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Episode #540: The Top 10 Health & Fitness Myths, with Dr. Uche Odiatu

There are many myths about health and fitness. Without guidance, it can be overwhelming to start the journey to a healthier life. Today, Kirk Behrendt brings back one of ACT’s favorite fitness gurus, Dr. Uche Odiatu, to dispel 10 of the most common myths that people believe about being healthy. It’s never too early to improve your health! To learn how to win the health and fitness race, listen to Episode 540 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Breath by James Nestor:

Oura Ring:

The Diet Myth by Tim Spector:

Main Takeaways:

You can’t go hard all the time.

Not all fats and carbs are bad for you.

Most people don’t need a trainer to become fit.

Supplements aren’t as crucial for bettering your health.

Genetics isn’t the only thing that determines one’s healthiness.

You don’t have to be in great shape to talk about fitness with patients.

It’s never too early to start thinking about health, fitness, and ergonomics.


“The hard-driving, overachieving, perpetually advancing dentists or dental professional loves going 150%. We brag about being busy, busy, busy. However, when you look at fitness and health, busy, busy, busy and going 110% doesn’t win the race. It doesn’t even win it if you’re training for the World Cup or training for the Olympics. You have to periodize your training. You see, slow and steady wins the health and fitness race.” (3:32—3:56)

“I think, sometimes, we think all-or-nothing works. Meanwhile, slow and steady, consistency, wins the race.” (4:52—4:58)

“I think you only need a trainer if you really start with no base, or you have an injury, or you have a medical condition. But otherwise, on your own, a simple walking program is better than nothing.” (7:47—7:59)

“Think of the ingredients in an apple. There are no ingredients. It’s just apple. And when you start looking at supplements, sweeteners, stabilizers, emulsifiers, and preservatives, they actually do us more harm, many times, because our microbiome, the 42 trillion cells that call you and me home, have been on this planet for hundreds of millions of years. They don’t know artificial sweeteners. They don’t know soybean oil or citric acid. All they know is, ‘This is odd.’” (8:48—9:18)

“Our bacteria don’t have brains, but they have a consciousness. They understand an apple. They understand fiber. They understand Omega-3 in fish. So, I would spend all my time looking more for whole, good-quality food. And if you can, certified organic, hormone-free meat. Cattle raised without antibiotics, if you can. That’s the way to go. Supplements [are] at the bottom of the chain.” (9:36—10:00)

“Vitamin D is important. But again, you get vitamin D from the sun by sitting outside, or having your sunroof open driving down the highway, or in egg yolks, or in sea food. You can get a lot without any supplements. Supplements are not a very regulated product. The FDA and Health Canada, their thing is, as long as it doesn’t kill anyone, you can actually put anything you want on the label — as long as you’re not claiming to cure disease. So, life extension, beautifying, natural skin — lots of promises. But food is number one for me.” (10:04—10:39)

“Instead of on grass, like we were designed for millions of years, we jog on asphalt so we can face the traffic and show them how hard we’re working. If you’re jogging in a field, great. Running in grass is perfect. Jogging on asphalt facing traffic, looking like you swallowed a lemon, is really not the way to go.” (12:11—12:29)

“You can go hard, but you can’t go hard for a summer, a year, 10 years. Your body wasn’t made to.” (16:00—16:06)

“Young people think they’re going to live forever. You’d be surprised how many young dentists go, ‘Eh, I have forever to do ergonomics. I’ve got forever to take care of my back. Reflux? I’ll take medicine for that. I’ll do that when I’m older.’ They think they have so much time, they never actually make time to do it. And sometimes, when you know you don’t have forever, you make a decision to, instead of majoring in minor things, major in the importance of health.” (16:35—16:56)

“As people get older, you’ll see people seeing the value in health because you see patients come in at 70, 80, 90 that look good and feel good, and don’t look and feel good. So, that imperative desire to take care of this body is more pressing as we get older.” (16:57—17:10)

“The more you don’t participate in those kinds of sports, the more your knees and hips are fine at 50. I don’t know how many of our friends — and I love my college friends, my high school friends who played football and hockey — knees jammed, hip replacements, shoulder replacement, meniscus tears, ACL, neck is jammed, shoulder is jammed, rotator cuff problems. And that’s age 40. When you’re that beaten up, what’s going to happen between 40 and 80? It’s not going to be pretty. No matter how many offices you own, no matter how many anti-inflammatories you take, no matter how much money you have, this body is not just a carcass that’s supposed to take you from point A to point B. So, the whole idea is, if you push it hard, you have less left over for that second half of life.” (17:24—18:09)

“The muscles are just empty tissue. They don’t have a mind of their own. All they know is youth, which is movement, and all they know is accelerated aging and disease by sitting still. And the challenge is, 70% of our waking time is spent sitting.” (18:43—18:56)

“I never want to act my age.” (19:27—19:28)

“People say, ‘I’ve tried everything! I’m still 100 pounds overweight.’ Well, you haven’t tried everything. There are things that work every time. And it works every time. It’s like nuts and bolts when it comes to fitness. But we make it too hard by trying esoteric, weird things. ‘Uche, have you heard about the caterpillar diet?’ ‘Uh, no.’ ‘Have you heard about the cotton ball diet? You swallow cotton balls. It makes you feel full.’ ‘I haven’t heard about that one.’ So, slow and steady wins the race. Look at fundamentals.” (19:57—20:23)

“Sometimes, you think, ‘Oh, I naturally have wide hips,’ or, ‘I have narrow shoulders,’ or, ‘Naturally, I don’t have good cardio,’ or, ‘All the men in my family died of heart disease. I’m just going to follow suit.’ Well, genetics load your gun. Lifestyle pulls the trigger.” (20:42—20:56)

“There aren’t many dentists who say sleep is their secret weapon. They say, ‘My iTero is my secret weapon,’ or, ‘My CEREC is,’ which is fine. Those are important devices. But why can’t sleep be your secret weapon?” (21:38—21:47)

“You’re most able to tap into your gifts when you’re calm. When you’re irritated and annoyed, you can’t find your loops, guess what? You’re useless. You can’t tap into left and right brain or past wisdom.” (21:59—22:10)

“I don’t know how many people talk about, ‘Yeah, I’m on a diet. I’m not eating carbs.’ And I say, ‘You don’t eat apples?’ ‘Oh, no, I eat apples.’ ‘Do you eat salads?’ ‘Oh, I eat salads.’ I said, ‘Carbs are apples and salads.’ ‘Oh, no, no. I don’t mean those carbs.’ Carbs have got a bad reputation. I love carbs. I live for carbs. Fruit, at least two a day. Salad, once a day. Vegetables, two or three servings every day. Whole grains. I’m not celiac, so I can do whole grains — quality whole grains. Sourdough bread, Ezekiel Bread. I love carbs.” (22:24—22:55)

“Carbs aren’t the enemy. Volume is the enemy. [Also] not knowing serving size, the wrong carbs, white rice without any fat and protein on it. So, if I’m going to have some rice on a plate, guess what? I’m going to put some salmon on it. I’m going to put some olive oil on the rice. Put some vegetables [because] the glycemic index spike is so large. If I’m going to eat a lot of carbs, I’ll do it after the workout when my metabolism is revved up for 16, 17, 18 hours after. So, timing is everything.” (23:15—23:44)

“I don’t eat carbs within two hours of bedtime. This is really good for anyone who wants to experience more growth and recovery and growth hormone. So, two hours before bedtime, no food. Two, three hours, no food. And the body then can spend all this time resting and recovering instead of digesting food.” (23:44—24:00)

“They proved [all fat being bad] wrong so many times. Fat was considered toxic in the ‘80s. Remember, we had big plates of pasta and muffins, and we demonized fat. Maybe one egg a week. Many doctors said, ‘Oh, you can only have one egg a week because of the cholesterol.’ Well, now, we’ve realized in 2007 and 2017, lots of good studies, Harvard, The Lancet, have shown that saturated fat doesn’t support heart disease. If anything, if you’re an athlete, if you’re active, fat in your diet is not such a bad thing. It’s very satisfying. It helps you to stymie your cravings.” (25:01—25:33)

“That water off a duck’s back is definitely something my mom taught me, that whole serenity. Grant me the wisdom to act on the things I can act on, and the ability to leave things I can’t work on and leave them out of my mind. Much more peaceful way to go. So, I can spend all my psychic energy healing, restoring, wisdom, consolidating memory, processing emotion, being present for my colleagues and friends and family.” (26:50—27:15)

“We have more diabetes now in North America than ever — 30 million diabetics in America, 70 million prediabetic. So, out of the 330 million Americans, 100 million are prediabetic or diabetic. This is an inflammatory condition. Definitely has a spillover effect into the oral space. So, they need guidance. It’s not working. We’re getting fatter. We’re getting more insulin-resistant. So, whatever is happening is not working. We need a healthcare provider, an industry, to take charge. So, as the hygienist, you’re in charge of the wellness field. Start talking health. Have a favorite health book. Quote a journal. Do it in a nonjudgmental way. Patients are starving for people who are enthusiastic and convinced about the gateway starting here. The gateway to health starts here, and we’re the only healthcare provider that’s in charge of the gateway.” (28:13—29:02)

“People curse their butt, but they nourish the Pop-Tarts. People hate the belly hanging over their belt, but they’re going through the airport to all the fast-food areas instead of going to the lounge or going to Starbucks and grabbing the fruit or grabbing the salad. So, this mouth is the key to how good you look.” (29:48—30:07)

“We hate the result, but we nourish the cause.” (30:42—30:45)

“As long as you’re on your own journey, you don’t have to look like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to talk nutrition. You don’t have to look like Tae Bo does to talk whole-body health.” (31:03—31:12)

“Once you’ve started your own journey, that is a vulnerable place to be. When you ask someone, ‘Any changes in your medical history?’ or, ‘What’s going on in your life right now?’ is a better question to ask, they’ll say, ‘I just went to the doctor. He said I need to lose a little bit of weight.’ ‘Oh, me too. Everyone’s had a challenge after the pandemic. But here’s what I’m doing.’ Now, you’ve got a connection. I think people connect more with your struggle than your success.” (31:45—32:07)

“We all know preventative dentistry is cheaper. Preemptive attack on your body is better than waiting for things to fall apart. If someone invests as heavily on their body as they do in their office, it’s amazing how good that body can look and feel. And it’s not just about looks. I’m talking about feeling and being free of disease and free of a list of meds.” (33:26—33:47)

“A dad who puts himself last, or the mother who puts herself last behind the kids, and the house, and the practice — I think feeling you deserve health and realizing a strong mom is a good mom, a strong dad is a good dad, a strong female or male dentist is a better dentist because you’re better able to weather the storms of the emotional journey that dentistry takes you on every day, week after week, month after month.” (34:54—35:21)


0:00 Introduction.

2:08 Dr. Odiatu’s background.

3:14 Myth: Go hard or go home.

6:21 Myth: You need a trainer to get in shape.

8:07 Myth: Supplements are a key part of your diet.

11:05 Myth: Running is all you need to get in shape.

13:13 How Kirk stays in shape.

16:17 Myth: Push yourself hard when you’re young to stay in shape.

18:20 Your muscles don’t know their age.

20:30 Myth: Some people are genetically gifted for fitness.

22:19 Myth: Carbs are bad.

24:53 Myth: All fat is bad.

27:36 Myth: Patients don’t want to hear about total health.

30:50 Myth: You can’t talk wellness with patients if you’re not in shape.

32:56 Be proactive and take preventative measures.

34:17 Last thoughts.

35:37 How to get in touch with Dr. Odiatu.

Dr. Uche Odiatu Bio:

Dr. Uche Odiatu has a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). He is a professional member of the ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine), a Certified Personal Trainer (National Strength & Conditioning Association) NSCA, and the Canadian Association of Fitness Professionals (canfitpro). He is the co-author of The Miracle of Health (c) 2009 John Wiley (hardcover) & (c) 2015 Harper Collins, and has lectured in Canada, the USA, the Caribbean, the UK, and Europe. He is an invited guest on over 400 TV and radio shows, from ABC 20/20, Canada CTV AM, Breakfast TV, to Magic Sunday Drum FM in Texas. This high-energy healthcare professional has done over 450 lectures in seven countries over the last 15 years.


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