The Weight-Loss Program that Got Better with Time

The Weight-Loss Program that Got Better with Time
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The most well-published community-based lifestyle intervention in the medical literature is also one of the most effective.


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

The CHIP program may be the most “well-published community-based lifestyle intervention…in the [medical] literature. And, one of the most effective, with “clinical changes…approaching [that] achieved in [live-in] residential lifestyle programs.”

Encouraging people to transition toward a more whole food, plant-based diet achieved blood pressure benefits that were “greater than those reported [with] the DASH [diet] and comparable with the results” in blood pressure-lowering drug trials. If we’re going to reverse the worldwide chronic disease epidemic, though, we’ve got to scale this thing up. So, to make the CHIP program “more accessible to a wider audience, each of [Hans Diehl’s] live presentations was videotaped.” Then, you could just have a volunteer facilitator get people in a room and watch the videos, and help foster discussion. When it comes to safe, simple, side effect-free solutions, like a healthier diet and lifestyle, you don’t need to wait for a doctor to show up and give a lecture. Yeah, but does it work?

Look at these numbers for those that came in—the worst of the worst—and finished all the videos: 20-point drop in blood pressures, 40-point drop in LDL, more than a 500-point drop in triglycerides. Of those that came in with diabetic-level fasting blood sugars, about one in three left with non-diabetic-level fasting blood sugars, and all they did was empower people with knowledge. Just encouraging people to move toward a whole food, plant-based diet led to these remarkable benefits.

How about the effectiveness of this “volunteer-delivered lifestyle modification program” on 5,000 people? Same kind of “significant reductions” in weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugars. Most studies giving “dietary advice to free-living subjects” can be expected to reduce total cholesterol by only about 5%. But, hey, a sustained reduction of even 1% may result in “a 2-3% reduction in the incidence of…heart disease.” So, on a population scale, “even small” differences matter. But, put thousands of people through just one month of CHIP, and get an 11% drop on average—and up to a nearly 20% drop among those who need it most.

Yeah, but do they maintain their healthy habits? I mean, doctors can’t even get most people to keep “taking a [single] pill once a day.” How effective is a volunteer-led video series going to be at getting people to maintain a change of eating habits? Researchers looked at the CHIP data to find out. How were participants still doing 18 months later? Most were able to maintain their reductions of meat, dairy, and eggs, though some of the junk food started to slip back in. And, their fruit and veggie consumption dipped, though not back to baseline. But, here’s the huge shocker. Even though they were explicitly told to eat as much as they wanted—no calorie or carb counting, no portion control—just by being informed about the benefits of centering their diets more around whole plant foods, by the end of the six-week program, they were eating, on average, about 339 fewer calories a day without even trying. Instead of eating less food, they were just eating healthier food.

Okay. But, this was right at the end of the 6-week program, when they were all jazzed up. Where were they 18 months later? Anyone familiar with weight-loss studies knows how this works; you can excite anyone in the short-term to lose weight, using practically any kind of diet. But then, six months later, a year later, they tend to gain it all back, or even more. Yeah, they were eating about 300 calories less a day during the program, but 18 months later, were only eating about 400 calories less. Wait, what kind of diet can work even better the longer you do it? A whole food, plant-based diet. Many weight loss programs restrict calorie intake by “limiting portion sizes, which often results in hunger and dissatisfaction,…contributing to low compliance and weight regain.” But the “satiety-promoting,” all-you-care-to-eat, “plant-based, whole food dietary approach” may be the secret weapon toward sustainable weight loss.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: CDC/Dawn Arlotta via Free Stock Photos. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

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

The CHIP program may be the most “well-published community-based lifestyle intervention…in the [medical] literature. And, one of the most effective, with “clinical changes…approaching [that] achieved in [live-in] residential lifestyle programs.”

Encouraging people to transition toward a more whole food, plant-based diet achieved blood pressure benefits that were “greater than those reported [with] the DASH [diet] and comparable with the results” in blood pressure-lowering drug trials. If we’re going to reverse the worldwide chronic disease epidemic, though, we’ve got to scale this thing up. So, to make the CHIP program “more accessible to a wider audience, each of [Hans Diehl’s] live presentations was videotaped.” Then, you could just have a volunteer facilitator get people in a room and watch the videos, and help foster discussion. When it comes to safe, simple, side effect-free solutions, like a healthier diet and lifestyle, you don’t need to wait for a doctor to show up and give a lecture. Yeah, but does it work?

Look at these numbers for those that came in—the worst of the worst—and finished all the videos: 20-point drop in blood pressures, 40-point drop in LDL, more than a 500-point drop in triglycerides. Of those that came in with diabetic-level fasting blood sugars, about one in three left with non-diabetic-level fasting blood sugars, and all they did was empower people with knowledge. Just encouraging people to move toward a whole food, plant-based diet led to these remarkable benefits.

How about the effectiveness of this “volunteer-delivered lifestyle modification program” on 5,000 people? Same kind of “significant reductions” in weight, blood pressure, cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood sugars. Most studies giving “dietary advice to free-living subjects” can be expected to reduce total cholesterol by only about 5%. But, hey, a sustained reduction of even 1% may result in “a 2-3% reduction in the incidence of…heart disease.” So, on a population scale, “even small” differences matter. But, put thousands of people through just one month of CHIP, and get an 11% drop on average—and up to a nearly 20% drop among those who need it most.

Yeah, but do they maintain their healthy habits? I mean, doctors can’t even get most people to keep “taking a [single] pill once a day.” How effective is a volunteer-led video series going to be at getting people to maintain a change of eating habits? Researchers looked at the CHIP data to find out. How were participants still doing 18 months later? Most were able to maintain their reductions of meat, dairy, and eggs, though some of the junk food started to slip back in. And, their fruit and veggie consumption dipped, though not back to baseline. But, here’s the huge shocker. Even though they were explicitly told to eat as much as they wanted—no calorie or carb counting, no portion control—just by being informed about the benefits of centering their diets more around whole plant foods, by the end of the six-week program, they were eating, on average, about 339 fewer calories a day without even trying. Instead of eating less food, they were just eating healthier food.

Okay. But, this was right at the end of the 6-week program, when they were all jazzed up. Where were they 18 months later? Anyone familiar with weight-loss studies knows how this works; you can excite anyone in the short-term to lose weight, using practically any kind of diet. But then, six months later, a year later, they tend to gain it all back, or even more. Yeah, they were eating about 300 calories less a day during the program, but 18 months later, were only eating about 400 calories less. Wait, what kind of diet can work even better the longer you do it? A whole food, plant-based diet. Many weight loss programs restrict calorie intake by “limiting portion sizes, which often results in hunger and dissatisfaction,…contributing to low compliance and weight regain.” But the “satiety-promoting,” all-you-care-to-eat, “plant-based, whole food dietary approach” may be the secret weapon toward sustainable weight loss.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Image credit: CDC/Dawn Arlotta via Free Stock Photos. Image has been modified.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video.

Doctor's Note

This is the second in a four-video series on CHIP, the Complete Health Improvement Program. In case you missed the first one, check out What Is the Optimal Diet? Stay tuned for CHIP: The Complete Health Improvement Program and A Workplace Wellness Program that Works.

I’m on a year-long deep dive into the science of obesity for my next book (How Not to Diet). I’m so excited about all I’m learning, and can’t wait to share!

Here are a few videos on weight control to tide you over until then:

Stay up to date with all of my newest weight loss videos on the topic page. I also have a bunch of fasting videos coming out in 2019 and 2020. 

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

178 responses to “The Weight-Loss Program that Got Better with Time

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  1. Dr. G. said, “Many weight loss programs restrict calorie intake by “limiting portion sizes, which often results in hunger and dissatisfaction,…contributing to low compliance and weight regain.”

    I don’t mean to imply that the WFPB is not the way to go, but I think it IS possible for a determined, self-controlled person to be satisfied with limited portion sizes. I’ve tried this with my morning cereal. I used to cook 1/4 cup of either kasha, brown rice, steel-cut oats, quinoa, or millet with another 1/4 cut of one of those listed: one-half cup of cooked grains, in total.

    A few weeks ago I decided to cut down….I’m no longer a growing kid, after all. Those portion sizes have now been cut in half, and I adapted very well. Now I wonder how I could have pigged out so much with the higher portions. As I posted earlier, “What the mind believes, the body achieves.”

    1. I can see how portion control is something that can work for someone like you and many commenter here. I think the disconnect between your post and what doctor Greger talks about is the scale and Public Health Potential. If you tell a million people to limit their portions, maybe 20% would actually be able to do it sustainably. You might be in this 20%, it could be that 200,000 people find this works for them. If they all posted in the comment section here, it still would not negate what Dr Greger has mentioned.

      The reason that the WFPB prescription works better than reduction, is that it tells you what to eat, not simply to eat less. By telling yourself you can eat as much as you want of vegetables, fruit, grains, beans, and tubers, you are giving people a wide range of foods that would realistically be pretty hard to eat. I made a whole plate of salad with red lettuce, carrots, cabbage, leftovers which had beans, and steamed broccoli with a homemade peanut sauce (3tbsp peanut butter, 1tbsp organic rice vinegar, dried ginger, and water). I also had 1tbs hummus. This filled me up as a man who is 6’3″ and 155lbs. I used to weight 195 as a sophomore in high school 8-9 years ago. So this plate was absolutely massive, its the biggest salad I have ever eaten and I couldn’t finish it. It was probably 400-500 calories. I was stuffed and haven’t had a bite for an hour so far. I eat as much as I want whenever I want and I maintain 155lbs.

      If you put just 1 tablespoon of oil you increase the calories by 20%. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and its 40% increase in calories. But will 2 tablespoons actually make you full? I somewhat doubt it.

      This is to say that the science shows on a large scale that telling people they can eat low calorie density food seems to help people to cut down their consumption of harmful foods, because they have a wealth of food they can eat whenever they want to. And because fruit and veggies sometimes go bad quickly, you have no choice but to eat them. There are many social factors that can inhibit a person from actually eating the WFPB diet, and generally I think these directly cause the notion that the WFPB lifestyle doesn’t work for them.

      The idea that we don’t generally know how to handle the command, “don’t think about x” is also another point talked about in the highly recommend book ” The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal. Try this don’t think about a white bear. …

      It can be hard to do. Don’t think about your sadness. We tell ourselves this, but it doesn’t tell us what to think about. As a result, we think about what we tell ourselves not to think about. Now you can think about that white bear, think about the sadness and meditate on it. Let yourself dive in. It helps us to allow ourselves to focus on a goal. If the goal could be to eat the daily dozen, then theoretically people can have something to strive for, instead of knowing that they should just eat less.

      I will finish by saying you can consider that apes eat around 40-60 servings of plants a day. Look up the video about them giving this amount to humans called “How much is too much fruit?”, we are designed to eat a lot of plant matter, and mostly leafy green plant matter with the occasional nut and berries mixed in. mushrooms are also growing constantly all around us and are generally left out of the discussion, but many different types are extremely medicinal in different ways. I hope this clears up what Dr. G is trying to convey.

        1. YR,

          99.9% of people fail at calorie restriction diets is what the Intermittent fasting guy said and the reason is that your body adapts and slows the metabolism down.

          I think that was the statistic. Then, out of the 1% who succeeded by portion control, 90% of those people don’t have the self control to keep the newly lowered calories long-term, so they gain it back, too.

          I think Dr. Fung was the one who said that. Or the Bright Lines lady or both.

          You are one of the special ones in the 10% of the 1% who is so well-disciplined that you could do it that way.

          1. I know, Deb. It seems that in this linear lifetime I am indeed (fairly) well disciplined. Goes back to piano lessons starting when I was six, and being taught by the damn penguins (nuns) in parochial school. And then the daily yoga exercises…yadda yadda yadda. Methinks I should probably not be commenting in this thread at all. :-(

        2. Verbose insinuates that it was not helpful but I found it to be a worthwhile read

          To be concise is not always possible and not always a virtue

          Yay Josh!

              1. Come on back, Josh….you can take my place, okay? It was only your last sentence that set me off, none of the (helpful) others.

              1. Yes, I’m sure you would, TG — especially the one where I’m prancin’ around naked. I’ll try to scrounge some up for you. :-)

      1. Great comments, Josh.
        Can you give more details on your homemade peanut sauce? Do you heat up the peanut butter first to melt? Never tried rice vinegar, could I substitute apple cider vinegar? Thanks in advance.

  2. You make good points YeahRight. I am also completely convinced that wfpb eating is the best way to go. However, I take exception to the idea that portion control is not required in eating this way, or that volume of food fools the brain into feeling satisfied with lower calorie density. So far, for the years that I have been eating wfpb, I have to be very aware (ie disciplined) about what I eat or the pounds creep up. As a very active person it is frustrating. Also, if I am ‘down’ a couple of hundred calories in a day, my body ‘knows’ it, wether I have filled up on lettuce along the way or not. Volume is not the only determining factor in feeling sayiisfied. At the end of the day I believe a person just has to make the decision that staying slim and healthy is their priority.

    1. Barb, I am reminded of the Red Queen in “Alice Through the Looking Glass,” who had to run faster just to stay in the same place. I think that as we age, our metabolism slows, and we need to eat less. I know that my mother, always slender, observed that she had to cut back on her food intake after menopause, first desserts, then sweets (for the most part), etc. She remained slender to the end (at age 93)

      About 20 years ago, I was overweight and out of shape, even as a vegetarian; a year of exercising made me much more fit, but with no weight loss. So, I started practicing portion control and making healthier choices (cutting out junk food, eating more veggies, etc), and I lost about 25 pounds over about 18 months.

      10 years ago, when my husband (a widower) met me and started eating my vegetarian cooking and practicing portion control, he lost about 30 pounds over about 18 months — and mhe was thrilled.

      Then, as we transitioned to wfpb eating, our weights gradually drifted down, mine about 5 pounds, his another 15. Amazing. But we are not hungry, and don’t feel deprived in any way.

      1. The problem is, the fewer calories we eat, the more our metabolism slows down and the more the scale creeps up when we eat anything at all.

        1. Deb, much of metabolism is how much muscle you have. Muscle uses a lot more calories. So exercise, weight lifting is important.
          And studies show it takes about 2 weeks on a restricted diet to change how the body handles calories.

        2. Deb, we haven’t found that to be the case: “the more the scale creeps up when we eat anything at all.” We feel full after meals, delighted with our food. And we are 75 and 67. We do weigh ourselves regularly; my husband daily, me once a week. And in the past (as vegetarians), if we saw a creep up in weight, we might slightly adjust intake downward. But all we’ve noticed recently (past year or two) is a gradual drift downward. I’ve maintained my weight loss for 20 years, my husband for 10.

  3. With a BMI of 30 and a calcium score of 1120 , a whole food plant-based diet with no refined oils has helped me lose 55 pounds. My BMI holds steady at 22, blood pressure is down 40 points, blood glucose is down 10 points. I can cycle and play hockey again at age 61. And the easiest part of the diet is that i eat as much as I want, of anything i want, anytime I want.

      1. @Lida, oils of any time are considered refined food products. Some video I was watching where the person was discussing elimination of salt, oil, sugar [sos] from ones nutritional habits commented on how many olives go into one teaspoon of olive oil and I recall that number being something like 20. In several talks dr. greger has commented on the caloric density of oils which comes without any of the associated fiber and micro/macronutrients you get eating whatever the source of the oil product is as a whole food. I now put whole unprocessed/salted olives on my salad vs olive oil and just use water if the salad tastes too dry.

        1. myurn: You’ve written that you eat unprocessed olives. As I understand, olives directly from the tree are inedible; all olives, whether one buys them in cans, in bottles, or in bulk at a salad bar, are a processed product. Result: olives contain a lot of salt and little polyphenols, which are highly sensitive to heat, light, and oxygen and other oxidants. Please correct me if I’m wrong.

          1. George

            You can eat olives directly from the tree but they are very bitter. You are right though that table olives are relatively highly processed (but obviously not as much as olive oil). Myusrn’s point was though that table olives are a better choice than oil and this is I think undoubtedly correct. You could of course alternatively add nuts or avocado to your salad if you want to increase absorption of fat soluble nutrients.

            However, both table olives and olive oil do contain significant amounts of polyphenols although this will depend on the cultivar, processing method and storage method.


      2. Hi Lida,

        I agree with Dr. Greger, we should not and do not need refined oils. However they do exist and are good to give different flavors to food which is useful when it comes to not to get bored by your diet. Therefore, in my opinion the ‘acceptable unrefined oils’ are cold press oils: olive oil, coconut oil and avocado oil. Although the acceptation will depend on the amount you’re eating and your nutritional assesment. As Dr. Greger claims all refined oils are high calorie and low density food, so they don’t satisfied you as well as whole foods.

        If you decide to spice things up with oils, do it with measure.

        Yared, Health Suport Volunteer

        1. Nutriyared, I lost 25 lbs going healthy vegan after reading Campbell’s “The China Study” without “dieting”–just not eating animal products. I lost another 5 lbs by eliminating oils from my diet. Now I seem to be losing more from eliminating most flour products from my life. Amazing how it works! I get my healthy fats from occasional nuts, seeds, and avocados.

        2. Coconut oil? no way thats the worst of every oils because it is extremly high in saturated fat and does not contains any omega 3, canola oil is probably the most acceptable common oil especially raw for seasoning since it contains a significant amount of omega 3 and is very low in saturated fat, much better than both olive oil and avocado oil, omega 3 is the only very healthy nice nutrient oils can give you in significant amount and a bit of Vit.E and K, nothing else, the brachial artery tourniquet test doest confirm it~

    1. After almost 3 years on a WFPB / Starch Solution diet, no oil, no refined sugar and very, very few high fat foods my BMI is <20 and my BP was 102/60 yesterday. Newborn infant BP is 100/60. Absolutely no portion control (other than to eat like a horse) and pretty liberal use of salt.

      1. It is very complicated to really get several grams of salt from the salt shaker anyways unlike getting it from processed foods which is a good things.

  4. Dr. Greger,
    Do we have any studies on the Keto diet ? My Son wants to give it a whirl and I need some reputable
    ammo to sway him off the idea.

    1. I recall some research showing that ketgenic diets are associated with higher all cause mortality, but I did not find that in my quick looks. PCRM had several good articles here:

      It looks like Nutrition Facts gives better results with a ‘low carb’ search rather than ‘keto’ :

      I just heard Dr. Andrew Freeman speak in the Denver area. He mentioned seeing a surprising number of 40-something men with heart attacks after they went keto.

    2. The ketogenic diet (KD) has long been used as a treatment for paediatric epilepsy but it is not without risks

      ‘ However, 22 (17.1%) patients ceased the KD because of various kinds of serious complications, and 4 (3.1%) patients died during the KD, two of sepsis, one of cardiomyopathy, and one of lipoid pneumonia.’

      This YouTube video provides screenshots of a number of other studies detailing the side effects and health risks of such diets

    3. Here is some further ammo. Also google Cyrus Khambatta. He has a PhD Nutritional Biochemistry. The Keto does work in the short-term. The long-term has serious side-effects. Dr Khambatta has a video, I think, on how to reverse diabetes with a HIGH carbohydrate diet. Not that you are interested in preventing diabetes type 2 but the low carb diet over an extended time predisposes one to this disease. [and other serious side-effects as well including cancer] Look up T. Colin Campbell [google him]

    4. ‘Keto diets’ are just another way of saying very high fat diets. Sounds much nicer and much less silly though. almost science-y.

      Just came across this which might be relevant/helpful

      ‘A high-fat diet may promote the growth of pancreatic cancer independent of obesity because of the interaction between dietary fat and cholecystokinin (CCK), a digestive hormone………………….
      CCK is released by the small intestine and is associated with obesity. Dietary fat triggers the secretion of CCK; those who follow a diet high in saturated fats often have high levels of CCK. Previous research has shown that obesity and high-fat diets both together and independently increase the risk of pancreatic cancer. ‘

  5. I like to eat. A lot! I’ve been wfpb for about 10 years, entirely plant based for 2. I started with a typical middle aged woman’s thickening waist line, with a BMI of 26. I had an initial, slow weight loss of 40 pounds. It was so gradual that it took a long time for me to become aware that it was occurring. I now hold steady with a BMI of 21 and my measurements are the same as before I had 3 children (slender!). The neatest thing is that this is effortless. I do admit that I long ago adopted a mindset that Dr. Gregor describes. As I’m lovingly fondling my veges I think ‘how can I make this meal even more nutritious?’ But I eat food. Lots and lots of food. And I enjoy every bite.

    I respond very well to this diet. My blood values are ‘astonishing’ in the words of my sceptical doctor. I can’t and won’t claim that it can or will work for everyone. I do know that in a family rife with type 2 diabetes and heart disease, I’m the only one not on any medication. There are no downsides to trying out a whole food plant based diet, no terrible side effects, and potentially amazing benefits. And the rules are simple. Eat food, mostly plant based, mostly unprocessed. Have fun! Explore and eat as great of a variety of plant based foods that you can access. Just don’t forget your b12.

  6. Eating WFPB is switching away from high fat animal products which is the same thing as eating a nutrient dense lower calorie diet. This alone will cause health improvements mentioned in video. Calorie restriction by using limited portion sizes will increase weight loss sure, but the whole point of the video was long term health and most people restricting portions did not stick with it over the long term resulting in yo-yo dieting.

  7. I’m WFPB and agree with previous commenters that that alone doesn’t guarantee the maintainainence of an optimally healthy weight. But I think that the point of the video (and presumably the paper) is that just being made aware of the health benefits of WFPB leads to statistically significant health improvements in the overall population, i.e. it was more focused on public health issues than on prescribing optimal strategies for particular individuals.

  8. Great results. As you lose weight, it is easier to be active. In the elderly, falls are a great problem, but I’m guessing with greater weight loss, health, and fitness, a WFPBD may reduce falls as well as the injury rate of falls. Has this been studied? Thank you.

    1. At age 70, after losing weight gradually via no animal products, (and without being hungry at all,) I took up running last year at age 70. I feel like I am in really good shape now after switching my diet and losing weight. I can run (a long way) out of the rain to my car if I want to–and it feels terrific! BTW, I didn’t lose ANY weight from the extra exercise…. It was the WFPBNO that did it.

      1. Liisa,

        Congratulations to you!

        Yes, Dr. Fung said that metabolism adjusts to extra exercise, too.

        His review of portion size, calorie restriction and increased exercise was futility.

        He isn’t someone who is WFPB. He just is someone who sees those things as statistical failures.

        1. Yes, well, I certainly can’t claim credit. The credit is ALL to T. Colin Campbell and the other doctors (Greger, McDougall, Esselstyn, etc., etc., etc.) I only wish someone had told me, say, 50 years earlier. Why aren’t we taught about this in school? (Never mind–I know why!) But it gripes me that it is not in the curriculum.

          Congratulations on your dog!

    2. There must be a million papers on falls prevention strategies for the elderly. Exercise does appear to be one of the more effective strategies.

      Weight loss is problematic and difficult to assess because unintentional weight loss in the elderly can be symptomatic of serious disease states.

      Diet is another difficult area since there is a possible link between malnutrition in the elderly and increased falls risk. The European Food Safety Authority has concluded that people over 60 should consume 800 IU of vitamin D daily to reduce falls risk

      I am not aware of any studies of WFPB diets and falls risk. I am guessing form this video below that neither is Dr G

      However, even if WFPB vegetarian diets did not affect falls risk in the elderly, they do seem to reduce mortality risk

  9. Surprised that this isn’t the experience of everyone here. It has been mine exactly. The excess weight came off of me without even trying after switching to a relatively healthy plant-based diet. I have not yet cut out all oil. I very occasionally have junk food. I am not young. Still, I got healthy weight loss. Never once since converting have I concerned myself with portion control. Contrast that to decades of mostly ineffective portion control measures while on a more standard diet.

    1. hi Scott, I enjoy reading posts like your, and Jon Elliot’s (in the comments above) reporting your sucesses eating wfpb. It amazes me how simple it is to produce profound changes for the better in our health, and how absolutely delicious it is too! I am in my 60’s, walk 90 min/day, swim 3 miles/week, and bicycle for fun. I don’t recall when I had a bmi over 20, maybe never. But my challenge as an older woman is the hormonal changes, slower metabolism, and increasing ability to put on weight if I dont watch it. I know guys can’t relate to this, but it happens.. even for someone very active like myself.
      Initially when I first started wfpb, I lost 30 lbs ( more than 25%) of my body weight, and a point off my ldl cholesterol. Over a short time, both drifted up as I got organized and prepared soups and stews in advance, learned how to shop and my body adjusted to the changes. My ldl is still too high (hormones affect that too). My personal stuff aside, do I encourage all who will listen to give wfpb eating a go? Absolutely! I just avoid getting into the “eat all you want” because it is more complicated than that for some of us.

      1. Hi Barb, I really was surprised that more people didn’t experience weight loss (if needed) like me after going plant-based. In learning that it isn’t more universal, I have to consider myself lucky in that regard. I realize every body is different. I’m not sure where I got my idea, but another myth has been busted:) Good health to you!

        1. hey Scott, ty for your comment. You know, I have often thought the same re the weight loss on auto pilot.. and indeed, I too DID lose considerable weight at the beginning, steadily, surely, even though I was thin to start. My guess is that many people hang to favorite foods (or don’t know how to do without) like oil, milk in their latte, occassional pizza with family, or business lunches out.

          Dr J, above, also kindly replied mentioning how some women have to cut back :( as they get older. Also, Scott, I know you are familiar with so many videos.. I am remembering the test Dr Greger mentioned about how the metabolism adapts, and we can end up with a j shaped curve for weight loss if we don’t increase exercise, or reduce calories? I will post it when I find it for anyone interested.

          Love these videos about the chip program btw, and rewatch many vids of Dr Hans Diehl on youtube regularly. Terrific educator!

          1. Thanks, Barb. My curve could become J-shaped too. I know now to be on the lookout for that. I do work out regularly and my “cheats” consuming animal products are virtually none. These may or may not help me ward off such a phenomenon.

  10. I don’t know how to obtain 90 gr of protein a day (or more) in a WFPB. It is almost impossible, because, how giant amount of food have I to eat? And also, I can’t obtain so much protein without exceding carbs amount…

    1. Barbie,

      Watch Dr. Greger’s protein videos.

      I mean it.

      Watch the videos and set yourself free from worrying about protein ever again.

    2. Barbie, 90 grams is an awful lot of protein. Part of the benefit of a WFPB diet is that it provides a good amount of protein, but not an excessive amount. Too much protein is not healthy. Current guidelines are that you need 1/2 gram of protein per 1 pound of lean body weight. (1gram per kilo). Check out the studies on the aging effects of a high protein (methionine) diet.
      Based on the new studies many athletes are totally revising their protein intake.
      Also, you may not be aware that most fruits and vegetables have protein. Are you counting them?

      1. Actually based on this video if you hit pause on the chart, most peoples will get enough protein with .6gr-.8/kg of body weight and a good part of the population would still get enough with only .5; however .4 and less wont be enough for most peoples if not everyone long term, Dr Garth Davis who wrote an awesome scientifc book “Proteinaholic” did confirm it~

    3. Hi I’m a health support volunteer. What is making you think you need 90 grams of protein or that you need to limit your carbs? If you are eating adequate calories on a whole food plant based diet, you will be getting adequate protein. Too much protein is not good and 90 sounds high. You don’t need to count the macronutrients like this if you are eating a whole food healthy plant based diet. Just eat healthy plant based foods. The healthiest cultures in the world have eating what we would consider high carb diets and have had protein intake around 10% of their diets.

      If you follow follow Dr. Greger’s daily dozen, you will have adequate protein and carbs.

      If you have specific concerns about protein, this something Dr. Garth Davis, another plant based advocate and weight loss specialists, has written extensively about. He has book called Proteinaholic. You might like some of his information.


      1. This references protein requirements in vegan athletes as published in the American college of sports medicine.
        If this person is a athlete and of normal body weight found in America nothing suggests 90 G’s is excessive.

        If this person is sedentary as most americans are, the protein requirements may be vastly differing and considerably lower. .67 Gms per KG is then the recommended amounts typically. But that is not recommended for athletes and in fact the elderly are found by study to have benefit as result from higher protein intake as well.

        The numbers referenced in the article are basically what is now generally accepted in the field of vegan athleticism for protein requirements though this article was published in 2010.The protein references are found towards the bottom of the article.

        1. From the article..”A 2009 review places the ideal protein requirement for athletes between 1.4 and 2.0 g·kg−1·d−1 (22). The International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends 1.0-1.6 g·kg−1·d−1 for endurance athletes (depending on intensity and duration of exercise) and 1.6-2.0 g·kg−1·d−1 for strength athletes, compared with the 0.8 g·kg−1·d−1 RDI for sedentary individuals. They further recommend that this protein come primarily from whole foods (3). In 2009, the Swiss Forum for Sport Nutrition designed a food pyramid for Swiss athletes taking athletes’ extra energy requirements into account. By their estimates based on their review of the literature, protein intake for athletes should be 1.6-1.9 g·kg−1·d−1 depending on training duration and intensity”

          All of this is accommodated easily in a vegan diet most easily with some supplementation. To attain or retain large body mass (but lower life expectancy) such as a 300 pound football lineman may require that above what is normally found in a vegan diet.
          A addition or qualification is these athletes are considered to be exercising a average of four hours daily in the swiss study.

          So the increases are necessary to accommodate muscle repair and recovery. Dr McDougal is simply not focused on these type peoples nor for the most part is Dr Greger though he does offer a more balanced approach.But to say 90 gms is out of a norm for such a person is simply not true, nor good advice.

          1. Possibly Ron but estimated protein requirements for athletes don’t normally focus on healthy longevity but on performance.

            Most of us here and most people visiting McDougall’s site are probably much more interested in the healthy longevity aspect than the athletic performance aspect. I therefore question your conclusion.

            I thought that NurseKelly’s post and her question about why Barbie wants 90g of protein per day were sensible and reasonable.

            1. TG your comment on my comment is not well thought.
              Why…as standard practice in giving advice in any medical context is to first ask why.
              A reasonable approach is to first ask of this person why do you want to consume 90 GM’s of protein. Not to suggest condemnation of it and then to offer literature on how low protein is recommended by this doc or that. Yes it is asked formally,but no space is given for a answer before answering in a directly certain direction.

              This typifies in fact in our current medical approach to things. It is well substantiated little to no attention is given to medical history or what the patient says of things that may attend to their circumstance of difficulty. The why of that is the for profit motivators which correspond to our delivery mechanism.

              There is no reason to typify that approach here as there is no profit motive to render a oral interview minor in focus.
              This person should simply be asked why do they feel they need the 90 GM’s and go from there.
              Do I know if this person is a strength training athlete attempting to qualify for a Olympic berth or a 90 year old who has problems with muscle wasting or a sedentary person who walks around the block for exercise…of course not. No one here knows.
              I do not know and certainly we must first find out that before we offer advise of this nature.

              I repeat and reaffirm my last statement…”But to say 90 gms is out of a norm for such a person is simply not true, nor good advice.”
              We must first ask why and allow for a answer. It is a reasonable way to conduct a patient interview. And this question falls under that purview with the assumption of a real need for a answer unless other qualification speaks of a other.

              If one wants to say…I am just a blogger here, here are my limitations and my personal opinion is this….such a standard does not apply.But that is not this specific.

              So you TG are firmly wrong.

              1. This almost borders on comical this statement..:”Too much protein is not good and 90 sounds high.”

                How can a singular number of protein amount 90 GM’s sound high? If this was a musical note perhaps. But excluding that, reasonably, I have listed many circumstances in which 90 GM’s may be not high at all and maybe be actually low. And to little protein has much more evidence of negative effect solidly grounded in scientific study than to much.
                Dr Greger is not reflecting Dr McDougalls work here nor representing him. Dr Gregers works and opinion varies from Dr McDougalls in many fashions as elaborated in his videos not by name of reference of being exceptional, but by content.
                McDougals work is ground breaking in many regards but his focus is indeed quite narrow.

                And as this video represents weight loss in a sustained fashion this topic itself is not restricted to only one sort of viewer or reader of this blog. Many may read it and be incited to offer questions about it.
                Plant based news for instance, a UK site, references Dr Greger often in their videos, and they are indeed representing largly a young age group for which performance mediated with health concern may be priority.No one is saying any in this community are only concerned with performance. As health is a major part of ability to continue at a sport uninjured.
                Nothing says only those who want to live to be 110, katie bar the door, with any other concern as minor, is the only audience here.

                If that is so Dr Greger must start refusing interviews by any other outlets that reference a more rounded in approach to WFPB diet as he is not referencing their concerns.
                But he does and he will continue as he is selling this thing of health and performance at times as well. Mc Dougall…well I can not say the same.
                Ones opinion that long life is a only concern by my guess even here, is a minor opinion to all who visit the site. Dr Gregers audience is far reaching and extends even to teenagers and others for which long life is simply not a thing at all.

                1. To reaffirm this comment I produce this copy of a transcript on Dr Gregers more protein for the elderly video….

                  “I’ve talked about this before, how muscle wasting appears to be an adaptive response, to acidosis. We appear to get a chronic low-grade acidosis with advancing age because our kidneys start to decline, and because we may be eating an acid-promoting diet—which means a diet high in fish, pork, chicken, and cheese, and low in fruits and vegetables. And, as you can see, beans and other legumes are the only major source of protein that’s alkaline- instead of acid-forming. And indeed, a more plant-based diet, a more alkaline diet, was found to be positively associated with muscle mass in women aged 18 through 79 years old.”

                  A clear point of differentiation is presented between animal and plant protein in body response. Dr McDougall would never admit this point. Dr Greger does clearly.Excess protein has clear negative effects on those with existing kidney disease and some other lesser found diseases. And meat and dairy have very many secondary negative effects of consumption.
                  Does the addition of protein in the elderly population from a plant source present with negatives to overshadow the potential of positive from increased muscle mass and possibly increased bone formation replacement… guess is yes.
                  But admittedly the science has this as a potential but unproven.

                  Any recommendation of protein consumption must be preceded by a thorough and complete medical history interview and interrogation always. Things do not sound high nor low…they are found to be such by evidence. Much evidence in this regard may indeed be found in the listening to the patient in medical/nutritional interview. At times no tests are necessary the interview says it all and points to the direction of treatment.
                  Our medical system has become so in disorder with profit as motivator these things which once were obvious and a essential to training are now found to be stated and even debated when once they were known things. Patient interview the why must be asked first always.

                  1. On the protein recommendations.

                    I am not a big fan of Dr. Mcdougall (too many mistakes; eating potato skins and using tanning beds for vit D…).

                    So anyway, the train of thought in the wfpb community seems to be that a wfpb offers plenty of protein for regular people.

                    Even more so, it tends to offer people a little bit extra protein than needed for normal function. That is why it also covers people who do more intensive exercise.

                    If athletes or weight lifters do more exercise, they tend to eat more food thus also it’s extra protein. People like Dr. Collin Campbell believe that this is a self fullfilling prophecy in this manner. And that it should cover the needs.

                    I believe this is a correct assertion to some extend and for most people. Tests by USDA panels have shown that weight lifters have enough with regular protein recommendations but a percentage of them go into negative nitrogen balance.

                    While it might be an exception to the rule, this is reflected in the protein recommendations from the sports institutions quoted by Ron in the above comments.

                    It is clear that the average protein from a wfpb is possibly not enough for some athletes. Even after adding some high protein sources. (Theres only so much you can do with whole foods).

                    When you are doing heavy exercise you provably stand to benefit from some extra protein. For some to stay in positive nitrogen balance for others to increase results regarding muscle mass or preformance. (It would be silly to put in all that effort without gains or even with losdes). There’s no need to be naive about these things. Trauma like burns or accidents raises protein needs, pregnancy raises protein needes, real heavy exercise also raises protein needs.

                    So, yes, take a LOW dose of a plant based protein powder if you are doing heavy exercises.

                    This possibly raises IGF-1 and other growth factors but that is mire ir less what you are doing with the exercise anyway. And your wfpb diet will be your shield against any cancer proliferation.

                    It seems counterintuitive and goes against everything a wfpb stands for but there is no reason to limit yourself to the standard when you are not the standard. Athletes need more and sometimes even more then what whole plant foods can offer.

                    No one would argue against the fact that a victem with severe burns gets extra protein in a hospital to heal. We should not bother athletes with the rhetoric that is only suited for normal people doing moderate exercise.

                    Offcourse the regular advice in the wfpb community should not include these facts because these are the exception to the rule. BUT if there was a wfpb sports institution they would say the exact same thing. So there you have it.

              2. Rom

                ‘Why…as standard practice in giving advice in any medical context is to first ask why.’

                That’s exactly what NurseKelly did. Yet you still objected to her comment and questions.

                I would argue that you have firmly grasped the wrong end of the stick and are refusing to let go. Even MensHealth recognises that long term high protein consumption my be dangerous

                And long term animal studies suggest that high protein diet consumed long term increase mortality

                Most people her are more interested in that than beliefs abut high protein intake being necessary or important for incrased athletic performance.

  11. To preface what I am about to say: I have been plant-based (primarily WFPB) for 2.5 years. I initially lost nearly 90 lbs — but over the past year i have gained about 30 lbs back :(

    I really think that the amount I eat is partially biological (i.e., I am hungry) and but maybe even more so psychological (i.e., I find comfort in eating during stressful times or when I fatigued from work). I realize I am one to always finish the meal no matter how large it is – if the food is in front of me it is very hard for me to not consume all of it ….

    Over the past year, I think I have proven to myself that I can gain weight on a mostly WFPB diet — so maybe I need a little portion control to reverse my weight gain trend … I really try hard to eliminate/reduce the amount of sodium, oils, flours, salt, and refined sugar – but right now I do not have the luxury of time to prepare each and every meal. My workplace provides meals and I am fortunate that they are relatively healthy where I can have a 100% WFPB breakfast and a 80-90% WFPB lunch — meaning that while I can avoid animal products easily it is not always possible to avoid a little bit of oil, salt, sugar in some of the dishes …

    Because of the psychological element to eating, and how the psychological state can affect the amount of food you eat, I can see why some people can maintain their weight at ease and why some (like me) struggle with maintaining a normal BMI…

    I have listened to Doug Lisle (for several hours) talk about the psychological element to eating. As the vegan movement gains more momentum, it is driving the food industry to create more vegan options – which on the surface may be a good thing — on the other hand – it also provides me with more processed food options which are not totally WFPB.

    Unfortunately in my case, when I get home from a long day at work the last thing I want to do is make a proper WFPB meal hence most times the vegan processed stuff wins :( (even if limit most of my “processed options” to Engine2 or McDougall products which are not as bad as most vegan processed foods but certainly inferior to a proper WFPB meal) My best way to combat this to make a large proper WFPB meal on the weekend and eat the left overs during the week — but I still am struggling — I would really like to get rid of the extra 30 lbs without having to go into a calorie restriction mode …

    1. WJB,

      I have the same time management problems and also end up with vegan processed food and I do know that any oils or processed food slows weight loss or causes weight gain.

      Faux vegan cheese and vegan mayo and salad dressings and vegan junk food are what come to mind.

      When I first started out, I had a fruit bowl and veggie platter in my fridge and that helped.

      It took away all sweet cravings and I don’t use salt or oil on fruit.

      And sweeter fresh veggies, like carrots and tri-colored peppers were easy to eat without dressings versus salad.

    2. o,

      As a professional, I’d say that portion control is highly recommended or a MUST. Go with a nutritionist to help you find easy ideas for your meals that dont take too much time. I understand that you don’t want a caloric restriction, however in some cases are necessary. Remember that calorie restriction is not equal to starving yourself.
      In the other hand, pshycological factor plays a major role in your weight gaining and I suggest to go for yoga classes so that you can relax and forget about your problems.

      Yared, Health Support Volunteer.

    3. WJB, I suggest that you “allow” yourself to put food you don’t want at the moment into your fridge. It tastes so good when you are hungry once again, and it doesn’t have to be a whole meal–you can supplement it with whatever might be missing from what you put in your fridge. For example, if I have put away some potatoes or something similar, I might get a quarter cup of beans, wash up a cuke and/or some fruit. I know that sounds like an unlikely meal! The idea is that the cuke will help fill you up–and that works for me, while the potato makes me feel like I’ve had “comfort” food.

    4. Watch Jeff Novick Fast Food DVDs. Our library has them. He has two simple recipe templates (burger and stew) which allow for wide variation. He uses canned and frozen goods for speed. You can also google “Jeff Novick Recipes Bean Burgers” to get you started. Also google “10 simple healthy plant-based dinner recipes” for examples of recipes based on his templates. Along with his burgers he has a baked fries recipe. He uses canned and frozen goods for speed. You can make a nutritious dinner in 10-15 minutes.

    5. WJB – I understand I think what you are saying. It does take time and effort to have things available to eat to keep one’s self ‘on the wagon’. At 65 my metabolism is not what it used to be and I have seen a little weight gain as I am not as active, either, due to a hip injury which limits my physical exercise. So I have a few tips that I use to keep myself on the right track. Like you, I cook up a pot of something to eat all week. I have a crock pot that I put outside on the deck to cook either all day or all night so that I don’t heat up my kitchen in the summer time. Last “recipe” was a pot of garbanzo beans with bay leaf which was scrumptous just as-is. And the beans lasted all week. But also, I will cook up a whole bunch of potatoes (again in the outdoor crock pot or bake at night when the temperatures are cool and it doesn’t heat up my house. I use a small toaster over that I set for 1 hour and go to bed or use the large oven which, again, I set for an hour and go to bed. They cook while I read then sleep.:-) that I keep in the fridge. When I come home from work hungry as all get-out I can crack open a potato and douse with salsa which interrupts that immediate hunger. I also keep on hand a large bag of sugar snap peas which I get from Costco – about 3lbs for $5. There are times when I just want to chew. I want to gnosh. I may not be real hungry but I feel like grazing. Sugar snap peas are wonderful for that as are those little carrots. I keep prepared greens in the fridge for immediate use. One of my favorite quick and easy dinners is a home made Spring Roll. I don’t worry about putting noodles in them. I just moisten the rice wrapper, throw in some already cleaned spinach, kale, and any other vegg in the fridge (a little shredded carrot, left over broccoli, etc) and roll ’em up. When I make a dipping sauce I make it in triple batch so that I generally have some on hand. Last night I ate 4 of them for dinner. Very low calorie, lots of chewing satisfaction, and filled me up plus no cooking time and very little prep time.
      Hope I’ve shared something that is useful to you. Keep the faith :-). Ruth

  12. My dog’s lung sounds are subsiding.

    This morning there were no wet-sounding inhales or exhales or sounds like he was struggling with mucus or like he swallowed a fur ball and can’t get it out.

    None. None. None.

    I had upped the broccoli sprouts, increased the milk thistle, bought a new jar of parsley and bought some Reishi mushroom capsules, which talked about lung function. I haven’t tried American or Asian Ginseng or the Chinese herbs yet. I also bought some D-Mannose and Cranberry and Manuka Honey and I don’t know if that is a wise idea or not. He is on antibiotics, which I am not impressed with and I started thinking, “What can I give him, which might help him with an infection, if he has one?”

    I almost made a serious mistake, because my relative is on Colostrum, which had a good PubMed article on Cancer, but it increases IGF-1 and I found that it might actually increase some Cancers and it was a mixed study and I threw it out. Not doing any stinking things, which increase IGF-1. No way. No how.

    1. Deb, for your dog, d-mannose, cranberry and Manuka honey are all sugars. Cancer preferentially uses sugar, that’s how they find it on scans.

      1. Yes, but honey is inversely linked to Cancer in all studies I saw and I am giving him Modified Citrus Pectin, which causes the Cancer to not be able to utilize glucose.

        I chose D-Mannose, because he has some sort of infection and I know it gets rid of E-Coli better than antibiotics. Not sure what else it works with, but he had an immediate improvement and I won’t be keeping him on those forever. They are trying to get rid of an infection, which antibiotics aren’t touching after 8 weeks.

        1. Here is a few sentences about D-Mannose and Cancer:

          Compared with patients with a low (first tertile) level of D-mannose, those with a high (second plus third tertiles) level had 49% reduced risk of recurrence (HR = 0.51; 95% CI: 0.29–0.91; P = 0.02), and 56% reduced risk of death (HR = 0.44; 95% CI: 0.25–0.77, P < 0.01). The significant association of high D-mannose levels with better prognosis was consistent among patients with early-stage and advanced-stage EAC.

          1. Or cut to the line, which I believe I understand:

            The significant association of high D-mannose levels with BETTER prognosis was consistent

            1. I should be giving the “Don’t try this at home” warning when I am just taking a chance on something like D-Mannose and Manuka Honey.

              I read one study where 2/3 of the Cancer patients had e-coli present and that is what D-Mannose helps with.

              I used it with a UTI – and found relief in 24 hours. I kept taking it for a week or something, but it worked so well that I believe in it for that.

              1. Here is an article on Manuka Honey and Cancer.


                “In the study, led by Dr Al Ramadi, the team of researchers used three different cancer cell lines (breast, skin and colon cancer) and demonstrated that the addition of exceedingly small amounts of manuka honey, as little as 1.0 per cent, can stop the growth of cancer cells by up to 70 per cent.

                The team of investigators carried out further studies to characterise the mechanism by which manuka honey is inducing the death of cancer cells.

                “The evidence so far suggests that manuka acts by stimulating a number of proteins inside the cells that leads to the induction of apoptosis, or programmed cell death. This is a natural process by which our body eliminates old or unwanted cells and is part of the normal organism’s development,” Dr Al Ramadi told Khaleej Times.”

                1. Deb, on the honey, sounds like the first study was in vitro. Those type of studies can be meaningless.

                  The second study cited was using chemotherapy plus the Manuka honey. The possible mechanism of the benefit can be that the honey carried the chemo drug directly to the cancer cells.
                  You would not get the same effect without the chemo drug.
                  I’ve seen the same technique used adding iron to chemo. Cancer also hoards iron.
                  Does that make sense?

                  1. Deb, But, if what you are doing is working, that is wonderful. I guess I’m always suspicious of life extension stuff.
                    A lot of their products have questionable ingredients, (carrageenan for example).
                    And so many studies these days are corrupted by commercial interests, hard to know what to believe.
                    I suppose having family (quite a few of us are chemists), in pharmaceutical companies and government labs, I don’t believe a lot of studies are legitimate.
                    But it’s possible that the sugar in the honey carries the beneficial compounds into the cancer cells, and that’s why it works.
                    I do use the 20+ manuka honey for people with antibiotic resistant infections, especially topically.

                    1. Liisa, to answer your question on fruit consumption. I do limit high sugar fruit. I notice it makes me feel tired.
                      I eat a lot of berries, red grapefruit and tangerines. Also have about 10-12 servings of vegetables a day. About 1/2 of them raw.

                      But, my concern with the sugar was for Deb’s dog. Sugars are not a part of a dogs (wolfs) native diet. And I have to wonder if dogs will benefit from them.

      2. Marilyn

        I think there is some serious doubt about the role of dietary sugar in cancer despite all the alternative health claims about this on the ‘net..

        ‘Because your body has this interesting fail-safe system that never lets your blood glucose level drift below a certain number. So eating less sugar will just make the body use its remaining resources to produce the glucose on its own’

        ‘Although research has shown that cancer cells consume more sugar (glucose) than normal cells, no studies have shown that eating sugar will make your cancer worse or that, if you stop eating sugar, your cancer will shrink or disappear. However, a high-sugar diet may contribute to excess weight gain, and obesity is associated with an increased risk of developing several types of cancer.’

        There is however an association between blood glucose levels and cancer risk – and weight gain/obesity are associated with high blood glucose levels. Similarly high sugar intake is assocaited with consumption of excess calories/weight gain/obesity.which might explain how this claim about dietary sugar and cancer risk arose..

        1. TG, I do believe that sugars are a real health issue. So many nutritionists talk about what humans are designed to eat. And that we should eat unprocessed food. Unprocessed food is not high sugar!
          Yes, fruit does have a lot of sugar. But the varieties of fruits that are wild are much lower. We have tampered with their genetics to make them sweeter. Perhaps our genetics have not caught up to our modern high sugar diets?
          But in my reply to Deb I was concerned with her dog. (I love dogs).

            1. Liisa, oh I agree! Love ‘Eating On the Wild Side’.
              When it came out everyone in my family and all my friends got one for Christmas.
              I also recommend it to all my clients.

    2. Deb, do you give your dog fresh broccoli sprouts or a supplement product? I’ve heard only 1 or 2 supplements will actually yield sulphoraphane. And which parsley product is best too? Your dog is sure blessed to have your love.

      1. I give him the sprouts and the spices and hemp seed and flax seed. Honestly, I am trying to stick with foods as much as possible.

        I do give him the medicinal mushroom supplements and Modified Citrus Pectin and his lab tested Triphala is given by capsule.

        The supplements I am giving are: Yunnan Baiyao, Melatonin, Milk Thistle, IP-6 with Inositol, Modified Citrus Pectin, Triphala, Reishi, Maitake Pro4X, Turkey Tail Mushrooms, Systemic Enzymes, digestive enzymes, and Serrapeptase (but not often)

        and for a few weeks it will be D-Mannose and Manuka Honey.

        I had done other things like SAMe and Wormwood with Butyrate and MSM and Dandelion Root Extract, but he is eating way more fruits and veggies now and I need to cut back on the supplements.

        I did finally buy CBD oil just to see what it was, but it is so expensive and it was so few drops per dropper that I started shaking the bottle thinking I bought an empty one.

      2. When it is food time, I have shakers of Parsley and Turmeric and Ginger and Cardamom and Nutritional Yeast and Ground Flax seed and Ground Hemp seed and pepper.

        I don’t do the Turmeric or Ginger more than a few times per week, because of the risk of anemia, but Triphala is anti-anemia, so I have come to love that.

        1. Thanks so much, Deb! I love dogs and am impressed with your campaign to save yours. You’ve given me some things to research further for my own case of cancer (prostate; localized & non-recurrent; PSA trending downward).
          Because of that anemia concern, I try to take turmeric/curcumin away from my meals to the greatest extent, but also try to consume a bit of a higher fat snack with it to increase absorption. Forgot what it was exactly, but something told me to stay away from the pepperine. Sometimes I use it just every other day for a stretch, but mostly every day. Whether curcumin is truly better isolated and standardized, I don’t really know. It seemed possible to me, but I could have bought into some hype too. I need to look into putting my ginger with the turmeric/curcumin. Didn’t realize it tended to block nutrient absorption too. I don’t know much about Triphala, but remember Dr. Greger talking about amla. I’ll have to look into it. I also have to start sprouting my own broccoli. It’s WAY too expensive in the most bioavailable capsule form. That no doubt isn’t nearly as good as the pennies a serving real food. Not the tastiest to me, but doable. Hesitant to get commercial broccoli sprouts (or any other kind) due to concerns about contamination. Guess homegrown ones aren’t immune because the seeds could be contaminated, but it seems less likely.

          1. Hi Scott,

            The sprouting is a good concept.

            Dr. Greger did a Broccoli Sprouts showdown video.

            He also did a showdown between Curcumin and Turmeric and Turmeric won.

            He also has shown a study where Green tea extract killed people faster, so don’t even think about that.

            He has an audio podcast and videos on Prostate Cancer and I remember the Lycopene from 1 Tablespoon of Tomato Paste is one of the things, which brought a man in remission, even after he had it metastasize to the bones. (Tomato juice or Tomato sauce if you can’t handle the paste. I like tomato paste, so that is what I memorized.)

            As far as the Amla, I bought lab-tested Amla first. I bought the powder and my dog didn’t like it, so I filled empty capsules from the health food store. I am not so good at filling capsules. I ended up pouring it into a small bowl and scooping it, but it was messy and my fingernails had to be scrubbed a few times per day.

            I bought lab-tested Triphala in capsules after realizing I couldn’t do Turmeric very often.

            1. Deb, thanks.

              I’m going to find some of those NF videos and revisit them, especially the turmeric one. My supplements do contain both turmeric and curcumin, but the regular spice (organic) may be better. I do use it some already. It’s definitely cheaper than a supplement. I wonder if much is lost in the drying process of herbs and spices. Probably generally less than in commercial capsule making. I’ve honestly never even had fresh turmeric…that I know of.

              Making caps by hand like you’re doing must take nothing from it, but it does sound tedious and messy. Gotta make it pallatable for your 4-legged friend though!

              I am evolving toward more whole food in place of extracts. Probably should move faster. No lycopene supplements for me and no green tea extract supplements either.

              Yes, tomato sauce and paste are good choices for pca. Something about cooking the tomatoes causes the lycopene to concentrate.

              1. Spices have way higher ORAC values than the fresh stuff. I checked.

                By the way, the foods versus cancer videos have Prostate Cancer and he did several videos based on the Dean Ornish studies.

                What surprised me in the vegetables versus cancer is that when you go to PubMed, they point to lycopene and carotinoids for Prostate Cancer and so does anecdotal evidence, but, boy, garlic and brussel sprouts and onions and leeks and broccoli and other things were the high kill things and carrot was lowest on the chart, if I remember properly and tomato wasn’t anywhere near the front of the pack.


                I found someone who kept their dog alive with Hemangiosarcoma using garlic, probably based on those charts. I haven’t given my dog any garlic yet, but I do have that on the list of things I might try if the next numbers still aren’t good. I know that it can cause anemia, but a person who uses it with their dogs said that the researchers gave such a high dose of garlic that nobody ever would give that much. I can’t remember whether it was 30 cloves of garlic or 60. It was well over 10.

                1. You’re so right about spices, Deb. How nice that these convenience foods are generally better than the fresh counterparts! Canned tomato products like tomato sauce (maybe no salt added) too, though.

                  I do embrace the cruciferous and allium vegetables, though broccoli has actually never been an absolute favorite among them.

            1. Thanks Tom. I’ve also pushed my white and green tea consumption away from meals for this very reason. I seem to be okay now, but my iron was low in blood work a few years ago. One of my providers theorized that radiation could have caused it, but my radiation oncologist didn’t think so. I was new to plant-based then. The low values didnt repeat, but I still somehow have concern about this. Low iron is relatively rare for males, as I understand it.

          2. Scott the food retailer Smiths(owned by Krogers) where I am at, carries a form of sprout that is not touched by human hands and the package has no notation that it has to be washed before eating, which all the others have.

            Alfalfa due to its sprout type seems to adhere bacteria to it more than most.
            I personally find growing my own just a bridge to far.

            1. Thanks Ron. We’ll see how I do growing them because I’m about to start.
              Don’t have Smith or Kroger’s where I live, but I’m going to see if I find a product like you mentioned. I do have some doubt about how sustainable sprout growing will turn out to be for me.

      1. I think about the Milk Commercial wondering what exactly is in Almond Milk and it was already crossed off my list, when they showed how few almonds were in it.

        I had already done the math and realized that I couldn’t figure out how many nut servings I was getting when I was drinking almond milk.

        1. Deb, in answer to your question: ” I couldn’t figure out how many nut servings I was getting when I was drinking almond milk.”

          My response is: Very little.

          I just did the calculation from information searched online: 1 cup of almond milk is the equivalent of about 7.3 almonds, based on protein content of 2 oz per 8 oz almond milk, or 4.61 almonds based on a fat content of 3 g per 8 oz almond milk. (Unless the nutrients are manipulated; e.g., adding more almond protein isolate, removing fat, etc.) And, almond milk doesn’t have all the original nutrients of the almonds, because a lot of them get filtered out. I’m guessing that it’s cheaper to just eat the almonds, and healthier as well.

          Which makes me wonder: how many almonds are used commercially to make 8 oz of almond milk? Maybe we could ask the manufacturer?

      2. Deb, you can make your own almond milk; I do. Pre-soak almonds, add water, grind. There are lots of recipes online. I don’t even filter mine. I prefer soy milk, which I also make; pre-soaked soybeans are cooked in water and then ground — and I don’t filter my soy milk, either. (I use “unfiltered soy milk” or “ground cooked soybean slurry,” take you pick, on morning cereal and in baking, e.g., sourdough whole grain waffles.) Why do I do that? I can’t find any almond milk without additives — and I don’t want all those additives. Plus, I want to eat the whole almond or soy bean, not just a filtered product. But I do make my own soy yogurt from commercial soy milk, but only those which have just 2 ingredients: water and soybeans. (My unfiltered soy milk does not work for yogurt.) Why do I do that? Same reason: additives. And I use the soy yogurt for dessert; I love it over fruit, with a sprinkle of granola on top.

        1. Dr. J – THANK YOU for your post. I’ve been driving myself crazy trying to find unadulterated soy milk for a reasonable price. So, . . a quick question: Do you use a blender to grind your cooked soy beans? and, . . Have you tried freezing the soy milk? Sometimes I can’t finish a quart of plant milk and freezing would be a helpful option for me.
          Also . . I made really yummy mashed potatoes and mushroom gravy using soy milk. After cooking the potatoes, mash ’em up with some soy milk, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic (powder or the real stuff) if desired. Pour mushroom gravy (which you made while the potatoes were cooking) over all of it. Serve with whatever green vegg desired. So friggin yummy!

        2. Dr. J.

          Thank you!

          I haven’t tried making my own almond or soy milk, but it sounds like a good way to do it.

          I realized right this minute that I have stopped drinking any type of milk at all, except in my soy green tea latte.

          I also stopped eating yogurt, both of those, probably about the time I couldn’t figure out the almond milk math.

          I also stopped having cereal, which is probably the real reason I stopped having milk.

          Plant-based Milk was too complicated a topic and my brain wasn’t strong enough to wrestle it down properly and I just had too many other health things.

        3. I am going to try making some almond milk.

          You have inspired me.

          Laughing, because my mind doesn’t wrap around making milk out of nuts.

          Can I take my peanut butter powder and add water and make peanut milk? LOL!

          I mentally understand powders and nut butters, and coconut milk. My mind doesn’t get quite over there. I have to watch a video, because my mind is stuck on how does it get to look like milk?

    1. YR, this is along with your post on adulterated almond milk.
      I won’t buy most brands of almond milk anyway, as most, but not all, contain added phosphates. I don’t think Califa brand does.
      The FDA is trying to stop all vegan ‘milks’, soy, coconut, rice etc. from using the word milk on the label. They say people are ‘confused’ by that. I’m sure ‘big dairy’ is behind it.

      Senator Mike Lee (Utah), has a bill before Congress to allow these companies to continue calling their soy, almond etc. products milk.
      He also talked about how ridiculous refusing to let vegan mayonnaise be called that. According to the FDA only products with eggs qualify as mayonnaise.
      Wouldn’t hurt to let Senator Lee know we appreciate his efforts to rein in the big food-FDA collusion.

    2. Thanks YR, I just returned from NC but luckily the almond milk I bought there was not that brand. Have it in the fridge.
      Like flax better but take what I can get when traveling.

    1. Marilyn, it’s probably best to just eat the raw almonds. Lots of questionable ingredients in those “milks.”

      1. YR, I agree, I don’t personally use any of these milks. I think they are just another processed food. But I tend to be hardcore. Don’t use any of the processed vegan food either. I’m fine with raw cashews and raw cranberries on my oatmeal.
        When cranberries are in season, I buy lots, and just toss the bags in the freezer. Add them frozen to the cooked oatmeal.
        But people who do like nut etc, milks for cereal need to be aware of the danger in added phosphates. Any food with ingredients you don’t recognize, or can’t pronounce, isn’t really good for you. Read labels.

  13. I’ve maintained a weight loss of over 100 pounds since starting CHIP in March 2012. I’ve also dropped all meds (including thyroid meds). CHIP is not a diet that I’ll stop someday. CHIP is a way of life-and a way towards living more.

    I love Dr Diehl and his wonderful program too ♥️

  14. I’d like some help. I would like to know which vegetables are OK to eat raw for vitamin C. I’ m interested in leafy greens but I’m anxious about the caveats with cruciferous and oxalate vegetables. I’m getting tired of citrus fruits. Bell peppers and fresh berries aren’t cheap. Also, I’ve got this dark discolouration on my skin under my Adam’s apple and a bit of globus like symptoms which I suspect is silent reflux. I would like to go easy on high acid foods for a while. Blood tests didn’t find anything wrong with thyroid. It did find low haemoglobin, hct and rbc, but normal iron levels. It also found low white blood cell count, particularly neutrophils, and below range hdl cholesterol. Tests were in March.

    1. Hi I’m a health support volunteer. Thanks for your great questions.

      There are no raw vegetables you need to avoid. The warnings against cruciferous vegetables are unfounded. There are no problems unless you are eating excess of 10 cups a day:
      Please don’t avoid cruciferous vegetables. They are wonderful for you.

      If you are eating a whole food plant based diet like Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen, you will be getting more than enough vitamin C. That’s essentially what I eat (I don’t regularly eat citrus fruit). Every once in awhile I put all my food into a calorie counting app out of curiosity to look at how many nutrients I’m getting. No necessary, but I get curious sometimes. The last time I did, I had 209% of the daily recommended vitamin C without citrus fruit. My fruits were a cup of FROZEN berries I added to oatmeal (much cheaper than fresh berries), a plum, and a nectarine. I had 2 leafy green salads too and a lentil soup for dinner. I don’t think you will have any problem getting enough C on a whole food plant based diet. If fresh berries and peppers are a bit pricy, try frozen. But they aren’t the only sources of vitamin C. It is abundant in plants.

      Low white blood cell count can be common among plant based eaters and it is actually a good thing:

      Low HDL is also common in plant based eaters because you are essentially eating a cholesterol free diet. Dr. Ornish has famously described the HDL, or good cholesterol, as the garbage men your body makes to clean up the bad cholesterol. If you aren’t eating any bad cholesterol, your body doesn’t need to make the HDL to clean up. Some of the healthiest cultures in the world have had very low HDL and LDL levels.

      Hope that helps some of your concerns.

      1. You mentioned White Blood Count and I ended up watching the video and sighing.

        I changed my dog to Vegan and added raw fruit and vegetables and his WBC is pinned up high.

        Trying to get it in the normal range for the next vet visit.

        I am wondering if it is all the sources of Beta Glucan I am giving that might be increasing it.

        I read that Beta Glucans have a pro or anti inflammatory effect on the immune system.

        I am using them, because of infection and I have been using Serrapeptase to get rid of any bio-film and he is on antibiotics and I just added the D-Mannose, in case it is E. Coli.

        I just don’t understand White Blood Cells at all, is what I am figuring out after watching the videos.

        Boy, this is so hard without understanding the science.

        1. Deb, beta glucans will raise wbc count. You want them too. Your dog has cancer. You want him to be fighting it with natural killer cells, i.e. white blood cells. Fighting cancer is all about making his immune system healthy again.

  15. Doctor Dean Ornish, MD wrote a book “Eat More, Weigh Less”. Doctor Jason Fung, MD wrote a book “The Complete Guide to Fasting”. It seems fasting may be more easy to comply with than portion reduction. Walking sixteen thousand steps per day for four months or more helps with weight reduction. If you can get through the first two hours of hunger pains you may develop where you fast for at least sixteen hours per day and then eat for eight hours per day. Drew Manning completed a program “Fit to Fat to Fit”. I hope this helps some. God Bless

  16. I’m in my 80’s and have solved my personal ‘not wanting to cook/prepare food’ dilemma. It’s very easy— but it doesn’t mean that it’s done all the time–. I always have those 5-6 ounce bags or containers of salad in the frig. (I especially like the 50/50 mix of spinach and arugula). I just open the top or cut the top, throw in a large cut up tomato, beans, a sprinkle of Tumeric and a dash of rice vinegar (the no sugar or HFCS kind) and stir gently. I only have to wash the fork. I eat out of the bag/container. So easy!
    Another time saver– buy a large mouth vacumn container. Place pre-washed raw quinoa grains in it and fill with boiling water (add spices you like ). Do this in the morning. When I get to work and ready for lunch, it is ‘cooked’ and a wonderful lunch. I have even added a few raisins, or already cooked beans in the container. Just wonderful! The trick is to pre-heat the bottle with hot H2O then add stuff and boiling water–give a stir. That’s all. You will fine the perfect formula amounts of water & grain for your personal preference. I always have fruit on counter and berries in freezer. I just pour dry oatmeal in a bowl, cover with blueberries, a spoon of almond butter, stir in water to get the ‘milk’ effect, let it sit while I ‘run’ to make my bed. It cannot be any easier then this to the ‘not enough time’ or ‘too busy’ to prepare food. BTW oatmeal works in vacumn bottle nicely)
    I use to travel on my job (via car) and gone for a week at a time— this way of eating worked very well in the motel room to avoid expensive restaurants and all you can eat buffet. Just gave to know where the grocery store is– BTW, the stores always have plastics forks to use– just carry a can opener for beans although now days they have organic no salt beans in bags that let you tear across the top to eat out of the bag. I cook my own beans at home in pressure cooker. Oh well, don’t beat me up but this way of eating is a lot easier then other eating plans. Much healthier by far. Love you all. Be friendly and be well!

    1. Pat! – I just LOVE you idea re: the wide mouth thermos and quinoa. That one idea alone yields an infinite number of recipe variations. Thank you for sharing that scrumptous time and effort saving idea!
      I posted a few of my tricks above in case you’re interested.
      Thanks again! – This is just exactly what I love about this site.

  17. Well just me and few probably will find this relevant, but it is nevertheless my experience.
    Not being heavy at all but really according to some BMI scale I am. 6 Ft 190 pounds but abs still show, which indicates lower range body fat. At my age I find myself as almost strange as so few have that, excepting those very skinny or on steroids, which I am not. BMI to my opinion does not really explore or relate to the inclusion of muscle mass and leads to a untoward conclusion of fat at times with very muscle massed peoples.

    I suspect any simple sugar containing thing such as berries would cause a maintaining of weight if snacked on in isolated fashion. Without that berries combined with leafy greens and other things the weight just comes off.
    So if I wanted to loose some weight I think really it is easily done…no sugar. And berries and such containing sugar only combined with other whole foods.
    So no sugar added to anything always and berries never as a solely eaten thing and my weight would quickly come off. Don’t want to be much lighter now but if I did it could be easily accomplished. That coupled with a very active exercise style.

    Few I think are complying with the WHO, FDA’s CDC’s or Dr Greger recommendations on exercise. It is not for nothing his QA’s are done on a treadmill. It says a thing. If you do not want to engage in high intensity exercise low intensity may be endeavored but it takes a way lot of time a day.
    WFPB attention to sugar and exercise by recognized standards and I can’t see any weight staying on.
    His notation in video suggesting one finds a equal effect in some regards from foods as to equal exercise does not infer nor is meant to imply one may then not exercise it is a part of his recommendations always. You are misinterpreting his body of work if you are thinking that and applying that mistaken thing to your lifestyle.

    As to protein, I say once again many here demonize protein for no good reason. Animal protein study shows vast negatives, but those simply do not apply to plant based proteins with the one possible exception of soy protein in vastly large amounts consumed.
    Good bone health and maintence of body muscle mass especially in the elderly, are favored by protein intake.
    Low end body protein intake may produce a absolute longer age attainment by various factors related to lower protein intake such as lower IGF-1 production but there are positives to a higher protein intake and slightly higher IGF-1 levels which produce more muscle mass and other benefits.
    To live to 110 and be cancer free but confined to a wheel chair due to low muscle mass and osteoperosis is simply not what most want.
    A 100 but perhaps functionally capeable is more like it. Which is assisted by increased protein consumption.
    Most WFPB vegan athletes are indeed consuming protein in the 1.4 to 1.8 per bodyweight KG range. Milk consumers have more hip fractures in the elderly but so do vegan who are likely lower in protein an calcium intake by some studies. It is by my read not a thing of protein but on milk and lack of protein and calcium in vegan diets that is the cause of increased hip and other fracture. But that can be easily remedied on even a vegan WFPB diet with little modification.

    So you are perhaps reflecting McDougall in this on protein but he is not all that there is on our side on it nor is he the final answer as study suggests other result as well.

      1. Most of these studies are produced from their side, the milk egg and meat industry. But keep in mind the role of protein in human consumption as a assist in calcium absorbtion does not preclude their sides dietary preference. Milk eggs meat and others can indeed produce things like a bodily response of increased IGF-1 beyond what we may care to endeavor. Not to mention other negatives of that choice in diet such as increased dietary fats sat fat contaminants and all the rest.

        But as to increased protein increasing calcium absorbtion several studies suggest it…..
        Which is but one.
        The role of increased protein consumption in the elderly is another that has much to recommend it in study.
        Again the negatives by my read are as to the source of protein not protein itself, McDougal opposes that recommendation but his recommendations are not our sides view in entireity on all things. He is still by my read a bit iffy on B-12 supplementation which most all now accept as a gimmie to this WFPN diet. AS a example speaking of his opinion not being every docs opinion on all things.

        1. A partial quote from that referenced above…” Ongoing studies also seek to better define the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which dietary protein augments intestinal calcium absorption”

          Protein augments calcium absorption is the assumptive premesis upon which further research is being based.
          Much supports that assumption.

          1. This references the thinking of what most in the vegan sports community holds as regards to protein requirements for athletes. This ranges as high as 2 g per kg but the average is probably found to be around 1.4.
            The protein requirements for athletes are found towards the bottom of the article in the special nutrition requirements section.
            Keep in mind it is estimated a sedentary person needs only probably around .67 Grams per KG to maintain in protein balance for body function.

            Protein requirement depends seemingly highly upon exercise endeavored. Study often qualifies only sedentary peoples or near to sedentary from which the base requirements are determined. Why that…as that is your norm for a American.

            1. Ron,

              Thank you for sharing.

              Yes, the study with hip fractures has to be taken into the equation.

              Do they know it is Calcium?

              And I am going to suggest Creatine as a potential guess answer, from someone who doesn’t understand science all that well,

              Okay, my Google guessing process got this result: “The investigators recently completed a pilot study in a small number of postmenopausal women (n=33) that showed that creatine monohydrate significantly improved hip bone mineral density during a 1-year resistance training program.”

              How about Taurine:

              We concluded that peri-operative taurine supplementation attenuated postoperative oxidative stress in elderly hip fracture patients, but did not improve postoperative morbidity and mortality.

              Or How about the the increase in rates of Dementia or Alzheimer’s in vegans from not supplementing?


              Or just being too thin?

              I found a study, which linked: smoking, being underweight, dementia and Parkinson’s as things linked to hip fractures

              So: vegans should knock the Parkinson’s out of the park and may be more health conscious, which would have me guess they would be less likely to be smokers, so why so high in hip fractures: but do tend to be thin and may be prone to Alzheimer’s without proper dietary interventions.

              1. Thanks for your reply Deb.

                Who do you mean by this…”Do they know it is Calcium?” who is the they?
                And what part of my post does this reference, what line paragraph or sentence?

                If you mean to suggest counters to the opinion calcium for one reason or another absorption or a lack in diet, has not a role in osteoperosis I think you are representing a minority view as per that versed and substantiated by the community of science in this specific based upon study.
                Things that may affect increase or decrease calcium absorption or assimilation presenting in bones, and then displaying as tendency towards fracture are variable and multiple.

                Many of these items are under study.

                1. I was just pondering that Dr. Greger did a video or audio where eating meat or having a highly acidic diet caused calcium to leach out of the bones.

                  I found a quote from someone else: “So, rather than a disease of calcium deficiency, it started to look like osteoporosis was a disease of excess—too much animal protein. And it seemed logical that vegans, who don’t consume any animal protein, would lose less calcium and therefore need less in their diet.May 21, 2010”

                  The thing is….

                  Vegans should knock that out of the park, too.

                  I went to Canada’s study about hip fracture people with delirium and Methionine was one of the things associated with that, and vegans should knock that out of the park, too.

                  I looked up cholesterol, just for ha ha’s and:

                  I think vegans should knock that out of the park, too, shouldn’t they?

                  1. Elderly people are low in Taurine and vegans don’t have a source of it other than supplementation.

                    I found a book called: Taurine 8: Volume 2, Nutrition and Metabolism Protective Role……(The title keeps going, but my memory stopped at protective role) which said that supplementing Taurine might be better than eating meat for protecting the bone.

                    1. I go back to the correlation study.

                      Dementia / Alzheimer’s
                      Being thin

                      The last one was only having one person assist in walking. If you are thin, it might be that the caretakers think you only need one person to assist with walking. Or if you are heavy, they might know they need two people to assist in walking.

                      To me, for vegans, I need to know the statistics of Alzheimer’s and being underweight and how that relates to falls.

                      Seems to me, telling the elderly that it is time to start eating some good vegan junk food might help with one of those categories.

                    2. Taurine is naturally produced in the body by processes we endeavor. It is usually lower in vegans than meat eaters however as it requires a secondary means of synthesis from food sources such as soy.
                      The leaching of calcium from acid producing environments I think has been disproven. The critical factor being the depletion only occurs in a calcium lacking environment. Normally we utilize ingested calcium as the buffer, not depriving our bones..

                      As to cholesterol I have heard of it as being a body response to inflammation. Dietary fat and or decreased amounts of necessary vitamins such as B-12 may be implicated. Despite any readings in testing vegans do not seen to suffer the same result of AMI in populations.
                      Nothing suggests that eating meat protects bones that I would recommend.
                      Is some study out there..probably. the industry continually manufacturers study to support consumption.
                      Americans eat large amounts of meat comparitively and osteoperosis is pretty endemic here. Alskan natives on a meat diet have large amounts of that as well.

                      Is the causative mechanism then acid produced by eating meat and since these peoples also largly eat dairy for some reason that calcium is not being absorbed? Or is it micronutrient replacement by meat as opposed to equilivent of beans or this or that…..I’d say it is a bit unknown. But meat eaters typically drink and eat dairy. So calcium deficiency it is apparently not.
                      Dairy consumption does not seen to provide protection for this reason or that.
                      It is thought that vegans do tend to hip fractures in some study. It is usually attributed to calcium deficient intake. Could that be compounded by low protein intake as well…possibly but unproven.

                      AS to diet and this blog all of this is serviced by exercise, which is not the only answer assuredly, but helps in all of these situations.
                      I firmly believe our metabolisms do not decrease in vast amounts as we age but do think we tend to actually be a lot less physical.
                      Likely all things are a combination and the result of health is as well. So we must attend to study of this.
                      There are combination effects here this is not a simple study.

                    3. I was reading this article and found it interesting.


                      They said that the bone density issues are linked to having all the nutrients for bone mineralization versus being linked to being vegan.

                      “The process of bone mineralization (the laying down of minerals on the bone matrix) and resorption (when osteoclasts break down bone and release calcium into the blood) is complex and is affected by many factors, including nutrients, such as calcium, vitamins D and B12, zinc, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids, according to Katherine L. Tucker, PhD, a professor of nutritional epidemiology at the University of Massachusetts Lowell….. it’s easy for vegans to become deficient in these important nutrients.”

                      They talked about people making their own non-fortified plant-based milks and talked about bioavailability of the sources we do eat.

                      “Bioavailability is excellent from cruciferous vegetables like turnip greens, collards, mustard greens, and kale. But it’s very poor from certain other greens, such as spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens. It’s also good from soyfoods and fortified plant milks, but calcium is absorbed at much lower rates from other legumes, nuts, and seeds.”

                    4. So vegans aren’t supplementing is one of the issues.

                      They aren’t supplementing and they are too thin.

                      And may be the group that the caretakers feel like they are so light that they can walk them without assistance.

                    5. Deb in a unsupervised condition in early onset A, that is often the situation, people just generally forget things. They also forget to eat. So thin may be auxiliary to cause contribution.

                      Nursing home staff are completely familiar with the necessity of assistance with those of varying body weight as they deal with that continually. A underweight patient is likely quite often in need of the most assistance as their muscle mass is decreased significantly.
                      Gross low body weight is a late sign of terminal illness progression in quite a few illnesses. Corrosponding to the illness if often complete muscle atrophy.

                    6. The author suggested that Asians aren’t deficient, even though they don’t eat as much vegan dairy, because they eat cruciferous veggies and soy products.

                      Are American vegans not eating cruciferous veggies and soy?

                      I am laughing, because that over the past year have been so much of what I have been eating that I don’t understand the sentences.

                      Apparently, American vegans don’t eat soy or cruciferous veggies.

                    7. With me, it would be that I moved my own supplements when I started supplementing my dog and haven’t taken B12 or D or Zinc or Calcium or Omega 3 for 8 weeks.

                      (I say after grabbing for them….)

                    8. The various commercial plant milks are probably the simplest easiest way for most vegans to obtain calcium as they are almost all fortified and/or have levels that are high. Care must be taken if vegan for ethical reasons to see to it the milk is however vegan as not all are.
                      The contaminants or untoward ingredients to my opinion are so low as to be negated by the employment of high fiber WFPB diets.
                      It is a simple easy way to get calcium at not a concentrated dose. They range from about 25 to 45% per serving. In light of untoward ingredients it is ill advised to consume more than a serving or two to my personal opinion. At that one or two I don’t see a big problem if one is WFPB.

                      They are fortifying these things not for fun but because there is a perceived need and people want it to be so.
                      Making ones own will generally not contain the same amounts of calcium. Yes one can obtain enough calcium from a WFPB diet but really look to see how many cups of Kale, per example, one must consume to suffice the RDA….and then wonder perhaps is that all bioavailable.
                      I personally don’t consume that much kale. I guess most do not. And calcium while present elsewhere in the plant kingdom is not generally found in large amounts from any one source. So it is a attention to detail most perhaps do not have the time for. like growing ones sprouts. Ones whole life could revolve around diet when the truth is most of us little desire that nor have the time.

                      So processed foods are not that good for us but in many cases they are a situation of necessity and can provide some specific benefits. Calcium and the plant milks are that to my opinion. I just would not go overboard with them. Much more concerning to me due to fat and other content are the various plant cheeses. Most are plainly grossly unhealthy at any amount.
                      The milks not so much, a bit but benefit as well.

                    9. Okay, one more theory, because there might be nutritional deficiencies, which increase dizziness or vertigo.

                      One year, I was in a church, where half the women ended up with vertigo.

                      Supplementing Calcium, and not getting Magnesium, I think was one of the things, which was discussed.

                      I got vertigo for 3 days or so. Never had it before or after, but I knew a race car driver who could’a been a contender, except for vertigo. Long story. Yes, I had a few relatives in auto racing. Years ago.

                      Anyway, this article broke down a type of vertigo by nutrition and said as a potential reason vegans might get it: 85% excess carbohydrate becomes fats by the liver, increasing the lipids, cholesterol, and triglycerides in the blood, which may cause accumulation of sodium and potassium in the inner ear.


                    10. Also, there are too many “processed food vegans” in Western cultures, might be a factor.

                      “consumption of traditional foods were replaced by processed foods of easy preparation causing dyslipidemia and excess of sodium, damaging the natural physiology chemical level in the inner ear among other comorbidities.25”

                    11. This article here addresses the issue to fit with my views upon it almost entirely.

                      I did not read this article and then present my views as it but just ran across it…

                      It presents it from a vegan viewpoint as this is a vegan site. It concludes that most vegans do not get enough calcium from plant sources and a milk substitute is a good idea(which is my last statement).
                      The various nuances of the china findings and this and that you address are all explained. It examines quite a few studies and is a indepth good review of current thought.

                      Aside the issue I had one problem with vertigo that occurred way way back in the day when I took a supplement with lycopene and other things for eye health….it produced that. No telling what was in it by my guess. Eliminated and it never returned. When it occurred it was quite frightening. A reputable company to boot.

                  2. This is not a opinion piece. It has 32 listed study references, is quite thorough and well done, and this is the conclusion..

                    Although it is possible to meet the calcium recommendations by eating greens alone (see chart below), the average vegan probably will not meet recommendations without drinking a glass of fortified drink each day, eating calcium-set tofu, or taking a 250 – 300 mg supplement (in addition to eating an otherwise balanced diet). Although it is important to get enough calcium, do not get more than 1,400 mg of calcium per day.”
                    One really just has to read it.

                    1. This section on the 7th day Adventist study references the claim I make in this discussion on the possibility of increased plant protein consumption being protective in some manner from osteoperosis…
                      “The study found that eating meat alternatives once a day or more (compared to less than once per week) was associated with a 66% reduced risk of hip fracture in the vegetarians (.34, .12-.95). Even more strongly, eating legumes once a day or more (compared to less than once per week) was associated with a 55% reduced risk in vegetarians (.45, .22-.94).
                      The authors state, “Protein is recognized for its ability to improve [calcium] balance, suppress parathyroid hormone, increase lean body mass and increase production of the bone growth regulator insulin-like growth factor-1.”

                      IGF-1 is a negative for tumor growth and cancers, and Dr McDougal for one strictly abhors it, and many completely disavow soy on that basis, it may raise IGF-1 levels at high amounts.
                      But IGF-1 likely in moderate incitement for production, does assist in growth of things we find necessary, like bones.

                      So it is not a absolute no no unless one has a diagnosis of cancer, but a balance thing not to go overboard with…milk sends us overboard for one mention. Plant protein source generally does not.

                    2. Ron,

                      Interesting about the alternative meat sources and legumes.

                      It just makes me wonder what the vegans are eating.

                      Going back to the dizziness and falling, which are what generally comes directly before the hip fractures, I found a list with a few more things. One was that Vegans tend to have lower blood pressure and too low can cause dizziness. They also said that vegetarians need to drink more water than other groups, because we eat foods, which absorb more water in the digestive tract.

                      “Vegetarian foods such as carrots, apples, oat bran, nuts, and flax are rich in soluble fiber, which absorbs water in the digestive tract. As such, switching to a vegetarian diet without increasing your water intake could lead to dizziness from dehydration.”

  18. Drop outs and intent to treat are important in assessing any weight loss program. In the follow up calorie estimate, I assume it was a 24-hour self reported recall, and only a much reduced sample of the original intent to treat of over 5000, info. not provided in the video. Also, no standard deviations are reported in the cholesterol and other reductions achieved, which if large imply a few individuals with larger reductions in each risk factor measured may skew the mean changes.
    Also, the actual reductions are helpful but not striking. Finally, what about sustained reductions in all the important parameters at 1.5+ years, were these followed up on? I think the subtitle of the video is generous, presents the results too optimistically.

    1. You may not have watched this video all the way through. I say that because the assumptions in your post would seem obviously incorrect to anyone who watched the video all the way through and checked out the citations.

      It is a sub-5 minute video that references five separate academic papers. Naturally, it didn’t go into the sort of detail that you describe. To get those details you need to go to the papers themselves which are referenced in the sources cited drop-down section..

      What is more, the 5,000 person study you refer to, was a counselling programme so 24 hour recall questionnaires were not involved. There were however blood tests at baseline and at follow-up. Further, the paper provides details of the numbers of participants at baseline and at conclusion. It also reports standard deviations at baseline and at 1.5 year follow-up. And if these results were not striking, as you state, can you then provide an example of another large-scale programme which provided similar or even better results over a similarly lengthy period?

      If you work from faulty assumptions like those, it is probable that your conclusions are equally faulty. That said, this was not a randomised trial. The participants were self-selected and actually paid $250 to participate. Consequently, we may regard them as highly motivated and probably not fully representative of the general population. So I think you were right to express some caution about these results. Nevertheless, I thought the results were pretty impressive and justified the title of the video..

      1. I should just clarify, although there was no 24 hour food recall questionnaire as such, there was a medical/lifestyle questionnaire which included questions about medical history, family history, diet, activity, alcohol, tobacco and medication use.

  19. This would possibly be an interesting question for Dr. Greger.

    “Do you think that the PritikinCenter diet is so effective because of them using products low in saturated fat predominatly or because of the restrictions in portion size and serving frequency of the animal based foods overall?”

    Let me know if you ever have the change of asking. I will subscribe to this page, you can also reach me on twitter @netgogate

  20. I just found this answered more or less by Dr. Colin Campbell in a video that I will link below.

    The worst thing (there’s also inflammation or other mechanisms that I’m not taking in account) that saturated fat does, is increasing serum cholesterol levels.
    Lowering cholesterol by statins gives at best a 9% increased prevention rate against CVD mortality. Comparing this 9% with the ~98% prevention rate against CVD mortality seen in using a wfpb diet, one could perhaps conclude that focussing on low saturated fat foods offers the Pritikin diet only around 9% of its documented benefits. The other 91% comes from the inclusion of the healthy plant foods and the limitations on the frequency and portion restrictions of animal-based foods.

    Chart CDH Mortality

    Video Colin Campbell (@57:00 minutes)

    Science based benefits Pritikin Diet

  21. I really feel like researchers should go back to those coconut eating islanders with raised serum cholesterol to find out whether they had more CVD mortality. That would answer the question more profoundly.

  22. I’m writing a book about natural ways to reverse, and prevent, hypertension (high blood pressure) and if anyone has access to the data shown at the one minute 15 second (1:15) mark of this video “The Weight Loss Program that Got Better with Time” I’d appreciate it very much if you can e-mail it to me at: and thank you!

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