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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Gary Taubes on Dr. Oz

Did you all see this?! Such a great discussion and so timely. I am halfway through Gary Taubes Why We Get Fat and was looking him up on twitter (@garytaubes, of course) when I discovered he had just been on the Dr. Oz Show. He was billed as "The man who thinks everything Dr. Oz says is wrong" and so the epic battle begins. Why should you care about any of this? Well Jorge Cruise credits Gary's other book Good Calories, Bad Calories as being a driving force behind the Belly Fat Cure and Fast Track. I love to research the "Why?" behind this diet; as reassurance to myself, to better explain it to friends and family, and for my blog readers.

In this corner we have Dr. Oz low-fat diet, exercise loving heart surgeon. American's Doctor, and Oprah's right-hand man. He claims all the proof he needs is evident every time he cuts open a body for surgery and he sees the affects of a high fat diet.

In the other corner is Gary Taubes Science author and refuter of conventional dieting "wisdom". He thinks we have it all wrong, and have been basing our popular diets on bad research and hypothesis.

They appear to disagree on everything when it comes to weight loss, but Oz gives him props and says he even had him come speak to his staff. He credits Gary with pushing the medical community to find the real answers, instead of settling for the status quo. But honestly, here is what I believe. If Dr. Oz was right and calorie counting, low fat diets "work" then my beloved Oprah would not have a weight problem. That simple advice would have kept her thin and in her Size 8s, and not just her but all of us. But it didn't work, not for her and not for so many.

The show closes with Oz saying "reading the book will make you a better and more effective dieter", which was a surprsing way to finish up, give that he seemed to disagree with everything that was said. Or did he...? I think Dr. Oz is really just saying that people can't sustain a very low carb diet for a long period of time.

Gary wrote about the experience on his own blog, and I found that very interesting too.  To summarize the post, he felt a little setup and the food examples were misleading. He doesn't recommend an all animal-based diet. He also quickly goes over the points of his book, mostly about insulin production. (Click HERE for the whole post)

When I finish the book, I'll give it the full review it deserves. But so far, it is changing how I look at so much. If you have ever wondered where the background data for the Belly Fat Cure came from, read this book.

The Exercise Debate

Jimmy Moore also had Taubes on his podcast and Jimmy gives him a chance to say piece without being interupted.


  1. I think The Primal Blueprint and the work of Mark Sisson also have a lot do with FT.

  2. This is interesting, but I don't totally agree with it in particular the exercise part and the fat area. I try to stay low in fats even though the BFC says we can have fats, but I still am always afraid of clogged arteries or something like that later in life. I would love to hear your review about the book when your all done. I sorta stand in the middle of the two (Dr. Oz & Gary). I believe in the belly fat cure 100%, I just still try to keep the fats to the lowest possible that I can.

  3. I dont think Primal Blueprint is that different from any of the other Paleo plans, which FT is a lot alike. I think they are all based on the Gary Taubes work though.

    I dont like high fat foods myself, but I dont check fat content on labels. I do eat lean meats though.

  4. I used to use Oprah when people at my gym would buy into fad weight loss pills, hypnosis, etc. I would ask them if there was a way to lose weight without diet and exercise, don't you think Oprah would be skinny? I think if you could buy your way thin, she would have the most money to do it:)

  5. I always wondered where the ideas and details of Jorge's plan came from! He doesn't really talk about that. Thanks for pointing us to the detailed book. Have you finished it yet, is worth a read?

  6. Hmmmm...this was interesting. I watched a couple of the links and although I think the BFC is a great plan that many are successful on, for me personally, it is not a long term plan that I could live on. I understand the whole sugar & carb impact on storing fat & it makes total sense. I try to make better choices with sugars & carbs & try to not eat over the 40 gms of carb per meal. I have to agree with Dr. Oz. He is a heart surgeon and works with these issues every day. I found it interesting that Gary wouldnt allow him to test his cholesterol. Whats the harm? If he truly believes in it, it shouldnt be an issue and he should have rolled up his sleeve.
    Anyways, just my 2 cents.
    Have a great day!

  7. Thanks for sharing Amber. I think anyone can claim to have the answer and find some scientific study to back it up to some degree. When I met you through the 2nd BFC online program, I specifically emailed the team to find out the science and data on the s/c ratio specifically. I never got a response, nor did they ever respond to my question about sugar in wine--which is allowed on BFC. Any hoo, I believe it all comes down to getting back to the basics....natural food which you prepare yourself, retraining our brains on how we think,see and feel about food and detoxing our brains and bodies of sugar. I think the greatest take away for me from the whole BFC experience was finally getting a firm number on fiber consumption per day and replacing sugar with stevia. I still enjoy my stevia but have found it easy to drink tea and some coffee without adding it. Like the other commenters have stated, I too, look forward to your final review of Taube's book.

  8. I too saw this Dr. Oz and have been reading all I can on both sides. I ran across Protien Power at a church rummage sale this past week and I am amazed at how close it is to the BFC and FT. I think Dr. Michael & Dr. Mary Eades have written a great book with Protien Power as it answers all the questions I was left asking after reading BFC. I too am a who, what, when, where and why person for all things and this book helped answer many for me.

  9. Heather - they are really bad about answering questions and getting back with ppl. That is so unfortunate!

    I am fascinated with science behind the plan, I think I need that information for the long haul. This book and other Taubes information has really helped me out.

  10. The bottom line for me is that Dr. Oz is an entertainer, not a doctor anymore. How many patients does he see these days? How much continuing education for doctors does he take in? I'm not saying he's never been a doctor, but I don't think I'd want him cutting on me any time soon.

    Also, how do you think Kraft, Proctor and Gamble and all the other fine companies that sponsor his shows and website would feel if he started taking down their livelyhood, that being processed foods, primarily processed carbs made from wheat and/or corn? He can't. Kale does not sponsor daytime TV, nor does the commission to support the consumption of grass-fed ruminents (if such a thing were to exist). He has no objectivity anymore and in my mind, can't fully be trusted. Where your funding is, there your message will be also.

    Oh, and the reason Taubes smartly declinded to have his cholesterol mesured is that he knew it would not be up to him to discuss his results. Cholesterol is basically a meaningless number these days. LDL particle size is important (large & fluffy particles are good, small/dense is bad. HDL cholesterol being high is closely linked to heart health. Triglicerides are important (and completely dependent on carb consumption).

    Read Taubes book. If you only ever read one more diet book, it is the one to read. You will forever understand exactly why calorie quantity doesn't really matter--calorie quality is what you need to pat attention to in order lose and maintain healthy weight.