Dr. Doug Graham's Thoughts on Empty Calories and Supplementation (Part 3)

Saturday, March 15, 2008 by: Kevin Gianni
Tags: empty calories, health news, Natural News

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(NaturalNews) This is an excerpt from Dr. Doug Graham's interview for the Raw Summit, a complete interview encyclopedia of cutting edge living and raw food knowledge. You can find the complete transcripts and audios at ( and ( . In this excerpt, Dr. Doug Graham gives his take on empty calories and why we shouldn't take supplements.

Raw Food World Summit Interview Excerpt with Dr. Doug Graham, creator of the 80-10-10 Diet

Kevin Gianni: Do you believe that all calories are the same? I hear a lot of people say that, "yes they are" and then I hear a lot of them say, "no they aren't"?

Doug Graham: Well, this is a matter of perspective. It depends on the perspective you use. Certainly, carbohydrates are carbohydrates are carbohydrates and fats are fats are fats, if all we're looking at is the carbohydrates themselves. But if we are looking at the source and we're looking at the companion nutrient, then we start to see a big issue because it requires nutrients to utilize calories. And if we look at empty calories versus, of course, we don't have a word for it, this word has to be created but if the opposite of empty is full, then we have empty calories and we have full calories and we have a complete continuum of everything in between. This gets into some scary information, though, that I'm not sure you want to hear. We've been trained to think of empty calories as being specific kinds of calories from specific kinds of food either white flour or white sugar.

But if we actually define empty calories, empty calories are calories without their associated nutrient package, calories that have been separated from or refined from their associated nutrient package. Okay? In that case, this is not just empty calories from sugar or empty calories from starch that we need to concern ourselves with, but empty calories. Any form of calorie source that has been separated from its component nutrient is going to count as empty calories and when we used empty calories to make food, we make a very specific kind of food. Typically, the word used for food made from empty calories is "junk food." The word "junk" wasn't really associated with garbage but came from the association of junkies. Junkies would put junk in their arms. The junk they've put in eases their pain. It makes them numb to the problems of the day.

When we use "junk food", the other word for that and nice word is "comfort food", we use it to numb ourselves from the problems of the day, "Oh I had a really hard day, I need, rather than I'm going to reward myself because it's such a hard day, I'm going to harm myself because it is such a hard day and I'm going to eat "junk food", "comfort food" - empty calories - and we typically claim this. But empty calories or any calorie source that's empty and so over, we've been trained to think otherwise when we look at the can of protein powder, the only nutrient in that protein powder is protein. It has been separated from all of its constituent and associated nutrients whether it came from milk or came from soy or came from corn or came from hemp. It doesn't really matter, it's still empty calories and a lot of people stumble over that. But it can't be, it's protein powder that's sold in health food stores so, it must be the good stuff that comes from hemp. The hemp may have been good but once you separated the protein, now this is just empty calories.

Kevin: OK.

Doug: If that doesn't leave you like a train wreck, then we have to consider what happens when we start with hemp or olives or any other fat source and we refine a way, the carbohydrates and the protein and the water in the fiber and the final nutrients and the antioxidant and the vitamins and the minerals, all of the nutrients stripped away other than the fat and we end up with a bottle of pure fat, they even refer to it as "pure fat." And yet, no one wants to think of that bottle as "pure fat" as being a bottle of empty calories. Nobody wants to think that when they pour empty calories on their perfectly healthy salad or into their perfectly healthy smoothie that their converting, by adding empty calories, they're converting their health food into "junk food." We all know, I'm using the best oil in the name of health. Well, you can call it whatever you wish to call it, but the facts remain the same, it's empty calories and when you add empty calories to your food, you turn it into "junk food". This is the line of thought that most people don't want to pursue.

And like I said in the beginning, once you become aware of it, it opens up worlds of insight after insight because we all understand the concepts of whole food being more nutritious for us than refined food. And what happens in our world is that, we focus on little bits and pieces of information rather than trying to be congruent with the bigger picture. It leads us open to this thing by people who can't see it. And you're talking about the value of whole food while you're pouring oil onto your salad, it doesn't make sense. Oil isn't a whole food, it's a highly refined food. It's been refined virtually everything as the labels so proudly proclaims.

Kevin: What about supplements? And more specifically supplements that are extracts of certain plant based foods.

Doug: Are these refined foods yet again? If we are based on the premise that whole food are the most nutritious food and that means that they are more nutritious than any other food. It means they are more nutritious than the supplements that are made from them. It's a fascinating world but where it leads us to some other incongruences such as the conflict of interest that must exist between a person who teaches nutrition and a person who sells supplements. Now, I am one of those people who believe that everybody adds to the new you, everybody adds something to the scene and I bless everybody for being here. So, I'm not picking on anybody but I would certainly suggest that if the diet that I thought left the door open for the consumption of supplements, then I will be crazy not to also sell them.

Kevin: Sure.

Doug: But if I sold supplements and that was where my income came from and then I will be just as crazy to recommend this diet that is nutritionally sound. It's a conflict of interest. And so, we have to start to question people who do both things for a living because if they are selling supplements and making nutritional recommendations, those nutritional recommendations have to lead you feeling like something is lacking, feeling like something is missing, feeling like you need something and lo and behold, we have just something to sell. They are this, a supplement.

No, Kevin, I actually don't recommend the use of supplements on a prophylactic basis. Certainly, there can be a place in life-saving situations where supplementation may be necessary but the philosophy that I teach is one where I recommend that we remove the cause of the need for supplements by eating and living a healthy lifestyle. I recommend that we eat a diet comprised of whole fresh right, raw, organic fruits and vegetables, the most nutritious food known to man. And if we eat those foods to the exclusion of all other foods in an 80/10/10 ratio, then what happens is an unparalleled and uncompromising kind of level of health. And if you feel that good, there is no sense of even looking for outside sources of stimulation or irritation in order to possibly feel a little bit better. But did you already feel great?

Kevin: What about juicing? Is that extracting as well?

Doug: Well, from my understanding with human nutrition, fiber is an essential nutrient and when you remove that nutrient, several things happen. One is that with insufficient fiber, constipation almost always happens. This is part of what we teach in the raw movement is that there is not enough fiber in the standard American diet. I mean, you need to eat more fruits and vegetables because they are higher in fiber. Well, present turn around and remove that fiber, seems a little odd to me. Fiber is an essential nutrient but it's essential for other reasons as well because the consumption of fiber actually helps to regulate our uptake of sugars. So, if you take straight sugar from a bag that is fiber free, that sugar finds its way into your blood stream in a surge. I mean, it's almost instantaneous but if you consume the same amount of sugar in carrots, or apples, or mangoes, or bananas, well then, this fiber in those foods actually slows the digestion time and slows the passage of the food through our digestive systems and slows the sugar uptake to a more healthy level.

When we juice however, not only do we remove the fiber which means that the sugars get through to the uptake point far more rapidly, but we typically consume the food much more quickly. How long would it take you to eat a pound of carrot? How long would it take you to drink a big result of a pound of carrot juice? And would you eat a pound of carrot? Highly unlikely? But do use a pound of carrot to make juice? Sure! And so not only does the sugar get to the uptake sites faster, it's a lot more sugar when we juice. We do run the risk of sugar metabolic disorders. So, we run into fiber problems from lack of it and then we run into sugar problems from lack of the fibers as well. It's a compound issue that literally goes in the face of the concept of whole foods.

The trick, I think, in good nutrition is to learn from decent pieces of information that are congruent and to not lose track of the one as we get excited about the next. And so, the concept of whole food is one we can all agree on, as is the concept of organic, as is the concept of raw or fresh or ripe. But what we'd find is that some people can all turn out of shape about organic and some people go crazy over raw. Some people just think that whole food is the biggest thing there is. And rather than saying, you know what? These are essentially the basic parameters that help us to determine the nutritional quality of the food on our plate, whole fresh, ripe raw, organic plants. If we take those six parameters, you can look at your grandmother's side, you can look at your neighbors or your best friend's diet and say, "You know what, if you would just increase the percentage of whole foods on your plate it would be a step in the right direction. If you would just eat more organic, you will be a step in the right direction or more raw, or more ripe, or more fresh, or more plant".

You know, its better if there is more plants and fewer animals. That would be a better combination. You can evaluate the nutritional quality of anyone's diet just using those six friendly words that would get people to shake their heads up and down because they can see it too rather than getting all caught up in the depths of science that can easily be over your head. It can easily turn into an argument or sense of judgment. Really, our best leadership skills are in setting the example but if you want to talk to somebody or evaluate the qualities of food on your own plate, let us just look at those six words and then, if you want to improve it, simply increase the percentage of whole fresh, ripe, raw, organic plants. Because we know that these are the most nutritious food.

Kevin: Just one more thing on the side of juicing. Some people have documented healing with green juices.

Doug: Of course. People heal on every diet. Look at what people eat in hospitals, and they heal. They are still smoking cigarettes. They are still drinking alcohol and they heal. People get well. It's a fact of life that people get well. The part that gets confusing is what was the cause of that getting well? And that's where we get easily tricked. We start to blame the supplement, or blame the cigarette, or blame the pizza for our getting well when it really wasn't the exercise, or the yoga, or the meditation, or the juices. The body just gets well. That's what it is designed to do and it will do so, in degree, in direct proportion to the degree to which we follow the laws of nature that control the functioning of our body. We are under those laws. There is nothing we can do about them. And so, sure people get well. I have no argument that people get well on juicing regiments. Very often, they get well on juicing regiments because they stop doing the things that were making them sick.

I mean you just can't take a loaf of bread and a chunk of cheese and run it through a juicer so that the cheese and bread sandwich is out, you know, when you are on a juice diet. Not very often do people try to juice baked potatoes. And so, we have to look at what people actually do consume when they eat what you call "Juice diet" or "Reduce Faster Juice Program". And what they are eating is a diet that is predominated by fresh, ripe, raw, very often organic plant. But it's not whole foods. And whole foods are more nutritious for us than refined foods. It's a basic principle that we all had agreed on. Human beings are funny. I've spent the last 12 or 13 years of making the same New Year's resolution every year. I want to seek and destroy contradiction and incongruencies between what I know and how I live from my lifestyle. I want to get the contradictions out. So, I don't tell you whole foods, if I'm still eating refined foods, what I know is what I do, doesn't add up.

If I'm telling you, "oh well bean seeds are really good for you but I'm not the guy eating bean seeds". Well then I'm incongruent, like a contradiction. Well, for me, that has become my biggest challenge in life - it's to get any incongruencies out between what I live and what I note is the way that I, if I could use that word, "should live for optimum health". And sometimes, it has got to do with areas of life that other people don't consider but they're important to the individual, in this case me, such as my own communication skills with the people I love. Because I know I need to speak in a loving way to the people I love but I don't always do so and I really need to develop those skills to a higher level.

To read the rest of this interview please visit ( and ( . This is just an excerpt of over 14 hours of cutting edge living food, raw food or health information revealed during the Raw Food World Summit.

About the author

Kevin Gianni is a health advocate, author and speaker. He has helped thousands of people in over 85 countries learn how to take control of their health--and keep it. To view his popular internet TV Show "The Renegade Health Show" (and get a free gift!) with commentary on natural health issues, vegan and raw food diets, holistic nutrition and more click here.

His book, "The Busy Person's Fitness Solution," is a step-by-step guide to optimum health for the time and energy-strapped. To find out more about abundance, optimum health and self motivation click here... or you're interested in the vegan and raw food diet and cutting edge holistic nutrition click here. For access to free interviews, downloads and a complete bodyweight exercise archive visit

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