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  1. For those Dr. Greger fans out there , his new book How Not to Die comes out today. He posted a video today about the book. It sounds really good, and I've requested the first copy from my local public library when it becomes available. At 50min, he talks about dietary cholesterol and heart disease, and the tactics the egg industry uses to obscure the link - e.g. exploiting the "saturation effect" on cholesterol intake. Apparently in the first half of the book he addresses the science of how to avoid dying from the 15 leading killers (heart disease, various cancers, etc.) through diet, nutrition and exercise. In the second half, he pulls it all together into specific recommendations about what to eat and what not to eat to stay healthy. He presents the concept of the Daily Dozen, the 12 foods he tries to eat every day, and how many servings of each. I screen captured this frame from the video, which is figure from the book, that appears to summarize his Daily Dozen: He appears to be covering all the usual suspects that most of us CR practitioners try to eat / drink every day. In the "beverages" category I presume from his videos he means tea and/or coffee. Its interesting that "flaxseeds" is the only food he calls out specifically, and separately from the "Nuts & Seeds" category which he also includes. He was on one of my favorite podcasts (Rich Roll Podcast) today as well discussing the book. Here is the link to the episode. He talks about confirmation bias @ 23min - a topic many here criticize him about. Frankly he doesn't say much, except you've got to be an unbiased follower of the science. He gives an anecdote @25min where he changed his mind and his recommendations based on recent science - that of the danger of lead in tea leaves, particularly coming from China where they apparently only recently got rid of leaded gasoline. He says this isn't a problem if you are brewing tea leaves, since the lead stays with the leaves - supporting my similar conclusion about brewing cacao to avoid the heavy metal contaminants in chocolate products. But he says up until recently he was recommending putting the tea leaves in smoothies - figuring by throwing out the leaves you're losing some of the plant goodness. He's changed his tune on this, and now recommends brewing tea and discarding the leaves. At 50min, he talks about the link between dietary cholesterol, serum cholesterol and cardiovascular disease, and the tactics the egg industry uses to obscure the linkage - e.g. exploiting the "saturation effect" for dietary cholesterol. At 53min he talks about the excitement he and the scientific community have about the gut microbiome, but doesn't talk about it in too much detail except his recent video (which we discussed here) on how our immune system interprets low butyrate levels as a sign of being under attack, thereby increasing inflammation and autoimmune reactions. At 58min he talks about organic vs. conventional. He says in terms of nutrition, organic is slightly better (e.g. 20%) for phytonutrients, but probably not worth the extra expense. He says organic may be worth it to avoid heavy metals like cadmium, which are high in conventional fertilizers, and therefore higher in conventionally grown produce. He says he recommends choosing organic whenever possible, but not to let fear prevent us from eating more plants, even conventional plants. The net benefits of extra conventional fruits/vegetables far outweighs the risk. As evidence, he quotes a modeling study that found that if everyone in the US ate one more serving of fruits/vegetables per day, it would prevent 20,000 cancer deaths, but at the same time cause 10 additional cancer deaths from the extra exposure to pesticides - so lopsided are the benefits vs. the risks. At 1:01, he talks about GMOs - saying extra use of pesticides (e.g. glyphosate / Roundup) directly on the plants is the real issue with GMO foods, and there is some legitimate concern there. At 1:09 he talks about how he sees the state of nutrition science and public health recommendations as analogous to our understanding of the effects of smoking in the mid-50s. Evidence was starting to build at that time that smoking was bad for you, but powerful forces, including the American Medical Association, were still saying smoking was good for you. See this video about the shocking historic evidence for the influence the tobacco industry had on health recommendations, and how it parallels the influence and tactics of the processed food industry today. He's optimistic that, like the tide turned on tobacco, we'll see the same thing happen with processed food. At 1:13 he talks about the cognitive dissonance doctors are experiencing around diet - eating crappy themselves prevents them from wholeheartedly endorsing healthy diets for their patients. Plus the perverse incentives of the medical / pharmaceutical industry rewards doctors for prescribing pills and procedures, rather than focusing on keeping their patients health. He hopes for growth of wellness programs sponsored by corporations to make their employees healthier and thereby saving themselves money on health insurance premiums/payouts. Whatever you say about him, you've got to admit he's sincere and passionate in his beliefs and in his determination to help people live healthier lives through improved diet. The proceeds from his book (and all his speaking engagements) go to the 501c3 non-profit that funds the NutritionFacts.org website. He now has a team of 14 people that help him conduct his research, so that's a lot of mouths to feed. --Dean
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