‘Carbohydrates Can Kill’ Podcast

      80 Comments on ‘Carbohydrates Can Kill’ Podcast

I’m honored to be the featured guest on the most recent episode of Dr. Robert Su’s excellent podcast show Carbohydrates Can Kill.  You can visit his site to listen to the episode.

And while you’re there, listen to several more.  Like my buddy Jimmy Moore, Dr. Su interviews top-notch medical and nutrition experts, providing the rest of us with a free, on-going education.  During our list trip to Illinois, we listened to several of his podcasts in the van.  Even our girls were interested.

I was pleased when Dr. Su invited me on his show because he’s one of my medical heroes.  In his book Carbohydrates Can Kill, he recounts how his health began failing him in middle age. As a doctor, he was of course familiar with the standard-issue dietary advice to cut back on fat and eat more whole grains, but became frustrated when following that advice only led to worse health problems. So he set out on a personal research mission and determined it was the excess carbohydrates in his diet causing his problems, not the fat. In the book, he recounts his own journey back to health and explains the science of how and carbohydrate restriction can clear up a number of health issues.  It sure worked for him.

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80 thoughts on “‘Carbohydrates Can Kill’ Podcast

  1. Keenie Johnston

    The question I have (which I can’t possibly answer) is whether or not white potatoes would be a problem for me if I hadn’t screwed up my metabolism with sugar and white flour as a kid.

    When did the government ever say it was OK to eat a lot of sugar? And further more, why was your mom so indoctrinated in government (according to you) guidelines to that point where she thought feeding you a bowl of sugar filled cereal every morning was healthy?

    The government never said smoking was bad for you in the 50’s either, but did you honestly think that there would be no ill health effects from inhaling smoke into your lungs multiple times a day?

    When did I claim the government told my mom to feed me sugar? The government never told us to eat more sugar, but they did tell us to consume 300-350 carbohydrates per day — check any food label — and didn’t distinguish where those carbohydrates should come from until recently. And even now, they’re pushing grains.

    My mom, like most moms back then, was told cereals were good for us by plenty of so-called experts. Lots of sugary cereals came with the American Heart Association seal of approval on the box.

    Reply
  2. Linda

    @Robinowitz

    Yeah, I was going to watch that show because, for the most part, I like CNN, but when I read that Clinton had gone vegan and Ornish was his new health god, I had a feeling the whole show would pretty much revolve around that way of eating, and I’d be subjected to more low fat, eat your grains, blah, blah blah.
    My daughter had a heart attack on 9/11, and now has several stents in her heart, takes all kinds of medication. “The Last Heart Attack” sounded like a good show to watch. Forget it.

    Reply
  3. Dragonmamma/Naomi

    Thanks for the advice, everyone. I like that idea of figuring out which supplies are cheapest and THEN picking the meter.

    Reply
  4. Elenor

    If you want to learn everything there is to know about blood testing and diabetes WITHOUT the “standard Pharma” ideas, try here: http://www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/ Jenny gives fantastic info about which glucometer to get (some are amazingly inaccurate, so are just usually inaccurate {eye roll}) and where to test (side of ring or little finger, actually, hurts least!) and so on. Also she provides info about the various diabetes drugs they try to foist off on us — that result in illness and death! Gives you LOTS of info — whether or not you have diabetes! (I’m ‘pre-diabetic’ and am working hard to stay there or I hope to return to non-diabetic!)

    Reply
  5. GuineaPig

    “My mom, like most moms back then, was told cereals were good for us by plenty of so-called experts. Lots of sugary cereals came with the American Heart Association seal of approval on the box.”

    Tom your kids are so lucky that they won’t develop sugar addictions and screw up their insulin sensititvity like most americans have.

    I’m banking on that.

    Reply
  6. LaurieLM

    “Don’t the Kitavans disprove the carbohydrate hypothesis?”. The Kitavans disprove that dietary carbohydrates kill all of them. Karl Popper taught that you have to postulate a reasonable- limited- hypothesis first before trying to set about disproving (falsifying) it. Be careful, if you just monkey around with the words, you can dance around the word “proof” by negating it and calling it disproof and then you’re back to trying to prove something- which can’t be done. There is a slight but important difference between- The Kitavans disprove that dietary carbohydrates kill all of them and -The Kitavans prove that dietary carbohydrates kill none of them (or none of the rest of us for that matter).

    1) All men are mortal.
    2) All men are immortal.

    The only statement that is a reasonable, testable (falsifyable) hypothesis is the second one.
    The Inuit don’t disprove the lipid hypothesis either. They disprove that a high animal fat diet kills all of them- but woop-de-doo. The lipid hypothesis has a lot of holes in it. And the carbohydrate hypothesis has some too. But the ‘carbohydrate hypothesis’ is too large and multi-faceted to
    be summarily disproved by the Kitavans.

    Reply
  7. Charles-Andre Fortin

    Thanks Tom for yet another source of information on good nutrition. carbohydratescankill is really an interesting PodCast.

    By the way, you inspire me to start my own blog where I’m trying to translate in french all the science I found around the net.;) I’m starting with Dr. Diamond speech.

    Thanks again

    That’s a great idea. Fat Head aired on French TV with someone overdubbing my narration and dialog. Sure like to know how I sound in French, but I haven’t been able to get a copy.

    Reply
  8. GuineaPig

    “My mom, like most moms back then, was told cereals were good for us by plenty of so-called experts. Lots of sugary cereals came with the American Heart Association seal of approval on the box.”

    Tom your kids are so lucky that they won’t develop sugar addictions and screw up their insulin sensititvity like most americans have.

    I’m banking on that.

    Reply
  9. LaurieLM

    “Don’t the Kitavans disprove the carbohydrate hypothesis?”. The Kitavans disprove that dietary carbohydrates kill all of them. Karl Popper taught that you have to postulate a reasonable- limited- hypothesis first before trying to set about disproving (falsifying) it. Be careful, if you just monkey around with the words, you can dance around the word “proof” by negating it and calling it disproof and then you’re back to trying to prove something- which can’t be done. There is a slight but important difference between- The Kitavans disprove that dietary carbohydrates kill all of them and -The Kitavans prove that dietary carbohydrates kill none of them (or none of the rest of us for that matter).

    1) All men are mortal.
    2) All men are immortal.

    The only statement that is a reasonable, testable (falsifyable) hypothesis is the second one.
    The Inuit don’t disprove the lipid hypothesis either. They disprove that a high animal fat diet kills all of them- but woop-de-doo. The lipid hypothesis has a lot of holes in it. And the carbohydrate hypothesis has some too. But the ‘carbohydrate hypothesis’ is too large and multi-faceted to
    be summarily disproved by the Kitavans.

    Reply
  10. Don in Arkansas

    Very informative podcast. I had no problem with Dr. Su’s accent, in fact, it made it more interesting. He is probably more grammatically correct than most Americans. Wish his book were a little more reasonable (cheap).

    Reply
  11. Charles-Andre Fortin

    Thanks Tom for yet another source of information on good nutrition. carbohydratescankill is really an interesting PodCast.

    By the way, you inspire me to start my own blog where I’m trying to translate in french all the science I found around the net.;) I’m starting with Dr. Diamond speech.

    Thanks again

    That’s a great idea. Fat Head aired on French TV with someone overdubbing my narration and dialog. Sure like to know how I sound in French, but I haven’t been able to get a copy.

    Reply
  12. Don in Arkansas

    Very informative podcast. I had no problem with Dr. Su’s accent, in fact, it made it more interesting. He is probably more grammatically correct than most Americans. Wish his book were a little more reasonable (cheap).

    Reply
  13. Zachary

    Also, I’ve been checking out Dr. Su’s other podcasts, and they are amazing. The listeners roundtable discussions are absolutely great to listen to. More people should do that imo.

    Also, Tom, I know you’re a busy man, but it’d be awesome if you ever decided to start hosting a radio show of your own. It seems like it’d be right up your ally =D

    I don’t foresee doing that anytime soon, but you never know.

    Reply
  14. Peggy Holloway

    Clinton’s story is beginning sound vaguely familiar – like the story of another former president who was one of the first to be prescribed an ever lower-fat diet for his heart disease, with disastrous results: DDE

    Reply
  15. Peggy Holloway

    When I went for my every 3 years physical this summer, I asked for a fasting insulin level and was told they don’t do those. My retired physician partner concurred that fasting insulin levels can ‘t be routinely measured. How does one go about getting one ordered and why does no one at my medical clinic seem to know about the importance of insulin levels and how to measure them?

    You may have to ask your doctor to order the test. Most only test glucose levels.

    http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/insulin/tab/test

    Reply
  16. Zachary

    Also, I’ve been checking out Dr. Su’s other podcasts, and they are amazing. The listeners roundtable discussions are absolutely great to listen to. More people should do that imo.

    Also, Tom, I know you’re a busy man, but it’d be awesome if you ever decided to start hosting a radio show of your own. It seems like it’d be right up your ally =D

    I don’t foresee doing that anytime soon, but you never know.

    Reply
  17. Peggy Holloway

    Clinton’s story is beginning sound vaguely familiar – like the story of another former president who was one of the first to be prescribed an ever lower-fat diet for his heart disease, with disastrous results: DDE

    Reply
  18. Peggy Holloway

    When I went for my every 3 years physical this summer, I asked for a fasting insulin level and was told they don’t do those. My retired physician partner concurred that fasting insulin levels can ‘t be routinely measured. How does one go about getting one ordered and why does no one at my medical clinic seem to know about the importance of insulin levels and how to measure them?

    You may have to ask your doctor to order the test. Most only test glucose levels.

    http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/insulin/tab/test

    Reply
  19. LaurieLM

    AMEN ‘fredt’. ‘Nutrition displacement’- I rarely stop thinking about this concept. I’m constantly trying to understand it better because I think it goes under the radar. Humans CAN tolerate eating sugar and grains, but at what cost and for how long?

    The act of eating cereal and sugar (most of cereal is carbohydrate, but not all of it and not the worst of it- the non-carb portion does most of the damage) displaces heart, brain, body, mind healthy building materials- animal fat cholesterol and protein- from coming in. That’s bad enough, but compounds in grains block the absorption of the paucity of nutrients contained in the grains in the first place- from being absorbed well or at all. So grains replace nutrients in the diet, don’t contain enough nutrients themselves and then they block absorption of the paltry amount of nutrients in them to begin with. I’m also pretty certain grains actively leach nutrients already contained in the body- they help to remove even more!

    If you were to heat your house by throwing into the furnace money, wooden furniture, the walls, what have you, for fuel, you would quickly be cold and desititute.

    If your car isn’t running well, try draining out most of the oil and stop putting gasoline in it when it runs out and see how well that works.

    Reply
  20. LaurieLM

    AMEN ‘fredt’. ‘Nutrition displacement’- I rarely stop thinking about this concept. I’m constantly trying to understand it better because I think it goes under the radar. Humans CAN tolerate eating sugar and grains, but at what cost and for how long?

    The act of eating cereal and sugar (most of cereal is carbohydrate, but not all of it and not the worst of it- the non-carb portion does most of the damage) displaces heart, brain, body, mind healthy building materials- animal fat cholesterol and protein- from coming in. That’s bad enough, but compounds in grains block the absorption of the paucity of nutrients contained in the grains in the first place- from being absorbed well or at all. So grains replace nutrients in the diet, don’t contain enough nutrients themselves and then they block absorption of the paltry amount of nutrients in them to begin with. I’m also pretty certain grains actively leach nutrients already contained in the body- they help to remove even more!

    If you were to heat your house by throwing into the furnace money, wooden furniture, the walls, what have you, for fuel, you would quickly be cold and desititute.

    If your car isn’t running well, try draining out most of the oil and stop putting gasoline in it when it runs out and see how well that works.

    Reply
  21. Cameron Baum

    I’ve been thinking about all of this carefully, and maybe eating wheat isn’t so bad…

    Let me explain. And remember, I’m formulating a hypothesis; I’m not saying I’m right, or wrong, just thinking out loud possibilities.

    Wheat does huge amounts of mischief to the system… but for up-teen decades, we’ve been going wholesale towards mono-cropping. We’ve gotten our productivity levels up, but at the cost of food stability. All it takes is one disease to come along, and devastate world crops. There are thousands of varieties of foodstuffs an animal stocks, and huge proportions of them are either endangered or extinct.

    What if we should be looking at all the grain varieties, to see if they are better for us? I also believe that the different ethnicities of the world are the formations of sub-species. Certain populations have genetic characteristics that have helped them prevail over certain environmental adversities. No single group is superior, because evolution is the continuation of natural selection over a period of time, and natural selection is what works best in a set place at a set time.

    Thus, we need to look at our local environments, and our own genetic pre-dispositioning, and cultural and familial backgrounds before making sweeping statements about diet and nutritional well-being. For me, something that is a huge problem is wheat. This I have worked out, thanks to Tom and his wonderful campaign against the mainstream stupidity. There seems to be a certain amount I can have before things go Hiroshima at toilet time. But other cereals have yet to be proven to be disastrous on the system. My Oat Test isn’t proving that it is anywhere near as bad as wheat, and is certainly filling. And a little porridge fills me up for hours.

    Potatoes are also a food stuff that has yet to demonstrate disaster when it comes to exit strategy. Yet, Tom has stated repeatedly that potatoes are not the best for him. In Peru and Bolivia, they build entire diets around the potato, but then they have hundreds of varieties to choose from, all with differing nutritional values and tastes.

    I certainly find meat to be okay, and increasing the meat levels, and reducing cereal levels has done wonders for me. But in places like Ethiopia, they grow many varieties of wheat, largely to protect against famine. (The famine of 1984 was largely due to mono-cropping in the country.) Could one of those varieties be better for me to digest?

    Perhaps the answer doesn’t simply lie in reducing wheat, but changing our agricultural practices, so we do all of the farming methods of the past, like planting legumes with wheat, because it puts nitrogen in the soil?

    And certainly reducing the amounts of highly processed foods in our diet. That is a must.

    What do people think of this, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Oh, and I’ve listened to the podcast. It was very informative, and enjoyable. I’ve downloaded others, and will listen to them at some point, because I think that it might help with the development of my ideas. Keep up the good work Tom!

    I’m all for changing our agricultural practices, but we’re in a pickle with the wheat situation. The type grown now was the result of both of cross-breeding and gene splicing, with the goal of producing much higher yields. That part of the plan worked, and without the higher yields, we might be looking at mass starvation around the world. The problem is that this mutant wheat was never tested to see if it’s actually fit for human consumption. I don’t believe it is, at least not without negative health consequences for many of the people consuming it. Old-fashioned wheat grown using old-fashioned farming methods may not be an option unless we’re willing to create a food shortage, given today’s worldwide population.

    Reply
  22. Cameron Baum

    I’ve been thinking about all of this carefully, and maybe eating wheat isn’t so bad…

    Let me explain. And remember, I’m formulating a hypothesis; I’m not saying I’m right, or wrong, just thinking out loud possibilities.

    Wheat does huge amounts of mischief to the system… but for up-teen decades, we’ve been going wholesale towards mono-cropping. We’ve gotten our productivity levels up, but at the cost of food stability. All it takes is one disease to come along, and devastate world crops. There are thousands of varieties of foodstuffs an animal stocks, and huge proportions of them are either endangered or extinct.

    What if we should be looking at all the grain varieties, to see if they are better for us? I also believe that the different ethnicities of the world are the formations of sub-species. Certain populations have genetic characteristics that have helped them prevail over certain environmental adversities. No single group is superior, because evolution is the continuation of natural selection over a period of time, and natural selection is what works best in a set place at a set time.

    Thus, we need to look at our local environments, and our own genetic pre-dispositioning, and cultural and familial backgrounds before making sweeping statements about diet and nutritional well-being. For me, something that is a huge problem is wheat. This I have worked out, thanks to Tom and his wonderful campaign against the mainstream stupidity. There seems to be a certain amount I can have before things go Hiroshima at toilet time. But other cereals have yet to be proven to be disastrous on the system. My Oat Test isn’t proving that it is anywhere near as bad as wheat, and is certainly filling. And a little porridge fills me up for hours.

    Potatoes are also a food stuff that has yet to demonstrate disaster when it comes to exit strategy. Yet, Tom has stated repeatedly that potatoes are not the best for him. In Peru and Bolivia, they build entire diets around the potato, but then they have hundreds of varieties to choose from, all with differing nutritional values and tastes.

    I certainly find meat to be okay, and increasing the meat levels, and reducing cereal levels has done wonders for me. But in places like Ethiopia, they grow many varieties of wheat, largely to protect against famine. (The famine of 1984 was largely due to mono-cropping in the country.) Could one of those varieties be better for me to digest?

    Perhaps the answer doesn’t simply lie in reducing wheat, but changing our agricultural practices, so we do all of the farming methods of the past, like planting legumes with wheat, because it puts nitrogen in the soil?

    And certainly reducing the amounts of highly processed foods in our diet. That is a must.

    What do people think of this, or am I barking up the wrong tree?

    Oh, and I’ve listened to the podcast. It was very informative, and enjoyable. I’ve downloaded others, and will listen to them at some point, because I think that it might help with the development of my ideas. Keep up the good work Tom!

    I’m all for changing our agricultural practices, but we’re in a pickle with the wheat situation. The type grown now was the result of both of cross-breeding and gene splicing, with the goal of producing much higher yields. That part of the plan worked, and without the higher yields, we might be looking at mass starvation around the world. The problem is that this mutant wheat was never tested to see if it’s actually fit for human consumption. I don’t believe it is, at least not without negative health consequences for many of the people consuming it. Old-fashioned wheat grown using old-fashioned farming methods may not be an option unless we’re willing to create a food shortage, given today’s worldwide population.

    Reply
  23. Cameron Baum

    Tom, we are already in a massive pickle: crop yields are not increasing fast enough. Puccinia graminis, more commonly known as stem rust, is spreading around the globe at an alarming rate. The current strain started in Uganda, Then spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen. It then jumped the Persian Gulf, and is happily going through the fields of wheat in Iran. Scientists are predicting that it’ll soon hit the breadbaskets of India and Pakistan, then go to China and Russia. And if a spore gets onto a passenger’s shoe, it can then fly to other places in the world.

    If it hits America, you are looking at an estimation of a billion dollar’s worth of wheat at risk. As it stands, the wheat in imminent danger of destruction gives as a primary food source a billion people.

    This is the cost of using just a few varieties as key foodstuffs: utter vulnerability of disease and having to use huge amounts of fertiliser and pesticides to keep it growing in environments it struggles to live in.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention… roughly ninety percent of the world’s wheat supply is defenceless to the current strain of stem rust.

    This danger has already happened in the past. Consider the potato. it was brought to Europe in in the late sixteenth century, and became a reliable back-up to cereals. By the early 1800s, the Irish were almost entirely dependant on it. They had settles upon a variety called the Lumper potato, because of the high yields it produced. The potato famine was the result of them being vulnerable to the blight that struck the land, and we all know what the results of that were. Another good example is the 1984 famine in Eithiopia: the results of monocropping.

    As you are soon to be a farmer, I wholly suggest looking at communicating with Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa. It’s home to the Seed Savers Exchange, a project dedicated preserving what is known as heirloom varieties. I’d also loom into rare breeds as well. Did you know that farmers in the Orkneys bred a variety of sheep called the North Ronaldsay sheep, which only eats seaweed? The Shenko is a breed of cattle from Ethiopia. It is a good milk producer that is able to withstand harsh conditions, and has a resistance to sleeping sickness.

    The more you look, the more you realise that we have been going for short term gains in food production, at the expense of durability against crises developing, and environmental impact decimating the genetically weaker, high yield crops we covet.

    Yikes. We could have a helluva mess on our hands if the wheat-dependent populations can’t get enough wheat. My wife has been looking into heirloom seeds. I’ll pass this on to her.

    Reply
  24. Cameron Baum

    Tom, we are already in a massive pickle: crop yields are not increasing fast enough. Puccinia graminis, more commonly known as stem rust, is spreading around the globe at an alarming rate. The current strain started in Uganda, Then spread to Kenya, Ethiopia, Sudan and Yemen. It then jumped the Persian Gulf, and is happily going through the fields of wheat in Iran. Scientists are predicting that it’ll soon hit the breadbaskets of India and Pakistan, then go to China and Russia. And if a spore gets onto a passenger’s shoe, it can then fly to other places in the world.

    If it hits America, you are looking at an estimation of a billion dollar’s worth of wheat at risk. As it stands, the wheat in imminent danger of destruction gives as a primary food source a billion people.

    This is the cost of using just a few varieties as key foodstuffs: utter vulnerability of disease and having to use huge amounts of fertiliser and pesticides to keep it growing in environments it struggles to live in.

    Oh, and I forgot to mention… roughly ninety percent of the world’s wheat supply is defenceless to the current strain of stem rust.

    This danger has already happened in the past. Consider the potato. it was brought to Europe in in the late sixteenth century, and became a reliable back-up to cereals. By the early 1800s, the Irish were almost entirely dependant on it. They had settles upon a variety called the Lumper potato, because of the high yields it produced. The potato famine was the result of them being vulnerable to the blight that struck the land, and we all know what the results of that were. Another good example is the 1984 famine in Eithiopia: the results of monocropping.

    As you are soon to be a farmer, I wholly suggest looking at communicating with Heritage Farm in Decorah, Iowa. It’s home to the Seed Savers Exchange, a project dedicated preserving what is known as heirloom varieties. I’d also loom into rare breeds as well. Did you know that farmers in the Orkneys bred a variety of sheep called the North Ronaldsay sheep, which only eats seaweed? The Shenko is a breed of cattle from Ethiopia. It is a good milk producer that is able to withstand harsh conditions, and has a resistance to sleeping sickness.

    The more you look, the more you realise that we have been going for short term gains in food production, at the expense of durability against crises developing, and environmental impact decimating the genetically weaker, high yield crops we covet.

    Yikes. We could have a helluva mess on our hands if the wheat-dependent populations can’t get enough wheat. My wife has been looking into heirloom seeds. I’ll pass this on to her.

    Reply
  25. Joe Leonardi

    I will be catching up on my listening later this week. I look forward to it. Dr. Su is a great source of information and an excellent host. I was a guest a few episodes back.
    Have a great day,
    Joe

    Reply
  26. Joe Leonardi

    I will be catching up on my listening later this week. I look forward to it. Dr. Su is a great source of information and an excellent host. I was a guest a few episodes back.
    Have a great day,
    Joe

    Reply

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