Dr. Rhonda Patrick | Is Your Diet Right for You? – TRAINED

Key Takeaways

  • When buying supplements, always look for an NSF certification
  • If you’re going to eat animal meat, make sure you’re healthy and frequently exercise
    • “If you’re going to eat animal meat, you need to get off your butt”
  • People process micronutrients and macronutrients differently – how we metabolize fat is one of the biggest factors that varies from person to person
    • “If someone is going to experiment with a ketogenic diet, it’d be smart to measure a variety of blood biomarkers to make sure this diet isn’t totally wrecking their system”
  • We’re much more insulin sensitive in the morning compared to the evening
  • Here’s what happens during a prolonged fast:
    • Around day 3, autophagy starts occurring
      • Autophagy is the process by which damaged cells are recycled 
    • Organs (including the brain) shrink as all these damaged cells are being killed off 
    • Stem cells (which are activated ~6 fold during a fast) then rebuild the organ with new/healthy cells
  • People who frequently consume artificially sweetened drinks biologically look 5-10 years older compared to those who don’t

Intro

How does Rhonda stay up to speed with all the new health research?

  • “A lot of what motivates me is selfish reasons. I’m actually very interested in my own health and trying to extend my healthspan.”

Supplements

  • Studies have shown a HUGE number of supplements don’t actually contain what they’re supposed to contain
  • Use reliable manufacturers and follow these guidelines:
    • Look for an NSF certification
    • With fish oil, look for a certification from the International Fish Oil Association
  • What does Rhonda supplement with?
    • No specific brands mentioned
    • multivitamin to fill in the gaps in her diet
    • Vitamin D 
      • Make sure to measure your levels before and after supplementing to make sure you’re nearing the optimal range (30-60 ng/mL)
    • Fish oil (in these Podcast Notes, Rhonda recommended this brand)
  • How do you know what supplements you need?

Where did Rhonda’s interest in longevity come from?

  • Right out of college, she began working at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
    • Rhonda recalls doing research on worms and discovering that altering their IGF-1 pathway doubled their lifespan (from 14 days to 30 days)
      • “Seeing that and doing the experiments myself, something sort of clicked in my mind. I thought, ‘Holy crap! this is amazing!”
      • Translating this to humans – our diet, lifestyle, and environment all affect our genes and the way we age

Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1)

  • What is it?
    • It’s a powerful growth factor that encourages cells to grow
  • Rhonda recalls a study that found people who eat meat have higher cancer-related mortality as well as all-cause mortality
    • BUT- The study also found that within meat consumers who didn’t have any other unhealthy lifestyle factors (i.e. being obese, smoking, being sedentary, or excessive alcohol consumption), that relationship was demolished 
      • Rhonda thinks exercise is the key factor here
      • “If you’re someone that’s overweight and obese and not looking to work on that, you might be better off being a vegan”

The Ketogenic Diet

  • “We don’t have any long-term data in humans to suggest it’s the best diet for longevity”
    • But, there’s some evidence in animals that shows it increases lifespan/healthspan
  • The diet lowers insulin signaling due to the low consumption of carbs
  • People process micronutrients and macronutrients differently
    • How we metabolize fat is one of the biggest factors that varies from person to person
      • “If someone is going to experiment with a ketogenic diet, it’d be smart to measure a variety of blood biomarkers to make sure this diet isn’t totally wrecking their system

Time-restricted Eating

  • Time-restricted eating involves constricts food consumption to a confined window
    • If you’re new to fasting, start here (using a 12-hour eating window)
  • Every cell in our body, in addition to our metabolic enzymes, has an internal clock
    • Studies show that when giving men the exact same meal in the morning and evening, their insulin response is much better in the morning
      • In simple terms – we’re much more insulin sensitive in the morning...why?
        • The first meal you eat starts the clock of your metabolism enzymes
    • Data has shown that eating within the body’s circadian rhythm (~7 AM – ~6 PM) improves a variety of biomarkers such as cholesterol, triglycerides, and fatty acid metabolism
  • Many report time-restricting their eating lowers their fasting blood glucose levels
  • If you’re eating a crappy diet and are reluctant to change, the BEST thing you can do for yourself is to at least reduce your eating window
  • Rhonda has noticed that when she restricts her food consumption to an 8-hour window, her endurance performance is greatly enhanced 

Prolonged Fasting

  • Intermittent fasting refers to a fast ranging from 12-48 hours
    • A prolonged fast is anything greater
  • A prolonged fast is a great way to reset your metabolism if you’re obese
  • Here’s what happens during a prolonged fast:
    • Around day 3, autophagy starts occurring
      • Autophagy is the process by which damaged cells are recycled 
    • Organs (including the brain) shrink as all these damaged cells are being killed off 
    • Stem cells (which are activated ~6 fold during a fast) then rebuild the organ with new/healthy cells
  • “Prolonged fasting is one of the fields I’m most excited about for a variety of reasons”

Avoid Refined Sugar

  • It wreaks havoc on your health in a huge number of ways
  • People who frequently consume artificially sweetened drinks biologically look 5-10 years older compared to those who don’t
  • One study found within an hour of consuming 25 grams of refined sugar, testosterone drops in men

Which diet is best for me?

  • The ketogenic diet is great for anyone interested in losing weight or looking for an increase in endurance performance
    • BUT – you HAVE to keep track of your biomarkers to make sure the excess fat isn’t affecting you negatively
  • Paleo is good for anyone physically active, or those trying not to lose weight
    • “If you’re going to eat animal meat, you need to get off your butt”
  • If you choose to go vegan, make sure you’re getting all your micronutrients (iron, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin B12, vitamin d)
    • As Rhonda mentioned above – vegan diets can potentiality lower risk for cancer if you’re obese or a smoker
  • On time-restricted eating – “I personally think everyone should do it”   
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