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Denise Minger on Questioning Nutrition Dogma

Updated: Jun 24, 2020


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Denise is a joyful ball of energy and talent. She speaks at conferences, writes books, and is an all around great person. I love her view on things and her balanced approach, but she does lean towards the high carb diet side. But here’s the thing - she advocates eating a lot of nutrient dense animal products, no sugar, grains, or vegetable oils - so a lot to agree with there. I want everyone to hear this to see an opposite approach and see if it might work for you. The Unifying Theory of Nutrition says things can work on both sides - so here’s the other one.

I still think it’s insane to expect people to live like a tribesman in the bolivian wilderness. You’re asking all of America to eat an ultra-clean Vegan diet plus organ meats. To maybe 99% of the population that sounds awful. Like the worst ever.

I didn’t agree on everything but I went along with it. In retrospect I could have challenged her more and I also want to see some studies that actually show this dietary approach works in a scientific setting. I could have brought up more of the points supporting low carb diet showing much better results in clinical trials and on lowering risk factors for heart disease, etc. but I didn’t want to argue and we already yammered on for almost 90 min.

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Show notes

  • Famous for her teardowns of things like the China Study, and vegan propaganda like Forks Over Knives and the book How Not to Die

  • Her story of ruining her health as a vegan

  • Questioning the China Study and blowing over night

  • She always questions dogmatic thinking in the nutrition world

  • From her book “we leave the classroom woefully unequipped with the thinking skills that matter most: how to balance open–mindedness with skepticism, how to identify bias, and how to challenge assumptions – including our own – in a way that’s truly objective.”

  • Ancel Keys and the story of how began thinking fat was bad for us

  • The McGovern Report which prescribed America with a low-fat, high-carb diet.

  • Why was meat demonized when it was and still is so highly regarded as prized source of nutrition?

  • Confounding variables with meat-eaters. What are you eating with the meat? Lifestyles are very different for different groups

  • Why did we ever think vegetable oils were good for us?

  • America does not actually eat low fat.

  • Humans can actually do well on a true low fat, whole foods diet

  • How does this other metabolic state work?

  • Big food would ruin things if they got the go-ahead from the government to do low-carb high fat

  • I don’t believe it’s realistic at all to expect people to eat this way in America. You’re asking people to eat a Vegan diet plus organ meats

  • What would you actually be eating on this sort of diet?

  • If you’re vegan or vegetarian this doesn’t work

  • Do vegetables have anti-nutrients or other toxins we should be worried about?

  • Is fiber necessary?

  • Nutrient density and satiety

  • Problem with people eating all the time

  • Killer combo of fat and sugar… it’s irresistible

  • So how do we figure this all out? It’s confusing when 2 totally different paradigms seem to work.

  • Eating whole foods, going back to nature

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