The Truth About Vitamins and Blood Tests #SANE

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Real-Life Insights and Takaways

  • The more we learn about medicine and biology the more we understand that there is not typically only one cure or solution to match each problem.
  • Our food supply now days is very different than what it was forty years ago, and as a result, it is difficult to get the nutrients we need from a modern diet.
  • It is difficult to consistently get enough variety in your diet to cover all of the vitamins, minerals, amino acids, fatty acids, and bases, that your body needs.
  • You will benefit more from eating super foods than taking a multivitamin because the superfoods are so nutrient-dense and are cultivated in natural environments.
  • Synthetic vitamins and minerals are not the same as vitamins and minerals found in the context of food.
  • The more you can focus on eating food found in its natural state, the healthier you will be.
  • You can do a simple Google search to check healthy levels of particle size, A1c levels, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, etc.
  • If you’re eating humanely provided seafood and meat, it’s nearly impossible not to be getting the essential levels of fat that you need to be healthy.
  • If you truly feel good, then you are not in starvation mode.
  • You can’t imitate someone else’s life and expect the same results. Your solution needs to be specific to you.

—NEXT ACTION—
Ignore wellness advice from people who give you specific advice, but do not know your specific situation or needs.

SANE Soundbites

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  • 1:57 – 2:25, “There are such things like the anti-cancer diet or the type of diet that targets specifically belly fat or the type of diet that specifically targets X.  That’s a mindset that has been built over the last forty years by the pharmaceutical industry where there is like a specific cause and a specific solution; whereas, the more we learn about medicine and the more we learn about biology, that’s not the way things work.  It’s very holistic and it’s very interconnected so reprogramming our minds in that way is super, super powerful.”
  • 4:03 – 4:24, “The reality, especially in America, is that even the healthiest, most nutrient-dense diet, unless you are living on a farm, is going to be less nutrient-dense significantly than that same exact way of eating forty years ago.”
  • 4:58 – 5:28, “One, it’s very hard to get nutrients in general from the modern food supply and, two, it’s hard to get a variety of the complete spectrum.  I think that, one, over-the-counter cheap multivitamins –- there’s been a lot of research done on them.  It’s questionable whether or not your body does anything with the vitamins because they’re synthetic and they’re in an unnatural doses and unnatural contexts.  However, there are super foods that are so nutrient-dense that we almost need to treat them as supplements.”
  • 5:40-5:56, “I personally am not a huge fan of multivitamins.  I’m a huge fan of super foods which are so nutrient-dense and that are cultivated in supernatural environments that they serve like natural vitamin pills.”
  • 6:35 – 7:10, “Synthetic vitamins and minerals are not the same as vitamins and minerals found in the context of food.  They’re treated totally differently. If you eat an orange that has thirty milligrams of ascorbic acid in it naturally – ascorbic acid is the name of vitamin C – versus if you just take a vitamin C pill and you measure what happens in your body, they are completely different.  So when we think in terms of like taking vitamin pills or taking individualized vitamins, that form of thinking is called reductionism and it looks at individualized components of nutrition and that’s not how nutrition works.”
  • 8:19 – 8:37, “If you want to super-charge or supplement your health, spend it trying to turn back the clock on the way and source of food we got fifty years ago than on saying, “I’m going to put these pills in my body to make up for what’s gone on in the external world.”
  • 10:52 – 11:35, “So the key metric is, how are you feeling and how are your results?  Because if, for example, you’re not tired and you are feeling great and you’re functioning great and you have –- something is different about your body.  I mean, if you’re feeling great and you’re functioning great on 900 calories and you’re 100 pounds overweight, I can tell you exactly what’s happening. What’s happening is, you’re experiencing what’s called a spontaneous reduction of caloric intake, which means that, while it seems like you’re only eating 900 calories, what’s really happening is, 900 calories are passing through your lips while an additional 1,000 are coming off your hips because your body has regained its ability to burn calories that are already in it.”
  • 14:03 – 14:19, “Starvation mode feels like garbage. So there will never be any question whether or not you’re in starvation mode.  Think about the last time you dieted and you were cold, tired, hungry, crabby, lost your sex drive, couldn’t think.  That’s your body saying, “Oh my gosh.  What are you doing to me?  I’m going to shut down.”
  • 15:46 – 16:06, “We expect that we can go up to a random fit person at the gym and ask, “What do you eat?  Well, I’ll do that too.”  But if you do that for any other context in your life, you know it won’t work out.  You know it has to be specific to you; it has to be something we think through on an individualized basis.”
  • 17:18 – 17:46, “If a doctor is going to diagnose you with a medication, they’re going to diagnose you specifically after talking with you about that specific condition for quite some time.  You’re not just going to be like, “Doc, I feel bad.  What medication should I take?”  And the doctor over the Internet says, “Here’s a prescription.”  Don’t fall victim to that with all the snake oil sales nonsense that’s going on in your grocery store shelves and that’s going on on the Internet.  Protect yourself from that nonsense.”

Read the Transcript

April:Hi, everybody. It’s April Perry and Jonathan Bailor, back with another episode of The SANE Show. How are you doing today, Jonathan?

Jonathan:I’m good, April. I’m happy that we’re recording another show because if you’re listening to this show, that means you didn’t stop listening to The SANE Show after hearing last week’s episode.

I’m just kidding. We talked about pregnancy last week. Every time we talk about pregnancy, I get incredibly scared because I can’t get pregnant so I don’t like talking about things that I can’t experience firsthand.

April:You did a great job last week. If you haven’t yet listened to this episode and you are either pregnant or nursing or plan to be at some point, go listen.

Jonathan:And please listen to it all the way through because if you just -– get all the way through it because, if I offend you at some point, I promise I’ll recover myself by the end.

April:As a woman who has been pregnant six times and had four children, he did an awesome job. Great work, Jonathan.

Now we’re ready to dive into some more mailbag questions. The reason why I love doing these mail bags and I love just asking these questions is because I feel like what we’re doing is not just taking kind of some random facts and then just throwing them out at people but we’re actually discussing the same principles of SANE in a variety of situations.

The more people listen to this show, you start to be able to guess and know how Jonathan’s going to answer the questions because it starts becoming just, “Oh, I get it. We actually had talked about this principle before.” Or, “Oh, I do understand how important vegetables are” or whatever.

It’s a lot of the same principles. It’s just that we need a little bit of help sometimes because what we’re learning through SANE is so much different than what we’re learning from society. Would you agree?

Jonathan:April, you hit the nail on the head there because even -– some of the mindset stuff — one of the things we talked about in the last episode that I really liked is, we talked about, some people have the idea of like, “Oh, I know SANE isn’t about weight loss; it’s about health” which indicates a mindset of –-

There are such things like the anti-cancer diet or the type of diet that targets specifically belly fat or the type of diet that specifically targets X. That’s a mindset that has been built over the last forty years by the pharmaceutical industry where there is like a specific cause and a specific solution; whereas, the more we learn about medicine and the more we learn about biology, that’s not the way things work. It’s very holistic and it’s very interconnected so reprogramming our minds in that way is super, super powerful.

April:All right. So on that note, let’s go ahead and jump into question number one which is about SANE supplements. Here’s the question. It says, “I’m curious. Is a vitamin or any kind of supplement necessary if you’re eating SANE? If so, what? And again, if you do have maybe a nursing child, does that change it?

I’m so glad this question was asked because I have a whole bunch of prenatal vitamins and while I’m not needing them for pregnancy, I’m wondering, “Should I be taking the vitamins every day? Is there something I’m missing if I’m eating fifteen servings of vegetables a day and eating SANEly?” What do you suggest? Do you take a supplement?

Jonathan:I think that we need to really keep in mind that our food supply nowadays is very different than what it was forty years ago; even more different than it was a hundred years ago.

Most people weren’t listening to this; probably you’ve heard about the industrial food complex or industrial farming or monocrops or just a way we produce food nowadays is way, way different than what our grandmothers were exposed to or even people get into arguments about wheat and grain. Those are some of the most conspicuous examples where, when we say wheat and then someone’s like, “In the Bible, when they say wheat, those are two chromosomally totally different.” It’s like one is a tire and the other is a pencil. They’re totally different things. So how does this relate?

The way this relates is, the reality, especially in America, is that even the healthiest, most nutrient-dense diet, unless you are living on a farm, is going to be less nutrient-dense significantly than that same exact way of eating forty years ago.

April:God.

Jonathan:And there’s pollution; there’s blah-blah-blah-blah. The reason I say this is not because I go, “Oh, we’re all doomed.” It’s more because –- two things –- one is, it’s very, very difficult to get enough variety in your diet to cover all your vitamin, mineral, amino acids, fatty acids bases consistently. That doesn’t mean you’re going to get sick. It doesn’t mean you’re going to die. It just might mean, you live your life with a vitamin and mineral deficiency that you’d never realized you had and may be the reason you get headaches all the time –- I don’t know.

So the point is that, one, it’s very hard to get nutrients in general from the modern food supply and, two, it’s hard to get a variety of the complete spectrum. I think that, one, over-the-counter cheap multivitamins –-

There’s been a lot of research done on them. It’s questionable whether or not your body does anything with the vitamins because they’re synthetic and they’re in an unnatural doses and unnatural contexts. However, there are super foods that are so nutrient-dense that we almost need to treat them as supplements.

Cod liver oil is an example. Is cod liver oil a supplement? It’s an oil. Is spirulina a supplement? It’s a plant. I don’t know. But do we call it a supplement? I personally am not a huge fan of multivitamins. I’m a huge fan of super foods which are so nutrient-dense and that are cultivated in supernatural environments that they serve like natural vitamin pills.

April:Okay, but you’re speaking another language right now so we need to step back. This may need to be the whole episode because I feel like I have a lot to learn. When you start talking about spirulina and cod liver oil, I’m thinking, “So I just go to the store and I buy those? What else do I need to buy? And how do I incorporate those into what I’m eating?” I start feeling kind of stressed. Help me out here.

Jonathan:Sure. Well, the good news is, one, if you take nothing else away, spending ten dollars on a bottle of Centrum Silver may not be doing anything for you so it’s not that simple. Synthetic vitamins and minerals are not the same as vitamins and minerals found in the context of food. They’re treated totally differently.

If you eat an orange that has thirty milligrams of ascorbic acid in it naturally – ascorbic acid is the name of vitamin C – versus if you just take a vitamin C pill and you measure what happens in your body, they are completely different. So when we think in terms of like taking vitamin pills or taking individualized vitamins, that form of thinking is called reductionism and it looks at individualized components of nutrition and that’s not how nutrition works.

Here is this one example. Some of the way vitamins and minerals work is like, this mineral doesn’t work unless this other mineral is present. So they both have to be there to do their thing. There’s also like, some vitamins and minerals share receptors. Meaning that, if you were to take a bunch of one, you’d block the absorption of the other one.

April:Okay.

Jonathan:So this turns into like, “Oh my god, it’s so complicated.” No, the answer is, if the more you can focus on eating food found in its natural state, the healthier you will be. So no, you don’t have to go buy cod liver oil and buy chlorella and buy spirulina.

There are things you could do to turbo-charge your health but the net takeaway is -– the question was, “Are vitamins and high supplements necessary if you’re eating SANE?” Are they necessary? I would say, take all the effort and all the time you would spend thinking about supplements and spend them on maybe a little bit more time at the farmer’s market or maybe with getting the organic produce rather than the conventional produce.

If you want to super-charge or supplement your health, spend it trying to turn back the clock on the way and source of food we got fifty years ago than on saying, “I’m going to put these pills in my body to make up for what’s gone on in the external world.”

April:Okay. Good job. SANE blood -– that’s our next question. “Has Jonathan produced anything about how to read blood work? I had blood tests two years ago. Just got them done again. The doctor tells me it all looks good but I’m curious to know if anything has improved from my SANE eating.”

You look through these categories in your blood work. I have no idea. No one ever tells you how to read it. The doctor just gives you a thumbs up and you’re on your way. So, anything we should be looking for or is there any resource online we could utilize to learn how this is going to affect us?

Jonathan:Blood work or a general understanding of what the numbers mean can be very helpful. I would strongly just recommend maybe sitting down with it and just using Google. Like, if you want to type in the various things -– I mean, you’ll quickly get some sort of Wikipedia article which says the healthy range, the bad range.

Just look at a few different sources because, like, cholesterol’s a great example. The sort of high total cholesterol -– there’s going to be fifteen blog articles that tell you one thing about that and fifteen blog articles that tell you another thing about that.

For the things that really matter, like particle size, A1c levels, triglycerides, the LDL cholesterol -– those types of things -– there’s pretty well universal agreement on those. Just look at a couple of different sources and just use Google as your best friend.

April:Okay, I like that idea because I don’t hang out looking at blood work ever. I think that’s really helpful. It’s like you want to be able to see how are things changing -– am I getting better?

All right, last question. SANE calories -– “I track my food in my Fitness Pal because I have food issues. It helps me be accountable.” So even though in a SANE lifestyle, we don’t have to track your calories; this individual does. “It also makes sure I don’t go into starvation mode. I’m eating green smoothies for breakfast; having salads with protein for lunch and dinner; veggies as snacks. And yet, each day, I come in around 900 calories.

I know SANE isn’t about calories but surely this is too low, right? Most doctors don’t recommend going under 1300 even when “dieting.” She just can’t figure it out and wants to know, “What am I doing wrong? Do I need more of vegetables? I could add in some seeds. I’m allergic to nuts.” There you go, Jonathan.

Jonathan:Yes. So the key metric is, how are you feeling and how are your results? Because if, for example, you’re not tired and you are feeling great and you’re functioning great and you have –- something is different about your body. I mean, if you’re feeling great and you’re functioning great on 900 calories and you’re 100 pounds overweight, I can tell you exactly what’s happening.

What’s happening is, you’re experiencing what’s called a spontaneous reduction of caloric intake, which means that, while it seems like you’re only eating 900 calories, what’s really happening is, 900 calories are passing through your lips while an additional 1000 are coming off your hips because your body has regained its ability to burn calories that are already in it.

Now, if you were already at a normal or, let’s say, a healthy body weight and you are only eating 900 calories and you were weight stable, that would be interesting but there are –- and there’s older people, for example, who are very small, very inactive, who probably only eat 900 calories.

You’d really need to look at the results you are getting and, if you’re not losing weight, I don’t know if you would need to feel bad about what’s taking place.

April:All right. Now, here’s a question on that because it sounds like she’s not eating a lot of wholefood fats. I’m seeing a lot of vegetables and protein but not wholefood fats. So if we’re in a fat-burning mode, is it okay just not to even add in any of the fats?

Jonathan:It’s very difficult to not eat fat. What I mean by that is –- yes, if all you ate were vegetables, you wouldn’t be taking in fat. Meat and fish and dairy all have fat in them. I mean, that’s why the remaining four anti-fat fanatics in the world -– of times, they’re like, “Don’t ever eat meat. Meat will kill you.” The reason they’re saying that is not because meat will kill you; it’s because meat often comes with some fat and they think fat will kill you.

It’s very difficult in –- the leanest protein in the world -– like, maybe tuna fish, because tuna fish is like almost ninety percent protein -– but even tuna fish has omega-3 fats in it so it’s got those essential fats in there for you.

Put it this way. If you’re eating humanely provided seafood and meat, it’s nearly impossible not to be getting the essential levels of fat that you need to be healthy.

April:All right. So should this person, who’s only eating 900 calories a day, have any concern that her body is going into starvation mode or anything like that if she’s eating the optimal ten plus servings of non-starchy vegetables; she’s getting her protein in, which has some fat; and she feels really good and she’s getting results. Should she be thinking, “Oh, I should add in a few more calories?” Is there any need for that?

Jonathan:They words you said that matter so much are, “And she’s feeling good.” Starvation mode feels like garbage.

April:Okay.

Jonathan:So there will never be any question whether or not you’re in starvation mode. Think about the last time you dieted and you were cold, tired, hungry, crabby, lost your sex drive, couldn’t think. That’s your body saying, “Oh my gosh. What are you doing to me? I’m going to shut down.” So if she’s not feeling that way, she’s not in starvation mode.

April:I love your answer. That’s fantastic. Okay.

Jonathan:One for four. So far, that’s good. No, I’m just kidding.

April:I liked your other answers too but I think that’s a really good one. I think that’s super helpful. I will just say, I have had one day – I think it was two weeks ago – when I, for some reason, I decided to run three errands at dinnertime with my kids without eating. I was the meanest person. Like, you would not have even recognized me; I was so mean.

I thought, “Ugh, this is what it was like when I was dieting.” I hadn’t had that experience for a long time. I was super mean. Anyway, I’m feeling much better now that I’m eating my SANE food now.

Jonathan:What can I say? I felt sort of bad on the non-answer I gave earlier about the exercise and some of the supplement stuff. So let me just give one little bit of info on that. Is that okay?

April:Yes.

Jonathan:Okay. So one of the reasons I think this question turned out really, really well is because it was a very specific question about a specific situation for a specific person.

April: Got it.

Jonathan:That matters a lot because if I –- imagine someone wrote in a question which said, “I’m going somewhere. What’s the best outfit for me to wear?” We didn’t know if it was a man or a woman; we didn’t know where they were going; we didn’t know anything about that.

April:Or their preferences.

Jonathan:That is the expectation we have. Like, we expect that we can go up to a random fit person at the gym and be like, “What do you eat? Well, I’ll do that too.” But if you do that for any other context in your life, you know it won’t work out. You know it has to be specific to you; it has to be something we think through on an individualized basis. Just like I could never tell Anonymous Person what’s the right outfit to wear in Mystery Event you’re going to.

Acknowledge that there are people on the Internet that will answer those questions. So run the other direction because that’s crazy. That’s nonsense and that’s why this seems so confusing because you have a bunch of goofballs giving uneducated random recommendations that just confuse you.

April:Yes. Okay, I think that that redeemed you for those other questions. No, I’m just kidding. You did a great job. I think that’s fantastic and I think -– well, okay, what would you say for our next action? We’ve kind of gone over a whole lot of different things here.

Jonathan:As a next action, I would just -– here’s a way to detect whether or not you should listen to wellness advice. If the wellness advice is presented by someone who has, like, no understanding of your -– if they give you very specific recommendation without a very specific understanding of your situation, run the other direction because, just like you wouldn’t –-

Like, if a doctor is going to diagnose you with a medication, they’re going to diagnose you specifically after talking with you about that specific condition for quite some time. You’re not just going to be like, “Doc, I feel bad. What medication should I take?” And the doctor over the Internet says, “Here’s a prescription.” Don’t fall victim to that with all the snake oil sales nonsense that’s going on in your grocery store shelves and that’s going on on the Internet. Protect yourself from that nonsense.

April:Love it. All right, everybody. Do what Jonathan just said. Enjoy this process. We are so glad that you are here. Thank you so much. Please take care of yourself and remember to stay SANE.

Learn the exact foods you must eat if you want to finally lose weight permanently. Click here to download your free Weight Loss Food List, the “Eat More, Lose More” Weight Loss Plan, and the “Slim in 6” Cheat Sheet…CLICK HERE FOR FREE “HOW TO” WEIGHT LOSS GUIDES
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