Ten Dangerous Nutritional Myths

Ten Dangerous Nutritional Myths

this program is brought to you by the vegetarian Society of Hawaii a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing with the community the many benefits of a vegetarian diet free monthly meetings include vegetarian experts and vocally and on the mainland quick and easy cooking demonstrations and helpful and delicious food samples members enjoy an informative quarterly newsletter social activities and discounts many vegetarian friendly restaurants and health food stores for an application call nine four four eight three four four that's nine four four eight three four four or visit our website at WWDC org vsh and welcome to the monthly public lecture of the vegetarian society of Hawaii it's good to see all of you here tonight the vegetarian society of Hawaii since 1990 has continued to follow our mission of promoting human health animal rights and protection of the environment by means of vegetarian education as we've grown to become one of the largest nonprofit vegetarian societies in the nation we'd like to encourage those of you who are not yet members and even those of you who are not yet vegetarians to join the vegetarian society tonight our members receive an informative newsletter as well as discounts and down to earth and many vegetarian friendly restaurants and may also be invited to participate in popular social events and be sure to sign up for a membership before you leave tonight to start saving right away just think you spend only eight dollars a week on groceries or on eating out a vsh membership will more than pay for itself before I proceed further I'd like to mention that we have two special guests with us tonight and I'd like them to stand up and and Larry wheat they're the owners of the famous the legendary Millennium restaurant in San Francisco I see a number of you have either heard of it or I have been there or have bought one of their cookbooks I've been there it's a wonderful experience so don't miss it if you go to San Francisco or if you're down anywhere you know in Silicon Valley or whatever just go up drive up there it's a really nice experience be sure to stay after our program too and sample some delicious vegan samples provided by the generosity of down-to-earth natural foods we're videotaping tonight's presentation for broadcast on the vsh TV series vegetarian on oahu you can watch it on Olelo channel 52 every Wednesday at 11:00 a.m. and for this month on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m. you can also go to our website vsh org to see videos of this and many of our previous presentations you'll also find lots of other great information there including recipes our famous dining guide past newsletters and even a link to our own Facebook page it's now time for our special guest we're delighted to have with us tonight dr. Janice Stanger Janice Tanger PhD is a nutrition expert author educator and speaker her mission in writing the perfect formula diet is to help people animals and the planet through providing solid yet little-known information on Whole Foods plant-based diets she is in her 16th year of critically analyzing scientific studies on nutrition weight loss environmental toxins and health Janice has a PhD in human development and aging from the University of California San Francisco one of the country's leading health sciences campuses she is certified in plant-based nutrition through the T Colin Campbell Foundation and eCornell and also has an MBA from the University of California Berkeley dr. Stan Gers presentation tonight is entitled ten dangerous nutritional myths please welcome dr. Janice Stanger hi everybody thanks for coming so what if the fax you take for granted about food you're going standing beliefs about nutrients such as calcium and carbohydrates and protein were actually wrong we're going to look at ten dangerous nutritionists tonight and we're going to look at what the real facts are if you remember one thing and only one thing from this presentation tonight please remember to question everything you hear about food remember to question all the popular notions that you'll see in the media that you'll hear on television that you'll see and run to the mill books you need to question everything and why do you need to do this it's because this misinformation is costing you it's costing you a lot bad information about food is like bad information about stocks it really has a price and in the case of bad information about food the cost can be years of wonderful life with your loved ones it can that you can be deprived of it can be lack of energy it can be lack of your health it can be money that you have to spend on medical care it can be pain that you're enduring and all this totally unnecessary so let's look at why there's so many myths out there okay so this is a scene from one of my personal favorite fairy tales I don't know if other people are familiar with this but this is Goldilocks and the three bears and this is when the little bear comes home and he's with his family and I find Goldilocks asleep in one of their beds so why do we want to believe this because it's dramatic it's fun and in addition it's comforting we want to believe this we want to believe that everything has a happy ending of fairy tales everything has a happy ending real life isn't like that though in real life things happen that are not really what we want to have happen in fact what happens in real life can actually be scary it can be sinister and the thing about food myths is that they rob you of the chance to prepare to prevent to really make the most of your life so you want to see what they are and the thing about them is they don't have to act badly they don't have to end badly it's really up to you so your choice makes a difference in how the story ends you have the power once you find out what the myths are you can do something about it you can make different choices and you can really turn your life around and your health around it's really very simple and this lady's going to show us how simple it is it's really on your shopping cart that's it that's how simple does it begins and ends there so let's start with myth one which is one of the most fundamental myths that a lot of the other spring outter because a lot of these myths are kind of interrelated and myth one is one of the most fundamental and the most dangerous and that's the myth that if a little is good more is better we all know the food is necessary for us to even survive right we need calories we need nutrients and we want to make sure we get enough that's this is perfectly natural your body is very complex your body is this awesome really intricate composition of a hundred trillion cells think of that a hundred trillion cells it's extremely complex more so than the most finely tuned machine and in order for it to function right with all the different organ systems and all these cells to work in harmony with each other everything has to be at exactly the right level the right amount you don't want too much and you don't want too good ol if you have too much it overloads your body's waste disposal system so let's think for example the hot air balloon in this image this is now this hot air balloon isn't remotely as intricate as your body is but it can still estranged roughen one of these balloons you're far from the ground and your health and welfare depends on this balloon coming safely to earth at a controlled rate of speed you don't want it obviously plummeting to earth or orbiting a way to outer space or getting out of control so you want exactly the right amount of air in this balloon and you want it to be exactly the right temperature right what if you had somebody in there putting all this air into this balloon overheating it I mean think about it the balloon would not work it would spring a leak or it might even explode because you're trying to overfill it past its ideal capacity and this image really illustrates it it and look carefully because in a way this is the most important image you're going to see tonight you want to be right at the center of this circle you want to be right on target if you're too low at the bottom of the circle right you're nowhere near the target where you want to be but if you're too high which is too much you're also nowhere near the target of what you want to be when you get too much of a specific nutrient then usually it interferes with the action of other nutrients your body the ratio of one nutrient to another gets out of whack and your body just stops functioning properly but there's also something else you need to keep in mind that can get you off balance which are supplements for the most part and there's a couple that are good I'll talk about later but what most supplements do is they take isolated nutrients and they hyper concentrate them and you end up with way too much and that as I said just throws you out of balance and that would include things like pills protein powders everything you take that would not be a whole food that you take because you think oh I want more I want more I want more there's two exceptions I'll get into later but most health studies find that supplements which would be things like vitamins or minerals I'm not talking about herbs here because herbs can be medicinal but just things like protein powders vitamins and isolated minerals and pills actually have no effect on your health or have a harmful effect on your health so let's get on to the next myth which also has to do with amounts this is another very common myth this is a myth of moderation this is a myth that a little bit can't hurt we all know this is not true with respect to cigarettes we learned this quite a long time ago now we would hope food would not have that same effect but unfortunately it does when you continue to injure yourself with food that's not good and let's say you were so moderate I'm not saying you should never eat anything that's unhealthy but let's say you only ate it why so weak you would be injuring yourself what 52 times a year that's not trivial so there's definitely consequences let's see how this injury happens so there's two kinds of inflammation your body's response to any kind of danger is to protect you your body has very strong and very intricate systems to protect you from danger whether that danger is a microbe whether it's a physical injury such as in this image where the person has a really bad scrape it can be radiation it can be a toxic chemical it can be a parasite it can be anything your body just immediately leaves into action and the mechanism it uses to protect you is called acute inflammation now in the usual course of events this inflammation will protect you it will resolve the danger will be neutralized so to speak and your body will return to normal you'll return to normal health it won't continue indefinitely the key players in this or your immune system and also to some extent your nervous system but what happens if it's not deactivated what happens well it turns out that acute inflammation has an evil twin and this is what makes you really sick so the evil twin of acute inflammation is actually chronic inflammation and this happens when your body never has a chance to heal so this usually happens either when acute inflammation never really resolves the issue and does it get turned off or when you're injuring yourself on a chronic basis every day eating bad food sometimes you're doing it three times a day so your immune system your inflammatory response is being triggered three times a day 365 days a year you can see it's never going to have a chance to resolve because it's constantly being turned on and most chronic illnesses are actually manifestations in one way or another in their own each in their own unique way of chronic inflammation and this includes a whole litany of disability pain and death this includes cardiovascular disease type 2 diabetes arthritis most headaches sinusitis allergies Alzheimer's disease psoriasis inflammatory bowel disease gum disease osteoporosis the list just goes on and on and on of these diseases that are in some way or another manifestations of chronic inflammation so you don't want this chronic inflammation what this particular image shows is one of the most widely or another and their own each in their own unique way of chronic inflammation and this includes a whole litany of disability pain and death this includes cardiovascular disease type 2 diabetes arthritis most headaches sinusitis allergies alzheimer's disease psoriasis inflammatory bowel disease gum disease osteoporosis the list just goes on and on and on of these diseases that are in some way or another manifestations of chronic inflammation so you don't want this chronic inflammation what this particular image shows is one of the most widespread and one of the most devastating examples of a chronic inflammatory process and that is a plaque that will line your arteries so most people have about 70,000 miles of blood vessels in their body and what happens when you're constantly damaging them through a process of active inflammation is they become clothes they become lined with the substance called plaque plaque is not passively deposited many people think it is passively deposited like grease under a kitchen sink that's not true at all it's actively formed through a process of chronic inflammation and we'll see that a lot of this is triggered by animal foods as well as highly processed plant foods so let's look at one of the triggers of chronic inflammation and that is taking us to myth 3 which is protein and the myth is that you need a special source of protein in your diet even the USDA said that and their guidelines that were just released a few weeks ago so most people think since they need the source of protein that they're going to get it from animal foods because everybody knows animal foods are high in protein but the thing is that in nature form follows function so we all know the cats are meat eaters I don't think anybody would ever argue that cats are natural meat eaters and so Nature has equipped them with these teeth that's a form so that they can kill animals and eat them and get their meat so the last time you looked in the mirror did your teeth look like this kitty cats okay so if your teeth didn't look like these this kitty cats then you were not meant by nature to eat meat you were not designed by nature to eat meat and if anybody in here's teeth did look like this then please leave the room because seriously you're scaring me so where does this leave you in terms of getting protein well we need to understand more about what protein is there's two things in this picture you may think you only see one but we're going to identify two and we're going to see which one has more protein so the first is obviously the cow what's the other thing that you see in this picture grass okay you see leafy greens so calorie for calorie it turns out that the leafy greens actually have more protein in them than the Cal does if you were to eat the cow so let's see why to understand why you really need to see what protein is made out of what protein is all about so protein is actually a gigantic molecule and it's really a linked chain of smaller molecules called amino acids and I just happen to have a protein chain here so this is my protein chain and the red links in this chain are what's called non-essential amino acids and what that means is you really not have to worry about them because your body's going to make them you don't have to be concerned about them for one second okay just trust yourself you're all right the green ones are the essential amino acids and you do need to get those from food they're absolutely necessary well it turns out that these 20 amino acids are the same in all living beings and remember living beings include both plants and animals they're all made out of the same amino acids they're put together different ways in different plants and different animals and even in different people so if you look at the person next to you your proteins are different because your DNA is different from the person sitting right next to you and unless you have an identical twin your proteins are in some ways unique from that of every other person on the face of this planet and in fact nobody really knows how many proteins are in your body because it's still being studied but it could be a number up to a million so there's all kinds of different proteins that are made of these linked amino acids where do you get these essential amino acids well it turns out they're actually made by plants now why should that be well I like to say the plants are Earth's nutrient factories and animals or nutrient consumers and that's especially true in the case of protein and amino acids because remember these amino acids have to be assembled from scratch and that takes a lot of energy well what living beings have that amount of energy animals don't have that amount of metabolic energy but plants or solar powered plants have that amount of energy they get their energy from the Sun so plants make these essential amino acids and people get their essential amino acids either by eating plants or they can eat animals at ate plants either one you can get your essential amino acids but basically animal protein is nothing but recycled plant protein so think about that that's a really important point animal protein is recycled plant protein now the whole thing about needing a source of protein is it's kind of a phony distraction because really all whole plant foods have amino acids in them and they have what you need because they were once alive if you were to go out and eat a rock sure it's not going to have the essential amino acids in it because it was never alive but the plant was I've it's made of these essential amino acids so it's like saying you need a special source of oxygen in your air you don't oxygen is diffused throughout the room and I could stand here if I were trying to sell you something and I could say to you you know oxygen is not widespread throughout this room oxygen is concentrated in the southwest corner of this room and if you don't dive into the southwest corner of this room you're not going to have enough oxygen and if I told you that enough times over and over and over and over as many times as you heard about the protein you probably believe me and everybody would be fighting to get in that corner of the room but it's just as silly to say you need a special source of protein because it's widespread in any living thing you can eat whether it's plan or animals so it's a pretty silly myth but you might be saying to yourself okay maybe I don't eat animal products for protein but I needed to help regulate my insulin levels so let's look at that myth so myth four is that carbs raise insulin levels while protein lowers it okay you've heard probably heard this a million times especially if you have diabetes or prediabetes your doctors probably told you to obsess about carbs and just eat lots of protein and not really worry about it but the actual truth is that proteins actually raise your insulin level so let's look at this in a little more detail the dynamic is very complex and I don't have time to go into the whole thing tonight but basically whole plant foods such as this whole grain here and it could be a lot of different whole plant foods we're talking about not processed foods we're talking about whole plant foods as they kind of came out of the ground or have been only minimally processed for example this whole-grain pasta could be whole wheat bread or it could be lots of other things oatmeal whatever will actually go or your fasting insulin level and animal protein actually raises it for animal for hours after a meal as well as if you do eat sugar and you've been eating a lot of animal protein it makes your body react way more strongly and way more forcefully to the sugar that you do eat so if you have diabetes or pre-diabetes or that's an issue for you or anyone you know there's a book I very strongly recommend that will explain this in great detail and that's by dr. Neal Barnard BA R and a Rd and he is a book out on reversing diabetes you can find it on Amazon and it will explain this whole dynamic to you but it's very important you could also actually find it in a medical textbook if you just want to read a medical textbook I mean it's kind of funny to me that doctors tell you this because any medical textbook will tell them otherwise let's move from insulin to another hormone so let's move to the hormone called estrogen and myth 5 is that soy is a source of most dietary estrogen okay how many times have you heard this I've probably heard it a thousand times when I go around and talk to people about food that they'll say well I can't eat soy soy is really unhealthy because it has all this plan estrogen in it so let's look at where estrogen and food really comes from we have a picture here of two very nice beautiful beings one is a beautiful dairy cow and the other is very nice field of soybeans so the question is which of these two beings has a reproductive process that's closer to humans does the cow have a reproductive process closer to humans or does the soybeans anybody thinks it's a cow raise your hand anybody who thinks it's soybeans are closer to people than the cow raise your hand okay so see you guys don't need me you can figure this out for yourself this is just a big duh as soon as you start thinking about it you'll see what the truth is of course the cow is reproductively more like people how could an animal be less reproductively like people than a plan is I mean plants reproduce but not anywhere like animals do so when you look at dairy cows here's the thing they only produce milk when they're pregnant or they've recently had a baby actually they've recently had a baby so so in order for them keep producing milk the dairy business people keep them constantly pregnant and pregnant females of whatever species whether it's cows or horses or people or whatever have very high levels of estrogen and in the case of the cows because they're pregnant at the same time they're producing milk from their last calf their milk is very very high in estrogen and that is true not to say the milk but anything that's made from it whether it's cheese yogurt ice cream whatever you're eating is just just packed full very densely of estrogen from this pregnant animal that's produced it and cows estrogen is virtually identical to human estrogen so you know all the people I've ever met I would say almost to a person who say I won't need soy because of its estrogenic effect or sending they're talking to me and eating cheese which has 10,000 times the estrogenic activity that the soy has actually the estrogen in soy is called phytoestrogen because it's a plant estrogen and its effect on humans is extremely weak so let's see what research actually says about soy the world's foremost expert on soy is dr. mark Messina and he's recently published in 2010 an overview of 20 years of research this is published peer review research this is not the kind of hearsay research you'll find on silly sites on the Internet this is research that's been published in peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals on soy and he look closely at 20 years worth the studies and he concluded that moderate amounts of soy foods in childhood and adolescence actually protect young females from developing breast cancer as adults in adult women it doesn't actually protect the same way does this you had it when you were younger but it's not harmful either and that soy phytoestrogens are actually protective for men against prostate cancer and in the case of men who do gave prostate cancer it makes it into less aggressive form he also found good evidence although not as strong that size protective against cardiovascular disease so this is all published solid research and he concludes that there's absolutely no credible evidence that moderate amounts of traditional soy foods are harmful and health by traditional soy foods he's talking about things that are in this picture soy milk soy yogurt miso could also include edamame tofu tempeh any kind of traditional soy food you know we're not talking about the manufactured soy foods like isolated soy protein or soy oil we're talking about traditional soy foods feel free to eat them once or twice a day they're either going to help you or they're going to do nothing they're not going to hurt you if you want a few reproductive cancer if you want this to grow inside your body then make sure you lots of animal estrogens and that will fuel your breast cancer your uterine cancer your prostate your testicular your ovarian cancer so while we're on the subject of cow's milk let's look at another myth connected to cow's milk and that's a myth that cow's milk is your best source of calcium so how many times have you heard this probably every single week okay and particularly women are told that they have to drink lots of milk so they get enough calcium and they're also often told to take calcium supplements so let's look at the facts instead of the fairy tale here's the cycle of calcium and food calcium is not a living thing calcium is a mineral it's part of the earth it's basically like a rock it has to dissolve to get into living things so it gets hit by rain or whatever it dissolves it gets into the soil and it turns out that calcium is absolutely necessary for plant metabolism so plants need calcium as much as people do and they have to absorb it through the roots if you see a plant that's alive that means up plant has calcium in it otherwise it would be dead so people think that they get calcium from cows because I think most people don't stop to think about it but they think somehow the cows make calcium or they just don't think about it at all but we all know cows don't make other minerals we don't think cows make gold we don't think they make silver we don't think they make platinum and calcium is a mineral the same as those other minerals it is not something that cows make is something that gets into the cows because they ate leafy greens which is your best source of calcium and it got into their milk and when you drink their milk you're basically getting secondhand the calcium that was in any leafy greens they ate or any other plant foods they ate well we're on the subject of calcium let's get on to another myth about calcium which is that calcium is what makes your bones strong so let's see what the real story is here on this one what makes your bones strong now the first thing about your bones is you want them to be durable and what I mean by durable is you don't want them to break you don't really care how thick your bones are you don't care how hard your bones are well you care about is that if you fall down or you sneeze or you cough or anything like that your bone does not break and what research has found is a calcium has little effect on fracture risk and this is really not very surprising because in fact calcium is a very brittle mineral and if you want to see an illustration of that I just happen to have handy some calcium to show you let me get it out a little demo here okay so this is calcium this is a piece of chalk chalk is almost pure calcium okay obviously it's mixed with other elements but the predominant thing in it is calcium okay so let's see how durable this chalk is as how if this is how you want your bones to behave so let's apply just a tiny amount of force to this chalk right it's extremely brittle that's not how you want your bones to be and in addition too much calcium is toxic it can cause kidney stones it can also get deposited in plaque when you have too much of it so remember where this gets back to our first myth which is a little is good more is better that was a myth and that's very true of calcium that if a little is good more is not better when it comes to calcium because when you eat too much calcium your body has to get rid of it so it'll stash some and bones what it can and it will excrete some whatever it can and then if it's left over with a bunch of calcium it can't use it's going to start to pods ian in the plaque in your arteries well what's it going to do to that plaque it's going to make it brittle that means your blood vessels instead of being flexible are going to be brittle and they're going to tear easily that's not what you want for your blood vessels in case you think this is just me and you're a little skeptical because you probably never heard this before I want to actually read you something word-for-word and what I want to read you is the 2010 a very recent editorial and the British Medical Journal and I can tell you the British Medical Journal is a peer-reviewed medical journal anybody here who's a doctor can attest to its being very prestigious it's one of the most prestigious medical journals in the world effect and this is what they wrote I'm going to read it to you it says bone mineral density which is often used as a measure of treatment success is a surrogate measure for real clinical benefit so in other words when you get your bone mineral density measured which is what doctors measure to see if you have osteoporosis it's really just a surrogate measure doesn't really tell you how strong your bones are that's basically what they're saying then they go on to observe calcium supplements given alone improve bone mineral density but they are ineffective in reducing the risk of fractures and might even increase risk they might increase the risk of cardiovascular events and they do not reduce mortality they seem to be unnecessary in adults with an adequate diet so again this editorial they're talking specifically about calcium supplements but certainly the same holds when you're down in gobs of dairy whether it's glasses of milk or cheese on everything or eating yogurt all the time or ice cream or whatever it's the same principle and just remember this I can give you the reference if anybody wants it send me an email so the thing about your bone walls if you want to get your bones strong the walls of your bones are actually not made of calcium your bones made of little walls it's kind of like a honeycomb structure and what gives it its structural integrity or all these tiny little walls and those are actually made out of a special kind of protein and what you want to do is maintain the little walls because it's just like a house when you have the walls or kind of like pillars and they give you a lot of structural integrity when the little walls start breaking down your bones become very porous and brittle so one of the best ways to maintain the little walls is to actually get a lot of exercise because that stimulates the growth of your bones and another way to do it is to eat a whole food plant-based diet which actually helps the health of your bones quite a bit so that's enough about calcium and minerals let's move on to fats and specifically omega-3 fatty acid myth 8 is it fish or fish oil is your best omega-3 source well let's talk a little bit about omega-3 first does anyone in here first off not heard that they should beating fish or fish oil it's like the new snake oil you know you'd have to be hiding under a rock now to have heard this before it's supposed to be good for everything no matter what you name somebody going to say fish oil is good for oops I meant snake oil okay now there is a grain of truth that you do need omega-3s in your diet it is an essential fatty acid there's two essential fatty acids one is omega threes the other is omega sixes are related as you can tell from their both omegas but they're slightly different molecular structures all the other fats you hear about you actually don't need because your body can make them and you have absolutely no reason to have to eat them but these two you do need to get from your food because your body can't make them and they're essential to your body structure metabolism so the reason that you're seeing a field of wild plants on this subject of omega threes is that it turns out that our ancestors evolved eating wild plants right long ago people ate wild plant and then they started to domesticate plants well funny thing happened when people start to domesticate plants for some reason the plants lost a lot of their Omega threes so our ancestors evolved to eat a diet that was richer in omega three s in the diet we'd simply because we eat domesticated or farm plants rather than eating wild plants for the most part what are we going to do about that problem what's the best solution well the first thing I can tell you that the best solution is not to eat fish and there's a lot of reasons for that we'll just look at a couple tonight the first thing you've probably already guessed by now because you remember I told you the plants or nutrient factories and animals or nutrient consumers is that the fish actually don't make the omega-3s they can't make the omega-3s any more than we can make the omega-3s they get them from the wild plants eat so when you eat wild fish these wild fish ate wild marine algae or the other fishes ate the wild marine algae somewhere in the food chain some fish ate the wild marine algae and these Omega threes kind of work their way up the food chain the marine algae made the Omega threes also made the long-chain omega-3s you might have heard they're short chain and long chain omega-3 sea marine algae made the long-chain omega-3s they get in the fish and then if you eat the fish you get these long-chain omega-3s but unfortunately you get a lot of other things you don't want and this is what comes from working just one nutrient and not the totality of what you're eating for one thing you're going to get mercury and there's no way around that and you don't want to get mercury you're also going to get highly toxic chemicals called persistent organic pollutants that are specially concentrated in fish in fact 89 to 99 % of the persistent organic pollutants in your body come from animal foods and the dirtiest food in this regard is actually fish now you might be saying okay well I eat purified fish oil supplements i buy a brand that's very expensive and it's been distilled it's been purified so my fish oil supplements don't actually have these pollutants in them well guess what a lab went around and bought a bunch of samples of these distilled fish foods these distilled fish oils took them to the lab tested them and guess what they were still full persistent organic pollutants and again this is published peer-reviewed research in a scientific journal so even though the oils been distilled and very heavily processed it's still fullest in addition people think fish is safe food and in fact fish has significant cholesterol in it which is going to help clog your arteries so for all these reasons fish is really not your ideal source of omega-3s so what would be your ideal sorts of omega-3s okay well I'd love to tell you about this because we're getting to one of my favorite foods one of my favorite plant foods and this is ground flaxseed okay probably have heard a little bit about flaxseed because it is in the media op but you might not have heard the whole thing so I'm going to give you some tips on flaxseed first off flaxseed is high in omega-3s it's one of the foods that when it's domesticated did keep a lot of omega-3s for whatever reason biologically speaking if you want to get these nutrients really be sure to grind your flaxseed the best thing to grind it in is a coffee grinder because the flaxseed has very hard whole and if you don't grind it you're not going to be able to digest it or benefit from it so if you're eating for example flaxseed crackers made from whole flaxseed it's really not going to help you after you grind it refrigerated because once it's ground it can go bad or if you don't want to go to all the work of grinding you can buy a pre ground in most health food stores and then once it's ground you want to eat about two tablespoons a day it's very mild flavored and you can put it on almost anything you can put it on soups or salads oatmeal you can put it in smoothies you can put it in cereal you can put it on wraps you can bake it in muffins you can really do almost anything you want with it in addition to having all these omega-3s Lexus a lot of other benefits for one thing it's very high in fiber which helps keep your digestive system healthy and it also has some other very beneficial phytochemicals and what phytochemicals are is the phyto you can probably guess from that word is they're found only in plants and one kind of phytochemical that's very high in flaxseed that's not found in a lot of other plants is called lignans and lignans have been found to have very very strong anti-tumor properties so they're very good for fighting cancer so there's a lot of reasons to eat flaxseed apart from the omega-3s and you might have thinking well okay that's great about flaxseed but I heard somewhere I read somewhere on the internet or somebody trying to sell me fish oil for all this high cost is that the flaxseed only has short chain omega-3s and I need the long-chain omega-3s well again think about your ancestors roaming around what did they do before they could go to the store and buy fish oil supplements obviously they live for thousands of years long enough to reproduce they grew to reproductive age they were healthy enough to have babies and they live long enough to raise their babies so they were getting enough omega-3s their bodies formed the long-chain omega-3s and so will yours because you have the same genetic heritage there was a recent study done in Europe of over 14,000 people and it looked at people on different diets and it's a wonder nobody thought to do this before it was only very recently published but it's one of those like does studies like why didn't we do this 20 years ago and they looked at the level of long-chain omega-3 said was actually circulating in the blood of people in different kind of diets and relative to the amount that they ate and when they compared fish eaters with people who were vegan that is a 200% plant-based diet they found of course of vegans ate virtually no long chain fatty acids and the fish eaters ate a lot but when you looked at the levels in their blood they were virtually identical so the people who are eating a plant-based diet were making their own long-chain omega-3s it's again it's nothing you have to worry about somebody's trying to sell you something expensive another great thing about flaxseed is it's very inexpensive i buy flaxian san diego organic whole flaxseed that I grind myself for about $2 a pound which will comfortably last a month so it cost me about $2 a month I checked down to earth that's about 259 so you pay 59 cent premium for Hawaii okay it's less than another ten bucks a year it's worth it believe me nobody's getting rich off this 259 even down to earth is not getting rich off it but they're going to get plenty rich not down to earth because they don't sell fish but other stores are selling this fish oil so you know just follow the money and you don't have to spend all this money can be way healthier and spend a lot less money so while on the subject of fish let's look at another fishy myth which is myth 9 that growing animal foods makes them healthy and again you'll hear this all over and here's how it's supposed to work the way it's supposed to work is that you're not supposed to eat high fat foods everybody knows that so people think if you grill animal foods over and open grill and then people think this is especially true for fish and chicken because they think they're healthier to begin with that the fat drips into the fire you lose more of the fat you're left with the lower fat product and therefore it's healthier right and anybody's ever heard this of course everybody's heard this but this is only a very small part of what happens when you grill let's see the bigger picture of what happens when you grill now here's a conclusion you can read about from the US government from the Food and Drug Administration it's not just me telling you this grilling produces carcinogens it produces several kinds of carcinogens let's talk first about the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons PAHs this is a class of very toxic chemicals that are formed when there's an incomplete combustion of carbon containing carbon containing anything in this case we're talking about food but it could also be the charcoal as well or wood or whatever you're burning it's not going to completely combust and therefore you're going to get some PAHs there's over a hundred different kinds they're all very bad for you and in addition to being carcinogenic they damage your DNA there's other issues with them credible studies and again we're talking about peer-reviewed studies and medical journals have shown that when pregnant women are exposed to PA h's that the IQ of their babies are permanently and irreversibly lowered to the point where it's measurable and their score so if you're pregnant stay away from grilled foods and stay away from even the smoke because the smoke has these carcinogens in them and they'll get into your body in two ways one is by eating in the others by smelling the smoke and even if you're not pregnant it's going to damage many parts of your body for example it can damage your lungs it can damage your eyes it can damage your skin it can damage your red blood cells that's only the beginning so you don't want to be exposed to these chemicals at all the the optimal dose is zero so these PAH is a form when the smoke when the fat drifts on the fire and it starts to burn but doesn't completely burn and then drifts back up as smoke is way more dangerous than the fat ever was now there's other chemicals that form as well it's not just PAHs just to give you one other example heterocyclic amines form and you might have heard of these as well and these are also carcinogens that damage your DNA so growing foods is very dangerous and if you're going to eat animal foods at all which hopefully you want the bottom line is don't grill them so the last myth I want to get go into kind of grades into what you should eat and this is a big myth that again probably everybody in here hears multiple times a week which is we have to obsess about what our food is made out of we have to dissect our food right you worry about proteins you worry about carbs you worry about fat in addition you're going to worry about calcium and zinc and iron and you think I have to eat this for this nutrient and this for that nutrient and this for that nutrient for you know you've eaten so much food that you've gained a bunch of weight none of its whole food because you're just eating each you know food for each little thing it can get well in fact when you're eating hope and foods you don't need to die you don't need to dissect them you don't need to worry about all this you don't need to stress about all this what's the optimal amount of protein in your diet it seemed that you get from eating whole plant foods whatever it is you're going to get the right amount because nature knows the right proportions you don't have to worry about it so it frees you from all this for a while you can just relax you can enjoy your food just so much better because these whole foods are just a superstar team of actually thousands of nutrients we don't even know what most of them are I mean the science of nutrition is really in its infancy there's thousands of phytochemicals that really haven't even been discovered or studied yet so the best thing to do is to eat whole plant foods and you're going to get the right proportions so let's look at what your alternatives are you have three choices for food every time you go to the grocery store you go to the grocery store and unless you're and down to earth you can buy animal foods or actual even down to earth I guess you can buy them because you can buy dairy foods and animal foods are basically the muscles the organs and secretions and the reproductive materials of animals so we know what those are right you can buy manufactured foods and the supermarket's make lots of money selling you that and there's endless numbers of those there's thousands of numbers of different kinds of manufactured foods that we clewd for example most people with no sodas energy drinks protein powders manufactured oils even olive oil but any kind of manufactured oil that's in a bottle it includes margarine it includes white rice and includes white bread it includes processed sugars and includes things made from that like commercial cookies commercial crackers commercial pretzels pretty much 90% of what the supermarket sells is going to fall in the category of manufactured foods because it's a very high profit margin and finally you can eat perfect foods and what are perfect foods that's what I call any kind of whole plant food or things you can easily make from whole plant food so you don't have to just eat like raw lettuce or raw carrots and we're going to go a little more well you can eat we're talking here about things you can easily make in your kitchen so for example soybeans are a whole right but you don't have to just see that a mommy you can also make them into tofu you can make them into tempeh you can make them into soymilk those are all things that if you wanted to you can make in your own kitchen you might not choose to do it but you could if you wanted to but you could not make soy oil in your kitchen it has to be made in a factory you could not make isolated soy protein in your kitchen has to be made in a factory so that point you're kind of grating into the manufactured foods so you're probably not used to living on a diet of perfect foods so you might be saying to yourself well that's fine but what am I actually going to eat so let's look at that so I'm going to tell you first off that there's a lot of whole food plant-based diets out there and undoubtedly some other speakers you've had here have given you insights into some that are very good there's not just one dye there's multiple diets that could be good the one I'm going to tell you about specifically tonight I call the perfect formula diet but it's not the only one I just want to encourage you to eat whole plant foods look at this is one alternative if it works for you that's great if not try another one so in this diet there's basically four pillars of different kind of whole plant foods that you're going to eat either alone or in combination that are going to form the bulk of what you eat so by volume here by volume talked about for example like a measuring cup or whatever one quart are going to be vegetables one quarter are going to be fruit one quarter are going to be whole grains on one quarter are going to be any mixture in any proportion of potatoes and legumes by glycans who is basically beans and peas and things like that lentils that kind of thing whole grains include things like obviously wheat berries but also whole wheat pasta whole wheat bread it can include corn can include quinoa millet oatmeal rye there's all kinds of tasty whole grains that you can have brown rice is a really good one so you say well how much should I eat well the answer is your body remember we talked about how intricate your body is with the hundred trillion cells in order to keep itself on track your body has sensors so your body knows what you're reading you can't fool your body you may have artificial sweeteners which is another manufactured food or whatever you want but the fact is your body knows exactly what you're eating and so when you get enough nutrients and enough calories your body is going to say okay had enough to eat go do something else it's going to turn your appetite off and you're not you're going to lose interest in food when your body says you've had enough to eat you're going to eat when you're moderately hungry don't wait till you're famished because if your family's your probably eat too much too fast and you're going to be grabbing a lot of things that aren't good for you so wait until you're hungry to eat but don't wait until you're famished just a little to moderately hungry and then stop when you're full so you might eat if you were to eat four cups a day one cup would be whole grains one cup would be potatoes and or legumes one cup would be fruit one cup would be vegetables if you were to eat eight cups of food a day because that's you might your body said you needed you would double those amounts but you would keep the proportions and you don't have to be really precise about this and you have to get out a measuring cup and start measuring things you just want to kind of make sure you're eating generously of each of these kinds of foods if you're eating generously v2 these kind of foods you doing okay don't worry about eating them in any particular order and if there's an afternoon and a time you just want to eat some nice cold fresh fruit and that's all you want to eat all afternoon that's fine just make sure later and evening you eat something else or maybe even the next day okay so eat flavorful foods and when I say flavorful I don't necessarily mean really spicy it doesn't have to burn your tongue you just wanted to have a good flavor and use whatever herbs and spices you like it they can be fresh they can be dried just whatever tastes good to you and another good thing about doing this is you're not going to need as much salt because things taste so good because you put on all this cilantro or parsley or garlic or ginger or you know whatever use it you're not really going to need a lot of salt the other thing you can eat and this isn't required but a lot of people like it is some nuts you don't want to eat huge amounts of nuts because they actually have a very high caloric density but if you want to eat one or two handfuls of nuts a few times a week for six times a week that's fine nuts and that quantity have been shown to be beneficial to your health they had some interest to your diet they give you different recipe abilities if you're using nuts you can make for example peanut sauce or have a peanut butter sandwich or nama butter sandwich or put almond butter and your smoothie so it gives you different things you can do and it'll just help keep you more interested in your diet and keep you on track with your diet and finally there's a few more simple additions on this diet to these six whole food categories one is ground flaxseed we already talked about that you're two tablespoons a day ground flaxseed vitamin b12 that this is an important one you want to get that enough of that because if you don't it can cause permanent neurological damage well here's the thing about vitamin b12 it's one of only two vitamins that are not made by plants every other vitamin is made by plants or if it's a mineral absorb from the ground by plants or if it's a protein it's metabolized using solo energy by plants but b12 is actually made by microbes not by plants so again think back to your ancestors they were running around they were foraging wild food and they found all kind of yummy wild food they could eat and they also drank water from lakes and streams well the water was not chlorinated so the water had bacteria growing in it therefore the water had b12 they picked up a piece of fruit from the ground it wasn't sterilized it had b12 was on this fruit so pretty much they were getting a lot of b12 every day just naturally in the course of their lives well what do we do today we eat sterilized food and we drink sterilized water right our waters all chlorinated it's not going to have the b12 I don't advise you to drink on sterile water because you don't know what else is going to be in it the same with food if you ate unsterile food you would get some b12 yet but you might also get e-coli so I'm not recommending that I'm recommending you take a b12 supplement and some people try to shortchanges by saying I'll eat this food or that food or this enriched food or that enriched food you know don't take a chance it's not worth it the b12 it's extremely inexpensive it's not a big deal to take it don't play games with your health just go out buy good a vegan b12 supplement and just take it as directed on the bottle and you don't have to worry about it then vitamin D is the other vitamin that's not made by plants and that's actually made by the Sun on your skin and again to see how these things work you always have to think back in history like how are things before they were today because they've only been the way they were today for a very short time like the last century right before that everything was different how people lived and what they ate and everything else so people were outside all the time because they were foraging for food they around the Sun the Sun was making vitamin D there was never an issue well nowadays renowned the Sun very much so we don't get vitamin D some people go to go out in the Sun if for any reason you're both to go out in the Sun you don't want to go out in the Sun you want to study more about this that's fine learn more about vitamin D in that case you can take supplements but the best thing to do is just let your skin manufacture the amount it needs by going in the Sun and certainly here in Hawaii that should not be a problem but remember happy endings can still happen it's your choice so if you want to take one step however large or however small your discretion in the direction of a whole food plant-based diet that's the best thing you can do for yourself thank you thank you dr. Janice Stanger for giving us a really great and informative talk that tore down some really popular but dangerous myths and giving us instead some great research-based information that will help us achieve a lot better health based on know Whole Foods plant-based diet so thank you again for coming and have a safe return home good night this program is brought to you by the vegetarian Society of Hawaii a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing with the community the many benefits of a vegetarian diet free monthly meetings include vegetarian experts and locally and on the mainland quick and easy cooking demonstrations and helpful and delicious food samples members enjoy an informative quarterly newsletter social activities and discounts at many vegetarian friendly restaurants and health food stores for an application call nine four four eight three four four that's nine four four eight three four four or visit our website at wgbh you you


  1. Why did this lady say that the soy plant in the picture was beautiful? It is a glyphosate, round-up ready crop which causes gastrointestinal ailments and cancer. Grains contain more herbacides than other foods. Until soy, oat, wheat, rye, barley, corn is free of harmful herbacides I'll avoid them. I don't think grains are necessary. I have no stomach problems or swollen joints because I'm off them. I eat all varieties of vegetables, fruit, legumes and a handful of nuts/seeds everyday. In my salads I'll have some chia seeds or flax seeds. Thankfully l have no more inflamation and no more arthritis.

  2. Well, lots is confusing here. Humans don't have the carnivore teeth, but they have different hunting tools and a digesting system that can assimilate both, animal and plant foods. Also, saying that meat is plants amino acids 'recycled,' is a matter of language. We can say it is 'predigested', making it easier to assimilate. Humans often have a hard time ASSIMILATING proteins directly from plant foods. In fact some of us would be ill and die without benefitting from predigested amino acids. I think we must be tolerant to variations and focus on supporting each human in finding the food that nurtures their particular body best. For example, I was vegan most of my life, with knowledge on how to get my proteins and all. It almost killed me and, with much resistance, I had to let go of it and years of health issues vanished when I did. I know other people with similar stories. Theories are designed to support agenda and this one is no difference. There are excellent proofs on both sides. So, I invite all of us to be tolerant first even in the area of what people eat. Eat what is best for you within whole and natural, organic, food. But don't convince other people who eat whole organic foods, about what they should eat.

  3. If you’re supposed to refrigerate flaxseed after you grind it because it will go rancid how is buying it from the store already ground off the shelf how is that not rancid

  4. My personal, remote diagnosis of the speaker is that she has acute pancreatic failure, renal failure and corroded arteries.

  5. I don't think these people look very healthy – therefore I suspect their advice is ill-informed or worse. I suggest avoiding.

  6. Outstanding Talk! One of the best I've seen posted on this Channel. Phenomenal, information-packed, well researched/resourced and simple to understand.

  7. Great video. Instead of saying 1/4 potatoes or legumes, I think it should just say root vegetables or legumes. Potatoes are native to South America, and native Europeans were eating things like parsnips, turnips, beets, radishes etc. I think eating our native diet is important, and you can apply the concept to all food groups. Northern Europeans weren't eating any tropical fruit either. But for many thousands of years cultures have been eating mainly fruit in tropical areas. So I just really think it's important to consider this approach for optimal health. There might be a perfect diet for all humans, or maybe not and it could be that there is not one perfect diet for all humans, and that we are all individuals with different backgrounds with different genetics, and different nutritional needs.

  8. Hello Janice. Verry interesting video. I wonder why you say we can eat Gluten? I am a member of a facebookgroup called Boby Cleanse Sweden. They say that we shuld not eat gluten coz it becomes like glue.

  9. I am going to binge watch vshvideo video's as long as it's raining outside. I've watched this Dr. Janice Stanger video 3 times this month. My thinking is that I've been brainwashed by popular media so much that this is surely the antidote.


  11. I L O V E this lecture sooooooo much. I LOVED it the very 1st. time I saw it 2 years ago!!!!!She nails it with every word she says!!!

  12. The cult of veganism. She says fish have omega 3 but also have cholesterol which she says causes plaque in arteries.

    The truth is we all NEED cholesterol. The body uses a LOT of cholesterol every day — to the tune of about 800 mgs. What it does not get in food, the body MAKES. Two eggs have 360 mgs of cholesterol. If you eat those eggs the body makes about another 440 mgs. (It makes cholesterol according to what it needs.)

    Plaque in arteries forms from a COMBINATION of causes. The mere presence of cholesterol does not cause plaque.

    Do you see the problem with excessive bias?

  13. How can we believe today ANY professional when food and health is a big business and their experts are in stalled in any faculty of worldwide universities or governmental professional bodies?

  14. she's one of the very few Dr's that actually is right and makes sense, i mean really use common sense.

  15. As a retired physician and 20+ year first vegetarian now vegan, I highly endorse this approach to diet. The principles outlined here are the ones I have arrived at independently before I heard this video. Eat a whole food, plant based diet and enjoy much better health!

  16. This lecture so genuine and well studied that an average modern day person will understand its value only when they become genuine. Thanks so much.

  17. the argument that people were genetically designed to convert plant based Omega 3 to DHA and lived long enough to reproduce and raise children means that if you want only care about living to 30 years old can eat plant-based omega-3. but if you want to live past 30 there's no guarantee that plant-based omega-3 is will do it

  18. this lecture is no better than all the other half truth you can find on the Internet. for example a number of molecular distilled fish oils have been tested and found to be extremely low in pcb's and mercury. depending on one's genetic makeup not everyone is good at converting flaxseed oil into DHA. the conversing capability diminishes with age so that someone in the eighties and nineties make almost DHA from eating flax. elderly people often don't absorb nutrients very well either so to say that they wouldn't benefit from a high quality fish oil is absolute rubbish.

  19. this lecture is no better than all the other half truth you can find on the Internet. for example a number of molecular distilled fish oils have been tested and found to be extremely low in pcb's and mercury. depending on one's genetic makeup not everyone is good at converting flaxseed oil into DHA. the conversing capability diminishes with age so that someone in the eighties and nineties make almost DHA from eating flax. elderly people often don't absorb nutrients very well either so to say that they wouldn't benefit from a high quality fish oil is absolute rubbish.

  20. the only thing ill say is we do have those teeth our k9s it's for tearing flesh were not of the big cat species so they aren't that massive and its a carnivore by her own argument we are not herbivores we are omnivores we have the teeth for dealing with both

  21. Have auto immune issues specially Fibromyalgia and when I have eaten different kinds of soy they have triggered more pain in my body within seconds of ingesting them. Could you tell me what is causing the reaction if soy is meant to be safe? I really need to know to see if I can eventually add it to my diet. Thank you for any feedback, shalom!

  22. Uh kay….so why are all these little old ladies told by their doctors to supplement with copious amounts of calcium?!

  23. Why spend money on supplements if you may not need them. I'm a vegan (Whole Plant based diet) and get tested to check my iron and B12 levels and my levels have always been fine. Vegetarian for 40 years and vegan for the last 6. I have only known of meat eaters who became anemic and/or have had low B12 levels. Every doctor I see assumes I must be anemic or need to take B12. I'm I just lucky. Maybe it's because I'm a gardener and get my hands in the dirt where the B12 can be found.

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