Gary Fettke: The 3 Most Important Health Tips You Will Ever Hear

Content by: Gary Fettke

Ever wondered what we should really be doing to avoid modern day disease? If you are like us, then I’m sure you know someone who’s health is suffering or the warning signs are starting to show. Our special guest today is Gary Fettke, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer of the University of Tasmania. He put’s modern day disease down to this one word… inflammation! You won’t look at disease the same way again after watching this episode! Enjoy.

Full Interview: Discover The Truth About Modern Day Disease


Audio Version

downloaditunesIn this episode we talk about:-

  • The three foods you MUST avoid for amazing health
  • Why everything we’ve been taught about the food pyramid is wrong!
  • What the true cause of modern day disease is
  • What that word ‘inflammation’ actually means
  • Gary’s thoughts on fruit…
  • And much much more…

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Gary Fettke

Website: No Fructose

Follow Gary: Facebook

Full Interview Transcript

Guy Lawrence: Hey, this is Guy Lawrence from 180 Nutrition, and welcome to another episode of The Health Sessions.

And today our special guest is Gary Fettke. And I have to say it was an absolute pleasure interviewing him today. It was awesome.

He’s an orthopedic surgeon and he’s a senior lecturer at the University of Tasmania.

And today we go over the topic of the nutritional model of modern disease. Yes, it’s a bit of a mouthful, I know. But what Gary is saying is the only reasonable explanation for our current world health disaster, and basically what we put in our mouths on a daily basis.

And Gary explains to us why inflammation is at the heart of all disease and essentially that our modern diet is to blame. And it’s a fascinating topic and we cover all these great things including, you know, inflammation that’s caused by the current excessive consumption, and Gary puts it down to three things, which is: fructose, refined carbohydrate, and polyunsaturated oils. Basically man-made fats.

And, yeah, I learned a lot from today and Gary makes it really clear and easy to understand and I have no doubt you are going to get a lot out of this today.

And, as always, I know I keep asking for reviews on iTunes, but it does help us get the word out there because reviews push up our ranking. So, yeah, if you get two minutes, please leave a review and tell us what you think of the podcast and if it’s helping you it’s always great to hear.

And, yeah, sit back and enjoy the podcast. Cheers.

I reckon let’s get into it. Let’s roll with it.

Stuart Cooke: Cool.

Guy Lawrence: All right. So, I’ll do the intro. This is Guy Lawrence, as always. I’m joined with Mr. Stuart Cooke and our special guest today is Mr. Gary Fettke. So, I pronounced your surname correct, Gary?

Gary Fettke: Yes, you’ve got it right.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. Fantastic. And, well, as always, where we start from is, you know, for everyone who’s listening to this, you just tell us a little bit about yourself and why we are excited to have you on the podcast.

Gary Fettke: Well, thank you for inviting me to come along today. I’m an orthopedic surgeon down here in Tasmania. XXaudio problemXX Tasmania, because it’s a long way away from you guys in Sydney.

I do a lot of surgery on; I’m exposed to a lot of people who are overweight. The number of patients who’ve got joint problems which is related to their weight is just becoming a bigger and bigger burden on all of us.

And also I do a lot of diabetic surgery and so I’ve done foot surgery on patients with diabetes. And I’ve also done some foreign aid work in Vanuatu, and that had been the real eye-opener for me some years ago because they’ve been exposed to Western food and as a result of that they’re getting all the Western diseases and they’re getting them in the 15 to 20 years. XXThey’re getting a whole raftXX of conditions. It’s XXaudio problemXX on this journey.

And we talked a bit beforehand, but I’m the first orthopedic surgeon in Australia XXto not operate on people who are too heavy.XX And I had to justify that stand on several occasions, but the literature’s there that supports it.

And that’s part of where I am at this point in time with my surgery practice.

Guy Lawrence: I’ve noticed that, because we watched your presentation you put together as well. And you talked a little bit about yourself being an overweight kid and also you mentioned something about a brain tumour as well. Is that correct?

Gary Fettke: About 14 years ago I had a tumour, a pituitary tumour, on the base of my brain. And that meant that I had to stop my practice right from the word “go.” And then I had a bit more surgery a few years later and I have come back to practice as a surgeon since then.

What I learned from that, and probably my weight issues that I had as a kid, and I’ve always struggled with that, in the last few years all of sudden I’ve worked out what was behind it, and it was actually my diet was clearly behind my weight, and with all the research I’ve done on cancer and all of that is that I actually think that nutrition is primarily related to the increase rates of cancer we’ve got in society. Not just in adults, but children. I don’t know if you know, but children’s cancer is going up ##3 percent per annum 0:04:25.000XX in Australia and the Western world.

Guy Lawrence: I didn’t know that. Wow.

Gary Fettke: Enormously. XXApart from unknownXX, kids’ cancer is on the increase.

It all comes back to what we’ve been eating.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, well, I think we’re in the same camp, pretty much, after; you know, we do these podcasts every fortnight and have a great opportunity to speak with people like yourself, Gary, and just everyone is saying it. And I’m just grateful for the internet, to be honest with you, because to be able to share this conversation 10 years ago would be pretty difficult.

Stuart Cooke: It wouldn’t be quite as engaging through a series of lectures, would it?

Gary Fettke: Not really. Slight. My knowledge has come up as a result of the internet. I could not have done the research that I’ve done on this without the internet. And I can hope on Medline, which is a search engine for medical articles, and by 2 o’clock in the morning I’ve opened up about 200 tabs across the top and I’ve gone from link to link.
Now, if you go back 20, 25 years, trying to do that research was absolutely impossible. You’d have to go down to the library, tell them what you wanted to do, they’d put it into the computer, and about two weeks later you’d get a printout of topics and you’d have to go back and say, “Well, I’d like a little bit more.” Well, you’d have to do it on old microfiche.

So, I can do more research now in one night than I could have done in six or 12 months before.

Stuart Cooke: I think that’s definitely one advantage of the internet today. It allows us to do that. And my guess is we’re learning that the flip side of that is as well we’re always connected in another sense, which we might talk about a little later as being, perhaps, an external stressor, which compounds on a bad diet as well.

But I was intrigued today to talk about a couple of things, Gary. One was fructose and the other was inflammation. And I know that you’re very much a crusader for fructose, which is becoming far more of a familiar term these days. So I wondered if you could explain, perhaps, in simple terms, what exactly fructose is and why we should be concerned about it.

Gary Fettke: Well, I’ll come back one step. The fructose, I thought, was the beginning of this journey and then my website called But the more I’ve learned, the more I’ve recognized it’s not just fructose. And Robert Lustig, who you’re probably well aware of, we’ve caught up on a few occasions. But very clear we both have labeled as anti-sugar campaigners, but we’re both of us actually talking about real food.

And so I kept coming back to real food. And we’ll talk through the combination of things which creates inflammation.

But fructose was the beginning part for me, because I think that was the one I found really fascinating, and it was the one I found was associated with me dropping some weight initially when I started cutting the sugar out. And fructose is half of sugar, and sugar is the chemical name sucrose, and that’s half glucose and half fructose.

And the fascinating thing I found is that the metabolism with glucose has been known for a long, long time – decades. Metabolism with fructose, which is half of sugar, was only described in 2010 by Luc Tappy.

So, our whole knowledge of fructose and what it does in our bodies is brand-new. So any nutritional science, any dietary guidelines, and most doctors’ education, hasn’t occurred in the last couple of years on this whole topic. It’s all, by definition, out-of-date, because they’ve only just described something four years ago and it’s only just filtering into the literature now, then you’ve got to start questioning all of the nutritional science and advice that we’ve had for the last hundred years; particularly the last 30 or 40 years.

Guy Lawrence: Do you think when it comes to fructose as well, because, I know like, you know, we’re dealing with Joe Public every day and see mounds of questions coming through and it all gets very confusing and people just shut down instantly, you know, and just don’t face it, you know? Especially when you start breaking it down into some “half of glucose and fructose makes sugar” and everything else.

Could a simple rule of thumb be just, if you’re not sure just avoid sugar?

Gary Fettke: I’ve had to explain this thousands of times over and over to my patients and community. What my simple message is is: the combination of sugar, refined carbohydrate, and polyunsaturated oils is the root cause of their inflammation.

And when you break it down from that, sugar will make you hungry. Carbohydrate will make you fat. And the polyunsaturated oils like the magarines will XXgive you an inflamed mini combination that creates modern disease 0:09:33.000XX.

And that’s it in a nutshell. And I think the science supports that. People will contend that. But the current science is really backing that to the hilt.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I agree. I agree.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, just on the topic of inflammation and inflammatory responses in the body, what is inflammation?

Gary Fettke: Well, inflammation, the simplest thing is when, if you bruise yourself or if you’ve got a cold or any infection in your body, your body’s reacted and it becomes inflamed. So, if you happened to scratch yourself and you got an infection on your arm, let’s say it gets red and angry and swollen, well, that’s what we recognize as “acute inflammation.”

But if you talk about chronic inflammation, that’s just a low-grade irritant which just keeps hammering away at you slowly but surely. And the provokes a whole lot of immune responses right across the body.

And that’s; the chronic inflammation is the one which is related, I think, to our diet.

Stuart Cooke: Right. So, that could manifest itself, perhaps, then in weight gain? Could that then push us over into perhaps poor sleep? Energy issues? Mental focus? Things like that? Is that what that’s about?

Gary Fettke: The whole thing XXties together? Tides it over? 0:10:55.000XX. I spend a lot of time talking about what we; I mean, it’s called anthropological biochemistry. It sounds like a big term, but it’s the chemistry of the way we evolved. So, we started as animals, in theory, and we’ve evolved to become where we are now.

And that’s where the science is behind this topic. It’s a good argument for the paleo diets and going back and eating in traditional ways. But when you look at the science of it and XXMark Johnston?? Mick Johnson??XX from Colorado taught me a lot about this (he’s a professor of biochemistry over there, and XXadrenalXX medicine).

But the way I explain it to people is that we are meant to eat local and eat seasonal. So, we’re only animals at heart. We got up on two legs instead of four, but as animals, every single animal will, in fact, every summer in the beginning of autumn will actually find as much food as it can and deliberately get fat for winter hibernation. So, we call that “scheduled obesity.” The healthy things that you can get at that time of year which will make you fat is fruit off the trees and a few grains off the ground. So, if you can get hold of that, and you stuff your face, as an animal, so you can deliberately get fat, and the point comes the food source runs out and then you start hibernating.

Now, the only trouble here is in Western society or the modern world is that that XXcoals?? Colds??XX never closes. So, you come to the middle of autumn when the food would actually stop and the sugar’s no longer available and the carbohydrates are no longer available on the ground, then you can still keep going down to XXcoals?? Colds?? 0:12:53.000XX and waters and get that. And you know that you can see that feeding frenzy that happens on Christmas Eve and on Good Friday, or the Thursday before, because everyone knows that probably everyone is going to be shopping the following day and meanwhile I’m stocking up food like I think it’s the end of the world.

Stuart Cooke: So, I guess we probably need to do one of two things. One would be to. . . One would be to either stock up on the good food and start to change the way we think about eating. Or the other would be, perhaps, to wait another hundred thousand years for evolution to catch up to allow us to eat these things.

Gary Fettke: Absolutely. I mean, if you look at, actually, people talk to me about, and you guys, I know, about, “What you’re talking about’s a fad.” And I keep coming back and I say, “Look, we’ve been on a fad diet for the last 30 years.” Because the fad was to go low-fat and replace that low-fat food with more carbohydrate and more sugar because low-fat food tastes like cardboard so you put more sugar in it.

And so the fad diet that we’ve had with all the seed oils, which have pushed down production costs, that’s the fad diet and that’s the one that’s caused disease. So let’s not call low-carb, high fat a fad diet. It’s actually the traditional way we ate for two and a half million years that got us to the top of the food chain.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. And just pulling it back into a little bit about the inflammation. Does that mean; would it be fair to say if we avoid the foods that cause the inflammation, then we will actually avoid a lot of today’s modern diseases?

Gary Fettke: You will. If you clap down that combination of sugar, refined carbs, and polyunsaturated oils and you will decrease the inflammation. And that allows your immune system to then kick in and start doing what it needs to do.

Guy Lawrence: So, following on that, is there a way of testing for inflammation at all?

Gary Fettke: There are a variety of blood markers available. The question is how sensitive they are. Most of them are sensitive for acute inflammation; that really angry response that the body gets. But they’re not that good for testing low-grade inflammation. There are some markers out there. We tend to think about what’s called a CRP or a C-Reactive Protein. When that’s higher, that’s associated with a whole variety of cardiovascular diseases.

And that’s cheap. The moment you start getting into a few of the other ones, then they become expensive and not that easily available. So, I’m not a great tester of inflammation, because, as you know, once you turn around your diet, you actually know that you’re less inflamed within six weeks anyway. You will feel different.

Guy Lawrence: Exactly. I mean, it’s frustrating, all right? Because, like Stewie mentioned, a friend of his went to the doctor’s – was it last week?

Stuart Cooke: Just last week.

Guy Lawrence: And he had high cholesterol. And the doctor; what did he tell him? To avoid fatty foods and don’t eat the skin on your chicken, wasn’t it? Or something?

Stuart Cooke: Remove the skin on your chicken. Which; it’s such a concern. I’m wondering where we turn when our trusted medical professionals advise us to follow the conventional food pyramid, which we are questioning.

Gary Fettke: Well, not only questioning it but completely challenging it. I say if you eat by the food pyramid, you’ll die by the food pyramid. The politics behind the food pyramid is horrendous. Back in the 1980s, the original draft was to put a maximum of three to four servings of carbohydrate on that bottom one. By the time it finally came out, the traditional U.S. one, it had six to 11 servings of carbohydrate. You know: the grains, the rices, the pastas. And that was really driven by the food and agricultural industry, not by the scientists behind it.

So, I think there is a turning shift in public awareness of the food pyramid not being useful. I regularly hear back from doctors that they can’t or won’t or don’t want to give advice about going against the food pyramid because that’s the food guidelines. And the problem is that the food guidelines are out of date. We talked about before that the literature is already out of date if it’s not within the last few years. And the guidelines are all several years old, based on research that was further back and then it’s tainted again by the food industry.

Last year the Australian dietary guidelines came out saying that we need to cut down on sugar. It didn’t specifically come up with a number, but the food industry representatives came out screaming about this saying there’s no science; that’s wrong.

So, the food guidelines, which is really the basis that doctors come back to, are flawed. And so only when you start taking a real big interest in it you can actually start justifying it, but it means actually reading the current literature.

I’ve got a handout I give to my patients and I encourage them to take it to their doctor and question the doctor say, “Look, this is what I’ve been given advice by XXGary? 0:18:43.000XX. And what do you think about it?”

And that’s all you can do. You say, “What do you think?” And slowly but surely I know that there are doctors that are coming around to this way of thinking. That’s not just on XXbased on primary doctors??XX but when you actually look around and I actually hear back from them, even in the last 12 months there’s a turning. It’s only a small number, and that’s where you start.

Guy Lawrence: There’s definitely a movement going. Because we are over the social media channels daily as well and I guess have got one ear to the ground. Over the last, especially, 12 months as well, we are seeing more and more people, you know, photographing and sharing things that are more in line with exactly what we’re talking about.

Stuart Cooke: I think they’re slowly starting to embrace the food movement, aren’t they? Becoming aware. And they’re enjoying the benefits of changing the way they eat as well.

Guy Lawrence: I think there’s a lot of pissed-off people out there, too, you know.

Gary Fettke: Absolutely. I think this is a grassroots-led revolution from the bottom up rather than the top down. And I’ve blogged about that in the past. And I call it “a school of sardines.” I don’t know if you’ve heard about that. We’ve got a school of sardines, and they can be the size of a blue whale – a massive sort of thing. But a blue whale to turn around 180 degrees takes about three to four minutes. But a school of fish can just turn on itself like, bang.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Right. That’s a good analogy.

Gary Fettke: And the turn; there are actually some of what we all “committed sardines.” And so at any point in time, there are fish swimming on their backside there, which are a little bit more aware of danger and problems. And when they reach a critical mass, and it’s actually only 3, 4, or 5 percent of them – they can turn the whole school around.

So, I think we’re actually a bunch of committed sardines at the moment. It’s not that far away. But the medical profession, unfortunately, will be a bit slow to come along. They do that because, on the whole (and this is a criticism of my profession), is that they don’t like; none of us like to admit we’re wrong.

Guy Lawrence: No.

Gary Fettke: And then to repeat over and over each day: “Look, I’m sorry, the advice I’ve given you for the last 30 or 40 years is wrong.”

Guy Lawrence: And this is a serious big blunder as well, isn’t it? You know, the very things they’re recommending could actually be; well, is detrimental to people’s health.

Gary Fettke: Oh, I’ve seen it. And you asked me about cholesterol, Stuart, but, I mean, that’s a whole. . . If you’re talking about cholesterol levels, you’re 20 years behind on the science of it. And then, you know, we’ve got to start drilling down to the nutrition.

And that’s one test I do recommend spending money on. Not the test measuring your standard cholesterol. It’s actually spending the money on doing a proper what’s called a lipid subfraction analysis, and looking at all your particles, getting the numbers right, seeing what the whole protocol is, and then you’ll find most people won’t need to be on statin drugs.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. It’s insane. We’ve had professor Tim Noakes on, and Jimmy Moore from the U.S. on podcasts explaining these very things, yeah.

Gary Fettke: And, Tim, I’m looking forward to speaking with at the time meeting. It’s in August up in Melbourne.

Guy Lawrence: Oh, fantastic. Yeah, Tim’s coming over.

Gary Fettke: He’ll be speaking to us; it will be a good afternoon.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. He’s making a lot of noise and getting recognition for it.

Stuart Cooke: So, thinking about inflammation, Gary, and also taking into consideration the radical change that many people will need to adopt to move forward, small changes – are there any so-called “health foods” that would sit at the top of the inflammatory hit list that we could remove from our diets today that would just be, you know, start us in the right direction.
Gary Fettke: Polyunsaturated oils. Your margarine. Your vegetable oil. And you go back to just using butter, maybe a bit of lard, coconut oil. Easy decision, and it can be done straightaway. Straight transfer. And butter tastes better. But olive oil, I think, is a fruit oil, so it’s not a seed oil, and olive oil I recommend. When it comes in percentages between 8 and 12 percent polyunsaturated, let’s look at the label and go for the ones that are 8 to 9 percent rather than 11 to 12 percent. And that’s just a matter of looking at labels.

So, you do that, you’re off and running on this process. And it doesn’t hurt and it’s immediate.

Stuart Cooke: Right. So, I guess things like pre-packaged foods that contain vegetable oils that might be termed as canola oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, just look at avoiding those and we’re certainly on the right steps.

Gary Fettke: Well, we’re all talking about avoiding processed foods, so if it’s got on a barcode and wrapped in packaging, the food industry is going to produce that as cheaply as they can. The cheapest oils they cook with are the vegetable oils and the polyunsaturated oil.

It’s really hard to find packaged food which has been cooked in butter. You can find some that’s in olive oil, but then over the last few years, we’ve migrated to eating less and less packaged foods. It’s just migrated out of that pantry.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Are there any contributors to inflammation outside of nutrition we should be aware of?

Gary Fettke: I’ll make a big statement and say, “No.”

Guy Lawrence: Perfect.

Gary Fettke: I’ll try and simplify it down that’s what you guys are sort of trying.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Absolutely.

Gary Fettke: I think nutrition equals inflammation. All right? If you get your diet wrong, then you become inflamed.

Stuart Cooke: Right.

Gary Fettke: Once you’re inflamed, and it’s the combination of fructose and the refined carbs and polyunsaturated oils and, I talk about this, creates inflammation in the blood vessel wall of every organ of the body. OK? So, every blood vessel, every organ of the body is inflamed.

And once it’s chronically inflamed, then you become susceptible to other problems. And that’s what I think you’re talking about is: What are the other things?

Stuart Cooke: That’s right.

Gary Fettke: That’s when you become rundown, and when you’re rundown, then you’re affected by stress, you’re affected by sleep, you’re affected by your genetic predisposition to get cancer, you’re affected then by smoking. It sets you up for the big long-term problems of chronic inflammation, which is dementia and diabetes; mental illness.

Even artificial light has been implicated in affecting our immunity. So, the fact that we live in environments where the light’s on until midnight or 1 o’clock in the morning – I recognize that I’m a hypocrite because I’m often up to all hours doing stuff. But those are the other things which create the disease.

So, the inflammation, I think, is nutrition. And disease is what kicks in once you’re susceptible.

Guy Lawrence: It just starts to spiral.

Gary Fettke: Yeah, once you get there. But by the same token, you can get yourself back out of it.

Guy Lawrence: Exactly. Which is the most frustrating thing. You know? Because we seem to be going down this other funnel that’s clearly not working.

Stuart Cooke: So, Guy, I’m gonna; I’m just gonna jump through some of the questions and gravitate to the bottom at the moment, because we’re kind of there right now.

Guy Lawrence: Go for it.

Stuart Cooke: Gary, I was going to ask what your typical daily diet looks like. What do you eat, from breakfast to dinner?

Gary Fettke: What do I eat in total? Meat and veggies. I eat a lot of dairy, a lot of cheese, in particular. XXAnd a few nuts. 0:27:04.000XX I start most days with an omelet. Last night’s leftovers included cheese. We live on a farm, so I put my fresh eggs in there; the free-range ones. And that, often, I won’t eat much until dinner.

The fascinating thing for me – I might have some nuts and maybe get a salad at lunch – but my days are pretty busy generally.

But the most exciting thing for me is that; because I was hungry for the best part of 50 years. And now I’m just no longer hungry. I’m not longer craving, searching around in the fridge and the cupboard.

I used to have this healthy breakfast by the Heart Foundation guidelines. My cereal and broken-up muesli and the nonfat yogurt and a glass of fruit juice. I was eating 25 teaspoons of sugar for breakfast and then starving by morning tea.

And now I’m having bacon and eggs and stuff and I’m not worried at food until mealtime.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Nice and full from the good fats.

Gary Fettke: Fascinating journey.

Guy Lawrence: Do you eat fruit, Gary?

Gary Fettke: As a person who’s gotten known as, yes I do. But it’s local and seasonal and natural. So, over the summer when it around, then, yeah, I have a bit of fruit. Not a lot.

Lemons are in season now. A lot of times, I might have a lemon a day. And I keep mine natural. People say “ah, fruit’s natural,” and I say, well, there’s nothing natural about a banana in Tasmania. And so, it’s an ongoing argument. But if I think; and if you go back to that nutritional model of modern days, that video that we put up as part of an international group of collaborators, we’re actually meant to have fruit in summer, because in summer we actually also produce vitamin D. And vitamin D is actually really important in the metabolism of fructose and the inflammatory cycle.

So, by having fruit, particularly the amount of sugar we have in winter, we just don’t have the vitamin D on board to actually then control the inflammation.

It’s quite nerdy but it’s actually quite beautiful how all the pieces in the jigsaw are linked together.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Vitamin. We’re all right, fortunately, living in Sydney, on the beach. I just think of my family and friends in Wales, you know? They don’t. . .

Stuart Cooke: I think you’ve just got a green light to eat bananas as you stand outside the surf club sunning yourself.

Gary Fettke: A banana, OK? A banana.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, OK. I’ll govern that. I’ll make sure he does.

Guy Lawrence: So, the last topic we wanted to raise, Gary, which we know you’ve been making a bit of noise about in Tasmania, is hospital foods. And I was just wondering, could you tell us a little bit about that?

Gary Fettke: Hospital food’s a disaster. It is; I’m planning to give a talk to the hospital food industry later this year, and I’m planning to open up, really, with a line: “Hospital food is crap and it’s killing my patients.” Which might provoke a response, I think.

But the hospital food is based on old food guidelines. It’s based on the low-fat concept and therefore you’ve just got to look around. It’s low-fat food. It’s absolutely laden with sugar and carbohydrates. And for my patients and particularly the diabetic ones, the moment they start eating all that carbohydrate and sugar, their blood glucoses are out of control, and we know that that’s the major predictive outcome whether or not it’s infection and healing and time XXfor each stage?? Per each stay?? 0:31:02.000XX in hospital.

So, if at the moment you get to hospital you get poor nutrition and particularly poor blood glucose control, it really leads us up the wrong path.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah, and in the very place where you’re supposed to be healing, you know?

Gary Fettke: I don’t think hospitals set a good example. It’s a bit like the schoolyard. We should be setting really food examples. And you’ve only got to walk into most hospitals and you can see the amount of junk food that’s sold in the kiosks; in the vending machines. These are clearly just setting poor examples.

Guy Lawrence: It’s frustrating. It was only talking about this the other day, because my father passed away a couple of years ago when he spent sort of the last two months in hospital, and I was back in Wales visiting him every day. And the first thing when you walk through the sliding doors of the hospital there was a giant poster with two happy pensioners on there saying how eating this low-fat margarine is helping my cholesterol levels. First off, walking into the hospital and then seeing the foods that he was eating every day and it was just his constant battle of trying to, you know, provide him the right food but at the same time, you know, we can only visit at certain times and what’s actually being fed. It’s frustrating, you know?

Gary Fettke: At the individual level, there are people in the food services within the hospitals who are trying to create the change. They are doing it. So, at an individual level, I’ve talked to food services people and they say, “Look, we want to adopt this but we can’t change because the guidelines tell us we can’t change.”

And it’s not until we change the guidelines that we can change the policy, because hospitals are part of big government bureaucracies. No one wants to actually work against the government.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. I realize that as well. The people that were there, the staff, were absolutely fantastic, you know? They were working hard and just, you know, cared and did great things. But like you said, they were working within the system.

I mean, do you think what you will be doing, they’re gonna listen? And do you reckon they’ll change? Re-evaluate the guidelines and look at it, or. . .

Gary Fettke: It’s going to chip away. It’s going to take a long time.

I’ve recently been in hospital myself and the good news was that they knew that I was coming and they said; I put down specifically my dietary requirements were low-carb, high-fat. And I didn’t think they wanted me to blog badly against them, so they actually accommodated and I actually got bacon and eggs for breakfast.

But the important thing about it is, if you make a song and dance about it beforehand, they will offer it to you. They will offer it.

So, the thing I find frustrating in the guidelines is that you can go into hospital and you can have a menu decided on religion grounds, but you can’t actually get in food based on low-carb, high-fat because it doesn’t fit under the guidelines.

Guy Lawrence: There you go. Wow. I guess a lot of it comes back to as well that we should really focus on prevention and trying to avoid the places if we can, you know?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah. Prevention is the cure. That’s the phrase that we live by as well. It seems to make so much sense.

I was intrigued as well to likening the school system with the hospital system, because that is where, you know, I’m intrigued by looking at what my children are allowed to eat or bring into the school grounds at the moment, which makes it so tricky for us to get good nutrition into their lunchboxes. We’re not allow nuts, some dairy is frowned upon, you can’t bring eggs in. And it seems that every second child has got a sensitivity or an allergy, which is crazy.

I wondered, though, if you had any theories as to why allergies are on the rise?

Gary Fettke: OK. Now, this is where I could start upsetting people. All right?

Stuart Cooke: OK.

Gary Fettke: All right. Now, this is a theory, OK? It’s a theory. That’s a theory. I’ll say it again, right?

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s a safe word.

Gary Fettke: If we are setting ourselves up with this diet of sugar, carbohydrate, and polyunsaturated oils, and it creates chronic inflammation, it also means that the pregnant mother, when she’s carrying that embryo, fetus, XXnot yet a? 0:35:45.000XX baby, when there is two cells, four cells, eight cells in the body, every cell is then made up of inflammatory material.

That’s a really scary thought.

Guy Lawrence: That’s a very scary thought.

Gary Fettke: And there’s a lot I could talk about. I actually talk about that on that video. And looking at the omega-6 fatty acid levels within fat. It actually means that every cell membrane in the body, particularly in the embryo, is made up of inflammatory material.

So, if you’re being raised as an embryo, fetus, and then baby in an inflamed environment, and your body’s inflamed right at the cellular level, that’s affecting your immunity. That means that when your immune system’s developing, it’s actually made up of inflamed cells.

And this all theory. Can’t prove it. But it makes sense.

Stuart Cooke: It does make sense.

I heard or read something very, very similar in Toxic Oil, David Gillespie’s book about seed oils, and it made perfect sense.

Guy Lawrence: I think XXGary Tog 0:36:59.000XX has mentioned something about that as well. I can’t remember if it was him.

Gary Fettke: We’re a long way away from proving it. But my youngest daughter, who’s XXAileenXX, the time of clearance of polyunsaturated oil out of the system is probably about, well, it’s questionable; it may only be a few months but it may be over four years.

And so you can clear them out. She was desperate for some McDonald’s chips, and I’m not plugging them or anything, and she said, “I promise not to get pregnant for four years.”

Stuart Cooke: Wouldn’t McDonald’s chips have been a reasonably healthy option until they changed from cooking in animal fat to canola oil a couple of years ago?

Gary Fettke: I don’t know where McDonald’s was. I thought it was definitely a KFC change. They used to cook in lard but then they switched over.

So, my take-home message is, I suppose, if you’re pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant, then eat good, healthy, real food. That’s it. And chances are that you’re gonna raise your baby in the best environment possible and that should have long-term benefits.

Guy Lawrence: That’s great advice, Gary. Theory or not, you know, that’s a smart thing to do anyway. You know?

Gary, we always have a wrap-up question that we ask everyone on our podcast. And it’s: “What’s the single best piece of advice you have ever been given?”

And this can be based on anything: nutrition; not nutrition. Whatever.

Gary Fettke: Staying married to the one woman.

Stuart Cooke: I won’t let my wife hear this podcast, I think.

Gary Fettke: If you want a second one, it’s, what do you call it? Don’t be afraid to question traditional practice.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic.

Stuart Cooke: It makes sense. Absolutely. We kind of; we live and breathe that every day and it really does make sense to question.

Guy Lawrence: Yeah. And if more people want to get more of you, Gary, where’s the best place to go? Your website?

Gary Fettke: The website’s And I’m on Facebook as Gary Fettke No Fructose. And you can chase me down on Twitter through either of those.

Guy Lawrence: We’ll link all them under this podcast and on our blog. And, yeah, looking forward to seeing you in Tasmania as well.

Gary Fettke: We’ll bound to talk again in Hobart.

Guy Lawrence: We are. Yes. Yeah. There’s a few of us coming down. Looking forward to it. It’s a sold-out event, I hear.

Gary Fettke: It is sold out. Jo Smith has done a fabulous job for Primal Living and it should be a good day with a whole lot of people. Herself and myself and David Gillespie and Christine Cronau are coming down and a couple of doctors: Rod Tayler from Melbourne and Dr. Zee Arain who’s the Melbourne team doctor. So, we’ll talk a bit more about sports nutrition as well.

Guy Lawrence: I’m looking forward to it.

Stuart Cooke: Yeah, it’s gonna be a good event. I’m very excited.

Guy Lawrence: Fantastic. Well, look, Gary, thank you so much for your time. That was awesome. That was fantastic. I really enjoyed it. And I’m sure a lot of people are going to benefit from this.

Stuart Cooke: Definitely. Definitely.
Thank you so much, Gary. Really appreciate it.

Gary Fettke: Thanks, Guys.

Guy Lawrence: Thanks, Gary.

Gary Fettke

This interview features Gary Fettke, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Senior Lecturer of the University of Tasmania. He used to follow conventional nutritional advise to follow the standard food pyramid. He now is a firm believer in eating a low carbohydrate healthy fats diet from the benefits he has seen in... Read More

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