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The LLVLC Show (Episode 415): Vegan Activist And PCRM President Dr. Neal Barnard

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In Episode 415 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore,” we hear from arguably one of the biggest advocates of a plant-based diet on the planet. His name is Dr. Neal Barnard from Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and he is the author of a new book for diabetics called Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System For Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs. It was months in the making and I’m happy to have this voice of opposition clearly articulating why he believes what he believes so we know where he stands. Agree or disagree, you can’t deny he’s passionate about the plant-based diet.

Listen to Dr. Barnard talk about how he got interested in health after growing up in the cattle industry, how medical school made him change his diet to a meat-less one, why he considers a meat-based diet unhealthy, the results of the NIH study he conducted on a plant-based diet and the impact on Type 2 diabetes, why his diet tends to be a low-glycemic index nutritional approach, why eating low-fat, vegan diet without controlling the kind of carbohydrate intake can lead to higher triglycerides and increased blood sugars, the lipid changes that happened in his study (although particle size was not measured), why he’s not worried about HDL cholesterol dropping, why he didn’t measure LDL particle size in his study, whether there are any alternative hypotheses for controlling weight and diabetes, how the American Diabetes Association gives the green light to veganism for diabetes, why he doesn’t think veganism isn’t an extreme way of eating, his specific concerns over red meat and colon cancer, why he thinks even white meat isn’t any better than red meat, why he believes a plant-based diet is the way we were meant to eat, the reason why he believes meat is toxic, his concern that restaurants are hiding the carcinogenic aspects of their meats, his thoughts on local farmers who are producing grass-fed beef and why he’s not impressed with these higher-quality meats, why he believes the glycemic index from David Jenkins is vitally important to controlling diabetes, whether a person who consumes a meat-based diet can be healthy, which he thinks is worse for kids–meat or sugar, the non-meat-based fat sources he believes are healthy, a sample menu of what he eats, what he thinks will happen with the 2010 Dietary Guidelines from the USDA, how people are supposed to determine what’s right from wrong in nutrition, whether it is ludicrous to have a “one-size-fits-all” diet plan for everyone, what percentage of the population eats vegetarian/vegan, why former President Bill Clinton went vegan, whether he read Gary Taubes’ Good Calories Bad Calories, his recent CBS News slideshow “15 Food Myths That Can Kill You,” why he chooses to be provocative and hit hard with his message, the reason why he created the Atkins Diet Alert web site and his concerns with low-carb diets, and the confusion over what is most important regarding the health markers.

There are three ways you can listen to Episode 415:

1. Listen at the new iTunes page for the podcast:

2. Listen and comment about the show at the official web site for the podcast:

3. Download the MP3 file of Episode 415 [62:38m]:

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR FINANCIALLY SUPPORTING THIS PODCAST! If these twice-weekly podcast interviews from the most provocative and thought-provoking diet, fitness, and health experts have helped you in any way over the past few months and years, then help us keep it going by clicking on the DONATE button on the official podcast web site. We love making these exclusive interviews available to you at no charge so that the positive low-carb message can get out there to the people who need to hear it the most. We are so grateful for your generous donations of any amount so we can keep this going all throughout 2010 and well beyond. I have a fantastic group of fresh new expert interview guests lined up for your listening enjoyment and can’t wait for you to hear them! Go to PayPal.com and you can give your gift to the e-mail address livinlowcarbman@charter.net. Your continued financial support and listenership is essential and we THANK YOU so very much for your support!

I doubt you’ll agree with much of what you heard from Dr. Neal Barnard, but how did you like what you heard from him in this interview? Talk about it in the show notes section of Episode 415. If you want to learn more about the work he is doing on a vegan diet and diabetes, then pick up a copy of Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program For Reversing Diabetes: The Scientifically Proven System For Reversing Diabetes Without Drugs and keep up with his vegan advocacy group Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine (PCRM). If you want to see what his specific concerns are with the Atkins/low-carb approach, then also check out the Atkins Diet Alert web site.

Coming up on Thursday, I have a very special double-interview episode in store for you. First up is my scheduled interview with Dr. Jacob Tietelbaum who wrote the book Beat Sugar Addiction Now!: The Cutting-Edge Program That Cures Your Type of Sugar Addiction and Puts You on the Road to Feeling Great – and Losing Weight! to talk about what you can do to overcome your addiction to sugar and the negative impact it has on various aspects of your health. Then in the second interview, I have an exclusive conversation with attorney John Tiedt who represented the plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit filed against Kimkins diet founder Heidi Diaz. A judgment was handed down against Diaz last week and Tiedt will be here to share about the 3+ year journey to convict this woman who scammed tens of thousands of unsuspecting dieters through lies and deception. If you ever wanted to get the full scoop of all that happened behind-the-scenes of this real life soap opera, then you WON’T want to miss my conversation with John Tiedt on Thursday.

Don’t forget to vote for your favorite podcast guests of 2010 along with specific questions for those guests for our special weeklong “Encore Week” coming the first full week of January 2011 for brand new interviews with the top vote-getters chosen by YOU the listeners. The deadline for entering is coming up on Friday, November 19, 2010 so get me your votes ASAP. THANK YOU for voting for the best podcast guests of the year and be ready to listen to the winners during the first week of January 2011 for “Encore Week!”

If you have something to share about what you heard on “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show,” then drop us an e-mail at our dedicated podcast e-mail address–LLVLCShow@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you about what you think about the show, interview guest suggestions (although keep in mind I’m fully booked up for the rest of 2010), show topics, and anything else you want to share!

  • Pjnoir

    Thank God for Dr Atkins, thank God for Paleo diet. this low fat, GI diet BS never worked.

    total BS

  • Dominic DiCarlo

    It is time to give Denise Minger some work – I suggest she checks out the citations provided by Dr. Barnard to support his position against the so-called low -carb diet (he always refers to them as high protein) and deconstruct them. Otherwise, someone should respond by putting up a web site that is similar. For example, “Low-Fat” Alert.”

    This appeared today in my newspaper: http://www.vancouversun.com/search/Single+yolk+double+coronary+risk+study/3762776/story.html

    The doctors are getting terrified of the low-carb ascendancy.

  • hcrn

    What do you think about participating in the low-carb study on his website? Part of me wants to take part to show that Paleo/no healthywholegrains can be done “right.” At the same time, I’d hate to be part of a study that I have a feeling is going to be interpreted through an already biased lens.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      It’d be a trap. I wouldn’t trust a study from someone who already has his mind made up before testing commences.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05161850700121191487 John L

    Ok, so he’s simply another medical doctor who ignores the available science and evidence to make the usual blanket statements about fat and cholesterol. The first link (diet myths) is ridiculously oversimplified without any evidence. The second is full of references like the American Heart Association web site, which mean nothing. The studies posted may or may not have been well-controlled. Anyway, anyone who plain ignores the work of Weston A Price to promote a diet free of animal foods should be discredited. While the book may not be perfect, his work and observations are layed out clearly (others have done similar work as Price too).

  • Tula

    I’m suspicious of his meat->colon cancer claims. I saw a news segment on tv this week that talked about how there’s been a 40% increase in colon cancer in those under 40 years old during the past two decades. Similarly,there’s been a 63% increase in rectal cancer in the same population. Now, since people have been eating less fat than they did before these last few decades (because of the low-fat movement), according to the anti-meat brigade, these numbers should be going down, no? Makes me wonder if carbohydrates or soy might be the culprit.

  • http://yelling-stop.blogspot.com/ Tuck

    Jimmy, both you and Dr. Barnard are to be commended for putting up that podcast. You were both remarkably professional in your conduct.

    Dr. Barnard, to give him the benefit of the doubt, is remarkably ignorant about the basic science behind human evolution. We clearly evolved to eat meat as a primary source of nutrition, despite what he says; and there are *no* naturally vegan societies.

    I took the same approach when reading “The China Study”: since there are a number of well-known nutritional shortcomings to the vegan diet, how does this advocate handle them?

    He handled them the same way Campbell handled them: he ignored them, except for vitamin B12, which he mentioned must be obtained from supplements. Vitamin B12 can only be obtained naturally from consuming animal products. (Look it up.)

    This is why there are no naturally-occuring vegan societies, despite Barnard’s claims. They would starve to death.

    But thanks for posting the podcast. It was unfortunate that this leading advocate of veganism lived down to my lowest expectations.

  • http://www.tribaldiabetics.com Andre Chimene

    Jimmy, you were soooooooooo civil. My hat goes off to you for biting your tongue. You are the most fair interviewer. I went with Dr. Rosedale to see Dr. Barnard speak in India. He was sweet and soft spoken. However, Dr. Rosedale and I agreed that while his diet is better than SAD and better than the typical Indian diet, it is far from optimal. His results do not match up to the results of Dr. Rosedale or Dr. Bernstein or the many others that have a low carb approach for people who are allergic to carbs. India is the largest vegeterian country in the world and it is number 1 in Diabetes…and heart Disease. I wish you would post a play by play of your thoughts as he talked. Funny.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      Andre, that would be funny! Maybe I’ll do a Mystery Science Theater version of it sometime for fun. :D

  • http://www.cutthecarb.com Hans Keer

    I agree we don’t need dairy and vegetable oils, but advocating gut damaging whole grains and legumes and then blame meat for colon cancer sounds ridiculous to me. Looking at processed and burned fast-food meat instead of unprocessed well prepared meat is curious too? By the way, why would a vegan want to have vegan-bacon? And if humans were meant to eat a plant-base only diet, where would you need a B12 supplement for? Why is the doctor so sure about his opinion and does he speak slighting about Westman’s work?

  • vlado2020

    that interview went much better than I anticipated and to NB’s credit he was well spoken and seemed to believe what he was talking about. With that said, there were many time I just rolled my eyes such as his contention that we don’t need oil by saying that plants have little oil but we are not plants , our brains are 50% saturated fat and the fat is prefered long term energy storage choice. Cholesterol is a repair mechanism and substance that builds all of our hormones as well so what’s the point of lowering it artificially?

    When he talked about his diet I was very sceptical , I just don’t see how he can eat enough calories by avoiding fats and animal food and certainly nothing satiating. He must eat at least 400 grams of carbs and I don’t think he is expanding all those carbs by sprinting and lifting weights every day, instead they turn into fat and clog up arteries. Someone needs to tell him that excess carbs turn into fat after digestion so his fat avoidance is good for naught.

  • ValerieH

    Kudos to you Jimmy! That was a great interview. You brought him on to tell about his project and not to debate anything. It is very interesting that both low carb and vegetarian diets can reverse diabetes. I know someone who was diagnosed and followed a vegan diet to help his diabetes. He said he got it out of a book, which might have been Dr. Barnard’s. He started out sounding very reasonable but later it was clear he thought all human should eat the way he eats. It was interesting when you asked him which is worse: sugar or meat. I also noticed he lumped meat eaters in with alcoholics and drug abusers. One thing I can’t help but mention: If the vegan diet was completely sustainable for humans, he wouldn’t need to advise people to take B12 supplements. That vitamin would be in their food.

    Thank you for bringing an opposing point of view to your show. I admire his courage for agreeing to be on it. I know you have asked others who wouldn’t come on the show because they thought it was enemy territory. The diet debate is becoming like a religious war. I welcome people to tell me their experiences because I’m certainly not an expert. Humans have adapted to various conditions in the 200,000 or more years on this planet. Vegetarian or low meat diets have sustained China and India for thousands of years. They also had very intricate medical systems. I guess that goes hand in hand with advanced agricultural societies.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      THANKS Valerie! I catch some criticism from people who think my show should EXCLUSIVELY feature people who support the low-carb lifestyle, but we learn so much more when I throw in an Ornish or Barnard every once in a while. :)

  • http://mylowcarbjourney.com Hank Garner

    I think you are absolutely right Jimmy. Sometime’s we need people who are different to challenge us to make sure we are on the right path. I really appreciate hearing the “dissenting” opinions. Please keep them coming.

    hank

  • http://ieatmostlymeat.com/ Josh

    Jimmy, I think it is great you bring people on your show that have a totally different view on diet then you do. I don’t agree with him, but it may work for some people. And, babies not liking meat is bs. I remember one of my daughters chewing on a t-bone at 6 months old and loving it.

  • Joyce

    Thank you so much for having the interview with Dr. Neal Barnard. I downloaded it and made it into a cd. When I heard he was to be on your show, I couldn’t wait to hear it.

    I have turned to vegan eating to control my high blood sugar, as I got worse and fatter on low carb. I’m sorry, but it’s true. I’m not trying to be a troll here and inflame anything, I am stating a fact.

    Healthy vegan eating has done for me what no other remedy/medication could do. As Dr. Barnard noted (and the new Atkins book as well), you can be a low carb vegan, but I didn’t choose that path.

    Thanks again for having Dr. Neal Barnard on your show.

    • http://www.livinlavidalowcarb.com Jimmy Moore

      You bet Joyce! You found what works for you and you’re doing it. That way of eating would not work for me, but I’m glad it helps you. Thanks for listening.