Why is Nutrition So Commercialized?

Why is Nutrition So Commercialized?
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Why is the field of nutrition often more about marketing products than educating people about the fundamentals of healthy eating?


The prevalence of chronic diseases, like diabetes, has skyrocketed—as have the number of articles published about diabetes in medical journals. Why does our wealth of academic knowledge not translate more directly into making things better? Maybe it’s our overattachment to the reductionistic mindset that proved so successful with acute deficiency diseases, but may actually represent an obstacle to successfully battle chronic disease.

As I’ve touched on before, health these days seems to be reduced to a highly commercialized commodity, in which we’re marketed all sorts of high-cost, high-tech tests, and treatments of dubious value, with substantial risks attached—which is worrisome, because most of the things that make us healthy, and keep us healthy, are cheap, and largely available without professional help or commercial prodding. This isn’t to say modern medicine can’t work miracles; but, what about the big picture—the 80% of death and disability caused by preventable, diet-related diseases?

But, of course, the field of nutrition is commercialized, too. It’s all about profits and products, and extracting nutrients from whole foods so they can be repackaged and marketed.  Yes, food is best eaten whole. For example, just eat the broccoli, the blueberries—not some broccoberry supplement.

But the reason there aren’t more studies on whole foods is fairly obvious—you can’t patent them. Why should a company spend a lot of money, time, and effort to convince you to buy broccoli, when any other company can sell it to you? That’s why the field of nutrition can be more about marketing profitable products than educating people about the fundamentals of health and wellness.

For example, the benefits of whole grains over refined grains is commonly attributed to the fiber. This allows the food industry to whip out fiber-fortified Froot Loops, and make you feel all better.

But check out this ingenious study. Burkitt and colleagues thought the extraordinarily low rates of killer chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa was due to all the whole, plant foods they were eating. This turned into the fiber hypothesis—the reductionistic thought that fiber must be the magic bullet active ingredient.

Well, hey; let’s put it to the test. Refined grains have some fiber left in them. So, what if you compared two groups of older women, both getting around six grams of grain fiber a day—but one group mostly from whole grains, and the other mostly from refined grains? Who do you think lived longer?

If it was just the fiber, there shouldn’t be much difference, because they ate about the same amount. But the whole grain group lived longer; a significantly lower mortality rate. So, this implies that it may be all the other wonderful things in whole plant foods, linked to fiber, that may confer important health benefits, above and beyond the fiber itself. That’s why fiber supplements wouldn’t be expected to offer the same benefit.

Food, not nutrients, is the fundamental unit in nutrition.

As Dr. David Katz has pointed out,”Our culture doesn’t want to hear that the active ingredient in broccoli is broccoli…”

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

The prevalence of chronic diseases, like diabetes, has skyrocketed—as have the number of articles published about diabetes in medical journals. Why does our wealth of academic knowledge not translate more directly into making things better? Maybe it’s our overattachment to the reductionistic mindset that proved so successful with acute deficiency diseases, but may actually represent an obstacle to successfully battle chronic disease.

As I’ve touched on before, health these days seems to be reduced to a highly commercialized commodity, in which we’re marketed all sorts of high-cost, high-tech tests, and treatments of dubious value, with substantial risks attached—which is worrisome, because most of the things that make us healthy, and keep us healthy, are cheap, and largely available without professional help or commercial prodding. This isn’t to say modern medicine can’t work miracles; but, what about the big picture—the 80% of death and disability caused by preventable, diet-related diseases?

But, of course, the field of nutrition is commercialized, too. It’s all about profits and products, and extracting nutrients from whole foods so they can be repackaged and marketed.  Yes, food is best eaten whole. For example, just eat the broccoli, the blueberries—not some broccoberry supplement.

But the reason there aren’t more studies on whole foods is fairly obvious—you can’t patent them. Why should a company spend a lot of money, time, and effort to convince you to buy broccoli, when any other company can sell it to you? That’s why the field of nutrition can be more about marketing profitable products than educating people about the fundamentals of health and wellness.

For example, the benefits of whole grains over refined grains is commonly attributed to the fiber. This allows the food industry to whip out fiber-fortified Froot Loops, and make you feel all better.

But check out this ingenious study. Burkitt and colleagues thought the extraordinarily low rates of killer chronic diseases in sub-Saharan Africa was due to all the whole, plant foods they were eating. This turned into the fiber hypothesis—the reductionistic thought that fiber must be the magic bullet active ingredient.

Well, hey; let’s put it to the test. Refined grains have some fiber left in them. So, what if you compared two groups of older women, both getting around six grams of grain fiber a day—but one group mostly from whole grains, and the other mostly from refined grains? Who do you think lived longer?

If it was just the fiber, there shouldn’t be much difference, because they ate about the same amount. But the whole grain group lived longer; a significantly lower mortality rate. So, this implies that it may be all the other wonderful things in whole plant foods, linked to fiber, that may confer important health benefits, above and beyond the fiber itself. That’s why fiber supplements wouldn’t be expected to offer the same benefit.

Food, not nutrients, is the fundamental unit in nutrition.

As Dr. David Katz has pointed out,”Our culture doesn’t want to hear that the active ingredient in broccoli is broccoli…”

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

Please consider volunteering to help out on the site.

Images thanks to Pills: PeteLinforth and Broccoli: Meditations via Pixabay.

Doctor's Note

This video is part of my extended series on the reductionist trap, which includes Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality, Industry Response to Plants Not Pills, and Is the Fiber Theory Wrong?.

The Five to One Fiber Rule still holds, though, since it’s an indication of how heavily processed a product is.

There are two sides to the intellectual property argument when it comes to food. I explore both in Plants as Intellectual Property: Patently Wrong?.

And, of course, this is why I always recommend Taking Personal Responsibility for Your Health.

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

231 responses to “Why is Nutrition So Commercialized?

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  1. is there a drug to treat over-fermentation in the GI tract? I am long-time vegan (a few diversions over the decades).

    I have gotten to the point where I feel drunk and wobbly with no energy at all from eating. Evertyime i eat grapes, melons,
    most other fruit, i feel a bit drunk. When I eat breads for a couple days in a row people say i smell like i have been drinking.
    All beans, broccoli, potatoes, high starches and high fiber = exhaustion, fermentation. leafy greens give me no energy.

    I don’t drink any alcohol! Probiotics do not seem to help. Sauerkraut, kimchi, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, any thing fermented….this stuff is the worst. I eat no white sugar, no refined foods. No wheat.

    Is there a “drug” to cure this? Any advice anyone? Anti-fungal med or some sort of anti-biotic success anyone?

    Complete failure to thrive on vegan eating now. I do not want to switch to
    eggs and low mercury fish and dairy,, but they are all that seem to give me an energy boost and tissue growth
    at this point.

      1. Thank you very much. Very frustrating. I wish there was an anti-fungal pill or something of the kind I could just take.
        Low FODMAP is torture. But it seems to be all carbs, starches, even raw veggies. Has anyone else felt here felt horrible when cutting out fruits, beans, and grains from diet, like a vicious withdrawal?

          1. Have you been to one of his retreats? I’ve seen some stuff on him before. My concern….he looks very thin, frail, not a lot of muscle mass. I wonder, is this “thriving” for our body? Is he in any way lacking in vigor? I do not know the answer to this but it is my first reaction upon seeing the videos.

            Yet, I am open to this regimen, and do consider that there is a possibility that fasting does in fact help people fix their gut issues, and regain strength.

            I ask, does he look “strong” and healthy to you?

            1. Yep you need some fat for your wellbeing. Don’t get me there or I will give a long lecture on cholesterol and fat and I will be chased off this thread :)

                1. Shhh keep it quiet or I will be in trouble over here :)

                  I consume a tablespoon of high end fish oil supplement with high DHA and EPA per day but that is Omega-3, not cholesterol. I consume just a little bit of coconut milk for my coffee and that is cholesterol. I consume shellfish perhaps twice a week and you know that shellfish is super nutritious with protein and minerals plus it has the natural glucosaminefor my joint health, but that’s cholesterol.

                  I eat wild caught salmon but that’s Omega-3. I eat a small amount of meat (grass fed beef or natural pork) and whatever fat it has, I think that’s cholesterol. I eat eggs occasionally, perhaps once a month but that’s cholesterol. I eat bone broth regularly for the collagen, minerals and protein and that’s cholesterol.

                  Once in a while, I eat peanut or almond butter and I think it’s cholesterol too.

                  Overall, I maintain my LDL to be around 120 or less but I don’t want it to be extremely low like 70 like the vegans promote, my HDL is super high at 70 and my triglycerides are super low. My skin looks good, my brain is clear and I feel calm and I sleep well.

                  Now if you do some research and a lot of people disagree (I respect their opinion but disagree), the brain is made of all cholesterol. Cholesterol is not the culprit behind heart disease and arteries clogging and so on but it is the trans fat that is. So when this cholesterol scare was spread out in the 70s (by one flawed scientific research), people switched to vegetable oil which is trans fat and they eat sugar for their energy instead of some fat. That’s when the epidemic of diabetes and heart disease and cancer happened due to the sugar but not because of cholesterol. Processed foods are also a big source of trans fat and not cholesterol.

                  You have to distinguish between cholesterol and trans fat because they are not the same, one is good and one is bad. Also Omega-3 is not cholesterol although cholesterol is not bad in the first place. And there is no contamination in fish oil like it is lead to believe. The scientific community and the FDA have removed the warning about cholesterol but some people still think this is a conspiracy from big pharma and I tink it’s a free country, people will believe what they want and that’s fine.

                  Having said all of the above, having a super low fat diet like the vegans are promoting is still healthy but not optimal. Your choice.

                  1. Jimmy your response is so interesting to me. So you just negate all the information on this website as though it has no value but you still are able to find things you agree with?

                    1. Nope, I still believe that you need a Daily Dozen WFPB diet which the main topics of Dr Greger, and everything that Dr Greger said about plant foods are useful and beneficial to me. I just don’t buy into the “fat” theory. In fact, I owe my current health to Dr Greger a great deal mainly for the WFPB part.

                  2. Jimmy: Your understanding of which foods have and do not have cholesterol do not match my understanding. Pretty much by definition: if it comes from a plant = no cholesterol. If it comes from an animal (unless it is some highly processed animal product) = cholesterol. So, nut butters, while high in fat, do not actually contain cholesterol. (Based on all the reading I have done.)
                    Your cholesterol numbers definitely match your diet. I understand you are fine with this and personally feel healthy.
                    But For Anyone Else Reading This Thread: please note that to be heart-attack proof, you need to get total cholesterol below 150 and LDL below about 70 give or take. (for starters see: http://nutritionfacts.org/2011/12/23/generic-lipitor-is-not-the-answer-to-our-heart-disease-epidemic/ “The average LDL (“bad cholesterol”) of those hospitalized was under 130…well above the LDL limit recommended by Dr. Roberts (under 60).” and http://nutritionfacts.org/2014/08/14/how-the-meat-industry-designed-a-highly-misleading-study/ “We need to get our LDL (bad) cholesterol down to 50, 60, or 70 to become essentially heart attack proof (see Eliminating the #1 Cause of Death). For most people, that means eliminating saturated animal fat and cholesterol intake completely.” )
                    Jimmy gives us a perfect example of a person who eats lots of animal products and has the risk factor numbers for our #1 killer to show for it. It’s also a perfect example of how you can add some good food into your diet (Jimmy says he eats lots of whole foods) and it not going to be enough to get you out of the danger zone if you continue to load up on the bad foods.

                    1. Jimmy it is not Thea’s opinion. That is what you are missing. It is what the data shows. Open the links. Read the research. You seem to be in denial.

                    2. Jimmy: To find out if a food has cholesterol, ask yourself if it is a plant food or not. While coconut does not have cholesterol, it is very high in saturated fat. Since you put a smiley face at the end of your post, I assume you already know that not all plant foods are healthy. There is a big list of plant foods that are not healthy! ex: Oreos, donuts, olive oil, coconut oil, any oil, potato chips, etc.
                      FYI: On the other hand, I’m not aware of any valid evidence supporting the consumption of animal foods in any appreciable amount as being healthy. According to your own report, judging by what the evidence tells us, you eat *a lot* of animal products…

                    3. Rachel: I know! You wouldn’t know it from all of the marketing, but olive oil is very unhealthy. The only way you could pretend that olive oil is healthy is if you are using it to replace a “food” that is even more unhealthy – such as oils high in saturated fat and containing cholesterol like say butter. In that case, you might see some lessening of risks, but the olive oil does not make the risks go away. It’s just marginally better. (It’s like substituting a Snickers bar for a Milky Way. The Snickers bar has nuts and in some studies could come out looking healthier compared to a Milky Way. But does anyone really think that Snicker’s bars are healthy?)

                      There are a range of problems with oil, from being an empty calorie (like sugar) to it’s impact on the cells that line your blood vessels. The impact is bad. NutritionFacts has some videos on the topic of olive oil. It’s hard to sift through as we don’t have summary text for Olive Oil, but here are some videos that you could go through if you want to learn more: http://nutritionfacts.org/?fwp_search=olive&fwp_content_type=video (Maybe someone will jump in with some specific videos recommendations to narrow down the field. hint. hint.)

                      What I highly recommend is checking out the following 5 minute snippet from Jeff Novick. It does an awesome job of putting olive oil into perspective: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbALgjmZUek. Here’s another one from the awesome Jeff with additional information and perspective (only 10 minutes!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GfBKauKVi4M&feature=fvwrel

                      So, what about coconut oil? Everything I just said about olive oil applies to coconut oil. Only coconut oil may even be worse because it has a lot more saturated fat than olive oil. There are some videos on this site about coconut oil too if you are interested.

                      Does all that make sense?

                    4. Rachel: I want to clarify something and I should add a bit of perspective that I left off.

                      For the clarification: When I talk about oils, I’m talking about extracted/highly processed junk food. I’m not talking about the whole food. So, oils = olive oil, not the olives. Oils = coconut oil, not the coconut. Oils = peanut oil, not the peanuts. Oils = corn oil, not the corn. Often the whole food is pretty healthy, even if we have to limit it due to high calories. But the extracted oils are best left alone.

                      For the perspective: I treat oils the same way that I treat sugar. I eat some sugar if it’s part of a dessert. There are other occasions where I consume sugar too, such as when a sauce recipe calls for small amounts of sugar/sweetener to add balance. I treat oils the same way in terms of eating it in desserts. (Though I do not add oils to sauces or dips. Nor do I saute with oil. etc. But I might put oil in a rare dish that absolutely needs it and if it is a rare occasion.) The point is not to kid myself that oils/sugar are healthy.

                      Everyone knows that sugar is not healthy. But too many people are unaware that oils are at least as unhealthy as sugar. So, I place a lot of emphasis on how unhealthy oils are.

                      But my personal perspective is: that doesn’t mean you can’t have some oil sometimes, especially in light of an otherwise very healthy diet. I just try to limit oil consumption to very small amounts or to special occasions as much as possible. Other people avoid oils 100% all the time. That’s fine too. I just personally think a 100% approach is not necessary for health. 1% (as an arbitrary number I’m making up to make a point) give or take cheating on a healthy diet may be just fine health-wise for most people.

                    5. Thea, is there any research about lowering total cholesterol below 150 while being hypothyroid? I find it very difficult to do so.

                    6. Terry: Oh gosh, I don’t know. I hope one of our medical moderators or research gurus who participate on this site will see your question and answer it. I don’t know enough about the hypothyroid condition to even suggest any ideas.

                      The only thing I can offer is: just in case you haven’t seen the following page and it might be helpful, here is an Ask the Doctor page: “What can I do to lower my cholesterol? It seems I’ve tried everything!” http://nutritionfacts.org/questions/what-can-i-do-to-lower-my-cholesterol-it-seems-ive-tried-everything/ Good luck.

                  3. You appear to have bought the arguments of the cholesterol and saturated fat apologists. There is no need to eat any cholesterol. The body makes all the cholesterol it needs. And we have known for a long time that
                    “Serum cholesterol concentration is clearly increased by added dietary cholesterol but the magnitude of predicted change is modulated by baseline dietary cholesterol. The greatest response is expected when baseline dietary cholesterol is near zero, while little, if any, measurable change would be expected once baseline dietary cholesterol was > 400-500 mg/d. People desiring maximal reduction of serum cholesterol by dietary means may have to reduce their dietary cholesterol to minimal levels (< 100-150 mg/d) to observe modest serum cholesterol reductions while persons eating a diet relatively rich in cholesterol would be expected to experience little change in serum cholesterol after adding even large amounts of cholesterol to their diet."

                    This is why more recent studies – often funded by the dairy and egg industries – find no effect from dietary cholesterol. They study people whose baseline cholesterol is already high. As for the idea that high blood cholesterol is OK, there is a reason why all credible health authorities around the world accept that high cholesterol is a risk factor. Because that is what the evidence shows.

                    "The induction of hypercholesterolemia is a prerequisite for atherogenesis, and sometimes myocardial ischemia, in various experimental animals. In addition, certain species have hereditary forms of hypercholesterolemia and develop atherosclerosis spontaneously; a classical example is the WHHL rabbit, which carries the same molecular defect as human familial hypercholesterolemia. In contrast, low LDL-cholesterol levels are well tolerated. LDL cholesterol as low as 25-60 mg/dL is physiologically sufficient.8 Animal species that do not develop atherosclerosis generally have LDL-cholesterol levels below 80 mg/dL. The LDL-cholesterol concentration in the newborn infant is approximately 30 mg/dL, indicating that such low levels are safe. Moreover, persons who have extremely low levels of LDL throughout life due to familial hypobetalipoproteinemia have documented longevity.9

                    Epidemiological investigations of human populations incriminate high levels of LDL cholesterol as being atherogenic. In population studies, the serum total cholesterol is a good surrogate for LDL-cholesterol levels. The Framingham Heart Study,10 the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial (MRFIT),11 and the Lipid Research Clinics (LRC) trial12, 13 found a direct relationship between levels of LDL cholesterol (or total cholesterol) and the rate of new-onset CHD in men and women who were initially free of CHD. The same relation holds for recurrent coronary events in people with established CHD.14-16 Any LDL cholesterol above 100 mg/dL appears to be atherogenic. The prevalance of elevated levels in large part accounts for the near-universal development of coronary atherosclerosis in the United States and the high attendant risk for developing CHD over a lifetime—49 percent for men and 32 percent for women.17

                    Studies across different populations reveal that those with higher cholesterol levels have more atherosclerosis and CHD than do those having lower levels.18-20 People who migrate from regions where average serum cholesterol in the general population is low to areas with high cholesterol levels show increases in their cholesterol levels as they acculturate. These higher levels in turn are accompanied by more CHD.21,22

                    The positive relationship between serum cholesterol levels and the development of first or subsequent attacks of CHD is observed over a broad range of LDL-cholesterol levels; the higher the level, the greater the risk.11 Early prospective data suggested that the risk of CHD plateaued at lower cholesterol levels, but this apparent plateau has disappeared in larger studies.11,23,24 Only in populations that maintain very low levels of serum cholesterol, e.g., total cholesterol <150 mg/dL (or LDL cholesterol <100 mg/dL) throughout life do we find a near-absence of clinical CHD.19,23-28."
                    "Clinical trials13,206,207,416,435,436,464 provide the best estimate of the actual reduction in CHD risk that can be achieved by treating high blood cholesterol. However, the trials reflect the impact of short-term cholesterol lowering only; more benefit should accrue with longer treatment. In most trials, treatment duration was 5 years and the average time to event was 2-3 years (assuming that about half the events occur after the midpoint of the trial). Despite the relatively short exposure to treatment, regression analyses relating the percent cholesterol reduction to risk of CHD predict that for every 10 percent reduction in serum cholesterol, there will be a 15 percent reduction in CHD events.455 In the major statin trials the absolute reduction in serum cholesterol (and LDL cholesterol) averaged 45 mg/dL. This corresponds to a 20 percent lowering in serum cholesterol and resulted in a 30 percent reduction in CHD risk.45,489 The average reduction in LDL cholesterol was 28 percent; thus in the short-term CHD risk will be reduced by 10 percent for every 10 percent that LDL cholesterol is lowered. This relationship holds true for primary and secondary prevention, largely unrelated to baseline levels of serum cholesterol in the trials."

                    As for the claim that the latest US guidelines have dropped cholesterol as an issue of concer, this is simply false. The guidelines explicitly state:
                    "As recommended by the IOM,[24] individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible …."

                    1. Hi Tom and Thea, I think there is an ocean of difference in thought between me and you guys and none of us can convince the other of anything. And here I am talking about optimal health and not just general advice for the common good of the majority and so I pay more attention to other health aspects than just heart disease. So for the sake of argument, here are my 2 cents and you can take or leave as you wish.

                      It is the analogy of someone staying at home all the time to avoid car accident versus someone going out but driving carefully and having safe car, etc. Well even if one stays at home, he/she can still be hit by a car that slams into the house. OK so it’s similar to someone having an extremely low fat diet which for the most part protect from heart disease but not 100% (like 70% or less) and not counting not protecting from other diseases and providing metabolism and energy. So the perception we have is that being skinny and not overweight is healthy while being fat is not. That is because most people who are obese are meat eaters who eat very little plant foods and are therefore obese for not eating plant foods and fiber and not because of the meat itself. Whereas people who are skinny tend to be plant food eaters and they happen to be vegan or eat very little meat and they are skinny simply because they eat a lot of plant foods and fiber and not because they don’t eat fat and meat. Personally I eat meat and fat but also a lot of plant foods and I am not obese at all although I eat all day long to meet the Daily Dozen and beyond. So there is a perception and association of lowfat with low heart disease while it is actually scientifically and statistically proven that eating plant foods is associated with low diseases in general. So we all agree that plant foods contain more (but not all) phytonutrients that animal meat does not have.

                      (Personally I have 2 relatives who get heart attack and they are skinny and have low cholesterol and one is actually a vegan but 2 persons don’t prove anything but it’s just an observation).

                      Most studies which are made to prove that low fat diet is more healthy, compares between people who eat a SAD diet and people like the 7th Day Adventists who are vegan and eat a lot of plant foods and therefore these studies are flawed. Apple and orange comparison.

                      Now for the low cholesterol argument, the vegan theory just lumped cholesterol together by saying that TC has to be less than 150 and LDL has to be less than 70 or 50. But more up to date scientific studies distinguish between HDL and LDL (which is itself composed of big and small particles) and triglycerides and sciences have proven that LDL is a poor biomarker for heart disease but triglycerides level is the one to pay attention to. HDL has to be above 50 or 60 but it makes no difference above this. But bottom line is that LDL is not a biomarker to trust but triglyceride is.


                      And even with this, the cause of heart disease is more complicated that simply looking at cholesterol because plaque and clogging can be caused by more other reasons such as lacking Vitamin B12, K2, D, magnesium, zinc, etc. Tom and Thea, I am sure you are smart enough to research on the subject of plaque and clogging than to merely blame everything on fat. Now when you go beyond HD then the picture gets even more complicated with diseases such as Alzheimer or simple metabolic diseases.

                      Now on the argument of eating meat, putting aside the moral issue, then I can bring tons of research showing that grass fed cow meat or wild caught salmon prevent heart disease, cancer and other things. Again, you can do your own research on this, in an impartial manner, and not letting the moral issue cloud scientific facts.



                      Last but not least, I wish all vegan and non vegan the best health whatever your belief and life circumstances are and Dr Greger quest for Whole Food Plant Based diet still stand. Eat your broccoli even if you are a meat eater.

                    2. Jimmy: I understand you feel very strongly about your beliefs. Your theories sound good as ideas. The problem is that the science just doesn’t back it up. This site is as much about optimum health as it is about avoiding diseases. Notice how many videos address longevity/mortality rates in general. And this site has the evidence to back it all up. I’m not trying to convince you of anything. I just want to make sure that anyone else who comes to this site looking for good information is not mislead. That’s why I respond to posts such as yours. It’s important that people who are open to learning what the science says are given good information.
                      I’m glad you think you are in a healthy situation. I truly hope it stays that way. Good luck!

                    3. Good luck to you and other vegans too but stop calling me misleading anyone. It is a different belief based on scientific facts also and people are smart enough to make up their mind by reading the arguments on both sides. I understand that for the common good of everyone, the message needs to be simple such as to have a very low fat diet and it will cover a lot of ground. Just like staying inside the home to avoid car accident.

                      And last but not least, you may want to take a look at the Olympian weightlifter Kendrick Farris who is a vegan. This will make a good argument for the vegan cause. Personally, I think he is the exception just like any athlete, that I can never be like him no matter how hard I try.


                    4. jimmy there is a difference between the research/data/information posted on this site and what you posted. You really could get a ton of information by opening up your mind. Heart disease for example. Go up to top under topics. Read the transcript or watch the video. Click on the sources cited. Try and find the actual article if you can. Is it good research?

                      Dr. Greger does that “so we don’t have to.” (Although many of us can and do check the sources cited.)

                      You either don’t understand how this all works or you are deciding to ignore. Do you not believe the information that says low LDL means close to bullet proof as far as heart attack? Because you have decided it is perfectly fine to have yours at 150. I appreciate that you eat a ton of veggies and fruit but you still are eating too much animal. Maybe you are really young and don’t feel vulnerable? (Although losing my dad to a massive heart attack, as I did, when I was in high school will make you aware at a young age) so we call you out because the data just doesn’t support your opinions. And many people are here trying to figure out how to heal themselves.

                    5. 1) I am not young
                      2) I am aware of what posted at this web site and what Dr Greger said. I am not saying that Dr Greger is wrong but there are other aspects of heart health in particular and health in general that Dr Greger didn’t cover. If you believe that what Dr Greger said is absolutely complete and always correct then I have nothing else to say. But I read and believe mostly what Dr Greger said but also read on what other reputable health doctors and research institutions and college professors said.
                      3) There are other reputable and respectable vegan doctor such as Dr Weil who said positively about coconut and fat and so are you saying that he is an idiot and quack because he does not agree with Dr Greger?
                      4) I don’t eat too much animal foods but a variety of animal foods. When I list them out, it sounds like a lot.
                      5) my Dad is 95 years old and going strong to live past 100 and he eats a diet similar to mine although he cannot swallow as much plant foods as I do and so we have to supplement him.
                      6) Having low LDL is not bullet proof for HD as shown by scientific studies that LDL is a poor biomarker and there are proof in sciences that there are more reasons for clogging and plaque. Personally I have 2 relatives who got heart attack and they are skinny and have low cholesterol and one is actually a vegan.
                      7) And last, I am not ignoring scientific facts, nor am I misleading anyone because I am sharing exactly what me and my family are doing including our 95 year old dad.

                      P.S. for some who insisted that a pregnant lady or a person with digestive issue or a cancer survivor that there is no other option other than eating WFPB then it’s a very similar to this quack “doctor” who told a type 1 diabetes patient to not take insulin shot but rely only on nutrition. And you know what happened to the patient.


                    6. I stand with you Jimmy, 80-10-10 is not for everyone and can be dangerous for some. Veggies are more important to me on the wiser side of sixty than ever before, still I see total cholesterol as a cherry picked data from the doc who gave WWII soldiers K rations (Dr Ancel Benjamin Keys). He helped keep our soldiers on the march without the bacteria, fungus and mold other troops dealt with and helped win a world war. Post war he gave us a reductionist trap we have not shed to this day. Oxidized cholesterol and the markers it brings guide my choices.

                    7. Wow Edward, you risk getting arrested by the police for siding with me.

                      Interesting story about the WWII story, I didn’t know about it. Yep it is just an arbitrary number and we have to look at a number of factors that can cause HD and not a simple number but somehow this number sticks.

                      My TC and LDL levels rise with my consumption of forbidden Omega-3 oil. Yes we need the DHA and EPA for our heart and brain and a high DHL but that brings up also the LDL.

                      Assuming that the sacred oil (algae) has the DHA in a form that the body can use, I look at a number of well known brands and they have very low DHA and EPA content. So in order to get the optimal level of DHA and EPA, one has to consume like 3 servings of sacred oil per day. The Cleveland Clinic said that you need to rob a bank in order to afford to buy the sacred oil. All studies on the sacred oil that shows that it is effective used very high dosage of sacred oil (I don’t know how much).

                      Then I read that when one consumes the sacred oil, it will raise the LDL along with the HDL and therefore TC as well. So here we go, gone is the low LDL and TC levels for vegans.

                      I am also a little bit confused about Dr Greger position on Omega-3. In an old video, he said that vegans died of HD due to lack of Omega-3. In a recent video, he said that DHA is not needed for heart health but only for brain health and this is the subject of his upcoming video. I know that this is an old video and science has changed and I am not surprised that Dr Greger needs to update his position but I am confused about where he stands.



                      I agree with you on oxidized cholesterol. That’s the main killer. Even with low cholesterol level, if you let your body oxidizes, the cholesterol will create build up in the arteries.


                      What I do is to keep my cholesterol at a reasonable level but with sufficient DHA and EPA intake, and then I use my blood pressure as indication if any clot occurs. Because regardless of the cholesterol level, if a clot occur, it will first raise the blood pressure because blood cannot circulate freely. I think BP is an effective way of predicting HD. I monitor my BP twice a day, when I get up and at bedtime.

                    8. “Reductionism and the Deficiency Mentality” is so over the top it is beneath this sites standards, zebra fish references are way off mark here. Essential nutrients lacking in the american diet from agriculture have been the subject of congressional hearings three times over the last 100 plus years. All Americans got out of them was the McGovern report and guidelines one and two. A food pyramid put together by the agriculture committee, unintended consequences? Fear not for George McGovern’s fight to the end, his failed presidential run was well financed before the final report. Didn’t Bob Dole run for President as well? ??? Our toxic environment and depleted agriculture with more visually appealing hybrids seem to be reason to blame some of the solutions. Essential nutrient supplements, not for zebra fish but for people that know their interests are being looked out for by nobody but themselves. When the social security administration suggested that a five essential nutrient supplement package would result in great medical savings it was weighed against more total outlay in checks and tabled. Trust your instincts Jimmy

                    9. “And even with this, the cause of heart disease is more complicated that simply looking at cholesterol because plaque and clogging can be caused by more other reasons such as lacking Vitamin B12, K2, D, magnesium, zinc, etc. ”

                      Are you just saying that the above other causes are causes among people with otherwise normal cholesterol or are you saying that they can also cause heart disease in people with extremely low cholesterol?

                    10. Oh boy, you are asking me the forbidden question I cannot answer in details without risking getting arrested by the police. But I suggest that you look into oxidized cholesterol as the leading cause of HD (thanks Edward). Of course if you eat a diet rich in antioxidant foods and avoid processed foods and trans fat, you can avoid oxidizing cholesterol. Also you can develop blood clot in your leg (DVT) for sitting too long. You can also get clot while doing surgery or getting injection for your knee joint problem. High blood pressure can weaken your heart and arteries wall. And Omega-3 (DHA and EPA) play a role in HD but I think Dr Greger does not think so.

                      So don’t be complacent by simply eating a low fat diet and have low cholesterol reading and think you are OK.


                  4. Hello Jimmy,

                    I must say you seem to be a well-meaning and friendly person. However, before talking about opinions, agreements and disagreements, we should all get our basic facts right. This has nothing to do with veganism or being an advocate of one way of eating or another.

                    As others have mentioned, plants don’t make cholesterol and that’s why plant foods are all cholesterol-free, including coconut, peanuts and almonds. If you don’t believe it, check http://nutritiondata.self.com/ or any other reliable source. Now, while our brain contains a good amount of cholesterol, it’s certainly not nearly “all cholesterol”. More importantly, every cell in our bodies needs cholesterol, not only our brains, but our bodies synthesize all the cholesterol that they need. If they didn’t, cholesterol would be considered an essential nutrient.

                    Since you’ve mentioned trans fats: the only natural sources of trans fats are animal foods. Beef, chicken, dairy and even eggs may all contain varying amounts of trans fats. On the other hand, the claim that vegetable oils contain trans fats is incorrect. Only hydrogenated vegetable oils (like in margarine) may contain these. Note that I’m not implying any isolated oil is healthy.

                    Regarding the FDA’s recommendation about cholesterol, this is from their current website:
                    “What Affects Cholesterol?
                    The following factors affect blood cholesterol levels:
                    * Certain foods – eating too much saturated fat, found mostly in animal products, and too much cholesterol, found only in animal products”

                    Doesn’t look like a removal of the warning to me. I recommend reading the whole page for context:

                    On a more personal note, how did you come up with equating veganism with low fat? Plenty of plant foods are high in fats, like olives, avocados, coconut, nuts and seeds. Soy isn’t low either. And where have you ever seen Dr. Greger promoting a low-fat diet? I’ve been following this website for at least two years and never seen any total fat recommendation by him. He recommends that nuts and seeds be consumed daily. I think you also wrote somewhere that this website is all about preventing heart disease, which really confuses me, as just a quick browse through the health topics makes it clear to be far from the truth.

                    I’m sorry I have to say this, and I understand why you feel upset when others call your comments “misleading”, but I would think you should at least educate yourself better before offering advice to others.

                    All the very best

                    1. Ishay, thank you for the compliment.

                      I don’t have time to dig up now but it is sprinkled everywhere through Dr Greger video and what the mod police are saying that coconut is a banned fruit and cholesterol needs to be less than 150 and LDL needs to be less than 70. Yes I agree that it is hard to achieve without eating fat on purpose but you take Omega-3 supplement plus you need nut and seed and that will raise your LDL. I understand that this is not part of veganism as Dr Weil for instance who is a vegan said the opposite. And transfat exists not only in processed foods but also in vegetable oil because the way they process. Forbidden meat itself does not contain trans fat, but only processed meat. Note that trans fat is different from saturated fat.

                      Everything has to be eaten in moderation. I am not saying that saturated fat is good for you as well as eating a lot of coconut but it should be in moderation. If a recipe called for coconut meat then eat it but don’t called 911.

                      Sorry I don’t have time to dig up things but you can look it up. And I am called misleading because I mentioned the forbidden foods including a fruit.

                    2. Thank you, very interesting. 1.68 grams per day sounds like a lot. I wonder what the effect would be using 0.25-0.5g instead. 1-2 percent rise in LDL?

                      I could still only find studies that demonstrate a reduction in LDL from nut consumption. Oh well

                    3. 8% rise in LDL but TC goes down and HDL goes up. TC goes down probably because triglyceride goes down. This is consistent with my use of the forbidden Omega-3 oil. My HDL actually goes up by close to 50% from 50 to 70.

                      This also goes to show that when you consume a good fat (Omega-3), your LDL goes up. This tells us that LDL is a poor indicator of heart health. Of course a super high number for LDL is not good but we are only talking about normal range but some people hype too much about LDL.

                      The researchers observed a 15% decrease in TG, a 5% increase in HDL cholesterol, and an 8% increase in LDL cholesterol in participants supplemented with algal oil. The action by which DHA is thought to decrease TG levels in turn increases LDL cholesterol levels. The mechanism by which HDL cholesterol is increased by DHA is not known.

                    4. Jimmy: Re: “This also goes to show that when you consume a good fat (Omega-3), your LDL goes up. This tells us that LDL is a poor indicator of heart health.” I don’t know how you come to that conclusion when people with LDL below 70 (and total cholesterol below 150) are heart-attack proof. (See my previous posts to you for the study references.) And people with LDL above 70 are at risk for heart attacks. LDL levels most definitely matter.

                      From your post, you seem to be basing your conclusion on the idea that because your HDL goes up more than LDL and (you think) high HDL is a good thing, then somehow we can ignore what level LDL gets to. I address the myth that high HDL is all that protective in this post here: http://nutritionfacts.org/2016/03/22/the-effects-of-dietary-cholesterol-on-blood-cholesterol/#comment-2622246135 One of the key quotes from Dr. McDougall is: “Worldwide (comparing people who eat different diets) those who have the lowest HDL levels (like people in rural Japan, China,and Africa) have the lowest rate of heart disease…”

                      The following post from Darryl is also very helpful with additional studies and links to make the point: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/how-the-egg-board-designs-misleading-studies/#comment-1586587583 Here’s one particularly relevant quote: “Recent results cast doubt on causal protective effects for high aggregate HDL 1. HDL-raising drug trials have failed to reduce cardiac risk 2. Moreover, genetic predispositions to higher HDL levels appear to offer no protection 3, 4, while predispositions to lower LDL, triglycerides, or Lp(a) have all been confirmed as highly protective.”

                    5. I say the following for the last time and if anyone including the righteous police want to distort what I say then so be it, I don’t care.

                      Nobody ever said that it is a goal to have a high LDL or having high LDL is good.

                      Having said this, you need to eat what you need to eat, nut, seed, Omega-3 sacred oil, Daily Dozen foods, etc. and whatever comes out from the LDL is what it is. In another word, you need to eat the essential foods first before worrying too much about LDL and calorie. Of course if your body reacts strangely due to genetic or some other medical problem and your LDL goes sky high and you gain so much weight then you have to reconsider, but 99% of the time it is not.

                      The study says that consuming the Omega-3 sacred oil will raise your LDL by 8% so what do you do? Not consuming it?

                      And other studies say different things about HDL. Believe what you want to believe.

                    6. Ok Ishay, I reread your post.

                      You are right, I mistyped a couple of times when I said cholesterol while I meant to type saturated fat. Saturated fat will raise cholesterol and so it’s essentially the same thing.

                      Having said this, there is too much scare with saturated fat or cholesterol. Granted, it’s not good to consume or have a lot but it’s not a poison in small quantity. Just like cyanide is a poison but fruit pit in particular peach pit contains cyanide also albeit very small quantity. So if you swallow one or even 10 peach pits, it’s not going to kill or harm you but if you eat hundreds per day for months then at some point, it will poison you.

                      Similarly, saturated fat or cholesterol at low level are not going to harm you. But what happened is that it treated like a poison and so people treated it like a plaque. So they used vegetable oil which is trans fat, or they use margarine instead of real butter and margarine is trans fat also. Butter is saturated fat which is not as scary as the hype said.

                      Then people eat processed food and look at the can and it says low saturated fat and so they eat more. But that’s is all trans fat which a bigger killer.

                      Then people don’t eat fat because they are scared of saturated fat and so they have low energy and get hungry, so they drink soft drink and eat sugary foods.

                      The damages from this saturated fat scare is endless. Nobody ever say to eat fat but people are better off eating real fat rather than eat foods with trans fat and sugar.

                  5. Unfortunately fish oil is contaminated with homeopathic and concentrated methylmercury, so to be on the safe side, I would suggest converting to plant based epa + dha. You will not find that in the literature, and also have to look where the money is flowing to. Our world is more toxic and polluted than ever, and mercury is a huge problem still. Healthy fats are healthy, but not too much fat for anybody is beneficial, as fat can clog is extremely energy intensive for the liver to process. Those with diabetes should for sure be on a low fat diet, as when diabetes is diagnosed… there is already some sort of pre fatty or fatty liver going on (remember that the liver holds the glucose reserves in glycogen storage form).

              1. He looks fine to me. There’s nothing wrong with being slim and toned. Just look at all the PBD doctors like Esselstyn, Campbell, and Neal Barnard, all are slim. I myself am slim and only weigh 100 lbs at 5’3″ but I’ve always been slim and regular weight as a vegan was 105. I do fast for up to 3 weeks on just water but no more often than once a year. With Loren’s slim bones he’s fine in MMHO.Those abs are enviable.

                1. Have you seen Dr Mercola? He is skinny and bony although he is a meat and fat eater. Have you seen Dr Veil? He looks kind of obese although he is a vegan. I looks “skinny” and robust like your friend and I am a meat and fat eater.

                1. Did you go? I have heard of many people having a lot of bad things happen to them on these retreats. He illegally practiced medicine in the USA and then fled to Panama and then Costa Rica….
                  I don’t think dr. G would recommend this man.

            2. As cn has commented, as an option this does not seem so good. Trusting people with essentially phoney qualifications is not wise. If you want to consider wellness centre and fasting options, the TrueNorth Health Center is also in California, is staffed by licensed professionals and is recommended by Dr McDougall.

            3. Have you seen his exercise videos? Frail is not the word I would use to describe him. And we’re just talking about doing water fasts to cure ailments here right? No one is arguing that you should live your life on water. But to use it for a period to cure a specific decease is something completely different.

              And no I haven’t been at his place. But I’ve done waterfasts with others. In my world a water fast is a waterfast – I just posted him because its recommended to have a guide that knows what he’s talking about to lead you through it.
              But if you don’t like him then google Dr. Thomas Lodi – he’s a MD that cures people from cancer etc. with it and other “tools”

            4. I want to address the second part of your observation. That is, someone looking too thin, frail, week. You can become that way on any diet unless you exercise regularly. And not just walking, biking, etc. We need to be doing some sort of resistance exercise for life to prevent sarcopenia. It doesn’t have to be weights, although that’s my preference. It could be body weight exercise, resistance bands, machines, etc. As physical labor becomes less needed in our modern society, so are the increases in joint replacements, fractures, osteoporosis, osteoarthritis, orthopedic surgery, back and spinal issues, etc. And not just in seniors, the rise in these disorders in middle age is remarkable. You can eat all the broccoli you want, walk 90 minutes daily on a treadmill, but unless you do regular strength training, you’re just not as healthy, or as strong as you should be. And then there’s the added metabolism benefits of preventing muscle loss, such preventing obesity and diabetes. Increasing muscle increases you RMR, and guess what, you can eat more and maintain a healthy weight. To date, this has been one area the doc has steered clear of. Although he does recommend up to 90 minutes a day of exercise, he doesn’t mention strength training.

        1. Many doctors who are focused on health and nutrition say that eating flour and sugar, while allowed on a vegan diet, can cause many to develop yeast and fungal imbalances in the body in some people. I would check on that with your doctor.

        2. Maybe you heard of a website called
          all people there are amazing doctors of all kinds. Worth searching your problem.
          By the way Fodmap diet makes no sense to me. Carbs especially from wheat are those that cause most of our diseases.
          Just another thought: fermentation occurs in wheat, barley oats, rice too.
          Have you tried sweet potato ? Even cooked potato? Personally I need some carbs or else I’m still hungry but eat carbs only for lunch.
          Good luck!

    1. I wonder if this has to do with you eating raw veggie and your stomach cannot take it. I know that there are a lot of die hard vegans who push for raw and everything raw like this is the only way to eat foods. In fact they are wrong in a lot of cases because surprisingly a lot of vegetables and legumes are more absorbable in term of nutrition as cooked. It took me an entire year to get used to eating a lot of raw veggie. I am OK now but I switch to cooked veggie so that I can eat more and it helps me with the digestion. I blend raw vegetables and let it sit for 1/2 hour before cooking it as a soup. The veggies reduce in volume after cooking and therefore allowing me to eat more veggies.

      So try cooked veggie to see if that will solve your over fermentation problem. You only need to eat a small amount of veggie raw to get the enzymes. Just a few vegetables such as green pepper, lettuce, cucumber, etc. have to be eaten raw but the rest can be eaten cooked.

    2. Rather than eliminating foods from your diet have you thought about adding foods that are used to help with digestion like fennel, cardamom, and maybe fenugreek. I eat fennel, fenugreek, and turmeric daily because they’re very healthy spices. I also make sure I eat fresh ginger every few days and cardamom and clove are always around my plate as well. These spices have a reputation of helping your stomach and digestion.
      It just seems a better approach, adding nutrients instead of taking away what we already know your biome likes. Aren’t you trying to balance that biome and make it work at is very best?
      Good luck. I hope you find a solution that works for you!!!!

    3. Also try juicing. I know that people keep saying that you lose your fiber with juicing and so on but it’s still better than not being able to eat a lot of veggie. Myself, I juice too on top of blending my veggie and eat veggie and fruits whole. You can juice a lot of veggie and reduce it to a small cup to drink. I juice in the evening because I don’t want to go to bed with a stomach full of foods, but I do eat whole veggie during the day. My bowel is more than normal (3 times a day – sorry for all the details) so nobody can say that I don’t eat enough fiber.

    4. I’ve read about this before, but unable to find the exact article atm. However I would check into mold, candida, fungus symptoms … Doug Kauffman’s website “Know the cause” may be a good place to start. Hope you find the cause and feel better soon.

    5. Gee, this is exactly the opposite of every single person I’ve ever met who went on a WFPB diet. Or vegan diet for that matter. Without exception. Hmm….. I wonder what’s going on here?

      1. That actually helps. I agree, this makes little sense. I am convinced I have a fungal infection in either small or large intestine, or some sort of bacterial overgrowth. I tested perfect on a SIBO test. I have had experiences of great energy on yogurt, but think this might be a synergy of probiotics with the complete protein and natural B12 in it. I don’t know. But I do know that when I go as minimal fiber and carb as possible, and maybe just egg yolk, some raw sushi, nothing with fiber, i get decent energy and tissue growth. I think the carbs and or fiber are fueling an overgrowth in my gut. Kombucha wipes me out for days…..vinegar wipes me out….booze would wipe me out (i don’t drink)…kimchi and such wipe me out, terrible brain fog with these sort of things.

        1. I see that you have had a lot of good replies and suggestion. As Dr Tom Goff mentioned earlier see a gastroenterologist. Also if it is related to yeast there is a plant PAU D’ARCO that might be useful to look into. However one has to be careful how much to consume as it can have adverse effect if consumed more than a limited amount and concentration. I send you a link that has more information on it for your information to do some research on the topic. Please note as I am not a physician I am only providing further suggestions.


            1. Obviously not! You know far too much about nutrition to be a (typical) doctor. And as the plant doctors here and elsewhere have repeatedly said, their knowledge of nutrition and its effect human health in general and most common chronic diseases specifically was gain in spite of being a doctor as they had to work against what they were told in medical school.

    6. We do a balance of whole foods, veggies in variety (no potatoes), fruits in variety, tree nuts in variety, whole grains, seeds including legumes excluding soy and flax, B12, D3, Omega 3 from algae grown in drinking quality water (fish get omega 3 from eating algae, why not go to the source).
      I did get into trouble reading here and elsewhere that spicy hot foods like chilies had health benefits – oops, Irritable Bowel Syndrome – Diarrhea (IBS-D). I’m still coping with that, example whole brown grain rice instead of whole grain wheat – wheat gluten makes too much gas. BTW, primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall has a physiological description of what foods humans are designed to digest in her book “Seeds of Hope”, clue plants not meat or dairy no surprise.

    7. I’d see a good doctor, hard to find I know, and get a thorough physical as I’d suspect something else is going on. If no solution and everything checks out, I’d do a water fast, see Joel Fuhrman’s excellent book on water fasting. I have so much energy after two weeks on my fasts that I don’t want to end them but always do at three weeks anyway. I’m no expert but after over 20 years vegan and then PG and 10 years vegetarian before that, I’ve never experienced such a state. One other things I’m wondering about is if you eat large amounts of food. Also you might think of going gluten for a month and see what happens.

    8. Once one detoxes and gets on a whole food diet, the huge majority of the time they feel great all the time. Genetic disposition and of course not being honest with yourself about what’s going into the body can be the exception. The body absolutely yearns for whole foods as it understands the working synergy of natural chemicals, which you can dissect to whatever level you want, but still remains a constant. So it’s first detoxing, so the body gets back to scratch, and then feeding the body with what it understands. Honesty is the key. The synergy of natural chemicals, which man will never being able to figure out, is what our body’s thrive on.

    9. You definitely need to be worked up by a functional medical professional to figure out what going on…candida, blastocystis, dysbiosis, SIBO, leaky gut, IBS.
      Meanwhile a elimination/Rotation diet with small amounts of high quality plant fats, some animal protein might be worth a try. You might look at the lectin ABO lists of foods you eat daily at http://www.dadamo.com to see if you are eating daily staples that are bad for you lectin wise. If you have the money an IgA, IgG, IgE food allergy test could shed some light.

      A nutrigenomic work up could help too…sounds like you histamine issues too…

      You need to understand the cause of this , don’t take antifungals or antibiotics willy nilly.

    10. Some food restriction or water fast for few days/weeks may help you a lot at this point, maybe you got this fermentation flora because you ate too much raw vegetables rich in cellulose, very hard to digest because humans dont have the enzyme cellulase so they can ferment a lot on the long term, thats a common problem of raw diet, most ripe fruits are very low in cellulose, a NF video on it would be very interesting~

      1. Thanks. I really want to avoid resorting to organic fat-free greek dairy yogurt and some of the other non-vegan foods.
        They seem like a shortcut, maybe even make things worse. All veggies both cooked and raw seem to tire me these days. Fruit seems to ferment as well, all day long. I wake up hungover and then have to go a bunch of hours without feeding my gut to have any sense of energy…..or, eat some lean complete protein, shellfish, maybe the yogurt, or sushi, and i often get the energy right away.

          1. Plant based protein has not re-grown tissue, nails, skin, etc. for me. Some animal proteins have.
            I wish it was not this way. Maybe it has issue with individual macro biome, differences from human to human.

        1. Yeah because you have developed this unhealthy fermentation flora, it is there, need to rest the digestive system to clean it and let the body/time to fix it, very hard if even possible to fix it while still eating a normal amount of foods a day imo…

          Lactose should give you some bad fermentation also since you are an adult, 75% of humans dont digest it well…

      1. Interesting. After following your suggestion and seeing a histamine food list, it seems I am intolerant and adversely affected by a lot of these foods. Thank you.

    11. I would recommend working your way up to 16 oz celery juice in the morning on a completely empty stomach. Celery helps restore hydrochloric acid levels in the stomach, which will help all aspects of your digestion and prevent putrification of food in your GI tract. Also important to eat fruit alone or with easily digestible leafy greens, and to eat melon separate from other fruits. I would not recommend eating cooked vegetables with any fruit.

      1. Thank you, Rachael. I may try out the clergy juice again, having done it in the past, but I do find it makes me very susceptible to sunburn. It is a high psorolen food (figs, as well as some herbs and veggies do it to), so I have to limit. Thanks again for the tips.

  2. If you feel the best right now with high density foods like dairy, fish and eggs, why fight the wisdom of your body’s response? Where is the true wisdom…in your tissues or a cultural
    Modality for eating? As a cancer survivor with experience in many eating choices, high density foods always made me stronger after the onslaught of therapy.

    1. Judy: There are lots of people on this site who agree with you and who feel that you can “listen to your body” to find out what your body needs. This has never made sense to me. My body often craves foods like chocolate, donuts, etc, and I feel very good after eating them. And I have zero doubt that they are very bad for me.

      FYI: There are high density plant foods which would both satisfy a desire for high calorie density foods without all the drawbacks of the animal foods. Eating foods which feed cancer seems pretty counter intuitive to me when one is fighting cancer.

      Regardless of all that, is sounds like you may have come through a cancer fighting period in your life, and I’m very happy to hear that. Best of luck.

    2. I agree with you. As a meat eater and heavy WFPB eater as well, I can attest to this. Beside the ethics of having to kill a few cows, your health is more important. Bees are also mistreated to pollinate plants so we already create cruelty to animal. I minimize my meat/milk/egg/fish intake but I think some amount is necessary. Listen to your body because no doctor and nobody can tell it better. I respect vegans and their lifestyle but it should not be pushed on everyone. A couple of days ago there is a video on eating veggie for pregnant women and one lady said that she cannot swallow a lot of foods during her pregnancy and it is clear that she is undernourished trying to be a vegan. A lot of people are still trying to push her to be a vegan to my astonishment.

        1. I am not and I will not change my current diet if I am one. My point is to eat as much as WFPB diet as much as you can and be encouraged to be a vegan when you can but when your body tells you that you cannot then don’t feel imposed by others like you have to or you are committing a crime.

          1. I definitely think there is a spectrum of health from SAD to WFPB (the closest study being the Adventist Health studies)… much can be said for one who is say 95% compliant to WFPB with lots of fruits and vegetables, and perhaps small amounts of animal products to stay on track/feel best to them or whatever… VS someone eating ‘vegan junk food’, or going from trying to be 100% WFPB to knee deep in fast food and candy as they can’t stick with it. Whilst the evidence is too overwhelming for me to not recommend WFPB at least as a goal… I think there is a lot to be said for eating in a way that balances health and happiness… being social and happy with friends may have some compromises… but may be better sometimes than misery at home alone with a ‘perfectly healthy’ salad…

            1. Wow Renea, what a write-up! if I can give you 10 thumb up, I will.

              I agree with you 100% of what you said.

              From a will point of view, I can become a vegan in a heartbeat because I already eat so much plant foods that my friends and relatives sometime ask me if I have converted to be a vegan. But from a scientific point of view then I think there are some nutrients that I can only get from animal foods. From a moral point of view, I don’t feel that I kill many cows and chickens in my lifetime because I don’t eat that much meat, and so my contribution to :killing” is tiny. If this world will convert to be vegan tomorrow and no animals including insects will be killed then I will be a vegan in a heartbeat without protest.

              Now from a social life point of view like you said it well, none of my relatives and friends is vegan and so I have to eat meat albeit a very small amount during social gathering. This will make me happy to be able to socialize and this is more important than anything else.

              Now when I comment today about a cancer survivor or a pregnant lady who throws up everything she eats and craves for meat and seafood, I would say go for it but try to eat also as much plant foods as possible. Some people compare to craving for a piece of steak or salmon as craving for drugs or sugar but this is wrong. Sure you have to choose top quality meat to eat such as grass fed cow or wild caught salmon to eat to get the nutrition and avoid contamination, but a small piece of meat goes a long way to bring nutrition and energy instead of starving and then go eat junk food because the person cannot take it anymore.

              Yes life is full of compromise and you always try to be the best but don’t kill yourself in the process.

              1. Thanks Jimmy :)

                I’m not sure I’ve seen the science you have regarding nutrients only from animal foods, nor do I agree with a ‘little killing’ being ok, however I recognise everyone is in a different place and has different desires in their life and as such rather than being judgemental I encourage any movement in the direction towards more plant-foods :) I believe their are plenty of nutrient dense and calorically dense plant foods however again, I respect every individual and just try to provide the support and encouragement I can. There’s something a little hypocritical when one cares so much for animals but nothing for fellow humans. I believe the definition of veganism was always to do the best, where you can, whenever possible… not some absolutist/militant thing it has become known with…

                1. it is a myth that vegans do not care about human beings. if you wish to learn about the effect of animal agriculture on the environment and therefore also human animals, i would suggest checking out the documentary “Cowspirisy” on netflix.as the World Watch Institute stated:

                  “The human appetite for animal flesh is a driving force behind virtually every major category of environmental damage now threatening the human future – deforestation, erosion, fresh water scarcity, air and water pollution, climate change, biodiversity loss, social injustice, the destabilization of communities and the spread of disease.”

                  it is also a misrepresentation to claim that the philosophy of veganism is to “do the best you can”. the true meaning is to control that which one can control when it comes to the exploitation of non-human animals and in our society what (or who) one eats is entirely under one’s control. most humans are certainly “absolutist/militant” when it comes to harming and killing other humans in the name of pleasure, profit or personal convenience. it is only the prejudices of speciesism and human exceptionalism which consider the logical extension of these values to ALL sentient beings as extreme and unreasonable.

                  1. Mark- I am a virtually lifelong vegan, I know all the research and have read countless fights over definitions and online quarrels… which lead to…? I certainly wasn’t trying to say vegans don’t care about human beings. I understand the passion, but I think positivity and kindness and encouraging people no matter where they are at in their journey helps more people than a militant approach. I too am personally disgusted by all aspects of animal consumption from a health, ethical, environmental, and spiritual impact. However… I have found that every person has a way that shows the light to them, and I try to adapt to encourage any movement in the right direction… Jimmy would NOT respond to a militant approach, however he is open to some changes, which whilst NOT what I believe in, I feel better than nothing and better than me abusing him for not being 100% and having him run in the other direction, rather than listen to a few things I have to say and take them on board. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing, even though not my personal belief.

          2. from the victims point of view, using their bodies as machines to produce what you want from them and then killing them IS a crime. the basis of ethics is the Golden Rule-if you would not wish something done to you, it is never moral or humane to force others to experience it, and sentient non-human animals qualify as others.

            just as with any other act of violence, the perpetrator must be disconnected from their victims and convince themselves that they are somehow justifiable in their actions of harming others. in reality human animals do not exploit and murder non-human animals BECAUSE we consider them to be of lesser value, we consider them to be of lesser value IN ORDER to exploit and murder them.

            1. Thank you Mark. I really thought that was an weird conversation between Renae and Jimmy. And you are so right about the devastation occurring to this planet for the soul purpose of consuming meat.

              On a lighter note have you watched any of the Skip Showers for Beef stuff. So funny. Here in California we are leaving under extreme drought. (As you know) it is crazy how much water is used to bring that burger to the table.

              1. Thank you for your insight and comment to Mark. Sometimes I just really need to see that someone understands the problem. I know this is a website about health but the actual problem is so much larger…

                1. Agreed. I may have originally became attracted to WFPB eating for health but naturally I (and my family) have come to understand that the problem is so much bigger.

              2. >>> (As you know) it is crazy how much water is used to bring that burger to the table.

                And kale, spinach, fruits, etc. too.

                Now if all human on this planet start to eat the Daily Dozen, what will happen? I think we need to start to grow kale on the moon.

                  1. WFPBRunner: I’ve seen general stats before on how generally animal foods require a lot more water than plant foods. Generally. This paper is nicely detailed, though. And boy, am I sorry to see the number next to chocolate! Dang.
                    Thanks for the link!

                  2. I am not trying to defend meat eating or denying that raising animals for meat requires more resources because first you grow corn and then you feed the animals with corn, a very inefficient process. Having said this, I think the number is a little bit misleading because meat is very nutrient dense and I eat only 1/4 the size of my hand or less of meat per day and even a teenager will eat a couple of beef patties per day for his hamburger. Whereas I eat bags and bags of vegetables, legumes and fruits per day. I know from watering my vegetables at home how much water do I use. So we use water no matter what.

                    I only eat grass fed cow meat, free range chicken, goat milk, and so these animals are running free and only feed on grass or worms (I think for chicken).

                    The immediate solution is to cut down on waste and use only what you eat. And stop worrying about nice looking produce because you are throwing away I guess 1/4 of them. And there are watering methods for plants that use less water such as drip watering and covering the ground.

                    1. Ok. You sound committed. I will point out one more thing. Before I went completely animal product free. I also only ate it maybe 5 times per week-small servings. My cholesterol was 150 with LDL of 70. So. Just saying.

                    2. There is a balance. So the higher LDL does not come from animal product consumption but it comes from me wanting to raise my HDL and also consume enough healthy fat for brain health and general metabolism and well being. It is what it is and not the result of me eating something to raise my LDL on purpose. My goal is to raise the HDL, lower the triglycerides, while keeping my LDL at reasonable level. Because I have a different understanding of TC and distinction between types of cholesterol. You have to maintain your general health and not simply just HD. And even that, cholesterol is just one of the biomarkers and you do not rely on just it and call yourself HD free. Personally I have 2 relatives, one of which is a vegan, who got a heart attack while having low cholesterol. The cause of HD is much more complex than just a simple number.

                    3. Why would you want higher HDL in the context of overall LOW cholesterol? (scientific research only please!) Adjusting the ratios is missing the point and overworks the HDL to mop up all the LDL as opposed to reducing the LDL in the first place! The idea of fat for brain health is rarely proven, it runs exclusively off glucose unless starved, and more cognitive decline is caused from cholesterol and fatty build up in small vessels in the brain than insufficiency…
                      I believe there is evidence against cholesterol levels per se… as in lowering with drugs has minimal benefits on mortality, as well as OXIDISING the cholesterol (via animal products, toxins, smoking etc) and of course in context of overall health… however provided the liver functions normally… find me a case of adverse health from naturally (not drug induced) low cholesterol… and you may have my attention…

                    4. Renea, there are a lot of researches on HDL/LDL ratio and while nobody wants LDL to be high, the high HDL is important. It needs to be above 50 or something like that. Above a certain level then HDL won’t make any difference. Mine is 70. So there are opposite real researches and theories from known institutions that you can read yourself and pick one or the other. I don’t have time to list them out here, nor do I want to convince someone of it.

                      There are also numerous researches on the amount of EPA/DHA one should have as children and adults as well as Omega-3 fat is needed for the brain. Nobody said to gorge on butter or animal fat for the brain but some is needed for your metabolism. Again you can read and believe which research that you want to believe. Not that I want to be selfish and not help someone but this discussion can go on for decades and people will still believe what they want to believe.

                      Note that a lot of cultures are not vegans but they also have long and healthy life. And I just saw yesterday when I did a search at Dr Mercola website that Dr Mercola mentioned Dr Greger at least in 100 articles and so Dr Mercola has a lot of respect for Dr Greger for the WFPB part but he has a lot of differences with Dr Greger in other areas. In one article when he talked about saturated fat not be harmful but only trans fat, he also quoted Dr Greger for the “nut” part, I mean benefits from eating nuts. I am not a fan of Dr Mercola myself and I hate when he is against vaccine for instance among other things but I read a lot of health doctors as well as researches and come up with my own opinion. Just that you know, I am a fan of Dr Greger and agree with 80% of what he said but not everything. But for 100% of what Dr Greger said, he makes me think … :)

                    5. “I only eat grass fed cow meat, free range chicken, goat milk, and so these animals are running free and only feed on grass or worms (I think for chicken).”

                      “Animal agriculture is a business making money on the bodies of other sentient beings. This can never be free of a fundamental insensitivity towards the victims of the industry’s profits and a deep betrayal to the animals who depend on humans for care. In the same way that one cannot own humans and traffic their bodies for profit in a humane way, it is impossible to humanely profit from the lives and bodies of animals.” — Hope Bohanec, author of The Ultimate Betrayal: Is There Happy Meat?


                1. Jimmy: If you watch the movie, Cowspiracy, you will see that plants in general take up less land mass and less water. Significantly. This is not an opinion. It’s the numbers. What this means is: if everyone stopped eating meat, dairy and eggs, we would have a chance of saving our planet and the moon can be left alone. If we keep eating the way we are and our population continues to grow, we may be having to take up with the moon after all. (if that were possible).
                  If you want to educate yourself on the ecological impacts of your food choices, here’s the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nV04zyfLyN4
                  here’s the movie. You can watch it on line really cheap: http://www.cowspiracy.com/

                  1. OK Thea, let me a little bit off topic and political only to illustrate my point. So let say we now have an overpopulation problem in the world, are you going to sacrifice yourself and not having children or tell your children not to have children of their own? Another example is that I am in general anti gun and anti hunting in the past and I can’t never understand how some people can be so heartless to shoot and kill those innocent deers and bears and wild ducks. So I currently work with a couple of guys who are into gun and hunting and every year, they have kind of ritual with their family to go and hunt some bambies like we jokingly said. These guys are super nice guys and very responsible and caring about the environment. They explain to me that it the deers and bears are not hunted every year then their population will explode out of control and they will starve because there is not enough foods and they will also venture in man areas in search of foods. Now for the NRA second amendment argument then I can see why these guys should be allowed to own guns.

                    OK so back to the nutrition subject, we cannot change and fix the world. If everyone eats meat responsibly like I do and with a small amount then there are enough lands to raise animals and these animals will live happily all of their life until the last minute and be gone quickly and without pain. The issue is overeating when people gorge on hamburger and fried chicken and at the same time waste so much foods and more than half goes to the garbage can at home, supermarkets and restaurants. That’s where the problem is and not me eating a small amount of meat for my health or a pregnant woman or cancer survivor eating a small piece of steak or salmon. We small time meat eaters are not the problem just like the responsible hunters or gun owners are not the problem.

                    Now there are a number of health issues that I have to prevent and taken care of and it can only be done with animal foods. I want to prevent and fix now and not wait until I am 80 year old to try to fix it. So the simple argument here is heart disease and it is discussed only in a simple way. But there is more than HD but there is also Alzheimer, joint issues, osteoporosis, etc. So I don’t care to eat much beef, pork, chicken except for social gathering but I eat mostly bone broth and shellfish for the collagen and minerals, and fish for Omega-3. Where do I find Omega-3 in plant foods? I don’t believe algae can produce Omega-3 that is absorbable by the body. Omega-3 is needed to fight heart, cancer and brain health as well as arthritis, and a number of diseases. Collagen is not only needed for bone joint but also for your heart valve, kidney, liver, etc. I cannot look inside my body but since consuming bone broth and collagen supplement, my nail is thicker, my teeth are stronger, my hair is thicker, and most importantly I can hold me “pee” like when I was 20 year old. Sorry for this detail but it goes to show that the collagen goes to repair a lot of internal organs and valves. I can go on and on with what does what….

                    So in summary in a selfish manner, I have to kill a few cows and chicken for my well being, hopefully very humanely. And I am not responsible for the global warming and drought though.

                    1. Since this website is based on clinical evidence based nutritional research, please do add references to your claims so others are not confused-
                      1. Benefits of bone broth and safety profile
                      2. Benefits of collagen (and human absorbability!) and the inferiority of ‘plant-based’ collagen.
                      3. Omega-3 algal based inadequacy

                      Personal anecdotes do not substitute for evidence I am sorry. I still feel you do better than most, but are misguided in the finer points. I will not address the ethical issues as time and place and I disagree with you, sorry!

                    2. Renea, I don’t say anything without doing proper research. I don’t want to quote the reference links here because 1) I don’t have time and people can look up themselves and 2) I don’t want to continuously say things opposite to Dr Greger position. I am sure that Dr Greger based his findings on scientific researches and so are the other health doctors who all list out references to the scientific researches. Now 50% say one thing and 50% say the other thing and it’s up to you to determine for yourself who is right. Now I don’t go to Dr Mercola website and talk about Dr Greger position and vice versa. But usually I speak up when somebody is sick or pregnant and they need help and they keep getting bombarded by one source of info. That’s the only time when I speak up and on other forums I do the same thing as well, but usually I keep to myself. I don’t blindly read anybody recommendations. For instance currently there is a lot of talk about the benefits of MCT in coconut oil. Dr Greger ruled out that coconut fat is saturated fat and therefore is bad. Other sources say that saturated fat is not totally toxic but the benefits of MCT oil outweighs everything. I am still undecided and don’t go and eat a lot of coconut tomorrow. But perhaps a year from now after I finish my research, I may take MCT extract from coconut which has no saturated fat but has the benefits of MCT. The jury is still out but I don’t bury my head in one thing forever.

                    3. Jimmy: you wrote: ” I don’t want to quote the reference links here because 1) I don’t have time and people can look up themselves…” You may not know this, but the internet is full of junk science. It is very misleading for lay people. Hence, telling people to “just look it up” does not work. This is a site that is evidence based. If you take a position, especially one that does not have a NutritionFacts video to back it up, it is expected that you will provided the evidence to support your position so that others can evaluate its quality.
                      Not everyone does this, but for someone like yourself who wants to participate a lot on this site and from what I see is constantly promoting ideas not backed up by legitimate science, it would be best if you took the time to find evidence to back up your position before you do posts here. Please remember that pointing to the actual published research, *not* opinions from sites such as Dr.s Mercola or Hyman and Weil, is what counts.

              3. WFPBRunner let me clarify-
                I am a virtually lifelong vegan, I know all the research and have read countless fights over definitions and online quarrels… which lead to…? I certainly wasn’t trying to say vegans don’t care about human beings. I understand the passion, but I think positivity and kindness and encouraging people no matter where they are at in their journey helps more people than a militant approach. I too am personally disgusted by all aspects of animal consumption from a health, ethical, environmental, and spiritual impact. However… I have found that every person has a way that shows the light to them, and I try to adapt to encourage any movement in the right direction… Jimmy would NOT respond to a militant approach, however he is open to some changes, which whilst NOT what I believe in, I feel better than nothing and better than me abusing him for not being 100% and having him run in the other direction, rather than listen to a few things I have to say and take them on board. Something is ALWAYS better than nothing, even though not my personal belief.

                1. Thank you for your compassion and kindness :) you can say nasty things to me or nice things to me and that won’t change my position a bit because I only base my decision on researches. Now researches are plentiful and I don’t read one research and say this is it, I know the answer. Now for the militant one side fit all approach, I really appreciate that you oppose to it. not because of me because I have thick skin and can take any “abuse”, but it is for the compassion of others. For instance you don’t want to keep forcing down the throat of a sick person or a baby beneficial WFPB foods when he/she will throw up everything.

            2. I think what we bring into ourselves becomes a manifestation of what we are. This is not just happening to each of individually, but to our species as a whole. The fact that we are killing and eating a billion animals a week is not a small thing. It is manifest in everything that we are doing and in our race to extinction. Really, if we don’t wake up and see the problem, it is going to take care of itself.
              One biome feeds health and growth, the other feeds craving and desire. There is no need to eat animal products except the desire to have tasty in their mouth.
              Again, thank you for your voice in this issue!

            3. Mark, there is absolutely no moral argument one can give to raise and kill animals for meat. Having saying this, I am just a little human in the sea of humans who commit more crimes, from slaughtering their own human being to damaging our beautiful environment, to food waste which renders the unnecessary killing of more animals, and to raise animals in an inhumane way to produce more foods. And this includes torturing the bees to pollinate our crops. So here I am worrying about foremost about my own and family health and social life and I cannot change the world on my own. The only thing I can do is to eat only a little bit of meat as necessary from the standpoint of health and social life and eat from happy animals such as grass fed cow, natural raised pork, free range chicken and wild caught fish.

              1. It is not necessary to eat meat. As I said before, there are two types of biome that feed off of what we eat. One provides phyto-nutrients and lives on the fiber of plants and the other one causes inflammation, leaky-gut and feeds off a protein that moves too slowly through our intestinal tract. This is the source of many diseases. It is not that we are eating too much meat. We do not need meat. Meat has been proven to increase out chance of cancer, and we know it causes insulin resistance.

                Please, tell me one place on this website where meat is recommended. Meat and animal products are not necessary.

                As for wild caught fish. We are draining our oceans. We do not have a right to kill every thing……..

                1. Peace. I rest my case.

                  This is a vegan website and I don’t expect any discussion outside of plant foods. I lay my case regarding other scientific facts as well and it’s up to every intelligent person to make his/her own decisions based on health and circumstances.

                    1. >>> This is not a vegan website

                      Correction: a nutrition website where 90% of the people are vegans.

                      I already posted numerous scientific research links on Omega-3, collagen, fat, cholesterol, etc. and I am not going to waste my time posting again to convince anyone of anything. Like I said, may the health be with you, whatever your belief is. We will know who is right and who is wrong at the end of our lifetime, hopefully in another half of a century.

                    2. Are you here to learn, show support, or contradict what the Doctor is saying?
                      As I read through your posts looking for the scientific information you posted, I read a lot of input from you saying why you eat meat and you also said that you believe in a WFPB diet.
                      I am confused. Do you realize that a WFPB diet specifically moves away from the consumption of animal products? This is not a choice for ethical reasons, but for health reasons. There are a number of people on this website who are dietitians and doctors and they too, do not consume animal products.
                      I never did find those research papers that you said you have linked to in you posts.
                      If you do not work for the animal products industry, then you should. Your arguments are not scientifically based but they are genuinely kind and winning. You are very good at what you do, Jimmy.
                      Good luck with what you are seeking to accomplish.

                    3. For one thing, I learn and apply a lot of what Dr Greger is preaching with regard to Daily Dozen WFPB diet more than some of the proclaimed vegans (I mean a few and not all of you) who eat a bowl of salad composed of a few lettuce and slices of cucumber and call it WFPB. And I never heard that WFPB means excluding meat. Perhaps you have a new interpretation of Dr Greger teaching.

                    4. This is from “How Not to Die”
                      In Kaiser Permanente’s guide “The Plant-Based Diet: A Healthier Way to Eat,” the authors define a plant-based diet as one that excludes animal products completely, but they make sure to note: “If you find you cannot do a plant-based diet 100 percent of the time, then aim for 80 percent. Any movement toward more plants and fewer animal products can improve your health!”

                      Greger, Michael, MD; Stone, Gene (2015-12-08). How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease (Kindle Locations 6391-6393). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.

                      Perhaps it is you are offering a new interpretation of Dr. Greger’s teaching

                    5. ” Any movement toward more plants and fewer animal products can improve your health!”

                      That is exactly what I am doing. Thank you for pointing it out.

                    6. “The authors define a plant-based diet as one that excludes animal products completely”
                      That is the definition. You stated that it was not true that a WFPB diet excludes animal products.
                      We were not discussing whether or not you eat meat.

                    7. You have not addressed the statement you made that a WFPB diet does not exclude the consumption of animal products. This is true even though I have shown you the definition from Dr. Greger’s book.

                      Please explain your misinterpretation of a WFPB diet.

                      What you are doing is a way to confuse the issue and make folks who are new here believe that maybe it is not true that these many physicians recommend that we should move away from animal products.

                      If you want to eat animal products, I have no problem with that. But I am bothered by you obfuscating the issue. It is a common tact used by industries that wish to keep people consuming their product.

                    8. You can pick and choose statements from Dr Greger to fit your belief. Dr Greger is a vegan and so of course he pushes for non animal consumption. Out of respect of him, I respect his choice. But this does not change the definition of WFPB. I can go on and on to explain that a lot of vegans are not eating WFPB diet in the true sense while a lot of meat eaters do. There is a big distinction and you should not be obfuscated with semantics but rather concentrate on substances and true meaning of WFPB diet and make your body great again.

                    9. Like I said, you are very good at what you do. Please remember that you can believe anything that you want. If, however, you make statements that are knowingly wrong for the purposes of promoting an industry you begin to encounter the same legal issues that the tobacco industry encountered.

                      Eating meat is not necessary. It is not true when you say that it is.

                      Eating a whole food plant based diet will move you toward health and it is best if we do not eat animal products.
                      I am not a vegan. I eat a whole food plant based diet and I would recommend it to anyone who wants good health.

                    10. “Please remember that you can believe anything that you want. If, however, you make statements that are knowingly wrong for the purposes of promoting an industry you begin to encounter the same legal issues that the tobacco industry encountered.”

                      Right or wrong is in the eyes of the beholder. Now you just give me a new job title: big pharma + big meat industry + tobacco industry”. And you even threaten lawsuit. Do I need to add lawyer to my qualifications?

                    11. Well, if you are a lawyer then you know the RICOH Act.

                      You can think and say what you want. You just can’t be hired to lie for the industries.

                      It is a lie to say meat is necessary. You can believe it and say it, but you can’t be hired to say it. Right?

                    12. I sure do! That is why I said you can say anything you want; you just can’t be paid to lie for an industry so that it can do harm.

                      You can say anything you want and cause harm by confusing people and telling them that they need to eat meat. It is a lie, but you can say it.

                    13. Explain to me where you will get DHA and EPA and collagen in a scientific way or prove that it is not necessary instead of resorting to insults.

                    14. You’ve never asked me about this before. I did not insult you. I said that it is not necessary for us to eat animal products.

                      As for how to get DHA and EPA here is another excerpt from Dr. Greger’s book “How Not to Die” which I really recommend:

                      According to two of the most credible nutrition authorities, the World Health Organization and the European Food Safety Authority, you should get at least a half a percent of your calories from the short-chain omega-3 ALA. 40 That’s easy— the one Daily Dozen tablespoon of ground flaxseeds takes care of that. Your body can then take the short-chain omega-3 from flaxseeds (or chia seeds or walnuts) and elongate it into the long-chain omega-3s EPA and DHA found in fish fat. The question, however, is whether the body can make enough for optimal brain health. 41,42 Until we know more, I recommend taking 250 mg of pollutant-free long-chain omega-3s directly.
                      I don’t recommend fish oil, since even purified (“ distilled”) fish oil has been found to be contaminated with considerable amounts of PCBs and other pollutants, so much so that taken as directed, salmon, herring, and tuna oils would exceed the tolerable daily intake of toxicity. 43 This may help explain the studies that found adverse effects of fish consumption on cognitive function in both adults and children. But many of those studies either were done downstream of a gold-mining area contaminated with mercury, which is used in the mining process, 44 or included people who ate whale meat or fish caught next to chemical plants or toxic spills. 45 What about fish you’d just get at a restaurant or grocery store? An elite group of Floridians (mostly corporate executives) was studied. They ate so much seafood that at least 43 percent exceeded the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s safety limit for mercury, and it appeared to have an effect. The researchers found that excessive seafood intake, which they defined as more than around three to four servings per month of such fish as tuna or snapper, elevates mercury levels and appeared to cause cognitive dysfunction. The effect wasn’t large— only about a 5 percent drop in cognitive performance— but “a decrement [in executive function] that no one, let alone a health-conscious and achievement-oriented person, is likely to welcome.”
                      Thankfully, you can get the benefits without the risks by getting long-chain omega-3s from algae instead, which is where the fish primarily get it from to begin with. By cutting out the middle-fish and getting EPA and DHA directly from the source at the bottom of the food chain, you don’t have to worry about pollutant contamination. In fact, the algae used for supplements are just grown in tanks and never even come in contact with the ocean. That’s why I recommend a contaminant-free source to get the best of both worlds, omega-3 levels associated with brain preservation and minimized exposure to industrial pollutants.

                      Greger, Michael, MD; Stone, Gene. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease (Kindle Locations 9542-9549). Flatiron Books. Kindle Edition.

                      I’ve taken out the notation references because they were confusing, they had lost their superscript format. If you would like me to go back and get the actual study references I can to so later this evening.

                      We make our own collagen I believe. We just need to eat enough nutrients in order to do so.

                      I am still concerned that you come here and promote the consumption of animal products without addressing the issues that I have brought up. Can you see where that may be a problem? You do know that a woman who eats yogurt daily is three times more likely to get cancer, don’t you?

                      You say that you have real problems with the animal agricultural industry, but by saying meat is necessary you are promoting it. Your interaction is very winning. What if someone, say a cancer survivor comes here and doesn’t learn that consuming meat or animal products may promote further cancer growth because you say “Woo Hoo, good on You!” when they say they eat animal products. They are going to feel vindicated and may not do further research to learn the problems of cancer growth because of animal product consumption.

                    15. “I did not insult you.”

                      You called me liar and bambi killer and meat and tobacco industry employee, so your definition of insults is different from mine.

                      And eating meat is a consequence and not a goal. I don’t believe that any plant food be it flaxseed or chia seed or walnut can be converted by the body into DHA and EPA as shown by scientific researches. And one needs to have in the 1000 of mg in EPA and DHA as also demonstrated by scientific research.


                    16. Jimmy: You have been told multiple times, including from me and now 2tsaybow, that you can get PRE-FORMED DHA and EPA from algae-based pills. In other words, you don’t have to rely on any conversions. Please read posts before responding to them. 2tsaybow went to a lot of effort on your behalf to give you that information. Take a look.

                    17. Thea, I have read from the source i.e. Dr Greger multiple times and have done my research but not rely on you or 2tsaybow to “explain” to me. I disagree with Dr Greger on this part. It’s my life and not yours and nor Dr Greger’s and I decide that I want to live past 100 to see my grandchildren getting married while free of ALL diseases including HD and Alzheimer or cancer. If I am wrong in my decision then I will be the only one bearing the consequences but I don’t need you guys to give me a lecture.

                      Usually I don’t talk about meat eating or promote it or anything and so the decision is all mine and for my life and my family. But this whole conversation and insults came about when I came to defend a pregnant woman, a cancer survivor and a person with digestive problem who will either throw up everything they eat or cannot eat plant foods because the body cannot tolerate for whatever medical reason and all militant vegans came out and insist that they have to eat only plant foods or else they commit a crime.

                      I didn’t know that veganism can be so violent.

                    18. You know Dr Greger videos and lectures are supposed to be fun and at the same time educational. Every weekday, I look forward to see his videos as a source of inspiration and new health topics to go and research and sometimes I agree with him and sometimes I don’t based on what I find and I am sure that Dr Greger doesn’t mind opposite viewpoint.

                      But you guys are turning into something anti Dr Greger spirit, militant and uptight and one view fit all kind of thing. I don’t think this is what Dr Greger wants to see.

                      Being humorous, Dr Greger even made a video that is anti vegan at first look like in this video when he talked about a 40 year old vegan who died of heart attack. It took me a few minutes to realize Dr Greger point but at first I thought that he changed his stance or he lost his mind :)


                    19. Jimmy that is an old video. And he says now take vit B 12 and flax seed and algae oil until research is clearer regarding brain health. (That is how science works–it changes as better studies are done)

                      I was on this site for many years as a meat eater. I never tried to convince anyone it was necessary. They convinced me it wasn’t needed. Could it be your voice trying to tell sick people they need to eat meat to heal that is the problem? Just saying….

                    20. I already stated that I disagree that the body can convert flaxseed or algae into DHA and EPA. Everybody can choose on what theory to believe in.

                    21. Noooooooo. That is the problem. You can’t. Link a study for us to read that supports your statement. We then read it, see if they used good protocol and if it supports your statement. That is how it works.

                    22. I don’t have any more time to keep this conversation nor do I want to convince anyone of anything. Believe what you want. It’s your body.

                    23. Jimmy: Flaxseed = ALA. Algae = DHA and EPA. Already. Algae does not needed conversion. That’s what I have told you multiple times and that is why I said you needed to read the quote you were given.
                      To clarify: Algae = DHA and EPA. There is no conversion with algae oil. There is no conversion with algae, because it is already DHA/EPA.
                      What this means: if someone wants a non-animal source of DHA and EPA which they do not have to get from the contaminated and previously living fish from our dying oceans, that person can get the pre-formed DHA and EPA from algae oil.
                      This is not Dr Greger’s opinion. This is not my opinion. You can read the bottle. Any commercial bottle of algae oil that I have seen explains that it has DHA in it. DHA not ALA.
                      You can keep taking your fish oil all you want. I’m not trying to get you to stop. What I want you to do, at least on this site, is stop telling people that they have to take fish oil to get DHA and EPA. Why? Because they can get already made DHA and EPA from algae oil. And when people get their omega 3 from algae oil, it is safe compared to fish oil. Algae oil is the healthiest way to get pre-formed DHA/EPA. We don’t want to mislead people otherwise.
                      You do not have to reply to this e-mail. In fact, I encourage you to stop. For myself, I’m hoping the confusion stops here.

                    24. Jimmy, I am sorry but I did not call you a liar I said that it was a lie when you say that meat is necessary. I would never directly attack you and I am sorry that I upset you.

                      Now, think think think about what I am going to tell you.
                      If you work for these monsters that is bad, but what if you are reacting and telling yourself that meat is necessary because you “believe” it; and what if you are wrong. Is it possible that what drives you is something more. The cravings that we have for fat, salt, and sugar are measured and incorporated into the development of processed foods and it is also used by fast food companies to get people to buy and consume their products. They know how powerful the biome that feeds on animal products and fats are, and they use that craving to sell their garbage.

                      If meat is not necessary, as Dr. Greger and many other professionals claim, what drives your belief that you need it. Do you think (think think think!) it is possible that you desire it because of the craving aspect of the junk? Have you ever quit eating animal products for a month or so to see how you feel. The cravings go away because the biome dies off.
                      Please, as someone who really cares about your health and who cares for the people who want to learn about a whole food plant based diet stop telling people here that meat is necessary and try changing to a WFPB diet for one month. Don’t let the bugs in your belly drive you thinking, you can do it!

                      Now, here is a question for you: Which is worse, to work for the hacks and make money, or to unwittingly do their bidding and add to the confusion because you believe something that is not true?

                      May the Gods and Goodness that have given you life bless you my friend. You do not need to eat death to live. I promise!

                    25. Thank you for not calling me a liar.

                      But you are still portraying me as someone who feasts on meat and have no concern for the animals. In reality, my “meat feasting” is pretty boring because it is buried inside a mountain of plant foods that you cannot even detect it. For instance, I cook one pot of bone broth in a slow cooker with a couple of bones that I consume for the whole week. I consume the bone broth along with my vegetable broth which is like 10 to 1 or more. Then sometimes I sprinkle a few salmon on top of my mountain of salads. I consume 1 tablespoon of fish oil per day and this is tasteless. Some weekends, I have gathering with friends or family and I eat some meat but mostly salads. Now I already repeat over and over and over that I don’t think we can get collagen and Omega-3 oil in plant foods. I know what Dr Greger is saying but with due respect I disagree with him. And Dr Weil who is also a vegan recommends using fish oil but he does not say go and feast on hamburger and fried chicken.

                      Now from the standpoint of killing bambi, I understand the moral behind it but human already kill each others and animals but all what I eat is the leftover, the bone, the fish oil. If I don’t consume it, it will go to waste.

                      Everyone has their own opinion about health and what work or doesn’t. I have my own after doing a lot of research.

                      By the way, you need to funnel some of your extra energy for good cause such as filling out and sharing this petition.


                  1. “Peace”

                    it is ironic to suggest peace while at the same time choosing to support the most violent industry in history:

                    “As long as people will shed the blood of innocent creatures there can be no peace, no liberty, no harmony between people. Slaughter and justice cannot dwell together.” – Isaac Bashevis Singer

                    “The philosophy of nonviolence which I learned from Dr. Marin Luther King, Jr., during my involvement in the civil rights movement was first responsible for my change in diet…Under the leadership of Dr. King, I became totally committed to nonviolence, and I was convinced that nonviolence meant opposition to killing in any form. I felt the commandment ‘Thou Salt not kill’ applied to human beings not only in their dealings with each other – war, lynching, assassination, murder and the like – but in their practice of killing animals for food or sport. Animals suffer and die alike. Violence causes the same pain…the same arrogant, cruel and brutal taking of life.” – Dick Gregory

                    1. i find it interesting and quite disturbing when people consider speaking out against unthinkable violence as militant and extreme. as a species we are so very obsessed with our own suffering and death and so very apathetic to the suffering and death we willingly cause others.

                      for the record the quotes i posted were not from me but from noted peace activists who rose above their cultural programming to include non-human animals in their sphere of concern.

                      btw, in regards to the fat from a non-human animal being healthy, it is certain that people who are addicted to nicotine feel much better after smoking it but that in no way makes smoking healthy.

                      “Non-violence begins with the fork” — Elizabeth Frians

                      “One doesn’t have to operate with great malice to do great harm. The absence of empathy and understanding are sufficient. In fact, a man convinced of his virtue even in the midst of his vice is the worst kind of man.” – Charles M. Blow

                      “I am always amazed at the intensity of some knee-jerk reactions. You know there’s something seriously wrong in society when people act like heroin addicts in withdrawal at the mere suggestion of a meat-free diet. I can’t help but imagine that all that rage is tortured animal energy manifested.” ~Ruby Roth

                    2. To tell you the truth, nobody cares what you eat or what other people eat. I think it’s the opposite with you. It’s the case of The pot calling the kettle black.

              2. i would like to answer in the form of a few very poignant quotes which address the issue of trying to justify one’s direct and willing exploitation and murder of other sentient beings as trivial and necessary as opposed to in reality being in the name of pleasure and convenience:

                “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing.” ~ Albert Einstein

                “Phrases that you’ll never hear: You’re never going to stop rape with that holier than thou attitude. You’re never going to end child molestation by being so militant and extreme. Look, people are going to continue to murder other people, why not have a small, family murderer do it?”-Unknown

                “To meditate for world peace, to pray for a better world, and to work for social justice and environmental protection while continuing to purchase the flesh, milk, and eggs of horribly abused animals exposes a disconnect that is so fundamental that it renders our efforts absurd, hypocritical, and doomed to certain failure.” – Will Tuttle

                “Passively accepting these beliefs, carnists take pride in eating “cage- free” eggs, hams from “free” pigs, cheese from the milk belonging to “humanely raised” cow’s calves, and legs from “free” dead chickens. These consumers have become washed into believing that a little improvement in egg, meat, and dairy production has stopped the harm. They settle for the slight inconvenience of choosing and paying for a different box of eggs or a non-factory-farmed slab of meat. They believe in happy death, happy meat fantasies, and thus find escape from doing what is really needed. They avoid true and effective personal change.”-Will Anderson

    3. There are issues with “High Density” proteins that you are consuming. They are not really very good for you. You may want to look at some of the documentation at PCRM.org. There are a number of videos on this website that are very informative as well.
      As a cancer survivor you should know what foods will help with your long term survival and which foods increase your body’s resistance to cancer.
      Congratulations of beating off the Beast, by the way!!! No matter what you choose to eat I hope you have a long and joyous life from this point on.

      1. The quality and quantity of whole foods I’ve chosen to eat over time has evolved
        through my experience with macrobiotics,vegan and lacto-ovo vegetarian fare. I
        was never physically comfortable with raw foods as a mainstay or being totally
        Vegetable oriented. Having years of acupuncture has helped me understand better
        How my body finds balance with food choices.
        Balance with organic, grass fed meat, eggs and limited dairy and tons of vegetable
        Varieties has given all the energy work and adjuvant therapies I’ve done for 21 years
        a fair chance to succeed. I consider myself a long term survivor and hope to keep
        on keeping on! What I’ve learned(if nothing else) in my almost 7 decades of life is….
        there are always 4 sides to every story!
        Thanks for the well wishes!

        1. Judy, I do hope you can find the answer soon. You have to be miserable. There are stool tests for gut flora to find out if you have an imbalance. To me that’s what it sounds like – possibly candida overgrowth. Have you seen a naturopath? Or is your doctor open to tests for things like that?

          If you’re nearing 70 you’re likely on Medicare. It will pay for extensive testing, including blood and stool analyses. I’m trying to think of the name of the test I took a couple of times and right now I’m drawing a blank and can’t even find the test results because I reorganized my files. Anyway, these tests are probably given mostly by functional medical doctors or NDs.

          1. Sorry to have misguided you. I believe BelindaH is the one with gut issues. Oh,
            Your advice about medical tests seems sound. I’ve used them all in the past and
            have found the road to health. Unfortunately, NDs are an out of pocket expense
            Because MEdicare doesn’t recognize them. Talk about ironic…those modalities
            that have kept me healthy like NDs, acupuncture, and their test requests don’t get
            Covered by insurance. Functional medicine doctors are out here in MT, but are
            Hard to find, and the numbers are few. It feels like I’ve done it all. Something has
            worked because I’m still walking in this dimension!

            1. Judy, sorry for the confusion. Yes, Medicare falls short because they don’t cover naturopaths. It is too bad. Where are you in MT? I have a friend in Bigfork who has a wonderful herbalist who has helped them with important problems.

              1. Thanks for the herbalist idea. I live south of Missoula with all doctors and practitioners mainly located in Missoula. We are so fortunate to have a variety of
                Energy practitioners, MDs, NDs, acupuncturists, herbalists, Ayurvedic practitioners, Chinese herbalists……Bigfork is such a gorgeous part of the state.

        2. if you felt you had to pay others to murder puppies and kittens to be healthy, would you do so? how are cows, pigs, chickens and fishes any different? the side of the story you are failing to consider is the one of the non-human animals who have no choice in their own suffering and death. as someone who is well acquainted with physical misery, it is critical to consider the misery we are forcing upon others with our daily meals. i also find it interesting that human’s believe that we must take the health and life away from other animals in order for ourselves to be healthy and live, especially when as all the evidence on this website points to the exact opposite conclusion.

          1. The costs of using animals for our needs are so much higher than we realize. I read a straight line analysis on one website about animal agriculture and there was no consideration of the disease factor just in the raising of livestock not to mention the disease of affluence that Dr. Greger is talking about on this website. It is an enormous driver of global climate change and basically our extinction.
            Sometimes, when I am out shopping or I am at the pool hall practicing, I look around and see the “Burkas of Death” everyone is wearing and I think, “We are doomed.” It’s not till I come to here that I see people who know and really care about the problem that I have hope.
            Thanks for your comment, mark. I really needed to read it.

          2. You know Dr Greger is full of fun and humor unlike some of you who are so tense and uptight and militant. You are representing veganism the wrong way if this a religion or a movement.

        3. While looking at the Uruguayan study on meat consumption and cancer, I came across this other Uruguayan study about the association between egg consumption and cancer.

          Dr G has also of course posted several pieces on studies linking cancer and egg consumption eg

    4. That is really not a valid argument, the body craves what it is accustomed to, good or bad. Coke and heroin, or meat dairy eggs and cheese…same issue.

    5. Sorry to hear you had to undergo cancer but happy to hear you are a survivor :)

      I’m curious whether it’s just a caloric factor (which makes sense, especially in times of reduced appetite +/- nausea/vomiting)… or whether something else… for example would a diet high in plants fats (nuts/seeds), concentrated sugars (dates, dried fruit), legumes and lightly processed whole grains (raw oats, pasta etc) have a similar effect…

  3. Speaking of commercializing, what’s with this book — “How Not To Die (Plant-Based) Diet Cookbook”? Is someone capitalizing/commercializing on Dr. Greger’s book?

      1. Yes it’s not for profit-
        “All proceeds Dr. Greger receives from all book sales are donated to the 501c3 nonprofit charity NutritionFacts.org.”

      1. In this case it is unfortunate, but book titles aren’t covered by copyright. Dr. Greger would have had to trademark the phrase ‘How Not to Die’ in order to get IP protection.

        Isn’t Dr. Greger coming out with a cookbook soon? I suggest titling it something like ‘Dr. Greger’s Official…’ or ‘The Official Nutritionfacts…’

  4. That means we should not be eating tofu or seitan, since they have most/all of the fiber removed. Those dang tofu marketing companies are just trying to sell us processed foods.

    1. Not true.

      Some foods need to be processed in order to be consumable and some foods can and need to be eaten unprocessed. Tofu is semi fermented soybean and retains most if not all of its nutrients. You can eat soybean unprocessed too but how many meal can you make from it? In fact, tofu and soy milk are made from … the milk of the soy with some of the fiber removed and for this reason, it is more nutrients dense.

      Now regarding supplements vs. real foods, some supplements are necessary because it’s either not absorbable enough through foods (need some processing) or not enough in quantity by eating unless you spend your time eating all day long. For instance, tomatoes should be eaten instead of lycopene supplement, but you take curcumin (turmeric) supplement, vitamin D, K2, B12 supplement, algae oil (if you are vegan) or fish oil (if you are not) and so on.

    2. gpalmer: In Dr. Greger’s book, “How Not To Die”, he says this about tofu: “Beans are so healthy that you can throw away half the nutrition and *still* have a really healthy food. If you do eat tofu, choose varieties made with calcium …” page 277

      I consider seitan a highly processed food containing pretty much pure plant protein. But because it is plant protein, a little seitan in dishes every now and then or an occasional meal (say holidays) featuring seitan seems quite reasonable to me.

      Speaking of seitan, have you seen those t-shirts: “Hail Seitan!” or “Praise Seitan!” with a picture of a pentagram under it and under the pentagram “Go Vegan” ;-)

  5. I understand that drug companies don’t want to do research on nutrients they can’t patent, but aren’t our tax dollars funding the NIH for these types of studies?

      1. I love how they seem so surprised that they couldn’t improve on nature haha

        You can see in the spending links I posted above, they are so obsessed with funding biotechnology and isolating elements of food for business that the main point is missed :(

  6. There are pockets of motivated reasoning in every society were few come out wining. Beliefs control markets and groups. One of the biggest limitations of science is the tendency to think on one to one cause-effect relations. For example, if you suffer from X you need Y. But that is just wishful thinking. However, it sells.

  7. Hi, been getting a workout from my 3 grandkids who are spending the summer with me! Haven’t had a minute to myself, but sure going to miss the little “angels”! :) Five years ago I was toting them around the neighborhood in a motorized cart. Now I have to keep up with them on my recumbent bike! Life is good again thanks to these amazing real doctors who are spreading the truth about nutrition! Can’t say it enough and sure wish I could get others to pay attention who sorely need it!

    1. Honestly kind of ON topic… hype about a product/supplement (whereby many think adding turmeric to a woeful diet will somehow cure all!) so companies see a market and of course greed comes in and they try and optimise profit by a poorer quality product at a cheaper price to the consumer with a bigger market share for the company… all whilst promoting ‘health’…. sad really!

        1. I have been buying fresh organic turmeric roots at grocery stores for a few years now. The fresh roots are better tasting and compliment most bean dishes that I make. You can cut up the root in chunks and freeze and then use as needed. I have found that the large diameter roots are a richer flavor and a deeper color. I freeze ginger the same way.

          1. Thanks, Robert. That is good advice. Unfortunately, while I can find ginger, no store here seems to have turmeric root. But I will keep looking.

  8. The video and the corresponding scientific publications were valid and interesting to me, but not surprising. The question “Why is Nutrition So Commercialized?” could be generalized to why is our whole society so commercialized? To paraphrase the doctor on hypertension, commercialization is a choice. Until we change our economic system nutrition will remain commercialized. Yet it is doubtful that the economic system will change while our commercialized political system remains under the power of the economic elite. Thankfully, there are pockets of resistance such as NutritionFacts.org.

    1. Yes, because there is a buck to be made. The fundamental inherent issues with free-market capitalism is that some markets are too small/specialized to offer broad enough “resources” to provide adequate services at the level we are accustomed to, such as water/sewer and electric. These and other areas are then REGULATED in order to “level the limited field”. (So Mr. Haney doesn’t get to bust you with 50-cent information charges (it was 1967 yo) every time you say WHAT?! to the Hooterville Phone Company).

      And that’s all good in theory, but gets screwed up by human nature in the application.

      That’s what’s going on with medicine/true nutritional knowledge. They are not bound to each other as they should be…YET!!!

      It’s up to us to GET the KNOWLEDGE and to DEMAND that our providers get the same KNOWLEDGE and learn to APPLY SUCH and INFORM others who aren’t so lively in their pursuits. How we exactly go about this is yet to be determined.

      No one should be forced to eat better, but they shouldn’t be fed the constant BULL SHIT that is the current state of diet in this country, pardon my directness.


  9. “Animal agriculture is a business making money on the bodies of other sentient beings. This can never be free of a fundamental insensitivity towards the victims of the industry’s profits and a deep betrayal to the animals who depend on humans for care.”

    Check on the treatment of bees that pollinate your organic produce farms.

    You should let the snail eat the vegetables in your yard.

    And let the Zika mosquitoes live.

    And not eating that broccoli that boosts your immune system and kill your cancer cells. They have a life too.

  10. Okay I like the points made, but would this not apply to animal products too?

    More specifically, the doc says avoid animal products, but supplement with Omega3, B12.. etc.

    I know that animal products have more downsides like mercury, cholesterol but what are the upsides of eating the whole fish vs O3, for example?

  11. Puntloos: You can get safe omega 3 from algae oil – which is made in factories, so guaranteed no contaminants. All the benefits. None of the draw backs. Etc.

    1. Hi Thea, yes I know, and as a vegan I don’t have the ‘eating fish’ option anyway, but my point is that theoretically, fish contain more beneficial things than just O3s..

      1. Puntloos: I hear you. But let’s look at your example: fish. Do fish have more beneficial things than just O3s? Maybe. I would not say so. I don’t count the animal protein as beneficial. I don’t count the other fats as beneficial. It is devoid of fiber and phytonutrients.
        But let’s say for the sake of argument that fish does have other beneficial components. But for any food, you have to look at it as a package deal: do the benefits outweigh the harms? When I examine the evidence, I see that I can get all the benefits easily elsewhere without the harms. That’s what I’m trying to say.
        Am I still missing your point?

        1. Let me give a little extra context: I was debating the benefits of fish eating with someone. As you might know the FDA recommends pregnant mothers to eat at least 2 servings per week of the ‘safer’ kinds. My point was exactly what you said, mercury, pcb, cholesterol etc are all downsides, and the only known upsides to fish are omega3s (let’s call protein ‘neutral’) and vitamin D, perhaps iodine, so why not just pop a few algae-O3’s, some iodine from kelp maybe…

          But that is the reductionist approach the doc is saying is not the best approach, isn’t it? Why are we saying that you should eat the whole fruit rather than ‘blueberry pit extract’, but we are not saying ‘eat the whole fish’ rather than ‘fish extract’ (Omega3s)..

          Again I’m already convinced for various reasons including ethics, but in an intense debate, I’m not sure I have a great counter against that one.

          Putting it one final different way: why are there phyto-nutrients but no fauno-nutrients that are important? Are we so sure?

          1. Puntloos: I don’t fault the question, but I think we already have the answer. Study after study after study shows that we do not need fish or other “fauno-foods” (cool term you coined above) and that humans are healthier when we skip eating the animals. It has to do with our biology. I think it is perfectly reasonable that there would be nothing from animal based foods that we need that we can’t get better elsewhere. Every time someone tries to come up with some nutrient that they think we need to get from animals, it turns out that we either don’t need it, our bodies make all that we need, or we can get it better from non-animal sources.
            And then to repeat what I said above to address part of your point: Why would there be no fauno-nutrients that are important? Even if there are, you have to consider the whole package. If the whole package causes harm, as has been shown with animal foods, then it’s not good. Meanwhile, the video on this page is saying that we have evidence that the whole package when it comes to plants have been shown to promote health. The arguments are different because one is known to promote disease and the other is known to promote health.
            Personally, I think that is a very strong argument/place to come from in a debate.

          2. I think you are correct in principle in suspecting that fish can provide some beneficial nutrients but, as Thea indicates, all foods are trade-offs. The question with the putative benefits of fish is, of course, do they outweigh the downsides? The current conventional wisdom is that fatty fish several times a week is on balance a good thing.

            I am sure that it is if it replaces burgers, franks, bagels and pizzas (and fish oil). Whether it is if it replaces beans, broccoli and mushrooms (and flax and chia seeds, algal DHA etc) is another matter. In fact even the evidence about fish consumption in general being beneficial is mixed. Dr G has a number of videos about this.
            I don’t think that the same thing can be said about the evidence that fruit and vegetable consumption is beneficial. There the evidence is pretty unequivocal.

            For example, there was a very large (500,000+ people) European study of fish consumption and mortality which found:
            “The present study does not support a protective effect of high fish consumption on death of all causes, or cause specific death. However, there is no reason to change the recommendations for fish intake. A higher consumption of fish may substitute for high intake of other presumably less healthy foods, e.g. processed meat; a product formerly found to give a higher risk of mortality [32]”

            So in summary, yes, fish consumption is probably a very good thing if it replaces certain foods but we can’t say that the science shows an absolute net benefit from fish consumption.

          3. Fish oil is safe. While fish may be contaminated, the extract is not, even the cheap brand.


            But I recommend you to look at the reputable brands because not all fish oil is the same. You need to look for DHA and EPA contents and no filler. I nail down to just a few brands that you can buy from. A lot of studies who said that Omega-3 is not beneficial blah blah blah comes from them not using good Omega-3 oil. It’s the Omega-3 you are looking for and not the fish oil itself.

            Now for the baby, the only sources of DHA and EPA among other nutrients come from the mom in the womb and mother milk after birth. DHA is more needed than EPA for kids although I take both to be safe but for kids, more emphasis is on the DHA. They even make DHA-only fish oil for kids and EPA-only for adults although I buy the one with both DHA and EPA myself.

            Now for proof that DHA is particular and fish oil in general, is important for the brain, google for numerous news articles related to (full) recovery of people in coma after a car accident thanks to fish oil. Google search for “car accident recovery fish oil”.

            Your comment on getting the extract and not the whole thing when it comes to fish oil is exactly on the spot. There are people who still argue that it’s better to eat the whole fish than to use an extract. This can be true except that I don’t want to get the contamination from eating the whole thing, plus the extract in this case works. Another example is curcumin extract from turmeric (it works for me). When we say extract, it is a more concentrated extract of the whole thing, like I need to eat a lot of fish or turmeric to get the amount of beneficial nutrients I want. So in general you want the whole real thing, but there is exception to the rule.

            Your health and your baby health are more important that you should do your own research and not depend on a single source of info for your decision, in particular take recommendation from “blog people” including myself with a grain of salt. Google is your best friend.

            1. Jimmy: Fish oil is not safe. That link you gave only tested for two things. Here is a video from NutritionFacts on fish oil and the contaminants it has: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/is-distilled-fish-oil-toxin-free/ Here’s another video on fish oil: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/fish-oil-in-troubled-waters/ This video covers PCBs found in children’s fish oil supplements: http://nutritionfacts.org/video/pcbs-in-childrens-fish-oil-supplements/
              Google is a terrible way to get information about health since misinformation on the net is rampant. That’s why getting your information from reputable sources is important.

  12. The problem isn’t reductionism per se, but the fact that it is taken as the only way of knowing anything by large parts of the scientific community. So unless you can reduce some effect to a change in a single variable in a randomized, placebo controlled, cross-over trial, then many researchers say that you can’t really know anything about cause and effect.

    Fish is a good example. The reductionist approach is that at least the key health benefit of fish has been reduced to the the long-chain omega-3 fatty acids. The boom in fish oil capsules is the result. Don’t eat the fish, eat the single part of the fish that the reductionist studies focused on. But what it if really wasn’t the fish, let alone the fish oil. Diet is a zero sum game. You add something, you have to remove something. So maybe in the subjects the improvements had nothing to do with the fish, but instead had everything to do with what they didn’t eat. If they were typical Americans, that would have been less meat from land animals. So maybe it wasn’t that fish was healthy, but that the land animals were just more unhealthy.

    But all of this doesn’t say that reductionism doesn’t have a role to play. To be able to say that some observed correlation in a population could potentially be a causal factor, you have to demonstrate a biological pathway that allows the thing in question to produce the observed effect. Generally that takes very carefully controlled and highly reductionist studies.

    As to animal products, I agree with Thea and Tom that Dr. Greger is not following a narrow implementation of reductionism. Rather he is take a balance of effects approach that looks at many different components of animal foods and evaluates their individual and collective (where possible) effects on health, AND the opportunity costs lost from getting calories from animal foods as opposed to plant foods, again because you add something you have to remove something. As such there have been many different studies some reductionist and some not that point to specific animal components like saturated fat, cholesterol and protein with high percentages of leucine and methionine as having specific biochemical impacts that degrade health. And there have been many showing that the plant foods displaced from the diet have demonstrated improvements in health.

    So on balance eating animals when the alternative is eating whole plant foods is a significant net negative with regards to health.

  13. I too despise that argument of ‘free range’.. Here is not the place for me to argue, but I always think- ‘so you raised your child with a fabulous lifestyle, great food, plenty of holidays, good education… is it ethical for me to kill them in their 20s, as they had a good life’… :/

    1. “‘so you raised your child with a fabulous lifestyle, great food, plenty of holidays, good education… is it ethical for me to kill them in their 20s, as they had a good life’… :/”

      No obviously as you only eat certain animal foods out of necessity and not because of pleasure and so you give the best treatment for the animal before you have to …

      Nobody ever justifies the killing of other creatures including humans who are on death row based on solely the good treatment. But you don’t do the other way by mistreating even death row prisoners to punish them for their crime.

      By the way, Off Topic, I am against the death penalty in general but I also sympathize with the victim families.

  14. Hi, I have a question for Dr. Greger… Dr. Greger, would you be willing to study a nutritional supplement called Plexus Slim as well as it’s partners, Bio Cleanse, and Pro Bio 5 and write an article on them… .. I am curious what you would find on it. The name of the company is called Plexus Worldwide…

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