237: Diet Myths

Diet Myths 

Diet myths deter most people from going in the right direction. Whether it be for weight loss or reversing illnesses, knowing what diet myths that aren't true can ultimately guide us to eating right. Dr. Mark Hyman is a former mentor of mine who will help bust several diet myths in today's episode.

Growing Up Years

Dr. Mark Hyman grew up in Spain, and he recalls his mother loved shopping at the market every day for fresh food. His mother also tended her garden at home and always stressed the need to buy fresh and eat fresh.

As he grew older, Dr. Mark Hyman chanced upon a book written by Roger Williams called Nutrition Against Disease. That book influenced him to lead a healthy lifestyle until he became a yoga teacher apart from teaching health and becoming a vegetarian.

“I'm 58 years old now. I look at my body 30 or 40 years ago when I first became a vegetarian. I was a scrawny thing with no muscle mass,” recalls Dr. Mark Hyman. “And I am now exercising far less. But changing my diet to more high fat, low starch diet, with adequate amounts of good quality protein. And I am far more muscular and fit than when I was 20 years old.”

Food As Medicine

Dr. Mark Hyman remembers that he got sick from mercury poisoning in China years ago.  He discovered a whole new world in functional medicine because of his illness. Food was the primary medicine to cure his condition. Dr. Mark Hyman food is a drug because it acts faster and cheaper than most drugs.

“There have been so many additives added to food over the last hundred years, almost  2,000 additives in our food. Very few have been tested adequately and were passed by the FDA as safe until we learn that they're not,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

Dr. Mark Hyman, there's so many examples of additives like transfat. It is a part of our diet that has never been proven to be safe.

“There's a lot of things in our food that we think is healthy.  A lot of health food store products have thickeners that cause leaky gut, toxic plastic containers, and all kinds of food additives,” Dr. Mark Hyman revealed. “It can cause autism, neurodevelopmental issues, and psychiatric problems. Artificial sweeteners can also cause weight gain, diabetes and damage the gut microbiome.”

Finding The Right Diet

I currently practice a keto and paleo diet. This is because my Naturopath found our I had elevated cardiovascular markers and my blood work was not going in the right direction.

It's tricky finding the right diet that works. Dr. Mark Hyman says that lowering meat intake is a great starting point as well as portion control. Busting diet myths has been his expertise for the longest time.

Institute For Integrative Nutrition

Incidentally, when I was part of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's year-long health coach training program, Dr. Mark Hyman was one of my teachers. To those who want to become a health coach or merely increase your knowledge of health and nutrition, do sign up at IIN. Also, mention Learn True Health to avail of the special student rate.

Sunlighten Sauna

Like I have mentioned in a past episode, I have been losing weight and getting rid of the toxins in my body by using my Sunlighten sauna. Dr. Mark Hyman is also an owner of a sauna unit and attests to the health benefits of doing saunas every day.

I highly recommend the sauna company since they also provide a fantastic financing payment option.  They offer free shipping which is valued at $600, and they also offer $100 discount on sauna accessories.

What The Heck Should We Eat Book

Dr. Mark Hyman says we have to look more comprehensively at our diet. In his book, Dr. Mark Hyman writes about diet myths and what science shows.

Mostly, his book does more than just busting diet myths. It is an eater's guide to food in the 21st century. The book teaches you how to eat food and what brand is good for your health, planet, climate, economy, helping poverty and violence and providing educational disparity. Dr. Mark Hyman illustrates that food is at the center of all those situations.

Statistics Don't Lie

Dr. Mark Hyman explains that a ketogenic diet contains 70 percent fat. It is extremely high fat and very low carb diet. The ketogenic diet reverses diabetes of over 60% of people suffering from the disease, 4% got out of medication and insulin.

“My body composition changed when I changed to higher fat diet, and eating lots of protein, vegetables and lots of fat. My muscle mass increased even if I was not exercising as much,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

Effects On the Environment

Dr. Mark Hyman says that one of the issues of the environmental movement is to eat less meat. But what meat are we eating? If it is grass-fed meat, Dr. Mark Hyman says it's a whole different issue.

Dr. Mark Hyman also mentions that there's a book called Kiss the Ground by Josh Tickell. It's an amazing story all about the soil. Because soil is the key to our health in so many ways. 

“The carbon from the environment gets sequestered or held in the soil. Soil erosion and other negative effects on the soil are happening because of how we grow food. Hence, properly grazing animals can help the soil regenerate,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

Importance Of Fiber

Dr. Mark Hyman says fiber is important because it fertilizes the good bacteria in the gut. He also says that our microbiome is essential.

“Because when we feed our microbiome junk food, they turn into junky bacteria. They also produce some nasty chemicals. When we feed them a lot of fiber, there's a huge difference in the health of the microbiome,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

Studies have shown that Americans only eat an average of 8 to 15 grams of fiber a day. Typically, 50 grams is a right amount to target aside from drinking a lot of water.

Dangers Of Sugar And Flour

Dr. Mark Hyman reveals that half of Americans have pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Currently, 90% are not diagnosed, and 70% of Americans are overweight.

“We are biologically designed to crave and love sugar because it helps us store fat for the winter. If we could eat anything that's starchy, has carbs, sugar or honey, we will put on weight right away. And that's a good thing from an evolutionary point of view,” said Dr. Mark Hyman. 

But he also adds,”Now in our era, we have 152 pounds of sugar and 133 pounds of flour which is worse than sugar. We are actually in a toxic situation. Because Flour has a higher glycemic index than sugar.”

Busting More Diet Myths

Dr. Mark Hyman says the standard advice of eating less and exercising more to lose weight is the biggest lie. He says it's about the quality of the calories you eat, not the amount.

“If you focus on what you're eating and not how much, you will naturally do the right thing. So when you can't exercise your way out of a bad diet, you have to make sure that you're eating the right food,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

Dr. Mark Hyman also says that people who eat a high glycemic diet have a higher risk of dementia. So we should all be eating an extremely low glycemic diet.

He explains that people who eat gluten do tiny microscopic damage to their gut which leads to inflammation. Ultimately, it breaks the linkages between our cells and our intestines will become loose, also known as leaky gut. 

“If you know how to work your biology, you can be fully satisfied, happy and energetic with your diet. You don't have to deprive yourself. Use science rather than willpower to fix your biology,” said Dr. Mark Hyman.

To know more about diet-related topics, I recommend listening to my past episodes with Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Jack Wolfson, and Dr. William Davis.

Dr. Mark Hyman, MD, believes that we all deserve a life of vitality and that we have the potential to create it for ourselves. That's why he is dedicated to tackling the causes of chronic disease by harnessing the power of Functional Medicine to transform healthcare. Dr. Mark Hyman and his team work every day to empower people, organizations, and communities to heal their bodies and minds, and improve our social and economic resilience.


Dr. Mark Hyman is a practicing family physician, a ten-time #1 New York Times bestselling author, and an internationally recognized leader, speaker, educator, and advocate in his field. He is the Director the Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine.

He is also the founder and medical director of The UltraWellness Center, chairman of the board of the Institute for Functional Medicine, a medical editor of The Huffington Post, and was a regular medical contributor on many television shows including CBS This Morning, Today Show, Good Morning America, CNN, and The View, Katie and The Dr. Oz Show.

Dr. Mark Hyman works with individuals and organizations, as well as policymakers and influencers. He has testified before both the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has consulted with the Surgeon General on diabetes prevention and participated in the 2009 White House Forum on Prevention and Wellness.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa nominated Dr. Mark Hyman for the President's Advisory Group on Prevention, Health Promotion, and Integrative and Public Health. Also, Dr. Hyman has worked with President Clinton, presenting at the Clinton Foundation's Health Matters, Achieving Wellness in Every Generation conference and the Clinton Global Initiative, as well as with the World Economic Forum on global health issues.

He is the winner of the Linus Pauling Award, The Nantucket Project Award, and was inducted in the Books for Better Life Hall of Fame, and the Christian Book of the Year Award for The Daniel Plan.

Get Connected With Dr. Mark Hyman!

Official Website





Books by Dr. Mark Hyman

10-Day Detox Diet


Eat Fat, Get Thin

Food: What the Heck Should I Eat?

Recommended Links:

Institute For Integrative Nutrition

Sunlighten Sauna

Dr. Jack Wolfson – Ep 101

Dr. William Davis – Ep 167

Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn – Ep 232

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Diet Myths – Dr Mark Hyman & Ashley James – #237

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Ashley James

Health Coach, Podcast Creator, Homeschooling Mom, Passionate About God & Healing

Ashley James is a Holistic Health Coach, Podcaster, Rapid Anxiety Cessation Expert, and avid Whole Food Plant-Based Home Chef. Since 2005 Ashley has worked with clients to transform their lives as a Master Practitioner and Trainer of Neuro-linguistic Programming.

Her health struggles led her to study under the world’s top holistic doctors, where she reversed her type 2 diabetes, PCOS, infertility, chronic infections, and debilitating adrenal fatigue.

In 2016, Ashley launched her podcast Learn True Health with Ashley James to spread the TRUTH about health and healing. You no longer need to suffer; your body CAN and WILL heal itself when we give it what it needs and stop what is harming it!

The Learn True Health Podcast has been celebrated as one of the top holistic health shows today because of Ashley’s passion for extracting the right information from leading experts and doctors of holistic health and Naturopathic medicine


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