In this week’s video, I had the pleasure of interviewing medical researcher and journalist Gary Taubes. Notably, Gary wrote both “Why We Get Fat” and “Good Calories/Bad Calories”, and is a pioneer of the idea that it isn’t fat that makes us fat, but simple sugars and carbohydrates. Join us for an in-depth discussion on nutrition, obesity, health, and more.

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  • bill

    Always great to hear from Gary Taubes.

    • David Perlmutter

      Yes, he offers an important perspective!

      • Allison

        THIS is my dream interview, with 2 of the most credible, paradigm changing experts on the topic. My husband’s type 2 diabetes and poor blood markers (High triglycerides, dangerous, dense pattern LDL cholesterol…) were Completely reversed in only 2 months of following a ketogenic diet. (Healthy fats only, such as coconut oil & grass fed butter- Kerrygold brand. Other fat containing foods include wild caught salmon, grass fed beef & cheese. Yes, he also lost ~ 25 lbs. in this timeframe. He also ate plenty of low carb veggies like crucifers & salad/ kale greens plus small amounts of various berries).

        Exercise is important for many reasons including improvement of poor HDL cholesterol markers. (Increasing his HDL has been our most resistant challenge. Any thoughts, in addition to adding intermittent fasting & HIIT Dr. Perlmutter)?

        What I love (for the naysayers out there) is that I have detailed fasting blood marker reports (2 months apart) that show how quickly and effectively someone can turn around their health Themselves. Yes, it takes effort, including actually cooking some of your own food so you know that the source of your fats… really does come from healthy sources.

        Did our family M.D. know or teach us any of this? Of course not. He said to eat low fat/ count calories, & wanted to whip out his prescription pad. None of this had been working, so I did my own research. Dr. Perlmutter, Gary Taubes, & Chris Kresser are among the most credible, trusted sources you will find.

  • TechnoTriticale

    Any chance of a transcript?

  • Eve-Loraine

    I have been so blessed to have found all this good information. So many people are following standard dietary information and taking medication.

  • Lynn Dell

    I would add aerobic exercise is not only crucial for BDNF, but also insulin sensitivity, the generation of collateral circulation, and the strengthening of the heart muscle. Furthermore, resistance training is practically a must as we age. Muscle mass is a great thing to have for numerous reasons. It just can’t be done apart from dietary considerations, if it is health and longevity we seek.

    • Opine2u

      I absolutely agree on the importance of both aerobic exercise and strength training, combined with good solid (preferably organic) low carb nutrition and peace of mind,

      Dr. Joe Mercola ( is also touting, in numerous articles, the importance of HIIT, high intensity interval training. Spending about 20 minutes on HIIT 2-3 times a week increases our fitness level faster than other methods of training, while stimulating our bodies’ natural production of human growth hormone. It also helps the telomeres in DNA, which figure in our longevity. There is even some research, according to Dr. Mercola, that may call into question the benefit of aerobic exercise if overdone.
      He’s now suggesting that something in excess of 450 minutes (if I remember correctly) per week of aerobic exercise might in fact be of some long term detriment to our cardiovascular systems.

      • Lynn Dell

        From years ago there has been evidence that overdoing aerobic exercise has disrupted both male and female endocrine function, exacerbated joint, ligament, and tendon inflammation, and has possibly contributed to cancer, tho I have not read the latest on the last one. Years ago Kenneth Cooper said if you run more than 15 miles a week you are doing it for reasons other than health. The notion of too much exercise has been known for years. Inflammation and too much stress mean you’ve passed the limit of what is beneficial in the long run, no pun intended.

      • Lynn Dell

        PS – I have Dr. Mercola’s book and was very interested to read his take on burst training as well.

  • army brat

    This is so informative. I have never heard, for instance, that insulin actually locks in fat. This needs to be said more to the public.

  • Sandra Clagett

    This discussion was extremely interesting. I’m glad they are going to do clinical studies on this. We need to change the “media message”!

  • HighlandHoney

    going to Mayo’s tomorrow – to determine if I have PAD and carrotid artery disease; have high cholesterol

  • Renee

    If I win the lottery part is your

    • Kelly

      I second this remark, me too!

  • Craig Ross

    I eat a ton of starch and no added sugar. 3.94 cholesterol 100/50 blood pressure and 7.1% bodyfat. My 166g of soaked oats with peanuts, apple and skimmed milk is about as easy to digest as Putin’s denials of involvement in the Ukraine. Starch in a mixed bowl is a very, very different thing to a bottle of sugar.

    • Kelly

      If you have 7.1% body fat then you’re not under discussion, and you’re probably also a bodybuilder (below 10% body fat) with much more muscle mass than an obese person with insulin resistance whose body is in a catabolic state all the time.
      Your response is glib. If it was as easy as “give up sugar” then everyone would do it. It’s easier to prevent obesity than to solve it after it happens. But if you’d watched the entire video, you’d have known that. Both people admitted they still were not 100% sure how to solve it. It takes intellectual honesty to admit such a thing.

      • Craig Ross

        Well, this is science and the generality we’re talking about, not specific individuals. Edinburgh University spent a fortune doing a heavy water (O3) experiment, asking people to keep food diaries while measuring their real calorie consumption through O3. The result? Fat people either a) lie, or b) genuinely don’t know when they’re putting things in their mouths. Whatever the cause, the O3 showed that the fat people were sticking away the calories, but their diaries said something different. As Scotty said, Ye canny change the laws o’ physics.

    • Kelly

      Actually looking over your comments it looks like you’re a cyclist and you stated “My weight hasn’t moved in thirty years and nor has my percentage bodyfat” so you’re definitely poorly suited to understand the situation of obese people. Maybe all that cortisol from long rides is getting to you. Here’s a thought exercise you might try: find someone you love and give them a hug. Now imagine them in constant daily pain, and unable to lose the weight they’ve put on in the past 10 years. Imagine they really are trying everything and it isn’t working. Imagine they can’t do active things with you or even take care of their home anymore because they are exhausted all the time. Imagine they are taking every OTC drug imaginable trying just to keep agony at bay long enough to get through the day then collapse on the couch, or force themselves to exercise then collapse. Either way, it doesn’t work to lose weight. They’ve tried all the diets, all the yoga, the pilates, the walking, the running, the HIIT, the… etc… maybe it started with a surgery, or they lost a job and it took 6 months to find a new one. However it happened. It’s now a problem. It’s not the same problem as how to keep the weight off. Maybe you will now see the problem for what it is.
      You’re right. Carbs are probably fine for you. And they’d be fine for me if I were your size, and capable of your activity level. But not now. Do you get it yet?

  • Bobby Hammons

    I follow this advice, however I have to lie to my heart doc as he still beleive the opisit. I have gone from 287 lbs to 197 and my heart function has increased following this diet.

    • Susan Gregg

      Congratulations on your weight loss & I hope you are also feeling the benefit of a healthier life. Keep up the good work, most Dr. do not have time (or interest) in making a study of nutrition other than the popular & inaccurate information fed them often by drug companies & mass media. My husband is a doctor & after closing his practice has read both Gary Taubes & Dr. Perlmutter’s books & also “It Starts With Food” by Dallas & Melissa Hartwig & has (after many years) lost his “beer” belly (he doesn’t drink beer tho.) P.S. I’ve read & we own the books also.

  • Dr. Duc Viet Nguyen,Ph.D

    My thankful appreciation to Dr. David Permutter & valuable comments from listeners.
    As an Independent Health Researcher, worldwide May I share with you ” Physical Works + Mental Works + Organic Foods + Social Supports for Aging Persons will bring health benefits while people on medication, physical treatments in medical clinics.
    I visit my aunt, Vietnamese lady 93 years of age living in Texas. Daily, she does gardener and prepares foods for her grand children, children (at age over 60).
    She teaches me: “Love and Care for the others are most important for her at this times since she does not know when her life will be ended.”
    My pleasure to share with you with Respectful Thanks.

  • Brenda Stimpson

    We need to support NuSI in its quest to find definitive evidence. Hard to believe so many have been duped for so long.

  • Michael Devirian

    Excellent article on “The Fat Gene” in October 2015 Scientific American.

  • Tim Buist
  • Vincent Musschoot

    Hello, I loosed 30 lbs in 10 weeks with one simple dynamic between nutrition – sport – mental power; and I am very interested by what you are talking about here! This is very meaningful.

    Best regards,


    God, grant what I say, be of Thy Word,
    So others shall be blessed for having heard;
    And grant that my path be Thy Chosen Way,
    So those who hold my hand will not be led astray.

  • Rebecca Cody

    In Brainmaker Dr Perlmutter talks about research showing that fat rats became normal after normal rats’ gut bacteria were introduced into their colons. And normal rats got fat when implanted with the microbiome of fat rats. OK, so they were giving lab rats enemas. I wonder how that looked! But I digress. I want to know how to get the right mix of gut bacteria to help me lose weight. It doesn’t matter how I eat and exercise – if I don’t go on a diet I cannot lose weight. And eventually I gain it back, though not quickly. I’ve never been a big eater. I eat far less than friends who maintain their weight without difficulty. Now I’m thinking it is the micobiome connection.

    • David Perlmutter

      Exactly, it’s not just what you eat, but what your food does with what you eat.

  • Kelly

    If you want to see how science has changed on obesity, use Google Scholar, and tell it to give you only results that are older than 1980, then older than 1970, then older than 1960… you get the idea. I found a study after study in the 1960s talking about how to use stimulants with low carb diets to get excellent results that last beyond the time the drug is applied. Most of them start with “drug therapy plus diet and exercise are much more effective than diet and exercise alone.” I don’t know if I should laugh or cry when I read such things… and then I read bewildered news articles today like “I wonder why we have an obesity epidemic?” I think we need to evaluate the level of civilization of a country by how much they humiliate any subgroup instead of helping them.

  • Kelly

    Gary Taubes mentions NASH and Latino children. I read recently about histamine receptors and NASH. I wonder if there is a connection between ashthma, histamine use (especially H2R antagonists that last all day), and childhood obesity. Just throwing that out there.

  • Kelly

    Exercise works in the long term, over one year, if you stick to weight lifting and short term HIIT while still obese. Exercise generally does not work if you’re doing studies that last for less than a year, and you’re having people go on walks. Because cardio for obese people causes too much thyroid depression and cortisol release, it’s likely to be much more than a thin person. But if you go this route, with exercise, you must NOT diet, and NOT limit eating, except to limit carbs to a reasonable level. And this method works better for men than women because of their naturally higher levels of testosterone. That said, I believe that a reasonable amount of muscle mass is equivalent to longevity. The first thing decimated by metabolic syndrome is muscle mass. Maybe one thing to do about “getting fat” is to get some muscle, so there is someplace to put nutrients besides the fat cells.
    Ultimately the biome won’t improve while you’re obese without better energy levels on a cellular level, that means stimulants of some sort until your body is recovered. If the traditional ones are impossible to get, then ask your doctor about SNRIs or combination SNRI and dopamine reuptake inhibitors, which have a similar effect and are for some crazy reason more “acceptable” than a simple stimulant. I believe this is because the liver doesn’t have the energy to maintain the biome anyway, so no matter how much you feed it, no matter how many probiotics you take, it’s a minimal effect unless the liver can detoxify the products of the negative ones, and ultimately create an unfriendly environment for them. I think, for me, as long as there is insulin resistance and/or NASH, there is bad gut biome. The only thing that reversed it was Topamax/phentermine. Now I can eat the FODMAPs you suggest, Dr. Perlmutter. Before, it was torture.

  • Janie

    Totally agree we need to get informed by experts other than our robot general AMA physicians. My doctor told me to exercise for 60 minutes a day four times a week and eat little to no fat stating the Framingham study. I do just the opposite and go to her annually just for the basics.

  • Katie

    I’ve been following grain brain for 2-3weeks & when I went to dr. To get my tests ran, my blood pressure which is normally 125/ 70 was 154/75 that worries me,has this happened to anyone else? Just curios, told dr. About the diet& he didn’t think it would cause blood pressure to go up, so he ran tests that were in book. Let you know later!

  • Dinorah Sanchez

    I need information about how to improve endometriosis…I have frequent pain, myomas, hemorragic cyst and other things related to this condition. Thanks

  • Ryk Kem

    What is everyone’s take on the Ray Peat Diet?