Gourmet Chef & Cardiologist discuss Healthy Eating

Gourmet Chef & Cardiologist discuss Healthy Eating
Healthy Oils & Fresh Fish

Transcript:

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Welcome to MedEvidence, where we help you navigate the truth behind medical research with unbiased, evidence-proven facts, powered ENCORE by Research Group and hosted by cardiologist and top medical researcher, Dr. Michael Koren.

Dr. Koren: 0:17

Hello, I'm Dr. Michael Koren and I'm really excited about this episode of MedEvidence, and the reason is that we have somebody who is our guest for this episode, who has a really interesting background, somebody who I've known for a very long time and I'll get into that in a second and somebody who has actually recently won a national award for culinary expertise. It was a cooking contest called the Great American Recipe and it was sponsored by Public TV, and Brad will tell me if I'm correct about all these things in a second. And Brad was part of a really intense competition and turned out to be the winner. So, having known Brad for a long time and we'll talk about that in a second I was really excited to get him on MedEvidence so we can talk about some of his exploits in the culinary world, talk about his knowledge about healthy eating. Brad, I've enjoyed many of his meals over the years and I'll explain that in a second and Brad also has a lot of knowledge about how you can make healthy eating something attractive for people that may have some medical issues or may be concerned about their health. So, with that somewhat vague introduction, Brad, tell us about yourself, introduce yourself to the audience and tell us how you got interested in culinary science and being a gourmand.

Brad Mahlof: 2:55

Sure well thank you for for that introduction I'm Brad Mahlof and I am a chef and I split my time between New York and Miami and yeah so I guess the way I got into food was it's always been a passion of mine I've always loved to bring people together. I remember even in college in my tiny little dorm room I would host 20 people for dinner parties and it's always been a way to bring people together and kind of that that that has evolved over time into something you know more. I'm very fit. I'm very active. I CrossFit almost every day and part of cooking also corresponds and correlates to wanting to fuel my workouts and feel good and how do I do that in a delicious way? Y you know and I have private clients now who I cook for who basically want me to cook them both healthy food but also food that doesn't sacrifice taste and presentation and so finding that balance is important and you are correct t This year I was the winner of the Great American Recipe, which aired on PBS. It was an eight episode series where I competed each week and each week I'd prepare two dishes for the judges and ultimately my food. Um, you know, wo n against all the competition and yeah, so I I'm proud of that and, and maybe on the show I wasn't as healthy as I am in my day to day because I wanted to. Just I put everything to the side and wanted just to wow the judges, sure, but even that. I think eating and cooking healthy is more of a lifestyle than per se like a diet. So even my non-healthy cooking is probably still healthier than the average kind of person who doesn't really have much knowledge about nutrition. So yeah, that's kind of me in a nutshell.

Dr. Koren: 3:39

Yeah, so I did watch the episodes and you were tremendous and there was probably some extravagance in some of the dishes that may not necessarily translate day to day. Of course, it was a cooking contest, so you had to show what you can do for a special event. But some of the other contestants oh my God, I was having a heart attack just watching what they're preparing. So, compared to a lot of the other people, you had a Mediterranean style of cooking and you can explain that a little bit more for the, for the listeners and the audience, and I think that translates well to health. So it was really exciting. Also, one little piece of disclosure is you had a special guest help you for the finale, who we both have a relationship with.

Brad Mahlof: 4:26

Yep. So yeah, my mom, who is Dr. Koren's sister, was at the finale with me and we got to cook together, which was a very special experience, because I've learned a lot in the kitchen through my mom and her amazing cooking, and so it was very special to have her join me in the finale and cook a feast together.

Dr. Koren: 4:47

Yeah, I think she was your secret weapon.

Brad Mahlof: 4:54

I think she might have been for sure. You know, I think, as you know, the K oren clan is very competitive. So I think, to have both me and my mom in the kitchen. We were just a killer force.

Dr. Koren: 5:03

It was unstoppable, completely unstoppable, yeah, yeah. So that was tremendous and again, congratulations. It was, it was hard fought and, you guys deserved it and did a great job and, now you should bask in the glory of being a nationally recognized chef and culinary expert. So let's, transition a little bit now to talk about health. Obviously that's what I do and I think our audience is particularly interested in that. So break it down a little bit more for us in terms of what makes dishes healthier or unhealthy, and you can talk about general things, about fat and then maybe some of the ingredients, spices, et cetera that you think may influence whether or not this is something that somebody that is predisposed to heart disease or somebody that may have certain medical conditions has to be concerned about.

Brad Mahlof: 5:53

Sure. So when I think about food and health and kind of all of that. I first break the kind of food into three groups you have your protein, you have your carbs, you have your fats. And then, within those categories, you know there's obviously different choices we could make. And so the way I structure my food and my meals and the way I cook is I take those three components and I kind of think, hey, I want 80 or 70% of my food intake to come from protein, the rest to come from healthy carbs, the rest to come from fats, and then from there, I basically create meals, utilizing kind of the best sources of proteins, the best sources of carbs, the best sources of fats. And, as we know, there's better choices and there's worse choices, but the way I go about diet is not to diet.

Brad Mahlof: 6:48

I don't believe in dieting.

Brad Mahlof: 6:49

I think it's all about lifestyle choices and you know we don't have to strive for perfection, we just have to really embrace.

Brad Mahlof: 6:59

You know you utilizing these, this knowledge, to really have a more functional lifestyle kind of approach, and that's the basically the way I do it. When I cook, you know, with proteins, I'm usually either doing grilled fish or grilled chicken, and then I'll have a salad, I'll usually have some sort of vegetable and then and then some sort of wholesome carb and that's basically 95% of what I eat kind of is in that structure. But then I make it as delicious as possible so that it feels elevated and you don't get tired of it and it doesn't necessarily feel like you're eating healthy food. It feels like you're eating just a delicious meal and just kind of. All the background and all the calculation behind it is you know what I do behind the scenes but once you have a plate in front of you it just feels like a delicious meal that you're not even realizing is a healthy, a healthier option than you know.

Dr. Koren: 7:55

Yeah, you brought up a really good point from a psychological standpoint. You said you don't believe in dieting and basically when people diet they're denying themselves something and it just doesn't work. People don't want to deny themselves something, but when you strive for healthy eating, you're trying to achieve something. So changing the whole dietary equation to trying to achieve something versus trying to deny yourself, I think is so important.

Brad Mahlof: 8:27

For sure. You feel a sense of guilt and you feel a sense of I'm doing this incorrectly. But when you're, when you're embracing a lifestyle change and lifestyle choices, you know it's, you realize like life is, not perfect, and sometimes I'll eat healthier days than others, and that's okay. The longer you do it, you know your body will actually react. And when you eat kind of worse foods, you're going to feel the difference and you're naturally not going to want to eat those foods anymore because you're going to feel, hey, my body actually feels better when I eat these foods versus these foods, and then naturally you're going to gravitate towards the better options.

Dr. Koren: 9:02

Sure, so talk to us a little bit about what ingredients you use, particularly spices, that make your food choices and your preparation healthier versus things that may be less healthy.

Brad Mahlof: 9:14

Spices are really a personal thing and people have different palates. I love to use for my grilled fish and my grilled chicken. I use Herbs de Provence, which is a French spice blend, and it's just, it's really fragrant and and fresh tasting and it just makes all grilled foods taste amazing. So I use that all the time, I use it on the daily. I love to cook with turmeric. If you're going to cook with turmeric, just watch your counters, because it does stain everything. But I love to cook with turmeric. I use obviously salt and pepper, you know. I know people are scared of salt, but salt does provide a lot of flavor and it does enhance flavor so to whatever level your doctor allows, don't be too scared of salt. A s long as y You d don't have, I guess, blood pressure issues or whatever. You know more about the science behind salt.

Dr. Koren: 10:10

We'll jump into that a little bit downstream. But yeah, there are some people who are salt sensitive that have to be more worried than others, but not everybody is, so that gets into some really interesting questions. One of the things that fascinates me is that people in Southern Europe live longer than people in Northern Europe. So, for example, Italians live longer than Germans, even though Germany typically has a better economy. The French live longer than the British. Do you think that's attributable to diet and some of the things that you've learned over time in terms of preparing meals more in a Mediterranean style, meaning Southern Europe versus Northern Europe?

Brad Mahlof: 10:51

For sure. So, yeah, my family, my paternal family, is from Mediterranean region and a lot of kind of the way I cook is within that style and I definitely do think that it plays a big factor in longevity and in health. Specifically, the use of olive oil and good kind of fats, I think is important. I think a lot of these Mediterranean cities are coastal and so fish is a big kind of protein source for for people versus land animals, and I do think that plays a big factor.

Brad Mahlof: 11:28

And also just you know the the preparation in which we cook these things. You know, are you cooking them? Are you frying them or are you steaming or grilling or kind of sauteing them in in a healthy oil? You know healthy fat source, so I definitely do think that there are, you know, variations in in these healthy oil. You know variations in these diets between you know certain parts of Europe and the Mediterranean that do contribute to longevity and certainly, like in my own cooking, I always try to. You know, I don't even have butter in my pantry. If I'm cooking with something with butter, I have to make a special trip to the grocery store because it's not even a pantry item I stock in the house which is for a chef is so, which is so uncommon for a chef?

Brad Mahlof: 12:09

I mean, chefs love to just throw butter into everything. But it's just not. It's not the way I grew up, it's not. It was never in my diet and it's just. You know, I'd much, much rather kind of use an olive oil, or if I have to fry, I'll fry an avocado oil versus using a butter, or you know, a vegetable oil which is higher in, you know, saturated fats, and so certainly these kinds of choices, like while they seem small, do make a big difference in your overall health.

Dr. Koren: 12:37

Yeah, interesting. There was a neat study that was done, probably about 15 years ago now at least, where they took a British patient who had a heart attack and they were looking to see if the advice strictly advice of eating fish at least five times a week resulted in improvement in the health of people after a heart attack. And it did. There was actually a 20% reduction in mortality in death for people who ate fish five times a week just giving that advice, versus people that were told to just eat low-fat or high-fiber, etc. So there's something special about eating fish and I think that is a characteristic of the Mediterranean-style diet and I personally try to eat fish every single day and it sounds like that's a big part of your advice and your practice as well.

Brad Mahlof: 13:25

Yeah, for sure I think I eat fish. I could eat grilled salmon, I think, every single meal breakfast, lunch and dinner. I don't, but I eat a lot of salmon. It's important to note that not all fish is created equal. You do need to be careful, if you're eating fish daily, to watch to try to avoid fish that are high in mercury.

Dr. Koren: 13:46

Which type of fish are to be avoided, or I mean two questions yeah, two questions which fish should be avoided because the mercury risk, or at least limited in terms of consumption? And, how about people that don't like that fishy taste? What do you recommend for those?

Brad Mahlof: 14:04

Sure, so fish that are high in mercury would be tuna fish, swordfish, you could do an easy Google search and kind of get a list of, like, highest and lowest. Salmon, which happens to be my favorite fish, which is also high in those good fats, is very low in mercury. It's probably one of the best fish you could eat.

Brad Mahlof: 14:27

But I understand, not everyone loves salmon, because it does have more of a kind of fish-like consistency and it's a little bit less neutral. You know, I would say, try to experiment, try to explore it, because it's definitely if you can get into salmon, I would say it's the way to go. But certainly there are other fish. But certainly, certainly there are other fish. I mean, you know there's a lot of people that are kind of that hate tilapia because they're like it's the garbage, it's, you know, it's kind of the bottom of the barrel fish.

Brad Mahlof: 14:57

While I get that, you know if, if that's the only fish that you could tolerate because you just don't like fish, otherwise I would still say it's probably still a better option than having red meat, or it's still a better option than an alternative. So again, it's not just if you can't do this, don't do anything at all. So you know, if you just don't like fish, I would try to start with the tilapia, which is super neutral, it's inexpensive, you know there's, there's better fish out there, but it's still healthy enough and it basically tastes very neutral, doesn't taste fishy, it grills up really well it'll take up the taste of the spices pretty nicely right it does, it's because it's so neutral.

Brad Mahlof: 15:39

Whatever you spice it with, it'll just pick up those flavors. So start with that and then. And then you can kind of experiment and explore other other varieties of whitefish. You know also, I think cod is a good option, halibut. There's a lot of really good whitefish options as well. But I would say, if you really are unfamiliar with fish or don't love fish, I would start with tilapia, because it's the most neutral.

Dr. Koren: 16:07

Interesting. Well, Brad, that was really very, very informative. Thank you so much. So we're going to take a quick break here, but that information that you've shared with everybody is really quite valuable. And in our next segment, I'm going to get a little bit more scientific on you and I'm going to throw out some diseases and you're going to tell us how you can make things wonderful if people have these disease considerations.

Brad Mahlof: 16:33

Cool, I look forward to that.

Healthy Eating for Your Health Risk

Transcript:

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Welcome to MedEvidence, where we help you navigate the truth behind medical research with unbiased evidence, proven facts. Powered by ENCORE Research group and hosted by cardiologist and top medical researcher, Dr. Michael Koren.

Hello, I'm Dr. Michael Koren, and I'm excited to give us part two in a series of the chef talks to the cardiologist. I just made that up now, but I think it's a nice discussion point, so we'll highlight that in the show notes. But anyhow, we had a great conversation with Brad Mahlof, who is my nephew.

Full disclosure. And he's also an award winning chef. And Brad told us about how he won
this competition called the Great American Recipe, that was sponsored by public television stations. And it was a pretty intense competition that Brad took home the gold.

So we're proud of you. And now he's been nice enough to share some of his insights about how to cook in a healthy way.

And so Brad has studied this over time, and we had a great conversation, and I'd like to continue that conversation.

So, Brad, we talked about some general things, so let's get into a little bit more specifics.

So in my area of business, where we have to deal with patients that have particular conditions, we have to advise them about dietary restrictions, about what they should and should not eat.

So a simple and common example of that is people that are taking the drug Warfarin or Coumadin, and they have to be very strict about the amount of vitamin K they take in their diets. And sometimes people get the advice, don't take any vitamin K, which is commonplace in green leafy vegetables, cabbage, things like that. But the truth is that you just need to be consistent. So maybe you can share a little bit with your experience of how to advise people about cooking beautifully and cooking in a very tasteful manner, but still managing the issues that come with medical interactions with a drug, for example.

Yeah, I mean, I think that there's so much variety in food, and there's so many ways to make delicious food. And obviously, everyone's body is different, whether it's because
of just genetics or because you're taking a certain medication that there might be certain foods that you have to avoid or eat, you know, in moderation or whatever it might be.

And certainly, you know, if, you know, you have to omit a certain food group. So you omit it. And there's, you know, many ways to, you know, still, you know, create wholesome foods without those. Without those foods, whether it's a leafy green or whatever it might be.

It's certainly, certainly possible. And it actually makes you more creative because it's almost like a challenge. What could I not create without this food involved? So I almost take it as a challenge. Now, how could I create the best version of a meal without using this XYZ ingredient?

You know, in the case of Warfarin, as I mentioned, two of the foods that we talk about is spinach being very high in vitamin K, cabbage being high in vitamin K, things of that nature, and maybe having a weekly diet where that's proportioned in a very regular way.

So there's consistency. The key thing with all these type of dietary interactions is that you do the same thing within reason, without getting too bored, eating the exact same thing every time. And sometimes complete avoidance is more difficult than having a structured amount of something that you might like or something that is otherwise healthy, like spinach or cabbage.

So is that something you do with your clients that you mentioned in the last session, that you have a group of private clients that you help with their, you know, their culinary needs?

Yeah, absolutely. So I think one thing that I do with a lot of, a lot of these clients is I help them track their macros. A lot of my clients basically create diets specifically around, maybe it's a certain fitness goal or it might be a medical goal. And so they do set certain parameters. And if you're cooking at home, a few things I recommend is invest in a food scale, so you could really have a sense of how much of each ingredient you're actually consuming. Consuming by weight or measuring by weight is probably the most effective and easiest to do. I also love food prep. I think if you plan ahead, if you write out your menus for the week, it's super helpful. I think when you're hungry in the moment, sometimes it's really hard to then, you know, on the fly kind of try to assemble a meal, or you end up ordering things that aren't great.

But if you're able to plan ahead, it's really easy to get those kind of. If you want to know, you want to eat spinach on a very consistent level and basis every week, if you prep that into your meal prep, that's going to be the easiest way to go about that.

So, you know, hey, either I want to eat it in a smoothie once a week, or I want to consume it in a salad once a week, whatever it might be. If you write it into, like a weekly food plan that you write for yourself, that I find is the most effective way. Otherwise, like on a day to day, we get busy and then kind of all, if it's not pre planned, it kind of all goes through. It just doesn't become a priority and it's really hard to implement. 

Sure. Sure. Now, in our last session, we kind of teased a couple of things that we talked
a little bit about in more detail. So one of them is salt consumption. The other one is turmeric. And you mentioned last time that you like to use salt, that it's something that really enhances the flavor of food. But we also recognize that there are certain people that don't do well if they overdo it with salt. So you talked to us a little bit about how you deal with that. For a client, for example, who has high blood pressure and has been told by their physician that maybe too much salt is not a good thing. 

Sure. Yeah. I mean, everyone has their own dietary needs, and I certainly do have clients that try to consume as little salt as possible. And so firstly, I try to supplement with other spices and also I utilize other ingredients. Like, I find that mixing things with avocado kind of, first of all, it gives you some healthy fats, but it also provides some extra layers of flavor that kind of, you know, enhance without having to add salt to enhance.

I like to use lemon and different. Different kind of, you know, play around with acids and
different things, which also help create diverse tastes without the need of as much, as much sodium and salt.

So, yeah, so, yeah, there's definitely ways to create beautiful flavor without the use of salt. It's obviously easier to create flavor with salt, but it's certainly possible, more than possible, you can create delicious meals with, with a low sodium diet. You just have to play around. Again, I love using avocado. I love using lemon and different acids. And also, if you're cooking things in a sauce, tomatoes and different things, you can create beautiful flavor profiles just by getting creative with different herbs and seasonings that are in sodium.

Interesting. Yeah. I would encourage people listening to work with their healthcare provider if they're concerned about salt, because the data show that there are certain people who are salt sensitive and others who are less so, even people with high blood pressure. Some people find that when they ingest a lot of salt or sodium in general, their blood pressure goes up quite a bit, whereas others don't seem to have much of an effect with additional salt.

You know, I think when people eat highly processed foods, like, if you look at the nutritional info, they are just loaded with a crazy amount of salt, you know, like 500, 600, 700 milligrams of salt per serving.

Like, just crazy amounts.

Like, those are definitely things.

If, you know, you have a salt intolerance, you want to avoid that. But, you know, when you add a little salt to your food, when you're cooking, like, a little goes a long way because, you know, you're not, you're not preserving things in salt.

So it doesn't, it doesn't have the same kind of impact on your health.

So a little salt while you're seasoning things is okay versus, like, something, you know, using a product where it has a crazy amount of salt.

So, you know, it's,  a difference because you're, when you cook fresh and wholesome, you know, you don't, you don't have those preservatives and stuff, which is already spiking the sodium level. So putting a little salt to season is okay.

That's a great point. Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that. So we also talked about turmeric, and that's interesting to me because there are actually hundreds of studies
out there looking at the health benefits of turmeric. And you mentioned that that's one of your go to spices. Tell us a little bit more about that. Why do you love using it?
And I'll make a quick comment about that afterwards.

Yeah, sure. So, you know, my family is from the Middle East and Mediterranean area, and turmeric was just one of those spices that I always grew up around. It provides, first of all, a beautiful color, and I think we eat with our eyes first. And so I definitely like to utilize spices that just give a visual pop. And they also say that there's some health benefits to turmeric. I know my mom drinks, like, a turmeric kind of supplement every day, and I don't know how much of an impact eating or utilizing spices has in your kind of overall health, but certainly there's no downside to doing it. And, you know, I definitely think spices are such a beautiful thing. So definitely get creative, try new things. And if you're unfamiliar with turmeric, give it a shot because, you know, it's tasty.

So we, on MedEvidence, we talk about the fact that there are different levels of evidence. The highest level of evidence is what we call a placebo controlled, double blind study. Most dietary studies are not at that level. Most dietary studies are observational studies. But for something like turmeric, there's multiple, multiple studies out there that show, basically, things move in a healthy direction when you consume more turmeric overall. And so my advice to patients is that if there's something that is favorable from a taste perspective or something from an enjoyment perspective, and there's no downside, well, I'm all for that. And if there's a little bit of an upside, even better. So I think turmeric is one of those things that fall into that category.

As you point out, it's eye candy. It makes the food look better, it has a nice taste, and it probably has a net positive benefit in terms of your health.

Other things maybe in that category. Garlic. I don't know if you use a lot of garlic, but there's some studies that show things like garlic or oregano have some modest benefits for lipid levels. So certainly we would encourage people to use those spices. And the other area is the omega three fatty acids.

And we talked a little bit about that when we talked about consuming fish and fish oils. But in general, the omega three fatty acids, including olive oil and other of these more
favorable Mediterranean style oils, can reduce triglycerides and may have some benefits to reduce cardiovascular events and also help brain health. Some data out there suggesting that your mood is better when you consume more omega three fatty acids.

So some really, really interesting research. So they're not all the highest level, really sophisticated studies, but we're not seeing any downside.

So when you have a situation where something tastes great, the net effect in the studies is positive from a health standpoint. And it's easy to use day to day for your cooking purposes. Why not?

Those should be your go to products. So I think that's good advice for people that are listening in on us.

So I want to spend just a little bit of time towards the end of our discussion about your experiences with people that have sort of more serious diseases.

A common one is people that have gluten sensitivity. People can have celiac sprue.
They can have a condition where you have to eat virtually no fat, is called FCH, Familial Chylomicron Syndrome, where people literally can't eat more than two to 5 grams of fat for an entire day. Otherwise, they have horrible diarrhea and super high triglyceride levels. So what kind of experience do you have with some of these conditions? 


Sure. I mean, certainly people with gluten intolerance is a very common thing, whether it's for whatever, you know, multiple, multiple factors. But a lot of people are gluten adverse. And, you know, I think when you're cooking a wholesome diet with some sort of grilled protein, a vegetable, and a, you know, a healthy carb source, it's actually very, very easy to be gluten friendly. I love roasted sweet potatoes. I always have them ready in my fridge for a snack or kind of to, to supplement a meal. I also love rice. I know rice is, you know, some people think rice isn't super healthy and it could spike your, you know,
like, you know, whatever your, your blood sugar mix.

Yeah, yeah.

But, um, but I, you know, again, you have to eat what you like. It's not all about just worrying non stop about health. So I like rice, a little rice, and it happens to be  gluten free friendly. So, you know, again, like, if you're not, if you're not frying things, if you're just eating kind of simple, which I actually think eating simple is the most beautiful way to eat.

You know, if you invest in, in good quality ingredients, you want those ingredients to kind of shine and, you know, highlight themselves, so there's no need to eat kind of a high.

I barely ever eat bread or sandwiches. I just like, you know, very simple, balanced meals,
and a lot of my clients do as well.

And so, yeah, I think, I think rice is a stellar option. I think sweet potatoes that are roasted in the oven, they get super soft and caramelized, and they're just wonderful.

So there's certainly a lot of good options for that in terms of a diet that's very, very low in fat.

Certainly possible. It's a little more challenging. But again, if you have a very low fat protein source, like a grilled chicken breast or certain grilled fish, and then you supplement that with a nice leafy green.

And instead of, you could just put some lemon juice and salt, which is a nice kind of fresh dressing, which is obviously fat free.

And again, that, and then you could still use a simple carb, like rice or a potato, which are wholesome, they're not processed. And that's a low fat, high carb, high protein diet, which is also super tasty.

Also like a breakfast that I like to eat every single morning. I like to have fat free Greek
yogurt, where I put fresh berries. And there's a brand cereal called Ezekiel. It's Ezekiel, and it's basically a granola, but there's no sugar. And so I have that, which is basically just carbs, I don't think, either very low fat or fat free. And the fat free yogurt, which is high in protein and some berries, and I sprinkle just a little bit of sugar. Sorry, honey on top. And it's just like an amazing low fat, high protein, you know, food, which, you know, again, like, you have to modify, obviously, your diet to your body and your restrictions, but that doesn't mean you can't produce delicious food.

Sure. You're making me hungry, Brad. So, speaking of sugar, do you have diabetic clients? They could be a challenge. What's your experience with dealing with diabetes?
Keeping in mind that there are two forms of diabetes, broadly, we call it type one versus type two. The type two diabetics are typically people who are overweight and are resistant to the effects of insulin, whereas the type one diabetics are typically people that don't make enough insulin. Maybe more brittle is the medical word we use.
They're more subject to big spikes in their blood sugar if they go off the wagon
in terms of their dietary restrictions. So maybe you can comment on that. 

Sure. Yeah. I mean, I don't currently or I haven't had much experience with catering to diabetic clients, but certainly, again, when you cook with wholesome ingredients and less processed ingredients, I think there's less likelihood of spikes in your blood pressure or your sugar levels. And again, look at the ingredients. There's really no need to added sugars to things. I barely add sugar to anything. So it's very, very easy and very feasible to create delicious food with a kind of a diabetic diet in mind.

So, Brad, one of my slogans with my patients who have a hard time controlling their caloric intake is to remind them that you get 90% of the pleasure of eating with the first 10% of the calories. Do you subscribe to that notion, or am I off the wall here?

You know what, in principle, agree with you. But sometimes when the food is just so
good, you know, it's hard to stop. And in that moment, you're just enjoying so much and you're shoveling it down. I think to combat that, you know, I think you need to start off with putting an appropriate portion on your plate, so don't overfill your plate and also, like, really do utilize a food scale so you have a better concept, because I think some people don't even understand what appropriate portions look like.

And so I think, you know, I think, invest in a food scale and, you know, you'll only need to use it for a couple weeks until it kind of just becomes second nature. And then you have a better kind of innate, inherent sense of like, this is an appropriate portion size. This is not. But, you know, while you're learning that, I think, I think weigh out your food or measure out your food, and then you're like, wow, that's a portion. But, yeah, I sort of agree with you. But as someone who loves to eat, sometimes you just have to keep going, you know?

Okay, so you may not be a 90 - 10 guy like me. Maybe you're more an 80 20 guy.
Get 80% of pleasure in the first 20% of calories.

Yeah, exactly.


All right, that's great. So, Brad, this has been an amazing discussion. I've learned a lot and I've enjoyed our discussion. Maybe I can convince you to give us a link to a couple of your favorite recipes. Maybe one that would be great for somebody that has heart disease concerns, and maybe another one for somebody that has gluten concerns.
And, you know, feel free to share with people your website or other ways to get
in touch with you for your services.

But obviously, you're incredibly knowledgeable in making food fun, enjoyable, and healthy. So I think there's a lot to be learned and there may be some people that would be interested in talking to you more. So go ahead and share your website or your contact information.

Yeah, so people could follow me on Instagram. My Instagram account is cookwithbrad, and that will also lead to recipes and food inspiration and kind of, it's also a way to reach me. You can message me on there directly and I'm happy to answer any questions.
And certainly on my Instagram, there's plenty of recipe ideas that are gluten free and also very heart, health conscious recipes. So all could be found there. And yeah, if you have any questions, please don't hesitate to reach out.

That's terrific.

So again, this is Brad Mahlof, an award winning chef, my nephew, a terrific guy, and thank you for sharing this information with the med evidence audience.

Thank you so much.

Thanks for joining the MedEvidence podcast. To learn more, head over to medevidence.com or subscribe to our podcast on your favorite podcast platform.

Discover how award-winning chef Brad Mahlof seamlessly blends health and flavor in his culinary creations. Brad, the recent victor of PBS's Great American Recipe competition, takes us on a journey from his college dinner parties to his role as a sought-after private chef. He reveals his Mediterranean-inspired cooking style and how his fitness routine shapes his approach to food, making it both nutritious and mouth-watering. Get ready to learn Brad’s philosophy on balancing proteins, carbs, and fats to create meals that are perfect for those mindful of heart health.

We also dive into the benefits of cooking with healthy oils like olive and avocado oil and the importance of fish in a heart-friendly diet. Brad and Dr. Koren discuss low-mercury options such as salmon and tilapia, offering valuable tips for integrating fish into your meals, especially if you're new to it. Plus, we explore various whitefish varieties, giving beginners a starting point with neutral-flavored tilapia before advancing to other options like cod and halibut. Tune in for actionable insights on making small dietary changes that can significantly impact your health.

Talking Topics:

  • Healthy Eating and Culinary Expertise
  • Healthy Cooking and Fish Consumption
  • Exploring Whitefish Varieties for Beginners
  • Managing Dietary restrictions with Creativity and Flavor
  • Practical Advice for Healthy Meal Prep
  • Incorporating Beneficial Ingredients for Overall Health

Connect with Brad on Instagram or his website.

Part 1: Health Oils & Fresh Fish - Release Date: June 26, 2024
Part 2: Healthy Eating for Your Health Risk - Release Date: July 3, 2024

Be a part of advancing science by participating in clinical research

Recording Date: May 23, 2024
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Music: Storyblocks - Corporate Inspired