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- 03:23 About Rocky Angelucci
- 04:55 Small farming in America today
- 07:26 The FDA vs. Individual Freedom
- 11:24 Big Agra vs. Small Farmers
- 12:57 The Food Safety Modernization Act
- 16:20 The “Dangers” of Pasture-raised Poultry
- 18:19 Small dairy farms seized by the government
- 20:06 Getting involved
- 24:03 Don’t Die Early
- 25:38 Assessing heart attack risk
- 28:03 Cholesterol & heart disease
- 33:56 Diabetes
- 44:00 Most pressing health issue in the world today
- 46:24 More about Rocky Angelucci
Wendy Myers: Hello, my name is Wendy Myers. Welcome to the Live to 110 Podcast. You can find me on Liveto110.com. Today, we’re going to be talking about our small farms in danger of going instinct.
Our guest today is Rocky Angelucci. I met him on Jimmy Moore’s Livin’ La Vida Low Carb Cruise. I was very moved by his presentation regarding how Big Agra is pretty much is taking over the agriculture sphere and helping to put small farms out of business by creating regulations that are very expensive for them to follow. Many small farms are going out of business. We’re going to talk about some of those issues today on the podcast.
I’m really, really excite. I found an editor finally for my book at Waterside Publishing. This is a huge milestone. And so hopefully, if all the edits go right and the book looks good for them (if they can use it), I will be getting an agent. I’m really, really excited about that.
I was going to just go the self-publishing route on Amazon, but things have taken a good turn and so I’m hoping very soon – hopefully, it’ll be now in 2015 because the publishers take a while to get their books ready, ready for press, et cetera. So there’s going to be likely a delay in publishing, but I’m very much looking forward to go in that traditional publishing route if they will have me.
And so today, everyone, our guest is Rocky Angelucci. He’s an everyday 40-something person who became frustrated much like yourself at today’s health and nutrition advice. It’s just all over the place. It’s very difficult to make sense of what is good advice and what is bad advice. After several years of research in self-testing, he has written a book that we’re going to discuss today called Don’t Die Early that he released in 2012.
He’s not a doctor or a healthcare professional. He has a background in chemistry and mathematics. He’s currently a technical writer. He has worked in the fields of medical device development, nanotechnology and software development. What he has really been determined to do was separate good advice from the bad.
In the past couple of years, he’s had some really incredible improvements in his lipid health, his cardiovascular fitness, body mass, blood glucose and inflammation indicators, which I’m sure many of you would enjoy and he has subscribed his whole journey and how to do this in his book, Don’t Die Early. Much of what he’s done has ignored conventional medical advice in favor of more forward-thinking clinicians and researchers that are practicing today and many of those, we met on the Low Carb Cruise, Dr. Eric Westman, Dr. Adam Nally and Jeffry Gerber. They were talking all about how to improve your health parameters with a low carb diet.
Thank you so much for coming on the show, Rocky.
Rocky Angelucci: Thank you. It’s wonderful to be here.
Wendy Myers: So why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit about yourself and why you’ve become so passionate about the rights of small farmers.
Rocky Angelucci: Like you mentioned, I’m just an everyday guy. I became interested in a healthier lifestyle a few years ago when I started writing ’Don’t Die Early’. When I started investigating the root causes of the diseases of the diseases that plague us today, it became very obvious that probably the biggest factor in our health is the food we choose to eat.
From there, it awakened in me a desire to love for healthy, high-quality foods that have been lacking in most people’s diet today. And from there, I very shortly recognize that the people who produce those foods, the small, independent farmers are very much under attack today, economically, legislatively and often, violently under attack. As you mentioned, they are on the fast path to becoming extinct.
Wendy Myers: It really blew me away. Like yourself, I started reading about healthy food and organic food. And then you happen upon articles about how a raw dairy farm was raided or shut down. You can help but feel for these farmers because they probably don’t have a huge margin. They don’t have a huge bank account. They’re making a living and yet the government comes in and shuts them down or takes all of their inventory.
Wendy Myers: Why don’t you tell some of the issues surrounding small farmers today like some of the startling statistics in America’s food production.
Rocky Angelucci: I was stunned to learn that 90% of these small dairies have gone out of business since the 1970s in favor of the large, massive dairies and that 85% of the food we eat today is produced by a mere 12% of the farms in existence. These are clear indications that the small farmer is being replaced by the growing, large agribusiness.
Wendy Myers: What about farmmade.org. You already said that 12% of the farms in the U.S. produce 85% of our nation’s food. That’s unbelievable. We see that in the genetically-modified food. I’m sure a large percentage of that is GMO food that we find in so many restaurants and in so many plates today that are making people sick.
So what are some of the issues facing small farmers today that are forcing many of them to go out of business?
Rocky Angelucci: I think a couple of the biggest things are probably the food safety efforts that the federal government is making that are so substantially skewed in favor of the large agribusiness and are so damaging to the small farmer.
The reason for this is not a mystery to me. If you look at the rosters of these organizations, of the FDA and the USCA and the policy-makers, you’ll see that they’re the who’s who of key people from large industry who are rotating in the revolving door between government service and large industry. So naturally, when a set of rules and regulations are drafted to promote food safety, they’re going to be skewed in favor of those with the greatest benefit, the large agribusiness.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I was shocked when I was watching your presentation that Hilary Clinton actually was an attorney for Monsanto and now she’s big in government (she was the first lady for many, many years). It was very shocking to me. It kind of took her down a few notches in my book. I really, really liked her.
It’s sad that so many people are working for Monsanto and some of these large agribusinesses. Monsanto produces GMO seeds, genetically-modified, genetically-engineered seeds. And then these people that work for that agency go into government and they’re making the legislation. This is all planned. It’s a big conspiracy.
Wendy Myers: Can you talk a little bit more about that and maybe the FDA position on individual freedoms?
Rocky Angelucci: The FDA is rather startling in their opinion of our individual liberties when it comes to food. In their legal responses to various challenges, they’ve made it clear that they believe we have absolutely no right to personal freedom of food choice, we have no right to unfettered access to foods of all kinds. In fact, they say historically, as citizens of the country, we have never had the right to eat whatever foods we wish. It’s always been up to the government to decide what foods are safe.
And even if we could show that we have a fundamental right to foods of our own choosing under say a constitutional right to health and the pursuit of happiness, that their right to insure public health trumps all of that. We very simply are only allow to eat what they choose.
Most startling was even private individuals, say two folks who wanted to share the cost of a cow and then share the milk that the cow produces, if the government says, “That’s not allowed,” then that’s not allowed even if there’s no commerce involved or money exchanging or product being sold whatsoever. We have no right to private food contract.
Wendy Myers: Tell us that story you talked about in your presentation where there was a farm in Vermont and the family purchased a bunch of sheep from Europe – it was sheep, correct? – and that they wanted to have a sheep farm and grow sheep’s milk or produce sheep’s milk and things like that. What happened to them?
Rocky Angelucci: This is documented in Kristin Canty’s wonderful documentary, Farmageddon. The family, the wife was a mad cow researcher and the husband was a PhD animal scientist, they decided to import some sheep from New Zealand and start a new sheep dairy.
The sheep were perfectly healthy. They were quarantined before they came over here and examined for months and examined here after they arrived for months. They were perfectly healthy. But in order to appear competent and active in the public eyes, the USDA decided that they needed to take a stance against mad cow disease, which is a headline news item at the time.
So to appear active, to protect us from mad cow disease, the USDA decided that these sheeps were a risk. Even though sheep had never been infected with mad cow disease in the history of the planet earth and even though these sheep had been proven to be completely healthy with numerous test, they simply decided, “We’re going to come to your farm, confiscate these sheep and destroy them.”
The family, of course, responded with a legal challenge and called in a testimony of experts and tried to convince the USDA that they were wrong in their actions. And without even waiting for the legal machinery to complete its investigation of the matter, the USDA showed up at 4 a.m. with armed federal agents, seized the sheeps, removed them and destroyed them without any cause whatsoever.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, it’s just heartbreaking because these families worked so hard. These are very expensive animals and they’re just immediately put out of business. This is happening all the time.
Rocky Angelucci: It’s not just happening in the United States. I just read about a case of a woman in Canada earlier this year, the exact same thing. Without any evidence whatsoever that her animals were diseased in any way and despite evidence to the contrary that they were perfectly healthy, they were seized and destroyed. She’s even facing criminal penalties for trying to sequester these healthy animals, so they wouldn’t be seized while she was challenging the process in the legal system.
Wendy Myers: And so why is this happening? I mean, obviously, there’s the big agra. They pay to get certain laws passed. They lobby, they get laws passed and they do other, I guess, if you will, corrupt things to put small farmers out of business. Can you talk a little bit about that?
Rocky Angelucci: I think it’s a number of factors. As we’ve talked about, the revolving door between industry and the policy-makers obviously is in a very skewed perception as well as financial interest, but I think also, politically, these organizations feel like if we’re not acting in some way, we’re not showing the public that we’re in charge and that we’re the experts and they have to constantly be doing something. There’s such a fear of appearing incompetent that they’ll act rashly.
I think there’s an author, David Freeman who wrote a book called Wrong: Why the Experts Often Fail Us and the companion book to that that I think is a wonderful book is called Mistakes We Made, But Not By Me.
Wendy Myers: I’ve seen that.
Rocky Angelucci: These two books examine really well how we might be really wonderful individuals, but as we form collections and agencies and policy-making groups, we get dumber and more evil, if you will, because politics and ego and fear take over and as organizations, we do things that we, as individuals would find horrific.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, yeah.
Wendy Myers: And I think another thing that’s horrific is the Food Safety Modernization Act. I think it’s going to do nothing to ensure food safety. Can you talk a little bit about these laws that are being enacted right now?
Rocky Angelucci: Absolutely. The The Food Safety Modernization Act came out of a number of food-borne illnesses that occurred in the 2000s. It alarmed a lot of people, so the FDA decided they needed to step in and make our food safer.
Well, with predictable results, the details of the act are skewed in favor of the large business and crushingly burdensome to the small farmer. In fact, the USDA in analyzing the FDA’s Food Safety Modernization Act said they don’t believe it’s going to make any difference in our health whatsoever despite the burden it places on these small farmers.
Examples are small farmers who use organic practices are being forced to treat their compost as harmful materials because it has bacteria in it. So they’re being told that organic compost has to set idle and unused for up to nine months before they’re allowed to use it so that all the bacteria in this compost dies.
Composting has been used for centuries, for thousands of centuries without any unsafe results. Nature is bacteria. Harmful bacteria is usually driven out by beneficial bacteria in our bodies and in the soil. It’s a natural part of fermentation and composting into demand that only approved pesticides and fertilizers be used at the cost of the expensive organic farming. It’s just outrageous.
Wendy Myers: We’re always hearing in the news about salmonella in spinach and eggs and other outbreaks. We know that most of these outbreaks are not happening on smaller farms, yet they must comply with the difficult regulations that have little chance of even preventing them on factory farms.
So how are these outbreaks being handled in a way that hurt small farmers?
Rocky Angelucci: The small farmers are most affected by legislation that feels good, but does nothing. Small egg farmers are being told that a big risk to hens is that they actually interact with nature and that’s bad. So pastured hens who might interact with other birds need to be entirely covered, entirely. An entire pasture needs to be covered so that they can be safe like the tens of thousands of hens in the large factory produces have nice, safe hens in these warehouses where the hens are crammed together, thousands of them in a square meter and…
Wendy Myers: …running around their feces.
Rocky Angelucci: So this huge perspective defines factory hens wallowing in their own feces is healthy and free, pasture-raised hens that truly roam and eat bugs and enjoy the outside is a risk, that kind of skewed perspective permeates the The Food Safety Modernization Act.
Wendy Myers: So what exactly is happening with the free range hens? By pressuring to eliminate the free range hens, by claiming that outdoor hens must be entirely covered, how is that costing the small farmers money?
Rocky Angelucci: Well, how many small farmers with razor thin margins can afford to cover a pasture, entirely cover a pasture so hens can roam freely?
Moreover, from what I understand not being a farmer myself, it makes a lot of sense to constantly rotate where the hens are feeding, so they don’t overburden the soil, so their feces don’t build up. So the hens might be in one part of the pasture for a few days or week and then, move to another part of the pasture for a few days or week, so that the soil can constantly be renewed and the grass that they trample can come back. It keeps the soil and the environment healthy as well as the hens. It totally crushes that entire model of a hen’s life that has been the way hens have lived for centuries.
Wendy Myers: And it’s funny. Because this Modernization Act is trying to prevent salmonella outbreaks, but the hens that are having the salmonella issues for the most part are the eggs grown in these factory farms.
Rocky Angelucci: Exactly. There’s a solution there. Let’s irradiate the eggs with microwaves or let’s pasteurize the eggs with heat and let’s give our hens more antibiotics and let’s spray them down with bleach.
Wendy Myers: I love how they feed them arsenic also to make them grow faster. I have some of my clients that eat a lot of chicken, just regular chicken, they have high arsenic levels on their hair test. We don’t know whether it’s from that, but I know the people that love to go to [inaudible 00:18:07] constantly, they tend to have a lot of arsenic because they’re eating those gross factory farm chickens.
Rocky Angelucci: It’s astonishing.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, it’s amazing how these animals are raised.
Wendy Myers: I also keep hearing the news about how the small farms are seized by the governments. There’s a lot of other examples in addition to the one that you mentioned about the sheep. What about the government seizing the raw dairy farms and going in and stealing – “stealing”, pretty much – and seizing all of their dairy or raw cheeses and things of that nature. Can you tell us a little bit about the issues surrounding the raw dairy farms and why it’s illegal in some states?
Rocky Angelucci: Some states have passed laws that say raw milk (which is primarily the milk that everyone drank until the late ‘50s) is dangerous, so it’s illegal. Obviously, that means they then have the power to treat folks who produce and try to sell raw milk the same as drug dealers, if you will.
Wendy Myers: I’m a drug dealer. I prescribe it to my clients.
Rocky Angelucci: What amazes me is if you examine the statistics, there just simply not there that raw milk is a health risk, but I can buy raw beef, I can buy raw chicken, I can eat raw beef, I can eat raw eggs and no one blinks. I don’t know why this has become such a highly contentious issue with such a violent, often violent response. And again, I think that’s back to the sociology of these organizations. They feel like they need to exhibit power and control because it helps them look competent in the eyes of the public, “They’re keeping us safe.”
Wendy Myers: So what can we do as individuals to stop the government takeover of our food supply and get involved?
Rocky Angelucci: I think the first thing we should do is recognize the value and the benefits of these high-quality foods that they’re producing. And then once we do that, we should stop buying foods that we don’t agree with. That will put more financial strength in the hands of these farmers. We’ll start buying from them directly as much as possible. We will restore I think the way it should be, the farmer raising the food and the customer buying the food from the farmer.
We should also be a lot more vocal to our politicians, to our policymakers. What they’re doing is wrong. Hearing from a few hundred of us doesn’t sway them at all, but hearing from tens of thousands of us starts to get their attention. They very simply need to be held accountable for what they’re doing.
Wendy Myers: Well, I belong to Cornucopia.org. They’re a wonderful organization that fights for small farmers rights and food legislation to protect healthy food. Are there any other organizations that you would recommend that people can get involved?
Rocky Angelucci: I’m a big fan of the Farm & Ranch Freedom Alliance who helps defend the right of the farmer to sell to the customer he chooses as well as the Farm to Consumer Defense Fund and Food Democracy Now as well. Food Democracy Now is very vocal in helping to pass legislation that requires GMO foods be labeled, so that we, as consumers have the right to choose what we put in our bodies.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, it’s amazing how any legislation for labeling GMO foods is completely quashed by the big agras spending tens of millions of dollars to win the vote of favoritism. It’s just baffling to me. I know one day, we will prevail because people want to know what’s on their food. I think it’s very important, like you said, to patronize the small farmers. Go to farmers’ markets. Buy your food from people that you know, the vendors and the farmers markets. Stop going to these large supermarkets. All the food there is supplied by big agra.
Stop buying the processed food. Stop going to patronizing restaurants that purchases food like cheesecake factory, et cetera, these large, nation-wide chains. They’re all buying the GMO big agra foods. So I guess that we can vote with our dollars.
Rocky Angelucci: It’s important to be informed. Otherwise, if a person goes to a grocery store and looks at a dozen eggs and it says ‘free-range eggs’ and they’re $1.79, it’s difficult for that person to understand why those eggs are $1.79 and then eggs from a farmer market from the farmer who raise them are $5 a dozen.
If they research a little bit and realize that ‘free-range’ on the $1.79 label is meaningless, it’s an absurdity and that the farmer who raised the eggs really did raise his hens in an environment where they roam freely in a pasture, eating their natural diet, they’ll see the difference and they’ll recognize it’s worth a few dollars, Starbucks a few times less often, but it’s worth it to put that kind of food in my family.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. And I think people also have to have realistic expectations about food prices. If they want the cheapest food that they can buy, that’s the food that’s produced by big agra and that’s the food that is not going to confer the health benefits of the food produced by a smaller farmer or a small egg producer or a small dairy producer. Yeah, it’s double, even triple the cost, but that is reflected in your health over decades of eating that food.
Rocky Angelucci: You’re going to either give it to the farmer or you’re going to give it to your doctor later.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, exactly, exactly.
Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about your book, Don’t Die Early: The Life You Save May Be Your Own, what is your book about and why did you write it?
Rocky Angelucci: Well, as you mentioned earlier, there’s a ton of conflicting information out there flying at us from all directions. Don’t eat fat, fat and grains. Don’t eat grains. Don’t worry about your blood glucose unless you’re a diabetes. This is what causes heart disease. This is what benefits. It’s easy to just go absolutely mad trying to figure it all out.
If someone who finds themselves waking up one day and saying, “I want to be healthier. I want to live a healthier lifestyle,” where do they begin? There’s just no way to sort through this in any meaningful way.
So I spent a couple of years of my life doing exactly that – analyzing, interviewing, researching medical journals that your doctor is probably too busy to read, reading hundreds and hundreds of studies and putting together a book that bridges the gap between some vague “I’d like to be healthier” and exactly what does that mean. The fallout of that was understanding the root causes of diabetes and heart disease and inflammatory disease not in any vague, unspecific way, but really understanding what causes those disease and why they’re so often overlooked today.
The last half of the book is a plan of action. It talks about specific tests we can have our doctor run or we can run ourselves to assess our condition and create a path for us uniquely tailored to our condition towards better health.
Wendy Myers: So you talk about assessing heart attack risk in your book (it’s one of the chapters) and that a lot of the tests, they’re ineffective for actually assessing heart attack risk. So why do heart attacks occur when we’re seemingly free of risk according to the typical test one receives from their doctor?
Rocky Angelucci: Very simply because the tests that most doctors run today look at indirect indicators. They’ll look at your blood pressure, they’ll look at your lipids, they’ll look at your family history and ask some lifestyle questions and then they try to turn that into a ‘risk of heart disease’. Based upon their perceived risk, they’ll offer advice about how likely you are. Or they might run stress test, which is quite inaccurate at predicting a heart attack risk.
According to noted cardiologist, William Davis, these standard tests that cardiologists run fail to predict heart attack 90% of the time. It’s simply because they’re looking at indirect indicators instead of looking at the true issue, “Do you or do you not have coronary artery disease?” We look, use an X-ray to check our leg to see if we’ve broken a bone. We look at cells under a microscope to see if a woman has cervical cancer. But if when we ask about heart disease, we don’t look at the heart to see if we have coronary plaque.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. That’s so odd. I know Jeffry Gerber had talked about some tests he was doing where they can actually look inside the artery. This is a revolutionary test. They look at inside the artery to see if there’s actual blockage.
Rocky Angelucci: And it might amaze most people to know that blockages that are even assessed by the more advanced means like coronary angiography, blockages only can amount to 30% of heart attacks. The other 70% are not caused by coronary plaque that forms blockages. It’s simply that that’s what we’re best able to examine so that’s where we focus, blockages.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, I heard that some heart attacks can be precipitated by extremely low magnesium level as well. A lot of heart patients, they desperately need to supplement magnesium.
Rocky Angelucci: Most of us are deficient in magnesium.
Wendy Myers: Yeah.
Wendy Myers: Let’s talk about one of my favorite topic, which is cholesterol. My father had heart disease as well, the whole metabolic syndrome. He was in statin, the cholesterol-lowering medication for ten years. I felt like it was a gateway drug for him because statins destroy health. They destroy your body’s ability to protect itself because cholesterol is a protective nutrient. It’s a productive substance that we need to repair our bodies.
And so there’s so many misconceptions in the media about cholesterol, which I think are all propagandas by big pharma to sell the #1 profitable drug, statins. What is the truth regarding cholesterol and why do we need it to be healthy?
Rocky Angelucci: Cholesterol is vitally important. It is so important that virtually every cell in your body has the ability to make cholesterol. It is a principal component in cell membranes. It’s the backbone for most of every hormone in your body – testosterone, estrogen, Vitamin D. All of these hormones in your body are dependent upon a cholesterol background. It is very simply the principal building block of our bodies, especially of our brains.
Wendy Myers: Our brains are 25% cholesterol. That’s a side effect for my father. He was a brilliant man, a voracious reader. Towards the end of his life, because he’d been on these statins for so long, he could barely think. He had such horrible brain fog because your brain doesn’t have what it needs to work anymore.
Rocky Angelucci: Folks like Gary Taubes have written extensively on the perfect storm of factors that came to be to drive home these low fat ‘cholesterol is bad’ myth that has taken such a damaging foot hold in our society. Like you alluded to, it’s economic, it’s the massive marketing machinery of those who benefit financially from the sale of statins. The fact that continuing education for physicians is overhwhelmingly provided by pharmaceutical companies, it helps these anti-cholesterol, pro-statin message to take hold and propagate for the last 30 or 40 years.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, it’s amazing to me. I have client after client after client that when I have a consultation with them, no matter what they have (i.e. they have diabetes), doctors write out a statin. Even if they don’t high cholesterol, it’s to prevent high cholesterol. If they’re obese, they’re given a statin medication. They’re just across the board. So many physicians are just writing these prescriptions.
Rocky Angelucci: If there’s any truth to the assertion that lipids play a role in heart disease, I believe it’s that the characteristics of our lipid particles are far more important than the total amount.
LDL has been vilified across the board, but it is a hugely important component except it has the potential to be extremely small, dense LDL particles that can lodge into arterial cracks and fissures caused by inflammation and elevated glucose levels and that these oxidized small, dense LDL particles that lodge into cracks and fissures can become plaque formation, that is a testimony to me to the benefits of large, fluffy, healthy LDL and not that LDL itself is bad in any way.
There are even cardiologists that say heart disease is primarily a disease of glycation (elevated glucose levels), inflammation and oxidation. If you control those three, your lipids don’t matter in the slightest. So it’s obvious to me after years of research now that cholesterol has been so misrepresented to us that it’s unsurprising that heart disease is so rampant as it is today.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, and one of the ways to control cholesterol to prevent the items you just mentioned are to get rid of most grains, sugar and oxidized oils like the big industry vegetable seed oils and things like that. Those things produce the problems that lead to the problems of the cholesterol.
Rocky Angelucci: There are many people who say that inflammation is the root cause of virtually every disease we face and I believe the single biggest factor to inflammation is the incredible levels of Omega 6 in the average American diet primarily because of industrialized oils that have been promoted as the healthier oil like coconut oil and avocado oil. Even saturated fat from healthy animals has been demonized and vilified so extensively.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, people are shocked when I say they can’t have canola oil because they just have been sold from marketing ploys that that’s healthy and it’s actually the exact opposite.
Rocky Angelucci: Crisco is crystallized cotton seed oil. It became a food product after electricity and electric light became prevalent and the manufacturers of candles saw their disappearing. Cotton seed oil was a primary component in candle manufacturing at the time, so in their brainstorm marketing, brainstorming sessions, they said, “Let’s just turn it into a food product and we still have a market for our cotton seed oil.” And there came Crisco.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Yeah, it’s amazing. It’s like cooking your food in plastic essentially. People, they thrive on it. It’s one of the best-selling products. It’s in all fast foods. It’s in all processed foods, all fast foods. It’s unbelievable.
Wendy Myers: So let’s talk about your chapter in the book on diabetes. Recently, I wasn’t surprised when a friend of mind was diagnosed with diabetes. She had a terrible diet, not a healthy lifestyle. And so I really just don’t understand why more people aren’t checking their blood sugar levels especially when they’re at risk (because it’s such a simple test to do).
You mention in your book that you think that everyone should be aware of their blood glucose levels. Can you explain why and what some of the misconceptions are about glucose levels?
Rocky Angelucci: The reason everyone should be aware of their glucose level is very simple. Every single time that a person’s blood glucose is elevated, they are suffering harm. Their body is being damaged. Some research says anything over 100 mg/dL or 120 or 130, some even say 95 – that number might differ from individual to individual, but there’s no debate that every time your blood sugar spikes, you’re suffering harm.
The most cruelest of ironies, one of the first part of your body to be damaged by elevated glucose level is the pancreatic beta cells, the cells that produce insulin in your body, which mean it is very fast becoming a self-serving spiral where elevated glucose levels damage your pancreas’ ability to produce insulin, which cause elevated glucose level, which accelerates the death of your pancreatic beta cells. That is very simply the progression of type II diabetes.
The misconception about glucose are abundant. First, most physicians don’t realize and never counsel their patients against elevated glucose levels. Second, we only look at fasting. Even in an annual physical, they might look at a person’s fasting glucose. As long as it’s below 100 or a 110, they say, “Nah, don’t worry about it. You’re feeding.”
The body is going to do everything it can to keep your glucose in an optimum range, which means the fasting glucose is the very last thing to break. Decades after you’re experiencing elevated glucose levels and are harming you in immeasurable ways, your fasting glucose will still be normal as your body strains to produce more and more and more insulin to keep that glucose levels in its normal range. And by the time fasting glucose breaks, you’re already a diabetic.
Wendy Myers: That’s just the standard test. That’s the standard test all the doctors are using. They’re not using any other tests, are they – standardized, standardized tests?
Rocky Angelucci: Exactly. Fasting glucose is fast and simple, so that’s what they check. Even the ADA says that’s an equivalent indicator of diabetic health to – it used to be the gold standard glucose tolerance test or anything else. But if we started looking at our postprandial (that is afterwe eat) glucose levels, now when we’re in our teens or twenties and realizing when our glucose spikes and eats to avoid that, we’re avoiding the damaging effects of elevated glucose on our body decades before traditional testing shows us we have a problem.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. By then, all the damage is done and the disease spirals out of control.
Rocky Angelucci: Exactly. Physicians rarely even check fasting insulin level. Now if I had the same fasting glucose as you, but I have to produce five times amount of insulin in order to keep that glucose in a healthy range, obviously, I’m way more insulin dependent. That’s a very important indicator, but rarely is that examined.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. Yeah, I think people – kind of a false sense of security. They get diabetes, they can just take the insulin pill or insulin shots. That’s a very difficult hormone to regulate in the body. It changes every second. The body is constantly monitoring and changing it. Even my father, he was taking shots of insulin after every meal, it got to the point where he was taking 500 units of insulin a day and even that wasn’t controlling his diabetes.
So what I want people to know is that you can’t feel like you get diabetes or you’re diagnosed, it’s not that simple as taking insulin. It’s very difficult to control even under the care of a medical doctor. My father’s doctor couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t keep it under control. He was taking enough insulin to kill a horse. When that happens, people are taking a lot of insulin, it’s the hormone that tells you to store fat, they get fatter, fatter and fatter and they have even more trouble controlling their blood sugar levels.
Rocky Angelucci: Exactly. One of the lecturers said on the Low Carb Cruise, every fat cell in your body is an endocrine gland. As we get fatter, it causes hormonal disruptions that make good health even more difficult. The role of insulin in the body is not primarily to regulate glucose. It’s primarily a growth factor, which is why so many studies link elevated glucose and insulin levels with increased cancer risk, cancer of all kinds.
And when you couple that with the American Diabetes Association’s guidelines on blood glucose, “Nah, don’t worry about anything unless it’s over 175 or 200,” when you look at that advice and you see that even diabetes who try very rigorously to control their blood glucose, how the odds are stacked against them, you can see why diabetic complications (one of which being heart disease) are so prevalent.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, and I think it’s also telling that there’s this clear disease process going on. For instance, my father had it. He started the statins. We know do statins do cause diabetes in some people. When he has the diabetes, taking the insulin and insulin causes cancer (the insulin-dependent cancers). And then he died of his cancer (or he actually died of his cancer treatments). I think there’s a lot of people on this disease process path that starts with statins. So in my book, it’s all interrelated.
Rocky Angelucci: I think one of the biggest problems that medicine has today is the fractionalize way that we view various disease states. We have a list of ten thousand diseases that are on daily headlines today. Each disease has its own culture, its own language, its own practitioners, its own medicine, its own support group. That causes us to ignore the fact that most of our diseases today share a common three or four root causes that are so preventable – inflammation, excess glucose, oxidation. These are core inputs that we’re all failing to address. We’re focusing instead on the ten thousand different outcomes and that’s not really the factor.
Wendy Myers: Yeah. And I think the other two factors are mineral deficiencies and heavy metal/chemical toxicities, as well. I think these are big contributing factors that are the underlying causes of so many diseases as well.
I know with my clients, once we start correcting those imbalance (we reduce the toxins and increase the minerals), their health symptoms start going away. It just disappear or at least, significantly reverse.
Rocky Angelucci: The body has an amazing to heal and repair itself.
Wendy Myers: Yes.
Rocky Angelucci: …if fed properly to micronutrients and minerals and if the damaging factors are removed.
Wendy Myers: Yes. And so what are some of the things that you propose in your book to reverse the disease process.
Wendy Myers: First, the diet. It comes down to diet. Eating in such a way as to reduce inflammation and glycation is key. That means removing any food that elevates your blood glucose. As Jenny Ruhl in Diabetes 101 says, “Eat to your meter. Let your meter be your guide whether you’re eating well or not.”
I don’t care what anyone says and the diet they recommend. If you eat that diet and you’re hitting 160 in your blood glucose meter, that’s not a good diet. Don’t eat foods that promote inflammation.
Most people would be surprised to learn that inflammation-promoting foods are probably the ones that have the American Heart Association seal on the side. They’re the ones with the cotton seed oil, the soy bean oil with all the processed oil that are primarily Omega 6. They result in a diet that has 30, 40, 50 grams of Omega 6 fatty acids a day and virtually no Omega 3’s.
So use that in controlling blood glucose spikes with a diet that’s extremely low in carbohydrates and avoiding the inflammation from grains and inflammatory vegetable oils. It’s probably the biggest two steps you can take right there.
You factor in eating healthful foods produced locally and in enriched soils and organically without pesticides and have a higher nutrient content, you start feeding your body the way it needs to be fed and not with Doritos and Cheerios and Twizzlers, the body will respond amazingly well.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, yeah. It sounds like the Paleo diet.
Rocky Angelucci: The earlier you can begin this (ideally as a child), the better you’re going to be. But if you’re 45 years old like I was and you look in the mirror and say, “Something’s got to change,” the best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago, but the next best time is today. It’s time to start planting that tree.
Wendy Myers: It’s never too late. I have clients that are 60, 70 years old that are ready to change their diet and their lifestyle and it’s never too late. Never too late.
Wendy Myers: So I have one question I like to ask all of my guest. What do you think is the most pressing health issue in the world today?
Rocky Angelucci: I think the most pressing health issue in the modern world today is that we care so little as individuals for our own health. We treat ourselves poorly and go to the doctor when something breaks like we’re going to the car mechanic and say, “My check engine light came on. Please fix it.” I think everyone needs to make their own personal health their hobby for a while. I’m not talking about obsessing. I wrote Don’t Die Early for someone to read in one weekend and understand all of these issues that are flying around that have so misconceptions attached to them. That would be a wonderful jumping off point to the works of Gary Taubes and the works of Richard Feinman, the biochemist who talks about the effects of an unfavorable diet on the body and Tom Naughton and…
Wendy Myers: Jimmy Moore!
Rocky Angelucci: Jimmy Moore, of course. And trying to study Denise Minger, her Death by Food Pyramid book. There’s so much wonderful information out there and it doesn’t take a lot of effort to make preventive health your hobby. It’s life-changing. You might have to forget about who’s going to win on American Idol or who’s dating who in Hollywood for a while, but the benefits will be unparalleled.
Wendy Myers: Yeah, that’s what I try to teach people in Liveto110.com. Health is not merely the absence of disease and symptoms. If anyone of you find yourself like I did at about 35, I just didn’t feel right, I didn’t feel like I felt before, I wasn’t really sick, I just knew something was wrong and I knew I didn’t have the energy or the brain power, et cetera that I used to have, so I set about on the path to find out, I urge all you listeners out there to listen to your body and heed that warning call before your body breaks completely and you have a tumor or you have the high fasting glucose level or whatever the case may be. Don’t wait. That’s very important.
Wendy Myers: So Rocky, why don’t you tell the listeners a little bit more about you and where they can find you and your book.
Rocky Angelucci: Well, my book is available on Amazon for the Kindle or in printed form. It’s also available on Apple’s iBooks site for the Apple iPad. It’s called Don’t Die Early. I also have a blog, dontdieearly-book.com. I welcome everyone to check it out. Like I said, I’m just an everyday guy. I woke up one day frustrated at the misinformation and the confusion and I said, “There’s got to be a good answer out there and I want to try and capture it and I want to make it easier for anyone who’s compelled to make that journey from where I am today to just being a little healthier.” It’s never too early to start and it’s never too late to start either.
Wendy Myers: Yes, I agree. Well, everyone, definitely go take a look at Rocky’s website. He has a really good blog that you should check out. If you want to learn more about the modern Paleo diet and detoxification and how to heal your body naturally, you can go to my site, Liveto110.com. You can also check out the Modern Paleo Cooking Show. We have about ten episodes up and about four more in the pipeline that you can see on my YouTube channel at wendyLiveto110.
And please, if you’ve enjoyed what you heard today, give the Live to 110 Podcast a review on iTunes. I would appreciate it so much so that people can find me in search engines. The more reviews I have, the easier it is for people to find me and so I can deliver my message to help you guys to live longer, healthier lives. Thank you so much for listening to the Live to 110 Podcast.