In Episode #83, a very good friend of mine, Drew Harrisberg, returned to the show to talk about hidden agendas in science and the media, with specific reference to a few somewhat dangerous trends we have noticed. In this unscripted exchange, Drew and I covered topics including the manipulation of science to produce favourable outcomes and the confusing and oversimplified messages we get from people of influence on social media.
We started by chatting about how Drew’s transition to a plant-based diet has played out since Episode #62. We then went on to discuss some specific studies and claims, such as Dr Mark Hyman’s confusing promotion of an extremely conflicted study on the ‘reversal of diabetes’ and Sarah Wilson’s claims about methane and the impact of animal agriculture on climate change. We also talked about the ‘If It Fits Your Macros’ and ‘calorie deficit’ ideologies and why these are oversimplifications – it is possible to look and feel good at the same time without needing to choose one or the other. I hope you find this to be an interesting episode; I certainly did.
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Note: As I allude to throughout this conversation, just because I may hold a differing opinion to someone that doesn’t mean I dislike them or want conflict. I am open to sitting down with any of the people mentioned, or others, to further discuss these ideas and flesh them out with the best available science we have. I hope to have proponents of the ketogenic, If It Fits Your Macros, or the carnivore diet on the show in the future.
- Studies on plant-based nutrition and diabetes management or risk:
- Dr Michelle McMacken and Shivam Joshi’s response to the Hallberg article that Mark Hyman spoke about: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6682911/
- The highly conflicted Sarah Hallberg clinical study that was promoted by Dr Mark Hyman: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6520897/
- Hallberg conflict of interests: “S.J.H. is an employee and shareholder of Virta Health, a for-profit company that provides remote diabetes care using a low-carbohydrate nutrition intervention, and serves as an advisor for Atkins Corp. V.M.G. has no conflicts of interest to declare. T.L.H. is an employee of Virta Health. S.J.A. is an employee and shareholder of Virta Health.” Isocaloric high-carb versus ketogenic diet study: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4962163/
- Climate change blog post: https://theproof.com/animal-vs-plant-agriculture-in-the-era-of-climate-change/
- Interestingly, Sarah Wilson has removed her blog, so the link in my article to her website now results in a 404 page error. However, I downloaded the entire article and had taken a screenshot of the part about being supported by the animal industry, which you can see in the blog and below. Deleted or not, the blog existed for over seven years, and based on the fact that vigorous science doesn’t support her opinion and that she has vested interests in animal agriculture, I believe the public was being grossly misled. I was able to find a website that backs up other website’s content where you can still read her original blog.
- If It Fits Your Macros study by Kevin Hall on a processed versus unprocessed diet with the same macronutrients, fibre, sugar, and sodium: https://www.cell.com/cell-metabolism/pdf/S1550-4131(19)30248-7.pdf
- Drew Harrisberg’s previous episode on The Proof podcast: Episode #62