Q&A with Dr. Michael Greger: Busting Myths About Veganism
Our new issue of VegOut Mag features an interview with one of our favorite vegan physicians—Dr. Michael Greger. Evidence-based weight loss? He’s on it. Best foods to eat on a plant-based diet? He’s got a checklist. Tips for improving immune function during the pandemic? He’s got those as well. Check out our interview teaser here and snag the full article in the new edition of VegOut Magazine available now.
Q: What led you to dive so deeply into plant-based nutrition research and begin NutritionFacts.org?
A: I think what sparks many kids to want to become doctors when they grow up is watching a beloved relative become ill or even die. For me, it was watching my grandma get better.
Q: We love your book, How Not to Diet. Why is the focus of evidence-based weight loss so important in our society?
A: I wanted there to be an evidence-based diet book digging up every possible tip, trick, tweak, and technique proven to accelerate the loss of body fat to give people every advantage and build the optimal weight-loss solution.
Q: Tell us about your Daily Dozen recommended food list.
A: Some foods have special nutrients not found in abundance elsewhere. As the list of foods I tried to fit into my daily diet grew, I made a checklist, which evolved into the Daily Dozen.
Q: Do you have any evidence-based suggestions for keeping our immune systems up during the COVID-19 pandemic?
A: Any disruption of our daily lives is stressful enough, but when that disruption is caused by a global pandemic, we can easily feel overwhelmed. Studies on the emotional health and mood states of those eating plant-based diets suggest that eating less meat may not only be good for us physically, but good for us emotionally as well.
Q: The media has become a saturated source of nutrition information. While there is a lot of accurate nutrition data to be found, not all of it is factual. Which wellness trend or myth would you like to make disappear and why?
A: The notion that a calorie from one source is just as fattening as a calorie from any other source is a trope broadcast by the food industry as a way to absolve itself of culpability. One hundred calories of chickpeas has a different impact than one hundred calories of chicken or Chiclets, based on their different effects on absorption, appetite, or our microbiomes.
Want more from Dr. Greger? Be sure to snag our Awards Issue for the full article.
During her studies to become a registered dietitian, Anja—a longtime vegetarian—transitioned to a vegan diet. Living in Kalamazoo, Michigan at the time (Go Broncos!), she met Maggie and Tammie through VegOut Kalamazoo (one of VegOut’s first focus cities) and began collaborating with the duo. When she’s not writing about new vegan eats, practicing as a pediatric clinical dietitian, and virtually coaching fellow plant-based eaters, you can find her creating veg-centric recipes, trying new cruelty-free products, and spending time with her partner Addison and cat Kovu.
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