michael greger


The Gladiator Diet How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up

"The Gladiator Diet –
How Vegetarian Athletes Stack Up" Recently, the remains of
dozens of Roman gladiators were discovered in a mass grave. The clue to their identities
were the rather distinct types of mortal injuries they found, like being speared in
the head with a trident. Using just their skeletons
they were able to reconstruct the death blows, show just
how buff they really were, and even try to reconstruct
their diet of barley and beans. You can look at carbon isotopes and
see what kinds of plants they ate; nitrogen isotopes reflect any
intake of animal protein.

You can also look at the
Sulphur in their bones and the amount of strontium,
leading commentators to submit that the best athletes
in ancient Rome ate largely plant-based diets. Then there were the legionnaires,
the Roman army troopers, famed for their abilities, also
eating a similar kind of diet, suggesting “the best fighters
in the ancient world were essentially vegetarian.” So, if the so-called
perfect fighting machines, the great sports heroes of the day,
were eating mostly grains and beans, should that tell us anything
about sports nutrition and the preferred diets
of elite athletes? Well, most of the Greeks and
Romans were basically vegetarian, centering their diets around
grains, fruit, vegetables and beans, so maybe the gladiators’ diets
weren’t that remarkable.

Plato, for example, pushed
plants, preferring plant foods for their health and efficiency. So yes, the Roman gladiators
were known as the ‘‘barley men,’’ but is that because barley
gives you strength and stamina, or was that just the basic food
that people ate at the time, not necessarily for performance,
but because it was just so cheap? Well, if you look at the modern
Spartans, the Tarahumara Indians, the ones that run races where
they kick a ball for oh, 75 miles just for the fun of it,
running all day, all night, and all day, maybe 150 miles
if they’re feeling in the mood. What do you get if you win? A special popularity with the ladies
(although how much of a reward that would actually prove to be
for a man who had been running for two days straight is questionable; though, maybe their endurance
extends to other dimensions). “Probably not since the
days of the ancient Spartans has a people achieved such a high
state of extreme physical conditioning.” And what did they eat? The same kind of 75 to
80 percent starch diet based on beans, corn, and squash.

And, they had the cholesterol
levels to prove it, total cholesterol levels down at an
essentially heart attack proof 136. And it’s not just some
special genetics they have— you feed them enough egg yolks and
their cholesterol creeps right up. Modern day Olympian runners
eat the same stuff. What are they eating over there in Kenya? A 99 percent vegetarian diet centered
mostly around various starches. But as in all these cases, is
their remarkable physical prowess because of their diets, or
in spite of their diets? Or have nothing to do with their diets? You don’t know…until
you put it to the test. In spite of well-documented health
benefits of more plant-based diets, less is known regarding the effects
of these diets on athletic performance. So, they compared elite vegetarian
and omnivore endurance athletes for aerobic fitness and strength. So, comparing oxygen
utilization on the treadmill, and quad strength with leg extensions. And the vegetarians beat out
their omnivore counterparts for cardiorespiratory fitness,
but their strength didn’t differ. Suggesting, in the very least,
that vegetarian diets don’t compromise athletic performance. But this was a cross-sectional study. Maybe the veg athletes were just
fitter because they trained harder? Like in the National Runners' Health Study looking at thousands of runners:
vegetarian runners were recorded running significantly
more on a weekly basis; so, maybe that explains
their superior fitness.

Though, maybe their superior fitness
explains their greater distances. Other cross-sectional studies
have found no differences in physical fitness between
vegetarian and non-vegetarian athletes, or even worse performance, as in this
study of vegetarian athletes in India. Of course, there could be socioeconomic
or other confounding factors. That’s why we need interventional
studies to put different diets to the test and then compare
physical performance, which we’ll explore next..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


The Best Diet for Weight Loss and Disease Prevention

"The Best Diet for Weight Loss
and Disease Prevention" Why are vegetarian diets so effective
in preventing and treating diabetes? Maybe it's because of the weight loss.
Those eating more plant based tend to be significantly slimmer,
and not just based on like looking at a cross-section of the population,
but you can do interventional trials and put it to the test: a randomized,
controlled community-based trial of a whole food plant-based diet. The key difference between plant-based
nutrition and other approaches to weight loss is that participants
were informed to eat the whole food plant-based diet ad libitum,
meaning eat as much as you want, no calorie counting,
no portion control. Just eat. It's about improving
the quality of food rather than restricting
the quantity of food. And then in this study, they
had people just focus on diet rather than increasing exercise,
just because they wanted to isolate out the effects of eating
healthier. So, what happened? No restrictions on portions, eat
all the healthy foods you want. Here's where they started out: on
average obese at nearly 210 pounds; the average height was about 5'5". Three months in they were
down about 18 pounds; 6 months in, more
like 26 pounds down.

But you know how these
weight loss trials go. I mean, this wasn't
an institutional study where they locked people up and
fed them; no meals were provided. They just informed people about
the benefits of plant-based eating and encouraged them to do it in
their own lives, their own families, and their own homes and communities.
And so, yeah, typically what you see in these so-called "free-living"
studies is weight loss at six months, but then by a year the weight
creeps back or even worse. But in this study, they were able to
maintain that weight loss all year. And of course, their cholesterol got
better too, but their claim to fame is that they achieved greater weight loss
at 6 and 12 months than any other trial that does not limit calorie intake
or mandate regular exercise.

That's worth repeating. A whole
food plant-based diet achieved the greatest weight loss ever
recorded at 6 and 12 months compared to any other such intervention
published in the medical literature. Now obviously with very
low-calorie starvation diets you can drop people
down to any weight. However, these medically supervised
liquid diets are obviously just short-term fixes, associated
with high costs, high attrition rates, and a high probability of
regaining most of the weight, whereas the whole point of
whole food plant-based nutrition is to maximize long-term
health and longevity. I mean, even if, for example, low
carb diets were as effective, the point of weight loss is not
to fit into a skinnier casket. Studies on the effects of
low-carbohydrate diets have shown higher rates
of all-cause mortality— meaning a shorter lifespan—
decreased artery function, worsening of coronary artery disease,
and increased rates of constipation, headaches, bad breath, muscle
cramps, general weakness and rash. And yet, still not as effective
as the diet that actually has all the good side effects, like decreasing risk of diabetes,
beyond just the weight loss. Yes, the lower risk of type 2
diabetes among vegetarians may be explained in part
by improved weight status.

However, the lower risk also may
be explained by higher amounts of ingested dietary fiber and
plant protein, the absence of meat- and egg-derived
protein and heme iron, and lower intake
of saturated fat. Most studies report the lowest risk
of type 2 diabetes among those who adhere to strictly
plant-based diets. This may be explained by the fact
that vegans, in contrast to vegetarians, do not eat eggs, which appear to
be linked to higher diabetes risk. Maybe it's eating lower on the food
chain, so you avoid the highest levels of persistent organic pollutants like
dioxins, PCBs, DDT in animal products, which have been implicated
as a diabetes risk factor. Maybe it has to do with the gut
microbiome. With all that fiber, no surprise that there'd be
less disease-causing bugs and more protective gut flora,
which can lead to less inflammation throughout the body, that may be the
key feature linking the heathier gut with beneficial health effects— including the metabolic dysfunction
you can see in type 2 diabetes. And it's that multiplicity
of benefits that can help with compliance and family buy-in.
Whereas a household that includes people who do not have diabetes
may be unlikely to enthusiastically follow a "diabetic diet,"
a healthy diet is not disease-specific and can improve
other chronic conditions too.

So while the diabetic patient
will likely see improvement in their blood sugar control, a
spouse suffering from constipation or high blood pressure may
also see improvements, as may overweight children if you make
healthy eating a family affair..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


Improving VO2 Max: A Look at Vegetarian and Vegan Athletes

This is the first of a three
video series about exercise. Do plant based diets have an
impact on fitness? What are the best times
to workout? Watch the series to find out. "Improving VO2 Max: A Look
at Vegetarian and Vegan Athletes" In my video about comparing vegetarian
and vegan athletic performance, endurance, and strength, I discussed
a 2020 study that found that vegan athletes—even though
they were significantly older— had significantly superior
aerobic capacity and endurance, lasting 25 percent longer on a
time-to-exhaustion cycling test. The question is why? One potential mechanism
that could explain the greater level of endurance performance
in vegans may be a higher amount of carbohydrate intake, which could
lead to better endurance performance through higher
muscle glycogen storage.

Other potential mechanisms
that may explain the better endurance performance in vegans could
be due to the anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory
profiles of their diet. Maybe it’s even their hearts. Yet another study showing superior
VO2 max in vegan athletes, meaning superior
aerobic capacity: this time they also
did echocardiograms, looking at their hearts
in real-time using ultrasound, and the lower relative
wall thickness and better main ventricle
systolic and diastolic function in the vegans are most
likely positive findings. Now wait a second. Given
the higher VO2 max reached by the vegan athletes, maybe
they were just better trained than the nonvegan athletes,
and that’s why their hearts looked like they
were working better.

However, the weekly training
frequency and running distance were similar in both groups,
suggesting benefits even with the same
amount of training. So, it’s important to educate
healthcare professionals; so they don’t try
to discourage a vegan diet and may even want to consider
telling folks implementing an exercise training
program to give it a try. But you don’t know if it
has the same kinds of effects in nonathletes, until
you…put it to the test. A vegetarian vs. conventional
calorie-restricted diet: the effect on physical fitness
in response to aerobic exercise in patients with
type 2 diabetes. Diabetics were randomized
to the same caloric restriction, the same exercise, but just
vegetarian versus nonvegetarian. They provided all the meals
so they could ensure compliance and closely monitored
the exercising. VO2 max increased by 12 percent
in the vegetarian group, significantly better than in
the non-vegetarian group who didn’t significantly
improve at all. Maximal performance increased
by 21 percent in the vegetarian group, again, significantly better than in
the non-vegetarian group who didn’t significantly
improve at all.

In other words, the results indicated
that more plant-based diets led more effectively to
improvement in physical fitness than less plant-based diets, after the same aerobic
exercise program. Here’s what the graphs look like: significantly better power
output and aerobic capacity in the group that was randomized
to a vegetarian diet. It seems that those eating vegetarian were able to better burn off carbohydrates compared
to nonvegetarians, and had better insulin sensitivity, both markers of improved
metabolic flexibility, meaning the ability
to switch back and forth between burning sugar and fat. Besides physiological
mechanisms, there may also be
psychological factors. They observed reduced hunger
and reduced feelings of depression in the vegetarian group
which may have given them a more positive attitude
towards exercise. Here’s the psychological data. Those randomized to eat vegetarian
had a greater improvement in quality of life and mood. They felt less constrained,
meaning the calorie restriction didn’t seem as burdensome; they had less disinhibition, meaning less tendency
to binge and overeat, along with maybe
less feelings of hunger. Not to mention the superior effects
of a vegetarian diet on body weight, glycemic control,
blood lipids, insulin sensitivity,
and oxidative stress.

Wait, better body weight? I thought they were given
the same number of calories. Yes, both diets were isocaloric,
the same calories, yet just eating meat-free led
to significantly more weight loss— about six pounds more;
more waist loss, a slimmer waist; lower cholesterol, of course;
and less superficial fat, meaning the external jiggly fat; and most importantly, significantly
more visceral fat loss, the most metabolically
dangerous deep belly fat. Same calories, yet more
loss of body fat. And not surprisingly,
better control of their diabetes. All in addition to leading
more effectively to improvements
in physical fitness..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors—Vegan Junk Food?

"Vegetarians and Stroke Risk Factors
—Vegan Junk Food?" Plant-based diets are
associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, mortality, and
dying from all causes put together. This study of a diverse sample
of 12,000 Americans found that “progressively increasing
the intake of plant foods by reducing the intake of
animal foods may be associated with benefits on cardiovascular
health and mortality…”, but when it comes to plant-based diets
for cardiovascular disease prevention, all plant foods are not created equal. Were the vegetarians in the
British study that found the higher stroke risk just
eating a lot of vegan junk food? Any diet devoid of certain
animal food sources can be claimed to be a
vegetarian or vegan diet; so, it’s important to see
what they’re actually eating.

One of the first things I look
at when I’m trying to see how serious a population is
about healthy eating is look at something undeniably, uncontroversially
bad: soda, liquid candy. Anyone drinking straight
sugar water obviously doesn’t have health top of mind. In the big study of plant-based
eaters in America, where people tend to cut down
on meat for health reasons far more than ethics… flexitarians
drink fewer sugary beverages than regular meat-eaters, as do
pescatarians, vegetarians, and vegans. In the UK study, though, where the
increased stroke risk was found, where folks are more likely to go
veg or vegan for ethical reasons, the pescatarians are drinking less soda, but the vegetarians and
vegans are drinking more. I’m not saying that’s
why they had more strokes; it just might give us an idea of
how healthy the people were eating.

In the UK study, the vegetarians and
vegan men and women were eating about the same amount of
desserts, cookies, and chocolate, and about the same total sugar. In the U.S. study, the average
non-vegetarian is nearly obese, even the vegetarians
are a little overweight, and the vegans were the
only ideal weight group. In this analysis of the UK study, though,
everyone was about the same weight— in fact the meat-eaters
were skinnier than the vegans. The EPIC-Oxford study seems to
have attracted a particularly health conscious group of meat-eaters weighing substantially less
than the general population. Let’s look at some particular
stroke-related nutrients.

Dietary fiber appears beneficial
for the prevention of cardiovascular disease
including stroke, and it appears the more the better. Based on studies of nearly a half
a million men and women there doesn’t seem to be any
upper threshold of benefit; so, the more, the better. More than
25 grams of soluble fiber, 47 grams of insoluble dietary
fiber and you can really start seeing a significant drop
in associated stroke risk. So, one could consider these
as the minimal recommendable daily intakes to prevent
stroke at a population level. That’s what you see in people
eating diets centered around minimally processed plant foods.
Dean Ornish got up around there with his whole food plant-based diet. Maybe not as much as
we were designed to eat, based on the analyses of fossilized feces, but that’s the kind of neighborhood
where we might expect significantly lower stroke risk. How much were the
UK vegetarians getting? 22.1. Now, in the UK they measure
fiber a little differently; so, that may actually
be closer to 30 grams, but not the optimal level
for stroke prevention.

So little fiber that the vegetarians
and vegans only beat out the meat-eaters by about 1
or 2 bowel movements a week, suggesting they were eating
lots of processed foods. The vegetarians were only
eating about a half serving more of fruits and vegetables,
thought to reduce stroke risk in part because of
their potassium content, yet the UK vegetarians at
higher stroke risk were evidently eating so few greens and beans they
couldn’t even match the meat-eaters, not even reaching the
recommended minimum daily potassium intake of 4700 mg a day. And what about sodium? The vast
majority of the available evidence indicates that elevated salt intake is
associated with higher stroke risk. There’s like a straight-line
increase in the risk of dying from a stroke
the more salt you eat. Even just lowering sodium intake
by a tiny fraction every year could prevent tens of
thousands of fatal strokes. Reducing sodium intake to prevent stroke:
time for action, not hesitation, but the UK vegetarians and
vegans appeared to be hesitating, as did the other dietary groups.
All groups exceeded the advised less than 2400 mg daily sodium intake—
and that doesn’t even account for salt added at the table, and
the American Heart Association recommends under just 1500 a day;
so, they were all eating lots of processed foods.

So, no wonder
the vegetarian blood pressures were only 1 or 2 points lower;
high blood pressure is perhaps the single most important modifiable
risk factor for stroke. What evidence do I have that if the
vegetarians and vegans ate better their stroke risk would go down?
Well, in rural Africa where they were able to nail the fiber intake that
our bodies were designed to get by eating so many whole healthy plant
foods— fruits, vegetables, grains, greens and beans, their protein
almost entirely from plant sources, not only was heart disease, our
#1 killer, almost non-existent, so apparently, was stroke, surging
up from out of nowhere with the introduction of salt
and refined foods to their diet. Stroke also appears to be
virtually absent in Kitava, a quasi-vegan island culture
near Australia where diet was very low in salt and
very rich in potassium, because it was a vegetable-based diet.
They ate fish a few times a week, but the other 95% or so
of their diet was lots of vegetables, fruits, corn, and beans,
and they had an apparent absence of stroke, even despite their
ridiculous rates of smoking.

After all, we evolved eating
as little as less than an 8th of a teaspoon a day of salt
and our daily potassium consumption is thought to have been
as high as like 10,000 mg. We went from an unsalted, whole-food
diet to salty processed foods depleted of potassium
whether we eat meat or not. Caldwell Esselstyn at the
Cleveland Clinic tried putting about 200 patients with established
cardiovascular disease on a whole food plant-based diet. Of the 177 that stuck with the diet
only one went on to have a stroke in the subsequent few years
compared to a hundred-fold greater rate of adverse events—
including multiple strokes and deaths in those that
strayed from the diet. “This is not vegetarianism,”
Esselstyn explains. Vegetarians can eat a lot
of less-than-ideal foods. This new paradigm is exclusively whole
food, plant-based nutrition. Now this entire train of thought,
that the reason typical vegetarians don’t have better stroke statistics
is because they’re not eating particularly stellar diets, may
explain why they don’t have significantly lower strokes rates,
but that still doesn’t explain why they might have higher stroke rates.

Even if they’re eating similarly
crappy, salty, processed diets at least they’re not eating meat,
which we know increases stroke risk; so, there must be something
about vegetarian diets that so increases stroke risk that
it offsets their inherent advantages? We’ll continue our hunt, next..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


The Best Diet for Diabetes

"The Best Diet for Diabetes" There are all sorts of different scoring
systems to rate diet quality. My favorite, for its simplicity, is the
dietary phytochemical index: a fancy name for a simple concept. It's just the percentage of your calories
from whole plant foods, so 0 to 100. The average American diet
has a score of 12. Twelve out of a hundred; so, like on a
scale of one to ten, our diet is a one. You can split people up based on how they
score, and show how the higher you score the better your metabolic markers
when it comes to diabetes risk. There appears to be like this stepwise
drop in insulin resistance and insulin-producing beta-cell dysfunction
as you eat more and more plant-based. And that highest group was
only scoring about 30, less than a third of their diet
was whole plant foods, but better than the lowest, which was
down around the standard American diet. No wonder diets centered around
plants, emphasizing legumes— beans, split peas,
chickpeas and lentils— whole grains, vegetables,
fruits, nuts and seeds, and discouraging most or all animal
products are especially potent in preventing type 2 diabetes, and as a little bonus has been associated
with much lower rates of obesity, hypertension, hyperlipidemia,
cardiovascular mortality, and cancer.

And not just preventing type 2 diabetes
but treating it as well. A systematic review and meta-analysis
found that the consumption of vegetarian diets is associated
with improved blood sugar control, but how much improved?
Here's one of the latest trials. The effect of a strictly plant-based diet
centered around brown rice—it was done in Asia—versus the conventional
diabetic diet on blood sugar control of patients with type 2 diabetes:
a 12-week randomized clinical trial. For the diabetic control diet, they set
up food exchanges and calculated specific calorie and portion controls,
whereas on the plant-based diet people could eat much as they want;
that's one of the benefits. The emphasis is on food
quality rather than quantity, and they still actually
lost more weight. But even after controlling for
the greater abdominal fat loss in the plant-based group,
they still won out. Of course, it only works
if you actually do it, but those that pretty much stuck
to the healthier diet dropped their A1c levels 0.9%, which is what you
get taking the leading diabetes drug, but of course only
with good side effects.

Yeah, but would it work in
an underserved population? The impact of a plant-based diet support
program on mitigating type 2 diabetes in San Bernadino, the poorest
city of its size in California. A randomized controlled trial,
but not of a plant-based diet itself as the title suggests,
but of just an education program telling people about the benefits
of a plant-based diet for diabetes, and then it was up to them. And still got a significant improvement
in blood sugar control. Here are the numbers. Got a little better
in the control group, but way better in the plant-based
instruction and support group. And more plant-based diets
are not just effective in the prevention and management of
diabetes, but also its complications.

Check this out. One of the most devastating complications
of diabetes is kidney failure. This shows the decline in kidney
function in eight diabetics in the one or two years
before switching their diets. They all showed this steady,
inexorable decline on a fast track to complete
kidney failure and dialysis. But then they switched to a
special supplemented vegan diet, and their kidney decline
was stopped in its tracks. Imagine if they had switched
a year or two earlier! Most diabetics don't actually end up on
dialysis though because they die first. Cardiovascular disease is the major cause
of premature mortality among diabetics; that's why plant-based diets are perfect.
There is a general scientific consensus that the elements of a whole-foods
plant-based diet— legumes, whole grains, fruits,
vegetables, and nuts, with limited or no intake of processed
foods and animal products— are highly beneficial for preventing
and treating type 2 diabetes. Equally important, plant-based
diets address the bigger picture by simultaneously treating cardiovascular
disease, our #1 killer, along with obesity, high blood
pressure, lowering inflammation, and we can throw cancer
into the mix too, our #2 killer.

The bottom line is that the case
for using a plant-based diet to reduce the burden of diabetes
and improve overall health has never been stronger..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


The First Studies on Vegetarian Athletes

"The First Studies on Vegetarian Athletes" In 1896, the aptly named
James Parsley evidently led a successful vegetarian
cycling club to victory, their competitors evidently having
to "eat crow with their beef." Evidently some Belgian
put it to the test in 1904, with those eating more plant-based
supposedly lifting some weight like 80 percent more times, but I couldn't find the
primary source in English. This I could find though: a famous
series of experiments at Yale, published more than a century ago, on the
influence of flesh-eating on endurance. Forty-nine people were compared:
regular athletes (mostly Yale students), vegetarian athletes, and then
just sedentary vegetarians.

"The experiment furnished a severe test
of the claims of those flesh-abstainers." Much to the researchers' surprise,
the results seemed to vindicate the vegetarians, suggesting that
not eating meat leads to far greater endurance compared to those accustomed
to the ordinary American diet. Check it out: the first endurance test was
how many minutes straight you could hold out your arms horizontally:
flesh-eaters versus flesh abstainers. The regular Yale athletes were
able to keep their hands out for about 10 minutes on average. It's harder than it sounds;
give it a try… OK, but those eating vegetarian
did like five times better. The meat-eater maximum was only
half that of the vegetarian average. Only two meat eaters
even hit 15 minutes, whereas more than two-thirds
of the meat-avoiders did. None of the regular diet
folks hit a half hour, whereas nearly half of
the healthier eaters did, including nine that exceeded an
hour, four that exceeded two hours, and one guy going for
more than three hours.

How many deep knee
bends can you do? One athlete could do more
than 1,000—averaging 383— but they got creamed even
by the sedentary plant-eaters. That's the crazy thing; even
the sedentary abstainers surpassed the exercising flesh-eaters. The sedentary abstainers were, in most cases, physicians
who sat on their butts all day. I want a doctor that that can do
a thousand deep knee bends! And then in terms of recovery, all those
deep knee bends left everyone sore, but more so among those eating meat. Among the vegetarians, of two that
did like 2,000 knee bends, one went straight off to the track to run and
another went on to their nursing duties. On the other hand, among the
meat-eaters one guy reached 254, went down once more and couldn't
get back up, had to be carried away, and was incapacitated for days; another
impaired for weeks after fainting. It may be inferred without reasonable
doubt, concluded the once skeptical Yale researcher, that the meat-eating
group of athletes was very far inferior in endurance to the vegetarians,
even the sedentary ones.

What could account for
this remarkable difference? Some claimed that flesh foods contained
some kind of "fatigue poisons," but one German researcher who detailed
his own experiments with athletes offered a more prosaic answer.
In his book on what looks like physiological studies of
uber-driving vegetarians— I told you I only know English— he conjectured that the apparent
vegetarian superiority was just due to their tremendous determination
to prove their point and spread their propaganda,
so they just make a greater effort in any contest than do
their meat-eating rivals. The Yale researchers were worried
about this, and so special pains were taken to stimulate the flesh-eaters
to the utmost, appealing to their college pride. Don't let those lousy
vegetarians beat the "Yale spirit." The experiments made it
into The New York Times. Yale's flesh-eating athletes—
sounds like a zombie movie— beaten in severe endurance tests.
Yale professor believes that he has shown definitely the inferiority
in strength and endurance tests of meat eaters compared to
those who do not eat meat. Some of Yale's most successful
athletes took part in the strength tests, and Professor Fisher declares they
were obliged to admit their inferiority.

How has the truth of this result
been so long obscured? One reason, Professor Fisher
suggested, is that vegetarians are their own worst enemy.
In their fanaticism, they jump from the premise that meat eating
is wrong—often based on scripture or some kind of dogma—and jump
from that to meat-eating is unhealthy. That's not how science works
and such logical leaps get them dismissed as zealots and prevent
any genuine scientific investigation. Lots of science, even back then,
was pointing a distinct trend towards more plant-based eating,
and yet the word vegetarian— even 110 years ago—had
such a bad, preachy rap that many were loath to concede
the science in its favor. The proper scientific attitude is to study
the question of meat-eating in precisely the same manner as one would
study the question of anything else.

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


Dr. Gundry’s The Plant Paradox Is Wrong

Dr. Gundry's THE PLANT PARADOX is Wrong Earlier this year, I started
getting emails about this book, The Plant Paradox, purporting
to expose the "hidden dangers" in healthy foods that cause
disease and weight gain, foods like beans, and whole
grains, and tomatoes. Why? Because of lectins,
which is a rehashing of the discredited Blood Type
Diet from decades ago; they just keep coming back. Yeah, but this was
written by an MD, which— if you've seen
my medical school videos— you'll know is effectively an
anti-credential when it comes to writing diet books, basically
advertising to the world that you've received likely little
or no formal training in nutrition.

Dr. Atkins was, after
all, a cardiologist. But look, you want to give
the benefit of the doubt. The problem is that it doesn't
even seem to pass the sniff test. I mean if lectins are bad, then
beans would be the worst, and so bean counters
would presumably find that bean eaters cut
their lives short, whereas the exact opposite
may be true with legumes— beans, split peas,
chickpeas, and lentils— found to be perhaps the most
important dietary predictor of survival in older people in
countries around the world. As Dan Buettner points
out in his Blue Zones work, lectin-packed foods are
the cornerstone of the diets of all the healthiest, longest-
lived populations on the planet.

Plant-based diets in general,
and legumes in particular, are a common thread among
longevity Blue Zones around the world—the most
lectin lush food there is. And if lectins are bad, then whole
grain consumers should be riddled with disease, when in fact whole
grain intake is associated with a reduced risk of
coronary heart disease, the number 1 killer
of men and women. Strokes, too, and total cancer, and
mortality from all causes put together, meaning people who eat whole
grains tend to live longer, and get fewer respiratory diseases,
infectious diseases, diabetes, and all non-cardiovascular,
non-cancer causes to boot. And not just in
population studies. As I've shown, you can randomize
people into whole grain interventions and prove cause-
and-effect benefits.

The same with tomatoes. You randomize women to a cup
and a half of tomato juice or water every day, and all that
nightshade tomato lectin reduces systemic inflammation,
or has waist-slimming effects, reducing cholesterol as well
as inflammatory mediators. So when people told me about
this book, I was like, let me guess: he sells a line of lectin-
blocking supplements. And what do you know: assist your
body in the fight against lectins for only $79.95 a month. That's only like a
thousand bucks a year— a bargain for pleasant
bathroom visits. And then, of course, there's
10 other supplements. So for only 8 or 9 thousand dollars
a year, you can lick those lectins. Oh, did I not mention
his skincare line? Firm and sculpt
for an extra $120, all so much more affordable
when you subscribe to his VIP club. But you still want to give him
the benefit of the doubt. People ask me all the time to
comment on some new blog or book or YouTube video, and
I have to sadly be like, look, there are a hundred thousand
peer-reviewed scientific papers on nutrition published in the
medical literature every year, and we can barely
keep up with those.

Ah, but people kept emailing
me about this book; so, I was like, fine, I'll
check out the first citation. Chapter 1, citation 1: "Forget everything you
thought you knew was true" (diet books love saying that). For example, "Eating
shellfish and egg yolks dramatically reduces
total cholesterol." What?! Egg yolks
reduce cholesterol? What is this citation? This is the paper he cites. And here it is. By now, you know
how these studies go. How do you show a food
decreases cholesterol? You remove so much
meat, cheese, and eggs that overall your saturated fat
falls, in this case, about 50%.

If you cut saturated
fat in half, of course cholesterol
levels are going to drop. So they got a drop
in cholesterol removing meat, cheese,
and egg yolks. Yet, that's the paper he uses to
support his statement that egg yolks dramatically reduce cholesterol. I mean it's unbelievable. That's the opposite of the truth. Add egg yolks to people's diets
and their cholesterol goes up. I mean, how dare
he say this? And it's not like some
harmless foolishness, like saying the Earth
is flat or something. Heart disease is the number
one killer of men and women. This can actually
hurt people. So much for my
benefit of the doubt..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


The Best Diet for Crohn’s Disease Treatment

"The Best Diet for Crohn's
Disease Treatment" Important to our understanding
and prevention of the global increase in inflammatory bowel disease, we know
that dietary fiber appears to reduce risk, whereas dietary fat, animal protein,
and sugar may increase risk. "Despite the recognition of the
westernization of lifestyle as a major driver of the growing incidence
of inflammatory bowel disease, no countermeasures against such lifestyle
changes have been recommended, except that patients with Crohn's
disease shouldn't smoke." Look, we know consuming
whole, plant-based foods is synonymous with an
anti-inflammatory diet.

Here's a list of foods
with inflammatory effects; here's a list of foods with
anti-inflammatory effects. So how about putting a
plant-based diet to the test? Just cutting down on red and
processed meat didn't work, but what about cutting
down on all meat? A 25-year-old guy diagnosed
with Crohn's disease, but failed to enter clinical remission
despite standard medical therapy. But after switching to a diet based
exclusively on grains, legumes— like beans, split peas, chickpeas,
and lentils—vegetables, and fruits, he entered clinical remission,
without the need for medication and showed no signs of Crohn's
disease on follow-up colonoscopy. It's worth delving into
some of the details. The conventional treatment they started
him on is infliximab, sold as REMICADE, which can cause a stroke, and may
increase your chances of getting lymphoma and other cancers—but
it's a bargain for only $35,000 a year.

And it may not even work
in 35 to 40% of patients, and that seemed to be the case
here, so they upped the dose after 37 weeks, and still suffering
after two years on the drug— until he tried completely eliminating
animal products and processed foods from his diet—finally experiencing
a complete resolution of his symptoms. Prior to this, his diet had
been a typical American diet. But having experienced complete
clinical remission for the first time since his diagnosis, he decided
to switch to a whole-food, plant-based diet permanently, severely
reducing his intake of processed food and limiting animal products
to one serving, or less, per week.

And whenever his diet started to slip,
symptoms started coming back. But he could always wipe
them out by eating healthier. After six months of implementing
these changes in diet and lifestyle, including stress relief and exercise,
a follow-up demonstrated complete mucosal healing of the gut lining with
no visible evidence of Crohn's disease. We know a diet consisting of whole
grains, legumes, fruits, and vegetables has been shown to be helpful in the
prevention and treatment of heart disease, obesity, diabetes,
hypertension, gallbladder disease, rheumatoid arthritis,
and many cancers.

Although further research is required,
this case report suggests that Crohn's disease might be
added to this list of conditions. But that further research
has already been done! About 20 patients with Crohn's disease
were placed on a semi-vegetarian diet, meaning no more than a half-
serving of fish once a week and a half-serving of meat
once every two weeks, and achieved 100% remission rate
at one year, and 90% at two years. Some strayed from the diet though.
Let's see what happened to them. After a year, half had relapsed, and at
year two only 20% remained in remission.

But those that stuck with
it had remarkable success. It was a small study with
no formal control group, but represents the best reported
result in Crohn's relapse prevention published in the medical
literature to date. Nowadays, Crohn's patients are often
treated with so-called biologic drugs, expensive injected antibodies that
suppress your immune system and have effectively induced
and maintained remission in Crohn's disease,
but not in everyone. The current remission rate in Crohn's
with early use of REMICADE: 64%. So 30 to 40% of patients are likely to
experience a disabling disease course even after treatment. So what
about adding a plant-based diet? Remission rates jumped up to 100%
for those who didn't have to drop out due to drug side effects. Even
if you exclude the milder cases, 100% of those with serious, even severe
fulminant disease achieved remission.

But if you look at gold standard
systematic reviews, they conclude that the effects of dietary interventions
on inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's disease and ulcerative
colitis, are uncertain. This is because only randomized
controlled trials were considered. Totally understandable, as that's
the most rigorous study design. Nevertheless, people with inflammatory
bowel disease deserve advice based on the 'best available evidence'
rather than no advice at all. And switching to a plant-based diet
has been shown to achieve far better outcomes than those
reported on conventional treatments in both active and quiescent stages
in both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. For example, here's one-year
remission rates in Crohn's disease: 100% compared to budesonide, an
immunosuppressant corticosteroid drug; a half elemental diet, meaning
like at-home tube feedings; the $35,000 a year drug REMICADE;
or the $75,000 a year drug Humira.

Safer, cheaper, and more effective? Maybe we should recommend plant-based
diets for inflammatory bowel disease. It would seem clear that treatment
based on treating the cause of the disease is optimal. Spreading the word about healthier
diets could help halt the scourge of inflammatory bowel, but how
are people going to hear about this amazing research without some
kind of public education campaign? That's what NutritionFacts.org
is all about..

Video Transcript – As found on YouTube


Do Vegetarians Really Have Higher Stroke Risk?

“” Do Vegetarians Really
Have Greater Stroke Threat?” “When rated in order of significance,
amongst the interventions available to avoid stroke, the three
crucial are most likely diet, cigarette smoking cessation, and
high blood pressure control. A lot of us are doing quite
excellent on smoking cigarettes these days, less than half people are working out
sufficient, but according to the American Heart Organization just 1
in a thousand Americans are consuming a healthy diet regimen, and less than 1 in 10
are even eating a reasonably healthy diet. Why does it matter? Because diet plan is a vital
component of stroke prevention. Reducing salt intake, staying clear of egg
yolks, restricting the consumption of meat, and boosting the consumption of entire grains,
fruits, veggies and lentils. Like the sugar sector, the meat
and egg markets invest numerous numerous bucks on publicity,
sadly with fantastic success. I was delighted to look into Box number 1,
and was after that honored, when I did. The best proof for stroke
defense is for increasing fruit and vegetable intake, with
much more unpredictability regarding the role of entire grains, pet items, and
nutritional patterns such as vegan diets. I indicate one would certainly anticipate they ‘d do fantastic. Meta-analyses have actually found that
vegan diets reduced cholesterol and blood pressure, and boost
fat burning, and blood sugar control, and vegan diet plans might function also better. So, all the vital biomarkers are going in the right instructions, yet
you may be surprised to find out that there had not ever before been any
studies on the incidence of stroke in vegetarians and vegans … till, now.And if you believe that ' s surprising, wait until you listen to the outcomes. The dangers of cardiovascular disease and stroke in meat eaters, fish eaters, and vegetarians over 18 years of follow-up.
Yes, much less heart disease amongst vegetarians (whereby they suggest vegetarians and vegans combined) no surprise– been there, done that, however much more stroke. An easy to understand knee-jerk response may be” Wait a 2nd, who did this research? “But this is EPIC-Oxford, first-rate scientists whose problems of rate of interest may be most likely to review” I was a member of the Vegan Culture.” What regarding overadjustment?
If you crisis the numbers over a ten-year-period they located 15 strokes for every thousand meat-eaters contrasted to only 9 strokes for each thousand vegetarians and vegans. Wait, so just how can they claim there were even more strokes in the vegetarians? This sought readjusting for a range of elements. As an example, the vegetarians were less likely to smoke; so, you intend to terminate that out by changing for cigarette smoking, to make sure that you can successfully compare the stroke danger of nonsmoking vegetarians to nonsmoking meat-eaters. If you wish to know just how a vegetarian diet itself impacts stroke prices, you intend to counteract these non-diet-related variables. Occasionally, though, you can overadjust. The sugar sector does it all the time. This is how it works.
Imagine you simply got a grant from the soda industry to examine the result of soda on the childhood years excessive weight epidemic. What might you perhaps do after placing all the studies with each other to get to the final thought that there was near no effect of sweet drink usage on body weight? Well, considering that you know that consuming alcohol liquid candy can cause excess calories that can lead to weight problems, if you control for calories, if you control for a variable that’s in the causal chain, effectively just contrasting soda drinkers who take in the same number of calories as non-soda-drinkers after that you can undermine the soda-to-obesity result
, and that’s precisely what they did.That introduces overadjustment bias.
Rather than simply managing for some unassociated factor, you regulate for an intermediate variable on the cause-and-effect pathway in between direct exposure and outcome.

Overadjustment is just how meat-and-. dairy market moneyed scientists have been implicated of obscuring. truth association between hydrogenated fat and cardiovascular disease.
We understand that saturated. fat rises cholesterol which increases heart condition danger. For that reason, if you control for. cholesterol, properly only comparing saturated fat eaters with the. exact same cholesterol levels as non-saturated-fat eaters,. you see just how you might threaten the saturated fat-to-heart illness effect. Now allow’s return to this. Given that vegan eating.
reduces blood stress, and a reduced blood stress.
leads to less stroke, managing for high blood pressure would certainly be an. overadjustment, efficiently only contrasting vegetarians to meat-eaters.
with the same reduced blood pressure.That’s unfair, since that’s one.
of the benefits of vegetarian eating, not some unconnected variable like smoking; and so, it would threaten. the paid for defense.
So, did they do that? No.

They only adjusted for unrelated elements, like education and learning, and socioeconomic class,. and smoking cigarettes, and workout, and alcohol.
That’s what you want. You want to tease out the effects of a vegan diet on stroke risk … you intend to try to adjust whatever else to tease
out the. effects of just the dietary choice. And given that, for example, meat eaters. in the research got on ordinary 10 years older than the vegetarians,. you can totally see just how when you readjust for that. vegetarians can appear worse.Since stroke danger can raise. greatly with age, you can see just how
having 9 strokes among. a thousand vegetarians in their 40s might be worse than 15 strokes among. a thousand meat-eaters in their 50s. The fact that vegetarians had. higher stroke risk in spite of their lower high blood pressure recommends. there’s something regarding meat-free diet regimens that so raises stroke risk it’s sufficient. to negate the high blood pressure advantages,
but also if that’s true you. still would certainly want to consume by doing this.
Stroke is our 5th leading cause of. death, whereas heart problem is # 1. So, yes, in this research study there. were this numerous more cases of stroke in vegetarians, yet
there were this several. less situations of heart problem, but if there is something
enhancing. stroke danger in vegetarians it would be good to recognize what.
it remains in hopes of determining how to obtain the most effective of both globes.
This is the question we ' ll turn to, following.

As found on YouTube


The Best Diet for Fatty Liver Disease Treatment

“” The Best Diet Regimen for Fatty
Liver Disease Treatment” “Nonalcoholic fatty liver
condition is now the most frequent chronic liver illness thanks,
partly, to our epidemic of obesity, currently even seen in children. As lots of as nearly 70 to
80% of overweight kids might have fatty liver condition. Why do we care? Since a fatty liver can
progression right into fatty hepatitis, which can create scarring
and liver cirrhosis, which is poor sufficient
without additionally creating you to create liver cancer cells, too. Okay, so what’s the source of the
liver fat in fatty liver illness? There are three main sources:
the excess sugar in our diet, excess fat in our diet,
and the fat spilling over from your very own excess body fat. How do we understand excess
dietary sugar is poor? Since it’s been tested. If you randomize teenagers with
fatty liver disease to a diet reduced in free sugars (definition.
added sugar and sugary beverages), they experience a significant.
enhancement within 8 weeks. Provided this new information, a liver.
journal editorial read,” [a] strong argument can.
be made that we are past any kind of period of uncertainty.
concerning the hazardous impacts of excess sugar usage.
and that we need to now act …

To inform the public of the health and wellness.
dangers of eating excessive sugar.” How do we know extra.
nutritional fat misbehaves? Because it’s been placed to the test. Randomize people to the.
same low-calorie diet, but one that’s low-fat.
versus one that’s high-fat, and within just two.
weeks the low-fat diet decreased liver fat by 20%,.
whereas the very same variety of calories on a high-fat.
diet boosted liver fat by 35%! On the low-fat diet, insulin.
degrees went down about 15%, and on the high-fat diet,.
insulin degrees increased about 15%.

Low-carb and ketogenic diet regimen.
advocates are always discussing exactly how you have to eat.
extra fat and much less carbohydrates to keep your insulin levels down,.
however the precise opposite takes place when it’s.
in fact tested. Even a solitary high-fat dish.
not only boosts liver fat yet likewise insulin resistance. Within four hours, your whole-.
body insulin sensitivity can stop by 25%; so, your.
body needs to pump out that far more insulin. As the coming with editorial put it, a solitary fat dosage packs a punch. So, to aid avoid or.
treat fatty liver disease, patients ought to restrict or.
prevent consuming fat-rich foods. While more lasting scientific.
tests are always needed, based on current evidence,.
we would certainly advise a diet low in fat, significantly.
saturated fat, so low in meat, dairy products, and junk, and reduced in.
refined carbohydrates, significantly soda. Hydrogenated fat is not only.
a lot more metabolically harmful for the human liver than.
unsaturated fat, saturated fat is extra hazardous than straight sugar.If you overfeed individuals. with 1,000 calories of
hydrogenated fat.( like cheese and coconut oil
), unsaturated fat (like nuts and olive oil), or sugar (like soft drink and candy),. overeating 1,000 calories a day of anything isn’t helpful for you,. but the saturated fat enhanced liver fat 55%,.
significantly greater than the unsaturated fats, with. the sweet coming in in-between. So, in terms of weight reduction,. although beneficial, certain diet plans can actually. cause or worsen this condition, such as really low-carbohydrate,. high-fat diets, whereas those consuming. healthy plant-based diets might lower the threat of fatty liver condition. For instance, the consumption. of beans( beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils) is. connected with a lower risk of fatty liver, approximately 65 %. lower probabilities eating a lot more beans. Now, in this study, they weren’t.
looking at individuals consuming strictly plant-based diet plans,.
simply essentially so. It’s more challenging to study those eating completely meat-free diet plans.
because they presently represent simply a small section.
of the united state populace. Yet what concerning Americans.
of Indian descent? Those stemming from the.
Indian subcontinent are one of the fastest growing ethnic.
teams in the United States, and they show up to.
mostly preserve their diet plans, with concerning the same.
percentage of vegetarians as in India– nearly 40%.

We understand in India itself,.
nonvegetarians (those who eat meat) are at substantially greater.
danger of fatty liver disease. In Taiwan, you see the exact same thing:.
vegetarians at dramatically lower risk. And also the vegetarians.
who were impacted had considerably less liver scarring. Their data suggests that.
replacing a solitary serving of soy with a serving of meat or.
fish was connected with 12% to 13% boosted threat.
of fatty liver disease. But what about below.
in the United States? Consuming vegetarian was.
connected with being slimmer, having better blood sugars,.
much better cholesterol, and much less than half the.
probabilities of fatty liver disease. You do not recognize if it’s.
cause-and-effect, though, till you … put it to the test. In an initiative to turn around.
a fatty liver patient’s inflammatory digestive tract condition.
with a plant-based diet regimen, liver swelling was.
dramatically enhanced. But, he additionally shed about 9 extra pounds in the initial 11 days.
many thanks to consuming healthy and balanced; so, it’s hard to tease out.
the certain diet results. As a matter of fact, you need to be.
cautious regarding quick fat burning, due to the fact that all that extra fat.
being damaged down can flood right into the blood stream and.
in some cases make things worse.So, for fatty liver disease. people, losing like
3 pounds a week might be more secure. Despite the fact that plant-based diet regimens. have yet to be correctly be tested in a. randomized scientific trial
for fatty liver illness, I. would submit that they are still the ideal diet for fatty liver disease. Not based on a single case record, however based on the fact. that cardiovascular condition is one of the most
common cause. of fatality among people with fatty liver disease( not liver failing). And we do have actually randomized. regulated trials proving that a healthy plant-based. diet and way of living program can reverse heart illness, opening. up arteries without medicines, without surgical procedure, without stents. Yes, patients with fatty liver. disease and fatty hepatitis may without a doubt eventually create. cirrhosis of the liver, however just if they do not die of.
cardiovascular illness first.

As found on YouTube

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