#35: Helping Clients Fight Misinformation, Health Education

Is meat as bad as smoking?

This is episode 35 of Evil Sugar Radio. In this episode, we’re going to answer listener questions, talk about a few current events, and discuss some things on our minds.

As always, if you’re enjoying the show, please rate us in iTunes.

Episode 35 Overview

Here’s an overview of what we’ll be talking about in this episode:

  • Intro & Current Events – 0:00
    • Is meat as bad as smoking?
    • What’s not being discussed in the GMO debate?
    • Healthy living advice from centenarians
    • 120 science journals pulled for being computer-generated gibberish
    • CA legalizes selling of homemade food
  • Listener Questions – 12:25
    • Thoughts on Dr. McDougall’s take on Grain Brain and Wheat Belly. – 12:25
    • Tangent on comparing humans to cattle – 16:40
    • Do we have any shows on binge eating? – 25:20
    • What do we think about putting coconut oil in your coffee? – 26:40
    • How to help clients that come in with a brain full of misinformation? – 31:35
    • Do we have any suggestions on furthering one’s education in the health field? – 42:40

Show Notes

Is meat really as bad as smoking? (Examine.com) http://tinyurl.com/q8pnfah

“Eat and sleep and you will live a long time. You have to learn to relax.” (Yahoo! News) http://tinyurl.com/ljhatk8

Over 120 Science Journal Papers Pulled for Being Total Gibberish (Gizmodo.com)

“Nobel prize winner Sydney Brenner says peer review is broken and the institution of science is full of corrupt bureaucrats operating under perverse incentives” (Kings Review.co.uk) http://tinyurl.com/l2qgs4b

California Legalized Selling Food Made At Home And Created Over A Thousand Local Businesses (Forbes.com) http://tinyurl.com/lyjmh4o

GMOs, Silver Bullets, & The Trap of Reductionist Thinking (Ensia.com) http://tinyurl.com/q8r5x7j

Five easy ways to detect a BS news story (Cracked.com) http://tinyurl.com/oenfa6w

Intro music from Baba Brinkman’s Revenge of the Somatic. Purchase any of Baba’s music at http://bababrinkman.bandcamp.com/

Let us know what you think in the comments


  1. I just got word of this website last week and have to say bravo to you guys and the other speakers involved. You guys really put out clear and concise information with no bs. Keep on bringing the facts!

  2. Hey, I love your show! I’m love carbs, so I’m definitely biased, but I like Dr. McDougall. He’s actually not too bad, he says he has meat on holidays just not to be an obnoxious vegan, and he often mentions that those civilizations had starch heavy diets but with a little meat. His whole thing is calorie density and that plant foods are lower in calories so pretty straightforward. I travel a lot so eating like the Asians seems a lot more reasonable then eating like somebody theorizes that our theoretical ancestors theoretically ate 😉

    I think he deals mostly with older people who are very obese with diabetes and heart disease. On his forums everyone is pretty chill, again, lots of older people… grandparents talking about their grandchildren, people with low incomes who are thrilled to eat rice, beans and veg and lose weight on three dollars a day. Some are vegan some aren’t. If Dr. Mcdougall chimes in it’s usually against being too rigid and getting more variety. Not at all the usual crowd of know-it-all twenty somethings waxing poetic about a mythical friutopia or meatopia, but ultimately following whoever promises them the better body 😉

    It’s too bad he sometimes goes overdramatic about meat in the newsletters. At the moment carbs are the underdog so it doesn’t bother me too much. People probably feel like they need to fight fire with fire but it’s a shame because being dogmatic and fear mongering always hurts credibility.

    Keep the good shows coming! viva el helado!

  3. You guys are a bunch of ass-clown sugar addicts, clearly!

    Haha, jk! I love you guys and this was a great show. I enjoy hearing Antonio speak so passionately about these topics, and especially about cafe con leche…it makes my lady parts tingle. 😉

    Looking forward to catching up on the rest of the shows!


  4. Karl Hungus says:


    I’m new to your podcast and have, thus far, enjoyed five shows. I appreciate the blunt humor, the critical thinking, and your personal experiences.

    After a few of years following a mixture of paleo, primal, and low-ish carb, I found myself being very obsessive about food and highly judgmental of others who were not doing the same. One month, I spent $50 on bacon and another $50 on chocolate. This was okay, of course, because the bacon was pastured and the chocolate was 85% dark. Surely, that’s how our ancestors lived, right? How insane.

    Later, I started adding more exercise, in my quest for the coveted “six pack abs.” Never mind that I was in my mid-40s, had never been active or eaten consciously until around the age of 40, and could not recall ever seeing my abs. Not even as a kid. No matter, I just needed to exercise more! Still no abs? Obviously, I must have the wrong macronutrient ratio! I need to cut those 100 grams of carbs back to 50 grams or less and increase the fat!

    Not only did the abs never appear, I ended-up driving myself right over the cliff of sanity with the pedal still firmly pressed to the floor. I crashed. Hard.

    For the next six months, I struggled with a severe lack of energy, wandering muscle pain, joint aches, and anxiety, among other symptoms. So, to combat the issues, I did what any intelligent, sensible person would do: I found a different diet dogma to follow.

    This time, it was a Joel Fuhrman-inspired plan. I greatly increased my intake of vegetables — supposedly a good thing. But, I did it with “green smoothies” full of mixed greens, massive amounts of frozen fruits, coconut milk, coconut water, avocado, ground flax seeds, nuts, whey protein powder, hemp protein powder, and any other “health” foods I could cram into my NutriBullet.

    After three months of mostly avoiding meats, limiting fat, eating vegetable/bean soups and starches, and being mindful of calories, I had some lab tests performed: standard lipid/cholesterol panel, NRM LipoProfile, and Hemoglobin A1c. From the same tests a year earlier, just about every marker was worse. My triglycerides more than doubled, HDL went down, LDL-P went up, Chol/HDL ratio got worse, LDL/HDL ratio got worse, and Hgb A1c increased.

    Once again, I used flawless logic and started restricting foods further and looked for even more supplements to take. Well, there’s no need to explain it further, as you can see how things were going.

    These events led me to re-visit the work of Matt Stone. By this time, he had “killed his blog,” due to changes in his thinking, resulting from further research and self-experimentation. So, I bought four of his e-books and the accompanying audio versions. I give Matt a lot of credit for being able to reevaluate and change his mind. The same goes for you guys. However, some of the ideas did (and, still do) cause me some cognitive dissonance.


    1) On one hand, I would love to embrace the idea of eating whatever I want. Biscuits, cakes, pies, and, of course, ice cream — lots of deadly ice cream. On the other hand, doesn’t it make sense to eat nutrient-dense food? Can my body regenerate itself optimally with the calories from the aforementioned foods, versus the calories in meat, vegetables, fruit, legumes, grains, etc.?

    2) As a corollary to #1, isn’t eating whatever we want what caused most people to end-up in poor health? On the flip side, I know from personal experience that fanatical obsession with a “perfect” diet is also no good. But, shouldn’t we exercise caution with such foods (cakes, pies, etc.) that are not found in nature and are engineered to make us want more?

    3) I don’t own a scale, as I find the absolute number to be irrelevant. What value do you guys place on lab tests (including, but not limited to, those previously mentioned)? What if a person does eat whatever they want and the numbers get worse?

    Perhaps you can help me understand your perspective? If these questions might be addressed in other podcasts, I apologize. Feel free to note the podcast number and I will listen to those episodes next. Currently, I’m listening to random episodes.

    Again, I commend you on your skepticism and challenging others to question their beliefs. In my own life, doing that very thing has made a huge difference. I look forward to your responses and future podcasts.

    Best regards,


    • Dude! Great questions! We’ll answer those in our next listener questions show.


    • Gina A. says:

      Those are indeed great questions. I’m sure Scott and Antonio will address them wonderfully and thoroughly. But if I may tackle some points myself (mostly #1):

      Be careful to not think in black/white terms. If someone enjoys cakes and pies in moderation, it doesn’t mean that they doesn’t eat nutrient dense foods, and vice/versa.

      It is incredibly common, for those of us coming from a restrictive eating mindset, to think that if we allow ourselves to eat “whatever we want” then all we’ll want to eat is cakes and pies, etc. ad libitum. But that doesn’t seem to be the reality, once you truly let go of your food inhibitions/fears and labels of ‘good’/’bad’. You might eat a lot of ice cream at first, but I can tell you from personal experience (and that of many other people) that it doesn’t last. Your cravings will eventually shift and balance out to want more traditionally nutritious foods as well. It is mostly a mental/psychological obstacle to overcome, as well as learning to really trust your body’s cues. But I’m sure you’re familiar with this if you’ve been reading Matt Stone. And as I’m sure you’ve discovered, eating *only* ‘nutritious’ foods doesn’t ensure optimal physical health/regeneration. This is perhaps in part due to elevated stress hormones, which are catabolic. Does that somewhat address your question?


      • Karl Hungus says:


        Likewise, I thank you for the thoughtful reply. You’re quite right about my tendency for black-and-white thinking. Moderation has never been easy for me, so I usually do something all the way or not at all. That was probably not a good mindset for Paleo/Primal and/or Low-Carb. “Intermittent fast for 12 hours? Please. I’ll do it for 18 hours.”

        However, as Scott and Antonio often highlight, many dietary regimens can have helpful components, if we maintain an à la carte mentality by selecting the helpful and leaving the remainder. To that end, Paleo/Primal did help me become aware of food (origin, quality, nutrient density, etc.) and lifestyle (exercise, sleep, stress, etc.) factors. For that knowledge, I remain thankful.

        While my ‘chronic thinking’ caused me to give way more attention to food and lifestyle than any sane person, eventually, it may have also been my saving grace. Over the past four-and-a-half years, I’ve listened to several hundred podcasts, read hundreds of blog posts, watched countless hours of videos, listened to many hours of audio books, and read numerous books on diet, exercise, and cooking.

        Initially, it was mostly about Paleo/Primal/Low-Carb. Later, knowing the critical importance of opposing viewpoints, I started listening to discussions on Vegan, Vegetarian, Raw Foods, Fruitarian, etc. Finally, I started seeing cracks in the Paleo/Primal/Low-Carb foundation. The cracks had always been there, but I had been blind to them.

        By the time I had circled-back to Matt Stone, he had ‘evolved’ his own thinking and ditched his old blog. Again, I admire Matt for wiping-clean the slate, explaining that his investigation required him to do so, and not being tethered to any dietary dogma. As you and I know, Matt (like Antonio and Scott, respectively), had personal experience with Vegetarian and Paleo diets.

        However, while I found Matt’s updated work to be refreshing, I’m still having trouble with the idea that ‘junk food’ can be therapeutic, even if only short-term. It seems to make sense from a calorie-density standpoint, but the old, restrictive eater in me is saying to do the same thing with whole, unprocessed foods. Fine, but I would likely need to return to large amounts of coconut oil, nuts, Kerrygold butter, etc. But, is that *really* better? I suspect not.

        It will be helpful if I can *truly* get in tune with what my body is needing. I’ve spent so many decades just mindlessly eating, I’m not sure how to do this.

        Thanks again, Gina.

        Best wishes,