Exclusive Interview with Dr. Colin Champ
I have a very special interview for you today...
You should all be very familiar with Dr. Colin Champ. He's been bringing you hard-hitting columns in both Clear Health Now and the New Vitality Journal for a few years now.
Dr. Champ is a radiation oncologist, a dietary expert and all around brilliant doctor. He has spent his life investigating the links between what we eat and the diseases that are killing us. And unlike many doctors, he is great at boiling down medical and scientific research into enjoyable, entertaining stories and real-life anecdotes that “show you” rather than “tell you” how to optimize your health.
And best of all, he makes it fun and entertaining — something I think is lacking in most health writers coming from clinical backgrounds. In essence, you'll understand what he's saying and will easily be able to implement his advice into everyday life.
He’s just released the second edition of his excellent, best-selling book Misguided Medicine.
In the book, Dr. Champ explains why the foods and actions of our grandparents are now considered unhealthy, yet they lived in health to an old age. He rejects the fact that pills, as opposed to diet, exercise, and lifestyle provide you with better health. Most importantly, he shows you exactly how to take your health back into your hands.
In an exclusive Clear Health Now interview, we sat down to talk about what he’s been up to, and what you can expect from his latest book. Let’s get to it...
Clear Health Now: So why did you write this book?
Dr. Champ: The deepest goal of the book is to get people really questioning things...
Questioning medical authority, questioning recommendations, questioning themselves, and certainly questioning the latest and greatest media release.
There is nothing wrong with having a healthy skepticism.
You can still get guidance from the professionals and the doctors, but you need to question things no matter what. At the end of the day, it's up to us to take control of our health. They can tell you anything they want, but it's up to you.
Revolve your health among three things: food, lifestyle, and activity levels. Without these three things, there is nothing your doctor can really do. They aren't magicians.
The book provides a roadmap for how to question these things. Pretty much how to take on the sacred cows: the food pyramid, new medical studies, or anything that is really based on little data.
Of course some people were fighting against these things, but at the end of the day, people let it get through and it becomes gospel.
Without the right foods, lifestyle, and activity, there's no way a doctor can really help you.
Clear Health Now: Well, I think that is the crux of the matter. Folks will either take their doctor's advice point-blank, or take something you read on the Internet point-blank. It seems like you need that balance between the two to really “figure it out” and make a holistic decision about it. What are you actually going to do to be healthy?
Dr. Champ: Exactly. The holistic approach takes some thought. What makes sense for you and what doesn't. You have to actively figure out what's best for you and what's best for your health. That's pretty much what Misguided Medicine is all about...
The book has a new chapter about all of this. It's about the Greek Laocoön, who questioned the Trojan Horse. He said: "Do not trust the horse, Trojans!”
You know what happened to him? They didn't listen, and the Trojans drowned him with giant snakes. And you know what happened after that...
So, it's all about questioning things... that's kind of the underlying theme.
Clear Health Now: So, you’re an oncologist, and you regularly work with people that have cancer. What about people who don’t currently have cancer, versus those who do? Is there a different protocol for “healthy people” versus those who are currently stricken with cancer?
Dr. Champ: The way I look at it – and I see patients that don’t have cancer as well – but I see a woman that has breast cancer and a woman that wants to prevent breast cancer exactly the same. The recommendations are both the same. There are obviously extenuating circumstances, but I can generally tell a cancer patient or someone who wants to prevent cancer the same thing.
That’s good news for everyone...
It’s interesting, I’ve given talks where I say diet and food is the key and people say, “Yeah, of course, why would you even tell us that?” But they don’t know that four years ago, I would have had tomatoes thrown at me for saying these things...
That’s how quickly things change. And drastically.
We just completed a study with breast cancer patients using activity trackers, and we’re going to start doing studies about increased activity levels.
The NIH (National Institute of Health) has now started throwing millions of dollars at studies for exercise studies for cancer patients.
The way I look at it is, it’s likely far easier to prevent cancer than it is to cure it. So if we’re pushing for things for cancer patients to do to reduce their risk of recurrence of cancer, it stands to reason that it would work for people trying to prevent cancer.
If we’re telling women with breast cancer or men with prostate cancer that they need to exercise to reduce their risk of cancer of coming back, it will certainly help those without cancer.
And it’s obviously not just exercise but food as well...
And all of the food recommendations we’ve discussed here in the New Vitality Journal and Clear Health Now, are exactly what we’re telling people now: the tide is turning.
Some of the things that have been controversial when I recommended them: like a higher-fat diet, lower-carb diet, reduced sugars and grains...
The people that have been following this for years already know this, but it’s still extremely controversial. So the indoctrinated beliefs within academia may not have changed, but at least the public has. When patients start asking for it, doctors will start to listen.
Clear Health Now: Considering some of the recent studies, that is shocking. Almost all of them have proven that high-fat diets are far better than low-fat diets in most regards.
Dr. Champ: Exactly, not only are they positive, but a low fat-diet has never been better than a high fat diet. Sometimes they’ll tie, but they never lose. It’s funny, I get people that e-mail me about my book and they’ll say, “of course, this is obvious”. But I get more people saying “the stuff you're saying is CRAZY and how could you possibly be saying this?”
Clear Health Now: I agree, if people haven’t heard it before, it does sound crazy. It goes against everything they’ve ever heard.
Dr. Champ: I’m really trying to reach those middle people – who aren’t indoctrinated – that could actually make some changes.
Clear Health Now: And it’s actually really easy to do. But people have this aversion to say, the Paleo Diet, where they cannot even think about not eating cheese, bread or pasta. But this is a far more palatable diet than say, starving yourself on a low-fat diet.
It’s not like you’re eating kale all day...
Dr. Champ: I think there are a couple of issues here. The major one is that eating well requires effort. You have to cook. And if you’re smart you cook a lot in one meal and save the rest for lunch the next day.
I had a patient that said she’d make a protein shake in the morning because she didn’t have enough time to make breakfast. The issue wasn’t whether protein powder was good or bad for you, but that she wasn’t managing her time so that she could make a decent breakfast.
The reason was she didn’t want to get up 20 minutes earlier, because she didn’t want to go to bed 20 minutes earlier – which is because she was watching three hours of TV at night.
So, basically, you aren’t against a high-fat, whole foods diet, you are against spending the time it takes to actually cook them because you chose to watch an extra TV show.
Clear Health Now: It’s like a death spiral.
Dr. Champ: Yeah, exactly. So, the next thing you know, you’re buying instant oatmeal and following the low-fat diet, because it’s easy and it seems like you are following some sort of belief system.
Even though it doesn’t work and you’ll still be overweight.
Clear Health Now: I’ve had this conversation before with people, and they will often say: “I just don’t have the time”. But cooking a steak and sautéing some greens only takes say, 20 minutes tops.
Dr. Champ: It’s all about being proactive. It’s what I’ve realized since practicing, it’s really the lifestyle and time that it takes. Let’s say, bone broth. It does take a little while to make your own bone broth, but if you buy it at the store, it’s filled with artificial preservatives.
The issue isn’t whether it’s good for you. It’s do you really want to change?
Clear Health Now: Speaking of bone broth, that’s another thing folks seem apprehensive about. In reality, for how healthy it is, it really doesn’t take that long. And you can make it with ingredients you were already going to throw out.
What’s the complaint here?
Dr. Champ: Exactly. Those are the same people that say eating “Paleo” is too expensive.
Well, bones are dirt cheap. So a lot of this comes down to trying to motivate people to actually take their health into their own hands, and change their old ways. And that is pretty hard to do.
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Clear Health Now: So, it's all about empowering people to action. And it is as easy as parking your car too far away, or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. It’s the little, easy things you can do that start to add up over time.
Dr. Champ: Exactly, if you can’t force yourself to do something as simple as taking the stairs, it is really difficult to expect people to change their entire diet.
Clear Health Now: Speaking of diet, what are some of the easiest things people can do to say, stave off cancer – which is your specialty.
Dr. Champ: There is a catch term: “nutrient-dense foods”. You need vitamins and minerals to have a healthy immune system to help fight off diseases like cancer. Those are the foods I recommend. Like eggs from pastured chickens – which have higher vitamin counts. Healthy meat sources like grass-fed meats and organ meats, if you can pull that off.
Green leafy vegetables: broccoli, brussels sprouts, asparagus, cauliflower. Those types of veggies.
And if you are cooking these, have stable cooking oils that don’t get oxidized – which can bring free radicals into the body. That’s ghee, lard, grass-fed butter, olive oil and macadamia nut oil. You’re helping to cook the food without causing cancer chemicals to come in.
If you are cooking meat, you should do so at a low temperature so you don’t burn them. That can have carcinogenic effects.
That’s the bulk of foods you should be eating most of the time.
Clear Health Now: How about fruit? Because I’ve heard that “fructose is fructose” and that eating too much fruit can really be a problem – especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Dr. Champ: Berries are fine: blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, blackberries.
I do tell people not to go crazy with fruit. The main benefits of fruit are basically more fiber and vitamins. You can get those benefits in other ways – like the green leafy vegetables I mentioned – without all of the sugar.
I wouldn’t recommend that people start eating 9 bananas a day. You may be able to get some potassium, but you shouldn’t be turning to fruits for these nutrients. You’ll get a bit of potassium but you’re also getting 40 grams of sugar.
The whole “natural sugar” argument is one of my pet peeves. It leads people down the wrong path.
And if you’re trying to lose weight, you don’t have to eliminate them – just don’t rely on them completely for your vitamins. Eat some berries and fruits with seeds and thicker skins.
Clear Health Now: Speaking of losing weight, obviously cutting carbs makes a huge difference. But are there healthy carbs, if say, you are exercising a fair amount?
Dr. Champ: Sure. I eat sweet potatoes cooked in butter with cinnamon. If you’re working out a lot, I’d recommend some carbs. So, white rice for example, is fine after a workout. But, I just would never recommend bread and pasta for those things.
Clear Health Now: Like with marathons, it always funny to me when runners eat three plates of pasta before a marathon.
Dr. Champ: And they still crash during the race! Anything you have to eat three plates of pasta to do is probably not a good thing to be doing for your health.
Clear Health Now: Thanks for the time, Dr. Champ.
Dr. Champ: Thanks Jimmy, always a pleasure.
You can order Dr. Champ’s book, Misguided Medicine, right here. I highly recommend it – it’s one of the best health books I’ve ever read.
Yours in health,
Contributing Editor, Clear Health Now