363 episodes

Discussions about the science of nutrition, dietetics and health. The podcast that educates through nuanced conversations, exploring evidence and cultivating critical thinking. Hosted by Danny Lennon.

Sigma Nutrition Radio Danny Lennon

    • Nutrition
    • 4.9 • 288 Ratings

Discussions about the science of nutrition, dietetics and health. The podcast that educates through nuanced conversations, exploring evidence and cultivating critical thinking. Hosted by Danny Lennon.

    #370: Jake Mey, PhD, RD - Dietetics, Evidence-based Practice & Translating Science into Advice

    #370: Jake Mey, PhD, RD - Dietetics, Evidence-based Practice & Translating Science into Advice

    Dr. Jake Mey is a registered dietitan and a human nutrition researcher. He is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. His work focuses on diet, muscle & metabolism. Dr. Mey has a PhD in human nutrition and kinesology.
    Show notes: sigmanutrition.com/episode370

    • 41 min
    #369: Prof. Jason Gill - Population Cardiometabolic Disease Risk: Impact of Strength, Fitness & Activity

    #369: Prof. Jason Gill - Population Cardiometabolic Disease Risk: Impact of Strength, Fitness & Activity

    Professor Jason Gill is a Professor of Cardiometabolic Health in the Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences at the University of Glasgow. He leads an active multi-disciplinary research group investigating the effects of exercise and diet on the prevention and management of vascular and metabolic diseases from the molecular to the whole-body level.
     
    He is a past Chair of the British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences (BASES) Division of Physical Activity for Health and a member of the development groups for the Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network (SIGN) guidelines for the prevention and treatment of obesity and for prevention of cardiovascular disease.
     
    In this episode we discuss:

    Strength and chronic disease risk
    Discrepancy between self-report and objective measurements of physical activity
    Regression dilution bias: If you measure something poorly you diminish the apparent association with the outcome
    The EuroFIT randomized controlled trial
    The amount of exercise needed to get to a point of low absolute risk of cardiometabolic disease is more for high-risk populations vs. low-risk populations
    Why if you have a higher genetic risk for obesity, then lifestyle matters more, not less
    Should there be differential guidelines for activity based on race/ethnicity?
    Interaction between degree of social deprivation, lifestyle and health outcomes
    Why reducing sitting time may not be a useful target
     
    LINK: sigmanutrition.com/episode369

    • 58 min
    #368: Shannon Beer – Intentional Eating, Flourishing Health & Behavioural Psychology

    #368: Shannon Beer – Intentional Eating, Flourishing Health & Behavioural Psychology

    Shannon Beer is a nutritionist, working with people via online coaching and mentoring, with the goal of helping people improve their health through facilitating lasting behaviour change.
    In collaboration with Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro, she has developed a coaching framework that applies motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral coaching, and acceptance and commitment therapy-aligned processes in a client-centered alliance toward their own values-based goals. This 'Comprehensive Coaching' model facilitates long-term behavior change and flourishing health in clients.
    Show notes: sigmanutrition.com/episode368

    • 59 min
    #367: Gabrielle Fundaro, PhD – Mindful Eating, Facilitating Health Behaviour Change & Client-centred Coaching

    #367: Gabrielle Fundaro, PhD – Mindful Eating, Facilitating Health Behaviour Change & Client-centred Coaching

    Dr. Gabrielle Fundaro is a nutrition/health coach who focuses on facilitating behavior change, embodying a positive relationship with food, cultivating positive body image, and improving sport performance. 
     

    Dr. Fundaro is a former Assistant Professor of Exercise Science at Georgia Gwinnett College and holds a PhD in Human Nutrition and Exercise. She is currently a board member of both the Nutrition Coaching Global Mastermind (NCGM) and the Sports Nutrition Association (SNA). 
     

    In collaboration with Shannon Beer, she has developed a coaching framework that applies motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral coaching, and acceptance and commitment therapy-aligned processes in a client-centered alliance toward their own values-based goals. This 'Comprehensive Coaching' model facilitates long-term behavior change and flourishing health in clients. 
     

    LINK: sigmanutrition.com/episode367

    • 52 min
    #366: Listener Q&A

    #366: Listener Q&A

    In this episode Danny and Alan answer some listener questions, covering a range of topics, including hunger cues, weight-neutral appraoches, body fat distribution, and breakfast and cognition, among others. The guys also discuss the most interesting thing they've learned this year and resources on critical thinking.
    Questions Answered: [08:40] What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt this year?
     
    [16:30] Is the cliche “hacks to survive the holiday period” a damaging narrative?
     
    [18:32] Is the notion that weight loss attempts typically produce more harm than benefit, evidence-based?
     
    [21:28] What's your opinion on intuitive eating? Both the official book and the unofficial trend.
     
    [25:40] Based on your previous podcast discussing health policy, how does a health coach use this knowledge working with clients given that the deck may be stacked against certain clients? Does HAES become more important for clients who face more challenges like those you spoke about?
     
    [30:26] What are the things a person can read or learn outside nutrition to become a better thinker and person?
     
    [39:35] Is there a benefit to eating breakfast in the morning for mental/cognitive purposes?
     
    [45:51] Genetically, do different individuals respond differently to various hunger cues? i.e; some respond extremely well to the secretion of leptin, and other to the stretch receptors in the stomach?
     
    [50:15] Nightshift workers: to eat or not eat between midnight and 6am. What’s best to snack on P, C, or F?
     
    [56:09] When it comes to the frontiers of nutrition science (nutrigenomics, diet-microbiome, etc.), which show most promise and which are overhyped?
     
    [62:12] What is actually worse when it comes to a fatty liver, fructose or saturated fat?
     
    [65:42] What makes collagen supplements any better/any different than simple AA supplements? Is it just marketing?
     
    [69:42] Is fish oil supplementation worth the hype? Or is it better to get your omega 3 fatty acids from natural sources like fish?
     
    [80:17] I've heard that peri/post-menopausal women's bodies are less efficient at using carbohydrates as fuel due to the hormonal changes. Is there any evidence to back up this claim?
     
    [83:21] Thoughts on post-menopause midriff fat gain due to fat cells secreting oestrogen?
     
    [85:26] Is there any evidence supporting strategies at target fat cells with a high ratio of alpha:beta receptors (i.e., "stubborn" fat)?
     
    [88:50] Do we eat to feed ourselves or are we just the vehicle to feed the many bacteria in/on us?
     
    [92:12] Is arteriosclerosis reversible?
     
    [94:02] In the paleo/keto community there is a lot of discussion about the pro-inflammatory nature of industrialised seed and vegetable oils. Does the science back avoiding these?
     
    [96:28] If marine omega 3 is so important, then how do we reconcile the fact that historically many cultures wouldn't have had much access to them?
     
    [99:34] Do statins adversely affect strength gains or hypertrophy?
     
    Find all mentioned resources linked at the show notes page: sigmanutrition.com/episode366

    • 1 hr 42 min
    #365: David Robert Grimes, PhD – Conspiracy Theories & Bad Information: Why Are We Susceptible?

    #365: David Robert Grimes, PhD – Conspiracy Theories & Bad Information: Why Are We Susceptible?

    Dr. David Robert Grimes is a physicist, cancer researcher and a science journalist. In addition to his cancer research, he has also published peer-reviewed work on conspiracy theories, meta-research and health modelling.
    Dr. Grimes is the author of the fantastic book The Irrational Ape: Why We Fall for Disinformation, Conspiracy Theory and Propaganda. And given his keen interest in advancing the public understanding of science, he contributes to several media outlets discussing science, politics and society.
    He appears frequently on news media to discuss and debate topics as diverse as vaccination to climate-change, and gives talks across the world on the importance of evidence in society. He was joint winner of the 2014 Nature / Sense About Science Maddox Prize for standing up for Science.
    David is affiliated with Oxford University, Queen's University Belfast and Dublin City University. His cancer research has focused on the mathematical modelling and mechanistic understanding of hypoxia in cancer.
    Show notes available at sigmanutrition.com/episode365

    • 1 hr 11 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
288 Ratings

288 Ratings

Slumbertime101 ,

The best place to find out what the research really says

At this point, I've probably listened to over 1000 hours of podcast episodes on the subject of health and human performance, most of them centered around the topic of nutrition. I've always tried to limit my listening to presenters who relied on what appeared to be a careful review of the scientific literature on the subject.

Recently, I have begun to take a short program in clinical epidemiology through the Imperial College of London. The things that I have learned there have caused me to revisit some of my own recent blog posts that I had hoped were a careful analysis of research literature. I realized that there were many things that I had not understood before I begin my formal study of epidemiology. Now, I have come to the somewhat sad conclusion that even some of the more trusted names in the world of health oriented blogs and podcasts either don't properly know how to interpret research or, even worse, are willfully cherry-picking information that is designed to promote their products, books, get them speaking engagements and advertisers etc.

So, I searched specifically for podcasts on the topic of clinical epidemiology and soon found this one. I can't say too much about how impressed I am with the work they are doing at Sigma nutrition. It really is the most unbiased and detailed review of the scientific literature on health and fitness, especially in the area of nutrition. In addition to the excellent podcast, I highly recommend reading the Sigma statements on their website. If you really want to understand what the evidence says about diet and health, these statements are undoubtedly the best resource currently available for the educated layperson.

IanA2011 ,

Politics

Alan needs to keep his political and religious beliefs out of the podcast. Take your own advice and stay in your area of expertise

Matty mikey ,

Shallow, incomplete exploration of important ethical topics

When I first saw the title of episode #336 Ethics of Veganism and Omnivorism, I was very excited for some deep discussion, especially since the guest is a philosophy professor at Princeton, and because I do not think factory farming is morally right.

However, after listening to the episode, I was left disappointed to hear that a supposedly highly educated professor of philosophy presents the same basic arguments made by many misinformed online diet zealots. At one point, he presents the idea that holistically raised animals that are killed in middle age somehow increases suffering. This insinuates that a longer lifespan decreases suffering. This is a false claim, since longer lifespans, for both humans and animals, do not equate to less suffering. Simply explore the long life span, yet increased prevalence of chronic disease of later life common in the US population.

Why is it that Danny and his guest are quick to attack the industrial animal industry, yet not once do they mention the equally unsustainable, unhealthy model of monocrop agriculture industry.

A second point the host and guest seem to completely avoid is the fact that organisms across the animal AND plant kingdoms are sentient, on a relative scale. True, that a ruminant animal has a much more complex nervous system then a cabbage leaf, but not once is this talked about. They don’t challenge the idea that plants can also “feel” and are therefore, capable of some degree of suffering. The argument never dives into the moral dilemma that life eats life. A true philosophical exploration into a fundamental conundrum such as this would have been worth discussing.

The philosophy professor really shows his true bias when he cites one study that athletes don’t need protein from animal sources for adequate nutrition. While this is acceptable, this argument on nutrition does not belong in an ethical debate. Why is a philosophy professor even presenting nutritional scientific information? It’s almost as if he is trying to prop up the superficiality of his ethical arguments with a single, arbitrarily chosen study.

There should have been more talk on how we define animal/plant suffering from a neurophysiological standpoint and it’s considerations in food choices (some marine bivalves have been shown to have less complex nervous systems than plants, possibly challenging the professor’s entire argument on which causes more suffering, eating plants or animals). Not only that, but does the killing and suffering of countless gophers, moles, rabbits, insects, and bugs as a cost of crop harvesting, outweigh the killing of a single beef cattle that can feed 2-3 people for a year?

Lastly, the professor makes the claim that we should avoid eating animals because, as I prosperous society, we have the ability to eat a vegan diet, unlike many tribes around the world. This is an arrogant statement that seemingly borders on making the claim that the westernized world is superior to these “meat-eating” cultures. A thoughtful professor would address the fact that for the entire 1.3 million years as Homo sapiens, no anthropologist has found a purely vegan culture throughout history. Does this make modern day humans morally superior to those in the past? This type of thinking seems to be so pervasive in many important discussions today, but it especially runs unchecked in our university systems in the US.

I propose a debate format next attempt. When we start out with a predetermined conclusion presented by an obviously biased viewpoint, it doesn’t help anyone. Debate is a critical way, if not the most critical way, we can advance important ideas like these. Thank you to Danny for attempting to cover this topic. We need more discourse in this arena.

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