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.
Dr. Gundry (00:14):
Welcome to The Dr. Gundry Podcast. Now, here’s a staggering statistic. Every year, around 655,000 Americans lose their lives to heart disease. In fact, it’s the leading cause of death in United States, and it’s been that way for the last 80 years. Now, granted, COVID has gotten our attention, but still, heart disease is the number one cause of death.
And according to today’s guest, the scariest part is this. Most of the common fixes out there like maintaining low cholesterol levels, and taking preventative medicines like statins may not be helping. In fact, he believes these recommendations are probably doing more harm than good. You’re going to want to hear about this.
And if you’ve read my work, you know. My guest and I are on the same page. I’m joined by Jonny Bowden a.k.a. the Nutrition Myth Buster. And he’s a board-certified nutritionist and expert on diet and weight loss. He recently relaunched his bestselling book, The Great Cholesterol Myth, Revised and Expanded: Why Lowering Your Cholesterol Won’t Prevent Heart Disease – and the Statin-Free Plan That Will.
We got to stay tuned for this. On today’s episode, Jonny and I will reveal the truth about cholesterol. Expose the real villain when it comes to heart disease and share what you can do today to optimize your health and protect your heart. We’ve got a lot of exciting things instore for you today on today’s episode, so stay tuned. We’ll be right back.
Like I always say on the Plant Paradox protocol, you don’t have to give up the foods you love. You simply need to find those foods made with ingredients that love you back. You see, my wife and I love movie night with a bowl of popcorn. But popcorn is a lectin bomb that will eventually cause leaky gut and inflammation. So, we searched high and low for a popcorn alternative. That’s why we left for joy when we discovered Nature Nate’s Pop Sorghum.
You see, sorghum is one of the only grains that is lectin-free. And that isn’t the only reason I’m a fan of Nature Nate’s Pop Sorghum. It’s easy to digest, high in magnesium, non-GMO and organic. And it tastes amazing with a lot of cool flavors like Himalayan salt and ghee butter. I promise, even though it pops a bit smaller than corn, you’re going to love Nature Nate’s Pop Sorghum.
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In order for me to see patients six days a week and still meet my book deadlines, I spend plenty of late nights in front of the computer screen. And if you’ve read my last book, you know that prolonged screen time especially at night can take a huge toll on your health.
The reason, blue light. It damages our eyes and leads to digital eyestrain. And for me, this used to me in experience in blurred vision, headaches and dry watery eyes just a couple hours into writing. But not since I started wearing BLUblox. BLUblox are high quality lenses designed to block out the blue light that comes from your electronics.
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Feeling stressed right now? The truth is that stress is natural. And experiencing high levels of stress is sometimes unavoidable especially in these uncertain times. But I’m happy to report the managing stress can be simpler than you think. You see, I started setting 10 minutes aside each day for my mental wellbeing.
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I’m using Headspace to help me manage my own personal stress, and I’m excited to share it with you all. Head over to headspace.com/gundry for a free one-month trial with access to Headspace’s full library of meditations for every situation. Jonny, I’m excited to join me on the podcast today.
Jonny Bowden (06:07):
Thank you so much. I’m such a fan of your work as well. And I’m thrilled to be here and discuss this very important stuff with you.
Dr. Gundry (06:14):
So, I want to dive right in. What’s the biggest issue with the way the health industry has been tackling heart disease all these years?
Jonny Bowden (06:23):
Well, that’s a big question we could probably talk for an hour about. But I think to start off, the discussion about cholesterol and our fear of it and our belief that it predicts heart disease. And that if we could only lower it, we would be protected. We need to start right with the way we measure cholesterol.
Because people often misunderstand us when we say cholesterol is not important, or you don’t need to be looking at your high versus low cholesterol. We don’t think that there’s nothing that cholesterol has to tell us. We think we’re measuring it by a technology that’s 70 years old and that’s incorrect.
And what we say is that, don’t even talk to us about high cholesterol until we know how you’re measuring it. Because if you’re using an outdated and inaccurate way of measuring it, then we have nothing to talk about here. Your high cholesterol might be masking a perfectly healthy heart profile, and your low cholesterol might be masking a risky one.
And that was the case with me, which I’ll tell you in just a minute. So, the way I try to explain this to people. And I live in California. We have very, very strict smog regulations. And we always have our cars tested for emissions. So, there are these smog testing places.
And you have to take your car to one and then they give you a bill of health. So, they give you a non-bill of health and they say, “Mr. Jones, you got to fix this. It’s going to cost $1,700. Take it over there.” That’s what you got to do. And everybody does it because we want to comply with the emissions and because there’s no way to get a license if you don’t.
Well, what if you found out that the device that the garage is using hasn’t been calibrated since 1963. That the algorithm doesn’t even include the toxins that have been invented in the last 10 years, because they weren’t invented at the time the machine was first set up. And then, it’s giving wildly inaccurate readings.
So, some people might come away with their car saying, “God, I got to put $1,800 into fixing this.” And it turns out that nothing bad is coming out of the exhaust. Whereas other people who are driving around thinking I’m just doing fine, and there are toxic wastes dump because the machine’s not catching it.
So, before we go any further talking about cholesterol, we have to talk about the fact that the machine that’s measuring it is broken. And I can tell you how that happen. You’re probably too young to remember this. And most people that I tell this too don’t remember it.
But in the 60s, we had health fairs. And you would go to a health fair to be educated about what was important about health and it’d be somebody at the booth with a white lab coat, and they do a little fingerprint. And a little fingerprint, “Mr. Jones, let’s check your cholesterol.
Oh, it’s 240. Very good.” Because that time actually 240 was the amount that was okay. They keep telling down so they’d get more patients, but they give you one number. And that was your number. Your cholesterol is 220, it’s 190. This is good. This is bad.
And around 1963-ish, the technology became more common where they could actually look a little more closely into… you know what, cholesterol actually travels in containers. It doesn’t travel in the bloodstream. It’s hydrophobic. It won’t last one second in the bloodstream.
It’s got to travel in containers. And it looks like they travel in two different kinds of containers. One of them is an HDL, High-Density Lipoprotein. The other one is an LDL Low-Density Lipoprotein. But the L in both of those, HDL and LDL, stands for Lipoprotein. That was the boat that carried the cargo of cholesterol.
And now, we had an improved way of measuring it because HDL and LDL, generally speaking did different things in the body. And scientists picked a way of describing them. Unfortunately, very simplistic way that said HDL, we’ll call that the good one, and we’ll call LDL the bad one.
But basically, there are two kinds of boats. And they’re transporting the cargo of cholesterol. Well, that was great for 1963. And what I always say to audiences is, the flip phone was great for 1989, you still want to use it when you have an iPhone 12? I mean, come on.
So, we now know Dr. Gundry that there are 13, 13 different subcategories of cholesterol, not two. Not only that, we know they come in different sizes. And those sizes actually matter. Sometimes, the size of a lipoprotein is like a big fluffy tennis ball who doesn’t really do much damage. Other times, it’s a nasty little atherogenic BB gun particle size one, those sizes matter.
The pattern of distribution matters. And what matters the most is the number of glycoproteins. Because think about this, just as a logical management task. If you’ve got to manage a crowd of millions of people, there’s more likelihood of accidents. There’s more likelihood of somebody has a gun. If you’re managing a Marine, and you want to make sure the boats are all safe.
The more boats in the water, more likelihood, somebody accidentally bumps up against another. If you’re a bouncer and a bartender, the more crowded the bar, the more likelihood somebody spills a drink, somebody starts a fight. It’s the same thing with the bloodstream. We need to be looking at how many lipoproteins are in the water.
And this is the punchline, we have the test to do all of that. We’ve got the iPhone 12s, and the Galaxy nines. But doctors are still using this test from 1963. And worse, they’re prescribing drugs based upon this test, which is defective. So, our first mission is to retire the HDL LDL test forever, and put it on the dustbin of out-of-date ideas where it has long belonged.
Dr. Gundry (12:14):
Well, so, what’s the replacement? You obviously have one and I obviously have one, but I’m interviewing you?
Jonny Bowden (12:23):
It’s the same replacement. We now have this technology, it’s called Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, NMR. And there’s NMR cholesterol test and it looks under the hood. And I show people and leaders when I’m doing this. In PowerPoint, I show them mine.
And there’s different tests available. Every major lab in the country, LabCorp and Quest, these are the ones your doctor uses, they all offer a version of this. Some of them call it the lipid panel, advanced lipid profile, the NMR particle test. It doesn’t matter, they all look at the same data, which is all the subtypes of cholesterol.
The number of boats in the water, which predicts heart disease way better than the amount of cargo in the boat. And finally, the pattern of distribution of whether they’re big particles or little particles. This is valuable information. This matters, the HDL LDL test does not.
Dr. Gundry (13:23):
So, I’ll give you an example. I do those in my office. That’s what we order. And we use several labs to do it. But interestingly, yeah, I had a woman yesterday in my office, who we go through all this. And she has very few small dense LDL particles. She doesn’t oxidize her small dense particles. She doesn’t oxidize her apo B, and we’re just talking shop.
But we got all done. And I said, “You are at so low risk.” And she said, “How can you say that? Because my cardiologist showed me that my total cholesterol is 242. And I’m a walking time bomb and I have to be on a statin drug.” And this is true. This was yesterday.
Jonny Bowden (14:17):
I believe you. I’ll match your horror story for her. How about this? I have a very close friend, 69 years old. She doesn’t have any ounce of body PET. As a human being, her risk factors for heart disease are probably around zero. Exercises every day. Joy as like. Great cook. Wonderful family. Low inflammatory measures. Low blood sugar. It’s all perfect, right?
She’s got a 300 something cholesterol. Her doctor’s, “You go on a statin or I’m firing you as a patient.” Now, we’ve gone through this for years and I said get the real test and then we’ll talk. Wouldn’t do it. Nope, we don’t need it. So, finally, it was like she was either going to change doctor or he think going to fire her, he says, I’ll tell you what, we’ll do a compromise.
We’ll do a calcium coronary scan. And I’m sure your audience knows what that is, it’s a picture. We’re not going to guess because of the cause. We’re going to look inside the arteries and see if there’s any plaque. And the scores go from zero to 1,000, and there’s a whole algorithm. And so, she’s 69. She goes in, she says this and they said, “This will be the final arbiter.”
Fair enough, they take the picture. Her calcium coronary scan is zero, zero. I would die to have that number. She goes back to the doctor. You know what he says? “I want to put you on a statin just in case anyway.” That’s how entrenched this way of thinking is.
Dr. Gundry (15:47):
Yeah. No, you’re absolutely right. And I have patients with total cholesterols of 300, 400. I have a couple, go cholesterol of 500 that I manage without statins. Now, you and I think statins may be both overprescribed and potentially under prescribed. And I think before we go any further, to my audience, I’m not telling you to go off statins, cold turkey.
You need to talk to a doctor about this plan. I do prescribe statins. I use them to drop inflammation until I can teach you how to eat. And then, it’s very rare that I will use a statin once I teach you how to eat. Because quite frankly, you probably won’t need it.
And if I can interject one other thing, many of you need to know about a particle called lipoprotein little A, sometimes called LP little A. It is the worst of all the bad actors. And you inherited an ability to make it or not make it. And here’s a scary thing, LP little A is probably the number one cholesterol particle that causes familial heart disease and early coronary artery disease.
Statin drugs actually raise LP little A. And look it up. It’s in the literature. And I can’t tell you the number of times that I have patients who LP little A is clearly their issue. They’ve had bypass. They have multiple stents. Have taken monster amounts of statin drugs.
And as we wean their statin drugs off and get them on niacin or niacinamide for their LP little A. Lo and behold, their LP little A plummet, and just by getting them off statin drugs. That doesn’t mean tomorrow, stop your statin drug. But Jonny, what do you say? Are statins-
Jonny Bowden (17:54):
I couldn’t agree more. And for so, I’m not a medical doctor. And even if I was, I’m not treating my audience over the internet. And I will never anybody ever, ever, ever to just drop a drug without supervision. So, I totally agree with you about that. As far as statins other beneficial effects that you mentioned the inflammation one, I say this in doctors and doctors says it all the time.
Statins do a number of things. In my opinion, the least important is lowering cholesterol. They also lower inflammation somewhat and they thinned the blood a little bit. So, they make as Sinatra likes to say, they turn it from the consistency of ketchup to fine red wine. Okay. Those are good things.
I happen to personally believe you can do both of those things with zero side effects using fish oil, ginkgo, vitamin A, you name it. So, these things are not hard to do without a statin. But for those who don’t take anything, and they’re literally just following their conventional doctor’s advice, they give them a statin, there may be some mild anti-inflammatory, blood thinning effects to the good.
I would prefer to see those gotten to the supplements that don’t have a side effect profile like statins. But I agree with you, Dr. Sinatra agrees with you. There are cases in which they might be beneficial. I’d love to mention that under prescribed thing, because I am a perfect example of that.
And everyone used to think when we first came out with the book, oh, they just think everybody’s over prescribing statins. Well, we do think everybody’s over prescribing, but we also know that the reverse comes along. And so, I’m a perfect example of that.
For years and years, I had perfect cholesterol measured by the old way. My LDL was under 100. My HDL was, it wasn’t much above 40 but it was still okay. The ratio was good. Every doctor, “Oh, you’re fine, nothing wrong whatsoever.” And then, I discovered the particle test or the NMR test, or lipid panel or any of the ones that Dr. Gundry and are talking about.
And that test showed a very different story. Very, very high particle number, 2,200, high risk. Nasty pattern of little B ones and not so many little big fluffy A ones. It was a wakeup call. And luckily, the cardiologist I chose… well, I had a few that I bounced this off and they came up with different things.
But certainly, one of them was, “Hey, let us put you on five milligrams of cholesterol, we’ll knock those particles down like that.” And I said, “I’d like to hold off. Let’s see if there’s another way.” And I went to the cardiologist who is the head of the Lipid Clinic at Scripps Institute here in San Diego, and he’s extraordinary.
And I know that he has quite a repertoire of things not just limited to statins. And I went to him and I said, “Here’s my numbers. What do you think?” And he said, “Well, the first thing is, I hope you’re eating a high fat diet” which made me love him even more.
But he designed a supplement routine which added to the things I was doing already. We put it on a trial, did it religiously for six months, particles dropped from 2,200 to 1,600. They’re still not great but they went from high risk to yellow light, you should watch this.
And the particle size just barely shifted into the good pattern A where it’s mostly fluffy. Guys, ways to go, it’s not overwhelmingly fluffy. But it moved the needle from pattern B to pattern A. So, these things are changeable with supplements and that would be my preferred way to go.
It’s not to say that statins can’t help. As I said, one of my reference doctors said, I think five milligrams will do it. I know you’re not a fan of statins but that will do it and it probably would. But what I am not a fan of is people prescribing statins or not prescribing statins based on a test that no longer works.
Dr. Gundry (21:46):
Well said. Recently, over the long holiday weekend, I took a cooking class from Chef Gordon Ramsay. It was enthralling. I learned so many little techniques that I quickly incorporated into my repertoire. I was on a bit of a roll after that and decided to take lessons from Chef Alice Waters, the mastermind behind the world famous Chez Panisse in Berkeley.
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If you read my books or listen to this podcast regularly, you know that my mission is that all enjoy good gut health. Why? Because it’s the secret to feeling your best and living well. And that’s why I’m so excited to share with you a revolutionary breakthrough in helping you make sure your microbiome is thriving.
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If you’ve read my books, you’ll know that fiber is a key nutrient for your gut. But I’m not delusional. I’m here on planet earth and I realized that getting the recommended 30 grams a day of fiber isn’t always easy. Right now, I have two recommendations. The first is to eat two whole heads of broccoli.
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Jonny Bowden (28:35):
Well, that is a great question. And I’m so glad you asked it because I said, it is my mission in life to answer that question to as many audiences as I can. So, when we wrote the first edition of The Great Cholesterol Myth 10 years ago, we knew that the search for heart disease in the HDL LDL test was not the way to go.
And we knew the particle test was a huge improvement. But we couldn’t say for sure what we should really be looking at. We knew it wasn’t that. We knew there was a hell of a lot more to it than that. But we weren’t quite sure. And when we did this deep dive this time around, looking to connect the dots. Because remember, I first wanted to say, I’m not an Aboriginal researcher.
I’m not the smart guy that runs the college sophomores and the rats wearing a lab coat, and doing the statistical analysis and getting four stages of clinical studies done. But I can translate that stuff really well to the audience that that I speak to, and that I think you speak to and I’m able to make that clear.
And what I went on was a mission to see what research had been done here and what could we uncover. So, we uncovered a very direct line of research. And it has been hiding in plain sight since the 1970s and it is mind boggling. Mind boggling, the doctors do not know this.
So, in the 70s there was a doctor named Kraft who discovered the Insulin Assay. Now insulin, I’m sure everyone who listens even knows what insulin is. Very, very important hormone, one of its main things that it does in the body is it clears the bloodstream of excess sugar.
It’s kind of a sugar, sugar. Goes in there, pancreas releases it. Comes out and sees the sugar, takes it out. Takes it into the muscle cells, drops it off the muscle cells. Wait, we need it for energy, everybody’s happy. But in most people, that is not how it works.
And the numbers of… in how many, the percentage of how many people that doesn’t work is staggering, 88% in America was the most recent figure, 52 worldwide and we think that’s an underestimate. So, it doesn’t work right. What happens is, instead of the cells accepting insulin, they reject it.
There’s just too much sugar, too much noise, too much insulin and they go, nomas, we gave in the office, they closed their doors. And now, your bloodstream got this high sugar and high insulin, the definition of prediabetes. All right. So, this insulin resistance, the ability of the cells to just resist the effect of insulin was something very important, and Kraft figured out a way to measure it.
It was a very complicated assay. It required his patients to sit in the office for several hours that would be hooked up to two different infusions. One would infuse sugar, the other would infuse insulin. You’d watch how quickly or how effectively insulin was able to clear that sugar, you could really get perfect lab measures of it.
And he developed this great test. And he tested it on 14,000 patients over the course of his years. And he followed them up. He just wanted to see what happened. And they’d put them in categories, 20% categories of very insulin sensitive, which means your blood sugar goes up when you eat insulin, comes right out, it fills you right up.
And you’re back to normal and everything works in a… that’s about 20% of the population and then it went downhill from there, to the next 20%. A little bit insulin resistance all the way up to major insulin resistance. And these people with abdominal belly weight and all of the risk factors that go with that.
Many watched to see what happened to these people. So, the first 20%, the really insulin sensitive ones, nobody died in 10 years, which is unheard of, in a population that size. No major heart attacks, nothing. Then, the second group, you start to see disease and death and it goes up.
And it’s just like that until you get to the highest level of insulin resistance. And he said, we knew it was the basic condition for diabetes, but it looks like it’s connected to a lot of other stuff. Okay. This got buried and I paid much attention to it. In the 1980s, a guy from Stanford comes along named Gerald Reaven. And he invents or labels something called Syndrome X.
And Syndrome X was quickly replaced by metabolic syndrome, which is somewhat later replaced by prediabetes, it’s all the same thing. And guess what he was talking about? Insulin resistance. And he said, when you have insulin resistance and you have high blood pressure, you have abdominal fat, that’s a condition of a group of conditions, we call that metabolic syndrome.
It always is prediabetes. Well, we looked at all of this literature and we made the hypothesis, which is not a big leap of faith that prediabetes is diabetes, it just hasn’t gotten the diagnosis yet. And guess what, diabetes is pretty heart disease, 80% of diabetics die of heart disease.
So, when we looked at the literature that Reaven had done, which was basically the same thing. He spent his career identifying this insulin resistance as a causal central cause for diabetes and the entire cardio metabolic stuff towards the end of his life. And his end of his research, he said, “I wonder what else is insulin resistance is related to.”
And he basically did what Kraft did. He took everybody and he’d put them in categories. And once again, cancer, lung disease, kidney disease, there was not a disease that it wasn’t linked to. And Dr. Gundry, we put our book out, The Great Cholesterol Myth late last year, and we basically say, insulin resistance is the cause of heart disease.
Now, let me put the caveat in the abstract there. Obviously, it doesn’t explain every case of heart disease in the world. There are three-year-olds who are born with heart disease. But it tracks with heart disease as well as cigarettes track with lung cancer.
I mean, and cigarettes don’t account for every lung cancer case in the world. There are people who get lung cancer who don’t smoke, and there are people who smoke a lot and don’t get lung cancer, but it sure is a good tracker. It’s a catch for 800% in increased likelihood, and it’s the same thing with insulin resistance.
So, we wrote our book, we said insulin resistance, we think it’s the cause of heart disease with that caveat. A couple of months later, a great doctor that I have great admiration for, Dr. Jason Fung. He’s the father of intermittent fasting, comes out with a book called, The Cancer Code.
And it says, guess what? Insulin resistance is the cause of cancer. And two months later, a PhD who I’d never heard of who’s brilliant named Dr. Benjamin Bikman writes a book called, Why We Get Sick. And guess what he thinks? Insulin resistance is the cause of everything else.
So, we’ve got these three… I don’t even know Bikman. I met Fung once. We’ve got these people who are coming to the same conclusion, which is insulin resistance is at the core of everything. We know it’s at the core of obesity and diabetes and heart disease.
And then, the take home for this is that if you look at COVID, which is we’re right in the middle right now, January in California, we’re in major lockdown. I don’t know what it’s like over there. But we’re definitely not out of the woods. And we’ve been in the woods for the better part of a year, no matter where you stand politically on it, this is a serious thing.
Look at every comorbidity for COVID. Every preexisting condition that you guys that we have all been told, oh, man, if you’ve got that thing, that’s a bad case. You’re immunocompromised. What are they? High blood pressure, prediabetes, diabetes, obesity, heart disease? Shall I go on?
They’re all in the same related conditions. And when I realized that, and I said, holy moly, if we could do something about insulin resistance, we’d be wiping out the basis of having these preexisting conditions. But I was puzzled, I thought, I don’t really know if there’s an… what about lung disease, kidney disease and liver disease because those are big preexisting ones and conditions also.
And I spent no more than a morning on PubMed on the National Institute of Health medicine thing, trying to find a relationship between insulin resistance and lung disease and kidney disease. It’s right there. There’s a literature. There’s law that underlies all of them.
So, we really feel this is such an important thing. I have actually talked to others in the Low-Carb Clinicians Network about a political action committee to literally lobby the medical authorities to pay attention to insulin resistance and to teach people that you can turn around insulin resistance. You can prevent it. You can treat. You can reverse it with diet alone.
So, this is so important for us. I’d never say anything so simplistic is to say if you wipe out insulin resistance, you won’t have deaths from COVID. But I’ll bet you the death rate would be a lot different because people are metabolically broken. And any challenge whether it be viral or any other is going to be much more opportunistic when you’ve got a weakened population that you’re inflicting that on, right?
Dr. Gundry (37:44):
Yeah. Oh, yeah. When COVID first came out, I wrote an editorial on Thrive Global on exactly this, that we should actually arm ourselves. And the federal government should actually mandate people, believe it or not rationing, sugar and flour, just like we did in World War II. And that we should give people the money to have victory gardens in their yard or their porch.
Because in World War II, 40% of the food that we ate was grown in home victory gardens. And we know how to do that. We should do it again. Because quite frankly, we are at war. And we’ve now exceeded the deaths from World War II just from COVID. So, yeah, I wrote an editorial about that. You’re right. We need to empower people.
We wouldn’t send soldiers to combat unarmed. And yet, everybody’s unarmed unless we take care of this. All right. So, most of my listeners know about insulin resistance. They’re hopefully aware of how to reverse insulin resistance. But can you give me your thoughts, a brief overview on how do you reverse insulin resistance?
Jonny Bowden (39:10):
Well, I always start with… because I do find that it’s a somewhat difficult concept to explain to the general public. So, I’m always thinking about how would I explain insulin resistance to a fourth grader? Because once you explain it this way, you see what the solution is very easily.
So, the way I came up with and I love your feedback whether you think this will land for fourth graders or anybody who else who knows nothing about biochemistry. So, here’s how insulin resistance works. And when you were born, you’re assigned a bucket, little pail.
And the pail is different for different children. Sorry, that’s just the way it is. It’s the luck of the draw. Some people get blue eyes, some people get brown eyes, but you get a pail. And for the rest of your life, and that pail may change a little bit but not much, it’s basically the pail that you get.
You need as many carbohydrates as you can fit in that pail every day, many as you want. If you eat more, if you try to stuff more into the pail, then that pail will hold, there are going to be metabolic problems. And what they are is called insulin resistance.
You don’t even need to know what it is, it’s the inability of your body to process more carbohydrates that fit into your pail. And there may be different amounts for different people. So, if you said, “Well, how do you know if it was based in [inaudible 00:40:30].” Sorry, that ain’t your pail, this is your pail.
And when you take in more, blood sugar goes up, the pancreas can’t keep up with the load. Eventually, you become insulin resistance. And that is what we’ve been talking about for the last 45 minutes. So, it’s basically your body’s inability to deal with more sugar and starch than you genetically, hormonally, metabolically, whatever it is, then your pail will allow you to deal with.
And that’s what it is. So, how do we reverse it? The answer is very obvious, we stop trying to shove more carbohydrates into the pail. And for many people, it may take zero carbohydrates. Their pail may have been so damaged at this point that they can’t get anything in there and you might have to go to zero.
Those people are not, I don’t think in the majority but they do exist. And there are people who’ve done it very successfully, carnivore diets, keto diets, no carbohydrates. I think for most people, a little adjustment on what we try to shove into that pail will do the trick if we just ate less of that stuff, less processed carbohydrates.
If we stuck that pail with the ones that filled with fiber, like fibrous vegetables, and apples, and berries, and cantaloupes, and grapefruits and things like that. We’d probably do better than if we stuck with it pasta and rice, and cereal, and breads, and crackers and all the other stuff.
So, the way to reverse insulin resistance is exactly what the cardiologist said to me online at the Scripps Institute when I said, “Here’s my numbers, what should I do to this?” Well, I hope you’re eating a high fat diet. Because think about it. The macronutrient that drives blood sugar, and therefore, insulin up the most is carbohydrates.
The one that drives it up the middle ground is protein. It raises blood sugar a little bit and it raises insulin a little bit but nothing like carbohydrates. But the one that doesn’t even move the needle on it is fat. So, what is the sense of recommending low fat high carb diets to diabetics?
Or, to people who are obese? Or, people who cannot manage the stuff that’s in their bucket right now. You’re going to give more of it? It just makes no sense to me at all. You can reverse insulin resistance with a higher fat, lower carb diet period. It works every time.
Dr. Gundry (42:44):
No, you’re right. We are overfed in this country. And the processed foods have been processed so well that it’s almost instantaneous blood sugar. It’s far more than anyone could have possibly imagined it was possible. But yeah, one of the things that has struck me over the last 20 years of doing this with my patients, is that half the patients I originally saw would come in with fatigue issues.
Now, they had lots of other issues but they figured they were just getting old, and it turns out that one of the things about prediabetes. And I agree that telling someone they’re a prediabetic is telling a woman, she’s a little bit pregnant. And I use this in all my patients. There’s no such thing. If you’re a prediabetic, you should consider yourself a diabetic. Sorry.
Jonny Bowden (43:47):
Dr. Gundry (43:48):
But yeah, these things can overcome. All right. So, other than diet and other than insulin resistance, and I agree, an insulin in and of itself is an amazing growth hormone. And it’s a smooth muscle growth hormone that actually makes our blood vessels thicker.
And believe it or not, we want nice, smooth skinny blood vessels, not thick ones. So, insulin is a big, big driver of heart disease just from that alone. So, other than diet, what other factors can affect our risk of cardiovascular disease?
Jonny Bowden (44:30):
Well, I’m so glad you asked that because as a nutritionist, and I’m sure for you as well as a medical doctor, we tend to focus on that narrow area that we were trained in. And I always looked at it at the beginning of my career. It’s exercise and diet. It’s diet and supplements. It’s all nutrition related. What I’ve noticed in my colleagues over 30 years of doing this, that all the best people, no matter how they started out.
And I started out as a weight loss coach at Equinox: Fitness Clubs. However, they started out, none of them are looking at food diaries anymore. None of them are looking at exercise lots. And just every one of them has figured out that the things that really impact health go way beyond what you eat and what you do with your body.
And that seems almost heresy to say that because it’s so nutrition food, exercise movement are so important. But we really do forget the impact that our mental attitude, our spirituality, if you will, our calmness of mind. Our ability to form relationships with other people are the amount of love in our life.
The relationship we have with our animals, with our outdoors, with how much sun we get, because we’re walking in the actual sunlight in the greenery as opposed to just taking a pill. We forget the power of those things. And there’s a very, very famous story called the Roseto Phenomenon, which we actually talked about it in the book, The Great Cholesterol Myth.
It’s a very famous thing. And please, everybody Google, The Roseto Phenomenon. But in the 20s, there was this hardscrabble town of Pennsylvania called Roseto. And the weirdest thing happened is that the doctors, they were not seeing any heart disease.
And these doctors would meet in these towns in between, I mean, in these bars of centrally located. And they all exchange notes and talk shop. And the ones in Roseto were constantly saying, “You guys see all this heart? We don’t see any. What do you think’s going on?” And this led eventually to some real research attention being paid to this area.
And then, the research has started coming in, and by God, there’s no heart disease here. Now, this would not have been so amazing except if you look at how the people on Roseto lived. This was a hardscrabble Pennsylvanian town. This made Scranton Pennsylvania look like Beverly Hills.
They worked in the mines. They breathe the worst stuff you can imagine. They ate an American diet that was as bad as you could imagine. American diets being they smoked. They should have been dying twice the rate of everybody else. And the best the researchers could come up with after a couple of years of investigation.
And this is what you’ll read in Wikipedia is that, these people had such strong social bonds that it somehow overcame a lot of risk factors. [inaudible 00:47:28] and some did die. But these people came, they were all from the same area of year. They shared certain genetics. They did everything together. They had Sunday dinners, square dancing garden, whatever it was. It was such a community, nobody lived alone. And they believed that those things really made that much of a powerful difference. And that’s been supported over the years.
The Blue Zones, that wonderful research where they went across the globe to find first four, and then a fifth place was discovered as well. Five places around the globe where people lived to over 100 and they’re all fine. I mean, there’s just a very high percentage of centenarians, the highest percentage of healthy people over 100.
And these are not people in assisted living homes. They’re marching goats up the hills in Sardinia, they’re doing stuff. And what the researchers found, the National Geographic team of researchers was, that they didn’t only eat the same diet.
They weren’t all vegetarians. I mean, they were just lots of various big differences that they couldn’t find like what’s one thing? Do they all eat meat? Do they all not eat meat? The only thing that they’ve all had in common was this absolutely unbreakable social fabric.
They were all part of the community. They didn’t know what it was like to be isolated. The old people didn’t go to old age homes, they lived with the family. Everybody was important. Everyone felt they contributed. And this was the continual thing that was true for all five of the areas around the globe where people lived the longest.
So, in our book, the last third of the book almost is about all the stuff besides what we talked about in the first two thirds. We talked about how important nutrition is. You and I just talked about a higher fat, lower carb diet reversing insulin resistance, which we think is the cause of all disease.
We talked about exercise. But then, in that third section, we talked about meditation. We talked about stress reduction. We talked about techniques like HeartMath, where you can actually monitor your own physiology in a very creative way.
It’s almost like, a video game, it costs 99 bucks and it’s fun, and actually changes your blood pressure and your brainwaves. We talked about the ecotherapy, the actual proven demonstrated benefits of being in greenery. There’s research showing that if you’re in a hospital and you have a view of the garden, you’re better than if you don’t.
So, I mean, there are all these things that actually do change our physiology. We talk about the science of psychoneuroimmunology, which is basically the notion that what you think about affects your immune system, something I’ve been preaching about since the beginning of the pandemic, I’m sure you have too.
So, we talked about all these things. And we want people to understand that it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed because you’re not doing all the right things. And you’re not eating and they keep changing the stuff about nutrition, and which supplements are good and which ones aren’t.
And what exercise is most effective and people can easily be overwhelmed. And what I never want people to lose sight of this, all the other stuff that they are in charge of, they actually are making contributions to their health bank. Every time you cook a meal together with your friend or family, you made a contribution in your health bank.
Every time you take vitamin D, you make a contribution. These are little contributions and you make them every day, or you can make them every day. And I don’t want people to get so overwhelmed by either a lab test, that’s a bad lab test. Because sometimes you have bad lab tests.
And you don’t have that many risk factors because unbalanced, you’re doing all these good things. So, I want people to be aware that it is more than just eating by right and exercising right. And yes, those things are vitally important, but so are the relationships that you have in your everyday life.
How you sleep, how you digest, the time you spend with your dog. All of those things, they matter profoundly to our health. And we cannot just omit them because they don’t fit under the medical establishment of pharmacology and all the interventions we do. These things are really, really important.
Dr. Gundry (51:41):
Yeah. I couldn’t agree with you more. In fact, for years, I used to give a PowerPoint lecture about disease is the absence of EASE. And I wanted people to be at EASE. And EASE is eating, attitude, spirituality and exercise. And there you go. And you just told someone how to be at EASE. And if you have EASE, it’s impossible to have disease.
And yeah. So, please folks, get the book. And ignore the first two thirds because we just told you that. But if you do nothing else, follow… Jonny is absolutely right that, it’s connectivity with people, it’s connectivity with the outdoors. It’s your attitude that really is fundamentally going to change things. Good for you. Good for you.
Jonny Bowden (52:53):
Thank you so much. This is such a great… I can’t wait to read your new book and interview you for my podcast because I-
Dr. Gundry (52:59):
All right. I’ll come. So-
Jonny Bowden (52:59):
Dr. Gundry (53:02):
All right. So, where can listeners find your book and learn more about your work? How do we find you?
Jonny Bowden (53:07):
Well, my books on Amazon and any booksellers that still exists, but Amazon’s usually the most reliable. All my books are on Amazon. And you can follow me on Twitter and Facebook and all that at @jonnybowden, and my website is jonnybowden.com, no H in Jonny.
Dr. Gundry (53:21):
Yeah, that’s important. It’s J-O-N-N-Y. There’s no H. So, don’t type it in wrong please. All right. Well, it’s been a real pleasure and good for you. And thanks for updating your book. Like I said, I’ve been following you ever since the first one. I love what used to be heresy. But now, luckily, it’s becoming more and more [crosstalk 00:53:43] mainstream. All right. Take care.
Jonny Bowden (53:50):
Dr. Gundry (53:51):
All right. Now, it’s time for our audience question. This question comes from David Ivers on YouTube. Who said, Dr. “Gundry, do you recommend toasted or untoasted perilla oil? Where can I purchase the best quality?” Well, I actually use just untoasted perilla oil, and a couple reasons I use it, and I’ve written about this.
Perilla oil has some of the highest levels of alpha-linoleic acid there is to be found even more than flaxseed oil. And it’s got incredible levels of rosmarinic acid, which may be one of the real secrets in long live communities that we’ve just been talking about.
So, that’s the same thing that’s in rosemary. So, rosmarinic acid is a great, fine and perilla oil. I like to use perilla oil in my salads, mix it with olive oil. I actually mix it with MCT oil, but that’s a whole another subject. What are the sources? Occasionally, you can find perilla oil in grocery stores. You can find it in Asian stores.
Certainly, Korean, Chinese stores will usually carry perilla oil. Worst comes to worse, go to Amazon. I have no connection with this company but it’s easy to remember. I get my perilla oil from Dr. Adorable. So, if you think of me, you’ll think of Dr. Adorable, and I have absolutely no connection. So, great question. All right. Time for the review of the week.
Kimberly Snyder (55:38):
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. And 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 solo cast 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 bestselling author, and holistic wellness, nutrition and meditation teacher. Let’s get started.
Speaker 5 (56:34):
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Dr. Gundry (57:00):
MCP shows. Watch my interview on YouTube with Dan Walter, the first farmer to raise chickens on the Plant Paradox Yes Foods. I’ve been buying and eating Dan’s pasture raised chickens for almost two years. They taste better than conventional chicken.
But what’s even better is that they are not inflammatory. It has been almost three years that my husband and I have been on the Plant Paradox lifestyle. My husband, a diabetic has been able to drop all his diabetes drugs as well as blood pressure drugs.
We both lost significant amounts of weight and feel fantastic. We are both looking forward to dying young at a ripe old age. Well, MCP shows, thank you very much and thanks for enjoying that show. And this was a perfect question to include with what we just talked about with Jonny Bowden.
You can reverse these diseases. You can get rid of these diseases just by making some simple changes in your life. And by the way, Dan Walter, if you’re listening, I know my next chicken is on the way, I just got an email. So, I can’t wait to get it. So, thanks very much. And so, this is a great review to include with what Jonny Bowden and I what just been talking about.
You can reverse these problems. You can reverse diabetes. You can reverse high blood pressure with simple changes in your diet. And that’s why I do all this. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you. Disclaimer, on The Dr. Gundry Podcast, we provide a venue for discussion and the views expressed by my guests do not necessarily reflect my own.
Thanks for joining me on this episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast. Before you go, I just wanted to remind you that you can find the show on iTunes, Google Play, Stitcher or wherever you get your podcast. And if you want to watch each episode of The Dr. Gundry Podcast, you could always find me on YouTube at youtube.com/drgundry. Because I’m Dr. Gundry, and I’m always looking out for you.