Why You Need To Read Food Labels, with Dr. Mark Hyman

Dr Daniel Amen and Tana Amen BSN RN On The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast

In this fourth and final episode of a series with “Food Fix” author Dr. Mark Hyman, he and the Amens discuss the ways that you can become more aware and educated about how what you eat affects you and the world at large. In order to be part of the solution and not the problem, you must avoid the ingredients that are causing harm (such as ingredients that are hard to pronounce) and take small or large steps towards a global shift of health and wellness.

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Dr Daniel Amen: Welcome to the Brain Warrior's Way Podcast. I'm Dr. Daniel Amen.
Tana Amen: And I'm Tana Amen. In our podcast, we provide you with the tools you need to become a warrior for the health of your brain and body.
Dr Daniel Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is brought to you by Amen Clinics where we have been transforming lives for 30 years, using tools like brain SPECT imaging to personalize treatment to your brain. For more information, visit amenclinics.com.
Tana Amen: The Brain Warrior's Way Podcast is also brought to you by BrainMD where we produce the highest quality nutraceuticals to support the health of your brain and body. To learn more, go to brainmd.com.
Dr Daniel Amen: All right, welcome back. We are here with our dear friend, Dr. Mark Hyman, and he's very excited.
Tana Amen: Yeah!
Dr Daniel Amen: About changing the world.
Tana Amen: Audacious.
Dr Daniel Amen: That's one of the reasons we love him.
Tana Amen: It's good.
Dr Daniel Amen: And let's talk about what people can do individually to begin to get this country going in the right direction, rather than the wrong direction, which we're clearly headed in now.
Dr Mark Hyman: Yeah, I think awareness is really important in education and I can tell you that even someone like me and even you guys, a lot of this stuff is shocking and was new for me. The way in which our food system is broken. The way in which it's contributing to so many of our issues of health and economic woes, climate change, and lots more, and I think becoming aware of how these are connected is important. So my book is a great resource, Food Fix, but I think there's a lot of other great things you can learn. Being educated is really important and then the second piece is, think about what you can do as an individual to change your habits, your diet, your choices, your things. We talked about this in the last segment, which is things like learning about regenerative agriculture and how do you buy more foods that are going to be adding to the solution instead of harming the planet and harming health.
Dr Mark Hyman: How do you become more politically active? How do you become active in your local community organizations, churches, schools, workplaces, etc. How do you start a compost pile, a community garden? These are all things you can do, but I also think that people have to understand that this is going to take time but your voice really matters and you can do something about it. And then we think an individual doesn't really matter, but my friend Bonnie Hari who's sort of a food activist, sort of got up in arms about all the chemicals in our food and how Starbucks Carmel Macchiato or whatever has toxic caramel carcinogens and she outed them. So then she shames these big companies into changing and they change.
Tana Amen: That's so funny.
Dr Daniel Amen: So use your voice, and then we have some tips here, avoid anything with ingredients that are difficult to pronounce. Anything that didn't exist in your grandmother's day, maybe even your great-grandmother's day, depending on how old you are. Avoid anything containing soybean oil. Americans now get almost 10% of their calories from refined soybean oil, which is one of the most abundant sources of the pro-inflammatory omega-six fatty acids.
Dr Mark Hyman: You guys focus on the brain but work by scientists at DNA show that, and these are correlation studies, but as this oil consumption went up, like 1000% of your fine oils and the Omega threes went down and the ratio got worse, that there was increased violence, homicide and suicide as a result of these increasingly refined oils in our diet. So there's a lot of things you can do as individuals. And I think it's important for people even to get politically involved a little bit. Vote for the right people, get out there and talk about these things and learn and educate yourself.
Tana Amen: You know, and people are at different levels of their education with food and their journey with food. And I mean, for some people it's going to be cleaning out their pantry and working on themselves. For some people, maybe the next step is getting your house healthy. For some people, maybe the next step is going to your school and working on the school, or your place of work. And I mean, it feels like you could just grow this bigger, but it starts with you. I mean, that's what it seems like to me is it's got to start with you until it feels comfortable to move to that next level. When you understand it well enough, because it feels overwhelming otherwise.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, but it starts with you and then it's your circle, wherever you go. I mean, just getting your church to do The Daniel Plan is something that both you and I have had lots of people ... I actually get recognized more for The Daniel Plan than public television. It's like, "Oh, Dr. Amen, I love you. I love Dr. Amen, our church did the program." It was so grateful, so start wherever you are. And oh, by the way, when you eat better, your relationships will be better, people will actually like you more, your skin will be better, you'll smile more, and so on. One of our biggest blogs recently, it just blew up and went viral, was on Red Dye No. 40. It just went pop for who knows what reason, I have a scan on and off Red Dye No. 40 and it just caused these explosions of inflammation in the brain. Talk a little bit about food additives, food colors, food preservatives.
Dr Mark Hyman: Sure, so the FDA's job is to sort of regulate the safety of our food and they developed a certification called GRAS, Generally Recognized As Safe. A lot of things are grandfathered in and most of those things is, 10,000 chemicals in our food. Very few of them have been actually tested for safety, and the way that government works is until it's proven to be harmful, it's allowed in the food. Whether it was trans fats or [inaudible 00:06:21], or whatever. In many other countries, they're much more rigorous about this. So the FDA allows so many things in our food supply that are banned in other countries like azodicarbonamide, which is yoga mat material that Bonnie Hari outed in the Subway bread and so.
Dr Mark Hyman: In, for example in Singapore, if you use it you may get a $450,000 fine and 15 years in jail. We're using this food additive. We allow BHT and BHA and BPA and all these noxious chemicals that have been shown to cause harm in humans and animals. And the government just lets them slide. Partly because the food industry is so powerful. I mean, we knew for decades that trans fats were killing people and yet they didn't change the law.
Dr Daniel Amen: So why? Why, would the scientists at the FDA not be like the commissions in Europe that ban way more? I mean, it seems like unless you've proven it to be safe, you shouldn't have it in the food, but it seems like we're backwards. Unless you prove it's dangerous, you don't allow it.
Dr Mark Hyman: Right, we don't have cautionary principle. Right, and what's fascinating is that there is so much lobbying against this, that there were a little over a hundred petitions from those, something called the ban and poisonous additives act of 2009. Which would mandated BPA in children's food and drink containers is a synthetic hormone that mimics estrogen, has been linked to cancer, obesity. And the food industry would sort of screwed them up if they did this, but they filed the American members assumption of how the 80 different lobbying reports related to 24 bills in Congress. And the one that influenced most was the BPA the ban poisonous additives act and it failed.
Dr Mark Hyman: I mean the act didn't get passed and our children and our communities are not being protected. So when you think about that amount of money, I mean it's huge. You've got, you know, just in 2015 there were literally probably a hundred plus food companies that spend $200 million, about 192 million, almost $200 million lobbying against the Juma labeling act, which is why we don't have national labeling. In fact, it was so bad that Vermont and a few other States had mandatory labeling. The federal bill overruled those States and now they don't have to have mandatory labeling and it's because they spent $200 million in one year. I mean, how do you fight that? You know?
Dr Daniel Amen: Well you fight it and I mean you have to go up against these people. Otherwise, I don't know if this is your experience. I bet it is. I have never in my 40 years of clinical practice seeing the low levels of testosterone in young boys and young teenagers and in adult males. And I think it's all the hormone disruptors that are in our food and in the personal products people are putting on their bodies. That you have to read the labels and get rid of that stuff or you're not going to have the energy because hormones, testosterone is not just involved in sex. It's involved in memory and mood and motivation. And when it's low, people get depressed. And almost all of my NFL players, we've done 300 NFL players now, have low testosterone. And it's like, well, how's that possible? These giant, you know viral.
Dr Mark Hyman: It's belly fat though, right?
Dr Daniel Amen: It's just crazy.
Tana Amen: Because that's when they stop playing especially.
Dr Daniel Amen: Well, it's that, but I think it's also the toxins in the food. Well, unfortunately we're going to have to stop, but Food Fix is Dr. Mark Hyman's new book. He has many books that I just love. He also has a new special on public television. Check your local listings. You know, I can't tell you Mark how grateful we are.
Tana Amen: Thank you for being my mentor.
Dr Daniel Amen: To be your friends and the good you're doing in the world. We admire you greatly.
Dr Mark Hyman: Thank you, people can go to foodfixbook.com they can get a free action guide on there. They can get a free video on five steps to healthier you at a planet as a whole. A great bonuses and stuff for the books that people can go to, foodfixbook.com and learn more about it.
Tana Amen: Oh, wonderful, excellent.
Dr Daniel Amen: Great all right, thanks my friend.
Dr Mark Hyman: Thank you guys!
Dr Daniel Amen: Thanks, all right, take care.
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