Fat and Plant-Based Diets

Answer to a Reader’s Question:

I don’t argue for a 10% fat diet as the main starting point. Rather, I begin with the view that a plant-based diet is optimal and it just so happens that this diet, when done right (good quality WHOLE vegetables, legumes, fruits and cereals), is low in fat as well as in protein. It is a diet that, for most people, is 10-15% fat, and 8-12% protein. For those who demonstrate vulnerability to health disorders, the fat intake should favor the lower side. Dr. Esselstyn (in his heart disease reversal study) and Dr. John McDougall (thousands of patients) have demonstrated this very clearly. The difficulty that we, as individuals, all face is really how vulnerable are we.

On the protein evidence, I have spent my entire career working in this field and am appalled that so few people know the evidence, some of which is very [...]

To Take Or Not To Take Fish Oil


I have been troubled recently by a number of articles claiming that DHA is nutritionally essential. The posters often promote the taking of fish oils. To their credit there do seem to be a number of papers suggesting clinical benefits for fish oils, and also that vegetarians have lower levels of DHA. There is also research linking these low levels to Alzheimers, and poorer performance in school children.

On the other side I am reminded that there are 3rd generation vegans who seem to be okay, and I also note that the founder of the vegan society is still alive and well after over 50 years as a vegan.

It is my belief that this topic is still controversial, but there is no RDA, so this nutrient must be considered non-essential. There seem to be certain cases, when ingesting excessive omega 6 oils, where DHA supplements are useful, but that [...]