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For those Dr. Greger fans out there  :)xyz, 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:

 

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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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All,

 

In this youtube video (embedded below) the pretty flaky Dr. Mercola (one of several popular saturated fat apologists on the internet) interviews Dr. Greger about Greger's new book. I was most amused to see that Dr. Greger did the entire interview while walking at his treadmill desk. He talks about the benefit of continuous movement throughout the day at 4:30 in the video. He shares that he walks on the treadmill most of the day, covering about 17 miles. They both agree that keeping moving is important for health, and the measly 22min per day exercise recommendation from the government are simply pandering to people who would balk at hearing they should really do a lot more. Dr. Greger recommends 90min of exercise per day in his book, but himself spends about 8h per day on his treadmill. A man after my own heart...

 

Starting at 15:00, Mercola praises exercise, vegetables and CR for 'tuning up your mitochondria'. Mercola doesn't sound like he knows very much on the subject, but he may surprisingly be on the right track, if some of recent experiments in cleaning out the dysfunctional mitochondria from senescent cells (or the senescent cells themselves) pan out.

 

They both recommend eating more vegetables and other nutrient-dense, calorie-sparse foods in order to simply and easily implement calorie restriction and avoid obesity.

 

At 21:45 they talk about veg(etari)anism and the importance of getting vitamin B12.

 

--Dean

 

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Dean, this is very interesting! Thank you!

I saw the video of you pedaling on your bike desk. And you have explained to me that your pedaling does not hurt(=slow down) your reading and writing. Thank you again for that.

I have the same question about Dr. Greger spending about 8h per day on his treadmill. I don’t use any treadmill. It is hard for me to imagine how he is able to do all his reading and writing while moving on his treadmill. What do you think?

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Grace,

 

I too have found it harder to get reading and especially writing done on a treadmill desk, compared to my bike desk or being stationary (standing or sitting desk). Having my torso stationary at my bike desk makes it a lot easier to work than striding away on a treadmill, even at very low speeds.

 

The treadmill desk solution seems to work for Dr. Greger though, apparently. I've communicated with him on several occasions, and have even suggested he try my bike desk solution to improve his productivity. He thought my solution was cool, but obviously hasn't implemented it.

 

--Dean

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Dean, thank you for your explanation! That makes a lot of sense for me.

I am thinking about your bike desk.

I have two standing desks. One is for processing paper work, and the other is for working on my computer. I walk between the two desks a lot. I place a few of my filing boxes on the floor under the desks, so I have to regularly bend over to reach files in them.

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I too have found it harder to get reading and especially writing done on a treadmill desk, compared to my bike desk or being stationary (standing or sitting desk). Having my torso stationary at my bike desk makes it a lot easier to work than striding away on a treadmill, even at very low speeds.

If I read print material I usually go the the gym and use the recumbent bike, or sit on the couch. I don't have a problem reading on my computer while walking though. I'm not sure if this applies to your setup, but I make it a point to have the monitor sit on a shelf not touching the treadmill, otherwise every step I take shakes the monitor and makes it difficult to read.

 

I can't write at all while walking though.

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If I read print material I usually go the the gym and use the recumbent bike, or sit on the couch. I don't have a problem reading on my computer while walking though. I'm not sure if this applies to your setup, but I make it a point to have the monitor sit on a shelf not touching the treadmill, otherwise every step I take shakes the monitor and makes it difficult to read.

 

I can't write at all while walking though.

 

 

James, that is the same as what I have figured. I have just started practicing timing myself for sitting(for either reading, or writing or both). I would sit for up to 45 minutes, then stand up, move around or do push ups for 5, 10 or 15 minutes.

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