296. Why You Can't Beat Meat: The Ultimate Carnivore Diet Guide W/ Dr. Paul Saladino

Dr.Paul Saladino

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

Listen in as I go deep with Dr. Paul Saladino on the numerous benefits of an all-meat diet, the misconceptions around animal versus plant diets, and why there hasn’t been a truly vegan population in human history.

Dr. Saladino is the leading authority on the science and application of the carnivore diet. He has used this diet to reverse autoimmune issues, chronic inflammation, and mental health issues in hundreds of patients, many of whom had been told their conditions were untreatable. He is the host of the popular Fundamental Health podcast and the author of the bestselling book, The Carnivore Code. Dr. Saladino is board certified as a Physician Nutrition Specialist and in psychiatry and completed residency at the University of Washington.  He lives in Austin, TX, and can frequently be found exploring wild places when he is not writing, researching, or working with clients.

DISCLAIMER: This podcast is presented for educational and exploratory purposes only. Published content is not intended to be used for diagnosing or treating any illness. Those responsible for this show disclaim responsibility for any possible adverse effects from the use of information presented by Luke or his guests. Please consult with your healthcare provider before using any products referenced. This podcast may contain paid endorsements for products or services.

There are a lot of diets out there — a LOT — and most of them inevitably disappear into obscurity after a few months or years because they are just coordinated marketing efforts capitalizing on a fad. 

So, how do we truly find what kind of diet works best for our bodies, as individuals and a species? I like to look to our biology and our history for clues.

That’s why I sat down with Dr. Paul Saladino, who is the leading authority on the science and application of the carnivore diet. He’s also the host of the popular Fundamental Health podcast and author of the best-selling book “The Carnivore Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Optimal Health by Returning to Our Ancestral Die.” 

He’s used this diet to reverse auto-immune issues, chronic inflammation, and mental health issues in hundreds of patients, many of whom were told their conditions were untreatable. He’s a fantastic wealth of information and everything he shares in this episode — as outlandish or contradictory to “conventional wisdom” as some of it might sound — is backed up by science.

I know this is going to be controversial for some people, but I urge you to listen and do a little research before you react.

09:22 — “The Carnivore Code” & what humans should be eating for optimal health

Why we have to evaluate the relative value of plant and animal foods

What are the most valuable foods for humans?

What do we consider being healthy that is not very healthy?

Debunking the myths around red meat

13:54 —  Moving from a plant-based diet to a predominately animal-based diet

We don’t need to identify who we are by what we eat

You have the freedom to make the diet choices that are best for your health

The need for meat is written into our genes

Food is the biggest lever for manipulating your health; food is medicine

Understanding the root cause of health issues

The psychological benefits of an all-meat diet


26:53 — Has there ever been a truly vegan population of humans on the planet in our history?

There has not been a vegan population as far as we know

We have also not had a fully carnivorous population, but many have been much closer

There are nutrients found in animal foods that do not exist in plants—but the inverse is not true

Why meat should have labels sharing their benefits

32:35 — Debunking myths around meat

Why the “blue zones” hypothesis is shoddy science

What gets left out of this research

How longevity is based on genetics

The religious bias in this research

How companies seek to “chemically castrate” us by cutting off our access to testosterone-producing foods.

The correlation between blue zones and abstinence from tobacco and alcohol

Lower motility and sperm quality amongst vegans and vegetarians—even in blue zones

49:16 — Why plants suck for your health

Animal foods are incorrectly and unjustly vilified based on crappy science

Plants don’t want to be eaten, and they develop toxins to defend against that

Eliminating the most toxic plants for optimal health

There’s a broader spectrum of factors affecting humans than we are aware of and it’s important to consider that when looking at your health

Why seeds are harmful to humans

Polyphenols are not native to the human body… so why would those be good for us?

Taking redundant plant molecules while ignoring the side effects

Differentiating between molecular hormesis and environmental hormesis (also, what’s hormesis?)

Why Paul doesn’t eat black pepper

How you can get all of the benefits from plant-based foods without any of the side effects

Why fruit is so much better for the human body than vegetables

The top 10 most inflammatory or problematic plants

01:30:07 — Foods to avoid and foods to supplement on an all-meat diet

Eliminating all polyunsaturated vegetable oils from your diet

For or against omega-3’s and fish oil

Getting enough Vitamin C

Eating rare or medium-rare meat and raw organs

01:47:57 — Eating the animal “nose to tail”

The values of eating animal organs

Eating or using the entire animal nose-to-tail out of respect

If you are not eating liver or heart, you are going to be riboflavin-deficient

The peptides available in organs

Getting organ benefits from supplements

Adjusting your palate to the taste of organ meat

Taking liver shooters

01:58:44 —The difference between land-raised animals and seafood

Grass-fed beef liver vs. oysters

The heavy metal density of seafood

Comparing water quality to smog level

The arguments against fish

Fish should not be the mainstay of your diet

02:05:24 — The environmental impact of animal farms compared to vegetable farms

Check out "Sacred Cow"

The interest in regenerative agriculture

Why the quality of soil is paramount

Putting animals back on the same land as plants regenerates the soil

Scaling regenerative farming

Cows are carbon-negative, so how do they contribute to greenhouse gases?

Soil carbon could be the single differentiator whether humans are on this planet in a thousand years

02:13:22 —Lightning Round Q&A

If you have severe acid reflux, what meats are usually best?

Which plant foods are least harmful should you run out of meat while traveling?

What do you think of “high meat,” rotten, fermented meat?

Does coffee do anything to your mouth’s microbiome while on a carnivore diet to make it too acidic?

How do you lose weight on the carnivore diet?

Would you do a podcast with Danny Roddy about Ray Peat’s work?

Your thoughts on kombucha?

What do you use for soap and moisturizer?

Does carnivore resolve depression for everyone?

More about this episode.

Watch it on YouTube.

[00:00:00] Luke Storey:  I'm Luke Storey. For the past 22 years, I've been relentlessly committed to my deepest passion, designing the ultimate lifestyle based on the most powerful principles of spirituality, health, psychology, and personal development. The Life Stylist podcast is a show dedicated to sharing my discoveries and the experts behind them with you. Paul Saladino, MD, what's up, dude? Welcome to the show.

[00:00:31]Paul Saladino:  Man, it's so good to be here, Luke. Thanks for having me on, my man.

[00:00:34]Luke Storey:  Yeah, I'm excited, man. We've been talking about this for a long time now. And you were living in California, then you made the wise exodus to Texas. And I'm glad we're able to connect. Last time I saw you, I think we were eating some delicious meat, of course, over at Belcampo, in the known universe, out in Santa Monica. And I thought, man, this guy knows something about health, not just as a health fanatic, but also a doctor. So, I'm really excited to dive in here.

[00:01:03]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, man. It's super interesting stuff. I love Belcampo. I just had Anya on my podcast recently. We had a great conversation about the awesome work that they are doing from their regenerative farms. Maybe we'll get into that today. If people are curious, there's lots of information on my podcast about regenerative agriculture. So many questions come up usually in a corollary sense when we're talking about eating meat so we can get there today if we want. 

[00:01:27]Luke Storey:  Absolutely. That's on my list. So, let's start off with something new and exciting. Your brand-new book that's about to come out maybe will be out by the time we do this, The Carnivore Code. Give me the basic spiel on that one.

[00:01:39]Paul Saladino:  Yeah. So, you can see behind me if you're watching on YouTube, that's the first edition. The second edition of the book is coming out August 4, 2020. So, there are people watching on Instagram Live right now, you guys are getting the secret sneak preview of all this. But formally, this podcast will probably be out right about August the 4th when the second edition comes out. And the book was super fun to write.

[00:02:00] It's great to be able to put your thoughts on paper and to create this, what I believe is a coherent thesis around what should humans be eating for optimal health? And should we take a second look at the dietary landscape? And by that, I mean, let's just zoom out and kind of re-imagine the way that humans exist within our dietary landscape. Very few of us are hunting and gathering these days. But what if we were doing that? How would we evaluate the relative value of plants and animal foods? And how would we evaluate the relative value of certain plant foods more than others?

[00:02:33] And then, how would we evaluate the values of things like animal organs versus animal meat and just kind of reappraise, what are the most valuable food for humans? Nutritionally speaking, where we get the most nutrients that are the most bioavailable, what makes us the most healthy? And are there some foods that we consider to be healthy now that might actually be pulling from our optimal health reserves, pulling from our chi a little bit more than we would like them to be? 

[00:03:00] So, let's just take a perspective on that. And so, the book starts with this sort of evolutionary story, this anthropology story that's fascinating for me. Where have we come from? What do we know about the human brain? What do we know about the size of the human brain and how that's changed based on fossilized evidence of the cranium, the cranial vault size in humans, based on evidence of stone tools of hunters over the last two to three million years, based on evidence of animal mass graves, and then based on more recent evidence looking at stable isotopes in human bones and teeth? 

[00:03:35] And then, you kind of progress the story to kind of this advent of agriculture 13,000 years ago, is when we generally see it. There's a lot of nuance there as well. And can you start to see some decline in human health there? You can. This is a story that's been told over and over now, and people are very curious about it. Jared Diamond has started to tell the story. You've all know, Har Hari has told the story a little bit in sapience, but it seems to have been something that happened when we started farming.

[00:04:00] So, how does that play into the relative value of foods that humans were consuming for four million years before that? And then, bring it to the present day and kind of bring all that together with what we know about modern-day botanical science and looking at these plants. And we can now suddenly use things like Mass Spec or NMR to characterize compounds in plants that our ancestors didn't know about. So, now, we can actually see these chemical defense mechanisms, these chemical spikes, and say, how are these actually affecting us?

[00:04:29] And begin to run some studies on these. And similarly, we can begin to appreciate at a molecular nutritional level the value of animal foods relative to plant foods and sort of weigh these going forward. As you and most listeners will know, there's a lot of narrative out there that's anti-red meat saying that red meat is bad for us, red meat is causing problems for humans. And so, there's a large part of the book that goes toward debunking many of those myths. I tried to debunk the meat and cancer myth. I debunked the meat and heart disease myth. I've debunked the meat and lower lifespans or shortened lifespans myth.

[00:05:04] And so, it just goes on and on to try and debunk those myths. And then, I end with sort of this consideration of the ethics of eating meat and get into a little bit of regenerative agriculture. But in a sum, it's just my perspective from a medical perspective and scientific perspective on sort of, like I said, re-evaluating how humans fit within this landscape today, trying to remember wisdom that I think has been forgotten about the relative value of animal foods versus plant foods and how that can bring us back to some pretty profound health that a lot of us have kind of forsaken.

[00:05:36]Luke Storey:  Awesome, man. Damn. No wonder you got a book deal. That's a really good pitch. Interested in the subject, I'd be like, I need to check this out. But no, congratulations, dude, on the updated version of the book. And it's absolutely incredible. So, I encourage everyone to go get it. And I'm sure after this conversation, they're going to want to. Let's back up a little bit to the beginning of your journey.

[00:06:00] I found it fascinating, but not at all surprising that you were once a plant-based vegan guy, and then eventually migrated your way back to animal foods, and then solely animal foods, which is a completely far leap. And I also want to preface this by saying that this is a story that I've seen over and over again over the years, 24 years now I've been into natural healing, and health, and what they now call biohacking.

[00:06:30] And I was a vegetarian for many years myself until my health failed as a result. And I just was actually, the other day, talking to a good friend of mine who's a very well-meaning plant-based eater and he kind of took me aside and whispered in my ear, he's like, dude, I'm not feeling well. I've been plant-based for a really long time and I'm just like, I don't know. I feel like my body just wants meat. And I'm like, oh, my God, I've had this conversation so many times with people.

[00:06:58] So, my suggestion is, usually, start using a little ghee, then add in some bone broth to make that transition and not too shocking of a way to your psyche or to your body. But this is something that I couldn't even count the number of times. So, I just want to hear what your journey was like. And also, preface this conversation with, I know that even though you're a proponent of this lifestyle and all that you teach in your book, you also are not dogmatic and shaming, which I really like in your approach.

[00:07:29] So, for anyone that is eating a vegan diet, or vegetarian, or whatever, like please listen with an open mind. This isn't to vilify anyone's choices. I personally don't identify who I am by what I eat. And I would encourage anyone listening to get into meditation and look a little deeper and stop perhaps identifying who you are as a sole entity here on the planet based on what kind of fuel you put in the engine. So, there is my preface, but let me hear your story on that transition.

[00:07:59]Paul Saladino:  I really appreciate that, Luke. And I agree with you. I have a lot of friends who are vegans. Well, let's just say, not a lot. I have a couple of friends who are vegans. I think we probably have some mutual friends who are vegans. And I think that so much of what we do on this earth is bigger than what we put in our mouths. And it's so much about kindness, and compassion, and how we live our lives. At the end of our life, on our deathbed, nobody's going to think—nobody's going to give a crap what you ate.

[00:08:26] They're going to think about how you made people feel and sort of the quality with which you lived your life and how many lives you affected positively. So, it's not about that from that type of a perspective. But I do think that the foods we eat can affect our health profoundly and allow us to do more good work in the world. And like these people that you're experiencing or that you've encountered, just in the month of July before this podcast comes out, I interviewed two vegans who were really widely known vegans. 

[00:08:58] Jon Venus, very widely known vegan physique competitor who added meat back into his diet and felt better because of it. And then, Jaclyn on Instagram is a very well-known yoga practitioner who recently added meat back to her diet. So, it's happening frequently and my hope is that people who are making intentional choices with their diet will be supported whatever those choices are, and that people who are making plant-based choices will have the emotional freedom to add meat back to their diet if they feel like that's a choice for their health, and they won't be vilified by their community, and they'll actually be able to make choices for their health if they believe that that's the right thing for them.

[00:09:35] So, my personal journey, I was a vegan many years ago. So, probably at this point, it was about 14 years ago. It was right when I started as a physician assistant in cardiology and I just didn't know enough physiology at the time, is the way that I look back on it. I kind of got into the writings of David Wolfe and the concept was interesting. When you cook food, it harms the food and it creates these compounds which potentially are carcinogenic, or at least, this was the narrative that I was bought into and eating plants is the simplest way and it's the least amount of toxins. 

[00:10:08] Ironically, I think, completely diametrically opposed to that now. So, I went raw vegan for about seven months and I lost 25 pounds of muscle. So, I am now 170 pounds and 5'9"-and-a-half, 5'10" on a good day. And at that time, I was 145 pounds, extremely skinny and had really bad, bad GI issues and it was just something that I could not see because I was so fervent, and wanted this to be true, and was bought in. And then, eventually, I just realized, hey, why am I doing this? 

[00:10:43] I think I heard something from Jeff Bland and the Institute of Functional Medicine at that point talking about our genetic book of life and kind of this concept that our ancestors definitely ate meat and that it was a huge part of their own evolution from Australopithecus to Homo erectus to Homo habilis. And it's written into our genes that humans need meat. And that is something that we can debate with people that disagree with that, but I think there's a large amount of evidence to suggest that that's the case and we can get into that.

[00:11:10] There are many nutrients that only occur in animal foods that allow humans to thrive. And I think that really suggests that at genetic level, humans are meant to be eating meat and it really is necessary for humans to attain optimal health at any age. Now, after I was vegan, I added back in animal foods for like a paleo type diet for probably the next 10 to 12 years and I felt better. I gained weight back. I stopped doing ultra-running, which also helped with maintenance of some muscle mass.

[00:11:37] But other medical issues that I had, specifically eczema continued to get worse. And in fact, they got very bad at times. I had eczema all over my back. I joked that it was my eczema tramp stamp. Kind of I get my eczema in like my low back and it's really bad. And I'll get it on my wrists. I'll get it on my elbows. In medical school, I got into jujitsu. And so, you can imagine how well jujitsu goes with eczema. Not well at all.

[00:12:02] You just get infections, and impetigo, and strep infections on your skin, which is impetigo. And that was very debilitating and frustrating for me. So, I kept thinking, what is it about my lifestyle that is causing this autoimmune issue? And from the beginning, I've been fascinated by the way the food was this massive lever in health and disease. And this is really, probably the biggest single factor that most humans can leverage to affect their health. 

[00:12:26] Now, certainly, meditation, stress reduction, mindfulness, all of these spiritual things are important and food is huge at a molecular level. It's a big, big lever. So, I was thinking, I still have eczema even though I'm eating a Paleolithic diet. I'm not eating grains, or beans, or dairy, I still have an immune system that is reacting against my body. There are still plant triggers here. So, the next step was autoimmune paleo, which cuts out the nuts and seeds, nightshades, things like this. 

[00:12:54] And that helped somewhat, but my eczema was continued. And I thought, okay, I'm doing autoimmune paleo and I still have eczema. Now, if I'd gone to the dermatologist, they would have said, here's some cream for you, you can't do anything about it, this is your genetic destiny, you just got dealt a bad poker hand. But I've never really believed this or wanted to accept that narrative in any of the medicine that I've done.

[00:13:16] If people know my story, they know that I was PA in cardiology and the whole reason I went back to medical school was because I really wasn't satisfied with the mainstream Western medicine narrative. I worked with a lot of really well-intentioned and intelligent physicians who just, we just are not taught in Western medicine to think toward the root cause of an illness, but that was what was most fascinating to me and where I really found myself drawn spiritually and ideologically to understand that that's what I'm fascinated by, some would say obsessed by. 

[00:13:43] What is the root cause of these illnesses at a molecular level? It's a fascinating question. So, as I was progressing through, I thought, okay, now, I'm doing autoimmune paleo, my eczemas continued. And when I got to residency at the University of Washington, I had some of the worst eczema of my life and I just started cutting out more foods. And I thought, well, there's these things called oxalates, so I'm going to cut out oxalates. And there are salicylates.

[00:14:04] What if I cut out salicylates? And what about histamine-producing foods? And then, what about high-leptin-containing foods? I cut those out too. And then, at that point, I was like, why am I even eating plants? And I think I heard Jordan Peterson on Joe Rogan's podcast talking about his autoimmune disease improving with an all-meat diet. And my first reaction is, that's crazy. You can't do that. Humans can't eat an all-meat diet that I've been taught.

[00:14:30] At that point, I was kind of steeped in the functional medicine ideology and I've been taught that plants had all these magical compounds in them and were beneficial for humans. And we needed these. And we needed fiber. And the more fiber, the better. We had to eat the rainbow of all these proanthocyanidins and polyphenols, and they were beneficial for humans. So, it really flew in the face of the ideologies that I was trying to appreciate as I was making efforts to understand the root cause of illness by pursuing a functional medicine education within mainstream medical residency.

[00:15:01] So, there were all sorts of inputs coming in. And that was really the beginning of my journey to sort of this animal-based ideology thinking, what's real here? And what does the science really say? And can I find stuff that really questions this polyphenol theory? And it was a fascinating journey. I sort of just do things, I just jump in, and then look later. So, I started to do the research, and I'm like, you know what?

[00:15:23] I'm just going to do it. I'm just going to stop eating all the plants, just eat meat. And that was two years ago. And in the last two years, I've probably eaten plant foods maybe half of a percent of the days as part of an experiment that I did with a continuous glucose monitor. So, in the last two years, I probably had plants for four days and it was part of an experiment that I did. So, 99.5% of the days of the last two years, I've had no plant food in my diet, zero and zero fiber in my diet.

[00:15:50] And that's been a really interesting journey. Within the first two weeks of doing that, my eczema was completely gone. And I thought, this is amazing. I haven't had this clear skin. I have an eczema that has gone away in years now, and it's completely gone. And then, I also noticed that my mood was different, my outlook on life was different. And this is hard to describe. I saw the world through different glasses.

[00:16:15] I've joked about this being the "how likely you are to honk at somebody in traffic" index, went way down. I was just way happier person and just much more emotionally calm. And again, this is my subjective experience, but it just felt like things got easier for me when I cut out plant foods. And that might be my experience. I've heard it reiterated by people in the past. Some people might say, oh, that was ketosis. But incidentally, the first few weeks of doing a carnivore diet, I was not in ketosis because I used honey in my diet.

[00:16:44] That's something that I then let go of for about a-year-and-a-half and have now reincorporated in my diet with the animal-based foods and the honey. So, it kind of came full circle with the carbohydrates. But the first couple of weeks, I was not in ketosis and I definitely noticed subjectively, within my frame of reference, that I felt differently just in terms of my mental space. And I was not someone that had anxiety or depression previously at all. I just even noticed, hey, man, I feel even better than I did before. I was usually pretty happy go lucky, but things got even easier.

[00:17:13] So, my eczema got better and my psychological outlook on the world, the lens through which I saw the world was changed. And I thought, there is something really cool here. I need to explore this more. Down the rabbit hole I tumble and the rest is kind of history. And we can get into all of those sort of nuances that I've discovered and sort of some of these contrarian ideas that we might unearth as we do this sort of archaeology, this sort of excavation of the actual science around these botanical compounds and where plants and animals live within the human sphere of diet.

[00:17:45]Luke Storey:  Awesome, man. I'm excited. I'm excited to jump in here. Just for the record, my brother, Andy Storey, who's got an amazing site, which I'll plug called wildlumens.com, is a huge fan of yours. I'm sure he's watching us on Instagram Live. And he does all like carnivore content, basically. And he went carnivore, maybe it's been almost two years, I want to say. And he kind of explained it to me. And because I'm a renegade, and I like to experiment, and do extreme shit, which this sounded extreme, I actually tried it and I felt really good. And I'm not a huge foodie, so like food is not a motivator for me in terms of the pleasure principle.

[00:18:28] It's just kind of a utilitarian thing that you've got to do. So, I don't really miss eating the food. I felt really good, but I found it to be incredibly difficult and inconvenient. So, maybe we can talk about that, because my body was like, yeah, this is good. Just some ghee, ground beef, like little salt, I'm grooving. I felt amazing. But it was just like, oh, man. Like I would get caught out somewhere at the movies or something, and then I'd relapse with some GMO popcorn, and then the whole thing would be over. But anyway, I digress. Based on your research, has there ever been a truly vegan population of humans on the planet in known history?

[00:19:10]Paul Saladino:  No, there has not. And I mean, that's just what we know as humans, but there's never been a truly vegan population. Now, in all fairness, some would argue there's never been a fully carnivorous population, but I think there have been many populations that are a whole lot closer to full carnivorous than they are to full veganity, if that's what we say. And in fact, there have been some pretty interesting comparisons of geographically similar populations of people, specifically the Kikuyu in Africa and the Masai in Africa, both looked at by people like Weston A. Price, and then anthropologists that followed after him. 

[00:19:46] And the Kikuyu were this African tribe or continue to be this African tribe that has a higher plant-based eating style. And the Masai are sort of famous for their mostly animal-based eating. And these physical differences and the health differences between them have repeatedly been noted to be very striking. With the Kikuyu, are much shorter stature. They're much less muscled. And the Maasai, as many people know, are very tall, very muscular, and are thought of as a warrior clan. They're pretty, pretty physically dominant people.

[00:20:15] So, in answer to your question, there has never been recorded evidence of an entirely different culture and I don't think there ever could have been because of the nutrient deficiencies inherent in plant-based diets. Now, as I'm saying that, again, I'll say this again, that I think that if somebody really wants to create a plant-based diet, you can do that and you just need to be very intentional about where you're getting your nutrients from. 

[00:20:41] In my opinion, it's much harder to get a well-balanced, nutrient-rich plant-based diet than a well-balanced, nutrient-rich animal-based diet. So, it just presents a very major problem for people. In a lot of times, they just end up with deficiencies. If people want to try it, they're welcome to, but I would do so with great caution and with the knowledge that there are also these other nutrients that are found in animal foods that simply do not occur in plants.

[00:21:08] But the corollary is not true. And we can debate that. But there really are no nutrients that are known to be essential for humans that occur in plants, but not animals, but there are many of those nutrients that occur in animals, not plants, specifically things like creatine, carnitine, carnosine, anserine, taurine, vitamin K2, which is a series of menaquinones, Vitamin B12, the list goes on and on. And that inequality, for me, has always been fascinating to think, wait a minute, people talk about phytonutrients and that's a hip verbiage at Whole Foods these days because Whole Foods is kind of going plant-based, like phytonutrients, but nobody ever advertises on a steak.

[00:21:52] It has zoonutrients. This has animal-based nutrients. But we really should. On a package of steak, which isn't processed, so nobody would ever really do this, it should say, packed with creatine for your brain, or packed with antioxidants like carnitine and carnosine, or packed with glycine so that you can make glutathione, your own endogenous antioxidant. But meat is never marketed in that way. But nothing could be closer than that. That's completely true.

[00:22:20] That's truth in marketing. Like you should see a piece of liver in the butcher counter or a piece of steak at the butcher counter and there should be a label on it that says this is full of nutrients that will make endogenous antioxidants in you. This is full of nutrients that make your brain work better. But we don't see that. All we see is plant-based stuff full of antioxidants, which is, we'll get into why that's completely misleading. So, there really are these zoonutrients and I'm trying to decide on a better name for that.

[00:22:50] But these are animal-based nutrients that are uniquely present in animal foods and they're good for humans. So, this is, I think, why there's never been a vegan culture. There are cultures that have eaten more or less plant foods and more or less animal foods, but animal foods are invariably part of the diet. And like I said, with the Masai and the Kikuyu, when we compare side to side, even within a close geographic area, it really does look like the tribes that eat more animal foods do better by most indices.

[00:23:20]Luke Storey:  I've heard many people who are of the belief that animal foods are not good for you, point to India as a longstanding, largely vegetarian continent of people, and having been to India myself for a pretty decent period of time, I didn't see a lot of people that looked really healthy. Like I didn't see anyone—and this not a jab against Indian people. I love Indian people. I love India. I feel like I've been there many times in past lives. I have a beautiful relationship, but I never walked around India going, damn, people are ripped here, man, what are they eating?

[00:23:58] People were either just kind of somewhat thin and emaciated in some cases, but most of the people there seem to have problems with obesity. And that might be due to all of the shitty Western commodity food that's infiltrated their food supply and they're not eating off the land like they once did. But if that's the marker of like, hey, these guys are vegetarians, this is working, that would not be a selling point to me, generally speaking, not that there aren't healthy vegetarians or healthy Indians. But looking at a large population on a huge continent like that, that would not be indicative to me of like, wow, let's try and eat what they're eating, you know what I mean?

[00:24:41]Paul Saladino:  The rate of diabetes in India is astronomical, sadly. And there's a lot of variability within India in terms of what they eat, in terms of the north or the southern part of India. And this type of sort of epidemiologic observational data points are dangerous in general. This is similar to the Blue Zones hypothesis that has been advanced. And in the book, there's a part of the book where I debunked the Blue Zones like I debunked everything else that I can think of, and kind of illustrate why Dan Buettner's hypothesis that these five regions of the world where people tend to live longer than average is really just shoddy science and a lot of mistaken associational data that doesn't prove anything. Just so people understand this really quickly, I'll break it down because it's often interesting for people, if that's all right.

[00:25:27]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[00:25:28]Paul Saladino:  The five zones, the five zones are Ikaria and Greece, Sardinia and Italy, Okinawa, Loma Linda in California. And the fifth one is the Nicoya region of Costa Rica. And if we leave out Loma Linda for one moment and you look at those other four regions and you actually go to those regions, you'll find that people eat a lot of meat. So, Sardinia is famous for Sarda Pig. And so, I don't know how Dan Buettner missed this, but there are pastoralists in Sardinia that are well-regarded for raising the best pork on these high-forest lands, and they just graze all day long, eat acorns and roots.

[00:26:07] And any feast in Sardinia is going to have lots of meat in it. And the same is kind of true for Ikaria in Greece. Okinawa is a very interesting story that people talk about on both sides, but there are a couple of stories and research papers that I mentioned in the book. The book has over 630 references. So, if anyone doubts what I'm saying, I hope that they'll read the book, and at least read the references, and then bring them to a debate with me, so we can go back and forth about them, but there are studies of centenarians in Okinawa, and in a number of the surveys that I saw, none of the centenarians were vegetarian.

[00:26:41] And Okinawa is an interesting place where they actually do consume a pretty good amount of pork, and that often gets left out of considerations of their diet. And it's just kind of this convenient fairy tale that we have that these people are all eating plant-based diet when none of them really are. In the Nicoya region of Costa Rica, it's only a blue zone, which means that the people there are living longer than the average people in the country for males, which should give us some hint that a lot of this longevity is actually based in the genetics.

[00:27:12] And we've seen that in US longevity sort of centenarian populations as well, that a lot of what's making up these "blue zones" has to do with genes that are longevity genes rather than what people are eating. But in Nicoya, the males are the ones that live longer than the general population. And if you look at the Nicoya region of Costa Rica, they eat more meat and they use much more animal oil than the general population. So, this doesn't fit at all with the story that Dan Buettner is trying to tell.

[00:27:38] And it's like I don't even understand how anyone believes this is a fair theory. He's also left out 10 to 15 other locations in the world where people live longer than the average. I mean, what about Hong Kong, where the average life expectancy is 85.5 years and people consume, on average, about almost a kilogram of meat per day? I think it's like 1.4 pounds of meat per day in Hong Kong. It's the most of anywhere in the world and they have this long-life expectancy.

[00:28:05] This is the danger of these sort of epidemiology, observational studies. Loma Linda, I love to talk about because it's so fascinating. So, Loma Linda is this Seventh Day Adventist community. It's where Steven Gundry sort of hails from and a lot of his ideas are based in that idea. So, Seventh Day Adventism is a religion that began—I don't actually know when it began, but there's some very interesting history of this.

[00:28:28] I did a podcast with Gary Fettke on my show, which is Fundamental Health, if people are interested. And in the early 1900s, Kellogg's Cereal Company was founded in Battle Creek, Michigan by Harvey Kellogg, who lived with Seventh Day Adventists growing up. And in the Seventh Day Adventist religion, which I'm sure is well-meaning, they are very against sins of the flesh and feel like meat encourages carnal desires.

[00:28:53] And so, part of the thinking around all of these cereal companies and all of the funding for these cereal companies that came from the Seventh Day Adventist Church was that by giving people low-quality processed grains, they could deplete the carnal desires that were sinful and masturbation. And so, basically, what they're saying is we are going to chemically castrate you by taking away the foods that make you horny.

[00:29:16] Now, most of us listening to this are of the opinion that we want to have a libido because sex is healthy and it's good to share sexuality with people in a responsible way. And if you think about it, a lot of those nutrients I mentioned earlier that are found in meat start with the C-A-R-N, carnitine, carnosine, creatin, these are carnal nutrients. This association between meat and carnal desires has been known for years and years.

[00:29:41] And this is because if you want to be horny, if you want your body to have a libido, you need to give it things like zinc, and iron, and B12, and these antioxidants, and these nutrients that make your hormones. If you want to make testosterone, you need animal foods. And so, this is not surprising. So, a lot of the Seventh Day Adventists thinking that's connected with Loma Linda and the university there, so the University of Loma Linda is actually a Seventh Day Adventist University, there's a medical school there that's based in Seventh Day Adventist practices, and the whole community of Loma Linda is mostly Seventh Day Adventist.

[00:30:16] So, a lot of people there are vegetarian and a smaller percentage of vegan. And that ideology does come from, this is how we quell carnal desires. Now, we could pretty much just end the podcast right there and I think people would understand what we're driving out here, that religiously, the Seventh Day Adventist group has figured out that if you want to have less libido, you don't eat meat. So, I'll just leave that there for people to do with whatever they want, but I think you and I want to have a healthy libido, and most of the listeners do as well. 

[00:30:48] But in Loma Linda, the average life expectancy is about seven years higher than the general Californian population. So, people point to Loma Linda and they say, aha, see, they're plant-based, they live longer than the general population. But I can show you another study, and again, all these studies are linked, they're all in the back of the book, where Mormons in California also live seven years longer than the general population, but Mormons don't shun meat.

[00:31:13] And so, what's the commonality here? It's that within religious communities, they also shun alcohol, tobacco, and they favor family and community. And in fact, these are commonalities among all the blue zones that are overlooked usually. I think if you look at Dan Buettner's writings, he'll kind of say those things. He'll say, look, these are the commonalities of the blue zones. It's community, and meaning in your life, and not being overly stressed, and having some exercise, and being in the sun, and it's a plant-based diet. Well, the plant-based diet side of that is what's really gotten the press and everyone has forgotten that other's lifestyle interventions are also very powerful for longevity.

[00:31:49] And in fact, that's the only commonality we can see among many of these regions of the world where people live longer than normal, is abstinence from tobacco and alcohol, family life, and general, just a little bit slower pace of life, meaning more mindfulness and some uniting principle that gives meaning to their life having community. So, that's what's interesting for me and is the takeaway, but we need to be careful not to jump to conclusions, and say, aha, see, meeting these people based on these observational studies, because as I suggested, there's lots of places where that doesn't hold true at all.

[00:32:22]Luke Storey:  Wow, that's really interesting. A few months ago, I was in that Nicoya peninsula in Costa Rica. And whenever I travel, the challenge is always where to find clean pastured meat. And oftentimes, in countries like that, there's not a Whole Foods and there certainly isn't an Erewhon thing or Belcampo, but I did find a little health food store there in Santa Teresa. And lo and behold, because there was so much cattle grazing in that area, which I know there's just farms everywhere, and they're all eating grass, so I thought, well, I don't see any factory farms here. I'm sure they exist or they import their cheap beef for their supermarkets from the US or wherever. 

[00:33:03] But I did find a little health food store, and lo and behold, in the refrigerator, they had, in Spanish, grass-fed beef. And it was amazing, and it seemed to be quite popular and local. So, I would agree with your assessment that the community, the weather, the sun, the culture, and the prevalence of not only meat, but really high-quality meat, and lots of grass, and lots of greenery. So, that's one place I've been to on the blue zones that, I could attest, is in alignment with your rebuttal or hypothesis of that particular location.

[00:33:42]Paul Saladino:  That's great to know because I keep hearing about how amazing the waves are in Santa Teresa. And so, I want to go there and surf. And one of the challenges for me, like you're suggesting, is how do I get good quality meat in those places that I go to? So, that's great to know. Yeah. The other thing I'll add about Loma Linda, and this is kind of the icing on the cake as it were, is if you look at the sperm quality. So, I don't know why the study was done, but I'm super excited that it was.

[00:34:10] So, they've looked at the sperm motility and the sperm counts of men in Loma Linda and the vegetarians were worse than the omnivores, and the vegans were worse than the vegetarians. And so, that's a scary finding that the less meat that you ate, the less animal products you ate in a town that's considered to be a blue zone, the worse sperm count and the worse motility you had. And I think it's a pretty reasonable metric to say, hey, if you don't have motility in your sperm and you don't have a high sperm count, that's not a good indication of health. So, every time I talk about that, I always joke that I don't know what part of males in Loma Linda is blue, but I don't-

[00:34:52]Luke Storey:  Nice one. To me, Paul, the elephant in the room here when it comes to these debates on what is the right diet for everyone, which I'm sure you would assume there is no right diet for everyone all the time, is this idea of ancestral living. A lot of people are into the paleo diet, yet, we're living in a blue-lit, EMF-radiated environment, and I wonder if the Loma Linda sperm motility issue was partly due to the fact that that is not out on a beautiful peninsula with very few cell towers in Costa Rica, or Greece, or wherever the other ones are, but in a pretty highly populated area. How much weight do you give to the prevalence of EMF exposure in terms of it trumping what we eat and actually being more damaging than eating shitty food?

[00:35:42]Paul Saladino:  Oh, it's hard for me to rank it. I certainly would agree with you that we are exposed to way more EMFs now than we were evolutionarily. And I've always wondered when I go backpacking or I go in the wilderness, is part of the calm that I feel the fact that there are way less EMFs here than in the city? I always wonder about that. But I think it's very hard for me to quantify. One of the things I do know is that it's a lot easier for me, and this isn't to say it's impossible to control my EMF exposure, but I can easily control everything that goes in my mouth.

[00:36:16] I can control my water, I can control my food, I can control my salt, I can control many things like that. It's a little more difficult for me to control my EMF all the time. If I'm in my house, like I have my Wi-Fi on right now, so I can do Instagram Live. You guys are welcome. But generally, I don't have Wi-Fi in my house. It's hard-wired and I live in this cool little spot in Austin where there's only a few houses around, so there's a limited number of Wi-Fi networks.

[00:36:42] I don't live in a high-rise apartment and I don't even get great cell service at my house, which is a miracle here. So, I'm sure it won't be like that forever. Austin's going to change. But there's not a whole lot else that I can do right now. I mean, when I was in California, I had an EMF kern that I slept under and didn't really notice a huge difference. But I think that the other thing I'll joke about is that I heard Ben Greenfield talking about this, and I was like, oh, they make these like EMF-reducing boxer shorts, why would I not do that?

[00:37:10] Like that's easy, right? I really like having testicles that work. People will know that in this conversation, and that's reasonable as a human. And so, I was like, why would I not wear EMF-reducing boxers? That's easy and it doesn't change anything in my life. So, people might call me a tinfoil hat wear, but I was like, that's easy, I don't know. So, I do what I can to mitigate it. And then, the rest of it, I just try to think about it and I don't purposely expose myself to EMF. I definitely put my phone on airplane mode when it's near my body. I do the things I can do, but I know that I can control my food basically 99.9% of the time. And if we want, we can talk about how to make it doable whenever it comes up.

[00:37:50]Luke Storey:  That's a really sane approach. And I ask that because I've always eaten a really clean diet. I do all the supplements, all the biohacking. And when I lived unknowingly under these two cell towers, I got really sick. And that's when I started to think about, well, God, maybe this is more important than the food in a sense. But that was also a case of acute exposure for three solid years.

[00:38:13] And so, it's just something I like to keep at the top of the conversation because I think, often, people miss this and get really hung up on the food. But I like your sane approach and I'm also wearing my lams or tinfoil hat underwear right now. And I actually just posted a little documentary, short film I made about them on my Instagram today. My next question is, what's wrong with plants? Breakdown the oxalates, the polyphenols, the lectins, all of this stuff. Why do plants suck for your health?

[00:38:44]Paul Saladino:  So, I just want to frame this, and then I'll dive into it. My goal with writing the book with what I do is not to convince everyone in the world to stop eating 100% of the plants. It's really two-fold. And the first thesis of The Carnivore Code, and we've kind of covered this and we can cover it more later on this podcast, is that animal foods are incorrectly, unjustly vilified for the last 70 years based on crappy science, okay, that animal foods, red meat especially, are an integral part of every human's diet to be optimal.

[00:39:18] So, don't fear red meat is the thesis number one. Thesis number two is what you're asking about. And the way I frame this is that plant foods don't want to get eaten, plants don't want to get eaten, and they exist on a spectrum of toxicity. And I'll explain this more in a moment. But plant foods, by nature of the fact that they are rooted in the ground, have had to evolve myriad toxins over the last 450 million years of coevolution with animals, insects, and fungi.

[00:39:45] It's just a requirement. That's how they defend themselves. And so, plants do exist on a spectrum of toxicity. And for those who are not thriving, some consideration of that spectrum of toxicity with elimination of all or the most toxic plants is probably a reasonable thing to consider. Now, this is not as radical a concept as it sounds. There are many diets that already do this. This is the idea of a Paleolithic diet, saying, hey, grains and beans are full of toxins.

[00:40:15] Steven Gundry has popularized the idea of lectins, and said, hey, there are lectins in seeds that can harm you. There are lectins in these foods, these can harm you. These are plant toxins. So, the elimination of plants because they have toxins is not a foreign concept to people unless they think about, in a carnivore diet, they think is very extreme. Gluten is a plant lectin. We'll get into all this in a moment. But these plants exist on a toxicity spectrum, and knowing which are more and less toxic for us as humans and eliminating the most toxic plants toward optimal health, I think, is a reasonable tool for people to have in their toolkit.

[00:40:48] Now, if anyone is listening to this and they are just kicking butt in every way, then just email me and tell me what you're doing because I want to know. And I would never tell anyone who has the libido, the body composition, the mental clarity, the sleep to change anything. If you're kicking butt, do what you're doing. But I think the majority of us could improve something. And so, it's good to have a tool and this is a tool that's never been talked about.

[00:41:15] You go to a doctor, even a functional medicine doctor, is rarely going to tell you, it might be the spinach, it could be the kale, maybe it's the almonds that are causing you to have IBS. And that's really what I'm saying in The Carnivore Code is there is a much broader spectrum of plant toxins that are affecting humans negatively than we have ever been told before. And to consider this and use it as a tool, as you see fit within your own life toward your own personal health journey is a very powerful thing.

[00:41:42] So, how do plants exist on this earth? Like I said, 450 million years, give or take, is when plants and animals split. And plants are rooted in the ground. You look outside and it's all green plants. And so, if all of those were completely edible by humans, we wouldn't really have to work. Our lives would be completely different if we could just go eat all those plants. It would be great. You could just go and do what you want.

[00:42:08] And I could live in a loincloth like I want and just shoot my bow and eat plants whenever I want. It would be like that scene in Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory. They walk into the room, and everything's made out of candy, and you can eat everything. And everything, it's just sweet, and tasty, and it's not going to hurt you at all. Candy clearly will hurt you, but you get the point that I'm driving at there. 

[00:42:26] It's completely the opposite, because plants, and animals, and fungi, and insects exist in this delicate balance, this ecosystem, plants have toxins. And now, like I said in the beginning of this podcast, that we have mass spectroscopy and NMR, and we can do experiments. We can say, holy moly, there's a lot of these toxins that we didn't even know about. And we've not really characterized how most of these affect human biology.

[00:42:49] We don't even know. There are some experiments and that's a large part of the data set that was very compelling for me when I was writing the book, was there are probably thousands and thousands of these, maybe a thousand or 2,000 of these plant chemicals that have now been tested in human cell culture, which is the best we have. They're tested for clastogenesis, which is the ability of many of these compounds, which are polyphenolic, to break DNA.

[00:43:14] And some of them do and some of them don't. But we're never told about this. We just assume that all of these compounds in plants are benevolent and they're not hurting us, but there's a real possibility they're actually harming us. And when you think about the way that plants and animals exist, it makes a lot of sense. A plant doesn't want you to eat its stem, its root, its seed, or its leaves. They do want you to eat the fruit. And we'll get to that a little later.

[00:43:37] So, that's the only part of a plant that is often a little different in the grand scheme of things. But most plants, the plant seed is the most highly defended part of the plant. It's like this baby that goes down the River Nile, wasn't it Noah or one of these babies, like this baby that goes down the River Nile and it's just completely vulnerable. If you eat a plant seed, that plant is not going to grow. And so, generally, unless we have hybridized the heck out of plant seeds like almonds, they're very toxic. 

[00:44:12] I mean, traditional ancestral almonds and stone fruit seeds like peaches and plums, all of these seeds have high levels of cyanogenic glycosides in them. Plants do not want you to eat those seeds. They are highly toxic. Apricots, all these stone fruits. Those seeds are very, very toxic. People might be aware of this with apples. Don't let your dog eat the apple seeds. Well, humans shouldn't eat apple seeds either because they're full of toxins and they don't want you eating them.

[00:44:37] And that's the most heavily defended part of the plant. We have to remember that seeds are actually nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes. And now, a lot of the paleo thinking and the plant paradox thinking starts to make a little more sense. Ah, why do people do better when they do grain-free diets? Because they're eliminating seeds. Why do people do better when they do lectin-free diets? They don't have beans or paleo diets. Because beans are seeds. 

[00:45:01] And they have all these defense mechanisms, whether they are digestive enzyme inhibitors or molecules like oxalate, which are dicarboxylic acids that chelate minerals and can accumulate in the human body, I can talk more about those, or there are things like phytic acid, or there are things like lectins, which are carbohydrate-binding proteins that sometimes mess with our immune system and seem to be able to trigger immunological reactions in the gut.

[00:45:25] So, that's just a whole set of defense mechanisms in the seeds. In the leaves, and the stems, and the roots, we start to see these polyphenolic molecules. And these are the molecules that everybody thinks of as beneficial for humans. These are the antioxidants, right? Well, a lot of these molecules are actually phytoalexins. And I know I'm using big word on top of big word. I'm making big word sandwiches and I apologize for that.

[00:45:50] But it's polyphenols, our plant defense molecules, a lot of the time. Sometimes, in the case of molecules like curcumin, they're plant pigments, but they're never vitamins for humans, meaning there is no unique role for polyphenols in human biochemistry. And I'll explain what I mean by that. Folate, or vitamin B6, or even just pyridoxine, or thymine, or riboflavin, these are B vitamins that actually are co-factors for enzymes in human biochemistry.

[00:46:19] They have allosteric binding sites on our enzymes. They are needed for reactions, sometimes, as electron donors or electron accepters. They actually serve a role. They are a cog in the sort of watch of gears and levers of human biochemistry. Polyphenols don't do that at all. Zero. Zero, you guys. And how many polyphenols are made in human biochemistry? Zero. There are no polyphenols made by the human body. Zero. There are no polyphenol-like molecules made by the human body that I've ever found.

[00:46:51] If anyone knows of one, tell me. But there's none. It's not to say there are no organic molecules made by the human body, but I'm getting into some esoteric biochemistry here. So, when we eat a polyphenol, the question is, why would that be good for us? The plant has no intention of making a polyphenol good for a human. And we have assumed they are good for us. And I fear that that is a misinterpretation of the way we're looking at the science. 

[00:47:14] People will also know about a whole category of plant defense molecules called isothiocyanates, which are not polyphenolic, but are the ones commonly found in the brassica vegetables like broccoli, and cauliflower, and kale. This is things like sulforaphane. And I'm happy to talk about those as well. But they're all plant defense molecules or pigments that are made for plants to defend themselves against insects and predation, or they're made by plants as hormones and as pigments.

[00:47:43] So, plants are not making these for humans. I mean, there is a realm of spirit molecules and we can talk about psilocybin, all this stuff as well, but that's sort of a different discussion. But plants generally are doing this to dissuade other animals and insects from eating them. So, I'll just pause there for a moment and have the listener imagine something. Imagine that you and I, Luke, are at the beach and I'm going to bury you up to your neck in the sand and I'm going to bury you really tight.

[00:48:13] I dug a real deep hole. You stand in it all the way. You can't get out. So, just your head is out. And you're like, okay, Paul, let me out now. I'm like, no, this isn't over yet. I'm going to paint your face like a soccer ball. And then right as I get done doing that, this busload of irascible six-year-olds rolls up from soccer practice and they don't have a ball. And how are you going to feel? You're going to be like, well, Paul, get me out of here. You're going to feel really vulnerable.

[00:48:36] You're going to think one of those six-year-olds is going to walk over and kick you in the face. And you've got to imagine that's how a plant feels. A plant feels vulnerable. It's stuck in the ground. An animal can run away. It can fly away, it can bite you, it can sting you, it can gore you. Plants can't do this. So, plants have needed to develop these defense chemicals. Let's just go back to the example of isothiocyanates and sulforaphane. Is that okay if I dig into this one? It will help explain this.

[00:48:58]Luke Storey:  No, I like this. This is some geeky shit.

[00:49:07]Paul Saladino:  Okay. So, the intention of plants here is very clear in the case of sulforaphane. And so, again, sulforaphane is an isothiocyanate. It's not a polyphenol, but it is a plant defense molecule. So, here's a question. How much sulforaphane is in broccoli? Zero. There's no sulforaphane in broccoli until you chew it. How much sulforaphane is in a broccoli seed? None, until you chew it. How does sulforaphane exist in a broccoli seed or a broccoli plant? 

[00:49:40] It exists as a precursor called glucoraphanin, which is a glucosinolate. So, there are glucosinolates, which are made into isothiacyanates. So, glucoraphanin becomes sulforaphane when it combines with an enzyme called myrosinase. But myrosinase and glucoraphanin are separated in the cell and they're only combined when the cell is chewed and broken. So, sulforaphane doesn't exist in a healthy broccoli plant or a healthy broccoli seed. This is a booby trap. You ever seen Goonies? Booby traps, right?

[00:50:18] These are booby traps. They're booby traps. There is no sulforaphane present in a healthy broccoli seed. There is no sulforaphane present in a healthy broccoli flower. It's only when it gets chewed on by an animal or an insect that's sulforaphane gets made. It's kind of like those chemistry sets when you were a kid or super glue. You combine the two things, you get a chemical reaction. So, what happens is, myrosinase combined with glucoraphanin, you get sulforaphane. And what does sulforaphane do in the animal?

[00:50:46] Well, it does a lot of things and we can talk about those. But one of the major things it does, at least in mammals, is compete with iodine for absorption at the level of thyroid. You ever seen those pictures of people in Africa with the huge necks, the goiters? That's endemic goiter. That's because they eat foods that have isothiocyanates in them and they have an iodine-deficient diet. One of the major staples in their diet are things like millet, or cassava, or brassica vegetables that prevent the absorption of iodine and lead to thyroid problems. 

[00:51:19] This is plants getting pissed off at humans, and saying, screw you, stop eating me, assholes, right? cassava is a hugely popular root in South America. Cassava is full of isothiocyanates and also full of cyanogenic glycosides. The same sort of booby trap mechanism exists in cassava. It's so toxic that when you eat cassava, you have to grind it up, and dry it for three days. And the reason you do that is because there's a precursor molecule called linamarin and an enzyme called linamarase, and they're in separate compartments, just like glucoraphanin and myrosinase. 

[00:51:54] And when you chew cassava, linamarin combines with linamarase, and what do you get? Hydrocyanic acid. And that is a lot like cyanide. Cassava will kill you. It will kill you if you don't prepare it. So, what you can do is you can grind it up. It makes hydrocyanic acid. They leave it out to dry for three days while the hydrocyanic acid evaporates, and then you can eat it. But it's clearly a substandard food. That is survival food if I've ever heard of survival food.

[00:52:24] And then, even the edible cassava has these isothiocyanates, which are goitrogens, meaning they are going to affect iodine absorption in the level of thyroid. You get this endemic goiter because people have such low iodine in their diet and you get major, major problems with thyroid hypertrophy because you can't make thyroid hormone without iodine. So, the intent of plants here is very clear. And I think those examples just illustrate really well. It's like a booby trap.

[00:52:50] You're stepping in something, boom, trap snaps, gets your leg, and it's like, hey, stop eating me. I'm discouraging you from eating me. And I think a lot of people will intuitively sense this, but maybe not be aware of it. I mean, again, this is a little bit of a stretch, but I'll just say this. When I was transitioning to carnivore, one of the reasons was, I just felt like I would buy kale and it would go bad in my fridge, like five weeks in a row.

[00:53:17] I would buy kale, it would go bad. I would buy kale, it would go bad. I was like, I don't want to eat it. Every once in a while, I would force myself to eat it, but it wasn't that good. I had to steam it, or you toss it with olive oil, or something. So, this is really interesting to me. And you see this over and over in the plant kingdom, that there are these precursor molecules that are sort of hiding, they're these bear traps waiting to be sprung.

[00:53:37] And if the animal doesn't come along and eat the plant, the trap never get sprung. Now, the plot thickens and this is why I love long-form podcast because this is kind of a complex thing to explain to people. Now, the reason that plants just don't have sulforaphane hanging around is because sulforaphane is very oxidatively active and it would kill the broccoli plants. So, the plants are not going to have the toxic molecule around.

[00:54:04] Cassava is not going to have hydrocyanic acid in its roots because hydrocyanic acid is an acid. It's going to lower the PH of the roots. It's going to be toxic for the plant. But it's going to definitely give it to the animals to piss them off. It's like a bee sting. It's going to sting its prey to say, hey, stop eating bees or stop bugging bees. In most cases, the bee dies, and in this case, the broccoli is dying, but it's going to piss the animal off enough to kind of dissuade it or the idea is the animal is just not going to feel good.

[00:54:33] It's going to have this intuitive knowledge, I should not eat that much of that plant in the future because this hydrocyanic acid or this sulforaphane is so oxidatively reactive. Now, what do I mean by that? We're really getting into chemistry here, but oxidation is loss of electrons. Reduction is gain of electrons. So, when we say something is an oxidative stressor, it means that it is going to oxidize other molecules.

[00:54:56] It's going to pull electrons from other molecules. It kind of robs electrons from other molecules. It's like a thief. So, sulforaphane is an oxidated stressor. It robs molecules of electrons. It's bad because when sulforaphane robs the molecule of an electron, it makes that molecule into a free radical often or a liquid peroxide. It's not a very good thing. And thus, we create oxidative stress. Now, this is where our endogenous defenses come in.

[00:55:25] Those molecules like glutathione that I talked about earlier. Glutathione is a molecular policeman in the human body that walks around saying, hey, you lost an electron, let me give you an electron back. Glutathione is a molecular policeman that goes around giving molecules, electrons back that have been stolen by oxidative stressors. Does this make sense? So, you don't want free radicals all the time. It's a delicate balance. 

[00:55:48] To say we don't want any reactive oxygen species is untrue biochemically. There's a balance. There is a Goldilocks effect here. There's a sweet spot of reactive oxygen species. You don't want to have all of your oxydative stress gone, you don't want all the reactive oxygen species gone, but you don't want too much. And in the case of botany with broccoli, sulforaphane would be too much oxidative stress, it would harm the plant. And that's exactly what it does when it comes into our body as well.

[00:56:13] So, in addition to harming our body at the level of the thyroid, sulforaphane triggers oxidative stress. And this is where the confusion comes in and where most of the misunderstanding is. So, people are listening, this is a really important point to consider. The reason that we think sulforaphane is beneficial is because it is an oxidative stressor. It's an oxidative stressor. It is not an antioxidant I repeat, sulforaphane is not an antioxidant.

[00:56:37] Polyphenols are not antioxidants. Anyone who tells you that sulforaphane or polyphenols are antioxidants does not understand biochemistry. They have a rudimentary understanding and they are wrong. Those molecules do not prevent oxidation. They are pro-oxidants. What they do is by being pro-oxidants in the human body, they trigger antioxidant response elements in the human body, which turns on our endogenous antioxidant defenses.

[00:57:08] Okay. So, we'll pause there. People say, aha, see, I knew sulforaphane was good for me. It's a hormetic, right? And I say, wait, just wait. It's not the full story. There are so many studies, and this is the case that I make in the book, that show that if you are living a good life, if you are eating animal foods, getting nutrients you need to make your own antioxidants like glutathione, and you are doing things like sauna, and cold exposure, and exercise, and being in the sun, you don't benefit from sulforaphane in terms of antioxidant status, meaning when sulforaphane comes into your body, it's an oxidant.

[00:57:43] It's going to trigger the formation of glutathione. But if you are already topped off in your glutathione, it does nothing for you and all you get are those collaterally damaging side effects. So, the point that I'm making in the book is I'm asking this question, why would we take plant molecules for a redundant benefit when they have side effects that are often ignored? It's like, we don't need these molecules to be ideal. And that is the thesis. That is the point that I'm making in The Carnivore Code. 

[00:58:10] And there's study after study to show this, that if you are living well, and what I call a radical life, which is just all the things that you and I do, heat, cold, sun, exercise, sunlight, everything our ancestors would have done, there's really no convincing evidence that any of these plant antioxidants, which are actually pro-oxidants, do anything to improve the overall oxidative stress status of the human body. 

[00:58:33] And again, there are tons of studies we can go into here. Now, this is why I think it's important to differentiate between two things like I do in the book, Molecular hormetics and environmental hormetics. So, people may understand the concept of hormesis if they're advanced, I'm sure your listeners do. Hormesis is what's been said, plant molecules are good for us because a little bit of poison is good for you.

[00:58:54] Well, yes and no, right? And I think that hormesis is a concept that was originally talked about with environmental hormetics, heat stress, cold stress, right? Exercise, sunlight. These are environmental homesis. They're experiential things that are a little bit of stress for our body that we do know trigger the antioxidant response system in the human body, specifically the NRF2 pathway and our F2 pathway, and the body makes more glutathione.

[00:59:22] There's a great study I talked about in the book where cold water swimmers in Berlin had less glutathione after they swim in cold water for an hour. When they come back the next day, they're glutathione is super normal, meaning the body has turned on antioxidant defense. This is what cold plunging does for the human body, right? You are giving your body a little bit of a stress. Cold exposure is going to be a little bit of oxidative stress. You're going to turn it on and you're going to get more glutathione the next day. You get this, right? This is the same thing with heat shock, right? Now-

[00:59:51]Luke Storey:  I'll jump in. Hold that thought. I just have to ask a quick question before it slips my mind. Someone commented on a post I did the other day about how awesome ice baths are and they said, ice baths are horrible for you because they wreck your adrenals. Do you agree with that, just as an aside?

[01:00:08]Paul Saladino:  No, I don't. I've never seen the evidence for that. Certainly, maybe if someone had a stress bucket that was already overflowing and they were super stressed, you wouldn't want to go jump in a cold lake because it's going to be stressful. But I don't think they're going to wreck your adrenals at all. I've never seen evidence for that. But again, it's like the cumulative stress idea.

[01:00:23]Luke Storey:  Got it. Okay. Hormesis, I think.

[01:00:25]Paul Saladino:  Hormesis. So, molecular hormesis, environmental hormesis. What's interesting is in environmental hormesis, there's no molecule, right? There's no molecule that you or I are putting in our body. Okay. It's an exposure. And we know that when you're exercising sunlight, heat, cold, these are experiences. And they can affect glutathione. They can stress you out a little bit and you make more. Now, I think we went really wrong with the concept of xenohormesis, which is essentially synonymous with molecular hormesis. 

[01:00:56] To imagine that you can put a molecule in your body and get the same effect as the sun is incorrect, and I'll tell you why, because everyone is ignoring the collateral effects of these molecules, the side effects, what I call the package insert of these molecules. When you go to the pharmacy, which you and I very rarely or never do anymore because we don't take medications, but I had asthma as a kid and I remember going to the pharmacy, I have patients and they go to the pharmacy every once in a while, when I was PA, I would give people a prescription for metoprolol or a blood pressure medication, when they go to the pharmacy and get a medication, it comes with a package insert. 

[01:01:31] It has all these side effects of the molecule, right? Molecules that do not participate intrinsically in human biology, that are molecules that are foreign to us all have side effects. We're aware of this. Why do we forget this with plant molecules? And so many of the pharmaceuticals that we use in Western medicine are derived from plants, paclitaxel, there are many chemotherapeutics that are derived from plants and are actually, in some way, plant toxins.

[01:01:57] So, what we've forgotten is that plant molecules have side effects, plant molecules have a package insert, but we've never been told this because some manufacturers just want to sell you curcumin or sulforaphane. But Sulforaphane has a package insert, and that's the problem. Why would you take a molecule to do something that's redundant that you can achieve with heat, cold exercise or sun that also has a negative side effect. You see what I'm saying here? 

[01:02:25] It's not worth it. It's redundant benefit with an excess side effect. And this is the case over, and over, and over with these plant molecules. Now, the human body can detoxify them a little bit, but to use these plant molecules thinking that they're making you better is something that I'm debating here. This is the thesis of my book, The Carnivore Code, and extends to even molecules like curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to potentially be anti-inflammatory, but it also has a package insert.

[01:02:51] It affects P53, which is a tumor-suppressor gene. It affects the potassium channel known as the hERG channel. It affects topoisomerase, too, which affects the winding and unwinding of DNA. It has all these other negative effects that everyone ignores because it's a foreign molecule. Molecular hormesis doesn't work philosophically in the way that environmental hormesis does. 

[01:03:12] Environmental hormesis and molecular hormesis share a common pathway at the antioxidant response elements like NRF2, but the molecular hormetics are dirty. They go throughout the body, and they cause problems elsewhere, and they're redundant. We don't need them if we're already living a good life. And in the book, there are multiple studies I share that prove this and I'll talk about those if you want. That was a long rant. Did all that make sense?

[01:03:37]Luke Storey:  I'm hanging on just barely. I'm going to break down. I'm sure that science geeks listening like are with us 100%. I'm sure a lot of people that listen to the show are that. But I also want to break down things in a simplistic way so that I can get them. And I'm not being self-deprecating. I really want to get this. But the question just came up around curcumin, and some of these other beliefs that we have around antioxidants and anti-inflammatory molecules that come from plants, it reminds me of the pharmaceutical model or the alopathic medicine model of, we're still kind of using those plants then as a medicine and not really looking at it, well, why is the inflammation there to begin with? 

[01:04:25] Because I take curcumin and it's got the black pepper in it because I know I have inflammation, my body hurts all the time, unless I just got out of an ice bath. And I mean, it comes and goes. But generally speaking, I don't feel very comfortable in my body. So, I'm always trying to like bring down inflammation and I think I've done everything to find the root of it.

[01:04:44] But still, I'm taking an anti-inflammatory. It might not be a prescription, but it's this really fancy curcumin or whatever else I might be doing that particular day. So, your approach, I think, in that is a little bit more in alignment with the functional medicine approach, which is like, cool, we can throw an herb, or a supplement, or a drug at this, but why are you inflamed in the first place? Does that make sense?

[01:05:11]Paul Saladino:  Totally. You can also throw ibuprofen, or naproxen, or acetylsalicylic acid. You could throw aspirin at it or Tylenol, and they would do the same thing. I can totally block your prostaglandin system. I can block cyclooxygenase 1 and 2 in you with all sorts of molecules, whether they're curcumin, or ibuprofen, or naproxen, or Tylenol does it to some extent, acetaminophen, but they all have side effects.

[01:05:35] And we need to accept that curcumin has the same side effects or similar side effects that are unique to curcumin. And it's not a benign molecule. It's just a molecule. And in fact, aspirin is derived from willow bark. So, the same sort of thing here, we know that it has side effects. And aspirin has a lot of side effects that people ignore. And in the case of curcumin, the story is fascinating. Again, I tell the whole story in the book. 

[01:05:57] The reason that you have to take curcumin or turmeric with black pepper is that there is a compound in black pepper, piperine, that inhibits an enzyme that detoxifies curcumin. So, if you don't take curcumin with black pepper, your body's pretty smart, Luke, it's going to detoxify it. It's going to say, that is a foreign molecule, get out of here, get behind me. Your body is going to glucuronidate curcumin and you're not going to absorb hardly any of it, which is the way that humans have survived for four million years because they didn't absorb the curcumin. 

[01:06:32] And it's very unusual. We would essentially never had eaten curcumin with a pepper seed, right? But we figured out, there's a molecule in pepper, piperine, which inhibits the enzyme that adds a glucuronide moiety to curcumin. That enzyme is UDP glucuronyl transferase. So, that's another reason that I actually don't use black pepper on my food because, number one, it's a seed and because I don't want to inhibit that phase-two enzyme in my liver because anything else that my body wants to detoxify with a glucuronide molecule, so there's phase one, which is cyclisation hydrolysis, methylation.

[01:07:11] There are all these phase-one reactions in the liver. There's phase two, which is glucuronidation, you can add on to a molecule, but this glucuronidation, this addition of glucuronide to curcumin is how we detoxify it. And when you take pepper, you inhibit that. So, you're basically fighting against your body's response to say, don't come in, I don't want you. 

[01:07:34] So, this whole thing, I'm trying to turn the whole paradigm on its head, and say, we've thought about this all wrong. It's all wrong. And in your case, it would be interesting to look at your case and think about other things that might be causing inflammation for you. I can think of one or two of them, the plants you're eating right now, but that's neither here nor there. So-

[01:07:54]Luke Storey:  Dude, you just broke my heart with the pepper, though. Because I'll be honest, and I've talked about this on the show before and I did an episode with Daniel Vitalis the other night, I told him this, too, I feel best truly if I just pretty much eat meat and some fish, like I don't do that because I don't have that kind of discipline as of yet, but that's what feels best to this body, okay, which is making sense now that I hear your spiel on this. But when I think about like, okay, I'm only going to eat red meat, for example, not having pepper on it is like torture. I'm like, how do you eat meat without black pepper? It would really take a lot of getting used to. 

[01:08:36]Paul Saladino:  Redmond Real Salt. I think I can make it for you. The next time I'm in LA, I'll make you some red meat with no pepper, only salt, and you'll love it. Go to Belcampo, talk to Anya, say no pepper, you'll love it. It's actually not that much different than you think. If the meat is flavorful, you don't need pepper and it's really inhibiting those phase two systems in the liver. It's a problem. You don't want black pepper on your food and/or a lot of things like that.

[01:08:59] So, it starts to make sense, right? Like we see this with plant compounds over and over. The same is true with resveratrol. This is a highly touted compound, and then we can move on and talk about other stuff. Resveratrol is a plant defense chemical. It's made by grapes and peanuts in response to a botrytis fungus. It's a plant defense chemical. It's not made for humans. It's a plant defense chemical. And yes, it has this pharmacologic effect of affecting the sirtuin genes, but does resveratrol have a package insert?

[01:09:30] You bet it does. It seems to decrease antigen precursors. It worsens glucose tolerance in humans. It can do all sorts of other negative things. Worsening energy and precursors, for those of you listening, it means less testosterone for men and women. It acts as a xenoestrogen. So, reservatrol has a package insert like everything else. And like all of the other concepts I'm talking about here, again, this is all laid out in my book, I'm so glad I wrote it because like, oh yeah, I wrote this in the book, you guys can read about this, too, if you want more, it's redundant.

[01:10:03] You don't need resveratrol to turn on your sirtuins. We know that sirtuins are important. They manage these NAD pool in your body. The NAD to NADH ratio. They managed PPAR, the DNA repair enzyme. They're part of this complex system. I did a whole podcast on my podcast with David Sinclair. We talked about this in detail. But you can turn on your sirtuins just by fasting. You can turn on your sirtuins by doing intermittent fasting.

[01:10:29] So, the way that I do my diet, I'm sure we'll talk about this later, is I eat twice a day in the morning and in the afternoon. And then, I fast in the afternoon until the next morning. So, I'll do intermittent fasting. When I wake up in the morning, my liver glycogen is depleted, I'm in ketosis and my sirtuins are turned on. So, you can turn on your sirtuins by ketosis. And it was so funny because I did this interview with David Sinclair. He didn't know this.

[01:10:52] And I love David. I respect him greatly, but this is the problem with being a PhD scientist. Sometimes, your scope is limited. He wasn't even aware of ketosis. And I showed him articles during our podcast, so people can watch, showing that in ketosis in the human brain, the sirtuins are turned on, and the NAD to NADH ratio goes up. So, all of you guys thinking about taking an NR, nicotinamide riboside or NMN, nicotinamide mononucleotide, I don't think it's a good idea.

[01:11:20] And that's a whole another rabbit hole to go down. It messes up your methylation. You can turn on your sirtuins just by fasting. You don't have to do it every day. You don't even have to be keto. I eat honey every day and I'm still going to have ketones in the morning. My NAD to NADH ratio is going to be higher in the morning. My sirtuins are going to be on. This is the benefit of intermittent fasting. Even with carbohydrates, you can have that balance. You don't have to eat carbs every day. If you want to do low-carb long term, you can. We can get into concerns I have about long-term chronic low-carb diets, but this is the idea here.

[01:11:52] So many of the benefits attributed to these plant molecules, they're not unique to plant molecules. You can achieve them by living in the way that our ancestors would have, because certainly, our ancestors would have had times when they did not have food, when they fasted, when they had to kill, when they were bathing in cold rivers, or when they were running around in the sun. Like all of these benefits are available to us without plant molecules, and then we don't get any of the bad side effects. So, this completely turns the paradigm on its head. And I hope that everybody is just going like this right now, or at least that it made sense.

[01:12:28]Luke Storey:  Can you get iodine from animal foods?

[01:12:31]Paul Saladino:  Yeah. There's iodine in egg yolks. There's iodine in fish. There's iodine in all the seafood. Yeah.

[01:12:39]Luke Storey:  And then, what about sea vegetables, the dulse, the different kelps, all of these different vegetables that people around the world seem to eat a bit of, are they in the category of the kale, and spinach, and broccoli, and the things you're describing in terms of the anti-nutrients and their protective biology?

[01:13:02]Paul Saladino:  I think they're much less-defended. I think the sea plants are much less-defended. They are eaten by some fish, but I think to a much lesser extent. And I think you could actually go deep into botany and aquatic botany, and call them algae in many cases versus plants. And so, yeah, my sense is that they have less of these toxins. For many people, I think they're easily tolerated. Again, at the beginning of the podcast, like I said, I'm not interested in everyone stopping eating all plants.

[01:13:30] It's about understanding the spectrum of plant toxicity. And in your case, what I might specifically recommend is if you feel best with all meat, go all meat. Include some organ meats. I want to talk about the importance of organ meats. Include some organ meats, go all meat, and then gradually reincorporate plants one at a time and see what you react to. So, don't think about it in terms of, I can never eat plants for the rest of my life. That may not be how you want to have a quality of life, right?

[01:13:58] I respect that. In the beginning of the book, I talk about this quality of life equation. Ultimately, I'm not about telling people to eat all meat. What gives me the most meaning and the best feeling is when I can help people lead a higher quality of life, right? Life is short. If I can add something to this one person's life while I'm on this earth, I've done a decent job. So, I'm just trying to improve the quality of life of one person. It doesn't matter how they do it, and I'm not going to tell them how to do it.

[01:14:24] But I think that in your case, go to a full carnivore diet, and then add back the plants sequentially that you really want to eat and know what triggers you. In the book. I also go over five tiers of a carnivore diet, starting with a carnivore-ish type diet. And in the book, I lay out a spectrum of plant toxicity, which is something that we've kind of hinted at earlier. I think that roots, stems, leaves, and seeds, and nightshade vegetables are more toxic and less toxic are things like fruit.

[01:14:53] So, if you are going to add something to your meat, I would recommend adding fruit. And there are a lot of things we think of as vegetables that are actually fruit, avocado, winter squash, things like that, or you could do berries. Most people look at an all-meat diet, and they think, I can never do that. And I say, what if I said, what if you just ate meat, and raspberries, and blueberries, and blackberries, and avocado. And they go, maybe I could do that. So, it's totally doable, right? Like much more doable with just four more plant foods that are all fruit and much less likely to trigger you and much less likely to be full of toxins.

[01:15:29]Luke Storey:  Is there a tier of that diet that's meat, fruit, and ice cream?

[01:15:35]Paul Saladino:  No, but I'm not a huge fan of dairy. While we're talking about it, I'm not a huge fan of dairy, because immunologically, it does seem to trigger humans in a big way. I will say that, like I mentioned, I hinted at earlier, I've done a whole episode of my podcast with a continuous glucose monitor, right? So, I wore a CGM from Nutrisense, which is an amazing company. And I've been incorporating honey back into my diet. And I think that for a lot of people, the elimination of carbohydrates in the short term is very powerful. 

[01:16:08] In the setting of insulin resistance, lower carbohydrate diets really help. But long term, I think the goal is always to reintroduce carbs, at least cyclically, and see how people do. So, there is a tier of that diet, which is meat, fruit, and honey, but not meat, fruit, and dairy unless you really tolerate dairy, don't have a problem with dairy proteins, but myself and many people have a lot of problems with dairy proteins. But like, again, it's, you get to define what your highest quality of life is and to make any intentional choice with your diet, I think, is a step in the right direction.

[01:16:44]Luke Storey:  What about ghee in terms of dairy? Would not those annoying proteins be burned off, and skimmed off, and you're just left with the fat? Do you think ghee's passable in your paradigm?

[01:16:56]Paul Saladino:  It's mostly better. In cases of people who have significant autoimmune issues, it would not be my first choice for fat. I would choose tallow, which is rendered beef suet, which is the kidney fat, and then introduce ghee as like an intentional measure. So, start without it, and then one of the foods you introduce one at a time is ghee, and you see, do I react to it or not? I think, personally, that I even react to ghee. Some people are very sensitive to milk proteins.

[01:17:22]Luke Storey:  Got it. So, before we move into my other line of questioning, which is quite robust, break down for us, for the people that perhaps got lost in some of the biology there and the science geekdom, what maybe are like the top 10 most inflammatory or problematic plants that people are eating on a regular basis? If I'm going to make a salad, and I just can't resist eating some vegetables, and they still feel good to me, what are the most problematic ones? Uncooked kale, and spinach, and things like that, give me a few of those. And secondarily, does cooking the vegetables help reduce the anti-nutrient load?

[01:18:09]Paul Saladino:  Okay. So, I think that the main offenders, if I go into any grocery store and I'm trying to anticipate what most people are eating, it's going to be things like kale, cauliflower, broccoli, so the brassica vegetables. Brussel sprouts, collard greens. Spinach is a huge offender. Spinach is very, very high in oxylates. In the book, there's a whole chapter on oxylates and I rank all the oxylates in foods. And then, beyond that, it's the seeds.

[01:18:37] And for some people, it's the roots. So, when people want to go to make a salad, just don't. Say no to salad because there's not many things that you can put in the salad other than avocado that are not going to be on that list. If you want to make a salad with like iceberg lettuce, maybe that one is probably going to be less offensive, but the leaves of plants tend to concentrate toxins. That's just the way it is. Even arugula can have problems for people. So, leaves of plants are just not things people should be eating, at least in the beginning.

[01:19:09] And so, the framework that I would suggest is, if you are struggling with autoimmune disease, or low energy, or body composition, like really cut out the plants that are most offensive first, and then think about adding in the least-toxic plants, and then think about adding things back in. The one thing that we haven't touched on, which is really critical, and I've been talking about this a lot on my social media recently, is polyunsaturated vegetable oils. So, incorporated in this whole discussion is you absolutely must eliminate all vegetable oils from your life without question, which is PUFAs.

[01:19:45]Luke Storey:  The PUFAs.

[01:19:45]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, PUFA. Not to be confused with FUPA. So, it's PUFA. And it is corn, canola, soy, soybean, peanut. All these oils are super inflammatory. We can talk about the mechanism. It gets very granular. But oils, polyunsaturated vegetable oils do not play well with human biology. We should not be eating them. Now, by eliminating seeds, we'll be eliminating a lot of these polyunsaturated vegetable oils. What is the main source of polyunsaturated vegetable oils if we're not eating vegetable oil?

[01:20:21] It's things like almonds, and nuts, and seeds, which are high in a fatty acid called linoleic acid, which is an 18-carbon polyunsaturated fatty acid, it's an omega-6. And it really appears to me and many others that excess linoleic acid in the diet is a signal to humans to become fat. It's an evolutionary signal to humans that winter is coming, and you better get fat and insulin-resistant, so you can survive a lean winter, except winter never comes for us because we always have food at the grocery store in the same amount.

[01:20:57] But linoleic acid appears to be an evolutionary signal that winter is coming. It's like, what was that show? Winter is coming. I never watched it. Anyway, Game of Thrones. So, you do not want your body to think that winter is coming. You don't want your body to become insulin-resistant and to become fat. It happens in babies when they're nursing. It happens in chipmunks when they fatten up for the winter, when they eat a bunch of acorns and nuts, they get fat because they're eating polyunsaturated vegetable oil in combination with carbohydrates.

[01:21:31] So, this is a quick aside, and then we'll move on, so this doesn't get to be insanely long. But if you look at the combination of polyunsaturated vegetable oils or polyunsaturated fats, excuse me, so linoleic acid specifically, which is 18-carbon omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, okay, you look at the combination of linoleic acid and carbohydrates, it only occurs in nature in a few places. It occurs in nuts and seeds, and it occurs in breast milk. What does breast milk do to babies?

[01:22:01] It makes them fat. It makes them very fat because they are very vulnerable. And babies are sort of in this constant winter. They're just on the edge of life. They have to be fat to survive any famine. And we want them to be fat so they can grow brains, and grow big and strong. I have the cutest seven-year-old nephew and he is so fat. It's amazing. It's just rolls, rolls on his arms, as he should. That's a healthy baby.

[01:22:24] And he will become more lean when he stops drinking breast milk and when he stops getting that combination of linoleic acid and carbohydrates. We can synthetically reproduce that combination of linoleic acid and carbohydrates in things like, oh, I don't know, Doritos, tortilla chips, corn chips, any processed food out there is going to have a polyunsaturated vegetable oil and many of us are going to eat carbohydrates in our life.

[01:22:51] So, one of the benefits of a low-carb diet is if you take away the carbohydrate component there, there's less of that signal. So, the carbohydrates may not give the signal to get fat, but those polyunsaturated vegetable oils, I believe, are, evolutionarily, signals to humans to get fat. You don't want those in your life, which means avoiding nuts, and seeds, corn, canola, safflower, sunflower, peanut, and soybean oil, religiously like the plague. Okay. Really important. 

[01:23:20]Luke Storey:  When it comes to the PUFAs and the end result of that being lipofuscin and all of these other issues, what's your take on omega-3s, fish oil or just the omega-3s that are inherent in fish? There's a lot of confusion about this. There's the Ray Peate people that are like, all PUFAs, omega-3s are poison. And then, I go interview Dr. Daniel Amen, who's been treating people with TBIs for 40 years and using fish oil in high, high doses to bring people back from the dead with a combination of hyperbaric chambers, obviously, but I hear some really intelligent people on both sides of the omega-3 fish oil thing. And I mean, you could just throw a rock and hit someone that has a really valid point for or against it and I'm kind of left not knowing. So, where does the PUFA thing kind of go into the omega-3s and fish oil?

[01:24:20]Paul Saladino:  Great question. I just did a video about that on my Instagram and YouTube as well because people were asking me the same thing. So, I can show you evidence that fish oil supplementation will lead to excess oxidation of human cells. So, I think that fish oil supplements are a bad idea for a variety of reasons. And I'd have to look at Dr. Amen's research. I suspect that tons and tons of fish oil is not the major catalyst toward improving TBI brain injury.

[01:24:47] I think hyperbaric oxygen is hugely valuable there. It might be the main effect. And what he's doing is multifactorial. So, this is the danger, right? There are many cautionary tales of excess polyunsaturated fatty acids of both omega-3 and omega-6. Now, the nuance here is that if someone is eating a lot of omega-6 fatty acid, you're going to need more omega-3 to balance it out. There are studies that show that in people who consume high amounts of omega-6, who have 10 to 12 or 13% of their fats as omega-6 improving, increasing their omega-3s improves insulin sensitivity, but I think that that is because their omega-6 is too high.

[01:25:29] So, the ratio is important, but the absolute amount of omega-3, I think, is much higher in most people than it needs to be. Humans cannot make polyunsaturated fatty acids, but if we are eating a ruminant animal like a cow, there's plenty of EPA and DHA in ruminant animal fat for us and there's a little bit of linoleic acid, a small amount, like 2% or 1.5%. The problem with omega-6 is when humans go to 10% omega-6, that's a signal to get fat. And when humans go much higher on the omega-3 to balance the omega-6, then you get excess oxidation.

[01:26:08] I think that the ideas around lipofuscin are concerning and they're valid. There are studies to show that supplementation with excess omega-3s will create more oxidation in humans. So, my position is that you need some small amounts of omega-3, but you want to get the smallest amount possible by getting the smallest amount of omega-6. So, you want to have that ratio of balance. That's important. And that's easily achievable if you eat foods that are eating their species' appropriate diet, and you are not eating a bunch of nuts, and seeds, and vegetable oils, does that make sense?

[01:26:42]Luke Storey:  Okay. That makes perfect sense. Now, what about, I don't want to hear the answer to this because I love olive oil, I belong to like an olive oil of the month club, these like boutique, beautiful, amazing aromatic oils that get sent every month. And I eat quite a bit of olive oil. So, would that be considered a seed oil, again?

[01:27:07]Paul Saladino:  Olive oil is monounsaturated fat, so it's oleic acid, which is an 18-carbon monounsaturated fat, as opposed to an 18-carbon polyunsaturated fat. It's 18-1 versus 18-2. And oleic acid, I think the jury is still out on oleic acid in terms of obesity, but I'm going to break your heart here, but I'm going to do it gently because it's mostly based on animal studies. So, there are some really fascinating animal studies in mice.

[01:27:37] Admittedly, it's in mice. And those mice were given diet supplemented with three different types of fat, stearic acid, which is an 18-carbon saturated fat; oleic acid, while they gave them safflower oil, which is high-oleic acid and they gave them corn oil, which is high-linoleic acid. So, you see, we're basically doing this experiment in mice. And we looked at the visceral adipose tissue, which is the immunologically insulin-sensitive—it's the insulin-determining tissue of the body.

[01:28:08] So, visceral adipose tissue is the tissue within our peritoneum. That is how humans become insulin-sensitive or insulin-resistant. Everyone listening to this should know how much visceral adipose tissue they have. If you have a six-pack, your visceral adipose tissue is low. But in a lot of people, they don't know that they have excess visceral adipose tissue, intraperitoneal fat, that is what determines the insulin sensitivity of the rest of the body.

[01:28:33] Okay. So, what's so fascinating about this experiment, I can send it to you or I can screen share it now if you want, they gave these mice three different types of oil. And what do you think they saw with the visceral adipose tissue? Stearic acid, the saturated fat shrunk the visceral adipose tissue. These mice got six packs. I'm super fascinated by the saturated fatty acid, which is highly present in animal fat, highly present in animal suet.

[01:28:58] It's highly present in kidney fat. Stearic acid appears to cause apoptosis cell death of visceral adipose tissues. It's crazy. Adipocytes in the visceral adipose tissue die when you give the body stearic acid, and mitochondria turn on. Fascinating stuff. Corn oil and safflower oil, which are linoleic-acid and oleic-acid-high, respectfully, both increase the visceral adipose tissue. So, I'm not convinced that olive oil is as benign as we think it is.

[01:29:30] It's probably not as bad as linoleic acid, but there's a good chance that monounsaturated fat is also a signal to the body to become obese. So, I would be very curious if you paused your olive oil, the month club, for a month and if you saw your abs come back, that would be a very interesting experiment, if you decreased your mono and polyunsaturated fatty acids. I think that my suspicion is that indeed, as I'm suggesting, the monounsaturated fatty acid is also a signal to the visceral adipose tissue to grow. Can I screen share really quick? I'll show you. This is pretty amazing. 

[01:30:10]Luke Storey:  Go for it. It would be a first on this show. So, yeah, go for it.

[01:30:13]Paul Saladino:  You have to enable screen sharing for me.

[01:30:15]Luke Storey:  Okay. Here, let me grab that. There we go. Alright. It's all you. 

[01:30:21]Paul Saladino:  Oh, man. I'm like the king of screen sharing. So, this is amazing. I'll show you guys the reference here in a moment, but you can see, little gross, but this is the inside of a mouse. This is the stearic acid. Look, there's no visceral adipose tissue. This is corn oil. This is safflower oil, Luke. This is what monounsaturated fatty acid might be doing to your visceral adipose tissue. It may not be good, my man, may not be good. You can see, here's the graph. Low-fat diet, visceral adipose tissue, stearic acid, corn oils, the most, safflower oil, which is high-oleic-acid, still has a decent amount of abdominal fat, much more than stearic acid. You see what I'm driving at here?

[01:31:04]Luke Storey:  Yeah, that seed oils, PUFAs are not good for you.

[01:31:08]Paul Saladino:  Probably not good for you. And then, monounsaturated oils may not be great for you either. So, this is the reference if you want to read it. Dietary stearic acid leads to a reduction of visceral adipose tissue in athymic nude mice. I'm glad I could be a first. I love screen sharing.

[01:31:21]Luke Storey:  Yeah, it's cool.

[01:31:21]Paul Saladino:  Isn't it cool? 

[01:31:23]Luke Storey:  I mean, I do that in meetings all the time, but I never thought to do it on the podcast.

[01:31:26]Paul Saladino:  Yeah.

[01:31:27]Luke Storey:  So, okay. So, that's pretty good breakdown of the fat situation. In terms of the fish oil thing, it's interesting to hear that you're on the anti side of the fence when—there's a lot of you, but there are, as I said, also a lot of people that are very pro. Do you think that the high omega-3 intake of someone who is supplementing fish oil could be even more problematic if they are having an iron overload situation?

[01:31:58]Paul Saladino:  Oh, certainly. I mean, everything is worse if you have an iron overload situation. And so, my point with the omega-3 is just to say that if you are eating an animal-based diet, you are getting plenty of omega-3. If you are eating grass-fed, grass-finished, ruminant meat, you're getting plenty of EPA and DHA. I eat about one to two egg yolks a day. I've been kind of playing around with that. You don't need to supplement fish oil unless you are eating a diet that is very high in vegetable oil and it's a processed diet, American diet, throw away your omega-3 supplements. You do not need them. You just don't. You're getting plenty of EPA and DHA in your diet already, and it's that ratio that's critical, and you don't need huge amounts of EPA and DHA.

[01:32:46]Luke Storey:  And if one felt the need to kind of cheat with one of these other types of oils, for whatever reason, do you think dosing some vitamin E with it would be a way to hack some of the detriment to that particular?

[01:33:03]Paul Saladino:  I couldn't say that because the problem with vitamin E is that, as far as I know, we just haven't been able to recreate a bioidentical vitamin E and it's not so much the oxidation of the oil. What I'm talking about here is molecular signaling. These are fat molecules acting as "hormones", like they're called lipokines. So, yes, the oil is more prone to oxidation, but if you have enough glutathione, your body can take care of that. This is a fat molecule acting like a hormone in your body. It's affecting the mitochondria because of the fat molecule's structure. Vitamin E isn't going to change that.

[01:33:42]Luke Storey:  Got it. Okay. Now, I'm sure you get this question like every four hours or so, but if one is eating only meat, are you able to get enough vitamin C? If you're eating nose to tail and you're eating enough organ meats, are you able to get an adequate amount of vitamin C?

[01:34:02]Paul Saladino:  It's a great question. I think you are. When I have tested myself, looking at things like liquid peroxides or 8-Hydroxy-2'deoxyguanosine, which is a measure of DNA damage, I don't see any evidence for increased oxidative stress and I don't supplement with vitamin C. Now, I should sort of create the framework for that and say that my diet is an animal-based diet that is relatively high in vitamin C. And by that, I mean that I eat raw liver, I eat raw thymus, I eat spleen, and I eat really basically raw meat.

[01:34:40] I blanch the meat most of the time these days or I eat the meat rare or medium rare. So, there is a good amount of vitamin C in animal foods and very small amounts of vitamin C on the order of 10 milligrams a day are enough to cure scurvy. And there's some evidence to suggest, at least in diabetic populations that are hospitalized, that 70 milligrams, 7-0 milligrams of vitamin C is better than 25 milligrams of vitamin C a day.

[01:35:09] But those are diabetics in the hospital. In healthy individuals, we really don't know what the cutoff is for a healthy amount of vitamin C or an awful amount of vitamin C, I certainly don't feel like I have access oxidative stress and I definitely don't have scurvy. So, I think that a lot of people get worried about this, and to that, I say, I have no problem with people supplementing with a little bit of vitamin C if they want on a carnivore diet, if they're concerned about it.

[01:35:34] If you want to eat some berries, which are carnivore-ish in the first place, fine, totally. It's cherry season. Eat a few cherries. If you want to take a vitamin C supplement, I have no problems with that. But clinically, I haven't seen it to be a problem, though it's an important question. Now, the other nuance here is just surrounding where you're getting the vitamin C from and that nose to tail concept as well.

[01:35:57] It is possible to get a vitamin C deficiency on an animal-based diet if all you eat is overcooked hamburger and spam. And the key is that you need to be eating some animal food, medium rare or rare, probably, it's better to eat organs. I think that when I've done the calculations, I'm probably getting 70 milligrams of vitamin C a day from animal foods. And there is a question of whether those animal foods even have more bioavailability of that vitamin C than plant foods, so we don't know.

[01:36:26] But I have no problem if people want to supplement vitamin C, just I'm not convinced it's necessary, nor have I seen it in my labs or the blood work of my clients. The last thing I'll say there is that I do have some concerns about excess vitamin C. So, people will say, well, why not supplement? It's totally benign. I'm not convinced that vitamin C is benign. There are some connections between high doses of vitamin C and kidney stones, and too much vitamin C can cause GI distress.

[01:36:52] So, there are problems with excess amounts of vitamin C. There probably is a sweet spot. And if you are concerned, take a little bit and I have no problem with that. But I do think that, and answer to your question, and this is a very striking point, for a lot of people, there's plenty of vitamin C in animal foods and we know that fresh animal foods are certainly an antiscorbutic, which means they will cure scurvy. That's widely known.

[01:37:16]Luke Storey:  Okay. Let's get into the organ meats and this concept of eating nose to tail. I've always found it interesting that humans focus on eating the muscles of animals when they eat them, but when you watch the Animal Planet shows and a pack of hyenas takes down a gazelle, the first thing they do is rip out their organs and the muscles are often left sitting there for the vultures to come pick up afterward. Am I observing something that's a phenomenon in nature? Do predators go after the organs first? And why don't humans do that if that's where all the goodies are?

[01:37:57]Paul Saladino:  Predators do, do that. I mean, lions do that. Crocodiles do that. Everything seems to do that. I have a friend in Seattle who has chickens, and every once in a while, he'll sadly tell me, the chickens got eaten by raccoons and they just got eviscerated. They just eat the organs. They eat the liver and the heart. I've seen videos of orcas eating sharks. And they don't eat the shark, they just eat the liver out of the shark.

[01:38:18] And there are unique nutrients in the organ meats. This is the idea of eating nose to tail. If you or I are in a tribe and we are going to go kill an animal, both out of respect and out of necessity, we are going to eat that entire animal nose to tail, the entire thing. And that's also going to give us a unique set of nutrients. If people out there are listening to this and they're thinking, I can get everything I need from the animal meat, I'll just ask you, where do you get your riboflavin?

[01:38:45] Because you won't get enough riboflavin from animal muscle meat. And you really won't get enough riboflavin from plant foods either. One of the really interesting things that I came across from writing the book was that, basically, if you are not eating animal liver or heart, you are going to be probably riboflavin-deficient. Riboflavin is vitamin B2 and I think it's one of the most common B-vitamin deficiencies that is often overlooked.

[01:39:12] And it's crucial for proper functioning of the methylene tetrahydrofolate reductase enzyme, which is this MTHFR enzyme. We don't have to go down that rabbit hole. I've done podcast on that. You've probably done podcasts on that. But if you want your MTHFR enzyme to function properly, you need to get a good amount of riboflavin, which, in most people, is two to three milligrams a day. The only way to get two to three milligrams of riboflavin that I'm aware of is heart, and liver, and a few other organ meats in animals.

[01:39:40] You're not going to get any eating muscle meat and you're not going to get it from the plant kingdom. So, for all of you guys listening, I'll ask you again, where do you get your riboflavin? And the same could be said for many other vitamins that are crucial. And these things occur in organ meats, which is really the magic of eating organ meats. The other thing about organ meats that's so interesting are these peptides.

[01:39:59] So, our mutual friend, Ben Greenfield, is interested in peptides. I'm interested in peptides. Whether it's BPC157 or thymosin alpha 1, these are produced in our body. In cows and in animals, BPC157 is produced by the lining of the stomach. You can get naturally occurring BPC157 by eating animal organs, by eating the intestines, and all this kind of stuff. You can get LEAP, liver-expressed antimicrobial peptide 2 from eating liver. Thymosin alpha 1, any guesses where that one is?

[01:40:31] The thymus. So, this is a whole realm of nutrients that are specific to animals. We're back to these zoonutrients that nobody's ever talked about and that they are found in animal organs. Now, I'll say something here, and those listening on Instagram will have to keep it secret, so one of the exciting projects that I'm working on right now is a supplement company that's going to launch in the beginning of August. So, when this podcast comes out officially in August, people can go to check out my desiccated organ supplements.

[01:41:05] So, these organs are hard for people to get. It's hard for people to get heart, or liver, or thymus, or bone marrow. And so, I really wanted to make this more available. I really like talking about it. So, the company is called Heart and Soil. It's heartandsoilsupplements.com. And again, when this podcast release in August, people can go. We have a couple of supplements that will be marketed. They're coming to market in early August.

[01:41:29] So, all you guys listening on Instagram right now, you're in on a secret, don't tell anybody about it. You can go see the website if you want. The website is in the beta phases. You guys can go give me some feedback on it, but you can't order anything right now. But in a few weeks, when this releases in August, you can go to heartandsoilsupplements.com and get beef. You can get bone marrow and liver. We're going to have beef organs.

[01:41:52] We are going to have all kinds of supplements there. You can see all of them. We're going to have a blood builder, a brain supplement. We're going to have a testicle supplement. We're going to have a suet supplement to get stearic acid. So, lots of exciting things coming there. Really, my hope is that people will just eat the real organ. But if they won't eat liver or heart, these are a great go-between. But getting the organ meat is super important no matter how you do it.

[01:42:17]Luke Storey:  Well, that, you just stole from me my next question, and it was that, the desiccated organ meats, I use them every day. I take like usually one pancreas and probably about six, I think the one I have, it's Ancestral Supplements, I think it's called, it's like the multi-organ one or sometimes-

[01:42:36]Paul Saladino:  Beef organs, yeah.

[01:42:38]Luke Storey:  And I'll pound like six, eight of those just right when I wake up with a glass of water or something, but I always feel like it's not enough because if you look at a beef organ, I mean, like a beef liver, it's freaking huge. Like I'm always thinking, can you really get the micronutrients condensed down by desiccating them? I mean, obviously eating the real thing, especially raw, I'm sure, is more bioavailable and nutrient-dense. But obviously, if you're going to make a supplement that's desiccated organs, there's still enough in there to actually be meaningful?

[01:43:11]Paul Saladino:  There is. There absolutely is. The cool thing about desiccation is it's low-temperature dehydration. So, it's not like the dehydrator you have in your home that does 145 degrees. They desiccated it like below room temperature. They desiccated it like around 40 degrees. And you do that by lowering the pressure. So, they basically freeze-dried, which is what preserves the nutrients, but like dehydration that you do in your house, they're condensed down.

[01:43:33] So, at about six to about six pills, if you had pure liver in the pill, about six pills would be one ounce of liver. And one ounce of liver has a lot of nutrients. So, when you're eating six beef organ pills, you're getting about an ounce of all those organs combined. Now, that means you're getting a little bit of pancreas, a little bit of heart, a little bit of liver, a little bit of spleen, a little bit of kidney. You're getting a small amount of all of them. So, it's a meaningful dose. Ideally, you do 12 to 18 a day. But yeah, we'll get you some of the heart and soil stuff when it comes out.

[01:44:07]Luke Storey:  I'm on it. Sign me up as affiliate. Let's do this. 

[01:44:10]Paul Saladino:  Yeah.

[01:44:11]Luke Storey:  Yeah. Because I recently, at the onset of this COVID situation, as that started to unfold, the prepper in me came to life a bit, which is something I've been wanting to bring to life for a long time, just living in a city and having experienced some things here in the '90s, Where I realized, like, wow, if you don't have electricity, food, or water, or toilet paper, you're bummed if you live in this city because you can't get out.

[01:44:36] So, I actually went in contact with a farm up in Bakersfield, and talked to the rancher, and vetted him in terms of the water that his cattle are drinking, if he tests for glyphosate. Is it humane, organic, grass-fed, the whole thing? And he passed with flying colors. And I went up there and bought a quarter steer from him and it's in my garage. And of course, when you buy the quarter steer, like they're going to give you whatever organ meats came with your portion of that steer. 

[01:45:02] So, in the garage, I've got all these organ meats and I'm taking out the filets and the triceps, and I'm taking all the choice cuts, and eating a lot of ground beef. And I know I'm going to end up with a freezer down there that just has like the organ meats left in the bottom of it. So, it's encouraging for you to remind me of how healthy those can be. I just have the hardest time getting around the flavor.

[01:45:26] And I think that's something that just has to do with how we're raised on supermarket meat, that if we would have been raised as hunter-gatherer kids and the organ meats were the prized meats, we would have gotten used to that really kind of gamey flavor, and that would have been chronic to us. But because we're raised on McDonald's hamburgers or many of us were, that's the flavor that we're used to, and everything else feels too strong. So, have you found hacks to desensitize yourself or re-sensitize yourself to actually enjoy the flavor of organ meats? 

[01:46:01]Paul Saladino:  Gets easier over time. And maybe I'm an alien, but I've really come to enjoy them. So, when I started with liver, was doing frozen liver, you cut it up into small pieces, and you chew it or you just swallow it. Yeah. And then, I graduated to liver shooters, which I joke with my friend, the minimalist guys, Josh and Ryan, about, but you just do a small piece of liver, about the size of a quarter, and you just kind of take—you put it raw in your mouth and you swallow it down with a swig of bone broth with water, it's shooter.

[01:46:31] In that way, you'll taste it, but you don't have to chew it. And that gets easier and easier. And now, I can chew liver if I want. No problem. But that's generally how I do it. And I really like the taste of them now. Spleen is good. The texture of some of them is a little funny, but if I can't do the texture, they're too sort of sinewy, or collageny, or connective tissue, I'll just swallow them up. I'll cut them up and swallow them. I think that our ancestors did that. Now, this may sound gross to people, but there are many accounts of indigenous children, used to take the gallbladder, which was full of salt in the bile salt, and they used to squirt the gall, the bile onto meat or organs to make them saltier. 

[01:47:12] So, it sounds absolutely disgusting to us, but it's an illustration of what you're saying, that they're just so different in terms of our sensibilities from our ancestors. And we would do well to get these back in our diet however we can do it. Do it with desiccated organs, and then do it with the real thing if you can. But start with liver shooters, and then do the other ones. But don't waste them. If you need me, just call me up. I'll come out to Los Angeles, we eat organs together, we'll invite Ben Greenfield.

[01:47:39]Luke Storey:  Alright. Yeah. You reminded me of that. I used to get the grass-fed beef organs at the farmer's market, and I would chop them into little cubes, and put them on a cookie sheet with some MCT oil so they didn't stick. And then, yeah, I would just put them in a little bowl and just pop them like pills periodically throughout the day. And then, I got lazy and fell out of practice with it. I've heard that grass-fed beef liver is, toe to toe, nutrient-density-wise with oysters. Who do you think wins between those two just in terms of like the amount of nutrition?

[01:48:18]Paul Saladino:  It's his liver, in my opinion, for a lot of reasons. The problem I have with oysters is that they're benthic and they're just getting to be so dirty. They're full of cadmium and they're full of mercury these days. They're on the bottom of the ocean. So, they're pretty darn great and I wish I would eat them all the time, but I don't even eat them anymore because they're just so full of heavy metals. But I think if you actually look at what's in an oyster and you look at what's in a liver, it's pretty similar.

[01:48:44] Oysters have more zinc. I think beef livers got a whole lot more choline, and vitamin K2, and selenium, all kinds of good stuff in there. But oysters are definitely nutritious. If somebody had a source for oysters that they knew with low cadmium and low mercury, do it. But I think that what we're coming down to in 2020 is that land animals are simply the cleanest animals out there. I drew this analogy the other day on a podcast with my friend, Chris Kresser, imagine eating a cow raised in Wuhan, China or Tokyo, it would be a cow that's breathing smog all the time.

[01:49:20] Well, that's basically what all of our fish is doing in 2020. We've just polluted the oceans. They're swimming in it. And there are lots of places in the world where the air is pretty good. They're not swimming in pollution. You probably don't want to eat a cow raised in China, not because of coronavirus in Wuhan, just because Wuhan has some of the worst air quality in the world. So, that's what you think about with fish, is just what's the "air quality" of the fish you're eating?

[01:49:46]Luke Storey:  And other than the toxic load, what would be the argument against fish in terms of the carnivore diet?

[01:49:54]Paul Saladino:  It's just basically the idea. Well, there's a couple of problems I have with fish. The first is just, the toxin load is massive. It's like eating 100% of your cows from Tokyo or Beijing, China, or really polluted places. And that's not a good thing. And also, I think that ruminants are unique in the way that they structure their fat. And if you can eat fish nose to tail, you're probably going to be pretty good, but there are unique nutrients in ruminants that are concentrated there. I suspect that a ruminant heart has more CoQ10, for instance. I think that land animals are valuable for all humans. Fish are a good go-between, but we've just polluted them so damn much.

[01:50:36]Luke Storey:  And so, in terms of fish, even if you're eating wild fish from cold waters, it's difficult to trace that and determine what water is more or less polluted because I'm assuming there are some fisheries on the planet that are relatively clean still or do you think they're all just blown out and it's best just to avoid it altogether?

[01:50:58]Paul Saladino:  It's tough to say. I think that in moderation, sure. Just make sure you're eating low-mercury fish, wild salmon. Know that if you go to get sushi, that is farm-raised salmon, unless you are told otherwise, and that's wildly misleading for people. But I love the shellfish. And really personally, I've stopped eating scallops. I've stopped eating mussels. I've stopped eating oysters for that reason. And I don't feel any worse. I think I feel better.

[01:51:21] It's subjective. And I just think that people need to be aware that fish, in my humble opinion, should not be the mainstay of your diet. It shouldn't be the mainstay of any diet, whether it's pescatarian or carnivore. We're in 2020, this is a sad story, but land animals are the way we should go. Now, occasionally, sure, but I don't like can sardines. I think they're probably going to be mostly oxidized. They're pretty damn old. They're just not fresh.

[01:51:46] But if you want to get the fish fresh, and it's a smaller fish, not a tuna in a cold water, it's fine, eat it, but just realize that if you do it regularly, you'll want to check your serum heavy metals. And I've had clients that eat wild salmon three times a week and I see it in their blood levels of mercury. I just do. And then, I have clients that eat things like Opah or sea bass and their mercury is off the charts. It's massively high. It's 25.

[01:52:12]Luke Storey:  Wow. Damn. Brutal. One thing on the organ meats, too, one nutrient that I think is important that is difficult to get elsewhere and that's bioavailable, copper. 

[01:52:23]Paul Saladino:  Yes. Liver is a great source of bioavailable copper.

[01:52:27]Luke Storey:  So, we can definitely get bioavailable copper, which is important from the organ meats. And then, I was talking about vitamin E before, but would we also be able to get adequate vitamin E from the organ meats? 

[01:52:40]Paul Saladino:  In the fat. So, I think there are a couple of nutrients that are underestimated in animal fat, and those are vitamin K2 and vitamin E. So, people have expressed concern about vitamin E on a carnivore diet. And so, I test my blood level of vitamin E and my client's levels of vitamin E all the time. And my vitamin E is like above normal. It's like high-normal all the time. So, there's tons of vitamin. This makes total sense. Like why would you be vitamin-E-deficient eating an animal-based diet.

[01:53:09] That doesn't make any sense because animals have vitamin E in all of their cells. It's just that the USDA catalog of foods is inaccurate. And it says that some animal foods aren't going to have vitamin E, but they're in there. And I've shown this on my website, Carnivore MD, I've shown my blood labs, I have lots of vitamin E in my blood. All my clients do as well. There's tons of vitamin E in animal foods. but that's a fantastic question because it's very misleading if you just go buy things like chronometer, which are inherently flawed. 

[01:53:43]Luke Storey:  I think that's one of the advantages that you have in this, from the outside, sounds like an extreme diet, but now that you explained it, I'm like, well, this actually makes a lot of sense.

[01:53:54]Paul Saladino:  Awesome.

[01:53:55]Luke Storey:  I think eating all the things you say don't eat might be the extreme diet, actually. But what I think is unique and cool about your perspective is, of course, you're knowledgeable, and well-educated, and you really do your research, but that you're an MD, and have the ability to run your labs constantly and the labs of your clients. And I think that's something that's really important because you have empirical evidence that's ongoing.

[01:54:19] So, not only, subjectively, just based on how you feel, but you can also go, hey, let's see what's in the blood on any given day. I think that's a pretty powerful way to kind of experiment with this and determine what's valid and what's not. The one thing I wanted to cover before we go here is the—and if we can do kind of a brief overview, I know this is a complete rabbit hole that we could go down, but in terms of environmental impact, I think many people are of the notion that if you're using animals in agriculture and raising animals for food, that you are destroying the planet and that cow farts are going to make the ozone layer collapse in on us and we're all going to die, when in my subjective experience of growing up in the country, and being around a lot of farms and animals, and going to farms like Belcampo, and seeing how they've regenerated 22,000 acres of barren wasteland that was all blown out from growing vegetables, that I have a different opinion on that, but I really don't know the science. So, in terms of environmental impact, what's good for the planet, et cetera, what's your take on animals?

[01:55:29]Paul Saladino:  You're absolutely right on the money there, Luke. And I could not have written a book in which I did not address this. And so, I did. So, last chapter of my book is all about that, kind of the ethics of eating meat. And if people are curious about this, I would recommend that they listen to a recent podcast that I did with Robb Wolf and Diana Rogers, who just wrote a great book called Sacred Cow. And there is a huge interest right now in what is called regenerative agriculture, which is the type of agriculture that tries to recreate an ecosystem.

[01:56:09] And it is done in farms like Belcampo, White Oak Pastures in Georgia, and it's really indisputable, what these farms are doing. I think this is an incontrovertible argument for animal agriculture in terms of the subsistence of humans on this planet. So, what you really take away from this is that it is all about the quality of the soil. Soil quality is paramount. And soil is not sexy. It's just dirt, right? 

[01:56:34] Well, there's a saying that Will Harris, who runs White Oak Pastures, has, soil isn't dirt until you mess it up, but soil is full of organic matter. And if you look at the organic matter content of soil, that single metric will determine whether the people living on that land will die or they will live. Because if they are doing monocrop agriculture, and they are pulling all the nutrients out of that soil, and they are not using any animals to return nutrients that soil, as would happen in any normal ecosystem, in which animals die, and live, and compost the soil, think of bison on the grasslands, and that soil will slowly become depleted.

[01:57:14] This is what happens with monocrop agriculture, the exact type of agriculture that is essentially being celebrated when people are trying to push support for plant-based ideas, and kale, and monocrop vegetables. That is depleting the soil of nutrients and that carbon in the soil is going to be much lowered. Farms like Belcampo and White Oak have done quantified scientific lifecycle analyses that are documented, I've referenced them in my book, showing that over time, you can see the soil carbon increase linearly, essentially gradually with more regimented farming.

[01:57:51] It makes sense. When you put animals back on the land, as you're saying, Luke, you can regenerate land that is a barren wasteland from monocrop agriculture. And it's because the animals don't deplete the soil of nutrients. They're eating the grass, pooping, and peeing on the land, returning nutrients back to the soil. This is how it works. I think people, rightfully so, get worried about KFOs and factory farming, but no one is advocating for factory farming here.

[01:58:16] What we're advocating for is more regenerative agriculture. In the podcast, that it was Robb and Diana, we specifically address the question, can you scale this? You absolutely can. All of the cattle in the United States could be raised regeneratively right now. It's just a matter of dollars. And people voting with their dollars. There's enough land, there's enough resources. There is no question. 100% of the cattle in the United States could be grass-fed and grass-finished if people demanded it. 

[01:58:42] So, the scale piece, again, is not even a question, there's a whole thing people don't know about of the conservation reserve program. There are hundreds of thousands of acres of land on in this country that the US government is paying farmers to keep fallow because they are so depleted from monocrop agriculture. This is the government paying farmers not to farm the land so the land can recover because they've destroyed it with monocrop agriculture.

[01:59:09] Well, you know what would be a much better use of that land? Farming animals on it that are eating grass, and pooping on the land, and regenerating it faster. There are so many pieces of land that the US government is paying your tax dollars so that nobody does anything with them. They're laying fallow because they've monocropped the hell out of them. That is ridiculous. If you put animals on that land, a lot of them eat grass, in a few years, you'll start to see that carbon grow, and grow, and grow.

[01:59:36] So, I'll do the second screen share that I'll do in this amazing live, and I'll show you guys a couple of graphs from White Oak Pastures here. This is from my book. So, you can see this graph, this is the soil organic matter percentage. This is the number of years regeneratively grazed, and White Oak has been regeneratively grazed for 20 years. It goes from around 1% to 5%. So, when you see five percent soil, you will know that it's regenerative because it looks like dark chocolate.

[02:00:06] This 1%, this half-percent soil, looks like it's like a lighter shade of brown. It's just like a light brown crayon. It doesn't even look anything like this. It's not even milk chocolate. It's lighter brown than that. There was a video on my Instagram of Will Harris comparing this soil to this soil, and there's no question of what the difference is between these two soils. You can see this. It's an indisputable argument. 

[02:00:30] And this is exactly why it happens, because the cows are on the land. The grass is absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere. It's sequestering the carbon into the roots and it makes healthy microbiota in the soil. The soil has microbiome, too. Cows poop on it. They sequester carbon. And then, the soil can grow more plants and it all gets much better. So, this is really the answer, I think, for regeneration. It's not removing animals from the planet.

[02:00:59] That would be a catastrophe. If you want to see an apocalypse, get rid of all the cows. Like I don't know. I'm moving to Australia if that happens because we will die. There will be no soil organic matter. And the other thing, we don't have to go down this rabbit hole, let's just leave it there, but I would encourage you to listen to that podcast, check out Robb and Diana's book as well. The idea is also that these cattle are carbon negative.

[02:01:24] When you do the life cycle analysis, which I also showed in that in that section of the book, you see that the cows are sequestering as much carbon or more carbon than they are producing into the soil. They're carbon negative, which just, again, completely destroys all these arguments. The cows are a significant contributor, per se, to greenhouse gases. There are ways to graze cattle that are ecosystem-responsible, that improve the soil quality, and then make you and I healthy.

[02:01:54] And so, to me, it's like, it's a no-brainer. This is the future of humans. If we don't do this, we're done. I mean, nature is going to be fine, which is the conclusion I came to with Robb and Diana. Nature will be here without us. The only question is whether humans are going to have this planet in 500 or a thousand years, and I think that single most important metric for that persistence of humans is soil carbon. If we can increase soil carbon, we'll be okay. If we continue depleting it, we're done. And removing cattle will deplete soil carbon.

[02:02:23]Luke Storey:  Not to mention I've pondered this concept that if everyone on the planet stopped eating cows, it wouldn't be long before they were extinct. They're not very good at defending themselves against predation. Anyway, side note. Alright, I've got a lightning round for you, then we'll come to a close here. So, I'm going to fire off a few questions from our fans on Instagram that I recorded or captured earlier, and a couple from my brother, Andy Storey, from wildlumens.com. So, we'll do Lightning Round. Answer these as quickly as you can, and then we'll close it down here. This is from Andy Storey, again, from wildlumens.com. If you have severe acid reflux, what meats are usually best?

[02:03:11]Paul Saladino:  If you have severe reflux, I would probably just stick with red meat, stick with ruminants, that's my main go-to, and I've talked about that recently with PUFAs, just eat well-raised, grass-fed, grass-finished ruminants. Just start with those, one meat at a time, and go with that. Now, reflux is complex and probably has to do with GI dysbiosis. So, see, now, every once in a while, I'll meet someone who has a sensitivity to red meat, beef specifically. And if that's a problem, then try the lamb. But I do favor red meat over everything else, but make it very simple and see how it goes. But a lot of the times, removing plants from the diet will significantly improve dysbiosis, at least temporarily, and then you can maybe use plants.

[02:03:57]Luke Storey:  Cool. Next question. Which plant foods are least harmful? Should you run out of meat while traveling? I think my brother asked this because he is living in Columbia and still holding true to the carnivore, he's like, bro, it's hard down here sometimes because you can't get any meat in some cases or good-quality meats. So, I'm sure that's why he asked that.

[02:04:18]Paul Saladino:  So, fruit, in my opinion, is the least toxic plant food. And that would be things like berries, things we think of in fruit or squash, specifically winter squash. My problem with summer squash is a lot of times, you're going to get the seeds. And the seeds in summer squash are going to create lectins, but are going to have more lectins. But if you can do a winter squash without the skin, or avocado, or berries, or fruit, that would be my first go-to for plant foods if you can't get meat or if you want to make your carnivore diet, like a tier 1 carnivore-ish diet. 

[02:04:51]Luke Storey:  Okay. Cool. And then, what do you think about high meat, the rotten fermented meat that's supposed to give you a literal high feeling. I've not heard of this until my brother texted me.

[02:05:02]Paul Saladino:  No. I don't think it's anything magical. But what's very interesting about humans is we can eat rotten meat. And I think our ancestors probably did because meat is so valuable. But if you can eat fresh meat, eat fresh meat. There's nothing unique about high meat, in my opinion.

[02:05:17]Luke Storey:  Okay. Do you think coffee does anything to your mouth's microbiome while on carnivore to make it too acidic?

[02:05:29]Paul Saladino:  Well, generally, the acidity of the mouth is due to the fermentation of sugars by bacteria in the mouth. So, I don't think coffee is going to make your mouth acidic, but it's going to give you coffee breath and it's going to stay in your teeth. If you read the book, you'll know, sadly, that I'm no fan of coffee for a lot of the reasons I talked about in this podcast. So, I'm just crushing you. 

[02:05:51]Luke Storey:  As I smile with my very yellow teeth.

[02:05:56]Paul Saladino:  Coffee, I'm not a fan and I'll let you guys read the book for why not. I'm going to drop a podcast on my podcast when this podcast comes out in August and I'll talk about coffee in that podcast as well, but I'll let you guys read about it. But I'm not a fan of coffee.

[02:06:09]Luke Storey:  Alright. Next one is an IG question from Joshua Hopkins, who says, God, good luck answering this quickly, but he said, how to lose weight on the carnivore diet? And if you're eating so many calories, eating tons of meat, is that going to cause you to get fat?

[02:06:28]Paul Saladino:  No, it won't cause you to get fat. Remember, this is an oversimplification, but at a high level, polyunsaturated fatty acids are the signal, environmentally, for humans to get fat. If you want to lose weight, eliminate polyunsaturated fatty acids in your diet. Be extreme about it, which means no seeds, no grains, no nuts, no vegetable oils, and low PUFA meat, which means even eliminate chicken and pork. So, you just want to eat red meat. Yeah, they have lower-

[02:06:59]Luke Storey:  Pig. Come on, man.

[02:07:02]Paul Saladino:  That's going to be a signal to get fat for people. But if your body comp is where you want it, you might be able to tolerate it. But I don't eat bacon anymore for that reason. I mean, my body composition is pretty good. If you will see me, I've got some abs these days. I usually do. But I always do. Let's just be honest. But I just don't think that the bacon is a good thing for most people. So, occasionally, yeah, but I would eliminate the linoleic acid in your diet. You're not going to get fat. A lot of people lose weight with this. That's the trigger. If you want to go low-carb, you can, but it's not required. So, start with that and go from there.

[02:07:35]Luke Storey:  Got it. Then Alia.GreenB says, would you do a podcast with Danny Roddy about Ray Peate's work? I guess he's probably curious about the whole PUFA thing, which I think we covered.

[02:07:49]Paul Saladino:  Yeah. Yeah. I could do a podcast with him. He's reached out to me in the past and I didn't want to debate him on it. I think that our views are more similar now than they are different. But yeah, I've talked about a lot of that stuff on my Instagram as well, if people are listening in my PUFA thoughts. I do these videos a couple of times a week. I haven't done one yet this week. I've been busy with other stuff, but they're called controversial thoughts with Carnivore MD. And if people can go back to my Instagram feed and my YouTube, and there's lots of content there, kind of mini-podcasts about PUFAs. There's a lot of information there.

[02:08:19]Luke Storey:  Cool. Esterbergs asks your thoughts on kombucha.

[02:08:23]Paul Saladino:  Yeah. So, kombucha, it's really negative for me because it's got a lot of acetic acid. It's pretty hard on the teeth. So, you don't want to drink acetic acid. I know I said that it was mostly the fermentation of sugar that's going to lower the PH of the mouth, but sauerkraut overconsumption can cause damage to the teeth. Kombucha can cause problems with the teeth. I'm not a fan. I don't think it's anything magical. We didn't really talk about the microbiome. Be rest assured, I talk about the microbiome in my book, if you guys have questions about that.

[02:08:54] But there's nothing magical about whatever, whether it's Bacillus coagulans or saccharomyces boulardii in kombucha for the gut, in my opinion. I mean, I just don't think we should be getting a bunch of acetic acid in our diet. If you want the probiotics, take the probiotics in a targeted fashion, but I don't think humans need fermented food to be ideal in terms of their gut. That's going to break a lot of hearts, but I think people are going to feel better and their teeth are going to be better without that acetic acid, to tell you the truth.

[02:09:21]Luke Storey:  Okay. JohnBerry1994 says, what do you use for soap and moisturizer? 

[02:09:26]Paul Saladino:  Nothing.

[02:09:28]Luke Storey:  Really? Just water?

[02:09:29]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, just water. I'm a little Mowgli, dude. I'm a Mowgli man. Yeah, I'm a wild man. I don't use anything. There's no soap in my house.

[02:09:37]Luke Storey:  Oh, my God. You need to put any oils on your face or anything?

[02:09:40]Paul Saladino:  Nothing.

[02:09:41]Luke Storey:  Oh, my God. Okay. Interesting. I think I couldn't leave the house without putting something on my face, my skin feels so dry. Alright. Last one. Ryan Tombari says, does Carnivore resolve depression for everyone?

[02:09:55]Paul Saladino:  Well, nothing is going to work for everyone, but I will tell you, I've seen many clients in which elimination diets, carnivore-ish diets, and carnivore diets have significantly improved depression. So, I do think that depression, and anxiety, and a lot of psychiatric issues are neuroinflammatory, and that these are connected with foods we eat, and that some intentional dietary change is the answer for these. So, if you do have psychiatric issues, give it a try. I've seen some pretty incredible things.

[02:10:25]Luke Storey:  Yeah. I've interviewed Kelly Brogan a couple of times, and I mean, she does a lot of content around that. So, Ryan, if you ever hear this episode, thanks for asking the question and check out the shows I did with Dr. Kelly Brogan because she really goes into the relationship between diet and depression. Alright. Last question is a three-parter I ask every damn guest. I don't think I've ever forgotten. You've taught me so much today.

[02:10:48] You've been running circles around me intellectually. It's been hard to keep up, but I think I get the gist of it. I'm heartbroken about the bacon and the coffee. I have to really give that some thought, not to mention the ice cream. But you've taught me so much, Paul, as you have, our guest. So, who have been three teachers or teachings that have influenced your life and your work that you might point our audience to go learn from?

[02:11:14]Paul Saladino:  I recently started listening to Tim Ferriss, his little mini-podcast, Tools of Titans, and it's pretty excellent. It has these little podcasts which are from his book. And so, I really like the one with Maria Popova, and Jocko Willink, and Naval Ravikant. So, they're all excellent, but I would recommend listening to those. It's kind of just how to live your life. It's the Tools of Titans podcast. It's like little 15 to 20 minutes on different things for entrepreneurs and whatnot. And then, more broadly, I've really enjoyed Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I think that's a really gem of a book in terms of-

[02:11:56]Luke Storey:  I have it right on my shelf right there, actually.

[02:11:58]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, in terms of entrepreneurs and stuff. It's huge. So, check out the Tools of Titans podcast, had tip to Tim. Hat tip to Tim. And Luke, we're going to just have to replace your coffee and bacon with bone broth and steak, and it's an upgrade.

[02:12:14]Luke Storey:  There you go. I was going to ask you about bone broth, actually. I'm assuming you're a fan.

[02:12:19]Paul Saladino:  Huge fan.

[02:12:19]Luke Storey:  Yeah.

[02:12:19]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, I make it every day, every few days. I have the biggest instant pot you can get and I'll get these patellar bones, and I'll just make a whole bunch bone broth, and I eat it almost with every meal.

[02:12:31]Luke Storey:  Awesome. Yeah. Thanks for the reminder. I get a little lazy with it. Definitely don't make it, but I get it from Belcampo.

[02:12:36]Paul Saladino:  Yeah, it's amazing.

[02:12:38]Luke Storey:  Unfortunately, sometimes, I defrost it, and then I forget about it and it goes bad. I got to stop doing that. It's like really a first-world problem that is obnoxious and I need to make sure that I use that animal and respect that quality food. Okay. That's it, dude. Last thing is where can we find you? Website, social media, et cetera. For people who want to track down and learn more. You produce so much amazing content, I want to make sure that people can find it.

[02:13:02]Paul Saladino:  Thank you. So, my ask is that people will support me and check out my book, thecarnivorecodebook.com, if you find my content valuable. I think you will really find the book valuable, check it out, thecarnivorecodebook.com. If you're listening on Instagram, you can go right now and pre-order. If you're listening on the podcast and it's the first week of August, my book is either released or about to release. And we are going to really, I think, change the world with these ideas and I'm excited for them to have a lot of people, so please support the work by checking out my book, thecarnivorecodebook.com. You can also find all my stuff at carnivoremd.com. All my socials are linked there and I'm @CarnivoreMD everywhere.

[02:13:44]Luke Storey:  Awesome, dude. Well, thanks so much. I'm glad we finally got to sit down and do it.

[02:13:47]Paul Saladino:  It's great, man. I appreciate it.

[02:13:49]Luke Storey:  Albeit remotely, but because you're able to do the couple of screen shares, I'm like, hey, the remotes aren't that bad.

[02:13:55]Paul Saladino:  We do it. It's cool.

[02:13:56]Luke Storey:  Yeah, it's great. So, thank you so much for being so generous with your time today. And I think we covered just so much information on this. It's going to really be a master episode on this particular topic, which I've been eager to cover, as you know, but I haven't found the exact right person knowing that you were that person. So, I'm stoked. Now, we officially have a carnivore diet episode of the show for people that want to learn about that, give it a shot. 

[02:14:21]Paul Saladino:  Thank you so much. And I'm so happy that people would listen, of people that had been with us the whole time, I'm grateful that you've stuck with us the whole time because these concepts are complex and we have probably a 40-minute discussion of plant toxins. And it was only really at the end of 40 minutes that I feel like people begin to understand what I'm talking about. So, the long form is so critical, so I appreciate all of you guys listening to this as well, and I hope it's been valuable.

[02:14:44]Luke Storey:  Alright, dude. I'll see you next time.

[02:14:45]Paul Saladino:  Alright, man, I can't wait.



Link to the Search Page
Magnesium Breakthrough
Link to the Search Page
Link to the Search Page

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements on this website. The information provided by lukestorey.com is not a substitute for direct, individual medical treatment or advice. It is your responsibility, along with your healthcare providers, to make decisions about your health. Lukestorey.com recommends consulting with your healthcare providers for the diagnosis and treatment of any disease or condition. The products sold on this website are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

continue the discussion at the life stylist podcast facebook group. join now.