We’ve all heard the saying “You can’t outrun a bad diet!” The truth is, nutrition is fundamental to good health and often overlooked by people because they’re too busy, don’t know how to cook, and don’t know where to begin. Coupled with exercise, good nutrition is crucial to achieving total health. Our founder Samir Becic sat down with Dr. Lori Shemek to discuss the ins and outs of healthy nutrition and how it affects our brains, our weights, and more importantly, our immune systems.
Dr. Shemek is such a wealth of knowledge that we split up our exclusive interview with her into two parts: this one focusing on the wellness industry, and another highlighting nutrition.
“Especially now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, we are clearly seeing how a healthy lifestyle is not only recommended but is immensely important to strengthen our immune system. It has been shown that obese and unhealthy individuals have severe symptoms with a much higher death rate. Thank you, Dr. Lori Shemek for your never-ending commitment towards a healthier and fitter America” says HFR founder Samir Becic.
Lori Shemek is well known as a pioneer in creating global awareness of low-level inflammation and how it is the underlying cause of most illness, disease, faster aging, and weight gain. She has been sending out the message about inflammation long before it was a buzzword. Dr. Lori has uncovered the pathway to the core cause of weight: inflamed fat cells that not only promote unwanted excess weight gain and belly fat but poor health as well.
Lori Shemek is a Nutrition and Weight Loss expert, a best-selling author, and specializes in weight loss resistance. She has helped many people to once and for all…lose weight and feel better fast. Dr. Shemek is an award-winning, bestselling author of How To Fight FATflammation!; The Ketogenic Key; Beginner’s Guide to Intermittent Fasting and Fire-Up Your Fat Burn! The Huffington Post has recognized Dr. Shemek twice as one of the Top 16 Health and Fitness Experts, and as one of the Top 35 Diet and Nutrition Experts. She is frequently featured on national TV shows and radio shows.
Here is the exclusive interview:
Samir: Dr. Lori Shemek, it is an honor to interview you for all the Health Fitness Revolution readers. You’re doing an amazing job and your bio is truly impressive- as a four-time best-selling author, you’re making a difference in America. What is your secret?
Dr. Shemek: Samir, I wonder that myself, I think it’s a passion- like you and I were talking about earlier, about how our goal is really to help other people and that is truly what my mission is in life. So I think that’s what drives me to do it all… you know, to get it done.
To Optimize Brain Health – Ditch the Sugar.— Lori Shemek, PhD (@LoriShemek) January 11, 2021
Sugar slows your ability to create new neurons, harms the ones you have. This makes you slow. Sugar causes glycation, systemic inflammation that harms health.
Unfortunately, sugar is hidden – avoid added sugars – read your labels! pic.twitter.com/ZkuMdnntLb
Samir: Yeah, you’re doing a great job on social media! You’re really trying very hard to make our great country even greater in terms of health and fitness, and you’re doing it! I’ve seen your tweets, you have a tremendous amount of likes and comments and thousands of followers. How do you cope with some “health and fitness influencers” who don’t have much experience and knowledge but have millions of followers that they’re giving very questionable advice to?
Dr. Shemek: That’s really a good question and it’s troublesome because there’s nothing I can do except do what I’m doing. I had the opportunity to set the record straight regarding a health issue yesterday, about these particular oils that are unhealthy for people to ingest- and so all I can do is put my information out there that I know is evidence-based. It’s sad though because it’s similar to what the American Heart Association did with their heart-healthy recommendations for decades- it has harmed people’s health. So we can only do what we can do, with one person at a time- then the word gets out, hopefully.
Samir: Like you, I’m very passionate about what I do and I always try to find new ways to promote health and fitness based on science. But what I was saying is: we have thousands of new health and fitness “experts” and it’s not enough just to take off your clothes. How can we bring professionals back into the limelight? How can we bring people with experience, knowledge, and education back to taking the lead- especially on social media?
Dr. Shemek: Yeah, I think that’s a really great point because it’s so sad you see a lot of the motivational experts, for example, standing in front of a Ferrari and everybody thinks they’re wealthy and they’re going to take you to that same wealth, when in fact they don’t even own that car! It’s not even their car and they’re not wealthy- same in fitness, you’ll see these really chiseled bodies and they don’t have great nutritional knowledge at all. They’re in their 20s, they have a lot of testosterone and human growth hormone at that point, and they’re probably eating a lot of protein which is fine… but there isn’t a real knowledge of nutrition and health and they have tons of followers. For people I choose to follow: it doesn’t matter how many followers they have, but I look at what they’re doing, the information that they put out- is it evidence-based? If it is, then I know they’re credible. We have to focus on people based on what they’re putting out there.
Samir: One day we will read in the news that something is good for us, and the next day it’s bad for us. How do we know what information to follow?
Dr. Shemek: The number one thing to remember is that it is very challenging and difficult to really find serious evidence behind nutrition information. What you want to look for are the randomized control trials that are considered the gold standard of research. So if you’re if you are looking at something and you’re like “okay well just a year ago you said this was good for me and now it’s not”- you do your research: go to PubMed and look for randomized control trials-there you’ll find what you need to know, and for the most part, it will be the gold standard. The problem with research is that a lot of scientists get their colleagues to approve their research that they may have been paid for. Like those Harvard scientists were paid to say that fat is the evil doing the unhealthy deeds that sugar did. The sugar industry was trying to protect itself from that situation and unfortunately, it goes on all the time. That’s why we have to be really careful about what we’re looking at and always go to credible sources and authorities on health.
FYI: Originally fructose was proposed as the ideal sweetener for people with Type 2 Diabetes as it does not raise blood sugar.— Lori Shemek, PhD (@LoriShemek) January 5, 2021
However, fructose is now implicated in the epidemics of obesity, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, belly fat & metabolic syndrome. pic.twitter.com/ejTNbBMwD1
Samir: How can people decipher who they should be following for health and fitness advice on social media?
Dr. Shemek: That’s a really excellent question, there are a lot of people that don’t do their due diligence, they don’t read the recent research. I spend a lot of time reading new research that comes out and so this is where part of the problem is too… we have physicians that are still stuck in the old dogma of the old research and they don’t have the time to do the research. They’re so busy that they’re seeing a patient every 15 minutes, so for the majority of them, their education comes from the pharmaceutical companies. The good health and fitness experts out there always talk about the research that they’ve come across. For example, Samir, your book is evidence-based, everything you do and talk about is absolutely quality and there are people out there like you, that take the time to read the research and get it out to the masses. But there are also a lot of people that try to take a shortcut and sometimes it works for them.
Samir: You have a great podcast with excellent guests sharing a wealth of knowledge on health and fitness…
Dr. Shemek: My podcast is called “This podcast burns fat.” I bring on people who are true experts that I know, like you! It doesn’t matter if they’re big-time or not as long as I know that they’re credible.
Samir: I hope the COVID-19 pandemic will enlighten and encourage people to embrace a healthy lifestyle to improve their immune system. Considering that many fit and healthy people have had minimal effects from COVID, do you think the media should be interviewing more health and fitness experts?
Dr. Shemek: They need to give us space so we can promote our message. I’m frustrated because it’s always “you have to wear a mask, stay six feet apart, blah blah blah.” Well, of course, that’s important, we have to do that- but we need to highlight that the foundation of immune system health is: treating it right, supporting it with the right diet, the right lifestyle. If you’re eating a lot of sugar, it depresses your immune system- the average American ingests 156 pounds of sugar a year…in 1900, the average American ingested two pounds of sugar.
In four years, the obesity rate in this country will be 50 percent, isn’t that unbelievable?
We need to get the word out there.. you see these ads for pharmaceuticals, you ask your doctor about a psoriasis drug or statin- they need to do that with nutrition and they need to do it in every way they can. Most people don’t realize that if you’re obese, you’re probably deficient in magnesium, you’re probably deficient in vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency is a risk for COVID, so it’s so important for people to just pay attention. If they’re reading this, they’re already paying attention!
A staggering new study just released by the American Obesity Association: in just 4 more years (2025) 50% of Americans will be obese and by 2030 that number jumps to 60%.— Lori Shemek, PhD (@LoriShemek) January 14, 2021
This is costing America $17 trillion with the current obesity epidemic. https://t.co/1jI6DN5K4Z#obesity
Samir: An obesity rate of 50% by 2025 is not only a medical issue/an epidemic but will also have extremely negative effects on our economy and national security.
Dr. Shemek: We’re already spending 17 trillion on obesity right now… imagine down the road in four years what it’s going to be! These are billions of dollars that could be implemented in education and in promoting health and fitness.
Samir: Schools are cutting and in some instances, completely removing physical education. What is your stance on this issue?
Dr. Shemek: I think that’s sad, it really is sad. First of all, our children in school are under-hydrated and then now they’re not moving. They’re sitting all day long, they’re not drinking enough water, and we know what the research says about that. Physical fitness promotes brain health and brain development, especially for young kids. Studies are showing that children who don’t drink enough water don’t perform as well on cognitive tests. Giving children healthy fats will promote their brain health because the brain is actually fat.
Samir: I think there is a lack of media and journalists understanding how important a healthy lifestyle is to our nation. Why do you think they are not promoting the message? Why is there such resistance towards a truly healthy lifestyle?
Dr. Shemek: In my opinion, I believe that conservative, conventional health fields don’t think the diet is really all that important. They don’t think that healthy lifestyles are all that important in terms of contracting a disease. They think the body is equipped to deal with any kind of invader- which it is, but there are ways to promote a better immune system that is better ready to fight any virus or bacteria. So I understand why they wouldn’t, but I also don’t understand why we don’t focus more on the underlying cause of disease- which is inflammation.
Samir: Dr. Shemek, it was a true pleasure talking to you today, looking forward to our next interview! I wish you avant-garde success in the future!