“Eat real food.” - Dr. Philip Ovadia
Conducting over 3,000 heart surgeries taught Dr. Philip Ovadia that good health comes from lifestyle and nutrition, not from surgery. He is now on a mission to help people stay off his operating table by giving them the tools and mindset to never need a heart surgeon.
After growing up in New York, Dr. Ovadia graduated from the accelerated Pre-Med/Med program at the Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College (now Sidney Kimmel School of Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University). He then went on to complete a Residency in General Surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey - Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and a Fellowship in Cardiothoracic Surgery at Tufts-New England Medical School.
Dr. Ovadia has practiced Cardiothoracic Surgery in Beaver, PA and Clearwater, Florida. In 2020 he established Ovadia Cardiothoracic Surgery and now works as an independent contractor Cardiothoracic Surgeon in various locations throughout the United States.
Dr. Ovadia has also established Ovadia Heart Health, a Telehealth practice that focuses on the prevention and treatment of metabolic and heart disease utilizing lifestyle and dietary modification. He incorporates his hands-on, clinical experience with heart disease and the personal insights he has gained in his own struggle with obesity and poor metabolic health.
Dr. Ovadia is board certified in Cardiothoracic Surgery and General Surgery. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a founding member of the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners.
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SELECTED LINKS FOR THIS EPISODE
Heart Surgeon Dr. Philip Ovadia (@ifixhearts) / Twitter
Heart Surgeon Dr. Philip Ovadia (@ovadia_heart_health) • Instagram photos and videos
I Fix Hearts by Dr. Ovadia - YouTube
Philip Ovadia - Medical Advisory Board Member - Ultrahuman | LinkedIn
How Dr. Ovadia Will Optimize Your Health And Keep You Off His Operating Table (#197)
Book: Stay off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon’s Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel Your Best Every Day - Kindle edition by Ovadia, Philip. Cookbooks, Food & Wine Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.
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Your liquidity event is the most important financial transaction of your life. You have one chance to get it right, and you better make it count.
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[00:00:00] Jeffrey Feldberg: Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast where you learn how to extract your business and personal Deep Wealth.
I'm your host Jeffrey Feldberg.
This podcast is brought to you by Deep Wealth and the 90-day Deep Wealth Experience.
When it comes to your business deep wealth, your exit or liquidity event is the most important financial decision of your life.
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Conducting over 3000 heart surgeries taught by Dr. Phillip Ovadia, that good health comes from lifestyle and nutrition, not from surgery.
He is now on a mission to help people stay off his operating table by giving them the tools and mindset to never need a heart surgeon.
Dr. Ovadia graduated from the accredited pre-med med program at Pennsylvania State University and Jefferson Medical College. He then went on to complete a residency in general surgery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, and a fellowship in cardiothoracic surgery at Tufts New England Medical School.
Dr. Ovadia has practiced cardiothoracic surgery in Beaver, Pennsylvania, and Clearwater, Florida. In 2020, he established Ovadia Cardiothoracic Surgery and now works as an independent cardiothoracic surgeon in various locations throughout the US.
In an effort to overcome his lifelong struggle with obesity, Dr. Ovadia adopted a low carbohydrate focus wave eating in 2015. He has maintained a weight loss of nearly 100 pounds. And since March 2019 he has maintained a mostly carnivorous way of eating. He has extensively researched the health benefits of low carb with a focus on heart health, through many hours of reading the medical literature, books, and listening to podcasts as well as personal discussions with many of the physician leaders and citizen scientists involved in the low carb movement.
In his recent book, Stay Off My Operating Table, Dr. Ovadia discusses the principles of optimizing metabolic health to prevent heart disease and other chronic diseases. He also hosts the Stay Off My Operating Table Podcast, is a frequent guest on other podcasts, focused on metabolic and heart health, and has delivered lectures at conferences focused on metabolic health.
Dr. Ovadia has also established Ovadia Heart Health, a tele-health practice that focuses on the prevention and treatment of metabolic and heart disease, utilizing lifestyle and dietary modification.
He incorporates his hands-on clinical experience with heart disease and the personal insights he has gained in his own struggle with obesity and poor metabolic health.
Dr. Ovadia is board certified in cardiothoracic surgery and general surgery. He is a fellow of the American College of Surgeons and is a founding member of the Society of Metabolic Health Practitioners.
Dr. Ovadia currently lives in Florida with his wonderful wife and two amazing daughters.
Welcome to the Deep Wealth Podcast and once again, the doctor is in the house. The doctor is in the house. We have Dr. Phil Ovadia with us once again, we're gonna be doing a deep dive on something that's of personal interest to me. I know for a lot of our listeners, and ultimately, it's a take your health to take your well-being, both personally, and if you're healthy, your business will be even better off to the next level. But before we do that, Dr. Ovadia, welcome back to the Deep Wealth Podcast and for our new listeners, because we've been growing leaps and bounds since we last spoke, all new listeners to the community for their benefit. There's always a story behind the story. What's your story?
What got you to where you are today?
[00:04:45] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Sure. Great to be back here, Jeffrey. And I've certainly been enjoying listening to your podcast as well, so you can count me as one of the new members. You know my story. I've been a practicing heart surgeon now for over 20 years, and I've done over 3000 heart surgeries, and for much of that time, I was a very unhealthy heart surgeon.
I reached a point about 10 years ago where I was morbidly obese. I was pre-diabetic, and I realized that I was going to end up on my own operating table so, to speak.
Going down the same path that so many of my patients had gone down. I have a family history of heart disease, but I was at a loss because I was following the advice that I had been educated to give people, and we've all heard it, eat less, move more, you know, follow the food permit, eat a low-fat diet, and it wasn't working for me and it wasn't working for my patients. Thankfully I started to come across some different information. I started to ask some different questions and came to some different conclusions about why we get unhealthy, why we get obese, why we get heart disease. Ultimately, I was able to improve my own health first, lost a hundred pounds, have maintained that weight loss now for, seven years.
Reversed my prediabetes. And more importantly, I came to understand, the true root causes of heart disease and how we within the medical system and more importantly how you, the individuals can be doing a better job of taking charge of your health and preventing chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, obesity.
[00:06:32] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific. What a terrific segue into what we're gonna be talking about and for our listeners, for the first interview that we had, I'll put that in the show notes. There'll also be a link to Dr. Ovadia's book, Stay Off My Operating Table. Recommended everyone get that book. It's an absolute game-changer.
And here's what I love about what we're gonna be doing for you in this episode. One of the questions that I like to ask every professional in my life when it comes to making a decision, hey, if this were you, what would you be doing? So, if you were me, given what you know, what would that be?
We're leaving the theory for the classroom, what we're talking about today. It's not only something for you to consider, it's actually what Dr. Ovadia is. This is how he's living his life. There's no textbooks here. It's no, I think this is best. There's no obscure study that you should be doing. There's no hearsay.
This is the real deal from a doctor, from a professional, from a businessman, from a man who's just been down the path, didn't make necessarily the best choices before. Making all the right choices now and made the difference. And so, drum roll please, Dr. Avedia. When it comes to how you live your life regarding the kinds of food you eat and what you're eating, how would you describe that?
What kind of regime are you following?
[00:07:42] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, so really it comes down to eating whole real food. And for me, that food is animal based what we would most people would refer to as a carnivore diet. So, 95-plus percent of what I eat is animal products. And these are meats of all sorts, seafood, eggs, dairy. And I have now been doing that for coming up on four years.
Broadening out, prior to that I kind of evolved through a low-carbohydrate diet. Which, was more of a mixed diet and that was probably another three years or so, before I came to carnivore. But the bottom line is during the last four years that I have been on a carnivore diet, I am in the best shape of my life.
I feel the best that I have ever had. I have more energy, more mental clarity. And I literally wear smaller clothes than I did when I was in high school, and I weigh less than I did when I was in high school. And I'm 48 years old. Full disclosure, so you can do the math there.
[00:08:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: And we'll get to some of the details in just a moment. I want to address a few things, and one of the things that we like to do here on the Deep Wealth Podcast is we like to have an open forum. We don't believe that just because as a company or myself as a podcaster, I believe one way that's the only way it's the right way.
And on this podcast, we'll have had other thought leaders who have shared completely the opposite of what we're gonna be speaking about today. But we encourage our listeners, do your research, figure out what works best for you, and then you can make an informed decision. . And speaking of informed decisions for our listeners, you may be thinking, Jeffrey, have you lost it?
Why are we talking about food and what to eat? This is supposed to be a business podcast, and the whole point of this is if you're feeling great, you have a better opportunity to have a terrific business. But if you're not feeling great, you're gonna lack the energy, the focus, the ability to make the right decisions for your business.
So the two really go hand in hand. Not enough is being done in that area. And hopefully, together with what we're doing with Dr. Ovadia and others, we can get that message out there that your health is as important. It's like a KPI for your business. In fact, Dr. Ovadia, you mentioned that on the last podcast, seeing you getting a checkup, it's like a KPI or a number of KPIs for yourself, like you would in other areas of your business.
So I want to get one question out there because I know some listeners are saying, wait a minute. You're saying an animal-based diet, but there's all these films out there and these different things that I read that are saying it's not the way to go. That red meat and you're a surgeon, a heart surgeon, that red meat can cause heart attacks and cancer and all these other negative things, and red meat and animal-based kinds of diets are terrible for the environment.
What would you say to that?
[00:10:23] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, so, a lot to unpack there but you realize that the only scientific literature that associates red meat with these negative outcomes. Things like heart disease and cancer, or the two that come up more often are what we call epidemiologic studies. So these are studies done at the level of the population and they look at populations and what they eat on a macro scale and what their health outcomes are.
And the thing about epidemiologic studies is they cannot prove causation. That's what you need, what are called interventional studies for. No interventional study has ever shown that red meat is causative of either heart disease or cancer. The epidemiologic data is very weak, and in fact, has been refuted.
There was a series of review articles released about two years ago in the Annals of Internal Medicine. That looked at the issue of red meat and cardiovascular disease. And they found, they basically said there's very weak evidence showing very weak linkage of processed meat to some of these outcomes, but not of red meat by itself.
And I think the reason it becomes so, confusing of an issue is because when most people eat red meat, they're not eating red meat in isolation. When you talk to people and they said, I had a hamburger for dinner. What does that really mean? Well, they had the burger, they had the meat, but they had all the toppings.
They had the bun. Typically, they're gonna have some french fries or something on the side they're probably drinking a soda with it. And so,, when you're doing these epidemiologic studies, you can't really separate all that out. And so, that's a major issue that comes into play. You, kind of alluded to earlier, that there are these films that promote one thing or the other.
There are certainly other people with, you know, similar credentials to mine that might be out there talking about plant-based diets and this and that. And it gets very confusing. And ultimately what we need to understand is that science is done at a population level. It can only tell us about populations and averages and realize that within every scientific study there's a range of response.
And the only way to know how you, the individual are going to respond to a certain intervention is to do that experiment yourself. So, you were very correct in, saying we need to have an open mind. You need to try it for yourself and understand that I went through many evolutions.
I've tried a vegan diet for a while, I tried low-carb diets. I tried carnivore diet, and ultimately the carnivore diet is what has worked best for me.
I have seen that repeated now over and over again with patients that I work with people in the community. There is a lot of reason to believe that a carnivore diet is the optimal diet for human beings.
It is the diet that we evolved eating. And the reality is that the standard American diet, as we call it, or the standard western diet these days is the experiment that was the diet that was introduced recently on the evolutionary timescale. And the results of that experiment are very concerning because we all look around us and see all of the chronic disease. So on a macro level, I'm just happy when people are thinking about the food they're eating. And maybe you get to one choice or the other but at least if you're intentional and you're thinking about the food that you're eating, you're likely to improve. Too many of us go through life kind of just eating whatever is around us, eating whatever is presented to us as food in the supermarket, in the restaurants, and we don't think about what is in that food.
What are the signals that food is giving to our body and what are the effects going to be? so,, the first step in all of this is just start paying attention to what you eat. And realize that what you eat is the primary determinant of your health.
[00:14:25] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, really what I'm hearing you say, and likely that you know there's so much to unpack with what you're sharing, but really I'm hearing you say food really is medicine in that it can lead us in many different directions, but if we do it the right way, hopefully in the optimal way. My other takeaway from what you're sharing is we have to be really careful as end users, as consumers, not to be upon in a business game or a political game.
Because what you said was interesting, if we're gonna look at the general population, well, general population to your point, and in our last episode we said rounding up here a little bit, 9 out of 10 Americans have some kind of metabolic disease so if we're looking at causations and you're saying, Hey, just because of study, shows that someone has in your area heart disease or cancer, there's not strong causation to say it was from red meat just because they happen to eat red meat.
Do they smoke? Do they have five packs of cigarettes a day? Are they drinking alcohol? Are they exercising? It sounds like all those things come into play and it begins to muddy the waters. Would I be correct in what I'm sharing there?
[00:15:28] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, very correct in what you're saying. And certainly, you know this audience as business owners, will understand that you know, you want to get to when you do something in your business you want to be able to directly measure the effect of that. And as much as possible, you want to do it in a way that you can isolate the effects of the changes that you've made.
And when it comes to nutrition, the honest truth is we don't have great ways of doing that. It's hard to get people to make, kind of, single changes in their diet. Every time you add something to a diet, it means you're taking something else away and vice versa.
And then, the reality is we need to do these over long time scales to truly know the effects of them. That's why I default to, you probably need to run the experiment for yourself and you need to just pay attention to simple things. Like, how am I feeling? Because it's hard to imagine that our bodies would've either been of, either evolved, or been designed in such a way, depending on the way you look at the world. But it's hard to imagine that something that makes you feel good over the long run is going to be damaging over the long run. And if you have more energy and your outward appearance is improving, you're losing weight everything you're thinking clear.
It's hard to imagine that is somehow going to be damaging to our bodies.
[00:16:50] Jeffrey Feldberg: And to use an analogy, if I'm gonna say I'm driving a car to get from point A to point B. Okay, well that's fairly general. What kind of car, is it a truck? Is it a sedan, is it a sports car? Is it a supercar? The list goes on and on. Let's circle back to meat for just a moment because there's different kinds of meat and I think you're gonna agree with me, Dr. Ovadia, that given the choice where possible, if you can have grass-fed, grass-finished, Kinds of meat and beef and even organic in there as opposed to conventional meat, which I'm not so, sure, I'd want to eat the conventional meat where you have the animals on these really, these feed lots and they're being fed all the wrong things and hormones and just the absolute worst condition.
I mean, That's not a great scenario. That meat isn't just meat. There's different kinds. There's different grades, just like everything else in life. Would I be on base with that or what would you have to say to that?
[00:17:45] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, no, I certainly agree with that. What I tell people is and this question comes up often and my response is eat the meat that's accessible and affordable to you. In the end, even the lower quality meat the conventionally raised meat is going to be better than processed food for you.
In an ideal world, yes, you're right. We would all be eating regeneratively raised, grass-fed, and paying attention to animal welfare. And all of that. And as much as possible, I certainly do that in my personal life and I encourage others to do it as well. If that is a barrier, getting that type of meat and affording that type of meat is a barrier.
I would rather have you eating, conventionally raised inexpensive ground beef than eating the processed food out of the box or the bag.
[00:18:35] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And to what might be the discuss of some of our listeners because it's not popular here in America, is beef organs. If you can do a nose-to-tail so we're talking. Liver, heart, kidney, lungs, spleen, you name it. And I know it doesn't sound appetizing but I've been doing some experiments myself.
And when you mix that in with ground beef, I tell you it's the best hamburger I've ever had you would never know, but you're getting all kinds of nutrients that are in there. And the one last thing I'll throw out there before we start getting into the details, and we'll see where you land on this, my contention is that when you have the animals such as grass-fed and they're properly treated and it's humane and they're out there roaming and in the pastures and doing what they're meant to be doing is actually better for the environment. It's healthier for the environment than all these vegetables that we are taking the ground and removing trees for, and we're actually killing a lot of animals when we havest the vegetables through the automation and the machines and everything else. Don't know if you have any comments on that or any thoughts on that, but I thought I'd just put that out there.
[00:19:41] Dr. Phil Ovadia: No, that's very much true. The environmental Issues that have been associated with beef, with meat, really don't hold up either. Again I like to look at things on the macro scale and historically and on an evolutionary standpoint, if you go back 10,000 years in the United States and worldwide, we had more ruminant animals on the planet than we have now.
So, if we're saying that there's a climate problem it's hard to blame that on the animals because they were around long before we had this climate problem. And you're right when it comes to plants and, the supposed environmental benefits of that those are really misconstrued data because there are many issues there, but first of all, you have to kill a lot of things to grow the plants, especially in the way that we do it mostly today. And monocropping and pesticides are destroying the soil. They're killing off large populations of things like insects.
And then as you said, a lot of animals get caught up in the process of harvesting these things. Or you have to kill the animals to keep them away from the crops. And then we're transporting these vegetables all over the place. So truly best environmental diet that you can eat would be to connect with a local rancher who is raising their animals in a regenerative way.
Not only is it not harmful to the environment, but as you said, it is beneficial to the environment. Ranchers that use these methods of raising their cattle have actually shown that they improve the soil health on their ranch. There's a net negative carbon cycling.
They bring carbon out of the environment and process it properly. So, the environmental argument as it comes to beef really does not hold up either.
[00:21:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. We could talk all kinds of different things like soil erosion gets prevented when you have the animals roaming and grazing. And I'll say it's a sad day when you see honey being advertised now as glyphosate free. Just earlier too, what you're mentioning with the kinds of chemicals that we're seeing.
But all that said, let's get to the nuts and bolts of things here. Why don't we start with, in terms of how you're eating, what aren't you eating? To put that out there, to start getting some clarity for our listeners, so what's not on the table for you in terms of the different types of foods?
[00:22:02] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, first and foremost is gonna be processed food. If it comes in a box or a bag. Basically, if it has a food label, I do not eat it. And there are a few different components of that, that we need to look at. Vegetable and seed oils, these processed fats are a major component of the processed foods.
It's really hard to avoid them if you're eating something, you know, out of a box. And they have been shown on many levels to be harmful to our health. And many people are gonna step back and say, whoa, they have the heart healthy label on them. They have the stamp of approval.
And realize that is a business stamp of approval. They have paid to get that on their label, and the science really doesn't hold up to support the fact that these are beneficial to us.
[00:22:52] Jeffrey Feldberg: And in terms of the seed oils, are we talking things like canola oil, sunflower oil, maybe you can add to that list, but is it the vegetable oils that we tend to think are healthy, that look so, terrific in the supermarket aisle? Nice and clean and they're gleaming? Is that what we're talking about?
[00:23:09] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, that's exactly what we're talking about. And realize that these things were only, recently introduced into our food supply, really within the past a hundred to 150 years. And again, our health has gotten worse since then. The interventional studies, so, remember I talked about those, different levels of scientific evidence the interventional studies that have been done on these vegetable and seed oils show that they worsen all-cause mortality. There may be, and it really takes a lot of squinting at the data to find this, but you know, they're purported to improve cardiovascular outcomes, heart outcomes really questionable science there. But on the big level, they don't make people live longer, certainly.
And they probably shorten life span. And there's a lot of mechanistic reasons that we can point to as well. We don't need to get into that detail here, but just realize that there really is no evidence that these are beneficial. And most of the evidence I see is that they are actually harmful to our health.
That's a big, thing that I try and avoid. And if you're trying to avoid vegetable and seed oils, like I said, you're pretty much avoiding anything that comes in a box these days.
[00:24:20] Jeffrey Feldberg: God, it's so processed food, anything with a label. The seed oils that we spoke about. Just a quick question. Where does olive oil fall on that list for you? Where is olive oil? Okay. Not okay. Is it a no-fly zone for you?
[00:24:33] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, no, I consider olive oil to be okay. I will say I personally don't consume a lot of it because I prefer the animal-based fats. But I think they are okay for most people to be consuming with a caveat. And that is here in the United States, especially it is hard to get truly pure olive oil.
Most of what is sold as olive oil is adulterated with vegetable and seed oils cuz the vegetable and seed oils are a lot cheaper. They increase the profit margin for the food companies but if you get real olive oil, if you get real coconut oil, If you get real avocado oil those are all okay to use.
And the difference there is that those come from the fruit. They come from the olive, they come from the coconut, they come from the avocado. They're not coming from the seed, and so they don't need as much processing. And quite frankly, it's something that we would have been eating on a going back historically.
[00:25:31] Jeffrey Feldberg: Got it, so it sounds like before we get to the do not eat list on the foods or fats, healthy fats, it sounds like you're in favor of tallow, which comes from beef and ghee butter maybe even eggs and the egg yolks those kinds of things. Am I on base with that?
[00:25:50] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, certainly so, your animal-based fats, like you said. You can put lard in there as well. These are the fats again that we evolved eating as human beings. These are the fats that our body is able to process. And this is the fuel that our bodies were designed to run on.
[00:26:08] Jeffrey Feldberg: And for our listeners out there, they're saying, wait a minute, Dr. Ovadia, you are a heart surgeon. And did I just hear you say that lard and butter and eggs and tallow, that's okay to eat, you know, whatever? All these studies out there saying it causes heart disease and premature deaths. What's going on with that?
What would you say to that person?
[00:26:26] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, so, again, saturated fat is the concern that is raised and the evidence against saturated fat, the evidence tying saturated fat to heart disease is again, very weak. Mostly epidemiologic. The interventional studies do not support the fact that saturated fat is harmful to our health.
And in fact, most people don't realize this, but the American Heart Association and the US dietary guidelines have both over the past, five to 10 years removed limitations on saturated fat from their recommendations. They did that very quietly. They buried in the reports. But they have concluded the US dietary guidelines, concluded that saturated fat is not a nutrient of concern, is how they worded it.
Even the organizations that had promoted these ideas have backed off of it that message just hasn't made it to the population, hasn't made it to most physicians, and there is no reason to be avoiding saturated fat in your diet. I am confident saying that, as a heart surgeon, and as you said, I'm talking about what I do.
I walk the walk and so I am very confident in making that recommendation.
[00:27:45] Jeffrey Feldberg: And for our listeners, are you starting to see a theme here? We're still not done, but the theme that you're hearing, anything that's animal-based, whether it be the kind of meat or the kind of fat, is okay. And Dr. Ovadia, a heart surgeon, author, thought leader, businessman, is saying, hey, this is what I'm doing personally.
I'm not just talking about this. I'm living this for myself when I'm off camera when I'm just living my life. This is what I'm doing. So, a lot to think about there. Let's now go to perhaps each in their own category into the fruits and the vegetables. So, we've talked about, you know, what not to eat and, we didn't say it, but I'll add to it.
You can tell me if I'm off base. I suppose things like pasta, bread, sugars, the white carbs so to speak, are off the table for you. Is that correct?
[00:28:30] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, those are all heavily processed foods, carbohydrates in general. We need to realize that carbohydrates are not essential to humans. And carbohydrates, vegetables, and fruits are carbohydrates. So, the first thing, and this is always difficult to get people to accept, is that we do not need fruits and vegetables in our diet to survive.
And I know we've all heard it our entire lives. You know how essential fruits and vegetables are to the diet. But the truth is that there are no essential nutrients in fruits or vegetables that you cannot get from eating animal products. The animal in most cases, has eaten the fruits, the vegetables, the grass they've extracted, the nutrients, those nutrients are now in their meat, in their organs and so we can get those nutrients by eating the animal products. And again, this is largely how we existed for most of our time on this planet as human beings. So the first step in this process is to understand they are not essential. Now, are they harmful? That's going to depend on your situation.
If you are metabolically unhealthy, your body cannot properly process carbohydrates,, and carbohydrates in any form are going to be harmful to you. And that includes fruits and vegetables. Are they as harmful as you know the breads and the pastas? Probably not, our bodies really don't differentiate that.
The only real difference between a bread and a pasta and an apple or an orange is that, cause the apple and the orange has fiber and is a whole food, it probably gets absorbed slower. So, there may be less severe of an effect from that food. But again, if you are metabolically unhealthy,
You really cannot tolerate carbohydrates in any form.
And as we alluded to earlier, most people are metabolically unhealthy. They may not recognize it, they may not realize it, but the data shows that 9 out of 10 of the adults in the United States are metabolically unhealthy.
[00:30:41] Jeffrey Feldberg: So, for our listeners out there, please do not shoot the messengers. You have to assume that you're metabolically unhealthy, and so Dr. Ovadia, it sounds like we can put the population into the healthy and the metabolically unhealthy kinds of groups. And what I'm hearing you say is if you fall into the unhealthy group, at least for the time being, you wanna stay away from fruits and vegetables until you can steer yourself back to health.
And if you're asking for the listeners, how do I know if I'm there or not there? Well, that's where you book an appointment with Dr. Ovadia and he specializes in helping entrepreneurs, business owners, and founders in terms of what he does. He uses technology and his wisdom, and his knowledge to work around your schedules to get you the answers.
But that's where you start getting your own personal KPIs of what works, and what doesn't work. And let me ask you this. If we get to the, not if, but when we get to the point where, okay, we are healthy, where do things change now for fruits and vegetables? What does that look like for someone who's the 9 out of 10 healthy people in the US?
[00:31:43] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, I would say, if you are metabolically healthy and you're, part of that is that you're active, you know, you're incorporating, exercise and other activities into your daily life, then you probably are going to be able to tolerate some fruits and vegetables.
But again, I always ask people to think about, what is the benefit. Just because you can tolerate something doesn't make it essential, doesn't mean you need it. You really have to ask yourself, what is the trade-off there? But ultimately, yes, if someone's metabolically healthy and they're active I really don't have much issue with them eating, fruits and vegetables, whole real foods.
Now can those people be eating processed food? Again, you can probably tolerate it some, but why would you? It is not benefiting your health any.
[00:32:32] Jeffrey Feldberg: Makes a whole lot of sense out there, so you're hearing it from the good doctor of what you should be doing should not be doing, and I know there's some listeners out there saying, wait a minute, and I'll just pick a popular fruit. And there's lots of commercials about it. And orange. Let's just take juice off the table.
Let's just take a whole orange just to keep things simple. So some people are saying, wait a minute, Dr. Avedia. Saying that, I don't have to have an orange, and when it comes to vitamin C, I'm gonna get that from animal-based products enough to sustain me and keep me going. How would you answer that?
[00:33:01] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yes. Again, you can go back historically, and there are large populations that maintain carnivore diets their entire lives, and they never showed evidence of vitamin C deficiency, which is scurvy. There are modern-day carnivores, we can say, who have been literally doing this for decades that have been just fine.
Vitamin C is present in animal meat. It also turns out the less carbohydrate you're eating, the less vitamin C your body actually needs. So, that's an interesting part of our metabolism is that we actually don't need as much vitamin C as was thought because when they were studying how much vitamin C you needed, it was in people who were eating carbohydrates.
But I can certainly tell you, me personally now, over the past four years at least, I've had very minimal vitamin C. I literally have not eaten an orange in four years. I can say and very little fruit or vegetable over that time. And somehow, I haven't developed scurvy yet.
And neither have any of the long-term carnivores that I know of. So, this is an example of how you really need to start questioning the dogma that we have heard our entire life. One of the things that I think is most powerful about the carnivore community is that we see people reversing all sorts of chronic diseases that we have been told are irreversible.
And these are things like diabetes. These are things like autoimmune conditions, inflammatory bowel disease and people are truly reversing these conditions with a carnivore diet, and so that's when you really need to start, you know, opening your eyes and opening your mind to these possibilities when you see all the success stories.
[00:34:49] Jeffrey Feldberg: And what's amazing, and as unbelievable as it sounds, you're saying, hey, you can reverse diabetes, autoimmune disease, IBS, and the list goes on and on. You don't need to take these expensive drugs with all these side effects for the rest of your life. It's through the right kinds of food that you're eating, but also not eating that you can make these changes, and I just wanna underscore, and you can tell me if I'm on base or off base with this, it's not just, okay, I'm gonna have a filet every day and that's it. It's when you start doing, again, the nose-to-tail. And again, for us, in the US here, it may not sound all that appetizing, but when you get beyond that, the nose to tail, the different kinds of organs, I would imagine that's where we're getting some of the other nutrients, zinc, copper, iron, the other essential kinds of nutrients that we need for our body.
Would that be correct?
[00:35:35] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, you know, honestly, that is not entirely clear either because there are many long-term carnivores I know of who don't eat organs, and they do just fine. So the muscle meat, which is what you're eating when you're eating a steak or you're eating ground beef, might be enough.
Personally, I would say I infrequently end up incorporating organs. I'll have 'em sometimes, other times, I'll go long stretches without them. Like I said, I know many long-term carnivores who have been doing this for, years to decades, and they never eat organs, and they seem to be doing just fine so it's not clear that the organs are essential. I agree with you. They are probably the most nutritionally foods that we can be eating as human beings, and they have a lot of those, vitamins and minerals in them. So, I consider them a net positive to add if you want, if you like them, but I'm not sure that they're actually essential.
[00:36:28] Jeffrey Feldberg: Fair enough. And so when it comes to the amount of meat that you're having, how much, are there some general guidelines that you can give us in terms of, okay, if I weigh a certain amount, X many pounds, Y many pounds. , how much should I be eating? Do I eat till I'm full? Is there a certain amount that I want to aspire to be eating?
What does that look like?
[00:36:49] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, So, one of the things that's most powerful about the carnivore diet is that it really does allow your hunger signals to guide you so I do typically tell people, eat when you're hungry and eat until you're full. And when you're eliminating processed food again, those hunger signals are you can start paying attention to 'em, you can start recognizing one of the unique effects of processed food is that it makes us more hungry.
We've all had the experience where we've eaten the whole bag of potato chips and then we're hungry again half an hour later. And that's, again, that's a feature of processed foods. When you eat meat, if you sit down and you eat pound and a half of meat, you know you're not going to be hungry again for typically 12 to 24 hours. So, my general rule is, like I said, eat when you're hungry and eat until you're . Full. Some guidelines that I typically give people are around protein. I think the amount of protein is probably the most essential thing to be paying attention to. And the general guideline there is you want to be getting about one gram of protein per pound body weight, and there's some controversy as this should be your ideal body weight. Should this be your actual body weight? I don't think it's that big of a distinction. You know, If you're morbidly obese, if you're very overweight, yeah, you probably want to go more with your lean body weight or your ideal body weight.
But, so, for someone like myself who's, you know, these days around 180 pounds, 190 pounds. I try and get roughly between 175 and 200 grams of protein a day. That is gonna be about a pound and a half to two pounds of meat, or with some eggs. And that's how I kind of loosely that's the framework that I loosely construct my diet around. The carnivore diet, in general, most people are hungry less often and eat less often. So, for me, it's typically one or two meals a day. And like I said, I usually end up eating about a pound and a half to two pounds of meat a day.
[00:38:52] Jeffrey Feldberg: Absolutely. And you bring up an interesting point because I've yet to meet a person who can outeat on the protein side. And what I mean by that it's so satiating just to gorge yourself like we do, like you're saying, on snacks or these processed foods where we can have bags and gazillion calories and all those other kinds of things going into it.
And we're so hungry. But on the protein side, on the meat side, it's very difficult to be able to do that. You just hit a tipping point. Okay. I'm full. That's it. I'm done. And I feel satiated, I feel terrific. And I'm done with the meal. I'm done with eating right now.
[00:39:25] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, and it's really a different type of fullness. It's interesting, if I'm going to the Brazilian steakhouse, the sort of all-you-can-eat meat place, and yeah, I might put away three pounds of meat in a setting, and I'm full. But it's not that sort of uncomfortable, bloated, post-Thanksgiving.
You know, everyone talks about where, you know, you're falling asleep on the couch, and you're just almost kind of nauseous full. Like you truly don't get to that point if you're only eating meat. It's a pretty amazing thing and it's hard for people to really comprehend that because we're so, used to, we're eating all the processed food and that kind of fullness that comes when you go to the all-you-can-eat buffet, and you're having the dessert and the carbs and all of that.
And you really get to that point of kind of being nauseous just doesn't occur on carnivore diets. The other interesting thing is that they've done what are called protein overfeeding studies where they've intentionally fed excessive amounts of protein to people. And the interesting thing is, those people don't gain weight.
Your body is able to burn off protein essentially more efficiently than carbohydrates, and so you can eat excessive amounts of protein and not gain weight. But most people self-regulate pretty well when they're on a carnivore diet in terms of the amount of protein that they're eating.
[00:40:48] Jeffrey Feldberg: Well, the takeaway, it's a terrific one, is not complicated. Stick to animal-based products. Eat until you're full. Minimize or eliminate fruits and vegetables. Make sure you're metabolically healthy. Then you can decide otherwise. But just eat until you're full, and it's very satiating, and it's a healthy kind of full.
And we can reverse all kinds of diseases, lose weight, feel better, have more energy. Think clearer, make better decisions, grow a more successful business. And so, for our listeners, before we start wrapping up this episode for our listeners, let me ask you something. Are you walking outta this episode? Have we shaken your world?
Have we given you a different perspective? Because Dr. Ovadia, correct me if I'm wrong, but this is a microcosm of what you cover one-on-one with your patients as you walk them through every area of their health, so, that they can live to be a long old, ripe age, enjoying it with a quality of life, growing a business, and taking in all those terrific memories by your expertise.
You know, and we covered in this one session, what someone perhaps would take years, if ever, to figure this out, get this done, and have the peace of mind that what they're doing, it's the right thing to do, but with your oversight, you take care of all that. If I'm misspeaking here or if I missed anything, please let me know.
[00:42:05] Dr. Phil Ovadia: No, definitely, you know, health is a part of our overall life plan. I would say it's, I think, the most important part because, if you don't have your health It's going to be hard to exceed in other areas of your life. There's a saying that I like to repeat and I'm not sure who actually said it to be honest.
But the saying is, the sick man has but one wish. The healthy man has unlimited wishes.
[00:42:34] Jeffrey Feldberg: Ah, so true. So true. Your health truly is your Wealth and some terrific insights in there. Well, Dr. Ovadia, we're gonna start to wrap things up and a little bit of a spoiler alert, because I ask every single guest my favorite question. You've had that before, but you know what, let's, I'll ask it again and I'm gonna put a little bit of a twist on it, but it'll be the same theme so, we'll stick with that and see where that goes. And so, once again, think of the movie Back to the Future and that magical DeLorean car that can take you back to any point in time. so, imagine now is tomorrow morning. And here's the fun part. You look outside your window and there it is. The DeLorean car is not only there, but it's curbside door is open, waiting for you to hop on in and so you can now go to any point in your life. And here is where I'll give you a few options. What would you be telling your younger self in terms of life wisdom, life lessons, do this, don't do that in life in general, or a little bit of a spin on that? What would you tell your younger self from a health-related perspective of what you know now that perhaps you didn't know back then that would've perhaps just made life a whole lot easier, saved you a lot of hassles and headaches?
I'll leave it with you in whichever direction you'd like to go.
[00:43:44] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, so, you know, really, those two answers end up being related, the general advice that I would give myself is to be more curious and be more skeptical and to really question dogma. And, on a health front, that really, as I said, has kind of manifested as eat real food. That would be the seminal piece of advice that I would give my younger self on a health
[00:44:08] Jeffrey Feldberg: run.
Terrific. Some sage advice for our listeners, please follow up on that. And speaking of following up in the show notes, we have Dr. Ovadia's book. Stay Off My Operating Table: A Heart Surgeon's Metabolic Health Guide to Lose Weight, Prevent Disease, and Feel your Best every day. And Dr. Ovadia, if someone want to ask you a question, become a patient, learn more about what you can do for them.
Where's the best place online that they can reach you?
[00:44:32] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Yeah, so the best place to start is at ifixhearts.com my website. There's a quiz right on the front page that's going to allow you to assess your metabolic health and then that will lead you to my other resources. I work with patients one-on-one, like you said, in my medical practice.
I also have coaching programs, educational programs available but it's all at ifixhearts.com.
[00:44:56] Jeffrey Feldberg: Terrific, and we'll have all that in the show notes. Please go there. Check that out. Your health is your Wealth. It's so one thing that all the money in the world cannot buy, but you have the opportunity to optimize that today. Well, Dr. Ovadia, really a heartfelt thank you, taking part of your day, sharing your wisdom, your insights, and leading us to a better life.
And as we'd like to say here on the Deep Wealth Podcast, please continue to say healthy and safe. Thank you so, much.
[00:45:21] Dr. Phil Ovadia: Thank you, Jeffrey.
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[00:47:52] Jeffrey Feldberg: Are you leaving millions on the table?
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