Uncovering 50 Years of Diet Myths with Team Diabetes Daily
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Ginger: Hi, I’m Ginger with Diabetes Daily and I’m really excited to share with you this three part video course with New York Times best-selling author and SANE solution CEO Jonathan Bailor. In these videos, you’ll see how almost everything we’ve been taught about wellness, nutrition, diabetes management, and fat loss have actually been proven wrong by modern science. And best of all you’ll get a first look and special free preview of the SANE solution system which is actually a complete system that promises to give Weight Watchers a run for its money because it’s all about improving the quality of what you eat rather than helping you eat a 1,200 calorie diet of highly processed products. Are you ready? Let’s get started.
All right, welcome. This is an inside look, inside conversation, exclusive opportunity to hear from Jonathan Bailor who is the creator of the SANE solution and the author of the Calorie Myth which is a must read book for anybody who cares about what they’re eating and trying to lose weight, and diabetes management. How are you doing, Jonathan?
Jonathan Bailor: I’m doing great, Ginger. Thank you so much for having me.
Ginger: Thanks for joining us. We need to pick your brain. We’re going to do four videos. So this is the first one and in this video we’re talking about dieting myths and dieting myths that have really been holding people back from succeeding in weight loss goals and health goals so.
Jonathan Bailor: I know it’s going to sound a little bit silly, Ginger, but I’m so thrilled to be chatting with you and with the Diabetes Daily audience because in some ways the individuals who have been afflicted with diabetes have an advantage and I know that’s going to sound a little bit weird. But sometimes when people say to me, Jonathan, this is just overwhelming when I talk about SANE eating or healthy 2.0 where this whole new era that’s being ushered in by modern science and I say honestly if you want to avoid adult onset diabetes you just need to eat diabetics eat currently to avoid their diabetes from …
Jonathan Bailor: … worse. So …
Jonathan Bailor: … I totally understand and we’ll get into the fact that a lot of the medical community is still advising diabetics to eat for example an abundance of whole grains which we can talk about. But there is a bit of a bright side which is I’m hopeful that a lot of what we’re going to talk about is going to seem less crazy to a lot of our audience because …
Ginger: It is.
Jonathan Bailor: … they’re already consciously eating. They’re already seeing what certain foods do to their insulin levels and their blood glucose level. So when we say that a slice of whole wheat bread may spike your insulin greater than a Snickers bar, they’re not just going to say this is crazy talk. I mean they’ve …
Jonathan Bailor: … experienced that. So …
Jonathan Bailor: … I know that sounds silly, but you …
Ginger: I mean, I talk all the time about how–like sure I would love to be cured of Type 1 diabetes. I would never turn down a cure, but at the same time because of my diabetes I’m so much more aware of my health and you can ignore that. You could not use that to your advantage, but you could also use that to your advantage and, you know, that’s true with any type of diabetes. And there is research now that shows it’s 60 percent of Type 2 diabetes is highly connected to a person’s lifestyle whereas the 40 percent is more genetic issues. So, you know, what you’re talking about is crucial for this country, for the whole–everybody, and everybody on the planet.
Jonathan Bailor: I think the other advantage that diabetics have is they–one of the key myths I want to debunk in today’s session is this idea of just eating less or calorie restriction, or just the whole concept of dieting that’s been put upon us for the past 50 years. And the reason that is a myth is because once you start realizing that excess fat gain or dis-regulation of your body’s ability to balance calories naturally and effortlessly like every other animal on the planet does is much more similar to diabetes than it is to a moral failing. This makes a lot more sense. Let me unpack that just a little bit.
Jonathan Bailor: Almost everyone understands that people don’t just need to try harder to not have diabetes and it’s also not just eat. The way you treat diabetes is just to eat less food. We understand that it’s a qualitative change. You need to actually change what you’re eating because diabetes is the breakdown of your body’s ability to automatically balance your blood sugar out, right. At the end of the day blood sugar is what scientists call a homeostatically regulated system which means …
Jonathan Bailor: … that if you don’t have diabetes or you don’t have pre-diabetes that your body if your blood sugar drops too low should take steps to automatically bring it up, and if it becomes too high automatically take steps to bring it back down. You don’t need to consciously …
Ginger: [Inaudible 00:05:14] like prevent it from even getting too high or too low, right?
Jonathan Bailor: Exactly. I’ll put this way, a non-diabetic person doesn’t need to count–they don’t need to track their blood glucose level in order to function, their body does that for them. It’s not that doing it wouldn’t help them, but it’s just that they don’t have to do it. The brain is supposed to do that. That’s why we call diabetes a disease because it is a dis-ease of what the body should already be doing naturally …
Jonathan Bailor: … right? And nobody says like especially like you Type 1 diabetic just try harder because we understand that the body should be behaving one way, it’s not and we …
Jonathan Bailor: … need to address that not yell at that person and tell them that they’re wrong somehow. But when it comes to obesity or when it comes to body fat levels, the science is clear. Obesity is to the automatic regulation of calories and body fat as diabetes is to the automatic regulation of blood sugar. So just like there are hormones like insulin that have a lot to do with blood sugar levels, there are hormones like Leptin and Ghrelin and cholecystokinin and blah, blah, blah, blah which exists specifically to enable your brain and your hormones and your gut to communicate and say I have enough calories make me full or I don’t have enough calories make me hunger or I have a lot of calories give me energy and make my muscles involuntarily work so I don’t become over fat.
So you have again this homeostatic system which makes more calories in trigger more calories out automatically, and more calories out trigger more calories in automatically. But obesity is not a moral failing like diabetes it is a breakdown of that system and once we heal that breakdown (1) that changes everything about dieting because it’s like saying to a diabetic the way you treat diabetes is just to eat less food. That doesn’t make any sense at all, right?
Jonathan Bailor: And the way you treat obesity–and technically if a diabetic ate less food well they would–you have a smaller glucose response to 1,200 calories of junk than you would to 2,000 calories of junk. But we understand that …
Jonathan Bailor: … that’s not a treatment. That’s almost ludicrous, but that is how physicians tell us to deal with excess body fat. And I’m here to tell you and actual science is here to tell you that that’s as ludicrous to tell an overweight person just eat less of the food that broke your brain to telling a diabetic person just eat less of the food that broke your hormones.
Ginger: Interesting. All right. So I mean on one of your favorite topics, you wrote a whole book about this. See your book comes with all kinds of things, but the calorie myth. Why is calorie counting and calorie restriction not an effective method to weight loss and diabetes management?
Jonathan Bailor: Again, there’s a super strong advantage here for folks who are struggling with diabetes because there’s an understanding of a key concept which is you were on the early stages of lung cancer and you wanted to say, okay I don’t actually have lung cancer but I’m on the path to having lung cancer and I’m a smoker and I don’t want to get lung cancer. And imagine that your physician told you, okay I understand that you don’t want to get lung cancer so here’s a solution, I’m going to give you shorter cigarettes to smoke. Right, you would say that’s ludicrous.
The answer is not to take in less of that which is causing me to have this affliction, the answer is to breathe clean air or to not have this toxic substance that’s causing a disease in my body. Diabetics get that already. They understand that again it’s not just saying, hey starve yourself, that’s the way you’re going to manage your diabetes moving forward. It’s a qualitative issue. It’s what are you eating and certainly there’s a lot of misinformation out there about what diabetics should be eating.
Jonathan Bailor: But diabetics fundamentally have an advantage in the sense that they know that the quality of what they put into their body dramatically impacts their health. Whereas the calorie myth is the myth that the quality of what you put into your body is irrelevant and all that matters is the quantity of calories you’re putting into your body and that is–just if we take 10 seconds to actually think about that, it is instantaneously ridiculous.
Jonathan Bailor: But that is what the mainstream–I mean Weight Watchers is a $1.5 billion company predicated on the assumption that if you just eat fewer calories-like their marketing says nothing’s off limits ever.
Jonathan Bailor: Just don’t eat more than …
Jonathan Bailor: … 1,200 calories, right?
Ginger: As a personal trainer, I swear 60/70 percent of the women that I worked with and did consults with were people that had done Weight Watchers and maybe lost weight or was just too hungry to keep under that calorie restriction number that they were given and gained the weight back. And it’s so hard to follow that kind of protocol because it’s not lifelong. It’s not a long-term solution. And when you’re done with, I mean you still haven’t necessarily learned that 3 points worth of brownies is not a good breakfast …
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
Ginger: … as long as you stayed within your point limit and so yeah.
Jonathan Bailor: And again tying it back to let’s call it an unfair advantage almost that diabetics have, let’s use a Type 2 diabetic, adult onset diabetic here as an example. That you know that let’s say you used to eat, and this is not an exaggeration, let’s say you used to eat 150 grams of sugar per day which is not an exaggeration, all right. Most Americans are probably taking in at least 150 grams per day.
Jonathan Bailor: And your physician told you, okay I just want you to stop eating everything else other than those 150 grams of sugar because I know you need them. I know you’re addicted to sweets so what we’re going to do is just stop you from eating everything else and just have you eat those 150 grams of sugar because then you’re only going to be eating 600 calories per day. And actually let’s inject you with this weird hormonal thing which isn’t really tested and this is called an HCG diet. So let’s put on a …
Jonathan Bailor: … super calorie restricted diet and let’s inject you with hormones and that’s going to solve the problem. And as a diabetic you would say, well of course. The issue is not the number of calories I’m consuming, it’s what those calories or what the source of those calories are doing to my hormonal makeup. So you …
Jonathan Bailor: … already get that. Now we just need to say what are the actual types of calories and sources of calories that have a positive impact on our body versus a negative impact on our body. And the good news here, this isn’t controversial. People want to make it out to be controversial. Biology isn’t really a matter of opinion, right. We know that if you give Penicillin to a person 99 out of 100, this is what’s going to happen and it doesn’t matter if they’re a boy, or a girl, man, woman, child, adult, anyone. We’re all homosapiens, right. We may have different color eyes, different color hair, there is some level of individualization. But at the end of the day Omega 3 fatty acids are required for life unambiguous. Sugar consumed, refined sugar is not.
Jonathan Bailor: It’s not so we can have debates about moderation and can you take–of course you can eat–if you can smoke cigarettes and not get lung cancer.
Ginger: Right, right.
Jonathan Bailor: You can drink and drive and not get in a car accident. That doesn’t mean we should recommend doing it in moderation.
Jonathan Bailor: When we talk about 50 years of diet myths, the fundamental myth is this myth that the quantity of calories you’re consuming is the key focus on and if you can just bring that number down, your health will improve and that is absolutely a myth. And the advantage that diabetics have is that they already get that because the way you manage diabetics and the way you in some cases are able to cure at least adult onset diabetes or at least get people completely off medication …
Ginger: Yeah, I mean we like to manage adult onset because they can’t technically prove that it cures it, right?
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah, oh absolutely.
Ginger: But manage it and maintain healthy blood sugars with what you’re talking about with good nutrition.
Jonathan Bailor: Absolutely. And even sometimes we’ve had people that have gone off medication and things like …
Jonathan Bailor: … that which is …
Jonathan Bailor: … of course incredible.
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah, is not by again just eating less, it’s by changing what you’re eating and the same thing applies really to all conditions. I don’t care whether it’s diabetes, whether it’s obesity, or whether it’s …
Ginger: [Inaudible 00:14:21].
Jonathan Bailor: … hypertension, all of those things.
Jonathan Bailor: They’re food quality issues not calorie quantity issues.
Ginger: Right. And then, of course, you throw marketing in there and you think well Kashi cereal must be healthy for me. But if you look at the fine print aside from the bazillions of chemicals and the ingredients, there is just as much sugar in Kashi cereal as there is in Captain Crunch.
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
Ginger: And diabetics often–we all joke about how cereal impacts our blood sugar and really all cereal is the same people will say even the healthy cereals. I’m like, no there’s no healthy cereal unless you’re eating like oatmeal that’s just as it was. That’s a whole food. But they’re so broken down in such poor quality that your body doesn’t have anything to do with it besides break it down into glucose and your blood sugar. And marketing makes it so much more confusing.
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
Ginger: But on that same note of marketing that’s going to another fact, a myth, is on facts. Fats make you fat.
Jonathan Bailor: This ties back to that uber myth, Ginger, which is that it’s all about calorie quantity because most folks even if they’re new to nutrition have heard there’s three sources of calories. There’s protein, there’s carbohydrate, and there’s fat and they probably also heard that fat has more calories in it than protein or carbohydrate which is true. A gram of protein has 4 calories in it, a gram of carbohydrate has approximately 4 calories in it, and a gram of fat has 9 calories in it. So people automatically assume that eating more fat will not only give them heart disease and affect their cholesterol which we can talk about separately, but more from an obesity perspective and a weight gain perspective that again calories are the enemy. So if you eat fat you’re going to eat more calories which means you’re going to become fat so therefore eating fat makes you fat so you shouldn’t eat, terrifying.
But here’s the fundamental disconnect with that, let’s imagine, and this is going to sound crazy, I’m being sarcastic, that our brain is really smart, is really, really smart and that we will be hungry and hunger has a purpose, right. We are hungry because we need energy and clearly we don’t want excessive energy just like we don’t want excessive anything because having excess fat on our body isn’t healthy, right. So we would have never throughout the long history of humanity and whether you believe in intelligent design or evolution in either case, it would make no sense for an intelligent designer to design something which effortlessly becomes sick or for evolution to select for a species which will just eat, and eat, and eat, and eat and can’t control it until it becomes 600 pounds and can’t run away from a tiger, right. That doesn’t make any sense.
Jonathan Bailor: So let’s assume that your brain is smart and let’s assume that you’re gonna eat until you have enough energy to function. So let’s say that’s 2,000 calories. Let’s say you need 2,000 calories to function. If you eat fat, yes if you eat 10 grams of fat you are going to be taking in 90 calories whereas if you ate 10 grams of carbohydrate you would be taking in 40 calories. But let’s say it’s lunch and you’re going to be hungry until you eat 500 calories, you’re going to be hungry until you eat 500 calories. So you’re going to be hungry until you eat 500 calories so it’s not about this myth that marketers have given to us of, well just eat 100 calorie snack pack and somehow your brain will be like I don’t need those other 400 calories.
Jonathan Bailor: I was just kidding. I just wanted 100 calories of Oreos. The bottom line is once you can step back from this idea that our brain is fundamentally flawed and we can trick it and deceive it and our body doesn’t actually need energy to function …
Jonathan Bailor: … well then it doesn’t matter. I mean it does, we can talk about that. But it doesn’t really matter if you’re getting your calories from a pure caloric perspective, from a pure calorie math perspective, whether they’re coming from fat, whether they’re coming from protein, or whether they’re coming from carbohydrate in terms of getting energy into your body, you need a baseline level of energy and you will be hungry until you consumer that much energy.
Jonathan Bailor: So saying well don’t consume it from fat that doesn’t make sense. You need energy, right. So whether you’re getting your energy from sugar or from fat, you’re going to be hungry until you reach a certain threshold of energy bottom line. So hopefully you can see that it really doesn’t. Yeah, fat will get you there quicker on a gram by gram basis, but is that a bad thing? Well, actually not especially when you figure out that fat has dramatically less negative hormonal impact than sugar and now it’s like fat is the optimal …
Ginger: Right …
Jonathan Bailor: … energy delivery system.
Ginger: … to break down fat and insulin stores glucose as fat. So I mean that science alone is debunks it, but you don’t learn about that unless you’re diabetic often or not even if you’re diabetic necessarily. I have been eating an apple with peanut butter since I was like 11 for lunch and my friends always go, that’s all you’re eating for lunch instead of whatever they’re eating, turkey sandwich two slices of bread or whatever. And it’s like this is nutrient dense food is an apple and peanut butter. I’m getting at least 15 grams of fat, I feel really good and satisfied, just that because it’s nutrient quality dense real food.
Jonathan Bailor: Absolutely.
Ginger: It’s just a funny misconception [inaudible 00:19:52]. It’s such a small amount on the plate, it looks like a snack.
Jonathan Bailor: And that’s to the point of so fat is going to pack in more calories in a relatively small space, right. That’s why a tablespoon of coconut oil can have 100 calories in it and that’s a tablespoon.
Jonathan Bailor: And if you want to eat 100 calories of spinach, it would fill up a duffel bag so it’s energy dense. But to your point, Ginger, there’s really two things that control, this is an over simplification, but there’s two things that control satiety or how quickly we feel full and how long we stay full that’s actually the S in SANE. And that is one is the hormonal impact that what we eat has on our body, and the other is also the gastrointestinal stretch that it causes.
Jonathan Bailor: If you just were to eat that peanut butter, right, even though that peanut butter is probably providing dare I say 90 percent of the calories in that meal …
Jonathan Bailor: … if you were to eliminate the apple, you probably wouldn’t feel 90 percent as satisfied …
Jonathan Bailor: … because that apple actually does the second step which is actually takes your digestive system and it stretches it and the stretch receptors tell your brain hey I’m getting full. So …
Jonathan Bailor: … that’s why vegetable, low sugar fruits are so important because they’re the most effective way to give us that bulk or that …
Ginger: Bulk …
Jonathan Bailor: … stretch we need. But fat like you said, it is the most hormonally healthy way unequivocally to get energy into our body. In fact, Ginger, some sugars actually have negative satiety. This is why someone can drink 600 calories of a soda and it has no impact. I mean, they’re taking in 600 calories and it has no impact.
Ginger: Never feel full, right. Yeah, okay.
Jonathan Bailor: And isn’t that amazing that your apple with peanut butter probably has fewer calories than that in it, but it feels you up. But if you drank a soda, you’d actually be as hungry if not hungrier and it’s the same number of calories.
Ginger: And why is that? Is [inaudible 00:21:48] corn syrup doesn’t get registered in the brain as food?
Jonathan Bailor: That’s actually partially right. I mean, you’re about 80 percent of the way there. And in fact fructose specifically, a lot of these things don’t trigger the normal satiety signals and not only do they not trigger them, but some of these engineered products do the exact opposite, they actually make us hungrier. And if that sounds crazy think about for example products such as Pringles. Pringles open advertising that once you pop, you can’t stop.
Jonathan Bailor: Right? So this is a food which has been intentionally engineered to deliver calories into your body that make you crave more calories.
Ginger: Oh, yeah.
Jonathan Bailor: So not only can foods vary in their level of satiety where some have high satiety, some have let’s call it normal, but some can even have negative satiety. So when people sometimes say overeating is the cause of obesity, they’re sadly not looking deeply enough because do people who store excess fat on their body take in more calories than they need? Yes, of course they do just like if a team loses a basketball game, they lost because they scored fewer points than the other team. But the question is why. Why are they over consuming calories and usually it’s not because they’re lazy or they’re gluttons or they’re stupid, it’s because what they’ve been told to eat doesn’t fill them up. So they have to eat for it–if you tried to be satisfied on Pringles, you would …
Jonathan Bailor: … have to overeat to be satisfied.
Ginger: Oh, interesting. That makes a lot of sense.
Jonathan Bailor: And so …
Jonathan Bailor: … that’s helpful. We’ve covered a lot. Do you want to …
Jonathan Bailor: … boil this session down to maybe some key takeaways for the viewers?
Ginger: Yeah. Well, so the first one we were talking about calorie misconception, calorie myth, I would love if everybody watching actually went home and instead of looking at the calories looked at the quality of what they’re eating, the ingredients …
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
Ginger: … the amount of sugar.
Jonathan Bailor: Ginger, is that generally what you recommend is if I’m going to look at–what do you recommend for your readers that when they look at something, what are they looking at?
Ginger: Well, I mean everybody with diabetes has to count carbs. You have to. And if you haven’t learned yet ask your CDE to help teach you how to count carbs and we have some articles on Diabetics Daily about it as well. But the next thing, I mean before you start analyzing the fat and the protein and all that is look at the ingredients …
Jonathan Bailor: Yeah.
Ginger: … is this a real food, how many words in that list are definitely not foods, and go from there and fewer things that come in a box.
Jonathan Bailor: I think that’s excellent advice, Ginger. And I would also encourage folks when they’re looking at that ingredients list if it says–well, first of all it’s probably not going to say sugar because there’s 60 different names …
Ginger: Yeah …
Jonathan Bailor: … for sugar.
Ginger: … yeah.
Jonathan Bailor: But …
Ginger: Organic canned syrup or, you know.
Jonathan Bailor: Even like fruit juice extract. I mean they do all sorts of …
Jonathan Bailor: … things to make it sound-but the point is is that added sugars are really not helping you out here, right. Is an apple going to have sugar in it? Yeah, it’s going to have sugar in it. But if you look at the ingredients in an apple, it’s not going to say sugar, right?
Jonathan Bailor: It’s going to say apple. But if you look at almost any other apple-related product, if you look in the ingredients list there will be a sweetener added to it and that is really what you want to avoid so anything that has added sweeteners in it. I love looking at the grams of sugar in something relative to the number of calories and this is a little bit more mathematic, but it can be helpful if you can because sometimes you’ll see food manufacturers doing a little bit of serving size deception. So they’ll make a serving size so small so a serving is half a cookie which only has 4 grams of sugar in it. So you’re like, oh my gosh, 4 grams of sugar.
Ginger: [Inaudible 00:25:39] healthy.
Jonathan Bailor: This is so …
Jonathan Bailor: … healthy, but if you look at the calories in a serving size so let’s say the calories in a serving size was 40. So it’s 40 calories in a serving and let’s say that it had 4 grams of sugar so let’s say that’s 5 grams of sugar. Sorry this is getting a little bit mathematical, but 5 grams of sugar, 4 calories per gram of sugar so you do the math, 4 times 5 is 20. So if a serving has 40 calories in it and 20 of those calories are coming from sugar half of what you’re eating is sugar.
Ginger: Oh …
Jonathan Bailor: And I think that’s just a way for us to protect ourselves from food …
Jonathan Bailor: … manufacturers serving size nonsense, but I love that advice.
Ginger: I mean, it’s kind of a dead giveaway that they’re trying to deceive you if they’re saying a serving is half a cookie. Nobody eats half a cookie like half an Oreo, nobody does that. So that’s a great point.
Jonathan Bailor: So I think that’s a good takeaway. I think another great takeaway for folks is, and I think we can dig into this more in other episodes, is that you need energy, right, and your body isn’t stupid, your body’s actually brilliant. So the key thing is to figure out just like with managing diabetes what are the ways to get energy into your body that don’t aggravate diabetes when it comes to your other metabolic health, including but not limited to obesity. The question is not how to consumer fewer calories just like it’s not that way for diabetes, the question is how to consume the calories that will enable you to thrive. And once you do that your body will take care of the rest just like …
Jonathan Bailor: Right? As you’re able to manage your diabetes your body’s able to do more for you and you don’t have to think about it as much …
Jonathan Bailor: … the closer you are to being free of those symptoms. The same thing happens with your weight. The more you just eat the same nutrient dense whole foods that we ate prior to the obesity epidemic, the more you won’t overeat automatically.
Ginger: Right. And on that, we were talking about fats around this topic and take a look at how many low fat foods you have that are labeled in your pantry as low fat and in your frig. Chances are that’s not a really great quality food. So that’s another place to go looking.
Jonathan Bailor: Well, Ginger, I love this. I think this is also a great place for us to stop because I think our next topic of the pitfalls of low calorie dieting and low calorie diet foods is a great place for us to explore next. How’s that sound?
Ginger: That sounds awesome. All right. Thanks, Jonathan.
Jonathan Bailor: Thank you, Ginger.
Ginger: Hey, Ginger again. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did. Be sure to click on the SANE solution link on this page to get your free Diabetes Daily SANE solution plan. And to learn more about SANE solution, visit sanesolution.com. Thanks for watching, see you again soon.