Welcome to part three of this series all about optimizing your animal-based diet.

In previous installments (part one and part two) I talked about the rationale behind and the benefits of following an animal-based diet, effective methods for losing excess body fat, especially the concept that you must get healthy first before contemplating any goal such as losing excess body fat—and this largely happens by cleaning up your diet and ditching the ‘Big Three’ toxic modern, processed foods. I also discussed the fundamental shifts I have experienced in philosophy and dietary strategy—the first one coming in early 2019 via Dr. Paul Saladino and Dr. Shawn Baker and the realization that plant foods do not contribute maximum nutrient density to your diet, and that the most nutrient dense foods are found in the animal kingdom. The second came this year, in 2022, from Jay Feldman’s energy balance podcast and his bioenergetic model of health, whereby you want to give your cells optimal fuel/nutrition at all times to minimize the stress of your peak performance and athletic recovery efforts. Because practices like low-carb/keto and time-restricted feeding turn on stress hormones, if you are going for optimal health (and I talked about the difference between what is possible and what is optimal in the first show), then partaking in any activity that turns on stress hormones is not ideal. 

Since I always want to keep an open mind and be reflective, this has led me to conclude that I no longer need to fast or restrict carbohydrates, as I am trying so hard to perform athletically and recover. As you will hear during this episode, if you want to be healthy and energetic, you may as well adhere to this concept of eating more, nutritious foods, becoming more active, and building and maintaining lean muscle mass throughout life—and this show will help you identify all of those ultra nutritious foods as I walk you through the newly revised Carnivore Scores chart. After listening to the episode, be sure to download the chart and print a few copies out—stick one on your fridge and place another in your reusable shopping bag to take with you when you go shopping for groceries. 


You must get healthy first before you contemplate a goal like reducing excess body fat. [01:01]

Fasting, keto, low carb, time-restricted feedings all turn on stress hormones. [03:08]

What is absent from Brad’s Carnivore chart are the big three toxic modern foods. [04:55]

Plant foods lack many of the important agents that are available in animal protein. [09:16] 

Looking at the Carnivore chart listing the Global Allstars, we see grass-fed liver is the world’s most nutrient dense food.  It is very affordable.  [10:15]

Oysters, along with salmon roe and caviar, are in the top category for nutrition. [16:57]   

A surprise addition to the Global Allstars on Brads Carnivore Chart is fruit. Berries are the best. [18:31]

What we’re trying to do is adapt the ancestral model into the realities of hectic, high stress, digital modern life. [30:39]

Organic is best when eating the skin of the fruit.  If you are not going to consume the skin, then organic is not quite so important. [33:48]

Animal organs, including liver, is the next group to look at. If eating these organs, doesn’t appeal, you can consume desiccated organ meats in capsules. [36:40]

Like supports like is what we mean when we talk about eating the various organ meats helping our bodies. [40:02]

Bone broth is the distillation of the agents contained inside the bones. Bone broth is the best way to get your collagen. [43:37]



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Check out each of these companies because they are absolutely awesome or they wouldn’t occupy this revered space. Seriously, Brad won’t promote anything he doesn’t absolutely love and use in daily life.


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Brad (01:01):
Okay, listeners, welcome to part three of Optimizing Your Animal Based Diet is the title of the series. In the first episode, I talked about the rationale and the benefits, the concept of moving up from level five to level seven or level seven to level nine. We talked a bit about losing excess body fat in that first show, especially the concept that you must get healthy first before you contemplate a goal like reducing excess body fat. And that largely happens by cleaning up your diet. Ditching the big three toxic modern process foods. So that was encapsulating part one. In part two, I talked about my two recent fundamental shifts in philosophy as well as dietary strategy. The first one coming in early 2019, uh, with Dr. Paul Saladino and his promotion of the animal based, uh, they call it the carnivore diet, Dr. Sean Baker, a huge influence too, being that he’s, uh, over 50 years old setting world records.

Brad (02:04):
So these two leaders, very thoughtful, very well, uh, researched and, and communicating this idea that not only do plant foods not really contribute maximum nutrient density when compared to animal foods, but may be problematic and counterproductive due to react activity to natural plant toxins. And that was a real eyeopener and has sent me on a path of no return, whereby I am no longer emphasizing things like salads or stir fries or green smoothies, and instead are going for the most nutrient dense foods on the planet, which are found in the animal kingdom. So that was the first, uh, major shift that I identify. And then the second one has been here in 2022 inspired strongly by the Jay Feldman Energy Balance podcast. And I guess he calls it the bioenergetic model of health, whereby you want to give your cells optimal fuel, optimum optimal nutrition at all times to minimize the stress of your peak performance and athletic recovery efforts.

Brad (03:08):
His slap in the face, one liner that he spoke to me was fasting, keto, low carb, time restricted feedings. These practices turn on stress hormones. Now, if you’re highly fat adapted, that might not be such a big deal. But when I’m going for optimal, like I talked about on the first show, the difference between what’s possible and what’s optimal, I want to keep an open mind and be reflective. And that has led me to, uh, conclude and test out this idea that I no longer need to fast or restrict carbohydrates because I’m trying so hard to, uh, perform athletically and recover. So the, the keto diet, the time restricted feeding, the fasting, all these are wonderful tools to clean up your act and get away from this disastrous pattern of unregulated, unfettered consumption of processed foods over consumption, disease patterns, things that we see, uh, with the modern population across the planet.

Brad (04:06):
But if you take that context away for a second and say, Hey, I wanna be healthy, energetic, you might as well, uh, adhere to this concept of, uh, eating more nutritious foods, becoming more active, and building and maintaining lean muscle mass throughout life. The great quote from Rob Wolf, if you want to live longer, lift more weights and eat more protein. And the great quote from Dr. Tommy Wood, he told me several years ago that when he is talking to his healthy active clients, he counsels them to consume as much nutritious food as possible until they gain a pound of fat and then dial it back a little bit. And that’s when you realize that you are optimally fueled for cellular energy at all times. Listen to my interviews with Jay Feldman to learn more about that. So that’s what I covered in part two.

Brad (04:55):
And now as we get to, uh, part three and certainly part four, cuz I have so much content to discuss this carnivore scores, food rankings chart in great detail. So what I wanna do is take you through every category that’s listed on there and give you some of the rationale and benefits for including the highest ranked foods in your diet and emphasizing them. So we’re gonna talk about bone broth, we’re gonna talk about oysters, we’re gonna talk about liver. We’re gonna talk about grass fed red meat being superior to chicken, pork, and even fish. So that’s what we’ll get into in these next two shows. But I think, uh, before we go into the highest ranking foods, we should start, uh, by mentioning what’s noticeably absent from a, a chart ranking, the best foods and trying to optimize your diet. And that, of course, are the big three toxic modern foods.

Brad (05:47):
And we have special attention to the wonderful food creations that are designed to make us addicted and make us over consume. There’s great books about this like the Hungry Brain, from Dr. Stephan Guyenet and Wired to Eat by Robb Wolf. But they call them hyper palatable modern foods typically pairing, uh, sugar and fat together to kind of hijack the dopamine, uh, receptors in your brain, even trigger the opioid receptors whereby they take on addictive properties, uh, especially sugar. There’s been a lot written about that. And in Wheat Belly, the best selling book by Dr. William Davis talking about the addictive properties of, uh, the glyadin protein contained in modern wheat and other examples of pairing sugar with fat, things like ice cream, potato chips, desserts, Starbucks drinks, bread and butter, French toast with butter and syrup, and on and on. So, uh, when we can get over into an animal based nutrient dense diet, what happens is we experience this tremendous satiety such that we no longer pace around, uh, with a hankering for a daily dose of ice cream or whatever your go-to hyper palatable, processed modern foods are.

Brad (07:03):
And animal based foods nourish us at the cellular level in a profound manner such that it optimizes the appetite and satiety hormones that are so sensitive. You’ve heard of my, uh, interview with Dr. Ted Naiman, co-author of the PE diet that stands for Protein to Energy Ratio. And he talks about the protein lever theory or the protein leverage theory, which, uh, proposes that our cravings and our overeating of these hyper palatable process. Modern foods are all driven by a deep biological drive to consume sufficient protein to survive and thrive. Protein is the survival macronutrient. That’s the one that we should prioritize and think about first when we’re planning our daily meals every day for the rest of our life. So in order to get our protein needs met, we experience intense cravings to consume the right amount of food. And if that food is heavily weighted toward bowls of cereal with non-fat yogurt and, uh, the sweets and treats and the potato chips and the ice creams, the protein leveraged theory contends that you are going to overeat these foods in a futile attempt to meet your protein requirements.

Brad (08:20):
Uh, so if, if potato chips, I believe Dr. Naman was quoting things like a 5% protein and ice cream is 7% protein or something. So 93% of the calories are not going to hit these biological and these genetic switches, that means you’re gonna be eating and eating and eating because you’re not truly satisfied. Uh, there’s a whole bunch of vital nutrients found in concentration in animal based foods. I think I pasted this list from Dr. Al Danenberg’s book, Uh, Eat Like Your Life Depends On It, I believe is the title. So things like calcium carnitine, carine and cholesterol choline, creatine, glycine, iodine, iron, omega-3 fatty acids, Selenium Touring, Vitamin A in its fully form of Retinol, vitamin b12, Vitamin B two, b3, b6, Vitamin D three, and zinc. That list is some of the very critical agents that are found largely in animal protein.

Brad (09:16):
And when you talk about plant foods and we talk about having the high risk plant based diet, that’s because many of the agents on the list are completely absent or in very low levels and very difficult to digest and assimilate. And I talked in the earlier show about the difference between the highly touted foods that are rich in beta Carin like carrots and all the orange and yellow colors of the rainbow. The fruits, the vegetables that have those hues are high in beta carotene. But as Dr. Saladino, uh, describes in detail, uh, assimilating beta carin and converting it to the usable form of vitamin A called retinol is 21 times more complex chemical reaction than consuming vitamin A in its full form as you would get in a huge dose from liver. And that’s one reason why liver is off the charts as the world’s most nutrient dense food.

Brad (10:15):
So that with that, uh, transition, I take you right into the carnivore scores food rankings chart. And at the top level, level number one, it’s called the Global All Stars, we start with grass-fed liver, and I put grass fed there because when you’re talking about something that’s so nutrient dense, you wanna make a great effort to get a, a clean, naturally raised animal because liver concentrates all the nutrition and it can concentrate the toxins if you’re talking about a mass produced animal that’s been fed inferior sources and be given, uh, hormones, pesticides, antibiotics, things like that. And as far as budget-friendly, when you look at this carnivore scores, food rankings chart, yeah, I’m putting in, uh, some of the very premium products like Salmon Rowe is on the top list is one of the best foods, uh, quite expensive at the sushi bar or in the small glass jar at the natural foods market.

Brad (11:12):
But things like liver are incredibly affordable. So you can navigate this chart, uh, exceptionally well on a strict or extremely strict budget. Liver is still just a few bucks a pound because the consumer demand isn’t there for the world’s most nutrient dense food. And that is a huge indictment of modern culture, which has negated and rejected and disrespected the global traditions for all ethnic cuisine. Uh, quite often or almost, almost always, uh, emphasize organ meats. You look at traditional French cuisine and the great book by Tania Teschke called Bordeaux Kitchen, where there’s pages and pages of delicious incredibly elaborate recipes based on organ meats and a lot of discussion about the rationale why these are so important. So go find yourself some grass-fed liver. There are wonderful internet resources that we can put in the show notes.

Brad (12:13):
I like going to US Wellness Meats. I like going to certain Whole Foods markets that, uh, have frozen liver. Uh, and you can easily source this wonderful product. And if it’s not your most favorite thing to cook up and eat, you can consume it frozen. I like to chop mine into little chunks where I will freeze them and pop it into my mouth. It tastes just fine. It doesn’t have the offensive texture that a lot of people complain about. Uh, when you’re talking about pan frying it and I salt it heavily, Dr. Paul Saladino taught me that one. And so you can chew on these chunks of liver or, uh, what I do every single day is I throw a good handful of these frozen chunks into my smoothie and blended up. So I’m drinking liver every single day. And, uh, as you, as I said briefly, the liver is the control tower that dispenses the exact amounts and types of nutrients you need into your bloodstream at all times.

Brad (13:09):
And it’s also the principle detoxifying organ in the body. So it is the most nutrient dense area inside your body and inside the body of the animals. And there’s great content on my bradkearns.com/MOFO page talking about the ancestral traditions. Um, what we see in the wild are the lions and the other apex predators taking down their fresh kill and immediately instinctively going for the liver and eating that warm on the spot. And this is also a tradition that’s been found in hunter gatherers and modern day hunter gatherers where the liver is the prize and that will be fed right away to the hunters, and then they’ll bring the rest of the animal back, uh, to cook up and enjoy for the clan. So that instinctive and traditional, uh, representation is pretty important. And then if you are, uh, not into that, um, touchy-feely stuff, you can also look at science today and look at liver’s nutritional profile, which is off the charts by comparison to any other food, especially if you’re touting and putting up, uh, a superstar from the plant kingdom.

Brad (14:21):
Like, well, my kale smoothie is the most healthy drink I can get on the planet or my salad with all these different, uh, fruits and vegetables and, and uh, meat and wonderful dressing on it. Okay, that’s fine. But when you talk about the levels of the B vitamins, the iron, zinc, magnesium, phosphorous, selenium, folic acid choline, and the fat soluble vitamins, which are difficult to source in the modern diet, especially if you’re leaning toward lots of plant intake, and those are vitamins, A, D, E, and K. Beef liver has 17 times more B12 than ground beef, which is actually a very highly ranked super food. I’m just making the point here that liver is off the charts, especially in that all important retinol, the fully formed state of vitamin A, which has vitamin A, which has all kinds of anti-inflammatory, uh, benefits to ocular health.

Brad (15:13):
That’s why we talk about carrots being good for your eyesight. Well, what about liver? Remember I said the beta carotene takes 21 times more complex chemical reaction. So liver is going to be the go to food to improve eyesight, improve bone density has a lot of cancer protective agents. Um, so I talk about eating it frozen. You can also, coat some grass fed liver in almond flour and pan fry it in butter or avocado oil. Some people soak it in milk. That’s the old traditional recipe. Don’t overcook it like you might have been accustomed to, uh, with certain cuisine, maybe from your childhood liver and onions where you’re cooking up this thing until it turns rubber, cuz that is going to compromise some of the awesome nutritional benefits. So the ideal way is to kind of sear it on both sides and have that chewy interior.

Brad (16:03):
I also like making a puree in the Cuisinart blender where you can throw in grass fed hamburger and uh, a bunch of liver and then, uh, blended together so you can have these, uh, super food liver burgers. Okay, enough about liver. And if you want more, go look at Liver King Instagram site. He is going to town, uh, like no one else touting liver because liver is king. Okay, love that guy. And his fun stuff all taken in good spirit, I hope. And, uh, encouraging you to turn your life around and get your energy back. Starting with the consumption of liver. It’s a good point. You know, clean up your diet, replenish, depleted cellular energy. Same with the MOFO supplement. It’s been so popular because if you’re are, you know, tough state and you haven’t been eating perfectly for years and perhaps decades, you are depleted all over your body.

Brad (16:57):
And that is sometimes a tough situation to turn the corner and turn things around and start working out hard, like Rocky. So we wanna really, um, restore that cellular energy with good dietary choices, especially the superfoods. And then you can, uh, sail along and build upon your increasingly active fit lifestyle. Um, oysters also up there in the top category. They have the tremendous levels of zinc and vitamin B12, and that’s why they have the reputation as being an aphrodisiac. They are best consumed raw for maximum nutritional value, or I like to steam them for a while just enough to where I can, uh, stick a knife in and open up the shell easily and pop that oyster down. And I like to put fresh lemon juice on there and a little bit of spice like Chula sauce, so lightly flavored.

Brad (17:53):
But what you wanna get away from is those, uh, servings, like at the sushi place where the oysters just bathed in mayonnaise, which is very likely made with refined industrial seed oils. Also on the top list, the Global Allstars salmon roe and caviar. And I mean, the egg is the life force essence of the planet, right? So we’re talking about eggs. We usually think of chicken eggs, but salmon, eggs and eggs from the other fish are incredibly rich nutritional value with things like iodine, choline, omega-3 fatty acids in the preferred form of EPA and DHA.

Brad (18:31):
The last entrant in the top category, the Global Allstars, a new addition. And it is fruit, Yeah, that is a big revision people, and that’s why I republished the chart and the inspiration for a recording this new show because I recorded a show, uh, quite a ways back when, uh, the Carnivore Scores Chart first appeared. And so now we’re taking fruit and slapping it right there where it belongs as a Global Allstar. If you think about it, this has been a centerpiece of the ancestral diet and human evolution for so long, the ripening of the fruit in those ripening seasons on the planet. And in fact, in our, uh, ancestral experience and our evolutionary experience, uh, the, the ripening of the fruit and the gorging on that fruit allowed us to add excess body fat to go into the long, dark, cold, harsh winter a little bit more protected for the times when food was scarce. And so this, uh, having fruit as the centerpiece of the ancestral diet played an important evolutionary role. You might not appreciate hearing that today. The idea that fruit can, uh, help us add excess body fat. And indeed, uh, fruit has received a bad wrap, uh, even in the primal paleo ancestral health realm for being, uh, too high in sugar, easy to convert into fat because the fructose and fruit needs to be processed in the liver before it can be burned in the bloodstream.

Brad (20:06):
We’ve heard that fruit has been overly cultivated these days to be more sweet and with less antioxidant values. And we’ve been writing about this for quite some time, but with a lot of things where you wanna step back and, uh, reckon and recalibrate. Fruit is one where I’ve had a, a major rethinking in recent times. And so I’m urging you to, uh, maintain an open mind as well. It is the most easy to digest the least offensive food in the plant kingdom, along with honey, that has the least amount of natural plant toxins. In fact, fruit is designed to be eaten. The plant wants you to consume the fruit. And then in the perspective of evolutionary biology and botany, the idea is that the creature that consumes the fruit will then poop the seeds out somewhere else, and the fruit will achieve its basic evolutionary goal of surviving and reproducing, passing on offspring.

Brad (21:05):
So it adheres to the same evolutionary guidelines as the human and all other animals. It’s funny to think of fruit in that context, but this is, this is true legit stuff, that the berry bush is serving up those berries in August or whenever it ripens, so that creatures can consume them, poop ’em out, and more berry bushes will flourish on the planet, unlike the plant toxins and the discussion we had there where they do not want to be eaten in the categories of roots, seeds, stems and leaves because you’re pulling the plant out of the ground and destroying it and killing it. And therefore, the defense mechanism that the plant has are these chemicals designed to ward off predators like humans. So fruits in a different category, There are no objections to, uh, consuming it from that plant toxicity standpoint. Of course, there’s, uh, all kinds of nutritional benefits to fruit, and that is why, uh, like it or not, it’s bumping up to the Global Allstars list.

Brad (22:07):
And if you listen to my four part series of reflections on the energy balance concept of my two interviews with Jay Feldman, you’ll know that I’m on an experiment that’s, uh, four months and counting here to make a concerted effort to, uh, early in the morning right after I do my morning exercise routine, to eat a huge bowl of fruit and make that effort overall to consume a ton of fruit from largely years of, uh, putting it aside in the name of getting my paleo, my primal, and my keto membership card stamped, uh, every day with a smiley face. And this has been a wonderful experiment. It’s been illuminating, it’s been eye-opening. And then the more I research and ponder this concept of the benefits of eating fruit to nourish your cells, to give you that source of carbohydrates that you can, uh, be active and energetic and help with your hormones.

Brad (23:05):
There’s so much talk and there’s so much fallout from keto and intermittent fasting and restrictive dieting, especially among females where restricting those carbs at that level of devotion down into the ketogenic range of 50 grams a day or less, uh, can be highly problematic for thyroid hormones, for reproductive hormones. And essentially, it’s a stressful practice to restrict carbohydrates to that level. Now there’s so many people that have benefited from that and keto has changed their life and they’ve lost a ton of weight and they feel alert, energetic, and they no longer have gas, bloating, digestive pain because they’ve cut back on overall carbohydrate intake. And we’re gonna have to largely argue that the things that are, that have been eliminated have produced a health awakening because the processed carbohydrates and perhaps the high plant toxin carbohydrates were the things that were really causing a problem.

Brad (24:05):
And I can’t imagine there’s too many humans out there, and you probably would agree with this assertion that merely isolating and cutting fruit out of your diet can produce a health awakening. In fact, it’s probably a good thing to consider, uh, bringing back into the game. And I stand here, uh, a bit, a bit embarrassed and ashamed for the act of splitting hairs in the primal paleo messaging that I’ve been a part of for the last 14 years, to put fruit in this category of, yeah, kind of sugary, easy to overdo, it can cause you to add excess body fat. And then saying with vegetables, go to town stuff, your face with the leafy greens and the cruciferous vegetables that we now know can be potentially problematic and sensitive people, and probably a lot of people out there are sensitive. So you would probably call this a flip flop if I was a politician.

Brad (25:00):
So I will proudly stand here and say, A, I’m not a politician, and B, happy to flip flop when the cause is warranted. So there’s a big huge plug for fruit. However, if you are minimally active insufficiently active, and if you are consuming, uh, a significant amount of processed foods, and then you go to Weight Watchers and they say fruit gets zero points, you can eat apples all day and it doesn’t go against your scoreboard. Yeah, that’s not gonna be a great idea. And it can, uh, contribute to, uh, fat accumulation if you’re already an unhealthy individual. Again, because fructose is process in the liver. And so the liver happens to be where you convert excess, uh, carbohydrate calories into fat. And so it’s the most lipogenic of all forms of carbohydrate fructose is, uh, but that’s neither here nor there. When you’re out there taking walks and doing your workouts and burning a lot of energy, even if you’re not a fitness freak, burning a lot of energy running around all day and demanding a high cognitive function.

Brad (26:06):
So that’s when fruit can step in and be tremendously nutritious, easy to digest. Jay Feldman even talks about drinking fruit juice and people, scream and horror, and of course the whole fruits are gonna be the best source. But, uh, when we are talking about, uh, this lipogenic, this negative energy about fruit, uh, we’re talking about, uh, leading authors writing an entire book about the dangers of excess uric acid in the body coming from over consumption of fruit. I think we have to zoom out a bit and realize that a lot of the research and a lot of the adverse health consequences are coming from people that eat too much shitty food and don’t exercise enough. Okay, that’s my, uh, take on the whole thing. And we’ve also made an effort to rank fruits in the books and content that we produce over time.

Brad (27:02):
And berries are the best because they have the most antioxidants and they have the lowest glycemic value. And then tropical fruits have been, uh, dissed a little bit because they have tend to have lower antioxidant and a higher glycemic response. So we say stay away from those mangoes, papayas and, uh, try to get, uh, more focused on the berries. And for me right now, I’m also gonna call, BS on myself for worrying about that too much and trying to steer people away from the tropical fruits, which are colorful, have a lot of nutritional value. And when it comes to ranking, hey, berries might, uh, make a case for, uh, ranking higher with a bit more on the scoreboard of antioxidants, or they have it, the ORAC scoreboard, O R A C stands for oxygen radical absorbance capacity, and it’s ranking the highest antioxidant foods and, uh, the berries are gonna score higher than the other tropical fruits.

Brad (27:57):
But whatever fruit you enjoy, of course, try to source locally and emphasize in-season fruits. But if it’s wintertime and you can go to the store and find something good from Mexico or from a distant location, uh, go ahead because it certainly has minimal ejections in comparison to that kale smoothie that you’ve been drinking in the name of health or the salad or the stir fry. And oh my gosh, that brings me to the comments about my sticky note. Yes, indeed. I had this little message here, uh, hearing some good commentary from the respected author Dr. David Perlmutter, who says, You shouldn’t eat any fruit at all in the winter time, because our genetic expectation is that we do not receive any carbohydrates in the winter, because they’re not available. They’re not riping in, in a natural, uh, way anywhere. And, uh, by doing so, we’re kind of overriding this circadian rhythm and our genetics whereby if we are to consume fruit and other heavy carbon intake in the winter, we’re gonna be more likely to store those calories as fat because our body is in hibernation mode when we have to endure these long, dark cold winters.

Brad (29:11):
And so that seasonal variation in our fat burning and our hormones and our genetics is all, uh, validated by science. Uh, but I, I had the sticky note and I made a good effort over the last several winters to just completely avoid fruit in the name of honoring my genetics and my ancestral past. And now I have this awakening. I slap myself in the face, I look in the mirror, or I look into the microphone and I ask you, my friend, what effing winter are we talking about these days?

Brad (29:47):
There is no such thing as this freezing cold, harsh, dark, cold winter because we turn on lights and we artificially lengthen our days to out preference every month of the year. We are going into artificially-lit health clubs and doing our same workout patterns that we might be doing in the summer. Some people ramp it up in the winter because it’s too hot in summer. So we are not sitting around in caves weathering the conditions and thereby trying to honor our ancestors by without reaching for the fruit. Last winter when Southwest Airlines had their two-day sale for $80 flights to Hawaii from the mainland, we binged on that. We went to Hawaii four times during the winter on jet airplanes, which my ancestors didn’t have, and we went on hot sweaty hikes and ate tropical fruit.

Brad (30:39):
So you see what I’m getting at? When we have this obsessive adherence to the ancestral model in the name of health, sometimes we have to shrug our shoulders in saying, Look, we’re not in ancestral times. So the idea, while, while valid on the surface that, uh, winter time is a time of fat storage, less activity, less carbohydrate intake, Hey, guess what, Um, that does not fly when you’re getting on a jet airplane and going to Hawaii. Do you get my point here? So, uh, the ancestral example, of course, is the most validated scientific study of all time, and it’s a great way to navigate modern life. And as Mark Sisson always said from the start, what we’re trying to do is adapt the ancestral model into the realities of hectic, high stress, digital modern life. And speaking of that, um, I’m going back to Tommy Woods’s quote, where he cites actual research that today’s elite athlete, high performing athlete does six times more caloric energy expenditure in a day than the busiest hunter gatherer of all times.

Brad (31:44):
So that could mean that today’s modern human that has fitness ambitions like myself and is burning calories at the gym and doing crazy stuff, like, for example, running on a treadmill, Our ancestors would never think of such a thing because they did the bare minimum physical work necessary to survive. They weren’t training for any events or lifting anything that wasn’t contributing to the shelter they were building. So if we’re burning more caloric energy and reaching for more lofty athletic heights today, we might have that green light to go out of our way to consume additional sources of carbohydrate to help perform and recover for these athletic endeavors. Okay, so I’m no longer psyched about ranking fruits and hair splitting here and there, but there are some concerns if you wanna weigh deeper into this. Uh, interestingly, the tropical fruits have fewer antinutrients because there is a tiny bit of concern about oxalates for very sensitive people, uh, that are higher in certain fruits.

Brad (32:46):
And those would be the berries, <laugh>. The reason that, uh, that berries have, uh, more nutritional benefit also goes hand in hand, as I talked about in the vegetable community, goes hand in hand with higher levels of natural plant toxins. So strawberries, blackberries, blueberries, Concord grapes, currents and oranges have higher, relatively higher levels of oxalates, nowhere near the levels found in the real problematic high oxalate foods like spinach and almonds, for example. And then the lower levels, so this would be the safest fruits, would be those tropical fruits, as well as things like avocado, uh, melons and cherries. So, um, wild fruit is obviously going to be the best choice or the highest ranked. That means pulling over on the side of the road on the Oregon coast during the summertime, uh, with your picking devices and you’re going to town. Uh, so, uh, that’s pretty difficult to find when you want to go purchase a basket as opposed to go picking on your own.

Brad (33:48):
Uh, but that definitely deserves credit as the best, most nutritious, um, local organic in season would be next down the ranking. And, uh, we wanna definitely prioritize organic, even though it costs more when you are consuming the skin or the skin is difficult to wash. So when we’re talking about berries, of course, organic is super important, especially things like strawberries, which have, reported to have the most offensive pesticide chemical used routinely. So prioritize organic when you are consuming the skin, and then, uh, don’t worry about it. If you are consuming a fruit where the skin is not consumed and it’s nice and thick that you peel off. So an avocado, a melon, the tropical fruits, of course, organic is gonna be, uh, better in certain ways, maybe a little bit more nutrient density, uh, but certainly not a concern with pesticide exposure because of the protective coat of the avocado, the melon, the tropical fruit.

Brad (34:55):
And yes, indeed the overly cultivated stuff is a little annoying. So when you see a perfectly, uh, presented basket of blackberries that are giant, um, a lot of times these are kind of watery and deficient on flavor because of all the cultivation and the manipulation of, let’s say, a natural wild offering of blackberries. So nutrient density, uh, a little bit of a thumbs down, uh, transported from distant origins, uh, with a bigger carbon footprint. Also a thumbs down. So, uh, when you’re getting the giant blackberries flown into the big box store from Chile and buying them in January, uh, that pales in comparison to picking your own pail on the Oregon coast in the summertime. But again, you would do the best we can. And when that fruit availability is there and someone flew a pineapple over from Hawaii to your local big box store in the wintertime, go ahead and enjoy it.

Brad (35:56):
Okay, <laugh>, um, fruit is also a great dessert option if you’re trying to, uh, crowd out, uh, those habitual consumption of processed foods and sweets and treats like your ice cream habit or what have you. And, uh, speaking of hyper palatable foods and the trouble that they can get us in, uh, come on, fruit is so naturally satisfying with so much fiber and water content that it’s very difficult to get into trouble, uh, taking your hall pass and going and consuming fruit. I mean, I can go to town pretty well, especially when I’m hungry and I can eat a whole pineapple, but I’m not going to eat two pineapples, if you know what I’m saying, because of all the natural satiety provided by fruit.

Brad (36:40):
All right, so that is row number one, the Global Allstars, grass fed liver, oysters, salmon row, and caviar and fruit. And then right below them in the tiered ranking system. On the Carnivore Scores Chart is animal organs. And this, of course includes liver, which was already mentioned, but also in this category is gonna be bone broth and other organs that are commonly found and consumed, like heart, kidney, sweetbread, which is another word for the thymus gland. Rocky Mountain Oysters, which is another word for testicles, <laugh>, I guess a cuter word for testicles. And then tripe, which is, uh, parts of the stomach. And, uh, we definitely want to try as hard as we can to source grass-fed animals to minimize our concerns about toxins. If you can’t seem to manage routine consumption of animal organs, fortunately we have the wonderful option of consuming desiccated organ meats in capsules from companies like Ancestral Supplements and my MOFO product, I’m super proud to co-promote with them.

Brad (37:52):
And that is a formula designed for male hormone optimization. That’s what MOFO stands for, Male optimization formula with organs. And it contains a blend of testicle, prostate, heart, liver, and bone marrow, all in a capsule. It’s completely pure product with no additives, fillers, or binders, and the cattle, the source for the product. All the Ancestral Supplements products is the great nation of New Zealand down under where all the cattle are 100% grass fed. There is no feed lot operations. So this is the best source for things like animal organ supplements. Again, the fresh organ products are going to be better in so many ways, but this is an unadulteratred convenient way to up your organ game by putting the capsules into the mix. And I throw, oh, probably about 24 total capsules into my smoothie every morning. Not that I, not worried about swallowing them, uh, but it’s an easy way to just chuck ’em in there and make sure that my organ game is strong.

Brad (39:01):
And of course, they’re going in there as well with the frozen grass fed liver chunks. So, just a little commentary about why organs are so special. Um, this has been a, a fundamental element of ancestral health. The great research from Dr. Weston A. Price, uh, a hundred years ago, uh, traveling around the world and studying primitive populations, ancestral living populations, ec in the developed, uh, as the world was developing. He found these pockets, there’s plenty more back then than there are today. Uh, but he, uh, noted as a researcher that they had a tremendous emphasis on organ meats and by and large had, uh, superior health in many ways to the citizens in the developed world. And so he believed that this nose to tail consumption of animals was a key contributor. And that discovery, uh, quote unquote discovery was simply observing people that were still preserving their ancestral habits.

Brad (40:02):
And so when we have this preservation of culture, as I talked about with French cuisine, traditional Mexican cuisine, traditional Asian cuisine, um, Dr. Cate Shanahan’s book, Deep Nutrition, talked about her time, uh, practicing medicine in rural Kauai and going to these potluck dinners where <laugh> one neighbor brought some eyeballs and you’re gonna have help yourself to an eyeball. Another neighbor brought, the hoofs and had the hos floating around in the stew. And so traditional Hawaiian culture and traditional culture from around the world emphasizes these organ meats, and they’ve really been pushed aside largely by the fast food age. And I, uh, recommend you read this wonderful book that’s now over 20 years old called Fast Food Nation by Eric Schlosser. And he talks about the rise of the burger chains in America, back in the fifties, postwar, and how it transformed culture and took us away from all these traditional practices like sitting down to a family home-cooked meal and the traditions that grandma brought to her offspring and that were still preserved until that day came when you could get in the car and hustle over to McDonald’s and go to the drive through window and not make any effort after a long, busy day, running around, chasing after kids or whatever, now you could show your love to the family by, uh, bringing home some fast food.

Brad (41:28):
And it was a major shift in culture and a major destruction to whatever nutritional benefits we had from preserving a little bit of our ethnic cuisine inside the various family homes. Whew. Okay. And going back even further, Chinese medicine, this has been a fundamental tenant for thousands of years. Uh, and this concept of consuming an organ to support the health of the corresponding organ in the body. Uh, so ancestral supplements went site also more commentary on this as well as my MOFO page, but it’s this concept of like supports like that has been seen in Chinese medicine. It’s been seen by ancient Aztecs and other ancient populations. I talked about how the, uh, the animals in the wild go instinctively, right, for the liver and the other organs, Dr. Weston A Price with ton of commentary here. And then we go into the scientific laboratory and we see the amazing nutrient density of these foods.

Brad (42:30):
And Dr. Cate Shanahan, who’s one of the great skeptics and challenged thinkers around, you can hear her commentary on our numerous podcast interviews. I said, What do you think about this like, supports like, where if you’re consuming testicles, it’s gonna help with testosterone production? And she said, Well, um, if you, you know, refuse to believe it and you’re skeptical about any of that ancestral tradition in Chinese medicine, what you can validate is that testicle is rich in the very specific agents that are important for testosterone production in the body. So we put these in a group and column: proteins, peptides, enzymes, co-factors, and molecular bio directors. That’s what like supports like is all about. And some of it cannot be validated on a spreadsheet, but you can look at the rich nutritional value, uh, the things that I already mentioned about, uh, liver and the opening, uh, vitamin A, D E K, the B12 family, the B complex family co enzyme Q 10.

Brad (43:37):
So for example, so if you consume heart, we’ve long known that CO Q 10 is really good for heart function, helps with mitochondrial energy production, uh, has antioxidant benefits and heart happens to be high in co-enzyme Q 10. So if you believe nothing else, at least you are taking the specific nutrients that nourish the corresponding, uh, function of those organs in the body. Uh, bone broth should also be mentioned here, uh, in the list of organ animal organs. And bone broth is the distillation of the agents contained inside the bones from prolonged cooking. So what you’re doing is leeching out all the wonderful nutrients that are inside the bone marrow and the connective tissue and turning ’em into a drinkable beverage. And what I’m talking about here is authentic bone broth that’s made from, um, um, cooking bones for a long period of time.

Brad (44:37):
A couple days is typically how you do it when you’re making your own bone broth at home. And the end product when you refrigerated, it should be gelatinous, so it’s jiggly in the fridge. You can heat it up in a pot or microwave and have a drink of bone broth and liquid form at room temperature or at high temperature. But that’s the distinction between real bone broth and then things that are labeled broth when you go and buy the cartons at Trader Joe’s and it says, chicken broth, beef broth, and that really should be, uh, more properly termed stock. So that’s just kind of the, uh, the water that, uh, drips out when you’re, um, cooking a chicken, but it’s not so dense in the important nutrients that make bone broth a superfood. And those would be things like collagen and glycosaminoglycans.

Brad (45:28):
Those agents are nourishing your own connective tissue in your body. So that’s why collagen has exploded as a huge category for nutritional supplementation. It helps your hair, skin, nails, and connective tissue become nourished. And guess what, When we’re eating this modern processed foods diet or the, uh, emphasizing the, uh, muscle meats like, uh, beef and steak, we are not getting much collagen. So the way to get collagen is through bone broth or consuming, meat that has the bone attached. And so Dr. Cate Shanahan’s book Deep Nutrition, she talks about the four pillars of human nutrition being fresh foods, fermented foods, meat on the bone, and organ meats. And boy was that an awakening to read that wonderful book and realize even though I was really trying hard to eat healthy and I was full on primal and making all the good choices, I was really emphasizing the fresh foods that would be fruits, vegetables, and e even fresh meat.

Brad (46:33):
I wasn’t eating any organ meats. I wasn’t eating much meat on the bone and I wasn’t eating many fermented foods like sauerkraut, kombucha, things that are rich and probiotic. So I was like getting a minus grade or a failing grade on three out of the four pillars of human nutrition. So we wanna make a concerted effort to increase our consumption of collagen. Of course, you can do that with supplements. I love taking the Primal Kitchen collagen powder and uh, putting that into the smoothie as well. Uh, but the best source of collagen could be bone broth as well as consuming meat on the bone with the bone inside. Um, there’s great research that your natural internal collagen production starts to decline pretty significantly around 1.5% per year after age 30. And this is one of the main drivers of wrinkled skin and brittle joints that characterize the aging process.

Brad (47:31):
One interesting thing about collagen with the research is that it has what’s called atropic effect on the body, which means when you consume collagen protein, it travels through the bloodstream and is deposited in areas where it’s most needed. So if you have a problematic area of brittle connective tissue or brittle joint, like the longtime achilles tendon problem, that is where the collagen is going to directly nourish and help rebuild those areas of most need. And Mark Sisson talks about that in some of his podcast commentary when he first came out with his collagen product and was testing out collagen from other sources and realizing that, uh, his lifelong complaint of a pretty raw and ragged achilles tendon was magically getting better when he was hitting the collagen hard. Same with glycosaminoglycans, another agent that helps you make new and improved connective tissue and repair wounds more quickly.

Brad (48:32):
So collagen and glycosaminoglycans act as lubricants and shock absorbers for your joints. Other benefits of bone broth, you may have heard about the heal and seal properties. So it has a beneficial effect on improving your gut lining, which quite likely has become imperfect, inflamed, and permeable due to the widespread health condition of leaky gut syndrome, driven by the consumption of natural plant toxins and becoming overwhelmed with lifelong consumption of these foods to whereby your gut function is imperfect. And if anyone listening experiences routine bouts of gas, bloating, transient digestive pain, irregularities with elimination, these are signs that your gut function may be imperfect. And so this heal and seal effective bone broth has risen it to the forefront to where you can Google things like bone broth, healing diet, or, uh, the GAPS diets. That stands for gut and psychology syndrome whereby, bone broth being the centerpiece of people who can heal from all manner of illnesses and conditions, including those in the mental health category because gut function is so strongly correlated with mental health.

Brad (49:57):
So the GAPS diet and bone broth as a centerpiece has been known to help combat conditions like depression, anxiety, ADHD, and autism spectrum conditions. There are other potent amino acids in bone broth like prolene and glycine that can act as inhibitory neurotransmitters promoting good sleep and delivering comprehensive anti-inflammatory benefits. You can go back into the podcast archives and listen to my show with Sharon Brown. She is the proprietor, the founder of Bonafide Provisions, which makes one of the best bone broth products you can find on the market. They come in bags in the frozen section at quality super foods markets, or you can order on the internet as well. But Sharon talked about her foray into the world and to the business of bone broth was driven by severe health problems with her young son, and he got better from going on to a heavy duty bone broth diet.

Brad (50:59):
So this pretty much closes out the section, the first two sections of the Carnivore Scores, Food Rankings Chart, the Global Allstars and the animal organs. We have much more to cover in the upcoming episodes, and I will leave you urging you to emphasize these top two tiers. Go to bradkearns.com, download the PDF printed out and tape it on your refrigerator and go for those Global Allstars of grass fed liver, oysters, salmon, row and caviar and fruit. And then start to up your organ game, whether it’s through supplements, at Ancestral Supplements, or, uh, getting the organs shipped to you from convenient internet resources. If you don’t have a great natural foods supermarket in your town, but check with your local Whole Foods or local co-op. Uh, if they have organ meats, sometimes you can talk to a butcher and they will order them special for you or they’ll let you know when they’re in.

Brad (51:58):
I found US Wellness Meats.com to be a great resource for organs and Brian Sanders website, my former podcast guest NoseToTail.org, another great internet resource. Contact us podcast@bradventures.com if you’re really having trouble or looking for more suggestions. And then, uh, we’re going to pick it up next time, going through the ensuing categories on the chart, which are in ranked order, red meat, eggs, wild-caught oily cold water fish, shellfish, chicken, turkey, and pork, and organic high fat dairy products. Can’t wait to talk you through all them, but we are here with the Allstars. Thank you for listening. Have a great day. Da da da da da. Thank you for listening to this 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.

Brad (53:14):
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