Hard Questions With Dr. Paul Saladino.

I recently got my hands on Dr. Paul Saladino’s new book The Carnivore Code

Now, if you don’t know who Paul is, then you must listen to my previous episodes with him, including:

Since interviewing Paul, he published this new book on the carnivore diet, and after reading it, I had plenty of tough questions for him, including:

  • How do we *know* the reason our stomachs became 1000x more acidic than a chimp is because of animal food consumption?
  • Is the decline in height and health fully attributable to plants/agriculture, or could it be due to industrialization, crowded cities, etc?
  • Why do you say present hunter-gatherers no longer have access to large game?
  • You say herbivores can detoxify plant toxins, but we can’t. How do they do it?
  • All the isothiocyanate studies are in vivo for human cells. How positive are you the results are replicated in vitro?
  • You say hypothyroidism/crucifer intake is *reported* in Western culture. What’s that mean, exactly? Anecdotes?
  • When you list the “Bad News Gang,” like cigarettes, alcohol, etc. couldn’t you just as easily lump exercise, cold, heat, sunlight, etc. in with factors that turn on NRF2? If so, how do you personally describe your differentiation between good vs. bad NRF2 activators?
  • The studies showing value for the elimination of fruit/vegetable consumption are pretty short (10-12 weeks). Any longer-term studies? And did these studies factor in how the produce was being prepared (e.g. presence of oils, organic vs. inorganic, etc.)?
  • When you say “high intake of isoflavones causes endocrine disruption,” how much is high? Same thing with Chaga for liver cancer. Isn’t that a shit-ton of Chaga?
  • If polyphenols reduce intestinal enzyme production, couldn’t other plant compounds, such as bitters/herbs/spices, along with adequate chewing, combat that by increasing enzyme production?
  • You say resveratrol has repeatedly shown a lack of value in human studies, but what about Sinclair’s research? Hasn’t he shown the opposite?
  • I found it fascinating the claim that plant-based eaters still “crave” or are attracted to meat, but how is an event-related potential (ERP) measured exactly?
  • You say that carbohydrates that accompany plant fiber can spike insulin. That’s painting with a pretty broad brush, isn’t it? I think the lion’s share of plants doesn’t result in an appreciable insulin spike, do they?
  • You say meat is not associated with cancer, but what about if active tumor growth already exists? Would you change anything if you had cancer?
  • The study on telomere length being increased only by red meat was an observational study on 28 people. Any other studies looking directly at telomere or Horvath clock responses to plant vs. animal intake that are larger, more robust, or non-observational?
  • You say that fruits are seeds coated in natural candy, but can’t we eat the fruit flesh and “leave the seeds behind?”
  • What do you say about all the studies showing reduced risk of liver cancer, diabetes, etc. amongst regular coffee drinkers?
  • You say unrendered fat is your preference. Any studies on rendered vs. unrendered fat health, nutrient quality, etc?
  • You say oleosins from coconut/olive oil may cause a strong allergic reaction. How conclusive is that?

Whew! You’d think after all these questions, Paul would let me know I’m being a total pain in the butt, but instead, he graciously offered to do a solosode answering all these questions and highlighting many other up-to-date details on the carnivore diet.

If you’re a visual learner, check out the video below of Paul recording this solosode, in which he includes all of the studies and graphs that he goes over during this podcast.

In Paul’s solosode, you’ll discover:

-An overview of the carnivore diet…6:45

  • Animal-based diet
  • Animal food, specifically red meat, and saturated fats have been vilified incorrectly
  • Paul’s podcast with Nina Teicholz
  • Book: The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
  • Four parts to Paul’s book:
    • Red meats, organs, etc. are critically important to the human diet
    • Plant foods exist on a toxicity spectrum (defense mechanisms which may be harmful to us)
    • Debunking myths of meat
    • How to eat a carnivore diet (five different tiers)
  • Soil carbon is the best metric for the existence of humans; have plants and animals together on the same land

-“Rabbit starvation” and the ideal ratio of protein to fat to shoot for…15:40

  • Protein is the center of the carnivore diet
  • Start with 1 g of protein per pound of body weight per day
  • Rabbit starvation:
    • “Protein poisoning”
    • Don’t get enough fat and/or carbs to provide ATP to run detox processes in the body
  • Hyperammonemia results when protein intake is not balanced with fats and carbs
  • Amino acids used for metabolism; oxidized for glucose or become ketones
  • Urea cycle:
    • The graphic Paul references in the audio
    • Proteins get broken down into ketone bodies or glucose; there remains a nitrogen group
    • Nitrogen combines with carbon dioxide and forms ammonia, which is toxic to the body
    • Urea is a water-soluble form of the nitrogen which is excreted in the blood
  • There’s a ceiling to the amount of protein a human can consume
  • Graphic showing inputs of ATP into the urea cycle
  • The problem of energetics: Cannot run the human body on amino acids exclusively for long
  • Study: A Review of Dietary Protein Intake in Humans
    • Maximum Rate of Urea Synthesis (MRUS)
  • Shoot for 10-30% of calories from fats and/or carbs to regulate metabolism

-How plants and agriculture have contributed to the decline in human height and health…27:45

-Why present hunter-gatherers no longer have access to large game…35:45

  • Megafauna (very large animals) represented major sources of fat for humans
  • Since the extinction or banning of hunting on large game, humans must rely more and more on carbs than fat to balance protein
  • Plant foods are “fall back” foods; they’re not bad, but not ideal
  • Fruits are the least toxic of all plant foods; they are meant to be eaten
  • Low carb diets can be helpful in the case of metabolic dysfunction
  • Polyunsaturated vegetable oils, linoleic acid, etc. causes mitochondria to become broken
  • Indigenous people are limited by modern laws banning the hunting of large game; forced to “fall back” on plant foods

-How our stomachs became 1000x more acidic than that of a chimp because of animal food consumption…39:45

-Why herbivores can detoxify plant toxins, but humans cannot…51:45

  • Saliva breaks down polyphenols like tannins
  • Plants exist on a toxicity spectrum
    • No defense other than chemicals they develop
    • “Arms race” between plants and animals and fungi for the last 450 million years
  • CYP 450 system in the human liver
  • Humans have not eaten predominantly plants as an herbivore has for 3 million+ years
  • Ruminant animals can detoxify many plant toxins in the rumen, foregut
  • Paper: The Coevolution of Poisonous Plants and Large Herbivores on Range Lands
    • A generalized diet that reduces the probability of eating a toxic amount of any one species
  • There are no nutrients in plants that humans cannot obtain by eating properly raised and prepared animal foods
  • Animals foods contain “zoa” nutrients not found in plants
  • Leafy greens, nuts, and seeds may be causing major problems in our microbiome
  • Eat them rarely, and with a large variety
  • The human diet consists of around 12 different plants in various forms

-Studies on the effects of isothiocyanates in humans…1:01:55

-The difference between environmental and molecular hormesis…1:06:53

  • Environmental is natural (sunlight, cold water, etc.)
  • Molecular (Xeno) hormesis is “alien” or unfamiliar to the body (sulforaphane, curcumin, resveratrol)
  • Exogenous molecules have side effects, similar to drugs from the pharmacy
  • Environmental hormesis does not have side effects
  • Cyclic ketosis, intermittent fasting can turn on sirtuin genes
  • Studies mentioned:

-How a high intake of isoflavones causes endocrine disruption…1:22:40

  • Studies mentioned:
  • Mushrooms are not benign: oxalates, defense mechanisms, and more
  • Efficacy of mushrooms to the diet is questionable

-Why resveratrol has limited value for humans…1:29:45

  • Paul’s interview with David Sinclair
  • Studies done on mice vs. humans will have very different results
  • Redundant benefits: What can be accomplished with resveratrol can be done by fasting and ketosis
  • Possible damage to DNA
  • Studies mentioned:

-How to measure event-related potentials (ERP)…1:37:00

-Whether or not plants spike insulin levels…1:40:20

  • An insulin spike isn’t necessarily bad
  • Carbs do not cause insulin resistance; they fan the flames
  • Polyunsaturated fats are the biggest problems (linoleic acid)
  • Carbs + saturated fat (stearic acid) don’t make us fat
  • Seasonal changes affect dietary needs
  • Stearic acid (found in beef kidney fat) makes humans insulin sensitive
  • The fats we eat determine whether our mitochondria become insulin resistant or sensitive
  • Elimination of carb-containing plants can remove the insulin signal
  • Visceral adipose tissue (an endocrine organ) should be insulin-resistant
  • Carbs are not the cause of insulin-resistance; excess Omega 6 fatty acids
  • Studies mentioned:

-Carnivore diet and cancer…1:53:25

  • Paul’s podcast with Al Danenberg
    • Began the carnivore diet after being diagnosed with cancer; reports the best health of his life and cancer is dormant
  • The big problem with cancer is cachexia (loss of lean muscle mass)
  • Research suggests that meat does not promote cancer growth
  • Eat nose to tail
  • Maintain gut health
  • Studies mentioned:

-The correlation between meat intake and telomere length…1:57:48

-Lightning round questions…2:05:10

  • “You say that fruits are seeds coated in natural candy. Can we just eat the fruit flesh and leave the seeds behind?”
    • Tier 1 carnivore diet can include fruit but do not eat the seeds
    • If you are not insulin resistant, you can include carbs
  • “You say unrendered fat is your preference. Any studies on rendered vs. unrendered fat health and/or nutrient quality?”
  • “You say oleosins from coconut/olive oil may cause a strong allergic reaction. How conclusive is that?

-And much more!

Resources mentioned in this episode:

– Paul Saladino:

– Books:

– Studies and articles:

– Food & Supplements:

– Other resources:

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Got a question about the carnivore diet for Dr. Paul Saladino or me? Just drop a comment below and one of us will reply!

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