Diet Resources


Latest update: 29/04/2019

Compiled by

Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin

(Caoimhghin Ó Croidheáin is an Irish artist, lecturer and writer. His artwork consists of socio-political paintings based on people involved in many different kinds of struggle around the world. See: http://gaelart.net/)


What Is a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

By Alona Pulde, MD and Matthew Lederman, MD

A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, and legumes; and it excludes meat (including chicken and fish), dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil.

We know that’s a mouthful! Rest assured, though, that you’ll be eating in a way that people have thrived on for thousands of years. We believe that you will find—as we do—that the diet and foods are very tasty and satisfying. Following are the food categories from which you’ll eat, along with a few examples from each. These include the ingredients you’ll be using to make familiar dishes, such as pizza, mashed potatoes, lasagna, and burritos:

Fruit: mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.
Vegetables: lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.
Tubers and starchy vegetables: potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.
Whole grains: millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.
Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannelloni beans, black beans, etc.






Why eat a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet?

Personal Health
T. Colin Campbell's book, The China Study, examines the relationship between the consumption of animal products (including dairy) and chronic illnesses such as coronary heart disease, diabetes, and cancers of the breast, prostate and bowel. The authors conclude that people who eat a whole-food, plant-based/vegan diet—avoiding all animal products, including beef, pork, poultry, fish, eggs, cheese and milk, and reducing their intake of processed foods and refined carbohydrates—will escape, reduce or reverse the development of numerous diseases. They write that "eating foods that contain any cholesterol above 0 mg is unhealthy."

The China Study
is the largest comprehensive study of human nutrition ever conducted. It was launched via a partnership between Cornell University, Oxford University, and the Chinese Academy of Preventative Medicine. The study they created included 367 variables, 65 counties in China, and 6,500 adults (who completed questionnaires, blood tests, etc.). “When we were done, we had more than 8,000 statistically significant associations between lifestyle, diet, and disease variables.” “People who ate the most animal-based foods got the most chronic disease. People who ate the most plant-based foods were the healthiest.”

T. Colin Campbell, PhD., grew up on a dairy farm, so he regularly enjoyed a wholesome glass of milk. Not anymore. In multiple, peer-reviewed animal studies, researchers discovered that they could actually turn the growth of cancer cells on and off by raising and lowering doses of casein, the main protein found in cow’s milk.

Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., a physician and researcher at the best cardiac center in the country, The Cleveland Clinic, treated 18 patients with established coronary disease with a whole foods, plant-based diet. Not only did the intervention stop the progression of the disease, but 70 percent of the patients saw an opening of their clogged arteries.






Global Health
Dr. Richard Oppenlander’s book Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work (Langdon Street Press, 2013) is a comprehensive exploration of the profound and far-reaching environmental effects of eating animal products. He makes the following points:

• 45 percent of the Earth’s landmass is now devoted to livestock.
• 51% of all GHG (greenhouse gasses) caused by livestock.
• 13% of all GHG caused by transport.
• 77% of the world’s coarse grain and 23% of all agricultural water used globally is given to livestock.
• 70 percent of all deforested land in the Amazon has gone toward creating land to raise cattle.
• Worldwide, 91 percent of all rainforest land deforested since 1970 is now used for grazing livestock, much of it for export from poorer nations to richer ones.
• About 70 billion terrestrial animals are killed each year for food (66 billion poultry and 3.4 billion mammals).
about 80 billion farmed fish killed each year
• Between 50 and 75 percent of the water withdrawn from the world’s largest aquifers is attributed to livestock and the crops grown to feed them.
• Depletion of the oceans is proceeding at a breakneck pace, with fish populations in places like the Grand Banks and Georges Bank in the Atlantic now at barely one percent of their former numbers.
• Overfishing has also contributed mightily to the devastation of the world’s coral reefs.






Land Usage & Livestock Numbers in Ireland
(92% for cattle: pasture, hay and grass silage, and rough grazing)
The land area of Ireland is 6.9 million hectares, of which 4.5 million hectares is used for agriculture and a further 0.73mhectares for forestry.
81% of agricultural area is devoted to pasture, hay and grass silage (3.63million hectares),
11% to rough grazing (0.47millionhectares)
and 8% to crops, fruit & horticulture production (0.38million hectares).





Sample diet


-Muesli with Alpro Unsweetened Almond milk
-Banana, orange
-Tea with brown bread and jam [no low fat spreads or butter]
(Remember most Irish soda breads are made with 40% buttermilk)
Look for wholewheat breads made with water
-Coffee with Alpro Unsweetened Almond milk
The brown powder is chia and flax seeds ground in coffee grinder for Omega 3. One tablespoon with muesli.


-Cream of spinach Soup [no olive oil in prep]
-Blue Dragon whole-wheat noodles  with vegetables in sweet chilli sauce [no olive oil in

-Cooked applesauce with Alpro coconut ice cream

Cold beans, cold pasta, tinned corn, tomatoes, lettuce, chopped capsicums, etc.



No-oil Dressing
Mix together:

4 tablespoons fat-free dressing (e.g. Hellmann's Fat Free Vinaigrette)
2 tablespoons red or white wine vinegar
1 garlic clove chopped
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard (Maille Dijon Originale)
2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar


Apples stewed [with banana, raisins, allspice, cinnamon]
Baked banana in skins. Alpro yoghurt on top
Fresh fruit

Baked pineapple with cinnamon on top

Porridge [made with 50% Alpro Almond milk unsweetened and 50% water, raisins with cinnamon and
Alpro Almond milk on top]

Hummus [Chick peas, lemon, roasted
pepper, garlic, cumin, tahini (pour off the oil)] with pitta bread or crackers.


B12 and Vitamin D





Recipe sites

These sites cover recipes-


and details of the diet-




Not so th’ Golden Age, who fed on fruit,
Nor durst with bloody meals their mouths pollute.
Then birds in airy space might safely move,
And tim’rous hares on heaths securely rove:
Nor needed fish the guileful hooks to fear,
For all was peaceful; and that peace sincere.
Whoever was the wretch, (and curs’d be he
That envy’d first our food’s simplicity!)
Th’ essay of bloody feasts on brutes began,
And after forg’d the sword to murder man.

— Ovid Metamorphoses Book 14

General food information

A list of Acid / Alkaline Forming Foods


Nutrition Data
Detailed nutrition information, plus unique analysis tools that tell you more about how foods affect your health and make it easier to choose healthy foods.



William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: Eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game. Talk by WIlliam Li.



Doctor in Dublin, Ireland:
Dr John Allman
Dr Allman takes over from Dr Kelly (who has retired, see:
Stop Feeding Your Cancer: One Doctor's Journey) in his belief in the beneficial effects of a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet.

Plant-Based Doctors Ireland
A team of Irish-based healthcare professionals who are passionate about spreading the knowledge of plant-based nutrition and its benefits within our communities. We believe a whole food plant-based diet can not only prevent but also reverse many chronic diseases. Our aim is to promote the benefits of a plant-based diet to other healthcare professionals, so that they can educate and empower their patients and offer real solutions to chronic diseases.

Reversing Heart Disease with Diet (Dr. Esselstyn's 1985 study)
By T. Colin Campbell, PhD
March 29, 1996

In 1985, when drugs were considered the treatment of choice for heart patients (as they mostly still are), Dr. Esselstyn embarked on a revolutionary course of action. [Dr. Esselstyn] asked not only whether heart attacks might be prevented by low-fat, plant-food diets, but whether this disease might actually be reversed. He enrolled 21 patients in his study between 1985 and 1988, a number similar to that in the Ornish experimental group. These patients were asked to consume on a regular basis a very low-fat, plant-food diet while maintaining their use of cholesterol-lowering drugs. A modest regimen of cholesterol-lowering drugs was believed necessary because these were at-risk patients and Dr. Esselstyn wanted to be sure to reduce their cholesterol levels below 150 mg/dL. Five patients dropped out of the study, 17 maintained the diet, and 11 of these had frequent cholesterol measurements and a follow-up angiogram. Average age of these 11 patients was 56 years.

All patients had severe, progressive triple-vessel coronary heart disease as documented by angiography. For most physicians, these would be considered very sick people. During the eight preceding years, despite having received “state-of-the-art” treatment, these 11 patients had experienced a total of 39 cardiovascular disorders. All were non-diabetic, had normal blood pressure, and did not smoke. With most patients completing a decade of follow-up examinations, disease progression was stopped in all those who kept to the diet. Significantly, disease did not just stop but was actually reversed in approximately 70% of those having follow-up angiograms. Angina was improved or eliminated in every patient who had experienced this problem. And get this: no new cardiac disorders or other evidence of disease progression occurred during the study, compared with 37 incidents prior to the study! Of the five patients who left the diet program and returned to their regular diet, there were 10 new cardiac incidents, including one death. Really extraordinary findings!

Blood cholesterol was measured every other week, resulting in a total of 126 times per patient (what record keeping!). At the beginning of the study, average total cholesterol was 246 mg/dL; at follow-up, the mean level dropped to 132 mg/dL (every patient was under 150 mg/dL). This is a remarkable 46% drop. The “bad” or LDL cholesterol dropped by 58%. These are unprecedented cholesterol reductions.






Industrial farming is one of the worst crimes in history
Yuval Noah Harari
25 Sep 2015
The fate of industrially farmed animals is one of the most pressing ethical questions of our time. Tens of billions of sentient beings, each with complex sensations and emotions, live and die on a production line. Animals are the main victims of history, and the treatment of domesticated animals in industrial farms is perhaps the worst crime in history. The march of human progress is strewn with dead animals. Even tens of thousands of years ago, our stone age ancestors were already responsible for a series of ecological disasters. When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.

Life lessons from the native tribe with the healthiest hearts in the world
By Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Chief Medical Correspondent
April 21, 2019
As far as diet goes, my expectation was that theirs would be a sort of "paleo" diet, with up to 65% of their calories from animal meat. Instead, I found nearly the opposite: The Tsimane get most of their calories from carbs. Foods such as plantains, cassava, rice and corn make up nearly 70% of their diet. This type of diet is born out of necessity in the Amazon, because farmed food is more certain, especially during a poor hunting season.

The Myth of High-Protein Diets By DEAN ORNISH MARCH 23, 2015
The debate is not as simple as low-fat versus low-carb. Research shows that animal protein may significantly increase the risk of premature mortality from all causes, among them cardiovascular disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Heavy consumption of saturated fat and trans fats may double the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.

The USDA Admits to Killing Over a Million Wild Animals Per Year to Protect Livestock
Wonder why wildlife is disappearing?

By Sara Burrows - Global Research, March 18, 2019
The government is killing cougars, bobcats, bears, wolves and coyotes to protect cows, pigs and chickens.




How Not To Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease
by Michael Greger (Author), Gene Stone (Author)

China Study, The: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health

by Colin Campbell (Author) Paperback – 1 Jun 2006

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure

by Caldwell B. Esselstyn (Author) Paperback – 31 Jan 2008

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook: Over 125 Delicious, Life-Changing, Plant-Based Recipes

by Ann Crile Esselstyn (Author), Jane Esselstyn (Author) Paperback – 22 Oct 2014

China Study All-Star Collection
by Colin T Campbell (Author), Jacobson (Author) Paperback – 22 May 2014

by Colin T Campbell (Author), Jacobson (Author) Paperback – 22 May 2014

The New Mcdougall Cookbook
by John A McDougall (Author)Paperback – 30 Jan 1997

The Mcdougall Quick & Easy Cookbook: Over 300 Delicious Low-Fat Recipes You Can Prepare in Fifteen Minutes or Less
by John A McDougall (Author), Mary A. McDougall (Author) Paperback – 29 Apr 1999

Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work
by Richard Oppenlander (Author) Hardcover – 19 Nov 2013

The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good!
by John McDougall (Author) Paperback – 29 Jul 2013

Stop Feeding Your Cancer: One Doctor's Journey

by John Kelly Paperback


Complete Idiot's Guide To Plant-Based Nutrition
(Complete Idiot's Guides (Lifestyle Paperback))
by Julieanna Hever (Author) Paperback – 2 Aug 2011

Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows: An Introduction to Carnism

by Melanie Joy (Author) Paperback – 5 Aug 2011
[see also http://www.carnism.org/]

Rethink Food: 100+ Doctors Can't Be Wrong

by Shushana Castle (Author), Amy-Lee Goodman (Author) Paperback – March 3, 2014

The Meaty Truth: Why Our Food Is Destroying Our Health and Environmentand Who Is Responsible Hardcover – 27 Nov 2014
by Shushana Castle (Author), Amy-Lee Goodman

Happy Herbivore Cookbook
by Lindsay Nixon (Author) Paperback – 17 Feb 2011

Happy Herbivore Light & Lean
by Lindsay S Nixon (Author) Paperback – 19 Dec 2013

Everyday Happy Herbivore
by Lindsay Nixon (Author) Paperback – 22 Dec 2011

Happy Herbivore Abroad: A Travelogue & over 135 Fat-free & Low-fat Vegan Recipes from Around the World
by Lindsay S. Nixon (Author) Paperback – 3 Jan 2013

The Food Revolution: How Your Diet Can Help Save Your Life and Our World

John Robbins (Author), Dean Ornish (Foreword)

Dr. Dean Ornish's Programme for Reversing Heart Disease Mass Market
by Dean Ornish (Author) Paperback – 6 Nov 1997

The Spectrum: A Scientifically Proven Program to Feel Better, Live Longer, Lose Weight, and Gain Health
by Dean Ornish (Author) Paperback – 30 Dec 2008

Power Foods for the Brain: An Effective 3-Step Plan to Protect Your Mind and Strengthen Your Memory
by Neal Barnard (Author) Paperback – 25 Feb 2014

Dr Neal Barnard's Get Healthy, Go Vegan Cookbook
by Dr Neal Barnard (Author) Paperback – 10 Jun 2010

Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System for Reversing Diabetes without Drugs
Neal D. Barnard (Author), Bryanna Clark Grogan (Author) [Kindle Edition]



Daniel 1:8-16

8 But Daniel resolved not to defile himself with the royal food and wine, and he asked the chief official for permission not to defile himself this way. 9 Now God had caused the official to show favor and compassion to Daniel, 10 but the official told Daniel, “I am afraid of my lord the king, who has assigned your food and drink. Why should he see you looking worse than the other young men your age? The king would then have my head because of you.”

11 Daniel then said to the guard whom the chief official had appointed over Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, 12 “Please test your servants for ten days: Give us nothing but vegetables to eat and water to drink. 13 Then compare our appearance with that of the young men who eat the royal food, and treat your servants in accordance with what you see.” 14 So he agreed to this and tested them for ten days.

15 At the end of the ten days they looked healthier and better nourished than any of the young men who ate the royal food. 16 So the guard took away their choice food and the wine they were to drink and gave them vegetables instead.



The Forks Over Knives Plan: How to Transition to the Life-Saving, Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
by Matt Lederman (Author) Hardcover – 16 Sep 2014

The Meaty Truth: Why Our Food is Destroying Our Health and Environment - and Who is Responsible
by Neal Barnard (Foreword), Shushana Castle (Author) Hardcover – 23 Oct 2014

Eat Like You Care: An Examination of the Morality of Eating Animals

by Gary L Francione (Author), Anna Charlton (Author) Paperback – 26 Sep 2013

Food Over Medicine: The Conversation That Could Save Your Life

by Pamela A. Popper (Author), Glen Merzer (Author), Del Sroufe (Contributor)  [Kindle Edition]

Solving America's Healthcare Crisis

by Pamela Popper (Author) [Kindle Edition]

The Low-Carb Fraud
by T. Colin Campbell (Author) [Kindle Edition]

No More Bull!: The Mad Cowboy Targets America's Worst Enemy: Our Diet
by Howard F. Lyman (Author), Glen Merzer (Author, Contributor), Joanna Samorow-Merzer (Author, Contributor), Caldwell B, Jr. Esselstyn (Foreword)

by Giulia Enders (Author) Paperback – 7 May 2015

The Nature of Crops: How We Came to Eat the Plants We Do
by John Warren (Author) Paperback – 24 Apr 2015

Holy Shit: Managing Manure to Save Mankind
by Gene Logsdon (Author), Brooke Budner (Illustrator) [Kindle Edition]

Eating Animals
by Jonathan Safran Foer (Author) [Kindle Edition]

Why We Should Go Vegan
by Magnus Vinding (Author) [Kindle Edition]

No Happy Cows: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the Food Revolution
by John Robbins (Author) Paperback – 15 Apr 2012

Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat  
by Howard Lyman (Author), Glen Merzer (Author) Hardcover – 27 Jul 1998

10% Human: How Your Body's Microbes Hold the Key to Health and Happiness
by Alanna Collen (Author)



Milton Mills, MD: Are Humans Designed to Eat Meat?



Newstalk radio podcast of panel discussion with Dr Kelly on China study -



Forks Over Knives (2011) 90 min
Through an examination of the careers of American physician Caldwell Esselstyn and professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell, Forks Over Knives suggests that "most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods."  It also provides an overview of the 20-year China–Cornell–Oxford Project that led to Professor Campbell's findings, outlined in his book, The China Study (2005) in which he suggests that coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer can be linked to the Western diet of processed and animal-based foods (including all dairy products).

Vegucated (2011) 76 min

Vegucated is a 2011 American documentary film that explores the challenges of converting to a vegan diet. It "follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks." The director interviewed a number of people to participate in this documentary and chose Brian, who likes to eat meat and eat out; Ellen, a psychiatrist, part-time comedian and single mother; and Tesla, a college student who lives with her family. In the film Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Professor T. Colin Campbell discuss the benefits of a plant-based diet consisting of whole foods. The film also features Howard Lyman and Stephen R. Kaufman. Kneel Cohn makes a cameo appearance.

Planeat (2010) 87 min
Planeat is a 2010 British documentary film by Or Shlomi and Shelley Lee Davies. The film discusses the possible nutritional and environmental benefits of adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet based on the research of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn and Gidon Eshel. The film also features the views of Peter Singer. According to Shelley Lee Davies, the film purposely does not cover any purported animal welfare arguments for adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet, but concentrates on the health and environmental reasons instead.

The Last Heart Attack (2013) 41 min
Dr Sanjay Gupta interviews Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, the world's leader in heart disease prevention and reversal. The evidence is clear. Listen to the professional who has nothing to gain other than saving your lives and making our earth a better place to live and love for all. Includes interviews with Bill Clinton who changed to a plant-based diet.

Atkins vs. China Study diet. Who won? You decide. (2013) 80 mins
(from uabnews) A debate examining a plant-based high carbohydrate/low protein diet versus a low carbohydrate/high protein diet for cancer prevention and overall health presented by the University of Alabama at Birmingham. https://vimeo.com/64139406
Atkins Diet vs. China Study — a debate by Bob Shepard March 08, 2013
In this corner, the author of “The China Study,” a bestselling book on nutrition which touts a plant-based, high carbohydrate/low protein diet for overall health and cancer prevention. In the other corner, co-author of “New Atkins for a New You,” an updated version of the high fat/low carb Atkins diet. The two square off at a public debate on the campus of the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) on Wednesday, March 27, 2013. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., wrote “The China Study” in 2005. A professor emeritus at Cornell University, Campbell was the director of the China-Oxford-Cornell study on diet and disease in the 1980s. The book chronicles his findings about diet and health from his career in basic science. While not calling himself a vegetarian or vegan, Campbell supports a whole-food, plant-based, low protein/low fat diet. Eric Westman, M.D., has conducted clinical trials regarding the Atkins diet, made famous by Robert Atkins in 1972. The Atkins diet, sometimes called the antithesis of the China Study, suggests that lower consumption of carbohydrate and higher consumption of fat leads to better cardiovascular health. Westman is a physician specializing in obesity medicine and associate professor of internal medicine at Duke University.

The Starch Solution - John McDougall MD (2010) 75 min
This truth is simple and is, therefore, easy to explain. You must eat to live. But the choice of what you eat is yours. There is an individual, specific diet that best supports the health, function, and longevity of each and every animal. The proper diet for human beings is based on starches. The more rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans you eat, the trimmer and healthier you will be -- and with those same food choices you will help save the Planet Earth too. This talk is by John McDougall MD from the VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2010.

Sustainability and Food Choice (2013) 85 min
Richard Oppenlander presents: Sustainability and Food Choice: Why Eating Local, "Less" Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work, at the March 2013 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend.

Comfortably Unaware Oppenlander (2012) 12 min
In this video, Dr. Richard Oppenlander tells his personal story about raising three children on a plant-based diet on a farm in Michigan which they converted into an animal sanctuary for abused and unwanted farmed animals. He also conveys the harsh ecological realities of continuing to consume animals... on our health, and on the planet.

Vegan 101 (
Julieanna Hever )
Posted on April 5, 2014
On my tv show, What Would Julieanna Do? on Veria, I had the opportunity to interview my *FANTASY* panel. On the same Vegan 101 episode, I was honored to speak with three of my heroes: Dr. Neal Barnard of Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, and Dr. Melanie Joy of Carnism Awareness & Action Network. I am finally able to share this, here, via the web, for those who do not have access to the tv network, with these videos:



Caldwell B. Esselstyn’s site and FAQs

Colin Campbell’s sites

John A McDougall site

Interview with Colin Campbell in the Irish Independent

Irish doctor John Kelly in the Howth/Sutton who has been advocating the diet to his patients for the last eight years and published a book about his results:






Table of Contents: (see articles below)

(1) Not a Fish Tale: Humans Are Ingesting Plastic Thanks to Ocean Pollution
By Dahr Jamail Global Research, December 15, 2018 Truthout 21 March 2016

(2) Omega-3’s and the Eskimo Fish Tale and The Eskimo Myth

By Michael Greger, M.D.

(3) Extreme Nutrition: The Diet of Eskimos*
By John McDougall, MD

(4) What Explains the French Paradox?
Why do heart attack rates appear lower than expected in France given their saturated fat and cholesterol intake? Is it their red wine, their vegetable consumption, or something else?
By Michael Greger, M.D.

(5) Is Fish a Health Food, or Have We Just Let It Off the Hook?
By Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD

(6) 7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat
By Michelle McMacken, MD

(7) 7 Ways Milk and Dairy Products Are Making You Sick
By Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD

(8) Fiber-Famished Gut Microbes Linked to Poor Health
While probiotics receive more attention, key fibers remain the workhorses in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome
By Katherine Harmon Courage on March 23, 2015

(9) The Plant Oils Debate

Why Not To Eat Fish ...
Fish, Anisakis, Omega 3 and Omega 6 ...


Not a Fish Tale: Humans Are Ingesting Plastic Thanks to Ocean Pollution

By Dahr Jamail

Of relevance to current developments, this article was first published by Truthout and posted on Global Research in March 2016

Humans generate more than 300 million tons of plastic annually — an amount equal to the combined body weight of the entire global adult human population — and nearly half of the plastic is only used one time before it is tossed away to eventually find its way to the oceans. So it should come as little surprise that by 2050, it is a virtual certainty that every seabird on the planet will have plastic in its stomach.

Recent estimates indicate that upwards of 8 million tons of plastic are added to the planet’s oceans every year, the equivalent of a dump truck full of plastic every minute. That is enough plastic to have led one scientist to estimate that people who consume average amounts of seafood are ingesting approximately 11,000 particles of plastic every year.

The earth’s oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050, according to a January report published by the World Economic Forum.

Experts with whom Truthout spoke on the topic confirmed that these trends are likely to continue. Biological oceanographer Dr. Debora Iglesias-Rodriguez, with the National Oceanography Centre at Britain’s University of Southampton, is very concerned about public indifference to the urgency of the situation.

“Marine pollution is a big issue,” Iglesias-Rodriguez told Truthout.

“There is this idea that oceans have unlimited inertia, but nanoparticles of plastic getting into marine animals and the food chain are affecting fish fertility rates, and this affects food security and coastal populations. Pollution is having a huge impact on the oceans and is urgent and needs to be dealt with.”

Photo: Plastic Bag via Shutterstock; Edited: LW / TO

“Unexpected Results”

In the North Pacific Ocean, there exists what has become known as the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch,” a phenomenon scientists know as the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre.

Miriam Goldstein, a researcher at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, warned Truthout that by adding massive amounts of plastic into the oceans, humans are causing large-scale change to the oceans’ entire ecological system.

Goldstein is the lead author of a study that revealed just how deeply into the oceanic ecosystem plastic has already embedded itself.

“We found eggs on the pieces of plastic, and these were sea skater [insect] eggs,” Goldstein said. “Sea skaters naturally occur in the gyre and are known to lay their eggs on floating objects. So we found that the amount of eggs being laid had increased with the amount of plastic.”

The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre’s eastern section, located between Hawai’i and California, is estimated to be about twice the size of Texas. According to Goldstein, this vast “garbage patch” contains an “alarming amount” of plastic garbage, the majority of which is comprised of very small-size pieces.

Goldstein’s study shows how the immense amount of plastic is creating consequences for animals across the marine food web.

Another Scripps study shows that nearly 10 percent of the fish collected during a trip to the gyre had plastic waste in their stomachs.

Published in Marine Ecology Progress Series, the aforementioned study (authored by Peter Davison and Rebecca Asch) estimates that fish at intermediate ocean depths in the North Pacific Ocean could be ingesting plastic at the staggering rate of 12,000 to 24,000 tons per year.

Yet plastic will not likely be going away anytime soon. The use of plastic bags around the world has increased by 20 times in the last 50 years. One-third of all plastic packaging then escapes collection systems, and a large percentage of that plastic eventually ends up in the oceans, according to the World Economic Forum report.

Only 5 percent of plastics are effectively recycled, and the production of plastics is expected to increase by at least 1.12 billion tons by 2050.

“Our work shows there could be potential effects to the ocean ecosystem that we can’t expect or predict,” Goldstein said.

“There are five subtropical gyres, one in each ocean basin, and they are natural currents. They are vast areas of the oceans; together they comprise the majority of the area of the oceans. So altering them on a large scale could have unexpected results on all kinds of things.”

Ocean 3.0?

The amount of plastic floating in the Pacific Gyre has increased 100-fold in the past four decades. Meanwhile, phytoplankton counts are dropping, overfishing is causing dramatic decreases in fish populations, decreasing ocean salinity is intensifying weather extremes, and warming oceans are speeding up melting in Greenland, the Arctic and in Antarctica.

One warning of humanity’s increasingly deleterious impact on the oceans comes from prominent marine biologist Jeremy Jackson of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. In an article published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Jackson emphasizes that, without profound and prompt changes in human behavior, we will cause a “mass extinction in the oceans with unknown ecological and evolutionary consequences.”

The statement might sound extreme, until one considers the extent to which we impact the oceans, whether we realize it or not. As science journalist Alanna Mitchell has written about the oceans:

“Every tear you cry … ends up back in the ocean system. Every third molecule of carbon dioxide you exhale is absorbed into the ocean. Every second breath you take comes from the oxygen produced by plankton.”

Dr. Wallace J. Nichols, a research associate at the California Academy of Sciences, told Truthout he finds plastic on every beach he visits across the globe, and added, “Probably every sea turtle on the planet interacts with plastic at some point in its life.”

Not only is Nichols intimately familiar with the pollution crisis plastic poses to the oceans, but also he is well acquainted with the oceanic destruction already underway due to anthropogenic climate disruption (ACD).

He describes sea turtles as a “poster species” for the impacts of ACD: He said their eggs

“are literally cooking on beaches now because the temperatures have moved out of the tolerable range.”

“You often see the polar bear used as the poster species for climate change, but I think sea turtles are just as good of a poster species because they are everywhere and they are already being impacted as the ocean warms,”

Nichols added.

In addition to ACD and plastic, he notes that we are introducing too much pollution into the oceans, and taking too much out of them by way of overfishing.

“We’re putting too much in, in all forms of pollution; we’re taking too much out by fishing, overfishing and bycatch; and we’re destroying the edge of the ocean, the places where there is the most biodiversity, reefs, mangroves, seagrass etc.,” he said. “Those are the three big buckets…. Almost every threat to the ocean falls into one of those. We need to put less in, take less out and protect the edges by making some of them off limits to human activity.”

Nichols is deeply concerned by the pace at which negative changes are occurring across the oceans. He said that every time scientists have attempted to predict future scenarios, the pace seems to only quicken.

According to Nichols, despite scientists’ ongoing attempts to adjust their models to keep up with the quickening of feedback loops and other issues, we are still unable to keep pace with the dramatic changes.

He believes “the clock in many ways has already run out,” due to the fact that we are still increasing our use of fossil fuels, while continuing to generate so much plastic and pollution. Nichols says he is frustrated by the fact that despite there being more conversation about these issues now than ever before, that dialogue is still not translating into societal change or evolution.

Truthout asked Nichols if he sees the future becoming worse for the oceans.

“We’re living in it now, from a climate change/fisheries/pollution/habitat destruction point of view, our nightmare is here; it’s the world we live in,” he said. “You see it everywhere now, the collapsing fisheries, the changes in the Arctic and the hardships communities that live there are having to face, the frequency and intensity of storms — everything we imagined 40 years ago when the environmental movement was born, we’re dealing with those now.”

Nichols concluded by describing three possible oceans. Ocean 1.0 is the pristine natural ocean, while Ocean 2.0 is the ocean we have now, which is a result of having, as he described it, lived under “the petroleum product regime.”

“Ocean 3.0 is the future ocean, and it can either be a dead ocean, or we can really come up with some very innovative solutions that right now people aren’t even talking about,” he said.

To Nichols, a positive vision of Ocean 3.0 would entail new ways of getting food from the ocean that don’t involve long lines and bottom trawling, both extremely destructive ways to fish commercially.

It would involve a whole new way of thinking about our packaging and a zero-waste approach to consumer goods, which, he believes, is all possible — if we can muster the political and personal motivation.

“We could have a healthy ocean in 50 years if we make some bold moves,” he said. Those moves would need to include “a cleaner, more responsible set of actions for how we get energy from the ocean and how we use them as a source of food.”

Without those actions happening en masse, Nichols fears we are headed for the “dead ocean” version of our future.

“The dire predictions — they are already here in many, many ways,” he said.

Can ingested plastic particles from fish get into our bloodstream?



Omega-3’s and the Eskimo Fish Tale

By Michael Greger, M.D.



“The Eskimo Myth”

As I reviewed in my video Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?, the revelation that fish oil appears useless in preventing heart disease—in both heart patients and those trying to prevent heart disease in the first place—leads one to wonder how this whole fish tale began.

The common mythology is that in response to anecdotal reports of a low prevalence of coronary heart disease among the Eskimo, Danish researchers Bang and Dyerberg went there and confirmed a very low incidence of heart attack. The absence of coronary artery disease would be strange in a meat-based diet with hardly any fruits and vegetables—“in other words, a diet that violates all principles of balanced and heart-healthy nutrition.” This paradox was attributed to all the seal and whale blubber, which is extremely rich in omega-3 fish fat, and the rest is history.

There’s a problem, though. It isn’t true.

As I discuss in my video Omega-3s and the Eskimo Fish Tale, the fact is Bang and Dyerberg never examined the cardiovascular status of the Eskimo; they just accepted at face value this notion that coronary atherosclerosis is almost unknown among the Eskimo, a concept that has been disproven over and over starting back in the 1930s. In fact, going back more than a thousand years, we have frozen Eskimo mummies with atherosclerosis. From 500 years ago, a woman in her early 40s had atherosclerosis in her aorta and coronary arteries. And these aren’t just isolated cases. The totality of evidence from actual clinical investigations, autopsies, and imaging techniques is that they have the same plague of coronary artery disease that non-Eskimo populations have, and the Eskimo actually have twice the fatal stroke rate and don’t live particularly long.

“Considering the dismal health status of Eskimos, it is remarkable that instead of labelling their diet as dangerous to health,” they just accepted and echoed the myth, and tried to come up with a reason to explain the false premise. The Eskimo had such dismal health that the Westernization of their diets actually lowered their rates of ischemic heart disease. You know your diet’s bad when the arrival of Twinkies improves your health.

So, why do so many researchers to this day unquestioningly parrot the myth? “Publications still referring to Bang and Dyerberg’s nutritional studies as proof that Eskimos have low prevalence of [heart disease] represent either misinterpretation of the original findings or an example of confirmation bias,” which is when people cherry-pick or slant information to confirm their preconceived notions. As the great scientist Francis Bacon put it: “Man prefers to believe what he prefers to be true.” So, we get literally thousands of articles on the alleged benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, a billion-dollar industry selling fish oil capsules, and millions of Americans taking the stuff—all based on a hypothesis that was questionable from the very beginning.

What’s this about no benefit for fish oil consumption and heart disease? See my video Is Fish Oil Just Snake Oil?.

What about fish oil for mood disorders? See Fish Consumption and Suicide. Is Fish “Brain Food” for Older Adults? Should Vegans Take DHA to Preserve Brain Function? Consumption of long-chain omega-3s (EPA and DHA) may be useful for forming and maintaining brain health, but there’s a struggle between Mercury vs. Omega-3s for Brain Development when coming from fish or fish oil, thanks to how polluted our oceans have become. In fact, this is the case even in “distilled” fish oil; see Fish Oil in Troubled Waters for more. The marine pollutants may explain the relationship between Fish and Diabetes and ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease): Fishing for Answers. Thankfully, there are now pollutant-free (yeast- and microalgae-derived) sources.

In health,
Michael Greger, M.D.



Extreme Nutrition: The Diet of Eskimos*

The carnivorous diet of traditional Eskimo inhabitants of the frozen, northern, circumpolar regions of planet Earth (Siberia, Alaska, Canada, and Greenland), serves as a testament to the strengths and adaptability of the human species. The foods consumed by these hardy people are in “polar” opposition to those recommended by me (the McDougall Diet of starches, vegetables, and fruits): a carnivore vs. an herbivore diet. Unfortunately, misinformation surrounding the all-meat diet of the Eskimo has promoted dangerous eating habits to the modern-day general public.
For more than 6,000 years, natives of the frozen North have lived with almost no contact with the rest of the world. Not until the mid-1800s were reliable records made of their daily lives, their diets, and their health. Early reports describe these people as looking beautiful and athletic when they were young, but then they aged quickly, and “men and women who appeared to be 60 or over were rare.”
Rumors have since circulated that traditional Eskimos have lived free of heart disease, cancer, and most other chronic diseases affecting western civilizations these days. Research published in the mid-1970s tried to explain this “Eskimo paradox” of living healthy with very few plant foods, on a high-fat, high-cholesterol, no-dietary-fiber diet. The omega-3 fish fats were noted as the miracle ingredient providing protection. Dietetic and medical experts have uncritically accepted this theory in the face of libraries filled with incriminating evidence to the contrary. They tell patients to eat more fish, poultry, and even red meat—like the Eskimos – and plenty of fish oil – in order to stay healthy.

Pushing the Nutritional Envelope

Hunted animals, including birds, caribou, seals, walrus, polar bears, whales, and fish provided all the nutrition for the Eskimos for at least 10 months of the year. And in the summer season people gathered a few plant foods such as berries, grasses, tubers, roots, stems, and seaweeds. Frozen snow-covered lands were unfit for the cultivation of plants. Animal flesh was, by necessity, the only food available most of the time.
The fat, not the protein, from animal foods provided most of the 3,100 calories required daily for these active people. Plants are the primary source of all carbohydrates, including digestible sugars and non-digestible dietary fibers. Eating raw meat indirectly provided Eskimos with enough carbohydrates in the form of glycogen (found in the muscles and liver of animals) to meet their necessary nutrient requirements and keep them out of a starvation condition called ketosis. Muscle tissue contains almost no calcium, and as a result the daily intake was about 120 mg/day versus the 800 mg and more commonly recommended for good health. Plants (not people) synthesize Vitamin C, yet the Eskimo was able to avoid scurvy with the 30 mg of vitamin C consumed daily found in land and sea animals. Recommendations for vitamin C are 60 mg/day and higher daily. Low levels of sunlight, and preformed vitamin D from fish, met the “sunshine D vitamin” requirement for Eskimo health. By the grace of environmental design, Nature made sure there was just enough nutrition for the Eskimo to survive.


Percent of Calories from Macronutrients from Various Diets

Eskimo American McDougall Kempner
Fat 50 40 8 5
Protein 35 20 12 5
Carbs 15 40 80 90
The McDougall Diet offers an ideal nutritional balance for the prevention of and long-term recovery from diseases caused by the American Diet. The Kempner Diet of rice and fruit takes diet-therapy one step further by allowing even greater recovery to bodies that have been burdened by excess protein and fat.

There Is No Eskimo Paradox

The human being is designed to thrive on a diet of starches, vegetables and fruits. The Eskimo experience serves as a testament to the miraculous strengths and adaptability of our bodies. We can survive on raw and cooked meat, but we thrive on starches, vegetables and fruits. These hardy people survived living at the edge of the nutritional envelope, but not in good health. Here are some of the health costs they paid:
  • Eskimos Suffer from Atherosclerosis
Claims that Eskimos were free of heart (artery) disease are untrue. A thorough review of the evidence concludes that “Eskimos have a similar prevalence of CAD (coronary artery disease) as non-Eskimo populations, they have excessive mortality due to cerebrovascular strokes, their overall mortality is twice as high as that of non-Eskimo populations, and their life expectancy is approximately 10 years shorter than the Danish population.”
Mummified remains of Eskimos dating back 2,000 years have shown extensive hardening of the arteries throughout their brains, hearts and limbs; as a direct consequence of following a carnivorous diet of birds, caribou, seals, walrus, polar bears, whales, and fish. The June 1987 issue of National Geographic magazine carried an article about two Eskimo women, one in her twenties and the other in her forties, frozen for five centuries in a tomb of ice. When discovered and medically examined they both showed signs of severe osteoporosis and also suffered extensive atherosclerosis, “probably the result of a heavy diet of whale and seal blubber.”
  • Eskimos Suffer from Severe Bone Loss
Their low-calcium diet and lack of sunshine (vitamin D) are only minor factors contributing to the extensive osteoporosis found in recent and ancient Eskimos. Alaskan Eskimos older than age 40 have been found to have a 10% to 15% greater deficit in bone mineral density compared to Caucasians in the US. This research published in 1974 on 107 elderly people concluded, “Aging bone loss, which occurs in many populations, has an earlier onset and greater intensity in the Eskimos. Nutritional factors of high protein, high nitrogen, high phosphorus, and low calcium intakes maybe implicated.”
Protein, and especially animal protein, consumed in excess of our needs places serious burdens on the body. The liver and kidneys work hard to process the excess protein and excrete its byproducts along with the urine. As a result of this extra work, Eskimos have been reported to have an enlarged liver while living on meat, and to produce larger than average volumes of urine in order to excrete the byproducts of protein metabolism. The bones also play a role in managing excess animal protein (acidic by nature) by neutralizing large amounts of dietary acids. In this process bone structure and bone mineral content are lost through the kidney system, depleting the bones into a condition called osteoporosis.
  • Parasite Infections
Diseases of animals are readily transmitted to humans when eaten. One example is trichinosis (an infection with the roundworm Trichinella spiralis), which is found in about 12% of older Eskimos; a result of eating raw and infected walrus, seal, and polar bear meat. In most cases this parasite infestation causes no symptoms, but illness and death can result.
  • Meat-derived Chemical Pollution
Since the 1970s the diet of the Eskimo has contained high levels of toxic, organic pollutants and heavy metals. These lipophilic chemicals are attracted to and concentrated in the fatty-tissues of land and sea animals. As a direct result of the traditional Eskimo diet (now contaminated by industry wastes), the bodies of these Arctic people contain the highest human concentrations of environmental chemicals found anywhere on Earth: “levels so extreme that the breast milk and tissues of some Greenlanders could be classified as hazardous waste.” Eskimo women have been found to have levels of PCBs in their breast milk five to ten times higher than women in southern Canada. These chemicals cause and promote many forms of cancer and cause brain diseases, including Parkinson’s disease.

Nutrition Has Gone Downhill for the Eskimo
The notion that consuming meat, fish, and fish oil will promote health and healing has captured the attention of the scientific community in large part because of the misinterpretation** of the Eskimo experience. But life has gotten worse for the Eskimo. Over the past 50 years their traditional diet has been further modified with the addition of western foods. Rather than using a hook, spear, or club to catch their meal, as in the past, people living in this part of the world use the “green lure” (the dollar bill) and catch their meals through an open car window at the local fast-food restaurant. Obesity, type-2 diabetes, tooth decay, and cancers of the breast, prostate, and colon have been added to the Eskimo’s traditional health problems of artery disease, bone loss, and infectious diseases.
People living in the frozen north these days have heated homes and drive around in comfortable SUVs. The challenging environment their ancestors barely survived through required a carnivorous diet. Those days of needing 3100 calories a day to counter the freezing cold and hunt for dinner are gone. The idea that current epidemics of obesity and sickness in these Northern people would be best fixed by returning to the old ways of carnivorous diet would not work unless they also returned to living in igloo homes and hunted their lands for every meal. Physicians and dietitians now caring for these people suffering from the western diet with the addition of too much traditional food (ancestral meat) should be prescribing a starch-based diet to help them lose excess weight and cure common dietary diseases.


*The term “Eskimo” comes from a Native American word that may have meant “eater of raw meat.” The word “Eskimo” has come to be considered offensive, especially in Canada. Many prefer the name “Inuit,” which means “the people” or “real people.” However, “Eskimo” is the term used in the scientific and historical literature and will be used here.
**Misinterpretation is easy to spread because:
1) People love to hear good news about their bad habits.
2) Nutritional “facts,” even when false and harmful, are used to sell meat, fish, and other foods.
3) The media loves headlines that sell their products, like “The Eskimo Diet proves Meat’s Good.”


Posted on October 5, 2015 in Wellness



What Explains the French Paradox?

Why do heart attack rates appear lower than expected in France given
their saturated fat and cholesterol intake? Is it their red wine,
their vegetable consumption, or something else?
By Michael Greger, M.D.




Is Fish a Health Food, or Have We Just Let It Off the Hook?
By Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD

Many people equate eating fish with doing something good for their health. This may be due to the illusion that fish swim in clean waters, or to the fact that they have a very different shape and form than the land animals we use for food. There even seems to be a deeply ingrained notion that aquatic animals are not part of the animal kingdom classification and that consuming fish is similar to—and just as beneficial as—consuming plant foods.

So, should we be eating fish to promote health?

Four Major Problems With Fish

1. Animal protein and IGF-1

Just like the proteins in dairy, eggs, and meat, the protein in fish also contains a higher proportion of essential amino acids, which results in our bodies producing increased levels of the hormone IGF-1 (insulin-like growth factor 1).[i] [ii] [iii]

IGF-1 stimulates cell division and growth, and it is associated with cancer proliferation and malignancy. The role of IGF-1 in cancer promotion is well understood, and animal protein, including fish, is associated with increased circulating levels of this hormone (and thereby with increased risk of cancer development).[iv] [v] [vi] [vii] [viii]

2. Cholesterol and saturated fat

While fish is frequently touted for its preformed long-chain omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA), it is important to note the following:

Although some fish contain a small (but nutritionally adequate) amount of these essential nutrients, most of the remaining fats in fish meat are saturated fats and cholesterol which (despite popular opinion to the contrary) are highly associated with cardiovascular disease.

For example, three ounces of bass has some 74 milligrams of cholesterol, about the same as the 75 milligrams of cholesterol found in a 3-ounce serving of beef.[ix]

Fish only contain omega-3 fatty acids because they get them from the plants they eat. Omega-3 is found in whole plants like nuts, seeds, beans, vegetables and fruits in adequate amounts.

As humans, we do not need to eat any cholesterol in our diets, as our bodies synthesize all the cholesterol we need for our physiologic functions. Eating cholesterol despite this fact can be problematic for our health, as it increases our risk of developing heart disease.

3. Contaminants and pollutants

Fish are very commonly the subject of health risk advisories, the majority of which are caused by contamination of their ocean habitat with heavy metals like mercury, industrial byproducts like dioxin and PBCs (polychlorinated biphenyls), and pesticides/insecticides like chlordane and DDT.[x]

A recent study sampled fish from around the world and found unsafe levels of mercury in up to 84 percent of them (and the situation promises to only get worse, as mercury emissions are continuing to increase on a global scale.[xi])

Mercury is a neurotoxic heavy metal that is difficult to eliminate from the body once ingested. It can cause a wide variety of neurologic disturbances and can inhibit normal cardiac physiology when it accumulates in the heart muscle.[xii] It also has the capacity to cross the placenta barrier in pregnant women and can cause central nervous system damage to a developing fetus.[xiii]

4. What fish doesn’t have

Another important factor to consider beyond the dangerous qualities of fish (animal protein, cholesterol, fat, and toxins), is what it lacks. Fish, like beef and other meats, is also missing fiber, beneficial carbohydrates, healthy phytochemicals, and macronutrients in the right proportions, which makes it a poor choice as a health-promoting food.
But Fish Is “Less Bad” Than Red Meat, Right?

In some respects, fish does appear to be less disadvantageous to health than some other animal foods. However a food doesn’t become a health food just because it may have less severe problems as compared with something else that’s even more harmful to our body. In terms of weight, diabetes risk, and other important health indicators, researchers find that fish eaters might do better than meat eaters as a group, but they don’t do nearly as well as plant-based eaters.
In Conclusion …

Consumption of fish should not be encouraged from a health perspective, given not only its unacceptable levels of mercury, dioxin, and PBCs (the toxicity of which is well established), but also the cholesterol and saturated fat content, and the inherent increased cancer risk associated with animal protein in general.

The ideal (or “gold standard”) diet from a health standpoint remains a whole-food, plant-based diet, which means eating vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, fruits, and seeds, while excluding animal food (like fish).

This is a fortuitous fact too, because plant-based foods are also generally far easier to produce, use less water, and generate a significantly lower environmental footprint than do animal foods. In contrast, the practice of obtaining animal foods (including fish) for human consumption devastates the environment on many different fronts, and is simply not sustainable at current and ever-growing demand levels.)

Sources: See:



7 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat
By Michelle McMacken, MD

People go plant-based for lots of reasons. These include losing weight, feeling more energetic, reducing the risk of heart disease, decreasing the number of pills they take … there are dozens of great reasons! For even more inspiration, check out these other benefits you can expect when you go plant-based.

1. You’ll reduce inflammation in your body.

If you are eating meat, cheese, and highly processed foods, chances are you have elevated levels of inflammation in your body. While short-term inflammation (such as after an injury) is normal and necessary, inflammation that lasts for months or years is not. Chronic inflammation has been linked to the development of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases, among other conditions.

In contrast, plant-based diets are naturally anti-inflammatory, because they are high in fiber, antioxidants, and other phytonutrients, and much lower in inflammatory triggers like saturated fat and endotoxins (toxins released from bacteria commonly found in animal foods). Studies have shown that people who adopt plant-based diets can dramatically lower their level of C-reactive protein (CRP), an indicator of inflammation in the body.

2. Your blood cholesterol levels will plummet.

Elevated blood cholesterol is a key risk factor for heart disease and strokes, two of the leading killers in the United States. Saturated fat—primarily found in meat, poultry, cheese, and other animal products—is a major driver of our blood cholesterol levels. Cholesterol in our food also plays a role.

Studies consistently show that when people go plant based, their blood cholesterol levels drop by up to 35% . In many cases, the decrease is equal to that seen with drug therapy—with many positive side effects! People who require cholesterol-lowering drugs can further slash their cholesterol levels and cardiovascular risk by adopting a plant-based diet.

Whole-food, plant-based diets reduce blood cholesterol because they tend to be very low in saturated fat and they contain zero cholesterol. Moreover, plant-based diets are high in fiber, which further reduces blood cholesterol levels. Soy has also been shown to play a role in lowering cholesterol, for those who choose to include it.

3. You’ll give your microbiome a makeover.

The trillions of microorganisms living in our bodies are collectively called the microbiome. Increasingly, these microorganisms are recognized as crucial to our overall health: not only do they help us digest our food, but they produce critical nutrients, train our immune systems, turn genes on and off, keep our gut tissue healthy, and help protect us from cancer. Studies have also shown they play a role in obesity, diabetes, atherosclerosis, autoimmune disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and liver disease.

Plant foods help shape a healthy intestinal microbiome. The fiber in plant foods promotes the growth of “friendly” bacteria in our guts. On the other hand, fiber-poor diets (such as those that are high in dairy, eggs, and meat) can foster the growth of disease-promoting bacteria. Landmark studies have shown that when omnivores eat choline or carnitine (found in meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, and dairy), gut bacteria make a substance that is converted by our liver to a toxic product called TMAO. TMAO leads to worsening cholesterol plaques in our blood vessels and escalates the risk of heart attack and stroke.

Interestingly, people eating plant-based diets make little or no TMAO after a meat-containing meal, because they have a totally different gut microbiome. It takes only a few days for our gut bacterial patterns to change – the benefits of a plant-based diet start quickly!

4. You’ll change how your genes work.

Scientists have made the remarkable discovery that environmental and lifestyle factors can turn genes on and off. For example, the antioxidants and other nutrients we eat in whole plant foods can change gene expression to optimize how our cells repair damaged DNA. Research has also shown that lifestyle changes, including a plant-based diet, can decrease the expression of cancer genes in men with low-risk prostate cancer. We’ve even seen that a plant-based diet, along with other lifestyle changes, can lengthen our telomeres—the caps at the end of our chromosomes that help keep our DNA stable. This might mean that our cells and tissues age more slowly, since shortened telomeres are associated with aging and earlier death.

5. You’ll dramatically reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

An estimated 38% of Americans have prediabetes—a precursor to type 2 diabetes. Animal protein, especially red and processed meat, has been shown in study after study to increase the risk of type 2 diabetes. In the Adventist population, omnivores have double the rate of diabetes compared with vegans, even accounting for differences in body weight. In fact, in this population, eating meat once a week or more over a 17-year period increased the risk of diabetes by 74%! Similarly, in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study and Nurses Health Study, increasing red meat intake by more than just half a serving per day was associated with a 48% increased risk in diabetes over 4 years.

Why would meat cause type 2 diabetes? Several reasons: animal fat, animal-based (heme) iron, and nitrate preservatives in meat have been found to damage pancreatic cells, worsen inflammation, cause weight gain, and impair the way our insulin functions.

You will dramatically lessen your chances of getting type 2 diabetes by leaving animal products off of your plate and eating a diet based in whole plant foods. This is especially true if you eat whole grains, which are highly protective against type 2 diabetes. You read that right: carbs actually protect you from diabetes! Also, a plant-based diet can improve or even reverse your diabetes if you’ve already been diagnosed.

6. You’ll get the right amount—and the right type—of protein.

The average omnivore in the US gets more than 1.5 times the optimal amount of protein, most of it from animal sources.

Contrary to popular perception, this excess protein does not make us stronger or leaner. Excess protein is stored as fat or turned into waste, and animal protein is a major cause of weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, inflammation, and cancer.

On the other hand, the protein found in whole plant foods protects us from many chronic diseases. There is no need to track protein intake or use protein supplements with plant-based diets; if you are meeting your daily calorie needs, you will get plenty of protein. The longest-lived people on Earth, those living in the “Blue Zones,” get about 10% of their calories from protein, compared with the US average of 15-20%.

7. You’ll make a huge impact on the health of our planet and its inhabitants.

Animal agriculture is extremely destructive to the planet. It is the single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and is a leading cause of land and water use, deforestation, wildlife destruction, and species extinction. About 2,000 gallons of water are needed to produce just one pound of beef in the U.S. Our oceans are rapidly becoming depleted of fish; by some estimates, oceans may be fishless by 2048. The current food system, based on meat and dairy production, also contributes to world hunger—the majority of crops grown worldwide go toward feeding livestock, not feeding people.

Equally important, animals raised for food are sentient beings who suffer, whether raised in industrial factory farms or in farms labeled “humane.” Eating a plant-based diet helps us lead a more compassionate life. After all, being healthy is not just about the food we eat; it’s also about our consciousness—our awareness of how our choices affect the planet and all of those with whom we share it.

See: http://www.forksoverknives.com/7-things-that-happen-when-you-stop-eating-meat/?mc_cid=b0aced7d81&mc_eid=9d42cd5239




7 Ways Milk and Dairy Products Are Making You Sick
By Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD

Today, Americans consume an enormous amount of dairy. The intake of the average American is estimated to be over 600 pounds of dairy products per year.[1]

Dairy foods (including cow’s milk) have not been part of the diet of adults for the vast majority of human evolution.[2] We’ve only been consuming these foods for about 7,500 years,[3] compared to the roughly 200,000 years humans have been around (with our basic biochemical functionality evolving still a few million years before that).[4]

Intensive and successful marketing by the dairy industry (including slogans like “Milk – It Does a Body Good” and “Got Milk”) have reinforced a broadly ingrained belief that dairy is good for our health. But is it, really?

Dairy has come under fire and scrutiny from nutritional experts, scientists and physicians for its associations with a number of serious health issues.

1. Even Organic Milk Usually Contains Hormones

Dairy is a significant source of female hormone exposure.[5] Commercial cow’s milk contains large amounts of estrogen and progesterone, which is a serious concern. This is further exacerbated by modern dairy cows being genetically altered to continuously produce milk – even throughout their repeated pregnancies.[5] [6]

Even milk products labeled “organic” or “no hormones added” usually contain high levels of these problematic hormones, which are naturally produced by cows (even if those cows have not been given any additional hormones for purposes of the product label).

In both adults and children, milk consumption has resulted in markedly increased levels of estradiol and progesterone in blood and urine,[6] and dairy consumption in general has been associated with increased levels of circulating estradiol.[7]

The data show that men who drink milk will absorb the estrogens in the milk, which has been found to result in significantly decreased testosterone production/levels.[6]

Pediatricians have expressed concern regarding childhood exposure to the exogenous estrogens in commercial milk, given studies showing that early sexual maturation in prepubescent children can be caused by the “ordinary intake of cow milk.”[6]

A broad array of multi-centered, peer-reviewed studies has shown that dairy consumption is one of the most concerning and consistent risk factors for hormone-dependent malignant diseases, including ovarian, uterine, breast, testicular and prostate cancers.[5-15]

Also, while there is a culturally popular idea that soy foods may cause feminizing effects, several studies have found that isoflavones (the plant-derived compounds in soybeans with estrogenic activity) do not exert feminizing effects on men, even at high consumption levels.[16] Other studies have found that soy food consumption is even protective against breast cancer.[17] [18] I think we should be far more concerned about the high levels of real female sex hormones found in dairy, the consumption of which results in measurably higher circulating levels of these problematic hormones.[5]

2. Casein From Dairy = Increased Risk of Cancer Development

Casein is the main protein in dairy, and studies have shown that it facilitates the growth and development of cancer. In fact, some studies even found that cancer development could be controlled more by casein levels in diet than by exposure to the underlying carcinogen.[19]

Insulin-like growth factor-1 (or IGF-1), a hormone that promotes cell growth and division in both normal and cancer cells, is thought to be one of the mechanisms responsible for this association. IGF-1 appears to be nutritionally regulated, and animal protein consumption (including casein from dairy foods) leads to higher circulating levels of this cancer-promoting hormone. For this reason, consuming casein from dairy (as well as animal protein in general) is associated with increased risk of cancer development and proliferation.[19-25]

3. Higher Risk of Type 1 Diabetes and Multiple Sclerosis

Our immune system normally protects us from microbes and other harmful substances. But if it loses its ability to recognize and distinguish harmful substances from normal tissues and cells, it can instead mount attacks against our own bodies.

These “auto-attacks” can be triggered by exposure to foreign peptides (including animal protein fragments found in dairy), which have similarities to components in the human body. This can result in our immune system becoming “confused” and misidentifying tissues in our body as “foreign” and thus in need of being attacked and destroyed.

Dairy is associated with increased risk of several immune-related disorders (from allergic conditions to autoimmune diseases), many being life-changing and difficult to treat. The associations with type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis are particularly concerning:

Type 1 Diabetes. In type 1 diabetes (also called juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (IDDM)), the immune system attacks the pancreas, resulting in the body no longer being able to produce insulin to regulate glucose. Multiple large-scale studies have identified an association between cow’s milk consumption and increased prevalence of type 1 diabetes.[26-30] One such study found that “cows’ milk may contain a triggering factor for the development of IDDM,”[26] and another found that “[e]arly cow’s milk exposure may be an important determinant of subsequent type 1 diabetes and may increase the risk approximately 1.5 times.”[27]

Multiple Sclerosis. In multiple sclerosis (MS), the immune system attacks the insulating sheath of our own nervous system, resulting in a variety of difficult-to-treat and unpredictable neurologic problems. As with type 1 diabetes, numerous studies have reported that cow’s milk consumption may be a significant risk factor for developing MS.[31] [32] [33]

4. Even Pasteurized Milk Contains Microorganisms

Milk and other dairy products are important vehicles for foodborne pathogens due to a variety of microorganisms they harbor.[34] Even with modern sanitation requirements, including pasteurization and curing, outbreaks still occur, resulting in severe and sometimes even fatal outcomes.

Salmonella, Listeria, and E. coli are some of the more common foodborne outbreaks associated with dairy.[35] Just last year, for example, three people tragically died from Listeria infections linked to Blue Bell Ice Cream (prompting a large-scale recall by Blue Bell Creameries).[36] [37]

Not even our food regulatory agencies expect milk will be sterile after pasteurization; the heating process is done merely to reduce (not eliminate) the amount of microorganisms.

5. Dairy Products Accumulate Pesticides in High Concentrations

Exposure to organochlorine pesticides (OCP) is another problem associated with dairy. While pesticide contamination affects water and agricultural lands generally, dairy products have a greater capacity to accumulate these pesticides in higher concentrations, due in part to their high fat content.[38] [39]

Even pesticides that have long been banned still show up when dairy products are tested. Some OCPs (like DDT, which was widely used in the past and now banned as a human carcinogen) still persist in the environment and can more easily accumulate in animal food products, including dairy.

In India, milk and other dairy products (like cheese and butter) have been reported as the major sources of dietary DDT and hexachlorocyclohexane (HCH),[40] and routine monitoring detected that milk from dairy farms in Italy’s Sacco River Valley had levels of ß-HCH twenty times higher than the legal limit.[41]

6. Increased Exposure to Antibiotic Residue

The largest use of antibiotics worldwide is for livestock.[42] Much of that use is for non-therapeutic purposes, such as infection prevention and to promote feed efficiency and animal growth.[43]

Apart from the dire warnings from scientists that agricultural overuse is leading to antibiotic resistance,[44] [45] another problem is that antibiotic residues persist in milk and other dairy products despite protocols aimed to minimize this.

It is difficult to prevent and control these antibiotic residues because milk from individual cows and farms is usually pooled together, and the administration, handling and record-keeping of animal drug use can vary significantly from one dairy operation to another.[46]

The resulting low-dose antibiotic exposure can lead to a variety of problems, from developing antibiotic resistance to allergic reactions to experiencing side-effects of the medication to which a person is exposed.

7. Dairy Can Lead to Bone Problems Too

This may come as a surprise to many, but dairy does not appear to be good for bone health, either.

Not only has the body of scientific evidence been found inadequate to support the idea that dairy consumption promotes bone health,[47] but numerous large-scale studies have found that consuming dairy may actually be detrimental to bone health.[48-51] In fact, there is substantial data linking higher milk intake with significantly increased risk of bone fractures.[48] [49] [50] [51]

There are several mechanisms thought to be responsible for the pathophysiology. One is dairy’s high calcium content, which can cause vitamin D dysregulation and therefore disrupt bone homeostasis. Another is that the high animal protein content of dairy can induce acidosis from its high proportion of sulfur-containing amino acids, which in turn leads to the body compensating by leaching calcium from the bones to help neutralize the increased acidity. Over time, all of this can have a detrimental effect on bone health.[49-60]

While several other factors, such as physical activity, can affect bone health, it’s significant to note that the U.S. has one of the highest rates of hip fractures in the world, despite our high milk intake. By contrast, in countries like Japan and Peru, where average daily calcium intake is as low as 300 milligrams per day (less than a third of the U.S. daily recommendation for adults), the incidence of bone fractures is actually quite low.[48] [49] [61]

Fortunately, calcium is abundant in plant foods, including leafy green vegetables, legumes and seeds, often with higher absorption rates than the calcium in dairy—and of course without all of dairy’s associated health problems.


Each mammalian species produces milk for its own babies, and the content of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and minerals is specific to provide optimum nutrition for a baby of that particular species. The milk from an elephant, tiger, sea lion and cow are each different from one another, and they are all different from human milk.

When we think about it, the health problems associated with consuming the milk and dairy products of other species should not come as any surprise. No other species consumes milk regularly past the weaning period and certainly not from another species – and, as mentioned above, we humans have also not being doing so for the vast majority of our own evolutionary history.

Fortunately, with plant milks, such as soy, almond and rice now available, as well as delicious plant-based versions of other dairy products, it’s never been easier or more convenient to completely avoid dairy.

See: http://www.forksoverknives.com/7-ways-milk-and-dairy-products-are-making-you-sick/?mc_cid=fdd5d0e8b3&mc_eid=9d42cd5239


Fiber-Famished Gut Microbes Linked to Poor Health

While probiotics receive more attention, key fibers remain the workhorses in maintaining a healthy gut microbiome

By Katherine Harmon Courage on March 23, 2015

KEYSTONE, Colo.—Your gut is the site of constant turf wars. Hundreds of bacterial species—along with fungi, archaea and viruses—do battle daily, competing for resources. Some companies advocate for consuming more probiotics, live beneficial bacteria, to improve microbial communities in our gut, but more and more research supports the idea that the most powerful approach might be to better feed the good bacteria we already harbor. Their meal of choice? Fiber.

Fiber has long been linked to better health, but new research shows how the gut microbiota might play a role in this pattern. One investigation discovered that adding more fiber to the diet can trigger a shift from a microbial profile linked to obesity to one correlated with a leaner physique. Another recent study shows that when microbes are starved of fiber, they can start to feed on the protective mucus lining of the gut, possibly triggering inflammation and disease.

"Diet is one of the most powerful tools we have for changing the microbiota," Justin Sonnenburg, a biologist at Stanford University, said earlier this month at a Keystone Symposia conference on the gut microbiome. "Dietary fiber and diversity of the microbiota complement each other for better health outcomes." In particular, beneficial microbes feast on fermentable fibers—which can come from various vegetables, whole grains and other foods—that resist digestion by human-made enzymes as they travel down the digestive tract. These fibers arrive in the large intestine relatively intact, ready to be devoured by our microbial multitudes. Microbes can extract the fiber's extra energy, nutrients, vitamins and other compounds for us. Short-chain fatty acids obtained from fiber are of particular interest, as they have been linked to improved immune function, decreased inflammation and protection against obesity.

Today's Western diet, however, is exceedingly fiber-poor by historical standards. It contains roughly 15 grams of fiber daily, Sonnenburg noted. For most of our early history as hunter-gatherers, we were likely eating close to 10 times that amount of fiber each day. "Imagine the effect that has on our microbiota over the course of our evolution," he said.

Your bugs are what you eat
Not all helpful fiber, however, needs to come from the roots and roughage for which our ancestors foraged, new research suggests. Kelly Swanson, a professor of comparative nutrition at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his team found that simply adding a fiber-enriched snack bar to subjects' daily diets could swing microbial profiles in a matter of weeks. In a small study of 21 healthy adults with average U.S. fiber intake, one daily fiber snack bar (containing 21 grams of fiber) for three weeks significantly increased the number of Bacteroidetes bacteria and decreased the number of Firmicutes compared with levels before the study or after three weeks of eating fiber-free bars. Such a ratio—of more Bacteroidetes to fewer Firmicutes—is correlated with lower BMI. The findings were published in the January issue of the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

"We've known forever that if you eat a lot of fiber, you lose weight," Swanson says. His and other recent studies suggest that our gut microbes are a key player in this relationship. In addition to identifying groups of bacteria, a genome scan revealed a shifting pattern of genes active in the gut microbes. As fiber consumption increased, the activity of genes associated with protein metabolism declined, a finding that researchers hope will help them understand the complicated puzzle of diet and weight loss. "We're getting closer to what is actually cause and effect," Swanson says.

Feed the microbes so they don't feed on you
As gut microbes are starved of fermentable fiber, some do die off. Others, however, are able to switch to another food source in the gut: the mucus lining that helps keep the gut wall intact and free from infection.

In a recent study presented at the Keystone meeting, Eric Martens of the University of Michigan Medical School, postdoctoral researcher Mahesh Desai and their colleagues found that this fuel switch had striking consequences in rodents. A group of mice fed a high-fiber diet had healthy gut lining, but for mice on a fiber-free diet, "the mucus layer becomes dramatically diminished," he explained at the meeting. This shift might sometimes have severe health consequences. Research by a Swedish team, published last year in the journal Gut, showed a link between bacteria penetrating the mucus layer and ulcerative colitis, a painful chronic bowel disease.

A third group of mice received high-fiber chow and fiber-free chow on alternating days—"like what we would do if we were being bad and eating McDonald's one day and eating our whole grains the next," Martens joked. Even the part-time high-fiber diet was not enough to keep guts healthy: these mice had a mucus layer about half the thickness of mice on the consistently high-fiber diet. If we can extend these results to humans, he said, it "tells us that even eating your whole fiber foods every other day is still not enough to protect you. You need to eat a high-fiber diet every day to keep a healthy gut." Along the same lines, Swanson's group found that the gut microbiomes of his adult subjects reverted back to initial profiles as soon as the high-fiber bars were discontinued.

Martens and his colleagues also observed that mice on the consistently high-fiber diet consumed fewer calories and were slimmer than those on the fiber-free diet, showing that fiber benefits the body in multiple ways. "Studies like this are great because it's getting at the mechanisms to explain why fiber is beneficial," Swanson says.

As all this work underscores, the gut microbiome is exceptionally plastic. Such rapid, diet-influenced changes likely served us well over the course of our evolutionary history—shifting faster than our own physiology could, wrote Justin Sonnenburg and Erica Sonnenburg in a November 2014 article in Cell Metabolism. "In delegating part of our digestion and calorie harvest to our gut residents, the microbial part of our biology could easily adjust to day-to-day or season-to-season variation in available food," they noted. New studies continue to demonstrate that microbial changes due to diet are "largely reversible on short time scales." But the question remains as to how chronic low-fiber intake—over a lifetime or generations—might permanently alter our guts and our health.



The Plant Oils Debate

I'm Going to Miss My Olive Oil -
Who Knew It Wasn't So Healthy After All? Drs. Esselstyn, Ornish, Vogel & Rudel Did

Oil: The Vegan Killer - Mic the Vegan

My 'Oil: The Vegan Killer' Video Was Debunked? - Mic the Vegan

The Mediterranean Diet - It's Better Than the Western Diet - But, It's Definitely Not the Best! Why Settle for Less?

There Is No Such Thing as “Healthy Oils”

The Myth of Moderation Pt 2: The Impact of “Just A Little Oil!”

Cooking without oil




The postprandial effect of components of the mediterranean diet on endothelial function

Robert A Vogel, MDa; Mary C Corretti, MDa; Gary D Plotnick, MDa

OBJECTIVES This study investigated the postprandial effect of components of the Mediterranean diet on endothelial function, which may be an atherogenic factor. BACKGROUND The Mediterranean diet, containing olive oil, pasta, fruits, vegetables, fish, and wine, is associated with an unexpectedly low rate of cardiovascular events. The Lyon Diet Heart Study found that a Mediterranean diet, which substituted omega-3-fatty-acid-enriched canola oil for the traditionally consumed omega-9 fatty-acid-rich olive oil, reduced cardiovascular events.
METHODS We fed 10 healthy, normolipidemic subjects five meals containing 900 kcal and 50 g fat. Three meals contained different fat sources: olive oil, canola oil, and salmon. Two olive oil meals also contained antioxidant vitamins (C and E) or foods (balsamic vinegar and salad). We measured serum lipoproteins and glucose and brachial artery flow-mediated vasodilation (FMD), an index of endothelial function, before and 3 h after each meal. RESULTS All five meals significantly raised serum triglycerides, but did not change other lipoproteins or glucose 3 h postprandially. The olive oil meal reduced FMD 31% (14.3 ± 4.2% to 9.9 ± 4.5%, p = 0.008). An inverse correlation was observed between postprandial changes in serum triglycerides and FMD (r = −0.47, p < 0.05). The remaining four meals did not significantly reduce FMD. CONCLUSIONS In terms of their postprandial effect on endothelial function, the beneficial components of the Mediterranean and Lyon Diet Heart Study diets appear to be antioxidant-rich foods, including vegetables, fruits, and their derivatives such as vinegar, and omega-3-rich fish and canola oils.


Videos relating to plant oils

Globesity: Fat's New Frontier (2012) 60 min
Reference to development of vegetable oils since World War II at 19:21 min.

Olive Oil is NOT Health Food but Sick Food - Jeff Novick (2009) 10 min
So many are deceived into believing that olive oil and the Mediterranean Diet are "health promoting." Oh yeah? Actually, the Mediterranean diet, which contains a very small amount of olive oil (unlike how most people use olive oil), IS healthier than the standard American diet. But is it the healthiest diet out there?

Olive Oil Is Not Healthy - Michael Klaper MD (2013) 11 min
If you read the studies, the Mediterranean Diet is healthy IN SPITE OF olive oil, not because of it. This is a short excerpt from the talk of Michael Klaper MD at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2012, and comes from the Bronze DVD set.

OIL TO NUTS: The Truth About Fats (Jeff Novick DVD) (2010) 5:49 min

Dr Michael Greger, MD. Olive Oil and Artery Function (2015) 3:28 min
Does extra virgin olive oil have the same adverse effect on arterial function as refined oils and animal fats?


Composition of fats (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vegetable_oil#Composition_of_fats)

Vegetable oils
Type Processing
fatty acids
fatty acids
Polyunsaturated fatty acids Oleic acid
Smoke point
Total poly[24] linolenic acid
Linoleic acid
Avocado   11.560 70.554 13.486 1 12.5   480 °F (249 °C)[25]
Canola (rapeseed)   7.365 63.276 28.142 10 10   400 °F (204 °C)[26]
Coconut   91.000 6.000 3.000   2 6 350 °F (177 °C)[26]
Corn[27]   12.948 27.576 54.677 1 58 28 450 °F (232 °C)
Cottonseed   25.900 17.800 51.900 1 54 19 420 °F (216 °C)[27]
Flaxseed/Linseed (European)[28]   7.500 15.500 79.000 64 15 11 225 °F (107 °C)
Olive   14.000 72.000 14.000 1.5 15   380 °F (193 °C)[26]
Palm   49.300 37.000 9.300   10 40 455 °F (235 °C)
Peanut   16.900 46.200 32.000   32 48 437 °F (225 °C)[27]
Safflower (>70% linoleic)   8.000 15.000 75.000       410 °F (210 °C)[26]
Safflower (high oleic)   7.541 75.221 12.820       410 °F (210 °C)[26]
Soybean   15.650 22.783 57.740 7 50 24 460 °F (238 °C)[27]
Sunflower (<60% linoleic)   10.100 45.400 40.100 0.2 39.8 45.3 440 °F (227 °C)[27]
Sunflower (>70% oleic)   9.859 83.689 3.798       440 °F (227 °C)[27]
Cottonseed (hydrogenated)[24] Hydrogenated 93.600 1.529 0.587   0.287    
Palm (hydrogenated) Hydrogenated 47.500 40.600 7.500        
Soybean (hydrogenated)[24] Hydrogenated 21.100 73.700 0.400 0.096      
Values as percent (%) by weight of total fat.





Why Not To Eat Fish ...
Fish, Anisakis, Omega 3 and Omega 6 ...

35 facts that will make you never want to eat fish again

Is Fish a Health Food, or Have We Just Let It Off the Hook?
By Sofia Pineda Ochoa, MD
Many people equate eating fish with doing something good for their health. This may be due to the illusion that fish swim in clean waters, or to the fact that they have a very different shape and form than the land animals we use for food. There even seems to be a deeply ingrained notion that aquatic animals are not part of the animal kingdom classification and that consuming fish is similar to—and just as beneficial as—consuming plant foods.
So, should we be eating fish to promote health?
Four Major Problems With Fish
1. Animal protein and IGF-1
2. Cholesterol and saturated fat
3. Contaminants and pollutants
4. What fish doesn’t have

Overfishing occurs when more fish are caught than the population can replace through natural reproduction. Gathering as many fish as possible may seem like a profitable practice, but overfishing has serious consequences. The results not only affect the balance of life in the oceans, but also the social and economic well-being of the coastal communities who depend on fish for their way of life. Billions of people rely on fish for protein, and fishing is the principal livelihood for millions of people around the world. For centuries, our seas and oceans have been considered a limitless bounty of food. However, increasing fishing efforts over the last 50 years as well as unsustainable fishing practices are pushing many fish stocks to the point of collapse. More than 85 percent of the world's fisheries have been pushed to or beyond their biological limits and are in need of strict management plans to restore them.

The infographic on this page is created to give a quick introduction on the main facts (or questions) about overfishing; what is it, why is it happening, why is it a bad thing and what can we do to stop it.



Fresh fish is taken off Spanish menus after parasite alert
Graham Keeley in Barcelona Thursday 14 December 2006
Britons who go to Spain expecting to enjoy an essential ingredient of the famous Mediterranean diet will be disappointed: fresh fish is off the menu.
Freshly caught sardines and hake will no longer be dish of the day. Diners will have to make do with the frozen variety instead.
A government decree introduced this week has forced all restaurants to freeze fish and shellfish for up to 24 hours to try to combat a worm-like parasite called anisakis, which can harm humans.

Anisakis, just think about it in an emergency!
A few years ago, Anisakis infection was almost unknown. Since the first observation in the Netherlands in 1960, several cases of gastrointestinal infections due to a zoonosis sustained by this nematode have been described in countries in which the consumption of raw or uncooked fish (e.g., marinated or salted) is common. Japan alone accounts for 90% of all cases of anisakiasis described in the literature because of the widespread use of raw fish in traditional Japanese cuisine, with sushi and sashimi. Nonetheless, other cases have been reported in Europe, North and South America, and Asia.


Omega-3 and Omega 6

Omega-3 fatty acid
The three types of omega-3 fatty acids involved in human physiology are α-linolenic acid (ALA) (found in plant oils), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) (both commonly found in marine oils). Marine algae and phytoplankton are primary sources of omega-3 fatty acids. Common sources of plant oils containing the omega-3 ALA fatty acid include walnut, edible seeds, clary sage seed oil, algal oil, flaxseed oil, Sacha Inchi oil, Echium oil, and hemp oil, while sources of animal omega-3 EPA and DHA fatty acids include fish oils, egg oil, squid oils, and krill oil. Dietary supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids does not appear to affect the risk of death, cancer or heart disease. Furthermore, fish oil supplement studies have failed to support claims of preventing heart attacks or strokes.

14 Best Vegan Sources of Omega 3

What is Omega 3?
Omega 3 fatty acids play a role in every cell in the body. Omega 3 makes up cell membranes, keeps the nervous system functioning, keeps cholesterol levels in check, and staves off inflammation. There are so many health benefits associated with Omega 3 that it is no surprise how much hype the nutrient is now getting.
How Much Omega 3 Do We Need?
The RDA for Omega 3 is 1.6 g/day for adult males and 1.1 g/day for adult females. If you make sure to eat healthy fats with your meals, it is very easy to meet these RDAs. About 9 walnut halves are enough to get your daily dose of Omega 3.
Flax Seeds
Not surprisingly, flax tops our list as the best vegetarian source of Omega 3. One ounce of flax seeds packs in 6388mg of Omega 3 (nearly 6 times the RDA). You get 1655mg of Omega 6 in the process, which helps keep your Omega 3 to Omega 6 raios in check. To get an even bigger boost, you can take a tablespoon of flax oil which delivers 7196mg of Omega 3.
Chia Seeds
Chia seeds have only recently gotten mainstream attention. A single ounce of chia seeds packs in 4915mg of Omega 3 but just 1620mg of Omega 6. They are also loaded with calcium (1oz=18% RDA), fiber, and manganese.

What is Omega 6?
Omega-6 fatty acids (also referred to as ω-6 fatty acids or n-6 fatty acids) are a family of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids. The biological effects of the omega-6 fatty acids are largely produced during and after physical activity for the purpose of promoting growth and during the inflammatory cascade to halt cell damage and promote cell repair.

Medical research on humans found a correlation (correlation does not imply causation) between the high intake of omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils and disease in humans. However, biochemistry research has concluded that air pollution, heavy metals, smoking, second-hand smoke, Lipopolysaccharides, lipid peroxidation products (found mainly in vegetable oils, roasted nuts and roasted oily seeds) and other exogenous toxins initiate the inflammatory response in the cells which leads to the expression of the COX-2 enzyme and subsequently to the temporary production of inflammatory promoting prostaglandins from arachidonic acid for the purpose of alerting the immune system of the cell damage and eventually to the production of anti-inflammatory molecules (e.g. lipoxins & prostacyclin) during the resolution phase of inflammation, after the cell damage has been repaired.

Some medical research suggests that excessive levels of certain omega-6 fatty acids relative to certain omega-3 fatty acids may increase the probability of a number of diseases. Modern Western diets typically have ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 in excess of 10 to 1, some as high as 30 to 1; the average ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 in the Western diet is 15:1–16.7:1. Humans are thought to have evolved with a diet of a 1-to-1 ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 and the optimal ratio is thought to be 4 to 1 or lower, although some sources suggest ratios as low as 1:1.

Excess omega-6 fatty acids from vegetable oils interfere with the health benefits of omega-3 fats, in part because they compete for the same rate-limiting enzymes. A high proportion of omega-6 to omega-3 fat in the diet shifts the physiological state in the tissues toward the pathogenesis of many diseases: prothrombotic, proinflammatory and proconstrictive. Industry-sponsored studies have suggested that omega-6 fatty acids should be consumed in a 1:1 ratio to omega-3, though it has been observed that the diet of many individuals today is at a ratio of about 16:1, mainly from vegetable oils. Omega-6 and omega-3 are essential fatty acids that are metabolized by some of the same enzymes, and therefore an imbalanced ratio can affect how the other is metabolized.

How too much omega-6 and not enough omega-3 is making us sick

Article by Chris Kresser (May 8, 2010)

In the last article we discussed the problems humans have converting omega-3 (n-3) fats from plant sources, such as flax seeds and walnuts, to the longer chain derivatives EPA and DHA. Since EPA and DHA (especially DHA) are responsible for the benefits omega-3 fats provide, and since EPA and DHA are only available in significant amounts in seafood, it follows that we should be consuming seafood on a regular basis.

But how much is enough? What does the research literature tell us about the levels of EPA and DHA needed to prevent disease and ensure proper physiological function?

I’m going to answer this question in detail in the next article. But before I do that, I need to make a crucial point: the question of how much omega-3 to eat depends in large part on how much omega-6 we eat.

Over the course of human evolution there has been a dramatic change in the ratio of omega-6 and omega-3 fats consumed in the diet. This change, perhaps more than any other dietary factor, has contributed to the epidemic of modern disease.

The historical ratio of omega-6 to omega-3

Throughout 4-5 million years of hominid evolution, diets were abundant in seafood and other sources of omega-3 long chain fatty acids (EPA & DHA), but relatively low in omega-6 seed oils.

Anthropological research suggests that our hunter-gatherer ancestors consumed omega-6 and omega-3 fats in a ratio of roughly 1:1. It also indicates that both ancient and modern hunter-gatherers were free of the modern inflammatory diseases, like heart disease, cancer, and diabetes, that are the primary causes of death and morbidity today.

At the onset of the industrial revolution (about 140 years ago), there was a marked shift in the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids in the diet. Consumption of n-6 fats increased at the expense of n-3 fats. This change was due to both the advent of the modern vegetable oil industry and the increased use of cereal grains as feed for domestic livestock (which in turn altered the fatty acid profile of meat that humans consumed).

The following chart lists the omega-6 and omega-3 content of various vegetable oils and foods:

Vegetable oil consumption rose dramatically between the beginning and end of the 20th century, and this had an entirely predictable effect on the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 fats in the American diet. Between 1935 and 1939, the ratio of n-6 to n-3 fatty acids was reported to be 8.4:1. From 1935 to 1985, this ratio increased to 10.3:1 (a 23% increase). Other calculations put the ratio as high as 12.4:1 in 1985. Today, estimates of the ratio range from an average of 10:1 to 20:1, with a ratio as high as 25:1 in some individuals.

In fact, Americans now get almost 20% of their calories from a single food source – soybean oil – with almost 9% of all calories from the omega-6 fat linoleic acid (LA) alone! (PDF)

This reveals that our average intake of n-6 fatty acids is between 10 and 25 times higher than evolutionary norms. The consequences of this dramatic shift cannot be overestimated.
Omega-6 competes with omega-3, and vice versa

As you may recall from the last article, n-6 and n-3 fatty acids compete for the same conversion enzymes. This means that the quantity of n-6 in the diet directly affects the conversion of n-3 ALA, found in plant foods, to long-chain n-3 EPA and DHA, which protect us from disease.

Several studies have shown that the biological availability and activity of n-6 fatty acids are inversely related to the concentration of of n-3 fatty acids in tissue. Studies have also shown that greater composition of EPA & DHA in membranes reduces the availability of AA for eicosanoid production. This is illustrated on the following graph, from a 1992 paper by Dr. William Landis:

The graph shows the predicted concentration of n-6 in the tissue based on dietary intake of n-3. In the U.S. the average person’s tissue concentration of highly unsaturated n-6 fat is 75%. Since we get close to 10% of our calories from n-6, our tissue contains about as much n-6 as it possibly could. This creates a very inflammatory environment and goes a long way towards explaining why 4 in 10 people who die in the U.S. each year die of heart disease. (Note: the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 matters, but so does the total amount of each.)

In plain english, what this means is that the more omega-3 fat you eat, the less omega-6 will be available to the tissues to produce inflammation. Omega-6 is pro-inflammatory, while omega-3 is neutral. A diet with a lot of omega-6 and not much omega-3 will increase inflammation. A diet of a lot of omega-3 and not much omega-6 will reduce inflammation.

Big Pharma is well aware of the effect of n-6 on inflammation. In fact, the way over-the-counter and prescription NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin, Celebres, etc.) work is by reducing the formation of inflammatory compounds derived from n-6 fatty acids. (The same effect could be achieved by simply limiting dietary intake of n-6, as we will discuss below, but of course the drug companies don’t want you to know that. Less profit for them.)

As we discussed in the previous article, conversion of the short-chain n-3 alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), found in plant foods like flax and walnut, to DHA is extremely poor in most people. Part of the reason for that is that diets high in n-6 LA inhibit conversion of ALA to DHA. For example, one study demonstrated that an increase of LA consumption from 15g/d to 30g/d decreases ALA to DHA conversion by 40%.
Death by vegetable oil

So what are the consequences to human health of an n-6:n-3 ratio that is up to 25 times higher than it should be?

The short answer is that elevated n-6 intakes are associated with an increase in all inflammatory diseases – which is to say virtually all diseases. The list includes (but isn’t limited to):

cardiovascular disease
type 2 diabetes
metabolic syndrome
irritable bowel syndrome & inflammatory bowel disease
macular degeneration
rheumatoid arthritis
psychiatric disorders
autoimmune diseases

The relationship between intake n-6 fats and cardiovascular mortality is particularly striking. The following chart, from an article entitled Eicosanoids and Ischemic Heart Disease by Stephan Guyenet, clearly illustrates the correlation between a rising intake of n-6 and increased mortality from heart disease:

As you can see, the USA is right up there at the top with the highest intake of n-6 fat and the greatest risk of death from heart disease.

On the other hand, several clinical studies have shown that decreasing the n-6:n-3 ratio protects against chronic, degenerative diseases. One study showed that replacing corn oil with olive oil and canola oil to reach an n-6:n-3 ratio of 4:1 led to a 70% decrease in total mortality. That is no small difference.

Joseph Hibbeln, a researcher at the National Institute of Health (NIH) who has published several papers on n-3 and n-6 intakes, didn’t mince words when he commented on the rising intake of n-6 in a recent paper:

The increases in world LA consumption over the past century may be considered a very large uncontrolled experiment that may have contributed to increased societal burdens of aggression, depression and cardiovascular mortality.

And those are just the conditions we have the strongest evidence for. It’s likely that the increase in n-6 consumption has played an equally significant role in the rise of nearly every inflammatory disease. Since it is now known that inflammation is involved in nearly all diseases, including obesity and metabolic syndrome, it’s hard to overstate the negative effects of too much omega-6 fat.

In the next article we’ll discuss three different methods for determining healthy intakes of n-3 that take background intake of n-6 into account.



How to Optimize Your Omega-6 to Omega-3 Ratio

Avoid Vegetable Oils High in Omega-6

The single most important thing you can do to reduce your Omega-6 intake is to avoid processed seed- and vegetable oils high in Omega-6, as well as the processed foods that contain them.

These “foods” were only introduced to humans in the past 100 years and they have completely distorted the natural balance of these essential fatty acids.

Here is a chart with some common fats and oils. Avoid all that have a high proportion of Omega-6 (blue bars).

Fatty Acid Breakdown of Different Fats

You can see that butter, coconut oil, lard, palm oil and olive oil are all relatively low in Omega-6.

Sunflower, Corn, Soybean and Cottonseed oils are by far the worst. I recommend you avoid these like the plague.

Be aware that even so-called health foods can contain vegetable oils. It is crucial to read labels!

Whole soybeans are very high in Omega-6 and should be avoided.

Nuts and seeds are pretty high in Omega-6, but they are whole foods that have plenty of health benefits and are absolutely fine to eat. Many grain-based foods also contain significant amounts of Omega-6.

Bottom Line: The most important thing you can do to reduce Omega-6 intake is to eliminate processed vegetable oils from your diet, as well as processed foods that contain them.











Irish Times article by Richard Brennan


My Health Experience: ‘I stopped eating the wrong foods and was astonished by the results’
Diet helped me reverse my high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity

Richard Brennan, who changed his life after having a stroke, in Trinity Capital Hotel, Dublin.

First published: Tue, Mar 18, 2014, 01:00

‘I have had reasonable good health for most of my life. I was in a car crash when I was 17 and suffered from back problems in my early 20s when I worked as a driving instructor. In fact, it was the relief I got from Alexander Technique lessons all those years ago that prompted me to train as an Alexander Technique teacher. I trained and taught the technique in England, Greece and Spain before moving permanently to Galway in 1997. I’ve kept busy with work – running the Alexander Technique school, treating people and writing. I had been trying to lose weight for 30 years. I tried every single diet and yet I kept gaining weight and couldn’t get rid of it. The thing is that I’ve been a vegetarian since 1972 and I thought I was eating healthily but I snacked on sweet things. I also went out of my way to get protein in my diet by eating lots of dairy products. I walked or played tennis at the weekend but didn’t get daily exercise.

My blood pressure was slightly elevated at a health check in 1998 and since then I’ve monitored it myself. One day last year, I got a reading of 220/120 and went to have it checked out. My GP sent me to the Emergency Department and I was kept in for a week. They couldn’t find out what caused the high blood pressure but they did discover that I had diabetes type 2. I was put on three blood pressure medications, a drug for cholesterol and a drug to control the diabetes. I continued to take all these medications although I had no energy and people told me I didn’t look well. I started to walk 40 minutes a day to try to get my weight down and I cut out all sugary foods. I felt terrible and attributed feelings of lethargy and swelling in my ankles to side effects of the medication. I lost about 2kg in three months.

Flashing lights
On November 4th last, I had a stroke. I was flying back from the UK, having visited my adult son and his new baby, when I saw flashing lights. I drove myself home from the airport, went to bed and woke up at 8am, slurring my speech. My wife, Caroline, had to tell me I’d had a stroke because I didn’t realise it myself. She took me straight to the hospital. I spent the next five days in hospital, having everything monitored. One of my blood pressure medications was changed (I was taken off beta-blockers and put on ace-inhibitors instead). I felt really confused and didn’t know what to do.

My son researched the China Study diet, which is the diet Bill Clinton is on, and I decided to go on it too. I decided that when on this low-fat, wholefood plant-based diet, I would take myself off all my medications except the ace-inhibitors and the daily aspirin I had been prescribed since my stroke. I monitored my blood sugar and blood pressure daily. And every two weeks, I was monitored by either my GP or my hospital consultant although I didn’t tell them initially that I had stopped taking my other medications.

Essentially, I stopped eating the wrong foods and started eating pulses, fruit and vegetables. So, for breakfast, I have porridge with fruit and a soya dessert instead of yogurt. For lunch, I have vegetable soup, wholemeal bread and a salad. For dinner, I have rice and vegetables. I cut out all processed foods and dairy. I didn’t worry about eating too many carbohydrates or too little protein – both of which pre-occupied me for years. I was astonished by the results. Between November 16th and January 27th, I lost 18kg. My diabetes has been reversed with readings now within the normal range. My cholesterol has reduced from 5.7 to 4.5. And my blood pressure, which was 230/120, is down to 120/70 using minimal medication.

No lasting effect
I have no lasting effect of the stroke. I feel better than I have in ages. My sleeping pattern has changed. I am awake now at 5am or 6am and I feel like getting up. Before, I couldn’t get up in the morning. I go to bed around 10pm and I do half an hour’s walking every day. I realise that I took a risk and I don’t want people to think that they can come off their medication without expert advice. I consider that I follow the expert advice given by Dr John McDougall, prominent American heart surgeon, Dr Caldwell Esselstyn and Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, T Colin Campbell.

I also feel reassured because I monitor my blood sugar and blood pressure every day and I see a doctor every two weeks. I was back at work three weeks after the stroke, pacing myself at first but back at full tilt by January. It was a wake-up call for me – discovering that I had high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol and obesity – especially as I have spent most of my life helping other people deal with their health problems.

So, most of all now, what I want to do is share my experience with others so that they too might be helped as I have been.


Irish Independent article by Suzanne Harrington


Meet Dr T. Colin Campbell

Could shunning meat really protect us from serious illness? Dr T. Colin Campbell tells Suzanne Harrington why he believes a plant-based diet is the best form of medicine. By Suzanne Harrington (Published 04/08/2013)

He is the author of the most comprehensive study ever on nutrition. He discovered an irrefutable link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes and cancer. He has since converted millions, including Bill Clinton, to a plant-based diet. Meet Dr T. Colin Campbell. Food is a minefield. Socially, culturally and economically, we have made what we eat a lot more than just dinner. It is taste, status, power, profit, religion, ideology, politics. What we may have forgotten – and the evidence is all around us within our own bodies, in the form of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, cancer and obesity – is that food is both nutrition and medicine. We have, says Dr T. Colin Campbell, been left to fend for ourselves nutritionally, while under the marketing onslaught of the food and drug industries. "Having started a research and teaching career in nutrition over 50 years ago, I have seen the passion, the frivolity and the arrogance over and over and over when people talk about their food choices," Dr Campbell wrote recently in 'The Huffington Post'. "This topic is very, very personal. It's sad because I do not see very much progress over these last four to five decades. Lots of shouting and not much constructive thought."

Dr Campbell is emeritus professor of biochemical medicine at Cornell University in the US. He has been examining the link between food and health for more than 50 years. Almost 10 years ago, he and his son, also a doctor, wrote 'The China Study', which involved correlating health information from 6,500 people in China – 100 people from each of 65 different areas. Monitoring the long-term diets of the 6,500 people, the father and son doctors then examined mortality rates from dozens of different cancers and other long-term diseases. The results were stark – people who ate a plant-based diet were healthier and far less prone to disease. Those who ate animal-based foods were far more likely to develop 'Western' diseases. Dr Campbell has always suspected this, having begun his work in the Philippines decades ago, devising healthy, sustainable nutrition for malnourished children. He knows the link between food and health is far, far greater than most of us realise. "Properly practiced nutrition, as a dietary lifestyle, can do more to create health and save healthcare costs than all the contemporary medical interventions put together," he wrote.

He says that modern science became too obsessed with isolating the benefits of individual nutrients – hence the enormous market for vitamins and supplements – while losing sight of the bigger holistic picture; that good health is about wholefoods, not taking vitamin pills, or isolating food groups; that traditional orthodoxy around nutrition has been too focused on scientific reductionism.
'The China Study' was published by a small Texan publisher, because major publishers wanted Dr Campbell to make his book more commercial by making it mostly about recipes. He refused to dumb down, but even without much marketing, the book went on to sell a million copies. Its most famous advocate is former US president Bill Clinton. When asked on CNN about his dramatic weight loss, Clinton mentioned Dr Campbell's book. To prevent heart disease and other lifestyle associated illnesses, Clinton had put down the burgers and animal-based junk food which he so famously loved and adopted a plant-based diet. In other words, Clinton went vegan. Dr Campbell dislikes the terms vegan and vegetarian, because they come with ideological baggage. He is all about the science. "Nutrition has value beyond what we think we know," he tells me. "It can prevent future disease, it can cure heart disease and diabetes, and reverse and stop others. The effect of what we eat on our bodies is extraordinary. When people eat the right food, their angina pain can go away within a week. It's extraordinary. No drugs come close.

"With cancer, we can turn on and off advancement via our protein intake. It affects cholesterol, hyper tension, body weight. In 10-day studies, the cholesterol of a group of fairly healthy individuals dropped from an average of 196 to 149, just by changing what they ate to plant-based wholefoods. "Each cell in our body is like a universe – extraordinarily complex, and replicated 100 trillion times within us. We need to acknowledge this complexity. And animal proteins stimulate cell division." Dr Campbell will be giving his first talk in Ireland this August. "There has been an explosion of interest in the idea," he says. "Yet it is so foreign to so many people – but the contemporary medical institution is becoming more and more interested." Since discovering the health benefits of avoiding animal protein, Campbell's entire family now follow a plant-based diet. "You can really see the benefits," he says. His latest book, 'Whole: Rethinking The Science Of Nutrition', explains the process in greater detail. The reason Dr Campbell's idea of a plant-based diet is so foreign to so many people is that we have been told from birth that meat, fish and dairy are essential for good health. The widespread perception of a plant-based diet – that is, veganism – is akin to having special needs. That without meat, fish, cream, butter and cheese, culinary life is not worth living.

Ever come across a vegan restaurant critic? Me neither. It's because they don't exist. Dr Campbell is not, however, a hippy. He is all about the empirical data. "I'm not into animal rights," he says, adding that he used to conduct animal experiments. Which makes him that most extraordinary combination of vegan ex-vivisectionist. But still. I wonder if eating a plant-based diet makes for a more peaceful individual and a wider peacefulness, or is that just hippy dippy nonsense? After all, Dr Campbell is all about the evidence, rather than the vibes. But he says it does. Making burgers involves environmental violence on a vast scale, where natural cover is flattened for grazing, usually in countries that are too poor to object. On an individual level, people who consume a plant-based diet tend to feel better about themselves because they are healthier, lighter and therefore happier. It's a bit of a no-brainer. Weirdly, and by complete coincidence, my interview with Dr Campbell – whose books I have not yet read – comes a week after my own transition to a plant-based diet. In my 40s, overweight and starting to ache, and having tried everything else, I was inspired by a handful of friends who had been raised vegan for ideological reasons (hippy mothers) and who, in their 40s, glow with the lightness and good health of a life-long plant-based diet.

I wanted what they had, so decided to make the change. In less than a fortnight I can feel a difference both in my energy levels and tastebuds, although this is by no means a quick fix. This is long-term, focused nutrition. It is food mindfulness. And it's kind of exciting, rediscovering food in middle age, and exploring new ways of cooking and eating. But this is not about recipes. It's bigger than that. "I have given close to 500 lectures on the subject, and continue to be astounded about the effects not just on heart disease, cancer and diabetes, but on arthritic pain, muscular pain, general aches and pains – they just go away," says Dr Campbell. "It's remarkable." His suggestions are straightforward. As well as avoiding meat and fish, he advocates eating wholefoods – that is, unprocessed, unadulterated, intact. Don't fry your food, cut down on refined carbohydrates. And then there's the biggie. "Number one, eliminate dairy," says Dr Campbell. "We are the only species on the planet which consumes mothers' milk beyond weaning. Human milk is obviously perfect for us, but instead we use cows."

When you think about dairy, it makes no sense. Of course it's a source of enormous deliciousness, but we are flexible creatures and 'delicious' is a movable feast. Nutritionally, consuming as a matter of course milk intended for baby cows is physiologically peculiar, but we don't question it. Dr Campbell reckons our bodies do question it, however, in the form of chronic disease. Not that he is puritan – beer and wine are plant-based, he says, and are fine in moderation. "I make as many enemies as friends," he says mildly. "But all I am saying is that we rediscover Hippocrates' main idea from 2,500 years ago – let food be thy medicine, let medicine be thy food."




Plant-based diets by Michael Greger M.D.


The convergence of evidence suggests that an affordable plant-based diet can help prevent and even reverse many of the top killers in the Western world. This could save Medicare billions of dollars, but medical training continues to underemphasize nutrition education, in part, perhaps, because lifestyle interventions go against the prevailing conventional wisdom. The USDA, in formulating its dietary guidelines, has been accused of both acting with bias and ignoring relevant research (see the McGovern Report). However, the most recent guidelines take a step in the right direction by recommending a shift to a plant-based diet, which Kaiser Permanente, the largest U.S. managed care organization, has moved in the direction of supporting. Lifestyle medicine attempts to find, prevent, and treat the causes of disease. Patients should receive fully informed consent for treatment, meaning they should be informed about all of their options including dietary changes.

The #1 killer in the US – heart disease – was found to be almost nonexistent in populations with diets centered around whole plant foods. Heart disease may be effectively treated with a plant-based diet because food is a package deal (see also here, here, here, here, here). Even having “normal” cholesterol levels may be deadly, but can be effectively lowered with a whole foods, plant-based diet containing foods with known benefits. Fatty streaks in the arteries of children as young as 10 show that heart disease may start in childhood.

A plant-based diet may also help in averting and/or slowing certain cancers (like breast cancer, prostate cancer, cervical cancer, colon cancer, as well as BPH, benign prostatic hypertrophy).

This is in part because plant foods contain anti-aging, anti-cancer antioxidants (on average 64 times more than animal foods, see also here, here, here, here, here, here), fiber, and phytochemicals, which in some cases can even help repair DNA damage. Even two weeks on a plant-based diet appears to dramatically improve cancer defenses. The blood of those on plant-based diets is more effective at killing cancer cells than those who eat a standard diet even if they exercise strenuously. Angiogenesis inhibitors in plant foods may help prevent cancerous tumors from connecting to a blood supply. Methionine restriction, best achieved through a plant-based diet, starves human tumors of the amino acid necessary for their growth—all while potentially extending our life span. To reduce cancer risk, we can suppress the engine-of-aging enzyme TOR (Target of Rapamycin) by reducing intake of leucine–rich animal products such as dairy products.

Lower cancer rates among those eating plant-based diets may be because of lower levels of IGF-1, a cancer-promoting growth hormone, and increased levels of the IGF-1 binding protein due to a reduction animal protein intake. The carnitine in meat may produce the same toxic TMAO that is produced from the choline concentrated in eggs and dairy. Tumors may use the Neu5gc molecule in meat to trick our immune system into producing xeno-autoantibodies to create an inflammatory milieu; the molecule also builds up in atherosclerotic plaques and may also play a role in heart disease. Neu5gc may even cause children to suffer severe E. coli food poisoning from bacteria in the same meat product. Animalistic plant foods like soy may also increase IGF-1 production. It might be best to restrict soy intake to 3-5 servings a day.

Plant-based eating also appears to help with healthy intestinal transit. When it comes to healthy stool shape and size, a plant-based diet may produce the healthiest stools , healthy gut flora (see also here) and lead to consistently larger and more frequent bowel movements – even better than just eating prunes or taking fiber supplements -, which may be important for preventing a variety of health problems (e.g. excreting excess estrogen appears to help lower the risk of breast cancer). We can test our ‘peeH’ to see how alkaline-forming our diet is to inspire us to eat more dark green leafy vegetables.

Additionally, plant-based eating may successfully control weight (better than diet pills, prevent and treat type II diabetes, help prevent an abdominal aortic aneurysm, prevent gallstones, improve cognition, prevent age related macular degeneration, cataracts, slow aging, raise childhood IQ, improve body-odor, reduce waist circumference, reduce allergies, reduce abdominal fat, improve sexual problems, lengthen life span by turning back the clock 14 years, cure acne, protect oral health (though be careful brushing after sour fruit), protect against metabolic syndrome, treat multiple sclerosis and fibromyalgia (see also here), prevent and treat Parkinson’s disease, ease menstrual breast pain and dysmenorrhea, prevent vaginal infections, treat asthma and eczema, treat cellulite, improve our moods, and cut down on the need for drugs and surgery. Employees who switched to plant-based diets at Geico headquarters lost weight and experienced other health benefits. Plant-based diets also help in the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.

Centering our diets around whole plant foods involves a reduction in meat and processed food consumption. We should try to get our nutrients (including fiber) in produce not pill form – eating legumes, grains, nuts, seeds, herbs, spices, and the 9 recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables. It may be helpful to cook some vegetables for optimal absorption.

Eating meat and other animal products is associated with weight gain (even after controlling for calories), a shortened lifespan, and other negative effects (such as premature breast development of young girls). Arachidonic acid in chicken and eggs may cause inflammation, increasing one’s risk for a variety of disorders including mood disturbances thought due to inflammation of the brain. On the other hand, many plant foods (especially potassium-rich foods) appear to reduce inflammation.

Eating low on the food chain reduces our exposure to dietary antibiotics, and industrial toxins that concentrate in animal fat (a problem multiplied by the feeding of slaughterhouse byproducts to farm animals) that may contribute to multiple diseases. Plant-based diets reduce our exposure to mercury and other toxic heavy metals, advanced glycation end-products (AGEs), cadmium, as well as xenoestrogens in fish, which may interfere with male fertility, and estrogenic meat carcinogens in cooked meat which stimulate breast cancer cells and may affect fetal development. Luckily, eating plants not only reduces our exposure to these toxins, but also may protect us against subsequent damage. Vegetarians can be exposed to the same carcinogens by consuming eggs, cheese, and creatine sports supplements or through inhalation of cigarette smoke. The cooked meat carcinogen PhIP found in fried bacon, fish, and chicken may not only trigger cancer and promote tumor growth, but also increase cancer’s metastatic potential by increasing its invasiveness. Boiling meat is a way for meat-eaters to reduce the risks associated with eating undercooked or well-cooked meat. The Paleo Diet may increase risk of toxin contamination, DNA damage, and cancer.

So long as animal-products are not consumed regularly, a plant-based diet can detoxify the body of these pollutants. Healthy plant-based diets would also minimize one’s exposure to trans fats and carcinogenic nitrosamines.

Contrary to popular myth, vegans have healthy bones and higher blood protein levels than omnivores. Vegans get more than enough protein. Within a matter of weeks, participants placed on the plant-based diet outlined in Daniel 1:8-16 experienced improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol and insulin levels, insulin resistance, and C-reactive protein levels, a marker of inflammation within the body.

Vegans average fewer nutrient deficiencies than average omnivores while maintaining a lower body weight without necessarily losing muscle mass. Those eating plant-based diets may experience enhanced athletic recovery without affecting the benefits of exercise.

But there are important nutritional considerations. There are two vitamins not available in plants: vitamins D and B12. There is a serious risk of B12 deficiency (see also here, here, here, here, here) if no supplements or B12-fortified foods are consumed, a particular danger for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and their infants (see also here). It can lead to Vegetarian’s Myelopathy, paralysis, a variety of other problems, thickened arteries, and can shorten one’s lifespan. Two other nutrients to keep an eye on are iodine – which is harmful in too great or too small amounts (it is especially important during pregnancy, and can be found in sea vegetables), and zinc. Also recommended are yeast- or algae-based long chain omega 3 fatty acids. And rare genetic disorders may require special supplementation. The power of plants is exemplified by the fact that in modern medicine plant compounds form the basis of many critical medications, but better to prevent disease in the first place.



Ireland: Obesity, the “Western Diet” and the Global Food Challenge

Recent reports have suggested that Ireland is set to become the most obese country in Europe. 

Estimates of obesity, projected out to 2030, are part of the World Health Organisation’s Modelling Obesity Project and were presented at the European Congress on Obesity in Prague, Czech Republic during May 2015. The figures for Ireland have huge implications for the seriously financially-squeezed Irish health system:

In terms of obesity alone, the estimates show a big jump for women in the Irish Republic, soaring from 23 per cent to 57 per cent. The proportion of obese Irish men was expected to increase from 26 per cent to 48 per cent, while the figure for those either overweight or obese rises from 74 per cent to 89 per cent.

According to a combination of statistics from WHO, OECD and Eurostat Ireland is third in obesity levels in Europe after Hungary and Great Britain.

There is no doubt that there is a link between levels of obesity and what is known as the Western pattern diet. The Western diethas been characterised ‘by high intakes of red meat, sugary desserts, high-fat foods, and refined grains. It also typically contains high-fat dairy products, high-sugar drinks, and higher intakes of processed meat.’ However, there is a certain smugness in the mainstream media which points at fast food restaurants as the source of all food evils in society yet on a recent visit to a ‘good’ restaurant Dublin I noticed that at least 80% of the clientele were overweight and about 20% were grossly overweight.

Yet, in all fairness, it is almost impossible to avoid fatty foods when you go to these restaurants because the ‘vegetarian’ section of the menu can be just as rich as the carnivore sections, for example, salads with salad cream and oil, ‘creamy’ mash made with cream and butter, ‘Mediterranean’ roasted vegetables roasted in oil, grilled aubergine covered in oil and mozzarella etc.

There is also the global cost of the Western diet with the increased demand for red meat and meat products. According to the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations):

Meat consumption in developing countries has been continuously increasing from a modest average annual per capita consumption of 10 kg in the 1960s to 26 kg in 2000 and will reach 37 kg around the year 2030 according to FAO projections. This forecast suggests that in a few decades, developing countries’ consumption of meat will move towards that of developed countries where meat consumption remains stagnant at a high level.

It is estimated that the 70 billion farm animals raised globally contribute to 51% of all anthropogenic greenhouse emissions found in our atmosphere. According to ScienceDirect, agriculture globally ‘accounts for 92% of the global freshwater footprint; 29% of the water in agriculture is directly or indirectly used for animal production’ and according Livestock Exchange ‘Livestock systems occupy 45% of the global surface area’. The FAO also states that ‘almost 50 percent of the grains produced in the world are fed to livestock, yet there remain about 800 million people suffering from hunger and malnutrition mostly in the developing countries.’

Richard Oppenlander notes, in his book Food Choice and Sustainability: Why Buying Local, Eating Less Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won’t Work, that ‘one cow will provide 300 pounds of meat, which results in 120 pounds per 1 acre of land used in one year. For reference, an organic vegetable farm [...] produces on average 5,000 to 10,000 pounds per 1 acre of food, such as tomatoes, fast-growing greens, and herbs that are infinitely healthier for us to consume. (pps 85-86)

In Ireland, a government fact sheet on agriculture shows that ‘81% of agricultural area is devoted to pasture, hay and grass silage (3.63 million hectares), 11% to rough grazing (0.47 million hectares) and 8% to crops, fruit & horticulture production (0.38 million hectares).’ In other words, 92% of all agricultural land goes towards the raising and feeding of cattle and 8% to plant-based food.

As Oppenlander also notes:

Of the four leading causes of death and disease in the U.S. today, animal products and animal protein are implicated in all four – coronary heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, and diabetes, as well as their precursors, hypertension and obesity. (p.256)

The research work of biochemists, doctors and surgeons (such as T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, John McDougall, Neal Barnard etc) into the relationship between nutrition and disease has been met with industry opposition yet they have provided clear evidence of vastly improved health with dietary change away from the Western diet pattern. Their collective pursuance of a whole food, plant-based diet leads the way to a more enlightened understanding of diet and food production.

Countries like Ireland have a huge investment in cattle and dairy production but a new mindset will have to be developed both by farmers and consumers alike. It has often been said that Ireland has ‘forty shades of green’ yet in reality there is only one shade – the colour of grass – and this needs to be changed to a landscape of multi-varied crops instead.

If people change their dietary habits (in clear knowledge of the relationship between their diet and their overall health) then farmers will also be able to gradually move away from meat production and towards more tillage with huge benefits to our collective health and the environment.

See: http://www.globalresearch.ca/ireland-obesity-the-western-diet-and-the-global-food-challenge/5471016





Short biographies of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn and John A. McDougall

T. Colin Campbell 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
T. Colin Campbell Campbell speaking in 2013 Born  1934 (age 81) Education B.S. (1956), pre-veterinary medicine, Pennsylvania State University Veterinary school, one year, University of Georgia M.S. (1958), nutrition and biochemistry, Cornell University Ph.D. (1961), biochemistry, nutrition, and microbiology, Cornell University Occupation  Nutritional biochemist Notable work(s)      The China Study (2005) Relatives  Thomas M. Campbell (son) WebsiteT. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

T. Colin Campbell is an American biochemist who specializes in the effect of nutrition on long-term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University. Campbell has become known for his advocacy of a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet. He is the author of over 300 research papers on the subject, and two books, Whole (2013), and The China Study (2005, co-authored with his son), which became one of America's best-selling books about nutrition.[1] Campbell featured in the 2011 American documentary, Forks Over Knives. Campbell was one of the lead scientists in the 1980s of the China–Oxford–Cornell study on diet and disease, set up in 1983 by Cornell University, the University of Oxford, and the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine to explore the relationship between nutrition and cancer, heart and metabolic diseases. The study was described by The New York Times as "the Grand Prix of epidemiology."[2]
Early life and education
Campbell grew up on a dairy farm. He studied pre-veterinary medicine at Pennsylvania State University, where he obtained his B.S. in 1956, then attended veterinary school at the University of Georgia for a year.[3] He completed his M.S. in nutrition and biochemistry at Cornell in 1958, where he studied under Clive McCay (known for his research on nutrition and aging), and his Ph.D. in nutrition, biochemistry, and microbiology in 1961, also at Cornell. He's believed to be the worlds most renowned nutritional Biochemist.
Campbell joined MIT as a research associate, then worked for 10 years in the Virginia Tech Department of Biochemistry and Nutrition, before returning to Cornell in 1975 to join its Division of Nutritional Sciences. He has worked as a senior science adviser to the American Institute for Cancer Research,[4] and sits on the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.[5] He is known in particular for research, derived in part from the China Project, that appears to link the consumption of animal protein with the development of cancer and heart disease.[6] He argues that casein, a protein found in milk from mammals, is "the most significant carcinogen we consume."[7] Campbell has followed a 99 percent vegan diet since around 1990.[8] He does not identify himself as a vegetarian or vegan because, he said, "they often infer something other than what I espouse."[8] He told the New York Times: "The idea is that we should be consuming whole foods. We should not be relying on the idea that genes are determinants of our health. We should not be relying on the idea that nutrient supplementation is the way to get nutrition, because it’s not. I’m talking about whole, plant-based foods."[9] He has been a member since 1978 of several United States National Academy of Sciences expert panels on food safety, and holds an honorary professorship at the Chinese Academy of Preventive Medicine.[4] He is featured in the documentaries, Forks Over Knives, Planeat, and Vegucated. In 2010 after cardiac surgery, former U.S. president Bill Clinton mostly adopted the plant-based diet recommended by Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Dean Ornish.


Caldwell Esselstyn

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Caldwell Esselstyn Born      December 12, 1933 (age 81) New York, New York Residence           Shaker Heights, OH Nationality          American Fields    Cardiology Plant-based diet Institutions         Cleveland Clinic Alma mater        Yale University, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Known for           Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Forks Over Knives Notable awards                Gold Medal, 1956 Olympic Games - 8-oared rowing event Spouse   Ann Children  Rip, Jane, Zeb, and Ted Caldwell Esselstyn Medal record Men's rowing Competitor for the  United States Olympic Games Gold      1956 Melbourne    Men's eights

Caldwell Blakeman Esselstyn Jr. (born December 12, 1933) is an American surgeon and former Olympic rowing champion. He is a "leading proponent" in the field of "plant-based diets"[1] and starred in the 2011 American documentary, Forks Over Knives. Esselstyn's book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease (2007), influenced former U.S. President Bill Clinton.[2]
Esselstyn was born in New York City in 1933.[3] He grew up on a cattle farm in upstate New York and attended public schools. He attended Deerfield Academy for high school[4] and graduated from Yale University in 1956[5] where he was a member of Skull and Bones.[6] He also competed in the 1956 Summer Olympics in Melbourne, winning a gold medal in the "eights" as a member of the American team.[7] Esselstyn received his M.D. from the Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in 1961 (during which time he met his wife Ann).[4] He was an intern (1961–62) and resident (1962–66) at the Cleveland Clinic.[3] After returning in 1968 from duty as an Army surgeon in Vietnam, he began work at the Cleveland Clinic where he eventually rose to serve as President of the Staff and as a member of the Board of Governors. He served as the President of the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons in 1991. In 2000, he gave up his post at the Cleveland Clinic.[4] In 2005, he also "became the first recipient of the Benjamin Spock Award for Compassion in Medicine. He received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Cleveland Clinic Alumni Association in 2009. In September 2010, he received the Greater Cleveland Sports Hall of Fame Award."[8] Esselstyn is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Nutrition Action magazine, published by the Center for Science in the Public Interest.[9]
Book and film
Esselstyn is the author of the 2007 text, Prevent and reverse heart disease, in which he discusses his heart diseased patients's reversals of atherosclerosis by following a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based diet.[10] The second half of the book contains recipes from his wife Ann Crile Esselstyn (the granddaughter of George Washington Crile, founder of the Cleveland Clinic) who works with him to counsel patients on cooking practices. Esselstyn and his family of four children have maintained a plant-based diet since the mid-1980s.[8] Esselstyn attributes the success of his twelve-year trial with heart patients to low mean levels of both total cholesterol (145 mg/dl) and LDL cholesterol (82 mg/dl).[11][12] After undergoing cardiac surgery in 2010, former American president Bill Clinton adopted the plant-based diet recommended by Dean Ornish, T. Colin Campbell, and Esselstyn.[2][13] Esselstyn stars in the 2011 documentary Forks Over Knives, based on his work in Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease and the research of his colleague T. Colin Campbell in The China Study (2005). It also explores the work of other physicians who share this approach, as well as the personal experiences of some Esselstyn's patients. Esselstyn's son, Rip Esselstyn, a former "professional triathlete," firefighter, and author of The Engine 2 Diet based on his father's research, also appears in the film, as does his wife Ann.


John A. McDougall

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia John McDougall in 2013-09-24 11-25.jpg Born      1947 (age 68)[1] Nationality   American Ethnicity   Irish Alma mater        Michigan State University Occupation         physician, author Known for Treating degenerative diseases with a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based/vegan diet Notable work(s)   The McDougall Plan (1983) Website http://www.drmcdougall.com

John A. McDougall is an American physician and author whose philosophy is that degenerative disease can be prevented and treated with a low-fat, whole foods, plant-based/vegan diet – especially one based on starches such as potatoes, rice, and corn – which excludes all animal foods and added vegetable oils. Dr. McDougall is of Irish descent.
Biography: Early years and education
McDougall is a graduate of Michigan State University's College of Human Medicine, he performed his internship at Queen's Medical Center in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1972, and his medical residency at the University of Hawaii. He is certified as an internist by the Board of Internal Medicine and the National Board of Medical Examiners. In 1965, at age 18, McDougall suffered a massive stroke which he attributed to his high animal product diet.[2] Since the mid-1970s, he has followed mostly a vegan diet after observing that his elderly patients from the Far East, who lived mainly on rice and vegetables, were trim and healthy compared to their offspring tempted by an American diet.[3]
Between 1973 and 1976, McDougall worked as a physician at the Hamakua Sugar Plantation on Hawaii Island. It was during this time that he first became aware of the link between his patients' dietary choice and their health. Between 1986 and 2002, he launched a vegetarian dietary program at St. Helena Hospital in Napa Valley, California. Between 1999 and 2001, he also ran his dietary program for the Blue Cross Blue Shield in Minneapolis.[2] In 2002, he began the McDougall Program at the Flamingo Resort in Santa Rosa, California. The McDougall Program is a 10-day live-in program where patients work to regain their health by eating a vegetarian diet (without limits) and where they hear lectures by McDougall and other health professionals.[4] McDougall is the co-founder and chairman of Dr. McDougall's Right Foods Inc. which produces food products for grocery stores, and a member of the advisory board of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.[5] In 2000, The Press Democrat described McDougall and his wife as operating "a small industry, with several cookbooks, a newsletter, a Web site, vegetarian meal cups sold across the country, and a nationally syndicated TV show." McDougall is the author of several books, including The McDougall Plan (1983).[6] The McDougall plan has been categorized as a fad diet with possible disadvantages including a boring food choice, flatulence, and the risk of feeling too hungry.[7]
Research papers
    “Effects of 7 days on an ad libitum low-fat vegan diet: the McDougall Program cohort.” Nutrition Journal 13:99, 2014.
    "Effects of a very low fat vegan diet in subjects with rheumatoid arthritis." Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 8:71-75, 2002.
    "Rapid Reduction of Serum Cholesterol and Blood Pressure by a Twelve Day, Very Low Fat, Strictly Vegetarian Diet" Journal of the American College of Nutrition 14:491-496, 1995.
    "Reduction of Risk Factors in an Intensive 12-Day Residential Cardiac Rehabilitation and Lifestyle Modification Program in High Risk and Cardiovascularly Diseased Patients." Journal of Cardiopulmonary Rehab 9:397, 1989.
    The Starch Solution (2012)
    Dr. McDougall's Digestive Tune-Up (2006)
    McDougalls' All-You-Can-Eat Vegetarian Cookbook (2005)
    The McDougall Program for Women (1999)
    The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook (1999)
    The McDougall Program for a Healthy Heart (1996)
    The McDougall Plan for Maximum Weight Loss (1995)
    The New McDougall Cookbook (1995)
    The McDougall Program 12 Days to Dynamic Health (1991)
    The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook: Volume 2 (1986)
    McDougall's Medicine—A Challenging Second Opinion (1985)
    The McDougall Health-Supporting Cookbook: Volume 1 (1985)
    The McDougall Plan (1983) 




Documentaries on
food and food production



(1) Food, Inc. (2008) 94 min
Food, Inc. is a 2008 American documentary film directed by Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Robert Kenner. The film examines corporate farming in the United States, concluding that agribusiness produces food that is unhealthy, in a way that is environmentally harmful and abusive of both animals and employees. The film is narrated by Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser.

(2) Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014) 85 min

Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a 2014 documentary film produced and directed by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn. The film explores the impact of animal agriculture on the environment, and investigates the policies of environmental organizations on this issue. Environmental organizations investigated in the film include Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Surfrider Foundation, and Rainforest Action Network.

(3) Forks Over Knives (2011) 90 min
Through an examination of the careers of American physician Caldwell Esselstyn and professor of nutritional biochemistry T. Colin Campbell, Forks Over Knives suggests that "most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting our present menu of animal-based and processed foods."  It also provides an overview of the 20-year China–Cornell–Oxford Project that led to Professor Campbell's findings, outlined in his book, The China Study (2005) in which he suggests that coronary artery disease, diabetes, obesity, and cancer can be linked to the Western diet of processed and animal-based foods (including all dairy products).


(4) Farmageddon (2011) 86 min

The movie tells the story of small, family farmers providing safe, healthy foods to their communities who were forced to stop, often through violent action, by agents of misguided government bureaucracies. The movie succinctly poses and addresses the question "why is this happening in 21st century America?" Evoking both sympathy and anger for those farmers violently shut down by overzealous government policy and regulators, Farmageddon stresses the urgency of food freedom. Though the film deals with intense scenes and dramatic situations, the overall tone is optimistic, encouraging farmers and consumers alike to take action to preserve individuals' rights to access food of their choice and farmers' rights to produce these foods.  (Written by David Champeau IMDB)


(5) The Future of Food (2004) 88 min

The Future of Food is a 2004 American documentary film which describes an investigation into unlabeled, patented, genetically engineered foods that have been sold in grocery stores in the United States for the past decade. In addition to the US, there is a focus on Canada and Mexico. It voices the opinions of farmers in disagreement with the food industry, and details the impacts on their lives and livelihoods from this new technology, and the market and political forces that are changing what people eat. The farmers state that they are held legally responsible for their crops being invaded by "company-owned" genes. The film generally opposes the patenting of living organisms, and describes the disappearance of traditional cultural practices.

(6) Black Gold (2006) 78 min

Black Gold is a 2006 feature length documentary film. The story follows the efforts of an Ethiopian Coffee Union manager as he travels the world to obtain a better price for his workers' coffee beans.

(7) The World According to Monsanto (2008) 108 min

The World According to Monsanto is a 2008 film directed by Marie-Monique Robin. Originally released in French as Le monde selon Monsanto, the film is based on Robin's three-year-long investigation into the corporate practices around the world of the United States multinational corporation, Monsanto.

(8) The Dark Side of Chocolate (2010) 46 min

The Dark Side of Chocolate is a 2010 documentary film about the exploitation and slavetrading of African children to harvest chocolate still occurring nearly ten years after the cocoa industry pledged to end it.

(9) A Place at the Table (2012) 84 min

A Place at the Table is a 2012 documentary film directed by Kristi Jacobson and Lori Silverbush, with appearances by Jeff Bridges, Raj Patel, and chef Tom Colicchio. The film, concerning hunger in the United States, was released theatrically in the United States on March 1, 2013.

(10) We Feed the World (2005) 96 min

We Feed the World is a 2005 documentary in which Austrian filmmaker Erwin Wagenhofer traces the origins of the food we eat and views modern industrial production of food and factory farming in a critical light. His journey takes him to France, Spain, Romania, Switzerland, Brazil and back to Austria.

(11) Our Daily Bread (German: Unser täglich Brot) (2005) 92 min

Our Daily Bread (German: Unser täglich Brot) is a 2005 documentary film directed, co-produced, and with cinematography by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. The script was co-written by Wolfgang Widerhofer and Nikolaus Geyrhalter. The film depicts how modern food production companies employ technology to maximize efficiency, consumer safety and profit. It consists mainly of actual working situations without voice-over narration or interviews as the director tries to let viewers form their own opinion on the subject.

12) Processed People (2009) 40 min
When they're not busy picking our pockets, or telling us we have to give up liberties to have freedom, they're selling us garbage and calling it food. The manufactured food business is bigger than Big Oil; that kind of money buys inconceivably large amounts of propaganda, misinformation and corrupted science. Processed People is a wake-up call with factual, hard-hitting health commentary that is rarely heard. If you're searching for the un-processed truth about diet and health, look no further. (Written by Jeff Nelson. IMDB)

King Corn (2007) 88 min

King Corn is a feature documentary about two friends, one acre of corn, and the subsidized crop that drives our fast-food nation. In King Corn, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis, best friends from college on the east coast, move to the heartland to learn where their food comes from. With the help of friendly neighbors, genetically modified seeds, and powerful herbicides, they plant and grow a bumper crop of America's most-productive, most-subsidized grain on one acre of Iowa soil. But when they try to follow their pile of corn into the food system, what they find raises troubling questions about how we eat-and how we farm.

Vegucated (2011) 76 min

Vegucated is a 2011 American documentary film that explores the challenges of converting to a vegan diet. It "follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks." The director interviewed a number of people to participate in this documentary and chose Brian, who likes to eat meat and eat out; Ellen, a psychiatrist, part-time comedian and single mother; and Tesla, a college student who lives with her family. In the film Dr. Joel Fuhrman and Professor T. Colin Campbell discuss the benefits of a plant-based diet consisting of whole foods. The film also features Howard Lyman and Stephen R. Kaufman. Kneel Cohn makes a cameo appearance.

Planeat (2010) 87 min

Planeat is a 2010 British documentary film by Or Shlomi and Shelley Lee Davies. The film discusses the possible nutritional and environmental benefits of adopting a whole foods, plant-based diet based on the research of T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn and Gidon Eshel. The film also features the views of Peter Singer. According to Shelley Lee Davies, the film purposely does not cover any purported animal welfare arguments for adopting a plant-based (vegan) diet, but concentrates on the health and environmental reasons instead.

(16) Statin Nation: The Great Cholesterol Cover-Up (2013) 65 min

We are told that cholesterol is a major cause of heart disease. At least 40 million people are currently taking cholesterol-lowering medications, known as statins, and millions more people are avoiding foods that contain saturated fat and cholesterol. The basic idea is that dietary saturated fat raises cholesterol levels, and these two substances somehow clog-up our arteries, causing a heart attack. This idea is often referred to as the diet-heart hypothesis. However, a numbers of doctors and researchers have been challenging this hypothesis for decades, and the latest heart disease statistics reveal some alarming facts. Cholesterol-lowering has become a huge global industry, generating at least $29 billion each year. Have the facts about heart disease, cholesterol and cholesterol medications been distorted by pharmaceutical companies and food manufacturers keen to increase their profits?

(17) Super Size Me (2004) 100 min
Super Size Me is a 2004 American documentary film directed by and starring Morgan Spurlock, an American independent filmmaker. Spurlock's film follows a 30-day period from February 1 to March 2, 2003 during which he ate only McDonald's food. The film documents this lifestyle's drastic effect on Spurlock's physical and psychological well-being, and explores the fast food industry's corporate influence, including how it encourages poor nutrition for its own profit.

(18) Earthlings (2005) 95 min
Earthlings is a 2005 American documentary film about humanity's use of other animals as pets, food, clothing, entertainment, and for scientific research. The film is narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, features music by Moby, was directed by Shaun Monson, and was co-produced by Maggie Q, all of whom are practicing vegans. Covering pet stores, puppy mills, and animal profession, Earthlings includes footage obtained through the use of hidden cameras to chronicle the day-to-day practices of some of the largest industries in the world, all of which rely on animals. It draws parallels between racism, sexism, and speciesism.

(19) Food Matters (2008) 80 min
Food Matters is a 2008 documentary film about nutrition. The film presents the thesis that a selective diet can play a key role in treating a range of health conditions such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease and depression, often substituting for medical treatment. Furthermore, it tends to label the medical industry as a "sickness industry", which profits more from treating the symptoms of illness than curing the illness. The film accuses the medical and pharmaceutical industries of a general conspiracy to perpetuate poor health in order to maximize profits.

(20) Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw (2006) 72 min
Supercharge Me! 30 Days Raw is a 2006 documentary film about raw foodism by Jenna Norwood. Norwood, inspired by Morgan Spurlock's Super Size Me, ate only raw vegan foods (i.e. uncooked fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds) for thirty days and documented the changes to her health. The movie features interviews with raw foodists David Wolfe, Ben Vereen and Kathy Sledge. The film follows Norwood after she decides to trade her "junk food vegetarian" diet for a raw vegan diet.

(21) A Delicate Balance – The Truth (2008) 84 min
A Delicate Balance – The Truth is a documentary film created by Aaron Scheibner, released on 13 November 2008, outlining the effects of diet on health and the environment. Based on a large amount of research into these areas, it features interviews with doctors and other prominent figures on the public health scene, as well as world leaders such as Maneka Gandhi.

(22) The Fruit Hunters (2012) 95 min
The Fruit Hunters is a 2012 feature documentary film about exotic fruit cultivators and preservationists. It is directed by Yung Chang and co-written by Chang and Mark Slutsky, and inspired by Adam Leith Gollner’s 2008 book of the same name. In addition to documentary sequences, the film also uses CGI animation, models and performers to stage real and imagined moments in the history of fruit.

(23) Fed Up (2014) 92 min
Fed Up is a 2014 American documentary film directed, written and produced by Stephanie Soechtig. The film focuses on the causes of obesity in the US, presenting evidence showing that the large quantities of sugar in processed foods are an overlooked root of the problem, and points to the monied lobbying power of "Big Sugar" in blocking attempts to enact effective policies to address the issue.

(24) Peaceable Kingdom (2004) 70 min
Peaceable Kingdom is a documentary produced in 2004 by Tribe of Heart is about several farmers who refuse to kill animals and how they convert to veganism as a way of life. A newer version of the film premiered in 2009 called Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home which featured different people. On the Tribe of Heart website for the 2009 film, there is no apparent mention of the 2004 movie. The 2004 film tells the story of how the farmers create an animal sanctuary farm called "Farm Sanctuary" where they rescue injured animals, half dead, abandoned, and rejected by the farm industry for not being productive. A few examples are a cow with mastitis or newborn chicks unfit for production.

(25) Mondovino (2004) 135 min

Mondovino (Italian: World of Wine) is a 2004 documentary film on the impact of globalization on the world's different wine regions written and directed by American film maker Jonathan Nossiter. It was nominated for the Palme d'Or at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival and a César Award. The film explores the impact of globalization on the various wine-producing regions, and the influence of critics like Robert Parker and consultants like Michel Rolland in defining an international style. It pits the ambitions of large, multinational wine producers, in particular Robert Mondavi, against the small, single estate wineries who have traditionally boasted wines with individual character driven by their terroir.

(26) Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2008) 89 min

Blue Gold: World Water Wars is a 2008 documentary film by Sam Bozzo, based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight to Stop the Corporate Theft of the World’s Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clarke. Blue Gold: World Water Wars examines environmental and political implications of the planet's dwindling water supply, and posits that wars in the future will be fought over water. The film also highlights some success stories of water activists around the world and makes a strong case for community action.

(27) Gut Reaction (2014) 57 min
According to the revealing insights presented in the new documentary Gut Reaction, the key to disease prevention may lie in how we chose to nourish the bacteria that resides in our intestines. For many years, science regarded bacteria in much the same way as the public at large. Bacteria were viewed as nasty and threatening parasitic life forms that must be avoided and protected against at all costs. Just a few short years ago, however, modern technologies allowed us a peek into the inner workings of the microbial world like never before. Through extensive study which remains ongoing, we've come to understand the many benefits associated with the bacteria which exists within our bodies. This "good" bacteria regulates our immune system and determines our defenses against potentially harmful bacteria from the outside world. In so doing, it also maintains a crucial role in the areas of mental and physical wellness. 


(28) Globesity: Fat's New Frontier (2012) 60 min
Globesity: Fat's New Frontier reveals the outrageous eruption of a worldwide corpulence in countries where not so long ago famine was number one health issue. In China the usage of sugar and oil has led to rapid enlargement of waistlines; in Brazil global food companies have basically changed the usual daily intakes of food and sent the national scales spinning. In India it's anticipated that 100 million people will have diabetes in the near future and in Mexico, the largest consumer of carbonated beverage in the world, where diabetes is already a headline killer and where the weight problem is so acute, special programs have been made available offering free fitness classes and bariatric surgery. If you thought obesity was just an issue in the first world economies, like the US, UK and Australia, this documentary will set you straight. The fatness of the world is changing in ways that will amaze and possibly even disturb you. In the recent past, in many of the world's impoverished corners, hunger was the main health concern. Assessments put the number of underweight at 700 million, and overweight - mainly in affluent countries - at 100 million. How the tables have turned. In truth, no country has succeeded to eliminate the hunger without shifting to corpulence, very quickly. Among poor and developing countries, there's not a single one, from sub-Saharan Africa to South Africa to the Middle East to Asia and Latin America, which has regulated this difficulty. By 2010 the number of underweight people had increased only slightly but the number of very overweight people had blown up to 500 million. It's estimated that by 2030 more than one billion will be fat. We have dumped the concern of obesity into the developing economies just at a time when the numbers were starting to level off. This is a global problem and every country on the planet should be worried about it.

(29) Most Sellable Food (2013) 56 min
A look into the business of food and branding. It shows what foods generate the most money and why. This documentary goes behind the scenes of these big food brands to see how they plan their marketing for new products as well as ones that aren’t selling as much.

(30) Seeds of Death (2012) 80 min
Every single independent study conducted on the impact of genetically modified food shows that it damages organs, it causes infertility, it causes immune system failure, it causes holes in the GI tract, and it causes multiple organ system failure. The whole concept of genetically modified organisms is throwing a monkey wrench in the life on this planet. The reason why they have 170 million acres of genetically engineered corn, soybeans, cotton, canola oil and sugar beets in the United States is because it doesn't have to be labeled. The first genetically modified animal, the salmon, may soon be approved for human consumption and there has not been sufficient animal health testing, human health testing, or environmental impact testing of these new transgenic fish. Basically, they take agriculture and build an industrial model which doesn't fit nature. So instead of changing our agricultural model to accommodate what is natural, they're changing nature to accommodate the industrial model.

(31) Seeds of Freedom (2012) 30 min
Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity rich farming systems across the world, to being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system. The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, has impacted on the enormous agro-biodiversity evolved by farmers and communities around the world, since the beginning of agriculture. Seeds of Freedom seeks to challenge the mantra that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world, promoted by the pro-GM lobby. In tracking the story of seed it becomes clear how corporate agenda has driven the take over of seed in order to make vast profit and control of the food global system. Produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network, in collaboration with MELCA Ethiopia, Navdanya International and GRAIN.

(32) Seeds of Permaculture (2013) 88 min
One of the reasons for shooting this film is the global climate change. All around the world, as you know, places are experiencing odd weather events. All around the world, whether you're in South America, in North America, in Europe, in Asia, people are experiencing weather patterns that are out of the norm. So, one of the reasons that permaculture is getting so popular right now, growing faster than ever before, on an exponential curve of growth, is because our planet needs it. It's time for the important changes that permaculture has to give. People are becoming less and less self-sufficient around the world, these local communities that were previously growing everything themselves and knew how to build their own houses out of natural materials are completely dependent on big foreign powers and import from other countries.
One of the challenges that permaculture has out in front of it is proving to the world that it can be a viable form of profitable agriculture. Through the development of a master plan for your site or your project, it's possible to really lay out enhancement strategies that make it more likely that you and your project can become profitable.

(33) Meat the Truth (2008) 72 min
From the author: Climate Change and Global Warming - yes I know, it's a hoax, it's a scam and designed to keep us in fear and implement a Carbon Tax, as if we aren't already taxed to death. This video discusses an issue that is almost always overlooked when officials and science discuss climate.
What about the 90 BILLION animals raised for food production. The energy to grow their food, to feed them, to transport them, to slaughter and finally to your local grocer in the form of packaged flesh OR prepared / frozen meals and various by-products.

(34) Big Sugar (2005) 90 min
Big Sugar explores the dark history and modern power of the world's reigning sugar cartels. Using dramatic reenactments, it reveals how sugar was at the heart of slavery in the West Indies in the 18th century, while showing how present-day consumers are slaves to a sugar-based diet. Going undercover, Big Sugar witnesses the appalling working conditions on plantations in the Dominican Republic, where Haitian cane cutters live like slaves. Workers who live on Central Romano, a Fanjul-owned plantation, go hungry while working 12-hour days to earn $2 (US).

(35) The Foods that Make Billions (2010) 177 min
The Foods that Make Billions is a series looking at how big business feeds us. Starting with a look at the bottled water industry, moving through cereals and finally looking at yoghurt, these three episodes explore the history of how these simple commodities have become staple products, part of the global diet.
Liquid Gold looks at the competitive dynamics between two of the global leaders in the bottled water marketplace: Nestle and Danone. Episode one unpacks the brand philosophy and big business strategy behind these big hitters in the industry. But why would you buy something that you could get for free from the tap? This documentary looks at the marketing and advertising strategies used by big business to create demand that results in the distribution of millions of bottles of water around the world.
Episode two tells the story of a modern marketing miracle: the story of the breakfast cereal. The Age of Plenty investigates the processing, marketing and advertising behind a breakfast that has singularly impacted the way we live. Breakfast cereal marks the birth of modern day "convenience food", invented to make cheap and lifeless corn bits edible and easy to sell, and promoted through reverse psychology, cereal has transformed the way we eat and consequently the way we live. This series tracks the multi-billion dollar breakfast cereal industry, explaining the impact of television advertising on the promotion and sales of breakfast cereals, which endures to this day.

(36) The Food Speculator (2012) 46 min
Assuming the role of a speculator, director Kees Brouwer tries to find out whether he is merely taking advantage of the opportunity offered to investors by the food scarcity, or that, through this abstract world of financial products, he is drastically interfering in poor people's lives. Increasing food prices are increasingly causing unrest in the world. It was no coincidence that when the Arab Spring first began Tunisian protesters attacked the order police with baguettes. Is there just not enough food for so many people, or are the price increases caused by speculators, looking for quick profits? Backlight tries to find an answer by doing a little food speculation of its own. A quest that leads us to places including the streets of Tunisia and the Chicago Stock Exchange.

(37) Fast Food, Fat Profits: Obesity in America (2010) 23 min
Obesity in America has reached a crisis point. Two out of every three Americans are overweight, one out of every three is obese. One in three are expected to have diabetes by 2050. Minorities have been even more profoundly affected. African-Americans have a 50 per cent higher prevalence of obesity and Hispanics 25 per cent higher when compared with whites. How did the situation get so out of hand? Josh Rushing explores the world of cheap food for Americans living at the margins. What opportunities do people have to eat healthy? Who is responsible for food deserts and processed food in American schools?

(38) Sugar: The Bitter Truth (2009) 90 min
Robert H. Lustig, MD, UCSF Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology, explores the damage caused by sugary foods. He argues that fructose (too much) and fiber (not enough) appear to be cornerstones of the obesity epidemic through their effects on insulin. Series: UCSF Mini Medical School for the Public [7/2009] [Health and Medicine]

(39) The Starch Solution - John McDougall MD (2010) 75 min
This truth is simple and is, therefore, easy to explain. You must eat to live. But the choice of what you eat is yours. There is an individual, specific diet that best supports the health, function, and longevity of each and every animal. The proper diet for human beings is based on starches. The more rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and beans you eat, the trimmer and healthier you will be -- and with those same food choices you will help save the Planet Earth too. This talk is by John McDougall MD from the VegSource Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2010.

(40) Sustainability and Food Choice (2013) 85 min
Richard Oppenlander presents: Sustainability and Food Choice: Why Eating Local, "Less" Meat, and Taking Baby Steps Won't Work, at the March 2013 McDougall Advanced Study Weekend.

(41) Comfortably Unaware Oppenlander (2012) 12 min
In this video, Dr. Richard Oppenlander tells his personal story about raising three children on a plant-based diet on a farm in Michigan which they converted into an animal sanctuary for abused and unwanted farmed animals. He also conveys the harsh ecological realities of continuing to consume animals... on our health, and on the planet.

(42) Are Humans Designed To Eat Meat? (2011) 60 mins
The major causes of death in Western countries are cardiovascular diseases and cancers. Abundant medical research linking these diseases to dietary and lifestyle factors, guidelines advanced by the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society, and the Surgeon General, among others, counsel Americans to sharply reduce animal foods consumed and replace them with fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. In effect, they are recommending a more plant-based diet, which begs the question: Are humans designed to eat meat?

(43) Milton Mills, MD on the Biology of Disgust (2012) 81 min
Why humans find meat disgusting! Following a spectacular potluck vegan Thanksgiving meal, Dr. Mills gave this presentation to the monthly meeting of the Rochester Area Vegetarian Society in Rochester, NY on Sunday, November 18, 2012 to an audience of over 80 people.

(44) Olive Oil is NOT Health Food but Sick Food - Jeff Novick (2009) 10 min
So many are deceived into believing that olive oil and the Mediterranean Diet are "health promoting." Oh yeah? Actually, the Mediterranean diet, which contains a very small amount of olive oil (unlike how most people use olive oil), IS healthier than the standard American diet. But is it the healthiest diet out there?

(45) Olive Oil Is Not Healthy - Michael Klaper MD (2013) 11 min
If you read the studies, the Mediterranean Diet is healthy IN SPITE OF olive oil, not because of it. This is a short excerpt from the talk of Michael Klaper MD at the Healthy Lifestyle Expo 2012, and comes from the Bronze DVD set.

(46) Milton Mills: Whats Wrong with the Paleo Diet? (2011) 50 min
Critique of the Paleo Diet

(47) Soul Food is Plantation Food (2013) 9 min
In this excerpt, Dr. Mills discusses the troubling connection between slavery and soul food.

(48) Safest source of B12  (2012) 2 min
Since foods are effectively a package deal, what is the best way to get vitamin B12

(49) Do Vegetarians Get Enough Protein? (2014) 4 min
Nutritional quality indices show plant-based diets are the healthiest, but do vegetarians and vegans reach the recommended daily intake of protein?

(50) Dr Michael Greger, MD discusses diabetes and the dangers of low carb diets (2014) 8 min

(51) Dr Michael Greger, MD. Switching from Beef to Chicken & Fish May Not Lower Cholesterol (2015) 4:38 min

(52) Dr Michael Greger, MD. Phytates for the Prevention of Cancer (2014) 3:48 min
Phytic acid (phytate), concentrated in food such as beans, whole grains, and nuts, may help explain lower cancer rates among plant-based populations.

(53) OIL TO NUTS: The Truth About Fats (Jeff Novick DVD) (2010) 5:49 min

(54) Dr Michael Greger, MD. Olive Oil and Artery Function (2015) 3:28 min
Does extra virgin olive oil have the same adverse effect on arterial function as refined oils and animal fats?

(55) Dr Michael Greger, MD. Fatty Meals May Impair Artery Function (2015) 4:14 min
We finally discovered why a single high-fat meal can cause angina chest pain.

(56) Rotten (Netflix)
2018  Season 1 Documentary Programmes
This docuseries (6 episodes) travels deep into the heart of the food supply chain to reveal unsavory truths and expose hidden forces that shape what we eat.

1. Lawyers, Guns & Honey 55m
With demand for honey soaring just as bees are dying off in record numbers, hidden additives, hive thefts and other shady tactics are on the rise.

2. The Peanut Problem 48m
As food allergies skyrocket, scientists race to understand what's changed in our bodies, while farmers and chefs contend with new challenges.

3. Garlic Breath 55m
Cooking shows turned the humble garlic bulb into a multibillion-dollar crop. But a lawsuit raises troubling questions about top suppliers.

4. Big Bird 52m
The ruthlessly efficient world of chicken production pits vulnerable growers against each other and leaves them open to vicious acts of sabotage.

5. Milk Money 58m
Changing diets and dramatic price swings have put dairy farmers on the ropes and fueled a surge in lucrative but controversial raw milk sales.

6. Cod Is Dead 56m
As the global fish supply dwindles, the industry faces crises on all sides -- including crooked moguls, dubious imports and divisive regulations.