A place to get your questions answered from McDougall staff dietitian, Jeff Novick, MS, RDN.

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Postby JeffN » Thu Jan 23, 2020 4:19 pm

Today, on the McDougall FB Page, a graduate mentioned the LeafSide prepackaged meals as an option. They said that LeafSide claims they are using my guidelines. So, I looked into it and evaluated just 2 of them (more to follow).


Turns out they are basing their sodium content on my sodium guideline, though it appears they are misapplying it (more on this later).

I will evaluate a few more of them eventually but here are the two I did today

1) Madras Curry Savory Bowl



As you can see, this one is very high fat (39%) and high saturated fat (22%)

2) Thai Veggie Noodle Savory-Bowl



This one is very high fat (41%) and very high saturated fat (27%).

These meals are not based on our recommendations, nor have these meals (and their recommendations) been proven out in any study.

As always, Caveat Emptor!

In Health

PS I will be emailing them about the sodium rule and how it is being misapplied.
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Re: LeafSide

Postby JeffN » Wed Jun 29, 2022 6:53 pm

In the new Label Reading lecture, which went live last week, I showed the Thai Vegetable Noodle Savory Bowl from Leafside (from above) and how high it was in fat and in saturated fat,

A week later, someone emailed me and said that the label at the website today is different than the one I showed in my new talk and that they have updated the product. So, I went and verified that my numbers above, which were posted here in 2020, against the wayback machine and they were correct as you can see here...


Madras Curry

Thai Noodle

Then while I was double checking the current numbers at their website, I noticed that while the total fat and saturated fat was lower on the Thai Vegetable Noodle Savory Bowl, the total fat is still 31% which is 55% above my guideline for fat.

While I was at it, I thought I would check a few others. Here is what I found….

- Thai Vegetable Noodle Savory Bowl 31%
- Pesto & Peppers Pasta is 35% fat.
- Broccoli Cashews Alfredo is 43% fat
- Creamy Forest Mushroom is 38% fat
- Apple Cinnamon Crunch is 38% fat
- Berry Medley Sweet-Bowl is 28%
- Cacao Cherry Smoothie is 36% Fat
- Cacao Raspberry Sweet-Bowl is 33%
- Green Grail Smoothie is 31%
- Kale Krush Smoothie is 30%
- Mint Chip Smoothie is 40%
- Vanilla Cinn-sation Smoothie is 34%
- Tropical Bliss Smoothie is 33%
- Super Berry Smoothie is 28%

That means 14 of their 23 items are much higher then my guidelines allow for fat, and by quite a bit. From my perspective, and the patient population I deal with, it's an issue especially if someone is eating several a day.

I went to their FAQ which had a question about the amount of fat and this was their response…..

“With the possible exception of people suffering from advanced heart disease, whose doctors have ordered a low-fat diet for medical reasons like reversing atherosclerosis, the human body needs significant amounts of dietary fat to function properly — the main issue is what kind of fats, from what sources.”

Significant amounts? What about weight and the relationship between high fat foods and the passive overconsumption of calories and the fact that over 70% of Americans are overweight with over 40% obese?

Almost half of Americans are at risk for heart disease and ~800,000 people will die this year from CVD related deaths.

I did see that you can order some of the meals SOS free, which would address the sodium issue. However, I think they should make a set of them low-fat too. :)

Stay Well!
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Re: LeafSide

Postby Drew*# » Thu Aug 11, 2022 12:27 am

Hi Jeff, I reviewed your presentation tonight on how to read labels and decided to practice a bit. Although the percentage of fat throughout a day should be 15% or less, for processed foods you indicate that if they are not used a lot, the percentage could be 20% or less in fat. Your presentation is found through this link: https://www.jeffnovick.com/so/89O8d7Sal/c?w=E0Mu-DgAMOrOT7Dll68kds9YdTDYqdwczyiqYLnINv4.eyJ1IjoiaHR0cHM6Ly95b3V0dS5iZS9XOWhCcmo4RDNZWSIsInIiOiI2ZGNlNGI5Yy02NWY4LTQwOTktMGRiMS1jNWQ5ODUzNWYyMzMiLCJtIjoibWFpbCIsImMiOiI1M2I2NjViOS1mYTc3LTQ0YjUtOGZhYy01NTBiN2UxNGQwNmMifQ

I decided to look at the Leafside website since I am looking for smooth or soft foods or foods that could be blended while I have braces on. I found one in the smoothies, one in sweet bowls, one in soups, and one in savory dishes.

At any rate here are the four on the Leafside website:

Tropical Bliss Smoothie: 12%
Goji Peach Paradise Sweet-Bowl: 16%
Creamy Potato Leek Soup: 8%
Lentil Tomato Pasta Savory-Bowl: 11%

This last one would be good for two meals if I add some veggies.

I noticed one other thing. The above dishes do not have nuts, which seem to be included in a lot of the other products from Leaside.

Thank you for the help. I will now be able to use your chart from the above video presentation to quickly calculate the fat, salt, and added sugar of other products too!


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Re: LeafSide

Postby veggiecat » Fri Nov 11, 2022 6:56 am

Wow, you would really have to hate cooking; these are $9.99 each, plus shipping!
Best wishes,Cat
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Re: LeafSide

Postby vman » Wed Nov 16, 2022 8:16 am

I’ve mentioned the fat content to leafside several times and asked if the could provide low fat versions. They always go back to their claim that they follow Dr Greger’s daily dozen recommendations, which of course have no clinical validation whatsoever. They also imply on their site that their meals are somehow similar to what Dr Esselstyn would recommend, which also makes no sense. I’m surprised Dr Esselstyn hasn’t asked them to remove these references. In any case, I got a fee of these meals to test them a few years back and frankly they were awful. Tasted terrible, and consistency of mush.
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Re: LeafSide

Postby JeffN » Wed Nov 16, 2022 5:57 pm

vman wrote:IThey also imply on their site that their meals are somehow similar to what Dr Esselstyn would recommend, which also makes no sense. I’m surprised Dr Esselstyn hasn’t asked them to remove these references. .

Thanks. I was unaware of that and went and checked. I did find one reference in regard to reversing heart disease. I spoke to him about it tonight and sent him the link and he is going to look into it.

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Re: LeafSide

Postby vman » Mon Nov 21, 2022 7:22 am

Yes, this is the page that references Dr Esselstyn. https://www.goleafside.com/science-wfpb-diet-benefits/

Although it doesn’t say specifically that Leafside follows his recommendations, the implication is that leafside is a wfpb diet, as is Esselstyn’s, so the benefits should be the same. I find that very misleading.
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