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Michael Greger, M.D., is a physician, author, and internationally recognized professional speaker on a number of important public health issues.

Blog Entries by Michael Greger MD

How Beans Help Our Bones

Michael Greger MD | November 20, 14 at 05:00 AM

Read More: animal studies, antinutrients, beans, bone fractures, bone health, bone mineral density, calcium, chickpeas, Fosamax, grains, legumes, lentils, medications, nuts, osteoporosis, phytates, polyphenols, seeds, side effects, split peas, sprouts, women's health

Health authorities from all over the world universally recommend increasing the consumption of whole grains and legumes--beans, split peas, chickpeas, and lentils--for health promotion. But what about the phytates? Phytate is a naturally occurring compound found in all plant...

What is Actually in Chicken Nuggets?

Michael Greger MD | November 18, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: animal fat, chicken, children, farm animals, fast food, fat, fecal bacteria, fecal contamination, meat, obesity, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, pork, poultry, processed foods, processed meat, USDA

In a scathing expose of the USDA's new meat inspection program, the Washington Post quoted a representative from the meat inspectors union, who said: "pig processing lines may be moving too quickly to catch tainted meat... Tremendous amounts of...

Does Caramel Color Cause Cancer?

Michael Greger MD | November 13, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: artificial colors, beer, beverages, California, cancer, caramel color, carcinogens, Coca-Cola, food additives, gravy, industry influence, Pepsi, safety limits, soda, soy sauce

Used as a coloring agent in products ranging from colas and beer to gravies and soy sauce, caramel coloring may be the world's most widely consumed food coloring. It helps grocery stores sell more than a billion servings of...

We Can End the Heart Disease Epidemic

Michael Greger MD | November 11, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: abdominal pain, Africa, appendicitis, beans, body fat, cancer, cancer survival, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health, colon cancer, colon health, constipation, corn, diabetes, diverticulosis, fat, fiber, gallbladder health, gallstones, heart disease, heart health, hemorrhoids, hernia, hiatal hernia, hypertension, lifespan, Lifestyle medicine, medical profession, mortality, obesity, plant-based diets, prediabetes, rectal cancer, standard American diet, stomach health, stomach ulcers, stool size, surgery, Uganda, varicose veins, vegans, vegetarians

Many of the diseases that are common in United States are rare or even nonexistent in populations eating mainly whole plant foods. These so-called Western Diseases are some of our most common conditions: Obesity, the most important nutritional disease...

How to Prevent Heart Disease

Michael Greger MD | November 6, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: Africa, animal fat, animal products, candy, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health, cavities, cholesterol, corn, dental health, exercise, fat, fruit, greens, heart disease, heart health, junk food, LDL cholesterol, Lifestyle medicine, medical profession, medications, millet, mortality, mouthwash, oral health, plant protein, plant-based diets, plantains, Pritikin, protein, pumpkin, trans fats, vegans, vegetable protein, vegetables, vegetarians

Many of today's lifestyle medicine doctors, myself included, were greatly influenced by Nathan Pritikin, the nutrition pioneer who started reversing heart disease with a plant-based diet and exercise back in the 70s. (More on Nathan Pritikin in Engineering a...

How Seafood Can Impact Brain Development

Michael Greger MD | November 4, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: adolescence, algae, attention deficit, birth defects, brain health, children, cognition, DHA, EPA, epilepsy, FDA, fish, heavy metals, infants, mackerel, mental health, mercury, omega-3 fatty acids, persistent organic pollutants, pregnancy, salmon, seafood, supplements, sustainability, swordfish, tuna, vision, women's health

In my video Fish Intake Associated With Brain Shrinkage, I discussed evidence suggesting that mercury exposure through fish intake during pregnancy may decrease the size of the newborn's brain. However, just because fish-eating mothers may give birth to children...

Why Pregnant Women Should Avoid Tuna

Michael Greger MD | October 30, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: birth defects, brain health, children, cognition, fish, heavy metals, infants, mental health, mercury, microcephaly, persistent organic pollutants, pregnancy, safety limits, seafood, tuna, women's health

All fish contain small amounts of methylmercury, the most toxic form of mercury, and "fish consumption represents the main source of methylmercury exposure." In my videos Nerves of Mercury and Fish Fog, I discuss how mercury exposure through fish...

How Fatty Foods May Affect Our Love Life

Michael Greger MD | October 28, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: addiction, animal fat, animal products, body fat, brain waves, burgers, caloric restriction, calories, cheese, cocaine, dopamine, energy, fat, hamburgers, ice cream, industry influence, junk food, low-fat diets, medications, mental health, plant-based diets, sexual dysfunction, sexual health, smoking, soda, sugar, sweeteners, tobacco, vegans, vegetarians, water, weight loss, yogurt

The food industry, like the tobacco companies and other drug lords, has been able to come up with products that tap into the same dopamine reward system that keeps people smoking cigarettes, using marijuana, and eating candy bars (See...

Can One Become a Sugar Addict?

Michael Greger MD | October 21, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: abdominal fat, addiction, alcohol, body fat, brain waves, Coca-Cola, cocaine, dopamine, fat, fruit, obesity, processed foods, soda, sugar, sweeteners

People have chewed coca leaves for at least 8,000 years as a mild stimulant without any evidence of addiction, but when certain components are isolated and concentrated into cocaine, we've got a problem. The same may be true of...

Where are Phosphate Additives Found?

Michael Greger MD | October 16, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: aluminum, animal products, cheese, chicken, dairy, fast food, food additives, industry influence, junk food, meat, phosphate additives, phosphorus, poultry, preservatives, processed foods, processed meat, turkey, World Health Organization

In my videos Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola and Phosphate Additives in Chicken, I talked about the danger of phosphate and phosphate additives, and how phosphates are often added to chicken and turkey to help preserve the...

Phosphate Additives in Chicken Banned Elsewhere

Michael Greger MD | October 14, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: Campylobacter, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health, chicken, Europe, fecal bacteria, fecal contamination, food additives, food poisoning, foodborne illness, heart disease, heart health, industry influence, meat, medical profession, medical training, phosphate additives, phosphorus, poultry, preservatives, turkey

In my video Phosphate Additives in Meat Purge and Cola, I talked about the danger of phosphorus additives in food. However, when surveyed, most future medical professionals were insufficiently aware--in fact, two-thirds had no clue--of the risks related to...

What Do Meat Purge and Cola Have in Common?

Michael Greger MD | October 9, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: aging, animal products, antinutrients, beef, bone fractures, bone health, bone mineral density, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health, chicken, Coca-Cola, cola, food additives, glycotoxins, heart disease, heart failure, heart health, hormonal dysfunction, iron, junk food, kidney disease, kidney failure, kidney function, kidney health, lifespan, meat, mortality, osteoporosis, phosphate additives, phosphorus, phytates, phytic acid, plant-based diets, pork, poultry, preservatives, soda, turkey, vegans, vegetarians

In my video, Treating Kidney Failure Through Diet, I profiled research suggesting that the use of a plant-based diet for patients with kidney failure would be beneficial. An important function of our kidneys is to filter out excess phosphorus...

What to Eat to Reduce Our Toxic Exposure

Michael Greger MD | October 7, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: Ah receptor, animal products, apples, beans, beef, breast milk, breastfeeding, broccoli, cancer, chicken, cruciferous vegetables, dairy, dioxins, fish, fruit, immune function, industrial toxins, meat, onions, persistent organic pollutants, phytonutrients, plant-based diets, pork, poultry, red onions, red wine, seafood, smoking, tea, turkey, vegans, vegetables, vegetarians, wine

It is not very common that a single molecule attracts enough interest to merit international scientific conferences of its own. "Ah receptor," however, "belongs to the rare elite of such molecules." Ah receptors are an important factor in how...

Our Immune System Uses Plants To Activate Gut Protection

Michael Greger MD | September 30, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: Ah receptor, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, cruciferous vegetables, energy, greens, immune function, inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, kale, medications, phytonutrients, processed food, standard American diet, ulcerative colitis, vegetables

It might seem that our skin is the first line of defense between our insides and the outside world, but our greatest interface with our environment is actually through the lining of our intestines, which covers thousands of square...

4 Things To Help Prevent Most Disease

Michael Greger MD | September 25, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: blood pressure, blood sugar, breast cancer, breast cancer survival, breast health, cancer, cancer survival, cardiovascular disease, cardiovascular health, cholesterol, chronic diseases, diabetes, Dr. Dean Ornish, exercise, heart disease, heart failure, heart health, LDL cholesterol, lifespan, Lifestyle medicine, medical education, medications, men's health, mortality, obesity, plant-based diets, prostate cancer, prostate health, reversing chronic disease, smoking, stroke, surgery, vegans, vegetarians, women's health

Though I was trained as a general practitioner, my chosen specialty is lifestyle medicine. Most of the reasons we go see our doctors are for diseases that could have been prevented. But lifestyle medicine is not just about preventing...

Are Canned Beans as Healthy as Home Cooked?

Michael Greger MD | September 23, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: beans, chickpeas, cooking methods, copper, cost savings, dietary guidelines, fiber, folate, iron, lentils, magnesium, phosphorus, plant protein, potassium, protein, sodium, split peas, standard American diet, vegetable protein, vegetables, vitamin B1

Beans are an essential part of any healthful diet. The federal government recommends about half a cup a day of beans, counting them as both a protein and a vegetable since they have the best of both worlds. Beans...

Can Eating Soy Prevent Breast Cancer?

Michael Greger MD | September 18, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: abdominal fat, Angelina Jolie, beans, blood pressure, blood sugar, body fat, BRCA genes, breast cancer, breast cancer survival, breast disease, breast health, cancer, cancer survival, chickpeas, cholesterol, DNA damage, epigenetic changes, fat, hypertension, kidney function, LDL cholesterol, legumes, lentils, lifespan, metastases, mortality, phytonutrients, plant protein, protein, soy, soy milk, soybeans, split peas, tofu, triglycerides, vegetable protein, weight loss, women's health

In my video, Increased Lifespan From Beans, I discuss how beans may be the single most important dietary predictor of a long lifespan. But why do people who eat legumes such as beans, chickpeas, split peas, and lentils live...

Eat Beans to Live Longer

Michael Greger MD | September 16, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: aging, Australia, beans, chickpeas, chronic diseases, dietary guidelines, elderly, flatulence, Greece, Japan, kidney beans, legumes, lentils, lifespan, Mediterranean diet, mortality, nutrition myths, peas, reversing chronic disease, soy, soybeans, split peas, Sweden

Beans, beans, they're good for your heart; the more you eat, the...longer you live? Legumes may be the most important predictor of survival in older people from around the globe. Researchers from institutions different institutions looked at five different...

Overdosing on Poppy Seeds

Michael Greger MD | September 11, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: alternative medicine, bagels, children, complimentary medicine, cooking methods, drug testing, infants, milk, morphine, poppy seeds, safety limits, seeds, sleep

The opium poppy used to make heroin is the same opium poppy used to make muffins and bagels. Does this mean that poppy seed muffin we may have had for breakfast contained a powerful narcotic? The idea that poppy...

The Healthiest Diet for Weight Control

Michael Greger MD | September 4, 14 at 05:00 AM | Health

Read More: animal fat, animal products, beef, calcium, calories, chicken, cholesterol, fat, fiber, fish, folate, greens, iron, LDL cholesterol, magnesium, meat, metabolism, plant-based diets, pork, potassium, poultry, protein, riboflavin, saturated fat, seafood, thiamine, turkey, vegans, vegetables, vegetarians, vitamin A, vitamin B1, vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin E, weight loss

We know that vegetarians tend to be slimmer, but there's a perception that veg diets may somehow be deficient in nutrients. So how's this for a simple study, profiled in my video Nutrient-Dense Approach to Weight Management: an analysis...