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Do You Have Healthy Gut Bacteria? Find Out With This Simple Checklist – Dr David Perlmutter

The above video is 3:17 minutes long.

Watch the full interview below or listen to the full episode on your iPhone HERE.

Guy: Make no mistake, the importance of gut health is becoming more paramount than ever and it’s something I believe should not be ignored. So who better to ask than a board-certified neurologist who truly understands the gut, brain and health connection!

Dr David Perlmutter Brain Maker

Our fantastic guest today is Dr David Perlmutter. He is here to discuss his brand new book ‘Brain Maker’ – The Power Of Microbes to Heal & Protect Your Brain For Life.

The cornerstone of Dr. Perlmutter’s unique approach to neurological disorders is founded in the principles of preventive medicine. He has brought to the public awareness a rich understanding that challenging brain problems including Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, depression, and ADHD may very well be prevented with lifestyle changes including a gluten free, low carbohydrate, higher fat diet coupled with aerobic exercise.

Full Interview: The Key to a Healthy Gut Microbiome & the ‘Brain Maker’

In This Episode:

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  • Why gut health and microbiome is critical for long lasting health
  • The quick ‘checklist’ to see if you have a healthy gut
  • What to eat daily to nurture your gut health
  • David’s daily routines to stay on top of gut & microbiome health
  • Dr Perlmutter’s favourite & most influential books:
    - ‘Good Calories, Bad Calories’ & ‘Why We Get Fat’ by Gary Taubes
    - Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse
    The Disease Delusion by Dr. Jeffrey Bland
  • And much much more…

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Full Transcript

Guy:Hey, guys. This is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition. Welcome to today’s health sessions. This is a podcast I certainly thoroughly enjoyed recording and it’s one I’m definitely going to listen to again. There’s a lot of information on here that I’ll need to go over, but ultimately, I think it’s a podcast that if you take the time to understand what’s been spoken about and actually apply the things that are said, it can make a dramatic change to one’s health, to your own life and of course your longevity and quality of life moving forward. I think it’s that big a topic. The topic at hand is going to be pretty much with the microbiome, gut health. Our awesome guest today is Dr. David Perlmutter.

If you’re unaware of David, David is a board-certified neurologist and a fellow of the American College of Nutrition. I almost didn’t get my words out there. He’s been interviewed by many national syndicated radios and television programs, including Larry King Live, CNN, Fox News, Fox and Friends, the Today’s Show. He’s been on Oprah, Dr. Oz, the CBS Early Show. He is actually medical advisor to the Dr. Oz Show. Yes, we were very grateful for David to come on and give up an hour of his time and share his absolute wealth of knowledge with us today. He’s written a couple of awesome books in Grain Brain. He’s got a brand-new book out called the Brain Maker which is what we generally talk about today. That’s obviously the brain and gut connection.

The cornerstone of Dr. Perlmutter’s approach to neurological disorders has been founded in the principles of you could say preventative medicine, which is why we’re super excited to have him on. He has brought public awareness now to a rich understanding that challenging brain [00:02:00] problems include Alzheimer’s disease, other forms of dementia, depression, ADHD may very well be prevented … All these things with lifestyle changes. Think about that for a moment, including a gluten-free, low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet, coupled with exercise and aerobic exercise.

Anyway, strap yourself in. This is fantastic. For all you guys listening in the USA, if you haven’t heard, you might have heard me speaking on a couple of podcasts, but 180 Nutrition and now superfoods are now available across America wide which is super exciting for us. If you haven’t heard about it, you can literally just go back to 180nutrition.com and it’s a very simple way of replacing bad meal choices. If you’re stuck and you’re not sure what to do, we encourage a smoothie and a scoop of 180 with other things. It’s the easiest way to get nutrient-dense foods and fiber-rich foods really quickly. All you have to do is go back to 180nutrition.com and check it out. Let’s go over to David Perlmutter. Enjoy.

Hi. This is Guy Lawrence. I’m joined by Stuart Cooke. Hi, Stewie.

Stuart:Hello, Guy. How are you?

Guy:Our fantastic guest today is Dr. David Perlmutter. David, welcome to the show.

David:I’m delighted to be here, gentlemen.

Guy:It’s fantastic. We’ve been following your work for some time now and be able to expose us to the Aussie audience, I’m very excited about. With that mind, would you mind, for our listeners if they haven’t been exposed to your work before, just sharing a little bit about yourself and what you do?

David:I’d be delighted. I’m a brain specialist. I’m a neurologist, and that probably doesn’t explain what I do. I’m very much involved in various lifestyle factors as they affect the brain, as they affect human physiology, and really have begun exploring well beyond the brain, [00:04:00] what are we doing to ourselves in terms of the foods that we eat, both positive and negative? More recently, how are our food choices and other lifestyle choices affecting the microbiome, affecting the 100 trillion organisms that live within us because we now recognize that those organisms are playing a pivotal role in terms of determining whether we are healthy or not. That’s pretty much in a nutshell what I do.

Guy:There you go.

Stuart:Fantastic. We first heard about you, David, when you wrote the book, Grain Brain which was fantastic. For me, I think it was important because we heard a lot of stories and press about grains and how they’re making us fat and they’re ruining our health. Other ways made the connection of it’s grains … I’m okay with grains. I don’t get any gut ache. I don’t get any gastrointestinal issues, but I never thought about it from a brain perspective. I just wondered if you could share just a little bit about why you wrote Grain Brain, what inspired you to write it?

David:Stuart, the real impetus behind Grain Brain was for the very first time, I thought it was critical for a brain specialist to take a position of prevention, of looking at the idea that these devastating brain conditions that I’m dealing with on a daily basis, autistic children, adults with Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, you name it, that some of these issues are preventable, and that really flies in the face of pretty much mainstream doctrine. It is going against the grain, if you will which it seems to fit. It became very clear to me that our best peer-reviewed, well-respected literature [00:06:00] has been publishing information not only about gluten but about more generally, carbohydrates and sugar for a couple of decades, and no one has paid any attention.

It’s been published, but I really found that somebody needed to step forward and make that information known to the general public. I began implementing these practices in my clinical practice in treating patients day to day and began seeing really remarkable results. That is what got behind me writing the book, Grain Brain, really exploring how sugar, carbohydrates and gluten are absolutely toxic for the brain. Ultimately that book was translated into 27 languages and is published worldwide. The message has really gotten out there. I’m very proud of that. These are people reading the book that I will never see and yet, I know the information that they’re gleaning from reading this book is going to help them, and it makes me feel good at the end of the day in terms of what I’m doing.

Guy:Yeah, that’s fantastic.

Stuart:Fantastic.

Guy:Awesome. It’s interesting about grains because people seem to have a real emotional attachment to sugar and grains. The moment you ask them to start cutting down, reducing, removing, it can be quite challenging.

David:People have a religious connection to grain. It’s in the Bible. Give us this day our daily bread. For somebody to come along and say, you know, maybe that’s not what you should be eating, it challenges people on multiple levels. Number one, bread and carbs and grains are absolutely comfort foods that we all love. We all got rewarded as children by having a cookie or a piece of cake on your birthday. We love those foods. We love sugar. We are genetically designed to seek out sugar. It’s allowed us to survive.

The reality of the situation is we’ve got to take a more human approach to this in terms of our higher level of understanding and recognize that we [00:08:00] as a species have never consumed this level of sugar and carbohydrates, and that gluten-containing foods are in fact challenging to our health in terms of amping up inflammation, which is the cornerstone of the diseases I mentioned: Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, even cancer and coronary artery disease. In that sentence, we’ve covered a lot of territory.

You mentioned grains, and I want to be very clear. There are plenty of grains that are around that are not necessarily containing gluten; and therefore, my argument against them doesn’t stem from the fact that they contain this toxic protein called gluten but rather because they’re a very concentrated source of carbohydrate. Rice, for example, is gluten-free and you could have a little bit of rice. There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of rice, but you have to factor the carb content of that serving of rice into your daily carbohydrate load and don’t overdo it. I’m not coming down on grains across the board, but I’m really calling attention to the fact that these grain-based foods are generally super concentrated in terms of sugar and carbs.

Guy:I understand your carbohydrate tolerance. You answered the next question where I was going to speak, like, should we limit it to all grains or just the heavily refined and processed carbohydrate kind of …

David:See answer above.

Guy:Yeah, there you go.

Stuart:What about the [high street 00:09:28] gluten-free alternatives where people are saying, well, look, it’s grain-free, gluten-free?

David:Again, Stuart, exactly my point. People walk down the gluten-free aisle thinking, hey, I’ve got an open dance card here. It’s gluten-free. How about it? That opens the door to the gluten-free pasta, pizza, bread, you name it, flour to make products, cookies, crackers and you name it. Again, the issue is that one of the most devastating things that’s happening to humans today [00:10:00] is that our blood sugar is rising. There is a very direct correlation between even minimal elevations of blood sugar and risk for dementia. That was published in the New England Journal of Medicine in September of 2013 where they demonstrated that even subtle elevations of blood sugar well below being diabetic are associated with a profound risk of basically losing your marbles.

Please understand, when we’re talking about Alzheimer’s and dementia, there is no treatment available for that issue. Having said that, then this whole notion of prevention and preventive medicine as it relates to the brain really takes on a much more powerful meaning and urgency.

Guy:Would glycation pop in there as well then where you’re speaking … Would that all stem then from the processed carbs and the fact the brain is …

David:That’s right. Guy, you bring up a very good point, and that is this process of glycation. Just for your viewers, let me just indicate what that is. Glycation is a biochemical term that deals with how simple sugars actually bind to proteins. That’s a normal process, but when it gets out of hand, it changes the shape of proteins, amps up inflammation and amps up what are called free radical production.

We measure glycation really very simply in the clinic, and I’m certain that’s done worldwide, by looking at a blood test called A1C, hemoglobin A1C. Diabetics are very familiar with this term, because it’s a marker of the average blood sugar. A1C is a marker of the rate at which sugar is binding to protein. The higher your sugar, the more readily that process happens. What we’ve seen published in the journal, Neurology, is a perfect correlation between levels of A1C or measures of glycation [00:12:00] and the rate at which the brain shrinks on an annual basis. There’s a perfect correlation then between higher levels of blood sugar through glycation that you bring to our attention and the rate at which your brain will shrink.

Well, you don’t want your brain to shrink, I can clue you. A smaller brain is not a good thing. That said, you’ve got to do everything you can, and that is to limit your carbs and limit your sugar. What does it mean? It means a plate that is mostly vegetables, above ground, nutrient-dense, colorful, fiber-rich vegetables, as well as foods that actually are higher in fat. That means foods like olive oil. If you’re not a vegetarian, that would be fish, chicken, beef that is preferably not grain-fed but grass-fed, fish that is wild as opposed to being farm-raised, like the chicken being free range.

This is the way that we actually give ourselves calories in the form of fat calories that will help us lose weight, help reduce inflammation, help reduce this process of glycation that we just talked about, and in the long run, pave the way for both a better brain but also a better immune system and really better health all around.

Guy:That’s a fantastic description of glycation as well. I appreciate it. Would you recommend everyone to go and get that tested once?

David:Yes, absolutely. In fact, in Grain Brain, I present a chart that demonstrates what I just talked about, the degree of glycation plotted against the shrinkage of the brain’s memory center called the hippocampus. In our clinic, hemoglobin A1C is absolutely a standard test just like fasting blood sugar, and also fasting insulin, the degree of insulin in your body. The level of insulin in your body is really a marker as to how much you’ve challenged your body with sugar and carbohydrates in the past. You want to keep [00:14:00] insulin levels really low.

When insulin levels start to climb, it’s an indication that your cells are becoming less responsive to insulin, and that is the harbinger for becoming a diabetic. Why am I fixated on that? It’s because once you are a diabetic type 2, you have quadrupled your risk for Alzheimer’s. That’s why this is so darn important.

Guy:They start just growing and growing, especially with diabetes as well.

David:Absolutely.

Stuart:In terms of the growing number of people that are suffering neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and the like, is it too late for those guys or can they …

David:Not at all. I recently gave a presentation with the director of the Alzheimer’s Research Program at UCLA here in the states. We gave a talk, an evening talk at a place called the Buck Institute. This individual, Dr. Dale Bredesen, is actually using a low-carbohydrate diet, gluten-free, normalizing vitamin D levels, getting people to exercise, and actually put together a program of 36 different interventions, has now reversed Alzheimer’s in 9 out of 10 of his original patients. Only 10 patients, it’s not a large number, I admit that, but it is a start.

We are in western cultures so wedded to the notion of monotherapy; meaning, one drug for one problem. You say high blood pressure; I give you a drug. You say diabetes; here’s a pill. You say Alzheimer’s; here’s a pill. Well, the truth of the matter is there is no pill, despite the fact that there’s something on the market, but there isn’t a pill that will cure Alzheimer’s or even have any significant effect on treating the disease and its symptoms. That’s where we are as we have this conversation.

Now, it looks like the work [00:16:00] of Dr. Bredesen is showing that Alzheimer’s is a multifactorial event, and that to cure it or at least turn it around, you have to hit this problem from multiple angles at the same time. It’s happening. It’s not happening through somebody owning the rights to a specific medication.

Stuart:That’s fantastic. That’s radical.

David:I’ll send you the link to the lecture that we gave.

Stuart:Yeah. That was my next question. I would love to find out.

David:Consider it done.

Stuart:Thank you. In your new book, Brain Maker, you dig even deeper and talk about the connection between the gut and the brain. I wondered if you could share a little bit about that as well, please.

David:I will. Let me just take a step back. Last weekend, I went to University of California San Diego, and I met with, of all people, an astrophysicist who is actually studying the microbiome. If you think a neurologist paying attention to the gut is a stretch, how about an astrophysicist? It turns out that he is probably one of the most schooled individuals on the planet in terms of using a supercomputer technology to analyze data, and they drafted him there to look at data that deals with the microbiome in that they have probably the world’s most well-respected microbiome researchers there. They brought Dr. Larry Smarr on board to help Rob Knight really work with the data.

The things going on in the gut in terms of just the information are breathtaking for sure. We now understand that in one gram, that’s one-fifth of a teaspoon of fecal material, there are 100 million terabytes of information. This is a very intense area of research just because of the sheer amount of data [00:18:00] and information that it contains.

We recognize that these 100 trillion organisms that live within each and every one of us have a direct role to play in the health and functionality of the brain, moment to moment. They manufacture what are called the neurotransmitters. They aid in the body’s ability to make things like serotonin and dopamine and GABA. They directly influence the level of inflammation in the body. As I talked to you about earlier, inflammation is the cornerstone of things like Parkinson’s, MS, Alzheimer’s and even autism. The gut bacteria regulate that, and so it’s really very, very important to look at the possibilities in terms of affecting brain health by looking at the gut bacteria.

Having said that, one of the patients that I talk about in Brain Maker, a patient with multiple sclerosis named Carlos came to me and his history, aside from the fact that he couldn’t walk because of his MS was really very profound in that he had been challenged with respect to his gut with multiple courses of aggressive antibiotics. Why would I be interested in that? I’m interested because the gut bacteria control what’s called immunity, and MS is an autoimmune condition. At that point, I began reviewing research by a Dr. Thomas Borody who happens to be in Australia.

What Dr. Borody did, who is a gastroenterologist, a gut specialist, is he performed a technique on patients called fecal transplant where he took the fecal material with the bacteria from healthy individuals and transplanted that into people with various illnesses. Lo and behold, he noted some dramatic improvements in patients with multiple sclerosis. Think about that: [00:20:00] Fecal transplantation for patients with MS. His reports are published in the journal, Gastroenterology. I sent my patient Carlos to England. He had a series of fecal transplants and regained the ability to walk without a cane. He sent me a video, and I have that video on my website. This is a real person who underwent this procedure.

I just took it to the nth degree. The question was how do we relate the gut to the brain? Now we’ve realized how intimately involved brain health and brain dynamics are with respect to things that are going on in the intestines. It’s a very empowering time.

Guy:Yeah, that’s huge. Regarding gut health, and let’s say somebody is listening to this and they’re relatively healthy and they’re going about their day, but they might be curious to know if their gut integrity is good or isn’t. Are there telltale signs that your gut might not be quite right?

David:Absolutely. As a matter of fact, if you turn to page 17 in Brain Maker, I have a list of over 20 questions that you can ask yourself to determine if in fact you are at risk for having a disturbance of your gut bacteria. There are laboratory studies available of course, but these questions are things like were you born be C-section? Did you have your tonsils out as a child? Do you take antibiotics fairly frequently? Are you taking non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs for inflammation? Are you on an acid blocking drug? Do you have an inflammatory condition of your bowel? Are you suffering from depression? Are you more than 20 pounds overweight?

The reason these questions actually have traction when it comes to their inference with reference to the gut is because these are situations which really point a finger at disturbance of the gut bacteria. I open the book with those questions [00:22:00] because many people are going to answer a positive on multiple parameters and then I indicate to them that that’s not uncommon, but the rest of the book, the rest of the 80,000 words is all about, okay, we’ve all made mistakes in our lives. We all have taken antibiotics. Many of our parents had our ear tubes put in or we were born by C-section or who knows what? The important empowering part about the rest of that book, Brain Maker, is, okay, we messed up. How do you fix it?

That’s what I really spend a lot of time doing in that book, and that is talking about those foods that need to come off the table, those foods that you need to put on the table, fermented foods, for example, that are rich in good bacteria: foods like kimchi and cultured yogurt and fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, for example. How do you choose a good probiotic supplement? What about prebiotics? What about this type of fiber that we consume that actually nurtures the good gut bacteria within us? That’s contained in various foods like jicama, Mexican yam, Jerusalem artichoke, asparagus, garlic, onions, leeks, dandelion greens, etc. These are foods that are really rich in a specific type of fiber that then goes ahead and amplifies the growth of the good bacteria in your gut.

I really wanted to write that book in a very empowering way for all of us living in western cultures where we’ve messed up. The evidence is really quite clear when you look at the microbiome, at the gut bacteria in western cultures and compare what those bacteria look like with more agrarian or more rural cultures, less developed countries.

Stuart:We’ve gone to page 17 and we’ve filled out the checklist and now we’re concerned. How can we test [00:24:00] the diversity or the quality of our gut bacteria?

David:That’s a very good question. There are tests that are available and they are improving year by year, and you can have them done. I’m not sure what you have available to yourselves in Australia, but there are several companies that make those tests available here. The real issue though is I don’t think we yet know specifically what a healthy microbiome should look like. We know the broad strokes. We know that there are ratios between two of the larger groups of organisms called Firmicutes and Bacteroidete that tend to be associated with things like diabetes and obesity, etc. We really don’t know what it means to have a good microbiome.

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One thing that’s really quite clear is that one of the best attributes for your microbiome is diversity. When you look at rural African population microbiome compared to westernized microbiome, the main thing that really jumps out at you is the lack of diversity in our type of microbiome, the lack of parasites, the lack of a large array of different organisms. You may have raised your eyebrows when I said a lack of parasites, but it turns out that we have lived quite comfortably with a wide array of parasites throughout our existence on this planet.

There is something called the old friend hypothesis, which means that we’ve had these bugs inside of us for a long time and not only have we developed tolerance to things like parasites, but we’ve actually been able to work with them and live with them in such a way that parasites and various worrisome bacteria actually contribute to our health. When we sterilize the gut with over-usage of [00:26:00] antibiotics, for example, we set the stage for some significant imbalances in terms of our metabolism. As we sterilize the gut with antibiotics, we favor the overgrowth of bacteria, for example, that can make us fat.

Why do you think it is since the 1950s we’ve been feeding cattle with antibiotics? Because it changes their gut bacteria. It makes them fat. Farmers who raise those animals make more money because the animals are bigger and they’re selling them by the pound.

Guy:Another question popped in. I don’t know if it’s a stupid question or not. Do you think we’ve become too hygienic as well? If we shower …

David:No question. That is called the hygiene hypothesis. I think that it really has been validated. That was first proposed in 1986 when it got its name. It holds that our obsession with hygiene … I paraphrase a little bit … Our overdoing with hygiene, the sterilization of the human body and all that’s within it, has really paved the way for us to have so much allergic disease, autoimmune diseases, what are called atopic diseases, skin-related issues.

We understand, for example, that autism is an inflammatory condition and really correlates quite nicely with changes in the gut bacteria. There’s an absolute signature or fingerprint of the gut bacteria that correlates with autism. Now there are even researchers in Canada, Dr. Derrick MacFabe is one … I’ve interviewed him … who correlate these changes in bacterial organisms in the gut of autistic children with changes in certain chemicals that have a very important role to play in terms of how the brain works.

This is the hygiene hypothesis. It’s time that we let our kids get dirty and stop washing their hands every time they walk down the [00:28:00] aisle in the grocery store and recognize that we’ve lived in an environment that’s exposed us to these organisms for two million years. It has a lot of merit, the hygiene hypothesis.

Guy:Sorry, Stuart. Another question that did pop in there at the same time.

David:Take your time.

Guy:Stress, worry and anxiety because you feel that in the gut when you’re … Have there been studies if that affects microbiome?

David:Without a doubt. I actually have written about these in Brain Maker. It goes both ways. We know that stress increases the adrenal gland’s production of a chemical called cortisol. Cortisol ultimately begins in the brain. When the brain experiences stress and the hypothalamic-pituitary axis is turned on and that stimulates the adrenal glands from make cortisol. Cortisol does several important things. It is one of our hormones that allows us to be more adaptable momentarily to stress but the downsides of cortisol are many. It increases the leakiness of the gut, and therefore increases the level of inflammation in the body. It actually changes the gut bacteria and allows overgrowth of certain organisms, some of which are not actually even bacteria but even yeast. In addition, cortisol plays back and has a very detrimental role on the brain’s memory center.

By the same token, we know that gut-related issues are front and center now in looking at things like depression. We now understand, for example, that depression is a disease characterized by higher levels of inflammatory markers specifically coming from the gut. Think about that. There is a chemical called LPS or lipopolysaccharide. [00:30:00] That chemical is only found normally in the gut to any significant degree. It is actually part of the cell wall of what are called gram-negative bacteria that live in the gut. When the gut is permeable, then that LPS makes its way out of the gut and you can measure it in the bloodstream.

There’s a very profound correlation between elevation of LPS and major depression. We see this correlation with major depression and gut leakiness and gut inflammation, and it really starts to make a lot of sense when we see such common events of depression in individuals with inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s.

Stuart:Back to the balance of the microbiome so gut bacteria. What three culprits, what would be your top three culprits that really upset the balance?

David:Number one would be antibiotics. We are so aggressively using antibiotics in western cultures. I think every major medical journal is really calling our attention to that. The World Health Organization ranks antibiotics among the top three major health threats to the world health of this decade. Antibiotics change the gut bacteria. They change the way that bacteria respond to antibiotics, in the future making it more likely that we’ll have antibiotic resistance, making it more difficult to treat bacterial infections when they should be treated. I think that we really have just begun to understand the devastating role of antibiotics in terms of changing the gut bacteria. The over-usage of antibiotics in children has been associated with their increased risk of things like type 1 diabetes, asthma, [00:32:00] allergic diseases.

You asked for three. The other big player I think would be Cesarean section. C-sections are depriving children of their initial microbiome because understand that when you’re born through the birth canal, right at that moment, you are being inoculated with bacteria, bacteria that then serve as the focal point for your first microbiome. When you bypass that experience, you are born basically with the microbiome that’s made of whatever bacteria happen to be on the surgeon’s hands or in the operating room at that time. Interestingly enough, children born by C-section who don’t have that right microbiome have a dramatically increased risk for type 1 diabetes, celiac disease, autism, ADHD and even becoming obese when they become adults.

We’re just beginning to understand really what an important event that is, and that is when you’re born that you receive genetic information from your mother that is what we call horizontally transferred as opposed to the vertical transfer from mom and dad in terms of their genome. Understand that you’re not just getting the bacteria but you’re getting the bacterial DNA. When you get your arms around the idea that 99% of the DNA in your body is bacteria contained in your microbiome, then the whole process of being born through the birth canal really takes on a very, very new meaning, doesn’t it?

Stuart:It does. It’s massive.

Guy:The thing, again, they almost can be beyond our control as well. Like you mentioned, it could have been given antibiotics as a kid and C-section. I just want to make a point that when you start to repair these things, [00:34:00] it’s not a short-term fix, I’m guessing, that it takes time to repair the gut. If somebody is listening …

David:In our practice, we see improvements happening very quickly. We often see people get improvements in as little as a couple of weeks, especially children. They seem to turn around so quickly. The truth of the matter is that we now see literature that indicates that antibiotics, each time you take them, change your gut bacteria permanently. There may not be a total reversal that’s possible based upon some of our lifestyle choices. That said, we are now seeing some really impressive results from what’s called fecal transplantation where you put in to the gut healthy bacteria from a healthy individual.

One researcher, Dr. Max Nieuwdorp in Amsterdam has recently presented his treatment of 250 type 2 diabetics, giving them fecal transplant, and he basically reversed their diabetes by changing their gut bacteria. It’s pretty profound.

Guy:That’s incredible.

Stuart:It’s quite a hot topic over here, fecal transplants. They ran a story a few weeks ago of a chap who was suffering from an autoimmune disease and he first went out of country and received the fecal transplant and his improvements were off the scale, but he put on huge amounts of weight. He was a skinny guy.

David:It’s not the first time it’s happened. Actually, the main use of fecal transplantation is for the treatment of a bacterial infection called Clostridium difficile or C. diff. Here in America, that’s a disease situation that affects 500,000 American [00:36:00] every year and kills 30,000. The antibiotic cocktails that are used for C. diff. are about 26% to 28% effective. Fecal transplantation is about 96% effective. There was recently a publication of a woman with C. diff. and she elected to undergo fecal transplantation and chose her daughter as the donor. Unfortunately, her daughter was very big. Immediately following the fecal transplantation, this woman gained an enormous amount of weight. I think something in the neighborhood of 40 pounds very quickly.

You’re right. It calls to our attention the work by Dr. Jeffrey Gordon here in the states who has demonstrated in laboratory animals that when you take human fecal material from an obese person and transplant that into a healthy laboratory animal, that animal suddenly gets fat even though you didn’t change its food. We’re beginning to understand the very important role of the gut microbiome in terms of regulating our metabolism, in terms of our extraction of calories from the food that we eat.

So many people tell me, you know, Doc, I am so careful with what I eat and I just can’t lose weight. The reason is because through their years of eating improperly, of having antibiotics, etc., they’ve created a microbiome that is really very adept at extracting calories from food. One of the biggest culprits, for example, is sugar. Sugar will dramatically change the microbiome. What do people do? They begin drinking sugarless, artificially sweetened beverages. It turns out that the weight gain from artificially sweetened beverages is profound and in fact, the risk of type 2 diabetes is much higher in people consuming artificially sweetened drinks than those who drink sugar sweetened drinks.

I’m not arguing in favor of drinking [00:38:00] sugar sweetened beverages. I’m simply saying that there’s no free ride here. What researchers in Israel just published was the explanation. The explanation as you would expect is that artificial sweeteners dramatically change the microbiome. They set up a situation of higher levels of certain bacteria that will extract more calories and will also help code for inflammation. There’s no free ride. You’ve got to eat right. You’ve got to get back to eating the types of foods that will nurture a good microbiome.

Guy:Do you think the local doctor or GP is going to start looking at microbiome in the near future? Because there’s only an antibiotic that gets prescribed when you go there, you’re not feeling well or you get a cut …

David:No, I don’t think so.

Guy:You don’t think so?

David:No. I wish it were. I wish that were the case. Next month, I’m chairing an international symposium on the microbiome with leaders in the field from all over the world, well-respected individuals. The people who are going to attend are really a very few group … a small group … It’s be a big group, but these are people who are really highly motivated to stay ahead of trends, and by and large, this is going to take a long time to filter down to general medicine. It just isn’t going to happen any time soon.

Guy:Proactive approach always seems to be the way.

David:You got it.

Stuart:Say I wanted to be a bit proactive right now and I’m going to jot down to the chemist and think, right, I’m going to ask them for their top pre- or probiotics. Is it a waste of time?

David:No, I don’t think so, especially as it relates to prebiotics. You can’t go wrong by increasing your consumption of fiber, but prebiotic is a special type of fiber that in fact nurtures the gut bacteria. [00:40:00] You can go to your chemist and in fact, they may very well sell you a wonderful prebiotic that’s made from, for example, Acacia gum or pectin or something like that. There happen to be some pretty darn good probiotics on the market as well. I think there are certain things that you have to look for. I’ve written about them in my book. There are certain species I think that are well-studied and there are five specific species that I talk about in the book like Lactobacillus plantarum, Bifidobacterium longum, Lactobacillus brevis, etc.

The point is, hey, we have more than 10,000 different species living within us, so it’s hard to say what’s best. We do know that some of these species have been aggressively studied and do good things in the gut with research now coming out indicating that interventional studies, in other words where they give certain bacteria to people, there are changes that are measurable. Let me tell you about one interesting study that was just published.

A group of 75 children were given a specific probiotic for the first six months of their life; it’s called Lactobacillus rhamnosus. They followed these kids for the next 13 years. What they found was that the children who had received the probiotic, half the group, none of them developed either ADHD or a form of autism. Whereas the group that did not receive the probiotic, there was a rate of autism or ADHD of about 14.2%. What does it say? It says that balancing the gut helps do good things. This study took 13 years to complete, maybe another year or two to publish, but we’re getting to the point where we’re seeing interventional trials of specific organisms having positive effects [00:42:00] on humans. I think that’s what the future is going to open up with. I think we’re going to see much more of that.

Guy:Definitely. Even from us, we’ve been involved in the health industry for quite some time and we’ve seen microbiome, gut health, more and more information is coming out.

David:Yes, you are. It’s time. It’s really going to be very, very empowering.

Guy:Yeah, it’s become a hot topic. Look, I’m aware of the time, David. We have a couple of questions that we ask everyone on the show that they can be non-nutrition-related, anything.

David:Is this the bonus round?

Guy:This is the bonus round, man.

Stuart:I just wanted to pop in, Guy, just before you hit those last ones. I was interested, David, as to do you have a tailored personal daily routine specifically to nurture your microbiome?

David:Yes. It’s what works for me. I’m super careful about what I eat. The truth of the matter is I am at risk for Alzheimer’s. My dad passed away about two months ago with Alzheimer’s so I know I’m at risk. Probably one of the most important nutritional things I do is exercise. It’s nutrition for the soul. I guess I have a little leeway there. It’s really good for the microbiome as well. It really helps protect the ability of that LPS from damaging … ultimately leading to damage to the brain. Exercise actually increases the growth of new brain cells through something called BDNF. My dad is very low in carbohydrate, extremely low in sugar. I use a lot of prebiotic fiber, 15, 20 grams a day. I take a strong probiotic, vitamin D, vitamin E, fish oil, a multivitamin, a B complex. You didn’t ask about supplements but I just toss that in for the heck of it.

I generally, for me, do well with only two meals a [00:44:00] day. I don’t yet know who wrote down that you have to have three meals a day or the world would come to an end, but somebody must have obviously. Because I like the fact that I haven’t eaten from dinner until I have either a later breakfast or an early lunch the next day. That sometimes can be as long as 12 to 15 hours of not eating. It works really well for me because as I wake up in the morning, my brain is sharp and I never really liked exercising with food in my belly. A lot of people have breakfast and go to the gym. Fine. It doesn’t work for me. I like to go to the gym on an empty stomach and then have lunch and then dinner.

Guy:Fantastic.

Stuart:That’s excellent. Does the type of exercise make any difference to the way you feel?

David:Well, sure it does. The type of exercise I really gravitate to is aerobic because as I talked about in Grain Brain, aerobic exercise is the type of exercise that actually will turn on the genes that will code for this BDNF chemical that will allow you to grow your brain cells. That’s what the studies at University of Pittsburgh have demonstrated. You really need to do aerobics. I do a lot of stretching and I lift weights as well. I think those are good for you, good for a person. I’m prone to back issues. I do a whole routine for my back. The one thing that it’s inviolate in terms of my routine is the aerobics part.

Stuart:Excellent.

Guy:Fantastic. I appreciate that. That’s awesome. Back to bonus round, have you read any books that have had a great impact on your life that you’d like to share?

David:I have. From a medical perspective, there’s a couple of good books by Gary Taubes called Good Calories, Bad Calories, and another one called Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It. I would recommend the latter, Why We Get Fat: And What to Do About It [00:46:00] because it is so clear in terms of mechanisms that relate to sugar and weight gain and inflammation.

I’ve read Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse on a number of occasions. I think it has resonated with me on a personal level in terms of my life journey, one of the most perhaps influential books for me. Pardon me?

Guy:Fantastic. You’re not the first person to say that book as well.

David:In fact, I just looked at it earlier today. I love books. I don’t know if you could see [crosstalk 00:46:41]. A lot of people these days send me their books to review so I’ll write a comment on them. I’ve got this really great conduit of new books coming to me, two and three a day now, which is really great. I really am fortunate because I get to see a lot of books before they’re actually even published. I reviewed a book today from a Harvard researcher on what is it that makes us hungry and what to do about it, a really incredible book.

I recently reviewed a book by Dr. Frank Lipman talking about the 10 things to do to stay healthy. Really it was The 10 Things That Make Us Fat and Grow Old, is the title. It isn’t out yet, but I read that book this morning, a very, very powerful, clean-cut, straightforward information that’s totally in line with current science.

There’s another really good book I would encourage people to look at called The Disease Delusion, and it’s written by Dr. Jeffrey Bland. It really is an important book because it talks about where we are in terms of how medicine is practiced, how we look at patients and really paints a good picture in terms of what medicine could look like in the [00:48:00] future. I’d encourage your viewers to take a look at that book.

Stuart:Excellent.

Guy:Fantastic. We certainly encourage Brain Maker as well which [crosstalk 00:48:07].

David:Thank you. I appreciate it.

Guy:Last question: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

David:My dad used to say no matter how … As you go through life, my friend, let this be your goal. Keep your eye upon the donut and not upon the hole. It always worked for me.

Stuart:I like it.

David:There’s one other, I don’t know if it’s advice, but a statement that was made by Maurice Maeterlinck, a Belgian Nobel Laureate. I first read this when I was visiting a friend, Dr. Amar Bose. He’s the one who has Bose audio, the headphones and speakers. He took me to his laboratory in Massachusetts and I was very impressed, but then we went into his office and on his glass door was the following quote by Maurice Maeterlinck: At every crossway on the road that leads to the future, each progressive spirit is confronted by a thousand men appointed to defend the past. That always meant a lot to me because Dr. Bose really went against the system as he created his audio products. People said it couldn’t be done. You can’t cancel sound, on and on.

I really know what it’s like to be opposed by a thousand men appointed to defend the past because the stuff that we talk about is not status quo. It’s not what everyone is doing. I’m grateful for that. I think that it hopefully is ahead of the curve. Time will tell. We’ll see where we go. When maybe the three of us have a conversation in a couple of years, we’ll see where we are.

Guy:Yeah. Fantastic. We really appreciate it. For anyone listening to this who would like to get more of you, where would be the best place [00:50:00] to go online?

David:My website is drperlmutter.com. That’s D-R, Perlmutter, P-E-R-L-M-U-T-T-E-R, dot-com. Facebook I post every day. Oddly enough, David Perlmutter MD. My books are in Australia. They’re around the world so people can read my books if they like as well.

Stuart:Fantastic.

Guy:Yeah, fantastic. Greatly appreciate you coming on the show today and showing your knowledge and time with us and the listeners.

David:Sure. My pleasure. I sure appreciate it.

Guy:It was absolutely fantastic. Thank you.

Stuart:Thank you, David.

available in the USA

usa shop – click here

Diet Plan For Weight Loss

weight loss diet plan

Are you someone who as tried every diet plan for weight loss under the sun, but with no success? Then maybe a new long term approach is needed to help and your weight loss efforts improve your health.

We have a mantra we love to use; JERF. Just Eat Real Food. When you leave packaged and processed food on the grocery shelves, you take the first step toward changing your life for the better. That’s why 180 Nutrition was born. To help people fully understand this message, and if they are willing to put in the time and effort to learn, the results will follow and the body fat will melt off.

Why Most Diet Plans Fail

The reality is, most diets are based on calorie counting, food restriction and increasing exercise dramatically to burn calories at the same time. Sadly, these methods are dated and time and time again have proven to work only short term.

Have you been on a calorie reduction diet only to stack the weight back on when you stop?

Simply put, these are quick fixes without giving any regard to long term health and happiness. I don’t know about you, but restricting diets and punishing exercise regimes feels like I’m being punished for crimes I didn’t commit!

Another thing to consider is, not only are they selling you their diet plan for weight loss, they usually sell their meal replacement shakes to go with it! Most of these are designed with cost in mind only, not long term health. They are packed with low grade ingredients, chemicals, artificial sweeteners and flavourings.

Here’s an example of a popular sliming brand:

“Creamy Cappuccino Delight” weight loss shake ingredients:

Fat Free Milk, Water, Sugar, Gum Arabic, Canola Oil, Milk Protein Concentrate, Cellulose Gel, Coffee Powder, Mono And Diglycerides, Potassium Phosphate, Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Natural And Artificial Flavors, Maltodextrin, Soy Lecithin, Cellulose Gum, Carrageenan, Cocoa (processed With Alkali), Sodium Bicarbonate, Sucralose And Acesulfame Potassium (nonnutritive Sweeteners), Sodium Citrate, Citric Acid. Vitamins And Minerals: Magnesium Phosphate, Calcium Phosphate, Sodium Ascorbate, Vitamin E Acetate, Zinc Gluconate, Ferric Orthophosphate, Niacinamide, Calcium Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Vitamin A Palmitate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Chromium Chloride, Biotin, Sodium Molybdate, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone (vitamin K1), Sodium Selenite, Cyanocobalamin (vitamin B12), Cholecalciferol (vitamin D3). Sweetened With A Nutritive Sweetener And Nonnutritive Sweeteners. Contains Milk And Soy.

 
I don’t know about you, but I avoid putting a laundry list of ingredients in my body. There is now overwhelming evidence that these kind of chemicals damage the gut over time which cause ‘leaky gut’. Having leaky gut can have a direct impact on your weight loss efforts and health long term.

Then there’s stress, lack of sleep, poor nutrition, hormones, type of exercise, inflammation to name a few! All these contribute with the struggles of weight loss.

Are you starting to see a bigger picture now? Can you see why a diet plan for weight loss needs to be taken with caution and the right advice?

Choosing a New Approach

The one thing we are very proud of here at 180 Nutrition, is that we have had the privilege of interviewing some of the leading experts in the health and wellness space (you can watch those interviews here). They have all said the same thing when it comes to the nutritional guide lines we’ve been taught. Things like the low-fat theory, eight serves of grains a day and the food pyramid are dated advice and have all been de-bunked. Like you, I used to follow this advice and also watch my calories, and then over exercise thinking I could just burn off the bad meal I ate the night before. This is simply not the case.

The good news is though, from our extensive expert interviews, it has allowed us to take this information and put it all into a simple questionnaire so we can find out exactly what is holding you back and achieving the weight loss and health you truly desire.

If you like the sound of that, and want to find out how a true diet plan for weight loss should work, the click the link below to find out what is holding you back.

Click here to find out what your unique weight loss roadblock is.

Healthy Snacks for Kids

healthy kids lunchbox ideas

Children have tons of energy and often it can be a struggle finding healthy snacks for kids. They spend much of it running around, playing, and doing other physical activities. The little ones seem to have far more fuel in their little tanks than full-grown adults do, but even the most active kids need to replenish that lost energy through snacking.

Not All Snacks Are Created Equal

Snacking refers to eating small amounts of food multiple times throughout the day for the purpose of staying satiated and energized. When most people think about snacks, foods like pretzels, crackers, chips, candy bars, granola bars, nuts, and fruit often come to mind. While really any food would serve the purpose of providing calories and energy, not all snacks are created equal. Many popular snack choices are rather unhealthy for a number of different reasons.

Healthy Snacks vs. Unhealthy Snacks

Choosing the right snack for your kid isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Most children already know what they like and don’t like, so getting them to try something new and unusual can be a bit of a challenge. On top of that, most junk foods taste great, so it can be hard to steer your young ones away from them. However, there are many healthy snacks for kids on the market, and here’s what you should look at before making any purchase

Quality of Calories (Not Quantity)

The number of calories in any snack product will tell you how much energy it provides. Unfortunately, not all calories are the same. In unhealthy snacks, such as potato chips and candy bars, most of the calories come from trans fats (vegetable oils) and processed carbohydrates. Instead, for them to be healthy snacks for kids, they should be made of  quality macronutrients of protein, complex carbs, and good fats.

Sugar Content

Unhealthy snacks often contain way too much sugar. Anything sweet, from cookies to fruit juices, are going to be full of it. What’s even worse is that the processed carbohydrate content is high too, which makes this double trouble and plays havoc on your kids blood sugar levels!

Protein Content

When it comes to kids’ health, protein plays a very important role. Proteins aid in muscle building and recovery, and getting plenty of them is essential for young children since they are rather active. If you want your children to grow up strong, have them snacking on foods high in protein.

Artificial Flavouring & Additives

Common junk foods are highly processed and contain all kinds of unhealthy chemicals. Preservatives, food colouring, artificial sweeteners and more do more harm than good for a growing child. As natural as possible is the way to go.

Nutritional Benefits

Ideal children’s snacks should be packed full of vitamins and minerals that promote growth and good health. Anything low in nutritional content should be overlooked.

If you’re looking for a healthy and delicious snack that your kid will love to gobble up, Monkey Bites by 180 Nutrition is an excellent pick. Made entirely from whole, natural ingredients, these little power bars are high in protein and good fats. Your kids will stay full and fit with Monkey Bites.

Click here for lots of quick and easy healthy recipes

Weight Loss Smoothies

weight loss smoothiesIf your goal is to shift some stubborn body fat, creating your own weight loss smoothies are a fantastic way to helping you achieve this. The trick is to ensure the ingredients you use are completely natural, rich in natural vitamins, minerals, protein, natural fats, fibre and low in carbohydrate.

If you do this then you will be helping the body to create the right responses to help you lose weight. Best of all smoothies only take two minutes to make and you can carry them as you are running out the door in the morning!

Here is a fantastic example of a weight loss smoothie recipe:

Chocolate Almond Butter Smoothie

This smoothie will be low in carbohydrate which prevents raising blood sugars, which allows the body to burn fat. The berries are low GI and packed full of antioxidants. The almond butter is a great source of slow releasing energy, and the 180 Natural Superfood is rich in fibre, protein, natural nutrients and natural fats. But more importantly 180 is free of all chemicals, artificial sweeteners and flavourings, having an overall positive impact on the body and keeping you fuller for longer without the cravings.

Try this weight loss smoothie recipe today and feel the difference.

Help shift stubborn body fat with a 180 meal replacement – click here

Top 9 Most Shocking Nutritional Myths

nutritional lies

Guy: This could also have easily been my top twenty, but for the purpose of readability I’ve kept it to nine. Everything I’ve listed here, I had bought into growing up and thought I was living a normal ‘healthy’ lifestyle.

In my early twenties though, all the signs were starting to appear that my health wasn’t great; Massive energy swings each day, weight gain, fatigue, sinus issues, blood sugar problems to name a few. I was fed up and decided to do something about it.

I’ve adjusted my diet over the last eight years and being close to forty years old, I have never felt better! Whether you agree with the points I’ve listed or not is fine, but if you are not totally happy with your health, energy or weight then maybe it’s worth taking a look at. From my experience it worked for me and I’ve seen it time and time again with others; what you put in your mouth on a daily basis has a massive effect on your long term health.

food myths food pyramid1. Follow the Healthy Food Pyramid

Does anyone actually listen to this? If you listen to the pyramid then half your daily diet would be wheat, grains, rice, pasta, cereals (gluten) etc. Yet these foods will respond in your body just like sugar does and send your insulin sky high. This has serious long term negative effects. If I followed this protocol I would be fat and in danger of becoming a diabetic! And this is just the tip of the iceberg. They say if you turn the food pyramid upside down you would be better off. A little simplistic I know, but I tend to agree.

food myths obesity2. Obesity is From Overeating & Being Lazy

This one frustrates me, especially coming from a background as a fitness trainer. I’ve witnessed so many people struggling with their weight yet they are on a constant diet. It’s as if their life is one big diet but they keep stacking on the kilo’s. We hear of weight issues and obesity rates rising and the message remains the same - eat less and exercise more. I feel this is so simplistic and off the mark. Most people who’s weight or health is suffering are following the shockingly wrong nutritional guidelines I’ve listed here. By doing this, it will lead to low grade inflammation which causes a host of problems over time. Hormonal disfunction kicks in including insulin and leptin, thyroid issues to name a few. Then there are digestive issues with gut bacteria, candida and leaky gut with many studies showing how this hugely affects our body weight. The body is so complex we are forever learning about it, and biggest loser lifestyle with weight loss shakes and restricted calories is not the answer.

food myths low fat3. Eat a Low Fat Diet for Long Lasting Heart Health

Like so many people, I grew up avoiding fat as I had it drummed into me that too much fat will clog your arteries, cause heart disease and have you keeling over forty years young! This one makes me angry, as fat is seriously critical for amazing health, including brain function, energy and processing fat soluble vitamins A,D,E,K. For years now I have made sure I have an abundance of quality fats with every meal (note: not all fats are created equal). By doing this, every aspect of my health has improved. If you want to know more on fats, this is a great place to start Click Here.

food_myths artificial sweeteners4. Use Artificial Sweeteners Like Aspartame & Sucralose

Let’s pull out the sugar and use chemicals instead… who’s bright idea was this? Personally I seriously avoid this stuff! Found in many ‘diet’ soft drinks and even weight loss shakes along with so called ‘health foods’. Yet there’s much evidence now showing that this stuff ruins gut health which of course leads to a host of health issues including weight gain. Go figure!  The harsh reality is that it’s super cheap to produce, and with slick marketing there much profit to be had. (You can read more on this here)

food myths vegatable oils5. Use Industrial Vegetable Oils & Trans fats Instead of Saturated Fats

I avoid these at all costs. They go rancid easily and break down into free radicals when heated and many of them are hydrogenated and become unstable. I believe this damages cell function and causes inflammation. They are also high in omega 6, which most people over consume, when we actually need more omega 3’s which can be found in quality saturated fats. Amazingly processed vegetable oils can be found in most packaged high street supermarket foods. It might seem like a tiny amount on the ingredients label, but it quickly adds up! Remember this mantra and you can’t go to far wrong; #JERF… Just Eat Real Food.

food myths time magazine6. Saturated Fat Will Cause Heart Disease

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who grew up with a fat phobia, and it took me a while to get my head around the fact that the very thing I was avoiding was the thing that my body seriously needs. This has been a heated and contested area but I believe that saturated fat is critical for health and the brain. Even Time Magazine recently had a knob of butter on the front cover and announced they had got it wrong (yay!).  If you are worried about heart health and cholesterol, worry about man made fats along with foods that cause inflammation, which is what I have removed from my diet. I eat saturated fat every day. (Learn more here.)

food myths sugar7. We Need Sugar For Energy

I live a very active lifestyle and keep my sugar intake very low. As far as I’m concerned we are better off without it! Sugar is insidious and is found in almost all foods in commercial supermarkets. It also comes in many forms which can create a lot of confusion. It’s easy to say that this is an empty calorie and can be ‘burned off’, but this doesn’t take fructose into consideration, which is 50% of table sugar and comes with it’s own host of problems. From what I’ve seen, too much of the sweet stuff will definitely take it’s toll on health. I would seriously consider getting this stuff out of your diet. (learn more on fructose here)

food myths breakfast cereal8. Start the Day with ‘Healthy’ Breakfast Cereal

I Grew up on this stuff. But the reality is, no amount of mass media marketing will convince me breakfast cereals should be a staple in the human diet these days. Highly processed carbs that feed the appetite but not the body, with many loaded with sugar too! These will also be doing your blood sugar level no favours and you’ll be wondering why you’re hungry in an hour after eating it. If time is of the issue in the morning, make a simple 180 smoothie with 1/2 avocado, 180 Natural Protein Superfood, berries & ice. Giving you all the essentials fats, vitamins, minerals, proteins and fibrous carbs you need in one simple hit! Delicious.

food myths margarine9. Use Margarine Instead of Butter

It was someone’s bright idea to replace butter (which is rich in the fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and K and the minerals magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and selenium, all essential for good health) with margarine.  The latter is made from refined vegetable oils (high in Omega 6 which cause inflammation in the body), which are neutralised, bleached, filtered and deodorised and turned into a spreadable forms by a chemical process called hydrogenation as they are not naturally solid at room temperature. It is also fortified with artificial colourings and flavourings. Does this sound right to you? Seriously, this stuff does not go in my body and it saddens me to see others eating this and thinking they are doing the right thing.

Decoding Food Labels to Make Healthier Choices

guide food labels

Angela: I always read food labels as I can quickly determine if the product is healthy or not. You just have to do it once per product and then you know it’s all good to buy next time round. If you’re not sure how to read labels let’s go over what you need to know:

  • What is in it?
  • How much is in it?
  • Is it going to do me any good?

Once you are armed with the knowledge of understanding labels you can make smarter decisions when shopping.

5 Tips for Reading Food Labels

  1. Ignore daily intake labels – they are based on average energy requirements and nutrient needs – a 5-year-old girl is not going to need the same requirements as a 45-year-old man. The requirements are usually based on upper limits.
  2. Ingredients are listed by weight – so the most used ingredient is first on the list. So run for the hills if you see sugar as the first ingredient.
  3. Is it truly organic? – Even if there is the word organic in the label does not necessarily make the product organic. Companies have to jump through hoops to get their products certified. They are only organic if certified by a certifying body. Look for the following logos:
    organic logos
  4. Always read the ingredients label – look for products that have ingredients that you recognise as food.
  5. Be careful of marketing lines – when a product says low fat it will probably be high in sugar!

What are the biggest things we are trying to avoid?

sugarSUGAR

  • Look to see if sugar is added in the ingredients and where it sits in the list. REMEMBER ingredients are listed by weight.
  • Choose foods that have around or less than 5g of sugar per 100g. Note: 1 teaspoon of sugar is 4g. Remember dairy foods will contain lactose, which is a sugar and will contribute to 4.7g per 100g. Don’t need to take the lactose into account.
  • It’s recommend we eat no more than 5 – 9 teaspoons of added sugars per day.
  • Remember to also take into account that you might eat more than the recommend serve size when calculating the sugar content.
Other names for added sugars: White, castor, icing, brown, raw, cane, fruit, date, grape, demerara, invert, muscovado, beet, glucose, dextrose, fructose, galactose, mannose, lactose, maltose, polydextrose, maltodextrose, sucrose, malt, rice malt, barley malt, malt extract, corn syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, syrup, molasses, treacle, honey, fruit-juice concentrate and modified carbohydrate. Also words ending in ‘ose’, malt and syrup are all sugars. When you see fructose and lactose listed in ingredients they are refined added sugars.

 

glutenWHEAT and gluten containing grains

The obvious gluten-containing products are breads, pasta, crackers, biscuits, muffins, pastries and cakes. Other names are: atta, burghul, dinkel, durum, farina, graham flour, semolina, spelt, kamut, triticale, pumpernickel, rye, barley, malt, malt extract, oats, and pilcorn.

Depending on how sensitive you are to gluten and how much you need/want to avoid. I would suggest if you want to avoid completely stay away from packaged foods as much as possible. You can join the Coeliac Society of Australia for $95 per year along with a doctor’s referral letter and you will receive an awesome members handbook, which is perfect size to fit into a bag and have with you always. As gluten can be in things like sauces, stocks and other packaged foods that you might not think that are that obvious.

vegetable oilsVEGETABLE OILS

These potentially damaging oils will be found in products like dips, sauces, pesto’s, crackers, rice crackers and baked goods. A good rule of thumb is to try to avoid the following: canola oil, corn oil, vegetable oil, soybean oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil and rice bran oil.

soySOY

About 70% of packaged foods contain soy whether it’s soy protein, flour or oil. About 90% of soy is genetically modified. Another reason to avoid big amounts of soy foods is they contain natural plant oestrogen’s that mimic estrogen in our bodies and may cause hormonal imbalances. Soy will be hidden in vegetable proteins and vegetable oils in ingredients lists in most packaged foods.

What do those numbers mean?

Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavour or enhance its taste and appearance. Some additives have been used for centuries; for example, preserving food by pickling (with vinegar), salting, as with bacon, preserving sweets or using sulfur dioxide as in some wines. With the advent of processed foods in the second half of the 20th century, many more additives have been introduced, of both natural and artificial origin.

General guide to numbers:

  • 1xx Colours – they are sometime listed using their name i.e. sunset yellow
  • 2xx Preservatives
  • 3xx 321 Antioxidants
  • 620-641 These are flavour enhancers. Numbers 620-625 are all forms of glutamates which act like MSG
  • 951-967 Artificial sweeteners

What additives are bad for you?

Not all food additives are harmful. In fact, of the 300 or so additives approved for uses in Australia, most of them are safe, well tested and pose no problem for most people. However, there are at least 60 food additives used in our foods, which are at best questionable in terms of safety, or at worst, known to be harmful. In Australia at least 30 are known or suspected carcinogens. Many others are banned in other countries because of known adverse health effects, yet are still permitted in Australia. For more information on harmful additives visit: http://www.additivealert.com.au

The 3 BIG offenders

MSG (Monosodium glutamate) 621 – It’s very difficult to avoid MSG, it is in lots of processed foods. We have to avoid it as best as we can. MSG is a white substance that looks like sugar with no real flavour but when added to food enhances the flavour of the food tenfold. MSG is used by the food industry as a flavour enhancer – to make us finish the packet. Some people believe that MSG has caused worldwide obesity as MSG can damage appetite regulation in the brain and kill brain cells.

MSG is also sometimes used in Chinese, Thai and Japanese restaurants. People who are sensitive may have the following symptoms: swelling of the lips, bloating, headaches and migraines. There are other more serious reported symptoms; brain damage, eyesight impairment, long term memory loss and infertility.

MSG is becoming harder to track down. Food manufacturers have found that consumers recognise ‘monosodium glutamate, 621’; and are taking advantage of a loophole in labeling laws and putting MSG into our food under other names or using free-glutamates instead. When it is added as an ingredient of another substance it need not be listed on the label.

Free-glutamates – Glutamates occur naturally in foods such as soy, cheese, wine, tomatoes, broccoli, spinach and corn. Subject to processing, however, glutamate-rich foods split from the plant protein to produce free glutamates, which behave exactly like MSG.

How you can avoid MSG and free-glutamates:

  1. When you see the words ‘no added MSG’ or ‘Flavours (natural and nature identical)’, exercise caution. Products will most likely contain ‘free’ glutamates.
  2. When you see a six at the start of an additive number, beware. These are glutamates and flavour enhancers that have similar effect to MSG (621). Additives 620, 621, 623, 624, 625, 627, 631 and 635 can all potentially kill cells in your brain.
  3. Additive names that guarantee the presence of MSG are: yeast extract, autolysed yeast, textured protein, plant-protein extract, calcium caseinate, sodium caseinate, potassium glutamate and monosodium glutamate.

Added/Refined sugar - We have to be careful not to consume excess sugar as it turns into fat in our body and can cause a range of health problems, including stress, tooth decay, yeast infections, arthritis, depression and obesity. The way we can find out if our foods have natural or added sugar is to read the list of ingredients.

Here is a listed of added sugars: White, castor, icing, brown, raw, cane, fruit, date, grape, demerara, invert, muscovado, beet, glucose, dextrose, fructose, galactose, mannose, lactose, maltose, polydextrose, maltodextrose, sucrose, malt, rice malt, barley malt, malt extract, corn syrup, golden syrup, maple syrup, rice syrup, syrup, molasses, treacle, honey, fruit-juice concentrate and modified carbohydrate. Also words ending in ‘ose’, malt and syrup are all sugars. When you see fructose and lactose listed in ingredients they are refined added sugars.

 

Artificial sweeteners or intense sweeteners (Numbers 951 – 967 are intense sweeteners) - They are 100x, even 1000x sweeter than sugar. Our poor taste buds are then becoming accustomed to that false sweet high. All artificial sweeteners have been linked to causing detrimental health conditions. For example Aspartame since its approval in 1981 has been in controversy debate.

Scientific data shows that it causes brain tumours in rats. Since 1981 brain tumours have increased. I’m not saying that Aspartame is the only factor but I do believe along with a lot of scientist that it has been a huge contributing factor. Kids are more and more being given diet products for obesity and in turn consuming artificial sweeteners. A lot of us think we are avoiding artificial sweeteners if we are not having diet products but for example aspartame is more and more being used in products such as sausages and rice crackers.

Conclusion

Always read food labels. The best thing to do is choose wholefoods and limit packaged foods as much as possible.

Angela :)

Has this post helped? Do you check you food labels? We’d love to hear in the comments below…

Click Here & Learn More about 180 Natural Protein

Is Your Brand of Fish Oil Healthy?

After recently chatting to the Baker Boys (full interview below) it appears that some brands of fish oil shine over others. Learn how to put your brand to the test above in this short video clip.

Brothers Michael & Christian Baker are nutritional advisors & professional speakers. They have also collected a massive amount of experience over the years within the supplement industry. They were one of the first guys to setup a major supplement store franchise from the USA here in Australia. Strap yourself in for this one as we dig deep into the world of supplements. Join us and find out what actually goes on in one of the most confusing industries out there!


Full Interview: Insider Knowledge & Truths About the Supplement Industry

downloaditunesIn this episode we talk about:-

  • If supplements actually make you healthy
  • The biggest mistake people make when choosing supplements
  • How to know if your fish oil is any good
  • Why some supplements are simply expensive urine
  • The damaging effects of artificial sweeteners (yes they are in many so called ‘health foods’ & protein powders)
  • The best post exercise supplements to take
  • And much more…

CLICK HERE for all Episodes of 180TV

Learn about the Baker Boys HERE


Truths about supplements transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence of 180 Nutrition and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions. Today you’re in for a treat as we dig deep into the truths, or what we feel to be the truths, about the supplement world.
Our special guests today are the Baker Boy Brothers, Michael and Christian Baker. These guys were the first franchisees in Australia of probably one of the largest companies in the world, supplement companies, and they’ve been in the industry a long time. They certainly know their stuff.
They’re in the firing line, if you like, of the end consumer, and, you know, they’ve seen a lot of things. Well, as you can imagine, we had so many burning questions, from supplements to “Do we need them?” to the quality and grade of them, you know, “How effective are they? What ones should we be looking for? What ingredients are in them? Is there anything we should be concerned about?” And what to check when looking for them in general, you know?
There are so many gems of information in here. It’s not funny. I certainly learned a lot from this episode, and I’m sure you will, too. So sit back and enjoy it. You’re in for a treat.

Also, if you are listening to this through iTunes, we’d really appreciate the review. That just helps our rankings and helps us get the word out there as we spread the good message about food and health and what we believe. So, yeah, enjoy!
Guy Lawrence: So, hey, this Guy Lawrence, and I am joined today, as always, with Mr. Stuart Cooke. Hey, Stu.
Stuart Cooke: Hello!
Guy Lawrence: And our special guests today are the Baker Boy Brothers, Michael and Christian Baker. Welcome, lads!
Christian Baker: Thanks for having us.
Guy Lawrence: So, we are on all four corners of Australia: Coogee, Maroubra, Bondi Junction, and Newcastle.
Michael Baker: Yes, nice.
Stuart Cooke: Excellent.
Guy Lawrence: First of all, I wanted to just say, you know, you guys are at the firing line, if you like, of the end consumer in retail and working in the supplement industry a long time. It’s going to be fantastic to get your insights on that today. We’re excited to have you.
Michael Baker: We’re glad to be sharing.
Guy Lawrence: We’ll start with you, Mick. Tell us how long have you been in the industry and how’d it all begin for you lads?
Michael Baker: Sure, well, being the older brother it is appropriate, I guess, that I start. I’m probably about six to eight inches shorter than Christian, but it’s okay. I usually get, when people come into the store, and we’re side-by-side, they usually call Christian the older guy and then I’m his younger brother, but it’s not the case.
I’m the one with the beard here.
Yeah, basically, as far as my memory can go back, I used to come home from school, from high school, year 11 and 12, and see Christian on the lounge playing video games. I was like, “Christian, I just come from the gym. I feel amazing. I’m starting to get muscles and, you know, I really enjoy this. You’ve got to get off your lazy bum and come join me one time.”
And, being the stubborn young brother he is, he would always pretend like he wasn’t even listening, just totally ignored me. And I think after about two years or so of drilling him with this, “You’ve got to get to the gym. You’ve got to get to the gym,” he finally, one day, just joined at the gym and literally went, I think, every single day for a whole year straight. He became obsessed with it.
And that’s pretty much what got us into health and fitness. We then went and did our personal training qualification and dabbled into, you know, nutrition a little bit, but we didn’t really know that much, and then, to the point where we are now, which is being in the industry, the supplement industry, heavily for five years.
It’s been some interesting insights and learnings.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I can imagine. Did you have any, you know, you’ve been doing it a while now. Obviously, we know you guys well and know the industry pretty well. Did you have any preconceived ideas before starting? Christian?
Christian Baker: Yeah, obviously, being more of a gym background than a nutrition background, at least in the beginning, I didn’t really know what to expect from the supplement side of things other than what I’d seen in magazines, and I had all these ideas of supplements being magic and all this good stuff, so, yeah, I think going into the industry, in terms of the nutritional supplement side, I had really high expectations and a lot of them weren’t met.
I realized certain corners were being cut, certain claims that were being made, a lot of things, yeah, weren’t quite what they seemed.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I know. It’s intriguing, because, obviously, I started out as a fitness trainer ten years ago and, from the outside looking in, is a very different perceived…perception to when you start getting amongst it.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s certainly a big world out there. Say someone ate a balanced diet, okay, so a reasonably healthy, balanced diet. Would they get much benefit from taking supplements?
Michael Baker: I think, absolutely. I guess most people’s idea of a balanced diet, even a healthy person could be shopping at Woolworths or Coles, you know, big name grocery stores, and if you’re buying, whether it be chicken, steak, fish, usually it’s always grain-fed or, you know, soy-fed, or just corn-fed, again, something terrible, which show up inside the animal. They’re also going to pump it with hormones. You guys know this already. It’s shocking what they actually feed the produce.
And then the vegetable side of things, I mean, it’s one thing to eat vegetables, but if they’re not organic, you’re not really going to get much from them, so I think supplements can really fit in well. A probiotic can really come in handy, especially to anyone on hormones. It can help put the good bacteria back into your gut just so you can actually digest these proteins and foods properly.
Stuart Cooke: It’s a good point. I mean, we also say we are what we eat, but we are kind of what our animals eat, as well, and all of that is completely unknown to us.
Christian Baker: If they’re feeding our animals junk food, so, you know, these leftover grains instead of the fresh produce that they’re designed to eat, then what are we eating? We’re eating junk chicken and junk beef.
But, hey, if someone came to me and they had a diet that was spot-on with huge amounts of green veggies, colored veggies, nuts, fruits, grass-fed meats, and all that stuff, in most cases they wouldn’t really need much else, but you find me a person who does that in all of Australia and then you’re not going to find many.
I think everyone can do with a top up of a few extra things on top of what they eat.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, but, you know, from what I’ve seen, and I’m sure you’d be able to highlight this more, there are a lot of people out there that think, you know, no regard indiscriminate to what they eat, if they take a vitamin pill every day or supplement, say, then they’ve given themselves insurance.
Christian Baker: Yeah, exactly. A lot of people like to use it as an excuse to eat crap, because they are using the vitamins for damage control. Which, you could use that strategy if it’s a holiday or something like that, but as a daily strategy, you just can’t, you know, you can’t do that.
And you’ve got to think about that, as well. How many new micronutrients and, on a deeper level, phytonutrients, they’re the tiniest little things, are becoming revealed over these last few years? If you say, “Cool. I’m taking a vitamin instead of eating a bunch of veggies and then we find out there’s something in veggies that we haven’t been putting in the vitamins, then you haven’t been getting that either. So you really don’t know what you’re not getting if you’re not having enough veggies and fruits in real food.
Michael Baker: Yeah.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, good point.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, from your experience with people walking into the stores every day, you must have seen, like thousands of thousands of thousands of people now. What do you think is the biggest mistake people make when choosing supplements if they, you know, are not under any guidance?
Michael Baker: Personally, I think, and Christian would probably agree, it’s like most things in life, people want things fast. They want fast results and when you say fast, people want to lose weight fast, and it’s…it’s just…we want to pull our hair out sometimes. They come in drinking a juice from a well-known juice company, full of sugar, and we look in their shopping trolley, maybe they’ve got some chips and some white bread in there, and they’re like, “Hey, do you have a fat-burner? I’ve got a wedding coming up in two weeks. What’s the best thing you can get for me?” And, like, they need to lose weight really fast.
We feel like honestly saying to them, but you can’t really say it like this, “Look, you’ve been putting crap in your body for ten years, and you’ve got ten years of damage, and now you want to heal it, you know, fix it within two weeks. It just doesn’t work like that.”
Most people want short-term results. They’re not willing to actually make the proper changes that may happen a lot slower, but they’re going to live a lot longer and benefit from it.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Right. Marketing play, I mean, you know obviously we all work in the industry, marketing plays a lot in that, as well, I think.
Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. well, every supplement claims to be the best out there, and if I went into a store, I could find, you know, a whole range of supplements that do exactly the same thing, but do they vary in grade or quality, or even effectiveness?
Christian Baker: Oh, god, so much. Australia’s got really good laws for protecting consumers when it comes to making sure that we’re having, you know, decent ingredients, safe ingredients.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Christian Baker: But what we don’t regulate, and what I think we really should, is the grade and the quality of ingredients. So, for example, if you get something like zinc, lots of people taking it, there’s about ten, twenty, or thirty forms of zinc. You can take what’s called a zinc chelate or you can take what’s called a zinc gluconate, they’re two different things both providing you with zinc at the end of the day.
Your body can absorb one of them almost entirely, which is the gluconate, but the other one your body can barely absorb at all, and that’s unfortunately more commonly used, because it’s cheaper. If you check the same man taking, you know, a zinc supplement every night, he thinks he’s taking the same amount, but he’s not actually keeping the same amount. His body can’t absorb it.
So, that’s a big concern with where we’re heading in terms of quality of supplements. They’re becoming more varieties out there, but we just don’t have the facts for the quality.
Stuart Cooke: Would it be safe to say that the more I pay the better quality of product I would be getting?
Christian Baker: In most cases, yeah, but…
Guy Lawrence: Not all?
Michael Baker: Depending on the brands. I mean, just, back on that in terms of quality, there’s a lot of products that they’ll have all these claims and everything and then you check the label and there’s what’s called proprietary blend on the back, and it’s so commonly used in the supplement industry, and it’s mainly used in the U.S. where you’ll have this product that’s perfectly branded, has some amazing claims, contains some awesome ingredients, right? XXdistortedXX [0:11:33] The actual doses of the good ingredients versus the lesser ingredients…you have no idea.
Yeah, people are just so used to seeing it, they don’t even question it. Why? Because, it’s like, “We will give you five good ingredients with 20 terrible ingredients, such as high fructose corn syrup.”
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right.
Guy Lawrence: What about fish oil? Because fish oil, you know, you see in absolutely every single chemist, stacked mountains of it, you know? What are your thoughts on the grading of fish oil?
Christian Baker: Well, fish oil, for starters, is one of my favorite things. I think it’s somewhat of a controversial topic. Everyone’s got their opinion, but I think, if people are taking fish oil…but, yeah, not all fish oil is created equal. Some people take the extra step of processing it an extra step to keep its freshness. Other people just do the minimum required by the government and that does have an impact.
And even when you open the container and smell it, you can tell. A friend of mine, actually, what she does every time she buys a batch of fish oil is pricks one of the capsules with a pin and, if it’s good quality, it’ll smell a bit fishy. No worries.
But, if it’s bad quality, it’ll smell rancid, and it’ll smell terrible, and you should throw the whole container out, and, unfortunately, most…I’ll save you buying fish oil from a supermarket. You should reconsider that. It’s better to go to a health food store or somewhere that is specializing in fish oil rather than just storing a generic brand on the shelf.
Stuart Cooke: That’s awesome take. You do realize that everybody now is going to be rushing to the kitchen and pricking their little tablets of fish oil. Me included.
Christian Baker: Please do it over the sink and get ready to wash your hands, because…XXdistortedXX [0:13:20]
Michael Baker: It stinks.
Stuart Cooke: That’s good to know. Thank you.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. That’s excellent. If there’s one thing that I’ll spend money on, it’s fish oil. I’ll never, personally, buy from, straight from the shelves like that.
Michael Baker: Which one do you take, Guy?
Guy Lawrence: Hmm?
Michael Baker: Which one do you take? I remember you saying a really high quality one you’re taking once.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, I buy, actually, Metagenics fish oil.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Christian Baker: Good brand.
Guy Lawrence: Moving forward, what’s the biggest misconception then? Like, claims that won’t die, you know, people must be coming in with a perceived idea.
Michael Baker: Really? That’s so tough. I mean, we could talk about carbohydrates. We could talk about getting big quick. I mean, there’s so…
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Big quick’s a good one. I had to deal with that all the time as a personal trainer.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Christian Baker: You guys would get that all the time with your product.
Stuart Cooke: Yes.
Christian Baker: I think, yeah, there’s so many misconceptions and also things that won’t die, like, such as, don’t take vitamins because it’s expensive year-round, or vitamins don’t work, blah, blah, blah, blah, but the one that’s the most relevant at the moment, just because the fastest growing market of people purchasing protein is not body-builders and fitness freaks, it’s typically normal people who just want to be a little bit healthier and maybe want to lose a little bit of weight and are starting to realize that protein powder is just food. It’s just like chicken or beef. It’s nothing magical, but when they tell their friend to get it, or their friend’s friend or whatever, straight away if they’re a woman or even, a lot of time, with guys, they’ll go, “Oh, my god, I don’t want to take protein, because I’ll get too big.”
I’m like, “Well, I tried to get big for a long time.” So, you know…XXdistortedXX [0:15:08]
Michael Baker: When was the last time you ate chicken? You’re not huge.
Christian Baker: Yeah, exactly. So, like, protein, you don’t see when you go to the supermarket and go to buy a chicken breast, there’s not some big muscley dude on the front, even though chicken breast is the most commonly eaten food by bodybuilders. It’s just protein, and protein powder’s the same.
And I think, over time, it’ll probably get better, but, we got to clear the misconception that protein is for making you huge. Protein is just protein.
Stuart Cooke: Got it.
Michael Baker: You’ve got to get your calories from proteins, carbs, or fat, so, if you want to eat carbs all day and eat plenty of processed carbs and sugars like most people do, you’re going to get fat. You want to eat protein, you’re actually going to probably lose weight, but to try to explain this to the average consumer sometimes takes a good half-an-hour just to do it.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s, I don’t think it’s, it’s certainly not an easy topic to broach, especially when you’re in your shop.
Michael Baker: People have feelings, too, you don’t want break that. If for the last 20 years their great-grandmother taught them to do this, and they’ve got all these ways of eating and living and now, you know, you break their heart. You tell them they can’t have fruit for, you know, fruit for dessert with yogurt before bed, you know, you want to have a lean protein shake instead, they’re like, “What do you mean? Fruit’s good for you. Low calories.”
Stuart Cooke: That’s right, yeah. Nature’s dessert. That’s what we like to call fruit. You mentioned sugars, as well, Mick. Now that brings me on to artificial sweeteners.
Michael Baker: Yeah.
Stuart Cooke: These are to, you know, the general public could be seen as a very good thing, because they reduce the amount of sugar in there which is a great thing, too. You know, are they a good thing, or are they a cause for concern?
Michael Baker: Both Christian and I, fortunately and unfortunately, have asthma, and I mean we’re, I’m 30 now, and I’ve still got asthma. It just hasn’t gone away, but I know, I basically know how to control it. So, for me, it’s mainly environmental and what I’m putting in my body, and you know, from dust and some pet hair, but mainly from putting bad foods in my body.
Like, if I have, right now, if I had a diet Coke and then, maybe, even a protein shake with artificial sweeteners, I wouldn’t be able to breathe. I literally wouldn’t be able take part in this podcast, because my lungs lock up and it’s game over for me.
Like, for many years when Christian and I first went into the industry, we’re like so keen to try everything, so we’re pre-workouts, during workouts, post-workout, bedtime, and like a million different shakes, and we’re taking all the top brand names, but yet, we used to finished a workout, we’d have massive anxiety and we’re like, “Oh my god, why can’t we breathe right now?”
Like, we’re really struggling with our breath, and it was funny enough because of the shakes we were taking. They’re fluff, you know, something called Ace-K, sucralose, sometimes aspartame, all of these hidden nasties that reduce the calories but just really don’t do good to you.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, because, from my understanding, there are still a lot of companies suing them, I mean…
Christian Baker: They’re pathetic.
Michael Baker: A majority.
Christian Baker: Sweeteners, god, they’re such a controversial thing. I think, especially going back to what I said before about the growing market with people trying to be a little bit healthier. You know, a lot of people don’t realize that health and fitness are, in fact, two very different things. You know, you get them both right they’ll complement each other, but if you’re only pursuing one and you’re forgetting about the other, you know, you can get off-track.
Case in point, most people start going to the gym, might even take a protein supplement. They might start eating more chicken and stuff like that, but they won’t back themselves up with extra veggies. They won’t take a greens powder with vitamins in it to offset the protein they’re having, and they wonder why they get sick.
Or maybe they’ll look good, but then their skin won’t look so good, or they’ll have bad breath and all these other things, and they have no idea, because there are so many artificial things, you know, getting put into food and supplements, to reduce calories and to make you in better shape, but not with your health in mind.
One thing I wanted to say about sweeteners is from a vanity point of view, which is probably the best way to get it across to most people, is if you look up any study they’ve done with mainstream sweeteners, especially aspartame sweetener e951 that’s used in diet Coke and diet soft drinks and all those things, in nearly every single study, unanimous across the board, people who drink diet soft drinks eat more calories with their next meal, and usually eat more calories across the board through the whole day.
And it’s like the diet soft drink paradox, because your brain is hardwired to get excited and expect some calories when you give it something sweet. It’s a survival mechanism. And, if you’re having these sweet things, these artificial sweeteners, your brains like, “Okay, cool. Where’s the calories at?” And then it’s waiting, waiting…
“Still no calories? Something’s wrong. We need more calories.” And it keeps telling you to get hungrier and get hungrier until you satisfy that craving, but it’s just all messed up. You can’t trick your brain, and artificial sweeteners, they just mess with the way we work, and there’s so many other bad side effects we could talk about, but that’s one of my main concerns.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and interestingly enough, as well, if somebody is actually having a diet Coke I wonder how conscious they are about their actual, you know, the foods they’re putting in their body, and then the calories that they’re eating more of later are going to be, actually, probably of poor quality, I’d imagine.
Christian Baker: Yeah. Absolutely right.
Guy Lawrence: Escalating the problem. I mean, that’s why 180 started, you know, because, you know, working as a trainer, especially with the people with chronic disease, we couldn’t find a protein supplement without these sort of things in it.
Michael Baker: That’s why we love your protein, because it’s, you take it, you feel awesome after it. Like, you feel like you’ve just had all the nutrients you need. You can go for a run straight after it, whereas the other stuff we used to take, we’d have to like lie down and do deep breaths, like, recover.
Guy Lawrence: And that’s not healthy. I’m just touching on what Christian said, you know, like even from my experience you see a lot of people focusing on their physical appearance and fitness and can look great, but I’d question how healthy they actually really are underneath all that.
Michael Baker: Yeah, Christian and I went to a bodybuilding, a really big bodybuilding event. Last year’s Arnold Classic over in the U.S.
Guy Lawrence: Oh, yeah, that’s right, yeah.
Michael Baker: Yeah, and it was a really great experience, but we could not believe how unhealthy the people were there. Like, it’s meant to be the health and nutrition…
Christian Baker: Industry…
Michael Baker: …industry, but there were people that were in their early 30s, women, that were losing hair, because of who-knows-what they’re putting in their body. You know, just, acne, redness under the eyes, pimples on the back of their delts and their triceps and it was just, stretch marks, yeah, it’s because they were loading up only supplements and then probably some other stuff in the backroom that you don’t know about. They’re not actually eating food. They’re not eating any real food.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, wow. While we’re on the topic of supplements, what are your personal staples? You know, your nutritional supplement routines that you do?
Michael Baker: Christian, you go first. He used to take four to five times as many supplements as me.


Christian Baker: Yeah, how much time do we have?
Guy Lawrence: Cause I know, obviously, quite a few people that work in the industry, and generally the people that work around supplements take more.
Stuart Cooke: That’s right. We can always offer your list, as well, Christian, as a PDF download, if it’s too lengthy.
Christian Baker: Yeah, if it’s a small enough file for download. I used to take a lot of things, and I still like to introduce different things at certain times. I’m very much a human guinea pig, but at the moment I’ve cut myself right down to what I think are, you know, the essentials in terms of my lifestyle, so I take a greens formula, so like powdered vegetables with superfoods antioxidants, all those things, wheat grass, barley grass. I do eat a lot of green veggies and a lot of colored veggies, but I take as well just as backup because I do a lot of exercise.
A multivitamin, as well, even though I’m taking already greens, I will take the vitamin as well. I take fish oil, of course, to help with my joints, but also it does help with skin and also help with fat loss, as well. Protein, but only natural protein, I don’t take any sweeteners, so I take 180. I also take two other different ones, as well, which are natural.
I’ll take branch chain amino acids, which are really good for training and recovery and increasing your strength, but also minimizing any kind of muscle loss, if you’re dieting down, which, at the moment, I’m losing weight, so they’re good, but I do them unflavored which tastes terrible, but, also, because I’m avoiding sweeteners, and that’s the gist of it, but then I add other things for small periods of time.
Like, at the moment, I’m taking zinc, just for a good six weeks or so because we are going into winter, and it does help me with the…
Michael Baker: He just got a girlfriend, as well. He wants to increase his testosterone.
Christian Baker: Yeah, zinc does help with testosterone. In a few days, when you take zinc, so, if you’re a guy, definitely take a zinc.
Guy Lawrence: That is a good tip. What about you, Mick?
Michael Baker: I’m pretty similar to Christian. I do all my daily supplement regime is first thing in the morning it’s the greens powder, then usually about an hour to an hour-and-a-half, I usually go for a big hour walk in the morning. I have a nice shot of double espresso, which is not a supplement, but it’s caffeine in its purest form, and, yeah, with my two main meals I have a multivitamin.
At the moment, I’m taking a bit of olive leaf. It’s olive leaf extract for immune system, because I work quite a bit and I just can’t really afford to get rundown. Training-wise, pretraining I take an unflavored XX?XX [0:25:17] . I take arginine, which is,hands down, the worst tasting supplement on the planet.
Christian Baker: It’s fantastic.
Michael Baker: For pumps and vascularity, but it’s, it tastes like chlorinated pool water with tuna mixed into it.
Stuart Cooke: Nice.
Christian Baker: With a seaweed aftertaste.
Michael Baker: Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, so I take XX?XX [0:25:39] and arginine before training. After training, I’ll have coconut water with either 180 or just an unflavored protein that I have, and I’ve got a massive sweet tooth, so I usually have one to two XX?XX [0:25:52] bars a day. Even though, it’s my justification, like, the nice little hit of cacao and all that stuff makes it, makes me feel like I don’t want to go for chocolate bars, so it does the job.
Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. And you guys essentially follow quite a clean diet, as well, don’t you? Devoid of most processed foods?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I think, I don’t get too caught up in exact protocols, like I’ve tried many diets to the letter for a time, just so I can experience it and just kind of take what I want and get rid of what I don’t want.
But, if you had to sum up my diet, it’s pretty much just eating real food, like most of it is real food, real veggies, real fruits, lots of nuts, lots of lean meat. Plenty of fat, too, from good sources, like grass-fed meats, nuts, avocadoes, fish, eggs.
Michael Baker: Are you eating bread these days?
Christian Baker: On the weekend, I’ll have bread, and if I am going to have bread, I’ll have sourdough, because it digests a lot better. Maybe one day a week I’ll have some bread with breakfast or lunch or something like that, because I do like bread, I just don’t want to eat it.
Guy Lawrence: I don’t think I’ve met a person that doesn’t like bread.
Christian Baker: Whoever made bread is a smart man and awesome. Yeah, if you had to match my diet up to an actual diet, I think the closest diet that I eat to would be the Wahls Protocol. Remember Dr. Terry Wahls who you guys interviewed? I’m a massive fan of her, and because her diet works from a fitness point of view as in it helps me train, but it’s centered around health.
Her diet is all about cellular health and giving the body what it needs to regenerate, and I’m a massive fan of that. Even though it takes a lot of effort and a lot of plates of red cabbage…
Christian Baker: The first day that we saw Christian do that, oh, my god, myself and our friend Jeremy was sitting there, all having a steak together, and but Christian had this massive salad bowl full of red cabbage and all this colorful stuff, and we’d finished our steak. We’re pretty much about to just clean and start doing the washing up. Christian hadn’t even started the steak. He’s still eating cabbage.
Christian Baker: I was committed.
Stuart Cooke: Color. Yeah, that’s it. Get some color on your plate. That’s an awesome tip.
Guy Lawrence: What supplements would you recommend, guys, for those that exercise regular? Because I know there have been quite a few, you know…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, we’re talking, you know, male, female, Joe Public.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah, because we get a lot of Cross Fitters, as well, obviously.
Michael Baker: Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, I mean, your protein just flies out the door, especially Cross Fitters. They are just obsessed with it. I guess it gives them the perfect blend of healthy fats, some nice quality carbohydrates, really good quality protein, no sweeteners, no fillers or anything. So, I mean, that’s, yeah, your 180 protein is like the perfect protein.
Even for women that come in for weight loss. I still recommend it to them, because I’m like, “Look, you’re not going to have cravings. You’re going to get some healthy fats. Yes, fats are good for you. Slow release carbs. A good quality protein. Instead of having your…”
You know, actually, I won’t say the full title, it’s called Celebrity something, I mean, you get it from my words, and I was, I just said, “Okay, do you actually understand what’s in there? You’ve got vegetable oil. You’ve got soy protein, and you’ve got first ingredient skim milk powder, and you, just so many terrible ingredients, and it’s 100 percent sugar, as well.
So then I, you know, switched her over to the 180. Showed her that it’s actually whole foods and not fillers, and, yeah, so, she’s going to be loving it.
Stuart Cooke: Will you recommend like a general multivitamin, as well, to accompany, you know, to accompany their daily lives, as well?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I think, for Joe Public, the average person who wants to be a little bit healthier and who is eating a reasonably good diet, if you follow good diet protocols from Australia which involves a lot of grains, then I would recommend you choose at least either a greens powder, so powder with fruits and veggies and wheat grass, or a strong multivitamin, or you could do both, which is even better, but at least if you start with one of them that’s a good start.
However, unfortunately, with vitamins there’s a huge variance, so please don’t buy any of the ones you see on TV. They seem to put more money into their marketing than they do their research and development. And, if you’re using cheap forms of vitamins like that, you can take the tablets, but your body won’t absorb much of it at all…
[talking over each other]
Christian Baker: Sorry?
Michael Baker: That’s expensive urine right there.
Christian Baker: That’s where the saying comes from. And then, so, yeah, greens or a multivitamin and fish oil, I think that’s a good start for anyone, and if they do that, given that they drink enough water, as well, at least two or three liters a day, like, really, most people don’t do that, that alone is enough to make most people feel significantly healthier.
And most people just don’t buy into that, but literally a few days of doing that consistently, you feel dramatically different, if you haven’t taken those things for a while.
Michael Baker: Getting protein first thing in the morning, if you can do it within a half-hour of waking up, protein as your first meal instead of sugary cereal with some milk, it’s going to help with the blood sugar, their energy, their body fat, metabolism, everything. So, it’s 180 protein first thing in the morning, don’t need to add anything to it. There’s nothing. It’s got everything you need, pretty much for everyone.
Stuart Cooke: Breakfast like a king, I think. That’s the term, isn’t it?
Michael Baker: That’s it.
Stuart Cooke: Mick, you touched on weight-loss shakes, as well. This is a huge can of worms in itself, but what are your thoughts on weight loss shakes, you know, and he marketing that they use out in the High Street?
Michael Baker: Yeah, it’s, first of all, the marketing works, and that’s scary. It does work. Like people like to see labels that say, “Lose weight fast,” or something with “slim” or something…
Christian Baker: If the word toned is on it, women are for it.
Michael Baker: I know. There’s no real definition to “toned.” You can’t go to the gym and get toned. Yeah, it’s, I mean, everyone’s own personal perception, but, yeah, I mean, weight loss shakes, what I would tell to everyone is do your own research to how you can lose weight and then find your own ingredients to make a perfect shake, or go for a 180 shake or something that has got proper whole foods in it.
Like, a typical weight loss shake is not going to make you lose weight. Maybe, you know, for two weeks you might lose weight, because you’re not having calories from other food, but long term, as Christian said before, a lot of them have got the sweeteners in there, so therefore, you’re tricking yourself into not eating other foods and then you’re going to actually going to eat more in the long run.
And then you’re going to put on weight. You’re body’s bacteria, like good bacteria, is not going to be happening. Your gut health is not good. Your liver’s not going to be good. Everything’s going to slowly deteriorate, but the problem is short-term they usually do work, and that’s why people do want them for the quick fix, but it’s just slowly screwing your insides.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it never fails to amaze me the amount of artificial sweeteners in weight loss products that will have a direct link to your gut health or deterioration of gut bacteria, which is the one thing that you really need to regulate your hormones and weight control, as well, so it’s just a…
Christian Baker: Absolutely.
Stuart Cooke: It’s just, it’s crazy, isn’t it? It’s a vicious cycle.
Christian Baker: And, actually, on that point sweetener 950, sorry, sweetener 955, sucralose, was invented by accident when they were all trying to make a pesticide. So, it was originally designed to kill bacteria in microorganisms, so when you take it into your own gut it starts killing the microorganisms, the bacteria, whether they’re good or bad. It doesn’t discriminate.
So, a lot of people experience bloating, poor digestion, and things like that when they’re taking a lot of sweeteners, and that’s often why, because they’re destroying the environment down there.


Guy Lawrence: The reality is of that, as well, if you have been down that path for years and then one day go, “Oh my god, I’ve been doing this to me,” some things you just can’t fix overnight.
Michael Baker: That’s it. Unfortunately not. Yeah, I mean, back on the weight loss shakes sort of things, the best thing you can do, I guess, is grab the product, turn it around, look at the label, try to see that there are no numbers. If you don’t know what the number is, look up the number, and if you don’t understand the ingredients, run, like, do not, do not go for it.
Another ingredient that’s a killer, which is not really related to sports supplements but it’s called MSG, monosodium glutamate, and that, for me, it’s my kryptonite. It just destroys me, because I’ve got and MSG allergy, which is in all Asian food, flavored chips, but it’s in so many different things, and now they hide it under yeast extract, as well.
Guy Lawrence: Is that right?
Michael Baker: Yeah, it’s another hidden thing that’s in so many different ingredients in the supermarket, gravies and soups and…
Stuart Cooke: Flavor enhancer is another generic term for MSG. It really is funny, but I think the great thing about the society that we live in today is that we do have, or most of us have, smartphones, and most of us have access to, you know, so much information, so when we’re out and about we can make these checks instantly.
Michael Baker: Yeah, totally.
Christian Baker: Yeah, and if you Google a lot of ingredients that you don’t understand, it just comes up, and it gives you two or three different alternate names for them and often times, like Mick said with the whole yeast extract thing, it’s, yeah, it’s something that’s a common irritant or problem for a lot of people but it’s disguised under different names.
Like, a lot of people are terrified of trans fat and for good reason, because there’s no justifiable reason to ever eat it, except that it makes the texture of food really good, but that can be called vegetable shortening, so it’s got the word vegetable in it, so you’re like, “Vegetable. Cool.” But shortening is just another long word for fat, and vegetable fat, you know, if you look at, say, olive oil or vegetable oil, it’s always runny and it’s always a liquid, because it’s an unsaturated fat.
If it’s solid, and it’s not a saturated fat, because they’re solid at room temperature, like butter and stuff, but somehow it’s solid, you know it’s been modified, which is what trans fat is. It’s been messed up and hydrogenated.
Guy Lawrence: Hydrogenated, yeah.
Stuart Cooke: I avoid it.
Guy Lawrence: If, for people listening to this, if you were to say what would just like a really simple breakdown, what would you list to say, “Look, just check these in the ingredients. You need to avoid these.” Vegetable oil would definitely be on there for me.
Christian Baker: Yeah, do you mean when looking for supplements or just in food in general?
Guy Lawrence: Probably both. Let’s do supplements first.
Christian Baker: Okay. Well, yeah, I would say, if you can, avoid, well, we’ll go back to Mick’s point with the whole celebrity kind of shakes and weight loss shakes and those things, the ones that are in supermarkets and on TV.
I think, before you even look at those, you should, kind of, make some rules for yourself, which is what we’re going onto now, you know, what to avoid. You should look for certain things that you want and, also, look for things to avoid, and I think the number one things to avoid would be vegetable oil, because there are so many better ways to get healthier fats. Vegetable oil is notorious for inflammation and causing problems.
I would also avoid skim milk powder, because then you know straight away that the brand is using cheap ingredients. You want a protein powder; you don’t want a milk powder. You can milk powder from anywhere and it’s cheap.
Avoid soy protein, because a lot of people can get away with a small amount of soy in their diet, but in its concentrated form soy protein can wreak havoc on both the male and female bodies. It’ll throw estrogen levels really high, cause you to gain fat instead of lose it, and it can, also, cause other hormonal craziness problems, too.
So, yeah, they’re my top three, and then I would say, also, trans fat, of course, which is less common to find in these shakes, but definitely avoid trans fat, which is written either as hydrogenated something, could be palm oil, any kind of oil, or vegetable shortening.
Guy Lawrence: Like the low fat margarine that you see in so many people’s fridge.
Christian Baker: Yeah, if you’re doing margarine, throw that stuff in the bin, please, like seriously.
Michael Baker: Eat butter.
Guy Lawrence: Cholesterol lowered margarine, too. That’s what on the label.
Christian Baker: Margarine is like spreadable plastic. It’s one molecule away from being actual plastic. It’s crazy. It was only invented because there was short supply of butter during the war or something like that, so I don’t know how it even survived after that, but…
Michael Baker: Anything that says fat free or reduced fat is always a worry, because XXtraffic noise drowned his wordsXX [0:39:40] to be safe, but the majority of the time it’s just a no go, because the only way to reduce the fat or to avoid the fat is to put in sugar or sweeteners or something to replace it. So, it’s just, stay clear form that. Full fat is good.
Stuart Cooke: That’s good advice.
Guy Lawrence: Cool. I was just, sorry, I thought he was going to just throw in some in there, Stu. Alright, guys, look, moving on. We kind of covered your diet. Do you have cheat meals, by the way?
Christian Baker: Absolutely.
Michael Baker: You’re kidding. Cheat meals? You’re talking to Christian. Could I please tell them about one of your cheat meals?
Christian Baker: Please do.
Michael Baker: And it may be a few details off.
Christian Baker: Yeah.
Michael Baker: I remember there was a day, not too long ago, Christian had some, I think he made French toast out of croissants…
Christian Baker: Yep.
Michael Baker: As if croissants don’t have enough butter and goodness already. French toast croissants. after he demolished them, probably covered in Nutella and maybe jam and peanut butter, he then proceeded to buy, I think it was the 24-pack of chocolate chip cookies, and a full liter of, it might have been, full cream milk or Cleopatra milk. He poured the milk into a big mixing bowl, poured the 24 cookies into the bowl, crushed them up, and sat there eating them.
Christian Baker: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: How did you feel after that?
Michael Baker: It was like punishment.
Christian Baker: I felt high, like I felt euphoric.
Michael Baker: Were you watching Cross Fit videos while you were doing this?
Christian Baker: Yeah, I was like, “I need the calories.” But, no, it’s, I think cheat meals are very beneficial if you’re doing them right. Like, if you are on a, especially if you’re on a weight loss diet, you’re most likely, if it’s working, then it means you’re eating the kind of calories where your body is losing weight from week to week, and because your body is smart and it doesn’t want to starve to death, it’s eventually going to catch on to the idea that you’re trying to lose weight, and it’s going to try to stop you losing weight, because it doesn’t want to lose weight, because that’s not a good thing from a survival point of view.
So it’s starts to rev your metabolism down, down, down until even the same low-calorie diet won’t burn any more calories, but if you spike your metabolism again, and you give it a whole bunch of food, you go, “Hey, guess what? We’re not starving. There’s lots of food around. You can burn more energy again.” Your metabolism goes up and you’ll burn more fat the next week.
Also, I think it’s a good psychological release, if you feel like, “Oh my god, I can never eat a cookie again, or I can never eat Nutella again,” which Nutella, by the way, is like my favorite thing in the world, if you haven’t noticed. So then it’s a psychological benefit, too, but absolutely it can be abused.
Like, if I did the kind of meal that Mick described, if I did that that every Saturday when I do my cheat meal, I’d probably be really fat. That was, you know, sometimes they’re big like that, sometimes they’re smaller. I’ll go eat, like, smaller for me, so I’ll eat, like, a pizza, and then a Max Brenner dessert, which, for me, that’s a lot for most people, but I can easily do that, like, no worries.
Guy Lawrence: Give it ten years, mate. You’ll a…
Christian Baker: I’m the youngest in this group. I know. But then the next day I’ll be fasting half the day and then I’ll be doing a heavy workout like squats or something, so I burn it off.
Michael Baker: A lot of the time when we do a cheat meal we’ll do it post-workout, so you know we’ve opened up our glycogen, like our muscle receptors are going to put all our glycogen into our muscle. Glycogen being sugar, and other crap, into our muscles, so off putting a lot of the damage.
Guy Lawrence: That’s a really important point, isn’t it?
Christian Baker: Timing is super important. Timing is extremely important.
Michael Baker: Sometimes we’ll take some alpha lipoic acid, as well, to help balance the blood sugar, and we might even have a shot of espresso after to help with gastric empty, to, you know, get all Tim Ferriss style to, you know, make sure you don’t absorb all that food.
Christian Baker: If anyone wants, like, the ultimate way to do cheat meals and minimize the damage and not get as, you know, try not to store much fat from it, or any, check out The 4-hour Body by Tim Ferriss. It’s one of the greatest books ever written on health and fitness, and it’s also hilarious and really fun to read.
Guy Lawrence: Awesome read. Yeah.
Christian Baker: But just one final note on cheat meals, I think it’s not for everyone, like, if from a psychological point of view, I really like doing things in extremes, so I’d rather be super strict and then super crazy, but I’ve got friends who just aren’t into that. They like to, they’re the kind of people who can go to the gym, come home, eat a few cookies with their protein shake, and they use those cookies for good calories, like it goes to their muscles, and then straight away get back on the bandwagon, eat a salad for dinner with chicken. I won’t do that.
If I start with one cookie, it’s going to result in 24 cookies. So I’ll do none, and I’ll do them all on Saturday.
Stuart Cooke: …and then all.
Christian Baker: But, yes, think about your personality and then that’ll kind of help tell you if you are…
Guy Lawrence: Absolutely, and I think body type has a lot to do with it, as well, because I know Stu could have a cheat meal every single meal and not gain an ounce of body fat.
Stuart Cooke: Come on. We put that to the test in Fiji, didn’t we, and it didn’t, and it absolutely worked to treat. I ate 6,000 calories a day for two weeks and lost a kilo-and-a-half.
Michael Baker: What?
Christian Baker: Oh my god. What? You were doing, you were doing, what’s that guy? That awesome guy who’s friends with…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Nate Green.
Christian Baker: Nate Green. You were doing his kind of stuff. He’s super ripped.
Michael Baker: That is insane.
Christian Baker: The calories he eats on some of his programs are amazing, and he’s still super lean, so, yeah. Stu is the Aussie Nate Green.
Stuart Cooke: I’m the skinny version of Nate Green. That’s the problem. But, yeah, I think DNA and certainly our genes have a lot to play in the way that our body responds to food, for sure.
Guy Lawrence: Yeah. All right. I was just looking at the time, guys. I’ve got a wrap up question, as well, we always ask every week. This has been awesome.
So, I’ll start with you, Mick. What’s the single bet piece of advice you’ve ever been given? And that can be outside of the nutritional world, as well. Anything.
Michael Baker: Oh, put on the spot, okay, off my gut, it’s, I’m going to have to go with my granddad, or our granddad, he’d always say in his broken German accent…He’d always be lecturing us and…
Christian Baker: Do the accent.
Michael Baker: …telling us war stories, and he’d be like, “Michael, whatever someone can do, you can always do better. Never settle for average, you know. If you see someone, you can do it better.”
That was probably, eh, I mean it’s always stuck with me. It’s very basic. You can interpret it how you want, but it’s just like, go learn from the best and do better.
Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. There’s truth in that.
Guy Lawrence: 100 percent. Christian?
Christian Baker: Yeah, no, he’s a great man, and he’s a good immigrant success story, as well. The guy came out from Germany after the war and built himself up in Australia, so we love that guy.
Stuart Cooke: He certainly did it better.
Christian Baker: Yeah, no, he did a great job, and he’s still around. One, my favorite piece of advice is one that Mick and I both love a lot. It’s from one of our favorite business mentors, a gentleman named Fergus, and he said, he passed on something to us that his dad told him growing up, and it’s in the context of business, but I think you can put it into any area of your life, and that is, “Top line vanity; bottom line sanity.” So he’s talking about, if a business is making millions of dollars but not keeping anything, well then it’s stupid. You think you’re cool because you may have lots of money coming in, but you’re not keeping anything.
And I think the same thing can be done with health and nutrition. On the surface, you’ve got this awesome program you’re doing six days of training a week. You’re turning up for all your sessions. You’re doing that morning cardio and that afternoon weight-training. You’re hitting all this perfectly written down routine, but then you’re falling short on your nutrition, and you’re not eating enough veggies, and you think you can get away with cutting corners, and eventually it catches up to you until you look at the bottom line, what the actual results are.
You’re not in good shape. Your immune system sucks. You’re not as energetic as you should be. Your skin’s no good, and you’re falling to pieces, and I think that’s what’s happening to a lot of people.
Michael Baker: Adrenal fatigue.
Guy Lawrence: Massively, yeah.
Christian Baker: People burning the candles on both ends, thinking they’re invincible.
Guy Lawrence: It’s interesting with human nature. You tend to gravitate what you love most and enjoy and go, but you can neglect other areas, and…
Stuart Cooke: That’s right.
Christian Baker: Yeah. It’s hard to control that.
Guy Lawrence: You know, it can fall apart a bit, you know, but I think we’ve all done that at some stage in our lives, as well, you know, and you learn the lessons. Yeah, that’s great, tips-wise. So, where can we get more of the Baker Boys? If anyone who listens to this wants to check out a little bit more?
Michael Baker: At the moment, the best place to get us is bakerboysblog.com.
Guy Lawrence: Right, we’ll have the link up anyway. It’ll be there, so we can support that.
Michael Baker: What about you guys? Just a quick one back on you, I’d be interested to know, like, what’s, well, in terms of nutrition and activity-wise, like, what’s your daily ritual? What’s one thing you do every day? Starting from when you wake.
Guy Lawrence: Starting from when I wake. I’ll go first. What I generally do, because I’m fortunate enough to live right by the beach, I get up, it’s normally by ten past 6:00 a.m. I’m outside. I’ll have a long black and I’ll sit on the beach and then I will dive in the ocean. So that’s how I start the day.
And then, I do that pretty much every day, and if I know me and Stewey are getting into the surfing thing, so if there’s waves and there not too big and scary, I’ll actually start the day with a surf.
Michael Baker: Awesome.
Guy Lawrence: That’s been probably the most addictive thing I’ve got into in a long time, just to be in the ocean and doing that. It’s amazing. And then I come back and I’ll generally have a 180 shake, and then I’ll have a shower and stuff like that and then I’ll tend to have a breakfast a few hours later, so like a late morning breakfast, but I know Stewey’s eaten half his cupboards by 7:30 a.m. If I’m not mistaken, mate.
Stuart Cooke: No, no, I do have a bit of a ritual. So, I start the day every single morning with a big steaming hot water with lemon and ginger. So fresh lemon and ginger. That’s the first that I’ll have, and then I’ll take a multivitamin, some fish oil, and then I’ll get as much color into my breakfast as possible. So I might use breakfast, kind of, making salads, and I’ll just have everything under the sun, and I’ll alternate that perhaps one day with a mega-salad and the other breakfasts I’ll have just a mega-bowl of steamed veggies, and I’ll just drizzle that with oil. I’ll put sardines on the top. I have a 180, you know, a 180 shake is generally my midmorning snack.
Guy Lawrence: And I will add, as well, this is a guy who has to get three kids ready for work, as well, so anyone who’s saying they haven’t got time for breakfast…
Stuart Cooke: Yeah.
Guy Lawrence: …needs to rethink their strategy.
Stuart Cooke: Our house can get crazy in the morning. We’ve got three girls and getting them ready for school and getting them on the good breakfast, as well, yeah, we just kind of start that way, and I’ll get as much color into my meals every single day as I can.
Christian Baker: All about that color. Just quickly on your, when you have lemon in the morning, because I’ve been doing that for years, as well, do you ever find it makes your teeth enamel feel a bit funny? Sensitive?
Stuart Cooke: A little. A little. You know, strangely enough, I was finding that more with peppermint tea, which is really strange, because I wouldn’t have thought I should’ve felt that at all, because the acidity levels, but, yeah, every now and again, but I just feel so almost cleansed when I do that. That I think it, yeah, it really works for me, yeah, just getting that in there.
Michael Baker: Nice.
Stuart Cooke: How about that? So, a few tips there for you boys.
Michael Baker: It’s great. I’m taking notes.
Guy Lawrence: it’s the first time anyone has asked us questions.
Stuart Cooke: That’s right, but seriously if you’re interested in what we eat, jump on to Instagram and we photograph most things.
Christian Baker: We always follow that.
Stuart Cooke: Just to guide people…
Christian Baker: Breakfast out and about in Coogee and Bondi. It’s always avocado, eggs, everything’s very colorful.
Stuart Cooke: Exactly. Exactly.
Guy Lawrence: Keeps us honest when you go public. It’s like I can’t put, oh…
Stuart Cooke: That’s exactly right. Guy does his, Guy addresses his treat meals indoors, I think.
Christian Baker: I’ll never be seen outside of my house eating in public unless it’s like a carrot or an apple or something. Ever. Ever.
Michael Baker: He eats those cookies when the lights are off, and he’s like…
Christian Baker: Yeah, yeah, when the doors are closed, I’ll have cookies, but never, never in front…
Guy Lawrence: Just check if anyone’s looking.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, no, that’s right. That’s awesome. Boys, thank you so much, guys, for your time. Your insights have been invaluable and, as ever, it’s been a blast.
Guy Lawrence: That was awesome.
Michael Baker: Love your work. Love your learnings.
Guy Lawrence: This will go down XX?XX [0:52:52] this podcast. That was fantastic.
Stuart Cooke: Yeah, awesome.
Christian Baker: It’s an honor to be part of it. I love your show. I listen to it all the time.
Guy Lawrence: Thanks, fellas.
Michael Baker: Thanks, guys. Cheers.

Milk Alternatives: Discover the Good & the Bad

milk alternatives

By Angela Greely

Guy: This is a fantastic post by nutritionist Angela Greely. If you avoid dairy and milk, this will help you with some of the confusion when buying your next milk alternative.

Personally (in case you are wondering) I only drink coconut milk and coconut cream. I have a splash in my long black (yes, it tastes pretty good!), I religiously put a 100ml in my breakfast smoothies and also treat myself to a coconut milk 180 dessert mousse once in a while. Anyway, enough of my ramblings, over to Angela… More

David Gillespie: Sweet Poison

By Guy Lawrence

This is the full interview with Sweet Poison Author David Gillespie. He is s a recovering corporate lawyer and has deciphered the latest medical findings on diet and weight gain. In his own words he says that what he found was chilling.

You can watch a 2 minute gem from the interview here: Should we be eating fruit?

In this weeks episode:-

  • What inspired David to quit the sugar [003:00]
  • The effects fructose has on ones health [006:58]
  • Why sugar used to be a rare commodity called white gold [008:40]
  • The best place to start when quitting sugar [012:50]
  • Should we be eating fruit? [016:22]
  • Why does the sugar message fire up so many emotions? (eg. Previous Sarah Wilson Interview) [018:37]
  • What to put in your kids lunch boxes [028:05]
  • and much more…

You can follow David Gillespie on: 

You can view all Health Session episodes here.

Recommended reading:

David Gillespie: Sweet Poison

Sarah Wilson’s eBook: I Quit Sugar

Did you enjoy the interview with David Gillespie? Has it made you think differently regarding sugar or fructose? Would love to hear you thoughts in the Facebook comments section below… Guy

David Gillespie: The transcript

Guy Lawrence: I’m Guy Lawrence. This is Stuart Cooke. And our special guest today is no other than David Gillespie.

David Gillespie: G’Day.

Guy Lawrence: Thanks for joining us David. Really appreciate it.

Now, I thought the best place to start would be from the beginning, and I know for any of our viewers that don’t know who you are, could you just sort of tell a bit about yourself; your story and how you came to writing about sugar in the first place; I’d love to know that.

David Gillespie: OK. So, I guess I should start out by saying I’m not a nutritionist or doctor or a biochemist or any of that sort of stuff. So, I’m phenomenally unqualified to talk to anybody about any of that stuff, but because I’m a lawyer it’s not gonna stop me.

I came to this because I spent most of my life getting fat, not intentionally, but every year I was a kilo or two heavier and, you know, I guess about almost 10 years ago now, I weighed in at 130-odd kilos, which put me well and truly into obese category.

And I thought when my wife rather inconsiderably announced that our fifth child was going to be our fifth and sixth children, that it was time to do something about it because I wasn’t coping with the four we had, who were all under the age of 9, let alone adding twin babies to that. And so, I thought, you know what, I need to understand how the human body works. I can’t believe that we don’t know how it works. It’s just obviously the case that I’m misunderstanding something.

So; and there was just the logical part to it as well which I didn’t get, which is you look around the planet, you see every other animal on the planet controls its weight the same way it controls its height, on auto-pilot, and there’s no gyms for monkeys, there’s no tigers on Jenny Craig, you know, they all work without willpower, on auto-pilot and the only exception to that seems to be us and any animal unfortunate enough to be fed by us.

So, I thought: I must be misunderstanding something. So, I went looking for the evidence and what I found was that there was very little evidence for what we are normally told to do about weight; that is: Stop being fat and exercise more.

But, there was an entirely different stream of evidence concerning sugar and in particular a part of sugar called fructose, which is one half of table sugar, which appeared to have significant dire metabolic effects, not just making us fat but lots of other stuff that we’re gonna talk about probably today.

What I thought was, well, you know, if that’s right, all I’ve gotta do to fix my weight problem is stop eating sugar. And, well, I can do that. It sounded a lot easier than it ended up being but I thought I can do that and I did and I dropped 40 kilos, got to this weight, which is in the mid 80s, and have stayed eating for the last 10 years without being on a diet. Which to me is pretty incredible since before this, you know, I just had look at a packet of Tim Tams and I’d be putting on weight.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, right.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah.

Guy Lawrence: When you decided to lose the weight and make a change, was sugar the first thing you looked at or did you sort of. . .?

David Gillespie: Oh no. No, I didn’t, I didn’t, I didn’t know where to start. The only relevant training I have is gathering evidence and so where I started was to look at what the official line was. So, I went to the National Health and Medical Research Council, which are the people who determine the Australian Healthy Eating Guidelines, and I looked at what they say you should do to lose weight. And I thought: I’m not gonna go to a diet company or anything like that; I’ll just go to the people whose job this is. And I went looking at what they said and I thought: I can see what they say sounds very similar to what diet companies tell you to do. But I thought maybe there’s something missing that I’m not getting in the details. So, using the only relevant skill I had, which is to gather evidence, I then started looking at the evidence behind the statements.

So, what was the evidence behind the statement that fat makes you fat? What was the evidence behind the statement that exercise would make you thin? And I kept looking at evidence which referred to early evidence, which referred to early evidence, which referred to earlier evidence, and all the way back to evidence in the 1950s which essentially amounted to a great big guess.

I wasn’t at all satisfied with that, but in reading through that stuff I came across other evidence which hadn’t been referred to, but which was just as good a pedigree and this is from the London School of Nutrition, a fellow by the name of John Yudkin did some work on sugars in the 1950s and because of some political fighting it turned out his message got drowned out by a different message from the United States about fats.

Guy Lawrence: Interesting, because the first time I heard about really starting to look at sugar, from my own personal health, would have been about five years ago and I was involved with a small group of people that were helping people with chronic disease and a lot of them had cancer and by that time they had been established about seven years and they were saying that they probably had over a thousand people go through their doors and they were using nutrition and weight training, of all things, to help them.

But the first thing they eliminated from their diet was sugar and that was the sort of first time I sort of heard of anything like that. I only raised this because it made me start to think about, you know, sugar, what I’m eating, and things like that. And I’d love to hear your thoughts on, I guess, you know, on the defects of sugar, fructose and overall health, as well as what you sort of learned from your journey for our listeners.

David Gillespie: Well, I started out on it just through sheer vanity and wanting to not be apathetic. I thought that if I lost the weight I’d be more able to cope with young kids and probably be healthier. But now what I found since that, and I mean that’s where I started but I kept reading and I kept looking and I just kept finding more and more things linked back to this really unusual molecule in our diet, fructose.

Now it might even sound really weird to say that fructose is an unusual molecule in our diet. It is, after all, in fruit. So it’s; people say: “Oh, it’s natural, you know, can’t possibly be anything wrong with it.” It is natural but it’s not natural in the kind of quantities we’re consuming it and we’re not getting it from fruit. We’re getting it from sugar. And that’s the bit that a lot of people don’t connect that it is one-half of sugar.

And this molecule was very, very rare in the human diet until around about 1820. You might ask yourself: What happened in 1820? Something that people have been trying to do for a good half a century happened in 1820, which was that we finally cracked the problem of producing sugar, the stuff we have on the table, in commercial quantities. And the search for “white gold” and that was what it was literally called, “white gold,” had been on for half a century.

It is an extraordinary difficult thing to do and I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to make sugar. It isn’t simply a case of squeezing out a bit of sugar cane. It’s an extremely complicated process and involves a lot of steps and a lot of chemicals and every single step can go very, very wrong. But they managed to finally nail the process in the 1820s and then sugar went from being an extremely rare thing that only really the rich could afford to something that everybody could afford and that was added to more and more foods on a continuous basis.

Now, when I talk about sugar, people think I’m talking about chocolates and soft drinks and so on. I am; they obviously contain sugar, but much more dangerous is the sugar embedded in foods which you wouldn’t even think about containing sugar. You know, things with Heart Foundation ticks that are 30 percent sugar or 70 percent sugar, things that are being sold to us as health food that have loads of sugar in them. Why do they have loads of sugar? Because that “white gold” makes products with it in sell better than products without. So, this molecule we are spectacularly uninvolved to deal with; are you guys both still there?

Guy Lawrence & Stuart Cooke: Yeah, yeah we’re still here. I’m recording your . . . Your picture’s frozen but we’re still here.

David Gillespie: OK. Anyway, so this molecule; we have no real evolutionary background for it because the only sugar that we’ve really evolved to deal with in insufficient quantities, is our primary source of fuel, which is glucose. Everything we eat ultimately ends up in our body as glucose. Glucose is our fuel. Every single cell in our body can use it. It is the primary and only fuel for our brain, which consumes 25 percent of our energy.

So, it is a very, very important molecule in the human body and in any mammal. But fructose has no purpose whatsoever. It turns out, we just shovel it straight to the liver, none of our cells can deal with it at all and the liver just converts it immediately to fat. And that isn’t, it turns out, why we’re fat because of eating fructose; it’s just the start of a process which actually got quite interesting when I dived into the evidence; which is that that fat ends up wrapped around the liver, ultimately giving us something called “fatty liver disease” which now affects 1 in 3 of us, up from almost none of us 40 years ago. It now affects 1 in 10 teenage children. This is a chronic disease that can ultimately lead to cirrhosis of the liver and cancer of the liver.

And that fat wrapped around the liver affects our insulin sensitivity. In doing so it affects our appetite control and that’s how it makes us fat. It isn’t that the fructose is converted to fat, which that in itself makes us fat, it’s that it is converted to fat which becomes visceral fat wrapped around our internal organs, which increases our degree of insulin resistance. Ultimately that cascades through to Type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, chronic kidney disease, hypertension, heart disease, and the list goes on and on and on.

So, you know why getting fat on this stuff is a very, very fortunate thing because it gives us some visible warning that it’s happening.

Guy Lawrence: How; given that it’s everywhere and in so many foods that we’re unaware of; how would you recommend cutting it out? What should we do?

David Gillespie: Well, the first thing is: Listen to your taste. You can taste it. It’s not; if a food tastes sweet, then it contains fructose. You can be absolutely certain of that. And so you can taste it. And that’s the really good news is if you pay attention and listen for the taste that’s sweet, if you like, you can detect it.

The other is, start to get use to where it’s likely to be. So, be suspicious of all processed foods; have a look at processed food, look at the ingredient list; if sugar’s in there put it back on the shelf. It’s as simple as that. If it’s something you really, really must have then find the variant of whatever product it is that has the lowest amount of sugar and preferably aim for less than 3 grams to 100 of added sugar.

Do that and you’ll be fine. And people initially say, when they start this process, they say: “Wow, I just did what you said, and, you know what? There’s nothing in my supermarket that satisfies those criteria. That’s disturbing in itself, is there’s nothing in the supermarket that doesn’t have less than 3 percent added sugar. But there are things. In every food category there are things. And I’ve prepared lists and so on and some of them are in some of my books that go through that and rank them and show you which brands have the lower amounts of sugar. But the easiest way to do it is just to eat whole food.

I’m only talking about sugar added to food. So, eat whole fruit. Eat whole vegetables. Eat milk; dairy, eggs: whole food. Some will be required. And if you do want to eat processed food, then that’s when you need to get careful.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, OK, even when you cook your own meals, at least you start to know what’s going in them. I mean. . .

David Gillespie: I mean, if you add sugar, you’ll be aware of it. You know, you can’t accidentally pour sugar into a meal.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, absolutely. What’s your thoughts on people that say, you know, you need sugar for energy?

David Gillespie: We do. You need glucose for energy. So, remember that sugar is half glucose and half fructose. And you do need glucose for energy. As I said before, your brain runs on nothing else. And if you don’t eat something that can be converted to glucose, it will convert protein to glucose.

So, you do need glucose. You are a machine that runs on fuel. The fuel glucose. But that’s not the same as table sugar. Table sugar is only half glucose. The other half is this fructose stuff.

And some people say, yeah, but don’t I need the glucose half of it? No. Because everything you eat, ultimately, gets converted to glucose. And so you don’t need to eat sugar to get the glucose.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and I think that’s where a lot of the confusion can lie.

Stuart Cooke: I think especially in energy and sports drinks and gels as well where people think that they need that added burst of sugar, which if I, just thinking back to my childhood day, I used to drink Lucozade, and I think that is one of the only drinks at the time that is glucose-based, right?

David Gillespie: That’s right. It’s only glucose-based. And it’s used for glucose tolerance tests even today in hospitals, because it’s the only drink you can use that is sweetened only with glucose. And so it’s a great sports drink because it’s only sweetened with glucose.

Stuart Cooke: Right. Perfect.

Stuart Cooke: So, your comments on fruit. So, I guess number one: Is fruit the enemy? Should be eating it? How much should we be eating?

David Gillespie: There’s no need to eat it. If you want to eat it, then treat it like what it is, which is nature’s dessert. So, you know, rare. You could have up to two whole pieces of fruit a day if you wanted to. Personally, I don’t eat any unless it’s offered to me. I don’t go out of my way to consume it. There’s nothing you can get in fruit that you can’t get in an equivalent vegetable without a whole lot less fructose.

But that being said, if you really like fruit, there’s no reason to not eat it. And if you’re going to eat fruit, then I’d veer toward things that are higher in fiber and lower in fructose such as all of the berries: raspberries, blueberries, strawberries. They’re all great choices and I’d steer away from things which are high in fructose and low in fiber like the three most popular fruits on sale in Australia today, which are: apples, bananas, and grapes.

So, those are the ones that I would be tending toward. But even there, have them. If you’re going to eat them as whole fruit, then go for it. If that’s your only source of fructose in a day, you’re not doing yourself any harm.

Stuart Cooke: OK. It’s amazing how your palate changes over time as well when you do eliminate sugar, because I used to devour bananas and now I can barely stomach them because they are so sweet.

David Gillespie: And that’s exactly right. I used to think bananas were the most boring fruit in the world. Completely tasteless, powdery fruit, why would anyone eat them? And now, you’re right, I have one and it’s like dessert to me. It is massively sweet. And so that palate changes is really an important part of knowing when you’re off sugar.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, absolutely. And I look at it exactly the same, you know. I like to think I’m on top of my nutrition and my food and I have a piece of fruit and I thoroughly enjoy it. But I generally don’t have 10 apples and a fruit juice in the morning.

David Gillespie: And if you did sit down and eat 10 apples, you wouldn’t be eating much else. You really wouldn’t. That’s a lot of fruit. But you could drink the juice of 10 apples very easily and still have a meal.

Guy Lawrence: That’s right. Absolutely. Yeah.

David Gillespie: So it’s only when we juice it; all juicing is really just extracting the sugar and throwing away everything else. There’s no reason to ever consume juice. It’s just soft drink.

Stuart Cooke: Another question I wanted to raise, because, you know, I follow Sarah Wilson’s blog as well, and saw an interview with you on there awhile back. I think it was an audio podcast. And there was just a stream of heated discussions afterwards with different people coming in, and arguments.

So I just wanted to raise, you know, where do the arguments lie, and why is there the critics out there that are against, basically, the whole fructose thing?

David Gillespie: This is very threatening to some very lucrative XXrulers of gold?XX. It’s a very threatening message. It is not called “white gold” for nothing. Processed food companies add sugar to food because they know it sells more with it. They don’t want to have to remove it. That’s why it’s not part of the accreditation for the Heart Foundation tick. It’s not even a criteria. They don’t even pay any attention to it at all. Because if they did, almost nothing would receive a tick.

So, the thing about sugar is that it moves a lot of product and there are a lot of people whose money depends on continuing to move that product. And those companies have put a lot of effort into muddying the water, into putting confusing science out there, to mounting clandestine lobbying.

And the process is almost identical to what the tobacco lobby undertook in the ’60s and ’70s. Almost identical. Sponsoring dubious science, having scientists on the payroll to do weird studies that if you design it just the right way it will come out showing that smoking’s all right. Recruiting; well, with smoking it was recruiting doctors. Now it’s more recruiting dieticians. But it’s the same basic plan.

Guy Lawrence: Well, certainly speaking for myself, you know, the moment I stopped putting sugar in my body I definitely noticed the difference. Even allergies went over time and things like that that I had before.

David Gillespie: Yeah. You’ll find most people report a whole series of things that are seemingly unrelated to sugar. And the interesting thing is, a lot of them can be traced back through sound biochemical processes to an explanation from fructose.

Some can’t. I still can’t explain why a lot of people report massive improvements in eczema. I don’t know why that is. But when people quite sugar, their eczema goes, even if they’ve had chronic eczema their entire life. It goes. And I don’t know what that is. I’ve looked and looked and looked. But, you know, that’s one that I can’t explain.

But a lot of them you can trace back biochemically to why they found it different.

Stuart Cooke: I got a question from Susie Lee, via our Facebook channel as well, and I think it relates a little bit to probably ourselves as well, or especially Guy and myself. Susie was wondering if you ever felt pressured into eating sugar. How do you avoid the awkward family gatherings where sugar is everywhere? Because I know the way that Guy and I, myself, present ourselves, sometimes we feel ostracized in the way that we behave in social gatherings.

David Gillespie: You know what? At the start, that was a problem. Now, obviously, the best way to fix that is write a book about it and then no one offers you sugar ever again. In fact, people tend not to eat sugar in your presence.

But, at the start, absolutely. And I found the easiest way to get around the awkwardness of it is to not make a fuss about. Just, you know, if there’s something you can eat, eat it. If there isn’t, don’t eat. Wait till you get home and find something to eat. Don’t make a big fuss about: “Oh, have you go something that hasn’t got sugar in it?” You know? Just pay attention and pretty quickly you just fit right in.

The people who find it most difficult, and this was me right at the start, is people who say, “I really wouldn’t mind; have you got a version of that without sugar?” And then people think you are a real pain.

Stuart Cooke: The awkward moments come, though. You can be at a birthday party or something and the cake comes ’round and I’m thinking, “If I eat this, I’m gonna have a stinkin’ headache later.” You know?

David Gillespie: You know, my strategy for that is: Find someone who’s still eating sugar and chop a bit off their piece of cake and have it just so that you can be part of it. You make a wish for the person and so on. And you’re not gonna eat the rest.

Stuart Cooke: Fair enough. We got another Facebook question that came in as well. It was: “I’d like to know what is worse: sugar or sweeteners and the use of macrosweeteners like honey, agave, dates, etcetera in cooking.” Are they OK or are they just heightening our tastes for more sugar?

David Gillespie: OK. So, honey and agave and, what was the other one? Dates? All of those sorts of things are just expensive ways to white sugar. So, you’re not changing anything by switching from sugar to honey. Honey is still half fructose. In fact, when sugar was first discovered, it was called “honey without bees.” Because the only kind of sugar we had before that was honey.

So, it’s; you’re not changing anything by switching to agave. Agave, dates, etcetera are about 60 to 70 percent fructose. So, those are not substitutes for sugar. They are sugar.

Other things, artificial sweeteners and such, are better-known for high-intensity sweeteners and you get into the whole artificial-natural debate. High-intensity sweeteners like stevia, sucralose, aspartame, things like Splenda and so on; those things are referred to as methadone for sugar addicts. So, they are great to get you off the addiction.

I developed quite a serious habit with artificially sweetened soft drinks while I was going through the withdrawal phase, which can last two to four weeks, or, in some people’s cases, even months.

And the interesting thing, though, is, as you were saying before, Stuart, about the palate change is that as you start to go though the withdrawal, those things become less and less appealing. And the reason for that is they start to taste less and less like sugar. At the start, they taste just like sugar. A barely detectable difference.

By the end of withdrawal, they start to taste very much like a chemical. And you find yourself really not enjoying it much at all. And I got to the point, probably around the three- or four-week mark, where I was having these things and thinking, “You know what? I think I’d rather just have a fizzy water than this stuff, because it’s just not tasting very nice.”

And so it’s not like I read the science and decided to not consume them. Because the science is a bit iffy either way. There’s plenty of science that says they’re perfectly safe. There’s plenty of science that says they’re not, depending on who’s paid for the study. If the sugar industry paid for it or the people making the substance paid for it.

But I prefer to take the view, you know, using it during withdrawal is not gonna kill you. And it does help you get through withdrawal.

Guy Lawrence: If someone walked up to you on the street and said, you know, I was a big sugar eater; should I go cold turkey or should I wean off it? What would you say to them?

David Gillespie: Look, I think weaning off is just pure torture. I think you’d have to have extraordinary reserves of willpower to be doing that. And what that would require is correctly identifying every bit of sugar in your diet and then systematically removing a percentage of it every day. Five percent, 10 percent, whatever, and ensuring that you stick to that.

To me, that would be torture. But that’s just me. Some people tell me that that’s exactly what they need and it worked great for them. Most people who are successful at this, though, tell me that the way they do it is they go cold turkey. And they just have a great big bin of all their favorite foods and then the next morning, they’re off. And they don’t go near it again until they no longer have the cravings.

And believe me, it is a withdrawal. It is very much like withdrawal from smoking. I have never smoked, so I can’t tell you from personal experience, but people who have given up smoking and given up sugar tell me the experience is almost identical. You can an intense period of cravings, you get the mood swings, you get the depression, you get the headaches. Except that with sugar, the cravings feel like hunger so that you are constantly hungry, or at least you think you are. But the reality is that you’re not. That’s just how your body knows to get you to eat sugar.

Stuart Cooke: And another question popped in regarding the sweetness. Coconut sugar. Have you done anything. . .

David Gillespie: It’s just sugar. Another way to spend a lot of money on sugar.

Stuart Cooke: Because I see that flying around a lot at the moment, coconut sugar, you know.

David Gillespie: Coconut everything. I mean, the only thing out of a coconut that is good is oil. And that’s an entirely different topic for another day.

Stuart Cooke: We won’t broach that right now.

We’d like to steer it over a little bit into children. Obviously, you’ve got a big clan. I’ve got three children too. So, I’m very interested in steering them on the right track. Do you have any recommendations, perhaps, for lunch boxes? Because lots of people struggle with this because of all of the kiddie snacks out there, I guess, with yoghurts, obviously fruit, raisins; little boxes of raisins, and sandwiches and the like. What would you recommend for a really simple child’s lunchbox?

David Gillespie: The first thing is that you are going to be almost; it’s almost impossible to buy pre-packaged anything for children that isn’t full of sugar. So, right away you’ve got a difficulty in that whatever you put in their lunchbox, you’re gonna be making. And the only choice for you is how much effort do you want to put into making it.

Now, I put out a recipe book earlier this year. And a lot of people said, “Why do you even need a recipe book if you’re off sugar? Surely you don’t even want cakes and stuff.” One of the big motivations for it is for kids’ lunchboxes. Kids still need stuff in their lunchboxes and so we created recipes just using dextrose, which is the glucose half of sugar. So, just glucose as the sweetener. And these are recipes for things like cake and biscuits and the things kids have in their lunchboxes.

And what Lizzie does, my wife, is make those; cook up a big batch of that sort of stuff on the weekends, cling-wrap portions of it, and freeze it. And then, when it comes to dealing out lunchboxes, she just reaches into the freezer and plunks it in.

And that’s the way to deal with. There really is no other efficient way to do it. The other thing you can do is just get really good at making sandwiches, putting whole fruit in there has obviously not changed. Put a banana in if you want. Just don’t put dried fruit, juices, or packaged processed food. And anything else goes.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right. Because the thing is with kids is you’ve got same problem with adults with the parties and they’re gonna go to these things and sugar’s everywhere.

David Gillespie: Look, and there’s nothing you can do about that and nor should you try. I have a rule in this house which is: “Party food is for parties.” So, it’s not for every minute of every hour of every day. It’s for parties. And our kids go to parties with kids in their class and they’ll eat sugar and that’s just the way it is. But their exposure to sugar is infinitesimally small compared to all of their peers.

And the interesting thing is that if they do eat sugar, pig out at a party, they often come home with a hangover. And this really surprised me. And I’m not joking when I call it a hangover. It is like an adult with an alcohol hangover. They have headaches. They start saying things like, “Never again.” You know? Are really genuinely meaning it. Until the next time.

And it’s really interesting to watch. And also their capacity to eat it is also limited by the fact that they don’t eat it all the time.

Stuart Cooke: That is a good point. . . . I’ve got a little trick. I’ve got three girls and I give them a nice bowl of porridge before they go out the door so they’re not. . .

David Gillespie: That’s a good trick. I wish I’d thought of that. That is a good trick. Fill them up before they get there.

Stuart Cooke: Exactly right. Yeah. It does help.

I’ve got a few kind of miscellaneous questions as well. And I might jump into the top one, Guy, if you don’t mind.

Guy Lawrence: Go for it.

Stuart Cooke: Your thoughts on bread- and wheat-based products, given the high glycemic load.

David Gillespie: I don’t pay a lot of attention to glycemic index or glycemic load. I think they’re nonsense terms. I don’t think they’re helpful at all for anyone who’s not diabetic. And even for people who are diabetic, I’m not entirely certain they’re very helpful.

The way our body deals with carbohydrate is with a glycemic response. That is, we release insulin to use the glucose that’s in our blood. Now, the efficiency of that response is measured by the degree to which we’ve impaired our insulin response by consuming fructose.

So, yes, someone who has spent their entire life, like me, consuming fructose, has probably seriously damaged their glycemic response. And it may take a long time to repair that damage. And so you might want to be cautious about carbohydrates.

The interesting thing that I have found is, once you give up the sugar, carbohydrates are a far less enticing thing. You don’t find yourself craving carbs anywhere near as much as you did before. And that’s probably because there’s a lot of sugar addiction involved in the process.

I am working on research on the degree to which we should be worried about carbs, and even proteins like gluten that you find in bread, and fibers. And, ultimately, that will turn into a book, I suspect.

But for the moment, I would say: Do what most people do, which is break the addiction first. Break the addiction. Then you can start to make seriously sensible choices about what you choose to put in your mouth. Because one thing people who do break the addiction find is they fill up quickly. So, once they have a functioning appetite control system, they find themselves not able to eat anywhere near as much as they used to be able to get through. And I used to; I found that, too. You’d sit down to a meal that you previously would have knocked back, no worries at all, and you start getting a half or two-thirds of the way through and thinking, “Oh, I really can’t finish this. I’m really full.”

And that’s just your hormones working; your appetite control system working. And when that starts happening, people start saying, you know, with that happening, I’ve got to be really choosy about what I put in my mouth, because I know my appetite control system’s not gonna let me put that much of anything in my mouth. So, if I have this big slice of dextrose cake for afternoon tea or this big bit of cheesecake for afternoon tea, I know that I’m not gonna fit my dinner in. And then it’s a balance between what’s for dinner and do I really like it or do I prefer it over this piece of cake.

So, people find themselves starting to make choices about what they put in their mouth. And a lot of people start doing things like saying, “You know what? I just don’t get that much out of carbs anymore. And I find when I’m not eating them, I feel better. So I won’t eat them that much.”

Stuart Cooke: Would it be possible for our audience who may be a little confused just to kind of loosely run through what you might perhaps eat in a day.

David Gillespie: Sure. So, let’s talk about today. I started today, my 12-year-old boy very helpfully cooked me some bacon and eggs this morning. That was a nice bit of meal: bacon with all the fat still on and an egg. And then I’ve just had lunch, which was I some leftover mince on toast, basically. And the toast was sourdough bread that my wife made a day or two ago. Now, the reason she’s making bread is just to avoid the seed oils, which is a topic for another day. But it also helps you avoid sugar.

And for dinner; what will dinner be? Well, tonight it’s likely going to be some sort of pasta and meat sauce, I suspect.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right, OK.

David Gillespie: That’s not our typical; that’s just because of Friday night. Normally it’s some sort of meat and veg kind of fare.

Stuart Cooke: Got it. OK.

Guy Lawrence: I have another question that popped in there and we haven’t got it down, only because I CrossFit. You know, I love my exercise. But from reading your books as well, you discuss the topic of weight loss and exercise and the relationship there.

I’d love you just to share your views on that, because, you know, from what I find, when I train more, my appetite goes up and I generally et more food and if I’m not careful I can eat the wrong foods, you know, and that’s what I’ve seen from my experience over the years, especially working as a fitness trainer. But I’d just love you to share that with us a little bit for people.

David Gillespie: Well, when you expend more calories doing anything, if you spend Saturday out in the yard working, whereas you normally sit at a desk, you’ll eat more on Saturday. Your body is a complex machine that measures the amount of energy you burn and the amount that you consume and make sure it stays in balance.

And the same goes for exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re out mowing the lawn or doing exercise in a gym. If you burn more energy, your body will ask you to eat more food. In other words, it will increase your appetite. And that’s not a bad thing at all. That’s a perfectly good thing and perfectly normal thing.

The problem is when the appetite control system is broken, and that’s what fructose does. It messes with the hormones that control how much we eat. And it just knocks your system up, just a fraction, not much, just a tiny little bit, maybe a quarter of a Monte Carlo biscuit’s worth.

But you do that every day for years, end-on-end cumulatively, and you start to get the kind of weight gain that you are seeing in the Australian population.

Guy Lawrence: And so for anyone listening to this that’s thinking of putting their runners on tomorrow and going for a run, that eat sugar and fructose as well, they should be given the fructose up first. Which sounds. . .

David Gillespie: The thing about exercise, people think that I’ve got something against exercise. And I have nothing against exercise. Do it if you feel like it. And the reality is that since I’ve lost the weight, I feel like doing it a lot more than I did before. And a lot of people report that, which is after they lose the weight they exercise more than they ever did before. Not because of the weight; just because they feel like doing it more.

And so if you feel like doing it, if you really enjoy it, then keep doing it. If you’re doing it because you think you’ll lose weight doing it, don’t bother.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, that’s fair enough. It’s funny because I train constantly. Most days. But I do it because I mentally feel fantastic after it, you know? That’s what drives me to do it.

David Gillespie: My 16-year-old boy, he’s a rower. He trains 40 hours a week. OK? He is an exercise nutbag. He does it because he loves it. Not because he wants to lose weight.

Guy Lawrence: That’s a good point.

Stuart Cooke: That’s right, and that’s kind of what we tell lots of people, too. There are so many benefits from cardiovascular. Feel good. It’s your own time as well. You’re there and you can process thoughts and get through anything that might be on your mind. But as a tool for weight loss, I do struggle to see the connection as well. But see what happens.

I’m just wondering about the future for David Gillespie at the moment. What does the future hold? You mentioned the possibility of another book? What’s in the pipeline?

David Gillespie: Well, one of the things that I’m doing at the moment is I’m really focusing on is, I put a book out earlier this year called Toxic Oil, which is about the dangers of vegetable oils. And by “dangers” I mean they are even more insidiously dangerous than the sugar. At least you can taste sugar. You can’t taste these oils, and they’re added to every food on the supermarket shelf.

And there’s clear evidence that they double the rate of cancer in humans. And when we’re seeing the phenomenal increase in rates of cancer that we’re currently seeing, it scares me. I know a lot of people now who have cancer, who are suffering from it. And I really want that message to get out there loud and clear.

So, I am focusing on that and I will focus on that in the immediate future.

Next year I have a book coming out on a completely unrelated topic, which I’ll reveal more about towards the end of the year. It’s nothing to do with nutrition. And we’ll see where go from there.

But as I said to you before, one of my areas of focus at the moment is the whole, I guess the “bread cortex,” if you want; the gluten, fiber, carb question. Are any of these things bad, good, indifferent for us?

Stuart Cooke: Definitely. I’ve just read a very interesting book about that, so I’d love for you to put your spin in the way that you write as well and research and resource. I’d be very interested.

David Gillespie: It is interesting.

Stuart Cooke: Oh, it is. It will stir up our household as well because I’ve been though Sweet Poison two or three times and Toxic Oil and our cupboard seems to be changing from month to month, and it’s a topic of discussion.

David Gillespie: Well, it’s probably going backwards in time. If you follow what I say in Toxic Oil, you’ll find yourself making most of what you eat and, really, your cupboard starting to consist of mostly raw ingredients.

Guy Lawrence: Exactly. You know, the one thing I wanted to add as well, because, you know, I’m single. I live by myself. And it’s very easy for me to, if I do shop, I can just get whatever. But once families are involved, you know, it’s amazing. And I’m sure that day will come for me and it’s gonna be a whole new challenge.

David Gillespie: You need a partner that’s going to help. People tell me it’s very, very difficult to go it alone on this, you know? Very difficult for you to just decide, “Well, I’m gonna do this,” and the rest of the family will just keep eating a normal, modern diet. That’s very difficult to do. So you need to have everybody working on the same page.

But, look, the good news is you’re not going to do yourself any harm at all by doing this, and you learn an amazing set of new skills. If you’d said to me, two years ago, “You are going to be cooking the only bread you eat,” I would have laughed at you. Because that sounded like way too much effort. But the reality is that that’s what we’re doing now. And the end result is we eat a lot less bread because if you’ve got to cook it yourself, you’re not gonna eat that much of it.

Stuart Cooke: Absolutely. We’re almost reconnecting with skills that have been lost along the way and we’re actually learning how to eat again.

David Gillespie: We’re also learning that it isn’t that hard. A lot of these things sound daunting if you’ve never done it. But once you have done it, you find it’s actually just not that hard.

Guy Lawrence: Any other questions?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, I’m just gonna ask a little bit of a wrap-up question, really, and we ask all of our guests this and I’m guessing that I probably know the answer. But if you can offer a single piece of advice for optimum health and wellness, what would it be?

David Gillespie: Don’t eat sugar. But, look, if you really want to be super duper well and avoid just about every chronic disease in modern society, then don’t eat sugar or vegetable oil.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, right. OK. Perfect.

Guy Lawrence: Perfect answer.

Stuart Cooke: And for anybody that would like to get hold of your books or find more about the resource, where can they connect with you?

David Gillespie: Well, look, if they want my books, they go to a bookstore. My books will be available just about anyplace that sells books. If they want the books signed by me, they can buy them from my website, but they’re a lot more expensive that way. If you don’t care, then your average bookstore or supermarket is a good place.

If you want to connect with a community of people who are like-minded, then the very best place is the Facebook page Sweet Poison, which I think has 49,000 people on it. And they are all gung-ho. Get on there with any question; they’ll answer it, and if they can’t, I will.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, fantastic. I went through the forums the other day and I was surprised at the amount of engagement in there. The numbers are voluminous, and it’s a really community as well. Fantastic.

David Gillespie: And very knowledgeable. I mean, these people know their stuff. You know, people put stuff up on Facebook. . . I check it every day to see if there’s anything getting missed or where people are not getting the answers that they need and that almost never happens. Everyone else is already well and truly there and giving them everything they need to know.

Stuart Cooke: Fantastic. You’re making a lot of people aware of what they should be putting in their mouth, David, which is a great thing.

Guy Lawrence: OK. All right. Well, look, thank you so much for sharing your time and also writing these great books as well. And we hope to have you back on the show in the not-too-distant future talking about the oils.

Stuart Cooke: We’ll talk about oil.

David Gillespie: That’s right.

It was a pleasure. Good to see you guys.

 

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