The Melanie Avalon Podcast Episode #41 - Dr. Shawn Baker
LetsGetChecked: Get 30% Off At Home Tests For Iron, Vitamin D, Covid, And More, With The Code MelanieAvalon30Shawn
Athlete – World Record Holder
CEO at MeatRx
Author of The Carnivore Diet
A lifetime of pursuing excellence
Pushing the boundaries and not settling for mediocrity
Father, Soldier, Revolutionist
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Paul Saladino, MD: The Carnivore Diet, Plant Toxins, Antioxidants, Curing Disease, Inflammation, Hormetic Stress, Fiber, Animal Protein, Alkalinity, Sodium, Fruit, Saturated Fat, Sperm Quality, Longevity, And More!
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9:10 - How Shawn Baker Came To Carnivore
16:10 - What Is Health?
21:00 - The Carnivore Diet And Aging/Longevity
25:45 - Is Carnivore The Optimal Human Diet?
28:15 - Are We Evolutionary Carnivore Or Herbivore?
34:25 - Brain Size And Intelligence
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39:30 - Are All Plants Toxic?
45:30 - Are Carbs Bad?
47:10 - The Role Of Vitamin C
51:45 Paul Saladino, MD: The Carnivore Diet, Plant Toxins, Antioxidants, Curing Disease, Inflammation, Hormetic Stress, Fiber, Animal Protein, Alkalinity, Sodium, Fruit, Saturated Fat, Sperm Quality, Longevity, And More!
52:00 - How To Start The Carnivore Diet?
56:40 - Raw Vs. Cooked Carnivore
59:15 - How Many People Stick With Carnivore Long Term? Should You Reintroduce Plants?
1:01:50 - LetsGetChecked: Get 30% Off At Home Tests For Iron, Vitamin D, Covid, And More, With The Code MelanieAvalon30
1:02:55 - The Acid Potential Of Carnivore, And The Role Of Calcium
1:09:50 - Get 10% Coaching Sessions At MeatRx.com With The Coupon Code Melanie
Melanie Avalon: Hi friends. Welcome back to the show. I am so excited to be here today with a guest to discuss a topic that as listeners know, I am pretty much obsessed with. I have my own history with. I've just really been exploring it and I think that there is a lot there. I am here with Shawn Baker. He is the author of The Carnivore Diet, which I think is one of the first books, at least it's definitely the first book on this podcast that doesn't have a subtitle. I was going to ask you, Shawn, if that was very intentional because it's like an analogy of how The Carnivore Diet, you don't need all of this detail. It's simple in a way.
Shawn Baker, MD: Well, I mean. I think it's just because it really is the first major book on this topic and so I wanted to just, I think that's just the essence of it. There's a lot of potential subtypes titles on there, but I just wanted to keep it. This is the first source and there'll be other books and there already are the books coming out on the topic but this is the original, I think the real, how to get it done type of thing.
Melanie Avalon: Well, I will say it is a wonderful book. I downloaded The Kindle in preparation for this podcast, but I received the print copy from you and friends, listeners, it's a beautiful book and it has amazing pictures and it's so easy to read and so I honestly think that you nailed. Tackling a subject, which is, I mean it's become a frenzy, the whole topic, and everybody's discussing it, everybody's debating it, people are trying it, people are seeing amazing benefits, people have doubts but I think you've really created an incredible resource for anybody, even slightly interested in the topic. I applaud you.
Shawn Baker, MD: Well, thanks. When I was writing it, I sat down to think who the target audience was. I really wanted to reach a wide audience and I think that was the goal, was to make it accessible and I could have gotten very technical, but I think the appeal is going to be to most people. Most people will be able to see this and hopefully, it was written in a language that most people can understand.
Melanie Avalon: No, I loved it. Your personality definitely showed through so I loved that. For listeners, a little bit about Dr. Baker because he is a doctor. He's an MD, an orthopedic surgeon. He’s also a world record holder athlete. That's pretty amazing. If the CEO at MeatRx, like I said, the author of The Carnival Diet. He's been on podcasts, Instagram, all over the place. I've been following your work. I am super excited to dive in deep today into the whole Carnivore Diet, and I guess you don't really know my personal, you probably don't know my personal experience with Carnivore.
Shawn Baker, MD: I do not. I'll be happy to hear it sometimes if you want to, but I unfortunately haven't heard it.
Melanie Avalon: Just long, long story short, I've been a fan of the concept for probably a decade. Went through a period of time where it was basically carnivore, but I had, it was like all me and coconut oil. That was fantastic. Energy levels were amazing. Digestion was amazing. Since then I've been more like paleo and brought in more plants and fruits, but I'm constantly very intrigued by The Carnivore Diet and keep getting drawn to it. I think there's so much there. I have a lot of questions about it. I'm already sold, but I have a lot of questions, so yes, but thank you so much for being here.
Shawn Baker, MD: My pleasure.
Melanie Avalon: To start things off, would you like to tell listeners a little bit about your personal story and what actually brought you to the whole carnival world because there's a fascinating story there?
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, I'll try to keep it brief. It’s lightly. I'm 53 now. When I was about 40 or 42, 43, I saw my health start to deteriorate. I was basically just getting old and I was not particularly happy about it. I'd been an athlete my whole life. I've been a world champion in several different sports. I've set several world records all while being an orthopedic surgeon well, in that allopathic medicine type of mindset and I believed that I could eat basically what I wanted as long as I trained hard enough. Like I said, that worked till I was about 42, 43, where I started developing sleep apnea and hypertension and metabolic syndrome.
I'm six foot five, I was about 280 290, pounds at that point and I just won a Highland games world championship and these are big people. I was one of those small guys in that sport, just to put it in frame of reference. I was, I was routinely going up against guys who were 6’7, 6’8, 350 pounds and you just have to be that big to move these giant telephone poles that we throw around the call cabers and throw 56 pound weights with one hand and shot put things and so on and so forth. I made that decision that I was stepping away from that type of competition because I'd done all that I wanted to do. I played semi-professional rugby and strong man, one of the top competitors in the United States. I set American records in powerlifting and it was a nearly 800-pound deadlift all as a lifetime drug free athlete.
I got to that point where I'm like, I don't want to be 290 pounds anymore and I don't want to have sleep apnea and so I switched into, let's look at nutrition, and I started looking into different options. I follow this diet by a guy named Clarence Bass who wrote a book called Ripped and he was a bodybuilder from the ‘70s, 80s. He was this incredibly lean. He actually lived in the town I was at and so that diet was basically, very low fat, lots of fiber, lots of vegetables, very little just lean protein, fish, chicken, things like that. I did that and to be honest, I successfully lost a lot of weight. I lost like 50, 60 pounds in three months, got really lean and was utterly and completely miserable. All the nurses at the hospital said we would much prefer the more Roatan jovial Dr. Baker than this lean, grouchy, mean, SOB that you've become. Because I mean, literally I was hungry all the time. I just had a very quick temper at that time and I didn't like doing that. I just couldn't sustain it.
I was doing a lot of exercise too. I was literally exercising three times a day to do that and I said, this is obviously not sustainable so I switched into Paleo was popular at the time. This was again, 10 years ago, and I did that for a while and got into it and enjoyed it and then just started doing more of my own personal nutrition research stuff on the low carb, stuff low carb, high fat stuff, read all the books that most people have looked at. I started doing looking into the literature more, started delving into ketogenic diets and at that point I started using it with my patients with good success.
I think somewhere in there again, I was still an athlete, still competing at this point. I had switched over to this rowing competition stuff that I've been doing for the last few years. I wanted to continue to push that and I found this crazy group of people online doing this, where they call it a zero-carb diet and a group called Zeroing In on House on Facebook, led by a guy named Charles Washington and some others. They've been doing it for 10 years and I was just reading the stories and it was really compelling.
I saw that a lot of the benefits people were getting on a ketogenic diet. They were getting on this carb never side, but even more so. It was just like the super concentrated version of a ketogenic diet. Not that it was necessarily has to be ketogenic, but it's shared a lot of the same physiology and I tried it. I went in for a year. I looked at this stuff and I would try it for three or four days here and maybe a week there and I always felt good. Then I finally, about a year later, back in 2016, I got brave enough and I said I'm going to do it for a whole month and no, I didn't expect anything bad to happen.
But I mean, I kid that I was on social media and I said, well, what am I going to die of? I put a little survey out there and I was like, am I going to get scurvy? Is my colon going to fall out? I'm not going to get full total artery colligation. I was having fun with it. Everybody on social media was just… We had fun with it and of course, none of that happened. When the 30 days was over, I said, well this is neat. I'm going to go back to my regular more of a varied diet. Literally that day, within the next day I just didn't feel as good. I noted my digestion wasn't as good, my mood wasn't as good.
My little aches and pains that had gone away that month came back and I said, well heck with it. I'd rather feel good and so now here I am closing out three and a half years later and still plugging away on this carnivore diet. Obviously, they've now been tens of thousands of people that have done these diets and all of them, or I would say all but the vast majority of them seem to be getting these great results and written the book, started a big platform, coaching platform and all that stuff and it continues to move forward. It's been a really fascinating journey.
Melanie Avalon: It is so fascinating. Speaking to thousands of people who seemingly have success with this. I know I'm in your Facebook group. I'm in some other groups that are similar. I'm always oscillating between The Carnivore Diet groups and then the complete opposite, like the 80-10-10 groups just because I'm so fascinated by people who are seemingly experiencing such radical health changes with such extreme dietary interventions. I'm fascinated by the idea that sometimes they're so seemingly completely different like fruitarian versus carnivore. This is something that haunts me.
But speaking to that, and this is how you start off the book, I think as a society we have all of these ideas about what constitutes health, what constitutes a healthy diet and embracing or even just contemplating a shift that can seem so radical from what we're taught, so the carnivore diet having a diet with no vegetables, no fruits, like people will think, how can that be healthy? I know it's hard enough for me and I'm already sold on the concept. I see the benefits there, but it's hard enough for me to wrap my head around it and break away from these paradigms that we have as a society around health.
I thought to start things off, what in your opinion, constitutes the true definition of health? Then speaking to that, what do you think are some of the common, I could say myths or ideas surrounding diet and how it relates to health and how we should address those as a society? Ideas that we have in society and whether or not they may or may not be true?
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah. I think the first thing we have to understand is that we do not know and nor will we likely ever know what diet is going to make us live the longest, what diet is going to make us not get cancer, diabetes, heart disease, neurodegenerative diseases, 20, 30 years from now, just because it's literally unethical, financially, very difficult and almost impossible to do those actual studies. What we're left with is some are very weak science and we try and use that to determine what the outcome might be. Am I going to live to 80 or 85? And I think that's just a fool's errand, quite honestly.
I think we need to back up and say when it comes to health, we have clearly a lot of people that are sick. We have a lot of people that are obese, that are suffering from all kinds of various diseases, whether it's metabolic disease, mental health disease, auto immune disease so on and so forth. What I think we do is focus on taking those people and doing what we need to do to take them from this unhealthy disease category and move them into this healthy category and then it becomes, how do you define health? Well, I mean one way is saying it's absence of disease, which is a circular logic discussion.
But I think when we say that, what it means for me to be healthy as a human being versus what my doctor might say may not always align and I saw this in orthopedics all the time. We would have people, we would look at their x-ray after knee replacement, say, man, I don't need replacement. It looks beautiful and the range of motion is great and look how well it's not loose. It's all these little things we look at as surgeons and the patients in there, that's all great and stuff but I don't like my knee. It doesn't feel good. I have to live with this every day.
I think we have to realize that there are people out there that have perfect lab values and they are miserable, right? We have to really say what is important to people. I would say it's being able to function in a normal fashion without any discomfort or pain. You shouldn't walk down the street or walk upstairs and your knees should not hurt. You should not wake up in the day every day and be depressed or have poor mood. You shouldn't eat and have digestive discomfort. You shouldn't have rashes on your skin and all these things that we see so many people having that certainly are not normal. We shouldn't accept and we shouldn't think that there's a pill we need to take for this routine normal thing. A lot of the things that we consider normal, aging, are not. This is just disease accumulation.
I think if we step back and say this is what we want to focus on, then I think it becomes a more realistic discussion and then we can talk about, what can I do from a lifestyle standpoint or a medical intervention that can change that? I'm a big believer in lifestyle, having spent two decades operating on people and doing the “traditional medicine” side of things and seeing where the limitations are and quite honestly, when I went into orthopedic surgery, I thought that I was going to be superman, fixing shattered femurs and putting metal rods in there and rescuing people from acute disease and acute injury and making them focusing again, and we did that.
I certainly did that to some degree, but 80%, 90% of what I saw was just chronic disease, arthritis, tendonitis, peripheral neuropathies that are literally caused by lifestyle issues and the biggest probably lifestyle issue is diet. I think if we define health the way that I would as a patient, if I had no idea about medical tests and lab values and I said what does it feel like to experience health, I think the vast majority of people would want to have that. I think they'd rather have that than say I've got an LDL of 60 and that's a risk factor for maybe getting cardiovascular disease. I think most people, if you asked them honestly and said what does health mean to you? They would probably answer similar to I did and I think that's what we have to focus on.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah, I think that is so huge and I'm so happy you brought all that up about the lab values because I think people can be feeling terrible and have seemingly fine lab values and then the opposite can be true as well. They might be feeling great but things might seem off so it's just hard to know what is what. I'm glad you brought up the whole aging thing. I think that's something that people, they might be interested with the whole carnivore diet concept because we're often, we look at things like the blue zones for example, and there's this whole idea that a plant-based diet is the key to aging and longevity.
What are your thoughts on that as far as this trend that we seem to see that plants are typically always included in these quote longevity, environmental lifestyle populations? I will say you opened my eyes to Hong Kong, which I was not aware that they have such a high meat consumption and have high longevity rates so that was conveniently left out of the blue zone studies. What are your thoughts on that as far as plants and longevity?
Shawn Baker, MD: Well, I think what we're seeing first of all, none of the blue zones are vegan. Let’s just get that out there. There's not a single blue zone that's vegan. They all eat animal products. I think what we see is an absence of junk food when we come from a dietary standpoint, and I think you can look at this analogy. It's like they're getting nutrition from animal products and then the rest of their diet is filled out with not junk food. I think that's as big as an impact as anything. Because we see there are vegans and vegetarians that eat junk food that are fat, sick, diseased, and they continued even though they're not eating meat, they're still seeing disease.
Likewise, we see people on a carnivore diet that don't eat junk food and they also seem to be doing quite well. The blue zones, there was a recent study that came out looking at reanalyzing, the blue zones, and they said that the conclusion of this particular study was the main reasons that blue zones show high rates of longevity with centenarians and supercentenarians, was the fact that they have poor record keeping. It's just that they have such bad recordkeeping that that may have been more the reason that contributed to their longevity than anything else.
I can use Okinawa as example. They talk about the fact that these people are all canal, eat all these sweet potatoes and they live to be a hundred more often than other people but really when they surveyed that population was in 1949 and what had happened in 1949 in Okinawa, just a few years prior, we literally blew up the Island of Okinawa in World War 2, killed a third of its inhabitants from a food perspective, they had 130,000 pigs on the Island. We knocked that number down somewhere between a few thousand to 700 pigs and so we basically just decimated their food supply and then we went back and surveyed them right after.
Of course, they're eating whatever they can scrounge up, which was sweet potatoes at the time. Their pig population recovered in the 1950s and ‘60s and now it has reverted back to what it has always been, the Island of pork, where they eat pig with every meal. Again, to the bigger point, longevity is not based on food only. I mean that's one small factor. The biggest things for most of these places for longevity is living in a wealthy country. If you want to live for a long time, move to Monaco or move to Santa Marina or something like that where everybody's wealthy and the average age is 86 or something like that.
Wealth, access to fresh drinking water, good social support systems, access to healthcare, those things all have much bigger impacts on longevity than what we eat. So, I mean that's, that's important. Hong Kong, they eat more. They live the longest of anybody on the planet with regard to larger populations, it's easy to Google it. Just Google Hong Kong life expectancy, it'll show you every time, longest in the world. Then you Google meat consumption, Hong Kong, and they'll say the Hong Kong people eat four times as much meat as any other like the UK or any other country. They're the number one leading meat consumption country in the world.
Problem is they are not considered a country, depending on who you talk to, the Chinese certainly don't consider them a country. Some other people do. So, they often don't get listed, but there's 7 million people in Hong Kong and they eat something like 1.5, 1.6 pounds of meat per day, which is just an enormous amount and they live longer than anybody else. By the way, they also have the highest IQ in the world, which you know… These things are interesting to see.
Melanie Avalon: I mean, I just find it so fascinating because I think like you just spoke to, there are so many nuances. There's a lot of cherry picking of data that often goes on. There's skewed perspectives of how this data is analyzed. It's harder for me because oftentimes like veganism or vegetarianism will be posited as the ideal diet for longevity, the ideal diet for health. I find that argument harder to make, especially since we see that even in these longevity studies, these populations had meat in some capacity. Then on the flip side, is there the need to make the argument that the carnivore diet, and we can talk more about what this diet actually entails, but do you think there's a need to argue or put forth the carnivore diet being the optimal diet for the human body or do you think it is optimal diet for some human bodies?
Shawn Baker, MD: Well, I don't think it actually matters because people are going to disagree, whatever. I think it's an option for people. I think it is a very good diet from my nutritional standpoint and the effects seem to be what they are. They're very results based. I don't really like to get into theoretical things because I just don't think… I think it's unknown. I'm very results based. I think the argument, is it going to make you live the longest like any diet? I don't think we'll ever know. I think that's a waste of time to try to figure that out. I think the folks out there saying that a plant-based diet is going to make you live longer are really reaching with the evidence they have. It's very tenuous. There's no literally no human data whatsoever out there that would suggest that outside of very weak epidemiologic studies, which are basically worthless for this type of information.
There's some animal data where restriction of calories, restriction of protein may have some merit in lab animals, which are very different than human beings. There was a study by Valter Longo and Levine looking at protein consumption of midlife, showing potential negative health outcomes, both with regard to longevity in cancer in later life but when you get into later life, higher protein has the opposite effect. That study was widely criticized by guys much better a scientist and I am that have done that. They've talked about how they manipulated the NA stated it to come up with those conclusions and it was just not a particularly good study, but there's no real human data that supports that.
Melanie Avalon: Okay. I really appreciate your approach because I get a very practical approach, like this can work for people compared to having to almost kind of like a lot happens to a lot with veganism where it's like this has to be the perfect diet for everybody and everybody needs to be doing it all the time. But going back to the actual diet itself. One of the things that's often debated is looking at humans historically, our evolutionary history, our time as hunter and gatherer, does the evolution and the dietary changes that we've experienced as a species, what type of diet do you think it ultimately supports? Do you think it supports a carnivore diet as the optimal diet or omnivore? It's so funny because things will be used to argue literally exact opposite things. Like, the GI tract and our teeth will be used by one camp to be pro plant only and then another camp to be pro animal products. What do you think the context of our evolutionary history of the species says about what diet may be working best for us today?
Shawn Baker, MD: While it's impossible outside of developing a time machine to know exactly what we… there's some pretty good clues out there that whether we look at stable radio isotope data as per guys like Michael Richards, who's looked at this extensively and it shows that humans ate very heavily carnivorous or meat skewed diet to where that was a majority of our calories. We can see cave painting support obviously. We see paintings of animals and was hunting them and not plowing fields or gathering berries or digging up tubers. I mean, we have a gastric PH extremely low that is consistent with a meat eating a species.
I think the evolutionary leap that took us from again, if we're using this evolutionary argument in somewhere seven to 10 million years ago, we split off from a common primate ancestor into hominids and later humans and the continued other primates like the chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas and so on and so forth. Primates have been around many tens of millions of years and we're living in the trees, eating the fruits, eating those stems and leaves and their brain size topped out. I mean, it hasn't changed. It hasn't improved significantly in all that time and it didn't change until there were environmental pressures to do so and that was largely due to global cooling, which occurred and that changed the topography of the landscape to where instead of tropical forest, we now had grasslands because that's what happens when it gets colder and dryer, the grasslands predominate and we lose access to fruits and some of these things and so some of the hominids try to make it as vegetarians or on vegan diet and they went extinct. This would be Paranthropus Boise or apparent thrombus robustness.
Some of them managed to continue scavenging animals, figuring how to hunt. I mean, and this is where we evolved into humans and we went through this homo ergaster, homo erectus, homo heidelbergensis, Neanderthal, homo sapiens, all of that, all the interbreeding and mixing it back and forth and it's much more complicated than straight tree branches. During that time, somebody figured out how to kill big mega fall animals like the homo erectus around 2 million years ago and once they did that, we saw this tremendous expansion in brain size because we had access to all this highly calorically dense nutrient rich animal fat. I mean, we were… Protein became easier. If you hunt animals, protein is no problem. That fat is harder and that's why we would seek out the fattier animals. Plus, elephants just don't run away. They're easier targets.
The funny thing is about elephants being so big, protects them from just about every other predator on the planet so they have no natural predators once they attain adult size. However, humans as we developed, our brain grew, we developed this ability to use tools, then the elephants became sitting ducks and so the rest of the elephants and propensity of animals like mammoths and mastodons, we just went through them and wiped them out and that having that constant access to easily obtainable, high fat, high nutrient food is what has allowed us to have this brain growth.
It's not that we wouldn't have eaten some berries and things like that because we had some fruit in the background behind us and we still would have retained some capacity to do that but from an optimal caloric strategy because there was no nutritionist telling early homo sapiens and early other, early humans, “Hey man, you got to eat five fruits and vegetables a day. You better get your fiber.” Now what about polyphenols? There was nobody telling them that and so all they cared about was where do I get my energy needs met? So, animals, number one, easy source. Then you go down the chain, where can I get some more energy? Well I can get some from fruit. The fruit is not going to be in season, year-round and particularly as we were nomadic, is we are crossing all parts of the world.
We go from Africa to Europe and Asia and then across the Bering Strait and enters North America, South American, finally through the Pacific islands. All of that time there was no one fruit or vegetable that grows as mandatory. There's like what would it be? I mean you couldn't name one, certainly not there all throughout the year through all the seasons in the Bering Strait 50,000 years ago during an ice age. The only thing we plausibly could have had always access to is some animal and we as humans have literally killed and eaten every other animal on the planet. Even to the point that you would sometimes eat other humans. I mean that's just, not that anyone's recommending that now, but I mean we've been able to eat whales, we've been able to eat sharks, we've been able to eat cow, we've able eat lions, we have been able to eat monkeys. There's nothing humans have not figured out how to eat.
There is no other species that can make that claim and whether it's a good thing or not. We can make an argument but it is what it is. We are apex predators. Killing and eating animal fat was what turned us in human beings and that's why we're human and the rest of the stuff, like I said, we are no doubt opportunistic animals like any other animal is and if we come across a patch of blueberries that aren't going to kill us and are not poisonous, we're probably going to eat them. I mean there's no doubt about it, but we couldn't have relied on that. That would have not been a strategy that would have allowed us to survive across the world and just, it just would be impossible for it to do so.
Melanie Avalon: Quick follow up question related to that. When the megafauna died out and we began likely consuming leaner animals, maybe bringing in more plant matter, was there any increase in brain size at that time or had the brain locked in at a certain size by then?
Shawn Baker, MD: No, we've actually lost brain size. Our human species, the largest human and when I say human is everything with a homo in front of it, was actually an Anatol which had a 1700 CC brain. Homo Sapiens peaked out around 1500 CCS, I think around 120,000, 150,000 years ago and then as we lost the megafauna 65 to 30,000 years ago and progressively started to lean more on smaller animals and then eventually agriculture, we actually lost 200 CCS of our brain size and so we are arguably a less intelligent species than we were a hundred thousand years ago. As I see it's funny you make the argument, we are maybe even getting less intelligent as time goes by when you see some of the stuff people do these days.
Melanie Avalon: That was pretty funny. Just the brain size though. Does it correlate to intelligence? Because it would seem that we've evolved cognitively since then.
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. Brain size does correlate to intelligence. Across all species, brain size now, some people talking about further neutralization and increasing connections, but we didn't change species. We're the same species we were as homo-sapiens 150,000 years ago so I don't buy that argument now. We have made civilization change. We've got collective memories. We're all walking around with phones now that to tell us what we need to know from a knowledge stand. The clustering of people together and the sharing of knowledge, that has driven our success as a species and allowed technology to go but I don't think it's individual intelligence. It's the ability to share and write down and store that that information which has really driven the progress we see.
I think it's pretty easy to live as a human being right now. You can be pretty stupid and not die, right? You don't have to figure out how to catch your own food. You don't have to figure out… and some of that brain loss might've been visual acuity or other sensory things. Because when you think about it, I can't afford to be dumb and make it on my own, out in the wild. I've got to be very much intelligent. I have to be able to think on my feet. I have to be thinking constantly to survive but today, I mean, all I got to know is how to hit speed dial on my phone to Domino's pizza. I think from an intelligence standpoint humans, like if you follow some of these indigenous populations, the things they know about their environment, the environmental cues.
They can look at the way particular piece of plant was broken a certain way and they can say this is what animal did it, this is likely how far back it happened. This is when it would have occurred and so it can tell them or inform them, do I need to pursue this? Is this something that's too old? It's all these skills that we've clearly lost. If you and I were placed alone naked and afraid without extensive study, we would probably do very poorly and may die. I think we are less intelligent as an individual. Now, as a species, we just got this collective knowledge. I mean that I can go into the computer. Maybe I can't do a math problem anymore, but I can I can use my phone and I can type it in there and do it. So, I think, I think yes, brain size absolutely does correlate to intelligence. I think it's just that simple.
Melanie Avalon: That's fascinating. I could talk about this for hours, so I probably should stop myself. Now I'm just thinking about the pruning of the synopsis and how that might relate to intelligence. I guess we have lost a lot of the mortal skills and more physical aspects that would be controlled by the brain. I'm just going to stop myself before I go on too much of a rabbit hole here. Coming back to carnivore plants, eating plants. Are plants naturally toxic to our systems? Are all plants toxic? What are your thoughts on that? I'm really fascinated by the idea of fruit for example, because I feel like the argument can be made that fruit is “the only plant that might want to be eaten” in order to spread the seed from a reproductive factor. Yeah, so plants and toxicity and the potential of that in the human diet?
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, I mean certainly there are many plants out there that will just flat out kill you in very small doses. We'd live in a world where 98 plus percent of all the foliage on earth is inedible. I can look at my backyard and there's probably 50 different types of plants. If I eat any of them, I would probably get sick, throw up vomit and there's probably some that would kill me. There clearly are plant toxins and even among the foods that we eat every day, depending on how they're prepared, like a handful of kidney beans five or 10 kidney beans, literally if you eat them raw can kill a person. Same thing with cashews, raw cashews. We see this was cassava throughout developing countries. Lots of people die from cassava.
There are clearly toxins in plants. We have clearly over the millennia we've bred them to express less toxicity and you're right. A plant does not want you eating its leaves. It just kills a plant. Why would they want us to do that? Again, from a risk reward standpoint, why would early man eat leaves? It's going to provide basically no calories, no real energy, nutrition and they don't taste particularly good. They're bitter and I think we have this sense of bitter for a reason, to tell us, “Hey, this is probably something that's going to harm me.” We have ways to minimize that, to avoid that. Now I think that today, I mean, cause obviously, there are people that eat lots and lots of plants and not everybody's dropping dead.
There's many people that are fine. There's people that live on plant-based diets. They do well. People eat a lot of plants they do well. Not everybody's getting disease and sick from that but I think what's happening is our modern food environment is causing so many problems, particularly with our digestive system and the modern food is in nowhere, no shape or form anything close to what we've eaten even a hundred years ago. There’s industrial food, there’s mass produced food, there’s fake food and it's only getting worse. What they're, projecting to do is just terrifying but we're not designed to cope with that stuff. We will likely evolve to eat things like dairy ten thousand fifteen thousand years ago, grains, certain plants which we've engineered.
Most people don't know the broccoli didn't exist in the United States until 1920 and wasn't in England until 1800s and didn't exist at all except for a few thousand years ago. It's not like we're eating these foods for thousands of years. A lot them are brand new, kale, nobody at kale more than 20, 30 years ago. They didn't know any of that stuff. It was decoration on a salad bar basically.
Clearly, some people are susceptible, maybe their guts are already compromised and then we don't have that increased capacity to deal with these potentially toxic foods because these chemicals in plants may have a beneficial effect in some way. I look at them as a medicinal effect, but they also can have a side effect and I think that's something that people tend to minimize, ignore. The study is looking at we have this epidemiology versus well look at all these people eat. They eat fruits and vegetables and whole grains and they live a little longer. Therefore, we know empirically that those foods are good for us and so let's do studies that support that. They're testing this hypothesis; why are fruits and vegetables good for us? Let's look for good, good biochemical reactions that these things cause.
They don't test the other converse and saying, well maybe fruits and vegetables are negative. Let's test the negative test reactions. Those rarely get tested. They do occasionally and it's almost incidental. For instance, polyphenols, people are a little, polyphenols are great. They'll, upregulate our endogenous hormetic systems but polyphenols block the absorption of amino acids and essential fats. Well that's probably not a good thing and there's other things that they do negatively, so we don't really test these things. When it comes to food toxicity testing, it's really about acute toxicity. Is this thing going to kill me after I eat it or make me acutely sick? No, it's not. Okay. Then we might do some DNA testing. Is it causing DNA breaks and changes in that? Then if it doesn’t and we're like, well it's probably fine.
Even though there's studies out there, and I know many of us have looked at this study by Peru Sayings from 1990, looking at natural pesticides and these plant compounds and we see that every day, fruits and vegetables have literally thousands of different compounds which are designed as pesticides, largely or other chemicals to avoid negative things happening to them and they've only tested some of them and when they test them in higher doses, a high percentage of them turn out to be carcinogenic in different animals. But we ignore that because we have this epidemiology that tells us that fruits and vegetables are good to us but to your point about fruits being the thing that a plant wants you to eat. Yeah, I mean there's definitely, they don't kill you.
You're not going to distribute your seeds if you kill the animal by eating the fruit and you have to realize there are lots and lots of fruits out there that kill humans. What we're not designed to eat, another animal might be able to eat it. We've all heard this story about the poisonous berries, don't eat poisonous berries. Those are still fruits. There are many fruits and vegetables that do have toxins to humans and many parts of fruits and vegetables like their peels and stuff like that. The toxins concentrate in those areas and might be mildly toxic to people. We hear a lot about the modern fruits being bred for sugar expression. That may be an issue. I'm not as concerned about that quite honestly.
I think that from my standpoint, if you're going to include plant foods out there, probably fruit makes the most sense, just from what we have, evolutionary we're exposed to. My view is carbohydrates are not necessarily bad for us. I think it’s what they come with and what they're wrapped with. With the potential toxic compounds that they come with, they can be problematic. In my view, the only reason to eat plant foods is for energy. I don't see… I'm not really excited about, “Oh you got to get your magic phytonutrients or polyphenols or tannins or whatever the flavor of the week is flavonoids that we think are good.”
I think it's just, give us some glucose because that's what we worked for originally. We have sought out the sweeter things that have more energy. The starchy underground storage organism were not particularly starchy back in. They were mostly fibrous. It would be like chewing on a fairly woody piece of material and you might get a little bit of stuff out of, but it wouldn't have been something we would've sought out, particularly as our jaw structure changed and we weren't able to gnarl through these stems and leaves like we could as an earlier hominids.
Melanie Avalon: Yeah. So much of what you said resonated with me so much because I as well I'm not pro or anti carb. I see it as like an energy source and so I've been always fascinated by the potential of either a fat-based metabolism and a carnival type approach potentially ketogenic maybe not depending on gluconeogenesis and things like that or a more carbohydrate-based metabolism. For me, I feel like that would manifest as something like high fruit, lean animal protein. It's like in a way, my personal hack on carnivore. Huge question though. I have so many questions I want to ask you Dr. Baker, but for listeners, Dr. Baker does address so much of this in the book. So, anything that we don't get to definitely get The Carnival Diet because he tackles all of it there.
A big question because I know we could go on and on if I had chemicals, cellulose, fiber, micronutrients, chlorophyll things in plants. Do we need them? Do we not need them? What are the implications of something like vitamin C for example? I know I was fascinated to learn in your book that government had never actually really tested vitamin C in animal like in meat, which I found very shocking. What do you think it says about us as a species that we seemingly lost the ability to generate vitamin C? Does this insinuate that we had access to it from plants and so perhaps we do need more of it in our diet? What are your thoughts on vitamin C?
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, I mean that's a great question and I don't think we know all the answers. We've got a lot of mechanisms that speculate why people. Like I said, I don't have vitamin C in my diet to any significant degree and I've not developed any of the potential problems you would expect with vitamin C, namely things like scurvy or things going in that direction. You have that observation first of all, that these people are doing and now we have the ability to recycle vitamin C via red blood cell membranes and so that's been shown. Some of the things that vitamin C does, some of its functions, particularly with antioxidant capacity. We see that those antioxidant capacities go way up on a carnivore diet or express more glutathione and even uric acid is a vitamin, sorry, is an antioxidant.
I think our needs become much less on a carnivorous diet to the point that what we can get in meat, because meat does have some vitamin C. I think yes, we had access to vitamin C and I think it was in meat. When we look at… we mentioned that the USDA didn't test that. They put assumed to be zero, but other independent labs have tested and they say that if you eat a pound of meat, you're getting about 10 milligrams of vitamin C. For someone on a carnivore diet they're eating, they're probably getting 15, 20 maybe 30, 40 grams of vitamin C per day and then you couple it to the fact that the requirements go down significantly and I would say that we get vitamin C on a meat based diet and if you include liver in there, you can make it even higher.
I don't think it's breaking the rule. I think just the requirements go down and I think we see that with a number of other nutrients. In fact, the RDA is... the USDA has finally recognized that and recently they stated that the zinc requirements go up if you're eating a diet high in fiber gas, which would be things like green grains and beans and other legumes which have a lot of phytates in there. If we had a thousand milligrams of fatty acid, our zinc requirement is now doubled and if we do 2000 milligrams of fatty acids then our zinc requirement is tripled. I think there's a recognition that different dietary strategies change our vitamin requirements and we can go on and on about magnesium being a cofactor and carbohydrates and metabolism and we have so many people that are low in magnesium, it might be just because we're eating too many damn carbohydrates or too many other compounds that bind magnesium.
Again, like fiber, again, like phytates and so on and so forth. Ultimately, there's a lot of theory out there. There's a lot of speculation, there's a lot of incomplete literature where you can make almost any argument. I know you talked about, we can use any argument to make any study to make any argument. It goes on at infinitum but I just say my approach has been what are the results people are getting and let's try to work backwards, figure out why that is rather than saying, I predict this person's going to have this happen and this is what I see all the time. People commenting on the carnival diet they said, well within six months your heart will start to fail and you'll have all this organ issues because your colon is not getting specific fiber for specific bacteria and I'm like, wait a minute, none of that has happened to anybody.
It's like these people want to close their eye and stick their head in the sand and ignore all the results we get. Sometimes a little frustrated because they have larger media reaches than what I and other people in this community have but it's changing. I'm excited to announce we've got a big study coming out with Harvard University starting probably in a few weeks and so that'll change I think a lot of people's perception.
Melanie Avalon: Oh, that's really exciting. Oh, it's like Santa Claus and Christmas. I can't wait until that comes out and I can read it. There's like a million thousand questions I want to ask you, but I do want to make this really practical for listeners. I interviewed Paul Saladino on this podcast and we got really deep into science and debates on things but listeners were like, “We want more practical implementation of this.” Some practical questions for you. If somebody were to want to try the carnivore diet, what should they do? I love what you said in the book. You were like, basically, if this was your dog and you were telling him to go on the carnivore diet, you'd be like, just eat steak when you're hungry. That'd be it. End of the book but humans are complicated. We want all the details, we want the plan, we have all these questions. If somebody wants to start the carnivore diet, where should they start? Besides reading your book, obviously.
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, I mean, I think it can be very simple and I sometimes humorously say if you can't explain it to your dog in 10 seconds then it’s too complicated. I think humans are really like any other species on the planet. It doesn't need that but like you said, we all like to complicate things. I think that my goal always, and I do a lot of consultations with clients and we have a whole coaching program, and we set up at MeatRx for people that might be interested in this. I talk about let’s change our relationship with food because I think so many people fail because they can't overcome their addictions to these, basically junk food.
We've got this sugar addiction, junk food addiction, convenience food addiction, industrial food addiction and it's so hard because it is literally everywhere and is marketed to us and our grandmothers are telling us to eat it as a reward. It's at work, it's at school, it's at the doctor's office, it's the gas station. I mean, you can't get away from it and so you're not going to change that environment. The environment will always be there and so I think to that end I think many people come to a carnivore diet really in a state of malnourishment, even if they're obese. I mean, obesity is, in my view, malnourishment. It's under nourishment of nutrients and over nourishment of cowers in many cases.
But I think that by just feeding yourself to satiation, feeding yourself as much as it takes to how much do I eat enough so you don't want cupcakes? I know it sounds like a really simple, silly answer, but there's a lot of thought and wisdom behind that and that's what you need to do initially. I think you need to just make foods you're going to enjoy. It's not just a plain old boiled ground beef that’s staring at you on the table. Make it decadent, make it luxurious. Enjoy it. Use ingredients that you can. If it was bacon, eggs, cheese, hamburger, steak, a little bit of seasoning. Just make it so you can make it powerful to yourself.
Because again, this is what causes people to fail on a diet. One, the food sucks and you don't like it, or two, you're hungry all the time, and the combination of those two things are going to make you not be on a diet, that's why obese on the standard American diet because one, you can continuously eat it and it tastes good, but with a carnivore diet, you're obviously you're saying, I'm going to step away from this stuff, and you can't overcome those addictions and cravings until you nourish yourself and give yourself enough nutrition that you have this physiologic shift, this physiologic sense of you've made it to where you've got this nutrition. Your nutrient tanks are filled, and then you can avoid the cravings, a hunger craving, and then it becomes a psychologic battle and then that becomes easier to do.
You can't. I don't care how disciplined you are. The toughest person on the planet, if they're hungry for long enough, they're going to eat whatever's put in front of them. They're going to crave. They're going to walk by that plate of cookies for the third time and finally said they're going to say, “Oh heck with it. I'm going to have one.” Then one turns into 20 or half the cookies. Then you're in the store buying Reese's peanut butter cups and it just, it snowballs. You've got to beat that first and so that's how I tell people to start.
I don't care what your goal is, weight loss, disease mitigation, whatever. Start with the food addiction, change your relationship with food. Once you have that, once you have this power to not fall to these cravings, it literally is a superpower. You are now in a rare place in society where you can walk away from this stuff and it's not that you can never have those things again, but you do it on your terms and not on the terms of I'm compelled to do that due to hunger or do due to malnutrition due to the fact that I don't have good nourishment, and so that becomes a very different, a very freeing concept.
People talk about being restricted, but I find it to be very freeing and many people who do this will comment the same way. I get a lot of freedom when I can choose what I want to eat and I think that's the first goal. That's how I approach it.
Melanie Avalon: What are your thoughts on raw versus cooked carnivore and the cooking potential?
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, I get in these little discussions quite a bit. I think eat like, you like it and I don't think you're losing. It's not there's people out there that think cooking meat is the most evil thing on the planet and you're going to become malnourished and you get all these diseases because you cooked your meat. Look, we've been cooking meat for at least 400,000 years, as long as we've been a homo sapien species and arguably even as far back as 2 million years ago. We are adapted to cook meat. That is clear. I've seen so many people do this diet. I mean, I've surveyed literally 10 plus thousand people on the diet.
The vast majority of the people that get healthy to come off their medications, no longer are diabetics, no longer need medicines for ulcerative colitis, no longer have auto immune diseases or their symptoms are eating cooked meat. That's just the bottom line. Now, at the same time humans have eaten… a lot of humans eat raw meat. I mean when we hear about or you think about somebody sitting down to a freshly slaughtered animal and eating the meat right off the dead animal. There are people that do that still like some of the people in the Northern regions, Northern Russia and some West Indies and some of these other societies.
Steak tartare, beef carpaccio, some of these sashimi Sumi, a sushi and stuff like that, we still eat it and they do fine, but you've got to be very careful about the sourcing. You can get sick. There are people that clearly get sick. I know a number of carnivores who have gotten really sick eating raw meat. So that is a concern. You have to be extremely careful if you're going to do that. It's not that you can't do that. I tried it. I mean I just did, for me to sit there with a raw cold ribeye steak and expect to enjoy it, I have no desire.
It does not even a little least bit appealing to me and I've tried it. I've sat there down there with a big old bowl of cold steak tartare with a raw egg yolk on and I do that and every morning. I would do that and I'd sit down there and it was a struggle to eat it cause I was like, “I don't even want this stuff”. It's not appealing for me. If I had to do this for the rest of my life, I'm not doing it. I'm going somewhere else. For those people who think the only way to do it as raw meat, that's not been my experience. It's not been experienced of this entire community that we see all this wonderful health successes with them. Majority of them are cooking their meat.
Melanie Avalon: It's funny how things change. Looking back a decade ago for me, I could never even contemplate eating raw meat and now, the idea of eating raw ground beef to me is delicious sounding. I could literally eat like raw meat all day, which is crazy. Speaking to, you're talking about all of your patients and what you've seen with people's experiences. What have you seen as far as people who try the carnivore diet, what percent would you say actually do end up sticking it out?
It's hard to say long-term because it hasn't been that long that it's been more and more people doing it, but do you see with people that you work with and patients that they tend to stick with it or do some people, especially, do some people never seemingly adapt, never experienced benefits? Do some people adapt but then they decide to bring back in plants? If so, are they able to, is there a danger that reintroduction might be a problem in the future? Just what have you seen? I don't know if it's like percentages, but as far as people committing to it ultimately longer term versus shorter term.
Shawn Baker, MD: I see a lot of success. I certainly see people that do it and say it's not for me and I think that's fair and I think that's great. Many of them don't really give it enough time. Like I said, there are people that do it for a week and say it's not for them. I would argue you probably just haven't given enough time. I think 90 days is a real true test. Having said that, the majority of the people that do it and do it very, very strictly, I'd say the norm, minority will stay that way indefinitely. I didn't clearly… and I don't think you have to do that, but I would say a high, high percentage of people that do the carnivore diet realize one, how good meat is for their body.
Two, if they stray, they don't go very far. They may just a small amount of other foods in there and then they'll, and then if they add too much, they often will come back. They'll say, “Yeah, I just, I kind of got away from the diet,” and then they come right back and they find that this is their home base. They always know where do I have to go when I really want to feel good.
We see that over and over again, where people will do the diet for six months then say, “It’s the best I've ever felt.” They'll come off the diet for whatever reason. They'll have some personal event or something and they'll go off of it for two, three, four, six months, a year, and then they'll come back again, which is something you don't really see with things like vegan diets where they'll do it, there’re like, it was the worst experience of my life and then they never come back. They leave, they literally run away screaming. It's like, “I'll never do this again.” With a carnivore diet, I see a lot of people that ended up “Carnivore Jason,” where they're like, it's a carnivore diet with an occasional piece of dark chocolate and an avocado. That happens probably more than anything. It's hanging in there and if that works for them, awesome. I'm totally fine to support people like that.
Melanie Avalon: Okay, got you. I think my biggest concern right now with long-term carnivore is if people aren't paying attention to what they're eating, and I know we could have a whole debate on nose to tail versus just muscle meat. I am slightly concerned about the acid potential and the effects on pulling minerals from the bone to combat a potentially acidic diet. I know that's a big question.
Shawn Baker, MD: That's the so-called acid-ash theory that was, I think it was 20, 25 years ago when it was put forth and so what they saw is a lot of people on high protein diets in particular were developing hypercalcemia. They've got too much calcium in the urine. The thought was, well obviously, if all of that calcium is ending up in urine, where's it coming from? Where's the largest store of calcium in the body? It's the bone and so the thought was pulling calcium out of the minerals out of the bone. That has subsequently been shown to be not correct and what actually is happening on a high protein diet is we actually see greater GI calcium absorption.
The calcium absorption from the GI tract gets upregulated and that matches the calcium excretion in the urine. There is no net negative loss of calcium or minerals from the bone, so that's actually then shown not to be the case. There's a guidance professor Stuart Phillips, who's one of the leading protein researchers on the planet and I've had number of discussions with him about that and that is what the literature supports and so acidification of urine at least from that aspect is not causing bones to be weakened. So, that's not showing to be true
Melanie Avalon: For those studies though, where they practiced in high protein diets in the context of a high calcium diet as well? I feel like people could be doing a carnivore diet and not have as high of a calcium intake.
Shawn Baker, MD: Actually, what I was saying is it was in dairy and stuff like that. I think actually we've seen that in different populations in both. We see that, and this is not to give Walter Willett any credit, but they've recently published out an article about dairy and they're talking about populations. You get very low levels of calcium that they still maintain a bone marrow balance despite something like under 200 milligrams of calcium a day, which is well below the RDA. I think it holds up across the board. What do you get in, I think it's in three ounces of meat? You're getting something like five milligrams of calcium, so you're not going to get a ton of calcium on a carnivore diet. That's pretty clear.
We've got populations that we if we look at really humans, where would they have gotten their sources of calcium? I know Paul will advocate that we were crunching up fish bones and I just, I don't find that to be particularly a plausible argument for many people because one, not everybody was accessing fish and there's no evidence that they were eating fish bones with any degree of regularity. There might be some slight evidence of that, but I don't think that was a reliable source. I think we were eating large animals for the most part like many of these radio isotopic data studies support and you can't chew a cow bone as a human. It's just we still have the anatomy to do it and almost no animals do, maybe stuff like hyenas and things like that where they can actually crunch the bones.
Now, we certainly would have accessed bone marrow. We used stone tools to do that but I find… what happens when you eat fish bones today? You choke off. No one's doing that now and so to suggest that we were doing it 50,000 years ago when we had the exact same anatomy, I just don't think we would have done that. Maybe you could say we eat really small fish but again, I don't think that was a reliable strategy for getting enough calories, the thought that we're going to be sprinkling bone meal on top of our food. I think we just have compensatory mechanism. Again, the longest people who have been doing this diet and Western population are not doing those things. They're not adding bone meal. They're not, they're not doing those things. They're eating ground beef. Like I said, I go with the results, I understand the theoretical stuff.
Paul and I have these disagreements and I just look at practicality. Yes, we would have sought out fat. We would look for the fattest animal because fat is where our energy is from and then the argument, the people that make that argument. Yeah, and they would throw away the lean meat and I'm like, “Okay.” Then they would say, “Well, but then they would chew on the collage and they would chew on the tendons.” I'm like, “You mean you're throwing away steaks so that you can chew on tendons?” That doesn't make sense to me. I understand some of the rationale and much of rat Bret studies that Paul and those guys like to cite, but again, I go with results in actual human beings before I put much emphasis on a rat study or a speculation on a biochemical pathway because I just don't think the human data is there to support it.
Melanie Avalon: I really appreciate that. I think all the perspectives that have been brought to the whole carnivore diet conversation are so helpful for people. Your book is very high on science and everything but I think having debates and looking at the science and looking at the studies but also looking at the practicality, I really appreciate your approach. I think you've provided a really great resource for so many people. Like I said, I could ask you a million thousand more questions, but I'll stop myself. It's really hard.
Shawn Baker, MD: Let's do a part two. How's that sound?
Melanie Avalon: Can we, can we? I would love to, because I literally have like 500 more questions.
Shawn Baker, MD: Yeah, let's do that. Yeah, I've got to do my very first CrossFit class today.
Melanie Avalon: Let me just hit with the last question because I realized how important mindset is. What is something that you're grateful for?
Shawn Baker, MD: I'm grateful that I'm still here and able to do this and having the freedom to do what I'm doing. I think that's something we don't give enough credit for, that we are so free in this country where I'm at and so I really appreciate that. I was in the military and I appreciate the guys that I've sacrificed to allow us these freedoms that we have to talk about this stuff or some places what we're doing might not even be allowed to be discussed, and I think that's wonderful.
Mindset, of course it's important. I think it's just something that you can improve. For me, I do a lot of hard things in my life and so when hard things should come up in a different arena, I’ve got some mental resilience, which I think is important. Sometimes it's like this is just totally a non-sequitur type of thing but just going in and taking a cold shower in the morning some days. I mean that is a mindset thing and it's something that whether it benefits you physically or not, that's debatable, there is a mindset to get through that. I've done something that's really hard because it's not fun. It's not comfortable, at least not the first few seconds and once you achieve that it's like, “Okay, bring on something else. I'm ready.” Anyway, that's a mindset deal.
Melanie Avalon: I love that. Cold showers are the bomb. Thank you so much Shawn. This has been absolutely amazing and thank you. You are offering our listeners 10% off of coaching sessions that you have, so those are at Meatrx.com. I'll put a link to it in the show notes because there's actually a longer link for that, but you will get 10% off with a coupon code Melanie. I would love to bring you back for part two. Maybe I'll have like a fruitarian episode in between and then there'll be part two of the carnivore but this has been fantastic and I really appreciate everything you're doing.
Shawn Baker, MD: Wonderful. Well, you have a great day and thanks for having me on it. Let's schedule another round because there’s a lot I could talk for, and I know I do talk hours and hours on this stuff.
Melanie Avalon: I'm obsessed with this topic, so I would love to, so thank you so much.
Shawn Baker, MD: Have a good day now.
Melanie Avalon: You too. Bye.
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