DiscoverBen Greenfield LifeThe Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.
The Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.

The Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.

Update: 2019-03-141


Prepare yourself for the most epic, deep dive into the carnivore diet that you've ever heard.

I recently listened to a physician named Paul Saladino debate research scientist Layne Norton about the carnivore diet on my friend Mark Bell's podcast. I was so intrigued by the episode that I decided to get Paul on my show to explore the science behind the carnivore diet, carnivore diet do's and don'ts, and whether the carnivore diet is a true, sustainable, natural, ancestral nutrition approach or just a dietary fad.

During this show, we cover:

-Why Paul is a raving fan of salmon roe...17:15

  • Humans cannot make Omega 3 fatty acids
    • Omega 3's in salmon roe are in the phospholipid form
    • Salmon roe crosses the blood brain barrier more efficiently than in the triglyceride or ethyl ester form (which you'll find in most fish oil capsules)
  • Two tbsps of salmon roe gives you the DHA without being exposed to the metals
  • Benefit of getting a nutrient from a food vs. from a supplement
  • Concern with oxidation in fish oil:
    • Look for certificate of analysis
    • Look at levels of lipid peroxides
    • Not nearly as much oxidation in eggs than the fish

-Why Paul doesn't consume black pepper...21:15

  • A central principle of the carnivorous diet: plants are not put on the earth to serve humans
  • Develop potentially toxic compounds to defend themselves from other animals
  • A peppercorn is the seed of a plant
    • The seeds are where a higher concentration of pesticides and toxins reside
    • Pepper contains a compound called piperine, which inhibits UDP glucuronosyltransferase
  • In essence: black pepper inhibits our body's natural detoxification process.
  • Piperine is added to curcumin supplements to increase the level of curcumin you can absorb
  • We don't actually use these molecules in human biochemistry
    • Used to activate certain pathways to produce our own antioxidants (which is glutathione)
  • Plants induce Nrf2, while simultaneously doing toxic things to our bodies
  • Sulforaphane is considered to be a highly beneficial molecule as a precursor to glutathione pathways
    • But is known to be a goitrogen (meaning it can induce hypothyroidism)
  • Key take away: You can simulate the benefits of eating plants by eating meat and living a healthy lifestyle

-Why Paul refused a cup of Kion Coffee when offered by Ben...30:45

  • Coffee is felt to be beneficial because of a couple of polyphenolic compounds: chloragenic acid and caffeic acid
    • These have been found to be clastogenic (DNA damage)
  • A coffee bean is the seed of a plant, which contains toxins as a natural defense mechanism
  • Very few animals eat those seeds

-Aren't plants like exercise, where you need them, but too much can be harmful?...26:05

  • Hormesis is potential benefit of plants
  • Sulforaphane:
    • Is linked to hypothyroidism
    • Depends on one's baseline level of iodine consumption
    • Does not exist in a plant
    • Glucoraphanin is converted into sulforaphane by Myrosinase
      • Highest levels are found in broccoli seeds and sprouts
  • Humans are "facultative carnivores" meaning we can get everything we need from meat without ingesting the toxins found in plants.

-Storage organs in plants that result in larger brains and smaller guts...46:35

  • Richard Wrangham
  • Tubers
    • Fairly toxic generally speaking
    • Ancestral (non-hybridized) tubers aren't as valuable to humans due to size, appearance, etc.
    • Developed big brains by eating bone marrow and brains of animals (as scavengers)
    • No DHA, or fatty acids in a tuber
    • Macronutrients for short term survival; micronutrients for long term survival
    • Tubers have macronutrients, but not micronutrients
  • Fossils of homo erectus found near water: algae, DHA, other micronutrients
  • Just because tubers were efficacious for our ancestors doesn't mean we should choose them today
    • Animals provide all the micronutrients we need in the most bioavailable forms
    • The ultimate multivitamin for a human would be an animal

-Why plants may not be necessary, could be harmful to the gut, and are "survival food"...50:50

  • Vilhjalmur Stefansson: Lived with Inuit people for a year
    • Observed they ate plants only when "real foods" i.e. animals weren't available
  • Book: 100 Million Years of Food by Stephen Lee
  • Even though humans have made plants more digestible via sprouting, fermenting, etc. we should still opt for the ribeye steak.

-Whether a carnivorous diet is sustainable or ethical...53:53

  • Eat the animal "nose to tail"
  • Book: The Whole Beast by Fergus Henderson
  • Muscle meat is high in methionine but low in glycine
  • Best results come when we eat organs and tendons along with the muscle meat
    • Different nutrients in different parts of the animal
  • Why Ben called the carnivore diet "lazy" on the Joe Rogan podcast
  • Carbohydrate availability for the thyroid
    • Ancestors would eat the thyroid immediately after killing an animal
  • Do you need plants to consume adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals?
    • Good amounts of Vitamin C in liver and in brain; whale blubber
    • Liver also has large amounts of carotenal, a precursor to Vitamin A
    • Quercetin doesn't directly contribute to human biochemistry
    • You may not be able to get flavonoids from meat, but you may not need them at all

-How we would consume fiber on a carnivore diet, or if we even need it at all...1:06:40

  • The debate between Paul Saladino and Layne Norton on the Mark Bell show
  • Fiber is a "fairy tale"
    • Physician named Burkett in Tanzania
    • Tanzanians did not have as many cases of diverticulosis as Westerners
    • Erroneously equated high amounts of fiber intake with low cases of diverticulosis
    • The reverse is true
    • Applies to insoluble and soluble fiber
  • "Healthy user bias" affects studies on fiber
    • People who eat less meat and more fiber, and engage in healthy activities
    • Stereotypical "meat eater": Steak, fries, cake, etc.

-Why Ben Greenfield is hesitant to embrace a full-on carnivore diet...1:13:50

  • Variety is the spice of life (colors of food, tastes, etc.)
  • Humans are "facultative carnivores"
    • Meant to eat animals, but can eat plants when animals are not available
    • Plants can contribute to life enjoyment if you choose to use them in your diet

-The carnivore diet and longevity...1:23:30

  • Fallacy: centenarians live longer because of genetics. They live long in spite of what they eat.
  • Theory of "blue zones" has been incorrectly interpreted
    • Not caused by diet (plants, legumes, etc.)
    • Clusters of longevity mutation in certain genes; improves insulin sensitivity, antioxidants, etc.
  • High insulin sensitivity when carbs are cut out

-Carnivore vs. ketosis...1:28:45

  • Three micronutrients: carbs, protein, fat
  • We can run on two fuels: fat or carbs
    • fat that is stored or that you're eating
    • No such thing as an "essential carbohydrate"
  • You can have a ketogenic diet that includes some plant foods that are potentially immunotoxic
  • Carnivorous diet is by default a ketogenic because you're not eating plant-based carbs (trace amounts in meat)
  • What about coconut oil and coconut cream?
    • <a href="h
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The Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.

The Truth About The Carnivore Diet: Everything You Need To Know About Dangers, Benefits, Mistakes & Hacks For Eating Only Meat.

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