Red meat, diabetes and plant-based nutrition for performance with Drew Harrisberg

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Join me in Episode #289 as I sit down with Drew Harrisberg to connect the dots between diet, exercise, and long-term health. We review a suite of studies that offer a holistic view of what it really takes to optimise our health, from unpacking findings on exercise habits and heart health to evaluating plant-based nutrition for peak performance. This episode is your guide through the complex health landscape, one study at a time.

“Food quality still matters, even if you don’t have a lot of weight to lose.”

Drew Harrisberg is an exercise physiologist and sports scientist with a profound personal and professional commitment to health education and diabetes management. Diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at 22, Drew has transformed his life and health with a holistic approach to diet and exercise, becoming an emblem of thriving despite a chronic health condition. His platform, Drew’s Daily Dose, reflects his dedication to empowering others with the knowledge and mindset to lead a life not defined by diabetes but enhanced by informed health choices. As an ambassador for Diabetes NSW and a TEDx speaker, Drew brings both lived experience and expert knowledge to our discussion on the intersection of lifestyle choices and long-term health outcomes.

“The [food] swap that you make not only can take you from this path towards diabetes away from it but it can actually improve the sensitivity and the biomarkers in the opposite direction.”

In this episode, we explore pivotal themes at the intersection of diet and exercise. We examine the cardiovascular benefits of consistent exercise, the impact of plant-based diets on athletic performance, and the role of nutrients like creatine in bone health. We also address common misconceptions about strength, power, and endurance, and offer practical insights into maintaining optimal iron levels and protein intake.

You will leave with a deeper understanding of the Twin Cycle hypothesis on diabetes, strategies for enhancing insulin sensitivity through “movement snacks”, and how social media algorithms can shape our health choices.

Specifically, we discuss:

  • Introduction (00:00)
  • Weekend Warrior Workout (03:02)
  • Insights from Our Wellness Retreat on Bali (10:56)
  • Managing Bone Density Post-Menopause (18:46)
  • Plant-Based Lifestyle: Impact on Aerobic Performance and Strength (27:21)
  • Roy Taylor’s Insights: Understanding the True Causes of Diabetes. Episode Recap (35:31)
  • Plant-Based Diet: Its Effects on Aerobic Performance and Strength (57:00)
  • Essential Supplements for Plant-Based Athletes: A Comprehensive Guide (1:07:18)
  • Mastering Plant-Based Nutrition for Peak Performance: Key Strategies (1:23:10)
  • Exploring the Danish Dietary Guidelines: A Health Perspective (1:28:44)
  • Portfolio Diet and Cardiovascular Health: Study Insights from Andrea Glenn, David Jenkins, Walter Willet (1:43:31)
  • The Link Between Red Meat Intake and Type 2 Diabetes Risk: Walter Willet’s Research (2:16:24)
  • Outro (2:30:51)

Thank you to Drew Harrisberg for joining me today. This episode has taken us through a rigorous analysis of robust studies, shedding light on the critical role of diet and exercise in managing health and diabetes. The power to enhance our health lies in understanding the science that guides our choices. If you found this episode valuable, please pass it on to someone who may benefit from it so we can continue to grow healthier together.

To connect with Drew, you can reach him via his Instagram or website, Drew’s Daily Dose. He also has a training program to put many of the principles he has discussed on the show into practice. Make sure to catch his previous episodes on the show, available on The Proof website, and check out the resources below for more.

This episode is brought to you by:

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More about Drew Harrisberg

Drew Harrisberg is an exercise physiologist, sports scientist, has a graduate certificate in diabetes education and management, and most importantly – is a happy and healthy guy thriving with type 1 diabetes. After being diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 22, Drew made it his mission to regain control of his health by making positive changes to the way that he lives, eats, moves, and the mindset in which he approaches life. Drew has not only accepted living with diabetes but has also learned to manage it so that it doesn’t manage him. Drew’s background as a qualified health professional and his personal experience living with type 1 diabetes for over 10 years is what fuels his passion to share everything he learns along the way, which is why he created Drew’s Daily Dose – a home that inspires, empowers, and enables people to thrive rather than simply survive.

Drew is a voice for the diabetes community and is an ambassador for Diabetes NSW. He has also presented a motivational TEDx talk.

Additional resources

Supporting studies

  • Accelerometer-Derived “Weekend Warrior” Physical Activity and Incident Cardiovascular Disease • PMID: 37462704
  • Plant-based diets benefit aerobic performance and do not compromise strength/power performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis • PMID: 37869973
  • Red meat intake and risk of type 2 diabetes in a prospective cohort study of United States females and males • American Journal of Clinical Nutrition

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