Get ready for an interesting and powerful show with Dr. Joan Ifland, a leading expert in the very serious issue of processed food addiction.
It is rare to find someone who is as knowledgeable as Dr. Ifland in the field of food addiction. Her textbook, Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery, provides the most extensive literature review on the subject – quite a valuable resource. She is increasingly recognized as the leading authority in addiction to processed foods, and is passionate about helping people understand why it is that they cannot get any semblance of control over their processed food consumption, and especially, why that loss of control is not their fault.
A scientist who additionally holds an MBA from Stanford, Dr. Ifland also illuminated how the tobacco industry has played a key role in taking control of processed foods and spreading processed food addiction in a breakthrough to understanding the source of obesity.
Check out her website here.
People are getting hooked on processed foods just like smoking addiction. [01:37]
Dr. Ifland’s background is unique…from business and finances to food addiction. [05:40]
The food companies use the same tactics used by the tobacco companies to get you and the children addicted. [08:30]
They alter children’s brain function in order to get them to nag their parents for those sugary products. [14:10]
Studies show that the taste of sugar, fat, or salt reaches our brain in a half-second as opposed to any other drug which can take up to 10 seconds or 10 minutes. [18:40]
These are mood-altering substances. One doesn’t realize that some of their physical ailments are caused by diet. [21:03]
To see if you are addicted, get rid of these addictive foods for 30 days to see if you can do it. [23:57]
You can’t control what your kids eat but you can give them the opportunity to experiment by controlling the environment at home. [28:19]
Is there a threshold where we can enjoy sugar, industrial seed oils and such, or we are talking about zero tolerance? [30:55]
Many dieticians work for the food industry. [34:25]
It’s a vicious cycle. Stress activates the addiction. And the addiction activates stress. [38:29]
Dr. Ifland has a community of people in recovery training to become peer support managers. [42:40]
A self-quiz will give you an idea of how you stand in this addiction problem. [45:11]
Can one be addicted to healthy things? [51:21]
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Dr. Joan Ifland
- Processed Food Addiction. com
- Processed Food Addiction, Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery
- Cigarette Century
- The Big Fat Surprise
- Salt Sugar Fat
- Mark’s Daily Apple
- “The addiction is a battle between the frontal lobe and the addictive, and you want the frontal lobe to win.”
- “It’s a cycle. Stress activates the addiction. And the addiction activates stress.”
- “If it has a label, it’s a warning label!”
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Brad (1m 37s): Welcome to the B.rad podcast and my introduction to a very interesting and powerful show with Dr. Joan Ifland. She is a leading expert on food addiction and she is the leading author and editor of the textbook Processed Food Addiction, Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery. And let me say here on the show, we have a lot of fun shows, exciting shows. Brad talks about his morning routine and jumping in the cold water. Oh, it’s awesome. And then we have some heavy shows that you really have to slow down and reflect and see how it can influence your life. And this is one of the heavy ones you are going to get hit hard with some sobering realizations relating to the industry approach to food addiction. Brad (2m 27s): How the tobacco industry has used the same principles that they use to get people hooked on smoking, turn their attention back in the eighties, to getting people hooked on processed foods. And during this show, there’s going to be a lot of practical takeaways. One of them is a quiz consisting of 11 questions that you can also find on her website, process food, addiction.com. But these are 11 questions to determine whether you yourself listener have a food addiction. And guess what? It’s preloaded quiz. Because for the most part, we are all going to get loaded with three yeses. Before we even take the quiz, three of these things on the list, pretty much everyone does. Brad (3m 10s): And if you answer six out of 11, affirmative, you most likely, very likely have a food addiction. So we’re going to find out what to do about it. We’re going to find out why the brain is wired in this way. And what happens when we introduce these heavily processed foods that have truly addictive properties. I love this quote in the middle of the show where she says, look, it’s a competition between your frontal lobe and the addictive reward area of the brain. And the frontal lobe comprises only 2% of the brain. The other 98% is this primitive brain that is easily susceptible to addiction. Brad (3m 52s): So if you already know which foods are healthy and which aren’t, this show will help get you over that edge to really reflect on your behavior and make some positive changes. There’s all kinds of wonderful tidbits in here. Can we enjoy life a little bit and have the occasional treat or is it swearing things off forever? Is Brad addicted to his wonderful, healthy, dark chocolate, 85% and above cacao content source from bean to bar from around the world? The very best. Hmm. I don’t know. Can you be addicted to positive, healthy foods? We’re going to find out all that and more from Dr. Joan Ifland. And if you want to cut to the chase right now, go to process food addiction.com and take the food addiction quiz. Brad (4m 35s): That’s sitting there on the homepage. You’re also going to hear the questions enumerated during the interview. Oh, here we go. Dr. Joan is going to rock it, Dr. Joan Ifland ,the leading expert on addiction to process food. What a fantastic topic to discuss, because I think it’s lurking in the background of all of our efforts to clean up our diet and start eating healthy and drop excess body fat and, and meet all these wonderful goals. So thanks for, thanks for joining us. You’re the author of a book called Processed Food Addiction, Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery. And I can’t wait to get into this with you. Dr. Joan Ifland (5m 14s): Thank you. Thank you. I’m delighted to be here. Brad (5m 18s): Your background is interesting.I want you to just kind of get us to get us to up to speed here. Interestingly, that MBA from Stanford is thrown in there, like wait a second. How did you blend your passion for, for science and nutrition with the, you know, the more entrepreneurial type of track at Stanford? Dr. Joan Ifland (5m 40s): Yeah, I do have a, I’m pretty sure it’s a unique background. My undergraduate degree is from herbal college and it’s an economics and political science. And then I went to work for two years as a fiscal analyst in state legislature. Didn’t like government and so I switched over to business, spend two years at the business school and then five and a half years doing financial management work for a fortune 200 corporation. Great. All good. And then fast forward, like into my mid forties and I’m too sick to go back to work. Dr. Joan Ifland (6m 23s): I’ve had two kids. I’m constantly sneezing. I’m exhausted. And I just think, well, it must be related to having two kids, two kids and two years. No, I come January of 1996, a friend of mine who I had been doing a lot of work on anger management. I was as an angry person. I was raised by two angry people and it was traumatic. I didn’t want to raise my daughters that way. And yet I kept erupting and yo-yo dieting. So you think things are not related. They are very related. January, 1996, I got off of sugars and flours. Dr. Joan Ifland (7m 7s): What’s my next diet? And I stopped raging. I stopped being angry. I stopped the allergies. I stopped the sinus infection. I stopped the bloating and the brain fog and the cravings. And, and then in about the third week of just eliminating sugars and flours, it occurred to me. I hadn’t yelled at anybody in those three weeks. And that’s what got me hooked on a new career. I wrote a popular book about how to do this. And I started going around giving talks about it. A big TV station almost got me on. Dr. Joan Ifland (7m 48s): And then the last producer said that you don’t have a degree in your field. You don’t have this MBA. And I said, well, I’ll go get one. I grew up in Cincinnati. I grew up the daughter of a biochemist who was also a corporate executive, even to a commander in the Naval reserve. So a lot of leadership there and there’s a school in Cincinnati called Union Institute and University. And it’s all set up for people who want to earn a degree in a new field. So I went there. I sort of motored through in three years in addictive nutrition. Dr. Joan Ifland (8m 28s): And then I started really thinking about business practices. And this is where that MBA came in so handy because I, soon as I put down my, as soon as I finished my degree work, I picked up a book. I just knew instinctively that this had something to do with tobacco. Picked up an incredible book by Allan Brandt it at Harvard called Cigarette Century. And he just describes methodically the business practices of the tobacco industry. And they were the same as the processed food industry. Dr. Joan Ifland (9m 8s): And I just like, okay, we know at Marion Nestle’s a food politics. She goes over this in detail. The tobacco companies bought Kraft Nabisco and General Foods in the space of three years in the mid 1980s. And they brought with them and I have published a paper on this topic, the addiction business model Brad (9m 34s): Whoof! Dr. Joan Ifland (9m 35s): It’s the five, A’s the five A’s it’s high to addictive substances in the product. Like they hid nicotine and cigarettes. And then they came along and they had tons of sugar, fat, salt in processed foods. Advertise the heck out of it. You see a Saturday morning cartoon commercial advertising going already from 150 commercials per morning to over 500 in the space of seven years after they come in. Number three young age of onset attack the children. So just like they tried to do the Joe Camel cartoon campaign with ten-year-old boys. Dr. Joan Ifland (10m 20s): They just went after children’s cartoons. And I know everybody I talked to can remember a childhood cartoon for some kind of favorite food. I remember one for a product that my mother didn’t buy. I spent a lot of my childhood wondering what that product tastes like. It was a cracker. So then you have availability and affordability. You want it to be everywhere. You want people to be able to reach out and pick it up. And that was high fructose corn syrup coming in, driving down the cost of sweeteners. And then they knew that they could make this, this product cheap enough that people could buy it often enough, just like they didn’t cigarettes didn’t really become an epidemic until they had the rolling machine. Dr. Joan Ifland (11m 7s): And when cigarettes didn’t have to be hand-rolled when they could be ruled by machines, the cost came way down and then you can addict millions of people. Two thirds of American Americans smoked and now two thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. Same business model. They were taken out. And then for availability that were taken out the cigarette machines and they were putting in the snack and soda machines. Brad (11m 35s): Well, I guess they saw the future coming. The legislation, the antismoking movement was not going to go away. So they had to change course and go buy some major food companies. That’s kind of scary. Dr. Joan Ifland (11m 46s): Well, And at the same time, you know, government’s coming down on them so hard finally for the cigarettes. And there’s the government promoting you look at the food pyramid. Your first question is going to be, how did, how did the bottom row get to be all addictive substances? Flour, gluten sugar? Well it’s because there was a corrupt administrator of the dietary guidelines committee and from a nutritionist from Harvard who was taking money from the sugar industry. So not only do you have the government coming down on you so hard to goodness, they’re promoting your addictive substance, that was exciting. Dr. Joan Ifland (12m 27s): I’m supposed to have been dancing in the hallways. Brad (12m 32s): I find it having a conversation about this is a little challenging even here in 2021, because the programming has been so successful and I’ll get pushed back from people that just can’t seem to fathom that the great Ivy covered walls of Harvard University has the potential for corruption or the U S government, a dietary guidelines committee that’s making their pyramid and, you know, information coming out now that they basically took bribes and did all kinds of backroom maneuvering. It’s just, you know, it’s just hard to, hard to fathom out, to advance that argument. Dr. Joan Ifland (13m 10s): Great book about it. It’s called The Big Fat Lie by Nina-Teicholz and she’s a reporter to return to advocate. And she just, just details that it was a guy named Mark <inaudible>. He was a nutritionist at Harvard. He wrote the paper, identifying fat as the culprit in heart disease rather than sugar. And we now know that sugar is the culprit in heart disease. Yeah, it’s, it’s just, it’s a playbook. It’s a strategy. You have this very, very difficult to read. I mean, just because it’s hurt so much as a paper in the depository at University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Joan Ifland (13m 57s): The tobacco companies for required as part of their settlements to put about 40,000 internal documents in that depository. And they’ve discovered a chilling description of taking tobacco marketing techniques and applying them to sugar for children. So lots of logoed items. You have toys in the house that have the Hawaiian Punch, punchy logo on them. Like we used to have a Marlboro logo lighter for our cigarettes. And it’s the reason why juice boxes are the same shape and colors as packs of cigarettes. Dr. Joan Ifland (14m 41s): So it’s the same marketing does transfer to children. It’s really out of all the things that are hard, hard, hard to get your brain wrapped around the idea that you would alter children’s brain function in order to get them to crave and nag their parents for these products. Brad (15m 1s): Yeah, it’s it, it would be hard to play devil’s advocate here for a moment, but I’m wondering really, how do these people sleep at night? Do they have some nice rationalizations where they’re saying, look, kids burn a lot of energy off, so they need to consume sugar or, you know, what do they stand by when they’re challenged? Because I’m sure they’ve absorbed some blows over the years from people like you and the other advocates. And what’s the comeback that you typically hear? Dr. Joan Ifland (15m 29s): They’re just in denial. So are two quotes that really illustrate. I think they’re thinking of based executives. One is from a book called Cigarette Papers and an executive is quoted as saying, I would rather have a shorter life with the pleasure of a cigarette and a longer one without. Oh, that’s an addict. That’s addicts thinking I would rather have my substance then have a great life. That’s just addict people. And then the other one is from Salt, Fat Sugar, by Michael Moss a new book. Dr. Joan Ifland (16m 7s): And he’s he, I mean, it’s shocking, but he kind of defended the food industry. He said that they were making it. They, they felt like they were making them fun. Well, I know that’s not true. I happen to know I’ve only met him once, but he’s been on national TV with this. I don’t remember his first name. His last name is Lee. Dr. Lee. He’s been on television saying this, I’m not sharing anything out of school. He was the director of research for one of the big food manufacturers. I gave a talk to the American College of Nutrition. At one point, he came up to me afterwards and said, you’re spot on. Dr. Joan Ifland (16m 51s): I had three scientists on my research staff whose sole job it was to make the products that addictive. So they know what they’re doing. They’re doing it explicitly. They’re using MRI brain imaging technology to make the products as addictive as possible. There was one consultant also out of Harvard. He was saying as a Harvard degree, a PhD in experimental psychology of marketing, and he devised this method for maximizing the amount of sugar, fat, salt and processed foods. You can max it out to the point where people would still buy it maximum addictive properties. Dr. Joan Ifland (17m 39s): And he went around to all the corporations use now worth it’s $45 million to reformulate their products. He is the one who put sugar into tomato sauce, for example, pasta sauce, Brad (17m 52s): Right? Just the maximum amount that doesn’t make it an unpleasant taste or something is what you’re saying with that sugar, fat, salt formula that secret formula. Dr. Joan Ifland (18m 2s): Yeah. And Michael Moss, even Michael Moss changed his mind. His first book, sugar fat salt. He only uses the word addiction once. And that’s the long book. He talks about the Bliss Point, but in his second book, which is called Hooked. He openly admits in the beginning. He said, I wasn’t sure about addiction, but now I am. And the whole book is about these very deliberate things that the processed food companies do to create that hyperactive reward system in the brain, which is the, what an addiction is. Brad (18m 38s): Right. And it’s easy to kind of scoff at the, the comment that you made about the smoker would rather have their, their cigarettes and die sooner. But I suppose all of us have to take a deep breath here and look in the mirror and wonder where we stand on that continuum because we all are going to tout the, the desire to enjoy life. And it’s so integrated in the culture that, you know, the hot fudge sundae comes on your birthday. I talk on a few shows recently about the slice of cheesecake that I had on my birthday. And I enjoyed it so much and it was wonderful. I don’t need it every day, but I wouldn’t want to give that up because it’s part of enjoying life. I don’t want to be an aesthetic all the way down the road, but where do we stand on this continuum? Brad (19m 21s): Where a lot of things in our shopping basket or in our daily habitual consumption could be categorized as we’re addicts. Dr. Joan Ifland (19m 30s): So this is, I just loved this question. You’ve gone right to the core of the recovery. And Michael Moss in his recent books says that Americans are eating 67% of their calories in processed foods. And he also describes research showing that the taste of sugar, fat, salt in the mouth reaches the brain in half a second. There’s a reaction in half a second, as opposed to any other drug, which can take up to 10 seconds or 10 minutes. This it’s reaching the brain through the bloodstream. Dr. Joan Ifland (20m 11s): Okay. So we, now these are highly addictive. We know that Americans are eating 67% of their calories and the substances thought the brain’s not reacting to it as, and we know that a million Americans die every two years from diet related diseases. Okay? So this is serious. But what we don’t generally recognize is that these substances, because they’re hyperactive, leading reward brain cells, they’re pulling the blood flow away from the frontal. And so this is why you have these epidemics of attention deficit, learning difficulties or decision-making, or impulse control and loss of memory. Dr. Joan Ifland (21m 1s): Those, all those things are in the frontal lobe, and they’re not getting enough blood supply to work. So part of the answer to your question is how do we create, like in our services, we create awareness gradually. Okay. So it’s not just how much fat was on my body. It’s all my cognitive functions, my executive function. And then you look at things like unstable blood glucose and unstable cortisol and adrenaline. And you look at the downregulation of the feel-good pathways in the brain. And you’re like, okay, it’s depression, irritability, anxiety, shame, chemically induced. Dr. Joan Ifland (21m 43s): So these are mood altering substances. And then you look at inflammation, okay? These, these substances are inflammatory. Your brain is in claimed brain fog. Your gut is inflamed irritable bowel syndrome. Your heart is in plain vert disease. Your reproductive system is inflamed. Infertility and hormone dysregulation. Okay? So you’ve got you got that list. Now you have some behavioral issues, sleep problems, Brad (22m 16s): Anger. Dr. Joan Ifland (22m 20s): So, so w the way you, the way you creep up on this is I do you tell the truth, you know, make people fully aware of what the consequences are now, I’m the actual process can be done. And that natural process is a gradual awareness of the true, the full impact of these substances on the person. And when you get back and you start attach, oh, oh, my skin rash happens after he posts his foods. My feet hurt after he eat processed foods, my knees are killing me. I eat processed foods yesterday, once you get those association and it hurts, you start to associate the substances with pain and you develop a natural aversion to them. Dr. Joan Ifland (23m 14s): And it’s something that we teach a lot in our programs is just to say, with clarity in your mind, it’s an affirmation that makes me sick. That makes me sick. If I eat that I’m going to be sick for two days, and then I’m going to have cravings for two days. So when you can, when you gently and slowly, and over a long period of time, train the brain to correctly, associate the source of pain, the brain will develop this natural aversion, and then you’re not fighting. It. It’s just like, oh man, I don’t want that. Brad (23m 52s): What if you don’t feel those immediate dramatic consequences, which I’m speaking probably for a lot of people, when they chow down that a scoop of ice cream on a, on a hot summer night, and it’s a great experience. And they go home and maybe don’t realize how their sleep is disrupted. Same with alcohol. I enjoy a glass or three or four of wine every evening. And it doesn’t harm my life one bit. It says the enjoyable drinker, but how do we cross that, that, that canyon to, to really acknowledge that things could be better. Dr. Joan Ifland (24m 29s): Here’s a great way to do this, which is to get off this stuff Brad (24m 33s): And then see, come back, let’s talk in 30 days. I love it. Yeah. Dr. Joan Ifland (24m 38s): So this is, we have a couple of lists on our public website. That one is a list of excluded foods. And the other one is the list of unprocessed foods. And a lot of people cannot do it and they come straight up to it. It’s like, okay, can you just eat off this list for a week then? You know, you know, that is the ugly head of the addiction raring up saying, no, we don’t want to try this. No, we don’t know. I don’t know if I have the guts to do, I’m going to do it. Dr. Joan Ifland (25m 20s): I’m going to give you my imitation of the addiction inside the head ready now. No, no, no, no. We don’t want to do that. That’s the addiction. That’s the voice that the addiction, the soul of the person, who’s like, you know, get the burden off of this person, but the addiction thing. Nope, Nope. We don’t want to do that. So it’s no voice that’s going on in their head. There’s the voice that’s in the frontal lobe. Those brain cells are putting out messaging. You can hear it. And it’s like, that hurts. Dr. Joan Ifland (26m 1s): And that, that makes us hurt. That hurts us, that that’s painful, but there’s only 2% of the brain. You have 2000 soldiers up here defending you. And then you’ve got 98,000 soldiers that have been co-opted by that, by the food industry. And through this very intense messaging, highly addictive substances. It’s how you create an addiction and another person. It’s kind of fun. I mean, I think it’s really fun to get off the stuff and say, wow, I didn’t know I had that pain behind my ear, but now I see that it’s gone. There’s something called subconscious impairment where you just it’s, you’re not aware of it because she always had it. Brad (26m 48s): Right. I guess it would be a valuable exercise of nothing else to, to see where you stand and see if you are indeed powerless over these substances. Just like the isn’t that the first message of the, the 12 step recovery is to admit you’re powerless. But I think a lot of us go around yapping and telling a, a pretty story that sure. I could skip on my, my ice cream shopping habit anytime I want, but I just enjoy it. And so it doesn’t hurt me that much or whatever the rationalization is, but it’d be nice to do that little exercise to say, okay, champ, here’s a hundred bucks. The B.rad podcast is offering any listener, a hundred bucks to, to cut out all the addictive and processed foods for 30 days and see how you can measure up. Dr. Joan Ifland (27m 34s): And it is, it is, is telling I, we had a mother once who just thought, she’d never get her kids to come around. So this is the deal she made with them. We’re going to eat healthy from Sunday through Friday. On Saturday, you can have whatever you want. So the first Saturday day, they sat down, they ate a bunch of sugar and dairy and other things, and they were sick. And then the next Saturday, they sat down on, they ate a bunch of dairy and flour and gluten and excessive salt. And they were sick. The third Saturday, it didn’t come up. Dr. Joan Ifland (28m 16s): Not interested. Didn’t even come up. I had a similar experience with my own kids. They were 11 and 12. When I started on this and my therapist at the time gave me these four rules. Don’t you can’t bring it in the house anymore. You can’t eat it in front of me. I’m not going to take you to buy it and I’m not going to pay for it. So combination of enabling and not doing so I started, I started this whole mood once a day routine, where I would cook all of our proteins and starches for the week. And they, whenever they left the house, they had enough food until I would see them again. So that was in January. Dr. Joan Ifland (28m 57s): February goes by. March goes by. March we have a spring break, 10 days, we’re going to be in the car together, eating together for 10 days. And so they can’t eat it. They don’t eat it. They get all the way cleaned out. They not in a negative. Tell me this until years later, they go back to school and there’s the bad stuff at school. They, they have their own allowance. I said, I don’t know what you’re going to do at school, but you have enough food, clean food. Well, it told me that when they got back from that 10 days and they ate the stuff, their noses swelled up. And then they were asleep, falling asleep at their desk and they were irritable. Dr. Joan Ifland (29m 41s): Nobody wanted to be around them. And they had trouble with the teachers for not being able to pay attention. And they just said, mom, it wasn’t worth it. My daughter, when she was about 14, got in the car one day, picking up from school and she says mom, there was, this is there’s cookies on the table. And it was a pool party. And I just, I ate two of them. And now I’m so irritable. I can’t stand myself. You just let them have these painful experiences. People say, oh no, I’m not going to try to control my kids. Absolutely not. Dr. Joan Ifland (30m 20s): Don’t try to control your kids. Just give them some, oh, you know, that was, could have been caused by this. Like when my daughter said that, I said, oh, I’m so sorry that happened. I know about cravings. I know he’s in control. I know about eating something. They don’t want to be eating and then suffering. That’s, that’s basically the profile of an addiction. So you don’t have to control your kids. Just control the environment at home. Brad (30m 51s): Love it very well said. And for those of us with free choice and making our own consumption decisions, I’m wondering, is there a threshold where you can enjoy things now and then, or have what might be called, you know, more, more participation in mainstream culture? Or are we talking about a zero tolerance policy for processed sugar, industrial seed oils, things like that. Dr. Joan Ifland (31m 21s): People come to their own place. So they come to their own place. We give people a lot of education, support, clarity, awareness, and then they have to decide for themselves. So if my I’m no longer married, but if my mother-in-law had come to my house and, or invited me to her house and she had made something special just for me, even though maybe I asked her not to do that, I am the only person who can decide whether I would like to open up world war three, by not eating it or suffer for four days with a headache by eating it. Dr. Joan Ifland (32m 4s): I am the only one who can decide that there are it’s. It’s what you’re saying. There are mainstream rituals that involve processed foods, all mainstream foods involve processed foods. So how do you get re we, we actually train our people to on how to get ready for an event like that? How to email the host and ask, what’s going to be served, how to email a host. You just know can’t handle it and say, I’m working with the program. Now my eye on allergies, like just something like that. You say, I will bring my own food and you, but you just learn how to judge that situation. Dr. Joan Ifland (32m 48s): What food is going to be there, how attempting this is going to be, how much is are the addicted brain cells going to be agitated to the point where I lose control and it’s something I don’t want to eat. These, these are massive skillsets. And I’m going to agree with you is this is not as easy. Once you have the hang of it, it’s like, it’s easy to swim. Once you learn how to swim. You have to learn how to swim. It’s easy to go to a social events. Once you’ve been trained on how to recognize when the cues are building up and the triggering is building up how to step outside and walk around the block or get your support system on your cell phone. Dr. Joan Ifland (33m 34s): It’s almost strategies and training it’s brain training. Brad (33m 39s): Well, I love that, that, that strategy out of the gate to acknowledge and admit to yourself that these are addictive, inflammatory, nutrient deficient foods that not only inflict long-term disease risk upon your being, but also the short-term consequences that may be under your level of awareness, perceptions, such as your angry outbursts that you talked about. You probably blame those on the actions of the people that you are angry at until you have that two week period where it’s like, wow, I haven’t nailed anybody. Even though they’ve done the same old run, their same old number that they always have. Oh my goodness. Brad (34m 19s): What a, what a revelation. Dr. Joan Ifland (34m 21s): That’s exactly right. That’s what you just said is exactly right. It was all justified. All the yelling, I’ll justify it until that moment. It’s terrible because it is subconscious. The medical community is not trained in this. And they are really some sometimes like just this new book Metabolical by Robert Lustig just describes how the medical industry was created as the marketing arm for the pharmaceutical industry. That is the origin. So the medical system, the dietitians are the marketing arm, the professional arm of the processed food industry. Dr. Joan Ifland (35m 6s): 40% of dietitians work for the food industry. When you go to their conferences, the biggest pavilion in the middle of the floor is crap. No, this goes right. Brad (35m 19s): It reminds me of, I went to a college recruiting night with my daughter when she was of age. And we walk into the gym and front and center dominating the middle row of the gym is the army with these super cool backpacks that they’re handing out to every kid within arm’s reach. And then you go over in the corner and see the, the four by six card table that’s folded up by the representative from UC Berkeley or the, you know, the, the nearby Cal state University Sacramento, whatever. But you can’t, you know, you can’t touch these guys handed out an $18 backpack when you’re talking about a flyer at the small table. Dr. Joan Ifland (35m 54s): Yeah, yeah, exactly. So this is, it’s just, it’s a, it’s a huge field it’s emerging all the time. The research is, I mean, there’s the textbook for the field. There are 2000 studies. This textbook is built on 2000 studies. It’s the debate about whether it’s there is over. The big challenge now is to, is to, is awareness. No, this isn’t an eating disorder and it’s not a weight loss program and it’s not childhood issues. Dr. Joan Ifland (36m 36s): And it’s even have to deal with childhood issues, but it’s not self-sabotage. It’s not genetic. It’s, it’s an addiction. It’s a substance dependence issue. And then you treat it to change all of your focus, right? Today’s addicted rewards center selves, and you, and that’s the main key thing is you’re keeping those cells from erupting or releasing so much craving neuro-transmitter that, that those cells are controlling behavior. It’s a competition between the frontal lobe and the addictive. And you want your frontal lobe to start winning. Brad (37m 18s): Wow, well said. I think that’s the, the, the pull quote of the episode right there, that competition that battle. And I think we’re all familiar with those voices talking to each other on, on one shoulder or the other, including that voice that says, you know what? I’m deserving. I’ve had a rough busy, stressful day, and now I’m going to sit down and stick my hand to this bowl of popcorn, because I’m a, I’m a deserving individual. I need to relax and whatever, the, whatever the message the story is. Dr. Joan Ifland (37m 44s): Yeah. So we know that the stress brain cells are very closely entwined with the addicted brain cells. So people stress eating does not access stress, eating stress, activates the addicted brain cells. And then you’re eating addictively. And emotional eating doesn’t exist. Like if you look up in the diagnostic manual for addictions, you don’t see like emotional alcohol use or you don’t see stress, cocaine snorting it’s because those are clear. They are substance use disorders. Dr. Joan Ifland (38m 27s): And I know that the actually the emotional and the stress come from the addiction. Oh, oh, the other around. Yeah. Brad (38m 37s): Would also the addictions present themselves when your emotions and stress levels are high? So it’s just a, it’s a continuous circle. Doesn’t have to be one before the other. Dr. Joan Ifland (38m 47s): It’s a cycle. The stress activates the addiction. And then the addiction activates stress. It’s nasty. It’s really nasty. And people will experience it in the, in the advanced stages of it. You have these conversations inside the head. It’s like, oh, I’d really like to eat that. No, I’m not going to eat that, but okay, well I’ll just say it this way. Oh my God. I ate the whole box. Now you have to, to the grocery store, I’ll get three boxes. I’ll put two in the laundry room and I’ll eat the other and put the other one back. And then, oh my God, I hate myself. This is a constant stream of thinking. And they had have somebody who’s got this addiction in the advanced stages. Well, Brad (39m 27s): I also like that. This is a line from your, your bio information where you’re saying that it’s, it’s, it’s really not your fault rather than a, a moral or emotional weakness that you continue to see these foods showing up in your shopping cart and your cupboard. It’s just a, a result of addiction, strongly driven by the big food machines, which brings me to a question where you’re saying the awareness is out there. Now the science, you have 200 references in your book, but we’re fighting a mighty beast with a lot more money than the nonprofit food efficacy group. So where do you see this thing playing out? I mean, tobacco essentially has been taken down pretty successfully, at least in our country. Brad (40m 11s): Now I’m sure that tobacco companies are, are rising their profits in the, in the developing countries that haven’t caught up. But where do you see this food war playing out between the individual well-meaning consumer and the giant food conglomerates? Dr. Joan Ifland (40m 24s): Well, this is where you come in. The, this is so arresting. It’s almost like once you hear this information, you start to the whole world starts to make sense. So honestly, people like you are going to get it out there. And there is a whole communication system. That’s not controlled by media. Big media is totally dependent on the process of manufacturers for advertising revenue. So you’re just like, you can look at the one fad after another, after another promoted by media, they all makes them worse. Dr. Joan Ifland (41m 4s): All of those fads make food addiction worse. And you just like, I’m going to a conference. I’m going to [inaudible] in a month or so practitioners are showing up at those conferences. They’re where they’re watching this. We’ve got a couple of doctors who are working with us and how do we integrate this with our practices? We now have a system that was the other place where my MBA came in handy. We have a system it’s called immersion recovery. So we’ve been immersed in the food industry for our whole lives. Dr. Joan Ifland (41m 44s): Now we can be immersed in recovery. How did the food industry get us addicted? A lot of it was messaging because 98% of the brain automatically stores, whatever it hears, it doesn’t have a filter. It was developed in a time when everything was true, we didn’t have language so nobody could deceive you. If that was a tree that was a tree. It wasn’t a fake tree. You know? So this part of the 98% of the brain, and it’s been evolving over 7 million years, the primative brain, 7 million years, the midbrain three and a half million years, 200,000 years. Dr. Joan Ifland (42m 25s): Tiny. It doesn’t get any control over the rest of the brain. But what it can do is it can control the messaging that reaches the rest of the brain. So that’s where we come in. We have an online community, the addiction rates that communities are. And that’s what we do. When we over zoom like 15 hours a day, a positive live messaging. You have control. You have power. This would really does make you sick. And so we’re gradually replacing the, oh, this is really fun. And look, everybody’s eating it. And, and, and I know those things are caused by something else. Dr. Joan Ifland (43m 8s): That messaging is how we got sick and positive recovery messaging is how we’re making people well. So we now are training peer support people and getting them a job. So the key is we have the system now where the fees that are paid for their recovery program, the addiction reset community go to, most of them go to a manager. And so as people recover from this devastating decisions, as people are recovering from the disease, they can train and become a peer support manager and earn an income. So that was, that’s a business model. Dr. Joan Ifland (43m 49s): That’s I never heard it anywhere else, but it’s, and I do in my I’ll tell you this. I don’t tell very many people this, but I’ll tell you this. I graduated from college in 1974. Everybody wanted to be a lawyer. We had the civil rights movement. We had the anti-war movement. They were successful. Everybody wanted to be on the right side and become a lawyer. So they all went to the law school. The law schools were packed. They all graduated. And now we’re weren’t enough jobs. So what did they do? They just started their own practices. They went around and told people their rights and you have a brain to sue. Dr. Joan Ifland (44m 30s): That’s what the courts are for. And they, it they’ve been criticized now. We’re alert Friday. We still for everything. Yeah. But guess what? A lot of people aren’t doing bad things anymore because they know they’re going to be sued for it. So my idea is to train hundreds of thousands of processed food, recovery advocates. And then, then this is, it will change. That’s my plan. Brad (44m 59s): Do you have a community going right now? You referenced the community. Is there a website we can skip to? We usually will have you say goodbye with all your contacts, but what website are we, are we talking about here? Dr. Joan Ifland (45m 12s): Processed Food, addiction.com. Oh, okay. That’s easy. Yeah. Processed food, addiction.com. We have all of our services there. We have our basic humanity. We have a lot of free stuff. I think the thing that will interest your listeners the most is we have a self quiz. That’s the same 11 questions that a doctor would ask to discover alcoholism. There are 11 questions, and I can run through them for you. Let’s Brad (45m 42s): Hit those. I, I can’t wait. I mean, Dr. Joan Ifland (45m 46s): Fair warning. Six or more is the navigation numbers. Ooh. Brad (45m 50s): Okay. The majority rules, six out of 11 readiness nurse. Don’t don’t cheat. Now answer, honestly, here it goes. Dr. Joan’s going to hit us right now in the middle of the show. Okay. Dr. Joan Ifland (46m 1s): Unintended use is number one. You wake up and you say, I’m going to eat well today. You’re not eating well. By the end of the day, you are going to go straight home. But instead you stop. Convenience store, grocery store, fast food. You are going to just eat one, but you eat the box. That’s all unintended use. Number two, failure to cut back. And we know that over 70% of Americans are experiencing this because they’re overweight or obese. And I’m sure they don’t want to be failure to cut back. You lose the weight, you regain it. Dr. Joan Ifland (46m 41s): You want to lose the weight and can’t. You want to stop eating something. Your doctors said, you know, cut back on your salt or stop eating these refined carbohydrates. They can’t number three time spent. So you are, you’re just, you find yourself that you’re thinking about it. A lot, the planning for it, you’re going to get it. You’re eating it. You’re sleeping it off. You’re waking up. And then you’re doing it again. Number four, cravings. A lot of people don’t know they have cravings because they’ve had them since they were small children. These vicious people at the food industry are, they will put 50% sugar in baby formula. Dr. Joan Ifland (47m 26s): Sugar is more destructive and addictive, and we’ve got three different, really good studies showing it’s worse, more destructive. They’ll do more brain alteration than cocaine. And yeah, no, I was 44 years old before I knew I had cravings. And I didn’t know until January 4th, 1996, I’m sitting at my desk. I am four days off of sugar and flour. And I go from breakfast to lunch without thinking about food for the first time in my life cravings. If you’re thinking about processed food or you’re not hungry, or it’s between meals, that’s a craving. Dr. Joan Ifland (48m 10s): Number five, a failure to fulfill roles. So you know that you’re, if you didn’t have brain fog, you’d go for that promotion. Or if you could get down, you’re on the floor with your kids, you would. Or if you weren’t craving, some argue would go to bed with your spouse instead of waiting until they go to bed. So you can go get something out of the laundry room. And the next one is relationship problems. Somebody wants you to stop. You can’t stop. Somebody criticizing you or your body shape. We can’t can’t fix it. You’re you’re not connected because you’re craving so hard. Dr. Joan Ifland (48m 50s): And you’re breathing so hard. You really can’t look at another person to figure out what to do for them. And then there’s activities lost. So you’re just not going to things anymore. You’re too tired or too brain fog. You’re too depressed. You’re too ashamed of your body shape. And you just start sitting out activities. The next one is hazardous use that you just think, oh, that’s drunk driving. We don’t do that. Yes, we do. People can eat enough processed foods that they are numbed out. You’re not saying there is such a thing as blackout eating. There’s pulling out of the fast food place and driving with her elbow while you’re eating. Dr. Joan Ifland (49m 35s): So there is a certain danger. Brad (49m 37s): for sure, Dr. Joan Ifland (49m 39s): Then there’s eating in spite of knowledge of consequences. That is A number one. Everybody does that. Number two is eating more than you use to. Almost everybody does that number. And then the last one is eating for reasons other than hunger. So you are angry or you’re tired, or you’re depressed, or you’re, you’re stressed. That’s drug use. That’s not true. Brad (50m 10s): Everybody does that. I wouldn’t argue as well. So this was a tough quiz because we got preloaded with three yeses and all we need is six to be qualified as a, as a food addict. Boy, that’s a, that’s a real eye-opener. I love that quiz. Dr. Joan Ifland (50m 26s): I’ve given this quiz to hundreds of people and the six that really pop up are used in spite of knowledge and consequences, eating more than we used to eating for reasons other than hunger. And then it’s the first four. Almost everybody has all four. I tried to cut back and failed. I eat more than I intended to. I’m spending a lot of time at this and I have cravings. So it’s, if you, if you believe that statistic, the Michael Moss statistic Americans eat 67% of their calories in these highly addictive substances, then you would expect to see that. Dr. Joan Ifland (51m 8s): It’s a thing that the book really showed me everything that you would expect to see if this was an epidemic of severe addiction, is there. It all lines up. Brad (51m 23s): Now, let’s say I’m a, I’m fully bought in. I’ve been on a healthy path for many years, and I really love my 85% or higher dark chocolate that I tend to consume a lot of and look for different brands around the world and become a connoisseur. Just like someone who enjoys wine and orders from the wine club and, and sources, the best products. Could those possibly land somewhere, even though they’re widely regarded as healthy and non damaging, can we, can we kind of transfer these addictions to healthy eating? Or is this outside of the scientific realm? Dr. Joan Ifland (52m 2s): This is really such an excellent question. There are quite a few reasons why processed food addiction recovery is much, much harder. And I don’t want to discourage anybody because now we have a program. And over these 25 years they finally figured out what does it take? And we have a way to make it easy. But one of the things about processed food addiction, it’s the only addiction recovery where you’re actually getting off of substances. Every other addiction recovery program, I don’t care what the drug or the behavior is transfers the addiction to processed foods. Brad (52m 44s): Oh, mercy. Yeah. The, the, the, the cigarette butts outside of the, the AA meeting, littering the parking lot and the, the coffee being drunk like it’s going out of style Dr. Joan Ifland (52m 58s): And all the cakes, Brad (53m 2s): all the service. Dr. Joan Ifland (53m 5s): So what’s the dumping ground for Brad (53m 8s): It. It’s like the, the welcome a dumping ground. We welcome all addicts to come in and switch so we can make more money off you. Dr. Joan Ifland (53m 17s): Well, yeah, the staff doesn’t want them to get off process foods. Cause then the staff would have to deal with somebody who’s just in the first couple of days of not being ever numbed out on anything and where we’re already, it’d be a lot that we’re ready to. It’s all virtual. Our whole program is just online, but just that eye contact you’re okay. You’re okay. You’re okay. Just come in and sit with us. We’ve got 15 hours of programming and then we got lots of tapes you can fill in the rest of the hours. We’re just about to move to 24 hours. We’re all around the world. The tobacco companies have the advertising and distribution relationships all over the world, which is why this became a global epidemic fast 20 years, nothing. Dr. Joan Ifland (54m 2s): So now we do have a really big answer and it is just connect with somebody else. There are parts of the body that are working just fine. They haven’t been worn out by the addiction. And they’re the parts of our wellbeing that thrive in connection with other people. And this is hard because this is an addiction that isolates people. You do, you get a body shape that is rejected by culture. You’re too tired and depressed and brain fog to do anything other than watch the food channel. And so there’s a, there are a lot of skills, just the skills of being liked by everybody. Dr. Joan Ifland (54m 48s): These are the kids that were on the edge of the playground being rejected by their peers. So just getting used to being liked and accepted and celebrated and admired. That’s a whole skillset relationship. That’s fun though. I got to tell you, it is super, super fun. People have been told that you you’re, you’re never going to be out of pain. And then they’re out of pain. Their stomach is never going to repair and you miss them with repairs. You’re never going to be clear this depression it’s lifetime, your parents, your grandparents had it. And then boom, it’s gone. Dr. Joan Ifland (55m 27s): It’s absolutely a lot of fun. Brad (55m 31s): Yeah, it happens every day. It’s not too hard to see those stories. There’s thousands of success stories literally published at Mark’s Daily Apple.com over at meat RX. There are people talking about the freedom from the conditions caused by the plant toxins that seemingly were healthy foods. So all kinds of people cleaning up their diet and miracle healing. Really. You can’t say, can’t say too much about that. Now, when we’re talking about the actual categorization of which foods are processed addictive category, versus those which are thumbs up and healthy, can you give us any guidance there? Because I feel like there’s some, there’s some in-between stuff where, you know, the PowerBar company, I used to chow those things when I was a racing athlete and they by and large have created a brand that is aligned with healthy athletic lifestyle. Brad (56m 22s): But upon reflection, this is a heavily processed product that’s devoid of anything, you know, really healthier in its natural state. And you might want to throw that in there in the potato chips category, but where do you stand on all that? Dr. Joan Ifland (56m 37s): There is a chapter in the book on food plans and everything that I do is standing on a study. So somebody gets upset about it. I’m just like, sorry, here’s the evidence that you can do with it. What works for you? So when I say I have evidence, I mean, I haven’t studied typically, or, and people have just told me they’ve lost control over this. Any kind of a sweetener and people are so sensitized now, they’re so sensitive that even high sugar fruits and set off cravings. Dr. Joan Ifland (57m 15s): Flour, that’s been great. Anything in a carbohydrate that’s been grounded to a powder, you think, well, like why is cocaine sold as a powder? Because you can absorb it quickly enough in a concentrated way to get those rewards cells, those addictive reward cells to release a flood. It’s just a lot of stimulation, a flood of neurotransmitters. Dopamine, serotonin, and canabinoids opiates. It’s a vicious addiction also because all of the reward centers, and then you have excessive salt, great study by Mark Gold at university of Florida, where he’s watching the morphine addicted. Dr. Joan Ifland (58m 9s): People come in to recover. What did they do when they sit down at the table, they take the lid off the salt and just pour it on their food. Oh, they’re replacing some action for morphine with excessive salt. And there’s another study and saying, yes, that meets the same criteria that we just talked about. Gluten and dairy. They both contain naturally occurring. Morphin., gluten morphine, CAISO morphine. These are identified substances. And when you concentrate the gluten and by stripping out the bran and the fiber, turning it into a powder, it’s very mood altering. Dr. Joan Ifland (58m 57s): Kinds of morphine. There are four different plans in terms of working in dairy. It is a script that is specifically designed by nature to put a baby to sleep. So that that baby towel absorbed nutrients. It’s a narcotic. It is strong enough to put a 100 pound animal to sleep. You can imagine what it’s doing to us. Plus we have some good research showing not, not surprisingly that cow milk turns on a weight gain gene. Dr. Joan Ifland (59m 37s): They want that baby to gain weight. It turns on a weight gain, gene and acne gene, and a prostate cancer gene. Great research done by a Melnick in Germany. And then there’s caffeine, processed fats, processed fats activate the same pathways as cannabis, and then there’s caffeine and food additives. So the FDA is kind of occupied by the agriculture industries and they’re, they’re not really equipped to monitor what goes into food and it’s, it’s not on the label. Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 0m 19s): So any, I love what Maryann <inaudible> New York university says. If it has the label, it’s a warning label, Brad (1h 0m 31s): We’ll call it a warning label instead of a nutrition facts label from now on. Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 0m 35s): Celery doesn’t have a label. So yeah, so those, those are the categories for which we have good evidence for what addicted people also don’t tolerate nuts very well. And is that repeating hands to their mouth. They just lose control very high often with sugar altered fats and roasting. And I do have one study showing that nuts are high in, tryptophan which does convert to serotonin. So that’s pretty good evidence. Yeah. Brad (1h 1m 8s): Right. And I, you made that quick comment about even the, the sweet fruits can cause a problem. And so what we’re talking about is this baseline of massive consumption of processed foods. 67% as you referenced Dr. Loren Cordain paleo diet references, 71% of all modern calories are from foods that were entirely absent during evolutionary times, paleolithic times. So we’re talking about two thirds of the food going down the throat is, is highly processed. Then when you reach for her an innocent handful of berries, fresh summer berries, which by and large are, have a lot of health properties and minimal objections, but not when you’re already consuming 300 grams of carbohydrates per day in processed form, then it’s just adding insult to injury. Brad (1h 1m 54s): So the, the cleanup process has to start and be not just the, the living room or the shelves in the garage, but every nook and cranny. And then we can have another conversation about you having a handful of berries. Once you’re eating a natural and nutrient dense diet. Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 2m 12s): Exactly. It’s really the tropical fruits like bananas, guava, papaya, and cherries, grapes, really, really high sugar fruits. And, and this is another thing people say, well, can I eat this? And like, try it. We have a whole process. It’s called totters. Try, observe, come in and talk about it, figure out your tweaks, repeat slowly totters. And that we don’t want to somebody said to me once, like, I don’t want to be paying attention to the food industry anymore. Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 2m 53s): I don’t want anybody to tell me what to do. So we do a lot of training and here’s a technique that you can use so that you can tell for yourself, what’s working for you. Can I recreate this protein bar? Well, why don’t you just try and be really cleaned for a week and then try it in isolation and watch yourself for the next four days. It’s a four day withdrawal. You might not get cravings the next day or the next day. A lot of people don’t get cravings until the third day, the fourth day, you might not get a headache the first day. It might be the second day. And then on the other hand, you might eat that protein bar and totally pass out just, I have to go lay down. Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 3m 39s): You might get that kind of a surge everybody’s reactions are individualistic. So the training is how do you identify that you’re having a food reaction? Brad (1h 3m 51s): Whew, Dr. Joan so much to think about here. I really enjoyed this conversation. I think it’s helping us put the pieces together when we acquire all that basic knowledge about what’s healthy and what’s not, but we’re, we don’t know. What’s lurking behind the shadows and the, the marketing and the manipulative advertising and the manipulative government information is stuff that’s, it doesn’t hurt to, to expose it. So you’re doing great work. Keep it up, processed food addiction.com. We can also follow you at Dr. Joan Iflland dot com and any other tidbits you want us to know? Dr. Joan Ifland (1h 4m 28s): A lot of people love our Facebook group, food addiction and dictation. The best way to get started with us is to go to process food addiction.com and take the self quiz. You’ll get an email with your results and an invitation to a free workshop. And there we’ll just go over. You know, what does it mean to know that it’s not your fault? What is it to know that you’ve had all these diseases and that they could go away? It is a lot to think about, and I’m very grateful to you for getting the word out there. It means a lot. Brad (1h 5m 5s): Thank you so much. Keep up the great work Dr. Joan. Thank you for listening everybody. That is a wrap on a powerful show,. Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support please. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows, subscribe to our email list of Brad kearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. Brad (1h 5m 46s): You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. 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