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You don’t have to look far to see that extremism and alarmism sells. 

Turn on any cable news network at just about any time of the day, for instance, and it’s a daisy chain of drama, conflict, and contradiction.

The same forces are at work in the health and fitness space as well, and especially in the realm of diet and nutrition.

Everywhere you look there’s another self-styled guru selling the superiority of one regimen or another, and plant-based dieting is a favorite of many.

Every few years, a new documentary claims to challenge everything you think you know about diet and nutrition. 

In 2011, it was Forks Over Knives.

In 2017, it was What the Health.

And in 2019, it was The Game Changers.

Although most of these documentaries belabour the same points, they often take different angles. Forks Over Knives focused on how plant-based eating can help fight chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes, and What the Health was more or less the same except with a “whistleblower” slant—foisting much of the blame for modern diseases on food companies.

What the Health was different, though, because it promoted veganism on the basis of its supposed performance-enhancing effects. 

Many people asked me what I thought about the documentary, but since I’ve already covered much of the same information, I thought I’d get someone else’s take on the movie.

That’s why I invited Chris Kresser on the show. In case you aren’t familiar with Chris, he’s one of the most respected names in the world of Functional Medicine, a New York Times bestselling author, and the host of the popular Revolution Health Radio.

In this show, Chris dissects all of the main points from Game Changers and compares how they stack up to the scientific literature, including: 

  • How a vegan diet affects athletic performance
  • Common nutritional deficiencies among vegans
  • Plant vs. animal protein for health and body composition
  • Potential health issues associated with eating animal products and meat in particular
  • Environmental impact of plant-based dieting
  • And more.


7:10 – Can a vegan diet affect an athlete’s performances and their health?

10:56 – What are some examples of nutrients that can affect how you handle a vegan diet?

13:41 – Is plant protein the same quality and as effective as meat protein?

24:20 – Do you think the vegan diet is optimal for any athlete?

25:57 – What are some common deficiencies in a vegan diet?

34:42 – Do problems with the vegan diet happen to most people or a small percentage?

37:18 – What are some of the claims that eating animal products have negative side effects?

50:21 – What kind of impact does veganism have on the environment?

Mentioned on The Show:

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What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Mike: Hey, Mike here. And if you like what I’m doing on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please consider checking out my VIP one on one coaching service, where we can help you get in the best shape of your Life. My team and I have helped people of all ages, circumstances and needs.

So no matter how complicated or maybe even hopeless you might think your situation is, we will figure it out and we will get you results. Every diet. And every training program is 100 percent custom. We provide daily workout logs and do weekly accountability calls. Our clients get priority email service and discounts on supplements and other products and the list of benefits goes on and on.

So to learn more. Head over to www. LegionAthletics. com slash coaching. That’s L E G I O N Athletics dot com slash coaching and schedule your free consultation call. I should also mention that there is usually a wait list and new slots do fill up very quickly, so do not wait if this sounds even remotely interesting to you.

Go ahead and schedule your call now. Again, that URL is legionathletics. com slash coaching. You don’t have to look very far these days to see that extremism and alarmism sells. If you turn on any cable news network at just about any time of the day, for example, it is a daisy chain of drama and conflict.

You have breaking news banners, preceding humdrum bits of information and countdown clocks to minor. events, and all of it’s underscored by melodramatic music and striking sound effects, and the same forces are at work in the health and fitness space as well, and especially in the realm of diet and nutrition.

Everywhere you look, there’s another self styled expert selling the superiority of one eating. regiment or another and plant based dieting is a favorite of many. Its popularity has also been bolstered by a number of successful documentaries that have been produced over the last decade or so including Forks Over Knives, What the Health, and the most recent installment The Game Changers.

Now, a couple years ago I wrote an article on What The Health, a long evidence based review of it, and then I also recorded a podcast based on that article. And as The Game Changers repeats many of the same talking points, I was disinclined to repeat the process, but I kept getting asked about this new film.

And so I decided to do a podcast on it with someone who has already done the heavy lifting and can just walk us through what the scientific literature has to say about the major claims in the film. Now, Chris Kresser is that guy, and in this interview, we talk about all the major claims claims in the Game Changers, including how a vegan diet can affect athletic performance, common nutritional deficiencies among vegans, plant versus animal protein for health and body composition, potential health issues associated with eating animal products and meat in particular, the environmental impact of plant based versus animal based dieting, and more.

And in case you’re not familiar with Chris, he is one of the premier evidence based functional medicine practitioners out there, and he’s also a New York Times bestselling author. And if his name sounds particularly familiar, it may be because he recently was on Joe Rogan’s podcast to talk about the game changers.

And so I thought he would be the perfect guest to take us through a, an abbreviated version of, of what he went into on Rogan’s podcast. So I hope you like the interview and here it is. Hey, Chris. Thanks for taking the time to come and talk to me about the game changers.

Chris: Oh, I’m happy to be here. Thanks for inviting me.

Mike: Yeah, absolutely. So this is timely because it’s something that I get asked about multiple times a week via email and. Social media, mostly, and when what the health came out, whenever that was a year, year and a half ago, or even two years ago, it was the same thing. I was getting asked a lot about it. And so I took the time to not just watch it, but really break it all down.

And I wrote very long. article. Well, not very long, but it might’ve been like, you know, 4, 000 words or something like that. And then turned it into a podcast and it took a lot of time and people liked it. And so then when game changers came out, I was disinclined to want to go through the whole process again, when it’s a lot of the same claims or at least similar claims, same underlying claims with a different spin.

And so instead I was like, I need to find somebody who’s already done all the, uh, the heavy lifting and I’ll just interview them and I can chime in with what I’ve already gleaned from what I put together for what the health. And then also I’ve written and spoken about a vegan diet specifically in the context of bodybuilding already.

Yeah. So we got hooked up via shit. I don’t even remember a mutual mutual friend, David. Yeah, that’s right. It was David. Yeah. And you were just on Rogan recently to talk about this. So it’s, I guess it’s good timing for you too. Cause it’s all fresh, huh?

Chris: Yes, absolutely. And I mean, these are also topics I’ve been talking and writing a lot about for years, so it’s always kind of fresh because it’s a question that’s always on people’s mind every year, pretty much a new documentary or a new news story or something comes out that professes, you know, claims that a vegan diet is best for health, best for the environment, superior ethically, etc. And like you, my email box just blows up. Social media blows up. Everybody who’s eating a nutrient dense diet that includes animal foods freaks out and thinks that they’re killing themselves because of this new movie or article or whatever.

And I’ve just come to see it as part of my job description now to do an annual, you know, kind of Check up and just talk people off the ledge and, you know, show them what the research actually can tell us and can’t tell us about these questions.

Mike: Yeah. So I guess that sets the tone for today’s discussion.

I guess game changers, the focus was on athleticism, right? And whereas what the health, I mean, they talked about that, but it was more about general health. And a lot, one of the big pushes of game changers is. that a vegan diet is better if you want to be a good athlete, if you want to be stronger, if you want to have bigger muscles.

And it’s also, of course, better for the environment, better for your health and so on. Right?

Chris: That’s true. Yeah. I would say it starts off really focusing on athletic performance, but then very much makes the shift into extending that to everybody.

Mike: And so why don’t we just start with maybe we just start with vegan dieting in the context of athletes and then we could zoom out and just and then look at it in terms of everybody and overall health.

But I think it’s a good place to start because a lot of the people who have reached out to me and so fair amount of my listeners are going to be maybe not quote unquote athletes per se. But these are people who are into fitness. These are People who work out several times a week and they’re part of the body composition crowd, so to speak.

Like, yes, they care about their health, but they also want to look good and they want to push themselves in the gym and they probably still have a bit more muscle and strength they want to gain. So the questions are usually with that in mind where they’re saying, Hey, what I do better in the gym. Not to mention outside of the gym and health and environment and ethics.

But would I do better in the gym with a vegan diet or would I do better in my sport with a vegan diet?

Chris: Yeah. So I think just to summarize my position from a 30, 000 foot view, I fully acknowledge that it’s possible to thrive on a vegan diet as an athlete and for someone who’s not necessarily an athlete or fit.

And when we do have examples of this, like people like Rich Roll, for example, who Is an ultra marathoner, you know, distance endurance athlete has been vegan for many years and is performing at a very high level. Some of the athletes in the Game Changers film are performing at a very high level with the vegan diet.

So there’s no question that it’s possible. I think the more important question is whether It’s likely and whether it’s optimal for everybody. So, I think one of the mistakes we’ve made for decades and still continue to make in terms of nutrition recommendations is to assume that there’s a one size fits all approach.

You know, that just because XYZ athlete is thriving on XYZ diet, then that means that I will thrive on that diet. I mean, that’s just a fallacious assumption. And given what we know about the diversity of people, human beings, from the perspective of our genetics, our gene expression, our health status, our nutrient status, the types of activities that we’re Engaged in, for example, are we an endurance athlete or are we doing highly glycolytic explosive movements like Olympic weight training or MMA or basketball?

All of that is going to have a major impact on what the optimal diet might be from us, both in terms of macronutrient composition, meal frequency and timing. You know, the specific types of foods we’re eating. It’s a huge mistake to assume that, you know, what’s right for rich role is going to be right for you if you’re doing, you know, Olympic weight training.

So I think that’s the starting place.

Mike: Or even if you’re also doing endurance stuff, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean that that.

Chris: Absolutely. Absolutely. So, you know, Some of the considerations with a fully plant based diet are, you know, protein quantity and protein quality, but also certain nutrients that are precursor nutrients that have to be converted into the more active forms of the nutrients to be fully utilized by the diet.

And we know from studies that some people are more efficient at making those conversions than others. And so this can explain why one person goes on a vegan diet and thrives. Another person goes on a vegan diet and does great for three months, but after that starts to a steady decline. And then still another person goes on a vegan diet and within weeks, they’re feeling terrible and have to stop.

And all of those experiences happen and it can be confusing. Like what, how could that be? Well, those are just some of the factors that I mentioned that actually determine. How someone responds to a vegan diet.

Mike: What are some examples of nutrients that are these precursors to nutrients that can vary in terms of how they are converted into the end nutrients?

Chris: Yeah, beta carotene and retinol are a good example. So retinol is the active form of vitamin A. Beta carotene is a precursor form. And certainly the human body can convert some beta carotene to retinol, but that conversion Is limited, and it’s also varies considerably from person to person, depending on a number of factors, including the status of other nutrients that are involved in the enzymatic pathways of those of that conversion.

So, and some of those nutrients that are. Co factors in the conversion tend to be nutrients that are low in people on a vegan diet, so you get kind of a double whammy effect. Another example is alpha linolenic acid, or ALA, which is a plant based form of omega 3 fat that’s found primarily in plant foods.

That has to be converted into EPA and DHA, which are the long chain omega three fats that are found in animal foods like seafood. And again, the conversion does happen, but it can vary. Numbers can range from anywhere from just a half a percent of ALA being converted into DHA to 10%. It is more of a best case scenario, and that conversion also depends on other nutrients that are cofactors for enzymes along that pathway, and it also depends on the presence of other fats like omega 6 fats, which can interfere with that conversion, and so it’s complex, and it’s nuanced, and this is why thinking about it.

You know, considering individual needs above just population wide recommendations is so critical.

Mike: And there’s also the point, right? That you don’t have that many options for, uh, rich sources of ALA. Like you have walnuts and flax are the standard. That’s what I tell people who want to be on a, to eat a vegan diet that I don’t have many other options for you.

Like. Make sure to include healthy portions of walnut or flax or ideally both because otherwise you’re probably not going to get much ala even if your body is good at converting it. Yeah, exactly. And a lot of vegans that I’ve spoken with are people who are considering. going vegan, either were not eating any walnuts or flax at all, or didn’t plan on eating them because they didn’t particularly like them.

They just thought that it didn’t really matter. You know, they’ll just eat maybe some almonds and they’ll have some oils, like some olive oil and maybe avocado if they care about monounsaturated fat.

Chris: Absolutely. Yeah. So that’s one of the main considerations, but there’s also protein.

Mike: Hey, let’s talk a bit about protein because it’s controversial, right?

So I think in the documentary, they claimed what that all protein comes from plants. So we don’t need animal protein. And then there’s the idea that plant protein is just as effective for providing. Essential amino acids as animal protein. And there’s also, it’s common among vegan dieters to think that you don’t really need that much protein regardless of how much physical activity you’re doing.

And that’s kind of like a myth that’s pushed by the evil meat and dairy people, you know?

Chris: Yeah. Well, again, you know, starting with the 30, 000 foot view, is it possible to get enough protein and the right composition of amino acids and, you know, digestible protein on a vegan diet? Yes, it is. And again, you know, people who are thriving on the diet are a testament to that, but are there pitfalls that you need to be aware of?

And is it easier to get enough protein and enough high quality protein in the right mix of amino acids from a diet that contains animal foods? I would argue that the research is absolutely clear on the answer to that is yes. And you know, you could extend that and say, is there sufficient evidence to suggest that we shouldn’t be getting some of our protein from, you know, highly nutrient dense bioavailable animal proteins.

And I would say the answer to that is no. Just thinking about it from that perspective, I don’t think the film made the case for why we should be getting protein from plant sources, given that it is inferior in bioavailability. And it’s also harder to get the quantity of protein that A high level athlete might need in order to satisfy the protein requirements that virtually all of the international or, you know, athletic organizations recommend.

Mike: I’d say that goes for the average everyday gym goer who’s doing a lot of weightlifting too. Who maybe they’re just trying to hit that one ish, maybe a little bit less gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. Obviously, if somebody is overweight and they’re working on losing weight, they don’t have to eat quite that much, but it’s a good place to start for most people.

And when you actually sit down and try to work out a meal plan without supplementation in particular on a vegan diet, that becomes very difficult.

Chris: It is very difficult to obtain, and one gram per pound of body weight is not just a number that bodybuilders came up with on their own. That’s from the research, the evidence base.

So, athletes do need more protein than, you know, sedentary people do. And it turns out to be quite a lot more. So, if you look at Recommendations from like the American College of Sports Medicine, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, dieticians of Canada International Society of Sports Nutrition. They all recommend 1.2 to 2.0 grams per kilogram.

Some of the newer studies that are using indicator amino acid oxidation method, which is a more accurate method of determining protein needs, have suggested a range of 1.4 to 2.7 grams per kilogram of body mass. And if you. Just kind of take the median of that, like, let’s say 2. 1, that actually works out to one gram per pound of body weight per day.

And, you know, as you pointed out, that’s a lot more difficult to obtain on a plant based diet. So you’d have to eat three cups of cooked lentils, three cups of chickpeas, which is a lot of legumes, two cups of quinoa. 3 ounces of almonds, 3 slices of tofu, and 10 tablespoons of peanut butter in order to obtain that amount.

But even if you are eating that amount, that doesn’t mean it’s the same quality as 200 grams of animal protein. So there are scales that rank proteins based on their amino acid profile. And we know that athletes need a lot more leucine because leucine contributes to muscle is the strongest contributor to muscle protein synthesis, which, of course, is critical for athletes and leucine is underrepresented in most plant proteins.

And then there’s also the question of bioavailability, like eating protein is one thing, but digesting and absorbing it is another. So you have scales like the PD Cas, which was used for many years. And then more recently, the DS score. International organizations use to rank proteins based on these factors.

And the DS actually looks at ileal absorption. Of protein, like how much are you absorbing in the small intestine, which is where we absorb nutrients. And so that’s an improvement over the PD cast, which didn’t consider that. And all of these scales show a profound difference between the quality of plant and animal proteins.

So as an example. The highest scoring plant protein on the DS score is chickpeas, and that’s I believe 0. 83 on the DS scale. And that is lower than the lowest scoring animal protein, which is chicken, at 1. 03. And then if you look at, you know, rare beef is 1. 39, egg is 1. 13. And it gets even worse when you look at a lot of the legumes and grains, like the peanut butter sandwich example that James Wilkes used in the film.

He said, you know, you can get as much protein from a peanut butter sandwich as you can get from three ounces of beef or three eggs. Well, even if that’s true, which is debatable, the DS score for peanut butter and wheat is below 0. 5. So they’re among the lowest scoring proteins on the whole scale. Whereas for beef, again, you’ve got anywhere from like 1.

2 to 1. 4 and egg is 1. 13. So you’re not going to be getting the same quality of protein with plant proteins typically.

Mike: And that means the only options you have are to eat. Even more to try to make up for what your body can’t absorb or, well, it’s going to probably take that plus to like, then you have to get kind of fancy and going, okay, well, I’m going to be eating these foods because they tend to be stronger in these essential amino acids, but weaker in these.

And then I’m going to compliment them with these other ones over here. So together they. This is in supplementation, but rice and pea protein are kind of like the top tier go tos, right? And that’s kind of called the vegan’s way because when you combine them, they just have complimentary amino acid profiles that look similar to ways.

And so supplementation can make it, can make it easier, but when you’re just sticking to whole foods. It becomes even more impossible to, I mean, you go from one gram per pound around there to what, I don’t know, having to go up to one and a half grams per pound of body weight to try to get enough actual essential amino acids that your body can use.

Chris: Yeah, I’m not sure of the exact number, but it’s high, and that’s why you see, like, Patrick Baboumian, who is one of the athletes that featured in the film, a strong man, certainly impressive, you know, very strong guy, but he is consuming multiple shakes throughout the day with soy protein powder and other stuff.

Yeah. Yeah. supplements like creatine and beta alanine because he is aware of this and he’s doing what he needs to do in order to maintain a vegan diet and build the kind of muscle that he wants to build. So again, there’s definitely a way of doing it. And it’s also true just to be clear and fair that many bodybuilders who eat animal products do also consume protein powders, you know, usually whey instead of pea protein.

But there are also many high level athletes who. Don’t consume protein powders and just, you know, thrive on a diet that contains animal products. And it’s a lot easier to do that with animal protein than it is with plant proteins.

Mike: Yeah. For omnivores, it’s mostly a matter of convenience, right? It’s just, it’s easy to just mix up a shake and drink it down.

That’s more enjoyable than eating like your 19th chicken breast for the day. And especially with high level bodybuilders who often are eating quite a bit more. Protein because all the drugs that are on their body can use, you know, they can eat upward of two grams of protein per pound of body weight per day.

And their body is able to synthesize a lot more muscle tissue because of all the drugs are on. So that also changes things. And that’s also something that people should keep in mind whenever you hear a high level athlete being given as, especially if it’s involving. I mean, shit, it’s almost any sport, but especially if it’s a sport that is very physical or very much involves strength, power, muscularity, that drug use is rampant.

And that changes everything regardless of what your diet is.

Chris: Yeah, for sure. And I think also with. The protein powders, there’s some research suggesting like acute doses of leucine can be even more helpful for muscle protein synthesis. And if someone’s at the gym and they want to do and they’re heading somewhere else after the gym, it might be more convenient just to have a, you know, a way protein shake or something like that.

But going back to the protein question, the final element that we haven’t talked about yet is. The fundamental assumption that’s made, and they claim this in the film, is that, like, we don’t just eat protein, right? We eat protein, they call it, in a package. Like, it’s packaged with other things. Like, are you going to eat protein in the package of meat, which is, according to them, associated with inflammation, and heart disease risk, and cancer, and a whole bunch of other things?

Or are you going to eat protein in the package of plants, which are, associated with health benefits. I don’t think they came anywhere close to in the film or in any other medium proving that animal proteins contribute to all of those things. I think that research is highly problematic for a number of reasons.

And when you look at the higher quality research that considers the context. So again, like if you’re eating animal protein in the context of McDonald’s and KFC, That’s not going to have the same effect on the body as eating animal protein in the context of a nutrient dense whole foods diet that also includes plants and, you know, other foods that are good for us.

I think if you said that to a hundred people on the street, a hundred people would. I understand that and agree with that. And yet most of the research that implicates animal products with disease doesn’t take context into consideration.

Mike: Absolutely. I want to dive into that in a minute. I just have one more question for you regarding vegan dieting and athletes.

Do you think that the vegan diet is optimal for any type of athlete out there outside of just an individual person who for whatever reason it’s best maybe for them. But whereas the film tries to just make a blanket claim that this is just best for all athletes period. Do you think there’s any type of athlete who maybe should seriously consider a vegan diet?

Chris: I don’t think a vegan diet is superior to And what I call a Nutrivor diet, which is a diet that contains lots of plant foods, but also high quality animal foods for any particular athletic endeavor. I’ve just not seen any research that, that convinced me that a vegan diet would be superior to that kind of diet.

However, I would say that my guess would be that, and this is actually, there’s some research that supports this, that endurance athletes would be less likely to encounter Problems on a vegan diet than strength athletes would be. And if you look at some of the more successful vegan athletes, a lot of them are endurance athletes.

And so I think I would say that as a general comment. And why do you think that is? probably related to the type of the demands on muscle. So like with strength based activities and activities that are really putting an explosive demand on the muscles that the protein quality is even more significant than it is with endurance related.

Mike: Yeah, that makes sense. So you had mentioned earlier, a bit earlier, something I just want to touch on quickly is that certain nutrients tend to be low. There are certain common nutritional deficiencies in the vegan diet. What are some examples of that? We talked about the omega 3 fatty acids, beta carotene but there are a couple of others, right, that are pretty important, like vitamin D, for example.

Chris: Yeah, vitamin D is definitely one. But to be fair, that’s also very prevalent in people who eat animal products, simply because there just aren’t a lot of sources of vitamin D in the diet, even with animal products.

And a lot of it comes down to sun exposure. And there are also genetic, you know, issues that affect how efficiently or non efficiently we convert sunlight to vitamin D.

Mike: Chances are though, right, if you’re on an omnivorous diet, you’re going to be eating more fortified foods, like at least dairy, you know?

Chris: Yeah. So there are lots of nutrients that are, I would say, of concern on a vegan diet and that have shown to be More likely to be deficient, you know, vegans are more likely to be either depleted or deficient. B12 is the most obvious one and there’s just huge, robust body of evidence suggesting that vegans have lower levels of B12 than omnivores.

Game Changers film even acknowledges this and says that, you know, all vegans should supplement. They make the claim that all omnivores should be supplementing too, which I Dispute and don’t think is warranted. But you know, B12 is pretty much exclusively found in animal foods. And one of the misleading claims in the film is that humans used to get.

Our B12 from soil and water. And now we don’t because of, you know, soil depletion of B12 and pesticides and chemicals that have depleted soils of B12. There’s really no. evidence to support that they point to a study that did find that some vegans, vegetarians in Iran were getting enough B12 just from unwashed vegetables.

But if you look into the full text of that study, those people were using night soil to fertilize their vegetables. You know what night soil is? Why don’t you tell us? It’s human excrement. It’s a good euphemism. So this is You know, it was a practice that was common in certain parts of the world until recently, and is still even practice in some parts of the world.

You know, it’s convenient fertilizer because we have, you don’t have to buy it. You have access to it. But B12 is for humans and other primates. We do produce B12 in our gut, but we’re not able to absorb it. So the only way you can absorb B12 that’s produced in your gut is to be coprophagic. So to eat your own poo, which is what chimps and gorillas do to get B12, or you can eat vegetables that are grown, you know, that are unwashed and grown in soil that you’re fertilizing with your own poop.

That was the study that they showed. There’s no other research that suggests that we can get enough B12 from eating unwashed. That’s the price you have to pay. Yeah. I mean, if you want to do that, knock yourself out. But for people who are not willing to do that, you have to either eat foods that contain B12 in them, which were all animal foods, or you have to supplement. So that’s B12.

Mike: I mean, you have to also just stop for a second when you see something like that and go, okay, so these people are not trying to act in good faith whatsoever. That’s not a, an oopsie or missing a subtlety or a nuance in. You know, unclear research that is just outright propaganda. That’s just lying.

Chris: Yeah. It’s one of two things to be fair. We don’t actually know what was going on for them, but it’s one of two things, both of which are very disturbing. So one is what you just said, outright deception to try to make the evidence fit the narrative that they’re presenting in this movie. The second is that nobody read the full text of that study, or if they did, they didn’t understand it. Either one is disturbing.

Mike: That would be more just a consequence of the former though. Like why would you not actually, you know what I mean? Why would you just be skimming abstracts and going like, Oh yeah, yeah. That sounds good. Put it in. Then how many abstracts did you reject because they didn’t quite line up with if that’s all you’re doing is skimming abstracts, you know?

Chris: That’s a fair point.

And that’s confirmation bias in a nutshell. And to be fair, this doesn’t just affect vegans. It affects all of us, but we tend to seek out only the information that supports our views and ignore the rest. And that’s a big problem in this world of nutrition and health that we’re in.

Mike: Well, it’s an even bigger problem when you are influencing millions of People, it’s one thing to do it yourself with your own political views or whatever.

And you know, you have your little circle of people on Twitter and your little echo chamber. Okay, fine. You’re really just harming yourself more than anything else. But when you are pushing out. A message to millions and millions of people. There’s more responsibility that comes with that. Like now the potential harm goes way up.

Chris: Yeah, definitely.

Mike: Hey, before we continue, if you like what I’m doing here on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives, please consider checking out my VIP one on one coaching service. Now, my team and I have helped thousands of people. of all ages, circumstances and needs.

So no matter how complicated or maybe even hopeless you might think your situation is, we will figure out how to get you the results you want. Every diet and training program we create is 100 percent custom. We provide daily workout logs and we do weekly accountability calls. Our clients get priority email service as well as.

Discounts on supplements and the list goes on and on. To learn more just head over to legionathletics. com slash coaching and if you like what you see, schedule your free consultation call. Now there’s normally a wait list to work with our coaches and new slots do fill up very quickly. So if this sounds even remotely interesting to you, head over to legionathletics.

com slash coaching now and schedule your free consultation call and let’s see if our program is a good fit for you.

Chris: So let’s continue. So calcium is another nutrient of concern. This is a good example, too, of how These nutrients work in synergistic ways, so calcium deficiency, which is common in vegans, can also contribute to B12 deficiency because free calcium is required for the absorption of B12, and studies have shown that drugs like metformin, for example, that are known to deplete B12 levels do that by binding free calcium.

It’s not just that vegan diet is a higher risk of deficiencies for these individual nutrients. But that actually some of these nutrient deficiencies can add up to create bigger problems. Iron is another one. And this is illustrates the important concept of bioavailability. Because if you look at just on paper, iron intakes on a vegan diet are actually similar to iron intakes on an omnivorous diet.

In some cases can even be higher. So there was an Australian study that showed that iron intake among vegetarians and vegans on paper was between 29 and 49 percent higher than omnivores. But their serum ferritin concentrations, ferritin is the long term storage form of iron, were actually much lower. So vegetarians were at 64 vegans were at omnivores were at 121, so almost double.

the concentration. So how is that possible that iron intake would be up to 50 percent higher on paper, but their iron stores are actually almost 50 percent lower? Well, that’s bioavailability. Iron in plant foods, it’s a ferrous form of iron, is not absorbed as well as heme forms of iron, which are found in animal foods.

Iodine is another nutrient of concern. Median iodine levels in vegans in Boston was half the level of comparable omnivores in the general U. S. population. Choline is a nutrient that tends to be very low on a vegan diet because the best sources are egg yolks, meat, and seafoods. Creatine is found in meat, plays an important role in cognitive function.

But as of course, you and your listeners know, it also plays a very important role in muscle and athletic performance. Taurine, glycine, karnicine, zinc, selenium levels are much lower.

Mike: There’s so many. And so people listen, that also helps explain then something that you mentioned earlier is why some people can, and I’ve heard from these people myself, they’ll go on a vegan diet and they just progressively start feeling worse and worse and worse until they eventually just abandon it.

And yes, that’s what happens when your body becomes deficient. In vital nutrients that it needs, like everything starts to run worse. And you feel that?

Chris: Yes, absolutely. And you know, again, to be clear, these deficiencies don’t develop in all vegans what we’re talking about here is probability.

Mike: Would you say it’s like the middle of the bell curve?

It’s going to be for most people that, and that’s been anecdotally what I’ve run into over the years, having worked with so many people. Most of the people that I’ve spoken to who are already on a vegan diet, when they reached out to me or deciding that they wanted to try it eventually abandoned it because it got to the point where they just, their workouts sucked and they didn’t have energy throughout the day.

And they had. Brain fog and all of these problems, or they felt okay ish, but then they decided to try to go back to an omnivorous diet and they just felt so much better and that was the end of it. They’re like, well, I guess this is for me.

Chris: Yeah. I would say, I mean, I definitely have had patients who. I do very comprehensive serum testing that includes a lot of testing for nutrient status and their numbers are all good and they’re doing well, but it’s what’s more common.

Is that? And in fact, I can now identify. I like to do this just as an exercise. I will look at the labs 1st and I look at the blood panel before I’ve looked at their intake paperwork or know anything about them. And I can, well, almost always predict who’s on a vegan or vegetarian diet based on what their blood work looks like.

Certain red flags. Yeah. So that’s telling. I mean, again, that’s not always, but if you look just in the case of B12, for example, just to put some numbers to it, a lot of the earlier studies that on B12 deficiency that compared omnivores to vegetarians and vegans use serum B12, which is a very insensitive marker of B12 deficiency, because it only drops in the fourth and final stage.

of B12 deficiency. So, if you use serum B12, you’re going to miss a ton of people that are already depleted in B12. We now have newer markers, like holotranscobalamin, which unfortunately is not widely available in the US, but it is in Europe. That can show B12 depletion at the earlier stages, 1 and 2. And then we have methylmalonic acid and homocysteine that can show B12 deficiency at stage 3.

And so if we use those newer markers, there was one study back in 2003 that using Holotrans cobalamin that found that 92 percent of vegans had B12 depletion versus 77 percent of vegetarians and only 11 percent of omnivores. So. You know, that tells a different story than some of the earlier studies that didn’t indicate as big of a gap.

If you take that study, those findings, then you would assume that the vast majority of vegans, if they’re not taking a B12 supplement, and in some cases even those who are, are going to be depleted in B12.

Mike: Let’s shift gears now and go back to something you had started to talk about, and that is some of the claims in this film about the negative side effects of eating animal products.

Meat is a big one, but that’s not the only one, right? And so there are claims about inflammation and increased risk of all types of disease and shortened lifespan and cancer was a particular that’s always talked about in the context of eating meat.

Chris: Yeah. So, I mean, this could easily be five three hour podcast, but we’ll try to break it down, you know, into, you know, I’ll start with kind of the 30, 000 foot view, which I think is important because it helps to understand what we’re talking about here.

Um, the biggest mistake, and we already touched on this a little bit, that nutrition studies have made epidemiological nutrition studies have made where, and you know, for your listeners, you’re not familiar with that term. These are these large observational studies where you just observe A group of people and watch what happens to them over a period of time.

And then you try to make inferences or about, you know, their behaviors that contributed to disease. So let’s say you want to find out if red meat is connected with cancer. So you get a large group of people and you have them track their diet intake. Yeah. Intake of red meat over a period of time. And then at the end you measure, you know, how many cases of cancer that people got.

And then you, you correlate that with their red meat intake.

Mike: You try to control for confounding factors and so forth, but it’s probably also worth mentioning, right? That epidemiological research can never establish. Causation only correlation. It can point in the direction where research should head, but you can’t just look at an observational study and be like, Oh, clearly a red meat causes cancer.

Chris: Right. You can certainly, there are certain criteria like the Bradford Hill criteria, which make it much more likely that a correlation is a causal relationship. And they include things like how strong is the correlation? How much higher is the relative risk? Is there. A dose response relationship, meaning like the more you have of that, whatever that factor is, the greater the risk rather than seeing it bounce around.

Mike: Like the more meat, the more cancer.

Chris: But you’re right. Even with that, it’s not 100 percent certain that you’re establishing a causal relationship. And the problem with nutrition research and epidemiology is that it’s really plagued by a number of serious issues. Probably the biggest one is what’s known as the healthy user bias.

So if you go back to the example that I used, where you’re looking at how much red meat do people eat over time, and you know, how likely is it that they get cancer? Well, red meat over the past 50 or 60 years has been seen as an unhealthy food, unjustly, I think, but that’s been the perception. So people who eat more red meat In studies, and we have documented evidence that shows this, are more likely to do other things that are perceived as being unhealthy, like smoke cigarettes, or drink excessively, or not exercise, or eat less fruits and vegetables, or also tend to have lower socioeconomic status, which we know is correlated with health span and disease.

If you see a study that shows that people who ate more red meat had higher rates of cancer, how do we know that it was the red meat versus all of those other factors that contributed to the increased risk of cancer.

Mike: Especially when they include known carcinogens like cigarettes and alcohol?

Chris: Yeah. And as you pointed out, the better studies do conf.

to control for some of those factors, but no study has controlled for all of them. And it’s debatable whether that’s even possible to do without locking people in a metabolic ward for 30 years, which is never going to happen.

Mike: Maybe China will do that research for us. They don’t care about human rights.

Chris: Right. So that’s a big issue. Another issue is just, you know, what small signals in. These observational studies can actually tell us so outside of the field of nutrition, because of what we’ve been talking about, because these studies can’t establish a causal relationship, researchers and scientists would look for at least a 200 percent increase and sometimes even up to a three or 400 percent increase before they really took any finding seriously.

So in other words, if we use that the red meat example, If you did an observational study and you saw that people who were eating the greatest amount of red meat had a 400 percent increase in cancer risk, most researchers would take that seriously and although it still wouldn’t establish a causal relationship, it would be very much worth looking into.

The best data, most recent data that has controlled for at least some of these confounding factors that affect the healthy user bias has shown, Somewhere between a 16 and 18 percent increase in the risk of cancer for people eating red meat and as a very large study that was recently published in the annals of internal medicine found the quality of that evidence was either low or or very low using the grade scale, which is a scale used to evaluate evidence quality and the likelihood of the findings in a study being applicable to real life.

So that kind of tiny increase would have been thrown out in any other field aside from nutrition and even within nutrition, you know, 30 years ago would have been thrown out. And yet we’re making these public health recommendations based on what is very likely to be statistical noise.

Mike: Again, I mean, it just begs the question as to why what is going on, but I’ve already voiced my opinion this for this takes on the flavor of religion for some people, and it is just a blatant misrepresentation of research because what you just described, although It might be news to listeners of this podcast that it’s not news to scientists.

It’s 101, right?

Chris: No. And many scientists have criticized these findings, including John Ioannidis, who is considered to be probably one of the top epidemiologists in the world. He is. Loudly and roundly criticized nutritional epidemiology is basically being voodoo science and he’s taken a lot of heat from this as you might imagine from other epidemiologists whose this is their career and you can understand why they’d be sensitive to that kind of criticism.

But he has written some brilliant papers, which basically show that. I can’t remember whether this was his finding, his work, or somebody else’s, but if you look at data sets that are large enough, you can find correlations that are absolutely ridiculous that we all laugh at and know are not accurate. So some examples, there’s a great website, Tyler Vigen.

Not vegan, V E G A N, but V I G E N. So, for example, U. S. spending on science, space, and technology is 99. 79 percent correlated with suicides by hanging, strangulation, and suffocation. Here’s another good one. Um, per capita cheese consumption correlates 94. 7 percent with the number of people who died by becoming tangled in their bedsheets.

The divorce rate in Maine correlates 99%. 0. 26 percent with a per capita consumption of margarine. So, nobody would assume that those are causally related, right? And yet, we make that mistake. I shouldn’t say nobody. Here’s one of my favorites. So, there was a Canadian study. Very large study that was looking at hospital admissions records and the study was, it seems explicitly designed to prove how ridiculous conflating correlation with causation is in research.

They found that people with the astrological sign of Sagittarius had a 38 percent increased risk of arm fractures. Compared to having another astrological sign. So, you know, this is all to point out that there are serious problems with this epidemiological research. So going back to red meat, what if we look at?

randomized controlled trials that have examined the impact of red meat on things like inflammation and endothelial function instead of looking at epidemiological studies. Well, there actually have been a few good randomized controlled trials on red meat.

Mike: Just to interject for people listening. RCTs are the best evidence, right?

Chris: Yeah. These are experiments. We’re in control trials where you take two groups of people, you randomize them. That means you randomly assign them to two different groups and then you perform an intervention and you compare that intervention with a control group that is not doing that intervention or is doing something else.

You know, the better randomized controlled trials, uh, control as many variables as possible so that you’re changing as few variables as possible and then you get a much more accurate assessment of what the impact is of that intervention. In this case, we’re talking about eating red meat. One study looked at replacing carbohydrates with red meat and found that that actually not only did red meat not increase markers of inflammation, it decreased markers of inflammation.

Another study of women with anemia found that a diet high in red meat did not Increase inflammation compared to a diet high in oily fish. So their hypothesis was that oily fish because it contains EPA and DHA would actually reduce inflammation relative to red meat would be a better option for women with anemia.

You know, which is iron deficiency, but maybe to their surprise, they found that actually the women eating a lot of red meat didn’t have a higher levels of inflammation compared to women that were eating the oily fish. We also have a number of studies, RCTs, randomized controlled trials of people following paleo diets, which contain animal protein, including red meat, and have found that they decrease markers of inflammation, including C reactive protein, interleukin six.

So you look at the higher quality evidence, even including the higher quality epidemiology recently that has shown. Again, according to that very large study recently published in the annals of internal medicine, no convincing evidence that red meat is linked to any disease, including cancer and heart disease.

Mike: Well, when you start looking at it in the context, you take the bias out and you look at it in the context of the weight of the evidence. Yes, the message is, is very different. And you mentioned this earlier. I think it’s worth just repeating though, that there is a difference between low quality Highly processed red meats and higher quality, less processed red meats.

Like, you know, the low quality stuff could be not just the junk fast food red meats, but also the grocery store equivalents of those things, right? So junk sausages and I guess bacon. used to be on that list. I’m not even sure where that stands now, but highly processed red meat products as opposed to a ribeye steak from, you know, that’s a grass fed cow.

Chris: Absolutely. And let me give you some examples of why that’s really. important. Studies have shown, you know, one of the claims in the film was that eating heme iron, which is in red meat is associated with a higher risk of heart disease and cancer. If you look at the largest review, I’m going to go off on a small tangent and I’ll come back to my main point here.

If you look at a large review, you find that that association was only valid in the U. S. And not in Europe. What is that? Suggests, it suggests that heme iron in the context of McDonald’s and KFC, as you were just saying, is problematic, but heme iron in a slightly healthier European diet is not, so, but even if we accept that heme iron is associated with higher risk of cancer, studies have shown that eating chlorophyll rich foods, aka fade.

green vegetables cancels out any potentially harmful effects of heme iron. Other studies have shown that eating fruits and vegetables reduces the oxidative capacity of heme iron and reduces the absorption of iron in the gut and that consumption of dietary antioxidants again in fruits and vegetables reduces the risk of cancer. So.

Mike: That’s to say nothing of exercise.

Chris: Nothing of any other thing . Would affect health. Yeah. Yeah.

Mike: And actually exercise being one of the biggest, right? For sure. So everything in the body is just better if you exercise.

Chris: For sure. So, but this is a key point about its context is everything. You know, if you’re eating only heme iron rich foods and no fruits or vegetables, then maybe that association holds true.

Or if you’re eating high heme iron in the context of a junk food diet, maybe that association holds true. It’s true. But as far as we can tell from the research that we have heme iron in the context of a nutrient dense whole foods diet, you don’t see those same associations.

Mike: Let’s, uh, let’s touch on for the last bit of information that we haven’t discussed that that’s in the documentary.

That’s one of the big parts of the argument, the ethical and environmental aspects of veganism. What are your thoughts?

Chris: Well, yeah, another three hours for sure. Um, uh, just briefly.

Mike: But you’re doing a good job, uh, summarizing. So I figured I might as well throw the last one.

Chris: Yeah. Okay. So let’s see, you know, probably the biggest again, you know, summarizing the, the, from a 30, 000 foot view as, as we have been doing with the nutrition piece context is everything.

Okay. So if you’re looking at animal products in the context of a factory farm feedlot, Beef production system. I think that is absolutely harmful to the environment and it’s harmful in a number of different ways, not just in terms of greenhouse gas emissions, although those are overstated, even in the context of feedlot beef, but also in terms of the impact that that type of animal agriculture has on the ecosystem overall.

I think is harmful, but if we look at the production, you know, the regenerative, holistic ways of raising animals, it’s a totally different story. So that’s the frame. I’ll just mention a couple things. One of the biggest claims in the film and also just from advocates of plant based diets in general that you often hear about, and I’m sure you’ve heard this and your listeners have is that livestock.

Emit just as much greenhouse gas as the entire transportation sector. So the implication is if we stop consuming animal products, we’d save as much greenhouse gas as we would if we didn’t have any transportation at all, which is just a completely fallacious. Claim, and again, it’s either disingenuous to fit the narrative or it comes from a misunderstanding of the science, either way is concerning.

So, greenhouse gas emissions from transportation have been pegged at around 14%. And then the people making these claims have said that emissions from cattle are about 14. 5%, so those seem equivalent. But the problem is that is comparing direct tailpipe emissions from transportation, which is just the final phase, the last step of what’s involved with greenhouse gases and transportation with the entire life cycle of livestock, which includes the carbon needed for feed, for transport, for processing.

The cattle and if you actually only compare the direct emissions from cattle, just methane, basically methane burps, that’s 5 percent versus 14 percent for transportation. And that 5 percent even is global in the U. S. cattle only account for about 3. 9%. Of our direct emissions, and that’s feedlot cattle. If you look at regeneratively, holistically managed cattle, they can actually be carbon sink.

So I talked about in my episode with Joe Rogan, some farms in the U. S. that have been shown. To actually remove 3 to 4 tons of carbon per hectare per year when they’re managed properly. So they’re not only not emitting greenhouse gases. They’re actually. storing carbon in the soil. So they’re taking what we call a net carbon sink.

So again, when you get into this nuance, it’s not as straightforward as it seems. And a lot of the claims that are being made by vegans and advocates of plant based diets are, are either inaccurate or misleading.

Mike: And all that’s to say nothing about global. Carbon emissions. China is what? 30 percent alone.

Chris: Yeah, they don’t care. It’s a complex issue. And it’s a disservice to make these kinds of statements like where if you skip eating meat on Mondays or you take meat out of your diet entirely, that you’re going to be making a big impact on climate change. That’s just simply not true. And there was actually a great study published in the journal.

P. N. A. S. That contradicted this directly. They actually analyze what would happen if everyone in the U. S. Went vegan, and they estimated that we would only reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2. 6%. Yet our intake of carbohydrates, total calories and the incidence of nutrient deficiencies would skyrocket. We wouldn’t be able to meet our domestic needs for calcium, EPA and D.

H. A. Retinol and B 12 on this diet. It’s not at all true. That going plant based is going to save the environment.

Mike: But then Chris, maybe a bunch of people can die. And then the carbon footprint goes down even more. Have you thought about that?

Chris: That’s true. That’s true. I haven’t considered that, but certainly people will develop more nutrient deficiencies.

According to this study in the peer reviewed literature.

Mike: I just want to interject that as a consumer, you have a choice. Like you can, especially with the internet. Now you can search out sustainably run farms to get. Your meat from if you want to eat meat, or you don’t have to just take whatever’s on the shelf.

And again, with the internet, it’s very easy. And depending on what you want to do, it can also be affordable. I mean, these are very competitive marketplaces. And so you have companies that have a lot of money behind them and they’re willing to break even or even lose money just to acquire a customer. So, yeah.

Chris: Yeah, for sure. I think, you know, the ethical question, it’s kind of a whole different ball of wax. Well, I’ll just say a couple of things that I think are interesting to consider as part of the ethical discussion. One is that the common assumption that’s made is that eating plants does not responsible for any deaths of animals.

And I think a lot of people May believe who are eating plant based or vegan diet that their food choices are not killing animals. And that’s just patently false. In fact, there are studies that have been done that have shown that large scale plant agriculture actually contributes to a much greater number of animal deaths.

then eating large ruminant animals like beef, which can provide a tremendous amount of nutrition and calories from just one death. So how does that work? Plant based agriculture, you have deaths of mice, birds, other small mammals, other reptiles. If you consider the effects of pesticides and runoff, you have deaths of fish owls.

You have Complete widespread changes of the ecosystem, you know, through monocropping and completely changing the landscape. You alter the habitat and that leads to deaths of animals that live in that habitat, and I don’t have the exact numbers in front of me, but there have been some estimates that suggest that thousands, many, many thousands of animals die in the process of plant based agriculture and those deaths collectively.

add up to a lot more than eating ruminant animals or even, you know, perhaps pigs and chickens. And so the question that’s worth pondering there is, if you’re a vegan and you care about animal welfare and animal life, is the life of a mouse, like a small mammal like a mouse, worth less than the life of a cow?

And how much less? How do you quantify that.

Mike: What’s the metric? Is it body weight? Is that?

Chris: What’s the metric? Exactly. Is the life of a bird or an owl worth less or more than a mouse or a cow or a pig or a chicken? And even.

Mike: I think it needs to be like cuteness factor, you know.

Chris: Well, often that’s, that’s what, that’s what.

Mike: A pig is kind of gross and ugly and dirty.

All right. All right. Fine.

Chris: I don’t think there’s any way, you know, people have to. Come to their own answers, those kinds of questions. But I think, you know, it’s important to consider that. I don’t think a lot of people are thinking about that. They mistakenly, you know, it’s like a straw man. On the one hand, you have eating animals, which is causing animal deaths.

And on the other, you have eating plants, which is not. And that’s just That’s just false. So I think people should have, if they’re going to be thinking about these questions, should at least be considering them accurately.

Mike: And that’s hard to do when there’s so much misinformation. So it is understandable.

I mean, I do very much understand when people reach out to me and they’re confused because it is confusing. You’ve been. Been sharing a lot of information over the last hour, and this is the result of who knows how many hundreds or thousands of hours. I mean, at this point, it’s gonna be thousands of hours of research that you’ve done to tease out these details.

But the average person, they don’t have the time. Or the inclination or the technical chops to do that. And so when they’re exposed to what, again, I’m just going to call propaganda, like this documentary, I understand where it can kind of shake them a little bit and make them kind of question some of their fundamental assumptions about nutrition, because oftentimes they haven’t.

put that much thought into how they’re eating. They’ve probably, they’re probably just eating the way they’ve always kind of eaten and maybe it’s the way they were raised. And so it doesn’t take much prodding to get them to become fearful, you know?

Chris: Absolutely. And most people are I think trying to do the right thing for themselves and for the planet.

And there’s a lot of really misleading information out there. And unfortunately, there’s quite frankly, I think the groundswell behind vegan and plant based diets right now, like the amount of money that’s going into these films, like Game Changers is really swaying the conversation. Like you said, a lot of people don’t have the either the time or the background and qualifications and skills to critically analyze a lot of the claims that are being made.

They’re not familiar with what’s in the scientific literature versus what they read in a newspaper or a magazine article or an Internet, you know, social media post and you get, I think it’s a little bit of asymmetric warfare right now where you have a dominant. Um, kind of narrative that’s out there about plant based diets.

And that starts to seem true because of this, what’s known as in rhetorical world, the illusory truth effect, which is if you say something often enough, it starts to become true. And this is something that’s leveraged by all politicians. Of course.

Mike: I think even Goebbels, there’s a famous quote from Goebbels along those lines.

Chris: So the propaganda master, we have to be guard against that. If just because you’ve seen something. A number of times in the media doesn’t mean it’s true. Another one of my favorite quotes is from Anatoly France, who is a French novelist. And he said, even if 50 million people say a foolish thing, it is still a foolish thing.

Mike: And science doesn’t work by consensus either.

Chris: Yeah. And so appealing to consensus and appealing to authority is also fallacious because all we need to do is look back at what consensus was on any particular scientific topic a hundred years ago. And we laugh at that. At what the consensus was, you know, it was consensus that you should use leeches to bleed people when they’re sick.

It was consensus that, you know, if someone was ill, you should give them mercury in order to make them feel better.

Mike: Or it was an imbalance in the humors.

Chris: That’s right. It was consensus even just a few decades ago that ulcers were caused only by stress. Now we know they’re also caused by a bacterium called H pylori.

So. I like to often remind people that the history of science is the history of most people being wrong about most things most of the time. So, it doesn’t make sense to apply, appeal to authority and appeal to consensus. Even just dietary cholesterol, you know, like for decades we were told not to eat. egg yolks and other foods with cholesterol because it would affect the cholesterol levels in our blood and increase the risk of heart disease.

Now we know from more recent research that that’s not supported by the evidence and the U. S. actually quietly removed the restriction from dietary cholesterol from its nutrition guidelines in 2015 as a result. So these are all the issues with a consensus based science.

Mike: And I think it’s just a good example of why it is healthy to practice perspectivism, to look at, to potentially seek out different perspectives on an issue.

And so, you know, and often on the extreme ends of the spectrum, it’s not a bad idea to start there. Okay. So you’ve watched game changers. You could watch what the health, you could watch, what is it? Forks over knives, or if we’re talking documentaries, there are plenty of books, but then. Seek out, okay, what’s the counter argument at least start there and pay attention.

Look for inconsistencies. Just look for things that don’t quite add up. They don’t quite make sense. There are definitely a number of the things that you’ve brought up in this interview, you don’t need to be a scientist. To catch it at least and go, wait a minute. That doesn’t quite make sense. That’s not quite a convincing argument.

That seems a little bit misleading. What about this? And then you can follow those things up. And at least at the end of that exercise, you’re going to be more informed and you’re going to be more likely. To make a better decision. And I would say that doesn’t just apply to vegan dieting, but it applies to any controversial issue where the weight of the evidence isn’t so clear that you don’t even need to bother.

Like, okay, if we were talking about energy balance, for example, I’d say. Just don’t bother. It’s real. Like we’re talking about a century of research now, but that’s not the case with something like this. And when people try to say that something like this, that is controversial is a settled science or try to appeal to consensus, those are red flags.

When I hear stuff like that, I immediately think like. I think the exact opposite. I think, Oh, so there’s a lot here that actually doesn’t add up, isn’t there?

Chris: That’s anti science actually. And I agree with you. I always encourage my readers and listeners to trust their own critical faculties. You don’t need to be a scientist to be able to spot gaping holes in a critical argument.

Absolutely. Follow your own bullshit detector. And if podcast or any other, you should be able to. You know, make sense of an argument, whether it’s a legitimate argument or whether it’s not and trust your gut there. Part of the issue, though, has been that when it comes time to seek out another viewpoint or another counter viewpoint, like in film, for example, that hasn’t really been possible.

There’s a number of vegan. Films and you know, I don’t, I won’t call them documentaries because that implies an objective, maybe somewhat dispassionate examination of a topic. They’re films because they’re agenda driven films and you know, there’s nothing wrong with an agenda driven film per se, but just recognize that they are, but finally, next year, we’re going to have.

A film that actually tells the other side of the story. It’s called sacred cow. That’s a good title and somewhat involved. Yeah. Rob Wolf is involved. Diana Rogers. Who’s a nutritionist and also regenerative farmer is making it. And it’s going to do a phenomenal job of. Presenting this counterpoint and looking at regenerative, holistically managed livestock as not only not harmful, but actually critical to restoring biodiversity in our ecosystem and restoring soil quality, which is a huge threat to human survival at this point is the decline in soil quality, because at least as far as we know right now, once that’s gone, we’re not getting it back.

So we desperately need to do things that can actually be. Protect and even regenerate healthy soil and animals are the way of doing that. Look for this. There’s going to be a book by the same name and also a film in 2020. That’s fantastic.

Mike: I’m looking forward to it. Well, this was a great interview, Chris.

Thanks again for taking the time. And why don’t we just wrap up with where people can find you and your work. And that’s, that’s obviously a big project that you have coming. Is there anything else new and exciting that you want people to know about?

Chris: My work is at chriskresser. com is the best way to find it.

I also train doctors and other clinicians in functional medicine, and we also have a health coach training program that’s certified by the National Board of Health and Wellness Coaches. And those training programs are available at Cressor Institute. And then I’m also on social Chris Cressor at Twitter, Chris Cressor at Instagram, and then Chris Cressor LAC at Facebook.

Do you have your own podcast? I do. Yeah, that’s Revolution Health Radio and it’s on iTunes and all the other places that you would expect. Perfect.

Mike: Well, um, thanks again, Chris. I really appreciate you taking the time. Thank you, Mike. This was super informative. I’m sure that I’ll get a lot of good feedback, maybe some negative feedback, but it’s going to be overwhelmingly good, I think.

Chris: Well, you know, whenever you put yourself out there and are making any kind of claim, you will get negative feedback. I learned this very early on and that’s just part of the deal. That’s true. And it’s better than none. Yeah. And sometimes that negative feedback is useful and valuable, and sometimes it’s not, I’m sure you’ve experienced the same thing.

Mike: Yeah. I’m immune to it by now. Now I look for what I can get from it and negative book reviews. For example, I’ve actually gotten a lot of good ideas for updated editions for books from negative book reviews. Sometimes they’re just kind of incoherent ranting or just random one off. I didn’t like this, but other times they’re actually thoughtful and people bring up valid points.

So. I’m not adverse to criticism. I’m open to it. And if it’s nonsensical, I just move on.

Chris: Exactly. Yeah. Well, thank you. I appreciate it and appreciate your work. And thanks for having me on the show.

Mike: Hey, Mike here. And if you like what I’m doing on the podcast and elsewhere, and if you want to help me help more people get into the best shape of their lives.

Please consider checking out my VIP one on one coaching service where we can help you get in the best shape of your life. My team and I have helped people of all ages, circumstances, and needs. So no matter how complicated or maybe even hopeless you might think your situation is, We will figure it out and we will get you results.

Every diet and every training program is 100 percent custom. We provide daily workout logs and do weekly accountability calls. Our clients get priority email service and discounts on supplements and other products. And the list of benefits goes on and on. So, to learn more, head over to www.

legionathletics. com slash coaching. That’s l e g i o n athletics dot com slash coaching and schedule your free consultation call. I should also mention that there is usually a wait list and new slots do fill up very quickly. So, do not wait if this sounds even remotely interesting to you. Go ahead and schedule.

Your call. Now, again, that URL is legionathletics. com slash coaching. All right. Well, that’s it for today’s episode. I hope you found it interesting and helpful. And if you did, and you don’t mind doing me a favor, could you please leave a quick review for the podcast on iTunes or wherever? You are listening from because those reviews not only convince people that they should check out the show.

They also increase the search visibility and help more people find their way to me and to the podcast and learn how to build their best body ever as well. And of course, if you want to be notified when the next episode goes live, then simply subscribe to the podcast and whatever app you’re using. To listen, and you will not miss out on any of the new stuff that I have coming.

And last, if you didn’t like something about the show, then definitely shoot me an email at Mike at muscle for life. com and share your thoughts. Let me know how you think I could do this better. I read every email myself and I’m always looking for constructive feedback. All right. Thanks again for listening to this episode and I hope to hear from you soon.

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