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Dr. Joel Fuhrman: How Diets can Hurt You, How to Live Longer, & Where Paleo is Wrong

Posted by | May 09, 2014 | Episodes, Featured, Interviews, Podcasts | 134 Comments
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My guest this week, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, is a family physician, NYTimes best-selling author, and nutritional researcher with a focus on reversing disease naturally using nourishing foods. More importantly, Dr. Fuhrman is a former professional figure skater!

He was a guest on The Dr. Oz Show discussing his new book, The End of Dieting. When it comes to his food preference, he prefers to call himself a “nutritarian,” which is a preference for foods that are high in micronutrients.

On today’s Fat-Burning Man Show, Dr. Fuhrman will reveal:

  • The real goal of a healthy nutrition is longevity, not fitness;
  • How “paleo” and fad diets have it wrong (and what’s good about it);
  • 3 important truths about nutrition that is scientifically based;
  • How food preferences can taint our perception of what’s healthy;
  • And so much more!

Enjoy the show, and please share it with your friends and family. Spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, or anywhere else you can.

Show Notes

  • Dr. Fuhrman was a former figure skater, competed in world championships.
  • Medical profession has gone in the wrong direction, it’s insane.
  • Looking for pills and cures so we can continue to abuse our bodies.
  • Must learn the basic science of nutrition instead of falling for gimmicks.
  • Nutrition is so important, it permeates all layers of society.
  • Physicians are poorly educated or ill-informed in the world of nutrition.
  • Raising the level of education of people raises that of physicians, too.
  • People teach doctors: more people get well, more doctors are exposed.
  • Science changes as more evidence is made available, so too do doctors.
  • Doctors’ egos get in the way and they hate admitting they’re wrong.
  • Look at and review all the information first before making a decision.
  • The more information we get, the easier it is to motivate people.
  • Science needed to counter bad information out there like fad diets.
  • Most fad diets are based on “stories” and premises, not science.
  • When trying to prove that story, biases skew interpretation of science.
  • People’s food preferences tend to bias their preference of diets, too.
  • Determine safety threshold rather than discounting entire food groups.
  • Primary objective is longevity, not athleticism only to die young.
  • Cavemen lived short lives, and ate whatever was available to them.
  • Today we can eat what’s best, so we can survive until we’re 100+.
  • People ask wrong questions that are too vague with too many variables.
  • Three important truths we can all agree with:
    1. Eat more natural, unrefined plant foods, and less processed foods.
    2. Increase micronutrients and breadth of nutrients our bodies need.
    3. Reduce exposure to hormones that increase disease risk like cancer.
  • Eat a big salad every day with natural dressings (like nuts and seeds).
  • One food type linked to longevity is legumes, beans, and plant proteins.
  • Look at the evidence and not at the stories; and test the theory.
  • Refined grains are bad — the more refined they are, the worse they are.
  • But, there’s nothing wrong with the moderate use of intact whole grains.
  • Whole, intact, real foods are better than fractionated “frankenfoods.”
  • Nutritarian diet and reduction of animal protein extends lifespan.
  • Following the above, episodic fasting likely increases longevity.
  • Higher animal proteins raise hormone responses and reduce lifespan.
  • Being athletic, muscular, or ripped doesn’t mean you’ll live longer.
  • The difference between strength and stamina, and how it affects longevity.
  • Research into nutrition to help to reverse, not just prevent, disease.

Resources Discussed

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134 Comments

  • Celeste Kelsey says:

    Abel, I understand that often times the moderator takes a neutral position and asks appropriate questions of the guest and allows the audience to decide on the issues themselves. As a regular listener to your podcasts, I do not find that to be the case with you. You seem to routinely agree with each guest – even applauding their conclusions and expressing them as your own – even though your guests have obvious disparate positions. Consequently, I have no clue what you actually stand for. Don’t know how you could have failed to probe Dr. Fuhrman’s conclusions and rejoiced over them. I found this a disappointing interview. I do not believe all your previous guests have used “junk science” they have selected with a bias. If that is the case…why do we bother to listen to the podcast – seems you should only have Dr. Fuhrman as a guest speaker. 🙁

    • Saib says:

      Agree with you 100%. Having listen to a ton of these podcasts i’ve come to a conclusion that they only exist to promote/sell products.

    • Saib says:

      I personally switched over to fitcast as it seems a lot more real, critical and scientific

    • Mike says:

      I have to agree with the above. Dr. Fuhrman criticized those with differing opinions for not understanding the science, and then he proceeded to make vast generalizations and those diets, displaying a lack of understanding of the scientific support for those diet.

      I just went back to it and listened to a random except. He’s what I learned: Coconut oil is a processed food and thus we shouldn’t eat it. Followers of the paleo diet are hypocrites for consuming oil, which is a processed food. When we do eat it, we’re eating “extra calories”, which floods our bloodstream with fat, causing people to be overweight and leading to food addiction. “It’s like eating 10 chocolate chip cookies.”

      Abel: “I love that.”

      Do you, Abel?

    • Marta says:

      I totally agree with Celeste. Maybe Abel is so busy that he doesn’t have time to think critically. When he sent out his survey a while ago, I responded that he needed to ask his guests tougher questions. He has not done that, and he has undermined his own credibility in the process. At this point, I would say the podcast is worthless except as an exercise in my own critical thinking. Sorry. Love Abel’s voice.

    • Matthew says:

      Some things to consider,

      He isn’t a journalist and isn’t in a position where he is obliged to share ideas or even challenge ideas.

      Also there isn’t just 1 path to health and wellbeing, there are a multitude of goals you can pursue and a multitude of starting points based on your health, genetics age and many many other factors. For the most part these podcasts are about people sharing their experiences journeys and what they have learnt that works for them. A lot of this stuff the actual science is still in its infancy.
      If i were to give advice I would suggest take everything you ever hear from any podcast with a grain of salt and for the most part experiment with your health and nutrition to find what works for you base don what you want to get out of your life. If you don’t know why you bother to listen to the podcast the answer is simple, don’t.

  • Celeste Kelsey says:

    Wonder how Matt Lalonde feels about Dr. Fuhrman’s conclusions stating vegetables to be the most nutritious foods when Matt’s conclusions on his Nutrient Density research put animal products and in particular Bacon at the top of the list??? So who is right?

    • kem says:

      Well, actually liver/kidney top his list.

    • Danielle says:

      Isn’t Matt Lalonde an organic chemist? Why would you trust his advice over that of doctors and nutritional scientist with decades of research and clinical experience?

      This is why the Paleo movement lacks credibility to me. I think that Dr. Fuhrman made valid points about look at the scientific and medical research with objectivity, not with the goal of supporting one’s own story or agenda.

  • Noogis says:

    Very disappointed in this interview. This Dr could not have been more full of himself, and he wasn’t challenged at all.
    I appreciate that you are courteous and humble Abel, but to this degree, it comes off as phony. You are a host, not a doormat.
    Furhman has an oversimplified view of calories, doesn’t understand plant defenses, doesn’t understand that animal products have nutrients that plants just don’t have. He doesn’t understand the difference between olive oil and seed oils. He doesn’t understand that the animal fat is the main reason a lot of us eat it, not for tons of protein. He didn’t even get the difference between farmed and wild salmon. I hope Abel can hold his ground, should he ever get another self important materialist to come on the show.

  • Noogis says:

    ….oh I forgot! He even recommended eating wheat! He also crapped in wheat belly, but didn’t even mention the modern alteration of grains. A lot of people who are trusting laymen listen to this show and are now confused as hell. Wtf man.

  • Noogis says:

    I think Chris Masterjohn does a fantastic job of detailing the problems with Furhman’s diet.
    http://www.westonaprice.org/thumbs-down-reviews/eat-to-live

  • AJ says:

    I’m all for differing ideas than just paleo, but Fuhrmy is and has been batshit crazy for some time. Paleo does have its problem to be honest.

    In honor of him I actually plucked a few Quail while I listened for tonight’s dinner.

    Maybe it’s just me, but I predict Abel is back to Vegan soon..I see a trend…

    • PKA says:

      I’ve wondered what direction Abel is headed as well. Is he going to change his name soon? He seems to be pretty flexible lately and possibly more into experimenting with new things than actually committing to any one thing. I do not see myself going back to gluten or giving up bacon. I don’t care if I live to be 100.

  • Alex says:

    Dr. Fuhrman made some good points here and there, although he’s quite the hypocrite. He showed a clear bias towards his own beliefs as he kept going on. It sounds like he believes that he’s the only person who understands how to read and understand research studies.

  • Noogis says:

    I tried to post a link to a great article about Furhman’s book my Chris Masterjohn, bit it was killed by mods. Just google for it, it comes up easily.

    Abel is obviously a good dude, and non confrontational. I just think he is very overworked at the moment. And we need the vegan listeners to stop requesting guests. I’m interested in better health, and there are so many guests who actually know what they are talking about.

  • Angela says:

    Very disappointed with your skills in this interview, Abel. One of the things I really like about the Paleo community is the non-combative, supportive aproach that all of you take with each other. However, this does not mean that you could not have asked him to actually, and in an articulate manner, give you some detail about these countless studies that he has supposedly read which prove that beans are linked to longevity. He is not a scientist. His lack of ability to express himself clearly and without hyperbole shows him to be nothing more than an opportunistic marketer who wants to make millions cashing in on another fad diet.

  • Troy says:

    Wow. This was a very strange interview. After the guy started off slating everyone else in the area for taking a pre-conceived view and selling a book based on it, he then does exactly the same thing.

    Early on in the interview he says something like: “I think we can all agree everyone in America needs to eat more plants”. Well maybe, but there is plenty of evidence that overeating plants in general (or exclusively) will make you stupid/mad/sad/dead early.

    Why not ask the guy for the scientific rigor he seems to expect from everyone else? He came across (to me) as a bit crank-ish.

    • Monte says:

      Stole my thunder Troy. It was strange and that he was completely unaware of what he did. He had an opportunity to be congruent on his point about science when Abel suggested that the studies were mostly done on sick animals, so maybe more research should be done on diets containing wild caught salmon or grassfed beef. He could have said, “it would be interesting to see the research” or “I just haven’t seen any data so I cannot comment.” Instead he stuck by his guns and continued to tell his “story.”

  • Amy says:

    This interview was terrible. Yes he was disagreeing with what I am currently doing, which I am fine with, but Abel you didn’t challenge him at all on some of those points he made generalizing “paleo people”. You didn’t even ask him why it seems that the diet along with the eliminations appear to almost cure a number of ailments as well. He was generalizing paleo as the base being “eat like a caveman” and you never spoke up to say that is NOT the base of the paleo diet???

    I am just really disappointed with this. Combined with the last guest which I was super excited about afterwards and downloaded his podcast and somehow his whole magical spinal recovery seems to completely contradict his story over on his own podcast.

    In general the guests seem to be getting more low quality just so he can put out a podcast every week.

  • Kath says:

    Dr. Furhman’s interpretation of studies is still only HIS opinion. He may have some good points but his delivery was arrogant and he was not humble. I say this NOT because of what he said but HOW he said it, which showed me his lack of respect for others. Debating or disagreeing does not mean putting others down.

    I enjoy your style Abel, but to allow a guest to bash prior guests (Dr. Davis) is an area you could improve on. Tactful and intelligent are how you come across, now to exercise how to not allow a guest such as Dr. Furhman to control the show with his arrogance. After listening to the entire podcast I came to the conclusion that Dr. Davis and his Wheat Belly book must be a threat to Dr. Furhman. The emotional rant he displayed was unnecessary. He really does THINK he has all the answers. (A little bit of humility can really make a huge positive difference).

    Thanks Abel for having him as a guest. It was a learning experience for sure.

    • Regina says:

      I agree! I think the most obvious example of his arrogance and unwillingness to even be respectful was when Abel said most of his listeners were “Paleo, Atkins, etc” and yet he made sure he criticized these “diets.” (While contradicting what he said every other sentence by his attitude and not using science or apparently any research into what these diets are made of. I have never eaten 80% protein!!!! More disappointing was when he was talking about fats. Really!? Olive oil is not in it’s natural form but bread is? WT!!! Humans have altered food for thousands of years to make them more edible/palatable. I am actually confused as to where he (Furhman) stood, since each sentence wasn’t based on science at all but rather what HE believed. So you can be healthy eating a giant bowl of salad with nuts but no oil and a slice of whole grain bread!! Still more of the SAD diet info.

  • Michael W. says:

    “There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”
    ― Woody Allen, Annie Hall

    I would suggest that people remember that this is Able’s website and he publishes this content for free. No one is being forced to listen to these podcasts. While he sells apps, books, coaching, etc., that’s his right to do so. I would guess that most people (including me) do not buy them, so I certainly don’t begrudge him for making a living. We can all “Opt-Out” at any time.

    Next, people seem to have their panties in a twist about Abel not challenging Dr. Fuhrman on certain points.

    First, what would be the point? Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old and has numerous print books, audio books, DVDs, television specials, etc. centered-around his diet style. Do you honestly think one interview on Fat Burning Man is suddenly going to make Dr. Fuhrman realize “Oh, crap. I got it wrong.”? Well, obviously, in retrospect, we know the answer is “No.”

    Second, I like the fact that people with varying opinions come on the show. Some may take issue with Abel’s interviewing style, but I think he is simply being a good host by not being argumentative. By taking this approach, I think he will likely get other guests with differing opinions on his show. And, isn’t that the point?

    So, I offer the following for consideration:

    1. Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old, lean, ripped, and full of vitality. Doesn’t that count for something? Think about how some of the authors in the Paleo/Low-Carb/Ancestral camps look, given their similar ages. There’s certainly more to health than the exterior, but some of the aforementioned folks have a lot of extra padding around the midsection. “Health at every size”? Maybe.

    2. Dr. Fuhrman shows obvious knowledge of other diets/books. Have any “Paleo” people read any of his books?

    3. Speaking of Paleo, I find no evidence that Fat Burning Man is a “Paleo” podcast. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I like the podcast. I think there’s wisdom is not getting anchored to any one approach, as things are always subject to change. But, there are egos involved and some people/groups are more interested in being “right,” rather than being “correct.”

    4. Along the lines of #3, people seem intent on making Dr. Fuhrman to agree with their views. But, what about being open-minded and looking into his views? (See point #2.) Are we so closed-minded that we stop listening to new/differing opinions? If so, we’re then guilty of the same thing for which Dr. Fuhrman is being accused.

    5. Dr. Fuhrman clearly explains his goal to maximize longevity, rather than having a big chest and/or bench-pressing 300 lbs. Again, what’s wrong with this goal? He realizes he could eat in a different way and achieve different physical results. But, he simply has different goals.

    6. In listening to the podcast (and, the unabridged version of “Eat to Live”), Dr. Fuhrman does not say to stop eating meat completely. While that seems to be his preference, he believes in limiting the percentage of calories from animal foods. I just checked his website and his “Nutritarian Pyramid” allows for some amounts of eggs, fish, fat-free dairy (I know, I know), beef, sweets, cheese, and even processed foods. He even suggests limiting whole grains and potatoes.

    7. Dr. Fuhrman also makes a good point about coconut oil being a processed food. It’s never made sense to me how overeating coconut oil seemed “natural.” I’m not saying it’s “good” or “bad,” just that eating copious amounts of this concentrated product seems odd. Maybe Paleo man used it in his Bulletproof Coffee: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/bulletproof-coffee

    8. Related to #6, do you think Paleo man had access to meat all day every day? I believe Paleo man did eat meat. This seems pretty obvious. But, I think Dr. Fuhrman is right about Paleo man being an opportunistic eater. It was more about survival and reproduction, rather than athletic performance and aesthetics. If they did have frequent access to meat, then they probably would have preferentially eaten it, given its calorie density and satiety. But, again, it was about survival. They would certainly have eaten plant material, too. Now, we have so many varieties of food available and eaten out of region/season.

    9. For you other Paleo-ish people out there, you likely know about Terry Wahls, M.D., right? If so, then you also know she advocates a LOT of plant material. At least nine servings per day servings of vegetables and fruit: three servings of green leaves, three servings of sulfur-rich, and three servings of bright colors. In my own experience, I don’t do well with a lot of meat/protein in my diet. Shifting to more vegetables/starches/fruits and having meat as a side-dish/condiment seems to work better for me. Your mileage may vary–that’s the point.

    10. As for the constant haranguing about legumes (and grains), remember that nuts have even more phytic acid, when comparing the same weight. According to Chris Kresser, raw unfermented cocoa beans and normal cocoa powder are extremely high in phytic acid. Processed chocolates may also contain significant levels. So, if we’re going to exclude one, why not all? I’m not trying to make the case for eating legumes/grains. Personally, I don’t eat them. My point is about being more critical in thinking about what we do and why. If you’re a fan of the Weston A. Price Foundation, then legumes/grains may be on the menu, if “properly prepared/cooked.” Same goes for nuts.

    11. If one really wants to know what works for them, then the gold standard seems to be an elimination diet. Remove a food for 30 (or more) days and then add it back into your diet. Personally, I would remove the food for at least three months and try to hold all other variables as constant as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, despite many of us (including me) spending years searching for it. Plus, what works for you now may not work in the future.

    12. The Paleo camps can be elitist. Although painting with a broad brush, I see a lot of white, middle-class folks with enough disposable income to buy everything organic. I fall into this category, too. I’m very fortunate. But, there are many people in this country (and, in the world) that do not have that luxury. I don’t want to get too far off track, but just think about that for a minute. If you’re reading this blog, there’s likely a good chance that you have the ability to turn-up your nose at conventionally-raised meat. Again, I was guilty of this, too, when starting Paleo six years ago. Some people eat grains and legumes because that’s what they can afford. Perhaps we should give them a break and maybe offer some different ideas about preparation methods.

    13. For the “Show me the peer-reviewed studies” crowd, see #11. Also, here’s a great quote from Matt Stone:

    “But it is reality. It is what happened to me. And what happened to me is a lot more meaningful to me personally than what any logic or study may have revealed. It doesn’t take a study to convince me that it hurts to get punched in the face. Likewise, a study that showed me that getting punched in the face doesn’t hurt … wouldn’t mean a damn thing to me.”
    ―Matt Stone, 12 Paleo Myths

    I hate to end on #13, but this has gone-on far longer than any of us had hoped.

    For the record, I consider myself to be Paleo-ish. In no particular order, I eat meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, some nuts, some starches, and saturated fat (albeit less than years past). I avoid grains and legumes, simply because I see them as less nutritionally dense. I also avoid gluten-containing foods (and those that seem most likely to cross-react), while I investigate the possibility of an autoimmune issue. Aside from an occasional kid’s scoop of ice cream, I’m not a fan of dairy. I’m in my late 40s.

    In summary, I would offer the following advice:

    – Listen to many points of view
    – Be willing to change your mind
    – Try new things, see how they affect you, and apply the knowledge accordingly
    – Learn to rely on yourself more and less on gurus
    – Give others a break, as you likely don’t know their burdens

    As Spock would say, live long and prosper.

    Michael

    • Kelli says:

      Thank you, and well said. A lot of people eating “Paleo” are eating woefully too few greens and other vegetables. I think Terry Wahl’s version of “Paleo” is far more sound than what many others are doing out there. We know we need to be eating lots of plants. It’s a tough pill to swallow for some. Dr. Fuhrman is one of the main people to have influenced my understanding of nutrition, along with several others advocating a plant-based (high-in-plants) diet.

  • Charlie says:

    It seemed to me that our host was simply being polite. Polite is good. People often say “yeah” to mean they’re actively listening, not to mean complete agreement. Abel brought Dr. Fuhrman onto the podcast and let him make his own case on his own terms. I would’ve preferred more challenging questions, but still, great job helping the listeners understand another point of view. Thanks Abel!

    I thought Fuhrman had a very good point about olive and coconut oils. It is indeed hypocritical to forbid refined some kinds of concentrated refined oils, citing a whole foods evolutionary mindset, while encouraging certain other oils. On the other hand, butter makes broccoli taste better, cloudy green olive oil makes leafy salads taste better, and minimally refined coconut oil makes sauteed veggies taste better. I and my family are far more likely to eat all of the above when we’re allowed a little extra fat to go with them. Fat which, by the way, helps us absorb certain vitamins, including some vitamins already present in the butter and in orange vegetables. Plus MCT oil reportedly has brain health benefits – though I’d like to see more studies on that before I’d go too wild with it. Boon or bane, a tbsp or two of fat (that would’ve been recognizable to someone, somewhere in the world, prior to medieval times) every day isn’t worth getting angry about if it greatly improves compliance with the rest of the plan. But maybe I should go easier on the olive oil…

    Also, I’d challenge his insistence that protein is bad bad bad. Scientific study citations please? And no, the China Study doesn’t count. I watched Forks Over Knives, and I have to agree with Denise Minger: They too readily conflate donuts, cheetos, and Happy Meals with wild fish and traditionally made cheese. Somehow junk food equals animal protein equals junk food equals animal protein. Nonsense. Too many confounding variables. So… PubMed citations?

    I wish Abel would’ve asked him what he thinks about testosterone. I don’t recall Fuhrman mentioning that particular hormone, though he did suggest that having bigger muscles will cause prostate cancer. This sort of suggests that testosterone is bad. But we know that low testosterone levels generally lead to moodiness, insulin resistance, and questionable long-term bone and brain health. This might be worth a few minutes of discussion.

    Beans: No worries, Dr. Fuhrman. The Paleo luminaries have been starting to rethink legumes lately. Soaking and properly cooking beans renders most objections moot. And they’re cheap and tasty!

    I’d also like to know what Dr. Fuhrman thinks about probiotics and the personal gut biome. Missed opportunity.

    Anti-grain vs anti-meat rhetoric aside, looking at Fuhrman’s own diet pyramid, I actually think there’s about 90% agreement with Paleo, Atkins, 4HB, and WAPF folks about what should and shouldn’t be on it at all for long term maintenance. Maybe 75% agreement with the proportions and frequency. And most of the difference is just quibbling about details. The main thing is, a properly balanced Nutritarian meal looks suspiciously like a meal from any of those others – plus or minus a little bit of meat and butter. This is why I’m glad Abel helps bring us these other points of view in a non-hostile atmosphere. We can learn from each other and it’s all better than donuts.

    Overall, though, Dr. Fuhrman came across as being grouchy and dogmatic. Some tougher questions would be good next time around. Being willing to learn from other people goes both ways!

    (Seriously, did he actually dismiss the evolutionary framework out of hand as an unscientific “story”? Is he a creationist? He needs to have a chat with the biologists who study opportunistic omnivores out in the wild. Tell them the animal’s evolutionary background is just a story…)

    • RJK says:

      Thank you. You were the only person who commented here who was able to evaluate this interview without being nasty or crazily defensive. It doesn’t matter what my or anybody’s dietary preferences are per se; we should be able to discuss them without attack-style responses. I appreciate your civility.

  • bevin says:

    LOVE you Able! Dr. Fuhrmen, kick back, sip some bone broth and take another look at that scientific literature would ya?

  • Patrick says:

    Able: You were the first podcaster I listened to with enthusiastic regularity. But something happened along the way. I gotta agree with some of the above–what do you really believe in? who’s work and research do you really support? it’s not about beating Jillian Michaels…it’s about a message and forum that earns you your listeners.

  • Dan says:

    I actually enjoyed quite a bit of this interview, bug I would like to point out one straw man that I keep hearing: Paleo people do not think all Paleolithic people ate the same thing. Ok??? We get that their diets depended on opportunity and environment. But we know they didn’t eat flour and milk and processed food, and that’s where the similarity lies.

  • Mike says:

    I think listeners have really spoken in terms of wanting these interviews to be more active conversations, and not just a platform for the interviewer. There’s really no reason for a host to be there at all otherwise. Abel is a nutrition expert himself, so no doubt he has special knowledge on the topics on his show. It’s not rude to probe or to present counter-arguments – it’s part of being a good host.

  • Alex says:

    Stay strong, Abel. And stay strong, Community. Podcast episodes like these serve only to firm up what we believe in and experience with the paleo lifestyle.

    Don’t be shaken.

    Abel, thank you for offering us opportunities to consider differing views in interviews like these. You and all of us have experienced the benefits of “going paleo” – and that’s all that counts.

    We know you love your listeners!

    • Chris says:

      I like to think I am open minded and so able to take in different views and act on them if they seem credible.
      The main issue I had with this episode was a lack of references to the so called studies that all of Dr. Fuhrman’s suggestions are based on. I have a sneaky suspicion that most of these studies are observational rather than peer reviewed, controlled studies. The reason for this is the fact that he states that too much meat is bad for you. Am I not right in thinking that every one of these studies has been debunked?

      I would like to see a follow up post please Abel where you ask Dr. Fuhrman to link to the studies. I would be happy to reduce my meat consumption if I know for sure that it would be healthier but like most people I have psent years trusting so called experts only to find that a low-fat, high carb diet is NOT what I should be eating.

  • Bkswill says:

    Is there some rule about how much meat paleo people eat? Seems to me like 30% or less meat could still be paleo

  • Stefanie says:

    Great podcast. I disagree with some of the above comments. It seems that Abel is doing the RIGHT thing by exploring all avenues and ideas and research, rather than digging his heels in on just one. That’s why I love this podcast. He is respectful to his guests and lets them share their opinions and points of view. Aren’t we looking for a discussion rather than an argument and beat down of guests? Sure, I wasn’t CRAZY about some of Dr. Fuhrman’s point of views, but I listened and thought about them. My biggest issue with points of view like his are that in general, he seemed a lot less “happy” and at peace in his life then some other “Paleo” eaters. That’s the main reason I’ve been sold on this lifestyle- besides the insane health improvements I have had, I’ve found a community of people that are balanced, confident, and curious, rather than defensive, cocky, and miserable. Let’s keep being OPEN to new ideas and supportive of each other. Abel- keep it up.

    • Michael says:

      Stefanie, I agree that Abel is awesome for hosting people with such diverse points of view. I was truly excited to hear this episode because Abel is well-versed in nutrition, so I wouldn’t expect it to be an echo chamber, like you may get when someone who champions a paleo diet interviews a paleo expert, or a vegan host and a vegan expert.

      I think the problem is that Dr. Fuhrman represented himself as the only one who can correctly interpreted research. His statements brought up major questions and potential pitfalls, and Abel didn’t go down the path of exploring them. Just as a small example, Dr. Fuhrman talks about coconut oil and other oils causing you to be fat because they’re “extra calories.” He makes no mention of the role of satiety or compliance on a diet that avoids high calorie foods.

      I’m not just invested in just defending my point of view. My favorite podcasts are the ones where experts attempt to dismantle beliefs that I may hold. But those experts need to be challenged, particularly when they make broad statements dismissing anything that conflicts with their recommendations.

      Abel’s bio says, “It turns out that my “healthy” low-fat, low-cholesterol diet and “effective” running program recommended by magazines, TV shows, and my doctors, were actually causing me to be fat and sick.” Surely he has some questions to say about Dr. Fuhrman’s

  • Michael W. says:

    “There’s an old joke – um… two elderly women are at a Catskill mountain resort, and one of ’em says, “Boy, the food at this place is really terrible.” The other one says, “Yeah, I know; and such small portions.”
    ― Woody Allen, Annie Hall

    I would suggest that people remember that this is Able’s website and he publishes this content for free. No one is being forced to listen to these podcasts. While he sells apps, books, coaching, etc., that’s his right to do so. I would guess that most people (including me) do not buy them, so I certainly don’t begrudge him for making a living. We can all “Opt-Out” at any time.

    Next, people seem to have their panties in a twist about Abel not challenging Dr. Fuhrman on certain points.

    First, what would be the point? Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old and has numerous print books, audio books, DVDs, television specials, etc. centered-around his diet style. Do you honestly think one interview on Fat Burning Man is suddenly going to make Dr. Fuhrman realize “Oh, crap. I got it wrong.”? Well, obviously, in retrospect, we know the answer is “No.”

    Second, I like the fact that people with varying opinions come on the show. Some may take issue with Abel’s interviewing style, but I think he is simply being a good host by not being argumentative. By taking this approach, I think he will likely get other guests with differing opinions on his show. And, isn’t that the point?

    So, I offer the following for consideration:

    1. Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old, lean, ripped, and full of vitality. Doesn’t that count for something? Think about how some of the authors in the Paleo/Low-Carb/Ancestral camps look, given their similar ages. There’s certainly more to health than the exterior, but some of the aforementioned folks have a lot of extra padding around the midsection. “Health at every size”? Maybe.

    2. Dr. Fuhrman shows obvious knowledge of other diets/books. Have any “Paleo” people read any of his books?

    3. Speaking of Paleo, I find no evidence that Fat Burning Man is a “Paleo” podcast. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I like the podcast. I think there’s wisdom is not getting anchored to any one approach, as things are always subject to change. But, there are egos involved and some people/groups are more interested in being “right,” rather than being “correct.”

    4. Along the lines of #3, people seem intent on making Dr. Fuhrman to agree with their views. But, what about being open-minded and looking into his views? (See point #2.) Are we so closed-minded that we stop listening to new/differing opinions? If so, we’re then guilty of the same thing for which Dr. Fuhrman is being accused.

    5. Dr. Fuhrman clearly explains his goal to maximize longevity, rather than having a big chest and/or bench-pressing 300 lbs. Again, what’s wrong with this goal? He realizes he could eat in a different way and achieve different physical results. But, he simply has different goals.

    6. In listening to the podcast (and, the unabridged version of “Eat to Live”), Dr. Fuhrman does not say to stop eating meat completely. While that seems to be his preference, he believes in limiting the percentage of calories from animal foods. I just checked his website and his “Nutritarian Pyramid” allows for some amounts of eggs, fish, fat-free dairy (I know, I know), beef, sweets, cheese, and even processed foods. He even suggests limiting whole grains and potatoes.

    7. Dr. Fuhrman also makes a good point about coconut oil being a processed food. It’s never made sense to me how overeating coconut oil seemed “natural.” I’m not saying it’s “good” or “bad,” just that eating copious amounts of this concentrated product seems odd. Maybe Paleo man used it in his Bulletproof Coffee: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/bulletproof-coffee

    8. Related to #6, do you think Paleo man had access to meat all day every day? I believe Paleo man did eat meat. This seems pretty obvious. But, I think Dr. Fuhrman is right about Paleo man being an opportunistic eater. It was more about survival and reproduction, rather than athletic performance and aesthetics. If they did have frequent access to meat, then they probably would have preferentially eaten it, given its calorie density and satiety. But, again, it was about survival. They would certainly have eaten plant material, too. Now, we have so many varieties of food available and eaten out of region/season.

    9. For you other Paleo-ish people out there, you likely know about Terry Wahls, M.D., right? If so, then you also know she advocates a LOT of plant material. At least nine servings per day servings of vegetables and fruit: three servings of green leaves, three servings of sulfur-rich, and three servings of bright colors. In my own experience, I don’t do well with a lot of meat/protein in my diet. Shifting to more vegetables/starches/fruits and having meat as a side-dish/condiment seems to work better for me. Your mileage may vary–that’s the point.

    10. As for the constant haranguing about legumes (and grains), remember that nuts have even more phytic acid, when comparing the same weight. According to Chris Kresser, raw unfermented cocoa beans and normal cocoa powder are extremely high in phytic acid. Processed chocolates may also contain significant levels. So, if we’re going to exclude one, why not all? I’m not trying to make the case for eating legumes/grains. Personally, I don’t eat them. My point is about being more critical in thinking about what we do and why. If you’re a fan of the Weston A. Price Foundation, then legumes/grains may be on the menu, if “properly prepared/cooked.” Same goes for nuts.

    11. If one really wants to know what works for them, then the gold standard seems to be an elimination diet. Remove a food for 30 (or more) days and then add it back into your diet. Personally, I would remove the food for at least three months and try to hold all other variables as constant as possible. There is no one-size-fits-all diet, despite many of us (including me) spending years searching for it. Plus, what works for you now may not work in the future.

    12. The Paleo camps can be elitist. Although painting with a broad brush, I see a lot of white, middle-class folks with enough disposable income to buy everything organic. I fall into this category, too. I’m very fortunate. But, there are many people in this country (and, in the world) that do not have that luxury. I don’t want to get too far off track, but just think about that for a minute. If you’re reading this blog, there’s likely a good chance that you have the ability to turn-up your nose at conventionally-raised meat. Again, I was guilty of this, too, when starting Paleo six years ago. Some people eat grains and legumes because that’s what they can afford. Perhaps we should give them a break and maybe offer some different ideas about preparation methods.

    13. For the “Show me the peer-reviewed studies” crowd, see #11. Also, here’s a great quote from Matt Stone:

    “But it is reality. It is what happened to me. And what happened to me is a lot more meaningful to me personally than what any logic or study may have revealed. It doesn’t take a study to convince me that it hurts to get punched in the face. Likewise, a study that showed me that getting punched in the face doesn’t hurt … wouldn’t mean a damn thing to me.”
    ―Matt Stone, 12 Paleo Myths

    I hate to end on #13, but this has gone-on far longer than any of us had hoped.

    For the record, I consider myself to be Paleo-ish. In no particular order, I eat meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, some nuts, some starches, and saturated fat (albeit less than years past). I avoid grains and legumes, simply because I see them as less nutritionally dense. I also avoid gluten-containing foods (and those that seem most likely to cross-react), while I investigate the possibility of an autoimmune issue. Aside from an occasional kid’s scoop of ice cream, I’m not a fan of dairy. I’m in my late 40s.

    In summary, I would offer the following advice:

    – Listen to many points of view
    – Be willing to change your mind
    – Try new things, see how they affect you, and apply the knowledge accordingly
    – Learn to rely on yourself more and less on gurus
    – Give others a break, as you likely don’t know their burdens

    As Spock would say, live long and prosper.

    Michael W.

    • Carla says:

      Michael – Thank you for this very reasoned analysis. I agree with all your points. Especially the frequency and amount of meat our Paleo ancestors ate (and by extension, how much organ and other non-muscle material, given there’s a lot less of that in a given animal than muscle meat). I think the Paleo community – in all its various shades and flavors – shares more common ground with Fuhrman than with the industrial food complex. Both are opposed to them. Both are focused on whole foods as a way to recover health. That is primary. The evidence that makes sense to me is that animal products and fats are essential. But it took some experimenting (low-fat, vegan experimenting) for me to get there. We all need to be informed and continue our N=1 experiments.

      Lastly, as others have pointed out, good-hearted and well-intentioned as Abel is, he is not a professional journalist. It was commendable that he had a guest on without Paleo credentials and let him speak. Regular or Paleo-educated listeners can make up their own minds about what was said, but first-time listeners may have been somewhat confused. And I agree that if the podcast is going to continue including non-Paleo points of view, the host learn some non-confrontational techniques for engaging them on points of conflict.

  • Stefanie says:

    Michael- excellent points. I agree. And there is a way to address the differences in opinions without being disrespectful, but rather having a constructive debate.

  • EJ says:

    I agree with Dr Fuhrman’s concept of a nutritional approach. I also agree that beans are a nutritional powerhouse that shouldn’t be overlooked by the Ancestral community, and that whole coconut contains a broader spectrum of nutrients than coconut oil.

    However, Dr Fuhrman is the inventor of the ANDI Scale of nutritional density, and I am disappointed by that scale. It completely ignores most fat-soluble nutrients and most nutrients where animal sources are the best sources. If you over-emphasize the importance of vitamin C and dietary fiber, while ignoring the importance of choline, then oranges will float to the top of your nutrient density chart, while eggs will sink to the bottom. If you treat choline as an important nutrient, then regular intake of eggs almost becomes mandatory.

    At best, I think that Fuhrman’s ANDI Scale can be used to compare similar foods. For example, kale is generally more nutrient-dense than iceberg lettuce. Liverwurst is more nutrient-dense than bacon. But nutrient density can be taken to extremes just as any other dietary approach. Dr Fuhrman criticizes a vitamin pill for containing a mixture of helpful and harmful substances. But all whole foods also contain a mixture of helpful and harmful substances. All nutrients are harmful in high enough doses. Water and oxygen are two of the deadliest substances on Earth. Selenium is classified as both an essential nutrient and a deadly poison. Many antioxidants are actually toxic substances. They are healthful in low doses due to a hormetic effect, not because they are inherently healthy. By this standard, arsenic is likely to be an “essential” nutrient, but nobody has ever presented symptoms of an arsenic deficiency.

    I disagree with Matt LaLonde’s nutrient density scale as well. If you use weight as your denominator, then all you need to do to make a food more “nutrient dense” is dehydrate it. Dried basil is 11 times as “nutrient dense” as fresh basil using the LaLonde method. Conversely, you can make a food “nutrient poor” by adding water. So vegetable soup is less “nutrient dense” than dehydrated soup mix.

    Back to Dr Fuhrman, I’d like to know where in the scientific literature he finds that the vast majority of centenarians eat fewer than 10% of calories from any animal source (including eggs, dairy, meat, fish, and yes, even insects). One study I saw examined 1200 centenarians and found that only 4 of them were vegetarian, and 0 were vegan. In the Seventh Day Adventist study, “vegetarian” was defined as a person who ate less than 3 servings of red meat per month, and the healthiest “vegetarians” in the study by far were those who ate fish several times per week (which qualifies you as a “vegetarian” in the study).

  • mark says:

    Where are these 105 year old Nutrarians that Dr Fuhrman cites as proof that his diet works?

  • Ida says:

    I am a pharmacist and I was surprised that this Dr. did not cite any articles to support his views. He basically seems to be saying that every other diet, but his own is not valid. This podcast was of poor intellectual quality and veracity. Just because he is 60 years old and has a six pack does not make him an authority. It just means that what he does works for him. Just holding a piece of broccoli does not make you look healthy. By the way I don’t think he looks healthy, his skin look leathery, splotchy, and pale. He looks overly lean. My parents are 72 years old and they look more vibrant. He was acting as if we have strong literature to back up the prevailing medical recommendations by doctors. I think he might look around himself and see what a failure our medical paradigm has induced. Mostly I am upset with his lack of knowledge on these subjects. Perhaps he should have someone review the literature for him, because it’s obvious he hasn’t taken the time to really research his criticisms. Lastly, he sounded a bit manic; perhaps he could use a swig or two of coconut oil to assuage his neurotic disposition.

    • Beverly says:

      Perfect!

    • Hank says:

      What does being a Pharmacist have to do with anything?

      I agree about the failure of our (non-emergency) medical paradigm. But, that’s not the type of medicine Fuhrman is practicing. Did you bother to listen to the entire interview? Or, any of the interview?

      As for your being “…upset with his lack of knowledge on these subjects,” perhaps you can enlighten us. After all, you’re a Pharmacist.

  • EJ says:

    “Where are these 105 year old Nutrarians that Dr Fuhrman cites as proof that his diet works? ”

    In some cases, the numbers are inflated by fraud. In 2010, the search for Japan’s “oldest man” (111 years old) was called off due to the fact that he apparently died in the 1980’s, and his relatives had been collecting his pension for decades. As it turns out, Japan’s “oldest woman ” (113 years old) had also been dead for decades.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-11299646

    In some cultures, it’s fashionable to lie about your age, in the opposite direction. Age denotes wisdom, so claiming to be a few decades older than you actually are can boost your status instantly. In America, there are persistent rumors that a certain health guru and “life extension specialist” lied about his age, and was about 14 years younger than he claimed. Nevertheless, his company continues to make some pretty tasty apple cider vinegar.

    http://www.ahealedplanet.net/bragg.htm

    Beyond that, it’s not uncommon for longevity researchers to overlook facts which don’t mesh with their preconceived notions. For example, there is a book called “The Blue Zones” which looks at populations which appear to have an unusually high number of centenarians. In the book, the majority of centenarians ate pork on a regular basis. The conclusion of the authors? Don’t eat meat.

    Pork is an excellent source of monounsaturated fat. Suppose Dr Fuhrman were to look at the scientific literature and conclude that humans should eat a minimum of 20 grams of monounsaturated fat per day for health and longevity. Then, a tablespoon of olive oil, instead of being “empty calories”, would provide 50% of your daily requirement of this essential nutrient. 7 strips of bacon would also do the trick.

  • EJ says:

    By the way, a meal consisting of a McDonald’s hamburger, large order of fries and large sweet tea contains approximately 1150 calories. The burger patty itself is only 90 calories. So this would be a meal where 92% of the calories are plant-based and 8% of the calories are animal-based.

  • Kira says:

    I have to agree with much of what the comments are saying. But I thought the most disappointing thing was the tone of the interview. Dr. Fuhrman was so negative and condescending, and I expect better from this podcast. Ironically, he was so focused on trashing others’ bad science that he didn’t present his own very well.

  • Lasse says:

    I was intrigued by this interview, especially since most other guests have a common theme and Fuhrman really goes all out staking out a different road. I had to do some research and I came by this video that actually describes Fuhrman’s scientific bias in his creation of a food nutrient density classification scheme for consumers. He left out Vitamin D, B12, and a host of other essential nutrients to favour plant foods, rendering meat worthless. Search for: Mat Lalonde Nutrient Density: Sticking to the Essentials.

  • mark johnston says:

    Was so disappointed with this one Abel….

  • mark says:

    I have noticed your podcast’s have gone down hill of late and I find myself listening to other’s before yours Abel and this one was probably the worst of all. Real shame Abel

  • Matt says:

    Dr. Furhman’s message that most diets arranged their science to justify a food preferences and a fit ‘story’ seemed great… and then he proceeded to demonstrate the he himself was the arrogant personification of doing exactly this. I’m very disappointed that he was allowed to bash Dr. Davis directly and imply basically all other paleo/primal researchers and scientists were just cherry-pickers. I’m sad that you let him get away with broad-stoking the ancestral health movement with stereotypes and insulting many of your previous guests. I know we’re trying to be polite and build some bridges here… but we was way to offensive to be given so many high-fives.

  • Nathalie says:

    I have mixed feelings about this podcast. I agree with some of the comments made above but I value Abel for his non-dogmatic approach. He could have probed Dr. Furhman a little more on some of his statements. The doc was aggressive and it is easy to just want to move on but that is not the point of a podcast like this, is it? Dr. Furhman is a more moderate vegan doctor (meaning that he allows limited animal protein) whereas docs like Dr. Rob McDougall and others are more extreme in their views. I like the fact that Abel invited him BUT it could have made for a much more interesting conversation had Abel stood up for what I think he believes in.

    All this to stay that every person is different. Some people will thrive on a vegan diet but others (like me) will not.

  • Nathalie says:

    oh and … we love you Abel. Please don’t be afraid to stand up for your beliefs. You are a very diplomatic man and I am sure you would get your point across in a very respectful way.

  • Beverly says:

    I think this interview was a deal-breaker for me. I’m not 100% paleo, but Fuhrman came across as a nutritional pugilist, bashing others’ ideas, and Abel didn’t call him on them. For instance, grains. Are they healthy or not? I’ve been listening to Sean Croxton’s wonderful thyroid seminar this week and it seems very clear that if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, the WORST thing you can do is eat gluten. My own lab tests showing that diagnosis have that written in large, red letters. Yet no questions from you, Abel.

    My daughter introduced my husband and me to your podcast a year ago. They have both quit listening due to the selling and persistent sense of cognitive dissonance. I’m afraid I’ve come to the same point.

  • Alvin says:

    Thanks for all you do Abel. This was not my favorite podcast but I do enjoy differing views. I have found your buddy Jonathan Bailor to be about the best in confronting guests politely and still challenging them on their content. He usually starts it off by saying “Is it fair to say…..” Keep up all the great work guys!

  • Alaena says:

    Man, this was an unpopular one. I understand the idea of presenting multiple positions on nutrition, and I maintain an open mind with some of the more “quack”-y guests on health-centered podcasts… but… I couldn’t wait for this one to end. Dr. Fuhrman shows himself as exactly what he says he’s the antithesis of – self-promotion of agenda-based fad diets.

    Right after finishing this disappointing listen, I enjoyed my 10 oz grilled grassfed skirt steak, a huge salad, and my God-forsaken coconut oil. Abel, you’re truly going to alienate a lot of the people who respect you by featuring people like Dr. Fuhram (and agreeing/complimenting that pompous expletive) on your show! Please keep the likes of Ruper, Gottfried, and Bailor going instead!!

    • Franz says:

      >> Please keep the likes of Ruper, Gottfried, and Bailor going instead!! <<

      What would be the point of continuing to interview the same guests over-and-over that have the same (or, very similar) viewpoints?

      If you want to listen to those people, there are plenty of other podcasts that feature them. In fact, that's my gripe about a lot of these podcasts: They adopt one view and then only feature guests that support their view. High-fives and back-slaps for each other. "Buy their book on my website. Buy my book on their website. Let's have an online summit and re-hash the same things over-and-over and then sell that, too."

      I don't mind people making money doing this stuff, but it's pretty tough to distinguish one podcast from another. Each time I find a new podcast, I look down the episode list in iTunes and see the same, tiring guests and topics. So, I don't even bother. At least Fuhrman, militant though he may be, brought some different ideas to the table.

      In the end, though, do we really need more information? Do you think there's some magic macronutrient ratio that's going to save everyone? No. We need less Paleo brownies and more common sense. That's not something you'll get in a book. It's something you already possess, if you look inside yourself and are honest.

      If you want the Paleo brownies, that's fine, too. Just don't bullshit yourself. Know that you're making a decision to eat something that's moving you away from the goal of health, assuming "health" is your goal. I'm not saying it's "bad," I'm just saying that things either move us toward health or away from it. Maybe by a little, maybe by a lot.

      Finally, not everything works for everyone. For example, some people may be dealing with autoimmune disease and may not be able to eat the same foods as others. So, a general dogma is not only unhelpful, it's likely hurtful.

      • Simon says:

        Pretty much agree! But even for me, who have been doing/reading/eating like this for a while i got pretty confused. And i like the way Abel try not to be biased, will be interesting to see how this will make his book come out!
        I think Joe Rogan´s podcast is a great example of picking different guests from all over the map, but he atleast calls out bullshit, or try to question the guests a bit. Joe Rogan´s podcasts go on for 3 hours though, maybe it is hard to get that done in 1 hour for Abel.

      • Kurt says:

        Well said – I strongly agree with your summation of situation. I enjoy hearing (and listening) to different viewpoints. It’s important to practice and seek them out. More often than not, they only reaffirm the things I believe and practice everyday.

      • Amy B. says:

        Franz, I am giving your comment a standing ovation. Couldn’t have said it better regarding the summits, packages, bundles…it’s a bit overwhelming. I really have no argument with people trying to make a living at this, but I’m beginning to wonder how many people are learning anything they didn’t already know about gluten/leaky gut/adrenals/etc. I recognize that there are always new people coming to “the community,” but I suspect most of the people participating in the various online summits and forums already know quite a bit about this stuff.

        I dunno…it’s a tough road to hoe. How do we bring new people into this without things getting stale for the old-timers? I’m trying to find my own voice in this field, and sometimes I wonder if I actually have anything to say that someone isn’t already putting out there.

  • Joe says:

    Sorry, but Dr Fuhrman comes across here as an arrogant, condescending jerk who’s pushing an agenda with strawman arguments left and right. Unfortunately Abel James comes across here as a bit of a sycophant, lapping up everything Fuhrman says and giving a big ‘thumbs up’ and a chuckle every time he makes an (often fallacious) argument against any diet other than the one he supports.

    Having ‘opposing’ points of view on is fine and dandy, but kowtowing to them when they contradict things you’ve been saying for years is pretty unacceptable.

  • Franz says:

    Evan: If you review my previous post, you may be surprised to learn you’re one of the podcasters to whom I refer.

  • Rod says:

    I listen to this show because it is fairly short and has a variety of guests and viewpoints. And within this context, this episode ROCKED…. (1) 43 minutes long, (2) I had not heard this guest on other podcasts, which is a rarity these days, (3) Abel covered quite a few topics and probed as much as he could, respecting both the guest and the time limit. This guest’s poor attitude and lack of casual arguments are not an indication that there is nothing of truth behind them (if you want to look yourself), nor is this one guest a poor reflection on Abel. I actually LIKE to see Abel take a chance on a new guests like this; that is the only way this show retains its staying power. People who are enough-disappointed in either this episode or in Abel to comment here either (A) want all Internet shows to resolve everything, (B) can’t resist playing Monday-morning program director, or (C) need their host to have an opinion because they are host-followers, not idea-followers.

    • Franz says:

      Well-stated, Rod.

    • Michael says:

      Rod, it’s silly to suggest that the issue here is that the issue people have is that they’re “host followers, not idea followers.” Interview shows like this are not just a pulpit for guests to give their talking points — we could go to Dr. Fuhrman’s website for that. Do you really want interviewers like Terry Gross to just let guests talk and present their ideas without digging a little? That’s a sign of a bad interviewer Interviewers present counter-arguments and, in shows like this, talk about how their own ideas compare and contrasts with that of the host’s.

  • kem says:

    Yeah, the story thing is a bit, er, disingenuous. Maybe because the good doctor doesn’t want to believe in the great story of us, you know, the one about pre-humans in the Pleistocene making a living in Africa and evolving over a couple of million of years to become us. I agree that a few pointed questions could have been asked, politely, of course.

  • simon says:

    Hi Abel,

    I’m shocked at all the negativity in these comments – the excellent point Fuhrman made about ‘stories’ taking precedence over looking at actual data was worth it for me already. Whether he is right on all the details is a question worth discussing – but I’d much rather have a discussion with someone who subscribes to scientific methods, than with a peddler of conspiracy theories and woo woo science.

    This has really made me sit up and listen – it’s always a good thing to have one’s dearly held beliefs challenged with sound arguments. I last came to this comments section when you had that antivaxxer on, and didn’t challenge his views. Last week I nearly couldn’t believe my ears when your guest was spouting all that stem cells nonsense with impunity – to tell the truth I was on the brink of unsubscribing.

    Please don’t give in to all the clamouring to dumb down your show – stand behind your decision to include critical, science-based voices! Maybe start your next show by laying out your arguments?

    I’m behind you all the way

    Simon

  • Michael says:

    Simon, it’s disingenuous to suggest that the issue is people “clamoring to dumb down” the show. People like me love the physicians and researchers on shows like this, especially when they use their expertise to uncover myths and untruths within different nutritional approaches.

    But Just because someone claims to have a monopoly on the scientific evidence doesn’t mean that their stance is not to be challenged. We saw so many places where Dr. Fuhrman clearly overreached and oversimplified, and it was frustrating to hear the host just agreeing and moving on.

  • Celeste Kelsey says:

    Simon, et al…As I started this conversation on it’s current track…I just want to clarify…Speaking for myself…I am not asking Abel to “dumb down” his show. I am asking Abel to “brainy up” his program by having an intelligent interchange with his diverse guests. As stated, I am disturbed by his regularly agreeing with everyone no matter how disparate the opinions presented. I, again speaking for myself, do not want anyone to simply spout their opinions. Would like to hear the actual science behind the statement and Abel asking probing questions. As Abel often says, go ahead and “geek it up.” I do not and did not object to Dr. Fuhrman as a guest. My main objection to Dr. Fuhrman’s interview was his claiming to “own the truth,” and ridiculing most of Abel’s previous guests. Able sat and shook his head in agreement throughout most of the interview and interjected words such as, sure, yeah, yes, absolutely. As a regular listener…I recognize these as common to his interview style. But can you say, “absolutely” when one guest says grains or beans are bad; and “absolutely” when the next guest says they are “good?” You owe your audience more. Know you are busy right now with your new book, Abel, but you still need to prepare for your individual guests. I do not believe there is any one perfect diet. This argument is reminiscent of which religion is the “True Religion?” Let’s not go there! 🙂

  • Michael W. says:

    This is Able’s website and he publishes this content for free. No one is forced to listen to his podcasts. While he sells apps, books, coaching, etc., it’s his right to do so. I would bet most people (including me) do not buy them, so I don’t begrudge him for making a living.

    As for Abel not challenging Dr. Fuhrman on certain topics, what would be the point? Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old and has numerous books, DVDs, and television specials centered around his diet style. Do you really believe one interview on Fat Burning Man is going to make Dr. Fuhrman suddenly realize “Oh, crap. You mean I got it wrong?” No.

    Personally, I like the fact that people with varying opinions are featured on the show. Some may take issue with Abel’s interviewing style, but I view him as being a good host by not being argumentative. As such, I think he will continue to get other guests with differing opinions on his show. Isn’t that the point?

    So, I offer the following for consideration:

    1. Dr. Fuhrman is 60 years old, lean, ripped, and full of vitality. http://mjm.ag/1hJnoIw So, it seems to be working for him. Doesn’t that count for something? Think about how some of the beloved Paleo/Low-Carb/WAPF Ancestral authors look, given their similar ages. There’s more to health than looks, for sure, but can you really tell me some of the aforementioned authors look healthy?

    2. Dr. Fuhrman shows obvious knowledge of other diets/books. Have any “Paleo” people read any of his books?

    3. Speaking of “Paleo,” Fat Burning Man is not a Paleo podcast. That’s one reason I like it. There’s wisdom is not getting anchored to any one group, as ideas are always subject to change. But, when egos involved and some folks are more interested in being “right,” rather than being “correct.”

    4. Related to #3, some seem intent on forcing Dr. Fuhrman to agree with their views. What about being open-minded and looking into his views? (See point #2.) Are we so closed-minded that we stop listening to new/differing ideas? If so, how can we claim Dr. Fuhrman is closed-minded?

  • Michael W. says:

    5. Dr. Fuhrman clearly states his goal is maximum longevity, rather than having a big chest and/or bench-pressing 300 lbs. What’s wrong with this goal? He realizes (and acknowledges) he could eat in a different way to achieve different physical results. But, he has different goals.

    6. In listening to the interview with Abel, Dr. Fuhrman does not say to stop eating meat completely. While that would likely be his preference, he mentions limiting the percentage of calories from animal foods. I checked his website and his “Nutritarian Pyramid” allows for some amounts of eggs, fish, fat-free dairy, beef, sweets, cheese, and even processed foods. He suggests limiting whole grains and potatoes.

    7. Dr. Fuhrman makes a good point about coconut oil being a processed food. It’s never made sense to me how overeating coconut oil seems “natural.” I’m not saying it’s “good” or “bad,” just that eating copious amounts of it seems odd. (Don’t even get me started about eating entire sticks of Kerrygold butter. http://bit.ly/1jWASEM) Does the evolutionary record show Paleo man using Bulletproof Coffee? http://bit.ly/1mCiMLQ

    8. Related to #6, did Paleo man have access to meat every day? It seems clear that Paleo man did eat meat, but I believe Dr. Fuhrman is right about Paleo man being an opportunistic eater. It was more about survival and reproduction, rather than athletic performance and aesthetics. If access to meat was frequently available, I suspect Paleo man would have preferentially eaten it, given the calorie density and satiety. But, in the name of survival, Paleo man would have certainly eaten plant material, too.

    9. For the cavemen/cavewomen out there, you know all about Terry Wahls, M.D., right? If so, then you also know she advocates at least nine servings per day of vegetables and fruit: three servings of green leaves, three servings of sulfur-rich, and three servings of bright colors. Personally, I don’t do well with a lot of meat/protein in my diet. It didn’t seem to be an issue in my 20s and was less of a problem in my 30s. Now, the bulk of my meal is vegetables, starches, and fruits and meat is more of a side-dish. This seems to work better for me. Your mileage may vary. That’s the point.

  • Michael W. says:

    10. Given the constant haranguing about legumes, consider that nuts have even more phytic acid, when comparing the same weight. Chris Kresser notes that raw, unfermented cocoa beans and normal cocoa powder are extremely high in phytic acid. Also, processed chocolates may contain significant levels. So, if we’re going to exclude one item, why not both? I’m not trying to make a case for eating legumes. Personally, I don’t eat them. However, my point is about being more critical in thinking about why we do certain things. If you’re a fan of the Weston A. Price Foundation (WAPF), then legumes may be on the menu for you, if they’re “properly prepared/cooked.” The same goes for nuts.

    11. If a person really wants to know what works for their body, the gold standard seems to be an elimination diet. Remove a food for 30 (or more) days and then add it (and only it) back into your diet and monitor how you feel for about three days. Then, eliminate a different food and test it. Keep going until you find what works and doesn’t work. There’s no one-size-fits-all diet, despite many of us (including me) spending years searching for it. Also, what works for us now may not work for us in the future.

    12. In my opinion, Paleo/Primal camps can be elitist. While painting with a broad brush, I see a lot of white, middle-class folks with enough disposable income to buy everything organic. I fall into this category, too. But, there are many others that don’t have this luxury. Think about that for a minute. If you’re reading this blog, there’s a good chance that you have the ability to buy organic, grass-fed, pastured, too. But, some people eat grains and legumes because that’s what they can afford. Maybe we should give those folks a break and perhaps offer some different ideas about preparation methods.

    13. For the “Show me the peer-reviewed studies!” crowd (you know who you are), please see #11. Also, I’d like to offer a quote from Matt Stone:

    “It is what happened to me. And what happened to me is a lot more meaningful to me personally than what any logic or study may have revealed. It doesn’t take a study to convince me that it hurts to get punched in the face. Likewise, a study that showed me that getting punched in the face doesn’t hurt … wouldn’t mean a damn thing to me.” ―Matt Stone, 12 Paleo Myths

    Okay, that’s enough waxing philosophic. Thanks for reading.

    In case it matters, I eat meat, eggs, vegetables, fruit, some nuts, some starches, and some saturated fat. I usually avoid grains and legumes. I also avoid gluten-containing foods (and those that might cross-react), while I investigate the possibility of an autoimmune issue. Aside from an occasional scoop of ice cream, I’m not a huge fan of dairy. I’m in my late 40s and didn’t start paying attention to food quality until around the age of 40.

    So, in summary, I would suggest the following:

    – Listen to a variety of viewpoints
    – Always be willing to change your beliefs
    – Try things, see how they affect you, and apply the knowledge accordingly
    – Learn to rely more on yourself and less on gurus
    – Give others a break, as you likely don’t know their challenges

    As Mr. Spock would say: “Live long and prosper.”

    Michael W.

  • Michael W. says:

    Sorry, my comment was so long, I had to break it up into three parts. The first two are still “…awaiting moderation.”

    • Celeste Kelsey says:

      Michael W. – the purpose of Abel challenging (a word with which I take issue) Dr. Fuhrman is NOT to change Dr. Fuhrman’s way of thinking or for the purpose of winning an argument but rather for the edification of his audience. Instead of “challenge” I would say “probe.” As far as the audience is concerned – it is all about education – not self-promotion.

      • Michael W. says:

        Celeste,

        This is a podcast. No one is here to get an in-depth education. If people want to learn more, they can go to Dr. Fuhrman’s (or any other guests) website, read their books, follow their blogs/podcasts for a while. A 30-60 minute podcast is limited in scope–especially if too much time is spent trying to defend a position, rather than learn a new viewpoint. Along these lines, I think Abel accomplished this goal. He let Dr. Fuhrman express his views, asked clarifying questions, and was polite.

        Too many people seem to be in a rush to bash (or whatever politically-correct word you prefer) Able over how the interview was conducted. Being offended is the new national pastime. Offering some feedback is one thing, but if you review all the comments, I think you might agree that some folks went a bit far. Perhaps those people should start their own podcast. Then, they might have a better perspective.

        As for “self-promotion,” do you listen to the first few minutes of Abel’s podcasts? The part where he’s “self-promoting” his Apps, E-Books, and Courses? Seen the sidebar of this very page? Heard him on other podcasts? As I previously stated, it matters not to me that he sells products. The point is to not be so myopic, pedantic, or hypocritical.

        Thanks for your comment.

        Michael W.

  • John R. says:

    I didn’t mind the Dr’s assertions so much, as the constant strawman arguments against things to which he doesn’t agree. All of the most serious (and I believe most prestigious) Paleo Diet books and studies with which I am familar start on the premise of evolutinary biology. Is this not science?

  • M li says:

    I agree with many of the comments. This podcast has ceased to be informative. It’d be better just it listen to the doc’s seminar and practice critical thinking myself. There are many podcasts out there, I feel time is better spent elsewhere. Sorry, that was my last episode of fatburningman. able, I hope you do better in you upcoming book.

  • Graham says:

    I can definitely agree with a lot of the comments. I only watch this show when there is a guest that particularly interests me. My favorite fitness podcast is the Road to Ripped Podcast. Chris and Greg are two really awesome guys that know exactly what it takes to get in kick ass shape and have a handling on the science, psychology and practicality of it.

  • PKA says:

    All I know is I’ve lost weight (~50lbs) and subsequently become a marathoner since starting with Atkins/low carb then moving to Paleo, gluten free. AND , at 49 1/2 years old, I am constantly told how young I look and that I’m getting younger every year. Not sure what the good Dr. would say to that. Just for grins, did you know the Paleorunner podcast also recently featured someone who basically bashes all diets?

    • Justin says:

      This type of thing is ignored by Dr. Fuhrman. The only outcome in which he cares is longevity. Weight loss, how young you look and feel aren’t something he cares about. So if you said to him that you have a study that supports weight loss he wouldn’t care, as he is really only interested in studies supporting longer life. I think this is one of his flaws. I believe he says that he would sacrifice his chest size for longer life. Well a lot of people may not share this view. Some people want to look good and feel good while they are alive and aren’t overly concerned with living to be 100.

  • Anthony says:

    I’m very disappointed in Abel.

    • oriel says:

      I only wanted to add my voice to the disappointed in the hopes that Abel will be an honest broker, requesting support for generalizations, disarming strawman arguments, gently and respectfully challenging positions for the purposes of greater understanding. This was fairly disappointing.

  • Randal says:

    I understand that different diets work for different people and am happy to see some differing opinions on the podcast. But I feel like Abel should have pushed him to site these many scientific studies that he kept alluding too. Abel, it’s great how you allow your guests to speak their mind without getting in their way too much but it would be nice if you had challenged him a little bit especially as he was railing a paleo and a high fat diet.

    Matt LaLonde and Chris Kresser would have ripped this guy to shreds. I would love to see a throw down 🙂 !!!

  • Lynn says:

    I just started listening to this podcast and this was the third or fourth one that I listened to. I understand that we can all agree that we each do what works best for us… But this Fuhrman guy just seems to have bad manners. Abel pointed out that a lot of listeners have different views on diet and then Fuhrman went on to say that everyone is wrong and he is right. Did Abel have to agree to not challenge him in order to get the interview? I’m ok with being challenged about my biased paleo views, and that isn’t what made this interview so awkward and uncomfortable, it’s just that Fuhrman is unrelatable! I guess the reason I decided to stop listening is because I will continue to eat coconut oil and I won’t feel bad about it.

  • Lynn says:

    The more I think about it… Maybe Abel was strategically letting this Fuhrman character talk himself into a corner with his crazy talk. Yeah… I like that idea better than entertaining the fact that Abel may actually agree..

  • Justin says:

    What advantage would it have been to challenge Dr. Fuhrman during the interview? Guys like him think that their argument is iron clad because he believes he has the best research to support his point of view. He would counter any argument with something from a study that he is familiar with and unless you could readily cite a study that contradicts anything he says; he wouldn’t see your point of view as legitimate. It would be wasting your breath.
    So rather than Abel challenging him, I was glad just to hear what he had to say and why he had to say it.
    That being said, I would love to hear a debate between Dr. Fuhrman and some champions/experts of other nutritional camps!

  • DeAnne says:

    I agree with many of the comments above that some tougher interview questions would have made the podcast much more interesting and informative. I am not a nutritional research expert, but I do know research processes and knowledge creation in scholarly communities (I’m a librarian at a univ). The idea that Fuhrman can look at research without a “story” (or paradigm) in his mind is ridiculous. If a researcher doesn’t already have that story, how does he evaluate any studies, or understand how it might relate to other things? Of course, researchers should be open to changing that paradigm when new studies come out, as I see lots of Paleo people doing with dairy and now legumes. I don’t hear Dr. Fuhrman being open to anything that unsettles his anti-animal protein paradigm. Not that he was presented with any of that on the show, which was the disappointing part.

  • Martin says:

    Able, kudos on interviewing a contrarian opinion-holder without being argumentative. I learn a lot more from dissenting voices in discussin than everyone agreeing about everything.

  • Georgie says:

    I loved this interview, we all know what works for us and I don’t think it hurts to hear another persons perspective whether its right or wrong for you.
    I personally disagreed with a lot of this interview but who’s to say it might just be enough to help one person make a change for the better. Thank you Abel

  • Abel James says:

    I thank you all for your kind comments and suggestions – I read every one. You’re amazing, and I hope you know how much your feedback means to me.

    It is my own personal preference to keep any dissenting opinions and rebuttals separate. If warranted, I’ll write a separate post or discuss it in its own article. That way, my guests are more apt to discuss their own ideas more openly, without feeling threatened or offended.

    So for the sake of brevity, courtesy, and professionalism, I tend to take a more agreeable position and allow my guests to have their say.

    Could I have challenged some of my guest’s views? Sure. But as some have already intimated, I chose not to do so because of time constraints. It wouldn’t be fair to my guests and to my listeners if a topic that deserves hours to properly address is abruptly cut off or forcibly compressed into a half-hour window.

    Plus, if I challenged their views, it might be misconstrued as a personal attack. I prefer to stick to the issues rather than point fingers. It’s just not my style. And I prefer to stay focused on the interview rather than have it sidetracked by debate.

    I don’t pretend to be perfect, but I also dislike strict rules that compartmentalize dietary habits or entire food groups. This is one of the major problems behind Paleo, which I openly discussed on this blog and is a major reason behind “The Wild Diet.”

    Science is always evolving. It’s never wrong. It’s simply incomplete. That’s why I’ll always entertain new ideas. I would be a fool not to listen to advice that might help me stay leaner and healthier longer, or at least might force me to think more critically.

    I appreciate your comments. If you feel a topic needs to be addressed, then please let us know what you wish to see in an upcoming article or suggest another expert I can bring on to the show who might present their viewpoints.

    Thank you all for listening and joining in the conversation. I appreciate you. 🙂

  • Sab says:

    Thanks Abel for you work. But I too wanted to add that I was disappointed by your lack of critical response. Especially when Dr F. said that that adding oils to one’s diet was the same as having cookies. The caloric content might be the same, yes – but in terms of nutrients they are nothing alike! And about legumes – yes, they are nutrient-dense, common in many ancestral and current diets but not ideal for those with GI issues. In fact, Chris Kresser does encourage testing for well-prepared legumes for example before including them in one’s ‘personal paleo’ diet. I think that the vast majority of the Paleo community is not dogmatic: they know that coconut oil is processed, they are not arguing for a diet identical to our ancestors who did not even have electricity. How reductive and simplistic of Dr F.! Plus I would say that eating for longevity is one thing, and yes, some people should choose long-term well-being over a pumped-up body, but food and lifestyle choices should be made according to one’s health and goals: recommendations will vary depending on whether, for instance, a person is trying to loose weight, alleviate symptoms related to a current condition, or enhance athletic performance.
    So Abel, I love the work you do, but you could have challenged his views. Of course, it’s your platform, your rules. But Dr F. trashed previous guests on your podcast. If I were one of them, I would not be impressed. Dr F. is as guilty as those he criticizes for making poor use of scientific research. And besides, as a doctor, he must know how complex it is to test hypothesis on human subjects. Abel, thicken your skin and please challenge your guests on your next show!

  • Sab says:

    PS. I just read your reply (I was working offline) thanks for responding to our comments. Still, I would like for guests’ position to be challenged in the future, otherwise, how can we push the boundaries of our knowledge? By nodding and smiling when we disagree? By protecting ourselves and others? We should not be afraid of asking questions and accepting the limits of what we know. Or rather, what we thought we knew.

  • Amanda says:

    I’ve been wanting to leave a comment on this podcast since I first listened to over a week ago and just haven’t had the chance. I read some of the other responses and I guess I just had a different feeling than many others. I actually don’t usually respond to these individually, but I wanted to do so this time to applaud you, Abel. First, for doing this interview, knowing that this guy had quite a few opposing views. Moreover, for responding with positive regard, diplomacy, and humility. I thought that at times your guest was quite frankly rude, condescending, and self-righteous. I understand people have different opinions, experiences, and beliefs, but I do think you need to know your audience, and it was obnoxious that he came on your show and repeatedly insulted paleo/ancestral/wild/etc diet beliefs and the people who follow them. He slammed previous guests on your show. Even if his science was perfect, his demeanor was so off-putting that I have to admit it biases me away from wanting to take to heart any of his advice whatsoever.
    All that to say, Abel, I respect you even more for handling his attacks so smoothly and professionally, treating him with respect, and avoiding an all-out argument. Thank you for bringing on a variety of guests ( I believe you said you’ve had many requests for this one ), bringing in so many different perspectives, and being so gracious throughout the whole process. I know you got a lot of negative feedback for not stirring the pot and defending your opinions in this case, but I really appreciate that you allow your guests to share their views, and that you don’t attack them. Your podcasts are always very relaxing and fun to listen to, and I feel that with all the other resources and materials you produce, I do know where your opinions lie and where they are founded, without stressing me out listening to you argue opposing points on the show. Bravo!

  • Daniel says:

    Abel – First comment … and I have to agree that listening to this podcast just felt…odd. I understand the importance of listening to conflicting views, but Dr. F. was simply bashing everyone previously on the show. You don’t have to be brilliant to understand that a well-balanced, everything in moderation diet will lead you to moderate success with your health. However, that’s not why we listen to your podcast. We listen because we want to have optimal performance and because even food in “moderation” can do much damage to the body. How can you even release a book if your stance will change every other podcast???

  • Dan says:

    First of all I want to say that I don’t subscribe to any diet label, I am simply in search of the optimal diet for humans or individuals ( whichever holds true ). After hearing this podcast I decided to pick up a copy of ” The end of dieting ” which is ironic because it in itself is based on a diet. Many of my concerns have been posted here already so I will keep this fairly short.
    Pros: -It goes against “traditional medicine” and promotes diet for quality of life….. that’s about it.
    Cons: – I found Dr Fuhrman to be very arrogant in his writing approach, concentrating more on putting other diets down with “research” than supplying adequate information and referrals to his own suggestions. For example he bashes grass fed beef.. I thought “well ok maybe something has been over looked by other professionals so provide the proof and let’s have a discussion about it.” But he provided nothing, making Ole Furry a bit of a hypocrite. Second I went on to his site to try to get a read on this guy, the fake pictures of him smiling by kids and the layout of his site gave me a bad vibe. It felt more like an online store where I am about to be duped in to monthly payments of some bs product like one of the billion books or dvds he is promoting for only three easy payments of blah blah blah. And then the nail in the coffin struck. I clicked on the members center section thinking hey maybe there is a forum or something I can access since I bought his book. No such luck. What it did give me were options…. options for different package deals on “insider information” for either a monthly fee or a one time price of only… get this… $3000.000!!!…. yaaayyyy… congrats Old Furry, you just made my ” Used Car Salesman of the dietary world ” list. There’s no way I can trust someone that has to put a price on every single tiny service that they provide. I gave this guy a chance because i am open minded and science can always improve but his book was a big let down for sure. This guy reminds me more of an insecure teenager trying to prove their significance than an actual professional. But hey, that’s just my opinion.

    • Franz says:

      Dan,

      You’re “open minded,” are you?

      * You BELIEVE that some photo of him smiling with some kids is “fake”?
      > Where’s YOUR “proof”?

      * The pictures and layout of his site gave you “a bad vibe.”
      > That’s scientific.

      * You note that “It felt more like an online store where I am about to be duped”
      > Again, you’re claiming to want “proof” and “evidence,” yet you are ruled by emotion and exhibit no logic yourself.

      There’s more . . .

      You are correct that his Member Center does have membership options that cost money. But, what you failed to mention is there are FOUR levels of membership. Of course, you decided to mention the price of the most expensive one.

      – Silver: $3.95/month -or- $39.95 per year
      – Gold: $9.95/month -or- $99.90 per year
      – Platinum: $49.95/month -or- $499.95 per year
      – Diamond: $3,000 (lifetime, one-time charge)

      Source: http://www.drfuhrman.com/shop/benefits.aspx

      You claim to have purchased his latest book THE END OF DIETING. Furthermore, you seem to suggest that “research” was insufficient to support his claims of why he believes his diet style is better than others.

      >> I found Dr Fuhrman to be very arrogant in his writing approach, concentrating more on putting other diets down
      >> with “research” than supplying adequate information and referrals to his own suggestions. For example he bashes
      >> grass fed beef.. I thought “well ok maybe something has been over looked by other professionals so provide the
      >> proof and let’s have a discussion about it.” But he provided nothing, making Ole Furry a bit of a hypocrite.

      To me, that comment makes no sense. What is it you’re seeking?

      In just a couple of minutes clicking-around his site, each of the articles that I reviewed all had citations. Here are some examples:

      http://www.drfuhrman.com/faq/default.aspx
      http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/articles.aspx
      http://www.diseaseproof.com

      In summary, it seems you were simply in a rush to add your voice to the fray, but didn’t really have any value to add. So, instead, you decided to jump on the “Let’s Bash Dr. Fuhrman” bandwagon. That’s too bad.

      Why not actually IMPLEMENT the suggestions in Dr. Fuhrman’s book and THEN report on it? Then, you will have something to report, based on how it works for YOU. Otherwise, of what value will the book be to you?

      What if the book supported your current diet and lifestyle habits? Would you then praise the book? Most people are funny that way.

  • Lea says:

    Not that Abel needs anyone to come to his rescue on this, but I think everyone is getting ruffled up a bit too much. This podcast made me a bit uncomfortable as I listened to it too. And, initially I had some of the same thoughts as some of the commenters as well. However, upon reflection I decided to focus on the positive and informative parts of the podcast, instead of zeroing in on what I disagreed with. Could I and should I try to find more ways to incorporate more micronutrients in to my diet? “yes.” Boom…enough said. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves why something makes us so uncomfortable. Don’t take Furhman’s Paleo and Wheat Belly bashing as a personal attack on your lifestyle or reading material choices. Geez.

  • Aaron says:

    I don’t have a problem with Abel, but this Fuhrman dude was pretty hypocritical on some things. It’s safe to say this episode wasn’t as good as some in the past. But no big deal.

    Dale Carnegie suggested that we not criticize, condemn, or complain and that we be a good listener in order to be a friendlier person. Abel’s true message is probably reaching more people by him being non-confrontational. Doesn’t mean he doesn’t care or think differently. And least of all, doesn’t mean Abel’s going back to Vegan. Sheesh.

  • D.Soz says:

    I listen to a lot of entrepreneurship podcasts as well as health/nutrition. In those podcasts it is universal that successful business owners agree that their failures taught them more than their successes and helped them get to the optimal state of business health they are in. Just like these entrepreneurs learn at least as much from their failures, you will not learn what are all the options for your optimal personal health by listening to a bunch of experts with the same health perspective. You need to listen to many differing views. I have learned a lot about how there are many aspects of veganism that make sense from listening to these experts, and how some of it doesn’t. The same is true for raw diets and several others. It is this combined knowledge that I have been able to put together a diet and lifestyle that works best for me. Additionally, as I evolve, and as I listen to new perspectives, I am able to either confirm my stance and stay my course or adjust accordingly. I am not looking for Abel to have a bunch of Paleo experts on all the time to rehash why this may be a good diet and lifestyle. I want to hear what others have to say about this subject so I can formulate a diet and lifestyle that suits me best based on all the different camps.

    As far as Dr. F. being rude or disrespectful, I couldn’t care less. That’s his karma, not mine. I am not a sponge and refuse to let other people’s negative energy affect my own nor do I let it color the validity of the points the person is making. I have no problem with Abel not challenging Dr. F for the sake of the interview, however, Abel may want to simply change the way he uses fillers to continue the conversation. In other words, I suppose for the sake of not seeming too agreeable he could have said things like “I see”, “that’s interesting”, “I’ve never thought of it from that perspective before”, etc. That way he wouldn’t be agreeing with Dr. F. but rather simply acknowledging his opinion as valid and possibly different.

    I’m still a listener.

  • Paul says:

    I’m a long-term Fat Burning Man listener & was also very disappointed in the interview. Jimmy Moore has basically called Joel Furhman a vegetarian in disguise & it’s so obvious he is. I was a little shocked to hear Abel say at the beginning of the episode that it would be ideal for Furhman to be everybody’s Dr that listens to the show. I can’t think of a worst Dr to have than Joel. Furhman says it’s all about the science but a vast majority of Abel’s guests are way more credible than Furhman & he gave vast generalizations & is a constant liar. Please never have such garbage guests on the show & if you do please atleast ask them critical follow up questions when they say such obvious untruths. Not sure if I’m gonna listen much longer.

  • Scott says:

    I just want to add my voice to those that support Abel. I too believe it’s important to hear varied opinions and viewpoints, and I appreciate that Abel give me that opportunity. Yes, Abel could have taken a slightly different approach to the interview, but I’m not mad at him as some commentor seem to be, and I certainly won’t let that cloud, or diminish my appreciation for the content he provides.

    I’m still a listener.

  • Paul says:

    Franz, can you elaborate?

    • Franz says:

      Sure.

      In fact, I’ll address both of your posts.

      Post #1
      ======
      Your Comment:

      “I’m a long-term Fat Burning Man listener & was also very disappointed in the interview. Jimmy Moore has basically called Joel Furhman a vegetarian in disguise & it’s so obvious he is. I was a little shocked to hear Abel say at the beginning of the episode that it would be ideal for Furhman to be everybody’s Dr that listens to the show. I can’t think of a worst Dr to have than Joel. Furhman says it’s all about the science but a vast majority of Abel’s guests are way more credible than Furhman & he gave vast generalizations & is a constant liar. Please never have such garbage guests on the show & if you do please atleast ask them critical follow up questions when they say such obvious untruths. Not sure if I’m gonna listen much longer.”

      My Response:

      What difference does it make what Jimmy Moore believes? What about doing your own research and arriving at your own conclusions? This is a problem I see a lot in the “health” sphere — whether it’s Paleo, Low-Carb, Vegan, et al.

      Jimmy is overweight (at a minimum), eats sticks of Kerrygold butter, and his credentials include a Bachelors in Political Science / English and a Masters in Public Policy. Joel Fuhrman is 18 years Jimmy’s senior, lean, is a Medical Doctor that actually implements strategies that improve peoples’ health, and advocates eating food. (I hate the term “real” food, because food, by its very nature, is real. Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is not food.)

      If you did any investigation on your own, you would know that Fuhrman advocates a vegetarian / vegan lifestyle, but allows for some flexibility in his plan, if it helps people make the transition. It’s not a mystery that he’s a plant-based guy. But, you only knew this from what Jimmy said.

      Furthermore, your claim “a vast majority of Abel’s guests are way more credible than Furhman & he gave vast generalizations & is a constant liar.” Says who? What are some his lies? You cite “obvious untruths” — what are they? Are some of his comments “untrue,” because they go against your beliefs? Beliefs that, perhaps, someone gave you and you never questioned?

      As for your last comment that you may not listen much longer, maybe that’s best. As the saying goes, “If you can’t take the heat, stay out of the kitchen.”

      Post #2
      ======
      Your Comment:

      “Just listened to the Chris Masterjohn interview which I believe was about two weeks after the Furhman interview. Talk about contrast. Abel has a very valuable & important podcast. I like varied opinions within the paleo/natural foods community, I just think if someone is going to interview such an un-credible guest as Furhman is that if critical follow up questions are not asked its best not to give fraudsters like Furhman a soapbox where others may be harmed by his advice.”

      My Response:

      This was a gem: “I like varied opinions within the paleo/natural foods community…”

      As I previously alluded, it seems that you have aligned yourself with certain views / gurus and have decided that any new information is not needed. Rather, you will stay in your Paleo bubble and seek the views (and opinions) of those that reinforce your beliefs. Of course, that’s your right and I support you doing so.

      Finally, I have no ill feelings toward you. You’re probably a decent and likable fellow. I wish you health and happiness, whatever path you take.

      Franz

      • Franz says:

        One more thing…

        My comments about Jimmy were not an indictment of his character. I’ve met him and his wife and they seemed like really nice people. However, he doesn’t appear to be the picture of health. I’m aware of his initial weight loss. Then, the regain. Then, his n=1 experiment and weight loss. Then, regaining again. The last I knew, he was trying to lose the weight again by eating even MORE saturated fat. Here’s a crazy notion: If eating one stick of Kerrygold doesn’t help (is that really a surprise?), eating two sticks isn’t likely going to do it, either.

        As for Dr. Fuhrman, I also found him to be pretty abrasive. But, that has nothing to do with his message. I don’t have to like the guy, I just want to hear what he’s bringing to the table. Personally, I liked the interview and felt he made some good points. Does he have all the answers for everyone? I don’t think ANYONE has all the answers for all situations. If they did, we wouldn’t have a country full of overweight, obese, and morbidly obese people. And, we wouldn’t keep going from podcast to podcast looking for “the” answer.

        Jimmy does make a good point with his “n=1” experiment. That is: “Find the diet that works for you.” But, if it doesn’t work, I would suggest trying something different.

        If you buy watermelons for $0.25 and sell them for $0.05, a bigger truck won’t help.

  • Paul says:

    Just listened to the Chris Masterjohn interview which I believe was about two weeks after the Furhman interview. Talk about contrast. Abel has a very valuable & important podcast. I like varied opinions within the paleo/natural foods community, I just think if someone is going to interview such an un-credible guest as Furhman is that if critical follow up questions are not asked its best not to give fraudsters like Furhman a soapbox where others may be harmed by his advice.

    • D.Soz says:

      Paul, with all due respect, I believe you are missing the point of a health podcast. As every single health blog and podcast states, it is not intended to be advice. It is intended to present other ideas on the subject which then, you, the reader or listener, can follow up on, do more research, create dialogue with friends, and of course ask questions of your trusted medical professional. Many commentators have suggested the idea that if Abel was not going to ask critical questions challenging Dr. F’s ideas, then we could have just gone to Dr. F’s website on our own and checked it out. The fault in that is that we more than likely would not have. I, personally had never heard of him until Abel introduced me to him. Abel did, in fact, provide a forum (soapbox, sure, but that is a somewhat biased term with negative connotations) for Dr. F. to present his ideas to Abel’s listeners. Abel clearly trusts the intelligence of his listeners to come to their own conclusions or do further research. Abel is not an investigative journalist. His likable personality enables him to befriend and convince many professionals from outlying health beliefs to agree to come on the show and present ideas which we, the listeners, might not normally be exposed to, a characteristic of the show which you stated that you appreciate. Additionally, if you think about it, if Abel was to challenge every single thing that Dr. F,. left himself open to then the interview would not have gotten very far and we would not have had a decent sense of what Dr. F is about—his theories, that is.

  • Paul says:

    As others mentioned Chris Masterjohn brilliantly proves that Furhman’s dietary advice is not credible at all. http://www.westonaprice.org/book-reviews/eat-to-live-by-joel-fuhrman/

  • Paul says:

    D. Soz, I appreciate your opinion. I’m surprised you’ve never heard of Furhman before. He has been spewing a litany of nonsense and junk science for years. If you google Chris Masterjohn, Joel Furhman you will see a brilliant book review on the Weston A. Price foundation’s website where Masterjohn uses real science to critique Furhman’s advice. Masterjohn proves that not only does Furhman not offer credible advice, but actually basically alters scientific results in his ORAC scores ect.
    I don’t agree with everything Jimmy Moore believes, but do think he has a good show and is a very credible host on Livin La Vida Low Carb Show. Just google Jimmy Moore interviews Mark Furhman (it was last year if I recall right) and Jimmy questions him every time he says something false and really put Furhman in his place. I’m fine with real doctors using real science, but Furhman has zero credibililty in this area at all and I’ve followed this clown for over a decade now.

  • Nancy Nyhof says:

    I just listened. I drink bulletproof coffee every morning since Jan 15. I juice or have a green smoothie everyday since Jan 15. I bought a grass fed cow for my freezer on April 3. I have lost 50 pounds since Jan 15 and feel physically and emotionally whole at 45 for the first time in 20 years. …what I got out of this podcast – I think I will do my own research on eating some beans once in a while (even though I never liked how they taste), I definitely need to moderate my fat intake just a bit, maybe cut a cup of bulletproof a day out, I got some good ideas for some salad dressings using tomato and orange as a base (didn’t know about that before). The guy WAS a bit of a tool but he had some good tidbits. Anything I can glean to make me healthier, I will take. …Thanks Abel for being so hracious, and showing respect equally to all. And thanks for helping to save my life. 50 pounds to go!

    Signed, a former hamburger helper girl 😉

  • D.Soz says:

    I will, thank you. Hahaha….sounds like you are someone who has done further research after hearing an opinion and formulated your own intelligent conclusion given information from different resources. Jimmy interviews in his own style as does Abel. I’m familiar with Jimmy and I like both styles. Keeps things interesting.

  • D.Soz says:

    Nancy, you mean you would not have been better off had you chosen to be personally offended by Dr. F. being a tool and felt cheated by Abel not asking the “right” questions? Lol,,…a little east coast sarcasm there. I admire and respect your ability to glean what you can and leave the rest.

  • Carla says:

    Oh my goodness; who is this guy?!!! Admittedly I’m listening to this podcast pretty late, so maybe you’ve all shot this guy down, but he doesn’t seem to have a clue about what he’s talking about? We’re to increase “beans” to increase longevity? The guy is nuts!

    I’m severely disappointed in Abel for hosting this podcast. It’s great to have people on with a different view; but the complete opposite of what we KNOW is correct? That just seems crazy. I really hope he isn’t getting paid to have people like this guy on. Sadly it’s the only conclusion I can come too….

    Abel, if you read this – please note we want GOOD information, not the cr*p this guy is talking about….

    • Frank says:

      Carla,

      You state that Fuhrman doesn’t seem to have a clue. What specifically did he say that made you make this claim?

      How do you “KNOW” what is correct?

      Dr. Fuhrman’s message was to eat real food. Why did you call that message “crap”?

      Frank

  • Victor says:

    Funny thing is that Dr. Fuhrman defends that MANY of the paleo practices are unhealthy in his book “The End of Dieting”, which I have read in its entirety. Still, Abel did not say anything about that and I almost feel like he was afraid to engage in an academic, higher level discussion with the doctor.

  • Mikey says:

    Oh boy, that was quite a podcast.

    I would agree with a lot of the above. Dr. Fuhrman’s attitude and bias was a little too much to handle. When he mentions that “Oil is processed” but he just puts a little “fig vinegar” on his salad (which we all know grows in the wild) it started the downward slide for me.

    When Dr. F. kept mentioning “chins” and “bench-presses” I felt like I teleported back to 1983. (no real grasp of newer fitness concepts). Of course, some of what he said made a ton of sense (more leafy greens, avoid sugar, nutrient density, perhaps questioning how much animal protein we eat etc.) but that was all woven in with a mix of items that sounded hard for him to give any real evidence on (e.g. like the overwhelming evidence that beans, the magic food, will surely make you live to be 100).

    Lastly, he was pretty quick to dispel that grass-fed or higher quality meats may be something to keep our eye on going forward as something potentially beneficial. I my mind, grass-fed vs. feedlot meat is a relatively new trend for a lot of us (and folks starting to eat organ meat again after 40 years of avoidance). I don’t feel like as he put it “science” has any real run-time on meaningful data that shows how long a Crossfitter who manages their stress and eats clean (yes with high-grade animal protein) would live. Much of those practices are too new to know one way or another. We’ll know more on that in about 75 years, but apparently Dr. F. knows all of those future answers already. I should get him to pick my stocks.

    Abel, love your show, but this guy needed to be more aggressively challenged to at least THINK outside of the boundaries of the early-mid 1980’s.

  • Mogz says:

    Loved this podcast. Way to go Dr. Furhman for challenging the paleo community! He made so many good points.

    Bravo.

  • Stacy says:

    Love the info!

  • Tron says:

    Anyone seen this one?

    Fat In The Diet And Mortality From Heart Disease: A Plagiaristic Note
    http://bit.ly/1owgVVG

  • Leslie says:

    This Dr. did need to be challenged more in the interview. Dr. Furhman came across as arrogant because he is. I’ve visited his blog and he makes fun of every diet that is different from his. He even posted a donkey laughing because he found research that low carb diets could be dangerous. He wants to push his vegetarian eating agenda on everyone, and if you disagree you’re a meat eating moron who’s beneath him. I can’t take advice from someone like that. Besides if he really paid attention to research he’d know they’ve found fat isn’t what makes you fat; wheat, sugar, and bad carbs are what makes you fat. Every diet has it’s flaws, and we need to find what way of eating works for us. If his way works for him that’s great, but that doesn’t mean he’s better than someone else who doesn’t follow his diet.

    • Franz says:

      “He wants to push his vegetarian eating agenda on everyone, and if you disagree you’re a meat eating moron who’s beneath him. I can’t take advice from someone like that.”

      Gee, really? He says that?

      “Besides if he really paid attention to research he’d know they’ve found fat isn’t what makes you fat; wheat, sugar, and bad carbs are what makes you fat.”

      1. Who is “they”?
      2. Where’s proof of your claim that wheat and sugar make you fat? (Don’t cite William “Fatso” Davis.)
      3. What are “bad carbs”? Perhaps you can list several examples.

  • Brian says:

    One of the more annoying podcasts, due to all the unsupported claims of having a monopoly on science. A good straw man example is bashing William Davis for citing research on processed wheat rather than wheat berries. I get his point that a wheat berry, though not genetically different, may be different in some respects from processed wheat, but, excuse me – who eats them? Is Davis supposed to have no right to write about a food eaten by billions, or cite research about food eaten by billions, because there is a form of the plant less studied because it is rarely eaten? How does that make any sense? Still I respect giving divergent viewpoints a chance to make their points, not all of which we will agree with. But this one was much more assertive than persuasive. He had some good points, and we can sort out for ourselves what to take seriously. But the fewer arrogant, illogical (when it suits them), cranky guests, the better..

  • Justin says:

    I’ve been paleo-ish for almost a year. Went from 215 to 162. For some reason I got sidetracked and tried to take more of a furhman approach. Totally derailed my focus and left me hungry all the time. Started having all kinds of crazy cravings for alcohol, pizza etc. Gained 10lbs. Luckily I’m coming to my senses and back to meat and fat and steering clear of excessive fruit.

    I realize it’s tough to have fresh content and to a certain degree I welcome stepping outside of our paleo box and experimenting with different things, but I also think agreeing with every guest can be extremely confusing. Many of us are impressionable and trust the content of your show. I think you have somewhat of a responsibility to at least give your opinion at the end of the podcast of things you believe we should be careful with. Don’t get me wrong, I realize that I am my best health care provider and have to take personal responsibility as well. I’m not one to blame the world for all my misfortunes.

    I also think it’s worth noting that you played a big role in getting me to where I am today and I appreciate it.

  • Paul says:

    Justin:

    Congratulations on your weight loss! That’s great progress! I was looking at incorporating more of Furman’s principles, but your comments have made me reconsider. Could you help me understand the following?

    You wrote: “For some reason I got sidetracked and tried to take more of a furhman approach. Totally derailed my focus and left me hungry all the time.”
    Question: What did your Fuhrman approach look like? That is, what are the foods you were eating? Can you give some example meals?

    You wrote: “Luckily I’m coming to my senses and back to meat and fat and steering clear of excessive fruit.”
    Question: What nutrients (vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals) are in meat and fat? Also, what’s wrong with eating fruit?

    Thanks for any feedback you can share!

    Paul

  • Justin says:

    Paul

    Thanks for encouraging comments. I’ll try to answer your questions.

    I try to obtain my phytonutrients from leafy greens not really from meat. I try get satiety (fullness) from meat and fat. I try to balance my omega 3s and 6s and stick to grassfed products. After the podcast I knee-jerked and became paranoid about over consumption of meat. I was trying to eat meat only once a day instead of multiple times through the day (Once a day is actually still considered excessive for dr Joel). Ideally in both paleo and nutratarian one should get tons of veggies. I feel like the main difference is that nutratarian encourages multiple servings of fruit though out the day and very little fat or meat. Eating tons of spinach or spring mix topped with onions, nuts, carrots, fruit, etc did not curb my appetite. I felt like my servings matched those outlined in his book. Paleo works better for me. When I’m hungry my mind wanders to junk food.

    Justin

  • Justin says:

    Paul sorry I forgot to answer one question. I think fruit and sugar is a personal choice. In my opinion berries are the ideal fruit if you have a sweet tooth. They have lots of antioxidants I guess. I personally feel like blood sugar spikes from fruit or any sources of sugar cause you to be a slave to food. Once your sugar levels bottom out you crave food. When my sugar intake is low and my fat intake is high I just don’t feel like I need food. I embrace sweet potatoes and carbs but I try to stay at 5g or less of sugar per serving.

    • Paul says:

      Justin,

      Thanks so much for your responses. They made good sense and helped to clarify things for me.

      I wish you much continued success, health, and happiness.

      Best regards,

      Paul

  • Mauricio Trambaioli says:

    “In addition, vitamin B12 is made exclusively by microorganisms, which means that animal products are the only dependable source of it. Soil contains vitamin B12–producing microorganisms, but since we wash produce before we eat it, most of us are unable to get sufficient vitamin B12 from plant foods alone. Therefore, vitamin B12 supplementation beyond what is found in a nutritarian diet is necessary.”

    Excerpt From: Joel, Fuhrman. “The End of Dieting: How to Live for Life.”

    Wash plants ?!
    Unbiased none of us are.
    Problem is that publishers want profit
    They do not check hundreds of references
    Boos such as this one or even the highest red in diabetes the ” Joslin’ Diabetes Mellitus” among many many others make dogmatic statements covered by a few refs that no one – general public of professional, medical, chemistry, physicist … – will ever check.
    It is easy to tell a lie covered by a bunch of papers … no mater in what professional field.
    Unbiased ?! Not in this world.

  • charlieH says:

    Hi all and James,

    I’m sort of a noob in the whole fat-burning world. I’m 48 now and hadn’t really given it a thought until I recently realized that I had gained 30 pounds over the last 6 years. I had been telling myself that this was because of having taken up strength training in the same period and my squat-fueled gluteus maximi must be dense and heavy. But really, the mirror doesn’t lie, and neither does the wasteband. Monstrous muscle may be there, but hiding beneath a bit of flab. I happened to listen to Peter Attia interviewed and thought his story was compelling so I started looking around and stumbled here., subscribed to the podcast and downloaded a bunch and just listened to this one.

    So here I am, a noob and honestly confused by the mixed messages and somewhat skeptical of the paleo story. And here is Dr. Fuhrman saying that indeed it is a story. And the mistake is that folks start with a theory/story and then only look at stuff that supports it. This rings true. I had heard Ivor Cummins remark on this same phenomenon. I thought his oil-as-processed-food-yet-processed-food-is-non-grata-contradiction wrt paleo was correct.

    So basically I liked it. I wasn’t bothered by James’ interview at all either. James is a nice guy. I can relate. I didn’t get the sense that Dr. Fuhrman would handle challenges very well either. And James kept it positive, appreciative. We’re all in this together.

    But the point remains. Lets look at the facts — hopefully falsifiable, n much greater than 1, peer reviewed, etc. Look forward to learning more.

    Charlie

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