You might need to sit down for this.
You know those snack bars you grab to eat when you don’t have time? Or those meals in a box or bag that are so easy to prepare? Or those trays of pastries sitting out at the office?
They’re convenient and tasty. But they’re also inflammatory.
Inflammation starts from the moment you put certain foods into your mouth. Over time, chronic inflammation destroys the gut lining, decreases immunity, causes belly fat, and eventually results in diseases like cancer or dementia.
If you want to live a long and healthy life, packaged and processed foods have got to go. And no one is better positioned to explain why than Doc Hudson.
Dr. Brent Hudson is a professor of anatomy and physiology and wellness consultant who’s studied the best health behaviors from 35 different countries.
In this week’s YBTV interview, you’ll learn why you should be replacing diet foods with nutrient-dense foods, how low-calorie foods could still be making you fat, the association between belly fat and cancer, and how high fructose corn syrup could be harming your brain.
Watch it, then share it with everyone you know!
What You’ll Learn
I’ve been in the health field for 31 years. I’ve been a fitness instructor; I’ve been a weight-loss counselor. I’ve done every aspect of health. And I can tell you that 70% of our country is overweight or obese. Seventy percent of our country is either pre-diabetic or diabetic. It all comes back to this inflammatory process, which is a direct result of the amount of refined foods that we’re eating.”
One in two Americans has tried to lose weight in the past year, but if dieting involves eating diet foods, there’s something you should know.
What you’re eating is probably STILL getting stored as fat.
The only way to get around it is to ditch all those processed, packaged foods—even if they’re billed as low-fat or low-cal.
Eat More, Not Less
When Dr. Brent Hudson wants to manage his weight, he eats MORE, not less.
More greens, that is.
“It’s incredible, the amount of food that you can eat in a day,” he says. “I feel the most strength in my body and the most energetic on the days where I’ve eaten the most greens.”
He adds, “Gorillas and rhinoceroses are some of the strongest animals on the planet, and all they do is nibble on greens all day long.”
A lot of folks will tell you to snack on protein, but Doc Hudson suggests snacking on kale, watercress, collard greens, cauliflower, broccoli, and other nutrient-dense foods.
“The more you stay away from a lot of the meats and the more you orient yourself towards a plant-based diet, the more power you’re going to get out of it,” he says.
That doesn’t mean we should all become vegetarians. But it does mean we should start thinking about what happens to the food we eat once we swallow it.
“A lot of red meats will stagnate in your gut and your GI tract,” he explains, “and you don’t want food to stay in there for a long period of time. It needs to be flushed out within 24 hours. When things stagnate, the lining of the GI tract often gets inflamed.”
He adds, “Inflammation is going to start right from the very moment that you put something into your mouth, if it’s an inflammatory food—which most red meats can be, depending on how the cattle was raised.”
But is inflammation a problem?
The Link Between Diet, Inflammation, Cancer and Dementia
“Inflammation is a normal process in the body,” Doc explains.
“It’s the way the body heals itself in the short-term, which should only last for a couple of days. Anything beyond that, if it stays inflamed, that’s going to become chronic. If you think of a scar on the outside of your skin, that’s exactly what’s happening on the inside of your body.”
And that’s just the beginning.
“All those packaged, processed, and preserved foods that people are eating every day—which are high in high fructose corn syrup and 56 different forms of refined sugars—will destroy the lining of your gut,” he says.
Gut permeability not only allows “leakage of toxic material in your bloodstream, which is not good for your immune system, but also it allows this fructose—this concentrated sugar—to get into your bloodstream, which bypasses the normal mechanisms of insulin.”
The body has to store this fructose somewhere, so either it gets stored in the liver or it gets stored as belly fat.
So “even if you’re eating lower-calorie foods and you think that you’re eating less, you still are eating more, because all of this food is going to get converted to fat, especially if you’re not exercising.”
“And then the inflammation goes even further than that,” he says, “because as soon as you put this food on your tongue, your brain already senses it. And then once it makes its way into the bloodstream, it has incredibly damaging effects on your central nervous system.”
He’s been studying research that shows that “a lot of the neurological diseases like dementia and Alzheimer’s have a direct relationship to the amount of high fructose corn syrup and refined sugars that we’re eating.”
That’s not all.
When fructose in the blood gets stored as belly fat, we not only have to contend with a bigger belly. We’re putting our health at risk.
“Once we reach a certain threshold of storage in our belly, this fat releases chemicals called cytokines which travel through the blood,” Doc explains. “They actually change the DNA structure of most cells in the body, and a lot of research is showing that this is where cancer is coming from.”
If you have a small amount of belly fat, don’t worry. A little fat on your belly can even enhance immunity. But there’s a tipping point. Too much belly fat suppresses immunity. “So we actually can get sick just from overeating.”
So what can you do?
Foods that Fight Inflammation
Once you understand that “inflammation is the single [biggest] reason for pain, discomfort, and disease in every single part of the body,” you can see how important it is that you make good food choices.
A study found that “we make 221 decisions a day just about food, so that means 221 decisions we can screw up.”
But it also means 221 decisions you can get right.
“In the supermarket, if you stay in the perimeter for the most part and stay away from the middle … you’re going to be okay,” Doc explains. Choose fresh foods and avoid the packaged, processed, and preserved foods.
“If you just stick with the produce section, you are miles and miles ahead of everyone,” he says.
But produce isn’t as convenient as snack bars. That’s why Doc prepares bags of fresh fruits and vegetables, cut up in bite-sized pieces, at the beginning of every week. “Because if it’s there, you will eat it!”
Although he’s a fan of organic produce, he doesn’t want the expense to stop you from eating more vegetables. “The key is to just get out there and start buying all that good stuff that’s in the supermarket. You can always upgrade later.”
The Health Benefits of Eating Green
What can you expect if you try eating the way Doc recommends?
“You’re going to notice [results] right away right away, within a day or two,” he says. “You’re going to see your sugar levels stabilized. You’re going to see your energy levels improve instantaneously. It’s not going to be dramatic [at first], but it will eventually be dramatic. And then you’ll look back and you’ll go, ‘I can’t believe that I ever was drinking or eating that stuff.'”
At his practice The Wellness Epicenter in Bradenton Beach, Florida, Doc Hudson does one-on-one food counseling, fitness instruction, and weight loss counseling.
But you don’t have to live in Florida to take advantage of his nutritional coaching. He hosts weekly Wellness Chats on LinkedIn and also offers food counseling via Skype and email.
Want to get Doc’s advice for you? Join him on LinkedIn for a Wellness Chat!
Jump to Topics of Interest
2:20 Eat more, not less
3:35 Nutrient dense foods
6:02 The inflammatory process
9:01 Belly fat
10:18 Choosing the right foods
12:00 Chronic versus temporary inflammation
12:51 Buying organic
14:23 Getting results
16:14 The Wellness Epicenter and Wellness Chats
Dr. Brent Hudson
Doc Hudson is a professor of anatomy and physiology, a travel and health writer, a wellness consultant, speaker, and global travel researcher who’s studied the best health behaviors from 35 different countries. He’s currently the CEO of The Wellness Epicenter in Bradenton Beach, Florida. Join Dr. Hudson for a Wellness Chat.