The Doctor's Farmacy with Mark Hyman, M.D.

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The Real Reason For America’s Obesity Crisis And Chronic Disease Epidemic with Dr. David Kessler

Only about 12% of Americans are considered “metabolically healthy.” That means the other 88% of us aren’t meeting basic medical guidelines for things like blood pressure, blood glucose, cholesterol, and other markers of metabolic health. Which percentage do you fall into? When it comes to answering that question, one common factor is how many fast carbs you’re consuming. These are the carbohydrates that have been processed—yes, that includes sugar—but it also means starches like refined flours and other processed grains. Whole wheat bread is indeed a fast carb. 


This week on The Doctor’s Farmacy I sat down with Dr. David Kessler to break down the differences between fast and slow carbs, how they affect our health, how our diet became so inundated with fast carbs and what we can do to regain metabolic strength. Dr. Kessler served as commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration under presidents George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He is the author of A Question of Intent and The End of Overeating, a New York Times bestseller. He is a pediatrician and has been the dean of the medical schools at Yale and the University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Kessler is a graduate of Amherst College, the University of Chicago Law School, and Harvard Medical School.


This episode is sponsored by AirDoctor and AquaTru. We need clean water and clean air not only to live but to create vibrant health and protect ourselves and loved ones from toxin exposure and disease. That’s why I’m teaming up with AquaTru and AirDoctor to offer you the AquaTru Water Purification System and AirDoctor Professional Air Purifier systems at a special price. Learn more at www.drhyman.com/filter.


Here are more of the details from our interview: 


  • Why 87% of Americans are metabolically unhealthy (7:03)


  • What are fast carbs and how do processed carbohydrates affect us? (12:38)


  • The glycemic index of bread is higher than that of table sugar (18:41)


  • How processed carbs made from grains, corn, and wheat became the foundation of our diet (19:34)


  • The food industry’s resistance to clear ingredient lists and labels on food (23:20)


  • What are slow carbs? (26:02)


  • Why we should all be able to get behind the idea of limiting fast carbs (32:00)


  • Dr. Kessler’s own struggle with his weight, our tendency to turn to comfort foods in stressful time, and why it’s so difficult to break the vicious cycle that results from eating fast carb (33:29)


  • The need for additional reform to the government’s dietary guidelines and how regulation differs in its oversight of the food industry vs the tobacco industry (41:08)


  • Industry will follow the consumer (57:39)


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