BEST OF 2022

Upgrade Your Keto Thinking

Dr. Steven Gundry

Learn about the biological mechanism that makes keto diets so successful.


In this "Best of" Episode of The Human Upgrade™...

Steven Gundry, M.D., explains that ketones aren’t the fat-burning molecules you think they are. Ketones actually work to enhance health, weight loss, and longevity by acting as signaling molecules that stimulate your mitochondria. A cellular process known as “mitochondrial uncoupling” happens. 

He debunks common myths about keto in his newest book, “Unlocking the Keto Code: The Revolutionary New Science of Keto That Offers More Benefits Without Deprivation,” and shares eight “keys” that unlock the keto code.

  1. Intermittent fasting or time-controlled eating
  2. Polyphenols
  3. Dietary fiber
  4. Fermented foods
  5. Polyamines
  6. Cold temperatures
  7. Hot temperatures
  8. Red light therapy

Upgrading your nutrition with keto gets even simpler in this conversation that gives you real food examples of how to ignite your mitochondrial uncoupling process without a monotonous, limiting, high-fat diet.


“When you understand the role of mitochondria and how they affect your metabolism, you no longer have to worry about fat percentages, macronutrient proportions, calories, or any other metrics.”

Steven Gundry, M.D.

About Dr. Steven Gundry: He’s the founder and director of the International Heart and Lung Institute in Palm Springs, Calif., and the Center for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara. He’s spent the last two decades studying the microbiome and uses diet and nutrition as a key form of treatment for people who want to improve their body health and performance. He’s published more than three hundred articles in peer-reviewed journals on using diet and supplements to eliminate heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disease, and multiple other diseases. He’s author of numerous bestselling books such as,  “The Plant Paradox,” “The Longevity Paradox” and “The Energy Paradox.” 

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  • Eight keys to unlock the keto code, which is the name of Dr. Gundry’s new book.  – 2:13
  • I operated on at Loma Linda University, literally resigned my position and said, “I’ve got this all wrong. I shouldn’t operate on people and then teach them how to avoid me in the future. I should teach them how to avoid me by learning how to eat and never have to operate on them.”  – 4:46
  • As you know the Plant Paradox was one of those marvelously disruptive books. – 6:24
  • Free fatty acids cannot get into the brain they’re too big and too slow to move across the blood brain barrier. Ketones, are on the other hand are small water soluble molecules that can get into the brain.  – 13:46
  • It turns out that there is a way to blow off steam, to blow off calorie use by mitochondria when it’s overloaded, when it’s taxed, which is called uncoupling.   – 20:55
  • The benefit of ketones is, hey, each of you mitochondria don’t work very hard, make more of yourselves to share the workload. And number three, because we got to keep you guys around, put in repair mechanisms to make sure everything about you works well.  – 24:55
  • A ketogenic diet doesn’t make you an efficient fat burner. It actually makes you a fat waster. And it’s there for a purpose, and we can delve into that even more. – 29:19
  • The athletes who have the compressed eating window at seven hours, even though they’re eating the exact same calories as the other athletes, lose weight, they keep their muscle mass, their insulin-like growth factor, which I think is still one of the best markers we have for whether mTOR is activated, plummets.  – 35:19
  • It’s the power of ketones, uncoupling mitochondria that did it. Cool.  – 37:42
  • But it turns out that polyphenols paralyze the enzyme system in bacteria so that they can’t make TMAO, no matter how much animal fat and protein you eat.  – 41:43
  • Plants use polyphenols to, believe it or not, uncouple their mitochondria, their chloroplasts. And when you uncouple mitochondria, they’re protected from damage.  – 47:31
  • Think you introduced new knowledge about polyphenols in this book that’s really, really useful specifically around uncoupling activities of some of them, not just antioxidants, and using them as probiotics for the good guys.  – 53:08
  • We think of fermented foods as a source of probiotics, friendly bacteria. But the vast majority of probiotics in fermented foods never make it past stomach acid to colonize your gut.  – 56:25
  • So goat and sheep milk, about 30% of the calories in both of those milks are MCTs, medium chain triglycerides. Cows milk almost has none. Buffalo, water Buffalo, about 30% of the calories are MCTs. – 1:02:42
  • The reason these particular areas are Blue Zones have nothing to do with the grains and the beans they’re eating, because everybody else near them does that. It’s because of the goat and sheep cheeses that they eat. Whoa. MCT oils uncouple mitochondria.  – 1:04:42

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