#14 What’s A Nutritarian Diet? With Dr.Joel Fuhrman

Introduction Of Podcast

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, seven-time New York Times best-selling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing. He specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional methods. In this episode, Dr. Fuhrman & Mohit discuss the evolution of nutrition over the modern history, how plant-based diet can help in longevity and also some interesting nutritraian concepts such as G-Bombs. Hop in for more!


  • (00:00 – 01:34) – Introduction
  • (02:10 – 05:38) – Dr. Fuhrman’s Journey
  • (06:20 – 09:20) – Refutations on G-BOMBS
  • (10:42 – 17:03) – Dr. Fuhrman’s Take On Nutrition
  • (19:45 – 27:00) – Dr. Fuhrmans’s Opinion On New Age Nutrition Companies
  • (28:32 – 39:17) – What are G-BOMBS?

Key Takeaways – Transcripts

Intro (Mohit): In our lifetime, we develop a bunch of perceptions around nutrition. It starts when you are a kid and are trying to form your relationship with food. And as you grow up and discover stuff, you’re told what works and what doesn’t. There are innumerable people in your circle who might talk to you and ask you to follow a specific kind of diet. It gets so exhaustive sometimes that you feel like giving up. The journey to know what’s the right diet for you, for your body. What do you like, Is a long one. And more often than not, you tend to get lost in the clutter formed by different opinions. To Throw a little objectivity into the canvas, we have with us Dr. Joel Fuhrman, a board certified family physician, seven time New York Times bestselling author and internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing. In this episode, we talk about plant-based diet versus alternate diets. Dr. Fuhrman elaborates on why he thinks plant-based diet is the end game when it comes to longevity. He doesn’t really beat around the bush on this one. He backs it up with science and stats observed and researched on over more than 35 years of his illustrious career. He also touched upon how the food industry has evolved over time, arguably for the worst, and how processed cooking oil, which all of us know is quite detrimental towards your health. We also discuss a little bit about it. Dr. Fuhrman also discusses a lot of cool nutrition concepts, such as the ANDI index and G-bombs, which makes this a really intriguing listen. So let’s get into it.

(Mohit): Hi, Dr. Joel. Good to finally have you here. I was really looking forward to this chat. Thank you.

(Joel): My pleasure to be here. Looking forward to it too. Amazing.

Question (Mohit): I’ve been a big fan of your work for a long, long time. The first thing I remember from your work has been the index, the ANDI index that you actually call it. And that was the biggest takeaway. Sort of like not looking at foods from a calorific perspective and basically just also looking at the ANDI index. And that sort of, like, brings a nature perspective to how you look at actually foods, right? I mean, there are foods in nature that nutrient dense, but I think before we get to all of that, of course, I’m just talking through my enthusiasm here, but would love to understand a little bit about your journey first, right? So how did you get to this place of talking to the world about a new, radical way of looking at nutrition?

Answer (Joel): Well, I’m 68 years old. When I was ten years old, my father was overweight and sickly, and we started reading health and nutrition books together because he wanted to lose weight and get in better health. So I started to read books from Herbert Shelton in the American Natural Hygiene Society. And then we started to eat healthier when we were teenage. When I was a teenager and my father lost weight and improved his health, too. And then I just became very enthusiastic and passionate about learning nutrition, which eventually led me to the desire to go to medical school, to specialize in nutritional medicine. Of course, I went to a conventional medical school in the United States University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine and then pursued my interest of choice, which was to do nutritional and natural medicine. Even though I’m a board certified family physician. Most of my career has been getting people off medication and getting them to recover from their diseases using nutritional excellence. Now, I’ve written twelve books, and seven of them, were New York Times bestsellers. So I’ve been on television in the United States, on public television here, which gave me a lot of exposure to my nutritional methods, which enabled a lot of people to lose weight, get healthy, get off their blood pressure medications, reverse diabetes, reverse psoriasis, asthma, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, lupus. So I’m claiming that nutrition is much more powerful than drugs and is the avenue in which people can get healthy and get well again and not be on medications the rest of their life. So I’ve used nutritional excellence and made protocols for various diseases to help people make complete recoveries, even from advanced heart disease, to get completely off their medication and get well again. You mentioned earlier that you read one of my books. Which book have you read?

(Mohit): Eat to Live. That was the first one, yeah.

(Joel): Oh, you read Eat to Live, one of my earlier books That’s great.

(Mohit): It led from your Ted Talk to Eat to Live and then basically reading more about different people talking about further books, right?

(Joel): Oh, that’s cool. And then I have my most recent book is called Eat for Life, which is mostly updates the research and gives more current research support and gives more protocols for various diseases. I want people to my real message is to tell people that they don’t have to be sick. You can get well if you know the right way to do so. And also that we have an unprecedented opportunity in human history where we can actually live longer and better than ever before. And that we don’t have to have heart attacks and strokes. Nobody has to have diabetes or dementia. And we have enough information to win the war on cancer. Nutritional science is where the technology and the answers are not with conventional pharmacology, with medical pharmacology, and inventing more drugs and new surgical techniques are not the answer to what ails the modern world. It’s really nutrition that’s going to enable us to wipe out heart attacks and strokes and need the strategies.

Question (Mohit): Right. Wow, this sounds pretty radical, even though it should not. But the point that you made that being healthy should be an option for people, right? People should have the option to not have diabetes, not have certain forms of cancers or basically have the option to stay healthy and be off medication as much as possible. That is very new in the field of medicine. We work with several doctors and with several nutrition experts in this space. And what we have come to understand is that it’s sort of like a new era getting created, right? In terms of new age of, you can say alternative way to look at health and medicine that’s actually coming. So when you drop these truth bombs right? And I’m sort of like mimicking, I think in one of the talks you mention something called G Bombs. Good way to understand food, G bombs. Yeah, right? So when you rob these truth bombs, what sort of friction do you get all around you? Because you’re essentially saying that you can be off medication, you can avoid diabetes, you can be off certain forms of cancers The entire pharmaceutical industry and the medicine industry is not going to take that, if lack of a better word, kindly or take it very lightly, right? Would love to understand 

Answer (Joel): Well, I think, the growth of restaurants and fast food and processed foods and the growing waist line of the modern world and the explosion of diabetes and heart disease and cancers right now in the United States, our CDC says that 50% of Americans are now diabetic or pre-diabetic. Can you imagine? Half of all Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic. There’s plenty of pace to people for them to treat with drugs. I don’t think that drug companies are too afraid of me because the people haven’t stopped their love affair with addictive foods that hook them and destroy their health. There’s not so many healthy people that I’m threatening anybody yet. Nevertheless, keep in mind that the growth of the scientific nutritional community and the research that’s been done in the last decade has caused an explosion in physicians that are using nutritional methods now. And the American College of Lifestyle Medicine has its own board certification now. And thousands of doctors have even been board certified in lifestyle medicine that are using these nutritional methods to reverse disease. And we’ve been doing studies on how telling teaching doctors how to deprescribe instead of teaching them how to prescribe, we’re teaching them how to reduce people’s medications and get them off medications after they change their diet. And even the New York City hospitals now, because New elected Mayor of New York, Eric Adams, they’re now using plant-based life slow medicine to reverse disease in New York City hospital. And when the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, when doctors who specialize in nutrition are surveyed for what books they’ve read the most and recommend to their patients, my books come on top of the list. So I’m very proud of that. That I’ve positively influenced a whole generation of physicians to utilize nutrition in their practice and recommend my books to their patients. So rather than seeing a negative feedback, I’ve seen mostly positive feedback, mostly enthusiasm and passion from doctors that are now embracing more nutrition in their practice. And there are a lot of towns in the United States that have nutritarian restaurants and physicians and family doctors that use my books and put my videos and books in their waiting rooms. So those are the doctors who are mostly in contact with me, ordering books by the case and telling me how grateful they are for my work, which has been mostly very rewarding. I rarely get anything that’s a kickback or negative or mostly getting support, you know what I mean?

Question (Mohit): That’s pretty fascinating given that it’s so radical. And in this conversation as well, I think the perspective that you painted right, which is basically most people are sick, which is pretty insane. It’s not like most people are healthy and sick is an exception, which is how most industries are, that most industries solve for a problem that’s not the norm. And we solve for a sector of people, like for example, in manufacturing, we solve for a sector of problems and the rest of the world is working with the happy flow, whereas in health care or sick care today, most people are sick and it’s actually getting worse with better and better technology. That makes it quite counterintuitive. And I think almost ten years back, actually not ten years back, maybe five or six years back when I read the I actually read three books in a sequence. The first one was actually your book, and then I read this book which sounds similar to yours called Eat and Run, it’s by Scott Jurek – a Top ultramathon runner. And there were a few other athletes in this space coming forward with their own experiences. These are not people experts in nutritional science or anything else, but they were coming out with their own experiences that, hey, there is an alternative way to look at nutrition. But then there is plant-based nutrition, which is pretty fascinating to look at. So I would love to understand your perspective because when you look at the world of nutrition, there is sort of like camps now getting built even in alternate nutrition, right? There is this camp of people talking about that, hey, plant-based nutrition is an alternative way to look at things. And I think they’re painting a sustainable view equally. There are new carnivore diet enthusiasts who are coming to picture. There are people who are actually doing a combination of both and saying that maybe it’s the ketogenic diet that actually works best for most people. So these are the top and there are many other camps that you would know as well, right? So what’s a good way for individuals to actually look at this and understand? Is it more experimentation or is there a fundamental science behind each of these three things that differ? And are these three things different tools that people can think about?

Answer (Joel): No, not at all. I think that there’s always going to be those radical people that don’t use science properly. But let me just say this that there are short term studies that generate a hypothesis and give us some information as to what might be useful for people with it. Look at soft endpoints. We do a study for six months or a year. A person’s diabetes gets better, they lose weight, their cholesterol improves, and that gives us a hypothesis. We might be on the right track, but it’s certainly not definitive because you could smoke cigarettes to lose weight and it may not be good for you long term. You may die young of lung cancer just because you lost weight from smoking cigarettes. So we don’t know for sure if that short term approach is going to result in long term benefits and enhancement and lifespan. To know that for sure and have a study with a high credence, we have to see if we have long term studies that corroborate the short term studies. Are there studies with many thousands of people following a particular diet? Are these many thousands of people followed for decades? Not a few years, but for like ten or 20 years? And do we have the opportunity to look at hard endpoints like death, like heart attacks or cancer diagnoses? And the answer is, like you’re mentioning, over the last five years, these studies have come to their completion, they come to fruition. And we have lots of indication and data to suggest that diets high in animal products are lifespan shortening, and that carnivore or keto or paleo diets have the most early life deaths, and that high levels of animal protein accelerates aging and raises hormones that allows cells to replicate and promote cancer. And we know the longest lifespan are in people who eat mostly plants. And the more plant-based you get your diet, the more potential you have to live to be 100 years old. With a few caveats here. One is that there are some plant based diets

that are not healthy, not designed to be healthy, and they’re not necessarily going to have better outcomes. That’s why this acronym G Bombs comes into play, because it’s particularly vegetables that have the most consistent and powerful association with reduction of cancers of all types. That means eating more vegetables, not eating more bread. Bread and pasta and candy and cookies are all plant based foods and eating more processed foods. And bread and muffins and bagels are not pizza and they’re not going to extend longevity in their life. So these high glycemic diets are also associated with higher rates of cancer. And studies on, like British vegans who eat a lot of rice and bread have lower protein intake, leading to higher rates of hip fractures and osteoporosis and fractures in later life. So we’re talking about a well designed plant based diet that’s rich in green vegetables and rich in beans and nuts and seeds, is the most lifespan promoting. There’s not any scientific controversies here because the data is overwhelming that we have scores of studies that corroborate each other to show that more greens, more beans and more nuts and seeds in a diet extends human lifespan and more meats and sweets and white flour and fried foods and oils shorten lifespan. I can say that again. So we’re talking here about getting our fat from whole nuts and seeds, not from processed oils. So it’s a major change in the way people are thinking about food today. But one thing to make clear, more animal protein added to a diet accelerates aging and shortens lifespan. And this has been corroborated with numerous studies in the last decade. And more plant protein in the diet makes for longer life. That means a diet with mostly fruit or mostly potatoes or rice or mostly bread isn’t going to have the same protein density as a diet using beans and nuts and greens, which are higher protein plant foods. So protein does play an important role in people obtaining longer lifespan to be a healthy centenarian. But it’s the higher protein plant foods we have to look for, not the higher protein animal products, because the animal products have to much pro inflammatory substances and they grow more pathogenic and pro inflammatory bacteria in the gut producing inflammatory compounds like TMAO. And they also raise hormones that are growth promoting hormones that allow cancer cells to replicate, like IGF-1. So the only way these paleo and carnivore and keto advocates can promote their work is by denying the existence and validity of all these large scale studies, including the work of thousands of researchers. I have over 2000 scientific references in my recent book Eat for Life, documenting how many studies corroborate each other, showing the lifespan enhancing effect of these colorful plant foods and eating a variety of them. But I think you’re right. It’s very new. This aspect of getting your fat from sunflower seeds and walnuts and other nuts and seeds as opposed to getting your fat from oil is a major gap in people’s thinking because they think fat just is from animal products or pouring oil on their food. And we’re saying forget the animal products and forget the oil. Mix some nuts and seeds in your salad dressing or your sauce to put on your vegetables.

Question (Mohit): Yeah. Wow. This is fascinating because I grew up in Indiain the 80s and 90s and what I realized was that my household, we went from probably being like an almost 95% plant eater with a lot of you can say green vegetables and nuts and occasional you can say non vegetarian food. Maybe meat once every 15 days. Once every month. Just like a special day. Two, basically getting you can say over time. Including more and more meat into our diets given by the protein problem that was sort of like well marketed in the Indian market that. Hey. Everybody’s deficient of protein. So just eat more animals. Protein that’s out there and to also include move away from cold pressed natural oils to vegetable oils like super processed hydrogenated vegetable oils in India. And this sectoral shift, this shift has actually happened especially in the last 30 years. And I actually grew up within this era that it was driven by economics, of course, that all these other things were cheaper, like hydrogen and vegetable oils are cheaper compared to, let’s say, cold processed oil. And whereas cold processed oils used to be the norm before hydrogenated oils used to come into picture. So this is very interesting because the way the food industry moves from here will drive how our public health also moves. And you painted super interesting perspective that the research, the new enthusiasts of paleo and keto and the carnivore diets will have to suppress a lot of research that’s there on the plant based diets to actually think about this. This is really interesting because I think probably we think that the only way we could come out of this is new age companies and potentially some internet companies that could bring in the information era in nutrition and actually work with. I think people who are thought leaders in this space like you to actually bring this to the mass market because most of the people are still not aware. Most of the people who have the money and who can afford things, better food. They don’t have the awareness that hydrogenated  vegetable oils are not good for them. Vegan does not mean eating processed foods out of a store. You gave a great example that people who move to vegan sometimes think that eating potato wafers is actually being vegan and then basically come back and say that, hey, vegan diet is not working for me, which is insane and it’s an interesting time in our life. And how do you see new age companies? Have you come across a few set of these companies that are actually thinking the right way, companies, methods, who are building the ecosystem of awareness around this new science?

Answer (Joel): Well, yes, I think in this country that there’s more, how should I say, home monitoring of medical conditions where people are entering their blood pressure and their blood glucose and have like wearing bands that dwell on how much exercise they do. So we have more high tech gadgets now bringing people, monitoring their medical condition and also bringing them information into the home. And a lot of these companies now want to give people nutritional information through the internet into their home to improve their blood pressure, to improve their pulse, to improve their blood cholesterol, their glucose. And instantaneously they can track these things and see when they change their diet, they can get better effects. So I think modern technology to a certain degree has made some forward thinking technologies to think that we have to use nutrition on our platform as well because we don’t want to just monitor people, we want to motivate them and show them that they can use these tools to get healthy. And these tools can be used to teach them, to reward them and to teach their families to support them in their quest for better health. And you can’t get good health from going to the more medical doctors and taking more drugs. You can only get better health by changing what you eat and how you exercise and sleep, but it’s mostly what you eat. And certainly hydrogenated oils are more dangerous. But even non hydrogenated oils are still very fattening. And there’s no such thing as a healthy, overweight person in spite of people that object that this idea threatens. The fat on the body causes disease because fat cells make you insulin resistant and shorten your lifespan and throw out pro inflammatory substances that increase your risk of infectious disease as well. So the death rate from infections, and even in this COVID era, is enhanced in people who are overweight. But overweight people having crisp risk of cancer as well. So we want to be leaner, and oils inhibit weight loss tremendously. And then, so we’re talking here about eating a wide variety of high nutrient, lower calorie plants that have lower glycemic effects. And the study of modern nutrition enables people to eat a good amount of healthy, good tasting foods made with great recipes that are satisfying and can enable them to achieve an ideal body weight and keep the weight off for the rest of their life.

(Mohit): So I think the fact that you mentioned that there are companies that are bringing in information to people, they’re not bringing in the outcome or the therapy or the method of the new diet to people, but then they are providing measurement methods. For example, in this case we provide people a way to look at their glucose levels, which is sort of like in some cases, it’s a proxy for insulin. We’re really trying to understand how your insulin moves throughout the day, via a continuous glucose monitor. What we have understood over time, the last two years is that a lot of what people think of being healthy and unhealthy is actually smart marketing and not really what’s the reality. And the other thing is that you can also put on a lot of body fat by eating healthy foods if not eating the right proportions. Those are the two, you can say natural, but also counter realizations that we have had over time. Especially, for example, the association with home food.

(Joel): What food? 

(Mohit): Home food. Home cooked food.

(Joel): I’m not sure about that. It’s very hard to become overweight eating super really healthy foods if you’re eating like broccoli, green vegetables, onions, mushrooms, berries, eggplant, artichokes, asparagus. The real healthy foods coming from your vegetable garden aren’t going to get people overweight, even if they eat a lot of them. Absolutely. They have to add oil onto the diet or add processed carbohydrates or at least too much rice or potato or something or flour or bread products. It’s very difficult. Overweight and obesity was very rare in ancient and primitive times when people were growing their own food. So I’m saying that it becomes relatively easy to lose weight when you eat larger amounts of these really health superfoods because they crowd out the bad food. And of course, when we’re talking about using rice and oil, well, that’s really going to lead to people being overweight because they’re putting oil and fat, liquid fat on top of a carbohydrate, food like that. So once we design the healthy style of the diet and like you were in earlier. Use the ANDI score. Which is just one method. But we’re talking here about the main purpose of the ANDI score is to have people recognize that green vegetables are so super high in nutrients compared to something like chicken or bread or rice that the real nutrients come in these colorful plants and that includes things like peppers and tomatoes and mushrooms. So these things have high nutrient levels per calorie, but they’re high in fiber, high in nutrients and relatively low in calories. So the more you eat of them almost, the more weight you lose. So it’s just tweaking the diet to direct people with the right kind of foods they should be eating as the major portion on their plate and then they find that they’re losing weight easily and their desire is of less calories. I’m making another unusual claim here. I’m saying when you’re not eating enough nutrients, it makes you more ravenously hungry and wanting to consume excess calories. That when your diet is too low in nutrients. And that white rice, white bread and also animal products like meat and chicken do not contain phytochemicals and antioxidants or do not have a significant micronutrient load. And when you keep putting foods in the body that don’t have significant micronutrients and no phytochemicals and antioxidants, you build up more free radicals and pro inflammatory substances in the body. You literally become more toxic. And the toxicosis causes addiction because then you feel fatigued and wasted feeling and agitated when you don’t constantly put food in your mouth and you need excess calories to keep your energy up because the food isn’t metabolized efficiently into energy. So to a degree, I’m saying that white flour and white bread and sugar and honey and maple syrup are a drug. They act on the body like a drug more than a real food does. And they drive overeating behavior and they light up the brain and make you consume excess calories. And oil is also an appetite stimulant. So it’s eating the wrong foods that drives up the body weight, disease process and a desire to overeat calories where eating sufficiently of the right foods has the opposite effect to drive down the appetite to put them back in touch instinctually with the amount of calories they require and put people back to a normal weight.

(Mohit): It’s really hard to overeat good calories. That point is extremely fair. I think the difference is that a lot of people think what is healthy may not actually be with a very objective lens. For example, and this is sometimes driven by smart marketing as well. Like, for example, a lot of even in the US. Market are marketed as heart healthy, right, which has sort of like no relation or significance to, like, why would an oil be marketed as heart healthy? Similarly, a lot of grains and different types of processed flours with a little bit of added fibers are being now marketed as well. This is great for your weight loss. So this versus having an objective lens like ANDI. Where you actually are having a framework like G-Bomb. Where you actually say that. Oh. I’ll look at foods from when I go to the supermarket. I’ll put on my ANDI lens and I’ll actually look for anti scores or different foods and basically pick the ones that actually have a higher score or actually have like a G-bomb approach to my basket. That I’ll put all the G bombs in my basket and actually exit out first. That is the fundamental framework that is actually missing, because what we have done, really, is that we have a lot of nutritional stress in people’s lives, that we go to a nutritionist, they give us sort of like a chart that, hey, this is what you should be eating. And then you look for those foods specifically, and then you get rid of all of your things that you wanted to eat. It’s not a framework, it’s a new diet. So this change transition becomes harder and harder over time for people.

(Joel): Maybe the listeners don’t know what G Bombs are. Yeah, absolutely. Did we make that clear then? Yeah. Both ANDI and G-bomb would love to be G-bombs. G stands for greens. So it stands for greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds. Because I’m saying that the G Bombs. B-O-M-B-S greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries and seeds. The beans are legumes, chickpeas, lentils, azuki beans, kidney beans are associated with lower rates of cancer and longer lifespan. So these are the foods that have the most scientific documented studies on slowing aging, extending human lifespan, and preventing cancer. And we want people to try to eat them every day if possible. So I want people to eat a half a cup of beans a day, a big salad once a day. We don’t have that opportunity everywhere in the world, but much of the modern world has an opportunity where they can eat a big bowl of raw greens with leaf, with raw lettuce, like a big salad every day. And the dressing should be made with nuts and seeds blended up like nuts and seeds. Like, one of my favorite dressing is tomato sauce and sun dried tomatoes that are mixed with sunflower seeds and almonds and a little bit Of black fig vinegar or balsamic vinegar, a little vinegar in there. Make a salad dressing that isn’t made of oil and vinegar. It’s tomatoes and nuts or a peeled orange with toasted sesame seeds and cashews mixed with blood orange vinegar and some lemon to make an incredibly delicious dressing. So the dressings are healthy as opposed to just putting oil on your food. All oil is 120 calories a tablespoon. And a little oil might be not so bad if you’re slimming doing, if you’re a professional athlete or you’re a physical laborer working behind a plower with a shovel and an ax and a pickle all day long, burning 3000 calories or more. But most people work in computer work and desk work in offices and they’re not burning thousands of extra calories with exercise every day. They can’t afford to keep putting oil on their food. And if they’re overweight, then they shouldn’t be eating oil because anyone who says oil is good for them has to look at their waist and saying how could it be good for you if you’re overweight take out those extra calories because it’ll help your health if you lose weight. Because oil is contributing to your weight as a tremendous factor, as an appetite stimulant and stops fat from coming off your body. It’s the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the world’s population is the advertising technology to convince people that oil is a health food, right? Oil is healthy while the world gets fatter and fatter. You know what I mean? Yeah. Wow. But in any case, it’s important people know what those G-Bombs are and hopefully they can get those. It doesn’t have to be berries. It can be any kind of low sugar fruits. But berries are particularly have tremendous effects on anti cancer and extending human lifespan actually have anti diabetic effects.

(Mohit): When you say berries, these are locally grown berries or like any sort of 

(Joel): Yes, people can get frozen berries which are not that expensive in our country. They get the frozen and they can just take out what they need because when you buy fresh, it can go bad or get rotten fast and they’re very expensive. So you can get frozen blueberries and frozen blackberries or other fruits like kumkwat and low quat and cherries and other low sugar fruits. So even in the wheel study, the women’s healthy eating and living study, it showed that women who ate the most vegetables live the longest, green vegetables have the most protection against cancer. And that women who ate vegetables plus fruit had a longer lifespan than those who just ate the vegetables without the fruit. So those three things are being repeated in most modern nutritional literature. One, that vegetables are the most longevity promoting food, but green vegetables have the most anti cancer effects and then adding fruits and vegetables is better than vegetables alone. And of course more variety of natural plants including beans and nuts in your diet has tremendous ability to extend human lifespan. And most of the studies on nuts and seeds have shown about 40% reduction in cardiovascular death and a 30% reduction in cancer deaths. When people get their fat from seeds and nuts instead of from animal fats or oils, and those saturated fats and oil fats can distort the shape of the insulin receptor and make you more prone to diabetes. So this paleo or keto person eating animal products with saturated fat says, look, I can’t eat a mango or oatmeal because if I eat those things, my sugar spike through the roof. Look at my sugar. It’s too high. But that’s because they’re eating saturated fat, which distorted the function of the insulin receptor. So now they have a higher glycemic response when they’re trying to eat any carbohydrate. If they would get the fat off their diet and get the fat off their body, then they wouldn’t have the high glycemic response to the mango or the oatmeal. So we’re looking at not just the glycemic response, but the insulin resistance and the exposure, of course, to the antioxidants. And phytochemicals come with colorful plants and then a person, as they lose weight and get their weight down to having a low body fat than all the other inflammatory markers and diabetic markers, normalize. Even while their diet is not too carbohydrate restricted, they can tolerate more carbohydrates because they’re eating the right food and their body fat is low. And I’m saying that males should have a body fat below 15%. I’m 68, my body fat is about 10%. And females have body fat below 25% and probably ideally below 20% or 22% below body fat. So most people, the waistlines and the body weight of the modern world has just been climbing upwards for the last 50, 60 years, and now the average person is significantly overweight.

(Mohit): Wow. The most interesting part is the fact that it’s a framework and it’s not just a diet, it’s not a list of things that you should be eating, but it’s a mindset that you need to change. And also the fact that if you look at that body fat percentage framework, I think most people around us are going to turn into the zone of having some early forms of a metabolic disorder, maybe, right? The threshold is 15% and 25%, which is nowhere close to it.

Answer (Joel): That’s right. I’m saying that if you’re overweight, then you have some metabolic derangement because body fat is abnormal for the human species. That degree of body fat, at least.

(Mohit): Yeah, maybe it was an evolutionary, like, basically going into hibernation mechanism when your food deprived for the rest of the year, and then there’s just one splurge of body fat that actually saves you, but definitely not for throughout the year, and which is like the norm in most cultures right now.

(Joel): Before we had the refinement of oils and the refinement of rice into white rice and the refinement of white production of white flour and animal husbandry where they’re growing cattle and farms. But till we had modern farming and industrial foods and processed foods, humans never could get this over, become this overweight. It was very rare that there were overweight people in the history of the human race, except for the super wealthy, like the kings and queens, people didn’t have access to even that much animal products. Like you were saying, your family, when you were young, only had animal products once or twice a week. Most people couldn’t afford to have animal products. More than that, they weren’t that available. And there were no processed foods and Twinkies and fried foods and french fries and hamburgers and pizza around. They had to live with what they could grow. So throughout most of human history, and even through primate history, we’re talking about the great apes mostly lived on green vegetables and most plants. We’re not much genetically different from a great ape in the facts of our digestive tract, and our genes and our nutritional needs are still as a species, we’re dependent on the antioxidants and phytochemicals and these colorful plants. And all primates are high, green consuming animals. All the primates are a huge amount of green leafy vegetation, and our body is dependent on green vegetables for normal immunity. If you don’t like green vegetables, I say you better live close to a hospital because you’re going to need one. I make the joke and say, I love to go skiing. And they sell these expensive places on the ski slopes or in there the mountains. And these houses cost so much money, and they should set up these houses and condos in your hospitals so people who want to eat the way other Americans eat could live right close to the hospital. Instead of going skiing close to your house, they can go into the hospital close to their house because they’re going to be going back and forth to doctors the rest of their life.

(Mohit): That’s a great way to build awareness for most people. I spent some time in Myanmar, like, living with the local population. My father was posted there. And there was this one part of the country where they had no access to flour persist, any sort of sugar, the flour. They only had the food that they were growing by themselves, which is primarily vegetables and nuts. No access to meat, because primarily they were poor people, essentially, in terms of affordability. They didn’t have access to a lot of electricity, like basically for seven to 08:00 p.m., they just had to switch off their lives. And what they would do is just walk on the road and they would eat something called sunflower seeds. It’s time past activity, right? It’s just like a way to pass time and sort of like just have some sunflower seeds in your hand and you add salt to it and start eating. Those were some of the healthiest people I ever saw. I don’t remember anybody who probably would have had more than 10% body fat. Everybody like in their 50s one of the folks who was working in one of our farms there was actually 58 and I used to joke that this guy looks at like 16 year old because of the skin and the hair and the ability to lift things etc. So that’s your proof in terms of working population. 

(Joel): That’s right. And I think it’s particularly normal for healthy people to live between 95 and 105 years old that we have. The modern nutritional science gives us that ability to push the slow aging and push the envelope of human longevity and live healthy with our full mental faculties intact to 100 years old. And we killed that opportunity for most people in the modern world and it’s not only the not even living near that but they’re suffering with diseases, feeling sick and being how should I say the word? Dysthymic, which means they’re not depressed but they’re not that happy about living. They kind of just go through their life surviving, existing with no passion or excitement about life because their health is so poor and they’re eating so poorly. 

(Mohit): This has been a big revalation. I think I’ve learnt so many things on this podcast that I think I’m going to take away a lot of things I just wrote down and would love to connect further in the future to actually figure out a way to educate people and work together on this. But Dr, it’s been a pleasure to have you here. I think in the world of nutrition and new world of medicine I should say not just nutrition, right? There are very few people who are actually thinking in a way that is closer to truth and are dropping these truth bombs or G-bombs of truth. So really appreciate you making time here and thanks a ton for making it to the podcast.

(Joel): Thank you and of course best of health to you and all your listeners and wishing everybody the best. Thank you.

Outro (Mohit): So what did you make of that? Dr. Fuhrman helped shed light into the picture of nutrition game which has been devolving over years and what the future holds for us. He also shares why you should at least give plant based diet a go and have it and why this would have a huge impact when it comes to longevity. We’d love to know what your thoughts are. Tag us on Instagram and Twitter @ultrahumanhq and if you missed it the last time around, I’m also pleased to share that we are now available on all leading podcast platforms such as Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher and many others. So don’t forget to subscribe to us. If you found this talk interesting, please help in spreading the word across. Share it with your family and friends. See you soon with another episode.

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