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Food Is Medicine: Christopher Gardner, PHD On Using Diet To Prevent Disease

By August 14, 2023No Comments
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Episode #774



When it comes to vetted, peer-reviewed nutrition research, there is way more consensus than there is controversy.

Here to guide us toward an evidence-based, rational model for nutritional health and teach us how to distinguish good nutrition science is one of the world’s leading and most innovative researchers, Christopher Gardner, PhD.

Dr. Gardner is the Director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a Rehnborg Farquhar Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. He’s distinguished himself for his many investigations into the potential health benefits of various dietary components and food patterns through extremely well-designed trials, and his research has provided significant and practical health insights to better inform our everyday dietary decisions.

To this end, Dr. Gardner has been researching the health effects of a plant-based diet and its components for 20 years, even extending his scientific approach to better understand a variety of ethical motivators for making positive dietary changes.

“Diet is such a huge under-appreciated, underutilized factor for preventing disease.”


In addition to discussing his career and many landmark studies, we dive into the following topics:

  • What we know and don’t know about diet, weight loss, obesity, diabetes, heart & metabolic health;
  • the diet wars: plant-based vs. carnivore vs. Mediterranean & low-fat vs. low carb;
  • science-based protein requirements and common misconceptions;
  • the importance of personalized nutrition and finding a sustainable diet for long-term success;
  • what makes a rigorous scientific study and why knowing a study’s funding sources is important;
  • what defines a healthy microbiome; and
  • why diet is the most under-appreciated, underutilized factor in preventing disease.

The visually inclined can watch it all go down on YouTube. As always, the audio version streams wild and free on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

Note: As mentioned in this episode, you can find Dr. Gardner’s Wheatberry Salad recipe here.

Dr. Gardner is an absolute delight. It was an honor to spend time with him. I hope you find his insights clarifying, informative, actionable—and perhaps even life-saving.


Peace + Plants,

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