The food we were born to eat: John McDougall at TEDxFremont

The food we were born to eat: John McDougall at TEDxFremont

August 18, 2019 100 By William Morgan


Translator: Denise RQ
Reviewer: Luis Tsai Hsu
Starch!
(Laughter)
Yeah, it’s starch.
You know, rice, corn,
potatoes, sweet potatoes.
It’s starch that has healed
thousands of my patients.
For example,
a young lady from the Bay Area
had deforming rheumatoid arthritis,
to the point where
she couldn’t catch her mom.
Juliea Baker decided, at 17 years old,
she was going to change her diet.
She was going to give up the cheese,
the meat, and the oil;
and switch to a diet
based upon rice, corn, and potatoes.
And it took about seven days
before she started getting better.
Or, from Sacramento, Robert Cross.
he used to work in the attorney
general’s office.
He had terrible chest pains;
high blood pressure, diabetes,
high cholesterol, overweight.
He went to his doctor for a solution.
Quickly ended up
in front of the cardiologist,
who recommended what?
A heart surgery.
He said, “No. I’ve got a better idea”.
And he switched to a starch-based diet.
He lost 60 pounds, dropped
his cholesterol from 300 to 150,
and cleaned out his arteries.
Or Deb Tasic, from Chicago.
He had terrible Multiple Sclerosis.
In fact, she fell down, stayed down
for a month, couldn’t get up.
Her doctor told her she’d be
in a wheelchair in five years,
and likely bedridden or dead in 10.
She said, I’m not going to do that.
So what she did is,
she switched to starch.
Yeah, starch.
I’m doctor John MacDougall.
I’ve been in this business for 44 years.
And I’m the luckiest doctor in the world
because my patients get well.
It started out…
(Applause)
I have to tell you, it started out
by a bit of an accident.
I was in Michigan,
and decided to go to Hawaii
for my internship, back in 1972.
I stayed in Oahu for a year,
practiced just general internal medicine
or internship type of program.
And then after a year,
I fell in love with Hawaii
and didn’t want to leave.
So, I took a job on the Big Island
as a plantation doctor.
And there I worked
as a general doctor for three years.
I caught babies,
I pronounced people dead,
I did brain surgery
in the middle of the night.
But I’ve learned everything
that I know today
during those three years
from my patients.
First thing I learned was
that I wasn’t a very good doctor.
I thought I was going to make
all these miraculous cures.
I mean, I watched Ben Casey,
Dr. Kildare, Marcus Welby.
I knew what a real doctor did.
And I went into this general practice
on the Big Island of Hawaii,
And I started taking care of these 5000
sugar plantation patients.
And I gave them
the best pills I could find,
I sent them off to the best
surgeons in Honolulu.
And they wouldn’t get well.
They just stayed fat and sick.
Initially, I thought it was
because I was a bad doctor.
I realized my limitations as a physician
during those three years;
I was humbled.
The second thing that I learned
from my patients,
It was a unique setting
on the Big Island of Hawaii,
in the sugar plantation,
is I learned how to eat.
because I was taking care
of 5,000 people who ate differently.
I was taking care of first, second,
third, and fourth generation
of Filipinos, Japanese,
Chinese, and Koreans.
Now, my first generation,
they learned about how to eat
when they’re little kids
in their native land:
the Philippines, Japan, China, Korea.
They learned a diet
of rice and vegetables.
Then, they had the fortune
of moving to the Big Island,
to start new families, a new life,
but with them they took
their original diet.
And they continued to eat
rice and vegetables.
The kids, who were influenced
a little bit by the western diet,
started to change.
And by the time you got to the grand-kids,
you’re looking at people who ate
the traditional western diet.
Now, realize these are people
of the same genetics,
same kind of work for over 100 years
on the sugar plantation
Yet, before my eyes as a doctor,
I saw people living on rice and vegetables
No dairy, just a little bit
of meat at most.
Trim, healthy, hardy people.
No MS, no arthritis, no diabetes,
no heart disease
in that first generation living
on those traditional diets.
Then, I watched the second generation
get fatter and sicker
as they abandoned starch.
And then, the third generation,
which feared starch,
– rice, corn, potatoes –
and took on meat and dairy
in their diet, and oils.
They got fat and sick just like
every other American.
Well, after three years, I had to leave
as a general practitioner.
I went back to Oahu to become
a board-certified internist.
And I spent the next two years
studying in the scientific library,
in the Medical Library,
next to Queen’s Medical Centre,
to see whether anybody else
had made this observation:
that people who live on starch
– rice, corn, potatoes, sweet potatoes –
are thin, healthy, hardy, young-looking.
Not just in the world today,
but throughout history.
And when they switch
to a well-balanced diet,
the rich American diet,
with lots of protein, calcium
and other of these wonderful nutrients,
do they get fat and sick?
What I found out was that scientists
over the previous 100 years
had made this observation.
In fact, it goes further back than that.
That was important, because that
told me right there and then,
that getting older didn’t mean getting fat
and sick; it didn’t have to be that way.
But as I read in the science,
I discovered something
that was really profound,
and I’m sure it’s going to be easy
for you to understand.
When you stop doing things
that make people sick, they get well.
And so, if I had figured out
that eating a well-balanced diet,
lots of meat and dairy made people sick,
then the only next clue I needed
was the idea that I could be
a miracle doctor.
I could fulfill what I wanted
to do as a physician,
which is to help other people
by applying this very simple principle.
That is, to feed people a diet
for human beings.
You know, there is a diet for people.
I know you might be surprised
considering the variety
of what everybody eats.
But there is a diet for human beings.
Each of you ought to be able
to answer that question
for yourself, for your spouses,
for your children, for your friends.
You should be able to have that answer.
When someone says,
“What do humans eat?”
I mean after all you know
what a cat eats, right?
You know cats are carnivores.
Horses, they have a diet,
and parrots have a diet,
You never take and feed your parrot meat
or your cat nuts and seeds.
So every animal must have a diet.
What is the diet for human beings?
History will tell us what that is.
When you look back through history,
you can go back 2.5 million years,
and you see that the bulk of human beings
have lived on starch-based diets.
We have evidence from 44,000 years ago
that said that the Neanderthals
lived on starches.
And from 30,000 years ago, we have
population studies in Europe,
that talk about people living
on starch-based diets.
I mean, that’s pre-agriculture,
so they say.
That’s pre-civilization, so they say.
But how about over the last
10, 12, 14, 000 years?
We have really direct evidence,
we have written evidence
about what people ate.
And if you’re a person of history,
you know what people ate.
Throughout human history, all large,
successful populations of people,
have obtained the bulk
of their calories from starch.
I’m sure lots of examples
are popping in your mind.
You’re thinking about
the Aztecs and Mayans;
the people of the corn.
And if you go a little bit further south,
and you look at the Incas;
they lived on potatoes.
Except when they went to battle
then they’d switch to quinoa
And if you go to the Middle East,
these people are from
the bread baskets of the world.
In Asia, I think most people can relate
to the rice-based diets.
And think about these people.
Trim, hardy, healthy, strong warriors.
The diet of human beings has been
traditionally and always will be a diet
based on starch with the addition
of fruits and vegetables.
What happened is people became
more effective at gathering calories.
And the richer people in every society,
what happened to them is
they no longer had to eat the starches.
They can instead eat the animals
that were eating the starches.
And as a result,
there’s a certain segment of population
throughout all of human history
that became wealthier
than the rest of the people.
And these people could eat meat, pheasant,
or pigs, or other kinds of animals,
and put the starches as side dishes.
We had the pharaohs, the kings,
the priests and the priestesses of 3,500
years ago who were described as fat.
The examination of their bodies,
3,500 years later, shows
terrible atherosclerosis,
gallbladder disease,
and all kinds of other problems
of Western civilization.
Well, we had few kings
and queens back then.
And then, as time went on,
more and more people
were able to eat like kings and queens.
You recall King Henry 8th and his court.
What did they look like?
Americans.
That’s what they looked like.
And then, as time went on, we became
more efficient at gathering food.
People became wealthier.
We had the industrial revolution
in its midst of 150 years ago.
And we had the discovery of fossil fuel
And as a consequence,
almost everybody in western society
can eat like kings and queens.
And what’s the result?
Can’t you see it?!
Can’t you see it?
When people abandon
their starch-based diets
of rice and corn and potatoes,
with the addition
of fruits and vegetables;
instead, they eat the food of royalty,
as people do in western society,
what would you expect?!
That you’d have people that look like
kings and queens, and are sick
with diabetes, and heart disease,
and cancer, and multiple sclerosis.
Anyway, that’s the setting
of the country today.
The statistics are very familiar
to you, I’m sure.
We live in a society where
people are fat and sick.
Not just the adults,
but the children too.
30% of the kids are overweight.
Not only they’re overweight;
but deep under the skin,
there’s a lot of sickness.
These kids have atherosclerosis;
they have arthritis;
they suffer precocious puberty.
Little boys are going through
puberty at the age of nine,
little girls around age eight.
That’s five-six years before intended.
We have a society of sick children.
Now, come on.
Civilized people don’t let
children be hurt.
But somehow we do in our society.
Somehow it’s okay
for the kids to be sick.
Well, it’s not okay.
People should rise up to the occasion
and protect their children,
How about our soldiers?
Our soldiers are sick.
We send our men and women
across the world to represent us,

Yet, half of the soldiers
are overweight.
And underneath that obesity
there’s a lot of sickness.
What kind of society tolerates men
and women who fight in our defense,
tolerates them being ill?
Because the rich western diet
feeds them a diet of kings and queens.
Makes no sense at all.
How about our businesses?
We are competing in a world market
and our workers are fat and sick?!
How do we compete with people in Japan
who live on a starch-based diet?
or China, or India?
Oh, I know how; we just wait untill
they switch to the american diet
and get fat and sick, right?
I think there is a better way.
We can work hard to get
our employees healthy.
How about our health care system,
where 20% of our gross national product
is expected to be spent on illness?
How can we ever get ahead?
How can we solve the deficit?
How could we fix this world?
When we have a world where
people look, feel and function
like kings and queens?
The solution is simple,
but it doesn’t favor business.

We have a celebration here.
George McGovern.
Senator George McGovern
died last month.
October 21st, 2012.
George McGovern was essentially
the author of dietary goals
of the United States,
which were published in January 1977.
These goals were to be similar
to the Surgeon General’s Report of 1964.
The Surgeon General’s Report of 1964
changed America.
It changed the Western world.
Back then, in the 70s,,
half of the population smoked.
Today, fewer than 20% of the people smoke.
Back in the 70s,
obesity was half of what it is today;
diabetes was half what it is today.
Industry has won.
Americans have lost.
But we have an option to change that.
By becoming informed
about what the human being eats.
The human being is a starch eater.
All of you out there that are suffering,
your families are suffering.
and you’re looking to modern
medicine for a solution;
stop looking.
They’re not going to cure dietary
diseases with a pill or a surgery.
You’re going to fix dietary diseases
by fixing the problem,
which is the food.
And when you fix the food,
what happens is people get healthy.
You as individuals,
sick with various diseases,
communities, countries, and the world,
can get healthy by making
a simple change,
back to a starch-based diet.
And I believe it will make economic sense
to have a healthy country.
I believe it’s worth doing.
I know a lot of you who are new to this;
you think about changing your diet,
and somebody says to you,
“Well, you have to give up meat,
you have to give up dairy,
your ice cream, your cheese,
your chicken, your steaks”.
You say, “I’m going to starve to death;
its like asking me to give up breathing,
or asking me to give up drinking water”.
You think it’s impossible task.
That’s because you’ve been
faced with a serious untruth
about starches.
You love starch;
I know you do.
When I mention rice and beans,
you have a very positive reaction.
If I mention pasta,
you say, “Well, that’s comfort food”.
Potatoes, “I was raised in the Midwest;
If it wasn’t for mashed potatoes,
I wouldn’t be here today”.
So when somebody says,
“You must give up meat and dairy”,
and they fail to finish the sentence,
What you need to do instead is,
you need to live on starch.
on oatmeal for breakfast,
hash brown potatoes;
for lunch you need to have
bean soup, pea soup, lentil soup;
for dinner you have bean burritos,
pasta with marinara sauce,
mu-shu vegetables and rice.
You say, “I can do that!”
Of course you can, you love those foods.
This is the kind
of education that we need.
We need new dietary goals
for the United States.
We need a government that will stand up
and tell the truth to the people.
We need a society that will not tolerate
uncivilized behavior like letting
our children be sick,
our military be sick,
our poor people be sick,
and our workers be sick
because of the diet of kings and queens.
And once we do that,
we can change it, can’t we?
We can make a difference.
Thank you very much!
(Applause)