Want to be healthy? Listen to Dr. T. Colin Campbell, NOT David Zinczenko, the editor of Mens’s Health and the author of Eat This, Not That. Dr. Campbell tells you the truth about nutrition—Mr. Zinczenko makes a ton of money posing as someone who is concerned about your health.

And even though he criticizes the least healthy, or should we say the most-deadly foods, he is making our overall food, pharmaceutical and healthcare industries very happy. That’s because he is helping to maintain the status quo of obesity, chronic disease and all of the trillions of dollars that go along with it.

Yesterday, Mr. Z was on the Today Show with Savannah Guthrie reviewing the breakfast offerings at Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King and Dunkin’ Donuts. Let’s take a look at what America’s favorite health guru has to say about having breakfast at McDonald’s.**

Beginning with the “Not That” option, he talks about the Big Breakfast. From nutrition, I learn the following about that meal:

  • “Not That,” says Mr. Z about…
  • McDonald’s Big Breakfast 
  • 767 calories, 469 from fat (61% of the calories from fat)
  • 52 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat
  • 465 mg. of cholesterol
  • 1477 mg. of sodium
  • Score on the 4Leaf scale: No-Leaf (zero calories from whole plants)

Don’t eat THAT. I agree. In fact, I can flatly say that I would say “Don’t eat that” for every single item he has ever talked about. That’s because I have yet to see one that scores at even the 1-Leaf level on our 4Leaf scale of healthy eating. So what about the healthier option, the Egg McMuffin with a side of hash browns?

  • “Eat This,” says Mr. Z about…
  • McDonald’s Egg McMuffin with hash browns
  • 446 calories, 197 from fat (44% of the calories from fat)
  • 22 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat
  • 226 mg. of cholesterol
  • 1168 mg. of sodium
  • Score on the 4Leaf scale: No-Leaf (about 1% of the calories from the potato)

So why does Mr. Zinczenko think this is better? Because it has less calories, less fat, less cholesterol and less sodium. But it doesn’t have ANYTHING that’s going to promote health.

And if someone is used to eating almost 800 calories for breakfast, then this meal is going to leave that person feeling very hungry by lunch-time. The better questions to ask instead of whether to Eat This or Eat That would be:

  • Would you rather have your first heart attack at age 40 or at age 50?
  • Would you rather get type 2 diabetes in your 30’s or in your 40’s?
  • Would you like for your children to learn these horrible eating habits from you?
  • Would you like for your children to be obese, develop type 2 diabetes in high school and suffer from cancer, heart disease and osteoporosis as they get older?

Serious about health? If you want sound, consistent and health-promoting advice about nutrition, listen to these guys: Dr. Campbell, Ornish, Esselstyn, Fuhrman, McDougall, and Barnard. They will all steer you in the direction of a health-promoting 4Leaf lifestyle, one where you derive the majority of your calories from whole, plant-based foods–still in Nature’s package.

The simple answer is two words: Whole Plants!

** FYI, I’m not picking on McDonald’s in particular; all the other fast food places were equally as bad— if you’re looking for a healthy breakfast. It’s just easier to find pictures and data on the world’s largest fast food chain.

Want to receive some occasional special news from us? You may wish to join our periodic mailing list. Also, for help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page.

If you’d like to order our book on Amazon,  visit our BookStore now.

J. Morris Hicks, working daily to promote health, hope and harmony on planet Earth.

And if you like what 4Leaf eating is doing for you and your family, you might enjoy visiting our new “4Leaf Gear” store. From the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.

—J. Morris Hicks…blogging daily at

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J. Morris Hicks -- Member of the Board of Directors -- Click image to visit the foundation website.

About J. Morris Hicks

A former strategic management consultant and senior corporate executive with Ralph Lauren in New York, J. Morris Hicks has always focused on the "big picture" when analyzing any issue. In 2002, after becoming curious about our "optimal diet," he began a study of what we eat from a global perspective ---- discovering many startling issues and opportunities along the way. In addition to an MBA and a BS in Industrial Engineering, he holds a certificate in plant-based nutrition from the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, where he has also been a member of the board of directors since 2012. Having concluded that our food choices hold the key to the sustainability of our civilization, he has made this his #1 priority---exploring all avenues for influencing humans everywhere to move back to the natural plant-based diet for our species.
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  1. genxgemini says:

    I just bought your book on Amazon, and look forward to reading it!

    Thank you again for your wonderfully insightful blog.

  2. barbaraH says:

    Thanks for another excellent post. So… mission accomplished by corporate America and its mouthpiece, the television set. I bet there was a huge jump in the number of people going to McDonald’s for breakfast yesterday.

    Leo – thanks for the links. Dr. Greger’s videos are great and this one is an especially good summary of the main ideas. I started to watch the other one, by Walter Veith. I’m always looking for straightforward, data-based information like this to share with people who would be open to making changes in their diet if they understood that there really is something wrong with what they eat. At first I thought this would be great, but then I looked at Veith’s bio. I only looked quickly, but am I right that he lectures on two things – the problems with our food supply, and why the theory of evolution is wrong and the bible is right? Because if that’s the case, most people I know won’t consider him a trustworthy source, no matter how factual his information on food is.

    • Leo M. Schwaiger says:

      “My mind’s made up. Don’t confuse me with the facts” are probably the words most people may say. Whatever a person’s religious beliefs or nonbelief, their health will be affected by the items they choose to consume. There are many atheists who have excellent health and many churchgoers who are afflicted by many diseases because of their choice of foods. Your cells are not concerned about your beliefs. They will react to biologic and physiologic laws, not those of man. Years ago a book was given to a man whose children were always ill. It offered advice on lifestyle changes. He returned it in a few days because he noticed that “it was printed by a non-union publisher.” Whether printed by union or non-union printers does not change the value or truth of the information. It’s a shame people still rely on their beliefs rather than the truth. How much of what we have learned is the truth? It is evident by the health of the nation and the world that there is much we don’t know and much to learn.
      It is hoped you take the time to see the whole video. The other four in the series are also worth viewing and will surely bring out points that most us us were not aware of. Don’t judge them until you have seen them all. The facts would be as valid if they were made by a an evolutionist or creationist. The message is important, not the messenger or his beliefs.
      Wishing you and all you touch the very best in health and happiness.

  3. Kevin Hansen says:

    I used to love to read Men’s Health and I even ate the way Mr. ‘Z’ professed we should eat. I read about his ‘Testosterone’ Diet and tried to replicate it for a while as well as ate plenty of dairy like he said we all should. I ate salmon and ‘low fat’ cheese as well. Then I read The China Study and my family went vegan. I stopped taking Men’s Health because near as I can tell their writers are not informed about the damage that dairy and meat can do, or they are paid off. I suspect it to be a little of both. Now, if I’m shopping and see an article in Men’s Health that interests me I will buy it (take for instance the article on barefoot running a few years back by the guy that hung out with the indians that ate only chia, corn, rats and could run forever), but I do not subscribe anymore to Men’s Health.

  4. Leo M. Schwaiger says:

    Here is another link on the benefits of plant foods.

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