Science, Nutrition, & You
So another source of confusion is the sort of the difference that I don't think is clear to many people between medicine and science does anybody want toe take a shot what the differences are between medicine and science and why it's really important? Well, first of all they're different degrees right? You go to medical school to be a doctor like a nd right and that you see patients you learn you're really good at diagnosing specific problems and you know it's lots and lots of training working with humans scientists our phd is like me we work in a lab you know, we we designed experiments we test hypotheses, we basically come up with the nutrition science that the doctors then are able to use although often ignore um it's pretty clear, I think from the media that almost everybody defers to doctors for health advice they're the experts for health advice, right? I mean, if I had a health question, I would definitely go to my doctor. The problem is when you go to a doctor for nutrition adv...
ice, they don't always necessarily no the nutrition science and there's a really good reason for that, which is that they've typically received less than two hours of nutrition and training during their entire training career all their medical school I mean, obviously they're exceptions people who study nutrition and and there are certain people who just take it upon themselves to educate themselves on these topics, but I think this is a really unfortunate source of confusion for people because I can't tell you how many times I said this doctor, I've heard someone say this doctor says this it's true he's a doctor, he went to harvard but you know you I can find a equally, you know, decorated doctor that says the exact opposite thing and it's not I absolutely believe that they both think they're right and they both have the best intentions for you and their patients at heart, but the training and I was all the resource is they're giving to get to those conclusions aren't necessarily optimal and it's not that it's, not that difficult to understand why they might come to very different conclusions. So this is this is this is really unfortunate and and it's tough tio no like it's like I'm not a doctor like I don't have a degree like, who am I supposed to trust if I can't trust the doctors and and honestly, sciences aren't particularly good about communicating their messages to the public either. So it's very, very difficult to know who to believe it's really difficult to you know, even for me like I you know I want to believe things doctors are saying the right things all the time, but you can't just take it it face value that's the only message I want to take home I'm not trying to undermine anybody's job I'm sure everybody cares a lot but just keep in mind that we're all just people he shouldn't listening sir listen is what I say either right? Like I give my best advice like everybody else but test it on yourself question assumptions don't take anything as true because I guarantee you nobody has all this stuff figured out no one we just don't know enough we don't have the tools biology is way too complicated so um oh and another thing is when when doctors do often make advice that what I hear a lot of is sort of resorting to conventional wisdom so you know, cut down on the saturated fat you know you have high cholesterol cut down on saturated fat you know, eat some oatmeal, get some exercise you know, it's very sort of of safe and but also very, very updated advice uh, so you know, if you're hearing the same I just I don't I'm not convinced that if somebody's giving you advice that sounds like the exact same advice to her twenty years ago chances are they haven't been probably keeping up on all the latest stuff because first off it's hard to do and second it's just there's not necessarily in their best interest you know it's like they're busy helping specific diseases is with specific patients right? And you know there's not a lot of incentive for a doctor to learn about prevention some care a lot but you know there what's the incentive you know they see you when you're sick and I'm not saying that they're trying to get money out of you but like it's a lot of work I mean I try to keep up on the nutrition information anybody who reads my blawg knows I do like a top ten articles and you know, health news of the week every friday and it's a huge job I mean I have it takes me hours and hours to put together that post every week and honestly it started so frustrate I wouldn't do it unless you guys loved it so much because it's just so much work but I guarantee you the doctors that are spending like fourteen hours a day in the hospital I don't have time to do that you know? So just keep that in mind keep in mind that you know all the advice you can get his great and everybody probably has your best interests at heart but at the end of the day not everybody knows what works for you and you have that that responsibility unfortunately is on you were not in a place where one person can tell you what to dio with absolute certainty yeah example how you would go about testing certain things that you might read about or hear about so if someone has a problem and they hear well, this might be something to try how would you approach? I guess testing that yeah, I have a great example friend of mine has a hereditary high cholesterol and his doctor had been telling him forever, you know, avoid foods with cholesterol in anto avoid eggs, avoid seafood, shrimp avoid red meat he had like first of all, he wasn't that successful at doing that because that's really difficult to just I mean, he was a comparable or like he didn't really want to cut out meat hey did he did some he was taking the statins, you know, to sort of maintain it. And then just out of a spirit of experimentation, he tried a lower carb approach tio getting healthy, which included a lot of red meat and eggs and his cholesterol jobs sixty points in three months that's a good test that, like the first advice you got was wrong. I mean, it was in a subtle change, like, if you're doing something to get results and it's not working, you know, it's worth trying something else because three months isn't gonna kill you for the most part, you know, especially if you're young and healthy and you're just trying to manage something that is potentially going to be more of a problem in the future, you know, take a little bit of a skeptical noting remember that? Like, you know, if you know a four week experiment on yourself to figure out what's going to be doable for you and also impact your numbers, if you've got a serious concern, test it out, it doesn't work, go back, you can always go back that's actually, what I had to dio when I was deciding whether or not to stop dieting. Like I said, I was really scared and I had this sort of a ce in my back pocket is like, ok, I'm going to try, you know, sorry. Excuse me, I'm going to try eating oatmeal, carbs and lunch and dinner for, like, a couple of weeks, and I absolutely thought there's a good chance I was going to gain, like, five to ten pounds in that amount of time. But, you know, I told myself that if I do, I can always go back. I can always go back to dieting, it's not going anywhere. And so I tried and you know, to my delight, I didn't gain weight, I lost it and and I kept losing weight and it was like to it so I got to a place where I was perfectly happy and I never had to worry about it again and so that's the way you can approach it like you can always go back like changing your food is it's not that big of a deal in the short term it's those long it's like this habit to do for years and years and years that are going to have the biggest impact so play around with them the only thing I would I would also suggest is not changing too many variables at once because then you don't know what's actually causing it and we're getting a little bit more into that when we talk about juicing a little bit later but when you change multiple variables at a time, you don't necessarily you know what's going on so if you change of diet and change your exercise, it could have been either of those things is there an optimum time for a test or a specific hypothesis you should come up with? It depends what your goals are, you know for instance, like if your goal is weight loss like I wonder if I will lose more weight if whales is a serious issue like you need to lose weight for health you know I wonder if I'd lose more weight eating eggs for breakfast verses eating oatmeal for breakfast I mean it's safe to say if you're very overweight on you should be able to lose like one to three pounds a week pretty easily like that shouldn't be very hard and so if you go two weeks and there's like a big difference you know on the other hand cholesterol numbers or blood pressure those are things that are going to take a lot more managing and you know so work with your doctor always on stuff like that definitely always let your doctor know what you're doing and and you know be just be smart about it you know through the timeline depends on what what your end goal is right so but these things are doable these are all very very doable things and it doesn't need to be like this this incredible mystery right like words like oh my gosh what am I going to do is like just test things just be your own experiment so moving on tio the different one another source of confusion in the nutrition world and that's that science is very very our biology specifically is very complex very very complex and when you do one study you learn one thing about one small thing but when you think about what we need to know toe offer nutrition advice like you know as somebody who would love said I would love to be able to like talk to you for half an hour and give you a perfect you know diet for you this is your diet this is going to like optimize your life and for you here's this one but unfortunately there's there's just so much going on that could be really, really difficult so for instance when you think when you think about like what's good for you kale is that good for you or not well always got antioxidants like ok what does that mean be um the nutritional quality of any plants depends on genetics that's one factor but there's no no twenty different kinds of kale anymore they're all going to have a slightly different nutritional profile uh but a bigger impact is thie soil it was grown in the weather the season and happened to be growing in is going to have a huge impact on the nutritional value of that particular type of kale uh and similarly the animals there there what what they're made of is going to depend on what they're eating so the nutritional quality of even just the food alone is all over the place and I think I one of the big mistakes I made early on actually one of the one of the things I really learned from michael pollens words you guys know michael pollen the omnivore's dilemma fantastic book I also highly recommend in defense of food fantastic book one thing I really understood from for the first time from reading his work is that the carrot is not a carrot there are there's, a zillion different kinds of carrots. The nutritional value is all over the board, and quality is a real thing, you know? You know, there's all these databases online, if you seen this video, how many calories are to carry it, but but but but by you, type it in, and it gives you all the nutrition facts that's an average of industrial, like typical grocery store veggies, but like, if you go by that a carrot and weighs the same amount on, I, you know, at a farmer's market in the peak of carrots, and it depends on if it's a purple carrot or orange hair yellow carrot is all different colors, carrots, they're all of different things you're not. The database is not telling you what's in your character at all, it's probably not even that close. Honestly. So, you know, when you combine all those factors like you don't even really know what you're eating, you don't even know what nutrition you're getting just full of one of the first human that genetically modified foods before we even got to know the term character naturally purple? Yeah, artificially orange. I love it. Yeah, greatest people wouldn't eat them when they were purple, so they started breeding them. To be orange, because then people think it's full of b two character nor arrest it's, actually, not really it's artificially orange how funny I didn't actually noticed during the wartime people just wouldn't eat carrots because they were purple that's really funny. My husband actually prefers vegetables that are purple because he thinks they're filled with some special life giving and has been in the champion's people think that a few years ago blew foods, and the purple food groups was said to be so much better than anything else. That was another trend that suddenly took off, right, right, because because of the antioxidant hypothesis, we want to talk don't talk about the any accident I bought. This is really quick, so this is a fun one, so we'll talk about more of this stuff later, but for a long time, everybody was like vegetables, cure cancer, or because of the antioxidants that they contain, because when, when you have these things called free radicals, so when you eat certain types of foods, they create free radicals in your body and free radicals, or these highly reactive molecules that can interact with the dna in your cells, and supposedly this can damage dna, and you couldn't do this in a test tube, you can put dna and some free radicals in a test even yes the dna gets damaged and damaged dna is known is like that's what cancer is right it's your genetics get all messed up in those cells and they start replicating out of control and create tumors but I'm so the hypothesis it was the more antioxidants you're the less like you you are to get cancer now in the last six months or more there this hypothesis has totally been turned on its head scientists are discovering that what happens is when you get to maniac antioxidants there are it prevents something called apoptosis which is the net the body's natural mechanism for killing cells when they're not healthy and so what happens is oftentimes think the the cells that are to become cancerous would normally be killed in your body by these ape upto sis properties but but the antioxidants are preventing them from doing that so I don't know doing any oxidants protect against cancer do they cause cancer? I think that's the question these days you know because they're showing sometimes that it has the opposite effect in and more rigid are more rigorous studies. So I mean for me the take home lesson is don't be crazy like don't overdose on anything don't under dose on anything and get a large variety of foods and you're going to be in better much, much better shape but I just that's just a great example of how confusing the sciences and how nobody really knows s o we talked about the how different the nutrition of different plans khun b an animal's khun b depending on how they're grown and how they're raised inequality, israel factor another big factor storage you know how long it take out, like the difference between harvest time, the nutrient level in and when it's actually consumed, and I think everybody generally makes the assumption that it goes down, reaching levels go down, but that's not necessarily true, some go down, some go up from sitting on the counter no kidding. So you know, it's hard to say what's better? It depends, you know, just eatem all don't freak out. Um, and similarly with clicking methods, we talked about this briefly but cooking khun definitely destroy certain nutrients, particularly vitamin c and some other very a very long chain antioxidants, but it heightens the nutritional value of other nutrients because it can break down cell walls, and so those nutrients are more bio available. And so being tio rigid about any particular one method is not a not helpful and b it doesn't really tell you anything about what you're getting right, so we have now we have plans with different levels, we don't necessarily know how long they've been stored, we're going to cooking them in different methods at the end of the day like there's no like you can't really tell for yourself and no one else could really tell for you unless you test every single thing you eat what nutritional value you're getting from it oh yeah and this too by the way nutrients act don't act in isolation you know we love science has loved toe like get that one molecule in there that is going tio cure everything fix everything and what inevitably happens when you pull that molecule out of the food it stops being so magical and that's there's some hypotheses about why this is but what we know for certain that they're really certain molecules that do much better when they work together and so when you take one out and you take it away from the other thing that's not as ideal a great example is calcium and vitamin d so forever people were saying gosh in calcium and have strong bones and those are giving people calcium supplements and people's bones got really really brutal groups on bennett turned out that you actually need vitamin d in addition to the calcium in order for it to actually be integrated into your bones which is you know a perfect example of why being super reductionist with nutrition is not necessarily the best idea and why it's better to focus on the way they come packaged in nature because that's the only way we actually know what has worked you know what? Because people get these hypotheses right about why his calcium good it's like, well, the people who drink it from milk or people who get it from certain foods I have less of these problems and so they hypothesize that it's the calcium and then because bones have a lot of calcium in them and then pull the calcium out of the food and then give it to people and it just doesn't work, they need to stay it needs to stay in the food with all the other things that supported sean. Jeff question yeah, you just mentioned about the calcium and vitamin d supplements I'm just wondering, do you have other thoughts about other supplements being that they are picking specific nutrients out and delivering them just to clarify was not advocating supplements. Okay, um, I that type of supplement is probably better than calcium alone I mean, we know that, but I would recommend you get it from food if you can, um we're gonna we're gonna talk more about we're going to talk more about supplements later when you isolate nutrients from food, you have removed it from the context that we know it was beneficial in so myrick I do take a multi vitamin personally, I find that it's a great way to get insurance, especially if I'm traveling if I travel a lot I definitely am less likely to get sick if I take a multivitamin um but at the same time I I highly highly stress and recommends that the fewer supplements you take the better and that you get you try to cover all your nutritional bases with real food because that's the only thing we know that really works and I'm not talking about fortified foods not talking about cereal that's been processed into oblivion and then shot with the multi vitamin that's basically what serial iss I'm talking about actual grains actual vegetables actual fruits makes sense I think that will clear up a lot we'll get more into this later s so now we know how complicated food is how it's grown how it's stored how a nutrient packed together what about us there's a lot going on in here guys our brains need certain nutrients are hard stayed certain nutrients in our guts needs certain nutrients are muscles in certain nutrients and it drives me crazy when I see study being like oh you have to have this because it's heart healthy but it's like well what about my brain? You know it's like what about cancer? You know what about the other things that I also don't want, you know, the other diseases I also don't want, so keep in mind whenever you're reading a study that says, you know, this prevents heart disease that that doesn't mean it protects against cancer you know there's still other things you need to worry about on dh the overarching thing I want you to understand from the slide is it none of this stuff is considered in scientific studies. Science studies are done with big populations of people you know usually very generic vegetables or fruits or nutrients and and the reality of it is that it's so complex that nobody has all the answers that make sense very important good now it gets against a lot messier really quickly um I talk so I've been I mentioned real food a few times and the problem with nutrition nutrients like focusing on nutrients and this term has been used to describe this issue called nutrition ism and that is the desire of humans like our natural reductive reductionist tendencies to zero in on an actual nutrient and not the food itself and one place that this has been exploited like crazy is the food industry right? Like they get one word that like calcium is good for you or that fiber is good for you or that omega threes and antioxidants are good for you and bam it's on the front of the box everybody's like, well what's healthy and I buy it you know and that is fueled a lot a lot of the confusion that we have around nutrition um right? So we're not reduction of science and like I mentioned before nutrients rarely act in isolation so that's one of the reasons that you can't suck calcium out of something and stick it in the cereal and cure osteoporosis just doesn't work that way so focus on the whole foods and not the nutrients and I talk about this all the time like I go nuts when people focus on nutrients and hurt healthy foods um and and again the food industry really really exploits this science for their own benefit on then there is the government right so how so the trusted source that we're supposed to believe for you know nutrition advice is right the usda the usda creates what used to be the food pyramid now it's my plate and uh they recommend this stuff for us they tell us was healthy and what we should be eating but the reality is usda is primary goal is promoting u s agriculture it's clearly on their web site is their number one goal promote u s agriculture anybody detect a conflict of interest that's why dairy was considered a food group for a while I mean seventy percent of the world is lactose intolerant like at this essential food group I mean not not that it's necessarily bad but I don't like saying it's an essential food group that had much more to do with lobbying than science um on the flip side a completely different organization called fda controls food label ls and health labels and gets to put those fancy nutrition ism labels on the front front that says heart healthy or not, I think the fda actually does have our best interests at heart, but they're also highly influenced by lobbyists unfortunately so there's a lot of conflict there there's a lot of politics there, so it's really difficult to trust one hundred percent you know what we're hearing from these organizations who are designed tio come get in there and then there's you right? Um so nutrition science, like we're talking about, relies on his large populations, right? It relies on very generic out. Well, the way statistics work right is through averages and through getting significance through average populations and while that's very, very informative for a population level, it doesn't tell you what works best for you, right? Like some people are much more tolerant. For one thing versus another thing, I think we've all sort of experience is like, you know, somebody who just can't eat me all day or, you know, somebody who can eat carbs all day and, you know, I could never do that and that's the truth. So keep in mind that no matter what anybody tells you, they don't they aren't you and they don't know you and let's see your doctor and few people are actually average um and the only way for you to know what works best like we talked about earlier is to test on yourself and test your different hypotheses. So now let's, get into the fun stuff when you are super confused about what to eat, we rely on almost always testimonials, right when you're confused by the media, confused by the government confused by your doctor, what we do is we listen to somebody who had success, and we do what they said and what's funny about this is you end up with vegans and cavemen people who think meat and animal products are the worst thing on earth. And then people who think grains and beans and are the worst thing on earth and that you should be loading up on me. What they both have really strong testimonials. But what if you guys to take a stab at this? What would you believe? What works for me? What works for me exactly. Great point I think that's the right answer. What works for you is all that really matters on dh. You know, testimonials are are nice, but you can't take a trust them too far. So we talked about the super foods math a little bit already, like why we don't necessarily have to believe blueberries are, in the end, all bill or salmon but basically, what I want you to understand on this is that it's, a marketing term, you know, super food isn't a science term, it's, a marketing term, and that large doses of anyone nutrient, almost never, ever in science added benefit and oftentimes can be harmful. So keep that in mind, like the kale thyroid, a woman. Don't go crazy, you know our bodies don't act in a linear fashion, where more is better. Ok? And what I specifically want you to keep in mind is that diversity, like eating a lot of different kinds of foods, is far more important and far more beneficial than loading up on one super food or one one thing.