Remembering Kevin Moore

The LLVLC Show (Episode 686): Dr. John McDougall Pushes Starchy Diets For All


NOTICE OF DISCLOSURE: http://cmp.ly/3

In Episode 686 of “The Livin’ La Vida Low-Carb Show with Jimmy Moore,” my return to podcasting starts off with a bang as we welcome an outspoken and opinionated vegan physician and author named Dr. John McDougall. He has been promoting the gospel of starch-based eating for decades as he believes the historical evidence proves this is the diet man has evolved on while the addition of meat, dairy and oils are the primary reasons why obesity, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health issues of the day run rampant.

This was probably the most challenging interview I’ve ever done speaking with the author of The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! because of Dr. McDougall’s unwillingness to engage in the healthy debate of ideas. Instead, this interview turned into a personal ambush against me attempting to mock my current weight and health. Somebody forgot to tell Dr. McDougall about my tremendous success doing a high-fat, moderate protein, low-carb nutritional ketosis n=1 experiment over the past year that has me at the lowest weight I have ever been in my adult life! It quickly became apparent that the facts are of little concern to him.

Considering I’ve interviewed other big-name vegan advocates before such as Dr. Dean Ornish and Dr. Neal Barnard, I fully intended to treat Dr. McDougall with the same respect and civility that I do with all of my invited podcast guests. That’s why it was disappointing when Dr. McDougall decided to turn hostile, shutting down any discussion that he didn’t want to engage in (i.e. he didn’t want to hear anything about the negative impact refined carbohydrates have played on the metabolic health of modern people) and personally lodging attacks against me. What I found most ironic was how he continued to cite me as an example of why people shouldn’t do low-carb, but then says I’m merely “a study of one” when I share how good my weight and health are. Too funny!

As you will quickly discover when you start listening, this episode will be an instant classic that you will find extremely entertaining for a variety of reasons. Whether you are Paleo, low-carb, vegan or vegetarian, something tells me you won’t be able to resist listening from start to finish and then wanting to go back and listen again and again! I guess I knew what I was getting myself into interviewing someone like Dr. John McDougall, but he certainly didn’t back away from his hard-nosed positions on what he believes is the proper diet and why high-fat, low-carb diets are so “dangerous” for people to follow. Hold on to your hats as you listen to this one, folks, because it’s a wild and bumpy ride! ENJOY!


TheStarchSolution_250x325 Listen to Dr. McDougall share why he pushes starchy diets on all:

  • Listen to Dr. McDougall’s interview with Dr. Robert C. Atkins
  • He went to medical school in 1968 and met his wife Mary
  • They moved to Hawaii and he did an internship there
  • He became the doctor of a sugar plantation in Hawaii
  • He “learned my limitations” as a doctor during this 3-year period
  • His frustration over the obesity and health of his patients
  • The work he did with first generation people eating starch
  • Later generations had worse health and obesity rates
  • His believe that the “human diet” is one that is based on starch
  • He has been promoting this starchy diet since the late 1970s
  • His patients begin losing weight and improving their health
  • Compliance amongst his study participants is very high
  • He want to show you can stop multiple schlerosis with his diet
  • What he thinks about the work of Dr. Terry Wahls on MS
  • His claim that Dr. Wahls is “a case study of 1” and nothing more
  • “Dr. Terry Wahls has no data” and it will not work for people
  • Refined carbohydrates (namely sugar) “is not health food”
  • The major dietary change that led to health decline is meat
  • Most successful populations in human history have eaten starch
  • Asians eat lots of white rice and are slim and healthy
  • Aztecs and Mayans are “the people of the corn” and thrived
  • Incas in the Andes lived on potatoes and did very well
  • Middle Eastern countries lived on wheat, barley and veggies
  • People living on 70%+ carbohydrates are healthiest in the world
  • Asians and Latinos who lived on high-carb foods did very well
  • What about replacing starch-based foods to refined carbohydrates?
  • Sugar is not the problem, it’s the fat, meat and dairy
  • “I’m not trying to be personally insulting”
  • “I’ve seen your pictures” and you’re a fat man
  • “Maybe you’re doing the McDougall diet”–nope, just the opposite
  • “I am not recommending sugar…so leave it alone!”
  • But what about the Inuit people who ate a high-fat, meat diet?
  • The Inuit Eskimo is a testament to how humans can survive
  • Inuit Eskimo had the highest rate of osteoporosis in history
  • “I asked you not to” talk about refined carbohydrates
  • “Stop trying to get me to go into an area I’ve already answered”
  • The refined sugars and flours have caused major metabolic damage
  • Even real food-based starches can be a problem for these people
  • “Why have you struggled with your weight over the years?”
  • VIDEO: Vegsource Lies About Jimmy Moore
  • VIDEO: Jimmy Moore Responds To VegSource Lies
  • My diet was very high-carb growing up and made me less tolerant
  • But for this horrible diet, I could probably handle starchy carbs
  • I’m lower in weight now eating a diet that’s right for me
  • Is there a one-size-fits-all diet? Yes, it’s a starch-based diet
  • My best argument is 10 billion people in history eating starch
  • I contest in modern society all bets are off because of junk food
  • “I have never found a person who does not positively respond”
  • “You can go on to your metabolic stuff and sugar stuff…”
  • “It will work for you” if you give up the meat, sugar and oil
  • “This is as close to a half bottle of whiskey and a hangover!”
  • “If I had a chance to help you, I would”
  • “H-h-how’s the constipation, Mr. Moore?”
  • Dr. Atkins and Dr. Weston (sic) published study on constipation
  • I have been honest about my weight struggles, but I’m good now
  • I’m doing extremely well on a very high-fat, low-carb diet
  • “Today is today,” but low-carb diets are “very dangerous”
  • Heart disease and hemorrhoids are regular for people on low-carb
  • “You are a study of one, Mr. Moore, a study of one”
  • “Don’t negate the science, Mr. Moore.”
  • “You can’t use yourself as an example” for eating low-carb
  • If people want to eat a starch-based diet, then GO FOR IT!
  • But if a high-fat, meat-based diet works for someone, why not?
  • The human being does not live well on a meat-based diet
  • “Why should I allow you to misinform your listeners?”
  • VIDEO: VegSource mocking low-carbers
  • “You’re a nice man, you’ve got a few facts”
  • “There are some people who know the science better than you”
  • Here’s the inaccurate video VegSource made about my weight
  • “You never asked me to correct anything”–OH YES I DID!
  • VIDEO: VegSource mocking my response to them
  • Let your listeners watch all the videos and decide for themselves
  • “People are dying with your advice. Are you a doctor?”
  • “What’s your authority? How much research have you done?”
  • Loren Cordain, Sally Fallon, Barry Sears are all “fat and sick”
  • “I hope you learn the truth for your own sake”
  • “I would work day and night to help someone like you save your life”

    The following are all the videos referenced during today’s interview:

    Low Carb vs. Plant-Based


    Obese Low Carb Guru of the Month–Jimmy Moore


    Low Carb Guru Of The Month Jimmy Moore Responds To VegSource


    Jimmy Moore – Low Carb Guru Update!


    There are four ways you can listen to Episode 686:

    1. Listen at the 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 686 [38:19]:

    4. Listen on the Stitcher app–NO DOWNLOADING!

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    What did you think about what Dr. John McDougall had to say about his starch-based diet being far superior to a low-carb, high-fat meat-based diet? Tell us your thoughts about it in the show notes section of Episode 686. Pick up a copy of Dr. McDougall’s book The Starch Solution: Eat the Foods You Love, Regain Your Health, and Lose the Weight for Good! and learn more about his work at DrMcDougall.com. Coming up on Tuesday we’ll welcome Peggy Emch from “The Primal Parent” to discuss her new Victory Belt book release called Primal Moms Look Good Naked: A Mother’s Guide to Achieving Beauty through Excellent Health. Then on Wednesday, Dana Carpender from “Hold The Toast!” and Andrew Dimino from the CarbSmart.com Online Magazine will be here to discuss the transition of CarbSmart from an online low-carb store to an information hub for low-carb diets. We’ll discuss Dana’s e-book Fat Fast Cookbook: 50 Easy Recipes To Jump Start Weight Loss as well as the new CarbSmart Magazine for iPad. DON’T MISS THESE!

    Coming up this Thursday at 7PM ET in Episode 38 of the “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” podcast, we are so excited to be back to this LIVE show again with a fantastic guest–Dr. Kelly Starrett from MobilityWOD.com. He’s the author of the runaway bestseller Becoming a Supple Leopard: The Ultimate Guide to Resolving Pain, Preventing Injury, and Optimizing Athletic Performance and he’ll be taking on the topic of “All Things Movement (Mobility 101).” Start getting me your questions on this topic NOW by e-mailing them to AskTheLowCarbExperts@gmail.com no later than 3PM ET this Thursday. You can also ask your question LIVE on my show by calling (712) 432-0900 or Skype the show for FREE by calling the username freeconferencing.7124320900. Whether you call or Skype, be sure to use the access code 848908. Listen LIVE and leave us a review at iTunes if you like what you hear. This is your chance to interact with the best nutritional health experts in the world, so don’t be bashful. We’re glad to be back and look forward to sharing this brand new episode of “Ask The Low-Carb Experts” with you later this week.

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    • kateryna


      Regarding those videos, I notice they didn’t post pictures of Dean Ornish or Andrew Weil (authors of books for the vegetarians) and Richard K. Bernstein, Robb Wolf, Zoe Harcombe, Melissa and Dallas Hartwig, Nora Gedgaudas (to name a few authors of books for our side). Propaganda wherever we turn. We should do our own video showing all our superstars and comparing them to all of theirs, especially the skeletal ones.

      • LLVLCBlog

        I’d love to see that video made.

    • Rob

      Wow, I can’t believe I listened to the whole thing. I was waiting for him to ask you to stop breathing because it was interrupting him. LOL

      He made up his mind 40 years ago and then it shut like a steel trap. I admire you for being polite to him but I can’t say I ever want to hear him again.

      • LLVLCBlog

        LOL! Don’t blame you.

    • Wow, he was extremely rude. I would have been more open to his message if he had been more personable and reasonable. I don’t see how promoting videos where you bash people is productive. *shakes head*

    • Jon-W

      Very hard to listen to. You handled it much better than I would have! My “favorite” part was where he wasn’t going to let you get away with helping me and my family improve our health! Keep being a class act, and they can keep making their childish fat shaming videos. Intelligent folks will see through it.

    • Martin Neuzil

      Lets face it, Dr. McDougall was rude, arrogant, militant. That is true. But – it maybe sound ridiculous – he makes me think of – what if.. ? What if there isnť any issue? How come that people on his diet are thriving – he said that almost everyone, and at least 80% sustained on his diet after one year, is loosing weight and is geting better health marks after one week ? Is it possible that the war ( and this podcast looks like one battle of this war 🙂 ) between paleo/LCHF and vegans/vegetarians/raw food is completely wrong? What do we have in common? We do not mix some kind of nutrients – paleo uses meat and vegetables, not so much fruit but no wheat, no processed sugar and people thrive on it… He pushes corn, white rice, vegetables and fruits – but no wheat, no meat, no diary, no olive oil ( why? ) . According to his statistics , his patients thrive as well… What if there is an U shape curve … curve of ability of our body to tolerate proteins from meat and diary with corn/rice and vice versa ( Paul Jaminet is a huge propagator of safe starches ) at one moment? I do not think that is the pH issue, I think that it must be something else. These two groups cannot differ more and still – it seems to me that both can thrive on their diets – so different diets.

      Another question is – were Incs, Azthecs or even Chines more sick on almost vegetarian diet? Did they live really longer and healthier life than we live nowadays? Do they thrive on it? Do they really did not have CVD, cancer, Alzheimer or clogged arteries? Is he right or is he wrong? Inuits are great example that you can thrive on diet based on meat and fat , not just survive for 7 moths of year as he put it but what about Incs, Azthecs or Chines ? What is the key factor? Caloric restriction? Fasting or IF? Meal frequency? Carbohydrates after exercise/work but not before? Low glycemic index of “safe starches” ? The crucial position of fat? Gut flora ?

      To be clear – I am on paleo/LCHF for 2 years, my HDL/LDL, triglycerides , even kidney function test has improved and I am definitely going to continue with it, because this style of living ( I don’t call it a diet anymore ) is fitting me well but – except anemia and B12 issue – what if big part of vegetarians can do pretty well on their diet? Why? If they exclude wheat ? I have read Gary Taube’s books , Nutrition and Physical degeneration , The Perfect Health Diet, Wheat Belly, The Paleo Answer, Primal Blueprint or Cordain’s and Volek’s Low Carbohydrate Living and Performance and some other books ( e.g. about fasting, intermittent fasting like Eat Stop Eat ) and I am not still sure what is the most important factor. I do like the idea of minimal effective dose as a likening ( using Tim Ferrriss attitude to exercise as an example 🙂 ) so, if – e.g. – intermittent fasting and excluding wheat would be for most of us enough, I would prefer it this way.

      My personal experience is that vegans/vegetarians can be pretty militant but what the science says is more important to me

      • LLVLCBlog

        Before he turned on me personally, I was going to point out that vegans and Paleo people have a lot more in common because we want to get people off of processed carbage. But he wasn’t having any of that.

    • Melchior Meijer

      Hi Jimmy, just listened to this allready classic episode while chasing some rabbits in the Dutch Mountains. Wow, what a perfect illustration of cognitive dissonance this man is. And extremely rude, too. You handled it very classy.

      Mc Dougall has obviously not a clue about what the fossil record says about the diet humans evolved on. I’m very curious about the ‘massive amount’ of data he says he and his collaborators have collected. One thing struck me, it seems like he puts his patients off wheat. That could explain a lot.

      “All those paleo and low carb idiots look fat and sick,” he kindly mentioned (paraphrasing). It would be nice to make a compilation with pictures of all these fat and sick specimen who are on a paleo diet. I’m thinking of Anna (lifeextension blog), Neal (Spearthrower) and myself, ha, ha, ha!

      Keep going, Jimmy!

      • LLVLCBlog

        There’s definitely plenty of good-looking fit people to show. 🙂

    • younggunz

      Funny how his ‘guru’ bashing videos omit low carbers like Gary Taubes, Mark Sisson, and countless other lean and fit public proponents of a paleo and/or low carb life style that includes meat. I am sure one could cherry pick several public vegan/vegetarian ‘gurus’ that have high then ideal weight.

    • Johan Augustyn

      Simply the most arrogant person I think you will ever interview. He clearly wanted a soap box to dictate to all those below his substantial intelligence. Let’s for the sake of fairness say he may be right – in that case I’d stay far away from him just simply because one as arrogant about their views as him cannot be trusted with the truth or one’s health.

      Frankly what the native Americans ate is simply a fact of geography and the adaptability of their gene’s to the available diet, not a manifestation of the absolute correctness of that diet. Not being of Native American ancestry or Asian for that matter I simply fail to understand how that argument has any validity at all for a person like me of European ancestry where meat and milk were a substantial part of the diet. My family has a long history of living into their 90’s on a mutton diet, without any heart issues. And just what relevance does the diet of a closed off population like those on the Hawaiian islands have for me or any of us not of similar genetic makeup?

      Jimmy, kudos to you for having this arrogant doctor(sic) on your show. I doubt very much he would reciprocate as he clearly only has respect for those as clever as himself, and there is only one of them, himself! All I can say is that you know what is right for you and no social communist, who thinks he knows what’s best for all others, can deny you the right or the intelligence to that knowledge.

      Lastly I’m not sure why he is so aggressive about this, unless he secretly believes he may actually be wrong. Let’s say all us low carb, paleo folk are wrong; well then we and our kids should all be dead very soon and that would have proved the point once and for all.

    • Emma

      I am a vegan and thought the guy was a total d*ck.

    • RadiantLux

      I listened to a few bits on YouTube yesterday. I’m not sure I could sit through the whole thing. Why did he agree to come on your show? It’s very unprofessional that he turned to personal attack. Dr. Ornish didn’t have to do that to discuss his work.

      It’s interesting that the oldest agricultural civilizations on earth, Chinese and Indian, also have very intricate traditional medicine systems. They have known modern diseases for thousands of years and have written cures for them.

    • younggunz

      Most of the veggie gurus in those videos may more on the gaunt side of lean. McDougall specifically looks way older then I found out he was. If I had to pick I would rather have a little extra body fat if it means I can keep muscle mass vs looking scrawny and anemic. All of this is so vain and childish though and those videos are just a cheap way to try to discredit someone that has an opposing viewpoint.

    • To thousands of people that successfully tried low-carb eating: YOU ARE STUDY OF ONE!

    • LLVLCBlog

      Unless his purpose was to mock and ridicule.

    • Dave Lightseer

      First of all, I congratulate everyone who has had success on Dr McDougall’s dietary system. He is to be commended for trying to help people with lifestyle choices instead of resorting to pharmaceutical options where possible.

      That said, as a former Vegan, I highly disagree with his implication that his way is the only way to achieve ‘health.’ I was once a strong proponent of books like Dr Campbell’s ‘China Study’ and videos like ‘Forks Over Knives.’ However, I also have a (somewhat) open mind. Of course, we all have our biases, but I personally try to understand opposing viewpoints simply because I have found out that I’ve been wrong about many things in the past. Indeed, there is so much about life we can learn if we simply stay humble and consider the possibilities.

      I accepted a challenge from someone to read Taubes’ books, and it literally changed my entire perspective on diet. The more I investigated, the more I learned. I’ve since read Weston Price’s classic ‘Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.’ In a sense, it is a book that proves that Dr McDougall’s system can work. Humans have indeed lived on a wide variety of diets with varying amounts of macronutrient ratios, some high carbohydrate. Yet, there has never been a strictly ‘vegan’ population outside of civilization. Therefore, to discover the causes of the diseases of civilization, one has to look to isolated groups who have existed on their diets for millennia. The common factor in degeneration that Dr Price found was the introduction of ‘Western’ foods like sugar and refined wheat flour. How can this fact escape Dr McDougall?

      Needless to say, I now enjoy a high fat low carb diet. I’m not too strict about it. I’ve only been modestly overweight in my adult life. I now wear pants with a waste size of 30 inches. I enjoy what I eat and don’t miss too much all the sugary sweet things I used to eat. That is what makes this way of eating sustainable for me. Plus I feel great! Also, kudos to Peter at his ‘Hyperlipid’ blog where he discusses real science and not Vegan pseudo-science.

    • Janknitz

      What a rude, arrogant creep. You were way too nice to him, Jimmy. He was simply disrespectful and I would have ended the interview and refused to give him a pulpit to spew like that.

      And his claims that first generation Pacific Islanders ate only starches and veggies is ludicrous. He mentions Phillipinos in particular, they eat a lot of pork, chicken, fish, even dog was consumed. They did not pick this diet up in modern Hawaii, they brought it with them.

      I, too, worked as a licensed home health care professional on the Big Island and I saw what 3 generations ate. Meat was absolutely consumed. One day as I approached a patients door I was scared out of my wits by a trussed up wild boar they’d caught in the cane fields-destined for that night’s dinner. So much for their starch-based diet.

      It may have been that the sugar plantation system kept his patients so poor they could not afford meat, but most people were very resourceful, fishing, gathering, and hunting the wild boar.

      • LLVLCBlog

        The interview certainly accomplished one beneficial thing: it showed the whole world the character of this man.

    • Michael Pollard

      Hi Jimmy,

      More than being outraged at Dr. McDougall’s boorish behaviour was my astonishment at your politeness and sanguinity. I’ve listened to it three times now to get a handle on it, but have now deleted it as it raises my blood pressure too much. You are a nice man, he is not!

      The bottom line for me is by his dismissal of you is, by proxy, the dismissal of all the people who follow your blog. It is an insult to me, someone who is intelligent, capable of long research and capable of making my own mind up. His attitude was utter arrogance and smacks of low self esteem and desperation to cling to a life’s work that is badly flawed. Defence is the first sign of a losing argument, followed closely by agression and dismissal.

      I have no doubt he has helped many, many, people but in his contempt your success as a study of one is appalling professionalism. I have a saying tattooed behind my eyes – None of us is as smart as all of us.

      He has merit, and I am sure he is sincere, but being incapable of at least exploring common ground fatally weakens that merit.

      Summing up this man’s attitude to you as caring (re his offer to save you) would be as sincere as battering a crocodile that has just grabbed you with an aubergine loaded French stick!

    • Kay Webb

      Dr. McDougall is showing great signs of carb anger………defensive, loss of rational hearing, rudeness, disrespect of others viewpoint……….Jimmie, you were kind and considerate……..Dr. McDougall lacks patient consideration, no bedside manner….arrogant………….I feel sorry for him. I have lost over 100 lbs., been lwhf 4 years and have no signes of disease…….Dr. Mcdougall never let science catchup with his reading, otherwise he would not be quoting old news…………..

    • Nick Dunn

      Jimmy, God bless you. Like everyone else, was really impressed with how you kept it together. Over on Dr. Mcdougall’s forums, they deride you as a Southerner and a Christian; your managing to call him “sir” a half hour into that makes me happy to be both.

      Hoping to follow your example of charitable engagement, and wondering if anyone here knows:

      First, does Dr. Mcdougall understand metabolic derangement, metabolic syndrome, lack of metabolic flexibility? Does he know about it and dismiss it? Does he cite good research against it? It seemed that he simply didn’t understand why you kept bringing up the ubiquity of refined carbs in the modern diet, and what that meant for your personal history.

      Second, was there some good reason that Dr. Mcdougall never mentions the steep decline in fish consumption and increase in bread consumption in second+ generation Hawaiian immigrants? It’s not addressed in Forks Over Knives, either.

      Keep up the good work, Jimmy.

    • Kirk Bloomer

      I’m halfway through the podcast and I think you showed great restraint towards a very impolite person (to say the least). We in the LCHF community must continue to show restraint and not fall into the trap of being “militant”. Rather, keep plugging away with the message, politely and intelligently, and the science will do the rest. Well done Jimmy, you remain one of the nicest guys in podcasting, well done and keep up the good work.

      • LLVLCBlog

        Thanks buddy!

    • Jennifer Lance

      I think the ONLY reason he went on your program is because he had seen older pictures of you, Jimmy, and thought he could bulldoze you. What a rude, overbearing twit! He’s one of those “Doctors are God” types to be avoided at all costs. Can you imagine how awful it must be to be one of his patients? I shudder at the thought!

    • docww

      I don’t care for Dr. McDougall’s know-it-all style. He also has that strange, forced smile of someone who really isn’t happy about much of anything. To me he looks like someone who has a broomstick shoved up you-know-where. That’s why I call it the broomstick smile! You on the other hand have a very nice natural smile. Pay attention to the face–it will tell you everything you need to know about a person and their health.