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“Why Doctors Don’t Recommend Veganism”
Dr. Michael Greger Interviewed by Guy Cassidy
Dr. Greger, welcome to England.
I’m happy to be here.
Thank you so much.
We really, really appreciate it.
Let’s get straight into it because I know
you’ve not got a huge amount of time.
Everyone wants to see you.
Tell me a little bit about the progress
in the plant-based movement recently.
There’s been tremendous progress,
particularly in the health field,
at least that’s—I mean, that’s
certainly my perspective.
In the States there’s just
been a real surge,
a real tipping point in terms of
the plant-based nutrition movement.
There are now entire conferences.
There’s an international plant-based
nutrition health care conference,
hundreds of physicians of the
medical profession get together,
talk about how they’re
using this in their practice.
I mean that didn’t
exist a few years ago.
I mean it’s really,
really exciting.
There’s new vegan medical clinics
opening up, where all the folks on staff
are using lifestyle
medicine approaches,
not just to prevent disease, but
to stop and reverse it as well.
Tell me about the
main players involved.
You’ve got Nutrition Facts, great,
and you’ve got the Physicians
Committee doing a lot of work.
Who are the main players
and what’s been achieved
specifically in the last few
months and the last year?
What’s been the memorable
moment for you?
Well, so you know, a lot of people don’t know
about Scott Stoll, who started the PBNHC,
this Plantrition project, this
plant-based nutrition conference.
He’s been doing these immersion programs
for whole foods for a long time now.
He has a book coming out.
I’m very excited about that.
He’s just had transformative experiences.
He’s just a physician in practice.
There’s people all over who’ve been doing
this in their own little, you know, home towns,
but it’s just great to get so many
people together to start networking.
So there’s wonderful resources out now,
documentaries, you know,
we’ve got a number of documentaries
coming up like “The Game Changers”
and “Eat Yourself Alive.”
And I mean it’s just—this is an
exciting time to be in the movement.
And I think, you know, a lot of it,
there’s just so much—
I mean we’re going to get there if
only because the health care costs
are spiraling out of control,
right, climate change—
I mean we’re just going to
be forced to have to take
these safe, simple,
side-effect free solutions;
cheaper, safer, more effective than
conventional medical approaches
because we’re talking about the leading
killers, right, the leading cause of death.
I mean the good news is that the vast
majority of premature death and disability
is preventable with a plant-based diet
and other healthy lifestyle behaviors.
We have the power, we have tremendous power
over our medical destiny and longevity.
You talk passionately about
the benefits of plant-based diets,
particularly reversing heart disease.
My old boss, he was a professor of
epidemiology, professor Tim Spector.
He said he met, talked to Dean Ornish,
talked to Dean Ornish who said,
“The thing with the plant-
based movement is
you get this sense you’re either
with them or against them.”
We’re going to talk
about that in a minute.
But also what he said was there aren’t
any large, randomized control trials.
He said he talked to Dean Ornish,
“Show me the large, randomized—”
Why aren’t there any?
If we’ve known about this since
Pritikin’s day, where’s the data,
the large randomized
control trials?
Well, look, I mean Ornish published his first
RCT, randomized control trial, July 1990
in the “Lancet,” the most prestigious
medical journal in the world.
There it was, black and white,
proving with quantitative angiography
that we can reverse
heart disease,
open up arteries without drugs,
without surgery—
just a healthy plant-based diet
and other lifestyle changes.
There it was, right?
So we’ve known about it
for decades, but there it was,
published in some of the most prestigious
medical journals in the world,
“The Lancet,” “JAMA,”
yet what happened?
Hundreds of thousands of people continued
to die of a reversible, preventable disease.
So it’s being ignored?
It’s being lost down the
rabbit hole and ignored.
I said, wait a second.
If effectively the cure to our number
one killer could get lost like that,
what else is there in the medical
literature that could help my patients,
but just didn’t have a corporate
budget driving its promotion?
I made it my life’s mission to find out.
That’s why I started NutritionFacts.org,
and that’s why I wrote my new book,
“How Not to Die.”
What I find very interesting is you say the
system needs to take on board this message,
but the whole point of NutritionFacts
was to go around the system.
Tell me a little bit about the democratization
of information and the role that’s played,
and why that’s been good
for the movement, I guess?
You know, when I started out, I started out
ignoring the general public and going straight,
you know, trying to train the trainers effectively,
going around speaking at all the medical schools
in the States to try to, you know, get
the next generation of doctors educated,
but then I realized that’s
a slow way about it.
We don’t have time.
People are dying now.
I don’t need to, you know,
for another 10 years for them to kind
of slowly take over the medical system.
People are dying now.
We need to take this
directly to the people.
And thankfully, thanks to the Internet
age, we now have this democratization
of information; now
everyone has access.
Before, the doctors had a monopoly
on information about health,
and so big pharma, the food industry,
all they had to do is get to the doctors.
The tobacco industry, as long as
they could get the AMA on board
by writing them checks
for $10 million,
and so they came out opposed to the Surgeon
General’s report against smoking in 1964,
as long as they get, as long as they control
the doctors, they control the health message.
No longer!
Now people can get to the science
directly, educate themselves,
and we can’t wait until
society catches up to
the science because it’s a
matter of life and death.
USDA, I’ve read their mission is to
expand markets for agricultural products,
but at the same time they’re coming
out with the dietary guidelines.
Is that one of the challenges
you have in the States?
The USDA has an inherent conflict of
interest, the US Department of Agriculture.
Look, the same thing happened
here in Great Britain, right?
There is the Ministry of
Food and Forestry, right?
And then the mad cow debacle came and
they basically dissolved the department, right?
Put, you know, food safety
in charge, you know,
medical professionals in charge of food
safety instead of agricultural professionals.
Same conflict of interests
exists in the States.
US Department of Agricultural has this dual
mission to promote agricultural products;
that’s what they’re there for,
but also we put them in charge
of food safety: meat inspections,
helping to come up with
the nutrition guidelines.
So when it comes to
“eat more” messaging,
the message is clear: eat
more fruits and vegetables.
There it is, right there in black and
white in the dietary guidelines.
But what about “eat less” messaging?
Then there’s a conflict.
So what do you get?
Instead of eat less meat, eggs,
dairy, junk, what do they say?
Eat less saturated and
trans fatty acids, things
like that—biochemical
components, right,
because they don’t want to mention foods
because that’s too politically unpalatable.
But they’ll mention vegetables,
they’ll mention fruits.
Well, they’ll mention fruits and vegetables
because it’s “eat more” messaging.
Everybody’s happy.
Promote agricultural products
and promote health.
If they can do it without
undermining the profit motive,
they’d be happy to make
the American public healthier.
In your book you use words such as
“drug lords” in quite a conspiratorial way
some would argue when you’re
talking about the medical industry.
I think I saw that
in the preface.
Can you just explain a little bit about how
corrupt the medical industry is in the US?
Kind of relate it to what
you talked about already.
Well, there’s a number
of barriers for doctors—
See, we say OK, we understand why some
of the mainstream medical associations
are sucking up to industry because they’re
being sponsored by big pharma, for example.
But why aren’t individual
doctors speaking out?
Well, there’s a severe nutrition
deficiency in doctors in education.
We just weren’t taught
this in medical school,
so we graduate without these powerful
tools in our medical toolbox.
We just weren’t taught how to teach people
to take better care of themselves, right?
But, of course, there’s other barriers:
just lack of time, lack of reversing—
doctors aren’t paid to tell people how
to take better care of themselves.
And also there’s, you know,
much of medical education,
both during medical school and
post-graduate medical education
is paid for by the drug industry.
I mean the number one reason people
go to their doctor in North America
is what I call blood pressure
checks, and they
keep going to get their
blood pressure checks
so they can tweak the
blood pressure medications.
And so that’s a boon,
not only to big pharma,
which sells these chronic disease
drugs that people take every single day
for the rest of their lives
because they’re not
actually treating the cause
of their disease, right,
because they’re not actually
changing their diet,
so they need to be treated every
day for the rest of their lives.
So it’s a boon to big pharma, but also
that’s where the doctor’s getting a
nice BMW from and
sending their kids to college.
I mean the most common—
it’s the bread and butter of the GPs,
of the primary care docs,
is these blood pressure checks,
which wouldn’t be necessary if
they didn’t have high blood pressure.
The number one killer risk factor in the world,
9 million people die of high blood pressure,
a disease that need not occur
if people ate plant-based diets,
something we’ve known
since the 1920s.
Do you think ready, ah, people, rather,
are ready to receive that information,
because you talk very
passionately about science?
The science is clearly there, but are
people ready to take that on board?
There are people ready.
Not everybody’s ready.
Look, there are still people
who are smoking cigarettes.
I mean who to this day doesn’t
know that smoking’s bad?
But there’s been this
tremendous drop in smoking.
The peak year was 1964 in the
States of smoking per capita,
about 4,000 cigarettes a year,
but most Americans smoking
about half a pack on average a day.
That was the peak year.
What happened in that year?
The Surgeon General’s report.
As soon as the government
came on board—
Now it took 7,000 studies before the first
Surgeon General’s report came out in 1964.
Do you think after the first
6,000 they could have
given people a little heads up
or something?
No. 7,000—25 years, 7,000—
countless smoker deaths.
Finally they came out.
They finally acknowledged what we’ve
known for years: smoking causes cancer.
And what happened?
Smoking rates have dropped
every year since, all right?
So now last year the World Health
Organization comes out, the IARC,
the official body which determines what causes
cancer, what doesn’t cause cancer, came out:
processed meat is
a Class 1 carcinogen.
We know processed meat causes
cancer as much as we know that
smoking causes cancer, asbestos
causes cancer, radiation causes cancer.
Yet people continue to send their kids
to school with these lunch meat products,
chicken nuggets, these
processed meat products.
We regulate tobacco; there
are warning labels on tobacco.
There should be similar regulations
to protect people from processed meat.
Point scale, what do you think?
Smoking it took, you’re saying, 50 years
between when the science was known
and when the institutions
acted upon that.
With meat, it’s a little bit different surely
because they’ve said processed meat is bad,
but surely it’s going to take
a while for them to say
all animal products are
detrimental to health.
Well, look, so the centers
for disease control
on their website should be “processed meat
causes cancer” just like smoking causes cancer.
Let’s at least get that
information out there.
So you’re right.
Meat is considered a probable
human carcinogen, unprocessed meat.
Good enough for me; I’d rather stay away
from probable human carcinogens as well,
but look, let’s start with
the low-hanging fruit.
We know bacon, hot dogs, sausage,
lunch meat, turkey slices,
chicken nuggets; these
foods cause cancer.
We’re certain of it; we have
scientific certainty,
consensus among the
scientists, you know,
the expert committee that came
together to determine this.
Let’s get that out of our diet.
At the very least, now that the
science is solid, how many years,
how many peoples’ lives are we going to
have to lose before we finally come on board?
Look, it’s your body, your choice.
You want to smoke cigarettes?
Go for it, right?
You should just be aware of the predictable
consequences of your actions.
It’s up to each of us to make our own
decisions as to what to eat and how to live,
but we should make
these choices consciously,
educating ourselves about the predictable
consequences of our actions.
You talked earlier about the barriers.
I want to talk about low carb diets.
So I know you’ve written
a book on low carb diets.
I know you’ve talked
about them before.
I don’t really want to get into
the science; you’ve done that.
But I want to know whether
you think these physicians
recommending meat-based,
low carb diets—
do you think they’re actively
putting this misinformation out,
or are they just misinformed themselves?
Is it a lack of integrity?
Yeah, so that’s a
good question, right?
So, I mean at a certain point it
doesn’t really matter, right,
whether they’re doing
it just to sell books,
or they’re doing it because they’ve
deluded themselves into thinking
that this is true and they haven’t
really looked at the science.
Either way what they’re doing is
they’re harming people, right?
And so, yes, people love
hearing bad news about the—
good news about their bad habits,
and that’s how you sell magazines.
“Butter is back,” something like that.
But you’re selling the public short.
The public deserves and needs
to know that there is a consensus
among the nutrition scientific
community going back decades
about the foundations of
healthy eating and healthy living,
and that is more whole plant foods
like more fruits and vegetables,
and minimizing the intake of
animal foods and processed junk.
Have you had any backlash or hates
from anybody about what you promote,
like, for example, from
the low carb doctors?
I’m sure.
You’re sure.
Any [inaudible] stories?
So, I mean, well, I mean so
for example, the Atkins Corporation,
when I came out with my book against
low carb guides, sued me for liable,
making libelous statements against Atkins,
I’m saying is your diet was bad.
Of course he dropped dead before
they were able to carry out their law suit
and they went bankrupt four months after
the book came out, so they weren’t able to—
But I published the, you know, the attorney
letter online with a point-by-point rebuttal.
So I encourage the meat and junk food industry
to sue me; I could use the extra traffic.
You worry though,
because you do realize
you’re messing with an industry
that’s bigger than oil?
There’s been wars over oil.
How much resistance can we expect from
the meat and dairy industries in the future?
Well, you know, look, the meat
and dairy industry, they’re not,
they don’t wake up every morning saying,
“How can we kill people? How can we kill animals?”
They wake up every morning and say,
“I want to make money,” all right?
So, you know, if we—I mean very recently
in the “Meatingplace” magazine,
which is a leading industry
meat publication,
the cover story was on plant-based
meats, was on, you know—
Meat substitute market?
Right, meat substitute market.
And they’re saying, “Look, we’ve got
the distribution; we’ve got the machines.
We’ve got like the sausage
making machines.
We should be—
These vegan companies are
taking away our market share.
Let’s get into this.”
So like the dairy company, you know,
buying up Silk soy milk, putting out soy milk.
They’ve already got the distribution, they’ve
got the packaging, they’ve got it all down.
They don’t care.
In fact, it’s probably
easier to make soy milk.
You don’t have to deal with the manure,
you don’t have to deal with all the—
I mean it’s just inefficient, right,
from a purely capitalist standpoint.
To make an egg going through the chicken
and all the feed and all the hassle and work,
why, you can make egg-free
mayonnaise and there we go.
I mean it’s like it’s
cheaper, it’s safer.
I mean it’s just, I mean so these
industries are jumping on board.
So they just want to make money, and we
show them a different way to make money,
they’ll make money in
a different way, right?
Coca-Cola executives don’t wake up and
say, “How can we make little kids fat?”
They say, “How can we make money?”
“Well, let’s take the cheapest
possible ingredients like sugar,
because the taxpayer subsidizes the sugar
industry, charge a couple of bucks for it.”
They make a lot of money.
Junk makes a lot of money.
Broccoli doesn’t make
a lot of money.
But if people buy broccoli—if people stop
buying this junk we can shift the industry over.
Vegan junk?
You mentioned that little corporations are
doing well and starting to affect the economy.
You’ve got Follow Your Heart
making vegan eggs.
You’ve got—I can’t remember
the other company—
a lot of companies, that’s
what I’m trying to say.
Do you support those companies
and do you think the mock meats
they’re making are healthy?
Well, they’re healthier, so certainly,
so I consider them transition foods,
great ways to get people to move over.
You know, most people who
have developed this palate,
it’s kind of the
standard Western diet,
they can’t go straight to salads
and lentils and sweet potatoes.
I mean it just wouldn’t taste,
you know, they have a history;
they’ve developed this
certain kind of palate.
So we can say, “Look, everything
you enjoyed before you can enjoy.
You like burgers?
We’ve got veggie burgers.
You like [brie?]—
we’ve got anything you want.
You like ice cream?
We’ve got ice cream.”
Like any—
OK, that’s great.
That’s a way to slowly shift
the market, shift people over,
but I just don’t want
people to stop there.
I want people to continue
to improve their diet.
So sure, cholesterol free,
less saturated fat, etc.,
but even better are the more whole plant
foods we can get into our diet, pack in,
the healthier we’ll be long term.
What I wanted to get into was I wanted to
know your thoughts on the vegan community.
How do you feel we are representing
ourselves at the moment?
Do you think we should
focus on health?
Because what I’m trying to say
is the mainstream thinks we’re
really wacky and that kind of thing?
Do you think we should have
like a health focus primarily,
or should people talk about the
ethical issues, or both, I guess?
Well, I mean as a speaker,
the number one rule of professional
speaking is know thy audience, right?
I mean it’s like who
are you talking to?
If you’re talking about young people,
find out what they’re passionate about.
Yeah, yeah, yeah.
If they’re passionate about one
thing, you talk about the implications.
I mean, you know, I talk mostly
to professional medical audiences,
and they care about the medicine,
so I talk about health.
But for people that don’t care
about health, I don’t bring up health.
I mean, you know, you’ve got
to know who you’re taking to.
If you’re talking to women,
you talk about breast cancer.
If you’re talking to men, you talk about
prostate cancer and erectile dysfunction.
If you talk to young people,
I talk about acne,
I talk about athletic performance.
I talk about things
people care about.
I’m not going to talk about, you know, acne
to the 80-year-old who’s got crushing chest pain,
but I mean it’s just—
And so I mean I think it should depend on,
you know, who we’re trying to reach.
And, you know, frankly, I mean
the health argument,
I mean we have such this overwhelming
balance of evidence in support,
then it’s like who doesn’t
want to be healthy?
It’s like, I mean that
reaches everybody.
I mean, so—
Does it reach everybody though?
I don’t think it does.
Some people care—some people care
about animals, some people don’t.
Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life?
Who doesn’t want to live a long, healthy life?
I mean, so I mean I think—
But look, I’ve got a bias.
I mean that’s just
my background.
You’ve got a bias, so you think
that affects your credibility
that you’ve got the whole
vegan thing has come up?
On your Wikipedia page it says—
I’m playing Devil’s Advocate here.
But on your Wikipedia page it
says some people criticized you
for cherry picking because
you’ve got vegan motives.
Have you tried to sort of kind of cover up
the whole animal thing because you want
to keep that credibility and just make
it health, health, health, health, health?
Do you understand the
question I’m asking?
It must be difficult because
it’s all evidence based.
I mean there’s
nothing covering up.
I mean I work for the Humane
Society of the United States,
the largest animal protection
organization in the world.
What am I covering up?
I mean I’m the Director of
Public Health of the HSUS.
But I mean in terms
of cherry picking,
I mean that’s like the tobacco industry
saying, “You know that American Cancer—”
And they’ve actually said this, “The
American Cancer Society is cherry picking.
They’re only talking about the studies
that say smoking is bad for you.
We’ve got a stack of a hundred studies—”
And actually went to Senate
sub-committee hearings,
“—hundred studies that say smoking
is not just harmless but good for you!”
Why doesn’t the American Cancer Society
ever talk about all the studies
showing that smoking
is healthy for you?
Because it’s not a conspiracy; they’re just
talking about the over balance of evidence,
and they want to reflect
what the balance of it,
and the balance of evidence shows
that smoking is bad for you,
so that’s what they
present to the people.
The same thing with
a plant-based diet.
The balance of evidence suggests that these
are healthy foods, these are unhealthy foods.
The more we can eat over here, the less we
can eat over here, the healthier we may be.
There’s only one diet
ever been proven
to reverse heart disease in the majority
of patients: a plant-based diet.
If that’s the only thing a plant-based diet
can do, reverse the number one killer,
the number two killer
here in the UK,
shouldn’t that be the default
diet until proven otherwise?
And the fact that it can also prevent,
arrest, or reverse other leading killers,
type 2 diabetes, hypertension, would seem
to make the case simply overwhelming.
There’s only one diet
ever proven to do that.
It’s hard to cherry pick
when there’s only one cherry.
I love how passionate
you are about this.
What drives that passion?
When I see your NutritionFacts videos,
it’s very, very passionate.
When I saw you talking at the Advisory
Committee for the Dietary Guidelines
I think a year or two ago,
very, very passionate.
What drives that passion, and
have you had to sacrifice a lot?
The passion—well, look, I mean it’s
why anyone really goes into medicine.
If people wanted to make money they’d
go to the stock market or something.
People go into medicine, at least
initially, because they just want
to take care of people,
they want to help people.
I mean if that’s the kind of
spark I can kind of reignite
among my fellow health care
professionals is, you know,
that’s why they went into
this in the first place.
But it’s very frustrating to
practice medicine these days
because most of what you see in primary care
is chronic disease and people don’t get better.
You can slow down their diabetes,
slow down their blindness,
and their kidney failure
and their amputations.
We don’t make people better again.
But now we have a tool.
This plant-based diet, we can reverse
disease, actually make people better.
That’s what we went to
medical school in the first place,
and that’s why I think
there’s this big flocking
migration to lifestyle medicine, right?
Doctors making really second careers,
moving from whatever they were doing,
going into this because
they can, you know,
it’s just so much more satisfying
to see people get better.
I mean that, along
with this kind of—
for me, it’s the sense of just the justice,
like the public is being lied to, right?
There are big money commercial interests
that are trying to twist the truth.
It’s like the tobacco industry.
It’s like today’s tobacco industry,
twisting the science, misinformation.
And this is not just like my toothpaste
is better than their toothpaste.
Fine, who cares, right?
But when we’re talking
about people dying—
So when the tobacco industry
argues that smoking’s bad
[sic, means ‘good’?]
for you, people die.
Same thing happens now where they’re
just trying to confuse the public,
such that people throw up their hands and
eat whatever’s put in front of them, right?
That serves big business interests;
that doesn’t serve human health interests.
Once I realized that there was this
mountain of evidence buried, hidden,
it’s there, published in the best journals,
but there’s no corporate budget.
If some new study comes out saying broccoli’s
good, how are you going to hear about it?
No news thing is going to cover it
because it’s not really news, right?
There’s no press release.
There’s no broccoli lobby.
You’ll never hear about it.
It gets buried.
What we need is someone to just say, look,
here’s all the science that’s been sitting here.
You hear about the new
drugs, new surgical procedures.
They’ve got big money
to promote it, right?
Drug industries spend more on promotion
than they spend on R&D, the non-research.
They spend more on putting ads on TV
to get people to buy their drugs,
to market these drugs, spending thousands
of dollars per doctor in the US
to try to convince people to take these
drugs, whereas we don’t have that.
If McDonald’s spends a million dollars
a day to get people to eat their garbage,
imagine if, you know, the apple board
had a million dollars a day, we would,
I mean, look, they’ve got the science to
back it up, too, that it’s actually healthy.
So would you support that?
Would you support a broccoli lobby, because
isn’t that a bit, having a lobby is way in itself
If we’re going to subsidize food,
we should subsidize healthy food.
Now it’s an open question: should taxpayer
money be going to making food cheaper?
OK, fine.
But if there’s going to be subsidies,
it shouldn’t go to, you know,
corn and soybeans to
make cheap animal feed;
it shouldn’t go to the sugar lobby;
shouldn’t go to the sugar industry.
It should go to make fruits
and vegetables cheaper.
There’s a number of European countries
that have these free fruit programs for kids.
Kids go into school and on their desk
is a free piece of fruit, right?
And why? Not only do they
care about their kids’ health,
but it actually saves
money because it’s so—
fruit and vegetable consumption
is so powerfully health promoting,
it actually reduces health care
costs on a country-wide basis.
I mean it actually saves the country
money to give away free fruit
because it’s such powerful
food as medicine.
You’re a role model to save so many
people. Who are your role models?
Well, you know, Pritikin really started my
mission in this, Nathan Pritikin in the ‘70s.
Is he the godfather of the
plant-based movement?
Well, certainly in terms of kind of life
style medicine, at least in the States.
But look, a lot of that came from—
where did Pritikin get his research from?
Came from, you know, Denis Burkitt,
who was an Irish surgeon.
You know, all these British kind of missionary
hospitals set up throughout sub-Saharan Africa
discovering that these
diseases just didn’t exist,
these chronic killer diseases like colorectal
cancer and obesity and type 2 diabetes,
they just weren’t there, ischemic
heart disease, they just weren’t—
And so that was the
first understanding.
“Wait a second.
These diseases aren’t
inevitable consequences of aging.
These are lifestyle diseases,”
and we can reverse disease
by putting people on the kind of diet followed
by people that don’t get heart disease.
What happens?
Do we just stop disease?
No, we reverse the disease, suggesting
your body wanted to be healthy all along
if we just gave their
body the choice.
And so, I mean research goes back a century
practically, but certainly Pritikin, Ornish,
Esselstyn, Campbell, I mean these
are the real true greats in our movement.
Talking about Esselstyn, he recently
came out a few months ago and said,
“Medicine is on the absolute
cusp of a seismic revolution in health.”
Do you agree with that?
And we have to.
I mean, look, countries can’t—
China can’t afford a diabetes epidemic.
I mean it just can’t pay for it.
I mean, you know, the States are
going broke thanks to health care costs.
I mean, and so, you know, look,
these large corporations, you know,
I think this kind of plant-based
movement has an anti-corporate bias,
but you need to realize some
of these corporations
are going to be leading the charge
where they self-insure their employees.
They have these big corporations; they pay
the health insurance for their employees.
And if you can prevent
a few cases of diabetes,
all of a sudden you’ve done huge
things for their bottom line.
These are some of the companies,
like Kaiser Permanente,
that are really leading the charge because
it’s just going to make them money, right?
I mean it makes sense
from the bottom line
in terms of the kind of health
insurance industry saving money,
and so what saves
money also is healthier.
So the same thing with like
the egg-free mayonnaise.
Hey, it’s cheaper, and it’s safer,
and it’s healthier, and—
And so when you have that kind of
Zenn [sic, means “Venn” ?] diagram,
it makes people money and it’s healthier,
well, then there you go.
Recently you’ve written a book.
It’s included on the latest
New York Times best seller’s list.
It was called, “How Not to Die.”
Are you scared of dying, Dr. Greger?
I’ve course I’m scared of dying.
I still have a lot of work to do, so
I hopefully won’t get hit by a bus.
I mean I do a lot of traveling.
Traveling’s not safe.
I do a lot of driving;
driving simply isn’t safe.
I try to, you know, I wear my seat belts
and bike helmets, practice safer sex,
and all this, but look, you know,
you’ve got to take care of yourself.
I’m a little scared of the
sleep medicine research
because my sleep deprivation to
get things done is impinging on that.
I just try to pretend
it doesn’t exist.
Thank you for the interview.
We really appreciate your sort of
tenacity and propensity to work so hard
to get this message, to amplify this
message out to so many people.
So it’s really, really appreciated.
Lives are in the balance!
Thank you so much.
Keep up the good work yourself.


  1. Sorry Dr. Greger, but the LCHF diet has been proven to reverse type 2 diabetes and help reverse Alzheimer's (Dr. Mary Newport). You need to get current with the data available on the internet.

  2. I'm plant based for 2 years I have no heart problems no high blood pressure. The only thing I suffer from is seasonal allergies. I'm 45 and in better health then my husband who is only 11 years older then I. That's living proof that plant based diet is the most healthiest diet on earth.

  3. Good to hear a reasonable man of science. Reason is “the first faculty of man” “God has given us rational minds for this purpose, to penetrate all things, to find truth. If one renounce reason, what remains?” ~ Baha'i Faith

  4. A recently I have seen a video from Dr. John McDougall where he says that olive oil is bad for humans. I wonder if all other doctors are in the agreement with this claim.

  5. I'm sorry but vegan is not the healthiest way of living. My great grandmother lived to be 109 and she would eat plenty of meat. Why is that? Well its because now and days meat is injected with chemicals which back then didn't happen. Every vegan product is proven by this and that company that is pretty much stating that it's not natural and is man made to screw you up. Theres an agenda here and vegans are to stupid to see it 🤦🏻‍♂️🤦🏻‍♂️😯

  6. I used to think that God put animals on the earth for us to eat and that we "needed" to eat animals in order to survive to get our daily calcium and protein intake but now I know that we don't need animals to get the nutrients, we can get everything we need from a whole food plant based diet/vegan diet

  7. We the People have the power. Own it! Be a grown up. Stop looking to others to make your decisions. Try something different and see how you feel. Take the power into your own hands. We the people can change the world with what we choose to buy and buy into.

  8. The big problem of a plant based diet is convenience. Eg. U cant buy avocadoes. U need a knife and a spoon. There is also the issue of keeping food fresh. Its easier to buy fish and chips.

  9. Never in history and never by humans has a plant based diet been followed.. except in very recent times when other foolish trends have appeared. A plant based diet is 100% unnatural for humans. History proves it as the historical record is absent of this practice. A misplaced animal rights initiative should not be justification for a diet which produces sickly looking and sick people.

  10. 15 yrs Vegan … Life is bliss !!! 😘😘😘
    it is hard to cherry pick when there is only one cherry !!! Hard hitting, Dr :Gregor !!! 😄😄😄🙏🙏🙏

  11. Hi Dr. Greger,

    Is it “ok” in your opinion, to drink "soy milk" with my bowl of cereal, consisting of shredded wheat, cheerio's, blueberries & sliced banana to start my day?

    Other than that, I've started a vegan plant protein diet, to hopefully reverse my 1cm non calcified plaque LAD
    30 % stenosis blockage in my arteries.

    Your thoughts comments will be greatly appreciated!

  12. Processed meat like processed plants and processed fat is wrong.
    Unprocessed plants in huge amounts also is problematic like plant fat.
    Least problems are with Unprocessed meat and animal fat… Yeah baby.

    Why this doctor in age 45? Looks like 55?pale, grey?

  13. Except for a tiiiiiiny fraction of people, nobody cares about cows, chickens, fish, or pigs. We will always eat them. I'm not trying to trigger or troll, it's just the truth.

  14. If everyone goes on a plantbased diet where and what do you expect to grow your food on and in? After all…… Vegetables are grown in animal muck blood and bone from bucheries. OH! You diddn't know?

  15. Dr. Gregor is a good guy, an honest guy. Really appreciate his candor, especially his answer the last question in the interview. But he is absolutely right on all fronts. Same wiht McDougall and Klaper, and Essylstein.

  16. I started cutting on my milk and meat intake a few days back. Already breathing deeper, and more energy.
    Deeper sleep. Elevated mood especially during evening wen i wud feel grumpy.
    I think I will pursue it longer.

    Edit: Been almost 2 mnths since i last ate meat or eggs. Still taking tea made from milk. Feeling light.

  17. 😂😂 “How can we make little kids fat” – Coca Cola 😂😂 he simplifies the concepts so well and yes major companies are already jumping on the bandwagon. Now Tyson is creating plant based meats. Progress!!!

  18. Even Health Canada has realized the value of plant based eating..even under pressure from meat industry. They can't hide the cost of ill health anymore!

  19. No money in it? Vegetarian plant base is fine. You be healthy and make less money for the Medicos. Lol oh! He wants to sell his Book.

  20. Thank you PBN for this amazing interview. Dr Greger is one of my new hero's along with Esselstyn, Campbell, McDougal, Ornish etc. I made my change to WFPB nutrition 3 months ago and absolutely love every aspect of it – I cant believe how much I look forward to eating now and have no desire to eat the things i once craved. I'm aged 53 (been overweight all of my life) and was fed up (actually more like depressed!!), walking around thinking I was a heart attack waiting to happen – it has been such an amazing release and so many positives have come about including mental and physical health and also animal welfare and future sustainability too. Please think about he and others are is saying, do some more research on the benefits and know that we can all make a positive difference – its really not at all hard to make these changes – trust me – if you had told me a 3 months and 1 week ago that I was about to make this change i never would have believed you!!!

  21. My Grandma died of colorectal cancer 15 months ago. My dad has kidney cancer. My family has always been big on dairy and meat. I have two autoimmune disorders. My health has been going downhill for a long time. I have been vegan for a month and a half now, and my health is FINALLY improving. This vegan thing is more than just a diet; it is a lifestyle. It is a lifestyle that I will be following for the rest of my life!

  22. Vegan diet may reverse atherosclerosis but it doesn't mean it will prevent it. The diet lacks fat soluble vitamins, and the anti nutrients mean that the bioavailability is poor. I ate a bag of spinach for years and had such low ferritin I was horrendously fatigued. Oxalates can cause huge problems to our arteries, and kidneys and lectins too can cause problems too. Some anti nutrients can be improved with correct cooking and fermenting but the reality is most vegans are NOT that diligent. It is no wonder medical doctors don't recommend it. It's a cult. You can be perfectly healthy without this extremism. My grandparents and parents all lived into their 90's and ate everything but good quality foods and were very consistent in their whole food diets. Most people cannot sustain a long term vegan diet….and it is what you do consistently through life not for 5 years (which is about as long as MOST vegans can sustain this diet), without neurological, skeletal and other problems of the deficiencies. And if meat is bad….then look at the video of Andrew Scarborough who cured stage 3 brain cancer, and is the ONLY person to have done so….he does not eat a single fruit or vegetable, you know that terrible carcinogen Dr Gregor mentions with boring regularity. Quality of ALL foods is what is important….one of the biggest carcinogenic is caused from toxic foods including pesticides….so people eating loads of plants unless they are growing themselves having exactly the same carcinogenic risk! Dr Gregor cherry picks his data with alarming regularity and relies mostly on associative or epidemiology and this is NOT science.

  23. Mark Weins you better slow down on the meat dude and go plant based I highly doubt it that man eats so much meat dude some body get ahold of that dude

  24. God bless you forever Dr. Greger !!!

    Thank you very much for bringing us rays of knowledge and practical hope.

  25. Why would they teach advanced nutrition in medical schools? If everyone was healthy, there wouldn't be much of a medical industry. It's more business than service. Fifteen doctors walk into your room, you see them for maybe 10 minutes. they check your heart, look at your chart, ask a few questions, leave and bill your insurance.
    It's sad. I never was sick until I was prescribed medications. And some of that crap I was able to stop taking just by changing my diet. Against doctor advice of course, but they couldn't argue with the test results.
    A doctor used to be someone that we could put faith in. In my experience now, I think most of them are a joke. If this offends doctors, good.Maybe you need to be offended. Because being a 'care-giver' and not actually caring, is an offense to everyone.

  26. There are doctors who say keto diet is the best for chronical diseases like Alzheimer etc: quantisana.tv https://quantisana.ch They say animal milk is bad but nothing about plantbased. They concentrate on high fat aka coconut oil mixed with MCT and C8. Also they say sugar is bad, what's obvious but bad are also carbs and don't explain which carbs so what's with full grain products, fruits and veg. What do you say about this?!

  27. Veganism is one of the healthiest foodstyles, the most unhealthy is eating foods processed by corporations that are regulated by the terrorists us government.

  28. I started with the Keto diet and lost weight. However, I experienced chronic constipation, I felt terrible. Became progressively uncomfortable with the emphasis on fatty foods. I don't want to lose weight at the expense of getting cancer. I now made the switch to a Plant-Based diet.

  29. i allways like gregor when he gets wound up…lol…..someone was bashing him about nuts being bad on a video….i think they are mistaken

  30. eat yourself alive what a great title for exactly what vegans do after their bodies stored nutrients are all used up .. it's different for everyone but when although stored nutrients and essential vitamins and minerals are used up the body starts to eat itself..
    quit now with this foolishness! eat meat! drink blood!

  31. Your interview with Dr Greger was good and you have many other good videos about the benefits of a whole food plant based diet. Do you feel you do veganism correctly? In other words, do you think you consume too much sugar and processed garbage vegan foods?

  32. What do vegan or vegetarian feed their under 12 months old babies? Most formula is formulate with cow milk…. I'm switching to vegetarian diet 😞

  33. thank you dr. Greger for giving us the truth about nutrition. Maybe we can claw our way back from all the lies, deception, misleading statements from the profit-driven food industry Giants.

  34. I became a vegan 2 months ago & never felt better. I dropped 17 lbs & I’m eating extremely clean. Why is it when I tell my doctor I became a vegan they say be careful????? I’m so much more healthier &
    so tired of hearing many doctors against being a vegan.

  35. Good stuff but definitely no need to advocate for the govt. to do something about it. Power to the people, if people want to eat shite they will if they want to smoke cigs they will don’t be a nazi micromanager

  36. You should see my video "Why I am no longer a vegan" that I posted today. Plant based diet is better than the standard American diet but I don't recommend it for people older than 50 years old.

  37. Absolutely fantastic video. I love his passion and authentic enthusiasm for plant-based diets. I’ve been vegan for six years and he’s been one of my inspirations.

  38. It's a shame the IARC also decided glyphosate was a carcinogen based on Séralini and other appalling research – until they right that wrong, they can't be taken seriously.
    That said, I wouldn't be consuming processed meat even if I didn't have massive moral problems with it – if only because of constipation and the stench meat eaters leave behind them in the bathroom.

  39. Plants are just so amazingly yummy. Been plant-based since 1981, and I'm gobsmacked … I reviewed my dietary balance 5 years ago and it was all Atkins and paleo, and now there are idiots feeding raw brains to their kids …
    That said McDougal and Klapper and a few others piss me off with their ludicrous claims like "carbs don't make you fat" , and "no oil, ever" ….

  40. It was honestly pretty easy to go vegan, worst case scenario I’ll eat cheese in an unavoidable social situation, but a lot of restaurants have vegan options now.

  41. Excellent, Excellent interview!!!
    This definitely served as a big confirmation to my plant-bases lifestyle. Its just simple!!! We are the ones who complicate it!

  42. He is difficult to listen to…kind of a harsh edge – sarcastic, condescending. I am vegan and he may have info., but his delivery is off.

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