We Are Made to Eat Meat | Shawn Baker on The Genius Life

Check out The Genius Life Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • Although the carnivore diet has been great for Shawn, he doesn’t recommend it to everyone. Different people need different foods.
    • “I don’t think fruits and vegetables are inherently bad…I just think some people tolerate them better than others”Shawn Baker
  • So what should people be eating exactly? We don’t know.
    • “This is a hard thing. Nutrition is extremely hard.”Shawn Baker
  • When it comes to foods that cause allergies, red meat is almost always on the bottom of the list
    • “Red meat seems to be like that safe baseline food” – Shawn Baker
      • Start with only eating red meat, and then slowly add different foods one at a time to see how your body reacts
  • If there’s a health problem bothering you, don’t look at the carnivore diet as a last resort
    • “I think it’s something we should do early. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, give it 90 days. It doesn’t work? Fine, we’ll move on to something else but I think it should be an early intervention for a lot of conditions.”  – Shawn Baker
      • The carnivore diet has shown to be helpful for people with an autoimmune disease, Crohn’s disease, mood disorders, and other health issues
  • Shawn argues that if everyone went vegan, people would be nutrient deficient in lysine, zinc, and other nutrients. People would also have to eat more calories to get the same amount of nutrition from animal meat
    • “People would be nutrient deficient, they’d be eating more calories, they’d be fatter than they are now. We wouldn’t be saving the planet.” – Shawn Baker
  • When it comes to greenhouse gases, the healthcare system produces 10% of our greenhouse gases while cows only produce 2%. 
    • “So what’s non-sustainable is sick people…Sick people are the biggest environmental impact when it comes to greenhouse gases.” – Shawn Baker
  • “It’s really hard to get fat eating meat” – Shawn Baker
    • “Meat is the most satiating diet you’re going to find…protein is the most satiating macronutrient” –  Max Lugavere

Intro

Books Mentioned

About Shawn Baker

  • Shawn Baker is a multisport elite-level athlete and a medical doctor who served as a combat trauma surgeon and chief of orthopedics while deployed to Afghanistan with the United States Air Force
    • He’s the author of The Carnivore Diet 
      • He’s been on the carnivore diet for 3 years
        • After just 2 months of the new diet, Shawn’s knee pain went away and has never come back. He’s also seen other health benefits.

The Carnivore Diet

  • Although the carnivore diet has been great for Shawn, he doesn’t recommend it for everyone. Different people need different foods.
    • “I don’t think fruits and vegetables are inherently bad…I just think some people tolerate them better than others”Shawn Baker
  • So what should people be eating exactly? We don’t know.
    • “This is a hard thing. Nutrition is extremely hard.”Shawn Baker
      • It helps to look at the big picture. If you change your diet and you’re seeing changes you want, stay with that diet.
  • When it comes to foods that cause allergies, red meat is almost always on the bottom of the list
    • “Red meat seems to be like that safe baseline food” – Shawn Baker
      • Start with only eating red meat, and then slowly add different foods one at a time to see how your body reacts
  • Organ meat has a lot of nutrients, but if you don’t like it or you react negatively to it, you can still survive on a regular carnivore diet
    • Shawn says the vast majority of people on the carnivore diet don’t eat organs
  • What do humans require to survive?
    • Amino acids, fats, minerals, and vitamins
      • “We’ve been eating meat for three million years as a human species” – Shawn Baker

Benefits of the Carnivore Diet

  • If there’s a health problem that’s bothering you, don’t look at the carnivore diet as a last resort
    • “I think it’s something we should do early. If it works, great. If it doesn’t work, give it 90 days. It doesn’t work? Fine, we’ll move on to something else but I think it should be an early intervention for a lot of conditions.”  – Shawn Baker
      • The carnivore diet has shown to be helpful for people with an autoimmune disease, Crohn’s disease, mood disorders, and other health issues

But Isn’t Vegan Better? Perhaps Not

  • People blame meat for their health problems, but if you look at the standard American diet, meat is a tiny part of it
    • “When you look at the America diet, the average American eats about two ounces of beef a day, that’s tiny….and we’re blaming all of these issues on beef” – Shawn Baker
  • When people go on a whole-food-based diet, they feel better because they remove refined grains, seed oils, and sugar
    • The same thing happens when people go on a carnivore diet
  • Shawn argues that if everyone went vegan, people would be nutrient deficient in lysine, zinc, and other nutrients. People would also have to eat more calories to get the same amount of nutrition from animal meat
    • “People would be nutrient deficient, they’d be eating more calories, they’d be fatter than they are now. We wouldn’t be saving the planet.” – Shawn Baker
  • When it comes to greenhouse gases, the healthcare system produces 10% of our greenhouse gases while cows only produce 2%. 
    • “So what’s non-sustainable is sick people…Sick people are the biggest environmental impact when it comes to greenhouse gases.” – Shawn Baker
  • The alternative protein industry is expected to grow to $140 billion
  • “Anytime I see plant-based, I see cheap and profitable” – Shawn Baker

Additional Notes

  • Shockingly, medical school barely teaches students anything about nutrition
  • It’s possible that you may not be getting enough Vitamin C on the carnivore diet; if that’s the case, take Vitamin C pills 
  • About 90% of animals on Earth eat meat
    • Organisms have been eating other organisms for nutrition for 800 million years
  • “It’s true that the nutrients that we get in animal products are bioidentical to what we crave…in terms of our biology and our own body” –  Max Lugavere
  • “It’s really hard to get fat eating meat” – Shawn Baker
    • “Meat is the most satiating diet you’re going to find…protein is the most satiating macronutrient” –  Max Lugavere
    • What gets you fat is sugar, grains, and ultra-processed foods
  • “Conquer your cravings, conquer your food addictions” – Shawn Baker
  • People on carnivore diets tend to have more stable glucose levels than those on other diets
  • Carbohydrates don’t really build muscle, you need protein  
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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