Dr. Gundry's private practice: (760) 323-5553

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 (00:09):
Dr. Gundry here, and I’m back again with an info-packed episode, full of quick tips to help you live long and well until a ripe old age. This week, you’ll learn what types of meat age you the fastest, the seemingly innocent daily habits that are cutting years off your life, and my dietary tips for improving your health and lifespan. It’s all about longevity today, one of my favorite topics, so stay right there. We’ll be right back.
All of my listeners should know about now that I’m a huge advocate of taking care of your gut health, but taking care of your brain health is just as important. You see, your brain works like a computer, and for it to run smoothly at all times, you need to ensure it gets certain nutrients. One way that I support my brain health is with creatine. Creatine isn’t just for building muscle. It’s also amazing for brain function. Our body naturally creates creatine, and our bodies use about 20% of it just to think. This means it’s imperative that we supplement with creatine for both our energy and our brain, since we naturally only make up half of the creatine we need.
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The types of meat that might speed up aging? Hold on. The truth is all meat speeds up aging. Yes, you heard me right. All meat speeds up aging. And there’s actually three reasons for that, and I want to go through that for you today. First of all, animal protein has an amino acid called methionine that is much more common in animal protein than in plant protein. Methionine is one of the triggers for a receptor that causes aging in us called mTOR, the mammalian target of rapamycin. mTOR senses energy availability, and one of the things that mTOR looks for is methionine.
So if there’s lots of methionine, mTOR tells ourselves, “Hey, it’s time to grow. It’s time to make babies. It’s time to do all sorts of things, including age.” If mTOR doesn’t sense methionine, it says, “Ooh, times appear to be rough. This is not a good time to grow. This is a good time to look at every one of our cells and decide who’s pulling their weight and who isn’t, and the cells that aren’t pulling their weight, we tell them to die.” It’s called autophagy. “And we kind of clean up the mess.” So as a general rule, a low methionine diet has been shown to extend lifespan dramatically in every animal tested, including pigs.
Now, there’s one interesting little caveat, and I don’t want you to focus on this, but there’s another amino acid called glycine, and glycine appears to give a benefit of tolerating methionine in not activating mTOR, but adding several grams of glycine a day to your diet may help protect against a high-methionine diet from animal protein. Now, that’s number one, methionine in animal protein.
Number two, you’ve heard me write and talk about a compound called TMAO, which is produced by bacteria from animal protein and animal fats in our diet. And according to research, particularly from the Cleveland Clinic, TMAO can damage blood vessels, can damage kidneys, and now there’s evidence that it can damage the brain. We know that vegetarians and vegans have very little TMAO in their bloodstream, and I measure TMAO in all my patients. Interestingly, there are some species of fish and shellfish that have preformed TMAO in their flesh. And so TMAO from animal protein and fat, can also be from fish, can in fact damage blood vessels. So that’s number two reason to avoid animal protein and fat.
Number three, red meat – by that, I mean beef, lamb and pork – have a sugar molecule in their flesh, in their blood vessels called Neu5Gc. Humans have a sugar molecule lining our blood vessels called Neu5Ac. Fish and chicken have Neu5Ac. Now, these two compounds are very similar, but Neu5Gc, we can make an antibody against it when we eat beef, lamb and pork, and it can cause us to attack the linings of our blood vessels by mistake. And so one of the theories of why eating red meat increases the risk of heart disease is this Neu5Gc.
Now, the other thing that’s scary to me is we know that tumors can avoid detection by the immune system by wrapping themselves in Neu5Gc. And since we don’t have the ability to manufacture Neu5Gc nor do our cancer cells, the Neu5Gc has to come from our diet. And that may explain why most studies of red meat eaters show a higher incidence of cancer, particularly colon cancer than in non-red meat eaters, and it’s this Neu5Gc cloaking ability.
Now, how strong are each of these? That’s for you to decide. Does that mean we should never eat any animal product? I don’t think so. I eat animal products. I personally consider myself a vegaquarium. That means I eat mostly vegetables and nuts, but I supplement my diet, particularly on the weekends, with wild shellfish and wild fish, and that, for me, works out very well. Do I ever have beef? Yes. I will have a six ounce grass-fed, grass-finished filet about once every three months, quite frankly. I almost never eat pork. Lamb is very rare. Do I have pastured chicken? Yes, I do have pastured chicken, but again, it’s a treat rather than a staple in the dial.
So all of these factors make up the reasons why animal protein should be not the king of your plate, but should be something way down the list. As a society, we’ve become obsessed with protein, but the truth is really not only should we lessen our animal protein, but we actually need very little protein in our diet in general. Now, why is that? Well, we are actually very thrifty creatures. We’re very efficient. And every day, we slough the lining of our intestines into the lumen of our intestines, and that lining is protein. So every day 20 to 30 grams of protein is recycled. So when you see that you should be getting a hundred grams of protein or 200 grams of protein, and I say, you should be getting 50 to 70 grams, remember, these recommendations aren’t compensating for the fact that you’re actually reabsorbing quite a bit of protein every day from yourself.
The other thing that’s important to realize is that even my friend, Dr. Valter Longo, thinks that as we get older, we should add more protein into our diet because somehow magically and mystically, we need more protein as we get older. Well, what I found from my research is that we don’t need more protein in our diet. We need to repair the wall of our gut and that way we will absorb the protein that’s already in our diet. Most of us damage the wall of our gut progressively as we get older from the foods we eat, particularly from lectin-containing foods.
And I’ve now had thousands of patients who have had low protein levels, low albumin levels, which is the most prevalent protein in our blood. When we put them on a limited protein diet, but on a lectin-free or lectin-light diet, miraculously, their protein levels go up in their bloodstream despite eating less protein. Why? Because now, we’ve repaired the wall of the gut, and now, we have a big absorptive area to absorb protein. And I think that explains why Dr. Longo and others think we need more protein as we get older, but in fact, the fact that we need apparently more protein is actually scary that we’re damaging the wall of our gut. And as you learn in The Longevity Paradox, our longevity is tied to the intactness of the wall of our gut. And the longer that wall is intact, the better shape it is, the longer we live and the healthier we live at all time.
Lastly, I turned 72 this month, and I’m always reminded that Dr. Atkins, the father of the high-protein diet, died at this age. And always remember that Dr. Atkins died an obese man. So protein is not the panacea for a long life. And just to remind you, there is no evidence of a long lived society that eats a high-protein diet. None. Almost all long lived societies, one of the universal factors in their diet is that they eat a remarkably low-protein diet, low-animal-protein diet. So next time you’re thinking, “I need to get more protein in my diet,” think again, and think about where you want to get your protein from.
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My birthday recently passed and I turned 72. I know that may sound old, but the truth is I’ve never felt younger. Taking care of my gut health has done wonders for my body, but so as being active. From daily walks with my dogs, weekend hikes with my wife, Penny, and running around with the grandkids, I always make sure to stay active. Keeping up with these activities make me feel great, but I feel even better when I look my best while doing it. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Ten Thousand, a men’s fitness apparel line. They offer some of my favorite pieces of clothing. They’re not only comfortable and durable, but stylish too. Whether I’m on the trails or on a flight, Ten Thousand clothing works well for almost any occasion.
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Want to know one of my secrets to staying consistent with my lectin-free diet? It’s always keeping my kitchen stocked with a variety of healthy, delicious meals and snacks. That’s why I use Thrive Market. When it comes to finding all of your healthy essentials in one place, Thrive Market has you covered. They offer great deals on everything from grass-fed beef and natural wine to eco-friendly cleaning products and lectin-free baking supplies. And to make things even easier, I’ve curated my own Dr. Gundry grocery store on the website, which features Gundry-approved foods that can help you and your family boost your gut health, energy levels and more.
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Three daily habits that could hurt your health and decrease your lifespan. So if you’re a subscriber to my channel, I know you care about your health. That’s why each week, I do my very best to help you make your health a top priority. So today, I’m sharing three surprising daily habits that could be hurting your health and decreasing your lifespan.
Number one, first up, eating breakfast. Now, first of all, most traditional American breakfast foods are loaded with sugar and health-wrecking ingredients – cereal, waffles, sugary granola, yogurt, instant oatmeal, and animal protein. But that’s not the only reason breakfast is terrible for you. Breakfast was designed to break your overnight fast, and there’s very strong evidence that breakfast is a very modern time of day to eat. It looks like breakfast was started in England at the industrial revolution in the late 1800s.
When men went off to factories and worked all day, there were no breaks, there was no lunch break, and returned home late at night. Women would prepare men a breakfast before they went to work because they weren’t going to be back until late at night, and they needed something to start the day. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that concept. In fact, I talk about the Ramadan diet, which is this exact same thing where you eat breakfast before sunlight and don’t eat again until after sunset. And as I’ve shown in my last two books, the Ramadan plan is actually very health-promoting.
On the other hand, this whole idea was hijacked by breakfast cereal companies in the early 1900s when cereals were invented, and doctors were paid to actually tell people how healthy a bowl of corn flakes with a sliced banana was in terms of your health. In fact, a lot of the data for cereals making you lose weight was manipulated by these breakfast food companies. Breakfast is big business, and breakfast is not the most important meal of the day.
On the other hand, I realize how hard it is for people to give up breakfast. And that’s why if you still want to do a breakfast, then I’ve got tricks in unlocking the keto code to get you through that time period. My good friend, Dr. Valter Longo has shown that a breakfast basically of a nut bar, called the fast bar, will not stop you from being in ketosis from an overnight fast. And that’s great news, and I talk about all the options, including a handful of nuts to get you through the time to your next meal, which is lunch. So break fast, the farther into the day that we can break fast, the healthier you’re going to be.
Now, what happens when you reduce your eating window? I have tons of videos about fasting right here on my YouTube channel. Now, I like to recommend starting with a 12-hour fast. Believe it or not, most Americans are eating 16 hours a day from the second we get up literally to the second we go to bed. But a 12-hour fast is pretty darn easy to do. That’s eating breakfast at eight o’clock in the morning and finishing your last bite of food at eight o’clock at night. That’s a 12-hour fast.
Then each day we back off eight hour per week. So for instance, if you’re eating breakfast at eight o’clock in the morning this week, next week, let’s eat breakfast at nine o’clock in the morning. So we’ll just do that for a week. Come on, anybody can change one hour at a time, and you’ll be amazed how easy it is to progressively shorten your eating window. The more we shorten our eating window, the better you’re going to do. Probably the best eating window is about six hours, and that’s based on Dr. Matheson’s work from the NIH.
All right. Worst habit #2, watching TV or scrolling through social media before bed. Now, I’ve said in my first book that Thomas Edison may be the cause of most modern diseases by inventing the light bulb. Light bulbs completely throw off our circadian rhythm. This artificial light mimics sunlight. It disrupts our melatonin production, and it signals your brain that it’s actually time to be awake and alert. It also stimulates receptors in our brain that actually make us hungry because remember, summertime was a time when food was most available. And so winter was a time of less food. So sunlight and exposure to light, prolonged light makes us hungry because that was when summer was and that’s when the food was. This is ancient programming that our poor modern lifestyle never anticipated that we would have 365 days of endless summer.
At end of that, that we now have 365 days of endless fruits of summer and you’ve got a double whammy for weight gain and misery, TVs and phones have intense concentrations of blue light. And if you’ve been watching me and reading my books, you know that blue light keeps us up and reduces our sleep quality. And more and more and more, we’re recognizing that the quality of our sleep has tremendous impacts not only on our short-term health, but our long-term brain health.
On the other hand, yellow, red and orange lights would only have been present in the winter from fires, and those actually stimulate us not to eat and to go to sleep. So change over to red, orange and yellow lights or get yourself a pair of blue-blocking glasses. Ra Optics and BLUblox are two great brands. For best results, wear them whenever you’re in front of your phone, your TV or your computer screen. Download an app that filters blue or green wavelengths on your devices. One of the best is iristech.co.
Now, the other trick is to get lots of natural sunlight during the day. In fact, early in the morning, when the change is from the orange and red, two more intense bright light, this actually sets you up for a perfect circadian rhythm. And I can’t recommend how strongly I urge you to get out in the early morning and get exposure to that natural light. And that’s one of the great things having dogs. Dogs will get you out to get that exposure at exactly the right time. Establish that circadian rhythm and get you back and flow and in sync with daylight.
All right. Number three, eating a high-animal-protein diet. Now, folks, I am not against eating animal protein. I grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, two epicenters for eating animal protein. I eat animal protein. I have nothing against animal protein. But the problem is, number one, there is no long lived society ever discovered that bases their diet on lots of animal protein.
On the other hand, all of the currently known blue zones, those areas with prolonged longevity that Dan Buettner described in his book, The Blue Zones, all of these, including Loma Linda university, where I was a professor for much of my career, all the blue zones, the common factor in all of the blue zones – they all eat very different foods, by the way – the common factor is that animal protein is a minor part of all of these cultures diets. I wish that wasn’t true in many ways, and yet it is.
So what’s so bad about animal protein? Well, I mentioned this many times, but I think it’s worth repeating. First of all, beef, lamb and pork carry a sugar molecule called Neu5Gc. We, on the other hand, and fish and chicken have a sugar molecule called Neu5Ac. They’re very similar, but we can make an antibody against the lining of our blood vessels when we eat Neu5Gc-containing foods – beef, lamb, and pork. I don’t particularly want to do that. Number two, Neu5Gc can be used by cancer cells to hide from our immune system. And since we don’t make Neu5Gc ourselves, cancer cells have to acquire Neu5Gc from beef, lamb and pork – another reason why not a good idea. Finally, animal protein has amino acids that increase insulin-like growth factor 1 and increase mTOR, two things that definitely age us.
So why would we necessarily want to turn on factors that we know age us? I’ve had numerous examples and there are studies done at Washington University in St. Louis asking patients to switch over to a six-week vegan diet and watch their insulin-like growth factors. And in every case, the insulin-like growth factors plump. Now, you let me talk about other ways of reducing insulin-like growth factor, but lessening animal proteins is a powerful way to do that. And there are plenty of plant protein sources that don’t do this: hemp protein, spirulina protein, protein from nuts like pistachios and walnuts and just eating plants. All plants have significant amounts of protein. Just ask a gorilla or a horse where they’re getting their protein macros from, and it’s not from cheeseburgers. It’s from eating leaves and grass. Plenty of protein in plants.
We’re going to do a deeper dive into my brand new book of The Longevity Paradox. Let’s dig into my top three longevity diet tweaks. Number one, to live longer, stress yourself out. Now, I’m not talking about actual stress. I’m talking about fasting. Now, I know I touch on fasting in The Plant Paradox, but it turns out leading researchers have found that when it comes to your longevity, stressing out your system by going hungry really helps. And don’t worry, I’ve figured out ways you can actually eat, yep, even on fasting days, so you’ll never feel like you’re starving. After all, life’s not worth living if you feel deprived all the time. I want you to enjoy your long, healthy life even on fasting days. That’s why I laid out a fasting protocol in The Longevity Paradox to optimize your health while minimizing those feelings of deprivation.
It starts with fast mimicking days. There are five of these in a month, and you want to do them together. And even on those five days, you can eat up to 900 calories a day, in fact. You’re just going to be following a vegan diet all those days and eating plenty of leafy greens, nuts and healthy fats. Once or twice a week, you’ve also got brainwashing days, and this is the best kind of fast, because it’s about doing it when you are sleeping, well, mostly when you’re sleeping. The trick to these fasts, which you’ll do once or twice a week, is skipping dinner or eating ridiculously early and letting your brain have a chance to wash as you sleep. The next day, go ahead and eat as normal. Now, you can also add in some optional calorie-restricted days where you eat around 600 calories a day. Again, keep it vague if possible, but that’s not required. And on the rest of your days, go ahead and eat the foods you enjoy and as long as they’re plant paradox-friendly, of course.
Oh, but there’s one thing you should be aware of, and that’s change number two. I’ve gotten a little stricter on animal protein this time around, especially when that protein comes from land animals. To make it simple, I want you to focus on eating no more than one three-ounce serving of animal protein per day. That could mean three or four eggs during the day or a salad with canned wild-caught tuna at lunch or a small piece of grass-fed beef at dinner.
Need a frame of reference, you’re serving of meat should be no larger, no larger than the palm of your hand or a deck of cards. So even if it’s grass-fed that gargantuan rib eye is a total no-go, but you can have a piece of it. Now, not only am I really buckling down on the serving size of animal protein, but like I said, I’m getting really strict about how much meat and poultry you eat. Things like pastured chicken, grass-fed beef and yep, even prosciutto, one of my favorites. In fact, I encourage you to eat meat no more than once a week. The rest of the times, stick to wild-caught seafood and A2 dairy or go completely vegetarian. That’s always an option.
Now, if you’re someone who eats dairy, make sure you’re eating Parmesan cheese. Not only is it delicious, but it’s loaded in spermidine. That’s a compound with incredible longevity-boosting potential. It’s found in things like aged cheeses, mushrooms and legumes. Yes, the same legumes that were super off limits in The Plant Paradox, which brings me to change number three.
For a long life, eat legumes, especially lentils. They’re super rich in spermidine, which is why you’ll see quite a few lentil-based recipes in The Longevity Paradox. Of course, I did sneak some of them into phase three recipes in the cookbook, but at this point, you’ll see them show up more and more. But you’ll notice those lentil recipes all have one thing in common – they’re made with pressure-cooked lentils. Eden brand available at Whole Foods is great because there’s actually come canned and pressure-cooked, or you can pressure-cook dried lentils yourself.
And it’s not just lentils that are suddenly on the yes list. Black beans, chickpeas, adzuki beans, and even peas are all on that list too, as long as their pressure-cooked. But please know, even though it’s technically a legume, peanuts are not a food you should eat, no matter how you cook them, but if you want a bowl of bean chili or lentil soup, there’s absolutely no reason to say no. Just make sure to say yes to pressure cooking first and drizzle it with plenty of olive oil. After all, one thing that has not changed is the purpose of food. It’s still to get olive oil in your mouth.
Now, those aren’t the only changes you can make to live a long, healthy life. There are also lifestyle tweaks to consider from shaking up your sleep hygiene routine to eating and fasting for brain health, to tweaking the way you exercise, and if you’re a marathon runner, this one’s extra important. But if you’re already on The Plant Paradox plan and you’ll want to kickstart your longevity, I suggest using those three little diet tweaks as a jumping off point. And I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised because not only will they leave you satisfied, but you’ll start noticing that you feel healthier almost right away and feeling those changes for yourself are the best way to keep motivated and to stay on the healthy track. So you live even longer and you feel better in your old age. Personally, I’m hoping to still be sharing life-changing health information 20, 30, even 40 years from now, and I’m excited to see how the information I’ll share in The Longevity Paradox will help you for decades to come.

Heather Dubrow (40:39):
Hi, everyone. It’s Heather Dubrow telling you to check out Heather Dubrow’s World on PodcastOne. Every week, we discuss the hippest, hottest, newest trends in health, wellness, parenting style, and so much more, including all things housewives and botch. Download new episodes of Heather Dubrow’s World on Thursdays and Fridays on PodcastOne, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Amazon Music.

Dr. Gundry (41:08):
It’s time for a longevity-related question from you. Actually, a few today. These questions were from a few of you based on my Instagram post, @drstevengundry, about chopping veggies before cooking them to release their anti-cancer properties.
Question, what about frozen veggies? Well, the same thing applies here. If you’re going to have cruciferous vegetables, whether it’s broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, brussel sprouts, cabbage, chop them before cooking, particularly broccoli. Next question, doesn’t that cooking inactivate the enzyme? Good news is no, it does not inactivate the enzyme. Third question, I’ve heard adding mustard seeds to cook cruciferous vegetables adds back the enzyme. There’s certainly nothing wrong with adding mustard seeds to cook cruciferous vegetables, but do me a favor. Just chop them before you cook them, and then you won’t have to worry about it. Great questions everyone.
Now, for the review of the week. This comes from Grace Young on Apple Podcast. “Dear Dr. G, your knowledge and your lifelong expertise saved me from getting on insulin in age 42. Since then, I have been your follower. I am visiting my parents now. And guess what? My father now is following your diet – lectin-free. My mother might need a bit more time before she gives up her favorite dishes. I so look forward to your new episode each week and listening to your podcast attentively has become such a wonderful me time. Thank you, Grace Young.” Well, Grace, thank you very much. And I’ve said this over and over again. This is why I do this because of people like you who have changed their lives, altered the course of their life by making a few simple changes. And so thank you for telling me about that, and give your mother a nudge. We need to keep her around too.
All right. That’s it for today. I love hearing from you guys. Don’t forget to rate and leave your review, and maybe I’ll read yours on the next show next week. See you next week.
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.