In this episode, Dr. Scott and Tommy discuss the book "Salt, Sugar, Fat" by Michael Moss, the Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter who uncovered the hidden system used by the food giants to get us hooked on artificial, engineered foods. It can be difficult to break habits with food, especially since many of them were formed during childhood. This book has helped millions of people understand why they have such strong feelings towards some of their favorite foods and has given them the firepower to start looking at food in a more empowered way and make better decisions to regain control of their bodies and lives.
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Hello, I'm Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm Tommy Welling, and you're listening to the Fasting for Life podcast, and this podcast is about using fasting as a tool to regain your health, achieve ultimate wellness and live the life you truly deserve.
Each episode is a short conversation on a single topic with immediate, actionable steps. We cover everything from fat loss on health and wellness to the science of lifestyle design.
We started fasting for life because of how fasting has transformed our lives, and we hope to share the tools that we have learned along the way.
Everyone, welcome to be Fasting for Life podcast. My name is Dr. Scott Watier, and I'm here, as always, with my good friend and colleague, Tommy Welling. Good evening to you, sir. Hey, Scott. How are you? Fantastic. I cannot wait for tonight's topic. We're going to be reviewing and giving you our thoughts on a book that was instrumental in changing our thought process. You brought this book to my attention and it was transformational in your thought process and kind of your journey in discovering kind of what true health is and the traps and the the the difficulties along the way. And I'm excited to get your perspective, as I have now been exposed to it.
And then also kind of, you know, give a couple of real life actionable things that we can do and hopefully encourage some other people to get on the path as well.
Yeah, I'm excited, too. This is a book that if I if I go back into where did I kind of turn that first stone over and start figuring out where I wanted to go and addressing the issues in my in my previous eating and lifestyle habits. It really does come down to this book.
It was it was recommended to me, I think, on Audible probably six or seven years ago. And I couldn't put it down once I started it. And it really opened my eyes to a whole lot of things that that I think are important to go into here.
So salt, sugar, fat. Is the book, and it is by Michael Moss, correct? I'm terrible with names and authors and sports people and famous people.
They could be sitting in front of me and I wouldn't know. It could be like in the biggest movie ever and I wouldn't know who they are.
So I'm not great with the names. So salt, sugar, fat. Right. Sitting on my bookshelf, it's. I'll say this, when I first read it, I was kind of like, OK, where is all this information been hiding? Mm hmm. And Michael Moss has won a ton of awards for for his writing and his journalism and he the perspective on this book, I feel it the way you explained it to me and how it changed your thought process was really just like the overall take home message.
Yeah. You know, it's one of those it's one of those things where it was a matter of good timing, where I was just kind of on the cusp of realizing that, you know, I had some habits that were formed when I was really young and they had led me down a certain path and increasing weight, sleep apnea, just just a host of of issues that we're kind of starting to pop up.
I had some neuropathy, some numbness coming up. Asthma had been kind of off and on and.
And I was trying to to kind of figure out how to get a grasp on that, because all the while I was I was working out harder than ever.
I was doing more and more cardio, and I was eating a lot of good food, too. But but I still had all these really, really bad habits that have just been formed from a young age. And this this book just kind of uncovered a lot of the issues that I was kind of knocking at the door and just help me kind of see the whole picture. And that's what really fueled my my fire to kind of start changing things from the inside out.
So when we look at the book, because I feel like we're dangling the carrot a little bit here and not intentionally, but it's it's a conversation that it's almost like the system is rigged against us in today's world of dieting and weight loss and health, the ability to actually regain your health and have health. First of all, the definition of what health is has been construed over the years. It is not being free of symptoms, but it is being one of of good function, having all of your organ systems and cells in your body doing what they're supposed to do. So when the check engine light comes on in terms of a symptom, you're kind of looking at the end result, not the process that got you that right. So, yeah, the brakes that needed to change on my wife's explorer didn't just one day wake up and they stop working. They've been wearing out, you know, over the months and months and months. So when we look at the health and the the desire for most people to say, yeah, I want to be healthy, the food industry is really. Kind of the Goliath in the David and Goliath analogy, right, where they are stacking the deck against our success.
Yeah, absolutely. And and but we're we're feeding into that, no pun intended. We're allowing it to happen by demanding upon us pretty in terms of we're you know, we're we're we have a market demand for the types of foods that they're creating. And they even they cite that that sort of thing in the book where, you know, craft limited their their salt and their sugar and their fat and certain foods. And what happened? Their market share went went down. It plummeted. The next year, there were complaints filling up their inboxes. They had to make a change. They had to go back to the previous way. If you if you mess with a with a Velveeta mac and cheese or Kraft mac and cheese with the powder, you know, you're going to have a revolt on your hands. There's going to be probably millions of Americans who who are going to be upset about that. And they were the same the same way that that they would be if Coke changed the formula to.
Yeah, right. And I think that's happened over the last couple of decades with they've tried to make changes and it just doesn't work out right now. The cool thing about Michael Moss is I mean, he's a Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist, right? So he wrote the book Salt, Sugar, Fat How the Food Giants Hooked US. Right. So you just look at the title. OK, well, this book is going to be about salt, sugar and fat. So, you know, just to summarize it, I mean, based on the fact that this changed and almost gave you a little bit of. I don't know if this is the correct term hutzpah, is that the word a little bit of like towards the like, I totally could have just screwed that up. So apologies if that's the case. But you had this almost like anger. And because it's almost like, you know, the deceit of the clever marketing, the distancing away from the home cooked meal to the busier lifestyle to the industrial industriousness of the home, to both parents working to TV dinners, to processed foods, to the refinement of the processed foods. You know, literally these these companies did research and went into the laboratory and created these bliss point foods. Right. So Bliss Point is one of the main take homes, correct?
Yeah. Yeah. So bliss point. Basically, there's multiple ways that they go into the lab to find the exact amount and ratio proportion of salt and sugar and fat that you need to get the maximum dopamine response. They want this food to hit your brain like crack cocaine. And for you to keep coming back to the source to want more and more and more. So you'll keep buying it, keep consuming it. And it's hitting your pleasure receptors in the brain so hard that it's bypassing all of the circuitry that we have for satiety and for being full stomach distention, all the triggers that are supposed to tell us, hey, you know what, it's time to stop eating. Those are being completely overridden by these by these foods. And so, just like you said, this finally flipped a switch on for me, for me to realize, OK, there's a reason why I've been making these decisions, but I don't have to keep making them now that I'm aware of it. And and that that is hugely empowering. And that's that's the big reason why we want to talk about this.
Yeah. So it's it's it's when when the because so going back to the reward center in the brain like that hyper palatability, like your mouth. You want it, you crave it. You can taste it. Stomach starts to gurgle all of those things. Right. So it triggers the pleasure centers and it triggers those hunger hormones. Right. So my thought process is if you don't know what's happening, you're going to think you're hungry. And then when you make the the I'm doing air quotes here, the bad choice, you make the bad choice and you get the Intiman donut versus the apple. Right. You get the bag of donuts versus the apple. You know that the doughnuts aren't as good for you. So you're like, oh, I don't have any willpower. Oh, I'm just what I deserve this. Or, you know, I'll start fresh again tomorrow. Literally, the chemically engineered flavor profile, which is the salt, the combination of the salt sugar and then those hidden fats. Right. The things that keep the Twinkie on the shelf through through through a nuclear explosion. Right. Those suckers don't burn like there's videos you can Google by trying to burn a nestlings chocolate bar or a Twinkie versus real chocolate. And it just doesn't burn like the Twinkie with a blowtorch. It just doesn't change.
Like, wait a minute, if a blowtorch isn't creating that that sucker to break down, what's that doing to my intestines? So we're talking about food that is like Frankenfood. It's engineered to the point where it's stacking the deck against your physiology, which then turns your willpower into having a finite amount. So you're literally fighting an uphill battle. And I think that realization is like, OK, well, if I know that's what they're doing, adding a little bit of pissed off ness, like, hey, no, you don't get to control me, like you don't get to control my health. I have a choice here. And the choices that I'm going to go home and make the food that I purchased, I'm going to stay out of the middle of the grocery store. I'm going to stay out of the preserved packaged foods. And Baylor, interestingly enough, they did a review on this genum and programmed did a review on the book, and he talks about three hundred processed food manufacturers dominate the American diet. Add in the marketing and the snacks and the help the terminology like healthy snacks, natural, all of this other stuff. We're getting so much more of these sugars and bad fats that no wonder why we have an obesity epidemic in this country.
Yeah, absolutely. I mean, talk about the the deck being stacked against you in there. They cite, you know, how many how many people are in the workforce, how many people used to be at home. They used to be cooking from scratch. They were taught how to cook from scratch from from their parents and their grandparents. And now how few people are I mean, it really is it really is the exception to go home and make a home cooked meal versus hitting the drive thru again or something else that's that's prepackaged. So, you know, you need some fuel for that fire to be able to make those decisions, because in the heat of the moment, you're getting home late, you've been busy all day, and now the kids are hungry and they're fussy. You know, what do you do at that point? But, you know, there's still decisions that can be made. You can still make the best out of that situation. You don't have to give in to the path of least resistance.
And an example of this was the Kraft, the Kellogg's Frosted. Example, right, they actually change the name, the serial was named something different before then and it wasn't selling. And if you change the name to Frosted, like immediately, I don't know.
As a kid, we had a conversation about our two favorite pop tart flavors. Right. And because the heated conversation, the heated conversation, because if you want them warm, apparently with butter, you put them in the toaster oven and then the ones right out of the package on the go. My favorite were the strawberry frosted. And, you know, we grew up with this stuff like that's the era that we lived in the toaster strudels with the icing dessert for breakfast. I feel like it's only gotten worse now that the chemistry has gotten better. The marketing has gotten better, the advertising got now everybody has not just a TV, but 10 to 15 streaming devices in their home. You know, one of the reasons one of the things you want to mention tonight was how do you combat that? Well, as adults, we have the ability to now know what's what we're up against and why we continually fail. So now we can make the change if we are truly ready to do so. But secondly is for our kids. We have we both have kids that are younger and our daughter has been in a preschool. Day care, and we only looked at places that would allow us to control the snacks and control the lunch and control the food because I mean, we know our daughter is a different person when she eats the stuff that this book is talking about. She is a completely different little evil person that she turns into. And I love her to death. But she just turns into this person where I'm like, that's not my daughter.
And I'm like, Who are you? I'm like, did you have? And then we check the app and it's like, yeah, I had a special birthday celebration today that we missed and didn't provide her with something that was more natural. So we try to control it and we're not perfect, of course. And she's had things that, you know, fall into these categories. But the ninety five percent of the time, we're providing her with a different path than you and I had, which is which is giving her not allowing her body to have that palatability of those those engineered foods that have that that that that that bliss point now where your body really wants it. So yes, she's had some and it's interesting because there's this book that she's reading. It's an English Spanish book and you can touch it. It tells you like little facts about different foods and animals and all these different things. And in the book, there's there's a food page and an English and Spanish that tells you like it says something about the item and it said bread. And then there's just a sour bread. Now she's up there doing the book and she's like, I love bread. And I'm like, yeah, you like your home cooked bread, you like your zucchini bread, you're not getting the Wonder Bread like it's not going to happen is not happening. So just we're going to encourage you out there to know that this is a thing and that, yes, it directly has an effect just like that Beyler review of the book by the medical doctor.
It has a direct effect on later in life development of coronary heart disease, type two diabetes, obesity on all of the health metrics that shorten your life span and increase your health care costs.
Yeah, they do. And I mean, the book is full of so many examples of empowering Eye-Opening and sometimes infuriating things that that you you may have never realized are going on around us. How many billions of dollars are being spent on the marketing and the testing and the optimization of these foods and sometimes of your your favorite foods and how they they have just been engineered, like you said, to to keep us coming back for more. And I feel like you need the ammunition there to to start making different decisions, especially like this book in particular. Help me figure out finally that I had a sugar addiction like at the age of twenty nine or thirty. I still remember where I was when I had the realization I was sitting in my kitchen in our our previous apartment and I just said, wow, I have a sugar addiction.
I've always had this. And I think my wife knew for, for a long time she was always like, well you know, you, you like the sweets and, and things like that.
But even having heard that a million times, it was it was finally seeing the whole machine and how it works. That really opened my eyes to the problem and then helped me start going down the path of the solution.
That's awesome. I just. When we have conversations like this, it's almost like, you know, I want to. Leave the conversation with a positive outlook and like some things that we can do right from it, from an action standpoint and, you know, looking at. Just looking at the data that's in there and looking at the way that it's trending and looking at the health metrics and the State of the Union when it comes to obesity and all of the comorbidities that go with it and the fact that we're talking about fasting.
So what is fasting? Do fasting literally gives your body the opportunity to bottom out insulin and it helps balance those hormones that are being triggered by these foods. So if you're fasting and then you're bingeing on a lot of the stuff, you're pretty much undoing the results that you've been working so hard to obtain.
Yeah. And, you know, between the fasting and the bingeing like that, if you are, you know, maintaining these old habits that frankly got you to where you are today and where you feel like you need to come away from, you know, that that's basically just finding an intermediary point where you might be able to maintain that bad state of health and maybe it doesn't get as worse or so much worse as quickly as before. But but that's that's probably not where you want to be. So, you know, coming off of this with a positive perspective, I would say that the information in this book and opening your eyes to it have a have a face towards the future. And even if today is the first day that you start actually seeing the whole situation, understanding what's happened, where the bad habits have come from, why you were literally loving the breakfast foods or whatever it is, the highly addictive foods when you were a kid. You can get past that. You can start today making new decisions and use fasting to undo the negative health effects and the negative emotional and psychological eating that's been building over time and literally start forging the path into a new life starting today.
And that was the thing that you said to me are like no other books ever made me want to eat healthier more than this one. Like this was the one where I was like like you said, like, whoa, it's OK now I get it. Now it's starting. The picture is starting to become more clear.
So, you know, eating out less, shopping less in the middle of the store, eating more fresh foods, all that stuff on top of that positive outlook and undoing those old habits, I mean, simply. In an admirable way, it's just start making one better decision at a time right now, and I know for us we're going to we're going to continue to try to be those role models for for the little ones, too. Can't can't tell you how many times have been called out for being on my phone at times when I shouldn't be. And then I'm like, oh, man, I hate that they got me. So, you know, they're watching. Right? You know, they're watching they're watching everything either on their own perspective. Oh, my goodness. So we're going to continue to be a work in progress. I know you and I, Tommy, are still on our health journey. And heck of a lot closer to the end result than we were a couple of decades ago, eating those toaster oven, brown buttered, cinnamon coated pop tarts. But I think yeah, I think I think we got it. I could I can continue to talk about this for a while. I get fired up about this stuff. But if you haven't read it, go read it. It's a great book. It's transformational.
And Tommy, I appreciate your transparency kind of sharing your your journey and your story here. And I appreciate you also kind of shine a light on this book for me as well.
Yeah, absolutely. I'm happy to I tell everyone I can about this book. And and it just it was the start of a of a great thing for me.
And I think it is for a lot of other people, too. Oh, awesome. If you guys are new to the podcast, go to our website, the Fasting for Life Dotcom.
Check it out a little bit more about who we are and what we're doing here. We started this podcast that starts teaching people and just spreading the word on the power of fasting and how it's transformed our lives. There's a Fast Start guide on the website. You can put in your email, download the Fast Start guide to come to the free mini master class. It's about a 20 minute course on how to put in or one meal a day fasting into your dead life. It gets you the winds faster, get you the results quicker, which then gets the momentum going.
And we just love, absolutely love the fact of how many people take advantage of that free resource. So shoot us a message at info at the Fasting for Life Dotcom. And as always, sir, thank you for your time.
Thank you, Scott. To you. So you've heard today's episode and you may be wondering where do I start? Head on over to the Fasting for Life Dotcom and sign up for our newsletter where you'll receive fasting tips and strategies to maximize results and fit fasting into your day to day life.
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