/hunter societies, while in the very next breath they go on to say that we have to eat a specific narrowly defined diet with a number of different foods excluded because we didn’t eat them when we were evolving in Africa. So which is it, can we eat and thrive on damn near anything (except demonstrably the Standard American Diet), or are we more like the Koala who can only thrive on a very specific diet?

                    Thank you for this very interesting and thought provoking conversation.




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                    1. “So which is it, can we eat and thrive on damn near anything (except
                      demonstrably the Standard American Diet), or are we more like the Koala
                      who can only thrive on a very specific diet?”

                      That’s the question, isn’t it? My paleo answer would have been: The safest foods must be those which have pretty much always been available, and therefore always part of the human and proto-human diet. These would include meat of various kinds, eggs, fruits (including berries), nuts, greens and other watery vegetables. These foods would have been available in different proportions in different times and places but they would have always been there. Many legumes and starches require cooking, so their availablity as foods depended on the controlled use of fire. When fire first began to be used for cooking remains an unanswered and controversial question, but the claim that these legumes and starches wouldn’t have been edible prior to fire isn’t in dispute. So it follows–or should follow on the basic paleo premise–that a diet consisting of only or mostly the safest foods just mentioned should be a healthy diet.

                      If I set aside the paleo premise, as I’m being asked to here, I have to consider the possibility that some of these foods of very long availability (measured in millions of years) are not safe after all. I’m trying to work with that, but the amount of cognitive dissonance involved is massive. Still, I’m making every effort to get past that. Watching the plantpositive videos is, for me, a very upsetting experience, as I consider the possibility that I have been utterly deluded for the past 20 years. It’s not fun, but I’m doing it.




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                    2. You’re a better man than I, Gunga Din! To help me avoid sliding unnoticed into the ever present trap of confirmation bias, I do try to read books, watch videos and read websites in favor of other dietary patterns such as low-carb and paleo. The trouble is that watching the Plant-positive videos have so honed my bull-sh*t/logical fallacy detector that in very short order I end up shouting at my computer monitor and have to stop watching/reading. But I should really try again. Perhaps I would do better if I really focused hard on finding all the things I agree with (because there definitely is some) first before I start to consider those things I disagree with. Mayb that will help keep my wife from coming into my office with a worried look on her face!

                      All this talk of Plant Positive reminds me that I haven’t watched the full set in over a year. It may be time for a booster shot.




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                    3. Todd: re: “It’s not fun, but I’m doing it.” You are one in a million. Really. No matter what you decide at the end, just being willing to go through the process is admirable. Thanks for inspiring us.




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          2. The problem with a lot of low carb diet studies is they just don’t compare them to healthy diets, so is the goal to improve on a heavily processed food diet? Eating whole foods in any manner is going to give you better biomarkers overall. Whole food low carb diets are undoubtably healthier than the SAD, but it really doesn’t say much, and it will continue to not say much until real honest low term studies are done. The problem is diets are cash cows and nobody cares beyond that. You’ll see how deceptive the low carb studies can be in the plantpositive video series, the site author will admit there are some benefits, but also some huge drawbacks.

            I don’t think solving the % of food from animal products that is ideal will be done anytime soon. The science is pretty clear that low is good (so far,) and I think that once the science gets blown up on some intermittent fasting that those number could change as well. Zero might not be ideal, but it could be, and the vast amount a lot of the low carb circles are eating are definitely harmful.

            I don’t think Weston Price has the bad rap though, his work was good. The foundation that bears Weston Price’s name and not his work has the bad name. They tell quarter truths and distort his intentions.

            If Vitamin A is so essential how can it be so easy to give yourself a toxic dose from liver? While the conversion rate of Vitamin A from plants is low, plants have an incredible amount of it, so does that matter? It seems like the point here shouldn’t even be brought up, we have a lot of evidence that shows us too much pre-formed vitamin A is toxic, not benefical.

            B12 is a vitamin loss from industrialization and sterlization of the world around us. We inject livestock with B12 so they won’t die.. they didn’t need injections in the wild right? 40% of the population is B12 deficient and consume a large amount of animal products, there is far more here than you are letting on. This is a society problem, not a food problem.

            The Omega 3 debate is largely overblown it seems, while vegetarians or vegans don’t seem to have any major issues with them, it doesn’t mean they are optimal either. This is another case where the science just isn’t detailed enough to know the real answer. Appealing to a nature fallacy is dangerous when you only appeal to part of nature, remember that in our past plants were different than today, and many older varieties of plants had much higher ALA levels than today. Still, even with flax can we get enough? Maybe not, but eating meat and fish is most definitely not the answer, todays world is so toxic (especially the fish) it just isn’t safe. Someone else has reference the chimp arguements already.

            I won’t speak on K2 because I’ve never seen any real studies on it, there are a few but they are pretty trashy, it’d be interesting to see something real though.

            So while any whole foods diet is going to be better than SAD, lets not make some one sided debates on specific vitamins, the other side will bite you. Reductionist arguements are just not that intelligent, its time to move beyond basic nutrition and onto something worthwhile.




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            1. Concerning pre-formed vitamin A, my concern is that it in developed countries it is vegans who are at risk for vitamin A deficiency. (http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/126004-overview#a6) “VAD is uncommon in the general population, but subgroups of patients
              suffering from fat malabsorption, cholestasis, or IBD or who have
              undergone small-bowel bypass may have subclinical deficiency with
              dark-adaptation abnormalities in the range of 60%. Vegans, persons with
              alcoholism, toddlers and preschool children living below the poverty
              line, and recent immigrants or refugees from developing countries all
              have increased risk of VAD secondary to decreased ingestion.”

              But I agree with your general point about reductionism. I’m inclined to accept the evidence as pointing to the desirability of a diet heavily dominated by plants. My concern about that sub-10% animal food margin is based on the observation that human vegan populations, historically and contemporaneously, are nonexistent. It could be meaningless but I’m inclined to suspect there’s a nutritional reason for it. Beyond that, I’m guessing, like everyone else.




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              1. Todd: I don’t think you concern for Vitamin A deficiency is founded for anyone on a whole plant food based diet. I offer the following pages as evidence: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/omnivore-vs-vegan-nutrient-deficiencies-2/
                and
                http://www.vrg.org/blog/2014/08/28/the-age-of-information-is-also-the-age-of-misinformation-claims-regarding-vegetarianism-and-vitamin-a/
                Also: In the book, Becoming Vegan, the authors Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina never shy away from sharing evidence about nutrients that are hard for vegans to get. The book has a section on Vitamin A and it says that vegans have no problem getting enough.

                .
                I couldn’t get your web page link to open correctly, but I’m highly doubtful that vegans on a whole plant food based diet have any problem with Vitamin A.




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                1. Fair enough. I’m going to suspend further replies until I’ve gone through more of the material at the plantpositive site, which I’m greatly enjoying. To quote Joe Pesci in “My Cousin Vinny”, I could use a good a**-kicking!




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                    1. The Plant Positive videos should be required viewing by all medical students, not because they completely cover all aspects of human nutrition, but because again and again he highlights the strengths and weakness of specific studies as well as the blatantly dishonest portrayal of these studies by diet promoters that use them selectively to promote a given diet they usually trying to make money from.

                      I think these videos are so effect because all Plant Positive does is simply see if the sources sited by these diet promoters to support their claims actually say what what the promoters say they do. My favorite series is the one on the charlatan Gary Taubes; Taubes has the same troubled relationship with the truth that Donald Trump does. Plant Positive simply puts what Taubes says immediately next to what the source he is using says and the lie becomes obvious. So obvious in fact that anybody who buys into Taubes low-carb claims can not possibly have check any of the citations in his books for themselves, since even a cursory read would uncover the misrepresentation. Of course it could be that Plant Positive does such an excellent job of pointing out the discrepancies that it just feels that they would be obvious if you were reading the referenced document by yourself without his expert guidance.

                      The most impressive by far was the set of videos that were required to fully unpack a single sentence in Good Calories/Bad Calories. It is mind boggling that Taubes could pack so many outright falsehoods into a single sentence.




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              2. Yours are all sensible thoughts and questions. Thanks foe airing them.

                I would add that there are no 100% vegetarian herbivores either – all grazing or browsing animals will inadvertently consume quantities of grubs, insects etc because these are found on the plants that they eat.

                Further, in traditional subsistence societies, the problem is usually not about what calories to eat. It is how to get enough calories to survive at all. For this reason alone, it is not surprising that history does not record completely vegetarian societies since in times of famine or other crisis, the groups most likely to survive would be those which could access the biggest and widest range of food sources. Having said that, devout Buddhists and Jains have eaten completely vegetarian diets for centuries (many people in Buddhist countries do eat meat and other animal foods of course).

                As for your concern about a sub-10% animal food intake, I’d suggest that this is misplaced. You may have heard of the Japanese and particularly the Okinawans , living long healthy lives when consuming their traditional diets, In surveys conducted around 1950, when those traditional diets were largely unaffected by Western food patterns. the Japanese consumed less than 7% of their total calories from animal foods and the Okinawans less than 4%.
                https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5859391_Caloric_Restriction_the_Traditional_Okinawan_Diet_and_Healthy_Aging_The_Diet_of_the_World's_Longest-Lived_People_and_Its_Potential_Impact_on_Morbidity_and_Life_Span

                This shows, I think, that diets containing less than 10% of calories from animal foods are entirely compatible with healthy longevity and may even actively promote it..

                One final point, this time about the paleo diet philosophy. It seems to me that one of its most glaring faults is “The basic premise of “paleo” is that the best diet for any species is the diet to which that species has had the most time to adapt. ” This seems to me to be a statement that can very easily mislead. What is best for a species in any particular period is not not necessarily that which benefits individual members of that species. Evolution simply doesn’t work that way. Jim has already very eloquently gone over this point in detail, so enough said. However, I have to say that promoting a diet to individuals based on that very ambiguous premise seems almost deliberately deceptive.




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      2. What are you talking about the 7th day Adventists are completely plant based and are a blue zone group. What do you mean there are no vegan populations?




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        1. A growing minority of Adventists are vegan. In the AHAII study, the proportions are 7% vegan, 29% ovo-lacto-vegetarian, 10% pescetarian, 10% semi-vegetarian (non-fish meat 1/wk-1/mo) , and 48% omnivore.




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        2. The SDAs are by no means completely plant-based. I know, having been one. Many eat fish, for the simple reason that Jesus ate fish. My grandparents, who took me to SDA church and school, ate fish, and my grandfather ate the occasional piece of red meat, although he was largely vegetarian. They both used milk, cheese, and butter. They were not, and are not, unusual among SDAs. Even in present-day Loma Linda there is quite a range of dietary practices.

          Here’s a link to the study mentioned by Darryl: http://publichealth.llu.edu/adventist-health-studies/findings/findings-ahs-2 As you can see, it’s not even close to true that SDAs are 100% meat-free.

          I’m also very skeptical of the claim that the traditional Okinawan diet was ever 98% meat free, but there is so much conflicting “information” out there that it’s hard to say for sure. Here’s an interesting article about the Okinawan diet from the Japan Times: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/life/2015/12/12/lifestyle/food-thought-traditional-okinawan-diet-may-help-prolong-life/ As you see, the article reflects what many other observers have reported, namely that the Okinawans utilize pork and lard in their cuisine.




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          1. Todd: Concerning the Okinawans, the numbers I’m familiar with come from: “Data derived from analysis of U.S. National Archives, archived food records, 1949 and based on survey of 2279 persons.” Those numbers show that the traditional Okinawan diet (before they started to change with Western influence) was about 95% free of animal products (meat, dairy and eggs). You can see a summary of those numbers in table 1 of this study: Todd: Concerning the Okinawans, the numbers I’m familiar with come from this study: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/5859391_Caloric_Restriction_the_Traditional_Okinawan_Diet_and_Healthy_Aging_The_Diet_of_the_World%27s_Longest-Lived_People_and_Its_Potential_Impact_on_Morbidity_and_Life_Span




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            1. Thank you, Thea. The problem in this instance is the large confounding variable, which is in fact the whole point of the research paper making use of the 1949 data: caloric restriction/undernutrition. This makes it difficult to separate the longevity benefit of the 1949 diet in terms of its composition from its low caloric level. In Sardinia, another “blue zone”, we know that the milk of sheep and goats is consumed. They may not amount to a huge percentage of daily calories, but should we assume that the Sardinians would be better off without them?

              I guess my thought process is: We should indeed study these “near-vegan” populations, with special attention to the small amount of animal food that they do consume, and we should wonder whether there is anything of value in that animal food that we should pay attention to. http://www.today.com/health/sardinias-mediterranean-diet-10-foods-lengthen-your-life-t13951




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              1. Todd: I was not replying to your main point one way or another. I was just trying to be helpful by giving you some reliable data on the composition of the traditional Okinawan diet. I was not making a point about longevity and the diet. I was responding to this part of your post: “I’m also very skeptical of the claim that the traditional Okinawan diet was ever 98% meat free, but there is so much conflicting “information”…”
                .
                Since you bring it up to me directly, this time, I’ll comment on your main point. My 2 cents are: I can understand why you think it is important to see if there is some benefit to some small amount of animal product consumption. I have wondered that in the past myself and think it is a reasonable question.
                .
                For myself, I am comfortable that we have enough evidence that those populations have done well despite their animal product consumption, not because of it. I think the evidence shows that small amounts of animal product consumption may not hurt some people in the context of an otherwise whole plant food diet. However, I don’t believe there is any reason to believe that removing those small amounts of animal foods is harmful in any way. But like I said, I think it is a reasonable question to ask, and I respect that you are asking it.




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          2. The 98% figure for traditional Okinawan diets usually cites studies by the Willcox brothers. In this one, the 1949 diet is listed as having 1% of calories from fish and less than 1% from other meats. The wartime and postwar period of scarcity in Okinawa led to the world’s highest proportion of centenarians, but that’s unlikely to continue. Okinawan incomes have risen, Western diet has left its mark (accelerated by the US Marine and Air Force presence), and the least obese Japanese province has become its most obese.




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    3. I do think we’ve seen some of this from Dr. Greger before, maybe not to the extact detail you want, but he can only pick from the studies that are performed. Maybe someone else here can link the video, I forgot where it is, but I do remember a reference to a study in Japan that followed people’s diet. The study went down to the detail of people eating meat less than once a month, and even in those small quantities there was still a difference in the longetivity of people. So while it isn’t a lot of data, it is what he has.

      The real question is why are there not any other studies out there like this? If you take a look at many of the industry funded studies in details (and it is why Dr. Greger doesn’t mention them) they will use extremely poor feeding practices or just not disclose what they fed people. If you put someone on a plant based diet and they get 5-10g of fibre a day.. what kind of diet is that to compare anything to? The sad reality is industry doesn’t care about science, it abuses science to show you headlines. So is dairy consumption better than the all french fry diet? Probably. Is it biased to not even bring up that study? Definitely not, it just isn’t relevant.




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      1. I keep wanting some group of researchers to do a study of folks who follow a whole-food, plant-based diet. If all the plant-based docs helped with recruiting, it wouldn’t be very hard to get several thousand subjects. Do an intake questionnaire to get health history, specifically any pre-diet blood work, BP, pulse rate, etc. This would be especially important if someone started eating plant based trying to treat a specific illness so that you don’t get tripped up by reverse causation. Also important would be identifying a subgroup with clinically verified diseases like CVD, diabetes, high blood pressure so that the status of those disease could be tracked. Those without disease at the start would server to indicate the disease prevention effect.

        No you can’t directly prove causation with a study like this, but if the biomarkers and disease rates were substantially different, that would be one very powerful data point.

        And of course the researchers could recruit other cohorts from other health oriented dietary groups, like folks following a paleo diet to compare the effectiveness of the different dietary patterns in groups that share a desire to be healthy and will substantially change their diet to do it.

        So who is going to step up to Nutritional fame and fortune by being the study director of a large to very large retrospective/prospective diet trial that would be the very first ever to follow a group of people who actually eat a true low-fat, adequate-protein, high-carbohydrate, diet with minimal to no animal products and minimization of refined plant foods? Almost makes me want to go back to school to get a PhD in nutrition and make this study my thesis.




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        1. We have fairly substantial outcome studies of low-fat PBD (like Dr. Esselstyn’s latest), but because the patients are self-selected volunteers, the papers are relegated to second tier journals. It’s just not ethically or pragmatically possible to do randomized, long-term, hard outcome studies of “radical” diets in free living humans. Perhaps if an outrageously well-funded organization chose to do a study in long-term prisoners (who could volunteer for the study, but not their dietary arm), then we’d have something like a randomized trial.




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          1. I guess I just don’t get why self-selection is such a deal killer with regard to validity of the results. Sure in an ideal world it would be nice if 5,000 people agree to be randomly assigned a diet and then got fully invested in that diet and conformed to it to a very high degree. But this isn’t an ideal world, so we have to make due with what we have. So which is more important to valid results, randomization or conformance to the diet in each arm.

            To me the degree of conformance to the diet is far more important than randomization, since I think the variation in results due to widely differing degrees of conformance is likely to be larger than due to potential confounders that have a higher representation in people who are motivated enough to voluntarily follow a given diet. The largest potential confounder I can think of is that people who voluntarily seek out a radical change in diet in order to improve their health also will preferentially engage in other healthy behaviors like exercise and not smoking or doing drugs. They might even have a positive mental outlook and likely tend to be wealthier and so have better access to health care.

            I think these issues can be mitigated by finding two groups who both are exhibit strong health seeking behaviors, so that they would tend to bring in the same set of potential confounders, but end up selecting divergent diets. That is why I suggested that a Paleo cohort in parallel with a WFPB cohort would be good since both diets tend to attract those who are actively and even aggressively and passionately seeking lifestyles that improve their health, yet the diet selected is widely divergent.

            A third potential health seeking cohort whose selected diet is much closer to the standard diet, and thus could function as sort of a control group following a “healthy” SAD, would be dedicated members of weight watchers. Again active interest in improving health, but the diet WW advocates is really just a slightly better reduced calorie version of the SAD. New members to WW are overweight or obese almost by definition, but so are many who adopt a Paleo or WFPB diet, so there would still be enough in all groups who have excess initial weight to allow starting BMI to be controlled for. It would also allow subgroup analysis to examine the effectiveness of the different diets in short term, and hopefully, long term weight management.

            And some WW-ers, like my Father and Sister, continue to closely follow the diet by tracking their points daily and go to meetings for years after obtaining their goal weight, mostly for the reinforcement/support that keeps them from backsliding into bad habits. Thus there would likely be enough in all three groups who are at their target weights to allow a subgroup to be carved out to examine the effects of the selected dietary pattern on long term health trends in those at a stable weight.

            So can you tell me what is wrong with this study design, why it won’t yield highly relevant results?

            BTW, going out to eat with my Father and Sister is always interesting, My wife and I usually are going through the menu trying to put together a dish from bits and pieces of other dishes so we can eat as WFPB as we possibly can, while my Father and Sister are on their side of the table going through the menu trying to put together a dish form the bits and pieces of other dishes that lets them stay under their point totals. Our server definitely earns every cent of his our her generous tip while waiting on our table.




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            1. WFPB, veganism, ovo-lacto-vegetarian, paleo, “ancestral”/keto, all seem to be drawing adherents from different backgrounds. WFPB leans middle aged and prevention minded, vegan leans young and full of moral certitude, ovo-lacto-vegetarian leans female, paleo leans metrosexual, and “ancestral”/keto butter chuggers seem to lean the diabetic political fringe. Any study comparing outcomes would have a lot of confounders to deal with.

              Still, I do think it would be interesting to do a study in a nation with a national health care program (Scandinavia, etc, where individual disease incidence and outcomes are more easily obtained), where large samples would be asked on routine medical examinations, “Do you eat the same diet as most, or are there any foods you emphasize or avoid”, and the GPs could quickly pick from multiple choices for those consuming non-standard diets. I don’t know how practical that would be, or how seriously medicine would take the results (they’re still eliminating nutrition curricula as evidence for nutrition’s paramount role mounts). But a nation-wide sample might give significant results for less-common dietary patterns within the timespan of a couple graduate educations.




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              1. I work with a Man Mountain who is 6’6″, 310-320 and has huge ginger beard and a shaved head. He is a power lifter who can bench 440 lbs and squat 675 lbs and who eats paleo. I’m not sure how he would take to being classed as a metrosexual. Well come to think about it you might have a point. I have seen him braid his beard and he does wear custom tailored shirts (but mostly because when you have a 54-something inch chest and wear 34 waist pants, getting anything to fit off the rack that doesn’t fit like a sack has got to be impossible). Oh and he is one the best space propulsion engineers I have ever worked with.

                But I get the point. Of course the solution to confounders is to go big so that there are plenty of opportunities to type match (age, income, sex, BMI, exercise/activity level, etc.) to try to control for all the confounders you can.

                And while we are dreaming, international would be a lot of fun and as you say probably a lot easier in countries with a real health care system.

                BTW, I know the man mountain pretty well and we got to talking about diets (which is why I know he eats paleo). I mentioned David Carter, who is a 300 lb NFL lineman and power lifter who now eats WFPB and whose max weight and weight totals are going up and not down. That got his attention and even more so when I told him that Carter says that most if his strength gains came from being able to recover so much faster after a work out, especially after a heavy day, and so he could do more heavy days. And when he switched to plant based the severe tendonitis in his shoulders disappeared within in days. Brian (the man mountain) has similar issues with his knees and so that got even more interest. Not sure he would ever switch since it sounds like he has bought pretty deeply into the paleo mythos. But you never know.




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      1. Freestyle 1: This is why things are so confusing for people. There is a lot of pseudo-science out there that sounds legitimate. It sounds like it is evidence-based. But that is not always the case. Weston Price is a perfect example of a site that does not follow the evidence, even though they claim to and seem legitimate to the lay person.

        If you want a fascinating look into the problems with sites like Weston Price, you can check out the video series on the PlantPostive.com site. Here are some his videos that cover Weston Price: http://plantpositive.com/display/Search?moduleId=19496100&searchQuery=weston+price It’s pretty eye opening!




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        1. Part of the problem with the Weston Price foundation is that they don’t follow what Weston Price said! He noticed that populations that eat small amounts of animal products as supplements were very healthy, so many of them eat giant piles of meat and butter!




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          1. John: Agreed. If you read one of his letters or notes to his children, he basically encourages them to eat a plant based diet. It’s Price’s followers after his death that are using Price’s name shamefully. If I were his descendants, I would be furious.




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          1. What is there to comment on in that study that shows some contradictory evidence? Weston A. Price site is just.. garbage. I mean their first attack on the China Study is just a lie, they only tell you what they want you to know, and not the whole story. They will say Campbell declared that animal protein intake was the suspected to be the determining factor in cancer rates of people in the Philippines, but if you have read The China Study, this isn’t entirely true. In fact the whole article is written in an extremely biased and insulting tone, is this something worth anyone’s time that doesn’t have an agenda?

            The casein study just seems to confirm what Campbell found with casein previously, most of their conclusions where they did not find increases in cancer cells were with the low protein group, as you’d expect. The fact they regularly showed greatly increased cancer rates in most experiments just seals the deal. You can’t read conclusions on studies, some authors make conclusions not based on the evidence… see Thea’s link to plantpositive for dozens of examples. Dollars talk.




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          2. baggman744: Fair enough question. Short answers are No and No.
            .
            I used to click on the links people provided to sites like Weston Price, and I would spend a lot of time analyzing and thinking about the information and doing fact checking and forming as thoughtfull of a reply as I could. I found that a) the person I would converse with never bothered to do the same courtesy for me and the links I provided and b) the sites were so full of baloney that it eventually felt like a waste of time as I had learned all I could from those sites.
            .
            But even if that one page has something of value on it (rarely would a site be wrong about *everything*), Freestyle1’s main point was that the general Weston Price Foundation is evidence-based. I didn’t not need to go to that page to know that he was wrong. I did click on the first link Freestyle1 provided, and it was worthless in terms of the main point.
            .
            Maybe one of our well-researched members like Tom Goff or Darryl or Jim Felder (in no special order) will take a peak and comment as the time it may take them to form a reply might be less than it would be me. ? Or maybe you will take a shot! ;-)




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            1. It’s no easy task scrutinizing these studies, tracking down references, verifiying credibility, etc. Even if one had the time, I don’t know that it would prove 100% conclusive. As someone once said, for every study that concluded black was white, I’ll show one that proves white is black. How do I know? I read that in a study.

              We all value the exchange of opinions and ideas, and I wasn’t challenging you, just inviting an opinion if you had it. I try to stay open (liberal) minded. I know, the “L” is a target these days, but I’m not talking politics. Many of the studies on PubMed aren’t freely available. And I don’t know what the 411 is on PubMed either.

              I like to see the term meta analysis whenever possible. And of course, consensus. The later seems more elusive these days though.

              Like most things in life, including life itself, knowledge is a journey, not a destination. Thanks for the reply.




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              1. baggman747: I took your post as honest curiosity. And because I like you, I tried to give you a complete answer. I hope that didn’t come across as defensive. I think it’s great that you took the time to look at the link. I’m all for being liberal. ;-)




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                1. Not for a moment did I find anything defensive; very considerate of you to ask, thank you kindly. Liberal thinking is something I’ve always aspired to. When it comes to nutritional science, one of my passions and interests, I find it’ll always be a moving target, forever dynamic. I enjoy the science, but take every study with a grain of salt (no pun intended) and try to look for either consensus, or overwhelming evidence.




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      2. “But the direct relationship between animal protein and diseases isn’t discussed in The China Study for one monumental reason: that relationship doesn’t exist. An examination of the original China Study data shows virtually no statistically significant correlation between any type of cancer and animal protein intake.”

        Very interesting article.




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        1. I think Dr. Campbell’s publisher did him and us a great disservice when they pushed him to title his book The China Study, since the contents of that book go far beyond the one study, seminal as it might be, done by one research team in China. The book is the story of how Dr. Campbell wove together a tapestry from the research and results of many studies both by Dr. Campbell and his associates over a 50 year career as well as many others researchers working independently around the world into a coherent picture of the interplay between human health and nutrition.

          Critics like Ms Minger seem to get incredibly myopic and focus in on just this one retrospective snapshot study that Dr. Campbell and team did in China as if all the conclusions that Dr. Campbell has come to over a 50 year career originated solely from that one study. And when this flaw in their argument is pointed out to them, the completely ignore it and continue to only talk about Campbell’s study in China to the point that I have to question what exactly their motives are in doing so.

          The effect of animal protein on cancer was done in a clinical setting in his lab at Cornell using animal models (rats and mice) and was not part of the study in China. The effects of animal protein on cancer were observed using protein levels that are nearly identical to the average consumption by people in the US and the rest of the industrialized world, so this wasn’t a case where they feed the animals many times the level that people ate. Also the variation in response to variations in protein level was total. NONE of the animals that were feed a low, but adequate level of animal protein saw their cancer advance. ALL of those that were feed animal protein in excess of biological need for protein (yet still at levels typically consumed by Americans) saw a rapid progression of their cancer. The study was repeated using a two different plant source of protein and the response of cancer growth to variation in percent of calories from protein disappeared.

          Further researchers have looked for and found the biochemical pathways connecting consumption of excess animal protein to cancer progression. Those pathways not only explain why excess protein causes to progress but also why animal protein does and plant proteins do not.

          The applicability of these animal trials to humans is clear since human share the same basic protein metabolism and protein needs as the rats and mice used in the trial. Also we know that same pathways along which excess animal protein stimulates cancer growth is present in rats, mice and humans. There can be no stronger results than this randomized case-control trial.




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    4. Please think about this. They’ve proved over and over that animals are very smart, they just can’t reason. Example, probably not a great one, but a mother duck decided to raise her babies in an apt. complex with designed ponds/cannals for ducks, and I felt sorry for her trying to raise these ducklings and having such a hard time with predators, especially raccoons, who keep the duck population in check more so than any other predator. Anyhow after chasing the raccoons away for about 2 months, mostly in the middle of the night after hearing her quack very loudly in the middle of the 20 ft wide, 1 ft deep pond, and I would get my clothes on and go other there and with the flashlight see a raccoon with their front legs in the water starring down the ducklings which were in tight around the mother as she would be quacking in fear or anger or both. The raccoon I don’t think new the water was only a foot deep or I would have been to late. In the beginning of month three the mother left as the 7 ducklings were big enough to get by on their own. Sure felt sorry for them, but they made due and I watch for the next month them getting by on their own and starting to learn to fly, but staying always very close to the water, as that’s their security. Just the drake/father would come by every couple of days and communicate with the teens and get them to stand straight up on the legs and flap their wings for a good 20 seconds, in preparation for flight. After a few weeks of this he got them to all leave the ground at once and make more headway each day till they could jump from pond to pond. Even though they could fly, the teens stayed in the ponds where their mother had taught them to forage. You have no idea how beautiful they were together. All the ponds and canals were surrounded by thick deep levels of ivy. I would feed the 7 teenager ducks fresh ferns and organic brown rice straight out of the bag and tried not to get too attached, but found myself going to see them 3 times a day. About a month after the mother left, and I was feeding the teens and a female duck landed, which was always common, but this one swam right up to me and got within 4 ft and just stopped paddling and just starred at me. I kept throwing rice to the teens and noticed the mothers eyes, soft beautiful eyes that you could see right into her soul. She was thanking me for all the times we had together. She starred for not just a minute or 2 but about 5 minutes and then she took off and I never saw her again. There are many other little stories of how these ducks were so wonderful to watch and what you brought away with you every time is that they have thoughts and feelings just as we humans do, however they just can’t reason, but without understand their communication, you would sure feel they were awful close to us. There ‘s You Tube video called Karma, about a baby calf pulled from the mother and the mother, who’s closeness to her calf is second only to a human, and the mother would cry and wail until the owner found where the calf had been mistakenly taken and went and brought her home. On backing the calf out of the trailer, the mom was crying so loud, the calves legs buckled and the calf hit the ground in complete exhaustion, it wanted it’s mother so badly, and the owner picked up the calf and with wobbly legs it made it to the mom, and the sight was worth seeing. How would you feel eating duck/chicken, or maybe veal tonight., or better yet, ask them if they want to die. They can communicate with us, it’s just they can’t tell us they don’t want to die because they don’t know English.




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      1. I like your story , it reminds of years ago when I was farming with my dad . We would have Killdeers nest out in the plowed fields in the spring . I always went around them with the cultivator missing the nests by a few inches and my dad would always do the same . My dad was disgusted when a neighbor said he always ran them over .”That farmer is so poor he can’t give up 5inches of his land for a killdeer” my dad would say . They are fun to watch because if you get to close to the nest they will pretend to have a broken wing so the predator will chase after them away from the nest .Here is a pic. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6b77502f5c29718dc7373cd8cc12a8936695b71a9b74125e9fcc09b14badf2d3.jpg




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        1. Great story, they stay with us for a reason. The plight of birds and animals as a whole is one that if you let yourself get wrapped up in is wonderful to watch, but on the other end Nature is harsh, but men can be evil.




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          1. What a wonderful post :-) Thank you so much for sharing. I wholeheartedly agree with you that animals communicate with us and we are so privileged when they trust us xx




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            1. When they trust you, there’s really no difference between animals and children, other than the obvious ability to reason. Love cements a relationship, man or animal, and I hope we haven’t got so honed into technology and greed that we forgot that element of how we all got here.




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    5. From everything I have seen on this website, Dr. Greger would put together a video that said exactly that. In fact I can hear is voice, “We have known for decades that a diet high in animal foods was not healthy. There was this study with 50,000 subjects which showed that those who ate the most meat suffered X times the rate of disease y compared to those who didn’t eat meat. We could even directly measure your arteries hardening in real time from eating a single high fat meal. But we didn’t know for sure whether or not a very small amount of animal foods might actually make you healthier …. until now! In a new study from researchers at the University of ABC showed that people who added a spoonful of yogurt once a week to an otherwise completely plant based diet had Z% less of disease Q, our number Y killer, compared to the control group who only ate a whole food diet.” He would do this because before everything else he has shown multiple times that he is a dedicated scientist committed to going where the data leads.

      An example Dr. Greger has used recently might help in understanding the current state of nutritional science and why you might have that nagging doubt. Imagine instead of talking about what the healthiest diet is, we were having this discussion 50 years ago just before the surgeon generals report on the dangers of smoking came out. Then you had a whole group of dedicated doctors and scientist with thousands of studies backing them up saying that smoking was bad for your health and was a root cause of a number of cancers and other chronic diseases. And on the other hand you had a much smaller number of narrowly crafted studies funded by the tobacco industry which said that smoking wasn’t harmful and maybe in specific situations that have nothing to do with normal people smoking might actually be helpful.

      Even if a person was pretty sure that smoking was indeed harmful, it would be understandable that there would be some doubt. What if all those independent doctors and scientists really just hated the smell of cigarette smoke and were actually just pushing the whole smoking is deadly thing just so they wouldn’t have to keep smelling cigarette smoke everywhere they went After all the AMA our biggest medical society, who we trust to guide us through the mysteries of medicine, said that we didn’t need to worry (right after they received a $10 million dollar donation from the tobacco industry). Shoot your own doctor probably smoked, often right there in the examination room.

      But looking back with 50 additional years of perspective blowing away the smoke Big Tobacco used to cloud the issue, do you think that science showing the risks of smoking was at all unclear even then?

      Today we are in almost exactly the same situations with respect to nutrition and the health effects of eating substantial amounts of animal foods, sugar and vegetable oil. Thousands of studies show how a whole plant diet promotes health and healing while animal foods and refined plant foods promotes diseases and general ill-health. The smoke clouding the issue comes from biased studies funded by the large agri-business with billions of dollars of income at risk if the all the science showing that their products are a significant part of why chronic disease rates as well as waistlines have been swelling so fast ever become fully clear to and accepted by the public. The big medical associations and societies are still down playing the roll of food as having a (and most likely the) central roll to play in the prevention, treatment and especially the reversal of most common chronic diseases. And why because, well it is just food, and they are working to find the cure. The drug companies of course scoff at the notion that food can be not only as effective, but much more effective than their expensive drugs. They have to because who would pay $40,000 a year for the latest MS drug that slightly slowed the rate of progression in a minority of patients if just not eating foods with saturated fat would stop the disease in its tracks for just about every one. And the nation’s major nutritional organization that certifies registered dietitians still worries about people eating only plants and so goes out of its way to stress that a “well-planned” vegan diet can be safe. This is in fact true, but it is also true for every diet, not just a vegan one. But they make no such cautious timid endorsement for the standard American diet. And of course it is likely that your doctor eats plenty of meat, eggs, and dairy which he probably doesn’t want to give up and so dismisses it all as just alternative medicine quackery that gets in the way of real doctors doing real medicine.

      But discount those with a vested interest in promoting uncertainty about what is and is not the healthiest diet and the picture resulting from the thousands of well structured and executed studies spanning over a century becomes a lot clearer.




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    1. I agree that this video is kind of quiet compared to some others. Until that is sorted out, may I suggest using the “View Transcript” button under the social media tags and next to the “Sources Cited” button? I use that feature a lot when I’m trying to watch NutritionFacts late at night and I don’t want to use my headphones.




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  7. Where can I see the schedule for the upcoming videos? usually there’s a post about it and a link to buy it pre-release.. Ive asked this in the past so it may be a good idea to make it more accessible? Thank you so much for all the work Dr Greger and volunteers!




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  8. You just addressed about 20 to 30% of the people. The minority who trust science. My impression is that most people have either decided that they are just going to “enjoy life” and hope for the best (similarly to smokers) OR they think their own reasoning is more powerful than science (such as the Paleo types) OR they pray that Daniel et al will steer them onto the path of rightrophy. Whittling away at those folks with logic and reason does not much good. We need another way. Keep the science by all means but lets not throw away the teeming masses. Lets start a reality show but instead of voting off the island the punters compete for best statistics. But this time when the guy says “You are ‘dead’ to us.” its for real. heh




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    1. Where I live the percent is less than 5%. Seriously, there is nobody to talk about more serious issues in a more scientific way. Even people with degrees working at universities do not care about anything outside of their field. And even within their field, well… they are not eager to talk… so close-minded… so why would I want to fight for a hopeless cause? Just to save them, just to make them aware if they even don’t pretend to care? It’s quite sufficient for them to enjoy life in every way possible without any boundaries (like eating vegan food). I call it carelessness. Why would I care? And not only there is no understanding when you say something about veganism (ie. WFPB diet but to make things easier for them I refer to veganism) but pretty soon it may end up miserably for you as nobody wants to talk to you because you are that crazy vegan trying to convert them…




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  9. I would say “You’re the Wind beneath my Wings” but that’s disgusting so I’ll just say “You are the Foot behind my Butt” I watch a few of your videos almost every morning on my Laptop and on my tv just before I go to bed so I don’t backslide into my old Meat,Eggs and Cheese eating ways. It gets easier everyday. I somehow feel like you have given up your life to keep us all heathy. Thank You. I hope you find time for having fun and enjoying your family and friends because that’s also good for your health.




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  10. Is “peer review” always better? What if the peer review group itself becomes corrupted? Then they serve as degenerate gatekeepers. Are there some legitimate non-peer review pathways to valid knowledge?




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    1. I think you make a good point. Look at the civilizations in history that have had good health, like the Blue Zones. They eat whole foods that are mostly plant based. Who pays for studies? What is the intent of the author?




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      1. My only point is that I’m not sure that “peer review” always means more reliable research. This from a lecture I saw where it was argued that peer review can inhibit good science. Dr Greger and others often cite “peer reviewed” studies. I guess it’s a good standard but I don’t know… Here, this gets to the issues, like many other articles that you can find, Peer review: a flawed process at the heart of science and journals http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1420798/
        Again, the point is the everyone bandies “peer review” but fewer know how it works or whether it’s actually good.




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    2. I remember reading/hearing (I think in the PlantPositive videos, but couldn’t find that passage on his website) that Paleo “researchers” weren’t able to get their papers published in major journals, so they formed their own “peer-reviewed” journal where they serve as each others peer reviewers. If this isn’t an instance of degenerate gatekeepers, then I don’t know what is.

      And the journals I publish in will ask the author for suggestions of reviewers. I don’t know if this is true of the major medical and nutritional journals, but if it is that would represent another opportunity to corrupt the process by submitting the names of friendly reviewers.

      And non-peer reviewed work can indeed lead to valid knowledge. The trouble is that history has demonstrated that it almost impossible for an outside person to be able to tell valid from invalid science without the review of peers that are expert in the field.

      So while the peer review process might be flawed, it is still better than any other process.




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      1. Thanks for this summary of your experience with peer review.

        Maybe it’s a problem of using formal versus informal processes to obtain reviews, guidance.




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  11. I really love the idea of the intro videos, and here is a funny of a why: When I first came across your website maybe a month ago, I thought to myself, oh wow, this website hired an actor to talk about health and plant based food! I thought there is no way a doctor of such caliber would take the time to sit down each day and make a video, and also, who talks like that?? (Not that it is bad- it is just very different, and I like it! Hence why I thought he was an actor!). The first couple of days my husband not knowing what I was listening to, and knowing how I go on “research tangents”, thought I was really diving into a new wave of gospel online. (I hope I am not offending anyone, the way we are and we truly are loving Dr Greger to pieces) Anyway, a few days later I thought well maybe it is a collective of doctors and they all hired this man to work as their “voice” of the website. After reading a bit more, and watching a few more videos, I thought hmmm wow, this guy is really a doctor (grandma video)! And then soon later, wow, these are really his own thoughts! I was then taken aback how the website is non-profit, and that sometimes, when science and data changes, he does too and goes back to amend what he previously thought. I love this! Non profit, no ads, a REAL person, transparent…

    Anyway, my first post. I have never been a big meat eater but have been a fast-food junkie at times. I am very lucky that at my age and weight, that I do not have anything “wrong” with me (or at least no symptoms of anything being wrong) – 42. I have in the past contemplated going began or vegetarian, I am now on a mission to get healthy and lose weight. I have a detailed spreadsheet all worked out of target goals, made an account on cronometer (very fascinating), and have been 100% plant based now for 34 days. I am keeping detailed records of my progress. I am taking a photo of myself each day as well. My hunny works in a lab, so he is doing my bloodwork as I go. I just cannot get enough- I am so deeply convinced I have made the best decision I will ever make for my life, and I just cannot wait to get there!! I wake up so excited knowing my blood cells are swooshing happy and how my body is just soaking up all the vitamins and minerals with my loaded salads and food synergy! I know, I am silly- I am just so excited! Before starting work each morning (I work through the home), I go watch another video (or 6) to kick start my day. Now, I just need to research how to download Dr Greger’s brain.




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  12. “……it’s not enough for “some expert” to just cite their sources. They should give you their sources, so you can make up your own mind.”

    I’m not sure what Dr. G. means by “give.” Isn’t citing a source a form of giving?




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    1. Hi OhYeah. Next to each video are a few buttons, one for the transcript, and the next for the “sources cited”. That gives the list of the published articles in the scientific and medical journals, from which Dr Greger takes the information. That gives everyone the opportunity to check out the sources for themselves. Having said that, a lot of scientific information is not in the public domain, and when you locate an article you may suddenly be asked if you want to pay $39 dollars to purchase it. Ways around this, if you are really interested in reading something and have access to a university library or a hospital library, you may be able to either find the publication, or ask the librarian to order it for you. Once you actually get a hold of any scientific articles you will see that they are chock full of terminology and statistics which are nigh well impossible to interpret without training. But you can see if a study was industry sponsored, if there are conflicts of interest (which give an idea as to its validity), and generally the “results” section of a paper is in fairly plain English. Good luck! I hope this was helpful!




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      1. “But you can see if a study was industry sponsored, if there are conflicts of interest (which give an idea as to its validity),”
        Yes, that part is very important. Thanks.




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  13. I read that Hilary Clinton has advised her husband Bill to change from the low fat vegan diet he has done so well on and eat a high fat diet endorsed by Dr. Mark Hyman. She may be secretly trying to get rid of him. Dr. Hyman says sugar not fat is the problem. A little sugar on your morning oatmeal is not going to hurt you. Animal fats and processed oils are a much bigger problem that some sugar.




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    1. You wish.

      Hillary who follows Dr Hyman also has very good cholesterol and blood pressure although she eats some fat. And I read that Pres Clinton switched from vegan diet to eating some fat because he has no energy. It’s not good for the metabolism to have a low fat or no fat diet. Sugar is the killer and not fat. We need to get the FACT straight.




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      1. Well, a low fat diet as described by Dr Ornish (who has been Bill Clinton’s physician) and Dr Esselstyn, is not a no fat diet. If you look up the nutritional composition of vegetables, beans, grains you will see that they contain some fat.




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        1. Dr. Ornish rejects the notion that some people have had of him as a low fat advocate, but the fat that he says people can eat is healthy: avocados, olives, nuts, and seeds.




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      2. I respectfully disagree with you. I have been a follower of the whole food, plant based diet endorsed by Drs. Greger, Campbell, McDougall, Essletyn and Barnard for five years. My health has dramatically improved. I have lost over 40 pounds. My blood number are much better without medication. The SAD, the Standard American Diet, is the problem. Too much animal fats, processed oils and junk food. A teaspoon of brown sugar on your oatmeal in the morning is not going to hurt the average person.




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      3. Possible that President Clinton is that rare person whose energy levels doesn’t go through the roof when they dump the meat and go plant-based.

        And yes we need to get our facts straight. And since you have so much work to do to get your facts straight I suggest you go first.




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    2. “Hilary Clinton has advised her husband Bill to change from the low fat vegan diet he has done so well on and eat a high fat diet endorsed by Dr. Mark Hyman”

      Well if o’l Bill craps out prematurely we will know which one works!!! ;^)




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    3. There’s also some thinking that she did that to distance Bill from the perception that he is plant based/vegan. Any kind of extreme affiliation is the death knell in politics. So maybe Bill is now secretly eating plant based. Bill is too smart to go paleo with his health on the line, IMO.




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      1. You may be right. President Clinton may still be eating a healthy vegan diet but wants the public to think different. Mrs Clinton does not want to alienate the ranchers in South Dakota or hog producers in Arkansas. Bill wants his wife to be President. It will get him more power, money and a unique place in history.




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  14. I just love the way Dr Greger thinks. It is so logical everyone should reason like this and it shouldn’t even have to be said.
    I love this site and recommend it to everyone interested in their health.
    Thanks again




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  15. You know what? Without the videos of Dr Gregor, I would have quit eating whole food plant base during the last year. I’ve read somewhere that in order to make a change in your lifestyle, you have to maintain close ties with a group of persons that share the same beliefs and can encourage you whenever you need support, otherwise it is too difficult and you’ll quit eventually. Il listen to everyday video of Dr Gregor for the last year, I’ve lost 65 pounds, my doctor reduce my meds to 1/4 of what I use to take. Thanks to Nutrition.org. I’m on m’y way to a better life.




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  16. Thank you, Dr. Greger. As a cardiologist and lipid/prevention specialist, your literature review is impressive and the most ‘iron-clad’ diet to follow (with appropriate supplementation of B12, omega-3, etc) for health. With the exception of one statement made at 21:06 on the 2016 Mad Vegan talk (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DSO_La-IVQo), I have done fact checks in nearly every video I’ve watched and he is correct. If anyone can find the actual reference of that statement (I did not see it in the cited DASH diet paper Epi 1995;5:108-118), I’d greatly appreciate it. Again, thank you Dr. Greger!




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          1. It would be nice if they could be up front, like Dr. Greger suggests, and treat us like adults. Just say here is what the science says: It says that the less animal products and highly processed plant foods you eat the better chance you have of getting your blood pressure back to normal without medication. So here is my how I imagine a DASH diet brochure based on the best science available might look. Well how it might look if written with a lot of snark.

            Congratualtions, you have just been diagnosed with high blood pressure. You probably have a prescription for your first blood pressure medication. The bad news is that it will likely be joined by others increasingly toxic medication in a vain attempt to keep your blood pressure under control. Oh, and your doctor may have just told you that he or she is trying to get your BP back down to the normal level of 120/80. We hate to break it to you 120/80 might be normal in a society where it is normal to have high blood pressure. The actual target we all need to be aiming for is 105/70 or lower. But we couldn’t have 105/70 be the target we need to stay under, well unless we want 90% of the country on blood pressure medication, (the thought of that does make our patrons in the pharmaceutical industry do salivate).

            Happily, we have lots of very good science that says that having high blood pressure is something that you choose to have. Happy because you can also choose to not have it. The secret is in the foods you choose to eat and not eat. It isn’t actually hard or complicated. Simply stated, the more of your diet comes from whole plant foods and the less that comes from animal foods and highly refined plant foods the lower your blood pressure will be. And not only that but eat close enough to a completely whole plant based diet and you can keep your blood pressure low for your entire life. At this point you might be shocked because you had heard that increasing blood pressure as we get older is just one of those things that we have to learn to accept. Well, surprise! So here are four diets in descending order or preference:

            “A” diet: The “A” diet is almost exclusively contains whole or minimally processed plant foods. But don’t worry, it has been verified that on this diet you will get all the protein, fat, vitamins and minerals that you need to be healthy. The “A” diet will give you the greatest improvement in BP and represents your best option for getting down to the real normal BP while also giving you your best chance to eliminate all BP medications. No other diet has ever been scientifically proven to achieve a healthy BP of 105/70 or less and keep it there for an entire lifetime. It would be malpractice for us to not make this clear and unequivocal regardless of whether we think you will adopt it or not. You are an adult. You can decide for yourself which is more important to you, burgers, fries and large cheese pizzas or lives and health of you and your family. We know what we would choose, but we aren’t going to tell you what you have to.

            “B” diet: The “B” diet has dairy and eggs added to the “A” diet for those of you who just can’t bear to contemplate a life without cheese, and eggs too, but especially cheese, even though they are likely part of what is the root cause of you having high BP in the first place. Sadly to make caloric room for these high fat, low nutrient dense yet calorically dense foods we had to reduce the amounts of the plant foods in the “A” diet that actually help reduce blood pressure. So the eggs and dairy represent a doubly whammy, adding foods that harm your BP and removing food that could help it. The “B” diet will likely result in some improvement in your BP, but likely not enough for most people to reach the truly healthy BP. As a result most of you will probably still need to take some BP medications. We strong encourage you to use the “B” diet only as a stepping stone on your path to adopting the “A” diet.

            “C” diet: The “C” diet adds meat and fish to the “B” diet, just in amounts slightly lower than your current diet. Thus more of the foods that work to heal your abused vascular tree are shoved off of your plate. Some irony, huh, us suggesting a diet to reduce blood pressure that contains the very foods that are the root cause of you having high blood pressure in the first place.This diet shares a lot in common with the “Mediterranean diet” in that nether is particularly effective in reducing your blood pressure to the ideal level and certainly not keeping it there for a lifetime. A few of you might be still see significant reductions in blood pressure. A select few might even be able to reach the ideal BP. However, the majority will only see modest results. The only good news is that you might be able to stop taking so many drugs! (our patrons at the drug companies didn’t want us to even be telling you this). The “C” diet isn’t really good for anything other than to get you moving away from the death diet you are currently eating. Don’t linger too long at “C”. Your next stop should be the “B” diet, but our advice is that your ultimate goal should still be the “A” diet because, well, we are scientists and so if we are to have any honor at all we have to give you the best scientific advice currently available.

            And lastly here is the “D” diet. It is the easiest to adopt because it is basically the crappy diet you are already eating that just moderates the amount of the worst foods. Because after all, all things in moderation, right? But seriously, if your doctor says that BP doesn’t have much to do with diet, that increasing BP is just something that happens as we get older, but maybe you might think about trying to “eat better” or “eat more moderately”, run, do not walk from his office. If you follow his advice he will keep you sick and stuff you with pills for the rest of your shortened life.

            And there you have it. One diet that will actually help you reduce your blood pressure to a actual healthy level we should all be shooting for without medication and three others that will help you feel that you are doing something useful to address your high blood pressure when in fact you really aren’t.




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  17. Dr. Greger, it is great that you are doing these. One thing that I would love to see is if you were to have other doctors in other parts of the world and even the United States discuss their thoughts on whole plant foods. Not because your message is missing anything. But because coming from different faces can help the message go farther.




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  18. By the way, vegetable oil is not trans fat but create more harmful oxidation byproducts than even trans fat when heated. So it is not just trans fat in processed food that is harmful but also vegan/vegetarian oil like vegetable oil. Cholesterol is not harmful. So when people was told to avoid any kind of fat, they inadvertently avoid trans fat and vegetable oil but not everybody do it.




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      1. You will need to leave this site and research more widely. I notice that many of the commenters simply reference a couple of vegan sites for more information. If you honestly are open to new information you must go and find it, not be fed it by sites that do have an agenda. Folks that point out the times Dr. Greger has made videos that don’t 100% support vegan eating, as if that makes him unbiased, fail to understand that it is in his interest to appear balanced. These rare videos are never about substantial problems and always have advice about how to overcome the problems – but never by the most expedient method (often a small amount of animal-based food). I feel that any diet that requires the majority of its adherents to take supplements is not healthy. How can anyone argue this? (I am genuinely baffled)




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  19. You recommend flax seeds a lot, but the National Food Agency here in sweden recommend not eating it at all.

    “NFA believes that one should not eat crushed flaxseed at all, even if they are heat-treated . We do not yet have enough knowledge to say how much crushed flaxseed to eat without the risk of damage to health. Therefore our advice to consumers not to eat crushed flaxseed.”
    “Flax seed contains substances which can give rise to hydrogen cyanide. Colloquially known as hydrogen cyanide sometimes prussic acid . Hydrogen cyanide is a poison that can cause serious symptoms in excessive doses. The amount of hydrogen cyanide which can be released by the common use of whole flaxseed , one to two tablespoons per day , are considered risk-free.”
    “We do not yet have enough knowledge to say how much crushed flaxseed to eat without the risk of damage to health. Therefore, our advice is not to eat crushed flaxseed .”

    Could you comment on this?




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    1. I seem to be saying this frequently of late, but the dose makes the poison. I was surprised to read that flaxseeds do indeed contain a small amount of cyanide. In fact a number of different foods contain small traces of cyanide, including lima beans, fava beans, chick peas, cassava, yams, cashews and almonds. Fortunately our body has an enzyme that detoxifies cyanide as long as our daily exposure doesn’t challenge or exceed the amount of the detoxifying enzyme made in a day.

      Jeff Novick, a well known RD in the WFPB community wrote this 2009 article about the topic of cyanide in flax seed. He sites a study that says that 60 grams of raw flaxseeds in healthy individuals does not represent a risk. One tablespoon of ground flax is about 7 grams, so that would be 8 1/2 tablespoons of ground flax seed a day.

      And this is only for raw flaxseeds. Cyanide is a volatile element that boils at 25 Celsius. Thus any flax seed used in baking such as an egg replacement doesn’t contain any cyanide since the heat of baking would drive all of it off. And no worries about a toxic cloud spilling out of the oven off the griddle where you are cooking pancakes. The cyanide is already in low concentration to start with and the cyanide driven off by the heat is mixed in with a large volume of air making it so dilute that it is of no concern at all.

      One person recently told me that they love to oven roast whole flax seeds which makes them pop a bit and makes it easy to chew. She likes to just eat a handful. I don’t know if the roasting drives off the cyanide or if because the seed is intact that the cyanide can’t escape and so still remains a risk. I image it is the former because the description given is that they puff up slightly and the seed of more open and porous, so likely the cyanide would be able to escape. Still I might recommend people not eat whole toasted flaxseeds by the handful out of an abundance of caution.

      So to me the bottom line would be to bake with flaxseeds to your hearts content, and that a tablespoon or two of raw ground flaxseeds in your smoothie or on your morning oatmeal would seem to be too little to be concern.

      If you really want to make sure that there is no cyanide in any of the flaxseeds that you eat, simply roast the ground flaxseed meal in a dry skillet for a few minutes until the flax starts to toast a bit. That should heat the flax enough to evaporate any cyanide that they might contain without harming the ALA omega-3 in any way (as Jeff points out that if heating caused the omega 3s in food to break down, then cooking that wild-caught salmon every nutritional source is telling us that we hust have to eat more of would break down all the long chain omega-3s that represents the sole reason eating it in the first place. Toast a skillet full at a time and store the toasted flaxseed in a glass jar in the refrigerator so you always have some ready to go.




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    2. Martin Hjerpe: I think you got a very helpful reply already. I’ll add just one more thought for you.
      .
      NutritionFacts provides a set of peer-reviewed, published studies showing benefits of flaxseed consumption. http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/flax-seeds Based on the wording from your quote, the National Food Agency does not have any actual evidence of harm from flaxseed. Just a concern. To me, demonstrated benefit is pretty powerful evidence held up to vague concern, especially in light of the points that Jim Felder made in his reply.
      .
      I wonder why the National Food Agency has taken the stance they have taken.




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  20. Yup. You’re the reason I stopped eating meat, eggs, lots of salt, vitamins (except b12), oils, and dairy. Dr McDougall has a great long term diet plan that works pretty well for me, but you ultimately converted me; and a year later, I have half my family reading your book and many are switching to the best diet/lifestyle ever. It’s so funny to hear them say, “wow, my back feels better, I don’t sleep during the day anymore, my acne faded away, I have enough energy to go jogging, I feel better and happier.”…. and my response…”I told ya so!”
    #LittleVeganBoyStrikesAgain!
    RI




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  21. For quite some time I have been a vegetarian who eats dairy and fish, but now I am convinced to become vegan. I have always tried to eat organic, especially for the dirty dozen. I recently had kidney stones so was told to avoid spinach. I also have osteoporosis so was told to get plenty of calcium. I also have high cholesterol so try to avoid bad fats and eat good fats. I love desserts, especially chocolate and cookies, but I try to eat as little sugar as possible and avoid white flour; now should I try to learn to use cocoa powder rather than dark chocolate? My question is how to prioritize all of these things. Especially when I am not at home, I can’t usually know whether something is organic so should I avoid eating the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables in restaurants? Is there a website or other source of reviews of new vegan products in terms of taste and/or health, for example vegan cheese or mayonnaise? Or should I just stick to whole fruits and vegetables? What about whole grain bread and crackers? I get indigestion from beans. Is Beano the best way to deal with that or Tums or Omeprasole?
    Trying not to get overwhelmed




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    1. Over 80% of the average persons exposure to pesticides comes from the pesticides on the food that animals ate which then was concentrated in their flesh, breast milk and ova. So cutting out animal products immediately slashes your pesticide burden 80%. If you then eat organic when you can, that takes a bit more off the remaining 20%. But I don’t think it is worth missing out on all the healthy aspects of fruits and vegetables when eating out just because they aren’t organic.

      The gassy effect of beans largely comes from the type of bacteria present in our large intestine. Most people see a shift in bacteria populations to less windy types as animal products leave your diet and the bacteria specialized to digesting animal products are crowded out by fiber loving ones. after a few months you will hopefully see a drop in the discomfort the beans. That was the case for my wife, but even after 6 years, I haven’t fully adapted. However the health improvements that we have seen are enough that I am willing to put up with the occasional discomfort.

      In no way would I ever turn to omeprasole. That one can get such a powerful drug without a prescription is a crime. These drugs really can screw with your system. My wife had silent GERD and her gastro put here on these types of drugs. It took several protracted attempts over 2 years to wean her off of them that didn’t result in such incredible acid rebound that made the GERD even worse than it was before treatment started.

      And my suggestion in the not getting overwhelmed category is to go simple in either of three ways. One is to ease in gradually with prepared vegan foods sliding in to take the place of the foods you are easing out of your diet. So substitute vegan “meats”, and cheese and mayo for their non-vegan counterparts just to keep something familiar while still trying to eat whole unprocessed fruits, vegetables and starches (whole grains, legumes, tubers).

      The second, if you are comfortable with repetition, is to just drop the prepared foods and find a handful or so of whole foods recipes that you can eat repeatedly and just eat those in rotation. Then slide in new dishes to the rotation once you are comfortable. Don’t worry too much about getting exactly the right amounts of all the different nutrients. Mostly that just takes care of itself when the food eaten over the course of a week collectively contains different starches (whole grains, legumes, starchy root vegetables), different colorful non-starchy vegetables and fruits, and once a day try to have a large salad of whatever your favorite lettuce is. In this way you don’t have to really think about what to fix. If you are OK with eating left-overs, you can cook in large amounts so that you aren’t having to cook every night. Our goal is to only cook every third night, with left overs the other two.

      And the third is to use something like jump start programs like the 28 day Engine No. 2 or 21 day Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) programs. These are a programs of preplanned and nutritionally balanced menus for each meal. This is probably the easiest since it is all laid out for you.

      Last bit of advice, especially if you go the whole food route, is to eat a lot of food. Whole foods have a lot fewer calories per pound than animal foods and prepared plant foods. The biggest mistake people make shifting to a WFPB diet is continuing to eat the same volume of food they are used to only now that volume of food contains far fewer calories. The result is that you end up not eating enough calories and are always hungry and are tempted to quit. And that would be sad, because the wonderful thing about eating whole plant food diet is that you can stuff your pie hole until bulging at the seams and still not over consume calories. The caveat to that is this is true as long as most of the calories are coming from the whole food and not highly refined sugars and oils.

      Good luck and remember to breath!




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    2. Jean Chandler: I held onto your post in case you didn’t get any replies. I’m not sure now, but I don’t think you did get any replies.
      .
      I have a whole bunch of information in response to your post, but I don’t want to overwhelm you. So, I’m going to make a few suggestions, but please do keep posting with specific questions until you get all of the information you want.
      .
      First, I noticed that you seem very concerned about eating organic. That’s a good goal, but it is by no means a top priority when it comes to eating healthy. Dr. Greger did a series of videos on the topic of organic vs conventional produce. You might want to look that up some time. In the mean time, here is a quote from a NutritionFacts blog post that I think puts it all into perspective very well:
      .
      “A new study calculated that if half the U.S. population ate just one more serving of conventional fruits and vegetables, 20,000 cases of cancer could be prevented. At the same time the added pesticide consumption could cause up to 10 extra cancer cases. So by eating conventional produce we may get a tiny bump in cancer risk, but that’s more than compensated by the dramatic drop in risk that accompanies whole food plant consumption. Even if all we had to eat was the most contaminated produce the benefits would far outweigh any risks.”
      from: http://nutritionfacts.org/2013/06/25/apple-peels-turn-on-anticancer-genes/
      I translate this bit of info into: Eat organic when you can, but don’t stress about it when you can’t. I think it is great to use the dirty dozen to guide your eating practices when you can, but that is by no means a top priority.
      .
      So, what should be the top priority? Eating a whole plant food based (WPFB) diet. What does eating a WPFB diet mean? There are a few good systems out there to help you meet this goal. You can pick the one that works best for you. As starting ideas, I’ll throw out there: Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, the PCRM Power Plate, the free 21 Day Kickstart Program. I can provide more information and help on any of these ideas, plus additional tips if you want more help in making your transition to healthy eating.
      .
      One of the great things about a WPFB diet is that it is pretty much a single diet to fix or at least stop most of the diet related health problems that we have. However, there are some tweaks someone with a specific health problem might to in order to better target a health problem. For example, someone with kidney stones or osteoporosis might tweak their diet for those problems. I can make some resource recommendations/tips for those issues if you are interested.
      .
      You had more questions in your post. Please do ask again when you are ready to tackle additional questions.




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  22. Dr Greger,
    Your book and daily views have changed my life. I have made the changes described in your book but would like to find a book regarding food and other recommendations to make certain I get all the vitamins and protein I need.




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    1. Mark masotto: Regarding your question about protein, I think the following article will provide you with the information you need. http://michaelbluejay.com/veg/protein.html Dr. McDougall also has some articles in his old newsletters about protein that you might want to track down if you want some confirmation for the article I linked you to.
      .
      Regarding getting all the vitamins you need: I don’t speak for Dr. Greger, but my sense in reading the book is that if you follow the Daily Dozen and the few supplements Dr. Greger recommends, he expects that you will get all the vitamins and minerals that you need. However, if you want some extra confirmation, you might look into using the free website cronometer.com, where you can enter all your food and get back a very detailed listing of all the nutrients you ate. You will then start to get a good feel for how complete your diet is.
      .
      Good luck.




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      1. Thea and @markmasotto:disqus I found that I have to be careful with the foods I enter into cronometer if I want the full nutritional breakdown to be accurate. That is because many brand name packaged foods are available in the database, but many of them have no more details given for them than are displayed on the nutritional label on the back of the box.

        So to get an accurate listing of specific amino acids, minerals beyond calcium, iron, and sodium and vitamins beyond A and C, you need to select only whole foods or generic versions of a prepared food.

        If for example if I am having some some Silk reduced-fat, sweetened vanilla soymilk on my oatmeal, I can find that particular brand and type of soymilk in the list of foods in cronometer’s database. However, if I look at the nutritional breakdown there isn’t much information for what essential amino acids or vitamins and minerals are contained in a given amount.

        On the other hand the cronometer database contains an entry for “Soy milk, vanilla or other flavors, sweetened with sugar, low fat, ready-to-drink”. Looking at the nutrient break down of this generic version of the vanilla soy milk I am eating I see that data is given for all the vitamins, minerals, different types of fat, and amounts of the amino acids not just the top level values .

        The trouble is that for the same 2 cups of soy milk the listing for Silk entry says it contains 160 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fat. The generic non-brand entry say that the same two cups contains 231 calories, 9.5 grams of protein, and 3.4 grams of fat.

        So while I get more details with the generic version, I likely get more accurate estimate of the top level nutrients by using the entries for the specific brand I am using.

        My solution was for a week to select only whole foods or generic listing for prepared foods so that I get a detailed picture of how well my diet is meeting all my specific nutritional needs. If you don’t want to go to all the effort to record your actual consumption, you can create a hypothetical weeks worth of eating of the types and amounts of food that you typically eat to get a peak into the nutritional adequacy of your diet.

        And then once I am pretty comfortable that I am getting all the vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that I need, then use brand name listing to get more accurate estimate of total calories, the different types of fat, protein, fiber and the like. And then I only pay attention to the overall macro-nutrient levels and calcium and sodium levels. I just have to understand that the detailed breakdowns will be missing data on the brand name foods and school myself to not panic when it looks like I am waaaay short on key vitamins and minerals on days where calories from packaged foods constitute a large-ish percentage of my total calories.

        BTW, the iPhone version of the cronometer app can use the camera to read the bar code on any packaged food to quickly look up the specific packaged food. If the food isn’t in the database, I am given the option to create a new food to associate with that bar code that I can name and enter the nutritional information from the package.

        And cronometer allows you to create a recipe with the total amounts/weight of the different ingredients in the dish. If you use only whole foods and generic packaged foods in the recipe, then all the detailed nutritional information is calculated and available for the overall dish and servings from this recipe will bring with it all those details.




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        1. Jim Felder: Great tips! I also found your observation about days when you eat packaged foods to be fascinating as it is a real-world, specific example of what we have all been told… Thanks for taking the time to share all that.




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  23. Thanks you for your consistently super research findings. Now can you provide a video on tackling books like Grain Brain, which sites ‘science’ as gospel and misleads so many into cutting out carbs?




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    1. Lyn: Does this NutritionFacts video meet your needs?: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/alzheimers-disease-grain-brain-or-meathead/
      .
      I have my own reply to people who post on this site advocating Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. Maybe this will also help:
      ————–
      Books like Wheat Belly and Grain Brain also use plenty of research to back up their claims. However, the research they point to often does not really back up their claims. It is all a bunch of pseudo-science. Here are some examples where you can learn about flaws in those books:
      http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/06/problem-with-the-grain-brain-doctor.html
      http://noglutennoproblem.blogspot.com/2012/03/wheat-belly-busted.html
      http://drmirkin.com/nutrition/forget-grain-brain-and-wheat-belly-eat-whole-grains.html
      https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2014nl/jan/smoke.htm




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  24. The biggest problem is confirmation bias ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias ) . Any researcher worth his salt knows that even with the best intentions you are going to find the (or interpret) evidence that supports your existing biases. NOBODY, not even YOU Dr. Greger are not immune from this. Have you ever noticed on the financial news shows that the commentators are required to disclose whether or not they own stocks in the companies they are reporting on? I think you have a GLARING bias that you don’t make clear. You have talked about “kicking the butts” of meat eaters (very unprofessional, clearly not objective). The second biggest problem is that “correlation does not imply causation” ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Correlation_does_not_imply_causation ). If a study shows that all meat eaters quickly die, but you fail to mention that they all smoked 2 packs of cigarettes per day (or whatever) then you have committed a freshman error in your (incorrect) conclusion, I’ve seen you often do this too. You are entitles to your feelings and opinions, but I, as an award winning researcher with over 25 years of data analysis experience think you sound anything but objective. Virtually every study you cite has an equally compelling study that directly contradicts your conclusion, yet you fail to mention that most often. I think you should take a long hard look at the concept of confirmation bias and consider, just consider whether on occasion you are a tiny bit influenced by it. I think you know that the biggest breakthroughs in health often come from outside of people in the medical business. How about this great story of a teenager who outsmarted doctors and universities around the world http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/jack-andraka-the-teen-prodigy-of-pancreatic-cancer-135925809/?no-ist . Adding insult to injury is that every time I make a post like this with a differing opinion you simply delete it, how objective and balanced is that!? You don’t even allow for open and honest debate or discussion? Shame.




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    1. Dean Hoffman: You should not make accusations without confirming they are true. I just did an complete search in our forum to try to find a single post of yours that has been deleted. Assuming you are still using the same e-mail address, I did not find a single post that was deleted. If you are having trouble finding your posts, go to your disqus profile page. We employ a third party application called disqus to present the forum. If you have additional problems with disqus, you might work with the people of that application to resolve your problem.
      .
      Did you know that in preparing his book, Dr. Greger used a team of researchers to check and double-check the validity of each claim? Each paper was carefully researched by a team. I guess you will claim confirmation bias by the whole team. I guess that’s possible. The point I’m trying to make is that while Dr. Greger is the face of this website, the conclusions are checked and shared by many knowledgeable people.
      .
      As for open and honest debate, I have taken the time to answers several of your concerns. Please refer to past posts.




      1
      1. You can make a straw man out of the posts, but that does not change the content. Vegetarians with supper low cholesterol drop dead every day. My point is that nobody knows for sure and balance is what is needed.




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  25. I encourage you to read the story of this man (Jeff Cyr) who in no uncertain terms was given a death sentence by his doctors. He did virtually the exact opposite of everything you suggest Dr. Greger and his doctors and dumbfounded that he miraculously reversed his disease and saved his own life. He scientifically and methodically documented all his lab work to “prove” that what he was doing was working. He ate nothing but fat yet all his lipid tests dramatically improved. He had severe diabetes, yet now there is no trace of it in him. Care to comment on how this is possible? How could he do the exact opposite of what you suggest yet improve every single one of his metabolic markers and now be disease free? https://zerocarbzen.com/2015/09/16/how-a-high-fat-ketogenic-diet-saved-my-life-by-jeff-cyr/




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    1. Ate nothing but fat? I’m not sure I would want to live , That would be a miserable life even if someone could do it , I’m not convinced 1 in a 1000 people could not do it.
      High blood pressure
      angina
      pre diabetes
      Graves disease
      raynaud disease
      arthritis
      Have all been greatly lessened or eliminated using advice from here and Dr Mcdougall site , I have yet to find bad advice given on this site when me and my wife have tried it .




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  26. Awesome stuff, your work is brilliant!

    Dr, I have a couple of questions I’d like to ask.
    First, is there any science behind food combining?
    And secondly, what are the benefits/downsides of eating frozen fruits and veggies?

    Have a wonderful day :)




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  27. I really like how Nutrition Facts works. I would love if you did more human biology videos explaining how the human body works so it is easier to put studies about nutrition in to context. Or made a sub section of videos on human biology and nutrition. :)




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  28. Hey Dr. Greger, okay, okay, I hear you, if we don’t get smart about nutrition, we’ll kick twice and die. Here’s what I can’t get past: vegetables taste icky and, sitting in my refridge, they look pathetic. But donuts, candy bars and french fries go from store to mouth in a flash and taste immensely good. You’re asking me to leap too great a chasm, how can I do it?




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    1. Hi Kim! i am a volunteer for Dr. Greger and help with a lot of the comments we get on the site! Regarding the taste different, our taste buds DO get accustomed to whatever we usually eat. It can take up to 3 weeks before your pallet ‘adjusts’ to healthier foods– but that is only if we stop eating the unhealthy foods for a period of time. Since the donuts and candy bars contain a lot of processed sugar and fat, our taste buds get used to those intense, highly sweetened foods. But, once we take a bit of break (again, up to 21 days or so) when we try to eat donuts/candy bars again we find the foods often taste ‘too sweet’ or ‘too artificial”. Take a break from some of the ‘yummy snack foods’ and see how your tastes adapt!




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    2. Your inner caveman spent millions of years in an environment where it was a constant daily struggle to get enough calories, made even harder by the fact that most sources of food had very few calories per pound. So when your in caveman found a concentrated source of calories he did a little happy dance. The next time he sees any of these foods he starts salivating and egging you to make an extra effort and maybe even brave real dangers so he can do his happy dance again. In contrast when he sees those low calorie foods he gives them a big meh! and wants to give them a pass to save room for his favorite high calorie dense foods will show up soon.

      That remembrance of the little happy dance worked great when real cavemen need some motivation to put forth the effort to walk miles to hunt, kill and cook an animal who usually reacted rather violently to somebody trying to eat it in order to get at the calorie dense fat and protein or scout far and wide exposing himself to potential predators to find a tree with ripe fruit.

      Today with Dunkin Doughnuts having a drive through window, so you don’t even have to even go to the effort to walk across the parking lot, let alone walk half way across town you know that the Mmm doughnuts reaction by your inner caveman is not giving you helpful cues on what you should and shouldn’t be eating. Worse he gets more and more excited the more frequently he gets his fix of dense calorie foods. So basically your rough, tough and hard working inner caveman that is willing to literally climb a mountain to get at those good dense calorie foods has been transformed by all the junk food that constantly surrounds us into a spoiled 6 year old having a total meltdown in the grocery store when he is told he can’t have his favorite extra sugary cereal.




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    3. We normally eat steamed zucchini and grated carrot for breakfast , they cook in the same time, maybe 10 minutes. Try and watch Chef AJ on you tube . We have been doing this for 6 months and still look forward to breakfast ,they are delicious with just a bit of salt on top. The reason we went with vegs for breakfast was when my wife goes to work , she doesn’t get a break for 3 hours and oatmeal didn’t keep her blood sugar level normal, so she always felt crappy. Vegs do the trick.
      As for take out food, have you ever tried a hummus or baba ganoush pita wrap , with all your favorite vegetables , include some sprouts and top with fat free honey mustard and then toasted . If you can find any other sandwich or burger that tastes as good as that then write me. lol
      cheers




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    1. Dear Hoffman: I just explained to you a few hours ago that *none* of your posts have been deleted.

      As a courtesy to you, I did a special search in the Deleted posts of the administration area and *none* of your posts are showing as ‘deleted’. I also verified that you have posts showing in the ‘approved’ area. For example, here is one of your recent posts: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-philosophy-of-nutritionfacts-org/#comment-2906294666 As you can see, it is not deleted. Only posts which break the rules are deleted and to date, none of your posts have been deleted. Please check your profile page in disqus if you have trouble finding your posts.

      Are you getting my replies?




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  29. What if the sources are wrong? Unfortunately there are so many sources that with confirmation bias you can find a source to confirm any preformed opinion you have. I suggest that one should give sources that support their position and then also give equal weight to credible sources that dispute their conclusion. Sources in Iraq told us that we would find weapons of mass destruction. Have we not learned that just because you have a source that that is a LONG away from meaning the information or sources are correct? Should we congratulate people who have figured out how to use Google to find a source that supports what they think?




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    1. Dean Hoffman: As I have explained to you in the past, my understanding of the purpose of this site is to show the balance of evidence. Dr. Greger does review all the evidence, including pro animal product studies. And there are videos on this site which do explain how studies presenting alternative conclusions are fatally flawed. Please see my previous replies to you.
      .
      What you are asking for in regards to “equal weight” is advocating for false equality. Equal weight should not be given to bad data. It’s not why I’m here, and I imagine it is not why most people are here. Most people are here for Dr. Greger to weed out the bad data. The handful of videos explaining the bad data is good enough coverage of the alternative views. If you want a site that reviews absolutely every single study, regardless of it’s validity, that would be a different site.




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        1. Dean Hoffman: 1) anecdotes are not strong evidence from a scientific perspective. Do you understand why? One reason is that anecdotes are not necessarily representative of the body of evidence (which please remember is what this site is about).
          .
          2) re: “…according to who?” This site deals with published, peer reviewed studies and anyone who understands basic logic can understand why the studies are fatally flawed. So, I would say, according to just about everybody. As a reminder and an example, check out this NutritionFacts video: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/bold-indeed-beef-lowers-cholesterol/

          So, yes, you can find studies to back up whatever you want. That doesn’t mean the studies are valid. That’s what Dr. Greger does for people. He helps to weed out the bad science and to summarize what the body of evidence says. This site is not about reviewing every anecdote.
          .
          It is clear from your posts that you don’t think the information on this site is helpful. I recommend that you find a site that better meets your needs.




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        2. A very interesting story with a good ending at least so far. Just to be clear if you have not read the story at zerocarbzen , at no time did that person try a WFPB diet , he tried a diet given to him by a dietitian who specialized in diabetes . That type of diet would almost for sure include milk, eggs, meat, plus vegetables and some limited fruit.
          The other thing I found a little misleading was he said growing up they were told to avoid fat and cholesterol , implying that he was on a high carb diet , which had caused his being severely overweight .I doubt he was on a high carb diet and certainly not on a whole food plant based diet.




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  30. I’m taking screen shots of all the deletions to later publish on a blog and show that you are not fair and biased, you allows shills only. I will send the FDA copies of your shenanigans too. Quack.




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  31. Dean Hoffman: Now you are deleting your own comments. I can tell in the ‘Deleted’ section of the administration area if the user himself did the deletion. The only person who has ever deleted your comments on this site is yourself and both times were today.




    0
    1. Straw man (I bet you need to look that up), instead of addressing the issue, attack the character. Amateur move when you don’t have a good response. I sorted the posts wrong, I thought newest were first, my mistake, ok next. How about the real issues.




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  32. I lost over 100lbs, took my TGL/HDL ratio from a 10 to a 2, went from pre-diabetic to low normal blood sugar, went from mild hypertension to low normal blood sugar and had a coronary calcium scan after 3 years of high fat consumption that scored a perfect 0. How? ON a low carb high fat diet, 80% of my calories come from fat, please explain the miraculous improvement in my health markers.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/bbcb581ed7db919ce6e6ddb2303ddd228f48882387ab9e30cf2c498bcdb5d14b.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/48bf08d6cf2b14b399d0786ff0f1a293ab231f645385e468267c8c07f7a48eec.jpg




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  33. This is good. I like the overall style. I think for the main introduction video to your site, it might benefit from a director. It’s just too hard to have an objective eye about making videos of one’s self, I think. Maybe there could be an exchange or barter for the service. Nothing fancy, it’s really about an eye for quiet detail and composition and flow that I’m talking about. Pros have a real knack for that stuff, stuff that most folks never notice.




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  34. LDL and Total Cholesterol have no correlation with heart disease. Only HDL and Triglycerides matter.

    Most heart attack patients’ cholesterol levels did not indicate cardiac risk

    http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/majority-of-hospitalized-heart-75668

    Low Cholesterol Levels Associated with 990% Higher Mortality After Heart Attack

    https://healthimpactnews.com/2015/low-cholesterol-levels-associated-with-990-higher-mortality-after-heart-attack/




    0
    1. Did you read the first link?
      “While the risk of cardiovascular events increases substantially with LDL levels above 40–60 mg/dL, current national cholesterol guidelines consider LDL levels less than 100–130 mg/dL acceptable for many individuals. The guidelines are thus not effectively identifying the majority of individuals who will develop fatal and non-fatal cardiovascular events, according to the study’s authors.”

      It is an article about lowering recommendation for cholesterol.




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    2. Same with the second article. The guy that writes the article uses a source for his info. He too misinterpreted what the research article was stating.

      “These findings may provide further support for recent guideline revisions with even lower LDL goals and for developing effective treatments to raise HDL.”

      It too was about lowering LDLs and raising HDL.




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  35. I am not a medical professional, but I think you are not getting good dietary advice. The same diet of whole plant foods with very little or no meat, dairy, eggs, refined carbohydrates or refined vegetable oils is very effective in stopping the progression of cancer by reducing the amount of the growth factor IGF-1 and TOR is also very effective in managing ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease as well.

    I wish you every good fortune as you work to regain your health.




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  36. May I ask, what ever happened to the member here called “Toxins” ? I’ve been reading over some comments from old videos and realized his no longer apart of NutritionalFacts.org. Shame :(




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    1. Stevey82: I miss Toxins too! Here’s the scoop: Toxins changed the alias to “Rami”. So, if you see a post from Rami, it is the same person who used to post as Toxins. Rami is still an official moderator for NutritionFacts but is not able to participate as often anymore. I still see Rami jump in every once in a while and it is my guess that if you posted a reply directly under one of Rami’s old (or newer) posts, you would get a reply. (I can’t promised that. I’m just guessing.) Hopefully Rami’s schedule will arrange itself for more participation again in the future!




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      1. Hi Thea, Thanks for the reply. I’ll keep an eye out for “Rami”. I would be good to see him back on here again, but it’s all good, there’s so many great members here who do a great job!




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  37. What I would love to see… What plant based/vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving, Christmas, Easter, Labor Day, Independence Day, and Memorial Day look like. I assume you are vegan cus you always point out its the best numbers. I think the focus is prime rib, turkey, or ham in my family or house. Or picnic holidays are burgers and mayo based salads and chips. I would like my sides to take center stages and my meat to almost have the attention that side dishes get. Common we all know side dishes are what makes the meal so they should be the main course in my world. I think Christmas and Thanksgiving is easier to choose healthier sides like greenbeans or potatoes or yams. But it took years for me to learn how to make vegan mash potatoes and they are amazing. I would love a special on eating right and celebrating with friend and family for the holidays. Just to open minds about it cus people thank EWww vegan mash potatoes and you can’t take mash potatoes without milk but you can and they are probably healthier cus your not throwing away the water you cooked them in. So if your open to suggestions I’ve been watching videos for about 4 or 5 months. I love them and they have helped me a lot. And I’ve heard to give them a cheese taste sprinkle nutritional yeast on them. But what else would taste good with that cus it’s a big bag. I’m thinking side dishes.




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    1. Melissa: I have a friend who is the grandmother of a large extended family, and she is the one who hosts the big family get-togethers for holidays. She started out by phasing out the meat over the first couple of years (not eating any herself). Last Christmas, she simply served a vegan meal. Her husband was very worried that everyone would be upset. But here’s the thing: She served fantastic food. Everyone loved it. No one complained. Everyone enjoyed each others’ company.

      There are some great vegan holiday cookbooks out there. If you get one or two of those books, it would give you a good idea of what a vegan celebration feast could look like for various holidays. Here is a list of such books:
      https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_c_2_17?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=vegan+holiday+cookbook&sprefix=vegan+holiday+coo%2Caps%2C217
      I have several of those books. I have gotten some superb tasting and looking special dishes from the one by Zen Allen

      Good luck!




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  38. Hi Dr Greger and Your Team!
    First of all thank you for making such an amazing website, it changed my life profoundly! I became a whole plant diet eater thanks to you guys. Recently I’ve discovered the app called LIFESUM, it enumerates all the foods you can eat with their levels of carbs, fat and proteins, as well as providing with healthy recipies. Please let me know your thoughts about this app and if you think that it is a good one please incorporate the recipes from your book into it!

    Couldn’t thank you enough!
    A

    PS. Also please make a video about the low carb diet, to clear up all that nutritional confusion and finally know if it is bad or not for our health. Especially for people who have Candida Albicans overpopulation in their gut.




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    1. Anna: concerning, “…please make a video about the low carb diet…” I wonder if the following NutritionFacts video will be helpful to you: Low Carb Diets and Coronary Blood Flow http://nutritionfacts.org/video/low-carb-diets-and-coronary-blood-flow/
      .
      I thought I would also point out that there are a ton of videos on this site going over consumption of intact grains and beans and these foods are shown to be highly health promoting and disease fighting. What’s more, I would round a bit and say that Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen food recommendations includes eating beans and intact grains just under 1/2 of your diet. Thus, I would say we can infer that Dr. Greger would not consider a low carb diet (for the majority of people) to be the optimal diet.

      .
      Does that help?




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  39. I think misinformation, and lack of information, has led to a lot of problems. For example, my cousin is a doctor who thinks nutrition does not matter at all. She acknowledges that nutrition isn’t really taught in med schools, but she thinks it just doesn’t matter. I have a friend who has a bachelor’s in nutrition who is not aware of the evidence of plant-based diets and simply believes in traditional “well-balanced meals” which include lots of meat, dairy, and eggs. It is shocking to me that two people who are in fields directly related to this topic do not really know how much evidence supports WFPB diet. I mean, of course, nutritional studies should continue and we should continue to seek more information and question things…. that’s part of science. But there are so many fad diets out there, that people just think this diet is another fad diet. That is why I really think it’s important that we follow an “evidence based” approach. But it’s hard to get this information out to people, because they have already formed their opinions and do not want those opinions questioned (and further, experts such as doctors, have even “confirmed” to them that nutrition doesn’t matter or that medical procedures and pills are the only solution).




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    1. Touche!! I am one of those practitioners that held fast to the idea that “all foods fit”. I am now like you, flabbergasted that there is still so many that hold fast to meat, dairy and eggs. The tide is changing though!! My children’s pediatrician is plant based. My son had a dairy allergy (this was before my shift to a plant based diet), when he finally grew out of it, I was following a plant based diet. I was surprised at her response… She did NOT encourage him to start drinking milk.. she promoted other plant based sources of calcium instead. Very impressed. I have been working with other practitioners that are starting to move to a plant based diet and wanting to encourage their patients to do the same.




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  40. Thanks for all the great information. I just picked up Dr. Greger’s How Not to Die. I am quite thankful for all of his hard work. If I remember correctly, I once saw a video of Dr Greger encouraging people to share the content of NutritionFacts.org. It seemed like he didn’t even care if people just duplicated it. He didn’t mention copyright laws or show concern about having his content featured on other websites, social media channels or videos across the web. I bring this up because, my wife and I are launching a Vegan based website (theveganlife.net) and we believe Dr. Greger’s information is top notch. Currently we have about 1,900 Facebook fans and the website is coming together nicely. I would love to turn some of Dr. Greger’s website content into helpful videos that we would be post on our Youtube channel. Of course we would attribute Dr. Greger for any content that we shared in one form or another (video, text based articles, social sharing, info graphics etc….). Do you think Dr. Greger would approve of the sharing and promoting of his online content on our site and social channels?




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    1. Hi @michaelcoudriet:disqus, good question (and what a great site you guys have)! We allow the reuse of our material with attribution, as long as it’s not for commercial purposes. So you can’t use it to sell a product, for instance, but otherwise we encourage people to share!




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      1. @kporigow:disqus Thanks for the compliment on our site. We not only want to eat healthy ourselves but want to inspire others who want to do the same.

        We don’t have anything currently on our site to sell. Who knows at some point we may sell t-shirts or join an affiliate program. But for now, there are just a couple of ads on each of our web pages. For our effort (creating the content and videos based on your site content), we would make money indirectly from advertisers who chose to advertise on our website or from Youtube ads that would show when they watched a video. So… I guess you can say that we are indirectly making money from creating the content. We would never sell the videos or use the content as part of an online course or anything like that or anything that would require someone to pay to view the content.

        The content we create off of your site would always be available for free on our facebook, youtube, pinterest, and/or a web page on our site etc…

        Neither my wife nor I are doctors or nutritionists, and by offering content by an authority like Dr. Greger would help best steer people in the right direction nutritionally when it comes to the Vegan lifestyle or living a healthy life.

        Of course attribution, will always be in place for any content we copy or reference.

        I hope that makes sense.




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        1. Yes, thank you for the explanation! That is still fine :) That clause is more for, say, using the content AS an ad, or putting it an e-book that is being sold, something like that. But it sounds like what you guys are doing is totally fine, and we really appreciate the sharing of the material!




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  41. It’s a shame however that when one raises a fair question on your videos or philosophy, it is often left unaddressed. I am exactly the person you encourage others to be. I ask questions. But it doesn’t seem that the vegan/plantbased community, including doctors, always welcomes questions. It seems the majority only believe you should ask questions if you’re still eating meat. Then you should question. But once you become plant-based, you should not question anything. And once you decide which doctor you like, you shouldn’t question their approach.Yes, I can get a answer to a question like what are good plant based sources of iron, but ask a question like “can you assure me on a plant-based diet that when I get to 75 or 80 I’m not going to develop Alzheimer’s or cognitive decline as a direct result of this diet, from having low levels of fatty acids? Well, that’s a different story. Question your bone health video where are you say the bone mineral density the plant-based and omnivores is the same, when other studies you didn’t reference show that in older cohorts BMD is negatively correlated with plant-based proteins, and, well, my question still sits there unanswered. I’ve tried your Facebook page “how not to die”, and pretty much the only thing one can do on that page is agree with you. And I tried your live q and a, got my questions in the que early, only to discover you couldn’t see the questions at the top of the queue. I evened tried private messaging you. I remain plant based but have some serious concerns about, say, mental health(yes I saw your video but your “long-term study” was only a year. How do people fair after ten or twenty years–is it possible that long-term deficits will result in an appearance or exacerbation of disorders like OCD, anxiety, and depression). And, as I’ve said, I have questions about the effects of this diet long term on bone health and cognition–based in studies I’ve read but you overlook in your videos). I hope I will find the answers, so I can continue to eat and advocate for a plant based diet, although at this point I feel discouraged and may instead simply opt to change the way I am eating. Have an entire family that has followed me down the plant-based road, so I personally don’t feel comfortable staying on this road and “hoping for the best”




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  42. Way too much content with so little value for someone who wants to get started.. Give us a guide of what to eat instead of trying to sell the idea itself. Know your audience – many people agree and want to know HOW to get started eating healthy. Instead you have 10 intro videos with no actual value.




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    1. Hi James: We’re sorry to hear our intro videos have not met your needs. Here’s a list of additional resources that I hope you find helpful:
      1. How Not to Die – Dr. Greger’s latest book details his “Daily Dozen” food chart, which could be helpful when making a grocery shopping list. Follow the provided link for instructions on how to download the free How Not to Die app and Daily Dozen Checklist.
      2. Lighter – Personalized meal plans and plant-based recipes. Most of the website content is free.
      3. Kaiser Permanente’s Plant-Based Diet Booklet – Very well done guide by KP – lots of additional resources listed toward the end.
      4. 21-Day Kickstart – PCRM’s free 21-Day Vegan Kickstart runs from the 1st to the 21st of each month.

      I hope this helps! Please let us know if you have any additional questions or concerns. We welcome all feedback in order to make our site the best that it can be!




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  43. Hi Dr.Greger, a friend of mine is currently hospitalized and diagnosed with endocarditis. He had a heart attack that was caused by a vegetation which cultivated from 7mm to 2cm in the aortic valve. He’s on antibiotics and in 4-5 weeks is planning on having a surgery to replace his damaged aortic valve with a mechanical valve. I’m hesitant on recommending a plant based diet, unsure if it will help at this stage. Any feedback is appreciated, thank you!




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  44. Thank you so much Dr. Greger and all the employees and volunteers of nutritionfacts.org for your great work.

    I was wondering if you could address nutritional deficiencies of vitamine B, iron or zinc you might encounter when cutting out meat from your diet.
    Also, I am very curious about athletic performance and a plant-based diet. In my experience, I need to eat tons of veggies and grains throughout the day to get (1) the calories and (2) the proteins I require.

    I am looking forward to more facts from you regarding these topics.

    Best wishes and keep it up

    Leo




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    1. Leonard, As a moderator on this site, I want to congratulate you as an athlete who knows you can perform well without meat. Now to to sure you’re getting the nutrients you need, I’d suggest you use the SEARCH box for each of the nutrients you asked about , zinc, Vit B and iron for reassurance you can indeed get all those in abundance through plant-based foods. You asked about protein and getting enough calories and while you mentioned grains and vegetables, remember beans and all legumes are great sources of the protein you’re wondering about and if you need more calories the seeds and nuts will provide that. Check out this link as well: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/athletes/ Hope that helps.




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