Radical healing with functional medicine – processed foods

Radical healing with functional medicine - processed foods

Radical healing with functional medicine – processed foods

This is the continuation of the transcript of Patrick Wanis, Human Behavior and Relationship Expert, PhD and Dr. Michael Bauerschmidt, Medical Director of Full Potential Health Care exploring radical healing via Functional Medicine – treating the root cause instead of symptoms for serious chronic disease. For previous part of this transcript (Part 2), click here: https://patrickwanis.com/blog/radical-healing-functional-medicine-environmental-toxins/


Dr. Mike: Diet is, to me, until you fix that, you’re just banging your head up against the wall because your diet is what your body is going to be the fuel for your body; it’s going to have all the vitamins and minerals and nutrients which are all the co-factors that your body needs in order for it to produce energy and to maintain its basic functions.

The big enemy here is processed foods. And you can know a processed food very easily because what you’re about to put in your mouth, if it doesn’t look like it did when it was growing on a plant or on the tree, it’s been processed. And when you process a food, you take the nutrients out of it.

As an example, if you’re to eat a fresh orange picked off the tree in your backyard, you’re going to get 100% of the calories and 100% of the nutrients. If you decide, “You know, I’m tired of picking the fruit and all that stuff. I’m going to do fresh frozen orange juice concentrate. It’s just so much easier,” all they did is juiced it and froze it, 100% of the calories, 50% of the nutrients. And then you say, “Well, gee, I just want to be like every other American and open the jug of orange juice in the refrigerator,” I won’t use any brand names, “and pour a glass,” you get a 100% of the calories and 10% of the nutrients.

Well, remember back what I said about the redox equation? The things that can donate electrons are also called nutrients. And if you don’t have the nutrients, not only are you robbing your body the ability to take the food that you eat and turn it into energy for your body, you’re also robbing it of a source of anti-oxidants to help eliminate that oxidative stress that you’re generating just from eating. So just getting rid of processed foods can be enormously helpful in terms of improving your health.

The other thing about diet is that to try to make sure that your blood sugar remains stable throughout the day. And this is where — if you want to lose weight, you get rid of processed foods. You have some raw vegetables and protein for breakfast and lunch. You have cooked vegetables and either protein or a complex starch for dinner. You have fruit as a snack. And when you come into this office I even give you an eating plan that’s based on this and you even get to have 70% or greater cocoa organic chocolate as a snack in the afternoon which will help curb your carb cravings and also increase your serotonin levels for your sense of well-being.

Patrick Wanis: Is that why people crave dark chocolate?

Dr. Mike: One of the reasons. Another reason is —

Patrick Wanis: Well, because you had said — you just said it boosts the serotonin levels. So the concept of, “Oh, I lack love. I need the love of chocolate,” is that actually making you feel better?

Dr. Mike: Quite possibly because you know why hotels leave chocolates on your beds at night? It’s not because they’re trying to make you feel warm and fuzzy. Well, they are but not towards them. But tryptophan, which is the precursor to serotonin which is the precursor of the melatonin — serotonin is your feel good hormone, melatonin is to help you sleep hormone. — well, it’s selected for uptake into the brain at a higher rate when in the presence of glucose.

So you raise the glucose level before you go to bed, you raise your serotonin levels provided you’ve got enough tryptophan running around. But that’s why —

Patrick Wanis: But glucose is sugar.

Dr. Mike: Yup.

Patrick Wanis: So you’re saying the combination of sugar and chocolate?

Dr. Mike: No, no, natural sugars. And please don’t go out and buy yourself a pack of the processed stuff.

Patrick Wanis: Okay.

Dr. Mike: You got to remember, the blood — people measure their blood sugar levels. Sugars are sucrose, fructose, galactose, glucose, there’s — ose’s on the end usually means sugar. So you got the good sugars and you got the not-so-good sugars, but basically you’re correct. If you have something sweet, you’re increasing your uptake of tryptophan which is the precursor to serotonin which is what your brain needs to make the — which is what your brain needs to feel good.

Patrick Wanis: You mentioned, Dr. Mike that you offer a free plan to your patients, but you also said that it’s important to keep your sugar levels stable throughout the day.

Dr. Mike: Right, and that’s where you have to watch how you’re combining your foods and to make sure that you’re digesting, absorbing and metabolizing properly. And this is why I suggest to my patients, you have like raw vegetables and protein for breakfast. And most of them kind of go, “What? I can’t have my cereal?” And I go, “No, (a) cereal was processed; (b), it’s loaded with the bad kind of sugars, processed sugars; (c) there’s not enough protein in it to sustain you through the morning until you have your morning fruit snack.”

So your sugars, when you eat the — so by keeping your sugar stable, you’re avoiding the spikes and drops in your sugar levels. And this is what happens when you spike your sugars. When you spike your sugar level for whatever reason, and we’ll get into this in another topic, but classically people that are already overweight or people that are under a lot of emotional stress, their hand is on the fire alarm in the brain, and their stress hormones are up.

Well, when your stress hormones are up, you become what’s called insulin-resistant. That is for any given amount of — whenever your blood sugar goes up, your body secretes insulin in response to that. Well, when you’re insulin-resistant for any given elevation in blood sugar, you’re going to dramatically increase the amount of insulin that you secrete and response to that rise in blood sugar.

Well, insulin is lipogenic. Its job is to deposit fat; it’s to store energy for future needs and uses. So you can only imagine when your blood sugar goes up and you have a dramatic insulin response, it drops — two things: it drops your blood sugar, but also drops your blood sugar in favor of fat production, your fat deposition.

So then what happens? So if you plummet, you start feeling bad and you go and eat again. And you spike your blood sugar back up and you repeat the spike and — spike and valley feature throughout the day and people wonder why, “I’m not eating that much. How can I be gaining weight?”

Patrick Wanis: Let me understand this properly thought. You’re saying that if I’m under stress, which everyone is, and I’m eating sugar, then my insulin levels spike?

Dr. Mike: Yeah.

Patrick Wanis: And then my body, instead of consuming the energy, it’s consuming energy and it’s storing fat?

Dr. Mike: It’s storing fat.

Patrick Wanis: And if I don’t eat anything, which is exactly what happened with your patient who’s my client years ago when she was in a corporate situation, I was always saying to her, “You can’t go through the whole day without eating.”

Dr. Mike: Correct.

Patrick Wanis: You can’t just have an apple all afternoon and miss lunch. So what happens to the body when someone does go from breakfast to dinner and have eaten nothing?

Dr. Mike: Because remember, our brains are 50,000 years old and our pattern has always been that of hunter-gatherer society which means that our food production was — our food source was never guaranteed. So that in periods of famine, just prior — when food started getting scarce the body kind of goes, “Oh, I got to start depositing fat because the starvation time is coming up.” Well, what happens when you skip meals? You’re signaling the brain, “Hey, starvation time is coming up. We’re entering a period of famine. You better store some fat.” That’s number one.

So when you skip a meal, you’re signaling the brain: famine is on the horizon, store fat. Number two, what are you doing when you’re skipping meals? You’re creating enormous physiologic stress. Well, the brain doesn’t care whether the stress is emotional, physiologic, psychologic. It doesn’t care. Stress is stress. And when the fire alarm goes on in the brain, the cortisol level go up. When the cortisol levels go up, the insulin resistance goes up. And guess what you’re going to do, you’re going to deposit fat.

Patrick Wanis: So you’re saying that even if I don’t eat, my body produces more cortisol and continues to store the fat?

Dr. Mike: Correct.

Patrick Wanis: How does skipping meals though put stress on the body, or how does it create a stressful response?

Dr. Mike: Well, it’s physiologic stress. Now instead of having…Your body is very dynamic and is very well-balanced when you give it the proper energy. It’s a lot easier for your body to take glucose out of the bloodstream and convert — when you take — you can take one molecule of glucose, one molecule of a fatty acid, one molecule of proteins and you can convert it into 36 molecules of energy which is great. Very efficient system. However, if you now have to go to — by skipping meals and your blood sugar has to be maintained in a fairly narrow range throughout the day in order for your brain to get set.

Your brain loves glucose. It doesn’t do well in anything other than glucose. It can survive on keto acids, but it doesn’t do well on them, which is why the ketogenic diets tend to make people a little foggy and irritable. Things that tend to be very — like no carb diets — the Atkin’s Diet, the Paleo Diet which is a very good food — they’re both good diets and they’re both good food plans, but you got to make sure you got enough calories in them.

Patrick Wanis: If I’m the average person listening, I can easily get confused because you’ve given out so much great information. But to walk away with a couple of nuggets that I can apply in my life right now —

Dr. Mike: Okay.

Patrick Wanis: — what would you give out as the three to five nuggets of wisdom?

Dr. Mike: One, get rid of processed foods. Two, get rid of processed foods.

Patrick Wanis: Okay. Three and four and five.

Dr. Mike: Three, four, and five, get rid of processed foods if you — get rid of processed foods, don’t skip meals, and don’t mix your proteins with your carbohydrates.

Patrick Wanis: We’ll come back to that. So number one is “Don’t eat processed food.” Eat food that looks like the way it grew.

Dr. Mike: Exactly.

Patrick Wanis: If it’s a plant or a tree or fruit, etc.

Dr. Mike: Exactly.

Patrick Wanis: So eat the whole food, correct?

Dr. Mike: Exactly.

For the continuation of this transcript – Part 4 (discussing the dangers of skipping meals), click here: https://patrickwanis.com/blog/radical-healing-functional-medicine-skipping-meals/ 

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