Healthy eat­ing

Dr. Shin­tani shares his plan


Staff Writer

Hawaii has edged out Ok­i­nawa for longevity of its res­i­dents with an av­er­age life ex­pectancy of 81.3 years com­pared to Ok­i­nawa’s 81.2 years, said Dr. Terry Shin­tani dur­ing a talk on healthy longevity Thurs­day night at the J. Wal­ter Cameron Cen­ter in Wailuku.

More than 150 peo­ple over­flowed into the ad­join­ing au­di­to­rium and out­side the en­try to hear the for­mally des­ig­nated Liv­ing Trea­sure of Hawaii share in­for­ma­tion that could ex­tend the hu­man life­span to 120 years. While some in the au­di­ence said they wouldn’t want to live that long, Shin­tani said it would be worth­while if one re­mained “vi­brant” and that this may be achieved by fol­low­ing his “New Par­a­digm of Health.”

Shin­tani pointed to “The Nei Ching,” one of the old­est­known med­i­cal books that 4,500 years ago claimed peo­ple lived this long. He also showed mod­ern doc­u­men­ta­tion of peo­ple liv­ing to close to 120. “It’s ac­tu­ally not un­rea­son­able,” he said.

Iron­i­cally, the high av­er­age life ex­pectancy of Hawaii is not true for Na­tive Hawai­ians as a group. “The Wa­ianae Diet ad­dressed this,” Shin­tani said of a lo­cal study that showed a diet high in com­plex car­bo­hy­drates and fiber and low in fat — sim­i­lar to the tra­di­tional Hawai­ian diet — re­sulted in dra­matic health im­prove­ments for 19 Na­tive Hawai­ians. The re­sults of the study were pub­lished in the Amer­i­can Jour­nal of Clin­i­cal Nutri­tion in 1991. Shin­tani, who was an au­thor of the study, sub­se­quently pub­lished the “Hawaii Diet” in 1999. It re­ceived na­tional ac­claim. He was fea­tured on CBS, CNN and Date­line NBC. A Na­tive Hawai­ian, fea­tured in one of the tele­vi­sion clips, was able to elim­i­nate a garbage bag full of med­i­ca­tions he reg­u­larly took by fol­low­ing the diet. The pills had often landed him in the hos­pi­tal be­cause of side ef­fects.

Med­i­cal doc­tors don’t re­ceive ex­ten­sive train­ing in nutri­tion as part of their de­gree. Shin­tani made the ex­tra ef­fort to ob­tain a mas­ter’s de­gree in nutri­tion from Har­vard Univer­sity. As a med­i­cal pro­fes­sor, he in­tro­duces his “New Par­a­digm of Health” to med­i­cal stu­dents who are con­fi­dent they know how to pre­scribe medicine. How­ever, they are at a loss when he asks, “Do you know how to get them off medicine?”

His fo­cus on healthy longevity is the topic of his lat­est book, “The Peace Diet,” pub­lished in 2014. It ad­dresses body, mind and spirit as a way to re­verse obe­sity and dis­ease. It also con­tains recipes.

As for liv­ing to 120, Shin­tani briefly shared steps to con­trol in­flam­ma­tion nat­u­rally; con­trol blood sugar with more carbs; and the emerg­ing un­der­stand­ing of the role of gut flora in health.

“En­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins are un­der­con­sid­ered these days,” said Shin­tani. “Heart dis­ease is com­ing down while cancer keeps go­ing up. It may be­come the num­ber one cause (of death). We are loaded with en­vi­ron­men­tal tox­ins,” he said. These tox­ins are the re­sult of ev­ery­thing from pes­ti­cides to cell­phones and ra­di­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to Shin­tani.

The en­vi­ron­ment can af­fect obe­sity genes and even cancer genes, Shin­tani said. Glyphosate ex­po­sure and celiac dis­ease track closely in one chart he dis­played.

To com­bat en­vi­ron­ment fac­tors, he em­pha­sized the im­por­tance of detox­i­fi­ca­tion. Ways to do this in­clude ex­er­cise; in­ter­mit­tent fast­ing; hot Hawai­ian salt baths; and drink­ing de­tox tea.

Diet is the big­gest area for in­creas­ing healthy longevity. “Calo­rie re­stric­tion is the most im­por­tant to in­crease life­span,” he said. “Eat pure calo­ries, not less food.”

In his clas­sic ex­am­ple of how to eat more and still lose weight, Shin­tani dis­played an ap­ple and a muf­fin that were roughly the same size. “What’s the dif­fer­ence?” he asked. Af­ter guesses from the au­di­ence, he re­vealed that the ap­ple has 90 calo­ries and the muf­fin has 580 calo­ries. You could eat six ap­ples and still con­sume less calo­ries than one muf­fin.

“Just don’t eat stuff like this,” he said. “Eat good, un-

pro­cessed food and start los­ing weight.”

As for peo­ple’s con­cern about not get­ting enough pro­tein, Shin­tani said he has never seen a pro­tein de­fi­ciency, ex­cept in a hos­pi­tal by a men­tally ill per­son who only con­sumed cola and was an al­co­holic.

He also pointed to the “pro­tein para­dox,” where high pro­tein con­sump­tion is linked to cancer and death.

Peo­ple con­cerned about blood sugar are often told to eat less carbs, said Shin­tani. “Ask why peo­ple in Ja­pan have less di­a­betes,” he said. “The prob­lem is eat­ing more sat­u­rated fats. Know good carbs and bad carbs.”

Shin­tani pointed out that the Hawaii Diet is 76 per­cent car­bo­hy­drates. “Un­pro­cessed carbs slow down the ab­sorp­tion,” he said.

In­flam­ma­tion, chronic pain, arthri­tis, etc., are tied to cancer and other dis­eases, said Shin­tani. “When you fol­low this diet the pain goes down sig­nif­i­cantly. It makes the blood act like as­pirin.”

“The worst food is chicken,” he said in ref­er­ence to in­flam­ma­tion. It pro­vides 27 per­cent

of the arachi­donic acid in the av­er­age diet, fol­lowed by eggs at 17.8 per­cent and beef at 7.3 per­cent. An­other con­tribut­ing fac­tor is omega 6 linoleic acid found in oils.

“We’re eat­ing pro-in­flam­ma­tory stuff, caus­ing pain.”

An­other im­por­tant area for healthy longevity is gut flora, ac­cord­ing to Shin­tani. How­ever, he ad­vised that eat­ing more pro­bi­otics is use­less with­out good pre­bi­otics like veg­eta­bles and whole grains. “To grow a seed you need good soil,” he said.

Fi­nally, in ad­di­tion to herbs, hor­mone re­place­ment, sup­ple­ments and en­ergy medicine (like acupunc­ture), Shin­tani stressed the im­por­tance of life­style, which in­cludes ad­e­quate ex­er­cise and sleep. He shared a story about a man who is 102 and still works as a Real­tor. When asked what his se­cret is, the man said he swims ev­ery day.

Shin­tani in­vited the au­di­ence to view and sub­scribe to his re­cently launched YouTube chan­nel at www.askdr­sh­in­ for more health in­for­ma­tion. His talk was pre­sented by the Veg­e­tar­ian So­ci­ety of Hawaii.

Rich Van Scoy can be reached [email protected]

DR.TERRY SHIN­TANI Stresses nu­tri­tional health

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