Hans Diehl, Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP)


Chosen as “One of America’s 20 Super-Heroes of the Health Movement,” Dr. Hans Diehl directs the Lifestyle Medicine Institute in Loma Linda and lectures at the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois at Rockford and at the School of Medicine of Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, CA. Offering more than 25 years of leadership in the emerging field of Lifestyle Medicine his pioneering efforts as an epidemiologically trained lifestyle interventionist with the Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP) have shown how simple lifestyle changes can prevent, arrest, and facilitate the reversal of many of our largely lifestyle related diseases. With more than 50,000 graduates, the results of the Randomized Clinical CHIP Trial have been published in 17 peer reviewed medical journals.

His books, Health Power, Dynamic Health, and Dynamic Living book & workbook (co-authored with Aileen Ludington), have over two million copies in 17 languages in circulation. As an invited guest, he recently addressed, for the second year in a row, the World Congress on Weight Management in Chicago. He earned his doctorate in Health Science and an MPH in Public Health Nutrition from Loma Linda University. He has been married to Dr. Lily Pan for 40 years. Together they have two children: Byron, an orthodontist and Carmen, a clinical psychologist. His greatest joy is “to know that my life has significance because of the God I found and cherish.


Caryn Hartglass: Hello, I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listing to It’s All About Food! Thank you for joining me, were going to be talking about my favorite subject food because really, it’s all about food.

So many things are connected to our food choices and I like to take this hour every week to talk about, so many of the subjects that are related to what we eat, how were affecting the environment, how were affect our own personal health and how were affecting so many different living species that share this planet with us. And what I really want to do, and this is all I want to do is I want to inspire and empower, as many people as I can to make powerful differences in their own lives.

We really need to take responsibility, each one of us as individuals, our life is in our own hands we really can’t expect anyone else to, take charge of our own lives it’s up to us and there are so many wonderful reasons to choose, healthy organic plant-based foods at ever meal.

One of the things that’s always frustrated me is when I go to see some medical doctors and we all had different experiences but so many of them, really don’t expect much out of us.

And maybe it’s because they’ve dealt with so many people that aren’t interested in taking care of their own lives and taking charge of their own lives.

But I’ve had a lot of arguments with some of them in terms of what I should do, and its really really frustrating you need to educate yourself you need to take care of yourself.

And this is going to be a great hour because we’re going to be talking to Dr. Hans Diehl, and just a little bit about him, he was chosen by Vegetarian Times Magazine, as one of Americas’ super heroes of health.

He directs the lifestyle medicine institute in Loma Linda, California and lectures at the college of medicine at the University of Illinois, at Rock Ford.

Offering more than 25 years of leadership in the emerging field of Lifestyle medicine, he has shown through his pioneering efforts as an epidemiological trained lifestyle interventionist with the Coronary Health Improvement Project or “CHIP“, how simple lifestyle changes can prevent, arrest and reverse many of our largely lifestyle related diseases.

With more than fifty thousand graduates the results of the recently conducted, and government funded randomized clinically CHIP trials have been released via thirteen articles published in peer reviewed medical journals.

His book Health Power which was Co-authored by Aileen Ludington MD has more than two million copies in sixteen languages, in circulation. He most recently addressed the world congress on weight management, he earned his doctorate in health science, and an MPH in public health nutrition from Loma Linda University, where he also worked as a research fellow in cardio vascular epidemiology, supported by the National Institute Of Health, before assisting the establishment of the center of health enhancement and research at the university of California at Los Angeles.

He was a director of research and education, at the Pritikin Longevity Institute. And I want to mention it and I’m going to mention it several times through the show Dr. Diehl’s website CHIPhealth.com, really tremendous information up there.

Caryn Hartglass: Dr Diehl welcome to It’s All About Food!

Dr. Hans Diehl: Well, l thank you so much Caryn, glad to hear that, you really set the pace here for helping this country to make better choices.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah well, we need to do whatever we can, because I think one of the biggest problems is not the information but getting the information out and the media is really doing an abysmal job, people are really confused they get all these confusing sound bites and we just need to do a better job and you are doing wonderful, wonderful things.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Yes, it’s true we don’t need more information everybody is giving out information everybody wants to sell something, we don’t need information not any more but what we really need is education, we need motivation, we need inspiration we need to understand. Why we perhaps should make some choices, better choices and when we make these choices how we can make those choices more affective so we have the desired out come. because, as you have always said our life, our future is in our owns hands we’re largely suffering today from chronic diseases but are largely food borne illnesses.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s right, you know I met you in 2002 though I think it was at the International Vegetarian Union Club Congress in Edinburgh and you made a big impression on me back then.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Mind you I have not for gotten that!

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, you were really eloquent and had a lot of wonderful, wonderful information really ahead of your time!

Dr. Hans Diehl: Wow, thank you!

Caryn Hartglass: And so I’m looking through your book which came out a couple years ago the Optimal Diet the official CHIP cook book. And one of the things I really love that in a mere five pages you really hit the nail on the head, just bang, bang, bang, on everything that is going wrong with the medical community, with the medical approach to health all these western diseases, and it’s you know very concise and right to the point.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Well thank you so much, I appreciate that.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, it’s really good I read a lot of this stuff, so when I see it just fooom, just right on I just really appreciate it. Ok so here some of the things I want to talk about today, a lot of people are kind of um, I’m searching for a word now, but a lot of people have heart problems and many people today take it for granted they just think that that’s natural, its normal as you get older you have high blood pressure, you have high cholesterol and we have this epidemic right now of heart disease and diabetes. And it’s an epidemic, nobody screaming about it. And you go to your cardiologist, to go to your doctor and he prescribes medication or if your unfortunate enough to have a stroke or heart attack, and you’re whisked to the hospital and there are all different kinds of really incredible things that they can do, and yet the simple information we don’t get were not encouraged to use.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Well, let me tell you something Caryn, and this is nothing really new to you but, nothing trumps a simple diet. You can have all the hospitals, all the physicians, you can have all the evasive surgery’s, they can save life’s which they do. especially in a acute situation, but unless you begin to take things into your own hands in the context of good medical acute care, nothing’s going to happen you could have a bypass. And you have a fifteen to thirty percent chance that, that bypass is going to close up on you again within one year, and you’re just out if fifteen hundred dollars.

Caryn Hartglass: Yep

Dr. Hans Diehl: And you know people say well you know I thought that bypass will last eight, nine years while that’s probably true first year is very critical, and fifteen to thirty percent of these bypasses during the first year have a hard time, they don’t make it and then you have stents, and you know we use stents all the time when somebody said stents are sort of like, potato chips. I mean you not just take one, and that’s the situation with stents.

You take a stent, give thirty-five thousand dollars and in five, six months forty five percent of these stents are no longer functional. As a matter of fact the American College of cardiology has released guidelines and they said no stents should be done, unless it pertains to in [MI mici ] functional heart attack and it has to take place within twenty four hours. So we are doing a lot of these stents a million stents and most of these are not done within those twenty four hours that are important, and so you just really wonder what is the real purpose is the patient being helped or is the system being helped, you know another thirty five thousand dollars.

So what I think we need to begin to focus on is that yes medicine can do some wonderful things it can save lives especially acute care issues, but when it comes to chronic diseases, were basically powerless we caught sometimes genitive diseases, and we think because of degenerative in nature, and they think it comes with age, wrong! These diseases happen when we are children, it has to do with atherosclerosis and narrowing and hardening of the arteries, and when you don’t take care of your arteries they cannot take care of you.

And so that’s the big issue of today, people don’t seem to not understand that hardening of the arteries, is the building of plaque inside all the major arteries, the cholesterol, the fat, the calcium and the stiffening of these arteries, these are the big reason why we have hyper tension, hearing loss, impotence, probably seventy percent of importance leads to vascular problems, like ocular sclerosis, heart disease, we can look at some of the Alzheimer related towards stroke, gangrene, amputation due to diabetes, that’s all related to ocular sclerosis, the narrowing of the arteries and that is primarily associated with our life style.

Caryn Hartglass: It’s just, it’s mind boggling to me because, maybe it’s because I read about it and I’m passionate about it and I’ve heard about it for so long but, I just don’t understand why so many are just lolled into doing the same old thing. And feeling that heart disease is normal

Dr. Hans Diehl: That is true and nobody tells the people in a medical establishment. Look the best we can do is make you more comfortable, we can give you some pain relief, we can treat the symptoms BUT we have to have you as our partner to help us, you have to make the changes, you have to stop smoking, you have to get into daily exercise routines, you really have to move towards a diet, that leaves out most of the fat and cholesterol, that leaves out most of the animal products and that also leaves out most of the processed food, I mean just think about this. Fifty percent of the calories we eat in America today come from preprocessed engineered foods, these are not really foods, these are taste sensations made for profit. So that’s fifty percent then you have another fifty percent of calories that come from dairy and meat, and again when you look at these products, they’re largely high calorie foods. You know in your sirloin steak that seventy five percent fat when you have that beacon that’s about ninety percent fat, when you have the cheese that’s about seventy percent fat, and these are saturated fat, which cause the liver to go into over drive making cholesterol which then finds its way into your arterial wall. So, you see we have moved towards a culture where the basis is convenience food, we have been marketed to death. With this idea that if you want to eat you either go out, and that’s another story isn’t it?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, it is.

Dr. Hans Diehl: It’s hard to find healthy food out there.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Do you want us to eat or you pick up something on the way home serve it into the microwave and your fine. People don’t seem to understand that a simple diet doesn’t have to take all day, you can make a meal in twenty minutes, thirty minutes easily, and you can reduce your food bill instead of going out by ten times! So. you know it takes a reeducation of the consumer that has been brain washed by marketing techniques and as they do these people, these people begin to shape their own future, they can largely determine how they want to live, the diseases they are going to have we have incredible power on our plates, and yet we don’t seem to know how to use that plate toward our advantage.

Caryn Hartglass: Yep it’s……

Dr. Hans Diehl: It’s All About Food – Isn’t it?!

Caryn Hartglass: It’s All About Food, yes, underline that several times. So what about these medications? People have high blood pressure, they take the medicine the blood pressure goes down, is that a good thing?

Dr. Hans Diehl: Well again, we’re not curing anything were only controlling.

Caryn Hartglass: How does that work, how does the blood pressure go down if, the person isn’t being cured

Dr. Hans Diehl: Yes, that’s right, the moment you forget to take your pills you blood pressure swells up again, and yet eighty percent, eighty three percent to be exact of all people with moderately high blood pressure, most of them are now using medication, will be off medications in less than four to six weeks. And all they have to do is to make some choices, one of the most important choices when it comes to high blood pressure obviously is the amount of salt in our diet, we only need one gram to be in good health, most of us take ten plus grams of salt.

Caryn Hartglass: Wow.

Dr. Hans Diehl: You know the Romans solders were paid with a salt allowance it was so precious in those days, it was a lovely ingredient ah, a spice it was nice to have. And that’s where the word uh, salary comes from it comes from sod, it was a sod allowance its salary. Well today if we were paid our salaries in salt, you know forget it.

Caryn Hartglass: Feels like, Feels like that’s what’s happening to the economy these days, anyways no.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Most Americans take ten grams of salt and when we counsel our patients it’s like, “Well maybe you should really lower our salt intake.” And I say okay no more salt shaker, but wait a minute eighty percent of the salt doesn’t come from the salt shaker that’s the beginning. But eighty percent come from restaurant foods, and it comes from processed foods. that’s where we need to start. We need to begin to look at food differently, it’s all about food, especially food that doesn’t need nutrition labels or hmm danger, or safety seals. You know if you think about this, do you have nutrition labels on tomatoes?

Caryn Hartglass: No.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Do you have it on tomato paste?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Yes, do you have it on potatoes?

Caryn Hartglass: No.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Do you have it on potato chips?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Do you have it on beans, dry beans?

Caryn Hartglass: No.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Do you have it on canned beans?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes.

Dr. Hans Diehl: So, I tell people try to select more foods that don’t need nutrition labels, you know like cherries and apples, and bananas, spinach, potatoes and tomatoes. Those kinds of thing that we used to eat, you know seventy percent of our food used to come, a hundreds of years ago from these kinds of sources, today’s its only seven, percent!

Caryn Hartglass: Wow

Dr. Hans Diehl: So that’s one thing, then I say to people be also carful with the food that has safety seals on them. And these are the meats, the fish the chicken you know there’s always bacterial contamination that people worry about so there’s safety procedures in place. And always need to be careful of the high fat dairy products like cheeses. If we could begin to cut back on those foods that are animal base foods, as well as cutting back on the, foods that are processed and engineered. You know those calorie bombs, I mean it’s true.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah

Dr. Hans Diehl: Um, and that’s where the money goes far for food too, you can go more on fruit and vegetables and whole grains and legumes you know those used to be beans and lentils and so on, maybe a few nuts I think we would see a dramatic change.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, you know you would, you don’t think you would, you know you’d see a dramatic change.

Dr. Hans Diehl: I know we would, and you know heart disease is a basic disease arthrosclerosis is a disease that only unmerged after World War I! We didn’t have those diseases, all maybe a few of the very rich had those but they were very, very rare, today it’s so common to find them already in children!

Caryn Hartglass: Yes.

Dr. Hans Diehl: So, heart disease is becoming a pediatric problem when you think about it, and then it progresses until you have about seventy percent narrowing of the coronary the heart arteries. And then you might have your first symptom that’s angina pain, pain in your chest and traveling down your left arm. That’s usually angina pain upon exertion, and many people they can have eighty to ninety percent narrowing and they will not know it because its a very stealthy killer its very insidious it doesn’t give any warnings, you know it’s a little bit like being pregnant I mean you’re either pregnant or not pregnant you can’t be a little pregnant it doesn’t work. And most people over forty-five have already fifty percent narrowing and hardening of the major arteries going to their brain going to their heart going to the male sex organ, going to the legs. That’s the problem.

Caryn Hartglass: Wow and it’s just, I’m just continually frustrated cause it’s so simple and you know it’s not even just simple that food that’s is most health promoting is really delicious, it’s fun and you look good, you look sexy, you look healthy, you look, you don’t age as fast. It’s just crazy why more people aren’t flocking to it.

Dr. Hans Diehl: And it’s colorful on your plate, right?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, it’s a beautiful thing.

Dr. Hans Diehl: It has an interesting texture, and people say well you know I, I don’t have any interest in those foods, my appetite came to me from my parents and from my grandparents true, the culture part of this, but the good news is we can reeducate our taste buds. It takes about three weeks and the most difficult thing is, to change is leaving out some of the excessive amount of salt or sodium that’s that most difficult thing to change, I mean I have worked with people who would come live in centers, clinics. And they’d receive all the right foods and these often times were affluent people and they would come there as a last resort, they would have seen their physicians or research center and nobody could really help them because medication doesn’t stop the diseases that we call chronic disease. It has to do with attacking the causes, how we eat it’s all about the food, and so these people would come to us and after about a couple of weeks, you know, an executive would say to me “hey listen you’re in charge here why don’t you get a new chef, I mean this chef is a lousy cook, I don’t like the food here it’s so flat I want to have some salt, I want to have some spices, do it!” But you know two more weeks he comes to me, and they’re usually there for four weeks, so two weeks and he says to me thanks a lot for listening to me, and for replacing the chef. I didn’t replace the chef, you know what happened, right?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, their taste buds changed, that’s funny!

Dr. Hans Diehl: Yeah! Yeah, yeah, his taste buds had changed and now if I had taken him to a restaurant he would have really complained to the waitress “how could you have so much salt in this stuff, this is like a brawny solution, I want to have some really good tasting food” Why? Because in two three weeks he changed his perception, the taste buds had renewed then selves, and sending a different message to the brain, and the brain interpreted this no differently, saying hey this is good stuff that’s what you want

Caryn Hartglass: But, unfortunately he had to practically imprison himself to have the discipline to do it.

Dr. Hans Diehl: that’s often times the case what we do in our CHIP program in Cornell a proven program, we kind of overload them with scientific information delivered within four weeks, so they get about forty hours of education, I mean they come about every night four nights a week for two hours and you know we put them into a mental prison. I mean not really, it’s really the pathway to freedom but we kind of, maybe overwhelm them with scientific evidence that very clearly teaches us, we have to get back to a simpler diet there’s dignity in simple foods, there’s colors in simple foods, there’s nutrition, there’s cost saving, you help the environment, its economically sound and you know the animal probably don’t complain that much either. So you know you have the very, very best at your fingertips if we could just help people, to begin to see it and to go to a super market with a dietician that can guide them to show them what they should eat, then take them to a cooking class and show them you can prepare a wonderful meal in twenty minutes flat. And it is tasteful, it is delicious, it is delightful to the eye and you don’t feel bloated afterwards. and your beginning to reverse your chronic disease, you can open those coronary arteries again, they can melt all the plaque in your arteries, you can restore people with diabetes, turn the diabetes off in four to eight weeks by making some simple changes like more fiber in their diet, you can do something with people with high blood pressure because eighty to eighty three percent can be off their medication when they have moderately high blood pressure problems. You can do something about weight, we teach people how to eat more and weigh less, just need to make some healthier choices.

Caryn Hartglass: Isn’t that amazing when we don’t hear about this every day on the nightly news? You know there’s all these little sound clips on all the nightly news programs and you know I’m yawning all the time because most of the things they’re talking about are old news. You know I look at my partner and say “this isn’t news this is old and tired and confusing”.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Yeah, yeah, yeah that’s true although we have a new banner carrier, have you noticed that? We have a new banner carrier and the banner carrier comes from the halls of influence and power.

Caryn Hartglass: I’m not following you here.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Bill Clinton.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, Bill Clinton, the banner carrier, yes thank goodness!

Dr. Hans Diehl: Bill Clinton is the new banner carrier he’s very eloquent, he knows how to tell a story, he has done his research and he has said in so many words “Look I had my bypass it didn’t last, then I had two stents and they told me they’d be closing up again to, and I want to be around when Chelsea’s kids come around.

Caryn Hartglass: Yep.

Dr. Hans Diehl: I want to be a grandpa and he said I’m going to do what others had done in the field, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Ornish. And they have shown that you can have an eighty percent chance of reversing this disease and living ten, fifteen, twenty years! I mean the book is out Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Esselstyn.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s right, well maybe the democrats will listen.

Dr. Hans Diehl: You know actually, I carry a German pastport so I’m not really politically involved in this country, but I have to tell you that from my perspective as a health professional that is concerned about preventive medicine and restoring health and preventing diseases, and I should tell you that the Obama guidelines, you know those thousand something pages, they really give all of us great opportunity to have efforts now being presented to us where incentives are provided, first let me tell you I just came back from big work shop and insurance companies can now provide twenty and as of 2014, can provide incentive of thirty to fifty percent rebates off their premiums, to employees that want to go through a CHIP program for instance, or a stop smoking class, or they will go through an exercise program. They are measured every year and if they sustain the benefits that they have accomplished, the health benefits are being renewed for a year. So this is not coming into being that I think is result of the Obama legislation, before people would say “Hey you don’t tell me how to eat I can do what I want to do, so if I want to kill myself that’s up to me.” Wait a minute, but your hurting all of us .

Caryn Hartglass: That’s right.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Because some of us have to pay your bills, because of your irresponsible behavior or because you didn’t know. But now we have the opportunity to train people, to educate people to provide awareness so that people now can claim twenty to thirty to fifty percent reduction on their health insurance premiums because they are low risk

Caryn Hartglass: Well, I’m really excited to hear about this and I have my own personal experiences with insurance companies and they are not very smart but I’m glad they’re offering this and it’s exciting but also sad at the same time because, it all comes down to money and that’s what inspires people to do things, so the insurance companies giving a break because they don’t want to spend all this money, thirty-five thousand dollars for a bypass or, and on and on and on.

Dr. Hans Diehl: Oh, oh, oh and I think you’re quite right there.

Caryn Hartglass: What?

Dr. Hans Diehl: I mean I am your guest.

Caryn Hartglass: Yes.

Dr. Hans Diehl: But let me tell you, I had the same idea that insurance companies are not very smart, why don’t they prevent disease they wouldn’t have to pay much out? Oh no, no, no, no, no.

Caryn Hartglass: No.

Dr. Hans Diehl: They are very, very shrewd, they’re street smart, here’s what happens; they really don’t care what the costs are, they know the more they payout the more money they make, they are representatives, they work on commission, so the more money this company’s payout, the more money they can charge next year the policy holders, and those who sell the insurance policies pick up their three, four, five percent or whatever it is, as a discount, as a commission. And so that’s why the insurance companies have been resisting for so long these initiatives to promote prevention of disease, I thought that would be a smart thing for them to do, but they saw it differently they said “hey, we just pass on the cost and the higher the cost the commission is better for our insurance people, they said hey we’re doing fine!” But now, now the table is changing.

Caryn Hartglass: I wanted to know a little bit more about how you got so smart about that diet, and what motivated you because when you started, a lot of people weren’t talking about what you’re talking about.

Hans Diehl: Well, I had my very first eye opening experience when I joined the Nathan Pritikin Center. What happens within 28 days, was people sort of came as a last resort to this live in clinic. And they were not placed in a very simple diet, daily exercise, the participants received 3-4 hours of education every day. to begin to understand what causes this chronic disease and I saw before my very eyes, from a medical school, health environment of academic medicine of public health. I saw for the first time what can happen when you give people a chance to simplify their diet and make some lifestyle changes that we all knew were important in preventing disease. I saw these kinds of principles working most effectively in reversing disease. So, patients would come needing 68 insulin, diabetics you know was in, in 30 days when they left the program. Six percent of these type two diabetics were off the insulin and these people were overjoyed. In those days, the needle was much bigger, it was like a horse needle. All of a sudden no more injections. People thought they were going to heaven.

Caryn Hartglass: And they did! Heaven on earth!

Hans Diehl: Well yes! And then I saw people with high blood pressure. And some of them you know we had about 83% of the people on medication from these high blood pressure. They were discharged by their personally assigned physician at the clinic. They were discharged without medication. In 86 of the cases, blood pressures were normal! And I saw people with chest pain because the artery to the heart were narrowed down, and yet within two to three weeks it became less and completely seized. I couldn’t quite understand this because I knew it takes about a year before these harden and narrow arteries begin to gradually open up again. And I couldn’t quite make sense of it, until I began to understand that all the highly vicious blood with all the oil and grease that we have teen in. As you put people onto a diet that is much lower on fat and grease, the blood becomes thinner. And the thinner blood cannot with greater ease with these arteries and bring oxygenated blood to the heart muscle. The heart muscle no longer has to scream out, “I need oxygen!” It was just a mind-blowing experience that I was totally baffled by this because I never seen this. We were never thought this. Then after the time was right, I said to myself, this is largely for people who can fly in with their personal jets.

Caryn Hartglass: (laughs)

Hans Diehl: You know and, they’re motivated. They wanted to live, to have a good life, they want to live. And so what can I do to take the message to general masses, to people like myself? I come from a background from Germany, so I thought also when these people leave, this protective cocoon of residential center clinic. Can they really withstand the thought of depth of forces. You know, and in the outside world, and so I said, I need to help develop restaurants. And so, in the city of Rockford we have 3000 CHIP graduates, we also have some 25 restaurants that serve at least 5 healthy type food meals. So the people feel the wind blowing from their backs rather having to face raised eyebrows where people are sayings, “Wait, what are you? Some kind of health nut?” You’re asking for some low sodium food? And you don’t want to eat all the grease? And you don’t want too much cholesterol, wait a minute. What’s wrong with you?

Caryn Hartglass: Yes, I know! It’s all about access.

Hans Diehl: Yeah, It’s all about access! But you go to Rockford, you go to all the CHIP cities, and you come to a restaurant that says CHIP approved, you are the intellectual leaders of this town. We have a special menu, just for you and your guest. And they give you a nice menu, with five recipes, you can have some small amount of chicken, you can have a small amount of fish, and you can ask them if they have some vegetarian dishes there. But they’re all healthy, they’re low on salt, low on sugar. They’re high on fiber, high on nutritional value, and they’re inexpensive. People just love these foods.

Caryn Hartglass: So can we find where some of these CHIP approved places are in your website?

Hans Diehl: Yes you can do that. You can find out where the trip chapters are and they can guide you to it. It’s the three w’s, then chip, C-H-I-P Health.com (www.chiphealth.com).

Caryn Hartglass: CHIPHealth.com

Hans Diehl: People always ask me, how do you spell CHIP, and all I tell them is, H-O-P-E.

BOTH: (laughs)

Caryn Hartglass: I like that. I like the acronym, CHIP, it’s good.

Hans Diehl: Oh Caryn, you know, when people take hold of this concept they mean so much to you and to me. When they take a hold of these concepts, once they get it, once a mind opens up, once a light bulb is turned on, and they begin to do this, they call you up, they kiss your feet, and they say how you turned their life around, you know, you turned me around, I was dying. And I’m off of medications. I experienced the joy of being able to walk and run with my grandkids again. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is what medicine was supposed to be. Medicine was not supposed to be inject dispensing, where you met a pill with an ill, and you send out a bill.

Caryn Hartglass: It’s not healthcare.

Hans Diehl: No! What we need to do, we need to care about health. Not healthcare, but care about health. And you care about health but empowering people to understand that maybe going back in time, is helping us to go forward in health.

Caryn Hartglass: You were talking before about insurance companies, and how they don’t have the financial incentives to improve, to encourage health, but the corporations do. I noticed that in your websites, one of the things that you have is the program to get CHIP into your corporation because it reduces your health costs, and corporations realize that if their employees are sick, they are not going to be getting productive work out of them.

Hans Diehl: Yeah, that is so true. We just got some data from one of the hospitals in Wisconsin that runs our CHIP program there under a license, and they said, they had members, teachers from the Wisconsin educational funds, the school system sent to them. Some diabetics, some with hypertension and so on. And they came to this CHIP program offered at that hospital there and they said, they said that within two years of the program, they came to the program, it saved the teaching system there and the Wisconsin educational fund, $3,500 per person. My understanding is that they sent 90 to 100 men to the program. So you multiply 173,500, they saved $3500 and that’s just in medical costs. People are present, but they don’t really perform because they are so depressed and out of it. But now, you see, they feel more buoyant. They feel that they are in charge of their health. They feel better about themselves. Their pain is gone. They don’t worry about their angina and their hearth disease anymore. They could put their energy into the job at hand. And they enjoy it. And they say, why didn’t anybody tell me this? And so, I am just really happy to share, especially with our listeners in It’s All About Food, that there are certain determinants. They’re certain determinants, there are certain drivers of this disease called atherosclerosis, narrowing of the arteries. When then leads to coronary artery disease, high blood pressure and strokes and impotence and so on. And these are some of these drivers. Maybe you can spend a few moments on that.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.

Hans Diehl: We sometimes classify them in sort of an atherosclerotic risk arch, so you can envision an arch. There are modern kinds of risk factors. The most important factor is cholesterol. Everybody should know cholesterol and they should know that it should be below 160, that is safe. Our so-called normal cholesterol is 200, that is often time being advocated by some of our medical colleagues. That is only a normal cholesterol for people who only want to die from heart disease. So we really need to look at other sites where they don’t have heart disease like, China.

Caryn Hartglass: Except that’s changing unfortunately.

Hans Diehl: Yes, it is. If you go to the province, they have cholesterol that is about 110, 120, to 130.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, some doctors, when they see a number like that, they think that something is wrong with you.

Hans Diehl: Yes!

Caryn Hartglass: Your cholesterol is too low!

Hans Diehl: Yeah! When we went to school, the normal cholesterol was 300. So we have brought it down to 240 to 200. And of course the government is a little bit reluctant to let people know that it should be 100 plus your age. So if you’re 60, 160 would be ideal in protecting you. The government is a little bit reserved to this because they are afraid that the drug companies would use that as an excuse to putting statin drugs into their water.

Caryn Hartglass: Oh gosh! There is already enough horrible stuff in our water.

Hans Diehl: And people don’t understand that you can drive the cholesterol down with a simple diet in four weeks. Just as much you can do driving high cholesterol down with statin drugs, the most powerful of all, the most prescribed in America today, where you spend $1200 a day for the drugs, plus the medical care, plus you have to worry about the side effects and so on and so forth. Then you have to be concerned about high blood pressure. And we already mentioned earlier that it related to a high salt intake and not enough potassium is commonly found in bananas, vegetables, and fruits. High blood pressure is very, very important in driving arteriosclerosis as is the cholesterol. Then you have smoking, then you have diabetes, that accelerate heart diseases significantly. Then you have obesity, and where you have obesity, there you also have diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Obesity is kind of the maker for the chronic diseases. And of course, these are the kind of factors that we can do something about. And this is nothing new to you Caryn, because you talk about It’s All About Food. It is all about food! cholesterol is food, 85% is food. High blood pressure, 83% is food. And you’ll be able to lose weight, cut down on sugar, and fat. Then diabetes, that’s all about food too largely.

Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely.

Hans Diehl: You know people say that it’s something that runs in the family. Now wait a minute, so it’s genetic? You’re not only sharing your genes, but also your taste preferences. And we find that diabetes has increased dramatically in the last fifty years. But we also know that it takes 300 years to change the generics in society. So type diabetes is really not a genetic disease. And if you have a genetic pre-disposition, you can shut it off by eating simple food that are high in fiber. You have obesity again with all the refined calories, with all these sugar bombs and all these caloric concentrations. A candy bar is 400 calories.

Caryn Hartglass: When you go through an airport of a mall, and you get the Cinnabons that are 1500-2000 calories. It’s criminal.

Hans Diehl: But you know, you can hardly help yourself. Because the aromas are piped into the airport halls.

Caryn Hartglass: Yup, it smells good!

Hans Diehl: It’s like a magnet. You can’t help it, you’re just drawn there. Until you see how they prepare a cinnamon bun. Have you ever seen how they put the fat, the oil, the grease? How they put all the icing on there? These are, like you said, calorie bombs! And a woman should have 15/1600 calories per day!

Caryn Hartglass: No, you’re right.

Hans Diehl: So these are the kind of things we have to become more aware of. We have to become more aware of that people consume 2-3 soda pops a day, and right there you have 30 teaspoons of sugar a day. No nutritional value, just calories, 500 calories from an empty nutritional calorie.

Caryn Hartglass: You know, we have been having a hard time getting the government to step in line and really support health promoting policies.

Hans Diehl: They’re trying though. I mean you have seen the intense fight.

Caryn Hartglass: Yup!

Hans Diehl: No one wanted. You know the medical system benefits from the disease, I’m sorry to say. The food industry benefits from the disease. they don’t mind poisoning people and being merchants of death. Everyone is making a profit of perhaps, not making wise choices. It’s all about food! Most of our common chronic diseases that we have no answers to, are outside of the medical establishment. But you know Caryn, our biggest handy cap is this, it is too simple to be believable. And I always tell people that there is a great dignity in simplicity. right?

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.

Hans Diehl: When you go back to a simple food, food that comes from the hand of a master designer, food that his high on nutritional value, low on calories, high in fiber, that is not very costly. That doesn’t give you constipation, that doesn’t promote heart diseases, that doesn’t promote cancer, that doesn’t promote arthritis. It would help so much if people could understand that appetite taste is something that we require. You can fall in love with those foods that you thought weren’t even out there.

Caryn Hartglass: Unfortunately, you can be trained to like anything really, to eat anything. If you put enough salt, sugar, to anything, and I’m holding back the foul language here, but there is animal excrement that kind of gets into food and people don’t even realize the residue that is in their food that they are eating.

Hans Diehl: Well, some people eat spinach and they have some of the e. coli residue, they say there is something wrong with spinach, I can’t eat anything anymore. No, it can’t be, it was a contamination factor, right?

Caryn Hartglass: From animal manure to factory farms.

Hans Diehl: So basically, you know, what I would like to recommend to people is, try to get your cholesterol down to less than 160. You can do that very easily without medication, but following a high fiber diet. It’s very low in fat and very low in cholesterol. It’s a medication that is always a second choice, right? Number two, I would like to recommend people to lose weight, by eating more food as it comes to us in nature, and less refined food from animal products because it’s too high in fat, and therefore too high in calories.

Caryn Hartglass: And how much fun is that! If you’re eating the right foods, you can eat a lot much more of it. You can eat all that you want when it’s the right foods.

Hans Diehl: There is no limitation, we use the word, at liberty, you only have to worry about portion size because the stomach can only hold 4 cups of food. I mean, what are you going to put in there? That’s the issue. it’s concentration of calories. It’s energy, food energy. Concentration, food density, these are the kind of things that you part calories into a small cheeseburger. You pack the calories into a small candy bar. If you pack the calories into a bag of M&Ms, or potato chips. Just think about this, you can have one bag of potato chips, you can have one tube of Pringles, that’s the same as nine potatoes.

Caryn Hartglass: WHOA!

Hans Diehl: And people always think that potatoes are fattening, no, no, no. We have to reduce our cholesterol, and that is only found in animal products and it comes from saturated fats. Number two, we have to do something about our weight loss. Number three, we have to do something about our blood pressure, by cutting our salt to less than 5 grams a day. People are getting about 10 plus of grams a day. So really cut back more, especially in restaurant food, processed food. So then number four, you know people can also do something about stopping smoking. And that’s reducing alcohol, and alcohol is actually good to reduce when you have heart disease. it’s toxic to a struggling heart. So you know, less if probably better here. So again, cutting back on cholesterol that is only found in animal products, cutting back on saturated fat that is only found in animal products in large, cutting back on some of these trans fats that are found in cookies that help products stay on the shelf for at least 95 years.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, right! (laughs) That last longer than you do!

Hans Diehl: Right! So do something about cholesterol. So we do something about our weight. we show you how to eat more of the right food. And you’ll feel full and satisfied. And you’ll begin to lose 1-2 pounds a week. And number three, do something about our high blood pressure. Look at the salt intake, read labels. Number 4, do something about smoking and perhaps start to exercise. Have a good attitude about life. Become a little kinder person, right? These kinds of things that can really go a long way.

Caryn Hartglass: It’s all connected.

Hans Diehl: It is! But I tell you, nothing thumps as a therapy anything like food thumps everything else. Really, it’s –

TOGETHER: All about food!

Hans Diehl: It’s really all about food, that suffer from food borne diseases.

Caryn Hartglass: i just wanted to talk about one more thing because we only have a few more minutes. But there are some communities that are food deserts where they don’t have access to supermarkets with healthy foods. And they only have junk food. Has CHIP gotten to some of those communities?

Hans Diehl: It really is a catastrophe, it kills my heart out. You are absolutely right you know. You can tell people go and purchase healthy food, and they cannot find it because there arena stores out there that have it. Because everything there is junk, junk, junk.

Caryn Hartglass: , we have the internet now and people can order things online and it might be a little costly, but there are ways to get bulk beans and all kinds of dry foods that are healthy, whole grains, and dry beans.

Hans Diehl: That is so true, I wish we could develop some co-ops on these parts of the world. These part of the country where it is so difficult getting healthy foods. we got to make it more accessible to people.

Caryn Hartglass: Yup, well I think that will happen. Somehow, hopefully.

Hans Diehl: And the thing is, if you make it accessible, and people don’t buy it, then stores would have so much wasteful food. They start having losses, so they stop selling these perishable foods.

Caryn Hartglass: Right. People need to demand it though.

Hans Diehl: People need to be educated. they need to understand why they should do it. Because their very life depends on it. You can shape your future, if you just become more aware. You get not he bus to a healthy lifestyle.

Caryn Hartglass: One thing that I like about the CHIP program is that you’re working with communities where people could get the church group involved and this is really great because this is a natural community of people, and when people have a group that can do it together with, it makes it so much easier. And I’m envisioning that there could be gardens, church gardens. Or community gardens that are once associated, one people learn about healthy foods. If they don’t have a lot of access to it, they can start growing some of it on their own.

Hans Diehl: On no, that is so true. we have found that some people can do it by going onto the internet. But for a lot of people, they do it in groups, they learn together, and intense education program. As they see other people being successful, they think that maybe they can do it do, they get courage. And you know, we have seen 50 thousand people change. It has truly been a wonderful experience. And really, it’s all about food!

Caryn Hartglass: Well, thank you Dr. Hans Diehl, it’s been such a pleasure talking with you. I love everything you doing. I love this book, The Optimal Diet. And just thank you so much, thank you for your time. And keep doing it.

Hans Diehl: Thank you so much Caryn. All the best to you.

  8 comments for “Hans Diehl, Coronary Health Improvement Project (CHIP)

  1. Where can I buy The Optimal Diet in a “ringed” binder? Am a liver transplant patient from LLUMC 9 years ago, I lost 60 pounds in just a few months with NO EFFORT at all. Have this cookbook ar home and am unable to locate. I am a realtor and want a copy for myself, and one for all my clients.
    Promise to carry this in my brief case where ever I go. Best diet for healthy living ever!

  2. I would like to meet up with Dr. Diehl to be lart of his program when he again heads north to Chico/Paradise area. Also would like to know if he is still doing “Dinner with the Doctor? I never hear him refer to that. Thank you for having him contact me.

    • Hi Velma, This is not the website for Dr. Diehl. This is the site for the nonprofit Responsible Eating And Living. We interviewed Dr. Diehl on our podcast called IT’S ALL ABOUT FOOD. You can contact him at: https://chiphealth.com/.

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