He’s been saving peoples lives through food for many many years. Dr. Joel Fuhrman joins me for a very special talk about the difference between slowing down the disease process vs. reversing it! He is a lifelong advocate for nutritional excellence and a firm believer that knowledge is power when it comes to your health.
He’s a 7x New York Times best-selling author who has coined the term “nutritarian” which a person who eats based on the nutritional density of their food. We talk about reversing heart disease, the long term impact of added sodium, why people find it hard to diet, reconditioning your tastebuds, food addictions, the toxic load and why people tend to snack all day long plus eating well as an expression of self-love. Joel is a living example that health is wealth. His methods have transformed the lives of people who thought they were at deaths door.
Check out his latest book Eat for Life and get connected on his website www.drfuhrman.com
Read While You Listen
A: Every day there is a forgetting and every moment there is the possibility of remembering. Remembering who you truly are, awakening to your body, to the inner world and experience of being alive. Here is where you find the beauty, the joy. Today here is where you free your Soma. Hello everyone and welcome to the Free Your Soma podcast, Stories of Somatic Awakening and How to Live from the Inside Out. I have a wonderful, amazing guest.
I'm super excited to talk to him today, Dr. Joel Furman. He's a board certified family physician, the president of the Nutritional Research Foundation and seven times New York Times bestselling author. I've read his books in the last couple of years and they've been very transformative for my life and the lives of my family. So thank you so much for being here today.
My pleasure. Looking forward to it. Yeah. Yeah. So you have been teaching about disease and illness and how it develops in our bodies and the things that we can do not only to slow it down but actually reverse it. You've been doing this a long time. How long have you been talking about these things?
J: You know, when I was a teenager, I was very interested in this line of work or this line of not just interested in this subject. So I read all these books on nutrition and magazines. I read all of Dr. Shelton's work. So I decided to go back to medical school in my mid-20s, but I graduated from medical school in 1988. So I've been doing this for about 35 years.
A: Yeah. Yeah. And then, you know, having your books kind of get shared more and more, you've been able to help more and more people reverse really serious conditions in their body. Things like cardiovascular disease, which is the number one killer of men and women. Can you tell us a little bit about how that develops in people's bodies, how it's going on?
J: Well, that's exactly why I wanted to go to medical school because I wanted to be a doctor specializing in the nutritional reversal disease. Yeah. That's where the future was going. And it was been a very rewarding and exciting career over the last 35 years because people who come to me with, like you're saying, with advanced heart disease, even people with idiopathic cardiomyopathy or heart failure and have their ejection fraction and their heart come back to a normal size again, and people with blockages in their heart obviously open up, their chest pains go away, get them off their blood pressure medications, off their cholesterol-loading drugs, off their diabetic medications. My mantra is to tell people, don't treat your diabetes, get rid of it so you're non-diabetic. And don't treat your heart disease because if you're on blood pressure medications, then you have a problem.
If you need blood pressure medications, if you want to have protection from future cardiovascular events, you have to have a normal blood pressure without medication, a normal body weight, a normal cholesterol without medication, normal exercise tolerance, and be eating having the right kind of nutrition in your diet. The point I'm making right now is that you give people true protection, even though we're mentioning that heart disease is the number one cause of death for both men and women in this country. That almost nobody has to have a heart attack or die of heart disease. It's food induced and food can reverse it. And so we're saying here that when people, for example, come into my retreat with advanced heart disease and they stay here for a few months, very often they're in the hospital and the doctors want to put in a stent and they leave the hospital against medical advice and come to the retreat here. And within even one month's period of time, their chest pains are gone, their blood pressure normalizes, and if they're diabetic, their diabetes is gone. They're off all their diabetic medications as well.
And they're able to walk long distances and build back their exercise tolerance. And when we repeat the echocardiogram and the other tests for their heart or stress test echocardiogram, we find that their ejection fraction improves, their function improves, and their cardiovascular disease essentially goes gradually, but then effectively goes away. For example, a man after a heart attack with an ejection fraction of 30, two years later, has a normal ejection fraction of 60. You know, he's back to building back his heart, restore the muscle and repair it. So there's a tremendous amount of, you could say, hibernating myocardium after a heart attack, or when people get a schema of heart disease, they don't get the blood, the heart doesn't get a good amount of blood, and the heart isn't working properly. It's not functioning, but it's not all dead.
Some of the after a heart attack, some of the heart's totally dead, but a lot of it is hibernating. It's not totally dead and can come back and regenerate. So we've seen incredible healing occur, even with people with very advanced cases of heart disease, some of which are requiring 10 medications and being very unstable, come back to good health again. But a lot of my, you could say, career has been also involved with people reversing rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis and asthma and chronic headaches, migraines and all types of inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome. So it's really nutritional excellence can become very therapeutically effective.
And what I'm saying here, it's not 100% transformable, but what I'm saying here is the same dietary portfolio that maximally slows aging and extends human lifespan, preventing against cancers and heart disease and strokes is also therapeutically effective when people are sick to reverse disease and have their miraculous self healing power. The body be able to be, you know, function at a high level of functions. The body can repair and regenerate and heal because that's what the body has the has the ability to do when fed optimally. So the same diet that maximizes health and longevity in us healthy people can be used as a therapeutic tool to reverse disease in people who are sick.
A: That's so incredible and powerful because it reminds me of my own experience with your methods because, you know, I wasn't being diagnosed with any serious health condition, but, you know, I was experiencing like being, you know, a little bit overweight, not losing the baby weight after having my son. I was experiencing like some mood swings and emotional distress and different kinds of hormone issues, perhaps. And then, you know, within a couple, like a month or two of implementing your methods, I felt a huge difference in my body.
Like the extra weight that I had wanted to lose from the baby just came off without me having to over exercise or anything like that. And I felt this clarity in my mind and I felt this like strength. And, you know, what's so interesting is like my tonicity in my body shifted too. And I used to think that I would have to like lift a bunch of weights in order to get, you know, there's a certain kind of tonicity in my body. But actually it was just like shifting the way that I was eating that my body started removing kind of that extra like concentration of fat or something that was like, you know, keeping me kind of doughy or whatever is amazing. And, you know, I didn't have a serious health condition that I was trying to treat, but I saw immediate results from your methods.
And so I shared the book with my dad who had been having chest pains, who had been worrying about his heart, who had his blood pressure high every time he checked, you know, and he had already given up red meat. He'd already given up like a lot of things he thought he'd given up seafood for ethical reasons because of the oceans and all he really ate was chicken and eggs and dairy. And he thought that that was like fine, right. But apparently if you're trying to actually remove these blockages, those things are going to get in the way of your body actually being able to remove them because you're kind of adding more in, right.
J: That's correct. When a person has these conditions, we really need to go all the way to almost perfection because we know why gamble. Why gamble with their outcome or their future. So you do something that you know is going to cause reverse the condition to make sure they're safe. Because like you were asking me earlier, the idea that if you're slowing down the disease process, then you're still allowing the disease process to advance. You're not adequately treating them because if it's slowing it down, maybe it's not as they're not gaining weight anymore, you stabilize their weight, but it's not going away. So you're keeping them in a high still in a high risk condition and something bad can happen. Right.
And we're saying that being overweight itself is a serious medical condition that accelerates all causes of death, cancer death, heart attack death, stroke rest death. And so because being overweight, the fat cells make you insulin resistant. So now your metabolism isn't working properly. And because the fat cells don't get a great blood supply, they spew out pro inflammatory compounds and suppress immune function and they also promote, allow cancer cells to replicate. So we want to get people back to a normal weight and have them stay there the rest of their life. That means they have to learn a new way of eating that they can stick with forever. Because losing weight and gaining it back again is not going to help them.
They have to lose the weight and keep it off forever. So they got to really become an expert in nutritional science and learn how to learn the program and also learn how to make it taste great. And also have their taste muscle and taste preferences adapt and change. So they prefer this way of eating. And those things take time and education, but enables people to wind up liking this way of eating, at least as much or better than their old diet. So they don't feel they're deprived or in prison. They feel this is the way they choose to eat. It just happens to be the healthiest way to eat. But so that's what also is necessary. There's a lot of things that is necessary for people to achieve these great outcomes.
But with a person who significantly overweight, we have certain markers of risk, you know, blood pressure, cholesterol, glucose elevates, but inflammatory markers, HSCRP, reactive oxygen species are up, angiogenesis promotion is up. And what I'm saying right now is that when a person is overweight and losing weight at a kilogram a week or greater, you can see the numbers improve immediately. Their CRP goes down, their angiogenesis goes down, their insulin resistance go down, their glucose slip fast and glucose goes down there. So things start to improve within a couple of weeks, as long as they keep eating right and losing weight, at least about two pounds a week. So what I'm saying right here, a nutritionarian is somebody eating right at their ideal rate, weight, or a person who's eating right and moving in the direction of their ideal weight, of at least two pounds a week of body weight mass loss.
Because if you're stabilizing or losing just a pound a week, you can still have positive and pro inflammatory markers that can suppress immune function, making a person of higher risk of pneumonia, COVID long term morbidity or mortality from COVID from being overweight. So there's a lot of factors that can go on here. But when the overweight person is losing, they're in a much safer condition immediately, even if they're still 50 to 100 pounds overweight, they're immediately safer because they're going in the right direction. Should they bounce, you know, go to Vegas to the buffets or go on a cruise ship or bat through the holidays, and they start gaining weight again, it starts going back the other way immediately. And they people go into higher risk categories. So that we know that, for example, that more heart attacks and strokes occur during the holidays around January 1st, when people have parties and celebrations, when people come back from cruise ships and vacations, and they've binged and gained five or 10 pounds, they're immediately at higher risk.
So we so it's a whole educational process to go along with this to make sure people feel secure and they are secure in being safe and and how the food is so important and integrates with their proper intellectual and educational efforts with regard to good nutrition, and the getting rid of the emotional and addictive eating and getting rid of the fear of disease and being confident that you're now protecting yourself. And it builds back emotional confidence.
And it's component of happiness to not be living with fear of death and not be living and knowing that you're doing the right thing for your body. So even though addictive eating is very attractive and hard for people to think of changing, we find that when people make the changes, they're much more at peace. They're very grateful for having learned this. They're enjoying eating this way. And they're not eating thimble sized portions of food to lose weight. They're satisfied. And they're definitely more at peace with themselves than they would have been when they were driven to the to these addictive foods that were self destructive.
A: Yeah, I mean, everything you said is so amazing, because it's obvious like how much experience you have with these issues like real time life, life experience with individual people and helping them and guiding them and then creating a system that can actually help and support them in this change. You know, it's fascinating because, you know, listening to you, like, you know, I read, you know, you're one of your previous editions, I think from 2011 eat to live and I know you have a more recent edition that has more information, more recent information.
But I have to say that when I was reading your book, eat to live from 2011, the revised edition, I was triggered because some of the way that you talk about these things is very straightforward and very frank. And some people aren't used to hearing that because we have a lot of other information kind of coming in about like, Oh, if you're saying that it's not unhealthy to be overweight, then you're fat shaming, or these kinds of things that come in. And what you're talking about at the bottom level here is I hear you're concerned about people's safety, like it's a matter of their lives. And especially since you work with people who have very serious health conditions, there's really no like beating around the bush for you. You know what I'm saying?
J: That's exactly true. If you really want to do what's best for the individual, then you have to give them the information they need to make the right decisions for their life. And that's the art and the science and the skill of working with individuals who are overweight is if they could so easily lose weight, they would have done it already. That it's hard. And that's why people throw in the towel, they check out, they want to think that they have to be, how you could say it, accepting of their higher weight and just thinking they're not going to lose weight anyway, they might as well be accepting of it, not trying to change.
And that's what I think the fat shaming part of the fat shaming movement has to do with the dieting doesn't work for people. And they can't lose weight anyways, they might as well accept it and not be feeling, make people make them feel bad about it. But that's because they've given the wrong information. And the American diet is so far away from what the human body needs to maintain good health. And we know if everybody, if everybody didn't die of cancer and heart disease, you'd think, well, obviously this is not going to die for humans, primitive humans didn't die of cancer and heart disease, not just in other words, we don't have to, it's not natural, it's not normal for everybody to be dying of these diseases of nutritional stupidity. And if you're healthy, if you're a healthy individual, you're supposed to become overweight eating American food.
There'd be something wrong with you if you didn't become overweight, if you're eating the way of American Z. If you eat like other Americans eat, you're going to get what they get, which is the course become overweight and be at risk. And we have the most overweight population in the history of the human race. And this wasn't the case 100 years ago or 1,000 years ago or 30,000 years ago. It's the present food environment and the toxic food environment designs foods to hook to get people hooked. And when you take in foods that give you calories without a significant nutrient load, without enough phytochemicals and antioxidants, the body can't control its appetite anymore, because it wants to just consume more to get more nutrients. And it builds up metabolic waste that make people feel wasted and fatigued if they don't constantly stimulate the body with extra food. So it's not the person's fault. It's the way the human body is designed.
If you put an animal, you know, a gorilla or any kind in captivity and you feed them American food, they're going to become overweight and sickly the same way humans would. You go back to feeding them primitive diet that they eat in a natural setting and they become, they lose the fat, they don't develop heart disease, because the number one cause of death of gorillas in captivity is still heart disease, because they feed them kibble and they don't feed them. And finally, the zookeepers are saying, let's feed them back to their natural diet and feed them celery and bananas and nuts and green shoots and greens. And all of a sudden their heart disease melts away and they don't, and gorillas are not dying of heart disease and captivity anymore. It's the same thing as us too. We don't have to eat foods that create disease.
A: Yes, very well said. I mean, the, you know, the piece here that like, you know, as a somatic educator, I offer like some, basically some somatic food conversation with people who are, you know, facing health issues or facing health challenges. And I just, I basically share information with them and then I see how they respond to it. And maybe this might be something similar that you do at your retreat, where there's somebody there who's just there to listen to what comes up for them when they hear this information. Like I said, when I read your book and was reading about, you know, heart disease and this, this issue, I, you know, I found it triggering.
I think there was like one point in the book where you said like, it's, there's no necessity for like a 30 year old woman who's like five foot five, or something to weigh more than like 115 pounds. Like that's not required. And I felt like, whoa, like I was like that, that I was like immediately thinking like, what is he telling me to be like a skinny supermodel or something? You know, and I had this like inner teenager kind of respond to that.
And then I had to call myself and realize, like, no, what he's saying is that it's, if we were eating in this way, where we're not adding extra weight to our bodies through the calories that we're consuming, people would probably be more naturally lean. There would at least be, you know, majority of people would be naturally lean, because they're simply not eating foods that are going to collect on their bodies.
J: That's correct. The person is eating properly, they will be at their, they will gravitate and move towards their ideal weight. And if they're overweight, they're most likely not eating properly. And keep in mind, the woman of today, eating the same amount of calories as a woman 40 years ago is 40 pounds heavier. Same amount of calorie, same amount of exercise.
She's 40 pounds heavier today, because the body has so much endocrine disruptors and plastic micro plastic particles and other toxins from the food supply that makes the body swell more readily, hold on to fluid and hold on to fat to dilute the acidity and toxicity of the of the processed foods, fast foods, things in plastic bags and things that people eat. But the minute we go back to naturally, instinctual, organic eating, and we get start to put the right food in our body, then we remove the backlog of metabolic metabolic wastes, our desire for calories goes down, and we start to lose weight and desire the right amount of food.
And we don't feel like we need food as a stimulant to get energy, we're fully energized, and we don't need to eat excess food to suppress detoxification. See, what I'm saying right here, it's a, it's a more complicated issue, and maybe people can start to get the feel for this, is that when you are not properly nourished, and you have more toxins like free radicals and advanced glycation end products that age us in the body, because we haven't been eating a diet rich in phytochemicals and antioxidants, so you build up more toxic compounds that the body can't get rid of. So now you're nutritionally deficient in phytochemicals and antioxidants, and you also have a higher level of toxins built up in your tissues at the same time.
So now when you stop digesting food, and your body's in just a repair state waiting, you know, living off of the calories that's stored from your last meal, when you're not digesting the body, goes into a repair mode, whereas we call it enhanced detoxification in the catabolic phase of the digestive cycle. It means when one digestion ceases, the liver and the kidney and the digestive tract can devote itself more to repair and removing of toxic wastes. And when that happens, a person who has a build up of metabolic waste and not healthy is going to feel wiped out, headachey, stomach cramping, agitated, they're not going to feel well. So they don't like the way they feel if they don't keep the digestive tract going all the time. And it goes away if they eat food. But the feeling ill is the actual repair process going on. The fatigue and the stomach cramps, fluttering in the headache are symptoms of detoxification or repair.
If you want to get rid of those symptoms of feeling fatigue, and you got to eat healthy and lower your metabolic waste. But what people do, they don't know that. So they don't know they can change their diet to get rid of feeling ill. They just know when they eat again, have something sweet, have a cup of coffee, have a, you know, eat a heavy meal, have a piece of a burger, have some, whatever they eat something, they feel better again. So they only feel better if they stay out of the catabolic phase. They got to keep in the anabolic phase, they got to keep their body digesting, they got to keep food coming in all the time. But this is all they feel wiped out. And they think that the food is energy, and they think that a symptom of hunger is fatigue. Because they're all confused about how the body works.
And their confusion, and nobody teaching them how the body works, and nobody showing them that these symptoms of fatigue and that they think and these symptoms they call hunger, that they go away. They go away in a week or two when you eat right anyway. You don't have to feel that way. Of course, you're not going to feel great the first week. You're going to feel a little fatigued and you may feel withdrawal, but you have to, but it will promise you in five to seven days, you're going to start to feel like you don't need all the calories and you're going to have headaches are going to be gone, and you're not going to feel fatigued. So because people even like you're saying they come into the retreat and they had a salad for lunch with a bowl of vegetable bean soup and some fresh food for dessert, it's a big salad with carrots on it and they feel an addressing made of nuts and seeds.
And after their stomach is almost filled with food, they feel like they want a second bowl of fruit and Apple doesn't do what they want something sweeter like some dates. It's just they don't feel satisfied because they become, you can say, acclimated to, even addicted to over-consuming concentrated calories. And the brain, they actually don't feel normal unless they chronically overeat because obviously overeating keeps the digestive tract going longer. So there's a lot of factors going on here, including dopamine stimulation, the brain from the constant, the caloric load that comes in and how fast it comes into the bloodstream.
A lot of information that we that we import to people, a lot of learning. So they learn how the body works to put it back to the place where they can eat instinctually, eat the amount they feel like eating, but the amount they feel like eating is now the right amount. Before the round, they felt like eating was the wrong amount because they didn't have the body well nourished and they had so much disease processes and toxins building up.
And the the we get them on the right food and get them healthier, the body realizes that we don't need that much food and we're comfortable with less food. We're not desiring some more food. This is the amount of food we desire, but the amount of food we desire matches what the body requires now. We don't mismatch anymore.
A: That makes sense. You know, it's funny because right before I followed your methods and read your book, I actually did an experiment, which was strange because most of my twenties, you know, I was a yoga teacher and I was involved in a lot of like healing communities and I was basically plant based and or vegan, most of my twenties. Although that doesn't mean that I was eating healthy. I was still eating a lot of excess oils, a lot of coconut oil and eating restaurant food and stuff, but I had a very restrictive diet because I had found out that I had food sensitivities to dairy, gluten and soy.
And so I religiously stayed away from those things. So I was really good at being like strict. And right before I discovered your book, I actually did a crazy experiment and I went keto for six months. And I ate way more animal product than I had ever eaten before in kind of the last 10 years of my life. And the effect of that on my system was really unpleasant, actually. One of my previous podcasts, I actually talk about this story. But you know, when I transitioned over to the way that you suggested eating in your book, I went through a phase where I was eating like really huge portions. And part of it was that I think that I had a nutritional deficiency from the way I had been eating in keto. And so my body was like, Oh, you're giving us these vitamins and these minerals like more please. But I think it was also that psychologically, I had been restricting how much I was allowed to eat.
And so I was like feeling that I was not getting satisfied from my tiny little keto meal or whatever. So when I transitioned into eating, you know, big salads, big bowls of beans, soup and stuff, I kind of went like overboard for a while. And I was eating, I was just kind of testing it was like, how much could I possibly eat until I feel satisfied. And the crazy thing is that eating this food, I didn't gain any weight doing that. I actually lost weight the first month. And I felt better than I had felt in a long time. And then as you're describing, I slowly like stopped needing so much. I wasn't feeling so compelled to eat like three servings of like bean soup, like I could just have one and it felt like plenty, you know. So there was a reconditioning that was going on. And some of it was in response to the way that I had treated my body prior to stepping into this new way of eating.
J: Yes, for sure. It brings up a few points. Number one is that at this point in human history, we have lots of long term studies on people following keto diets, even to their death. So we have we have at least three studies that that measure the amount of animal protein in the person's diet, whether they're carbohydrate restricted to what degree they carbohydrate restrict, and looking at hard endpoints like cancer deaths, cardiovascular events, or over or age of death.
And what they found was that the more animal protein in the diet, a dose dependent manner, the more early life deaths, and the keto diet had the most early life deaths occurring in the people following keto diets, which meant that the restricting carbohydrate to the point of going into ketosis is long term dangerous to the aging process and the survival of humans. So the keto diet, which became very popular, is unfortunately a dangerous way to lose weight.
And there's no point in doing it for a short term period of time, it's still going to be because it's obviously when you think you do short term has no benefit for your long term, it just puts you at risk. So it's good to talk about that. And just to make sure people know that that's not something that we're recommending and something that we know has a lot of evidence to suggest is particularly dangerous at this point.
A: Yes, based on my personal experience, I would have to agree with you, my stress levels were through the roof. And so it was, you know, my dis-ease and my body was manifesting in other ways, even if I wasn't getting my blood pressure checked or, you know, checking for my LDL cholesterol levels and things like that. But I was fighting a lot with my husband during that time, I was very stressed out.
And my gut was super unhappy with this. So when I transitioned back to a whole foods plant based diet, and I read your book, and then I read another book right after that that, you know, had the same kind of message, there was a light bulb that went off in my head where I was like, wait a minute, every time that I have like had, you know, the best health in my body, I've been eating a lot of whole food plants, I've been eating a lot of cruciferous vegetables, I've been eating a lot of fruits and smoothies and things like that.
And I kind of realized like, Oh, you know, I've been doing this, but not really committed to it, and not really fully understanding and grasping why it's so important to my well-being, even though I've been experiencing it. Does that make sense? Like I just didn't put all the little pieces together. Sure.
J: When you have the right science to support it, and you become the nutritional expert yourself, it becomes so much easier to do it and more motivating. It's hard for people to just follow a diet that know why. Like why do you put flax seeds in the oatmeal? Why do we make a salad with types with lettuce and cruciferous greens mixed together? And don't forget what you're saying, the green vegetables are so critical for our immune function and our good health. We're a green vegetable dependent animal, and we can't have a normal immune system.
And the intraepithelial lymphocytes that line the digestive tract, develop in response to green vegetable intake, and just lettuce is a superfood. It's the richest source of sulfoquinavose, which is the basic support, the growth of the healthy, gram-positive bacteria that line the gut. And the combination of these foods we're mentioning, the dietary portfolio includes all these foods, like the two raw foods, are the raw greens, like lettuce and arugula and watercress or cabbage or kale and bok choy, and that is the raw.
And then the two cooked foods we're talking about here are cooked mushrooms, including a variety of mushrooms, and cooked beans, different types of beans. And the combination of those four foods make for the most thickened and healthy biofilm that now covers the villi in the small intestines. And as it coats the villi with the thick coating of bacteria, that slows the absorption of glucose into the bloodstream. So when you had the oatmeal in the morning, you didn't have a high-glaicemic response to it because you regularly eat greens and beans and onions and mushrooms. So the person on the keto diet, because their diet is so high in fat and so high in saturated fat, that distorts the shape and function of the insulin receptor.
So now when they have oatmeal with some mango in the morning, their sugar goes up through the roof, because they've distorted the function of their insulin receptor from all the fat and fats they've been eating. So we're talking here about reducing body fats, but also the effective various types of fat, including omega-6, omega-3, and saturated and unsaturated, that the type of way we're getting our fat in the diet affects the function of the insulin receptors. And then the keto person says, oh, look, I can't eat fruit, because my sugar goes through the roof.
I have to stay eating tuna fish and cheese and meat, because otherwise they don't understand they're eating in a way that maybe looks better, they've lost some weight, they dropped their triglycerides, their sugars are looking good, because they're off any or anything carbohydrate, but it's what they're aging themselves and causing damage to occur on the inside without them even realizing it. So even a person who's feeling better and think they're getting good results on a keto diet, it's still dangerous and causing internal damage to occur.
A: That's very fascinating, because I do think that people as a culture, we're very focused on things, the external of things, you know, and the immediate instant gratification of how does it feel when I put it in my mouth? How do I feel within 10 seconds of eating it? And that's what we use as our like parameter for like whether something's good for us or not. But what you're speaking to is kind of the invisible unconscious thing of the long-term impact of these things that like I said before, it's largely invisible to us until we get diagnosed with something until we have like a shout or a scream from our bodies that basically says like, hey, like it is not okay in here, you need to do something about this.
J: And the time that happens when you get those symptoms, that's advanced disease already. It's all you're getting sicker and sicker, but when there's no when you're not feeling ill. And of course, I'm saying, which is really important, I'm glad we're emphasizing this again, that when you switch from unhealthy eating to a healthy diet, you don't feel better right away. You feel worse temporarily. It's only a week. It's only five days usually, but you're still going to feel worse. So don't, you know, because people will say, Oh, I felt I tried and I felt bad eating that way. Of course, you detoxing, you're going to feel bad. It's just the first week, and you're going to start to feel good again.
A: Right, right. And then, you know, for me, I had some reconditioning of my gut that I did because, you know, after basically depriving myself of fiber for that six months on keto, although, you know, there were times that I was trying because my husband's like always been a vegetarian. So I was trying to like make that more like, even though I was eating all this animal product and he was kind of like, Are you really sure about that? I was like, you know, deciding to do it as this experiment, right.
And so I would have some days where I would instead of eating a bunch of, you know, cheese or whatever beef, you know, high quality beef, I would eat like a big block of tofu and a bunch of green beans and just make sure that my carbs, you know, were low enough or whatever based on the calculations, right. And it was the days that I did that the days that I had that for dinner.
And then the next morning I went out and exercised. I actually felt way better than the days when I had eaten like a pretty heavy load of like fat and like animal fat and protein the night before. I would feel like heavy and it was a lot of work. And when I ate more light and I ate, you know, just that block of tofu and some green beans, I felt immediately the next day a difference in my energy levels when I exercised.
J: That's right. It works pretty quickly. In other words, you can check the fat in the blood and the thick and the amount of fat on the red blood cell membranes, whether they stick together or not, you can go and penetrate tissues. And so yes, some things occur pretty quickly when you change your diet and some things take longer periods of time to the beneficial effects to be seen. Right.
A: And based on the plant-based history that I already had, my body was probably more acclimated to that, which was why my gut was so unhappy on keto is because that's not what I had been conditioning my body to digest most of my life. Right.
J: Yes. And also people develop tolerance for things that are harmful to them. In other words, when you first start to smoke a cigarette, you might cough and it might burn your throat. But after you keep smoking, you get more resistance of the lung tissue against the toxicity in the smoke. And as you build up tolerance for toxins, you're aging yourself and you're endurating damaging tissue because obviously you're working in the garden with no gloves, your skins get calloused, so you're not going to be irritated. But the point is, is you build up more enduration, which then can lead to ulceration, which is a stepping stone.
You have inflammation, enduration, inflammation, ulceration is a stepping stone to damage to aging tissue and cancer causation. Even though the smoker isn't feeling bad, they're creating damage. They'll be healthier if they felt bad because that would show a degree of health of response to the toxin. The more you get used to a certain abuse, self abuse, the more you eat junk food, you can tolerate it, but you're not making you feel bad because you're built up more top, but you're aging yourself more rapidly.
When you get healthier, if you have a greasy or fried food or some meal that's unhealthy, when you're really healthy, you'll merely feel bad. You have diarrhea, you're not digesting it, well, you have ingestion in your stomach hurts, but a person eating these foods all the time can tolerate them because they build up more tolerance to them because they've had them for a period of time, which reflects worse and worse health as you're tolerating things that are unhealthy.
A: That's yeah, I've had that experience too in the last couple of years where I've eaten something at a restaurant that was like way more oily than what I'm used to eating and I immediately felt it. I could feel the difference, even just how it felt to, it was just like sauteed spinach or something, but it was drenched in olive oil and I put it in my mouth and I could just feel it was like this slickness all the way down my throat and I was kind of like, I'm not sure I like that. I think I used to eat this all the time, but now I don't really think I like that anymore.
J: People who are not used to salting, putting salt on their food, they're going to have something salted, they're going to have a dry mouth for hours and drinking water all night long, but a person who's used to having a high salt diet is going to be, their kidney is acclimated to excreting huge amounts of sodium.
Of course, they're losing other minerals and other important substances when they're having high salt and the kidneys acclimated to losing a lot of stuff, but then when they're exercising, they can get cramps in their legs and they can get spasmed because they're used to because their body is shifting so many minerals around all the time and urinating out on electrolytes, whereas us people on a, we're getting the, we're not getting excess sodium, we're not excreting a lot of sodium in the urine, but then because we're not, we were not used to excreting a lot of sodium in the urine, if we have a lot of salt at a restaurant meal, we're going to feel, we're going to feel poorly from it immediately. Yeah.
A: Yeah, I have had that experience for sure. You know, that brings me to another question. You know, I've learned a bit about the different effects of added sodium on our bodies, not just from your book from Rather Resources 2. Would you describe like what this really does long term, because so many people from the time that they're babies are eating a lot of added sodium and way more than is actually clearly based on lots of research safe for our bodies. You know, this was huge news for me. I didn't know this, you know, that the level that most people eat is toxic and that that's normal. And so maybe you can describe like what are some of the outcomes of decades of eating that way?
J: Well, that's right. I mean, it's a good point you just made because you said decades of eating that way, because it's a very slow process that occurs all through life from excess sodium, a lot of things biochemically happen to the body. Your agent, your immune system gets more suppressed, you get more predisposed to developing an autoimmune disease when you have extra sodium. But the extra sodium circling the blood causes microvascular hemorrhaging or weakening of the endothelial lining, the interior lining of the blood vessels.
So over a period of 60 or 70 years of having a high salt diet, after all those decades, you break down the weakened the interior lining of blood vessels, so then more likely to fissure have an aneurysm or have a hemorrhage in the brain. So the salt intake of a person's diet is, you could say a dose dependent relationship with the risk of hemorrhagic stroke. That's a type of stroke where you break open a blood vessel and that's a devastating type of stroke because death, the type of stroke that's most prevalent in Asian countries is hemorrhagic stroke. The type of stroke more prevalent in the United States and Western Europe is called embollic or ischemic stroke caused by a clot. And that means the rate of ischemic stroke correlates with cholesterol, higher cholesterol, higher rates of ischemic stroke.
But the rate of hemorrhagic stroke has an inverse relationship with cholesterol. People with a lower cholesterol have higher risk of hemorrhagic stroke because the atherosclerotic process that coats the inside and outside of the blood vessels that make them throw clots and get obstructions that cause can cause heart attacks and strokes, they can add some protection to the weakened wall of the aging blood vessels in the brain that could rupture and cause a hemorrhage. So that's how some of the keto or Atkins people in the past had twisted the studies and saying that having a high cholesterol is better because lower cholesterol increases risk of stroke and because they looked at Asian studies in Asian countries with having so much sodium in the diet, as much meat and bacon and cheese, so the social high rate of hemorrhagic stroke and eating more beef and bacon and cheese would decrease the risk of hemorrhagic stroke because it would create more atherosclerosis.
A: Right, the fact that it's building up and it's preventing this damage or it's at least masking the damage that's right.
J: It's thickening the wall of the blood vessel so you're not going to get the breakage that would occur as readily of a person who has had a clear blood vessel. If you want to have clear blood vessels and not have heart attacks and strokes and also not have hemorrhages, then you have to eat plant-based and you also have to be low in sodium. You can't just be plant-based and be high in sodium and most of the studies around the world, the largest studies, if you look at the meta-analysis and put together, what we see is that as total sodium goes down from 3,000 to 2,000 to 1,000, you see reduction cardiovascular deaths and so the American Heart Association, they try to take people with heart disease and high blood pressure and tell them that people should not be eating more than 1500 milligrams of sodium a day. That's like the low sodium dash diet and I'm saying how stupid is that? That's like saying to a person, people who get lung cancer should quit smoking. No, it's not people that get lung cancer should quit smoking. Nobody should smoke because we shouldn't get them getting lung cancer. So it's not telling people who have heart disease and high blood pressure to cut back on sodium because that's waiting to an end-stage pathology.
If we're telling those people to cut back on sodium, then you should have been telling people to cut back on sodium, to fly developed advanced disease or possibly had a heart attack, which could have been their first symptom of having cardiovascular disease. So the whole thing is backwards. You don't wait till people get sick and tell them to cut back. You have them live with the right amount their whole life. Plus the fact that it's pretty simple and logical people can understand this concept.
A: Yeah, I mean, and I can tell how incredibly passionate you are about this and I want to ask you this question because I think it's an interesting question to ask because I totally get where you're coming from, but somebody else who's listening to this may still not be clicking. And some people might label your book like I showed somebody like the book Eat to Live and they're like, oh, oh, something, oh, it's veganism.
Huh? And I was like, actually, this book, at least this edition, had some non-vegetarian recipes in it. Your point wasn't that you should eliminate those things totally and completely forever, you know, depending on the issue, but that you needed to reverse the emphasis from meat and animal products to focusing instead on foods, not the 90% rule foods that are going to actually help your body heal. So how would you respond to somebody who's kind of just giving you the label of like, this sounds really extreme and you're just another, you know, vegan promoter or something like that?
J: Well, you know, I don't really care about stuff like that. In other words, my passion and career choice is to educate people on the knit with the niche of people who want the best, most useful and lifespan saving and longevity type of information. And I realize it's not for the masses, most people aren't going to want to eat this healthy. And they can go to plenty of other places and plenty of other doctors to get watered down versions of it and to people who are moving in a little bit of direction. But that's selling people out because when the person that really wants to get well and really is willing to do what it takes to get well and really wants to reverse their disease, if I watered it down to be acceptable to more people to want to make more money or have my books be more popular, then I would have sold out those individuals who wanted to know the best thing to do to reverse their disease. Yeah, I don't care if people don't like what I say.
That's, you know, I'm still going to say what's best for people to do. And if they're not willing to do it, at least they heard what's best and they can make the decision of how far they want to do it or not, or go it all the way or not do it at all. But they have that option. And I can't, you know, so I have enough personal reward and from getting so many people better and watching people reverse their illnesses that I don't feel like I have to change the whole world, even though I'm trying to, you know, I've known I've had, I've had successful PBS television shows from starting in 2012, 2012. And my shows have been one of the most biggest fundraisers of PBS, which means millions of people have seen those shows, millions.
I've been on, you know, and I think I raised over $70 million for PBS television for that to support one. So we're talking about having sold, you know, many millions of books, and many millions of people watch my television specials. And I've moved the, you know, the center of where people think is healthy to lots of millions of people across America. And so people are so brainwashed, and they're trying to put to label it. And if they don't want to do it, you know, that's your option, that's your choice. But at least you should hear it and learn about it. So at least you can speak from an educated position and not just come to some judgment before you actually read the information and look at the scientific literature that supports it. And so I'm saying the evidence is overwhelming today that we know the healthiest diet for humans and there's so much corroborative evidence.
For example, the fact that Americans get their fat intake from animal fats and oils, instead of getting their fat intake from nuts and seeds and avocado, let's say, from whole food. There's a tremendous amount of literature to show that when people get their fats from nuts and seeds instead of animal products or oils, they have lower rates of cancer, lower rates of heart attack, even just adding some nuts and seeds to your diet lowers heart attack risk by 40%. I mean, it's absolutely amazing. You know, so flax seeds have been shown in studies to take, you know, for just giving a rough example, we studied women who had breast cancer and tracked them for 10 years and adding flax seeds to their diet lowered risk of death from cancer by chance of death over the 10 year period by 71%. Just one little aspect of the diet. I mean, we're putting together a portfolio of all the most healthy things to do. So this person wants to judge this before they even know about it, seeing the research, read the information, see how much, because in my most recent book Eat for Life, I have more than 2,000 scientific studies documenting. It's the most scientifically referenced laybooks. And I've spent my life reviewing more than 30,000 nutritional studies showing how much, not the people think, oh, every study shows something different. No, that's not true. The overwhelming amount of evidence is consistent that with what humans are supposed to be eating. And even in Eat to Live, where I, you know, where I allowed people to have some not just animal products, but some unhealthy food as a small portion of their diet if they wanted to, like 10%. Right, right. Yeah. Over the years, since that point, time to now, I've realized that that messes people up. And I do not advocate that anymore. Because when people are food addicts, and you allow them to still recreate with small amounts of food that's not good for them, it keeps them the fire burning of desiring those foods. And there's more chance of prosidivism, and they have more difficulty following the diet than if they just stick to doing this 100%. And why should they dabble in foods that are going to sabotage them getting well? So even though I recognize that every person is not going to do it 100%, whether we, you know, in this, in a nutrientarian diet, doesn't have to be 100% vegan, but to be a real, to get those results, it probably has to be between 0 and 5%, not 0 and 10%. So, and if you're really a food addict and have some medical addition, I want a person to be 100% plant based. I want them to be totally vegan. Right. Because it's going to be easier for them to do it 100%. Because things happen faster, and their taste preferences change, and you don't keep lighting the fire and trying to, and fuel their addictions. They're always tempted and to eat something dangerous or to eat something that's not on the diet or to have a bagel in the airport. And once they've done it 100% for a while, they start to realize, wow, it's like, I feel so great that I really enjoy these foods now, and my taste muscle changed. And when they dabble in the 10%, it interferes with the ability to adapt their taste to prefer this way of eating. So, you know, I don't, so yes, you can accommodate the nutrientarian diet, can accommodate people who don't want to be totally vegan. But on the other hand, many people find they get better results and find they food addiction and food and their emotional eating is better when they don't dabble and they go all the way 100%. And then do they do the 100% vegan, nutrientarian diet, like totally vegan, nutrientarian diet is more effective for a lot of people because they get, they have clear boundaries and they're not deciding how much should they go off of it. They know exactly what to eat at each meal and the results that they see are just too miraculous to lessen that magic from happening. Beautiful.
A: And like to hold that standard, I hear what you're saying is that instead of holding a standard that is sub par, like a 90% rule, to hold a standard that's actually in the realm of excellence, to promote that. And then of course, people are going to, you know, figure that out on their own and have to work through these things themselves, especially if like you're not, they're not specifically being, you know, coached by you and your team at the retreat, right? They're going to have to figure it out for themselves. But to have that as what they're shooting for, as that goal of excellence and really understand why that that's the difference between how you used to teach this before and now how you're looking at it. And that makes a lot of sense based on the experiences that you just described, you know, for.
J: Just to mention, my career is giving people the support of services they need to make this easy for them to do it. So it's not a person can't come to my retreat in San Diego, they have no help. And we have videos and member, I have a member, central people communicate, can even ask me questions. We put out different, we have group classes and, and, you know, so we're encouraging people so they can do this out of their own home and if they need extra help, they can get extra help just right over the Internet or through the, through my website and stuff. So I have a whole support system of, you know, some sauces like to put a Thai curry sauce or a, or a mushroom Alfredo sauce or a ketchup made with no salt or a, you know, so we have all kinds of things to make even to make it easy to do this, to make it taste good and to the camaraderie of doing it with a group of other people at the same time. So not leaving people totally to do it on their own. If they need the extra help, we have that available to them. And some people who even with that degree of help, isn't enough for them. They still do better if they come in person and live with me here in San Diego and they stay here for a few months. And then it's because it makes it really easy. And they've learned the incredible recipes with chefs, showing them how to make the food taste great and their hands on. And so I have a lot of different levels of service to give people who really want to get healthy to make sure they're not going to have to sabotage themselves or not get the results they really could achieve. And some people, you know, who have the serious conditions like for example, psoriatic arthritis, and maybe they're on medication, and maybe they need to communicate, maybe they need to be involved with me like slowly weaning their medications and be on vegetable juices and higher levels of, you know, omega three fatty acids and some, you know, tweaking of the program to accommodate their particular disease process. So I have that and that's all part of what I do for a living or in what I, you know, try to work with people to get them well and give them what's necessary to have them and to enable them to do it.
A: That's tremendous. That's so wonderful and magnificent. I'm so glad to hear like the level of care that you're providing to people who are really ready to make these changes because, you know, it's funny when I used to tell people that I was allergic to dairy or like not allergic food sensitive, but I used allergic because it just was easier for people to get or something, especially 10 years ago, you know, I would tell them like, Oh, no, you know, I can't eat cheese. I have a dairy sensitivity and people would say, Oh my God, I would rather die than not eat cheese. Like I had people say this to me and it was like, after I kind of, you know, I read your book and then I started like, you know, really thinking about the way that we have been conditioned, most of us, all of our lives to feel a sense of security and cultural belonging around certain foods, especially animal products, you know, and how incredibly stimulating high volumes of saturated fat are to our brains and our bodies that lights up the reward centers of our brain. I had to kind of like think about this comment and I was like, maybe they were like being factual. Like maybe they didn't realize that they thought they were being glib when they said, you know, Oh, I'd rather die than not eat dairy. But for some people that might actually be a reality, they might have such a strong, you know, physiological pull towards these things that even when they hear this information and they're having problems, they cannot seem to find it within themselves to choose something different.
J: That's absolutely true. What you just said. 100% is that people, a lot of people who get diagnosed with heart disease continue to smoke cigarettes. Some people who are alcoholics don't even who are getting problems with alcohol, you know, the side effects liver damage, they still continue to drink. And most people who develop heart disease and high blood pressure continue to eat foods that accelerate that condition and worse than their condition and then medical profession makes it worse because they give people drugs to make their blood pressure look normal. They give them drugs to make the glucose look better, the drugs make the cholesterol look better. So the person thinks it's okay to continue to eat those foods or live that way because their numbers look okay right now. And we've never had those, if you never had those drugs, doctors would have to tell people, no, you're gonna have to change what you're eating and have to start exercising. And if it was late, you can have to get rid of your high blood. But now we got to make it so it's okay to stay sickly and allow your disease to progress. And with all the medical technology and advancements of the last 100 years, humans are still, we're still dying at the same age. They actually were living shorter than the last couple of years were actually death rates have increased and the age of lifespan has actually gone down with the growing waistlines of Americans getting heavier. They're actually seeing more. So with all the drugs and all the treatments, we're not seeing that these are saving people's lives and we have the same people and still cardiovascular death is still the number one cause of death for adults in America. So it's a failure and nutrition is the right food is the answer. And at least I'm, at least my passion, my mission is to let people know who want to know this and want to take and to utilize this information that if they don't want to have happened to them, what happens to other Americans, they don't have to do it. They don't have to have it happen to them. That it's totally preventable, these diseases. And I speak at medical conferences where there may be 700 doctors in the audience or something like that. And I'll say to them, I'll say, raise your hand if you've been struck by a bullet in your torso or your neck or your family or any but family or close relatives have been struck by a bullet. And like nobody, one person raises their hand at the 700. And I say, how about stab by a knife? Anybody even stab by a knife? And like nobody raised their hand. And then I say, well, how many of you have a relative that, you know, that has heart disease or cancer? And like the whole audience raises their hand. And then I say, and that's, and you want to keep living in this dangerous neighborhood, you know that every person that you almost know or eventually develops heart disease or strokes or cancers, and you want to do what they're doing, and you want to have and you think it's going to different outcomes going to happen to you. And why would you have this need, this tragedies happen to you and we have the science that shows it doesn't have to be when you could change your diet, because you love the food so much, you think it's worth dying 20 years prematurely or suffering in a nursing home crippled, the rest of your life, you know, after a stroke, you think it's worth taking those chances because the food so makes life worth living so great.
A: I think, yeah, oh my gosh, yeah.
J: We're showing them it's not true. Then I show them, you know, 20 people who said, well, after three months of eating this way, my taste buds change, and I like this way of eating more than my old diet. Now we give people desserts with with six to eight grams of sugar in them, not 35 grams of sugar. And it's plenty sweet for them. They can make a banana ice cream without any sweet or any date just with frozen banana, real vanilla bean powder, and some macadamia nuts and little plant milk zipped into the blender. Or we can make a panna cotta or an apple pie with, you know, we can make all delicious things without adding too much sweetener. And the most sweetener we add is certainly like one date per dessert serving is probably it. And it's much than so when people are eating a dessert here at the retreat, it's much, much less sweet than a conventional dessert. But these people like the taste of it better than the conventional desserts, because their taste muscle have changed their degree of sweetness, because they're off all these heavily sweetened substances now, and a strawberry has more flavor, and they can taste the vanilla in lettuce, and they can taste the avocado, the artichokes with nothing on them to have incredible flavor to them that they're so they're enjoying simpler foods. And the desserts with a mild degree of sweetness, just from the natural fruit or natural peach in there, a mango piece of mango in there is sufficiently sweet for them. So I can actually, I did a study on 750 people and showed that that was published in 2010, called it was published in nutrition journal, was called the changing perceptions of hunger on a high nutrient density diet. And we track their symptoms of hunger lessening. And we also track that their taste buds change and they proved preferences changed. So it's so it's just a myth, where people think they're not going to enjoy eating as much when they change, they're actually going to have better taste muscle enjoy eating more in most cases. But in any case, I don't see people don't have the right information. And they're very quick to say something like that, because they really don't have enough to they don't have enough the evidence to weigh what they're really saying and what they're really meaning, they don't know enough about the subject to give to give their opinion. So when I wrote Eat to Live in the first measure came out in 20 2004, I said, don't make a decision about eating this way. Don't even jump to the recipes and the menus right now. Just get the information and become learned in the subject matter based on the science I'm going to present to you later on. Once you have a better handle on how this works and how your body works, then you can start to look at the mental, you know, don't decide whether they're going to do it or not. Maybe don't even decide you're going to do it because if you do decide you're going to do it now and you don't have enough information, you're probably not going to stick with it. You have to know more, see if we could have a chance to make the right decision for your life. So and we talk about it in emotional eating and why people fail eating this way. We talk about peer pressure and being and trying to get approval from other people. Yeah. And we show and we're just going to that when you're an addict, then you're more consumed with the world that's immediately surrounding you and your brain has changed and you live for your instant gratification. So you become more dysthymic. You're less passionate about life. You're less enjoying nature, the beauty of your sports, your activities, your art, the music, the other people, the thing that's lessened, the more you get into your driving, being driven by your desire for instant gratification, the more you're an addict. And as you know, heroin addicts and they can cheat, steal, hurt other people just to get their fix. Well, the more you're living for your fixes, the more you become more dysthymic and less able to enjoy life. So they think the only thing they have, the only thing that gives them pleasure is their addictive substances, their cheese, their burgers, their pizza, their fries. It's the only thing that gives them pleasure, because they've lessened their ability to enjoy the outside world. And once you realize that you can get back this ability to get rid of this dysthymia or feeling like the world is meaningless and you're not caring and feeling, you don't have the right emotions. And so it all goes together because you feel better about the outside world, you lose the addiction and you're able to not care if people don't approve of what you're doing. Because now you're interested in having good will for them. You're not caring about impressing them or them liking you. You don't have to meet change yourself to meet their approval of them. When a person says to you, oh, I'd rather die if I had to eat like that, you can then show them some kindness, show how much you care about them. And that your hope for them is that maybe they could learn more and come to this to maybe they come to a different decision if they learn more information. But maybe the chance of helping that person is one in 100. That doesn't matter because you may if you're going to because you're trying to have creative goodwill for them. You're not trying to protect your own ego. You're not trying to argue with them. You're just trying to have show them care and have goodwill. It doesn't have to work. Right. The fact that you attempted to have goodwill for them means you can feel good about yourself for trying to show them care. And a person is not going to listen to you unless they feel that you care for them or love them in some way or have some feeling for them. It's what we learned in I remember I had a mentor in medical school. His name was Dr. Kaplan. And anyway, he said that the patient is not going to really listen to you or feel that you're in their best interest unless they feel that you care about them as a person. So making that connection with them as a person and that you really care about them is a stepping stone to enhance your ability to heal them as a doctor. We talked about all these issues, but it's the same thing when you interact with other people. When people think you care about them and are interested in them as an individual and you want the best for them, they're willing to consider what you have to say. But you're first to have to show them some interest in them and that you care and want the best for them. And then you're not trying to defend yourself and make it all about your own ego. So take your ego out of it and then people are more successful staying eating this way because they're not trying to cure them. They're not trying to prove anything. They don't need their peer approval. They're leaders now. They are leaders and they're proud of their lead and their ability to have positive effects on other people through their own example and their own goodwill for other people. And they become and it transforms their narrowness and their dysthymia and their food addiction where their pleasure in life is they don't have any pleasure in life except for eating and drinking. They make their, they go to their job, they work all day long just to make money so they can go and imbibe in dangerous substance, self-abusive substances. And this is how everybody's living in today's society.
A: Yeah, oh man, you know, so much of what you said there is beautiful, powerful, magical. I love it because what you're talking about is what I refer to as our radiance that starts naturally like arising when our systems are in, in their functioning, like naturally self-healing state when we're not taking in things that create harm and damage and we're not contending with our addictive behaviors, then we're in this place of actually being regulated and calm. And from that place, that natural caring for other people arises, which is what you're describing. You start letting go of the needing to prove anything because you're experiencing the wellness the result of what you're doing and there's nothing to prove like you're just, you're a living example of it. And so you can share with people and you're right, like nobody's going to listen to you if all you're doing is defending yourself. The other thing I wanted to say was that when you talked about the taste of strawberries, I know exactly what you're talking about because I had this revelation a few months after, you know, taking on a nutrientarian way of eating and cut out the salt and everything. I actually experienced that tomatoes were salty, just tomatoes and really salty. And if I felt like I wanted to have a little salt or something in my food, maybe I was making some kind of, I don't know, stir fry, I would throw a bunch of charred in and that would just like hit the spot of like that salt that might be the natural salt my body actually needs and was craving.
J: Organic sun dried tomatoes, they're incredible. I chop them up with the kitchen shears and I sprinkle like I lightly soften them a little bit and I like sprinkle organic sun dried tomatoes and roasted garlic into a dish and it tastes plenty salty just with the sun dried tomatoes and the roasted garlic, you know, incredible flavor, you know. Totally.
A: Yeah. And I mean, it did. It shifted my taste buds so that I could actually taste flavors. I also had the experience of spinach being oily, which was strange. Like I could actually feel and taste the natural oils that exist in spinach because all of these foods have these nutrient compounds of carbohydrate, fat and oil. They just have them in natural whole food amounts instead of these kind of exaggerated unnatural amounts that we find in most of our processed foods and kind of traditional ways of cooking, right, that are meant to stimulate and enhance and they're not necessarily at all about regulation and healing.
J: Right. When you take your nuts and seeds, let's say you're making a Thai curry sauce with hemp seeds and almonds and a little coconut and lemon grass and curry and, you know, so we're making a delicious Thai curry sauce. The absorption of calories into the bloodstream occurs over a period of two to three hours, whereas if you made that same sauce with oil instead of by blending in the nuts and seeds, you'd absorb the calories in the bloodstream in five minutes. So here you have a rush of calories in the bloodstream in five minutes. It's a bolus of calories and that affects dopamine centers in the brain and gets you acclimated to wanting that hit of calories. But you're then going to be hungry again and the oil becomes an appetite stimulant. So the same thing when you use beans for your major carbohydrate source, when you're eating white bread as a carbohydrate source, it comes to the glycemic load is so rapid into the bloodstream. It's almost immediately like you'd say you ate sugar. So the combination of the sugar and oil flood the bloodstream or addictive effects of brain on brain to want to eat more food and you get addicted to wanting that. But if you're eating your carbohydrate from having, you know, spaghetti squash with black beans, the calories coming into the bloodstream slowly over a period of three hours, not all in five minutes. So your body doesn't need to discrete much instance to keep your glucose straight. And now you're not hungry, you're satiated by having a little nuts and seeds and a little bit of beans with the meal. Now you're going to be satiated all afternoon until you get to dinner time and you get maybe hungry in time for dinner, which is good because hunger is the best source and enhances the taste sensation, as opposed to taking your calorically hit all at once in a giant load of calories, right? And that starts the addictive process. So we're talking here about when people switch from like almond oil to almonds or walnut oil to walnuts or olive oil to olives, when you switched to eating the whole food as your source of fat, a lot of biology changes. Because one, when you absorb the fat from this rapid absorption of calories, it makes you want to eat more food, you get hungry faster, it turns on fat storage hormones, instead of losing weight, you can have trouble losing weight now. But also, the when you're taking the calories from nuts and seeds, it's making you satisfied with a lower amount of calories. It's making you and you're going to sustain the meals going to sustain you for much longer. And the calories from the nuts and seeds are not all biologically accessible in the body. Because in other words, part of those calories, because the sterols and stanols, the fibers that hold onto the fat and the seed still hold on to some of that fat as it passes through into the toilet bowl. So even though it's chewed or blended, it still pulls some of the fat calories out into the toilet. So all the fat calories don't come into the bloodstream. And the sterols, the sterol, stanols and fibers and nuts and seeds attract fat so powerfully, they suck out more oxidized fats, like oxidized LDL, which is the bad actor causing heart disease. So now you have a transfer of movement of fat from the bloodstream into the digestive tract, pulled out into the toilet bowl, which then lowers your oxidized LDL from the inclusion of this fat, the walnut versus the walnut oil. Those seeds, you had the whole food, it's a completely different biological effect using whole food fat compared to oil extracted from that same food. So we're saying here, there's a different biology here that humans never ate oils until, you know, in more recent time, and even a few hundred years ago. And back then, people couldn't eat so much oil. And then those people, and of course today, we sit down on a job as they're sitting on a computer all day long, and they think pouring oil on their food is all food, and they're over consuming calories obviously, because they're overweight, but they think putting more oil on the food, pouring more calories on the food is actually drummed into their head that it's good for them. So there's a lot of misinformation which perpetuates all these problems people have.
A: Yes, that brings me to one of the kind of last questions I really wanted to address today. And we've already kind of touched on this a little bit, but I just like to create even more clarity around this. What do you feel are the biggest blocks that most people face when it comes to actually making changes in how they're eating? Like say we're talking to a person who has already heard like this information and they weren't just shutting it down to begin with, they were open to it. Then what do you see as being kind of the most common process that people go that, you know, what are the things that are in the way of them actually making choices and making changes?
J: You know, as ridiculous as this sounds, I, it's usually because they haven't digested and assimilated enough information about, because if they learn more, I'll give you so many examples like I'm giving a week seminar, right? And the husband comes to the event just to play golf. And the wife is sitting in the lectures hearing the information, right? And he's not interested in changing his diet. He just wants to play golf at the fancy hotel I'm giving the seminar at. But he sits through the morning lectures and will go play golf after just because he's there to accompany his wife. And after the week of hearing the event, he wants to change his diet now. He would have never thought of changing his diet because the little information coming from his wife was not sufficiently detailed with enough of the nuances in science, a lot of which we're talking about, to really convince him that it's worth the effort to make the change. So believe it or not, I don't see what you're saying so much when people are really get the get the PhD level of information. When they're really studying the information, they question it, they take the courses, they read the books. And that's why people come to my retreat too, because they're immersed in this for a few months. And it gives them time for their addictions to go away. It's just that when you come to a cocaine rehab facility, they keep you for three months, because they don't want you to go back to using cocaine again. It takes time to no longer desire those foods. So it's still mostly the information people get here that enables them to go home and prefer to live this way. And when they leave, they continue to do it. It wouldn't do them any good to come here for a week or two, because the chance of them sticking with it when they leave would be too low, relatively low. Because it doesn't, you know, go to improve your diet. If you're going to go back eating your old way and getting the weight back anyway. But I can give people a test and give them a score of their knowledge base. And their knowledge base correlates excellently with how well they were willing to follow the program. It's how well they learned it, how well they learned the information. So that's why I put out so much information, because I want to highly educate the population, because when they're not highly educated or when they're educated with the wrong information, that's the thing causing the most resistance. It's there's so much of the wrong information in the media, you know, the books, there's 500 different diet books out there. You know, why should they, why should they believe me and not some other guy advocating some other way of eating that's more conjunct, more conducive to the way they want to eat. They'd much rather pick the information that tells them it's good to eat the olive oil and to have them eat, because that's what they want to eat anyway. You know, but what I'm saying is if they really look at this information in more depth, they can have a bigger, it's much more likely they're going to have a chance of making the right kind of changes for their life. Yeah, wow. And plus you have such a like long list of people who are living examples that this works too. And so you have kind of the science and a lot of this really valuable life changing information that you're giving people and then simultaneously you're, you know, showing them, Hey, this worked for this person, this worked for that person. That was what was so great about the case studies that you presented. And then I'd encourage me to want to kind of make my a case study out of myself and try it out for myself was like, Okay, like, you know, let's see what let's see what changes in my body when I take this on.
J: Right, that's why the research is so important. That's why I have 500 more than 500 different success stories on the website. So people with, let's say a disease like inflammatory bowel disease or headaches, can see a whole bunch of other people are lupus multiple sclerosis, they can see a bunch of people who got well from multiple sclerosis, a bunch of people got well from lupus. I had one girl who was a teenager, I think she was about 15 or 16 years old, who was on the national renal transplant list waiting for a new kidney for lupus with a creatinine of 4.2, which represents most of her kidneys destroyed. And it healed. She came back her, she did this program and her she lupus went away, and her kidney came back to normal with a creatinine of 0.8. And she didn't need a new kidney and she didn't have lupus anymore. One of my patients went to their other their old doctor, who got well from lupus, because lupus is life threatening, people could die from it, they lose their kidneys, they can be on steroids and drug, they can be, their totally life can be destroyed from these diseases, they're really serious. And the fact that these people can get totally well, they go back to their old doctor and the doctor said, what are you going to eat, live like a rabbit the rest of your life? Or telling them they it's just a spontaneous remission, it's not because of the diet or something like that. It's just that some one in a million people just get better, and they're just probably going to get bad again. There's always some negative work, you know, but obviously, this is powerful stuff, and it really can transform people's lives. And my message to people is don't be satisfied with being sick. Don't think that you can't get well, because my life's experience is that when you do the right thing to this degree of excellence, it's incredible what can happen to people in their ability to repair and get well from serious diseases.
A: Yes, and this is a kind of taking of action that I think is therapeutic on a another level as well. It's therapeutic somatically, because when somebody starts prioritizing taking care of their health, they're not only literally doing something that is loving towards themselves. And if they have had issues with that in the past, if they have been recovering from trauma or addiction or any of these kinds of things, that simple act of doing something, loving towards themselves by choosing a way of eating that is not destructive, they don't need to try to love themselves. They don't need to say a bunch of affirmations in the mirror. They're literally doing something that demonstrates love for themselves. And that's really powerful because we get caught up in this mindset thing. And what you're pointing to is very similar to the somatic work that I do, which is a bottom up kind of transformation that someone can experience. Or yes, like taking in cognitive information, but then they're applying it real time to their body and their existence. And that action is powerful. That action starts making shifts in all other layers of their consciousness, because they're literally showing themselves care and love for their life. Good.
J: Well said. So the whole point is to encourage people to take good care of themselves and to realize it's the best way to not just love themselves, but be the foundation of their own personal happiness and security in life. Because living with fear of disease also and knowing you have what's looking real all around you. That's not good for your long-term health to lose your confidence and your body's ability to care for itself. So you're bringing back your security in your life. You're not live with fear. You can live with it. You can pursue your passions and you can wake up every day excited about living and not worrying about your health. It's a tremendous blessing. This is not putting people in prison. It's making them feel free and giving them the freedom back.
A: Yes, I agree. That's been my experience with it personally, because there's just things that I'm not attracted to eating anymore. Someone else who's sitting next to me might not understand it, but they haven't gone through the experience that I have gone through. They're not taking in the information that I've been taking in and having these kind of conversations. So thank you for coming on today and just sharing an enormous wealth of knowledge, so much really important information that I wish all people had about how they can live better in their bodies, how they can reverse and prevent their disease, that they don't have to, as you said, just settle for being ill.
J: Yeah. That's about wishing you and all your loved ones and everybody listening great health and much happiness always.
A: Oh, thank you so much. And if you want to find out about more information about Joel Furman and his programs, can you just say where they can find more information on your website maybe?
J: Yeah, that's probably the best place to start is DrFurman.com. DrFuhman.com.
A: Nice. Well, thank you so much. It's been an absolute pleasure. And I look forward to having maybe an interview with you sometime in the future, maybe on the second or third season. We'll have another go at this.
J: Sounds good.
A: You've been listening to the Free Your Soma podcast. Subscribe now to hear more stories of somatic awakening and gain knowledge and tools for somatic living. If you'd like to learn more about me, Amy Takaya, Hannah Somatic Education or the Radiance Program, please visit www.freeyoursoma .com.