#259 – What being ‘postdiabetic,’ rather than prediabetic, means and how to get there | Eric Edmeades & Ben Grynol

Episode introduction

Show Notes

Before someone develops type 2 diabetes, they go through a prediabetic stage. But if someone is reversing their diabetes and is trending toward better glucose levels or even optimal levels, they are postdiabetic. Eric Edmeades and Ben Grynol discuss Edmeades’s new book “Postdiabetic,” his company Wildfit, and how the program helps people reverse type 2 diabetes, change their relationship with food, and overhaul their health.

Helpful links

Key Takeaways

7:15 — The makings of the obesity epidemic

The United States started creating ultra-processed and fast foods, which have driven obesity rates.

I’ve really come to recognize that it wasn’t that America was unhealthy. It’s that America is first with a lot of things. So America was first with fast food and processed food. Basically, I would say the whole thing started roughly in Anaheim, California, with drive throughs and that kind of thing.

14:06 — Switching between fuel sources

The body chooses which fuel to burn based on what we’ve consumed and what we’re doing.

Then also there’s another big component of food that I don’t think gets enough consideration. And that is the meaning that your body takes from the food. What I mean by that is your body’s epigenetic response to what you’re eating. And this is a big thing that I think is at the very crux of the metabolic imbalance that exists around the world at the moment today is that there’s a lack of understanding about why we are able to burn different types of fuel. And why it is that we’re not very good at switching between them in our current lifestyle. We are able to burn sugar, we are able to burn fat, and we are able to burn protein. We have these three fuel sources. And so when we consume food, we are looking for those fuel sources to process, to burn, to run our systems with. And I think one of the big difficulties we’ve run into is that our body chooses what which of those fuels to burn based upon what we’re eating.

21:18 — The high cost and consequences of type 2 diabetes

Diabetes is a leading cause of illness and death.

On top of that, we’ve introduced tragic seed oils, vegetable oils, processed foods, glyphosate and a bunch of other insult on top of the existing injury. And then on top of that, we’re living longer because our general environments are safer. So all of this stuff’s getting amplified to the point that diabetes—just to put it in economic terms—diabetes will cost America about $400 billion this year. The defense budget is only $800 billion. So we’re talking about something that is economically devastating. It’s going to cost every single person in every single country around the world a sizable amount of money, chunk of their budget. But that is only reflective, of course, of the personal suffering that it’s causing. Because again, we’re talking about a largely avoidable disease and a largely reversible disease that is the number one risk factor for cancer, heart disease, leg amputation, loss of eyesight, and [taking] lifelong medication.

25:30 — Eric Edmeades explains the health experiment that changed his life

After years of illness, Edmeades gave up ultra-processed foods and overhauled his health, resulting in dramatic symptom improvement. He was astonished that doctors had never recommended nutrition strategies.

I undertook an experiment where I basically said goodbye to processed food and some other things. And I stepped up my intake of good-quality things. And it was miraculous. I mean, it was really miraculous. Thirty days later, I was down 35 pounds. I could breathe through my own sinuses for the first time in a decade. I had no throat infections of any kind. For the first time, my tonsils weren’t the size of golf balls in my throat. I wasn’t in pain. I was sleeping. This was a life upgrade beyond anything I can tell you. And immediately what that created for me is, How is it possible that for the last several years I’ve been visiting doctors and not one of them asked me about food, not one of them asked me what I ate, or did I consider eating more of this or less of that, not one of them. Every single solution they had was pharmaceutical, every single thing was breathe this in, take this pill, let me inject that into you, every single one of them.

28:38 — Doctors aren’t taught much about nutrition in medical school

Although good nutrition can help prevent and reverse many conditions, nutrition is not a medical school priority.

I said to the doctor, “How long did you go to medical school?” I saw his thing on the wall and he said, “Six years.” And I said, “That’s amazing. Well done. How much of that time did you spend studying food?” I was genuinely curious. I didn’t know the answer. I’ve now asked that question of doctors in over 30 countries around the world in my work, but I didn’t know the answer when I asked him. I fully expected that he would have an answer for me, an answer different than the one he gave me, which was “none,” like literally none, like not even an afternoon or a four-hour class on food in six years to become a medical doctor.

34:42 — Why doctors may be more likely to prescribe medicine than preventions

Physicians may be worried about liability when it comes to prescribing lifestyle interventions over a medical therapy, such as a medication.

There’s a malpractice consideration that if the doctor does something different than they’ve been advised by the pharmaceutical company or by their medical education, then they expose themselves. So, for example, let’s say a doctor has the opportunity to prescribe to you lifestyle modification or a pill. Prescribing the pill is a zero-malpractice situation for them, because ultimately if there is a liability problem, it falls to the pharmaceutical company because they’re the ones who made the pill. Whereas if you prescribe them to not take the pill, particularly if they’ve asked for it after they’ve seen it advertised in media and you prescribe them not to do that and to try a lifestyle thing, you’ve now opened yourself up to malpractice. So there’s a safety in doing what is accepted as the expedient way of dealing with it.

36:05 — Wildfit helps people change their relationship with food and reverse type 2 diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is largely preventable and reversible with lifestyle changes.

Now we’ve had over a hundred thousand clients in a hundred countries around the world. It’s been incredible.  But as a result of that, we started getting really interesting feedback from people. And of course we saw stories of weight loss and the normal things you might expect, but the one that really, really started to surprise us in about the third year or so as we started getting people writing to us and going, “I’ve just visited my doctor and my doctor tells me that I am now prediabetic.” They were previously type 2 diabetic, and their doctor was surprised by that because the way diabetes is discussed in medical circles is that it is a chronic, irreversible life’s long—you know that that’s the deal. You’ve got it now and you’ll medicate it for the rest of your life. And yet so many of our clients were finding themselves in the prediabetic or actually in the fully reversed range. And so in the years that we’ve been going through that, of course, we would then contact those doctors and work with them. Many of those doctors have kind of joined forces with us. So they now guide their clients to go through our protocol so that they can reverse the condition.

41:54 — Why Edmeades titled his book “Postdiabetic”

If someone reverses type 2 diabetes and has glucose levels of someone in the prediabetes range, they are at a different place than when they were originally prediabetic and trending in the direction of type 2.

I’ve been doing obviously quite a few interviews over the last several weeks relative to the book and such. And the other day I was on one—I think it was yesterday morning—and the person said that it was a genius marketing move to call it “Postdiabetic.” And I said, “You see, but the joke of it is, it wasn’t a marketing move at all. it’s a very important statement.” What I mean by that is that the way the statement came up was that many of our clients were coming to us and saying, “Look, I was a type 2 diabetic. Now my doctor tells me that I’m prediabetic,” and that irritated me because “pre” means before or like on the way to; it means that you’re headed in a certain direction, and I think language is important.

50:47 — The culpability of the food industry and the government

Society tends to blame the individual for obesity and type 2 diabetes, but ultra-processed food manufacturers and the government’s lack of good policy surrounding nutrition are at fault.

If somebody is massively overweight or even a little bit overweight or they’re type 2 diabetic, it’s not their fault. We have a disastrous food industry, a disastrous regulation, legislation, and lobbying that did this to everybody.

56:47 — Diets are not the answer

Weight management is not about how many calories you consume and burn; it’s not that simple.

Consider that the average person will go on two diets a year through their adult lifetime. According to a big study, the average person will go on two diets a year, and they will stick to each of those diets for somewhere between six and seven days. So they’re spending roughly 12 to 14 days a year on a diet, and their self-esteem is being damaged and eroded every single time they do that. Their friends even tease them. They’re like, “Oh, you’re on another diet, right? It’s like, Oh, another diet. You’re just going to fail.” And a major part of the reason that people fail diets is that the diet industry is built on some really terrible myths, like calories-in-calories out. That’s the Enron accounting of the diet industry.

1:00:00 — Fat as a nutrient is not the enemy

Fat is a macronutrient, meaning our bodies need it.

Not only is fat not necessarily a bad thing, it’s bloody vital. One of the most dangerous concepts that was foisted on the American people then the world was the whole low-fat myth. It’s one of the most dangerous things that’s ever been done to us, where you now have people that are afraid of one of the most important substances they could be eating. It’s terrifying.