This Is Why We’re Fat – Dr. Fred Pescatore
Today Jim talks with author, nutrition expert, and practicing physician Dr. Fred Pescatore.
Dr. Fred reveals the three simple daily steps for peak immune health, how to turn on your “fat burner genes” to melt away those extra pounds, and why cholesterol is actually one of your body’s best friends.
Dr. Fred also reveals the top three foods for heart health, the one alarming reason more Americans seem to be dying from COVID-19, and the everyday household items that are hindering your weight loss efforts.
01:53: Dr. Fred talks about his experience being a New Yorker during COVID-19
04:11: Jim talks about he and Dr. Fred met
04:53: Jim shares how Dr. Fred’s work has inspired a few “a-ha” moments
05:44: Dr. Fred talks about how his expertise in nutrition and Jim’s expertise in sound healing isn’t so different after all. It all works together.
06:27: Dr. Fred shares the virus-fighting recommendations he’s been giving his NYC patients
09:02: Dr. Fred’s philosophy on highlighting the good in every tragedy
10:00: Why the U.S.’s COVID-19 death rate is worse than Germany’s
10:36: The pandemic has shown a light on America’s self-sabotaging health habits
11:43: How changes over the past few decades have triggered an obesity epidemic
15:17: Dr. Fred gives an overview of Intermittent Fasting
18:51: How we used to view sugar pre-WWII
19:27: We used to spend 40% of our income on food; now we only spend 10% of our income on food
19:34: We’re all sick, we’re all dying, and we’re all obese
20:12: What happens when you start feeding your body right
21:46: The importance of finding an outlet¾especially right now
23:50: How Intermittent Fasting affects inflammation
25:13: Other ways people can keep inflammation at bay
28:40: The dos and don’ts for optimal blood pressure and heart health
34:45: Best ways to proactively protect the brain
37:56: What Dr. Fred refers to as “COVID brain”
39:39: Dr. Fred’s experience working in hospitals in Tanzania
41:45: Music is self-care
43:45: How Dr. Fred’s travels have changed the way he practices medicine
46:57: A little about Dr. Fred’s cutting-edge Manhattan practice
Dr. Fred’s website:
Dr. Fred’s YouTube Show:
Dr. Fred’s Logical Health Alternatives Facebook Page
Dr. Fred’s Twitter Page
Dr. Fred’s Ultimate Anti-Aging Protocol
Dr. Fred’s Perfect Sleep Protocol
Dr. Fred’s Alzheimer’s Treatment and Prevention Plan
JIM DONOVAN: Today on the Sound Health Podcast…
FRED PESCATORE: You sit back and everybody sits back and then says, “Well, why is our death rate worse than Germany’s?” Well, our death rate’s worse than Germany’s because we’re obese, we have diabetes… A hundred million Americans have an underlying condition or another. 100 million. So that’s one in every three of us has an underlying health condition that makes having this disease worse or leading to needing to be vented and dying and all of that stuff. So maybe it’s time to step back and look at what you’re doing for yourself, so that moving forward, you are at your peak in optimal health for whatever comes along.
JIM DONOVAN: Hey there. This is Jim Donovan. Welcome to the show. I am so glad that you’re here. Today’s guest is one of the most sought-after natural physicians in the country, Dr. Fred Pescatore. He’s been a guest on shows including Rachel Ray, the Today Show, Extra, The View and many more—sharing the latest breakthroughs in integrative and nutritional medicine. Dr. Pescatore is the author of The New York Times bestselling book, The Hamptons Diet, and the number one bestselling children’s health book, Feed Your Kids Well, among others.
He’s also on the editorial board of Us Weekly magazine, and is a regular contributor to In Touch, First for Women and Woman’s World magazines. Prior to opening his own practice in Manhattan, Dr. Pescatore was the associate medical director of the Atkins Center for Complementary Medicine, working as the right-hand man to the late great Dr. Robert Atkins. And today we are fortunate enough to have him on the show. Dr. Pescatore, we’re so glad to have you here. How are you today?
FRED PESCATORE: I’m doing great. Thanks for having me. It’s always a pleasure to be able to speak to different audiences. So thanks for having me. It’s going to be great.
JIM DONOVAN: Absolutely. Now you’re up in New York City. How have you been doing through all this intensity?
FRED PESCATORE: The media makes everything seem so much worse than it really is. New York City is a very vibrant, powerful place, filled with vibrant and powerful people. And we get through everything. We got through 9/11, we’ll get through this. And we’re getting through it fairly well. It’s a time when New Yorkers really band together. A lot of people think of us as these mean sort of folks that don’t really care about each other, but when that all is said and done, we stick together, and we make sure that our city runs and we get through it with the minimum of disruption.
And it really has been that way this whole entire time. I’ve been quite impressed with how well New York City has managed to get through this. And we’re doing it. I mean even I went and volunteered at Bellevue Hospital and places like that because we needed the help at the time. We no longer need that, which is good. And hopefully we’ll never need that sort of thing again. But it’s also not the first epidemic we’ve lived through. So, the HIV epidemic was far worse than this was when it hit initially. So, people seem to forget that. So New Yorkers are resilient and we’re ready to rock and roll. Ready to open!
JIM DONOVAN: Ready to open.
FRED PESCATORE: Get us outside and open again.
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah. I bet. I mean, to live there, you have to be strong. You have to be resilient or you just don’t make it up there.
FRED PESCATORE: No. It’s not for the faint of heart I guess is the right word.
JIM DONOVAN: Yes. My son and I, we were up to the city last year, right exactly at this time. And we were planning to come up again right around now, and really missing it. There’s no place like it on earth.
FRED PESCATORE: No. There really isn’t. And this just further exemplifies that. I mean there’s no… I mean I just can’t wait to see… And I used to hate having the tourists around, but I’m kind of looking forward to seeing them out and about again and enjoying themselves. But right now there’s nothing for them to go see and do. Or maybe in a couple of weeks, but right now, not much happening.
JIM DONOVAN: We’ve had an interesting year, you and I, we started off the year much more peacefully than this. We did a trip together down to a place called Rancho Santana in Nicaragua. And we did some programming together down there, lots of cool people. And when I was watching one of your-
FRED PESCATORE: That was the last time I was away.
JIM DONOVAN: Was it really?
FRED PESCATORE: That was the last time I was away. Yeah. Last time I was on a plane was flying home from that retreat.
JIM DONOVAN: Oh. Wow.
FRED PESCATORE: Which is the longest I’ve gone since I was probably an infant, without venturing that far away. But I’m sorry I interrupted you.
JIM DONOVAN: No. That’s–
FRED PESCATORE: It was amazing. Rancho Santana. And what we did there was just extraordinary. But I’ll let you explain some of that.
JIM DONOVAN: Sure. And feel free to chime in any time.
It was a retreat on the coast of Nicaragua, Southern Nicaragua, gorgeous, gorgeous place. And we were there. It was kind of a rejuvenation-renewal kind of retreat.
And one of the things that really struck me there… I got to sit in some of your presentations and I had multiple aha moments. You gave me ideas in those two days that I’m still using at this very moment. And I’m really excited that I get to introduce you to all my listeners.
I just want to let you know that this is the first time we’ve ever talked about nutrition on this show. Usually we talk about music and music and healing, music therapy, the arts. But I feel like after seeing you that we could really use a complement to some of the things that we talk about with regards to how music can help people and pair it with all the nutritional information that you’ve got. So that’s one of the reasons I brought you on the show.
FRED PESCATORE: Great. Well, I mean the thing is, all of it works together, does it not?
JIM DONOVAN: Yes.
FRED PESCATORE: I mean and you experienced that firsthand at Rancho. I mean what you and I do, while it might seem different, is not really that different at all. It’s different approaches to work towards the same goal, which is health…
Longevity, lifestyle changes, feeling good or feeling good about yourself, feeling good about the world around you. I mean we work towards the same goal. It’s just we do it differently.
JIM DONOVAN: So I want to start with… at least in my mind, it’s kind of the elephant in the room, of people are still thinking about the COVID-19 issue. And I’m just wondering, are there some recommendations that you’ve given your New York City patients about this?
FRED PESCATORE: Oh yeah. Of course. Absolutely.
I mean it might be… It’s really basically, right, take care of your immune system. So if you take care of… Plus looking at what other countries have looked at. Right? So at the very beginning of this, I was looking at whatever was coming out of Spain, Italy, China, all of those things. What was some of the information coming out of there! Vitamin D for one absolutely showed that there was a good correlation. So my big recommendations have always been vitamin D. I’m a huge fan of vitamin D. I don’t think anybody takes nearly enough vitamin D that they should. So vitamin D was right up there at the top of my list.
Vitamin C. And especially if the patients could come in for it intravenously, without a doubt, I’d be giving intravenous vitamin C. But if not, I was recommending 3000 milligrams a day of vitamin C. 10,000 units of vitamin D every day.
Vitamin A, some probably between… I was taking 20,000 to 50,000 units of vitamin A every day.
Every time I went outside I would come back in and take a zinc lozenge, because zinc was another one that was shown to decrease the ability of the virus to take hold in the respiratory tract.
So it was just very simple vitamins. You didn’t even have to go to the crazy immune stuff, like with all the mushrooms stuff and the oregano and the olive leaf and the this, that, and the other thing.
These are just some very simple things that were shown to help your immune system fight against viruses. And there’s kind of no real difference from what I would normally do at the beginning of every flu season anyway. I mean those are my go-to flu vitamin recommendations, and they’re my go-to COVID recommendations. And they’ve been extraordinarily successful. I mean of all of my patients, only 28 came down with COVID and we live in the epicenter of it. So I think 28 patients is pretty good. And only one of them I sent to the hospital.
JIM DONOVAN: Good.
FRED PESCATORE: She was 94 years old, with underlying pulmonary disease. So all I thought was that’s it, it’s the end. And two days later, the hospital guy calls and says, “I don’t know what you do to these people, but we’re ready to send her home.” I’m like, “All right.”
JIM DONOVAN: That’s fantastic.
FRED PESCATORE: “Send her home. Just get her out of there.” And so I’ve had 80-year-olds with pulmonary fibrosis, with pulmonary edema, all these people with really some bad underlying conditions escape through this like it was nothing.
JIM DONOVAN: So glad to hear that. And all the awful stories that we hear, it’s just so nice to hear some good ones.
FRED PESCATORE: Well yeah. I mean, you know how the media is? They always want to give you the worst and the this and the that, and all these horrible things and tragedy. But there’s more to life than tragedy. In every tragedy, there is good. There’s always good stories to tell. So why are we always so obsessed, I guess, is a good word. Why are we always obsessed with the bad when we should be obsessed with the good? Like what is that person doing that I can be doing to make myself healthy?
JIM DONOVAN: Exactly.
FRED PESCATORE: And you wonder, you sit back and everybody sits back and then says, “Well, why is our death rate worse than Germany’s?” Well, our death rate’s worse than Germany’s because we’re obese, we have diabetes… A hundred million Americans have an underlying condition or another. 100 million. So that’s one in every three of us has an underlying health condition that makes having this disease worse or leading to needing to be vented and dying and all of that stuff. So maybe it’s time to step back and look at what you’re doing for yourself, so that moving forward, you are at your peak in optimal health for whatever comes along.
JIM DONOVAN: It really seems like–
FRED PESCATORE: And I think that’s what you and I are here doing.
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah. Exactly.
FRED PESCATORE: I think.
JIM DONOVAN: It seems like the pandemic has shined a big light on that fact that the nation¾just as a whole¾we have some pretty awful habits when it comes to taking care of ourselves.
FRED PESCATORE: Pretty awful. They’re disgusting. I mean if you step back and look at it, it’s disgusting. I mean it’s just outrageous to me. It really is outrageous to me that what we put in our mouths from the processed foods to the amount of sugar to what we drink, the sugar-sweetened beverages… And this is in light of studies telling us that sugar suppresses your immune system, sugar-sweetened beverages suppresses your immune system, these things cause cancer, these things cause… Well yeah. And yet we still happily sit there and drink them and think they’re part of the best part of life and all of that stuff. But anyways, sorry, I’m leading you astray. I don’t mean to do that.
JIM DONOVAN: Actually you’re leading me to a question I’ve had for a long time and maybe you actually know the answer to it. So, I was in high school in the ’80s. And I remember in my classes… So I lived in rural, rural America. And there might’ve been maybe one or two kids who would fit the description of obese. It wasn’t a very common thing. And between then and now it’s exponentially increased everywhere. And–
FRED PESCATORE: Well, it’s 45% of children.
JIM DONOVAN: So what’s changed? What’s changed between-
FRED PESCATORE: 65% of adults, 45% of children.
JIM DONOVAN: Oh, God. Yeah.
FRED PESCATORE: What has changed? Well, a lot has changed in the time when we were in high school and now. So a lot has changed. Because I was one of those obese kids. In my grammar school class, there were two obese kids in a class of 46. Two.
JIM DONOVAN: Wow.
FRED PESCATORE: So now there would be 45% of 50 would be whatever, 23. So now there’d be 23 of them. Then, there was only two of us.
So a lot has changed: The way we process food, the way we think about food. The way I remember food tasting when I was a kid, is now the way I remember it… Now I have to buy organic food to make it taste like that.
So the amount of glyphosate, the amount of… which is a chemical. The amount of herbicides, pesticides, all of those things that we have thrown into our food supply, not to mention the growth hormones, the antibiotics, all of that has made a dramatic difference in how our bodies are able to combat obesity.
So we’ve got a lot of obesogenic things in our… And this is not to put the onus on people and take it away from them, I mean because we all have to take responsibility for what we do, but there are… I just want people to know that it’s stacked against them. Every cleaning supply you use is estrogenic and obesogenic. From cash register receipts, that’s an obesogenic agent. When you touch that paper where… I forget what that paper is called. That’s obesogenic.
All of the cleaning supplies: Your dry cleaning supplies, your laundry detergents, your toothpaste, your suntan lotion, your underarm deodorant… all of that stuff are obesogenic. And they’re called endocrine disruptors. So they disrupt our endocrine system. And when you have a child, like when we were born, we were born with between three and 15 chemicals in our cord blood. Now a child born today is born with like 700 cord chemicals.
JIM DONOVAN: Oh my God.
FRED PESCATORE: So you can’t tell me that that’s not doing something. It’s got to be doing something.
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah. That’s-
FRED PESCATORE: So, obesity is just… Obesity, diabetes and the 13 cancers that are directly related to sugar and obesity as well as… COVID-19 has been related to obesity. It’s the second leading cause, after age 65, of why someone would die is obesity. So that’s, I think in my personal opinion, how it’s gone from where we were to this completely horrible epidemic in such a short period of time.
JIM DONOVAN: There are things that we can do about this. In fact, one of the things that we talked about in Nicaragua, that you talked about in Nicaragua was this idea of intermittent fasting, which you inspired me to do. I started that day after hearing you talk. And-
FRED PESCATORE: Oh. Cool.
JIM DONOVAN: Oh. Yeah. Since then I’ve dropped 10 pounds, my energy’s up and my sleep has gotten so much deeper.
FRED PESCATORE: Excellent.
JIM DONOVAN: And I’m wondering, for someone who’s new to it, would… Can you explain a little bit about what it is and how it works?
FRED PESCATORE: Sure. Intermittent fasting is sort of a means that you will choose to… And there’s multiple ways of doing this, of course, because once one thing takes off, 45 other people have to put their two cents in. But basically, really, it’s very simple. You choose a 12-hour window, or I choose a 16-hour window where I do not eat. So I’ll only eat for eight hours a day. Or, well, not eight hours a day, I’ll only eat between those eight hours. And people do 12, some people do 16, some people do a five-two, where they’ll do it five days a week and not the other two days a week.
But basically what it is, is you take a period of time, that’s got to be greater than 12 hours where you don’t eat anything. And then the other time, you have your normal lunch or dinner or whatever you want to do. And what that does is it mimics in the body that you’re in a fasting state. So it makes your body think it’s starving. So when you do feed yourself, what it does is it turns your metabolism on super quickly, and so you burn through those calories much more rapidly than you would if you’re eating throughout the day.
Because if you eat throughout the day and you keep your body supplied with the glucose that it likes and all of that stuff… because our bodies are pretty lazy when it comes down to it. I mean, they’ll do the minimum amount of work that it needs. They’re super efficient, but the things that we do to them make it not super efficient. But that’s a much bigger conversation. But if you just look at it from food point of view, our bodies are… And we’re used to this. This is how we were genetically programmed to eat. We’re not genetically programmed to be able to get off of our chair, go to a refrigerator, open it up and have food.
We are programmed genetically to eat a lot because we managed to find food, or we managed to kill a saber-toothed tiger and we’re going to eat the whole thing because we can’t store it or refrigerate it or anything because we don’t know how. So we would feast and then we would famine. And that’s kind of what intermittent fasting is doing. We’re feasting and we’re famining. So it’s turning on those genes, those old genetic genes that we’ve had since we were pre-historic, since we were just changing from ape to man, those genes are there. And what intermittent fasting does is turn them back on, because we’ve spent decades teaching ourselves how to turn them off.
JIM DONOVAN: Right. It seems like it wouldn’t have actually been that long ago where scarce food was an issue. I mean, just a couple of generations–
FRED PESCATORE: No.
JIM DONOVAN: … really. Right?
FRED PESCATORE: Yeah. Not that long ago. We’re talking World War II. I mean it’s not that long ago where people… The price of sugar at the turn of the century, not the turn of last century, was so expensive. It was one of the dearest things you could afford. That would be a super special thing that you would do. And you have to realize up to the 1950’s, when manufacturing… that post World War II era, when big farm.¾big whatever came in to be¾we used to spend 40% of our income on food. And we had good food for it.
Now we spend less than 10% of our income on food and we’re all sick, we’re all dying and we’re all obese. So you tell me where you’d rather spend your money. I choose to spend it on good food, good quality foods, but you get what you pay for. And when you’re buying a packaged box of something because it’s cheaper and it’s easier and it’s on the run, just know it’s going to be filled with chemicals and that couldn’t be good for you.
JIM DONOVAN: And you can feel the difference. Any of those days where I’ve gone to the convenience store because it’s 11 o’clock at night and I’m on the road, and I eat some garbage, I mean, I pay for it every single time. It never feels good.
FRED PESCATORE: No. It really doesn’t. And especially if you stop doing it. If you do it all the time, I think, like anything, we get used to it. Like being in quarantine, we get used to it. You learn different habits in different ways. But the remarkable thing for me is when I’m sitting with patients and I tell them, “Let’s get off of this here. Here’s what you should be eating… Not this. Sort of eat this, not that.” Just to sort of work with people, and they’re like, “Oh. I can never do this.” And then they come back and they’re like, “Wow. I feel amazing. I’m sleeping better,” like you said, “I’m sleeping better, I have more energy, I can think more clearly, I’ve lost weight. I’m going to stick with this.”
And then they go to a party and they eat all the junk that they want, and then they come back to me and they’re like, “I went to this party. I felt awful for three days. I’m never going off… I’m never stopping eating this way again.” My [inaudible], “Now you know. That’s how your body used to… Your body just didn’t know that that’s… You thought that was okay to feel like that.” People think it’s okay to feel sluggish.
People think it’s okay to not be able to remember words. People think it’s okay to have brain fog at that three o’clock in the afternoon. “Oh. I need caffeine. It’s three o’clock in the afternoon.” Well, you wouldn’t if your adrenal glands were working correctly and you nourished your body. Because I think what you do in your work is you nourish people’s soul, you nourish their brains, you nourish them in a different way. I’m trying to teach people how to nourish themselves with what they put in their bodies.
You know, I love what you do because you give people an outlet. And I think that’s especially important in times like this when we don’t have a lot of external outlets, but we have a lot of outlets that we can do ourselves. A lot of what you teach, I think, and please correct me if I’m wrong, is that you teach people how to do these things, and a lot of these things people do at home.
JIM DONOVAN: Yes.
FRED PESCATORE: And they do by themselves.
JIM DONOVAN: Absolutely. It’s self-care.
FRED PESCATORE: And yeah. And that’s remarkable. And I think knowing what you eat and when you should eat, what you should not eat is also self-care. And people don’t think of it like that. They think like, “Oh. I just need to… ” like you just said, “I need to grab something.” Or I need to do this. Well, part of this whole pause situation, that’s going on, a lot of patients I speak to have taken the time to… Or people I’ve spoken to, they’ve taken the time to get healthier, not to get unhealthier. It’s very rare I’ll have a patient that say, “Oh. I’ve lost it. I’ve gained the ‘COVID 19.’” But most people have not. I was prepared for an onslaught of people who had gained weight through this pandemic. And I must say, people are in better shape. At least the patients I’ve seen are in better shape now than they were before going in.
JIM DONOVAN: It sounds like you taught them well. That’s awesome.
FRED PESCATORE: Well, I mean it’s when people listen and then all of a sudden they’re like, “Oh. I have time to do this. I have time to cook, because I can’t go to a restaurant or I can’t order it. So I have to cook. So I have time to cook.” Or, “I don’t have to spend two hours commuting or three hours commuting. So there’s time I can exercise, time I can spend with my family, time I can do some reading.” Like I said before, there’s always a way of finding a silver lining and making the proverbial lemonade out of lemons.
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah. It’s all what we focus on.
FRED PESCATORE: But don’t put sugar in it.
JIM DONOVAN: No sugar.
FRED PESCATORE: Right.
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah. Well, let me ask you just one more question about the intermittent fasting.
FRED PESCATORE: Sure.
JIM DONOVAN: How does it affect inflammation?
FRED PESCATORE: Good question. Inflammation. By decreasing the amount of food that you eat, it allows your body’s enzymes, it allows your body’s mitochondria, it allows all your body’s working parts, especially the gut and all the gut cells, it allows them to all work efficiently. So it allows them to take the nutrients that it needs and get rid of it. It basically just makes them work the way they were meant to work. And when you’re feeding it correctly and you’re feeding it what it’s meant, your body, what it’s meant to eat, then that’s going to automatically decrease inflammation.
Even if you didn’t change what you ate, just eating in a fewer amount of hours is going to give your body that much longer to heal and repair itself so that the inflammation levels go down just by not because you changed your diet, just because of the way you changed the way you eat. Because like I said before, our bodies are not meant to be on working, especially metabolically, 24/7. Just because we have food available 24/7 doesn’t mean our bodies are meant to act like that. So that’s how intermittent fasting decreases inflammation.
JIM DONOVAN: That’s very helpful. Are there other things that you recommend to help people keep their inflammation at bay?
FRED PESCATORE: Oh yeah. Tons of things. I even think I have a whole inflammation or longevity protocol that I’ve put together for all of this. Because there’s so many anti-inflammatory supplements like curcumin, CBD oil, there’s green-lipped mussel with CBD oil, which I love. There’s so many different sort of products that I put together to formulate just for inflammation. And if you’re not a big supplement person, then CBD oil is perfect for that because it’s a couple of drops and you’re done for the day.
But if you’re not a supplement person and not willing to go down the CBD road, then there are things like what you do. I’m a big fan of meditation, even if meditation means sitting in a quiet room for 10 minutes. I don’t care if your brain is all over the place, doesn’t matter. Your brain will eventually learn to slow down. But it’s the act of removing yourself from life for a few minutes, which I think is super important. Getting the right sleep is super important. I mean, I even have a whole sleep protocol because of it. I mean sleep is that critical to decreasing inflammation.
So if you’re eating right, off sugar, if you’re sleeping right, if you are pooping right, your inflammation is just going to be at bay. I mean, it just is. So those are the highlights on top of the other things that people can do. And I don’t want to sit here and just talk supplements all day, which I can. But I think some of the things that people can do in their lives, exercise. Exercise, get out and do something. Even if it means walking around the block or even if it means being in your quarantined backyard or doing something. Just do something. You’ve got to move. You’ve got to move.
JIM DONOVAN: Absolutely.
FRED PESCATORE: Moving is important at keeping inflammation at bay.
JIM DONOVAN: One new habit I’ve started this year is that anytime I get a phone call, I get up and I take steps¾either outside or around the house. And I step the entire time that I’m on the phone. And I find that the calls are… they don’t become so much of a chore. And I also find that if I’m doing brainstorming with somebody that the walk actually helps the creative process happen, too.
FRED PESCATORE: Yeah. No. True. And that’s the beauty of… Again, something else that you learned during this. Right?
JIM DONOVAN: Yes.
FRED PESCATORE: Something that just alleviates… Any movement is going to be better than no movement at all. It’s great for your body, and it keeps your muscles working, it keeps your blood vessels working, it just keeps everything moving. I think it’s fantastic. And that’s an excellent tip, because that’s something we can all be doing. “Oh. The phone’s ringing. Let me walk around while I’m doing it. Instead of just sitting there.”
JIM DONOVAN: Exactly. My kids think I’m always pacing because I am, but it’s on purpose.
You were mentioning your protocols and supplements. And one thing we are going to do on your podcast page, it’s going to be DonovanHealth.com/Podcast, we’re going to include all those links to the protocols and the supplements-
FRED PESCATORE: Oh. Cool. Thank you.
JIM DONOVAN: … that we’ll talk about here. So that’s all going to be somewhere where everyone can access that very easily. So feel free to mention anything and then it’ll be there for people to access later.
Let’s pivot to heart health. So high blood pressure runs in my family. And so far, mine’s good. What I’m wondering is, are there some things that I should be doing and maybe avoiding to keep my blood pressure in check?
FRED PESCATORE: Sure. Things you should be doing… That’s easy. I think most people know that. If you have excess weight under your middle, especially, you want to sort of start to try to target that. You want to exercise. You want to make sure you’re not having a lot of sugar. Because I think what a lot of people don’t realize is that sugar increases oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is what happens to the cell walls. And when oxidative stress acts on the cell wall, what happens is cholesterol then comes along to repair the damage that the oxidative stress has done. So cholesterol is not an enemy. Cholesterol is actually our friend who is there to protect us.
So if there was no damage in the first place, cholesterol build-up, plaque build-up would not occur. So the way that it doesn’t occur is if you decrease the oxidative stress. The best way of decreasing oxidative stress is to eat correctly. Now you and I both know we can’t always all eat correctly. It’s just impossible. But just keep it in mind. I just ask people to keep it in mind so that it’s always percolating in the back of your brain. And I have patients say, “Every time I try to do something incorrect, I hear your voice in my head.” And I’m like, “Good. I’m onto you.”
JIM DONOVAN: It’s Dr. Fred on your shoulder.
FRED PESCATORE: So that’s one way. Exercising of course. Any movement keeps your heart healthy. And here’s why. Because when you, even if you have coronary blockages¾if you have blockages in your legs, you have blockages wherever¾your body will build what we call collateral circulation. So it’ll build new blood vessels to go around whatever’s blocking. Our body likes to heal itself. And if we gave it the tools to heal itself, it would! So exercise does that for our blocked arteries. It keeps the circulation going to the periphery, which means to your fingertips, to your toes, to your eyes, all of that keeps the blood flowing. For men in the penis. Because those are all microcirculation. Those are all tiny, tiny capillaries that have to work.
And if they don’t work and can’t open and close, then you’re going to get numbness and tingling, you’re going to get what we call peripheral neuropathy, you’re going to get erectile dysfunction, you’re going to get high blood pressure, because your kidneys don’t work. Kidneys are again ultra-small circulation. So we need that to work. And so that’s how we keep our heart healthy.
One of my favorite nutritional supplements for keeping your heart healthy is pycnogenol. Pycnogenol works on the collagen and elastin, which is sort of… Everybody knows collagen because nobody wants a wrinkly face. So people know that that’s what collagen does. When collagen ages, you get wrinkles. Well that happens in each and every one of your blood cells, the lining of your arteries, the lining of your veins. That’s collagen and elastin.
And that’s what causes them to open and close correctly. So if you keep them opening and closing correctly, you’re keeping your heart healthy.
If you’re keeping your blood sugar at bay, whether you’re a diabetic, whether you’re not diabetic, you’re keeping your heart healthy.
These are just things that we can do. Magnesium. Magnesium is amazing for the heart.
CoQ10. CoQ10 is something that supports the mitochondria in the body. And there’s so much CoQ10 needed in the heart, especially if you’re taking a statin medication¾which is one of those medications that people take to lower their cholesterol. You’ve got to take CoQ10 because statin medications deplete the CoQ10 from your body.
So there’s plenty of ways of keeping your heart healthy. But again, it’s always going to come down to diet, exercise. Those are the two biggest things. And then the nutritional supplements for me, give you that extra added bonus.
JIM DONOVAN: And how about things that I can add to my everyday diet that can help with heart health? I mean I’ve heard good olive oils is something that I should be eating. Is that right?
FRED PESCATORE: Sure. I mean if you want… Well, good olive oil is good cold. You should never heat olive oil. Olive oil gets rancid above 325 degrees. So for low cooking, it’s fine. Or you could do it like they do in the Mediterranean, which is they drizzle the olive oil over the food after it’s been cooked. So you can do that.
JIM DONOVAN: All that stuff.
FRED PESCATORE: You could switch to a higher heat oil, like avocado oil, macadamia, nut oil. Those are both heart-healthy fats. Eat avocados every day. Those are heart-healthy fats. Nuts, heart-healthy fats. Those are all things that are good for us. That are good to eat. Those are good little changes that you can make.
And stay away from fat-free food. Just stay away from it and stay away from eggs that are not pasture-raised. Just stay away from them.
Chickens need to be running around in pastures, they need to be eating bugs and earthworms, they should not be fed grain and corn. And then an egg is one of the healthiest things you can do for your heart.
So we’re talking to avocado, nuts, eggs¾who doesn’t love these foods.
JIM DONOVAN: Sounds pretty good actually.
FRED PESCATORE: I mean they’re delicious. And they’re great, and they’re all heart-healthy things. They’re all omega-9 fats, which are just great for your heart.
JIM DONOVAN: That’s so helpful. Thank you.
I want to switch gears yet again, since I’ve got you here. I’d like to talk a little bit about protecting the brain.
I have a dear family member who has Alzheimer’s and I’ve seen firsthand how challenging it is for her and her whole family. I’m just wondering again, same kind of question. What are some ways nutritionally that we can proactively protect our brain?
FRED PESCATORE: Okay. So what am I going to say first. Well I’m going to say diet and exercise. Right?
JIM DONOVAN: Diet and exercise. Of course.
FRED PESCATORE: Because that fixes everything.
So exercise, if you look at all the studies on Alzheimer’s disease, the main thing with all of them…
People who exercise the most have the most mild form of Alzheimer’s disease, and it slows down the advancement of Alzheimer’s disease. This is also true of just people with regular dementia.
It’s one of the few things that have been shown to curtail going to mild cognitive decline. And that’s just from exercising. And I’m not talking about having to go out and exercise 42 hours a day. You don’t have to exercise like that. Exercise is walking, exercise is movement, exercise is anything, exercise is yoga, exercise is chair yoga for our older listeners or whatever people want to do.
But that I think so, diet and exercise. So I can’t say enough about that. So then the other things to do, I think are really important is to do memory games. Whether it’s Sudoku, whether it’s crossword puzzles. Things that need your brain to go from one side to the other. So that the neurons go from the left to the right brain. And those are two of the things that we need when we’re doing crossword puzzles, when we’re doing Sudoku, when we’re doing things on playing scrabble on the computer or whatever. Those are things that keep our neurons firing and synapsing and keep the memory passageways open.
So those are really important things. And those are fun to do. You can do them on your computer, you can do them on your phone, you can do them on paper, you can do them any which way you want. So I think that’s great.
I think some of the other things that I… There’s really great nutritional supplements. Oh. And I have an entire brain protocol I wrote about that. There’s an entire protocol for that, that teaches you each and every step of the way, how to get through all of this and what to do, what to eat, what not to eat, what supplements to take, what supplements not to take. But there are some ones… Like I have a protocol on NeuroThrive, BrainLogic.
They’re specifically formulated just for your brain, with branded ingredients that have been scientifically proven to do this, scientifically proven to help keep your brain working the way that I see my patients’ brains working in my office. And so NeuroThrive and BrainLogic are two of the ones that I just can’t… I can’t keep them in stock. People love them so much. And they’re two different products and they work on two different mechanisms in the brain that keeps our brain working correctly.
And with all of this, I’m calling a COVID-brain now because there’s so many people that are having difficulty remembering things. And maybe that’s just in New York because we’re overwhelmed by everything, because our entire way of life was taken away from us. Because we don’t have cars, we need public transportation, we need interactions, because a lot of us are single people. So we live in apartments where we can’t talk to anybody else. You know what I mean?
So it’s sort of it has made… Even for me, I left the house the other day… Three times I had to go back to my apartment! Once I forgot my mask, then I forgot my keys. And that doesn’t happen to me at all, ever. I remember everything.
And so I think we’re just under so much different stress, even though we don’t realize it because every minute of every day¾especially with this 24/7 news cycle, there’s something new. Like, “Oh. Today we’re opening this. Oh tomorrow we’re closing this. Today we can travel to Indonesia, tomorrow we can’t.”
People can’t make plans, it’s disruptive, and when things like that happen, your brain is not as sharp as it used to be, or as it could be, or as it was. So I don’t want people to think they’re getting dementia because of the COVID dementia. It’s COVID overwhelmedness. And I think products like NeuroThrive and BrainLogic are great. But please I encourage people to look through my protocol.
JIM DONOVAN: Definitely. And we’ll definitely include that on that page we talked about earlier at DonovanHealth.com/Podcast. So I was reading in your bio… a completely different topic here, that you spent some time working in hospitals in Tanzania. And I was really interested about that. I’m really into African music and African drumming. Just wondered about what that was all about.
FRED PESCATORE: Well, every year I like to go to someplace and give back. It’s sort of my way of sort of my sort of philanthropy. And so instead of just donating money, which is easy to do, I donate me. So I go to different hospitals and sort of bring my knowledge that they might not have. And it’s been wonderfully accepted. Yeah. One year was Tanzania, another year was Rwanda, another year it was a small Caribbean country called Montserrat. I mean, every year I try to find someplace. Kenya was another year. I try to find someplace that I can do this, that wants me and well is happy to accept the help.
But getting back to the music, yes. I mean sort of the hospital would organize things for their visiting people. And we’d go out into the countryside. I mean, it’s all countryside but you go out to the deeper countryside and we’d actually meet with musicians and we’d get taken to performances that were going on and we’d also get taken to the medicine men of the towns too, and the little tribes and stuff.
JIM DONOVAN: Oh. Wow.
FRED PESCATORE: And so that was all really super fun. To meet the medicine men and to meet the drummers and just the music and the dancing and how the music and the dancing go together. And you can see how it changes people.
JIM DONOVAN: Interesting.
FRED PESCATORE: How it just physically changes people, mentally, emotionally, and the joy that it brings to other people watching it and listening to it. And that’s been your career, you know that. You don’t need me to tell you that part, but pretty fascinating.
JIM DONOVAN: Well, it’s interesting because having studied African music¾and I’ve had some brilliant teachers from many parts of Africa¾what strikes me is that they have that joy that you’re talking about and that mindset shift, that upliftment, but the venue is just somebody’s backyard. It’s not a big concert, there’s no big speakers or tickets. It’s just-
FRED PESCATORE: No. None of that.
JIM DONOVAN: … people and their families together doing it.
FRED PESCATORE: Yeah. It’s basically like going to a barbecue. Right?
JIM DONOVAN: Yeah.
FRED PESCATORE: Imagine going to a barbecue where people played music and danced around and did all of that. It’s a different tradition. Some of us might have that tradition, some of us might not, but it’s a completely different tradition and it works! It really does work. I think we get so bogged down in everything we “have” to do that we don’t give ourselves enough time as you put it earlier, and the new buzzword is self-care.
And music is part of self-care. I mean, I bike back and forth to work every day and if I don’t have the music in my ears, then I’m like, “Ugh.” It becomes drudgery. When I have the music in my ears, I’m going in and out through trucks, I’m unstoppable. So I think music does play an amazing role. And it’s bonding. Right? I mean, isn’t that what people want?
JIM DONOVAN: Yes.
FRED PESCATORE: We’re social creatures. And if we could bond in some way, on some level… And I think, and for me, in America, I see the two ways people bond are through music and television, and sports, but we don’t have sports and we’re not going to have any television anymore either because actually we don’t have any sports. So we’re all going to be bonding on zoom… so who knows?
JIM DONOVAN: Lord help us.
FRED PESCATORE: Yeah. Agreed.
JIM DONOVAN: So in your travels I see that you’ve been to Asia and India, Japan,¾all these places. Have any of these places, influenced or taught you new things that have affected the way that you practice medicine?
FRED PESCATORE: Oh. A hundred percent. A hundred percent.
I wouldn’t be practicing medicine probably anymore if I had not had those experiences. I mean those experiences are what makes my patients healthy. It’s what motivates me, it’s what excites me and what excites and motivates them.
There’s not a place on this planet that I’ve not been to, that I’ve not learned something from, whether it’s from the people and how they interact with each other, whether it’s from, going to the simplest village in Myanmar and having somebody take me in and feed me because they knew I had no idea what was going on and where I was.
I mean that is something you can’t learn from a textbook.
From those medicine men in Africa that I’ve been to, or from India with all their great Ayurvedic medicines that I’ve learned. Japanese. I mean, if you think about everything we get from the Japanese culture, from Maitake mushrooms to fish oils, to Shiitakes. All of those things that have been used for 5,000 and 10,000 years. They knew before we did.
JIM DONOVAN: These are such old cultures.
FRED PESCATORE: So that’s why it’s nice to go… Yes. Because they’re super old cultures.
Europe. I mean when you go to Europe and you see how chemotherapy is done there… It’s low-dose chemotherapy and they’re giving herbal remedies right alongside the chemotherapy. And all of their trees are different. They know what properties of this tree that’s growing here versus the same exact tree that’s growing a hundred miles away, and the difference in properties that they have. And so it’s interesting to see how other people think, especially because… And I trained in London. I did a year of medical school in London. And the thing you learn is that, here we have so much money to burn.
Our healthcare system… I don’t even need to touch a patient. All I have to do is send them for $12,000 worth of tests just to tell them there’s nothing wrong with them.
In other places where they ration… I mean, I don’t want to use the word “ration healthcare,” but where they pay attention to how much money is spent, you have to actually think. You’re trained to think, you’re trained to ask questions, you have to ask questions to get people to tell you what’s wrong with them.
And so that’s why I think I’m a good storyteller, I’m a good historian, I ask a million questions to my patients. And I will know what’s wrong with them before I even do the tests. And that has to do with me traveling throughout the world. Because they don’t have the same resources we have or they didn’t utilize them stupidly like we do.
JIM DONOVAN: What a concept! Ask questions, actually get to know the patient, and empower them with good information.
FRED PESCATORE: Shocking. Right?
JIM DONOVAN: Groundbreaking stuff.
FRED PESCATORE: I know. Yeah. I know.
JIM DONOVAN: So–
FRED PESCATORE: Call me crazy.
JIM DONOVAN: Well, you have a rather cutting-edge practice in Manhattan. And I know that people come from all over the world for your treatments and your consultations. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the things that you do up at your place?
FRED PESCATORE: Sure. We do lots of things like hyperthermia where you raise people’s temperatures because that gets rid of diseases. Because cancer cells can’t live in high heat, flu cells can’t live in high heat. A lot of bugs cannot live in high heat. So you just heat the body up. So, that’s some things that we do. We do things like prolotherapy and mesotherapy. We’re injecting different vitamins into joints or into intraabdominal fat so that the fat cells burn away and so that you’re doing things and you’re injecting vitamins into the joints, which also causes inflammation so that the joint starts to heal.
So you don’t need prednisone, you don’t need all of these other injections. I mean, I fix people’s knees all the time and they don’t need to go for surgeries and things like that. Or their shoulders. And they don’t need prednisone injections and things like that. Then I do a whole bunch of IV vitamin therapies, from mistletoe to vitamin C to glutathione, to all of those things to keep people healthy. I have a massage therapist here, which is more than just regular massage. It’s a medical massage, lymphatic massage, that type of thing.
I have a little gym set up in the office, so everybody gets a gym prescription. What they can do, and I can show them how to do it here? And it’s simple stuff. It’s with a medicine ball, it’s with a tiny little kettlebell, it’s with a chair. You don’t need a lot of stuff to do these things and to teach people little things that they can do to improve their lives.
You and I have talked about a lot since we’ve started talking and I can’t expect everybody to do everything. But what I can expect is somebody today to say, “Hey. Oh. I should be maybe having a few more nuts or instead of that low-fat food that I was eating.” Great. That’s a great takeaway for me.
Just do a little, just… Or, “Oh. Maybe I will walk today. And I’ll walk for five minutes and that’s good.” Because a lot of people say, “Oh. Well, I can’t do the 150 minutes a week that the United States government thinks that I should do to feel better. So five minutes a day.” Boom. It’s better than no minutes a day. Five minutes a day is half an hour a week. Within a few weeks you might be up to 40 minutes. Who knows? Or maybe you’re happy with the 30 minutes. That’s fine.
It’s just you’re moving your circulation and you’re getting everything working the way our bodies are… We’re not meant to be sedentary creatures. We’re meant to move around.
So I’ve all sorts of different modalities here of things that people can do. Infrared saunas, there’s laser therapies. I mean there’s all sorts of stuff that goes on in this office.
JIM DONOVAN: Excellent. Well, how can my listeners learn more about you? What’s the best place for them to visit?
FRED PESCATORE: The best way to learn about me is really to go to my website, which is just DrPescatore.com. You can go to my YouTube channel. My YouTube channel is The Dr. Fred Show. You can do that. There’s amazing… I was just reviewing that channel just the other day because I haven’t shot any because you can’t, I mean you can’t be in a production room anymore. And although now I might do it just on my iPad because you can do it on your iPad. It looks just as good these days as a traditional studio. And so I encourage people to go to my YouTube channel… it’s The Dr. Fred Show.
Sign up for my newsletter. It’s free, it comes out three to four times a week. Sometimes it feels like it comes out every day in your news box. But you’re going to hear everything that I’m talking about, everything that I’m thinking about.
I mean, all of this COVID stuff that everybody was there screeching the end of the world, you had somebody to listen to that was giving you practical tips on how to get through all of this or how to read the numbers. And because statistics are very misleading.
And people can have a statistic to tell you, if you want the sky to be green, I could prove to you that the sky is green. That’s how statistics work.
So, that’s how they can learn more about me.
JIM DONOVAN: That’s great. And I will include all those links in the show notes at DonovanHealth.com/Podcast. Dr. Fred-
FRED PESCATORE: Excellent.
JIM DONOVAN: … I could keep asking you questions all day. I know you have an appointment coming up, so thank you for taking the time to share your wisdom with us, and I would love to have you back sometime so I can ask you some more questions.
FRED PESCATORE: All right, Jim. Anytime. I’d be pleased. This was really fun for me and always great to talk to you. And keep up the good work, keep up that intermittent fasting.
JIM DONOVAN: I will do that and stay safe up there. Please keep taking good care of yourself and-
FRED PESCATORE: You too.
JIM DONOVAN: … I will see you soon, okay?
FRED PESCATORE: Thanks so much everyone. Bye.
JIM DONOVAN: Well that’s it for today. I appreciate you tuning in. Remember to come see us on our social media channels, on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. Just search “Jim Donovan Sound Health.”
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