Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat This is Lathe I’ve know him and his wife for almost 20 years. In fact, about ten years ago we started our own company together. In 2009, Lathe was 36 years old and weighed 165lbs. He pretty much ate the standard American diet, exercised regularly, and was precisely the same weight he was throughout his senior year of high school. But then Lathe received some shocking news. Okay, you’re Mister Poland…Uhhh Ah yes, you have diabetes! Anyway, with no family history of the disease, and a diet that most nutritionists would consider healthy, shouldn’t Lathe be the last person with diabetes? How did this happen? Is Lathe an exception to the rule, or part of an emerging trend? Did this have something to do with his so called “heart-healthy” diet? and most importantly.. (interupts) Hey real quick, do we… do we go straight here, or do we take this left? Hmmm, yeah I would take the left up ahead Okay good, uh sorry!
What were you saying? No worries, I was just thinking. How many of the health problems we are witnessing today are a result of our modern food culture? That’s a good question. Definitely! Hey did you take that left? ♪♪ Up beat electronic music♪♪ Carb-Loaded: A Culture Dying to Eat With advances in medicine, it would seem that people should be healthier now then ever before. However it’s starting to appear the opposite is the case. Most experts agree we have a serious problem. We are seeing an epidemic explosion of chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer The list goes on and on. We’ve talking about epidemic obesity forever. We started talking about pandemic obesity because much of the world’s population is now effected In the United States, where rates of obesity are high and maybe stabilizing at that very high level, we really have hyper endemic obesity- a fixed high level. Once we start feeling like we’re plateauing, it starts to head back up again in different age groups. We are in a crisis.There’s no other way to put it, we are in a crisis. A look at our society reveals an alarming rise in heart disease, hypertension, cancer, alzheimer’s obesity, fatty liver disease and, of course, diabetes. Are you serious? It says here there is more than one kind of diabetes? That’s true, and diabetes has been plaguing mankind for a very long time. In fact, diabetes was first mentioned in medical literature almost 2,000 years ago. The term diabetes was first coined of Aretaeus of Cappadocia in the early second century. In 1675, the word “Meletus” (which means “sweet like honey”) was added by Thomas Willis after discovering the urine of his patients was sweet. How would he even figure that out? (Slurping sound) 100 years later, and the presence of excess sugar in a diabetic’s urine and blood was confirmed. Hence the sweetness. What could possibly cause a person’s blood or urine to be sweet? To find out, we will need to meet an important character, the pancreas The pancreas is part of the endocrine system and produces important enzymes and hormones that help us break down foods. This includes insulin which regulates the body’s glucose or “sugar level” A healthy pancreas is able to produce these enzymes and hormones, at the right time in the right quantities, in order to properly digest the food we eat. When a person has Type 1 diabetes, the pancreas is being attacked by the body’s own cells, and can no longer produce insulin to remove sugar from the blood stream. In the case of Type 2 diabetes, due to the volume and frequency of insulin being released, receptor cells become less sensitive to the insulin this “insulin resistance” results in less sugar being removed from the blood. Sadly, over 360 Million people worldwide find themselves in this situation. Regardless of the specific type, overall diabetes is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S. and the 8th leading cause of death worldwide. You may be surprised to learn that obesity rates are growing faster in the youngest members of our society. Since the year 2000, pre-diabetes and diabetes cases in children have nearly tripled. Two to five year olds lead this frightening trend. A closer look reveals there’s even an epidemic of obese infants. We have tripled obesity rates in the last 30 years in our children There are one in three children now with a weight issue, either overweight or obese. The Centers for Disease Control have said that of the children born in the year 2000, one out of every three Caucasians, and one out of every two African Americans and Hispanics are going to get diabetes in their lifetime. They’ve gone further to say that this is the same generation that will be the first in our countries history to die at a younger age than their parents because of what we feed them. This used to be a disease that was past 65, it was old people that had diabetes, and so this shift in the age group is what’s very frightening. When 8 year olds are getting adult onset diabetes, due largely to epidemic obesity, stands to reason that 10 years later by the time they turn 18, they will have coronary disease. They’ll start turning up in our emergency rooms. Should current trends persist into the not too distant future, the day may well dawn when angina is an adolescent right of passage along side acne. That may sound imponderable, but not all that long ago the notion of adult onset diabetes in 8 year olds would have been equally outrageous. According to the CDC, if this keeps up, by the year 2050 1 in 3 Americans will be diabetic and nearly 1 in every 2 Americans will be obese. Not overweight- OBESE! The U.S. and western civilization and soon the entire world, have an obesity and diabetes epidemic. The obesity epidemic is fueling the numberof cases that we see who have diabetes. Diabetes in itself is a risk factor for developing heart disease, kidney failure, eye disease, blindness, nerve damage, foot amputations and so the implications of diabetes are tremendous. Diabetes isn’t just hurting our health it’s also emptying our pockets because everyone ends up paying for diabetes. By 2012, diabetes related costs in the United States, reached an estimated 245 billion dollars. That was a 41 percent increase from just 5 years earlier. That number includes direct medical costs, absenteeism, diabetes related job loss, and productivity loss due to premature deaths. 1 out of every 5 dollars spent on health-care in the United States goes to the care of people with diabetes. The worldwide cost is over 470 billion dollars. Should current trends persist to about the middle of this century, 1 in 3 Americans will be diabetic. Now right now out of a population of over 300 million there are about 27 million diagnosed diabetics in the U.S. That’s pretty bad! We’re having trouble paying the healthcare bills right now. 1 in 3 of us would be over 100 million people. I don’t think there is any way to pay that bill. I think we find ourselves on the front lines of nothing less than homeland security. So I think the fate of the nation hangs in the balance. The cost of diabetes alone is astronomically large, and it will impact on society’s ability to handle healthcare costs and expenditures if we don’t make change. Of course, while diabetes and obesity get most of the attention in the news, many experts believe they are actually parts of a much larger and more sinister pandemic, and the name of this pandemic is Metabolic Syndrome. Sufferers have symptoms like high blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat and abnormal cholesterol levels. Over 124 million Americans are sick from this under-reported condition. It is estimated that 75 percent of our healthcare dollars are, in fact, spent on the treatment of people suffering from Metabolic Syndrome. So there is an entire population that is already sick and may not even be aware of it. A common bias is that the overweight and obese members of society are the sickest ones. Incorrectly, thin people might, in fact, think of obesity as a way to identify the sick people around them. We see plenty of individuals who look great, whose body mass index is in the normal range, who don’t have excessive body fat; and yet they’re already in trouble, and they don’t know it because their diets are such that they are already changing their proteins by having to much sugar in their bloodstream. They are already developing fatty liver because they are eating a lot of fructose for example. This has been turned into a moralistic and character type issue, where individuals who struggle with their weight are “killing themselves” and are “lazy gluttons” because we know there are millions of “skinny fat” people who are metabolically sick inside, but do not look characteristically sick on the outside. Now they are saying skinny people are fat even though they are already skinny. This IS serious! In fact, it’s seriously bringing me down. I mean, does anyone even know how this happened? How did this happen? Experts agree there are many factors that account for our current health crisis. For people effected by diet related illness, the answer is more than likely a combination of many factors. And these can take place over a long period of time. A lifetime, and even generations. For example, We’re eating more food than ever before. It’s not just that fact that our restaurant portions have grown dramatically, but our home cooking portions have grown in turn. We bring those portions sizes home with our eyeballs. We see what we get on plates elsewhere, and we bring them home to our own personal plates. We’ve sort of defined a new norm with portions where a very large plate of food looks like a normal amount of food. Whereas in the old days, we would have looked at that and said, “Oh my God that’s enough to feed an army or a whole family!” Now we look at that and say, “That’s my dinner” If you take a study of ‘The Last Supper’ we end up finding that if you look at just depictions of ‘The Last Super’ over the last 1,000 years, portion sizes have increased 69 percent.
Plate size increased 66 percent, even bread size increased about 26 percent. People have no idea that with just the passing of every decade, we put more and more on our plate. I visited my parents in Germany where I grew up, and I have a plate in my hand and I asked my mom, “Where are the dinner plates?” “Oh you are holding one in your hand” “No, no that’s an appetizer plate where’s the dinner plate?” and she said, “No, we have not changed our plates in 25 years. This is a dinner plate that you are holding.” By virtue of having lived in this country for over ten years, I’ve gotten used to the large portion sizes here. But to truly understand the current health situation, we’re going to need to go all the way back to the creation of the pyramid. Uh, guys I think that’s the wrong pyramid. [ FOOD PYRAMID – PYRAMID SCHEME ] Ah yeah, there we go In the mid 20th century, the scientific community began circling an idea. Scientists such as Ansel Keyes, began drawing a link between saturated fats and heart disease. They asserted that people needed to start eating a diet higher in carbohydrates and lower in fat. Over a period of time, this nutritional advice came to be very much en vogue. Dr. Keyes is specifically known for two significant contributions to nutritional science. One was the “K” ration. [ ARCHIVE FOOTAGE ]
The Army has developed the now famous K-Ration. Each package contains a balanced vitamin rich meal. A day’s ration weighs about 2 pounds. The K-Ration was an emergency field ration for U.S. armed forces in World War two. It was a handy little pre-packaged meal. His second major contribution was a study that is now infamously known as, ‘The Seven Country Study’. In it, he revealed that in countries where fat consumption was the highest, they also had the highest rate of heart disease. This supported his idea that dietary fat caused heart disease. However, there was one little detail that Dr. Keyes had left out. When he started the study, he had begun with 22 countries. But when he looked at the data from this large cross section, it just wasn’t as convincing. So he decided to remove the countries that detracted from the picture he had in mind. Fast forward 20 years to 1977, and the science of high carb, low fat diets had become mainstream. Food gets everybody together! Right on! The breads and cereals can be found in foods from all over the world, like tortillas from Mexico, pumpernickel from Scandinavia, rice cakes from China, hush puppies from the deep south. (Muttering) Corn bread, whole wheat bread (Chuckling) Italian bread danish pastry, onion rolls and bagels from Brooklyn. Like man you need nutrients to live and grow. That year, U.S. Senator George McGovern lead the charge for the U.S. government to adopt the nutritional guidelines touted by Dr. Keyes. Shortly thereafter, the USDA placed the full weight of their bureaucrat office behind a diet that featured food groups in recommended quantities. If you were in school in the late 70’s or early 80’s, you likely learned all about this great new diet that would keep you healthy. ‘And you can get it anywhere in the world from the foods you eat!’ ♪♪ 70’s rock music ♪♪ This was reflected in the food guide pyramids where suddenly bread, pasta, potatoes, rice, all these foods that in the early 1960’s were still considered uniquely fattening, were now foods that should be the staple of our diets. When they came up with the dietary goals, and they were based on weak science, and there was a lot of push back from scientists and from nutritionists who said even though they agreed with the recommendations, they said “This is a bad idea because we don’t have the science to support this kind of experimentation on the public”. It did not matter! The public and the media swallowed it hook, line and sinker. There was not one clinical trial to see whether that diet would make us healthier than if we continued to eat our fatty diets which was considered to be so detrimental and dangerous. Not one single clinical trial. And the scientists at the time, who were independent of industry and government, warned them. They said, “We haven’t had these trials. How can we expose the American public to this giant experiment unless we know what the outcome will be?” Well, the reality is 30 years later we know exactly what the outcome has been. As it turns out, all of this carb loading was not such a good thing. Grains, whether whole or refined, trigger elevated insulin levels. Remember Mr. Pancreas? With the elevated insulin response comes increased hunger, but perhaps one of the most significant side effects from eating grain based foods is inflamation. What’s the Deal with Inflamation? Inflamation is your body’s natural response to invaders it perceives as threats. If you get a cut, for instance, the process of inflamation is what allows you to heal. When your arteries are damaged a very similar process occurs except the “scab” in your artery is known as plaque. This plaque, along with the thickening of your blood and constricting of your vessels, can increase your riskof high blood pressure and heart attacks. Think of cholesterol a bit like a scab inside of your body. So when your arteries become damaged, your body releases cholesterol to patch them up. The cause of cholesterol’s release is inflamtion, which is caused in large part by eating sugary and starchy edible products. When the arterial lining, what we call the endothelium, becomes damaged by becoming oxidized then cholesterol appears on the scene to help put the fire out. Understanding how refined carbs increase the damage to your circulatory system sure blows a hole in the myth of the so called “Heart Healthy Diet.” Hold on! Everything you just said is the opposite of what scientists, researchers and doctors have been telling us for years. Do you really want to contradict smart people? [ Chuckles ] Good point! We need smart people. Smart people helped us get here, here and here. Unfortunately, they also took us here, here, and don’t forget here. Right, inteligence and education do not equal infallability. A logical way to determine whether a recommendation is beneficial or not is simply to observe the results. For instance… Mid 19th century Hungarian physician, Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis, came to the conclusion that unseen germs were at least partly to blame for a high mortality rate. He proposed handwashing between medical procedures such as examining a dead body and then delivering a baby. The hospital Dr. Semmelweis worked at agreed. They began washing their hands between procedures. The result? Less than a year later, maternal mortality rates plummeted to historic lows. Here’s another example :In the late 70’s and early 80’s, education on the dangers of not wearing a seat belt when in a car, came to the fore. Numerous campaigns were created to educate the public on the benefits of wearing a seat belt. The result? Over the next 30 years, vehicular related deaths dropped radically. Now lets talk about the nutritional recommendations based on Ansel Keyes findings. As we mentioned, in 1977 the FDA released new dietary guidelines promoting a heart healthy diet recommending that everyone consume more carbs and less fat. More carbs and less fat? How’d that work out? Unfortunately, over the next 30 years diabetes rates have nearly quadrupled [cartoon heart squeals ] hypertension continues to climb steadily [ cartoon heart grunts ] obesity levels have sky rocketed and metabolic syndrome has become common place. Sound health and safety recommendations should produce favorable results. In the first two examples, that’s precisely what happened. But when it came to the aforementioned dietary guidelines, the opposite has occurred. Clearly the results have been disastrous. Is it a coincidence that our current health crisis began shortly after these nutritional guidelines were introduced? The legacy of the food pyramid is a great example of an epic mistake that has caused more chronic disease in modern times than anything. The guidelines have always been evaulated on how well they were followed. They have never been evaluated on how well they work. It says that in the 2010 dietary guidelines themselves. All of our dietary decisions,
from our general concept of what is healthy, to what are children are served in their school lunchrooms, to what information we get on the package; has never been tested for health outcomes. We should be horrified by this! All the things that we have lionized, through the food pyramid and the American Dietetic Association and all the other major health organizations- these are foods that are making us sick, fat, tired, and depressed And that’s the legacy of the food pyramid. The western diet, or the standard American diet, is an absolute crime against humanity. It is making us sick and fat! And as the boundaries of the developed world expand, more people are becoming fat and sick. If you look back historically, I think you’ll find we’ve always had carbs and sugar. So what suddenly changed? Seriously, what changed? [ The corporate food engine ] Sure, refined carbs and sugars have been around for a long time. But have you been to your grocery store lately? One of the first things Lathe and his wife noticed after his diagnosis was how hard it was to find healthy, lower carb food options. ♪♪ dramatic orchestral music ♪♪ ♪♪ dramatic orchestral music ♪♪ ♪♪ dramatic orchestral music ♪♪ ♪♪ dramatic orchestral music ♪♪ ♪♪ dramatic orchestral music ♪♪ But something else happened in the 70’s that would cause this massive shift towards carb-loading. In 1973, Secretary of Agriculture Earl Butz initiated a 180 degree policy change for the farm bill. The new policies subsidized the production of corn and grain; bringing about the corporate friendly model we have now. All that cheap corn made it possible for a relatively new and exciting product to make it’s way into the food chain. High-Fructose Corn Syrup. The growing fear of fat made way for low fat food culture to permeate nearly every corner of the grocery store. 30 years later, and try to find many food products without it. Enter High Fructose Corn Syrup It was the same time that we started to change our corn policies in the Nixon administration back in the 1970’s. So you have the invention of High Fructose Corn Syrup, you have low fat food you add the sugar to make the foods more palatable, and all of the sudden your adding fat in the form of fructose, but making it sound like it’s something that’s healthy because it’s low fat. If you’re processing food and you’re taking away the fat, it’s tastes like crap. And then you have to add often more sugar to make up for it so you have people avoiding fat and eating more sugar or easily processed carbs. making people hungrier, making them eat more, giving them obesity and diabetes in the long run. As soon as you take fat of the diet the food tastes so terrible, that you have to trick the brain into thinking it’s healthy, so you add sugar and then you get the sugar addiction which takes over. Fructose consumption has dramatically risen since World War two by the mid 70’s, it had almost doubled. And just 20 years later, we were consuming nearly triple the fructose. My generation, the generation born in the 70’s and early 80’s, was the first generation to have high fructose corn syrup prenatally. But does that matter? Can what a woman eats while pregnant cause her children to have an attraction to the food that she ate? There is a lot of memory that comes through the breast milk to our children that help the children to understand what is something foreign, and what is something accepted in my diet. If we are giving them memory of sugar, of high fructose syrup, their brains are going to send them in that direction. If we eat lots of fruits and vegetables during our pregnacy and we nurse and give them memory of fruits and vegetables, there is research that shows they are going to be more inclined to eat the healthier foods. Infants begin to swallow some of the amniotic fluid and they begin to have a taste preference depending on what the mother ate they are tasting all of those foods that the mother is tasting. So I really encourage really pregnant moms to be mindful of what they are eating. That they are developing something their child is going to actually have some taste preferences when they are born, and they will follow them for later in life. The typical American mom has the typical American diet. It’s loaded up with sugar and salt and chemicals, and all the wrong foods Before ever these babies are born their palettes are are being predisposed to a “Bet you can’t eat just one” kind of environment. It’s a set up to perpetuate the status quo, where the food industry keeps selling junk because the next generation of customers is being born preferring junk. So the increasing prevalence of refined carbs and sugar is a complicated problem. Sure, there are more unhealthy foods to eat. But more importantly, the pervasiveness of the food products we are exposed to every day has altered our definition of what healthy food really is. Out of the 600,000 products sold in the American grocery store, 80 percent contain added sugar or high fructose corn syrup. As a result of this cultural shift, many tend to think of processed carbohydrates as our primary source of nutrition. What do you think of when I say the word food? Pizza Fish and Chips Linguine Pizza and Sushi Fast Food I think of popcorn, and like maybe cookies, Ben & Jerry’s Fried Calamari I’d have to say lasagna I think about burgers Sugar Cookies good bread. What factors contribute to our beliefs about food? Are you and I influenced by the food advertising we see every day? The marketers are spending 100’s of billions of dollars. These are not stupid people. They are spending the money because it works. Our research has shown that it’s not even a conscious process. That when people see ads for food, they eat more food. To a person they say, “No! I can see that it can influence others, but it wouldn’t influence me!” And that’s the big reason why the solution of, “Ok, now that I know it; I’ll use my will power to keep it from ever happening,” is just not gunna work for most people. Are You Affected By Food Marketing? You’ll be sitting at home not having anything to do, and once that food comes on the screen, it makes you think about it. Not personally. No, not me, but maybe some people might, but not me. Well yes, I think most people are whether they want to admit it or not. I’m not, my husband is and my son. Fast food freaks me out now, and I still sometimes see commercials and I’m like “wow that looks pretty good!” and then I come back to reality. I’m like”alright, never THAT hungry.” I’m not quiet sure if I am, but I’m pretty sure I might be. Yeah, – well Yeah but little. (laughter) I’m a sucker! I see it, I like it, I go for it. They got me. Just take my money. Just give me whatever. I’ll eat it, you know. Yeah I think everybody is I think it’s just so mass-marketed that there’s no way to avoid it these days. Since marketing to adults works so well, what about children? How are they affected by the endless parade of food advertising marching in front of them? They make it obviously look like “This is fun, this tastes good” Really cool commercials, like catchy rhymes, catchy little jingles. Oh, cartoon characters is definitely the biggest one They in general use the food that are appealing to kids, like put a food in the shape of a dinasuar or put it in the shape of an animal. Sometimes they try to do commercial funny. And to me, when something is funny it’s dangerous. Because they don’t wanna put your own thinking on the side effects of the bad food. They use a lot of colors and a lot of, like, cartoons. So I guess that is a way it’s influencing children. I’m not against food companies selling their products, marketing their products, and doing everything they can to sell products. I think there should be some limits placed on what they are permitted to do. Food companies should not be permitted to market to children. Period, end of story! I travel all around the world. Nobody has this idea of kids food the way we do. And it’s all about marketing. So the idea that we are brainwashing our children to think that chicken nuggets is a food group, and hot Cheetos is breakfast; we outta ban food marketing to children. You put a cartoon character on food, it doesn’t matter what’s inside the box or the package, they want it. They are just immediately drawn to it. So it’s very, very powerful They are not marketing to the parent, they are marketing to the child so clearly they know that getting the child to want that food is going to benefit them because the child will then advocate for that food with their parents. So it’s that undermining; that absolute disrespect of parenting and making, you know, the grocery store a place that’s filled with arguments in the cereal aisle about which cereal you’re gunna buy that’s what really frustrates me! And I feel like as a society it is time for parents to stand up, to get really angry and to tell the food industry, “You all need to back off! You need to stop marketing to our kids!” It’s hard to deny marketings impact on each of us, regardless of our age. Oh I see where you’re going, food and beverage corporations are the bad guys. The Corporate Food Engine(and You) Well, “big food” certainly is part of the problem. But really everyone is involved. Think about it! Why do publicly traded food corporations make addictive foods and escalate marketing efforts? To earn a profit. But that profit is not just for the corporation. It’s also for the corporation’s shareholders. If we have a 401(k) or a mutual fund that owns shares in a giant food company, we are both contributing to and benefiting from the problem. In addition, profit is driven by demand. Every time we purchase unhealthy food or beverages, we are increasing the demand for unhealthy products. Imagine that! In many cases, we are both the consumer and the shareholder in this vicious cycle. Yeah, it’s complicated! Welcome to modern life! [Welcome to Modern Life] Let’s face it, the pace of modern life certainly is contributing to the problem. People are on the go, so cooking at home is rarely an option. Vending machines, drive thrus, and pre-packaged meals are seen as a necessity. Only 100 years ago fast food, snack packs, and other prepared food would have been considered unnecessary. You know, the amount that we are eating, the frequency with which we are eating the types of food we are eating… they’ve changed from home cooking to boxes and drive-thru’s. And, I think that is a huge piece of what’s gone on. Food has become something thats become very mindless at times. We eat in front of the computer, we eat eat in front of the TV, we eat behind the wheel of car; get stuff at the drive-thru. And I think we need to re-think the idea of the experience of eating, and also as part that- of cooking. Ironically, as everyone is doing more we also seem to be moving a whole lot less. Basically, we’re sedentary. We get in cars, we drive – we sit. We go to work – we sit. And if we are active, it’s pretty limited periods of time. A hundred years ago life was physical. I mean, a lot of people had physical jobs. A lot of people were on farms, they were in manufacturing. Even around the home, you know, people didn’t have dish washers. They didn’t have clothes washers. Everything you did back then involved physical exertion. Have you ever stopped to think about how much we love to watch other people work out? In fact, we carb-load just like athletes do while watching them burn it off. What Americans are doing every night at home is- their getting ready to run a marathon. They’re have that big bowl of pasta. They’re having that big pie of pizza. They’re loading up on glycogen, on their blood sugar stores that are readily accesible, and then they are not running in the marathon The body is not stupid. It’s saying, “Well, let me store it for bad times. Lets turn it into fat.” Many expert agree that carb-loading for the average person is just going to make them fatter. But what about athletes? Don’t they need to carb-load in order to perform? I was a marathoner in the 70’s and early part of the 80’s, and then I was an endurance tri-athlete. I did “Iron Man” And I was, you know, on the cover of Runners World magazine three times. For all intents and purposes, I was the picture, literally and figuratively, of fitness. but not of health. On the inside I was falling apart. I had become the antithesis of health. So I was putting in a lot of miles. And I was fueling those miles with the assumed best fuel of the day which was carbohydrates. I was carbo-loading I discovered quite early that humans ought to be deriving most of their energy from their stored body fat, and not from refilling their glycogen and re-upping their glucose intake every 3 hours throughout the day. That was a very big epiphany for me. Although I’ve done very well athletically, and I train 12 hours a week or so, I’ve had really hard time keeping my weight in check. My blood glucose levels have also been pre-diabetic. If I’m getting sick while I’m training 12 hours a week and being a top-class tri-athelete, what are the chances that an average person has to kind of avoid this trap? So with no prior rowing experience, we decided to row from California to Hawaii, almost 2,800 miles, completely unsupported. It took 45 days, and we broke the speed record for two person boat. We didn’t have onboard all of the stuff that endurance athletes typically have during endurance events. So we had no gels, no sports drinks, and in fact we had zero sugar or processed carbohydrates onboard. The amount of work that we performed each day was about the same as running two marathons a day EACH. So to be able to get through two marathons a day with just pure whole foods for 45 days non-stop, we thought is a very powerful way of demonstrating that maybe the sugar and processed carbohydrates aren’t necessary to perform, or thrive, or be healthy. I think there are a number of problems for athletes who believe they must take lots of carbohydrates. If you are a world class leading athlete and you’re lean; and you are able to stay lean eating lots of carbohydrates, maybe you do get a little bit of a boost from the carbohydrates. But that’s really for the world class athletes competing in short events lasting maybe 15 minutes or so. But once you start putting on weight, that is telling you that those carbohydrates are doing you no good. And you really need to reduce your carbohydrate intake. As a culture we love to watch sports. And we love to fuel our bodies as if we’re going to be active. Imagine if you took that mentality to your local gym. ♪♪ music playing ♪♪ That is strange. Yeah. But for most people eating the standard American diet it comes down to one thing… Money. Why do People Eat Junk Food? I would say probably the number one factor would be the price. It’s really cheap, you know, these dollar menus. Everybody is
competing with really cheap things It’s just easier to get out and just say, “Here’s a dollar give me a burger.” The economy is really bad, and you know everyone is struggling so the cheaper the food and the faster it is it’s really what they’re gunna go for. It’s cheaper, so a lot of people if they dont have money to buy healthy food they go straight to McDonald’s for a dollar. It’s probably a lot cheaper if you compare just one meal. And that’s a big problem, I think, cuz people think it’s much more cheaper and easier to go to McDonald’s for example. But is junk food actually cheaper? Well, the initial cost would make it seem that the answer is YES. But, if what we are eating is contributing directly to our failing health, then cheap food is actually not so cheap. It’s hard to argue against low prices. Except that it doesn’t really account for the true cost of food. The true cost of food is seen in the mess that it makes with the environment and what you have to do to clean that up, and of course with peoples health. If people gain a lot of weight and develop type 2 diabetes, there are healthcare cost associated with that. Some of those will be borne by the individual, but a lot of people don’t have enough money to pay for healthcare so society picks that one up. We eat badly, we eat fast food failing to consider that the time saved eating fast food will be spent later on trips to the doctor, and then some, with interest! Right? You are not saving money or time by eating fast food routinely. The economic burden of just type 2 diabetes on our country now exceeds the economic burden of tobacco by by 50 billion dollars. You want to understand why we have a healthcare crisis in this country? It’s because of all that ‘wonderful’ inexpensive food. It’s very expensive to be sick. A tremendous amount of advertising had to go into getting them on the store shelf, and getting them in your line of sight. You pay a lot of money for that stuff. Of course fast food isn’t really cheap! It may cost us less today, but in the long term it’s the most expensive food we can put in our bodies. It might seem that junk food and fast food is very cheap a closer look however paints a much different picture. The average American spends over $6,000 a year on food. Nearly half of that is spent at some kind of a restuarant. On average, those same individuals spend over $8,000 anually on medical bills. You may have heard the expression “Pay the farmer now or pay the doctor later”. Many people now realize that what we eat has a direct correlation to our health. Unfortunately, the solution isn’t always as easy as simply buying better quality food. The USDA estimates that 23.5 million people live in what are called food deserts. What is a food desert?
♪♪ Western Music♪♪ What is a food desert?
♪♪ Western Music♪♪ Food deserts are typically urban neighborhoods or rural towns without easy access to fresh, healthy, and affordable food. Instead of supermarkets or grocery stores, these communities are usually served by fast food or convenience stores. More than half of the population living in food deserts, or 13.5 million people are considered low income. So it seems that for many people, low quality food is their only choice. This tsunami of low quality food is becoming a global concern. In an effort to stem the effects of some of the most harmful foods; countries like Denmark, Hungary, and Mexico have instituted soda and junk food taxes. This creates issues that have governments, corporations and individuals locked in a debate about whois responsible for deciding “what” and ‘how much” people should eat and drink. But research reveals that our freedom of choice is not based solely on conscious thought. As humans, we are incredible susceptible
to the signals around us. Things like ambient lighting, music, portion size, even how many people we are eating with. ♪♪ Suspenseful Music ♪♪ The unconscious mind We do this really cool study with with Chicagoians, and found out that they know they are through eating when the TV show they’re watching is over. We don’t monitor how much we are eating because we are paying to much attention to whatever we are flipping through. ♪♪ Suspenseful Music ♪♪ If you give people a bowl of different colored M&M’s, they end up eating significantly more- almost half again as many. As if you gave them ones that were all one color. ♪♪ Suspenseful Music ♪♪ We find that if you eat with one other person you eat about 30% more then if you eat by yourself; but if you eat with seven other people you eat almost 90% more then if you eat by yourself because what happens is you don’t pay attention to what you’re doing. You’re having fun in the conversation, and you also stick around that table a long time. Everybody orders an extra desert
you decide to get one. They decide to stay for coffee
you stay for coffee. And it’s really easy to over eat. To make things worse, many packaged snacks are highly palatable. Either by design or by coincidence, they can trick our brains into thinking that we need to eat just a little bit more, and more, and more. Combining flavors that tickle the appetite center in the hypothalamus so that it just what’s more, more where you can’t stop eating. Simple, natural, wholesome foods close to nature have exactly the opposite property. They reduced number of calories it takes to feel full. And there’s abundant research to back this up. You think about a food like almonds-raw almonds. Anybody who likes almonds is gonna eat raw almonds until you get tired of eating raw almonds. But if you honey roast those almonds- take the same almonds roast them in oil, coat them in honey and salt them- you now have not just the flavor of the almonds but sugar and salt. You don’t stop eating those babies till your arm gets tired from lifting them to your mouth and our whole food supply is like that. He’s absolutely right, I can’t stop eating these but can you tell me why? The body the inside story We are fooling ourselves if we think modern food products aren’t addictive. Research has established that the brain scans of drug addicts and sugar addicts are virtually identical. It makes us feel so good, it causes us to release dopamine, we want more of it, we eat more of it, the fat cells get bigger, we become more hungry and we just start this whole vicious cycle. And anyone can tell you if they try to ween off of carbs and sugar it really is sort of like a withdrawal that you will go through. I mean even with sugar today most researchers would say, “I don’t know if it’s addictive or not.” My counter to that would be, “Do you have children?” I don’t need fancy science to tell me if sugar’s addictive. I’ve got a 4 year old and a 7 year old. You know it’s pretty clear that this functions as a drug for them. So the reason why dietary advice fails is because current dietary advice says you must reduce your calories, but you can continue to eat all the same foods. Which means you got the addictive foods in there. Which is exactly the same as saying you must cut your cigarettes to one cigarette a day- from 20 down to 1. If you continue to smoke one cigarette a day eventually you’re back at 20, as everyone knows. The food industry has been engaging PHD’s in biochemistry and neuroscience to devise foods that are addictive. This is right out of the tobacco industry’s playbook. You know, “Guilty as charged!
We make the cigarettes people wanna smoke,” “Behind the scenes were making them as addictive as we possibly can” Well, we’ve devised food that maximizes the number of calories it takes before people run up the white flag, cry uncle and stop eating. Addiction aside, our bodies need food. Hunger can be a strange impulse. It can be a signal that we are running low on fuel, but sometimes it can get us to eat when we’re completely full. ♪♪ Music ♪♪ Clearly, our minds and our stomachs have a complicated relationship. (shushing sounds from nearby) There is a movie playing. I’m trying to watch this movie, and this man come up here talkin’ so anyway… When we eat high levels of carbohydrates our bodies produce higher levels of insulin. One side effect of excess insulin is that it prevents our bodies from hearing what leptin is trying to tell us. The unfortunate consequence is that we don’t hear leptin telling us we are full so we keep eating. Leptin is a hormone that was discovered in the mid-1990’s to have a role in satiety, in the ending of, in the cessation of hunger. Most people have elevated levels of Leptin, and so Leptin is not turning hunger off. There is, if you will, a Leptin resistance. So most people with overweight obesity problems have high Leptin levels, but their brain isn’t really listening to that Leptin anymore. But eating more isn’t the only reason we gain weight. Insulin’s number one job is to supply sugar to cells for energy. But if they already have all the sugar they need, the body turns it into fat. For some people it shows up as ‘middle aged pudge’. This can be something that we take for granted. You get older and you put on a little weight. Most of us think that’s just the way it is. Of course, we all know what the solution is. Diet and exercise. But is that an actual solution? People should just eat less and exercise more, and this obesity epidemic would reverse. But that is what we have been saying for 30 years while it’s getting worse every year. So it’s not working. Just ask yourself why is it that the two things any of us would do to guarantee that we worked up an appetite- that we got hungry- are the very same two things ‘eat less and exercise more’, that we tell obese people to do to lose weight. Right there, you know there’s a problem. There is something wrong with this thinking. 80 % of your body composition
is determined by how you eat. The other 20 % can be effected by
what you do in the gym. The corollary to that is you can’t work out to fix a bad diet, you know, you can’t exercise away bad dietary choices. I was regularly active. I ran 70 marathons and ultra-marathons. I could not regulate my weight. But the instant I changed my diet, whether I exercised or not, my weight just dropped off. And now I can keep my weight absolutely rock solid whether I run 20 kilometers in a day or not. My weight is absolutely stable. So now I absolutely believe that if you have to exercise to regulate your weight, your diet is wrong. Now this doesn’t necessarily mean that all carbs are bad because let’s face it, fresh pineapple and broccoli have carbs in them. So the quality of the carb is just as important. One way to judge the quality of a given food is by analizing how much insulin is required to process it. This is called ‘Glycemic Load’. Refined foods tend to have a very high glycemic load, whereas complex carbs are more likely to have a low glycemic load. For many people, the quality of their health can be directly linked to the quality of their food. Are all carbs created equal? You’ve got some of the most nutritious foods on the planet in the category of carbohydrate, and then you’ve got some of the most egregious junk. So the issue, whether it’s carbohydrate or fat or protein, is the over all quality of the food. Good foods are good for us. Wholesome foods are good for us. Foods close to nature tend to be good for us. And they tend to be sources of good carbs, good fat’s and good proteins. Carbohydrates take different forms. There are low glycemic index carbs that burn slowly; that enter the bloodstream slowly. There are high glycemic index carbs that convert to glucose rapidly and cause an increase in insulin. For athletes, for instance, who are looking to replenish liver glycogen after a workout, or muscle glycogen even after a hard workout, fruits and fructose are probably a good option. For somebody trying to lose weight, fruit is not your friend. Fructose, because of it’s different pathway if your glycogen stores are already full, fructose becomes triglycerides very rapidly and enters a fat storage pathway more readily. So there are lots of different ways to look at carbohydrates, and it’s not necessarily with the eye that all carbohydrates are either good or bad. They all have context. So far we have talked about how the food we eat can instigate the many symptoms of metabolic syndrome, obesity, type 2 diabetes and the fatty liver disease found in fat and skinny alike. Mainstream science is starting to accept the fact that they may need to add one more. In some circles they are calling it type 3 diabetes. So this relationship between diabetes and Alzheimer’s, in terms not only of risk of developing Alzheimer’s, but the actual mechanisms in the brain that relate to insulin, has caused people like myself to actually call Alzheimer’s disease type 3 diabetes. Type 3 diabetes is a term that has been applied basically to this development of glycosylated end products in the brain. Which is related to Alzheimer’s. We are now describing Alzheimer’s disease, one of the most heartbreaking conditions on the planet, as type 3 diabetes. As a consequence of this sugar and starch poisoning. We’re having problems in the central nervous system due to inappropriate signaling and low levels of inflammation is due specifically to this carbohydrate loaded diet that we’re consuming. As we have seen, there is a delicate balance. Our digestive tract is almost like a dance between our hormones and our organs. If we aren’t careful, they can lose their balance and the consequences can be disastrous. [Laughter] I love those little guys, but I get there’s a problem. Let’s talk about a solution. In that past, various studies demonized the consumption of fat as the cause of heart disease and other health related woes. For most people, that seems like a pretty logical conclusion. Eating fat clogs our arteries and also makes us fat. Surprisingly, the answer may in fact be the complete opposite of that long held belief. Without inflammation, there would be no heart disease. A lot of people, they look at cholesterol being at the scene of the crime. So it’s like a firefighter going to put out a fire. Are we blaming the firefighters for why there’s a fire? They happen to be at every single fire, so therefore they must be the reason why the fires happened. No, that would be absurd and yet that’s the exact thing that what we’re doing with cholesterol. What we need to do is take a step back, and say what caused all of that cholesterol to be present? And what we find is it’s the exact form of sugary and starchy edible products that we have at the base of our food guide pyramid and as a huge chunk of “My Plate” so cholesterol is the body’s healthy response to eating a carb rich diet. And so this insane focus which is now powered by a 31 billion dollar-a-year industry in reducing cholesterol and very hard to do get it to turn around. You know, guys! Cholesterol… “the emperor’s new clothes“ we’ve been wrong makes you almost look like you think that the CIA’s talking to you through the fillings in your teeth. It is so much of a cultural meme that this is the cause of heart disease. You go to cocktail party and you say “How’s your heart doing?”
“Well my cholesterol was good” It has become synonymous! Cholesterol by itself is probably one of the most important molecules in the body. The body makes 1200 to 1400 milligrams a day on its own, whether or not you take in dietary cholesterol. Indicting cholesterol is like saying band-aids are responsible for cuts because whereever you see a cut, there’s a band-aid. One of the most important chemicals for the human brain serving as a precursor for Vitamin D, the precursor for progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, cortisol, and even acting as a brain anti-oxidant is oddly enough cholesterol. So cholesterol has been so castigated over the years. The decades that we’ve been told it’s our enemy, cholesterol is absolutely the friend of the brain. And just to clarify, we are talking about naturally occurring saturated fats. Not trans-fats. Trans-fats found in margarine, fried foods and frozen dinners have been proven to be highly toxic and destructive to our bodies. People the world over are discovering that healthy fat should have a prominent place in their diets. A diet higher in healthy fats and lower in carbohydrates, is helping them regain their ideal weight and health. Remember our buddy leptin? When Leptin isn’t being blocked by insulin, it can signal our bodies that we are full. Fat rich foods tend to trigger Leptin much more readily, thereby having a self-managing effect. The bottom line is if you feel full, you will eat less. So satiety is a big part of the solution. Seek out foods that satisfy your hunger. The natural fat found in grassfed meats, organic dairy, avocados and nuts can be fantastic sources of healthy energy that also help you eat less. The cause of the obesity epidemic and diabetes epidemic is that we are not eating enough of certain types of foods. People are going to eat until they are satisfied and energized, which they should. So the question is not, how can we just eat less of the diet that has made us sick and sad, but rather how can we eat more of the foods that will fill us up, energize us so much that we have no room for these addictive and disease causing substances. Fat is good for the satiety. If you eat more fat you become less hungry. If you eat bad carbohydrates, you become more hungry. So that’s the problem. You can’t just talk about calories because there are good calories and bad calories. Good calories make you less hungry Bad calories make you more hungry. Let’s be real clear. We’re talking about the olive oil, nuts and seeds, coconut oil, grass-fed beef wild, not farm-raised fish. It’s a great source to give us energy, to get us focused for our memory, for prevention of neurological disorders, keeps us full, helps us burn fat; and I think those come in food sources best. It can be easy to over simplify what it means to be hungry. Sometimes we are just looking for comfort. Food can be a quick and easy way to take our minds off the things that make us sad. But if one of the things that makes us sad is our weight or our health, it can play into a really painful loop. Find someone to talk to, and eat with people that eat healthfully. Be conscious of what causes you to keep eating. Learn to find people, places and activities that aren’t food centric, and that will provide meaning and comfort to your life. If you live in a food desert, think about the ways you can grow your own food. If space is limited, seek out local healthy food sources like farms, healthy markets or maybe join a co-op. Stock Box locates in urban food desert communities, so areas without access to a good grocery store. Our mission is to go into areas that really are asking for good food and have a population that could respond well to a grocery store. So our stores range in size from 500 sq ft to 2,000 sq ft. So the size of a typical convenience store or 711. Focusing on really good, fresh food. Produce is always front and center. One promotion that we run, in order to increase people’s consumption of fresh produce, is produce happy hour. We run that every week day. We give people 10 % off between 3 and 6 p.m. of produce. We design our stores with an element of fun and engagement and joy. We want people to come in and just feel like they’re in a different place. They’re not in a typical grocery store. You feel something different. If enough people are demanding certain types of products or services, corporations will notice. After all, big food is driven by demand. So demand healthy options, and the industry will respond. Because in some ways, that got us here in the first place. People demanded that food corporations provide them with low fat alternatives, and these days it’s almost impossible to find healthy fat in the middle of a grocery store. Redefine food as things you could find directly in nature; the things that sustained humanity and every other species on the planet for frankly every generation except for the current obesity and diabetes riddled generations. Then healthy becomes very, very simple. If you can’t find it directly in nature, you’d be better off not putting it into your body. If it’s white and refined sweetened products, you don’t need it and it’s probably at some point going to cause you some harm. I would say processed “stuff” of any kind, be it snack foods or beverages, is what we really need to get rid of in our kid’s diets. If you are a parent, see if your children have access to things like salad bars. Supply and demand motivates schools as well. Just one thing at a time. Take your kids to the farmer’s market or to the grocery store. Let them pick out something that they’ve never tasted, and that can be their thing, and you can cook it with them together. So I think cooking with kids, gardening with kids, involving them in the process, eating as a family, finding our kitchens again. There are a lot of helpful programs designed to educate children about how to prepare healthy food. My City Kitchen we try to provide a healthy lifestyle for kids, teaching them how to cook healthy foods. The kids come in here for about an hour and a half Every day, Monday through Friday, we work with different age groups, and we cook food that’s healthy, nutritious and something that they would be able to do at home. Most of the families that we serve is underprivileged kids. You know, on welfare and different things. Basically we only have one grocery store here. They go to the bodegas to buy food so most of the stuff that we cook is really basic foods that the kids have at home that they can use and utilize to make different things in many different ways.
We try to show them where their food comes from, not just coming from the grocery store. Some kids you show them certain fruits and vegetables and they have no idea where it came from, or what it is unless it’s cut up in a can. So it’s our responsibility to show them that and take them to local farms, farmer’s markets, and expose them to what is available for them. I love what I do! I am really passionate about cooking. It’s a labor of love. It’s hard work, but just to see some of the kids growing and be able to make a meal- that is worthwhile. . Sounds great, but won’t it be too hard? I don’t like to do things, I mean some of my patients don’t like to do things that are hard. So, is it worth it? A few years ago I cut the majority of the carbs from my diet. My desire to fill up on them slowly ebbed away and I noticed I could maintain my blood sugar levels without medication. Now, of course, every case is different, so it’s best to work with a doctor before making any descisons, regarding medication. Hippocrates famously said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Many people, like me, have found their health again by doing just that. Everyone has the ability to avoid getting type 2 diabetes or becoming obese based again on food choices, exercise patterns, sun exposure, the amount of sleep you get and a lot of other factors. So none of us are really doomed as a result of our genetic heritage. The ball is hit across the net back into your court as a consumer that you’ve got to make the changes right now, the dietary and lifestyle changes, that will reduce your risk of becoming diabetic, that focus on a low-carbohydrate diet. And again, as a neurologist, I want people to understand this has a huge role to play in reducing your risk for dementia. Be really diligent about making the right decisions, because the pay back is phenomenal. There’s nothing like good health, and there’s nothing like seeing your children thrive. Clearly, there can’t be a one size fits all approach Everyone has a different tolerance for the carbs in their diet. So go ahead and experiment. Start reducing the carbs in your diet. Try it for a month or two and see if you notice the health benefits of walking away from the standard American diet. We have essential amino acids, we have to eat protein or we’re gonna die, we have fatty acids that are essential, we have to eat fats or we’re gonna die, but there’s really no such thing as an essential carbohydrate. We can go long periods of time, and in fact, are adapted to that as a human species. There are essential amino acids-proteins, essential fatty acids-fats. There is no such thing as an essential starch, or an essential sugar. Even our United States Department of Agriculture, the people who make the food guide pyramid and “My Plate”, acknowledge this in the official document used to design those diagrams. We are talking about cutting out processed foods, carbohydrates that are loaded with sugar and starch, carbohydrates with high glycemic loads that raise your blood sugar, raise you insulin, send you into fat storage mode, and ultimately lead to insulin resistance and diabetes in susceptible people. And there are a lot more susceptible people then anybody’s talking about. The good news is we can do something. In a recent study from UCSF, researchers were able to make direct correlation between the sugar we eat and drink, and diabetes. In fact, that study estimated that 25 % of all diabetes cases, resulted from drinking soda. Consider cutting your carbs as an option. There is absolutely no harm in doing so. And if you are suffering the effects of the western diet, there is a whole lot to gain. There’s no question that the ideal diet from a metabolic perspective, and even from the perspective of speaking to your DNA, is a diet that’s rich in nutrients, low in carbohydrates, and high in good fat. You know, avoiding the bad fats- the trans fats and the modified fats. Getting rid of the fake fats- the vegetable oils the soybean oil, and really starting to use real fat again- olive oil, coconut oil, grass fed butter from a pasture raised cow. If you want to make a quick switch that will transform your life and the life of your family, just swap starch for non-starchy vegetables. When you go out to eat, tell your server “Hold the starch, double the veggies!” It’s that simple.! It’s really about priorities and it doesn’t need to be hard work. When I talk to groups of people about this, I say there’s some really easy things you can do. Just for instance, the other day I went and I bought a whole bunch of root vegetables, and broccoli and cauliflower at the grocery store, and I threw it all in the oven and it roasted and I had all these roasted veggies that I did different things with in the course of the week. So think about cooking once, eating twice or three times. So pick little things that you can do. It doesn’t have to be a big deal, but you just have to start to incorporate it into a lifestyle. I just try to eat real food, avoid processed food, avoid too much sugar avoid too much flour. So I eat meat fish, vegetables, root vegetables nuts, berries- all kinds of food. I don’t try to avoid every single gram of carbohydrate, but I avoid most of it! I avoid the worst carbs, and I’m not afraid of fat. The extent, that to which a food is processed, is the most important factor to think about in terms of trying to identify how to eat a healthy diet. It’s much more revealing than trying to add up calories or grams of this or that or milligrams, and it’s much simpler to understand, is this a food that was grown or made. Know what real food is and what it is not. Real food comes from a farm, a field, or a forest. It does not come from a factory! So if you’re eating something with a barcode, look twice. Figure out what process it went through to get to your plate, and then make a decision if it’s good enough for you. As a population, we need to stop carb loading. That way, we can move from being a culture dying to eat, to one that eats to live. When people ask me about the details of my food choices my answer is, “just eat real food.” Did that sound right? Totally man, you knocked it out of the park. What about the emphasis? JUST eat real food? Just EAT real food? Okay wait, are we afraid they’re going to
do something other than eat it? Just eat REAL food? ohh I like that one! Just eat real FOOOOD? Hmmm not so much… . . So, more carbs and less fat. How’d that work out? Unfortunately I hit the button to soon, How’d that work out? Didn’t work out to good… . More fat and more carbs I had one line, I had one line! . . Sound health, and too slow teleprompters can really cause problems Sorry! Oh man that was good too. I know it was… . . Go ahead and go left…Okay Wait, did I have a line after that? What were you saying? Okay, what were you saying . The health problems we are witnessing
today are a result of modern food culture Hmmm, thats a good question. [Sound of wind] Definitely… Hey did you take the left? [Laughter] . . -Laughter- -Laughter- . Addiction aside, our bodies need hun, need hunger. They do, they just do that. Back to one sorry, that’s me! . . …and right there you know clearly why it hasn’t worked… cut! -Laughter- The timing was impecable, it was good, he had wrapped…so …and cue the cat.