What Is the Healthiest Diet?

What Is the Healthiest Diet?
4.49 (89.82%) 57 votes

What is the baggage that comes along with the nutrients in your food?


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.

Bob and Sally are confused. They want to eat healthy, but there’s so much confusing information out there.

Which diet is really the best one? Yes, there’s calcium in cheese, protein in pork, and iron in beef. But, what about all the baggage that comes along with these nutrients—the dose of dairy hormones, the lard, the saturated fat?

As much as Burger King proclaims you can “Have It Your Way,” you can’t go up to the counter and ask for a burger, hold the saturated fat and cholesterol. Food is a package deal. Dairy is the #1 source of calcium in the United States—but it’s also the #1 source of saturated fat.

But what kind of baggage do you get along with the calcium in dark green leafy vegetables? Fiber, folate, iron, antioxidants—some of the very nutrients lacking in milk.

Plant foods average 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods. By getting most of your nutrition from whole plant foods, you get more of a bonus, instead of baggage.

When the National Pork Board promotes ham as an “excellent source of protein,” I can’t help but think of the famous quote from a McDonald’s senior vice president for marketing who, under oath in a court of law, described Coca-Cola as nutritious because it is “providing water.”

Research shows that a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, can be used to prevent and treat diabetes and heart disease, lower blood pressure, and can help you live longer. It looks like Grandma was right when she said, “Eat your veggies.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

David Greenberg of WiseStreet.com came up with the whole concept, and took it all the way through to completion—we’re so blessed to have such great supporters!

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.

Bob and Sally are confused. They want to eat healthy, but there’s so much confusing information out there.

Which diet is really the best one? Yes, there’s calcium in cheese, protein in pork, and iron in beef. But, what about all the baggage that comes along with these nutrients—the dose of dairy hormones, the lard, the saturated fat?

As much as Burger King proclaims you can “Have It Your Way,” you can’t go up to the counter and ask for a burger, hold the saturated fat and cholesterol. Food is a package deal. Dairy is the #1 source of calcium in the United States—but it’s also the #1 source of saturated fat.

But what kind of baggage do you get along with the calcium in dark green leafy vegetables? Fiber, folate, iron, antioxidants—some of the very nutrients lacking in milk.

Plant foods average 64 times more antioxidants than animal foods. By getting most of your nutrition from whole plant foods, you get more of a bonus, instead of baggage.

When the National Pork Board promotes ham as an “excellent source of protein,” I can’t help but think of the famous quote from a McDonald’s senior vice president for marketing who, under oath in a court of law, described Coca-Cola as nutritious because it is “providing water.”

Research shows that a plant-based diet can help you lose weight, can be used to prevent and treat diabetes and heart disease, lower blood pressure, and can help you live longer. It looks like Grandma was right when she said, “Eat your veggies.”

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

David Greenberg of WiseStreet.com came up with the whole concept, and took it all the way through to completion—we’re so blessed to have such great supporters!

Doctor's Note

You can download the Plant Based Diet booklet featured in the video here.

Here I go again, trying to mix things up. This one is thanks to David Greenberg, owner of WiseStreet.com, who graciously donated his team’s time, energy, and resources to create this animation. Please let me know what you think. I’m trying to think of ways to get away from the straight study/quote/study/quote tedium of most of my videos. Yes, it’s a great way to present the primary scientific literature for those who already know the basics, but I also want to try to appeal to those new to the concept of healthier eating. This was going to be the final video of this experimental 11-part series, but an animated summary of How Not to Die was just created, so I’ll be putting that up to wrap out a dozen. Check out the other 10 if you want a good overview—in hopes you’ll get hooked on the science!

  1. The Story of NutritionFacts.org
  2. Why You Should Care About Nutrition
  3. Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health
  4. The Philosophy of NutritionFacts.org
  5. Behind the Scenes at NutritionFacts.org
  6. How Not to Die from Heart Disease
  7. How Not to Die from Cancer
  8. How Not to Die from Diabetes
  9. How Not to Die from Kidney Disease
  10. How Not to Die from High Blood Pressure

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

272 responses to “What Is the Healthiest Diet?

Comment Etiquette

On NutritionFacts.org, you'll find a vibrant community of nutrition enthusiasts, health professionals, and many knowledgeable users seeking to discover the healthiest diet to eat for themselves and their families. As always, our goal is to foster conversations that are insightful, engaging, and most of all, helpful – from the nutrition beginners to the experts in our community.

To do this we need your help, so here are some basic guidelines to get you started.

The Short List

To help maintain and foster a welcoming atmosphere in our comments, please refrain from rude comments, name-calling, and responding to posts that break the rules (see our full Community Guidelines for more details). We will remove any posts in violation of our rules when we see it, which will, unfortunately, include any nicer comments that may have been made in response.

Be respectful and help out our staff and volunteer health supporters by actively not replying to comments that are breaking the rules. Instead, please flag or report them by submitting a ticket to our help desk. NutritionFacts.org is made up of an incredible staff and many dedicated volunteers that work hard to ensure that the comments section runs smoothly and we spend a great deal of time reading comments from our community members.

Have a correction or suggestion for video or blog? Please contact us to let us know. Submitting a correction this way will result in a quicker fix than commenting on a thread with a suggestion or correction.

View the Full Community Guidelines

  1. OK I like it. Gotta think about it some more though.

    I have a cousin who will be with us Monday evening. She has everything from apparent fibromyalgia to T2 diabetes. She so needs this and I will look to show her if possible.

    1. Great video and discussion. I realize the general public get confused by nutritional messages as guidelines changes based on new research findings and new discoveries. But, the message of eating more fruits and vegetables and its association with health has been the same at least since I graduated as a dietitian in Scotland three decades ago!!
      If one needs advice to improve their diet, I often say we are all individuals and any small step towards cleaning the diet by adding more vegetables and and fruits and taking out the food that are not serving them for better health is a good step.

      Steward , I hope when you see your cousin he or she is at a stage to be ready to make a change for better health and it its great to provide them with Dr. G. website for a great source of diet and life style scientific based information.

      1. Yes, it’s hard for some to stop eating the things that cause ill health. Some of my relatives and friends love foods that I consider harmful, but one must respect their choices. Just that it’s hard to see (and hear) them suffer from the consequences. If they could only realize the harm they do themselves. The recent discoveries regarding bacteria in our GI systems are fascinating – how even small amounts of ‘bad’ foods in the gut feed bacteria which cause us harm. Each of us has a certain bacterial profile, depending on what we eat, and perhaps our bacterial profiles are more sensitive than we previously thought. Personally I do very well on a plant diet, and wish I had done this many years previously. I’ve learned though that most people don’t appreciate interference in their choices of diet. Food is a very emotive topic!

    2. RE: fibromyalgia: From my experience, a plant based diet has contributed to lessening my fibromyalgia symptoms, but it was actually “Unlearn Your Pain”, by Dr. Howard Schubiner that has helped me to get off the medications that were treating the symptoms of my fibromyalgia and not the underlying cause. As for everything else, plant based all the way!!!! Thank you Dr. Greger!

    3. I have found that a whole foods, plant based lifestyle has helped me immeasurably with numerous health issues including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, fibromyalgia, and gastic issues. The other thing that really gave me relief for my fibro was Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy.

  2. There are numerous presentations out there utilizing the whiteboard
    animation approach these days, most are peddling something. Animations
    may be good for certain audiences, kids for one, but
    personally, I like to see the studies highlighted as they provide
    visual credibility. That said, I may be biased as I spent many years
    doing literature research myself — I like seeing the studies.

    1. I agree that for adult audiences, other formats rather than the whiteboard would be better to get the message across.

      Perhaps if Dr Greger dressed in a doctor’s outfit with white coat and stethoscope and talked like he has in previous overview videos, that would lend a little more authenticity for the lay-person watching. I imagine the average person watching these videos has a lot of respect for what their doctor tells them. And in a certain sense, isn’t Dr G really just another one of their doctors!

      I’m reluctant to say anything critical of this wonderful free website! But thought I would add my thoughts and feedback in order to help make it even better!

      1. I’ll add a bit to the critique, but prefer to praise what’s good.
        This presentation will tend to appeal to those just starting out here.
        Additional cues (stethoscope etc) will attract some and turn off many; already burned by MDs with empty promises.
        At some point, WFPB will have to include the Daily Dozen as a more specific guide. (And at some point, the collective wisdom on this site can draft improvements for those following the DD as well as modifications for those transitioning.)

      2. Trying new things is a good thing, and I think its helpful for us to offer constructive criticism.

        I had a problem with some of the images the animator chose. The one that stands out is the portrayal of the MacDonald’s spokesman as a Snidely Whiplash-like mustachioed villain. It seemed heavy-handed and unfair. The quotation was from a real person. As soon as you use a stereotyped caricature, you lose a little credibility, in my book.

        1. On that note, the music might work for a timelapse of sprouting vegetation, its not really suited to the message or Dr. Greger’s personality. Its too heavily orchestrated and high tempo to not distract. I see him as more of solo jazz clarinet kinda voice.

        2. I usually don’t watch but just listen to the videos. After these comments I had to watch to see for myself. On speed 1.5 it was more interesting.

      3. I am not fond of videos with white coated doctors talking–including those of Dr. G. (Sorry, I have huge respect for you, Dr. G, but get too sidetracked watching you talk. Your voice-only approach allows me to focus on the facts.) I don’t need to be entertained by fancy graphics. But it is good to vary the visuals some. Just don’t have the visuals overshadow the content.

    2. We should keep in mind that we are not the target audience of this video — we’re already fans. He’s looking to interest others, who may be more attracted to other methods of presentation.

    3. I agree, I think it detracts. Dr. Greger’s quirky presentations have become part of my daily dozen (videos). The whiteboard artifice doesn’t help to promote the message to an educated audience.

  3. 1:07, “By getting *most* of your nutrition from plant-based foods you get more of a bonus instead of baggage.” And at the end, “Eat your veggies.” If this video were my first exposure to these ideas, I’d get the idea that it’s fine to eat *some* meat, as long as most of my food is plant-based. “Most” usually implies “not all.” And since the title of the video is “What is the healthiest diet?”, I’d specifically infer that a diet of some meat but mostly vegetables is the healthiest way to eat. Is this the intended message? At no point does Dr. G say that the healthiest diet is one that excludes all meat and dairy.

    I imagine Dr. G would like the viewer to make the added inference that if *mostly* plants is good, *all* plants is better, in terms of health. The article from The Permanents Journal cited in the video (http://www.thepermanentejournal.org/issues/2013/spring/5117-nutrition.html) notes that there are different understandings of the term “plant-based” and recommends avoiding the terms “vegan” and “vegetarian”.

    “A plant-based diet is not an all-or-nothing program, but a way of life that is tailored to each individual. It may be especially beneficial for those with obesity, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, lipid disorders, or cardiovascular disease. The benefits realized will be relative to the level of adherence and the amount of animal products consumed. Strict forms of plant-based diets with little or no animal products may be needed for individuals with inoperable or severe
    coronary artery disease. Low-sodium, plant-based diets may be prescribed for individuals with high blood pressure or a family history of coronary artery disease or stroke. A patient with obesity and diabetes will benefit from a plant-based diet that includes a moderate amount of fruits and vegetables and minimal low-fat animal products. Severe obesity may require counseling and initial management with a low-calorie diet or very-low-calorie diet and the supervision of a physician’s
    team. Patients with kidney disease may need a plant-based diet with special restrictions, for example fruits and vegetables that are high in potassium and phosphorus. Finally, patients with thyroid disease will need to be careful when consuming plants that are mild goitrogens, like soy, raw cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, and corn. These patients should be informed that cooking these vegetables inactivates the goitrogens.”

    1. Hi Todd

      So I can’t find where they referenced “Finally, patients with thyroid disease will need to be careful when consuming plants that are mild goitrogens, like soy, raw cruciferous vegetables, sweet potatoes, and corn. These patients should be informed that cooking these vegetables inactivates the goitrogens.”

      Do you think they just made that comment?

      I think people who are new to eating healthfully need time to transition. Not everyone but most. Adding more veggies eating less animal.

      1. @WFPBRunner Good question. I can’t see a reference for that claim either. I agree that many will need to transition gradually to a diet of zero animal foods, but since it’s not clear from either the video or the source whether “plant-based” actually implies zero animal foods, there’s some haziness on what the intended message is.

        1. I agree with you there Todd. Whether or not people find they need a transition period should not impact the bottom line message that a diet with no animal products is healthiest- for any number of reasons. And for everyone, not just those with” inoperable or severe coronary artery disease.” It appears to me that Permanente has muddied the waters with an ambiguous message. I hope NF does not do the same

          1. We don’t know for sure that a diet of zero animal foods is healthiest … Maybe it is but we don’t have the science to prove it. We only have the science e to prove that 90% or higher of plants is the healthiest.

            1. yes nc54, ty for your response. I have heard that said before, however, as I have watched hundreds of videos at this site about different animal foods, and believe the evidence put forth against dairy products, eating, meat and eggs, I cant see a reason to include them back into my diet. Maybe I have misunderstood what Dr Greger is saying all along?

              1. Yes, I think Dr. Gregor is very supportive of a 100% plant based diet. And the science supports that it can be a very healthy way to eat. But it’s unclear if 100% is healthier then, say, 95%. Either way, it’s great to be plant based, whether it’s 100% or very close.

              2. There is no reason to add animal products back into your diet if you are eating whole food plant based and feeling well! This point sometimes comes up when patients who do eat animal foods and are starting to transition to a plant based diet, wan to know if they ‘have to’ go 100% or if they can have “a little’ animal based foods. My response is, depends on the person’s state of health. For example if they are trying to reverse heart disease, I will point out that the studies showing reversal, done by Dr Esselstyn, were done with 100% plant based, and clinical improvements were very significant. We don’t know, therefore, whether the same improvements would be seen with keeping to 95% plant based, or 90% plant based…

    2. I agree with your first paragraph that the video should emphasize that a Plant-Based diet is the best to strive for, even if it takes a while to transition. And the benefits will be proportional to the degree to which animal products are eliminated from one’s diet.

      Regarding the terms “Plant Based”, “Whole Food Plant Based”, Vegetarian, Vegan, I agree with the Permanente Journal that there is a lot of confusion in the meaning of these terms. As a question to anyone reading this, I’m wondering why the term “Herbivore” is hardly ever used to describe a Plant-Based diet. Isn’t the term Carnivore used to describe animals that eat meat? And Omnivore used to describe animals that eat a mixture? Why isn’t Herbivore used to describe plant eaters? Any thoughts, anyone?

      1. The term herbivore also stresses the importance of both cultivated and wildcrafted/foraged herbs, which as many studies have show are the most potent plants as medicine

      2. I talked to a middle age couple on a hiking trail a few weeks ago and mentioned that my dogs and I are vegan. The lady responded “Being gluten free must give you a lot of energy.” No kidding.

        1. So typical, and sad. I remember seeing a show where the host was asking people on the street if they avoided gluten and they quite emphatically stated they were. So he asked them what gluten was, and suddenly the collective IQ bottomed out, because none of them had a clue! Too funny.

            1. It sure is and makes me wonder what is really the issue, (besides obviously for celiacs,) with the “pandemic of gluten sensitivity”, since people thrived on wheat for thousands of years. Besides the power of suggestion that it’s evil and avoiding it will cure all ills, what could have changed so dramatically? We certainly live in a chemical soup of toxins anymore that I suppose could contribute, but seems to often be the scapegoat for a bad diet, and the resultant bad health, but so many claim otherwise. Where the heck did this get started anyway?

              1. Well, I remember not too long ago, when everybody claimed to be allergic to MSG. Even the companies that had used it forever in their products were removing it to accommodate the allergies of the mass public. Now, according to Dr. Greger, there isn’t any evidence of people being allergic to MSG and I’m seeing it return to ingredient lists. And BTW, it’s supposedly harmless unlike NaCl. People will pretty willingly give something up as long as they don’t really like it in the first place.

        2. That is fascinating. I think it points to the faddist way with which diet is usually approached when anything different is done. I have had similar experiences with waiters. I explain that I want no animal products and they will sometimes say this is gluten free. So yeah that’s a hot fad.
          This, I think, is the critical difference with this web site. I was speaking with a friend a few days ago who pointed out something she had read by some doctor. She then noted that it seemed to be just his opinion. Yeah we all got opinions but here the opinion seeks the best science.

      3. HaltheVegan: I understand the term “herbivore” to mean the diet of an animal whose body does best on primarily plants (baring some insects or the very rare/occasional flesh snack). Too many diets fit under that umbrella in my opinion to meet the need in question. “Herbivore” includes a panda’s diet of almost exclusively bamboo. And it includes a rabbit’s diet (if I understand that correctly) of almost exclusively non-starchy veggies. It includes a diet of mostly fruits. It includes a diet of mostly seeds. Also, I’m sure you’ve often heard something along the lines of, “Oreos and potato chips are vegan, but they are not healthy.” Many people would consider a diet of vegan junk food to be an herbivore’s diet.

        What we are looking for on this site, in my opinion, is a term to describe what is the healthiest diet for a human based on the body of scientific information. I don’t think the term herbivore works for that need any more than really the term ‘vegan’ works for that need. I *think* I heard Jeff Novick once describe his ideal of a healthy diet as something like, “minimally processed, low calorie dense plant foods.” The problem is that that doesn’t quite roll off the tongue. We need a single term to describe the diet. We really don’t have one. I sometimes take a shortcut and use the term vegan, but that’s got all the problems of the term herbivore. I think the closest, usable term for what we need is “whole plant food based” (WPFB) diet. I don’t really like that either, but I haven’t seen a better alternative yet.
        When I really want to stress a super-healthy human diet, I describe it as a “whole plant food” diet and leave off the “based” as so many people have mentioned, the term “based” leaves the diet open for animal products and other junk food. But then again, if we are looking for what the science says, you can have *tiny* amounts of those things in your diet and probably be OK health-wise. (Depends on the person and situation.)
        One of the problems with the term “Whole Plant Food” is that it does not address the problems with processing. It implies that whole wheat bread has the same health impact as eating wheat berries. And it excludes some known healthy, non-whole foods such as say tofu and green tea. There really isn’t a great term available right now. I sometimes fantasize that if we could just come up with the perfect term, everyone would see the light and start eating healthy (and ethically for that matter). ;-)
        That’s just my 2 cents/contribution to the discussion.

        1. I think humans are frugivores ( 80% fruits, 15% vegetables, 5% nuts and seeds , per day, is by Helmuth Wandmaker the heltiest diet for humans, and the best is if all is raw) . Cows goats etc are herbivores, some birds and feline and some fishes are carnivores, canides( dogs, wolves) are omnivores like a pigs too, some birds are gramnivores etc.Also, we are de facto : frugivores :-) And we have not enzymes for any animal products.And even we have not gene for enzyme uricase, so we never was omnivores.

            1. It just means we were made to digest better unripe fruits that contains more starch but it works more or less for others starchy foods also.

        2. Hi Thea, Thanks for your detailed response. As usual, you make some very good points. I agree that it would really help the cause if there were a concise term to describe the diet we’re converging on based on scientific evidence. But, unfortunately, like you say, there doesn’t seem to be one yet.

          When I chose the name I use on this website (HaltheVegan), I naively assumed Vegan was synonymous with WFPB and nothing more :-) I would like to change it, but I believe I will lose all my history of comments on this site. I may bite the bullet and change it anyway, but first I’ll have to decide what to call myself … just “Hal” seems too simple and easily confused with another Hal that may pop up ;-)

          1. HaltheVegan: As long as you keep the same account, you should be able to change your name and have it automatically change for all your existing posts. I’ve seen others do it. So, while I don’t know how to do it/can’t give directions, I know it’s possible.
            I agree that something more than just “Hal” would be helpful. And personally, I like your existing “HaltheVegan.” Maybe that’s because I have no problem with the term in general. I don’t think it is ideal for describing the best diet, but it is short and sweet and known and describes my ethical standards. So, I’m partial to the word.
            An idea: What about HaltheWFPBer ??? Harder for me to type out, but this just isn’t about me! ;-)

            1. Thanks Thea. It’s good to know that my account info won’t disappear if I do change the name. I think that for now I will just leave the name the way it is until I can think of a short catchy one that may work better.

        3. Cruelty-Free Diet is another possible term, but there is an obvious flaw, those that would put forth the ridiculous argument that plants suffer, and the cultivation of plants kills animals. It also projects a certain self-righteousness that turns people off, but in my mind I think of my diet as Cruelty-Free.

          1. Speaking of cruelty free, something I fail to comprehend are animal rights activists who proceed go home and eat them. A wee bit hypocritical no? (Although that rag, ahem, “pillar of journalism”, the Huffington Post insists otherwise as long as they DIE humanely!)

    3. Yes I agree with you , for new comers they really need detailed information . Excuse me while I tell my sister in law that the “green” potatoes she bought are not going to “ripen” in her kitchen window .

    4. I generally like the article in the Permanente Journal. (disclaimer: I worked for the Permanente Medical group in Northern CA for over 30 years) and support the movement to a more plant based diet. However the “successful case study” cited is an individual still on metformin and lisinopril and I don’t consider that a good example. As a practicing clinician who has the honor and privilege of seeing patients in the McDougall program in Santa Rosa I routinely see type two diabetic patients cure their condition (i.e. normal fasting blood glucose and off diabetic medication) and get off additional medications including those for lipids and blood pressure. In patients who eat correctly and achieve ideal body weight the use of long acting insulin seems to me to more reasonable than the use of oral tablets with associated side effects. The goal should be to “cure and prevent” chronic conditions not just to “control” them. The whole food plant diet is the best approach and involves what to eat and what not to eat. Politically it is more acceptable to just tell folks to do more of something and avoid telling them to not eat certain foods. For more information on the reversal and causes of type two diabetes and high blood pressure see previous video’s on NF.org.

      1. I would add that for individuals on medications it is important to use the information provided on this site and work with their clinicians to make sure their medications are appropriately adjusted. For diabetes and high blood pressure this usually means adjusting the dose downward in my experience.

        1. Dr Don, years ago I decided to try a WFPB diet for a month, and within 2
          weeks dropped my blood sugars, blood pressure, cholesterol, etc., but my
          doctor would not help me get off the plethora of meds I was taking and thought the ideal diet was the low carb Medi weightloss program or if you couldn’t afford that, South Beach. I was told I was
          “taking risks outside of conventional wisdom” by not eating animal
          products, despite the obvious and swift benefits! I was told any improvement I noticed was just the medicines doing their job and that was why she wouldn’t stop them! Conventional wisdom was what got me into the mess in the
          first place, so I was forced to de-medicate myself, including weaning of narcotics for RA and fibromyalgia when the symptoms were no longer devastating. Not recommending the DIY approach of
          course, but that was my only option once the bright light bulb went off. It’s a sad state of affairs when the very professional you
          are paying to guard your health is actually doing the harm she took an oath to
          prevent. Thanks for being the change we desperately need, I just wish I
          could clone you guys! :)

          1. Thanks for sharing your story and your encouraging note. Congratulations on your success. I hope more physicians learn more about the effect that proper nutrition has on various disorders. If started early enough and based on the best science we can avoid putting patients on medications initially which means patients won’t have to go through the process of removing them.

          2. Your point is too important to fail to dwell on this. Contrary to what many think, MD does not stand for “medical deity”. I have T1 so diet will not cure me. I also had psoriatic arthritis and wfpbd did cure me. The doctors were predictably dismissive.
            So upon seeing a new doctor in my VA clinic, when she asked who my primary caregiver was, I said I am. To which she became visibly disturbed. I explained that a doctor can at best be a good coach and only by listening carefully and continually learning but I live with this and I have seen too many misdiagnoses.
            Doctors are so valuable when they listen and dangerous when they do not.

    5. Yeah, I caught the mostly plant-based diet too- and that alarmed me. When I was eating mostly plants and just one serving of fish a week, I was 20 pounds overweight, had irritable bowel syndrome, benign prostate enlargement, painful knees, insomnia, was frequently depressed, lacked energy and was subject to frequent colds. All that resolved quickly when I went 100% plant-based. My hair even became thicker on the crown of my head. I don’t know about other people, but for me, a mostly plant-based died just didn’t work. By the way, I prefer the older format. Not only is it more intellectually stimulating, but if I didn’t know better, my first thought would be “what’s this guy trying to sell?”

      1. Thank you Todd. I’m at that stage where I lost 20 pounds and my total cholesterol dropped from 300 to 220. I have been pleased with the results so far but wondering what I did wrong — and if I am like you, it was the occasional fish. I need to lose 20 more pounds, and the cholesterol obviously has to drop more. My hair is also thicker and less grey!

      2. A familiar health experience in going the stricter route, and I agree, but I think the idea here is to educate people who aren’t aware yet, for us to share with potential “recruits” without scaring them away. I tend to do the latter because I am so passionate, but it makes most people recoil!

  4. Poor Bob and Sally. How could they be anything other than confused when the USDA continually speaks in code when describing what foods to avoid when outlining their recommendations in their published dietary guidelines.
    Instead identifying the foods that should be avoided with recognizable names such as meat, fish, poultry, white bread, candy, soda and juices, they use words such as saturated fats and refined carbohydrates.
    No wonder Bob and Sally are confused.

      1. It is kind of you to say, but I am doing nothing more than repeating observations made by Dr. Greger and others including most notably Neal Barnard who founded Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM). PCRM routinely sues the USDA in an efforts to disrupt and expose their all too cozy relationship with the food industry.
        It was PCRM’s research that demonstrated that a low fat, whole foods, plant based diet can cure/reverse diabetes. If they accomplished nothing else, that alone should command one’s admiration, but they have not stopped there.
        PCRM continues to fight the good fight in their mission of health advocacy. The USDA’s current dietary guidelines as described by “My Plate” (https://www.choosemyplate.gov) was conceived and inspired PCRM’s “Power Plate” (http://www.pcrm.org/health/diets/pplate)

  5. I don’t consider the study/quote format to be tedious. I typically watch ten or more videos a day and can’t seem to get enough. One good thing about using research and quotes is that you might be less vulnerable to litigation. My guess is that there are a lot of people in food supply and processing industries out there that would like to silence you and your website. I hope you have good legal protection. Thank you for your generous efforts on our behalf.

    1. Look at what they did to Howard Lyman (the Mad Cowboy, a former cattle rancher) and Oprah after he “maligned” (told the ugly truth about) the meat industry on her show. The industry kept them in repeated litigation for years, suing for exorbitant figures, even though they kept losing, which was satisfying because it did a great job illustrating what manipulative, greedy, @$$#()!%$ they are.

  6. WFPBRunner: Wow. That’s just sick. It reminds me of what I’ve heard about pet food – where so many additives have to be put in because the base product is so disgusting/unpalatable. This is how we treat our children. Not good.

    1. Another thing I didn’t think about even after years of being vegan was pet food. When I finally did, I switched my pups to a vegan chow. Now after reading “How Not to Die”, “The Starch Solution” and “The China Study” and switching to a WFPB diet, I have actually started making my own WFPB dog food. Just beans, rice, grains and vegetables; human food really, without the spices. That’s how obsessive this stuff can get! (BTW, you probably don’t want to know what goes into pet food.)

          1. Blair Rollin: I’m sorry to hear about your dog. I feel your pain. It may not have made any difference. There’s no point in beating yourself up. Take care.

        1. Are vegan Great Danes less prone to hip issues? 13 is old for a Great Dane. Wow.
          Would like to have vegan cats but don’t know where to get really good information. Have heard that cats don’t do vegan as easily as dogs health wise.

          1. Jean: 13 is very old for a Great Dane. I’ve heard that 8 to 10 years is average. My dog is beating the averages.
            re: vegan cats. I’ve heard of people who successfully live with vegan cats. However, as you note, it is definitely harder to do. I think it is likely a matter of individual biology determining whether a particular cat can be vegan or not.
            There is a vet who does talks on this subject. She focuses mostly on dogs, but she has some things to say about cats as well. Here is a free version of one of her talks: Vegan Diets for Dogs and Cats by Armaiti May https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zIMBX3jdYM0

              1. Jean: Thank you! Great find. I’ll add that article to my reference list.
                I love how she doesn’t sugar coat the situation while she provides tips for those who want to go this route. I firmly believe that switching my dog to a vegan kibble saved his life. I don’t know what I would do if I had a cat. I admire anyone who gives it a try, while following the advice/steps given in that article. Ultimately, one of the things we owe our pets is a world where they can exist in the future. Getting our cats and dogs off animal products as much as possible (while keeping them healthy) is part of that obligation in my opinion.
                That’s just me sharing my thoughts on the matter. Good luck whatever you decide to do.

  7. Great job with the film! The only change I would make is when the vegetables are scrolling across the screen they be just as large as the animal products previously shown with more dialog so they stay visible longer. Thanks, Dennis Swigart

    1. Lol, conditioning is a powerful force for the movement…I like to drive around with a shoot of something green hanging out my rear window! Makes people thing…did I get enough fiber and phytos today?

  8. I really like this video. I’m constantly trying to explain the concept of a “package deal” to people. This video does a great job. I really like the animation too. Great job!

  9. So many times I click on something because the info sounds interesting and I might find it appeals to mr, only to be stuck with watching a video. I hate the fact that I have to put my self in a position that the author controls. I would like to be able to have the flexibility of stopping and coming back at a more convenient time. Now when I see a video , I automatically pass on it. You have lost me and I don’t get to find out what it was you wanted me to learn from you. Please could also provide written article as well as video? As for those figures being drawn, I hate that too! Sorry, but I have been the victim if this stuff too many times!

    1. click view transcript if you rather read it yourself , I normally watch the video and then read the transcript, if it’s a subject that interests me.

    2. Your comment is interesting . After an analysis of the American health issues in the US, I end up with the attention issue . Too much time watching a screen. We can’t treat the disease with the cause of the disease. When somebody is interested to learn more, you have to give the opportunity to open the box and find more information until the answer is found. Looking to get an information by yourself is more like to have a better chance use properly the information as an answer to your search.

      1. Claude, near the top of the page to the right of the video there is a clickable icon, “Sources Cited”. Click on that for links to the articles cited for that particular video. If you have the curiosity and motivation then read the original research articles. Each of those research articles will have references for their paper. You can then read some of those papers and continue the process to your hearts content.

    3. Viviane, if you look at the line which scrolls across the bottom that shows when you cursor the bottom or right side it tells you how long the video is. This one was less than three minutes. In all the commercial cartoon sales pitches I’ve ever seen, you don’t have the option of either seeing how long it is or stopping it without closing the screen. It’s all or nothing.

    1. Hmmm… This article is weighing possible nutritional deficiencies (A, K2) as a reason not to go plant based, yet all of our available evidence says that deficiencies are actually quite reduced in those eating strictly plant based (because they’re getting quite a bit more of virtually every vitamin/mineral).
      I guess if nutritional deficiencies were more often the cause of death and disability I’d say this article makes some good points. However, since cardiovascular disease and diabetes are the biggest culprits of death and disability, it’s much more persuasive to follow the methods with the greatest protection.
      It’s like comparing pin pricks to gun shots (one is much more deadly).

    2. Cathie, I found the article you linked to untruthful. Since that web site calls themselves “An Evidence-based Approach” I decided to see if they cite any scientific evidence, how many studies they cite (that is, do they cherry pick), and do they report the findings truthfully. My conclusion is that they twist the truth and are not evidence based.

      For example, at random I decided to look at the citation from the following sentence under the subheading: 4. PEMT Activity and Choline. “… choline deficiency is a major player in fatty liver disease, a skyrocketing problem in Westernized nations (48).”

      So I read citation 48. First, this short term study was performed on mice, not human in Westernized nations or elsewhere. Humans are not mice so the sentence is misleading. Second, the study found that choline deficiency was actually better for mouse health. “We conclude … that choline deficiency may shunt potentially toxic free fatty acids toward innocuous storage triglyceride in the liver.”

      And that was just one paper selected at random. Pitiful.

    3. That article twists and distorts facts, and saying some of us don’t do well on a plant based diet is like saying some carnivores don’t do well eating meat, just silly. Though we may have issues with specifics, every species has an ideal diet and our physiology makes it abundantly clear that we are not meat eaters. Just because we learned to like cooked meat is not indicative, a bunny can and will eat cooked meat too. They are still not omnivores by nature and it will negatively impact their health also. That we make all the cholesterol we need and get atherosclerosis from dietary sources, unlike true carnivores or omnivores, is just a quick example. Add to that the fact that nature always provides animals with all the physical attributes they need in order to procure their natural diet, or they would quickly perish. We are gatherers, not hunters, and I challenge anyone to prove their prowess with their native attributes! Learning to use tools was a handy trick we developed to make up for that lack, but so do herbivorous monkeys when they are starving. If meat eating conferred any benefit to us, wouldn’t true carnivores be even smarter/more evolved? Our *unique* human attributes are harnessing fire to cook our food, and utilizing the starchy storage organs of plants and consequently even evolving extra copies of amylase to digest it. Some things are just obvious, no matter how you try to spin it.

  10. Yes. I feel two ways about it. On one hand it appeals to those often looking for health fixes on the internet which are completely non-research based, which is good because this message should especially reach them.
    However, for those keen to internet environments, it’s a real turn-off because it’s quickly recognized as a marketing ploy usually to sell something.
    Nevertheless, the latter audience may browse around and see that Nutrition Facts is much more than just marketing of a certain diet and find credible and persuasive info. Personally though, I would keep to the regular format to keep the site looking “clean” without any blemish of marketing techniques like this which are so often quickly judged as untrustworthy.

        1. Yes, probably.

          I just think that this approach risks diluting the credibility of the Nutritionfacts brand. Perhaps it would be better if there were another website for this type of video. You know, Lexus and Toyota?

  11. I love the animation. The illustrations really highlight what’s important. This would be a great video to show in a classroom. To any age.

  12. This was a fun variant, but for the record, there’s zero “tedium” with the usual study/quote/study/quote structure! Nothing tedious about the well-documented truth.

  13. I like everything Dr. G. does and this is no exception. In order to understand the study videos, it would probably help to understand what a study is. And a lot of people I know and meet simply don’t. And their not going to anytime soon either. That’s the reality. It wouldn’t surprise me if a lot of people on this website have higher education in a STEM field. Most people don’t. This might help them.

    1. I agree! I definitely feel the mix of videos will help capture a larger audience. Whilst I personally love the science and research, sometimes I just want something simple to share!

  14. I love the audio content of the original format. However, while it may lend some legitimacy for others, for me, I feel the journal article visuals do not add anything. I actually just listen to the videos with the screen completely minimized. That said, I’m on the article retrieval team, and already a believer that everything posted on this site comes from a legitimate, in-context source. :) I like this new format as a way to peak interest from a different audience. There have been times I wanted to send a Dr. G video to a family member to highlight some nutrition point, but knew off the bat they would not sit through an 8-minute video of articles flashing on screen, so I refrained from forwarding it. I’d be a fan of a combination of the two, better visuals with some direct article quotes thrown in. Thanks!

    1. I definitely feel the mix of videos will help capture a larger audience. I agree whilst I personally love the science and research, sometimes I just want something simple to share!

  15. Oh No! Not the dreaded drawing videos! Love the doc, love the channel and the people here, but God do I HATE these drawing videos, reminds me of those crappy solicitation websites. Was I too strong? Sorry, no offense intended… I hope this format goes away quickly.

    1. Just a clarification, Patrik isn’t a bodybuilder, but a strongman. Bodybuilders use hypertrophic muscle training to pack on muscle mass in key areas to achieve a particular type of physique mainly for aesthetic purposes, while a strongman focuses mainly on building strength.

  16. You can choose the no fat milk option , and therefore would be getting the calcium without any saturated fat. Milk is the food richest with calcium and if you get it fat free then there is no reason to cut it out of the diet.. right?????????

    1. there is every reason to eliminate milk and dairy products from our diets , not the least of which is the dead bull calf we leave in our wake on the way to the refrigerator. The China Study by T Colin Campbell PhD details the harms of cancer causing milk protein casein, autoimmune disfunction, etc. This site has numerous videos on the perils of dairy products as re ently posted as last week. I encourage you to investigate further by utilizing the search function at this site for topics associated with dairy. wishing you good health

  17. Everybody must see the Nutritionfacts.org “What is the Healthiest Diet?” video. It is one of the very best Nutritionfacts.org videos
    yet, and I have watched over half of them. Beside the new video approach, which is genius, READ the booklet “The Plant-Based Diet a healthier way to eat” which is shown in the video!! (www.https://share.kaiserpermanente.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/The-Plant-Based-Diet-booklet.pdf) Read to page 4 and do exactly what it says!! Eat between every category from min to max, your choice. If you to do, and if you watch Nutritionfacts.org every day for the 30 days, to internalize what you have read, you will be so much healthier in 30 days that you will be blackmailed to continue. You will not want to go back! Also check out the 2 pages of “Resources” section at the end of the 21 page booklet for your life journey. Note that Nutritionfacts.org is included in the “Resources” section.

    Nutritionfacts.org and the folks on the “Resources” section “Saved my life” and that’s what Dr. Habif, whose
    dermatology book has been translated into 5 languages, told me 3 times! And he was right! Best to all of you!!

  18. I really liked this video! The animation was clear and the comparative information presented a strong message. I do love the detailed science, but this type of video is perfect for people who need to start with the basic facts about eating plant-based rather than animal-based.

    1. Thanks for understanding! I agree! Whilst some people seem a little frustrated with this new set of videos as they are a little less research heavy, there are people that need less debate over the minor details and just need the simple messages of eat more plants, less food made in plants!

      1. As I recall, the point of making them was because during his survey, so many people asked for convincing, but less technical info to SHARE with the uninitiated. We will still get our technical/research fix, don’t worry!

  19. A fantastic message, but perhaps may be confused with the myriad of snake oil animations done in a similar style.

    I agree that the current presentations of nutritionfacts.org are extremely valuable to specialists (and those of us who aspire to be specialists), but here are some video titles that might be more digestible by the general public:

    – Why shouldn’t I drink cow’s milk and eat milk products?
    – Why shouldn’t I have soda? Does seltzer solve the problem?
    – Why should I avoid meat, especially if I have been focusing on grass-fed organic beef?

    These questions and many more should be answered in clear terms for the nonspecialist without explicit reference to the medical literature, which belongs in the footnotes for credibility’s sake. For example, if I have learned anything, I might answer the first question as follows:

    – Why shouldn’t I drink cow’s milk and eat milk products?
    A. Does any other species drink the milk of another species? Do adults of any species drink mother’s milk at all? This is unnatural. (Thanks Michael Pollan)
    B. Milk contains growth hormones. Yes, it can cause bones to grow, but it can cause diseases to grow (cancer), and risk factors to increase (inflammation, growth of arterial plaque, reduction in healthy blood flow, increased risk of heart disease and death).
    C. Yes, you need protein and Vitamin D. You can get protein from a WFPB diet without the side effects. You can get Vitamin D from sunshine.
    D. So, stop drinking milk, and eating cheese. By doing so, you are choosing to increase your risk of death by heart disease, stroke and cancer.

    The toughest group to reach is not the junk food junkies, but those who think their “intuition” is best. Those who think if they “buy organic” and seek “cage free”, better fed meat, they will be ok.

    PS: I would like to work with your organization if I may. I have many more ideas about outreach to nonspecialists.

  20. like streets, there are different avenues to use to get to a destination. I like the facts based studies, but others are on different parts of town and need other ways to get to a plant based diet! Good job mixing it up!

    1. Thanks for understanding! I agree! Whilst some people seem a little frustrated with this new set of videos as they are a little less research heavy, there are people that need less debate over the minor details and just need more plants, less food made in plants!

  21. What a grossly distorted video. The comparison of a plant based diet with eating at McDonald’s or the Bugger King is totally spurious. That is not the question. The question: is a plant only diet better than a plant-based diet that also contains some fish (cold water, wild caught fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel, all choices high in Omega-3 polyunsaturated fats high in EPA and DHA and very low in toxins, especially sardines which are low on the food chain). Does adding some pasture raised beef, also containing omega-3’s, make the diet more or less healthy or no effect other than adding variety. How about plain full fat yogurt or kefir, with no added sugar, made with milk from grass fed cows or goats? What about eggs high in omega-3s but also loaded with other very healthy nutrients like biotin? If you want another opinion, read “Eat Fat, Get Thin” by Dr. Mark Hyman, whose practice is at the Cleveland Clinic, a highly regarded medical center.

    I agree a plant-based diet is very healthy, but don’t compare it with a junk food diet. You insult my intelligence and the intelligence of everyone who reads your posts.

    I have incorporated all of the above mentioned foods into my plant-based diet — obviously, not the junk food. I am 76. My body fat is 10%. My waist is 32 inches. My hs CRP is <0.2 mg/L, my TGs are less than 60 mg/dL, my oxidized LDLs are 41 U/L which is in the optimal range, and my ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 PUFA is 2.3:1 (The Holman Omega-3 Test) which places me at the very top of the healthy zone.

    The open access version of the British Medical Journal recently reported on a large review of the research that found that older people with higher levels of LDLs live longer than those with low levels of LDL. This makes sense. I don't think cholesterol is the villain. The villains are those factors that injure the endothelium, like smoking, too much alcohol, sugar and simple carbs, stress, pollutants and toxins and too few anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory foods.

    My bottom line: If eating a "plant only" based diet rings your bell, then by all means go for it. If, however, some high quality fish, meat, dairy and eggs for variety are incorporated into a plant-based diet, then do so without any feelings of guilt.

    Dr Mark Hyman is having an on-line fat seminar. You can register at eatfatgetthin.com. One of the surprising facts that I learned from the audiobook is that eating saturated fat with sugar and simple carbs is very unhealthy. However, eating saturated fat fats, particularly medium chain saturated fat, like in coconut oil, and also eating a healthy ratio of N-6:N-3 fats is actually healthy, according to controlled tests. I hope to learn more about at the fat seminar..

    1. There’s really nothing about grass-fed, organic versions of these foods that make them healthier. The paltry amount of omega-3s in, say, grass-fed beef doesn’t provide significant protection against the other known harmful substances in the food. This is a myth that people who peddle low-carb diets put forth to excuse recommending foods known to be unhealthy. There’s no logical reason to think otherwise.

      “The open access version of the British Medical Journal recently reported on a large review of the research that found that older people with higher levels of LDLs live longer than those with low levels of LDL. This makes sense. I don’t think cholesterol is the villain. ”

      It would have helped to post this journal article, but without having seen the specific one you’re talking about, I can tell you there are several reasons why a study might find this. Illnesses such as cancer can lead to a lowering of LDL (lack of appetite, large amounts of weight loss), rather than low LDL leading to an illness. This is called reverse causation. If the study only looked at survival in older people, another statistical fallacy called Survivor Bias could be at play, where by looking only at the people who didn’t die prematurely and excluding the bulk of data, you come to the false conclusion that the risk factor being looked at isn’t important. In other words, if you observed that in people aged 90+, those who smoked weren’t at an increased risk of death, or even that they had better survival, it would most likely be down to genetics/luck, whereas if you looked at all ages you’d see the smokers on average tend to die prematurely.

      Of course cholesterol isn’t a “villain,” this isn’t a play, but having an excess of cholesterol in your circulatory system can lead to cardiovascular disease. In 2016, that’s no longer a debate.

      1. Exactly- Low LDL can be a marker of disease and or use of cholesterol lowering medications >> low numbers on paper in a person with Cardiovascular disease for example!

    2. Hi Rpabate! This is one of the series of videos for beginners, so a bit more general than some of the others on this site. The question you brought up may be *your* question (and I agree, a common one) however the truth is the majority of American’s are NOT eating a high plant-based diet with some animal products in small amounts, the are eating a TON of processed and junk food.
      From most of the research on this website which it seems you are familiar to a degree, it seems unfortunately our world is so polluted, finding such fish is RARE, finding pasture raised, antibiotic free beef in the USA is RARE, Grass-fed cows, again antibiotic free, with low pus residues and without viruses again is RARE, Eggs with a favourable O3:O6 residues is RARE. And saying these foods are OK will lead many to justify their costco meat and factory eggs as ‘it can’t be that much worse’ they may believe OR it just becomes an elite privilege to afford such foods. In addition, as this video begins to address, it’s not always just what the foods bring, but what baggage comes too. For example, even the ‘grass-fed organic free range beef’- still high in animal protein (China Study), still high in saturated fats and cholesterol, still absent in fiber, still high in natural hormones such as IGF-1 etc… Many of the issues with animal foods goes beyond the additives and toxins and is inherent in the foods themselves. Sure you can get omega three, but they are found elsewhere too. Studies such as the Adventist health studies, which has health-conscious people eating meat then a step-wise decrease to vegan diets show step wise increases in health outcomes and cannot be ignored. Diets including these foods, such as Dr Hyman’s ‘work’ generally because of what they exclude- processed junk predominately! Of course people will get healthier!

      How many people in the study were on pharmaceuticals?

      Whilst this website focuses more on nutrition, one cannot also ignore the environmental and ethical impacts of consuming animals and their products as well.

      Also, be careful with claims about coconut oil- the MCT also comes with LCT saturated fats too, which cannot be ignored- http://nutritionfacts.org/video/does-coconut-oil-clog-arteries/

      Anyway, long story short- so many people are eating FAR too much junk/refined foods, and really do need less McDonalds and more plant foods, the point of this video :)

    3. It is important to look carefully at both sides of the argument before coming to firm conclusions. Especially when one side is trying to sell you a ton of stuff, like Dr Hyman. A number of people have pointed out the misleading claims made by Dr Hyman. You could do worse than begin here

      “a large review of the research that found that older people with higher levels of LDLs live longer than those with low levels of LDL. This makes sense. I don’t think cholesterol is the villain.”
      There have been many studies over the years that show that (in Westernised societies) among older people or unemployed people, low cholesterol is associated with higher mortality. This is nothing new. It has been investigated many times. There was a similar meta-analysis in 1990 for example. As BB has pointed out, this is almost certainly the result of reverse causation – ie certain diseases like cancers, liver diseases, some viruses, alcoholism, Alzheimer’s result in declining cholesterol. For example, over 20 years ago, the Honolulu Heart Program study found
      “Falling TC level was accompanied by a subsequent increased risk of death caused by some cancers (hemopoietic, esophageal, and prostate), noncardiovascular noncancer causes (particularly liver disease), and all causes. The risk-factor–adjusted rate of all-cause mortality was 30% higher (relative risk, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.06 to 1.59) among persons with a decline from middle (180 to 239 mg/dL) to low (<180 mg/dL) TC than in persons remaining at a stable middle level. By contrast, there was no significant increase in all-cause mortality risk among cohort men with stable low TC levels."

      As an accompanying editorial commented:
      "This conclusion is consistent with results of a recent meta-analysis10 of cause-specific mortality (including unpublished data on noncardiovascular causes of death) from 10 large cohort studies and 2 international studies that concluded that reduced serum cholesterol is not related to excess mortality among cohorts of employed individuals, whereas population-based studies did show a relationship. The investigators proposed that the discrepancy in results was probably due to a higher frequency of risk factors associated with low cholesterol, eg, alcohol abuse and ill health, in population-based study samples compared with employed cohorts.

      Two additional pieces of evidence that suggest that low cholesterol is not a causal factor for noncardiovascular disease are the normal to extended life expectancy experienced by individuals with genetically determined hypobetacholesterolemia11 and populations with low average blood cholesterol levels, such as the Japanese and Greeks, who do not exhibit an excess of noncardiovascular disease deaths.12"

      Since then of course we have had the results of large trials of cholesterol lowering drugs. If high cholesterol were protective, and low cholesterol dangerous, we would expect to see increased mortality amoing people whose cholesterol has been lowered. We do not. Quite the opposite.

      If you truly do not like having your intelligence insulted, you should stay away from people like Hyman and those who tell you that cholesterol is irrelevant. Hyman for example tells us that only cholesterol size is important. It has been known for years.that this is simply not true eg
      "Previous studies showing that smaller low-density lipoprotein (LDL) size is associated with greater atherosclerotic risk did not adequately control for small and large LDL particle correlation. …….. Both LDL subclasses were significantly associated with subclinical atherosclerosis, with small LDL confounding the association of large LDL with atherosclerosis."

      This subject has been extensively studied over the years. A major review in 2008 found "In summary, only LDL particle concentration, as measured by NMR, was consistently found to be associated with incident CVD after adjustment for lipids (and other risk factors). Other specific measures have been found to be associated with incidence or progression of CVD by only a minority of studies."

      and "Limited evidence suggested that LDL subfraction analysis is not a consistently strong predictor of CVD compared to other known risk factors"

      More recently, Dr Greger has produced a good video on the topic also which refers to relevant research since 2008:

      This video is also worth watching:

    4. Your “points” are all discredited by actual science. Mark Hyman is a bought and paid for fathead, with a charming hook. It’s your funeral, believe whatever, but I’ll stick with the body of actual research and not the opinion of a social climber who profits greatly from ignorance and deceit.

  22. Nice to change it up, but don’t abandon your other styles of enlightening us. Keep mixing it up. Some of us like your “straight study/quote/study/quote tedium” (I wouldn’t say tedium). However, as you are aware, if you stick to one particular style, you risk appealing to a limited audience. Thanks for what you do, and for doing it so well, Dr. Greger.

  23. Dr. Gregor,

    Can you please get back to reviewing specific studies that review certain kinds of food and their effect on one’s nutrition? For example, is there any good literature on yogurt and other cultured milk products. I liked it when you used to show obscure literature that would lead to surprising observations or conclusions. You have been repeating the same old stuff about how great a plant-based diet is for a while now…

    1. This is part of a series to introduce new people to the idea of plant based diets and broaden the viewing audience. I doubt Dr Greger will ever stop with finding the obscure literature- it’s too fun!

      As mentioned in these videos, the issues with many animal foods is what they bring in addition to the proclaimed benefits. Fermenting milk products doesn’t remove the animal protein, saturated fats, IGF-1, hormones and antibiotics etc..

    2. Hi Matt
      When you have a specific question like above regarding milk, or yogurt link on nutrition topic above. They are listed alphabetically. So you could check out the videos regarding diary or more specifically yogurt and you will find your answer.

  24. I like all your videos. I like seeing the scientific way the information was obtained then have you put into simple English. so the quote study method works great for me. that doesn’t mean I don’t like info presented in other ways. I find it all valuable, thought provoking and simply fascinating. I appreciate what you do and share it with everyone I know. thank you for all your work

  25. Despite the fact that I personally love your in depth videos, I think the format and message of this is more appropriate to reach out and share with the confused masses who aren’t eager to hear the fact that what they love the best, are the best things to avoid! The positive “add veggies” theme is a good start. I would love to see something along these lines to help clarify WHY people are so confused about all the conflicting information regarding anything nutrition related, where and why all the BS is out there! Everyone I try to enlighten thinks I’m some misguided or radical nutcase because I am challenging what their trusted doctor or some other sage has informed them. (Or neglected to) I notice a popular theme with a lot of sway for attention grabbing seems
    to be lists of “X # of reasons to (avoid or include) X”. It works especially for the uninitiated because multiple concrete reasons are far more convincing and mobilizing than a single, often abstract, new concept. Not to mention the attention grabbing “hook” that appeals to vanity, which seems trite to me, but it works! For example, “5 or 10 reasons why pigging out on produce will produce prodigious proceeds”… or whatever :) You get the idea. Seems kind of like pandering to me, but when the goal is to educate, you have to fight fire with fire when trying to counter the putrid product peddlers! (I gotta :P)

  26. I think it is just right. I was one of the confused couch potatoes. I happened upon Dr. Greger’s YouTube videos by accident. It would have been much more encouraging/enticing to see this video at the start. I am still in transition towards a WFPB way of eating and it is an important part of my motivation to know that the closer I get to total whole foods, plant based nutrition, the better I will feel. I believe that for those who are just trying to figure a way through a lifetime of bad habits, any encouragement is a good thing to help them reach for a healthier way of life, and different ways of presenting that information will probably reach different people. I believe the more people who hear this vital information, the better!

    1. Agreed Dori, and for myself,I have found this community to be most helpful and encouraging. 18 mos ago I thought my diet was so great, what would a little milk in my coffee, or a little cottage cheese at lunch hurt ? LOL , well, I found out.. it was life changing letting it go at last. Now, my doctor asks questions and takes notes!

      I am posting a link for my very favorite dr greger ‘movie’ of all time. Pour yourself a cup of tea, and be prepared to be delightfully entertained. its about transitioning our diets. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9nNa81dSoY Its friday night, I may watch it again with you .. time well spent.

      1. Thanks for bringing this video to our attention. I have seen it before, but had forgotten about it’s existence. I think this format and setting would be a better introductory video than the one today with the drawings. Dr G looks much more authentic with the Doctor attire. I think it would be good to have a much shorter version of this video available on the NutritionFacts website, say a 10 or 15 minute version.

        1. I agree with you Hal.. in fact, this is one I show after Forks or Knives to resistant family members for an upbeat intro to wfpb eating. It has worked wonders.

  27. Don’t condemn the Coca Cola guy for perjury…even the FBI gave Hillary a pass! Lying, being deceitful and doing the wrong-unnatural thing is now the “correct” thing according to the people who control Hollywood, Wall Street and your government. Wise up and just accept your fate peons. No one gets out alive.

  28. I like your old style, Dr Greger. Good solid scientific research presenteded professionally with a little dry humour and irony thrown in occasionally. I have a collection of your finest videos that I often share with patients and anyone interested in achieving optimal health.

    Keep up the great work!! Grant Falck MD, Inuvik, NT

  29. What really gets me about that (aside form the fact that in my day job my colleagues and I actually worked on getting LAUSD to ban flavored milks) is that the Dairy industry last year poured 600 million gallons of milk into the sewer because they had such a glut of excess milk that they couldn’t sell it. Obviously the industry doesn’t care about the waste, but the school has latched on to this weak excuse to justify their actions.

    1. So then you would know about the mandate to have the milk available for the children or the Feds won’t fund the lunch program for needy children. Thank you dairy industry!

  30. (Note sure this is the right place to post this comment)

    I am having some interest in what’s healthy to eat. Unfortunately I find this task of finding out what food is good and bad very frustrating. It looks to me that for any study saying food X seems to have this good effect Y, there is another study saying the exact opposite, this ‘replication crisis’ is pretty saddening and unpleasantly surprising (let’s not forget, we got to the moon, we did heart transplants, we build machines that beat jeopardy and go champions).

    The data on this site seems very large. For someone like me, wanting to eat responsibly but not having maybe enough time to read this entire site, is there a 1-page summary containing precise info about specific foods, ingredients that are ok? I really liked the format of bulletproof (short, to the point, explicit, the question is: how valid/accurate?) (to see exactly what I mean, I’ll post a link to their 1-page summary in a reply to my comment, so if comments containing links will be marked as spam and not displayed online, at least this current comment will be available online).

    1. For trustworthy advice on nutrition and diet, I would run – not walk – past the bulletproof diet crew.

      Dr Greger’s recommendations are here.

      It is worth noting that all credible health authorities basing their advice on reports by panels of expert scientists who have reviewed the totality of the evidence, as opposed to people promoting sensational books and fad diets, seem to reach a broadly similar conclusion. That is, eat more whole fruits, vegetables, beans and grains

      1. Thanks Tom.
        (My bulletproof mention was regarding the way they summarized their ideas in 1 single page, not about the validity of their advice.)

      2. Re-reading your comment now…
        Regarding bulletproof – yes, they sell something, so they are biased in a sense, but ignoring their commercial produtcs, I don’t think their diet is that bad… I mean I think it’s better than nothing, it’s better than what the average american eats. You may claim they are wrong in some aspects, but I guess some of their advice is right. That’s the advantage of 1-page summary: in 10 seconds you can see that link that I posted and you’ll see that some (and one can claim, a big part) recommendations from bulletproof and nutritionfacts overlap. I didnt follow bulletproof lately, but I know they were providing scientific studies behind their advice.

        This is one thing that intrigues me a bit: the sense that I got from what I read so far on nutritionfacts – that everything is so clear regarding nutrition, that there’s no opposing views in the scientific community, that there’s no ‘replication crisis’ in food studies, no nuances, no yet not answered questions. And based on what I read in the last years, it’s exactly the opposite (of course, you may say I read the wrong websites – I try to be careful about that, though).

        1. Thanks George. There is always some part of a heavily-marketed popular diet that can be seen as beneficial. For example, the bulletproof diet recommends eating organic vegetables, intermittent fasting and limiting protein consumption. However, in the end, these are little more than fig leaves because this is basically just another low-carb, ketogenic style diet. These have been around for ages under one name or another. The bulletproof diet recommends 50-70% of calories should come from fat, a very large portion of which would be saturated fat if the recommended foods are anything to go by. Serious scientists and researchers around the world have concluded that high saturated fat consumption is unhealthy. The World Health Organization for example concludes:

          “Reducing the amount of total fat intake to less than 30% of total energy intake helps prevent unhealthy weight gain in the adult population (1, 2, 3).

          Also, the risk of developing NCDs is lowered by reducing saturated fats to less than 10% of total energy intake, and trans fats to less than 1% of total energy intake, and replacing both with unsaturated fats (2, 3).”
          (NCDs = non communicable diseases, ie cardiovascular diseases, cancer etc)

          Just because the people behind the Bulletproof and similar diets, have chosen to describe saturated fats as “healthy fats” (this is great marketing spin of course) does not mean that they are. Nor does the fact that the Standard Western Diet high in refined foods and trans fats is also unhealthy, mean that alternatively eating saturated fat is healthy. For example, the low carb high fat diet approach has been very popular in Sweden in recent years where it seems that strokes and heart attacks are increasing among younger people

          As the World Cancer Research Fund Second Expert Report says, “eat mostly foods of plant origin”

          It does seem that there is pretty wide agreement on that by serious scientists around the world, judging by the reports on nutrition and health by panels of world class experts. Of course, there is still room for plenty of disagreement on the details. Also, I do not get the impression from Dr G’s videos and blogs that he is promoting a very black and white view. He is always careful to say “may” and “could” for example when he discussed the implications of research. He also acknowledges that a diet that is 100% whole plant foods has deficiencies and needs to be supplemented with eg vitamin B12, omega 3s etc to deliver the best nutrition. Even here on this website, there is lively discussion from time to time about whether properly planned WFPB diets should be 100%, 95% etc plant foods and whether there is sufficiently strong scientific evidence to support one position over another.

          I am not surprised, however, that you get the impression that there is genuine scientific debate on certain issues, such as eg the role of saturated fat in the diet, when there isn’t. There are thousands of dubious websites that seek to muddy the waters. After all, there is a big market of people who want to told that is healthy to eat butter, steak, cheese Many sites are there to promote sensational fad diet books and DVDs etc and/or to sell associated products. Others are run by opinionated cranks. More dangerous are those operated by academics, professional associations and individual physicians with financial conflicts of interest. The meat, dairy, egg etc industries are all active in funding university “research” designed to make their products look harmless or even healthy. Their findings are assiduously promoted and reported in the media. Sponsorship is also an issue. The US Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics for example was previously quite clear that consuming high levels of saturated fat is unhealthy. However, after the US National Dairy Council became its sole national sponsor, the Academy decided that saturated fat is not a nutrient of concern. Dairy foods are main source of saturated fat in the US diet.

          All I would suggest is that you look at expert scientific reports on nutrition and health first and then consider the opinions of “alternative” health advocates second. I think that you will find that the latter are only able to make their arguments by ignoring contrary evidence. Personally, I like this site because it is consistent with mainstream expert reports. It goes beyond those but is still evidence based.

      3. thanks for posting the links tom. these are good ones to share! re: the bulletproof diet, wow, that is shocking ! 50 to 70 % fat ! And all those isolated protein products, sugar substitutes , and other horroors. I would be back in for heart surgery in a month eating that. Thank you Dr Greger, and all the helpful people here at NF supporting good health and good living.

    2. George: In addition to the link that Tom Goff gave you, I recommend looking up Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen. That is another way to see a detailed summary on one page what Dr. Greger recommends eating. The Daily Dozen is a free phone app or you can see a picture of it in the book trailer for the book How Not To Die. Or of course, you could get the book…
      Regarding your point about finding various studies. Biology is messy and complicated. The situation is further compounded by funders with conflicts of interest. So, it’s true that you can find a study to prove just about anything you want. HOWEVER, the body of scientific evidence, while not black and white, is generally pretty clear on the matter and has been for decades. That’s what I like about NutritionFacts as it attempts to look at the body of scientific evidence and sum up that information for us.
      Good luck!

  31. At first it was a good decision, making changes so that the kids didn’t drink any milk – great!
    And the kids are right. Milk tastes awful – that’s the taste of milk. Great lesson for the kids.

  32. not to support burger king, but they do offer a veggie burger, granted not the healthiest, but when your in the fast food desert and hungry!

    1. The thought that rushes through my head every time I see milk, butter, cheese, ice cream, sour cream, etc.: “Blood, puss, piss, and feces.” Once a week, my mother insisted that we go to the small dairy down the road with our own two giant bottles to get the milk “straight from the cow.” I even interviewed the dairyman Mr. Ditmar for a school report I wrote on the dairy. I understood from a young age how even that small dairy was susceptible to contamination. The smell will forever be ingrained in my mind, and nothing felt natural to me about drinking another animals milk meant for their babies.

  33. too similar to promotional videos attempting to sell something…i.e. a weight loss diet, exercise protocol, supplements, etc. perhaps a valid method for sales to convince those desperate to try something simple and easy. but you don’t go to an expert, especially a doctor, for sponge bob solutions to real dilemmas. dr. g is easily as cute as these animations.

  34. Study/quote/study/ quote may not be as entertaining, but it definitely is more convincing. I always send friends/family to this site who are interested in eating healthier because it provides the actual scientific papers highlighted! Hence the name “Nutrition Facts.” My husband is also a cardiologist who often sends patients here because of the highlighted primary literature. That being said, the animation was entertaining. If it could be used on television to steer the general population to your website that would be wonderful!

    1. What do you mean with “weed” – in Germany weed means “useless” plants but also glowing cigarretts ;-)
      If you meaning this weed which not good informed people called useless so I can tell you it’s not useless, it’s really good food – for a great salat for example or a wounderful soup. We use it also at soja curd cheese (take a naturell soja yoghurt and remove the water) on bread. ;-)
      The tabaco is also usefull if you use it in the right way – to have a victim for your gods to make them kindly to your prayers, because the smoke is the food for the gods. Ask your Natives… ;-)
      Cheers Steffen from Germany

    2. Oh it is just fine , their making it legal don’t ya know! In Canada the police are taking training on how to spot people under the influence since it will be legal here in 2017.
      Come to think of it maybe you shouldn’t drive or fly a jetliner as far as that goes, or heart surgery, gosh maybe there would be a lot of things you shouldn’t do while on the stuff.
      Feeding it to kids? Colorado has now doubled the number of kids who need emergency treatment from “weed” poisoning since they legalized.

  35. I am really interested I finding new ways to promote WFPBD, I don’t need animations for myself, I am a devoted fan, but if it works to attract new people I’m all for it. When I first started down this road I decided that I was not going to proselytize and that the way I looked and felt would be evidence enough for all my friends and family to see. Guess what? Nobody gave a toss about it. So, sulking in the corner of my compost pile, I gave it a great deal of thought. Maybe, just maybe, these marketing gurus are onto something. So I cleaned up my act, and smartened myself up when I went into town and to any social function. Now I have people telling me I look great with a tan, to which I reply no, it’s the food I eat, which is a great conversation opener. Dr G you look great on the new videos, I love the green tie, I think all of us need to project the vibrant healthy lives that we have and fight fire with fire.

  36. It is nice but this animation looks a lot like the one I never watch to the end because I know they want to sell me something and there is always a catch… Contrary of your very nice videos! Thanks for your work!

  37. Inadequate calcium is something I am fearful of as a new vegan. I have not had a physical since I went vegan so I am not sure if I am deficient. I was a heavy dairy consumer. I always consumed my calcium sources at separate time from my iron sources because I had read that one interferes with absorption of the other. But I am finding that as a vegan, I cannot make meals that separate the two ! For example, my salads (mostly calcium) must have legumes (mostly iron sources) to bulk them up otherwise, I get hungry within an hour. How are you guys making sure you get adequate calcium?

    1. Hello alot, I had similar concerns when I switched to a plant based diet. all my life I worried about calcium, and enthusistically gulped down the dairy aswell as supplements in different forms only to be told several years ago that I was ‘low’ in calcium.
      After switching to vegan whole foods I didnt give it a thought..until my Dr tested my calcium levels two weeks ago. Low and behold, she reported my levels to be exactly mid-range ie perfect. LOL I do use soy milk in my coffee, and take vit D as per Dr Gregers recomme datios. Hope this is a little reassuring for you

  38. There is a problem with this website.
    It’s only allows us to rise another question or topic in related to Dr Michael Greger
    But at least some of us, would prefer to rise their own spontaneous questions, which are not has to be related to the current context of the video.
    And this website don’t have a special forum in which people can ask their personal question ,
    Anyway my question is , Does Anesthetic before dental treatment, raise our risk to develop oral cancer?
    This question is very important to me.
    Because i have missing tooth for 2 years, (It was in the days i used to smoke and eat alot of junk)
    And i want to do dental implant, But i worry this can raise the risk for oral cancer.

    1. This site uses the name “Nutrition Facts”, and from the beginning, Dr. Greger’s mission has been about the whole foods, plant-based diet approach to improving health. To his great credit, Dr. Greger has remained faithful to that focus.

      A website with a different format and focus is lef.org, a health education foundation with a public outreach. There, trained “wellness specialists” answer telephoned questions during daytime and evening hours. Visit that site for details.

      1. “Thanks” but no thanks,
        I don’t interesting in link for website
        which sell supplements.
        And it could be much better without your long explanation.
        Of course the site mission is about whole foods, plant-based diet.
        But unrelated questions may be ask for this specific topic also (plant-based diet)
        And this site don’t support this feature at all, which is a flaw in my opinion,
        Because this site based only on output, without input.

  39. Not to be critical of WiseStreet’s work, I’m not convinced its the right fit. The one thing that sets Dr. Greger/NutritionFacts apart is the science-based evidence that he reviews in each of his videos, and I believe explains his wide acclaim. I agree the videos need to be refreshed and updated by a professional producer. However, this animation doesn’t achieve that and by association could possibly dilute Dr. Greger’s message (hard work, analysis and medical training) by removing him from the video as well as the ‘evidence.’ Its true, this animation style has a strong association with a growing number of doctors, fitness trainers, etc. who also refer to research and peddle personalized diets, supplements and age-reversing products. When I land on one of these, I leave immediately, offended by the presentation and know its a money-making scam. Even though Dr. Greger isn’t selling anything, he may also lose viewers by mere association. As far as a refresh, I would like to see a video produced by a production designer whose rigor and knowledge matches Dr. Greger’s and doesn’t just go for the status quo. I understand the desire to appeal to a broader audience but I feel this falls short.

    1. I agree that the animation style doesn’t fit; it reminds me also of those often dubious product/service solicitation ads.
      But I do not agree it needed a refresh. The previous style(s) were unique, comprehensive, well produced, evidence based, they just worked well.

  40. Not to be critical of WiseStreet’s work, I’m not convinced its the right fit. The one thing that sets Dr. Greger/NutritionFacts apart is the science-based evidence that he reviews in each of his videos, and I believe explains his wide acclaim. I agree the videos need to be refreshed and updated by a professional producer. However, this animation doesn’t achieve that and by association could possibly dilute Dr. Greger’s message (hard work, analysis and medical training) by removing him from the video as well as the ‘evidence.’ Its true, this animation style has a strong association with a growing number of doctors, fitness trainers, etc. who also refer to research and peddle personalized diets, supplements and age-reversing products. When I land on one of these, I leave immediately, offended by the presentation and know its a money-making scam. Even though Dr. Greger isn’t selling anything, he may also lose viewers by mere association. As far as a refresh, I would like to see a video produced by a production designer whose rigor and knowledge matches Dr. Greger’s and doesn’t just go for the status quo. I understand the desire to appeal to a broader audience but I feel this falls short.

  41. Let’s get real. There is no vegan society on the planet as far as I can tell. We need to know how to prepare pleasurable meals that have a high degree of satiety. No animal products is unrealistic and maybe dangerous for many. I can go along with way more high quality plant foods and way less animal foods. The evidence is there. Mr. Hungry needs enough protein and can’t go hungry.

    1. Hi Mr. Hungry – I’m sure you’re already aware that many people around the world are 100% vegan. There’s lot of evidence that supports the fact that humans are able to get adequate nutrients and protein from a whole-food, plant-based diet if they so choose. That being said, nutrition can be very individualized from person-to-person depending on personal preferences, food availability, etc. It’s most important that you find a diet that works best for you and your lifestyle – while keeping you healthy at the same time. As you mentioned, lots of high quality plants + minimal animal product sounds like that might be the best fit for you. Please let us know if you have any questions in the future. We’re always happy to help!

    2. I’m with you on the protein. No matter how much quinoa, beans, nuts, whole grains, fruit & veggies I eat, I need my protein. Maybe I just burn carbs really fast, IDK. I avoid the simple carbs, processed foods, most fats except for a little olive oil, and just all added sugars. I sleep better, feel stronger, able to keep muscle, and avoid hungar. I do carry a fair amount of muscle, low body fat, and exercise/ work out regularly. This is a diet that just works for me, and has for a very long time.

  42. This presentation seems just too simple. The last quote from Gramma brings up awful images of coercion, and of canned vegetables. What got us were the facts blended with your wonderful humor and evident love for your audience.

  43. I was wondering what do you think Dr. Greger about “rain international” seed supplements ? they are claiming that it provides maximum health / healing !!! Do seeds of certain plants (or super foods) hold more nutritional benefits when consumed concentrated? would be happy to hear your thoughts about this :) Thank you https://rainintl.com/home

  44. I love the graphics although the drawing-it-while-you’re-talking plus musical accompaniment creates too much busyness and too much distraction from your message. I would eliminate (or greatly reduce the volume of) the music and use the active drawing arm a bit–but not too much. I would study Ted-Ed videos as positive examples.

  45. Is this really going to help with Crohns? I cannot eat any of the greens such as kale, lettuce type products. Causes diarrhea I am newly dx so trying to find healthy way of eating and keeping food processing thru system. Losing wt due to diarrhea.

    1. Hi Suzann, You may wish to start off with a more simple diet of foods you know you can tolerate well. Also, blending foods in a smoothie as well as thoroughly chewing tougher foods like kale, broccoli etc. may be helpful. I would recommend speaking with a functional medicine practitioner or naturopathic doctor who understands the nutritional needs of crohn’s patients for maximum benefit instead of trying to figure it out on your own. I hope this helps!

  46. At least 80-95% of the volume of food people eat should be raw (i.e. raw fruits, vegetables and nuts). And the other 5-20% (high calorie, low volume) should be boiled for a short time without butter and oil. Example rice, potato, kale, garlic, onion, carrot, etc. The benefits are much lower grocery bills, less time wasted in the kitchen, washing dishes, and better health. And more + energy. Most of the food in McDonald, Burger King, KFC, etc… are manufactured inventions (french fries, coke, apple pie, milk shake) or burnt flesh of cage-raised tortured animals. It brings bad luck.

    1. Hi, Joy Dancer. I am Christine, a NF volunteer. I’m not sure what issues you might have with soap, but I like very simple, olive oil-based soaps. As with foods, I read labels, and look for the fewest ingredients possible. I hope that helps!

  47. Hello Victor,
    Berger’s disease is also known as IgA Nephropathy– an immune cell reaction mainly in the kidneys and the digestive tract (where IgA molecules can be found). By sticking to a simple diet of the least allergenic foods (including many vegetables) the body will be able to become less reactive over time. This is definitely something that should be worked on with a functional medicine doctor or naturopathic doctor who understands the underlying disease AND the role of supplements and diet to control the immune response. Here are two articles that you may find helpful:

    Hogg RJ, Fitzgibbons L, Atkins C, et al. (2006) “Efficacy of omega-3 fatty acids in children and adults with IgA Nephropathy is dosage- and size-dependent” Clin J Am Soc Nephrol 1: 1167–72.

    Kovacs T, Mette H, Per B, et al. (1996) “Relationship between intestinal permeability and antibodies against food antigens in IgA nephropathy” Orv Hetil 137(2):65-9 [in Hungarian].

    1. This is a topic I’ve been struggling with as I have a couple of autoimmune conditions. I’ve been hearing so much praise for the Autoimmune Protocol Diet. My understanding of this diet is that eating foods known to cause a leaky gut which causes inflammation in the body, are eliminated. I tired a version of this diet for 30 days and actually got sicker. When I return to my vegan diet I was much better within a week. Is there science behind the idea of a leaky gut and autoimmune conditions?

      1. Jenna: I don’t know about a connection between leaky gut and autoimmune diseases. However, I do think Dr. Michael Klaper’s talk on leaky gut (which you can find on the internet, though it may cost) is right on. And while the devil is in the details, Dr. Klaper’s general theme is that the best diet for leaky gut is a diet of whole plant foods. So, if someone is telling you to eat a non-vegan diet for leaky gut, I think you got some bad information.

        This website has some information on various autoimmune diseases ( http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/autoimmune-diseases/ ) Once again, you can see that the best diet is a diet of whole plant foods.

        My point of all this would be: I’m not an expert in any way. So, take this for what it’s worth. It just makes sense to me that you are going to feel better eating a healthy diet vs a non-healthy diet whether your have leaky gut or not. It’s best to stick to a diet known to be overall healthy, and that would be a diet of whole plant foods, such as Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen.

        1. Thank you so much Thea for replying. I will check out the link and articles you suggest. I definitely feel better when eating plant based and enjoy eating that way.

  48. What is the definition of mortality in the context of nutritional studies? Everybody dies so just plain mortality is always 100% regardless of diet. Is there an age before which death is considered premature? or is it more complicated than that?

    1. Paul Vitalis: I’m no expert, but I usually see the discussion of mortality statistics as relative. For example: people who eat X live Y years longer than people who eat Z.
      And I often see phrases like “increased mortality” or “decreased mortality” in the context of comparing one group to either another group or the population average as a whole and comparing years lived. For example, if on average, everyone in my country lived to be 80 years old, but people who abstain from meat, dairy and eggs live on average to 87 years old, then we could say that people who abstain from meat, dairy and eggs showed decreased mortality. (That’s a completely made up example to illustrate a point.) I see your point, but the language is not meant to mean that less people died. It’s about when they died.
      Of course, if that one example statistic/study above was *all* we knew, we couldn’t say much about cause and effect between diet and mortality. But if we had a *bunch* of studies and those studies hit the question from various angles (different types of studies) and most of the data was showing the same basic information, we could eventually feel pretty confident about a cause and effect conclusion.

      What do you think?

  49. I’m always cutting carbs to loose weight I know complex carbs good but I need protein to loose weight tried to be vegetarian but beans and wheat blow me up any suggestions

    1. Your body literally runs on carbohydrates. It will run on nail polish remover (acetone is one of the ketones that the body produces as an energy source when insufficient carbohydrates are available such as when eating a low-carb diet), but it does much better on it preferred fuel. Protein is absolutely necessary, but in far smaller amounts than common wisdom says we need, and more isn’t necessarily better. And there is no need to focus on specific foods to get the necessary protein. Absolutely every whole plant food has protein and that protein contains every single essential amino acid. So just eat whole plant food and you can’t help but get the amount of protein you need. I highly recommend reading the book Proteinaholic written by Dr. Garth Davis, a bariatric surgeon (the link is to his website that discusses the book). Dr. Davis addresses all the mythology that has built up around protein.

      Protein as a source of metabolic energy (as opposed to its essential role in tissue building and repair) doesn’t have any advantage over carbohydrates. That is because before amino acids (the building blocks of protein) can be used for energy the body breaks them down to sugar that is identical to what dietary carbohydrates are broken down to, plus some other nasty stuff (ammonia and sulfuric acid) that has to be detoxified and eliminated. Your body is pretty good at doing that, but it does place an extra burden on your liver and kidneys.

      I think that the satiating part of protein comes because of the relatively slow process of decomposing the excess amino acids to sugar, and so the sugar you are getting from that excess protein enters the bloodstream at a slower rate than when eating simple sugars. But that isn’t the only way to slow the rise of blood sugar levels. An even better way is to eat lots of fiber, and I mean a lot. Primative humans (and many whole plant food eaters including myself) got 100 grams or more of fiber a day. The typical American diet contains less than 15 grams of fiber.

      Fiber does three things, first it takes up space in your stomach so you can eat much larger quantities of food and so be physically fuller without eating excess calories. Second, it slow the breakdown and absorption of the carbohydrates that your body can use, slowing and prolonging the postprandial blood sugar rise. And third, hours later the fiber is consumed by bacteria in the colon which produces short-chain fatty acids like acetate, propionate and butyrate. These play an important part in actually supplying a large portion of the energy for the cells lining the colon and so keeping it healthy, but they are also absorbed into the bloodstream where they help regulate appetite.

      So my suggestion is to try a whole food plant based diet without added oil (which just adds calories that you don’t need). Focus foods that have a low calorie to volume ratio so you can eat a huge volume of food without overeating calories. I’m not sure what you mean by beans and wheat “blow you up”, but if you are referring to them causing a lot of gas, that is usually a transitory thing so if you can tolerate it during the transition, you might find that you are doing much better after a week or two. But there is no reason that you have to eat large amounts of beans or wheat. As I said every plant food has protein in it and often in percentages of calories (around 10%) that you need to stay healthy. So you could just eat more of other grains like oats, quinoa, rice and tubers like sweet potatoes and white potatoes to that will provide plenty of calories and protein as well as lots and lots of the micronutrients your body needs to stay healthy.

      I hope this helps.

    2. Hello, Renee. Losing weight by focusing on complex carbs is just the way to reach your goal. You might be surprised to learn more about protein needs and easiy you can obtain protein through many vegetarian sources. Please check out these videos on weight loss, protein needs and how to minimize gas when eating beans.
      Best wishes on reaching your weight loss goals the healthy way.

  50. You say eating nuts, any nuts (except peanuts and chestnuts) is good. Please explain, what is wrong with chestnuts? I find them locally in Autumn time and they are delicious roasted. And my freezer is full of ’em! And what would Christmas be without them roasting by an open fire! But why exactly should we avoid them? Thank you.

    1. Hi Ron – I can’t find where Dr. Greger states to avoid chestnuts and peanuts. Could you please point me to the source? In his latest book, How Not to Die, Dr. G actually sites some benefits of peanuts and peanut butter on page 345.

  51. Hello,

    Have you heard about the mucusless diet healing system and the facts that claim?

    – We are frugivorous
    -Almost all food except fruit and some vegetables is not digested and we don’t get much nutrients from them
    -Almost all food except fruit and some vegetables is mucus-forming and intoxicating
    -The healthiest is to eat only twice a day, because your body doesn’t spend so much time and energy in digestion that can be used in detoxification or healing (anabolism/Catabolism?)
    -Fasting as a way of healing and detoxification

    What do you think? Are there facts that prove or disprove these theories?

    Thank you.

  52. So I am a member of a school board, sit on the health and wellness sub committee, and we will be making a text book adoption next spring. Are there ANY text book publishers on board with nutritional honesty? Has anyone looked into this? Thanks.

    1. Hi Crystal, I recently saw several mentions of this on the internet as well. If you google garcinia you can see that it is supposedly touted by tv and on line docs of various repute. If you look at a more reputable source like WebMD it describes garcinia as a slightly effective weight loss supplement associated with multiple problems and not at all recommended for people with any medical problems or on prescriptions drugs, much like most fly by night, on line or over the counter weight loss aides. For some reason they combined this with the popular apple cider vinegar possibly to give it credibility. Hard to know. In my Integrative Medicine Fellowship we did learn that vinegar has been shown to decrease the glycemic index of some carbohydrates and slow the absorption rate some, giving some credence to serving bread with vinegar for dipping. I have not found anything that showed a benefit in taking garcinia.

  53. Is having a significant weight-loss due to changing to a plant-based diet a health risk, when it comes to releasing “high lipid solubility” pollutants from ones fat-reserves?
    Like an adult at 23 Stone, starting a plant-based lifestyle over night, expecting anything between a 5-10 Pound/week loss for at least the first 8-10 weeks.

  54. Dr Greger, I have a question regarding fiber. As an omnivore I already exceeded normal amounts of fiber, and I’ve really been trying to transition to a vegan diet, but every time I try my body just can’t handle the fiber load. I’m naturally thin with a very fast metabolism and am trying to put on muscle, which means I regularly have to eat beans, grains, and nuts to get calorie and protein needs. But I get extremely bloated and constipated from all the plant matter, and only seem to get relief by adding in animal products again. What do you suggest?

    1. Austin D: Have you tried a *slooooooow* transition? Like really plan it out so that you very slowly eat more beans, intact grains and tubers while slowly weaning yourself off the animal products? That might be something to try. Take your time, even if it takes months.

    2. Hi Ausin D: in addition to a slow transition you might also consider your fluid intake since you mention constipation. Whenever we increase dietary fibre we need more fluids or else constipation often occurs. Once the constipation resolves I bet the bloating might too!

  55. I have been eating purely plants-based whole food for almost three weeks but I still have early morning headaches which have always plagued me – is there anything additional I should do?

    1. Hello! My name is Megan and I am a nutrition student and volunteer for NutritionFacts. I’m sorry to hear you’ve been suffering from headaches. Here is a video that discusses the benefits that ginger may have on migraine-type headaches: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/ginger-for-migraines/. Headaches can also be associated with vitamin B12 deficiency. Since you are newer to a WFPB diet, it’s definitely important to be paying attention to your B12 intake. Here’s a link to the page that has a bunch of information and videos about vitamin B12: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/b12/. I hope some of this helps you and that your headaches go away!

  56. If… quote from NutritionFacts.org : ” There are two vitamins NOTavailable in plants: vitamins D and B12. There is a serious risk of B12 deficiency if no supplements or B12-fortified foods are consumed. Two other nutrients to monitor are iodine and zinc. Yeast- or algae-based long chain omega 3 fatty acids may also be beneficial”
    Does this then mean that we cannot get all we need from a plant based diet and perhaps need some “natural” animal products rather than go down the artificial supplement route??
    I am very confused, as I am reading “how not to die” and was convinced a plant diet is the way forward, then I read this and am questioning again…
    can you help clarify??
    Many thanks!!

    1. Hi Emma, you want to make sure that you get your vitamin D from sunlight as this is the most natural, effective and the safest way of getting it. B12 is tricky, we should point out that B12 is NOT animal or plant-derived. B12 is a microbe – a bacteria. The vitamin is produced by microorganisms we can find in wild fruits and wild or home-grown plant foods. Chlorine in our water, antibiotics, pesticides and chemicals in general, basically antiseptic environment that we now live in is what kills all these microorganisms. B12 deficiency is usually caused by lack of absorption in the intestinal tract and NOT by lack of B12 in our diet. In fact, many of those who eat meat based diet are also B12 deficient. It’s about how healthy our intestines are.

      To answer your question, it has not yet been proved that a plant based diet does not provide all the nutrients our bodies require to function properly.

      Needless to say, I do take vitamin B12 supplement as I too live in the so called antiseptic environment. I have found this one (vegan!) to work great and it’s got so many positive reviews. (I am not involved in any kind of affiliation – https://www.amazon.com/Garden-Life-mykind-Organic-Vitamin/dp/B00K5NEPJY/ref=sr_1_3_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1485206651&sr=8-3&keywords=garden+organics+b12+vegan ).

      Have a lovely day Emma :)

        1. You’re welcome Emma! :) I forgot to mention that vitamin D is also present on some mushrooms and so you can find vegan supplements for it as well, if you need to. Garden of Life makes vegan vitamin D from mushrooms and so far I must say I do feel much better when I take it in the wintertime when the sun is low.

    2. Emma Louise: JIBurton13 gave an excellent reply. I thought I would share my response to the B12 question for the same basic answer, but with a little more details and a slightly different perspective. Hopefully between these two answers, it will make sense why I tell people that B12 is not a plant based diet issue per say.
      This question comes up all the time. It is no wonder that you and your friend ask it. The thing to understand is that B12 is made from bacteria that lives very far down your digestive track. What’s more, the B12 is made so far down your digestive track that your body does not absorb (enough of) the B12. So, we have to get our B12 from our diet.
      How do we know all this? NutritionFacts has a video, http://nutritionfacts.org/video/safest-source-of-b12/ , which talks about an experiment where people who were deficient in B12 were given pills made out of their own poop. It solved the B12 deficiency problem.
      Because B12 is made from bacteria that lives in the lower part of animal’s digestive tracks, there are all sorts of ways to get B12, for example: poop encrusted chicken (look up how chicken is processed in America), dirty water, and unwashed plants. Having a B12 deficiency problem is more likely a problem of living in a sterile world than an issue of “it’s only natural for humans to eat meat.”
      What’s more, consider that food is a package deal. As explained in the video I linked to above, “Just like we can’t get the iron in beef without the saturated fat, the protein in pork without lard, the calcium in dairy without hormones; we can’t get the B12 in animals without also consuming stuff we don’t want—like cholesterol.” You get the bad with the good when you eat animals or drink dirty water. On the other hand, a simple and cheap supplement gives you all the benefits with none of the risks. Given the world we live in, that’s the choice that seems the most natural and wise to me.
      Following is a good NutritionFacts article that puts B12 into perspective: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/08/25/vegan-b12-deficiency-putting-it-into-perspective/ I hope this helps.

    3. Emma Louise: I meant to add: You can apply the same general logic most other nutrients, such as iodine and zinc. You can find healthy ways to eat these nutrients from plants or supplement as makes sense. If you try to get these nutrients from animal products, you get the bad with the good and the bad is known to outweigh the good.
      As JIBurton13 said, vitamin D is more a matter of how much sunlight you are getting than a diet issue. Not that vitamin D isn’t still important. Following are Dr. Greger’s recommendation for vitamin D.

      Vitamin D (daily recommendations for those in the Northern Hemisphere; D3 from animal or plant sources may be preferable to the D2 sourced from fungi)

      >>> Below approximately 30°latitude (south of Los Angeles/Dallas/Atlanta/Cairo)
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      >>> Between 30° latitude (sample cities above) & 40°latitude (Portland/Chicago/Boston/Rome/Beijing)
      From February through November
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      From December through January
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D

      >>> Between 40° latitude (sample cities above) & 50°latitude (Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow)
      From March through October
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      From November through February
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D

      >>> Above approximately 50°latitude (north of Edmonton/London/Berlin/Moscow)
      From April through September (or even briefer above 60°latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm))
      15-30 minutes of midday sun (15 for those with lighter skin; 30 for those with darker skin)
      or 2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D
      From October through March (or even longer above 60°latitude (Anchorage/Stockholm))
      2,000 IU supplemental vitamin D

  57. Hi there,
    I would like to ask something: my cousin suffer from hypothyroidism, and she would like to get pregnant (she’s been trying already for 5 years – she’s 40). She tried all types of natural medicines, also some conventional, but no results. Any suggestions?
    Sub-question: she read that it’s not recommended to eat broccoli microgreens or sprouts when you have hypothyroidism. Is it correct?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi, Victor. I am Christine, a NF volunteer moderator. Without knowing the extent or nature of your cousin’s hypothyroidism, it is difficult to definitively answer your questions. Some people with hypothyroidism have little or no thyroid function, and may even have had part or all of the thyroid gland surgically removed. Others may have have low thyroid function, which can be related to iodine and selenium status. If your cousin has Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, which is an autoimmune condition, taking too much iodine can, in some cases, worsen the condition. Otherwise, making sure she gets enough iodine and selenium (but not too much, as that can also be harmful) may help. This video might be of interest, if you have not already seen it: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/iodine-supplements-before-during-and-after-pregnancy/
      With regard to broccoli microgreens or sprouts, these are sometimes referred to as “goitrogenic” because they can inhibit absorption of iodine. As long as a person is getting enough iodine, this should not be an issue. I hope that helps!

      1. Thanks Christine!
        You know what? She got pregnant! She did a test last Monday and it was positive! So now… she’s seeing a naturopath that guides her through her pregnancy.
        Thank you!

  58. Hi Jack! My name is Megan and I am volunteer for NutritionFacts. It is hard to tell you what you can tell your friends in regards to this study, because I could not find the actual scientific study related to this news article. There are no sources cited or anything to back what the article states. However, I do have a few more videos for you and you can find the studies under the “sources cited” tab under the video title if you want research to point your friends to. Here is a video on plant-based diets and mood (they mentioned anxiety and depression in the article you provided): http://nutritionfacts.org/video/plant-based-diets-for-improved-mood-and-productivity/. Here is another video on plant-based diets and preventing disease: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/lifestyle-medicine-treating-the-causes-of-disease/. This page has lots of videos on plant-based diets and their benefits: http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/plant-based-diets/. I also wonder what type of diets the people in this study were truly consuming (it is impossible to tell without the research study itself). But it commonly refers to “vegetarians,” not plant-based, whole foods consumers. It is also important to keep in mind that a poorly-planned, limited variety vegetarian diet can be an unhealthy one. For example, if you are eating “vegetarian” by only eating chips, white bread, and other processed foods, but not consuming a wide variety of whole plant foods, you are likely to become deficient and have poor health. Hope some of this helps and gives you something to go on with showing your friends the benefits of plant-based eating!

    1. Hi Megan, thanks a lot for the extremely useful information. I’ll relay your information to the people I’m trying to convince on the benefits of a vegetarian diet.

  59. Can you provide a sample daily menu (or link to one) to demonstrate how one might consume over 75 grams of fiber per day (I believe this is the amount of fiber referenced as ideal in a number of your videos)? I have been tracking my plant-based diet, and I am not getting anywhere near that quantity of fiber, and I am struggling to figure out how to further increase my fiber intake. Thanks in advance!

  60. Hi Kay. Hi! My name is Dr Renae Thomas and I am one of the medical moderators. Do you follow Dr Greger’s Daily Dozen? That’s a great place to start. I put together a sample here, based on common foods, following the daily dozen, which easily exceeds 75g (about 95g total!)

    1 cup rolled oats topped with 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 large banana and 1 TBLSP ground flax

    Salad made from 1 cup kale, 1 large carrot, 1 large tomato, and a stalk of celery, with 1 cup chickpeas and 1 cup cooked brown rice.

    1/2 cup lentils, large baked sweet potato, 2 cups steamed broccoli and 1/2 cup steamed spinach.

    1 large orange, 1 large apple and 30g walnuts.

    This totals about 2,200 calories, and has 95g fiber.

    Hope this helps!

  61. I really enjoy this video and alot of other videos. I did enjoy this one however it does not fully answer the question to me.
    I was wondering how much Beef, or salmon over the course of a month WOULD be a healthy amount, they do pose some benefits that cant be found from other sources from what I have read, I personally believe a 5% would be a healthy number for meat. So say maybe a 12 ounce steak on saturday or every other saturday, might not be too bad, would i be incorrect to assume this or would it not be too bad.

    I have found that anything that is not home made from whole fruits and vegetables does not give nearly the same response, over the past week I have done a very high whole fruit and vegetable diet with multiple different types. In the course i have found that JUICING, does nothing close to what just eating a variety has done for me energy wise. I have also found that the health of store bought pickles lowers my health and good feeling almost immediately. I have found that pistachios with in just an hour causes rough bowel movements and strong gas. I havent had any bad side effects that are noticeable in the yellows of eggs.

    Most notably the more whole food i get the better I feel. Juicing is ok, just not as amazing as whole foods. Juicing fruit causes a very very rough reaction to my body very quickly. I personally think that though juicing may be alright, it is nothing close to just consuming the whole thing.

    I have noticed that eating an infinite (a ton, i mean, i have eaten up to about 12) amount of fruit has no negative affects for me, which i was pre-diabetic but the symptoms have pretty much gone away, super exciting.

    So as someone who studies with my own body i have found that all natural, low salt, low sugar, low protein has done phenomenal so far and would like to test more.

    note i also have much hidden ED that comes and goes, however, almost immediately after i started full foods went away, however, came back suddenly thus i need more healthy testing, i would like to know your take on having a non-Vegan diet, which meats are the absolute worst, vs ok in wide (1 time a month or less) moderation with less effect.

    Please email me back for any discussion

  62. Is it possible to feel worse for a few months after going to a wfpb diet? Is there a period of detoxification associated with eating this way? I am supplementing with Dr Greger’s recommended vitamins — b12, omega 3, and iodine (from dulse) as well as getting lots of sun and moderate exercise. It was possible that I wasn’t getting enough b12 since I was only taking 1000 mcg a week of methylcobalimin which I have now increased to 2500 mcg per week of cyanacobalimin after some daily intake to get levels up which improved energy levels. I am not overweight and my diet previously was lacto-ovo vegetarian. Not on any medications. I have always been very healthy but since making this change I have developed increased sore joints and muscles. I really am convinced this is the best diet but am confused by the present side-effects and hoping they are short term? So many people seem to have immediate improvement in health but since my diet was previously very whole and clean except for dairy and eggs and probable low b12, maybe the improvements are on a different trajectory? I am about seven months into the diet with one relapse of fish and egg consumption. My doctor has retired and until I find another one, I’m just looking for some general comments about transition to a wfbp diet and possible detoxification symptoms…thanks. Great website! Very thankful for all the info!

  63. Dear Nutritionfacts team,
    Thank you very much for all the work you are doing. It helps so many people.
    I have a plant based health food shop in Latvia, named “Dabas stacija” and I would like to translate this video to Latvian language and show in Facebook to all my customers and followers.That would let them know nutritionfacts.org and also promote healthy plant based food.
    Can I translate the video?

  64. I’m allergic to nuts, soy, strawberries, and gluten/wheat (and some other things), but desperately want to switch to a full plant-based way of eating. I am ready to cut out the lean animal proteins I’ve been eating, but I use whole milk greek yogurt by Wallaby regularly as a substitute for many other foods like milk, eggs, cheese, etc. If I continue to consume a cup of yogurt per day, will I be counteracting all the benefits of going plant-based?

  65. There is no black and white here…everything occurs on a spectrum. Available evidence is that the yogurt can harm your health. In addition, I have never known anyone (other than hunters) that can obtain lean meat. Evidence suggest that truly lean meat, like wild kangaroo is about 9% of calories from fat, while meat that we are convinced by advertising is lean, like skinless chicken breast, is still about 30% of calories from fat. We evolved to eat in the 10-15% range so you may be consuming too much fat. Keep in mind you don’t need any substitutes. That’s like needing a substitute for asbestos or cigarettes. There are literally hundreds of different whole plant foods that you can eat that you’d likely find very satisfying…it just takes experimentation. Then, when you find what you love, stick with hit. Food should taste good, otherwise don’t eat it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This