Fat: A Documentary (2019) Movie Script

They were all in
agreement about what
we could do for Charlie,
what the treatment
options were, there was drugs,
and there was brain surgery
and you're out of luck, and so.
It was a while ago but .
So Charlie was born
March 11th, 1992,
and he had a pretty
normal first year
and then right around his first
birthday a little before
his first birthday
I was actually pushing
him in a swing one day
and he kind of threw
his arm up in the air
and twitched his head
a little bit
and I didn't even
think much of it
and I asked my
wife Nancy, I said,
have you seen anything like that
and she said yeah,
I've seen a bunch of it.
So that was the beginning and we
started seeing neurologists.
Okay, Charlie, okay.
The seizures
increased in intensity
and in duration, he
wound up having seizures
in the arms of the Chief
of Pediatric Neurology
at Boston Children's
Hospital, Seattle
Children's Hospital, UCLA,
LA Children's Hospital
so we tried all the drugs
that were available
at the time. Charlie
had a brain surgery
a horrendous brain
surgery and nothing
really stopped his seizures
and we lost hope
we were basically
told there was no hope.
And one day after
the visit, I stopped
at the Medical Library. As
soon as I started researching
pediatric epilepsy,
one of the first things
that came up was
a ketogenic diet
and was kinda
shocking to me because
what it said was, uh,
that about a third
of the kids with epilepsy
as bad as Charlie
um, who go
on a ketogenic diet have
their seizures go away,
and another third
are significantly
improved, and for a third
it doesn't work, and
yet all of these folks
that we had taken Charlie to see
never mentioned
a word about diet.
Nutrition information
can be so confusing and as
advanced as we are medically
and scientifically, the question remains what foods should we
eat to achieve good health?
We're in a war for information
and the fallout
affects all of us.
The media's just gonna sell what
people are gonna
buy and if people
knew the truth, they would
know what to ask for.
My name is Vinnie
Tortorich and I've been
in the health and fitness game
for the better part of 40 years,
specializing in weight loss.
Over the years, I've seen
everything come and go
at least a hundred times,
but as a country,
we've only gotten fatter.
What should I eat, what
pills should I take,
should I take a pill, what
about those protein shakes?
We all know someone who's
trying to lose weight
and most of those
people don't realize
simply losing weight
doesn't mean good health.
My mother, for
instance, she was always
on some diet, one week
it was the Cambridge Diet
the next week it was
the Scarsdale diet,
the next week it was
the Cabbage Soup diet.
But wait a minute, the next week
she ate nothing but bananas.
Where did that come from?
I always wonder about
things like eight,
eight ounce glasses
of water per day.
Really, where did
that come from?
High blood pressure,
your doctor will say
oh, you have high
blood pressure,
stop drinking coffee, really?
These are all just myths.
The myths have become ingrained
in our society far too strongly
for people to realize
they're myths.
What are some of the
health myths we hear every day?
Grains are good for you
and fat is bad for you.
Obesity is an energy
balance disorder.
Calorie in, calorie out.
Calories in, calories out
as long as you're burning
enough calories,
you can ingest
whatever you want.
That you have to exercise
to have better health.
Saturated fat is the cause
of heart disease.
A low fat diet is
a healthy diet.
We saw fat in the
coronary arteries
and that must come
from ingested fat.
A growing number of
doctors are learning
that almost everything we're
taught about nutrition is wrong.
And I realize there was
this incredible story
that we had gotten
it pretty much
completely upside down
and backward on fat.
Believe it or not, the
story of how we got to where
we are today, started in
the 1860s, with the
Seventh-day Adventist Church
and a woman named Ellen White.
Ellen was a higher
up in the church
and she would have
these premonitions
and one night she had a dream,
that God came to her
and said that we
shouldn't eat anything
-with a face.
-I was taken to another place
high above this world and I
I-- I heard a voice.
There started
modern-day veganism.
It really didn't exist before
then, there were other
religious groups
who were more vegetarian,
they would eat eggs
and dairy and so on and so forth
and as a matter of fact,
God also told her
that coffee and tea were bad,
which made no sense
because both of those
are vegetation.
Not long after in our
history, there was
a man named
Vilhjalmur Stefansson.
He also believed,
to a certain extent
that a vegetable heavy
diet was mandatory
for good health,
he was an explorer
who ended up living with Inuits
in Canada in 1906 and
in that time and place
he was forced to
adopt a new diet
due to the lack of options.
He made a discovery
that will change
the way you look at food.
Now this raises the whole
question of food, then.
You yourself must have
longed for a green
-vegetable once in a while.
-Well, I did at first.
At first his
preconceived notion is
I'm gonna die, there
is nothing green here.
There is no
vegetation, they simply
eat fish and drink water.
It was unlike anything that
he'd experienced, right?
Completely unlike
the Western diet,
it was probably 70 to 80% fat,
the Inuit lived
half the year on
and half the year on whatever
they could fish out of the sea.
For four and a half months,
I lived on literally nothing
but fish and water
and at the end of four and
a half months, I was healthier
than I'd ever been before.
And this is on an
exclusive meat diet?
That was
exclusive fish in this case.
On this diet, they
were perfectly healthy.
I mean, Stefansson
was somebody from
the medical world and
he knew what cancer
looked like, he knew what
heart disease looked like
and he did not see
anyone suffering
from ill health
in that community.
When he came back to
the United States,
no one believed him, of course,
what, people eating
nothing but meat and fat,
how could that be, they
certainly would die.
Dr. Charles Norris,
Chief Medical Examiner
does not approve of
an all meat diet.
We have a weakness
of not learning
from the natives, but
rather teaching them.
You see everything through
the colored spectacles
of your education,
your bringing up.
We go through this
whole idea of green good
red bad, Greenpeace,
a light turns green
it means go, eat your
greens, yet when you look
at red, well red means
stop, blood is red,
it doesn't take long
for media to pick up
on these thing and we don't
realize it's happening
but it's happening
right in front of us.
It's 10 p.m.
do you know where
your children are?
Back to Ellen White
and her visions.
Ellen was having
these premonitions
and all of this was
happening, the rioting's
were happening,
in the mid-1860s,
but ten years earlier in
1856, a 12 year old boy
came to work with the
church, his family
was in a church and
that was John Kellogg.
John, by the time he
was 16, was writing
and putting out
literature for the church.
He would go on to share
some of the most bizarre
beliefs that Ellen White
and the church had
including the idea
that masturbation
and sex were off limits.
Excuse me, Ricky.
To stave off these
sins of the flesh,
you should never eat
meat because meat
increases sexual desire.
Well, this is what
eventually led to Cornflakes.
That's right,
Cornflakes were created
by Seventh-day Adventists
to curb sexual desires.
He was the guy who
figured out something
that he termed
dextrinization, it's when
you cook down grains
so much it turns
into dextrose, it
turns into a sugar.
Today when you see
dextrose in a product
you should run in the
opposite direction.
It's as bad as seeing
high-fructose corn syrup.
It's used for bacon,
it's used in salami,
all the luncheon
meats that you get
includes dextrose
nowadays because
it gives it a shelf
life, it's a way
to cure it fast, it's
cheap, it's easy to do
so something that
John Kellogg started
way back in the day
has also seeped
across to the other side,
into the meat industry.
There are two issues,
there's always
multiple questions, one
is if you switch from
a standard American
diet of processed foods
and sugary beverages
and, you know, for lack
of a better word,
we'll call it junk
and switch to a vegan
diet with healthy
vegetables and beans
and legumes and fruit
you're getting rid
of a lot of crap
that's probably bad for you,
which is the sugar
and the highly refined
processed foods.
You would expect
somebody to feel better
if they did that,
the second question is
if you did that and switched to
a whole food diet that
was animal food based
rather than plant
based, would you be
would they be healthier?
I have spent aggregated
more than six years
on red meat that is
seal meat, caribou meat,
muskox meat, polar bear,
grizzly bear, so on.
The Stefansson diet
was considered
an all meat diet, so what he did
in 1928, was subjected
himself and a friend of his
to living in a hospital,
being monitored
for an entire year
eating nothing but meat
fish and water, and that became
the famous Bellevue Study.
The studies on Stefansson,
which were intensively made
from every clinical angle, started on February 13th, 1928.
Stefansson was tested
during the experiment
with an excessively high
protein, minimal fat diet
and as a result, became ill.
Stefansson said the only
time that he felt ill
was when he ate
too much lean meat
not accompanied by the fat,
but that some thick steaks
made him feel better
again .
You have to have
fat with the lean
as lean and fat together
make a perfect diet.
At the end, there were six
publications that came out of
that experiment
by different doctors looking at
whether or not they got enough
vitamins and minerals
and everything
they could possibly
measure and they were found
to be in perfect health.
I wanted to try to
dispel from the world
the same misconceptions
which I had
of the Arctic when I went north.
I used to think that
I was well-informed
on the Arctic
before I went north,
and-- but I concluded
eventually that out of
ten things that I
believed about the Arctic
before I went north,
about six were wrong.
The medical community
has been promoting
saturated fat as
being the bad actor
for heart disease mainly
and that really
came from weak science
called epidemiology.
Experimental evidence that shows
that that's actually
true has never been done.
For example, you
could radio label
saturated fat in
the food and see
if it shows up on the arteries.
That's never been done.
The entire teaching
about saturated fat
being bad for the heart
is not really
founded in good science.
It's not that the
information is not out there.
I remember early on
when I was in college,
I had a college professor
explain to us
that fat was our body's
preferred source of energy.
Okay, fat is a very
good way to have energy
and that same professor
a couple of weeks
later said, our
bodies prefer sugar
when we do exercise.
Weren't we talking
about fat just a
couple of weeks ago?
Yeah, forget about
all that, it's sugar.
So, the message even
in top universities
right here in the United States
are a bunch of mixed messages.
Do I think there's
a big responsibility
for media to do the right thing?
Yes, I do, you know, we have
three big networks,
the big three, ABC, CBS and NBC.
Whatever they told us,
we went with.
Hell, when I was a kid,
there was still
even cigarette
commercials on the air.
At least we figured out
that that was a bad idea.
Don't settle for
some of the taste
Some of the time
It's very easy to
see how someone
can think something
or just say something
and that becomes a reality.
no eggs or fatty meats
instead, eat grains and fiber
that actually lower cholesterol.
How about the
term heart healthy grains.
We've all seen it,
many people believe it.
After all, the terms come from
studies that prove it
to be true, right?
Those were studies
looking at whole grains
versus white processed
flours and grains.
So of course, when
you're comparing it
to something like
white processed flour,
it's going to be better,
but does that mean
it in and of itself is
therefore heart healthy?
You could make the
argument that whole grains
are less bad for you
than refined grains
but that doesn't make
whole grains good.
Oatmeal, or oat bread,
or an oat muffin
or oat bran that can
either incorporated
into some other cereal product.
It's like cigarettes,
you can have
cigarettes with a filter on
and they're less
bad for you perhaps than
unfiltered cigarettes.
Doesn't make the
filtered cigarettes good.
It just means they're less bad
and the same thing is true for
whole grains. They are less bad.
We should put more emphasis on
our vegetables we should think
about the vegetables
we're gonna have for dinner
rather than the meat portion.
Listen I'm not
a doctor, I'm just a guy
with a physical education degree
who became a trainer and somehow
found myself in the
world of modeling.
Before I became
a trainer to the stars
and eventually, a
best-selling author
and podcaster, but
when I started modeling
in LA in the early 90s, I
realized that the media will
sell us anything
to make a buck, regardless of
whether it's healthy or not.
Let's face it, every
beer commercial
you've ever seen is a
bunch of ripped-up guys
on a beach playing
volleyball because
that's what beer
drinkers look like.
If you have ripped up abs
or you have
a nice set of shoulders,
they want you
modeling everything
in the infomercials.
It was the heyday
of the infomercial.
If we
think fat, then we are.
Fad diets,
powders, pills,
still my weight's been
up and down like a yo-yo
until the Ayds Plan
taught me how to
take off weight and
help keep it off.
Just 20 minutes a day will turn
your body into a
calorie burning furnace.
We were coming into
this age of, hey,
if you just do what I tell you,
you can look like this guy
or this woman in just
a few weeks.
Dexatrim did it, I lost
weight and feel great!
Nobody wanted the truth,
they just wanted
a lie that they could
get everyone to believe.
Now you can
lose weight without diets...
No, this product
really doesn't work.
...without pills.
No, that product
really doesn't work.
...without exercise.
Well, what does work?
Now you can lose weight
just by watching television.
So I learned very
quickly, be careful
as to what you advertise.
The 1920s and 30s it
was a lot different,
we were learning a lot
of things back then.
We were discovering
vitamins for the first time.
Uh, we also learned
that food could heal
and a lot of these
therapies are what
were being used to heal people.
They were using non-starchy,
non-sugary diets
to starve cancer in
the 1920s and 30s.
Take Otto Warburg for instance.
He was doing cancer
studies on rats.
He thought that the
outcome would be
that oxygen was what was fueling
cancer cells to grow
and what he learned
with rats was that it
was actually the sugar.
Eat an apple everyday
His discovery was well known as
the Warburg Effect and
it was shown to help
in somewhere near
80% of the cases
of people who had cancer.
Why does it feel like
no one knows this information?
We were making
these discoveries.
So what else contributed
to them not taking hold?
We had a Great
Depression and then
we had a war,
a lot of people were having
trouble putting food
in their mouth, period,
so I don't think people were
caring that much about their
health, people were just
trying to eat anything,
people didn't eat out as much.
We made home-made dressings,
you didn't have
dressings that were
full of processed oils
and we weren't adding
high-fructose corn syrup
to everything that we ate,
we ate real whole foods
that were cooked at home.
Even fast food
was different back
in the 1940s and 50s.
If you had french fries
they were made from
rendered animal fat.
Basically beef tallow,
which was a better way
to cook junk food,
so even our junk food
was better in the
1940s and 50s and 60s.
It wasn't until we
got to the 1950s
where people start to
become more prosperous.
We saw the advent of TV dinners
and other stuff and more sugar
and processed foods
came from everywhere.
But what really happens
happened in 1955
when one of the most popular
Presidents of our time,
Dwight D. Eisenhower,
had a heart attack.
News of
President Eisenhower's
sudden illness,
described by his doctors
as coronary thrombosis, came as a severe shock to us all.
Films of President Eisenhower
made just before
his heart attack
are dramatic evidence of the
suddenness of the illness that
shocked the nation.
Eisenhower's heart attack...
Well, if he could die, what
could happen to me?
You have to understand,
this is a period
in the 1950s when America is in
a complete panic about the
rising tide of heart disease.
Before that, we never
thought about heart attacks,
we never thought about
health and fitness,
we didn't think abut
the food we were eating.
No one back in the 1950s
knew what
their cholesterol
score was, much less
even knew what the
world cholesterol meant.
Cholesterol is kind of
a fat type molecule,
it's in all of our cells,
30 trillion cells.
Cholesterol is
actually so important
to the body that
it actually makes
the majority of cholesterol
that's in your blood
right now, most of the
dietary cholesterol
you eat will go through you
and very little
actually gets absorbed,
and of that cholesterol
you find in the blood, most
of it was made by your liver.
It is an essential
of nerve tissue for instance...
If you eat more cholesterol,
your body will make less,
if you eat less
your body will make more,
which makes it very interesting
that it was maligned in
the past few decades.
Heart disease had been rare in
the early 1900s and
had really risen
since the late 1920s
to be the number one
killer disease by the 1950s.
We took a collective gasp
in this country.
We didn't wanna have another
President die in office.
Just imagine your
President not being
in the Oval Office for
ten days and he's in bed.
Besides, this guy
was very popular,
people wanted to find out
what caused it.
Could it have been
his diet, and if so,
what was he eating and
how can we change it?
This is also the time when the
media was more prevalent.
Motion picture cameras join newspaper reporters
in the old
State Department building
for an historic
Presidential press conference.
The first ever filmed in
sound by newsreel cameramen.
I see we're trying
a new experiment
this morning, I hope
it doesn't prove
to be a disturbing influence.
The power of media,
you can't really
tell that story without telling
the story of Oprah Winfrey.
It was 1993 and by
happenstance, I was put
up for an appearance on Oprah.
They needed someone the next
day. They were looking for
younger men who were dating
older women and since my
girlfriend was seven years older
at the time, I was invited on.
I wasn't into it, I had no idea
what really happened on Oprah,
but I was told no,
you have to do it,
it'll be great for your career.
So they fly me
to Chicago and I get
to the green room,
I was introduced
to a woman named Doe.
The theme of the show
was younger men
who were dating older women.
Older women having the courage
to live their dreams and fulfill
their fantasies and
live their lives
exactly the way they wanted to,
including dating younger men.
Doe said that I
would have to pretend
that I was dating her and I said
what are you talking about?
My guests today,
they're all members
of a provocative new
kind of dating service.
I told her that I
would not go on stage
and lie, that I
would go on stage
and sit next to Doe,
but I would not say
that we dated,
I quickly realized
that I had been
bamboozled, because Doe
introduced me as her boyfriend.
I'd like you meet
Vinnie Tortorich,
he's a Beverly Hills
fitness expert,
he's hot, sweet, he loves women
and he's emotionally accessible.
-Ah, get out of here.
I couldn't believe
what was happening
and at that moment,
I said to myself,
I'm gonna turn this
into not the Oprah show
but the Vinnie show.
Number one, women don't even hit
their sexual prime
until they hit 40,
they don't even know what's
going on until they're 40!
I've been dating older women--
-Gee, I'm only 39!
I'm gonna make this show so bad
that they won't possibly
be able to run it
on national television.
You wanna be with an older
woman, it's the difference
between riding in
a Volkswagen and a Cadillac.
If you wanna ride
in a Volkswagen,
go right ahead, if
you want the Cadillac,
-go for an older woman.
-Well, now--
It turned into a circus,
the people
in the audience actually
believed all this.
Doe and I had just met.
It was like the audience
was participating
in this huge game of Mad Libs.
Two different generations.
How was school, oh I
learned arithmetic.
I don't see how two people
can have something in common
if they're not the same age.
It seems like people are
treating this
like some sort of fetish.
What could you possible
have in common?
Let's say Cher
walked into the room
and said she had to have you.
Sally, get Cher on the phone!
I ended up asking
Cher out on a date
-during the show.
-Cher is on the phone.
Cher, my name is
Vinnie Tortorich and...
I wanna say this in front
of the whole country.
-Is the camera on me?
-Yeah, the cameras on you.
Cher, I live in Beverly Hills,
let's get together
and have lunch, I'll have my
agent call your agent,
and we'll do it
because we'll have a great time.
No matter how outlandish I got,
they seemed to enjoy it
more and more.
What I wanna know
is from the ladies
in the audience, should I
have lunch with this guy?
As a matter of fact,
you can see Oprah,
Oprah started dancing
in the aisles.
The show ended
and I went back to LA
and I just assumed, well
that show's gonna bomb.
As of last year,
it was the seventh
highest rated show
in Oprah's history.
People still recognize
me for it today
and virtually none
of it was true.
I took that
realization that media
can change everything.
Eisenhower has a heart
attack and he wants
the whole country
to know that this
-was a real issue.
-I am happy the doctors
have given me at least
a parole if not a pardon
and I expect to be back
at my accustomed duties
although they say
I must ease my way
into 'em and not
bulldoze my way into 'em.
But the media had other ideas.
They have their own agenda, ah,
he had the common
cold of heart attacks,
he didn't really have a bad one.
The media was trying to show him
on the golf course, having
a great round of golf.
It was thought that diet was
the cause. He was also like
a four pack a day smoker.
Which may very well have
given him his heart attack.
Yes, according to this survey,
more doctors smoke Camel
than any other cigarette.
Try Camels yourself.
Right around that time,
enters Ancel Keys.
Ancel Keys was a pathologist
at the University of Minnesota.
He got the idea in the
1950s that saturated fat
and cholesterol were what
caused heart diseases.
It strikes without warning.
Of ten men, we can
expect five to get it.
But we can't say
who or when or why.
Ancel Keys was this
incredibly persuasive person.
He had a really outsized
belief in his own ideas.
The facts are simple,
you know the chief killer
of Americans is
cardiovascular disease.
Disorders and degeneration of
the heart and blood vessels.
Here are vital statistics.
They show that this
problem here in America
is the worst in the world.
Ancel Keys was
famous for something
called the Seven
Countries Study.
This is where he
went and studied
seven different countries
and came up with
this hypothesis as to
how we're supposed to eat
based on correlation.
Ancel Keys is the
one who proposed
what he called the
Diet Heart Hypothesis
and that was that saturated
fat and cholesterol,
dietary cholesterol would
give you a heart attack,
especially saturated fat,
like hot oil
down a cold stove pipe,
it would just
clog up your arteries and
give you a heart attack.
The problem is, he cherry picked
these countries
to fit what he was
trying to hypothesize
and set out
to prove that the
more calories you got
from fat, the better
chance you had
of getting heart disease.
It seemed like a
straight line between
the least fat consumed
and the most fat consumed
with the US at the top.
The only problem is,
Key studied 22 countries
and if you factor in
all of those countries,
the results are
all over the place.
He just took the seven countries
that proved his point that
fat causes heart disease.
This study made Keys
the temporary savior
of the medical community,
and therefore, the world.
Such that he was able to get on
to the American Heart
Association Nutrition Committee
and he turned the whole
Association around
in one year and
got them, in 1961
to recommend that all Americans
restrict saturated fat
and cholesterol
in their diets in order
to fight heart disease.
This is the first advice
anywhere in the world
telling people not
to eat saturated fat
and cholesterol to
fight heart attacks
that's like the
beginning of it all.
That is what just
blossomed, bloomed,
grew into the giant oak tree
of advice that we have now.
We have no credible
evidence to say
that saturated fat
causes heart disease
and that sounds crazy
to say when you look
at our Government guidelines
and our dietary guidelines,
but there is no high level,
credible evidence
to show that saturated fat
causes heart disease.
The interesting
thing about Key's
he got virtually
everything wrong,
but it never infected
his humility.
We're living in a time right now
when we've had a
narcissistic term
people are very primitive
and narcissistic
a lot of injuries in childhood,
and it has caused us
to, umm, perhaps not
have the most
secure sense of self
and identity. People
attach themselves
to one particular
approach to diet
and it develops into an identity
around which people
maintain a religious
intensity, they
defend it as though
any question in
their dogma is like
you're questioning
their religious dogma
or threatening their very sense
of the fabric of reality and so
we start looking around for
things to attach ourselves to
and political groups,
religious organizations,
different diet fads.
We attach ourselves
to these groups
and we look to the groups
for our identity
so our going forward
in life is somehow
threatened by somebody saying,
hey maybe fat's
not so bad for you.
It's positively comedic but
it's becoming ridiculous.
The United States'
coronary heart disease
is so common that you
all wanna have to do
to study the complete
natural history
of the disease is to
take a sample of men,
any sample of men that are known
healthy follow them, wait
a little while,
and a lot of them will have
coronary heart disease.
But it wasn't very long
before it appeared
there was some
connection between
coronary heart disease and
cholesterol in the blood.
No question, we hear over
and over and over again
that cholesterol
equals mortality.
We've seen it in
the commercials.
Fleischmann's margarine!
It's the only leading
margarine made
from 100% corn oil,
it has no cholesterol!
We've heard about
it from our doctor.
Over time, the build up
on the walls of
veins and arteries
helping to clog them,
restricting blood flow,
it's what causes heart
attacks and strokes.
We've heard about it plenty
of times from our friends
and our family,
and because of that,
we tend to think
it's just simply the truth.
It certainly has the degree of
repetition that we would expect.
In the 60s and 70s
we were focusing
more on the specific
types of cholesterol,
LDL and HDL and LDL became
known as the bad cholesterol
and all of a sudden,
medicine was focused on LDL.
It was noticed that
higher cholesterol
in the blood
appeared to correlate
or track with higher
heart disease rates.
Cholesterol is carried
in the blood by proteins called low density lipoproteins,
or LDLs, the more
cholesterol we eat
the more the number of LDLs,
and that's dangerous.
So essentially, the
idea was developed
that the higher
cholesterol was getting
in to your arteries
and was causing
the arterial disease.
Because the higher that
lipoprotein level goes
the greater the risk
of heart disease.
There are some studies
that show a correlation.
Does that mean
causation, and this
is a very important
that is too infrequently made.
Because something is correlated,
doesn't mean it is the cause.
So if high
cholesterol is present
in people who are
having heart disease
we have to look a little further
as to why that is and if
there are other factors.
When you really
look at the studies
and you crunch the
data, LDL is not
the best marker
for heart disease.
What's even more
powerful, are your ratios.
So whether it's your total
cholesterol to HDL ratio
or your triglyceride
to HDL ratio.
Those have better predictive
value than LDL itself.
The ratios indicate your level
of insulin sensitivity
or insulin resistance
so the best cholesterol measures
are not actually
even talking about
a cholesterol thing,
they are indirectly
talking about insulin
resistance and health.
A lot of the fat research, well
look we saw fat in
the coronary arteries
and we thought that fat must
be coming from somewhere,
it must come from
circulating fat and
that must come from
ingested fat, it was a very
simplistic kind of idea.
The contrary opinion,
the alternative hypothesis
which has been
around for, ooh, a couple
of hundred years,
is that we get fat
because we eat
carbohydrates like pasta
potatoes, bread, they
used to be called
simple carbohydrates,
uhm, now the terminology
is changing to
adjust to the fact
that a lot of people
think maybe these
starches as my
mother called them
are not quite so good for us.
We focused in, just
by timing and bad luck
on this idea that saturated
fat causes heart disease
and we bought into
it even though
the evidence ultimately
didn't really support it
and we made everything
else we believed
about diet have to be
reconciled with that.
Dr. Keys
singling out of excessive...
In front of us, day by day, are
increasingly more and
more very tempting foods.
In the mid-1960s, John Yudkin
comes on the scene, he's
a British scientist.
He thinks sugar's the problem.
When people have heart disease,
they don't just have
elevated cholesterol.
In fact they often don't
have elevated cholesterol,
they have a whole cluster
of metabolic abnormalities.
10, 15, 20 things
you could measure
and Yudkin was saying
if I feed animals sugar
or I feed college
students that I'm using
in my experiments,
sugar, I could cause
pretty much all of these things
just by giving them
a lot of sugar.
So you're apt to say
2 or 300 years ago,
the average consumption
of sugar in this
country was about
four pounds a year and
that's splendid,
I'd be very happy
if everybody had
four pounds of sugar a year.
They eat a hundred pounds.
Moreover, many sugar
containing foods,
cakes, candies, cookies,
chocolate, ice
cream, various kinds
of puddings, also contain fat.
You always eat some fat,
so if you eat
high carb foods, you
raise your blood glucose
you raise your fat
storing hormone insulin
and you're gonna store
the fat that you eat.
It's all individual how much
you can tolerate,
but if you eat more
than your body can
tolerate, then you will
most likely gain
weight, gain fat.
And instead of looking at it,
Ancel Keys just jumps
right on top of it
in the media and turns
this guy into a nut job.
Keys was really a bully
when it came to
trying to quash anybody
who opposed him.
Ancel Keys wasn't
gonna let anyone
come in and rain on his parade.
He published a
nine page rebuttal
in a journal called
in print, he said Yudkin is
a "mountain of nonsense."
...in the etiology
of heart disease.
Keys and his colleagues managed
to paint Yudkin as a quack
and portray Yudkin
and his sugar theory as quackery
and to say there is absolutely
no evidence to support it.
Keys was more-- had more
political influence
and more savvy maybe
than Yudkin and somehow,
this dietary, and we were
spending money testing
the dietary fat hypothesis
so even though the tests
weren't confirming it,
the more money they spent,
the more people
were wedded to the hypothesis
having to be right.
These studies are
extremely expensive
and there have been
enough good studies done
to support our
moderate approach,
which is looking
at balanced foods,
vegetables, fruits, grains, and
lean meat and dairy products.
The argument once again
is it has to be tested
when you believe it's
wrong, Prima facie,
you're not gonna spend
the money to test it.
Why are these
nutrition scientist
just not more curious
about other ideas?
I was at a conference recently
where we talked about
a low carb study
where they reversed
the diagnosis
of diabetes for, it was a
large university-based study
in just one year, on
a very low-carb diet
and one of them said wait
what, diabetes reversal,
wow, how'd you do that, can you
just explain your study
a little bit to us
because that's what we,
as nutrition experts
we really need to do in America.
And I
actually got up to ask
a question from
the audience I said--
I said, did you hear that,
that was 60% reversal
of diabetes, should that
not be headline news
and should you not be curious?
Why are you not even
curious about these ideas?
You know it makes
you think of stories
like the McKenzie family.
Parents in South
Dakota who realized
they had to take matters
into their own hands
when their son lost five
pounds in five days.
I called the doctor that morning
and I explained that
I thought my son
had rapidly lost weight
and something was wrong
and we knew within five minutes
of him doing
a urine analysis test
that there was
sugar in his urine
and we were escorted
to the hospital
to learn how to
manage our new life.
We both concluded that we were
gonna make drastic
changes in our diet,
reducing carbohydrate intake.
Shortly thereafter, we were told
that we didn't need to do that,
that we could feed our
son recently diagnosed
with Type 1 diabetes
whatever he wanted to eat.
Take a look.
I'm trusting these
people, who are now
in charge of caring for my son,
and they're telling
me give him pancakes
and give him french fries
and cupcakes
and pizza, because
now that your kid
has this disease, his life
is pretty crummy already
and the worst thing you could do
as a parent is to try
and change his food.
I fed my kid the exact
prescribed amount
of carbohydrates, I
pre-bolused his insulin
I put a continuous
glucose monitor on him
I bought him a
diabetes alert dog,
I literally did everything
in my own capacity
to follow the guidelines
and manage his disease
and I failed miserably.
- Riv?
Do you want the yogurt,
the tablets, or the gel?
I put a big message out
in the social media groups
that I'm connected to in
the diabetes community
and I asked, how are
you people achieving
normal blood sugars,
what are you doing?
And about every fifth
answer I got
was that these
people were changing
their children's
diet and implementing
a very, very low carb diet.
We removed
all the processed carbs,
the flour, the sugar,
the grains, the fruit
anything that would
spike his blood sugar
and so the next
appointment we had
with our endocrinologist
I skipped in there
like I had won the lottery.
Oh my goodness, I stumbled upon
a low-carb diet and look
at my son's blood sugars
and during that
appointment, our very
kind-hearted doctor looked at me
and told me my son
was going to resent me
for the rest of his life,
that this way
of eating is not
sustainable, that I'm
subjecting my son to
an eating disorder
and he also handed me
a business card
to go see a therapist,
uhm, because he thought
maybe I was struggling
with some things
and had some issues
for wanting to do this
for my son and to
change his diet.
And I'm told to follow
these guidelines
because without
those carbohydrates,
my child won't grow properly
and his brain function
will be compromised,
so when you're a parent
of a Type 1 and you're told
the American
Diabetes Association,
this large governing body,
that must know
exactly what we're up against,
they're recommending this,
that's intimidating.
We either had to
either make a change
or accept mediocre care.
I'm an orthopedic
surgeon, it seems now
as if it's the patients
that are trying
to make the medical
community aware
of what they
already know of what
the patients know,
because they have tried
to follow the rules as given
to them and they failed.
When somebody comes
to me with the belief
that they-- and they tell me,
I believe your son
is gonna do better
if you feed them
more carbohydrates,
I know they're wrong.
And when it comes to
my son, I'm gonna do
what I know as opposed
to what they believe.
Our son went from
taking 45 to 50
units of insulin every day
to maybe 15 units of insulin.
If you extrapolate
that over every child
with this disease,
you're gonna understand
that that's gonna
have a marked effect
on the profitability
of the disease.
I think we underestimate
peoples ability
to make a change, and
I think if there were
doctors and nurses
and dieticians
who were willing
to give patients
that option, I think the face
of diabetes would be different.
We're a very weird
culture, because
we have an endless
amount of energy
to talk about almost everything,
but when it comes
to the core issues
and the ones that just
effect everything,
such as family or such as diet,
we have-- you know, just went
through an election.
We talked about
everything, but no one
ever talked about diet or family
or any of this stuff.
Now you have kids
with Type 2 diabetes
you have fatty liver disease,
you have sleep apnea,
none of this stuff
existed before and if you
think it's just old people
using this, it's getting
younger and younger
-and younger.
-It's an epidemic
and it's one of those
things, like hey,
powers that be, hey
folks in charge,
let's, this is gonna
break the bank.
How do people scream
all day about Medicare
-and this doesn't come up?
-It never comes up.
Because it's not sexy,
it doesn't work.
You want votes, telling people
like hard news, like, hey mom,
you're poisoning your kid
get your shit together,
no votes for you.
The current recommendations,
it started in
the late 60s in response
to a documentary
that aired on CBS News
called Hunger in America.
This spring, a private agency,
The Citizens' Board of Inquiry,
released an exhaustive
report claiming
that serious hunger
exists many places
in the United States,
out of a total population
of 200 million,
the report states,
30 million Americans
are impoverished.
With family income
below $3000 a year.
Five million of these
people are helped
by two existing
Federal food programs.
Now, a new figure must be added.
Of the 30 million
who ae impoverished,
10 million Americans,
whether or not
they are reached by
Federal aid, are hungry.
The Federal food
program might be
better administered
by the Department
of Health, Education and Welfare
or by a special commission
whose only concern
would be to see that
hungry Americans are fed.
This leads right to 1968
and the McGovern Committee.
Public calls to
address the issue
of hunger had been
building, ever since
Robert F. Kennedy had
toured the devastated
slums of Mississippi.
It's obviously as
great a poverty
as we've had and
they're going to lead
a very difficult, unhappy life
for the rest of their existence.
But it was George
McGovern, the Senator
from South Dakota who
would head a committee
that started in 1968,
privy to the poverty
that the nation
was now aware of,
the former director
of Food for Peace
in JFK's administration
was intent
on bringing change that would
eventually effect all of us.
It's always bothered me
to see hungry people
in the world, I like to eat.
If we are to save
ourselves in this country
it seems to me that
a radical restructuring
of our policies and priorities
is absolutely necessary.
There is nothing
more to say, really.
Senator Kennedy died
at 1.44 this evening.
We've got to draw
the line at violence,
so I have mixed emotions,
I'm supporting
the President as he tries to
bring this war to a close.
It was quite sad,
really, to break up
with the Beatles, 'cause to see
it just fall apart was sad.
We have a mystery story
out of Washington, five people
have been arrested and
charged with breaking
into the headquarters of
the Democratic National
Committee in the
middle of the night.
When you think of 1972, 1973,
we're still in Vietnam,
it's not a popular war.
-Then 1972 comes around
and we have Watergate.
People have gotta
know whether or not
their President's a crook,
well I'm not a crook.
People were just in
a haze about diet.
No one was really
paying attention to
this McGovern Committee,
we had bigger problems.
-This complacency at the time
is what allowed these
health myths to seep in.
As you know, I
represent all sorts
of delicious things,
greasy bacon,
potato chips, french
fries, potatoes,
fatty meats and gobs of
butter on everything.
-Now as you know, us fats
separately are just little guys,
but put us all together
and what do you have?
You have millions of calories,
that's what,
I have to store those
calories as fat and I
can't take it anymore.
I'm getting bigger
and bigger and bigger!
And the bigger he gets,
the harder
his heart cells have
to work, Mr. Fat,
you're a real killer!
You know, I don't know
the answer, but why is it
whenever a new study
comes out, it's always
talking about how food
is gonna kill you?
I think that's a
major misdirection
to what we should be focused on.
Food should be used
to prevent illness,
not to just help reverse
it once it's too late.
One of the areas we
haven't talked about
until recently, is
how food can affect
your brain health.
I became interested
in mental health
and the connection
between mental health
and diet after I
had developed a lot
of my own health
problems and had changed
my diet and discovered that diet
had a lot more to do with health
and mental health than I had
ever been taught that it had.
In my early 40s,
about ten years ago,
I developed a number
of mysterious symptoms
that I think a lot
of people, especially
middle aged women
will identify with,
so things like chronic
pain, fibromyalgia,
IBS, chronic fatigue, migraines,
uh, lots of different
symptoms that all
of my very smart
Harvard-affiliated doctors
couldn't help me with.
After about six months
of trial and error, I
arrived at this diet
that was completely upside down
from what I had been
taught was good for me.
It was basically a
mostly meat diet,
high in meat and
fat and cholesterol
and when I arrived at that diet,
all of the symptoms
that I had been
struggling with
completely went away
and I thought, you know, this
diet actually is also
improving my mental
health and I'm
a psychiatrist,
the most powerful way
to change your brain chemistry
would be through food,
because that's where
brain chemicals come from
in the first place.
If you're getting
most of your sugar
and most of your
glucose from the
outside of the body,
you run the risk
of getting spikes,
uh, peaks and troughs
in your blood sugar
and insulin level
and those can destabilize
brain chemistry,
so those can create mood swings,
insomnia, irritability, changes
in appetite throughout
the course of the day.
When you eat a ketogenic diet,
you're using fat
primarily for energy
and the brain is using,
to a large extent,
ketones instead of glucose.
Today, if you're
anywhere near Google
you will learn that
this is known as
dietary ketosis.
Most healthcare professionals
are familiar with ketoacidosis,
and that's a state
where the body is
out of control.
Diabetes it out of control.
Blood glucose is
through the roof,
insulin is not able
to keep up with
this glucose derangement
and so that's
a life threatening
state when you're
a Type 2 diabetic of control.
Nutritional ketosis is
quite a different scenario.
Blood sugar's
absolutely under control,
the patient is healthy
in every single way
electrolytes, insulin, glucose,
perfectly, perfectly controlled.
We have now trained
the body to switch over
from burning carbohydrate
as the primary fuel.
Now the individual
becomes fat adapted
and they use fat as the
primary source of energy
and that's really
the difference between
a very unhealthy and
a very healthy state.
We had a scientific question in
the 1960s where the researchers
asked the wrong question,
but they were questions
we needed answered.
We know that the
way you gain weight
is you take in more calories
than you don't-- than you burn.
And those calories
can be fat or they
can be carbohydrate.
And so they get this hypothesis
which sounds reasonable
that fat people
get fat because they
accumulate a little
of extra calories every day
and we could get
back to this by
not asking how much
extra calories, they
don't have to really
confront the problems
with the hypothesis
and that becomes the
theory ever since.
The history of
science once again,
is full of common sensical facts
that turned out to be dead wrong
when we did the science.
You're certain, you use
words like it proves
when you look at the data, it
either isn't there, or we
just didn't do the experiment.
Speaking of
experiments, here's a timeline
of events that happened
with the McGovern Committee.
After a year of
fighting for funding,
the committee operations
began in 1969.
There were Democrats
and Republicans
including future
Presidential candidates,
George McGovern, Walter
Mondale and Bob Dole.
The initial goals
of the committee
centered around hunger
and malnutrition
and this led to the
legislation in 1970
with principles of
free food stamps
and nationwide standards
for eligibility.
It was in 1971 that
the committee expanded
to focus on eating habits
in poor neighborhoods,
but in 1972, this
extremely pressing issue
was put on hold so that McGovern
could run for President.
When he lost 49 States
to Richard Nixon,
who would eventually
resign and be
replaced by this guy,
it was back to fixing
America's health.
Unfortunately, dietary
guidelines, were based
on the singular focus
to lower cholesterol.
Why we're treating heart disease
by supposedly lowering
bad cholesterol,
we're gonna help
people lose weight.
If you tell a public
of 250 million people
what they're eating
is gonna kill em
they're gonna probably listen.
And the unintended
consequence is that
someone is gonna step in
and take advantage
of these people when
it doesn't work, right?
Coincidentally, drug
companies were spending
millions of dollars developing
drugs to target LBL.
In the 80s and 90s,
a class of drugs
was invented called the statins,
and these drugs did
lower the cholesterol
very effectively and
they also were shown
to lower heart disease rates.
But the question
that's probably more
interesting to me,
that I think should be
more interesting
to you, is does it
help you live longer?
It might reduce heart attacks
by 20 or 30 percent at best,
and it doesn't
really reduce mortality much.
We like simple
answers that we have
treatments for, but
that's not where
the best evaluation and
treatment for heart disease is.
It's absolutely
amazing to me,
the trajectory of
statins and low fat diets
with everything
we have today stem
from a Committee
that was focused
on poverty and
people who weren't
getting enough to
eat. And somehow
cholesterol got into the
mix, thanks to Ancel Keys.
-And in a complete U-turn...
...in 1974, they
expanded the committee
to focus on overnutrition.
The very recommendations made
led to people
eating way too much
of the wrong kind of food,
so now we have
just the opposite problem,
we don't have
a hunger problem, we
have an obesity epidemic.
- The Senate Committee
finally issued a
set of dietary goals
in December 1977, the
McGovern Committee
issued a set of
nutritional guidelines
for all Americans,
intended to battle
heart disease, cancers, strokes,
high blood pressure, obesity.
In the dietary
guidelines for Americans,
they recommend fewer
calories, less fat,
less saturated fat,
less cholesterol,
more poly-unsaturated fat.
All in favor of nominating
vegetable oils, say aye.
Less sugar, less salt,
more fiber, more starchy food.
The Committee's original report
urged Americans
to reduce the risk
of heart attacks by
reducing their intake
of cholesterol, down
to the equivalent
of about one egg a day.
This great
experiment we were doing
with tax dollars
seemed to have one idea
repeated over and over,
cholesterol is bad,
cholesterol is bad.
On its own or in conjunction
with other things.
One way to look at it, is that
saturated fats are healthy
when you're not
eating carbohydrates,
or that saturated fat
was never unhealthy all along,
but that gets you into the realm
of you're telling people that
what they've believed, is wrong.
As time has
gone on, both doctors
and private citizens have
done their own experiments.
As a software engineer,
I look a lot
at networks.
Networks are basically
objects talking to
each other and a lot
of understanding a
network is kind of like
understanding a brain,
no one cell in the brain
controls your whole body,
and actually
cholesterol was part of a larger
network of objects and how it is
that they can move about to
provide us with what we need.
Another thing we
don't talk about
is how complicated
the human body is.
For the Government
to even recommend
what you should be
eating in the first place
is one thing, but
for them to do it
in such a simplistic
way, is another.
There were certain
scientists that
had some hypothesis
and they said
well some of the
stuff we're looking at
is leaning towards
red meat might be
bad for your heart, the
Commission would say
well, what do you think?
Doctors took issue
with that at the hearing
saying that eight
studies involving
five thousand patients
failed to show
hard medical evidence that diet
has anything to do
with heart attacks.
I pleaded in my report
and will plead again
orally here for more
research on the problem
before we make announcements
to the American public.
Yes, before you make
announcements to the public,
you should have data
that proves what you're saying.
Maybe like Dave Feldman did.
My story's a bit interesting.
I found that I could
move my cholesterol
up and down with the
dietary fat that I ate.
The more fat I ate,
the lower my LDL-C.
The less fat I ate,
the higher my LDL-C.
On a three
day diet of over
5000 calories and
450 grams of fat,
he lowered every
marker of cholesterol.
I eventually got a number
of other people
to replicate this,
the success rate
is somewhere around
85% of those people
when on a low carb
high fat diet.
Fatty cheeses, fatty
meats, fatty nuts
and in doing so, even
though their calories
increase substantially,
even though
their saturated fat just
jumps through the roof,
their LDL-C and their total
cholesterol plummeted.
It's a very unintuitive,
but sure enough
the more fat they would eat,
the lower their LDL-C.
Dave Feldman
is not a doctor at all.
This guy took all of the
science that was available
and figured it out, yet members
of a publicly funded Committee
took ten years to
find nothing and when
they were pressured to
change recommendations
with no science to back it up
they ran around in
circles for a while
and came out with
the same report
but this time they
said, oh, you can
have some meat and some salt.
I would only argue that Senators
don't have the luxury that
a research scientist does
of waiting until every last
shred of evidence is in.
So there you have
it, the national advice
that everything you
see today is based on.
That report was then taken over
to become Government--
official Government policy
so it went over to the US
Department of Agriculture
and by 1980, they came
out with the policy
which was the dietary
guidelines for all Americans.
I think it's audacious
that the Government
based on very weak
evidence should tell
Americans what to eat, a
healthy population at the time.
How do you tell some
guy from the Midwest
who's been living on
beef his entire life
to start eating vegetables,
especially at that time
you couldn't get em
year round, you couldn't
get fruit year round, it
wasn't like it is today
where we refrigerate and ship
fruits and vegetables
around the world.
You're telling people
from different parts
of the United States what to do,
how to do it and everyone's just
throwing their hands up, going,
I'm gonna do the best I can.
Do I think the
Government was complicit
in causing this problem, yes.
Do I think they meant to
do it, absolutely not.
I think McGovern's heart
was in the right place,
they just went the
wrong way about it.
But we went on that experiment
and the Government put us
on that experiment, they didn't
ask us about it,
they didn't
ask our advice, they just told
us how to eat, then they
told the food industry,
uh, asked the food industry to
produce low fat food products.
slowly is responding
to it, producing
foods that are lower
in salt and fat and
so on and people
are beginning to
get the message.
Low cholesterol, no cholesterol,
-lowers cholesterol.
-Good fat, bad fat,
-low fat, non-fat.
-Milk suddenly came
in, you know, a bewildering
number of varieties
all of them reduced in fat
and whether or not
it was a result
of the experiment,
this coincided with
the obesity explosions
in obesity and diabetes
we've been seeing today.
The 1980s brought in all
sorts of brand new foods.
There's a
Dannon body in everybody.
Unlike some yogurts,
it's low in fat.
The whole thought pattern was,
if you didn't eat fat,
you couldn't get fat.
Not having fat does
not automatically
make something health food
and that's where
we get into this
debate about is it just
calories in, calories out,
does it not matter
what we eat as long as
we're burning
enough calories to burn it off?
We still don't know if
eating a low fat diet
is a good thing, some of
the smartest scientists
and the President of the
National Academy of Sciences
in the late 1970s called
this a huge experiment
in which the American
public were the subjects.
Let's examine why
there is so much
confusion about good nutrition.
One reason is that
we have been given
a lot of misinformation, usually
by those looking
to make a profit.
-Today, there are still
many unusual ideas as
to what you should eat.
People tend to believe
that just because
it's in print or on
television, it must be true.
The 80s also
brought in all sorts
of new fitness trends.
Make the commitment now
and watch how fast
you see results.
Are you ready to do the workout?
We couldn't get enough
of fitness in the 1980s,
but although we were
doing all of this,
we weren't getting any thinner.
Sugar consumption increases
in part with the introduction of
high-fructose corn syrup
and that's
an unintended
consequence of these
Government actions,
it's arguably the case
if they had done
nothing, we wouldn't
have had this epidemic,
we might have had
it anyway, but they probably,
almost assuredly, made it worse.
For 25 years we've been pushing
a low fat dogma, that
said eat less fat
first it said eat less
total fat and you'll have
less heart disease,
-less cancer and
you'll weigh less.
-But that's not exactly true.
This started because
there's incontrovertible
evidence that
saturated fat is bad
and that is well established
in long-term trials.
You build up in a
community, institutions
organizations, everybody
collects to them,
people who think
just like they do.
Like we like each other,
we respect each other
'cause we think alike
you know.
I know nothing about
you other than that
you think like I do,
so I respect
the way you think and
institutions do this
and then somebody
else comes along
from the outside
and says, oh you guys
all got it wrong, look,
here's the evidence,
all these obese diabetic
people neck-deep
in obesity and diabetes,
we gotta change everything.
It's hard to accept,
it's hard to back out of.
There's no way to back out of it
that doesn't destroy
your credibility.
In this country, we
have freedom of choice
to say what we wanna say,
we have freedom
of choice to print
what we wanna print
we have freedom
of choice to think
what we wanna
think, but we do not
have freedom of choice
for our own healthcare.
Why, I guess profit
and politics and power.
The MDs and nutritionists
and all people
need to work together
for the total benefit
of this country's health.
So in 1992, we did
the most brilliant
thing we've ever
done as a country.
We started the food pyramid.
Now, this is so ridiculous
that I can't even
ever remember--
because in my own mind
it makes no sense,
I always have to
read it off of a piece of paper.
The pyramid at the base,
the biggest part
was bread, cereal and rice, six
to eleven servings,
not per week,
hang on folks, per day!
If you went to the
maximum vegetables,
that's five vegetables a day.
Five servings, and
fruit, if you went
to the max, that's four,
that's 20 servings
of carbohydrates
every day and then
when you get into
milk and dairy,
milk has carbohydrates,
there's lactose in milk
that's like drinking sugar,
and on meat?
The most you can have
in any given day
is three servings.
Now it gets even worse
because we start wondering this,
what's a serving, what's
a serving of meat?
They didn't tell you
how many ounces.
Well I could tell you
it was two to three
ounces per serving,
but who knew that?
You gotta
eat the right stuff.
Start with a little meat,
a little dairy,
you gotta add a bunch of fruit.
You have Timon and Pumba
telling people
-to eat more grains!
-Bread, cereal, rice,
-And eat a whole lot less fat
and if you thought
that was ridiculous,
the servings ad they did give us
with the food pyramid
did not match
what the Government told us
that servings should be
on the packages of food,
those servings,
which are also mandated
by the Government,
were completely different
from the servings
that we heard about
when it came to
what was on the pyramid.
The new food label represents
nothing less than a major
victory for the consumer
and for the public health.
When you're given a percentage
and you see that this
is 50% or this is 10%
of your expected daily total
then you know very
quickly that this food
either contributes a lot of fat
or a little bit of fat
and how to plan
the rest of your diet
around this particular food.
This food label which
will be on virtually
all foods, will be a
benchmark for nutrition
information well into
the 21st century.
The Government makes
the manufacturers
put the product ingredient
list and the amount
in which it appears on the
package. If the number one
thing is grains,
you will rice first, if
the second thing is sugar
you will see sugar second.
These companies got
really smart at some point
and figured out
hey, wait a minute
we can't do it this
way because people
are seeing sugar,
sugar, sugar, sugar,
so what they do is they name
the sugars other things.
At last count, we
were at 70 names.
70 different names
for sugar on packages.
Let's say you're
diabetic, Type 1, Type 2
it doesn't matter,
if you don't know how
to read these labels, your
life hangs in the balance.
This is the world
we live in, this is
our society, this
is our community
and if we don't fix it,
who will? No one will.
The food label has become
a veritable minefield
of misleading and
downright false claims.
And many in Congress
feel the same way
they're concerned
that any confusion
over the truthfulness
of health claims
could be dangerous because
the potential benefit
of displaying important
health information
on food labels would
be lost if consumers
lose confidence in what
they're being told.
When I was a kid
in the late 70s,
the term metabolic syndrome
did not exist at all.
Metabolic syndrome
is not one thing
it's several things,
it's fatty liver disease
it's Type 2 diabetes,
something else
that barely existed in
the 70s, we have people
on statins and
metformin, none of this
existed in this quantity
in the 70s.
We've gone from here to here
in just a few short years.
So the same foods in
my mother's generation
grew up believing would
go right to their hips.
You know, by the 1980s,
we were being told
to eat six to eleven
servings per day
they were the base of
the food diet pyramid
in the 1990s and they coincided
with this obesity epidemic.
I mean we couldn't
have screwed up
the science of obesity more
if we had tried.
We don't know what to do.
Nutrition experts,
the establishment,
the orthodoxy, just
doesn't know what to do
so they continue raising money
for the American
Heart Association,
the American
Diabetes Association,
but they don't
have any new ideas.
They keep saying just keep
applying the advice
that we've given you
and somehow, it'll turn out
different this time.
One of the things
that I always say is
why not just be
open to new ideas?
Like, here's some other
ideas coming along
let's just consider them.
Don't we have
an obligation to the
public to consider
at least, other ideas?
You're about to meet a father who refused to give up, a man who defied
the doctors and went
looking for a miracle.
My generation remembers
Jim Abrahams quite well.
He did some of our
favorite movies
like Airplane!and
Hot Shots!and all
of these funny movies
in the 70s and 80s.
Well it wasn't very
funny when Jim Abrahams
had a 16 month old son
who was having
seizure after
seizure after seizure
and he was going-- because he
was a big producer
and he had the means,
he went to the top
doctors In the United States.
And at the time,
Charlie was averaging
about a dozen seizures a day.
He was on four
anti-epileptic medicines.
If you have a
critically ill kid,
what would your choice be?
Do you wanna drug him, do
you wanna cut his brain
or do you wanna
change what he eats?
And it just seems obvious to me.
This is not to blame doctors.
Doctors are spread
really thin and they have
to try to do the best they can,
but it was Jim who
figured out on his own
by going to a library
in the hospital
and just happened to open a book
to a page that showed
the ketogenic diet
as being the best way to deal
with seizures in infants.
The book claimed
that experts here
in Baltimore were
perfecting something called
the ketogenic diet,
a diet consisting
largely of something
most doctors
-tell us to avoid.
-I called Dr. Freeman
from Johns Hopkins,
told him about Charlie
and he said, send
his medical records,
we did and he said,
well bring Charlie
out to Hopkins and
we'll try the diet
and we started the diet
and in two days
his seizures were gone.
- Two days?
-Two days.
Jim was angry
and puzzled that none
of the six doctors
he went to for help
ever mentioned the diet.
What has stopped
Charlie's seizures
has been in existence
for 70 years,
it's been sitting there,
it was waiting for him.
You had some knowledge
that this diet
was probably working
back at Johns Hopkins
and yet you dissuaded
the Abrahams from attempting it.
How come?
Well, because I don't think we
had exhausted all of the medical
approaches yet.
Uh... There were actually
still other medications
that we hadn't tried yet.
Dr. Freeman tells us
that 50 to 70%
of the patients that
come through his doors
and get put on a diet
have success.
Can you think of any drugs
in these hard cases
that have 50 to 70%
success rates.
Probably not anything that
comes up to that level.
In another month, Dr. Freeman
weaned him off
all four anti-epileptic
medicines and
Charlie went from a
prognosis of a lifetime
of seizures and what they
call "progressive retardation"
to we got our son back
and his smile is back
and he was happy again,
and our family
could go on with life.
This is Charlie Abrahams
and his mom, Nancy.
I've known him since
birth, I watched
his delightful
personality emerge
through a normal first year,
I witnessed
his debilitating
battle with seizures
and medicines, I
rejoiced with his family
when the ketogenic diet
stopped his epilepsy
and now I derive
strength and joy
like so many of
his other friends
as we watch him begin
to develop again.
It's too early to tell
whether the nine months
of pummeling from
seizures and medicines
did any permanent damage
to Charlie's brain.
If he has anything
to say on that matter
I know they won't,
however, it's not too early
to tell that had
Charlie's parents
been informed about
the existence of
the ketogenic diet
when he first got sick,
and about the success
they've had with it
at Johns Hopkins,
a vast majority
of Charlie's seizures
would not have occurred.
And most of his $100,000
worth of medical,
surgical and drug treatment
would not have been necessary.
Even today, 1.5 out
of every 10,000 people
with epilepsy who would
benefit from a ketogenic diet
are using it today.
Doctors are not taught
diet therapy or even
nutrition in medical school,
they just simply aren't.
Try an informal
survey on your own,
next time you see
a doctor, your
doctor, any doctor,
say, "When you were
in medical school,
how long were you, how much time
did you spend
investigating and learning
about nutrition
and diet therapy?"
I didn't really have
much nutritional
training like most doctors.
In four years of
psychiatry training,
we didn't talk about food once.
The extent of my training,
I got in nutrition,
let's see, year one,
two, three, four
then four years of
residency, zero.
Zero, I got zero
in addiction too.
Zero in nutrition,
zero in addiction.
We were-- we were so damn busy
taking care of sick
taking care of
illness and trying
to push that back and save lives
that trying to prevent illness
was not really on our radar.
I feel anger, I'm pissed off
and again, I think
that part-- that the reasons
that the diet hasn't
become more popular
has nothing to do
with efficacy at all.
It has to do with
revenue sources
that are more lucrative.
The ketogenic diet
isn't that expensive,
the problem is
it doesn't generate revenue
for the medical world.
There are powerful
forces at work
in our medical system
that have nothing
to do with good health.
My patients have
been getting fatter
and sicker over
the last few decades
and in particular,
we're starting to see
diabetes out of control,
and that changes everything.
I used to see the
occasional person
who needed diabetic
foot ulcer management
and needing an amputation,
and it started becoming
virtually weekly.
When you come into a clinic
and there's patients
with, you know, rotting flesh
and it is rotting flesh
and it smells bad, it looks bad
and all you're doing
is just trimming
off a little bit of foot,
starts with a toe,
starts with an ulcer,
then it moves up the foot
and sometimes you know,
you get to a point after
doing two or three operations
it's been going a couple of
months and then the decision
is you've actually
got to chop that leg off.
There's something
which really upsets me
and that's when you
actually amputate
someone's limb, there's
a sound of actually
dropping that leg into a bucket.
I don't want anyone to hear
that, you know, that noise,
it's just... Yeah it's just
sickening, I started talking
to my patients
about reducing sugar
and the benefits were immediate.
Not only would the peoples
fatty liver disease
get better, not only
would all of their blood
numbers get better, but in fact,
he would not have to end up
chopping off a foot or a leg.
I then went to the
hospital dieticians
and said hang on, this
is really exciting
this stuff about sugar,
started talking about it
to the staff and then
I started implementing
a sugar reduction
for my patients,
only to find out
that I was starting
to tread on some big toes.
The dieticians then
started kicking up
a stink about that involving
their parent organization,
the Dieticians
Association of Australia
who started becoming
involved into pressuring
the hospital into silencing me.
We received evidence in Sydney
from a medical
practitioner in Tasmania,
Dr. Gary Fettke,
he gave the evidence to
the Committee in the
morning of our hearing
in Sydney, three hours
later, he received
an official caution from APRA.
The first time I heard
this story,
I just thought it was a joke.
The Boards actual
statement requires
that doctors double check
that their personal beliefs
don't compromise care,
that they don't put
their commercial interest
in front of patients
and lastly, doctors
should provide
appropriate dietary advice.
Ultimately, the Medical
Board made a ruling
that I am now the only
doctor as far as we know
in the world to be
banned from advising
his patients to reduce their
sugar and junk food intake.
And if that sounds crazy,
then that's what it is.
We recognize that uh, the--
being subject
to the notifications
process for a practitioner
can be an extraordinarily
stressful, uh, thing
because there are pretty
serious issues at stake
ultimately in terms
of their practice
-of their profession and--
-And their reputation.
And their reputation
and, uh, despite the fact
that we are not
punitive in our focus,
we are protective in our focus
and our mandate is a
public protection focus
we understand and
appreciate that it may not
feel like that for
the practitioner
involved in the process.
For a long time, I
couldn't actually
work out why there
was anything actually
against what I
was talking about,
everything about reducing
sugar and carbohydrate
is basic biochemistry,
it's in the first
hundred pages of textbooks,
so there's nothing
extreme about it, once
you see the results
of reducing sugar and carbs,
particularly in diabetes,
you can't unsee them.
You know, at this point,
I think there is active
suppression of this science,
and this has been
going on since the 60s.
One of the things I found
in my research,
the biggest ever test of
Ancel Keys' hypothesis
was something called The
Minnesota Coronary Survey
it was on more than nine
thousand men and women
in five Minnesota mental
hospitals, which was a really
well-controlled study
because somebody in a hospital,
you can control everything
they're eating.
They gave half the people what
was considered the normal
amount of saturated fat,
regular milk, regular meat,
cheese, butter etcetera.
The other half they
gave 9% saturated fats
soy-filled milk,
soy-filled cheese,
soy-filled burgers, they
found that the people
on the vegetable oil,
soy-filled diets
there was no effect on
cardiovascular mortality
or total mortality. That study
was not published for 16 years.
One of the principle
Ivan Frantz was
asked by a journalist
why did you not
publish this study?
He said well, there was
really nothing wrong with it
we were just so disappointed
in the way it came out.
Well that's basically
scientific fraud,
not publishing your results.
I started to ask the
question what got in the way?
What's withholding the message?
Well, there is a
pharmaceutical and medical
device industry
that makes billions
selling their
products to doctors
who have no interest
in diet therapy.
There, uh, is a sugar
industry that adds
sugar to all of
our processed foods
that has no interest in
promoting a sugar-free diet.
There is a cardiology
community led by
the American Heart Association
that has been spreading
about a high-fat diet
based on flawed science
for over 70 years.
Those diets have
been used in children
for many years who have epilepsy
and those children show definite
cognitive dysfunction,
also those diets.
Which means they don't
think as clearly.
-That's right.
-Those children are also
children who have as
many, they're intransigent
childhood epilepsy,
they have as many
as 400 seizures a month,
they're untreatable
by drugs, they go on
the diet, and the diets
I think it cures 33%
of them, cures them.
The epilepsy and then
they aren't able to think.
Today Charlie is a
elementary school teacher
a certificate in early
childhood education,
he boxes, he plays
piano, and we are
beyond grateful every day
for his outcome.
I'm not sure what
would have become of me
if my family hadn't
found the ketogenic diet.
But I doubt that today,
I would be an A student
in high school with
lots of friends.
I doubt I would have been
playing piano
for the last eight years
and I doubt
I could hit an 8 iron
a 160 yards.
And they just couldn't accept
that they were
dealing with these
intractable conditions
and not just pediatric
epilepsy, but obesity is
an intractable condition,
diabetes, Type 2 diabetes
is an intractable condition,
Type 1 is, and here
you have this diet
that appears to put these
conditions into remission.
The establishment here,
by our friends, its
a little too dogmatic
and that we may
never know the truth
unless we acknowledge that
there is a counter-theory
that has never been
tested and that
that theory more and more people
are beginning to accept
parts of the theory,
as being legitimate
and that it could
answer a lot of problems
and it could
even make it easier for
Americans to lose weight.
People are able to
reverse diabetes,
people are able to lose
weight sustainably.
Most, if not all
cardiovascular risk factors
are improved along
the way on a lower
carbohydrate diet. That diet
ought to be at least considered.
If it turns out to be true,
I'll be the first
to change my mind,
but show me the data.
Well, here's
just one study that says
that long term ketosis
reduces body weight,
triglycerides, LDL,
and blood glucose
and shows that it's
safe to use a long term
-ketogenic diet.
-You can lose weight on
a plant-based diet,
you can lose weight
on a ketogenic diet, but are you
mortgaging your health
when you do that,
and the answer is yes,
the ketogenic diet
when you look at the
arteries of people
or animals that go
on a ketogenic diet
they tend to be more clogged,
even though...
Imagine someone who spent
his whole career getting the
wrong answer,
and not only getting the wrong
answer, getting the wrong
answer that dangerous,
that actually
may have killed
tens of thousands
of hundreds of
thousands of people.
Millions of people
prematurely, there's no
way to tell, then
these outsiders
come along and say you're wrong,
not only are you wrong,
you're completely wrong
or not even wrong
it's so senseless
what you've been doing
and you're killing people
and you have to switch.
I don't think
any human being, I mean
were just not wired
to be able to say oh
yeah, that's a good point
I get it, I see
what you're saying
and I'm sorry. And if
you're an institution
like the American
Heart Association,
I mean imagine the press release
you would have to write,
"Dear American public
we're sorry if we
killed prematurely
your loved ones and your parents
and maybe we're killing
you, but in retrospect
we shouldn't have given
the advice we did."
-You know, we think
about corporations are--
our Government
which is a corporation,
and the first question is
do we blame them?
Well, you can't hurt
the Government's feelings,
you can't hurt
the corporations'
feeling because
corporations and
governments are not people.
They're machines, they're
just big giant machines
and any person in that
machine is just a cog
and there's no way to
hurt anyone's feelings
or to get on anyone's bad side.
It's just a machine
that keeps running.
Decisions of a nation,
and of a Government
that at one time could tolerate
three or four weeks
of study, now demand
almost instantaneous a reaction.
The people of the United States
recognize one by one,
thousand by thousand,
million by million
that this I a problem
which solution is long overdue.
Long before Lyndon Johnson
came into position
of power, our leaders
were recommending
great advances in the
field of civil rights
and great advances in
the field of health
and things of that nature.
Uh, I just happened to
be the catalyst.
We're living in a fast age
and all of us
are rather impatient.
I am proposing today a new
national health strategy.
Emphasizes keeping people well,
not just making people well.
I do envision the
day when we may use
the private health
insurance system,
to offer more middle
income families
high quality health services
at prices they can afford
and shield them also from
their catastrophic illnesses.
Today I'm proposing
to the Congress
a national health plan,
this major initiative
will meet the most urgent needs
in health care of
the American people.
Our Administration will
propose to Congress
a comprehensive plan to
cover catastrophic illnesses.
I am proud to have been
part of an Administration
that passed the first
Catastrophic Health Bill.
Whatever form it takes,
a catastrophic
illness costs money.
There are some little
known but very important
provisions in this
new balanced budget
that will take us
a tremendous step
forward in our fight
against diabetes.
These investments
total more than
two billion dollars over
the next five years.
We must remember that the
best health care decisions
are not made by Government
and insurance companies
but by patients
and their doctors.
Because you're eating heathy,
and you're out there
active and you're playing
sports and you're
out in the playground
and doing all those
things, not only
are you gonna have
a better life,
but you're also
helping to create
a stronger, healthier America,
and that saves us money,
it means people
are not sick as much,
it means that
our health care costs go down.
When you roll up at a McDonalds,
what does Donald Trump order?
A Fish-O-Filet sometimes, right.
The Big Macs are great, the
Quarter Pounder with cheese,
I mean there's great stuff.
Do people at the windows
be like, "What?"
I think all of those
places, Burger King
McDonalds, I can live with them.
I had the other night, I
had Kentucky Fried Chicken,
not the worst thing
in the world.
If you think it's up to
Government, you're wrong,
if you think
it's up to industry,
you're wrong, it's up to
you. And if you're gonna
make a change, if
you're watching this,
change right now,
tonight, don't wait
until tomorrow, if
it's a Friday night
don't say Monday
you're gonna start,
start now, there's no
time better than right now
to get your life in order.
I've been doing a
podcast with Anna Vocino
for about seven years.
When we first started
the podcast, uh,
nobody was listening.
Someone's gone, alright,
I wanna lose weight
wait, that steak
is 1200 calories.
This bowl of pasta
is 500 calories less?
And, as a woman, you're told
don't eat more than
1200 calories a day
if you wanna lose weight,
so you think
oh, I can't have that steak,
because that's my whole day!
We started attracting
the attention
of people in the
low carb community,
doctors, authors,
like Gary Taubes
and Nina Teicholz,
it's important for us
to have the experts on,
'cause we're like see
what that guy said .
Anna also, turns out,
is a great cook.
As a person who works
with food a lot,
I get asked many questions about
fake sweeteners or
fake this or fake that
and I personally think
it's gonna have to
go in an even more
natural direction
to where we just have
this return to just
eating food in its
most natural state.
Vinnie and I are very passionate
about this topic,
let's say you watched
this documentary,
let's say you watched
the others and you're
like, this is it,
I'm gonna do this.
I am going to give up
the processed sugars and grains
and I'm gonna go for a
high-fat, low-carb diet
and which you should,
do it, try it.
It can't hurt to not
have sugars and grains.
Like just try it.
When that happens
and there's an adjustment phase,
all of us in this country,
myself included,
have been in the diet mentality.
If we can peel back
that diet mentality,
it would be amazing.