WHY I QUIT PUSHING LOW CARB DIET – Dr. Garth Davis


Hi, my name is Garth Davis on the medical director of weight management in Asheville, North Carolina, though I’m not here on the part of my city which would probably ask you to replace the milk recommendation with beer. I am a board-certified weight loss surgeon and medical weight loss doctor. I’ve been treating obesity for 18 years, and I am begging this committee to please put me out of business. I am tired of cutting people open for obesity and rearranging their intestines. And I think it’s absolutely ridiculous that it’s 2019 and we have a group of very much smart people in this room yet we are asking what we should be eating. It’s absolutely crazy. And I’ll tell you what, my patients are confused. They’re confused by the guidelines and they’re confused by the discussions here and they’re confused by bad science. So I ask you to look at the science very carefully because I did – I wrote a book saying we should be eating protein first and we should be on ketosis diets. But you know what happens to these ketosis patients? They end up eventually on my operating room table when they failed this diet over and over again. We talk about it all the time. So I eventually went back and said why am I failing the ketosis diet and why are my patients failing? And I studied this extensively. And I looked around the world because you know what? You’ve heard people here tell you that carbs cause diabetes and yet when you look at the Blue Zones, they eat extremely high carb and carbohydrate diets When you look at the epic database, fructose is associated with a decrease diabetes; that in fact, taking five percent of your saturated fatty acid and changing it to fructose decreases your diabetes risk by 30% People say insulin resistance and acting as if carbs cause insulin resistance, that is not true. Animal protein and animal fat causing intramyocellular fat causing ceramide toxicity causes insulin resistance, but our patients don’t know that. So all they hear is protein, carbs, protein, carbs. I think it’s crazy. They have to go and order a salad complete with beans and all kinds of things, and the waiter asked me if I’d like protein with my salad. Well, how ridiculous is that? There’s protein in my salad. The poor teenager, who then hears me ask these questions to him, just says, “look I’m working a summer job.” But this is what my patients are dealing with. They don’t know whether to go low carb. They don’t know whether to go low fat. They’re petrified of a banana. You could hold up a bank with a piece of bread people are so scared of carb. And it’s ridiculous, when you go to Okinawa and they’re eating sweet potato and rice. And I’ll tell you that my practice, my life has changed over the years. I no longer tell people – they’re not allowed to come in and tell me what macronutrient they’re eating. They’re only to tell me what plants they’re eating, what foods they’re eating. I want a whole food, plant-based. So I asked the committee to get rid of the recommendation for our protein and rather focus on whole foods. The questions out there are complicated. But the answer is simple – And I refer to Michael Pollan – eat real foods, mostly plants, not too much. Thank you.

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Reader Comments

  1. 6string1

    great doctors have opposing ideas and people are in different circumstances. his patients that are overweight most likely have pre and actual T2 diabetes. for these diseases specifically, there is a great case for a keto type diet with fasting. keto can be vegetarian or include meat but always has a decent amount of fat. it also always includes, if done right, lots of vegetables. vegetables are considered carbs but are different from the refined carbs that many doctors treating these diseases say to stay away from or strictly limit. i can tell you from experience that eating refined carbs is not a good idea for people with pre and actual T2 diabetes. fruit needs to be strictly limited as well. the fasting part is even more important than the eating. it is odd that this doctor seems to be pushing higher refined carbs for his patients? there are reasons diabetes in asia is increasing dramatically since the 80's with american influence. the asians are eating more sugar and fructose now. the people who have no diabetes and eat sweet potato also dont eat any regular sugar or high fructose corn syrup. fructose is the real problem. if you lower refined carbs you often end up eating more meat and i believe this is an attempt to eliminate meat from the American diet. there is no study showing meat is bad for you or causes disease which isnt based on surveys.

  2. Robbie Felix

    Having been vegetarian or vegan most my life , I recently did 2 months of carnivorous keto. I lost 10 pounds, which was the idea. But I honestly did not feel good while on keto. Back to vegetarian , I feel best when when eating a regular vegetarian diet. Thanks for the info , it helped!

  3. Dana Pearson

    This guy spews crap science… anti Keto crap! Sorry, dude! I eat loads of greens but rarely shove a pile of sugar laden fruit in my gullet…it is NOT natural… it is hybridized into an addictive substance.

  4. Terri T

    It’s true, cutting out carbs doesn’t help. We need a healthy balance. keto is loaded with meat and dairy, to the point it’s disgusting. I’d rather eat a healthy portion control mix of foods..I do think cutting out pasta white rice white bread and sugar is beneficial. Eatting them once in a while is ok, also not eatting premade things is better to. All the preservatives is killer on the body. We are programmed due to prices at the store, they make healthy foods $$$$$$$$ on purpose, and bad foods cheap on purpose. The additives are addictive, so we’re in a vicious cycle.

  5. YaYa Bell

    Other countries dont have GMOs so they can eat bread. Cousin went to Paris for 2 weeks ate Bread every day No problems no weight gain. Came back to the states ate bread 1 day she felt like garbage. So yes other countries can eat the white stuff and grains but in the USA we get sick!

  6. Christopher Har V

    A macronutrient is not a foodgroup. That's why there's no section of their MyPlate dedicated to "carbs" or "fat". So why protein? Fiber, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids are all important, but we get them in a packaged deal — in foodgroups! This is why LEGUMES ought to replace that protein section — plenty of protein, while supplying vitamins and minerals that americans are deficient in, such as calcium, zinc, fiber, folate, potassium, etc. Plus, combine those legumes with the Whole Grains that are already on the Plate, and you get the "complete protein" that everybody is so worried about.

  7. Hrvoje Batrnek

    This guy is an idiot! Plants have toxins to protect themselves and our brains evolved because we ate animals! Plants cause all the problems!

  8. Nahidh Kurdi

    So what about all of those obese kids that I see increasingly more frequently those years? Have they been eating more animal protein than before? No of course, kids before the tenth year of their ages are eating more and more of one particular thing. Yes you guessed it: sugary God damned sweets. Explain that since it is neither a dream of mine nor a data set anomaly. I have been increasingly alarmed by the increasing appearance of those very young children that will very probably be diabetic in their twenties.

  9. Julia Metcalf

    This Dr is clueless ….he seems to be saying eat sugars ….has he ever heard of oxalates ….maybe he is just pushing an agenda to enrich Dr.s & dentists. …

  10. Jaded K

    Half-truth at its best. Forget the blue zones. Just look at the countries that don't have such a high obesity rate as the U.S., and the countries that have way higher life expectancy than the U.S. They eat less meat than Americans, but they DO eat meat. Americans are so fucked up with their diet they only look for something extreme, low fat, low carb, high fat, high carb, keto, vegan, and even fasting (since when fasting is a diet?) Those countries that I've mentioned above have no such extreme diet fads, but they're healthier and live longer than Americans, even with less medical care.

    These vegan doctors almost always talk about Okinawa, Japan. They argue Okinawans eat only sweet potatoes and rice as does this "doctor" at 2:24. That's a lie or at best half-truth.

    "Pork and fish are often served in broth with a variety of ingredients and herbs."
    "Every part of the pig is eaten, including internal organs."
    "The quantity of pork consumption per person a year in Okinawa is larger than that of the Japanese national average. For example, the quantity of pork consumption per person a year in Okinawa in 1979 was 7.9 kg (17 lb) which exceeded by about 50% that of the Japanese national average.[12] The pig's feet, ears, and stomach are considered healthy everyday foodstuffs.[13]"

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okinawa_diet#Indigenous_islanders'_diet

  11. Yanuario Arias

    this guy is a full of shit! plant, vegan pusher, selling his agenda. the reason his patients fail on keto is that they eat carbs. even I on a 0 carb diet sometimes eat shit I'm not supposed to. is it the diets fault or my desires for sugars and carbs? their no way these sugar addicted fat asses will stick to a good vegan diet either. sugar dose spike insulin, carbs do cause obesity.

  12. Yanuario Arias

    people in the blue zones eat animals and cook in animal fats as well. what they don't do is over consume refined sugars in all there foods, they don't use seed oils, potatoes and grains are missing in many of the zones. they also eat a lot of sea foods. your plant based bullshit is a lie.

  13. Bart Kay - Nutrition Science Watchdog

    Garth Davis is an ignorant, pseudo-scientific charlatan. He's also a coward with no personal credibility, because he does not have the courage to front up to me, an actual scientist who he knows absolutely will carve his ridiculous faslehoods up with the flick of my wrist. It is long past time criminally negligent fools like Garth Davis sit down and shut up. You clowns have had your shot. You blew it, big time… For the real deal on nutritional science, come and listen to a scientist – https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChi5M3k_K4yuRpWAp00xBQA. Garth Davis is NOT a scientist.

  14. Dan Roux

    Prehistoric humans were basically foragers who ate meat when it presented itself which wasn't regularly. Firstly, humans aren't fast enough to efficiently catch animals and secondly hunting with homemade weapons like spears was a very dangerous activity to be avoided if possible. Even todays hunters carrying rifles have to be concerned about surprise attacks by bear, cougar, etc. The fact that prehistoric man developed extensive knowledge about medicinal plants is also an indicator that they were eating lots of plants. The medicinal value of plants would only be discovered because humans were experimenting on the types of plants they could eat. Another strong indicator that we are meant to eat primarily plant based is that we do not have canines and our jaw strength is nowhere near that of a carnivore. The fact that we did eat some meat can be extrapolated from our bodies need for vitamin B12 which is not present in plants. This is why many doctors recommend that vegans take B12 supplements. And the meat consumed by primitive man must've been generally leaner than what is being consumed today with the growth hormones and sedentary life of farm animals. So lean meat is what we should be eating. In summary, eat whole foods to be healthy, nothing processed with some lean meat. Eggs, often vilified, are an excellent source of protein and vitamins and as bonus is a protein that does not require the killing of animals. Cheese, yogurt and other high fat content dairy are to be consumed in very small amounts or totally avoided (i.e. fat with no fiber). Humans did not evolve to eat such products and let there be no doubt that its easy to gain weight on cheese. On the subject of salt, it has been blamed for hardening of arteries but there is now plenty of scientific evidence to debunk that claim.

  15. Dariusz Zubrowski

    We do not live in Okinawa and most of our fruits are GMO, even organic but GMO .
    Also magic word COLLAGEN , can’t get it from plants .

  16. Leonard V

    I started eating "carnivore" in a last ditch effort to get rid of my depression. Though it worked I became insulin resistant despite exercising twice a day and eating next to no carbs. I only eat beans these days because anything else causes massive weight gain and read studies that talk about intramyocellular fat being incredibly hard to get rid of even with exercise. I honestly feel cheated by halfwits who only know one piece of the puzzle and go along with it, but I guess I deserve it

  17. Bar K

    God bless this man. We surely are blessed by him. We need more Drs with knowledge, courage and integrity to put people's health first. Someone who is not bought by the Dairy or Meat lobby or big Pharma. We need to hear more from HIM and others in the know like him.
    When my aunt got cancer her Dr. Told her to stop her big meat and dairy diet for a high plant diet. I became a vegan with her to support her and make it easier plus I was scared my whole family had died from cancer.
    It was a hard gradual change ( fish and eggs for a while then vegetarian then vegan) but, I lost a lot if weight, had energy, people said I looked amazing,had best perfect labs in 10 years ( no anemia, no vit d or b-12 deficiency)
    My aunt was given 2mos she at 83 ( colon, liver and lung cancers) lived 3 more years without chemo high quality life. Her lung and colon cancer reversed and liver 65% gone but she did not die from cancer she got a colonoscopy to prove to dr she had no cancer and she was nicked died from infection.
    PLANT BASED DIETS SAVE LIVES AND MAKE YOU FEEL ALIVE.

  18. Nick

    N=1, anecdot isn't evidence, but… I went vegaterain for three months, gained weight. Thought OK, must be all that cheese I am eating, so went vegan for three months. My weight remained elevated but constant. Went omnivore keto, found it easy to stick to as it worked and made me feel better than ever and it worked for me, after 8 months lost over 30kgs and counting. Go with what works for you.

  19. DanaGetsFit

    Most people already struggling with obesity or extreme obesity are not going to choose “mostly plants.” Fresh plants have the smallest section in most grocery stores.. along with organic grass fed meat. Real food has one corner while the other aisles are filled with processed foods, carbs, and sugars. And the best foods are avoided with the justification of being extremely sparse and unaffordable for a great amount of the population. Yes, you can vary your grocery bags, but a lot of people can’t afford the best quality foods at every trip to the grocery story.
    Clearly carbs are winning.. and not the fruits, vegetables and Whole Foods you’re talking about. Liquor takes up two whole aisles in my grocery store.. more than cleaning products. Cereal has its own aisle. Bread has its own aisle. People who eat a vegan/vegetarian plant unprocessed diet have a level of discipline that people who eat keto (veggies included too) have too. One says to avoid meat.. and another recommends high fat and no sugars. Hell.. you can be a vegetarian on a keto plan. As an overweight person who has lost weight gained weight and now am at the HEAVIEST I’ve ever been, I can tell you that low quality/highly processed carbs and sugars and the mix of little to no exercise is why I could’ve ended up on your table. People are addicted to low quality foods and that’s why they fail on any diet that involves taking those foods out.. and to be honest, for someone who is extremely obese there has to be an extreme change… here are some of the extreme options —

    calorie deficit that allows them a balance with carbs and possibly allowances of “foods they like” — never worked for me.. always preferred to tip the scale in favor of the non veggie/non fruit carbs

    Your table

    Keto diet whether vegetarian based, balanced, or carnivore

    Veganism/vegetarian

    Bottom line, when youre obese or extremely obese you have to acknowledge that some level of extreme action must take place for you to change. Whether it’s any of those things it WONT be fun. I’ve realized that for me the calorie counting with the allowances of food that I like, was extremely difficult. It’s been a bit easier for my hunger to add more good fats and proteins and kick the processed sugars and processed carbs almost completely. I haven’t had a crazy binge.. but I HAVE had carbs on days when I feel like it. The first few weeks of cutting out sugar was pure hell. My body ached, my head hurt, and I felt extremely exhausted. But it needed to happen in order to make some type of change. And let’s be honest.. in any form, our bodies DONT NEED SUGAR!

    People who are obese who have failed keto have the ability to fail a balanced diet with a calorie deficit, fail sticking to Whole Foods, fail vegan/vegetarian diets, fail surgery, and fail diet/exercise. There’s a mental disconnect for a lot of people. Some lack knowledge and some are extremely addicted to the carbs that they bottom line need to cut out for a while. I feel like there has to be some level of discipline and commitment for each extreme of losing weight.. FAT LOSS in particular.. it is definitely finding out which one works for you.

    I must say that cutting out sugars almost completely has been a great decision.. I won’t get into my thoughts on fruit but I haven’t been eating much of that either. I get a lot of information from Dr. Berg, Dr. Axe, Thomas Delauer, Dr Ken Berry — and I can attest to what they’ve said would happen through my own experiences.. It hasn’t been a perfect journey and no ones journey will. But if you’re losing weight for more than aesthetics researching any style of eating you primarily choose to follow is necessary. I still eat carbs.. but I won’t go out of my way to buy wonder bread, cereal, wheat bread that claims to be better than white, rice, potatoes, or whole grain pastas. I’ve been buying grain free pancakes and eating in moderation, eggs, kale, cabbage, bacon with little to no sugar, avocado, berries and other fruits on occasion, bean pastas on occasion. I just feel like you have to find what works for you and acknowledge how the foods you choose will affect your insides. I just don’t want to be as addicted to processed foods or sugars anymore. I personally enjoy meat. But I know that eating a burger with a bun and fries is not a great thing. You also have to study how the combinations of foods affect your body and nutrition goals.

  20. Franky boy

    What a load of bullshit vegan propaganda. Go keto and you'll struggle to put on weight. Seriously I have to eat like a horse on keto just make gains in the gym.

  21. TheBeautyanna

    Omg! Totally wrong! They need to study more hahaha! I know people a lot of them almost dying in only plant based diet! I was vegetarian 14 years a go and now I know much better! His patients are doing wrong people think they can eat all the meats and fats in a Keto and is not like that!

  22. Zilan Dan

    I am over 10 years Wfpb vegan. No oils or other fats or nuts. But after I stop eating fruits I lost 12 kg Instead I am eating more vegetables, garbanzo beans, white beans. My blood sugar and insulin went down. Fruits are ok but only in a small amount and not everyday. That is my expirience.

  23. Elizabeth Elias

    What Protein would you like on your salad? Since there are going to be beans on that salad, why that question? Restaurants never asked you about the other nutrients you might want in your meal.

  24. Reversing disease 101

    Well Said Dr Davis. In my opinion, from my own research in this area, you are absolutely Spot on! I am a supporter of your work. Brilliant. Keep up the good work spreading the message. Thank you to Plant Based News owner as well for spreading Dr Davis's word. A-Star

  25. jill treviss

    So how come I got fat and very unwell on a plant based diet ,when keto and feel amazing all health problems changed up with a few weeks ….never would I be vegan again

  26. Beach Girlie

    The average American diet is dreadful, food quality is so poor, everything is processed and full of additives or GM food. Look at parts of Europe which follow the Mediterranean diet- France, Italy etc. Fresg bread, pasta, fruit, veg and fish and olive oil and full fat dairy. None of this keto rubbish or skipping meals. Yet no where near the obesity or health problems

    I would hate to live in America and eat the average diet that you guys have. The portions are huge

  27. RawHebrewRemnant

    Not sure about the ketosis diet. I do know that the ketogenic diet does not call for high levels of protien. It calls for low carb, low to moderate protein and high fat.

    It's not carbs per say, but processed carbs and sugar. He never mentioned any if these variables. I wonder why?

  28. tess podador

    This guy mustve never heard of Dr Eric Berg, Dr Ken Berry and Dr Jason Fung before. Stop confusing people doc! Anyone with a blood glucose monitor can tell you carbs spike up your insulin! And frequent eating sustains the spike and thats why you become insulin resistant which causes the rest of the metabolic diseases. Vegans can be keto too , its much harder but it can be done.

  29. mod trend

    Don't worry Dr. Garth you will be put out of business one day soon because the science about the benefits of eating a low carb diet just gets stronger as time passes. This bs that eating fat causes diabetes is proven false by a ketogenic diet because eating a diet of 70 to 80% fat causes weight loss in most type 2 diabetics, while a high carb diet cause nothing but weight gain and blood sugar spikes in those same people. Yes sir the science is catching up to all your vegan bs. Look at yourself at Health Fast 2017 and see how much you have aged in 2 years on your vegan diet?

  30. LittleImpaler

    Eating just vegetables is just as bad as keto. What happen to old fashion balance diet of vegetables, fruits, protein, and fats? If you cut out one food group. Your starving your body of nesscary things.

  31. VeganMinds

    There is no one single diet structure for everyone. People have different genetics that allow them to process food sources differently, also many of the sources of food we have unfortunately are not as nutritious as their predecessors due to mass productions striping away things like minerals.

  32. Kay Allen

    How you can fail if attempting a nutritional ketogenic diet is by eating carbs and following Dr. Davis's advice, aka by being a sugar addict and filling your gut with indigestible, nutrient-poor, cellulose-based material grown with pesticides and herbicides on increasingly poor soil due to industrial farming. That's how you can fail to achieve great health. I recommend Dr. Davis attempt to hold up a bank with a piece of bread – dare ya! Stop with the hype.

  33. Rebekah

    I laughed almost the whole way through (for about half the time! (I think) In my approximation! XD) that was funny (because it's hilarious) I mean I just find it hilarious really XD

  34. urmine mineonly

    Eating low carbs changed my life forever! Its The Only Way Your Body Can Properly Function The Way It Was Designed To Function.
    No Other Way. 75% Fats, 20% Protein, 5% carbs.

    If this lifestyle change diet doesn't work for you, you're doing something wrong. Reexamine what you're putting in your mouth.

  35. Alex Gonzales

    Plant based or keto works if you follow it to a T. Your right about one thing, eat about whole foods, fruit, plants, and or animals. Keep in moderation, avoid the stuff that’s bad. Choose whatever works for you! Saying going keto or saying just go plants may not be right for the individual. The best is the proper combination of food. I’ve gone vegetarian before and it worked for me till i got complacent and snuck in those dirty processed dirty carbs, down the road recently went keto and it worked amazing again till i got complacent and overate sneaking in those processed meat like hotdog and bacon. Both times got sick. Now i’m back on track eating very healthy portion controlled carefully selected food on intermittent fasting keto and on my reset periods or cheat days i go pure plant based healthy low gi fibrous carbs. Feel much better, leaner, and feel great again in my workouts. To mix it up down the road i plan to alternate a month of going i.f. Plant based and going keto on feast days if the situation allows as its easier to get organic meat than organic veggies here in my place.

  36. poo head

    Diet is so individual. I know one person who followed a whole food plan based diet, exercised regularly and had TWO strokes. I also felt like shit on a whole food plan based diet, zero energy and made my chronic illness worse. Adding fatty meat back in saved my life.

  37. Zero Waste Vegan

    I love the comment "people are that scared of carbs you could hold a bank up with a piece of bread" I think it depends on the individual how they process food, I eat high amounts of carbs and have no issue with weight, in fact, I try to eat more so I can increase my weight but I also know people who eat carbs and say they put on weight, I think it is all about the hormones in our body when it comes to weight issues as men and women put weight on in different places and when people have had sex changes there weight then moves to a different part of the body eg women hips men stomach. I was wondering if you wouldn't mind taking a look at my blog I have recently started it is about living a zero-waste life I am looking at different ways to replace what we buy and use, and also researching the environmental impact also im a vegan, I have also just started to do youtube videos on the subject as well, so I am really looking for some feedback on this, the blog is at www.zerowastevegan.co.uk and click my logo to take you through to the youtube channel thanks, looking forward to the next video.

  38. Andreina Perez

    Dr. Garth Davis you will be interested in something that I need to let you know. You don't imagine what but you would be surprised

  39. Green Milk

    great video tho! thanks for sharingto us!
    here are some article I wrote about keto and low carb

    feel free to click on it

    hope it helps

    have a nice day : )

    https://waynesharingspace.com/

  40. atgss 4U

    On plant-based I'm always hungry. Can't eat too many veggies as I don't digest them well. Then I wake up in the middle of the night with scratchy eyes that are quite the shock painful.

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