Trailer for How Not to Diet: Dr. Greger’s Guide to Weight Loss

Trailer for How Not to Diet: Dr. Greger’s Guide to Weight Loss
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17 ingredients to an ideal weight-loss diet and the 21 tweaks to accelerate the further loss of excess body fat.

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

First let me describe what my new book How Not to Diet is not about. If you want to be regaled with success stories and testimonials and before-and-after pictures, you have come to the wrong place. See, you don’t need anecdotes when you have evidence. I wrote this book for those who want the facts, not filler, fantasy, or fluff.

I’m not interested in offering dueling anecdotes, and the last thing we need is more dietary dogma. What I am interested in is the science. When it comes to making life-and-death decisions as important as what to feed yourself and your family, as far as I’m concerned there’s only one question: What does the best available balance of evidence say right now? My goal was to create the oxymoron: an evidence-based diet book.

The problem is that even just sticking to peer-reviewed medical literature is not enough, as concluded a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine: “False and scientifically unsupported beliefs about obesity are pervasive” even in scientific journals. The only way to get at the truth, then, is to dive deep into the primary literature, and read all the original studies. Who’s got time for that, though? There are more than half a million scientific papers on the subject, with a hundred new ones published every day. Even researchers in the field might not be able to keep track of what’s going on beyond their narrow domain. But that’s what we do at NutritionFacts.org. We comb through tens of thousands of studies a year so you…don’t have to.

Whether you are morbidly obese, just overweight like the average American, or at your ideal weight and just want to keep it that way, my goal was to give you every possible tweak and technique we could find to build the optimal weight-control solution from the ground up. To that end, we identified 17 key ingredients to the ideal weight-loss diet, with a chapter on each. Ideally, foods, meals, and entire dietary patters should be anti-inflammatory; clean from industrial pollutants; high in fiber and water; low in high-glycemic and addictive foods, added fat and sugar, calorie density, meat, refined grains, and salt; low insulin index; friendly to our friendly flora; rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and particularly satiating.

No wonder a whole food, plant-based diet is the single most successful weight loss intervention without calorie restriction or exercise ever published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and proven in a randomized controlled trial.

Start packing your diet with real food that grows out of the ground, and the pounds should come off naturally, taking you down towards your ideal weight.

Okay, so that’s what I spend the first half of the book doing, laying out the optimal weight-loss diet. Then I spend the second half on all the tools I unearthed to drive further weight loss for any stubborn pounds that remain. In the first half, we learn that a calorie is not necessarily a calorie. A hundred calories of chickpeas has a different impact than a hundred calories of chicken or Chiclets, based on their different effects on factors such absorption, appetite, or our microbiome. In the second half, I go a step further and show how even the exact same foods eaten differently can have different effects. It’s not only what we eat, but how and when.

There are specific foods shown in interventional trials to cause you to burn more fat, suppress your appetite, rev up your metabolism, block the absorption of calories, and effectively take away even more calories than they provide. What’s more, the context in which we eat matters, too. The same number of calories eaten at a different time of the day, in a different meal distribution, or after different amounts of sleep can translate into different amounts of body fat. Distinct forms of the exact same foods can be distinctly fattening. And did you know combining certain foods together can have a different effect than eating them apart? There’s even a food that can prevent the metabolic slowing that your body uses to frustrate your weight-loss attempts. 

Skeptical? You should be! I was, too.

I went into this thinking I would just end up railing against all the gimmicky snake-oil nonsense out there, and put out the same standard advice on trimming calories and hitting the gym. I imagined what would set this work apart would be its comprehensiveness and strict grounding in science. I figured this book would distinguish itself—but more as a book of reference than revolution. I certainly never thought I’d stumble across some novel weight-loss strategy.

I went into this project with the goal of creating a distillation of all the best science, but, to my delight, I discovered all sorts of exciting new tools and tricks along the way, a treasure trove of buried data, like simple spices proven in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to accelerate weight loss for pennies a day. With so little profit potential, it’s no wonder those studies never saw the light of day. And I was even able to traverse beyond the existing evidence base to propose a new method to eliminate body fat. It can’t be monetized either, but the only profiting I care about is your health. That’s why I donate 100 percent of the proceeds I get from my books—including this one—to charity. I don’t get a single penny from my books, but I get something better—the satisfaction of serving and helping, learning, and sharing. Contact your local library or order it for yourself or for anyone you love.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

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.

First let me describe what my new book How Not to Diet is not about. If you want to be regaled with success stories and testimonials and before-and-after pictures, you have come to the wrong place. See, you don’t need anecdotes when you have evidence. I wrote this book for those who want the facts, not filler, fantasy, or fluff.

I’m not interested in offering dueling anecdotes, and the last thing we need is more dietary dogma. What I am interested in is the science. When it comes to making life-and-death decisions as important as what to feed yourself and your family, as far as I’m concerned there’s only one question: What does the best available balance of evidence say right now? My goal was to create the oxymoron: an evidence-based diet book.

The problem is that even just sticking to peer-reviewed medical literature is not enough, as concluded a commentary in the New England Journal of Medicine: “False and scientifically unsupported beliefs about obesity are pervasive” even in scientific journals. The only way to get at the truth, then, is to dive deep into the primary literature, and read all the original studies. Who’s got time for that, though? There are more than half a million scientific papers on the subject, with a hundred new ones published every day. Even researchers in the field might not be able to keep track of what’s going on beyond their narrow domain. But that’s what we do at NutritionFacts.org. We comb through tens of thousands of studies a year so you…don’t have to.

Whether you are morbidly obese, just overweight like the average American, or at your ideal weight and just want to keep it that way, my goal was to give you every possible tweak and technique we could find to build the optimal weight-control solution from the ground up. To that end, we identified 17 key ingredients to the ideal weight-loss diet, with a chapter on each. Ideally, foods, meals, and entire dietary patters should be anti-inflammatory; clean from industrial pollutants; high in fiber and water; low in high-glycemic and addictive foods, added fat and sugar, calorie density, meat, refined grains, and salt; low insulin index; friendly to our friendly flora; rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, and particularly satiating.

No wonder a whole food, plant-based diet is the single most successful weight loss intervention without calorie restriction or exercise ever published in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, and proven in a randomized controlled trial.

Start packing your diet with real food that grows out of the ground, and the pounds should come off naturally, taking you down towards your ideal weight.

Okay, so that’s what I spend the first half of the book doing, laying out the optimal weight-loss diet. Then I spend the second half on all the tools I unearthed to drive further weight loss for any stubborn pounds that remain. In the first half, we learn that a calorie is not necessarily a calorie. A hundred calories of chickpeas has a different impact than a hundred calories of chicken or Chiclets, based on their different effects on factors such absorption, appetite, or our microbiome. In the second half, I go a step further and show how even the exact same foods eaten differently can have different effects. It’s not only what we eat, but how and when.

There are specific foods shown in interventional trials to cause you to burn more fat, suppress your appetite, rev up your metabolism, block the absorption of calories, and effectively take away even more calories than they provide. What’s more, the context in which we eat matters, too. The same number of calories eaten at a different time of the day, in a different meal distribution, or after different amounts of sleep can translate into different amounts of body fat. Distinct forms of the exact same foods can be distinctly fattening. And did you know combining certain foods together can have a different effect than eating them apart? There’s even a food that can prevent the metabolic slowing that your body uses to frustrate your weight-loss attempts. 

Skeptical? You should be! I was, too.

I went into this thinking I would just end up railing against all the gimmicky snake-oil nonsense out there, and put out the same standard advice on trimming calories and hitting the gym. I imagined what would set this work apart would be its comprehensiveness and strict grounding in science. I figured this book would distinguish itself—but more as a book of reference than revolution. I certainly never thought I’d stumble across some novel weight-loss strategy.

I went into this project with the goal of creating a distillation of all the best science, but, to my delight, I discovered all sorts of exciting new tools and tricks along the way, a treasure trove of buried data, like simple spices proven in randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled studies to accelerate weight loss for pennies a day. With so little profit potential, it’s no wonder those studies never saw the light of day. And I was even able to traverse beyond the existing evidence base to propose a new method to eliminate body fat. It can’t be monetized either, but the only profiting I care about is your health. That’s why I donate 100 percent of the proceeds I get from my books—including this one—to charity. I don’t get a single penny from my books, but I get something better—the satisfaction of serving and helping, learning, and sharing. Contact your local library or order it for yourself or for anyone you love.

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Motion graphics by Avocado Video

Doctor's Note

I am so incredibly excited to announce that How Not to Diet hits shelves in just one week–December 10. If you’ve preordered a copy, it will be in your hands in no time. If you haven’t yet, there’s still time; preorder here. Cross your fingers for me to see where it debuts on the New York Times bestseller list. (As always, all the proceeds I receive from the book are donated to charity; I just really want as many people as possible to benefit!)

This was my biggest research project to date. There are more than a half million papers published in the medical literature on obesity, with 100 new ones every day. It’s no wonder no one has yet pulled together all the best science…until now! I’m proud of this book, and can’t wait until it gets out into the world.

In the meantime, if you want to see some of the science I wrote about in the book, check out my recent weight loss series:

What about keto for weight loss? See:

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

89 responses to “Trailer for How Not to Diet: Dr. Greger’s Guide to Weight Loss

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  1. In ‘How Not to Die’, Dr Greger describes the ‘Daily Dozen’, a whole food dietary plan that to me, is sheer brilliance. The whole food way of eating can be so easy to prepare and enjoy – and I reaped health benefits I never thought possible. Thank you Dr Greger!

    Being slim and active, I didn’t think I needed “How Not to Diet” – but I was wrong! It looks packed with great info to make living just a little easier and healthier. I can’t wait

      1. Any recommendations regarding what to eat instead for someone like me, who can’t consum legumes? Because they gave me severe migraines.

        I haven’t found any source from dr. Greger’s guides. Many thanks.

        1. Legumes are not the only starch that you can eat. In fact, if you were only eating legumes, you will end up eating way too many proteins… So legumes are really not a staple food, unless maybe if you are doing a hard physical work for 12 hours a day or more.

          Charles Darwin wrote: “I have always been astonished at the fact that the most extraordinary workers I ever saw, viz., the laborers in the mines of Chili, live exclusively on vegetable food, which includes many seeds of the leguminous plants.”

          So legumes are superfoods, and you may not need them every day. If they cause some issues (but most likely not all legumes) you may eat them every other day or every few days and adjust the dose. You may for example begin by treating them as a condiment and sprinkle them on top of other starches that are more a staple food, high fiber, high water starches like potatoes. Or a little bit on top of whole grain pastas or brown rice.

          But one would focus on the starches that you can digest easily with no particular side-effects. Add a little bit of green and yellow vegetables in fat-free sauce with spices, perhaps with very few cooked legumes seeds in the sauce (optional). And that’s it.

          You might want to start with simple meals. First only potatoes, then gradually add variety into the meal one food at a time, and see if it causes migraine.

        2. Hello Ari,
          If you’ve absolutely determined that legumes are the cause of your migraines, then it would just be important to make sure you’re varying the rest of your diet (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds). Do you also get issues from lentils? That may be something to try as well. It may be worth visiting a dietician in your area to discuss more options and further narrow down the possible cause of the migraines if diet related.

          I hope this helps,
          Dr. Matt

    1. I wish this book was less than 608 pages long, so as not to keep people even more sedentary.
      Some people read a romance novel and they feel good, but when they close the book what do they have?
      What is their reality?
      With all the thousands of diet books that have come out over the last 50 years people are more overweight than ever.
      But why?

      1. Interesting question.

        The saturated fat/cholesterol sceptics have been claiming for years that all the dietary guidelines that have come out over the last 50 years have tracked increases in US and global obesity rates. Therefore, they argue, the dietary guidelines must have caused the increases in obesity. Of course, they also keep saying that correlation doesn’t equal causation too. Their logic has always been a wonder to me. However, if we use this same line of reasoning, we would have to conclude that diet books cause obesity.

        Perhaps, the real answer though is that increasing rates of obesity and chronic disease lead to increased demand for guidance on healthy eating and weight loss. That after all was what prompted the McGovern Report and US dietary guidelines.

        https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-mcgovern-report/

      2. It might be that people are overfed with information and contradictory information.

        As people have become mostly consumers of information, they do not think anymore by themselves, because they are guided by various experts, which leads to brain loss.

        Brain loss then may lead to loss of control on appetite, ultimately leading to obesity.

        1. And then obesity creates the need for more guidance, which further increases brain loss, and the obesity trap is set up.

          It is what I call the “brain-gut connection”, as opposed to the “gut-brain connection”.

          It may explain why only a subset of people eating a SAD-like diet becomes obese, and not all the population.

      3. if I remember correctly most of the info will be available in video format & maybe some in podcast form for those who can’t afford it,or at least that was the webinar.Maybe they will release the book as an audiobook later.

      4. Smarty- I know Dr. Greger’s book How Not To Die included over 130 pages of references. Just the list of studies he used for was longer than some entire books on nutrition!

        It sounds like he drew from even more studies and research with this book so you definitely won’t have to read all 600 pages of it. Plus people only need to read sections that are pertinent them. If you’re still worried about the book causing people to become sedentary maybe we can convince him to produce an audiobook!

        1. I can only do 1 task properly at a time.
          If you are concerned about health, ask an audiologist if shoving those things in your ears while you run is good.
          The last diet book I got was for free in the 6th grade on a 3×5 card. I still have it.
          It has kept me in perfect health for more than half a century, but I am always looking for new discoveries.

  2. Hi Dr. Greger,
    Is fat from plant based butter or cream cheese from Almonds healthy for the arteries and heart or are they just as bad as the fat from animals? TIA

      1. Hi, I knew this but I wanted to know if saturated fats from nuts found in plant-based butter or plant based cream cheese has the same effect as saturated fats from meats etc.

        1. Saturated fat, no matter what the source, is defined as saturated due to the chemical structure of the fat. Saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated fats all have different chemical structures. It doesn’t matter if the saturated fat is from chicken, beef, or coconut or palm oil as it is the structure of the fat that counts. Coconut oil is about 85% saturated fat -compare that to butter which is about 45% saturated. Neither are good for your health.
          In order to determine if a plant-based butter or spread or dip (or anything for that matter) is healthy or not, you have to look at the nutrition and ingredient label and read it. If you see coconut and/or palm oil in the ingredients list you will have saturated fat in the product. The American Heart Association’s position is that saturated fat is not good for your health and that includes any saturated plant fat. https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/05/01/saturated-fats-why-all-the-hubbub-over-coconuts Bear in mind that olive oil is mostly monounsaturated but it is also about 11% saturated fat. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/fats-and-oils/509/2 Cashew butter is about 25% saturated fat: https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3096/2
          Always look on the container for the saturated fat content. Divide the saturated fat amount by the total fat amount and you will get the percentage of saturated fat in that product.

          1. Omg, I dont know what ur credentials are but it was an excellent clarification of my concern! I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this to me! :)

        2. “Hi Dr. Greger,
          Is fat from plant based butter or cream cheese from Almonds healthy for the arteries and heart or are they just as bad as the fat from animals? TIA”

          I believe Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn states that Olive Oil (and other plant-fats) are just as bad for your arteries as…Butter!

        3. Jackie, as Dr. Greger has put it, food is a package deal. You don’t need to worry about the fat in nuts if you’re eating them in their whole foods form such as intact nuts or nut butters and other slightly processed forms that still constitute as a whole plant food because you’re getting the whole thing.

          I’m not sure if there’s been any well designed studies set up to identify the potential difference in isolated animal saturated fat and isolated saturated fat from plants, but I would LOVE to see how that goes. But in any case, we still want to avoid processed plant foods that have high amounts of saturated fat such as palm oil (the worst) and coconut oil. Dr. Greger, while a huge advocate for nut consumption, says that chestnuts don’t constitute as healthy nut consumption because similar to coconuts, they’re so high in saturated fat.

          I wouldn’t worry about the nuts in plant based butter or plant based cream cheese, I would worry about any added oil. I will use these things, like Miyoko’s, on Thanksgiving and Christmas but don’t use them as regular parts of my diet. I make plenty of oil free nut-based sauces though that I incorporate in my regular diet.

          1. S, If I recall correctly, Dr Esselstyn said that chestnuts were allowed because they are so very LOW fat. Other nuts are not allowed. I paid attention to this because of course I don’t like them! Dr Ornish restricts whole nuts to teenie portions like, 6 peanuts OR 1 walnut, OR 2 tsp flax seeds etc. because of the high fat content.

            1. Barb, thanks for sharing. I am with Dr. Greger in regards to nut consumption and fats from whole plat foods, all the way.

              The chestnut and fat content is interesting. I’m going off of his statement from a lecture some years ago—easily found on YouTube, the headline is something about a vegan or vegetarian having a heart attack or along those lines anyway. I never actually looked up the amount of fat in a chestnut, I think the concern was that it was mostly saturated, though. But I could barely describe the appearance of a chestnut let alone recite its contents.

          1. Animal tests are as good as flipping a coin in regards to accuracy.

            The source of fat is what matters, whole plant foods such as nuts and seeds, have tons of evidence to show that these are health-promoting foods.

    1. Hi, Jackie Paugam! There are a lot of products on the market, and they vary widely in terms of their ingredients. Most of the plant-based butters are made from coconut and/or palm oil. These are not health-promoting, despite some claims that they are. More on that here: https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/oils/ A “cheese” that is made from almonds without added oil should be healthier than fat from animals, provided it is not loaded with salt. You may be interested in these videos, if you have not already seen them:
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/nuts-may-help-prevent-death/
      https://nutritionfacts.org/video/salt-of-the-earth-sodium-and-plant-based-diets/
      I hope that helps!

  3. Thanks in advance for a very helpful book, Dr. Greger! I just checked with the Seattle public library where I live. They have 15 copies on order with 57 people already placing holds! I can’t wait to read it!

  4. I was at the book store the other day and was looking for your book. I didn’t find, and now I know why. (It’s not out just yet).
    Can’t wait to get a copy or two.

    Thank you for all you do.

  5. Cool, Mr. Greger a new book – question: Is there soon a German translation in the pipeline or not – it would have much impact on my decision for ordering the new book now or later. ;-)
    Thank you for a answer….

  6. Thank you Dr Greger
    I have heard you in past. Very fact oriented
    You are really working for the health of mankind
    Strongly recommend your advise to put in practice
    I already ordered you book.
    Best regards
    Prakash Raygor MD

  7. I can’t wait to read this and delve into all the juicy science! This book is exactly what is needed right now. It seems in my lifetime at least, dieting crazes have never been so plentiful and widespread.

      1. In order to gain weight, do not eat like mannequins, eat like our ancestors did more than 10000 years ago: go potato and eat cooked starches ad libitum.

        https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/scientists-find-early-evidence-of-humans-cooking-starches/

        That is, increase your ratio of cooked starches over your ratio of fruits and vegetables.

        Then you may had to that some daily dynamic strenght exercises like Harry Wong’s exercises, or some of early physical cultures exercises (no weight training but muscle training) like Louis Attila’s light dumbbell system, but without dumbbells, or Edmond Desbonnet’s exercises.

          1. Hmm, I don’t know, a lot of people lose a lot of weight taking the starch route. I would just start eating a lot of nut butter, to start. Great exclude to start dipping everything in peanut butter lol.

            1. They might lose weight if they have to lose. Low fat cooked starches clearly will make one lose body fat. But what makes people lose muscle mass is rather high fat diets like the keto diet. So one would not eat large amounts of nut butter in order to gain weight, but rather eat plenty of cooked starched that one can easily digest and do a little bit of muscle training, exercise.

              1. The thing that makes people lose lean body mass on diets like the keto diet is not getting enough glucose, it isn’t the fat itself doing it. It’s really fascinating actually… People boast protein and demonize carbohydrates in regards to muscle building, but what the science shows is that it doesn’t matter how much protein you’re getting if you’re not getting enough glucose.

                If you need to put on weight, eating calorie-dense foods like nuts should absolutely help, the reason why nut butters would be the optimal form if your goal is weight gain is because when the nuts are pulverized into that creamy butter, your body absorbs more of the fat, and for reasons that are going to be elaborated in “How Not To Diet,” more of the calories in general. So basically, from my understanding, if you actually need to gain weight, you’re going to want to be taking in more calories than you burn and you’re going to want to optimally absorb those calories you put in.

                Another thing to think about if someone has problems keeping weight on, is to make sure your thyroid is functioning properly and that you don’t have hyperthyroidism.

          1. Ah, Heavy Hands sound more like weight training. Muscle training like in Attila’s methods is more about conscious muscle recruitment and isolation. That’s why one can also do it without dumbbells, but light dumbbells are generally proposed in order to better feel the muscles contractions. Even 5 pounds is quite huge for that, generally one might start with 2-3 pounds. There is no need for big weights. And in Wong’s methods, just a light stick to have a grip with the hands.

      2. You could take the advice in “How Not To Diet” and use it to gain weight, I would think quite helpfully. From what I’ve gathered so far, having more foods less intact will help with calorie absorption, so blending may actually help. Maybe start eating your beans blended into soups and dips (I actually make a very quick soy shake by just tossing a can of my black soybeans into the vitamix for a quick fix, not delicious but not bad tasting at all). Nut butters is another excellent way to go. So calorie dense foods and the more processed e.g. peanut butter vs. peanuts, the more calories and fat you’ll absorb. Probably lay off the spicy foods while trying to pack on the pounds and layer up in the cold weather so as to avoid thermogenesis. Eat more calories later in the day because they tend to count more then for reasons that will be explained in the book. Things like that I would think would be helpful.

  8. What a dear man. I dont need to diet but i’m sure there there are many useful pieces of advice for a healthy diet and lifestyle I can adopt in here.

    1. Stephanie, there is going to be so much cool stuff in this book! I watched his hour presentation a few videos back, and there is SO much cool science! I wasn’t planning on buying the book because I don’t have a personal interest in dieting, either, but I’m so intrigued by all the new science presented just in his presentation about the book that I can’t wait to read it now.

  9. Yes! I’m sure How Not To Diet will become the new reference book for the weightloss subject for years to come!

    @jackie

    You shouldn’t worry about the percentage of saturated fats in cashew nuts or butter. Both are green light foods and part of the Daily Dozen.

    The negative molecular effects of SFAT are nullified by the amount of unsaturated fats in the cashew nuts (and offcourse all other plant benefits like fiber and fytonutrients). It would be a different story for plant foods when the ratio SFAT to unsaturated fat was skewed for example in coconuts or cacao butter. There is a certain ratio needed in order to keep it healthy. (I forgot the percentage, I will look it up for future references).

    Things would also be different if a plant food would hold alot of SFAT while being made mostly from carbohydrates or protein without any of the important unsaturated counterparts. Certain high SFAT tropical fruits eaten by Howler monkeys can cause them a light form of atheriosclerosis in this fashion but these are not commercially sold for humans.

    In theory whole coconuts could do the same in humans. We know for example that eating them as a staple in one’s diet raises cholesterol levels as seen in that Pukapuka island study from 1981. Allthough a 2004 study on coconut eating Indonesians suggests that coconuts are harmless. (Both studies are featured on Nutritionfacts). Overall your safe with pretty much all whole plant foods with question marks for coconuts and cacao beans.

      1. Who says there’s anything wrong with cacao? He does recommend cacao/cocoa powder, it’s very high in antioxidants and is believed to be the cause for the heart health of the Kuna Indians which I learned from one of the Dr. Greger’s videos. The only negative thing he said about it is in SOME people, it may increase acne, I have not personally had that experience, thankfully!

          1. Tom, it’s true that cacao typically does contain heavy metals picked up from the soil. Personally, I always remember this gem of a video (which I totally nominate for a flashback friday video!): https://nutritionfacts.org/video/cadmium-and-cancer-plant-vs-animal-foods/ and I chose to just get good quality, tested for adulteration and then not to worry about the unavoidable naturally occurring stuff. I also think of the Kuna Indians who drink cup after cup. Dr. Greger doesn’t seem too worried about it, either, saying in one video that in regards to the powder which does not contain the saturated fat, that “you can make things as chocolatey as you want” (going on memory). I consume a lot of it and have for years, and a few years ago I did get tested for all that and my blood work came back fantastic, clearly anecdotal but just sharing. I’ve been doing fantastic in my overall health so I don’t personally worry about it at all or anything like that too much. My thing is adulteration, that is what I want to avoid.

  10. I’ve been very impressed by Dr Gregor’s work and have been on a WFPB diet for 3-4 years now but recently came across this study ….

    Vegetarian diet and all-cause mortality: Evidence from a large population-based Australian cohort – the 45 and Up Study.
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28040519

    Its central finding is that …
    “We found no evidence that following a vegetarian diet, semi-vegetarian diet or a pesco-vegetarian diet has an independent protective effect on all-cause mortality”

    I do not have a science background but the report seems quite convincing to me. I am wondering if anyone has any thoughtful criticisms of the paper and its conclusion?

    1. Greger doesn’t recommend a vegetarian diet as such. He recommends a whole food plant based diet. That can include small amounts of animal foods if desired (although Dr Greger himself appears to be a strict vegetarian)

      Beer, white bread and chips are all vegetarian. So are cigarettes for that matter. That doesn’t mean that they are healthy. Many vegetarian diets are unhealthy.

      Also, the full article is behind a paywall so it’s not really possible to examine the methods and findings in detail. However, note that the abstract states ‘ Following extensive adjustment’ no significant association was found between a vegetarian diet.and mortality.

      It’s not surprising really. A good diet and vegetarianism are associated with lower rates of obesity/overweight/blood pressure/cholesterol etc etc. Once you ‘adjust’ the data to eliminate these instrumental variable of good health, no benefit is likely to be seen. In other words, overadjustment is likely to bias results to the null (as may have happened here).

        1. The link doesn’t seem to work.

          Based on the abstract, the study has at least a few other issues in addition to the imprecise diet definition and potential over adjustment that mr F mentioned.

          Most importantly, the diet categorization is based on one questionnaire, ie one point in time. We know nothing about diet before and after.

          As is often pointed out, reverse causality is also an issue. It is possible that some number of the vegetarians adopted that diet in response to preexisting health issues.

          Finally, study follow up was only 6 years.

          Curious about other observations if anyone was able to read the full study.

          1. Hi KB, sorry about that … yes the link doesn’t work but if you copy and paste the full address you will get the pdf
            https://carnisostenibili.cvdemo.online/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Mihrshahi-17-Vegetarian-diet-and-all-cause-mortality-Evidence-from-a-large-population-based-Australian-cohort-the-45-and-Up-Study..pdf

            I think your and Mr F’s points are well made. In fact upon re-reading the study I think you are exactly right. In fact the authors even make a similar comment, saying…

            “A possible reason for the lack of association on mortality is that the traditional vegetarian diet is undergoing a transition in recent years as plant foods and whole grains are being replaced by soybean substitutes, refined carbohydrates with high sugar content, and highly processed snacks and fast foods which may bring dietary risk factors more in line with the ‘normal’ diet (Clarys et al., 2014). It is recognised that the vegetarian diet patterns around the world differ greatly beyond the absence of meat. The content of the vegetarian diet between EPIC-Oxford and AHS cohorts is known to differ substantially (Orlich et al., 2013; Fraser, 2009; Appleby et al., 2016). For example, the vegetarians in AHS-2 cohort consumed more fruit and vegetables, and therefore more fibre and Vitamin C, than those in the EPIC Oxford Cohort (Orlich et al., 2013).”

            1. Thanks KCOJ. I was able to access the full study.

              I agree with you, the major shortcoming of the study was that it includes no information about the “vegetarian diet” other than it excluded regular consumption of meat. To be clear, the “vegetarian” group included lacto-ovo vegetarians, which in my book is not really different from regular meat eaters (in terms of sat fat, cholesterol, IGF, excess protein consumption, etc.).

              For this reason alone, as far as I am concerned, this study presents zero evidence as to the health benefits of a WFPB diet one way or another.

              That being said, it does seem like over adjustment and reverse causality were not major issues. The authors are quite forthcoming about the limitations of the study:

              “We were not able to distinguish between further categories such as vegans and lacto-ovo vegetarians because our dietary variables were based on brief questions and not on a
              24-h recall or a food frequency questionnaire.”

              “Because of dietary data was collected using short questions we were not
              able to consider differences in the food content of the vegetarian diet
              beyond the absence of meat (for example intake of processed foods or
              sugar) and we were also not able to adjust for change in diet over
              time or estimate how long the participants had been vegetarian. Other
              limitations include limited generalizability and selection bias as
              discussed above, there was a relatively short follow up time (5–
              9 years) and the analysis may be strengthened by further follow-up
              and the availability of cause-specific mortality. As in most cohort studies
              we are limited in our ability to infer causation and assess the
              temporality of the association. However, we tested for reverse causation
              in this analysis (i.e. changing to vegetarian diet as a result of cancer/
              other serious diagnosis) by controlling for CMD and cancer in the full
              model, as well as by conducting sensitivity analyses excluding participants who died within the first two years and people with cancer and
              CMD. “

      1. I was a vegetarian since the age of 9 (now vegan), I ate my vegetables when I was little, but as I got older and my mom wasn’t preparing my food, while I still did better than the average American which isn’t saying much, I can definitely vouch for the fact that being vegetarian does not mean eating more vegetables.

  11. I am so thrilled to have stumbled upon NutritionFacts.org while researching evidence-based nutrition. I combed through “How Not to Die” and am looking forward to reading “How Not to Diet”. Best wishes to you on making the New York Times Top Ten list.

  12. Does the book contain any psychological tricks to help one change one’s habits? Knowing something is good for you doesn’t help all that much .Most people know candy is bad for them,yet they continue to eat it.Knowing & doing are 2 very different things!

    Things like how the size & color of the plate influencing hunger… among others…

  13. Hi Dr. Greger! I came upon this article in Scientific American, criticizing Dr. Ornish’s work (and his response.) I’m not sure what to think. Would you consider giving us your perspective on it? Thank you!

      1. Leastone

        Dr Ornish has reversed so many diseases using his diet that their criticisms ignore how successful his diet has been.

        It is the only diet Medicare will pay for, because it saves them money.

        Dr Barnard has a graph of how fat intake had the exact same curve as the obesity rate where sugar intake flat-lined when soda was replaced by bottled water.

        His diet had Geico use it on their workers because of how much money it saved them.

        I think it was Geico.

        1. Leastone

          Dr Ornish lowers BOTH saturated fats AND sugar/refined carbs.

          They combine refined carbs and sugars with fruits and vegetables as if people are eating too much even if those and Dr Greger has a video of what the average Americans eat and it is something like 90% + of Americans are not eating their fruits or vegetables at all other than white potatoes.

          But white potatoes are only fattening when they are combined with butter or cheese or fried in oil.

          See Dr McDougall for the defense of potatoes.

          Dr Barnard’s video is on YouTube and so if Dr McDougall’s.

          For the argument against Keto, Dr Greger’s video on Keto and Diabetes and Keto and muscles are the two I would point to as his strongest arguments against it.

          It increases insulin resistance and even though blood sugar drops, acetone increases and acetone causes the exact same damage as blood sugar.

          As far as muscles go, people lose lean and cannot build muscle even with heavy exercise on Keto.

          Hope that helps.

          1. Also, the anti-carb group point to low fat milk and say that as fat was taken out sugar was added in and that caused the weight gain, but cheese is 80% fat and things like pizza and macaroni and cheese and everything else with cheese became a bigger factor than skim milk.

            They blame the potatoes and not the oil it is cooked in. They blame the sugar in the vegetables and not the cheese poured over it.

  14. I just came back to say:

    Excellent list of topics,

    Excellent video.

    Right use of this format.

    The book finally comes out in a week!

    It is obvious to me that it is going to be a smash hit!

  15. Looking for recommendations,In the last few months, I gained a lot of weight, plus there is many products to choose from, a friend of mine recommended this ancient Japanese method cinderellafit.wixsite.com/cinderella ,did anyone tried this product before??!! Thank you.

  16. I am confused as Dr. Greger says to eat a plant-based diet (no meat) but I see other doctors saying Paleo diet with meat, fats and low carbs are best for weight loss and for health. Feedback, please. Thanks.

    1. Dr. G covers this extensively in many videos. Just put the word Paleo in the search bar of this website. What you’re watching regarding Paleo from others is advertising, not science. Dr. G presents real unbiased scientific evidence. All the science clearly points to eating unprocessed plants for optimum health. Its really that easy. Just keep in mind that there are doctors getting paid to say that cigarettes are not a cause of cancer, so just because a doctor says something does not mean its backed up by facts.

  17. Is there any information on this site about the truth behind the idea of Mucoid plaque? Is it real or a hoax? I’m wondering if there’s more information on the idea behind “cleanses” with psyllium and betonite clay. Thank you!

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