Like aunts, uncles, and cousins, it turns out that many diseases are related. Dr. Casey Means realized that many serious illnesses had a common denominator: inflammation. And it turns out that inflammation is often caused by simple lifestyle choices like diet and exercise. Once she made this discovery, there was no looking back. Earlier in life, she had realized the power of diet when she became vegan. Today, she’s helping spread the knowledge about dietary power to other though the metabolic health company, Levels. On this episode of The Lab Report, Dr. Means chats with hosts Michael and Patti about why our medical system needs to look beyond surgery and nurture the whole person.
06:19 – The importance of looking at the core root physiology
Dr. Means says that while we are treating most diseases with surgery and medicine, what we need to be doing is mounting an immune response by looking at core root physiology.
“I was scratching my head saying a lot of these patients are chronically inflamed, and I think there’s probably a better way to approach this then than surgery because inflammation is fundamentally the body saying there’s some external threat. We need to mount an immune response to get on top of this. And that immune response, surgery doesn’t touch that. It’s like fighting a war with the wrong weapons. And certainly busting open a sinus and getting the pus to drain better, that can be helpful for symptoms, but it’s not actually doing much for the core root physiology. So I got thinking quite a bit about the core root physiology of inflammation. And that led me to a journey of saying why are so many people expressing signs of this constant immune over-activation…And I think it ultimately a lot of it leads back to diet and lifestyle and the exposures that our bodies are having to encounter every day.”
07:49 – The interconnections between diseases
Instead of just treating each disease separately, Dr. Means says we should look at the links between them.
“These exposures of modern life that can be seen as these foreign threats, the body, the processed foods, and highly ultra-refined foods are eating the toxic chemicals we are exposed to in our food and water and our air, our sort of chronic low-grade stressors of living in this modern, digital fast-moving world. Chronic sleep deprivation, we’re getting less sleep than we used to, and sedentary behavior, not moving a lot. All of these things can be registered by the body as a threat and mountain immune response. So I got super interested in how we can keep people out of the operating room. How can we think deeper about this and help on the front end and really avoid having to get to this end-of-the-road intervention that is highly morbid, highly expensive, highly painful, and ultimately not really addressing the root cause physiology? So that was a journey that actually led me fully out of the operating room. I actually decided to put down my scalpel and really pursue more functional medicine. And that’s a branch of medicine where we really address the underlying root causes of diseases and also think about what are the interconnections between diseases.”
11:30 – The vegan food challenge
Dr. Means tried being a vegan as a short term challenge. The incredible results she saw from the diet made her a convert.
“My history with plant-based diets is kind of a funny one. I actually grew up loving meat more than anything. I was such a meat-eater, every birthday was at a steakhouse. People have photos of me at holidays, like gnawing at the bones of ribs that I was eating. And it just really was a joke in my family, how much I loved meat. So I actually challenged myself to do a plant-based diet in medical school. Just to see if I could do it. I was like, oh, I doubt I can do it. It’s too hard for me. And I went full steam ahead like I try to do with everything. And it was just absolutely transformational for me. It was transformational from so many aspects. My skin cleared up, my digestion got better, my mood just felt more elevated and stable. I felt sharper. And it also opened up a whole world of new cooking that I really enjoyed.”
12:28 – A powerful message
When Dr. Means stopped eating healthy during her residency and switched to eating meat, her health immediately took a nosedive, sending her a powerful message.
“There’s much less control over my day-to-day life in residency as a surgical resident, you’re in the hospital all the time. I was really just eating cafeteria food all the time and went back to meat and just tons of refined foods, whatever I could sort of shove in my mouth as I was running down the stairs to get to the operating room and my health really took a nosedive. All those low-grade symptoms that I’d had kind of came back. And it really was a powerful message to me of how much food creates conditions in our body. That they really are a major lever in the expression of health or symptoms. So ultimately I went back to a plant-based diet and the same thing happened. It was just like a total up-leveling of my life.”
13:35 – Food is an instruction manual for our genes
According to Dr. Means, every bite we eat is straight-up molecular information that can be a total differentiating factor between the expression of health or the expression of dysfunction.
“Food is molecular information that goes into our body multiple times a day and acts as both the building blocks for our body, but also as the instruction manual for how our genes are to be expressed. And that is just incredible to me that every bite we take is just straight-up molecular information that can be a total differentiating factor between the expression of health or the expression of dysfunction. That field of study is Nutrigenomix, how food compounds change gene expression. That was so empowering to me as a young student, just thinking that we think of genes as this blueprint that’s very fatal and deterministic, but really it’s just a blueprint. It’s not actually the end result. And the end result has an impact from food, from how we stress, how we sleep, how we move and so many other factors. We have a lot of power in the way that we make those choices and food is just such a big one.”
16:45 – Not a meat hater
Dr. Means is not anti-meat. She also encourages people to eat free-range, grass-fed meats which are much healthier than the meat from a factory farm.
“I definitely have nuanced thoughts about meat and don’t think of it as like this evil thing. I’m certainly not dogmatic about plants are the only thing that humans are supposed to eat. And this really comes back again to food is molecular information. And meat as a category, you just have to think of meat in that framework as well. So you take a free-range, grass-fed happy cow out there, compare it with a cow that’s raised in our normal industrial agricultural complex…The free-range grass-fed meat is just going to be a totally different set of molecular inputs to your body when you eat it than the one that was fed genetically modified Roundup-sprayed corn and soy its whole life and was in terrible high-stress conditions and probably was metabolically unhealthy and filled with antibiotics. I think of food as a tool for what I’m trying to leverage in terms of getting a patient back towards optimal cellular functioning.”
23:23 – Building a healthy microbiome
Even for those who cannot or do not want to become vegans, Dr. Means still recommends eating food rich in micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants.
“A lot of what I’m thinking about is how do I get people the maximum amount of micronutrients, macronutrients that are valuable for health, fiber, and antioxidants. Those are some of the key things that I’m trying to get people every day. All their micronutrients, like zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, manganese, et cetera, are required enzymatic cofactors. And then I’m thinking about fiber because I really want people’s microbiomes to be on point because of all the amazing things that our microbiome will make for us in terms of helping with our immune system and our metabolic health…I find that I can get those things most reliably from a very, very plant food diet. You’re going to get your fiber. You’re going to get your micronutrients. You’re going to get your antioxidants and you can get your Omega three if you’re thoughtful about it on a plant food diet and it’s easy to miss out on some of those things if you’re focusing on hardcore conventional keto or carnivore.”
Host [00:00] The contents of the Lab Report are meant for educational purposes only, and are not meant to be misconstrued as medical diagnosis or treatment advice. Today on the Lab Report, we talk to Dr. Casey Means.
Host 2 [00:12] And we’re going to talk plant-based diet and continuous glucose monitoring.
Host [00:15] Yeah. This is going to be pretty sweet. Get it?
Host 2 [00:19] No.
Host [00:20] Glucose. Sweet.
Host 2 [00:23] Ah. The world of medicine can be challenging. Clinicians and patients are always looking for more options, more effective treatments. And in the end, more answers. Functional and integrative medicine focuses on addressing root causes of disease. Here at Genova Diagnostics, we’ve watched this field evolve and grow for over 35 years. We’ve not only adapted. We’ve led. Join us as we talk about functional medicine, laboratory testing and optimizing health. Welcome to the Lab Report. Don’t even talk about the plant.
Host [00:57] Listen, last time we talked about the plant, it needed water.
Host 2 [01:00] I took care of it.
Host [01:01] You know what plants also need?
Host 2 [01:02] What?
Host [01:03] Sunlight.
Host 2 [01:04] Whatever.
Host [01:04] Hello!
Host 2 [01:05] Hi, Michael Chapman.
Host [01:06] Hi Patty Devers. How are you doing today?
Host 2 [01:07] I’m doing great.
Host [01:09] Good to hear it.
Host 2 [01:09] And I hope you are, too.
Host [01:10] Yeah.
Host 2 [01:11] Welcome to the Lab Report.
Host [01:12] Welcome everyone to this podcast brought to you by Genova Diagnostics. Guess what?
Host 2 [01:6] What?
Host [01:17] We talked about functional medicine, specialty lab testing, and integrative therapeutics. And today we are going to interview Dr. Casey Means.
Host 2 [01:24] Yeah. I’m really excited about this, but in the meantime, if you’re new to the show-
Host [01:28] I see what you did there.
Host 2 [01:30] If you’re new to this show, you can go to iTunes or Spotify and subscribe to this podcast and rate and review and give us some stars.
Host [01:36] Yeah, that would be really, really helpful to the people that are watching, whether we’re getting stars. And how many of those stars that we’re getting. Not to say that there are people that are really paying it that close attention, but it does help. It helps with all the algorithms and you know, all the spreading of this knowledge and this podcast out there. So that’s a, that’d be helpful. If you have feedback, you can email the feedback to [email protected]. That’s the email address here where your feedback gets dumped into.
Host 2 [02:03] Yeah, we love those emails. So keep them coming. And today we have a very special guest. Dr. Casey Means.
Host [02:09] Yeah, I’m super excited for this interview. Dr. Means has so much experience and knowledge. This is going to be fun.
Host 2 [02:16] Yeah, she’s done so many things that it almost makes you question your life when you see, when someone has accomplished so many things.
Host [02:22] Yeah, it does make me wonder what I’ve been doing with my time, not to say that I’ve been doing nothing, but I mean, wow.
Host 2 [02:29] I know.
Host [02:30] It’s really what we’re trying to say. Wow!
Host 2 [02:31] She’s a surgeon. And then she was a biomedical researcher and functional medicine trained.
Host [02:37] She started a company. She’s the chief medical officer of company called Levels, which is continuous glucose monitoring supply company.
Host 2 [02:44] So, yeah. So if you go to Instagram, you see all the big names in the biz wearing these wearable devices.
Host [02:48] So cool.
Host 2 [02:48] With the tag, unlock levels.
Host [02:50] So cool.
Host 2 [02:51] In addition to that, she’s also pretty much an expert on plant-based diets. So there’s so much to cover with her.
Host [02:56] Yeah, so much to cover, in fact that we’re going to do two parts. We’re going to go ahead and do that. So today we’re talking part one of the interview where we’re going to mostly talk about plant-based approaches to overall health, and then we’ll save some of the other questions for part two.
Host 2 [03:09] Well, let’s call her up. So Michael guess who’s with us today.
Host [03:16] Oh, I know. I’m, I’m really excited.
Host 2 [03:18] Dr. Casey Means! And Dr. Casey Means, for those of you who are not familiar, is a functional medicine practitioner and a metabolic health evangelist. She has both an undergraduate biology degree. And a medical degree from Stanford University. Dr. Means also trained as a head and neck surgeon at Oregon Health and Science University. She’s an award-winning biomedical researcher with past research positions at NIH, Stanford, and NYU. And additionally is an associate editor of the International Journal of Disease, Reversal, and Prevention. She has been trained by the Institute for functional medicine and through her website, caseymeansmd.com., her current clinical focus is on functional medicine with an emphasis on whole foods, plant-based nutrition, mind-body connection, and physical activity as foundations of overall health. Dr. Means is co-founder and chief medical officer of the metabolic health company Levels, which focuses on digital health products to inspire healthy behavior change, reverse chronic disease and modernize healthcare by empowering patients with access to their personal health data. She’s also been featured in many national publications, podcasts, and television programs. And with that welcome to the Lab Report Dr. Means.
Host [04:29] Thank you so much for being here.
Casey Means [04:31] Thank you so much for having me. I’m so looking forward to this conversation.
Host [04:36] Us too. Us too. Well, let me start here. So you’re a conventionally trained head and neck surgeon who made a very big leap into functional medicine. Like what inspired you to walk away from surgery and change your focus so dramatically?
Casey Means [04:48] You know, it’s a great question. So yeah, so I trained fully in the conventional system. So like you mentioned, Stanford for medical school and then went into head and neck surgery. And you know, I was practicing as an ear nose and throat surgeon for about five years. And what really sort of started coming about for me about five years into practice was that so many of the conditions I was treating were fundamentally inflammatory in nature. So it was a lot of the itises. You know, it was sinusitis, thyroiditis, you know, it was all that, you know, itis is typically the suffix we give towards that imply there’s inflammation involved.
Host [05:26] That’s right.
Casey Means [05:26] And so, you know, sinusitis, the way we manage it in EENT is, you know, nasal rinses, but then it’s antibiotics and steroids. Steroids to tamp down the immune response. And then if that fails, you’ve got surgery, you bust open the sinuses, you drain the pus out. And then, you know, that’s kind of the treatment. And with, you know, other inflammatory issues, the head and neck, like vocal cord granulomas, which are inflammatory masses of the vocal chords. You know, you pluck them out surgically with chronic ear disease where you get your infections a bunch, which is due to inflammation of the tissue in between the nose and the ear that you stationed to. When that gets swollen, and you know, you’ll, if you’re getting chronic ear infections, you’ll bust a hole in the eardrum and you’ll put an ear tube in and you can kind of get the pus to drain. And so it’s a lot of these sort of surgical and anti-inflammatory medication treatments for these inflammatory disorders. And I sort of was scratching my head saying, “You know, a lot of these patients are chronically inflamed.” And I don’t, I think there’s probably a better way to approach this than surgery, because inflammation is fundamentally the body saying, “There’s some external threat. We someone with diabetes, obesity, depression, prostate hypertrophy and cancer and say, “Oh, all of these things are totally different piece.” But in reality, from a more systems biology perspective or a functional medicine perspective, we actually know that there’s actually some really common root cause physiology amongst all of those seemingly disparate diseases. And a lot of that boils down to chronic inflammation. Same cytokines upregulated in many of those diseases, like TNF alpha, isle six, you know, it’s the same players. And then the second one that’s really big is insulin resistance and metabolic dysfunction. So, really shifted gears to a full on obsession with those two things: metabolic health and inflammation, how they’re related, how they underlie a lot of chronic diseases and moved into the functional medicine full steam ahead and. And so that was sort of the transition.
Host 2 [10:12] Yeah. And it’s tricky because once you get here, you can’t unsee what you’re saying. Like, you can’t go back.
Host [10:17] I was just thinking like how inconvenient at times this dawning of root cause medicine can be. It’s like, “Oh, okay. I have to change everything now.”
Host 2 [10:26] Right, right, right. And even if-
Casey Means [10:28] Absolutely. It’s like once you start reading the books, you know, I think of these books that we’ve all read is like they, once you open those first 20 pages, you’re like, “Oh, damn.”
Host 2 [10:38] Right. That’s right.
Casey Means [10:39] And I’m thinking of people like, you know, Mark Hyman and Sarah Godfrey and Terry, you know, Terry Walls and Jeff bBand and you know, all these pioneers of functional medicine. And you know, Ben Dickman’s most recent book, “Why We Get Sick.” You kind of read this and you say, Oh no, we, you know, we got to be doing things a little bit of a different way and it is impossible to go back. And so I think a lot of doctors are on that journey right now.
Host 2 [11:07] Yeah, well, yeah. And we’re lucky that we’re here, but as part of our show on our podcast, we do a lot of talking about diets. We’ve talked about vegan and paleo and keto and carnivore, and we know that you have chosen to focus on the plant-based approach. What caused you to go there?
Casey Means [11:26] Yeah. Great question. So, my history with plant-based diets is kind of a funny one. I actually grew up loving meat more than anything. Like I was such a meat eater. Every birthday was at a steak house. All I wanted to, you know, people have photos of me at holidays like (? gnawing 00:11:43), I was like, you know, of rib eyes that I was eating. And it just really was a joke in my family, how much I loved meat. So I actually challenged myself to do a plant-based diet in medical school just to see if I could do it. I was like, “Oh, I doubt I can do it. It’s too hard for me.” And I went full steam ahead. Like I try to do with everything. And it was just absolutely transformational for me. It was transformational from so many aspects. You know, my skin cleared up, my digestion got better. My mood just felt more elevated and stable. I felt sharper and it also opened up a whole world of new cooking that I really enjoyed and like learning how to use foods differently and how versatile plants are for cooking. So that was pretty fun. And I did that throughout medical school, and then I went to residency and, you know, I, my life there’s much less control over my day-to-day life in residency as a surgical resident, you’re in the hospital all the time. And I was really just eating cafeteria food all the time and went back to meet and just, you know, tons of refined foods, whatever I could sort of shove in my mouth, as I was running down the stairs to get to the operating room.
Host [12:45] Survival foods.
Casey Means [12:47] Yeah. And my health really took a nosedive. All those sort of low grade symptoms that I had kind of came back. And it really was a powerful message to me of how much foods create conditions in our body that really are a major lever in the expression of health or symptoms. And so ultimately went back to a plant-based diet and the same thing happened. It was just like a total upleveling of my life. And so that was kind of my personal experience, but from a more intellectual perspective, there were a number of factors. One is that my background is in
Host [16:15] Yeah. Well, I mean, it’s super interesting and I love the nutrigenomics aspect. It reminds me a lot of like the things you hear coming out of Deanna Minich’s work and things like that. It’s, and I wonder. Are you currently doing any meat as part of your regular diet these days? Do you find that as part of a whole foods approach that it’s a good thing to incorporate meat, or are we still figuring that part of it out?
Casey Means [16:41] Yeah, it’s a great question. Right now, I’m personally not eating meat, but I’ve definitely nuanced thoughts about meat and don’t think of it as like this evil thing. I’m certainly not dogmatic about plants are the only thing that humans are supposed to eat. And this really comes back again to food is molecular information, and meat as a category, you just have to think of meat in that framework as well. So you take a free range, you know, grass fed, happy cow out there, compare it with a cow that’s raised in our normal industrial agriculture complex. And the two different animals, the meat that comes from them is going to be completely different molecular information. One is going to have a higher omega-3 concentration that you know is going to have less of the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio. One is going to have less, you know, antibiotics and toxic pesticides. One is going to have a different, you know, muscle and fat composition. You know, the free range grass fed meat is just going to be a totally different set of molecular inputs to your body when you eat it than the one that was fed genetically modified roundup sprayed corn and soy its whole life and was in terrible high stress conditions and probably was metabolically unhealthy and filled with antibiotics.
Host [20:45] Yeah.
Host 2 [20:46] I love that.
Host [20:46] And I think, you know, so often it’s easy to think of it, you know, one way or another and get dogmatic about what we’re recommending to the whole masses. But the tenet, one of the main tenets of functional medicine is personalized, right? And so everyone’s going to have different set of genetic information, and this is probably reacting to different nutrigenomic information from their diet. So it only makes sense to really focus in on the patient and what their particular needs are. And that’s where the testing comes in.
Host 2 [21:10] Yeah. And actually some patients are, they feel pretty strongly about whatever diet they’ve chosen. So it really is just helpful.
Host [21:15] And that’s important, too.
Host 2 [21:16] Yeah. And it’s helpful just to let them do it the right way. But do you find yourself in your practice, Doctor Means, discouraging other diets, like keto or carnivore, or are you kind of like what Michael’s saying? Just personalize that approach every time.
Casey Means [21:30] I would say, I mean, certainly in my practice, I’m not going to be pushing the carnivore diet for probably anyone. I think that carnivore diet is really interesting and I, there’s a lot that I support about the carnivore movement in that, in two main things. One is that they are extremely focused on metabolic health and we are in extreme alignment that refined and processed carbohydrates are causing huge dysfunction and toxicity in the bodies of Americans. And so we need to essentially eliminate those. The second, so big focus on metabolic health is one. And the second thing that I really appreciate about that movement is the focus on sustainable agriculture. So these are not individuals who are saying like, “Go out and buy really crappy, low quality, conventionally raised meat and you’ll do fine.” These are people saying we need to do nose to tail, respect the animals. Think about, you know, all the different aspects of health that the animals can bring to us. Like liver, it, you know, might actually have, we think of animals not able to produce their own vitamin C, but in fact, some animal livers may actually have stored vitamin C in there. And so they think about ways to get these micronutrients from the animal, but that may involve eating the, you know, the full nose to tail animals. So there’s a lot of thoughtfulness about nutrition in that. But I think it’s, from my perspective is that it’s going to be valuable for a very, very specific part of the population and especially people who are dealing potentially with really extreme GI dysfunction and who have, are not able to tolerate plant products in their healing journey early on. And so, you know, so maybe for a very specific subset of patients, but it’s certainly not a diet that I feel like I have expertise in.
And what I’m thinking about a lot with patients is, you know, optimizing metabolic health, optimizing cell biology and function. And so a lot of what I’m thinking about is how do I get people maximum amount of micronutrients, macronutrients that are valuable for health, fiber, and antioxidants. And so those are some of the key things that I’m trying to get people every day. So, you know, all their micronutrients, like the zinc, magnesium, B vitamins, vitamin C, manganese, et cetera, that are required enzymatic cofactors. And then I’m thinking about fiber because I really want people’s microbiomes to be on point because of all the amazing things that our microbiome will make for us in terms of helping with our immune system and our metabolic health. And then thinking about more of the macro nutrients, healthy sources of fats, proteins, and carbohydrates, and other things like omega-3 levels. And then of course, antioxidants to buffer them from all these amazing, you know, damage that we were exposing ourselves to through daily living. And so those are the things that I’m really optimizing for. And I find that I can get those things most reliably from a very, very plant forward diet. You’re going to get your fiber. You’re going to get your micronutrients. You’re going to get your antioxidants and you can get your omega-3s if you’re thoughtful about it on a plant forward diet. And you can’t necessarily, or it’s, I think it’s easy to miss out on some of those things if you’re focusing on hardcore conventional keto or carnivore.
With that said, I actually really favor a plant-based diet that actually allows you to get into ketogenesis. So I’m always in a keto, I’m always a little bit in ketosis. So usually I try to be between 0.5 and 1.5, and this is on a fully 100% high carb plant-based diet. And the reason that I’m able to do that is because I have used a continuous glucose monitor in myself and in my patients now for well over a year. And so I’m tracking how every single carbohydrate I’m eating is affecting my glucose levels. And what I’ve found is that if you are tracking all of these things and seeing what works for your body, you can actually create a plant based diet that really doesn’t even touch your glucose levels. The research has shown over the past few years that just because you’re eating a carbohydrate doesn’t mean it’s going to cause a glucose rise in your body. And every person, you know, all three of us could eat the exact same meal filled with carbohydrates and have totally different glucose responses. There’s tons of personalization to that based on our microbiomes and our body types and our genetics and how much sleep and exercise we did the day before. And so you really have to know for yourself. So it is totally possible to get the benefits of keto while also getting all these amazing things that plants can bring you. But I think on the flip side, for most people doing keto, it’s actually pretty easy to not get enough, you know plant food and fiber and things like that. And so it’s really just this very nuanced personalized approach to maximize those various factors that I mentioned that are so important for health.
Host 2 [26:32] Another harp in the middle of an interview, Michael?
Host [26:34] Look, we said we were going to do a part two, right?
Host 2 [26:37] Alright. Fair.
Host [26:38] We’ve warned people. I just want to make sure we get the harp in there so they understand this is the transition to the end of part one. And what will be the beginning of part two on Tuesday.
Host 2 [26:47] What will they say? Part two is fascinating.
Host [26:49] Yes. Part two is as good as part one.
Host 2 [26:50] Because it’s really something.
Host [26:52] I mean, we should sell this thing, right?
Host 2 [26:55] Oh, you don’t even know.
Host [26:56] So it’s like a cliffhanger. You thought part one was good.
Host 2 [26:58] Your brain’s about to explode now. Just wait.
Host  Yeah, you’re going to get your serious blood-brain on.
Host 2 [27:02] That’s right.
Host [27:03] For sure. But what can they expect from the next time, part two?
Host 2 [27:06] Well, we’re going to really dive into her company called Levels, with the continuous glucose monitoring. And if you kind of follow Instagram, there’s some really big names wearing these devices. True Manning for one.
Host [27:16] And I think it’s so cool. Like we talked about, it’s like a biofeedback for your blood sugar.
Host 2 [27:19] Yeah. It’s amazing.
Host [27:22] So cool. Next time on the Lab Report. Part two of our interview with Dr. Casey Means.
Host 2 [27:28] Oh, we’re going to unlock some levels.
Host [27:30] It’s going to be sweet.
Host 2 [27:32] Aww. I got it that time. You’ve been listening to the Lab Report. If you like what you hear, please subscribe to our podcast, rate us and leave us a review. To learn more about Genova Diagnostics, visit our website at gdx.net. There you’ll find information on specific testing, educational resources and how to connect with our show. Call us at +1 800-522-4762. Or email us at [email protected]. Serious topic.
Host [28:06] Okay.
Host 2 [28:07] Peanut butter.
Host [28:08] Yeah?
Host 2 [28:08] Chunky or creamy?
Host [28:10] Uh, do you have to go with the creamy 100% of the time?
Host [28:13] Oh, come on.
Host [28:14] 100% of the time.
Host 2 [28:14] That’s quite definitive. I’m actually a fan of chunky peanut butter.
Host [28:17] Well, that’s absurd because the whole reason why you grind up the peanuts is to create peanut butter, not to leave remnants of peanuts in there. So you’re just like-
Host 2 [28:26] I like peanuts.
Host [29:27] That’s like you’re half grinding it. Why would you do that?
Host 2 [28:30] So you could still get the peanut experience yet still spread it.
Host [28:32] No, I’m not a fan of mixed consistencies. I don’t like pulp in your orange juice or anything like that.
Host 2 [28:36] I’ll agree with that one.
Host [28:38] Yeah.
Host 2 [28:38] But I think you’re wrong on the chunky peanut butter.
Host [28:39] Nope. Same rule applies.
Host 2 [28:40] Why are you such a purist?
Host [28:41] I’m just saying.
Dr. Casey Means is a trained surgeon, but is now a functional medicine practitioner.
Dr. Casey Means noticed that most of her patients’ case as an ear and nose surgeon were inflammatory in nature.
Surgery may help with the symptoms of inflammation, but does not solve the root cause.
Inflammation is an immune response and the body communicating that there’s an external threat.
The exposures of modern life, including diet and lifestyle, is seen as a foreign threat to the body.
Dr. Means pursued functional medicine to help address root causes of diseases of her patients.
Chronic inflammation is the common root for many diseases.
Dr. Means found plant based diet to be very transformational in many aspects when she first tried it.
Dr. Means personally experienced how food creates conditions in the body.
Food is a molecular information that is not just the building blocks for the body but also instruction manual for gene expression.
Food is an incredible knob you can turn to change molecular outcomes.
Plant compounds have profound impact to our genes.
Meat, like any other food, should be considered for the value of its molecular information.
Plant based nutrition can work efficiently towards optimal cellular function. You just have to be more thoughtful and optimize the steps.
One of the tenets of functional medicine is that it should be personalized.
Carnivore movement has a lot of thoughtfulness in nutrition and others, but this diet is most valuable only to a very specific type of patients.
Dr. Means focus on optimizing metabolic health, cell biology and function for her patients,
Research has shown that people have different glucose level response to the same kind of carbohydrates.