The Scientific Consensus on a Healthy Diet

The leading risk factor for death in the United States is the American diet. The importance of a healthy diet in preventive healthcare.

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For more on the American Heart Association targets, see How Many Meet the Simple Seven? ( ).

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

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Dave McKinnon

  • James G says:

    I hit four years vegan this month. Best decision I’ve ever made. I’m about to turn 39 and I am in far better shape and more physically fit than the other dads in my 6 year olds class. Feels good on every front.

    • Lisa Lovely LPA says:

      Great , 39 a good time to get healthy , all the warranties on your body expire at 39. It’s a rocky road after 39 if you not taking care of your health. Good for you !

    • Phat Vegan says:

      Nice I started in 2017

    • FluffyPants says:

      @Deus Ex yeah because they get older

    • Solo Traveler says:

      I went WFPBV two years ago at age 54, was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, stage II hypertension and high cholesterol plus a myriad of other debilitating chronic illnesses. Today 100% Rx free, labs of a 25 year old athlete. Also one of the best decisions I have ever made.

  • Katzen sind weich says:

    My 7 year old just phantasised, that the whole world consists of candy. His healthy school snacks came back uneaten cause his class mates all had candy and were nice enough to share. 🤦‍♀️

    • Happy Cook says:

      I’m a teacher. I’m teaching summer school. All kids get free breakfast and free school lunch. Today’s breakfast was sugary cold cereal with milk, packaged muffin, and juice! Lunch was slice of pizza, side order of spicy fries, chocolate milk, and canned waterpacked pear half, ketchup. A parent kindly sent in snacks for kids. It was a box of 32 individual bags of chips! I am exasperated beyond belief. I banned candy and junk from my classroom and yet we’ll meaning parents are sending crap in and school is serving only highly processed crap. 😔 sigh

  • queertales says:

    I started reading some of the articles over at the True Health Initiative, and for some reason I hear them with Dr. Greger’s voice in my head. 😁

  • Tha Ruckus says:

    Started eating a strictly plant based diet 3,5 years ago at the age of 20. I’m working out more consistently since a few months ago and I already gained 4kg of lean muscle and I feel fantastic.

    I haven’t been sick for almost 2 years straight, not even a runny nose! That’s a big plus with all this fear surrounding Covid.

    And the only supplements I use are B12 once to a few times a week and vitamin D3 in the wintertimes.

    Stay healthy 🙏🏽🌱

    • ZeeZ says:

      Great but respect the people that aren’t vegetarian

    • Tha Ruckus says:

      @ZeeZ if your practices significantly damage this planet, which is also my home, I refuse to respect it

      With that being said many of the people around me don’t eat like me and we get along great. I tell them the truth either way even though the truth can be uncomfortable sometimes

    • MoonShadeStuff says:

      @Tha RuckusI hope you don’t have kids cause I can eat meat all day & not have kids and have contributed more to a healthy planet in the long run than someone who eats no meat but has kids. Nah, I actually don’t care if you have kids or not, just showing you how difficult it is to judge other people for normal everyday actions.

    • Jon R. Olsen says:

      @Tha Ruckus Same here, and many of my relatives and friends are seeing the value in individual fruits and vegetables.

  • Andrew Nigsian says:

    I’m a teacher. My classes often revolve around diet. I bring all kinds of interesting materials to class, including some of Dr. Gregor’s videos, hoping someone will take it to heart, so to speak. No one is listening.

    • flowpom says:

      future parents have to truly embrace the guidelines, make the change and grow up their kids with good habits from day 0, Tha’ts the only way.

    • Asar Cadyn says:

      In the interests of eliminating bias, I hope you also show videos of Nina Teicholz, Dr Georgia Ede, Dr Ben Bikman etc. Or just show a Dr Paul Mason video, who covers everything needed in a very accessible way. I understand if you don’t show Bart Kay though as he is a bit too blunt and sweary for school kids😁.

    • A. Schulz says:

      I hope as a teacher you’re smart enough to present the topics neutral and not with a bias for one youtube channels direction promoting a very one-sided approach to health.

    • M S says:

      @Asar Cadyn yeah this channel is like opposite to doctor paul mason or bart kay. Who is right i wonder hmmmm

    • Asar Cadyn says:

      @M S That’s wasn’t the point. A teacher needs to be unbiased in the material they present to their class otherwise they can be accused of being a propagandist. So they should either show other videos with a different point of view or at least discuss the pros and cons of any one point of view,

  • D Tune says:

    Thank you as always for all your in-depth research

  • GregMeadMaker says:

    I still say part of a healthy diet is a daily dose of Dr Greger reports.

  • forwards says:

    Greetings from Slovenia! Working hard on keeping these statistics favorable 💪

    • James Ansell says:

      I’m Canadian, and I’d rather live in Slovenia than in the USA. 🙂

    • Planting seeds of wisdom says:

      @James Ansell I’m in US and would rather live in Canada.

    • James Ansell says:

      @Planting seeds of wisdom I don’t blame you for that. We have universal health care.
      And a helluva lot less guns and mass shootings. I feel sorry for Americans.
      Your country is crumbling.

  • Andrea Sites says:

    A healthy diet needed for longevity is yet another inconvenient truth the American public fails to embrace.

    • Lloyd Christmas says:

      @MrSinister718 you assume a lot. Bad move. Nice kooky grammar though.

    • MrSinister718 says:

      @Lloyd Christmas yikes

    • Brad Hansen says:

      Americans have been indoctrinated that there’s no need to give up hot dogs when you can just take a pill (or 2 or 3). Ignoring that all drugs have negative side effects, whereas a healthy diet only has positive side effects.

  • The_Limon says:

    Plant Based since 2015. Best health decision of my life.

  • Timothy Bracken says:

    this video needs to be played a million times, just had two family members pass away from colon cancer. It’s what you eat people! it catches up to you and will hurt you

  • says:

    For more on the American Heart Association targets, see How Many Meet the Simple Seven? (

    • the truth will set you free says:

      Could you please create a video, where you explain how scientists came up with the daily requirements of nutrients?
      All my research leads to the conclusion that they were conjured out of thin air by a committee.
      If the daily requirements of nutrients are MISTAKEN and IRRELEVANT, how can we create a healthy diet ?

    • Asar Cadyn says:

      They got it wrong on the fruits and vegetables and low cholesterol though. Modern farmed fruit is horribly high in fructose – very nasty stuff for the body. Vegetables are very low density nutrition and what nutrition they do have is very difficult for humans to use in sufficient quantities. Low cholesterol is now understood to be not a marker for CVD, but IS a marker for high all-cause mortality. So ditch the fruit ‘n veg and keep your total cholesterol around 220 for best results. I wonder when they’ll correct that?

    • the truth will set you free says:

      @Asar Cadyn … I am talking about the RDAs = Recommended Dietary Allowances … They present us with VALUES, which reflect “the average daily dietary intake level that suffices to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97–98%) healthy persons of a specific sex, age, life stage, or physiological condition”. But if the methodology is faulty, then the VALUES are wrong. So how then can we use these values to plan our nutrition ?

    • Asar Cadyn says:

      @the truth will set you free I was talking about the Simple Seven, not your post, but I agree with you completely on the RDAs 👍. I use them only to understand what a particular food contains in comparison to another, not how much of a nutrient I need. For example, if I think I need, say, more potassium, I’ll use the %RDA of foods to see which have the most potassium per serving and eat more of those. The tricky part is knowing when you need more (or less) of a particular nutrient, especially on an animal-free diet. Nature normally gets it right when a species eats a species specific diet.

    • the truth will set you free says:

      @Asar Cadyn … We still haven’t received an answer to the question about the RDAs

  • JG says:

    Dr Greger, Sir, I hope you live forever. You are the best!

  • Paul Gill says:

    Regarding misinformation, I have been eating ground flax seed every morning in cereal based on advice in your books and videos. A few days ago I watched a Youtube video by another popular American doctor that discusses nutrition and he said a food not to eat is flax. I am someone who is trying to correct years of poor diet and I personally would love to see doctors agreeing on something as simple as flax is good or flax is bad. p.s. I will continue eating ground flax seed, but I can’t understand how a health professional could say that it must not be part of anyone’s diet while another says it is essential.

    • Gareth Baus says:

      The only major health risks I have seen relating to flax are allergies and a mild ant clotting effect(not enough to be particularly dangerous, but you might want to temporarily cut flax consumption a few days before a surgery).

    • Paul Gill says:

      @Gareth Baus Thanks for your reply. I think the ‘other Doctor’ was concerned about levels of plant phytoestrogens…but don’t quote me on that, but he did say cut it out of your diet as it is ‘dangerous’

    • Gareth Baus says:

      @Paul Gill the data I have seen on phytoestrogens looks fairly inconclusive, we don’t know for certain if they are generally beneficial like some studies indicate regarding their tendency to reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers, or if they are harmful endocrine disruptors.

    • Paul Gill says:

      @Gareth Baus Hi Gareth, thanks for looking to into this, have a look at ‘6 Things Men Should Not Eat’ on Youtube. I have about 10 grams of flax sprinkled on porridge so I’m not a ‘big’ user. I’m going to carry o eating it, and soy also. I feel happier away from having meat in my diet and I don’t plan to change that in the time I’ve got left. Finding Dr Greger and has been a game changer for me, just wish I’d been taught about nutrition at school many years ago.

    • JHades Dev says:

      I’m sure they are OK to eat, but I’ve personally stopped taking them. I find it unnatural to grind seeds and eat their powder, I don’t think we have evolved doing that. Best case, the seeds where chewed and swallowed. I’m all for a whole food plant based diet though, it has helped me lose a lot of weight and feel much better. But grinding seeds seems just too artificial for me.

  • Karen Seriously Karen says:

    I watched a couple of your videos on the difference in the SAD and aboriginal peoples and our great ape cousins. In any of those videos discussing the apes, I hear you discussing their fruit, nut, vegetable intake, but never their insect consumption, which equals roughly 4% of their diet.

    According to a nutritional breakdown, insects are just as – if not more – nutritious than commonly consumed meats. With lots of EFAs Insects are also “rich in trace elements such as copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium and zinc, as well as vitamins like riboflavin, pantothenic acid, biotin, and folic acid in some cases.”

    If we eat, on average, 4 pounds of food per day, that is a little more than 2 oz of protein and nutrient rich food per day. Which could be why other great apes don’t need to take a B12 supplement; the way the “natural diet” sapien branch of the great apes do. Crickets, for instance, are packed full of B12. One brand name organic cricket….? has “approximately 12x more Vitamin B12 than beef & salmon, 20x more than eggs, 50x more than pork & milk, and 100x more than chicken.”

    I realize you have made 3 or 4 videos (out of the hundreds) that specifically address insect consumption. But without any linkage to a diet we are historically and genetically predisposed to.

    Repeatedly implying that the best course is a return to a diet we’ve been eating for millions of years, but failing to include sources that would fill the requirement of an aboriginal diet AND complete our nutritional needs, seems…. remiss. Barring cruelty concerns by the consumer, full disclosure of ancestral dietary patterns in every video where the idea is discussed would be the most scientifically consistent and ethical approach.

  • City Steading Plant Life says:

    It’s mind blowing to me that there is still argument on this. I’ve been called some pretty nasty things and accused of starving myself nutritionally due to not eating meat products, despite my doctor’s complete adoration of my diet, and overwhelming compliments on my blood markers and nutrition levels.

  • Sam, Enjoyer of Toast says:

    I seriously have no idea why people find healthy eating so confusing, even with industry misinfo. It’s so extremely common sense. As a whole foods plant based vegan that only eats foods they cook and bake themselves. I stay 10% body fat year around with zero effort or hunger. I’m stuffed a majority of the time.

  • Willem Burger says:

    And here I was thinking scientific consensus means the studies (and science) point at the same “facts”. Thank you for correcting me in understanding it is consensus of people’s (scientists & influencers) opinions.

  • Terry Shillington says:

    I started eating plant based when. I was 60. Six years later and still never felt better. Far more energy which helps with all activities . It is hard to believe more people that can read and listen to all the information out there don’t try it. But then the medical system doesn’t help by encouraging healthy eating. Most drs would prefer to offer a prescription rather than provide nutrition information. Keep up the wonderful work Dr. Gregor.

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