Foods That Prevent Hair Loss | Dr. Neal Barnard Live Q&A
Welcome to the exam room podcast brought to you by the physicians committee hi, I am the weight loss champion, chuck carroll. We appreciate you helping to make the world a healthier place. You know. Research shows that anywhere between 70 to as many as 85 of men will suffer from hair loss and according to the cleveland clinic for women, it’s as much as 50 percent, one out of every two will suffer from what they call significant hair loss. So what can be done to prevent this short of expensive treatments and supplements and things that may not even work?
What is the connection there and is there even a connection with your diet? Well, we are going to find out today with a gentleman who has covered hair loss prevention extensively in his book, your body, imbalance and a lot of it, as you will hear, goes back to hormones. Dr.Neil barnard is here with us today with some ideas on how you may prevent hair loss by changing what it is that you eat. What should you eat? What should you avoid we’re going to find out and if there’s a question that you would like to ask Dr.Barnard go ahead right now and drop that in the comments or in the chat we will get to as many as we can when we open up The doctor’s mail bag here today, you can also send them to me anytime, on twitter or instagram.
I am at chuck carroll wlc and with that it is time to prevent hair loss, and we welcome. Mr Dr Neil Barnard, I should say to the exam room: live sir good to see you again hi great, to see you chuck. Is this something that you worried about, i remember being in my 20s and the idea of losing my hair already started to creep into my mind? Was this ever anything that you lost any sleepover um? Not personally perhaps, but I know exactly what you mean you go into just about any men’s room in any college, dorm or or even in high schools.
You see the guys kind of going up to the mirror and they’re checking around the temples or looking at the their crown and they’re, seeing a little bit of thinning, and that makes them obviously very very nervous um, but uh. What you said leading up to this is exactly right is that there are nutritional links to this that we weren’t expecting even a couple of decades ago. No question about it. So, let’s go ahead and dive right into that open up the doctor’s, mailbag and start taking some questions about this and liv has read your body, and balance wants to go a little bit more in depth with the hormone connection here and hormones and foods directly linked To each other, liv is wondering what are the hormones that are connected to hair loss and how can you help control them with your diet, great question, if you had asked me that question 30 years ago or 40 years ago, the answer would have been. Who knows, we don’t have any link between hormones and hair loss at all?
That has all changed and what really happened was in Japan. Japan, as you know, had a diet based on rice, not too much meat. Very you know some fish back in the 1960s. Virtually no dairy and then mcdonald’s came in and when the golden arches went up, everybody started eating more burgers, more cheese, dairy became a thing, the diet was westernizing and what you have all heard about is that people started gaining weight and they had more diabetes and More heart disease, certain kinds of cancer breast cancer went way way up, but dermatologists started noticing something too. They said you know there wasn’t very much baldness in men or in women in japan, when the diet was a predominantly plant-based diet, but now that the diets change we’re seeing baldness a lot well, was that a fluke?
No, it wasn’t the flu because in korea, in china, in other asian countries undergoing westernization, they saw exactly the same thing. So, what’s going on, there are two different broad categories of the most common kinds of hair loss: male pattern: hair loss is around the temples and the crown and then what’s often called female pattern. Hair loss is really more diffuse and they have two different etiologies, but food is central to both. So, with regard to male pattern, you got the genes, your dna, if you inherited it from your your bald ancestors, you have the genes that that can can lead to baldness, but what sets it off is that the genes are turned on or off by testosterone. So the only reason that women rarely get male pattern baldness is they just don’t have so much testosterone, but if you’re, a man or a woman and something in your diet is making the testosterone more active in an inappropriate way.
The baldness starts to express itself well. What would that be? It’S not just testosterone. Overall, it’s testosterone’s attack on the follicle. It’S not to get.
This will not be on the test, but testosterone is converted to something called dht in the in the hair, follicle and bingo the follicle dies. So what do we do? It looks as if a western-style diet with meat with dairy and fatty foods seems to cause that process to occur more aggressively. Now we need more research on this to be sure, but that pattern seems to cause the the change in the follicles, both in men and in women. Added to this is not just the testosterone hormone, but the insulin hormone when women are insulin resistant in the case say a polycystic ovary syndrome.
They have a diffuse hair loss that can occur and the insulin is reacting with testosterone in a not very helpful way. Okay, so that’s a lot of information. What do I do to calm down the effects of testosterone and insulin? You want the animal products out of your off your plate completely and keep the oils really really low. You’ve heard me talk about this with diabetes when that combination causes the insulin action to be able to be diminished, causes insulin, resistance to be diminished and it causes testosterone to do what you want it to do, but not what you don’t want it to do, which Is to attack the follicle, so that’s a long-winded explanation check, but the bottom line is that diet has a lot to do with the expression of baldness.
There are some people where the genes are just so profound you’re, going to probably get it no matter. What if you’re a man, especially, but it does look like it – can be modulated by food choices, at least for many people all right. Let’s talk about some specific food choices here, so we can kind of dial it down uh to brass tacks. Tim is wondering about this. He wants to know specifically what foods cause, hair loss and so you’ve, given us some broad categories here, so i’m going to throw some suggestions out there to you on tim’s behalf.
So you talk about the standard american diet. One of the first things I think of is the drive-through and that greasy cheeseburger and french fries for lunch. Would you say a person who does that routinely is at a higher risk of suffering from hair loss than somebody who’s opting for a salad, perhaps well, if we look at the the broad patterns that have occurred over time that are associated with this, the big change In I mean there were many changes in the japanese diet, but number one was really dairy, so you go from a pretty much entirely non-dairy diet to one where, where the cheese and milk come in in a big way, these bring in a lot of fat. That will encourage the insulin resistance and as well as having hormonal actions of their own. So, yes, I think your drive-through is exactly right, but the part that I would really focus on is that cheese over the top and then throw away the burger while you’re along that.
So then, I would say pizza, then, which is america’s most popular food by a mile. That is probably something that you’re going to want to avoid as well. Well, you look at kids um who are having pizza. I mean every birthday is pizza time that wasn’t. That was not true a generation ago, but it’s true now, and so these kids are getting a huge amount of saturated fat raises their cholesterol.
It causes the insulin resistance because the fat gets into their cells and it changes them hormonally in a variety of ways, because it contains estradiol that came from the cow in the milk, and it also causes their testosterone to act up. If, if we believe the epidemiology all right so so, yes get rid of the pizza, get rid of the pizza unless, unless, unless it’s a vegan pizza, nutritional yeast is not associated with hair loss. As far as we know, so you put that on skip that skip the uh skip the cheese. You read my mind here um. I think that a portion of our audience then is wondering well what about those vegan cheeses?
Obviously, they don’t contain dairy, but if you flip them over, you look at the nutrition facts. You’Re going to see they, they still are really loaded in saturated fat, they’re, high in fat and calories altogether. I know that you also said that more research is needed, but based off of what we know right now. What would your hypothesis be as far as whether or not they could still be a contributor toward hair loss? Okay, great question: all right, um!
Yes, we do need more research, but if you have to say all right, I got ta go based on the evidence that i have now. What do I do? I would definitely throw out the animal products keep oils low when someone says vegan cheese. Remember that vegan cheese is a transition food, it’s if you’re vegan. Already it’s not designed for you.
It’s designed to seduce a meat-eating cheese-loving person into realizing that they don’t need dairy cheese. So it’s kind of their methadone. You know they’re they’re, an addict. You give them the vegan cheese and they realize oh. I didn’t need that, but as time goes on, you go beyond that to healthier foods, so um.
If you’re having vegan cheese um, I would first look at the label. If it’s made with coconut oil, throw it out, I mean that that’s just going to raise your cholesterol. You don’t need that at all. If it’s made with cashews or more healthful kinds of foods – okay, fine, but it’s still a transition food. It’s there for parties um and to help you during the transition and then after that, you find you get beyond it all right.
So now we’ve talked about the foods that are really connected to the testosterone, which seems to be the driving factor here with hair loss. But you know I think back to, as far as I can remember, and turning on the TV and seeing advertisements for all kinds of quick ideas for products that can reverse hair loss or stop it. I mean right down to. I think there was something called the hair club for men um, which, which kind of makes me laugh, but regardless walt has a very serious question. That, I think, is the natural progression in our conversation here today and walt is wondering whether you can reverse hair loss.
If you start to eat that healthier diet, you take that fat. You take that oil, you take the dairy out of your diet. Can new hairs start to sprout um? We don’t for sure. We don’t entirely know the answer to that, because everything we have is really anecdotal there, but the short answer is if the hair look.
First of all, if the hair loss is being propelled by a bad diet, a diet that causes insulin, resistance, um, you could see this a long ways away. A typical situation would be a woman, who’s gained some weight and the insulin resistance in her body is causing this. This hair loss that she’s really worried about it’s kind of diffuse all over the head, um or if the excessive action of of testosterone on the follicle is caused by a western diet. Then yes, um, let’s, let’s uh, give it a chance to at least stop the progression beyond that point, but but insulin resistance is something that can be reversed, and so, if we go along uh with a diet that reduces the insulin resistance, what does that mean? No animal products keep the oils really low.
That’s what changes the cell, then we do believe that there’s hope that the hair loss can be reversed. Tell you an anecdotal situation. Years ago I was at a an entirely vegan restaurant. There was a person who had started this restaurant because he himself had had a health scare, went on a totally plant-based diet and helped him enormously, and we got talking about hair and um, because I was doing some writing on it at the time and he said. Wait a minute it just stopped in his tracks.
He realized that not only had had a plant-based diet made, his cholesterol go down, but he realized his hair loss had reversed and he wasn’t having these hair loss issues anymore. Now that’s an n of one and I don’t think we want to make too much of it other than to say you could try it uh in your own life and you can see what happens. One other thing I do want to mention. There’s we’ve talked about male pattern: baldness female pattern, baldness, which is more diffuse and there’s there’s a third one, alopecia areata, which is more spotty hair loss, and this has been the news a lot because of the academy awards, incidents and that kind of thing. In that case, it’s a third issue.
It’s autoimmune and autoimmune means that something in your body is triggering a reaction, and we’ve talked about this with say: rheumatoid arthritis, where something in your body is triggering antibodies to form that attack your joints. They can attack the skin too. These antibodies can attack the follicles, and so, let’s say, for example, um for purposes of argument – somebody’s sensitive to gluten. Well, if the gluten sensitivity may mean that they’re making antibodies, they can then attack their follicles, but it doesn’t have to be gluten. It could be something else, and when you avoid the inciting food, then you’ve got a chance of getting having that alopecia go away too.
What the heck food would it be? Um, it’s a it’s a pretty typical list for almost all the autoimmune conditions. It starts with dairy and meat and eggs, but it includes other things too, like wheat or tomatoes or citrus. These are not unhealthy foods, but if you’re allergic to strawberries, you just can’t have a strawberry, and so so we go down that road as well. You know so uh again going back to the fat part of this conversation.
We talked about a lot of the unhealthy fats. There are a number of people, uh exam roomies, who are tuned in right now in the chat room who are talking about uh well, nuts and seeds have anecdotally, they say uh really helped add a little bit of shine and health to their hair um is there Any research to back that up or is it kind of anecdotal, as the comments are suggesting sorry, anecdotal, yeah, exactly exactly it doesn’t mean you can’t have a nut but to to make this to give more luster to your hair when it comes fair enough uh. Let’s talk about another kind of uh health when it comes to the hair, uh dandruff man that can be just as embarrassing as it gets. I remember being a young kid and developing dandruff at a very early age matter. Of fact it was about the first time I became aware that I was a little bit unhealthy and I remember just kind of shaking my head and being like.
Oh, it’s snowing um, it’s embarrassing and a lot of people suffer from it and barbara is wondering whether there’s a connection between a person’s diet and dandruff could one be driving the other well with dandruff. We often see this in times of hormonal changes. Um and you see this this at adolescence, often and other times your hormones are shifting and to the extent that diet changes can calm down those shifts, then there’s a possibility that it could help. I have not seen any good trials on whether say a plant-based diet could reduce standard, but it’s but on the other hand a plant-based diet is good for getting hormones back in balance in general. Now, when I say a plant-based diet, it’s not just getting away from the animal products which is really important and that’s the place to start, but also keeping the oils really low because they affect our hormones too.
All right! Let’s go ahead and switch gears a little bit we’re going to open up the doctor’s mailbag talk about a few other things. But if there’s a comment again that you would like to submit a question for dr barnard go ahead and post that in the comments or in the chat – and we will get to as many as we possibly can again here today, uh, but before we take the Next question a couple of things: uh one: there is a link for you to order your copy of your body and balance right now in the show description, so go ahead and click on that, if you’re watching this on youtube or on facebook, if you’re listening to The podcast, it’s in the episode notes, so just scroll right on down pick up your copy gon na go way more in depth in the book when it comes to hair loss prevention than we have gotten to here on the show today. So there’s a lot more to it, but I also want to share uh Dr Barnard, a really nice message that was sent to us uh from an exam roomie by the name of Michelle, and this is just it’s so great. I wanted to share it with you.
Michelle writes, thank you chuck and dr barnard. I am a 61 year old woman originally from detroit who is now living in japan for the last 36 years. I have lost about 13 pounds since i’ve been here. We eat so many different kinds of vegetables and rice and not a lot of fats, even healthy fats like nuts and seeds. She says my triglycerides have gone down from well over 200 to right.
Around 147.She is so very proud to report, dr barnard, that her own doctor says she is very, very healthy, so uh really really good news. I love getting feedback like that from exam roomies, pretty cool huh! That’S fantastic! Congratulations!
All right! Uh! Next question: let’s take one from uh harsh fidon, who was wondering he’s been uh deficient in b12 for a little while wondering how much b12 should should somebody take if they have been deficient for some time. Wow. Okay, great question: um: you need vitamin b12.
You need it for healthy nerves, you need it for healthy blood and uh b12 is something uh that it’s actually it’s an unusual vitamin it’s not made by plants, it’s not made by animals, it’s made by bacteria, and so many people will say that, prior to the Advent of modern hygiene, the bacteria in the soil or on the plants we would pull out of the soil might give us traces of b12 of them. Maybe but modern hygiene takes that off the table. Now meat eaters will get some b12 because there are bacteria in the cow’s gut and the b12 that they make will get in the meat and the milk, but but they can get deficient too because the b12 that’s in meat products, is tightly adherent to to meat Proteins and it’s a little hard for your body to pull it off and if you don’t have stomach acid or very much stomach acid or maybe you’re on an acid blocker. These people will be lower in b12 or, if you’re, on metformin, which is the most common diabetes oral medication. People end up b12 deficient too, and if you’re on a completely vegan diet, then you can end up low in b12.
The answer, of course, is to supplement now you were saying you’re deficient. So if you’re deficient, do not fool around with this see a doctor get in under a doctor’s care, because if b12 deficiency is progressing sometimes a the first symptoms can be neurological symptoms that are irreversible b. It’S really really easy to diagnose and treat so there’s no reason to fool around with this stuff. So, let’s say you’re seriously deficient. Your doctor has looked at blood tests and found that you’re very deficient.
The doctor is going to you can deal with this in a couple ways. Um often it’s an injection and your doctor will want to see you every day for several days and give you an injection and then once a week and then maybe once a month after that, um for uh patients. A newer approach is using very large oral doses, but if you are deficient get under a doctor’s care, the amount that for people who are not deficient need is very small, 2.4 micrograms per day very, very little. But if you have been scrupulously avoiding your b12 supplementation and for a long long period of time, then you’re deficient you’re going to need more than that, but you need a doctor to prescribe it uh.
Let’S take a follow-up question here from anisha. This is a really good one wants to know if my soy milk is fortified with b12. Do i still need to take a supplement, great question. In theory, no uh, because the soy milk is providing it, but look at the amount and look at how much of this you’re actually consuming. If it will say on the carton how much of the daily amount is in there and if you’re getting getting that amount in theory, you should be all right, but i got to tell you b12 deficiency is so easy to avoid that my recommendation is that people, Don’T fool around with it.
Just get a supplement. Now i mentioned the amount you need is 2.4 micrograms. You go to the store, you look at the b12 supplements and there they have like a thousand micrograms or 5 000. You think dr brennan said the rda is 2.
. Why you know? What do i need 5 000 micrograms and the answer? Is you don’t uh? If you’re not b12 deficient, so uh you can go online, get the smallest one.
They sell, maybe might be 100 micrograms. Take that every day, if it’s more than about 500 micrograms, most people would say take it, maybe once every other day, because it’s such a high dose all right. That is a phenomenal answer and we’ve talked about how much you should be taking every day. But denise is wondering well when you go in to get your levels checked. What should that number be?
Okay, um? Have your doctor interpret it for you, because your doctor is going to take more than one test. Your doctor will look at b12 levels, but they also look at other tests that look at b12 action. They’Ll describe these to you, but the probably the most common one you’re going to hear about is called mma and they will give you a lab slip that has little the goal posts in there that you want to be between, but sit sit down with your doctor And talk about what that means for you, don’t let yourself get low okay bottom line message if you’re healthy, if everything’s fine and you just started a vegan diet, take a b12 supplement. They’Re they’re, cheap they’re.
They, if they don’t have negative side effects i’ll get the smallest one that you can can buy, which is usually around 100 micrograms and just take that and there’s nothing else you have to worry about. If, for some reason, you have become deficient because you’re taking metformin you’re, taking an acid blocker, you’ve um had a surgery or something that led to to the loss of your ability to to absorb it. Whatever the case may be, in that case, be guided by your doctor and take your doctor’s advice, uh lois, which form of b12, should we be supplementing with any form um, you will hear yeah um the reason i say this is: if you go online, you’ll see People arguing, maybe there’s cyanocobalamin, that’s one form um and there are others um that are out there, they’re all effective um. The reason this came up is cyanocobalamin gets its name from cyanide, and that sounds terrible, which would be if you would get a substantial amount of cyanide you don’t it’s a trivial amount, that’s naturally in in the compound. So any kind of b12 is okay.
The real thing here is the amount, as i described all right and uh tofu tuesday just wants to say a quick. Thank you for the reminder to take her vitamin b12. Today, um, let’s jump from vitamin b12 to vitamin d and take a question from richie here. Richie is wondering what is the best vegan foods for vitamin d, um, anything that you eat outside. So i’m going to kid you a little bit here.
Get some asparagus. Get some beans get a get an orange and go outdoors for about a half hour on a nice sunny day, roll up your sleeves open up your shirt collar a little bit and eat the food, and what you’ll discover is you got a nice dose of vitamin D, not from the food, you got it from the sun, that’s the natural source! Okay, so let me be clear: vitamin d is made from sunlight, hitting your skin and that’s what causes it to be to be formed. The amount in foods is usually pretty trivial um. If you are living in fargo north dakota, where i grew up and it’s february and you’re never going out in the sun or even in july and august, when you’re using a sunscreen that blocks the formation of the vitamin d.
In that case, you take a supplement. Most doctors would say a supplement up to about 2 000 international units. A day is okay, a lot of people will counter, they will say. Well, look, you know we need to drink milk, we need to eat dairy for vitamin d, but the milk that’s sold in stores. That’S been fortified with the has it not.
You know. There are a lot of things. People will say. Well, milk has iodine. It’S got vitamin d, it’s got uh various things yeah.
These are things dumped in at the factory um and you may as well. Do this in a more helpful way yourself, which you can do and once again vitamin d comes from sunlight on the skin. This was never an issue for humanity during our sojourn on earth. When we were happily living in eastern africa, there was so much sunlight that the vitamin b12 deficiency wasn’t really a big issue. But human beings being restless, migrated out of africa and spread around the earth, including to places where the sunlight was in pretty short supply.
And that’s where the need for supplementation came in all right: let’s stick with the dairy alternatives here. Take a question from maria maria writes. I’Ve been vegan for years and years recently started to eat more vegan cheese, because its taste has improved a lot, but does vegan cheese cause cancer like dairy cheese, probably not cancer um, because dairy cheese, as you know, comes from dairy milk. Milk comes from the cow. The cow is impregnated every year the cow’s pregnancy lasts nine months and during that pregnancy they are milked during during much of their pregnancy, so they are cranking out estradiol that gets into the milk and that ends up in the dairy cheeses, plant-based cheeses.
Don’T have that. Luckily, but as i was mentioning earlier, if they are made from coconut oil, they are so high in saturated fat that there’s going to be an effect on your cholesterol level. For most people and the fat in general is going to cause other issues. It’Ll cause weight, gain, it’ll, cause insulin, resistance, so those are treats, and i really use them as a transition food for a person for whom life without cheese was not worth living. What you discover is, frankly the vegan cheeses are great.
Nowadays i mean they are so delicious that they make many people want to have them forever, but think of it as a transition toward healthier eating all right. Let’S uh, let’s talk uh about talking to your doctor. Why not? This is always a really good one, and it comes up from time to time. Today it comes from israel who wants to know what can i tell my doctor when they tell me not to eat a vegan diet.
Uh great question: i’m happy to say that that’s a question that comes up a little bit less than it used to, because doctors nowadays really know that a vegan diet is great and part of the reason that i’ve been tracking. This is, we do research studies here, and we also, as you know, have a clinic here – the barnard medical center, and so we have patients referred to our studies and to our clinic and it used to be. The doctors were nervous about vegan. Nowadays, they all know that the patient who’s following a vegan diet, a plant-based diet. I mean that is the healthiest patient, that they have so they’ve.
Seen the results, and so i would say 97 out of 100 are very, very enthusiastic about the patient. Who says i’m going vegan? It just makes everybody’s life so much better. Okay, but if your doctor is for some reason encouraging you not to do it um, the first thing to find out is why what is the doctor’s issue? Because if the doctor is just reasoning from kind of 1950s um sort of pre-modern age, nutritional understanding thinking, you won’t get protein or you’ll miss out on iron, that’s a doctor who just needs some education.
We have that through our nutrition guide for clinicians, through our international conference on nutrition in medicine, which is coming up in august through our nutrition cme, continuing medical education programs that doctor just needs some education or a book, or something like that, um uh. However, if the doctor’s got some uh specific issue, not nine times out of ten doctors can sort that out, because there is never a case where meat or dairy or eggs are required in the diet and uh ic m. The international conference on nutrition and medicine, which you were just uh referencing coming up august 18th through the 20th. I do know that seating this year is limited. So if you want to join us in washington dc for three phenomenal days with, like 30 speakers uh who who just run the gamut, it’s a virtual who’s who of awesomeness when it comes to nutrition, knowledge, pcrm,
Org icnm is the website to go to to register for the conference.
Pcrm.Org icnm just remember those four little letters sign up and we do hope to see you there and the cool thing. Dr barnard is uh. I will be recording a lot of episodes of the exam room throughout the conference, so, if somebody’s watching this today and exam room wants to pop by and see the show live in person, there’s absolutely going to be the opportunity to do that. In addition to the likes of dr dean, ornish we’ll be presenting uh dr kim williams will be presenting and, i believe, he’s receiving an award uh.
The food is through the roof. I know you will be presenting uh dr hana kaliova frequent guest. She will be there. Cyrus cambada robbie barbaro mastering diabetes like i said it is a who’s who uh will be there and um. I forget how many of these we’ve done now, but they seem to get better every single year.
I expect this year will be no exception. Yeah. Thank you. Chuck for mentioning that we’re really really excited about it. You know it’s been virtual for two years in a row now we are back together and in a way you know, i think it’s gon na be our best one, not just because of the speakers you mentioned, although you’re right, dean ornish is going to be with Us kim williams, we have a whole panel on diet and covit from the leading, coveted researchers and a new researcher has just uh joined in emily.
Bailey did some amazing survival studies on the virus on meat products and is going to be there live in person telling us about her. I have to say quite disturbing findings, um that are going to really shake people up. This just came out about a week ago, but yeah universal meals. The universal meals program is not only being debuted, but the universal meals will be served. So it’s going to be the most exciting thing, so i hope people will join us and, as you said, chuck a seating is going to be limited, we’re socially distancing.
So it’s going to be a smaller crowd and, frankly, for the people who are there, it’s going to be very cool, you’ll, be able to rub elbows or i guess, can you socially distance rub elbows, not sure how that works, but you’re going to be in a Smaller group, with our speakers um it’s in most years, it’s a thousand people eleven hundred we’re going to try to cut it way way down uh. If we can well it’s it’s regardless of how many people uh we’re limited into two this year. It’S a privilege for everyone who is there um, because you do learn so much. I’Ve never seen anyone walk away, who isn’t super inspired and, as i like to say, had their health iq raised and not just raised by a point or two i mean we’re talking through the roof uh these three days are just incredible, so we do hope to See you there um, we have a little bit more time left in the show here today. So let’s try to get to a few more questions before we wrap things up and uh.
We often talk about mushrooms on the show and when we do you always say well, look you know you should really make sure that they are cooked before you eat them. We had one exam roomy who wrote in and was like well why i like them raw. So why should we be cooking mushrooms? Okay, some people have talked about cooking mushrooms because of traces of toxins that could be in the mushrooms um, always a good idea, but with mushrooms in in particular. The issue really is that the sort of biological casings in in the mushrooms that the cell walls are make the nutrients inside the mushroom, pretty much unavailable to you unless you cook it in advance that breaks them down and makes it more more nutritious there you go Love maximizing nutrition and mushrooms uh are one of the like.
I consider them to be one of the best foods uh to add to a salad whether they’re, sauteed uh. I mean i really like them. Sauteed i’ve i’ve even sliced them up and and done them in the airfryer with uh. It sounds a little weird, but just a little nutrition yeast on there too and they’re quite tasty, especially if they’re shiitake, but anyway put them on your pizza um. They go well on pizza, they go well in all kinds of casseroles and soups and so forth.
So yeah the mighty mushroom gets neglected. But it’s a it’s a cool food, a great brain food too, absolutely phenomenal brain food uh. You know what else i, like a lot of people, do: uh sweet potatoes. So let’s take a question here from lynn. Lynn is wondering what can i put on a baked sweet potato instead of butter if i’m eating a low-fat vegan diet to try to lose weight?
Ah, what a great question well, first of all, that sweet potato has been trying to impress you just on his own, because the sweet potato is sweet, so you don’t really have to put anything on it. If we grew up with kind of adding grease to things you just leave it off, maybe puree the the sweet potato a little bit to make it a little creamy. What you’ll discover is your tastes? Adapt. You don’t want anything on it, you just like it.
Just as it is two other tips, though uh one thing is, you might put a little breaks aminos on. If you ever tried these um go to the health food store right next to the soy sauce is a product called bragg’s, aminos, b-r-a-g-g aminos. It’S like soy sauce, it’s a soy product, but you spray it on broccoli or on kale or sweet potatoes, and it gives them this lovely taste with no added fat and the other thing is serve sweet potatoes with something else so you’re having sweet potatoes with broccoli, Sweet potatoes with chard or some of the green vegetable. For some reason, the combination of green vegetables and orange vegetables makes the whole plate a lot more, not just nutritious but really delightfully delicious as well. That rhymed.
That was like a doctor’s nutrition moment right there. Okay, i’m on board with that um. Okay, let’s take perhaps what is our most important question of the day? In all seriousness, this one is from rich and rich is wondering: how should someone who has type 2 diabetes start eating a plant-based diet? Oh wow, what a great question um!
That question has really come up ever since 1999, when we published our first study on a plant-based diet for type 2 diabetes and showed how dramatically powerful it could be. The first thing is to not wait and don’t do it halfway. Do it all the way because type 2 diabetes is not what we thought it was. We used to think it was something that would always progress and get worse and worse and worse now we know that it can improve. People can reduce their medication.
You sometimes get off their medicines completely. In some cases, all traces of the disease are gone. For all intents and purposes, that’s not going to be the case. If you do it kind of part way. So here’s how we do it at the barnard, medical center or in our research studies.
People come in. They want to get rid of their diabetes or improve it to the extent they can, but they’re kind of nervous. Am i going to enjoy this diet? Will i feel good with it step one you take seven days and during this seven day period, don’t take anything out of your diet, just use the seven-day period as a chance to test out foods that you would eat if you were following a completely plant-based diet. So take a piece of paper and make a list of these foods for breakfast for lunch for dinner, and so after seven days, you’ll have written down whatever you liked: um oatmeal, with cinnamon and raisins, or veggie sausage or veggie bacon, or the breakfast burrito or whatever It might be you’ve got a good list after seven days, so so take time to make your list of foods that you like step two take three weeks and do it all vegan all the time.
But it’s only three weeks and it’s easy because you’ve already got your list and at the end of that time two things will have happened. First of all, physically you’re changing. If you’ve had diabetes, you will have found in most cases that your blood sugar is already starting to drop. That’S important make sure you’re in touch with your doctor, so your doctor can bring your medicines down at the appropriate time because you’re now on the world’s most powerful diet and if you’re still on powerful medicines insulin, for example, you’re going to get hypoglycemic. So your doctor will say: okay, let’s let the diet work, let’s back you down on your drugs you’re, going to think this is great, of course, because your goal is to reduce your medicines and that’s what will happen, but the other thing is not only are you Physically going to change, you’re going to lose weight and your blood sugar comes down, but in addition to that, your attitude will change.
You haven’t had chicken wings for three weeks, you’re going to discover you don’t care about them anymore, and that is a great thing to give yourself a three week period without animal products does a reset on your taste and it gives you real power. So plant-based diet keep the oils really low. This is important, don’t forget your b12 and that’s a healthy regimen, all right and uh. Let’S take a trip to south africa grab a question from ricky who is wondering whether magnesium can help lower blood pressure? Maybe um?
Yes, uh magnesium plays a role in blood pressure, but i wouldn’t start there and i wouldn’t be supplementing magnesium hoping that it’s going to take the place of drugs. It will not. If you have high blood pressure. First of all recognize it’s dangerous. Uh can lead to stroke can aggravate heart disease.
It can affect your kidneys lots of reasons to keep your blood pressure in a normal range. So, in addition to whatever treatments your doctor is giving you the diet. Side of it starts, as you know, by reducing sodium good idea, reduce salty foods that you might get in a can reduce salt use at the table, but that will only get you so far. A plant-based diet adds to that because it helps trim off excess weight which will bring help bring your blood pressure down, but also the thickness of the blood. The viscosity of the blood drops too and when a vegan diet reduces the blood thickness, the blood pressure comes down even more so follow your doctor’s advice, implement these diet changes and, as your doctor monitors, you there’s a good chance that your doctor will start diminishing your Medication, too, because the diet is doing the work for you all right and let’s wrap things up today by quickly rattling off a list of of a few foods.
And if somebody asks well uh uh do these likely prevent hair loss or do they likely cause hair loss? They will have an answer so we’ll we’ll just go with a simple, yes or nose. Uh nash was wondering whether uh broccoli would be a pro or uh whether you would say yeah. This is something you would eat to prevent, or probably something you want to avoid broccoli where, where do we start green light, green light, kale green light, too? Double cheese, pizza, [, Music, ]: you don’t even need to think about that one that has got a double red light on it.
Yeah you want to avoid that chili cheese dog. Oh i’m, sorry to break your heart red light: okay, uh, carrots, green light, quinoa! Absolutely! No problem there, too, a chalupa with extra sour cream. If you could make that vegan and get rid of all that darn sour cream, you could probably rehabilitate it.
But if you haven’t that’s a that’s a red light too all right and we could probably go down that list for days, but you can probably draw your own conclusions here so again, just to kind of wrap things up here. Dr barnard, we’re looking to really uh, reduce the fat and get all of the animal products, the meat, the dairy out of the diet and really just again, as we talk about here kind of week in and week out, gravitate toward that healthy, more whole food plant-based Diet and uh really that’s going to put your hormones in pretty good shape, to try and give you the best possibility of uh. You know keeping that luscious locks on top of the the old dome yeah, you know, um, we have our genetics. That will kind of lay the groundwork for us, but can play a role, and i i i will never forget uh when i was first getting involved in plant-based diets, and i talked to my family about it. I come from north dakota and there’s seven people in my family a number of years later my mother said now you’re my only boy who never lost his hair.
She said neil, i think it’s because of the way you eat um and i thought my mother was right in so many things, and maybe that was one of them too. Who knows bottom line? Research has caught up with us and we now know a lot about um, the biochemistry of the hair follicle. Just as we know about our coronary arteries and other parts of our body. We know how they’re affected by hormones and how those hormones in in turn are affected by the foods we eat.
So, let’s put it to work and just remember mama always knows best. Isn’T she [ Laughter, ] yeah? I think my mama did i’m sure yours did too no doubt about it. Let’S go ahead and close up the doctor’s mailbag and before we close up the show today, i would like to say a huge thank you to the gregory j writer memorial fund for their continued support of the exam room live which is helping to raise our health Iqs today and makes this episode possible, because it is the support of the gregory j rider memorial fund, that it doesn’t just support uh. This show it supports organizations like the physicians committee that carry on the love that greg had for animals by promoting plant-based health and working to end animal abuse.
While emphasizing programs that promote systemic change and also benefit people. And if you have not yet been to their website, please do when i tell you that they are doing some extraordinary things. I’M not joking. Around whatsoever, uh, the team there led by alison mahoney, just works tirelessly on all of these incredible incredible efforts. So please visit their website to see everything that they’re doing.
You can visit them online right now at gregoryriderfund.org, that’s gregory writer spelled r-e-i-t-e-r fund dot, org and, as always, dr barnard, they are absolutely near and dear to our hearts. It’S it’s hard to say that there are finer human beings on this earth than those at the writer fund. You said it greg was such a wonderful person. Allison has really carried on his spirit and his values in such an incredible way and we’re so uh.
So grateful to to you, allison and and last bit of housekeeping today, if you are in need of a good plant-based doctor or dietitian, to help take your health to the next level. Why not try the barnard medical center schedule your appointment today, telemedicine visits are available. Insurance is accepted, schedule your appointment today at barnardmedical.org or call 202-527-7500, and if you like. Today’S show you feel like you did raise that health iq by a point or two be sure to like this video and subscribe to this channel.
And we would greatly appreciate it and dr barnard, i greatly appreciate you being here today my friend well, thank you chuck great, as always, and to the crew behind the scenes that makes the magic happen. Thank you all for doing so and doing so so well and for everyone here at the physicians committee. I am the weight loss champion, chuck carroll. We will talk to you again very soon, but until then keep it plant-based.
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