Bad Science and Diet Lies Keep Feeding Obesity: Gary Taubes with Dave Asprey – #778

Gary Taubes
How to embrace low-carb/high-fat eating and move past years of medical advice that told us to do otherwise.

Photo by Kirsten Lara Getchell

In this episode of Bulletproof Radio, my guest is Gary Taubes, an award-winning (and my all-time favorite) science and health journalist widely known for his investigative work on the food and diet industries.

He explains how the conventional thinking on obesity has led to 60 years of controversy, the on-going “diet wars,” and the current obesity and diabetes epidemics.

You may know his previous book, “The Case Against Sugar,” which exposed the harsh dangers of sugar in our diets. He’s on this episode with his new book, “The Case For Keto.”

“The nutritional and academic authorities have failed us, and they and we should acknowledge that,” he says. “Had they not failed us, we would, almost by definition, never have reached this point of epidemic obesity.”

Decades of bad science within the mainstream medical community led to all sorts of bad advice from doctors on how patients should diet and manage their overall nutrition. In this episode we talk about the decades of those misconceptions:

  • How authorities from the 1820s onward, and clinical trials from the 1930s onward, reported that people with obesity could lose weight “as if by magic” if they just abstained from carbohydrates and replaced those calories with fat.
  • How the fat shaming so prevalent in our society stems directly from the conventional thinking on obesity, that we get fat because we consume more calories than we expend, that we overeat.
  • Why trying to lose weight by eating less and exercising more—trying to create and maintain a calorie deficit—will make us hungry, but not lean.
  • Why tens of thousands of physicians worldwide have taken, specifically, to eating ketogenic diets—”keto,” very low in carbohydrates, high in fat—and why they now prescribe this way of eating to their patients.

“People do fad diets, because the conventional wisdom doesn’t work,” Gary says. “You do exactly what you’re told to do and all it does is keep you fat and make you hungry. You feel bad about yourself because you blame yourself for failing. Any reasonable person in that circumstance is going to look for another approach.”

So, how can we move forward on a better path? I’m so excited for you to listen and find out.

Gary’s work is some of the best at breaking everything down in order to reveal the truth. And in this case, you’ll learn from him how he found out that a low-carb/high-fat diet makes you healthier, controls blood sugar and blood pressure, diminishes chronic pain, reduces weight, and improves heart disease risk. What’s not to love?

Enjoy! And get more resources at Dave.Asprey/podcasts

Colon Cleanse:; use code DAVE15 to get 15% off all products
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Follow Along with the Transcript

Bad Science and Diet Lies Keep Feeding Obesity- Gary Taubes with Dave Asprey – #778


Book: The Case for Keto: Rethinking Weight Control and the Science and Practice of Low-Carb/High-Fat Eating”
Bulletproof Radio: Gary Taubes: Bad Science, Gut Health, & NuSi – #223

Key Notes

  • What I’m doing in this book, I think of this as a grassroots movement. – 2:05
  • The bad science has not gone away or gotten better and so we have to keep getting this message out there – 3:22
  • We’re storing fat rather than burning it for fuel. That’s a fuel partitioning problem.  – 5:11
  • If somebody is obese, then they’re going to tell me they love potatoes, they love bread, they loved pasta, they love rice. These are the foods they can’t live without. These are the foods we fatten animals with  – 8:01
  • The low-fat diet that was introduced in the 1960s. It was supposed to be a way to prevent heart disease and then became a obesity diet. It had never been tested. It had never been tested for obesity.  – 9:18
  • This is it anytime you come upon contrary data, you just assume that this is … You write it off as paradox. You never have to consider that your hypothesis is wrong.  – 11:57
  • What I talk about in the book the conversion experience. – 16:17
  • We were asking a scientific question and we we’re using a ketogenic diet to ask that scientific question. – 20:59
  • VMH lesioned animals and then the Ob/Ob mice that led to the discovery of leptin, to every other animal model of obesity. – 24:58
  • What came out of what works is a low-carb diet, the opposite of what they’re being told to eat by their physicians. – 30:18
  • He gets on He signs up and he’s the first physician or healthcare professional to ever sign up for it even though they now have like a hundred thousand members. – 32:23
  • What we need to understand is that those of us who fatten easily we can’t eat what lean people eat because if we do, we’ll be fat, hungry, tired, grouchy. – 35:21
  • Obesity is a hormonal disorder. Hormonal dysregulation of fat accumulation and the link to diet is through insulin. – 36:08
  • If they can somehow eat 500 calories less every day than they used to be, they’ll lose a pound a week and they won’t. It doesn’t work like that. It’s not about math. It’s about knowing the endocrinology of obesity, the effect of hormones on fat storage, and metabolism.  – 38:57
  • That ultimately wasn’t going to work because it wasn’t fixing the problem. The problem wasn’t too much food or too much fat. It was, in effect, any carbohydrates for her. – 42:25
  • Every doctor I know who’s made a difference has been attacked by Quackwatch  – 44:01

If you like today’s episode, check us out on Apple Podcasts at and leave us a (hopefully) 5-star rating and a creative review.

Go check out my new book Super Human: The Bulletproof Plan to Age Backward and Maybe Even Live Forever and also “Game Changers“, “Headstrong” and “The Bulletproof Diet” on Amazon and consider leaving a review!

Want to help others reach their full potential? Check out the incredible Human Potential Coach Training program I set up with Dr. Mark Atkinson.

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