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Peak Human - Unbiased Nutrition Info for Optimum Health, Fitness & Living

Nov 13, 2019

Hello everyone, welcome back to the time of week where I get to share another fantastic guest with you. I try to get all kinds of thought leaders and experts covering a wide variety of topics that pertain to your health, fitness, longevity, and even environmental health. They're all connected - who would have thought.

If you’re new to this show, I’m Brian Sanders and I’m creating the feature-length documentary Food Lies that seems to be taking forever to come out. But that’s just because it’s going to be that good. Please be patient. We’re actually learning more each day and more and more things are happening in the world that either are going to make this film better or that we need to address. It’s turning out to be a good thing, in a way, that we didn’t rush this thing out. We have more resources, better experts, and more opportunities that are too many to name. Learn more at

In the meantime I’m creating the Game Changers DEBUNKED film which is almost in a rough cut somehow even though we just started it! It’s been a whirlwind and we’re moving at lightning speed. It also is opening doors and benefitting the Food Lies film. Look out for it on YouTube on November 27th - be sure to subscribe to the Food Lies channel. We’ll also try to get it on another platform. Thanks for supporting its creation on Indiegogo. You still can help out and even get a producer credit - just search for Game Changers DEBUNKED on or click through the show notes.

I also work with patients at Evolve Healthcare in Los Angeles. We have a medical clinic where Dr. Gary Shlifer and I treat the root cause of disease with diet and lifestyle. This is part of our company SAPIEN and the Sapien diet. Find out more at

I also have a company similar to Butcher Box called Nose to Tail. The difference is we raise our animals in the US and we use the entire animal. We have the organ meats mixed into ground beef, buffalo, and pork and also sell the bones and bone broth. It’s all grass fed and finished and raised sustainably and ethically. You can even get a thanksgiving turkey with ultra high omega-3s due to our special diet we feed them. Get it delivered to you at

Now onto today’s guest. Dr. Joan Ifland who has been creating breakthroughs in recovery from food addiction starting in 1999. She is currently at work on evidence-based trainings for health professionals.  Dr. Ifland is a Fellow of the American College of Nutrition. She earned her PhD in addictive nutrition at Union Institute and University and her MBA at Stanford Business School 

She was selected by the Oprah Winfrey Network as the food addiction specialist on the Book of John Gray. Dr. Ifland is the lead author of the first scholarly publication describing refined food addiction and the definition of addictive foods. She’s doing great things in this space including giving talks and creating support groups to continue to help people with problems around food. I think she has very valuable additions to the health conversation that go beyond what has been covered in the past 60 episodes of this podcast and most other podcasts and lectures I’ve heard.

And if you want to get the super valuable extended show notes and support the show please go to Patreon and search for Peak Human or The other way to support the show is to simply give it a 1-5 star rating on the Apple podcast app or iTunes and give it a review. Thanks so much, I really appreciate everyone. I love all the messages I receive and am glad people are finding this podcast valuable! Here’s Dr. Joan Ifland.

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  • Joan Ifland has her PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies, with a specialization in Addictive Nutrition and wrote a textbook on food addiction titled “Processed Food Addiction: Foundations, Assessment, and Recovery”
  • A lot of money spent on marketing processed foods and suppressing knowledge of addiction
  • There are addictive substances hidden in processed foods
  • When you are addicted to processed foods your taste perception is completely altered to maintain the addiction
  • There is a scientific foundation for food addiction 
  • If you are addicted to food, you don’t stand a chance trying to adhere to “calories in calories out” method 
  • One of the hallmarks of any addiction is obsession
  • 11 diagnostic symptoms of addiction
  • Joan initially removed processed foods from her diet as part of a weight loss program and found she was dramatically less irritable and had less anger
  • She has a food list that she uses for herself and her family at
  • Her children had significant behavioural improvements by removing processed foods
  • She has three rules for her children: they can not bring these foods in the house, they cannot ask her for them, they cannot ask for money to buy them but they are allowed to do what they want outside of the home
  • The food industry has done a remarkable job at suppressing the connection between processed foods and health and disease
  • 1600 die every day from diet-related disease 
  • [9:40] every bite of processed food hurts you
  • If that child is getting processed foods regularly it is reducing their quality of life
  • In the 1980s food companies hired a Harvard trained PhD psychologist to max out their food products addictiveness
  • Different foods activate different reward centres in the brain
  • The more variety and targets you hit in the brain, the harder the addiction is to overcome
  • “Hunger doesn’t sell snacks, desire will”
  • [40:28-41:00] By 1997 Americans were eating a pound per person per day of sugars, flours, high-fat dairy, and French fries
  • [42:28] Your kid isn’t a picky eater, he/she is just addicted to processed foods
  • Our reward centres wear out and require more and more to get the “high” from the food so people are eating more and more 
  • [46:54] Addiction scientists formulate foods to be highly addictive 
  • The limbic system gets more agitated and uses up more of the brain’s power and the addiction centre is capable of controlling behaviour 
  • When you have cravings you also have a stress response and vice versa 
  • You need to remove food stimulations from your life
  • The same way you train your muscles you alter the way you stimulate the brain 
  • We started out as a reptilian brain and developed an emotional brain and then only recently we developed this neocortex in the front of the brain a very small region of the brain for thinking, creativity, and learning 
  • You activate the reptilian brain during food scarcity (evolutionarily) and same occurs when you diet
  • Binging was a survival behaviour 
  • Now in our culture with full-time access to food it’s dangerous to activate this binging behaviour
  • One of the steps in binging recovery is to have three meals a day, spaced out, slow release meals
  • If you surround yourself with people that eat a healthy diet you are more likely to eat a healthy diet and vice versa 
  • Mirror neurons are all about conforming or die but in this culture it can be dangerous 
  • Joan and her team run online video chat groups to help with adherence and support 
  • There is a facebook group called “Food Addiction Education” where people can communicate
  • She hopes to educate practitioners set up these online communities in their practices 
  • Doctors and health professionals can use her textbook to learn how to diagnose their patients
  • Joan highly advises people work with a healthcare professional if they need help
  • If you are addicted to food, processed foods can not be eaten in moderation

Where you can find Joan Ifland:



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