Dr. Barnard's Blog

The Physicians Committee

The Healthiest Podcast Ever

November 21, 2017   Dr. Neal Barnard   other


The Healthiest Podcast Ever

I’m excited to announce that we just launched a podcast: The Exam Room by the Physicians Committee. In each episode, we’ll be examining the knowledge and tools you need to live a long and healthy life.

The show is hosted by “The Weight Loss Champion” Chuck Carroll who lost 265 pounds and has kept it off for more than eight years with a vegan diet. He’ll speak with inspirational guests who have saved their lives by losing weight and reversing diabetes and other chronic and acute illnesses.

We’ll also talk with doctors and dietitians about the science behind a plant-based diet and review—and sometimes debunk—the latest in medical research. Plus, we’ve got tons of recipes for you to try.  And we’ll even bring in our celebrity friends!

I encourage you to listen to our debut episode, "A Very Vegan Thanksgiving", and become inspired! Be sure to subscribe on iTunes or Google Play and leave us a five-star rating.  Enjoy! 

Stop Sugarcoating Obesity’s Leading Causes

November 16, 2017   Dr. Neal Barnard   obesity


Stop Sugarcoating Obesity’s Leading Causes

Americans are drinking less soda. According to a new study, about half of American adults now drink sugary beverages on any given day—down from 61.5 percent in 2003. That’s good news for Americans’ health. But it’s not enough to stop our worsening obesity epidemic.

Per capita sugar consumption has been steadily falling since 1999. Yet, obesity rates continue to climb. Last month, the CDC reported that obesity among adults in the United States reached an all-time high of 39.8 percent in 2016.

So what happened?

In 2012, Americans collectively consumed 52.2 billion pounds of meat. Individually, we eat about 270 pounds per year. Compared to just a century ago, that’s nearly 150 additional pounds of meat  per person each year. At the same time, cheese consumption has soared from just four pounds per person in 1909 to 36 pounds today. These foods are not only packed with calories, but also fat and cholesterol—which aren’t good for our arteries or our waistlines.

To start making progress against obesity, it’s time to move these high-fat foods off of our plates and start focusing on plant foods.

Populations who base their diets on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes are the healthiest and trimmest on the planet. Epidemiological studies have analyzed the diets of thousands of people and found that vegetarian and vegan diets are best for weight control. Clinical trials have come to the same conclusion, like the 2015 study finding those consuming vegetarian diets lost more weight, compared with those following omnivorous diets.

The results are clear: The more we set aside high-calorie foods like meat and cheese and embrace vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans, the healthier we will be.

"Eat This, Not That" to Defeat Type 2 Diabetes

November 15, 2017   Dr. Neal Barnard   type 2 diabetes


A plant-based diet, packed with leafy greens, legumes, and fruits and vegetables in place of animal-based foods, can slash the risk for type 2 diabetes in half. But, even so, are all plant-based foods created equal? Barnard Medical Center’s dietitian, Maggie Neola, R.D., dishes out a few tips to show you how to make your meals work for you, stabilize blood sugar, and boost insulin function.


For additional resources, visit BarnardMedical.org to sign up for free cooking and nutrition education classes or to participate in a free online nutrition program, the 21-Day Vegan Kickstart, which goes live the first day of every month.

Healthy Halloween Recipes for Kids

October 23, 2017   Dr. Neal Barnard   other


Healthy Halloween Snacks for Kids

Looking for healthy, festive treats to make with your kids in the week leading up to Halloween? We’ve got you covered!

In a new video, Physicians Committee dietitians Karen Smith, R.D., Susan Levin, M.S., R.D., and their kids share some of their favorite fall recipes, including dairy-free Pumpkin “Nice” Cream and homemade Sunflower Seed Butter Cups!



Eating Runny Eggs Is Not Safe

October 19, 2017   Dr. Neal Barnard   animal products, government and food policy


Eating runny eggs is not safe

Something stinks about the British Food Standard Agency’s new recommendation that it is safe for pregnant women, infants, and older adults to start eating runny eggs. Maybe it’s because the advice only applies to eggs that bear the red British Lion symbol, a mark of the British Egg Industry Council, which is surely more interested in selling eggs than in health and safety. But British Lion symbol or not, salmonella will always be a risk—for everyone—when eating raw and undercooked eggs.

Here in the United States, our government’s advice on nutrition and food safety undoubtedly has some problems—and is also influenced by industry interests like the American Egg Board. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention does get it right by warning that “because foods of animal origin may be contaminated with salmonella, people should not eat raw or undercooked eggs, poultry, or meat.”

Even with this warning, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration estimates that 79,000 cases of foodborne illness and 30 deaths each year are caused by eating eggs contaminated with salmonella. Most people develop diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting that can last up to a week.

Of course, the United States and the United Kingdom have different food safety regulations regarding eggs, but salmonella knows no borders. It lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and animals worldwide.

So why take chances on eating runny eggs or feeding them to infants and children, who are at greatest risk for salmonella infection? Children under the age of 5 have higher rates of salmonella infection than any other age group. Older adults and people with weakened immune systems are the other groups most likely to have severe infections.

But salmonella is not the only danger found in eggs. All eggs, no matter how they are prepared (raw, runny, poached, scrambled, boiled), increase the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and certain cancers.

In the United States, the industry-backed American Egg Board tried to get Americans to forget about these risks by attempting to get the federal government to remove cholesterol warnings the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Eggs, which are loaded with cholesterol that contributes to heart disease, are the No. 1 source for cholesterol in the American diet. But the egg industry wanted to dupe Americans into believing that cholesterol isn’t a health concern. In a systematic review used to sway the Dietary Guidelines, 10 of the 12 studies were funded by the egg industry seeking to make cholesterol look innocuous. But the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine was able counter the American Egg Board to keep cholesterol warnings in the Dietary Guidelines.

In the United Kingdom or the United States (or anywhere else in the world), eggs aren’t what they are cracked up to be by the egg industry. From salmonella to cholesterol the only way to avoid the dangers of eggs is too simply stop eating them.


Connect with Dr. Barnard



Stay Connected

Receive action alerts, breaking medical news, e-newsletters, and special offers via e-mail. Sign up >