Dr Gregers Traffic Light System
In order to eat in the healthiest way, one should maximise green-light foods, minimise yellow-light foods and avoid red-light foods.
- Green-light unprocessed plant foods.
- Yellow-light processed plant foods and unprocessed animal foods.
- Red-light ultra-processed plant foods and processed animal foods.
Unprocessed foods have nothing bad added and nothing good taken away from them. For example, tomato juice is a green light food, but add salt to it and it becomes yellow-light food. Almonds are unprocessed, but almond milk on the other hand is not, because all the fibre has been removed.
Ultra-processed plant foods bear no redeeming nutritional qualities or resemblance to anything that grew out of the ground and often contain added rubbish.
Now stop for a minute and think what your daily diet mostly consists of. Is it mainly whole food plant-based unprocessed foods or maybe theres too much of the food items that belong to yellow-light as well as red-light and consequently into processed and ultra-processed food categories?
Asthma And Animal Foods
In discussing how not to die from lung diseases, Greger offers a litany of references showing that plant-based diets are the best way to breathe easy , while animal products are the best way to breathe wheezy.
But do his citations support the claim that foods are only lung-helpful if they photosynthesize? Summarizing a population study spanning 56 different countries, Greger states that adolescents consuming local diets with more starchy foods, grains, vegetables, and nuts were significantly less likely to exhibit chronic symptoms of wheezing, allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, and allergic eczema .
Thats technically accurate, but the study also found an association less amenable to the plant-based cause: total seafood, fresh fish, and frozen fish were inversely associated with all three conditions. For severe wheezing, fish consumption was significantly protective.
Describing another study of asthmatics in Taiwan, Greger relays an association that popped up between eggs and childhood asthma attacks, wheezing, shortness of breath, and exercise-induced coughing . While not untrue , the study also found that seafood was negatively associated with official asthma diagnosis and dyspnea, AKA shortness of breath. In fact, seafood topped all other foods measured including soy, fruit, and vegetables in protecting against both diagnosed and suspected asthma.
Meanwhile, vegetables a fibrous star of the previous study didnt appear helpful on any account.
Research Supports A Whole
When it comes to what to eat to lose weight, one way of eating shines through all the research.
Indeed, we have experimental confirmation: A whole-food, plant-based diet was found to be the single most effective weight-loss intervention ever published in the medical literature, Dr. Greger says. proven in a randomized controlled trial with no portion control, no calorie counting, no exercise component: the most effective ever.
Unsure what that looks like? He elaborates: We should eat real food that grows out of the ground, natural foods that come from fields, not factories, gardens, not garbage, a diet centered around whole plant foodsand it is completely within our control to do so.
In his book, Dr. Greger reports seventeen key factors that encourage weight loss and how a whole-food, plant-based diet perfectly supports these guidelines.
The foods we eat and, in fact, our meals and entire dietary patterns should be anti-inflammatory, clean from industrial pollutants, high in fiber and water, and low in high glycemic and addictive foods, added fat and sugar, calorie density, meat, refined grains, and salt. They should also be low insulin index, friendly to our friendly flora, particularly satiating, and rich in fruits and vegetables, as well as legumes.
Read Also: What Is The Best Diet Pill To Curb Appetite
A Calorie Is Not Just A Calorie
In medical school, we were taught that a calorie from one source is just as fattening as a calorie from any other source, Dr. Greger recalls. Biochemically, a calorie is a calorie, but in real life, far from it.
For example, he shares, one hundred calories of chickpeas impacts the body differently than 100 calories of chicken, or 100 calories of chiclets, for that matter. Why? Because these foods are all made up of very different things. Different ingredients have different effects on absorption, appetite, our microbiomes, and more.
Different foods rev up or down your appetite. And its not what you eat, but what you absorb, Dr. Greger shares. Fiber, for example, in whole intact plant foods can trap calories and flush them out the other end. But more on that later
Even if you eat and absorb the same number of calories, a calorie may still not be a calorie, he continues. The same number of calories eaten at a different time of the day or after different amounts of sleep can translate into different amounts of body fat. Even the exact same foods eaten differently can have different effects. So, its not only what we eat but also how and when.
Predicting The Future Of Medicine
Back in 1903, Thomas Edison predicted that the doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will instruct his patient in the care of human frame in diet and in the cause and prevention of diseases.12 Sadly, all it takes is a few minutes watching pharmaceutical ads on television imploring viewers to ask you doctor about this or that drug to know that Edisons prediction hasnt come true.
A study of thousands of patient visits found that the average length of time primary-care doctors spend talking about nutrition is about 10 seconds.13
But hey, this is the twenty-first century! Cant we eat whatever we want and simply take meds when we begin having health problems? For too many patients and even my physician colleagues, this seems to be the prevailing mindset. Global spending for prescription drugs is surpassing $1 trillion annually, with the United States accounting for about one-third of this market.14
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
How Not To Die By Dr Michael Greger: The Intro
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.
Most deaths in the United States are preventable, and they are related to what we eat. Our diet is the number-one cause of premature death and the number-one cause of disability.
What Is Preventative Medicine
In public health school, students learn that there are three levels of preventive medicine. The first is primary prevention, as in trying to prevent people at risk for heart disease from suffering their first heart attack. An example of this level of preventive medicine would be your doctor prescribing you a statin drug for high cholesterol.
Secondary prevention takes place when you already have the disease and are trying to prevent it from becoming worse, like having a second heart attack. To do this, your doctor may add an aspirin or other drugs to your regimen.
At the third level of preventive medicine, the focus is on helping people manage long-term health problems, so your doctor, for example, might prescribe a cardiac rehabilitation program that aims to prevent further physical deterioration and pain.23
In 2000, a fourth level was proposed. What could this new quaternary prevention be? Reduce the complications from all the drugs and surgery from the first three levels.24
But people seem to forget about the fifth concept, termed primordial prevention, that was first introduced by the World Health Organization back in 1978. Decades later, its finally being embraced by the American Heart Association.25
Also Check: Risks Of The Keto Diet
Strategies To Boost Your Weight Loss
Many diets fail because of motivation and accountability. While this book offers loads of great suggestions about what foods we should be eating, and how we should be eating them, it also offers advice on how to optimize weight loss.
It’s easy to stick to the basics, but we often lose momentum over time, especially if we’re at the stage where we’re trying to shed the stubborn fat that’s leftover. So Dr. Greger provides some additional hacks that may help to make our weight loss journey that much easier.
Soy And Breast Cancer
When it comes to soy, the dream of the 90s is alive in How Not to Die. Greger resurrects a long-retired argument that this former superfood is kryptonite for breast cancer.
Explaining soys purported magic, Greger points to its high concentration of isoflavones a class of phytoestrogens that interact with estrogen receptors throughout the body .
Along with blocking more powerful human estrogen within breast tissue , Greger proposes that soy isoflavones can reactivate our cancer-suppressing BRCA genes, which play a role in repairing DNA and preventing the metastatic spread of tumors .
To make the case for soy, Greger provides several references suggesting this humble legume not only protects against breast cancer, but also boosts survival and reduces recurrence in women who go gung-soy-ho in the wake of their diagnosis .
The problem? These citations are hardly representative of soys larger body of literature and nowhere does Greger disclose how controversial, polarized, and case-not-closed the soy story is .
For example, to support his statement that soy seems to lower breast cancer risk, Greger cites a review of 11 observational studies looking exclusively at Japanese women .
While the researchers did conclude that soy possibly decreases the risk of breast cancer in Japan, their wording was necessarily cautious: the protective effect was suggested in some but not all studies and was limited to certain food items or subgroups .
Read Also: Best Diet Pills To Buy
How Not To Diet With Dr Michael Greger
Diets dont work by definition, he explains, simply. Going on a diet implies that, at some point, you will go off the diet. Short-term fixes are no match for long-term problems. Lifelong weight control requires lifelong lifestyle changes.
But for many of us, sorting out which changes to make can be an exhausting endeavor.
Thats where How Not to Diet comes in. Dr. Gregers new book doesnt just look at the research. It researches the research. It meticulously evaluates the data and comes to its own conclusions by doing what virtually no one else bothers to do: cross-examining and citing the results from almost five thousand different studies. Only then does he definitively say how we should eat for optimum health.
For a taste, here are our five biggest takeaways from reading How Not to Diet with insights from Dr. Michael Greger, himself.
Michael Greger / The How Not To Diet Cookbook9781529059243
Seller:buchblitz-versand99.9%, Location:Bergisch Gladbach, DE, Ships to: WORLDWIDE, Item:353975809092Michael Greger / The How Not to Diet Cookbook9781529059243. Dr Greger also proudly serves as the Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at the Humane Society of the United States. The How Not to Diet Cookbook is for anyone looking to improve their quality of life – whether you want to lose weight or not.Condition:Brand new, Verlag:Pan Macmillan, Autor:Michael Greger, Seiten:233, Gewicht:764, Einband:Taschenbuch, Format:228x187x20 mm, Sprache:Englisch, Pan Macmillan, Fachbereich:Hardcover/Ratgeber/Essen, Trinken/Gesunde Küche, Schlanke Küche, Publikationstitel:The How Not to Diet Cookbook, Erscheinungsjahr:Dez 2021, Produktart:Bücher, Buchtitel:The How Not to Diet Cookbook, Film-/Fernseh-Titel:Keine Angabe, Publikationsname:The How Not to Diet Cookbook, ISBN:9781529059243 See More
- Popularity – 0 watching, 30 days on eBay. 0 sold, 10 available. More
Read Also: Diet For Flat Stomach And Big Booty
The Ultimate Diet Shortcut
Dr. Greger says going plant-based is the ultimate diet shortcut since you dont have to learn complicated rules or slave over a food log. Just eat whole plants until youre satisfied. Thats it. Want to make it easier still? The internet is buzzing with ideas that make plant-based eating ultra convenient . For example, I make big pots of steel-cut oats with cinnamon to reheat and enjoy with apple slices all week, says Dr. Greger devotee Rondi Neuven, an Alberta grandmother, 49, down 213 pounds.
You can also batch cook ingredients like baked potatoes, beans and brown rice to have on hand for throw-together meals. Bean-based pasta tastes great and cooks faster than regular pastajust top with sauce and add a side salad. Smoothies and dark chocolate are quick, tasty desserts. The possibilities are literally endless, says the doc. And the results are often quite extraordinary.
How Not To Diet With Michael Greger Md: Pyp 362
Michael Greger’s latest book, How Not to Diet, is just stunning.
It’s a love song to science: its potential, its process, even its limitations.
There has never been a more comprehensive, accessible, and evidence-based look at our current knowledge of how to get to and maintain a healthy weight.
With almost 5000 citations, all easily clickable from the NutritionFacts.org website, there’s none of the smoke and mirrors, intentional obfuscation, or sloppy interpretation that plagues most diet books.
In fact, Greger writes in the preface: Here’s the problem: I hate diet books. Furthermore, I hate diet books that purport to hate diet books, yet relish in all the same absurdities. This book is for those who want facts, not filler, fantasy, or fluff.
Dr. Michael Greger, welcome back to the Plant Yourself podcast.
Thank you so much. Happy to be back.
I thought you wrote a book, but you actually wrote a 4-year course in science and nutrition. I have to admit, I’m not quite done. I gave myself a week and I kept going down the rabbit hole of all your citations. This is a remarkable book.
How Not to Diet: only four thousand nine hundred ninety citations.
I don’t know what the problem is. You guys really slacked off. You could have made the 5K mark.
Well, it’s not about numbers. It’s about quality.
Right. You have this wonderful line that at M.D. before after your name is an anti-credential for a diet.
What? What else? What other weird?
Thank you. You too, Dr. Greger. A pleasure.
The Most Important Decision We Make Is What We Put In Our Mouths
Michael Greger, MD
Audio Note: This podcast was recorded remotely. My first since the earliest days of the podcast, I admit a severe allergy to this dynamic. Being physically present with my guest is crucial to providing an optimal listening experience. However, sequestration demands I adapt. So this is my fairly reluctant attempt to do just that. Therefore, please excuse the audio quality, a somewhat eroded version of what youve come to expect. Sub-par bandwidth and latency issues impeded our ability to converse as naturally as I would have preferred more staccato back and forth than my hallmark organic flow.
Zach has a knack for landing our podcasts with unmatched profundity. And today he delivers a master class in thinking both deeply and broadly about this unique situation we are collectively experiencing.
I love this man. Im grateful for his wisdom. And Im proud to share it with you today.
May you find it equal parts instructive, enlightening and moving especially the end.
Peace + Plants,
How This Married Couple Lost 300 Pounds Combined
Some plants also have particular nutrients including cancer-fighting compounds that arent found anywhere else, so Gregers checklist includes many of those super foods.
The list is the minimum people should eat, but it can easily become the limit, Greger said. Theres just only so much room in your stomach and some of these foods are just so filling that the hope is if you really try to follow this, theres just no room for junk, he noted.
Heres his Daily Dozen checklist:
That includes all sorts of beans like lentils, black-eyed peas, navy beans, chickpeas and so on. Beans are a powerhouse of good stuff they contain fiber, protein and iron and help you feel full.
Sample serving sizes:
- ¼ cup of hummus or bean dip
- ½ cup cooked beans, tofu or tempeh
- 1 cup of fresh peas
Recommended Reading: What Is A Good Carb Diet
Even Small Tweaks Daily Can Make A Difference
While adopting a whole-food, plant-based diet as a baseline should offer results alone, in his book, Dr. Greger also offers twenty-one tweaks you can incorporate into your daily routine to support additional weight loss.
Here are the top three tweaks Dr. Greger suggests prioritizing:
- Drink two cups of cold water before each meal to help boost your metabolism.
- Preload before meals with negative calorie foods. This includes an apple, light green soup, or salad, containing fewer than one hundred calories per cup. Doing so will satiate you before the main course, decreasing the likelihood of overindulging in higher-calorie foods.
- Fast after 7:00 PM. The fewer calories after sundown, the better, Dr. Greger affirms.
For more weight loss insights, look for How Not to Diet at a bookstore near you or find more of Dr. Gregers research and writing at NutritionFacts.org. You can also easily access his twenty-one tweaks and suggested daily servings for a whole food, plant-based diet on his very helpful Daily Dozen app.
Cooked Meat And Carcinogens
Meat and heat make a flavorful duo, but as Greger points out, high-temperature cooking poses some unique risks for animal foods.
In particular, he cites what the Harvard Health Letter called a meat-preparation paradox: Cooking meat thoroughly reduces the risk of contracting foodborne infections, but cooking meat too thoroughly may increase the risk of foodborne carcinogens .
A number of these foodborne carcinogens exist, but the ones exclusive to animal foods are called heterocyclic amines .
HCAs form when muscle meat whether from creatures of the land, the sea, or the sky is exposed to high temperatures, roughly 125-300 degrees C or 275-572 degrees F. Because a critical component of HCA development, creatine, is found only in muscle tissue, even the most woefully overcooked veggies wont form HCAs .
As Greger explains, HCAs were quite whimsically discovered in 1939 by a researcher who gave mice breast cancer by painting their heads with extracts of roasted horse muscle .
In the decades since, HCAs have proven to be a legitimate hazard for omnivores who like their meat high up on the done spectrum.
And the link is far from just observational. PhIP, a well-studied type of HCA, has been shown to spur breast cancer growth almost as potently as estrogen while also acting as a complete carcinogen that can initiate, promote, and spread cancer within the body (
You May Like: Is Atkins Diet Gluten Free