High Performance Health Podcasts - 216

Unlock the Keto Code (Without Actually Going Keto) and Turbo-Charge Your Metabolism – with Dr Steven Gundry

Dr Steven R. Gundry is an American physician and low-carbohydrate diet author, most famous for his book ‘Unlocking the Keto Code.’ He is also the founder of Gundry MD, dedicated to dramatically improving human health, happiness, and longevity through his unique vision of diet and nutrition.

Key Takeaways.

There must be a mechanism by which mitochondria protect themselves. The best example of this is to see it as a kind of pressure cooker, where if the pressure reaches a certain point, it explodes. This is prevented by a pressure valve, which is the same method used by mitochondria.
Ketones are often misrepresented as some kind of miracle fuel for the body that is desired by every part of the physical form. But this is not true.
Free fatty acids go to the liver, which converts them to ketones (very small acids) that can get through the blood and be used as fuel. This explains why, if you’re hungry, you make ketones. Plants use polyphenol compounds to protect their mitochondria from sun damage.
Polyphenols that we eat via plants are very poorly absorbed, but we’re beginning to see that they are the most important prebiotic for our gut bacteria.

Angela's Insights.

I’ve had countless women (and men) come to me, seeking higher performance and previously believing the keto diet would help them get there. Unfortunately, for most of these individuals, the keto diet wasn’t sustainable for their performance or their health goals. Interestingly, the reason the keto diet even works for some people or for a brief amount of time lies in the concept of “mitochondrial uncoupling. But you don’t actually need to go on the keto diet to achieve these results.

What is Mitochondrial Uncoupling?

Essentially, mitochondrial uncoupling wastes calories. This process doesn’t involve the creation of ATP. According to Dr Steven Gundry, it’s theorized this uncoupling generates heat within the body (it’s like being the gas guzzler instead of the Prius), and this actually gives you greater metabolic flexibility (the ability to switch easily between burning fats and carbs).

Generally, we want to optimise for this mitochondrial uncoupling process to enhance metabolic function and longevity. And, again, the keto diet isn’t the only way to do this. There are actually certain foods and actions you can take to enhance mitochondrial uncoupling.

Foods That Support Mitochondrial Uncoupling

Individuals in their 90s and beyond all seem to have one thing in common: They have lots of uncoupled mitochondria. In this podcast episode, Dr Steven Gundry goes into great detail about how ketones function in the body and how they lead to mitochondrial uncoupling. However, specific foods can also act as mitochondrial uncoupling compounds, including:

- Goat and/or sheep cheese
- Fibrous foods (veggies and fruit)
- Turmeric
- MCT oil
- Tea
- Coffee
- Dark Chocolate
- Black Pepper
- Cinnamon
- Cloves

Lifestyle Habits That Increase Mitochondrial Uncoupling

On top of this, we can improve mitochondrial uncoupling by activating the heat shock proteins. This can be done through regular sauna sessions, cold exposure (cold showers), and even HIIT.

As always, you want to be careful with HIIT so as not to overdo it. Short sessions during the follicular phase are beneficial, but HIIT sessions may be detrimental during the luteal phase of a woman’s cycle due to rising progesterone (which we don’t want to hinder by overburdening the body).

Gut Health and Ageing

This was one of my favourite parts of talking with Dr Steven Gundry. Dr Gundry went into detail regarding how in animal studies, researchers have shown that aging primarily occurs due to a breakdown in the interface between the gut wall and our microbiome. Keeping this wall intact is essential for slowing down the age-related process. In fact, Dr Steven Gundry indicates that autoimmune diseases may be caused by a “leaky gut.” With gut repair, he’s actually seen autoimmune diseases completely resolve. Really fascinating stuff!

Dr Steven Gundry is a wealth of information. He has worked in medicine for over 40 years. Previously a cardiothoracic and heart surgeon, he is the author of two books, Unlocking the Keto Code and The Plant Paradox (links to grab your copies of these books can be found below).

Today, Dr Steven Gundry teaches people how to avoid surgery, optimise their health, and live overall better lives with his unique approach to nutrition. As the director and founder of the International Heart and Lung Institute, as well as the Centre for Restorative Medicine in Palm Springs and Santa Barbara, he continues to see patients today and is continually involved in ground-breaking research. Listen to the whole podcast to hear more about how you can optimise your longevity and metabolic flexibility through the powerful process of mitochondrial uncoupling. We also discuss aging, gut health, insulin and weight loss, how ketones function in the body, and so much more.

Time Stamps:


Introducing Mitochondrial Uncoupling


Insulin, Carbs, and the Menstrual Cycle


Fasting Insulin and PCOS


What are Ketones, and Why Are They Important


Mitochondria Uncoupling


Uncoupling Compounds in Tea


The Creation of Heat via Uncoupling Mitochondria


Why Ketones Uncouple Mitochondria


Insulin, Free Fatty Acid Release, and Weight Loss


Athletic Performance and the Keto Diet


Keeping Your Mitochondrial Healthy, The Cost of Living, and Longevity


Why Ageing Occurs


Leaky Gut and Autoimmune Diseases


Gluten and the Gut


Foods That Enhance Mitochondrial Uncoupling


Cheese, Dairy, Butter, and Angina


The Dietary Habits of People Who Are Living Longer


Polyphenols, Resveratrol, and Wine


Saunas, Cold Exposure, and Mitochondrial Uncoupling

About Angela

Angela is a Nutritionist, Health and Performance Coach. She is also the Founder and CEO of My DNA Edge, an Exclusive Private Membership Site giving individuals the tools and bio hacks needed to optimise their genetic expression for optimal health and performance.

Angela believes that we can truly have it all and has spent the last 5 years researching the habits and routines of high performers, uncovering age-old secrets, time-honoured holistic practices and modern science to create a blueprint for Optimal Human Performance.