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Ignacio Cuaranta’s Biography
My name is Ignacio Cuaranta, 34yo. I’m an MD, board certified Clinical Psychiatrist. I’m in charge of the mood disorders department at a Neurosciences Clinic in Rosario, Argentina. I’m born and raised in Argentina, where I practice. I’ve been always interested in nutrition and its effects in the human body, brain and conduct. I’ve first became in touch with the keto world and intermittent fasting in an unusual way, outside of the medical community. I did a 4 month experience at Beaumont hospitals Weight control center back in 2006.Last April I spent a week with Dr. Jason Fung and Megan Ramos at the Intensive Dietary Management clinic in Toronto, Canada. Been Implementing LCHF approach with my patients for almost two years now, with the obvious difficulties of being a lonely ranger in my practice but have been gaining a lot of support and the demands for my services is ever increasing as patients share their stories among them and decide to try a different approach in mental health. I’m currently writing a book in spanish in order to help spread LCHF and IF in south america.
I don’t YET have a webpage, and I’m just starting to use social media again.
my twitter is @IgnacioCuaranta
my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Carole Freeman: Welcome, welcome everyone to another episode of Keto Chat I am your host Carole Freeman. I’m a certified nutritionist and creator of the Fast Track to Keto Success program. Today we have somebody all the way from Argentina and he’s joining us after a very long day of seeing patients and so this is Doctor Ignacio I’ve been practicing his last name hopefully I don’t butcher it Cuaranta. Cuaranta? Did I get it right.
Dr Cuaranta: That’s perfect Cuaranta.
Carole Freeman: He is a board certified clinical psychiatrist and he’s in charge of the mood disorders department at a neurosciences clinic in Rosario Argentina. Born and raised there and I got the privilege of meeting him at Low Carbs San Diego, earlier this year in 2017. I’m just so excited about the work that you’re doing and I just wanted to give the … Share your stories of success with everyone and so we’ve got a lot to talk about, I’m really excited.
We couldn’t turn on the recording fast enough he was just sharing with me all these great work that he’s doing. How did you get interested in psychiatry work in the first place? How … Did you know when you went into medical school or that came up later or? Let’s go back from the beginning.
Dr Cuaranta: Okay actually my dad is a cardiologist who you also met in San Diego and my mum is a psychologist. I think I’m kind of like a mix of them both. I’ve also been interested in human interactions and behavioral sciences. It’s always something that has driven my interest. When I was in med school I was also reading a lot of stuff about psychology and … It was kind of a natural thing for me.
I also when I had to decide to whether if I was going into psychiatry or endocrinology because that was my other interest I was very keen on endocrinology the hormone function in the body and obesity. I also spend like in 2006 four months rotation in the; it was not a fellowship because I was not a doctor already in the Beaumont Hospital in Michigan.
I was at the obesity department there and I fell in love with the work they were doing. This getting myself involved in the nutritional aspects and all the behaviors that are involved in eating and all the eating disorders just kind of like came natural for me. It’s kind of like a come back to my first love that as it was nutrition, and being able to mix the, all of this into my practices it’s really a plus for me, I mean it’s really awesome.
Carole Freeman: Yeah that’s wonderful. How did you get interested in nutrition, was that … Is that-
Dr Cuaranta: Actually in the first place I like a lot of people that I met that are doing this kind of Keto approach or used intermittent fasting. In the first place I started using it for myself just for my own health, just to feel better. No, I didn’t do many approaches, I did a high protein diet, I did just to go with my gym routine.
I always kind of lacked … I was seeing that lack of the results that we’re all looking for, all the diet result they were very hard for me to follow for a long time. I didn’t have a structure that I could follow that fit into my life. It’s kind of it’s like a long time looking for something that really works.
Carole Freeman: Okay how did you first hear about Keto? Everybody has got a different story about how they even heard about it. Low carb, high fat, or Keto like how did you even hear about it in the first place? Was it at the medical like internship that you did or preceptorship?
Dr Cuaranta: Actually what I did there at the Beaumont Hospital, they did an approach that it was high protein, low fat or low carb, especially low carb but they weren’t high enough in fat in the fat part and they used packets of protein.
Carole Freeman: Oh yeah okay.
Dr Cuaranta: You know like to mix with milk or water, and it was very strict. Some of them they even prepared them for to go into the bariatric surgery, so they did all the checkups, and the follow up of those patients. This, you know I’ve seen pretty good results in people lowering their insulin intake and all of their medications, hypertension medication or diabetes medications, heart statins, all of the medication that go with obesity.
But I felt that something was missing because a lot of patients started to find it hard to follow after six months a year, they started the results started to stagnate, and it was hard to follow overall. Actually I was wondering around in a minimalist page, and they suggested the work of Brad Pilon I don’t know if you’re familiar with it with his book Eat Stop Eat. It talks about intermittent fasting, that was like two and half years ago.
I read that overnight and then the next day was my 24 hour fasting. [inaudible 00:06:22] I jumped right in, and I did it and I felt great. I opened my eyes and said this can have something very meaningful behind. Kind of like my approach was initially for about eight months or a year mostly intermittent fasting, coming back from a Paleo Approach. I was kind of like eating more natural trying to avoid grains, cereals, sugar and emphasizing like the meat products and overall natural products in general.
Which we had here in Argentina like very good meat, very good animal products really it’s … We have wonderful product and very natural also. We also have a [inaudible 00:07:07] all of the marketing. We have the same … I lived in the US and I lived most of my life in here. I see a lot of patterns that repeat here and there you know something that gets popular in the US like it doesn’t take long to get popular in Argentina or the rest of the world.
We kind of seeing that obesity epidemic here in Argentina too. All of the problems that I’m mostly interested in that are cognitive decline, depression, anxiety disorders. I kind of like eased into it and I started doing, more on a LCHF approach. I don’t go like very strict about it, I don’t measure ketones. I just go and like with a natural approach with myself, and I try to experiment with different things. I’m trying to incorporate new things, herbal products and try to see what works best with me. That’s kind of the same approach I use with my patients with a goal oriented and depending on where the patient is at.
Carole Freeman: Okay do you kind of just follow them like a list of foods you eat and foods you don’t eat or do you have it … Is that kind of how you start with your patients?
Dr Cuaranta: What has given me the best results coming with a medical background with very little information with that, most of what I know I would say all of what I know is because I love to read about and I’m everyday studying about it, I’m writing about it.
What I … What works … What I found that works best for me is kind of like a structure some of kind of fasting short periods of intermittent fasting of about 14, 16 hours to start getting used to it, start getting the feelings of improving their relationships with their hunger, try to differentiate the hunger with the appetite. The voluntary abstinence from eating.
Trying to gain some perspective, trying to gain some distance from food, allows them to … Then they ask me, so when I eat what should I eat. They find it a lot easier to make healthier choices when they’ve been in a certain period of fasting. Mostly for the first month I work out they try to get to those 16 hour periods of fasting and an eight hour period of eating kind of like a Leangains approach.
Carole Freeman: Okay.
Dr Cuaranta: Then I start. It really depends on each patient because are a lot of patients that have been in every diet imaginable in all the diets that have been around, they’ve done it so a lot of times they know a lot about food. They get surprised say, that’s exactly the opposite that all of what every nutritionist have told me.
Carole Freeman: Yes.
Dr Cuaranta: I say okay that’s why it’s called a paradigm shift. That’s why I call it a paradigm shift. It’s kind of like bizarre because it’s a paradigm shift but it’s the way that the human physiology is meant to work and it’s the way it’s been for all of the human history. Really it’s very natural to them.
Carole Freeman: Yeah I was going to ask like how they receive that right because most of what they’ve been told is well don’t skip breakfast and you got to eat every two or three hours. But it sounds like you have a very good way of addressing that. It was like well if that’s what you’ve been doing how is that working for you, right? Not so well.
Dr Cuaranta: Exactly regarding this, I follow all of most of Dr Jason Fung’s approach. I spent a week with him in April in his clinic in Toronto after reading of course all of his work and what’s in all of his videos so I became very interested in his work. I wrote to him and he invited, he and Megan Ramos they both invited me to go there and see how they work.
I was very happy to see that the work that I was doing there, that I’m doing here I felt very reassured, very reinforced that what I am doing it’s a correct approach. The results that I’m getting with my patients also is very you know satisfying to see all of the good response all of the results what the feedback that I get.
Because I’ve been doing this for two years now since I started. I started with a lot people around me, family members and that saw the results in me. Me myself I lost 33 or 34 pound since I started like over a period of course of a year and half, but I’ve been able to maintain it for almost a year and a half now.
Really it’s been amazing. I follow that kind of approach with the intermittent fasting that I talk with Jason Fung, I mean it really works.
Carole Freeman: Yeah well it’s hard to refute. Share with us some of the ways it’s impacted your patients, like what are some of your favorite stories of how it’s transformed people’s health.
Dr Cuaranta: Well what one of the stories that happened for one of my patients this is a 72 year old woman. She’s been overweight for the most second half of her life now. She is missing a leg from a car accident since she was nine so that wasn’t a very bad thing for her because she almost dropped all of her life without that limb.
But what tickled her the most what really hurt her inside and it was really, she was having suicidal thoughts, she was very depressed. She was already on antidepressant medication was that she couldn’t lose any of her weight.
Of course, she is kind of like limited with her physical activity of being overweight and all. Even she had a lot of difficulty putting in her orthopedic you know implant. I started with her, I talked to her about this diet, this kind of approach and I tried to do it like ease her into it. She’s been able to lose over 15 kilos that would be about you know it’s more than 30 pound. She was able to reduce her antidepressant medications, reduce her Benzodiazepines anxiolytics.
She was able … She is more happy, she sends me text messages very often, expressing her gratitude, she feels more alive. She always tell me that her mental clarity improved a lot. She doesn’t even … She is not even that strict regarding keto and that’s what I think that has limited her continued losing weight, losing fat because she hasn’t, she still has some fat to lose.
But I try not to go to strict about it or to pressure my patients into doing very long fast or doing very strict LCHF. But of course you know there’s some people that really need to be very strict because their health is on the line and they cannot be so easy going with it and they really need to take action now.
I try to go with the patient really needs and try to assess that in the first couple of interviews. Try to build a relation and try to be supporting in all this. I try to warn them other doctors and other perhaps nutritionists and their family members try to work them out of their way in warning them, they are kind of prepared. Because they’re going to tell you to stop it, they know it in advance so it’s … They’re able, pretty good rates of adherence, don’t have many patient that have drop out. The ones that have really didn’t get it from the first time.
Carole Freeman: Okay. Is this something that on the first visit you’re kind of talking about or is something that later on after you’ve seen them for a few appointments?
Dr Cuaranta: Actually in the first couple of interviews with the patients I always asses how they sleep, how they manage stress, how are their energy levels. Of course physical activity, sleep and eating those are three cardinal symptoms or area in every people’s life, in every person’s life.
Really I mean I think if you don’t assess how they’re eating or what they’re eating behavior is, right now I don’t see my assessment as complete because I see, I evaluate about 8 or 10 new persons a week because that’s one of my roles in the clinic that I work.
I do first interview, I wouldn’t exaggerate it by saying that more than half of them have some food related disorder that they can somehow improve cognitive decline anxiety disorders, compulsive eating. I’m not talking about declare or [inaudible 00:18:32] bulimia and just saying anxiety around food.
Those people that really when they see something they can’t stop they say okay I’m not going to eat anymore and five minutes later they’re attacking the refrigerator again. Those types of eating you know about the crocodile brain speaking for themselves. Really what bugs me the most is that most of the medical professionals and nutritionists and everybody puts the blame on them. Like if it was kind of like a moral issue, which I really think it’s not.
Carole Freeman: Yeah well I don’t know if you realize how remarkable it is that you know as a doctor you see the depression and anxiety are actually related to food and that those can get better. Perhaps you’ve heard the stories of here in the Sates about how doctors are trained here to think that way that food has nothing to do with your health and well being and what’s going on your mind and anxiety and depression.
So we have a very big gap in our medical establishment, whether it’s in psychiatry or traditional or regular or family medicine doctor or something like that, that they just don’t even see how those are related. Do you run across that as well from your fellow physicians? Like do they think what you’re doing is crazy or are they starting to see the results?
Dr Cuaranta: Well you hit the point there, because one of the reasons that I went to San Diego was I’d like to start building a network a support network of physicians around the globe. I’m in contact with some of them. It’s very refreshing; it’s very calming to see that you’re not alone. I’m obviously not alone, but I’m kind of isolated down here regarding this.
There are some people that are using the ketogenic diet but they’re still being taught at nutrition schools that is only, can only go for 15 days or 21 days and then get it out. Because it raises cholesterol because it can give you arrhythmia and a lot of horrible things that they tell them. Don’t even let me get started about fasting, something that has come with the human being from its birth. Right now it’s something that it will you know your body will eat your brain, 20 minutes after you wake up if you don’t have something to eat.
When the … Actually it’s all of the opposite about that. Most people don’t feel hungry when they wake up, they have the chemical balance in them to start the day to tackle the day to tackle their activities. Instead of focusing on their work their productivity they have to be around food all the time, eat like two hours, eat ever two hours, snacking. It’s all of the time.
They cannot draw their brains and their minds out of thinking about food. Even today I have this patient that he has already lost 11 kilos in two months that’s about 25 pound or something. He feels a lot, he came in with an anxiety disorder and he is now … His mood has improved a lot because anxiety disorders impact the mood when you have it for sometime because it give you a lot of limitations in your daily life.
He is more calm, he is … There’s a lot of things that come with losing weight and I always tell the patients, losing weight is the consequence it’s not the main goal, because there’s a lot of other host of health benefits that go with it. He also see that mental clarity, the clarity in his thoughts, he is not having those many negative thoughts.
He’s even more confident when you start losing weight and you see that you’re doing something that is effective, you feel better about yourself. It’s very, I can’t stress this enough, it’s very gratifying to see that you can help your patients, even though they came with anxiety disorder help them overall.
Carole Freeman: Yeah so have you been really surprised by all of the benefits that your patients have got. I know you had intentions and had optimism that it would help them, otherwise you wouldn’t have been recommending that. But have you been in awe of all the benefits that they’re getting?
Dr Cuaranta: Well that’s one of the things that I always tell my patients and my friends and the people that surround me. It’s that really I started this over two years ago and I hadn’t been doing keep doing it as intensively as I have been doing it and getting into it if I hadn’t been seeing all of these positive feedback that I’m seeing.
This is where I get most of my energy and really I want to give it structure and I want to scale it to impact even more people. I have a vision but it’s kind of like the vision that you guys have the in the States that is change in the dietary guidelines. At least to stop recommending that 50 or 60 percent of the calories come from carbohydrate and even processed carbohydrate.
Carole Freeman: Yeah.
Dr Cuaranta: You know it’s addition because it’s kind of like an ideal it’s a hard thing but it’s, I think it’s well worth it to fight for it. I think this time around this we’re doing right now this global connection, the internet, they won’t be able to stop all of this movement kind of thing that we’re going through because nobody can stop someone to take charge of their own health if the medical department … The medical people the doctors the nutritionists and all of the health people aren’t doing it for themselves.
Carole Freeman: Yeah, that’s really remarkable. It reminds me of something that happened a couple of weekends ago up here in the Seattle area. I attended ancestral health symposium, which is kind of mostly Paleo messages that’s there. One of the speaker was, I can’t even remember who it was but she was showed a case example of somebody with schizophrenia that in, I don’t even remember it was like three days or something remarkable maybe eight days.
It was a very short period of time where introduction to the ketogenic diet and they were completely in remission or no longer had any symptoms. This was somebody that was, gosh I wish I remember all the details of it, but they were middle or later age and somebody who had, had it for 53 years of their life.
I screen shotted that, posted that on social media and one of the immediate comments I got was somebody who worked in United States here in the mental health field. She was livid that I shared that and how irresponsible it was of me to put that message out there, that that was just ridiculous, that there is no way that, that would work that way.
It was sending the message that people didn’t need their medication and she was afraid that people are just going to all stop their medication now because they thought this diet would work. It was really actually … It was a study published, case study by Dr. Westman, and some other collaborators right.
Dr Cuaranta: Yes I heard about it
Carole Freeman: It was a real published thing, I wasn’t just some anecdotal story that was being shared. I mean that’s just an example of the reaction that we get from people especially in the mental health field is that, that’s irresponsible. We get the same thing when people share about how the ketogenic diet works for cancer or can help for cancer.
People get that, they get very angry and upset and say that’s just irresponsible that we even tell people that, that’s possible. What do you think about that immediate knee jerk reaction that this dangerous and you shouldn’t tell people that this is … I mean it’s perplexing for me because we know how powerful it is to actually help heal people of all these things. How do we bridge that gap between that fear and what really, what we know really works.
Dr Cuaranta: First of all I think what I first do when I get any kind of comments like that like I’m crazy or what I’m doing is irresponsible that they’re going to die when they are fasting and they’re going to drop dead in the middle of the 12 hour fasting period. The first thing I do is this, I remind myself that I have to breathe before I answer.
I know that the most comforting feeling for me is that I’m doing my best to help my patients in a way that a lot of people are not willing to do, they are not willing to take risk. I always accept that I can we don’t know here we’re going to be five years from now or two days from now or whatever. I have the feeling of tranquility that gives me that I study I put in the work, I really care for my patients, I’m there for them, I give them support.
Really I think this time around we have really a solid science that is backing us up. When you have such a robust science that backs you up and there are studies coming every day. Studies are hard to do in the nutrition field and the mental health field this day it’s also hard. If you’re not trying medication it’s hard because you have to handle a lot of variables to see that what you’re doing is studying the changes in the patients.
But I think it’s going to take some time I think that seeing what Dr Vinnie how he feels when he goes to these kinds of meeting. He is feeling recognized there’s very strong community we’re all strong willed professionals that we’re not going to abandon what we do because of some threat or … You know I go one patient at a time they see results.
People started asking me what I was doing because I was losing weight and I didn’t, I wasn’t doing some [inaudible 00:29:57] and selling what I’m doing people ask me and I’m passionate about it. That shows you know passionate shows that it’s self evident. Eventually when results are there when they get tired of trying different things they will eventually give it a try and they will see the results because that another great thing is that, that you see results.
Soon if you’re going into the path of illness and malaise and you’re hurt and you’re taking alto of medications I mean what can they tell me about them, that person. Really we have to be calm patient but I think this is moving at a faster rate than the people that we’re kind of admiring and doing our work behind.
They have to be a lot more patient than we have, because I’m already working in it and I’m not going to stop until great results. So that’s you know all the comfort and gratification that I received. Although the satisfaction, the profession satisfaction and personal that I see of helping my patients and the people around me. If you have an impact in the people around you my family and my friends and people, there’s no better feeling than that.
Carole Freeman: Yeah I love that. First of all that’s good advice for anybody on the internet is take a deep breath before you type anything that’s always good advice.
Dr Cuaranta: Yeah.
Carole Freeman: Yeah that, it doesn’t rattle me up anymore when people you know criticize or question what I’m doing because I know that we’ve got all this solid science behind us that really validates it and then case after case of people that are just having remarkable transformations.
I don’t have any doubts that this is safe and effective. But yeah in the beginning it was really like no but you don’t understand. I think we’re going to have those naysayers for a while and then they’re just going to be fewer and fewer of them if everybody else start getting bored and realizing powerful this is for helping people heal.
They’re just going to end up eventually being the lone ones that everybody is like well you’re the one who is crazy and you’re the one who is harming people because you’re not sharing this with them.
Dr Cuaranta: Exactly.
Carole Freeman: What other things have you seen get better. I mean depression anxiety, mental cognition, what are all the different things that you’ve seen people improve in their health?
Dr Cuaranta: [Inaudible 00:32:56] I have some patients with it. Especially the fasting and avoiding refined carbohydrates. You were asking me before and I didn’t quite answer what was my approach regarding protein if I don’t know what to eat or not to eat.
Carole Freeman: Yeah.
Dr Cuaranta: I mostly tell them what to avoid and I try to partner them with their preferences. That’s how it’s a lot more easy to motivate them. But really because I feel that this kind of eating resembles a lot more or more in the more close matter what physiology should do. Really I don’t think that any pathology that wouldn’t benefit of some kind of intermittent fasting and LCHF approach keto approach in most cases.
But not necessarily doing a ketogenic strict diet for long periods of time because that to some people, in some context it’s hard to implement the volume in places like here then, that is not so well known so they have to be kind of like lonely ranges in their own manner and go against what they have been told.
But I see benefits in of course in I have a patient he is a 46 years old, he came about with a diagnosed of moderate cognitive impairment, it’s kind of like a pre dementia state. He is being assisted with all of the people around him his family, his assistants. He hardly remembered things the appointment or things that he has to do.
Only a month and a half of ketogenic diet of very mild approach of ketogenic diet he has been saying, I don’t know what it is that I’m eating I think it’s the eggs, I’m sure it’s the eggs but I’m more lucid, I have more clarity, I can remember more things. He lost four kilos just like nothing you know just like a secondary effect of the diet.
I saw him like a couple of weeks ago and I started, I kind of like did a different approach with him because of a personal thing that he was going through. I told him okay we have to remove this the first thing that I asked them to remove is sugar, of course all sugar, you know sugar drains anything that holds sugar and sugar itself. But of course all of the cereals, crackers and muffins, all of the products derived from bread.
For most patients that starts healing them, and that’s the first step. But after that they see some such good results. They are eager to know more and that’s where I jump in with more strength and more emphasis of the things incorporated okay the coconut oil that is not so common. It’s becoming more common right now.
We only have like the [inaudible 00:36:22] to give them but I rely a lot on coconut oil, so I kind of give them bulletproof tea or bulletproof coffee just adding coconut oil to their tea or coffee and he feels great. You know what reversing your diagnosis of dementia means? It’s for a lot of people that’s claiming back their lives.
Carole Freeman: Yeah.
Dr Cuaranta: Of course all of the obesity, but one of the things I was telling you before is like this compulsive eating disorder that it’s not mainly it doesn’t hold the diagnostic criteria for bulimia because they don’t, they not have purgative behavior. They don’t use laxative they don’t vomit, but they feel guilty, and they feel that they are not in control. There’s no [inaudible 00:37:20] … There’s nothing more validating or imitating for someone that feel that is not control of their diet or they’re not in control of what they eat. It’s really that’s really empowering for people to see or to think that they are more in control of their lives.
Carole Freeman: Yeah that one of the thing I mean I came out of school with a mind body approach degree in nutrition and psychology and the way that I was trained was the reason that people have those eating disorders or binge eating disorder was that foods were labeled off limits. They kept trying to do these restricted diets and that just what made them obsessed with food.
So the solution I was taught coming out school was that all food sand legal and don’t put people on restricted diets because that’s what making them have the eating problems in the first place. I learned you know finding keto through a car accident not because I was actively seeking a way of losing weight was actually getting my body to be able to access its own fat for fuel like gave me that freedom. It no longer made me obsessed with food and constantly hungry and craving.
You know the irony of a restricted diet actually gave me the freedom from being obsessed about food and it sounds like that’s what you’re saying too. Over and over again that’s what my clients are reporting is that like the first time in their life they actually feel at peace with their body and with food and they’re no longer constantly obsessed with what am I going to eat, what should I eat, why can’t I eat.
Dr Cuaranta: That’s one of the things that this patient that I was telling you about told me today this is like the perfect approach for me because I don’t have to eat like every … I don’t have to force myself to have breakfast I don’t have to force myself to eat couple hours after that. I don’t have to carry food with me. if I’m not home for lunch I can push my breakfast and it would be his lunch a little longer that’s perfectly fine.
He asked me today, sometimes I don’t feel hungry and I don’t get home until it’s 3:00 or 4:00 pm having eaten at 8:00 pm. You know he is not morbidly obsess but he still has a good 20 more kilos to lose, so that’s perfectly fine. You just have, you can do one meal a day you know I explained, you have to explain what the some of the adaptation symptoms could be. You have to incorporate the minerals do some salt water some broth.
They have a lot of strategies to go about it but really it’s kind of so easy to extend hours your fasting after you’ve been doing it for some time. It feels natural there really is no … you don’t feel like it’s something that you are forcing into your body. Of course, it is stress but that’s the reason why it has so many positive effects.
If you combine that with ketogenic diet and a LCHF approach you have the best of both worlds because you know it’s improving the ketogenic diet boosting the ketogenic state and state of wellbeing.
Carole Freeman: Yeah excellent, Let’s see. We talked about anxiety and stress eating. I wonder what tips you have for people that let’s say they’re I mean most of the people watching this will probably be in the United States but people all over the world are going to be seeing this. What if somebody struggling with depression, anxiety, mental decline.
They’re struggling with their psychiatrist or psychologist what tips do you have for somebody to be able to kind of start to incorporate this into what they’re doing or maybe get some more support from their psychologist or psychiatrist is there any hope for that, this is a really rambling questions I’m sorry.
Dr Cuaranta: Yes no I mean I get it. This is something that I’m working on how to scale how to impact more people how to working along with the dean who he is an Australian engineering he lives in Chile. We’re working long to provide a platform for you know give some courses and try to teach people who to do this.
I think it’s a hard question because it depends on a lot of things, and it depends, it’s a hard thing to give general advice because it … But really if it’s a very pretty big correlation among patients, they have depression that they have obesity especially in women. There’s a lot of body images and issues.
One of the things that they could do that it can possibly harm anyone it’s extend the period of a normal night fast. Let say I know up there you eat a bit earlier that we’re doing here but let’s say you eat at 8:00 pm it’s comforting to tell you don’t need to go. You don’t need to force yourself to have breakfast you can skip breakfast especially if you don’t do, if you’re only resources of having a breakfast would be something that has refined carbohydrate or sugar filled fruits.
If you can avoid it overall just have your cup of coffee. We have Mate here I don’t know if you’re familiar with cimarrón mate that’s kind of it has mateine it’s mateine something like caffeine. Here in Argentina in South America in general we drink that and it’s an appetite suppressant as coffee is.
But the difference is that you can drink it for like an hour, an hour and half because you have a thermos and you serve it with a straw. In general pushing a little bit your breakfast to your lunch. Let’s say that your breakfast if your lunch. Have reducing your window of eating at least an 8 or 10 hour period.
If you have diabe … Of course, it’s important to be before by the medical profession if you have [inaudible 00:44:26] you have to be lowering your diabetes medication or in case let’s say about the anti depressants. It’s not what … It’s not one day too yeah, but it’s a … If you’re considering that you are too anxious that you get anxious around food it won’t hurt on the contrary we will give you perspective to take some distance from food.
There are a lot of techniques, there’s a lot of places in the internet that give you a lot of tips on how to go along for your first couple of fasts. But I think that’s like the best strategy to get into ketosis if you’re not used to it because the, at least at the beginning that’s my opinion. At least at the beginning because it’s easier it just involves the voluntary abstinence from food from a certain period of time and see how you feel. Go through the adaptations, you have to, it’s a period and it’s a life learning course.
Avoiding, what I tell my patients, just go about for like 14 or 16 hours and avoid grain, sugar, I sound like I repeat all over myself but I try to put it as simple as I can so my [inaudible 00:45:51] really are very high. Then when you’re two or three months into it and they’ve lost some weight they feel better, they feel energized they feel more [inaudible 00:46:04] I tell them okay now it’s time you can start to walk. I emphasize more on physical activity.
I don’t go crazy about it at the beginning because sometimes they have to drag themselves so I say okay when you … I read a quote that I loved a couple of weeks ago that says, I can’t remember who it was and I’m going to be unfair but it says “Eating less and exercising more is a consequence is not the method.” If they come to you and say you have to eat less and exercise more. You know they feel, they don’t feel the energy to do it they don’t feel the evolution to do it. They don’t feel well in order to do that.
So there’s other way around, when you feel energetic you feel like … They feel like okay, I have to go out, I have to go walk I have to go for a ride, I have to go to the gym. I mixed it up with calisthenics but it’s a body weight exercise. I think that helps you get synchronized with your muscles with your mind being more you know like in a sense state. That’s I think that’s the general approach. They can start down and it goes well study and go deeper.
Carole Freeman: Yeah and well and I’ll just reinforce that caveat that you threw in there, is that if you’re on any medications at all make sure you’re being monitored by your doctor before you do any of these changes, because some of them you’ll need some adjustments quickly. It’s pretty safe for everybody just to not eat sugar and grains, right.
Dr Cuaranta: It doesn’t make much sense to have your medications in order you can eat the food that you shouldn’t be eating in the first place.
Carole Freeman: Yeah.
Dr Cuaranta: So, really if this rings a bell, if this makes sense for a lot of people it really doesn’t hurt to try it. The thing is it’s really a shame and it’s really sad that they, if you tell them okay you have to control, monitoring with your physician a lot of them will tell them okay get off that diet so normally you can keep on your prescription on.
Being a doctor that’s easier for me and being a psychiatrist I really try to be very supportive of my patients. I put a lot of time in, because I really think it deserves, it’s like an investment it deserves to be assessed and has a lot of awesome benefits. But still you have to be, this has to be personalized and we’re all different and the approach is that we do have to be individualized. All of it cannot be channeled.
Carole Freeman: Yeah well thank you so much for the work that you’re doing. It’s just amazing it’s really important and I’m just so happy to hear of all the success that you’re having with your patients, I’m sure that they just … I’m sure that they’re telling other friends and more people come to see you every day. I remember what you said too when we talked in San Diego about how the dieticians that work at your clinic or your hospital about how they’re angry at you because you’re taking away their business does that?
Dr Cuaranta: Well right now I’m working like to turn that thing around. I know it’s going to take time but I also talked with Dr Fung about this. He told me once that story when he referred the patients to their dieticians they would tell them no you shouldn’t fast that’s going to kill you. He started writing in several papers; this patient is not to see the dietician, because you’re absolutely certain what you’re doing.
It’s a tough topic and I’m not going to lose my hope that eventually the results and all of the what people are saying how people are feeling. You know educating more people that’s what I’m working right now, I’m writing something in Spanish, trying to put together all of the things that I’ve learned in my experience. All of the things that I read in all of the books, that some of the people that we saw in San Diego.
I’m trying to put that information in Spanish available for everyone and of course trying to educate some dieticians and other doctors that are interested in this. But all of the neurologic disorders I think I would say all of the psychiatrist disorders can benefit from some kind of approach like we’re talking right now.
Carole Freeman: Yeah that’s fantastic. I agree wonderful. Just in kind of wrapping this up was there anything else that you were hoping I’d ask you about or that you wanted to share?
Dr Cuaranta: Well actually last July regarding that cognitive decline. Last July I gave a talk at the clinic about metabolic flexibility. This is a key element in what I think is the most, the greatest benefit of eating high fat diet and a low carbohydrate restricted diet. It’s the flexibility and the ability to adapt and I think that the human … If there’s something that makes us human is the adaptability the ability to adapt to different environments and different situations.
We’re all like solider that are doing all of the same we’re all having the same disease, we’re all obese. The rates of dementia they are not going up because of the population is growing older the rates are going up because they are people in their 40 or their late 30 having some kind of cognitive decline and that unacceptable.
We have to step in and this concept of metabolic flexibility I think it’s very important for your neurons to be plastic, to be able to make new connections to increase the production of brain-derived neurotrophic factor to combine that with learning strategies. Really I think it’s a very interesting times that we’re living in being able to revere some of this pathologies and help them and guide them through their recovery.
Carole Freeman: Yeah wonderful. Well I just have one final question for you before you go. The meteor it’s coming to earth it’s going to kill us all today our last day on the planet, what’s going to be your final meal?
Dr Cuaranta: Well I’m going to have an Argentinean steak with butter and probably some broccoli, broccoli with butter. I put butter in everything, I do this time like one meal a day so when this time of day comes sand of course I cannot forget to throw in a couple of eggs in there.
Carole Freeman: What kind of steak are you going to have?
Dr Cuaranta: I think it’s a rib eye you call it.
Carole Freeman: Yeah
Dr Cuaranta: I make sure it has a lot of fat in it. Here in Argentina we do something that you don’t do as much in the US that is we eat all of the meat organs. We eat a lot of organs of the ruminants and that gives us a lot of more it’s a really you’re eating the whole package we hardly throw anything out, we eat the intestines.
Carole Freeman: Yeah we’re missing out here because we’ve been all brainwashed to think that, that’s like trash but it’s actually the most nutritious parts of the animal really.
Dr Cuaranta: Exactly I make sure that it has like a delicious contour of fast, I go nuts about that.
Carole Freeman: Nice, good all right well thank you so much for being here and thank you for the work that you’re doing.
Dr Cuaranta: Thanks for having me.
Carole Freeman: Thank you for sharing, like this global connection that we’re able to do now with the internet is really great because that helps to speed up all the healing of the planet. Hey if you guys want … Enjoy this give us a thumbs up, subscribe if you want to see more, we’ve got lots more interviews coming. We’ll put Dr. Ignacios Cuaranta.
Dr Cuaranta: Perfect.
Carole Freeman: We’ll put his contact info below. He’s got a website coming it’s not up yet but we’ll put his contact info below if you’d like to connect with him if you’re Argentina or you just want to reach out and tell him good job for the work that he’s doing. We’ll have more so subscribe if you want to see more of these interviews and that’s all for now we’ll see you on the next episode. Bye.
Dr Cuaranta: Bye