If something is good, we want more of it, right? We usually assume that more is better. We want more money, a bigger house, more leisure time, more possessions. But do we really want all that? Each of these can potentially become a curse rather than a blessing. Those who have plenty are rarely the most happy in life.

When it comes to health, we want more energy, more muscle mass, and strong bones. To get those, we typically go for more food, with a focus on meat and dairy because of all the protein and calcium they provide. More is better, we say. But like possessions or riches, more food can be a curse. Have you noticed that, in this nation full of so much food that people often throw away excess portions of what they just bought or ordered, we are neither the healthiest nor long-lived people on the planet? We complain when the price of steak and milk goes up, yet keep buying them. Then when our health fails, we go after prescription drugs to hold us together a little longer. Somehow we manage to lose what we are most seeking after — health, strength, and longevity.

More isn’t necessarily better, and affluence tends to make us weak and lazy. “The sleep of the laborer is sweet…but as for the rich, their abundance permits them no sleep.” The desire for comfort and ease is built into all of us, not just in our minds, but also in our cells. Cells will take the easiest fuel source first, so sugar is consumed before other options. Sugar is the ultimate indulgence food, giving nothing but calories. Definitely, more is better does not apply to sugar!

Common myth-takes
Does it apply to protein? In the presence of plenty of protein, the body won’t bother with the hard work of scavenging protein through the breakdown of defective proteins inside tissues and organs. Yes, we need some protein. But protein is made up of amino acids, and all of them are available in plants too, if you get the right combination of plant-based foods. Sufficient protein simply isn’t a problem for most people, but too much protein is, at best, a strain on your body; and at worst, inflammatory and harmful.

More is better doesn’t apply to many of the standard measures of health either. As an example, levels of osteoporosis are normally determined by bone density testing. The assumption is that bone density equals bone strength: more density is better. Yet, bone density does not equal bone quality, and some medications that are used to stave off osteoporosis are not reducing fractures, even though they increase bone density. It was once thought that sodium fluoride was a good treatment for osteoporosis, because it increased the measurable bone density, but it actually made bones more brittle. More bone density isn’t necessarily better bone.

Sometimes less is more
Here is another example. We exercise and eat protein-rich foods because we want more muscle mass. But, like bones, mass does not equal strength. “Muscle specific force” refers to the actual effectiveness of muscle, and it is defined by the amount of force provided by a certain amount of muscle mass. You may observe this in athletes such as runners or cyclists: they are often fairly thin, yet very strong. The key to improving muscle specific force isn’t bulking up, but triggering metabolic processes that make the muscle “lean and mean.” How does that work? Many research studies have been done on the longevity-enhancing abilities of “caloric restriction” (CR), because it is possibly the closest thing to a fountain of youth that we’ve discovered. CR is, for most of us, a matter of eating less than we want or think we need; and for most of us, this reduction will lengthen our lives. Our abundance has made food much too available, leading to more intake than we really need. In research of CR on muscle effectiveness, here are the results of various studies:

  • A research article published in Cell Stem Cell demonstrates how special skeletal muscle cells called “satellite cells”, which are used for rapid muscle tissue repair, proliferate (multiply) better under CR conditions.
  • Published in Endocrinolgy and Metabolism, researchers explain that CR results in lower reactive oxygen species (ROS) production and reduced mitochondrial proton leak, which means less cell damage from the ROS, and greater mitochondrial efficiency in muscle tissue.
  • In The FASEB Journal, researchers from the University of Wisconsin published results of animal experiments with CR that showed that age-related muscle fiber loss was greatly reduced by calorie restriction.
  • A study published in Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications showed that CR improved mitochondrial electron transport chain efficiency and capacity, making energy production more efficient.

Also, in a surprising study published in Aging Cell, researchers from the National Institute of Aging conducted a human trial of caloric restriction and found that CR — just 12% — improved the force generated by each unit of muscle mass, making the muscles more efficient. Participants did lose weight, an average of 20 pounds, and did lose some muscle mass, but did not lose muscle strength. And then they noted other benefits of CR: it up-regulated (increased expression of) genes responsible for energy generation and metabolism, and down-regulated those responsible for inflammation. So simply reducing calories meant more energy production and less inflammation, all without loss of strength.

With less calories comes less nutrients, if no changes in the diet are made, since nutrients come through food. So blind caloric restriction — just eating less — may come with the cost of lower nutrition. But it doesn’t have to, and in fact many foods in the Standard American Diet (SAD) are not good sources of nutrition anyway, even though they are great sources of calories. CR by itself will activate longevity pathways, but this does you little good if you are not getting sufficient nutrients for your cells to thrive. Somehow you need less calories with more nutrients. That doesn’t necessarily mean less food, just less calories.

Neither were right
In ancient Greek society, there were two opposing schools of philosophy which we still talk about today. Epicureanism was about seeking pleasure, so those who followed this philosophy did not limit their exposure to fine food and other indulgences, so long as they were pleasurable. Even so, they recognized that more wasn’t necessarily better, because too much pleasure actually resulted in less enjoyment. Stoicism focused on non-indulgence — just getting the basics in life and simply accepting what life has to offer without seeking more. They taught not only that more isn’t better, but that we should just accept what we get and not seek more.

Neither approach works well if your goal is health and longevity. While you definitely don’t want to indulge in most foods, you must indulge in some to get good nutrient levels. Some of us take the Epicurean approach, indulging in pleasurable yet harmful foods, while others of us will eat what is available and convenient, paying minimal attention to food so we can get on with our busy lives. Unfortunately, if you are a typical American, you could be doing the worst of both: seeking pleasurable, convenient, fast, and mostly harmful foods.

Then there are those who eat so-called health foods — perhaps organic, gluten-free, non-GMO, soy free, tree nut free, maybe even dairy free. Now you are safe, right? Many “health foods” cater to the sweet tooth, and therefore do more harm than good. Since they are “healthy”, they encourage more consumption. Cooking and processing damages food and changes its nature: enzymes are destroyed, proteins are altered, and many nutrients are damaged. Whether you are at a health food store or regular store, the best formula is to buy the raw vegetables and low glycemic fruits — it’s in those that you get nutrient-dense, low-calorie food, and you can eat as much as you are able while still restricting calories.

CR only works well when calories are reduced without sacrificing nutrient levels. Plant foods are naturally non-inflammatory. Living, raw, fresh plants still retain biophotons, which offer health benefits we are only starting to discover. Don’t worry about protein. Certainly don’t rely on animal products. Raw, living plants will turn on the genes that give you health and longevity. Only then can you say that more is better.

Dr. Nemec’s Review
A few key points we want to point out:

  1. It’s not about nutrient quantity, but instead the nutrient quality.
  2. Eating too much protein shuts off autophagy at the cellular level.
  3. Eating too much carbohydrate or sugar feeds all pathogens, including cancer cells, and stimulates inflammatory pathways.
  4. Eating animal fat is not only inflammatory, but also toxic, because animals store chemicals and toxins in their fat cells.
  5. Eating animal and plant products in the cooked state triggers inflammatory pathways.

1. What should all macromolecules (which are base components of our diet — these include proteins, carbohydrates, and fats) contain to make them the highest quality? Nutrients that stimulate the highest level of health at the cellular level include enzymes, biophotons, absorbable biomolecules, and phytochemicals that promote cellular health with longevity and no inflammatory side effects. These are only found in living and raw plants.

2. The body needs protein to make cellular structures. What is hardly ever taught in our society is that a tremendous amount of this protein comes from recycling cellular structures that have become damaged or dysfunctional. The body is designed to recycle these proteins structures and reuse them, but if we eat excessive protein we essentially shut off one of our biggest anti-aging, anti-inflammatory pathways. So anyone eating more than 50 g of protein per day is shutting off the autophagy anti-aging, anti-inflammatory pathway by their indulgence, thinking they need more protein to get stronger and to be healthier when the opposite is true: more protein causes you to not recycle damaged and dysfunctional proteins structures, which if left alone will trigger inflammatory reactions, early cell death, and cellular mutations, all of which open the door to cancer. This does not promote health, but disease, so what good is it to eat more protein? Yes, it might stimulate more muscle growth initially; but remember, as the studies have shown, muscle mass does not equate with muscle strength for health and longevity. You want strength, not excessive mass.

3. Less is always better when it comes to eating. Less quantity, more quality — because more stimulates growth, and this growth includes cancer cells, bacteria, viruses, parasites, and fungi. This is why when you’re sick with a cold or flu, you lose your appetite — because if you eat, you will stay sick 3 to 5 times longer. All the body requires when in a full-out war is water and oxygen. It has enough stored to take care of all the rest, for even the thinnest American, for at least a week. Also, when you eat food that has been cooked or denatured in any way, this immediately sets off inflammatory pathways, so you must always eat food in the original state to shut off the inflammatory cycle.

4. Animal fat — pure and simple — will harm your health and decrease your longevity. The majority of animal fat is saturated fat, and there are tens of thousands of published research articles that show saturated fat is associated with inflammatory pathways and processes. Most Americans eat excessive animal fat in its cooked form, which makes it even worse, even more inflammatory. The other negative component with animal fat: fat tissue is where all drugs, hormones, chemicals, toxins, and any other potentially harmful substances that enter the body are stored — if they cannot be immediately detoxified. Whereas, when you eat plant fats like seeds, nuts, and avocados, they only have positive health benefits with no inflammatory aspects whatsoever — they do not store chemicals or toxins, they do not have hormones, and they have a tremendous amount of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals which benefit your health immensely. Do you need fat? Yes, but the type of fat is critical. One will heal you, the other one will kill you.

5. Cooking food changes the protein, carbohydrate, and fat molecules by denaturing, glycating and oxidizing these molecules: so instead of being health producing, they cause inflammation, degeneration and disease with premature aging at the cellular level.

So in summary, everyone should eat less of what they grew up with and more uncooked, unprocessed plant material — and much less, if any, animal products, along with removing cooked food from the diet all together.

“I can’t do this,” you say! This is impossible!

No, it’s not impossible. It’s not beyond your ability. It’s just beyond your belief system, your comfort zone, and unfortunately, your present-life training.

Remember: where there is a will, there is a way. So you want to be fit, to be strong. Maybe you can do this with what you are presently doing if it works for you, but once you get over the age of 35, you are aging at an accelerated level. This means if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, eventually it will start decreasing your health and longevity and open the door to disease. So why don’t you begin now? Why don’t you begin working on the “you” that you’re going to be when you’re 40, 50, 60 and beyond.

Life is wonderful when we have vitality, strength, fitness, and longevity. When you can do at 70 what you could do at 40, this is the goal: not just living for present pleasure and future pain and disease.

If you change your diet, now, you will reap the harvest for the rest of your life. Otherwise disease might knock on the door one day, and your beautiful life will suddenly crumble before your eyes. Preventative health and longevity is the only way to go in this day and age.

We will leave you with this thought:

What body type do you think will serve you best when you’re 80 years old? To be a big muscled power lifter type or to be a gymnast type? Who eats potentially more of the wrong foods, and eats them in the excess? Who has more inflammation? Who will stay more functional into old age? Who has the lowest percent body fat, which is a key indicator in health and longevity?

You choose your path: no one can tell you where to go, but choose wisely and plan for the future. Otherwise, you might find out that your house is built on sinking sand.

Here are the ways we can help you in your health journey:

  1. Outpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-has the most benefit of teaching, treatment, live classes and personalized coaching. This program has the most contact with Dr. Nemec with 3- 6 month programs that can be turned into a regular checking and support program for life. This is our core program that has helped so many restore their health and maintain that restoration for years.
  2. Inpatient Comprehensive Teaching and Treatment Program-is our four-week intensive inpatient program for those that are not in driving distance, usually over 4 hour drive. This is the program that is an intensive jumpstart with treatment, teaching, live classes and coaching designed for all our international patients along with those in the US that do not live in Illinois. This program is very effective especially when combined with our new membership program support.
  3. Stay at Home Program-is offered to continental US patients who cannot come to Total Health Institute but still want a more personal, customized plan to restore their health. This program also includes our Learn Membership Program.
  4. Membership Program is our newest program offered for those that want to work on their health at a high level and want access to the teaching at Total Health Institute along with the Forums: both Dr. Nemec’s posts and other members posting. And also, to have the chance to get personalized questions answered on the conference calls which are all archived in case you miss the call. The Membership Program has 3 levels to choose from: Learn, Overcome and Master. The difference is at the Overcome and Master levels you received one on one calls with Dr. Nemec personalizing your program for your areas of focus.