As heart disease continues to be the number one leading cause of death in the US, and 1 in 4 deaths being attributed to heart disease, it is a topic we need to continue discussing.
I have had a couple other cardiologists on the show talking about heart disease, Dr. Jack Wolfson and Dr. Bret Scher. This week, my guest is a cardiologist who has performed thousands of heart surgeries over the years, and he wants to make sure you don't end up on his operating table.
Dr. Philip Ovadia will give us strategies to avoid surgery as best we can, and to take care of our hearts early in life so we don't become another statistic.
What To Expect From This Episode
- [0:00] Welcome to the Summit For Wellness Podcast
- [3:00] Who is Dr. Philip Ovadia and what made him interested in Cardiology
- [4:30] After thousands of surgeries, what is the most common problems Dr. Ovadia has seen
- [5:45] Dr. Philip Ovadia used to be really overweight, and the stress of long days of being a surgeon put him at risk for heart issues
- [9:30] What was it like giving advice to patients about their weight when Dr. Ovadia was 100lbs overweight himself
- [11:15] What were some of the first things Dr. Philip Ovadia learned that are primary causes for heart disease
- [13:00] It can be tough to make lifestyle changes, but if you give them the blueprint to make successful changes then it isn't as hard
- [16:00] Why don't all cardiologists recommend lifestyle changes first before prescribing medications
- [17:45] How do you improve the quality of the foods you consume
- [18:45] What is metabolic health and how do you establish how well yours is working
- [21:00] Is there one diet that rules them all, or do diets need to be tailored to the individual person
- [23:15] How do you make eating real food less of a chore and also make it cheaper than eating processed foods
- [26:00] Ways other than metabolic health to stay off the operating table
- [28:15] Cholesterol's role is to repair the damage from inflammation, so by trying to treat the cholesterol, you are missing the main reason for it
- [30:15] How much of our cholesterol comes directly from food
- [32:15] How do you test for metabolic health
- [37:45] When at conferences with other cardiologists, do many of them want to teach this stuff to their patients, or only focus on statins and surgeries
- [40:30] What is Dr. Philip Ovadia's version of what healthy looks like
Resources From This Episode
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Transcript For Episode (Transcripts aren't even close to 100% Accurate)
[00:00:15] Bryan Carroll: heart disease continues to remain being the number one killer in the U S even after all this time and all of this work that we've done to improve heart health, it still is the leading cause of death in this country.
[00:00:29] And actually one in four deaths are attributed to heart health. The unfortunate problem with this is that the majority of these cases can be fixed via lifestyle changes, and you don't have to go under the knife to be operated. What's up everyone. My name is Bryan Carroll and I help people to move more, eat well and be adventurous.
[00:00:51] And today I have Dr. Philip Ovadia on the show to teach us all about how to say off of his operating table through different lifestyle changes. He is a cardiologist and he has done thousands and thousands of heart surgeries over the years. And what he has discovered through his own health journey is that in order to stay off of that operating table, you got to start with the foods you're consuming and what you're doing every single day.
[00:01:18] So he has a new book out that's called stay off my operating table, a heart surgeons, metabolic health guide to lose weight, prevent disease, and feel your best. Every single. And you can find [email protected]/Ovadia, which is O V a D I a, but before we dive into that conversation, if you are someone that enjoys doing back country skiing or snowboarding, and you want to learn more about avalanche safety and how to assess avalanche terrain, there is a course with mark smiley at mountain sense that teaches you all about avalanche.
[00:01:56] Now, the point of this course is not to replace it every one or two courses that you would do in person, which are some of the main avalanche courses out there. But one of the benefits of it is it does cover a lot of the same information. And because it's online, you can go back and rewatch the videos over and over.
[00:02:16] So for us every single year before the snow season begins, we just go through the entire course again and watch everything so that it's fresh in our minds. And we recognize all the different dangers that are possible with avalanches and different snow conditions. So if you want to join that program, you can go over to summit for wellness.com/avalanche.
[00:02:40] And that will take you right there. Okay. Let's dive into my conversation with Dr. Ovadia. Thank you, Phil, for coming onto the show.
[00:02:50] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Oh, great. To be here with you, Bryan. Thanks for having me on, of
[00:02:53] Bryan Carroll: course, and I'm really excited to talk about different ways to keep people off of your surgery table. But before we do that, let's learn a little bit more about you.
[00:03:01] What's your background and what got you interested in cardiology?
[00:03:06] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Sure thing. So I always knew I wanted to be a physician. If you asked my parents from, you know, when I was very young the answer I always gave as to what I wanted to do when I grew up was to be a surgeon actually specifically.
[00:03:22] And I went through college and medical school and my interest in surgery, you know, kind of persisted. And so I went into a training first to do what's called general surgery. And then I went on to do additional training in heart and lung surgery, cardiothoracic surgery, and, you know, ultimately.
[00:03:44] Heart surgery interested me the most because I just find the heart itself to be fascinating. You know, it's, it's what keeps us alive and supplies the blood to all of our organs. And so you know, treating diseases of the heart was always interesting to me and the combination of sort of the technical skills that go into doing heart surgery and the physiology behind.
[00:04:12] It was just the right combination for me.
[00:04:15] Bryan Carroll: How many surgeries do you think you've performed so far?
[00:04:19] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Probably at this point you know, somewhere in the three to 4,000.
[00:04:24] Bryan Carroll: Well, that's amazing. So I'm sure you've seen a lot of stuff when you're going into people's bodies and checking out their heart.
[00:04:30] What's the most common issue that you see once you're in.
[00:04:34] Dr. Philip Ovadia: So the most common surgery that I ended up doing is what's called a coronary artery bypass. And that is to deal with blockages that have built up in the arteries of the heart. And we're basically reread in the blood around the blockages that have formed to, you know, either try and prevent damage to the heart or trying to, you know, make up for damage that has been done to the heart due to those blocks.
[00:05:02] Bryan Carroll: Now as a surgeon, I'm assuming that yeah, pretty long days. Is that true?
[00:05:08] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Yeah, not unusual that I'll be in the operating room sometimes for, you know, eight, 10 or 12 hours in a day. Yeah.
[00:05:14] Bryan Carroll: And I know that you had your own kind of health issues with you gained a lot of weight and I would assume medical school and all that just adds on to a lot of stress to your body weight gain, looking for easy access to foods that might not be the healthiest option, but at least it holds you over.
[00:05:30] So can you talk to us a little bit about your struggles with weight and then what that did to change your idea around heart disease?
[00:05:39] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Sure thing. So, you know, my struggle with weight really goes back to childhood. I was always overweight and obese, and this was despite the fact that my family really kind of followed the recommendations, the us dietary guidelines.
[00:05:55] I grew up, you know, in the 1980s, when these first came out, And we avoided sugar in our house. My brother, my older brother is actually a type one diabetic, so we really never had sugar. We ate a low fat diet. That was very much in line with the, you know, with the food. And I was very active as a child as well.
[00:06:17] I played sports year round. I rode my bike. I walked to school often and despite that I, I was overweight and got more obese as I went through college and medical school. And the training to become a surgeon, as you kind of alluded to, you know, it's a long hours you know, oftentimes eating in the hospital, which turns out, you know, is not great to support your.
[00:06:41] But there were a few times, you know in my life that I knew that I needed to lose weight and I did what I had been taught, which was basically count calories, you know, eat less, move more, eat a low fat diet. And that would work in the short term. But as I'm sure many in your audience have experienced, I would always gain back the weight and.
[00:07:07] And going back about five or six years now, I really realized that I was going to end up on my own operating table. I was morbidly obese. I was pre-diabetic. And, you know, I knew that that's what I was headed towards is heart disease or diabetes, or, you know, one of these other chronic medical conditions that plague our society.
[00:07:32] But I really didn't know what to do because again, All I had ever been taught was eat less, move more, eat, low fat, you know, follow the U S dietary guidelines. And I was fortunate about five years ago to come across the work of Gary Tobbs. If people aren't familiar with him he is a scientific investigative journalist at the time.
[00:07:56] He had written the book, the case against sugar prior to that, he wrote why we get fat and good calories, bad calories. And I heard him talk in a medical conference and he was talking about, you know, low carb and the influence of sugar and how, you know, it's not so much how much you eat, but the types of food you eat that ultimately determine you know, whether or not you become obese and.
[00:08:25] I, you know, I read his material and I cut sugar out of my diet and then went low carb and had great success. I've now lost over a hundred pounds that I've maintained that weight loss for over five years. And what I really came to learn through that journey was the importance of metabolic health to your overall health.
[00:08:45] To your weight and to preventing chronic medical problems like heart disease which, you know, at this point I was 10 years into my career as a heart surgeon. And I thought, I knew pretty well what caused heart disease. But I really came to find out that what I thought caused heart disease was not the primary cause of heart disease.
[00:09:07] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. It's well, first off, congratulations. On the a hundred pound weight loss. That's absolutely. But I got to ask you, when you're talking with patients in your a hundred pounds overweight, what is that experience like for you?
[00:09:22] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Well, you know, I'm sure from the patient side of things, they were looking at me and kind of thinking, you know, how is this guy going to tell me how to be healthy?
[00:09:32] And, you know, unfortunately doctors are not any different than the rest of our society. A lot of us, probably most of us, you know, are unhealthy. And the statistics show, you know, that 88% of the adults in the United States are not metabolically healthy. And, but, you know, physicians are like everyone else and they're giving the advice that we basically learned in school.
[00:09:57] And I guess, you know, at some level I kind of always knew that that advice wasn't working for me. But, you know, I thought it would work for my patients because that's what I was kind of told to tell them. And that's what I had learned to tell them. But you know, thankfully now in the past, you know, five years since I've learned this new information and I've seen it have great success for myself, and I've now been able to tell patients about it as well.
[00:10:26] And I see it have success for them. I feel that I'm a much more effective doctor than I was, you know, back then.
[00:10:35] Bryan Carroll: That's perfect. So your own experience has really helped you to not only connect with the patients that are coming in to see you, but you've also recognized that. You know, some of these teachings that we've had for 40 years might not be working the way that they're supposed to for our society.
[00:10:51] Which part of that has led to heart disease, being the number one cause of death in our country, which I find absolutely fascinating. So what was the first thing that you discovered was one of the main issues leading to people gaining weight and having heart disease?
[00:11:11] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Well, you know, even to take a step back, I want to say that the first thing you know, that this experience taught me was that what we eat is the primary determinant of our health.
[00:11:22] And much of the time, you know, in health care, in medicine, these days, that fact gets lost. You know, we essentially believe that we develop diseases. Because of a lack of medication and therefore the reason to fix it, know the primary way to fix these diseases is by treating people with medication and, you know, realizing that what we eat has such an influence on our health and therefore the best way to fix problems with our health, the first way to fix problems with our health should be focusing on what we do.
[00:12:00] So that, that was kind of the first concept I had a sore I had to relearn. And then the next concept was, again, that it's not how much we eat necessarily. It's the types of food that we're eating, that have the greatest influence on whether we become obese and whether we develop these chronic medical problems, like heart disease that, you know, are the leading causes of death for us.
[00:12:29] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. And it's interesting because you know, medication definitely has a place. There's definitely instances where medication is needed, but I also think that our society is so trained for a pill, fixing all of our problems. And it's very hard for people to make big lifestyle changes, like changing their diet.
[00:12:49] What do you think about that?
[00:12:52] Dr. Philip Ovadia: I think in the end, it's not that hard for people. If you give them. Change that works. I think it is perceived that people, you know, won't change your lifestyle or it's hard for them to change your lifestyle because largely the advice that they've been given around changing their lifestyle is lousy advice and it doesn't work.
[00:13:15] So obviously people aren't going to stick with it. If it doesn't work. When I now talk to people and I explained to them the types of. Dietary interventions that I usually recommend dietary changes and the other lifestyle factors that go into it. And I tell them, you know, the options are you can address, you know, let's say it's high blood pressure that they've been diagnosed with and you can either go on this medication.
[00:13:47] And we know that you're going to be on this medication for the rest of your life. And most likely you're going to need even more medications after this to continue to treat this problem. And the problem itself, the high blood pressure isn't actually going to go away. We're just going to manage it with these medications, or you can change some things about the way you eat and the way you live your life.
[00:14:14] And you won't need medications and we can make the problem go away. We can actually undo the high blood pressure that you have. For instance, when you present that information to people like that, 90% of people are going to say. You know, I want to change. I want to do the lifestyle changes and avoid the medication if I can.
[00:14:36] And then if you give them effective information on how to change their lifestyle, most of the time, they really don't have trouble sticking with it. You know, unfortunately that conversation usually doesn't even take place. They usually go to their doctor and the doctor diagnoses them with high blood pressure and they are told the only option is to take medication.
[00:15:00] And so that's what they do. And then, you know, we kind of add to the healthcare system say, well, people just won't change their lifestyle. So we're not even going to bother talking to them about that.
[00:15:12] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. I love the approach that you brought there, where you give them the option. Instead of just telling them, this is what you have to do, they get to choose.
[00:15:19] Do you want. To continue taking medications and eventually take more and more medications, or you can put the work in now and make the necessary lifestyle changes to hopefully get you off of all these medications. Now, like you mentioned, one of the problems is most people don't get those options when they go to see the doctor.
[00:15:37] And is that a training issue with the doctor and the staff? Of these places or is it kind of an insurance issue where people or the physicians have to see so many people per hour and they don't have time to actually sit there and talk through these options with people?
[00:15:56] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Well, the answer to that unfortunately is yes.
[00:15:59] You know, because it's both this, the whole health care system has evolved to a point where. Medications are the focus, medications and treatments. I would say like surgeries are the focus of the system and the education that doctors receive. And, you know, this largely goes for other healthcare professionals as well.
[00:16:22] That education is focused on teaching you to effectively use those medications and those surgeries and those treatments. And we get very little, if any education around nutrition and, you know, proper eating and other lifestyle to support your health. And as I said, the, the, the little bit of education that we do get around those issues is oftentimes.
[00:16:47] You know, poor education. Again, you know, we're told that us dietary guidelines in the food pyramid are the way to support good health. And the evidence is all around us. That that is simply not effective.
[00:17:02] Bryan Carroll: Yep. Well, let's start diving into some of the steps people can take to really make lifestyle changes out last.
[00:17:10] So you talked about making the dietary changes and really focusing on the quality of the foods, not just a quantity. So can you talk a little bit more deeper about that? What does that
[00:17:20] Dr. Philip Ovadia: look like? Well, you know, I think the first step in all of this is. People have to make the intentional choice, you know, about managing their health.
[00:17:31] As I said, if you just kind of go with what the system gives you, the statistics show that you're likely to end up unhealthy. So you need to make the decision that you want to be in charge of your health. You're not going to let your physician be in charge of your health, your insurance company, be in charge of your health, the government be in charge of your health.
[00:17:52] It's you, that needs to be in charge of. And then we need to look at the proper ways to measure health. So for me, I talk a lot about the concept of metabolic health and understanding what that is and measuring it properly, I think is the first step. And then, you know, when you want to get down to the foods that you're going to eat I basically tell people, you know, you want to find foods that support your metabolic.
[00:18:20] And for the most part that comes down to eating whole real food is the kind of simple concept that I give people in the end.
[00:18:29] Bryan Carroll: Can you talk a little bit more? What is metabolic health and how do you establish what that
[00:18:35] Dr. Philip Ovadia: exactly. So metabolic health basically means that your body is properly utilizing the inputs that you're giving it primarily what you.
[00:18:45] And, you know, our body essentially does three things with what we eat. It turns it into immediate energy that, you know, allows us to do all the things we do through the day and keep our bodies running. It builds and rebuilds our tissues. And then it stores some of that energy in case that there isn't food available in the future.
[00:19:09] And when we are no longer metabolically healthy, what ends up happening is too much of the energy gets stored. And then we're never able to tap into that stored energy. So it basically just keeps accumulating. And this is why people can be overweight or obese and still be hungry all the time because they're carrying around all this excess fat, but they're not able to use it because of the types of food words.
[00:19:37] And the other thing that's important for people to understand about this is you don't have to be overweight to not be metabolically healthy. Plenty of people who were normal weight, even underweight are not metabolically healthy. So those are some of the concepts that's important to understand.
[00:19:57] Bryan Carroll: Perfect. And I know in the nutrition realm, there's a lot of battles between what is a correct diet for people to consume. And you had mentioned, you know, starting at whole whole foods, real foods and wheezy, you know, different dietary types like beacons, vegetarians. They believe that their whole real food option is a way to go.
[00:20:19] You got carnivore diet, you got Mediterranean diet. There's all these different diets. Helping people to eat healthier, but there's some nuances that are a little different. So can you still achieve healthy, metabolic state with your body by being on these different diet types? Or is there only one diet type that works?
[00:20:40] Dr. Philip Ovadia: I, I, you know, there is not only one diet that's perfect for everyone. I think all of those diets, you mentioned, you know, carnivore vegan, Keto low carb, Mediterranean Atkins, you know, all of that stuff can all be done in a way that is supportive of metabolic health. And they can also be done in ways that are not supportive of metabolic health.
[00:21:04] And I think the concept that kind of unifies all of them is the part about eating whole real. So, you know, again, making it simple for people, I say, eat the things that grow in the ground and eat the things that eat the things that grow in the ground. And, you know, the balance between how much animal product do you want to consume and how much plant matter you want to consume is quite frankly up for some time.
[00:21:31] And there is a lot of nuance that goes into that. And there's a lot of different factors that go into that, you know, personal tastes what's available. You know, there might be some ethical considerations, although I try and, you know, get those to be minimal, you know, the focus should be on your health.
[00:21:49] The ethical concerns, I think sometimes need to take a back seat to that, but I realized that people do have ethical concerns that will influence what they eat and we can work with. So in my, in my new book, I go through each of these diets and I talk about what is metabolically healthy about each one and what isn't metabolically healthy about each.
[00:22:13] And that will give people the options of, you know, kind of choosing and finding what works for them. But again, I think the underlying, the guiding principle in what you end up eating should be, is it going to make me metabolically healthy or keep me metabolically healthy or not
[00:22:35] Bryan Carroll: now? Could possibly end up on your surgery table on your operating table.
[00:22:41] They might hear this information and think about, you know, if I have to sit there and cook all my meals or eat whole real foods, that one could be expensive and two, it could be very time consuming, cooking all of their own meals. What are some of your objections to those thoughts?
[00:23:00] Dr. Philip Ovadia: So it turns out that, you know, eating whole real foods.
[00:23:05] Ends up being a lot easier then eating processed food. Most of the time when we eat whole real foods, the shopping is simple. The preparation is simple. There's a lot less weight, lot less waste product. And we usually end up eating less of it because we're giving our bodies the nutrition that our, you know, that our bodies are looking for.
[00:23:34] And when we stick to nutritionally dense, real food, a lot of times we end up eating less often and having to eat less amounts of those foods than we normally do. The processed foods that we are used to eating, aren't serving our nutritional needs. And so we're always hungry and we're always eating. And, and as you know, you know, it is become commonplace for people to eat now six, seven, even eight times a day and eat every two to three hours.
[00:24:06] Whereas people who eat whole real food myself, for instance, I usually eat once, maybe twice a day. And I don't do that because I'm restricting myself. I do that because I'm only hungry once or twice a day. And when I do eat that one or two meals, it is all nutritionally, dense food. That's easy to prepare, easy to shop for.
[00:24:28] And you know, all I can say is, you know, my experience in the experience of many patients and people that I've worked with is that it is a lot easier to eat this. Then it was when I was, you know, kind of eating the standard American diet.
[00:24:45] Bryan Carroll: Yep. My wife and I, we both also eat usually just two meals a day and our food budget for the.
[00:24:52] Only comes out to about 12 to $1,500 total for the year for the two of us. And now granted that says buying like meat products and stuff in bulk. Now we work with a lot of farmers and we do grow some of our own food, but there are ways to eat really healthy without it breaking the bank.
[00:25:09] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Yeah, there really are.
[00:25:10] And you know, I will also say that I eat out not infrequently, you know, I end up traveling a lot for work. And so I, and I, you know, I end up eating out a lot and that can be done in a metabolically healthy way as well.
[00:25:26] Bryan Carroll: Now, moving on from a metabolic health, are there any other key areas that we need to cover to make sure people say off of your operating table?
[00:25:35] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Well, you know, again, you know, My focus is largely on heart disease and the concepts that have been put out there around how best to prevent heart disease. Namely only focusing on your cholesterol and one specific type of cholesterol, the LDL cholesterol, the bad cholesterol as it's called that. Concept is again not serving us.
[00:26:02] Well, it turns out that a lot of patients that I end up operating on have normal or low cholesterol levels and some of that, because they're on medications, some of that just naturally. So we are not doing a very good job in preventing heart disease by only focusing on cholesterol, as we talked about already heart disease remains the number one.
[00:26:27] Killer the number one cause of death in the United States and worldwide, and it's by a wide margin that it is the number one cause. And it's been that way for the past 30 years, despite all of the, what has been done around the cholesterol issue, all of the medications and treatments that have come out around it and all of our focuses.
[00:26:50] You know, dietary changes that are focused only on lowering cholesterol and none of that has had a real significant impact on the incidence of heart disease. And when you really go back and you look at the data around heart disease and just the statistics around heart disease, it turns out that metabolic health is a much greater predictor of heart disease than cholesterol.
[00:27:15] And I want to be clear. I'm not saying that cholesterol has no part in the development of heart disease. It's just not the primary cause of heart disease. And, but, you know, we, people can have a much greater impact on preventing heart disease or minimizing, you know, the, the effects of heart disease. Once it has occurred, if they would focus on improving their metabolic health first and foremost,
[00:27:41] Bryan Carroll: Yeah, cholesterol is more of a symptom of a greater issue.
[00:27:46] Isn't it? Isn't it in there to try and repair the damage to your arteries from other issues. Yeah,
[00:27:53] Dr. Philip Ovadia: that is basically the role that cholesterol plays. And I liken it to, you know, cholesterol is the spackle that we're using to fix the damage wall. And if you keep damaging the wall and you keep putting more and more spackle on, you know, eventually now you've got a pile of spackle.
[00:28:11] That's basically kind of sticking out of the wall and that's very similar to what is happening in heart disease. The blood vessel gets damaged. The cholesterol is a repair. And if we keep damaging the blood vessel, that cholesterol builds up more and more into these plaques that ultimately end up blocking the arteries and the solution for that, shouldn't be, you know, get rid of the you know, get rid of the cholesterol, get rid of the spackle.
[00:28:39] The solution should be stopped damaging the wall of the blood vessel or don't damage the wall of the blood vessel to start. And one of the primary things that causes damage to the wall of the blood vessels is the effects of poor metabolic health, high blood sugar levels on a constant basis, high blood pressure, which again is a result of poor metabolic health.
[00:29:03] In most cases, these are the things that are damaging the blood vessels. And I believe that we can have a much greater impact. On heart disease on preventing heart disease and more effectively treating people with heart disease. If we were to focus on metabolic.
[00:29:22] Bryan Carroll: Yeah. And another nutritional debate over the years is, are eggs good or are they bad?
[00:29:28] And a lot of it comes down to the amount of cholesterol that can be found in an egg. If you eat it, how much of our cholesterol inside of the body actually comes directly from the food compared to your body, making it on its own?
[00:29:43] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Yeah. It turns out that the types of food that we eat, the cholesterol content of the food that we.
[00:29:49] Has very little impact on our cholesterol levels. You know, there's a little bit of an impact and yes, you can, you know, lower your cholesterol by changing some of the foods you eat. But for the most part, those same changes do not necessarily translate to lower risk of heart disease or, you know, living longer, which is ultimately what we care most about.
[00:30:15] You know, again, this is one of the. Flawed concepts that we function under. We have a little bit of evidence that shows if we lower the LDL cholesterol level, we might prevent a little bit of heart disease, but ultimately. The studies show that people do not live longer overall when you do that. And that's what real people are interested in and it gets into the whole role.
[00:30:44] You know, cholesterol does a lot of things in our body. Besides, you know, what it might do in terms of heart disease. You know, it plays a part in our immune systems. It is the precursor molecule for a lot of our sex hormones. So cholesterol, you know, cholesterol makes up a major portion of our brains and it makes up, you know, the cell, all of our cell walls are made, you know, made up of cholesterol.
[00:31:13] So. While lowering cholesterol maybe has a small incident in lowering heart disease. Overall, we know that if we lower people's cholesterol, it doesn't make them live any longer.
[00:31:27] Bryan Carroll: Yep. I love hearing cardiologists start talking more and more about that. Cause I feel like that type of information has been lost in translation for a long time.
[00:31:37] Is there a way to test for metabolic. Yeah.
[00:31:40] Dr. Philip Ovadia: So there are five basic measures that go into, you know, that we use to determine metabolic health. And it's a combination of things that people can check, you know, at home or on their own, and then some blood work. So the five measures we look at are, first of all, your waist circumference.
[00:31:58] So you just take a tape measure just above the level of your belly button. It's best to measure it. First thing in the morning. And if you're male, you want that to be under 40 inches? And if you're female, you want it to be under 35 inches. The next measurement is your blood pressure. So you can get this checked at the doctor's office.
[00:32:16] You can go to that. Pharmacy and supermarket these days, they all have, you know, kind of little kiosks that you can measure it at. You can order a home blood pressure kit to measure it yourself at home. But you want your blood pressure to be less than one 30, the top number. And less than 85 on the bottom number.
[00:32:37] And that needs to be without medications. If you are requiring medications to lower your blood pressure, that's already a marker of poor metabolic health. And then there were three blood tests that we look at your fasting, blood glucose. So the amount of sugar in your blood when you haven't eaten for approximately, you know, eight to 12 hours, and you want that number to be under a hundred.
[00:33:02] And these units are all kind of the American you know, measurements. If you have anyone listen internationally, the units are a little different but you want your, your fasting blood glucose to be less than a hundred. And again, that needs to be without medications to lower your blood glucose.
[00:33:19] And then there are two numbers from your cholesterol panel that we look at for metabolic health, but importantly, LDL cholesterol. The one that everyone focuses on is not one of the measurements we look at. So we look at the two, two of the other measurements that are on there. We look at your HDL cholesterol.
[00:33:38] Most kinds of people know that as your good cholesterol, that you want it to be higher, the higher, the better. And so to be metabolically healthy, if you are male, you want that to be over 40. If you're female, you want it to be over 50. And then we look at the triglyceride level and we want that to be less than 150.
[00:34:00] And you look at all those measurements. If three of those measurements are not within the healthy range, you have what we call metabolic syndrome. And metabolic syndrome means that you're a very high risk of developing things like diabetes, heart disease, certain types of cancer or Alzheimer's disease.
[00:34:20] And many of them. Chronic diseases. But even if you only have one or two of those abnormal, it's a warning sign because we know that a lot of those people are going to progress to developing metabolic syndrome. So you really want to get all five of those within the ideal range. And as I alluded to earlier, 88% of the adults in the United States do not meet all five measures of metabolic.
[00:34:48] So only 12% of the adults meet all five measures of metabolic.
[00:34:56] Bryan Carroll: Perfect. And luckily for us, you have all this information available in your book that is releasing as of today. So can you tell us a little bit more about your book and how we can say off of your operating table?
[00:35:08] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Sure. The book is called stay off my operating table and it's available in.
[00:35:15] Audio book and Kindle, you know, electronic book format it's on Amazon Barnes and noble.com and you know, all the other major online booksellers. And, you know, basically I go through a lot of what we kind of talked about here. You know, what is metabolic health? How do we measure it? And then I focus on how do we improve it?
[00:35:38] And again, primarily it is. Diet and what we eat, but other lifestyle factors like sleep and stress and you know, getting out in the sun play a part in metabolic health as well. And then what I don't do in the book is I don't give you the Dr. Ovadia diet plan. I don't say this is what you need to eat for the next 28 days to become metabolically healthy.
[00:36:04] I go through. A lot of the common diet plans that are out there. Like we talked about everything literally from vegan to carnivore Atkins, Mediterranean keto, and I talk about how they can be used to support your metabolic health. What is metabolically healthy about them and what are some of the things that are not metabolically healthy about them?
[00:36:26] And so I hope that will allow people to kind of figure out what works for them, but know the proper metrics. The proper, you know, measurements that you want to pay attention to, to figure out if your diet and lifestyle is working for you.
[00:36:44] Bryan Carroll: Awesome. And I have to ask you when you go to whether it's a conference with other cardiologists, or if you're just communicating with them directly, what is this information like with them, do other cardiologists wish that they could share this information with their patients or are a lot of them just so focused on doing the surgeries and giving satins, et cetera, that they don't have time for.
[00:37:10] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Yeah. Unfortunately, I would say the majority are in that latter category that they were just, you know, so ingrained in the system of, you know, giving medications, doing procedures you know, following sort of the mainstream advice that they, you know, a lot of them just dismiss all of this. Thankfully increasing numbers are starting to, you know, pay attention to this.
[00:37:37] Because they're saying they're seeing the same things that I'm seeing, that we're, we've been doing all of these things, you know, using the medications, lowering cholesterol, giving all the same dietary advice for the past 30 to 40 years. And yet we still have this epidemic of heart disease. And more and more of them are, you know, are having their eyes opened to, you know, some of this other information.
[00:38:02] Now, unfortunately, a lot of them are not as vocal as I am. They're still hesitant to speak out because quite frankly, you know, this goes against a lot of the. Major forces that influence healthcare these days, you know, the pharmaceutical industry is not particularly interested in this information. The food industry is not interested in this information.
[00:38:28] You know, insurance companies licensing boards, even you know, oftentimes you can start to. Call attention to yourself, I guess all you would say when you're talking about this information. But for me, you know, ultimately my, the reason I became a physician, you know, my passion is in helping my patients improve their health.
[00:38:55] And that is my primary concern. And if that means that I need to, you know, go up against some of these organizations, some of these institutions. Not only am I willing to do that, but I feel obligated to do that because I need to have my patients' interest, you know, first and foremost, and I need to do what I know is right for.
[00:39:21] Bryan Carroll: Exactly and it's, it's definitely a tough fight and I'm glad you're doing it. And I hope that the more other cardiologists learn about this, then the movement can just kind of sweep through and hopefully make change on a greater level. But until that point, hopefully your license doesn't get impacted in any way.
[00:39:39] By speaking out against. The conventional wisdom. So I appreciate everything that you're doing over there. My final question for you is what is your vision of what healthy looks like and what are three things you do daily to reach that vision?
[00:39:52] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Yeah, so ultimately I think what healthy looks like is that you feel good.
[00:39:58] You have the energy that you need to get through your day without the use of medications. And you know, that you're able to live A long life doing the things that you want to do in life. And for me, you know, first and foremost, what I focus on to accomplish that is paying attention to what I eat.
[00:40:21] You know, mostly eating the foods that I know are going to support my metabolic health, those whole real foods. The second principle that I think is important is. Getting adequate sleep. And you know, that kind of encompasses dealing with your stress levels. And the third thing I think. Moving adequate amounts.
[00:40:47] And I really, I don't talk about exercising enough. I just say that we should be active throughout our day. Try and be moving as much as possible. You know, walking throughout the day, taking the stairs when you can, instead of the elevator using a stand-up desk is one of the great things, you know, one of the sort of hacks that I do and, you know, I think if we just move more throughout our day, It's going to support our metabolic health.
[00:41:16] Bryan Carroll: perfect. Well, Phil people can learn more about [email protected] And again, your book dropped today. So people can head on over to their favorite book place and be able to find your book as well. Thank you, Phil so much for coming on and sharing this information with us. Like I said, it's very valuable information and hopefully this just takes the world by storm.
[00:41:39] Dr. Philip Ovadia: Thank you. Bryan has been a.
[00:41:41] Bryan Carroll: Seriously, if there's heart disease in your family, genetic somewhere, then you should definitely make sure you're going out and getting tested to see where your different levels are in your body, so that you can try to get ahead of the, any issues that might pop up. Now, remember a lot of times these heart issues.
[00:42:00] Come out of nowhere, you could be hanging out with your kids. You could be going for a walk, you could be driving. And then all of a sudden something happens. So if you are working to actively improve your overall health, then these risks go down and it's up to you to make those changes to your lifestyle, to get these risk factors to go down.
[00:42:20] Now, if you want to dive deeper into different ways to stay off of the cardiac. Operating table, then go check out Dr. His book. You can find it on Amazon Barnes and noble, et cetera. Go to summit for wellness.com/ob a D I a. And that'll take you straight to his book. All right. Next week, have Terry Cochran on the show.
[00:42:42] Let's go learn who she is and what we'll be talking about. I am here with Terry Cochran. Hey Terry, what is one unique thing about you that most people don't know?
[00:42:51] Teri Cochrane: Well, I'm a Cuban refugee. Oh, really? I think that was, yes. I think that was a catalyst for me to live in the solution, not to live in the problem.
[00:42:59] So we lost everything. I came when I was little, I was only four years old. My parents left everything behind and, but we never lived as victims or in the problem. It was always, how are we going to get to that solution? How are we going to get to our desired goal? And so that has really informed everything that I do for.
[00:43:17] Finding a solution to my son's health crisis, to all that I do in all that I touch now, it's, there's a solution out there.
[00:43:25] Bryan Carroll: Let's be smart about how we find that. I like that. So you focus more on looking ahead, instead of looking behind that's right. I love that. Love that. Well, what will we be learning about in our interview together?
[00:43:37] Teri Cochrane: Well, we're going to learn about there's. No. Right food for everyone. There's no right supplement for everyone. And you might be eating the right wrong foods. And if you're not eating to your genetic blueprint and your current state of health, these healthy foods that you're trying to eat, because they're telling you to eat, it could actually be hurting you
[00:43:55] Bryan Carroll: in a, what are your favorite foods or nutrients that you think everyone to get more of in their.
[00:44:01] Teri Cochrane: Okay. Since we're so bio-individual, that's a really tough question. I would say hydration is really important, right? So mineralization in water because people drink a lot of water, but if the water isn't mineralized appropriately, we need our minerals because that's, we are a super highway of electricity.
[00:44:18] And so we need our calcium phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and a lot of that comes with the real, certain fruits. I love papaya. So, unless you have a papaya allergy it's got happened, which is really wonderful as a digestive aid, it seeds are actually antiparasitic, it's got tremendous beta carotene, which helps with insulin support.
[00:44:39] And it has all of these wonderful minerals. So that's a really, that's a really good one. Cilantro is another one, unless you have the soap gene where it tastes like. Cilantro is a Liberty toxify cilantro is a heavy, heavy metal puller. Cilantro has tremendous amount of chlorophyll, which is help helps enrich the blood.
[00:44:59] It's a fighter nutrient it's, it's a very happy food. I drink cilantro and cucumber juice every morning. That's my that's. My I've got to get up and go. So I do.
[00:45:09] Bryan Carroll: Are you doing that? Like as a shot or is it a full glass? I
[00:45:13] Teri Cochrane: do. So I do a, about three ounces of cilantro and a cucumber. And then I do a college and I do wildlife and I do my vitamin C.
[00:45:22] So I do a concoction every morning and I do that before I work out and just, it helps me just pop.
[00:45:29] Bryan Carroll: And what are your top three health tips for anyone who wants to improve their overall wellness? Okay. The
[00:45:35] Teri Cochrane: first thing is we've got to feel that we're not in a box, so labels. So once you label yourself like, oh, I have this, I have this autoimmune condition I'm living with this.
[00:45:48] You're inviting that condition to you. So I would offer. Let's just be curious and say, I'm dancing with this and I'm going to leave it on the dance floor. So having the impairment to say, just because I'm, I've been told I will, I have this now I'm not taking it as that is going to be my label for my lifetime.
[00:46:06] The next thing is to really educate yourself about what is it that I'm learning and not go like lemmings on a diet. You know, let's all go paleo. Let's all go keto. Let's all go vegan. Well, let's go figure out what is best for me. Because I'm the highest authority of myself. And then to live abundantly rather than scarcity, right?
[00:46:27] So if you, it, we say you take a food vacation. When you come to our practice, it's not forever. It's just a vacation. And as your body becomes more robust and we heal and seal our gut, then we can introduce those foods that may not have be our best friends, but they're not longer, no longer our
[00:46:41] Bryan Carroll: enemies. We had another fantastic episode for you.
[00:46:44] Terry is a wonderful person to talk with and until then keep climbing to the peak of your health.
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