Christopher Gardner, PhD Talks Nutrition Research with NOTeD’s Dr. Tom Rifai

Tom Rifai, MD, FACP
Today’s NOTeD promises to be a distinct crowd pleaser, as Dr. Tom interviews Christopher Gardner, PhD of Stanford University. Dr. Gardner discusses his work in the field of nutrition research. His sense of humor makes nutrition studies fun, as you will see throughout this interview.
Christopher Gardner PhD, on left, Zooms with Tom Rifai, MD on right, about nutrition studies.

I’ve been patiently waiting to do this interview, and it was well worth it. My guest, nutrition research expert Professor Christopher Gardner, is the Director of Nutrition Studies at the Stanford Prevention Research Center and a Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. He received his PhD in Nutritional Sciences from University of California, Berkeley and his postgraduate training included a postdoctoral fellowship in cardiovascular disease epidemiology at Stanford. While he excels at making complex concepts of nutrition research easy to grasp, he is also incredibly engaging and genuinely funny. Time flies by during this interview!

Christopher Gardner from A to Z

We begin with what led Professor Gardner to become so interested in nutrition and lifestyle, a one-of-a-kind story that will almost assuredly surprise you and leave your heart warm. We then cover his landmark A TO Z trial (Atkins Traditional health educator’s approach Ornish Zone) all the way through his powerful DIETFITS trial, and what both mean for us in our day to day lives.

We also discuss his work with the CIA (no, not THAT CIA) and how the Culinary Institute of America became fascinated with his presentation on the science of protein (noting that for many chefs, protein means flesh). The CIA chefs he works with ingeniously came up with the “protein-flip.” I love the flexitarian approach!

A Trivia Question for You

Professor Gardner also shares his straightforward perspective on the controversy over lectins and how much protein we truly need to survive. You’ll get another practical longevity tip that came right from his family kitchen when he was under the heavy pressure of hummus – and we even learn what his favorite legume is.

Last but not least, we uncover what might be the most important factor contributing to dietary adherence and success. Hint: it’s not genetics or baseline levels of “carb sensitivity,” also known as insulin resistance.

So please, by all means, get ready for nourishment of the mind, body and soul in this NOTeD interview with the one and only Professor Christopher Gardner!