Vegan Vs. LCHF Cardiology Battle


Is a low-fat vegan or an LCHF diet better for lowering the risks of diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease? If you want to hear the arguments for both sides, you can watch this video with Dr. Aseem Malhotra and the vegan-inclined Dr. Joel Kahn.

Skip to 1:48 unless you want to learn more about penile arteries:

Mind Body Green: Two Cardiologists Debate Fat, Sugar, And Coconut Oil

The common ground between the two debaters and cardiologists is that sugar is bad for you and lifestyle (movement, stress reduction, not smoking) is important in decreasing risk factors. When it comes to fat they predictably disagreed.

According to Dr. Naiman – from whom I’ve stolen the header to this post – there was a clear winner to the debate. What do you think?

Videos with Dr. Malhotra

  • Should you worry about high cholesterol?
  • "Lifestyle changes are much more powerful"
  • The Big Fat Fix
  • Diet, health and an epidemic of misinformation


  1. Pierre
    First the mediterranean diet is a myth.

    Secondly, Dr. Joel Kahn should read "The Vegetarian Myth" of Lierre Keith.
    Because is paroting vegan myths about sustainability .

  2. Stealth
    As much as I heartily agree with Malhotra and disagree with Kahn, I have to say that Kahn did a better job in the "debate". Malhotra did get some good points in, such as pointing out that smoking cessation had more to do with improved outcomes than limiting saturated fat, but he missed some things that should have been anticipated.

    I think Dr. Malhotra could have made stronger arguments:
    1. Citing studies that show the benefit of a low carb diet in heart disease rather than veering into insulin metabolism--apples to apples instead of bananas to apples. (Yes, I agree very much with the insulin theory underlying cardiovascular disease, but the audience was not there yet--they are not informed LCHF'ers with an understanding of insulin theory--so it felt like he was trying to skirt the CV issues even though he was not).
    2. Not shying away from the fact that Mediterraneans eat meat and full fat dairy WITH plenty of vegetables (Kahn was getting so upset by the suggestion for oily fish that Malhotra seemed to avoid the reality that they also eat meat and full fat dairy). Avoid the fantasy Med diet routine--I haven't seen Malhotra's documentary, but isn't it about getting real with the Med diet???
    3. He should have gone after Kahn's citing of Ancel Keyes as a reliable source of information.
    4. He should have been prepared to make good arguments against the sustainability objections Kahn had (and please, not how many mice and crickets are killed in the harvesting of a grain field!).
    5. How about pointing out the benefits and values of fat in the diet, the importance for metabolizing fat soluble vitamins, the hormone building, etc. ?At some point Malhotra stated "we need cholesterol" which is absolutely true, but again, the audience wasn't there yet with enough information to understand that point. They were still operating on the "arterycloggingsaturatedfat theory", especially after Kahn's T-shirt explanation. They were all still imagining that bad, bad fat clogging the penile artery.
    6. Dietary debate reminds me a lot of religion. Most people can't or won't adhere to the strictures of Kahn's dietary recommendations, just like they have trouble adhering to religious orthodoxy, but they feel that others are holier than thou and that they should champion what's "right" even if it's never going to be part of their own lives. Kahn came off as a glib evangelist for the vegan way, Malhotra could have parried with what's reasonable, doable and practical for the common people--and effective.

    The points Kahn brought up should have been no surprise to Malhotra in the debate, they are the typical arguments that vegans and vegetarians ALWAYS make. I'd have liked to see him take Kahn on point for point, understanding the limitations of the audience's knowledge base. Kahn was so glib and smooth that it was a difficult debate, but I think Malhotra could have been more prepared for the obvious arguments Kahn was going to make.

  3. Apicius
    Dear Dr Kahn,
    Enjoy your future self diabetes.
  4. gbl
    Apicius: That is an appalling comment.
    Reply: #5
  5. Apicius
    I find more appalling the damage of health in people who listen to doctors leading them off the cliff. It's one thing to create a diet for yourself...but, it's a different problem when you take the spot light with the intention for others to follow your ways. I'm very concerned seeing this sort of thing...having been duped by other so-called "experts". My health has suffered and took me a very long time to mend the damage. I now have no patience with seeing bad advice harming the masses.
  6. Thomas
    From what I have seen so much over here to be vegan is not the way you suggest. It seems that everybody is a supporter of eating meat, cheese and butter. when I visit the website of dr. michael mcgregor i can find a ton of information, statistics and proven not funded studies of the better choice of being vegan and avoiding saturated fats. so i guess there is not THE truth and not THE right nutrition. there is only an individual optimized diet for each of us. It is sad to see another undifferentiated website. it woud be great to find advocates and opponents to every topic, but you always bring out the same advocates/doctors.
  7. Rita
    As much as I like site, yet there is not a single alternative for those who are vegan. You may be vegan for health reasons (convinced by Colin and/or Thomas Campbel, Fuhrman, Greger, Barnard or whatever) However there are vegans (like myself) for religious or ethical reasons. As far as my personal experience is concerned, eating WFPB increased my health very much too !!! I was hoping to find some information on WFPB-LCHF which lately is making me feel so well you can never imagine!!! It would be very helpful to find detailed guides for WFPB-LCHF, honest evaluation of differences and comparisons (no cherry-picking please!!!). Shall there be a chance fr this sometimes soon?
  8. Kyle
    One of the doctors is trim and fit, the other one (the one on the right) has a belly. Wonder which one I'm going to trust. Such a tough decision.
  9. Peter
    Thing is, you go from burgers, pasta, bread, cakes and sugar to either vegan or low carb high saturated fat and you are going to see a massive improvement in health. Its the refined carbs that is the disaster not the vegetables nor the meat.

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