Dr. Mark Hyman has been on Bulletproof Radio multiple times, because he’s got a lot to teach us about food, the food industry and how to be healthy in a world full of conflicting information and unhealthy choices.
In this episode, we talk about his newest book based on a Pegan Diet (Vegan+Paleo). He’s literally bridging the gap between the “right” and “wrong” sides of eating that often surround diet culture.
For decades, the diet wars have pitted advocates for the low-carb, high-fat paleo diet against advocates of the exclusively plant-based vegan diet and dozens of other diets, leaving many people bewildered and confused. Dr. Hyman wants us to know that although there are foundational principles for what we eat, there’s not a one size fits all diet, which he talks about in his newest book: “The Pegan Diet: 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World.”
“Everybody’s fighting with each other and we’re fighting the wrong person,” Dr. Hyman says. “We should be fighting with the traditional American diet, we call the standard American diet or the SAD diet. That’s really what’s driving the chronic disease epidemic.”
He’s created a framework on dieting based on the fact that food is medicine, and every diet affects every person differently. Certain foods can act as magic medicine for our bodies, sometimes improving our physical and/or more mental health in a mere matter of days, but some things might not work.
“No two people will thrive in the same way based on the same diet,” he says. “You might ideologically be a vegan, but it might be the worst thing for you or you might ideologically want to eat keto, but it might be the worst thing for you. On the other hand, you might thrive. It’s important to understand what your body’s doing.”
We also talk about the power of choosing to eat as a “regenetarian,” a phrase coined by Dr. Hyman. It means the way you choose to eat is not only based on what feels good for you, but what’s good for the planet.
“The way we actually grow food and the food we eat that’s grown in the way it’s grown degenerates our health which is why we have six out of 10 Americans with a chronic disease and 88% metabolically unhealthy. It degenerates ecological systems, environmental health and accelerates climate change. We should not be eating in a way that kills us and kills the planet, right?”
As we approach crises in chronic disease, our agricultural and food systems, changing your diet can be a bigger game-changer than it’s ever been. Dr. Hyman tells us how choosing the right foods can make us and our planet healthier, so what are you waiting for?
Follow Along with the Transcript
The Doctor’s Farmacy podcast: https://drhyman.com/podcast/
- Food Fight! Fixes for Better Health and a Sustainable World – Dr. Mark Hyman – #672
- What the Heck Should I Cook, Dr. Hyman? – #637
- Why Disrupting Big Food Matters: Mark Hyman #533
- Mark Hyman – Meat Is The New Ketchup: #288
- Mark Hyman: The Dangers of Fructose – #144
- He wrote a blogpost a while ago, I still remember it, saying, “What if we had this pegan diet?” because it turns out we all agree on more than we all think. – 1:04
- Tell me about this pegan thing. What inspired enough to write a book? – 1:30
- Everybody’s fighting with each other and we’re fighting the wrong person. We should be fighting with the traditional American diet, we call the standard American diet or the SAD diet. That’s really what’s driving the chronic disease epidemic. – 3:25
- Everything you eat, you need to think of as instructions or code that can upgrade or downgrade your biological software, that literally programs your genes, your hormones, your brain chemistry, your immune system, your microbiome with every single bite. – 4:21
- I’ve been humbled and all the dogma has left my thinking because no two people will thrive in the same way based on the same diet. – 5:26
- That’s really why that subtitle of the book is 21 Practical Principles for Reclaiming Your Health in a Nutritionally Confusing World – 7:10
- The first thing I want to talk about is the microbiome. – 7:40
- He gave her pomegranate, green tea and cranberry, and lo and behold, boom, cancer cured in a month, 100% gone. That’s the power of food is medicine. – 9:57
- There’s a part of your immune system that you write about in your book around aging that gets senescent. We call it immunosenescence. – 10:39
- These phytochemicals just happen to be the perfect antidote for the zombie cells. They literally nuke your zombie cells. You go from immunosenescence to immunorejuvenation which now with COVID is ever more important. – 11:52
- 60% of people don’t have gut bacteria that turn pomegranate stuff into urolithin A. If you don’t have those pomegranate, you got a bunch of sugar. – 13:16
- Key things that has to occur in the body is mitophagy which is the cleaning up and getting rid of old mitochondria – 13:56
- The UN has come out and said, “If we take 2 million of the 5 million degraded hectares of land around the world that have been degraded through modern agriculture and we convert it to regenerative agriculture, incorporating animals in the ecosystem to build soil. It would cost $300 billion,” which is basically less than we spend for Medicare and diabetes every year. – 18:32
- Factory farming is an abomination. It’s bad for the animals. It’s bad for humans who eat them. It’s better for the planet, 100% – 19:06
- Walmart is the biggest organic grocer in America. People don’t know that. – 21:22
- The kangaroo meat reduced inflammation. Wait a minute, how is that possible? Why? It’s the inflammation in food. It’s the instructions that are programming your biology. Quality is really important. In the book, I go through every bit of food we eat. – 24:57
- Trying to eat weird strange food because the more wild, the less commercially raised it is, the more weird it is, the better it is for you. – 27:07
- I love raw onions and I love raw garlic, but if I eat it, I feel like crap. I get a brain fog, a headache. – 30:12
- Dave, you helped me when I almost died four years ago from mold toxicity in my house. This is after I’ve been to your movie about mold. I just collapsed. I can eat all the great food I want. It wasn’t healthy. – 33:32
- This is not the time to comfort eat, to drink, to not take care of your health because you’re just a sitting duck. When COVID lands on a pre-inflamed person, it actually causes a super fire called a cytokine storm which is what kills us. – 35:45
- Let’s say that someone reads The Pegan Diet tomorrow and they start adding pomegranates and the Himalayan buckwheat and all the other good stuff in, how long does it take to turn the inflammation dial back down? – 36:23
- Another woman, after being in a psychiatric hospitals for depression and multiple medications, her marriage and jobs are falling apart, she’s like, “After three days of changing my diet, my depression has lifted for the first time my life.” – 37:03
- Food is way more powerful a drug than most pharmaceuticals because they work with the body rather than against it. – 38:53
- Are you hopeful that functional medicine is actually taking off, that it has staying power or is this is going to be a long hard march? – 40:17
- He said, “Maybe doctors should wash their hands.” They thought, “Oh, my God, how could you even imply that we, as physicians, would ever cause any harm to our patients by what we’re doing? That’s ridiculous.” They banished him and he died in disgrace. It was 50 years before doctors started saying, “Hey, maybe we should wash our hands before surgery.” – 43:46
- The kitchens have been hijacked by the food industry and the and the idea of home garden is just not even a thing. – 49:52
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