Joel Fuhrman, MD, The End of Heart Disease




Part I: Joel Fuhrman, MD, The End of Heart Disease
fuhrmanJoel Fuhrman, M.D. is a board-certified family physician, New York Times best-selling author and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. Dr. Fuhrman is an internationally recognized expert on nutrition and natural healing, and has appeared on hundreds of radio and television shows including The Dr. Oz Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, and Live with Kelly and Michael. Dr. Fuhrman’s own hugely successful PBS television shows, 3 Steps to Incredible Health and Dr. Fuhrman’s Immunity Solution, and his latest show, End Dieting Forever, bring nutritional science to homes all across America.

Dr. Fuhrman’s #1 New York Times best-selling book, Eat to Live, originally published in 2003 (Little Brown) has sold over 1,000,000 copies and has been published in multiple foreign language editions. In October 2012, Super Immunity (HarperOne) reached the New York Times best seller’s list and in January 2013, The End of Diabetes (HarperOne) became his third New York Times best seller. Dr. Fuhrman’s most recent books, The Eat to Live Cookbook (Harper One) reached #1 on the New York Times best sellers list during its debut week in October 2013 and The End of Dieting (HarperOne), released in March 2014, was #2 on the list for its debut. In addition, Dr. Fuhrman has written several other popular books on nutritional science which include: Eat for Health (Gift of Health Press), Disease Proof Your Child (St. Martin’s Griffin), Fasting and Eating for Health (St. Martin’s Griffin) and the Dr. Fuhrman’s Nutritarian Handbook and ANDI Food Scoring Guide (Gift of Health Press).

Part II: Gary De Mattei, REAL Wrap
veggie-pride-gary-cameraGary De Mattei is the co-founder and Creative Director of Responsible Eating and Living. Gary is an actor, director, producer, filmmaker, writer, teacher and trained chef. He is the founder and Artistic Director of the nonprofit theatre company, The Artist’s Theatre Repertory Ensemble (TheATRE). Gary was last seen on the New York stage in the award-winning new play, No One Asked Me by Kate Ballen. Before moving to New York in 2008 Gary worked extensively in Bay Area theatre as an actor, director, writer, producer, teacher, and arts administrator. He was the co-founder and producing artistic director of Theatre On San Pedro Square (TOSPS) in San Jose from January of 2000 to April of 2008. During that time Gary produced plays and musicals that showcased local, national and international theatre artists. Gary was the Theatre Department Chair at Presentation High School in San Jose. During his tenure at Presentation Gary directed plays and musicals and taught acting. His theatre department was awarded the prestigious Best High School Musical Award from the American Musical Theatre. Gary is a Bay Area Theatre Critics Award nominee for his portrayal of Fiorello H. LaGuardia in Foothill Music Theatre’s production of Fiorello. A proud member of Actor’s Equity Association, Gary trains at HB Studios in New York under the guidance of his acting teacher Austin Pendleton. For more about Gary go to his website,


Caryn: Hello everybody! How are you today? I’m Caryn Hartglass and you’re listening to It’s All About Food. We talk about many, many different things on this program and if you’re not convinced yet, I know you will be today. The title of this program, It’s All About Food, it truly is all about food, especially when it comes to our health and preventing and reversing disease. It is truly all about food. So let’s just get started. I’m so excited because I’m having one of my favorite people on the program to talk about a brand new book. Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a board certified family physician and nutritional researcher who specializes in preventing and reversing disease through nutritional and natural methods. He is the research director of the Nutritional Research Foundation and the author of several books including the New York Times best sellers, Eat to Live: Super Immunity, Eat to Live Cookbook: The End of Dieting and the End of Diabetes. And now we’ve got The End of Heart Disease. Dr. Joel Fuhrman, how are you?

Dr. Fuhrman: How are you doing?

Caryn: Good. I’m good. How are you?

Dr. Fuhrman: Fantastic. Excited to be talking to you today.

Caryn: Thank you! Okay, number 1: The End of Heart Disease, the Eat to Live: Plan to Prevent Heart Disease. Why is this your best book ever?

Dr. Fuhrman: You know, today’s the day it’s released.

Caryn: It’s released!

Dr. Fuhrman: Yeah, it’s really exciting. It’s like, you know, it’s certainly my longest book ever. But I hope it doesn’t scare people off that it’s 430 pages. But I felt it’s so important not just to describe the nutritional plan that will traumatically lower your blood pressure and then studied. And then of course, the nutritarian diet spells and study to lower blood pressure in a study with 443 people, it drops systolic blood pressure 26 points on the average, which is much more than drugs and any other diet ever tested. But you know, besides dropping blood pressure, lowering cholesterol, dropping body weight and reversing heart disease aggressively and giving the people a program to do that, you know, I although thought it was very important to describe the – the myth and the fallacies associated with drug use an angioplasty stem placement. Especially the fact that high blood pressure medications do not offer significant protection against heart disease and stroke and many of them are associated with high rates of cancer. For example, the link between calcium channel blockers and breast cancer. You know, calcium channel blockers were used for more than 10 years can double the risk of breast cancer. We’re talking about statin use more than 10 years and breast cancer. We’re talking about – in other words, here’s my point: Is that when people go through all the real futilities and dangers associated with medications, like blood pressure medications and statins and diabetic drugs, it becomes a no brainer that they can’t rely on drugs to get well. They don’t work, they don’t make you live significantly longer, they don’t stop heart attacks from occurring and they put you with significant risks for other diseases like we’re talking about now, such as cancer. And then if people really had what I call “comprehensive informed consent,” if they knew the futility of conventional cardiovascular care, getting stent placements perhaps for extensions that shorten your life span instead of lengthening it, then they would recognize. Whether it’s statin, whether it’s diabetic medications or drugs. Then they would recognize that they had no other choice. If they really want to stop their disease cold, reverse it and not die prematurely of heart disease, they have to make these changes that are taught – discussed in this book. And then I go into all of the controversies with saturated fats, good or bad, what’s the stuff about hoopla about salt. I go into every issue in human nutrition and of course, analyzing all the popular and proven dietary programs that have been shown to assist, help or reverse heart disease by giving the pros and cons of each one and giving people a copy and some look at the available options out there. And so I think this is the most comprehensive book available for late population and highly referenced. And I just think every American has to read this.

Caryn: I agree. And I read it.

Dr. Fuhrman: You did?

Caryn: And I enjoyed it.

Dr. Fuhrman: Oh wow! How’d you read it so fast? It was out today for the first time.

Caryn: Well, someone sent it to me a few days ago. Actually, I got two copies of it. I thought I’d read it twice, but I only read it once.

Dr. Fuhrman: Well, I’m glad you read it already. That’s great.

Caryn: So I’m going to hit on some points that you brought up in the book. One of things that I like about all of your books is they’re intelligent. You don’t dumb down the reader, but you present everything in terms that we can understand. It’s all very digestible, very understandable and that’s really important.

Dr. Fuhrman: Thank you. And you know that was my fear. I felt this book had to get out there. But part of me felt that too people felt we won’t want to know all this information, but felt it’s so important for people to get the complete picture here. That’s why I had to make this book so lengthy. You know what I mean?

Caryn: I do know what you mean. And you know it really isn’t. I don’t think it’s that lengthy. There’s a lot of pages, but some of it’s filled with delicious recipes, which I want to bring up towards the end. I don’t want to get to the delicious stuff just yet. But some of it is very light and lovely.

Dr. Fuhrman: Thank you.

Caryn: Okay, excuse me Joel. This is my birthday month. I’m turning 58 later on this month and as I age and as my friends and my family age, I hear more about what you were talking about when you started. Some of my friends who are my age or maybe a little older, they’re on blood pressure medication, statins I had a teacher who was only 69 years old die of a heart attack two months ago. Everybody that I know has some sort of a coronary heart disease in one way or another and it doesn’t have to happen.

Dr. Fuhrman: That’s right. Totally. Totally preventable and avoidable. And you’re right about what you just said. High blood pressure is the first sign of heart disease. It means you have cardiovascular disease if you have high blood pressure and taking drugs doesn’t remove it. And that over the age of 65, almost everybody is taking medications for their high blood pressure. It’s just amazing. The whole American population just has pathological cardiovascular disease and atheroschlerosis.

Caryn: Now you – in your press release for this book, it says that you assert that conventional treatments for heart disease are often ineffective and dangerous and withholding proven effective dietary interventions as medical options should be considered malpractice. And that’s a big mouthful. I wanted to mention that recently, a family member of mine was in the hospital and the cardiologist was recommending putting in a stent. He didn’t even have any symptoms, but he did have a blocked LAD artery. I was doing all kinds of reading and I actually did speak to one of the cardiologist on the patient’s team along with one of the cardiologists in my family circle of family friends. And they both – after I talked to them and shared what I knew from your articles, they agreed with me and they said, “Yes, there is no data that show that stents prolong life.” They agreed. And yet they figured, we have a blocked artery so we’re just going to unblock it. We have to fix it.

Dr. Fuhrman: Well it’s really so sad that you know, they’re doing something. It’s like people expect antibiotics with a viral infection. The doctor knows that there’s no – it’s not going to help them, but because people want it and expect it, they write a prescription for an antibiotic when the person just has a cold or flu, which they know is not going to work. And of course, the antibiotic is then going to increase the risk of shortening their life and the antibiotic is going to go into breast cancer and dangerous infections later in life, but doctors give it anyways. And here we have this going on with angioplasties and stent placements. Because you know, first of all, there’s an opportunity for the physician. He’s in a position of power and the person is in a position of weakness that has a medical condition. And here’s where the doctor can take them by the throat, you know, and say, “Look, you’re going to die of heart disease if you don’t do something and change the way you live” or I’ll see you back in my office in 8 weeks, three pounds lighter and we’ll eat mostly vegetables. Do this and then we could beat this thing and make this, but instead he just sends him in for a stent. First of all, we want to say that heart disease is spread by whole heart, like peanut butter. It’s spread over a whole sandwich. Millions of areas of your heart. It’s not the one area that’s obstructed. And the areas that are not obstructed are the areas much more likely to cause heart attacks, not the one that’s most obstructed. The one that’s oldest, the areas that have been there the longest that are most obstructer have the most thickest, calcified cap that have been infiltrated with smooth muscle. The inflammation is gone. Those are not the spots that cause heart attacks, leading all the other spots unaddressed. And they can address the other spots. There’s no way to do so. But here’s my point: Is that once you put that stent in, you expose this person to risk of death from the procedure itself or complications, and then you have a foreign body in the heart, which creates inflammation and a propensity to cause clots. And the doctor has to put you on an anticlotting drug and maybe two of them or three of them for the rest of your life. Thus increasing your risk of having a hemorrhagic stroke or a gastrointestinal bleeding. And it’s just that there’s no evidence that stents prolong – make people live longer or reduce risks of future heart attacks. That’s only half of it. It increases your risk of death. They don’t just not add years to your life, but they actually put you at an increased risk of death and take years away from your life. And so we’re not of course – I’m not saying that’s true for a person with an acute emergency, like having an unstable heart attack at the moment and a doctor has to put a stent in to possible save their life because their heart’s infarcting. That’s a different story. We’re talking about patients that are stable and having chest pain or having symptoms or having or they’re not undergoing a heart attack at the moment, then they’re of course lobbying for people having fully informed consent. The doctor must discuss with them the proven approaches that can reverse this, extend their life and not dangerously and thoughtlessly put a stent in there.

Caryn: It’s very sad and very scary because a lot of people they go in for medical health and they’re told that’s what they need.

Dr. Fuhrman: Yes, unfortunately that’s happening a lot.

Caryn: All the time.

Dr. Fuhrman: It’s just as bad with the use of medication. Because people go in there, the doctors, and what about – stents of course happen a lot, but look at almost everybody gets put on a blood pressure medication, that’s a statin without informed consent. Never being told of those risks, like you know, here’s one thing here: If you’re a woman and a calcium channel blocker after 10 years double the risk of breast cancer, and if the studies show being on a statin more than 10 years doubles your risk of breast cancer, what about people put on a statin and a calcium channel blocker? What about those millions of people? And the point is, are those people warned of this risk? Are they told that if they eat healthy that they don’t need these medications? Are they told that the risk of dropping their risk of heart attack or stroke is minimal to the medications and it’s a 100 times greater if they change their diet? In other words, we just have to change the way medicine is practiced.

Caryn: Yes, and it’s happening in little pockets but we need some major breakthrough and I hope your book is going to be the domino effect to get it going.

Dr. Fuhrman: On the bright side I did have the book reviewed by about a hundred physicians before I accepted it for the final publication. Dozens of cardiologists…have reviewed and had just an incredible enthusiastic response, that doctors not only viewed it but they all wanted to order cases and cases of them to inform their patients of all this information. So on an individual basis, maybe this is a – how should I say this, a slanted sample because I’m sending it to doctors and cardiologists that I know about in practice and maybe half of them maybe have some nutritionally oriented. They’re people that are already somewhat aware of nutrition. But even my local cardiologists and local hospitals, every person I sent it to, gave me a very, very excited about the use of – utilizing this book to give people comprehensive informed consent, but can convince them not to take the drugs or the procedures, but to change their diets. So many of these doctors said: Boy, I wish I had this book to give to my patients to read before I prescribed them medications. I’d much rather them do this than go on all these medications. So they all agreed, but they were all complaining though that they can’t convince their patients to do it. And that’s my point that if you give people enough information, it becomes a no-brainer. But you have to give people enough information – comprehensive informed consent, because that’s why people aren’t choosing to change their diet, because they don’t really understand the real risks involved in medication and procedures. And they don’t really see the benefits, the incredible, tremendous benefits out of diet plan modifications.

Caryn: And another thing you mentioned earlier about the studies that are confusing and this adds to everyone being muddled about what to do because last year we heard that butter was okay and that cholesterol doesn’t matter anymore and that saturated fat was okay. I have a friend who was a raw vegan and now a vegan. And now she’s into the buttered coffee and minerals in her bone broth and eating tons of meat, and what do we do?

Dr. Fuhrman: You know, these fads go in and out. And over time you could say what’s right or what’s where the evidence lies, it comes through eventually. And I try to say in the book that the preponderance of evidence is overwhelming. In spite of these you know, studies that are industry sponsored. These fads that come and go and people jumping on the bandwagon, you know, what’s popular in America. In spite of that, we – you know, move forward in a steady pace showing that heart disease can be predictably reversed, halted, stopped dead in its tracks and reversed even in advanced cases when you have diets where animal products are dramatically reduced or eliminated. And every study that showed long term affects with heart attacks. And we’re talking about soft endpoints versus hard endpoints. And your soft endpoints might be losing some weight and your cholesterol goes down or your triglyceride drops or your glucose goes down. And we could set up these studies to show anything we want now that people are fed and the foods we’re feeding them. But hard endpoints are things like heart attacks over a 10-year period or death, which is the best hard endpoint obviously. And now we have – those long term studies done, 10 to 20 years are conclusive and not controversial. And then I go through that in the book. I show one study after another that as the percent of the animal products were increased in a diet, heart attack rates and cancer rates both go up. And as animal product rates are decreased accordingly, we see those diseases go down. And we have to really look at studies that have hundreds and thousands of people and go on for 10 years or more to really see this affect and how idramatically it is — when we do look at those, it’s quite startling and concerning that these people are advocating these diets high in animal products are, you know, it’s very irresponsible and there are people with motives and agendas out there to prove something and I think I am unique I think. You could tell me what you think, Caryn, but I’m not advocating you know – my specialty isn’t ethics, it’s not animal rights, it’s not the environment. I don’t advocate – I’m not pressing people to be vegan, I’m just – I do my job, which is to be an expert in human nutrition and give people the gold standard, the ideal of what is to extending the life span in a way that I try to intentionally and intellectually not include any agenda, or predetermines bias or personal ego that’s going to have me slanted to prove one way or the other. I just want to present the facts for people so they can make the most informed decision possible. And I’m not saying that those things aren’t important – the ethics, environment, philosophies and all those things aren’t important, but it’s just not my field of expertise and I can let other people attack those things and I can stick to what I do best, which is really an in-depth analysis of this side of literature in an unbiased fashion.

Caryn: Yes, I agree with everything you just said and that’s why you’re my favorite medical doctor because I know that you focus on just those things and you’re an expert in those areas. And I – I am so grateful to know that there’s one place I can go to get the best information.

Dr. Fuhrman: Well thank you.

Caryn: Now I am a vegan, an ethical vegan, and I have been for 28 years and in your book, you mention that it’s okay to eat animal products, but you’re very specific and it’s really a very small amount that you allow.

Dr. Fuhrman: That’s right. Do you see that graph which I’ve showed you for the varying amounts of animal products?

Caryn: Yes, like 5 percent of calories in some instances.

Dr. Fuhrman: Yes, because you know what it is? There’s a bell shaped curve of genetic predisposition and you know, we could say, let’s just say for example: You know the American diet is 30 percent of calories from animal products and that’s the perceived range of animal products almost every meal. If you look at all the blue zones, all the areas around the world where people have much longer life span, they all have less than 10 percent of calories from animal products. We look at studies where we’re actually looking to see cholesterol and blood pressure drop. You have to move people you know below 20, below 15 percent, under that 10 percent range as well. However, when we’re looking at trying to guarantee reversal of the patient with heart disease in predictable fashion, then we start to see for most people, we need to drop it even lower than that below that 5 percent figure. And there’s other doctors as you know, like Dr. Dean Ornish and you know, others, who have the Dash Diet, The Pritikin Diet, I went through all the other diets for a proven sign of documentation to cause reversal of heart disease demonstrating that for predictable reversal, for not just reversing you know, a small part of the population or protect a small part, to protect a vast majority of people you have to push animal products relatively low. So then the question is that’s for prevention, well then what if you have a person that has advanced heart disease and you’re looking to reverse it? Well then where do you have to go? And then that’s where I’m saying that you would have to get below that 5 percent figure or we’re not going to see heart disease predictably reverse in a vast majority of cases. Not that some won’t reverse in the 10 percent figure, but I don’t want to – I want to make sure that everybody reverses. And the data we have today, what we have available – the studies available – show that predictable reversal, why not go below that 5 percent because that’s what the data shows. So that 0 to 5, and that’s what Ornish has done, for example, and that’s what I’m doing. And as you know, what’s kind of interesting in the book is to see that all the evidence that including nuts and seeds in the diet promotes reversal and you don’t have to exclude all fat from the diet to have reversal occur that we can do so while still eating an adequate amount from whole fats from foods like nuts and seeds, which you know you can make food taste great and we can make this diet taste fantastic as well. Well it’s interesting that you brought up the other doctors that have preventable and reversible heart disease plans and the issue of nuts and seeds. I’m just wondering. What I like about your approach is that you tell it like it is and you don’t dumb anybody down and assume anything. You just say, “This is what you need to do” and that’s what I appreciate most. But I know that when some people they see: Oh I can have some of this, some of these animal products, a little fish or a little milk or whatever, for them they may not realize what 5 or 10 percent is and what 3 ounces is versus 6 ounces, and it might open the floodgates. But at least you’re telling them what they need to do and they can make a choice. I had talked to…

Dr. Fuhrman: You’re right. You can eat too many dates too. You can eat too many dates and raisins. You know what I mean?

Caryn: True.

Dr. Fuhrman: So people can make all kinds of mistakes, but I want to give them specific guidelines. And if they can follow those, then if they don’t – in other words, I’m not expecting all of America to eat like this or change like this, but I think that all of America needs to know it and then they – it’s like smoking cigarettes. You don’t want to think that smoking cigarettes is okay and then have it kill you. You at least want to know it would kill you if you would choose to do it. You know what I mean?

Caryn: Yup. In order to get everybody moving to a better place, we need to move that curve and have the information out there on what the ideal is, what the best is, what the most powerful is.

Dr. Fuhrman: Exactly. You’ve got to know what the ideal is and people can choose to follow it or not. That’s my – that’s exactly my points.

Caryn: Okay. Cholesterol. As I mentioned before, I’m a long term vegan and I’ve always had high cholesterol. And you talk about fluffy LDL and OX LDL.

Dr. Fuhrman: Right.

Caryn: And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about that and should I be worried?

Dr. Fuhrman: I just had someone question me on that the other – a patient a couple days ago. You know, they had a total cholesterol of a 120. No, a LDL cholesterol of 120, 130. And their oxidized LDL was like 30. In other words, their LDL’s not oxidized. It’s the oxidized LDL that’s dangerous. And we’re just getting – we’re getting LDL concentration numbers that’s just – you know – don’t tell us how much of that HDL is bad HDL or good HDL. In other words, we’re just getting numbers which are you know, somewhat of an indicator. And you know, lower is better than higher on the LDL. But you know, when you eat a diet high in phytochemicals, phytonutrients, you don’t have free radicals and your LDL’s not oxidized. So what I’m saying is that your LDL on a healthy diet is much more, even if it’s double or even if it’s 30, 40 points higher is much healthier than pushing your LDL down with drugs when your LDL’s oxidized. In other words, the most accurate determinant of your risks is your oxidized LDL more than your total LDL. So and when you – and the point is that when you need to eat the green vegetables, the berries, the G-bombs I refer to the onions, the mushrooms, the berries, the seeds, but particularly the green vegetables. But the green vegetables and also berries have tremendous and powerful antioxidant effects to prevent cancer and also to prevent atherosclerosis and to reverse heart disease. We can see that if we measure the lutein in a person’s blood stream. It correlates with atherosclerosis. Higher levels of lutein, higher rates of atherosclerosis. Lower levels of lutein, higher rates of atherosclerosis. Perfect correlation, so then people would say: Well, lutein must be the magical nutrient because this has a direct correlation with heart disease. And people with higher lutein reverse their atherosclerosis, but see lutein is like the flag that marks a diet high in green vegetables, because green vegetables have thousands of nutrients in them, but the carotenoid that makes their color green is called lutein and you can measure this person’s green vegetable volume in their diet by measuring their lutein in their blood. It’s not that lutein did all the work, but of course we’re measuring the person’s green vegetable intake through that blood level.

Caryn: Well I’m sure I’m ringing all the bells on my green level, so I’m not going to be concerned about it. There was an article in the New York Times about a new drug that’s supposed to lower LDL cholesterol and the results were very disappointing and it was tested on 12,000 patients. And Dr. Steven Nichols, the principal investigator, he said it’s the most mind boggling question: How can a drug that lowers something that is associated with benefit not show any benefit? Did you find that mind boggling?

Dr. Fuhrman: I didn’t mind the study as mind boggling as others would, but I – you know – I thought it was kind of interesting – that’s what my whole book’s about. I thought it was kind of interesting the timeliness of my book coming out the same day as this article, this op-ed in the New York Times comes out showing these drugs have no benefit even though they lower LDL and raise HDL. You know what I mean? So I think that it’s funny that the whole point we’re talking about is that these cholesterol numbers are just a small part of the heart attack and heart disease equation. And people run around thinking they’re protected because they’re LDL is favorable, but they don’t realize that’s just a very small part of contributing risks: your waist measurement, your body fat, your blood pressure, you know you have the quality of your diet, your fitness level. You know, all of these things are more important than your cholesterol level or equally important and there’s multifactorial diseases. You have one – one favorable, and of course the statin drug pushes it down and pushes down your LDL total and you could still have a lot of oxidized LDL in there even though your LDL is normal. And that’s just one risk. You can ask people and recognize that most people under care of their doctor and cardiologist for high blood pressure still got heart disease. The drugs don’t protect them. They don’t protect them at all. Those risks – most studies, depending on which studies you look at from 10, 20 reduction risk, and we’re talking here about nutrition being able to give people close to a 99 percent reduction. And in my 25 years of practice, even people with the most advanced cases who couldn’t even get out of a wheelchair or housebound on 10 medications, even these people made recoveries. You know, we’re talking about even the most severe cases have hope to better and drugs and procedures don’t give it to them. It’s the change in diet that’s going to give people hope and has the proven efficacy to reverse disease that drugs and procedures can’t do.

Caryn: And that’s where the second part of your book comes in where you offer a meal plan and some really luscious looking recipes. I dog-eared some pages because I want to try some of them. And my first question is: You were – it’s in the book, you were 15 when you started cooking. And I wanted to learn a little bit about that and how you learned to cook.

Dr. Fuhrman: Huh, that’s *laughing*

You know my father was a very sick guy. An overweight and sick guy. I remember all of my childhood driving him around in the back of the station wagon lying on the mat because he couldn’t sit up. From doctor to doctor. But we – but he changed his diet and got healthier and starting running and getting in to – and I read those books he brought into the house. And so kind of did it as a family and I started reading all these books you know, from Natural Hygiene and you know from The Vegan Movement. I started learning recipes when I really young. So my point is, now that I’m in my sixties, I’ve been doing these recipes and doing food – making healthy food taste good, all these tricks for so many years. And you cultivate and you meet people, and you cultivate a diet that’s really pleasurable and satisfying and delicious and healthy at the same time. And if people knew that they could marry together all those features, I think they would feel more comfortable. This is not about giving up or feeling deprived, it’s about actually feeling more pleasured about the way you eat because when you intellectually know you’re doing what’s good for your body and you feel great and it tastes good too, you enjoy eating more. It’s like you enjoy eating and you enjoy eating with freedom. And you know what, living your life in fear of disease can’t be that great and can’t be that good for your health. To always worry about if you’re going to get some disease or be stricken dead with a heart attack if you run for a bus or something. You know what I mean? It’s nice to know that you can protect yourself.

Caryn: Absolutely. I’m just thumbing through. We’ve got Maui-Wow Wok Sauce, which looks a really tasty sauce to put on vegetables and all kinds of wonderful dressings. A Russian fig dressing, baked eggplant fries that looks amazing. And all of these foods are nutritious, nutrient-dense, plant-rich and you don’t miss anything. So the bottom line is you can prevent and reverse heart disease and eat better than you’ve ever eaten before and love your food. That’s about it, right?

Dr. Fuhrman: Yes, I guess that’s the whole point.

Caryn: *laughing*

Dr. Fuhrman: The whole point is to get people to get off their drugs. And let me just make this one quick point is that: Your risk of heart disease is proportional to the number of medications you’re taking. If I want to give people that guarantee, never have a heart attack or a stroke, they have to earn it. And the way they earn it is by having a normal blood pressure without medication, a normal cholesterol without medication, a normal glucose without medication and a normal body weight. It’s not – they’ve got to do it themselves. Nobody can do it for them and they can’t buy it in a bottle. They can’t buy protection in a bottle. They’ve got to do it themselves because the more drugs they’re on, the more higher the risk they have.

Caryn: *clapping* Thank you. I’m applauding you. And thank you for another great book and I hope this truly is the end of heart disease for many, many people.

Dr. Fuhrman: Thanks Caryn.

Caryn: And here’s to your next book on the New York Times best seller list. Whoo!

Dr. Fuhrman: *laughing* I hope so. Thanks. Thanks a lot.

Caryn: Of course. Okay, take care. Thank you so much for joining me Dr. Joel Fuhrman.

Transcribed by Toni-Ann Hall, 4/24/2016


Caryn Hartglass: Hello, everybody. I’m Caryn Hartglass. You’re listening to It’s All About Food, and we’re back for the second part of today’s show. And I’ve got Gary De Mattei with me, the co-founder of Responsible Eating and Living. Gary, how are you today?

Gary De Mattei: Wow. I’m really a lot better now since listening to your show. That was great, Dr. Fuhrman and you. Excellent show. Loved it.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. You know, I’ve known Dr. Fuhrman for twenty years. The first time I heard him speak it was at an EarthSave Long Island lecture twenty years ago. Maybe it was eighteen or nineteen. It was sometime around there. He was talking about an earlier book Fasting and Eating for Health, and I was riveted.

I got the book; it was amazing. I learned so much. I ended up doing a three week water-only fast at one of Dr. Fuhrman’s fasting house —he doesn’t have one anymore. I knew right away, after listening to many, many speakers in health and nutrition, that this guy really knew what he was talking about.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah, it was really a lot of fun to meet him. We met him a couple times. I met him a couple times with you. I know you know him well. And to perform for his Weekend-

Caryn Hartglass: Health Immersion.

Gary De Mattei: -Health Immersion. The Swingin’ Gourmets performed and that was awesome. The audience was— it was the end of this really long weekend. We got to wrap things up for them, and I’d like to do it again for him. Only this time I would like to be opening act because-

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] They were tired.

Gary De Mattei: After going through that much cleansing, they were- [chuckles] They were a great audience, but they were just a little tired. He really puts you through the paces, and you’re all the better for it. Well done.

Caryn Hartglass: I remember you coming out of the men’s bathroom.

Gary De Mattei: Oh yeah. That’s a great story.

Caryn Hartglass: Heard some conversations by some men who were experiencing some new bowel activity after eating a nutritarian diet for a weekend. [chuckles]

Gary De Mattei: After eating a lot of beans for the weekend, it really showed in the men’s room. I want to tell you.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles]

Gary De Mattei: It was like that scene around the campfire in Blazing Saddles. I won’t go any further because this is a family show. But that’s good for you, right? So let’s talk a little bit about flatulence. That’s not a bad thing as a-

Caryn Hartglass: Actually, no. We passed gas all day long, and it’s part of the process. The question is when it becomes uncomfortable and when it fills up spaces and puts pressure on things. Maybe it’s not as fragrant as you’d like it to be.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah. [chuckles]

Caryn Hartglass: But there are ways to work around that. Don’t stop eating beans if you’re concerned about gas.

Gary De Mattei: Now, you and I were doing something you talked about the other day, which I think is an interesting aside. Couples who talk about what we were just talking about actually have good relationships, right?

Caryn Hartglass: Oh yeah! I think it was a Huffington Post article. That couples who talk about poop [chuckles] have a healthier relationship.

Gary De Mattei: In more ways than one! But seriously, folks…

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. I forgot about that. I’ve got to look that one up.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah. I’m here to talk to you about food. What else?

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, I just wanted to say one more thing about Joel Fuhrman.

Gary De Mattei: Oh yeah, I’d say a lot more.

Caryn Hartglass: I’ve said many times that he’s my favorite doctor, and there’s many reasons why I have a great deal of respect for his knowledge and his integrity. From a personal level, he has been very special to me when I was going through my cancer experience. He’d eat a lot of things and he was available on a consultation call with another expert. He reviewed all my supplements that the Block Center where I was having chemotherapy, what they recommended.

It’s scary when you’re going through a health crisis. Very scary. You don’t know whom to trust, and you want to trust your doctor. There were many doctors that I knew that were experts or excellent or not so. But I didn’t know that I could trust any of them. To know Dr. Fuhrman and to know that I could trust him was like a lifeline.

Gary De Mattei: Oh, I know. And the other thing is that I know you and I were talking about this before going on the air: what Dr. Joel Fuhrman does, and I know another one of your favorite doctors is Dr. Greger— what they’re trying to do, I think, and you may have already touched on this— is they’re trying to get you— they’re doctors for a friend to tell you don’t need doctors.

I mean, sure, you need them if you need something removed or you break something that needs to be set. You need them for the emergencies that life gives us. But right now we seem to have a system, which I know absolutely nothing about; this is just my subjective opinion and I’m trying to think about it objectively like a good artist.

Caryn Hartglass: [giggles]

Gary De Mattei: To look at things through my subjective lens and then to think about them objectively is what an artist strives for and— So I’m trying to do that now with what it is that is going on in my life as a vegan. I will be— this is my… let’s see, it’s 2016. It was early 2007. So what is that? Nine years now as a vegan.

When the doors keep opening up to bigger, bigger rooms that you have to navigate when it comes to how wonderful this lifestyle is, how it makes sense, and how a plant-based diet or a nutritarian diet— I know that Joel’s is called a nutritarian diet. But whatever you call it, when you dominate your diet with plants, you don’t need doctors. And what doctors are trying to tell you that aren’t promoting this lifestyle is that you need them because without them, without their prescriptions, you are not going to have a healthy life. And that’s just false.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s just such a good point. You know, we need doctors for physical things. If we break a leg, something physical needs to be patched together. But there are all of these chronic diseases that, if we were eating a healthy diet, we wouldn’t need them or we would need them a lot less often.

Gary De Mattei: Right.

Caryn Hartglass: And I just wanted to ask you a question, Gary: were you listening when Dr. Fuhrman talked about antibiotics and viral flus?

Gary De Mattei: Ha ha ha. Of course, Caryn! Of course! I was listening and I appreciated it because I was really getting nervous when you were sick for a while, recently. And I kept saying, “You know, there are antibiotics in America.” [chuckles]

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles]

Gary De Mattei: It has saved a lot of people. But you didn’t need them. And you were right and I was wrong. And so I’m sorry.

Caryn Hartglass: It has been a slow recovery from that flu. It was a pretty nasty flu.

Gary De Mattei: Well, I have talked to a lot of people about— I haven’t talked to them, but I’ve seen that a lot of people have this really bad flu this season all over the country.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.

Gary De Mattei: Of course, it’s true because I saw it on Facebook.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles]

Gary De Mattei: But a lot of my Facebook friends have the flu, and they have a tough time getting rid of it. So it’s a bad flu season.

Caryn Hartglass: Something that I forgot to mention, and I was going to bring it up at the top of the program and I always forget: for all of you listeners out there, you can always call in and ask questions during the program. And I always get so excited when my guests are coming on that I forget to mention it. And I was going to mention it when Dr. Fuhrman came on and I didn’t. I apologize.

But if you have any questions you might want to post to Gary and myself, the number is 1-(888)-874-4888. Okay, now I’m getting confused. I wrote it down here. Let me get it right.

Gary De Mattei: You’re doing great, Caryn. [chuckles]

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, 1-(888)-874-4888. Yeah, if you know PRN, that’s the number, right? Anyway, and you can always email me at Okay.

Gary De Mattei: Or you can send us a Tweet! You can send us a Tweet at Real Meals-

Caryn Hartglass: A Tweet at Real World Wide Twitter.

Gary De Mattei: Real Worldwide, yeah. Real Worldwide: say that three times fast. Real Worldwide

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles]

Gary De Mattei: Okay, so we sent out a newsletter. On the newsletter was the— In the newsletter was the advertisement space for your show with Dr. Joel Fuhrman: End of Heart Disease. If you haven’t received our newsletter, you can also go to and sign up to receive our newsletter.

Caryn Hartglass: We don’t send them out very often. Maybe once a month.

Gary De Mattei: We don’t have those pesky pop-ups at our website because we are non-profit, and we don’t make any money. So nobody wants to advertise with us, pop-ups. Which is fine. We were just talking about this last night at a meeting where we’re really glad that we have the small yet mighty audience that we have, our loyal followers, because who wants to deal with all of those pop-ups when you go on a website?

Caryn Hartglass: Hmm. I don’t.

Gary De Mattei: Some of the websites even have this screen that come up and say, “Sign up for our newsletter”, and stay up there until you do sign up for the newsletter. Otherwise you can’t enter the site.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. Or you find the small print that says, “No, I’m not interested”, or whatever.

Gary De Mattei: Right.

Caryn Hartglass: This newsletter that we’ve put out includes some of our latest recipes, and I wanted to talk about some of them. The first one is a Gary De Mattei creation, and it just blew me away.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah.

Caryn Hartglass: You made a creamy kale pesto. Can you tell us about your genius, superfood, delicious, nutritious, super creamy kale pesto? Did I say super? It’s super.

Gary De Mattei: Absolutely. Thank you for saying that. First of all, it’s basically because of your divine inspiration and all of the things that I keep picking up. The little doors that I was mentioning earlier; they keep opening. Hearing you discuss how oil— refined oils are really pretty bad for you. So how do you make pesto without olive oil?

Caryn Hartglass: How do the Italians make pesto without olive oil?

Gary De Mattei: So I was thinking back to my days as an actual chef. I remember this was back in the 80s when the big— Wolfgang Puck, Alice Waters, that big Californian cuisine movement was going on, and I was living in Northern California. There was this dish at one of the wonderful little restaurants; it could have been Japanese at the time. This was before I was vegan, of course. But it was a walnut pesto, which obviously everybody knows about walnut pesto.

I think it was Alice made it with —not with basil, but with— spinach! She made a spinach walnut pesto, and we all know that you don’t really need basil. But obviously she used olive oil, and a lot of olive oil. We all use olive oil on our pesto —or most of us do.

So we made these little seed Caesar dressings by using our Vitamix. I know many of you have a Vitamix, and if you don’t have a Vitamix, you should really invest in a Vitamix. They’re amazing. But if you don’t have the money for a Vitamix or if you don’t want another appliance and you have a blender sitting around, that’s all you need for this recipe. The old-fashioned way to do pesto is with a mortar and pestle. If you have the elbow grease and want to do it, you can certainly try to make it with a mortar and pestle. But I don’t recommend it.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] I don’t either.

Gary De Mattei: I recommend using a blender because what you’re doing is you’re blending the nuts with the water and/or, in this case for the creamy kale pesto case, you’re blending the nuts with the non-dairy milk.

It’s essentially a no oil pesto. You’re blending the walnut so that’s creating the oil. And then you’re adding the nutritional yeast and the unsweetened —I use Sara Milk but you can certainly use an unsweetened dairy milk of your choice. Garlic cloves, black pepper, and then you’re waiting to put the miso in.

You can leave the miso out. All it does is add a little cheesier flavor but really the nutritional yeast handles that. I don’t recommend putting the miso in if you’re storing this in a jar in the refrigerator. I recommend leaving the miso out because miso has a tendency to stay active, and if you’re giving it something to stay active in, it won’t last more than a day in the refrigerator if the miso’s in there. It’ll last three or four days if the miso isn’t in there.

Caryn Hartglass: I also wanted to add that we like South River Miso. It’s organic and they have many different flavors. Some of them are gluten-free like their Chickpea Miso. Their misos aren’t as salty as some of the traditional Japanese brands out there, but they’re very flavorful.

Gary De Mattei: South River’s really, really great. So anyway, the instructions are on the recipe, but it’s basically throw everything in the blender. Blend it up until it’s smooth and, as you mentioned, heat it up in the pan, and add your pasta to it or whatever it is that you want to sauté with it. And it’s incredible. It’s unbelievable. You’ll never miss the oil because-

Caryn Hartglass: I just can’t believe how good it was. For people who don’t like kale, it doesn’t have a kale flavor. It has that garlic rich flavor.

Gary De Mattei: Right. There are variations in that you can use kale leaves, you can use collard leaves, you can use spinach. You can use any dark leafy green that you want to use, and you can put it right on the hot pasta. You don’t even need to put it in the pan. You can put it right on the hot pasta and stir it up. It’ll work; it’ll work great. But you’re all chefs out there. You know what I’m talking about.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] Yeah.

Gary De Mattei: Well, what this is, is just reminders that you don’t need to stay with one ingredient. You don’t need to stay with fresh basil if you’ve got kale out there. It’s still winter here in New York. I mean, I know they say it’s spring, but there’s a lot of fresh snow out there.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] It’s freezing today.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah. We were at the Veggie Pride Parade, which we also wanted to talk about, and it was cold. It was really cold.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. This was the ninth annual Veggie Pride Parade in Manhattan. We’ve been to the last eight.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah.

Caryn Hartglass: And it seems like it’s getting colder and colder.

Gary De Mattei: I always learn so much when I go. I’m there with you, and you were a guest speaker. You did an incredible job, and the crowd was very attentive and lovely. They had lots of great guest speakers. I always learn something from the guest speakers. I always think I’ve heard it all, you know, not going to learn anything.

And this year —I can’t remember who she was; she spoke before you. You’ll know who she was. But she talked a lot about fish, and she said one thing— and I was walking around filming the crowd ‘cause we’re working on another-

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, guess what, Gary? We’ve got a caller.

Gary De Mattei: Oh, excellent!

Caryn Hartglass: Let’s get back to that. Let’s take our caller: Mike from Hawaii. Aloha!

Gary De Mattei: Hi, Mike!

Mike: Hello, hello. How you doing’? Hi!

Gary De Mattei: Hi!

Caryn Hartglass: Hello!

Mike: Hello. Hi, hi. So, I’m sorry I’m a little off topic. I’m just a first time caller, but, God, it sounds like an incredible amount of great information you guys are spreading out here.

Caryn Hartglass: Thank you.

Gary De Mattei: Thanks, thanks.

Mike: You talked about oil. Have you done any research about MTT oils? Any of that or-

Caryn Hartglass: What kind of oil?

Mike: MCT oil: Multi Chain Triglyceride oil? It’s, I guess, one of the best parts of the coconut oil?

Caryn Hartglass: Oh, coconut oil. Yeah. Well, you have to understand that we’re fans of Dr. Joel Fuhrman who was my guest earlier on in the program. He talks about how no oil is really a healthy food because it’s processed, it has no fiber, and there haven’t really been convincing studies to show otherwise.

The best place to get fat is from whole foods, or minimally processed foods, walnuts, and seeds, the actual coconut, and avocado. Things like that. I like to use coconut oil on my skin. I’ll use it occasionally in food. But we’re not big oil users.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah, but you what? I was just talking about blending nuts, which have a lot of oil. Let’s say you have a dressing that you just can’t live without. What I have found is that if you take a quarter to a half of cup of your favorite raw nut— what we do is that we do these dressings we call seed Caesar dressings. It’s because instead of oil, we make the Caesar dressing with sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds, and we blend them. You’re getting the oil from the nuts, but you’re also getting the fiber from the nuts. You don’t even miss the oil.

Caryn Hartglass: I know there’s a lot of websites, a lot of articles that really promote coconut oil and different kinds of oils saying that they’re healthy, but I really haven’t seen the science behind it.

Gary De Mattei: I also have a lot of family members because I come from Italian descent, who use olive oil. They can’t live without olive oil, just like how I know a lot of people can’t live without coconut oil and feel like they really can’t do without it.

But, as far as those who can’t live without olive oil or coconut oil for that matter, I would then take some olives (pitted, of course) and then add it to the nuts that I’m blending to give you an olive oil taste. Because raw sunflower seeds, for example, are kind of tasteless when you blend them with garlic and olives and things like that. The taste kind of goes away, but you still get that heft, that fat that you really need.

Caryn Hartglass: Thanks very much for that question, by the way.

Gary De Mattei: Thanks for the question.

Mike: Thanks.

Gary De Mattei: Thank you for the call.

Mike: Can I ask you a couple more questions? I’ll make them quick.

Caryn Hartglass: Sure.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah.

Mike: Your fasting— I’m a big person on low end and bio fasting here. I used to. I’ve had a few bizarre diets. But one time, you know, like the 22-hour fast, throttle, pull-ups, eating. That was really great for a while. About four or five hours after you wake up in the morning, you do kind of the hunger thing, the emptying of everything. But then you just feel fantastic for the rest of the day. Can you tell me about the… three weeks? I think the most I’ve ever did was seven days. Three weeks? Holy cow.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] Well, Dr. Fuhrman’s book Fasting and Eating for Health is an excellent book on this subject. If you’re going to do any kind of fast —but most importantly, a water fast that’s extended, you must rest. You must give your body the opportunity to go to work and heal the areas that need work.

What I did was the first week and a half, I stayed at home. Then the second portion of the fast I was really slowing down. And that’s when I stayed at the fasting house and rested a lot. Went for very slow walks and just sipped on water. You can’t go to work; you can’t really do anything. It’s all about rest and healing.

I loved the experience. I mean, some people would think I’m crazy. But there are all different kinds of fasting. One day fast, two day fast, a week or more.

Gary De Mattei: So what you’re saying, Caryn, is that a fast is really slow.

Caryn Hartglass: [chuckles] Exactly.

Mike: How did you feel in that three-week divot? How did you feel like in your first few days in? Did you feel really good and energized? Or did you feel kind of slow all throughout?

Caryn Hartglass: The first few days were the hardest because I was hungry. Then like two days into it, that’s when the body realizes it’s not being fed and it feeds on non-essential stores. I just wasn’t hungry anymore. So that was amazing.

Mike: Yeah, I experienced it myself, the third one.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah. So we just have three minutes left. Do you have anymore questions, Mike?

Mike: I do, but they’re not coming into my head right at the moment. I’m a first-time listener and I’m going to try to call in next week.

Caryn Hartglass: That’s awesome!

Mike: I’m definitely going to jump on the Joel Fuhrman bandwagon. Yeah, sounds fantastic.

Caryn Hartglass: Good. If you read the Fasting and Eating for Health book, he talks about how he did a fast. First he was a competitive figure skater when he was young, and he had a bad accident where he couldn’t walk. He ended up using water fasting to heal. It’s an incredible story. Okay! We have just a couple minutes left.

Gary De Mattei: Thanks, Mike! Thanks a lot, Mike.

Caryn Hartglass: Gary, I wanted to mention you were talking about Mary Finelli of Fish Feel who was at the Veggie Pride Parade.

Gary De Mattei: Right. So anyway, she talked about some great things and I’ll just leave you with this: she said fish are one of the animals that children are encouraged to kill. That’s just been resonating with me because she was talking about how fishing —this is the season; it’s coming up now. People are taking their kids fishing and grandpas taking their little grandson fishing or what have you.

Caryn Hartglass: I’m thinking of Hallmark card pictures where you see the little boy and the grandfather’s backs to the water with their fishing rods.

Gary De Mattei: Yeah. On the one hand, it’s really idyllic and lovely. But then, when you think about it, fish are one of the animals that children are encouraged to kill. You think about the fact that fish can feel and have all its little nerves in their mouth. The concept of catching a fish and throwing it back in: it’s chilling. These little doors keep opening up and walking into these rooms— well, it’s very symbolic. So I leave you with that downer note.

Caryn Hartglass: Yeah.

Gary De Mattei: No, seriously though. Thanks for everything, Caryn, and I will see you back at Responsible Eating And Living.

Caryn Hartglass: Okay. Thanks, Gary De Mattei for joining me on It’s All About Food and thank all of you for joining me. I hope you all can think about calling in because I’m going to really encourage the calls. So join me next week and remember: go to visit That’s where we live. We give you lots of recipes so that you can have a delicious week! Bye-bye.

Transcribed by HT 6/25/2016

  2 comments for “Joel Fuhrman, MD, The End of Heart Disease

  1. Just wanted to let you know that the Joel Fuhrman show was fantastic. I’m so glad you asked about the meat since I’m the one who was concerned and left comments a whlle back. When the caller asked about MCT oils, I was wondering how you would answer, and I think you gave such a spur-of-the-moment perfect answer. I’m so glad Gary finished the story about fish. I will certainly try the pesto recipe. Your podcast are A+++++++++++++++++.

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