An alarming number of Americans are in poor health, but the root cause is perhaps more sinister than the poor metabolic health afflicting majority of the country. One physician is sounding the alarm on one culprit in particular: ultra-processed foods.
“For every 10% of your calories [that] is ultra-processed food, your risk of death goes up by 14%… And our diet is 60% ultra-processed food, and kids are 67%. It’s a national emergency,” Physician Dr. Mark Hyman told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. “There’s 6 million people [who] have died from COVID globally, but 11 million people die every year from bad food.”
While on Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today,” Dr. Hyman outlined how ultra-processed foods, or foods “unrecognizable from its original form,” dominate American diets and cause a multitude of illnesses many wrongfully try to treat with medicines – arguing nutrition itself can play a pivotal role in preventing and treating numerous illnesses.
“Cancer primarily is caused by food and environmental toxins. What kind of food? Sugar,” Dr. Hyman told Carlson, Tuesday. “We know clearly that pancreatic cancer, colon cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer, many of the common cancers, pancreatic cancer, are caused by something called insulin resistance, which is basically pre-diabetes or poor metabolic health.”
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In addition to physical illness, Dr. Hyman also detailed during the Fox Nation episode how nutrition can have a positive impact on mental health.
“At Harvard, there’s a department, nutritional psychiatry. They study similar things as well as the gut microbiome,” Dr. Hyman said. “There is a doctor at Harvard, Christopher Palmer, [who] wrote a book called Brain Energy, talking about how he’s cured schizophrenia and other mental disorders by putting people on a very low-sugar or starch diet.”
The physician also highlighted the SMILEs trial in Australia which observed whether dietary interventions could be used to treat depression.
“[Researchers] found that [dietary changes] worked better than drugs,” Dr. Hyman said. “And it is basically getting rid of the junk food and eating real food.”
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Another study Dr. Hyman referenced involved juvenile detention centers which he said saw that making a swap to healthy food led to a 97% reduction in overall violence, a 75% reduction in restraints and a 100% reduction in suicides.
During the Fox Nation show, the physician affirmed “absolutely the data is there” with respect to ultra-processed foods having a negative impact on overall health, and that the current Standard American Diet (SAD) is the “biggest killer” in society.
“Our food system is the biggest killer on the planet.” – Dr. Mark Hyman
“93.2% of Americans are in poor metabolic health, meaning they have some form of pre-diabetes or insulin resistance,” he explained. “They have high blood sugar, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. They’re overweight or they’ve had a heart attack or stroke. That means 6.8% of us are not sick at some level. And that poor metabolic health is driving all these conditions, whether it’s cancer, heart disease, diabetes, dementia, depression, infertility, so many different things, even acne.”
“Our food system is the biggest killer on the planet.”
While further unpacking the nutrition and food system in America, Dr. Hyman criticized many narratives surrounding food and diets which he argues are impacting Americans’ decision-making for the worse. He noted that, once Americans recognize the inherent problem with ultra-processed foods, they can make changes to help their health.
“If you understand that it’s a dangerous substance and there’s no real safe level, then you can actually start to organize your life so you can change the way you’re eating, create your health, and then you’re not going to crave it,” Dr. Hyman told Carlson.
Catch more on how to combat this “national emergency” on a special episode of Fox Nation’s “Tucker Carlson Today.”
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