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Muscle Intelligence

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Jun 18, 2020

So-called health foods that we think are doing something great for us sometimes are leading to the very things we are trying to avoid. Today’s guest is Sally Norton and she joins us to talk about chemical compounds called oxalates that are found in plants and the dangers they pose to our health! Sally grew up veggie-centric and spent 16 years as a vegan and vegetarian, and today she tells us about the many health difficulties she experienced before discovering the dangers of oxalates. We take a deep dive with her into the chemical reactions and physiological processes caused by oxalates in our bodies and she weighs in on how these compounds bind to minerals causing things like gout, stopping damaged tissue from healing properly, and blocking our ability to read warning signals from the body. Sally also gets into which parts of different food groups like brassica, leafy greens, tubers, and grains are high in oxalates and should be avoided. We talk about the damage a vegetarian diet can cause to the gut before getting into a fascinating exchange about the birthplace of moral arguments for avoiding meat, with links to Seventh Day Adventism and societies whose reasons to dissuade populations from an animal diet were originally economic. Other talking points are lost methods of preparing vegetables to make them lower in oxalates, how vegans might decrease oxalates, and how Sally thinks about eating meat sustainably as an environmentalist!

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  • Introducing Sally Norton and her work on dangerous oxalates in ‘health foods’. [0:17]
  • Sally’s plant diet journey that destroyed her health leading her to a new diet. [4:51]
  • How oxalates destroy health and stop your ability to discern the body’s signals. [7:55]
  • Health issues Sally faced growing up even while eating a veggie-centric diet. [8:51]
  • Sally’s fight with gout as a student and how oxalates can cause gout. [12:45]
  • A molecular description of oxalates and how they bond to minerals causing damage. [14:13]
  • How oxalates get hung up in injured tissue and interrupt the healing process. [18:06]
  • Foods from the leafy green and tuber family that are high in oxalates. [20:37]
  • High oxalate indicators and pre-birth/early life causes for Sally’s poor health. [26:00]
  • How to lower broccoli oxalates and dangers of brassica vegetables. [29:54]
  • Lectin and phytates in vegetables and the damage eating them did to Sally’s gut. [31:08]
  • Taking isolated vitamins from vegetable sources and stopping trusting what’s natural. [34:47]
  • Grains high in oxalates and the birthplace of linking ‘health foods’ with being moral. [36:05]
  • Veganism as an offshoot of Kellogg’s anti-sex Seventh Day Adventism teachings. [39:12]
  • Economic reasons for meat avoidance reframed as moral arguments for veganism. [44:08]
  • Dangers of soluble fiber, and how we have lost old methods of preparing vegetables. [45:47]
  • High oxalates in nuts, and the benign qualities of fermented cabbage. [48:20]
  • Healing oxalate problems as a vegan and how meat bioaccumulates toxins too. [50:55]
  • The dangers of mono-cropping and Sally’s preference to build sustainable systems. [52:32]
  • How Sally eats meat sustainably as an environmentalist. [57:12]