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Join the Fight Against this Metabolic Plague

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Summary
  • Challenge conventional wisdom by learning about the great cholesterol myth and gain insights into the true culprits behind heart diseases
  • Develop a deep understanding of how insulin resistance develops and the steps you can take to prevent or reverse it
  • Equip yourself with knowledge about the best predictor of heart disease, so you can take proactive measures to safeguard your heart health
Transcript
Kashif Khan

All right, everyone, welcome back. So we’re really honored today. I can tell you that because I was once at an event where I was trying when we were very early in our research and just learning how to navigate this health and wellness world. And I was asking everybody, I need help. I need to grow, I need to network, and I need to meet people. And like four or five people in the event all said, You need to talk to Jonny Bowden, I said, Who’s Jonny? What’s going on?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Is that true, or are you just being..?

 

Kashif Khan

That’s true, man. That’s exactly right. Then, I was actually introduced to you, by two different people. First of all, thank you for being here. 

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

My pleasure.

 

Kashif Khan

I’m honored to have you here. Very early on, when we didn’t even have a product. I got to sit and talk to you, and you really, within a few minutes, directed us so much.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Oh, man. Thank you. Thank you so much. Very sweet.

 

Kashif Khan

And so, people, you’re lucky enough to have the man in the flesh in front of you. Dr. Oz, CNN, CBC, the doctors—you name it, he’s been on it as a special guest, an expert, because of his many, many books that have helped so many people. And today, we’re going to talk about a topic that’s dear to his heart. You can probably see it right behind his head—the metabolic flag of the 21st century. This myth around cholesterol. We can jump right in, like, What is this plague that’s hitting us today, this new thing that we have to deal with?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Well, it’s interesting that you brought it up that way. It’s a very good way to ask the question because my book, the one of which I’m proudest of the 15 that I’ve done, is “The Great Cholesterol Myth”. One might easily say, Well, what’s the connection between the great cholesterol myth and this metabolic plague? And the answer is very simple. When cardiologist Stephen Sinatra and I wrote the first edition of this book in 2012, we knew a few things. Number one, cholesterol, as we knew and understood it, was not the cause of heart disease. Number two, the way we’re measuring cholesterol, is from 1963. It’s the equivalent of using a flip phone today. These days, I don’t know what they’re up to. What Samsung is up to: But with the iPhone 14, it would be like using a flip phone in the age of the iPhone 14. We knew those two things. But what we didn’t know was: what should people really be looking for? We knew we were looking at the wrong stuff. I mean, good and bad cholesterol should raise red flags for any thinking person. Do you think anything in biology or physiology can be described in such ridiculously simplistic terms as good and bad? We now know there are 13 different subtypes of cholesterol. They behave completely differently. It’s ridiculous to think that you can make an important distinction in human physiology between something like good and bad. That would be like giving a medical diagnosis based on being short or tall. So that was B.S. We knew that was the biggest mistake. We knew Statin drugs were being wildly overprescribed, but we didn’t really know. What should we tell people to look for?

Now we do. When we did the book in 2020, we went back and looked at all the research. What really predicts heart disease? God knows a good and bad cholesterol test doesn’t. Despite the incredibly concentrated and expensive effects of the marketing of Statin drugs by the drug companies, it just does not predict them well. So what does? Well, we found out what does, and it was hiding in plain sight. It is a condition which 88, check me out on this; Google it. 88% of Americans have some measure of this condition. In fact, I was recently talking about how it might have even been Mindy Pelz. I think it was Mindy that I was interviewing, and she said, Oh, that’s out of date. It’s 93%.

So we’re talking about the vast majority of Americans having the beginnings of or a more serious iteration of this condition, which I’m about to tell you about. And this condition predicts heart disease many times better than the old-fashioned cholesterol test. Not only heart disease but underlies every chronic disease we don’t want to have. In fact, when the pandemic started, I was getting 100 requests a day to talk about what we could take for our immune system, what we should do, and blah, blah, blah, blah. I looked at the comorbidities for bad results when you get COVID. meaning I’ve had it three times. I don’t know if you’ve had it or not. It’s not fun. But some people go to the hospital, some people get on ventilators, and some people die. What is the distinction between those people and the people who have a mild case? What underlies it? And it turns out that there is the same damn condition that we’ve been talking about. It underlies what those metabolic comorbidities are: hypertension, obesity, heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and pre-diabetes. Oh, my God. It’s at the base of all of them. And I was puzzled because there were a few that I didn’t associate with this condition, like lung disease, kidney disease, and liver disease. So I did a morning’s worth of research on the National Institute of Health Medical Library, which is known as the Medical Library. You can do your own research by going to PubMed.gov, where you can see every study that’s ever been published. And I looked for: is there a connection between this condition that we’re talking about and those other comorbidities for COVID like lung, liver, and kidney? Yes, indeed, there is. So we now know that this condition—I’m going to tell you the name of it—underlies every chronic disease and every co-morbidity for COVID. And the condition is called insulin resistance. And it is indeed, as you say, the metabolic plague of the 21st century, when 93% or 88%—I don’t know which—I’m pretty sure Mindy told me it was 93. Now, when that kind of number, that kind of percentage, appears in the population you were talking about, 93% of us didn’t get COVID. 93% of us have insulin resistance. And here’s the part that makes me crazy: Insulin resistance can be treated, prevented, and reversed with diet, fasting, and lifestyle changes. No drugs are needed.

 

Kashif Khan

Yes, that’s the crazy part. And maybe that’s why it doesn’t get the coverage that other things do.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Because it doesn’t get coverage. Half the doctors in America don’t know what it is, or they think, Oh yes, that has something to do with diabetes; it doesn’t apply to me. They are in the ninth century when it comes to understanding the metabolic importance of insulin resistance and how to prevent it, treat it, and reverse it; they simply don’t know.

 

Kashif Khan

At the beginning of this year, I’m going to one up here, you went from 83 to 93.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Yes.

 

Kashif Khan

The CDC and this is the CDC. 

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Which is not always accurate, but let’s hear it anyway. It’s worth hearing.

 

Kashif Khan

They  said that they believe that America is only 5% metabolically healthy.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Okay. And what they’re telling me—thank you for saying that. What they mean by that is that audience members might be saying, Well, what do they mean by metabolic? They mean only 5% don’t have insulin resistance. That’s what they mean. When they’re talking about metabolic health, folks, when you hear the term metabolic health, it is synonymous with insulin resistance. And if you are still going, I don’t know what that is; it’s pre-diabetes. It’s another word. It’s the more technically correct word for pre-diabetes. And you’ve all heard of that.

 

Kashif Khan

Yeah. And now to get to a disease state, like you’re saying. Okay, let’s forget about cholesterol for a second. Here’s the real culprit. Do you need to get diabetic, or is this pre-diabetic, this insulin resistance stage? Can that lead to the disease?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Not even in question. I remember that so many of our metrics are random points on a continuum. High blood pressure. We define it as anything over one, from 120 to 180. What happens to 119 over 79? I mean, it’s clearly like day and night, but we know what day is beautiful and sunny. We know what night is. It’s dark, and the moon is out. But this is the period called dusk. We’re getting a little darker, and the moon is beginning to come out. And there’s this hour in between where it’s not quite day and it’s not quite night. And that’s where we’re living. By the way, when it comes to insulin resistance, it gets worse as you get older. It never gets better on its own. It never just clears up. So if you have this much of it now, it’s guaranteed. Absolutely. You’re going to have that much of it in 20 years.

 

Kashif Khan

So is this a uniquely American problem because of American food?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

No, it’s not a uniquely American problem, but it’s certainly a problem that is profoundly greater in industrialized countries where we have a lot of food. I did some speaking engagements in Beijing and also in Japan, but in Beijing in particular, I debated a Chinese nutritionist, a dietician, the equivalent of what the American Dietetic Association produces here. We were talking about why Chinese people are getting so damn fat, when they haven’t always been. Okay, what’s going on then? And she says, Well, it’s clearly through an interpreter. She says it’s because we use too much oil. I was being polite, but have you seen Beijing in the town center with the KFC? So are Domino’s Pizza and the chicken wings—are you kidding me? It has nothing to do with using too much fat; it has to do with the processed food, the sugar, and the starch that you are consuming now in amounts that you never had in your 5000-year culture.

 

Kashif Khan

Yes. And you see this even..

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

We exported the worst of America, we imported the worst of Asia with karaoke and we gave the worst of the worst that we had to offer, which is processed food.

 

Kashif Khan

Yes. And you see this. It’s funny that when I went to Dubai, I noticed that there was this older generation, darker and thinner. They’re out in the sun, and they’re thinner. And then, as you get younger and younger, they’re plumper and whiter, right?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Ain’t it great?

 

Kashif Khan

Isn’t it great? Plumper and whiter. And you go down the streets of Dubai, and what do you see? You see American culture being exported. Unfortunately, the worst part of the culture, which is this garbage and food, all of a sudden, and what you do see, however, are these other immigrants that lived there, the expats like the Indians, Pakistanis, and Russians, who don’t look like that because they’re still eating their ethnic foods, right? But if you go, it’s the local Emiratis who are at all the KFC, etc. because it’s like a luxury for them now, right? It’s very clear. So what do you do because it’s so prolific when you deal with kids and family, and where do you even start to unwind this stuff?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Well, this is why it gets so tricky and difficult, because this is not a nutrition alone question. It’s a society-wide question that extends even I’ll give you an example. I’m going to give you an example of how wide the tentacles of this problem are. This is largely the result of the marketing efforts of big food and big pharma. Pfizer is the number-one advertiser and target. So we’re dealing with messages that are constantly put in front of us, and you don’t have to have a degree in psychology, which I do, by the way, but you don’t need one to figure out what the impact of being told the same thing over and over and over and over from every different source, including the government, is going to have on your behavior. Now, here’s a scary statistic: I don’t know if it applies in Canada, but it applies right here. 78% of our senators represent a state in which either big food or a big hospital is the number one employer. 

As long as big pharma and big food can fund political campaigns, as long as they are the ones with the purse strings who are literally putting our senators into office and our congressmen into office, making those contributions, and starting those facts, you are never going to see that messaging change. You’re just not. So what do we do? We could start by getting money out of politics. That would go a long way. We could. We could start. I mean, the thing is, it’s very hard to turn an ocean liner around. This is an ocean liner. It’s not a tugboat. It affects all aspects of society. The fact that we’re one of only two countries in the world where big pharma can advertise directly to the public. We now have a drug called Ozempic, which is positioned in America to be the all-time bestselling blockbuster drug in history. And it has mainly been marketed on TikTok. So when you have 20-year-old influencers, you look great. Who is saying, Hey, I lost 20 pounds on this thing? It is really, really hard to counteract that.

So I don’t know. I can just answer your question by saying, Thank God I’m not a politician, because this is out of my wheelhouse and I wouldn’t have the slightest idea of what you have to do to change it. I know what you have to do to change it at the household level. I know what you have to do to turn your insulin resistance around. On a personal level, I’ve been working with a client, and I’m working with a family. I’m talking to my friends on the tennis court, and they say, What do we do? We’ve got a kid who’s getting bigger and bigger. I know what to do about that. But society’s wise, men—that is, anybody—know the answer to that. Please get in touch with me because I’m dying to know what it is. I do not know how to answer that question.

We’re up against just an incredibly strong voice of ideas that are out of date, or what they call agency capture. I don’t know if you have anything like that, but we have agencies that are supposed to regulate these industries. However, almost always, and this has been documented in book after book, the people who are now regulating those industries in a very short time wind up being the CEOs of the companies that they just regulated. So they move back and forth like a revolving door between being on the government’s FDA and then being a seven-figure employer of the very industry that they were just regulating. So it’s a very friendly relationship. Nobody is calling B.S. on the stuff that the Big Pharma and the Big Food want to put out there, and there’s no one minding the store, the boxes regarding the henhouse.

 

Kashif Khan

You’re right. It’s a big machine. It’s hard. It’s so institutional. The one challenge you have there is the use of regulatory oversight as a global, or, sorry, I should say, like a fence or a moat around what they’ve built, right?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Yes. Very, very good. Well put.

 

Kashif Khan

There’s this too. I know you can’t overstep on this because it’s health care, right? But is it really health care? I don’t think there’s anything healthy or caring about it.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

They really don’t care about it. In fact, Robert Lustig, who is really one of the giants in our field, he wrote and he did a YouTube video called Sugar: The Bitter Truth, which has been downloaded over 5 million times at this point by pediatricians and endocrinologists over in California, San Francisco. He put it very, very vividly in a way that your audience and my audience always understood. It said, Pretend you’ve got this cliff and people are falling off. There are no guardrails, and people just keep falling off the cliff and crashing their bones. So you have all these ambulances waiting at the bottom of the cliff. That’s American health care. What American health care doesn’t do is say, How about we put some guardrails up there so people don’t fall off? No, they’re not doing that. Yeah. Very good at picking up the pieces. They’re very good with urgent care and emergency medicine and what to do if somebody falls off a cliff, but they’re doing zero to prevent those falls in the first place. That’s why it’s not health care. It’s sickness care.

 

Kashif Khan

Going back to the individual, let’s all start with ourselves. Let’s go back. Where does somebody start in terms of purging the pantry, and is it where you even know? Because when you go to the grocery store,

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Excellent, excellent, excellent, excellent questions. I, I, you can finish it, but I know what you’re asking and why. 

 

Kashif Khan

You walk into the grocery store. There’s this little piece that is, like, fresh from the quarters, and the rest comes out of a box right there. Where do you even start?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I think it starts with people understanding what insulin resistance is, why it matters, how we get it, what it does to our bodies, and what it does to the things we care about. It’s very hard to get people to understand something that’s all theoretical and doesn’t have any real practical implications. But let me put it this way: Insulin resistance makes you fat. Let me repeat it. Insulin resistance makes you fat. The hormone insulin has a nickname in physiology and biochemistry. Its nickname is the fat storage hormone. So this has a very real and concrete effect on your health. And let me explain how it works. So insulin resistance is, for want of a better word, a broken metabolism. So how do we know it’s broken? What does that mean, and how do we fix it? Well, first, let’s look at what a non-broken metabolism is. What does a normal metabolism look like? And I always use the example of a young child, maybe in the 1950s before we had every play date on the computer and nobody went outside and did anything and all of that stuff. Let’s go back to some idyllic times. Even if it wasn’t perfect, like in the 1950s and 60s, a kid coming home from school is seven or eight years old. 

He comes from the first grade, and he wants to go out and play. Mom gives him an apple, and he eats the apple with blood sugar. Now, because this happens every time you eat food, you eat the food, it breaks down, some of it turns into glucose, and the glucose rises in the bloodstream. Glucose is simply a technical word for sugar. So your blood sugar goes up slightly. This is a good thing because this young kid is going to go out and play. He’s going to jump on the jungle gym, and he’s going to get on his bicycle. He’s going to play softball with his friends. He’s going to actually do things that could use that sugar that’s now in his bloodstream. As soon as sugar starts to go up in the bloodstream, an organ called the pancreas takes note of that. That’s its job: to notice that it sees, Oh, there’s sugar in the bloodstream; let’s send in some insulin to round it up and take it into the muscles. That’s insulin-shot. So the pancreas says, A little bit of sugar there. It squirts a little insulin. Insulin comes into the kid’s body through the bloodstream. It takes that excess sugar out of the bloodstream because we don’t want high blood sugar in the bloodstream. It’s very dangerous. Creates all kinds of problems. We can go into that another time, but there’s insulin to remove the excess sugar and deliver it to the muscles, which you’re happy to have because you need those muscles to work on energy in order to do the things the kid is doing. Ben’s right. And eventually, the blood sugar will go back down, maybe even a little less than it was before. The kid’s now a little bit hungry; he goes home and has dinner. All’s right with the world. That’s how metabolism is supposed to work. Now let’s look at what happens 30 years later. 30 years later, you wake up, you’re stressed out of your mind, and you don’t sleep well. Cortisol is rushing through your body. You don’t have time to eat. You stop at the latest coffee emporium. You get yourself a nonfat latte, whatever it is, with 900 calories of sugar, and, Oh, yeah, let’s get a nonfat blueberry muffin, one of those 1300-calorie junk foods that’s got about 40 grams of sugar, and eat that. Now, your blood sugar is up here. 

The pancreas goes, Oh, my God, cold blue! This is the equivalent of Five Ding Dongs. And it shoots all that insulin into the body because now you’ve got a lot of sugar that you’re going to take and get into your muscle cells. But there’s a problem. The muscle cells look at you and go, Why are you bringing me sugar? This guy is going to sit at the computer all day. When he gets home. He’s going to sit on the couch and play with the clicker so I can do an exercise. We don’t need that, sugar. Goodbye. We’re resistant. We won’t let it in. And the muscle cells become resistant to the effects of insulin. So here’s insulin with the sugar going, I go, where do I go? I’ve got to get this out of my bloodstream. The fat cells say we’ll take it. Give it to us. We’re not so picky, and the fat cells begin to take it. You start to notice an expanding waistline, so maybe you don’t notice too much. It’s not so bad. And maybe the insulin is still able to keep your blood sugar down enough so that you’re not being diagnosed with diabetes; it’s working really hard, but it’s managing to keep you out of the diabetic range after a while. Even the fat cells say, No, we’re done now. Nobody will take it. Now, you have high insulin and high blood sugar with nowhere to go.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is the definition of diabetes. That’s how it happens. That’s what insulin resistance is. That’s, and as I mentioned earlier, it underlies insulin resistance, kidney disease, lung disease, fatty liver disease, hypertension, obesity, Alzheimer’s, all of it. Alzheimer’s has now been called, by researchers, type 3 diabetes, because it has the damn same antecedent insulin resistance. The same physiological mechanism causes diabetes. Of course, it’s type 3 diabetes. When you understand this, you go, Okay, well, look, what makes it seem to all start with when my blood sugar goes up, which causes my blood sugar to go up? Because when my blood sugar goes up, insulin is coming right behind it. That’s its job. The pancreas is going to send it in. This way. So my first question should be, What raises my blood sugar? Well, we’ve got three categories of macronutrients. These are foods that have calories: protein, fat, and carbohydrates. Alcohol is the fourth one. It has seven calories per gram. Most people don’t get most of their calories from alcohol. So let’s take that out of the equation for a minute. Let’s just talk about protein count, fat, and carbohydrates. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar the most, by far. By far, it’s number one; protein raises blood sugar somewhat. Nothing like what carbohydrates do. But there are amino acids, which are called gluconeogenesis. They can actually form glucose. You can make glucose out of these protein amino acids. So it does raise it a little bit, but nothing like carbohydrates. We think fat does, too. Let’s see, how about nothing? How about zero? It doesn’t even raise the needle. Now, if you want to be made crazy, think about the recommendations of the last 40 years. We are telling people to eat less of the one thing that doesn’t budge the needle, which is fat, and more of the crap that does raise it, which is carbohydrate. Now, I’m not indicting all carbohydrates. And as Mindy points out, many women don’t do well on zero-carbohydrate diets, and she’s absolutely right. We’re not talking about the actual ones that came out of the ground or were plucked from the tree, legumes, nuts, root vegetables, or broccoli. And we’re not talking about that. We’re talking about everything else in the supermarket. It’s not on the corner, on the aisles—the boxes of cereal, the pasta, the rice, the spaghetti, the cakes, the Triscuits, the so-called healthy crackers. It’s all processed food. And processed food is the number one culprit in raising your blood sugar and increasing your insulin.

So if you want to talk about how we start to turn insulin resistance around, which means how do we also start treating heart disease around? How do we start treating Alzheimer’s disease? How do we? I’m not saying, by the way, that if you simply cut out carbohydrates, you’re never going to get diseases; that’s nonsense. What I am saying is that this dependency on processed food from big food companies is literally creating a metabolic condition in which every one of those diseases is ready to thrive. Do you remember the AIDS crisis? People didn’t die from AIDS. They died from the opportunistic diseases that took place. When your immune system was compromised, you had this virus-acquired immune deficiency disease, which made it possible for pneumonia to knock you out and, out of the box, for a cold to kill you. Because you had no immune system. So it wasn’t AIDS that killed you. It was what it did to your metabolism that made it unable to defend itself against things that you and I defend ourselves against just fine. And that’s what insulin resistance does. You don’t die from insulin resistance. You die from the diseases that you can get because you didn’t do anything about the insulin resistance.

 

Kashif Khan

And that makes a lot of sense and that’s a great way to put it, because now people don’t see the connection sometimes, stuff like that. That’s diabetes, that’s all is diabetes. And even.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

It’s not all it is.

 

Kashif Khan

A lot more. Yes, that’s the obvious one, but there’s so much more. When I come up as a Canadian, as you mentioned, I come down there for conferences and such, and I still hear from people that they don’t. Okay, yes, they would agree with what you’re saying about this being a problem. Sugar, carbs, and insurgencies are problems. How bad is it for me? I don’t really need to do anything about it. It’s not going to cause me a problem. What’s the outcome? Not a big deal. Well, when I land in the U.S., I always get culture shock from how many fat people are walking around.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

You don’t have one in Canada. And actually, because I really don’t know. I mean, it’s.

 

Kashif Khan

No, it’s not the same at all.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

It’s not the same interest. 

 

Kashif Khan

And the funny thing is, I was there two weeks ago for this conference, and there was a lady that flew in from Turkey for the same conference, and she hadn’t been there in a while. And so she came to see me because we talk online and we haven’t seen each other in person ever. The first thing she said to me was what’s happening in this country. And I thought she had something good to say, right? And she’s like, Everybody’s fat. She was shocked. Shocked because she came from a country where we’re all humans; we’re the same species, but the food is very different, right? If you hear that as an alarm going off.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

No, they don’t want us talking about this.

 

Kashif Khan

But my hot water tank exploded so they think the guy cut some kind of wire or something. So I’ll continue because I know exactly where I grew up. I was saying that they don’t want us.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Yeah. By the way, I didn’t hear anything. So nothing is going. And whatever you heard is not around on the tape.

 

Kashif Khan

Okay. So the proof is right there. When any outsider comes into a nation that probably has it a little worse off than other countries, this is what we’re talking about. This is where this disease of food-causing illness kind of brewed in our modern world. right? It’s an American thing. And so you see it. So the question is, Yes. I get it; it’s bad, but it’s not bad for me. Not true because it is not true. Yes, just walk into any store in the U.S., and it does not look like you walk into a store in most other countries on this planet. Same people, right?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I couldn’t agree more. And I want to, if I may, interject about what you just said. I once wrote a book called Living Low Carb, and I started the book by saying, If you’re fat, you’re kind of lucky. I didn’t; I’m paraphrasing; why would I say that? So in America, 60% of us are either obese or overweight. But as you and I just pointed out at the beginning of this talk, 90% of us are metabolically sick. So there are 30% of us that are just as sick as the people who are 300 pounds metabolically speaking (they don’t have that side effect). Those people are very unlucky because if you’re fat, you have a lot of visible pain points that make you say, I’ve got to do something about this. And the things that you do about this are going to affect every one of those chronic diseases. You are now doing something for your brain, for your health, for the risk of dementia, for the risk of diabetes, and for all of those things when you handle the weight thing, because that’s the overall, obvious sign that something’s wrong, but it’s not there. But 30% of people who manage somehow to be thin on the outside and metabolic fat—there is even a medical term called this called TOFI—fat on the outside and fat on the inside, and it’s in the medical literature. And those people are the most unfortunate because, like you just said, they have nothing to do with me. I’m fine. I’m not overweight. I’m not. No, dude, you look at the metrics: look at your triglyceride to HDL ratio; look at your fatty liver ALT. No, you’re not fine. You’re just not overweight?

 


Kashif Khan

And the proof of this goes back to what you said at the very beginning. There was this phenomenon during COVID where we knew it was a metabolic disease and a mitochondrial disease. Go straight to yourself; you are metabolically unhealthy. You’re not going to do well. And there was all this weight training, like for professional bodybuilders.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Right.

 

Kashif Khan

They’re really, really sick. And there was stuff in the media about why it’s even hitting the toughest, strongest guy. This is a very powerful virus. But really what was true is just because you’re covered in muscle doesn’t mean that you have the right diet, because these guys are eating for their body. They’re not eating because they’re eating growth, cheap chicken with linoleic acid in it. They’re eating cheap powders and it doesn’t mean it’s healthy. They may be fit, but they’re not necessarily healthy. Right.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I couldn’t agree more. We’re totally on the same page with that.

 

Kashif Khan

So let’s see the book behind you. The Great Cholesterol Myth. Is this, have you detailed all this stuff in there?.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Pretty much. We talk a lot about why the old-fashioned view of cholesterol, good and bad, is just out of date and pathetic. We talk about what would be a better test to get because cholesterol is involved in heart disease. It’s just not in the way that we understand it. Let me explain something that I think makes this clearer for most people: cholesterol doesn’t travel in the bloodstream. It can’t; it’s hydrophobic. It does not mix with water. It’s like oil and water. Like if you took a bottle of canola oil and threw it in the ocean, you wouldn’t expect the bottle of canola oil to arrive on the other side. It is going to be all over the place because it doesn’t mix with water. So cholesterol has to be carried in a container. It has to be in a protected container that does flow through the bloodstream, in which case cholesterol, and that container’s called a lipoprotein. If you look at HDL, it stands for high-density lipoprotein. If you look at LDL, it’s low-density lipoprotein. If you look at the LDL, it’s very low-density lipoprotein, it’s the last ill in all of that. 

This is actually such a brilliant analogy. I wish I could claim it for my own, but it’s from Peter Attia, one of the greatest doctors in America, who just wrote a book called “Outlive”, I’m promoting somebody else’s book, a great book on Anti-Aging. And he explains it this way: If you had cholesterol as a cargo, which it is, it’s the cargo. It’s not the boat. And you had this much cargo, whatever it is—let’s say 100 pounds of cholesterol. Would it matter if it were transferred that 100 pounds would be divided among four trucks or if it were divided among 300 little mini races? Where do you think the accidents would happen? With four trucks on the whole road or with 300 little speeding mini races, you need to know how many boats are in the water. It doesn’t matter how much they’re carrying the cargo; it doesn’t matter if the cargo didn’t cause the disease. The lipoproteins are what we should be looking at, and we have tests to measure how many of those little speeders are on the highway. 

It’s called the particle test or the oppo-B test. These tell you how many LDLs you have, because if you only have four, it’s not going to kill you, is it? But if you get 500 of them, there’s probably going to be an accident. Think of it this way: If you’re a bouncer at a bar, you really care what color pants the people are wearing. Where would you care how many people are in your bar? Because, I don’t care if they’re the nicest people in the world; they mean the best. If you’re packed to the gills with lots of people, somebody is more likely to spill, drink, or step on somebody’s foot. Some accidents are more likely to happen when you have thousands of people than when you have ten. We need that, which is the equivalent of just looking at the color of the pants or the number of towels in the washroom of the boat. You need to know how many boats there are. And that’s why the old-fashioned cholesterol test, which just looks at how much cholesterol is being carried in the lipoprotein, is a waste of time. You need to know how many lipoproteins there are.

 

Kashif Khan

And where, how do we look at triglycerides?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

One of the most important and underrated risk factors we have, triglycerides. When you eat all that sugar, the body knows exactly what to do with it. It packages it into triglycerides.

 

Kashif Khan

Right.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

So your triglycerides go up. People always say, Well, only recently did they come up with a drug to lower triglycerides. That’s why many of us think that’s why you never hear about triglycerides. Only in the last few years have they come up with a drug to lower it. But we have something to lower Triglycerides that lowers them like a dropped rock, 99.99% of the time. And that’s a low-carb diet. You stop eating the sugar. Guess what happens to your triglycerides within a week? They’re down to nothing. And there is a number that is available to everyone listening to this podcast. If you’ve ever had a blood test, you’ve got this number because all of the blood tests, the old-fashioned tests, look at four things: fasting glucose and fasting triglycerides. A good try could cost you all HDL and bad cholesterol, LDL. They look at those four things. You take the triglycerides, you take the HDL, and you divide your HDL into your triglycerides. Triglycerides are almost always the larger number. 

So we’ll use this as an example. Let’s say your triglycerides are 100. Not a bad number. Your HDL is 50, a very good number. You divide 50 by 100, and you get the answer of two. That’s your ratio of triglycerides. It’s a 2 to 1 ratio: 100 triglycerides, 50 HDL, or less. You ain’t going to find it harder to do more. You’ve got some work to do—five or more. You’ve got a lot of work to do. So that actual ratio of triglycerides to HDL is one of the most important predictive tests we have. Doesn’t cost anything. It’s right on your blood test. You can do it right now. Now, HDL, as you may know, is very hard to change. I’ve had a HDL of about 39 or 40, which is not ideal. It’s pretty low. I’ve had it for 30 years. I exercised and played tennis for two hours a day. They say exercise is always good. No, it doesn’t. Not really. Nothing really raises HDL; if you knock triglycerides out of the box, you just change the ratio. If I have 40 HDL and 200 triglycerides, my ratio is five. I should be in the ambulance going for preventive care for heart disease. But at that same 40 HDL, I only have 80 triglycerides; my ratio is 2, so I haven’t touched my HDL, which is very hard to do. But triglycerides are so easy to bring down. So you change that. You’ve changed your risk factor for all the stuff we’re talking about.

 

Kashif Khan

It’s so powerful, in one week you’re saying that it’s like almost.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I think it’s probably less. I’m being conservative.

 

Kashif Khan

That’s true.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

But listen and respond to the diet just like that. Stop eating for a few days, they’re going to go down.

 

Kashif Khan

So you actually have a fasting protocol and a diet protocol that you worked on. And it’s a program that you offer, I believe.

 


Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I do. Thank you for remembering. Yes. Well, my partner and I designed a program called Meta Fasting. We think that fasting is one of, if not the easiest, and most effective interventions anybody can do on their diet. You can lose weight with it, detox with it, and reverse insulin resistance with it, which is what I care about. But people come to it for the weight loss, which it does. They come forward for detoxification, which sometimes happens. If you do the fasting the way Mindy tells you to do it, what it can almost always do is turn insulin resistance around. And I think that’s just the most important thing you could do. So after doing weight loss coaching and trying all of these things, I thought, Here’s something that people can do with a minimal amount of change to their diet, because we’ve seen some good results. Even if people eat the same crappy diet, if they can get it within an eight-hour window, they’re going to get a little bit better, but not as much as they would if they also ate good food within those 8 hours. 

But if you take somebody who’s eating seven meals a day at McDonald’s, you ain’t going to get a micro on a macrobiotic diet overnight. So you say, Okay, keep eating your seven meals at McDonald’s, but could you eat between 12 and eight? And that’s an easier intervention for the average person. If you can get them to reduce the seven meals to two and put four hours in between those two meals, Man, now you are relatively at ease. I mean, you’re not giving them a list of foods they can’t eat. You’re not giving them a whole bunch of rules. You can do those few things. You can turn everything around. So we wrote a program called Meta Fasting that explains what intermittent fasting is, explains all the different schedules, and talks about why women shouldn’t be with men. Mindy does a superb job of this and talks Fast Like A Girl, explaining the different phases of menstruation during a period when you should not fast, which is the luteal phase, and when you can fast and you will get great results. So we talked about all these things. We put it together with some different sample schedules, and it’s a relatively inexpensive program. It’s called metafasting.com, and we, the people, get great results with it. So yes, I do very much believe in doing fasting the right way because, again, another shout out to Mindy. I know she is, which I didn’t realize when I started doing this as the co-host, but she is.

 

Kashif Khan

I mean, the intention is to help as many women as we can. We’re very thankful that you came to share your knowledge as well. But I mean, everybody wants to see different perspectives. So how do they find the program?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I’m going to send you the link to Medifast to get here, and we’re going to have a link up there. And I think you asked me about a gift, which we also have.

 

Kashif Khan

Yes. I should have known that. Everybody knows, by the way, that the video series is meant to give everybody a free gift. So after you listen to the revenue of the interview, Yes, there’s no revenue on this one. It’s a checkup. It’s seven surprising health benefits, or he’s going to say habits, or I should say that benefit, and so he’s going to teach you about these habits that are really easy to implement.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Very, very easy.

 

Kashif Khan

But it’s awesome. I want to thank you for doing that. One last thought I had for you because I heard you talking about this earlier. We were talking about youth. Are we seeing that this is a problem? What used to be called an adult problem is now a youth problem. Has it gotten that far?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Oh, man. When I started in the field in the late nineties, they called it type 2 diabetes, or adult-onset diabetes. You haven’t heard that name in 20 years. Why? because 13-year-olds are getting it. Because eight-year-olds are getting it, it’s not adult-onset anymore.

 

Kashif Khan

Eight years olds.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Eight year olds, 13 year olds are getting I mean, not all of them. But yes, we’ve seen type two diabetes in very young people.

 

Kashif Khan

Yes. I think, what we call food should not be called food, right? Food should be called food like there should be a big warning label. Just like when you buy a pack of cigars, there’s people.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Good luck with that. I’m sure that’s going to happen. I have a saying: I call them Jonny Bowden’s four food groups. It’s always when I am interviewed on radio, television, or podcasts that they ask me for the best nutrition advice. Give it to us in 15 seconds. And mine is always the same thing. “Eat real food”. It’s more important than the diet. It’s more important than the macros. It’s more important than the calories. I always say, Well, what is real food? And they say Jonny Bowden’s four food groups. Food you could hunt, fish, gather, or pluck. Comes from a tree and comes out of the ground. Something you could have hunted a fish for. Probably. Good for you. That’s really it.

 

Kashif Khan

That’s true of food. Have you seen the latest food pyramid that just came out?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

No, I’m not going to get sick. And we’re going to have heartbreak from this now.

 

Kashif Khan

It’s going to be less beneficial for your health and insulin resistance. So it’s really shocking how much beef and eggs down here. And guess what’s above them? Lucky Charms cereal.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Yes. Let me just tell you a little anecdote, which is true, by the way. Again, I always ask audiences don’t believe a word I say. Please let me go to Google, go look this stuff up from reliable sources. I don’t make it up. It’s and I want you to know that it’s true. So the FDA, again, this is in America, the Food and Drug Administration or the USDA, excuse me, the United States Department of Agriculture, they were founded in the 1800s, and they had to mandate people who don’t know this mandate. A lot of people do know, to inform the United States population about good nutrition. You have good nutrition information. Yeah. Second part of the mandate is to protect and support American agriculture. 

Now, put those two things together and think about it for a second. This is like telling the cigarette companies you have two missions. Number one, teach people what cigarette smoking does to your body. And number two, make sure that all of the cigarette manufacturers do fantastic business and grow their businesses. How do those two mandates work together? Yeah, so the number, the five top crops in the United States, cotton we don’t care about because we don’t eat that. Here’s the other four sugars: corn, wheat and soy. The very problems that are giving us insulin resistance, making the sick that tired and depressed. And those are the ones the USDA has to support. You think they will ever tell you not to eat Lucky Charms? Never. Not in our lifetime, buddy.

 

Kashif Khan

Well, sugar, corn, wheat and soy. Yeah, well.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Four of the five top crops, the fifth being cotton.

 

Kashif Khan

The other one is cotton.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

So how are you going to support those industries and still give us good information? Because if you’re giving us good information, you can stay the hell away from those foods.

 

Kashif Khan

Yeah, well, I think I can understand at the time that that was written, what was on the farm probably didn’t look the same, right?

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Oh, I’m quite sure it didn’t. Nothing was the same. Yes. All new.

 

Kashif Khan

Yeah. But underneath all this, this is exactly what we talked about earlier. Here’s a mode that allows the industry to thrive regardless of the, what was the intention of the industry to make us healthy? What is the motivation to create profit and thus be protected more than is our need for nutrition? The outcome is we now have less than 5% of people getting the whole thing. I want to thank you. This is eye opening. The perspective and context that you put us into is like, first of all, it’s so easy to do what you’re talking about. We’re not saying we need to spend four months in coaching or you need to hire an expensive doctor, buy some biohacking equipment. It’s like changing what you eat. Go to the section of the grocery store that sells real food and don’t bother with the rest of the aisles.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

But that’s easier said than done. To play devil’s advocate, I’m very sympathetic to my clients, my friends, my family, my tennis buddies, all these people who are injured. They don’t; it’s not their full time job to figure this out. They’re not nutritionists. They’re not, they don’t do what you and I do. They don’t talk to people about this 20 hours a day and read about it 24 hours a day. So they’re genuinely confused and they’re very influenced by what they hear. And of course they are. And doctors are telling them the same B.S. because doctors don’t know anything about nutrition. And I understand how hard it is. It’s not as simple as just saying no to drugs. The Nancy Reagan thing, that we’re addicted to these foods. So I take very seriously the task of having to open up your eyes, realize most of what you would talk about. Nutrition and health is complete B.S. And then to actually take into your own hands the very considerable task. Well, I used to drink alcohol. I haven’t had a drink since 1982. I know something about what it’s like to kick addictions. It isn’t easy and telling people, oh, it’s easy is just picking now, it’s not easy. You’re going to have to work at it, but it’s worth it and the benefits are visible and you can see them and you can feel them. I didn’t we didn’t get to talking about anti-aging and stuff like that. But I tell people this not to brag, but to tell you that I know what the hell I’m talking about. It was my last birthday. I was 76. I played tennis 2 hours a day. I walk with my dog in very steep hills outside my house for a week. I go to the gym a couple of times a week. I have a fantastic, sexy relationship with the woman I’m about to marry in September. I am the happiest I’ve ever been in my life. 

And at 76, I’m able to look at my 40 year old comrades and my 30 year olds and my 50 year olds and the people that we service with Medifast and with our coaching programs and stuff and say, Look, I know what’s on the other side of what I’m asking you to do. You do this stuff at your older age. It’s going to look a lot different than it’s going to look if you don’t do this stuff, you don’t that’s why I mentioned age. It’s sort of like, come on in, guys, do this stuff, it’s going to pay off. You’re going to have to trust me. But I’m here already. You’re going to get to this age one day. You want to feel like I feel or you want to feel like the average 76 year old. You tell me.

 

Kashif Khan

The average 76 year old is two years away from the American mortality rate every 78 hours.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

And you look and that’s not even the bad part because it’s one thing to die at 78 feeling and looking and, wonderful and kneeling at the top of your life. It’s another thing to die when you are making a slow descent from your fifties and getting less and less able to do anything that you were able to do before and less and less enthusiastic and optimistic and joyous. And it’s just like all that’s what you don’t want. It’s not just the death at a certain age, it’s the death while you’re alive. And we don’t want that for our people.

 

Kashif Khan

Yeah, that’s horrible. I mean, you look like you’ve got another 76 years to go. 

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

What?

 

Kashif Khan

I can only hope, but I get to that. That’s what I feel..

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

I hope you do, too. Not because I’m so great, but because, I mean, look, I was a drug addict. I was an alcoholic. I did cocaine and heroin. I mean, you can’t name something. I didn’t do bad for my body. But when I turned it around around age 38, I now have almost 40 years to do this stuff. And I know the difference between how I felt in 38 not feeling 76. And I’ll take this. Thank you very much.

 

Kashif Khan

Here’s a funny thing for you. 38 is when I started fixing my Health two. Yeah, I was sick. I spent a lot of time talking about that, but I was really screwed up and that’s when I turned things around. And when you start to feel good, and you realize how good you can feel.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

You want to tell everybody.

 

Kashif Khan

And it’s hard to go back. The first little bit like you said, yeah, it can be tough. It’s a struggle letting go of old habits that are ingrained and deeply rooted. But once you get new habits, it’s hard to believe that person even existed.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Yeah, I couldn’t agree more with you. And that’s why you and I do what we do. I mean, I think a lot of people like you and I have big health challenges and got into this field because we wanted to solve them for ourselves. And once we figured out how to do it, you just want to tell everybody, yeah.

 

Kashif Khan

This is amazing, Jonny And thank you so much for taking.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

Thank you so much. Thanks for having me. One of the most fun interviews I have ever done. Thanks.

 

Kashif Khan

Pleasure, man.

 

Jonny Bowden, PhD, CNS

And I will see you soon.

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