194: Longevity, Autoimmunity, & Plant-Based Diets With Nora Gedgaudas

194: Longevity, Autoimmunity, & Plant-Based Diets With Nora Gedgaudas

 
 
00:00 / 01:05:13
 
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Longevity, Autoimmunity and Plant Based Diets with Nora Gedgaudas

I could not be more excited about today’s conversation and today’s guest because I am here with Nora Gedgaudas who is by and large one of the early leaders in the ancestral health and healthy living movement. Her work is brilliant and she is one of the best researchers I know.

Here’s just a short intro to her long list of accomplishments: Nora Gedgaudas is a board-certified nutritional consultant and a board-certified clinical neurofeedback specialist with over 20 years of clinical experience solving the toughest health cases. She’s a world-recognized authority on ketogenic diets, ancestrally based nutrition, and has best-selling books including Primal Body, Primal Mind, Rethinking Fatigue, and her newest book, Primal Fat Burner: Live Longer, Slow Aging, and Super-Power Your Brain and Save Your Life With a High Fat, Low-Carb Paleo Diet. (That’s a mouthful!)

Nora offers a Primalgenic health certification program, one of the best out there, called Primal Restoration. It’s a unique and invaluable source of unique cutting-edge information. If you can’t tell, I really respect her research and I’ll link to as much of it as possible in the resources below.

Let’s get into it!

Episode Highlights With Nora Gedgaudas

  • how Nora’s health career came out of her personal fight against chronic depression
  • why she resists the labels “paleo” and “ketogenic” and came up with a new approach
  • how much protein we really need and why we shouldn’t eat too much
  • the reason our diet should be high in vegetables by volume and fat by calories
  • why the vast majority of people with autoimmune disease may never know it
  • the new metabolic pathway science just discovered and what it could explain about cancer growth
  • how gluten sensitivity may not be something you can heal (sad)
  • “oral tolerance” — what it is and how it’s just as important as healing your gut
  • the surprising reason we actually don’t need dietary carbohydrates
  • if women can handle a keto diet for the long-term
  • Nora’s take on longevity (it’s fascinating!)
  • so much more!

Resources We Mention

Books by Nora Gedgaudas

Episode Quotables From Nora Gedgaudas

“And I’ve grown very weary of trying to fit myself like a square peg into a round hole, into either the so-called paleo thing or the so-called ketogenic thing, there’s a lot going on that I have a really hard time with. So what I’ve done is I’ve kind of decided to sort of set up my own terminology, something that divests itself a little bit of the stigmas and baggage associated with these other highly commercialized terms now, and I referred to it as ‘Primalgenic.'”

“Fat is naturally meant to be our primary source of fuel as a species in the form of free fatty acids and ketones. Glucose instead is meant to serve strictly an auxiliary or secondary role.”

“I believe we’re living in a more hostile environment that anything our prehistoric ancestors could wrap themselves around. But what’s most threatening to us today are those things that are actually invisible to us, and we’re not wired for that.”

More From Wellness Mama

Are you a paleo or ketogenic diet fan? What differences has your diet made in your life? Also, please take two minutes to leave a review on iTunes. I value knowing what you think and this helps other moms find the podcast as well!

Thank You to Today’s Sponsors

This episode is brought to you by Furo Health, where I recently bought a cold therapy tub and I’m absolutely loving it. We saved up and prioritized this for our home because of the many benefits of cold therapy and now we can sit in 42-58 degree water anytime we want to get the benefits. Athletes have been using cold therapy for faster recovery for years, but it has many other benefits as well, including increased circulation and lymphatic flow, immune system boost and increased focus. A 2007 study even found that cold water exposure can help alleviate depression symptoms, and if used on a routine basis, may be more beneficial than prescription medications in lifting moods. The reason is due to the stimulation of the dopaminergic transmission in the mesocorticolimbic and nigrostriatal pathway. In other words, cold water triggers an increase in mood boosting neurotransmitters and you feel happy. Ever jumped into cold water and immediately laughed outloud? That’s part of the reason why. You can check out the tub we bought and use daily at furohealth.com

This podcast is brought to you by Spar, a cool new app I found that lets you gamify behavior change to make you more likely to stick to it and here’s what I mean. You download the app for free and create an account then you can join or create a challenge to help you do anything from going for a walk every day, doing 20 push-ups each day or even reading for a certain amount of time each day. To make it fun, you can challenge friends to join you and you check in each day via video to prove that you did it. If you miss a day of the challenge you get charged a penalty and the winner takes the whole pot so you can actually win some serious cash while getting better at a habit you want to get better at anyway. People are using this from anything from flossing their teeth to reading each day or exercising or going to bed by 10pm. If you want to check it out, just download the Spar app from the App store and jump in.

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Reader Comments

  1. So many “frame-able” quotes in this podcast. I just love Nora now and am so incredibly grateful for being introduced to her. My concern / question is something I don’t expect will get a response necessarily but I would LOVE to hear more details / practical suggestions for making the primal / keto diet she describes work, for children in particular. I consider myself very well versed in foods / nutrition but I still struggle with the notion of how to fill my plate on a diet of less than 7 ounces daily protein. As for fats, I cook with tallow, refined coconut oil and ghee but still find my diet consists of more than that 7 ounces protein. I think, in a practical sense, removing all carbs is still quite challenging in the sense that you then must replace that with what I feel is a quite low quantity of protein.

    Also, on a separate note, I would like to respectfully point out that while some of the minor restrictions (like spices, for example) on the AIP diet may be unnecessary, the AIP diet is by far one of the most nutrient dense diets on the planet, as opposed to nutrient deficient. It the diet that is responsible for my now eating offal, sardines and other fish, and much much more. It has helped myself and thousands of others, and I am extremely grateful that many offer their little “AIP food courses”. The idea is not that this health industry, even the ancestral one, should be controlled by the few and powerful, but by the many who are themselves well educated. I can think of at least three AIP courses that are extremely beneficial to anyone looking to improve their issues through diet. Finally, I love that we live in a world where we have options, that regular people are educating themselves about primal health through diets like AIP, and in turn helping others heal.

    Alyssa

    • Dear Alyssa–

      I so sincerely appreciate your extremely kind remarks.

      In a format like this it’s really not an appropriate or tenable place to supply detailed information concerning the application of these dietary principles to children… Other than to say that I do not recommend particularly restricting protein in persons who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or growing babies children and teens. Therefore, the adoption of ketosis is going to be variable depending on the amount of protein consumed and other relative factors. But there still is no human dietary requirement for carbohydrate, in any case. That said, if well-tolerated I do encourage is greater variety of fibrous vegetables and greens as possible for the promotion of improved oral tolerance and enhanced gut biome diversity.

      As for AIP programs, I do not like the overly generalized restrictions (apart from gluten and dairy)–though obviously anything that encourages people to eat more offal and nutrient density (and fewer grains/legumes) is a good thing. But when I work with the client I always prefer the scalpel to the shotgun when it comes to carefully determining what should and should not be included so as to maximize health benefits and oral tolerance. I hope this makes sense.

  2. I enjoyed this episode and Nora is obviously very educated on the topics she spoke about, but I have such a problem with the way she presented her information, as do a lot of the guests on the show. The idea of it HAS to be this way, all the time, forever. Paraphrasing here, but she said “everyone needs to ditch gluten yesterday and never have it ever again.” This type of extreme thoughts and behaviors on food is what I feel has led me to have disordered thoughts and behaviors around food. It’s the all or nothing mentality. It’s the idea of “screw it, I’ve already messed up/had gluten/messed with my gut/etc so what’s the point?” which logically I know doesn’t make sense, but ask any psychologist and they will tell you this is normal human behavior when we are faced with restrictions (and in our culture, we are up against a lot). I know she repeated several times that she isn’t a nutrition politician and not in the business of telling you what you want to hear, but I just felt like she was kind of mean. She’s not looking at the whole person, only the person that can live in a vacuum. She’s not looking at the person who has developed disordered eating patterns because of ALLLLLLL the information on food and wellness that we have been saturated with for years. I know she doesn’t like moderation, but isn’t making small adjustments and practicing moderation better than a SAD diet??? I just felt like she was extremely polarizing and as someone working SO hard to recover from disordered eating, I felt very triggered by a lot of her extremist view points (even though I actually agree with most of what she was saying – it was her delivery). I just wanted to write because I think this needs to be part of the discussion, Katie. I think you should talk more about how the path to perfection with health and wellness creates a lot of disordered eating.

    • I agree with you about developing an unhealthy relationship with food due to all the info (often conflicting) out there. It makes me paranoid about what I’m eating and feeding my family- it’s hard to just enjoy food anymore. Also, I have Crohn’s disease, and though I’ve followed various extreme diets over the years in attempt to restore my health (Paleo, vegan, raw, Maker’s diet, scd) , the fact is that eating certain healthy foods (like many veggies) makes my symptoms debilitating, while gluten free toast with peanut butter gives me some relief. But then I feel guilty about eating it! It makes me want to tune out all the experts and just figure out what works for me on my own.

  3. At about 15 minutes into the podcast, Nora presents the theory that humans evolved from an anaerobic blob. While she of course is entitled to her opinion, the problem is she presents this theory as established scientific fact. While I find her diet and nutrition research compelling, I do not agree theory should be presented as incontestable fact.

  4. Why all the talk about “how we evolved,” how “bacteria were first” blah blah blah… yet the effortless switching to talk of our systems (and cows’) being “designed”? Which is it? Did we evolve via a series of (incredibly complex) cosmic accidents, or were we designed by an Intelligent Creator?

    Hmmm…

  5. Dear Alyssa and others here–

    First– I apologize for the length of time it has taken me to respond to some of these comments. The day this podcast aired I was on an airplane on my way to the UK, where I was headlining my own to-day event and engaged in other work and travels there. There was simply no way to address any of this until now… So mea culpa!

    I so sincerely appreciate your extremely kind remarks.

    In a format like this it’s really not an appropriate or tenable place to supply detailed information concerning the application of these dietary principles to children or a person’s specific needs… Other than to say that I do not recommend particularly restricting protein in persons who are pregnant, trying to become pregnant, or for growing babies children and teens. Therefore, the adoption of whatever degree of ketosis is going to be variable depending on the amount of protein consumed and other relative factors. But there still is no scientifically established, human dietary requirement for carbohydrate, in any case. That said, if well-tolerated I do encourage a greater variety of fibrous vegetables and greens (and animal source foods) as much as possible for the promotion of improved oral tolerance and enhanced gut biome diversity.

    As for AIP programs, I do not like the overly generalized restrictions (apart from gluten and dairy)–though obviously anything that encourages people to eat more offal and nutrient density (and fewer grains/legumes) is a good thing. But when I work with a client I always prefer the scalpel to the shotgun when it comes to carefully determining what should and should not be included so as to maximize health benefits, nutrient diversity and oral tolerance. I hope this makes sense.

  6. I am not sure what you mean by my stating that humans evolved from an anaerobic blob. I don’t believe that would’ve been part of my terminology. But we do certainly share genes from the life forms that preceded us, and all animal life does absolutely share some certain common foundational/fundamental characteristics.

    Any statements that I may have made that seemed a bit too definitive for some are backed up by supportive, peer-reviewed evidence in my books. In my writing I go to ever-increasingly great pains to supply clear evidence for what I have to say–and I also tend to connect dots from a variety of fields and disciplines that help both clarify and support my hypotheses. Unfortunately, that level of “proof” is not necessarily possible within the context of a podcast.

  7. I do apologize if the passionate stand I take on the subject of gluten was offensive for some. I truly do not have an unkind bone in my body and am a deeply caring, passionate and compassionate person. In fact, that is part of what has driven some of my statements. I have spent more than 20 years in clinical practice dealing firsthand with unimaginable suffering as a result of the impact of gluten (and metabolic/immune derangement) on people’s lives. Let’s just say that I have learned not to mince words. Gluten truly is a substance that is far more likely to compromise a person–any person– than to benefit them in any way, and I cannot make apologies for the recommendations I make for people to avoid it as entirely as possible. As the only member of my family that does not have an autoimmune disease I have both witnessed the suffering of those close to me and have had to work quite hard to not follow suit. This has forced me to develop an expertise in this area (that additionally includes a great deal of clinical experience) that gives me an understanding of the subject not appreciated by most. I have learned that being somewhat uncompromising about these things does make a meaningful difference, and that some things simply cannot be overstated. If I seemed somehow unkind in my delivery in any way, I assure you that is not my MO, and my impetus was one of passion and not of an effort to be polarizing in any way. I suppose some of what I express does come from a place of years of frustration in communicating what I know to be so important in the face of so much conflicting information– often misinformation and disinformation based on superficial interests. Too many people are suffering unnecessarily in this world. Also, having at one time suffered an eating disorder, myself–I am not a stranger to the notion of unhealthy obsessions with food. That said, we live in such compromising times that we are, in fact, forced to exercise a certain vigilance that our ancestors never really required. –At least if maximizing health is something that one is inclined to prioritize.

  8. Thank you Nora for sharing your wealth of information. It was really refreshing to learn about the different ways we can approach our health issues. Do you have any suggestions for how to find a healthcare professional who is an authorized Cyrex practitioner. I have been to several doctors, none of whom have been able to figure out how to help me. I’m interested in getting to the root of my health issues as you recommend but given that Cyrex does not have a provider list, it is difficult to figure out how I can get these labs done.

    Thanks,
    Jennifer

  9. Thank you for your extensive research, Nora!! However, I, too, felt a stab in my gut when you said we should never get back to wheat or dairy. I have developed eczema (at age 52) & am working with a Functional Medical dr. to heal my gut – which I have always believed it was possible to do….. If there is no hope of me EVER being able to eat my local, raw, grass-fed goat’s milk products again (in other words, I do not eat regular processed dairy), then I am going to call it quits. I have been studying nutrition for over 30 years (I am a certified Home Economist) & have read it all out there. What Dr. Douillard says in “Eat Wheat” (which I believe you alluded to when you said there are those out there who say you just need to heal your gut then you can go back to wheat & dairy) seems to make sense to me. I have eaten wheat & dairy all my life (even the most processed versions) with no symptoms (that I was aware of, of course) – it should seem that I could heal my gut at age 53 & at least occasionally go back to eating the highest quality versions.

    Thank you again for your research – I have been listening to you for several years now & value your opinion!

    I have 2 questions, if you have time to answer, or maybe Katie can ask the next time she has you on!

    1. You talked about the need to address “oral tolerance”, not just leaky gut – but I don’t recall you explaining exactly what “oral tolerance” is….?
    2. Do you have a list of symptoms/conditions that you believe are auto-immune?? What conditions are we talking about? Do you believe eczema is one of them? My functional dr. says the jury is still out on whether it is or not.

    Thank you again!

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