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You & Your Heart: Reversing Diabetes Connection

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Summary
  • Understand the limitations of the established medical protocol for diabetes control
  • Learn about Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s nutritarian diet, which can lead to a 50% reduction in medications and potentially eliminate the need for insulin
  • Gather insights into reversing diabetes through a balanced diet and lifestyle changes for heart health and diabetes management
  • This video is part of the Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Summit
Transcript
Beverly Yates, ND

Hi, everyone. Welcome to the Reversing Type 2 Diabetes Summit. I am your host, Dr. Beverly Yates, ND. It is my distinct honor for this session that we are recording to interview Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a medical doctor who has very much been a leader around nutrition and approaches things from the point of view that people can take charge of their health and that nutrition is the way to enact a lot of healing and recovery.

Joel Fuhrman, MD, is a board-certified family doctor, a seven-time New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing. He has been on many television shows and has been promoted through the common access of TV as well as in print and other forms of media. The point of view that nutrient density matters is really important. He specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. He’s the president of the Nutritional Research Foundation and on the faculty of Northern Arizona University’s Health Sciences Division. He coined the term “Nutritarian” to describe a nutrient-dense eating style. For over 30 years, he has shown that it is possible to achieve sustainable weight loss and reverse heart disease, diabetes, and many other chronic illnesses using targeted, specific, and smart nutrition. In his medical practice through books and TV specials, he also now has the Eat to Live retreat in San Diego, California, at a residential facility to help people from all walks of life from all over the world continue on their healing journey. Dr. Fuhrman, welcome to the summit.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Thank you. Excited for our talk today.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes, same here. I am looking forward to this. One of the things that always strikes me when I think of you and your work and its impact is your ability to really get people to understand the power of food and that what we are eating, what we are drinking, and how we engage with nutrition and nourishment make a fundamental difference in our health. I am curious: What started you on this journey?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Probably my father’s illnesses. Then he started reading books by Herbert Shelton in the 1950s and 1960s from the American Journal of Natural Hygiene, and my father lost weight and got healthier. I think he dropped his weight from about 210 to 160. Then I started reading a lot of books on nutrition when I was a teenager and got interested in that. It took me years to really develop an interest, of course, but seeing him transform his health was a major factor. Then I had that exposure to seeing many people as a teenager, which excited my interest in becoming a physician specializing in nutrition.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Great, wonderful background. I am glad your father was helped. You could see with your own eyes that there was living proof in front of you. That is important. Sometimes people in the circle of people they are closest to do not see examples of health, life, and progress. That can be so discouraging. When you see that this is helpful for someone you love, that makes it, I think, a lot more compelling.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

For sure. 

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Dr. Fuhrman, why is it that we are seeing an explosion in diabetes, particularly Type 2 diabetes and pre-diabetes, in our population today? Why is this so devastating? We are even seeing Type 2 show up in children, which should never happen.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Well, it should never happen to anybody, and we should not have any heart attacks or strokes either in this country; it is all the result of nutritional ignorance. It is a shame that we have so many people suffering and dying needlessly. As many people know, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness, limb amputation, kidney failure, and all types of morbidities that make people suffer before they just die prematurely. It is, and for the diabetic, it is representative, you could say, of the effect that a poor diet has on deteriorating advanced disease in the body.

We have three or four factors going on simultaneously. One is the advent of the processed food and fast food industries. The wide access to high-calorie-density food and the promotion by industry of restaurant food, processed foods, and animal products, but particularly this concept that oil is healthy for us, have exploded the diabetes epidemic because oil puts fat on the body. rapidly. But we have so much access to concentrated calories. I make the joke, and I say that half of what we eat feeds our needs, and the other half feeds the needs of our doctor. Even though it is funny, it is really serious and scientifically true because Americans consume about double the calories that humans need for optimal health.

They are consuming twice as much. The reason that they need to consume all those excess calories that create disease is because their diet is not meeting their needs for micronutrients, phytochemicals, and fiber. Their diet is so low in nutrients that it produces metabolic waste products that then trigger addictive-type sensations in the brain that drive overeating behavior and then fat on the body. Excess body fat makes you insulin resistant and also harms the structure and function of the insulin receptor, and saturated fat, in particular saturated fat from coconut palm oil but mostly from animal products, also has an enhanced effect that interferes with the activity of some receptors. the combination of the high intake of overeating calories and the high intake of high-glycemic carbohydrates (white bread, white flour, sugar, honey, maple syrup, and sweets). But of course I am saying that white flour is a sugar equivalent, that it is cake, it is candy, it is sugar, it is addictive, it is not food, and it damages the body.

Then you put on top of that animal fats and oils, and then you have—in the witch’s cauldron—all the ingredients that fuel a diabetic epidemic. But added to that by these exogenous wastes, the word excite, the word endogenous means waste produced by the body, and the word exogenous means from the external world. I can breathe and smoke from a forest fire from a cigarette. That’s an exogenous waste. I can put pesticides on the food, but we are poisoning ourselves with extra exogenous waste by eating processed foods and things with nanoparticles, plastics, microplastics, and other toxins in seafood. Toxicant runoff from agriculture contaminates the waters, and we are eating, besides pollution, pesticides, insecticides, fungicides, and plastics.

An average woman—I am giving an example here—let us say, in 2020, compared to her weight with the same amount of calories and the same amount of exercise compared to a woman from 50 years ago, is 40 pounds heavier today from the same caloric intake as a certain number of 50 years ago because we have more of these endocrine disruptors and more of the body holds on to fat, which makes it harder for the body to get healthy when the body is so old and it wasn’t enhanced. ZINO Toxic Exposure: toxins from outside the body so that the body can be repaired, and how to repair the body is to eat a diet of mostly vegetables, which is vegetable-based, high in nutrients, and removes or radically reduces both processed foods, hypoglycemic carbohydrates, and animal products. I am saying that the animal products I am talking about are high in saturated fat and cholesterol, like eggs, cheese, butter, and meat. I am also talking about seafood, particularly bivalves such as clams, oysters, mussels, shellfish, and scallops, because the runoff and the dumping of plastics and garbage into the ocean have led to an explosion of microplastic invasion into seafood, which affects the body, and also the rejection of BMAA, which is a fat one, which is a toxin produced by cyanobacteria in the algae or an algae bloom from fish farming and commercial farming runoff, and we see, of course, a higher incidence of Parkinson’s dementia syndrome and Lou Gehrig’s disease, or ALS, around lakes and around the Chesapeake Bay in areas where people are eating more of those foods from the coastal waterways or lakes.

We have a real problem with food access and exposure in this country. Now, while that is going on, we have this unprecedented opportunity in human history to eat a diet that is mostly organic, with a lot of home-grown foods, sprouts, and lettuce. We are exposed to eating frozen berries all year. It is the only population in the history of the world where we can actually get fresh lettuce and fresh green vegetables and eat a salad every day, even in the wintertime. The point is that even simple lettuce is a superfood because it is the richest source of so-called cultivo, one of those nutrients that fuel the growth of good bacteria in the gut. You would add on to that our ability to expose ourselves to raw, cruciferous greens like kale, bok choy, arugula, watercress, Brussels sprouts, and other things in the cruciferous family.

That combination has the maximum effect on building a healthy immune system that surrounds the digestive tract. We call those intraepithelial lymphocytes, and we also socially support the growth of these intraepithelial lymphocytes that build our immune system while at the same time thickening the coating of healthy bacteria called the biofilm that covers the villi in the small intestines, which then slows this heavy and healthy biofilm of bacteria and prevents the absorption of glucose from coming into the bloodstream too fast. It lowers the glycemic load of everything you eat. Scientists call that the second meal effect.  The second meal effect is enhanced by those foods I mentioned, in green vegetables, but also by scallions, onions, cooked beans, and cooked mushrooms. These four foods—two raw greens and an onion; a scallion raw; two cooked mushrooms; and beans cooked—give us a very healthy and robust microbiome with a thick biofilm that lowers the glycemic load. If I have oatmeal and mango in the morning. The glycemic influx into the bloodstream is going to be lowered because I am eating those foods and have such a healthy microbiome.

We are talking here about the effect of body fat, the effect of toxic exposure, how we can desire fewer calories when we eat a lot of nutrients, including raw and cooked foods, and all the other things that make for a healthy lifestyle, including adequate sleep and adequate exercise. But basically, we cannot have a normal body if a woman’s body fat is above 25% or a male’s body fat is below 15% of calories from fat. In other words, as you go from 15% to 20% for a male, we see insulin resistance and inflammation go up. In a woman going from 25% to 35%, inflammation and insulin resistance go up in the fat cells because they do not get a great blood supply. They also spew out pro-inflammatory compounds and suppress immune function, and we have more exposure to cytokines and lipokines, which makes COVID more dangerous and starts the dangerous effects of diabetes. Then I am saying a little bit that people do not generally hear here. I am saying that you can have diabetes, which is a dangerous end-stage pathology that is reversible, and you could have pre-diabetes, which is when your sugars start to go up but are not yet in the diabetes range.

But I am saying something different. I am saying all people who are overweight are pre-diabetic because all people who are overweight have insulin resistance. Even before your sugars start to rise into the pre-diabetic range, you are already seeing more accelerated aging, and you are allowing chronic diseases to accelerate atherosclerosis. Just because you are overweight, you are already pre-diabetic because you have higher levels of insulin, and insulin itself is a hormone. The higher levels that are requested from the pancreas, from the active to accommodate the extra body weight, are that extra circulating insulin promotes angiogenesis, allows cancer cells to replicate, promotes weight gain, and also starts to make a person more food addicted. Now, one more thing to insert into this package is this idea of caloric concentration and caloric rush. Because what I am saying here is that when you are eating white bread, white rice, French fries, sugar bread, croissants, bagels, or cookies, you cannot get the sugar to enter the bloodstream so rapidly, leading to a spike of calories that could not have been achieved had you had berries or an apple, because the sugar or the sweetener in the apple or the berries is more intracellular and takes a while to get there and to go through the gut wall.

You cannot spike the sugar that high by eating, let us say, a piece of fruit, as you can by eating a piece of a bagel or a piece of bread. and you cannot get fat into the bloodstream that fast either. When you are eating nuts and seeds, it takes three or four hours, or beans. You cannot get glucose beans because the calories to extract them are extracted so slowly. With fats from nuts and seeds, the calories are extracted from the digestive tract so slowly that you cannot put too many calories in the bloodstream at once. These processed foods, oils, fast food, commercial baked goods, and fried foods can get such a high spike of calories in the blood that the high spike of calories in the blood acts like cocaine on the brain because you cannot get that cocaine to the brain. You could. But now we can spike the calories in the blood with palm oil in the food, and the oil goes from the lips to the hips in 3 minutes flat. It sucks into the bloodstream rapidly. The high excursion of calories in the blood makes us, over time, addicted to or desirous of a high caloric load. It makes our brains dopamine-insensitive. Then we become more desirous of more dopamine stimulation, which is only then supported to get stimulated sufficiently by the overconsumption of calories and the overconsumption of concentrated calories in the blood.

People are then not satisfied with having a salad, a bowl of vegetable bean soup, and two pieces of fruit. That is not lunch for them. They are not enough. Does not have enough caloric concentration and does not have enough calories at one time in the bloodstream. Those things take too long to digest. They cannot handle that. They have to go after something more calorically concentrated. They are not going to be satisfied unless they have a candy bar, unless they have some bread, some pasta, some salad, some oil, or some greasy food. They had to have those highly concentrated calories. They have to overeat calories. Then, because they get so accustomed to overeating, their body has more toxic waste products, and if they try not to eat now that digestion is ceasing or if they try to diet, they feel wasted, fatigued, shaky, irritable, have stomach cramps, and have headaches. They do not feel comfortable when they are not eating food all the time, and they are not comfortable unless they are overeating food.

What I am saying now is that the body goes through a detox withdrawal because you did not smoke cigarettes or you are off your alcohol binge, and you feel worse coming off the cigarettes than coming off the ten cups of coffee. When you are trying to get off of a substance, your body tries to detoxify from that substance, and we move waste products, and a body that removes waste and detoxifies heals best in the non-digestive state when we are not eating and digesting. Because you feel worse when you are detoxifying or healing people who are not healthy, when they try not to eat between meals or try to eat a little and eat fewer calories, they are going to feel too uncomfortable and too poorly because they are going to excite detoxification. They have to keep eating all the time and eating too frequently. They cannot say, “Oh, I am going to eat well; I will not eat; I will skip; I will skip dinner tonight; I will just go to bed after a while; I will just stop eating for the day at 2:00.” They cannot do that because they are too uncomfortable and feel too sickly. By the time it gets to be six or seven, they have to eat, and maybe they feel ill at 12:00 at night and have to snack because they start to feel too ill from their body going into that detox phase of the digestive cycle when they are not constantly putting calories in their stomach.

All these things interrelate, and we are interrelated like the fibers of a cloth, which is why it is almost impossible for people to lose weight, get their health back, or get rid of diabetes. We put people in a healthy food environment, and they fully understand all the factors leading to their disease causation and their inability to lose weight. We start to clean out the diet they find and find, “Well, wow, my taste buds are enhanced. I am enjoying eating more.” Then I am saying this now because a lot of people listening think, “Oh, who wants to give up all healthy, all delicious food, and who wants to live on carrot sticks and celery? I would rather be dead and have diabetes.” But it is not that. The people learn great-tasting recipes. They eat the appropriate amount of calories, and they are the piece. They’re satisfied with the appropriate amount of calories, their taste buds improve, they start to enjoy natural foods, and they get, well, fat.

So I say a Nutritarian, that term I have coined is a person eating a super healthy diet to maximize human longevity at their ideal weight. Or they are a person who is overweight, eating healthily, and moving in the direction of their ideal weight. But if they are overweight and they are not moving in that direction, then they are not doing it and they are not on a healthy diet. The parameters we are talking about that measure health are the eight inflammatory markers: HSCRP, your oxidized LDL, your higher estrogen levels, your higher insulin levels, your higher triglycerides, and all the higher rates of, you could say, shortened telomeres and more methylation defects in the DNA. We can list all these factors that mark a person’s poor health and shorten their life span.

These factors immediately improve when a person starts to lose weight and eat healthily. You do not have to wait a year to have a low risk of heart attacks. You lower your risk of having a heart attack or stroke within two weeks of switching to a healthy diet. Even when the person is overweight, we see these numbers, and the risk factors start to go down precipitously. Let’s say someone comes to my retreat for two months and loses 50 pounds while lowering their risk. A huge amount of diabetes is gone, and they go on a cruise ship, a vacation, or a binge, and they gain back 10 pounds. The gaining back of 10 pounds, they are still 40 pounds down from where they started. Well, the thing is, they are at higher risk now than they were when they were 30 pounds heavier. They’re at high risk now. They gain back 10 pounds because the direction of travel of the weight means your body is undoing all the beneficial parameters you get by eating and losing weight, and you are putting on fat at a rapid rate as the speed of the direction of travel of the fat determines the risk. 

Most people are aware—some people are aware—that most heart attacks and strokes occur around Christmas time. On New Year’s, when people come back from vacations and cruise ships and go to Vegas and pig out, picking on buffets when they could gain weight over even a short period of time, the risk of having a cardiac event increases tremendously. In other words, we have to have a person who is interested in great health and losing weight see this as a change for the rest of their life. They have to learn these habits that they can incorporate and stay with forever because there is only a benefit if you maintain them. If you are not going to maintain them, it did not benefit you to temporarily lose weight and gain it back again. It could even make things worse because the rapid regain of weight makes the fat stores more saturated and can put on more vulnerable fat and more vulnerable plaque in your heart. This is a lot of information, and it just kept whetting people’s appetites. But to let them know that they can definitely reverse their heart disease, get their blood pressure back to normal, and become non-diabetic with this approach, if they do and if they are willing to make this radical change we are talking about,

 

Beverly Yates, ND

That’s all great information. Thank you for walking us through it and peeling back the layers. I want to circle back for a moment to a topic you brought up here that I think is not commonly understood. If we could just revisit it for a moment, this issue of palatability—the fact that some of the highly processed, ultra-refined foods are often designed by armies of food scientists to make them incredibly tasty in a way that really traps people so that they wind up in these cycles of just a wild amount of overeating and are not in control of the eating—I know that when I was a kid, if people had chips, they had a handful, five, or six chips. They did not eat two bags of chips in one sitting, etc. You see now that this situation where people are just stuffing in so much food has changed a lot of things, this palatability.

If I am hearing what you are saying, I want to make sure the audience is getting this because we have health professionals who come to these summits as well as the general public. This issue of palatability—food that is super tasty—is part of the problem. When someone goes to a healthier diet, a simpler diet, a diet that is more nutrient-dense and not artificially manipulated to be wildly tasty, part of the journey is that they have to let their tongue, their brain, and their relationship to dopamine go. All of those things reset. That might mean they are going to be uncomfortable for a while and not feel so good. It is obviously worth the journey. But what has your experience been with getting people through that moment? Because I personally think that is a very important moment.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

That’s what you are saying, of course, and it’s absolutely true. There are two issues here. One is the fact that a person feels poorly—feels worse, not better. In the first week of the chain, unless they improve their diet, they are going to feel worse. But that does not give them back the taste muscle to make healthy food taste great. That takes months, not a week. Your headache, your fatigue, and your shakiness will go away in a week. That part’s gone now. You are feeling okay. But you still do not enjoy eating this way as much as your old diet. That takes a few months. We even see taste improvements up to six months after the diet change. and then avoiding salt in highly sweetened substances or, critically, even hot, spicy foods—all those things are too hot and too salty. Of course, too much sugar deadens the taste for sugar, but people do not recognize that it is that salt thing that is so damaging. Salt is an independent risk factor for heart disease, irrespective of its effect on blood pressure. Salt also causes microvascular hemorrhages and hemorrhages in the endothelial lining of blood vessels, leading to a weakening of the interior lining of blood vessels over a lifetime. Exposure to high salt intake increases the propensity of the vessels in the brain to break open and crack, causing a hemorrhagic stroke.

Salt is independently associated with both stroke and heart attack. Erosive activity and its effect on raising blood pressure: I am also saying that salt intake can damage the intestinal tract and the tight junctions in the gut, leading to more leaky gut, enhancing chronic inflammation, promoting autoimmune disease, and increasing sensitivity to xenotoxic toxins, which are toxic, in other words, toxins in our external environment. and salt eating perpetuates a weakening of the taste buds. It is better to get all this stuff out of the diet—the salt, the sweeteners—and let food taste bland, and then, with the sweet and things that are natural, we use tremendous ways to flavor things. Of course, we use tarragon and caraway seeds, toasted sesame seeds, and all kinds of different dill and oregano. We are using all different flavorings, including tomato sauce and sun-dried tomatoes, and all types of fig vinegar mixed with sun-dried tomatoes and lightly toasted almonds in a dressing. We’re making ice cream with a few macadamia nuts and frozen bananas with real vanilla bean powder and making a Thai curry sauce with curcumin, cumin, and, of course, real lemongrass and a little coconut and hemp seeds mixed in with some dates. So we have all these delicious flavors and sauces to make things taste great that do not rely on salt or make things too hot or too sweet. These more moderate flavors that people can enjoy lead to their developing a heightened enjoyment of food. Because now the simplest foods have more flavor, you and other people lose their addiction to the high-blended foods that they have been indoctrinated to by the food industry. to get them to eat more food.

You can put an animal in a cage and get them to stop eating their natural diet and just eat processed foods. Of course, the animals will get sick and die, but they will not even eat the foods they are adapted to in nature. They’ll stop eating because they’ll go for foods that have a higher caloric density and a higher concentration of flavorings. They call them highly palatable, ultra-processed foods. People and animals just eat that until they eat themselves to death. What we are doing is that we are animals, and we just go for the more caloric. A child will stop eating any vegetables and pineapple, and they will not eat any string beans or snow pods. They love to eat tomatoes, carrot sticks, snow pods, pineapple, nuts, and all kinds of healthy stuff when they have no exposure. But once you expose a child to goldfish, pretzels, apple juice, pizza, sweets, cookies, chocolate chips, cookies, and donuts, they are not going to want to eat. Of course, they are not going to even have any; they are not even eating healthy food anymore. It is the parents who train that child not to eat healthily because they expose them.

So now we have to undo it. Yes, and that means enforced abstinence. Just to clarify this, when you are a food addict and you have developed this addictive relationship with food for the last 30, 40, or 50 years of your life, but you wouldn’t become diabetic, dabbling in trying to cut back and trying to baby step your way to healthy eating does not work because even a small exposure to chips, bagels, cookies, croissants, and these things makes the person want more of them, and it makes them feel they never developed the taste muscle to enjoy eating healthily. They are always stuck with a foot in both worlds under stress, deciding what to do with mostly the primitive brain, which is run by their addictive brain. The addictive centers of the brain win. That’s who is going to win. But once you abstain within four steps and stay away from those illicit love affairs that you have with dangerous food, stay away from them. Eventually, that attraction for them lessens over time. then you can enjoy eating healthily.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Oh, so that was a great journey. It is just real. We are driven by things we do not always understand or have any control over. Unless we understand this, we cannot help but feel, Why do people seem to seesaw between these things? This is why anybody who is here, who is listening to this, who is vibing with it, who understands without informing, is talking about sharing this with people, because we all know folks who struggle with I want to eat healthy, but I know this stuff tastes good, and this is a struggle you cannot win unless you make that commitment to the healthy side and just stay there. Let your body heal, and then eventually you will develop that flavor muscle, or, in this case, versatility. You can get there. It is totally doable, but you cannot bounce back and forth between highly processed foods and super-amazing healthy foods. You really do have to make that commitment. If you are on a tight budget, you can still do it. It does not have to be super expensive.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

It is true. Dried beans are not a lot of money. I used to, before I went to medical school and when I was a student, buy a lot of food in bulk at the Bronx’s Hunts Point Market. big, and we split it up between five families, and we had to buy our food wholesale and split it up. What do I mean?

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes, we did that in college too. We’d go to the health food co-ops. I was M.I.T. across the Back Bay there in Boston, and there were all these health food co-ops, and it was just so much cheaper than the school food plans. The food was terrible at school. The school food plan was just that.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Sometimes we go to some Asian markets, but we actually went to the place where the restaurants and supermarkets buy their food from: the docks. When we had the big trucks and we had to buy it in bulk, all this

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes, it was a simpler time. But yes, you could buy in bulk that way and make your college dollar stretch a lot further, so you could actually get to school. Of course, college costs less too, but that is a different conversation. You have expressed many things over the course of your work, publishing, and other things that you have done. I would love to get your take on this. You say that the conventional treatments for diabetes do not work and actually worsen the disease, which is an important distinction to make. How can this be? If prescription drugs are not the answer, what is?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

I think that many of the drugs doctors use are dangerous for diabetics because they lower glucose levels but make the beta cells in the pancreas produce more insulin. This is the mechanism by which they are trying to lower the glucose, and the beta cells are already overworked, producing too much insulin. forcing them to make, and they are pooping out, and that is why they cannot make all that insulin. Your glucose level starts to rise. Giving them drugs to make them work harder just makes them poop out faster, so you lose. Over the years of taking the drugs, you have lost the ability of the pancreas to produce insulin. Make a type 1 become a type 1 and a half over time by taking medications. The medications are accelerating the progression of diabetes, and they also cause weight gain. We’re talking about insulin. It really is. Like many of the newer drugs, too, metformin does not cause weight gain. Some of the newer drugs do not. But besides, even the ones that do not necessarily have a lot of weight can still push the beta cells to work harder. Metformin does not, though, and in any case, the point is that most of the drugs can make things worse.

The Harvard study demonstrated that people with more medical care, measuring their finger sticks more frequently and adjusting the medications to keep their blood sugar in lower numbers and under better control, had a higher morbidity and mortality rate, and the government had to come in and stop the study. We had a better life span for people who were not using medications as much because the medications are dangerous. Medical care is not the answer to diabetes. It eventually makes things worse. It does not. It is okay; it is a permission slip. It is an enabler. They enable people by giving them blood pressure drugs. It is giving you the message. Just keep living the lifestyle. Of course, if you have ever had any drugs for high blood pressure, then people would have to cut out the salt and eat, lose weight, exercise more, sleep more, and do all these things and live healthily.

Lifestyle is where it’s at. The disease markers are a measurement of how bad your lifestyle is. If you are pre-diabetic or diabetic, it means you are not living within the framework of your body’s needs. If you are still going to live out of that framework, your disease, your degeneration, and your chronic disease are going to keep getting worse to cause morbidity, pain, and suffering, and drugs are not going to change that trajectory towards pain and suffering, and whether it is kidney failure, leg amputation, blindness, or death, it is going to track along with you in that direction while you are controlling your blood glucose with the drug because you are still living on the same diet that caused the problem to begin with. I am not looking to cover them up. It is the medical doctor who is doing people a disservice because they have to get to the cause. The cause is not the lack of the drug.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Exactly. The root-cause issues here are front and center. It is so lifestyle-centric, and I have always thought that that is the gift that can be had with type 2 diabetes. Pre-diabetes is the fact that you can absolutely take charge of it, reverse things, and put it into remission with a clear eye on the lifestyle side. But by the same token, if people are using drugs, abusing them, and misusing them, and it is not just to buy them time while they get the lifestyle pieces in place, a lot of people get lost because, frankly, let us be real. They do not get the support they need for those lifestyle things. There is just so much confusing and conflicting information available. The conventional medical system does not support the lifestyle side of this. It’s just drugs. Drugs get more expensive, so you get so sick that you are on something even more expensive, and then you die a miserable, awful death. It is a terrible way to handle this.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

I have two books on this subject that I recommend. One is called The End of Diabetes, which is obviously a book I wrote, and the other is one of my New York Times bestsellers and is called Eat for Life. I am mentioning Eat for Life because it is such a recent book and has been upgraded with a lot of recent studies that are irrefutable. The amount of evidence that has been accumulated has been so profound. There’s so much curable reading evidence today that a person cannot deny the effectiveness or the science behind this approach compared to a conventional medical approach where people are taking medications or even something like the Mediterranean diet, which is a step in the right direction but not going to get people totally well.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes. It is so interesting culturally, not just here in the U.S. but in other parts of the world, too. I noticed this trend where people very much seem to want a prescription of some kind that is a one-size-fits-all approach that does not allow for bioindividuality in how people respond to foods, to sleep, or to stress. I just think we have to stop being so rigid and silly and acknowledge people where they are, help them get to where they need to go, and let them understand that, Hey, in the beginning few weeks, a month, you might be feeling really different. It is worth it. What’s on the other side? But do not expect that something that has been a problem for years will be gone in days or weeks. I think that conversation needs to be had.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Well, I had to add something to that. Being in this practice of reversing diabetes for more than 30 years, I find that most Type 2 diabetics have their diabetes completely reversed within four weeks. Number two, it is rare that it takes more than a month to get them off their drug. But the important caveat here is that if they do not start cutting back on medication pretty soon, in the first couple of days, they can become hypoglycemic and have a dangerous episode. The warning here is to not underestimate the effectiveness of nutritional excellence to reverse diabetes, cut your medications back appropriately, and get some advice to get some professional help if need be. I have had people come in to the retreat on, let us say, 80 units a day of long-acting insulin as a Type 2 diabetic. On their day of arrival, I have not cut out all their insulin yet because they were using long-acting insulin the next day, but the following morning, the second morning after they have been here, they have a hypoglycaemic event where their sugars are 60 or they are feeling or they are one time I had to actually become mentally confused and combative and I had to call 911.

I had stopped taking insulin upon arrival. That’s how fast the sugar dropped. It is, but I gave him some. I got some, made some date syrup, and put it under his tongue. I got him back to being lucid and okay before the ambulance got here, and I was able to cancel the ambulance call so we would never get in the ambulance. I still called the ambulance, thinking I would have to get an IV access or something, as my sugar was too low. But I am just making it clear now that with both blood pressure medications and diabetic medications, it is important to err on the side of taking it easy and on the side of cutting back on medications a little more aggressively than you. You would think we should not underestimate how effective this can be because we do not want to see the sugars get too low. We’d rather run a little higher if we had to than get too low and have somebody in a hypoglycemic coma or something because of the overuse of medication. Same thing with blood pressure. We don’t want a person dropping their blood pressure too low, fainting, and smacking their head on the ground when they are eating a diet with oil. With such a degree of healthy food, their blood pressure and glucose go down, and they immediately should start diminishing and following their blood pressure and blood glucose closely to make sure they are properly reducing their medications and do not overmedicate themselves.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Thank you for bringing that forward. Sometimes people get confused about these things, and I always encourage people to be in partnership with their doctor. Whoever prescribes a medicine should take charge of their health and understand the consequences. So when you make these big lifestyle shifts because your body can respond so quickly, you’ve got to stay on top of the medications and your metrics. Your blood pressure is just

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

The doctors do not know it. The problem is that conventional doctors do not know how effective or how quickly this could work.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

They do not believe in

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Conventional doctors screw people up. They really do mess people up, because they have. I did a study on, I think, about 450 people with blood pressure medications. Within six months, the average person’s systolic blood pressure dropped by 26 points. But in looking at all the blood, going through all the medical records from all the doctors, and everything else, it was amazing how doctors did not take medication that way and how people were able to have their blood pressure drop so low. That could have been a danger zone, and it was so late that they matched the two and responded appropriately. For some, it is good to reinforce that.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes. It is just ironic, and I am hopeful that we can continue to get our conventional medical colleagues more educated and more aware about these things so they can be a better partner because there is just an education gap and, well, there is just work to do. I think we are getting knowledge on that. You have talked about some of the key elements of your end-of-life diabetes plan. What can someone do to at least get started on this?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Well, I think the place to get started is possibly lunch, which is the most important meal of the day. So if everybody ate a large salad for lunch with lots of vegetables, including cucumbers and tomatoes, red onions, scallions, lettuce, and cruciferous greens, and the dressing was not made from oil by blending up some hemp seeds and walnuts, let us say with some tomato sauce or sesame seeds and cashews with an apple peeled orange and a splash of vinegar. In other words, instead of de-stressing with a bowl of vegetable bean soup, why not make a big bowl of vegetable bean mushroom soup on the weekend? You can add a quarter ounce to ten different containers, and you have a bowl of vegetable bean mushroom soup, a salad, and a piece of fruit for dessert. If everybody across America had that lunch, then we would have saved 60% of health care costs and millions of lives. That’s the first place to start.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes. You’d also get rid of the line of people at the coffee shop at 2 p.m. because they are having that blood sugar crash.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

The fast food restaurants, the coffee shops, and the pizza places, too. At lunch, they do all this. People eat fast food at lunch. They make lunch a dangerous meal instead of a healthy one. That’s why I start with lunch, because it’s the most important meal of the day. Because you are not supposed to eat a heavy dinner anyway, a supposedly too light and early dinner, and lunch, you want to eat a more substantial meal, and that is the meal where you are eating all these healthy foods at lunch. That sustains you for the afternoon because you had the beans in the soup and you had the vegetables and you had the nuts in there, and you had all these healthy foods, and you can maintain yourself, and you could go home and have a lighter dinner and go to eat beef and be great.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

I agree. I totally agree with this. As a kid, I realized one of the blessings I had was that we could go home from school lunch, and my family lunch was our biggest meal of the day. It is what most people would consider dinner. I realized what a great substrate I had, but that is not necessarily everybody’s experience. I hear you about that. Let us touch on the topic of weight loss. There are so many drugs now that are targeted, whether it is peptide therapies or whatever it may be, for weight loss. Why is it that people have such a hard time and fail at weight loss? In particular, how do you remove the obstacles that get in the way so that people can actually do this, sustain it, and get back to that healthy weight?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Yes, they require additional assistance. Now that they do not have the knowledge and information at their fingertips, they cannot lose weight, and doctors do not give them the information. They do not even know themselves; it is difficult for people, so yes, you have to learn a lot. I have also studied this and found that I can test people’s knowledge, and if they are not highly educated in the field of nutrition, then their chance of succeeding is nil. They have to have a lot of knowledge. That is where watching the videos, buying the books, and coming to summits come in. That’s why learning first is important, and they have to be very well educated. The thing is, of course, that we are talking about the idea that most diets fail because people do not pay attention to the nutritional quality of what they are eating with the goal of having a high nutrient density in the cell.

If your cells are not nutrient-dense, you are going to have trouble controlling your appetite. so you have to get the nutrients in. Unless you are going to start eating green vegetables, and green vegetables are the key, that’s why we are a vegetable-dependent animal. Unless you are going to eat a lot of green vegetables, you cannot control your addictive drive. People’s diets are going to fail here. They try to get enough nutrients into their bodies, so they have to eat enough volume and enough high-nutrient foods, about which I have already talked. But I have this acronym called G Bombs, G B O M B S, and that acronym stands for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds (flax seeds, chia seeds). These six foods are the most anti-cancer foods that work synergistically. But if we include all those foods in our diet each day in an adequate amount, it has a marker effect, not just making us live longer but suppressing the desire to overeat and making us satisfied with the amount of calories. You cannot just willy-nilly die and cut back on calories when your body’s craving so many calories; you have to make it crave less. That means you have got to put some good, healthy food in there.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes, absolutely. If someone switches to a Nutritarian way of eating, which I hope people do because it just makes sense, nutrient density is critical for human health and viability. Does this also apply to people who have type 1 diabetes? As a reminder to our audience, type 1 diabetes has a different root cause onset it is because of an autoimmune attack on the pancreas. The pancreas no longer makes that person have to take insulin. It is a prescription medication for the rest of their lives until we figure out some other options.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Well, I actually published a study on that, too, by the way. I even had some young kids who had either a reversal or near reversal of their type 1 diabetes because we caught them so early in life when they were first diagnosed. But in any case, yes, type 2 diabetics have a tremendous reduction in their potential lifespan; they have increased morbidity and mortality, major heart attack risk, and a high risk of all these diseases, not because of their type 1 diabetes but because of the way they manage their type 1 diabetes and the way conventional medicine manages type 1 diabetes.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Oh, so your whole statement here is about type one. You start out with Type 2, is that right?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

In the last minute, I have only been talking about type 1.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Okay, got it.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Last minute. I am only talking about Type 1. I am saying that type 1 diabetics are usually using two, three, or four times as much insulin as a person on a healthy diet would require. That’s the high amount of insulin use that ages them, and it is the bad foods that they are trying to avoid. The conventional doctor is trying to keep their sugar levels stable. Well controlled with insulin and adjust their insulin appropriately. They can adjust their insulin to what they are eating. I am saying, No, let us focus on what we are eating to be.  Let us not adjust the insulin. Let us set the insulin, and it’s just the foods that require more insulin than that.

For example, I had a medical student here who had to quit medical school because he felt so poorly with his uncontrolled type 1 diabetes. When he was done here for a few months, he only required 12 units of insulin a day. When he came in, he required 80 instances. I had an anesthesiologist at my local hospital who was still thinking of quitting his job because he could not stay focused during surgeries. He went from using about 70, and it has been a slow day, to using about 15 minutes of insulin a day with better control, more alertness, and no highs and lows. His body became really fit and ripped. In other words, he really has pretty good health. Here’s the point I am making: I am saying that a type 1 diabetic can have a normal life span with the expectation of living to be 95 to 105 years old, just like everybody else. If they eat a healthy diet and use insulin appropriately, they will need the same amount of insulin a normal person would need.

But with the American way of eating, you get insulin resistance in a type 1 diabetic; they are not just type 1. They’re overweight types who are now Type 2 and interchangeable. They’re type ones because they are insulin-resistant type ones. They require an excess amount of insulin, and they are eating too much, so their diet is glycemic unfavorable. The diet is nutritionally unflappable. They damage their instant receptors. They have to overuse insulin, and the overuse of insulin accelerates aging and causes type 1 patients to die early. It is the type of diet they are given and the obvious events that cause the problem. This is not just as important but more important for type 1 because, just because they are not going to get rid of it completely, it is still going to require some insulin. They’re still requiring a safe amount of insulin, not an unsafe amount of insulin.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Those are strong distinctions. Thank you. Yes, I think that for people who have type 1 diabetes, the need is every bit as urgent, if not more urgent, than for pre-diabetes with type 2 diabetes. Frankly, for anybody’s health

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

I know it is amazing what people will say. The type one will say, Oh, I do not have Type 2, so I do not have to worry because it is not a dietary-induced disease.  It is just about me using drugs, and I can eat everything else and just take the medications. No, that is totally wrong. They’ve been given all that bad information that brainwashes them to think this is not their diet and that the diet is not important. So it is critical that they reverse this false brainwashing.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Yes absolutely. I know people who, in my opinion, abuse and misuse insulin by eating lots of pizza, ice cream, and candy. I am—no, no, just as you said. It is, without a doubt, the wrong trend. Okay. Well, that is really great. These are wonderful things, and I am sure everybody who is watching this can benefit from them, just to have clarity around what is normal, what is healthy, and what it is that promotes us to live long and live well and not suffer as we age.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

White flour is not food. It is a drug. It is cocaine. It is dangerous. It is a drug. The bread comes into the body as it enters the bloodstream as sugar, the same as if you eat cubes of sugary candy, white flour, croissants, bagels, pizza, donuts, and all these things. They are candy, they are dangerous, and they are drugs. When you are going through the airport and you inhale the bagels, the chocolate chip cookies, the pretzels, and all these foods, they are enticing you with the drug centers of the brain, and everybody’s an addict around you. It is hard not to be. No, you do not have to do what everybody else does.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

We are humans, and we are social. That’s for sure. That makes a difference. The environment we are in matters, and we just have to have clarity about what healthy choices are. Dr. Fuhrman, it has been delightful to interview you. Thank you so much for your knowledge and wisdom. If people want to connect with you, where can they find more information?

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

The best place is drfuhrman.com, that is D R F U H R M A N dot com, and we also have that free gift to start, a guide to the new Criterion diet, for people who want to avail themselves of that.

 

Beverly Yates, ND

Thank you so much. Friends, please be sure to share all these wonderful sessions, especially this one, with anyone you know who either is on this path and wants to live a healthier life or is in need of some correct, accurate information and not the general gibberish that can be found by just Googling around. Thank you so much, Dr. Fuhrman.

 

Joel Fuhrman, MD

Thank you. Good luck to everybody. Bye.

 

 

 

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