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Transforming Our Nutrition System With Dr. Grace Hameister

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The US government has started backing food as medicine for the prevention of chronic diet-related health and wellness issues. For this to yield the expected results, the current nutrition system must be revamped and transformed. Corinna Bellizzi explores this topic with food specialist and chiropractor Dr. Grace Hameister. She explains how to eliminate the five villains of society that stand in the way of achieving optimal health. Dr. Grace also talks about the importance of paying more attention to ingredient lists in food packaging and navigating the cultural shifts in food production.

 

About Guest:

Care More Be Better | Dr. Grace Hameister | Nutrition SystemA seasoned doctor of chiropractic, Integrative Medicine, and food specialist, Dr. Grace is a Wisconsin native who was the first Olympic-level rhythmic gymnast in the state. Her life as an elite athlete merged with geeky scientist after becoming a doctor and practicing in San Francisco and Beverly Hills for 18 years. This crazy combo has brought her to live and work in the world of celebrity, high-powered executives, musicians, gifted practitioners, and innovative thinkers who are having a positive impact on people and our planet.

 

Guest Website: Food FiXR

Guest Social:

Instagram – Food FiXR

Facebook – Food FiXR 

YouTube – Food FiXR

 

Show Notes:

From Olympics To Medicine – 02:39

I thought I would offer you the opportunity as we get started. So really showcase your background because it is somewhat non-traditional to go from being and the Olympic world too being a doctor of Chiropractic

Misinformation In Marketing – 12:18

but what I also really wanted was hoping we could talk about is the misinformation that is so commonplace and marketing speak and and products that are being marketed

Society Of Five – 16:13

So let’s just what are the Society of five? What are the five things

Non-GMO Products – 20:29

So when we’re talking about something like corn, I’ve had people come back to me and say well what about the non-GMO corn or the organic certified corn?

Product Labeling Laws – 22:43

You mentioned at the beginning trans fats, which are partially hydrogenated oils often that in now we have these mandatory labeling laws.

Understanding Excitotoxins – 24:21

Excited toxins? This is the first time I’ve really talked about that on this show or the other show I host.

Sugar Moderation – 25:54

we have number one was trans fats two was excitotoxins like MSG three was corn and all of its forms. That’s four. sugar five less gas That’s my pearls I know.

Government Policies And Cultural Shift – 35:28

As it stands. I know there’s a personal responsibility to a lot of this but I do feel that government. Has a place and helping to dictate the policies and the information that reaches us even developing the simple food plate to help us see on a plate what we’re supposed to eat when they give a meal.

GMOs – 40:24

I feel like we might be leading to number five now.

Financial Support – 47:12

I want to close before ask you what kind of one last question to round this up to talk about the first topic I introduced which is what government is actually doing. I’m always skeptical of what that will actually come through with the specialty when the FDA is involved.

New Food – 49:51

I will tell you I’m not likely to give up my taco Tuesdays so I do eat some corn.

Closing Words – 59:48

Thank you so much for joining me today. This has been my absolute pleasure.

 

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Transforming Our Nutrition System With Dr. Grace Hameister

Did you know that in America, the government is finally backing food as medicine for the prevention of chronic diet-related diseases in our country? In this episode, we’re going to lean into this topic as we explore the social and health impact that this has the potential to provide to all Americans. Joining me is Dr. Grace Hameister from the Food and Social Science Institute. Dr. Grace is a seasoned Doctor of Chiropractic, Integrative Medicine and Food Specialist.

She is a Wisconsin native who was the first Olympic-level rhythmic gymnast in the state and her life as an elite athlete merged with that geeky scientist after becoming a doctor and practicing in San Francisco and Beverly Hills for eighteen years. This crazy combo has brought her to live and work in the world of celebrities, high-powered executives, musicians, gifted practitioners and innovative thinkers who are having a positive impact on people and our planet every single day. Dr. Grace, welcome to the show.

It’s such an honor and pleasure to be here. It’s good to see you.

I’m so glad to see you again. I had the opportunity to come on one of your podcasts and I’d love to get into that a little bit too as we have this conversation. I thought I would offer you the opportunity as we get started to showcase your background because it is somewhat non-traditional to go from being in the Olympic world to being a Doctor of Chiropractic and now even interfacing with celebrities and executives around the globe.

It was a very interesting ride in this life of mine so far. I’ve seen some bizarre things and you don’t know too many people who are professional water skiers or Olympic-level rhythmic gymnasts. The sports that I’ve done and chosen are so rare but that’s what’s also so unique and fascinating about everything that I’ve experienced along the way. I’m very familiar with trailblazing. I guess that would be the very first thing to say, and working with a lot of people that aren’t given access to some of the things like an NFL star, an NHL star or a basketball star, even though we are professional athletes working our asses off as hard every day. I’ve seen a lot of different sides of different things.

It’s been an amazing journey starting as a kid growing up in the Midwest. I grew up in a very elegant part of farm country in Wisconsin and it’s unique because our small town has a race track that was started by gangsters in Chicago back in the day. They would bring their families to our local area to drive their luxury cars in the farmland areas. It ended up becoming a race track place. If you could think of maybe the movie Ford versus Ferrari merges with Dirty Dancing, that’s pretty much how I grew up. It was unique.

You take that on top of me, I was starting out, yes, as a rhythmic gymnast. I was doing that. I went to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado, and that’s where I got my first exposure to understanding the power of food. We had classes that we had to go to. They would do all these tests with us for our physical performance and stuff. We were like little lab rats there in a good way. They would see our endurance and how flexible we are and then hook us up to oxygenation machines and dunk us and water for body fat analysis and all these things. They also taught us a lot of things, too.

That’s when I understood the fact that the foods that we were making back home in Wisconsin to be on the table weren’t for just dinner. They are power. Food is power. As an athlete, if you can repair faster and you can stay strong because you’re not sick or you’re actually stronger physically, you’re winning. It’s that little tiny 5% or 10% extra. It’s a difference between first and second place when you’re among the elite.

My background as an athlete and being exposed to the ideals and the understanding of what food is capable of at a very young age propelled me into my older years when I became Dr. Grace and went through college and learned all the biochemistry and all the other good stuff that came along with it, too.

You’re bringing up for me something that is real and close to my heart. In my late teens and into my twenties, I was a competitive mountain biker. Coming from that perspective as a female and a sport that at the time in the mid-‘90s was so male-dominated. It still is, but male-dominated to the point where most of the races are co-ed. You were competing with men who were honestly a lot faster on the uphills, but women tended to have better endurance. We would still sometimes take the prize in the end.

It was pretty incredible to be a part of that. Also, the reality was that we would take those leaps anytime we thought we could recover more quickly or develop more strength or gain more speed. That would be the thing that would entice us to the world of supplements or the latest eating trend or something like that. To be in and among athletes who are working to be at their prime and to be their best and to win, you were looking for whatever competitive edge you could possibly find.

When you’re in and among that community, it’s part of your life. It’s what you do. It’s who you are. I had a very fortunate experience of being exposed to those things at a very young age and then being able to continue what we learned into later years and see it literally everything that they were telling me truly coming to life. I remember they told us in the AOTC, they said that in ten years from now, 5% of the foods you eat haven’t even been invented yet. That blew my mind as a kid. Think about it. Look at all the cereals now and different kinds of waters and power drinks and stuff that didn’t exist 5 or 10 years ago.

Care More Be Better | Dr. Grace Hameister | Nutrition System
Nutrition System: Ten years from now, 5% of the food we eat has not even been invented yet.

 

If we think about it, you know what has become so commonplace? It started with a power bar, but now people eat bars that are highly processed foods on the go. They’re shoving goos down their gullets because they need to get that sugar into their body at the 11th mile of a run to sustain themselves for the next 15 miles if they’re doing 26.2 for a marathon. The same is true of cyclists who are running 100-mile rides and things like that.

It’s crazy to me. I have so much reverence for people who do endurance sports. I was never that person, but how your body can perform at peak performance and what you need to give it to be able to do that, the science of that has changed quite a bit, too. Let’s be real. We know so much more about athletic peak performance, brain function, heart function, gut function and brain function. All these things that in the ‘70s and ‘80s were starting to get poked at, now we have an entire library full of double-blind randomized trials that show how much this stuff is relevant and especially how natural approaches to things are relevant.

Not necessarily deconstructing everything to get those little micronutrients out, but instead looking at the whole system to see how the reason for eating the whole pineapple is better than trying to get potassium. It is because pineapple has all this other stuff in it that’s going to help you along the way. Bromelain for anti-inflammatory processes and papain to help with decreasing inflammation and enzymes to help you digest, this stuff that’s in there that used to be looked at as this like woo-woo medicine and shining lights and crystals and stuff when actually it’s real science.

The common trope was to look at chiropractors and say, “You’re just a chiropractor,” but often, chiropractors were the repository for all of this health and wellness information because they were already going to how the whole bodywork and what are the things that can impact how your muscles act and how healthy your joints are. They started to go deep.

I love that you use the word repository because from my perspective as a practitioner, we would get the hardest cases that have gone everywhere in the world and couldn’t figure out what was wrong with them and we make them better. That’s what I do to in my best day every day. Even in my worst day every day, that’s exactly what I do all the time. The people that are at their wit’s end don’t know what else to do. They come to someone like me and we help them. I love the repository work. The people are depositing themselves to me because this is sincerely where we get a lot of the work done.

The people who have been in athletics who do we commonly go to on a routine basis. Since being a mountain biker, I trained myself out of mountain biking. I turned it into punishment. I think that people who have been serious about athletics for any stretch of time may actually relate to some of that where you push so hard for so long that it actually gets to a point where this is painful. I didn’t do that with marathoning, but marathoning gave me a gift I didn’t have before I started that journey and that was bunions. I have a physical ailment that comes from the miles and miles of pavement pounding that I’ve done, which culminated in me running the Boston Marathon in 2009.

It’s still amazing. It’s a lot of work to get there. I have been an athlete. I never was professionally sponsored in my marathoning days. I learned as much or more there than I did when I was sponsored as a mountain biker because many years had passed. The nutrition science had so improved, to your point, that I was able to craft what I needed to know.

I was able to dispel a lot of the fog that is introduced about carbohydrates, for example, when carbohydrates are villainized and you absolutely need them to function. You absolutely need complex carbohydrates to build the many proteins in your body. If you don’t eat enough plants, then your bones aren’t as strong and you’re more likely to suffer from muscle ailments and get the shin splints and the micro fascia tears and things along those lines, which can debilitate you and prevent you from being able to finish a long race.

I get this, but what I also was hoping we could talk about is the misinformation that is so commonplace in marketing speak and products that are being marketed because you have on one side these plant-based vegans who are saying, “You can be a healthy bodybuilder and be plant-based.” On the other side, you have the protein enthusiast who say, “You need to get 50 grams of protein in a single meal twice a day or you are not going to be able to perform and you’re not going to age well.” Where do you see the truth lying between these two extremes? How can somebody who is in the consumer seat, the average person, figure out what is best for them?

This is my life’s work right now. What you’re asking me is literally my life’s work right now. I’m in the process of writing a book about it to help demystify a lot of this. First of all, it is a bit of a double-edged sword. As a human species, we’re all humans. There are certain physiological processes, certain things that everybody’s body does. Yet we’re each the literal snowflake where every single person has their own internal data, meaning everyone’s blood is a little bit tiny different. The telomeres from your DNA are a little bit different. Your fingertips, for God’s sake, everything about us, there’s so much diversity. When people are putting themselves in the category of looking into what I would consider fad diets like paleo, keto, doing certain things, each one of them has something in it that’s relevant.

Although, Atkins, I wouldn’t probably go towards so much because he’s died from doing his diet and Master Cleanse I think is one of the dumbest things that you could ever possibly do for yourself no matter who you are because of how much it wreaks havoc on your gut. It gives you sugar and cayenne pepper. It’s ridiculous. That’s my opinion on those, of course. I’m sure some people will take it to the end of the Earth saying how wrong I am, but that’s okay.

The reason we’re saying this is look at the science and look at your statistics. What does your body need? Nine times out of ten, if we take off the veil of all the things that are creating the biggest parts of the problem for people, when you’re looking at little tiny things like finding out how many grams of protein you should get for your body or how many carbs you were getting before a race, you are now already in a different mindset of understanding nutrition in a way that the general public doesn’t get yet.

 

When you start being aware of the protein and carbs your body is consuming, you already have a different mindset on nutrition the general public usually does not have.

 

Let’s back this up a little bit and start with what you shouldn’t do. By knowing what the top five villains are, it’s what I call them my top five villains, the society of five, if you can at least identify the society of five and get that out of your system, all your physiological processes are going to be working more in your favor, which will allow you to tweak things even more through finding out the data. How much Vitamin D do you need? How much protein do you need? Our blood types are different.

I’m not saying that you should go and eat only for a blood-type diet either. However, what is your system giving you for data? Have you done poop testing? Have you done salivary testing? Have you done things that look at hair analysis and gut analysis? This entire library of information we can gather that once you take out the society of five will optimize. Let’s take it back.

What is the society of five? What are the five things to avoid? I’ve got my pen out so I’m going to write it down.

We’re looking at trans fats, excitotoxins, corn, sugar, and GMOs. Those are the top five things that if you eliminate from your diet, I can guarantee your body will feel better. You’ll have less brain fog.

You said trends and fads.

I got trends and fads. This is neither of those. This is science. We have trans fats. Trans fats is the first one. We have excitotoxins like MSG and glutamate, the ones that are designed to make you taste like you eating the most amazing thing in the world when there are actually zero nutritional components to it. Those are your excitotoxins. Corn is a hidden gem that most people don’t know about. Corn has two things that it does to our bodies at the same time. We’re getting a 1-2 punch and people don’t even know that they’re getting hit until finally all of a sudden, they have liver cancer or eye cancer or breast cancer or leukemia, which is the most recent one.

Corn not only is the number one most genetically modified plant on the planet and it wasn’t until finally, somewhere between 2017 and 2018 that there was a lawsuit brought to the courts in San Francisco by a gentleman who was the custodian at a school and he had Roundup dumped on him and he used it every day to kill weeds around the school. Mind you, this is around the school, so it’s around kids playing on the stuff that he’s spraying, too. He found he had cancer and because he was dying, there’s a statute in California that allows people who are closer to death to get amped up onto the list of being able to go to litigate and have the Supreme Court hear their story.

For the first time since inception, Monsanto has finally been named as a cancer-causing agent because he won. They’re ordered to pay somewhere around the tune of $250 million to him for his family and for everything that was happening. Corn is genetically changed to have Roundup in it so that when they spray the fields, the corn doesn’t die but the weeds will. You’re eating Roundup when you eat corn, first of all. That’s one of the biggest issues that we have.

The second issue, it’s the chemistry of the plant. Unfortunately, Omega-3s, which help to bring down inflammation, and Omega-6s, which increase inflammation, they have a dance in our body that is supposed to be back and forth so that you’re constantly in this state of stasis. You don’t have too much pain in your body. You don’t have enough pain in your body.

Let’s say you had surgery and you have a wound that’s healing. The wound is going to be acidic and is going to have the markers of more Omega-6s being triggered so that this whole cascade happens to help heal the area. Omega-3s help to bring that pain and inflammation down. If you’re eating foods that have high values of Omega-6s in them, you’re bombarding your system with constant access to high markers of inflammation.

Care More Be Better | Dr. Grace Hameister | Nutrition System
Nutrition System: Omega-3 helps ease pain and inflammation. Meanwhile, Omega-6 bombards your system with constant access to high markers of inflammation.

 

That’s where we get the corn issue because corn oil is almost exclusively Omega-6.

There’s 80 Omega-6s for every 1 Omega-3.

Not only that, once it’s refined, they remove almost all of the remaining Omega-3 from it. If you’re eating corn oil, if you’re frying with corn oil, you have that problem. In addition, especially if you are frying, then you are introducing advanced glycation end products, which also are problematic. That’s AGE. They age you. That’s what I like to tell people so they remember them. Advanced Glycation End products age you.

When we’re talking about something like corn, I’ve had people come back to me and say, “What about the non-GMO corn or the organic certified corn, because that isn’t problematic, right?” In that case, you still have the same issue with the Omega-6s, even if the glyphosate wasn’t problematic, wasn’t contained within the corn.

All you have to remember is 80 to 1. It’s literally putting gasoline on the fire of inflammation.

We have that issue. Americans are already getting far too little Omega-3 in their diets because we don’t consume a lot of fish. When we do, most of that is now farmed and the farmed salmon is fed soy and corn, which are sources for Omega-6s and not Omega-3s.

Where’s a fish feeding corn in the ocean?

Tell me why this makes sense. This is something that I find mind-boggling. We covered this issue in a prior episode in depth because I interviewed Simen Saetre who wrote the book The New Fish, which is all about salmon farming in Norway. If you see Norwegian salmon on a package that you buy, it does not mean it’s wild. It does not even mean that it’s a Norwegian species of salmon. It means that it’s Norwegian-raised, which can mean it’s farmed.

He also shared that they have decimated all wild populations of salmon. While Simon has a thick Norwegian accent, I think it’s very much worth listening to him tell the story directly because he is the investigative journalist behind that research. He very deep dive and you’ll learn a lot about the problems of fish farming and why it’s not a good solution for our health and our diet.

We aren’t getting enough Omega-3, we get too much Omega-6 already. Even if the corn is organic and non-GMO, it is going to pose the problem of having too much Omega-6. We’ve got that either way. You mentioned at the beginning that trans fats, which are partially hydrogenated oils. Now we have these mandatory labeling laws that say that you have to label trans fats as trans fats. However, I often see that because they’re below the threshold, companies get away with not labeling them.

The FDA actually has on their website a descriptor of what manufacturers have to have.

It’s 0.5 grams. If it’s below 0.5 grams, which is half a gram, they can mark it as zero. You have to look at the ingredients and if you see the words partially hydrogenated and then whatever oil follows those words, it is a trans fat. It has trans fats in it. Common sources are processed food bars of some sort like nutrition granola bars, also peanut butter. If you see partially hydrogenated soybean oil, parm chloral oil, those are the two main that I tend to see.

Another one you would expect is potato chips. Cotton seed oil. What human is supposed to eat cotton? Cotton seed oil is a trans-fat.

You’ll also see grapeseed oil. You’ll see partially hydrogenated grapeseed oil. That is also flax oil. You would think that would be okay because it’s flaxseed oil. However, this is so processed that it’s not. It’s not an Omega-3 oil anymore. Especially if it’s partially hydrogenated, it should be avoided. That’s how do I identify that on labels. Excitotoxins. This is the first time I’ve talked about that on this show or the other show I host. Give me a couple more examples of excitotoxins because I think we should all be avoiding that.

An excitotoxin is putting food to help excite your taste buds. That’s what it does.

You eat more of it so you can’t put down that bag of chips.

That’s right. MSG is a perfect example. Monosodium glutamate. It has it right in the word glutamate. Glutamate is actually in your brain naturally and is a good thing. There’s good glutamate and there’s bad glutamate. Good glutamate is your natural glutamate. Bad is when you are eating excess sources of it, which are over-firing the excitatory receptors in your brain. Now you have these symptoms and syndromes that are happening like migraines and flushing of the skin and constant headaches, even leading up to things like neurological degenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and MS.

These are the cornerstones of what happens when the brain doesn’t have the opportunity to work in its normal symbiotic spaces, like the Omega-3 and Omega-6 dance. Glutamate is supposed to be in your brain, but it also makes you think differently. It makes you taste differently. It surges those receptor sites and completely changes your chemistry. Now you have a totally different perspective of the world and you’re destroying your brain tissue and neurology at the same time.

Number one was trans fats. Two was excitotoxins like MSG. Three was corn in all of its forms. Four?

Sugar, five grams or less. Touch my pearls. I know.

I happen to be wearing pearls so that’s doubly funny.

That’s why I couldn’t not say it because I see them sitting right there from me. It was perfect. Sugar in and of its own, again, in moderation is okay, but we don’t have a moderative perspective of sugar anymore. It’s crazy how far off the curve our diets have been infused with hidden and blatant sugar. Sugar attacks the exact same spaces in your brain as heroin and as addictive. It’s also highly acidic. When it’s acidic, that means anything that’s a bad guy or a pathogen in your body, whether it be bacteria, virus or cancer cell, can grow more because it can get the food it needs from the sugar and the acidic environment.

 

Sugar attacks the exact same spaces in your brain as heroin, making it just as addictive as illegal drugs.

 

Let’s differentiate for people’s sugar because I think sometimes we get overzealous on this and then we lump it with healthy sugars that could be in a raw piece of fruit, as a for example. What we’re talking about here is processed or refined sugar, correct?

Yes. Combination honestly, because high glycemic index fruits can do the same for us. If you’re drinking your orange juice every morning, you’re spiking your insulin and you’re creating pancreatic problems. We need to balance where that’s coming from. Yes, if you’re eating the actual fruit, then you’re getting the fiber with it, which decreases the amount of sugar that your body has to process. Stuff like high fructose corn syrup and refined white sugars and cane sugars. Sticking more towards say using stevia or aloe products, things that go more in the agave world is whether it’s actually plant-based, those are less abrasive on your pancreas and they spike insulin less. Eating low glycemic index fruits and vegetables is also very helpful.

Berries, grapefruits, pears and apricots. There are tons. You can Google what are low glycemic index fruits and that’s a good way to go as well. Usually, when you’re looking at eating a fruit versus yes, more of the refined stuff, like I said, to reiterate, you’re getting the fibers, you’re getting that whole plant. That’s giving you so much more power than taking away the piece of it that gives you the energy and now you’re going to be crashing from that.

Furthermore, in Dr. David Perlmutter’s work called Drop Acid, a book that he wrote specifically on lowering your acid levels in your body, he recommends eating more stone fruits. That means also eating the skin, not just the juice or anything like that, but they can actually drop the acid levels in your bod. That will also reduce your inborn retention of excess water and other things that could be adding to your hypertension and making you have blood pressure issues and things along those lines.

I should say while we’re offering this show that it is for informational purposes only, anything we share here is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure. While I’m not here to sell anything, I think I have to state that, especially too since you’re in practice, Dr. Grace. Anything that you say is not to be misconstrued as medical advice. Those individuals reading this show want to dig in deeper, they should consult with their medical care practitioners if they are dealing with any health complaints.

Rather than looking at this as an individual go-to, you need to collect that data, like I stated at the beginning.

We’re speaking in generalities.

That’s why it’s the society of five. By the way, all five of them, the one place you have to look for them are your ingredient lists. Ingredient list first. When you pick up any food, I don’t care how many calories it has, I don’t care what the sodium intake is, I don’t care about any part of that piece of the label. You need to look at the ingredient list first because like Jack Lalanne said back in the day, the OG of fitness, if God didn’t make it, don’t eat it. I 100% agree with that and I learned that at the Olympic Training Center. That’s another thing that they told us when we were kids. If God didn’t make it, don’t eat it. This is now going back to how can the average Joe find this stuff.

We can sit here and talk all day about what trans fats do to your body and what they are, but what does it look like? How do you find it? What is it on the label? That’s what I’m doing with our work at the Food and Social Science Institute as well as with Food FiXR, to give people a single evidence-based place to go. There’s not going down the Google rabbit hole of, like you said, “Do I eat protein? Do I not eat protein? How much of this and not eating this?” There are certain things that are necessary to either have in your diet or to not have in your diet. The society of five, you got to get them out because nothing else will work in your body properly if those things are fighting against you. You’re always in a state of repair rather than optimized health.

On the topic of sugar, before we move on to number five, I wanted to ask you a couple of follow-up questions. One is, what about all these sugar alcohols that are presently out there from erythritol to xylitol? Xylitol is also marketed to help support your teeth in all sorts of gums and things like that. Erythritol, and maltitol are all commonly used in products to replace sugars so that we still get the sweetness. What are your thoughts on them?

I think we need to be very cautious about these. We’re still looking at a time when we’re still doing studies on them. We now know that eating hydrogenated oils is very bad. We know that because we have 50 years’ worth of research on it. We’ve started doing these extraction processes with some of the alcohol sugars like you’re talking about. They may not spike insulin as much, but what are they doing to the pancreas? What are they doing to the liver? What are they doing to the gut? Are they causing lots of problems? No matter how you look at it, if it’s a micro piece of sugar or if it’s brown raw sugar, once that’s in the gut, you’re killing live probiotics. You’re making your body acidic and you’re stopping natural processes from occurring that will allow you to detoxify.

That’s what sugar does. You only need five grams of sugar to make all of the metabolic processes in your body happen. When you’re looking at a label, you have to look for stuff. First of all, make sure there’s no high fructose corn syrup or any of the other alcohol sugars you’re talking about. I wouldn’t personally look for them as a substitute. I do raw honey or I do stevia because it is plant-based and I am on the fence with agave because I know that there are a lot of manufacturing issues with that, too. It depends on where it’s from. That’s another story, too. However, you have to make sure that once those ingredient lists pass, then you go to the next part of the label and see how many grams of sugar there is and try to go for items that have 5 grams or less, 11 grams tops.

Care More Be Better | Dr. Grace Hameister | Nutrition System
Nutrition System: You only need five grams of sugar to execute all of the metabolic processes in your body.

 

You made an enemy of all the gummy vitamins out there, I think.

Pretty much. They have corn syrup in them anyway, so who cares?

No, some of them do, some of them don’t. A lot of them are tapioca syrup, which people more commonly reference as a food source, but generally speaking, they have four grams or more of sugar in them. If you’re looking at them as a solution, you’re going to go right over a five-gram limit a day by taking gummies and maybe taking a bite of anything else.

That’s why sugar is so insidious, too. You know there’s a reason that diabetics are having an issue. Diabetes is rising. The United States has now passed the 40% mark for obesity. Obesity wouldn’t be rising if it was simple as dieting and changing what you eat. This is a major problem. This is a food knowledge problem and that is where we need to start having an impact and looking at what is this stuff made out of.

It is so critical. I’ve heard it put too like we’re basically eating concentrated soy and corn in this day and age because if we are omnivores, the food that our omnivores ate was corn and soy. Everything’s brought up on the corn and soy and so it’s got more Omega-6. They’re also brought up with a lot of antibiotics which kills the microbiome of the cow or the chicken. It also then further helps them to grow quickly, which is the side benefit so they can come to market more quickly. That ultimately means that we are getting an end product that isn’t as healthy as it was a generation ago. We know too that the conditions in which these animals are kept is quite sick. If any of us was to visit one of these farms, we wouldn’t want to continue eating that way.

As it stands, I know there’s a personal responsibility to a lot of this, but I do feel that the government has a place in helping to dictate the policies and the information that reaches us. Even developing the simple food plate to help us see on a plate what we’re supposed to eat in a given meal. What do you think the impact is of the 2 trillion or more that is now funding this work coming from the government to ensure that we actually have diet-related health issues addressed in some way? What does it mean? Where do you think we’re headed?

I find it fascinating that it’s finally being heard, first of all. This is an issue that has not been addressed for many years. The last time there was a conference in the White House discussing food and food as medicine-related topics was 50 years ago. In those 50 years, we’ve been running amuck with trans fats, excitotoxins, corn, sugar and GMOs. Now the studies are 50 years old as well. There’s no denying the fact that having these things in our diet is creating a problem. They are directly related.

There are countries who have banned them completely from being able to be in the foods anymore. If anything, I think it’s criminal that there are food producers who still have this stuff in their food when they have no doubt in their minds that it is going to cause a problem with human health, but it keeps it on the shelves. That’s why they’re going to keep it there, to get their money. That’s criminal to me.

However, the government is starting to look at stuff like that. The FDA is on board. They’re starting to make some changes. They had a symposium talking about five different pillars of how we can have an impact on diet-related diseases. Cancer, diabetes, obesity, and heart disease. Those are the top four killers in modern medicine. All four of them have one thing in common. They all are potentially reversible by eating the right food. They’re all certainly preventable to a certain degree with some genetic factors, especially with some cancers.

I’m not trying to say all food will heal the world. That’s another deal. I can tell you what, you can’t unsee the work that I’ve done. You can’t unsee people’s lives change completely and have a better quality of life while they’re fighting cancer because they changed what they’re eating. You can’t unsee the fact that a kid who couldn’t speak because the part of the brain that makes words produced get out of their mouth because they had too much excitotoxins and activity and then finally said, “I want to talk to daddy,” after we were working together. You can’t unsee stuff like that.

In your case, I had a marathon runner who’s 50 years old and he’d never done anything that had to do with looking at diet and potentially seeing a chiropractor and doing that thing. Before the last race that he did, which was a Chicago marathon, he saw me for six weeks before. He shaved five minutes off his time. He made it under three hours for the first time in his life. What the government is doing right now is they’re seeing that, one, it’s cheaper to be proactive so we’re not paying for things like surgery for heart attacks or chemotherapy for cancers.

When you’re being more proactive and doing things that affect what’s called social determinants of health, the things that you can do outside of the doctor’s office, that you don’t have to go to the doctor as often and have diagnosed conditions that you’re dealing with, this is where we’re now having a shift in the governmental policies. What’s even more important to me, which I find fascinating, is the shift we’re seeing culturally.

People are seeing that what we’re doing isn’t working. We are dying by the droves for things that can have so much more effect when you leave them in the state of and the hands of nature. People are seeing our oceans filled with plastics and our forests turn into cinder blocks because of all the fires that are happening. This environment thing isn’t a hoax. It’s real. How that affects our body is as important.

The Earth, the food on it, the soil on it, how we get the nutrients out of the soil, the animals that are eating from the grasses that we’re getting as well. The entire circle is so important. We are now finally understanding that the things that we do that can mitigate, how we can decrease the toxic debris will increase your body’s ability to be in a state of optimal health.

I feel like we might be leading to number five now. I’m questioning, is it toxic debris perhaps?

GMOs, so yes. Yeah, the obvious number five villain is GMOs, 100%.

That is essentially toxic debris.

You don’t even see it. That’s the worst part because it’s in the DNA of the plant. How creepy is that? It’s literally grown to have a different genetic structure. Where is that supposed to go when it goes into your body?

There are GMO advocates. I know biotechnologists who will sit there and argue all day long that there is a real cause to some of these GMOs who will say things like trying to solve for world hunger. At the same time, what they’re developing is what’s commonly been referred to as a Frankenfish, a salmon that would grow 75% larger in a quarter of the time, for example. They’re able to make it to market quicker.

The reality of that salmon is that if it escapes, and salmon always escape their pens, let me be clear, that they intermingle with wild populations. That is exactly what we saw when I connected with Simen Saetre about his work, The New Fish, which is put out by Patagonia Press. The farmed populations escape into the wild. That comes from net failure or it comes from one jumps higher and something failed in a storm. There’s always something.

A frustrating thing to consider is when you’re a farmer growing organic crops, some of that GMO crop jumps over because of winds and birds pooping.

Now we’re going to talk about Monsanto buyers.

This is the GMO debacle that we’re looking at. These small farmers that are doing the work, busting their butts to give us good foods are being shut down by big business farms because there’s a seed in the middle of their farm that got there from an unknown source, but they’re being held accountable for it. These are the kinds of GMO issues that drive me bonkers.

Even a fellow friend and a bee farmer, Hank Svec, who I featured on this show, told the story of the weed police coming to basically give him warnings because he was in a hotbed of farmers up in Canada and all these farmers are growing GMO crops. They wanted him to spray glyphosate to kill all of the weeds on his property, which he refused to do because he wanted to go ahead and ensure that the honeybees that he’s rearing have a safe environment to grow within and thrive.

They were getting upset that he let the thistles grow on his property and sent the weed police. At the time he said weed police, I assumed he meant marijuana police, but he meant literally weeds, to caution him that he needed to spray. He was like, “I’m not going to spray and this is my property so what are you going to do about it?” The police was like, “Can you agree to maybe address this in some way and I could get off your property?” He wanted to let them flower so his bees could have something to go ahead and harvest for honey.

That raw honey is one of the best things you can do in the world for your immune system, especially if you live locally. Find those local bee harvesters, like you said, and get that honey. There are a lot of problems that we have from the food supply chain to how food gets out to people in need, and food insecurity issues. My biggest work of focus I like to bring attention to is nutrition insecurity.

We’re eating foods that do not have the nutrient value that we need to thrive. The only way to be able to understand that is to understand where your food’s coming from, how to recognize what to eat and not eat by reading your ingredient labels. Once you get there, then you can do the little nitpicky stuff over your protein content and your carbohydrate content and how you can get peak athletic performance and all that stuff.

Until we can start addressing and educating people how to look for these things and where they’re found, we’re going to be running in circles. I would love to see circles being circular farming, honestly. We’re truly going back to the small circular farms that regenerate and we’re seeing this all over the world happening. It’s happening. This is why our consciousness is changing. This is why our culture is changing.

People are creating circular farming with different animals including beef. Obviously, the methane issue is an issue when you’re rearing beef, but these guys are doing it on grass-fed pastures and in ways that help to eliminate these toxins and the toxin debris. If we embrace this rather than following the money trail of where the end product of a shelf life goes, we would have a completely different conversation right now.

I think what you’re getting at is eat real whole foods. When you are going to eat something packaged, look at the label and scrutinize it. I’m going to summarize the five again. Avoid trans fats, which are also labeled as partially hydrogenated oil of any kind. Avoid excitotoxins like MSG. This could also be disguised as some other ingredient you can’t pronounce well. Avoid corn in all its forms. Avoid sugar. Try not to get more than five grams of sugar in a day, and avoid GMOs.

That means that in many cases, if you’re shopping produce, you have to shop organic because there’s no labeling regulation for genetically modified organisms at the present time. Organic is automatically non-GMO. If you’re shopping organic, you are shopping non-GMO. The other thing I would mention for people is if you can build a practice of shopping at your local farmer’s market or working with a CSA, which is a local distribution network from local farms, then you are getting food from closer to your door. Your carbon imprint is less and you’re also supporting your local economy and you’re getting real whole foods. You’re doing all of the right things. It doesn’t have to be that difficult because this stuff can even be dropped at your doorstep.

That’s right. That’s the ultimate win-win, honestly.

I wanted to close, before I ask you one last question to round this up, to talk about the first topic I introduced, which is what the government is actually doing. I’m always skeptical of what they will actually come through with, especially when the FDA is involved because the FDA is so backed by pharmaceutical companies and it looks like it’s the tail that’s being wagging the dog, so to speak in that case. What do you think we can expect to see? I think I got the number wrong. How much money has been allocated? I might’ve been hopeful with my $2 trillion.

No, that’s right. I think the last thing I read was somewhere around $2.8 trillion.

Over a long-term though, not an overnight thing, obviously.

No. I’m seeing an impact with the Food and Social Science Institute, we are a nonprofit. I have behind the curtain perspective of looking at this. I can get onto a site called Grants.gov. It allows for nonprofits to see what kinds grants are available and where they would have the ability to use their expertise to contribute to improving their particular cause. For us, the Food and Social Science Institute, we believe that optimal health is a right for all and we believe that we are reclaiming people’s health one bite at a time.

We want to not only instruct through education but also through community impact and decreasing the social determinants of health. Anything that we can do to have both social science and physical biological science come together with foods, that’s our way to have an impact on people and then get it to people who need it. What’s the big picture here? The people that are in food deserts and can’t afford to necessarily go to Whole Foods but can go to a Walmart with their SNAP cards. We can get good food at those places. You just need to learn how. That’s some of the impact that we can have. There are grants that are being created now to allow for people like us doing the work that we’re doing to get funded to get our work out there.

Care More Be Better | Dr. Grace Hameister | Nutrition System
Nutrition System: If you cannot afford to go to Whole Foods, you can still go to Walmart and find organic produce. You just need to learn how.

 

I also want to point out to our community that even ThriveMarket.com now accepts your SNAP cards. If you happen to be on government assistance, you can actually shop that online site for organic and health-promoting foods. It’s a membership site, so you actually have to pay an annual membership. I’m not sure if they waive that for SNAP members, but they may be another resource for people. I will tell you, I’m not likely to give up my Taco Tuesdays, so I do eat some corn, but that being said, I get organic.

Go for your STE brand and eat cassava. It tastes like corn. It has a crunch. It has everything else and it is amazing.

I love that you’re so staunch on it. You said I don’t care. I completely get it. I have talked to many people on your side of the aisle that simply say, “We’re not meant to digest corn. Look at what ends up in your poop if you eat corn on the cob. That’s enough to tell you,” which I get. I haven’t had cassava flour tortillas yet, but maybe I will introduce them at my next Taco Tuesday and I’ll let you know what I think.

Siete brand. I’m telling you, it will not do you wrong.

I have adopted a lot of this. When I eat out now, I don’t eat any corn out because I know it’s all GMO and I know it kills butterflies. I know that Roundup Monsanto, now called Bayer, that company has bankrupted organic farmers by suing them for not paying for the seed stock because corn pollinates by wind and corn from a GMO farm blew in the pollen to this organic farm. They tested the corn that came out of that site and said, “You are not paying for our Roundup-infused seed stock, so you must therefore pay now,” and bankrupted them. This happened. They did not succeed in court. This was routine.

It’s exactly we’re talking about earlier with GMOs and the issues that comes with it. The seed could have been from a bird that pooped, like I said. It’s absolutely insane.

I said that’s a deplorable business practice that none of us should support.

You said the perfect words there though, too. We can vote with our dollars and those dollars are directly affecting your body integrity. Use your money wisely because people always tell me, “It’s so expensive to purchase organic things.” Do you know what’s expensive? A heart attack. A heart attack is expensive.

I don’t mean to laugh. It’s not funny.

No, it’s not funny to have a heart attack, but that argument to me is so ridiculous because what’s expensive is getting chemotherapy drugs. That’s expensive. If you’re going to this store and buying an organic orange for $0.50 more, that is not a $ 500-a-month drug. When you’re on insulin for $1,000 a month, that’s expensive. I’m not having it.

Your allergies, your skin conditions, everything that comes with having an inflammatory diet. I have been monitoring what I spend at the grocery store and our family, we’re omnivores. I buy meats and I will tell you that the inflation that we’ve seen specifically through meats is pretty incredible. I’ve been spending close to double what I used to spend at the grocery store for a family of four. Granted, my boys are eating more these days, but still. What I noticed as I personally start to push more towards plant-based, that I am actually spending less because I’m not buying as much meat. It’s revealed for me that a lot of that cost was actually encapsulated in my purchase of organic free-range meats. Now what I’m doing is I buy from a regenerative organic farm and conglomerate farms and I’m having the meat shipped to me a couple of times a year.

I am therefore paying less than I was before because I’m buying less volume of meat. I have a chest freezer. It all stays in there. It’s more responsibly procured. It doesn’t have all of the saline. It’s not injected with a bunch of salt or any of that stuff, which the conventional stuff is that adds to the weight. That adds more salt to your diet and that doesn’t actually benefit you at all.

I’m on this journey and I’m personally leaning more plant-based and trying to follow the Dr. William Li’s of the world who say things like look at meat as a condiment and I’m seeing the impact of my health. My skin looks better. I gave up dairy, my skin looks better and I’m not having as much digestive distress. While I’m having to get more creative about the introduction of proteins, my fiber content is way up and I’ve dropped twenty pounds.

You are the epitome of the double-blind randomized trials that we’re discussing at the beginning of the show.

It’s a little freaky because I’m having to dispel some of what I held as long-held beliefs around protein and where I got it. I got to meet Dr. Michael Gregor and he shares in his work how we essentially build all these proteins from carbohydrates in the first place that is not necessarily getting it from a meat source. Those eight essential amino acids aren’t what your body needs to make the muscles in your body, which I didn’t understand. This is the science behind why there can be successful vegan bodybuilders. They don’t necessarily need a bunch of steaks in order to get their ultimate physical needs met even to compete on stages.

To keep in mind, too, that even vegan options can be manufactured to the point where they have all kinds of toxins in them, too. You have to look at those ingredient labels. The ingredients have to be your new best friend. The only thing that’s necessary and important on a label in my professional opinion is to always look at that ingredient list first. That’s where it all starts.

 

Look at the ingredient labels of your food. These must become your new best friend.

 

If you’re buying dry beans, it’s dry beans.

It’s amazing, isn’t it?

They’re inexpensive and you can go ahead and cook them however you like.

Eat them so much. If you actually made a little bag of beans, those little suckers go a lot farther than you expect. That’s for sure.

I know, it’s crazy. I prepared a pound of white beans and introduced some of them into a soup. I’ve heard that they can even be mashed and put into oatmeal and that people won’t even notice them. It’s a way to add fiber and also add some great protein to the snacks I’m giving my kids in the morning. I’m investigating where I can do it and what the threshold is so that they can live their healthiest lives. I’ve also learned that it isn’t protein that has helped our children to grow. Even vegan children, if they’re given the appropriate diet, are on average taller than their omnivore cousins and friends. I’m breaking what I knew to rebuild what I now know with science-based evidence and trying to keep an open mind.

Have the courage to try. I remember not too long ago, not to keep going on and on, but even if you choose one day like Meatless Monday. Personally, I do eat meat, too, but it has to be pasture-raised. It’s from forms like you’re talking about. I don’t eat anything that has ever seen anything but one bad day. That’s the way I look at it.

As opposed to the last bad long time.

To have that balance and recognize that there’s no judgment here. You shouldn’t stop everything you’ve ever been doing and start doing something new.  Tiny habits is very important. The whole science behind tiny habits is so incredibly beneficial and to your point, to start looking at meat as the condiment instead of the star. If it is a star, then it’s because you’re going out for a steak dinner for your 30th anniversary, then it’s okay. It makes sure it’s grass-fed.

You need to be conscious. What’s even more important is you have to learn how. We were saying from the beginning, getting access to the double-blind randomized trials in ways that are understandable, usable, silly, fun and interesting will be the same kinds of things that excite your palate that does now in the same ways, that have the same texture of things you love but you can eat that will help to build your body rather than break it down. That’s the work we’re doing. That’s what I’m doing with Food Fixr. That’s what we’re doing with Food and Social Sciences and that’s what I’ll continue to do to give people access to this information and to access to optimal health for their bodies forever.

I love that, Dr. Grace. What I will also say is that in my journey to drop that 20 pounds, I have also put on 1 pound of muscle. Even with less protein consumption from traditional meat sources, I’ve been able to keep enough coming in to build muscle at the same time. This is a case study of one person. At the same time, I think that I am proving out everything that I’ve learned through the reading I do, and through the connections I’ve made with people like yourself. I have full belief in the work that you’re doing and I hope that you get to get that app into wide circulation soon so that we can be even more of a resource.

Thank you.

Thank you so much for joining me. This has been my absolute pleasure. I wonder if there’s any closing thought or a word that you’d like to leave our audience with.

This is always a tough one when you want to put one word on things, but I would have to say integrity. Integrity is a core value that I live by and it can be used in so many different ways. The integrity of the product, the integrity of your intention, the integrity of your action, and the integrity of the purchase you’re making, and the intention and action of where it was made. All these things come together.

I would say when you are on your journey looking for optimal health, whether it be someone who is surviving cancer and is reading this right now and needs help, or you’re a college student going to school and don’t know what to eat because you’re doing it for the first time on your own, or you’re found out that you have a new obesity issue that is now called diabetes, there’s hope and you’re not alone. It doesn’t have to always involve drugs that create more effects on your body called side effects than not. Approach the information with a sense of integrity and the intention of knowing that there are people like us out there to help you.

Thank you for closing with integrity. I love that word. I also like to say authenticity, like find the leaders that are leading with authenticity and you can’t go wrong, because they’re telling the truth and their truth and it’s not just spin. I advise my audience to go ahead and check out your socials. That is simply FoodFiXR.com. Grace, thank you so much for joining me.

Absolutely a pleasure. Call me anytime.

I’ll be sure to do that.

I hope that you enjoy this episode and this deep dive into what the future of nutrition could look like here in the United States as we double down and start to put government effort behind serving our populace. With evidence-based food as medicine helps us conquer all of the health challenges that we’re facing in this day and age, many of which are diseases of prosperity, of simply having too much of the not-so-good stuff.

I encourage you, if you enjoyed this episode, to give us a thumbs up, a review, a five-star rating to help us reach more people. If you haven’t already, please subscribe on whatever platform you’re finding this on. On YouTube, click that bell to always so you’re sure to be alerted when we release our next episode. Thank you, now and always, for being a part of this community because together, we can do so much more. We can care more, we can be better, we can be healthier, we can live, survive, and thrive and create the future that we all are proud to live within. Thank you.

 

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