In part two of this series all about aging as gracefully as possible and optimizing energy and body composition, we focus on food.
This episode covers all the most nutrient-dense and easy-to-digest foods as well as the foods that have no place in a healthy diet, and I reveal the number one objective of a healthy diet, as well as why many people experience adverse reactions to seemingly healthy plant foods. I share which foods are the easiest to digest while also being incredibly nutrient dense, talk about the changes I’ve made to my diet and what I have been eating recently, and share the one practice that is key to aging gracefully.
It is so expensive to care for the unhealthy US population, it is said, that it will bankrupt the US treasury by the year 2060. [00:56]
The number one objective is to ditch refined industrial seed oils, refined grains and sugars. [02:07]
Some of the plant superstars can cause problems due to reactions to the natural plant toxins. [07:40]
Emphasize nutrient-dense food that are easy to digest. [11:16]
Brad has now switched from fasting until midday to starting the morning with protein and fruit and his nutritious smoothie. [12:35]
Maintaining functional muscle strength, muscle mass throughout life is the key to aging gracefully. [15:35]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Primal Prescription
- Podcast with Dr. Robert Lustig
- Death By Food Pyramid
- Meta Health Podcast
- Carnivore Score Food Ranking Chart
- B.rad Whey Protein Super Fuel
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I’m author and athlete, Brad Kearns. Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life. Visit bradkearns.com for great resources on healthy eating, exercise, and lifestyle. And here we go with the show. A.
Greetings, listeners, it’s time for part two of five tips to age gracefully and optimize energy and body composition. Recall in Part one, we talked about the tremendous importance of cleaning up your diet as step number one on the list of five steps. If you still have processed foods lingering around, you are headed for trouble, lifelong insidious weight gain, and the introduction of disease risk factors, which are so prevalent today, it’s absolutely shocking. The rates of metabolic syndrome Type two diabetes continue to grow. Dr. Doug McGuff and the book Primal Prescription contends that if they continue at this rate, the caring for type two diabetes alone will bankrupt the United States Treasury by the year 2060 because it’s so expensive to care for the chronically ill, which is where the majority of Americans in particular are headed with the shocking stats that two-thirds of American adults are classified as overweight or obese outside of their healthy body composition.
And actually half of the, uh, the number there are all the way into the obese category. And the main way that we get there as detailed with my great interview with Dr. Robert Lustig, author of Metabolical, the main path is a diet of processed foods. Remember, Dr. Cordain contending that 71% of the calories in the modern diet come from processed foods that were absent during Paleolithic times. Uh, Dr. Cate Shanahan cites research that 40% of all the calories that you consume from restaurant meals are coming from refined industrial seed oils where they cook the food in or make the sauces and toppings. Dr. Andrew Weil, another credible resource contends that 20% of all the calories in the modern diet come from soybean oil alone. So the number one objective is to ditch the refined industrial seed oils with zero tolerance immediately. And today, throw away any products that might be lingering in your house, such as the cooking oils, canola, corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower, and all the processed products, frozen products that contain these oils.
They’re sneaky, they’re everywhere. They’re in most of the condiments. That’s why Primal Kitchen was started up to provide salad dressing and mayonnaise alternatives. And you have to look carefully because things, innocent looking things like a box of crackers or a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream will indeed give you another dose of these industrial seed oils. And also on this list of nutrient deficient, toxic modern foods to eliminate are the refined grains and sugars, and of course, all the wonderful concoctions that are made with some or all of these big three toxic modern foods. And that includes the sweetened beverages, which, uh, are widely containing forms of processed sugar. And boy, I talk to so many people that contend that they eat clean, they scrutinize labels, they care about their health, they shop at the right stores. And shockingly, the presence of these seed oils is still pretty glaring.
And that includes people who go to the, uh, widely regarded as superior Whole Foods markets chain. And I love those guys too, and I always seek them out when I’m traveling to a new city and wanna stock up. However, they have allowed seed oils to continue to pervade products on their shelves and at their hot bar, it’s an absolute disgrace. The science is mounting at a fever pitch pace to the extent that it’s virtually indisputed by experts in nutrition, science, medical science, ancestral health, that these things are a complete disaster to consume. But we still have, uh, segments of the population that are hanging on to the flood and dated, uh, dogma that is saturated fat is evil. And that switching over from butter to margarine, as we were told 50 years ago with government policy and marketing influences, we were told to do that.
We tried to obey the people that were health conscious and dutifully got rid of all the nasty saturated fat in the diet, and instead went to the high polyunsaturated products, including the oils and the foods made with them. And it’s been a great disaster to human health. Dr. Cate Shanahan’s show talks about how, um, she calls it one giant governmental experiment to see how many people will die when switching over to processed foods. That’s tough talk. But in detail in that interview, she talks about how the flawed science came to be. There’s a great book by Denise Minger called Death by Food Pyramid, where she also goes into detail about the mechanisms that enabled this flawed science to rise to the forefront and the government policy to rise to the forefront. So if you’re talking to someone in the mainstream health realm that’s telling you to watch out for your egg consumption and your saturated fat intake, and instead switch to things like the butter-like spreads and sprays and condiments, that person is about 50 years behind the cutting-edge science revealing that high polyunsaturated vegetable oils or seed oils as they’re both known are just inflicting oxidative damage immediately upon ingestion.
So much so that Dr. Cate says they’re literally no different than drinking a bottle of radiation when you put these seed oils into your body. So I can’t emphasize that enough. It’s so great to see many of the big voices and the most respected voices in ancestral health hammering this point home. Uh, starting with Cate, who’s been the crusader for, uh, over a decade. Dr. Paul Saladino is doing a great job highlighting this as the number one dietary enemy. Same with Dr. Ron Sinha and his, fairly new podcast called the Meta Health Podcast. So go check that out. He’s also a former guest and he gives you these nice bite-sized shows in an educational format where you can learn about the science in a user-friendly manner. So first and foremost, ditch those toxic foods and give yourself a fighting chance at health.
And as I talked about in show number one, this category of eliminating difficult to digest foods also includes some of the plant superstars that potentially can cause problems due to reactions to the natural plant toxins contained in them. Foods in the categories of roots, seeds, stems and leaves. So yes, it’s time to second guess our spinach and almond salad. Those are two of the foods with the highest levels of oxylates which cause problems with nutrient absorption and overstress the kidneys, and this is a bit of a controversial topic when you’re calling into question some of the true superstars, longtime superstars in the plant kingdom, the centerpiece of people’s whole foods, plant-based diets. But it’s important to understand the individuality here. And if you have any type of inflammatory or autoimmune condition that’s lingering and nagging, or you have frequent bouts of gas, bloating, digestive pain, uh, in association with meals difficulties or irregularities with elimination, you owe it to yourself to perform and experiment and exclude some of the leading suspects in causing these conditions, through the ingestion of plant toxins, of course, much more difficult to process when the foods are consumed in raw form.
So I mentioned that, uh, spinach and almond salad as an example, or the raw green produce smoothie that I once was consuming every day, inspired by, uh, Dr. Ronda Patrick’s viral YouTube video to dump a bunch of celery and beets and kale and spinach and carrots into a smoothie and blend it up and getting this huge dose of wonderful, uh, plant nutritious agents. But it was also a huge dose of toxins. And interestingly enough, the levels of toxins, the danger factor somewhat correlates with the, um, the nutritional benefits bestowed upon these foods. And that’s because as detailed in my shows with Dr. Paul Saladino, when you consume a natural plant toxin, your body mounts an appropriate antioxidant defense response. So the liver gets its spinach and almond salad, or the raw kale smoothie and starts to pump out higher levels of the master internal antioxidant glutathione.
And so you get a net, supposedly, a net overall antioxidant anti-inflammatory benefit from con from consuming these superstar plant foods. But it can come with side effects or as Dr. Saladino says, the package insert, like you’re familiar when you can when you get a prescription drug, it always has a little piece of paper inside describing how it can cause vomiting, nausea, uh, <laugh>, heart attacks, all that stuff. So it’s just something to think about and add into this objective of cleaning up your diet. Remember that little quip from Brian Sanders, Peak human podcast where he says he likes to score his foods in a very simple manner where anything processed is a minus one, vegetables are a zero, and fruit and meat and animal foods are plus one. Maybe not everyone in the world agrees with that, but it’s, um, becoming more and more compelling to think along these lines and do some personal experimenting and acknowledging that the true, nutrient superstar foods of the earth are found in the animal kingdom largely..
That’s what my carnivore scores food rankings chart is all about. And speaking of the carnivore scores chart, that brings us to item number two on the five tips to age gracefully list. And that is once you’ve cleaned up your diet and you have a little room in your cupboards, in your refrigerator, you can emphasize nutrient dense, easy to digest foods. And if you want a quick takeaway, let’s call it meat and fruit. And I am so excited about this evolution in the conversation, in the strategy, in the philosophy. You’ve heard my many shows in commentary about the idea of energy balance and transitioning kind of beyond the restrictive dietary strategies that have been popular in recent years. Things like intermittent fasting and keto and carb restriction in favor of striving for maximum cellular energy status at all times. So in practical terms, for me, what it’s looked like is switching from a morning period of routine fasting until midday in the name of health benefits and accruing all these wonderful benefits that are attached to fasting like the anti-inflammatory boost, the immune boost, the cellular repair, all that great stuff.
Switching from that to starting my day, striving for, uh, a fully-fueled state. So that is a big giant bowl of fruit and a super nutrition protein smoothie with my brand new product, the B.rad Whey Protein Super Fuel and all kinds of other ingredients. So you could call it actually a high carb, high protein, high fat smoothie. I have a bunch of frozen liver chunks in there. I have the liquid being bone broth, so I’m getting good nutritious fats from the liver and the bone broth. I’m getting a lot of the very best whey protein isolate in the world, and you’re gonna hear much more about that as soon as this product launches. Of course, I’m putting in a whole bunch of capsules, including my concoction, my array of ancestral supplements products, especially MOFO, so it’s an easy way to make sure I swallow a whole bunch of capsules less annoying than swallowing them one by one.
So I got the protein in there, I got the healthy fats, and then I have a whole bunch of frozen fruit, which helps to flavor it appropriately along with the fresh fruit I’m eating. And that represents my morning for the past six months on a streak and counting and overall beyond that morning switchover from fasting to, uh, a big dose of nutritious foods, I’m also making a concerted effort to consume more calories overall, and that is in the name of this maximum cellular energy status, so that I can become more active, energetic, productive, and turn up all those important health dials such as reproduction, repair, growth and locomotion. Locomotion being like my exercise, my training so I can recover faster when I’m fully fueled. My thyroid, my adrenal, my libido and my repair processes in the body are all upregulated to optimize and make me a more active person.
In contrast, as the thinking goes, and as my interviews with Jay Feldman go into great detail, if you are playing with potentially effective tools such as fasting and keto, you run the risk of overloading on stress factors in your life, overstressing yourself and causing compensation factors to kick in. This is the compensation theory as applied to exercise alone. It contends that if you push yourself super hard with that awesome 6:00 AM spinning class, and then decide to fast for several hours after that, your body is going to go into survival mode with these genetically programmed stress mechanisms that are designed to provide the energy you need, such as burning body fat or making ketones and also conserve energy by turning down your dials, turning down your flames and body temperature is a great way to test and assess whether you might be in that turning down the dials category.
Elle Russ talks about that in my interview with her about thyroid function where a symptom of sluggish thyroid is a lower than normal body temperature. And you can take your temperature if you suspect that you’re maybe doing this to yourself with your enthusiasm for fasting, keto and exercise. And in my personal example, I contend that my main goal is peak performance and recovery and more performance and more recovery, in pursuit of maintaining, uh, cardiovascular fitness and functional muscle strength throughout life. And the great leaders in longevity research. Some of the most popular podcasters like Dr. Andrew Huberman of Huberman Lab, Dr. Peter Attia of the Drive Podcast, former guest on my show are in wide agreement and emphatic opinion that maintaining functional muscle strength muscle mass throughout life is the key to aging gracefully. It’s the key to longevity and health span and living a long active, vibrant, energetic life.
Now, I have a show coming up with Mark Sisson where we sort some of these things out because we’ve also been told that becoming calorically efficient, getting really good at fasting, getting fat and keto adapted, being a clean burning machine instead of eating too much food, uh, we’ve been told that that is a wonderful path to longevity and organ repair and renewal when you go into extreme fasting like 72 hours. And, uh, these ideas seemingly conflict with each other. That’s why I had to go to my main man, listen to the Sisson to help us sort it out. And so really everyone is in pursuit of thriving, and you’re gonna love that show where Mark breaks it down. Uh, and really what we turn out to discover is that you want to optimally fuel yourself and have certainly not over fuel yourself. And today, there’s so many people in that category of consuming first of all the metabolic disruptor foods as they are known on the Energy Balance podcast, Mike Fain, Jay Feldman.
So when you consume processed foods, you become inefficient at generating cellular energy internally. So you have to overeat just to make it through the day and get through the afternoon blues with another crappy energy bar or whatever, and then you feel tired and burnt out in the evening. So you reach for a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and you go down that slippery slope to disease demise. And uh, that’s something that we all want to escape. And so when we go for this metabolic flexibility, metabolic efficiency, there are many ways to describe it. And I’m in favor of this vision of longevity, being active, energetic, productive, athletic if you’re so inclined, but in general, being fully fueled for an energetic lifestyle. And I think all these ideas can reconcile nicely and for most of us we could benefit from becoming more active.
There’s not too many people out there who are too active for their longevity prospects. Although the extreme exercisers as I was once for about 10 years, I was probably compromising, no, I was certainly compromising my longevity by training to the extreme. But for most of us, we’d benefit from getting more low level general everyday movement, as well as a nice consistent pattern of brief explosive high intensity workouts. And so putting all that together, how can we optimize for that that would be pursuing the most nutritious foods and eating substantial amounts of them. And I am going to bet that whoever you are, if you are eating cleanly and moving frequently and putting in that intensity stuff that’s sending the right signals to your genes, you are going to achieve your ideal body composition very efficiently over time without worrying about things like restricting calories to the extent of suffering or feeling those compensation factors kicking in, like being tired and sluggish and not getting through your workouts appropriately.
So that is the objective. Number two on the list is to strive for a diet of maximum dietary nutrient density. And I’m gonna wrap it up there so we can have a nice tidy individual episode. For each of the five tips to age gracefully. We’ve covered food extensively in one and two, one ditch the junk food. Two, surround yourself with the most nutrient dense, easy to digest foods, the quintessential foods of human evolution like meat, fruit, and other superstars in the carnivore scores food rankings chart that you can navigate to at bradkearns.com. Thank you so much for listening and aging gracefully together with me on this journey. Please send us your questions, comments, feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. And I always appreciate you spreading the word. We work so hard on these shows. We appreciate that exciting move into the top 10 category on Apple Podcasts fitness category cuz that helps more new listeners come to the show. And, uh, doing your part to spread the word is a big huge help. So thanks a lot. Let’s keep the momentum going. Have a great day.
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