Why You Always Feel Tired and Bloated: The Truth About Ultra-Processed Foods | Dr. Mark Hyman - Transcript

Mark Hyman
Coming up on this episode of The Doctor's Farmacy. Let me ask you this. Would you rather be made of doritos or maybe grass fed steak? Would you rather be made of Coca Cola? Or wild blueberries.

It's not too hard to figure that out. Now before we jump into today's episode, I'd like to note that while I wish I could help everyone by my personal practice. There's simply not enough time for me to do this at scale, and that's why I've been busy building several passion projects to help you better understand Well, you, if you're looking for data about your biology, check out function health for real time lab insights. And if you're in need of deepening your knowledge around your health journey, well, check out my membership community, doctor hyman Plus. And if you're looking for curated trust supplements and health products for your health journey.

Visit my website, doctor hyman.com for my website store and a summary of my favorite and thoroughly tested products. Welcome to The Doctor's Farmacy. I'm Doctor Mark Hyman, and welcome again to another juicy episode of health bites. Now before we begin, I wanna ask, do any of these symptoms sound familiar to you, chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle aches, bloating constipation diarrhea, irritable bowel syndrome, and as it reflux. You got any of those?

How about congestion, allergies, asthma, and sinus issues? Brain fog, headaches, insomnia, depression, anxiety, mood swings, or maybe you get weight gain, cravings, or trouble losing weight, or maybe your skin's not great, and you got acne, or eczema or psoriasis. How about canker sorts, frequent colds, feeling sick and run down a lot? Maybe a low libido or PMS or PCOS or menopause, If you answered yes to any of these, you might have something called FLC Syndrome. Now what the heck is FLC syndrome?

Well, it means you feel like crap, and you know what I'm talking about. And people walk around feeling like this, and they don't have to. I coined this term FLC syndrome after seeing thousands of patients in my clinical practice. Now these these low level insidious symptoms that hold you back from feeling great and living your best There are bodies way of saying ouch. Something is going on beneath the surface, and you need to deal with it.

It's not normal to have these things. It's not part of the human condition, it really isn't. I promise you. And when you leave these problems untreated, they often can spiral into more serious and more chronic diseases. Now the worst part about this is that FLC And Syndrome is just so common.

It's become normalized, but just because something is common doesn't mean that it's normal. In fact, it's anything but normal. Now what's really good to know, and this is the important part to listen to, is that we have way more control over how we feel we realize, and we have way more control over our health than we've been led to believe. You just have to understand that what you eat and how you live is deeply connected to how you feel and your risk chronic seeds. Now we're never taught how to make this connection between what we eat and what we feel.

So we're leading this lifestyle that doesn't make us feel good and It's not our fault because nobody ever taught us how our bodies work. I mean, who got the operating manual for the human body when you were born? Did it come out of the birth canal with you? Probably not. Right?

Now today's episode is all about giving you the tools you need to make better food choices to serve your health so you can start feeling better now. I mean, I always say I want you to help turn your body back to its original factory settings. Most of us don't realize we're just a few days away from feeling better, and I want you to feel better. Now in my treatment and my patients, I discovered that these issues stem from one common root cause. Can you guess what it is?

That's right. Chronic low level systemic inflammation. You don't really notice it, but it's there, and it's causing all these symptoms. And what's the main way we can get rid of this food, getting rid of the bad stuff, adding in the good stuff, because you literally are what you New cells, organs, tissues, brain cells, skin, muscles, bone. That's just manufactured out of thin air.

The raw materials all come from OE. The structure of our cells, which terms our function and how good or bad we feel also depends on what we eat. The proteins, the fats, the minerals, and more are the building blocks of who we are. Now let me ask you this. Would you rather be made of Doritos or maybe grass fed steak?

Would you rather be made of Coca Cola? Or wild blueberries. It's not too hard to figure that out. Now this relationship between what we eat and how we feel comes down to the impact food has on our DNA and something called gene expression. We can't change our genes, but we can change how our genes are expressed.

Whether we turn on or off health genes or disease genes. Now this whole new field is emerging. That's shedding light on this. It's called Nutrigenomics. They are Nutrogenetics.

People call it different things. Now Nutrienomics is a study of how food interacts with our bodies to create health or disease. Simply put food is code. And you can literally upgrade or downgrade your biological software with every single bite. It's information that talks to your genes and controls the impression of those genes, which then impacts your hormones, your metabolism, your immune system, your microbiome, your brain chemistry, and lots more.

With every bite, the food we eat sends juice to our genes is directing them to express health or disease. Is a calorie a calorie a calorie? Well, in lab, it is. Yes. If you burn a 1000 calories of Coca Cola, a 1000 calories of broccoli in a lab, it releases the same amount of energy, which is essentially a calorie is how much energy to raise the temperature of 1 liter of water, 1 degrees centigrade.

That's just a scientific definition. But when you eat those calories, it's different if you drink 1000 calories of Coca Cola or eat a 1000 calories of broccoli, it has profoundly different effects on your body. So they're not really identical when you eat them. So most of us understand that food provides energy in the form of calories. The food you eat gets digested into vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, which combined with oxygen that we breathe to make energy in the form of something called ATP that's inside ourselves in these little energy factories called mitochondria.

Now the APD produced by our mitochondria powers each and every one of the trillions of biological processes that take place in our bodies every second. And so When we gum up our engine with junk and junk food, our energy declines. Our inflammation goes up. Our oxygen stress goes up. The disease goes up.

Symptoms go up, and we have FLC syndrome. Now there's a more serious version. I I I we don't see that as much. It's called FLS. We have treatments for that too.

So why does the quality of our fuel matter? Well, think of the food you eat like loading fuel into your car. Whole foods are premium, clean burning, whereas ultra processed foods are like dirty diesel. Running on fuel made from starch, sugar, refined grains, additives, preservative gums, and most fires contaminated food with toxins like BPA, PFAS, phthalates, not good for you. Right?

And all that junk food also doesn't contain the essential nutrients that the engines need to run smoothly because, basically, the nutrients vitamins and minerals are the, essentially, the grease that lubricant the wheels of our metabolic engine. And so we need the right nutrients. We need the right protein, fiber, micronutrients. And when we don't have that, we basically get When we burn dirty fuel, in other words, junk food, it creates a lot of free radicals, or we call reactive oxygen species like pollution or exhaust. Which comes out of mitochondria, and that causes all sorts of problems like inflammation, more oxidative stress, epilepsy, symptoms, and chronic disease.

Now the body produces its own antioxidants to protect us from this damage. However, over time, a buildup of exposure to environmental toxins, infections, food sensitivities, Too many calories, a poor diet, an unhealthy microbiome, and nutrient deficiencies, all damage our energy producing centers and ourselves called the mitochondria. And they do that to the point where the body's own protective mechanisms and amniotic systems can't keep up. And then you get an energy crisis. You get mitochondrial damage and chronic disease.

You see poorly functioning mitochondria are an underlying root cause of many FL symptoms and chronic disease, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease, GI issues, dementia, Parkinson's, chronic fatigue, and fibromyalgia. In fact, a study published in the British Medical Journal of BMJ linked Ultra Process Foods to 32 adverse health outcomes, including cancer, all cause mortality means death from anything, insomnia, depression, anxiety, asthma, hypertension, fatty liver, pre diabetes, and lots more. Studies linking ultra processed foods to chronic fatigue syndrome found that 70% of people suffering from chronic fatigue ate unhealthy fats had low fruit and vegetable intake, and 95% had a low fiber intake. A diet is high in sugar and starch, which spikes blood sugar signals to our pancreas to release insulin to deliver those glucose molecules and energy and fuel to the cells. But sometimes the insulin overshoots and your blood sugar drops too low, and that can cause hypoglycemia or low blood sugar.

And, again, that's the stress of the body. And it tells the body to release fight or fight hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. And that leads to all sorts of symptoms like anxiety, palpitations, sweating, panic attacks, and nervousness. And blood sugars, things like this lead to high insulin levels over time, which creates more free radicals, more inflammation, more insulin resistance, exceeds a vicious cycle, where basically we're eating all this crap. It's causing our metabolic system to become dysfunctional.

It makes us gain weight. It makes us inflamed, and it just makes you have Evolce syndrome. It can cause all kinds of symptoms from this kind of stuff, including headaches, lack of focus, fatigue, weight gain, imbalances in your sex hormones, Now the key to fixing FLCA syndrome is making the connection between what we eat and how we feel. And so getting rid of those foods for a short time and then removing the most common food sensitivities, gluten, dairy, ultra processed food, grains, beans for just a short time, like 3 weeks, and then adding them back is the best way to see how food affects you and to reset your system. Think of it like hitting the reset button on your computer or putting your body back to its original factory settings.

And it happens in days. It doesn't take weeks, literally within days. In fact, I wrote a book called the 10 day detox diet about 10 years ago because I was doing so much repetition on explaining to you what to do. I wrote a book to help my patients and help the average person just implement this. And we've seen amazing results more about it in a minute, but we've seen dramatic results with this approach in a very, very short time.

So when you when you do the opposite, right, when you load your car with clean fuel, It bounces our sex hormones. It helps our energy. It reduces inflammation. And so what is really clean fuel? Well, it's obvious.

Right? It's real nutrient dense. Whole food that has all the essential nutrients, the proteins, and vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, fiber, all of which help you maintain a stable blood sugar, and they keep you full and energized for longer, and they're crucial for protecting your mitochondria and maintaining optimal health. So what is the functional medicine approach to preventing and reversing FLC syndrome or worse. First, it's taking out the bad stuff, and then it's putting in the good stuff.

So what should you not eat? Well, over 30 years of practice, I developed a simple addition subtraction diet or what we call an elimination reintroduction diet to help you reset your body to its original factory settings and identify how many of your FLC symptoms are related to what you're eating. So just take out the bad stuff. Don't eat ultra processed food. You shouldn't ever eat it anyway, but especially for this initial period, I would say ideally 21 days, but minimum 10.

Ultra process foods are basically engineered to be hyperpalatable to be addicting. To make you crave them, to make you wanna eat more. They're high in added sugars and flour and unhealthy fats and sodium, refined oils, gums, artificial flavors, dyes, preservatives, and they're low in really things we need like essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber. Now Certain things are worse than up, thickeners, gums, most fires like carotene and Xanthem gum, lecithin, locust bean gum, all can cause inflammation and dysbiosis, the overgrowth of bad bugs in the gut. And these emulsifiers, these these thickeners, which are an All the processed food essentially irritate the gut lining.

They cause a leaky gut and they cause this low grade systemic inflammation, which is the driver of FLC syndrome. Right? Joint pain, fatigue, headaches, irritable, bloating, gas. Ultra process is basically deconstructed foods from commodity products like corn Wheaton's toy that are reassembled in totally different chemical structures. Does something that the body doesn't even know what to do with?

And that's what makes us sick. Now the center hours of the grocery store are full of processed junk, and you don't wanna go down there. I mean, in case you want a condiment or something fine, but just stay out of the aisle. I did a whole episode on this, and I'm gonna link to it in the show notes as well so you can learn more if you want. Now one of the big things that seem to be causing FLC syndrome I think dairy, gluten, and sugar are probably the top 3.

So if you don't wanna do everything, you don't rid of everything, I would say dairy, gluten, and sugar. Generally, I recommend that people actually really limit their sugar and and most gluten and, most traditional dairy because they definitely cause inflammation the disruptor gut health, and they contribute to a wide range of chronic illnesses from migraines to chronic fatigue to immunity of list goes on. That's not to say that some dairies aren't fine like cheaper gold or some forms of grains can be fine, but most of the time, I would say Darren gluten are the number 1 and 2 culprits. And this is after decades of practice and also what the literature supports. Now this can occur even with people who don't have celiac disease.

Why? Because dwarf wheat, which is the kind of wheat we're eating now, has a much higher star and gluten content today than it used to a 100 years ago because it's basically been hybridized and has way more gluten proteins, and it's more likely to cause leaky gut and more likely to cause inflammation. Now on top of being inflammatory, today's wheat is often sprayed with the weed killer glyphosate and harvests to dried out. Which aside from being a known carcinogen acts like an antibiotic wiping out our good gut bacteria and even damages the lining of the gut. So it's bad, bad for your gut.

And that can lead to intestinal permeability increases or leaky gut. So you wanna avoid all the starchy stuff, right, all the gluten free stuff, everything. Right? Bagels, wraps, pasta, pastries, bread. Even ones that say gluten free on the label, they're often worse because they're even more starchy.

You wanna avoid sugar in all forms, right, everything? Syrups, nectars, honey, stevia, sucalos, alcohol, any of the sugar alcohols, they all can drive inflammation. Just quit it cold turkey for 10 days. You can do anything for 10 Right? Just 10 days to see how you feel.

You don't wanna trust me. Just trust your body. It will tell you whether it likes it or not. At the end of 10 days, you'll know if you feel good or if you feel bad, if you have your symptoms resolved or if you're still got lingering symptoms, and maybe it's something else besides food. Maybe it's heavy metals or mold or lime or something else.

But most of the time, it's food. So when you get to the cleaning up of your diet, you get rid of all the inflammatory foods. You'll get rid of a lot of the FLC syndrome and more serious diseases. Now I read a lot of books about this. If you really wanna learn about how to do this really well and, you know, avoid a lot of the pitfalls of getting rid of the crap from your diet, you can check my book out the 10 day Diet will put in a link in the show notes.

Now excess starch and sugar in the diet disrupts your hormone balance. It slows your metabolism and impairs your body's ability to burn fat. So don't eat it. Okay. Or just very little.

Right? Dairy. Stay away from industrial processed milk and cheese. Convention raise dairy, cattle, or often tree with hormones, antibiotics, and that messes up your hormones and can contribute to antibody resistance. And dairy also contains allergenic proteins and inflammatory compounds that can trigger immune responses and lots of inflammation in the body.

But you also wanna avoid flavored and sweetened things like yogurt or Keefer, which can have upwards 20 grams of sugar per serving, which is a lot. Now choose plain unflavored varieties. I would encourage you to have maybe even sheep or goat dairy as cheese, and even yogurt, heirloom sources, for example, grass fed, a 2 cows that there are out there, which are better locally sourced cheeses that are are often better tolerated from a regenerative farms or or grass fed farms with a 2 cows. A one casing is essentially the one that causes a lot of the inflammation. Also, don't drink liquid sugar.

Right? Fruit juice, sugar sweetened beverages, all these lead to sugar spikes in the blood, increase belly fat storage, a greater chance of developing prediabetes and type 2 diabetes, and many juice even quote green juices or smoothie bowls are made with really high glycemic tropical fruit. Like, bananas, mango, pineapple, and they may have as much sugar as soda. Now there's vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and a little few better things, but still is a whopping load of sugar. Juicy and blending this choice fiber, which helps slow the fructose absorption and promotes a satiety.

So you just basically don't wanna drink juice even if it's healthy, you know, juice like orange juice, you think is good or apple juice. It's basically like drinking liquid sugar and fructose in particular, which is has some problems. We've talked about that on the podcast before. You might wanna check that one idea with doctor Robert Listing where we go in detail about what fructose is and what it does to the body. Also, alcohol.

Not a good thing to do. If you wanna reset your body, just get rid of alcohol. Actually, just it's amazing epigenetic test that I recently did on myself, and You can actually tell how much alcohol you drink just by looking at your genome and the epigenetic marks, which shall scare you off alcohol for good, I think. And it may seem your body, alcohol turns to sugar, especially when mixed with sweet and mixed. I mean, so many mixed drinks are so sweet.

I just I can't ever drink those, but also all the sugar and sweetened coffees and teas. Not good. Diet soda. Again, diet sodas sound like they're healthier, but they actually may be associated with other issues. Got microbiome changes.

I mean, they're for sure better than than soda, but not better than water for weight loss. Also, avoid drinks with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. 4 grams is about a teaspoon. And that includes flavored, nut milks, watch out for those creamer's, protein drinks, green juices, kombucha's, which have a lot of sugar. So that's what not to eat.

That's when you get rid of, right, processed food, sugar, starch, all the high glycemic food, get rid of all liquid sugar calories, get rid of gluten, dairy, I would also say grains and beans. And the reason for that is that a lot of people have gut issues. A lot of people metabolic issues, and they're just a little starcher, a little more high dose of carbohydrates that can be harder to digest. We just wanna give your body a break. Let's say grains or beans are bad.

It's just for the 10 days, I would get off of them. Alright. What should you be eating? Well, you should be eating medicine. Right?

And, now you might think, oh my god, doctor. I mean, that just sounds overwhelming. I don't know. It's a lot, but there's so many delicious foods that we can eat to fuel our bodies while reducing blood sugar spikes. Now if you're thinking to yourself, gee, can I have Monk fruit?

Can I have this? Can I have that? It probably means you're an addict, right, in negotiating. So just be aware of that. When you eat in the right way and you add in the right foods and you take out the bad stuff, Your blood sugar balances, you get less inflammation, your cravings that are, like, very addictive, go tending away, usually by day 2 or 3 at the latest.

And at the same time, you know, you wanna eat all the good foods that are gonna support your optimal health. Right? Nutrient dense Whole Foods, the controlled blood sugar, and make you feel full quality protein about gram per pound of body weight, high yield body weight. We generally raise meats like wild game, elk, venison, bison, grass fed beef. A wild caught fish, the small ones like salmon, mackerel, anchovies, harines, pastureage, poultry, chicken, turkey, peasant, if you can get that.

I can get that, but sometimes it's okay. Duck, whole organic non GMO. So I like tofu tempeh. Oh, it's a bean, but it's processed in a way that's easier to digest and less reactive. Eggs are fine at pasture raised eggs or omega 3 rich eggs.

Goat and cheap cheese, I probably would stay away from for the 1st 10 days. If you wanna do ideally a full elimination, to see if you really wanna hit the reset button. I would just get rid of them all dairy, but if you wanna add back stuff, add matte, goat, and sheep, which are a little bit better tolerated, And a lot of healthy fats. Right? Good fats don't make you fat.

Right? If you wanna replace the bad fat with the good fat, just get rid of all the soybean oil canola oil, safflower oil, sunflower oil, concierge, oil, hydrogen oil, margarine, palm oil. Those are all just not things that we consume. And eat the good fats, right, anti inflammatory omega threes, olive oil, right, from mono and saturated fats, macadamia nuts, which are like the olive oil of nuts, Lots of omega threes from your die. The Smash Fish, I just mentioned, salmon, macro anchovies, hardings, and herring, walnuts, Chia, flax, hemp seeds, lots of olives, olive oil, avocados, almonds, pecans, macadamia nuts, almond oil, macadamia nut oil that all is monounsaturated, although they are often complex mixtures of other fats as well.

What about saturated fat? Well, some people can do fine and some people don't. It's to be aware of what your body does, but coconut oil, grass fed, butter, ghee, things that are rich in prebiotic fibers that help your gut bacteria and phytochemicals, like probably 30 to 50 grams to feed and grow your gut bugs to help your gut stay healthy, which if you haven't understood from this podcast yet, getting your leaky gut sorted is a key part of getting rid of FLC syndrome. I eat lots of veggies, non starchy veggies, unlimited refills. You know, you're gonna have 6 to 8 cups, which is not 5 to 9 servings.

It's more like 12 to 18 servings. So fill your plate with 75 percent veggies, kale, broccoli, lettuce, radishes, arugula, celery, bakshoi, asparagus, bell peppers, watercrest, cauliflower, brussels sprouts, tomatoes, dandelion greens, parts of palm, eggplant, cucumbers, the more color, the better. What about fruit? Can you eat fruit? Yeah.

You can have fruit, about half a cup of berries or one piece of fruit a day. Just keep it low because, again, it's turns into sugar. We're trying to just keep the sugar really low for the detox. And then you'll see how you feel. You know, like, oh my god.

My FLC syndrome's gone. My joints feel better. I don't want migraines. My digestion's good. My sinus is better.

I'm posting a little drip, my PMS is gone. I my energy is better. I'm sleeping better. I mean, the list goes on and on and on. So make sure you if you're gonna have food, the citrus is fine.

Lemons lines are fine. Stick with the berries, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, wild blueberries. The higher tropical fruit you don't wanna eat, like, the pineapple, bananas, mangoes, there's some some spike of your blood sugar. I've seen no fruit juice, lots of spices and herbs go for it. Right?

Cinnamon, fenugreek, Ginsine, Burberry, and oregano, Sage. All that's great. We're gonna put a link to how to do the tend to detox in the bio. So check it out. We're gonna put it in the show notes.

And in fact, I led a group of 600 people through this detox. They lost £4000 in 10 days, an average of 2 inches from their waist, 2 inches in just 10 days, 1.4 inches from their hips. The average blood sugar dropped 18 points Blood pressure dropped 11 points, but more importantly, it fixed their FLC syndrome. Now here's what was remarkable. In just 10 days, All symptoms from all diseases drop by 62%.

And that included things like fatigue, migraines, irritable bowel, reflux, joint muscle pain, rashes, hives, acne, depression, anxiety, binge eating, and cravings, and list goes on. In other words, any symptom of FLC syndrome seem to get better. Now there is no drug on the planet that can produce those results except for food. So as we wrap up, understand that this isn't about imposing some strict arbitrary dietary limitation or fearing the occasional indulgent It's about empowering us each to make informed choices to nourish our bodies. We need to reject the complacency of just being okay, when we have all these symptoms when when actually are just a few days away from feeling good.

So good news is you're just a few days away from getting rid of FLC Syndrome. Thanks for listening today. If you love this podcast, please share it with your friends and family. Leave a comment on your own best on how you upgrade your health and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and follow me on all social media channels at Doctor Mark Hyman and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Farmacy. For more information on today's episode, please check out my new video and audio podcast, health hacks.

And there's every Tuesday and includes a more detailed breakdown of these Friday healthbytes episodes. I'm always getting questions about my favorite book podcast, gadgets, supplements, recipes, and lots more. And now you can have access to all of this information by signing up for my free Mark's picks newsletter at himan.com/markspix. I promise I'll only email you once a week on Fridays, and I'll never share your email address or send you anything besides my recommendations. These are things that have helped me on my help journey, and I hope they'll help you too.

Again, that's doctor hyman.comforward/marks Thank you again, and we'll see you next time on The Doctor's Farmacy. This podcast is separate from my clinical practice at Delta Long center and my work at Cleveland Clinic And Function Health where I'm the chief medical officer. This podcast represents my opinions and my guest opinion. And neither myself nor the podcast endorsement of views or statements are my guests. This podcast is for educational purposes only.

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