Plant-strong & healthy living: Rip Esselstyn at TEDxFremont


Translator: TED Translators admin
Reviewer: Luis Tsai Hsu So, I’m wearing my shirt inside out, and a lot of you pointed that out to me. (Laughter) I do this from time to time. And when somebody says it, I say, “I know… I’m wearing
my shirt inside out.” I’m doing it on purpose. And I’m doing it to help people
turn their health around. And they say, “Well, how do you do that?” And here’s the story. So, I became a firefighter to help people, to save lives, and to slay dragons. Now, obviously,
we are not slaying real dragons, but that’s our term for slaying fires. And a fire is really a living,
breathing entity, It’s hellbent on creating
all the destruction and devastation that it can. So, as firefighters,
we have to use all of our wit, and we have to outwit,
outsmart it and outlast it, and whether it’s an offensive fire
or a defensive fire, there’re certain tactics. but the essence
of basically killing a fire is, “You gotta put the wet stuff,
on the red stuff” It doesn’t matter if it is a house fire, an apartment fire or high-rise fire,
or it’s a wild land fire We gotta put the wet stuff,
on the red stuff Now, I retired from firefighting
a little over 3 years ago So, I’m no longer fighting fires,
but I’m now still helping people, I’m saving lives, and I’m slaying
a different type of dragon. The dragon that I’m slaying today,
is what I call “The 5-headed-chronic
-western-disease dragon” And this, over the last 100 years, has gained more strength
and power and momentum and it is flying around, and it’s creating
more death and destruction on different individuals, families,
cities and states in this country, It’s just absolutely amazing. And, let me introduce you
to this 5-headed dragon So, right here we have the leader
of the pack, we have heart disease 100 years ago, heart disease
wasn’t even on the map as 1 of the top 10 killers of Americans Today, it’s first and foremost. 1 out of 2 of us will die
from heart disease here we have breast cancer
and prostate cancer. Cancer will overtake heart disease
as the number one killer of Americans if the trends continue. In the back row, we have diabetes,
and we have obesity Close to 50% of Americans by 2030 will be either pre-diabetic or diabetic. And over 70% of America
is now overweight or obese. This dragon is playing [unclear] , ok? It’s playing hardball. And the current paradigm that
we are using to try and slay this dragon, is having absolutely no effect whatsoever. There is a saying, “You can’t break
a glass bottle from the inside.” And what we are currently doing,
with pills and procedures and more legislation and more doctors,
we’re not gonna break that glass bottle, we have to think outside the box. And the answer is “Plant-Based Nutrition” Something so simple, yet so profound, and so inexpensive, that we can
absolutely lay waste to this dragon that now comprises 75% of this country’s
healthcare cost, right? 5 diseases, 75% of our healthcare cost and we know beyond a shadow of a doubt, every one of these diseases
is either preventable, or reversible with Plant-Based Nutrition. Now, let me tell you why I have
so many ripples of hope about what we can do
as a country going forward. We did something really remarkable
at a little fire house in Austin Texas. We had an event that led
to the discovery that one of our own was basically a dead man walking And so I challenged these guys, for 28 days, let’s eat All Plant Strong. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains,
and beans, some nuts and seeds. And these guys, in 28 days, morphed themselves from medical
time bombs, into healthy superheroes. It was absolutely amazing
and it was the spark that we needed and the confidence that these guys needed to start a wellness revolution at a firehouse in Austin Texas, the land of beef. (Laughter) And so we just fed on this. And the reason we were
so successful is because We made health a habit
at the fire station. And some of the things
that made it easy is: The guys at the fire station,
they’re my second family, so we had tons of support. We had an amazing amount
of love between us, compassion, respect and admiration. So we had the support that you need. We developed routines. Every day, we would come in, and we’d have a plant-strong lunch
that we share together. Then we’d have a crossfit
workout in the afternoon then we’d have a dinner,
a plant-strong dinner We would alternate who would buy
and shop for the food and then together we would cook it
and eat it and then clean up afterwards. And then the next morning,
we’d have a plant-strong breakfast, and then before we left
at noon the next day, we’d have a plant-strong lunch. So these are routines that became
consistent for months and years. And then, I had to educate these guys. These guys had the same questions
that everybody has, “Well, where am I going to get
my protein from plants? What about calcium?” And I said, “Listen, as far as protein’s
concerned, It’s a boogie man Don’t worry about it. The scientific term, the medical term
for protein deficiency is “kwashiorkor” You don’t know it,
and you don’t even have to mess with it. And then for calcium. Calcium comes from the ground.
It’s a mineral. If you want to get a first-class,
highly absorbable form, you want to get it from plants,
not from “Cowcium”. It’s not “cowcium”. Its calcium. (Laughter) And then these guys, They had a huge disconnect between
what they thought was healthy and what in reality was healthy. So let’s slay some of those dragons
here together. So first, they thought red-meat
put hair on their chest and made them more manly. And I said, “Guys. No, it doesn’t. What it does is it puts plaque
in your arteries and it makes you less of a man.” The canary in a coal mine
when it comes to heart disease, the first sign
is an under-performing penis. And I said you take a look
at the size of the arteries, they go up to the brain,
to the heart, down in the legs. They’re all about 5 milimeters
in diameter, about the size the straw here You take a look at the size of the artery
that goes to the male penis. It’s one millimeter. It’s about the size
of this coffee stirring straw right here. And what happens after
you eat all that meat, right? It gets clogged up with all the fat,
the cholesterol and the animal protein. And that’s problematic. So if you want to slay
that erectile dysfunction dragon and allow your
Puff-the-Magic Dragon to roar, (Laughter) then you want to ditch the meat,
and reach for the plants These guys were absolutely convinced that chicken was like the cat’s meow
when it came to health food I said, “Listen guys. Never mind that cat. This doesn’t even belong
in your dog’s breakfast bowl” It’s got the exact same amount
of cholesterol as red meat It’s got the same amount
of problematic animal protein and the leanest piece a chicken
is still 20 percent saturated fat You’re not gonna be slaying
any dragons with this guy here. “Okay, Rip. Fine. But fish,
fish is the gold standard when it comes to a healthy meat, right?” And I said, No.
It’s the 10th standard, okay? Most fish has more cholesterol
than red meat or chicken; salmon, which is considered
the healthiest, is 50 mg of cholesterol, You still have
the problematic animal protein and varying amounts of the bad fats. Don’t go there guys. “Okay. Fine, Rip. But the egg!
The egg is the perfect food, right? We know it’s the perfect food.” Yes, the perfect food, if you want
to continue to feed the dragon. If you want to slay the dragon,
you have to get rid of the egg. One egg yolk, almost 200mg
of dietary cholesterol. It’s the same amount
as 2 Burger King whoppers. And the egg white is a concentrated source
of animal protein. Now these guys knew the processed
and refined foods were not healthy. They knew about the sugar, and the pop,
and the fried chips and the candy bars. But they had no idea
that extracted plant oils weren’t heart-healthy
and weren’t beneficial. So I said, “Listen, this epitomizes
the triumph of marketing over science.” Let’s pick on olive oil for a second. It takes 1,375 olives
that you have to squeeze to death to get enough olive oil
for one 32-ounce bottle. And you get rid of all the fiber,
the water, and the phytonutrients
and the anti-oxidants in the water. And you’re left with
a hundred percent fat, the most concentrated
source of calories on the planet and it’s 15 percent saturated fat. and all it’s doing, is contributing
to America’s heart disease and obesity epidemic. “Okay. But MILK! Milk does
the body good, right?” (Giggles) And I said, “Guys. Milk
does nobody any good. You’ve been marketed to death.
Don’t buy the hype.” As a matter fact,
this milk is just liquid meat Is what it is. It’s got a very similar
nutritional composition and as a matter of fact,
one eight-ounce glass of whole milk has the same amount of saturated fat
as four slices of bacon “Okay. Fine! But cheese!!
Don’t take away our cheese, whatever you do,
because we love our cheese!” and I said, “I know you love your cheese, and that’s exactly why
I need to take it from you” Because when I think
of a loving relationship I think is something that also
loves you right back, and that cheese does not love you back.
Not one iota. And so I hereby declare that you are
all in an abusive relationship (Laughter) with cheese and you need to kick it out of your life. “Okay, fine! But don’t take away
our yogurt! (Laughter) I mean, this is
the Mediterranean super food People can live to be
100 on this stuff, right?” And I said, “Again guys,
it’s the magic of marketing, alright? For example, this newfangled Greek yogurt that’s zero fat and twice
the amount of protein, It’s twice the amount
of problematic animal protein that’s promoting tumors and cancers, that’s leaching calcium from your bones, that’s harsh on the kidneys and the liver, You don’t need to go there, you can get
everything you need from plants And to put the nail into the coffin
(Laughter) I said, “Guys, we’re the only mammals
that drink another mammal secretions, okay?” You don’t need to go there, not one bit There’s 51,000 mammals on the planet. We’re the only ones that have
the unmitigated audacity to go there, Alright? Don’t need to do it. So, the other thing we did
at the fire station after I educated them, we surrounded ourselves
with these fantastic “Mantastic” foods. (Laughter) So it filled them up,
without filling them out. It tasted great
and it made them feel fantastic. So we did these great breakfast bowls
with plant-based milks Spelt-blueberry pancakes
as big as manhole covers. (Laughter) Quinoa and fruit, the magic grain,
almost 20 percent protein. Oatmeal Waffles
with nice Apple Sauce on top and then, for lunches and dinners We would do all time, all-american favorites We do Plant-Strong Pizzas, Portobello Mushroom Fajitas
with all the fixings. Lentil Oatloaf. It’s kinda glazed with barbecue sauce
on the bottom and the top. Macaroni and NOT Cheese. (Laughter) Red Lentil Sloppy Joe’s.
They were a lunchtime favorite. Bean and Grain Burgers, Red Curry Tofu Stir-fry, Three-Bean Chili Kale Ceviche Salad. Kale, It’s angry lettuce. (Laughter) It needs to be tamed. So we would take
a little bit of lemon juice avocado, some spices
and drive it in there. Sweet Potato Lasagna,
an all-time dinner favorite. Makes fantastic leftovers. Black Beans and Rice Extravaganza. This is the ultimate peasant food, We could feed 5 hungry firefighters
for less than 15 dollars. Dark Chocolate
Oatmeal Cookies for dessert, Chocolate Mousses, Date Nut Crust Fruit Pies, and then a variety of fruits. But what happened
is over the course of 28 days and then beyond, these guys
developed a much more sophisticated and mature palate that appreciated
all the little nuances and subtleties that are in these plant-based foods. and when you’re eating
the standard american diet, all you’re really tasting
is the salt, the sugar and the fat that it’s all laced with. So I challenge you all. If you really want to develop
a sophisticated palate, And also what happened
with these guys over the 28 days They started pooping Perfectly, Regularly (Laughter) Most Americans are consuming
5 to 15 grams of fiber a day. You start eating plant-based, and suddenly it goes up to 30 to 70 grams of fiber, and now you’re regular
as a Swiss commuter train, ok? (Laughter) and you’re light and unencumbered and the quality your life
goes through the roof. So you gotta kick the habit! And I’m not talking about
smoking cigarettes right now, but i wanna talk about cigarettes
for a second 50 years ago, close to 50% of America
was smoking cigarettes Now, it’s less than 20 percent. and what happened
is America basically got educated, and understood that smoking cigarettes
was not good for your health. We need to do the same thing
around the standard American diet. And this is more insidious
and more destructive than smoking cigarettes. 94 percent of our calories
are calories that don’t count They’re destructive
instead of constructive only a mere 6 percent
are coming from fruits, vegetables, whole grains and beans, that are
really constructive, healthy calories. So we need a complete paradigm shift
that goes on in this country. And so this is what I want you to do. I want you to make health a habit. take the 28 day challenge. Okay? And change your health destiny, change your relationship with food. You will forever have
a different relationship Find Support. This culture, this society
does not support healthy living or healthy eating right now. So you need to find support
at family at work, online. There’re all kinds of communities
where you can get support Develop Routines
that make this sustainable Whether it’s breakfast, every morning,
the same thing. Monday through friday Whether it’s finding a couple restaurants
that you can go to but Find Routines! Educate Yourself! Read the litany of fantastic books
that are out there on this subject, Because once you have the knowledge,
it’s a different ballgame. And then surround yourself
with healthy foods We do not want this to be
about willpower, okay? So have a nice,
sterile environment at home. And then make food you enjoy. You saw all the fantastic pictures
that we’re eating at the firehouse This is not about deprivation,
this is about empowerment. If you’re a true foodie, you want to go
towards eating plant-based. 99 percent of the food on the planet
comes from plants, a mere 1 percent comes from animals
and animal byproducts So, I have so many ripples
of hope going forward that this country can turn it around. I know that if a little fire house
in Austin Texas can do it, any house in America can do this, And I know that the trends are changing. I’ve seen it with my own eyes
over the last six years. I’ve seen “Forks Over Knives”
become the number 1 viewed and selling documentary in America
for the last two years. I’ve seen the fast-food president
go plant-based. I’ve seen media moguls
like Oprah and Ellen that are now pushing plants. I’ve seen CEO’s like John Mackey
and Biz Stone of Twitter, and Bill Ford, of the Ford Motor Corp.,
that are going plant-based. I’ve seen professional athletes
like Serena and Venus Williams and the #1 running back in the NFL,
Arian Foster, are now plant-based. The time is here! The time is now! Go Plant Strong! Slay! Slay the five headed dragon in your life. And it all starts with
what’s at the end of your fork, your spoon and your knife. Awesome!!!
(Laughter) (Applause)

62 Replies to “Plant-strong & healthy living: Rip Esselstyn at TEDxFremont”

  1. This is a very important video. I can not overemphasize its importance. Thank you Esselstyn.

    Unfortunately most of the discussions, especially in USA, related to food invariably end up in ideological brawls, biased opinions, innuendos, accusations, religious and cultist fights and ideological wars, that quite often seem to search for scapegoats or are attributed to conspiratorial meddling from vested interests and it is all done in the name of science and biased statistics.

    This video from some one coming from the land of Beef is like a revelation!

    It _ as I am witnessing it _ is probably the most ideology free depiction of the effects of food, It can not get more empirical.

    Not even once does Esselstyn refer to any moral standards, authorities or canonical texts. It is all about solid factual outcomes based on solid evidences.

    He himself proves it to some extent! He exudes health, fitness and an infectious positive benign attitude to society; which any social being could consider as a sign of good health; compared to many highly talented psycho- and sociopaths who may have great skills but relatively imbalanced minds and bodies. It is also supported by the choice of his profession, to help his fellow countrymen as a fire-fighter _ as good and important patriotic profession as that of the president or a soldier or even some Nobel-Laureates or some pharmacy CEO’s; perhaps even more so!

    Time could prove him wrong _ hopefully not, but I suspect that the fact that hunting by men seems historically to have been more of “manly” prestige-oriented social activity with most of the hunter gatherer tribes rather the primary source of nourishment, may after all prove him right in the long run.

    This however does not mean that such simple and authentic story may not have a revolutionary outcome!

    Well done Esselstyn and thank you!

  2. Heart disease is the number 1 killer due to seed oils and GMO grains, not meat. There is not a single bonafide genuine study on this planet that implicates meat as a causation.

  3. Please watch this fantastic speech, it may change your life. Thank you so much for this, Rip!
    Plant-based diet will save your health and our planet at the same time, how wonderful is this?
    I changed from vegetarian to a total plant-based diet vegan since I saw the documentary The Game Changers. My cholesterol was too high. Its a pity I didn't see this video back in 2012….

  4. Rip Esselstyn is so inspirational! I went plant-based two years and saw differences in my weight, health, and energy. I'm glad he's spreading the message to the country. We truly need more education!

  5. Why are Cheerios good for heart health? Added fiber … why fiber ? The body uses cholesterol to process fiber in the gut.

  6. I wish I could go vegan but I eat A LOT and I can eat a bowl of salad and still be hungry. I also eat 4 times a day.

    I can't for the life of me cook 4 times a day. I get sick of it.

  7. This man is making a lot of statements of fact that really don't have full scientific consensus and using quite emotive language and hyperbole.

  8. I have always wondered how firefighters managed to stay in good shape… It helps to be able to work out during your work hours, and fix your own meals… Almost impossible and other jobs

  9. Industry has it all figured out. Feed them cholesterol, then when they get sick, give them statins. Feed them sugar and corn sweeteners, then when they develop diabetes, give them insulin. Feed them breads with no fiber, then hospitalize them for chronic constipation that is causing toxemia, hemorrhoids and irritable bowels. Feed them chemicals in all their food, and give them medicine for rashes, hot flashes, nausea, psychiatric illness and nerve disorders. Feed them salt, and give them medicine for high blood pressure, bloating and edema. In a few years, they will be so sick, we can prescribe wheelchairs because they won't be able to walk, prescription shoes as their feet won't fit into anything any more, leg braces, as their knees will be giving out. In the meantime, preach fear of lack of nutrients only obtained from the standard American diet, but give a little lip service to "balanced" diet, which no one will be able to do, because our sister corporations, Fast Food, will be on every block, tempting them to just pop in for a quick bite, which is filled with everything just mentioned. There is nowhere for them to run, because we will make sure that vegans have a bad reputation through press releases sponsored by the beef/chicken/dairy/egg councils. But they never read the small print, so we're good.

  10. So Smoking is down 60% from 50 years ago but Cancer numbers are still going through the roof….Can we focus more on plant based diets and stop the smoking propaganda please?

  11. This is a perfect complement for the Netflix documentary "The Game Changers". But actually, most of the theories of that documentary seem like been taken from this video haha.

  12. Okay yeah I definitely lead then answer on this what happens with these recipes that you're just now talking about if I have hemochromatosis? It's a double-edged sword with me.
    All my life I have craved salt and storage. When I was young when I was going to school if I found a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in my damn lunch box he would absolutely bring me to tears I hated sugar not all but I didn't like sugar I wanted the baked potato I wanted to pot roast ham potato salad sweet potatoes I wanted the big hungry man's dinner you can keep the damn pie.
    But now I am just about 52 and suffer from various health conditions ranging from high blood pressure borderline diabetes hemochromatosis and an ongoing untreated infection in my throat and high liver enzymes I'm being passed around like a wet ride from Doctor to the doctorwaiting for them to tell me that I have to do cirrhosis or I'm dying dying of some kind of cancer but nobody's paying attention to the infection in my throat I have picturesthis is going on for over a year-and-a-half of waking up in the morning spitting up blood pus and I am aspirating as well.

  13. Unfortunately lots of non scientific claims. So typical for most vegans. If you want to turn vegan for animal care and environmental reasons, that is completely ok. For health reasons rather not. Still, the healthiest diet is a diet from large varieties of foods, mostly plants and good quality and little animal sources. There are unfortunately plenty of misconceptions in nutrition. If you feel it‘s doing you good, go for it but never try to change someone else’s diet just bc it worked for you.

  14. Hmm eggs actually are packed with good cholesterol and consuming them lowers the bad cholesterol, some misinformation here!

  15. (Everyone with any good sense should YouTube all the honest ex-vegans who, after 5 or 10 or 15 years, had to reintroduce animal foods into their life for their health.)

  16. If I were a man I’d listen to what he’s saying! He looks like he knows what he’s talking about!!
    63 yr old woman, going plant based. It’s only been a couple of weeks and I feel sooooo much better!!!
    Learned a lot from this guys father! His mom and sister have a great YouTube channel also! Check it out!!!
    It’s changing my life!

  17. Well I can definitely point you in the direction of a renowned dr who will tell you olive oil is about the healthiest food around and another who says eggs are phenomenally good for you…

    Who knows what to believe anymore, someone needs to get an actual handle on this nutrition stuff because there are an awful lot of people potentially preaching potentially harmful information!

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