I am a board-certified Cardiac Surgeon and founder of Ovadia Heart Health. Our mission is to optimize the public’s metabolic health and help people like you stay off my operating table. As a heart surgeon who used to be morbidly obese, I have seen firsthand the failures of mainstream diets and medicine. I realized that what helped me lose over 100 pounds was the same solution that could have prevented thousands of open heart surgeries I’ve performed — metabolic health. In Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day, I share the complete metabolic health system to prevent disease. I grew up in New York and graduated from the accelerated Pre-Med/Med program at the Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College. This was followed by a residency in General Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry at New Jersey and a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts – New England Medical School. Through Ovadia Heart Health, I teach individuals and organizations my complete metabolic health system to prevent and reverse disease, avoid early death, and live well for life.
[00:00:00] Best Book Bits podcast brings you Philip Ovadia, a board certified cardiac surgeon and founder of Ovadia Heart Health. His mission is to optimize the public’s metabolic health and help people stay off his operating table. As a heart surgeon who used to be morbidly obese, Dr. Ovadia has seen firsthand.
The failures of mainstream diets and medicine. He realized that what helped him lose over 100 pounds was the same solution that could have prevented most of his thousands of open heart surgeries. He has performed metabolic health. He’s author of the book, which will be deep diving into today. Stay off my Operating Table, a Heart surgeon’s metabolic health guard to lose weight, prevent disease, and feeling your.
Every day. Dr. Phillip, thank you for being on the show. Oh, it’s great to be here with you, Michael. No worries. Now an amazing book, by the way, but very sad as well. You open up the book with a story of a lady named Corrine, a 10 hour surgery [00:01:00] Difficult Into the Night, into the Morning. Do you wanna tell us that story and how that kick started your frustration and anger at the system?
Yeah. I, I think unfortunately it’s a story that is not unique and it really helped to Synthesize, the pattern that I had been seeing in my career as a heart surgeon. And Corrine was an unfortunate young lady who came to us to my surgical team and I with a devastating cardiac condition young mother.
And just unfortunately, too much damage was done and it was not a salvageable situation. And like I said, it. Crystallized the pattern that I had been seeing, younger and younger patients who were coming with worse and worse problems. And I at this point was well into my personal health journey which we’ll certainly talk about.
But it really just bought to the forefront for me that I needed to refocus my efforts and it [00:02:00] really crystallized what my mission needed to be, which was to keep people off of my operating table. Yeah. And yeah, such a powerful story at the start as well. You also mentioned, the harsh, the harshest truth is not that, when someone comes into the emergency room and surgery, that you can actually prevent them.
It’s sometimes it’s too late and, delayed surgery isn’t to blame. The tear itself is as well. How important is it for people to start thinking about what they can do? before they get into hospital when it’s all too late and there’s nothing that can be done. So the things that can be done is the stuff that can be done before you get to that situation as well.
How important is that? Yeah, it’s really of the utmost importance. No matter how good a heart surgeon I might be or all the other heart surgeons are out there you’re never as good after you have an operation as you would’ve been if you didn’t need the operation in the first [00:03:00] place and the time to start working to make sure that you don’t need the operation.
Is today. I always say, yesterday was the best day to start, but today is the second best day. And let’s just get at it. Because anything you can do now to improve your overall health and lower your chances of needing. Heart surgery in the future of developing significant heart disease in the future is going to be of great benefit to you.
Yeah. Heart disease, as you say, it’s the leading cause of death in the United States. It might be, in the world as well or one of the top two or three. You talk a. Yeah. And you talk about the medical establishment, just drugs and says, these things happen next patient. Talk to me a little bit about your personal experience with health and the fitness journey and losing all the weight as well.
When did that start and what sort of motivated you to to get into the best shape? Yeah, so I was a very unhealthy heart surgeon for the beginning part of my career. [00:04:00] And I came to a realization, that I was going to end up on my own operating table, so to speak. I was going down the same pathway that so many of my patients had.
I reached the point this is going back about eight or nine years now. That I was morbidly obese. I was pre-diabetic, and I didn’t know what to do because I was following the advice that I had been taught to give my patients. All of the advice that I had learned in medical school, we’ve all heard it, eat less, move more eat a low fat diet.
For those of us here in the United States, it looks like the food pyramid. But those concepts have spread worldwide, the western diet and the low fat diet. And it wasn’t helping me. And over I saw it wasn’t helping my patients. And thankfully I started to ask some different questions and seek out some different information.
And I came to realize the. Root cause of heart [00:05:00] disease. . It turns out that this root cause for heart disease is the same root cause for many of the chronic diseases that we face in society. Things like diabetes, things like Alzheimer’s disease, many forms of cancer, they all share a common root cause.
And when you address that root cause metabolic health you can. Lower your chances of developing all of these, devastating medical conditions. Yeah. You mentioned metabolic health quite a lot in the book for people listening or watching, thinking what’s the definition of metabolic health?
Yeah, exactly. The, it’s interesting, that we, as I mentioned, metabolic health is at the root cause of most of the chronic disease that we face. Yet most of us don’t know what. And that includes many physicians don’t properly recognize it for what it is. So the simple way that I explain metabolic health to people is that when you are [00:06:00] metabolically healthy, your body is properly utilizing the inputs that you were given it.
And those inputs are primarily the food that we. Yeah. Yeah, makes sense. So I just did a quick Google search as well. So described how we generate and process energy in the body. So if you are taking too much energy in and your body’s not producing that, you’re storing that. A lot of people are out of metabolic health, which we’re gonna deep dive into some of these in the book as well.
Yeah, I’m losing a hundred pounds. What was the Tips or hacks or tricks, but was it just mainly diet? Was it mental, was it lifestyle? Or like how did you do it? How did you keep it off? Yeah it really came down to the food that I was eating primarily. And that, certainly has all of those aspects that you, you described, the mental.
Aspect of it, the mindset aspect of it is very important. And, as we’ll get into, I lay out seven principles of metabolic health in the book. And the first principle is a [00:07:00] mindset issue. And I think this is very important for people to understand. The principle that I describe in the book is that you need to think of your health as a system, not as a.
And what I mean by that is that we can’t focus on the short term goals that we all too often have around our health. Most people when they think about getting healthy, they say something like, I want to lose 20 pounds. And when you have that short term goal in mind, one of two things happened.
You make changes and you accomplish the goal. You lose 20 pounds and then you say, great, I did what I set out to do, and you tend to slide back to your old habit. Or perhaps more commonly, you don’t lose the 20 pounds, you get frustrated and you tell yourself there’s no, why bother I can’t do this?
And you give up on your health. And instead, what I want people to do, what I want people to understand is you need [00:08:00] to think of your health as an overall system, and then you need to find the habits that are going to. Your health support that system. And that’s a much more powerful way to think and a much more sustainable way to think.
Because ultimately if whatever changes you make aren’t sustainable, they’re not gonna have that long-term impact that we are looking for. Avoiding heart disease and avoiding chronic disease. Yeah. Myself personally I’ve gone full circle on plenty of diets. Even at the start of this year, I’m like, okay, I’m gonna start keto again.
I think that lasted for four days. But I’ve interviewed quite a few health professionals like yourself and people in, in, such a broad industry in health, and realize that it is long term, it is habits, it is rituals. It is. Things, it’s systems. At the end of the day, there’s no quick hack or trick.
Health is a 24 7 thing. Your body’s working 24 7. They talk about sleep, water, food, exercise, movement, breath, all [00:09:00] that kind of stuff. That’s 24 7. We’re constantly working health, so we can’t. Trick our bodies, but we can definitely make friends with our bodies and actually put ourselves on the right system and get it done.
But yeah, thank you for sharing that story. In chapter two. First you do a little bit of debunking as well and talk about the 12 myths. We they want us to believe as well, we won’t go through all the myths, but just a few of them. So myth number one, you talk about only obese people are metabolically unhealthy.
Why is that a. Yeah. This is a very common misconception and many times we look around us and we look at people and they’re not overweight, they’re not obese, and we just assume that they are healthy. But the truth the reality is that is simply not true. I end up operating on plenty of people who are not.
And when we dig into the statistics around metabolic health what we see is that people who are normal weight. Still have a 50% chance of being [00:10:00] metabolically unhealthy. There is a condition that we describe in medicine. It’s called thin on the outside, fat. On the inside tophi is the acronym t o f I.
And it describes exactly that, from the outside you may not look obese but on the. You have excess fat, and that leads to the same metabolic health problems. That often that will be more apparent in someone who is overweight or obese. So just to be clear, being overweight and being obese puts you at higher risk of being in poor metabolic health.
But not being overweight or obese doesn’t guarantee that you are in good metabolic. And that’s why it’s so important to properly assess your metabolic health. How does someone who seems like they look healthy, feel healthy, but aren’t too sure that the next heart attacks around the corner, what are some signs or triggers for them to get it?
A [00:11:00] checkup or a metabolic health checkup or a heart checkup? What are some of the triggers if they seem healthy? You hear those stories of people that just dropped it from a heart attack and they seem like they’re healthy fit is a fiddle X, Y, and z. What do they do? Or what should someone do if they look healthy?
Yeah, so I, would start with, I would start with the five basic measurements that we use to assess someone’s metabolic health. And I go through ’em in the book and yeah. But that’s a great starting point. And you. There shouldn’t need to be a trigger to look into these.
Like these are things that you should know and you should be keeping an eye on an ongoing basis. Because if you keep those five measurements in line and you are metabolically healthy by those five measurements your chances of developing all of those chronic diseases that we talked about are vastly reduced.
The other myth as well, which everyone knows is bunk anyway, it’s the food. It’s the food pyramid been around for a while. Different [00:12:00] countries have different percentages changes. Why is the food pyramid, pyramid a myth? And why do we have to just leave that on? Yeah. It’s a myth because it just hasn’t worked.
And we look at the high level evidence. Here in the United States the first version of the US dietary guidelines, which ultimately morphed into the food pyramid were released in 1980, so 40 years ago. And during that time, our health has only worsened. And When we look at what the food Pyramid promotes it’s overly processed food.
It’s things like cereals and grains that are overly processed. And it just is not a healthy diet for humans to be consuming. We have millions of. Of history to tell us what human beings should be eating. What we were eating prior to very recent in our history and these chronic medical conditions didn’t exist then.
That’s why the food pyramid is a [00:13:00] myth. Unfortunately, you said everyone knows it’s bunk but the reality is that, it is still the guide. . And many people, including the healthcare system still use it as, their guidelines here in the us. Again, schools, hospitals any, facilities of all sorts that you know, that deal with the government and give nutritional advice.
They’re going to be giving. , the US dietary guidelines, the food pyramid. So that’s why it’s important for people to recognize that it is a myth that it is bunk and that we need to, not be paying attention to it. Yeah. Yeah. I think the age enlightenment, there’s so many great people like yourself and so many, the wisdom out there, it’s there.
But a lady I spoke to a couple weeks ago who was a professor of brain and science said that 20% of people know this, what you know, but 80% don’t. And she’s quite right. I, me and yourself are in the 20. But yeah, there could be a lot of [00:14:00] 80% of people out there that just don’t know the real facts.
Moving on I’ll go through some of the other myths as well. So myth four, the people who produce their food want us to be healthy. Myth five, low carb diets are bad for your health. Myth six, high cholesterol causes heart disease with seven medications are the best treatments for medical issues. And Myth eight diets work if you follow them as well.
The diet one, one thing you said earlier, which was fantastic in the book is that if all diets worked, then the diet industry would be outta business because everyone would be fit, healthy and moving on with life. Talk about diets and people think why they work if they follow ’em, which is a myth.
Yeah. I certainly experienced this many times in my life, and I think the experience that I have is the same that many have you go on a. And it can be whatever it is, a commercial diet plan that someone is selling. And oftentimes you will have some short term success.
You will lose a little, lose some weight initially but then you [00:15:00] invariably gain back that weight and more. Typically, and again, we have the science to show this and you just look at the business models of these diet companies. And it is exactly that because like you said if it actually worked everyone would be thin and everyone would follow it.
Everyone would be healthy and these companies wouldn’t exist. But obviously they do exist. They continue to grow. They’re large industries. And like any other industry, their goal is to get customers and get repeat customers. So they build the failure into their models. And that, again, that goes back to earlier, the mindset issue that I was talking about, that you don’t want to have these short-term focus because that’s what these diet plans are.
They are short-term focus and they are not going to lead you. The long term good metabolic health that we need to be seeking. Yeah, absolutely I’ve dropped the diets myself and just focusing [00:16:00] on the habits, the routines, the disciplines, enjoying food shopping, enjoying cooking, just. More salad, more fruit and veggies, whatever it is.
Just more just normal instead of trying to do things. Rush. Another one, which I’ve been guilty on as well. So myth 10, you talk about the best way to burn calories is exercise for, I think a decade. I tried to out-train a bad diet, so my diet was terrible, so I’d be in the gym, sweating, cardio, getting it.
Nothing. You feel good though. You do a cardio session, you sweat, you feel good, you feel like accomplished something, but it’s not the best way to, to burn calories as well. Why is that a, why is that a myth? Yeah. So again, we’ve all had similar experiences to what you describe and the problem with with cardio exercise.
As a way to lose weight is that it just doesn’t work. A couple of things kind of sabotage those efforts. We’ve all had the experience where you go to the gym, you do your hour or two on the treadmill, and then your [00:17:00] next stop is the snack bar at the gym or on your way home.
You are, you get hungry and you eat. Because that’s how your body compensates for that. The other problem with the cardio is that the other 23 hours of the day, you haven’t really changed anything. And if you’re sitting around and you’re inactive ultimately that’s not going to lead to good sustainable weight loss.
Now I want to be clear, it doesn’t mean that cardio doesn’t have its own benefits. It’s just that weight loss is not one of those benefits. So like you said, you can’t out exercise the bad diet and if all you’re doing to try and lose weight and get healthy is cardio you’re not going to have the long-term success.
Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Said. Moving on from the miss cuz there’s a few of them there. In chapter three, you talk about the system’s broken and what to do about it. Obviously you’ve worked in the system, you’re well aware of the system. How does the medical system [00:18:00] actually work from an insider’s perspective?
How does it actually work? Yeah, so the reality that people need to understand and this applies in the US and really world. Is that the medical system? The healthcare system is really a sick care system. It is designed to take care of you when you get sick. And we do a, a good job of that in many cases.
In other cases we don’t do such a good job of it but. Regardless, the healthcare system is not focused on keeping you from getting sick in the first place. It’s just not designed to do that. It’s not the way that doctors are educated and it’s not the way that the system is set up. Here in the US in particular, but again, I think this applies many places.
We’re seeing it in the uk for instance, right now with the nhs, the system is overwhelmed by taking care of sick people. It simply doesn’t have time. To deal with trying to keep people from getting sick in the first [00:19:00] place. And I think that’s a big mistake that we make. And it’s a big disservice to the people that we are trying to take care of.
Because if we kept people from getting sick in the first place, then we would have a lot better capacity. We would have the resource. To then take care of the people that, still get sick, but we’d have a lot less sick people. And therefore our resources could be better utilized. But again, the system has just evolved to taking care of sick people and trying to do more and more to take care of the sick people.
And we’ve lost the focus on keeping people. From getting sick in the first place. Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. I’ve got a funny analogy, which I was thinking about. So imagine like everyone’s driving around and everyone starts getting flat tires and their tires start popping and they go to the tire shop and they’re just full with cars and they can’t see cuz they’re so busy and they just keep repairing the tires and no one stops to think how [00:20:00] are they actually getting the flat.
Because the roads are terrible in that area. So instead of replacing tires, just go fix the roads. And it’s very similar to our society. As you said, you are in the business now from treating diseases to preventing diseases. So the game, the name of the game is just how do we get people off the operating table or away from hospital and that’s making them healthy so they don’t become sick.
So I think we have to, had to go through this. As a culture, as a society, as a people to understand that, prevention is the best way. the best way forward in, in everything as well. Yeah. Th that’s when did you make that full-time switch? Or are you still doing part-time or what’s the balance like for you from treating to preventing diseases in your sort of work-life balance?
Yeah, so I do still serve both roles. I am still a active heart surgeon and I take people I take care of people when they get to that. And I feel blessed to be able to [00:21:00] offer that to people when they need it. But like I said, I would much rather they didn’t need it.
And I have a a whole other aspect to my career. I have a medical practice here in the us online medical practice that’s focused on keeping people from getting sick in the first place. And obviously I wrote the book with that mission in mind. And I do a lot of other work around spreading that mission.
Ultimately, I’m a horrible business person. I’m trying to put myself out of business. I’d be very happy if there was no one left for me to operate on. The reality is that heart disease is the number one killer. There are still plenty of people that need my services as a heart surgeon.
So I continue to do both. . Yeah. And thank you for doing that because it is hard sometimes to be a businessman and a teacher at the same time, and you’re balancing that quite well as well. But it’s always good if someone goes in to see a heart surgeon that, Hey, I’m also an author about how to prevent disease, and by the way, this is what you can do [00:22:00] as well.
So it’s a, it’s probably a better conversation than just being a surgeon. Be like, okay, you’ve got one choice, but they’ve got multiple choices. As well. Diving into chapter four, so this is the bookmark that we did before. We’ll take the bookmark out of the book, how to measure, assess, and improve your metabolic health.
So the five markers, this is interesting. I’ll give you the first one. So waist circumference over 35 inches for women and over 40 inches for men as well. You talk about 88% of Americans are currently following at one of these tests as well. So is that just simply someone gets the checks, the belt or their pants, or how does someone.
Yeah it, it is different than your pants size but very easy to measure at home. All you need is a tape measure and you want to measure just above the level of your belly button best to measure it first thing in the morning. , and as you said, the goal is for your waist circumference to be less than 35 inches if you’re a woman, and less than 40 inches if you’re a man.
Okay? Yeah. [00:23:00] So that’s goal one. So if you’re listening out there and you’re over 35 inches for a female, get it under if you’re a male. Get it under goal one. Goal number two, the fasting blood glucose. Is that a hundred under or greater? Taking glucose? What? What’s that one there? Yeah, so you want your fasting blood glucose to be under a hundred milligrams per deciliter, which is the US unit.
That’s about five millimole for the international units, and that needs to be without the use of medication to lower your blood glucose. So if you’ve been diagnosed with type two diabetes and you’ve been started on medication to lower your blood sugar that is an indicator that you are not metabolically healthy.
Got it. Got it. How does someone test for that? Most commonly you’re going to ha go to your doctor and get blood work done, lab work done. You can get a home tester. Anyone who knows someone who’s diabetic will be familiar with the finger prick test that you can do at home.
You can get a. To test at home? Either, either [00:24:00] way works. Yeah. With blood pressure. Now I’m not in the medical industry. I’m just a. A book lover. Every time someone goes to the hospital they put the blood, they put the blood pressure on. Why is blood pressure like high blood pressure, so dangerous or low blood pressure as well.
But why is that important to have the correct balance with blood pressure? Yeah, so blood pressure again, is an indicator of metabolic health and that’s why it’s such an important measurement that we do. It’s oftentimes one of the first indications in people. are becoming metabolically unhealthy.
Specific recommendations, specific guidelines is you want your blood pressure to be less than one 30 over 85. So both of those numbers need to be under and again, that needs to be without the use of medication. If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood pressure, and you’ve been started on medication to lower your blood pressure.
It’s another indicator that you are not metabolically healthy. Got it. Got it. So with the [00:25:00] five markers, number one with the weight circumference, people know that diet, exercise, lifestyle changes, you can change that fasting on blood glucose. Apart from medication, how does someone improve their blood glucose levels?
Is there anything they can do without the intervention of me? Yeah, changing. Changing the food that you eat will have a very powerful impact on your fasting blood glucose. Changing the food that you eat will have a positive impact on all of these measures that we’re going to go through. And as I mentioned earlier, the primary determinant of our metabolic health is the food that we are eating.
And of course, we’re gonna get into that more as we get, continue to go through the. Yeah, we’ll go through it. Yeah. And blood blood pressure. How does someone improve blood? Is that with food as well? Or just exercise or e exactly. Yeah, food. Food, exercise can help with that. Other lifestyle issues like stress, sleep, we’re gonna talk about.
Things like sauna, for instance, have been shown to improve blood pressure. So there are lots of ways [00:26:00] to improve blood pressure without the need for medications. And unfortunately, again, our medical system has become overly focused on the medications. The medications may be necessary while you make these other changes but it shouldn’t be medication alone.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high blood, Yep. Yep. And then just the last two is the HDL cholesterol and then the trico arides as well. So their test you can get done at your doctor as well. Got it. So the, they’re the five markers. How to measure in part two. You talk about principles of metabolic health and the seven principles of metabolic health.
So principle number one, you talk about reframe health as a system, not a goal, which we’ve talked about as well. So I think that’s really important because goals are very short term. Systems are, they’re just systems. We have a system to run the family. We have a system to run our our family economy as well.
We’ve got relationship systems as well. We, we systems is a part our life as well. The goal. Is to have a lifestyle. So the end of a goal is to [00:27:00] maintain a particular sort of lifestyle as well. We don’t have to jump into that too much, but principle two. So talk about food. So you talk about eat real whole food.
Do you wanna talk about and expand on that? What is real whole food? Yeah. The simple concept around real whole food is you should be able to look at what you were eating and. Exactly what it is. It shouldn’t have a lot of ingredients. The ingredients that are in it should be simple things that occur in nature.
So I tell people, eat the things that grow in the ground and eat the things that eat, the things that grow in the ground. So plants and animals, basically another simple. Yeah. Another simple concept that I tell people is if your great-grandparents wouldn’t recognize it as food you shouldn’t be eating it.
So all of these things that come in the packages and they have these long list of ingredients and they’ve been chemically created. Those are the things that we need to eliminate. Those [00:28:00] are the things that are not supporting your metabolic health. And again, when we’re thinking about our health as a system and we’re thinking about the habits that are going to support, Good metabolic health, eating real whole food is first and foremost.
Yeah, absolutely. It’s a bit of a war that’s been going on for a long time with the food industry versus farmers and it’s just like the food industry has a system, has a business they’ve got together where, independent farmers, Sort of getting pushed out. The little guy versus the big guy. But I think a lot of people are, there’s the 80 20 rule, 20% of people still go to farmer’s markets, go to the markets, get fresh, real whole food, and then 80% just go to the local shopping center, the old, the mall, the grocery store, whatever’s close on the corner just to get whatever they need to get as well.
Cuz who’s got time to eat real whole food at the end of the day. Principle three, you talk about make one sustainable change at a time, and I really like this one first. So if someone’s starting out, what would be some of the one or two, three top [00:29:00] sustainable changes they can start making?
If they’re metabolically unhealthy, what would be the first change you would get them to make? Yeah, so I would start looking at the food that you’re eating and see where, those changes, can be made. So something as simple as if it comes in a package. I’m not going to eat it anymore.
Or putting limits on how often you’re eating which is another problem when it comes to metabolic health. Eating, too frequently as we tend to do these days. Simple changes like this can have very powerful impacts. When we look at some of the. Principles, like getting more activity which is coming up on the list.
Another simple ha, another simple change. Just start taking a 10 minute walk after you eat. And these, again, this will have a powerful impact on your metabolic health. So it doesn’t need to be complicated. And the reason that we, I talk about making one change at a time is.
[00:30:00] So that you can really. Figure out the effects of that change. If we change a whole bunch of things at once we oftentimes cloud the picture and we don’t know what really worked and was what was really benefiting us versus things that didn’t work and didn’t benefit us. And we end up just getting confused.
So that’s why I try and keep it, one thing at a time and making it simple and therefore it will become sustain. Yeah, absolutely. You want to get the feedback as well. So as a heart surgeon yourself, I’m sure you’ve got patients and you talk about this all the time to em and say, Hey. Go for a walk 10 minutes after you have a meal, and then a week or two later you might say, how do you feel after?
I’m like, oh, I feel pretty good. Okay, now get, have, we want to increase your sleep? So you getting enough sleep? How does that feel? Oh, that feels really good. Okay. Now we want you to do is, exercise more and start moving. How does that feel? That feels good. So I understand and it makes complete sense as well.
The other, the last two, principle six is relief stress as well, is that, [00:31:00] It’s a very interesting topic because my wife’s very stressed and I’m very stressless. And is it personality or can someone who’s always stressed learn principles to become less stressed as well? So I don’t know about this one.
Is it personality or is it environment or can someone change it? Yeah. One of the things to understand about this principle is, I’m not saying that you need to. The stress in your life. We all have stress in our lives. What I’m encouraging people to do is figuring out a way to offload that stress.
So it’s not constantly building in you. And this can take many different forms. For some people it’s a thing, it can be something like meditation or journaling for other people, family, having a strong community around you. These are the things that can help you deal with the stress in our lives.
Like I said, we can’t all just go live on the remote, tropical island and lead a stress-free life. But we can figure out better ways to deal [00:32:00] with the stress in our life and stress. contributes to poor metabolic health in many different ways. So we know it’s a very important factor in this.
Yeah. And also the other ones is sometimes people just have to take a break, cancel some things in their calendar, make some time for themselves and really just disconnect to reconnect with their body and then to get back out there as well. So sometimes we’re so busy in our lives that we forget to, check in with the body and see how it’s going.
Last one. Principle seven. I really like this one. Get a doctor who gets. What do we do? Do we shop doctors? Do we, how do we fire our doctor? A family doctor? How do we find a a doctor who gets it? Yeah. So unfortunately sometimes we do need to, fire our doctor and we need to shop our doctors.
I want people to be more intentional about this whole process. Think about your health. Again, think about the systems around your health and the support that you need [00:33:00] for those systems. And if you’re not getting the support from your doctor find other resources. Find, whether it’s another doctor or, just getting better resources online.
We have access to the, amazing resources these days from across the. So go seek out better information sources go seek out better professionals that are going to support you in your goals. And it does take some effort, a lot of us, we just end up with the doctor because, They’re right near us, or our insurance company told us to go see this doctor.
Whatever it is, we didn’t intentionally select that doctor like we do for so many other things in our lives. When you think about the financial professionals that you choose to work with, or you think about your auto mechanic that’s gonna work on your vehicle, we put more effort into that decision than we will around picking a doctor who is going to you.
Impact your [00:34:00] health and your. . Funny you say that, right? If you go to your phone and you look at your contacts, you’ve got your mechanic here, you’ve probably got the dentist there as well. Couple takeaway shops, friends, family. If you look at a business, number one thing of a business is having the right management team run the business.
We don’t treat our body like a business. We need to treat our body like a business and put together the right management team around that business, which. Without the body, there’s no use. So you are the system. So treating your body like a business, treating your health as a business, and getting the right people around you on the right team it’s not a solo game with health, especially in this day and age as well, we have access to great people like yourself.
People that write books, podcast shows. YouTube channels, Facebook groups, you’ve really got no excuse to get that right team around you as well. And it can be for free so you don’t have to spend big money. You can do it online as well. So yeah, real, really cool. So thank you for sharing that. Fire Your doctor or shop it as well.
We’ll skip chapter six and jump into chapter seven, which is how to eat metabolically healthy on five popular diets. So the five [00:35:00] diets you go through. Number one, you talk about the carnivore diet. , is that just a meat diet? So what’s the carnivore diet for people that don’t know the carnivore diet?
Yeah, so the carnivore diet is going to be a meat-based diet. So again, the big concept is eat real whole food. And that can be plants, that can be animals. And there’s many different ways to balance that. And one of the ways that many people have had success with is the carnivore diet.
For some people it is truly an exclusive carnivore diet. They are only eating animal products, so meat, dairy, eggs other people, it’s mostly carnivore, and they might have a little bit of plants with it. And that can be a very successful strategy for improving your metabolic health, for losing weight for heart health or overall health.
And, in the book for each of these diets that we’re gonna mention, I go through what some of the pros are and what some of the drawbacks might be to some of [00:36:00] these diets. But carnivore diet, a lot of people have had very good success with it. Yeah, look, the, what I take from that, and you talk about the keto, paleo, Atkins, low carb diets, Mediterranean diets, gluten-free diets, it’s most of those foods is if you are eating good food, what you are not doing is eating bad food and you’re giving your body a break to actually repair itself instead of constantly being harmed.
So it’s. That switch. If you are sleeping, you’re not spending money. If you’re at the shops, you’re spending money. If you’re at home, you’re not spending money. Same thing with money as well. So you better go to work to earn money instead of, sitting around and spending money. It’s the same with health.
If you start putting more good food on your plate, you will stop eating bad food. So it’s just that switch. I think they’re all pretty much the same in terms of. What they do metabolically. But do you wanna expand on keto, paleo, Atkins, low carb? I’m a bit of a low carb [00:37:00] fan. I like a bit of low carb, less bloating, less, fluctuance and you feel a bit better.
What’s your experience with low carb diets and how can that improve metabolic health? Yeah, so again, I think low carb diets are a very powerful tool for improving metabolic health. When we look at people who are struggling to control their blood glucose. Like we said, one of the markers of metabolic health, people with diabetes or, maybe they’ve been told they have free diabetes.
The most powerful way to deal with that is to stop eating carbohydrates. And again, we we have increasing. Experience increasing scientific literature around these diets. We know that they are very powerful tools for improving your metabolic health and all of the things that come with it.
Big fan of low carbohydrate diets and the caution that I give people around them when you look at something like the keto diet, which has become very popularized. , a lot of the food that’s labeled [00:38:00] as keto friendly is processed food. It’s that junk food that we’re trying to avoid and they’ve reformulated it to fit within, the keto framework of being high fat and low carb.
But it’s still not any better for you. And so again, first principles is eat real whole food. And then within eating real whole. You want to do it low carb, keto, carnivore there are lots of different options for how to be successful with that. Yeah, absolutely. And then the last two the Mediterranean Diet inspired by people eating near the Mediterranean Sea, formulated the 1960s Greece, Italy, France, Spain, and the Ottoman Empire.
I think people just know that, as whole grains, fruits, veggies, seafood, grains and nuts. All good foods real. , not not hard to explain as well. All these can be combined as well with exercise, sleep, a great lifestyle change. And you’re gonna get the benefits of that because you are eating real foods too, the one I want you to discuss [00:39:00] is glutenin free.
There’s so many people that say they’re, oh, they’re gluten tolerant, but they’re actually not. What is gluten-free and where does that fit into metabolic health on a gluten-free? Yeah. I think gluten-free again, is a It has been a little bit hijacked by the food industry.
And as people started paying more attention to this the food industry oftentimes took processed foods like breads, like cereals, like pastas, and said, okay we’ll take the gluten out of them. But they’re still, heavily processed food. So I want people to be cautious about that.
Eliminating gluten can be beneficial to some people oftentimes because it ends up being a low carb diet. If you’re not using the substitute products, the processed substitute products and you eliminate the f the foods, that are our primary source of gluten. Bread, cereals and pastas you’re gonna end up on a lower carb diet.
So I think that’s where a lot of the benefits of that come from. Yes, [00:40:00] there are people who, truly need to avoid gluten but for most of us, like I said, the gluten-free diet is an inadvertent way of doing a low carb diet. Yeah. Look, there’s so much to un unpack you as well.
We don’t want to give all the answers away to the audience. Where can people find you, find your book? Where do you spend more time on social as well? And plug the website as well. If you can. Definitely. So the book Stay Off My Operating Table widely available on all the major, channels.
The website, ifi hearts.com. You can connect with all my other resources there. I have courses and then I have the various ways that I work with people in our coaching programs and in my medical practice. Social media. Most places I’m at IIX Hearts. I’m most active on Twitter but you can find me on the other platforms as well.
Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. Thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast, and I love the website name I fix hearts.com. Perfect. And the listeners out there, if [00:41:00] if you’re feeling a bit touchy in the heart and you need someone to look at it, where do you practice? By the way, where’s the physical practice at?
I see people throughout the United States via telemedicine. I’m based out of Florida but I see people throughout the United States. Internationally I, we have the coaching programs that we can work with people as well. Come to iex hearts.com and you can get all the information.
Perfect. Phillip, thank you for being a guest on the Best Book Bits podcast, and thank you for writing the book and sharing that as well and to my audience. Yeah, please stay off Phillip’s operating table and get your heart in check, get your metabolic health right and we’re all in this together.
And it’s a system, it’s a journey. It’s not a, it’s not a one fix shop. So yeah, check out the book, buy the book, check out his website as well. Philip, I’ll let you get on with the rest of the day, and thank you again for being a guest on. Okay. Thank you Michael. No worries.