Dr. Kevin runs through his list of the top 10 changes that you can start making today so that you are taking the first steps to a better you today.
“Sugar is really a killer – White Death” – Dr. Kevin Jackson
Rob Heppell: Welcome to the “Your Best You Today” show. I’m your host, Rob Heppell, and I am joined with health expert Dr. Kevin Jackson. Dr. Kevin is a naturopathic doctor and has been helping people find natural solutions to their health issues for over 25 years. With the “Your Best You Today” online radio show, we are going to dive into common health issues and explore natural solutions for them. Welcome to the show, Dr. Kevin.
Dr. Kevin Jackson: Hey, Rob. How you doing?
Rob: Pretty good. Now, since this is our first episode of “Your Best You Today,” can you give us a little bit of background about your career and also about your own story of how you got into naturopathic medicine?
Dr. Kevin: When I was 17‑years‑old, I was struck with a severe form of arthritis. I was actually, at the time, in my second year of pre‑med. I was going to be a medical doctor. I went to my medical doctor for treatment and found that I was given a number of different pills to try and help with the inflammation and the pain I was dealing with but nothing was working. I went a number of times and no results. Eventually, my doctor said to me that I was just going to have to live with this for the rest of my life. I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that.
I just started searching for solutions on my own. I read a book by a naturopathic physician and he mentioned that diet often plays a role in inflammation and was the cause of many different diseases. Just out of desperation started making dietary changes. Within two months, my symptoms were all gone. I went back to my medical doctor. He laughed and said, “Oh no, that’s just a remission period. It’s going to come right back again.” It didn’t come back.
Then, when I went back to my old diet, all the symptoms returned. Then, when I changed again, and started eating the way that I found was a potential solution, my symptoms were gone. I was convinced that there was this cause and effect relationship between food and disease in some people.
That led me down the path to looking for alternatives just generally for health. As a result, I finished my undergrad degree and eventually heard about naturopathic medicine and became a naturopathic doctor a few years later. That’s been my interest ever since.
Rob: Great, I’m sure that you’ve had a ton of experience, success stories, and things like that. I think since this is our first episode, let’s just start.
Give folks a quick little checklist of some simple things that they can do to just get themselves on the right path. I know that with our friendship over the last seven years and counting, with the advice that you’ve given me and our family, we’re eating a lot healthier.
We’ve all lost weight. We don’t have symptoms like we used to for certain ailments. For someone who’s just thinking what are some of the little things I can change. You must have a checklist in your head. Do you have a top 10?
Dr. Kevin: Yes, a top 10 is probably a top 50. There are a number of things, that people can do, in some cases they can be fairly complicated or just little things that will make a dramatic change in their health depending on what the situation is.
Obviously, the first thing that comes to mind is tobacco. We know that stopping tobacco is the greatest benefit to health that a person can do for themselves. Whatever it takes to stop tobacco, it doesn’t matter what you do or how you do it, if you stop, it has profound effects on your long term health, more so than any other single thing, in fact.
That’s probably the most important thing. Most people know that anyway. Maybe they don’t understand just how important that is. If there’s something that you can do with it, if that means taking medications, hypnosis, acupuncture, whatever it takes. The more you try, the better chance you have of succeeding.
Rob: Kevin, one of the things, throughout our show that we’re going to have here is I’m going to, from the everyday person, just say, “Are there other alternatives? Can we back this off slowly?”
If we are talking cigarette smoking, is it OK for me to consider chewing tobacco, or better filters on my cigarette, or is it best to cut it out completely?
Dr. Kevin: I mean the final result should be that you cut it out. If it means that you go to weaker cigarettes, bigger filters, decreasing frequency to accomplish that goal then fine.
Rob: Chewing tobacco brings up other health issues too I suppose.
Dr. Kevin: Absolutely. But if what you’re doing is leading to a net success meaning that you’d end up stopping tobacco in all forms then fantastic. Whatever it takes, that’s the most important thing.
Rob: OK, great. What about…what’s number two?
Dr. Kevin: There’s a number of possibilities that could be number two. But the first thing that comes to mind is caffeine.
We hear so much about coffee these days. It’s a multibillion dollar industry. Coffee is all around us and we hear time and time again good things about coffee, “It’s full of antioxidants, you should drink three or four cups a day. It helps mental clarity.” Really, coffee and caffeine are nasty substances that really do immense harm to our health, long term and short term. Without getting into the details, we’ll be doing this in subsequent shows. We’ll be talking in more specifics.
But caffeine truly is a very, very unhealthy substance to put in your body, and we get it not just from coffee but black tea and green tea, chocolate, yerba matte, and many of our cola drinks. Caffeine really does do a lot of horrible things to the body that cause long term negative health effects, which we’ll be talking more about later on.
Rob: If it’s stopping caffeine could one just go to caffeine‑free or decaf like caffeine‑free soda or decaffeinated coffee or…
Dr. Kevin: Again, if that helps you get to the place of getting away from it altogether, that’s a plus.
Decaf coffee still contains methylxanthines, chemicals which have adverse health effects. Getting away from coffee altogether is a good thing. However, decaf, black or green tea, there’s still a lot of positives with black and green tea.
If you’re drinking decaf, black or green tea, I’d say you’re way ahead of the game and that’s actually not such a bad thing, especially, if you use decaffeination method that involves water. There are chemicals used to decaffeinate drinks and those residues remain in the drink and can be a health concern. But if you use decaffeination methods that involves water, it is effective without the concern of residual chemicals.
As far as soft drinks go, that leads to the third most important thing that comes to my mind and that’s getting rid of sugar. A lot of people would go to a decaffeinated soft drink, but really it’s still a ton of sugar. Your average soft drink or a can of it is somewhere in the neighborhood of eight to nine teaspoons of sugar.
Sugar truly affects us on so many different levels in a very negative way with about a third of the population over the age 18 diabetic, or pre‑diabetic. We really have to look at how we can change this trend, because millions and millions of people are dying prematurely as a result of the effects of sugar. We’ll be talking about this again in depth in further programs. Sugar really is a killer. It is truly white death.
Rob: Now, just expand on that. What about if I take a diet coke, decaffeinated, am I OK?
Dr. Kevin: That leads into another area. Some of these artificial sweeteners like aspartame or Splenda and there are a lot of question marks about these alternatives.
Aspartame or Equal has been shown to have many deleterious side effects or health effects. Ten percent of aspartame converts to formaldehyde in the body. That’s a nasty possibility. If you’re pumping yourself full with formaldehyde in a regular basis, you’re setting yourself up for a premature death for a number of reasons.
Really, we’re talking about trying to stay away from those artificial sweeteners, because Splenda, which is chlorinated glucose, think of chlorine and sugar, not a good option, or bleach and sugar, really unhealthy stuff. Stevia is really the only thing I recommend as a sugar alternative, because it’s very sweet, but it doesn’t have any of the side effects or negative health effects associated with sugar and things like sugar such as honey, molasses, maple syrup, et cetera.
Rob: We expanded that one to include sweeteners, but let’s move onto sticking to our top 10. What would be the fourth one there?
Dr. Kevin: Something that comes to mind is, we hear how bad it is to eat red meat and meat generally is not healthy for us, we should be avoiding it. The research shows that that’s not true.
If you eat pasture‑fed meats, in other words, the animals are fed in a pasture on a regular basis, that it was eating grass, it actually increases the Omega 3 fatty acid content, which is really good. This is the thing that we find in fish that’s really healthy for us. It’s actually been shown that when you eat pasture‑fed meat such as beef, lamb, bison, it’s actually very healthy for you. In a general sense, there’s always exceptions to everything. Meat isn’t so bad if you eat it and it’s pasture‑fed.
Rob: What do you think should be next?
Dr. Kevin: Alcohol is something that we, most of us, imbibe in. It tends to be a social drink for a lot of us, sometimes beyond that.
Some people use it in more unhealthy situations, where they use it as a stress reliever or they use it to help them forget. Alcohol really does have many negative effects on our health. My rule is generally to try to minimize alcohol and not overdo it and not to drink daily.
Some people even just have one glass of wine a day. Again, we’ve been told that red wine is good for us. If we have maybe a glass or two a day, it’s actually good for your health. That’s absolutely untrue. Red wine has a wonderful substance in it called resveratrol. Resveratrol is a powerful antioxidant.
It is great for you but unfortunately, the negative effects of the alcohol on our liver and our general health far exceeds the benefit of the Resveratrol. The negative effect still spills over. As a result, alcohol is not good for us. You’re going to hear out there that red wine especially is a good thing and that we should be drinking it fairly regularly. That’s absolutely untrue, and we should be minimizing our alcohol intake, just for general health.
Rob: I like to partake in different forms of alcohol including in red wine.
Dr. Kevin: I didn’t know that.
Rob: [laughs] This is one of the points that I want to dig into a little bit further. What’s acceptable if I have…From what other people say, one glass of red wine a day is going to keep your healthy.
If your liver collapses, you might have a healthy heart but you’re digestive system is screwed now. Having one glass of red wine everyday versus having three or four glasses of red wine on the weekend at one time, is it one better than the other?
Dr. Kevin: Alcohol is something that our body has to metabolize. It’s mainly metabolized through the liver. It really depends from person to person.
If I’m treating somebody who’s a diabetic, then I’m trying to get them off all alcohol altogether, because alcohol affects insulin levels. Most forms of alcohol contain sugar. That’s going to negatively impact their health, because they have a sugar issue. For the average person out there who doesn’t really have a lot of health issues, having an occasional drink is not a bad thing. My general rule is, try not to ingest it daily. Give your body a chance to recuperate.
My approach is that somebody who drinks one to two glasses everyday is probably in worse shape than the person who has three or four glasses on the weekend, or maybe even a little more, but then doesn’t really drink during the week. The reason for that is, if we drink everyday, it negatively affects our liver, and our liver never gets a chance to catch up. You actually develop fatty liver quite quickly if you drink every single day. Fatty liver is not a healthy situation to find yourself in.
We want to try and avoid that kind of situation. In the ideal situation, you’re probably better to never drink alcohol. For most people, that’s probably not a feasible option. Probably the next best option is to try to space out your alcohol consumption and give your liver a rest.
Rob: Because if you didn’t give me that option, I think this would be the first and the last episode for the show.
Kev, we’ve gone through five. Sure, I can live without tobacco. That’s not a big deal. I’ve been weaning off caffeine and things like that. Also, too, with your help, reducing sugar. I love my meat and red meat, I appreciate that. Some people might be thinking, “Hey. Are we just going to drink water and not eat any red meat?”
I’m glad we’re halfway through our list already and you’re giving some alternatives. I think one thing that’s very important is that we don’t want to go cold turkey on everything here, just knock off the things that you can do.
I think it’s always better to, instead of going cold turkey on something, replace something with something else. If it’s something that’s social like a coffee, maybe replace it with something else. You’re still getting that social element. You’re just consuming something better like, as you said, like the water process decaffeinated hot drink or something like that.
Dr. Kevin: Anytime, you can fill in when you take something out of your diet and you fill in something else, it makes it a lot easier. For example, for people who drink a lot of soft drinks, sometimes it’s difficult to just stop drinking soft drinks. There is a product out there called Zevia. I don’t have any affiliation with this product, by the way. It’s a soft drink that is sweetened with stevia, there’s no negative effect on blood sugar, whatsoever, and you still get the soft drink effect.
They do make a cola that contains caffeine, but they also make a cola that has no caffeine in it. There’s always options out there if you look for them. The same with the caffeine. If you’re in your favorite coffee shop, as I often am, with friends everybody’s drinking coffee. I just order the herb tea or I just order some hot water with lemon. Makes me look a little bit cheap, but I’d sooner be not ingesting the caffeine.
Dr. Kevin: The next thing that comes to mind is multivitamins. People often ask me, “Should I take supplements?”
Again, it’s a long story. We’re going to be discussing this further on later episodes. I recommend that everybody take a good quality multivitamin. Don’t overpay for it, but something that’s decent quality. People say, “Why take a multivitamin?” The common rhetoric to that is, “If you eat properly you don’t need a multivitamin.” Unfortunately, most people don’t eat properly. Plus, the quality of our food has gone down dramatically in the last 100 years.
What I say is take that multivitamin every single day for long‑term prevention. Why? Because it’s like a cheap insurance policy. You get all the nutrients you need every day to function optimally just in case you don’t get it from your food. If you do get it from your food, you urinate it out. You get rid of it.
Rob: There’s no way of overdoing that.
Dr. Kevin: Exactly. With a multivitamin, you can’t get hurt with that. If you’re thinking about long‑term insurance for your health, I think a multivitamin is one of the greatest things a person can do.
The idea is if you take a multivitamin for a year, and then, you stop taking it, it probably didn’t do anything for you. If you are convinced ‑‑ and you really should look into this ‑‑ that you can take this every day for the rest of your life, and it’s not a major expense I think the long‑term effect is very positive, and there are some good studies to show that.
Rob: If people are looking for a multivitamin, is there some things they should avoid?
Are there some bad ones out on the market? Without going through ‑‑ as you said, we’ll dive into these deeper in a future show ‑‑ is there something like a red flag like stay away from multivitamins that have maybe a certain ingredient or something that maybe they’re not as good a quality as something else?
Dr. Kevin: I think there’s definitely variable qualities of vitamins and health products out there. It’s difficult for the average person out there to know what’s good and what’s not good. You’re trying to look for something that doesn’t have a bunch of synthetic vitamins in it, something that doesn’t have a bunch of fillers and chemicals and dyes in it. When you look at the non‑medicinal ingredients in a multivitamin it should be natural substances or nothing else. Generally, I’d say that’s probably what you’re looking for, Rob.
Rob: What about number seven? Where are we at now?
Dr. Kevin: The next thing that comes to mind ‑‑ and this is something I probably talk to a good 35 percent of all my patients about ‑‑ is carbohydrate intake. This is all based on the fact that so many people out there are diabetic, or pre‑diabetic or walking down the road towards diabetes.
We’re surrounded by carbohydrates generally. Those of you who are not familiar with carbs, that’s starchy foods ‑‑ breads, rice, pastas, grains generally, really sweet fruits like bananas, mangoes, papaya, dried fruit. Very sweet foods or high starch foods. Potatoes, yams, sweet potatoes, those kinds of thing.
What they do is when we ingest them it increases our blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels go up, it causes our insulin levels to go up. When insulin goes up, insulin causes a number of problems in the body. We’re going to be talking a lot about this in future programs.
Insulin really is our true enemy, even though it’s a lifesaver for a person with type one diabetes. Insulin is something that we want to try to minimize in our body to try to stay healthy. We can do that by reducing our carbohydrates. There’s been a lot of press over the last 40 years about eating a low fat diet, and we’re seeing now that that is a really inappropriate approach to dieting.
The reason is that when you cut fat out you’re only left with two other things, basically, to fill in. That’s protein and carbohydrates. People only eat so much protein in a day. That means, if they take out fat they increase their carbohydrate intake, typically. Carbohydrates increase our insulin levels and insulin tells our body to store fat.
The net effect ‑‑ and there’s many other negative things we’ll be talking about later on in this program ‑‑ is that when you eat a lot of carbohydrates, for most people, and there’s exceptions to this, it increases the body’s storage of fat. Many other negatives along the way, but carbohydrates we need to cut back on.
Eat good quality proteins, good quality fats, complex carbohydrates like vegetables and nuts and seeds and low sugar fruits. It dramatically changes a person’s health and long‑term perspective as far as health goes.
Rob: Let’s just dive into this a little bit more because I think this is where throughout someone’s day they can make better decisions. I always say, “What’s the better alternative? If I have a choice between this or that, what is the best option?” It’s not always cutting everything completely out.
Dr. Kevin: I think last time you asked me that it’s what’s better, alcohol or caffeine.
Rob: Yeah, and your answer was?
Dr. Kevin: I think I said neither, didn’t I? I can’t remember.
Rob: Yeah. Then, I had to rephrase the question. Say, if I had a glass of beer, a glass of wine, and a glass of rye in front of me. Which one should I have?
Dr. Kevin: Right. I remember that one.
Rob: Water wasn’t included. Your answer was?
Dr. Kevin: I think it was rye.
Rob: Yeah, it was rye.
Dr. Kevin: For the people in the States, that’d be bourbon.
Rob: That’s OK. Going back down the scale, if you’re not wanting that, probably red wine and then the beer.
Dr. Kevin: Yeah. I think, generally, that’s where we went with that.
Rob: Now, we’re talking carbohydrates here in this one so beer is part of that. It was interesting how you said if you cut out your fats you’re only left with proteins and carbs. We rarely default to ingesting more protein. When you go into a corner store or the gas station, they might have a little bit of protein in the cooler, and probably not the greatest, in deli meats and pepperoni and things like that.
The entire rest of the store, whether it’s chips or chocolate bars or bread products, are all on the carbohydrate side. I can see how we’re setting ourselves up for failure, just the way we’ve been marketed to. You know what? The meat doesn’t last as long as the potato chips.
Dr. Kevin: It’s true. Wonder Bread probably lasts about four months even if you don’t refrigerate it. We need to move ourselves away from the carbohydrate intake, and it’s a tough thing for a lot of people because we’ve been told for a number of years that bread is the staff of life. Really, bread is what makes us sick most of the time.
Rob: 100 years ago, though, the bread that they made was probably not so bad. People back then probably ate their two slices of bread with their eggs and their bacon, and they were healthy and they lived a healthier lifestyle. Nowadays the eggs are a little different. If we’re eating organic eggs that’s fine. If we’re eating bacon from organically raised animals that should be OK. Was their bread as bad then as ours is today?
Dr. Kevin: No, not at all. That’s a good point. Back then it was hand‑milled, non‑hybridized grain. The grains that were used 100 years ago had been around for hundreds of years, maybe thousands of years.
Now, here in North America we’ve hybridized our grains. We’ve changed our grains genetically on many levels. They’re not a semblance of what they used to be. We’ve got all these new things being introduced into our diet that our bodies have not adapted to. As a result, that’s a big part of the problem, I think. We pour a bunch of sugar into our bread whereas they didn’t really do that very much back then.
Bread tended to be hearty and it was thick. You had a slice of bread and that’s all you needed. Now, Wonder Bread, you could have 20 slices of that and still be hungry. Things have changed dramatically. It’s a good point.
I think, unfortunately, because we need preservatives in everything so it lasts longer and it’s got to taste good and it’s got to be somewhat addictive, we keep coming back for more, all these things are built into our foods nowadays. It’s playing a role, certainly, in our health, as well, above and beyond there are a lot of carbohydrates in some of these things we’re talking about.
Rob: The great thing is, too, we’re going to, in future episodes, dive into these specifically, give you, as the listener, a chance to make those smart decisions when you’re in the grocery store looking at the shelf.
What may be better? Just make the better choice. I have found over my last five or six years of becoming healthier it’s not always having to cut things out totally.
Here are a couple of choices, make the better choice. From there, always just make the better choice. It’s not that I’m going hungry. You start to enjoy food more, because you’re not having all the other related issues like the sugar highs and the sugar lows and things like that and being sluggish by consuming too many carbs.
Dr. Kevin: If you see your energy crashing at 2:00 in the afternoon it’s an important symptom that most people overlook, and that’s often to do with carbohydrate intake.
Rob: Let’s drive on, Kevin. I think we’re at number eight here.
Dr. Kevin: The next thing that comes to mind on this list would be trying to reduce the pharmaceutical medications.
One thing I see in my practice, especially in seniors, they come into my office and they’re on 10 to 15 medications. When I review the medications, I see where I can probably take them off maybe five of them. There’s no good reason that they’re on them or these medications are causing side effects and making the person actually more unwell. I can prescribe medications, but I rarely do it because there are so many natural alternatives to taking medications.
Sometimes, we have to prescribe medications. They’re life‑saving. For chronic illness, almost never is there a need to prescribe a medication. We’re going to be getting into this in probably a number of episodes down the line here about how we can reduce medications and how we can look at what the side effects of these medications are, and really how efficacious they are. There’s a lot of evidence to show that many of these medications are not effective. We’ll be looking at that down the line, as well.
Rob: Great, I look forward to that. I’m sure there a lot of people who are slugging back a handful of pills, maybe multiple times a day. I know my parents have those little clear plastic things they put all their pills in. It kind of runs their life. If they could be liberated from that and actually live healthier that would be a plus.
Dr. Kevin: My pet peeve is statin drugs, the number one prescribed drug in North America, $22 billion in sales, and really no good reason for anybody to be taking it. Virtually not one person should be taking these meds. We’ll be talking more about that in future episodes.
Rob: What’s the next one? We’re getting close to the end of our list here.
Dr. Kevin: Trans fats have been used predominantly in baked goods and margarines, processed foods, for many years, many decades. There’s so much evidence to show that these things are so harmful to our health. In Canada, they’ve forced all manufacturers to list trans fats. As a result, a lot of the manufacturers just stopped putting trans fats in their products.
Trans fats are truly linked to many, many different health conditions and problems with our cardiovascular system, our heart, et cetera. It’s something that we really want to look for on the labels, assuming that it is labeled. Trans fats are substances which we should never ingest. If you can keep that out of your diet, you’re going to be much healthier for it.
Rob: For the non‑educated person, if you could maybe elaborate a little bit. A few minutes ago, you said fat is OK in our diet. What is the difference between healthy fat versus trans fat? What is trans fat?
Dr. Kevin: Trans fat is a fat that’s been often hydrogenated. That means that they bubble hydrogen gas through the fat, and it changes it to make it a more stable fat. That’s why a lot of margarine has, in the past, used it. It makes the margarine very stable. It stays consistent at a room temperature, for example.
There are many other things that happen along with trans fats in the processing. Basically saturated fat, you can’t have a saturated fat that’s a trans fat. There are some really good saturated fats out there. Even though we hear that saturated fat is bad for us, coconut oil is probably the best thing you can cook with out there, and that’s a saturated fat.
It’s the polyunsaturated fats that can be problematic, because they can become trans fats. If you heat polyunsaturated fats to too high a temperature, it can turn them into a nasty fat, and that can be quite unhealthy for you, as well. The issue is there are many good quality fats out there, Omega 3 fats being the ones that we really want to try to get more of in our diets found in fish, flax seed oil, flax seeds generally, and in pasture fed meats that we talked about before.
Rob: Thanks for that explanation. What about our last one there, number 10?
Dr. Kevin: We need to ingest more good quality protein in our diet. I see a lot of patients come into my office, and they’re deficient in protein.
They’re just not eating enough protein. I see this with a lot of vegans. You can be a health vegan, but it’s a very difficult thing to do. You need to get enough protein, and that can be a tough one. There’s nothing wrong with being vegan. You just have to really watch out for that protein intake. If you multiply your weight in pounds by .37, that will tell you how many grams of protein you should be ingesting every day just to break even with what your body burns up on a daily basis.
If your body burns up all the protein that you’ve ingested and there’s still lot of time left in the day, then, it starts to cannibalize your muscle. It starts breaking down muscle and turning that into the amino acids that it needs to build protein in the body. You need to have a minimum amount of protein every day.
We’ll be talking a lot more about that down the line. Good quality proteins, if you’re a vegan you can use protein powders. You can use non genetically modified tofu. You can use beans and rice, nuts and seeds. They can all give you good quality proteins.
If you’re not vegan, then good quality proteins involve eggs, preferably organic or free range, non‑hormone raised eggs, fish, preferably wild fish, non‑farmed, chicken or turkey, again, preferably free range, organic if you can, and then beef, pork, lamb. Again, same thing, pasture fed, organic when possible. I think we just need to be cognizant of the fact that we need to get a certain amount of protein into our body every day. I think a lot of people overlook that. I see this very commonly in my practice.
Rob: I think we’ll wrap things up. We’ll just whip through this list again. Number one, stop any tobacco use. Number two, stop caffeine, including chocolate. Dramatically reduce all forms of sugar, which is a huge one. Reduce pasture fed organic meats.
Dr. Kevin: Use more of those and reduce the grain fed meats, the regular domesticated meats. That’s right.
Rob: We’ll skip over number five, which is reduce alcohol intake. At least, I think you said it’s OK to have a few extra glasses on the weekend just as long as we’re not drinking it during the week.
Dr. Kevin: I’ll go with that for this time.
Rob: Take a good quality multivitamin. Reduce carbohydrate intake, number seven. Number eight, reduce and, if possible, eliminate pharmaceutical medications.
Dr. Kevin: Just a little caveat on that one. Don’t just randomly throw out your medications.
You need to have some help with this. If you have a naturopathic doctor, or your medical doctor is interested in helping you, you want to be monitored when you’re doing this. You don’t want to just suddenly stop a bunch of medications, because there can be repercussions from that, too.
Rob: As a side note, you, as a naturopathic physician, are also now licensed to be able to prescribe medications.
Dr. Kevin: Pharmaceuticals, that’s correct.
Rob: You are seeing things from both sides. It’s not you’re going to say, “Don’t do that, because those guys do that.” This is something that you can still prescribe. Part of that is when you do that you’re trying to wean them off that.
Dr. Kevin: As I mentioned, sometimes, you need to use medications. They’re lifesaving. They can save a person from suicide, for example.
Antidepressants can be really helpful in people who are suicidal. Too many people are on antidepressant medications. We need to get a lot of these people off those medications because of the severe side effects and the long term repercussions of taking these things. It has to be done in a very systematic way. That’s why I just wanted to mention the caveat there.
Rob: No problem. Number nine, eliminate trans fats from your diet. Number ten, make sure to eat enough good quality protein. That’s a problem I won’t have, because I like my protein. Just making that better choice. We’ve got more on a list that we can cover at another time.
Dr. Kevin: Oh, there are another 50 things we can talk about.
Rob: One thing I think would be interesting to wrap up this episode with, we’ve gone on a little bit longer for this first one but this is something that, when folks come back to this podcast show and start at the beginning, this is a good starter.
Please share with us, if you don’t mind, and obviously, keeping confidentiality in check, what’s a common occurrence that you see with a patient who comes into your office that, to them, has been drastic or life changing? I’m not talking about just the one off.
I’m talking about something that you see over and over again. Maybe just explain a scenario that is similar, but talk about one specific incident where, with one of these ten things besides tobacco, I think tobacco is no‑brainer, just to let the folks know that this stuff really works. It’s not just hocus‑pocus or some airy fairy stuff.
Dr. Kevin: I’ve got thousands and thousands of patients. People come in for many different problems. Some of the most common things I see are low energy, joint pain like osteoarthritis, gastrointestinal symptoms, depression, and anxiety. Those are things I see frequently, blood sugar dysregulation.
A common one is people come in with osteoarthritis. The conventional approach with osteoarthritis is that it’s a wear and tear disease of old age, and nothing could be further from the truth. It’s a wear and tear disease, absolutely, but it’s more caused by chronic inflammation due to the foods that we eat more often than not.
I have hundreds and hundreds of patients who had osteoarthritis who don’t have it anymore, because we made the appropriate dietary changes that have reduced the inflammation in their body, allowed their body to start healing instead of constantly inflaming the joint. As a result, with time, very often, the osteoarthritis heals up and is no longer an issue. These are people who are 30‑years‑old and people who are 90‑years‑old and all the way in between.
Rob: I was going to ask if this is a senior’s issue, but obviously, it’s not if they could be 30 years old.
Dr. Kevin: More often than not, I see people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, plus that have osteoarthritis, but I certainly have seen people in their 30s with it. That’s less often, but it’s a really common problem out there.
People think, “I’m going to have to have my hip replacement somewhere down the line,” and that’s often not the case, especially, if you can get it early. We’re going to be talking specifically about osteoarthritis in one of our shows in the not too distant future.
Rob: That’s great. Is there one thing that people can look at if they’ve been told that they have osteoarthritis? Is there one main culprit that they should identify?
Dr. Kevin: I wouldn’t say that there’s one main culprit, but anything that promotes inflammation, and, for a lot of people, that’s a new approach. Many people don’t realize that food or diet plays a role in inflammation, when, in fact, it’s probably one of the biggest things that causes inflammation in the body.
It’s a matter of assessing what it is that’s promoting that inflammation. We’re going to be talking about some of the causes of inflammation in one of our shows in the next couple of shows. It’s hard to say that there’s one specific culprit, but inflammation is certainly the player. We just have to look at what are some of the common causes.
Rob: This has been great. I really appreciate it. I learn something every time we chat.
I think that’s why I really wanted to get you on the Internet airwaves here and share your knowledge, share your story, and help a lot of people out here. You can only help so many people in your local practice. This way you can reach other people through the Internet, through this podcast and iTunes, et cetera.
Dr. Kevin: Yeah, the more the merrier. If this can help one person who can maybe pass this on to somebody else and help them, then it’s all worth it.
Rob: We’d like to thank you for listening to Your Best You Today show. Check back soon for another episode where we’re going to be diving even deeper into some of these other specific scenarios. Feel free to send us any questions or health related issues that you may have. Just send an email to email@example.com. Dr. Kevin will answer them for you. On behalf of Dr. Kevin Jackson, this is Robin Heppell.