Interviewer: Doctor, you talked about lifestyle changes, and diet is a big part of that. One of the things that I thought was interesting in your book was changing the way you look at breakfast, because we're supposed to grab a box and a jug--
Dr. Dowd: Uh-huh.
Interviewer: Cereal and milk, or some sort of bread product at breakfast, but you look at things a little bit differently, and say it's okay to think outside the box, so to speak.
Dr. Dowd: Uh-huh.
Interviewer: Talk about that a little bit.
Dr. Dowd: So breakfast out of the box or breakfast outside the box. If this journey through vitamin D has told us that vitamin D is important for protein, and we have this very powerful hormone that's helping us absorb protein, then, um, phosphorus in this case, then that must be an important nutrient, and that calcium must be important, and that nature's primary source of calcium is green vegetables, and for vitamin D to work it needs magnesium, and it needs folic acid, and vitamin A in the form of carotids, and those come from vegetable matter, then the diet kind of falls out of our understanding of vitamin D, and it says you need protein, you need lots of green vegetable matters, you know, plant matter high in carotids and pigment, pigment in plant matter, and that that should be our primary diet. And so then you can look at that, and you can say, "Well if I just look primates, or if I look at other wild animals, what do they eat?" And you come up with the same kind of answer. They're eating lean, lean meats, and they're eating lots of vegetable matter. Okay, in the book I talk about an acid base balance, 'cause it's a way of... it's a way of, um, objectifying this, turning it into something you can calculate. Um, uh, and foods that have protein, um, uh, and foods that come from grains, are very acidic, and foods that come from plant matter are antacid. And to balance that antacid equation, there's little room for grain after you step back, you say, "Well, I need this much protein, and I have to balance it with this many vegetables," and then you look at the amount of food it is and you go, "That's a lot of stuff! I'm not going to have any room for-- where's the bread, and the pasta, and cereal go?" Well, it goes away, because there's no room for it in this-- bulk wise, there's no room for it, um, uh, because there's only enough room for the nutrient-dense foods, uh, that we have here.
So we want to decrease our intake of foods that acidify and have very little nutritional value, and those foods are principally grains: wheat, barley, corn, oats, rice. I know it's the lifeblood of our agriculture system in the United States, and it's probably the lifeblood of our foreign policy, too, because just about every country, we don't get along with, we're trading food for something else. Trading oil for food, um, or, um, uh, in the case of North Korea, we're trading, um, uh, uh, um, less nuclear warheads for food, um, uh, but, so, we've designed this policy around all the wrong aims, and instead of around the aim of optimizing the health of country, it's been designed around, how can we make this stuff the least expensive as possible, and it... and just the stomachs of the most mouths... of the most people, rather than optimizing health. So if you want to optimize health, you move away from grain and you move to green. So it's like a green diet. And eco. An eco-friendly, green diet, right? But we do need the protein, okay? Um, and the protein is because we are meat-eaters. Our gut is designed for that. You know, there's a lot of patients-- I have a lot of people ask questions about, "Well, I'm a vegan, and how should I go about eating this diet that you tell us to eat, which is sort of Paleolithic, um, uh, if I'm a vegan?" And I don't have an easy answer for them, because there is no easy answer for that question. If they're not a strict vegan and they can eat eggs, that's a good source of protein. Um, uh, but otherwise, you-- our gut is one compartment stomach with acid is reflective of all the other animals that have a one-compartment stomach with acid, and that is it was designed to digest protein, okay? And ruminant animals, which are pure vegetable-eating animals, have five compartment stomachs, and bacteria in the stomach, and they ruminate on this, they ferment this vegetable, these large amounts of vegetable matter, and that's how they get the nutrition out of it, is through fermentation, but our gut does not do fermentation very well. We have a very limited capacity to ferment and so we need the protein.
So protein is important and the vegetables to balance the acid from the protein is important and then eliminate the foods that are low in nutrients, high in acid and throw this whole equation off because an acidic diet is going to adversarial effect vitamin D function. Okay? An acidic diet actually increases your risk of infection. An acidic diet actually reduces bone mass and causes more calcium loss in the urine. An acidic diet increases your risk of kidney stones. And so there's a reason why when you drive the diet out of balance towards all these carbohydrates from grain, you start seeing health problems. It's because the chemistry's off. Okay?
Interviewer: So we can have a piece of steak for breakfast and pork chop, like you said.
Dr. Dowd: Right. So, yeah, breakfast out of the box becomes the easy one becomes leftovers from dinner. So as to not to remove the convenience of the whole ritual, you can just, at dinner time, set aside an extra pork chop, some green beans and a serving of Brussell sprouts or salad, put it in a Tupperware, heat it up in the morning and eat that and you're out the door just as quick as a bowl of cereal, but you've gotten three or four times as much protean and 10 or 20 times more nutrition from that than you would have from the bowl of cereal.