The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument

The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument
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The Paleolithic period represents just the last two million years of human evolution. What did our bodies evolve to eat during the first 90% of our time on Earth?


Our epidemics of dietary disease have prompted a great deal of research into what humans are meant to eat for optimal health. In 1985, an influential article was published proposing that our chronic diseases stem from a disconnect between what our bodies evolved eating during the Stone Age during the last two million years, and what we’re stuffing our face with today, advocating for a return towards a hunter-gatherer type diet of lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Though it may be reasonable to assume our nutritional requirements were established in the prehistoric past, the question of which prehistoric past remains. Why just the last two million? We’ve been evolving for 25 million years since our common great ape ancestor, during which time our nutrient requirements and digestive physiology were set down, and therefore probably little affected by our hunter-gatherer days at the tail end. So what were we eating for the first 90% of our evolution? What the rest of the great apes ended up eating: over 95% plants.

This may explain why we’re so susceptible to heart disease. For most of human evolution, cholesterol may have been virtually absent from the diet. No bacon, butter, trans fats, and massive amounts of fiber, which pulls cholesterol from the body. Now this could have been a problem, since our body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, so our bodies didn’t just evolve to make cholesterol, but to preserve it, recycle it. Our bodies evolved to hold onto cholesterol. And so if you think of the human body as a cholesterol-conserving machine, and plop it into the modern world of bacon/eggs/cheese/chicken/pork/pastry, well then, no wonder artery-clogging heart disease is our #1 cause of death. What used to be so adaptive for 90% of our evolution–holding on to cholesterol at all costs since we aren’t getting much in our diet–is today maladaptive, a liability leading to the clogging of our arteries. Our bodies just can’t handle it.

As the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology noted 25 years ago, no matter how much fat and cholesterol carnivores eat, they do not develop atherosclerosis. You can feed a dog 500 eggs worth of cholesterol and a stick of butter and they just wag their tail; their bodies evolved from wolves, and are used to eating and getting rid of excess cholesterol, whereas within months, a fraction of that cholesterol can start clogging the arteries of animals adapted to eating a more plant-based diet.

Even if our bodies were designed by natural selection to eat mostly fruit, greens and seeds for 90% of our evolution, why didn’t we better adapt to meat-eating in the last 10%, during the Paleolithic? We’ve had nearly two million years to get used to all that extra saturated fat and cholesterol. If a lifetime of eating like that clogs up nearly everyone’s arteries, why didn’t the genes of those who got heart attacks die off and get replaced by those who could live to a ripe old age with clean arteries, regardless what they ate?

Because most didn’t survive into old age; they didn’t live long enough to get heart attacks. When the average life expectancy is 25, then the genes that get passed along are those that can just get us to reproductive age by any means necessary, and that means not dying of starvation. So the higher the calorie foods, the better. So eating lots of bone marrow and brains, human and otherwise, would have a selective advantage, as would discovering a time machine stash of Twinkies, for that matter. If we just have to live long enough to get our kids to puberty to pass along our genes, then we don’t have to evolve any protections against the ravages of chronic disease.

To find a population nearly free of chronic disease in old age, we don’t have to go back a million years. In the 20th century, networks of missionary hospitals in rural Africa found coronary artery disease virtually absent–and not just heart disease, but high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, common cancers, and on down the list.

In a sense, these populations in rural China and Africa were eating the type of diet we’ve been eating for 90% of our last 20 or so million years–a diet almost exclusively of plant foods. How do we know it was their diet that protected them, and not something else?

In the 25-year update to their original Paleo paper, the authors tried to clarify that they did not then, and do not now, propose that people adopt a particular diet just based on what our ancient ancestors ate. Dietary recommendations must be put to the test. That’s why the pioneering research of Pritikin, Ornish, and Esselstyn is so important, showing that plant-based diets can not only stop heart disease, but have been proven to reverse it in the majority of patients. Indeed, it’s the only diet that ever has–perhaps because that’s what we ate through the vast majority of our evolution.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ToM via Flickr.

Our epidemics of dietary disease have prompted a great deal of research into what humans are meant to eat for optimal health. In 1985, an influential article was published proposing that our chronic diseases stem from a disconnect between what our bodies evolved eating during the Stone Age during the last two million years, and what we’re stuffing our face with today, advocating for a return towards a hunter-gatherer type diet of lean meat, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

Though it may be reasonable to assume our nutritional requirements were established in the prehistoric past, the question of which prehistoric past remains. Why just the last two million? We’ve been evolving for 25 million years since our common great ape ancestor, during which time our nutrient requirements and digestive physiology were set down, and therefore probably little affected by our hunter-gatherer days at the tail end. So what were we eating for the first 90% of our evolution? What the rest of the great apes ended up eating: over 95% plants.

This may explain why we’re so susceptible to heart disease. For most of human evolution, cholesterol may have been virtually absent from the diet. No bacon, butter, trans fats, and massive amounts of fiber, which pulls cholesterol from the body. Now this could have been a problem, since our body needs a certain amount of cholesterol, so our bodies didn’t just evolve to make cholesterol, but to preserve it, recycle it. Our bodies evolved to hold onto cholesterol. And so if you think of the human body as a cholesterol-conserving machine, and plop it into the modern world of bacon/eggs/cheese/chicken/pork/pastry, well then, no wonder artery-clogging heart disease is our #1 cause of death. What used to be so adaptive for 90% of our evolution–holding on to cholesterol at all costs since we aren’t getting much in our diet–is today maladaptive, a liability leading to the clogging of our arteries. Our bodies just can’t handle it.

As the editor-in-chief of the American Journal of Cardiology noted 25 years ago, no matter how much fat and cholesterol carnivores eat, they do not develop atherosclerosis. You can feed a dog 500 eggs worth of cholesterol and a stick of butter and they just wag their tail; their bodies evolved from wolves, and are used to eating and getting rid of excess cholesterol, whereas within months, a fraction of that cholesterol can start clogging the arteries of animals adapted to eating a more plant-based diet.

Even if our bodies were designed by natural selection to eat mostly fruit, greens and seeds for 90% of our evolution, why didn’t we better adapt to meat-eating in the last 10%, during the Paleolithic? We’ve had nearly two million years to get used to all that extra saturated fat and cholesterol. If a lifetime of eating like that clogs up nearly everyone’s arteries, why didn’t the genes of those who got heart attacks die off and get replaced by those who could live to a ripe old age with clean arteries, regardless what they ate?

Because most didn’t survive into old age; they didn’t live long enough to get heart attacks. When the average life expectancy is 25, then the genes that get passed along are those that can just get us to reproductive age by any means necessary, and that means not dying of starvation. So the higher the calorie foods, the better. So eating lots of bone marrow and brains, human and otherwise, would have a selective advantage, as would discovering a time machine stash of Twinkies, for that matter. If we just have to live long enough to get our kids to puberty to pass along our genes, then we don’t have to evolve any protections against the ravages of chronic disease.

To find a population nearly free of chronic disease in old age, we don’t have to go back a million years. In the 20th century, networks of missionary hospitals in rural Africa found coronary artery disease virtually absent–and not just heart disease, but high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, common cancers, and on down the list.

In a sense, these populations in rural China and Africa were eating the type of diet we’ve been eating for 90% of our last 20 or so million years–a diet almost exclusively of plant foods. How do we know it was their diet that protected them, and not something else?

In the 25-year update to their original Paleo paper, the authors tried to clarify that they did not then, and do not now, propose that people adopt a particular diet just based on what our ancient ancestors ate. Dietary recommendations must be put to the test. That’s why the pioneering research of Pritikin, Ornish, and Esselstyn is so important, showing that plant-based diets can not only stop heart disease, but have been proven to reverse it in the majority of patients. Indeed, it’s the only diet that ever has–perhaps because that’s what we ate through the vast majority of our evolution.

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to ToM via Flickr.

Doctor's Note

For more on the absence of Western diseases in plant-based rural populations, see for example:

I’ve touched on “paleo” diets in the past (with more to come!):

What about the keto diet? In 2019 I did a 7-video series on that. Check it out here.

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

484 responses to “The Problem with the Paleo Diet Argument

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  1. The paleo diet dogma is just a proxy for the meat industry to continue to sell their products while it has repeatedly been shown to cause cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke (and much more). Time to face the truth..

    1. Its also a proxy for those of us who can’t bear to think of not eating a hamburger or turkey dinner. For many, its food and the rush of pleasure from eating familiar fatty food that gives life meaning. Sad. Also sad to deprive oneself of the amazing plant-based dishes – closed off from a whole new world of pleasurable eating.

            1. Sadly, for you, humans are omnivores and the decision to leave that lifestyle is just as dangerous, if not as immediate, as deciding that you no longer like drinking water.

                1. Hi Thea, I did try to load the page; it would not. But, lets be clear, it is hardly objective. ;-) (The title and url gives it away.)

              1. False belief. Sadly for vast majority of humans they falsely believe we are “Omnivores” (Like I did from childhood). Omnivores (dogs, bears, possums, etc…) are physically more similar to carnivores than to herbivores (humans) with flat uniform teeth, long intestines, etc…. Lots of physical evidences that we are not omnivores, but of course “Belief” trumps science.

                1. we are omnivores as are other hominids. we evolved bigger brains and flatter abdomens as a result. but too much of a good thing can be bad, admittedly. our anatomy is a hybrid, typical of omnivores.

                  1. If you choose to believe fairy tales over ACTUAL SCIENCE and studies with provable and repeatable results… it’s your choice.

                  2. false, we are herbivores. If we are Omnivores: *How come we don’t have 4 long sharp K9 teeth like All mammal omnivores do ? Why are our teeth flat and look like horse & cow’s teeth ? *Why don’t we eat RAW chicken, duck, turkey, veal, etc. with no vegan spices like omnivores do ? *Why are our intestines long and stomach aciditity low like other herbivores ? *How come we sweat through our skin like herbivores (horse) ? *Why are our jaws able to move from side to side like herbivores ? *Why when we close our mouth, our flat uniform height teeth in upper and lower jaws sit perfectly on top of each other (all teeth fit inside the jaw) like herbivores ? *How come we chew our food like herbivores (chew gum) ? *Why is the #1 cause of death in the USA, atherosclerosis (elevated cholesterol) – a disease only of herbivores ? Etc. Objective Physical Evidence is overwhelming that we are NOT omnivores.

                    1. Ray, you’re being tedious. We are evolving. We are neither carnivore, nor herbivore. Our stomach is quite acid. Herbivores have an alkaline stomach pH. Our teeth are intermediate. We can hunt and kill and cook which enabled safer meat eating. Clearly, you must see that we are not pure herbivores.

                    2. there is no “WE”. I am a herbivore and have been a herbivore for over 15 years and am in good health. Here are some pictures of teeth and other physical evidences.

                      Regarding evolution theory, they are a dime a dozen. Just like Santa Claus, there is no way to disprove them.

                    3. Ray, I demand to see your colonoscopy. I think you’re probably right about veganism. I do have a few reservations. One about the likely deficiencies. Two, the likely departure from chimps 8 million years ago, as a result of more fat in the diet, including fish. Three, Dr. Wahl’s cure of MS from a meat rich diet. The paleo and vegan crowds should be forced into a room and held captive until they can come out with some consensus. I like you Ray. Best, Craig.

                    4. ” colonoscopy ” ? Sorry, I don’t get it. B12 deficiency is only because fruits, nuts and vegetables are washed thoroughly (B12 is produced by bacteria in the soil) and for millions of years we ate raw fruits, nuts & vegetables from the ground rich with B12. There are many Drs. like Wahl that are paid for and work for meat, dairy and egg industry. Like lawyers, doctors represent their clients best interest. The Paleo diet has been debunked repeatedly including by this video (did you see it ?).

                    5. Sorry Craig (my friend). This discussion is very addictive and it prevents me from doing a pile of MUST Do work that I must do yesterday. for this reason I will not respond any more because it’s very distracting.

                    6. i understand and agree these threads are too time consuming. you’re clearly knowledgeable and i’ll check into those issues. i will point out as a last note that dr. greger didn’t debunk the paleo argument. he adopted it and extrapolated it in a very clever and logical manner. best, Craig. now get your work done.

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                    8. Capitalizing “Objective Physical Evidence” does not change the truth; we are not herbivores.

                      No society has ever been. Even before guns, we had pushed more than 90% of the large animal species (land and water) into extinction by eating them.

                      Our closest relatives, chimps, eat meet.

                      And in caves where humans have lived for many millennia, you can see the clear evidence that our ancestors were meat eaters.

                      Ray, I was vegan for 7 years… and well known for it. Converted many people with my writing and speaking on the topic. Until my research led me to that same moment when Luke realized that Vader was his father; damn, I was wrong. Luke got over it. I got over it. You will too.

                    9. I’ve read through the thread. I think while the majority this coming and going between you and Thea is reasonable but primarily based on semantics/classifications.

                      I have a few questions for in relation to how you ‘got it wrong’

                      1) Why? What are the reasons in your eyes that humans should not be vegan? (what nutrients/vitamins cannot be attained from the plant kingdom?

                      2) Do you only eat 2-5% animal products now to compliment your diet?

                      Our ancestors definitely ate some meat at stages but how far back should we go? There is a lot of evidence to suggest that their diets were made of a huge majority of plant based foods.

                      This is a great read if you have time to take a look.


                      I think you’ll agree that the humans should surely be consuming far less meat than they do today..

                    10. If we are herbivores, how come we lack the main vital function of herbivore digestive system to process and digest cellulose?

                    11. Because humans are frugivores. Grazers and leaf-eaters can digest cellulose. Frugivores cannot. Therefore cellulose digestion is NOT a hallmark of a “herbivore” since frugivores are herbivores too. We also DO need cellulose. Cellulose = fibre. Fibre is vital to help move food through the intestines. We also can digest starches. Actually, we are NOT designed to be omnivorous, in any way shape or form AT ALL. If we are Omnivores how come we do NOT have 4 very long, sharp K9 Teeth like dog, hog and ALL other omnivores do ? etc….. the physical evidence (not opinion) is overwhelming that we are Herbivores. See pictures of teeth, jaws, etc….. (not opinion, but undeniable physical evidence). You can wiggle around physical evidence with “Theories” and “Opinions” of hired scientists, etc…..regarding interpretation of history. Yes you can. But that’s like fooling yourself.

                    12. Ray ,buddy, look in the mirror. Open your mouth, look at the third teeth from the middle. You can touch them, to be ENTIRELY shure. Are they pointy? Here, may I introduce you to your canines, or as you call them the K9 teeth (or their evolutionary adaptation)(Speaking of dogs, or pigs, their teeth are proportionally similar to humans. And pigs go even further, their organs are interchangable with human organs). We would be the only single unique one herbivore in known universe to have canines. We would also be the only single unique one herbivore in known universe without flat molars. So much for your “overwhelming” evidence in human jaws (if you don’t have pointy teeth, I recommand you to visit nearest academy, as you seem to be the whole new specie). Every single one herbivore on planet can process cellulose (or as you correctly identified it as fibre), that’s like their unique thing, which like uniquely differ them from omnivores.
                      Speaking about paid “scientists”, you are the one whose only source is website literally named HUMAN IS HERBIVORE (talk to me about paid non-objective sources). My sources are multiple scientific and medical journals and medical and scientific praxis, also an Theory of evolution by some guy named Darwin, if you ever heard of him?
                      You lack even basic education!

                    13. How can you openly LIE like that ? We have K9s in NAME ONLY and they are NOT pointy ! If you don’t tell someone which teeth are canine, they could not even tell by just looking at it.
                      Omnivores canine teeth zigzag across each when they close their mouth. I cannot explain the obvious pictures that are on google and all the web sites. I showed you that web site because it has all the pictures in one place for your convenience. But you can search for pictures on google and other sites as well (pictures don’t lie).

                      Again you can completely ignore, dismiss OBVIOUS PHYSICAL EVIDENCE & try to explain around it with your “Opinion” and your hired prejudiced scientist’s interpretation of human evolution and history (bunch of BS lies) and twist science to justify your self-fulfilling LIE. All over journals and TV are Advertisements and for-profit scientists that try to sell you meat, dairy and eggs. Regarding Cellulose, again not all Herbivores can digest it. Fugivores do not digest it and they are Herbivores (google it). We need Fiber. ONLY plants have fiber.

                    14. Ray, you are literally retarded.
                      Next time you visit your dentist, ask him to explain to you your teeth. PROPORTIONALLY our teeth are the same as pigs (omnivores by the way), as our digestive system, you can have pig stomach, pig liver etc. which you still not explained why?
                      We don’t NEED fiber in order to survive (it helps our digestion as we can’t process it, it makes your shit thicker), we NEED protein in order to survive.
                      “Again you can completely ignore, dismiss OBVIOUS PHYSICAL EVIDENCE & try to explain around it with your “Opinion” This is literally what you ar doing.
                      I’m done arguing with your retarded, thick self.

                    15. Jan Kubat: Your post breaks the rules of this site and has been deleted. Before you another post, review the rules for this site under the FAQ link at the bottom of just about any page. – Moderator

                    16. I won’t be arguing with someone who lacks basic education, and refuse to answer and explain key points of the discussion.

                    17. Thank You ! You made exactly my point! I won’t be arguing with someone who lacks basic education, and refuse to answer and explain key points of the discussion.

                    18. Excuse me Ray! But what did I not explained, and what I refused to explain?
                      I explaineed we have canines (mine are about 3-4mm shorter than my dogs), you have them in your own mouth, and I dare you to deny it. We also don’t have flat molares (debunking your jaw argument). We are not able to process fibre, we do not spread seeds from fruit, we do not need fibre in order to survive. This you didn’t explain.
                      Our organs are interchangable with pig organs. This you also seem to forget to explain?
                      I am very sorry, but I gave you actual hard evidence located even in your own body, backed with science, evolution and actual medical and scienticic facts (and no, your argument, that WHOLE SCIENCE AND MEDICINE is financed by meat industry, is invalid and not backed by any evidence whatsoever. One website without any scientific base funded by vegan activists is not evidence, your belief is no evidence. Show me science journal, studies and articled disproving evolution, and I will believe you.). And passively agressively repeating my arguments in order to try prove something is also not helping. Focus on points of discussion which you did not explained (pig/human similarity i.e.). Then try to be passive “clever”.

                    19. Convinient pictures are convinient.
             (keep a great attention to australopithecus canines – tohose zig zaging pointy teeth ;) )
             (here are some more pointy human teeth)
             (also some pointy teeth)
             (little kid showing pointy teeth)(that’s 4 billion words according to your standarts)
                      Of course you will be selecting pictures that visually backs your argument. And of course our canines are not as big for your convinience, that’s because we dicovered and learned how tu use fire (that lighty and hot thing), which can be convinientely used to cook (your potatoes becomes edible when you cook them), so our teeth (those big and pointy on australopithecus) became smaller by adaptation (it’s called evolution), and so on.

                      And you are still avoiding the fact, our organs are interchangable with OMNIVORUS pig organs.

                    20. … and you are not biased ? LOL !! Right. When you were a kid, why didn’t your mother feed you pig’s milk ? Why do we feed our babies cow, goat and camel’s milk and not dog, cat, pig or lion’s milk ? Regarding evolution & fire, “theories” (stories) are a dime a dozen to fit your biased desired outcome. Regarding your biased view of the teeth, SOME Herbivores including Orangutan, gorilla, chimp, raccoon, possum, etc.(U can check each animal’s teeth easily through google image search) .. and ALL omnivores have 4 long sharp k9 teeth that ZigZag when they close their mouth (see

                    21. Ray, humans are omnivores: what is so difficult to recognize it? Which pure herbivore would survive Eskimo diet? NONE. Missing long sharp canine teeth means nothing, many mammalian omnivores or carnivores do not have them (mouse, dolphin). Do not lie and be ignorant to yourself as most vegans are. If our ancestors have stick to pure herbivore diet we would not be discussing this but stay on trees like monkeys:

                    22. Hello Ray:

                      If we were not omnivores like you said, why nature bothered with organs like gallbladder, for example? You really need that bile container if you are designed to eat meat and animal fats.
                      I won’t argue what is healthier in the long term, but there are some contradictions here.

                  3. I agree with you, I was a vegan for almost three years and at first you feel amazing but for the almost third year it went downhill, I still don’t wear leather or fur, so I knew about the ethical side and I recommend everyone try being plant base for a full year as a cleanse, but that whole teeth thing is BS when comparing to wolves because chimps have a pretty similar structure to humans, but they also eat meat too, if people try to make that whole we don’t have teeth like a wolf spiel, show them this video.

                2. Health trumps belief.

                  Do you think chimpanzees are accidentally getting it wrong? With essentially the same dentition and us? And virtually the same digestive system? They eat a plant-base diet with occasional meat intake… they are omnivorous. Like us.

                  1. No chimps are herbivores like us. Most of the meat they eat is raw termites and insects. If we eat raw termites and insects we get sick. Chimps also have 4 long sharp K9 Teeth, we do not have long sharp k9 teeth. We stand straight on 2 legs for many hours. Chimps cannot do that. Please Google chimp K9 teeth & diet.

                    1. Hi Ray, I am afraid that you are, partially, at least, misinformed.

                      1) I have spent time with wild chimps and I can tell you that they eat meat. Monkeys being a favorite food; especially those without ‘thumbs’ because they are easier to pull from the trees.

                      2) I don’t know about you, but I do not get sick when I eat raw termites or insects. I have done both often without any ill effects at all.

                      3) Their dentition is remarkably similar to ours with the exception you have pointed out which is not an indication one way, or the other, of meat eating. Those large teeth are far more likely to be about fighting amongst themselves. Purely vegetarian gorillas have them as well. As we switched to weapons-based fighting, the need to protruding fangs faded away…

                      Ray, chimps are not herbivores. They are highly effective and strategic hunters. They, like us, evolved to eat meat. And they, like us, evolved to eat a lot less meat than the average person eats today.

                    2. JustMe2013: I have read that 2 to 5% of a chimps diet comes from animal sources, and the vast majority of that is from insects. Sounds like an herbivore to me. Developing a taste for war and meat is not the same thing as determining optimal diet from anatomy and various studies.

                    3. Hi Thea, so ‘herbivore’ to you means up to 5% of a herbivore’s diet can come from meat?

                      And the ‘vast majority’ from insects is, well, not true. FOr some junior members of the clan, it may be, but since they eat monkeys and antelopes, they would have to eat a vast number of termites and insects to make termites and insects the ‘vast majority’ — don’t you think.

                      They are hunters. They eat meat. These are facts.

                    4. Now, the herbivorous elephant… that is an interesting situation.

                      Primarily, their diet includes:

                      – 200 kilograms of grass and bark, per day.
                      – 70 liters of water, per day.

                      How many bugs, tadpoles, frogs and small fish do you think they ‘accidentally’ consume. And now, the real question, what do you think would happen to an elephant if we ‘cleaned’ their food to make them properly vegan? What if we cleaned the bark of all the grubs, larvae, termites, ants and other insects and then filtered all of their water to do the same?

                    5. So in fact, according to your definitions, even the herbivores are not herbivores, right? Strange logic you have….

                    6. Robert, are you arguing facts here or is this more of a Monty Python kind of thing? Where is the lack of logic?


                      1) Chimps eat mostly plants but also eat meat and insects – between 3 – 10% of their diet depending upon their sex and the seasons.
                      2) Elephants eat plans and accidentally eat insects, grubs etc.

                      Are you disagreeing with these facts?

                      My point (and the underlying logic) should be quite clear:

                      Thea suggested that chimpanzees getting, say in her example, 5% of of their diet from meat/insects still qualified them as herbivores. I would disagree. If they intentionally seek out animal products, I would suggest that they are omnivores. The ‘see’ both plants and animals as food sources.

                      The elephant example is different. We know that they must eat somewhere close to a kilogram of insects, fish, grubs and larvae every day. Perhaps 0.5% of their diet. But they don’t seek them out. They eat plants on purpose and insects by accident. And they don’t eat animals. So I suggest that they are still herbivores.

                      Isn’t that reasonable?

                      I don’t really expect an answer but I would love one.

                    7. JustMe2013: I feel like you keep making my point for me.
                      I thought of another way to explain it: Everyone I know agrees on one thing: Cats are carnivores. Yet, most people also know that most cats love to snack on grass. That observed behavior, snacking on grass, does not make cats omnivores. Based on the cat’s biology, a cat is a carnivore–even if a small percent of diet come from a tasty green snack. For the terms/categories of herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore to be meaningful in any way, you have to look at biology (not behavior) and the vast majority of the animal’s diet. Outlying behavior, like in this case snacking on grass, is irrelevant to picking a category.
                      It is extremely rare to find any animal on the planet is to be 100% carnivore or herbivore in both behavior and biology. For example, most herbivores, as you so nicely pointed out, eat some insects. Most species fall somewhere along the spectrum, but we can say that those whose biology’s put them near the far end of the spectrum are say herbivores. Which is why humans count as herbivores–no matter what you see people eating (behavior).
                      To summarize: Just like cats are carnivores, when it comes to primates you have to look at biology not behavior to be able to have categories with any meaning. Human biology/anatomy is pretty clear. What is also clear is that of all the animals on the planet, primates are famous for eating based on culture, not necessarily biology. (Check out those chimps!) That’s just one reason why telling a story about the behavior of how some humans ate X years ago is meaningless to figuring out the optimal diet for humans today. You keep talking about how humans have always eaten bla and bla. That’s behavior. Not biology.
                      What NutritionFacts is showing us is that behavior has not served us well. Survival (evolution as you are so interested in talking about) is about getting to the next generation. The NutritionFacts community is interested in the optimum diet for health and healthy long life. Those are two very different things.

                    8. It is a shame that they don’t teach evolution properly in school.

                      What people (and our genetic line) has done for millions of years is behavior, yes. But it creates biology. Look, we don’t have to agree but if you are suggesting that we can just change our diet now because we feel like it, or because our biosphere needs us to, is not good for the individual.

                      Eating… it is a lot like picking a lock. When a species first starts eating a good that species, at best, may stave starvation with that new food by scoring some unconventional calories. But if the species becomes dependent upon that food then that food moves past useful to necessary.

                      And, like it or not, meat crossed that particular rubicon long before we were even standing properly on two feet.

                      As to your semantic argument about the naming of herbivores, omnivores, and carnivores etc. I think it is quite clear; the name is not relevant. The reality is.

                      So I ask the same question, that no vegetarian wants to answer:

                      What happens to the elephant if we ‘clean’ the elephants’ bark, grass, leaves and water of all animal/insect matter?

                      Malnutrition. No matter what classification you give them.

                      Sure, Panda’s are now (by behavior, to your wording) herbivores, but they are not designed to be and it is having a major impact on their species. They were pushed to a life of bamboo eating that will either, over time, force them to evolve new biology or become extinct. Either way, however, many individual animals have and will suffer from malnutrition in the process.

                      (Cat’s don’t snack on grass, they eat it to make themselves sick. Largely because most cat food is packed full of things that carnivores should not be eating.)

                    9. It falls down to what is said animal able to digest. Cats, and also dogs are not able to digest grass, they are eating it to clear out their digestive system. It is ame with humans, human digestive system lacks the main and basic component of herbivore digestive system, which are enzymes capable of processing and digesting cellulose. Humans simply can not do that. Also our molares are very different to those found on herbivores, also, humans have canines, which is something what herbivores does not have too. Our physiology clearly points out we are omnivores.

                    10. Jan Kubat: I think you are missing key points. I agree that looking at biology over behavior is meaningful. But I don’t think you are catching the key points of human biology. The following page does a good job of starting to explain human biology and why we are not even omnivores, but herbivores if the category is to have any meaning: I’m not interested in debating it. The information on the page is pretty clear.

                      Here’s something I found interesting about your post. You insist that humans are omnivores. An omnivore is suited to eating both plant and animal products. But you also seem to be trying to make the argument that humans can’t properly digest plants. By that argument, humans are just carnivores, not even omnivores. Does anyone really believe that humans are carnivores? (Well yes, I know that people do believe that…)

                      Instead of looking at biology, here’s another approach to answering the question: I would invite you to explore the information on this site to learn which foods promote human health and which foods promote disease in humans. That is another great way to learn the best classification for humans. If you don’t want to spend any time on learning about nutrition, I’ll give you the answer: It turns out that animal products are disease promoting while most plant foods are health promoting.

                    11. It’s many more indicators that differ humans from herbivores. From start of human tract: humans have canines (which any herbivore does not), humans have not flat molares (which every herbivore does), humans have acidic enviroment in stomach (which herbivores does not) humans have not functional apendix (which herbivores does), humand does not have enzymes to process cellulose (which I already stated, and which herbivores does). Human physiology is adapted for hunting (erect posture and high endurance). And if you read the article, which the video above is based on (which doesn’t lack context as the video does), you’ll find out it’s actually about adaptation of human diet, which can be either “herbivore” (australian natives) or “carnivore” (inuits) (here for the argument, that diseases are connected to meat – it depends how balanced your diet is, but inuits have exclusively meat diet, yet they are one of the most healthy ethnics on planet), depending on accessibility of food, meaning human organism can thrive either from “plant diet” or “meat diet”, based on fact that human metabilism is by adaption able to gain nutrients from both (ergo being omnivorus).
                      By other words: your body does not give a shit about what you are eating as long you get needed dose of nutrients.

                    12. Even if chimps were omnivores (which they are not) does not mean human is omnivore. Just like you said chimps are “Supposedly omnivore” but gorillas are herbivore. Polar bear is carnivore but Panda bear is herbivore. ALL Mammal carnivores and omnivores have 4 very very long distinguished sharp K9 teeth. Humans DO NOT. The only foods humans can eat raw in Excess without getting ill are raw fruits, vegetables and nuts. Humans eat Burnt meat with raw vegan spices because EVEN burnt meat tastes awful. Example: Bacon, Burger, Steak, sausage, fried chicken, etc…. There are thousands of other physical proofs that we are herbivore but I don’t want to bore you with obvious glaring physical facts & physical evidence.

                    13. Humans are omnivores in the sense that our bodies are designed to be so flexible that in times of emergency we can eat and digest animal products to survive. But it’s clear that is not the best diet.

                    14. Hi Ray,

                      Okay, lets do this.

                      1) Chimps are, there can be no debate about this, omnivores. Among their favorite foods are colobus monkeys. They are effective and efficient hunters. This should not in dispute. (I know this both from research and first hand-experience with wild Chimpanzees.)

                      2) We are very closely related to chimps; even closer than they are to gorillas. So the gorilla diet probably doesn’t factor much into a conversation about the human diet whereas chimps are a likely reflection of our diet circa 5 million years ago (say, the starting point). Largely fruitarian, definitely plant-based, with upwards of 5-10% of their diet coming from animal sources. (More for males, less for females.)

                      3) Funny you should mention the Panda bear; a true carnivore that was pushed into a plant-based diet that their carnivorous digestive system can barely keep up with. In fact, this may have as much to do with their pending extinction as anything else. They are an excellent example of why people should be careful when the opt out of a food group that they have developed a requirement for. (And, since you like teeth, check out their teeth…)

                      4) Our nails and teeth (and skin color) are surface things that have changed mildly with our development of technology and our movement around the planet. When we started using weapons and tools, the need for specialized teeth and defensive nails was diminished and we are seeing them fade away. People are still occasionally (actually, quite frequently) born with elongated ‘eye teeth’ some so much so that they have them removed or altered. (Side bar, people born with longer eye teeth — or having a blood condition that caused their gums to show more of their eye teeth — were thought to be vampires.)

                      5) Raw food; you could not be more off base here. Please be open minded. If we can not eat a food raw, it is NOT an ideal food at all.

                      While we have had control of fire for, say, two million years, the cooking of plants is a fairy new concept. We are VERY good at eating raw food; including vegetables, fruit, fish and meat. (Meat can be dangerous, of course, because we store it for so long rather than eating it fresh; hence the difference between say, tuna and ‘sushi-grade’ tuna.)

                      The vast majority of the foods that we can not eat raw are Neolithic foods; potatoes, corn, wheat, some beans, some nuts, etc. It is not that we can not eat raw food; it is that we can have not evolved the ability to eat certain foods at all but when we cook them we make them somewhat less inedible.

                      Ray, I have no need to be ‘right’. I started, over 20 years ago, as a devoted vegan. And I convinced a great many people that they, too, should eat only plants. But I was always willing to learn; I continued to research this topic intensely. The day I realized that we were omnivores was, well, a hard day in my life. It was the most ‘inconvenient truth’. But it was the truth, none-the-less.

                      (That said, please hear me: I believe that most people would be better off eating NO meat than the amount and quality of meat that they eat today. And they would be even better off to eat healthy meat, fish, eggs etc, from time to time.)

                    15. 1) According to

                      Whoops – chimps are frugivorous, eating mostly fruit when available, and falling back on leaves when sufficient fruit is not, and JM is claimed to be a primatologist. Our closest relatives among the apes are the chimpanzees (i.e., anatomically, behaviorally, genetically, and evolutionarily), who frequently kill and eat other mammals (including other primates).

                      “Frequently” turns out to be a self-serving distortion, apparently for the sake of his pre-conceived and false conclusion, and for a “primatologist”, it must be intentional. Chimp hunting and flesh-eating is rare, ~1.4% of their diet, not practiced among all adults, as would be required by a true nutritional need, and is clearly cultural, since flesh is used to gain sexual favors –humorously-similar to human dating.” 98% of chimps preferred diet is Fruits and then vegetables (when fruits are not available), then raw insects and termites.

                      2) 5-10% is not correct. It’s only 1-3% depending on availability of fruits, vegetables, insects and termites. Most of the meat they eat is insects (termites) and they kill for cultural, group domination (like human warfare) and sexual reasons.
                      3) One the main reasons that pandas have become endangered is habitat destruction and hunting by humans (the Pandas). Tigers, wolves, rhinos and many other species are getting wiped out due to human intrusion & hunting (nothing to do with diet).
                      4) Yes that is a possible “Theory” similar to the following: Our ancestors used to have wings and flew like birds but we lost the wings after we developed the technology to fly airplanes. If we used to have 4 long sharp K9 teeth like all omnivores do, then how come our teeth look almost identical to herbivore teeth (specifically horse and cow). See (pictures don’t lie). Also see Exhibit B, pictures of Jaws were omnivores K9 teeth ZigZag out of their jaws when mouth is closed.
                      5) Control of fire 2 million years ago ? Where did you come up with that # ? According to google search it was only 100K-500K years ago max. We are not good at eating raw fish and raw chicken and raw rabbit and raw sparrow. ALL Herbivores can eat a little raw meat (cows in concentration factories are fed fish pellets and slaughterhouse waste meat products since word WW 2). You can also search on you tube for cow eating a live chicken or a deer eating a raw bird. We eat meat primarily for psychological domination reasons, cultural, traditional & religious reasons . Billions of people around the world also smoke cigarettes. Regarding Panda bears K9s, there are some herbivores that have K9s and some that don’t (like humans & horses). See pictures at Regarding your last paragraph of lecture about your 20+ years of expertise, “Thanks for the lecture, but please keep it to yourself”. I am 100% Herbivore and will always be so.

                    16. As long as you want to be right, rather than to be in possession of the truth, you will struggle.

                      I was you, once. For seven years. I spoke professionally on veganism. I converted hordes of people. (Something I am still proud of because being vegan is healthier than eating the Standard Western Diet, even if it is wrong.)

                      It was believed for a long time, that Chimps were herbivores or frugavors. And then — shock and horror — they were observed hunting. And, yes, frequently. Depending upon the season. Unlike you, I am not relying upon Google; I have studied them LIVE in in Africa including visiting the Japanese research facility where they have been studying them, minute by minute, for decades.

                      They don’t like to hunt while being observed… so… even if you did a book a ticket to go visit them, you might find more evidence to support you erroneous believes. Because they won’t hunt with you around. Why? Because they regard you as a larger ape who just might hunt them…

                      And then, if you stayed long enough, you might finally get to see how they behave when comfortable. They eat meat. They enjoy it. They are the most effective non-human land animals on earth. They use meat as political currency. This is fact. Not in dispute by anyone.

                      Oh, but what about the more peaceful bonobos.. surely they are earth-loving rubber shoe wearing vegans… but, sadly, no. While they don’t hunt like chimps.. the frequently eat small animals and, of course, insects.

                      Sorry on the Pandas; but you are using commonly understood myth. How long do you think we have been messing with the environment exactly? Long before the large-scale habitat destruction we are capable of today we were already destroying forests and hunting animals into extinction. We pushed the Panda to a vegan diet; study it.

                      Control of fire; I apologize.. I am referring to recent archeology based on double-blind kiln tests that show the difference between wood that is burned in a forest/brush fire versus being burned and returned in a fire-pit. These are new discoveries that will take some time to displace the erroneous ideas about fire that exist today. We have had control of fire for at least 2 million years.

                      I have to run now… but here is something funny… you stand tall. You should. Except that as a vegan, on average, you will stand 4 inches shorter than a meat eater.


                    17. You like to talk down at people that disagree with you. I don’t care. We are not chimps. Chimps have 4 distinguished long sharp K9 teeth and chimps eat, termites, bugs and monkeys RAW – we can’t even eat raw chicken or raw mouse. Here is PHYSICAL EVIDENCE (not BS theory that I have more experience and seen more monkeys than you have so I am right and you are wrong mentality & superiority). It’s physical scientific evidence. Not opinion. Please pay particular attention to Exhibit A3 regarding your 2 million years ago humans knew about cooking meat theory:

                    18. Ray, I apologize if it felt like iI was ‘talking down’; that was not my intent and I can completely see how it felt that way.

                      So, lets talk about teeth and HumanIsHerbirvore…. the site is, well, propaganda published by someone with an agenda. It’s heart is in the right place; ending the poor treatment of animals is a must as far as I am concerned and that is tough since I also believe that we are supposed to eat animals…

                      That said, the site is full of completely incorrect information and badly-made and emptionally-fueled arguments. Sadly, the good work they are trying to do is undermined by the shrill voice of the site…

                      While I do have experience with monkeys, that is not what we are talking about; we are talking about experience with apes and, in particular, apes that are so closely related to us that we might as well be consider the ‘third chimpanzee.’ In fact, of the two remaining chimp species, we are more closely related to the one than the other is.

                      So when you suggest that chimps are herbivorous or frugivorous to make your argument, you are, well, wrong. They are not. They were, until the 70’s, believed to be but both species are meat eaters and eat, seasonally, substantial amounts of meat relative to their consumption of insects (but not relevant to their consumption of plants.)

                      And when you suggest that we were frugivores until 4 million years ago there are two MAJOR problems with this suggestion:

                      1) It is very likely wrong since it is much more likely that, like our chimp cousins, we would have eaten occasional meat and, as we forged a life on the savannah (see end of ice age 5 million years ago and the impact it had on African landscape) we would have stepped up our meat intake a great deal. (Evolution does not often ‘hand out’ traits that are not necessary for survival or breeding so one might ask why it is that there is not one single prey animal in Africa that can outrun a human over a marathon-like distance. Not one.)

                      2) Even if we did start eating meat 4 million years ago that is plenty of time for us to have evolved certain nutritional dependencies. (It takes about a million years to start the process; in only 4 million years some black rhinos — also forced into the savannah — evolved from being shrub eating browsers to grass eating grazers. This involved evolving additional stomachs! So, even that site were correct with their we-started-eating-meat-four-million-years-ago, that only makes the point that we are omnivores.

                      And, lastly for now, as chimps are omnivores, as were early hominids, check out their teeth:


                      Look, Ray, we will probably never agree on this and, frankly, I wish I was on the wrong side of this. I don’t like the meat industry and I think that our planet would be best served by a dramatic reduction in meat eating… but, as I have said before, just because a dung beetle decides that eating dung is gross doesn’t mean that they can stop….

                    19. So, lets talk about teeth and HumanIsHerbirvore…. the site is, well, propaganda published by someone with an agenda ***FALSE. U are propaganda with an agenda Not this site***.
                      . It’s heart is in the right place; ending the poor treatment of animals is a must as far as I am concerned and that is tough since I also believe that we are supposed to eat animals…

                      That said, the site is full of completely incorrect information ***No, U are full of complete misinformation and False propaganda***and badly-made and emptionally-fueled arguments. Sadly, the good work they are trying to do is undermined by the shrill voice of the site…***FALSE***

                      While I do have experience with monkeys, that is not what we are talking about; we are talking about experience with apes and, in particular, apes that are so closely related to us that we might as well be consider the ‘third chimpanzee.’ In fact, of the two remaining chimp species, we are more closely related to the one than the other is. ***No U are closely related to Chimp, not me. Speak for yourself***

                    20. Well argued. Not. LOL

                      It is like debating politics with a Trumper.. oh, wait. You are denying the chimp connection so perhaps you are… well, never mind.

                    21. Ray Arjoma:

                      “There are a variety of sources for this data but one of the best results from immigrants that move to the US from countries with very low meat intake… their children (in just one generation) are, on average, 4″ taller than the previous generation ***FALSE Superstitious belief.

                      ***No direct scientific cause and effect proof****

                      (To be fair, I am not advocating eating the quantity or quality of meat eaten by the average American. I am also not suggesting that increased size is a particularly good thing; I was just making a play on words following the ‘standing tall’ comment.) ***If eating raw meat (of termites and monkeys) increase height and intelligence, then how come after 4 million years of evolution, Chimps that HAVE 4 LONG SHARP K9s and eat RAW meat are STILL after 4 million years short, bent like an old man and have tiny brain ? Your theories are superstitious beliefs and you do have an agenda of promoting meat, dairy and egg industry. You are probably paid to come here by them to push meat, dairy and eggs. Go find yourself some other to fooooooool.”

                      Well, Ray, I think our time together has come to an end.. as others here have found, you are not here to debate, or to learn but to lecture, ridicule and offer tedious proclamations of denial in areas that you are woefully ill prepared to discuss.

                      The height issue is not in question, despite your one-word denial:

                      a) As Americans increased their meat intake from, say, the turn of the last century, until the 1950’s, the average height of Americans grew by about 4″.

                      b) As Asians (non-vegan) arrive in the Americas, the first generation of kids to increase their meat intake to American levels also posts 4″ high gains in a single generation.

                      To be clear, I am not saying that this is a good thing because heart-disease also exploded during this same period. I am just replying another one of your flat denials of facts.

                      The hight comparison with chimps doesn’t work for a number of reasons including Genetic Potential: When a baby is born, it has a genetic potential for a certain hight. Then, its diet and lifestyle will play a major role in whether that potential is reached. Chimps’ genetic potential for height is much lower than ours because, frankly, they don’t need to stand tall enough to see over the savannah grasses. Our ancestors did.

                      I should also point out that a chimp, while smaller and apparently ‘bent like an old man’ to your mind, would have little difficulty in killing you and your 5 strongest friends, even if you were all armed with bats. They are very fast and strong. They have solid bone density, lean body-fat ratios and very large K9 teeth that likely have more to do with fighting with one another than their diet.

                      And Ray, let me be very clear with you:

                      I am here because I was very ill as a child and, after years of being failed by the medical and pharmaceutical industries, I solved my health issues on my own. Since then I have spent many years studying this topic with a very open mind; always focused on getting to the truth rather than to being tied to something I liked or found ‘convenient’.

                      So, no, I am not here to pedal meat, drugs, milk, eggs or anything. I am dedicated to helping people achieve the health that I regard as their birthright. And since I have managed to do so for hundreds of people, I certainly feel good about my work.

                    22. “Vegan, on average, you will stand 4 inches shorter than a meat eater” Where did you get that from ? Do you have any proof ? Or is that another theory that you invented in your head ?

                    23. There are a variety of sources for this data but one of the best results from immigrants that move to the US from countries with very low meat intake… their children (in just one generation) are, on average, 4″ taller than the previous generation.

                      (To be fair, I am not advocating eating the quantity or quality of meat eaten by the average American. I am also not suggesting that increased size is a particularly good thing; I was just making a play on words following the ‘standing tall’ comment.)

                    24. There are a variety of sources for this data but one of the best results from immigrants that move to the US from countries with very low meat intake… their children (in just one generation) are, on average, 4″ taller than the previous generation ***FALSE Superstitious belief.
                      ***No direct scientific cause and effect proof****
                      (To be fair, I am not advocating eating the quantity or quality of meat eaten by the average American. I am also not suggesting that increased size is a particularly good thing; I was just making a play on words following the ‘standing tall’ comment.) ***If eating raw meat (of termites and monkeys) increase height and intelligence, then how come after 4 million years of evolution, Chimps that HAVE 4 LONG SHARP K9s and eat RAW meat are STILL after 4 million years short, bent like an old man and have tiny brain ? Your theories are superstitious beliefs and you do have an agenda of promoting meat, dairy and egg industry. You are probably paid to come here by them to push meat, dairy and eggs. Go find yourself some other AH to fooooooool.

                    25. Rather than arguing about whether humans are herbivores or omnivores based on biology, diet, history, evolution or whatever (as interesting as that as), wouldn’t it be better just to look at the evidence for how humans do on a herbivorous diet vs a omnivorous diet now? If they are better nourished, have less disease and live longer on one or the other then you have an answer about what is the best diet for humans. If we are equally healthy and long lived on a vegan diet as one with some meat then you know we can safely choose a vegan diet for ethical reasons. So does the evidence indicate is the best diet for humans now and is there even an optimal diet that is the same for everyone?

                    26. No. This is not true. Unless you compare herbivorous diets with Standard American Diet meat eaters. The quality of meat consumed by most is bad…. That has nothing to do with having a solid plant-based omnivorous diet with high quality and ethically raised meat.

                    27. I suspect that that could be the best diet (including a relatively small amount of meat) but is there solid evidence that it is so? And what about dairy?

                    28. Ray please do not LIE: “ALL Mammal carnivores and omnivores have 4 very very long distinguished sharp K9 teeth” – Mouse? Dolphin? They are mammal omnivores and carnivores so show me their sharp K9 teeth…? I also do not care if chimps or gorillas are herbivores or not, that proves nothing, same as not having a one sharp teeth means nothing in this sense.

                    29. omg. you sound like an honest guy! too many proponents of diet deny inconvenient truths. the truth, i think, often lies in the cognitive dissonance we usually find so painful. thanks.

              2. “Sadly”? Why to be sad when it’s demonstrated again and again that a whole plant based diet makes you much healthier? And that animal products are a big source of trouble, including heart disease and cancers?

                We are omnivores in the sense that we CAN eat animal products, not that we MUST eat them.

                We are created so flexible, that we CAN eat animal products in case we don’t have a choice, but it’s not the best diet.

                Comparing animal products with water, in this age of abundant information, it’s ridiculous. Keep reading nutritional information on this site.

                1. what about vitamins b-12 and taurine and the few other essentials we much get from animals? vegans must contort themselves to get the essentials. and can you be a robust, strong vegan? i suppose so.

                  1. Where do the animals get B12? From bacteria. It’s true that due to modern lifestyle we don’t develop (enough) B12 in our mouth or guts as animals do. We take supplements to compensate that.

                    1. Yeah, just the way nature intended. Oh, wait.

                      Nature intended a different way. The evolved way. Every species on earth has a diet and the human diet is easily established and proven. Whether you like the outcome of that or not. If you are dung beetle, you have to eat $#!T. That is how evolution works.

                    2. I thought “nature” didn’t “intend” anything in your evolutionary fairy tale theory. Or did “nature” whisper to you its intentions?
                      Look, we “evolved” to discover that animal products are harmful. And “evolved” so that we can even measure the effects.

                      “That is how evolution works.”

                      That is complete bull$#!t. But wait, maybe you are a dung beetle.

                    3. While you are an objectionable person — resorting to name calling and the most negative aspects of childishness to make lame points — you are right about one thing: Intention was not the right word; nature intends nothing.

                      And go ahead, Robertt… measure the effects. Of all species, H sapiens lives furthest from their ‘evolved’ diet. And we suffer more sickness and disease than any other species on earth. And the runners up in this horrible contest are pets, livestock, zoo and laboratory animals; the animals that rely upon us to feed them.

                      It takes about a million years (in a species with an evolutionary velocity like ours) to make substantive changes to our digestive systems. So you can ‘realize’ all you like that you want to make a change, but that realization will only be bad news for you nutritionally speaking.

                      If the way you wrote to me is any indication of the way you communicate with others, I hope you realize one of these days that food is entirely optional. And water. And air. Please.

                    4. By “We” you mean vegans and non-vegans both. Both should take multi-vitamins at least a few times a week especially the elderly and pregnant women regardless of belief or diet.

                    5. If you can live in a pristine area with no pollution and you drink spring water (not treated with chlorine) and cultivate your own organic food… probably you wont need a B12 supplement. I think some supplements are useless and other even toxic (as you can find out on this site). I was very reluctant to take a B12 supplement but after much reading, my understanding now is that if you are vegan, you should take a B12 supplement.

                    6. Surely it’s better to resort to syntetised colabamine that risk to be have a low level after you deplete your reserve stored in the liver ( a time between some months to 1-2 years)
                      I’ve seen what happens to those with atrophic gastritis (a condition where the lack of gastric intrinsic factor prevent to assorb B12 ) an the lack of B12 is something very nasty: It cause multisystemic disorders and if you can’t address them correctly you are a risk of serious permanent neurological damage.

                      This is especially important for childrens and infant whose their parent raise with a vegan regimen; they still don’t have much B12 stored in the liver so they are a greater risk of deficency…in this case I approve supplements and surely a vitamin panel test every 6 months.

                      Personally I’m still onnivore but I’m interested in trying other foods regimen included vegetarian, paleo and maybe vegan.

                      What concern me more is the food quality over choosing between some restricting, I could start to be a vegan but if my vegetables are full of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other chemicals what’s the point?

                      This is why I’ve started a personal microfarming and if I can find someone that raise livestock freely and naturally I’ll sure eat his meat without too much concern.

                    7. Horror Coder: You wrote, “BUT! What concern me more is the food quality over choosing between some restricting, I could start to be a vegan but if my vegetables are full of pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and other chemicals what’s the point?”

                      Dr. Greger has a great blog post where he puts pesticide consumption into perspective. :

                      “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.”
                      Since that post, I think I remember a series of videos on the topic of organic vs not also.

                      I translate this bit of info into: Eat organic when you can, but don’t stress about it when you can’t.

                      Or framed for your post: There’s nothing wrong with your microfarming, but you certainly don’t need a microfarm to achieve giant reductions in disease risk–which comes with simply eating a whole plant food based (WPFB) diet, whether organic or not. The point is to have an evidence-based understanding of the risks and benefits of the various foods you eat.

                2. Robert, I have been at this for 20 years, the first 7 of which was vegan. Yes, a blant-BASED diet is correct. But there are nutrients that we have evolved a dependance upon and, sadly, some of those come from animal products. Even the vaguest understanding of evolution and biology would make this clear to you…

                  1. Yes we “evolved” to have cancers, heart diseases, diabetes, atherosclerosis, Alzheimer, depresion etc etc etc.

                    You “evolved” to choose to disregard ACTUAL science, things that CAN BE SEEN, ANALYZED AND REPEATED. Instead, you choose to believe in some theories based on speculations and fairy tales about things that supposedly happened million years ago, things WHICH CAN’T BE SEEN, CONFIRMED, REPEATED AND MEASURED.

                    Even the vaguest presence of logic would make this clear to you.

                    1. Do you know why we evolved to have cancers? Or heart disease.

                      In proper natural selection, we do not evolve traits that do not support the breaking process. So ask yourself, how do these things support “survival of the fittest to breed”?

                      Each of the conditions you mentioned are the results of evolutionary processes that support the breeding of the species. Until you grasp that, it is difficult to understand how off track western medicine is, today.

                      But, here is my undertaking to you: This will become very clear to you over the next 20 years. In most cases, cancer is not a ‘disease’. Atherosclerosis is the result of a perfect evolutionary design to stop certain kinds of death-by-starvation. Alzheimers too; there are specific reasons that late stage memory problems benefit the ‘selfish gene’. And the list goes on.

                      I appreciate your passion for the topic; but not your condescending tone. I have been researching this very topic for more than 20 years. My research has included a multi-disciplined approach that has taken me all over the world to, among other things, live with nomadic hunter-gathers and to visit with wild chimpanzees.

                      The inconvenient truth is that for at least several million years we have eaten a plant-based diet with meat when we could. And, remember, the occasional person can make it to their 80’s with a terrible lifestyle of smoking and excessive drink so you might do very well ignoring the human diet and the nutritional requirements you have evolved. But, statistically speaking, that is not the case.

                      Here is something I believe we can agree on:

                      The average non-meat eater will fare better than the average meat-eater.

                      Where we disagree is that the average person would be best served getting the occasional meat/animal products in their diet just the same what that every one of the ancestors has.

                    2. Now, evolution has a “perfect design”?? You are funny.

                      “I appreciate your passion for the topic; but not your condescending tone.”

                      I was just responding in the same manner. If you don’t like it, then don’t behave like that anymore.

                      “Where we disagree is that the average person would be best served
                      getting the occasional meat/animal products in their diet just the same
                      what that every one of the ancestors has.”

                      How can you possibly know if our ancestors reached their highest possible potential? You are navigating without a compass.

                    3. Robert, in an attempt to shed some light on evolution for you, there are evolutionary ‘high-points’ or ‘sweet spots’ and the more established a species gets, the more of these it has.

                      Leaf cutter ants, for example, have almost no genetic variance from ant-to-ant or colony-to-colony, even on different islands.

                      We are newer. Arguably about 5 million years old; like the white rhinoceros.

                      That said, on average, we have the optimum visual range to support our survival and ability to pass on our genes (breeding.)

                      We also have, on average, the optimum auditory range.

                      And, again on average, the optimum amount of memory.

                      There are things that we can not see, because to see them would either not support our survival and breeding or, even, might interfere with our ability to breed. There are things that we can not hear for the same complex set of reasons. So to, our memory has upper and lower limits; more or less memory might make survival and breeding more difficult.

                      So by ‘perfect design’, what I am really saying is ‘balance’. Right now, your species (we share at least that) has evolved the ability to extract certain nutrients from certain materials and we have also evolved certain dependancies on certain nutrients in certain combinations. Balance. When we break the balance, we cause problems.

                      We have been messing with that balance for a long time; starting about 15,000 years ago. Right around the same time that fossil evidence shows us the first examples of bone disease, dental issues and other health problems.

                      On the whole, if we ignore the edges of the bell curve, when a species follows its diet, it is healthy. When it doesn’t, it isn’t. And, again, name a species that suffers with more illness than humans; I don’t think you can.

                    4. The human diet over the last 200,000 can absolutely be measured, quantified and confirmed. It just requires some discipline and objectivity.

                    5. No, it can’t. You can evaluate only the DISCOVERED food of THE DISCOVERED people. You can’t jump to conclusions from just a few elements, by filling the blanks (and there more blanks than actual data) with your ideology. If you didn’t find something, you can’t say they didn’t use to eat that. And who can say that the discovered food of the discovered people was the ideal one? Especially when you consider them “less evolved”?

                    6. I am not the one considering them ‘less evolved’.

                      H sapiens is about 200,000+ years old. And we know where sapiens lived at the start and since that 200,000 year period. So it is not difficult to deduce, conclusively that (a) they are our ancestors and (b) what they ate.

                      You are partially correct in that if we don’t find evidence of one food, or another, that that is not proof that we did not have that food in our diet at that time. On the other hand, if the food only exists — say in the case of potatoes — in a place where there were no humans, I think we are pretty safe in our assumptions.

                  2. Vaguest? You are deluding yourself.

                    Preformed Vitamin A has been shown to cause toxicity, and the carotenes are way less toxic. We can make all the Vitamin A as we need it in the right amount from fruit.

                    Vitamin D: same thing really. Sunlight: The negative feedback mechanism of tanning ensures the proper amount.

                    Vitamin K2 is biosynthesised from Vitamin K1 in the arterial walls humans.

                    The vegan diet lacks nothing with the exeption of B12, and that is debatable.

                    So what did we adapt to make make us better meat eaters? We still cannot produce Uricase, and we still get atherosclerosis. Moreover, we find repugnant the sight of dead animals. Get a BB gun and eat a raw dead Robin and report back to us.

                    If you are a genuine person and not a USDA troll, then you will have to make a better case. There are doctors that have more than “vaguest understanding of evolution and biology” that side with a frugivorous definition.

                    1. This is fun. USDA Troll?

                      That is really funny. I mean, hilarious. The USDA can not stand me. Neither can the Dairy Management Company. Nor the FDA. I am not sure what the point of your comment was but I loved it, none the less.

                      You are using arguments — bb guns and robins — that rely entirely upon your conditioning and not upon your instincts or your dietary requirements as a member of sapiens. Hunter-gatherer cultures all over Africa hunt and eat birds at will because they have not been subjected to propaganda designed to make them feel guilty about it.

                      Look, Travis, at the end of the day, there has never been (that we know of; please prove me wrong) a successful multi-generational society of vegetarians. Never. Not ever. You are all undertaking a grand experiment which, while better than the ‘standard American diet’ experiment, is still not optimal for human health. But, it is your choice.

                3. Good luck with that. There has never been a successful multi-generational population of vegetarians documented at any time in history. You can use the bell-curve to make your argument, if you like, but you will be wrong. At your own peril.

              3. Sadly, for you, humans are herbivores and the decision to leave that lifestyle is just as dangerous, if not as immediate, as deciding that you no longer like drinking water.

                1. You see, the lack of complex proteins, B2 and various nutrients you should be getting from the very occasional intake of animals products is already impacting your mind.

                  There is never, not in 5 million years, been a successful multi-generational population of vegetarian humans (or human ancestors). In other words, there is no truth to your claim that we are herbivores…

                    1. B12 is made by bacteria. Animals eat bacteria, feces etc. Animals don’t wash their food like we do and don’t over sanitized it. You can do the same (dung included, since you bring it so often into discussion). You can also take B12 from animal products, but the consumption of animal products is associated with a lot of health problems. So it’s more wise to take a supplement. There are many meat eaters who have B12 deficiency, because of absorption problems.

                    2. No. The excess consumption of low quality animal products is tied to so many health problems. As is the excess consumption of just about anything. Too much fruit is bad news. Too much kale, is bad news. Too much of anything is bad news. Too much oxygen is bad news.

                      Too much low quality, high fat, hormone injected rubbish meat is bad news.

                      But not getting nutrients that your body needs, also bad news.

                  1. I just wanted to say that on this website we try to stick with what the research has been shown to be true. So unless you can provide me with some substantial links I have to disagree with you.

                    The current research just doesn’t support your claims. Technically, however you are correct regarding that we are not Herbivores. We are really Frugivores as the research shows. Paleopoo: What We Can Learn from Fossilized Feces

                    Furthermore, this research paper, Diet and the evolution of the earliest human ancestors shows that, “Interestingly, as suggested by Lucas and Peters (46), another tough pliant food they would have had difficulty processing is meat. In other words, the early hominids were not dentally preadapted to eat meat—they simply did not have the sharp, reciprocally concave shearing blades necessary to retain and cut such foods.”

                    John McDougall, MD also gives a nice synopsis of the populations of people having lived on mostly a vegetarian diet and has the references for your perusing at the end.
                    Starches Consumed Throughout History

                    1. Wow. Now we are frugivores?

                      That is interesting, but probably about 5 million years late. Anecdotally, you might be aware that Steve Jobs tried that. And than Kutchner did it (method acting) and had to be rushed to hospital when his pancreas shut down. Oh, and what did jobs die of, again?

                      But, lets really talk.

                      In the 1960’s it was largely believed that our closest relatives, chimps, bonobos and gorillas were vegetarian. And that our ‘habit’ of eating meat became a reality some time after our split from that branch of the primate family.

                      And then Jane Goodall saw something that she regarded as an anomaly; chimps killing and eating an animal.

                      And then, with further study, it became VERY clear that chimps were both effective hunters and ate more than occasional meat. They are known to eat — to gently put aside the ‘mostly insects argument’ — around 30-40 invertebrate animals.

                      When this was initially discovered, one troop was observed eating an average of 10 kg’s of meat per year per chimp, half of that in a two-month period.

                      We are more closely related to chimps than we are to bonobos or, even, than bonobos are to chimps. And bonobos, also, eat meat. Not as serious about hunting as chimps, they are very well known to kill and eat small animals.

                      And so, it seems rather likely that meat-eating was not born post-split from that branch of the family but, rather, something the developed before and evolved further, apres the split.

                      Yes, I know you would like links and papers; perhaps later. I am writing about this now and have a great deal of research…

                      Also, I am not interested in being right, I am interested in being in possession of the truth. And so, the quest continues.

                    2. If you think that Ashton Kuchers diet caused his hospital visit then you have some more truth seeking to do. Such an idea is preposterous and unprecedented.

                      I have gone much longer than he did and was healthier and stronger than ever.

                      You are playing “vegan sympathizer” while simultaneously using the most disingenuous name-drops and slurs. How many raw vegans are on this list:

                      And how many people on this list died of a pancreatic condition?

                      That Ashton Kucher thing can be nothing other, IMO, than a psychosomatic event or a contrived promotional stunt for the USDA or other interested parties. The pancreas can take way more abuse than a clean diet.

                      Disclaimer: I have no financial stake in promoting my ideas.

                    3. I know, it is an insane notion that by switching to only eating sugar rich foods he might his pancreas some stress. That really is crazy talk.

              4. I don’t think it’s what everyone “likes”, but what we’ve “learned” and are continuing to learn. It’s easier for me to take a B12 supplement, than eat a corpse. I don’t think water or oxygen really fit in with the argument/debate. Maybe you’re missing out on the viscera and the consumption of blood from the slaughter also?

                1. No, I am not missing any of that. But you giving up meat is like a dung beetle giving up dung… it looks good on paper but then there is biology to consider.

              5. That is incorrect, REAL science has proven that humans are evolutionary herbivores and eating animal products leads to disease in humans who are designed to eat primarily plants. Our ancestors got massive amounts of vitamin C and fiber in our diets. Guess what foods don’t contain Vit C and fiber? “Animal products”. If you only eat meat then you get scurvy and die, yet humans can thrive on plants alone. Very telling.

                NOTE* – There is a common B12 myth that meat eaters like to trot out that is actually incorrect. Cattle are injected with B12 today in modern times because the soil is depleted of B12 today. BOTH vegans and meat eaters have to supplement B12. Meat eaters get B12 second hand from injecting the beef with it.




              6. Really? We are in fact herbivores based on our biology . The scientific consensus confuses our evolutionary specialization as plant eaters with our cultural habit as plant and meat eaters. The specialists in human anthropology and mammalian digestion classify us as plant eaters.. herbivores to you .

                We can choose to “violate” our design and eat as omnivores but that doesn’t change our biologic system. Every time we eat non plant food we increase our risk of a “systems” problem. The fact that it takes years for those problems to catch up with us or that some of us can live for years without a problem doesn’t change the current scientific paradigm or the risk involved.

                The term omnivorous doesn’t mean must eat some animal products. It means capable of subsisting on both plant and animal matter. Of the two, we are able to thrive without eating animals; however, if we eat no plants, we die. In fact, decades of scientific evidence have demonstrated that humans have no biological need to consume flesh, eggs or dairy products. We can get all the nutrients we need on a plant-based diet, without the unhealthy animal protein and cholesterol, and without inflicting needless suffering and death on billions of animals…

              7. So if we don’t eat meat or dairy you’re saying we still have the same chance of getting heart decease ,cancer & Alzheimer’s?

            2. If you’re a vegetarian you’ve to kill lot of plants because plants are living. Then who’re all living in north pole like Eskimos they’ve die if they don’t eat meat because there no plants will grow.

        1. Because they DON’T. They do taste good, but they still taste different than dishes with meats or fats. Many plant-based dishes have amazing flavors and textures and colors, but they are DIFFERENT than meat based dishes, not better tasting, necessarily. Even after two years, I long for the genuinely mouth and brain and tummy satisfying experience of a good meat-based meal, complete with unhealthy fats. There is nothing that is as enjoyable in the plant-based spectrum. I accept this…I eat plant-based for health. But it annoys me to no end that not one single whole-foods, plant-based advocate will admit out loud that plant-based foods are only wonderful if your palate isn’t that fussy to start with, and if your eating disorder isn’t severe, and you can also brainwash yourself. Because food doesn’t get better, tastier, more filling, or more satisfying just because your plate doesn’t contain excess fat or animal products…It’s a “mind over matter” thing, unless you are one of those lucky people for whom eating is and always was nothing more than a necessary interruption of your day. Plant based is healthier, that I’m sold on. But it still doesn’t taste better. Quit telling people it does. That only leads to anger and disappointment from those trying to improve their diet by avoiding processed food, fats, and animal products.

          1. Hi Badgers Magpies,

            I completely understand your feelings. I changed my diet 13 years ago, initially to lose weight and it was a challenge at first. I was a real cheese addict. When I first adopted a whole food plant based diet, I missed cheddar, brie, gorgonzola – I loved it all! But, yes, the health benefits are so worth it (I lost over 40 pounds, lowered my cholesterol and feel so much better!). I learned that certain foods including meat, cheese, sugar and chocolate do indeed stimulate pleasure centers in the brain. For instance, the consumption of sugar releases oxytocin, known as the love hormone, while the consumption cow cheese contains casomorphins, which break down into morphine, an opiate. This video by Dr. Greger on how fatty foods are addictive shows how overindulging in these foods actually deadens the dopamine pathways in the brain, which may be one reason plant foods might not taste as good to you as animal products. You may also enjoy the book, Breaking the Food Seduction by Neal Barnard, MD. It’s very illuminating in describing why these foods are so addictive and how we can help change our palates.

            For me, I found certain transition foods to be very helpful as well. They may not simulate animal products exactly, but meat analogs like super firm tofu and seitan, as well as the new gourmet nut-based cheeses from Kite Hill and Miyoko’s Kitchen (her recipe for fondue minus the oil in her Artisan Vegan Cheese cookbook is a special occasion treat and is divine!) certainly make it easier than ever to eat healthier.

            Emily :)

            1. Thanks for the suggestions, Emily. You have described the problem both more eloquently and accurately than I did. My primary point is that for many considering leaving animal foods behind, the frequent assertions about the deliciousness of their endeavor are a big attraction–if non-meat foods still taste fantastic, then OF COURSE a plant-based way of life is worth doing! But then they get hit with the reality of withdrawals and unsatifying foods…and they throw in the towel and go back to bacon and eggs, frustrated and convinced their non-meat-eating friends are crazy or else have more will power than they do. I just think that in order to avoid alienating the masses, all the “but vegan food tastes so much better!” assertions should be amended with “once you retrain your brain and your tastebuds, which might take a while, so hang in there.”

              1. I would add two thoughts to Emily’s excellent post. When withdrawing from anything you go through a time period which in the case of food can last up to 3 weeks but is usually shorter. Doug Lisle discusses this in the book he coauthored with Dr. Goldhammer entitled, The Pleasure Trap. You then come to “equilibrium” with your new environment. People experience this when they get into water that at first seems chilly but later is fine. That is why I like the monthly 21 Day Kickstarter programs from PCRM (i.e. available in spanish, mandarin and tailored to India). Additionally the program provides excellent practical and factual information. Based on my experience with the McDougall Whole Foods program folks often see a benefit within days and get away from their “addictions” in a week or two. The other point is that for most folks it is a journey. They make incremental changes that work for them and those around them. The transition foods can be very helpful. They are not necessarily healthy but are much better than the foods they replace when looked at from a health, environment and animal suffering viewpoint. I think it helps if people are given realistic expectations and support in their changes. Once the change is made you need to learn techniques for “Getting Along without Going Along” as Doug Lisle outlines in his excellent presentation by that title.

              2. Hi Badgers,

                You make an excellent point. Sometimes, at first, whole plant foods do, indeed, taste kind of boring compared to meat, dairy, eggs and sugar, but if you are really motivated, like we are, you push through that withdrawl period. I agree with all of Don’s suggestions, too (below). Doug Lisle’s presentation on The Pleasure Trap and PCRM’s 21-Day Kickstart are both fantastic and for most people 3-4 weeks of being really strict helps to break the addictions to the SAD diet foods, but for some people it can take longer. I think that the more new whole plant foods you try with different tastes and textures, the more helpful it can be. For instance, before I went plant-based, I had never tried any winter squashes and I didn’t like beans. Now, those are two of my favorite foods! I wonder if many of the people who say that vegan food is just as delicious as animal based food are not talking about healthy whole foods, but instead are talking about processed vegan versions of animal based recipes using oil, sugar and meat analogues. There are plenty of those that taste very similar to their animal-based counterparts and I think they can help some people through the transition period of withdrawl.

                Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts. I’m sure you’ve helped some readers by sharing your opinions.

                Best wishes for your continued journey of good health! :)

                1. Thank you for your input, Dr. Forrester, and Ms Honeycutt. However, your advice relates to the issue of withdrawing from unhealthy foods, which is difficult, and I don’t think it gets quite enough press about HOW difficult it can be. However, a much greater issue, which prompted my original post, and one which is also shared by some of my aquaintances, though not all, is this: Long after withdrawal “symptoms” have passed, even years after following a completely whole foods, plant-based diet without added fats, we continue to actively pine after animal products and, specifically, animal and dairy fats. We all agree that while we may be committed to animal-free foods, and enjoy many vegan dishes, life simply isn’t as pleasurable without fat, nor is anything we eat anywhere near as tasty. Some rely more heavily on plant-based fats but still struggle. Fatty foods triggered our pleasure centers, and vegan food does not. Vegan food is not, therefore, particularly enjoyable, not matter how basic, or creatively, prepared. I have therefore come to believe that food and flavor enjoyment “equilibrium” for some people is simply not attainable. If we have indeed reached a point where this is “as good as it gets” then we are doomed to continue to struggle with food issues for the rest of our lives, as most of us have for as long as we can remember. For us, the “promise” that we could break free from the “pleasure trap” of unhealthy food has not proven to be true. For some, that promise was the whole reason for changing our way of eating, and outlook on food. For all of us, the frequently reiterated assurances that this food or that recipe was just as “delicious” or “tasty” and every bit as fantastic as the food we used to eat was a lifeline that we clung to as we began our journeys…if we just kept at this long enough, the food would taste awesome eventually. But that has not been the case. Not for some of us, anyway. So I repeat my assertion that those who eschew animal products comfortably, once they get past the “withdrawal” stage, and who are genuinely convinced that plant-based foods are every bit as tasty or better, possibly haven’t suffered the same multifaceted depth of attraction for animal foods or fats that I suffer. Or they truly have different metabolic responses, perhaps. This phenomena is rarely, if ever, acknowledged within the plant-based community, and I (and friends) find this lack of acknowledgement frustrating. We can’t possibly be the only unhappy vegans in the world. We can’t be the only ones wanting to scream when plant-based advocates insist, even promise, that committing to foods without fats and meat will in and of itself, eventually create total food satisfaction and enjoyment of this manner of eating. Collectively, I cannot believe we are all “doing something wrong.” So I think a little more “it’s not necessarily the tastiest way to eat, but it’s SO good for you (and the planet) that it’s still worth doing for the rest of your (longer) life” would be more helpful encouragement once in a while, instead of simply insisting that food tastes better without animal products in it. Please understand, I am a total advocate for a whole foods, plant-based life…but not because this way of life is in any way satisfying to my tastebuds. I generally try to avoid engaging in this discussion, because it inevitably degenerates into an assertion that I’m not eating the right food, or the right variety, or that I must “cheat” and be re-activating cravings. Have people gone back to the SAD because they can’t find support for trying to live within vegan principals when they don’t much like what they are eating? I would imagine so, because the “official” message, found everywhere, is that the plant-based food is so much better. Where does that leave those of us who don’t agree?

                  1. Hi Badgers,

                    I’m so sorry for your struggles. I wish there was something I could say or do or some fantastic recipes I could create for you to help you feel better. I guess we each have our own journey, but you are very strong and are doing the right thing in caring for your health.

                    Regarding enhancing pleasure in your life, I’ve been doing a lot of research lately on this topic. Food and sex effect the same neural pathways in the brain and for many reasons including blood flow, your plant-based diet should be enhancing your sexual health. While this is a sensitive and complex topic, since you are experiencing less pleasure through food, you may be able to experience more pleasure in the bedroom. If you are interested in this topic, you may want to check out the book, Sex on the Brain by Dr. Daniel Amen.

                    For now, the only thing I can offer is support and a virtual hug. :)

          2. Badgers Magpies – well said. I’m with you by choice for best health and like you said, don’t talk to me about how great it tastes and full of flavor and don’t call vegan dishes by meat names and say it tastes the same or better. It is nothing like it to those of us who became strongly addicted to sugar, salt, oil/fat, meat, and processed foods. I eat plant SOS free and my body rewards me by healing and feeling amazing everyday. That is why I stick am sticking to it, but the taste range varies from barely tolerable to bland by comparison for even the most gourmet vegan dishes.

          3. Funny, I am a human too and have not had meat based food (burnt meat with vegan spices) for over 10 years and have no craving for meat, dairy or eggs whatsoever. NONE. I think the reason you have a craving is lack of protein in your vegan diet. I eat lots of raw peanuts which have as much protein by weight as fillet mignon steak. There are also delicious vegan burgers (made from seitan) that have double the amount of protein of regular steak. I suggest you search for protein in plant foods. If you wish you can take a look at my table (I did it a long time ago. The data is based on my personal google search):

            1. I see you getting alot of rebuttal from many “meat eaters”, sort of surprise on Dr. Greger site. It seem most of your argument is only on the CANINE teeth and on other teeth in our mouth. The canine is irrevelant when it comes to us. One of the biggest reason to show we not “carnivore” is we have AMYLASE in our saliva……TRUE CARNIVORE, and that only CATS, they metabolize PROTEIN FOR ENERGY and not carbohydrates for energy (ATP) have NO Amylase in their mouth……..they cannot taste SWEET…….and us humans LOVE SWEET !!!!! so obvious by the tons of sugar consumed. Carnivores have very large mouth to bit into LARGE CHUNK OF FLESH,,,,,,,,they don’t chew, they gulp or swallow whole chunks…….therefore their mouth are VERY WIDE . Yes, we have MOLARS for grinding our food. And when it comes to evolution, our closest ancestor, the PRIMATE, the majority of them live in TREETOP so, they have FOUR CHAMBER STOMACH like cattle. make sense in treetop…… LEAVES AND BERRIES. when it comes to animals protein……..our fingers were designed to pick up small animals, like INSECTS…..and with herbivores they DO NOT DIGEST CELLULOSE………it DONE BY THE BACTERIA in their stomach.just same with termites…..cellulose is digest by protozoans…… for us our SOLUBLE FIBER is digested by the Bacteriodetes. Our microvilli in our small intestine was designed for SLOW transit so our enzymes can extract as much nutrients from the plant as possible. and yes we don’t digest cellulose, but neither does any other herbivore…… done by the bacteria or the protozoan in their “GUT”. If you want more comparison as to the digestive system of a carnivore versus herbivore check into Dr. Milton Mill, MD video.He goes through it all, from mouth to colon.I hope this help..
              PS. I know people who been vegans for 46 years, no degenerative disease. Also know RAW vegans cause they had BAD GENES, lot of family heart disease and cancer, growing up of American meat diets they constantly were ill from one thing or another, went RAW vegan they they heal, many of them started health magazines.

          4. Taste can be educated. Satisfaction is built in the brain. I don’t deny that unhealthy things doesn’t have an appeal. All the good things in life need education, discipline, commitment. Ultimately, you have to choose between pleasure and health.

          1. Don’t judge the book by its cover, its against fake food. I am not necessary against it tho, for cases like the above poster, as transitional foods.

            I am a natural vegetarian (means, I never liked meat, is in fact repulsive to me, as is for all my family — father’s side) Nor liked fish particularly either, so I was ovo lacto vegetarian before being vegan.

            Don’t rush to judge people you don’t know.

            Also not being American, even people that are omnivores from our area are better off than people in the SAD. (Cantabric regions FYI) In diet, you could say share a lot with Mediterranean regions.

            1. I just meant to point out that eating vegan does not necessarily imply eating healthy. You can eat french fries and processed meat substitutes within a white burger bun and wash it all down with a big gulp of Coke. OK, the Coke on the cover is susbtituted by a glass of red cabbage but otherwise… and well, yes, I do judge books by their cover. If a book has a cheesy cover I won’t give it a further look. That’s a rough but efficient filter to cut through the c**p.

              Anyway, you shouldn’t think that I make a personal judgement about you when I simply write a sarcastic comment about a book’s cover you posted ;)

            2. You don’t like fake food ? Isn’t cooked “burnt” meat eaten with vegan spices the “Fakest” of the fake to fool yourself that you are an omnivore. I mean common, you can fool the rest of us, but can you fool yourself ? Example: Steak, bacon cheeseburger, hot dog, shish kebob, fillet mignon, fried chicken (all eaten with pickles, raw onions, raw tomatoes, raw lettuce, ketchup, etc….). Show me you are a “REAL” omnivore by eating raw chicken, raw rabbit, raw mice.

      1. Yep, totally based on familiar taste and textures and based on EMOTIONAL attachment, not reality. Why else all the denial and imaginative evasions…they are just tastes and textures than can usually be replicated or even improved on otherwise?

    2. For those who truly follow the Paleo Diet, they do not financially back the meat INDUSTRY, because factory farmed meat does not fit into the paleo diet. Unless you really think that the local farmer selling you grass-fed beef at the farmer’s market is part of the “meat industry,” your statement is inherently flawed. And as you stated, those types of animal produces certainly contribute to (but perhaps not “cause”) cancer, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, etc… Naturally raised and wild game meats are a different class of food entirely.

      1. Sure, they advocate grass-fed beef. This option is, indeed, healthier. It has higher omega-3, CLA, no added hormones/antibiotics, etc. However, the magnitude of these differences are actually quite marginal, and the overall health benefits pale in comparison to more plant based alternatives. The majority of early health benefits are attributable to elimination of processed foods. (Promoters exploit an infamous half truth — refined carbs are bad — that leads people to the harmful, fallacious and invalid conclusion that all carbs are therefore bad.)

        Moreover, there simply is not enough space on earth for everyone to eat pasture raised livestock, period. More to your point, with that last point considered, I think the meat industry has a lot to do with this, as they clearly had with other low-carb trends in decades past. I have had more than one friend go on the paleo diet. Believe it or not, while many paleo dieters believe in the ideals of factory-farm-less meat, they find it difficult to sustain financially or logistically. As a result, the majority of paleo dieters only pay it lip service, while resorting to factory farmed animal products by convenience.

        If you go around asking paleo dieters where they buy their food, they might lie to appeal to their ideals, but often times they admit outright that they just buy the same animal products they always did before. That is not to say that there aren’t many that DO make the effort! However, the overall trend is an increase in factory farmed animal consumption that is bad for the animals, bad for human health and bad for the environment. (Imagine the acceleration in rain forest devastation were we to pursue such land space to sustain such ideals in spite of better alternatives!)

      2. For those who truly follow the paleo diet (the fantasy of a paleo diet, that is, because there’s nothing authentically paleolithic in content or style about any paleo diet), they do financially back the meat industry. Factory farmed meat is most of what most paleos eat, because there isn’t much of any alternative and on most occasions it’s not possible to find non-factory farmed meat. So paleo eaters buy the factory-farmed meat at the grocery store that’s there, they go to restaurants and order the meat that is served there, which is factory-farmed, they are guests at the homes of their friends who serve them the factory-farmed meat that they bought at the grocery store. Non-factory meat is a fraction of a fraction of the meat available anywhere. And the “free-range” and organic meat product lines at grocery stores are still factory meat.

        “Grass-fed” meat is grass-fed for part of its life, and then goes on a factory-approved corn and soy diet at the end. Then it goes into a factory to get slaughtered sloppily, cruelly, and filthily.

        This is all aside from the fact that the differences between “grass-fed” or free-range animals and factory animals are minuscule. No commercially sold meat is “naturally raised,” and none is even close to being a natural animal. All the animals modern humans eat, other than the less than a tenth of a percent that is hunted down during hunting seasons, have been bred for the qualities humans found economical and palatable–they are fatty, clumsy, and nothing like their progenitors before animal husbandry.

        This is all aside from the fact that paleolithic man did not eat a meat-heavy diet any more than today’s primitive tribes do. Meat was very difficult to get historically before agriculture and husbandry. The meat source tends not to want to be turned into food, and so runs away–more skillfully than man can shoot an arrow or throw a spear. So paleolithic man ate a diet with a little meat occasionally and massive amounts of vegetation (which is why paleolithic man consumed massive amounts of fiber).

      3. Factory farmed or not, it all come back to the same. The industry sells what consumers want or believe they want. If the demand for grass feed goes up the industry will follow. Also, animal protein is damageable wild or not. It is leaner but still damageable. Fat, antibiotics, pesticides and hormones are not the only issue.

      4. true paleo would hardly have had any animal flesh, perhaps once or twice a year. Meat or fish would never have been the basis of diet, as killing most creatures would not have been very successful. And most would have been mostly raw. Eggs would have only been eaten during bird egg laying season for about 6 weeks in any year and also eaten raw if found. If someone did manage to kill another creature or come across one who had died there would always have been a larger carnivore close by to help take it off their hands – I wouldn’t have argued with a sabre tooth tiger for some animal flesh – it might have preferred mine!

    3. The “meat industry” doesn’t get much from the paleo followers. The feed lot operations produce food as horrible as GMO grains. “Whole (GMO) grains”. I’ve been on a pretty strict paleo, letting go virtually all grains and legumes. I don’t eat much meat, but what I do eat is grass feed (and not just grass feed until the last few months when they end up in a food lot with grains to eat, which they are allergic to, and makes them put on all kinds of fat).

      What I do know, is that eliminating grains and legumes and eating complex carbs and lean healthy meats and fish, is that it made me realize I had not, in my entire life (68 years) ever felt good until I went off grains and beans. I don’t wake up anymore scrambling to get a big bowl of grain down to make me feel better for a while. Without grains and the sugar high/lows, it is easy to fast. My energy levels now are high and steady throughout the day. And my health checkups put me in the teenager category. I use both low level exercise and wind sprints. I’ve never felt so good. And I’m just getting started.

      Humans are omnivores. In the wild they are master foragers. Which brings me to something seldom mentioned on forums such as this: plants have toxins. They are used to ward off pests. Eating widely of many different plants keeps the individual toxins to a minimum.

      And here is a quote from “The Paleo Manifesto.” “The only truly nonessential macronutrient is carbohydrate. People can subsist on a fat and carbo diet (lack essential amino acids), but they can’t subsist on a fat and carbohydrate diet or protein and carbo diet (lacks essential fats).

      The “meat industry” doesn’t get much from the paleo followers. The feed lot operations produce food as horrible as GMO grains. “Whole (GMO) grains”. I’ve been on a pretty strict paleo, letting go virtually all grains and legumes. I don’t eat much meat, but what I do eat is grass feed (and not just grass feed until the last few months when they end up in a food lot with grains to eat, which they are allergic to, and makes them put on all kinds of poisonous fat).

      What I do know, is that eliminating grains and legumes and eating complex carbs and lean healthy meats and fish, is that it made me realize I had not, in my entire life (68 years) ever felt good until I went off grains and beans. I don’t wake up anymore scrambling to get a big bowl of grain down to make me feel better for a while. Without grains and the sugar high/lows, it is easy to fast. My energy levels now are high and steady throughout the day. And my health checkups put me in the teenager category. I use both low level exercise and wind sprints. I’ve never felt so good. And I’m just getting started.

      Humans are omnivores. In the wild they are master foragers. Which brings me to something seldom mentioned on forums such as this: plants have native toxins. They are used to ward off pests. Eating widely of many different plants keeps the individual toxins to a minimum.

      And here is a quote from “The Paleo Manifesto.” “The only truly nonessential macronutrient is carbohydrate. People can subsist on a fat and protein diet, but they can’t subsist on a fat and carbohydrate diet (lack essential amino acids) or protein and carbo diet (lacks essential fats).” Think Inuit, who thrive on meat and fat.

      And if you are in a moral delimma about killing animals, read the books by Stephen Buhner, such as The Secret Teachings of Plants: The Intelligence of the Heart in the Direct Perception of Nature. It is the best science writing I’ve ever read. You’ll learn how to communicate with plants. Plants and the plant world (a la Avatar) form neurosystems greater than any animal. We’re all in this together.

      Treat everything as sacred and you can’t go too far wrong.

      1. Sorry about part duplication. Please read from the second “The meat industry” to the end. Site wasn’t allowing proper editing. So I added a text file that should have replaced the original.

      2. The statement from “The Paleo Manifesto” is nonsense on stilts. It takes a biological fact–carbohydrate is a nonessential nutrient–and draws the invalid (and false) inference that people cannot survive on a diet of fat and carb or protein and carb. People can and do–because no carbohydrate food (and by “food” is meant not refined sugar) lacks protein, and most do not lack fat either. A diet based on starch foods, such as potatoes, rice, corn, and the like, has fat and protein sufficient for humans.

        The use of the word “essential” in nutritional terms means that the body cannot synthesize it. It does not mean that the nutrient is unhealthful. Some are, some aren’t. The body needs protein and fat; it doesn’t need the fats in meat, and for the most part those are harmful. There are two essential fats: Omega-3 and omega-6. The rest of the fats–the saturated, the monounsaturated–are “truly nonessential” and harmful.

        A carbo diet does not lack essential amino acids; all carbohydrate foods that are not pure sugar have all the amino acids.

        And face it–most “paleo followers” (fantasy paleo dieters) buy most of their meat from factory-farming sources, and have no alternative but to do so.

        1. You might want to check your facts there Da St. Potatoes, rice, and especially corn don’t contain enough protein for the human body nor do they contain enough fat. Our bodies are also incapable of breaking down beans to extract the nutrients out of them so their impressive nutritional profiles are irrelevant. No not all carbohydrate foods that are sugar free contain amino acids, which begs the question, do you have any clue what they even are?

          You are right about one thing, most paleo followers do not buy “unprocessed meat” like you find in factor farms. Price is usually the problem.

      3. Would you mind listing a few of the plant toxins you are most concerned with? Or is this simply something you have been told and have failed to investigate further? In my experience, WAPF and Paleo supporters tend to list things such as phytoestrogens and phytates, which are actually health promoting.

        WAPF and Paleo salesman like to use big words like protease and trypsin inhibitors and the like to sound authoritative to the layperson, but they rely on partial truths to sell you a lie. For example, they will commonly criticize phytic acid as an “anti-nutrient” and decry its inhibition of mineral absorption — ignoring the marginal magnitude of this action. Could this lead to deficiencies? Of course…. assuming you live in a developing country with limited food variety and chronically under consume calories. Otherwise, this is nothing but scare tactics. And, of course, they will always omit the demonstrated benefits against diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer.

        These charlatans are profiting off of the information gap between them and the consumer, playing to our fears and catering to our desires. It is an outstanding business model, but terrible science.

    4. The Miocene diet is likely to be much more health-promoting.

      Dr. David Jenkins tested three diets on human volunteers (himself being one of them) in a randomized crossover trial. The first diet was standard therapeutic advice. The second was starch-based with more fruits and vegetables. The third had 55 servings of fruits and vegetables per day and 67 g of nuts per day with over 150 g/day of fiber. Within two weeks, serum LDL on the third diet was reduced dramatically- as much as Statins (or more). Other inflammatory markers (APO-B and APO B/A) were also highly reduced.

      If the paleo people were really serious about their health, they might consider a diet based on a much earlier time, about 5 MYA, before we diverged from the great apes. Dentition studies suggest that those diets were similar to the diets of today’s great apes. Katherine Milton has written a number of thought-provoking papers on the lessons we can learn from wild howler monkey diets, and these are great, also.


      Jenkins et al., Effect of a Very–High-Fiber Vegetable, Fruit, and Nut Diet on Serum Lipids and Colonic Function Metabolism, Vol 50, No 4 (April), 2001: pp 494-503

      Kay R: Diets of early Miocene African hominoids. Nature 268:628-630, 1977

      Milton K, Nutritional Characteristics of Wild Primate Foods: Do the Diets of Our Closest Living Relatives Have Lessons for Us? Nutrition Vol. 15, No. 6, 1999

      1. Do you realize the nuts and seeds in that 3rd diet mask the results? They hide the inflammation while the amount of fiber in that diet is pro inflammatory? Do you have any idea how bad it is on your cells to have that much fiber crashing around?

        Just simply stemming from common sense here.. think about it..

    5. False. Big Pharma propaganda. Paleo diet is the same as Dr. Atkin’s diet, that helped hundreds of his patients, including himself. Low fat diets have made many dieters sick and even died over time. You have been lied to.

      1. False, Paleo diet is not the same as Dr Atkins diet. Dr Atkins diet allowed for processed foods, paleo does not. This is an outright simple fact.

        Paleo is basically 60% fats, 20-30% protein, and 10-20% carbs from unprocessed sources. Atkins is eat however much meat you bloody well want from any source because it has little effect on your insulin. See the difference?

    6. Ignorance… Ketogenic diets have been studied for 200 back to 1797. And have been shown to reduce inflammation and neuronal degeneration and as a possible help in reduction of many forms of cancer. Simple Carbs on the other hand depending on ones genetic propensity to get fat, cause inflammation. It depends on many factors from genetics to what the mothers diet was like through gestation. Some people have such a huge response to insulin the carbs in broccoli can start the insulin surge. While others can eat a ring ding can be fine.
      And after digestion the type of acid created by a slice of bread is more acidic than the acid created by meat….anthropomorphism looks at current natives… How many tribes are plant eaters only? Very few.
      Eat the organs… Eat grass fed (so the fat profile does not cause oxidation) not grain fed, and don’t cook on high heat denature get the product… And eat plenty of green stuff… And for crying out loud saturated fat is not the devil… It’s the simple carbs that cause high triglycerides and heart disease… And yes Martha , whole grain is begging for whole pre diabetes based on your genetic preponderance for such a thing.

    7. I don’t think that is entirely accurate as the meat industry and the paleo diet are at odds with one other. The devil is in the details. A true Paleo diet discourages the standard factory farmed meats which is the meat industry. Sometimes we tend to throw the baby out with the bathwater. Is it meat or is it all the garbage injected and fed to the meat? There is no refuting that people who follow a strict paleo diet see all their health markers improve. We also see them leaner and stronger than their vegan counterparts. I say this as someone who follows the research not a supporter of any specific diet. As humans we are very well adapted for survival and can survive for very long periods of time on just about any edible source of nutrition. We can even soy products without dying right away! I think the jury is still out on exactly what we should or should not eat and at the end of the day it may boil down not to what we eat but how much of what we eat which is the deciding factor.

    8. its true….there is a big game of such cunning minded buisness motivated companies,playing a dangerous game in the peoples life…

    9. I don’t think they preach to eat from the troff of the “meat industry”. I believe they say eat grass fed, non- farm-raised game. However, not sure many can do that because of the cost. They believe the inflammation is caused from the refined grains, but they cut out all grains perhaps they see these as insulin jolting.

      if one stops eating refined/ p processed junk food, sugars and dairy, and eats 75% vegetables and a little meat, those people would in-fact do better than 90% of the population.

  2. You’re ignoring the most important aspect of the paleo diet. Eliminating grains and legumes that cause leaky gut. It’s not meat alone that causes heart disease and cancer but rather combining it with massive amounts of carbs and sugar. I eat 2 whole eggs and pork everyday and my hdl’s are 71 and ldl’s are 52. If paleo was so bad wouldn’t I have high cholesterol and triglycerides. What I believe is that we should eat paleo but emphasize more greens with it and less fatty meats and more fish as I may be an anomaly with my extremely low cholesterol. However, grains and legumes should be severely limited because of there effect on zonulin release which opens up the membranes of the intestines, which in turn over time can lead to autoimmune issues. Most of ancestors didn’t live long enough to develop autoimmune disorders but since we are living longer we need to pay closer attention to the consumption of grains and legumes.

    1. Are you sure you watched the video? And did you see the ones about beans? And about leaky gut? You seem to have naturally low cholesterol. I wonder what your level would be after two weeks on a vegan diet?

      1. I went vegan for a month at the advice of one doctor because of fatty liver, went in for a blood test and most of the inflammatory markers sky rocketed. The biggest alarm was the fatty liver got worse. I swapped doctors, and the other told me (thankfully), that vegan was the absolute worst thing someone can do with fatty liver. It not only promotes it, but makes it worse.

        Fast forward to now, I eat 3-4 eggs per day, 1-2 servings of lean meat, healthy servings of nuts and seeds, and a good portion of raw veggies. My weight dropped, heart rate dropped, health drastically improved, all the markers are now normal. The best part is, the fat in the liver was reduced 85% after 10 weeks. The only reason that happened is because I stopped going vegan and started adding eggs and saturated fats back in.

    2. Congratulations on having the genetics to eat eggs and meat and maintain low cholesterol. But cholesterol is just a marker and does not mean your arteries are not building plaque.

      What I find disconcerting about paleo promoters is their total disregard of the preponderance of science. Your assertions of the problems of grains and legumes are theories. The fact of the matter is the consumption of legumes are associated with long life spans. The one common denominator food of the “Blue Zones”, locales of high concentration of centenarians, is legumes. This has been confirmed by other studies:

      The same longevity case is valid for whole grains:

      Now if you want to argue about Dr. Greger’s presentations, just bear in mind that he is the messenger, and all his presentations include the sources cited. Real studies, not conjecture.

      1. The consumption of legumes are not associated with long life spans. One of the longest living cultures out there (ancient eskimos) if you want to call them that had lifespans well into their 90’s eating primarily fat.

        Even today, those who eat primarily plants don’t usually live past 67.

        You have to bear in mind that the things you are trying to point out and the things Dr Gregor have been trying to “message” are things scientists have been trying to prove for approximately the past 60 years. Every single study out there has either proved them wrong or had no effect (with most proving them wrong). Nothing was published because in their own words “the results were not what they hoped for).

        If you want to talk about a messenger, go read Gary Taubes work. He is a real messenger who just reports on all the studies ever conducted. He even points out ones popular doctors of today like Dr Greger completely fail to take into account, other causing factors in the studies.

        1. Sorry Martin but that assertion about the Inuit is pure fantasy. Pre modern Inuit tended to live no more that 53 years, had accelerated osteoporosis, excess kidney disease and numerous strokes. Advanced atherosclerosis and osteoporosis have been found in frozen mummies of young women of 20 and 40 that were more than 400 years old. This disease of affluence came with a high meat and fat and low vegetable diet. Adding in the standard American diet has scarcely been an improvement though.

          The non scientist Gary Taubes is a pretty good polemicist and good money maker. Taking his paleofantasy recommendations on diet would be akin to taking recommendations to go play in the traffic.

      2. My brother-in-law has done the same thing for his fatty liver diagnosis. He stopped with the refined carbs and SUGARS and ate a ton more vegetables. Fatty liver is caused by sugars not fat, or perhaps it’s the combo of both and liver only does one thing. in 4 months of doing the paleo thing, he improved his liver enzymes back to normal. We talked extensively as I don’t agree to much with shoveling a bunch of saturated fat in, but it has helped him with a marginal improvement in blood pressure. However he hasn’t showed me his blood work.
        So for me, I’m waiting to see long term results from this before I thought about it. However, low carb doesn’t fit my lifestyle and level of activity.

      1. Go read Gary Taubes work, he touches on every single study out there in the past 60 years. Audio book is cheap, go listen to that, you’ll gather all the info you need. You’ll even noticed studies touched on by Dr Greger here are completely thrown in the light of just how cherry picked the research is for scientists trying to prove their point.. even though all have failed in the past 60 years.

    3. Nice to hear that the diet works for you, my own LDL number rise on sat fat intake, prob because I’m apoe4.

      Would be interesting to know what your LDL-P numbers are.

      Good luck with it.

    4. There is no valid scientific support for your claims… They sound like the kind of nonsense you read in Paleo books, written by non-experts in the fields in question. Grains and legumes have never been shown to have the effects you are claiming, except in obese individuals who are already sick (and whole grains and legumes didn’t make them sick). Your “low-fat” meats are around ~50% fat by calorie–a complete misnomer (actual low-fat meats with under 20% fat calories are considered unpalatable, because they taste terrible). You make no mention of whole grains… and finally your anthropological discussion of autoimmune disorders is wrong and full of fallacies. Many paleo societies had autoimmune diseases, they are protective against tuberculosis as a genetic advantage. Also: Paleo life expectancy at birth was not great (30s maybe), but paleo life expectancy at 15 was easily in the 60s. High infant mortality doesn’t mean there weren’t old Paleo peoples. Auto-immmune disorders are also far more prevalent at younger ages than you seem to be aware of… pediatric autoimmune disorders are around 310,000 in the US (that’s under 18) and a lot of people develop them in their 30s-60s. The idea that Paleo cultures didn’t live long enough to get them is just silly.

      1. Scientific research is just cherry picked data which is why the studies of the past 60 years trying to promote vegan, low fat, and whole grain diets have failed miserably. Your entire point went completely out the window when you said paleo life expectancy was 30’s, you are completely beyond wrong, it was 70-80’s. This has been know for the past 5 years at least and you only posted 3 months ago. Some cultures like eskimos lived much longer and their diets were primarily fat.

        If you want true “scientific” research, do the test your self, spend 9 months doing the test. First 3 months, eat only vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Next 3 months eat only processed foods, next 3 months, go paleo, eat 60% of your calories in fats (nuts seeds, avocados and saturated fats, but no vegetable oil fats), 20-30% in proteins (poultry, beef, fish), and 10-20% in carbs (vegetables only with little fruits). Completely eliminate grains and do all your own cooking, don’t eat out.

        Do that study yourself and I guarantee you, you will find your last 3 months the best you will have ever felt.

      1. As a type I diabetic and former sufferer from psoriatic arthritis, I can’t recommend these videos enough. It was not until I eliminated all animal products from my diet that the arthritis completely disappeared. The diabetes is for life though.
        I found the paleo response to plant positive to be fascinating. It was the most juvenile bunch of ad hominem attacks I may have ever seen. If they have the science behind them they should not be afraid to present it. Instead those attacks merely serve to lend more credence to “plant positive”. Actually these two videos together are very powerful.

        1. Totally agree. Those guys are just quack and snake oil seller.. I’m glad that your condition has improved. I wish you the best.

          In Health.

        2. Your diabetes doesn’t have to be for life. Add the animal products back in and eliminate the sugars and you’ll find an even never renewed life.

          1. You seem to be determined to demonstrate your lack of knowledge with that assertion. It has been shown repeatedly that your beta cells will handle complex carbohydrates that are necessary for life if you do not have an abundance of advanced glycation end product (primarily source from cooked meat), saturated fatty acids from those animal products you recommend and excess animal sourced amino acids. These factors will cause insulin resistance. Therefore eliminating animal products and eating a balanced whole foods plant based diet can and usually will cure type two diabetes provided the beta cells have not deteriorated beyond repair.

            Having said that, let me further elucidate my point about my situation with diabetes. Over 45 years ago as a teenager, I consumed ample meat and began exhibiting auto immune problems. First it was plaque psoriasis and then my beta cells failed. i.e. they croaked, died, went away. This is known as type one diabetes and unlike type two diabetes, can only be cured with an unknown magical process that will cause them to regenerate. About 10 years ago I developed inflammatory arthritis. My doctor prescribed methotrexate to suppress the immune system. I thought this a bad idea so studied the factors that might be provoking the immune system. Turns out the heterocyclic amines, IGF-1, TMA, molecular mimicry, various animal sourced excess amino acids et al are all associated with provoking the immune system. So I changed my diet and now my arthritis is gone and I use 25% less insulin than previously. Too late for my beta cells so my diabetes cannot go away but I do get greater insulin efficiency.

            A favorite citation by polemicist Gary Taubes has to do with Vilhjalmur Stefansson who with Karsten Andersson went on an all meat diet for a year. They survived but what he doesn’t point out is that they had numerous problems ranging from gingivitis to intestinal stasis. Most importantly they had hyperlipidemia and greater insulin resistance. And yes on an all flesh diet they were getting elevated blood sugar that was coming from a combination of insulin resistance and glyconeogenesis. Taubes in the “cherry picking” mode that he is usually in fails to deal with the whole picture. Oh and when they went off this absurd diet their symptoms of metabolic syndrome (aka pre diabetes) disappeared.

            Just one more thing. I do agree that keeping simple sugars out of the diet is a good idea. They are empty calories and will provide a gratuitous excess oxidative load without the antioxidants necessary to counter that load.

            1. Well said. I just finished a raw food summit, and there was a speaker Dr. Cyrus Klabatta, PhD who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. and like you, he ran into alot of health problem when he ate A meat, high fat, LOW carbohydrate diet that his physician and nutritionist recommended. Dr. Klabatta said he founded his blood glucose swung from hyper to hypo glycemic and his health was further deteroiating. Then he switched to a HIGH CARBOHYDRATE diet and founded that his blood glucose stablized the NEXT DAY, and in 7 DAYS his need for insulin dropped by 30% and he the MORE CARBOHYRATE HE ATE, the better he had control of his blood glucose…….that 15 years now.
              Make good sense to me………since we are Carbohydrate metabolizer. ………..clean fuel…….C6h12O6 to CO2 & H20. Dr. Klabatta and his partner who also is type 1 diabetic is 80% frugivore.

          2. I think she mentioned she had TYPE 1 diabetes, which is for life, since Type 1 is no insulin due to Beta cell destruction. And when comes to animal products it INFLAMMATORY, loaded with arachidonic acid for Prostanglandin 2, that why her arthritis went away.

            1. A few things…
              Sally Fallon has an article on the front page of the WAPF website that states the traditional diet is NOT Paleo. I think there is confusion about that since the key nourishing foods are animal…the whole animal, especially fat, broth and liver. But the diet is in general what the food pyramid was based on…high carb, medium fat and lower protein.
              Mahatma Ghandi’s son was dying of typhoid. As a desperate act his father fed him chicken broth. This saved his life. The one thing that vegens don’t get with animal flesh is arachadonic acid. I know modern medicine has found it to be inflammatory, but studies have shown that it’s mostly inflammatory in the presence of omega 6…plant oils. This recent study was so convincing of the critical need for all-body development from AA in infants that they just added it to baby formula. And if you’re at all familiar with baby formula ingredients(basically soy and sunflower oil and synthetic…actually toxic…vitamins), then you’d know that it takes a lot of convincing for the formula companies to add something as healthy as AA. And how do you explain breastfeeding…which is clearly an all-animal food? Shouldn’t moms be equipped with juicers instead of breasts if we are herbivores??

              Here’s the AA study with infants…

              1. Maureen: You wrote, “Shouldn’t moms be equipped with juicers instead of breasts if we are herbivores??” Since you seem to be serious, here is a quick biology lesson for you: “Those animals who nurse their young are called mammals.” Bunnies, gorillas, goats, sheep, horses etc are considered herbivores. They all nurse their young. Here is a page which has pictures of these animals nursing:

                Bottom line: What is good for an infant is not necessarily what is good for an animal who has been weaned. This is as true for humans as it is for other animals. Your logic makes no sense.

                Note that this site is about what nutrition is healthy for humans who are past weaning. This site has said that breast feeding for human infants is best whenever it is possible. That’s not at issue. What a company chooses to add to infant formula is irrelevant.

    5. if one wishes to live a moral and ethical life, one must be just as concerned about the life and health of those beings classify as “food” as we are about our own health and well being. the bottom line is that humans do not require any animal to suffer and die in order to be healthy.

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

      1. I did not become a vegan for the health of the chickens, but for my health. I have nothing against chickens, but the point of my actions is my benefit. If a vegan diet were unhealthy, I would not eat it just to spare other animals. Human nutrition is not for suicide.

        1. true veganism is about more than personal health or a mere dietary choice. it is about non-violence and adherence to the Golden Rule for all sentient beings. if someone were to gain a perceived benefit from harming and killing you or your family, would they be morally justified in doing so? how then can one justify harming and killing innocent, helpless others and using them as a means to one’s own end? for example, it would greatly benefit many people if the organs of a healthy human were forcibly taken and distributed to other humans who’s own organs were failing and who needed them to live but this would never be considered as justifiable.

          as human’s we are so very concerned with our own suffering and death, yet at the same time so very apathetic to the suffering and death we so willingly force upon others.

          “Unless we live with non-violence and reverence for all living beings in our hearts, all our humaneness and acts of goodness, all our vows, virtues, and knowledge, all our practices to give up greed and acquisitiveness are meaningless and useless.” “He who harms animals has not understood or renounced deeds of sin… Those whose minds are at peace and who are free from passions do not desire to live at the expense of others.” – Mahavira

          1. I just gave a presentation on my monthly TV broadcasting on Vegan Spirituality along with my usual scientific stuff on chemistry of Insulin resistance.
            I had to spend some time thinking about my spiritual journey……..which took 18 years, and founded that it wasn’t about my vegan diet , although it started from from giving up meat for farm animal suffering……….yes, I gave up meat for the cow and chicken, I did not give it up for MY HEALTH. and many founded giving up meat for animals is more POWER in keeping one dedicated than for health because it UNSELFISH act !!!……
            And my last comment was what Matt Scully quoted in his book “Dominion”…….Animal CHARITY is an INVESTMENT in the POWER to alleviate suffering and to GRANT happiness …………and I added what was my spiritual blessing……….SELF LOVE . So your philosphy on life is “divine”,and only those people who arrrived knows it………I don’t believed I know one vegan who don’t not feel GOOD ABOUT ONESELF !!!!!

          2. This is my website, which explains why we NEED the whole animal (flesh) for true health. The one nutrient we can’t get from plants is arachadonic acid. Of course getting an adequate amount of B12 is also very difficult without meat. On top of it plants are full of antinutrients and poisons…salicylates, phytates, goitergenics, lectins, tannins, saponins, arsenic, etc. The closer to the tropics the food is found the higher in chemicals they have…and many need to be disarmed with soaking, cooking, fermenting, culturing, etc…or just avoided all together. There is not one thing in animal that is unhealthy for us. Inflammation comes from plant oils…omega 6s…not from anti-inflammatory omega 3 animal fats. Heart disease…and every other modern day degenerative illness stems from plant oils. The cure? Grass-fed organic animal fats, meat broths, liver, wild caught fish, and farm eggs.
            The bulk of the info is in the PowerPoint at the top of the page.

        2. The word Vegan does imply non-violence towards other creatures in addition to eating plant foods. I tend to refer to my diet as plant-based rather than vegan since I started and continue to eat this way because of my health.

    6. I tried the Paleo diet you describe to solve some odd symptoms. All it did for me was raise my total cholesterol from 117 to 218 and drop my hdl to be below my ldl. My blood pressure went up too. All reversed when I went back to my vegan ways. (Ultimately my symptoms were due to a bad parathyroid, which has been removed).

      1. You can’t go by one person’s results, only group results.

      2. Paleo has never reversed heart disease. Only a plant based diet has, usually vegan.

      3. Scientific studies suggests that leaky gut has other causes, not grains. (Same as the now debunked theory that phytic acid is bad for you–see the video here on NF for more in that).

    7. Several food components demonstrably increase intestinal permeability in animal and human models, notably fats, excess fructose, and alcohol. I’ve searched and failed to find any indication that legume intake increases gut permeability in vivo, which could be readily observed from a lactulose/mannitol challenge or plasma LPS. Indeed there are good reasons to suspect legume intake should decrease gut permeability, as polyphenols, fermentable oligogsaccharides, and resistant starch from beans modulate gut microbiota to favor beneficial strains like Bifidobacteria over pathobionts.

      The closest I’ve found to a human clinical trial of beans on intestinal permeability is this study, which found a Chinese medicinal gruel of Job’s tears, oat, buckwheat, white bean, yellow corn, red bean, soybean, yam, big jujube, peanut, lotus seed, and wolfberry changed gut microbiota, improved gut permeability, lowered endotoxemia, and improved inflammation markers.

        1. Mia, Darryl’s comments includes links to the studies (in green). If you were to click the links to the studies you will see that the studies on gut permeability found that diets high in animal fat (butter and lard, for example were used in the two of the studies) caused gut permeability to increase. Conversely dietary fiber was found to improve intestinal health…The study related to fructose, utilized high fructose corn syrup. Another of the studies referenced found that a lack of micro-nutrients (fruits and vegetables) resulted in hepatic inflammation.

        2. I commented on this in an earlier video Juicing Removes More Than Just Fiber. Most studies on fats or sugars in intestinal permeability use refined products to isolate effects and reduce the chance of confounding. However, whole foods like fruit and nuts are a very complex mixture of compounds, many having a beneficial effect by modulating gut microbiota or directly inhibiting inflammation in gut epithelial cells.

          1. How about saponin content in some beans and seeds somehow causing intestinal permeability? Quinoa, even when it is soaked, creates great digestive pain in some people as a result of high saponin content. Longterm saponin excess is the one thing that worries me about quinoa and too many seeds, some beans, and nuts. If saponins cause such pain in some people, I’m guessing that alone might be a sign that they might be causing intestinal permeability issues. Just an assumption. What do you think?

            1. Saponins are a diverse set of bitter compounds most abundant in legumes, but also present in oats, spinach, squash, eggplant, yams, asparagus, garlic, tea and cocoa – if you ate a plant today you probably ingested some saponins. They’re toxic to insects and fish, but apparently harmless at even high (3%) concentration in mammalian diets, and have demonstrated enough cholesterol lowering, anticarcinogenic, hepatoprotective, and anti-viral activity that considerable effort has has been made to improve their limited bioavailability.

              Quinoa saponins indeed appear to increase mucosal permeability in mice, though the effect isn’t huge, even under unnatural conditions (no microbiota or mucus ex vivo), so its plausible these may increase permeability to allergens in some individuals. On the other hand, all saponins are not equal, and healthy mucosa and intestinal microbiota likely strongly influence whether food saponins exert net positive or negative effects.

      1. Great information by Darryl, as usual. As I personal anecdote I might add that eating a whole food diet supplemented with pre- and probiotics, polyphenols, HUFAs and vitamin D resolved all of my food allergies, and that had been quite a few. I’m still positive on the IgE or prick tests, but the allergens don’t seem to make it into systemic circulation anymore and I remain nonsymptomatic even for the worst offenders. This is why I think that some elimination diets (which I have tried before) – particularly the avoidance of FODMAPs – might do more harm than good in the long-term.

        1. OK Timar that is, to me a fascinating point. I was very gluten sensitive to the point of of having inflammatory arthritis. I went with a WFBBD and the gluten problem has all but disappeared. Oh yeah, my doctor had serious problems understanding that diet had cured the arthritis without the drugs.

      2. Wow! Mindblowing stuff with all the references to scientific data to back up your claims and even more importantly; looking from several viewpoints to make your argument. I wish you made some videos for so it can get less biased. :-) Anyway, I see that you mention whole wheat for its resistant starch content, but doesn’t mention the amount compared to stuff like yams, plantain, cassava, potatoes or legumes (though you mention oats). They seem all to outperform wheat and other corn based products.

        Al though I aware that resistant starch is only one of several things to look at nutritionally, but at the same time I haven’t seen that much of a change breeding-wise to the plants I mention above, as I have to wheat (done mainly by Norman Borlaug).

        • Frankenwheat, a scientifically engineered food product versus Spelt (<- commercial site, so biased somewhat probably, but with references to scientific findings)
        • Norman Borlaug: humanitarian hero or menace to society?
        • What’s wrong with modern wheat? – How an ancient food staple became toxic junk food, and what we can do about it (without going gluten-free) (<- commercial site, so biased somewhat probably)
        • Against the grain on Norman Borlaug

        1. Thanks Palmer, for the great references. As someone who cannot get near wheat, I kind of tire of those who try to tell me that it is not a problem. I also cannot eat rice, corn, millet, rye, or sorghum. I am not against grain eating, I just cannot eat grains. I can eat the pseudo grains, quinoa and buckwheat, thankfully. I am not celiac but am gluten intolerant. I also cannot eat nuts and most dried legumes, although frozen peas and lima beans are fine.

          I think for me and many people the changes in wheat are part of the problem but the other problem is MOLD. The way modern grains are stored they easily collect mold, and one of your links talked of “modern “dwarfed” wheat growing so close to the earth that fungi can contaminate the naked grain producing the world’s most poisonous aflatoxins which destroy fertility. Dried legumes also contain a lot of mold. Can’t eat them either. And nuts also are often very moldy but it may not be just the mold that is the reason that I cannot eat them. Tree nuts especially are life threatening allergens for many.

          All of this may go along with the over use of antibiotics ruining our gut microbiomes and causing yeast overgrowth and other forms of dysbioses. So many people have such severe mold and food ensitivities these days.

          Having studied functional medicine along with nutrition, methylation, nutrigenomics and more, it amazes me sometimes that those pushing veganism simply cannot understand that there are many of us who simply cannot eat these starches. (I eat a ton of veggies but I cannot eat any underground veggies (potatoes, sweet potatoes, turnips, carrots etc. due to exquisite mold sensitivities as well) I do not eat paleo and I find both camps to be biased and cherry picking most of the time.

          But I do believe in individual biochemistry, and that healthy diets come in a lot of different varieties.

          1. Very well said. I am sorry to hear about your allergies. As you mention the microbiome yourself, I am wondering if you have researched probiotics, soil based organisms or probiotic lysates for allergies, as they seem to be one of the keys to eliminate them, either that their introduction replaces the bad guys in our guts or because it educates are gut cells how to properly behave to food allergens or also by eliminating /digesting them.
            Also, if you have leaky gut, you should eliminate the condition, although you probably have already checked that out.

            • Fatal peanut allergies could be cured by probiotic bacteria, say Australian doctors
            • The Bacteria That May One Day Cure Food Allergies
            • Is Dirt the New Prozac?
            “Some studies have found that treatment with M. vaccae, the inoffensive soil bacterium, eases skin allergies, and other reports—such as the cancer study—show that it can improve mood.”
            • A gut microbe that stops food allergies
            • Certain Gut Bacteria Protect Against Food Allergies
            • Probiotics Linked to Reduced Risk of Allergies, Psoriasis, Colitis, Periodontal Disease and More
            • Parents’ Saliva On Pacifiers Could Ward Off Baby’s Allergies
            • Microbiome/microbiota and allergies
            • Commensal bacteria protect against food allergen sensitization
            • Antiallergic Effects of Probiotics
            • How I Reversed My Food Allergies with Probiotics
            • More than a Few LAB Alleviate Common Allergies: Impact of Paraprobiotics in Comparison to Probiotical Live Cells
            “The evidence in this paper indicates that the alarming increase of common allergies can be reduced
            by the intake of particular “probiotics” or “paraprobiotics” along with food.” … “Preliminary experimental and clinical data indicated that the cell lysates of L. rhamnosus V are highly effective in prevention and treatment of infectious diseases, common allergies (food allergy, bronchitis, hay fever, and asthma), hepatitis C, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia.”
            • Oral administration of bacterial lysates attenuates experimental food allergy
            • Health Benefits of Organic vs. Conventional Milk
            “Loaded with healthy bacteria that are good for your gastrointestinal tract.” … “It is not uncommon for people who switch from drinking pasteurized to raw milk to experience improvement or complete resolution of troubling health issues—everything from allergies to digestive problems to eczema.”
            • Kids Who Drink Raw Milk Have Less Asthma and Allergies
            • Allergies and Leaky Gut Syndrome

            1. Hi Palmer,

              Thanks for the great links. Yep take a ton of probiotics and have been for years (Renew life brand seems to work the best for me) but will research more some of the specific ones that your links mention but some of them I am already taking.

              I did try a soil probiotic supplement recently that is highly recommended and did not do well on it at all. I plan to retry it again in a few months.

              My twin and I suspect our problems began long before birth with my mother throwing up throughout her pregnancy, being born very premature, and then being given tons of antibiotics throughout our childhood for various ear infections etc. Our mold sensitivities are exquisite and we suffered from candida overgrowth for decades without knowing how it was making us so ill.

              I’ve been profiled on the front page of the local state paper and had 3 other news stories done on me as well. My alternative physicians did not know if I would even live let alone get better and I figured out that if I did want to live, the only one who was eventually going to help myself was me, so I went back to school in both the UK and US by distance learning to study nutrition, biochemistry, herbalism, methylation issues and the like.

              DNA testing revealed a ton of singular polymorphisms in the methyl cycle and addressing those really helped more than just about anything else. I am still taking courses but I also gather information anywhere I can find it as new stuff is always coming out.

              For me veganism just did not work. I could not eat the beans and grains and nuts needed to keep it varied enough to meet my high nutritional needs, plus, as I stated earlier, the mold in the grains was completely intolerable and I also could not keep my blood sugar level. There is more to it but too much to go into now. Lets just say I am lucky to be alive. I have recently moved to AZ to get away from climate mold (the northeast was horribly moldy) and am hoping the dryer climate will help my system to recover enough that I will be able to add more nuts and seeds and fruits to my diet (And yes, maybe grains as well. I do so MISS oatmeal!)

              I find both the vegan and paleo camps to be very judgemental and both sides unwilling to look at any data that does not support their belief systems.

              Humans have adapted to and lived on varied diets for centuries, if not millenia, but research seems to highly suggest that it is our switching to a diet of highly processed and chemically grown and polluted foods (including now toxic GMO’s) that is fueling such an epidemic of allergies, leaky gut, and chemical and food sensitivities. Not to mention our polluted air and environments.

              Some people thrive on veganism done with knowledge and expertise (Kris Carr of “Crazy Sexy Cancer” fame comes to mind as she is keeping her liver cancer in check with this type of diet, wisely using vegan protein powders and supplements ), and some people seem to need close to a paleo diet to stay well (Dr. Terry Wahls come to mind getting herself out of a wheel chair, and putting her MS into remission with a paleo diet.), and others, like me, have a diet that fits into no particular camp but works for me.

              Once one starts studying nutrition in depth, it becomes quite clear that no one diet is right for everyone, but staying away from processed chemically polluted foodstuffs, and sticking to real food and making sure that all your nutritional needs are met, (including the use of supplements where necessary to compensate for genetic snps loss of nutrients in food due to soil erosion and chemical fertilizers, should be common ground for both food camps instead of the bickering and childish “one-up-“that goes on now.

              Again, thanks for links, and also for your balanced posting.


              1. Great info, thanks! I have heard of the people you write about, but have not have any time to get to know their stories, so I am happy to learn about them a bit now. And also thanks for sharing your story. Sorry to hear it though. But glad you have taken charge of you health, as this is the way to go. A week ago I started on a three and a half year long nutritional bachelor-degree education, fueled by my own chronic illness in ulcerative colitis and thus interest in nutrition and health. The best way we can help others is from helping ourselves. Then why not share our knowledge by getting somekind of paper/degree which we can use?

                I am now so tired of this disease – especially now going to school and stuff – that I am now using something which I have kept for the last resort (because of its dangers in use, drawing stuff it comes in contact with into the body through the skin) called DMSO, which you probably have heard of. If no, then you should check it out to see if it could be a complementary adjunct for helping you, as it does so much good for the body. I use it in conjunction with colloidal silver (Argentyn 23 which I think is best) in a 50/50 solution to eradicate mycobacterium I suspect that I have living in my gut cells and which is causing the infection and bleeding.

                Why DMSO may help some of your symptoms may be because it seems to boost and ease immune functions as it can go through any cell membrane in the body and make it easier for macrophages, NK- and T-cells and the like to do their job.

                Regarding SBO (soil based organisms) I have tried and still take Kiki Body Biotics, AOR Probiotic 3 but the best have been Prescript-Assist. It halfed my toilet visits from 7-8 pr. day to 3-4. Which is I guess what you have tried, because it is the most promoted one, but in my case also the most effective one. I have not yet tried MegaSporeBiotic because you can only buy it from the US (and I live in Denmark in Europe) and have tried so many, I skipped this one, although it looks pretty neat. The only place I have found where you can buy it in the world, without having a doctor:

                The best lysate have been hands down the Del-Immune V. I can feel it, with even less toilet-visits and my chronic sinusitis seemed to behave strange, my ear closing like on an airplane – on and off – when taking Del-Immune V for the first 2 days. CytoFlora and Pro-Symbioflor – both lysates – I haven’t had any effect off. Russian Choice Immune is on the way in the mail, but should be the same or a bit less effective than Del-Immune V.

                Another thing you should check out – if not already done so – is Epicor. I have not had a measurable effect of it, but the discovery of its immune enhancing properties makes it very interesting.

                If you have done DNA analysis, I guess I shouldn’t mention comprehensive stool analysis and parasitology test, as you surely must have checked that out already. I have thought about getting my genes tested to optimize my health and getting healthier, is there one you could recommend more than another? Thanks.

                Yeah and I agree with the clean, whole food bit. But since it doesn’t have a name or diet type designation in the common knowledge, I usually call it paleo, as I think that comes closest to the unprocessed whole food bit, and explain if people ask more about it.

                As it seems you have had your problems since birth, so you should probably take all the unfair advantages (there is a supplement from Dave Asprey called this, I like the name, so I used it here) you can, regarding health. That means – beside boosting immunity with lysates and things that have worked for you in the past – taking Vitamin C in bowel tolerance doses 2-3 times and megadoses (10-30.000 IU) of Vitamin D with cofactor vitamin K (full spectrum) so you can’t overdose it because of the cofactor, every single day, for the rest of your life, to boost your immunity. If you are not already doing this. I know I will.

                1. Hi Palmer,

                  Wow, starting a 3 1/2 year nutrition degree! And sorry to hear about your

                  own health struggles. DMSO is not something I want to try right now given

                  my severe chemical sensitivities, precisely due to its dangers in use. But

                  I will keep it in mind. Yes I do know of Argentyn 23. It is the only

                  colloidal silver that I feel is safe to use due to its very small particle


                  With multiple chemical sensitivities my immune system can be both under

                  effective and over reactive (autoimmune) but since addressing the snps in my

                  methyl cycle, my body cleaned out some long standing infections, including

                  viral and fungal. Because the cycle was not working and I could not make my

                  own neurotransmitters, nor repair my own DNA, and was taking synthentic

                  folic acid supplements, the build up of the synthetic folic acid (due to a

                  DHFR snp and more) inhibits natural killer cells. Also snps in the

                  methycycle can cause one to have trouble making new T cells, in particular,
                  T suppressor cells, which then causes the immune response to become more

                  heavily weighted in the direction of B cells. A B cell skewed individual has

                  the ability to respond by making antibodies (or autoantibodies)in high

                  numbers to attempt to overcome the T cell deficiency that fights infection

                  but the response in always over done. Hense the insane amount of allergies

                  and chemical and food sensitivities.

                  I also have snps in both types of MTHFR genes, as well as methionine

                  synthase, BHMT, PEMT, CBS, GAD and many more. Taking courses in Methyation

                  and nutrigenomics and addressing these snps made a world of difference. Not

                  cured by any means but so much better than before.

                  “The proper functioning of the methylation cycle is essential for a number

                  of critical reactions in the body. Consequences of genetic weaknesses

                  (mutations) in this pathway are increased risk factors leading to a number

                  of serious health condition…defects in methylation lay the appropriate
                  groundwork for the further assault of environmental and infectious agents

                  resulting in a wide range of
                  conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, thyroid dysfunction,

                  neurological inflammation,
                  diabetes, chronic viral infection, neurotransmitter imbalances,

                  atherosclerosis, cancer, aging,
                  schizophrenia, decreased repair of tissue damage, improper immune function,

                  neural tube defects,
                  Down’s syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, ADD, ADHD, Huntington’s disease,

                  Parkinson’s disease,
                  Alzheimer’s, and autism. Appropriate supplementation with vitamins and

                  nutrients will bypass these
                  mutations to allow for restored function of the pathway.”



                  I think it is very worth your while to look into whether or not you have

                  significant snps in this critical pathway. And since so many people do,

                  there is a good chance you may as well

                  Here is Dr. Ben Lynch’s site on methylation defects. He is the top

                  researcher in this area right now and it is his nutrigenomic courses that I



                  You can get genetic testing through the website 23andme,

                  without a doctor’s prescription, and yes you can do it from overseas in

                  Europe as it is done with a saliva sample in a kit they send you. When the

                  results are done, you can download them from the site but the format is in

                  sort of gobbly gook. But you punch in the results file at two other

                  websites and if you know how to read the code (I do) you can easily see what

                  gene snps you might have for creating the enzymes that run the methyl and

                  other cycles and then begin to address bypassing them with the right

                  nutrients in the right forms.
                  At least a perfunctory knowledge of biochemistry is defiinitely useful here.

                  Yes, Prescript Assist was indeed the SBO supplement that I tried. My twin

                  did wonderfully on it but at least at first try I did not seem to do so

                  well. But I might have been having some really bad days, so I am going to

                  try it again. If I still have a bad time with it I will try some of the

                  ones you suggest, definitely.

                  I really do not have toilet issues anymore unless I get exposed to

                  formaldehye and even then I have less of a problem than I use to since

                  getting the candida under control and addressing the methyl cycle. I also

                  don’t get sick anymore. I use to get 3-4 serious respiratory infections

                  every winter but once I addressed the methyl cycle snps, these are gone for

                  the most part because I am able to mount an immune response and repair my

                  DNA a lot better.

                  The Del-Immune looks very promising. I checked it out. Epicor is made with

                  bakers yeast so I would not be able to go near it. I am homozygeous for the

                  MAO gene as well, which makes me very sensitive to ferments due to the

                  hisamine and other amines in them. MAO means Monoamine oxidase and it is

                  the enzyme that helps break down histamine and other amines like dopamine.

                  It finally made sense to me when I found out I was homozygeous for MAO as to

                  why I could never tolerate fermented foods or yogurt. Until then I was just

                  beating myself up for not knowing why I could not tolerate these seemingly

                  healthy foods full of probiotics and had to constantly resort to pill

                  supplements. Now I know and I do not beat myself up for it anymore. I just

                  take extra co-enzyme B2 (the enzyme’s cofactor) and just stay glad the

                  probiotic supplements are out there (so far).

                  To address the other things you said in your post, I agree that the word

                  paleo has sort of gotten a bad rap. To my understanding to most people it

                  means a high-meat high-saturated fat diet, and really sort of what it

                  basically means is REAL food,including plenty of fruits and veggies (It is

                  not an Atkin’s diet) and including starchy root veggies. Grains and legumes

                  are usually eliminated because it is believed that they are too far up the

                  evolutionary latter and problematic for that reason.

                  But plenty of traditional societies have eaten whole rice, oats,legumes, and

                  wheat with no problems and excellent health. I think the problems with

                  grains started with refining them and then with altering them (like your

                  post with wheat), then with the over eating of them to the exclusions of

                  veggies and fruits, and also with the over use of antibiotics and gut

                  dysbioses. Now we have all sorts of people that cannot tolerate various

                  grains and have to be on specific carbohydrate or low Fodmap diets and the

                  population is plagued with an epidemic of gut and immune disorders. Legumes

                  are very high in FODMAPs (meaning a fermentable type of carb that ferments

                  easily in the gut) as well as moldly when dried. I still have to limit

                  frozen lima beans.

                  Also yeast overgrowth might be another one of the reason for the upswing in

                  celiac disease (along with the mirad of alterations to modern wheat, non of

                  them good) See:


                  Yes I do take Vitamin C to bowel tolerance (which got much much lower once I

                  addressed my genetic snps). I also find out I have snps on the gene that

                  codes for Vitamin D receptors so I take a hefty dose of vitamin D.

                  Lastly, good for you for going for your 3 12 year BS in nutrition! Someday I

                  hope to be able to get a degree but for now the financial cost is just way

                  too high and my health would not be able to stand the strain. My twin does

                  have a Ph.D. in nutrition education. However, for me I had to settle for a

                  multitude of fully government accredited (Level 4) Diplomas in Clinical

                  Nutrition, and other Nutrition Therapy disciplines from both the US and UK.

                  So instead of going for a degree that would include nutrition, anatomy and

                  physiology, pathology, biochemistry,etc. I opted for separate diplomas in

                  all of these supplemented with self-study.

                  I have no desire to be an RD. And non-RD nutrition degrees are very limited

                  in the US as the RD’s have lobbied to have laws enacted in most states that

                  limit licensing and the practice of nutrition counseling to only RD’s. I

                  find the RD industry sponsored control of the curriculum not to my liking

                  (too many courses in institutional food management (not Clinical Nutrition)

                  and their endorsement of so many highly processed and GMO foods a sell out

                  to real nutrition education. So I am limiting my search to England,

                  Austrailia, Ireland etc.

                  I am presently looking at an Advanced Diploma in Nutritional Medicine from

                  Australia which is a 3 year Advanced Diploma with the option of one last

                  year at Uni to complete a degree, but I am still also looking into a way to

                  get credit for the Diplomas I already have (YEARS of study!) so I won’t have

                  to take so many courses all over again, and I still have to find one that I

                  can do all by distance education.

                  I also do not regret one bit all my Certificates and Diplomas in Herbal

                  Medicine as it gives me an edge in evaluating all the many (often dubious)

                  claims of herbal supplement manufacturers because I know what is in the


                  Keep learning, keep questioning, and keep posting! And again, good luck in

                  your university studies.


                  1. Wow. Overwhelming and amazing stuff at the same time.

                    It seems that checking the DNA is what I should be doing, as I haven’t though it would make that much a difference as you write about. I have heard about it before, but functional medicine doctors have said that they used it as a last resort, to check their patients DNA, when everything else have failed. I have also seen this video last year:
                    • Methylation: How 1 Carbon Affects Your Brain, Your DNA and Everything
                    and liked as it contained amazing stuff, but can’t remember anything from it anymore. Also, I didn’t know that methylation had a direct connection to epigenetics – as is the only way we can affect our genes – more precisely – through gene expression, so it is pretty cool stuff, to say the least. I knew about epigenetics but didn’t about the methylation bit and how it can affect it, before I read what your wrote. (And of course we can affect the genes of our microbes as well aka. replace them.) I will now seriously consider doing the test. Thanks. Really glad to hear you have had so much good come out of it as well.

                    Re. FODMAPs I just want to mention – but I think that you know this as well – that it depletes bifidobacteria, which is not good, but GOS (galactooligosaccharide) repletes them or if on the low FODMAP diet, it can keep them alive and it is not a FODMAP.. I have had problems taking most prebiotics but when taking Bimuno and raw potato starch first thing in the morning, I think I have had succes moving bugs to my large intestine aka. resolved SIBO. When taken before food, these prebiotics works as a transport mechanism which bacteria can use.
                    • Fermentable Carbohydrate Restriction Reduces Luminal Bifidobacteria and Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Patients with Irritable Bowel Syndrome
                    • “Healthcare Professionals could consider the use of Bimuno IBAID as it is structurally different to FODMAPs.”
                    • Galactooligosaccharide
                    “They do not contribute to flatulence and gastrointestinal discomfort, when taken at the recommended dose. For this reason, they are not classed as FODMAPs and should not be restricted on the low-FODMAP diet, contrary to fructose, fructans and alpha-linked galactose-containing oligosaccharides such as those found in various legumes and beans.”

                    I hear ya re. becoming an RD. I haven’t gone mad either. :-) I would like to help to make supplements that help people or be working with farmers or growers to grow as nutritionally packed and healthy produce as possible, reviving forgotten food crops, and the like. Not even mentioning how brainwashed – as you mention yourself – you have to be to tolerate the profession and to get accepted by parroting what the teachers want to hear (which really is the lobbyism shining through, as you also mention). I didn’t know that RDs are pushing GMOs in the Sates, but I am not surprised either. Crazy. Denmark is luckily the country where most people and institutions, schools, nursing and elder homes use organic food in Europe (, but unfortunately because of the famous danish butter and export and because the dairy lobby as strong that it is, they push toxic, cancerous aka. pasteurized, homogenized, A1 beta casein, medicated, corn-fed, cow-milk products down peoples throats. ( I have no idea yet how I will cope with this through my education, but I know I will have to try to suppress it and only slightly mention it in a low and soft voice if at all.

                    Thanks for the good wishes. Good luck to your educational choices as well. It is nice to see that you have that many options regarding where to take your education around the world. And I’ll check the book you suggested, thanks. Take care.

                    1. Wow, thanks for the links of Bimuno and the rest. Going to look into trying some right now.
                      I did not mean to imply that somehow your educational choice was wrong. Yes, I get it, I know you did not go mad just by your posts. Many people go for the RD degree in the US, swallow what they have to swallow in in terms of bad nutrition advice, and then go on to use the degree to do the kind of nutritional counseling that they know is right anyway. Some get in serious trouble for it but many more just manage to stay off the radar. And the basic sciences are still worth it.
                      I did not know that Denmark was so into organic foods. Good for them despite the dairy lobbying. Most countries will have to come around eventually as the public is demanding pure unadulterated food because the public is tired of getting sick.
                      Just from your posts, I have no doubt that you will use your degree very well! A lot of hard work that will pay off in the end.

                2. PS/ I highly recommend the book “No More Heartburn: Stop the Pain in 30 Days–Naturally! : The Safe, Effective Way to Prevent and Heal Chronic Gastrointestinal Disorders” by Environmental Medicine Physician Sherry A. Rogers MD
                  Addresses Colitis and every sort of gut disorder that you can think of. Great book. Also do look into seeing if you have methylation gene snps. See my other reply to you below.

    8. Hi, I’ve been on a raw food life style to just over a year, so still very new to all the complexities! But part of what I have learned, is that we humans have very long digestive systems, compared to a traditional meat eater, say for instance a dog that only has a ‘short chain ‘ internally. Do when a dog eats animal food, it’s short chain allows much speedier expellation of the waste from its body. However, as us humans have small intestines & large intestines, so much more slower. So potentially meat fish etc rots within your body. I was an average sort of meat eater historically, but having researched why we should be raw foodists, I’m horrified about my previous diet. This is awful, coz I always cooked homemade foods , & kept away from oven ready or microwave food, so I THOUGHT I was eating healthily, how wrong could I be? Since the raw food lifestyle I have lost 28lb & no longer need to take meds for oesophageal reflux- hooray! I just need to chance on the right foods to take away my chronic migraines, then I truly will have my life back ;)
      Hope the above info helps you, or at least anyone that reads it. I know I might not have put my points across in an academic way, but as long as you all understand w’chair I mean, then it’s cool. If you want a more in depth understanding of the subject, there are documentaries on YouTube!
      Good luck & good health, from a raw foodist in England ;)

      1. Sorry to read about your chronic headaches but happy to read about your other successes. It is important to have the correct diagnosis. I had occasional patients who thought they had migraines but whose headaches were actually due to muscle skeletal issues usually in the upper neck, eye muscles or Temp/Mandibular joint area. For migraines the most success my patients had was to follow a low tyramine diet. Tyramine is a normal breakdown product of the amino acid Tryptophan. It is in many foods especially processed foods. It goes up in leftovers. You should be able to find a good low tyramine on line. There are some plant foods that are high in tyramines. I found each person was a bit different and it can be dose dependent. I’ve had patients who can eat a small amount of chocolate but going above a certain amount triggered a migraine. I had one patient that peanuts were a trigger, another was meat tenderizer. It is helpful to keep a food diary and track what you are eating at look particulary at foods/drinks consumed 24 hours prior to a headache. This is easier with a lower frequency of headaches where you have longer asymptomatic periods. We also have a variety of drugs which can be helpful but I always felt best about having the patient avoid triggers and minimizing medication. Given the complicated nature of chronic headaches especially chronic migraines it is important to work with your health care provider(s) to find out what works for you and make sure the diagnosis is correct. Good luck!

        1. Just in case it helps someone: before WFPB, I used to regularly experience episodes of pain-free migraines. Weird jazzy lines, quite beautiful, but accompanied by a dulling heaviness and blind spots …not pleasant. As soon as I changed diet those events became history.

      2. In line with Dr Forrester, my allergist suggested I try eliminating overly ripe banana and avocado. I dropped my daily banana for breakfast and avocado for lunch and my daily ocular (vision based) migraines stopped. I have since found I can enjoy small amounts of these if they are not too ripe. Both foods have high levels of tryramine when ripe. Other foods, especially meats and cheeses do too.

        Good luck to you finding what to avoid for your triggers.

    9. No disrespect intended Peter, but these are ideas of people with something to sell and not real science. Food fads come and go and tend to pander to the tastes of the majority and/or benefit some facet of industry. Within any population there may certainly be some who will have issues with any food, but to extrapolate that to the broader population is just ridiculous. Proof bears out quite the opposite of what you state… legumes and grains are healthful, life extending foods that are a vital part of the diet, and the leaky gut issue is a huge leap! There is so much we don’t know about the gut yet, that to attribute such a complicated issue to such a basic food is silly and simplistic at best. In the blogosphere, someone “discovers” an idea, and it gets recycled as “fact”, ad nauseum, within the same circles. Please, research the REAL science! I sure wish everyone would stop joining the latest club that adheres to what suits their taste, and listen to the message of this darn video! Gad!

    10. “Eliminating grains and legumes that cause leaky gut” –Oh, looks like you forgot something here.

      Eliminating grains and legumes… which are consumed by all modern day blue zone populations who enjoy the lowest rates of chronic disease and longest life/healthspans.

    11. I need to add something to the comments following yours. I am not a medical person so I can’t honestly blast you with the fact proving against the meat and dairy food. My personal experience – veganism is the best thing that happened to my health! Enough about me.

      I my home country, some 1-2 centuries ago, when people lived just from food they grew alone, monks in monasteries had to eat beans EVERY DAY, every meal! I suppose it’s quite boring at some point, but these guys lived looong lives, and we one of the healthiest in the nation back then. Bless them!

      And one last thing. I am starting to see the flaw in today’s science. It will always find one thing, and tomorrow it will be the reverse. The public will wonder which is true, and start to doubt everything. I believe in the past generations’ experience. Yes, people ate meat and dairy. Fine, BUT they ate it a few times a year. They just couldn’t afford it eat more. Meat was luxury, and rich people died young of gout and obesity, because they ate meat and dairy every day. Now, that’s wrong.

      My great grand-mother had a huuuuge garden will so much greens, roots and fruit trees. She had several chickens and a pig. For Christmas the pig would be slaughtered (I’m sorry, but they did it because the pig wouldn’t survive the winter, people were poor to build good barns for farm animals) and the meat will be eaten for several days. And that’s it. Throughout the year my great grand-mother would make homemade cheese (again, rarely. they had only one cow), and eggs from the chickens. That’s it guys! She was healthy with all her own teeth in her mouth to her last days. That’s what I believe in! I am tired of science chopping the food to its atoms trying to find how it affected the body. I know it’s about curiosity, but it confuses people so much that they get sick of it and stop caring. I read and watch only Michael Greger’s videos because they are short and very very informative, based purely on research. I love that!

    12. Grains and legumes are a crucial part of a health-promoting diet, as has been shown in thousands of scientific articles over the past several decades. They provide healthy doses of essential fibers – both soluble and insoluble – which promote gastrointestinal health, including autoimmune disease such as Crohn’s, as seen in Preventing Crohn’s Disease with Diet. On the contrary, the saturated fats found in animal products promote leaky gut (among other chronic diseases). A single meal that is high in animal fat can cause inflammation immediately in the body, leading to endotoxemia, which causes the gut lining to become leaky. See Leaky Gut Theory of Why Animal Products Cause Inflammation for more information.

    13. The evidence on plant based diets in the promotion of health and disease prevention is vast and has stood the test of time over many years of research (much of which you will find on this web site). I do not negate your your concerns as you’ve listed but I am yet to see solid repeated research in this area. On the other hand, take a look at this very nice outline done by Dr Greger comparing the paleo diet to vegetarian diets. The answer seems to be quite obvious. Will the Real Paleo Diet Please Stand Up?

    14. The evidence on plant based diets in the promotion of health and disease prevention is vast and has stood the test of time over many years of research (much of which you will find on this web site). I do not negate your your concerns as you’ve listed but I am yet to see solid repeated research in this area. On the other hand, take a look at this very nice outline done by Dr Greger comparing the paleo diet to vegetarian diets. The answer seems to be quite obvious. Will the Real Paleo Diet Please Stand Up?

  3. The evidence is clear that a well-planned whole food, plant-based diet is best in terms of one’s own long-term health. In practice, however, you never see primitive cultures eating a vegan diet. This observation is likely due to the limitation of (plant) foods available to those cultures which could provide them essential nutrients In terms of getting satisfactory essential nutrients, one needed access to animal foods, especially in the colder climates where there vegetable growing was limited. A slice of 68g of beef liver has %DVs of 431% vitamin A, 137% Riboflavin, 60% Niacin, 800% Vitamin B12, and other important minerals.

    Some nomadic tribes have subsisted on horse milk, blood and meat and would dislike being “tied to the ground” by horticulture. While reports say they were fit and active until old age, there is no documentation or studies on their arterial health. It’s unclear how long these people actually lived because infant mortality is much higher among those groups and as a result, drop the life expectancy down dramatically.

    For these reasons, I prefer to look at existing societies today that have the best longevity statistics like in Okinawa, Japan. There’s no question humans have adapted to eat a variety of foods, but when longevity and well-being are in one’s best interest, I’ll be sticking to plants.

    1. The problem with looking to primitive societies that exist today as a means of trying to understand where we came from (and for some people, to therefore justify our habits today), is that these societies are products of their environments, and many of their environments are marginal to say the least. This is why they can maintain their primitive existence without disruption from the rest of society – they don’t live in places many others seek to be. These marginal lands are tough places, where no doubt these cultures NEED to eat animals in order to get adequate calories.
      However, that is hardly an argument for someone living where they have full access to fresh and nutritious plant based foods all year round. Plant Positive ( has some amazing work explaining why we shouldn’t use models of these marginalized societies, or of assumed genetic or evolutionary requirements to determine our eating habits (one being that genes are passed on only by those that live long enough to procreate, and are not affected by the longevity of that individual – it just isn’t important for “survival of the fittest” in the evolutionary sense). On the other hand, we should look to what the mass body of scientific knowledge points to as a method of maintaining optimal health.

        1. Maureen: Here is what people need to know about arachidonic acid:

          Food is a package deal. You may get adequate B12 from animal products (not all meat eaters get enough), but you also get all the risk for the leading causes of death and disease in western society. You might be able to get B12 from dirty water and dirty veggies, but then you risk life threatening diseases like cholera. B12 is not an issue of plant vs meat eating. B12 is an issue of living in a sanitary, safer society than our ancestors. The safe and sure way to get B12 today is from an inexpensive supplement. Taking B12 from a supplement is not an argument to eat meat, unless you don’t care about heart disease, diabetes, cancer, etc. For more information about B12 and putting the issue into perspective:

    2. There is information on the nomadic tribes who eat mainly meat and it is not good with regard to obesity, gout and heart disease.

      “These findings suggest that the diet of these nomadic pastoralists of the Central Asian Steppes was almost exclusively animal based, virtually devoid of grains, legumes and refined carbohydrates. This should make these populations also suitable to study the hypothesis that naturally raised animal foods protect against cardiovascular disease. However, not only did Kuczynski observe that these nomadic pastoralists suffered from high rates of obesity and gout similar to the Mongols of the 13th century, Kuczynski’s observations further extended to the diagnosis of cardiovascular disease and other dietary related disorders. Kuczynski asserted:

      They get arteriosclerosis in an intense degree and often at an early age as shown by cardiac symptoms, nervous disordes, typical changes of the peripheral vessels, nephrosclerosis and, finally, apoplectic attacks. Even in men thirty-two years old I frequently observed arcus senilis.32

      It was also observed that in the 1960s the prevalence of coronary heart disease among the nomadic pastoralists in Xinjiang in northern China who consumed large quantities of animal fat from grass-fed, free-ranging animals was more than seven times higher than that of other populations both within Xinjiang and throughout China which consumed significantly less animal fat.33 These observations support the suggestion that cardiovascular disease was common among the Mongols of the 13th century who subsisted almost exclusively on a diet based on grass-fed, free-ranging animals.”

  4. One argument for the meat-based paleo diet is that yes, we ate plants as apes but we REALLY started to evolve and get smart (use tools, etc) once we started eating more meat/fat. Thoughts?

      1. Thanks Mark! I hadn’t seen that Nature follow up study. However, I think in this case, the point of “just because we can doesn’t mean we should” is moot, as is “well neuroscience is still evolving,” since both those are irrelevant to people arguing that the diet we ate as we became more “human” is the most important diet to eat for “optimal” health. Do we have any ideas what caused the redirection of energy mentioned?

          1. That’s a great post, except that (note I’ve been vegan for years) whether or not it is correlation or causation, the fact that are GI tracts got smaller hypothetically could be argued that thus our “optimal” diet is not in line with apes, but rather the more meat-heavy diet that our more recent ancestors may have eaten (“calorie dense”).

            1. It also could just be a response to the fact that our foods got a lot more calorie dense and easier to eat. Which could be also explained by things like cooking.
              I think it’s great to never lose your skepticism! The great thing for me about being on a WFPB diet is that I’ve never seen a convincing argument against it, no matter how much scrutiny I put it under, it always comes out the healthiest way to live.
              If you have the time, check out (someone else linked it above too)

              Basically the site is a treasure trove of videos by a scientifically-literate skeptic who was once considering trying the Paleo diet, and who decided to really do his due diligence and look at the evidence. If you ever want to be able to counter the arguments of people who talk about how great Paleo is: that website has the facts to demolish every argument, every “study” and every “expert” you will find supporting Paleo. Even the author himself was surprised at the relative lack of any credible scientific response to his work by supporters of paleo (they just called him a crazy vegan propagandist).

        1. not sure about your question regarding energy IIana as my area is more in the moral and ethical aspects of veganism. as far as the optimal diet, i still feel strongly that it is never justifable to use another sentient being as a means to one’s own end. veganism is about MUCH more than a mere dietary choice-it is about non-violence and adherence to the Golden Rule for ALL species, as opposed to limiting our compassion and concern to a select few. how can we ever be truly healthy if we are exploiting and brutally murdering innocent, helpless others?

          1. Mark, I completely agree with you!! However, when arguing with paleo dieters, they don’t care about that. They argue that eating an “optimal” diet full of meat and lacking in grains eliminates all sorts of diseases/health issues and that is more important than any animal or environmental concerns. (My personal opinion is that most people who go on a “paleo” diet lose weight quickly and feel better in the short run because they are essentially eating less processed crap, but it does not prevent/reverse any diseases, as shown on this site obviously. Personally, I’m vegan for all the reasons – health, environmental, and compassion.)

            1. I read a few weeks ago that it was the introduction of calorie-dense foods in our diets (i.e. cooked starches, especially tubers) that had that impact on our brains. Besides, the expensive tissue hypothesis is still under debate.

    1. Not exactly. All large populations of trim, healthy people, throughout verifiable human history, have obtained the bulk of their calories from starch. Examples of once thriving people include Japanese, Chinese, and other Asians eating sweet potatoes, buckwheat, and/or rice, Incas in South America eating potatoes, Mayans and Aztecs in Central America eating corn, and Egyptians in the Middle East eating wheat. There have been only a few small isolated populations of primitive people, such as the Arctic Eskimos, living at the extremes of the environment, who have eaten otherwise. Scientific documentation of what people have eaten over the past thirteen thousand years convincingly supports this claim.

      1. I’ve seen that as well, but I’ve heard a corollary argued that learning to cook allowed us to eat meat (because we can’t really digest raw meat), and thus get bigger brains, etc etc.

        1. IIana: I don’t necessarily buy the argument, but let’s say for the sake of argument that I do buy into the idea that eating meat played a part in allowing humans to get bigger brains. The theory is that we needed more calories to support these huge brains of ours. (Side note: I saw on TV the other day that human brains have shrunk something like 10%? over the last 5,000 years. Now, *that’s* something to think about.)

          Even if true, it is still a huge fallacy in my opinion to conclude that eating meat is necessary or healthy for humans to do today. If eating meat in the past was a trade off to get bigger brains, but lower life expectancy, then we can have the best of both worlds today by getting those extra calories from cooked healthy foods instead – ie, foods that don’t increase our risk of crippling disease and early death – ie, whole plant foods.

          That would be my response to the theoretical argument.

          1. That’s a really good point! The video mentions the short lifespan such that they wouldn’t have noticed the problems that would arise after eating a meat heavy diet for several decades. You’re right that MAYBE it helped us evolutionary wise at that point in time, but our GI tract never actually adapted. The argument that our GI tract IS better adapted to a meat heavy diet than otherwise (ie the paleo argument) empirically isn’t true since we DO obviously get high cholesterol.

        2. I’m not trying to be a jerk, but I think cooking meat has more to do with killing undesirable organisms and preservation than it does digestibility? I know the “cannibals” in my family almost all prefer their meat “still mooing”, just briefly seared, but totally raw in the middle and barely warm. I would remind them it was risky behavior and they would remind me I ate sushi. Touche! (Maybe twice a year, if that, but still…guilty!) But in fact I was told and have read that searing meat actually contributes to creating additional harm by the chemicals formed in reaction to combustion. Steak tartare and other raw treats would probably be a lot more popular if it weren’t for the risks of infection involved, but I am pretty sure raw meat is digestible, and may even be more digestible than when it is cooked. I’m sure not the expert though, since I don’t even eat it!

    2. It has not been determined whether the increase in calories came from meat or starches. Starches like tubers and grains were easier to catch and gather, so I’m comfortable assuming meat made up very little of what was eaten. Chimps kill and eat each other, they don’t need to be on the ground to find meat. They just don’t eat meat often at all.

  5. What about grains and starches? Are they less essential parts of the human diet compared to other vegetables and fruit? Repost of my question in a different forum: Starch and grain foods are vehemently rejected by both the Paleo and raw plant food diets. However, one of the most successful medical dietitians Dr. John McDougall, not to mention the many famous researchers and doctors in his circle (Dean Ornish, for example) place starch and grain foods at the center of their diet regimes. McDougall argues that civilizations were all constructed via the energy provided by starch foods (which includes grains). The implication is that cooking food also plays an essential role in human nutrition. (Raw plant foodists include Douglas Graham, Loren Lockman, and others.) So, the question is rather simple: Is optimal human health attainable with or without starch and grain foods? Optimal health means living without degenerative diseases or other maladies for as long as possible.

    1. Early in our history man did not eat meat, however he did not eat grains and legumes, either. If we don’t do well on meat because it wasn’t our “first food”, maybe we don’t do well on grains and legumes, either.

      1. Why? Grains and legumes are plants, meat isn’t. They two very different things, no? Also, it’s easy to imagine ancient man coming upon some natural pea-pod like plants or tubers like sunchokes and eating those raw, and eventually cooking them.

    2. Whole grains are all from the grass family. We, as people, are from grass and our biggest invention in the history of our planet and the rise of humans as articulate life has been to domesticate grass crops. Are we farmers, or are we servants of the grass we keep? Corn, rice, and wheat feed half the world. In parts of the world to eat literally means to eat rice. Barley, oats feed much of the rest of the world, rye, sorghum, and millet almost 90 percent of it. Yet, 40 percent of Americans will never eat a whole grain. Almost all, 98 percent, are not getting the daily minimum. Eating the recommended minimum 48 grams of whole grains daily can reduce your risk of heart disease by more than one third and reduce your risk of diabetes by 18 percent. Most sweetened breakfast cereals are now made from whole grain. I think suggesting grains are bad for us is bad policy and is counter to the recommendations of medicine and this site, which suggest putting a priority on getting fiber, whole grain, and nine servings of fresh fruits and vegetables. Any diet that would involve getting this fiber, whole grain, and nine servings of fresh fruit and vegetables would really fill a gap given deficiencies in our current diet. Whole grains should not be shunned because they are modern. Should we not write because it is not based on primates? Should we not speak on theology because it is not a mating call? I think rather the invention of grain makes us better as a species that has evolved rather than worse. Milled grain, however, is a step backward as are refined fiber sources like beans. Many animals like us would love to eat grass seeds until they are blue in the face. It is just as biological to like fried sweets as it is to like crushed wild grain seed, the crushed moldy grain seed would be easier on the teeth and may taste better. Animals that could force feed themselves whole grass seed probably live longer. How about a diet based on fruit, or even specific kinds of fruit, the ones that were made to be eaten by animals, things like lemons and berries? Why is there no fruit designed to satiate all animal needs including protein? It seems the plants want us to keep a clean ecosystem for them by eating the things that hurt them. Whole grains can be part of a whole ecosystem diet.

      1. Why are we “from grass”? I thought we were from reptiles from the sea. Anyway. Before, crops, I imagine we were eating tubers, where are high in starch. So, maybe those were are our initial engine for development, and maybe not even in “crop like” harvesting, but just digging them up where they grow naturally. I get your point though. Second item: Reduce your risk for all those disorders if… if you’re eating what? What if you’re a fruitarian, as Doug Graham is… Will eating grains improve your profile then? He and many like him claim it’s not so. (I’m searching for a way to reply to those people.) I am starched based but I don’t have a strong reply to the raw crowd who seem to do well without grains/starches/cooked food. I’d like some insight on this issue. Thanks.

        1. Every major geographic region of people seemed to have co-evolved with a grass crop. Northern Eurasians with Oats, American Indians with corn (maize), people from the holy land with barley and wheat, Asians with rice, anyway these grains or grass crops were part of what tamed us before we could sample from all of them. Our ancestors would note that we had many cultural traditions with these crops, and the fact that we do not today may be at our peril. America is primarily a corn growing country. We now also grow a lot of soy, which is not available in the grocery store perhaps at our misfortune. I think whole grain is very nutritious and is in many ways like a bean and has similar benefit on health if eaten long term. If you eat whole grain every day (at least 48 grams) you can reduce your risk of almost every chronic disease including Alzheimer’s (it is believed) and stroke. Six to 11 servings of whole grain are recommended what if they were all whole grain and 160 grams to 300 grams of whole grain were eaten by the world everyday? This would lead to a much healthier future. Beans, nuts, matcha, cocoa, whole grain, berries, fresh fruit and vegetables, and spices are recommended by this site for long life and can be used proactively to battle expected disease at any age.

          1. The neolithic revolution has been a doubled-edged sword, though. Agriculture enabled an unprecedented population growth but also brought severe malnutrion for many generations, until we finally adopted the crop to our nutritional needs and our own genome to the crop. Moreover, the need for fertile soil to feed the growing population, the division of labour and the hierarchical society growing out of it initiated the period of human warfare. With the transition from the paleolithic to the early neolithic era, avarage life-expectancy dropped by almost by half from a 30-odd to a mere 20 years due to those hardships, and only fully recovered about 10,000 years later, in the classical antiquity, to its former figure, to finally rise again steeply with the onset of industrialization in the 19th century. So much for the romantization of any former period of human history.

        2. In Mark Plotkin’s book, the Omnivore’s Dilemma, he states that Americans are made of half corn, or half of the Carbon in their body was derived from corn, which has been determined both by calorie counts as well as by the C14 ratio of Corn as a C4 crop. If half of the carbon, the skeleton of our skeleton, of our life, is from one crop, I would say we are intertwined with grain. Most of the phosphorous in our bones and the carbon in our bodies is from soda. Corn Syrup and Phosphoric acid. Americans are very reliant on corn. We, eating a diversity of whole grain, could be better insulated against disease. The productivity of grain is tied to the development and framework of our culture.

    1. I feel like maybe a magazine article about a single woman’s opinion doesn’t quite hold the same weight in a debate as the body of medical research done over the decades pointing to plants as the dietary indicator of health and longevity, across all factors like gender, nationality, or level of activity. Nutrition is not the only health factor: this woman may be fortunate enough to have lived a long life full of social support, exercise, and adequate rest, and a lack of environmental toxins (like pesticides, car exhaust, or cigarettes) – and may be blessed with some amazing genes.

      1. Thank you for your predictable response. Why is it when meat eater live a long life it’s due to lucky genes, yet vegans living to age 100 is due to diet?

        1. Because anecdotes are meaningless when you can look at more data? The analogy goes like this:

          If you smoke and get lung cancer, smoking killed you. if you didn’t smoke and get lung cancer, you had really bad luck. If you did smoke and didn’t get lung cancer, you had really good luck. The existence of lifelong smokers without cancer doesn’t disprove that smoking causes cancer.

          There is good luck and bad luck, and you can’t control for it… but if you do something that is actively bad for you and get a good result, you were probably just very lucky. If you do something that is actively good for you, and get a good result… that’s probably just the result of your healthy choices.

          There are also false equivalencies. People who live to 100 are fairly rare. Meat eaters are common, vegan/vegetarians are not very common. If you can find a 1:100 ratio of vegan to carnivorous centenarians… the vegans would still be dramatically over-represented statistically.
          You can also make fun arguments based on silly things like this: The term vegan itself is from 1944… a child born and raised vegan in lets say 1945 would only be 70 years old now… Therefore we don’t really have any life-long vegans who are 100 years old. Now watch as you can find someone arguing that this means that vegans aren’t healthier, because there aren’t’ any people who were born and raised vegan who lived to 100.

        1. That is quite an old presentation by Dr. Greger. There has been a lot more studies done since then, particularly the Adventist studies:

          The more recent 25 year follow-up of the Mormons may allow for a more informative comparison, as like the Adventist study, it included both men and women from California, and examined the effects of other lifestyle factors on mortality. Mormon men and women over the age of 25 with four favorable lifestyle factors associated with significantly reduced mortality were expected to live about 9.8 and 5.6 years longer, respectively, compared to U.S. whites.8 In comparison, vegetarian Adventist men and women over the age of 30 with three favorable lifestyle factors were expected to live about 13.2 and 8.9 years longer, respectively, compared to non-Adventist Californians whites.5 9 Compared to the average U.S. white however, this difference in life expectancy would be expected to be closer to about 14 and 10 years.7 However, and more importantly, a later paper on the Californian Adventists found that those who adhered to a vegetarian diet for at least 17 years were expected to live 3.6 years longer than those who adhered for fewer years.10 This suggests that when restricting the analysis to long-term vegetarian Adventists, the difference in life expectancy compared to the Mormons would be even greater.

        2. The video is about making sure you get enough b12…. which was the reason that vegans didn’t live longer.

          Whole-foods plant-based dieters are healthier and do live longer… this video does not contradict the science on that conclusion.

        3. Vegan does NOT mean Whole Food Plant Based Diet – that is the very point. Many vegans are such due to ethical reasons – not nutrition and health purposes, so there is no reason to assume a vegan will have good health (just a clear conscience ;)). Whole food plant based is specific and is key for health.

        4. Right, UNLESS, as he concludes and as is the point of his video, that one keeps homocystine down by taking B12 and making sure you get enough B6, folate and omega 3. Then vegans will exceed meat eaters.

        5. I haven’t watched that video for a while, but I believe the take-home message was that vegans need to take consumption of certain nutrients, like B12, seriously, or ignore them at their own peril. Healthspan is more important than lifespan, so “don’t live much longer” is still longer, and hopefully with good health until the end.

  6. This is essentially the same argument I made in my book Powered by Plants: Natural Selection and Human Nutrition which was published and made available on Amazon and given directly to Dr. Greger more than one year ago. This video also includes some of the same 300+ references I used to support the argument in Powered by Plants. However I went into far greater depth to document the many human biological adaptations to a plant-based diet.

    1. Don’t know about Methulselah…how about Daniel?

      “The first published report of a clinical trial has biblical origins. In the Book of Daniel, reference is made to the unwillingness of the Israelite Daniel to accept the diet offered by the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar. The king’s official had put a steward in charge of Daniel and his three friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego):”

      Daniel said to the steward . . . “Test your servants for ten days; let us be given vegetables to eat and water to drink. Then let our appearance and the appearance of the youths who eat the king’s rich food be observed by you, and according to what you see deal with your servants.” So he hearkened to themin this matter, and tested them for ten days. At the end of ten days it was seen that they were better in appearance and fatter in flesh* than all the youths who ate the king’s rich food. So the steward took away their rich food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables.”2

      * “Fatter in flesh” refers to better nourished, not being overweight.

      1. I have to object that this trial hasn’t been double-blind and placebo-controlled. Morever, the Book of Daniel is not an established, peer-reviewed journal (although it arguably has had quite an impact-factor).

  7. In the future Golden Age, that is very near, again drama is a cycle that constantly repeats every 5000 years, we are not here millions of years, human beings, called deities, eat flowers, fruits, grains and cow’s milk. There is no cooking there. All the food is eaten fresh and raw. Vegetables do not exist there. That world, that Paradise, is God’s creation. So you are able to compare how you are near to a one 100% healthy diet. Also, beside healthy diet, the most important for our complete healthy and happy life is our awareness or consciousness with whom we eat that food. When we keep awareness in our intellects that we are the human souls, the points of light, the spiritual brothers, and that we are children of only that one God, the Father, and that we eat only from His treasure store, we should say to God, thank you God that you sustain us then, our bodies will blossom with health and will be in excellent condition. There, the life span of deities were 150 years long. And they, those royal souls, leave their bodies in happiness after receiving, in advance, a vision of a new baby body they go in their next birth. Dead, useless bodies are cremated in a matter of seconds, by the press of a button, with the electric current and, what is the best, no soul cries there. Because, there are no vices there. That is the Land of Happiness.

  8. Otzi the Iceman, found frozen in the Alps, had hardened arteries and gallstones. Even his climbing mountains couldn’t protect him from heart disease. He had goat and grains for his last meal…

    1. He also had mushrooms on his person! These are very medicinal. Dr. Greger suggests in this website large white button mushrooms are very anti-cancerous and that an Asian population study found that one half cup of green tea a day and one half white button mushroom reduced breast cancer risk by 90 percent. Mushrooms are very medicinal. I everyday would like to know what his healing spices and worshiped plants were.

  9. Today one of Dr. Greger’s videos (top anti-inflammatory foods) is highlighted on a popular Paleo website– Congrats! I’ve been linking some of Dr. Greger’s videos in the comments section of for a few months now to help blend the discussion.

    1. Dr. Mercola is an interesting guy. He markets himself, with heavy emphasis on the word “markets”, as an anti medical establishment practitioner and as such embraces the pro-saturated fat, anti-grain wing of that movement. He goes far beyond diet, promoting, among other therapies, “earthing” and tanning beds, both of which he gladly offers in his store, along with his line of supplements. He also advocates intermittent fasting, a pattern of eating which I have adopted and one for which there is exists ample scientific evidence in favor of. One of his strengths, no pun intended, is exercise. He is the one who introduced me to whole body vibration exercise as well as brief high intensity training and super-slow resistance training. I find this type of activity preferable to slogging away on a treadmill for hours.

      1. You say there is scientific evidence for fasting so you fast. But FYI there isn’t for the “vibration” machines. Just saying.

  10. I always try to separate what I know from what I’ve been told. Pritikin, Ornish, Esslestyn Greger et al TOLD me that IF i changed to a whole foods, plant-based diet I could cure my heart disease. I KNOW that is true because I did switch and it DID CURE me. My clan has the worst possible genes for health (although we all pretty smart and good lookin) and I’m the one who, like PAM POPPER, decided not to go the way of my siblings.

    A lot of high falutin theory passes through here. If YOU are “in the trenches” facing a long list of “lifestyle diseases” I THINK you should try WFPB for 1 exact month and see if you, like me, decide to never go back. And you’ll be smarter and better lookin

    Hey you know I was just thinking about dogs. You know, they don’t live very long. Maybe that figures into their lack of atherosclerosis too. My cats get the chook eggs now. They be fine. How long does a lion live? How old is the oldest wild carnivore? Just wondering in case it turns out to be something smart to say.

    1. The bowhead whale is the Methuselah among the mammals. It feeds mostly on krill and other zooplancton and can reach an age of about 200 years (surprising that the marketers of krill oil haven’t come up with that yet, isn’t it? ;)
      The lobster eats a similar diet and may be, in fact, biologically immortal (although we really don’t know for sure).

    2. Regarding carnivores and omnivores (cats and dogs for example) while they are adapted to a diet that is low in antioxidants and other plant nutrients, and their lifespam is set by their genes, stills it is clear that oxidative damage gets them; anecdotally some of the oldest dogs in the world are following quasi vegan or vegetarians diets, being omnivores is not that hard to get them what they need, and as humans, seems to get less autodegenerative diseases.

      There are cases of vegan cats, with added taurine in their diet too, I would need to check more to see how they fare, in principle far less people would try this with them, because cats aren’t omnivorous… but after so many millennia with humans, we see them eating a lot of things other felines wouldn’t touch. In mammals, herbivores species tops the longest living species chart. Which makes sense.

  11. I’m waiting to hear Dr. Greger refute the scientific claims made by the Paleo folks. This video basically challenged the claim that Paleo best represents human traditional diet through history. Which history, he asks?

  12. I am curious about one thing. If as this video states that vegetables are the main diet (to which I agree) what about B12 – where did this come from. In other videos the Dr recommends taking a supplement,

    1. Good point. It serves to show that evolutionary human diets were largely but never exclusively plant-based. There are some precious nutrients – most importantly B12 – only animal foods provide. Hence, even chimpanzees consume about 5% of their calories from animal food, mostly insects but sometimes small mammals as well (incidentally, that matches with the 95% plant-based figure from the cited paper). They get additional B12 from the bacteria inhabiting the large intesttine by grooming, but that is probably not an option for most people.

    2. B12 can be found in soil, in untreated water sources, and in poop. That last one a popular source among some apes. All fantastic sources, but personally I prefer a weekly cherry chewable.

      1. B12 is not found in significant quantity in natural soil, unless it is agricultural soil fertilized with manure. It is a myth for which there is little factual evidence that “eating dust” can be significant, let alone reliable source of B12. Most herbivores meet their B12 need by grooming or even eating their feeces, like rodents do. I agree that cherry chewables are much preferable those natural vegan sources of B12 (except, perhaps, for those who are into some really gross sexual practices ;)

        1. “It is a myth for which there is little factual evidence that “eating dust” can be a significant, let alone reliable source of B12″

          I never claimed as such. However, there are indigenous soil microbes that produce/require B12. Also, animals tend to poop on the ground. Stating B12 is in soil and stating that soil can be considered a reliable source of B12 for humans are two separate non-mutually exclusive statements.

          1. Well, I said that regular dirt is not a significant or reliable source and hence cannot supply us with adequate amounts of B12, which you only half-ironically implied. My objection may seem nitpicky but I think it is not. There are many myths about B12 among vegans, unfortunately, and if those myths are uncritically believed, they may lead some people to forgo their B12 supplements and thus pose a real threat to their health.

            1. Seems like Timar hasn’t heard about all the cobalt supplements his meat’s been eating, so he thinks he’s getting his B12 from natural sources.

              1. Ah, here we have an example of someone uncritically believing in such myths and now suffering from paranoia induced by B12 deficiency. His paranoia drives him to think I would promote meat consumption!

                  1. Well, obviously cobalamin is named after the single cobalt atom at its center, but this has no biological significance whatsoever, because that tiny amount of elementary cobald (the molar mass of cyanocobalamin is a whopping 1355 g/mol, it is the largest and most complex of all vitamins) can never, ever be liberated in a biochemical reaction. Elementary cobalt is a highly toxic trace element that has indeed nothing to do with cobalamin. Next time, please try to educate yourself first and comment later.

                    1. It seems Timar is completely unaware that most pasture-based livestock farmers give their animals cobalt supplements in order to prevent B12 deficiency.

                    2. It seems that you are unware that one uses the second and not the third person when talking to someone.

                      Unlike other animals, ruminants have the ability to absorb the vitamin B12 produced by the bacteria in their rumen. The bacteria need traces of cobalt to synthesize B12. Some regions have soil low in cobalt as well as other trace elements (i.e. due to eluviation from ice age glaciers), so those trace elements have to be supplemented in order to keep the livestock healthy. Just as idodine has to be supplemented to people if they don’t eat seafood. There is nothing wrong about both.

                    3. So it seems that Timar has done a complete 180, initially stating that cobalt has nothing to do with B12, and now admitting that it is in fact essential for B12 synthesis in the animals he eats and that it is often given to those animals in supplemental form.

                      Of course when we take this fact into consideration, coupled with the fact that every factory farmed animal on the planet is given turd-loads of B12 supplements, we realise that the B12 status of meat-eating humans is greatly skewed by indirect supplementation. But for some reason this nice fact does not stop people like Timar from coming on this website and wagging a finger at vegans for taking B12 supplements !

                      Worse still, he compounds his buffoonery by stating that only ruminant animals have the ability to utilise trace elements to manufacture vitamin B12. Apparently he’s completely unaware that non-ruminant animals also have this ability. This study for instance ( found that cobalt supplementation significantly reduced hyper-homocysteinemia in pigs. Interestingly, nickel supplements had an even greater effect, not only reducing hyper-homocysteinemia but also significantly increasing B12 levels in the blood and liver.

                      Perhaps Timar’s most obscene blunder is his assertion that hominids do not speak to each other in the third person. Unfortunately for Timar I’ve been through the anthropological literature with a fine tooth comb and found absolutely no evidence that this is (or ever was) the case. Perhaps when Timar next graces us with his presence he’ll provide a citation to back up this claim. In the meantime I think I’ll add it to the now sky-high pile of B.S. theories put forth by him and his fact-shunning paleo brethren.

                    4. Well, maybe I was wrong about the B12 in your case (contrary to the impression your first comment gave, you seem to know a bit about it, so I guess you take your supplements) but then your conspicously aggressive and paranoid behaviour must have another cause. It is funny that you continue to suggest I would promote meat consumption, even calling me a “paleo breathen”, because I do not only eat an almost exclusively vegetarian diet (not that that this would matter much, though) but have in fact extensively argued against Paleo diets in this forum and even recommended the vegan site as a good source for dispelling paleo myths.

                    5. Well, I take a B12 supplement too. And I’m still puzzled why you address me with your moot point. What I wrote here certainly shouldn’t have left the impression that I would have a penchant for “apeal to nature” type of arguments.

                    6. Timar, I really don’t think there’s enough people still reading this thread to make it worth my while explaining matters further. I look forward to resuming this debate with you when this issue comes up again on one of the newer threads so that a wider audience will get to see how flawed your reasoning is. Until then, my very best wishes.

    3. I would say that vegetables are an important aspect of the diet. A diet of mainly vegetables that average 100 cal/pound may not provide enough calories unless other more calorie dense foods are consumed. Fruits at 300 cal/pound will help us get the calories we need but we may need more calories. This is where starches (complex carbohydrates) such as whole grains, corn, potatoes( 500 cal/pound), beans (600 cal/pound) and nuts (2800 cal/pound) can help us get the amount of fuel that we need. The other important factor is how much exercise and activity. Hopefully folks are getting the exercise along with good nutrition. There are many videos relating to the value of exercise for weight loss… cancer see and heart disease…

  13. First I’d like to second the thanks that has been mentioned recently to the site-keepers here for maintaining one of the few pleasant comment areas on the web. One tiny request though: a policy against religious spam/trolling? For instance paragraph long futuristic utopian sci-fi rants and comments from rabid evolution deniers. If this is a place that recognizes science and reality, there should be no qualms about requesting that comments also focus on science and reality, regardless of whether modern science and observable reality are at odds with any particular person’s favorite books.

    1. b00mer: I’ve been on the fence about those posts myself. I was hoping it would just go away as I’m not sure the posts break our rules. But I think you have a point. I will make a point of passing this concern this up the (plant) food chain and let staff decide how to handle it. Thanks for voicing your concern.

      1. I must have gotten up on the wrong side today…I strongly disagree! This is where the woo factor falls flat. Juxtaposed between the scientific study, scholarly analysis and real-life success stories, these wacky ideas are revealed for what they are. Afterall, what is our goal? Hearts and minds, literally!

        1. Coacervate and b00mer: Thanks to Tommasina, this matter has been taken care of in a permanent way. (Or as permanent as we can get.) At least for the specific poster that I believe we are talking about. Peace.

        2. They can be good for a laugh I suppose. I just wish they had provided more details. I’m left wondering if the baby cows get the benefits of reincarnation and automated no fuss cremation. I would imagine the deific futurehumans aren’t going to want to take time away from frollicking in the fields to take care of the bodies. WAIT, of course, I’m sure they’re magic virgin lactating cows. Or the baby calves live forever on fields aplenty, but then who gets poop detail?? Also, will the 5,000 year cycle be affected by climate change? So many questions. Maybe I need to attend the University??

            1. I had to luck this one up for you – you can google “brahma khumaris info” if you’re interested to see some of the top-notch creative writing we had before that commenter went bye bye.

              1. Boomer (and Thea and Tommasina)…I take back my high moralistic verbage. This outfit is so wacked out they should be on Laudenum or ludes dudes..

                Reminds me of Mark Twain when said: “High breeding consists of how much you think of yourself and how little you think of others. ak ak ak ak ak

  14. This video is great. I particularly enjoyed the dog explanation on cholesterol. I never knew that. Nutritionfacts makes me so smart!

    1. I was glad he shared that bit as well. I had heard it before phrased generally in terms of “carnivores”, but that always led me to imagine the work being done with cats, and it seemed like a jump in logic to me to go from cats are carnivores so humans are herbivores. What about true omnivores? Can they tolerate cholesterol? Well, apparently so. Amusing that some humans like to think of themselves as equally or even more omnivorous than dogs or bears.

      1. Hate to be nit-picky, but in anthropology as well as zoology, hominides are unequivocally classified as omnivores. This is not only based on by the digestive physiology (teeth, the proportion of the large vs. small intestine) but also on all recorded and archaeological history. No hominid population ever studied – be it homo, pongo, pan or gorilla, – has ever followed an exclusively plant-based diet, though most of them have eaten a largely plant-based diet most of the time, bordering on a herbivorous diet in the case of gorillas. Or own genus is a notable exeption in such that it is by far the most omnivorous of all hominid genera. Zoologic classification is based on factual observation, not on withful thinking. Fact is, humans are ominivores, or otherwise they wouldn’t have survived the hundred thousands of years until nutrient-dense plant foods and B12 supplements became widely available. This classification has nothing to do with the question whether today, one should eat a largely or even exclusively plant-based diet for optimum health up into old age. We are ominvores – period! – but we may still do better on a plant-based diet today.

        1. And cows are being fed cows, and works and make them grow faster… just the fact that a given species can digest any given food doesn’t change what they are. What matters is the anatomy and physiology. For example, the teeth you comment are for defensive purposes, not because of their diet.

          Take a look:

          1. An absurd straw man. We are talking about free living species in their natural environment, not about cows in feedlots or men in fastfood restaurants. Ask any renowned anthropologist or zoologist. Anthropologist notoriously have a hard time to agree on anything, but if there is something entirely uncontroversial it is the fact that humans are omnivores. Denying reality has never helped a good cause.

              1. It is no “theory”, it is reality. Go to any traditional living people in the world. Look up any archaeological record ever made about nutrition in past societies. People have eaten animal foods everywhere, always. Therefore, we are omnivores. The digestive physiology of course corresponds to that, but is really of little importance.

                1. “Humans are most often described as “omnivores.” This classification is based on the“observation” that humans generally eat a wide variety of plant and animal foods.*However, culture, custom and training are confounding variables when looking at human dietary practices. Thus, “observation” is not the best technique to use when trying to identify the most “natural” diet for humans. While most humans are clearly “behavioral” omnivores, the question still remains as to whether humans are anatomically suited for a diet that includes animal as well as plantfoods.* A better and more objective technique is to look athuman anatomy and physiology. Mammals are anatomically and physiologically adapted to procure and consume particular kinds of diets. (It is common practice when examining fossils of extinct mammals to examine anatomical features to deduce the animal’s probable diet.) Therefore, we can look at mammalian carnivores, herbivores (plant-eaters) and omnivores to see which anatomical and physiological features are associated with each kind of diet. Then we can look at human anatomy and physiology to see in which group we belong.”

                  (Never occurred that to you) Answer please every point exposed in the article — because anatomically and physiologically we aren’t omnivores. That is a FACT.

                  You didn’t present any evidence beyond of customs.

                  1. This text represent a fundamentally flawed approach to natural science. Zoology or anthropology, as all other natural sciences, are descriptive. To expect them to follow a normative approach totally mispresents their purpose and would leave the door wide open to all sorts of ideological interference.

                    1. Again you didn’t answer a thing, just evasives. Don’t you understand that cultural customs don’t necessarily represent (and in fact they don’t) what we naturally would eat as a species?

                      I content that in fact for political reasons is more comfortable to keep saying that we are “omnivores” but anatomically and physiologically have nothing in common with them. Go ahead and see the evidence.

                      And as I say, if you leave humans among their supposed peers, other omnivores… humans behave uncomfortably as prey. And generally are attacked as that.

                      I know is not sexy, we rather like to think about ourselves otherwise, euphemism like the kings of creation etc.. but go back to nature and see the species for what it is.

                    2. You really seem determined to ignore basic reality, so I think it is of no use to repeat myself. I do it one last time, though: free-living humans have eaten an omnivorous diet – everywhere and always. Therefore, humans are omnivores. Cultural customs don’t fall from the sky, there are rooted in biology. Cultural contingency may be assumed if an observed trait appears in an erratic or random manner among different populations. The consumption of animal products is neither erratic nor random, but without any exception in all populations at all times. Therefore, it is not a custom but a basic human trait. Heck, you could as well say that having sex is related to cultural customs and thus doesn’t “necessarily represet what we naturally would do as a species”. That would be only slightly more preposterous.

                      And no, I won’t bother to further discuss a text based on such a fundamentally flawed understanding of science.

                    3. Of course you’ll refuse to discuss any empirical evidence, if by now you didn’t catch that the root of the health problems that are presented in this very site, are precisely because we aren’t true omnivores, otherwise as is presented in the video in the present page, we could eat as much cholesterol and saturated fat as we wanted, as true omnivores do:

                      “You can feed a dog 500 eggs worth of cholesterol and a stick of butter and they just wag their tail; their body is used to eating and getting rid of excess cholesterol.”

                      Clean arteries, try that with any hervibores including humans. Explain why among all the omnivores species only humans gets the same problems that herbivores get when feed that sort of diet. But let me guess, another fact you won’t want to face.

                      What you comment regarding sex is interesting, see any species are hardwired for survival and reproduction — atavistic behaviours, you wouldn’t expect that any external pressure could change such basic instincts wouldn’t they?

                      If you check history you will find out that even that is modifiable in humans, culture and customs are able to change even that. A couple of examples:

                      First ancient Greece, let’s see Sparta, the society was arranged like this for males:

                      To foster solidarity, young men between the ages of twenty and twenty-nine were assigned to boys over age twelve as mentors and sexual partners. These relationships were seen as “a positive contribution to the solidarity of the homoioi,” the Spartan citizen-hoplites.

                      (We are talking there that ALL males were set from the beginning as homosexuals, as you can imagine is statistically impossible that 100% would be homo, instead of hetero, yet they saw having sex with women so unappealing that their marriages consisted in having the bride, dressed as a male, waiting in the dark so not be seem by the groom.

                      “For starters, they began the big day by shaving their heads.
                      Second, they donned men’s clothes and sandals. Then, instead of
                      participating in a ridiculously expensive ceremony with family and
                      friends, prospective brides laid alone in the dark on a pallet, waiting
                      for their grooms to come and steal them away in the night. Once a groom
                      had his way with his new bride, he deposited her shaved, man-clothed
                      self back at her parent’s home. Done. Married.

                      She wouldn’t see him again until the next night, or the night after
                      that. Sometimes, years could go by before these married lovebirds
                      actually saw each other in the daytime.


                      According to some historians, to help ease the Spartan groom into heterosexuality.”

                      A similar situation happened in Japan, check Samurai culture. And there a lot of more examples.

                      The interesting fact here is that these people didn’t feel forced out of their natural impulses, and actually developed a distaste for the opposite sex (again keep in mind that is statistically impossible for so many people to be naturally homosexuals, we are talking in several cultures where practically all male population was raised like this, and they would never guess there was something odd with all this… and we are talking about something as atavic and hardwired as reproduction) Same happens with food… This species is a bit *too* gregarious.

                    4. Nature didn’t intend us to routinely live to an old age. It “expects” us to die in our fourties or fifities from some injury. That is the “root of the health problems that are presented in this very site”. Living to an old age in good health is a cultural achievement. Why do people always feel inclined to romanticize Nature? We don’t get sick because we don’t eat the (vegan, paleo or whatever) way Nature intended us to do. We primarily get sick because Natures has shown little interest in keeping us healthy into old age. Evolutionary, it has been more advantageous to let the old and frail die off to make place for the young and strong. Nature made us omnivores and granted us an avarage lifespan of at best 40 years (during the neolithic period and in traditional agricultural societies). If we choose to eat a vegan diet and to follow a preventive life-style in order to maximize our health-span we are acting against Nature, not according to it.

                    5. Effectively as with any organism, the target is to survive at least until reproduction, but that doesn’t change one bit what kind of animal you are anatomically; we are herbivores pretending to be something else, and paying the health consequences. As I say above, a true omnivore can do a lot of things that we cannot, I left there an example that once again you didn’t answer. Could go one by one, and you will keep refusing to see. But the case is there for everyone to see.

                    6. For pity’s sake, Moderators. The poster Timar is just repeating the same nonsense opinion over and over again and completely avoiding Thule’s specific points. I went through the exact same circus with Stephan Guyenet not so long ago, to the point that I’m wondering if this Timar is really just that little fart Guyenet in disguise. What is stopping you from banning him exactly ?

                    7. Theodore: While I agree that the conversation had stopped being productive, I saw nothing major in Timar’s posts that broke the rules for this site. Your post above, on the other hand, had to be deleted because you called Guyenet names, which is not allowed.

                      Please note that “It takes two to tango.” Not sure what country you are from, so I will expand and explain that what I am saying is that if a conversation stops being productive but keeps going on and on, it is because two or more people keep going on and on. It doesn’t matter if the other person is refusing to address the issues you want to be addressed. If you are in a conversation with someone that stops being helpful, you can simply stop replying yourself. If you keep going, that’s on you.

                      I’ll also take this opportunity to say that your recent posts to Timar are rude. You need to dial back the attitude. We don’t always give people a warning when they break the rules of this site. I only take the time to dialog with someone if I think they are worth my time. So, please take this notice for what it is meant to be – an attempt to keep you as a member of this community. This is the only warning you will get–at least from me.

                    8. Thea

                      Given the widespread practice of administering cobalt supplements and/or B12 supplements to farm animals, I’m deeply concerned that none of the NF team picked Timar up on his misleading claims about the unnaturalness of a vegan diet. I also note that on at least one occasion you personally have promoted the Vegetarian Resource Group, a group whose material often goes against what doctors like Dr Greger are saying. I recently became of aware of the phrase “throwing the flag” and wonder if you’ve ever heard of it. Here’s a link that explains more about it: (’s essentially when a moderator (or team of moderators) is covertly working against the aims of the forum that they’re moderating. I guess one of the problems with sites like this is that the creator/ founder is so desperate for help that they really aren’t that choosy about the volunteers who work for them. Which leaves the gate wide open for people with industry ties to come in and work their magic so to speak. I don’t want to put anyone on the spot here, but I’d definitely be interested to know more about your financial and/or campaigning background, if you’d care to share.

                    9. Theodore: Please go back and read my original post to you. My objection was not with your B12 information. The problem is not what you said, but *how* you said it. Make sense?

                      I participate in no political activity (other than voting), and the only money I earn is in a basic job is not even remotely related to food or politics. I am a volunteer for NutritionFacts, because I have passion for this site and want it to succeed. One ingredient of success for NutrtionFacts is basic politeness in the comments section. You can see the specific wording for posting rules here: Scroll to the section: What are the rules for posting comments on this site? Do you really think your recent posts have met the posting rules for this site?

                      I do my best to moderate the comments section following the posting rules, regardless of which diet a person supports. Such efforts ultimately make NF stronger. If I only cracked down on people who I disagreed with, there would be no integrity to this site. In other words, just because you support the information given here at NutritionFacts like I do, does not give you a free pass to break the posting rules. I hope that clarifies things for you.

                    10. Well, in Timar’s first reply to me he accused me of suffering from B12-induced paranoia. That’s pretty offensive by any standards, but I don’t recall you making any fuss about it. Not that I’m asking anyone to stick up for me, but if you’re going to slap people on the wrists for the slightest insult, the least you could do is be even-handed about it.

                      He also littered this entire thread with false information about the naturalness/unnaturelness of a vegan diet which none of you NF volunteers picked him up on. I’d be grateful if you could explain why none of you picked him up on it.

                      Also, I didn’t ask you which industries you DON’T work in, I asked you which industry you DO work in. For instance copywriting isn’t related to food or politics, but if a copywriter was moderating a forum about nutrition I’d sure want to know about it.

                    11. Thea, by the way I just did a search on all your posts and I notice that the Vegetarian Resource Group features quite a bit in your writings. I hope you don’t take offence but I think I might email Dr Greger personally and point this out to him along with some evidence of what I believe is subtle-negative moderation on your part. Perhaps Timar was right and I’m just a paranoid vegan lunatic, but I’ll mail my thoughts to Dr Greger just in case, because you can’t be too careful these days.

                  2. Thule: I generally agree with you on this issue. One *could* classify animals into herbivore, omnivore, and carnivore categories based on cultural practices. But in my opinion, using culture/observation is not a meaningful distinction and not what most people mean when they refer to those classifications. Most people are talking biology. A classification based on anatomy is meaningful and far more interesting as well as practical.

                    I’m also of the opinion, that by looking at biology, most species fall along a continuum rather than just being one thing (herbivore) or another (omnivore). Ie, there might be some species who are so extreme that they could be classified as 100% herbivore or 100% carnivore. But I think that most species fall along a continuum. In other words, I think that you could probably classify just about everyone as omnivore. But again, that isn’t every helpful/meaningful. Based on our biology, humans fall so far to left/herbivore side, I agree that it makes sense to classify us as herbivores, or hind-gut herbivores as the wonderful Dr. Forrester says. Such a classification is helpful because it helps people to understand what a healthy diet is for our species. That doesn’t mean that humans are 100% herbivore. (I understand that there are some few anatomical indications of some “meat leanings” in humans.) It just means that it is most helpful in discussions to understand that human biology mostly links us to herbivores.

                    Having said all that, I can see times where it would be helpful to talk about species’ categories based on observations/culture. And if someone only finds a cultural definition helpful, then it is kind of pointless to argue with them about categories when you use one definition and the other person uses another. In other words, you are talking oranges, and Timar is talking apples. Not sure the discussion could go anywhere from here. What we really need is a new set of terms. I would keep the herbivore/omnivore/carnivore classifications based on anatomy and come up with three other terms that are based on observation and a specie’s cultural practices. That would be most helpful.

                    Aside from sharing my own take on the topic, I also wanted to thank you for your post about old human cultures and some of those sexual practices. Wow! I learned a lot today. I had no idea… Thanks.

                    1. Thank you for your post Thea. :)

                      What I wanted to show there is that cultural customs can shape pretty much anything in humans, you would be surprised that was only an example, but shows that even something as hardwired as reproduction can be manipulated.

                      And if you study humans only by observation, you would reach nowhere eventually, see the problem with diets, you could find whole societies that were vegans (for example in India Jainist for thousands of years, a great proportion of Buddhists also), and in general a big proportion of indians even today, are vegetarians or vegans. Similarly you’ll find some in Africa, and in the Andes… but them you observe Inuits, and most of their diets are animal products.

                      Further, as you know there has been some widespread cannibalism in some societies.

                      So you would have a lot of trouble trying to find any dietary patters in humans. Thus makes more sense to see what kind of anatomy and metabolism we have, otherwise we would never be able to ascertain anything.

        2. If you don’t like humans classified as herbivores, take it up with Dr. Roberts. Again, I never really made that claim. I do not think humans are *as* omnivorous (i.e. closer to the carnivorous end of the spectrum) as dogs or bears. I think any humans who consider themselves as such while pointing to their canine teeth as evidence are laughable. I’m not trying to sound combative, but you have a tendency to twist words to invent claims to then argue against which makes for awkward conversation.

          Personally I find the herbivore vs omnivore debate and trying to classify all animals in one of three little boxes as quite fruitless and reductive. Depending on one’s perspective and field of study, parameters of focus, differing but equally sound arguments can be made for the same animal. Wolves eat grass and berries, so one might call them omnivores. However they eat mostly meat and seem to be overwhelmingly classified as carnivores. That’s fine with me. Most of the apes eat mostly plants yet some insects. Most would classify them as herbivores, but some would say omnivore. Good arguments on both sides, sounds good to me. Even chimpanzees who are recognized as eating meat occasionally are by various estimates 97-98% herbivorous. If people want to call them omnivore or herbivore, I really could not care less. It seems like most people would accept ambiguity, nuance, and the existence of a spectrum of dietary classifications if we’re discussing gorillas, but make passionate unwavering declarations of three and only three types of eating patterns when it comes to discussing the human diet. Whatever the reasons for that behavior, again doesn’t really matter to me. If you say omnivore, Timar I agree with you. If Dr. Roberts or another commenter says herbivore, I agree with them too.

  15. This video is so right on in identifying two of the major fallacies of the paleo concept. Since evolutionary pressure (survival of the fittest, dying of the less fit) must occur before the next generation is born and raised, the genetics of stone age humans was disinterested in life after the children are launched, which is the time when the chronic diseases of our time emerge. Further, the physical, social and nutritional environment of stone age humans is so different from the environment of our time, we might as well be talking about a different species.

  16. Based exclusively on argumentation – this is very convincing. The paleo-people base their ideas on (poor) argumentation. If you only listen to argumentation the paleo-people must now be convinced that Michael Greger is right…..

    1. Yes, I do agree but also disagree. Should this issue be a debate? arguing with logic against an illogical premise?…However vast the window into deep time may be, I would ask which is more relevant to the matter of diet selection: Archaeology or Nutrition sciences? I would argue that even if we had accurate data on diet from proconsul until H. sapiens, although informative it would not be nearly as useful as the accumulating knowledge base in nutrition, biochemistry and exercise.

      These theory-based diets rank with phlogiston, universal aether and spontaneous generation as testable ideas that sounded good to some but failed the unbiased test of science.

  17. 90% may be generous. Our last common ancestor with Carnivora is estimated from molecular clocks at 96 million years ago, and nearly all of our nearer cousins are primarily herbivorous primates. The earliest evidence of tool use in animal butchery dates to 2.5 million years ago, so a 97% predominantly herbivorous ancestry is a equally defensable claim.

    1. I don’t really see the point of playing such numbers games. Go back to the first vertebrate and you can probably come up with a 99.7% herbivorous history. You can choose whatever arbitrary reference point in evolutionary history suits you best.

  18. Low-carb Paleo guru dies at 77. Heart attack suspected, coroner report being kept under wraps similar to Atkins… Sad that so many who have been duped into thinking low-carb is safe or healthy will follow suit. We will be seeing more and more of these low-carb gurus in this same situation unfortunately the longer people stay on these dangerous low-carb paleo diets. 77 is actually quit long lived for such an unhealthy diet I suspect…

    1. Oh my goodness. My curiosity got the better of me, I just had to check out the presentation to see “How a gorilla’s low-fat diet is NOT a low-fat diet…”. Wow. The level of stupidity is unbelievable. That people listen to it and believe it is astoundingly sad. I guess I should watch the rest of the presentation to see the “Incredible Vegan Shrinking Brain” segment because I definitely feel like I lost a few brain cells just now.

      Spoiler for those interested, but I’m warning you it is definitely the most facepalm-inducing thing you will read today. Says Barry Groves: a gorilla’s diet is 58% protein, 37% starch/sugar, 5% fat. But the huge amount of fiber consumed gets transformed into short chain fatty acids by gut bacteria. He then assumes 2 cal/g for these SCFAs, incorporates them back into the original macronutrient breakdown as if the gorilla were eating them directly, and claims this “changes” the dietary breakdown to be 64% fat, which is apparently along the lines of the diet he recommends. He wittily mentions that these SCFAs are saturated. Oh ho ho. Totally the same thing as long chain saturated fatty acids. So do JUST LIKE the gorilla, and go eat some steak and bacon to get that saturated fat level up to 64%.

    2. Barry Groves was NOT a Paleo guru. Paleo diets can be high carb, moderate carb, low fat, moderate fat and low protein as well… and he certainly wouldn’t have promoted that.

      The myth that Paleo is the same as low carb is rampant in this community.

  19. What’s your opinion on this study? I need to come up with a reason to combat my professor and the discussion. Espeically with the coconut oil, and promoting meat. She mentioned and promoting whole milk and its health benefits. Also how meat is on the happy list. What are some reasons against these studies and why they are flawed? I’m vegan and follow a WFPBD.
    Any ideas and thoughts on these studies? It is unfortunate that schools are promoting false information on nutrition. Meat and dairy isn’t healthy!

    1. Both of the articles you cite are review articles and not studies. First, I always look at conflicts of interest by authors. It is of note to me at least that the author of the first “study” you cite didn’t mention that in 2013 the same date of the published article he wrote a book on fats. I have never written a book so I’m not sure of the rules but when I give educational talks to health care professionals I am required to cite conflicts of interest. If I ever write a book published or accepted for publication in an area I’m speaking on I would surely mention it. That doesn’t mean his hypothesis is wrong but certainly raises my concerns. Second to raise issues with your professor I would go to the science and use the actually studies and abstracts you find on using the Sources Cited button. For saturated fat start with and There are many video’s on dairy also. You might see if your library carries a copy of “Whitewash”, by Joseph Keon. You might consider taking a statistics course along the way that is oriented to understanding the pros and cons of different type of studies. Good luck with your education

  20. In my own experience I’ve since changed my diet almost 8 months now; to pursuing a vegan dietary eating choice (fish) left to go. Some would probably say or have said ” What the hoots are you eating?” To which, I break out into gut wrenching laughter. I can honestly say that I haven’t missed eating meats period. Wine and cheese is a wee bit tougher, hold the cheese please and fill me up with an extra drop of wine. I wasn’t a beef eater anyway, mostly chicken, pork, fish and dairy. Lots of dairy, which probably explained by skin issues and acne. I think I discovered my attraction to meats was based on the coverings of it. Meaning, the sauces, the salties, or sugaries as I like to call them. I found this to be the case one time when preparing some extra firm sliced tofu and portobello mushrooms; in a bit sesame oil, low salt soy, and chili pepper baked in the oven. I couldn’t believe how good it tasted. I thought, wow this is really good; it was as if a light bulb went on while I reflected on my past attraction to eating meat. I can honestly say that I haven’t eaten raw, tasted, and cooked from scratch with such an array of species, herbs, and veggies in me life. I love me baked parsnip fries, and seriously I can’t say I feel like I’m missing anything, and I do love my healthier looking skin.

    1. wendy price: Thanks for posting your story. We all have our story into how we came to be where we are not regarding diet. But it seems like we all have these little light bulb moments that end up not being so little after all. I have long felt that if people could just be exposed to foods that they like, but that just happened to be animal-free, they would have that same kind of epiphany. Keep going!

  21. Thanks Michael, So glad you have done a video on the Paleo diet as it’s the big fashion and answer to all problems at the moment here in Australia. Go to a naturapath an they want to put you straight onto a Paleo diet. They say that is the only way you will get healing, that includes eating 4 Eggs and greens for breakfast every morning. How could anyone face that for breakfast every morning!

  22. Have you tried starting a fire without a lighter or matches ? It’s not easy. It takes a lot of brain power (and we are already fully evolved). My point is

    #1. Cooking requires starting fire which requires super intelligence – no other animal can do it. Therefore our brain must have already fully developed BEFORE we invented fire to be able to use it for cooking.

    #2. we can only eat RAW fruits, nuts, seeds and vegetables. We cannot hunt, physically tear down pray and eat it raw. Even if we are starving, we cannot eat an injured sparrow, frog or mouse that is alive and cannot move. We have to cheat (burn it first).

  23. Of course there is another model, the proposed in Genesis. Man was given plant foods there. However, the conclusions are the same no matter which model of origins you accept.

  24. K. First off this guy discounts the evolution of mankind. Lol!! Wow, the whole reason we evolved, aka. “SURVIVED!” was because we started eating brains, and hearts (meat). Our bellies grew smaller, brains larger and our line of species survived. So let’s get that straight first.

    Second, cholesterol. He blames heart disease on eating meat!? bahahahaha. I mean c’mon, so he’s just going to ignore the whole last 60 years of carb binging and its effect on insulin and leptin?? Heart disease is an inflammatory disease, where yes, cholesterol blocks the bloodflow in your arteries and hardens on the walls. But its not cholesterol that’s causing this.

    There is so much more to this its a joke. Genes, methylation pathways, lifestyle, quality of food, stress levels, sleep patterns. Food is one part of the equation. You want to label meat as “bad”, well ok. I agree that most meat is bad, the majority of it, but pastured raised, wild game, wild fish etc is some of the best food on the planet. The funny thing about being a vegetarian is you end up supporting the folks that you despise the most (monsanto, syngenta etc), because they make %80 of your vegan crap. But hey by all means, stay vegan, more meat for me and my family.

    You wanna grow tits, ruin your b12 levels, ramp up your toxic load, mess up your methylation pathways then keep being a vegetarian. Seriously this isn’t an opinion, its the truth. Lierre Keith, the vegetarian myth is a good place to start. Dr. Ben Lynch is another. Good luck if your a vegetarian, I really truly hope you can lead a healthy life…but it gonna happen. (Unless you supplement like mad) You’ll feel pretty good for first few years, then shit will get weird.


    1. 1. You are trying to use the expensive tissue hypothesis as an argument, however a) you do not understand it and are misstating its premise, and b) it has since been debunked anyway.

      2. “Carb binging”? Either you are introducing a red herring by stating that refined sugar is unhealthful, which all dietary camps would agree on and is a non-issue, or you are seriously convinced that complex carbohydrates i.e. starch causes inflammation and heart disease. If that is your conclusion, wouldn’t you find it at odds with this line of reasoning that the only diet that actually reverses heart disease (and is covered by medicare for such treatment) is at its core an extremely high carbohydrate diet? Not just prevents, or retards the progression, but actually reverses advanced, terminal, and inoperable heart disease. A high carbohydrate is the only diet that has been shown to do this.

      3. Veganism and monsanto? You realize this is a whole foods plant based diet promoting website right? Vegan/nonvegan, processed/unproccessed food, big ag/small ag, etc are all entirely separate concepts, so conflating them is an invalid argument. Like mom and dad always said, if you can’t say anything that isn’t a painfully obvious logical fallacy, don’t say anything at all.

      4. So many individual falsities brought up, I won’t bother but if you are interested in learning, feel free to peruse this website to see how vegan diet confers fewer biomagnified pollutants, lower inflammatory markers, and protection against chronic diseases like heart disease, cancers, and diabetes. Your assertion that health will suffer on a long-term vegan diet is simply at odds with the evidence.

      However I will address one, which is your apparent fear of soy, which again is a red herring and is not necessary to include in a vegan diet if one doesn’t want to eat it, any more than any other particular legume. However, it may be of interest to you that vegan men have higher testosterone levels, higher ejaculate volumes, and as far as I have seen, the overwhelming fear of “growing tits” does not seem to be a factor in real life. In fact with vegans representing the only dietary group with an average healthy BMI, one could argue that the prevalence of “man boobs” is if anything, lower in the vegan population. More to the point however there is an overwhelming convergence of evidence that soy-rich diets are preventative against cancer. In vitro studies show direct antiproliferative effects of soy isoflavones in cancer cells, favorable epigenetic effects regarding BRCA genes, and inhibition of several enzymes important for cancer cell growth. Current research is largely focused on harnessing the actitivity of these phytoestrogens to create new therapies and adjuncts for existing therapies, and to elucidate the mechanisms by which these protective effects occur. The existence itself of these protective effects is established and accepted.

      Your one valid concern is vitamin B12 intake. However anyone who’s been vegan for longer than five minutes most likely knows to take it. My personal “crazy supplementation” regime as you describe involves: one B12 cherry chewable once per week, and a few vitamin D caplets per week. All other essential fatty acid, essential amino acid, vitamin, and mineral intakes in my diet range from sufficient to off the charts. Vitamin D is required at my latitude regardless of diet, and you should also be aware that if you are over 50, vitamin B12 supplementation (specifically as supplements or fortified foods) is recommended for everyone regardless of diet due to decreased absorption of protein bound B12 with age.

      I think your parting statement with typo actually says it best:
      “if your a vegetarian, I really truly hope you can lead a healthy life…[] it gonna happen”

    2. Just to clarify, when you talk about growing tits, are you talking about growing them on our own bodies or growing them in the ground, like in a community garden or something.

  25. First of all, if you want your video to be taken seriously, hire someone whose voice has finished changing and who can read a script. A plant-based diet is fine as long as you don’t recommend over-eating grains, which most plant-based diets do. “Plant-based” means most of your meal is comprised of plants…with good healthy oil and various sources of other protein included. If you want to go down the road of gross generalization a,d one-size-fits-all advice, here is something for you: The real reason people are developing chronic disease in this day and age is because of our increase in the consumption of grain…refined grain AND whole grain in gluttonous quantities. Grain, one of the key ingredients in many alcoholic beverages, when eaten in quantity triggers a reaction very much like alcoholism in a large percentage of the population. The “Paleo” diet (such cute names you dieticians-for-hire come up with for your various plans) IS plant based, just as you recommend. Healthy oil and a variety of protein sources in crucial for most humans. The oil-free junk I have been seeing on so-called healthy eating sites is a fad. Don’t eat processed food. Buy from farmers you know. Withdraw your support for the chemical agriculture conglomerates….but don’t buy into dietary fads delivered by an amateur actor in ninth grade.

  26. This video is so wrong it is hard to even imagine people spending time on making it.

    For example, you can not simply feed a carnivore unlimited amounts of TODAY’S meat and eggs and expect them to be healthy. Breeding wild carnivores in captivity shows us, clearly, that the meat of today is BAD for carnivores and omnivores alike.

    There are too many logic clangers to go step by step through this rubbish. I will offer this one thought that this video might be ‘right’ about even though it does not really say it:

    The longer a food has been in a species evolutionary background the more dependent that species will become on that food. That said, the most important aspect of human diet is the consumption of a large quantity and wide variety of plants. And not just any plants, but plans that humans evolved to eat. i.e. Not corn, wheat, etc.

  27. Where did you get 2.5 million years from ? Starting & using fire discovery was according to my google search only ~250,000 years ago. People ate RAW meat before that ? I doubt it.

    1. Sure, the Inuit for example. I believe eating the liver of a butchered seal while it was still warm was considered a great delicacy.

      1. The key word is “believe”. That’s what bothers me. It’s all based on “Belief”, Supposition, estimation, etc…. How often did they eat raw seals. Every day ? Once a year ? What % of humanity was intuit ? .05% ? Did they eat raw meat because they had no choice (other than eating snow) ? How long ago 1000 ? 100000 ? It’s all based on estimate, guesswork and theory.

      2. Legend has it……”I believe”, etc….That’s not PROOF. The only foods with can eat RAW in Excess are fruits, vegetables, and nuts-seeds. Sure we can eat RAW liver, but in very small amount and so can all Herbivores. My cats eat vegetation too (but in very small amount).

          1. ….as I said we can do what all herbivores can do too. Eating RAW meat in small quantities is possible. You can look at video on Utube of a cow eating a live chicken. There is another video of a deer eating a live bird. Cow’s are routinely fed fish pellets and meat. We eat mostly BURNT (cooked) meat for psychological reasons (tradition, culture, religion, superstition), etc. Most people don’t eat steak, bacon & chicken RAW. They burn it and eat it with vegan spices to block the bad taste of burnt meat. You will find plenty of exceptions (people that eat raw bacon for example on internet – mostly for showmanship & to show how Tough and masculine they are.

  28. The Organic Consumers Association agrees with the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) that Americans
    should eat “less red and processed meat.” BUT the OCA also says grass-fed, pastured meat is good for you, in moderation…as do all the Paleo crowd.

    Sure these animals have a more natural diet, free of the glyphosate-laced corn,etc. forced on factory-farmed animals. But their meat still contains animal fat and cholesterol. How are they rationalizing this? Any scientific basis at all?

    1. I am not sure. I agree that the fat and cholesterol could still be problematic. A new study found that organic meat was just as contaminated with pollutants when compared with conventional meat. I suggest writing the OCA and politely asking how they rationalize their recommendations, as I am not familiar with their work.

  29. But taking the evolutionary perspective, if we spent all those millennia consuming an almost exclusively plant-based diet, how come we never figured out how to manufacture vitamin B12? How about the other great apes?

    1. JackXXL: I can’t remember who I heard say this, but it is my understanding that *no* mammal makes B12, that includes herbivores such as elephants and gorillas. Thus, like humans, non-human animals get their B12 from their diet, which probably includes dirty streams, some termites or other bugs, feces, etc.

      re: “But taking the evolutionary perspective… How come we never figured out how to manufacture vitamin B12?” I like that you are thinking in terms of evolution. The thing is, bodies would only need to make our own B12 if we couldn’t easily get it from our diet. People just need to understand that “get it from out diet” does not necessarily equal “get it from meat.” And meat isn’t a good source for B12 for humans when you take the whole picture into account and that so much meat is tainted with feces – which *is* a great source of B12.

      For some good bullet points about B12, you might want to check out the following page, scrolling down to the section, “Vitamin B12. End of story.”

      1. I’ll add that the page I link to above covers several evolutionary arguments concerning humans, not just B12. I think you will find it really helpful to look at other sections on that page.

  30. REPOSTING QUESTION (from Brittany):

    Was wondering if you could present the research regarding persons in ketosis. I recognize the physiological implications of this diet – to switch from carb burning to fat burning during periods of starvation, but there seem to be quite a few people in the health circuit who have found this fat-based way of eating to be very successful for them. It would be enlightening to gain a deeper understanding of why these successes are being attained and if this way of eating is healthy in any way. Although I am a plant-based vegan, I am having a difficult time having a scientific discussion with these people because it is such a new “diet”.

    I have viewed the paleo videos several times. Despite the evidence against high intakes of saturated fat, I am very curious as to whether there is research on specifically the state of ketosis and its effects on overall health. You are welcome to post my question in the public questions section. Thank you for your time!

    1. Hey Brittany. This study may discuss the metabolic pathways of ketosis. They define ketosis as a blood beta-hydroxybutyrate level between 0.5 and 3 mM (check out reference #13 for more on ketosis). Sure, low-carb diets may work for short-term weight loss and blood glucose reduction, but the thought is long-term maintenance on a low carb diet can be super harmful. I am not convinced even short-term is completely safe. Check out the blood flow in low-carb diets vs plant-based. See the “Doctor’s Note” at bottom of the video for more videos on Atkins-like diets. Glad you have seen the paleo videos, as we have a lot! I cannot speak to others in that heath-circuit who choose to follow a low-carb diet. Of course, that is for them to decide what is best and perhaps the quick weight loss is what attracts this group (not to mention if people are told bacon and steak are best it may be easier to follow a “diet”). My experience is limited little with ketone-based diet, however more research on brain tumors and keto-diets are being explored. I hope this helps and other members can weigh-in.

      Thanks for your question.

  31. So let me get this straight. A few million years (more than just two) is enough time to develop an entirely different method of locomotion, increase brain size, increase intelligence, and make all kinds of adaptations all over the body, but not enough time to get us used to eating meat?

    1. All of the traits you mention benefit chances of survival during pre-reproductive years.
      There’s a reason most men don’t go bald until their later years: you don’t need to be so attractive after the babies are born. Same reason for our vulnerability to high-fat and cholesterol diets: it doesn’t make a difference until well after the babies are already born.

    2. They added years so that the probabilities increase and they can justify the theory. Because we know nothing like that happen in a few thousand years. Add billions of years, and you can say anything.

  32. Big Pharma and the medical establishment wants you to stay sick. As long as you’re alive they can get your money. There is no research proving saturated fats cause cancer or heart disease. Polyunsaturated fats and trans fats are the culprits. Diabetic drugs cause the disease to get worse over time. Exercise, high sat fat, moderate protein and low carbs will lower blood sugar. I am a type 2 Diabetic, and I know this is true. Proteins and fats do not need insulin to metabolize. Coconut oil is very good to loser blood sugar.

    1. “high sat fat, moderate protein and low carbs will lower blood sugar.”

      Sadly, I lived with a type2 diabetic until he died in the hospital after open heart surgery. He followed the same high-fat / low carb diet you advocate but his diabetes never got better. He only got worse as the years rolled by. How I wish he would have lived long enough to find the WFPB diet recommended here and stopped the dangerous low-carb diet that eventually killed him.

  33. Do you have any studies comparing paleo (no beans and no grains) and vegans? Or paleo and low-fat raw vegans (80-10-10 fruitarians)? My woman friend I’ve been hanging out with is enlivening in our dialogues (she is paleo and I’m a vegan that likes to eat lots of fruit). We wish there were some clinical peer-reviewed nutrition studies, and not just some pod-cast by a self-defined expert trying to sell their books.

    1. Hi 808david. I sure wish there were more studies comparing paleo and vegan diets. I think it’s important to find foods and dietary patterns that make us feel the best. If folks enjoy beans and grains I highly recommend their consumption. The research on these foods are extremely positive, as they have been found to reduce the risk of several diseases. If I come across any new studies I’ll post them here. I recommend “Becoming Raw” by Brenda Davis RD for the most peer-reviewed, comprehensive guide to raw food diets. Hope this help!

  34. 95% + Plants…

    Sure tell that to the cultures who lived in the colder climates of the world who were incapable of growing plants 5% of the time let alone 95% plants. Care to enlighten us doctor on what these people might have eaten considering plant foods weren’t an option?

    You, me, as well as everyone else posting down here, we are here because of what our ancestors ate, which included meat. Sorry to break it to you folks, there is no way around it.

    Most paleo cultures consumed animals at 75% of their diet and included the whole animal, nuts and seeds accounted for 15% while plants and fruits accounted for up to 10%. How do you know this? Common sense, go try and grow any type of plant at -30 below.

    1. Good points. Thanks for sharing. When you say “75% of their diet included the whole animal” do you have any resources to share? I would assume colder climates may have led to more meat eating. However, when you consider the world we live in today…. For example, I live in the cold mountains and although I cannot grow food in winter I can surely go to any store and find nearly any food year-round. Very different times. If a 95% plant-based and 5% animal-based diet makes sense to you, awesome! I think that’s great. Much better than any standard diet. Dr. Greger has a great video on flexitarian diets. I think the point of this video was to discuss existing research, where one study claims during the first 90% of our evolution we consumed 95 plus percent plants.

  35. In the past 10+ years, conjugated linoleic acid (i.e., a naturally occurring trans fatty acid found in higher concentrations in grass fed beef and lamb, as well as in extremely high concentrations in kangaroo, etc.) has been touted with many health benefits. I have a number of health issues, and I think it has a very inflammatory effect on me (as does saturated fat).

    I enjoyed your article on why saturated fat (also currently popularized as being healthful) causes inflammation, and was hoping something on your site regarding CLA.

  36. Let’s dig right in:

    Favourable effects of consuming a Palaeolithic-type diet on characteristics of the metabolic syndrome: a randomized controlled pilot-study.

    This was a cool one because researchers were interested in the effect of paleo style eating on the metabolic syndrome absent weight loss. Everyone knows that weight loss on any diet improves symptoms of metabolic syndrome (hypertension, poor lipids, blood sugar disregulation, etc), so this study sought to uncover any effects unique to paleo eating. How’d it go?

    First off, it was hard to keep paleo dieters from losing weight. Seven of the 17 subjects in the paleo group lost enough weight that researchers had to provide extra snacks to keep their weight up. Once they got that under control, good things happened:

    Waist circumference decreased by 3.1 cm — an indicator of reduced belly fat, which is remarkable especially given the lack of significant weight loss (just 6 pounds on average).
    Systolic and diastolic blood pressures dropped by 8.5 and 8, respectively.
    Both fasting insulin and glucose decreased, indicating better blood sugar control and more fat burning.
    Insulin resistance dropped.
    Blood lipids improved, with total cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides decreasing.
    Takeaway: By all indications, metabolic syndrome patients can benefit from going paleo. If they were allowed to also focus on losing weight, I have no doubt that the numbers would improve even more.

    Obesity and cardiovascular risk intervention through the ad libitum feeding of traditional Hawaiian diet.

    At first glance, the abstract of the study suggests a diet at complete and utter odds with paleo. It’s low in fat (under 10% of calories) and protein, and high in “complex carbohydrates.” Complex carbohydrates, in modern parlance, are hearthealthywholegrains: breads, pastas, porridges. But in this study that attempted to recreate the pre-contact Hawaiian diet, complex carbohydrates meant roots and tubers like sweet potato, yam, breadfruit, and taro. In fact, grains were restricted because those were unavailable in the islands before Europeans arrived. The traditional Hawaiian diet used in the study, called the Wainae Diet, consisted of unlimited amounts of sweet potatoes, yams, breadfruits, taro roots, poi (a mashed and fermented taro), fruit, seaweed, and greens from sweet potato, yam, and taro plants. About 200 grams, or roughly half a pound, of chicken and/or fish were also included each day. All cooked foods were steamed, similar to traditional forms of Hawaiian cooking.

    The macros are a bit different from what you’d expect from a paleo diet, but the food quality is in lockstep. No grains, legumes, dairy, seed oils, or processed junk food. No acellular carbohydrates (pulverized grains: bread, pasta, flour, etc). Lots of leafy greens and nothing but whole, unrefined foods.

    What happened when a group of obese Hawaiians were placed on such a diet for 21 days?

    Energy intake dropped by 41%. This is crucial, since food intake wasn’t restricted (except for the fish and chicken). Subjects were encouraged to eat to satiety, indicating this diet was pretty good at keeping them full.
    They lost an average of 7.8 kg. They were still obese, but far less so than before.
    Blood lipids improved. LDL and triglycerides dropped and even though HDL reduced slightly, the TC:HDL ratio improved.
    Blood pressure improved. Systolic dropped by 7.8% and diastolic by 11.5%.
    Blood glucose dropped dramatically.
    Takeaway: Paleo diets can be high or low carb. Low carb does have a bit more clinical backing, and in my experience is more effective for the severely obese and easier to adhere to, but the important thing appears to be grain/junk food/seed oil avoidance. They had “sugar,” but it was in the form of fruit. They ate “complex carbs,” but in the form of starchy vegetables. Paleo is a framework and this paper illustrates that.

    Three paleolithic ketogenic diet case studies.

    And last, but not least are three case studies. Because these involve a total of three patients (being case studies), I’ve grouped them together. Alone, a case study does not an argument make. Three separate case studies showing massive benefits for the individuals involved, on the other hand, raise even the most skeptical eyebrow.

    In the first, a 19 year old male newly diagnosed with type 1 diabetes (blood glucose levels of 384 mg/dL!) was placed on a ketogenic paleo diet after spending 20 unproductive days on the traditional low-fat, high-carb diabetic diet. This new diet consisted of meat (mostly red and fat-rich meat), eggs, organs, and fat, with insignificant amounts of non starchy vegetables for a fat:protein/carb ratio of 2:1. Plant-based oils and artificial sweeteners were restricted. The only supplement given was 5000 IU of vitamin D3.

    Upon going paleo-keto, his blood sugar normalized, even postprandially (after meals). He was able to stop insulin treatment following his first meal. On the original diabetic diet with supplementary insulin, his average blood sugar was 119 mg/dL. On the paleo-keto diet without insulin, his average blood sugar was 85 mg/dL. Blood sugar fluctuations also reduced from a standard deviation of 47 mg/dL to 9 mg/dL.

    After 6.5 months of the diet, he had maintained his progress without side effects. His LDL-C and total cholesterol had gone up, but that’s fairly standard on ketogenic diets.

    In the second, a 65 year old obese female with high blood pressure, hyperglycemia, angiopathy (likely diabetic), and a history of gall bladder surgery and colonic polyps was placed on a ketogenic paleo diet. She was taking anti-diabetic and anti-hypertensive meds as well. On her new diet, typical foods included broth, stews, pork bone marrow, bacon, steaks, calf liver, and pork greaves (or cracklins/chicharrones). Vegetables like cabbage, onion, and root vegetables were used as garnish.

    How’d it go?

    Over the course of 22 months, she was able to discontinue eight medicines, her BMI dropped from 37.1 to 31.6 (lost 14 kilos and counting, at the time of the study’s conclusion), and a normalization of both blood pressure (along with no blood pressure spikes in the final six months) and blood sugar. That was purely from diet; no supplementation, no exercise.

    In the third, a 7 year old with absence epilepsy was placed on a ketogenic paleo diet. Before the diet, she was socially withdrawn, hadn’t gained weight or height in two years, and wasn’t toilet trained; she was effectively developmentally disabled.

    Based on meat, organs, fish, eggs, and animal fat, along with some vitamin D3 and fish oil, the new paleo-keto epilepsy diet had an approximate fat:protein ratio of 4:1, with very little (if any) carbohydrate. And it worked incredibly well. Seizures stopped six weeks in. She grew 3 kilograms and 6 cm in four months. Her mood and social function improved enough for her to attend regular school by study’s end.

    Takeaway: A paleo keto diet using whole foods is just as, if not more effective, than a clinical ketogenic diet using refined, processed foods, whether the patient is a youngster with epilepsy, a young man with type 1 diabetes, or a middle-aged woman with metabolic syndrome.

    However old (the Hawaiian diet study), limited in scope (the paleo-keto case studies), or small in scale (the metabolic syndrome study) these studies might be, they remain effective ambassadors for the efficacy and diversity of the ancestral approach to diet. So the next time someone says “Yeah, but what about those low-fat native islander groups?” or “But no studies exist showing you can safely eat bone marrow!” or “Ah, it’s just the weight loss helping,” you can direct them kindly to this post.

    Read more:

    1. This is more paleo fantasy I am afraid. The Hawaiian study is not a study of the paleo diet – the sweet potato ,yam etc are all farmed vegetables. They are neolithic foods in essence, not paleo and the diet is testament to the value of a traditional .high carb whole food plant based diet.

      As for the study of people with metabolic syndrome, this shows nothing about the supposed virtues of a paleo diet either.. Obese peope and people with metabolic systems have damaged metabolic and endocrine systems. As such they respond differently to diet than people without these problems – “diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol are less effective in the obese. The most effective way for obese people to normalize their blood lipids is to lose weight.”

      Any die that delivers weight loss (or bariatric surgery) will show similar benefits. People lost weight on the Twinkie Diet and the Potato Diet and their lipids improved too, so did their blood pressure and blood sugar.

      As for the epilepsy study, ketogenic diets have been a recognised treatment for this condition for a very long time. It would surprise no-one that a version using whole foods instead of refined foods was more effective. But that says nothing about the supposed benefits of a paleo diet (whatever that might be).

      None of these studies are about paleo diets as such. Nor do they seem to have any obvious relevance to people who are not obese or do not have metabolic syndrome or severe epilepsy. Nor do they say anything about the long term (as opposed to short term) consequences of consuming such diets.

      1. “The Paleo Diet is based upon everyday, modern foods that mimic the food groups of our pre-agricultural, hunter-gatherer ancestors.” ~Professor Loren Cordain

        This idea that people eating a modern Paleo diet believe that they are eating actual paleolithic foods is ridiculous.

        1. Well, I aagree that “ridiculous” is a word that does apply to thinking about paleo diets.
          I understand however that some paleo dieters argue that foods such as potatoes, grains and tubers are not actually paleo anyway. So I am still not sure how an essentially neolithic food like sweet potatoes and yams can be claimed as paleo foods.
          in any case, the argument that the foods our paleo forebearers ate must automatically promote healthy lonevity is a non-sequitur, displays a profound ignorance of how evolution works and is truly ridiculous

          1. Paleo advocates argue that nightshades, cereals and legumes and dairy were not staples in early human diets. As such, many people have trouble digesting them and will benefit from reducing or eliminating them. As for tubers, they are a staple of the modern Paleo diet so I don’t know where you’d get such an idea.

            You are clearly not educated about what the Paleo template recommends and why. I suggest you get better educated before you criticize, because what is truly ridiculous is speaking with authority on a topic you have no education in.

              1. I recommend you read the question again. “Tubers are paleo, no doubt about it.”

                The real question is why are you treating comments at paleohacks like a paleo authority? Go to the actual authorities- Cordain, Wolf, Sisson, etc. They all say that tubers are paleo.

                1. That was from someone who claims he knows the “truth” about paleo diets but even he admits that there are paleo advocates who claim the exact opposite. Who says your favourites are the authorities on this matter? Self appointed experts are self appointed experts. None of them were around a few million years ago.
                  The fact is that some paleo advocates claim tubers are not paleo. And yet you accused me of “ignorance” when I pointed this out! You are the one who was clearly unaware of this and yet was only too happy to make accusations of ignorance .

                  1. So shall we all judge WFPB veganism based on the claims made in the comments section here? Ignorance is ignorance, even yours. I know what the data and the experts say. I don’t get my information from the comments section.

                    1. You are missing the point. Again.
                      The point is not what people ate in the Paleolithic. As it happens, I believe Paleo people did eat tubers. And that they ate grains.
                      The evidence also suggests that legumes have also been part of the human diet for much of our Paleo/evolutionary history eg

                      No, the point is what do advocates claim are paleo diets. My original statement, to which you took such exception, was that a number of them claim grains, legumes and tubers are not “Paleo”. Such claims by the “Paleo experts” (!!!!) are factually incorrect but part of the “Paleo Diet” myth which you appear to believe.
                      The other even more damning criticism of the “Paleo” belief system is that it simply assumes that eating foods that were eaten in the Paleo period or which mimic foods eaten in that period, is automatically good for us and will promote healthy longevity. That simply doesn’t follow and shows a lamentable ignorance of how evolution works.

                    2. If by ‘paleo advocate’ you mean any person that tells other people they should eat a paleo diet, then how can you consider yourself honest? Five minutes looking at vegan resources demonstrates that there is a huge range of what WFPB people believe is ideal. Oil is good, no it’s bad. Sugar is good, no it’s bad. Fruit juice is good, no it’s bad. Soy is good, no it’s bad. Of course there are differences of opinion among the followers of any way of eating, but you don’t find that among the Paleo experts. If it’s only the Paleo community you see this behavior in, you’re a suffering significantly from in-group bias because this is just human behavior and not exclusive to any dietary belief system.

                      Paleo also does NOT assume that eating foods that were eaten in the Paleo period or which mimic foods eaten in that period, is automatically good for us and will promote healthy longevity which is why it’s a template and the people eating it need to figure out what foods works bets for them. No Paleo expert claims that everyone can and should be eating the same diet. There are Paleo vegans too. . The lamentable ignorance is of what Paleo advocates. You obviously don’t know.

                      You seem literally incapable of reading what was written, Tom.

                      Paleo proponents do not claim that no grains or legumes were eaten by our ancestors, they say instead that they were not a staple. And they weren’t.

                      Even your own source states, “The human choices of mainly legumes reflects the gathering activities during springtime when often the common hunted species (gazelle and fallow deer) were fat depleted. Minor fall activities are indicated by the collection of acorns and pistachio nuts.”

                      So when they had nothing else, they resorted to eating sorghum and legumes. And? This is perfectly inline with the Optimal Foraging Hypothesis that demonstrates that even if they ate them daily, they required more energy to make edible than they provided, so they only ate them as a last resort. If you looked at the fossilized remains of my compost pile in 50,000 years you’d find parsley and garlic all the way through, but parsley and garlic represent less than a tablespoon of food per day in my diet. That is the problem with studies like the one you cited from UofC, you can only see if it was eaten at all, but not how much was eaten. Today, people eat cereals and legumes as the central parts of their diets, even those who eat animal foods. And then don’t forget, most legumes are toxic when eaten raw, so if the people weren’t cooking, they weren’t eating legumes.

                    3. Sorry but, according to you, just how is oil or sugar or juice a whole food?

                      And if legumes are not “paleo” according to your gurus because they were eaten seasonally rather than being “staples”, then presumably all fruits, berries, nuts and indeed all seasonal vegetables are not “paleo” either. Neither also are seasonal animal foods like eggs or meat from migratory birds and animals, or fish such as migrating salmon or eels or whatever.

                      I am sure that people in the Paleolithic ate whatever foods were available in the particular environment they lived in and this would have varied from season to season. In other words, seasonal foods would have been important dietary components.

                      “most legumes are toxic when eaten raw, so if the people weren’t cooking, they weren’t eating legumes”
                      So? Not all legumes are toxic, some are eaten raw and in any case it is thought that people used fire throughout the Paleolithic. You and your gurus may not like it but people ate legumes during the Paleolithic period.

                      These read just like strained arguments to justify low carb diets. They don’t make any sense. And claiming that, because they are not considered paleo foods by your favourite gurus, it must mean grains and legumes are bad for us simply flies in the face of the evidence:
                      “In summary, these data from 2 large prospective cohort studies consistently found significant inverse associations of whole grain intake and mortality, especially CVD mortality. In addition, the bran portion of the whole grain foods, as well as bran added to foods, was significantly associated with a lower CVD mortality. These findings further support current dietary guidelines that recommend increasing whole grain consumption to facilitate primary and secondary prevention of chronic diseases and also provide promising evidence that suggests a diet enriched with whole grains may confer benefits toward extended life expectancy.”

                      “The FHILL longitudinal study shows that a higher legume intake is the most protective dietary predictor of survival amongst the elderly, regardless of their ethnicity. The significance of legumes persisted even after controlling for age at enrolment (in 5-year intervals), gender, and smoking. Legumes have been associated with long-livedfood cultures such as the Japanese (soy, tofu, natto, miso),the Swedes (brown beans, peas), and the Mediterranean people (lentils, chickpeas, white beans).”

                    4. Tom,

                      According to me, oil, sugar and juice are NOT whole food. But like you, I went off to google some random websites and I found a WFPB website that says this about juice: “Juice used to sauté or season recipes or for salad dressings is fine. Smoothies are good for an occasional treat.” and “Smoothies and juices filled with vegetables are better than ones filled with fruit because vegetables are lower in sugar and calorie density.”

                      And this about sugar:“Limit the amount of sugar you consume to 5% or less of total calories.” Why would I have to limit something that isn’t supposed to be a part of a WFPB?

                      And right here ( ) at Dr. Greger’s site I found this comment from a member, “There are absolutely healthy oils! Flax oil, but it’s very sensitive and doesn’t store well. Hemp oil. Olive oil (scientifically shown to be beneficial time and time again…”

                      –and according to you, a comment from the community is all the evidence a person needs to know what any diet recommends, and why.

                      The issue with legumes is not seasonality, it’s availability. The fact that they’re only available during one season is just happenstance. And again, nobody has said that legumes aren’t paleo, what isn’t paleo is eating them in quantity. Paleo advocates fresh legumes like green beans and fresh peas and those very low in anti-nutritious components, like chick peas and lentils if people tolerate them.

                      “Legumes (beans, lentils, chickpeas, split peas, etc.) aren’t, by any means, the worst thing you can eat, but they don’t make the ideal meal either. In my estimation, legumes fall into the “O.K.” category.” ~Mark Sisson

                      “Legumes are not necessary for human health. They contain no nutrients that we can’t get from other foods—often with less trouble (i.e. no need to go through extensive preparation methods to make the nutrients more bioavailable). That said, if you enjoy them, tolerate them well, and are willing to prepare them properly, there is no credible evidence showing that they will harm you when eaten in moderation in the context of a nutrient-dense diet.” ~Chris Kresser

                      “A final departing comment before we leave the topic of beans and legumes. As you adopt The Paleo Diet or any diet, listen to your body. If a food or food type doesn’t agree with you or makes you feel ill or unwell, don’t eat it. “ ~Professor Loren Cordain

                      I am sure that people in the Paleolithic ate whatever foods were available in the particular environment they lived in as well, and they’d have eaten Twinkies and HoHos too. But the fact is, these foods weren’t available in quantity so the stressors necessary for humans to evolve the digestive traits that would make them optimum food didn’t occur.

                      Me and “my gurus” are well educated about what people ate and we know they ate some legumes during the Paleolithic period. This has been stated and restated ad nauseum. You can continue to insist that your version is true, but it simply isn’t.

                      How does a person advocating a plant-based diet conflate no grains/legume with low carb? Sweet potatoes, beets, squashes and pumpkins, and yuca are all high carb plants and Paleo. Bananas, pineapple and dates are high carb plants and Paleo. And many nuts like chestnuts and pistachios are high carb and Paleo. You’re the one who is confused. The issue with grains and legumes isn’t about the carbs.

                      “High carb is appropriate, low carb is appropriate. So long as the degree that you’re consuming a diet that is nutrient dense is meeting your needs, then you’re probably pretty good to go.” ~Robb Wolf

                      [“In summary, these data from 2 large prospective cohort studies consistently found significant inverse associations of whole grain intake and mortality, especially CVD mortality.”]

                      Neat. Show me the trial where they put a diet high in whole grains up against a diet without grains. Then you’ll have an argument. In the meantime, though the body of evidence supporting Paleo is still small, it’s growing every day. And, though you and your gurus can like it or not, vegans don’t live any longer than anyone else. So these “conferred benefits toward extended life expectancy” are just a theory.

                      And still the question remains…

                      Are you ready?

                      Which part of the mouse study you cited was Paleo?

                    5. “according to you, a comment from the community is all the evidence a person needs to know what any diet recommends, and why.”
                      No. A whole food plant based diet is defined as a whole food plant based diet. A paleo diet, on the other hand, seems to be anything its proponents say it is.
                      “The issue with legumes is not seasonality, it’s availability. The fact that they’re only available during one season is just happenstance. And again, nobody has said that legumes aren’t paleo, what isn’t paleo is eating them in quantity. Paleo advocates fresh legumes like green beans and fresh peas and those very low in anti-nutritious components, like chick peas and lentils if people tolerate them.”

                      I have trouble following this especially your “availability” argument which makes no sense whatsoever to me. Eating legumes in quantity isn’t paleo, you also write. That is another of the problems with the paleo diet fantasy, of course. The fact is that people in the paleolithic period did eat them in quantity yet you and “paleo” state eating them isn’t paleo.

                      And you go on to quote the likes of Mark Sissons, Chris Kresser, Robb Wolf and Cordain as though they all support your case. The quotes seem a bit selective since Cordain criticises Kresser’s postion on legumes (contrary to the impression you seek to give). Lauren Cordain actually maintains that as “a food group, beans and legumes…. definitely are not Paleo.”

                      I really suggest you look at the evidence instead of the stories these people peddle to sell their wares. BTW, as for your statement about their being no evidence that “vegans” live longer than anyone else, I don’t advocate “veganism” as such on health grounds. My conclusion is that a whole food plant based diet is healthiest and this may or may not contain small amounts of animal foods. The problem with “veganism” is that it covers a multitude of sins – a diet of Jack Daniels and cigarettes is both “vegan” and unhealthy. However, as a matter of fact. the 7th Day Adventist studies showed that in males, “vegans” had the lowest mortality (while in women “pesco-vegetarians” had the lowest mortality). In both men and women, all “vegetarians” had lower mortality than omnivores.

                      As for your question about the mouse study, you have to ask the writer or subeditor who came up with the headline. However, I am sure that you already know the answer. The answer of course is that paleo diets as popularly practised are low carb/high protein/high fat. That is how and why the mouse study has implications for the great majority of people on paleo diets.

                      The number of high carb paleo devotees must be very small no matter what you claim. Especially since your guru Lauren Cordain seems quite certain that most paleo diets are low carb

                      And talking about answering questions, where is your evidence that paleo diets promote healthy longevity? All I have seen so far, despite requesting evidence, is claims of benefits and quotes from your gurus. The NF website shows the actual evidence about nutrition and health/ As far as I can make out, paleo diet advocates instead rely largely on assumptions, speculation and some fairly shaky reasoning based on first principles (ie assumptions and speculation)

  37. Paleo diet it’s a diet based on myths, fiction and guess. We don’t have enough information about how men were feeding themselves long time ago, how prevalent that diet was, and why they adopted it.
    Even the “evolution” is something hypothetical.

    But of course “paleo” is a good marketing keyword.

  38. Dietary religion is just as dangerous as ‘the real thing’. Stop trying to turn others to your beliefs. Holy hell, this debate is stupid. Eat what ever you feel is best for you.

    1. “Stop trying to turn others to your beliefs” –

      It’s not really a belief per say. It’s what SCIENCE has proven. That heavy animal product consumption is responsible for most of our modern diseases. Weather you like to hear it or not is your own personal struggle with cognitive dissonance.

  39. ground wallnuts, garlic, a little chopped onions, both fries and raw, lemon juice or vinegar, cilantro, coriander, , add a little water to make the mix , this stuffing is delicious with fried eggplants, cooked cabbage, chopped fine, spinach cooked and like cabbage squeezed, not to leave it juicy, it is good to be dry. beets,cooked , or baked in oven and then peeled and grated.

  40. The Paleolithic period is classified, oftentimes as between 800,000-50,000 years ago, or thereabouts, not including from 50,000 years ago to the present.

  41. brilliant. i went paleo for 3 years and saw my ldl cholesterol skyrocket. now i’m bringing it down by reducing my meat consumption. the paleo argument is compelling, but dr. greger just highjacked it, in a good way, by extrapolating the argument to older hominids- another compelling argument. and it trumps the present paleo argument!!!!!! congratulations and keep up gods work. best, Craig.

  42. This is the most absurd argument I’ve heard against the paleo diet in quite a while.
    Humans clearly evolved into omnivors.
    No anthropologist has EVER uncovered the existence of a race of vegan-vegetarians. Not even once.
    Our closest living relatives (chimps) are also omnivors. They hunt small game, in packs, just like we used to.
    There is no way you’re going to get Vitamin B-12 from a pure plant based diet. A deficiency that will eventually kill you.
    Myocardial infarction did not exist in the medial literature, until the introduction of vegetable oils.
    Vegetarians don’t live longer than non-Vegetarians, as has been shown by numerous studies.

    There is no association between cholesterol levels and heart disease, as has also been shown by numerous studies.

    1. I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you. Your post is mostly old stale Paleo talking points that have been debunked long agoi. The Paleo/high fat & protien /low carb diet is now being proven unhealthy and dangerous like a ticking time bomb.

      Did you know that cows get injected with B12? They don’t make it themselves. They have to ingest it just like us. So if you rely on animal products for B12 like the dangerous fad Paleo diet then you are getting it second hand just like the Vegans. In effect meat eaters are indirectly supplementing B12 as well.

      Are you familiar with the “Blue Zones”? The longest lived people in the world are primarily plant based with beans, grains and starchy vegetables as a mainstay of their diet. If you look at the sickest populations like the Inuit Eskimos who have a life expectancy in the 50s, You can see front and center the ravages a meat based diet does to herbivores like us. That is why the Inuit are so sick with cancer and other diseases associated with high animal product consumption.

      The Paleo diet is actually the “Make yourself sick” diet if I can paraphrase the great Dr John McDougall.

  43. I tried the Paleo system. The promise in several books was that I would lose weight and get healthier. I was in a Cross Fit program. And I gained 30 lbs. My trainer said it’s the new muscle mass, which may account for some of the weight gain. But there’s still an abundance of blubber. All these diets are BS. Every one of them. I’m going to try the vegan route and follow recommendations in the book How Not to Die. I already consume a large amount of veggies. If, after one year the fat’s still hanging around, to hell with it. Back to steak, potatoes and a shot of bourbon.

    1. AZ Cowboy: Good luck with your experiment!

      I recommend paying particular attention to Dr. Greger’s discussion about the concept of ‘calorie density’ in the book How Not To Die. I think the recommendations in Part 2 leave a lot of leeway for ranges of calorie densities as relates to individual needs. That’s good. But if you are wanting to loose fat, you would want to pick lower down on the calorie density range.

      Dr. Greger lists some resources for recipes on pages 267 and 268. I recommend checking those out, especially the free 21 Day Kickstart program from PCRM. Also, for a great overview of the Calorie Density concept, check out this super helpful article from Jeff Novick: “The Calorie Density Approach to Nutrition and Lifelong Weight Management”

      Hope this helps!

  44. I just wanted to criticize the segment about life expectancy of Palaeolithic humans. Life expectancy, according to the definition, is the average number of years that is likely to be lived by a group of individuals exposed to the same mortality conditions until they die. This metric cannot be used to make an assessment about how long an individual will live because we all know that in the past infant mortality was very high just like it is very high in some parts of the world today (e.g., parts of Africa). The high infant mortality rate will obviously skew life expectancy. But once someone reaches adulthood, there is no reason to believe that that person will not make it to the old age. That’s why I believe it’s not fair to use this as an argument against the paleo diet. If you put a bunch of folks who only eat vegan on an island with no modern tools for a few generations with no healthcare whatsoever I bet you will observe the same life expectancy. With processed meat, it’s done deal: there are no questions asked. But as for the paleo diet I think you guys should focus more on surveying papers where the paleo is explicitly compared to the whole food plant based diet. This I believe, is the weakest part so far in all the efforts done by

    1. I think you are missing the point. The short lifespan of early humans is used to reference why no one died of diseases from cholesterol deposits like today because atherosclerosis takes decades to build up. If you don’t live past 30, then eat what you want if living past 30 is of no concern to you.

      1. Once infant mortality is removed from the equation, modern-day hunter gatherers live just as long as we do without the benefit of technology. Surely living into your 70s and 80s is old enough to see diseases of modernity in primitive people?

    1. Wow, what a terrible ill informed blog post that was. The author of that vegan attack website and article you linked to is a known bias “Vegan hater” with ties to the animal cruelty and slaughter industry. Here is a quote from the author that I think sums him up perfectly.

      QUOTE from the blog author –
      “Granola-eating tree-huggers are turning out
      to be the most ill-informed, unhappy and hysterical people on the

      I’m sorry but I’m going to have to flag this post / link for hate speech towards vegans and plant eater. This is the very type of vegan bashing animal slaughter industry protectionism that Dr G talks about. FLAGGED,

      1. Let’s all tone it down a bit.

        Rob Drexel: Concerning your point about children. You seem to be unaware of the following information:

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

        You can also search for videos on this site for information pertaining to children. You might also educate yourself with these documents:

        1. if you and your readers are stupid enough to believe a government agency – much less one that has been instrumental in driving the population to the most chronically ill state in human history – please enjoy your vegan diets – when you devolve maybe you will taste like chicken, mmmmm

  45. Has there ever been a study of the health effects on heart disease of force feeding natural herbivore animals meat and cheese and pasties over a long time?

    1. Jeff: Great question. I believe that doing just such experiments is how we made the connection between animal products and heart disease. I remembered that at least one of Plant Postive’s videos talk about this. There is probably more than one such video, but here is a quote from the first one I pulled up:
      “Almost 100 years ago as a young experimental pathologist at the Military Medical Academy in St Petersburg, Russia, he demonstrated that atherosclerosis could be induced in rabbits simply by feeding them cholesterol. Through his research, Anitschkov was the first to describe in detail the progression of heart disease and its connection to dietary cholesterol.”
      For more info, including references, see this video:
      What do you think? Is this the kind of information you were looking for?

    1. Tom,

      Which element of the mouse chow fed in this study do you feel represents the whole food Paleo diet? The casein? The canola oil? The sucrose? Surely it can’t just be the sensationalized title the researcher made up about the effect that a diet high in canola oil had on mice engineered to get sick on a high fat diet?

      1. What paleo diet are you talking about? The one that includes paleo mayonnaise?

        There seem to be quite a few people out there, like the writer of that headline, who argue that paleo diets are low carb/high fat/high protein. The fact is that humans on low carb/high fat/high protein diets (call them keto, paleo, Atkins or whatever you want) also experience higher mortality. : Or are you arguing that paleo diets aren’t high fat? Or are not low carb?

        1. What kind of whole food plant based diet are YOU talking about? The one that includes vegan mayonnaise?

          I’m arguing that Paleo diets are WHOLE FOOD.

          There are high carb Paleo diets as well, just as there are vegetarian Paleo and even vegan paleo diets.

          Paleo = whole food, minus grains, legumes and dairy.

          So I ask again, understanding that the paleo diet is based on whole food, which part of the mouse study contained the whole food?

          Otherwise, why not look at the sickly vegans munching on refined grains and white sugar and call that WFPB and tell the world how it makes people sick?

          You cited this study ( as evidence that a low-carb diet is unhealthy, but researchers only found poor health when people consumed refined foods as their source of carbohydrates and protein. [“Low carbohydrate-high protein diets, used on a regular basis and without consideration of the nature of carbohydrates or the source of proteins.”]

          Did you read it?

          Your second source ( finds the exact same thing- “The overall low-carbohydrate score was associated with a modest increase in overall mortality in pooled analysis.” …”In contrast, a higher vegetable low-carbohydrate score was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.”

          Your third source ( has no way to break down the carbohydrate sources and researchers state, “The study was underpowered to explore this dimension of carbohydrate quality.”

          Your forth source ( is the same, no breakdown of carbohydrate source or quality.

          If anything, you’ve proved my argument to an even greater degree, since paleo diets are whole food and high in plants.

          1. I think you are misinterpreting those studies and it is still not clear what you think a paleo diet actually is.
            If you are claiming that a whole food plant based diet is healthy, neither I nor anyone else here would disagree with you. And if calling it a paleo diet makes you happy, then go for it.
            However, from what I have seen, most paleo advocates promote a low carb high fat and high protein diet. There is no evidence that such diets promote healthy longevity. And quite a lot that they definitely do not. Such diets may well be better than the standard Western diet, high in trans fats and junk food generally, but that does not mean that they are health promoting, merely that they are less bad than standard Western diets.

            1. No, Tom, the person doing the misinterpreting is YOU. The studies that made the distinction clearly state that low carb diets based on whole food show health benefits, and there is plenty of evidence that Paleo diets promote good health.

              If you want to bash Atkins based on the data that you yourself provided, feel free. But that same data SUPPORTS low-carb Paleo.

              “In contrast, a higher vegetable low-carbohydrate score was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.”

              1. Please provide a link to an actual study that you think supports your claim. The study I cited that made the distinction found that:
                “An increase in adherence to a plant-based LCD was not associated with lower all-cause or cardiovascular mortality.
                Conclusions Greater adherence to an LCD high in animal sources of fat and protein was associated with higher all-cause and cardiovascular mortality post-MI. We did not find a health benefit from greater adherence to an LCD overall after MI.”

                And if there is plenty of evidence that low carb diets promote healthy longevity why don’t you provide it instead of just claiming it exists?

                1. Of the 4 studies YOU cited, the two that looked at food quality found that low carb diets that include whole plant foods are beneficial. The study you quoted doesn’t look at plant quality. Just go back up and reread my response to see it. I’m not going to rewrite it.

                  1. As I wrote previously, you have either misunderstood or misinterpreted what the studies found.
                    For example, the study which showed “”In contrast, a higher vegetable low-carbohydrate score was associated with lower all-cause and cardiovascular mortality.” did not have a control group. It was the SAME PEOPLE in both the vegetable low carb and the animal foods low carb groups.
                    They were ranked according to the decile (or quintile) of carbohydrate scores. In other words, the more vegetables they ate, the lower the mortality. The more animal foods they ate, the higher the mortality, See particularly table 2.

                    1. No, Tom, the more vegetables they ate, the better the score. You’re trying to twist the conclusion by affirming the consequent that if they ate fewer vegetables they must’ve eaten more meat. That simply isn’t true. A low carb diet can be full of lots of food-like substances you won’t find in a Paleo diet. The Paleo diet is high in plants… as I pointed out before, when vegetables are fibrous, you can fit mountains of them into the same net carbohydrate range as a piece of bread, a cup of rice or a potato.

                      Low carb doesn’t mean low-vegetable and Paleo NEVER means low vegetable. The data you cited doesn’t back your claim.

  46. I’ve been reading through this for a while now, its all very confusing, vegan, paleo, herbivore, omnivore, the amount of information that goes against other information is quite incredible, can a person be healthy on a vegan diet or not? this is my question. just a simple question :-) thanks.

    1. Gordon: The majority of scientific evidence tells us that most people would be most healthy if they ate a diet of whole plant foods–with a B12 supplement. This means foods in these categories: fruits, vegetables, intact grains, and legumes/beans. You would ideally fill your plate on average about a quarter full of each of these types of foods. But mushrooms/fungus is also very healthy. And having about 1 ounce of nuts or seeds a day is also healthy for people who are healthy (and perhaps others as well).
      Don’t believe me? I invite you to spend more time on this site. You might get a lot of benefit out of watching Dr. Greger’s annual summary videos which can be found at the bottom of the home page. Good luck.

      1. Gordon: I should have included this part: Your question asked about a vegan diet. Notice that I said a “whole plant food” diet. That’s because there are many foods which are vegan and are *not* healthy. For example: potato chips, coke, olive oil, coconut oil, all oils, junk food, many highly processed foods, etc. So, yes a person *can* be healthy on a vegan diet. But ‘vegan’ is too general of a term. If you are interested in healthy, then you want to focus on a whole plant food based (WPFB) diet. Hope that helps to clarify.

          1. Personally, I totally discount anything from that site.They cite one study after another that compared meat eaters to other sets of meat eaters! But if you saw, on those important-looking graphs, a representation of populations that truly follow the WFPB diet, they would be shown to CLEARLY be the healthiest.

            Authority Nutrition’s mantra might as well be, “Oil is bad, therefore bacon.” I’m a dietitian and I believe our obesity epidemic is being caused by these things:

            Oil. Fried foods, chips, mayonnaise, olive oil
            Sugar. Jams, icings, Coke, cakes, cookies
            Animal foods. Especially DAIRY. Fast food items. Processed meats.
            Salt! Salt stimulates the appetite.
            Starches that are artificially concentrated and usually combined with more oil. Chips, crackers.
            A lack of raw vegetables with every meal.

            Eating this way means that by the time your stomach is full, you’ve consumed 3 or 4 times than what you would have if the meal was whole plant foods.

            So even if you don’t necessarily adopt a vegan diet, the WFPB diet…sigh….even with bits of meat….is FAR FAR FAR better than what many of us are eating. Lots of us are living on Oreo’s, Coke and Domino’s Pizza!

            Or in short, junk food has become a STAPLE. No surprise that we’re fat.

  47. Hmmm,

    Don’t want to weigh in too heavily on the discussion. Perhaps as a PS… I have a question:

    The Hartwigs’ book It Starts With Food (a paleo variant) has a fairly extensive reference section that has lots of science articles cited. Many are from well known journals, including a few Dr. G cites. How do I sort through this and compare/contrast this information in comparison to what is contained here? I feel like Dr. G has the right of it, but want to be sure.

    PS As to the discussion – I like what Dr. G has to say about sticking to the science in his book. To me that sorts the political eaters from those of us who just want to be healthy. Please continue to be political if that’s how you feel that you contribute to the world. You’re not hurting anyone by telling them what they need to eat and why – they will usually ignore you in any case but they might eat an extra carrot or two to keep you happy. That’s a win for health. The science speaks for itself, however. Let it. The soapbox stuff is for websites that talk about things other than science, don’t you think?

    1. U are correct. Scientists like defense attorneys are a dime a dozen and work for their client’s best interest at least that is so here in the USA and the Government also works for big business with lots of inside connections and lobbyists. And so does the US Media. So how do you find out who is telling the truth ? You have to look at Obvious Physical Evidence (not opinion). The shape and size of human teeth vs. dog or wild pig and other true omnivores. The jaws, the nails, the length of intestines, the length of gestation, # of baby’s born, whether the animal is long (like a dog, pig or a lion) or tall (human giraffe, gazelle, gorilla. What foods we can eat in Excess Raw without getting ill (hint: fruits, vegetables & nuts), etc…. I have put the glaring obvious physical evidence in 1 web site based on information I have collected from the web google images and searches. but you can do your own research if you believe I am prejudiced (at least I have physical evidence).

  48. I have many questions. I will not ask them all here, but I will ask a lot. Would be extremely grateful if any get answered.
    How long (years) were we eating mainly plant-based before the “paleo diet”? And why/how did the paleo diet (i.e., heavy consumption of meat) occur? That is, why did we evolve to be omnivores, rather than just herbivores?

    Isn’t most of the cholesterol we eat in esterfied form, which is not absorbed and is excreted by our gut ? Doesn’t it competes for absorption with free cholesterol (supplied by the biliary route)?
    when Dr. Gregor touches on eating to survive being the main goal of the paleo diet, he suggests humans were inclined to seek out energy dense food sources, which happen to be high-fat food sources (fat is more energy-dense than other macronutrients). What about in times of famine? We all know 24 hour Maccas’ and supermarkets weren’t around in the paleolithic era, thus, food wasn’t always available. What did the human body do when it couldn’t eat for prolonged periods of time? Did it go nuts and once it somehow found food, ate uber amounts of everything? If that’s the case, could we conclude intermittent fasting can actually increase hunger, for the long term?
    what was the life-expectancy of humans before the paleolithic era?

    it seems the argument against wholegrains and the like from low-carb “experts” is that “we’ve only been eating them for 10,000 years, where as we ate a mostly high fat diet [paleo] for 2 million” – this makes sense, until hearing the take home message of this video – for millions of years before the plaeo diet, we ate a different diet (palnt-based). Not sure what those experts say when asked about this.
    Quick change of subject – the adaptation process to exercise training is pretty much “too much stress = overtraining, too little stress = no adaptation, goldilocks amount of stress = supercompensation, BOOM! adaptation”. In life, I’m noticing more and more that the adaptation model to exercise applies to a lot of stuff. Diet is likely no exception.
    So. Given we started out as herbivores, and we are now omnivores, meat eating has placed an added stress on the lifestyle of a human being. Have we adapted to this stress, and are we better off (i.e. healthier) for it? Or is it too much stress to deal with, and we simply haven’t evolved to it, at least not yet?
    Performance is decreased just after the stress is placed on the body and just before adaptation occurs – so, the fact that our life expectancy during the paleolithic era was so small, should this be considered as decreased performance before an adaptation period? Or is it simply the effect of too much stress?

    1. Dougie Boxell: Here are a few answers for you.
      While humans can digest animal foods to some degree, doing so leads to poor health/high disease risk. Just about ever video and article on this site provides a list of scientific studies to back up this statement. This is one indication that Humans are herbivores, not omnivores. Looking at our anatomy is another indication. You can learn more about human anatomy and it’s implications for our place on the herbivore-omnivore-carnivore spectrum here:
      What we know about cholesterol is that there is a safe range in our blood where we are heart-attack proof. That is the range that we are born with and cultures which maintain this range do not get heart disease. We also know that eating animal products, which have the combination of saturated fat and cholesterol (and other substances), raise serum (blood) cholesterol levels above the safe range. I address these and other topics around cholesterol in the following post: That post also includes links to NutritionFacts videos that explain how studies can and are designed to mislead you about the topic of cholesterol and the effects of eating animal products on our health. What all this means is that your questions about esterfied form and absorption are missing the boat/not the issue.
      As for a paleo diet and seeking out high calorie foods, you are right that fatty foods are high calorie. But it also turns out that eating any cooked food adds increases the calories that our bodies can absorb, including eating something like cooked potatoes, which are so much easier to catch than wild animals. There are a set of credible experts who believe that eating cooked food is what made us human. As Dr. Greger shows, our early diet may have included some animals, but the majority of our early diet was plants. Two other thoughts to consider: Primates are famous for eating based on culture, not for instinct/best diet. And also note that eating some animal foods may provide some calories to help you get through hard times in short period, say winter in climates we did not evolve to survive in, but that does not mean that the animal foods are healthy long term. To learn more:
      Or in article form:
      I hope you have an opportunity to explore some of these resources as I think they will resolve the conflicts you are seeing.

  49. So instead of meat eating giving us our brain capacity, as many suggest like Scientific American, and made us human, it is suggested that cooking food like starchy tubers is what made us Human? I find this very interesting and it is the first time I heard it. I am following a plant based diet and family members keep telling me the science says that our human brain would not have evolved like it did, essentially making us human, if we had not began eating meat.
    And, that Vegans suffer a loss of cognitive function in the long run due to their ONLY eating a plant based diet. They swear they know Vegans that this has happened to. While I know the first question is: we don’t exactly know what said Vegans suffering cognitive function ate exactly, they allege that it is occurring in Vegans period!
    I would appreciate any data on this.

    1. Those are stupid theories based on fantasies, assumptions and a certain ideology. You want to disregard ACTUAL repeatable and verifiable studies in favor of fantasies over what happened billions of years ago? Even if I accept our ancestors were all meat eaters (I don’t believe that), how do you know that it was the best diet for them?

  50. Not everyone does well on a vegan diet. UK Allergy specialist Dr Keith Scott Mumby recommends whatever type of diet works best for you, what makes you feel best but done in a healthy way. I tried vegan but have higher than normal protein requirement and difficulty absorbing nutrients so I need a higher protein diet with lots of organic veggies. I minimize starchy carbs- I am allergic to wheat and have celiac. So I eat red bell pepper strips instead of chips or crackers, get starch from potatoes, carrots and peas and beans. I supplement with vitamins. I became protein deficient after a month vegan yet ate so many beans, peas, nuts etc that my guts felt thoroughly scoured all the time. I was miserable. My diet may not be ideal by Dr Greger’s standard, but 1-2 meat meals a day as long as I get plenty of plants seems to work for me.

    1. There are many plant sources with more protein than meat. I really doubt you were “protein deficient” and you have ‘have higher than normal protein requirement”. There’s no such thing.

      1. Really? Were you the doctor who diagnosed me at age 5? (I am 61 years old, so I have dealt with this for a long time) And yes, for the truly ignorant, there IS such a thing as protein deficiency. I suggest not pronouncing as facts what you do not know. The pores in my kidneys are larger than normal. Large enough that I spill protein in my urine, especially if I am up moving around and physically active. Its been medically tested and verified more than once via 24 hour urine tests and other such fun. I become protein deficient to the point of losing my ability to concentrate and function after about two weeks without red meat. Why is red meat important? Because red meat gets the protein better absorbed. In fact, in Indian medicine, despite their religious beliefs, red meat is the standard treatment for protein deficiency. And yes, I am not the only person in the world that has deficiency issues.

  51. As a physician, I see the clinical down side of the Paleo Diet frequently. A diet high in animal food is necessarily high in Insulin – Like growth factors one and two, (IGF I, II), epithelial growth factor, Transformation growth factors A, B., and others. We already make sufficient growth factors. Adding more simply increases the likelihood of cancer cell proliferation. Paleo adherents argue that we have wrongly condemned dietary fats, esp. animal fats. The connection of dietary / animal fats to diabetes development is well explained by Dr. Gregor in several videos. However, and more importantly, the fat is essentially the carrier of animal protein, and the animal protein is the problem. The human body can only use around 50 grams of protein per day; the rest has to be broken down and eliminated via the kidneys. Too much means hyperfiltration of the protein by the kidneys, which is extremely deleterious. The Weston Price foundation has totally misrepresented Dr. Price’s studies of the diets of the cultures in his book. Many of them ate a plant based diet, high in grains, root tubers, and many other vegetables and legumes. The flat surfaces of the molars of humans as well as proto-hominids developed around 28 million years ago. We have prehensile grasping hands to pluck fruit; we have binocular color vision to find ripe fruits; we lost our ability to synthesize vit C., as all carnivores can do, precisely because we didn’t need to since our diet was so high in Vit. C containing foods. We are absolutely NOT carnivores or omnivores. True omnivores like bears and skunks have pointed sharp molars for shredding meat from bones and for cracking the bones. The swallow the bone pieces. They have strong enough stomach acid to completely strip the calcium portion of the bones, leaving the protein component soft and readily digestible. We do not have sufficient stomach acid to accomplish this. Clinically speaking I can say without question that the healthiest clients I see eat a plant based diet. The Paleo Diet patients are, generally speaking, far less healthy. I personally feel that the Paleo Diet is extremely dangerous. Its adherents have been hoodwinked.

  52. I apologize, my question was not that succinct

    . I was wondering if the writer’s arguments were valid, if there was much of chance of them being valid for a good percentage of the population and if there was a way through diet to mitigate the risks he discussed (if they are true risks).

    Any and all insights are appreciated.

    1. Steve: I think there is too much in that article to respond to in a post like this. (For me anyway!) I briefly skimmed a few paragraphs and then skipped to the conclusion. The conclusion includes: “When the right genetic (and microbial) elements are in place, vegan diets — supplemented with the requisite vitamin B12 —have a greater chance of meeting a person’s nutritional needs. But when issues with vitamin A conversion, gut microbiome makeup, amylase levels or choline requirements enter the picture, the odds of thriving as a vegan start to plummet.”
      I think he overstates how common it is that a diet of whole plant foods doesn’t meet a human’s needs. I say that based on a number of factors, including the success that programs like the True North Health Center and McDougall’s Immersion program have. I don’t know what their failure rate is, but I understand that it is *very* low. On the other hand, to agree somewhat: for the rare person who does have a genetic/birth defect, it could very well be true that they have to adapt their diet to meet their specific needs. Dr. Greger highlights the situation for one boy who went vegetarian and got sick: But note that the solution taken by the boy was to take a pill, not to start eating meat. That solution adjusts for the genetic problem without exposing the boy to all the risks that come with eating meat. (risk/health hazards of eating meat: )
      If we are trying to figure out what is happening when people fail to stick with a healthy diet, I think we can first look at all the social reasons. If there is a health reason for it, I’m inclined to go with the following explanation from Dr. Klaper: Note that the healthy solution is to wean yourself off meat slowly. The “conclusion” is not that those people have to eat meat.
      To address two points made in the article you copied: Note that NutritionFacts has addressed choline and I personally would worry about getting too much than too little: For vitamin A note the following quote from the book Becoming Vegan, Express edition: “While preformed vitamin A, or retinol, which is present in animal products and some supplements, is necessary for bone growth, very high intakes can increase bone breakdown and interfere with the efforts of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. Carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A, such as beta-carotene from plants, don’t have this effect.” I haven’t seen any real evidence that being a “poor converter” as described above is a common problem.
      What do you think? Do these responses help?

      1. Steve: I thought of one more point: You are probably aware that there is a huge difference between a healthy diet (Whole Plant Food Based (WPFB)) and any old vegan diet. I can tell you from personal and generally reported experiences that a whole lot of people on a vegan diet are *not* actually eating healthy. So, I would also dispute the author’s claim: that people aren’t really doing a vegan diet wrong. It’s the diet itself combined with the incredible number of deficient humans that is the likely problem for most people who fail to stick to a human diet.

        I don’t buy that. If some people experience problems, it seems more likely to me that it is the problem idenfied by Dr. Klaper above or it’s because they aren’t following the Daily Dozen one way or another and they are including oils, flour and other plant junk food in their diet.

      2. Thea,

        Thank you SO much for taking the time to explain your thoughts on this. What you have said makes total sense. I have much more clarity on the issue now and will continue on the path of Veganism (with some supplements as needed).

  53. It’s POOR science to say that cholesterol clogs your arteries. This myth is old hat and needs to be stopped! Cholesterol is a healing response, a spackle following an injury to the wall of the blood vessel!

  54. The argument against the Paleo diet is a bit more subtle. According to this video
    the omega-3 & omega-6 fatty acids are crucial for building the brain.
    In the Paleolithic times we needed to change our diet & genes to build & maintain larger
    brains, and the only source of omega-3s was meat. So we could NOT do this on
    a chimp’s diet.
    Of course the modern vegan can take omega-3 supplements.

    1. Tania: Denise Minger is not a reputable source of information. She is infamous for spouting a lot of pseudo science that sounds good, but is not actual science. You might want to do some research on the source/Minger. She is not a data analyst. Experts point out that when Minger plays with data, she doesn’t know what she is doing. At least at one point, Minger listed her educational and professional qualifications on her Facebook page as writer, Catholic school teacher, summer camp instructor, and “Professional Sock Puppeteer.” I’m not saying Minger gets *everything* wrong. I’d even say that the particular article you point to is not all that bad. However, her material is generally warped enough that it is not a source I would use. (And even that article is misleading.) You can learn more about Minger herself here if you are interested:
      Because Minger is generally not worth my time, I won’t bother responding to all her points. However, I will address her first one, Vitamin A, in order to give you a sample of how Minger misses the boat. One of my favorite sources for looking up specific nutrients (also recommended by Dr. Greger), is the book Becoming Vegan. On page 41 of the Express Edition, it says:
      “While preformed vitamin A, or retinol, which is present in animal products and some supplements, is necessary for bone growth, very high intakes can increase bone breakdown and interfere with the efforts of vitamin D to help the body absorb calcium. Carotenoids that can be converted to vitamin A, such as beta-carotene from plants, don’t have this effect.”
      On page 212 of the book, it says: “Vitamin A allows for cells to carry out specific tasks, and its effects are diverse. … Vegans get vitamin A from the carotenoids in orange, yellow, red, and green fruits and vegetables.” The book includes a list of foods containing lots of vitamin A and sample menus for anyone wanting ideas on how to get enough vitamin A in their diet. But I’m pretty sure that Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen would have that covered too.
      Bottom Line: The authors of Becoming Vegan whitewash nothing. They did a ton of research for that book and whenever there are areas that they think vegans need to be on top of, they say it loud and clear. They say nothing about a concern for vitamin A. In other words, while vitamin A is a vitamin (and thus we must get it from our diet), they did not seem to find any evidence that a vegan diet consisting of whole plant foods (such as the one that Dr. Greger recommends with the Daily Dozen) would have any problem providing enough vitamin A.
      VRG (Vegetarian Resource Group) is another source for reputable information (and also one that Dr. Greger has spoken well of in the past). VRG has an article on this very topic: Here is a good quote from the article: “In the United States, vitamin A deficiency is rarely an issue, so much so the newly proposed FDA Nutrition Facts label will not require the listing of vitamin A.² This is no exception for vegetarians. For adult males the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is 900 mcg RAE while for women it is 700 mcg RAE. These amounts of vitamin A are easily achievable by a few servings of yellow-orange fruits and vegetables and/ or dark leafy greens. For example a simple raw salad of spinach, Swiss chard, carrots, tomato and bell peppers is enough to fulfill the daily requirements for a woman. The salad, along with an additional whole, raw mango fulfills the requirements for a man.”

      In other words, Minger is raising false concerns. She may be technically correct in her wording on the vitamin A point, but anyone reading that section of her article would end up thinking “poor converters” are common. The plant based doctors, the ones working with patients all the time, warn us all the time about the importance of taking B12. Yet, none of those actual experts seem to have patients with a vitamin A problem. Not that I’ve seen. Even Dr. Fuhrman, who actually sells vitamins, does not seem concerned about vitamin A deficiency in his patients.

      Does that help?

      1. Thank you for replying so quickly, Thea! The info you’ve provided on her first point regarding Vit A conversion is good. But the other points seem important also.

        I have come across her before and realise that she isn’t officially educated in the field but didn’t want to dismiss her because of this (though I understand your response). Paleo peeps seem to view her as a reputable source of information, so would have liked a thorough rebutal of the article.

        1. Tania: If you really want to know how to refute the Paleo claims, it’s worth spending some time at Brilliant, in-depth look at the issues. He addresses Minger in a few videos (as I linked to below), but PlantPositive also addresses so much more. Going through those videos is a good education.

  55. I’m a little confused. I believe in a plant-based diet over a meat-based diet, but I’m not sure I understand the pro-plant-based-evolutionary aspect of the argument. According to a study I read on National Geographic, it says our human-like ancestors have been eating meat for 2.5 million years.

    And according the the Smithsonian Institute, homo sapiens have only been around for 200,000 years. This implies that humans have indeed evolved to eat meat.

    I’m I missing something? Can someone explain the pro-plant-based-evolutionary argument? I object to eating meat for moral and health reasons, but the evolutionary argument doesn’t seem correct.

  56. That’s a great question Jennifer. There is a lot of confusion about this issue. Human beings have indeed been eating meat for a long time, and many healthy cultures today eat some meat. Like the Japanese for example (although sadly their health is declining since the Western Diet has made it’s way there). But cultures like the Japanese have a majority plant based diet. If someone has been eating the standard american diet for a long time and now has standard american diseases like heart disease and type 2 diabetes, there folks are better off cutting out all animal products if they want to reverse their health issues whereas someone who has been healthy his or her whole life may be able to have a small amount of animal products without terrible health consequences.
    Many proponents of the Paleo Diet propose a high consumption of animal foods. However, there are experts who feel that our ancient ancestors, besides having very different lifestyles than us- very active, often facing famine- did not eat nearly that many animal products and that the true paleo diet was much more starch and plant based. Regardless of how our ancestors ate, current scientific studies show the best diets are plant based.

    Here are several more videos Dr. Greger has made that you might find interesting to help answer your questions.

    Thanks for your great question.
    Kelly Moderator

  57. Such a great video!

    But there is only a small correction I would like to add to this.

    When Cohen (1989) speaks about paleolithic people’s life-expectancy being 25 years old, it is simply not true.
    A common misconception is that life expectancy began to rise somewhere since 200 years ago to what it is today.

    First of all, life expectancy is a statistic that is not the same as lifespan. If you want to say people today will die at 80 years old, then people have a lifespan of 80 years… But when you speak about life expectancy you are talking about the predicted age a baby will die at in a certain society, thus life expectancy is different at 1 year and again different for the same indivudual at 10 years, 30 years etc… (all ages have different percentages possibility of survival). The old you become, the higher your life expectancy will be, because for example a 10 year old can no longer die at birth.

    Life expectancy will rise when less babies die at birth, this has nothing to do with lifespan. If people become 70 or 80 years old and less babies die in a certain century, this does not mean that people will all of a sudden live longer lives. Now there a just more 70-80 year old poeple and more babies, that’s all.

    There is enough scientific evidence to suppose that people always have lived to their 70’s or 80’s when they did not die from external events. Yes, even before the 1800’s and in paleolithic times. And no not all people were eaten by predators, some really got that old.

    But we talk about the decline in child birth from the 1800’s and what do you see? Life expectancy suddenly rises from 40 years old to 80 years old, this is not about individual lifespans, this is a statistic! Do you really think all people before 1800 where maximum 40 years old? This is rediculous.

    Life expectancy in Central African Republic is 45 years old, do you really think that when you visit the country tommorow that you will see a bunch of people that or not older then 45? No, but alot of babies die at birth, thus the low number.

    So, why hasn’t there been a evolutionary adaptation to eating meat? Certainly when you that evolutionary adaptations has been observed in islands to take place in as fast as 2 generations when we have been eating meat for 2.5 years?

    Even when people become 70 or 80 years old, they have already made their babies and passed there genes. That means that natural selection has no change to select for adaptations. Nature does not care that you die at 60 years old from artheriosclerosis…

    Waiting for evolution to adapt towards a cure for artheriosclerosis is like searching for a medecine that will cure lung cancer from smoking, it will never happen…

  58. “The Paleolithic period represents just the last two million years of human evolution. What did our bodies evolve to eat during the first 90% of our time on Earth?”
    The question is spurious: no other creature migrated and moved around as mankind is supposed to have done. The problem lies exactly there. How would our ancestors have known which plants were safe for them to consume as they trekked from habitat to habitat? They most certainly did not have the variety of foods available to modern vegetarians or vegans and would have died out, if not from starvation, then due to allergies or to the outright toxicity of many of the plants they would have encountered. Nobody is congenitally allergic to red meat and animal fat, but one can BECOME allergic if one is bitten by certain species of ticks. The substance which triggers the allergic reaction is a CARBOHYDRATE component of the meat known as “alpha gal” or galactose-alpha-1,3-galactose.
    The one easily identifiable food is meat: it grows on all species of animal, all over the world. The secondary source of nutrients is insects: something I am sure very few, if any, vegetarians and vegans would countenance eating!
    I am a carnivore: my body tolerates only meat, fat and other animal products. When I gave in to pressure to have a few cooked green beans a few months ago, within ten minutes of eating them I had a stroke. Fortunately, by INCREASING my fat intake, the paralysis of the right side of my body diminished over the next month or so. I don’t trust doctors (it’s a long story), so I did not consult any about the stroke. Oh, another thing: I do not take any supplements and am not on any medication whatsoever -and I turned 69 last month
    I firmly believe that there is no “one size fits all” diet regimen: just as our faces, physiques and voices are different, so are our nutritional requirements.
    Diabetes, indigestion and a few other conditions are not found among carnivorous people like me. My cholesterol count is normal, even though I eat more fat in a day then most people eat in a fortnight.
    Here are some telling links: “Low-carb, high-fat diets may reduce epilepsy seizures ” “Do Low Carb Diets Damage The Kidneys? Probably Not”
    Another problem is this: people who overindulge in certain plant-based “foods” gain mass, but it is not stored as starch, heaps of grain, mounds of beans or anything of that nature: the body converts it into the one substance it KNOWS how to handle: FAT. If obese people stop eating the vegetation and consume only animal products, they lose that excess mass without having to exercise. People who eat plant-based products MUST exercise to lose the excess weight. How does one account for that?

  59. 25 million years of evolution is only a theory and not proven. Dr Greger, I would like to hear your reasoning if you were restricted to the time span of man from the Biblical account. I’m not saying it’s right or wrong but just another option to approach the diet from. If 25 million is right then we didn’t eat much in the way of grains and probably found lots of root vegetables by digging more than animals. Biblically man probably started out only eating plants and fruits in the garden of Eden scenario but quickly found animals to supplement the plants that became very hard to grow all in the first generation! Historically from either perspective, we never ate processed foods and oils or hormone-antibiotic-fertilizer fed animals! Like most carnivores we probably ate the organ meats first which of course contain many more immune enhancing nutrients than muscles. Bottom line, it’s the natural unprocessed quality of the nutrients that make more of a difference!

  60. Hi there,

    I contacted DailyBurn, the Fitness Community (Video Streaming) i use and really appreciate about recipes they promote but include bacon…I told them the WHO declared bacon as dangerous as asbestos or tobacco, this was their answer:

    “Hi Mehly. I spoke to our team and they mentioned there are many bacon brands currently on the market that are nitrate and preservative free with no processing for healthier options that are even included in Whole 30 and Paleo plans. There is also tofu and also turkey bacon so the recipes can be used according to your preferences or not at all if they don’t fit with your nutritions plans.”

    I’m struggling with how to respond to this…any suggestions?

    Thanks and regards


  61. I have a question for anyone qualified to answer. I had a conversation with a friend who is on a paleo diet and this is how she explained her health situation: “I was a vegetarian/vegan for 10 years and ended up being chronically inflamed, losing my hair, getting a hashimotos, PCOS and endometriosis diagnosis. My body didn’t start healing from those diseases (my inflammation and thyroid antibodies both went down and my hormones began to balance out) until I began incorporating animal fats and organic, grass-fed meat into my diet.” She also mentioned that one of the physicians she was working with to figure these issues out was a vegan that had gut infections that went away when she switched to a paleo diet. I am very curious as to some insight. Is it possible that some human bodies need animal fat and the risk of heart disease is just one they have to take?

  62. Reminds me of my patient that says the same thing about quitting smoking. She said she felt so much better when she smoked which was an indication that it was good for her. Of course my patient, and your friend, have no evidence to support their contentions and all the available evidence points to the fact that people that consume animal products are at higher risk of early death. Keep in mind that your friend’s testimonial is no form of evidence whatsoever. Please also keep in mind that you have no idea of what your friend was eating. There is nothing special about “vegan.” I know devout “vegans” that eat poptarts, coke, potato chips, fake meat and fake cheese all day long and don’t get exercise and look very sick. The optimal diet is “whole food plant based” which is a subset of veganism and usually requires B12 supplementation. I’ve never meet a person that eats this way that is not VERY healthy. Moral of the story: testimonials from those that crave unhealthy food-like substances is not evidence.

    Dr. Ben

  63. These two studies seem to make the point that atherosclerosis is not associated with diet but with other severe health conditions, especially lack of thyroid function or hormone. Perhaps the quotes from 2 studies will clarify, although as is indicated at end of 2nd article quote, this issue still needs more research:

    Twenty questions on atherosclerosis – NCBI – NIH

    Dogs, cats, tigers, and lions can be saturated with fat and cholesterol, and atherosclerotic plaques do not develop (1, 2). The only way to produce atherosclerosis in a carnivore is to take out the thyroid gland; then, for some reason, saturated fat and cholesterol have the same effect as in herbivores.

    Canine Atherosclerosis: Why Does it Occur? ACVIM 2008

    While many dogs with diabetes mellitus or hypothyroidism have hypercholesterolemia, spontaneous atherosclerosis in dogs remains rare, and was identified in only 30 of 6,300 dogs (0.5%) that were reviewed in this study. It is unknown whether the degree and duration of hypercholesterolemia, a specific pattern of lipoprotein distribution, or other factors increase the risk of some dogs with hypercholesterolemia for development of spontaneous atherosclerosis

    … the pathophysiology of cardiac dysfunction in canine hypothyroidism is likely multifactorial and is not well understood.17 In the present study, 20 of 30 dogs with atherosclerosis had atherosclerosis of the coronary arteries. The relevance of this finding to clinical cardiovascular disease in dogs with atherosclerosis is not known. Future studies are needed in order to determine whether spontaneous atherosclerosis is associated with impaired cardiovascular function in hypothyroid dogs. Future studies are also needed to investigate a possible association between spontaneous atherosclerosis and impaired cardiovascular function in diabetic dogs.

  64. True conclusions about the paleo nonsense that is foolishly being promoted by some people. We were not made to eat animal foods. Sure, we can eat them to not starve, but plant-based foods are much more healthy for us. We were designed to eat plants.
    I do have to say evolution had nothing to do with it. There is no valid evidence for evolution between species. It just doesn’t happen. We were created as we are, and not millions of years ago, but thousands.

  65. Hi David Hustoft, thanks for your comment. Yes, as Dr Greger indicates, “We’ve been evolving for 25 million years since our common great ape ancestor, during which time our nutrient requirements and digestive physiology were set down, and therefore probably little affected by our hunter-gatherer days at the tail end. So what were we eating for the first 90% of our evolution? What the rest of the great apes ended up eating: over 95% plants”.

  66. Being new to Dr G and in the midst of reading his book, which I love, I have a nagging issue regarding the whole paleo thing. There seem to be two camps of paleo advocates, the first being the Paleolithic Prescription crowd which goes back 10,000 years to when our ancestors were undoubtedly eating animal based protein, along with gathering plant based food. So we should eat like them. The original book even had a chapter called hunting and gathering in the grocery store.

    The second paleo camp, exemplified by Dr G, touts the first 90% of our ancestral history where we apparently ate like our great ape cousins, that is a plant and fruit based diet.

    My issue is that modern plant based theory relies mainly on consumption of legumes and nuts to meet our protein needs, along with taking a vitamin b12 pill. If I’m not mistaken, legumes and nuts were unavailable to our Paleolithic ancestors. Unless I’m wrong on that, that creates quite a conundrum. Can anyone help me out on this?

    1. aboon: I have several thoughts for you to consider.

      1) Most of our ancestors have been eating grains and legumes all along. It’s not a new phenomenon specific to modern times. You can look up the “paleo poo” video here on NutritionFacts. For a more detailed discussion of what our ancestors ate from an archeological perspective, including in “paleo times”, check out the following talk, which does a great job of debunking a lot of myths from the paleo crowd:

      2) Our ancestors ate a wide variety of diets based on what was available in their area. For example, the Inuit (Eskimos) ate a diet largely based on meat, because that was what was available. However, just because our ancestors were able to survive long enough to make another generation does not mean that those humans were thriving. For example, mummies of ancient Inuit show signs of heart disease and cancer at early ages. (I could provide links, but sadly this version of the NutritionFacts website will not let a post pass if has more than small number of links. I highly recommend looking at the site for detailed and *fascinating* evidence-based videos on this topic.) In one study, they didn’t find Inuit in the village over 53 years old. That’s not necessarily because of diet, but it makes the point that just because our ancestors ate something and were able to survive to the next generation does not necessarily mean it was a healthy diet. Why not look at those diets of those civilizations where people routinely live beyond 100? (See point 3) Bottom Line: Between points 1 and 2, I would suggest that you consider that the whole paleo argument is inherently flawed.

      3) A better approach is to look at our biology combined with best of the studies of modern humans to figure out what diets are the healthiest for us. What are most likely to make us thrive? As an example, the traditional Okinawans ate primarily sweet potatoes, with all animal products combined being less that 5% of their diet. These people were some of the longest lived and healthiest people on the planet, with so many people having their 100 year birthdays that they did group celebrations where the birthday boys and girls paraded walking down the street! This NutritionFacts website is full of *quality* study after study after study showing exactly what diet gives us our best chance at healthy outcomes. The information on this website tells us a lot more than arguing that what people ate 12,000 years ago was all the same and was healthy for us.

      4) Your point about legumes and nuts as a primary source of protein also suggests that you might be missing some basic understanding of what our protein needs are. If you take just a few minutes to review the following Protein 101 article, I think you will feel a lot better on the topic of protein:

      I hope this helps.

      1. Well dang. I just reviewed the peleo poo video that I referenced in my comment above, and it does not contain the information I had thought. Here’s related information that I hope is helpful and I hope they let through!

        From TG, a poster who used to post on NutritionFacts:

        Following is a quote and references from Tom Goff, one of our very knowledgeable forum participants: “…we know that humans have been processing and consuming grains for at least 100,000 years. That is long before the Neolithic. And our pre-human ancestors were consuming grains some three and a half million years ago. So we have had the necessary enzymes for a very long time indeed. Claiming they only evolved in the Neolithic is not correct……………….. “these recent studies show that grasses and grains have been part of the human diet for millions of years.”

        I got the following from Darryl, another knowledgeable commentor: “…evidence of hominin grass seed consumption from the Bromideae or Triticeae tribe (related to domesticated wheat, barley, and rye) 1.2 million years ago…

      2. aboon: In researching an answer for another poster, I was reminded about the connection between hunter-gatherer societies, cholesterol and parasites. One thing we know about our paleo ancestors is that they have varying loads of parasites. Parasites don’t want to kill their hosts too quickly. One trade-off (in addition to diseases like anemia) is that at least certain parasites “eat” cholesterol. The cholesterol levels of our ancestors were much like whole plant food vegans of today–due at least in part to the parasites in their bodies. Want to learn more and see the evidence? You have to get by the snark, but a ton of great info is in these talks:

        Bottom line: This is another example of why it doesn’t make sense to place too much value on the idea of eating like our ancestors. We do not live like our ancestors. We have hygiene. If we don’t want to live with the parasites (and all the problems that comes with parasites), maybe we shouldn’t be idealizing and trying to exactly mimic the way certain groups ate…

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