8

votes

Why is Dr. McDougall wrong?

Commented on October 05, 2014
Created November 29, 2011 at 5:59 PM

He sites studies, as we usually demand, so....is he wrong? Are the studies wrong? Remember, for a long time we all thought Taubes was right, and that conclusion turned out to be flawed. Whose science are we to believe?

Here is the link

69ef0c402fdeac79150457ce8566a79c

on October 05, 2014
at 11:16 PM

I do not know who is wrong or if anyone is. I used McDougall got the BEST results of my life. My bobyfat percentage was down to 2.5% in 3 months!!! I actually had to eat some meat and fatty foods to keep my weight. I have tried Paleo and it just doesn'd work for me. Sardinian men who live the longest eat bred vegi soups and cheese. That is a lot of food that Paleos don't eat.

 

You have to do what works for you.

John

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

ha ha, obviously you haven't read about his diet or tried to follow it. There is nothing high glycemic about it. A great diet if you love feeling starved, and love constant burping and farting.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 08, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I feel like his diet is like the other "healthy" diets (like the older WW) that insisted that two cups of milk every day were important. Always made me sick, too.

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 30, 2011
at 10:06 PM

@edrice, my comment was just a possible answer to the initial question. i am unqualified to challenge his interpretation of the evidence.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 30, 2011
at 03:26 PM

maybe an admission that McDougall isn't guilty at all....

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 29, 2011
at 10:45 PM

I guess my point, Brad, is why would anyone want to take the time to debunk the little-known Dr. Whoever. The short answer is that even though he cites studies, a lot of what he write is just plain wrong.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 10:35 PM

Though Taubes may want to be the Oppenheimer of paleo, having ghost writers compile lit searches to sell copy is not quite the same thing as running the Manhattan Project.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 10:22 PM

Do you think Taubes is going to abandon the insulin hypothesis, even though it's collapsing as we speak? I doubt it...gotta protect the brand.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Is this tacit admission that McDougal is guilty?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:57 PM

Taubes is Keys? What a grave, grave danger Brad. Horrors. A soft-spoken studious researcher vs an arrogant, egomaniacal blowhard who dissed anyone who got into his path. An Ancel Keys of today would still be following Ancel Keys recipe, like McDougal.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:13 PM

But Taubes and others are just as guilty of this as McDougall, yes?

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:10 PM

Jay, I am asking for some general reactions to his overall argument. To do as you suggest would be a different question, not the one I wanted to ask.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:09 PM

And yet I see a danger that Taubes is going to become the Ancel Keyes of the paleo movement.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I have yet to have a family member succumb to leaky gut. But a lot of them have succumbed to stroke and heart problems, for which the cumulative cause was inactivity and overeating carb-laden diets. I prefer to dwell on the realities of mortality rather than the shadowy possibilities.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:50 PM

"Age early" is a bit vague and misleading when what was probably meant was "die early" and the assertion assumes that the only thing in effect is diet. LikesLardinMayo met modern SAD natives and claimed they weren't healthy which stands to reason being on SAD. My point was how did they fare a century ago and Masterjohn sheds more light and doesn't absently attempt to narrow everything to diet in a discussion in this link - http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-are-the-inuit-healthy.html

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:43 PM

No, it wasn't paleo but in New England, where I was, grains were 25% or less of total foods. Breakfast was normally meat and eggs with milk, weekday lunch was a sandwich but had real mayo and tons of meat, weekend dinner was a full meal with meat and veggies and maybe rolls, supper was another full meal with meat and veggies and we didn't normally have bread. Dessert was unusual and more apt to be a fruit pie or ice cream than a cake.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Don't forget the rewarding nitrites and MSG!

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:29 PM

When I was a child we ate all that paleo-friendly stuff, but we also ate Wheaties and wonder bread. The 50's wasn't a paleo garden of eating.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Need not go any further than that quote to get a good chuckle....

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:13 PM

LikesLardinMayo..I would actually go with grains not properly prepared (ie. the way almost all Americans eat them) WILL IN MOST PEOPLE lead to poorer health. I would consider those who have absolutely no poor response to grains in the short or long term to be in the minority. So preparation and type of grain obviously play a role....I just think it is far larger than "some people" that are currently affected.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:08 PM

Thats a good point Matt. Probably why so much just comes down to a philosophical debate. We are all biased.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:02 PM

Not all people have an autoimmune response, but almost everyone who eats wheat has leaky gut due to gluten.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I never heard "craptarians" before. I will usurp it as my own in the future.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Often times on some topics, you can quote the same number of studies supporting either side. Heck, studies that support paleo principles are still in the minority, dwarfed by the studies that support "conventional wisdom".

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:53 PM

St5effanson did and he claims they age early

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Did you get a chance to meet them a century ago?

020053fd576e93d1d8fa20bfb10979b9

(410)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:27 PM

That statement jump out at me too. I must be about the same age since I remember the advent of margarine, low fat milk, and no-fat processed everything else. Really dating myself here, I remember when you sat at your own table for three meals a day, no snacking because it spoiled your appetite, and dessert was a special occasion treat. I wonder how much the sheer availability, day or night, of cheap, quick food also plays into the epidemic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Well said Jay!!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:22 PM

"he's advocating grains, which we know have anti-nutrients and cause leaky gut and autoimmune issues." Grains CAN, IN SOME PEOPLE....not all people who eat grains have autoimmune issues or leaky gut. Also these issues aren't caused by grains, they are caused by certain substance within SOME grains.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:22 PM

Taubes may have had some flawed conclusions but many that were right. He not only cited, but deeply analyzed and criticized more studies than any author I have ever read. Some of us are not ready to throw out the baby with the bathwater. McDougal handily picks what supports his conclusion and that's a very flawed, if not unscrupulous, methodology.

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:08 PM

Quite a bit of what he says is wrong, but not everything. Also, some of the answers below are not entirely accurate either. Science is nuanced; if you're motivated to do so, analyze his article piece by piece, perhaps posting some of most controversial/interesting statements as questions here...

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:06 PM

Some of what he says is wrong, some not. Some of the answers below also include statements that are not completely accurate. Science is nuanced; if you're motivated to do so, analyze his article piece by piece, perhaps posting some of most controversial/interesting statements as questions here...

4781cf8ae1bfcb558dfb056af17bea94

(4359)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:06 PM

Some of what he says is wrong, some not. Some of the answers below also include statements that are not completely accurate. Science is nuanced; if you're motivated to do so, analyze his article apart piece by piece, perhaps posting some of most controversial/interesting statements as questions here...

C2502365891cbcc8af2d1cf1d7b0e9fc

(2437)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:04 PM

He "cites" studies

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:02 PM

A follower of the Ancel Keys school of research.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:52 PM

"makeing" should be "making" I'm embarrassed.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:51 PM

+1 It's evident that when people start makeing up "facts" that bias is hard at work, studies or not. Enough research will tend to back up any conclusion.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Good points! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  • Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

    asked by

    (1982)
  • Views
    15.2K
  • Last Activity
    1499D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

7 Answers

12
96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:28 PM

His statement that,

"Over the past century there has been an escalating trend in Western societies of people abandoning starchy plant-foods for low-carbohydrate meat and dairy foods. A worldwide epidemic of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer has followed this dietary change. Thus, there are no exceptions???all large populations of healthy, trim people have lived on starch-based diets."

That's BS. I've lived through most of the century he's alluding to. When I was a child, people ate tons of meat and butter and drank full-fat milk. They were trim.

The epidemic of obesity, etc., etc., followed the "low fat lots of grain" recommendations not the low carb approach.

Even when I tried to follow the low-fat recommendations I couldn't make myself avoid meat. And sooner or later I'd have dry painful skin and would have to increase my fat intake.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:20 PM

Need not go any further than that quote to get a good chuckle....

020053fd576e93d1d8fa20bfb10979b9

(410)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:27 PM

That statement jump out at me too. I must be about the same age since I remember the advent of margarine, low fat milk, and no-fat processed everything else. Really dating myself here, I remember when you sat at your own table for three meals a day, no snacking because it spoiled your appetite, and dessert was a special occasion treat. I wonder how much the sheer availability, day or night, of cheap, quick food also plays into the epidemic.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:51 PM

+1 It's evident that when people start makeing up "facts" that bias is hard at work, studies or not. Enough research will tend to back up any conclusion.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:43 PM

No, it wasn't paleo but in New England, where I was, grains were 25% or less of total foods. Breakfast was normally meat and eggs with milk, weekday lunch was a sandwich but had real mayo and tons of meat, weekend dinner was a full meal with meat and veggies and maybe rolls, supper was another full meal with meat and veggies and we didn't normally have bread. Dessert was unusual and more apt to be a fruit pie or ice cream than a cake.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:29 PM

When I was a child we ate all that paleo-friendly stuff, but we also ate Wheaties and wonder bread. The 50's wasn't a paleo garden of eating.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:52 PM

"makeing" should be "making" I'm embarrassed.

4
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:06 PM

a) people are not obligate starch eaters - if we were those with insulin issues (both Type I and II diabetics) would be dead.

b) he's advocating grains, which we know have anti-nutrients and cause leaky gut and autoimmune issues.

c) As usual, his timelines are measured in tens of thousands of years, not hundreds of thousands to millions of years. Therefore, points to neolithic foods while ignoring millions of years of adaptaion.

d) Advocates carbs over proteins and fats "When cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken wings, and cheese are the daily fare, then people are fat and sick." which most obese people follow. You'll be hard pressed to find a carnivorous obese person (ignoring the cheese in his statement since dairy, like carbs is insulinogenic.)

Therefore, no different than any of the other Conventional Wisdom advocates.

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:13 PM

LikesLardinMayo..I would actually go with grains not properly prepared (ie. the way almost all Americans eat them) WILL IN MOST PEOPLE lead to poorer health. I would consider those who have absolutely no poor response to grains in the short or long term to be in the minority. So preparation and type of grain obviously play a role....I just think it is far larger than "some people" that are currently affected.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:22 PM

"he's advocating grains, which we know have anti-nutrients and cause leaky gut and autoimmune issues." Grains CAN, IN SOME PEOPLE....not all people who eat grains have autoimmune issues or leaky gut. Also these issues aren't caused by grains, they are caused by certain substance within SOME grains.

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19483)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:02 PM

Not all people have an autoimmune response, but almost everyone who eats wheat has leaky gut due to gluten.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:04 PM

I have yet to have a family member succumb to leaky gut. But a lot of them have succumbed to stroke and heart problems, for which the cumulative cause was inactivity and overeating carb-laden diets. I prefer to dwell on the realities of mortality rather than the shadowy possibilities.

3
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:41 PM

I think he's wrong, for most people. I base my judgement on how I feel when I am on his diet. I never lost weight on it, couldn't stay on it for more than a few weeks at a time without binging on the foods it was missing (I was vegetarian, just couldn't do vegan and/or low fat) and it made me feel sick. In fact, my stomach hurts just thinking about all that horrible food. For most people, it is probably better than SAD, and for "craptarians", but that is such a low bar. But frankly, I have about as much respect for others who compare to SAD and then claim victory.

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:01 PM

I never heard "craptarians" before. I will usurp it as my own in the future.

96bf58d8c6bd492dc5b8ae46203fe247

(37227)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:44 PM

Good points! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on December 08, 2011
at 06:25 PM

I feel like his diet is like the other "healthy" diets (like the older WW) that insisted that two cups of milk every day were important. Always made me sick, too.

2
C4f1a0c70c4e0dea507c2e346c036bbd

on November 29, 2011
at 06:27 PM

Most of the meats that obese people eat are convential raised, have fillers with some unnatural substance in them, and have breading or in a bun. The bun often has extra sugar too since wheat isn't very sweet raw. So very high carbs.

Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:31 PM

Don't forget the rewarding nitrites and MSG!

1
Medium avatar

(10601)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:19 PM

I don't think he's wrong. Adaptation is 10,000 year response, and the amylase argument is a good one. Despite our paleo heritage, we're now very well adapted to metabolize starch, and there's no going backwards on the linear path of evolution.

This does not discount the paleo lifestyle by any means. Eating starch is not a prescription for weight loss or better health. The problem with starch and other high glycemic carbs for most of us is that they digest easily. The resulting blood sugar spikes are fine for energy boosts, but also are effective for pushing bloodstream fatty acids into storage.

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on September 07, 2013
at 01:28 AM

ha ha, obviously you haven't read about his diet or tried to follow it. There is nothing high glycemic about it. A great diet if you love feeling starved, and love constant burping and farting.

1
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:38 PM

The fact of the matter is we are an adaptable species and the Kitavans pretty much prove that the idea "Low carb or bust" is bull. I don't agree with this guy but the Low-carb mantra is equally bogus. Having met a number of Inuit and other Natives from the extreme north of Canada I can tell you that the "...and are perfectly health and long-lived" is bull. They don't have diabetes or heart problems but they aren't in "perfect health".

E5c7f14800c5992831f5c70fa746dc5c

(12857)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:53 PM

St5effanson did and he claims they age early

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:49 PM

Did you get a chance to meet them a century ago?

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:50 PM

"Age early" is a bit vague and misleading when what was probably meant was "die early" and the assertion assumes that the only thing in effect is diet. LikesLardinMayo met modern SAD natives and claimed they weren't healthy which stands to reason being on SAD. My point was how did they fare a century ago and Masterjohn sheds more light and doesn't absently attempt to narrow everything to diet in a discussion in this link - http://www.diseaseproof.com/archives/diet-myths-are-the-inuit-healthy.html

1
B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 29, 2011
at 06:58 PM

He sites studies, as we usually demand, so....is he wrong? Are the studies wrong?

he likely cites studies and interpretations that support his ideas while excluding that which did not. to quote my grade 9 science teacher "you can prove anything so long as you choose your facts carefully"

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:02 PM

A follower of the Ancel Keys school of research.

Aebee51dc2b93b209980a89fa4a70c1e

(1982)

on November 29, 2011
at 09:13 PM

But Taubes and others are just as guilty of this as McDougall, yes?

3846a3b61bc9051e4baebdef62e58c52

(18635)

on November 29, 2011
at 08:08 PM

Thats a good point Matt. Probably why so much just comes down to a philosophical debate. We are all biased.

32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 29, 2011
at 07:56 PM

Often times on some topics, you can quote the same number of studies supporting either side. Heck, studies that support paleo principles are still in the minority, dwarfed by the studies that support "conventional wisdom".

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on November 29, 2011
at 10:00 PM

Is this tacit admission that McDougal is guilty?

8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on November 30, 2011
at 03:26 PM

maybe an admission that McDougall isn't guilty at all....

B4e1fa6a8cf43d2b69d97a99dfca262c

(10255)

on November 30, 2011
at 10:06 PM

@edrice, my comment was just a possible answer to the initial question. i am unqualified to challenge his interpretation of the evidence.

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!