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Gary Taubes on Dr. Oz

by (12407)
Updated October 23, 2014 at 3:09 AM
Created March 07, 2011 at 8:46 PM

Dr Oz is an idiot (or maybe just an opportunistic cynic) who is bought and sold by the medical/pharmaceutical establishment. After watching this show, because of the head-nodding science that is behind the paleo/primal movement, shows like this are not favorable if you can't break things down into soundbytes. The oversimplification of the carbs vs. no carbs and fats tables were a joke. i was disappointed that Taubes didn't go into seed oils and omega 6 or fructose. He did his best to make Taubes look like an extremist without ever getting into a substantive conversation about whether the diet is effective or not. overall, an impressive bit of charlatanism.

Edit: my question is do you think people who are somewhat aligned with the whole food/evolution- based diet go on these mainstream shows? i used to think that it needs more exposure but if an honest hearing can't be given in the mainstream then what's the use?

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1293 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I think the guy is too busy, out of his element and chooses to rely on his staff to provide him with the information he puts out. Every time I think there's hope for him putting out a better message, he seems to fall flat. Did you hear Taubes on Oz's radio show, though? You can find it on YouTube. There really seemed to be some real hope there.

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1781 · March 11, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Exactly, where does it say you have to eat 5 times a day? 3 squares and 2 "snacks" a day. When did "snacking" become the norm. 1 meal a day generally does me..

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1648 · March 09, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Yeah, that's what I thought too, looking at Dr. Oz's regular diet, it looked a lot more like my version of Paleo than what Oz interpreted as Taubes diet (which looked more Atkins to me). Just take out the brown rice! But also, why was he eating so much?? 6 meals, I could not eat, not when I get sufficient protein. I imagine part of the reason he felt so gross is he tried to eat 6 meals of protein, which is unnecessary. One of the benefits is you feel full, and don't have to eat all the time!

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1303 · March 09, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Did you notice the body language too? The way Dr. Oz leaned in Taubes direction and swept his hands (fingers wide spread) in Taubes' direction- had the TV been muted it would have looked like he was saying "go to this guy, go to this guy and learn from him!". My opinion only, but no matter Oz's words, his body language was all in favor of Taubes. Not to mention how many times Oz professed to "really respect" Taubes. We can wish all we want that Taubes would have pulled out all the scientific info, but most people make decisions with their emotions, not their brains.

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803 · March 09, 2011 at 11:50 AM

based on his comments on Jimmy Moore's podcast, he's aware of the omega 6 issue but seems to say he's not an expert in it and that overeating of carbs is the primary concern

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803 · March 09, 2011 at 11:46 AM

anybody tracking how Taubes' book has been doing on Amazon since his appearance?

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5232 · March 08, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Dr. Oz is a pragmatist. He knows paleo works. He just doesn't think people will do it.

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363 · March 08, 2011 at 8:17 PM

He's not a "Paleo expert. Your right. He is an expert on showing how the SAD is killing us. Taubes's focus and research revolves around the lipid hypothesis. I do consider his work highly influential and much of it pertains to our community.

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2861 · March 08, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Taubes thinks the one and only neolithic agent of diseases is carbs. How does this make him a "Paleo expert"?

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17949 · March 08, 2011 at 2:49 AM

That is another problem with what he is doing. Telling people to eat a high fat diet without any sound nutritional advice like to balance your tissue HUFA will generate more SOCS molecules and cortisol. Your average person on a low carb diet is just going to go hard on the conventional eggs and bacon without any fish. Is the insulin hypothesis anywhere close to true? It makes sense that if you downregulate HSL you stop burning fat, but things don't have to be that simple. Carb restriction could be explained with triglyceride reduction.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · March 08, 2011 at 2:48 AM

That is another problem with what he is doing. Telling people to eat a high fat diet without any sound nutritional advice like to balance your tissue HUFA will generate more SOCS molecules and cortisol. Your average person on a low carb diet is just going to go hard on the conventional eggs and bacon without any fish. Is the insulin hypothesis anywhere close to true? It makes sense that if you downregulate HSL you stop burning fat, but things don't have to be that simple. Carb destruction could be explained with triglyceride reducing.

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · March 08, 2011 at 2:30 AM

I'm just curious, Dr. K. Is that why Dr. Oz is starting to promote coconut oil? Because of his personal health decisions? As far as I know, the coconut oil thing doesn't cause problems with any of his sponsors. I remember him recommending whole fat milk for garlic breath too.

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1303 · March 08, 2011 at 2:25 AM

Dr. Oz irritates the heck out of me too, but I seriously owe him for convincing my husband to eat real eggs (including the yolk) instead of his egg substitute. I also think that he's a lot more open than he seems on the show simply because advertisers are king, and he can't say anything that goes against the status quo unless it's in the sponsors' favor. Just like when he had Mercola on- he was more than happy to let Mercola expound on astaxanthin, but cut him off when he (Mercola) started on raw milk. Oh noes! Lawsuits!

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109 · March 08, 2011 at 2:24 AM

It's also very informative and worth reading

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25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Cordain is more like Oz......his stance on Fats does not satisfy me at all. But he is currently trying to backpedal it a bit which is good.

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25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:20 AM

I know Oz and youre dead wrong. He is smart but a shill tohis sponsers. He eats low carb but he has a clause in his TV deal never to release that due to his sponsers.....all high carb cereal makers. He is FOS

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25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:19 AM

Totally agree Stabby......my one beef with Taubes is he pushes insulin.......but my believe is the real issue is leptin and receptor resistance in the hypothalamus. Amgen is bringing this to light with all the data they are generating from their synthetic leptin drug. We will soon find out about it and how it effects SOCS1-6 especially SOCS3

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39841 · March 08, 2011 at 1:58 AM

I guess we still have a Great "Does Gary Taubes Have a Bad Tailor?" Debate

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5232 · March 08, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Taube's jacket was still too big for him regardless of his not being fat. . .

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13983 · March 07, 2011 at 10:23 PM

Taubes starts the interview with the phrase, "These terrible scientists..." Now regardless what you believe about the science or the scientists, Taubes just opened the door right there for hyperbole. ;)

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12407 · March 07, 2011 at 10:00 PM

Hate doesn't enter the equation. Frustration does. If you've ever had to sit down and try to convince an unhealthy 300lb person that they should give this paleo thing a shot while u have people like oz (whose claim to fame is keeping oprah on a bungee cord or weight fluctuation) poo-pooing anything that doesn't toe the conventional wisdom line. I'm angry, yes. Righteously so, I believe. It's even more damning if it's true that he's much more open to it on his radio show where there's a fraction of the listeners. Bought and sold for 2 loaves of whole wheat bread and a sack of brown rice.

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1132 · March 07, 2011 at 9:28 PM

Yep, I don't like the opening line here, drop the hate.

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12407 · March 07, 2011 at 9:21 PM

radio show? what i care is where he is when it comes to the huge audience who is sitting at home in the early afternoon watching him. the oversimplification of the message was disgraceful. but what do you expect when you have big pharma and big agriculture bankrolling your show with the commericials.

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1906 · March 07, 2011 at 9:20 PM

What's the question, here? As an aside, there was a video clip making the rounds recently in which Dr. Oz supported the Paleo Diet, with his only real criticism being that such a diet would be difficult to maintain because carbs are pretty much everywhere we look. He didn't knock the concept behind the diet, however, merely on the idea that most people wouldn't have the willpower to stick with it. So it's not like Dr. Oz doesn't think a paleo/primal diet can be effective.

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12407 · March 07, 2011 at 8:55 PM

when you're whole argument is not on the science but on whether ppl can stick to it or not, you're not open-minded or honest. but you're right. he's probably not an idiot. a cynical charlatan is his type.

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13 Answers

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17949 · March 07, 2011 at 9:02 PM

Any obesity discussion that doesn't covert inflammation, omega 6 fats, leptin, the thyroid, and general nutrition is incomplete.

That being said Taubes is right to say that processed carbs cause obesity. They certainly do.

I wrote this in his comments section on his blog.

So then we agree that a person's carbohydrate tolerance depends upon their insulin sensitivity. But here's the deal: insulin sensitivity doesn't necessarily depend upon carbohydrates so there is a huge section of the puzzle. Sure flour and sugar cause insulin resistance, but sweet potatoes do not. See the Kitavans. It is well known in the paleo community that a disequilibrium of tissue polyunsaturated fats, damage to the gut from grains, nutrient deficiencies, and a whole host of other things. See here I made a post on Mark Sisson's forum about how to reverse insulin resistance with diet (hint hint, high fat is better) http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread25174-2.html#post364212

My point to authors on obesity is that it is not all right for us to walk around insulin resistant as can be as long as we keep it low carb.

So it isn't necessarily the carbohydrate because you need that catalyst to see overly undesirable effects from carbs, and a low carb diet tends to be good for weight loss, but it may not be the case that a fat person needs to go on a low carb diet when they could just become insulin sensitive with the right carbs and lifestyle factors.

Granted, carbs will cause higher triglycerides and worse blood lipids overall no matter how insulin sensitive you are compared with fats. Fats raise adiponectin and a bunch of other things make lower carb diets superior, but the point is that insulin sensitivity is as important as amount of carbs.

So is leptin. We have fat insulin sensitive people who have leptin resistance in their hypothalamus and can't lose weight because their brain doesn't know that they have any fat to begin with. There are also people with an inadequate thyroid. All are pieces of the puzzle.

You are a smart guy and I would love to see you go into an in-depth epidemiological, biochemical, and philosophical defense of animal products in general. That would be beautiful. But I think you should look to paleo blogs and authors for guidance to really make the refutation systematic.

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · March 08, 2011 at 2:49 AM

That is another problem with what he is doing. Telling people to eat a high fat diet without any sound nutritional advice like to balance your tissue HUFA will generate more SOCS molecules and cortisol. Your average person on a low carb diet is just going to go hard on the conventional eggs and bacon without any fish. Is the insulin hypothesis anywhere close to true? It makes sense that if you downregulate HSL you stop burning fat, but things don't have to be that simple. Carb restriction could be explained with triglyceride reduction.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:19 AM

Totally agree Stabby......my one beef with Taubes is he pushes insulin.......but my believe is the real issue is leptin and receptor resistance in the hypothalamus. Amgen is bringing this to light with all the data they are generating from their synthetic leptin drug. We will soon find out about it and how it effects SOCS1-6 especially SOCS3

Be1dbd31e4a3fccd4394494aa5db256d
17949 · March 08, 2011 at 2:48 AM

That is another problem with what he is doing. Telling people to eat a high fat diet without any sound nutritional advice like to balance your tissue HUFA will generate more SOCS molecules and cortisol. Your average person on a low carb diet is just going to go hard on the conventional eggs and bacon without any fish. Is the insulin hypothesis anywhere close to true? It makes sense that if you downregulate HSL you stop burning fat, but things don't have to be that simple. Carb destruction could be explained with triglyceride reducing.

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39841 · March 08, 2011 at 1:49 AM

This television segment appears to settle The Great "Is Gary Taubes Fat?" Debate once and for all. Too bad it didn't have Cordain as well....

Medium avatar
39841 · March 08, 2011 at 1:58 AM

I guess we still have a Great "Does Gary Taubes Have a Bad Tailor?" Debate

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117
25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:21 AM

Cordain is more like Oz......his stance on Fats does not satisfy me at all. But he is currently trying to backpedal it a bit which is good.

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5232 · March 08, 2011 at 1:55 AM

Taube's jacket was still too big for him regardless of his not being fat. . .

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24271 · March 08, 2011 at 1:30 AM

Ah, it's all good. We have to remember that this is a daytime talk show more entertainment than information. I think Dr. Oz is a good guy. I believe he believes in what he says and truly thinks it is the way, the truth and the light. Of course I think he's dead wrong but given I'm here that sort of goes without saying. I give him huge props for even having Gary on the show. We get nowhere denigrating or vilifying those who disagree with us. Good people can have different opinions from the ones we hold and that doesn't make them the devil. It just means we have work to do.

I am supremely disappointed that Gary wasn't more ready (if ready at all) for the cholesterol test issue. He fails PR 101 today. He looked like a deer caught in the headlights. I worship the ground that man walks on but he disappointed me today in that moment. You have to think three steps ahead of the enemy and clearly he had not done that on this issue. Either take the test and have some good points to make about it in discussion or don't take it and be prepared with some hard statements about how you refuse to play that game or whatever. Just anticipate and be prepared. That he did not seem to have done.

"???First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.??? We're fighting now and that's a very good thing indeed. Now each and every one of us must continue to walk our own walk to the best of our ability and be ready for our own opportunities to influence hearts and minds. More Ghandi "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."

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25467 · March 08, 2011 at 2:20 AM

I know Oz and youre dead wrong. He is smart but a shill tohis sponsers. He eats low carb but he has a clause in his TV deal never to release that due to his sponsers.....all high carb cereal makers. He is FOS

E2b9c679315c7c9c7265783dde89f350
1303 · March 08, 2011 at 2:30 AM

I'm just curious, Dr. K. Is that why Dr. Oz is starting to promote coconut oil? Because of his personal health decisions? As far as I know, the coconut oil thing doesn't cause problems with any of his sponsors. I remember him recommending whole fat milk for garlic breath too.

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289 · March 07, 2011 at 9:33 PM

Taubes put up a blog post this morning telling his side of the story. He didn't seem to think the interview was that bad; he's cheerfully accepting of the invented controversy that always comes with the advantages of television exposure. I think he's right; there's no such thing as bad publicity.

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803 · March 09, 2011 at 11:46 AM

anybody tracking how Taubes' book has been doing on Amazon since his appearance?

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109 · March 08, 2011 at 2:24 AM

It's also very informative and worth reading

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2633 · March 09, 2011 at 5:23 AM

So I watched the videos, thanks W8. With stuff like this, where Oz is captive to advertisers, you absolutely have to read between the lines. Foremost, Dr. Oz is giving Taubes a venue so right there, that is an endorsement. Next Oz takes pains to agree with Taubes on a lot of occasions.

Also, watch part 3 where Dr. Oz shows what he would have eaten in a normal day. It wasn't that far from a low carb, paleo approach. It sure wasn't loaded up on processed, SAD "neolithic agents of disease":

Breakfast was yogurt from a tub (ie. low or no added sugars) w/ blueberries. Snack was soaked walnuts and an orange. Lunch was leafy greens with a little whole grain (non-gluten?) starch Dinner was salmon, leafy greens, and non-gluten brown rice.

For someone without metabolic syndrome, there's not very much wrong with that diet. Not sure how many grams of carb are in it, but it doesn't seem a whole lot more than 100-150.

If I had any quibbles it is that Gary could have beat-up Oz by pointing out how close Dr Oz's typical diet is to Taubes'. Then follow it up with the irony that Dr. Oz thinks Taubes' diet is not long-term sustainable while Oz' thinks his own is. Truth is for a lot of people Oz' diet isn't. And Oz admits as much towards the end when he says quickly, almost in passing, that he sees Taubes' diet as an answer for some people in certain cases. Gee, Dr. Oz, who might those some people be?

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1648 · March 09, 2011 at 8:17 PM

Yeah, that's what I thought too, looking at Dr. Oz's regular diet, it looked a lot more like my version of Paleo than what Oz interpreted as Taubes diet (which looked more Atkins to me). Just take out the brown rice! But also, why was he eating so much?? 6 meals, I could not eat, not when I get sufficient protein. I imagine part of the reason he felt so gross is he tried to eat 6 meals of protein, which is unnecessary. One of the benefits is you feel full, and don't have to eat all the time!

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1303 · March 09, 2011 at 8:12 PM

Did you notice the body language too? The way Dr. Oz leaned in Taubes direction and swept his hands (fingers wide spread) in Taubes' direction- had the TV been muted it would have looked like he was saying "go to this guy, go to this guy and learn from him!". My opinion only, but no matter Oz's words, his body language was all in favor of Taubes. Not to mention how many times Oz professed to "really respect" Taubes. We can wish all we want that Taubes would have pulled out all the scientific info, but most people make decisions with their emotions, not their brains.

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1781 · March 11, 2011 at 6:48 AM

Exactly, where does it say you have to eat 5 times a day? 3 squares and 2 "snacks" a day. When did "snacking" become the norm. 1 meal a day generally does me..

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219 · March 08, 2011 at 10:16 PM

Have you guys seen this video where Oz directly speaks his opinion on the Paleo Diet?

http://www.myfoxchicago.com/dpp/health/dr_oz/ask-dr-oz-post-op-season-2-twenty-one-20110218

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5232 · March 08, 2011 at 11:06 PM

Dr. Oz is a pragmatist. He knows paleo works. He just doesn't think people will do it.

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363 · March 07, 2011 at 10:42 PM

I like this question. The majority of mainstream so called "experts" are still stuck in the old paradigm. (fat=bad, whole grains=good). So our Paleo experts, (Wolf, Taubes, Harris, and so on) are being thrown into the old paradigm during these shows. Its difficult and frustrating to be judged "whack job" or "extremist" because our views are so different. Its like when i talk about this stuff with my parents. They are slowly getting more open to the ideas but still lots of work on their part needs to be done. JUST as i had to work hard on my part to do the research and shift my thinking. Its up to the fat=bad experts to do their own research, figure this stuff out on their own or not. I think having everyday people make the changes we advocate and get great results in health will have the biggest effect. So should our Paleo experts continue to go on these mainstream shows.. I don't know.. But i do know it sure can be frustrating watching it happen. Sorry if my rant doesn't add much to the conversation.

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363 · March 08, 2011 at 8:17 PM

He's not a "Paleo expert. Your right. He is an expert on showing how the SAD is killing us. Taubes's focus and research revolves around the lipid hypothesis. I do consider his work highly influential and much of it pertains to our community.

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2861 · March 08, 2011 at 5:03 PM

Taubes thinks the one and only neolithic agent of diseases is carbs. How does this make him a "Paleo expert"?

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1160 · March 07, 2011 at 10:40 PM

As far as I know, the linoleic acid/gluten issues aren't even on Taubes' radar.

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803 · March 09, 2011 at 11:50 AM

based on his comments on Jimmy Moore's podcast, he's aware of the omega 6 issue but seems to say he's not an expert in it and that overeating of carbs is the primary concern

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1293 · March 07, 2011 at 8:49 PM

He's not an IDIOT. You lose credibility when you throw out terms like that so cheaply.

Did you get the result out of the tv show that you wanted? Clearly not. Is Oz educated and open-minded on the topic of health and nutrition? Clearly not.

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12407 · March 07, 2011 at 9:21 PM

radio show? what i care is where he is when it comes to the huge audience who is sitting at home in the early afternoon watching him. the oversimplification of the message was disgraceful. but what do you expect when you have big pharma and big agriculture bankrolling your show with the commericials.

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1293 · September 07, 2013 at 1:28 AM

I think the guy is too busy, out of his element and chooses to rely on his staff to provide him with the information he puts out. Every time I think there's hope for him putting out a better message, he seems to fall flat. Did you hear Taubes on Oz's radio show, though? You can find it on YouTube. There really seemed to be some real hope there.

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12407 · March 07, 2011 at 8:55 PM

when you're whole argument is not on the science but on whether ppl can stick to it or not, you're not open-minded or honest. but you're right. he's probably not an idiot. a cynical charlatan is his type.

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0 · May 11, 2014 at 3:51 AM

Yes, our experts should go on the mainstream shows and do battle. Overall, it was awesome to see Taubes on the Dr. Oz show in 2011. Fast forward to 2014 and Dr. Oz has the amazing Dr. Peter Attia on the show. Even more amazing in 2014 is that Dr. Oz now agrees that saturated fat is not evil. Thanks both to Gary Taubes and Peter Attia. It's only because of the community pushing forward and our best experts dishing it out on mainstream media.

http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/government-out-undermine-your-health?video_id=3479158688001

http://www.doctoroz.com/episode/government-out-undermine-your-health?video_id=3479158684001

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1880 · September 01, 2011 at 8:08 PM

I tried to post this before but doesn't seem to have taken - so I apologize if it's a repeat. Oz is in this month's First for Women Mag and touts D'Adamo's blood type diet. Oz says he's an O blood type and feels best eating less carbs like a "hunter gatherer." The pictured meal for an O was steak and salad. Wonder if this is something new for him since not long ago he treated the audience to the lovely view of his colon during a colonoscopy -- his doc was irritated that Oz did not fast beforehand per the instructions and the colonoscopy was incomplete due to a mess of rice and lentils stuck in his colon. Oz did not reveal this during the original broadcast - just the follow-up.

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0 · September 01, 2011 at 6:38 PM

It all depends on who goes on the shows. I have a background in radio, marketing, writing and public speaking, I would enjoy going head to head with some of these mainstream, food pyramid, drug and surgery pushing folks..

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