December 5, 2020
Join two nutritionists as they discuss eye health with Dr. Chris Knobbe. They cover which foods to eat and which foods to avoid as well as supplements that can contribute to better eye health.
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DARLENE: Well, welcome to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. It's great having you listen today because we are going to have fun. So, you know, each and every week on Dishing Up Nutrition, we bring you information about how what we eat affects your health. Over the past seventeen years, we've talked about how your food choices affect your risk of getting heart disease, how your food choices affect the, your risk of getting cancer. That's kind of interesting to think about that in itself; how your food choices affect your brain and your memory and your mental health.
DARLENE: So I think our food has to be a little bit better right now. So, you know, we also look at how your food choices affect your hormones, how your food choices affect your blood sugar and your risk of getting type-two diabetes. So, you know what I just said? It's all about your food choices.
JOANN: All of the above; yes.
DARLENE: And that's why we're going to talk about today.
JOANN: Right, and today we're going to talk about how your food choices also affect your vision and your overall eye health. And I think a lot of people don't think about that at all.
DARLENE: I agree. No.
JOANN: So stop for a minute and think about this: Have you ever thought that what you are eating affects how well you can see? Most people have not made that connection. It's pretty interesting. So our goal today is to help you make that connection.
DARLENE: So I'm Darlene Kvist. I'm a long-time nutritionist. And over the last, oh, 20 years, 40 years... I could almost say 80 years, I've been talking about the harmful effects of eating excess sugar. You know, the harmful effects of eating processed foods and the harmful effects of using refined, damaged fats. All those things should be out of your diet. I think many people are getting the message now that processed foods are not heart-healthy. Processed foods do not support brain health. Processed foods can upset our digestive system. Processed foods reduce our immune system and processed foods are making two-thirds of the United States population overweight or obese.
JOANN: Yeah, isn't that incredible? And then when you hear about, hear those numbers, it's really unbelievable.
DARLENE: So here's a comment that from my sister-in-law. She said, “When I go to the grocery store over and over, there's more processed foods.” She said, “It's hard to find real foods now.”
DARLENE: You know? Interesting.
JOANN: Yeah. And a lot of people feel that way. So, but, but who has connected? I should have said this a few minutes ago, but who has connected sugar and bad fats to those eye problems?
DARLENE: You know, my clients and friends are always surprised when I tell them in order to avoid cataracts or slow down the growth of cataracts as you grow older, you need to reduce the amount of sugar you're eating or cut out eating sugar altogether. If you really think about it, cataracts and cataract surgery, that's not really any fun.
DARLENE: So we don't want those.
JOANN: No. And in addition to cataract and cataract surgery, very serious vision problems, such as macular degeneration can also be connected to your food choices. And this may be new information. Most people believe macular degeneration is either a genetic problem or an age problem. And they actually call it age-related macular degeneration.
DARLENE: A mouthful.
JOANN: …which is a mouthful. So, but it's not, we're going to break this down cause it's not necessarily related to age.
DARLENE: So this morning we are going to have a very special guest, and we're going to have a discussion with Dr. Chris Knobbe, who is the author of a fascinating book about the connection of eye health and our diet. So joining me, and you heard just heard her voice, as our co-host, is Joann Ridout, who has at least 30 years of experience as a nutritionist: dietitian. She is a true believer in the power of eating real food because eating real food has helped lots of her clients and maybe manage a few of her own personal health issues. You know, Joann spends her days working individually with clients, either on the phone or on Zoom, and also teaches a lot of our classes about the benefits of eating real food. So great having you here, Joann. I know that you're just filling in this morning and we're glad you are. So thank you.
JOANN: Thank you. It's good to be here.
DARLENE: So introduce our guest a little bit for us.
JOANN: Yeah. Thank you. And I've been looking forward to this show.
DARLENE: Oh good.
JOANN: I was looking forward to listen to it, but now I get to be part of it. So before we turn the mic over to Dr. Knobbe, I want to read a supporting statement about his work. Ed Bennett, who is the president of Price-Pottenger Nutrition Foundation, said “Dr. Knobbe's thesis that macular degeneration is due to dietary causes is well supported by research.”
DARLENE: That's interesting, isn't it?
JOANN: It is. It is. And we don't have a hard time believing that. Some people out there do. But the diet is a major culprit in the proliferation of not only age-related macular degeneration, but most likely for many other degenerative diseases of civilization as well. So things like, everyone knows heart disease, diabetes, cancer: all of those diseases are connected to diet as well.
DARLENE: Well, we know it, but I'm not sure how many other people really truly know it, you know.
DARLENE: So, you know, we're really big fans of Dr. Knobbe’s work because he makes the connection between the standard American diet and many of the vision problems people are experiencing today. That's kind of interesting too.
JOANN: That's right. So Dr. Knobbe, thank you for joining us today on Dishing Up Nutrition.
DARLENE: We hope you're on the line.
DR. CHRIS KNOBBE (SPECIAL GUEST): Thank you Joann and Dar. It’s great to be here with you. Thank you.
JOANN: You are an ophthalmologist and you wrote the book, Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration.
DARLENE: That's a long title.
JOANN: It is a long title. It's a very good book though.
DARLENE: It is.
JOANN: I've looked through it. So Dr. Knobbe, as you know, this is a radio show about nutrition. So how did you, trained as an ophthalmologist, make the connection between the foods people are eating today and the variety of vision problems that you're dealing with?
DR. KNOBBE: Sure. Well, first again, good morning Dar and Joann.
JOANN: Good morning.
DR. KNOBBE: And thank you for having me on your show. I'm glad this is radio because it's early for… I’m in Colorado, so I'm an hour behind and you know, it's nice I'm not on Zoom to have to look right. I'm trying to compete with, compete with Albert Einstein for my hairdo this morning.
JOANN: Oh no.
DR. KNOBBE: Okay. Let me get to it. Okay. So let me tell your audience, you and your audience, that what brought me here really, to make this connection between, you know, man-made processed nutrient deficient and toxic foods and macular degeneration is my own suffering. And I'll spend 30 seconds hopefully telling you this is that I suffered with arthritis quite severely. And it's something I'm still working on to this day, but…
DARLENE: And you're a young man.
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah. Well, it started when I was about 34. I'm going to turn 60 this month.
DARLENE: Really? You look good.
DR. KNOBBE: Oh well thank you. I, you know, I've been, I've been working at, but anyway, so I had this, I had struggled with arthritis for 16 years. And when I was 50 years old, which is again, almost a decade ago, I, I learned briefly about the Paleo diet. Anyway, I made some changes in my diet and in something like eight days, my arthritis was 80% better.
DARLENE: Oh wow.
DR. KNOBBE: And it was so I, you know, if I had time to tell you that this was so incredibly life-changing for me, that it sent me down a path of trying to understand nutrition. And what I learned in the next couple of years was, you know, from about 2011 to 2013, I learned a lot about nutrition. But I really didn't understand it until I came across Weston Price’s research who connected these processed foods to all of this degenerative disease, like dental decay and arthritis and cancers and, you know, metabolic disease, essentially. And then, and so that gave me a framework to understand this. And it was in 20, late 2013, when I began to understand, and your audience will probably already know this, that these man-made processed foods, essentially sugars, refined flours, vegetable oils, and trans fats, that these, these are the foods driving all of this chronic westernized disease we call it. Now, that really means, you know, that, that, that term may not mean a lot to some people, but it really, what it means to us is everything from heart disease, hypertension, stroke, cancers, type-two diabetes, metabolic syndrome. In other words, lipid disorders, you know, visceral obesity, insulin resistance. And you know, then overweight, obesity. What am I missing? …Alzheimer's, dementia, and even autoimmune disorders. So I started understanding that all of these are being driven by, by processed foods. And so it hit me that could macular degeneration, age-related macular degeneration, be caused by the same thing? And that was 2013. And I began to investigate that. And literally it took me about a year and a half. I was still in practice. And by early 2015, I was convinced that that hypothesis held water. And I left practice to, you know, investigate this, to research this full time. And we came out with that research in 2016, eventually published a paper. And I started a non-profit foundation because the hypothesis was supported by the research and, and broadly, you know, we looked at 25 nations around the world and their, their processed food consumption, using proxy markers of sugar and vegetable oils, which are huge parts of the, the processed food components, as you know, and that research strongly supports the hypothesis. And I will just say that in a nutshell, though, it is processed foods, driving age-related macular degeneration.
DARLENE: So Dr. Knobbe, you know, I have a friend.
DR. KNOBBE: Oh, wait a minute.
DR. KNOBBE: You can't call me doctor. It's just Chris.
DR. KNOBBE: I don't let any anybody call me doctor, Dar and Joann. Please call me Chris. I just don't. I don't let anybody call me “doctor”.
DARLENE: Actually, I was going to call you Chris. And then I thought, “Oh no, that that's not formal enough.”
DR. KNOBBE: No, thank you. Call me Chris.
DARLENE: So Chris, I have a friend that has macular degeneration and she's being treated at the Mayo Clinic. And I don't think most people understand what it is to begin with. So, you know, a lot of our listeners, they may have heard the term, but they don't know what it is. So in just a few sentences, explain what it is because it sounds, you know, from when she describes her treatment, it's pretty horrendous.
DR. KNOBBE: Yes. So the macula is the central retina. It accounts for our central 10 degrees of vision. When you look at something that image, you know, whatever you're looking directly at, that lands on, that image lands on your macula and that's, so that allows, the macula allows you to, to read, to see people's faces, to see stop signs, things like that. And that is unfortunately the part of the eye that tends to degenerate the most in these conditions. And, let me just say that worldwide today, 8.6, 9% of the people over the age of 50 have macular degeneration. That's one in 11 people over the age of 50, and it is around 29 to possibly 32% of the population over age 75. So that is nearly one in three worldwide are, are affected with macular degeneration. So the…
DR. KNOBBE: So it's 196 million people affected this year. But if you want me to go back, I mean, we can talk about this, but historically this disease was incredibly rare.
JOANN: Wow, and that's interesting. We'd love to talk more about that at the other side of our break. So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition, brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. And today we are discussing how eating real food supports eye health and good vision with Dr. Chris Knobbe, author of Ancestral Dietary Strategy to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration. He has such great information to share, and we will be right back.
DARLENE: Are you wondering, or perhaps worried about how you're going to stay healthy during this very stressful time? As many of you have guessed, we recommend eating real food in balance several times a day. And that's easy to say, but challenging to say the least. There's never been a more important time than right now to get your nutrition right. I'd like to suggest signing up for our personalized wellness package of one-on-one appointments with one of our Weight and Wellness nutritionists or dietitians.
DARLENE: That means that could be Joann.
JOANN: It could be.
DARLENE: Or one of the other 10 people. So for the month of December, you can save $135 on your package of personalized wellness appointments, and you can get your nutrition back on track. So just call (651) 699-3438, or you can go online at weightandwellness.com to sign up. Now we're back talking after a long break I thought.
JOANN: It was kind of a long break. So we're back talking to Dr. Chris Knobbe. Your book goes into detail about how people ate a hundred years ago. And you were just talking about how rare macular degeneration was compared to now. And I remember hearing you speak about three years ago. I was so impressed to hear how new the disease of macular degeneration really is. So I think your, the statement you made today was really important. You said, “Eating right to save your sight,” is a great rule to live by.
DARLENE: And it affects everything else; all of the rest of your health.
JOANN: All the other parts of health; exactly. So talk more about how rare that disease is.
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah. So the incredible thing was when I began to do this research, I knew that if, when I asked myself back in 2013 if macular degeneration might be driven by man-made processed foods, like all this other disease, I then one, two things had to be true. One is, is that the disease had to be rare when we didn't have processed foods. And I didn't really know when that was. And, you know, and number two really is that I, I mean that the disease would have to increase in prevalence as those foods were consumed, right?
DR. KNOBBE: And so I had to investigate the history of macular degeneration, and I had no clue about this because in medicine, this is never taught about any disease.
DR. KNOBBE: Anyway, so when I went back, I literally spent months, Dar and Joann, investigating just the history of macular degeneration. But in a nutshell, between 1851, when this disease was first discoverable, because ophthalmologists then had ophthalmoscopes and they could begin to see back into the retina. And the next 80 years, till about 1930, there was no more than about 50, 5-0, 50 cases of macular degeneration in all of the world literature. And believe me, I read so many texts and papers from that era. And this disease was extraordinarily rare. In fact, I think there were far fewer than 50, but anyway, whereas today there was 196 million in the world, right? And so while the population increased five-fold, the, the elevation in macular degeneration, it literally increased infinitely. Right? And so, but what happened was, is we got processed foods. And what were those? Again, sugar, refined, refined carbohydrates, refined wheat, mostly in the United States, vegetable oils and trans fats. And those were, you know, we've had sugar in the diet for centuries, but it was really low consumption, you know, until the late 19th century. And then we got refined wheat flour beginning in 1880, which is a nutrient-deficient food. And then vegetable oils right up to the American Civil War introduced in 1866. And then trans-fats introduced with Crisco by Procter and Gamble in 1911. So put those four foods together and over the next hundred and, you know, however you want to look at it: over about the next 135 years, by 2009, those four foods, and I use the term loosely, occupied 63% of the American diet. So these, these foods began to, supplant and replace our natural whole foods. Right? And so this leads to… now you have nutrient deficiency and you have toxicity, and we can talk further about that. But…
DARLENE: So, you know, one of the things that I hear and I've heard this a little bit from, oh, we'll come right back to that. We have to go on another break. Joann, go ahead.
JOANN: Okay. So you're listening to Dishing Up Nutrition. Did our genetics change over the past hundred years or what has changed? Let's be realistic. One thing that we have to help you out is we, you can start cooking recipes from our Weight and Wellness Way Cookbook and Nutrition Guide. And for the month of December, we're offering a savings of 15% for this easy to use cookbook. And we'll be right back.
DARLENE: Well, welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. Dr. Chris Knobbe shared many important health facts in his book, Ancestral Dietary Strategies to Prevent and Treat Macular Degeneration. So I want to share a couple of things that he put in his book that I thought was kind of, kind of eye-opening. So more than, he said, “More than 20 studies clearly show that elderly people with high cholesterol live longer than older people with low cholesterol.” So do we have to be worrying about our cholesterol all the time? And then another one he shared was, “Nine studies have shown that high cholesterol is not a risk factor for disease or the, even the arteries in our legs and in our hearts.” So cholesterol is not a risk factor. “And then there were 30 studies that showed that people who had suffered a heart attack or stroke had not eaten more saturated fat than those without heart attacks or strokes.” So those are just three findings about health and cholesterol and saturated fat that Dr. Knobbe shared in his book. You know, I can’t imagine how much work you put into this book. I mean, it's incredible.
DARLENE: And we know how much work it is just putting together a radio show.
DARLENE: …let alone a book like his. So, you know, it's some of the same information that we teach all the time in our classes. And I think a couple of classes that we have that you might be interested in taking is Building a Better Working Memory. I think as you get older, everybody's concerned about that. And then right now another great class is Your Energy Solution: Real Food. We keep going back to real food all the time. So if you're interested call (651) 699-3438, and we'll help you sign up for a class. You don't even have to do all the work. So let's go back to genetics.
DARLENE: So, you know, that's one of the things, Chris, that I hear all the time from people. “Well, it's a genetic problem. I can't do anything about it.” So, you know, dig into that a little bit for us and help people understand it's more than genetics.
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah, well, so, the, you know, the, the, the Orthodox allopathic view has been that macular degeneration is a disease of aging and genetics. And, you know, but if that's the case, then the disease should have had the same prevalence, you know, a hundred years ago as it, as it is today.
DR. KNOBBE: So let me just say: this in a broad, in broad stroke, the, the evolutionary biologists have told us, found out that the spontaneous mutation rate for DNA is about 0.5% per million, per million years.
DARLENE: Oh, wow.
DR. KNOBBE: So that means that DNA mutations over 10,000 years, if you start doing the math, is 0.005%. Okay. What would that mean is that the DNA mutations over a hundred years is 0.0005%; point and then four zeros and five. That's how I remember that. So that, so it's, it's almost impossible that our DNA has changed at all in the last hundred or even two or 300 years. Right? And so, so, so that, so, but the, so the DNA, the, your architectural blueprint hasn't changed, but what can change is your epigenetics.
DR. KNOBBE: And that means turning on and turning off genes, and how do you do that? And you do that with food. And how does the food do it? It does it primarily through vitamins; vitamins and other co-factors, but you know, but primarily, vitamins. So when you have nutrient deficiencies, for example, then you are affecting your, the way that your genes are functioning. You're not changing your genetic blueprint, your DNA necessarily, but you're changing the way those genes are turned on or turned off.
DARLENE: So Chris…
DR. KNOBBE: Did I answer the question?
DARLENE: Yeah. But I've got a little more, Chris. I often hear from clients or people that have macular degeneration, is that, “Yeah, but my mother had it,” or “my sister had it,” or “my grandmother had it,” so it has to be genetic. I mean, it has to be just in my genes. It's, so how do you, how do you go back and say, well, yeah, but, but, but, but so would you go through that maybe again, cause that's the one thing that, it's almost like people say, “Well, it's in my family, so I can't do anything about it.”
DR. KNOBBE: Yes. And, and that's, that's definitely a valid question. And, but the, the fact is, is to get right to the meat of this, the way I would answer is I would say that the primary thing that we inherit is our way of eating. And that begins the day you're born or before really. But, and so if you, if you, for example, with these diseases, these chronic diseases like heart, you know, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, age-related macular degeneration, they don't hardly ever hit people that are 30 or even 35 years old. And so, but if a guy is born and, you know, begins to eat processed foods, and he's still not going to… he consumes those his whole life. He's still not going to have a heart attack until he's maybe 40 or 50 years old, you know, get Alzheimer's until he's maybe 60 plus, and the same for macular degeneration. And, so, I think I lost my train of thought there.
DARLENE: Oh, great. You’re human.
DR. KNOBBE: So, anyway, go ahead.
DARLENE: No, I think that explains it very well. It's, it's hard for people to wrap their head around that, that it is really related to what you're putting in your mouth and getting into your bloodstream, the nutrients and everything. It makes a difference with every part of your health, you know, whether it's your eyes or your heart or your, whatever it is.
DR. KNOBBE: Okay. Let me interject. Now it came back to me. Now my EEG is working again. So, all right. So with macular degeneration specifically, we looked at this. And if you put all the data together, if you have all of the worst possible genetics, you put them all together for macular degeneration, you would on average develop the wet form of macular degeneration: you know, the worst possible form. Something like, I think it was 5.4 years earlier than somebody that had none of the genetic tendencies for macular degeneration. So it's not like somebody with really terrible genetics gets macular degeneration when they're 30 years old and the people with the good genetics get it when they're 85. That's not the way it works at all. And so again, what we see is that it's really that you're, you're inheriting mostly bad food consumption habits. Yeah. And you sort of inherit those if you will, from your parents. And you have to recognize that that even if you grew up eating processed foods and junk foods and, and you're, you know, your mom or dad thought that Crisco was good and vegetable oils are good, because that's the way it is. That's, you know, that's how my parents work because they bought into this.
DR. KNOBBE: And so you keep doing the same thing. And now, you know, now all of a sudden, your twenties, thirties, fifties, whatever, and you start getting these diseases. Maybe you're gaining weight and you're developing, you know, the risks for heart disease or, or whatever, or, or macular degeneration. And what you really have inherited is that eating pattern. You have to, you have to change that.
DARLENE: So, Chris, one of the things that I also hear from clients and friends is, well, you know, “We cooked real food when we were growing up.” But I know in your book, you kind of zeroed in on about five different foods. And maybe we should talk about that because you know, you've said white flour.
DARLENE: And, but what does that do? What does white flour do? What does that slice of bread, let's get it down to, you know, it's that toast that you have in the morning, especially if it's dry toast, you know, how does that maybe break down your health in some way or another?
DR. KNOBBE: Right, so if you just take wheat or flour alone, so the entire world could only have whole-grain wheat up until the year 1880. And that year was the year that roller mill technology was introduced. And roller mill technology could shear away the bran and germ of wheat and give us a completely refined white flour. Well, what does that mean when you shear away the bran and the germ? You're removing the B vitamins, E vitamins, fiber, minerals, omega-3 and omega-6 fats. And what that, now what you have is a nutrient deficient food. And, so this contributes to your nutrient deficiencies. And in 1879, we consumed twice as much wheat in the United States as we did a hundred years later in 1979. And so these authors that say, “Well, this is all about wheat.” No, I don't really believe it's the wheat in and of itself is necessarily the problem. It's the fact that in the United States today, wheat is about 20% of our diet. It's 20% of the world's diet. And in the United States, 85.3% of that recently was determined to be refined white wheat flour, meaning that, that means 17% of the American's diet right there is nutrient deficient food, which is kind of like sugar, just no nutrients. That's the big part of it.
DARLENE: Yeah it is. So Joann, let's talk, let's maybe Chris could talk a little bit about…
JOANN: Right. What about the sugar and the high fructose corn syrup? I mean, you talked about white flour being kind of like sugar now, but what about sugar itself and the high fructose corn syrup?
DR. KNOBBE: Right. So I, you know, I think, sugar, I'm not going to defend sugar. Sugar is 21% of the American diet today. If you looked back 300 years ago, it was almost zero. We consumed 20 grams of sugar in 1865 in the United States. And, by 1999, we were at our, the pinnacle of sugar consumption. And it was something like 140 grams per person per day. In other words, sugar between 1822 and 1999 went up 17-fold. Sugar is a nutrient deficient food. There's no micronutrients, no vitamins, no minerals. So, so here we go. So we've got wheat: 17% of the, of the diet being nutrient deficient sugar; 21% of the diet being nutrient deficient. I think that right there is the biggest problem with it. Now sugar can drive and contribute to metabolic disease, certainly when the, when the dose is really high, but it has to be really high, to, you know, to get to the level where it's damaging to the liver and so forth and contributing to diabetes.
DARLENE: Well, you know, you know, you say really high, and we have clients who come in that's been drinking six Cokes a day or 10 Cokes a day, or, you know, and it's, it's really easy to get to that really high damaging effect of just high-fructose corn syrup or sugar.
DR. KNOBBE: Oh gosh. At that level that that's, that's the recipe for disaster. You’re nutrient deficient and you're adding to, you're just severely adding to your risk of metabolic syndrome. And, and at that, at those levels, if you're drinking that much sugar, that, that, that would be a potentially severe risk.
DARLENE: So the other one that I think would be really interesting and important to talk about is the vegetable oils. I mean, we talk about it all the time over and over on the show, but you know, the soybean oil, the corn oil, the cottonseed; all of those. And how does that go about damaging your eyes?
DR. KNOBBE: Yes. So there is, I, let me just say, first of all, I think that Americans, I think the world is obsessed using oils. And, to, to get to the bottom line here, I, you know, I am now telling people, I think the easiest thing to do is just eliminate all oils from your diet and use traditional animal fats, which means for most people just use 100 percent grass-fed butter for all of your cooking, everything.
DARLENE: We love it.
DR. KNOBBE: But the damaging oils, they are, just so people know, they are soybean, corn, canola, cottonseed, rapeseed, grapeseed, sunflower, safflower, and rice brand. You can see I've said this a million times. And, but those oils: those account for about 97 to 98% of the oils in the American diet, and you really could almost throw olive oil in there because 79% of olive oil in the United States is adulterated with these cheap oils.
DR. KNOBBE: People don’t know it. They think they're getting good olive oil and they're not. They're getting adulterated olive oil. And I don't care what the label says. I don't trust hardly any of them. I hate to say it, but, okay. The question is, is what are these do to us? These oils: these contain huge amounts of omega-6 fats. And that omega-6 fat primarily is linoleic acid, 18 carbon omega-6 fat. These fats accumulate in our fats.
They accumulate in our cell membranes. They accumulate in our mitochondria or the powerhouses of the cell, and they are pro-oxidative, meaning they cause oxidation. This is like rusting inside the body. And in a sense they are pro-inflammatory, meaning they drive all, they drive a severe level of inflammation. They are toxic. We can come back to that. And they are nutrient deficient. They don't have vitamins A, D and K2 like the healthy animal fats like butter, for example. All right. So you put all that mixed together, pro-oxidative, pro-inflammatory, toxic and nutrient deficient. Now you've got the perfect storm, the perfect recipe to maim, to maim you to, to malign your metabolism, and to drive all of the diseases of civilization. Ultimately, these seed oils are cytotoxic, meaning they kill cells directly. They're genotoxic meaning they alter gene function. There are mutagenic, meaning they mutate DNA; carcinogenic, atherogenic meaning they're they're inducing atherosclerosis. They are obesogenic, meaning they induce obesity, right? How could it get any worse?
JOANN: It can’t.
DR. KNOBBE: And what are we told to avoid? Saturated fat. The one fat, you know, the saturated fat and the monounsaturated fat like you would get primarily in a good, nice grass-fed steak, those are incredibly healthy. And the polyunsaturated fat, the omega-6 in steak is extremely low. And I can give you some numbers if you want.
JOANN: We would love to get more of that as soon as we come back from break.
DARLENE: Chris, you did a great job.
JOANN: That was amazing. What a mouthful, right? So you are listening to Dishing Up Nutrition brought to you by Nutritional Weight and Wellness. There are 13 essential vitamins that you, that are critical to every human being. And you just mentioned some of those, including fat soluble vitamin A, vitamin D vitamin E, vitamin K plus all the water soluble vitamins, all the B vitamins and vitamin C. So research has found that 34% of the U.S. adult population was below the recommended level for vitamin A and 74% were below the recommended light level for vitamin D. And wild-caught salmon is a good food source for both vitamin A and D. Supplementing with two teaspoons of a high quality cod liver oil and a high quality vitamin D daily is also recommended.
DARLENE: Well welcome back to Dishing Up Nutrition. What a great show this is.
DARLENE: So, just welcome back. We're going to continue our conversation. And I think, Joann, we were going to continue a little bit of more questions about fats, right?
JOANN: A little bit more information about fat. You were talking about the polyunsaturated and hydrogenated and how toxic they are. And did you have any other information to add on that?
DR. KNOBBE: Sure. So, yeah. Do we have four hours?
JOANN: I wish.
DARLENE: Hey, Chris, you're coming back.
JOANN: Yeah, we're going to get you back. We haven't gotten through half of what we want to talk about today.
DR. KNOBBE: I have so much to say. Ok, let me do this very quickly though. All right. All natural fats have three kinds of fats: saturated fat, monounsaturated fat and polyunsaturated fat. So if you take, for example, a T-bone steak from a grass-fed cow, which is fantastically healthy, by the way, these, you might have around 46%, somewhere in this range, saturated fat, maybe 52% monounsaturated fat. Realize these numbers vary. They're not the same from animal to animal.
DARLENE: It depends on what they eat.
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah, it depends on what they eat and their age and all kinds of things. So I'm just giving you some ballpark ideas. And that animal might also have about 2% polyunsaturated fat. What is the polyunsaturated fat or the PUFAs? That is omega-6 and omega-3 together. All right.
DR. KNOBBE: Okay, 2%. Keep that in mind, ladies and gentlemen. And so now think about this: the seed oils: they could range anywhere from, and I'm going to include olive oil here for a moment. They can range anywhere from around 2% total PUFA or omega-6 and omega-3 up to around 75 or 80% PUFAs. Right? So you cannot get… all-natural foods are very low in the PUFAs, right? And so, but the only, but these vegetable oils, they're not natural. And so in on average, you're probably going to get in the range of 30 to 55% PUFAs, or this omega, you know, not quite that high omega-6, but the PUFAs in these, these, vegetable oils. So for example, soybean oil is 55% PUFA: polyunsaturated.
DARLENE: Chris, why's that a problem?
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah, because, so again, so then if you think about this, if we were, if, if you were only eating healthy-raised animal fats, most of those are going to, they're going to have PUFAs down in the range of around 2%, whereas, if you're getting 30 or 50% of the, of the fat in a vegetable oil being PUFA, now those are accumulating, that omega-6 is accumulating in your fat and in your cells and your cell membranes and your mitochondria. And is again, we're going back to now, it's going to drive this pro-oxidative, pro-inflammatory toxic effect, and it's going to be destructive to the mitochondrial function. And the mitochondria, your energy powerhouse of the cell is going to become dysfunctional. And what will happen is, is that you will begin to lose energy. You'll begin to lose weight. I mean, you'll begin to gain weight because those cells will begin to store that fat because they can't properly burn fats for fuel now. That energy production will shut down in the cell. That leads to things like cancers, cell death, which leads to neurodegenerative conditions like Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, macular degeneration. And the metabolic dysfunction leads to insulin resistance, which drives metabolic syndrome, which drives non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type-two diabetes.
And the cellular failure leads to heart failure. So again, I could just go on and on, but the ramifications are just enormous. And this is exactly what's also driving macular degeneration. One of the things in macular degeneration that parallels all these other diseases is they're all tied together by mitochondrial dysfunction, which is driven by too much omega-6 fat. And that's what all these… So again, it's interesting, but why would atherosclerosis, hardening of the arteries, heart failure, type-two diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and macular degeneration, why would they have mitochondrial dysfunction? They all have it because they're tied together because omega-six fats are driving all of this, primarily.
DARLENE: So Chris, I know we only have about two minutes, but would you talk about cataracts because everyone says that they have to have cataract surgery. You know, I'm 82.
DR. KNOBBE: Yes.
DARLENE: I don't have cataracts yet.
DARLENE: I'll wait until I'm a hundred.
DR. KNOBBE: I'm going to say this, let me qualify this because I have not done original research on this and cataracts, but in general, I would say that we do know that things like smoking and type-two diabetes, you know, drives much earlier cataracts. And so, in a sense, cataracts are driven by a pro-oxidative, pro-inflammatory effect, and nutrient deficiencies as well. So we're kind of coming back to that. So definitely an ancestral diet, like you're following, Dar, and we're all I'm sure all of us are following. Anyway, that is by far the best way to try to prevent cataracts.
DARLENE: It isn't, not everyone has to have cataracts. I mean, that's the other thing that I think people believe that just as they get older, they have to have cataracts.
JOANN: Right. And I've always heard a strong sugar connection to cataracts as well.
DR. KNOBBE: Yeah. And I think that comes back to the fact that it's going to, you know, the, the, the people eating a lot of sugar, they're usually consuming seed oils too, because they're consuming processed foods. They go together. So you're driving all that at the same time.
DARLENE: Chris, you have been just a fantastic guest. Thank you!
JOANN: Yes. Thank you. We would love to have you back.
DR. KNOBBE: Thank you, Joann, Dar. It's really been an honor and a pleasure.
JOANN: So our goal is to help each and every person experience better health through eating real food. A simple yet powerful message. Eating real food is life-changing. Thank you for listening and have a safe and healthy holiday season.