Welcome to the fifth and final show in this series about optimizing your animal-based diet!
In the last episode of the series, we continue to discuss the importance of emphasizing nutrient-dense foods, this time turning the focus to plants—specifically the ones containing the lowest amount of toxins, such as avocado, honey, fruit, and a few other plant foods (as you will hear in the show). Even if you are committed to eating mostly animal-based foods, there are still quite a few, very nutritious plants that will make a positive contribution to your diet—tune into this episode to learn why, and the most nutrient-dense plant foods you’ll want to add to your diet!
In this episode of optimizing your diet, you want to emphasize the lower toxic plants. [01:58]
Dark chocolate is one of the most nutritious superfoods with many benefits, but it is important to learn how to select the best. [03:05]
Fermented foods are widely regarded as supremely healthy. [16:46]
The toxins in vegetables can be greatly, significantly neutralized through things like cooking, soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. [23:18]
Raw honey is a great energy source. It’s easy to digest, and it’s quick. [28:09]
Nuts and nut butters are super nutritious. [30:26]
Seaweed is a centerpiece of the ancestral diet. It is a great source of iodine. When selecting seaweed products, make sure it hasn’t been processed in seed oil. [33:26]
Sweet potatoes and squash are an easy-to-digest nutritious source of carbohydrates, high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting properties, good for gut health [34:32]
Learn how to navigate the oils and fats in your purchased foods and those you cook with. Get fresh first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. [36:45]
Do I need to supplement if I eat a healthy diet? Absolutely not. But….[43:18]
Vitamin D is more important than most people realize and many are not getting enough. [51:55]
Beverages that are recommended are bottled mineral water and kombucha. [55:57]
- Brad Kearns.com
- Brad’s Shopping page
- Carnivore Score Food Ranking Chart
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- Torea Rodriguez Podcast
- Deep Nutrition
- The Big Book of Kombucha
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- Vitamin D Solution
- How to Make Your Own Kombucha
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Welcome to the B.rad podcast, where we explore ways to pursue peak performance with passion throughout life without taking ourselves too seriously. I’m Brad Kearns, New York Times bestselling author, former number three world-ranked professional triathlete and Guinness World Record Masters athlete. I connect with experts in diet, fitness, and personal growth, and deliver short breather shows where you get simple, actionable tips to improve your life right away. Let’s explore beyond the hype, hacks, shortcuts, and sciencey talk to laugh, have fun and appreciate the journey. It’s time to B.rad.
Welcome to the fifth and final show in the series about optimizing your animal-based diet. And to recap very quickly, part one, we just talked about the rationale, the benefits, especially the importance of removing processed food. Part two, we talked about my two recent fundamental shifts in philosophy as well as dietary strategy coming in 2019 with the carnivore movement. The rationale presented by Dr. Paul Saladino, Dr. Shawn Baker and other leaders. And the second one coming in 2022 with the energy balance presentation by Jay Feldman. So that comprised the whole show. And then in part three of this five part series, we, uh, got into the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings Chart, and the tiered ranking systems that I’ve carefully presented and intend to be the definitive guide to helping you pursue a diet of maximum nutrient density. So in part three, we covered the sections of the global all stars and animal organs.
That took us to part four, where we covered the numerous sections starting in order of ranking superiority red meat, followed by eggs, followed by wild cott, oily cold water fish, followed by shellfish, followed by chicken, Turkey and pork, followed by organic high fat dairy. And that brings us to the bottom section of the chart, the new and improved revised and updated section about colorful, nutritious, easy to digest plant foods. And I also talk about beverages, supplements, oils for cooking and eating. And so let’s rev up for a final show and then we’ll have it all in our brains forever. And the overall message here is that you want to emphasize the lower toxin plants such as honey and fruit, avocados, things like that, monitor for sensitivity all the time, and integrate them strategically per personal preference for things like your optimal level of carbohydrate intake for recovery and glycogen reloading and hormonal health.
But if you can stick to the low toxin natural nutritious plants and keep that processed foods outta the diet, of course this can be a wonderful inclusion and positive contribution to the diet. So this is not an exhaustive list, but I put together some of the most popular plant foods, low toxin, high nutrition varieties, and starts with avocados, a healthy monounsaturated fats, one of the best sources, has a ton of potassium, high antioxidant values, high in vitamin B six, vitamin K, a wonderful superfood that has such a great contribution to the diet because it tastes great and adds that color and variety and great taste to many meals. I also put dark chocolate on here because I’m a huge fan. It’s one of the most nutritious foods on the planet. The ORAC score, that’s the Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity score, where they measure the antioxidant values of various foods.
The ORAC score, the cacao bean, is among the highest scores ever measured higher than superfoods, like acai berries and blueberries. A cacao has more flavonols than green tea. Flavonols are the bioactive compounds that have assorted benefits to cardiovascular function, anti-inflammatory. They help boost nitric oxide levels, which help your arteries run more smoothly. So what we are talking about is scrutinizing to choose the absolute highest quality most sustainably raised chocolate that you can find. And this comes with the designation bean to bar. And that means the maker of the chocolate started from the scratch starting point of getting cacao beans from a known origin a farmer that they dealt with fairly. Instead of buying the commodity products from the global marketplace where you are starting with, let’s say, an already liquified chocolate that you just pour into the mold and make your bard put a wrapper on it.
Because we have huge concerns in the cacao farming industry about unfair trade practices. Specifically the use of what can be called child slave labor in Africa, poorly regulated labor countries because cacao is grown, uh, in the vicinity of the equator necessarily, just like coffee beans. And I had a great show with gourmet chocolate maker Sean Askinosie, where he talks about how to ensure that, uh, farmers are treated fairly and that you know the source of your beans and it, uh, comes from a high quality operation. In contrast to conventional chocolate. Another former podcast guest from Cora Cow Chocolate named Sean Newt, describes how the conventional chocolate are harvested indiscriminately going for that mass production goal. And they are over roasted. The beans are over roasted because the harvest includes a bunch of rotten beans and they have to burn that flavor out so they’re highly over roasted, which kills the nutritional value and then mixed with things like sugar and milk so that you can’t taste the lousy beans that started the product.
So if you’re looking at the favored candy bars and the vetting machines, the Hershey’s and Nestle’s Crunch, oh my gosh, I’m pissing off so many corporate potential sponsors. Sorry guys. Um, those are largely coming from commodity, uh, chocolate market, uh, of cacao beans of unspecified origin and quality. In contrast to a gourmet chocolate maker is gonna have this bean to bar distinction. And the way you know that by looking on the label, the first ingredient must be cacao beans. And when cacao beans is the first ingredient, that means that the maker got the beans, roasted them themselves, and did all the processing in-house. You also wanna look for the fair trade designation on the label as that’s another helpful signal that there was some scrutiny into the labor practices and the economic practices of how the, the chocolate bar was made. Oh, so I’m such a big fan.
I’m gonna be detailing the nutritional benefits. It has a ton of antioxidants, cacao bean and dark chocolate. So we have polyphenols, flavonols, catechins, numerous phytonutrients, broad spectrum minerals, including iron, chromium, copper, magnesium, and manganese, the high ORAC score that I already talked about. And there’s also a powerful opioid peptide contained in chocolate called phenethyl amine, also known as the love drug because this hormone like substance, which occurs naturally in the brain and body acts as an amplifier for numerous mood elevating neurotransmitters like dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. So when you engage in a delicious square of dark chocolate, you can actually help improve your neurotransmitter function, getting a boost in mood focused concentration and motivation, and also alleviate symptoms of stress and anxiety. Essentially, the compounds in cacao help prevent your delicate neural circuits from becoming overexcited or alternatively emotionally flat or burnt out.
Dark chocolate also has this agent called theobromine, which has cardiovascular benefits, acts as a natural stimulant and memory booster, and reduces inflammation and acts as an appetite suppressant. Epi is another prominent flavonoid in dark chocolate that’s been found to boost nitric oxide production. This is what help makes your, helps make your arteries more soft and supple. Lowers blood pressure, protects your cells against free radical damage. There’s other agents found to have heart disease protective capacities by lowering oxidized L D L. That’s the kind of stuff you don’t want, and increasing H D L. So listen to my old shows with Shawn AskInosie, Toréa Rodriguez, another chocolate expert, and try to source the very best chocolate. And when we’re talking about dark chocolate,. We have a cacao percentage that’s revealed on the label when you’re looking at a 73% bar, 80% bar, 85% bar.
And that just refers to the combination of sugar and cacao. And so, you wanna strive to consume bars in the higher percentage because they have more of the aforementioned nutritional benefits and less of the sugar added. If you’ve ever had a hundred percent cacao bar, you’re gonna find an extremely bitter taste. And not a lot of people love reaching for those a hundred percent bars. But then when you take it down to, I’ve had some great bars at 92, 93, 90, 85, 80, when I get down below 75, it becomes too sweet for me because I’ve really habituated to the flavor intensity and the wonderful mouth feel of high cacao percentage dark chocolate. So, it’s a fascinating experience to re habituate your palate to appreciate, uh, the more bitter taste of dark chocolate, the more savory taste, and get away from the overly sweetened bars that might be, might have been your go-to for the rest of your life.
So again, when you’re looking online and going to a trusted resource, you wanna see those cacao beans as the first ingredient. In contrast, when you go to even a natural foods supermarket like Whole Foods, the selection pretty much sucks. So again, I’m calling out Whole Foods because they will place a variety of different dark chocolate bars that have oftentimes airy fairy titles and sort of an aura of sustainability or enlightened consciousness about the processing methods. But you look on the label and you will see beginning ingredients such as chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate liquer,, cocoa mass, and so forth. And these are your signal that this is a commodity product with the ingredients coming from unknown origin. And then the price point, as Shawn AskInosie described in detail, the price point is another sure signal that you are supporting child slave labor in poorly regulated African nations.
So if you’re buying a chocolate bar, usually the bars are two and a half, three ounces, and their price point is maybe $3, $3.50, maybe $4. That dollar an ounce range is a range where the, uh, giant multinational corporation is making a sufficient profit, but the farmers have sort of been screwed because when you’re selling a bar for that low of a price, that means that they really took a lot of shortcuts as previously described. And so really, when you’re talking about a gourmet quality bean to bar chocolate bar with fair trade, you’re looking to pay perhaps triple the usual comfortable price. So you gotta get used to spending $8, $9, $11 for a bar that you’ve spent years and decades paying three or $4. And it’s your choice. You wanna support child slave labor in Africa and eat a shitty product that’s been over roasted and, uh, flavor masked.
Or do you wanna do the real thing and get all those nutritional benefits? That’s my take on chocolate, my favorites. You can find a lot of stuff at cocoarunners.com. It’s a United Kingdom based distributor, and they carefully select wonderful bean to bar chocolates from around the world. So you can order up and try 10 different bars and try to pick your favorite. My favorite from their selection is Pump Street, 85% dark chocolate, one of the best chocolate bars I’ve found on earth. The Askinosie selection is fantastic. I love his 88% bar and his peppermint dark chocolate bar. I also like Lily Bell Farms in Central Point, Oregon. So, uh, on the occasions of road trips to Oregon, I love making a personal stop, hence stocking up there. I also love Puna chocolate from the big island of Hawaii and Antidote chocolate with these very creative flavors.
I found those at Erwan Natural Foods Market in Los Angeles, and they have a great selection of bean to bar offerings. So they’ve done their homework whereby, places like Whole Foods, I believe are just relying on big distributors that carry mass produced bars that look and seem healthier and more sustainable. But I’m exposing them right now on the show. Thank you very much. How about that for the category of dark chocolate? Oh, I should also reveal that, um, the, the cacao bean is in that category of potentially, uh, higher plant toxins. So even though it makes my list, ’cause I love dark chocolate, Paul Saladino would be sad that I’m talking about chocolate and even sadder that I’m talking about my wonderful Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece nut butter and other nuts and seeds and nut butters. But these are popular foods with a lot of nutritional benefits.
But if you detect that you have some sensitivity to consuming dark chocolate or to consuming nuts and nut butters, you’re gonna want to, uh, put those aside. I think most people can do fine on that, but those with extreme sensitivities of course you’re gonna want to, you know, really minimize, uh, your intake of foods in those objectionable categories of roots, seeds stems and leaves. And so the cacao bean and the, uh, nuts and nut butters all fine, all fall under that, uh, seeds category as the original essence of the plant that put produces defense chemicals. And when I mentioned all those wonderful health boosting chemicals in dark chocolate, those are also oftentimes why it can, uh, become objectionable in the plant toxins. ’cause again, it’s, uh, prompting antioxidant defense response when you consume these agents. I, geez, I don’t know what I’d do if someone told me I had sensitivities to dark chocolate.
’cause I eat it all day long and it’s a centerpiece of my diet, and it sort of narrowed my focus and my options for indulgences because dark chocolate is my very favorite dessert. And thereby I don’t have to go looking around and trying to get creative, uh, to, you know, please my palate. And I think, uh, some of that stuff is overrated in today’s world where I’m, I’m fine and, uh, appreciate people who are gourmet foodies. Uh, but when you’re constantly looking to entertain yourself with new options and exciting flavors of processed foods, I think we need to take a step back and go, look, how about you just fuel yourself with the very best foods? And when you are choosing an indulgence and want to have a celebratory occasion, you can still choose the very best foods and not have to cave into the cultural programming that thinks it’s okay to go have a hot fudge sundae after your kids’, uh, hot, sunny soccer game.
How about some ice, cold water and homemade kombucha? And if you are gonna have a hot fudge sundae, you know, make it at home with an ice cream making machine where you have fun and you put the eggs in and the cream and, uh, slice up some fresh bananas. A big difference from plugging into culturally programmed processed foods. Alright, that’s my little public service announcement here in the middle of the show.
In the next category, we get to our fermented foods. Of course, these are widely regarded as supremely healthy with a tremendous benefit to especially your gut microbiome, giving you doses of the probiotics that help your digestive system work well. I talked about in the previous show, Dr. Cate Shanahan’s, great book Deep Nutrition and identifying the four pillars of human nutrition. And that’s, uh, fermented foods is one of ’em because realize that until modern times, the ancestral diet had no refrigeration.
So, fermented and sprouted foods have been an absolute centerpiece of the ancestral diet since the beginning of civilization and even prior. There’s evidence that Kefir has been around since 10,000 BCE and is a time honored way to improve digestion, boost immune function, deliver potent probiotics for the gut microbiome. And now, fermented foods have kind of been pushed aside in the modern diet, just like organ meats have been pushed aside in our fascination with consuming mainly and or exclusively muscle meats. But because we have this ability to refrigerate fresh food and process and pasteurize many different foods, this negates the need to ferment them. And thereby, we are missing out on all the nutritional benefits that these ancestral foods provide. They are low in toxins because of their fermentation. So if you take the same food, let’s say, sauerkraut, right?
A popular fermented probiotic food. But if you were to go and eat fresh cabbage or raw cabbage in some cases, you’re talking about a huge dose of plant toxins that have been largely neutralized, eliminated by the fermentation process. So fermented foods are by definition, low in toxins and easy to digest and delivering those great probiotics. Here’s a partial list, things like kefir, kimchi, kombucha, miso, nato, olives, pickles, sauerkraut, tempe, yogurt, buttermilk cheese, and sour cream. These are all fermented foods. What is fermentation all about? It occurs when microorganisms, such as yeast and bacteria, break down the original components of the food, the carbohydrate into various agents such as acids and alcohol, creating unique tastes and textures. The fermentation process generates microorganisms called probiotics that have numerous health benefits. Some that you might be familiar with are lactobacillus and bifido bacterium. These are the two of the most common.
You can buy them in capsule form, right? But the best delivery system for these great probiotics is gonna come from an actual fermented food. The presence of lactic acid bacteria that results from the fermentation process to also delivers high levels of B vitamins, vitamin K two, healthy conjugated linoleic acid, bioactive peptides, which help with digestion. And of course, the probiotic strains, which nourish your gut microbiome. Fermented foods undergo a process called lacto fermentation in which they are submerged in high concentration salt water or brine and sealed in an airtight container at room temperature, sometimes as long as two weeks. This anaerobic environment, when you seal that lid, you starve the product of oxygen. This is what allows the lactic acid bacteria to proliferate and create that fermented end product. And guess what you get at the end? You get a product with a long shelf life.
So you can do things like make your own kombucha, which I talk about a lot. You have to get the, the starting culture, they call it the scoby, stands for symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast and kombucha is made with black tea and sugar. And then the culture inside the jar will consume the caffeine and the sugar and turn it into a kombucha end product. Same with sauerkraut, for example. You’re gonna slice up the cabbage, submerge it in salt water in something like a mason jar, seal the lid, and let it sit for a couple weeks. You also have to vent the thing daily, so you prevent the buildup of pressure. <laugh>, we’ve had a few accidents, uh, with my son experimenting with doing things like, uh, making kimchi and also making things like kombucha. So, uh, there’s a, there’s an art to it, there’s a process.
You can get good books. I think my book that I’ve followed is called The Big Book of Kombucha, and I’m a huge fan, and I always have several gallons of kombucha either brewing or available to drink. And I mix it with club soda, bubbly water, mineral water, sparkling mineral water, and it’s a wonderful drink. It’s like a treat. It’s like my cocktail hour all day long. Okay? Um, now once you’ve completed fermentation with something like cabbage or kombucha, you then transfer the product to the refrigerator and the cold temperature arrests the fermentation process from continuing and turning something into be rotten, and then you enjoy the product, uh, with a long shelf life. So why are probiotics so beneficial? It’s because gut bacteria produce the healthy bacteria, right? The bad bacteria makes you sick. The healthy bacteria in your gut that’s nourished by the probiotics produce important neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine, dopamine, gaba, noradrenaline, norepinephrine, and serotonin.
These play a critical role in mood stabilization, motivation, concentration, stress management, happiness and contentment. 90% of the mood elevating neurotransmitter serotonin is made in the EC cells in the gut, not the brain. A dysfunctional gut microbiome where the bad bacteria, the disease promoting bacteria proliferate, things like ecoli, salmonella, and so on, and other fungi, viruses, and other pathogens. When those things predominate over the healthy bacteria. Oh my gosh, this is now the most exciting emerging field of medicine where a bad gut microbiome, leaky gut syndrome is being blamed as the originating cause of all manner of inflammatory, allergenic, autoimmune, and mental health conditions. So, fermented foods big on the scoreboard. Please make an effort to include some from that long list that I mentioned into your regular routine.
Now we have a little box for the title is vegetables and fruit. And we already talked about fruit being an ancestral centerpiece. So we’re gonna talk about vegetables and fruit in general. And the role of vegetables in the diet. And I’ve talked enough about the carnivore rationale and the plant toxins in previous shows. So we have to acknowledge that vegetables have high levels of these beneficial compounds like antioxidants, flavonoids, carotinoids, and phytonutrients that have been shown to provide an assortment of health benefits. They got the reputation as the dietary superstar for good reason, helps optimize metabolic immune and cellular functioning, protect the brain and body from the ravages of aging and oxidative stress, stress, and help nourish healthy bacteria in your microbiome. Uh, then we have to ask, okay, at what cost am I getting these benefits? What are the side effects? And that is where the natural toxin concerns come in. Some of these agents are things like lectins, which you might have heard of.
Gluten is the most common, the most known form of lectin, and that’s found in wheat. Uh, other grains and legumes have high amounts of a variety of other different kinds of lectins. We also have phytates or phytic acid, which are found in high levels in nuts and seeds. We have oxalates which cause damage to the kidneys among other things. And those are found at high levels in leafy greens, nuts and legumes. We have isothiocyanates, which are found in high levels in cruciferous vegetables. We have saponins, which are found in high levels in beans and legumes. We have enzyme inhibitors, which are high in soybeans. We have phytoestrogens, which are found, particularly in soy, corn, and flaxseed. So someone asked me the other day, are flaxseeds healthy? Flaxseed oil, soy, corn, and flaxseed have up to 200 times more phytoestrogens than any other food.
So we want to try and steer clear. They also have, uh, high prevalence of G M O when you’re talking about soy and corn conventionally grown, right? And that’s another concern for people. And then, uh, even fruit, which have the least offensive on the scale of plant toxins, they have some tannins that might affect very sensitive people. And now, the good news when you’re talking about how can I eat vegetables ever again? The toxins can be greatly, significantly neutralized through things like cooking, soaking, sprouting, and fermenting. And that’s why we’ve been doing this for tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of years. We figured out that if you go pick that vegetable off the off the vine and eat it and die, the other ancestors are now going to think twice and figure out how to soak, sprout, ferment, and otherwise neutralize the potentially harmful plant toxins.
So if you absolutely can’t live without your spinach, the idea here would be to fry that up or steam it to death. <laugh>, the more you cook it, the more lumpy, the end pile comes, uh, will be less offensive than having, um, a bunch of leaves in a raw spinach salad where you’re getting maximum dose of these plant toxins. And that’s when I related my story about drinking that supposedly super nutrition green smoothie, where everything was raw and consumed at high quantity. So I dumped a bunch of raw kale, raw spinach, raw celery, raw beets, raw carrots, and grounded up in the smoothie and consumed what might amount to a giant pile of raw produce at the starting point. And that’s when I noticed those particular sensitivities that, you know, could not be ignored. So, closing up this section, what role can vegetables play in a healthy diet?
Let’s say that we’re gonna consume these for entertainment, enjoying life, enjoying fine cuisine or creative cuisine. And it’s sort of like, if you insist, then do your best to navigate to the least offensive in the vegetable fruit category. I love Brian Sanders. Take on this, uh, host of the P Cuban podcast, former podcast guest. And he says that he makes a simple, uh, scoreboard for different types of food, whereby processed food gets a minus one vegetables, get a zero, and the nutrient rich animal foods of the planet that are what the Carnivore Scores Food Rankings, Chart is all about, get a plus one <laugh>. Pretty funny, pretty cute.
Okay. And then we go along the boxes of the top row and we have raw honey. Raw honey being vastly superior to the processed honey that doesn’t say raw on it which might’ve been a subject to questionable processing and disturbing the true nutritional benefits of consuming honey in its raw form.
So this is a great energy source. It’s easy to digest, it’s quick. People generally don’t object to, uh, getting a free pass to consume honey. But again, with all that commentary about energy balance and Dr. Paul Saladino coming out on his carnivore journey saying that honey is a key factor, because again, it has no objections when it comes to antinutrients and can really help optimize your hormonal balance, your performance recovery, and all those things that can be a concern when you’re limiting carbohydrates with a animal based type diet. So of course, honey comes with high antioxidant antibacterial nitric oxide boost. It’s believed that consuming honey that is grown locally can help you with seasonal allergies ’cause the bees are doing some hard work to give you that, uh, resiliency against the common allergens in your area.
You can hear Saladino go on and on waxing about the tremendous benefits of honey and why the concerns with ingesting fructose that we hear from other authors and other experts are vastly, um, overblown when it comes to consuming a natural source of fructose like honey. One of them is that the antioxidants and the other beneficial agents will neutralize the concerns of consuming fructose that come when you consume processed fructose, and it really messes up your liver and can contribute to those disease patterns like excess uric acid and so forth. But you know, it’s hard to argue, uh, when we reference the ancestral example, when we play that ancestral card that clearly our ancestors were quite fond of honey and consumed it for eons to great benefit.
So then the next category is nuts and nut butters. And like I said, previously, these are widely regarded as high on the plant toxin category, but it’s a super nutritious and easy, convenient snack or meal accoutrement. So you wanna make sure that you tolerate these well, and you also wanna navigate to, uh, an excellent product that’s fresh and contains favorable raw materials. And so when we look at the jars of peanut butter and even almond butter that are mainstream, and perhaps not as fresh as a boutique product like Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece, and in the case of peanut butter, we have to understand that peanut is technically a legume. It’s not a nut. And we all have the familiarity of the prevalence of peanut allergies. So if you can tolerate peanut butter, that’s great. You might enjoy the taste and it might make a nice contribution to your diet.
Um, but I prefer something like the product that I put together because it contains an exotic blend of things like macadamia nut butter, walnuts, cashews, coconut butter from the very best sources around the world. And it’s fresh. We do small batches, we run out, we produce another one. So everything, anytime you buy a jar, you’re getting a very fresh product and again, monitor for sensitivities. But if you feel good, uh, reaching for a handful of nuts or having a nice snack like nut butter, you’re getting a great source of nutritious protein, fatty acids, enzymes, antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals, especially when you compare to the typical options in the snack category. So I would take a spoonful of Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece any day over virtually any energy bar that you can find that’s ever been made, because these are a much more processed product.
Generally. There are some pretty healthy natural energy bars like Lara Bar, a very popular brand that grew, and just contains, um, fruit and nuts only without processing it. So there are some good energy bars. Most of them are pretty much crap, like the big leaders, Cliff Bar and Power Bar, until recently, I think maybe they still have high fructose corn syrup in some of the flavors and all kinds of other heavily processed agents you might see on the label rice brand syrup and things like that. And you can find on the internet, there’s cute, uh, little pages where they have the 84 different words that you see on a food label that are code for sugar processed sugar. Huh? Okay. So, hey, try one out. After listening to this show, I guarantee you’ll be satisfied, and if you’re not, just tell us and we’ll refund your money. So at bradkearns.com, you can find Brad’s Macadamia Masterpiece. It’ll blow away any nut butter that you’ve ever tried.
In the next category, we have seaweed. And this is another ancestral centerpiece and a hallmark of the highly regarded Japanese diet and the longevity that’s emanated from that diet high in fish, and especially seaweed. It’s a great source of iodine, which we have to be concerned about today, of deficiencies and how that affects the thyroid. You can also get vitamin D, vitamin B 12, selenium and omega three. So, going out to the sushi bar and having that seaweed salad or finding nutritious sources at, you know, good quality natural foods markets, I love the little papers that you can wrap up other food in, but a lot of times I’ve noticed when I’ve bought the trays of them, then they come in a little tray dispensation. You will see that quite a few of them are made with refined industrial seed oils on the label. So check carefully and look for better options on the internet for seaweed paper that doesn’t have seed oils in it.
Now we get to the category of sweet potatoes and squash. A squash is actually categorized literally as a fruit. Anything with seeds like a cucumber is a fruit. And avocado is a fruit. And generally, this is the category of starchy tuber vegetables slash fruit to be correct. But sweet potatoes and squash are a great category because they have low toxin concerns and they deliver a very easy to digest nutritious source of carbohydrates, high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, immune boosting properties, good for gut health. So again, flipping the long standard script where it was advocated to consume more leafy green and cruciferous vegetables because they have more polyphenols, antioxidants, and, and kind of, uh, moderate your consumption of things like sweet potatoes and squash because they’re so starchy, bigger carbohydrate load, bigger insulin response, more likely to get you fat.
This stuff is now really being reconsidered as perhaps, ridiculous, especially for someone who’s healthy and active. And so when you’re talking about a natural, nutritious food that’s easy to digest and delivers a good source of carbohydrates, it’s hard to argue that this is going to really derail your efforts to drop excess body fat. So if you ask me whether I want to get my broccoli sprouts to get that super antioxidant boost of sulforaphane, and also the tremendous dose of poison that I may or may not react to or have adverse consequences, I’m gonna choose to get my antioxidants through my cold plunge well and or my sprint workout and enjoy my sweet potato after. Jay Feldman makes an interesting, uh, recommendation that he preferred to, to have you peel the skin off of your sweet potatoes, because that’s where minimal levels of toxins are in there are concentrated in the skin. So I’ve been doing that even though I kind of love eating the skin sometime. Peel the skin pretty easy. When you cook it properly, you can just kind of pinch your fingers and those skin will come off together.
Okay, so now another new box in the Carnivore Scores Chart as we get near the end of the show. And that is for oils and learning how to navigate the fats that you’re gonna use for cooking or consuming. So an immediate and extremely important health benefit disease prevention tip is to cook with saturated fats only and immediately toss out the polyunsaturated liquid, vegetable oils that are often used in homes to pour into the pan to cook with. So if you have a bottle of canola, corn, soybean, sunflower, safflower oil, immediately discard it and instead replace it with a more temperature, stable, saturated fat.
So saturated meaning the hydrogen ions are saturated on the molecule. That’s the term saturated means, and that makes it more temperature stable. When you heat up the oil as you do in cooking. When you’re talking about unsaturated or polyunsaturated, what’s happening when you heat it up is the molecule sustains oxidative damage. And this becomes much worse when you heat it up. So the canola oil is already nasty and health destructive in the bottle. And then when you heat it up, it just becomes worse and more severe oxidative damage to the body. So examples of saturated fat, these are agents that are solid at room temperature. That is sort of the distinction, that you can identify them as saturated fats. So things like ghee, a stick of butter, lard, coconut oil, are all solid at room temperature.
And then of course, it’s really hot day in your house, and you get, you lift the butter lid and it’s getting, uh, almost to the point of liquid. That’s, you know, a higher temperature, even a saturated fat is going to melt down like that. So that’s your cooking assignment is to go get saturated fats. And then as far as consuming oils directly, for example, in the course of consuming a meal. I was gonna say salad, but of course we don’t really need to eat salad anymore, do we? Um, unless you absolutely love to and make your salad base iceberg lettuce, which has minimal, uh, nutrition of any kind, therefore, it has minimal toxin concerns, unlike a spinach salad or a kale salad. So bring back iceberg lettuce, the widely maligned nutrient deficient food, but it’s crunchy and it can form an ice base for, put a whole bunch of steak on that salad.
And then, as far as the best oil to consume, you want to go for first cold, fresh, extra virgin olive oil. And you want to try to find, try to find as fresh a product as possible. That usually means domestically grown, especially if you can find something that was grown in your own area and has a date stamp on the label. But I say first cold press only because that indicates that the olive was prepared with the best circumstances and minimal intervention or trying to squeeze out, uh, more and more through artificial means or chemically enhanced means the term extra virgin is used very loosely with no formal regulation. So when you go to the big box store and you see a giant jug and it says extra virgin olive oil from Spain, Greece, or Italy, that stuff could be old, it could be rancid, it could be mixed with other agents.
And it’s something you wanna stay away from. So you wanna scrutinize very carefully to get fresh, first cold pressed extra virgin olive oil. Fortunately, there are really cool internet sources where you can indulge in the finest of olive oils, and they are places like olive oil lovers.com and fresh pressed olive oil.com. And it’s sort of a club format where you can sign up and get a shipment every quarter. And of course, you can pause or delay if you’re not consuming the oils at a good pace. And at a very good natural foods grocer, you can probably find some, a nice domestic source. The way to tell if you’re getting a fresh and potent olive oil is taking a spoonful. It should actually burn the back of your throat because of the high levels of polyphenols, the antioxidants that are so strong that it’s gonna give you that, that actual burn sensation.
And if you’ve never had that sensation, you don’t know what I’m talking about. Oh my gosh, sign up for one of those clubs, open up the oil when you get it in the mail, take a spoonful and you will see what I’m talking about. It’s also going to pour out with a really rich, dark green color rather than that bland sort of opaque color that comes outta the big jugs of quote unquote extra virgin olive oil in the store. You’ve probably heard about the popularity of avocado oil, uh, the darling of the food industry and how Primal Kitchen revolutionized things like, uh, salad dressing and mayonnaise by, uh, using avocado oil rather than the more popular and traditional, uh, refined industrial seed oils, canola oil or what have you. And of course, avocado oil in itself, coming from the avocado is going to be a favorable health product.
But unfortunately, there’s research, uh, touted now where someone did a study of a whole bunch of different brands of avocado oil on the market and found an extremely disturbingly high rate of impurity, additives. Other agents, some of them had no avocado oil at all. So again, when there’s minimal regulation and explosion in popularity, you have to be really careful on the source and perhaps even contact the company and try to get assurances. You notice Primal Kitchen website, they sell extra virgin avocado oil as opposed to regular avocado oil, and you will see a much darker, richer color coming out of that bottle, rather than the lighter color of an avocado oil that’s probably not as pure and perhaps was even cut with other types of oils. So, be careful and prioritize olive oil is probably the best in this category.
Now we get to supplements. Do I need to supplement if I eat a healthy diet? Absolutely not. You can get everything you need as a preference from whole food sources. So the whole category of supplements exist for convenience and for practicality, and to help you shore up the imperfections in your diet. Whey protein is the best example. And now the best and most nutritious and most bioavailable sources of protein are gonna come from whole foods. But whey in particular, especially the way that I have sourced, is so fresh that it is considered a food grade product because of the minimal processing that occurs at low temperatures. It’s simply a separation of the casein and the way when cheese is being made in the factory. And this comes directly from America’s dairy land of Wisconsin. I’m so excited to launch this product of the very best, most potent, least processed whey protein.
So if you get a really good high quality grass-fed whey protein isolate, you’re getting a very convenient source of protein as the primary objective in the diet is to get into protein every day. Whether you’re an elderly person, senior citizen, trying to stave off sarcopenia or a young athlete or anyone in between, we have to get our protein needs met. And a lot of times it’s cumbersome or inconvenient to sit down and cook up some more eggs or have another steak over the course of your busy day. And so this is where there’s a great argument to have the convenience of just picking up your <laugh>, picking up your hand, scooping some protein into water, stirring it and drinking it. You’re not going to gain weight if you start to increase the protein content of your diet. It just does not happen that way.
We’ve done a lot of shows talking about this topic, but when you increase your daily protein intake, you are going to ensure that your metabolism and your energy levels are optimized so that you will be prompted to be more active and also less likely to go and reach for the indulgent foods that are a sign of energy deficiency. And notice how, at the end of those long, stressful burnout days, that’s when you’re more likely to reach for the tub of Ben and Jerry’s that possibly could have been staved off by having a scoop of protein in the middle of the afternoon when things were getting hectic and you were falling short of regular wonderful sit down meal times. So I’m gonna put whey protein in that category of essential, highly recommended supplements. The next thing on the list, and this is all written on the chart creatine.
So creatine is the single most studied performance supplement ever of all time because it has been found to deliver potent, highly validated, magnificent benefits in the areas of muscle strength, muscle recovery. There’s no, there’s no downsides where people have, uh, sometimes been scared by the stories of people creatine, loading, and then shutting off their natural internal endogenous production of creatine. That nonsense comes from extreme bodybuilding world, the same people that grossly abuse anabolic steroids and give, uh, the whole scene a bad name. So creatine taken sensibly, which I would say the research is clear, I don’t think you’ll find anyone to dispute this. That supplemental creatine to the tune of five grams per day for the rest of your life will have a phenomenal benefit on what should be your number one goal of preserving lean muscle strength throughout life.
And now there’s exciting new research revealing that creatine has profound neuroprotective benefits. So it protects the brain neurons from aging. Of course, they need to use this agent, all the cells in the body. And so that’s what’s really exciting is that this can be an especially helpful supplement for the aging population that’s still trying to stay fit and healthy and athletic. Then we get to magnesium, which I just did a nice show with Max Cassa talking about the benefits of magnesium supplementation in the course of his float therapy. And, uh, it’s widely regarded that magnesium levels are, across the board deficient in modern population. And the driving factor here is the nutrient depleted soil that is present today in all the crops that regrow and also the grass that the cow eats, right? So we have difficulty obtaining sufficient levels of magnesium from the diet.
You can google magnesium rich foods and you’re gonna come across this list of leafy greens and almonds and liver and what have you. But it’s difficult to consume these, even the high magnesium foods in sufficient quantity. And so what we have is a widespread mild, and in some cases, extreme magnesium deficiency that just tones us down a tiny bit from optimal. And it’s hard to notice, but it’s things like a little bit delayed recovery, uh, a little bit of diminished sleep quality. And when it comes to the extreme level, it can contribute to cramping and things like that. So since we can’t do a good job getting it from our diet, no less a resource than Ben Greenfield put on his top 10 list of important health practices going and finding bottled glass mineral water to drink. Why was that so important?
When you think water is water, it’s because these mineral waters coming from the earth are one of the last bastions of potential ingestion, of good levels of magnesium and many, many other minerals. So I don’t like the carbon footprint aspect of throwing these bottles into the recycling and seeing them pile up how much water I drink. I probably drink a full glass bottle a day at least. But that’s a good source of magnesium. And then of course, supplementing is extremely important in this category. And we’re not talking about an extremely expensive, exotic supplement. It’s just going and getting a really good quality supplement for magnesium. That’s why I’m so happy to promoten bioptimizer product magnesium breakthrough, and especially the fact that it contains seven different forms of magnesium. So you don’t have to get confused and try to figure out which one’s the best.
You want to get a full spectrum magnesium supplement, and you can find that at Mag Breakthrough. Mag, like magnesium mag breakthrough.com/brad with a special deal. So I am pounding that stuff and will do so for the rest of my life. Now on this list of supplements, I write organs too, because they’re a, a great idea to take in supplemental form, although you wouldn’t really call it a supplement technically, because it’s a whole food capsuled item. It’s the freeze dried animal organs and, uh, that distinguishes it from something that’s made in a laboratory like a vitamin. But you know what I’m talking about when I’m talking about pills and the supplement and the other ancestral supplements. It certainly makes sense to put it in this category, but what you’re taking is a whole food dietary supplement. In fact, the same could be said about the whey protein because of the fact that it’s so pure that it’s actually graded by the government as a food grade product.
And then, finally on this list, I shouldn’t say finally ’cause I can talk about many others, and there are a lot of specialized cases where you might want to consider taking this or that. I talked recently about my initial consultation with the wonderful concierge health service called Marek Health. And I have been chartered with a custom supplement regimen to address some of the imperfections on my blood results in pursuit of peak performance. Not anything health related where I’m talking about a prescription but they said that I might want to take some boron, some vitamin B six precursor, things like that to optimize my male hormone levels. So, so that’s kind of fun to try to pick and choose and get expert advice. Of course, if you go to functional medicine, they will in many cases recommend supplements that are particular and unique for your needs at that time.
So that’s super cool, and that would open up the door to all kinds of other different things. But I will put vitamin D on this list because, uh, a lot of us lead sun-challenged lifestyles, and that’s where vitamin D supplementation can be crucial. Of course, the best way to get vitamin D is to expose large skin surface areas of your body to direct sunlight during the peak times of day and times of year when the sun is really shining. And the goal of maintaining a slight tan over a lot of your body is going to pretty much guarantee that you have robust vitamin D health. But there are so many of us that don’t get out enough into the sun that have been deterred from getting sun exposure over the large skin surface areas of our body by, you know, flawed and dated dermatological insights that we don’t want to get, uh, a sun ever on our skin.
And boy, when you can look at the research, uh, contained in wonderful books like the Vitamin D solution by Dr. Michael Holick, you will find how misguided and reactionary this is. And in fact, the worst form of skin cancer, the most fatal form melanoma often occurs or typically occurs in areas of the body where the sun never shines. So people get it in their armpits or in their groin area and so forth. And one of the highest risk factors for melanoma is low vitamin D levels. It’s also a high risk factor for many other cancers, especially the reproductive cancers. And that’s why the rates of reproductive cancers in the African-American population, males and females are significantly higher than in other populations, because the darker your skin, the more sun challenged you are, the more difficult it is to absorb sufficient vitamin D or to manufacture, uh, sufficient vitamin D from sun exposure because it takes longer time to get through darker skin.
So if you’re a light-skinned person, yes, you’re gonna burn more quickly, but you’re also going to get your vitamin D needs more met more quickly in the sun. So everyone’s got that goal depending on where they live. If your ancestors are coming from Africa and you live in Sweden and Scandinavia, you got major problems, right, major challenges. And, if you live in the southern hemisphere like Australia, New Zealand, where the air is much cleaner, there’s much less ozone because of less population, less pollution, they can get their vitamin D needs met, they can actually burn in a matter of minutes. I was amused upon visiting New Zealand a long time ago, uh, where the nightly news said tomorrow’s burn time, tomorrow’s burn time is 23 minutes. I’m like, what’s the burn time? And that’s how much different the air and the sun’s ray are penetrating down there versus comparative latitude in the Northern hemisphere.
Anyway, the way to track your, uh, vitamin D health is to try to go for that slight tan. And if you’re out there on a day for a longer time, then you are obligated to get outta the sun, cover up with clothing or as a last resort use sunscreen. But there’s so many objections to sunscreen these days that, um, we really wanna rethink these things and try to get shade on our face or otherwise protect the skin from over exposure. And speaking of that, I talk about large skin surface areas to get sufficient vitamin D exposure because the more skin, the more vitamin D you’re gonna make, which means that the exposure your face gets is inconsequential. So if you are concerned about overexposing your face, go ahead and wear a hat or cover up or use a good sunscreen every time. But be sure to get your legs, your back, your abdomen. That’s the kind of stuff that we wanna see getting sun. Your face is easily overexposed because it’s always, uh, exposed, unlike areas where you’re typically wearing clothing. That’s supplement category people.
And that brings us to the bottom of the chart, and I added a little section about beverages. I talked about bottled mineral water being important source of missing minerals. So that is a winner on the list. And I also put kombucha on there because of its wonderful probiotic properties. And I guess you could expand the definition of this category to call them fermented drinks, because you see all kinds of things that might not be technically called kombucha, but it’s a similar, uh, product where you’re getting some nice flavor, you’re getting some effervescence, some carbonation, and it’s nice to see those product categories explode as opposed to the crap that we’ve been heaped that’s been heaped upon us for years and decades with the Arizona Iced Teas and the sports drinks and the energy drinks that are, uh, basically heavily processed colored and not doing yourself any favors for your health.
Unlike the nice brands of kombucha that are, uh, prepared, or you can look at my, uh, Instagram video, How to Make Your Own Kombucha. Herbal tea would be on this list. Organic coffee. Important distinction there because a lot of coffee is tainted, it has a lot of chemicals. It’s a common source for getting some adverse agents into your body when we’re talking about mainstream coffee. So we wanna find a really sustainable, well-produced and organic beans there. Um, Dr. Saladino, again would frown because the coffee bean, like the cacao bean, is in that category of potentially high plant toxin reactivity. Personally, I’m not a big fan of coffee or, uh, having daily doses of caffeine. I would rather self-regulate my energy and alertness. And that belief system goes back to the days when I was an athlete, where I always wanted to feel and experience the full brunt of any fatigue or lack of alertness or lack of energy, because that would allow me to make the most sensible training decision.
So while coffee might have been effective to pump me up and get me out the door and get me working harder than I might already have, same with going to the gym and taking one of those pre-workout concoctions that contains a lot of caffeine. I think there is a potential downside that is not mentioned enough. And I am feeling just fine about my ability to increase alertness and energy when I perform my morning exercise routine. So I contend that it is superior to coffee, and I enjoyed the commentary, uh, from a Huberman Lab podcast with Dr. Andrew Huberman, where he makes the recommendation that if you insist on drinking coffee in the morning, wait one hour after you wake up, before you drink your coffee, and instead, as soon as you wake up, get moving and get your eyeballs out into direct sun exposure because that will prompt a natural elevation in the mood, uh, mood stabilizing morning hormones like serotonin and cortisol.
And if you were to bring caffeine or coffee into the picture, you potentially compromise some of the natural alertness potential that we have that’s, uh, triggered by sun exposure and physical exercise. Um, going down the list and finishing up after coffee. We have protein smoothies, of course, and we have bone broth, which I talked about extensively in the section about animal organs. And then I talk about raw milk and kefr in that section. So there’s your beverages list, ha, that’s the entire chart. And maybe you have some questions about this fast moving show or series of shows, so please email us firstname.lastname@example.org. Did I leave something off? I don’t think so. But let’s hear from you. What do you think? How’s your diet been optimized? Or what efforts have you made lately? Thank you so much for listening, and be sure to download that chart and put it in plain view every single day. Go to bradkearns.com, sign up for the email newsletter list, and you are good to go with the carnivore scores.
Thank you so much for listening to the B.rad Podcast. We appreciate all feedback and suggestions. Email email@example.com and visit bradkearns.com to download five free eBooks and learn some great long cuts to a longer life. How to optimize testosterone naturally, become a dark chocolate connoisseur and transition to a barefoot and minimalist shoe lifestyle.