carnivore diet

What is the best way to eat? How about we go deep and sort everything out in a reasonable, thoughtful manner?

This is going to be a multi-part presentation, with part one focusing on the rationale for eating an animal based diet. This topic can get so confusing, controversial and frustrating, and this episode, I am making a great effort to get sensible and simplify things, with facts backed by respected science to help you choose the best foods and steer clear of the gimmicks, the overly restrictive diets, the dogma and the marketing hype out there that can be so confusing to us. 


What is the best way to eat? Brad is presenting a sensible simplified answer. [01:01]

Buying the organic and sustainably raised foods can be less costly than a diet of common mainstream groceries. Check out the Carnivore Scores Ranking Chart. [02:29]

The vegan and plant-based movement eliminates the most nutrient-dense foods in the name of health. [08:47]

There are benefits from ketosis. The ancestors survived on it, but it wasn’t always the best. [10:47]

The first step is stepping away from the mainstream standard western diet of processed foods. [14:47]

Being average in today’s society isn’t necessarily the best.  The U.S. population today is the sickest and fattest in history. [17:34]

Even the finest restaurants and stores use refined industrial seed oils! [21:35]

The highly palatable foods with a combination of sugar and fat lead to over-consumption. [26:04]

Many diets are gimmicks.  You need to understand what is best for you.  It’s perfectly healthy and natural to spike glucose. [33:05]

No need for cheat days, or any crappy junk food.  A healthy indulgence as a treat once in a while is fine.  Use the Carnivore Score Chart from Bradkearns.com as a guide. [36:25]

The process of losing excess body fat starts with getting healthy first. [39:49]

Move more daily. [41”35]



  • “If you simply ditch processed foods, it is impossible to get fat.” (Lustig)


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B.Rad Podcast

Brad (01:01):
Greetings listeners, what is the best way to eat? How about we go deep and sort everything out in a reasonable, thoughtful manner? So this is gonna be a multipart presentation. I’ll call this first segment, the rationale for eating an animal based diet. And boy, the topic can get so confusing, controversial, frustrating. So I’m making a great effort here to get sensible, simplified and backed by respected science to help you choose the best foods and steer clear of the gimmicks, uh, the overly restrictive diets, uh, the dogma and the marketing hype that’s out there confusing us. So hopefully you will follow along with a smile on your face and nod and say, That sounds pretty sensible. That sounds doable. And that is the goal here. So I’ll use the term animal based diet because most of our nutrient density comes from very well chosen animal foods, and I do acknowledge that we have a huge problem today with industrialized farming, concentrated animal feeding operations, and numerous objections with how we raise and process animals.

Brad (02:29):
So whenever I mention an egg or red meat or animal organs, we always want to have in the back of our minds that we have to scrutinize and make the very best choices, especially in the animal foods category, to steer clear of the many objections with conventionally raised animal foods. That said, if you go out there and grab a packet of ground beef and come home and fry it up from mainstream sources, uh, that meal is going to be vastly less objectionable than some of the purportedly healthier choices like a chicken Caesar salad with dressing that’s made with refined industrial seed oils. And the chicken that was raised conventionally, that is vastly inferior to red meat that was raised conventionally. So we’re gonna get into some of those points and do the best we can. I know we have a great sensitivity to budget concerns when it comes to eating healthy.

Brad (03:36):
That’s why they nickname Whole Foods Market whole paycheck. But I really want all of us to be reflective here and try the best we can to prioritize our dining choices when it comes to budget, because there’s great, uh, information. I think an old article on Mark’s Apple years ago, one of the readers did a comparison, a side by side comparison of going out and getting organic produce and grass fed, sustainably raised animal products and the cost of everything compared to another shopping basket that had the Slurpees and the delivered pizzas and the door dash. Cuz you’re too lazy to have, uh, good food options around. And guess what? Eating in the standard path of a lot of processed food, fast food, uh, can get just as, uh, expensive or more expensive than choosing, uh, the best products in all the different categories.

Brad (04:36):
And so you’re gonna do the best you can here. We wanna enjoy life. We don’t want to get over over baked on all this food scrutiny, but I do not like the passing comments where people say, Hey, everything in moderation along those lines, or, Hey, you got to enjoy your life as well, because what we are presented with today is this very marketing driven, multinational corporation driven experience where they are working very hard to get you to part with your, uh, your dollars and consume heavenly processed foods that are presented with absolutely no concern for your health. So we have to fight hard and rail against the traditional presentation and try to scrutinize and, and follow the best brands. Look around your community, try to stay local, all these great things that, uh, have been promoted by the, uh, evolved health movement and the, the woke community, I guess.

Brad (05:39):
But it, it is super important because if we just keep our heads down and enter the fast food lane, we are headed to certain demise, destruction and tragedy from early death and accelerated aging driven largely by our dietary choices. So, that is to say in a long winded manner that these are some important shows coming up and let’s get into it, shall we? So, I’m so pleased to present a highly revised and updated carnivore scores food rankings chart that you can download for free at bradkearns.com. You sign up for the email newsletter and boom, you download this wonderful chart that you can print out and put on your refrigerator, and it’ll help you make choices that emphasize the most nutritious foods and give you guidance for how to select the best foods there. So it’s really handy. It’s become really popular, good feedback.

Brad (06:37):
And we’re going to have another episode in this series dedicated to the chart and going through the chart one by one. So perhaps you can listen to that with the chart in view or at least go through it. And then when you print it out and put it on your refrigerator, you’ll have some good increased awareness. So, uh, this one before we get into the each box on the chart, we’re just gonna talk about a lot of it’s gonna be my personal dietary evolution, of course, starting with my immersion, my, my total immersion into the primal paleo scene back in 2008 when I first got together with my old friend, Mark Sisson. And we started working on the Primo Blueprint book and lifestyle movement. So prior to that, I was coming from sort of a conventional wisdom approach, of course, trying to eat healthy for all the years of my adult life, but it was largely influenced by the standard American grain based diet.

Brad (07:34):
So I was the guy that was going to the store looking for whole wheat bread and whole grain pasta instead of the regular wonder bread and all that terrible stuff. And of course, vastly different experience than transitioning over to primal and eliminating grains, cold turkey and all those great awakenings. And then, gracefully and step by step with, uh, as much awareness and open-mindedness and critical thinking as I’ve been able to muster every day, uh, trying to remain open to new information. And that’s gonna be one of the centerpiece of this show are these major turning points that I’ve experienced in recent years, thanks to people like Dr. Paul Saladino, leader of the carnivore movement, and my recent experience with Jay Feldman, the energy balance model, and the many podcasts I’ve had recently with that awakening. So, before I get into those details, one thing I wanna, uh, push to you for a second, reflection here is to appreciate and distinguish between what’s possible for the human and what’s optimal.

Brad (08:47):
And I’m specifically maybe, calling out the, the plant based whole food, plant based vegan movement where, for moral reasons or perhaps for health reasons, you’ve made the decision to systematically eliminate the vast majority of the most nutrient dense foods on Earth in the name of health. And guess what? It is possible to follow along on a restricted diet for years and decades. It’s a very, very high risk approach, but it’s possible to do it and even report feeling great, thriving, maintaining a healthy body composition, uh, leading an active lifestyle if you are lucky. And if you’re unlucky, like many, many people, and we can meet them on the internet, on podcasts, on websites, uh, you know, the reformed vegan, I think a lot of people call them, where their health just got destroyed because of, uh, nutrient deficiencies and difficulty processing and assimilating, uh, from their restrictive diet.

Brad (09:50):
And I would probably, uh, lump in some, uh, many other restrictive diets, even a strict carnivore diet, a strict ketogenic diet, uh, the kind of stuff that I’ve been writing about and promoting. Uh, the more strict you get, you have an increased risk, perhaps, of drawbacks and fallout. So we always have to have in the back of our mind what’s possible and what’s optimal. And your body does a pretty darn good job adapting and being as resilient as possible, even if you don’t nourish it optimally. And I believe that would characterize nicely this story of our ancestors. And so you read these wonderful passages in books, even ones that I’ve had a hand in where we say our ancestors endure long, dark, cold, harsh winters. And they did it by going into ketosis and giving their brain a wonderful fuel source, even in the absence of dietary carbohydrate and even missing food for days on end.

Brad (10:47):
They were still able to go out and persevere and hunt and gather, and isn’t that wonderful? Now, should we do that today? Are there health benefits from being in ketosis? Yes, there are. And they’re greatly detailed in our book, The Keto Reset Diet, which is still on the best seller list, one of the best selling books about the ketogenic diet of all time. And, we’re proud and stand by all the information that’s presented in there. And you will get a bunch of health benefits if you do things like fasting, carbohydrate restriction, you’ll kick into, uh, keone production. There’s a lot of anti-inflammatory benefits, there’s cell repair benefits, all these great things, but we have to recognize that these are adaptive responses to stresses like starvation. And so today, do we need to model our ancestors so obsessively that we too want to engage in a very restrictive and highly stressful diet to prompt health benefits?

Brad (11:49):
Or is there an alternative path where we pursue optimal health, peak performance, all these things that perhaps our ancestors didn’t have the luxury, Not perhaps for sure our ancestors did not have the luxury of pursuing fitness and athletic goals because they were completely concerned, obsessed with survival. So in many cases they were barely getting by. In other cases, they were thriving. And we must not forget that either, that, uh, some of our ancestors that we romanticize probably had cool spots on a cove along the coast of Africa or India or the Middle East, where they had tons of fish their entire lifetime, reproduced wonderfully and sat on rocks and enjoyed the sun. And maybe they weren’t even that great shape because it was so easy for them. And then the other ones that probably pushed into Europe during some ice ages had some rough gnarly times.

Brad (12:43):
They had to go into ketosis, they had to strip that body fat off all winter and get down to emaciated level and then maybe do better in the spring and all that kind of crazy stuff that happened. Was, is that optimal? Well, uh, I would argue that today we have different goals. We wanna be cognitively functional to a level that’s unimaginable to any of our prehistoric ancestors, and in many cases, we wanna physically perform at a level that’s unimaginable to our prehistoric ancestors. Look at me. I was on the professional triathlon circuit for nine years, flying on a jet airplane across the globe, and throwing down the hammer in swimming, biking, and running, uh, to such an extreme and a training regimen to such an extreme that it has absolutely no comparison to any prehistoric ancestor. Dr. Tommy Wood cites research suggesting that today’s elite athlete, like a CrossFit games participant, are one of the world championship runners that I witnessed in person in Oregon this summer, competing at the various track and field events.

Brad (13:46):
They perform physical energy expenditure some six times greater than the busiest hunter gatherer in the history of the planet. So when it comes to modeling our dietary habits after our ancestors, we want to sort of pick and choose on that general concept. For example, the great research of Weston A Price, when he went around the world and studied primitive populations, found they were much healthier than the developed societies, and not noting that they did things like consume organ meats, where we by and large throw those out and discard them even today. That’s why organ meats are so inexpensive is cuz the demand is so low. So those observations really important to carry forward. But then when it comes to deliberate fasting and carbohydrate restriction, we wanna be a little more thoughtful and plug in those practices as tools toward improving health.

Brad (14:47):
And they can be very, very effective, very valuable. Fortunately, in the Keto Reset Diet, we talked about a 21 day reset program to kind of fine tune your metabolic flexibility and get out of, perhaps a downward spiral that you’ve been in if you following standard western diet filled with processed foods. So any step away from the norm today and the baseline of having a lot of junk in the diet is gonna be a wonderful health awakening. But we don’t want to conflate that with the specifics of our departure from this disastrous mainstream model. And so, uh, someone who goes plant based and stops eating animal products and has their lentil soup and brown rice and kale smoothies and has a high awareness of what’s going into the body and feeling better than when the way they were in the fast food line, that’s great, but don’t attribute it to the foods that you’re eating.

Brad (15:48):
Probably more sensible to attribute your health awakenings to the foods that you are eliminating. So again, on this theme of what’s possible and what’s optimal, perhaps we can talk about, uh, pursuing optimal. I love that, uh, quote that Dr. Paul Saladino gave at one of our interviews and often repeats where he says, Look, all I’m talking about here is trying to take you from level seven to level nine or level five to level seven. And then interestingly, on that note, how do you know what level you’re at <laugh>? I wanna go to level nine as well, and I don’t even know if I’m at level five, level seven or perhaps at level nine. You understand what I’m saying? It’s like, what are you comparing it to? I wish I had more energy. I get plenty of sleep and my sleep score is A plus.

Brad (16:40):
Everything’s great there. But I look at Mia Moore who generally requires one and a half or two hours less sleep than I and feels great herself waking up every morning going, Wow, I’m wasted a lot of time in bed. Maybe there’s something that I could optimize where I require less sleep and can perform and thrive. Probably not. And I’m not even gonna look there in, in too much detail because I feel like if you can just create a good sleeping environment and let yourself sleep as long as you need, that’s a wonderful thing. I don’t think there’s any downside to me getting a ton of sleep. And by that I mean an average of eight and a half or nine hours a night, and very consistent there. So it’s basically every night it’s the same thing. I’m getting all the sleep I need and I have a good blood values, good athletic performance, but I also have crashed and burn episodes.

Brad (17:34):
So I’m on this constant quest to optimize and not take okay or normal for granted. Right? It’s, um, the normal, when we talk about blood work and testing ranges, we’re talking about the fattest sickest population and the history of the human race. So I don’t wanna be average in any way, especially when it comes to, uh, the adaptive hormones like testosterone and the range. The normal range for serum testosterone these days is, I believe two 50 to a thousand. And that range was recently, I believe, 2017 downscaled from what it was in previous years. And the rationale for that by the authorities was that the global obesity epidemic has caused a widespread reduction and a steady reduction in the average male testosterone level. There’s other research, and this is research from across the globe from different countries, Japan, Denmark, United States, that the average male testosterone level has declined at a rate of 1% per year since the 1980s.

Brad (18:43):
So that is now 40 something years. In other words, dad or grandpa back in the eighties when they went and did a blood draw, had 40% higher levels of testosterone than their offspring. And boy, that’s a real eye opener. There’s a lot of reasons for that. They’re talking about environmental pollution, like the estrogen compounds in our plastics that dad and grandpa didn’t have so much exposure to, um, the mobile device and the compromising sleep from our digital, uh, society and all kinds of other things, even over training and things that probably didn’t really weren’t a major issue in previous generations, right? So, um, we’re got really watch out for that these days and sober up. When we look at that range going from two 50 to a thousand, I believe the previous range was like three 50 to 1200 or something.

Brad (19:40):
So when you do your annual physical exam and the doctor is going over everything and says, Okay, your testosterone’s normal, it’s 400 or it’s 350, um, we wanna push back and say, Wait a second. Um, can I, uh, look at this picture in pursuit of optimal rather than, uh, possible or just normal? Okay, enough on that topic, I think you’re, you’re, you’re on board here and we’re gonna go for optimal from this point in. So if we’re talking about diet, and we’re talking about leveling up from level five to level seven, or level level seven to level nine, it starts with eliminating process food. And we talk about the big three, toxic modern food, the categories of processed foods that we want to eliminate from the diet. And those would be refined grains, sugars and industrial seed oils, and the very many packaged frozen processed, deep fried fast food restaurant foods made with these ingredients.

Brad (20:47):
Doing a good job shopping is wonderful. You’re gonna come home with your groceries, you’re gonna go to a good store that has some scrutiny there, but the dining out is a real problem area, and this extends across all budget levels. So fast food, of course, when you’re getting your fries and all the nonsense that you can drive up at the window and take away, these are largely laden with these very heart unhealthy destructive industrial seed oils. But even at the medium, such as a chain restaurant and the fine dining, you will find the meals prepared in refined industrial seed oils. And that is purely from a cost saving perspective, which is so tragic and a complete lack of concern for human health, and it’s just tiptoeing in that direction.

Brad (21:45):
I even went to a meal at Belcampo the, uh, wonderful, sustainable farm that Dr. Saladino advertises on his podcast and other people, and you can get the greatest meat from these guys. And they had a nice store and restaurant in Santa Monica, California. So I had my $22 hamburger from the Greatest Beef you can find. And then it came with, some sort of wedge fries and I inquired it took a while to find out what were these fries made in, and they confirmed they were, they were made in seed oils. And I’m like, Wow, this restaurant of all places that has such scrutiny on their meat and such wonderful sustainable practices to bring you some of the best meat in the world, but didn’t give a crap that they were pairing ’em with, uh, nasty toxic fries. Uh, I went so far as to write the company and didn’t hear back hassle Saladino about it as well by proxy.

Brad (22:31):
And really, really disappointing and distressing to me just as distressing as when I stroll into Whole Foods Market, who I am a huge fan of in so many ways, especially when I’m traveling, always gonna look on the on the gps and find the whole foods as my first stop in a new city. And then you go in there and you have the opportunity to purchase so many of the high quality products, but at the same time, I believe they are causing people to let their guards down because you stroll through the door and you think, Oh, this store has done all the work for me, and nothing’s in here except for the best stuff, but the store is laden with products containing refined industrial seed oils look no further than their hot bar and the ingredient lists on most of the entrees.

Brad (23:19):
And it’s just so mind boggling how they can get away with this and still do it and still smile and look their customer in the eye and say, We’ve done all the hard work for you. Look at our beautiful glorious mission statement that we don’t allow this or that in the store, and we go for sustainable and local and all these great messages they have, and to take nothing away from the good efforts that they’re doing. You gotta clean your store up and get that shit out of there. So you can get an all around thumbs up score and people really can let their guard down and explore the many wonderful food options that are presented in a natural foods supermarket. So dining out is going to be a huge deal and a huge battle to fight. And remember, just to ask that question innocently, when you’re selecting an entree, Can you please cook my meal in butter?

Brad (24:09):
Or something other than refined industrial seed oils? You can ask them what they’re using. A lot of times they come back and say, we prepare our, our, our fish, our meat, our whatever within all of oil blend. And that is code for super cheap, giant jug of oil, inexpensive that contains olive oil, probably the least pure and most, oxidized, distressed type of olive oil you’ll ever find, along with some other vegetable industrial seed oils. And I’m talking about even at the most premium restaurants. My son worked at one of the most expensive restaurants in the expensive city of Los Angeles. He’s cooking up a hundred dollars steaks. And indeed he confirmed that on the shelf in the kitchen with these great, award-winning chefs and high paying customers was indeed the toxic bottle. And so dining out is a really tough one.

Brad (25:05):
I just learned today from an episode of Brian Sanders Peak Human podcast that even Chipotle, which has that great commitment to sustainable, bringing you the best meat, they cook their food in rice brand oil, which is in the category of oils to avoid. And so go shopping and look for foods that do not have, uh, the industrial seed oils on the label. Primal Kitchen, the condiment making sensation, uh, that has grown wonderfully, providing the first alternative to regular mayo, regular salad dressings. That’s a great example of where you can, uh, up your game a little bit and not have to suffer from a diet that’s all of a sudden lacking mayonnaise. Cuz almost all mayonnaise’s previous to Primal Kitchen, launching the avocado oil based mayonnaise was, you know, was tainted. And so, uh, dining out, ask the questions, go to the right restaurants and then make your home a sanctuary.

Brad (26:04):
ditching those big three. So that was all talk about oil. And then we have the refined grains and sugars and sweetened beverages. And the big problem here is the processing, the combining of heavily processed agents into a finished product. And it’s not as much the sugar per se, which the body can ingest and then burn off efficiently, unlike the industrial seed oils which get integrated into healthy fat cells and re havoc with your mitochondrial function, your ability to burn fat. And so just to kind of, uh, understand this in sort of a different perspective, that the sugar alone is not gonna kill you unless of course you consume too much of it, don’t burn it off regularly and then overwhelm your system with an excess ingestion of processed carbohydrates. Also interesting when we’re talking about processed carbohydrate foods is they prompt the release of endotoxins in the gut, and this interferes with healthy cellular energy production.

Brad (27:07):
That was a topic that Jay Feldman went into more detail on in our interviews. So, processed foods, bad deal. Unfortunately, research cited by one of the paleo forefathers, Dr. Lauren Cordain, he suggests that 71% of the calories in the standard Western diet come from processed foods that were entirely absent from our Paleolithic experience. So the rise of the paleo diet and the paleo movement is trying to steer us away from these processed foods, especially the hyper palatable processed foods they’re called. And that would be the pairing of sugar and fat together in a Twinkie, in a cheesecake and an ice cream and a potato chip. Um, that’s the stuff that kind of, um, uh, leads itself to over consumption, because it’s hitting those pleasure centers in the brain, flooding the dopamine pathways with that wonderful great initial taste and then prompting you to consume more and more.

Brad (28:11):
Part of the reason being that they’re so nutrient deficient that your brain’s really good at realizing, Hey, I need to eat more and more of these processed foods in a vain attempt to get the energy you need. And my former podcast guest, Dr. Ted Naiman and his protein to energy ratio theory and the protein leverage theory that a lot of people talk about suggests that our brain is so finely tuned to obtaining, uh, our protein requirements for survival and for thriving protein is, uh, the most important thing we need to get from the diet. Uh, we’re so tuned to that, that we will consume these processed foods until we get our protein needs met. So if you look at your dietary strategy in general, especially if you have a desire to drop excess body fat. If you emphasize protein, if you prioritize protein, you will have, you will experience excellent levels of satiety and you will get that protein that you need.

Brad (29:14):
You won’t be at risk of under consuming protein and turning down metabolic processes and hormonal processes accordingly. So protein needs come first. You get your protein needs met, you feel satisfied, you feel energetic, and you’re gonna have a great, a greater chance of success with dropping excess body fat. Think about it, when you’re consuming, uh, a meal that contains eggs or steak or fish, high protein foods, you’re gonna be really satisfied and less likely to over consume eggs, for example, than you are to over consume pints of ice cream or potato chips that are extremely low in protein and thereby prompt over consumption. Okay, so out of the gate with a smile on our face, we are ditching the big three toxic modern foods. My great show with, uh, leading anti sugar crusader and bestselling author Dr. Robert Lustig, author of Metabolical, as well as the Hacking of the American Mind.

Brad (30:15):
His most two recent books outstanding, many other great books in his library, his byline, uh, he contended on my show in, in in public, an incredible assertion from one of the world’s meeting authorities that if you simply ditch process foods, it’s impossible to get fat. It’s impossible to become obese or to develop these, uh, metabolic syndrome, disease risk factors. That’s pretty amazing. But it certainly does make sense and I don’t think there’s a lot of people out there raising their hands saying, Yeah, I eat too many eggs in steak and liver every day, and I got a lot of excess weight and I’m not healthy due to my gluttonous diet. It just doesn’t exist. And our satiety signals and our hormones are so finely tuned that when you start eating a nutrient dense diet, the caloric intake takes care of itself.

Brad (31:12):
And you will, uh, in many cases, if when you get yourself totally healthy and and dialed in well, you will experience a reduction in excess body fat without having to starve yourself. So that’s Dr. Lustig’s assertion. I’m also reflecting on Dr. Herman Pontzer, my previous podcast guest and one of his wonderful, uh, wild wacky assertions where he says, uh, most diets are essentially a gimmick because they involve some form of restriction. And with that method, it’s going to have a way of regulating this unfettered, undisciplined caloric intake that we’re all presented with in daily life when we can simply click a button and have food delivered to our door or go get slammed with all the messaging when we go to the supermarket or watch TV or look at a billboard. And so, um, his suggestion is to find a diet that’s psychologically pleasing and doesn’t result in excess caloric intake.

Brad (32:10):
And of course, there’s a lot of magic and strategy behind that but don’t get too fixated on whether one magical diet is better than the other. All diets are gimmick in a sense end quote. Now, uh, personally I get so many, um, e wonderful emails, which I’m gonna hit on, uh, regular q and a shows, uh, asking me about my strategy, my approach. And at this point, after so many years of a deep immersion into the scene here, I don’t count anything. I’m just burnt out and exhausted or even stressed by the idea of going and counting something. So I’m not counting my carbs, I’m not counting my calories, I’m not looking at my macronutrient ratios. I’ve had a few interesting, journeys through the CGM, the continuous glucose monitor. Those are two week stints where you put that patch on your arm and work on through your smartphone.

Brad (33:06):
You can see, uh, a 24 hour cycle of your glucose responses. And my journey on that was very boring because there was nothing really to speak of. You get a perhaps a slight bump in glucose after any meal, it comes back down that indicates, uh, healthy metabolic function, good glucose control. And so, um, why should I keep doing it when everything’s so boring? And that’s good news, right? But they can be a wonderful tool, I think mainly for behavior modification. So if you’re going into, uh, Nutri Sense and signing up for a two week stint or a three month stint, there’s wonderful support from trained staff. And that’s, uh, probably the best attribute of that is all the great feedback that you get and the interaction you get on the app from chatting with an expert, and then realizing that, for example, if you get up after dinner and walk for 15 minutes around the block, it will help with that glucose regulation.

Brad (34:07):
And so that’s kind of a fun thing for people to have that instant feedback, that they make good choices and they’re getting rewarded for it right away. And I know there’s a lot of talk about how certain foods spike glucose more than others, and it seems like some of this fun and games have gotten outta hand where people are trying not to spike their glucose ever. And we have to remember that it’s perfectly healthy and natural to spike glucose, experience an insulin release accordingly, have that insulin go to town and do its important work because that’s how the body recovers from stress and from exercise expenditure, the insulin is bringing nutrients to the cells. That’s what insulin is. It’s a storage hormone that, uh, helps replenish your body when you deplete it. Uh, so a lot of times when we talk about insulin in a negative context and blood sugar spikes in a negative context, we are talking from a baseline of an extremely inactive, unfit, poor eating population, processed foods, eating population.

Brad (35:14):
So if you’re making good choices and we back up to step one, which is to eliminate the processed foods, uh, I’m not too worried what your monitor says because it’s going to say good things. And when it comes to CGMs, we wanna look for healthy average blood glucose values. Around a hundred is the commonly, uh, cited kind of normal, uh, healthy blood glucose levels in the body. We also wanna see, um, efficient return to baseline, uh, after meals. And so if you do get a spike after meals cuz you decide to have a high carbohydrate meal, whatever, um, it’s gonna come back down to normal indicating that you have good blood glucose control. And then the third parameter we’re looking for is a low standard deviation so that you’re not bouncing all over the place, particularly having a spike and then experiencing a hypoglycemic response afterward, cuz those are signs of poor cellular energy production, um, some inefficiencies with your metabolism that could lead to appetite dysregulation over consumption of quick energy, processed foods, things like that.

Brad (36:25):
So I’m still answering where I’m not much into any of these measurable things, but I will say that I have zero tolerance for junk, for processed foods, for reward foods, cheat meals. None of that exists in my realm. And it’s not because I’m more disciplined than the next person or have greater willpower, it’s just I have absolutely no desire to consume anything that’s a processed or crappy. And so if I’m going to indulge, which is once in a while, I will go for extremely high quality experience. Let’s see, uh, a homemade cheesecake or the handmade ice creams that are, we’re going to Seattle, uh, right after I record this in a few days. And they have those stores that they’re famous for. And it’s great to go on a hot summer night and enjoy some of the best handmade ice cream made with all natural ingredients fresh, and not that I need to do that week in, week out.

Brad (37:25):
It’s, you know, a once in a while treat and an enjoyment, but again, it’s no, there’s no free pass to go put an Oreo into my mouth ever again. And, uh, that goes for all the crappy process treats and stark contrast to, uh, going over to visit grandma with her fresh baked cookies made from scratch or opening up one of the many keto or paleo cookbooks and looking at a much more thoughtful dessert recipe if you’re so inclined. And let’s say the most recent thing I made, I saw a, uh, recipe for mango ice cream and it was going to the blender with, uh, a bunch of fresh mango, a bunch of egg yolks and heavy cream, and whipped that thing up, uh, put it in the freezer and it was pretty good. I mean, those are three ingredients.

Brad (38:17):
How can you complain? It’s, it’s probably call it a nutritious food. But again, that was just a whim. And I don’t really have a need for those little treats and healthy dessert recipes to be regular players in my diet. I think the only thing that I would call a frequent indulgence is my fondness for bean to bark dark chocolate, which I consider to be a nutritious food as well as an indulgence. Okay? So, once we escape from a diet of processed foods, we are going to direct our focus to a diet of maximum nutrient density. And that’s what the carnivore scores chart is all about, is prioritizing the most nutritious foods and trying to stay in the highest categories as much as possible and understand the difference between having a mainstream produced chicken versus having a slice of grass fed liver.

Brad (39:22):
And we’re talking about one of the most nutritious foods on the planet versus one of the most objectionable parts of industrialized food processing is what we do with the chickens. Okay? That’s going to be content for another show. But for now, let’s put that at the forefront that we’re focusing on obtaining maximum nutrient density from making great choices, within the carnivore scores chart.

Brad (39:49):
Now, uh, I might just throw in this as I wrap up this part one show and then get into the two major shifts in my dietary philosophy and strategy that’s happened in the last three years. What I might throw in is, Hey, what about losing excess body fat? If you’re telling me to, for example, not worry about limiting my carbs to the keto levels or being super devoted with daily intermittent fasting or compressed eating window and going for these nutrient dense foods, which some of them might be high in fat, high end calories, whatever.

Brad (40:25):
So just quickly, of course, I have whole shows on the topic. And you can listen further to my interviews with Jay Feldman, as well as Dr. Tommy Wood, with this huge, extremely important assertion that you have to get healthy first before you concern yourself with the goal of dropping excess body fat. And for many people that means healing a dysfunctional gut, dealing with that leaky gut syndrome and returning to healthy gut microbiome so that you can process and assimilate the nutrients that you consume from your diet, uh, that entails getting rid of that processed foods which rip up your gut lining and cause that inflammation and all those downstream health conditions. And interestingly today this includes some of the, uh, so-called plant superstar foods that can possibly contribute to leaky gut syndrome in sensitive people. So we’re not only talking about getting rid of the junk food, the obvious one, but we’re talking about scrutinizing our diet further to stay away from these natural plant toxins that can cause problems.

Brad (41:35):
So getting healthy means getting good at burning cellular energy, not just your stored body fat or burning your stored glycogen, but also processing your food efficiently. And so that’s the first step. The next one is to make an effort to move more in general everyday life. And I think this has been huge for me with my morning exercise routine that I talk about so much that sets the tone for an active, healthy, energetic day. And even if my day is not, uh, active and energetic cuz I’m busy working for, uh, long hours instead of, uh, having a a day of play time, at least I started my day with a nice block of activity. And if you are not moving enough, you’re really gonna compromise your devoted efforts to optimize your diet. So I think movement and healthy, nutritious food choices go together. Uh, the human is designed to move.

Brad (42:35):
That’s all there is to it. That’s evolutionary biology. There’s so many studies and reasons and rationale for it. But when we sit, we experience very quick declines in metabolic, hormonal and cognitive function. So this is about taking brief breaks throughout the day. Even when you’re sitting still and concentrating for as little as 20 minutes, you start to experience some declines in glucose tolerance. So you get worse at burning energy and you also experience declines in cognitive function around that time. So where you can really only concentrate intently for around 20 minutes before we require a break anyway. So it’s getting healthy, cleaning up your diet, whatever it takes to get healthy. Maybe you need to sleep more, whatever. So it’s number one, get healthy first. Number two, increase all forms of general everyday movement. And again, when we’re throwing this little tidbit in to end the show on the topic of reducing excess body fat, we also want to perform high intensity exercise on a regular basis.

Brad (43:36):
That’s resistance training, that’s sprinting. And the weight bearing stuff is especially effective for, uh, sending the genetic signals that profound genetic signals to reduce excess body fat. And if you’ve, uh, gone this far and you’re already nailing those first three objectives, then of course you can throw in some sort of gimmick or restriction to help you get this, get this job handled. I mentioned on my fatty popcorn Boy saga show where I had the first time in my life the objective to drop excess body fat that I was not happy was on my body. Like, where, where’d this come from? Anyway, um, what I chose to do was not consume any calories before 12 noon. And that was not really for the magical benefits of time restricted feeding, which are now being unwound with recent research. And folks like Dr. Peter Attia highly respected authorities saying that it appears the benefits of time restricted feeding are just a consequent reduction in calories.

Brad (44:42):
as opposed to any magic of restricting the window of time where you consume your calories. For example, the popular 16 dash eight strategy where you’re fasting for 16 hours every day and then consuming all of your calories between 12 noon and 8:00 PM I’m not talking about eating that whole time and saying that your first meal’s at noon and you’re finished eating your last meal at 8:00 PM Um, so the benefit there is just because you have, you know, less time to eat, you might eat fewer calories, you might have success. So yes, putting in a gimmick is just fine, but just think of it that way. And then, you’re gonna progress toward your objective, your ideal body composition, someday you’re gonna get there.

Brad (45:25):
And then you can normalize and neutralize and recalibrate to have a, a winning long term dietary strategy. But again, I’m so fond of Dr. Lustig’s major assertion here that if you just get rid of processed foods, you’re gonna be just fine. And you’re gonna have a nice long term success rate with maintaining your desired body composition. And when I say desired body composition or ideal body composition, that’s where we kind of have to get realistic here. And if you wanna look like one of the runners in the world track and field championships or an Olympic athlete or magazine cover person or one of your favorite people that you follow on Instagram, they’re generally putting in a ton of work on the fitness side to get that elite level physique. So that’s out of reach of someone who is not putting in that extensive athletic training and perhaps even really working hard on the diet to the extent that it has, uh, potential to be unhealthy.

Brad (46:27):
And we know about that from body building scene and people who can, uh, get down to their money shot for a photo but difficult to sustain over the long term. And so if that kind of stuff interests you, whatever, go for it. But we’re talking about enjoying your life, having fitness be a nice slice of the pie, but not necessarily too extreme if that’s not what you’re into, maybe you’re not gonna have the glistening six pack walk around. But that’s all personal preference and reality. And of course you can live a long, healthy, active, energetic life looking, uh, just, uh, normal and healthy rather than anything extreme. Okay, that’s part one in the books. And please email me with your thoughts and reflections and, uh, I look forward to, uh, get getting that great feedback and working on this challenge together as we try to optimize diet, podcast@bradventures.com, of course is the email address. And share this show with someone who might be interested. Push that button on your podcast player. It’ll pull up a text message when you say share, and it’ll bring the link up to the show. And we love when you spread the word. It’s really great and it helps us rise up the rankings, get more people paying attention. Thanks for listening. I can’t wait to record the ensuing parts of this series about optimizing your diet.

Speaker 3 (47:52):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email podcast@bradventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows. Subscribe to our email list at bradkearns.com for a weekly blast about the published episodes and a wonderful bimonthly newsletter edition with informative articles and practical tips for all aspects of healthy living. You can also download several awesome free eBooks when you subscribe to the email list. And if you could go to the trouble to leave a five or five star review with Apple Podcasts or wherever else you listen to the shows, that would be super incredibly awesome. It helps raise the profile of the B.rad podcast and attract new listeners. And did you know that you can share a show with a friend or loved one by just hitting a few buttons in your player and firing off a text message? My awesome podcast player called Overcast allows you to actually record a soundbite excerpt from the episode you’re listening to and fire it off with a quick text message. Thank you so much for spreading the word and remember, B.rad.




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