I travel to the beautiful University of Washington campus to speak with recently anointed professor Tommy Wood. This interview was an urgent priority because Tommy is one of the most sensible and reasonable health experts, and things have been getting confusing recently on many diet and health optimization topics.
For example, Tommy recently appeared in debate format on the Minimalist Podcast with carnivore advocate Dr. Paul Saladino and plant-based advocate Rich Roll. If you are wondering how to make sense of the latest health trends, who’s right and who’s wrong, sit back and listen to Tommy explain things in a reasonable manner, while using in-depth scientific reference to support his perspective.
We cover some big-picture topics including how to reconcile the wonderful benefits of fasting and caloric efficiency versus the benefits of good nutrition and adequate fuel for peak performance and recovery. I reference my great success with Dr. Tommy’s 2017 suggestion to eat more total calories, but then extending my free pass all the way to fatty popcorn boy territory. Tommy presents is number-one bestseller book idea to eat things that “Look Like Food.” We hear about his horrifying ordeal with a snake bite in the Costa Rican jungle and recovery from a massive infection. We’ll talk a bit of testosterone, where mean realize that getting serum T above 500 is great goal, that more is not better, and how you might get confused by high readings for sex hormone-binding globulin if you are low carb and insulin sensitive.
We hit the hot topic of the carnivore diet, examining why people are reporting phenomenal results and learning the major insight that “high antioxidant” superstar plant foods like kale and broccoli actually have prooxidant properties that trigger an antioxidant response in the body. Do we need to eat them? Are they potentially bad for us? Tommy leverages his extensive medical training and scientific expertise to answer, “I don’t know.” What’s more important is that we maintain an open mind and not get dissuaded by the flawed logic that is tossed around so frequently in the health space. Few people are able to meld truth and humor (along with a very strong BS meter!) with scientific evidence and research the way Tommy can, so enjoy listening to this extremely informative and fun episode with a true leader in the Ancestral Health movement – you will not forget any of the truth bombs Tommy drops anytime soon!
Choosing the right workout environment to help you thrive [6:33].
Brad talks about how he gained weight and how he successfully got the extra pounds off [14:40].
Tommy explains why muscle mass is so important for longevity [21:50].
Why you have to get metabolically healthy before you do anything else [25:20].
Tommy tells the story of his recovery after getting bitten by a snake in Costa Rica [34:20].
“Change the things that you know you need to change” [44:10].
How much testosterone do you need at your age? What kind of behavior results from high testosterone levels? [49:00].
Tommy shares his thoughts on the carnivore diet [55:40].
Why people experience short-term success on the vegan diet [1:02:25].
Tommy explains how prooxidants in plant food affect the body [1:11:11].
Tommy describes who should, and who should not incorporate plant food into their diet, and why [1:17:30].
- Dr. Tommy Wood
- Dr. Tommy Wood on the Minimalist Podcast
- Paul Saladino
- Rich Roll
- Fatty Popcorn Boy Saga
- HBA1C Test for diabetes
- “Watch out for any scientist that doesn’t say “I don’t know” a lot.”
LISTEN:Download Episode MP3
Get Over Yourself Podcast
Brad: 00:00:00 Welcome to the get over yourself podcast. This is author and athlete, Brad Kearns, discovering ways to be healthy, fit and happy in hectic, high-stress, modern life. So let’s slow down and take a deep breath. Take a cold plunge and expertly balance that competitive intensity with an appreciation of the journey. That’s the theme of the show. Here we go.
Brad: 00:03:35 Dr Tommy Wood in the hood up to no good at the U Dub with the bottle full of bub. We sit down for podcast number three. Whoppie!, Oh, what a pleasure it is to discuss all manner of healthy lifestyle, diet related issues with the world’s voice of reason. You got to love this guy, dr Tommy wood. He’s up on all the science. He doesn’t have an agenda, is not touting or pitching a book or an angle or a product. In fact, he is so much. So the voice of reason that he was the third party on this epic debate on the minimalist podcast between carnivores advocate, Dr. Paul Saladino, one of our great podcast guests here as well, and the plant based kingdom dude, Rich Role of the rich roll podcast. So that’s right, Rich Roll and Saladino sat down to work things out, a moderated by the minimalist.
Brad: 00:04:34 But Tommy Wood was also on the stage with them being the reasonable guy there. Maybe the checkpoint guided go through the science. I listened to the podcast, so it’s pretty interesting. Uh, I would say that Saladino kicked ass. So go check that out on the very popular minimalist podcast channel, uh, on this conversation. And my freestyle rap was, uh, very much on target because we sat down at Tommy’s office at the University of Washington Medical Center. So this show covers a great deal of ground. First of all, we talk about Tommy’s experience on the minimalist podcasts with the disparate opinions of carnivore and plant based. And we get back to that a little bit. We get a little more deep into the carnivores scene and what Tommy’s opinion is on that cool stuff. Then we discuss a another occasion of disparate approaches and that would be the fasting time restricted feeding strategy versus the benefits of eating good nutrition and getting adequate fuel for peak performance and recovery for fitness minded enthusiasts.
Brad: 00:05:41 So I remind Tommy of his epic advice back in 2017 to eat as much good nutrition as possible to be as healthy as possible and athletic and recover. And I reminded him how I took that all the way into the fatty popcorn boy saga. And you listen to the show of that title to where I actualize Tommy’s recommendation to eat as much good food as possible. To the extent that you start adding excess body fat, which is a great sign that you’re well fed, well nourished, and have gone a little bit over the edge there. If you don’t want to start packing on pounds the rest of your life. And I laughed at the time. It was such an obvious suggestion of how much calories should I eat, uh, compared to how many calories I burned, blah, blah, blah. And Hey, if you start getting fat, then you know you’re eating enough.
Brad: 00:06:29 And that’s exactly what happened to me. So we reviewed that a little bit and then we get the fabulous number one bestselling book idea out of Tommy’s mouth. Can you believe it? Here’s the title, Eat Things That Look Like Food. How about that for simple dietary advice to take with you for the rest of your life? Another topic of interest we cover is testosterone and some of the confusion and misinterpretations of common blood tests in particular, he talks about how getting your serum testosterone up and over 500 is a great goal, but at a certain point more is not better. And you’ll find out just why. And also how you might get confused by some of the readings if your sex hormone binding globulin is high. And this is a very common occurrence for people that are eating in a low carb pattern because they’re insulin sensitive. It’s going to be a wild ride. You’re going to have fun, you’re going to learn a lot. Love to have Dr Tommy wood back on the show. Let’s get to it.
Brad: 00:07:35 Dr Tommy wood here in his fabulous office overlooking beautiful green Pacific Northwest university of Washington. Tell me about your, uh, your recent career, uh, happenings here.
Tommy: 00:07:47 Yeah, there’s been some interesting stuff going on. Um, last time I was on the show, uh, probably more than 50% of my work cause with nourish balance thrive, which still exists and is still doing well. Uh, but for various reasons, I decided to focus more on academic research, which is what I do here. So I’m a research assistant professor in the Department of Pediatrics. I research neonatal brain injury. Um, and at the same time try, you know, there’s a, another entity that I’m working with trying to develop a startup company to basically bring some of the things that we know about health and wellness and the things that we can do to support our own health and try and make that applicable to a much more general audience. We know that probably more than 80, maybe more than 90% of the Western population has the beginnings of a metabolic disease. And we know, um, most of the ways that we can fix that, but it’s trying to get the information and helping people support healthy behaviors, um, is really difficult. But that’s something that we’re trying to do. So those are the things that I’m doing at the moment. But sort of my main job really for the time being is, um, helping to run a lab here, looking at ways to treat babies with brain injury, but obviously still staying, um, very well connected to all the, the health and wellness fields.
Brad: 00:09:04 Well this, this ambition to, um, get this broad behavior change. Uh, it occurs to me, we were talking about this before we hit record. Uh, most people know pretty much what to do. They’re just not doing it. So there’s where our disconnect is. We have the knowledge floating out there for the most part. I think there’s some people that don’t have the knowledge or there’s so much confusion in there. They’re locked into a very strict diet that doesn’t include animal foods and thinking that’s the ultimate expression of health and their path to, you know, longevity. So there’s a little bit of trouble there with the knowledge, but the general idea that we, you know, should go to sleep, uh, before her, you know, hours of digital entertainment and not eat stuff that’s coming in, uh, in a wrapper that’s an edible food like substance. How do we get to the, how do we make that jump where people care about their health and take action?
Tommy: 00:09:53 Yeah, that’s an, you know, it’s a serious problem. We know that these diseases say Alzheimer’s disease, that cooling it, the disease, it’s going to bankrupt Medicare, Medicaid. Um, and you know, as you know, people, people get sicker younger and it’s just, it’s just untenable. But we also know that most of those things due to the modern environment, but like you say, um, health is not, it’s not in general, it’s not a knowledge deficit. And there’s plenty of papers, you know, research that shows that, you know, giving somebody more information is not enough to change their behavior. So when Mo, you know, a lot of people, you know, maybe people who listen, listen to this show are people in this sort of like really into health, you know, health optimizers. Um, we’re doing a whole load of expensive testing, uh, genetics, nutrigenomics, maybe they’re doing stool testing, epigenetics.
Tommy: 00:10:43 Um, in reality, none of that is necessary for the average person to become dramatically healthier, you know, 80, 90% of, of, of where their, the optimal days. And that’s what most people need. Right? Um, so then it becomes about building healthy behaviors. How do you make it so that you have, um, you know, an optimal sleep environment or you’re being exposed to the sunlight during the day or your eating , you know, in a nutrient dense, um, you know, healthy, healthy diet, um, or you, you know, building social interaction, um, and those things, you know, there’s, there’s plenty of, again, research out there in terms of how we foster behavior change. Um, and we’re hoping we can leverage some of those things, um, to try and teach people to do that. Because, you know, some people want to do these things for their own health. They, maybe they’re overweight or you know, they have high blood pressure or they’re worried about their risk of heart disease. Um, and you know, all of these things can be improved by putting some of these things in place. But we know it’s difficult. A, because the evidence in a, you know, in quotation marks is confusing, confusing. So, so eliminating some of that is important. But then there’s also, you know, how would you build these things into what most of, you know, most of have a very hectic, stressful lifestyle. Like how do you start to build some of these things in? So that’s ultimately our goal.
Brad: 00:12:04 Uh, well, how do you, I mean, to me it seems like it’s a problem of, uh, instant gratification, decadence, luxury consumerism versus, you know, we don’t have like, like the rats in the lab where they get shocked if they eat a certain one of the foods and then they don’t get shocked. It’s like we don’t have that instant electrical shock when we reach for something or stay up past our bedtime. So without that, we’re kind of just indulgent every day or something.
Tommy: 00:12:31 Yeah. So there’s a number of different ways to skin this cat and I think what, what is being missed in general in this sphere? You know, a lot of people are starting to accept the behavior changes is the big problem, but, you know, they’ll focus on one type of intervention, but different people respond to different things. So some people will, like you say, some people respond to carrot, some people respond to the stick. Um, some people need some kind of social support. Um, others might need somebody who turns up right when they’re vulnerable and says, hang on a second, you know, don’t do that, do this instead. Um, and that requires you to know, uh, know the user, um, and also have, you know, the whole sort of available box of tricks that, that our health coach might use in real life, but, you know, hopefully automate some of that process so that you can figure that you can figure this out yourself without having to spend money that a lot of people don’t have to try and get some of this help.
Brad: 00:13:24 So what about bashing, uh, over your head with a baseball bat? Like the screaming, uh, television celebrity trainer? That’s not necessarily gonna work for everybody, is that what you’re saying?
Tommy: 00:13:34 No, but some people, some people are motivated by that. And it reminds me of, um, when I was living in central London and I was training for a triathlon and I went to the spinning class. It was, it was, it was Wednesday nights. It was incredibly popular. It’s a book like several, like several weeks in advance. And there was this six foot five very live, the lean German guy, um, who was, who was the spinning instructor and he turned all the lights off and he’d play this incredibly tense, like intense techno music and he’d wander around and just like scream in your ear. And people, they loved it. Like those people loved it. But like for a lot of people that is incredibly de-motivating. So you just need to have, you need to have a, you know, a cheerleader style or, um, something that really supports you in, in, um, your successes no matter how small. Um, and then sort of helps you build on that and again, doesn’t punish you or make you feel ashamed or whatever if you, if you fall off the wagon because everybody does that sort of thing, process, right?
Brad: 00:14:35 Maybe that’s the first gateway is to say, you know what? You’re okay how you are and figuring out what works best for you. And if you’re, if you’re just into yoga and you don’t like jogging down the block, then don’t do it. I mean, you know, figure out there’s some compromises and things here. But then, you know, in the next breath when you talking to an individual and they say, well, you know, I have a sweet tooth and I, I can’t live without my bread. And so now you’re like pushing that, you’re lowering that bar down. Uh, and you do that seven more times with, I always also like my Netflix in the evening. I need to unwind after my stressful day and all of a sudden you’re setting yourself up with, you know, not, not the highest potential.
Tommy: 00:15:13 Yeah. The, so then, um, it becomes really important to, uh, build on small successes but also focus where you can focus. So, um, uh, of all the things that I think are going to be important, they include sleep and circadian rhythm, diet, movement, social interaction, um, uh, stress management, and then maybe the environments that exposures. So almost everybody has one of those things that they could begin to work on. So, you know, maybe your biggest problem is the food that you’re eating, but hang on a second. Could we, you know, get you to go for a walk after you have a meal, right? That’s, and then as soon as you start to see the benefits of that feel, the benefits of that you have, you know, you’re more motivated or you then you feel you’re more capacities change other things that feel more difficult so you can always come from a different direction and help people build up where they can start. And then, then you start to, to work on bigger things as a, as and when, you know, they start to build some momentum.
Brad: 00:16:05 So what have we learned from the extreme edge of the, uh, the pursuit of optimal health and that, you know, the massive testing that, uh, I was able to do through you guys and get all this information and then also what the elite athletes are doing. The people that are pushing the absolute envelope of biohacking and all that. Have, we had some incredibly valuable insights that are a must do for everybody, uh, or you should everybody get their blood tested at least once a year and then, you know, have a starting point like that or where, what can we do?
Tommy: 00:16:38 Yeah. It’s, so I think, you know, all of those things are important. If you’re out, you know, the bleeding edge, either of performance, head of performance or of health optimization, that data that, that information, which you can then, and making sure that it’s information you can then act upon, you know, can be incredibly valuable. And that’s gonna get you the last, you know, five, 10, maybe 20%. Um, but what I noticed having spent a lot of time in that arena is that most people do not need that. Um, and at the moment, you know, and again, I’m talking about the average person who probably has pre-diabetes, right? Just teaching them how to, you know, eat better, helping them build habits to eat better, sleep better, move a bit more, you know, none of that requires fancy testing. None of it is expensive. Um, and it just requires a support to make those, to make those habit changes. So, so, you know, both the relevant, uh, but when you’re trying to think about applying this stuff to a more general population, you, you really see the, the, the sort of the fancy testing that we’ve done that I do believe you benefited from is not something that everybody needs or wants or, or, uh, can afford. Um, and therefore you have to make sure you’re getting the most out of, you know, you know, the really most impactful things, which are, are those, uh, you know, six variables that you talked about earlier.
Brad: 00:17:58 Yeah. I think even referencing my time as an elite athlete where I had to take advantage of every opportunity and treatment method and professional support, um, you know, being happy, being motivated, feeling like you’re enjoying the journey was so much more important than, uh, any biofeedback or things like that where if you weren’t starting from that realm, and I’m, I’m thinking of this now cause some of the questions that we absorb, uh, you know, promoting the, the books, the, the Primal Movement. They’re, they’re so, uh, precise and detailed and nuance that it’s like you shouldn’t even bother asking or answering these questions unless you take seven steps back and say, um, you know, are you being a jerk to your wife these days or whatever it is. Are you, are you connecting with your kids or is this just an obsession took like, you know, get out of, uh, uh, other, other matters of life that, that deserve to be addressed that are higher priority.
Tommy: 00:18:57 Yeah. And that is, that’s the real risk. Um, with uh, the, the quantified self movement or the health class, you know, that you, um, you, you can get all this data but a lot of the data isn’t directly actionable or people are not acting upon it and at the same time, um, you are probably sacrificing a lot of those other things which are more foundational. And if you’re doing all of those things right, then yes, this can give you the extra five to 10%. But if you’re not, then you’re not going to see any benefit anyway.
Brad: 00:19:28 Yeah, that’s what I was saying. Like, I don’t even pay for the blood test until I feel like I’m deserving of going and testing my blood cause I’ve been really eating well and working out well and things are going, I mean, or if I’m feeling like crap and I’m really trying hard and I’m trying to do the right thing and something feels off, sure, go get a test. But I think, uh, wow. You know, the, the triathlete example of purchasing the expensive bike to save a pound of weight when you’re, you know, when you could just, when you could lose five pounds.
Tommy: 00:19:57 by eating slightly better then.
Brad: 00:19:58 Right, right. Okay. Man, you got to set some things straight for me too. Right? Here we are. Um, this is now about a year and a half after your intervention with me where I was deep into this keto thing, feeling great. Appetite was regulated, just like we say is so fantastic and I’m fasting extended period every day. Everything’s going fine, uh, doing these ambitious workouts and they’re, they’re going okay. But then I’m, you know, noticing that I’m kind of a drag ass once in awhile and I have crash and burn experiences maybe 36, 48 hours after my sprint workout. And again, I’m over 50 years old trying to do this crazy stuff and break Guiness world record. And so, you know, these, this mix and match of the stress factors of let’s say a high intensity sprint workout for an older athlete and the fasting and the of extreme restriction of carbohydrates from even my historical pattern of eating primally, uh, was possibly making me a little sluggish. And you saw some of that on the results and you said, dude, go out there and eat more food, period. That was Tommy’s parting words. And I experienced an immediate burst in, uh, energy workout performance and especially workout recovery.
Brad: 00:21:08 So I’m eating and eating, eating. I remember one of my passing comments or questions like, so how do you know that you’ve optimized your caloric intake or that you’ve gone on one end or the other? He goes, well I guess if you started adding body fat, that would be an indicator that you’re well fed. You’re, you’re not in that depletion phase anymore. Um, so then yeah, year and a half later I stepped on the scale and I’m like, fatty popcorn boy, 172 pounds. Like, Holy crap is this thing right? I don’t weigh myself, maybe once a year for whatever reason, a physical or something. And I’m like, that’s not right. But then I’m like, Oh yeah, I guess it is. Cause I’m, I haven’t really paid attention to this matter as a matter of priority in my life, but I had gained about eight pounds of body fat over a period of time.
Tommy: 00:21:47 It was bloody fatty boy
Brad: 00:21:48 Oh, for sure. Yeah. I mean, I even took a picture, I’ll put it on Instagram some day to go. Okay. And it wasn’t, I’m still not in disaster zone. I’m still good metabolic profile, good athletic performance. But you know, my, my insight was like, all right, so now I, now I know what it’s like going out onto the edge or edge of, you know, unregulated evening popcorn festivities where the family’s around and I’m really good at making popcorn drizzle in the lemon flavored olive oil on top after a ton of butter and salt. And you know, you start to get into celebration mode and then the celebration mode drifts into a habit and routine. I’m kind of asking you a multi-phase question cause that’s one of my concerns right there. Yeah. That was very strict, very disciplined. I haven’t eaten nothing touched my lips.
Brad: 00:22:32 That’s been shit food for 10 years. I just don’t care to go eat a DingDong and I’m not going to, but Oh popcorn’s. Okay. And so as you know, the gourmet handmade ice cream in Seattle of course is okay. And when I’m here, I’m hitting this stuff hard. But then as if I was to go buy ice cream and put it in my freezer and throughout daily life after my wonderful vacation to Seattle, then these things start to ooze out of, uh, you know, the intended maximum benefits. So, you know, I guess my question besides that, the slippery slope is one question and the other one would be, um, where is that balance point between striving for caloric efficiency? You’re getting by on the least amount of calories in order to have more time fasting, more better autophagy, longevity prospects with caloric minimization versus maintaining my muscle mass fitness peak performance? Cause I want to live a long time as well. Yeah. Tommy takes a deep breath. Ready everybody, this is why you paid for this podcast. Oh, it was free. But anyway, you get what you pay for.
Tommy: 00:23:34 There’s, ..so there’s, there’s a lot that to, to, to unpack and you’re right, the, there is this a slippery slope where, where you start to think, well, you know, I, I need, uh, you, I need more of this. Say, you know, I need to get more calories in one of the, if you’re somebody who has spent long periods of time fasting carbohydrate restricting, one of the easiest ways to do that. So I back in carbohydrates, right? It makes, um, maybe hunger increases slightly caloric density increases. You can bring more of that in. Um, there’s, uh, there is a point at which you lose or you have a reduced ability to, to, uh, regulate, uh, a calorie intake. And that’s when the foods that you’re eating have more than about one and a half, um, calories per gram. And once you get above that, once you’re eating foods that are more calorically dense than that, then you know, you run the risk of, of, of having to, to, to sort of enforce self-regulation because otherwise the brain should be able to figure out, figure this stuff out, right?
Tommy: 00:24:31 You overeat for a period of time, you get less hungry for a period of time after that. And yeah, of course you can overcome that by saying, Oh, I still need this. I still deserve this treat. But in general, um, if everything, you know, if your under that like roughly one and a half a calorie per gram, um, you have your body weight 100 calories per gram of what, of the food that you’re eating. But doesn’t everything I’ve four calories, four calories, nine calories per gram. Yeah. Only if it’s only if it’s the, so, so if you imagine, yes, if you’re eating dry pasta that has four calories per gram, but once you cook it and there’s now water in there, there’s the water content at the fiber content, they’re going to make up that different icing. Right? So, so, um, so lettuce has almost no calories per gram, right.
Tommy: 00:25:17 But if you dehydrate today, of course you’ll find something that has.
Brad: 00:25:19 Dried fruit versus having an exact, a watermelon or whatever.
Tommy: 00:25:23 And so that’s the difference between basically refined and, and whole foods is essentially you end up crossing that threshold. One and a half, one and a half is so difficult to ascertain. Yeah. So you don’t want to calculate that. But by the time you’ve, so you’ve got dry popped corn and which is already going to be closer to four. And then you start adding olive oil on top, right? You’re in that, you’re in that zone. Ice cream is certainly in that zone. So it’s those kinds of foods that make it harder for your body to self regulate. Um, so if, if you feel like you’re struggling to regulate, then making sure that all the foods that you eat are at or below that threshold.
Tommy: 00:25:57 And that’s like whole sweet potatoes a much, you know, are going to be much closer to popcorn say. So that’s, that’s, that’s, that’s a way to, to handle some of that. Um, with, you know, this balance of, of caloric efficiency, um, this is say maximum performance. I do think that, uh, you know, the idea of caloric restriction and caloric efficiency is slightly oversold. And I think we talk about, we talked about that a little bit last time. And you know, when you look at say, caloric restriction, you know, it does work across, in terms of for longevity. It does work across multiple, multiple species, but it’s not like a universal, um, it doesn’t provide a universal benefit. So only like half of rodent studies see benefit in terms of caloric restriction. Um, and uh, lots of it does also come down to, to food quality.
Tommy: 00:26:46 And um, when you’re looking at a larger species, say monkeys, you know, the quality of the food that they’re feeding these guys is so terrible to start with. If you feed them less of it, of course they’re going to live longer. You know, it’s like you feed them cheesecake and then you just feed them less cheesecake. And of course the less cheesecake diet is going to be beneficial. But if you are letting these guys eat where they would find out in the wild, is there any benefit that chloric restriction is going to be? Is there any evidence that restriction is going to be um, beneficial and there isn’t really any. Um, and you have to remember that all these studies are done on animals who are so far removed from their natural environment in terms of the space they have to cover in terms of how well they need their immune system to function.
Tommy: 00:27:27 So there’s, um, uh, some really nice papers that discuss the fact that, you know, chloric really restricting an animal makes this immune system work less well. But when you’re, when you’re a lab rat, that doesn’t matter because you have vets looking after you, you have all the, you know, you have all the pathogens removed from your environment. You know, all these things happened that mean that there’s no downside to that. Whereas when you’re a human in the wild being exposed to, you know, we’re talking about the [inaudible], the non-vaccinated kids on Vashon Island, when you go over there, um, you know, that’s, that’s a potential risk. So there’s, and then if you go beyond that, you can even look at the way that small animals die and what they die of and the, their mortality curves. And then for those where the metabolic rate, a per gram is about seven times what it is for humans, they’re much more likely to benefit from something like caloric restriction compared to a human.
Tommy: 00:28:20 So overall, I don’t really necessarily see that much of a benefit there. Uh, but um, what we, what we do know is that obviously not overeating is going to be important and not gaining body fat once you’re not doing that restricting anymore. There’s no, to me there’s no evidence you’re going to see additional benefit. But we do know that maintaining muscle mass and strength is incredibly important for longevity. So as long as your, you know, you know, you reached the point where you start to gain weight and then you, and then you, then you hold back, um, and you, you, you know, make sure your, your body weight stable and you’re still able to perform well and maintain your muscle mass. Like that’s, that’s absolutely the, you know, the, the, the golden spot, like restricting or pushing any further than that because you think that you’ll get more, more autophagy or more longevity out of it. There’s not really any evidence to support that. And I’d worry then that you start to lose muscle mass and lose strength. And that’s, that’s to me, that’s more important for your long term health
Brad: 00:29:14 or I would say lose, lose that, uh, intangible of recovery rate.
Tommy: 00:29:20 Yeah.
Brad: 00:29:21 Um, my, my change in muscle mass change in body composition is probably in consequential relating to my life expectancy. But, um, you know, I didn’t like it. I preferred to, I, I dropped the eight pounds really quick. Thank you, Tommy from just cutting out the popcorn. I’m sprinting and because I was, uh, you know, able to perform so well the previous year and a half, I could put more sprint workouts in.
Tommy: 00:29:46 Yeah.
Brad: 00:29:46 Because my body was really, you know, trained at a higher level because I was getting on enough food. Uh, and then I think the, I guess I could drop in and aside like I think the cold exposure when I jumped in the, um, the chest freezer for a few minutes every morning.
Tommy: 00:30:00 Yeah.
Brad: 00:30:00 I feel like that might’ve kickstarted some, some fat burning. Um, and I also feel like there’s a, a counter to that, which is increased appetite. So what I did was like I’d go in the cold plunge every morning and then I’d make a rule, uh, that I wouldn’t eat any calories until noon. So it was maybe four hours where I would at times experience like an intense burst of hunger sometime after that cold plunge and it would last 15 or 20 minutes, I think that was grilling, you know, peaking in my stomach and making noise. And if I just rode it out, I felt like I was in this, you know, enhance fat burning state to get this, get this pack off my body for it took three months and I’m back to, I dropped about eight pounds, I think it was all fat. And um, you know, it feel, feels good like psychologically to feel I can, I’m back in an athletic realm here. Um, but you definitely wanna want to optimize that going forward. But I, it sounds like we’re in, we have, we have two different, uh, bags here where if you’re carrying excess body fat or proclaim that you’re carrying excess body fat, you have sort of different set of decision-making parameters than someone who’s, uh, at an optimal body weight and just wants to be healthy, enjoy life, have some ice cream instead of pass, you know, that kind of thing.
Tommy: 00:31:13 Yeah, yeah, exactly. I think you’re for the, for the, um, the cold exposure, I think you’re absolutely right. The, um, when you’re caught, when your body temperature drops, your core body temperature drops, that is um, uh, that is genuinely hunger promoting. And it’s one of the reasons why swimming, um, tends to be less good if you look at the studies is less good for promoting fat loss is because your core temperature drops from being exposed to the water and then you are hungry or relative to the amount of exercise that you’ve done compared, say if you burned the same number of calories, go for a jog or something like that. So, so that core temperature can Def can definitely a tricky thing. So it sounds like you, you got a nice work around there. Yeah.
Brad: 00:31:54 The swimmers burn a ton of calories and because their body temperature isn’t hot, their appetite is, is uh, ravenous. Whereas if you do something that heats yourself up, you’re gonna have a curbing of an appetite effect for a while anyway. Right?
Tommy: 00:32:09 Yeah.
Brad: 00:32:11 Okay. So if you’re, if you’re struggling to reduce excess body fat, then I, I’m reminding, uh, your great insight from the last show to communicate this carefully is first you get metabolically healthy and then you try for this caloric restriction re reduction of carbohydrates generally. Can you like tee that up again?
Tommy: 00:32:31 So the, and we talked about last time how, uh, the, the drive to body fat can, can be pro, can be protective in a number of ways but at some point it, it, it backfires. Um, and that’s where you end up with more systemic insulin resistance. But up until that point, your body fat is your, is your block, is your buffer. It, you know, it’s, it’s keeping you metabolically healthy, um, to up to an extent. But in order to, in order for your, your body to be happy to lose weight, it helps to be healthier. Um, and so you need to at some point figure out some of the drivers of that, um, of that body weight gain. And yes, of course at some point you are probably in a caloric excess, but was that driven just by the fact that you’re eating too much or was it driven by your poor sleep or by your stress?
Tommy: 00:33:24 Um, or by say your environmental exposures? There’s some people who think that if you’re exposed to say a lot of plasticizers or maybe, um, some, some heavy metals, other things that might be in your drinking water in your food, um, the best place to sequester that is in your body fat. And when people fast, fully fast and like just water fast, you see a dramatic increase of these toxins in the blood because they’re being released from the body fat.
Brad: 00:33:48 So you feel like crap.
Tommy: 00:33:49 So, yeah, so you can’t feel it and you know, while you’re losing weight while you’re losing weight. And so it actually, um, very dramatic weight loss may actually be quite bad for you. And that’s one of the reasons why is because you end up releasing all this crap that was stored in your body fat, but you’re not supporting the pathways that, that help you get rid of it. So trying to, you know, do some detective work in terms of what really are the core issues for you that may have helped drive the weight gain that you have and then reversing those first is probably going to allow you for much more sustained long term fat loss.
Brad: 00:34:19 And how big are you on the environmental aspects? Cause some of this stuff’s freaking me out where people are talking about the EMS and it’s destroying your humanity and the plastic. So you gotta not touch anything that has plastic with it. And then I was talking to my, my cousin Dr Steven from the Los Alamos national laboratory. He’s a rocket scientist. So he has shirts that say, yes, I really am a rocket scientist all manner of uh, you know, working that thread. But he said, these are the, the emission is so minimal that he gave me permission to use my Apple ear earbuds. And you know, every time I put them on, I feel guilty. Like, am I frying my brain right now? And I feel like there might not be a definitive answer yet cause they’re so new. So that’s even more scary. But then if a rocket scientist says, don’t worry about it times a hundred with your whatever, your laptop and the wireless signal, when you, when you log in at the apartment complex and there’s 27 other wireless people’s, you’re like, shit, that can’t be good. That all this stuff is touching my brain. Right.
Tommy: 00:35:22 Yeah. And I think you’re right that we don’t really know what most, um, what most physicists, engineers and engineers talk about is whether there’s a, there’s a thermal effect from the, the EMF or you know, the radiation of the being being exposed to. And that certainly is not the case with most, most Bluetooth and wifi and things like that. However, um, there was a huge amount of evidence to suggest that these things do have a biological effect. Um, the, and you know, you can think about that either from like a cellular perspective, the effects that they might have on, on, um, different, uh, channel like channel, like, uh, mineral channels, electrolyte channels in the body, um, to the effects that, you know, the interacting effects between the electromagnets. It feels that your cells produce in your mitochondria and we know that electromatic magnetic fields interact this way.
Tommy: 00:36:10 When you put like you ever put like a magnet on your, on your old catalog, cathode Ray tube TV when you were younger or something like that, you see like the whole image warps. We know that these fields interact. So I think there’s, there’s both evidence, um, um, and like mechanism to support a biological effects. The problem is that we have no idea the magnitude of it. Right? Is it that these things cause one 10th of 1% of all the issues that we’re seeing in terms of metabolic health? Or is it, you know, something truly meaningful? Um, we, we just, I just don’t know yet. I know that they have an effect, but it could be so tiny compared to everything else, but it might not be so, so, but, but you know, people that worried enough that in, uh, countries in Europe, so Sweden I think has banned all wifi in schools.
Tommy: 00:36:58 Um, or, and a lot of countries are going in in similar ways. We know that, um, uh, having cell phone in your pocket as a man decreases your sperm count, which then to me tells me it’s probably going to decrease testosterone levels as well. So, you know, high level exposure, you know, all day, every day I’m sure is having an effect. But you know, does that mean that you should be worrying about it whilst not improving how you eat and how you sleep and how you move? Probably not. Um, I would still start there. Um, but you know, it’s probably not negligible.
Brad: 00:37:30 So there’s a validated that cell phone in your pocket lowers sperm count and testosterone.
Tommy: 00:37:36 Yeah. Not testosterone. It hasn’t been looked at, but there are enough studies, um, and I think that’s what it’s actually, you know, compared to like, um, brain cancer from cell phones, all that stuff. I think the one area which is less disputed is the cell phone in the pocket and, and sperm quality, uh, certainly decreased.
Brad: 00:37:54 Where do we put it then? Give it to your girlfriend?
Tommy: 00:37:57 So, um, so I have it in my, so I mean, I ha so say if you’re somebody who does have, and again, um, this is something that you can look at. So if you do have low testosterone or you have fertility issues, this is something that I take into account. If you don’t, and like testosterone’s good, you know, feeling good libido’s goods, you don’t have any fertility issues. Again, don’t worry about it. Different people are going to be susceptible in different ways. But for me personally, it’s probably the thing that’s going to be the clothes, like the closest to my body. So when I’m moving around, say a, when a pickup pick you up from downstairs, my phone’s in my pocket. As soon as I sit down, the phone comes out. That’s just control, control controller. As much as you’re able to easily control it. And then, you know, I’d stop worrying about after that.
Brad: 00:38:41 Same with drinking out of plastic. If you’re thirsty and you’re, you’re out on the road, you get a plastic bottle and down it, but you know, don’t refill them seven times at home with the permeable. Right.
Tommy: 00:38:52 And when you, when you were at home. So when I’m at home, I, I filter all my water over reverse osmosis filter. Um, so that means that maybe 80 90% of my water is filtered. The other 10%, you know, if I’m really thirsty, I’m not going to worry about it. If it has you know,
Brad: 00:39:07 that was fun. Therefore you’re sleeping better, not worrying about these things and raising your overall score.
Tommy: 00:39:14 Yeah, I like that. Yeah. So I’m, I’m, I’m very much in favor of the approach of control the things that you’re able to control or willing to control. Um, and if,
Brad: 00:39:23 Oh, excuse us, if you’ll not allow that we have an out there. I mean, I feel I need my bread, Tommy, I need my, my sugar fix.
Tommy: 00:39:31 If you’re not willing to control it, then maybe you don’t care enough and that’s fine. Maybe you have other priorities again, that’s fine. Let nobody’s, nobody’s judging you. If you want to eat a load of bread, it’s not, I don’t mind. That’s fine. Uh, but you can, you can make that decision for yourself, but control the things that you are able to, or willing to control. And then beyond that, like don’t worry about like literally worrying about it. It’s just gonna make it worse. So,
Brad: 00:39:52 well, on that note, I feel like, uh, you know, I’m looking for sources of motivation and trying to study that in myself and other people, you know, um, and this fear of pain and suffering and demise 20 years from now or 25 or 10 if we’re idiots and don’t do anything about it, um, I want to find some, a little bit of fear to light me up so I can continue to do these workouts that maybe I don’t feel like doing right now. Or maybe I’d have a more unregulated caloric intake if I didn’t have some notion that I want to have a long, healthy life. And I feel like that might be a connection that’s missing for people too, is like your lighten up these, uh, cigarettes or assorted, uh, drugs and pharmaceuticals that seem to be prevalent and the norm in today’s society and they’re predictably going to lead to pain and suffering.
Tommy: 00:40:44 So are you trying to ask about ways to get people to, um, to, to, to focus on long to focused on the long term rather than short? This sort of [inaudible]
Brad: 00:40:56 we’re saying like, Hey, everything in moderation. You can say that seven, 17 times a day and rationalize every single thing that you do to the extent that now you’re sitting here with, um, blood markers that are borderline or, or whatever. Um, and, and, you know, where do you get that, where people can, as collective society say, Hey, we’re, we’re the smartest, most affluent society in the history of humanity and also the fattest and, um, least healthy in many ways. Or, you know, here in the U S with the medical advancements where 37th in life expectancy or behind,
Tommy: 00:41:27 even though we were lower than that,
Brad: 00:41:30 we’re behind Costa Rica who also kicked our butt in soccer. I, it’s like,
Tommy: 00:41:34 so I actually, I’ll, um, maybe you don’t know this story, but I was in Costa Rica and, uh, in January I was bitten by a snake. He gets snake bit and literally bitten, be a bitten by a poisonous Viper. I spent 11 days in a hospital bed in Costa Rica. And, um, the cost of like Costa Rican healthcare system is great. It gives you just what you need. Um, it’s a, it’s socialized healthcare, you know, everybody, everybody gets the treatment that they need. And there’s a lot to be said for that. There’s no, it’s not fancy. There’s no bells and whistles, you know, of course, if you wanted something super technology advanced, you’d probably have to come to the U S but for the most benefit, for the most people, it really gets the job done. And they have better life expectancy than, than people in the U S who have, you know, arguably much better technology and spend a lot more on healthcare.
Brad: 00:42:19 Uh, so you got out of there in one piece, but it was an ordeal man.
Tommy: 00:42:22 Yeah, it was. I, um, so yeah. Got bit, got bitten by this, this snake.
Brad: 00:42:26 And what were you doing?
Tommy: 00:42:28 Um, literally nothing particularly exciting. I was walking along a walking on a, um, a road. There’s a stream that crosses the road and the snake, it was, it was at dusk and, um, we had been warned by the guy who was walking with, so the guy who runs the retreat center, uh, my friend dr Ben house, um, which is awesome if anybody wants to go and like lift weights in the jungle, you know, I definitely recommend you go to the flow retreats is incredible. Yeah.
Brad: 00:42:53 Lift weights in the jungle retreats. Yeah. What’s it called? The slow, slow retreats to get named.
Tommy: 00:42:58 Um, and so, yeah, I’d, I’d been been there for a few days with the guys from, from NBT and, um, I’d actually had a lot of work to do, so I’d spent most of my time just in the retreat center. And he was like, Hey, let’s go for a walk. And we went out and got bitten by this snake and then we’ve got to go. Um, he, you know, so him and I agreed. We’re like, we don’t know what kind of snake is, but you know, we’d much rather be the silly gringos who get worried about and go to the ER and they’re like, Oh, you’re fine, and send us away rather than it being like a bad snake and then you, you, um, find out about it later. So, so we got in the car, um, and you sort of driving down this mountain road to get down to the road and, um, he’s sort of communicating with his, um, his site manager who’s a local, who then went back and found the snake and then found out it was a bad snake, cause a fair, a fair
Brad: 00:43:46 And then like the, I can feel that like truck picking up speed is like Ben tries to like get me to the ER fast. But actually when I got there they, they weren’t particularly worried. Um, I obviously I hadn’t gotten a big dose of venom. Uh, they, they checked by the amount that the site bleeds because they inject an anticoagulant. So it bleeds a lot. They know it’s bad, it wasn’t bleeding very much, and then they, um, they took some blood tests as well that look at your blood coagulation because the, the real risk early on is that you have a hemorrhage say into your brain and die if cause your blood isn’t clotting. Um, so I was fine from that standpoint. Um, but what actually happened? The, to me it was, I got a really bad infection, so I need multiple different types of antibiotics.
Tommy: 00:44:26 The on top of my infection. So I had a, I had a big, I had an abscess inside my leg. They to like cut open and drain and I had like a big red swollen leg basically all the way up my right leg. Um, and it took, yes, I had, yeah, almost 11 days of antibiotics in the end, uh, before, before they go on top of that. Um, so that, that was, that was the main problem. But like I said, I was really happy they had expertise and they knew what they were doing and the hospital was clean if not, you know, super modern. But yeah, it was, I was very, I was very happy with how it all went. I was very lucky.
Brad: 00:44:58 You get released, you’re able to go home. Yeah. And then did you have more recovery time after?
Tommy: 00:45:03 Yes, so it took, um, probably three to four weeks for the wound to heal. So, so on like two, maybe two days before I left the, the main doctor, um, sort of basically just sliced, open my leg with a scalpel and then just like squeezed all this puss out of it. Um, and then it, you can’t like, so that back up so it leaves an open wound and then you just have to like change the dressing. So we were changing, my wife was changing my dressings twice a day. Um, and they got looked at by some of the, um, so the first day I got back at God, look, but by some of the surgeons here and, um, in Seattle, they were super happy with it. So actually they just let us look after the wound by ourselves. And then after that, it was just a case of slowly building. So I had to spend a lot of time, my leg elevated, so slowly like walking again and then, you know, moving around a bit more and then, you know, over like a couple of months time to like lift stuff in the gym again and just sort of build that thing up, build that strength back up. I lost 20 pounds. Um, so I took [inaudible].
Brad: 00:46:05 losing and gaining weight. Yeah. So that would be like 18 pounds of muscle.
Tommy: 00:46:10 Yeah. Yeah. It was. I mean, I was, I was, it was pretty much, uh, yeah, probably close, probably, you know, perfectly in proportion with my body composition. So, um, yeah, something like that. And uh, it took, it took a while to, to, to build that back up, but that was what I did. I did the unregulated eating for two or three weeks and most of it came back pretty quickly.
Brad: 00:46:31 And what was it like getting back into the gym or starting from, did you have an extreme attrition in your baseline fitness standard?
Tommy: 00:46:38 Um, no, it was okay actually. Um, and I, even though I haven’t gone as as heavy as maybe I was, I was lifting this time last year, you know, I know that I’m pretty, I know that I’m pretty close. Um, and yeah, so after like I, I mean I’d obviously because of the leg I went in and did the upper body stuff to begin with and I maybe do like three chin-ups and five dips and I’d be done and then I’d like go and sit down. But like, you know, you’re just sort of slowly built up. But actually once, once the, once my leg was fully healed at the, like the 80%, I’d lost, came back pretty quickly.
Brad: 00:47:16 Um, what about the, um, …,I forgot
Tommy: 00:47:59 Well you can always come back to it.
Brad: 00:48:02 Yeah. Okay. Um, okay. Another thing on my, well, we were,
Tommy: 00:48:08 we were too, we were, um, we went down into Costa Rica cause we were talking about life expectancy in the U S so, I mean, going, going back to that, in reality, everybody is, uh, you know, everybody is an, an adult. They can and should do whatever it is that they want to do. Um, obviously giving people the tools for those who do want to try and change things, improve their longterm, um, you know, health and lifespan, um, is, is important. And, but, but, but you’re right, that the big problem becomes, you know, instant gratification versus longterm longterm benefit and most things. So like the people who are super interested in, in longevity, um, who may be taking various supplements, maybe they’re taking rapamycin, Metformin, you know, any of those things, how are they going to know whether it worked or not? Right? What’s the feedback loop?
Tommy: 00:49:02 You haven’t run out, you have no idea. Um, and are they even going to take it now? Now they’ve started taking it, they’re going to take it every day for the rest of their lives. Because what happens is people will take a supplement or, or a drug, you know, particularly if they’re doing it for a health benefit rather than to treat a disease. You know, after like a month or six months, they’ll get bored, they’ll stop taking it. And that’s incorrect. You know, everybody has a drawer full of supplements they don’t take anymore. Right? You, you’re going to take this thing cause it was gonna make you healthier. It’s gonna make you live longer, you going take anymore. Um, and so that’s, that’s the big problem I think in, uh, so the longevity and wellness space as a, as people call it at the moment, is that most of those things do not become something that you’re going to do.
Tommy: 00:49:44 You’re going to do longterm. It’s a shiny new thing that you try for a while. You never know if I actually gave you any benefit. So trying to, um, build in some feedback loops. So that’s something that we’ve tried to do with the blood chemistry calculator and, and other people are doing, you know, can you look at your blood tests and they, uh, assess how old your blood looks looks. You can do the same thing with methylation. Epigenetics, maybe with Tealium is, I’m not a big telomere fan, but you know, possibly,
Brad: 00:50:08 Oh, you’re not a big fan, you said?
Tommy: 00:50:10 No. Um, largely because the, if you’re measuring telomeres in your blood, which is usually what we’re doing, you’re measuring measuring telomeres in white blood cells, which are the cells in your blood that have DNA if you to measure the telomeres of, but different white blood cells just at baseline. Have T the mere lengths, so depending on the proportion, a number of different white blood cells that you have, and those have a circadian rhythm, those are affected by a whole host of other things. So you’re telling me is may get shorter or longer. And actually that’s just because there were a different popular population of cells that you measured the second time you measured it. So it’s just, it’s just far too variable. Um, and not that, not that accurate for my liking. Um, maybe that maybe that will improve in the future. I’m sure it will,
Brad: 00:50:51 but right now the people are touting this, you can go Google the word telomeres, telomeres, and it says, uh, these are the caps on the end of your cells. And the longer they are, the longer you’re gonna live in, the shorter they are. That means you’ve been partying like a rock star and you’re going to have, and so yeah, to me it doesn’t, it doesn’t seem like anything’s that black and white.
Tommy: 00:51:09 No. And, and in reality, so say that your, your telomeres are shorter than Eric’s then than expected. How’d you know what to do about that? The things that you need to do about that or all the things that we’ve already talked about. So you know, you need to do that anyway. If you’re not doing it, you didn’t need a $300 test to tell you that. So, so that, that’s the big problem with a lot of these tests is that, and now, so, um, there’s um, there’s some epigenetics, uh, testing methylation testing. There’s um, uh, something called the glycan age where you basically look at, um, the, the glycosylation. So, so HBA one C is a glycated hemoglobin. It’s, you know, the, um, sugar molecule sugar moieties are attached to your true hemoglobin. That’s measured. Um, but you can do that for all kinds of proteins and you can do that in a blood test.
Tommy: 00:51:57 It sort of gives you this wide score in terms of how much your proteins are, uh, coated with, with these, um, like glycation products. But the thing is that it doesn’t tell you anything about what you should do about it. And the in reality, if you are doing these things dry, improve your longterm health, you probably already know what it is that you are deficient in. Like, like we talked about, it’s not a knowledge deficit. You know what you need to do. So having these tests doesn’t necessarily help you because it gives you no indication of what of what you should do. So in general, just change the things that you know you need to change.
Brad: 00:52:29 The HBA, one C is the amount of glucose that’s been circulating around more is worse in higher scores, uh, seen as worse. So wouldn’t it be cut carbs if you’re HBA one C is over six or whatever the danger is if an HBA one C t.
Tommy: 00:52:44 hat’s a, that’s a, that’s, that’s a good example. Um, there are some confounders of that. So the HBA, one C within an individual person tracking your HBA one C over time is definitely beneficial. Using your HBA, one C to compare yourself to other people doesn’t work very well because each person for a different average glucose level will have different amounts of HBA, one C. so it’s not very, it doesn’t allow you to compare to others, but you can track yours over time.
Brad: 00:53:08 Oh, right. Uh, your, your, your, um, your sales might live or die in a different lifespan and so you’ll have a, a higher number. Could you cross reference it to a healthy glucose level and say, maybe I’m not so concerned as, as I might be otherwise.
Tommy: 00:53:22 So, so when, when people report an HBA, one C on our lab test, often it will tell you what your predicted average blood glucose level is. But in general, that’s, it’s just wrong. It’s not true. Like besides that, it’s nice to see on your lab report that, yeah, yeah. Yeah. Because, um, if you, so it is about being wrong besides being wrong and it’s like a very handy, it has a nice, beautiful graphic presentation. Yeah. So, so like if it says that your average blood glucose is, um, is say a hundred, a hundred milligrams per deciliter in reality is probably anywhere between 80 and 120. And that’s a big difference. That’s the difference between like super healthy and diabetic. So it’s just so variable from person to person. One way that you might, uh, for some of that is looking at the number of ridiculous sites you have in your blood. Those are new blood cells. And if those are very low, then that means that your red blood cells are probably living a really long time.
Tommy: 00:54:17 And if they’re living a long time, then they have longer to get glycated. So then you have an artificially high HBA, one C. so that’s kind of, if you’re worried, and again, I mean I know that you wanted to maybe talk some more about carnivore and Keto and some of those things it can go up over time. So if you’re worried about that, something like looking at your reticular site count will let you know where the, if you have really long lived red blood cells, then that’s going to artificially elevate. And you just have to remember that what you’re comparing yourself to is a sick population. Like we talked about more than 80% of, um, of people in the U S have at least one of the markers of metabolic syndrome or you know, marks on the waist metabolic syndrome. So that means that more than 80% of people already have metabolic disease and that’s who you’re comparing yourself to. So it’s really difficult to, to say, you know, the, the range on the lab test is what that is or that the lab gives you is the one that you want to aim for because the population you’re comparing yourself to is already so sick.
Brad: 00:55:21 So speaking of that, if I’m interested in preserving a healthy testosterone level by decade, uh, am I looking at these ranges of, sorry ass whizzy boys because that’s the norm. And so what do I want to be in the 90th percentile if I have high ambitions? And, and same with, uh, numerous other things on the blood report.
Tommy: 00:55:44 Yeah. So it definitely depends from test to test. So for a testosterone in particular, um, yes, testosterone has D average testosterone has decreased over the last few decades. Um, and that could be for multiple reasons. Food quality movement, maybe, uh, uh, like plastics. Yeah, maybe EMS. Um, so for testosterone it’s important to remember that like enough is important but more isn’t necessarily better. So I generally say that. So say somebody in their forties to 50s or older, as long as you’re over 500, you’re probably in good shape. Uh, but the normal range, we’ll go down to something usually down to like two 50, but that’s definitely, I would, that’s definitely too low. Uh, so somebody’s twenties to thirties, maybe you want to be 600, 700. And then you know, you can naturally expect that to come down a hundred points over the next like two or three decades and that’s fine. So, but usually above, above 500, five fine. If I want to,
Brad: 00:56:44 it’s not fine. If I want to throw down on 30 year olds though, is it? Um, so I don’t want to see it.
Tommy: 00:56:49 Probably. It probably doesn’t make that much. It probably doesn’t make that much difference. So enough is important, but more, more isn’t better unless you’re at a point where you’re taking exogenous testosterone as a performance enhancing drug. And then yes, you will get to a point where more is better, but you’ll, you’ll, uh, there’ll be a pay off in terms of say, cardiovascular disease, um, shutting down your prefrontal cortex so you’re no longer good at decision making. All those kinds of things.
Brad: 00:57:15 Side effect of androgenic use.
Tommy: 00:57:18 So testosterone generally if, um, if you’re interested in it, you should read behave by Robert Sapolsky. But one of the, one of the, um, uh, things that he talks about is how testosterone essentially modulates the function of the prefrontal cortex, which is there to help you make smart decisions essentially. Um, and so it doesn’t, it doesn’t like having high testosterone, it doesn’t make you make stupid decisions, but it makes you more likely to do the things that you would like to do anyway. So if you’re somebody who’s normally very impulsive or normally has a tendency towards aggression, testosterone will make that, can make that worse.
Brad: 00:57:52 So you were talking serum levels. When you said 500 to two 50 is low, is free testosterone more important? I hear sometimes or, yeah, so I love the size. So not, not, not to me. Um, I think in general, total testosterone is enough and things pick up, get really tricky because you do have, um, say a calculate a free androgen index, calculated free testosterone calculated that’s based on things like your SHBG or sex hormone binding globulin, but in general and the people that I’ve worked with SHBG is at the top end or above the normal range. Um, and so then that may start to, uh, proportionally lower your free testosterone. But these are people who are performing well, feel good, great libido, um, and again, you know, the best way to decrease. So, and a lot of people think about trying to decrease their SHBG because they want their free testosterone to be higher. And you can do things like if you’re zinc deficient, taking some zinc will help a bore on will help some of the, if you’re deficient in certain minerals, then, um, then that can certainly help. But beyond a certain point, the best way to lower your SHBG is to become obese and insulin resistant. Right? And so if you look at SHBG versus insulin sensitivity, it’s just a, it’s a straight line. So the more insulin sensitive you are, the higher you SHBG. So I find people end up worrying about that a lot more than they need to. I think your total testosterone tells you more than enough.
Brad: 00:59:17 and you go check your low insulin level.
New Speaker: 00:59:20 Yeah. Again,
Brad: 00:59:20 high SHBG Yeah, I was alarmed and, and you and Chris taught me down there and it was just pretty simple. So we’re, we’re again so far out of the normal realm that you have to kind of get a little more deeper than just going to the blood test and looking at green and which ones.
Tommy: 00:59:39 you can’t. Sadly you can’t do that. And there’s, you know, when, when you’re, then this translates over to things like, uh, you know, advanced testing for cardiovascular disease risk and the, the normal ranges, uh, or the risk ranges are based on these, this same population of people, the most of, you know, the majority of whom are on their way towards metabolic disease. So do these things still count in somebody who’s active, metabolically healthy, sleeps well, eats well, moves, you know, frequently continue, you know, and we just don’t know. And so the, you know, we’re trying to apply some of these things to a population of people that until essentially very recently, you know, didn’t really exist. It just makes it really hard to think of.
Brad: 01:00:23 they were just Martians came down and stopped eating processed carbs for the first time. And you had a thousand years.
Tommy: 01:00:32 in the, in the, um, in this sort of the, the, the modern, modern environment, you know, people who are trying to, um, create a more ancestral environment within the, you know, the, the modern constraints. That’s, it’s a fairly new thing. And as, and, but at the same time or we’ve had a dramatic increase in the amount of data that is available for people that we can compare ourselves to that can help assess all risks. But the majority of that data is collected in sick people.
Brad: 01:01:01 It’s right there. The most voluntary. Yeah, sure. Take my blood again today. I can’t do anything about it. I’m chained to a hospital then.
Brad: 01:01:08 Okay. I’m going to have to call this the, uh, the Doctor Tommy set in a straight show. Cause you’re, you’re, you’re keeping us focused. That’s what I love about you, man. Just getting, getting some of this stuff and locked down. And then one of the, one of the big items on my list I’m going to hit you with is this carnivore thing. And, um, I like to quote the, the classic movie spinal tap. When the, when the rock star David tan had been said, uh, I believe virtually everything I read and that makes me a more selective human. And I’m like, I’m kinda that guy myself where I’m, I’m trying to remain open minded and, uh, get away from dogmatic, uh, fixed narrow beliefs that I’m so rigid that I’m unwilling to, uh, you know, to, to listen to an alternative point of view. So I listened to Dr. Paul Saladino go on about the carnivore diet, uh, several months ago. And you know, it stuck in my head because, you know, the way he conveyed his argument was very measured and sensible and looking at the other side and saying, well, you know, the, the counter argument to this is blank, blank, and the science shows this.
Brad: 01:02:11 And so it was really, it was a, it’s a nice presentation. It’s a nice concept. Um, but it also feels like here’s the next extreme, uh, dietary, uh, binge to where people are going to jump on the bandwagon like they’ve done with Keto and completely bastardized it and missed, appropriated the concept of, uh, of nutritional ketosis as it was intended. When Mark Sisson and I wrote the book and the other Keto experts are going in saying, this is the benefits of it for your brain and your protection. And now it’s like bring a stick of butter to you with, for, for lunch so you can get enough fat. So, um, let’s, let’s talk about a little bit of this carnivore premise, particularly the idea that we don’t need plants and they might actually be bad, especially for certain people that are highly sensitive.
Tommy: 01:02:57 Yeah. So, so that’s, um, those aren’t the same thing, right? The, the, the, do we need plants versus, are they bad for us? And I think that that’s, that’s, that’s a big crux of what we still don’t know about, about carnivore. And you know, Paul, um, is, is a good friend of mine. We’ve hung out a lot. I’ve re I really like him. He’s, you know, compared to some people in the carnivore movement, he’s very measured. He’s very intelligent. He actually, you know, thinks about a nutrient quality, nutrient density. Um, you know, how we’re getting all the things that we might need and, and that is going to be a probably a nose to tail approach. I completely agree with him. Um, and it can be absolutely magical, you know, but you know, Paul, a number of, uh, Georgia EDE, um, the guys, um, who run it used to be called paleo medecina is based in Hungary where they use what they call, um, uh, paleolithic ketone diet is basically a high fat carnival type diet for, for multiple different pathologies, autoimmune disease, some cancers these guys are seeing.
Brad: 01:03:57 That’s where Dr Cate said, if she, if she gets diagnosed with cancer tomorrow, she’s headed to Hungary to get to go crazy treatment.
Tommy: 01:04:04 But I mean it’s not really that crazy. The, the, the interesting thing is that they basically talk about, or they, they show stepwise improvements in people who, like first they went paleo or they went Keto, but they didn’t really see benefits until basically they were eating a diet that was 10% protein and the rest animal fat. And that’s it.
Brad: 01:04:21 Is this cancer patients.
Tommy: 01:04:22 are cancer patients and there are some, some severe autoimmune disease.
Brad: 01:04:26 Um, where would you go if you got diagnosed with cancer tomorrow? Besides the UDub? Maybe it’d be okay.
Tommy: 01:04:29 Well, I mean a lot to do. That’s a good question. It probably depends on the type of cancer I would, I would probably think about a diet like that. Again, depending on the cancer, there were some cancers where being ketosis doesn’t seem to give any benefit. Meat may be detrimental. So it would depend. Um, but, and then again, also, depending on the, the cancer, I would pretend I would also consider chemotherapy depending on, but probably spent a long time reading papers to, to make that decision. Um, so yeah, it depends, but that’s my favorite answer. Um, but so, so these guys are seeing great benefit in a wide range of diseases. And there’s, there’s a number of potential reasons for that. It could be that yes, for some people a fiber really is irritating to the gut for, for a number of potential reasons. It could be due to the microbiota or you know, other ways that their, you know, their immune system has changed because of their environmental exposures. Therefore they just, they just can’t tolerate these things anymore. Um, but the, the, the issue that I see is the question of whether this is optimal for everybody and we don’t really have any evidence to support that.
Tommy: 01:05:35 So, um, uh, recently poll myself and Rich Roll, we’re on the minimalist podcast, um, by the opens with a carnival, a vegan and omnivore walk into a podcast that was essentially, um, and it was actually, it was actually really good. It was talking about minimalist diets. Um, you know, how can we try these different things to try and optimize our health? And when you think about somebody like Rich Roll who is, you know, Stuart’s, she advocates a whole foods plant based diet, just like, um, Paul advocates a whole foods animal based diet. These guys uh, you know, in themselves and in others are seeing great benefit. Like why would you even begin to argue with that? Like what, you know, if somebody is trying something and it works and they feel better and their health improves, I, I don’t see any, any point in really arguing, um, over like what is a human intended to eat.
Tommy: 01:06:26 Um, and sort of beyond that, why, well, I really wonder is that, what does it tell you about us as a species when we are starting to become incredibly sensitive to foods that we know are answers that we know our ancestors ate plants, right? Even if, even if it wasn’t in, you know, in times of abundance, maybe they were purely carnivore, but at times in between they were definitely eating plants and they were surviving well enough to, uh, reproduce, um, to go out and hunt, to go out and forage. Like it was definitely not holding them back. But now we’re at a point where you have some, um, people who advocate carnivore or Keto and they’re like, as soon as I have any carbohydrates, as soon as I’ll have any fiber, my health falls apart. And at the same time, you have people like Ray Chronis, who’s a big plant-based guy.
Tommy: 01:07:16 He says, as soon as I have salmon, more than once a week, my blood sugar starts to go up. What does it tell you about this person? That their blood sugar starts to increase when they have salmon more than once a week? That just doesn’t make any sense. It tells me that there are other things that have not been fixed or there are other issues still going on. And if you think about a lot of people who are, you know, well known in the carnivores space, that software, they’re overweight software engineers who spend all their time inside sat down, right? And then yes, maybe to get your blood sugar under control, you have to really restrict your carbohydrates. But if you started to think about sleeping well, stress management, movement, you know, adding back some muscle mass, maybe socializing with people in real life, you know, maybe some of that stuff doesn’t matter anymore.
Tommy: 01:07:58 So I think the reason why these restrictive diets become almost necessary for some people is because we’ve built an environment that basically completely removes our ability to adapt or use different things from, from, you know, from the diet. You know, we’re, we’re completely unable to tolerate, you know, new, novel, different things and we just have to restrict more and more and more. I think that tells us more about the fact that we are no longer resilient as a species. Then it tells us about, um, the, the, we should be eataing a certain that everybody should be eating a certain way. Does that make sense?
Brad: 01:08:30 Oh, sure. I mean, it reminds me of the, uh, asthma and allergy statistics where the only child that lives in an urban environment has much higher incidents than a kid on the farm. A kid who has a pet, a kid who’s the second or third child because the parents start to get tired of antibacterial wiping up everything. Um, and it makes perfect sense that the more exposure you have, the more you toughen up.
Tommy: 01:08:52 Yeah. Right. And I think, I think we just, we, so first of all, we don’t have those exposures that do make us tough. You do make us resilient. Um, and we’ve also, you know, the, all these things that we need to be healthy, you know, in our environment that we know that we no longer have such a, you know, like light and dark at the right time of day or, um, you know, frequent movement or you know, nutrient dense foods, you know, all those things we’ve talked about. We’ve engineered them out of the environment. And then you get to a point where, yeah, maybe you do need to be super restrictive in one area just to try and regain some health. But I don’t think that tells you anything about the fact that they’re like carnivores the way that everybody should be eating.
Brad: 01:09:33 Oh, I, I feel that’s a way to reconcile this confusion when you’re sitting there with a super healthy vegan, like my friend Rip Esselstyn, we go back decades, uh, racing on the professional triathlon circuit. Today’s in the, in the old days. And you know, he’s extremely healthy, prominent promoter of the plant based lifestyle, the engine two diet and the great work his father’s done at the Cleveland clinic, reversing heart disease with plant based diet. But you’re, you’re talking about departing from the nasty standard American diet and then drawing, drawing a circle on a page and, and pointing an arrow out in any direction. This could be carnivore, this could be vegan and you’re both going to have tremendous improvement because you stopped going to nasty Ben and Jerry’s ice cream with industrial seed oils and processed sugar in there.
Tommy: 01:10:17 Yeah, absolutely. And, and a lot of, uh, a lot of the, um, the proponents of these more, and I don’t want to call them extreme diets because I don’t really feel like for the person eating them, they’re that extreme. So that’s kinda, it’s kind of a specialized [inaudible]. They’re not like, they don’t feel they’re restrictive either. So, so none of those adjectives are particularly fair, but they often get there by being really sick to begin with. Right. And so, so you’ve kind of, you have this person who was already sick because of all these other factors and then they found something that helped them control it. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that the diet itself was the issue.
Brad: 01:10:53 Right. And they’re, they’re so fervent because they believe deeply in their heart that they’re going to change the world because they were on their deathbed and then they stopped eating meat and they had an awakening. Uh, but yeah, we gotta be, you gotta be careful with, uh, dispensing our, um, I mean your, your personal experience and projecting that onto others.
Tommy: 01:11:13 And th and, but the thing is I’m, I’m, I’m a huge supporter of both ich and Paul. You know, these guys are really helping people reclaim the health I have. But I have, I see value in both. I don’t think that they’re necessarily mutually exclusive. You just need to kind of, to me it’s just uh, uh, trying to put it into a bigger picture where it all still makes sense despite the fact that people are eating completely diametrically opposed diets yet still seeing great benefit.
Brad: 01:11:39 So it’s what they’re not eating. The best benefit of the carnivore diet. If you, let’s make the top 10 the best one is no shit food. Let’s make the top 10 of the vegan diet. The best one. Number one is, well I guess for you, kids are still maybe eating their Starbursts. So we’ll say the plant based whole foods.
Tommy: 01:11:56 That’s why food plant based by sensible vegan say don’t call it a vegan diet called a whole food plant based diet because that tells you what’s in it. I’d certainly agree with. There we go.
Brad: 01:12:04 Um, so let’s say we’re starting point. You and I are not suffering with um, huge autoimmune or inflammatory conditions. We just want to optimize and so forth. So let’s say we have the freedom to go look for what foods are going to promote health more than anything else. And putting aside the enjoyment factor and I have to have my broccoli, uh, otherwise I don’t feel like the day’s complete. Let’s just say I’m a robot and I’m going, I’m going for the record. I want to live to 123. Yeah. Um, what kind of foods should I, should I necessarily go looking for?
Tommy: 01:12:37 So I think that you probably probably have an incredibly wide range and that’s, that’s what makes it so, so confusing. So
Tommy: 01:12:49 when you’re talking about,
Brad: 01:12:50 wait, hold on. I got to tee off our, um, our audio engineer book because that was the quota then that’s a pull quote. We have a wide range and that’s what makes it so confusing. It makes, it would be so much easier if you put an ice cream in there from Seattle. If it’s handmade, you went to Seoul and stored and you, my wife would have told you, you should’ve gone some Molly Moon’s, but maybe you can stop shit. You know, when we’ve been Frankie and Joe’s salt and straw and central district, I’ve hit three homemade ice cream. We got to go to Malindo to get some money. The quadruple,
Tommy: 01:13:20 um, and yes, that could, that could certainly be a part of it. So, but you know, you know, you, you focus on, it’s, it’s you just focus on food that looks like actual food and it sounds like really try it. But that’s essentially, that’s essentially where you start. Um, and so it looks like food that came from the thing that was in the ground or was the animal that was before it. Um, and if you do, if you do that for, for most people that’s an you, you’re going to be in the point where there’s a nutrients that it’s nutrient dense, it’s not calorie dense. And so all of those things that you need in terms of regulating appetite, in terms of getting all the nutrients you need, all of those things exist. Um, and yes, from there you can certainly move one way more than the other.
Tommy: 01:14:04 And you know, maybe you want to base that on how you feel. Maybe you want to base it on some blood tests in terms of some of the more, some of the nutrients that you might need more of. Um, but when you, there was this point that I wanted to make about the, the carnivore diet specifically. And again, this is the difference between do we need plants versus are plants bad for us and do we need plants? No, probably we don’t. Um, and when you look at say, um, there are some, there are some randomized controlled trials where they add meat into the diet and actually there are no detriments seen. There’s only benefits seen. Um, interestingly, overeating meat doesn’t seem to cause weight gain in the same way as overeating other, you know, more refined carbohydrate based foods, which is just interesting.
Tommy: 01:14:48 Again, it hasn’t, not a huge number of studies but the, but some studies that suggest that do exist. Then there are also studies that where they add plants to the diet, like vegetables that not much really happens. Like, is it good, is it bad? It doesn’t really make any difference.
Brad: 01:14:59 Um, that kinda takes a shot at the plant based, uh, movement here. Yeah.
Tommy: 01:15:06 So, so again, most [inaudible] absolute there are,
Tommy: 01:15:10 you just punched the plant base in the stomach, doesn’t really matter. And they’re saying that is the essence of living. So, so when you, when you add, when you just add plants to the diet, there are randomized controlled trials that have done that and they’re just like pretty much equivocal whatever. So, but then like some broccoli with your meal and whatever, I don’t know. And there’s one interesting trial where they basically have people eat the same thing, but in one of them they re they, they basically remove the, the plant-based antioxidants. And in those people they’re like endogenous antioxidant state improved more than those with the plant-based antioxidants. So actually, and that’s interesting, isn’t it, that suggest that if you’re giving plant-based extracts that have um, antioxidant properties that maybe they’re not necessarily that beneficial because you know your body, your body can and should make its own. But so if you just add plants, the diet, um, doesn’t seem to make much difference. But there are plenty of studies using a whole foods plant based diet where you do see benefit. But again, where’s that benefit coming from? It’s from the food you’re not eating all of a sudden rather than the foods that you are eating. Um, but like, uh, you have to admit the, the, the single most successful long term weight loss trial, the broad study, whole foods, plant based diet, they eat it for six months.
Tommy: 01:16:25 They lost a huge amount of weight and they kept it off for another six months after the trial finished. That’s almost unheard of in any dietary trial. So again, you’re teaching, they taught people how to cook, they base the food on real whole food. Um, and these people lost a huge amount of weight and they kept it off. So the plant-based community said, you know, if I was, if I was a plant based guy, I would literally put that study up front, you know, more than anything. It’s like it’s the best study that’s been done on a plot based on, I don’t hear about it that much, but it’s incredibly successful. But I think, you know, most of the success comes from more people aren’t eating and teaching them to eat whole real foods. And they taught them how to cook. And once you have those skills, then I think, you know, whether more or less plants are more or less meat, you know, is probably, you know, ma, you know, secondary.
Brad: 01:17:11 Wow. Dr Cate Shanahan says the same thing and she’s working with private employees now as their main career out outing and wants to teach them how to cook as her highest ambition and believes that she can make the most impact. Just teaching them how to enjoy and make, make good meals. And so possibly in that trial, if it was a carnivore trial and some day someone’s going to tap the six month carnivore trial and they taught them how to cook all this cool organ meats that they’d never knew how to cook before, you’re going to have fantastic success and keep the weight off.
Tommy: 01:17:41 So expect exactly the same thing.
Brad: 01:17:43 So it’s that behavior change aspect rather than this splitting hairs and championing one, one agent over the other. But I think that thing you briefly mentioned about the plants, not necessarily, or having a potential negative antioxidant benefits. Seems like Dr. Saladino’s championing that really strongly that if you get rid of this stuff, you do better with internal antioxidant production. You’ll replace the purported benefits of your [inaudible] bowl and you’re jumping juice, press squeeze. Is that the idea here?
Tommy: 01:18:14 Yeah, so, so the, the idea is that most, um, most plant-based antioxidants, as you’d call them, are pro oxidant. But what they do is they stimulate, they actually use up your endogenous antioxidants, but they stimulate your body to make more. So that’s the way that they weren’t.
Brad: 01:18:30 That’s tripping me out. I mean, let’s slow that down because people need to understand this. When you eat that blueberry, broccoli, kale, the antioxidant powerhouse superfood, as the poster says, these are actually have a [inaudible] pro and they have pro antioxidant properties.
Tommy: 01:18:48 So they have pro oxidant properties, toxic, they cause oxidative stress. But what that does is it causes the cell to respond and produce more antioxidants. So as a whole metric is a whole mesic effect.
Brad: 01:19:00 So it’s a complete misnomer to say that eat your kale salad, it’s high in antioxidants, but what you really mean is it’s going to trigger a high antioxidant cellular response in the body because it’s a pro oxidant.
Tommy: 01:19:13 it’s going to stress your cells to increase their antioxidant production.
Brad: 01:19:16 Would that be like a cigarette and a kale salad? Can we, yeah. Um, so Brad Kearns is jumping into the science realm. Mofos better watch out there, cause he just said cigarette versus kale salad. Both pro oxidants.
Tommy: 01:19:29 Yeah. So I don’t think that cigarettes have ever been shown to have that kind of benefit. Um, so, so, so this is where things get super interesting in that in that one trial where they did show that it was in no way connected to any health outcomes. Right. So we don’t, you don’t know if you just changed that in a short period of time. Is that a good thing or a bad thing? You know, we don’t know. There’s also plenty of, um, studies where if you take something like, um, sulforaphane that extracted from cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, cabbage, broccoli seeds, um, you can give that in very high doses to rats. You can give it in high doses to humans and it doesn’t seem to have a negative effect. Whereas, um, you know, somebody who very anti plant would say, Oh, you know, it’s toxic as a goitrogen. It’s going to affect thyroid function. And it doesn’t seem to.
Brad: 01:20:14 So why is someone saying that? Are they citing a different study or no, how do we,
Tommy: 01:20:19 it’s a, it’s a theory. It’s a theoretical, it’s theoretical. So, um, we know that the, the, um, some of those things in cruciferous vegetables have the potential to interact, uh, with thyroid function, their goitrogens. But when you give those isolates, so, uh, sulforaphane directly activates NRF two. That’s the pathway that gets activated by oxidative oxidative stress. Um, so that’s what’s being activated by a lot of plant-based antioxidants. They’re actually pro oxidants. Um, the, the, so it’s kind of the way I think of it. So it’s all the way I think of it is that, you know, essentially what doesn’t kill you, kill you, makes you stronger. Right? So exercise, if I measured your blood tests straight after you did a heavy sprint workout, I’d think Brad, that was a super bad idea. Like you look like you’re in really bad shape, but your body adapts, it becomes stronger. The same thing happens with a lot of these plant-based antioxidants. Now some people would say yes, but there’s no downside to exercise. But there is a potential downside to these. Like they might be goitrogens, they might affect your thyroid function and in high doses, but that doesn’t seem to be the case and we don’t really have a way to resolve this at the moment. It’s all like, it’s all still theory. Um, my, again, my, my question is if you look at all the studies and we know nutritional epidemiology is useless, we know that the blue zones who tend to mainly eat plants, although they do eat meat, but they, you know, the majority of their calories come from plants.
Tommy: 01:21:47 Uh, you know, they, they live a long time. It’s probably the, because they move and they meditate and they socialize and you know, they eat whole, like local, locally grown food is maybe less what they’re eating and all that other stuff. Right? But even in all of those studies, all of them suggest that yeah, plants have potential benefits, right? There’s no signal. The, um, any population that eats more plants is sicker, right? So in somebody saying, you know, in general plants are toxic to humans, we should be carnivores. There is no, like I want to see one study that suggests that on a, on a, on a large scale, and I, and I can’t find any. So yes, carnivore can be incredibly beneficial to some people for a variety of reasons, but that’s not, you know, and there’s evidence to suggest that adding more plants to the diet doesn’t really do anything and may make maybe worse for some people because of fiber or some other stuff. But that doesn’t mean that in general plants are bad or that nobody should eat plants. Right? There’s, you just need to make sure you separate out which bits of evidence support what you’re trying to do.
Brad: 01:22:45 And it reminds me of my, uh, philosophy, uh, one class in college critical thinking where you have the, you know, if the street is wet, uh, every time it rains the street is wet. If the street is wet, if the street is wet, does that mean it’s raining? And you say, not necessarily. It’s so simple. But then when you go down to, you know, week seven, when I to struggle and had to get a private tutor. This stuff, what you, what you’re just explaining is mind blowing because if we apply what you just said, push rewind people out. We’ll wait for a little and listen to the stream again. If we apply that model to everything we’re exposed to in everyday life. When my mom sends me a text and says, look at this, it says, red meat shortens lifespan. Headline story, I think it was this week, blasting the news everywhere and you’ve got to take a deep breath and slow down and go, okay, here’s what here. Oh, they’re counting, you know, nasty ass bacon, sausage, fast food, hamburgers as red meat. Uh, and then, you know, again, think critically and extract all these things. And then we’re pretty much left with, um, the Tommy would epitaph on the, I don’t know, maybe, you know, Dom D’Agostino when I interviewed him about, uh, Keto for an hour, he said, I don’t know.
Brad: 01:23:53 So many times I finally started laughing. I’m like, dude, that seems to be your favorite answer. And he said, watch out for any scientist that doesn’t say that a lot. He goes, because then these, and by the way, these are the guys that get on TV and spout a conventional, you know, they, they’ve shaped modern culture more than the real, you know, the fine scientists that are open minded and don’t want to make conclusive things, but were instead pulling and looking for these, uh, black and white, shorten your telomeres, lengthen your telomeres, don’t eat plants. You’re, you’re good to go. Don’t eat meat. You’re good to go. And then we’re left with a mess rather than continually open-minded. But that one thing that, um, that, that makes some sense to me, I want to clarify or ask if this clarification is accurate, where Dr Saladino says, yeah, there are hormetic stressors, right? Hormetic stress remains a brief, positive natural stressor if you haven’t heard that word, right. It has a net positive benefit, but so as sprinting, so is me jumping in the cold tub. So it was me going in the sauna, et cetera. So do I need another hormetic stressor with the broccoli and kale salad? Or might I just sprint, go in the cold tub, go on the sauna and fast rather than have the broccoli kale salad and get, uh, all these wonderful benefits that were undisputed.
Tommy: 01:25:09 Yeah. The, and, and the answer is, I don’t know. Right. And so, and this is the thing and what’s, um, so what I think we can say based on the evidence that we have is that you don’t need that. Right? You may well benefit from it. You may feel good doing it and that’s great. And then please, please do, do it. Does that mean it’s essential for everybody to do? No, it doesn’t. Um, and, and, and that’s, I think where we are. That’s where we are currently. Um, so, so if, you know what, what’s important for anybody to do, if they’re trying to decipher some of this stuff is um, track how you feel. Maybe track some basic blood tests. There’s an, you know, a number of things you can do to look at, you know, uh, your metabolic health, maybe your nutrient status, um, and then change something and then again, continue to track all of those things.
Tommy: 01:25:54 So some people will start, you know, we’ll feel much better when they add a huge salad into their, into their diet every day for a variety of reasons. Some people will feel worse because.
Brad: 01:26:04 of more calories, for example, or add more calories or, you know,
Tommy: 01:26:08 or a steak. You know, and there are, I know I’ve worked with people who, you know, previously on some kind of a carnival diet and they added back some plant based foods with some carbohydrates and you know, they felt that they felt better. Other people, strict carnival feel great all the time. Some people feel great. Um, you know, work with them. Particularly, you know, some well known athletes who do what really well on a vegan diet. Others did terribly and they started to add back, plump, you know, animal foods and they felt good like [inaudible]. That’s just the way it is.
Tommy: 01:26:39 You have to be able to do some, you know, are any of these things 100% necessary? No. Um, so then it becomes a part of your, you know, just a part of a, you know, you know, figuring out your own puzzle.
Brad: 01:26:51 You think diet is oversold in general amongst the, you know, listeners to the show, not, not oversold to the public in general. They need, they best be paying more attention to it. But in, in the realm of people who are deep into this, do you think it’s, the effects are oversold?
Tommy: 01:27:05 Uh, I think that once you are eating something that looks like a primal type diet, you’ve lost it. Right? The vast majority that’s required for most people.
Brad: 01:27:15 You named your bestselling book during the show. Did you realize that it looks like food by Dr Tommy Wood just eat food that looks like food.
Tommy: 01:27:23 That’s literally, that’s legit. I recently joined Instagram and I haven’t done a lot yet, but I, I posted a thing of me with the PLA, with the vegetables. I’m growing, me and my wife are growing in my garden and I said that there are many ways to approach diet, but the most important thing is just eat food that looks like food. And, and most people, if that’s what they do, then beyond that, uh, you know, you probably don’t need to, you probably don’t need to worry about any more. There’s probably other things that much more important in terms of the, your, your sleep or your exercise or you know, worrying less about your food so you can go and spend time with friends. You know, some of that becomes much more important.
Brad: 01:27:57 and people who saying this, but a very high profile leading researcher in this world and he’s telling you, don’t worry about it so much, so don’t worry about it. Somebody hopefully will minimize the email inbox of hairsplitting nutritional questions and relax a little bit and get that bump and a healthy living.
Brad: 01:28:17 Dr Tommy Wood how do we find you on Instagram?
Tommy: 01:28:20 So I’m at Dr Tommy wood on Instagram and had that.
Brad: 01:28:22 nobody here at latecomer to the game. I was really having a credible, cause I have some dude named Brad Kearns who’s apparently an accomplished snowboarder and he’s got Brad Kearns sick air on YouTube. When people are looking for health advice, they got to go watch some guy flying off a snowboard jump at, at dr Tommy. What Instagram? Yeah, let’s do, if I may I,
Tommy: 01:28:43 I’m at a doctor Ragnar RAGNAR on Twitter. So,
Brad: 01:28:47 so at Dr Ramadan was taken, I tried to have on Instagram too, so I had some like, but no, that was.
Tommy: 01:28:52 Ragnar is my middle name.
Brad: 01:28:54 Oh, I thought it was the famous bike rider.
Tommy: 01:28:59 There’s also the ragnar relay. Ragnar rock is the, like the, the final, uh, the final battle for Valhalla in Norse mythology is also my racket nozzles and my granddad’s name. So lovely. But so at to write on Twitter, although I haven’t spent much time on Twitter recently that tell me what on Instagram.
Brad: 01:29:19 Thank you for setting us straight as always.
Tommy: 01:29:22 Well, thanks for, thanks for coming to visit me and thanks for schlepping to my, to my office. You deserve. You deserve some ice cream, the softening.
Brad: 01:29:28 Absolutely.
Brad: 01:29:28 Thank you for listening to the show. We would love your feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org and we would also love if you could leave a rating and a review on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. I know it’s a hassle. You have to go to desktop, iTunes, click on the tab that says ratings and reviews, and then click to rate the show anywhere from five to five stars and it really helps spread the word so more people can find the show and get over themselves cause they need to. Thanks for doing it!