Carnivore Diets

Welcome to part four of this series all about optimizing an animal-based diet.

In previous installments, we discussed the rationale behind an animal-based diet and the benefits of eliminating toxic, modern foods from your life, the two major shifts I went through in recent years that put me on a totally different path diet-wise, and what has prompted me to completely rethink the necessity of the implementation of restrictive diets when we already put our bodies under stress. We also touched a bit on the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings chart last week and why red meat is vastly superior to chicken and turkey, and in this episode, we continue our journey through the different tiers of the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings chart (click here for free download) to identify why certain foods are categorized as “Global-All Stars”, which plant foods have earned a spot on the list thanks to their unique nutritional value, the Harvard study that revealed regularly consuming fish helps dramatically with reducing your risk of heart disease and the benefits (especially the omega 3 content) outweigh the potential risks of ingesting toxins from fish caught in polluted waters, and more.


This is part 4 of the discussion on the animal-based diet. Brad gives a review of the first three parts. [01:02]

100% grass-fed meat selection is the healthiest option, along with humanely raised pork and chicken. The old story that red meat is bad, has been disproven. [03:32]

The ruminant animal has a digestive system that is highly specialized and differs from the human animal. [08:15]

You have probably heard the stats about how cows contribute to global warming, but it is well-known that plant agriculture makes a similar contribution to the concerns about the planet. [11:05]

An animal killed under stressful conditions will have an adverse effect on the tissues that you are eating. [12:52]

Truly pasture-raised eggs are going to deliver an end product that has up to 10 times more Omega 3s than conventionally raised eggs. [17:34]

It is now known with great certainty that your dietary cholesterol consumption has no effect on your blood cholesterol levels. [22:46]

The regular consumption of fish helps dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease. Wild caught, oily, cold-water fish is a great source of nutrition. [27:21]

SMASH stands for sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring is the recommended family of fish for your consumption. [36:21]

Shellfish is an excellent source of mono-unsaturated fatty acids and Omega-3. [38:26]

The sources of your chicken, turkey, and pork take much scrutiny. [39:25]

Raw, fermented, unpasteurized, unsweetened, high fat, low carbohydrate, organic dairy should be your first choice. [43:45]



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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.


B.Rad Podcast

Brad (01:02):
Greetings and welcome to part four of the series on optimizing your animal based diet. Part one, we talked about the rationale and the benefits, especially the importance of getting rid of toxic modern, heavily processed foods. Before we even talk about optimizing and tiered ranking systems. We talked about how it relates to dropping excess body fat. And then in part two, we covered the two major shifts that I’ve experienced in philosophy and strategy in recent years. One of them being the carnivore diet rationale that animal foods provide the bulk of the nutritional density and that plant foods, especially the superstars in the produce category, uh, are not only unnecessary or minimally beneficial, but can even be counterproductive. That was turning point number one. And then I talked about this energy balance concept as presented nicely by Jay Feldman on the Energy Balance Podcast, and on my two interviews with him and my four part series of reflections on the model and bringing in all kinds of other experts and people who are rethinking the, uh, the implementation of restrictive diets, when we can also acknowledge that there are many other stressors that we put our body through that possibly achieve similar results via redundant pathways.

Brad (02:24):
And then part three, we finally got into the Carnivore Scores Chart and covered the top two categories, which were the global all stars of grass fed liver, oyster, salmon roe, caviar and fruit, and then the animal organs category. And talked in detail about the various types of organs, uh, bone broth, taking supplements if you’re not getting a lot of organs in your actual diet. And boy, I went into pretty good detail because I do feel like this is such an important topic to optimize your diet and make the good choices at the store, store and at restaurants. And as we continue here with part four, we’re going to cover the other tiered rankings of the Carnivore Scores Chart. If you haven’t downloaded it already, please visit brad kearns.com. You can find the link at the bottom of the homepage, free download pdf. You print it out the beautiful, lovely color and designed by Caroline DaVita, tape it to your refrigerator and try to focus on getting most of your calories from the top categories of foods.

Brad (03:32):
And this was a great time for authentic plug for Butcher Box because most of my food comes from this incredible internet resource that is so helpful, so convenient, and have done the hard work to select the very highest quality animal products in every category. So we’re talking about 100% grass fed beef. We’re talking about organic pasture raised poultry, and we’re talking about heritage breed pork. Everything in their offering, they’re throwing in the special offer for free bacon. Uh, right now it’s free chicken drumsticks. And so you’re getting the cream of the crop when it comes to selecting, uh, the, the best chicken for you or the best bacon. And that’s a super important topic as we’ll get to when we hit the tier of chicken, turkey and pork on the carnivore scores chart, because conventionally raised meats of those types of animals have a lot of objections and are vastly inferior to red meat if the red meats conventionally raised as well.

Brad (04:34):
And of course, we always wanna source, um, grass fed or organic pasture raised, but there’s a lot of occasions, especially when dining out where we’re, uh, obligated or forced to consume from the mainstream. And that’s where you really wanna prioritize red meat. And so that flips the script from the long time jabbering of people saying, Yeah, I’m trying to get healthier, so I only eat chicken and fish and I don’t eat red meat. Oh, congratulations, round of applause. And in fact, the the sentence should be flopped turned on its ear. And if someone’s trying to get healthier and increase the nutrient quality of their diet, minimize animal suffering and sustainability concerns and the nasty conditions that chicken and pork are raised, in the cattle have a much better deal. And, um, jumping in a little bit, but this is a, a key turnaround and takeaway when you think about, uh, all conventional cattle are pretty much 80% grass fed.

Brad (05:32):
In other words, they all start their lives and spend most of their lives out there on the open planes consuming grass, their natural diet. And so, uh, the place where conventional feedlot operation takes a turn from the wonderer farming operations of a hundred percent grass fed is the end part of their life the last several months. They go to the feed lot like you see on the side of the road, perhaps driving on interstate 5 in California. You see a giant feed lot and these poor guys are crammed in there and they’re stuffing their face with feed, not their natural diet, but the, uh, the, you know, the soy and corn based stuff that we hear so much a adverse, uh, criticism about. And they gain hundreds of pounds in the final months of their diet. So they’re no longer a hundred percent grass fed, but they’re mostly grass fed and grain finished.

Brad (06:22):
And here’s where, um, we go right into the red meat category, so I can continue my conversation naturally. And this is an important, uh, revision to the original carnivore scores chart. So please, if you downloaded it, uh, a year ago or however, two years ago throw that one away and put this one up becauseoi red meat rose up the ranking system and is in that nice number three spot below the global all stars and the animal organs from the previous show. So we passed up eggs and fish. The research is clear that red meat is v sastly superior to the other favored meats like chicken, turkey, and port, and much less objectionable when it’s coming to the mainstream. And it has to do with the cow and the other, uh, red meats. So this would be, uh, sheep, goat, buffalo, deer, elk, giraffes, and camels, which, uh, some people eat.

Brad (07:16):
These types of animals are known as ruminant animals. And the ruminant animal has a multi chambered stomach whereby they are better able to process the grain-based feed that they get at the end of their life and not turn out an adverse end product of, uh, animal tissue that is high in the undesirable, uh, polyunsaturated oils, uh, unlike the chicken, the turkey or the pig. So when they’re fed grain feed, which they all are in conventional, uh, presentation, um, they turn out adverse and product, uh, uh, uh, tissue that’s high in poly unsaturated fats and lower in the more desirable saturated fats as you would see with a cow. So the cow can chow down and then still turn out a good end product when it comes to the, uh, muscle meat, which is mostly what we’re consuming in mainstream cuisine.

Brad (08:15):
Okay, so the ruminant animal has a digestive system that’s highly specialized and a lot different from the human digestive system. So we are not ruminant animals. We fall in line with the chicken turkey pork, whereby when we consume, uh, adverse dietary foods that are high in poly and saturated oils, uh, it w reeks havoc on our own cellular function as it did on the animal that we just consumed. Whereas the stomach, the four chambered stomach of the cow, um, the ru is the largest section, and that’s where the digestion occurs. It’s filled with billions of microbes that can digest grass and other vegetation that humans with one stomach cannot. Our gut contains 38 trillion microbes that help us digest our food and other functions, but our gut microbiome is not capable of what the ruminant animal’s gut microbiome can do. We have not evolved to create the enzymes and, um, digest some of the elements in the grain feed in this example, or the, the plant foods that we consume.

Brad (09:17):
Uh, sometimes they cause problems, right? So when the ruminants consume grass and other plant foods, the food is not completely chewed and digested immediately. The partially chewed plant food is stored in the ruen and broken down into chunks called cud. Have you heard that term used with the cow? The cows chew and cut. When the animal has eaten until it’s full, it will rest and chew its cud. Later when the cud is fully chewed, it’s then swallowed and passed into the next three compartments of its digestive system, the reticulum, the omasome. And finally, the true stomach, the ama, the stomach completes the digestion process. Many of the plants we try to eat cannot be digested well by us because we don’t have this four chambered approach. And so, um, when they’re not broken down into absorbable nutrients because of antinutrients, in the case of humans consuming plants that contain antinutrients or other indigestible substances, uh, we have the potential for adverse reaction.

Brad (10:16):
In contrast, the ruminants can convert these plant foods and plant residues, plant toxins into high quality, bioavailable nutrients that are eventually stored in their tissues, the tissues that we eat when we consume animals nose to tail. Granted that’s why nose to tail is so important because when we only eat muscle meats or focus on muscle meats, we’re not getting all the benefits of the animal because there are other nutrients stored in their organs, in their cartilage, as we talked about on the previous show. So that’s the good news that your cattle is delivering an end product that’s less objectionable. But I still wanna put a plug in here for the importance of trying to source 100% grass fed beef, because the feed lot operations are indeed pathetic.

Brad (11:05):
You’ve probably heard these stats about how they contribute to climate pollution, by the way, um, uh, agriculture, plant agriculture makes a similar contribution to the concerns that we have about the planet.

Brad (11:20):
So this, uh, storyline, this dogma that if you, uh, issue consuming meat and you’re just eating salad and kale smoothies, that you’re, uh, improving your green footprint or, or having higher consciousness is simply not, I is easily refuted. And Paul Saladino has some good shows about that going into extreme detail. And then compare and contrast with, um, sustainable farming, agriculture and talking about his sponsor white oak pastures in the American south where they have a net carbon improvement. Uh, in other words, carbon is sequestered in the soil by the 100% grass fed animals. So the animals are doing their part when they’re allowed to live in their natural environment for their entire life to make an actual, uh, improvement rather than contributing to the carbon emissions. Very interesting. Uh, so back to the feed lots. Yeah, it, it’s not, um, it’s not a good deal.

Brad (12:14):
They’re, they’re cramped in there. As the story goes, they’re often standing in their own waste and they’re consuming these grain foods that are laden with hormones, pesticides, and antibiotics. The hormones to make them grow more quickly, the antibiotics to ward off disease because they are living in such close dirty quarters. And in some cases, uh, they are fed just anything to fatten them up, including things like, uh, at candy bars with the wrapper still on. They’re just throwing stuff in and, uh, they fatten up very quickly, hundreds of pounds in a matter of months, and then they go to the slaughterhouse, which is a stressful environment for them.

Brad (12:52):
And that’s really important when it comes to the end product, as any hunter will tell you, not I, cuz I’m not a hunter, but it’s fascinating to learn that an animal under stress when it’s killed, will have, uh, this will have an adverse effect on their tissues and on the, the food that you’re consuming. And so in hunting, uh, it is, uh, it, it is known that they don’t want to, uh, consume. They don’t want to eat an animal that got wounded and carried on. So they need to have a fresh kill, an immediate kill the animal going down by surprise. Uh, but if you, uh, hit a, a grazing shot and the animal’s hurt and tries to run away, it’s completely filled with stress hormones coursing through their bloodstream. And these stress hormones affect the end product of the muscle meat that you’re consuming in an adverse manner. I think it tastes bad, and all those kind of things. So these highly stressed animals that are slaughtered in the slaughterhouse a lot of times as detailed in the book Fast Food Nation, a lot of times they require chemical agents to flavor the meat to make it taste good because the, um, the animal just had, uh, adverse harvesting circumstances.

Brad (14:07):
And then when they’re heavily processed, uh, things like the fast food burgers getting shipped around the country and trucks they are flavored with a meat like chemical taste because their actual original flavor would be so bland that you would not, uh, you would not think it tastes like a hamburger, It wouldn’t be a good tasting hamburger. And, um, Eric Schlosser, the author, has a very memorable passage where he was visiting this area of New Jersey off the turnpike where the vast majority of the chemical flavoring laboratories are located. And they would, um, blindfold him and, you know, put a test tube in front of him and he would describe how it smelled exactly like a burger and fries, because they are so adept at creating the chemical experience for your senses, uh, of smell especially, um, to, to make sure that when you’re eating the burger and fries that they serve up that are so nutrient deficient and heavily processed, you’re gonna get that that flavor impact.

Brad (15:08):
And so when we’re talking about, uh, cattle, we do have to give a nod to the, uh, non-mainstream red meat, uh, especially buffalo slash bison. And, uh, that’s the same animal, but they’re often called buffalo and they really are bison. I think that’s the accurate explanation here. Um, but when you’re talking about, um, an animal that’s consumed much less frequently, much less mainstream, what you’re getting is better living circumstances, better harvesting circumstances. You don’t call it slaughter, you call it harvesting because in the case of, uh, Wild Idea Buffalo and their great website in the information they describe these buffalo are roaming the open planes for their entire life. They’re a hundred percent grass fed. And then when it’s time to be sacrificed, they go right out on the spot out in the, in the great planes and harvest them in the most possible humane manner so that the buffalo is relaxed and enjoyed their life on the plains.

Brad (16:08):
And they’re talking in comparison with Buffalo, about 40,000 per year. Oh no, 60,000 buffalo are humanely harvested on the spot at their home on the planes. No, not laden with stress hormones. And when we’re talking about beef production, we’re talking about 40 million head of cattle per year are slaughtered in the United States alone. That’s 150,000 per day. And of course, when you have that type of mechanization and that level of food production, you’re gonna be looking at all kinds of, uh, objections, uh, to health and contrast to Buffalo. Um, if you wanna learn more, check out that Wild Idea Buffalo website and also noting that Butcher Box now offers, uh, ground bison. And so you can, uh, plug into that. And so I’ve switched my, uh, typical monthly shipment to get maximum number of ground bison patties, and then a whole bunch of ribeye steak.

Brad (17:09):
And so every month I’m able to eat at the very top of the ranking system, the best meat you can possibly get. It tastes delicious even without flavoring or sauces or, uh, marinating. And that is another sign of a truly high quality animal. So that is the red meat section and why it’s bumped up the rankings. Say no more.

Brad (17:34):
Next we go to the category of eggs. And again, this is an ancestral dietary centerpiece, um, a fundamental driver of human evolution. We’ve been raiding the nest for a long time and gaining access to the, the incredible nutrient density of the egg, One of the most complete foods. It’s the life force essence of the animal, right? So you can’t get more complete. Yes indeed, you could live off eggs alone for the rest of your life, right? Again, possible but not optimal. So eggs, you know, across the board, nutritional profile, great source of protein, healthy fats, B complex vitamins, choline, which you hear about associated with eggs a lot.

Brad (18:15):
And that’s because it’s difficult to find it high levels in other foods, folate. And the list goes on and on. So when we’re talking about, uh, ranking eggs, the best are the local eggs from the farm where the chicken was allowed to lead its natural lifestyle on the pasture and consume its natural diet, filled with bugs, worms, insects, and grass. And when you have that truly pasture raised egg, it is going to deliver an end product that has up to 10 times more omega three s than conventionally raised eggs. And it also an incredible flavor intensity. When you bite into that yolk, you can have just a tremendous difference in taste from the conventional egg that you’re used to. And how do you get tipped off that you’re consuming a good egg? It’s a very distinctive orange tinted yolk. And that is from the higher levels of beta-carotene than the watery, waxy dull, yellow looking yolk from a chicken that has lived her life in the chicken coop and in many cases consumed exclusively feed rather than being allowed to roam free.

Brad (19:29):
And the labeling and the certification and the guidelines for what you can put on a carton of eggs is a really tough one. We did a lot of research for one of the earlier primal blueprint books, and it’s pretty rough cuz you see all these different terms like natural, naturally raised, organic, organic referring to, in many cases just that the feed itself was organic, not that, um, that the chicken was pasture raised in ate a natural foods diet. You’ll find other distinctions like hormone free, high omega three, all kinds of stuff trying to make the carton of eggs look good. But nothing, uh, compares to the distinction of pasture raised. And also you wanna see on the, ideally on the carton humane certified, and these are, uh, official stamps. It has a logo and this implies that the chicken spent a lot of time on the pasture and that the farm was inspected and scrutinized in order to achieve that distinction.

Brad (20:37):
Now, if you’re talking about the local farmer, they’re not gonna have any stamps or logos, that cost, you know, hundreds of thousands of dollars to apply for. Those are from, um, you know, the, the commercial brands that distribute widely. So your best bet’s gonna go find a farmer and see how they raise their chickens, uh, or a hobbyist even better. So someone in the neighborhood with a little cardboard sign, the chickens are laying eggs. You grab those things and, um, they’re precious. So, uh, find that. And then, uh, next best if you wanna go to the market and find pasture raised distinction. And again, um, there’s minimal regulation here, but if you do see a carton that says pasture raised and humane certified, humane certified has regulation, the term pasture raised has minimal regulation. And so a lot of times these chickens were out on the pasture and they might have been given some supplemental feed, but when a company is going to the trouble to, uh, emblazon their, their carton with terms like that, you know, they cared more than just an egg that says sunny, fresh or something of a more marketing nature.

Brad (21:42):
So do the best you can there. And if you can’t find pasture raised, the next best ranking would be organic or hormone free or other such distinctions, which implies that they, uh, got a little bit better feed than maybe the one that had no such distinction on there. And it’s so much better and it’s so much of a return on investment that you really wanna go hard here and prioritize consuming pasture raised eggs, uh, if at all possible. And, uh, failing that for sure, get organic with the egg and just stay away from the, uh, mainstream categories that couldn’t bother and didn’t care to, uh, try to, um, improve the chicken’s life and improve the chicken’s feed source. We have the yolk and the white. So just to describe, um, what’s going on there, the white is essentially egg protein and it’s doesn’t have a lot of other nutrients except for a nice source of protein.

Brad (22:46):
So the yolk is where the, uh, micronutrients are concentrated, and that’s what makes the egg one of the most nutrient rich foods on the planet. So it’s all in the yolk. And, um, that’s where we have this, um, recalibration necessary where we’ve been told that yolks are high in cholesterol, and so we wanna stay away from eggs or go for the ridiculous product of egg white. They should make egg yolks in a carton instead of egg whites. I mean, that’s, again, a complete flip flop is necessary here because the yolk is where we’re getting all the nutrition. Um, if you’re worried about cholesterol and even engaging with a medical professional that’s talking about that, uh, mentioning egg consumption in association with cholesterol, this has been strongly refuted by the largest and most respected scientific studies, and it is now known with great certainty that your dietary cholesterol consumption has no effect on your blood cholesterol levels.

Brad (23:44):
So if you go on a low cholesterol diet based on recommendation that’s now 40 years old from whoever told you your neighbor or your doctor, and you have equal chance of getting sound information from a neighbor or a doctor because the doctor, again, has not been necessarily trained in nutrition at all. And I’ve had many guests on, and you can hear many MDs who are in the health space talk about how they had one class or even less than one class on nutrition in four years of medical school. Uh, my most recent reference is, uh, Dr. Joy Kong, the, uh, stem cell expert who’s on my podcast, uh, recently. And she said at UCLA, yeah, she had, she believes like an hour of lecture. And then on to the next important topic. Okay, so the Harvard Medical School study that followed 115,000 individuals from eight to 14 years found no correlation between a consumption in heart disease or stroke.

Brad (24:42):
A 2008 study in the International Journal of Obesity suggests that eating two eggs for breakfast is better than a bagel. And the Framingham study, which started in 1948, it’s the longest and largest longitudinal study about healthy habits that’s ever been performed. And it’s, uh, tracking the lifestyle behaviors in the diet and the exercise patterns, everything, uh, from residents of Framingham, Massachusetts for generations. So a highly respected study, they found, quote, no correlation between cholesterol intake and blood cholesterol and no correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. So instead, were compelled to turn our attention to things like one’s triglyceride to H D L ratio, both Dr. Cate Shanahan and Dr. Ron Sinha recommend that you focus on that ratio in your blood panels to assess your heart disease risk. And ideally, we’re gonna be at one to one or even better. In other words, HDL is higher than triglycerides, but if you have a good triglycerides to HDL ratio that indicates that your blood is good, you’re not in the heart disease pattern.

Brad (25:52):
And if you don’t, um, that’s something that you wanna strive to immediately correct largely by cleaning up the diet, ditching those processed oils and excessive intake of processed carbohydrates. Okay? So just like I mentioned with buffalo compared to cattle, you have the option more difficult and less common, but you can find some alternative eggs, which are a great choice because again, they don’t have that mass production, uh, objections. Um, I can find duck eggs in a variety of natural foods supermarkets. They’re a little bigger than chicken eggs, they taste a little stronger, they taste a little more eggy. So they’re really rich and they’re fun to mix into your pattern of consuming only chicken eggs. Quail eggs, which is a deLacy at Japanese restaurant, and I sometimes find those in the market. They’re really tiny and fragile and delicate. They’re about the size of, um, the top of your fingernail or the top, uh, joint of your finger, and you have to peel them with a knife, like make a small incision on the side to get the yolk out without crushing the shell and have it go into the pan where you’re cooking. But they’re delicious and, uh, really cute to put those into the mix. And you can also find eggs from emu, ostrich, goose, and pheasant if you look carefully and try to integrate those into your diet. Okay, there you go. For the eggs category.

Brad (27:21):
And moving down the chart to the next category, we have wild caught oily cold water fish, and these are the foods that deliver the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids, the vaunted omega-3 fatty acids that are difficult to find in, uh, other areas of diet, especially in the plant category where you’re not getting the most bioavailable, uh, types of omega-3, which are DHA and epa. So when you’re consuming these fish, um, you’re taking care of that kind of business, and you’re also getting a variety of other nutrients. You’re getting a complete protein B complex vitamins, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin E, zinc, iron, magnesium, phosphorous, antioxidants, and much more.

Brad (28:06):
A 2006 study by the Harvard School Public Health concluded that regular consumption of fish helps dramatically reduce the risk of heart disease. And the benefits, uh, especially the omega-3 content, outweigh the potential risks of ingesting toxins from fish caught in polluted waters. Now we do have to be very selective in this category when we have concerns about sustainability and harvesting methods where other animals are harmed. You know, the dolphins caught in the net when the people are catching tuna from adverse fishing practices. There’s overfishing, there’s risks of, uh, bringing in fish from polluted waters and have poorly regulated areas of the globe. So a lot of stuff imported from Asia. I see those nice chunks of tuna for sale at Costco, but I pass on those because it’s difficult to accept this, this product flown in from across the world, uh, with lax regulations on things like chemical use and so forth.

Brad (29:06):
And then there’s a lot of objections to farmed fish. So we’ll go over these, uh, somewhat briefly here in this show. But if you can focus on the small wild caught, oily cold water fish as represented by the acronym SMASH. So the smash family are sardines, mackerel, anchovies, salmon, and herring. The good thing about consuming a small fish is it’s lower on the food chain of the oceans. And so they will have lower levels of the toxins that we hear about and object to such as mercury. And furthermore, the small oily cold water fish cold water being, uh, where their, where their natural habitat is. Uh, they also have the highest levels of omega three s and they’re also, uh, other categories of fish that are approved. And it starts to get a little tricky when you’re navigating which fish are okay and which aren’t.

Brad (30:06):
Um, there’s some great resources like the Marine Stewardship Council, the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch, and the Environmental Defense Fund that will give you thumbs up or thumbs down and ranking on which foods which fish are approved to consume and which you might wanna avoid. And unfortunately, um, the most commonly consumed fish are oftentimes highly objectionable. How about that? Of course, because we have to process more and more and more. So, shrimp are, uh, potentially problematic because they’re over farmed and perhaps in cramp conditions. I saw an interview once with an author, uh, who wrote a book, something to the title of Don’t Eat Shrimp <laugh>. And it had his whole, you know, life’s work here arguing against one of the most, uh, favored fish. Um, a lot of the tuna is harvested in objectionable manner. And then of course, uh, salmon, everyone’s favorite.

Brad (31:05):
Most of the salmon that you are seeing in the marketplace is farm raised Atlantic salmon. And it’s often confusing when we hear the term Atlantic salmon Atlantic is a species of salmon. It’s not the location of the Atlantic Ocean, uh, where the salmon was caught. And so we kind of know that wild caught fish are important and we want to get wild caught salmon. And then the waitress comes over and says, Uh, yes, our salmon comes from the Atlantic. No, not necessarily. It might have come from a farm in Chile. Uh, and it’s the Atlantic species. And when we talk about Pacific salmon, this is by and large a wild caught, uh, category because they do very little farming of the Pacific species, which are things like chinook, sockeye, coho, pink, and chum. These are different types of salmon. Their habitat is the Pacific Ocean, and they are great choices for wild caught fish.

Brad (32:10):
There are some farming of cohos salmon, and a lot of people give a thumbs up to that type of salmon if you’re trying to get farmed salmon. And so a quality, uh, specialty fish market or natural foods grocer might have farmed co-host salmon maybe right next to the cheaper farmed Atlantic salmon. Okay, so the farmed Atlantic salmon, they’re fed pellets, antibiotics, uh, lower value feed rather than their, their wild diet. They’re often raised under unsanitary conditions, similars to those of ranch animals. They’re exposed to high levels of dangerous chemicals such as dioxin, aldrin, toxine, and other pesticides or toxic residue. Residue. And these are from, uh, contaminated sediments that are found in the fish meal that are easily absorbed into their fat cells. And of course, we like to taste that nice melt in your mouth, fatty salmon. And a lot of times the wild caught variety is a little leaner, so it doesn’t have that same, uh, appeal when you’re talking about the delicious taste of the, the salmon when they prepare it nicely at a restaurant.

Brad (33:17):
But we’re talking about that farm variety that is more fatty and giving you, uh, less health benefit. Uh, farm salmon in the crowded conditions may be routinely exposed to their own waste. Guess what? Why’d they come out pink? Because their fed artificial dyes that help their flesh match the deep pink color of wild salmon and the wild salmon gets the pink from the molecules of carotinoids containing the pigment astatin. And that’s because, uh, these things are plentiful in their natural diet out in the ocean. When the salmon eat, uh, things like tiny shrimp and process the, the, the food accordingly. The antibiotics are used to fight infection in the cramp quarters. And, uh, this is an undesirable quote, Uh, the waste from a large salmon farm is estimated to equal the sewage from a city of 10,000 people and deliver assorted negative effects on the surrounding marine ecosystem.

Brad (34:14):
A 2000 report in the Journal Science warmed that farm salmon contained 10 times the amount of toxins of wild salmon and should be only eaten one time in five months. And that’s why people like Dr. Paul Saladino, uh, has Instagram video and podcast content saying that he’s chosen to pretty much avoid fish in favor of consuming, uh, a hundred percent grass fed ruminant red meat because there’s just too many concerns about the planet, about the fishing practices, about the sustainability. So all this is food for thought, of course, and maybe warrants some moderation with your consumption of fish. But again, let’s step back for a second and admit that we’re talking about salmon here. So if we’re scrutinizing our salmon consumption, boy, we’re pretty far down the line when we’ve eliminated those frozen meals and packaged treats and sweets and crap that we’re putting into our body every day.

Brad (35:15):
But again, that’s what this show’s about is scrutinizing and doing your best. And interestingly, um, the budget concern of sourcing wild cut salmon is quite significant. It’s quite expensive. Some of the, uh, price per pound when you are looking at a quality store is eye-popping. You’re gonna have a very expensive meal when you buy one cut of salmon. But, there’s plenty of opportunity to purchase, canned wild caught salmon at a very affordable price. No, it’s not the same as cooking a fresh filet, but if you want to include this in your diet and you want to, uh, rise up the ranking system, perhaps integrate the previously frozen wild caught salmon or the canned wild caught salmon at a far better price point. So even if your budget is tight, you can still bring in the wild cut salmon and try to stay away from the farmed Atlantic salmon, which is almost certainly what you’re getting at any restaurant of any quality from a medium price chain to the very, very best restaurants, uh, unless otherwise stated on the menu.

Brad (36:21):
So if your waiter proudly comes over and says, We have our special tonight, it’s wild caught sockeye flown in from Alaska, and I’d love to serve it to you for a $37 entree, whatever, hey, that’s great, but if they don’t specify otherwise, and they say we have fresh salmon just flown in. Okay. It’s almost certainly to be, uh, farmed Atlantic salmon. So with fish, we’re going to emphasize the smash family, uh, especially the wonderful affordability of sardines, mackerel, the canned, oily cold water fish. We’re going to try to choose salmon with better scrutiny and find some wild caught options. And, the other categories to avoid, hopefully you’re already aware, but the top of the food chain stuff like sword, shark, marlin, the big fish, they have too many concerns about mercury and other contaminants from being the, being the big guys ruling the ocean that they’re recommended to never consume.

Brad (37:25):
Um, also be wary of imports from Asia because of the concerns about polluted waters and perhaps chemical use, poor regulation if the, uh, if the fish is farmed, um, we’re gonna be, uh, really trying to cut back or perhaps pass on farmed Atlantic salmon. Most farm fish is going to be, um, a step down concern from, uh, a wild caught fish, but there are some exceptions. So there’s some thumbs up for certain farm fish, and some of this list includes domestic barramundi catfish, crayfish, and tilapia, trout and farmed shellfish, which is the next category on the carnivore scores chart. Shellfish are okay because they’re not, uh, consuming these feed pellets that have all the objections and the chemicals, and they’re attached to a stationary objects that they’re not worried about, for example, swinging around in a dirty pen. Uh, so pull up one of those websites, Marine Stewardship Council, Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and Environmental Defense Fund, if you wanna scrutinize further,

Brad (38:26):
That’ll take us right to shell fish, an excellent source of mono unsaturated fatty acids and omega-3 fatty acids. And we want to find sustainably caught and raised forms of shellfish whenever possible. And we already mentioned oysters at the top category. So we have oysters here and other things such as clams, crab, lobster, muscles, octopus and scallops. We wanna just, uh, look for good farming practices if we can get that kind of information. But again, farm shellfish are okay, uh, because their circumstances are different than the swimming around fish on the farm. Um, it’s nice to try and find a fresh product rather than frozen. Uh, but again, if you’re, uh, navigating the chart and you’re doing well with a lot of entrees and choices in the aforementioned ranking categories, and you’re throwing in some shellfish good stuff.

Brad (39:25):
Now we get to chicken, Turkey and pork. Kay, I already explained how these animals are monogastric single stomach like a human. So they’re greatly harmed by consuming their feed. And in the chicken’s case, uh, they live a life of pure torture. So if you’re worried about, uh, animal humane concerns and you compare the life of a cow to a chicken, um, they have a tough time. And, uh, so does the pig living in filthy conditions, uh, being fed a nasty diet, entirely inappropriate for that species. And this is, um, uh, easily revealed when you go buy a pack of bacon in the store and it’s mostly fat, and that’s the, that the poor pig, uh, consuming that feed and turning it into, um, health objection of high poly unsaturated fat. Um, this is another, uh, passage borrowed from Dr. Danenberg’s book, and I should mention, I was reading some there when we were talking about the red meat and the ruminant animal.

Brad (40:32):
So, uh, Dr. Danenberg says, “Today’s chickens and hogs are usually fed corn and soy products.” These products are high in linoleic fatty acid. That is something that we do not want at, at hardly any level in the human diet. And you’ll hear a lot of experts when they’re talking quickly through an interview talking about the linoleic acid levels. And so now you know, this is, um, a type of fat that is, uh, inflammatory and interferes with healthy cellular function, mitochondrial function. And so when you’re consuming an animal high in linoleic acid, even if it’s an organic chicken, again, organic just refers to the feed, but the feed is still high in linoleic acid. This linoleic acid accumulates in the meat skin fat and the organs of the chicken and pork. So when you can, when you consume a corn and soy fed animal, this linoleic acid accumulates in your body and specifically in your fat cells they’re categorized as omega six.

Brad (41:31):
And so a lot of times you hear on, hear people talking about trying to optimize the omega six to omega-3 ratio in the diet. Some of that commentary has gotten outta hand where we’re making this blanket assumption that omega-6 is inflammatory, we don’t want to eat it. Omega-3 is anti-inflammatory. And so it’s like this good and bad, this black and white thinking. Uh, but one thing I like to take a step back on is that there are, um, processed foods that are high in omega-6 that are entirely unhealthy. And then there are some foods that are natural and nutritious that, um, maybe less objectionable, for example. All nuts and seeds are higher in omega-6 than omega-3. But interestingly, as we further the conversation and we go look at Jay Feldman’s website, he makes a case that we don’t, he doesn’t want us to consume any polyunsaturated fatty acids in the diet because they are temperature unstable.

Brad (42:24):
They’re easily susceptible to oxidative damage. And that’s an interesting take that’s putting it out there a little further than many of the other experts thought leaders that are saying, um, you know, a healthy omega six, like nuts and seeds are okay and stay away from the processed foods. But when it comes to that, uh, chicken, turkey and pork, we are way down the ranking system from let’s say, grass fed beef. So I hope you’re straight on that now. And even if you go to the farmer’s market and find that pasture raised chicken that pristine animal, or you go to Diestel turkey and find their 100% pasture raised turkeys and order one every Thanksgiving, you are still getting, you’re getting a quality meal. But it does rank below, let’s say red meat in terms of micronutrient density. That’s not to hardly criticize that. And if you love chicken and love turkey, go get, uh, with, with strict discipline, um, the organic pasture raised or heritage breed pork is the term for the best port. And hence I talked about Butcher Box. When you log onto their website, that’s what you see is exclusively, uh, pasture raise chicken, completely pasture raised and the heritage breed pork.

Brad (43:45):
And so that brings us down to organic high fat dairy. There is some dispute about the role of dairy in that healthy, animal based peak performance diet. And so the dispute comes from certain people that don’t tolerate as well as others. So what we wanna do here is choose the very best in the dairy category and assess for any potential adverse symptoms when you remove it for a while, put it back in, whatever. And, um, off we go.

Brad (44:19):
So the gold standard here when you choose dairy products is raw, fermented, unpasteurized, unsweetened, high fat, low carbohydrate organic selections. Yeah, that’s a tall order to find the gold standard, especially raw because again, there’s more concerns there. If you’re consuming raw milk, you have potentially higher exposure to pathogens because the milk has not been homogenized or pasteurized. But the pasteurization and the homogenization process, cause an assortment of difficulties with digestion, and that’s where people have that reactivity often is from a processed dairy product. And when you’re talking about anything except the highest possible fat content of dairy, you’re talking about a dose of very difficult to digest milk sugar called lactose. Lactose intolerant, you may have heard of. And guess what, about 80% of the world population, oh, excuse me, I think it’s, um, is it 90%, 80% or 90% of the world population adults are lactose intolerant?

Brad (45:29):
We stop making the enzyme lactase after a few years of breastfeeding and then we’re ready to move on and it’s no longer appropriate to consume the milk of another species. So, um, interesting aside there, uh, it’s something like 90% of those with Scandinavian ancestry have lactose persistence in other way. In other words, they are lactose tolerant. And that is a really cool example of genetic polymorphisms advanced, uh, sort of a advanced example of rapid evolution to adapt to environment whereby those of Scandinavian ancestry who rely a lot on herding, um, test onto their offspring, offspring the ability to, uh, digest, uh, milk sugar, uh, by necessity. And, um, you know what another cool example of a rapid genetic changes to adapt is the lightning of human skin pigment when we migrated from our equatorial beginnings, uh, up to the northern latitudes. And so those with lighter skin are better able to absorb the health critical vitamin D through the skin, which is the main way that we absorb vitamin D.

Brad (46:45):
And uh, that is a genetic adaptation that has happened in a very short time. In the last, oh, what do we head to Europe like 30,000 years ago, we first started leaving the equatorial environment and coming up. And so by necessity, um, those who had lighter skin, the first light skin mutant, proliferated and, uh, reproduce because, uh, people were able to get enough vitamin D cuz without, but enough vitamin D, um, you can have, it can have fatal consequences of lifelong vitamin D deficiency. Here’s another interesting one, above the, 60th parallel on the globe. Um, it’s impossible to manufacture any vitamin D from sun exposure ever, even in the middle of summer because the sun’s raise are hit, the hit the environment at two oblique of an angle. So you cannot get tan. And if you can’t get tanned, that means you can’t make vitamin D.

Brad (47:41):
So if you’re out in the sun in Southern California on December 4th on a nice sunny day where it becomes 75 degrees, whatever, and you think you’re sunning to make vitamin D uh, in fact, there’s a portion of the year even in Southern California and other low latitudes where vitamin D manufacturing is impossible as evidence by the inability to tan even if you lay out all day. So yeah, you do not need your sunscreen on December 4th, uh, in in Southern California or anything at any latitude, um, except for getting down to the tropics. Okay, this all came about from talking about lactose persistence in Scandinavian cultures. Let’s get back to the chart and the organic high fat dairy. So when we give those distinctions, what we’re talking about are foods like ghee, which is clarified butter and butter and full fat cream, cottage cheese, cream cheese raw or certified organic whole milk from pasture-raised and grassed animals.

Brad (48:44):
You can also enjoy organic fermented dairy products, including things like cultured buttermilk, full fat Greek yogurt, kefir, raw milk cheese, and aged cheese and full fat sour cream. And in this category, we wanna avoid all the low fat and non-fat and extra sweetened items. Things like 2% milk, skim milk, nonfat yogurts, fruit flavored yogurts, low fat, cottage cheese, imitation whipped cream, imitation coffee creamer, fat free cheese, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and all other frozen dairy desserts. These products are essentially sugar bombs that can cause digestive problems and allergic reactions in many people. You also wanna avoid all non-organic dairy products, even the high fat stuff that I mentioned. And that’s because of really undesirable processing methods by mainstream manufacturers. There are a high prevalence of chemicals and hormones and other agents in mainstream dairy products. Things that you might have heard of, like recombinant bovine growth hormone.

Brad (49:47):
R B G H is the abbreviation and dangerous chemicals such as PBS POPs and the evil pesticides, DDE and D D T antibiotics that are illegal but still dispensed to the cattle and other impurities. We talk about certain people with sensitivity to the protein contained in dairy. Uh, we have two types of proteins found in dairy. There’s casine and there’s weigh and there’s two types of casine. A one and a two weigh is generally very easy to digest, that’s why it’s such a popular supplement. And casing is where certain people have sensitivities and we talk about a one casine, uh, and a two casine. Uh, most common, uh, most prevalent is a one casine because that’s what, uh, the conventional, uh, milk, the conventional cows and the dairy products coming from. Those cows are largely in that a one category and a one s believe to, uh, trigger autoimmune reactions and leaky gut syndrome in sensitive people whereby a two is considered vastly less objectionable and easier to tolerate.

Brad (51:00):
And that’s the form that’s found. That’s the form of casing found in goat’s milk and goats yogurt and sheep”s milk and sheep’s yogurt. And so that’s why those are popular alternatives for people that may be sensitive to dairy. Um, most of the stuff you’re gonna find though is not gonna be raw. It’s gonna be pasteurized, homogenize, and that’s to protect against food-borne pathogens, improve the product consistency, extend shelf life. Unfortunately, these high temperature, high pressure processes destroy many of the nutrients and dairy products as well as the enzymes and beneficial bacteria that help you digest them. Yes, pasteurization and homogenization alter the molecular composition of milk, making the component fats, proteins, and carbs difficult to digest. Uh, Westin A Price foundation did a study and found that 80% of lactose intolerant people are able to digest raw milk without any problem. A University of Michigan study discovered that 84% of people who were fed raw milk, who were designated lactose intolerance had no problem.

Brad (52:07):
So the raw component is super important for digestibility and avoiding the adverse reactions. Also, raw milks higher than in omega 3s, conjugated, oleic acids, fat soluble vitamins, calcium antimicrobial properties, butyrate for gut health and so forth. Let’s see, in my own diet I generally will have a carton of yogurt in the fridge, the full fat variety and sometimes I’ll even get a sweetened variety. I’m not terribly stressed about having a vanilla flavored yogurt and those go good with fruit or having some yogurt by itself. Good stuff. I’m always, for fermented dairy. So if I find some raw milk or kefir, I will use that in my smoothies for several days, instead of bone broth, which is my usual smoothie base, of course, butter and ghee I use for cooking. But it’s definitely not a centerpiece of the diet and that’s why it’s at tier number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

Brad (53:10):
Certainly minimal objections. And if you love dairy, uh, you go for it and, um, make the best choices. And that brings us as we race through the show to the end of the tiered ranking system for animal based foods. So I hope you enjoy and appreciate all segments of this show. And go and print out the Carnivore Scores Food Ranking Chart, have it on your refrigerator at all times, and get in the groove of emphasizing the stuff at the top of the rankings. Thanks for listening. We got one more show to cover, the end of the chart, which is where we get into the nutritious, easy to digest plant food. So I can’t wait to wrap up this whole series. Thank you so much for listening.

Brad (54:00):
Thank you for listening to the show. I love sharing the experience with you and greatly appreciate your support. Please email podcast@brad ventures.com with feedback, suggestions, and questions for the Q and A shows, subscribe to our email list to brad kearns.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 sound bite 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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