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Denise Minger: Death By Food Pyramid, Women Who Gain Weight on Paleo, and How to Spot a Fraud

Posted by | February 15, 2014 | Episodes, Featured, Interviews, Paleo, Podcasts, Videos | 22 Comments
Denise Minger on The Fat-Burning Man Show

Denise Minger is one tough cookie. As a health writer and researcher, she has zero patience for dietary dogma and does one heck of a job at beating the tar out of conventional wisdom. Denise just published her book “Death by Food Pyramid: How Shoddy Science, Sketchy Politics and Shady Special Interests Have Ruined Our Health.” I think you’re really going to like this show.

Before we get to it though, I’d like to ask a quick favor. If you haven’t already had the chance to leave a review for the show in iTunes, I would greatly appreciate you taking a few minutes to do so. This helps us get in front of more listeners, help more people get healthier and change the world! 

On this week’s show with Denise you’ll learn:

  • A surprising secret behind how the food pyramid was created.
  • Why some women gain weight on Paleo.
  • How to spot a fraud in nutrition and fitness.
  • Why writing a book will ruin your health.

Here’s the show.

Just because someone has letters after their name does not make them immune to bias. Click to Tweet!



  • Tyler says:

    Great post guys! Thanks.

  • JB says:

    My new favorite podcast on this show. Awesome.

  • Jamie says:

    Can I suggest that maybe women are remaining chubby on paleo is because women are genetically designed to be chubby? Through evolution we have sort of learned to store extra fat for child baring and breast feeding etc. The lean look is really designed for males, and the desire to look lean for women is a lot more cultural than natural. Maybe it’s not a failure, and it is actually just our bodies turning to what they were designed to be?
    Just a theory. Something that has interested me. I will definitely be looking into that a little bit more as a beginner biohacking female myself.

  • Emily says:

    Jamie- I was thinking the exact same thing. The current thinking about how women ‘should’ look is based on young teen models who are probably so underweight that they are not reproductively healthy. I am ‘fatter’ than I maybe could be, but eat a homemade, primal diet, I get lots of sleep and feel healthy. Pretty sure our ancestors didn’t have magazines, scales or mirrors either! :)

  • […] Denise Minger: Death By Food Pyramid, Women … – Fat-Burning Man […]

  • […] Denise Minger: death by means of meals Pyramid, women … – fats-Burning Man […]

  • JK says:

    This was a great one. It’s going on my list of “must read/listen” I give to people when they ask me about this way of life.

  • AM says:

    hello Ania here ,
    I personally didn’t find this interview content new or helpful reg women’s health/fitness and paleo ,and would love to hear from mature women ,who overcome weight/hormonal issues and would be willing sharing their wisdom
    because it is crystal clear (to me) that our gender and at some point age do matter when striving for our personal best in health and physical appearance ,hope it doesn’t sound too gloomy ;-)

  • […] experts question the validity of some of the recommendations. Minsky stated, “The whole food pyramid, all the dietary guidelines are a compromise between nutrition advocates and food and agriculture […]

  • Carolyn says:

    I’m 61 years old. I love the paleo way of eating. When I eat paleo I lose weight and feel great. When I eat my old way I gain weight and don’t feel as good. I enjoyed Denise Minger podcast and I liked learning the things she has been studying and is now sharing. I also think gut flora is very important. I learn so much from watching Abel’s podcast. Thank you for addressing women’s issues.I do trust you. Thank you

  • Andrea says:

    Wow! This information is sooo eye openning!!! Thanks!!!!

  • Laura Santagata says:

    I’m yet another female, age 42, that GAINED FAT while going Paleo over the last 16 months. I went from a lean distance runner with many minor issues such as reoccurring sinus infections, sore throat, charlie horses in my calves, and feeling run down quite a bit to a NON-runner other than sprints, lifting heavy things, giving up the low-fat, high whole grains. The positives are that I am sleeping better, have better energy throughout the day, haven’t had more than the sniffles in the last 16 months, and have gained strength in the gym. The negative is just one, FAT gain. I’ve put on a total of 9 pounds in a little over a year eating Paleo foods! I no longer fit into my size 2 pants, and have had to shop for both casual and dress clothes which is depressing and expensive! Since I internally feel better and well-nourished, I’m going to continue eating Paleo, but I’ve learned that just because the foods may be Paleo, they are also high calorie (other than veggies which I eat a bunch of 3-4 times a day). I’ve had to completely give up all nuts as I was eating 2 handfuls a day to fill the gap of my usual low-fat pretzels. I’ve had to give up fruit too since my sugar cravings from my previous diet was hitting me hard and I’d turn to fruit, thinking it’s OK to eat 2-3 pieces a day. I’ve been working hard these past 2 months trying to get the FAT off my frame as I don’t feel sexy or comfortable at all. The worst part is that I’m a fitness instructor, and people rely on me to “look the part!” Paleo foods are high calorie and most are high , healthy fats. This means, for females, watch your portions. When you are still hungry after your protein and veggie — you must eat more greens, not nuts or chocolate or Paleo treat foods such as macaroons! Those will get ya chunky!! :(

    • Emily Dewey says:

      Hi Laura, thanks for your input. I know it can be frustrating to gain weight while others are dropping it (seriously, I know from personal experience!!). I’m glad you are recognizing the other positive benefits though and sticking to the whole foods based approach. I think the other important factor to remember is that when you come from a long history of low calorie/low fat (ie general restriction), your body is immediately going to try react by holding on to fat because it’s actually being NOURISHED for the first time in however long… I was immensely frustrated when this happened to me as well, but I’m happy to report that now that my body has healed (and I’m even less restrictive on what “paleo foods”) I’m eating, I’m starting to notice my body change in the direction I was hoping for all along ;) Keep at it, and remember how important it is to nourish your body first and foremost! – Emily, FBM Team

  • Madeleine says:

    I am a woman on Paleo, don’t exercise a lot and I am not chubby at all :)

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