Taubes & Attia Debunks Food Myths on The Stossel Show


Here’s Gary Taubes and dr Peter Attia attempting to debunk food myths on The Stossel Show. A calorie is not a calorie and fat’s good for you – for example.

For more on the subject check out my recent video interviews with Taubes and Attia.

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23 Comments

Top Comments

  1. Takeda
    Eating Paleo (Low-Carb, High-Fat and moderate protein) has eliminated my diabetes and IBS and I've lost 59-lbs with no significant increase in physical activity.
    Read more →
  2. Peter Attia
    Just to clarify, and it's certainly understandable why there is so much confusion, at my peak I weighed 205 pounds. The reason the chart on my site only starts at 195, was that this was the first time I actually underwent a body composition test. Prior that I was only using a scale and a measuring tape around my waist. So, at a current weight of 165 I have lost 40 pounds. We'll never know exactly how much fat that represents, given the lack of body composition testing at the peak weight, though I would extrapolate (if anyone cares!) that I was about 23% bf at 205. So if weight loss was 40 pounds from peak to current nadir, it probably represents about 32 or 33 pounds of fat loss, and 7 or 8 pounds of water and muscle loss. BUT... and this is the point...who cares about how much weight I've lost. That's not the point of the discussion. I could have possibly lost this much weight by some other dietary intervention. The point to be taken away from this discussion is that the scientific evidence underpinning our currently dietary recommendations is not rigorous. As such, it may be playing a significant role in our current epidemic of MetSyn, of which obesity is but one (easy-to-identify) read out. Less focus on me, more focus on the problem, I hope.
    Read more →

All Comments

  1. Daniel FE
    too much sound argument/logic in this vid, not many will believe it
  2. bill
    Is it true that every glucose meter is also a ketone meter?

    What should be considered when purchasing a ketone meter?

  3. Zepp
    No, its not.. there are those how is!

    There are different manufacturers, and you should ask your local medical shop wich test strips they have.. or buy those from an online medical shop.

    http://www.novacares.com/dmom.php

    http://www.cvs.com/search/Home-Health/Diabetes-Care/_/N-3mZe71fZ2k?pt...

  4. Takeda
    Eating Paleo (Low-Carb, High-Fat and moderate protein) has eliminated my diabetes and IBS and I've lost 59-lbs with no significant increase in physical activity.
  5. David
    It looks like this was cut off. Is there a longer version available anywhere?
  6. Peggy Holloway
    These two guys are absolutely "hot!" Whatever they are eating, you'd think everyone would want to eat that way. :)
  7. Zepp
    I did Google a lot for the full version.. but it seems to be the original one they layd out!

    But I still curius about the rest!

  8. Janknitz
    I thought they were being rather restrained, to be honest. When asked if there was a conspiracy or agenda that came up with modern food guidelines they (wisely) refrained from taking the bait. And they didn't push the point that the American people have been the guinea pigs of a failed experiment of enormous proportions.

    An overall good job. I was disappointed when the video cut off.

    I do take issue with John Stossel's description of "My Plate" as "Michelle Obama's My Plate". It's the USDA's My Plate--created with input from special interests in big agriculture, although MO is basing her healthy kids campaign on its guidelines

  9. Hey @Zepp THANKS A MILLION!! for that GREAT tip on that Nova Max combined glucose & ketone test meter, I just ordered one from American Diabetes Wholesale. http://goo.gl/9Zzfp

    Everybody following a low carb diet that's ever wondered whether they're in nutritional ketosis or has stalled weight loss needs to know about this CrAzY new INEXPENSIVE, COMBINED! blood Glucose AND blood Ketone test meter kit that includes 10 ketone & 50 glucose strips for ONLY $39.99!!

    In his podcasts & blog posts Jimmy Moore has talked about how expensive the refill test strips for his ketone meter are, but ADW's price for a box of 10 ketone test strips is only $23.99 which makes them around $2.40 each, MUCH cheaper than the $5 and $6 dollars each Jimmy says he paid for his. Still more expensive than the glucose strips, but much better and makes it less expensive to check BLOOD ketone levels, or check them twice as often for the same cost as the expensive ketone test strips.

    Blood ketone testing is much more accurate than urine testing because ketones not used for energy stay in circulation for only 5 hours and then are excreted thru urine, This is also one more reason why it's IMPOSSIBLE to get fat from eating dietary fats in food. In the absence of carbohydrates, fats are converted into ketones for energy and are NOT stored as body fat.

    From Wikipedia: "Acetone is produced by spontaneous decarboxylation of acetoacetate, meaning this ketone body (acetoacetate) will break down in five hours if it is not needed for energy and be removed as waste. This "use it or lose it" factor contributes to much of the weight loss found in ketogenic diets. Acetone cannot be converted back to acetyl-CoA, so it is excreted in the urine, or (as a consequence of its high vapor pressure) is exhaled (in breath through normal breathing). Acetone is responsible for the characteristic "Sweet & fruity" odor of the breath." http://goo.gl/Uw9Qk

    So testing urine ketone levels will only reflect the amount of ketones being excreted, which means they were NOT used for energy and are essentially wasted.

    Again, thanks for that great tip Zepp.

  10. Wade Henderson
    I am a bit troubled when I hear advocates of both HFLC and LFHC reel off a series of facts, including their own anectdotal experience and seemingly exaggerate or embelish.

    In this instance Peter Attia talks about losing 40 pounds of weight, yet when I go to his site, seeing what happened, it turns out he went from 195 to 170, or 25 pounds of loss.
    Whats up with that?

    Just saying, when everyone plays their case to the max, you begin to question all their data and conclusions.

    Example, there is a well know low-fat doctor who always tells about his massive stroke at age 18... then tries to tie that into his "bad" diet. To which I am totally unbelieving. No one, age 18 gets a diet related stroke at age, then keeps themselves healthy by their new special diet through age 60+.
    I'm not saying he didn't have a stroke, only that it wasn't due to a poor diet at that age.

    So, why do these guys, on both sides, choose to exaggerate their own case?

    Or have I missed something where Attia shows he actually lost 40 pounds as he indicates on the Stossel video? Perhaps he has lost another 15 pounds and is only 155 now?
    He should update his site.

    http://eatingacademy.com/how-i-lost-weight

  11. David
    Wade,

    As you know, Dr. Attia has his own blog. You would probably get a better answer to your question re: his weight loss claims by posting it on his blog to him directly.

  12. PJ
    @wade

    Just to clarify Attia's weight loss. As a regular reader of his blog, and it says this in the link you posted, when he was at 195lbs, he was carrying 40lbs of excess body fat, this eventually dropped to 13lbs when he reached 175lbs. Since then he's dropped to around 165lbs total (163 at one point), and presumably lost the remaining excess fat. It's perfectly conceivable, by the way, to lose body fat and increase muscle mass for a net weight change of zero, so it's not particularly fair to claim he is exaggerating or embellishing his experiences when you lack all the facts yourself.
    Even so, if you lost 38.5lbs, for instance, wouldn't you round it up to 40?

  13. Justin B
    I love that this information is starting to permeate the mainstream, but after doing a bit of research on this Stossel guy, he seems to be against everything the government is for. His whole thing is debunking beliefs, whether they be true or not. I'm not sure I want people that watch his show on our side, since that just makes it look like we are saying these things solely because the government isn't.
  14. Wade Henderson
    PJ, You say Attia is now at 165 pounds. He started at 195 pounds. He has not lost 40 pounds as he indicated in the video. He has lost only 30 pounds. That is no small difference.

    Secondly, you indicate that he had 40 pounds of "excess body fat"... however going back to his own chart, his "total body fat" was only 39 pounds. Thus if he went to zero body fat, which is impossible, he would only have been able to lose 39 pounds.

    Of course he is not at zero body fat. In fact he states his body fat is now at 9%, or at the very lowest 8%. So he still has about 14 pounds of body fat. Starting with 39 pounds of body fat and now at 14 pounds of body fat, says he only lost 25 pounds of body fat.
    Once again, a far cry from a 40 pound loss, no matter how you read it.

    When you see a person play fast and loose with the facts, then it calls into question all their claims as potentially being exggerated whenever it fits better with the story or theory they choose to put forth.

    Simply put, 40 pounds is not 30 pound nor 25 pounds. No amount of rounding gets you near 40 pounds as stated in the video.

  15. PJ
    Wade, you're putting a lot of analysis into something pretty trivial. He merely states that a few years ago he was 40lbs overweight, by his reckoning. This, by definition, subjectively assumes what he believed his ideal un-overweight weight might have been, and that cannot be known by you or anyone else unless he'd discussed his situation with you.
    But feel free to keep exercising your cynicism on the credibility of highly credible individuals.
  16. eddie watts
    "you're putting a lot of analysis into something pretty trivial."

    actually i think it is not trivial. if he is inflating the truth, or just outright lying, this is distinctly not trivial.
    i personally would log onto Attia's own website if i had a query though, rather than on a different website.

    if this was a high carb advocate promoting these figures i cannot help but feel the LCHF crowd would be all over their mathematical errors, we should subject our own side to the same stringent expectations.

  17. PJ
    Well it is pretty trivial, and it's strange you guys feel that doubting his veracity discredits or undermines everything he stands for, given the specific assumptions you're making.
    If you read his blog or listen to any of the podcasts/interviews he's given on this subject you'd realize he's not given to lying or exaggerating, and comes across as a very sound, pragmatic, highly educated guy.
    Anyway, try reading this: http://eatingacademy.com/why-i-decided-to-lose-weight ,and let me know if that enhances his shaky credibility (and explains those contentious 40lbs) in your eyes.
  18. Wade Henderson
    Well, I wasn't going to take it any further, but now that its come up, you also have to look at everything he says about his own personal journey and what he thinks he'll be doing regarding eating carbs into the future

    From April 18th---

    "Let me close with one personal and anecdote. When I began my nutritional journey, for over 18 months I still consumed a modest amount of carbohydrate, probably on the order of what a typical person in Japan would consume. The biggest elimination in my diet was sucrose, HFCS, and “junk” carbohydrates. The results were impressive. I went from being about 200 pounds at 25% body fat to being 177 pounds at 10% body fat while still consuming some carbohydrates (by that point I was down to maybe 100-150 gm per day). However, I was able to get leaner (170 pounds, 7.5% body fat) and further improve my risk profile for disease by going below 50 gm per day (i.e., entering nutritional ketosis). Was this last step of nutritional ketosis necessary? Of course not, but it was a nice way to experience the full spectrum of carbohydrate restriction. Will I ever go back to eating 100-150 gm per day of the “right” carbohydrates at some point? Probably, provided I don’t go back to eating sugar and stuffing my face with carbohydrates. It will depend on what I’m optimizing for."

    I think that gives a fairer portrayal of his views pertaining to his own physical health.
    He is hardly like the Wheat Belly doctor who declares any wheat product to be "poison".
    Or trying to take everyone back to prehistoric times, declaring all carbs to be some modern invention that our bodies are not designed for.
    150 grams of carbs per day is 750 calories of carbs for a 170 to 175 pound guy.

    BTW, his 7.5% body fat at 170 still leaves him with 12.75 lbs of fat.
    His chart or his quotes put his high point body fat at 39 to 40 pounds.
    Meaning that the maximum amount of "fat" that he has ever lost, at 26.75 to 28.75 pounds.
    Not even close to 40 pounds of fat. Nor did his total weight loss ever come to 40 pounds.
    More like 20 to 25 pounds down from 195.

    I think he has some fairly reasonable views, yet some folks want to read something else into what he is saying. Hopefully the new organization will be willing to accept anything their studies may turn up, even if it contradicts what they believe.

  19. PJ
    @Wade:

    This is getting old, but since you brought it up in the first place - where exactly does he state that he LOST 40lbs in weight?
    He states in the link I provided, that in high school (which most people use as their personal barometer of their historically ideal weight) he was 160lbs, and then at one point he ballooned to 200lbs. This categorically accounts for the 40lbs overweight that he anecdotally (and TRUTHFULLY) regales people with. Nowhere in the interview posted above does he claim to have lost 40lbs as you seem fixated on. It would appear it is your credibility that is to be questioned here, not his.

  20. Peter Attia
    Just to clarify, and it's certainly understandable why there is so much confusion, at my peak I weighed 205 pounds. The reason the chart on my site only starts at 195, was that this was the first time I actually underwent a body composition test. Prior that I was only using a scale and a measuring tape around my waist. So, at a current weight of 165 I have lost 40 pounds. We'll never know exactly how much fat that represents, given the lack of body composition testing at the peak weight, though I would extrapolate (if anyone cares!) that I was about 23% bf at 205. So if weight loss was 40 pounds from peak to current nadir, it probably represents about 32 or 33 pounds of fat loss, and 7 or 8 pounds of water and muscle loss. BUT... and this is the point...who cares about how much weight I've lost. That's not the point of the discussion. I could have possibly lost this much weight by some other dietary intervention. The point to be taken away from this discussion is that the scientific evidence underpinning our currently dietary recommendations is not rigorous. As such, it may be playing a significant role in our current epidemic of MetSyn, of which obesity is but one (easy-to-identify) read out. Less focus on me, more focus on the problem, I hope.
  21. Gary Taubes and Peter Attia are EXCELLENT. I respect both of them tremendously.
  22. Catherine
    thumbs up to them for all their hard work

    Thanks, what a kick to see those two in the news.

  23. Leeny
    Peter and Gary did a great job! And kudos to John Stossel for actually letting them speak and being fairly open-minded, unlike so many other TV hosts.
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