Mark Hyman, M.D.
Dr. Mark Hyman has made it his life’s work to tackle chronic disease. He says we all deserve a life full of vitality and that we can create it for ourselves. Hyman has written several books on health and nutrition, and co-authored a best-selling book called The Daniel Plan. He is the founder of The UltraWellness Center and medical editor at The Huffington Post. Hyman has testified before the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine and the Senate Working Group on Health Care Reform on Functional Medicine. He has been a contributor on many TV shows including Good Morning America, CNN and The Dr. Oz Show. He has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.
Mark Hyman, M.D.’s Diet
Hyman once joked that he was a ‘Pegan,’ a combination of Paleo and vegan, but he really does believe this diet offers the best of both worlds. The basic premise is to eat whole, real food. Both Paleo and vegan promote foods that don’t raise blood sugar, detoxify the system and contain lots of antioxidants. You can eat healthy fats like nuts, seeds and olive oil. Avoid or limit dairy, and don’t have too much starchy vegetables or fruit. Meat should be treated like a condiment, with colorful vegetables taking center stage. Choose only low-mercury fish that is sustainably farmed or caught wild. Hyman’s plan is a diet for life, not a quick fix.
- Low Protein 25% 25%
- Medium Fat 50% 50%
- Medium-High Carb 70% 70%
Anything that causes insulin levels to spike should be avoided, so sugar, flour and refined carbs. Hyman says to look on sugar as a recreational drug. You can have it sometimes, sparingly, but it should not be a regular feature in any diet.
Hyman’s diet is heavy on the veggies, the more colorful, the better. And not too much of the starchy kind like sweet potatoes and winter squashes and would like to remind people that potatoes are a starch. Go easy on them.
Gluten Be Gone
Hyman says most gluten comes from ‘Frankenwheat’ and should be avoided, or look for heirloom varieties such as eikorn. Any gluten replacement grains should also be eaten sparingly because they still raise blood sugar.
Just Say No to GMOs
Hyman wants us all to steer clear of chemicals, additives, preservatives, dyes, artificial sweeteners and other junky ingredients.
What to Eat
Grass-Fed meat (in moderation)
Low-Mercury, Wild-caught Fish
Fruit in Moderation
What to Avoid
Dairy (or very limited)
Hyman on The Importance of Diet
‘Your fork, the most powerful tool to transform your health.’
Hyman on Junk Food
‘There is no such thing as junk food. There’s junk and there’s food.’
Hyman on Dieting
‘While weight loss is important, what’s more important is the quality of food you put in your body — food is information that quickly changes your metabolism and your genes.’
Mark Hyman, M.D.’s Fitness Routine
The statistic is that half of Americans have a sedentary lifestyle and a whopping 88% do not get enough exercise. Hyman says it has created an epidemic of broken bodies, and broken brains. Hyman isn’t picky. He wants you to do whatever kind of exercise you enjoy.
Just 30 Minutes
Hyman encourages everyone to start each day with a half-hour of moderate exercise. He says it can have an extraordinary effect on the rest of your day, including balancing brain chemistry, blood sugar and hormones, as well as jump-starting your metabolism so you make better choices all day long.
Make It A Priority
Make it easy on yourself to fit in your exercise: set out your sneakers and exercise clothing so that everything is easily accessible, and do it first thing so you’ve gotten it out of the way.
Make It Fun
Hyman is not big on suffering. Mix things up and try something new at least every week.
Dr. Hyman’s 7 Reasons To Exercise
- Improved Insulin Sensitivity: Less insulin = less belly fat.
- Reduced Stress: Exercise reduces cortisol, and also belly fat. Cortisol is behind those cravings for comfort foods full of sugar and carbs.
- Better Brain Health: Exercise improves memory, learning and concentration. It also boosts your mood and energy level.
- Reduced Risk for Chronic Disease: Exercise reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke, as well as inflammation which is behind just about every age-related disease, including cancer.
- Enhanced Detoxification: Vigorous exercise releases toxins through the skin. If you do not sweat when you exercise, consider a sauna or steam room.
- Slow the Aging Process: Exercise is crucial if you want to live a long, healthy life.
- Improved Sexual Function: Increased circulation and more energy can put the va-va-voom back in your sex life.
Hyman on the Importance of Diet for Health
‘You cannot exercise your way out of a bad diet.’
Hyman on the Importance of Exercise
‘If I could put something in a pill that would reverse almost every chronic disease, it would be exercise.’
Hyman on the Importance of Exercise, Take II
‘Being sedentary is very dangerous for your health. People who habitually sit have as much risk of dying as people who have bad diets or smoke.’
Mark Hyman, M.D.’s Supplements
Hyman believes strongly in the power of nutrition to heal, and anti-inflammatories like omega-3 rich fish oil is one of his favorites.
Vitamin C is probably the most famous antioxidant. It gives your immune system a natural boost.
Another antioxidant Dr. Hyman likes is quercetin for its anti-inflammatory properties.
Besides being great for bones, calcium taken before bed can help you fall asleep and stay asleep.
Taken 1 hour before bed, valerian can help you get a good night’s sleep. It does not cause dependency.
5-HTP supports serotonin production, which a precursor to melatonin, the body’s natural sleep hormone.
Packed with antioxidants, grapeseed extract supports blood flow, kidney function and brain health.
Rutin is a bioflavonoid that comes from plants like apples and citrus. It contains powerful antioxidants that reduce damage from free radicals.
Glycinate can also help you wind down and get a better night’s sleep.
Magnolia bark can calm and de-stress you, helping you to get a better night’s sleep.
Mark Hyman, M.D.’s Lifestyle
Or suffer the consequences. Turn off the computer 2 hours before bedtime. Reduce mental stimuli and wind down. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day. Create total darkness and quiet. Use the bedroom for sleep and romance only. No TV. Avoid caffeine and alcohol.
Hyman believes in finding the source of the problem rather than throwing a pill at it. It takes time and patience, but the results are worth it.
Hyman recommends guided visualization, meditation and/or relaxation CDs to help you unwind.
Hyman on Pill-Popping
‘It’s more important to understand the imbalances in your body’s basic systems and restore balance, rather than name the disease and match the pill to the ill.’
Hyman on Sugar
‘Sugar in all its forms is the root cause of our obesity epidemic and most of the chronic disease sucking the life out of our citizens[…]’
Hyman on the Future of Healthcare
‘The body is one integrated system, not a collection of organs divided up by medical specialities. The medicine of the future connects everything.’
Hyman on Grassroots Movements
‘The power of community to create health is far greater than any physician, clinic, or hospital.’