Reading Time: 8 minutes
In this excerpt, Dr. Doug Graham discusses his 80-10-10 Diet and how many raw fooders eat too much fat. This is an excerpt from Dr. Doug Graham’s interview for the Raw Summit Archives, a complete interview encyclopedia of cutting edge living and raw food knowledge.
Kevin Gianni: You talk about the 80-10-10 diet, it’s the name of your book. What are some of the main principles? What are the 80 and 10-10?
Doug Graham: We had contests to name this book. We had trial and error. We asked hundreds and hundreds of people. We ended up with a list of about sixty titles and fought bitterly between a staff of about twelve people over this title and that of what should be the title of this book. And 80-10-10 tells you something, but it does not tell you enough to make you know what it is. I agree. It is not like the Sedona diet or something which brings a picture to mind. And I honestly do not know if it is good or bad but the 80-10-10 diet is really what it is about. 80-10-10 refers to the three-caloral nutrients. There are only three nutrients in human physiology, or human nutrition that supply us with calories. Those are carbohydrates, protein and fat. Well, in the 80-10-10 diet, I recommend that a maximum of 10 percent of calories come from protein and a maximum of 10 percent of calories come from fat. Therefore, a minimum of 80 percent of calories coming from carbohydrates. And that is in the ultimate simplicity the 80-10-10 diet. Now, of course, you must eat sufficient total calories because no diet is going to work if you do not eat enough food and certainly not in the long term. And sometimes people get confused about that. They say “well, geez, if I eat a banana, and a lettuce leaf and an almond then I am doing the 80-10-10”. I go, “yes you are, but you can not live on that diet”. That would not get you past breakfast.
Kevin: It’s just breakfast.
Doug: It’s breakfast, exactly. And raw food is to come to know that we get to eat more volume than most other people. But human beings are funny. People are funny. We tend to pat ourselves on the back for things that we are going to do or for changes that we are going to make and then don’t often make them. Or we pat ourselves on the back for changes that we think we have made that we really haven’t. And it is a funny world this way and so, although everybody knows that pizza is not health food, nonetheless, when we go vegetarian we create vegetarian pizza. And when we go vegan we create vegan pizza. When we go raw, for our health, we still create raw pizza. And in truth, if it looks like pizza and it tastes like pizza, it’s going to digest like pizza. And it’s likely going to have the caloral nutrient ratio of pizza. And it is going to be hard on our bodies. I am not against it. I am neither for or against it, because it is not about right or wrong, it’s just the consequences. It is what you want to have happen as a result of eating the food you eat.
In other words, it came to me apparent at a certain point that essentially you are on a road in life. And that road, through my medical training, I am actually trained as a chiropractor, but through my medical training what I learned is to be able to predict what road people are on. And so, if they are on a standard diet and they never exercise, or they take birth control pills, and drink a lot of coffee, I think they know there is a very good chance that osteoporosis is going to be in your future. If they are eating a high fat diet there is a very good chance that some form of what is referred to, erroneously, as a sugar metabolic disorder is going to be in your future. Currently, the Center for Disease Control estimates that almost half of all Americans are either diabetic or pre-diabetic and they say it will be over 80 percent of all Americans by the year 2020. All we have to do they say, is keep doing what we are doing. Well, what we are doing is, the average American, eating roughly 40 percent of his calories from fat when the world authorities are recommending 10 percent as a maximum. And if we keep doing that we will all become diabetics. The raw fooders, I thought, we’re doing far better until I started keeping track, and after interviewing about 5000 raw fooders, I feel pretty comfortable in giving averages, and the average raw fooder consumes 65 to 70 percent of their calories from fat.
Doug: This is almost double the American average. We are literally thumbing our nose at the nutritional advice of all the world’s health professionals. while at the same time trying to use some of the information that they say. So, for instance, it is very common to hear a raw food leader say, you know, you don’t need this much of this nutrient and that nutrient or the next nutrient because as raw fooders, the nutrients you consume are of a much higher quality. Or, you digest it far better, and you absorb it far better, and so you get so much more of it. Well, if that is in fact the case, why are we eating double the fat of everybody else? Shouldn’t we be eating half the fat and still getting all the nutritional benefits? We should not have to double our fat consumption. So that was sort of the road, that’s what the 80-10-10 diet became about was to help raise an awareness, strictly between the difference between a high fat diet and a diet that is designed to meet what the scientific standards say humans are designed for. It really was going out on a limb. I’ve got to tell you because it is so much against the flow.
Doug: But that is my job in many ways, not to go against the flow but to take the science and make it user friendly. That’s what I’ve always done, that is what I pride myself from being able to do. Rather than taking the results of this study or that study, because you can prove anything in our study. Instead, what I’ve done is look at what the textbooks unanimously agree upon, from medical physiology to sports physiology and other types of sports and performance sciences and simply convert that information and apply that information to the raw food diet.
Kevin: Yeah, you may or may not know the answer to this, but I am just curious. Is there any specific study about longevity and raw foods?
Doug: To my knowledge, there are no studies about longevity and raw food.
Doug: There are various studies about raw food. There have been quite a few studies on raw food. Most of them have been to demonstrate the inefficacy or the impossibility to survive on a diet, or certainly to thrive on a diet that is predominated calorically by vegetables. And I agree. I agree because in order to consume sufficient calories from vegetables to meet your daily caloric needs, for instance for me, that would mean eating somewhere as close to 80 heads of lettuce a day. Well, it just cannot be done. I am a big vegetable man. I love my vegetables. In fact, you know, a lot of people are animal rights advocates and I’ve always said that I’m a vegetable rights advocate. I am perfectly happy to sit down and eat tomatoes until the cows’ come home, or perfectly happy to eat celery as is. I do not have to disguise it. I am in favor of vegetable rights, and I eat a big salad almost every single day and I was raised that way as a child. Eating salad was a normal thing for me. And I have over the last 25 years involvement in raw food movement and my total commitment to raw food now is reaching 30 years. I have always recommended that we eat lots of greens. In fact to my knowledge, I recommend we consume more greens, not only on the 80-10-10 diet, but on any of the programs that I have ever recommended. I am actually recommending more green consumption from whole, fresh, ripe, raw, organic plants than anybody else in the raw food movement. The funny thing is that most people notice me eating fruits and so, they think that that’s what it is all about when in fact, that is not the case. I recommend a huge, in fact as I say it, a greater portion of calories from greens than anybody else in the raw movement. It is just what they see, you know, what they notice is the fruit.
Kevin: There are a lot of people who would say that eating a lot of fruits comes with candida issues? What is the challenge with that and how can what can you overcome some thoughts of that?
Doug: Well, I dedicated a chapter in my book to this very issue. But I can put it in a nutshell for you even more to think of now that I could years ago. I agree with everybody who says that eating a lot of fruits will lead to candida issues if they consuming more fat than they should be, more than they can healthfully tolerate. If they are consuming 30-40-50-60-70, I have on tape several different raw food leaders proudly proclaiming that they eat 80 percent of their calories from fat. And that is just fine. If you are eating 60 or 70 percent of your calories from fat well then, you are going to run into issues with sugar metabolism. And the simplest breakdown of it, and I am sorry, if I leave out a few of the details here. If you need more let me know.
But essentially, your blood sugar is monitored by your brain. Everyone has blood sugar, regardless of what they eat. I mean, Eskimos living on blood sugar levels that are roughly the same as muscle head living on protein powders or people following the 80-10-10 diet. It doesn’t matter whether your predominant calorie or nutrient is protein, fat or carbs. Everyone has roughly the same blood sugar levels in health but when those blood sugar levels start to vary, it’s a sign that the body can no longer maintain the homeostasis that it strives to maintain for us at all times. So, our primary method of controlling our blood sugar level is through function of the pancreas. The pancreas picks out some extra insulin if blood sugar levels rise, because insulin functions as a doormat to escort sugar out of the bloodstream to the cell. It’s rather simple but as everyone knows, oil is a lubricant, oil coat thing and if there’s more fat in our bloodstream than we’re designed to handle, it not only coats the blood sugar molecule, it also coats the insulin. Well, when the insulin is coated and the sugar is coated, it’s very hard for the insulin to link up with the sugar. They don’t recognize each other. Not only that, but the portal where sugar exits the bloodstream becomes clogged with fat. Then, so it’s hard for sugar to get out again. Well, the blood sugar level continues to rise so as the brain and eventually, more insulin is produced and the insulin’s job is to find sugar. So, eventually it’s going to, but now there’s twice as much or three times as much insulin in the bloodstream as they are supposed to be and eventually your blood sugar crashes.
Kevin: And that’s because the blood sugar’s still high and the insulin isn’t able to find the sugar and escort it.
Doug: But eventually, the insulin does find the sugar but it’s slower at it and it should have been until the body puts out a second and a third rush of insulin.
Doug: Okay. Well, as we know, with any muscle in the body, the key to training is not just training but also recovering. What they call overload, overload recover cycle. This is the same for any part of our body. You can develop a tan by giving a little bit of sun overload and then recover. You can develop calluses on your hand by giving a little bit of a work overload using with a rake or a shovel and then allow for recovery. But if you take too much in any given time, there’s a crash, there’s a blister, there’s sunburn, or you will end up with what is called the visceral failure. In the case of the pancreas, visceral failure takes the form of diabetes, hypo and hyperglycemia and other sugar metabolic disorders. The pancreas can no longer put out sufficient insulin because it has been putting out too much insulin again and again and again without ever getting a break. Because the average person is eating triple, quadruple, five times, you know, the fat is recommended at every single meal and so the body never gets a break and eventually the pancreas fail as well.
To read the rest of this interview please visit http://www.RawSummitArchives.com 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.
I’ve always enjoyed reading Dr. Graham’s work and I think that all of us on a Living Food diet owe him a great debt. Having said that, I have always judged health and fitness information by the results that the individual is getting.
I am one of those rare beasts, a heavy-weight body-builder on a raw vegan diet, and I maintain what might be seen as a very athletic, muscular build. I look at Dr. Graham (and many other Living Food experts) and I see a six foot length of beef jerky! I’m just not sure that that is the physical build that I would wish to have. I don’t expect everyone to wish to maintain the kind of build that I do, but I just don’t find his to be healthy looking.
Thank you for all of this essential info!