How Not To Die: The Role of Diet in Preventing, Arresting, and Reversing Our Top 15 Killers

How our food choices may influence disease prevention and treatment. In this “best-of” compilation of his last four year-in-review presentations, Dr. Greger explains what we can do about the #1 cause of death and disability: our diet. This is his 2016 live talk.

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I'd like to thank Dr. John McDougall ( and his team for videotaping this and allowing us to share it with the world.

To watch my last four annual talks in their entirety, check out:

Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death ( )
More Than an Apple a Day ( )
From Table to Able ( )
Food as Medicine ( )

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You’ll also find a transcript and acknowledgements for the video, my blog and speaking tour schedule, and an easy way to search (by translated language even) through our videos spanning more than 2,000 health topics.

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Thanks for watching. I hope you’ll join in the evidence-based nutrition revolution!
-Michael Greger, MD FACLM

I’d like to thank Dr. John McDougall and his team for videotaping this and allowing us to share it with the world!

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0:00 Introduction
5:53 Disease and diet
10:05 Heart disease
16:40 Cancer
27:29 Chronic lower respiratory diseases
31:26 Alzheimer's disease
32:15 Type 2 diabetes
36:08 Kidney failure
39:11 Influenza and pneumonia
40:10 Diet for depression
42:20 Blood infection
48:15 Liver disease
48:54 High blood pressure
55:00 Parkinson's disease
57:24 Plant-based diet vs medication
1:00:32 Comparing smoking to poor diet
1:12:06 Q&A

Dave McKinnon

  • Storytime with Slithe says:

    Thank you so much for all your outstanding hard work Dr Greger. Let’s make this VIRAL!

  • Louella.y says:

    Never thought I would actually read a whole book about nutrition but I loved How not to die… I really wish a lot of people read it. Dr Greger is a very dedicated person indeed.

  • Sophie Thwaites says:

    Another fantastic video, thank you Dr Gregor. Especially liked the thought experiment at the end- gives me hope for the future. LOVED the HNTD book- it’s up there in my top 3 faves; alongside The China Study and The Food Revolution 😊

  • Spot Thinker says:

    Dr greger just thank you. Been vegan four months, my wife showed me your work and speeches andbbougt me your book. At first I was scaredbcause I though diet would be expensive, where poor Hispanics but somehow with gods help we made the healthy change back to our natural diet from the islands before we moved to the states, Which high in tropical fruits, potatoes, beans corn, ground vegetables, a lot of rice and added flax and stuff and it’s been amazing. I went from 270 down to 240 in 4 months slowly but eat in a lot my kids haven’t got sick since. It’s not expensive at all. Whenever we can’t afford the soy milks for the kids, we give them multi and there fine. My wife has had trouble with vitD since we left the island so she always been weak and tired and sad all the time. I see her smile now. And her vitd is getting better, I think its cause she try to go outside more now with kids, but still takes vitd from doctor. She loosing slower but she said she doesn’t care. If your message can reach us, then you can reach anyone. Plz don’t stop what you doing ok just don’t stop. Thanks

    • Ellie Kennard says:

      Thank you for this. I have tried to tell people that this way of eating can be very inexpensive, but some just don’t seem to understand. Your comment was very moving. I hope that you and your family are still doing well and following the best way of eating!

    • Tiffany N says:

      Medical Bill’s and monthly medications are more expensive than a healthy diet. Guess it just depends on where your priorities are… 🤷‍♀️ There really is little excuse.

    • Ulvia says:

      Excelente. Yo tambien voy a cambiar mi manera de comer para mi y ninos. Thank you.

    • Survival Rebellion says:

      Nice !

  • spiritualyogi10 says:

    Thank you so much for your work Dr.Greger…even some of my “meaty” friends have started to eat less of it (gotta start somewhere) thanks to me quoting some of your facts and encouraging people to watch your videos. You deserve a high honour for your work.

  • Sitting Kitty says:

    I love what Dr. Greger said at the end: “We can’t wait until society catches up to the science because it’s a matter of life and death.”

    I will be quoting him on that soon. Excellent comment!

  • TRue to Life says:

    I have been fortunate enough to have seen a Dr Greger lecture in person. He is an amazing speaker and a wonderful person. He took the time to talk to my husband and I and sign my copy of How Not to Die. Thank you Dr G!

  • Phil Glagolevschi says:

    Hello from Ireland and thank you so much Dr Greger, your videos have changed my life, and that of my family’s. Overnight my brother and I changed our diets from having eggs, meat, milk and cheese on a daily basis to a completely plant based diet. We are now vegans since March 2016, are so much healthier, happier, and have so much more energy than before. We have since convinced our mother to switch to a plant-based diet, and are spreading the message (and directing to your videos) to all willing to listen. I have read your book and still watch a lot of your videos to educate myself on the most recent findings. Keep up the brilliant work and thank you so much again!

  • Claire Rose says:

    This is totally brilliant. I wish this would be required viewing for all school-age children. I’m asking my family to watch this with me for Christmas this year instead of getting a gift. 😉

  • Mary Alice says:

    Dr. Greger is my hero! The video is full of facts wrapped up in humor. It’s perfect❤ I’m going to show this to both of my parents and my boyfriend asap haha:)

  • Chandler Sedat says:

    So thankful I saw this! So inspired to continue to change my dietary habits. I have been moving toward a plant based diet for several months now. Taking my family along with me 🙂 To hear from Dr Greger the details of how this diet improves health and stops disease was profound! Many many thanks! I will share far and wide!

  • G Kuljian says:

    This presentation did it for me. It was not only the story of his mother recovering by changing her diet, but it was the studies that included slides of the resulting cancer cells dying. I’ve been studying diet for several years, and have not been able to give up meat. I’m currently eating bison and elk. No factory food. But I can finally see for myself what’s best for me, through the studies you’ve presented. I used to say that we had canine teeth for a reason, and satisfy myself I was ok. And I was a good friend of Nathan Pritikin’s son back in the 70’s. And I used to work in a cardiac cath lab. I should have known better. What took me so long? I guess I needed to see the studies with my own eyes. I haven’t been able to fully kick the remaining fatigue I’ve been fighting for 15 years. I did a little more research, and happened upon this video. Now I can help others. Thanks.

    • Shawn Blais says:

      You can see similar results in ketogenic diets, or when fasting.

      He cherry picks Uganda, but the Top 3 countries for CHD are France, Japan and South Korea. All eat meat, and all are quite different. It’s not the removal of meat, fats or carbs that leads to better heart health, it’s the removal of processed foods.

  • xkiardsfgx says:

    Incredible that this talk is subtitled in many languages! I’m from Mexico and my parents, granmas and many other relatives have been suffering from some of this diseases, so thank you very much for making this available for non speaking english people. We are deeply and eternaly grateful!!

    • CB27 says:

      “for non speaking english people” – I think you meant to say non English speaking people.

      Non speaking people can’t speak any language! And it would be surprising to find English people who can’t speak English! I appreciate English isn’t perhaps your first language. I’m just offering a friendly correction.

  • Dani G says:

    I was recently asked “if you could only show a non-vegan one video to encourage them to explore veganism, which would it be?” I said Forks Over Knives, others said Conspiracy, some said Earthlings. If I’d seen this then, I think I would have answers with this video. The animals suffer immensely, but not everyone’s ready for that. The environment is vital to all life, but not everyone can accept that. But tell someone who much healthier they’re gonna be and they’ll live longer and better (I get less pain and need less insulin now after two months of plant-based) and it appeals to their self-preservation and can provide a great “in” to get them thinking about it. The rest can follow from that, but I think once a person is invested in the diet for themselves, they can get used to that, and from there they can get to exploring the more “lifestyle” side of it, regarding the ethics and environmentalism. Stellar lecture, Dr Greger, damn stellar.

  • Andrew F {pluckyfella7} says:

    Well done, Michael, for your sound advice in eating natural foods naturally. It is also commendable that you have gone to the trouble of adding subtitles in 16 languages so far (thank you Barbara Leable for the excellent subtitles in English for hearing-impaired folk like me! lol). Thank you.

  • Dante Consonero says:

    This man saved my life. Thank you Dr.Greger, from the bottom of my now disease free heart.

  • Mariana Fernández Lorenzo says:

    Thank you for all your hard work. You really are inspiring.
    I’m going to try this way of life because my cholesterol levels are (and always were) way out of control and I really don’t want to take the prescribed medication with all those horrible side effects. Also, I’m going to try this to encourage my father to follow me in this path. He suffers from emphysema and his arteries are clogging according to his last tomography. He’s having a hard time breathing normally. The thing is, he’s 65 a heavy meat eater and kind of stubborn… But I’m going to do my best because I want him to live. Hopefully I’ll succeed and he’ll have a longer and better quality of life.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart ❤️

  • Lis Engel says:

    Its such a strong , ironic and very inspiring lecture – and hard to believe that its message is not discussed everywhere – thank you so much for this brilliant, inspiring lecture

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  • Allison Fisher says:

    I was shown this video in class. It has made me make serious changed in my diet and I have noticed changes in my body. I am currently writing an argumentative research paper for my class now using this subject and why it needs to be more wide spread.

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