FFF 138: Calling BS On Celery Juice, Alkaline Cleanses & Raw Keto Vegan Paleo Carnivore Diets On Instagram – with Dr Joshua Wolrich

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Scott is joined by Dr. Joshua Wolrich, a surgeon by trade, who also has thousands of followers on Instagram. This is largely due to his excellent content on nutrition and respectfully calling out a lot of the nonsense content posted by influencers on IG. Today, he talks about some of the biggest BS posted on Instagram, why these are wrong and dangerous, and what you can do, food in general, and the discussion around what is healthy

The Year of Celery Juice

How did it start?

Essentially, one person is proclaiming all of this health nonsense around celery and claims that the spirits talk to him and give him nutritional knowledge that doctors and nutritionists don’t know about yet. Recently, he’s been told by his “source” that if you juiced celery and drink it without anything else, along with many other rules, then it cures all of your illnesses. But people are claiming it’s curing chronic diseases and skin conditions. As such, everybody believes it’s the celery juice that’s curing it.

Confirmation Bias and The Placebo Effect

Joshua’s guess is that it’s a combination of people drinking a whole bunch of water in the morning plus a whole bunch of confirmation bias and placebo – which are powerful mechanisms. If people think something’s going to happen, it’s far more likely to happen. And if people are told that something’s going to happen, it’s far more likely to happen.

Sadly, people are losing trust in science and they’re losing trust in evidence-based science and seeming to not care. We’re in the post-truth world where truth doesn’t matter more than feelings matter at the moment.

However, it’s when people are starting to go on things like choosing an alkaline diet over chemotherapy to treat their cancer, that’s when people start coming to real harm due to this misinformation. Ultimately, let’s stop ignoring evidence-based science.

The Alkaline Diet as a Cancer Cure

People claim that if you eat certain foods, those can help alkalanize your body and your blood which will cure cancer or that it can prevent cancer. Where this all originated was from decades ago when a scientist looked into cancer cells and found out they can’t survive in an alkaline environment. However, no cells can survive in an alkaline environment or an acidic environment – it’s not just cancer cells. This is why our bodies naturally keep blood pH between 7.35-7.45 which needs to stay within that range. However, the whole premise of food being able to change the pH of your blood is utterly ridiculous.

The problem is that people are ignoring real treatments for cancer that we have that’s tried and tested in favor of going on this alkaline diet. Cancer is incredibly hard to treat but there are some that are treatable, like the majority of the breast cancers, by a combination of therapies like chemo, radiotherapy, surgery, and hormone-modulating drugs that can work. If people ignore all of those methods and just go on a different diet, they will die of their breast cancer.

Sadly, people are buying into this because they feel there is no hope. Or they want to try something that doesn’t give them side effects since chemotherapy sucks. But dying of cancer sucks even more.

Vegan Diet to Stop Your Menstruation

Another social media influencer was promoting that menstruation is unnatural and it’s just your toxins leaving your body. And if you go on a raw vegan diet, your period will stop which is great. But this is harmful BS! It’s just nonsense. So people should be cautious about this. Cooking is very important, and in fact, a raw diet was a dangerous way of eating. Not to mention, following such diet is extremely high maintenance.

Ultra-Processed Foods

There’s also this new study on ultra-processed food causing a higher intake of calories. However, people have misinterpreted this. Hence, there is a reason minimally processed foods are more expensive.

Glorifying Health is Problematic

Glorifying something as fragile as health is incredibly problematic. As a society, we tend to glorify health and it’s what we should all be striving for and we tend to look down on people that are unhealthy. We tend to assume they’re less attractive or they should be in certain positions. But that is certainly fragile! Health is based on statistics and it doesn’t care about how much you try. It just happens.

Highlights
  • Deciding to be a better doctor more than just looking better
  • How his IG journey all began
  • Bariatric surgery vs lifestyle medicine
  • Confirmation bias and the placebo effect
  • BS #1: Celery juice cures all diseases.
  • BS #2: An alkaline diet can cure or prevent cancer.
  • BS #3: The vegan diet can stop your menstruation.
  • Why glorifying health is problematic
Quotes & Take-Aways

It felt to me like I was a smoker trying to tell people to stop smoking. I didn’t understand why they would listen to me or take me seriously.

Whenever we think about someone’s health, we always mention labels. It can be quite problematic to be doing that.

Confirmation bias and placebo are powerful mechanisms. If people think something’s going to happen, it’s far more likely to happen.

We’re in the post-truth world where truth doesn’t matter more than feelings matter at the moment.

It’s great that it’s working but it’s not the celery!

No cells can survive in an alkaline environment or an acidic environment – it’s not just cancer cells.

The whole premise of food being able to change the pH of your blood is utterly ridiculous.

Chemotherapy sucks – but dying of cancer sucks even more – so it’s the lesser of two evils

Connect with Joshua:

Thanks for listening and the support – if you enjoyed this episode, I hope you can leave the podcast a rating and review on iTunes, and if you haven’t subscribed yet, this is the best time to do that too. This will help the show to get up in the rankings.

Scott Baptie

Scott is the owner and founder of Food For Fitness. He is a fat loss coach, speaker and fitness writer with a masters (MSc) degree in Applied Sports Nutrition.