Biggest myths in nutrition | Dr Matthew Nagra, ND

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In a time where information is abundant and readily accessible, it has become increasingly challenging to discern credible health advice from the noise of unreliable sources. As we strive for clarity amidst the clamour, it’s crucial to anchor our understanding in reliable, science-based information.

“I tend to see more bias in people who claim to not have a bias.”

In Episode #268, I’m joined by Dr Matthew Nagra for a nuanced, evidence-based examination of prevalent nutrition myths. In recent episodes, we’ve navigated what a healthy diet looks like alongside leading scientists, and today, we strip away the hyperbole to clear common myths and misconceptions about what a healthy eating pattern truly entails.

Dr Matthew Nagra, a much-respected guest on The Proof, is a naturopathic doctor with a deep-seated passion for plant-based nutrition. Based in Vancouver, Canada, he’s committed to spreading sound, science-backed nutrition insights through his clinic, on social media, and as a writer for the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. With a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from the University of Victoria and additional board certifications in various treatment modalities, he combines his robust education and expertise to offer comprehensive, individualised treatment protocols. He is an expert at breaking down complex nutrition topics and brings a valuable perspective to today’s conversation.

“If there is [a single optimal diet], we haven’t figured it out. What I would say is that there are characteristics of a healthy diet that can apply to multiple different healthy dietary patterns.”

In this conversation, we don’t just tackle common nutrition myths but also delve into how Dr Nagra combats bias in a scientifically sound way. We step through some of the most common, concerning, and sometimes dangerous myths circulating online and in nutrition communities, taking an evidence-based lens to each one. You’ll learn Dr Nagra’s perspective on controversial topics including phytates, gluten, the optimal diet, and much more.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Intro (00:00)
  • Dr. Matthew Nagra’s health journey (3:24)
  • The dangers of misinformation (7:49)
  • Does Matthew Nagra is biased vegan (11:39)
  • Dr. Matthew’s approach to nutrition studies (15:00)
  • Do plants are trying to kill us? (18:42)
  • Does unprocessed red meat increase the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease? (28:20)
  • Are Food Frequency Questionnaires reliable? (38:43)
  • Tucker Goodrich and the seed oil debate (40:16)
  • What oil you should use? (45:40)
  • Vegan diet and nutrient supplementation (48:00)
  • Precision fermentation (57:32)
  • Saturated fat, sodium, and fibre (1:01:39)
  • Fortified soy milk (1:10:36)
  • Do phytates and oxalates rob your body of minerals (1:15:23)
  • Is there a single optimal diet? (1:19:53)
  • Does eating fat make you fat? (1:22:17)
  • Do you burn more fat on a keto diet? (1:22:45)
  • Does a low-carb ketogenic diet is the best to treat type 2 diabetes (1:24:07)
  • Is low fat, vegan diet the optimal way to do a plant-based diet? (1:29:38)
  • Is a low-fat vegan diet best for cardiovascular health? (1:42:20)
  • Protein and resistance training (1:44:06)
  • Should you avoid gluten? (1:51:57)
  • Do Lectins cause a leaky gut? (1:53:42)
  • Outro (1:55:58)

Dr Nagra’s wealth of knowledge and evidence-based approach helps make the confusing world of nutrition a little less daunting. By debunking popular myths and misconceptions, he provides reliable insights to guide your own dietary decisions. This episode is an essential listen for anyone looking to navigate the nutrition landscape with more clarity and confidence. Tune in better distinguish nutrition fact from fiction.

You can connect with Dr Matthew Nagra on InstagramTwitter, and Facebook. To learn more about Dr Nagra’s work and for other resources, head to his website, You can find his previous episodes here.

The best way to support the show is to use the products and services offered by our sponsors. To check them out and enjoy great savings, visit

Enjoy, friends.


More about Dr Matthew Nagra

Dr Nagra grew up in Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island, and from a young age, he struggled with multiple health issues such as asthma, allergies, and weight management. It wasn’t until he took control of his own health and began transitioning to a plant-based diet that he noticed significant improvements, which was ultimately the catalyst for the career he has chosen. His goal is to help others do the same.

He graduated from the Boucher Institute after having completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Microbiology at the University of Victoria 4 years earlier. He holds additional board certifications in prescriptive authority, immunizations, advanced injection therapies, intravenous therapies, and acupuncture. Using an evidence-based approach, he creates individualized treatment protocols for each patient based on their health goals and unique lifestyles.

Dr Nagra has a particular passion for plant-based/vegan nutrition, physical medicine, and chronic disease treatment. With additional training in nutrition, he holds a Plant-Based Nutrition Certification from Cornell University and the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies where he’s authored multiple articles on the subject. There’s certainly a lack of understanding around plant-based nutrition amongst healthcare professionals, sometimes resulting in practitioners recommending non-vegan treatment options to their vegan patients. His aim is to help that population thrive while maintaining their vegan lifestyle if that’s their goal. Beyond catering to the plant-based population, his passion for nutrition is only amplified by his personal health struggles and his father’s battle with cardiovascular disease, where both were able to regain their health after making significant lifestyle changes. Dr Nagra believes this is where he can have the greatest impact in helping patients transform their lives by bridging the gap between lifestyle-based interventions and life-saving medical treatment.

Supporting studies and additional resources

Fructans vs. gluten

  • Fructan, Rather Than Gluten, Induces Symptoms in Patients With Self-Reported Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity • PMID: 29102613
  • Gluten intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in three large prospective cohort studies of US men and women • PMID: 30074058
  • Gluten-free and low-FODMAP sourdoughs for patients with coeliac disease and irritable bowel syndrome: A clinical perspective • PMID: 30388591

Lentils and legumes

  • Clinical complications of kidney bean (Phaseolus vulgaris L.) consumption • PMID: 23410632
  • Effect of Heat Processing on Hemagglutinin Activity in Red Kidney Beans • IFT
  • Extension to the IID2 study: identifying the proportion of foodborne disease in the UK • Food Standards Agency
  • Food poisoning from raw red kidney beans • PMID: 7407532
  • Intake of legumes and cardiovascular disease: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis • PMID: 36411221
  • Is There Such a Thing as “Anti-Nutrients”? A Narrative Review of Perceived Problematic Plant Compounds • PMID: 32987890
  • Legume Consumption and Risk of All-Cause and Cause-Specific Mortality: A Systematic Review and Dose-Response Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies • PMID: 36811595
  • Natural toxins in food • WHO
  • Salmonella By the Numbers • USDA

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease

  • Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: All wheat attack is not celiac • PMID: 29142467
  • Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification • PMID: 22313950


  • A prospective study of dietary calcium and other nutrients and the risk of symptomatic kidney stones • PMID: 8441427
  • Calcium Absorption from Food Products: Food Matrix Effects • PMID: 35011055
  • Comparison of dietary calcium with supplemental calcium and other nutrients as factors affecting the risk for kidney stones in women • PMID: 9092314
  • Contribution of Dietary Oxalate and Oxalate Precursors to Urinary Oxalate Excretion • PMID: 33379176
  • Dietary and lifestyle factors for primary prevention of nephrolithiasis: a systematic review and meta-analysis • PMID: 32652950
  • Dietary factors and the risk of incident kidney stones in younger women: Nurses’ Health Study II • PMID: 15111375
  • Dietary hyperoxaluria is not reduced by treatment with lactic acid bacteria • PMID: 24330782
  • Fruit and vegetable intake and bones: A systematic review and meta-analysis • PMID: 31150426
  • Insights Into Nephrolithiasis From the Nurses’ Health Studies • PMID: 27459448
  • Is There Such a Thing as “Anti-Nutrients”? A Narrative Review of Perceived Problematic Plant Compounds • PMID: 32987890
  • Oxalate intake and the risk for nephrolithiasis • PMID: 17538185


  • Dietary factors and the risk of incident kidney stones in younger women: Nurses’ Health Study II PMID: 15111375
  • Iron absorption in man: ascorbic acid and dose-dependent inhibition by phytate • PMID: 2911999
  • Is There Such a Thing as “Anti-Nutrients”? A Narrative Review of Perceived Problematic Plant Compounds • PMID: 32987890
  • Low-phytate wholegrain bread instead of high-phytate wholegrain bread in a total diet context did not improve iron status of healthy Swedish females: a 12-week, randomized, parallel-design intervention study • PMID: 29796932
  • Phytate reduces age-related cardiovascular calcification • PMID: 18508720
  • Regular Consumption of a High-Phytate Diet Reduces the Inhibitory Effect of Phytate on Nonheme-Iron Absorption in Women with Suboptimal Iron Stores • PMID: 26041677
  • Relationship between Urinary Level of Phytate and Valvular Calcification in an Elderly Population: A Cross-Sectional Study • PMID: 26322979
  • Soy protein, phytate, and iron absorption in humans • PMID: 1503071
  • Urinary phytate concentration and risk of fracture determined by the FRAX index in a group of postmenopausal women • PMID: 30862150
  • Zinc Absorption Is Not Related to Dietary Phytate Intake in Infants and Young Children Based on Modeling Combined Data from Multiple Studies • PMID: 26108545


  • Association of Polyphenol Biomarkers with Cardiovascular Disease and Mortality Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies • PMID: 28441720
  • Associations between habitual flavonoid intake and hospital admissions for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease: a prospective cohort study • PMID: 31777336
  • Coffee consumption and health: umbrella review of meta-analyses of multiple health outcomes • PMID: 29167102
  • Dietary flavonoid intake and the risk of stroke: a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies • PMID: 27279473
  • Dietary intake of total polyphenols and the risk of all-cause and specific-cause mortality in Japanese adults: the Takayama study • PMID: 31732850
  • Dietary pesticides (99.99% all natural) • PMID: 2217210
  • Dietary phytoestrogens and total and cause-specific mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies • PMID: 36789932
  • Dietary phytoestrogens and total and cause-specific mortality: results from 2 prospective cohort studies • PMID: 36789932
  • Dose-Response Relation between Tea Consumption and Risk of Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Population-Based Studies • PMID: 32073596
  • Endothelial cell heme oxygenase and ferritin induction in rat lung by hemoglobin in vivo • PMID: 7864152
  • Food groups and risk of coronary heart disease, stroke and heart failure: A systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies • PMID: 29039970
  • Gut microbiota-dependent trimethylamine N-oxide (TMAO) pathway contributes to both development of renal insufficiency and mortality risk in chronic kidney disease • PMID: 25599331
  • Inverse association between habitual polyphenol intake and incidence of cardiovascular events in the PREDIMED study • PMID: 24552647
  • Trimethylamine N-Oxide Exacerbates Renal Inflammation and Fibrosis in Rats With Diabetic Kidney Disease • PMID: 34220546
  • Trimethylamine N-oxide promotes demyelination in spontaneous hypertension rats through enhancing pyroptosis of oligodendrocytes • PMID: 36072486

Red meat

  • Association Between Plant and Animal Protein Intake and Overall and Cause-Specific Mortality • PMID: 32658243
  • Associations of Processed Meat, Unprocessed Red Meat, Poultry, or Fish Intake With Incident Cardiovascular Disease and All-Cause Mortality • PMID: 32011623
  • Co-consumption of Vegetables and Fruit, Whole Grains, and Fiber Reduces the Cancer Risk of Red and Processed Meat in a Large Prospective Cohort of Adults from Alberta’s Tomorrow Project • PMID: 32751091
  • Health effects associated with consumption of unprocessed red meat: a Burden of Proof study • PMID: 36216940
  • Meat consumption, stratified by dietary quality, and risk of heart disease • PMID: 33597063

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