Speaker 1 (00:00):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast, the weekly podcast where Dr. G gives you the tools you need to boost your health and live your healthiest life.
Kimberly Snyder (00:16):
Welcome to the Feel Good Podcast with Kimberly Snyder. My goal is to help you develop a holistic lifestyle based on our Four Cornerstone philosophy: food, body, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual growth. This holistic approach will help you feel good, which I define as being connected to your most authentic, highest self. This is the place from which your energy, confidence, creativity, true power, and true beauty will start to explode. Every week, we provide you with interviews from top experts in their field or a solocast from yours truly to support you in living your most beautiful, healthy, and joyful life. I’m your host, Kimberly Snyder. Founder of Solluna, New York Times best-selling author, and holistic wellness, nutrition, and meditation teacher. Let’s get started.
Dr. Gundry (01:07):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast. It’s one of the best ways to lose weight, increase your energy, and reduce inflammation. So why isn’t everyone doing it? Because the technique I’m talking about is fasting. Well, my guest today says almost everything you’ve heard about fasting is all wrong. Not only that, but he says there’s actually a better way to fast, and it doesn’t mean suffering or giving up all your favorite foods. I got to hear about this. Today, I’m joined by my friend and biohacker extraordinaire, Dave Asprey, and he’s got a brand new book called Fast This Way: Burn Fat, Heal Inflammation, and Eat Like the High-Performing Human You Were Meant to Be. We’re going to chat about the powerful benefits of fasting, the foods you can eat while you fast, and the kryptonite foods you must avoid. Dave, welcome back to The Dr. Gundry Podcast.
Dave Asprey (02:08):
Dr. Gundry, I love getting the chance to talk with you. Thanks for having me on. There’s so much good stuff to share that I think that your audience is just going to understand maybe better than average because you’ve done such a good job of talking about food toxins, and the link between them and fasting is very important. It’s really hard to fast if you just wrecked your gut before the fast. That’s one of the things people don’t understand.
Dr. Gundry (02:35):
That’s very true. All right. So the obvious question and of course, in the title of your book, why fasting? Most people think that fasting means going completely without food. You and I both agree that that’s not quite right. Why not?
Dave Asprey (02:55):
Well, a lot of the studies on fasting were done with mice, and they gave the mice only water. So then, you could say, “Well, that’s what worked in the study, so I’m going to give a person only water.” It turns out water fasting works, but you have to lie around, rest, and you’re expected to feel bad. If there’s anything I’ve learned in the 10 years of Bulletproof, it’s that people have a life. So there’s such a thing as a working fast where, “Oh, I needed my brain to work all day today, and I wanted the metabolic benefits of fasting.” There’s also such a thing as a spiritual fast where I was going to do a longer fast and I was going to use all that extra energy to go within and to do the deep personal development work. But to try and do that Monday morning when you’re intermittent fasting is probably a bad strategy.
Dr. Gundry (03:43):
Yeah, and I know in your book, you spent a lot of time talking about some of your vision quests and how all that came about. It’s fascinating reading, so I absolutely recommend people get your book just to learn about how you went about doing this. All right. You write in the book that fasting is not suffering. Now, come on, Dave. Most people associate it with suffering, but you and I know that’s not true. In fact, it’s quite the opposite, and I think you do a wonderful demonstration in your new book about how it’s not about suffering. Can you explain why it isn’t about suffering?
Dave Asprey (04:23):
Most people believe that if you don’t eat six times a day, your body will go into starvation mode, and starvation equals pain and then death. We know that’s not really true, but we feel like that’s true. So you can reset that and say, “Well, wait, what if my goal was to fast for a short period of time, 16 hours, maybe 18 hours? How could I do it where my goal is I wanted the benefits, but I didn’t want to feel even a little bit of hunger or pain because I had kids to take care of, because I have a job to do?”
What you can do then is you can say, “All right. What are the things that actually break a fast?” It turns out protein will break a fast and carbohydrates will break a fast, but you can have certain kinds of fat in relatively small amounts during a fast, and the body believes you’re still fasting, but you get a ton of energy. You can even have things that are good for your gut bacteria during a fast that suppress hunger. So there’s nothing that says you have to fast like a mouse in a lab, and there’s nothing that says you have to suffer.
The reason I wrote Fast This Way is that if you look at how much energy, and time, and money you invest in something and you look at how much energy do you get back, that’s how you think about it. The highest return investment you can make is skipping breakfast because you saved time, you saved money, and you got more energy out of it if you do it right. I write about these three fasting hacks that you can do that reduce your suffering, reduce your hunger, give you more energy and more focus. So fasting becomes an effortless, easier part of the day that gives you more energy than eating a muffin in the middle of the morning. So you win on every aspect of it, and that’s what’s missing from the world. It’s this picture of like, “Ugh, I just leaned in. I pushed through. I know that I was hypoglybitchy at 11:00, but I made it through my meeting anyway.” I’m not talking about making it through. I’m talking about feeling better than normal when you do this. That’s what is missing from our fasting conversation.
Dr. Gundry (06:27):
But Dave, everybody knows that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We’ve been told that by cereal companies for over a hundred years. Why isn’t it the most important meal of the day?
Dave Asprey (06:42):
Well, it is the most important meal of the day. When you think about breaking a fast, it’s just when you have breakfast, which is your first meal of the day, which usually should be around noon. So the idea that you have to eat before you go to work only really came about from farming and then the Industrial Revolution. We all started living by these clocks. Well, you didn’t have time to eat when it would be a normal time to eat, so we’re all just going to agree before we really should be eating because it’s more convenient so you go to work in a factory.
We took that on as this societal norm, and it’s really good for selling stuff, especially breakfast cereal. You eat cereal in the morning, you’ll be starving by 10:00, and then you’ll buy a cereal bar or you’ll eat a muffin or the bagel. Even if you say you won’t eat it, you will be so hungry because you ate the wrong thing for breakfast that you are destined to cheat on your diet, and you’re not going to feel good. You spend the whole day in a yo-yo.
When you fast right, you have your last meal of the day as early as it’s reasonable, so an earlier dinner at 5:00 or 6:00. If you do that and you don’t have a midnight snack or something, between 6:00 and say 10:00 when you go to sleep, you’ve got four hours of fasting that didn’t feel like fasting because you’re still full from dinner. You slept for eight hours. You already did 12 hours without eating, and then all you do is say, “Oh, I’ll do four more hours,” and there you go. You did a 16-hour intermittent fast.
But if instead you say, “Oh, I’ll just have breakfast even if I’m not that hungry. I’ll just do it because that’s what I’m supposed to do,” you’re actually causing metabolic harm. You’re not getting any benefits from it. If you wake up starving, that’s not normal. That means whatever you had for dinner was the wrong food. If you want to feel really, really bad, just have bell peppers for dinner. You’ll wake up just dying for food. It’s because you triggered a craving, and you and I both know why, right?
Dr. Gundry (08:35):
Yeah, and make sure you push your bell peppers on your pizza.
Dave Asprey (08:39):
There you go.
Dr. Gundry (08:42):
That’s a real whammy. No, you’re right. As you know, I’ve got a book coming out in the middle of March called The Energy Paradox, and it really… It echoes exactly what you’re saying. I think it’s fascinating to really look at the history of breakfast, which you correctly say. It’s break-fast, and that’s where the term comes from. When you actually look at hunter-gatherers, hunter-gathers don’t eat breakfast. There’s no storage system, number one, and number two, they just head out, and you’re right. They tend to eat their first meal at 10:00, 11:00, noon often when they find their first meal.
I think Victorian England and the Industrial Revolution is actually where the idea that we should eat before we head off to work because people forget that factory conditions were so abysmal, you actually did not get to eat lunch at the factory, and so you ate before you went to the factory, and you may be at the factory for 12 hours, 14 hours before you return home. In fact, funny story, that’s actually a Ramadan fast, which is…
Dave Asprey (10:03):
Dr. Gundry (10:04):
Which is actually, as I talk about in The Energy Paradox, another way to pull this off. So that’s where it came from. You’re right, and cereal companies, this was the best thing that ever happened to them, but it’s a new thing.
Dave Asprey (10:20):
It’s just like electric lights. It used to be, “Okay. It’s dark outside.” You have a little bit of a kerosene lantern, or a whale oil lantern before that, or a candle, and you didn’t have very much of that, so then you will just go to sleep when it was dark. So now, we say, “Oh, let’s eat at a time that’s not normal. Let’s keep it bright really late at night,” and there’s even a chapter in Fast This Way about how to combine light and fasting in order to change your circadian rhythm really rapidly because it turns out light is the biggest signal for getting your body aligned to the actual time of day, but food is the second signal.
2 billion years ago, there are these ancient mitochondria, these bacteria floating in the ocean, and those are the things that set the timing and the energy metabolism in the body as you all know. But if you think about it, well, the sun would come up. They wouldn’t eat, right, when the sun first came up because they would go down in the ocean where it was colder. As it would get warmer, they’d come to the surface, and they would feed. The most food available is when the sun is right overhead because they were eating algae, and plankton, and stuff like that. So it’s natural that we would start our food, our largest consumption be in the middle of the day, not right at sunrise. So our bodies are still getting ready to eat when we’re eating, and the idea that you can just let yourself have that time in the morning where your body is still working on getting going, and running its repair systems, and when it’s not distracted by the work of digestion.
You say, “What do you mean distracted by that?” Well, it takes metabolic energy to break down food. If you’re not breaking down food, you’re going to break down old, dead cells or old proteins. You’re going to do repair on the body, and then the food will come. But if the food is always there, the body is like, “I can’t just let it sit in the gut. I have to fix the food instead of fixing myself.” Giving yourself a break like that, it sounds like, “I might be hungry.” No. If you do this right, you do not experience any hunger. You just don’t want to eat. I’ve had nothing to eat today. It’s around 11:00. I simply don’t miss food. I haven’t thought once about a muffin or anything like that. There’s a sense of peace about it.
The definition of fasting that I talk about in Fast This Way, it’s going without, and you can fast from junk food. It’s called eating healthier. You can fast from carbs. It’s called Keto. You can fast from lectins. It’s called good for you. So you can just choose. “I’m going to not eat something.” You can fast from alcohol. You can fast from social media. In any of those things, there’s a great number of people who say, “But if I do that, I’ll suffer.” What fasting really does for you is it shows the cells in your body or it shows the thoughts in your mind that what they thought you needed, you didn’t really need. The surprising thing about intermittent fasting is the return of energy is greater than you would ever expect. So it isn’t about expending effort. It’s about getting more ability to expend effort.
Dr. Gundry (13:19):
So let’s talk about some of the benefits of fasting because obviously, before anybody even says, “Okay, Dave. I buy in to… Maybe I should do this,” but how… What am I going to get for my effort in avoiding food at least for a longer period than I’m used to? I mean, what about blood sugar responses? What about autophagy? One of my favorite subjects. What about NAD+?
Dave Asprey (13:48):
Ah, I love your questions. I love the way you think about things, Dr. Gundry. Well, you do, from fasting, get autophagy, which is where your body breaks down cells and proteins in the body that are weak. So if you eat all the time, the body says, “Well, I have these mitochondria or these cells. They’re weak. But since there’s always food, they’re still good enough,” and it lets them hang around even though they really don’t work very well, but they’re not all the way. They’re halfway worn out. But when the body says, “You mean sometimes I might have all of 18 hours without food? I guess the cells that get really uncomfortable aren’t good enough anymore,” and it gets rid of them, and it builds younger, healthier cells and mitochondria. That’s a really big deal, and it breaks up cellular junk that can get built up in the cells as well. So that’s a major benefit.
Blood sugar response. There’s lots of type two diabetics who’d go off medications or aren’t type two diabetics anymore just from intermittent fasting. It usually helps if you exercise. You don’t have to over exercise, and it helps if you don’t eat junk food the rest of the time. But the skipping breakfast fixes blood sugar issues for a lot of people, especially when they follow the advice to have your dinner earlier. So you just get this longer window where the body can go and say, “Oh, I did have high blood sugar. I guess since I’m not breaking down yet another muffin, I will actually burn the sugar that’s in my blood and become better at doing that.” You can also see a repair of the microbiome in the gut. These longer periods allow good guys to take over and the bad guys to go away. So a lot of people end up having much healthier digestion because they gave it a rest.
Dr. Gundry (15:35):
Yeah. I think that’s one of the things that certainly I talk about is that you really do get a beneficial change in the microbiome, and many people believe and including me that maybe, fundamentally, a change in the microbiome that’s behind a lot of the benefits in intermittent fasting.
Dave Asprey (15:55):
Dr. Gundry (15:56):
I want to echo something you say about autophagy. Years ago, when a cell was ready to die, we taught that all cells basically, lack of a better word, explode and are replaced with a new cell, and that was called apoptosis. We now know that apoptosis is not the way you want a cell to die, but you would much rather recycle the components of the cell, and that’s autophagy, which literally means self-eat. So when I have a patient and I’m trying to explain the difference between them, and we can actually measure this with blood test, I say, “Okay.” I’ll use you, Dave, since I got you.
Let’s suppose you’re a successful entrepreneur. The Bulletproof coffee is great, Bulletproof lifestyle is great, and you’ve been in an old building. The old building is getting torn down and it looks bad. You go, “You know, I am so successful. I am Dave Asprey, biohacker extraordinaire. I’m going to blow up this building, and I’m going to build a skyscraper, and I’m going to put my name on the top of it so that everybody knows how successful I am.” Well, we do this with ourselves. When we have lots of stuff coming in, when we’ve got lots of food, we go, “Oh, times are great. I’m just going to blow up this cell, and I’m going to replace it with a new one, but I’m going to literally blow this cell up,” and that actually… Debris goes everywhere.
Dave Asprey (17:30):
Dr. Gundry (17:31):
This inflammatory debris of cells blowing up and even mitochondria, which you, our cells believe are actually ancient bacteria, that causes inflammation. On the other hand, let’s suppose that times are a little rough for Bulletproof. COVID is hurting the coffee sales, and you go, “Well, this building is still not very good. I know resources are tight, but we can make repairs on this building. We can put a fresh coat of paint. We can put duct tape on the tubing, and we’ll get by until I’m a genius, and I’m going to rebuild this whole wonderful empire.” That actually what happens. The minute my patients hear this, they go, “Oh, I get it. So I want to fool my body that times are actually a little worse than my body thinks it is. Just this partitioning of eating into a more compact window is a phenomenal method for tell yourselves that they got to repair themselves rather than blow themselves up.” You can take that and do what you want with it.
Dave Asprey (18:53):
It’s a really good analogy, and it’s that signal that, “Hey, you might have to thrive at a time when there isn’t food,” means that the body will become more resilient. It’s really funny because almost everyone of the biohacking interventions that I’ve talked about over the last 10 years, the same thing. You take a brief cold shower. Well, the body says, “Hmm, it might get really cold at any time. Therefore, any cells that can’t make heat quickly are no longer good enough. I’d better start doing my upgrades.”
If you’re always warm, you’re always full, well, the body says, “I don’t have to do any upgrades. I’ll just let junk build up. Who cares if there’s a bag of trash in the corner? It doesn’t matter because I’m in a world where it just doesn’t matter.” You realize you can tell the body by changing your environment that it does matter and it has to stay in shape. Probably the hardest way to tell the body, “You have to stay in shape,” is, “Oh, go for a run for an hour every day.” That’s going to have less of an effect on you from a health perspective than skipping breakfast, granted exercise is still important. It’s just that it takes a lot of effort to go run for an hour and the kind of work that the body will do. It will say, “I need to be able to put energy out for an hour,” but that’s a different kind of a metabolism than, “I need to have resilience so that I can go with or without food,” without you being hungry.
What I discovered in the course of my path is that I had never experienced hunger when I was young and obese. I only experienced cravings because I was eating the wrong foods, and I’d wake up in the morning with cravings. Every time it was time to eat, I would have cravings. When you start doing intermittent fasting, you realize, “Well, this morning, it was a really easy fast. What did I do for dinner last night? Hmm, that might have had an effect on my energy levels today.” When I fasted in a cave for four days with no food and no people anywhere, which is the throughline for the book, I really had to sit down and focus on, “Okay. When am I hungry, and when am I feeling something else?”
There are emotional reasons people eat. There are people who eat for boredom. They eat for loneliness, and that can be a part of a problem that someone has. But quite often, it’s that you feel like you’re going to die if you don’t eat because you really punched yourself in the gut with your last meal. You and I are so aligned on avoiding these inflammatory food toxins and having a very healthy lining of the gut because when you do that, it makes fasting a bit easier.
So the idea behind Fast This Way is to present tools, let’s say, for someone who’s maybe got a hundred pounds to lose like I used to and really feels terrible if they skipped breakfast because their metabolism is not in a place to handle that. How do you do this? If you say, “I’m just going to have water in the morning,” you’re going to drink all morning, the odds are that four out of five days, someone is going to put some food in front of you, and at 10:30, you’re going to eat it just because you don’t have any more will power left because will power comes from burning blood sugar. It comes from burning ketones. It’s energy, and you’re already out of energy.
So the three fasting hacks in the book make it so that you can control ghrelin, which is a hunger hormone, or CCK, which is a satiety hormone, and you can do it during a fast and maintain autophagy. In fact, one of my favorite kinds of fasts has been… It was in the Bulletproof Diet Book as well. It’s a protein fast. If you go a day and you eat some food, as long as there’s less than 15 grams of protein in total, then your body still stays in autophagy, but you got to eat something, so you weren’t hungry. Maybe that’s where you start, or maybe you start with a shorter fast and you actually make it with a little bit of grass-fed butter, and some MCT oil, and maybe even some prebiotic fiber, which I know you’re a fan of. You make a really good one, and you can put that in there.
If you have fiber only during a fast, well, the fiber doesn’t raise your blood sugar. It doesn’t turn on protein digestion. So your body keeps doing autophagy. Your blood sugar remains stable, but you now have this huge feeling of satiety, and you fed the good gut bacteria. So you could do that Monday through Friday, and then maybe say, “Oh, Saturday, I have some time to rest and reflect. I’m only going to have black coffee or tea, or maybe I’ll just have water, and I’m going to really suffer through it, and rest, and relax.”
Traditionally, fasting goes with resting. The problem with where we are as a society now is it’s hard to rest during the week. So to try and combine intermittent fasting a new fast or with a job and now you’re working from home with kids hanging off each arm, most people have a really hard time getting going, and I did too when I started doing this. That’s why I wrote the book. Yeah. As you know, it’s very easy to write a book on fasting. “Step one, don’t eat for a while. Step two, it’s good for you. Here are 10 studies.” Right? This is not that book, and your books are not like those either. They have to have new thinking, new science, new techniques, and new ways to make it easy. That was why it worth the time to put together a book like this.
Dr. Gundry (23:57):
Yeah, good point.
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So one thing you talk about and I talk about in all my books are the benefits of ketones. A lot of people think you need to do a ketogenic diet to make ketones. What say you?
Dave Asprey (25:43):
Well, you don’t have to do a ketogenic diet to make ketones. You may want to do a ketogenic diet for a shorter period of time as long as you go in and go out of ketosis. Chronic unending ketosis is not good for you. There are a few people who get away with it, but generally speaking, you’re going to want to have some carbohydrates because of things like the glial cells in your brain. They’re the maintainers of your brain. They actually like blood glucose.
Generally, if you go full ketosis or if you over-fast, which is becoming a big problem now, “I felt great when I intermittent fasted. Therefore, I’m going to do one-meal-a-day fasting, which is a 24-hour fast. I’m going to do this every day.” What I found over 10 years of working with people doing this in the Bulletproof lifestyle, women tend to hit a wall with fasting after about four to six weeks where their sleep quality goes down because they’re just either not getting enough calories or they’re just eating too infrequently.
So first is sleep quality, then hormones get dysregulated. So the cycles change, and then hair starts getting thin. If you look at men, it usually takes them six to eight weeks to do it. With men, it’s, “Oh, my sleep quality goes away. I wake up without the kickstand I normally have in the morning, and then I started getting thinner hair.” If you go all keto without a break, this can happen, and if you start over-fasting.
So I find that for people who have a reasonable weight to lose and haven’t built metabolic flexibility like that, you don’t need to go full keto. What you can do though is you can use two of the three fasting hacks that raise ketones enough. This is enough to suppress hunger hormones and to show yourselves that they can eat ketones as a fat source without having to go full-on keto bro mode where I’m only eating bacon for the rest of my life, which is not a good idea.
One of those is just black coffee. The amount of caffeine that is present in two small cups of coffee is going to actually make you double your ketone production according to a study from UC San Diego. If you use MCT oil, MCT oil, use the C8 form of MCT oil, is four times more ketogenic than coconut oil or the most abundant MCT oil. So coffee plus some MCT bumps your ketones up enough. They need to be at .5, which is a very low level, and at .5, ghrelin, the hunger hormone drops and CCK, the fullness hormone goes up.
When that happens, it freeze your mind, and I found this study that illustrates that. It turns out that about 15% of the thoughts in the average person’s day are about what’s for their next meal, and that’s an average person. If you’re obese like I used to be or your metabolism isn’t working, you might be looking at 30% or 40% of your thoughts are about tacos and doughnuts. Well, when you get your ketone levels up using MCT oil and using black coffee, well, your thoughts turn off, and you get those thoughts back, and it makes a really big difference.
Dr. Gundry (28:57):
I’m glad you brought up that going keto or doing a ketogenic diet 24 hours a day, seven days a week, months on end is probably, really, a bad idea. There are certainly no evolutionary evidence that we would’ve ever done that. We are the fat ape for a very good reason because we can burn free fatty acids for most of our fuel needs, and the brain can’t use a lot of free fatty acids because they can’t get into the brain fast enough through the blood-brain barrier, and so we have a backup system of ketones, but thank you for pointing it out. Even at full ketosis, even at full crazy three to five milimals of ketones in your blood, your brain still has to have anywhere from 30% to 40% of its fuel as glucose.
Dave Asprey (29:59):
It really does.
Dr. Gundry (30:00):
It really does, and people say, “Oh, no, your brain loves ketones, and it is the preferred fuel oil.” I say, “Well, if that’s the case, how come at full ketosis, your brains still were using 30% to 40% glucose?”
Dave Asprey (30:17):
It seems like it’s because neurons are the rockstar celebrity part of the brain, and they will use ketones even if sugar is present. But the glial cells, and the astrocytes, and the support and maintenance system, the immune system of the brain, it is shown in studies to prefer glucose. So if you want rapid thinking… In fact, one of the reasons spiritual practice is half fasting is ketones let your neurons work better so you can really have that energy and that focus to go deep, to go within, and that’s why you feel really good when you intermittent fast.
But if you only do that, then you are not maintaining the brain anymore. This is why people go keto, which I’m a fan of, do it, and then go out, and go in, and go out, and go in, and go out. When you’re at the weight you want to be, you can have carbs. Just have them with your evening meal. You’ll sleep better as a result. Your gut bacteria will be happier, and don’t eat toxic carbs. Don’t eat whole grains because they’re actually just not healthy for you as you well know.
Dr. Gundry (31:14):
Dave Asprey (31:16):
So when you get it all dialed in like that, you end up realizing, “Okay. I can have ketones.” The other thing that always struck me as odd. When someone is really into this idea of keto, imagine… Imagine if someone came to you, Dr. Gundry, and said, “You know, I wanted to have more energy, so I got my blood glucose up to 200. Isn’t that awesome?” “Great,” and you’ll be like, “Uh, you’re diabetic.” Well, if someone has ketones of four, or five, or six for long periods of time, it’s because the body is not using the ketones for energy. Otherwise, the blood levels wouldn’t go up so high.
So we don’t have proof that high levels of ketones are beneficial. We have proof that metabolizing ketones is beneficial. If they’re present in the blood and you’re not pulling them out quickly, your body isn’t good at doing that. Intermittent fasting makes it so that you can better burn ketones and better burn glucose. When you can burn glucose properly, that means you’re not diabetic. When you can burn ketones properly, it means you have metabolic flexibility, which equals human resilience. It’s that balancing act that makes us younger, that makes us smarter, faster, happier, and it turns off the cravings. It’s turning off the cravings that’s so critically important if you just want to function during the day.
Dr. Gundry (32:33):
Yeah. I want to touch on one final point before I let you go. You mentioned kryptonite foods. You’ve been alluding to some of them. What are they, and why should people avoid them?
Dave Asprey (32:49):
Well, there are about five of them that are really big triggers of hunger. You and I have been at the forefront of talking about lectins as a major trigger of hunger and a cause of human suffering. So lectins are one of them. So the idea that improperly cooked beans, and legumes, and certainly the nightshade family, and whole grains in general. You also have phytates, and phytates are things that block your ability to absorb minerals from food, and they grow in, oftentimes, whole grains and things like that.
We have oxalic acid, which is present in kale, and raw spinach, and things like that. So many people are like, “I ate a kale salad, and then I was so hungry, I ate another kale salad. I was so hungry, I ate a doughnut.” Well, what’s going on there is that oxalic acid is rough on the gut. It’s rough on the brain. It’s rough on the joints, and it’s not a particularly good thing to put into your body, especially if you’re trying to be full during a fast.
On top of that, we have histamine. If you’re eating leftovers or things especially made out of pork, or soy protein, or fish that are old or fermented, it tends to grow high levels of histamine. Now, we know histamine from allergies, but it’s also a neurotransmitter, and it drives brain fog and cravings. So if you eat something full of histamine, you will have a powerful drive to eat sugar and to just eat as much as you can. If you’re trying to fast and you just sabotaged yourself, the odds of you feeling good during the fast are about zero if you ate a ton of histamine. Some people are more sensitive than others.
The final one is mold toxins or mycotoxins. These come either from something that grows on food in the field or when it’s in storage. If you get food that has higher levels of these, it creates a cellular stress response. When the body says, “Oh, no. I have these toxins,” it’s going to tell you to eat sugar because it wants the sugar to oxidize the toxins so you can excrete them. If you eat foods that either are leftovers or foods that are high sources of this like peanuts, which is the perfect bad fats, the very long chain fatty acids, and lectins, and aflatoxin, well, it’s no wonder you wanted a lot of jelly with that peanut butter. It’s because you need it to deal with this huge toxic burden that created physical stress that increased your hunger and reduced your resilience. So by taking these classes of foods out of your diet, you actually experience hunger instead of experiencing cravings, and the amount of will power it takes to go through the day is a lot less than normal.
Dr. Gundry (35:24):
All right. Well-put. Yeah. Dave, it’s always a pleasure to have you on the podcast. Where can listeners find the book and learn more about you? If they didn’t know about it, let’s tell them.
Dave Asprey (35:35):
Well, if you go to fastthisway.com, it’s got all the links to pick up the book. But if you send me a receipt, I will spend two weeks teaching my book to you as a gift, and I’ve never done this before. I was a teacher at the University of California for five years. This is a chance for me to spend three one-hour Q&A sessions and daily… a lecture from each chapter in the book to walk people through it. So for every book I do from here on out, I’m going to teach as if it’s a college class. So people can use this as a textbook because that’s a part of sharing this knowledge. It’s so precious, and I’m really looking forward, Dr. Gundry, to your new book, The Energy Paradox, when it comes out because all of your books are groundbreaking and just awesome. You’re getting it at such a deep level, so I appreciate being on your show and appreciate your work.
Dr. Gundry (36:20):
Well, thank you. Okay. So we’ve got an audience question, but you’re going to be in on this one.
Dave Asprey (36:25):
Dr. Gundry (36:27):
GwendolynNelson917 on Instagram writes, “Do you recommend nuts as a good first food after a fast? If not, then what?” All right. I’ll let you take it first.
Dave Asprey (36:41):
I don’t recommend nuts as a good first food after a fast. A lot of nuts do contain oxalic acid. A lot of them contain phytates, and a lot of them contain lectins. So these are unlikely to make you feel really good after a fast. You might have a couple walnuts, which don’t have a lot of that. Although they do have a lot of linolenic acid. So if walnuts are your primary source of fat, you’re not going to like how you feel because you need a decent amount of saturated fat as well. So what I like to do after a fast is I like to have a source of starch. I’m totally fine with something like white rice, and I like to have some healthy fat with it. Some people like to do a vegetable juice, which I’m not opposed to, but you need to not make it a kale juice if you’re going to do that. What do you say, Dr. Gundry?
Dr. Gundry (37:35):
Yeah. People are going to learn in The Energy Paradox that pistachios are the highest source of the hormone melatonin known to exist. As people learn in The Energy Paradox, I and probably you are a monster fan of melatonin because it is probably the most important hormone for mitochondrial protection that ever exists.
Dave Asprey (38:05):
Dr. Gundry (38:05):
So why not eat a few pistachios?
Dave Asprey (38:08):
Pistachios have a special power in Super Human, my anti-aging book. They also have a specific type of polyphenol that is highly correlated with anti-aging. So they’re one of the best nuts. With pistachios though, they’re also a high source of mold toxins. Eat high-quality pistachios. If they taste off, don’t eat them, but a good pistachio, yeah, that’s a good way to get going. I like that.
Dr. Gundry (38:31):
Actually, fun fact is the little feathery thing inside the pistachio nut that sits there in the shell, that’s actually the highest source of the polyphenols in a pistachio. So eat those little funny things.
Dave Asprey (38:50):
Dr. Gundry (38:51):
All right. I actually like people to use like a purple sweet potato that you’ve roasted, and then thrown in the refrigerator, and then reheated. It actually is the highest available of resistant starch that you are… We could talk for an hour in resistant starches. I think we have before.
Dave Asprey (39:12):
Yeah, we have.
Dr. Gundry (39:13):
All right. Dave, thanks so much for being with us, and hopefully, I’ll talk to you about The Energy Paradox in…
Dave Asprey (39:21):
You’re absolutely invited back on Bulletproof Radio to talk about The Energy Paradox. Any time you write a book, it’s worth my time to read it, and it’s worth my listeners’ time to learn about it from you. So it’s a standing invitation, Dr. Gundry. Thank you.
Dr. Gundry (39:33):
All right. Take care. Bye.
All right. It’s time for the review of the week.
My next book in the bestselling Plant Paradox series is coming in March, and you can pre-order it now at harperwave.com/energy. Energy Paradox is my fresh take to one of the top health issues plaguing Americans, fatigue. It outlines my revolutionary plan for revitalizing mental and physical stamina. You’ll feel better in no time. Learn more at harperwave.com/energy.
This week’s review comes from Barbara Wilcox on YouTube who writes, “This is a praise report. I just jogged again for the first time in 30 years. I’ve been listening to your podcast and bought your book. I had to give it to my daughter too. You have single-handedly healed me. Thank you. I’m just a few weeks in, so I have a ways to go, but thank you. Thank you. Thank you.” Well, thank you, Barbara. I love hearing success stories like this one, so please keep them coming. This, as you know, is why I do this, to empower you to take back your health because you know why. I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you. See you next week.