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The Carnivore Diet With Dr. Paul Saladino

Written by Joe Cohen, BS | Last updated:

These are the show notes for the podcast with Paul Saladino. These notes are a recap of the opinions and views of Paul Saladino and don’t necessarily reflect the views of SelfHacked. Make sure to speak with your doctor before starting on any new diet.

About Paul Saladino

  • Graduated from The College of William and Mary with a degree in Chemistry
  • Spent 6 years traveling before becoming a Physician’s Assistant in cardiology
  • Went on to earn his MD from the University of Arizona and recently completed his residency at the University of Washington
  • He is board-certified in psychiatry and a certified functional medicine practitioner
  • Throughout his medical career, he became interested in understanding what’s at the root of chronic disease
  • Started realizing that food was a huge lever in health and that there was a potential for discordance or concordance between the food we are eating and our genetics

Paul’s Health/Carnivore Journey (00:01:20)

  • From a young age, Paul struggled with atopic eczema and asthma but was able to eventually grow out of his asthma
  • Persistent issues with eczema throughout his life led him to believe that something in his environment was consistently triggering his immune system
  • He experimented with a variety of diets (Vegan, Organic-Paleo variations) for years before landing on the Carnivore Diet about 1-year ago
  • Paul became curious about the Carnivore Diet after hearing about how Jordan Peterson and his daughter, Mikhaila Peterson, were able to resolve their immune issues with it
  • He was fascinated by the idea but was skeptical at first because of his traditional medical studies that all valued the importance of plants
  • After further research, he gave the Carnivore Diet a chance and never went back

Nose-To-Tail Carnivore Diet (00:11:12)

  • Paul effectively executes the Carnivore Diet and ensures he consumes adequate levels of nutrients by eating nose-to-tail
  • All-meat (exclusively steak) diets can result in major nutrient deficiencies
  • Eating a full range of animal parts (liver, bone, blood, etc.) solves a lot of the nutrient issues you may deal with when taking up the Carnivore Diet
  • Paul’s diet is fairly simplistic
  • He stresses that there are many ways to customize the diet to accommodate each person’s needs

Paul Saladino’s Diet (00:15:26)

  • Usually only has 2 meals a day during a time-restricted window of eating because he finds his meals are so filling
  • The following is his general template but he will add in a variety of organs and other meats from time-to-time
    • Bone marrow, salmon eggs, seafood, scallops, kidneys, lamb testicles, etc.
  • Morning:
    • First thing in the morning, he has a large glass of water with electrolytes (2-3 grams of sodium chloride with magnesium and potassium)
    • 3 duck egg yolks
    • 5 oz of liver
    • 8-10 oz of grass-fed meat
    • 100-150 g of grass-fed fat trimmings from the animal (it still has connective tissue which is rich in glycine to compliment the methionine found in muscle tissues)
    • Liberal salt consumption
  • Lunch:
    • 3 duck egg yolks
    • 8-10 oz of grass-fed meat
    • 100-150 g of grass-fed fat trimmings from the animal (it still has connective tissue which is rich in glycine to compliment the methionine found in muscle tissues)
    • Liberal salt consumption
  • End of day
    • Some sort of calcium source (bone meal or eggshells)

Paul’s Take On Vitamin C RDA (00:26:30)

  • Current RDA of Vitamin C is 60 mg
  • He doesn’t believe it needs to be that high
  • Muscle meat has 12-14 mg/pound
  • Liver meat has 30 mg/2.5 oz
  • A human study [1]
    • Joe: only 7 people were given 10mg of vitamin C – I don’t know how to access the data for what they tested in 1944
  • Observational studies have shown that individuals with higher levels of serum Vitamin C are healthier than those with lower levels, but when used in interventional studies, they fail
    • Paul believes that Vitamin C acts as a proxy for other unaccounted for health behaviors that results in healthier individuals
    • It is not purely due to their Vitamin C levels
  • Although the proper Vitamin C RDA value is still up for debate, Paul is consuming the current RDA value through his diet.

Scientific Study Healthy-User Bias (00:29:44)

  • A bias that can damage the validity of epidemiologic studies testing the efficacy of particular therapies or interventions
  • People participating in these studies are already healthier than the general population
  • A study that removed the healthy-user bias by comparing vegetarians to non-vegetarians, both with healthy behaviors, showed the same mortality [2]
  • Paul argues that the act of eating more plants and taking Vitamin C creates the healthy-user bias (less smoking, more exercise, more sunlight, etc.) in western cultures
  • In Asia, eating meat is associated with affluence and health
    • You see the highest living people in Asia eat more meat
    • Eating more meat is associated with less coronary vascular disease in men and less cancer in women

The Carnivore Diet

Food Reintroduction? (00:45:26)

  • He believes people can do it if they wanted but Paul wouldn’t do it himself
  • Paul’s take is that there are a lot of toxins in plant food (oxalates, polyphenols) that make him not want to reintroduce plant foods
  • He does not believe that he is missing any benefits from plant foods that he is not already getting from meat

Traveling On The Carnivore Diet (00:48:25)

  • Argues that it would be easier than other restrictive diets to keep up a carnivore diet while traveling
  • For a few days, he can bring his diet down to just meat and liver, just meat, or simply just fast
  • Eating a low-lectin diet would be harder than a carnivore diet
  • You can bring liver jerky or desiccated liver pills with you
  • Most countries have animals and meat products available

Is the Carnivore Diet For Everyone? (01:01:09)

  • Paul believes that the Carnivore Diet is for everyone
  • His take is that we evolutionarily developed as carnivores
  • This diet is very sustainable to those who are motivated to stay on it
  • Animal products are enjoyable and palatable to most people
  • He enjoys being able to present the information he has found on this diet to those who are curious and want to try it
  • Animal food nutrient bioavailability is much greater than plant food nutrient bioavailability
  • He believes it’s important to collect data about the carnivore diet for those who do not do well on a plant-based diet
    • Inform people that they can get adequate nutrients from just animals

Benefits You May Not Know You Need (01:02:32)

  • Some people may not realize that taking plants out of their diet can significantly help them
  • Before Paul started his Carnivore journey, he didn’t realize that his mood wasn’t as high as it could have been
    • He became much more emotionally resilient after starting this diet
    • Many carnivores will attest that their emotional resilience increased after being on this diet. They became happier, more positive people
  • He believes humans would do optimally well on an animal-based diet
  • Although some people tolerate plants well, he suspects people would do better without them

Carnivores Hesitation to Supplements (00:56:10)

  • Paul’s take is that the general quality of available supplements are bad and there is a risk of over-supplementation
  • He is wary of their bioavailability, absorption, and potential toxicities because the forms of nutrients found in supplements are often different from the ones found in food
  • Theoretically, he doesn’t have an issue with them if taken properly and thinks some carnivores are too quick to dismiss supplements completely
  • He does recommend some of his clients to take supplements for short periods of time
    • i.e. glutathione to aid in the detoxification of heavy metals
  • Doesn’t trust most multivitamins and suspects that some nanoparticles found in them (silicon dioxide, titanium dioxide) could be contributing to leaky gut/irritation to the gut
  • All-in-all he’s open to supplements but believes the majority of supplements available to the general public are poor in quality

Paul’s Lab Tests (01:10:42)

  • Normal Range vs. Optimal Range (what’s the lowest risk of dying from any cause)
  • Paul has his blood drawn every 45 days since he has been on the carnivore diet
  • Paleo vs carnivore diets: inflammation has gone down with the carnivore diet

Markers: calcium (9.3), hsCRP (0.2-0.3), WBC (4.1), creatinine (0.95), cystatin c (0.6), uric acid (4.1), ALT (34), AST (25), GGT (13), Bilirubin (.6), total protein (6.9-7.5), albumin (4.3-4.6), TSH (.787), Free T3 (3.0), Free T4 (1.1), total testosterone (4.6ng/ml), shbg (43)

Nutrients: vitamin C (.92), vitamin E (11.6), vitamin B12, vitamin A (406)

  • LDL Cholesterol – not clear that low levels are protective, high levels are dangerous (in the setting of insulin sensitivity)
  • Paul’s LDL is high (181), HDL extremely high (88), Triglycerides low (44)
  • Fasting insulin is low, suggesting no evidence of insulin resistance
  • On ketogenic and carnivore diets, the LDL will rise
  • Saturated fats are far from a negative thing in a diet

Where To Find Paul Saladino (01:35:26)

About the Author

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen, BS

Joe Cohen flipped the script on conventional and alternative medicine…and it worked. Growing up, he suffered from inflammation, brain fog, fatigue, digestive problems, insomnia, anxiety, and other issues that were poorly understood in traditional healthcare. Frustrated by the lack of good information and tools, Joe decided to embark on a learning journey to decode his DNA and track his biomarkers in search of better health. Through this personalized approach, he discovered his genetic weaknesses and was able to optimize his health 10X better than he ever thought was possible. Based on his own health success, he went on to found SelfDecode, the world’s first direct-to-consumer DNA analyzer & precision health tool that utilizes AI-driven polygenic risk scoring to produce accurate insights and health recommendations. Today, SelfDecode has helped over 100,000 people understand how to get healthier using their DNA and labs.
Joe is a thriving entrepreneur, with a mission of empowering people to take advantage of the precision health revolution and uncover insights from their DNA and biomarkers so that we can all feel great all of the time.


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