Doctor Tim Spector: "Extra Protein Is Making You Fatter!" 6 Food Lies Everyone Still Believes! | Transcription

Transcription for the video titled "Doctor Tim Spector: "Extra Protein Is Making You Fatter!" 6 Food Lies Everyone Still Believes!".

1970-01-04T03:17:49.000Z

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Introduction

Intro (00:00)

I brought everything that I could find in the supermarket that was making a claim that it was good for me and I want you to take a look at it. That, Tim Spector, is definitely healthy. Or not. Avoid that one terrible. Complete rubbish. Not as bad as the other one, but then... We can unravel all these secrets. The return of the world's biggest... Gut ill expert professor Tim Spector. He's an award-winning scientist, best-selling author. And he's co-founder of the company Zoe, the home kid for personalized nutrition. Everything I'm about to throw at you has a whole industry of people behind it. The first one is protein supplements. Protein is massively hyped. Most people are having nearly twice as much protein in their diets as they need and most of it will be converted to sugars and fat. Coffee. It's definitely a health food and you'll live longer. Mouthwash. You're more prone to infection and actually worse smelling breath long term. Really? Yes. No hard data that you should be drinking eight glasses of water per day. Ten minutes in the sun will get you all the vitamin D you need. And there's some actual data showing that if you've got too much excess fat on your body, exercise alone is a terrible way to deal with it. You need something radical. You and many others like you are a victim of marketing. But we are in a fiber crisis. We think only about one in 20 people are getting enough fiber for good health. As a dramatic effect on avoiding cancers, mental health and your longevity. So you brought this... Yep, that's the magic potion. A handful of that. You reduce your risk of death by 14, 15%. Two handfuls of 30%. And it's incredibly easy to do. So... Tim, what is the um benefit to me if I change the way that I'm eating and start thinking through the lens of my gut microbiome and start taking the advice that you talk about in your books? What is the benefits both of me and society in terms of statistical outcomes? Like why does it matter? It matters because we are suffering an epidemic of common chronic diseases. So we're getting increases in cancer, heart disease, diabetes, obesity. We, you know, majority of the population are overweight or obese. That has enormous consequences. Also on our economic output, it costs the country and the taxpayer nearly 60 billion pounds a year. As a country, we don't want someone like you to become unhealthy. And so that it's difficult for you to work, not functioning properly. The state then has to provide for you extra health care, etc. There's that individual level. But also we don't want you to get mental health diseases, depression, anxiety, all these things that we know are also linked to poor diet, as well as increased cancers and other elements of it. So it's a combination of the medical, the mental, the social, the economic. All these things are related to having good nutrition. And I think we've taken it for granted that it doesn't really matter what we eat. It's all about weight on these things. But that's maybe only the small side of it. I think there's much more to it than that. Someone like me, I'm 30 years old. And I'm, I like to think that I'm in good shape. I exercise every day. Very active. So sometimes I think I can fall into the trap of thinking because there's no obvious sign of disease in me that I can eat what I want because I'm working out. And then I sat here with a doctor a couple of, a couple of months ago, and he said a sentence to me that sounded something like, we can see disease growing in you decades out. That really made me change my thinking on health. Because if it is like a seed of health or a seed of disease that's growing in me, irrespective of my current physical abilities in my, you know, think I'm in good shape, it's kind of like compounding invisibly inside of me disease for better or for worse. And that means that even someone like me, I can, I can stop 50 year old Steve's disease now at 30 by making nudging my health in a slightly different direction in terms of nutrition. Is that an accurate assessment of, because there'll be people that are listening that are so healthy, apparently healthy on the outside because they can run fast or because they haven't got any problems with their bones or back. Yeah, well, when I was your age, I didn't think at all about my nutrition really. You know, although I was trained doctor, etc. I said I don't want too much fat, I want this and, you know, I'll try and get a nice looking steak rather than the cheapest one. But I didn't think in that way that I wanted to look out my health in 20 years time. It's a tough concept for people who are, you know, doing so much else and still feeling good. They're, you know, still getting out of bed fresh in the morning energized and not really feeling the effects of of aging. So I think it's true, but it's quite a tough concept to sell to the whole population, particularly people in their 20s and 30s about the future. And that's why I think focusing on things like mental health do resonate perhaps more than saying think about what you're going to be like when you're 50 to most people. I've spent definitely the last 10 years of my life believing that in order to grow big muscles, which has been in aim of throughout my life, I need to have protein supplements.


Nutrition And Gut Health

Who Really Needs Extra Protein? (05:26)

What do you think about that? I still have protein supplements in my house. Protein powders come home from the gym, big scoop of protein, drink it. What do you think of that? Protein is massively hyped. There are very few people who are protein deficient in this country and need supplements. There are a few, but I would say that less than 5% of the population are not getting sufficient protein to perform either their normal activities or like you build muscle because it's so inherent in our normal food. We evolved, you know, to be omnivores and to get enough protein. And our ancestors didn't fall apart because we didn't get protein shakes. And I think the fact that we're focusing on protein is you and many others like you are a victim of marketing. That everywhere you look at the moment, protein is the thing that sells products. If it's got protein on the pack, it's, you know, that's ringing of, oh, I need extra protein. And protein has this ring of only good about it. There's nothing bad about protein. It's like just going to get me big and strong. And I don't worry about calories or getting fat. You know, I use it or lose it and that's fine. And it's completely wrong. All the evidence is that most people are having nearly twice as much protein in their diets as they need. For normal protein balance. And the only people that really need to worry are if you're elderly and you're not eating very much. Okay. So young people generally are at yourself will be getting enough food that a percentage of all that food is going to contain protein. There's very few foods that don't contain protein. People don't think about it, but every time you're eating pasta or grains, you're eating protein. It doesn't have to be steak or eggs. And that the elderly, if you're not eating, you're gone off your food, you're sick, you've got, you know, on some medication might need some extra protein sources or to focus on it. Or if you a strict vegetarian or vegan in that position where you're not eating much or you're sick or you're elderly, then those people do need something. Now, if you are a bodybuilder and again, you're trying to lose weight at the same time, then you might need some protein supplements. But if you're eating a normal diet, there's no evidence the vast majority of people need any extra protein, they can get it all from normal food. And normal food, in my opinion, is much better where getting it because that's how our bodies have evolved rather than getting it in a drink or a supplement or a powder, where it's often mixed with other chemicals. It's not in its natural form. We're not sure that it's all used. And the excess protein you have isn't for free. Protein gets broken down and it either gets eliminated in your body or it's stored as fat as it gets concerted to sugars and then to fats. So people think of protein as only in muscle. And if it's not going to my muscle, I just pee it out. It doesn't matter. Not the case. If you're having lots of protein that you can't use up in your muscles because you already got so much on board, you can't store it anywhere. It, some of it gets eliminated, but most of it will be converted to sugars and fat. This goes against everything they told me because I thought that you could have as much protein as you like. Your body can't store it. So I must just be like pooping it out or something. I don't know. Can't store it as protein, but it gets converted, broken down into small pieces and that gets stored in your body for the future. So how much protein can I process in like a day? How many grams of protein? How many kilos roughly are you going about? Oh, 91 because there's people listening. It's all muscle though. So around roughly that amount of protein. Because it goes with weight. The more your weight is, the more protein you need to repair your muscles and keep it going. So the official amount is normally around 0.8 grams per kilogram. Okay. So, but if we think, you know, we want to be on the safe side. So most people are 95% of people. That's the safe level. But most people in this country are having like 1.4 grams per kilogram. So they'd be having a few over 100 grams of protein. And basically if you don't anything extra, so you might do a little workout that might increase it a little bit, maybe 10%. So you might be able to use 10% of that if you're doing a lot of weight lifting, etc. But not huge amounts. So if you took 300 grams of protein, most of it is just going to be either you'd be getting rid of it, excreting it in some way, or it would be converted into sugars and fats. That I found here, the average daily intake of protein in the UK is 76 grams per day for adults aged 19 to 64. And 67 grams a day for adults aged 65 years and over. So that's how much on average people are consuming with their normal diets. Yeah. So it's just roughly depending on the size of people, it's just over a gram per kilo. And they're getting that without protein, most of them are like protein powders just from their normal diets. I mean, as an example, my normal breakfast gives me, I worked at it, over 30 grams of protein, which is sort of what you want to kickstart the day in order to get muscles repairing things. But if I took an extra protein powder, give me an extra 100 grams, that really wouldn't have any effect at all, other than slightly increasing my weight. What about fiber? I've got two questions here. What is fiber in the most simple terms? And is it, why is it important? And are we consuming enough fiber in our natural diets in the UK? So unlike protein, where 95% of people are absolutely fine, and not deficient in protein, 95% of people are deficient in fiber. We think only about one in 20 people are getting enough fiber for good health. So this is the imbalance between the marketing. People just don't make money on fiber like they do on protein. So all the commerce is going to everyone's protein deficient. You've got to have protein protein protein protein, who's supporting the spinach or the fiber people hardly anybody. We're massively deficient in it. It is the bits of carbohydrates. So carbohydrates are made up of sugars, starches, and fibers. So fibers are the parts of carbohydrates that are not broken down and absorbed early on the system. So they go through to the deeper parts of the intestine. They meet the microbes and they have to be digested much slower, much lower down your system and their food for your gut microbes. And you could be soluble ones. They've been insoluble ones. They're just different degrees of how hard it is to break it down. And we used to think of it as roughage. It used to be called roughage. When I was a medical student and a junior doctor, you just eat this stuff and it was just to like clear out the toxins. It was just like you have this stuff. It scrapes your pipes and cleans it up. And that's all it was thought to do. But now we know it's absolutely crucial for health. The average in the UK is about 20 grams of fiber. So if you just increase that by a quarter, not very much, five grams, that's a handful of nuts or seeds or something a day, you will increase, you reduce your risk of death by 14, 15%. And if you did two handfuls of nuts, 30%, each one, it goes up. So it has a dramatic effect on your longevity. And it's also important for avoiding cancers and mental health and nearly everything that we've looked at. So it's really the forgotten element of our diet that I think at the moment, we're in a fiber crisis. We're certainly not in a protein crisis. And yet everyone's talking about protein. It's really a fascinating interplay between what the real problems are and what the marketing and the commerce of this whole field is. So we need to improve everybody's fiber amounts. All the healthy countries in the world are eating much more fiber. And it's also diverse fiber. It's lots of different things. It's not just having kale. When you came on the podcast last time, you said something which I found to be quite daunting, which was this idea of trying to get 30 plants into my diet a week. You've brought some food with you today for me that you say can help me with this. Jack, could you grab the food that Tim brought with him today? So you brought this jar of what looks like a bunch of nuts and seeds? Yep, that's the magic potion. Magic potion, tell me more. So this is what I call my diversity jar. So do have a nibble. But basically there's about 10 different types of nut and seed in there that each time I see some packet of mixed nuts or I find something new in a shop, I add it to that jar and I keep it full, mix it around.


Gut Microbe Boosters for Overall Well-being! (15:55)

And that's what I throw on my yogurt and kefir in the morning. Or I would put on my salad at lunch. And that basically is a hack that instantly gets me 10 plants for my week. So you're saying how hard it is to get to 30 plants. Well, just by doing that, you've only got 20 to go. So you're a third of the way, just by having a few hacks like that, which incidentally also gives you your protein. So rather than your protein shakes and whatever, handful of that, you've got significant amounts of protein. But the important thing for this is that 30 plants, people forget that a plant doesn't look like spinach or kale, it can be a nut and a seed, which are so nutrient dense and so useful that they will keep whole colonies of hundreds or thousands of different microbes happy in your gut, munching on the different chemicals in there. And they're very high in fiber, very high in protein. It's going to say about the fiber thing. This is a way to get the fiber as well. Absolutely. Yes. So they're high fiber and high protein. And that's why they are so nutritious. And why if you're having this sort of stuff, you really don't need chemical supplements. And so that's just one of several hacks about how you can add these to your foods very easily, as well as mentally just thinking, I want to try and find add different things to my meal. I don't want to have the same meal every single day. People get stuck going to their local sandwich shop and saying, I'm only having that prawn salad. Prawn salad. Prawn salad. Just think every day, go something different. And if people start thinking differently about food, not only does it excite the taste buds a bit more and gets you out of your rut, but it's also going to generate many more microbes. So if you're going to beat me, you need to be getting more diversity in there to grow more species so that you can keep them all happy. And they live, you know, they live off diversity in variety just as we humans do. So when I got my Zoe results back, I, one of the PDF shows all the bugs in my stomach. Is that what you call them bugs? Which you have a more technical bugs or microbes? Let's call them microbes then, just because it makes me sound smarter. So all the microbes are my in my belly. And I had a very narrow group of microbes. Now, if I, you're telling me that if I expand that collection of microbes, my overall health will be better. I'll process my food better, my mental health will be better. Is there anything I'm missing from that list? Your immune health will be better. So okay, immunity will be better. So you'd get less food allergies, you'd get resistance to infection, it'll be better. So how do I bring it? I know this sounds like super, super, super question to ask, but I looked at that list and thought, okay, so I almost thought of it like little pets living inside me. Where do these, where do I get the new pets from? Like the new animals from to put inside my body?


How Close Contact Enhances Gut Immunity! (19:25)

Because I was thinking my girlfriend's got loads of them, I'll just kiss her. Yes. Well, you could kiss your girlfriend. There is quite a lot of swapping between partners, by the way, in microbes. So you're not wrong there. But unless they had something to eat, they'd die off. Okay, so what you're doing is, you know, we are continually surrounded by many of these microbes. We are swapping microbes with all our close friends and family all the time. But unless you've got the fertilizer in you, they're not going to survive. And the fertilizer is diversity of foods. Yes. And you may have, and you know, you've kissed your girlfriend, you've got some of her microbes, and they're just sitting there waiting for, to be fed, right? There might be in a very dormant state. Many of these microbes can go into spore formation and stay there for years doing nothing in tiny amounts. And they only wake up when, you know, peanut hits them on the head or something and says, oh, you know, steams give me some food at last, you know, this, I can eat this, I couldn't eat the other, I can't eat Nando's, I'm going for this. So that's the concept that you want to give them this rich soil so that they can flourish. And you can gain microbes from going to other countries, you know, eating our variety of foods. And there are microbes that live on a lot of fresh produce that you can get, you get them from dogs, animals, just by having a pet around the house or going to the countryside, you can get more microbes in you. But it's, it's, a lot of them are actually inside us waiting and places like our appendix may, maybe sources of tiny amounts of these microbes that are just waiting, you know, for the right signal to wake up. I think this is fascinating. I looked at the back end of our YouTube channel and it says that since this channel started 69.9% of you that watch it frequently haven't yet hit the subscribe button. So I have a favor to ask you, if you've ever watched this channel and enjoyed the content, if you're enjoying this episode right now, please can I ask a small favor, please hit the subscribe button helps this channel more than I can explain. And I promise if you do that to return the favor, we will make the show better and better and better and better and better. That's the promise I'm willing to make you for hit the subscribe button. Do we have a deal? I, after our last conversation, was always going through the supermarket trying to figure out what's fermented and what's not. How do I know what's fermented? What does fermented even mean? And you brought this array of things with you to show me how easy it is to ferment things in your own home, I guess? Yeah, I think people are frightened by fermentation and it's important to know what it is and what it isn't. So fermentation is a word, lots of different meanings, but it's when food is modified by microbes to produce something that is taste different, tastes better and is also healthy for you.


Transforming Waste Food for Gut and Health! (22:21)

And in a way, it's a probiotic food because what we're doing is we're taking basic whole foods and we are adding something like salt or sugar and that then allows natural microbes on those plants to flourish and change the composition of that food. So they make it acidic, they get rid of all the bad bugs and they make it into something super healthy and all the microbes are growing just like they would be in your gut if you fed them. So it's like a mini version of your gut is what we're seeing here and it's incredibly easy to do. So that's why I brought this stuff along so that I can demonstrate not only how to get extra plants into your 30 a week, but also if those plants are fermented, they have many more times more nutrients in them and the fact that those bugs have been working on them means they've been in a way predigested before they get into your gut and all these studies are showing these are super good for all aspects of your health and if you can have several portions either day, you'll really notice the difference. So for people that are just listening on audio and can't see, what have we got in front of you here? So we've got a jar like a one litre jar of which is full of chopped veg from the bottom of my fridge, all of us would have fridges like this where you've got odds and ends left behind and the idea is that you should rather than throwing it away, you can actually just chop it up and ferment it and stick it in a jar and there is, I can see cabbage, I can see a radish in there. It's just like the waste veg that most people would probably chuck in a bin. Exactly. So a few years ago, I'd have just thrown this in the bin I wouldn't have thought about doing it. So you throw it out, people have heard about sauerkraut which is basically just fermented cabbage and you might have heard kimchi which is the Korean version which has just got a few more things in it like chilies and ginger and spices and this is a mixture of all of them but it's just to illustrate the fact that you can ferment virtually all plants and avoid the waste and that's what our ancestors did before fridges because all you need to do is put them in a jar and squash them down and add 2% salt and a little bit of water to cover it and that's all you do and I can just demonstrate that now for you if you like. So we've got all these in here and the idea is you add the salt so we're adding 2% salt this is really important to measure it so that's the only thing really tricky is to make sure that you've got 2% salt and that gets poured in there and you would mix it around, I would normally put it in a big bowl and do it but you get the idea here you put the salt in, you mix it around and you scrunch it down really hard so you know like really getting it really with any ott space of air because the microbes don't like air the ones that ferment they're called anaerobic they don't like oxygen and so they grow really well when you cut out the oxygen and they can just live off start eating the sugars in these plants and the salt gives them a competitive advantage against nasty microbes. So that means that they can outcompete the other guys because it's suddenly a different environment and that's what we're doing so you squash it down and I'm going to add a little bit of water here sometimes you don't need to add hardly any water and if you add more than a bit just add a little bit of salt to that water just enough to cover it because the microbes are naturally in all these plants people don't realize that they think oh it must be sterile I've got it from a nice supermarket and a plastic wrapper it's full of microbes and that's normal and we know that even in garlic for example even when you cut it there are perhaps 10, 20 different types of microbes living in that garlic and once they they sense the water and the salt they will suddenly say oh it's good to come out I can outcompete I can grow and I can start munching the the sugar and then to pack it down you either use you can use some stones some clean stones what I like to do is use some leftover waste so I get some outside cabbage leaves or something else from a plant and just put it down in there squash it and so you can see that it's now below the water line and I close the lid and that's basically it and I would leave that for minimum of three days somewhere room temperature out of the sun and you'll start to see bubbles forming and that's the CO2 the microbes are producing that they're fermenting it that's it and you've got suddenly your own probiotic fermented food made from your scraps rather than throwing it out and that's that's a great example of what you can do to really improve your health for something that costs nothing apart from the price of salt and that's when you made earlier yeah this is a nicer looking one that's what I did earlier and I'm just gonna say you can see a few bubbles there it's it's just starting to to get going and you can open it up every day or so to give it a smell and see what's happening making sure that it's packed down so that it's all below the water line once you've done this it once it's fermented after a week you can put it in the fridge for months oh really so you can put that in the fridge for months once yeah once it's fermented the it's become acidic and the pH has dropped below 4.5 no other microbes can live there only the ones you want you've selected personally these are your probiotic microbes that we know are good for your health and the difference between this and your probiotic capsule is that you'll probably get 30 different microbes here whereas you take your capsule you might get two or three so this is why fermented foods I think are a real answer to many of our problems you know the fact that we've got a rather western deprived microbiome these could really help people like you want to boost your gut microbiome and just introducing this fermented foods into your regular diet and this is what the Koreans do for example you know the Japanese do by using fermented soybeans in nearly all their foods and so many of the healthiest populations have large amounts of fermented food in their diets when you look at the Japanese and the Koreans do they have better gut microbiomes than the people in the UK and the US yes they do and they but importantly they


Kimchi and Miso Magic: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Gut Health! (29:19)

live much longer and have much less of our chronic diseases or they sort of delay those problems by at least 10 years so I think we need to learn from the the populations that are doing it right and this is a really easy thing to do and I think it's a great exercise in teaching because if you think what's going on it's this is mirroring what's going on inside your gut if you had that rich diversity of of plants in there you can get many microbes to to proliferate and once you start seeing the bubbles forming and that that the amazing change in taste and texture that you're getting you got to remember this is the difference between a grape and an amazing vintage red wine it's just the effect of those microbes in the fact you know on on that grape skin just changing it over time increasing that complexity and producing chemicals it all it's basically a chemistry lesson when I'm in the supermarket there are lots of things that now have labels on them saying that they're great for gut health or their low sugar or their low fat I brought everything that I could find in the supermarket that was making a claim that it was good for me and I want you to take a look look at it these are some of the most popular things that people pick up in the supermarket that make these claims that they're low sugar low fat low high protein great for gut health so the first one I've got here is actamole which has says it's got vitamin D B6 it's great for immune support zero added sugar zero percent fat rich in vitamin D that Tim specter is definitely healthy or not so yeah these these claims some of these claims they're allowed to put on the packet there is very restricted what they can actually say in terms of health it can do are date back you know 30 years and no longer really valid but they they have to do it because they're not allowed to you've mentioned the word probatic on a on a packet interestingly so they're trying to attract you in with things that would resonate with the consumer so they do these massive surveys to say what's going to resonate with you Steve when you go in a shot or you see what's going to what's going to make me buy this rather than one of the other ones and so vitamin D we've been flogging vitamin D for forever you know 10 minutes in the sun we'll get you all the vitamin D you need and it's in most foods anyway you don't really need it in addition in these things the 0% added sugar and 0% added fat mean that it's highly processed so the combination of health what we call health halos saying it's super healthy with rich in this vitamin let no sugar no fat is very old-fashioned science no one believes that that zero fat is any good for you anymore and there's some actual data showing that low fat foods actually make you overeat really yes what does the data say so when they've compared I'd sort of identical meals to people in lab conditions those eating the low fat foods the high carb but high processed foods like this will actually overeat substantially over the next day or so so it's actually making you overeat quite significantly so and there's no advantage to your body in terms of heart health by having this because to get zero fat and make it taste good it's going to have lots of extra sugars and starches in there otherwise you just couldn't eat it fat is really important naturally to make you enjoy food and so it takes a lot of careful chemistry to mimic that fat so I would always avoid anything that said you know zero sugar zero fat rich in vitamins despite the fact that this probably has something good probiotics in it so you're getting the good probiotics it's only one lactobacillus but that's counteracted by all this negative stuff all these chemicals which we know are bad for your gut microbiome so that's not going to be good for you or it's not going to be good for me either so I would have avoid that one always go for any yogurt that really has minimum contents just milk and microbes that's all you need can you bring me the bin this is going in the bin I can actually drop back in the bin I did scan it on the zoe app as well and my relationship to it was about 35 which is not which is not a health food which is not a health food what about this this is definitely healthy dr. Tim inspector activity are deliciously good for your gut health okay so I mean this one's going to be good um what else does it say we believe that a happy gut is a happy you when you love your gut it loves you back it sounds like you wrote it well else what other claims does it make we ferment our unique blend of five active strain strains for up to eight hours so every little pot is packed with billions of live cultures loving the planet to love our gut activity are great for the gut healthy well so far you know everything looks everything looks good doesn't it but let's have a look and say what extra things they've added to it which is always hard to find in packets you need you often need a microscope to see them um so for it to be good it just needs microbes and milk and that makes your gut you just change the temperature that's what you get so here we've got lots of we've got lots of ingredients we've got flavorings we've got concentrates we've got a bit of carrot for some reason we've got lemon juice we've got stabilizers we've got tapioca starch we've got sugars and it claims to have strawberries although when they last were picked from the earth i'm not quite sure so it's not as bad as the other one but basically we're looking at a highly processed product that has many chemicals you don't really want in your gut because they will counteract the good effect of the gut microbes slightly better than the other one but i would still not eat it myself okay and the fact that it's processed does the fact that it's processed alone make it a bad food or is it because the process of processing causes a loss in the good stuff and addition of a lot of bad stuff when we say pro because this word processed foods has become just like a blanket term so my brain i get if it's processed it has to be bad but is that accurate well we need to separate pro virtually all the food that we eat nigh eat as well is processed yeah but we need to separate that from ultra processed so plain yogurt nothing added nothing you know changed is processed because you're mixing a basic ingredient milk with microbes you're actually creating something that's processing but it's when you take it to the next stage and you would make that same product from say milk powder and then you would add various starches and stabilizers emulsifiers concentrates artificial


Processed vs. Ultra-Processed: Understanding Harmful Additives For Each! (37:03)

sweeteners flavorings that same yogurt becomes ultra processed and it's that extra step that is the main problem nothing wrong with processed food you know cheese is processed there's nothing wrong with that most of the foods we we eat are some have had salt added or oil added or something like that but it's when it's chemicals that you don't find in your kitchen being added to to foods that have been stripped of all their goodness so they wouldn't just use cow's milk it would be you know dried extract of casein or you wouldn't take wheat it would be the stripped out in a part of that wheat and then that's temperature treated to melt it and change its composition and to put these things back together you need all these glues like these emulsifiers you need stabilizers you need flavoring sweeteners colorants all these extra things to make it look like food again so i think we shouldn't be calling ultra processed food food that's a misnomer we should call them you know edible food like substances that are industrially made and if we start to realize the difference between these we can start to make smart food choices we now know that many of these ingredients there's been lots of even research since we last talked about first of all things like a spartame has come out as which is artificial sweetener has been linked to many health problems including increased risk of cancers and heart disease we've got emulsifiers have come out recently in a number of studies to show that they affect mental health and they also affect heart disease even when you adjust for the whole diet and you take just that component of the food so we know the ultra processed foods are you know probably the worst things we're doing for our diets and then in the uk the average person is saying about 60 percent of all their food is ultra processed without knowing about it we're eating four times more than healthy European countries who are often poorer than us so it's not just a question of money it's just become this battle of us poor consumers against these massive companies with billions of pounds to spend on marketing that have told us this stuff is healthy because of these fake health halos vitamins you know no sugar no this no fat confusing the consumer and all the time giving us foods that not only make give us disease but importantly make us overeat so we pick that stuff doesn't matter it says just with even if it's just low fat or it's got lots of other chemicals both make you overeat by a quarter so you'll be hungrier after eating that then you would be if you had a completely plain yogurt with none of those extra chemicals in it okay so i've got three different drink like foods here i've got my oasis citrus punch um on this one it says natural flavorings and real fruit so that must be healthy real fruit if it says real fruit on it you should be very suspicious okay that's the first thing to to look at it uh and natural flavors that really means nothing and this is natural is a great word means nothing uh medically scientifically but it's been a buzzword for me getting people to buy stuff so basically this is a mixed blend of citrus fruits which means the mixtures of all kinds of different fruit extracts that's combined with sugar and artificial sweeteners they're again highly processed fruits they're not fresh fruits and it's got a mixture of those it's got citric acid it's got sugar orange flavorings it's got stabilizers polyphosphate glycerol esters it's got looks like wood resins acidity regulators preservatives it's got some potassium sorbet potassium benzoate it's got the sweeteners aspartame and ace k aspartine's what you're just talking about right yes that's the one that w h o of just put on their uh warning list um so yes it's it's packed with things that you wouldn't expect if you just squeezed a bit of juice uh in and thought it was healthy so this is a good example of a totally fake ultra processed food that makes it look like it's real fruit and it's going to be healthy for you and it is just a mix of chemicals that's just going to mess up your gut microbes and make you feel hungrier okay but this one here this philadelphia says light so it says 100% of the taste but 40% less fat so philadelphia light surely that's good well it's it's got cheese in it it's often have this we did do some tests on this a while ago it does does have microbes in it if it's low in fat they've generally added something else to increase the mouthfeel and indeed we see here it's got stabilizers it's got emulsifiers uh all these things


Smart Snacking (42:45)

that we know have effects on your gut microbes make you hungrier and can affect your heart as well so yeah i i would avoid that one well do we have to i've got a few last things for you there what do we have to look out for on the packaging of these products because interestingly the one you have in your hand the bar there the snack bar on the back of it they do admit that it's a little bit processed they actually there's a sentence on the back of it i'll read read out it says um i was reading it as you said it says well um well clearly it would be wrong for us to claim that everything in this bar is a hundred percent natural and simply grows on trees obviously some ingredients need to be cleaned dried and roasted too and therefore to some extent processed it's just that we believe the less we mess with it the better it tastes that's why we never add any artificial flavors or colors or any preservatives yeah well natural bar i mean ingredients you know that's a good thing to say it's quite hard to produce some of these snack bars without having things to stick it together or gums glucose syrup soy protein crispy's isolate tapioca starch salt dates almonds salted caramel musco video sugar buttermilk powder natural flavorings cream powder milk rice flour carbon flour and salt yeah it doesn't when you read it out like that it doesn't sound quite as natural as the label suggests does it because you've just got all these ingredients that are you know again half of me wouldn't find in your in your kitchen um you know and it's partly to protein packed you know if it was if you just need the nuts and the seeds you wouldn't have to add in all this other stuff from soy and and other beans and things which are ultra processed they're just taking that bit of it combining it together so some of these are better than others but again this is ultra processed and you know these all these snacks interestingly are really often the downfall in in in place like the u.s. in the u.k. where we're just eating so many so much are our energy is coming from these snacks which wasn't the case 20 years ago so on that point of snacking is snacking good or bad and what impact does that have on the overall nutritional and profile of an individual because a lot of people snack right nearly everybody snacks i think that's right over 90 percent of people snack so it's become normal to snack in this in this country in the u.s. it is the norm it's not the norm in other countries so you can see much less snacking habits in southern europe than you do here much less in many asian countries as well a zoey study found that 95 percent of people were snackers yes and 25 percent of people are undoing the benefits of healthy meals by unhealthy snacking yeah so 95 percent of people we


Healthier Habits: Transforming Snacking for Overall Wellness! (46:15)

found that that zoey study are snackers and most of them are unhealthy so just by reaching for a snack unless you're really careful you're going to be having not only extra calories but unhealthy calories that's going to undo many of the good things you're eating so we found in the zoey survey that people would be really focusing on their main meal saying this is a really healthy meal i mean plenty of plants imagine but oh well i've got to have my snack and so they'd be undoing all that good by having something that would then a couple of hours later really upset their metabolism and make them hungrier and so mess up the the idea and make them hungrier so we in the u.k. and the u.s. it's around a quarter of our calories come from snacks if we were able to even to reduce that a bit or just change that snack to a healthy one or ideally move that snacking time to the meal itself most of these would be much less harmful if you had them at the end of your meal when your body is you know starting to do all this work breaking down the food is gearing up for this high activity virtually all the snacks that people have late in the evening are bad for you and that's because you're getting a sugar spike just before going to bed your body's not ready for it your gut microbes not ready for it doesn't give them a rest and so you actually end up hungrier the next day so we're starting to realize that it's not just the food and we've seen that most these snacks are very unhealthy gonna make you hungrier but the timing of it also messes up your circadian rhythms so you're not recovering and the next day you're gonna feel hungrier than you were if you didn't snack so it's like counter-intuitive you think oh if i have something for going to bed i'm not gonna be as hungry tomorrow and this is what many people get into this this common mistake so we need to start changing people's attitude in in this snack epidemic about snacks and say you know you don't need them and if you do have healthy ones and you know nuts and seeds and fruit are perfectly healthy ones and we showed in our in our study which we published recently that people who do have those healthy snacks are really hardly any extra risk of health problems compared to those that people don't snack as long as it's not late at night so if you eat within that sort of normal eating window and you know some people are natural snackers i don't know if i'm not but i know many my colleagues at zoey can't go two or three hours they are eating they really find it hard and but just by thinking more about that snack and saying well i'm gonna i i know i've got this tendency i'm gonna eat something that's healthy i'm like nuts or something yeah just a handful of mixed nuts an apple a pear um something that's not super sugary or super fat but importantly not ultra processed not something that's got this health halo that says eat me i've got i am protein i'm gonna you know eat me and you'll get bigger muscles uh no eat me and you'll get fatter those health halo's then what are just so we've summarized them low fat is a health halo you're saying no sugar real fruit do you remember all the ones um extra vitamins vitamin labeling on on products um natural flavoring so i think it said yes one of the products those are those the main ones have i missed any there i think we've covered yeah so claims about low fat low sugar nothing artificial high protein natural right a high protein some would be gut friendly generally their warning signs that this food is to be avoided find something that doesn't need that health claim you never see a whole real food with a health claim they don't need it you got an apple doesn't need a claim you know contains vitamins contains fiber real foods don't need health labels i've had a confused relationship with bread i


Is Bread Really That Bad For Me? (50:26)

i look at bread all bread i think that's bad this is cheating on my gut microbiome is that the truth is bread bad most bread is bad most supermarket bread is ultra processed sugar and contains many other chemicals you don't really want in you makes you hungrier and the general perception of the public is it's a healthy food i found this myself when i started doing my glucose levels even brown breads were all over the place there are some breads that i can eat in small amounts that are still healthy things like rye breads and if it's sourdough that also improves it but i think in general we're eating far too much bread for most people there might be some people who can support it and that's why it's good to test your glucose responses to it but most bread has too much sugar not enough fiber too many chemicals in it and we should be looking to other things for our nutrition have it as a rare treat have it just when you go to a restaurant or whatever but for most people you know it's it's a real red flag for me the other red flag that shocked me was my relationship with white rice because i'd grown up eating white rice and i thought white rice was a great thing to have after i've been to the gym with some chicken so i i used to whenever i had saw white rice i thought it was great and then i looked on zoe and i had a 15 out of 100 relationship with white rice and i think my girlfriend had a five out of 100 relationship with white rice so i no longer have white rice i've swapped it out for i think quinoa is usually what we have in the house now nearly any grain is better than white rice it's got more fiber it's got more protein in it it's got more nutrients in it and rice is the most overrated food i think even more so than bread because yeah people think it's healthier than you know having potatoes or pasta they associate it with healthy things because often sometimes the rest of the meal is actually quite good and you know vegetable curries or whatever it is often quite healthy but the rice itself is really just sugar and there's there's no have it as a rare treat but so many other grains you can have instead quinoa's barley oats you know or even putting in lentils or legumes you know beans instead of that rice just makes it so much healthier quick one i discovered a product which has changed my life called eight sleep this product eight sleep which are a sponsor of this podcast has been a revelation in my life because the eight sleep pod cover which is basically a fitted sheet that goes over your mattress controls the temperature of your bed throughout the night and it follows nature's natural rhythm it starts cool gets colder while you go into different phases of sleep and then heats up slightly as you wake up in the morning which is effectively guiding you to have a deeper more restorative sleep go to eight sleep dot com which is e i g h t sleep dot com slash steven and if you do that you'll save a hundred and fifty dollars on the pod cover that i have on my bed the one i'm talking about grab your pod cover send me a DM and let me know how you get on when you talk about your habits being so important i when you're eating and what you're eating and making sure that you carve out time to have your meals because i was telling you earlier i think before we started recording that i'm in a bit of a pattern at the moment of eating my first meal of the day at like four p.m. or five p.m. because if i'm recording podcast or i'm doing something in the media or on tv i don't like to eat before then um what is an example of great food habits i want to know what what your food habits are on a perfect day say you know this was your ten out of ten day when would you eat how many meals would you eat and what times would would and wouldn't you eat okay so like you i have very busy days where sometimes it goes out the window and i think we've got to realize that you got to try and this sort of at 20 ideal you know you're trying to stick to something 80 of the time knowing that 20 percent it's out of your control don't worry about it and if you do that you can do that sustainably for decades right it's the people who obsessed and say i mustn't break it and if you've broken it one day okay end of my brilliant experiment that's daft so if i'm at home for example working at home i'm in control of things i will not eat anything before 11 o'clock i will have a black coffee because i know that wakes me up and i like it and it's also good for me but i won't have anything else until 11 o'clock i'll go down and i fix myself my bowl of full fat yogurt and i'd put my diversity jar sprinkled in there and i'd see what else is in the fridge so i might have some berries if they're around at the moment plenty of seasonal berries might get some from the freezer if we're in the mid you know we're in march or something there's no no fresh berries or i might just chop up an apple and put it in there i'm getting my protein i'm getting fat you know i'm not feeling hungry and having a dip in energy in the middle of the day that i would probably have if i hadn't eaten anything you said coffee i have my coffee because i know it's good for me last time we spoke you were kind of on the fence about coffee you were two trains have thought about whether it's good for us or not you're now saying you think it's good for us yeah well i must have given the wrong impression to you but coffee is definitely a health food interesting okay there are some people who don't tolerate it very well they don't tolerate the caffeine a few percent of people but even if you have decaf coffee it's decent quality because there's different ways of taking the the caffeine out all the studies are now showing consistently that you will have less heart disease and you'll live longer if you drink coffee and having sort of between one and four cups of coffee a day that seems to be the sweet spot a bit more than that you've probably got some problem you know that coffee is actually a fermented plant so people don't think of it that way they think oh it just comes in a jar you know i don't need to worry about it but actually you know it comes off a tree you get this pod that's been you take it off you break it up it then gets fermented on the floor of usually


Coffee On Our Health (57:11)

you know wherever it is in africa or asia where it is and it's humid the microbes are working on it breaking it down then you go and dry it and roast it and that ends up being the coffee we have so the microbes are playing a role in that it's also a source of fiber so three cups of coffee gives you around five grams of fiber which is about a quarter of your the average uk or us amount so you know it's not the main source of fiber but it all helps and in the us it's often the main source of fiber that they get so polyphenols the fiber also for many people it gets them awake and alert has that effect of stopping tardness so if you if you're careful with it you don't overdose on it and you know it doesn't give you heart fluctuations it's going to be actually beneficial for you long term so this is a great example of a food that we've totally changed our minds on over the years I initially my first research paper I ever wrote was that coffee causes cancer okay so when I was a I was actually a medical student I was very proud of my paper and this is great and it was based on very poor studies done in the 1980s and it was completely rubbish so I'm very happy that to go and correct that mistake and tell people that you know you should much better to drink coffee than say orange juice and orange juice tends to be in the health section and coffee definitely in this recreational section and they really should be changed over most orange juice we have is ultra processed high sugar very bad for most people coffee is good for the vast majority of people what else have you been wrong about what else have you changed your mind about over the last couple of years because of the research that you now have you know the data you now have access to in the research that you've done well I was keen to avoid fats for a long time I cut back on cheese because I thought that's high in saturated fats that can't be good for you I would have bought low fat products before and so that most doctors were indoctrinated with that many doctors are still in that mindset that fat is bad and you know carbs and starch are good drinking lots of water was good for you and I now having researched it for the book no there's no hard data that you should be drinking eight glasses of water for example a day which is what most of the recommended government sites tell you and obviously the drinks industry is very keen to support that because you know the big companies like the coaks the pepses have moved into the water business and they're trying to sell everyone plastic bottled water which is terrible for the planet the idea that we're all deprived of hydration and having all kinds of problems with it is really made up there's no hard evidence at all and if you look at doctors who work on marathons they see that far more people die or have health problems from over-hydrating in the marathon race than dehydrating so the human body is really good at some things you know you think about our ancestors they kind of knew when you were thirsty right it's like hang on this is quite a really you know and the idea that oh we've got no idea if we're thirsty or not we need to be eating you know have a stopwatch to tell us to drink every hour on the hour it's obviously nonsense when you think about it that's so true my um for my birthday just gone someone brought me this massive like what's the way to describe it barrel water bottle and it has like eight liters marked on the side of it and they said to me when they gave it to me you need to drink that every day and so the idea was that i put it on my desk as a reminder that i need to drink that whole barrel before i finish work oh i mean you just think about it well you know we've been evolving for millions of years and you know you can't live long without water so clearly we are pretty good mechanism we've inherited to tell us when we need to drink water and when we don't and i i just think that's uh again marketing uh concept all the soft drink the you know all this rehydration these electrolytes all this stuff it's it's largely nonsense and it's just you know again like the protein marketing idea is that and we're very susceptible to


The "8 glasses of water a day" myth (01:01:53)

it because we like a quick fix or and there'll be a few people that say i feel better when i drink lots of water sure you know but the idea that uh we're so out of control that you know someone needs to bring us water every hour uh is madness and that there is you know there isn't this variation we got up to your lunch so we did your breakfast standard nice your lunch what time do you typically eat lunch and what you typically have on a 10 out of 10 day where everything's going to plan i mean it all varies now you know i think i don't want to give the idea of always having the same lunch because i i do try and vary it um but if i'm on my own working i'm not with friends or whatever it would be a fairly quick affair and it would probably be a salad and i would get a lettuce or um a grated cabbage i would throw whatever happened the fridge in there and i would add some protein to it so i would add some beans i always keep cans of beans around they cost nothing they're a huge source of fiber and protein tip those in there might be lentils they might be chickpeas might be standard mixed beans and i put them in if i had some cheese i might chop that up might put a bit of mozzarella in there olive oil um balsamic vinegar um that'd be it and if i'd had some sauerkraut or something i might have that on the side a bit of ferment and i've increasingly recently since my i've been doing more research in this i might make my salad dressing actually with some fermented milk some kefir and you just mix up it all in vinegar and you just at the last minute add in your uh ferment so you're actually getting probiotics added to that that that if i'm on my own and my hurry that's that's probably what yeah it is uh reasonable but it would vary depending on what i was taking what fruits what vegetables and yeah i would have fruit afterwards what kind of fruit do you do you like i am i noticed on my zoea that banana is ranked incredibly low for me i think my ranking on a banana out of a hundred is 50 now i've been eating bananas like a monkey i've always thought bananas were just fantastic so i thought unlimited bananas were a great idea until i saw the zoea up and it said my score is 50 out of 100 now i've eased up on the bananas and i'm having much more berries because i do really well for red berries in particular in fact the order that i the zoea had um fruits in is raspberries were number one cherries were number two strawberries were third then pears then peaches then apples then kiwis then blueberries then grapes and then bananas were like 10th 50 out of 100 well i scored him worse than you you'd be pleased to know i really um i used to eat lots of bananas and it was a thing you just put in your backpack comes at its own packaging you know have it when you want i thought this is super healthy because i've seen you know Roger Federer ate lots of bananas you know he seemed pretty fit um and that's way we associated with with the marketing thing oh lots of potassium you know must be good for us really lots of sugar and they're not they're not great for us my score was about 30 or something so i i still have them occasionally because i you know enjoy them occasionally but i don't have them every day like i used to so i now swap them out for pears and we have some great pears in this country and they're always good apples and again i'll have my my berries if if i've if i've got them so and and kiwi fruits i had to also give up grapes i used to eat lots of grapes and i used to love them but she'd get huge sugar spike with grapes which i know then you know would make me hungrier for the rest of the day so um and i have them as a treat you know you might have some grapes once a month they're still fine so i think we should never say i'll never have those again it's just like what's your staple uh what do you have most of the time should you be swapping that for something just as tasty or nice or a mixture of things but get out of that rut just because someone told you that you know banana's good it has potassium in it and it makes you play tennis better you know it was it's that kind of mindset that we we really need to change and i guess it depends what else is on the plate i remember fredriko who's the head of nutrition at zoey um her telling me that the plate itself has its overall score so if i had you know maybe something that wasn't so good in isolation but with a couple of other things that are really high ranking in terms of health and might get microbiome then the overall score comes up and it's really the average of the whole plate yeah it's exactly i don't with the idea is we don't want to demonize one little thing so you might be obsessed with mayonnaise for example you know i'd say to you well you're going to a small amount of mayonnaise if it's going to make you eat a salad and if that salad is high fiber nutritious it's got plenty of good things in it herbs and etc etc etc or you know a tiny bit of ketchup or whatever you know i'd still be saying yeah you can try something else instead of those but don't get hung up about it and i think it's absolutely true that you know nutrition has gone into this idea of this this is wrong this gives you cancer this is this is bad and meat is a great example of that debate you know people ask me are you you know are you for me are you against meat and i i've sort of changed i flipped on this as the evidence has changed i'm definitely against process meats ultra process meats which are low quality stuff put together in ready meals etc you know you'd be much better off just having mushrooms or let or beans instead of that mixed with it a vegetarian version of it but real high quality meat in small amounts nothing really wrong with it as long as you have enough space on the rest of the plate to make up for it what about the carnivore diet well i keep getting probably like you you know people can we say you know i heard you talking about you know not eating plants is bad but i've been living for two years on the carnivore diet i feel great you know and i say fine there might be one in ten thousand people that can exist with zero fiber and zero plants and you know in the near the north pole etc there are people who exist on high fat and high protein diets they have evolved for it but vast majority of people will suffer greatly by having denuded gut microbiome and just eating meat is not what our ancestors did anyway i've lived with the heads of tribe for a week and they eat a lot of vegetables and and fruits and berries and nuts and seeds and they still meet is a treat and three months the year they have no meat because it's hard to catch but they've got all this other stuff so the idea that it's natural that's what we did is is really wrong and some people might feel better briefly you know there's a difference between how people respond to fats particularly and carbs so you might lose a bit of weight a lot of that's actually they've done some studies showing people on high keto high fat protein diets they'd lose weight quicker but a lot of it is water oh okay so they're sort of drying out and in a way sometimes bodybuilders do that to make them look more toned but actually long term they don't lose that and it comes back and the main problem is their gut microbes


Protein Diets: Finding the Right Balance with Fibre! (01:09:55)

are really crying out for food so you're starving your gut microbes if you're just on a meat-only diet so there's no evidence that it is healthy and lots of evidence that lack of fiber is really bad for you so remember that statistic we went back to just a five gram change in fiber so if these people you know so if the average is 20 grams a day and a kind of or diet person is on five or less then you know we're talking you know 50% increases in heart disease and reduced longevity so you know people do what they want but the data absolutely doesn't support it another thing that I have every day is chewing gum and I was in the car because it's in the center console of the car that I that I'm driven around in the diavacy or car we call it and there's like seven different types of chewing gum now when I eat this chewing gum it's there's this explosion of sweetness in my in the first couple of bites and I I was thinking the other day I was driving I was thinking I think I'm becoming a little bit compulsive like I didn't need the chewing gum for any other reason and I think there's this is so it's doing something in my brain I grab it I put it in I throw it in the bed I grab another I throw it in the bin and I think I'm just doing it for that sugar burst my question is broadly about chewing gum but aren't these artificial sweeteners that exist in the chewing gums that I'm probably eating worse than just normal sugar they're better for your teeth okay so you will get less tooth decay yeah by having the artificial sweeteners but most of them will be causing problems to your gut microbes okay and not at your mouth microbes as well so anything you mess with in your mouth in your saliva it seems like mouth washes as well yeah these artificial ones they're all shown to reduce your natural gut microbes and actually cause more problems so that you're more prone to infections and actually more prone to get overgrowth of bad microbes giving you bad breath so you know you have this initial hit which you know often the mouth washes are similar in a way to that sort of instant gratification


Weight Management And Lifestyle

Sweeteners Impact: Gut Health and Craving Cycles! (01:12:29)

of the chewing gum because it feels fresh and tangy and your mouth but you're often killing off the good guys that are protecting your your your mouth and the worry I have is about this sweetness is it's it's sensitizing you to want more sweet foods so it probably make you hungrier for more carb foods later in the day so I don't think there's any particularly bad about chewing gum per se other than if people chew a lot of it it's sugary you know it will give you more dental decay but the artificial sweeteners are probably worse because they're having a negative effect on the gut micro only all the microbes from your mouth down to your gut mouthwash I'm a prolific mouthwash user oh dear I know and they've done actual studies on this to show that you know yes customer consumers like it you know so like you probably like that feel of being fresh and doing something and having a tang in the mouth a bit like a you know a tangy chewing gum as well a mentor you know there's something nice in the brain that says this is good but if you do it too much you start to distort you know destroy your natural defense mechanism and microbes in your tongue and your saliva are there to fight off other bugs and you're more likely to get overgrowth the wrong ones and you know you may actually end up like worse smelling breath long term than if you weren't using these chemicals the topics I'm about to throw at you are very complicated and you're very good at simplifying things so everything I'm about to throw at you typically has a whole industry of people behind it that have over complicated it and are selling courses about it in different hacks and tricks tips and tricks if you could I would ask you just to give me a simple solution to the things that I'm going to throw at you the first one is weight loss there's not a simple solution you have to do something that's sustainable for long periods of time so forget the idea that it's really important to lose weight over a few weeks you want something that can maintain your weight at a good level for decades and if you are have a problem with really excess weight your uh extremely obese morbidly obese um you need something radical darts are not going to do it you need one of these new drugs um the uh GLP1s these injections the asempics the wiggobies or you need bariatric surgery to get you down to that level something dramatic for most people what do you think of those new drugs the asempics and I think they're amazing really for people that really need it what about not for you not for you well I've got lots of friends that are in seemingly great shape that are taking these new weight loss drugs as them picks and all that stuff well they're mad why there are lots of side effects that um aren't worth the benefits not the benefits if you have


Sustainable Weight Loss: Strategies Beyond Exercise! (01:15:35)

any minor weight problems the the benefits outweigh the risks if you are so obese that your chances you know you're 50/50 chance of having a heart disease heart attack in the next or a stroke in the next five years so people with morbid obesity have a worse prognosis than people with cancer so it's you know like I've got cancer what do I do I'll take a drug I'll accept that it's got some side effects but you know I want to live and they do work for mass majority people for people who have only minor levels of uh obesity just you know some love handles or whatever to cut out your all your appetite signals in your brain we don't know what that does long term and we don't we do know that it has can affect your pancreas it can cause some rare cancers it can do other stuff to your digestive system that we're still you know a long way away from knowing so it's it's a drug for extreme obese problems that we've created throughout our process foods and people with terrible diabetes etc it is not something for uh the general population so for for those people it's firstly improving the quality of your your diet is number one so get down from an average of 60% ultra-process food to something less than 20% find a consistent way to that's that's the first thing to do and then the next thing is to change your mindset about things don't get obsessed with with calories start thinking about eating your 30 plants a week because that will naturally give you all the fiber and uh change your appetite signals as well the fitness community were quite disgruntled last time probably disgruntled again when you said what you said about calories because a lot of people do rely on the calories in calories our system for weight loss yeah well obesity experts don't so it may be fine in gyms to talk about that that's old science we now know that that this calorie model from a practical point of view is completely broken because we've been not talking about the quality of food the structure of food all these different effects these inter-individual effects that we're talking about meaning that counting calories is for vast majority of people impossible or meaningless so it's it's and it's the the marketing and the companies who are selling us these low calorie products this idea that it's really simple all you got to do is x y and z you'll lose weight that's what we're fighting here and they may have influenced you know the gyms with their special drinks and programs and people wanting the crash course of come in here you'll lose all this you'll gain muscle you lose weight you know it's easy the evidence is very clear that if you restrict calories you will lose weight but 80 percent of people regain it pretty quickly and will actually go over the other end if they haven't changed their diet in terms of quality and taking care of what they're eating and there's good evidence that people that follow a program where they are not focusing on calories but they are focusing on food quality they're looking at their sugar peaks they're looking at their fat levels they're looking at their gut microbes they are looking at the time of day they're eating they're looking at the how to eat just thoughtfully and not talking about fat levels and you know avoiding all these foods that we've been talking about they will consistently lose small amounts of weight not large amounts but small consistent amounts that don't make them more hungry and the key is do things that don't make you hungrier the reason calorie restriction doesn't work is our evolution tells us to ramp up the appetite the hunger signal obvious you know it's the same way if you do exercise it makes you hungrier we have this inbuilt mechanism that's why the only drugs that where methods at work are these drugs like asempic wagovi that act on the appetite they act on the brain they just from the gut sends a signal to the brain switches off the appetite signal otherwise you you just reduce calories or you increase exercise that appetite signal is just going right up there and you can carry on resisting it for a while most people have tried this they know and it gets harder and harder every week and then suddenly you crack and then you say oh i've given up now i'm back and often you swing above it yo-yo yeah and that and that yo-yoing is probably the worst thing you can do because it just makes your you know you've got no consistency on that point of exercise there was a lot of contention last time we spoke around the subject matter of exercise because a lot of people go out and do cardiovascular exercise they run on a running machine in order to try and lose weight but you and many other people that i've spoken to have said that that's not a great strategy for weight loss yes that lots of studies have done and said people are trying you know to lose weight conventional by conventional means we're not doing the zoe method but the old-fashioned ways of calorie restriction or you know changing to keto diets or whatever it is and if those people are put on exercise or no exercise at the same time does it help them and generally it doesn't okay so and if you do exercise alone then there's no evidence as many people gain weight as lose weight on exercise so you think why is that well if you think it through exercise it is a and i'm not knockie exercise every day i love it it's great for my brain and my heart and everything else and reduces lots of diseases but people have got to separate that from weight loss if we're going to make any progress here and if you've got too much you know excess fat on your body exercise


Holistic Weight Management: Diet Quality and Mindful Eating! (01:22:13)

alone is a terrible way to deal with it because you like saying i'm not going to deal with my diet i'm just going to run it off in the gym and keep taking my supplements and do everything else and what happens for most people is that their metabolism slows down the signals of hunger increase after exercise and psychologically people think oh well i've done some exercise i burnt off those calories you know i can have that donut or whatever and so subconsciously they're also maybe snacking slightly more than they would be and that's why for most people it doesn't work now i know people who got upset last year but some people it does work and this is probably there's a different response we don't all respond to exercise with appetite signals exactly the same way but for as many people it did work there are people that made them actually put on weight do you sort of mean that's why the studies show no difference so you always find someone who writes just say steven this guy's an idiot because i you know i did this and i lost you know 10 kilos but you know exactly someone else will say i did this and i gained 10 kilos and i thought i was doing the right thing so the point is you can't rely on it and it's when there's something obviously modifiable like your diet it's so easy we've got so much choice now and what to eat we're not forced to eat ultra processed foods or low fat this or whatever we can make those choices we should be doing that not trying to say am i lucky am i that small percentage of person that can do this purely from working out more in the gym supplements you mentioned there that's the next thing i wanted to ask you about supplements vitamins my house used to be stacked with supplements and then after our conversation last time round i look at them most of them like they've lied to me like i've been a victim of marketing of sorts and i've got every bloody supplement i've got your omega-3 vitamin d electrolytes calcium you name it it's still in my house what is your view on these supplements in general my view hasn't changed at all that the vast majority of supplements are completely worthless but there are some that are useful for some people some of the time like like there are some people who have vitamin d deficiency who black people yes some black people black dark skin people living in places with very low you know if they're living in Scotland and they might have poor diets they don't have much vitamin d in it those people could probably do do with some supplementation over winter because they produce less vitamin d than people with lighter skin yes the lighter skin evolved as a mutation as humans came out of Africa in order in order to survive in lower sunlight areas so naturally white skin people have a they're less


Supplements or Balanced Diet: Debunking Common Myths! (01:25:25)

protected against the sun but they have a better vitamin d production system so generally darker skin have more problems so i used to see many patients and often they don't go in the sun either because culturally you know they cover themselves up and so that that's a problem so there definitely are people who can take benefit from taking some of these vitamin i'm not saying that at all but the idea that everybody should be taking them is just madness there's no evidence that in my field of osteoporosis that taking vitamin d and calcium actually prevents osteoporosis or bone disease although for years and years and years we thought it did but all the big studies now show that's not true if you take calcium all the studies are suggesting that not only does it now to have any benefit in terms of bone or muscle health but it can adversely affect your heart so because the calcium you get in capsules or supplements you're taking one big lump of it at a time rather than getting it in your green vegetables which would be slowly broken down and absorbed in your gut in ways that your body can deal with so you're getting this it's like someone injecting it into your vein it is very different to being slowly given it throughout 24 hours as the way nature intended what supplements then could most of us benefit from taking if you have a good diet you won't need any supplements but most of us don't have a good diet so so what do you do do you promote supplements and say don't worry about your diet which is what the marketing companies want and the vitamin companies want they want us to forget the dark keep the ultra processed food stuff coming keep it all coming guys this junk food no real whole foods no plants no fruits that's fine you guys are going to need some vitamins and that may be true for people on very poor diets you know only beige food maybe they do need some supplements but I think there's no evidence however there is very little evidence that people who do take supplements are any healthier than people that don't take supplements so it's not so you could say people say oh it's like an insurance policy I'm taking this insurance policy therefore that's a really good reason to take multivitamins etc and I've heard that said even from some epidemiologists and doctors but to my mind just as likely to do your harm as it is to do you any good and it definitely is affecting your wallet what about omega 3 I take that as well the trials of that have shown it doesn't work uh for reducing heart disease or um any other major disease unless you've just had a heart attack alcohol I've just given up alcohol not really told anybody this but about two months ago now I decided that I could see no net positive in my life there wasn't any sort of social lubricant which sometimes people cite as being the reason to drink alcohol so I gave it up entirely and it's been really an interesting experiment in giving up alcohol I was one of the people that sat right on the fence didn't think I had a bad relationship with it um didn't have a huge reason to drink it didn't drink it that often anyway and then I decided one day I'll run the experiment of just quitting and see what it's like and there's been multiple situations where just out and about wait waiters who are maybe a little bit poorly trained have literally tried to force me to drink alcohol like one particular waiter was like go on this is not alcohol this is art I'm just going to leave the bottle here right in front of you if you change your mind I remember that one particular waiter um and then all the other social context where you're just like it's just assumed that you drink what is your stance on alcohol well you certainly don't need it okay so um most of the studies are pretty consistent say that the more alcohol you drink the more your chances of all kinds of diseases and problems there are some exceptions to that that comes down often to Mediterranean effect people who drink a glass or two of red wine do seem to have less heart disease but they won't be protected from other conditions so they won't be protected you know from cancers or um some strokes etc and lifespan is sort of unclear in that particular group so in general alcohol is bad for you it's no no doubt but and so if you don't drink I don't think I would say to you Stephen you're wrong you need to be start drinking red wine but for those people who who do drink or drink occasionally small amounts well I would say to this do there are some drinks that are healthier than others and red wine is one that's been shown to reduce by about 30 percent your risk of a heart disease in most studies and it's not clear absolutely clear cup but if you drink too much it actually goes bad again for you so it's really quite a small window and there might be some other drinks in the future that might be healthy and this comes back to plants because when you're drinking wine you're drinking fermented grapes right so the alcohol is bad fermented grapes are good so in the future I'd like to see us getting really zero alcohol wines and they're they are coming and I I tasted some from Canada etc where you can get a like a one percent wine you can't one percent by the way is it's not seen kombucha's you can't metabolize you don't notice it and if they have all those benefits they could be that new era of actually healthy alcohols and there might be some ciders as well because they've got the skin of the apple but actually all the other alcohols have no real health benefit what about sleep and the gut microbiome I've I've wondered if there was a connection between how well I sleep sleep has become the succession in my life I I feel like I'm a competitive sleeper now I really enjoy the process I've seen the variants in a well-slept night and a poorly slept night on how on my mood and how I perform how I'm how my brain works what does the research say about the role that sleep plays on our gut microbiome and on our nutrition they're all interlinked so a bad night's sleep means that the next day you're going to have a bigger sugar spike to the same bagel or breakfast that you had sorry sorry if I have a bad night's sleep the same food will give me a bigger sugar spike yes so it upsets all of your metabolism right so as you were saying I feel better after good night's sleep your body's metabolism is also different so a disrupted night's sleep means that your body will overreact to sugar you're more like to have a sugar dip after it and feel tired and you're more like to feel hungry and crave more carbohydrates after a bad night and I think most people listening will think of that so yeah if I really rotten night's sleep you sort of get up you your body craves something to


Quality Sleep: Crucial for Gut Microbes and Metabolism! (01:32:52)

help you through this you know and everything is out of a sink and people who are sleeping poorly will have less healthy gut microbes than those that don't we we don't yet know which way around that relationship goes whether sleep is driving the microbiome or the microbiome is is affecting sleep but we know they're interrelated so the other thing we've shown is that generally as you fan out our body likes a consistent pattern of activity and rest so going to sleep at the same time waking up the same time is really good for your body you feel better and nourished now if people are say changing by a couple of hours hour and a half two hours at the weekends they're sleeping later and waking up later this affects also their sugar responses and their gut microbes so we know that this consistency of approach is really important for everything in your body now it doesn't mean I don't want to tell people they should never go out or party because you know social networking is very fun but just think of that in mind particularly if it's in your control it's just you know watching another Netflix movie you know because it's the weekend may not be the smartest thing to do if you want to feel really good long term and it's this consistency is coming out again linking this this idea of nutrition how we respond to food but also involving our gut microbe so yeah sleep is incredibly important it's all part of the holistic message someone told me that the time when we is setting our circadian rhythm more than many other things that we do I used to think that light was the thing that was had the greatest influence over my circadian rhythm my like internal body's clock what time my body thinks it is but food has a big impact on that circadian rhythm so I'm absolutely yeah all the studies are pointing to that so I used to think like you that yeah you know when I was going to the US or whatever the most important thing was to get out there and get in the sunlight and whatever and not worry about my meals and just eat because when I'm jet lagged I was always hungry anyway but now you know really focusing on fasting and trying to eat at the time of where the time zone you're trying to fit into is much more important than sunlight so yeah meal timings are increasingly important in science and I think this is one of the really new exciting areas and it all fits in with this idea of you know getting your your rest periods really well worked out your activity periods not messing them up not eating when you're supposed to be resting and not doing things out of sync and so the people that do deal with time changes and jet lag generally they're often fasting on planes now not eating all the food it's offered and and thinking about what how they want to kickstart their new clock when they when they get


Meal Timing: Circadian Rhythms and Optimal Nutrition! (01:35:42)

their destination so this idea that I had of getting my assistant to schedule what time I work out every day and what time I eat every day is a good idea yes as long as it doesn't become a processional I will say because some people can risk of that with me so you know people listening I think these are often good ideas but again if you go to the 80/20 rule because you can get obsessed about anything whether it's exercise it's training it's sleeping and then you get anxious about it if you don't do it every day so realize it's important but realize something's more important than your schedule okay and things like friends and having fun and you know absolutely crucial and this is all part of our you know philosophy we've been trying to build with Zoe is about food is about enjoyment and we we mustn't break it down to mathematical formulas all the time got to realize that life is important to do everything and you know we can all have a day off my last question I think is maybe one that nobody's asked you before i'm sure a lot of people have probably asked you it um i'm a dog owner got a little french ball dog who's eight years old now called Pablo when I was pouring his food out today it dawned on me that his food is heavily heavily heavily processed do you have any advice on what we should be feeding our pets our dogs our cats before we started Zoe I did think of doing a gut dog dog microbiome map my pet project and I did look into this but so i'm not up to date on it but there's lots of evidence that the the food the pellets uh I used to give our dogs which I thought were great are the equivalent of ultra process foods just like you said and that dogs who are given whole foods live longer and have less diabetes put on weight less and are much healthier so I believe that the same thing that applies to humans applies to dogs the canned stuff that smelled horrible as they still use that but we were told that the pellets were healthier and because they contained all these extra vitamins and it was this concentrated sauce that was perfect for them and if you look at it it's exactly the same as ultra process food and


Advanced Nutritional Insights

Pets and Nutrition: Applying Healthy Principles! (01:38:29)

that's probably why our pets are getting as obese as we are they're getting diabetes they're getting chronic diseases they're getting arthritis and I think there is some evidence I'm not sure how good it is that if you convert them to whole food diets whole meats just eating the same look uh we would might be eating or eating our our scraps they will do better so maybe you should try that I do think I was thinking this when I saw the numbers I heard that Zoe now has more than a hundred thousand members and I thought you know getting to look at the data of a hundred thousand people I'm not saying that you look at the data but just having access to the patterns and the insights that you get from such a huge amount of people many of which tens of thousands of which are inputting food diaries every day you must have had so many like eureka moments or incredible insights from that bird's eye view that like there must be some things that are just you've grown in conviction and passion about because of that perspective well we're seeing things we've never seen before we've discovered four thousand new species of micro just you know in the last few months each of these could be totally novel or useful for therapeutics or diagnostics we found things like this this parasite the blastocystis we're finding links with new foods that we could start to give people advice on about which which foods to eat to improve which microbe and you know as we go forward in the future we'll be able to perhaps predict microbe combinations that look like they might prevent cancer and heart disease or interact with your medications to make antidepressants more effective or hormone replacement treatment more effective


so I think it's all happened so fast and it's just incredible that the response that we've had zoe and the people are all contributing their data to this community that I you know very soon we're going to be a million people and it's such an exciting time for scientists like myself knowing that you know we can unravel all these secrets and who knows where it's going to lead last time I asked you a question because because when we share so much advice on food I think it's it's nice to close on an overarching principle nice overarching philosophy for every bitty to take away from this conversation and everything we've discussed what in your words would that overarching principle or philosophy be towards our health and our nutrition and our diets you can't go wrong if you do things that are going to be good for your gut microbes and so thinking on behalf of your gut microbes or your pets as you call them think what would they want to eat how would they want you to behave and if you do that you're going to be eating all the right things and avoiding all the bad things and all the rest generally follows I think that's the simplest device so can we and you know if realizing that when you eat food you know you're not alone you've got these trillions of microbes there waiting for your every move and your choice the closing tradition on this podcast is that the last guest leaves a question for the next guest not knowing who they're going to leave it for and I love this because it changes direction a little bit the question that's been left for you is what is a modern positive vision of masculinity did you say that one especially for


Final Thoughts On Gut Health And Nutrition

Gut Health and Nutrition: Aligning Choices for Well-being! (01:42:12)

me have you got sons i've got a sonyus so i've got to think like him have i um what's a positive vision for his masculinity and a modern one it's probably someone who's prepared to go 50/50 on all the chores in the house at the moment i think that's the uh i think masculinity is going through a tough time at the moment and i think realize there is a revolution going on so i think it's it's definitely about being flexible and losing a lot of those those stereotypes and going with the flow as well i would advise him so it's quite too late for me but it's a confusing thing that's what the guest was talking about how young men are very confused in their masculinity what it means what it is to be a man what it's not to be a man these days and really trying to give he was that guest was really trying to give men an answer for that question of like young you know masculinity because the data shows young men are suffering um tremendously if you look at the suicide rates or if you look at the putt you know employment rates or the education rates or uh dating all those in those areas so there's a bit of a as you say a revolution going on in masculinity and what it means to be a man don't be ashamed to be male but be flexible and try to adapt to the the changing world i think that's that's it. Tim thank you so much thank you for your wisdom you've definitely changed my life and i know from all the feedback i got in our last conversation you've changed the lives of many many people through your work but also more broadly through what Zoe's doing i can only speak for myself obviously i'm i have a relationship with zara and investor in the company and i they sponsor the podcast but in my life the key the significant changes that i've seen because of the insight and the the fact that Zoe has turned the lights onto my nutrition have been i pretty much my whole life i had gut problems and i didn't really know why and i just accepted it i had was always bloated had pains in my um my gut and i just thought it was normal you know i thought as a lot of people probably think i thought i was broken in some way and this was just the way that my body was born and then as i've done this podcast i've realized to not accept this idea that i was born broken in any area of my life and to to look a little bit more about how there might be a misalignment between what my body wants and what the modern world is giving it and through Zoe i was able to completely remove that um decade-long pain in my gut by focusing on foods that had a good relationship with me so i thank Zoe for that and i thank you for that and the work that you do in spreading the message because what are the things you say you know they ruffle feathers and they and i think i think when things are positively disruptive it's an inevitability that they ruffle feathers because there is an incumbent that is experienced cognitive dissonance there's an incumbent that feels threatened or challenged in such a way but i think that's how innovation and positive change occurs so thank you pleasure hope it works let's talk about Zoe who you may know because the response of this podcast and i'm an investor in the company you guys know health is my number one priority. Zoe's growth story has been absolutely incredible so far they're doing science at a scale that i've never seen before because of their members and recent breakthroughs and research they can now continue to offer the most scientifically advanced gut health test on the market previously the test allowed them to analyze 30 bacteriotypes in your gut but now thanks to new science they've identified 100 bacteriotypes this is a huge step forward and there's nothing else that's available even close to it on the market at all so to find out more and to get started on your zoe journey visit zoe.com/steven you can use my exclusive code ceo 10 for 10 off don't tell anybody about that okay just for you guys


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