Tag Archives for " longevity "
On episode 619 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet Dr. Michael Greger and discuss his book How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older.
[00:03:34.070] – Allan
Hey, Ras. How are you?
[00:03:36.860] – Rachel
Good, Allan. How are you today?
[00:03:38.100] – Allan
I'm doing good. I'm doing good. I posted on my Facebook the other day it was kind of a joke, but not really a joke. And it was a principle of nobody starts a diet in November.
[00:03:50.900] – Rachel
Right. This is a terrible time to start, Allan.
[00:03:54.690] – Allan
Yeah. Who's going to start in the middle of November and then six weeks later is a much better time to start?
[00:04:02.060] – Rachel
That's right. Yeah.
[00:04:05.070] – Allan
And I got some good feedback and some good from folks on that, because they recognize it's like we do these little logic things in our head that really if you just took a step back and says, is that how I would do it? No, it's like, well, the check engine light came onto my car, but I really just want to wait till January 1 to take a look at that, that's not how we would approach it. So it was just kind of one of those things. And I'm going to probably be posting a lot of those. So if we're not friends on Facebook, come check me out. You can go to the Facebook group at 40 Plusfitnesspodcast.com group. But I also have friend people on my Facebook, so I post some things there. I post some things to the group. So if you're interested and want to have a little bit of fun, check both of those out. Cool.
[00:04:50.220] – Rachel
That sounds fun.
[00:04:51.500] – Allan
So what are you up to?
[00:04:53.390] – Rachel
Actually, funny you should say that. I'm kind of planning my New Year's goals. I got to wrap up this year. No, but actually, at the end of the year, I do like to have something to do between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It's the busiest time of year, and this is no different. I'm doing tons of things. I got lists for my list. But I always like to have some sort of an activity between Thanksgiving and New Year's. And this last year from 2022, I had a run streak. So we did a 1 mile minimum streak between Thanksgiving and New Year's. It was I can't remember, 38, 37 days, however many days it was. And I'm trying to figure out what I want to do this year. And the reason why I like to start at the end of the year, just like in your post, is that I need the distraction because holidays are stressful, they're busy, and sometimes we get so focused on all of the other things that we don't have time to take care of ourselves. So having some sort of a movement goal reminds us that we need to take time for self care.
[00:05:59.300] – Rachel
We need to take time to exercise and do the things that are good for us. So I don't know what I'm going to do yet for the end of this year or for my New Year goals for next year. But I've got something planned, figuring something out.
[00:06:10.740] – Allan
Yeah, well, I break it all down month by month. And so December is no different for me than any other month of the year. January, February, whatever. It's the month. And so what I do is before the month starts. So I've looked at what I want to do for the year, and as I get into the month, I'm like, okay, what do I need to do this month to move myself in that direction? It doesn't have to be a huge move. It's just what is it? And so I have all of those, and it goes across personal, professional, health, fitness, Lula's, my online business and stuff. And so I'll have all of these things that I want to accomplish. Some of them are relatively mundane. Like, I really do need to write a statement of policy or statement of position for Lula's on a lot of how things are done, basically. So basically how things work, and so someone else can do it if I'm not doing it. Because right now I'm the only one that knows how to do most of the back office stuff. And so it is what it is. I need to write that down.
[00:07:12.410] – Allan
I need to publish it in some way that someone could follow me if I don't want to do it anymore or I can't do it anymore. So some of that is that simple. It's like I just need to start writing these things. And then as I get into the month, it's like, okay, what do I want to write this month? Which policy? What's my movement goal? What are the other goals that I have in my life? And then each morning I wake up and I go through a thing, and there's a lot of affirmations and gratitude and all that, and then the goals, and they pop up. And because I know what my monthly goals are, I can then go into my to do list today and say, okay, what on this to do list actually does those things and what does not? And so a lot of times I'll have a list of all my to dos and they're dated and they're in order of importance or time of the day that I need to get them done, because there's some things I do each day that I need to do in the morning, and some things I can do later.
[00:08:08.800] – Allan
But I'll take a task and I'll say, you know, that's not really an important task right now. And I'll put it over under the parked list, and it just sits over there. And about once a month, I go through the parked list and delete a lot of those because again, it wasn't really built that goal, whatever. It wasn't really something that's going to move me. The to do was not going to move the needle for me. And it sounded cool. It was the shiny object of, hey, I should buy those new shoes. And then I get a month away and I look at back and I'm like, okay, well, why did I want those shoes? And are they really going to move me forward? And, oh, they're not going to last here in Panama. Stupid purchase. Yeah. And then they're gone. I might park them and say, no, I know I'm going to be doing a little bit more mileage next month or the month after, and so maybe I do want the shoes for that. But a lot of times, yeah, they just get written off because it really wasn't something that was going to move the needle.
[00:09:06.680] – Allan
So if you find yourself overwhelmed, break things down, figure out what your big rocks are, what the important things are, and that becomes my monthly thing. That's great. And I have an annual thing and then a monthly thing. And then literally every morning, I wake up and say, okay, what am I doing today that does one of these things? I love that, and sometimes they don't. I had an intention of writing an article to advertise, and with everything that's going on here, okay, what's the sense of telling people what the best beaches are in Bocas if we don't have the guests coming into the country the way that they would or could? So I'm not writing that article because I'm not going to put the time in to write something that isn't going to move the needle for the business or do what it needs to do. So it's not valid anymore. I'm moving it over into the parked items. I'll reevaluate it in December or January, and maybe I write it then, but I'm not writing it right now. Perfect.
[00:10:05.670] – Rachel
That sounds like a good plan.
[00:10:07.360] – Allan
So if you find yourself a little overwhelmed with the change that you want, the things that you want, just start with the big thing. Okay, I know I need to lose two inches off my waist. Well, you're not going to lose two inches off your waist today.
[00:10:23.290] – Rachel
[00:10:24.790] – Allan
Or maybe even this month. But what can you do consistently this month that's going to help you do that? And then each day you do that thing. Perfect. And so it's really a trickle down of breaking your bigger rocks into the bite sized pieces to keep it workable. And then, you know, you wake up in the morning, you look at what you got to do that day. Is it on my calendar? Yes. My movement is on my calendar? Yes. Getting this done is on my calendar. And then I go do it. And if I don't have the time in the day to do it, I have to prioritize and push some of it to tomorrow or park some of it, because, again, it just isn't going to do enough for it to be worth what everything else on my list is doing for sure.
[00:11:05.340] – Rachel
You can only do so much.
[00:11:07.430] – Allan
All right, well, you ready to have a conversation with Dr. Greger?
[00:11:10.640] – Rachel
[00:12:13.070] – Allan
Dr. Greger, welcome back to 40+ Fitness.
[00:12:16.470] – Dr. Greger
Thank you so much. Glad to be back.
[00:12:21.070] – Allan
I've watched your videos over the years and I'm just fascinated with how you can teach so much information in a three to five minute video. And then here you come out with this book and quite frankly called How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as You Get Older. And I'm just going to call it right here. This is the most comprehensive health book I have ever read in my entire life, and I doubt anyone's ever even going to come close to matching the depth of what you put into a single book. Some would argue it might be a few books, but given the length of it. But this is really good stuff if you love understanding health and understanding how our body works. Dr. Gregor here, he's your friend. He's done the work, he's done the research, and he's put it together in depth. And it's all there from my perspective, again, because the end notes are there, but you have to go to a separate website to follow them through because otherwise the book would be twice the length that it is. Because I believe there were like over 8000 endnotes, and you probably referenced no less than maybe 300 or 400 videos along the way that could go deeper.
[00:13:38.090] – Allan
But this creates a lot of rabbit holes, particularly for those that love the science of health and fitness. So I'm going to say it was not a hard read, but it was a read.
[00:13:50.250] – Dr. Greger
Yeah. This is for all the longevity nerds out there. There's meat on them bones, and beyond.
[00:13:57.620] – Allan
The meat, there's actionable. Things you can do today to improve your health going forward. And so I love that because I'm all about action. And so let's dive in a little bit because again, there's so much again, I can read a book. A standard health and fitness book these days is about 250 pages, and I can read that in about 6 hours. And usually it's because I know most of what they're going to say because they're saying the same things that everybody else says. Your book is nearly three times that length, and you're not saying what everybody else is saying. You're going in and saying, well, this is what they looked at and this is how you can apply it. And so you do a lot of that. So I want to get as much of that in as I can in the limited amount of time we have, because I think I could actually probably talk to you for about three straight days without sleeping, and we could probably still not cover everything that was there. Like I said, you've won. The game is over. The competition is over. For what we know right now, based on the science that's been done today, this is the most comprehensive book you can buy.
[00:15:05.090] – Allan
Okay, so you talked in the beginning of the book, you brought up the I think there's eleven pathways of aging, and I want to dive into a few of them because I think sometimes there's a little bit of confusion when we start talking about certain things. So the first one that I want to get into is the AMPK. And where people may not have heard of that before, but they've probably heard of autophagy and how we can use fasting as a mechanism for reversing aging, improving our health. Can we talk a little bit about how that process works, just a little bit, and then how we can get into autophagy? Because I think there's multiple mechanisms you brought up in the book, but I think there's some misconnection of, oh, well, I can just do intermittent fasting and I'm into autophagy and I'm doing great. Okay, again, there's some misconceptions out there because it's old. If you do intermittent fasting, you're getting autophagy. If you're getting autophagy, you're slowing your aging. So can we just kind of dive into that a little bit? Sure.
[00:16:09.910] – Dr. Greger
Yeah. Autophagy is the kind of primary system for cleaning the body from the inside out, clearing out the cellular debris that may be contributing to aging. Some food components can suppress autophagy, like acrylamide, which is a compound concentrated in French fries and potato chips, whereas others, like spermidine and the antioxidants in coffee, can actually help your cells kind of take out the trash. So to boost this antiaging pathway, I encourage readers to consider, on a daily basis, 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous aerobic activity. Unfortunately, 20 minutes does not quite I mean, is wonderful for health, but not enough to boost autophagy similarly, fasting. See, the issue with fasting is fasting. Autophagy doesn't optimally ramp up to like 48 to 72 hours of fasting, which is really too long to go unsupervised. That's not just kind of legalistic mumbo jumbo. Our bodies go into kind of sodium conservation mode when we fast, but should that response break down and we continue to lose sodium, the symptoms we might experience are like fatigue, dizziness, something that could be dismissed until it's too late. So that's why prolonged fasts should really be only done under kind of medical supervision, but they actually kind of test your electrolytes and make sure your body's doing what it's supposed to be doing.
[00:17:42.480] – Dr. Greger
And so the studies suggesting that, oh, 12 hours of fasting can boost autophagy yeah, in mice, that's because mice's metabolism is so much higher. A few days of fasting can actually kill a mouse. They can lose, like, 40% of their body mass after a day or two of fasting. But unfortunately, yeah, in humans, it takes a little longer. But again, we don't have to walk around starving all the time. We can 60 minutes of aerobic exercise minimizing our intake of French fries and potato chips, trying to get about at least 20 milligrams of spermidine, and by incorporating spermidine rich foods in our diet. So that's tempeh, which is a fermented whole soy product, but any mushroom will do. Peas and wheat germ. So adding wheat germ to my diet was something new after this book because I wanted to get the spermatine to boost autophagy. And also, drinking three cups of coffee a day, either regular or decaf, can boost autophagy, thanks to glorinic acids.
[00:18:44.190] – Allan
Well, you've definitely got me to thinking, and I'm going to reestablish my big ass salad every day.
[00:18:51.850] – Dr. Greger
[00:18:52.320] – Allan
Yes, we're having some difficulties with delivery where I am right now, so it'll be a little while before I get the wheat germ, but that'll be something. I'll probably sprinkle a bit of that on my salad just to go along, but, yeah, big ass salads coming. Okay, the next one I want to get into, because there's a lot of talk about this, which there should be, because I think this is probably the biggest problem we have as people is inflammation. How does inflammation lead to aging?
[00:19:21.730] – Dr. Greger
Aging can actually be thought of as kind of part of an inflammatory disease. In part, a single measurement. Inflammatory markers like CD, CRP, ser, active protein, or Il six, interleukin six, can predict both physical and cognitive performance, as well as remaining lifespan in elderly individuals. Thankfully, excess inflammation can be kind of extinguished through changes in diet. There is something called dietary inflammatory index, which ranks each food in terms of how pro inflammatory or anti inflammatory it is. And those eating lower on that dietary inflammatory index, meaning less inflammatory diets are more likely to age successfully, which is defined as living independently with no major chronic disease, no depression, no pain, and with good overall self perceived social, physical, and mental health. So to help slow this aging pathway, I can encourage people to consider, on a daily basis, reducing both dietary and endogenous exposure to something called to these inflammatory advanced glycation end products. We can do that. That's a whole nother aging pathway. But basically we restrict ourselves to low glycemic lead foods so we don't have high blood sugars and make these AGS endogenously. And we reduce our intake of AGS which are found most concentrated in kind of high protein foods exposed to high dry heat.
[00:20:50.700] – Dr. Greger
So rather than grilling or barbecuing or frying or baking meat, we would like steaming, stewing, soups, that kind of thing would produce fewer of these inflammatory AGS. Also we reduce senescent cell inflammation. That's another whole antiaging pathway. These so called zombie cells spewing inflammation. As we get older, we can clear those out. I have a whole chapter on that. Boosting autophagy actually helps clearing out some of that inflammatory cellular debris. And you know what? One of the most interesting things in that chapter I ran into is applying an emollient skin lotion. So actually our skin layer, we actually have a breakdown in our skin barrier as we get older and that can increase systemic inflammation in our body. And they found that rubbing hairless mice with vaseline actually cut down inflammation. So they gave it a try with people and randomized people to try just every day applying a little full body molly and skin lotion and actually saw a decrease in inflammation which was so shocking, it's like, well, that's easy to do. So that's something I've incorporated into my diet and not in my diet, god into my daily routine.
[00:22:01.520] – Allan
Don't eat hand lotion.
[00:22:03.510] – Dr. Greger
Gregor said I should be eating and then avoiding the pro inflammatory foods. The pro inflammatory foods and increasing the intake of the anti inflammatory foods. So the pro inflammatory food components, saturated fat, endotoxins, which got new five GC sodium. So actually salt is pro inflammatory. People don't think about that. And then, so basically it's minimizing meat, dairy, tropical oils like coconut oil, the palm kernel oil, all these kind of junk food oils and as well as salt, I mean, one kind of lousy breakfast can double your creactive protein levels within 4 hours before it's even time for lunch. And then the anti inflammatory foods on the other side of the kind of balance sheet legumes, which are the beans, slippies, chickpeas, lentils, berries, greens, sodium free tomato juice or sodium free tomato paste. These processed tomato products without added salt, turmeric, ginger, flaxseeds, garlic, cinnamon, cocoa powder, dill beverages, chamomile tea, green tea, as well as kind of anything basically that contains fiber. So fiber rich foods, anthocyanin rich foods. Those are those brilliant kind of purple berry like pigments also found in, like, red cabbage or purple sweet potatoes, as well as salicylic acid rich foods, which is the kind of component, the antiinflammatory component of aspirin, not just found in willow tree bark actually found throughout the plant kingdom, most concentrated in, actually cumin, the spiced cumin, but found in a whole bunch of plant foods, and that also has an anti inflammatory effect.
[00:23:38.950] – Allan
And I think one of the cool things here is if you begin to eat less inflammatory foods, other good things are going to start happening for you. Like, your joints aren't going to hurt as bad. You're going to have more energy because your body is actually allowed to use that energy for you to do the things you want to do versus trying to heal, because that's what the inflammation is there for. And so just eating an anti inflammatory diet actually has these really quick turnarounds for you to feel better, look better, and move better. Now you hit on one, and as soon as I saw this written out, I was like, okay, now we're going to spar. We're going to spar a little bit, because I kind of like having a little bit extra muscle on my body. And so there's this concept called mTOR, and it's complex, I'm not going to lie. It's a very complex set of rules, but it's basically how we build muscle with mTOR. There's a little disconnect in my head I got to get through is having more muscle mass and being stronger, particularly as measured in grip strength, has been shown to help with your mortality.
[00:24:47.470] – Allan
However, having too much mTOR, which is part of the process for getting protein to turn into muscle, can also be problematic. Can you dive a little bit into mTOR and help me put that together? Yeah, no, absolutely.
[00:25:00.900] – Dr. Greger
So mTOR is an enzyme recognized as a major driver of aging, perhaps more so than any other single anti aging strategy. mTOR inhibition suppression disrupts a panoply of degenerative processes, explaining why the mTOR blocking drug Rapamycin is the most effective drug ever devised for targeted aging. No other drug has been able to show it works in every single species, even starting in middle age. But the problem is, the drug has some downsides. So then we turn to non pharmacological approaches. How are we going to slow this kind of pacemaker of aging enzyme? And we do that through the restriction of certain amino acids such as methionine and leucine. And how do we restrict those? Well, you can do full dietary restriction, and you're going to decrease your amino acid intake or eat the same number of calories, but just reduce overall protein intake, and that'll cut down. Or you can keep the protein intake the same, but just switch from animal sources to plant sources, most of which tend to be lower in methionine and the branch chain amino acids like leucine. And there's kind of a YinYang with AMPK. So anything that boosts AMPK can drop mTOR, like the barberries and vinegar and all the stuff I go through in the AMPK chapter.
[00:26:24.450] – Dr. Greger
And then it's really about reducing one's protein intake down to recommended levels, which is 0.8 grams for healthy kilogram body weight, which translates to about 45 grams a day for the average height woman, 55 grams for the average height man, and then choosing plant based sources whenever possible. Now, as you noted, mTOR plays a role in muscle protein synthesis. So the question is, well, wait a second. Do we have this kind of balancing act between aging and muscle mass? Thankfully, no. All we need is sufficient levels of mTOR activity to build muscle mass without excess levels. How do we do that? Again, recommended dietary protein intake over age 65. There's actually no benefit from adding protein in terms of muscle mass, muscle strength, or muscle performance. How are we going to maintain muscle mass into old age? One way and one way only? Well, there's actually a bunch of things that contribute, but the most important one is resistance training, right? Strength training. That is how we're going to keep our muscles. Particularly if you're doing something like caloric restriction or something critically important to maintain muscle mass. And we do that through exertion. Putting strain on our muscles and then adding extra protein in older age does not add that.
[00:27:46.180] – Dr. Greger
Add extra muscle mass. That's whether you're sarcopenic, you have excessive muscle mass, whether you're frail, et cetera. Excess protein does not help at those ages.
[00:27:55.950] – Allan
And one of the other ones I wanted to get into is oxidation. And the reason I want to talk about this is there are billionaires walking this planet right now that are selling antioxidants. That's true. And you're like, okay, well, if I take an antioxidant, then I'm going to be cool. Right. And I don't think that's quite the answer. Can we talk about oxidation and why some of these seemingly good things aren't necessarily doing what they're supposed to?
[00:28:26.050] – Dr. Greger
Yeah, this is one of the most interesting chapters to write in terms of that kind of nerdy part one section about the eleven aging pathways. So oxidation. So there's this mitochondrial theory of aging, which is kind of standard stood the test of time in terms of the dozens of aging theories out there. It explains basically the spread, why some animals live so much longer, in fact, 1000 times longer than others. The animals with the lowest rate of free radical production within their mitochondria, the little power plants within their cells live the longest, full stop. So we can slow the pace of aging by slowing the rate of this free radical production in our mitochondria. And there's really only two ways we can do that. Antioxidants don't work because it's actually the damage to our mitochondrial DNA happens so quickly, so close to the source of free radical production. Antioxidants just can't penetrate in time. But there's two things we can reduce. One is exercise. Again, nailing critical factor of exercise. And number two is methionine restriction. Cutting down on the amino acid methionine by eating healthier. Also in terms of so that's just for in terms of longevity.
[00:29:37.040] – Dr. Greger
However, oxidation does play a role in our health span as well. For that, we can cut down on prooxant foods, boost our antioxidant rich foods. Kind of similar to the inflammation story and actually kind of similar. Foods, right? The prooxin foods are the ones rich in cholesterol, salt, saturated fat and sugar, where the antioxidant foods are the ones berries, spices, as well as something called Nerf Two Activation, which is kind of our first line of antioxidant defense. On the second line is this kind of symphony of antioxidants we can kind of take from plant foods and kind of hijack them from our own needs. But our first level of defense is really our antioxidant enzymes that can detoxify free radicals and we can boost those through something called NRF Two Activation. And the two ways to do that one is green tea and one is cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens and so to slow the saging pathway, exercise, restricting methionine, where you can do that through protein restriction activating NRF Two eating green and drinking green. So eating your kale, drinking green tea and then eating berries and other naturally vibrantly colored foods because the colors are actually the antioxidants herbs and spices like the cinnamon, cloves, garlic, ginger, margarum packed with antioxidants and then cutting down and added salt, sugar, saturated fat and cholesterol.
[00:31:12.000] – Allan
Latent foods, well, and all those you talked about, they make the food exciting and fun and taste good. So win win. And the exercise, of course, you've got my vote there because it does just a lot more. You feel better, you're stronger, you're faster, you built up a body that's capable of doing the things that you want to do. Now I'm going to dive into a few foods that some people will avoid for various reasons that they don't necessarily have to, but they at times avoid them that are really actually I mean, we can talk about superfoods, but I actually only want to use that title because it's been so overused and falsely so in many, many cases. But some of these foods actually are, in a sense, exactly what our body needs, but a lot of people don't eat enough of them. So the first one I want to talk about is beans. What makes beans?
[00:32:06.150] – Dr. Greger
Ah, beans. That's the centerpiece of all Blue Zones diets. These areas around the world with exceptional longevity as their chief source of protein, have some source of legumes which are not just beans, but also split peas, chickpeas, lentils. And so if you're talking about what are the kind of healthiest foods to eat, according to the Globe Burner Disease Study, which is the largest study of risk factors in human history for death and disease, the greatest lifespan extension would be achieved by eating more legumes. That's what they calculated of all the different food groups, eating more beans. If there's one thing we can do to live longer in terms of our diet, be eating more beans. And so though that's on a kind of per serving basis, but actually on a gram for gram basis, the food most associated with longevity is actually nuts. And so I also recommend like a palm full of walnuts a day, one of my kind of antiaging eight foods, but, yeah, definitely legumes. There's a reason why they associated. Like, if there's one question you had to ask in populations around the world in terms of assessing dietary quality, how many legumes people eat is the number one dietary predictor of survival in populations around the globe.
[00:33:26.130] – Allan
Now, you talked about nuts, and I think this is another area that people are kind of afraid because they hear, okay, nuts have a lot of calories and an almond, 16 calories or whatever. And so they thought that there's a calorie load to nuts, and therefore they'd be maybe better off eating something else. But there's a lot to be said for the nutrition, particularly the fats that we can get from nuts.
[00:33:52.310] – Dr. Greger
Well, yeah, I mean, a gram for gram basis, compared to any other food on planet Earth, consumption of nuts is associated with the longest lifespan, and you can get the maximum benefit for just that palm full, half of ounce of nuts a day, half to a full ounce maximum benefit. You don't seem to get more benefit eating more. In fact, you don't want to overdo it over a cup of nuts a day. You can actually get too many oxalates. Peanut butter does not appear to have the same benefit. Technically, not even a nut. And of all the nuts, probably walnuts are the healthiest. So, yeah, kind of a palm full of walnuts every day is the way to go. Improving artery function probably the primary cause. For example, in the PREDIMED study, those randomized to boost their intake of nuts had about half the stroke rate. And so you can think of that the other way. Not eating nuts kind of doubles your risk of stroke. So the cardiovascular protection from nuts is probably what is resulting in most of the longevity benefit.
[00:34:51.250] – Allan
Now, another nut that you don't necessarily want to overeat but is okay to have regularly is Brazil nuts.
[00:34:58.650] – Dr. Greger
Oh, yeah, well, yeah, I mean, even one high selenium Brazil nut is actually too much one a day, a single nut a day in terms of inflammation. So, yeah, that's something you really want to moderate because you can actually get solenosis. You actually get kind of selenium toxicity. It's known as the selenium is known as the essential poison because it is actually essential trace mineral, but you can actually get too much of it. And most concentrated dietary sources, brazil nuts. So, yeah, I would really hold back, I mean, in how not to Die, I talk about the study showing that four Brazil nuts once a month actually dramatically lowers cholesterol levels. But unfortunately, people read that to be, oh, four Brazil nuts a day. No, you could actually get a selenium toxicity. Even though I emphasize this, this is once a month. Pick a day of the month, your favorite day of the month. And like, okay, on the 13th of every single month, I'm going to eat four Brazils. Period.
[00:35:50.840] – Allan
[00:35:51.700] – Dr. Greger
Unfortunately, people did not listen. Actually ran into people who got problems, who started getting, like, peripheral neuropathy, started losing sensation, and got tingling in their feet because they're getting too much selenium because they're eating too many Brazil nuts. So, yeah.
[00:36:09.430] – Allan
The sad part is, Brazil nuts are my favorite nut. But that said, I buy them in the shell. Oh, I have to go through the trouble actually cracking that shell. It's not easy.
[00:36:23.050] – Dr. Greger
Those are some hardcore shells. Oh, my God. You want grip strength. Yeah, I got your grip strength right there.
[00:36:29.740] – Allan
Exactly. But if you buy them in a bag shelled, it's just so easy to do like you do with everything else.
[00:36:36.530] – Dr. Greger
So that's actually a good idea. No, that's a good idea. We shall be like sitting by the fire with the nutcracker and just digging out little pieces.
[00:36:46.610] – Allan
If you can't crack it, then go do some exercise and come back when you can.
[00:36:51.330] – Dr. Greger
Yeah. Oh, my God. Those are hardcore.
[00:36:53.320] – Allan
Yeah. All right. And then actually my favorite besides cruciferous vegetables, I eat cruciferous vegetables every day, but leafy greens are my next favorite. That's why I was saying the big ass salad. So let's talk a little bit about leafy greens and what they're doing for us. Yeah.
[00:37:10.350] – Dr. Greger
So dark green leafies earn their place in the antiaging aid as the vegetable most associated with longer lifespan. So cruciferous vegetables, which certainly can be green leafy, but not necessarily something like cauliflower, is also cruciferous. They boost the first line of our gut defenses as well as boosting detoxifying enzymes lining our airways to help reduce our risk from air pollution. It's actually a leading killer of humanity. So particularly if you're in a city, live by a highway or something, cruciferous vegetables will help you deal with that kind of diesel exhaust. The longevity benefit, though, actually may come from the nitrates, the metabolic slowing that comes from nitrate consumption. Particularly athletes think of like beet juice. For nitrates, we're actually the most concentrated source. Dark green leafy vegetables also beets bee greens. And those nitrates actually slow down your resting metabolic rate, something you typically only see with something like severe caloric restriction. But instead of walking around starving all the time, big ass salad to the rescue. They can also improve age related declines in muscle mass. Age related declines in artery function. So you give people like a cup of cooked spinach worth of nitrates, you get a significant improvement in maximum power from the quads.
[00:38:25.900] – Dr. Greger
I mean, you can bulk up on muscle mass just reading spinach. And we think it's because of the nitrates. Although it's interesting, the magic of nitrates require the presence of certain good bacteria on your tongue to actually activate the nitrates. Otherwise they don't work. And those bugs are killed by antiseptic mouthwash. So you don't want to use an antiseptic mouthwash or an alcohol containing mouthwash and you can actually foster the growth of those good bugs by tongue scraping and regularly eating those nitrate rich vegetables which act as a prebiotic and keep them going. So that antiaging strategy only works if you got the right bacteria on your.
[00:39:07.180] – Allan
Tongue and probably all the way through your system because we are actually just one big biosystem of a lot of.
[00:39:14.230] – Dr. Greger
Things, not just most of our cells are not human.
[00:39:18.290] – Allan
Exactly. Now, sometimes I get really mad about how, for lack of a better word, our government gets in the way of us living healthy lives. One of the ways that you kind of detailed in the book is this kind of weird thing, the way they do things. And so what it is, is you think about the volume of food that you eat. So it's this big volume of food that we eat during a day, if you think about it. And then we're going to focus on one or two pills that are going to change our life for us and not focus on all that food we ate. The medical system doesn't train it. It's not followed. It actually doesn't make them any money. So they don't care to know about it or teach about it or talk about it. You're just told eat better and move more and you're good. But we're not, we're not healthy right now as a society. And one of them that came up was supplements because if you hear something's good and it's like, well, I don't really like that food or I don't have access to that food readily, it's not easy because I got to cook it.
[00:40:29.850] – Allan
Go figure. Is that the dietary supplements that we want to take to help improve our health? And I actually had someone I was talking to who's in this field and he and I were talking back and forth. He says we should get together someday and talk about our medicine cabinet and what supplements we each take. And I said, Well, I take one. And I said it's some zinc and magnesium that I take before I go to bed just because it helps me sleep better. That's the supplement. That's the one. And I live in a sunny area so I get plenty of vitamin D. If you're not in a sunny area or certain times of the year, you might need to supplement on that. If you are eating predominantly vegan or vegetarian, you might need B two. But you can do blood tests to know that stuff. The problem is that we have this industry that might not even be putting that stuff in the pill that we're taking. And the law that actually made this happen, you told me about it in the book, was the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act that came out in 1994.
[00:41:36.430] – Allan
And again, I want to go punch someone in the chest. Yeah.
[00:41:44.930] – Dr. Greger
Supplement industry is very powerful industry and people think of like Big Pharma. But actually Big Pharma owns many of the biggest supplement industries. So it actually is big pharma. And they got a law passed thanks to kind of duping people, and it'd be like, government is coming for your vitamin C. So we got to pass this law. So people have this incorrect belief that supplements must be approved for safety by some government agency like the FDA or something, before they're sold to the public, or the very least must have like a warning if there's some kind of side effects or something. And some even believe that supplements actually have to be shown to be effective at some level. None of that is true thanks to that law. So what that law did is it removed the burden of proof for quality control, basic quality control, safety efficacy from the submit manufacturer. So all of a sudden, it was great for the submen industry. They went from a $4 billion industry to like a $40 billion industry. Used to only be a few thousand products on the market. Now there's tens of thousands of products on the market, just absolutely skyrocketing.
[00:42:54.970] – Dr. Greger
But we don't have those standards. So you get some over the counter medication, for example. You like, buy some Tylenol or something. It actually must meet standards for safety efficacy, quality control. Meaning if it says it has this many milligrams, it has to have this many milligram, right? But dietary supplements, all dietary supplements are exempt. So it doesn't have to contain what it says on the label. It doesn't have to contain any of it. It contains something contaminants that aren't listed on the label, like house plants.
[00:43:26.430] – Allan
[00:43:28.930] – Dr. Greger
Actually. And this is right, this is not some just like, see me shady internet thing. They went into GNC. Walmart. This was a New York Attorney General. I mean, just like mainstream supplement and they just tested well, what's actually in these things, right? That was one of the things that came out, was just like house plants, just powdered house plants, like the cheapest possible filler they could think of and had nothing of the so called active ingredient. But then I talk about how, look, we hope it's just house plants because there's some really toxic contaminants, particularly in kind of erectile dysfunction and weight loss supplements often contain kind of these illicit hormones. Things have been banned for good reason, but just keep popping up on the shelves just because things are so poorly kind of enforced. And so now we have about estimates about 50,000 Americans every year are harmed by dietary supplements, usually kidney and liver damage. Now, look, you could say, look, Big Pharma doesn't just harm but kills over 100,000 people. Side effects of drugs. Absolutely true. So we absolutely have to make sure the pros outweigh the cause. Unfortunately, we can't do that with dietary supplements.
[00:44:39.910] – Dr. Greger
And so, look, if there is some supplement that you really want to make sure is what it actually is. There is a certification pathway, something called USP certification. It'll have a little USP seal. Now, that doesn't say it's good for you or it isn't bad for you, but it just verifies. That what says on the label is actually what is in the capsule. So you're actually getting what you're paying for. One of the supplements that I've been using on the road for jet lag, because I travel a lot, is melatonin. The problem is there's all these contaminants found in typical melatonin supplements. So actually go through a Canadian pharmacy, which isn't exactly legal, but very easy to do.
[00:45:21.160] – Allan
[00:45:23.030] – Dr. Greger
So in Canada and in Europe, melatonin is sold kind of like prescription only. So it actually has to rise to all those standards, actually has to have what it says it has and not have contaminants in it. And so you can get kind of a prescription only melatonin. Any doctor should write you a prescription, but you have to get it from one of those places. But then at least you can get some contaminant free. So there's kind of a ways around it, but it's just so sad that the snake oil is still being sold and sometimes doesn't even have any snake.
[00:45:54.620] – Allan
In it at all. Right. But there's real food and most of this, what a concept. All of it you can typically get from whole food.
[00:46:05.650] – Dr. Greger
You're a radical, I tell you, man.
[00:46:07.800] – Allan
Look at this guy.
[00:46:09.510] – Dr. Greger
Wait a second. You mean we as a species survived before? There are pill bottles sitting on the shelf.
[00:46:15.200] – Allan
Yeah. There's no witch doctor giving me a.
[00:46:17.690] – Dr. Greger
Prescription for years without all our supplements.
[00:46:22.830] – Allan
Yeah. So if you feel like you need something, I mean, there are times you're going to need some vitamin D. And.
[00:46:28.330] – Dr. Greger
If you live in pregnant women, need to get folic acid. If you're an alcoholic, there are certainly scenarios in which supplementation with nutrients is useful. But buyer beware, unfortunately.
[00:46:44.610] – Allan
All right, Dr. Gregor, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay, you know, according to.
[00:46:57.200] – Dr. Greger
The Gold Burden Disease Study, again, largest study of disease risk factors in the world, funded by the Bill Melinda Gates Foundation, the number one cause of death in these United States is the American diet. Bumping tobacco smoking to number two. Cigarettes not only kill about a half million Americans every year, whereas our diet kills many more. So the single most important decision we make three times a day is kind of what to put to the end of our fork. And so if there was just like the absolute simplest things, it'd be like if you could just add three foods to your diet and just remove three things from your diet. The three things I would add right off the bat beans, greens, berries. And the three things I would remove first, before anything else, are the trans fats these partially hydrogenated oils, processed meats like the bacon, ham, hot dogs, lunch meats, which cause colorectal cancer. And then number three, be liquid candy, the soda, sugar sweetened beverages. If we just get rid of those three, add the other three, you'd be a long way there. I mean, I really want to emphasize, yes, I get way into the weeds in this book, but it's simple, basic, common sense lifestyle factors can literally mean the difference of an extra decade to your life or not.
[00:48:06.960] – Dr. Greger
And what are we talking about? Regular exercise, not being obese, not smoking, eating more fruits and vegetables, like the basic, basic basics already right there. You got a decade, a whole extra healthy decade. Now, you want to tweak stuff? You want to push that a little farther, fine. I got a book, but it's important. And that's how I conclude the book is like, okay, let's take a step back. People. Don't get overwhelmed. Some really simple, important, basic stuff to nail first before worrying about all this other stuff.
[00:48:39.670] – Allan
And not only are you going to add a decade, it's going to be a better decade.
[00:48:43.180] – Dr. Greger
[00:48:44.470] – Allan
Doctor, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness. If someone wanted to learn more about you and learn more about your book, How Not to Age, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:48:54.330] – Dr. Greger
Send them to Nutritionfacts.org, where all my work is free and you can go to local public library and get the new book, which is out now, or your favorite bookseller. I don't get a penny from any of my books. All proceeds from the sales of all my books are all donated directly to charity. I just want you and your loved ones to enjoy the longest, healthiest life.
[00:49:17.120] – Allan
Thank you, Doctor. And thank you for being a part of 40+ Fitness. Keep up the good work.
[00:49:30.120] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:49:32.380] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. There's a lot to unpack there. But first, I've got the 60 minutes of exercise. I drink a ton of coffee, and I love nuts. It's my favorite snack. So I'm basically immortal. At least today. That's right.
[00:49:48.890] – Allan
Nobody wants to see that. But no, I think the point being is that science can be very misleading if it has a bias. And you can't look at anything and not have a bias. It's built into the way your brain works. If at some point someone told you that milk was bad, you're going to have a hard time reading studies where it says milk is the best thing for you. It's a struggle. There are individuals that have read something in the past and that's just drilled into them.
[00:50:24.060] – Rachel
It's stuck, and it's stuck.
[00:50:25.760] – Allan
And so this is a book where because what he does over at his website, Nutritionfacts.org, is he does these quick little videos and he pulls up a study or he pulls up a concept, and he says, okay, so is red wine healthy for us. And he goes out and looks at all the studies, and some of it he sees it's like, okay, well, this was a rat study. I'm not a rat. Although some things we learn from rats are applicable, but not all. And so he says, okay. And then what you realize is, okay, the amount of wine that you would have to drink to have the same dose as this rat is 100 glasses of wine each night. Oh, dear. Probably not going to happen.
[00:51:10.580] – Rachel
Not good for you at that point.
[00:51:13.190] – Allan
And so there's those little bits. And so now what's happening is you have a supplement company that's selling a supplement that they say, this is equivalent of drinking 100 glasses of wine without the alcohol or all the delirious effects of having that much alcohol, and it might not even have that in it. Okay? Now studies, if they're doing a study, they do a little bit of quality assurance to make sure, okay, if I'm giving someone turmeric or cumin or something like that, I want to know what's in there. And so they do some work there. But supplements you might buy on the market may not be the same thing that you're seeing in that study because it's not sourced the same way. And that's why he was know, he sources some supplements outside the United States because he trusts the compounder, putting it together. But most of us, that's outside the realm of what we're capable of. Know, contracting with someone outside the United States to prepare a supplement for you. For most of us, we're just not going to do that. But he has a lot in this book about things that will age you.
[00:52:20.990] – Allan
And so at the beginning of the book, he starts out with the eleven pathways of aging, and he goes through those. And we talked a good bit about each one. And then in the end, he sort of did go through and say, what are the eight things that are practical, applicable? And I think he was kind of excited that when we got into the book and got into this conversation, that's where I tried to take the whole thing. You have to do a little bit of the work to understand, okay, when he's talking about AMPK or autophagy or mTOR oxidation, because when you're talking about these other foods and other things, these are the pathways that they affect, and in some cases more than one, because there's overlaps. And understanding how that works will kind of help you put this all together. And the basis of pretty much the whole book is if you're eating processed food, you're aging faster than the rest of us.
[00:53:11.520] – Rachel
That's a good point.
[00:53:12.700] – Allan
Yes, it's right there and there's no if, ands, or buts. It can say healthy on the label. It's aging you faster. It just is.
[00:53:23.430] – Rachel
Well, we absorb our nutrients better from the actual food itself. And not all these fortified items in boxes.
[00:53:31.080] – Allan
But even if we didn't even if we didn't, it's just the fact that there's a way that nutrition works on the way that we were adapted as animals through evolution. And it's literally we were not sitting there just eating one food all year round. We were eating a large variety of different foods because it's hard to fill up on blueberries. You're still going to eat as many blueberries you want, but you're going to want other foods, and if they're available, you're going to eat them.
[00:54:01.420] – Rachel
Well, that's the thing. It's about eating a diverse all the colors of the foods, like they say, all the leafy greens you talked about, big ass salads, which I'm sure is more than just spinach. And lettuce throw it all in there and just eat something different and unique every day as best you can to make sure that you're getting all these different nutrients.
[00:54:23.660] – Allan
Yeah. And that's really what it comes down to, is feeding your body good food, good movement, good rest, good sleep, good stress management. When you're doing these things, your body has these ways of protecting you, of healing you. And those things all the things being healthy helps you live longer. Go figure. And some of the stuff, when you look at the science, it's like, oh, well, actually, this is worse for you than what I thought the worst thing was. That doesn't mean go do the second worst thing. It just means that pay attention. You can sit there and well, you know, so what? I eat McDonald's every day. It's like, well, someone smokes two packs of cigarettes every day. So what? You're like, oh, that's terrible.
[00:55:16.550] – Rachel
Well, yeah, I suppose.
[00:55:20.550] – Allan
Well, of course McDonald's wants me to live. No, they want you to eat more McDonald's. They don't really care. They want you to eat more McDonald's. And that's their sole job. How can I get you to eat more? And that's what they do. They're not trying to kill you, but they're not trying to keep you alive, either. Yeah, that's not their.
[00:55:41.690] – Rachel
I just like we talk about all the time eating a wide variety of different foods, getting a number of different types of movement of exercise throughout the week, and just doing all the things that are important to maintaining our good health and fitness.
[00:55:57.320] – Allan
Yeah. Again, treat your body well, and it'll treat you well.
[00:56:01.270] – Rachel
[00:56:03.570] – Allan
All right, well, I will talk to you next week. Great.
[00:56:06.600] – Rachel
Take care, Ellen.
[00:56:07.490] – Allan
You too. Bye.
[00:56:08.460] – Rachel
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On this episode, we're introducing a co-host for the 40+ Fitness Podcast.
Rachel Everett is joining the wellness industry as a newly minted NASM Certified Personal Trainer. So, you'll find a preamble at the beginning of each episode and a wrap up at the end. With 450 episodes done, I felt this would be a great way to freshen things up.
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Our guest today is one of the most famous and successful cosmetic dermatologists in the world. Often called the beauty guru by his celebrity and international patients, renowned for his minimally invasive techniques and holistic approach to cosmetic rejuvenation and age management. He is regularly featured as a skin and aging expert in local and international media. As a board-certified dermatologist, he has lectured around the world and has authored several articles on both consumer and professional literature. He is a clinical assistant professor of dermatology at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital.
With no further ado, here's Dr Paul Jarrod Frank.
That's what this book is going to really be about, is just let's sell some more plastic surgery. But it was absolutely not. And I was really, really glad to see that.[00:07:26.050] – Dr. Frank
This episode of the 40+ Fitness Podcast is sponsored by Fastic. Before we had refrigeration, processing and bulk transportation, we just didn't have access to food like we do today. Because we're opportunistic eaters, most of us consistently eat more than we should. And our bodies don't know how to signal to us that we've had enough. I practice intermittent fasting regularly, and it's a strategy many of my clients use to get control of food and as a happy side effect, lose weight.
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Allan (1:15): Karen, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
Karen Salmansohn (1:19): It’s great to be here.
Allan (1:21): Now, your book is Life is Long!: 50+ Ways to Help You Live a Little Bit Closer to Forever. I really enjoyed that title. It just kind of drew me in, because I’m on the other side of 50. When I got into the book I saw you promised your son Ari that you were going to live to 100. And I remember when I was in junior college, a friend and I basically made a bet. I don’t know that we’ll ever pay out on it, but I bet him that I was going to live to 110. So, I have kind of that forward looking. I think you had 57 different ideas and things to think about, as far as what you can do to improve your longevity. Many of these were going to add years, but quite a bit of them were actually more about adding quality to the years that you have as well.
Karen Salmansohn (2:09): Yeah, I say that I want to help people to live longer and younger. And there is a word that I read – I didn’t make it up – called “wellderly”, which are people that as you grow more elderly, you stay active and well. And that’s kind of what I’m going for.
Allan (2:27): Awesome. Now, we did used to see, I guess, 70-year-old bodybuilders, power lifters and marathon runners, or 80-year-old mountain climbers. We’re seeing that more and more, and I hope that most of us are realizing that the medical benefits and things that have allowed us to live longer doesn’t necessarily guarantee us that we’re going to be well when we get older.
Karen Salmansohn (2:53): True. But when you see role models like that, it helps you. It becomes a healthy, self-fulfilling prophecy the more you’re like, “That’s possible.” I write books in general that help to motivate people not just to live longer, but on other things. And there was a guy, Roger Bannister, that ran a 4-minute mile. Before he could run the 4-minute mile, everybody thought that would be crazy to try to run a 4-minute mile. And then after Roger did it, so many other people started to do it because they said to themselves, “Oh, that’s possible. If this Roger guy can do it, then I can do it too.” So if you start to see other people thriving as they get older, then it helps you to have a different mindset.
Allan (3:46): They are thriving, and I think that does give us that “possible”. And then there’s the other side of the spectrum – one of my best friends from high school died this last week.
Karen Salmansohn (3:56): Oh my gosh!
Allan (3:58): He was 52 years old, and he’s gone. These things just don’t happen. You have to do some things to make it happen. So, your promise to your son Ari, you’re doing; and you’ve researched and learned a lot of these things to say these are the things that you can do to make sure that you get there. And I think that’s the action. I don’t want someone to think it just happens, that there’s a day, it’s certain. You can prolong your life, you can live closer to forever.
Karen Salmansohn (4:29): Yeah, there are things that you can control, and some things are your choice. You can age quickly or you can age slowly, and some of that is your choice.
Allan (4:39): Right. I think there were 57 of these in here.
Karen Salmansohn (4:45): It’s funny, because actually when I wrote the book I was 57. I just turned 58 in August. So I didn’t even realize there’s almost a symbolic reason for there to be 57.
Allan (4:56): Yeah. And they say it has to be an odd number, so you couldn’t just stop at 50 anyway.
Karen Salmansohn (5:02): You know what happened actually behind the scenes? It was only supposed to be 50, but I got so passionate about research and wound up with over 100. And then I said to the editor I have trouble limiting it to 50, so she allowed me to add on another seven.
Allan (5:19): Good, because all of them are really, really important and I don’t think you could have cut any further into these and had it. You would have been leaving some on the table. So you’ve got a second book in you, that’s for sure. Now, one of my favorite ones is one that we talk about a lot when we get into nutrition, because a lot of the people that listen to this podcast do practice a ketogenic lifestyle so they’re eating more fat now. We’re getting away from the “fat is bad” mantra that’s been out there. But some fat is bad, and you say, “Give yourself an oil change.” Can you talk a little bit about that and how the oils that we eat can be good for us or they can be bad for us?
Karen Salmansohn (6:06): Right. There are high-quality fats and healthy oils that you can have. Some of the bad oils of course make people think that all oils are bad, but that’s not true. Are you on a ketogenic diet, low in carbs, high in fats from healthy oils?
Allan (6:26): Yes.
Karen Salmansohn (6:27): Is that a general ketogenic or do you do it every couple of months?
Allan (6:33): I do it seasonal. So, the way it’ll work for me is, I think about how my ancestors ate. And what I know is they’re Northern and Eastern European. So, I’m an all-white guy, and I cannot jump. But that said, they didn’t have access to berries and fruits during the winter, so they would not have been eating a ton of vegetables during that time of the year. They probably would have been hunting a lot more smaller animals. They would have been going for fish. So I eat a lot of fish, I eat a lot of smaller game like chicken and things like that, turkey. But that said, I know occasionally they’re going to get hungry enough and they’re going to sit there and see an opportunity to go kill an elk. So, a good high-quality red meat was an occasional thing that they had in their diet. And then when the summer / spring came back around, then there’s berries. And you walk out in the field and see a field of blueberries or blackberries – they would just eat, they’d just gorge. So I go through a season of what I would call “feasting”, and then I’ll go through a season of what I call “famine”, where I’m mostly on fish and meat, with leafy green vegetables and that type of thing. Some vegetables, but not a lot. That puts me into ketosis for a period of time. I just flip it, because I like football season and Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s. I don’t want to have to think about my food as much during my feasting season. I get to kind of do that; and high-quality beers and all the other. So, I have my feasting season and then I have my fasting. Or not so much fasting season, but my famine season. I just cycle through generally that way, for the most part.
Karen Salmansohn (8:16): Right. That’s great, because then you have the variety and you don’t get bored if it’s just the same thing. That can get people to cheat and go off of a healthy diet plan, but you created a system where it’s variety and change.
Allan (8:33): And when I’m eating the higher fat, moderate protein – because I do still try to stay with a moderate protein – I’m still looking to eat fish, because fish oil is important and it’s good. I’m a big fan of olive oil and avocado oil and that type of thing.
Karen Salmansohn (8:51): Avocado oil is my personal favorite. I have a huge bottle and I do everything with avocado oil. I love it. And it’s also good for your skin. I think we’ll be talking about it – I don’t like to put things on my skin, because that gets absorbed into your body, that have chemicals. So I try to keep my moisturizers as chemical-free as possible. But a lot of times when you tell people that aren’t familiar with the ketogenic diet to make sure that they have a diet high in fats, they think, “Oh great, French fries!” No, no, no, no, no. No fried foods. No, that’s not what this is about. I love avocados. It’s a great way to make sure that you get some healthy fats. I make a healthy avocado smoothie and it fills me up, because when you have foods with fats, it also helps you to feel fuller faster, which helps to make sure you don’t do those cheap eats because you’re feeling more full. So, that helps a lot. And then MCT – medium-chain triglyceride oil – that’s been known to help with your brain’s cognitive functions, as well as weight management, gut health and inflammation. There are people that add that to coffee – MCT oil. I’m sure you’ve read about that.
Allan (10:19): Yeah. Basically what this is, is an oil that has been derived typically from coconut oil, and it’s broken down into, like she said, medium-chain triglyceride. And what happens there is, the body really only has the option to use it for energy in the moment. When you have this stuff, your body’s going to immediately want to start using it for energy. So you’re going to feel an energy boost and a cognitive little pickup, which is why I think a lot of people like to add it to their coffee. But a note of caution – you have to ease yourself into using MCT oil, or you’re going to have a mess on your hands because it will cause some digestive problems if you’re not ready for how much you’re eating. I have some down in my pantry and I will typically do something like, let’s say I want to have a big salad for lunch. So I’ve got my leafy greens and that’s all set up. I will put some olive oil in, I’ll put some balsamic vinaigrette, and then I’ll put a little bit of MCT oil in there and shake it up, and use that as a part of the salad dressing. And I don’t have a 2:00 let down at all. A good lunch like that with heavy fat – I’m really going to be good until dinner. And sometimes that salad might be the first meal I even have that day. Naturally, because I’m in ketosis, I don’t feel hungry in the morning. And fasting was one of your other…
Karen Salmansohn (11:56): Intermittent fasting. We could talk about that too. There’s so much. It used to be that breakfast was the most important meal of the day, but there’s a lot of research that says that if you skip breakfast, that’s actually good for you. And the grazing throughout the day, which everybody said was great for you, is now coming back with research that says that that might not be so good; that intermittent fasting is better for your mitochondria.
Allan (12:27): I’ve done the self-study. I’ve looked at it both ways for myself, and I think that’s the important thing, to experiment with what works for you. If you’re going to eat carbohydrates, make that a good amount of your food. So, you’re going to eat the grains, the beans, legumes and all that. If that’s the approach you’re going to take, you’re probably going to want a good breakfast – steel-cut oats and those types of things, because your body is going to need the sugar. Whereas if you’re in ketosis, your body’s already producing ketones, it isn’t going to be as necessary. So I think it really depends on your way of eating as to how important that first meal is. I still call it “breakfast”, even if it happens to be 2:00 in the afternoon.
Karen Salmansohn (13:16): That’s funny.
Allan (13:19): Now, other oils – the oils we would want to avoid.
Karen Salmansohn (13:23): Processed oils. You should look on packages. It’s not just something that you cook with, but anything that you buy – if it has soybean oil, corn oil, safflower oil, cotton seed oil, sunflower, palm, the partially hydrogenated oils – all of that, keep away from.
Allan (13:46): I say if it’s in a can or it’s in a clear bottle, it’s probably not going to be a good oil for you because it’s so shelf-stable, it’s just going to sit there. They make it in such a way that it can just sit there and not go bad.
Karen Salmansohn (14:05): And I see now they’re trying to make potato chips with the better oils, but I still think that potato chips are potato chips are potato chips. It’s still processed food. Anything with a barcode, you have to be a little suspicious of.
Allan (14:21): That’s another one you slid in there.
Karen Salmansohn (14:24): I’m passionate about this.
Allan (14:26): I know you are, and that’s why I don’t think you could have left one out, because they interconnect and overwind so well together that also in planning this conversation, it was difficult for me to decide. At the beginning, I set my number at no higher than seven. So, we’ve got to get moving if we’re going to get all seven of these.
Karen Salmansohn (14:49): it also brings up why I wanted to write the book, which is that I wanted to curate the best tips, and write it in a fun, easy to understand way. I love reading. I’ve had this skillset for a while – I don’t know what it is – to read even boring, complicated research studies, and then I write it up with humor, and easy to understand. It’s something that I’ve always been able to do – write up boring, complicated things in a fun, easy to understand way. And that was my goal for this book, to do the hard lifting of reading and then narrow, focusing it down to the most important stuff and make it easy to read, with fun graphics. There’s an illustrator that we found and I just love her style. In fact, I’m bringing her back for my next book that’s going to come out next year. I just love her graphics. She’s so talented.
Allan (15:44): It is a beautiful book. And you’re right, you did take this, but you didn’t just say, “This is a rule.” You actually took the time to do the research. You point to the research, but you don’t get real dry into, “Here are all the things they found in this study.” You just place it out there and say, “I’ve done my research, and here’s where I found it. If you want to go down that rabbit hole, here’s the information. You can go ahead and really dive in and get deeper into this if you need to.”
Karen Salmansohn (16:14): One thing that I’ll say – I’m just thinking about this now as you’re interviewing me – I made the research and information so easy that I could actually talk about it with my eight-year-old son, because I wanted to get him on board. One of the tools that I mention is that you are who you eat with, which I think we might want to talk about too.
Allan (16:37): Let’s go ahead and talk about it.
Karen Salmansohn (16:38): Okay. Well, my son was eating all of this stuff like pizza, macaroni and cheese and bacon. So, when I was around it, it became more challenging to resist it. And potato chips and Doritos and all of that, like a kid. And I wanted to raise him so he could make the choice of knowing if he really wants to eat that. I spoke about everything with him in such a way that he could understand this. And also, he would be my accountability buddy and we could do it together. Now, I allow him because I want him to have a normal childhood, to have the pizza, the macaroni and cheese. But he knows to do it in moderation. He’s aware. The tools in this book are broken down in such a way that they’re so easy to understand that you could talk about it with your kids and get them involved in eating healthier. It’s written in such a way.
Allan (17:48): It is. I don’t want to say it’s a kids’ book, but you’re absolutely right. This is something that anyone can sit down.
Karen Salmansohn (17:58): It’s a logic, there’s a logic. My little guy is pretty smart for his age, but I do think that you could bring it in and talk about it with your family and get the whole family active in it, because as I say, you are who you eat with, and you wind up being affected by those around you and how they eat. So, you want to get people in your family who you eat with all the time actively eating healthier. They actually have other studies too, which is interesting, where people also sometimes take on the income of the people that they spend time with.
Allan (18:39): That’s a Jim Rohn quote where he says, “You are the product of the five people you spend the most time with.” And it’s because of both things. One is, you learn good habits from them, and we keep ourselves accountable.
Karen Salmansohn (18:57): Even there’s something called “emotional contagion”. You even become sometimes in the mood of the people that you hang out with. All of this is so interesting to me, how that winds up happening.
Allan (19:08): Yes. So let’s switch gear a little bit, because I really enjoyed your conversation in the book about supplements.
Karen Salmansohn (19:18): First thing I want to say is that I really do try to get all of my vitamins from food, rather than from a bottle. But I do have some supplements that I turn to. And I want to be clear that everything in this book, before you make any massive change in your diet, you should talk to your doctor, because everybody’s different. Everybody is body is different, and I don’t want to recommend something to somebody if they have their own health challenges or something that they might not even know about. They should see a doctor.
Allan (19:59): I totally agree.
Karen Salmansohn (20:02): That in mind, I am a huge fan of taking a vitamin D supplement, but I make sure that it has K in it – D3 with K2. My own doctor, who vetted the tools in this book, told me that pretty much everybody these days, at least here in New York City, where people spend a lot of time indoors versus outdoors, have a vitamin D deficiency. I take it in liquid form, by the way. I feel it goes into my system better. And I don’t like pills that much, I just don’t like swallowing them. They make me nauseous, I feel uncomfortable. So I get a bottle of liquid vitamin D3 that has K2 in it. The K2 helps your body to absorb it. It kind of works like a traffic cop to ensure that the D3 goes to the right places in the right amount, more swiftly. They call it “the sunshine vitamin” for people that aren’t getting enough sunlight. It has so many benefits – mind, body, spirit, all of those things.
Allan (21:13): You can actually go into your doctor and get a lab test that will look at your vitamin D levels to see if there is some level of deficiency there. You don’t have to be on vitamin D3 all the time. I actually live in the Sunshine State of Florida, and so I get a good bit of sunshine when I’m able to get out and walk around and do things. But that said, I know the vast majority of us in the Northern hemisphere, there’s going to be a period of the year where we’re not going to get enough sunshine, either because we’re indoors for inclement weather or the sun is just not at the right angle for us. So, we do need to check that. This is one of those times when you do want to go to your doctor for a wellness visit and if you’re concerned about your vitamin D and don’t want to take a supplement all the time, you can have it checked and decide if that’s the best course of action for you.
Karen Salmansohn (22:06): Out of curiosity, since you live in the Sunshine State, do you ever have a vitamin D3 deficiency?
Allan (22:14): I have not. My doctor still kind of wants me to take vitamin D3 because so many of his patients have a deficiency. But I just tell him to look at it quarter on quarter. Right now we’re finishing up the summertime. I know in most parts of the country right now it’s a little cooler. It’s still in the high 80s and sunny here, so I’m out and about getting sun pretty much every day, just doing normal stuff around the house. So right now, no, but sometimes around February it gets a little on the low side, and I do actually start supplementing.
Karen Salmansohn (22:53): Well, I’m a big fan. And here in New York, pretty much all my friends are on D3. It’s very common here in New York. The other one is Coenzyme Q10. Again, check with your doctor, but that one is well-known to help with longevity and energy, and pretty much helps everything – your heart, lungs, brain, immune system. It helps your mitochondria to burn fuel, and anything that’s good for your mitochondria is good for your health and your length of life. So, that’s one that I take all the time; I take it every day. What’s your thoughts on that? Have you heard about that one?
Allan (23:46): I’ve heard a lot about it. Typically when I’m talking to somebody and they get into that, it goes into heart health. Again, that’s the energy aspects of the mitochondria, when you have strong, energized mitochondria. Your heart is a muscle that has to have that energy to fire every single beat for the rest of your life, as long as that is. For a lot of people the question isn’t, “Should you take it?” It’s, “Why aren’t you taking it?” And then the other side of it is, your body can actually produce it and you can actually get it from food sources. Typically, we just aren’t getting enough and we aren’t producing enough.
Karen Salmansohn (24:31): The next one is green tea extract, which can get into your system more than just having a cup of green tea. They also make green tea powder, but they make a liquid extract. Green tea, as everybody knows, gives you a great boost of antioxidants. Again, antioxidants help to fight cell damage that’s caused by free radicals, all of that. It helps to reduce blood pressure, it improves your blood fat levels, it boosts your heart health. It helps with your skin, your memory, and it helps with cancer, research says. So, this is a basic one that doesn’t have some of the risks that some of the other vitamins and supplements have. But again, check with your doctor.
Allan (25:26): Yes. Now, one thing you mentioned earlier – you talked about using avocado oil as a moisturizer. And I think that is important to moisturize where you need it, for sure. But I think a lot of women are going to want to look a certain way and it’s become fairly common to say, “I need this makeup” or, “I need to do this with my nails”, “I need to go for this pedicure, that manicure.” We’re putting things on our skin with the knowledge, but not a true awareness of what chemicals are in some of these products that we’re putting on our skin.
Karen Salmansohn (26:09): Right. Well, I am very aware of that. Actually, when I was pregnant with my son, I had my baby late in life. I was 49 when I got pregnant. I had an estrogen patch that I was supposed to wear; I put it on my arm. Things seep into your body through your skin. Isn’t that how you stop smoking too, you put a patch on? I don’t know. I never smoked.
Allan (26:40): There is a product; I think it’s called NicoDerm or something like that. But there are patches, yes, that provide some nicotine through the skin. There are vitamin patches. Testosterone and estrogen are both done either through patches or through creams that’ll go through your skin. So yes, we do absorb these things into our blood system, into our whole system through the skin, because it is an absorptive organ that can take things in.
Karen Salmansohn (27:15): I’m very aware of what I put on my skin. I don’t want to plug a specific product, but I only buy one brand that smells great, and I use that. Or I could use avocado oil from the kitchen and put that on and feel like my skin looks fantastic. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. That’s what’s so funny. These companies sometimes charge you so much, but it might be better just to pick a natural product like coconut oil or avocado oil. I really watch having my nails done, because the more I’ve read about nail polish and even being in a nail salon, with the fumes from that nail salon – so many studies on that, that were very scary when I started to read about this. So, I actually cut back on nail polish, pedicures and manicures. And if I do go, I try to go to a salon during a non-busy time so there’s not much stuff in the air. I read ingredients on products and I really make sure that nothing has formaldehyde, which is a known carcinogen. Some of these things are so scary. Toluene is an additive they put in gasoline. Some of these I can’t even pronounce, and if you can’t pronounce it, chances are it’s really terrible for you. But even things with fragrance in them – the word “fragrance” has been linked to cancer, birth defects, and central nervous system disorders. So, I really watch it with the chemicals that I add into my body through beauty products.
Allan (29:04): Yeah. And it does take some research to find out what’s in these products. Right now there’s a new kind of industry out there of folks that are trying to put out really good products that don’t have these things in them.
Karen Salmansohn (29:19): They have nail polish now that doesn’t have some of these things, and I sometimes use that. But I definitely don’t like to go to the nail salons anymore because of what I’ve read with the fumes in the air.
Allan (29:35): I don’t go to nail salons, so I get to live forever. Now, I’m a huge proponent of telling folks, “You need to do wellness visits, you need to go see your doctor.” But you put in here, “An apple cider vinegar a day keeps your doctor away.” I appreciate the tie-in with the old statement we would have with the apple and the doctor. You do want to go to your doctor, but you don’t want to have to go to your doctor. I think that’s where we’re going with this. Can you talk about how apple cider vinegar is going to keep me from having to go to the doctor?
Karen Salmansohn (30:12): It’s actually been known to help with blood sugar levels. I don’t want to hype too many products, but I buy these really tasty ones that they make. It’s so funny – there’s a whole industry with apple cider vinegar-type products where they have funny labels and really funny names. In fact, right now by accident, not even thinking about it, I bought one today at a store called Fizzy Fox, and it’s really cute. It has apple cider vinegar with carrot, ginger and turmeric. And it tastes so good. I have that in the mornings. I love having apple cider vinegar in the morning because I feel like it gets my body cleaned out. At least that’s how I feel. I start my day with it; that way I also get it out of the way. They say it helps you with sugar cravings. I buy the ones that are mixed with other things, but you could just add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to water. You have to watch it. Oh my God, absolutely don’t just take a spoonful of apple cider vinegar; you will die. I mean not die die, but it’s terrible.
Allan (31:33): It is. I can attest it is an unpleasant experience. One time I didn’t dilute it enough. I put it in with about eight ounces of water and a tablespoon. That a little tough when I drank it. You do want to dilute it, and it may be something where you take half at one time and then half later. Sometimes I’ll squeeze a bit of lemon or lime in there, and that kind of changes the texture of it, the taste of it a little bit. So there are ways you can mask it, like you said, with the cumin, the carrot and the flavorings, if you want to go that route.
Karen Salmansohn (32:11): The one that I have right now is so yummy. I don’t even think about it as apple cider vinegar, but I know it is. That’s why I’m drinking it. I have ones in my refrigerator in the other room that come mixed, like an elixir. It might even have the word “elixir” on it. Those are the ones with the funny names, the funny labels. They put in things like maple syrup, and that helps, and really good flavors. I love those. I’d also recommend you Google it and you’ll see. I don’t want to promote a particular brand. The American Diabetes Association is a big fan of people having apple cider vinegar, because it helps control insulin and it’s been shown to help with appetite control, and it helps you absorb minerals like calcium. It has so many benefits. Big fan.
Allan (33:05): Yes. Now, we want to brush our teeth because we want the beautiful white teeth as we get older, and we don’t want to potentially lose those teeth as we get older. But there’s another reason to brush your teeth and floss. Could you talk about that?
Karen Salmansohn (33:24): There is oral bacteria in your mouth if you’re not taking good care of your teeth. This actually goes into your body, because your gums have blood vessels in them. And if your gums are not healthy, that means your whole body will have a consequence from this as well. So, you have to take really good care of not only your teeth, but your gums. The better you are at controlling your oral bacteria, the better your whole body’s immune system will be. So, floss, brush more than twice a day even, if you can, and make sure that you’re taking care of your gums as much as your teeth.
Allan (34:18): That’s one of those things that should just be a ritual to us, but take your time and clean your teeth. I don’t mean that to berate anybody; I’m just saying a lot of us get in a hurry. Bedtime rituals are really, really important, and when you get up in the morning, obviously that’s a good time as well. But make this a part of your nighttime ritual. We want to get away from screens, we want to make sure our sleep’s good quality. So, taking just a few extra minutes to really make sure that you do a good job there is, one, going to make your dentist and the person who’s cleaning your teeth very, very happy; but two, it’s going to help you live longer.
Karen Salmansohn (34:56): It’s so interesting that everything’s so interconnected, but your gum disease could affect your heart health. Everything’s interconnected.
Allan (35:07): Yes, it is. And that’s, again, why I think all of these work so well together, because you’re not just impacting one system. When you make a change like this, you’re really impacting a lot of them. People like simple rules. Well, here’s a simple rule, but the reality is it interconnects with 56 other rules. If you’re doing all of these, you’re really covering all of your basis. But I want to leave with what was my favorite one. As I was reading this one, I was like, “This is why Adam Sandler is going to help me live forever.” I could watch The Waterboy over and over and over again, because I love that movie and it makes me laugh every time I watch it. Why is Adam Sandler going to help me live longer?
Karen Salmansohn (35:59): This one, I had to squish in six studies. There are so many studies that the more you laugh, the better your overall health. It boosts your immune system, it helps with the free radicals. There are studies all around the world too, even in Japan, where I wouldn’t even think of that country as being huge proponents of comedy. But they found that laughter seems to lower levels of this dangerous protein, and it helped with progression of some kind of diabetes-type disease that causes kidney failure. They did a whole study on it in Japan, so now the Japanese are huge fans of Adam Sandler, I guess. It’s all over the world these studies have been done. I know that in general, happiness has been linked with longer health, but laughter in particular. They now have yoga classes that are laughter-yoga classes. I know that there have been studies that watching funny movies helps, just being with funny friends, looking at life with a more funny lens, trying to find the humor in things, not taking things so… It helps lower stress, and stress is bad for your longevity. So, definitely watch those funny movies, be with funny friends, try to find the humor in your life. And I tried to make the book funny, so hopefully you got a bunch of chuckles reading the book, so that helps you as you’re reading.
Allan (37:42): Yes, absolutely. And it’s just a really cool book. The illustrations are beautiful. Very simple rules per se, and source material. This isn’t just something you made up or thought this is what people would want to hear.
Karen Salmansohn (37:58): We had so much source material, Allan, that we couldn’t fit in the footnotes in the book. I had to put it up on my website, because I had so many studies that we’d have to add on another 10 pages in the back. So, the publisher said, “Can you just put this on your website?”, because I had so much research. It’s all up on my website, which is even interesting. People go to my website, they can find it over there at NotSalmon.com, because the research studies, when you read those, you find out even more. This whole topic of longevity, I find very fascinating.
Allan (38:36): Yes. And your website you said was NotSalmon.com?
Karen Salmansohn (38:40): Yes. My last name is Salmansohn, Karen Salmansohn, and everybody mangles it and they’re always going, “Salmonson”. I’m always going “Not salmon, not salmon.” So, I figured if I made my website Karen Salmansohn, three people would know how to spell it and I’d get no traffic. So, it’s NotSalmon.com.
Allan (39:01): Alright. Anything else? I know you told me earlier that your mom’s going to be involved in this project at some level. Could you share that with us?
Karen Salmansohn (39:11): One of the many tips in the book is, “Delay when you retire, delay when you expire.” And my mom is an actress and a voiceover narrator her whole life, and she is 87 and still going strong. And so, when the publisher said, “Let’s do an audio version of the book”, I thought, “I think I’ll give it to my mom because it will be a beautiful thing.” First of all, she’s still working, and the book is about celebrating staying active into your later years. And then I’ll have this forever recording of her. I went to the session with her and it was this mom / daughter thing with her recording it. And she did a great job. She’s funny and she made reading the book feel fun to listen to. So my mom is the voiceover on Life is Long!. My 87-year-old mom.
Allan (40:05): Awesome. I’m going to make sure to have links to that on the website and links to your website as well, so they can go see the research and all the cool things you’re doing there, because this is not your first book. There’s a lot of other great material and books out there that they should check out. You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/346, and I’ll have those links there. Karen, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
Karen Salmansohn (40:30): Thank you for inviting me. This was fun.
Allan (40:40): If you enjoyed today’s episode, would you please take just one moment and leave us a rating and review on the application that you’re listening to this podcast right now? I’d really appreciate it, and it does help other people find the podcast, because it tells the people that are hosting these podcast episodes out there on their apps that you’re interested and they know that other people like you might be interested. So please do that. If you can’t figure out how to do that on your app, you can email me directly and I’ll try to figure it out for you. Or you can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Review, and that’ll take you to the iTunes where you can launch that and leave a review there. I really appreciate the ratings and reviews. It does help the podcast, it helps me, so thank you very much for that.
Also, I’d really like to continue this conversation a little bit further, so if you haven’t already, why don’t you go ahead and join our Facebook group? You can go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group, and that’ll take you to our Facebook group where you can request entry. It’s a really cool group of people, like-minded, all in our 40s, all trying to get healthy and fit. I’d really love to have you out there and have you a part of that conversation. So, go to 40PlusFitnessPodcast.com/Group.
I apologize if I sound a little bit hoarse today. I’m in the process of recording the audiobook for The Wellness Roadmap. It’s a lot harder than I thought it’d be. A lot of reading out loud, a lot of re-reading out loud, a lot of fits and starts, but it’s coming along. I’m really looking forward to getting the book released soon. If you go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com, you can be a part of the launch team and be on the front lines of launching this book, The Wellness Roadmap. So I hope you will go to WellnessRoadmapBook.com and become a part of the launch team. I really need your help to make this thing happen, and happen the way it should. So again, WellnessRoadmapBook.com.
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