Why I SLAMMED Low Carbers At Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee – Dr. Pam Popper
– The fascination with the high-fat diets
is that you get some immediate weight loss
and that sort of thing,
but I testified in front of the
USDA Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee
and there are so many of these low–
– That was recently, wasn’t it?
– Yeah, a couple weeks ago.
– And there were so many of
these low-carb advocates there.
– Yeah, how was that?
‘Cause I’ve just the
surface, the footage surface,
I’ve only just seen it.
I’ve seen Dr. Greger there.
Who else was there?
– Yeah, Dr. Bart and Susan
Levin from PCRM was there.
– Yeah, yeah, yeah.
– We were pretty well represented I think.
How did that stack up against
the ketogenic community?
– Well, the ketogenic people
were angry for one thing.
I think that they’re constipated
which is why they rant
and rave and scream.
But were all talking
about short term results,
and when it was my turn to get up and talk
I said, “listen,”
if you take a look at
high-fat diets, low-carb diets
the measurements short-term show
that the benefits are there.
People lose weight and
their numbers come down.
But if the only thing that we’re gonna do
is consider short-term benefits,
there are a lot of
things that cause people
to lose weight and have good biomarkers.
One’s cocaine addiction.
I’ve never had a fat
cocaine addict in my office.
And I’ve never had one
with high cholesterol
or high fasting glucose levels.
Now I’m being facetious, of course,
but the point is, if the
only thing that counts
is short-term, a lot of things
are short-term good, bad in the long term
because it takes a long
time for cancer to develop
in response to a high-fat
diet, for example,
or a high-protein diet.
A plant-based diet, low in fat,
high in fiber, is the one consumed
by the healthiest people on the planet.
Like the Okinawans who didn’t get the memo
that high-carb, starch-based
diets are bad for you.
So I strongly encourage the committee
to take a very strong stance on this issue
and recommend a whole
foods plant-based diet.
Thank you very much.
And the other thing, the high-fat people
or low-carb people were
One actually said that
anybody who’s diabetic
is actually carb-resistant.
– [Klaus] Yeah.
– Which is patently ridiculous.
I mean, that’s a ridiculous
statement to make.
And I said that if carbs and
starch are so bad for you
two billion Asians didn’t get the memo.
And the Okinawans
certainly don’t understand
what their poor state of health probably–
– What do you think
they’d say back to that?
Correlation doesn’t equal causation?
– Well this was to the committee.
– Okay, but what do you think?
– This was to the committee.
– ‘Cause that’s the
typical argument they make
in response to people like you right?
– (chuckles) Well, they basically say,
“Well, you know, the
Okinawans eat some fish.”
They don’t really have much to say back
from a scientific standpoint.
And when people refuse
to look at successful–
– Well the one thing that sets keto off,
the one thing they do,
’cause I really want to make this
a conversational thing that
these low-carb people can tune into,
– and be like, “ah, they’re incorporating
“all view points,” what
they do say back is,
“well, there’s never
been a vegan population,”
so plant-based health experts always talk
about the blue-zones and stuff.
But each one of those blue zones
did contain a certain
amount of animal protein.
So how do you reconcile the two?
– Well, I think that’s a valid point.
But really the common denominator
of all of these populations
is it’s an extremely
that’s mostly plants.
Okay, and so let’s–
– [Klaus] So it’s diametrically opposed
to what they recommend.
– Yeah. Well right.
So let’s take the vegan
issue off the table
because I don’t think
anybody had any hopes
that the Dietary Guidelines Committee
was gonna come out with a vegan diet.
We weren’t there to promote that.
We were there to basically say
that the science is quite clear
that a plant-based diet
that’s high in carbohydrate
and includes starchy foods is best.
And that’s true.
So if you take a look at this without,
you and I feel very
strongly about being vegan,
but if you take off the table
and just look at dietary
patterns we’re still right.
– Mmm-hmm. Does the ketogenic community
have any evidence showing
that you can reverse diseases
with a low-carb diet?
– No. No.
And the plant-based community,
on the other hand,
do you have that data?
– Yes. Yes.
– In the form of early-stage
prostate cancer, I believe
– Heart disease, diabetes
– Heart disease,
– Some form, yeah.
So there’s quite a bit
and we have some data on
inflammatory bowel disease.
And you’re seeing more coming
out with other diseases too,
not just the big three.
– Sure, so we’ve got…
– The louder and crankier
these keto people get,
like I really was blown away by how angry
and adamant and rude the keto
and low-carb people were.
The first doctor who
was low-carb presenting
got up there and she said,
“the dietary guidelines are a joke.
“This whole thing is a joke.”
And in a very angry way.
And a lot of them were like that.
They had to be told to
shut up and sit down
because they went over their time.
– Is that a lack of integrity?
Are they sort of, are they misinformed?
– I feel like they all
got together and said,
they are misinformed,
but I feel like they got together
and they said, “we’re gonna go in there
“and we’re gonna tell them!”
You know, right, ’cause they
all kind of have that attitude.
See, I, again, a
silver-lining girl, right,
so what do I think about that?
I think they did us a great favor.
Because had they gone in there
and said something like this,
and ’cause they didn’t ask my opinion–
– Well we could argue that
case better than them.
– Which you’re about to do.
– Right. Well here’s what
they could have done,
and they would have gained some traction,
maybe we shouldn’t be
so dogmatic about fat
when there’s a range of fat intake.
And not only were they angry,
they all told the same story.
Now here’s the story,
“all of my patients were eating
“a high-carbohydrate diet
and exercising an hour a day,
“and they all were still sick.
“And I put them on a
high-fat, low-carb diet
and they all got well.”
Which is just kind of
remarkable to think about.
I wonder where all these great eaters
who exercise an hour a day are,
’cause they’re not coming into our office.
Seriously. Look at the data for them.
It’s just ridiculous.
So they were patently misrepresenting.
I think they were easy to counter.
And they actually did us a favor,
because I think that,
by the end of the day,
they did not seem like
very reasonable people.
– All right, so how many
compared to the ketogenic?
– Oh I think twice to three times as many.
– And then there were some,
I’ll tell what the guy who
was the most entertaining
said that what they should do is
come up with a macro-nutrient diet,
that was the high-fat, low-carb.
But propose that people
could do carnivore, paleo,
they could do any way that they do it.
And vegan, plant-based, and then,
this was his rationale for doing it,
then, the Guidelines Committee would not
have to make any industry group angry
because everybody could qualify.
And I thought well that’s
an interesting proposal.
Instead of saying we shouldn’t have
these conflicts of interest interfering
in very important health-related issues,
let’s come up with a method to allow
the conflicts of interest to continue
so the beef industry’s not upset.
I mean it’s just bizarre.
– Yeah, that is bizarre.
(Dr. Popper chuckles)
Sort of like how the
USDA in 2015 said like
eat lots of fruits and vegetables.
But when it came to meat,
the messaging was like
oh, restrict the amount of saturated fat.
– It’s like a tacit way
to please everybody.
‘Cause nobody goes to the grocery store
to buy saturated fat so nobody knows
what that really means.
– Exactly. Exactly.
– They need to be specific.
And I’ve testified about that previously.
If what I was saying was not right,
and if it wasn’t threatening to them,
they wouldn’t be doing these things to me
now would they?
– So we’re striking a nerve.
And that goes to what you said earlier.
Are we gonna win this? Yeah.
And that’s what they’re worried about.
That’s what they’re worried about.
Because if they really thought
that I was some inconsequential bug
that they could step on and move on
and didn’t have to worry about,
that’s what they would do.
But that’s not what’s going on.
They’re very worried about people like me
and Peter Breggin and others who are doing
this type of thing because it
does threaten their monopoly
and their livelihood and
their trillions of dollars
every year in business.