Dr. Paul Saladino is a prominent figure in the fields of medicine and nutrition, known for his unique perspective on the carnivore diet and ancestral health. With a background in functional medicine, he has become a leading voice in advocating for a diet centered around animal-based foods. Dr. Saladino earned his medical degree from the University of Arizona and completed his residency in psychiatry at the University of Washington. His passion for nutrition and health led him to explore the benefits of a carnivore diet, which he believes can optimize human health and wellness. As an author and speaker, Dr. Saladino has written extensively on topics related to nutrition, and he hosts the popular "Fundamental Health" podcast, where he interviews experts in the field of health and wellness. His work has sparked important conversations about the role of diet in human health and has garnered a dedicated following of individuals seeking to improve their well-being through dietary choices.
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1551 with Paul Saladino: The Carnivore Diet and Its Proponent
In episode #1551 of The Joe Rogan Experience, Joe sits down with Paul Saladino, an author, and doctor known for his book “The Carnivore Code”. Saladino is recognized as a well-informed advocate of the carnivore diet, a controversial concept involving the consumption of exclusively animal products. Rogan describes him as “the most dialed-in person” on this topic, highlighting the scientific backing Saladino provides for his dietary stance.
Diving into the Controversy
The conversation begins with Rogan sharing his personal experiences with an animal-based diet, discussing the common misconceptions and criticisms he encounters. Saladino provides a scientific perspective, explaining how plants have evolved defense mechanisms to protect themselves from overconsumption by animals and insects. He contrasts the edibility of plants versus animals, noting that while most animals are edible, the majority of plants are not, due to their inherent defense chemicals.
The Concept of Hormesis
A significant part of the discussion revolves around the concept of hormesis – the idea that certain stressors in small amounts can be beneficial for health. Saladino distinguishes between environmental hormesis (like sauna or exercise) and molecular hormesis from plant compounds. He argues that while environmental hormesis is clean and straightforward, molecular hormesis from plants comes with a “package insert” of side effects, questioning the net benefit of consuming plant molecules.
The Nutritional Adequacy of an Animal-Based Diet
Addressing the nutritional concerns of an exclusively animal-based diet, Saladino asserts that there are no nutrients in plants that can’t be obtained in more bioavailable forms from animal sources. He challenges the common beliefs around the necessity of plant-derived vitamins, discussing the sufficiency of vitamin C intake from animal products and the body’s ability to prevent scurvy with surprisingly low daily amounts of this vitamin.
Cultural and Historical Perspectives
The conversation also touches on cultural and historical practices, discussing how certain tribes and ancient cultures revered animal organs, particularly the liver, for their nutritional value. Rogan and Saladino discuss the historical shift from nose-to-tail eating to a focus on muscle meat, emphasizing the importance of returning to more traditional dietary practices that include organ meats.
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1551 with Paul Saladino: Hunter-Gatherer Diets and Modern Choices
In this segment of The Joe Rogan Experience #1551, Joe Rogan and Dr. Paul Saladino continue their deep dive into diet and health, focusing on the dietary patterns of hunter-gatherer tribes like the Hadza. They discuss how these tribes prioritize animal food, particularly honey and large game, demonstrating the inherent human preference for meat. Saladino notes the significant impact of hunting the largest animal on tribal satisfaction and survival.
The Science of Eating Meat: Gluconeogenesis and Satiety
Saladino explains gluconeogenesis, the body’s method of producing glucose from non-carbohydrate sources, highlighting its vital role in a meat-based diet. Rogan shares his personal experience with the carnivore diet, noting sustained energy levels and a distinct feeling of satiety when consuming primarily meat. This conversation underscores the body’s complex systems for maintaining balance and health through various food sources.
Honey: An Ancestral Superfood
The discussion shifts to the inclusion of honey in a carnivore-adjacent diet. Saladino describes honey’s unique properties and its historical and modern-day use as a food and medicine. They explore the beneficial effects of honey on oral health and its potential protective qualities, contrasting it with the harmful impacts of high fructose corn syrup and processed sugars.
The Devastating Rise of Processed Vegetable Oils
Saladino presents a compelling argument about the rise in chronic diseases correlating with increased consumption of processed vegetable oils. The discussion covers the dramatic changes in American dietary habits, particularly the skyrocketing intake of soybean and other vegetable oils. This shift, Saladino suggests, might be a significant contributor to the obesity and diabetes epidemic, offering an evolutionary perspective on fat storage and metabolic health.
Reimagining Paleo: A Spectrum of Plant Toxicity
The conversation touches on the spectrum of plant toxicity and the idea of a reimagined Paleo diet that includes less toxic plant foods alongside meat. Saladino emphasizes the importance of considering the parts of plants that our ancestors would have consumed and those they would have avoided. This approach aims to balance modern dietary choices with evolutionary consistency.
Questioning the Vilification of Red Meat
They address the vilification of red meat in the context of health issues and environmental concerns. Saladino points out that while red meat consumption has decreased, chronic diseases continue to rise, suggesting other factors, like processed foods and vegetable oils, play a more significant role in health decline.
The Joe Rogan Experience (JRE) #1551 with Paul Saladino: Diet, Exercise, and Circadian Rhythms
In the final third of the podcast, Joe Rogan and Dr. Paul Saladino discuss the nuances of diet and lifestyle, including exercise routines and eating schedules. Saladino shares his preference for intermittent fasting and exercising multiple times a day, inspired by Pavel Tsatsouline’s “Grease the Groove” method. Rogan reflects on his own workout regimen and the benefits of spreading out activities throughout the day.
The Complex World of Lipids and Cardiovascular Health
A significant portion of the conversation delves into the complexities of lipids, particularly low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Saladino challenges the conventional wisdom regarding cholesterol and heart disease, suggesting that the context of an individual’s overall health is critical when considering lipid levels. He introduces the lipid hypothesis and its shortcomings, advocating for a nuanced understanding of LDL and HDL’s roles in the body.
Debunking Myths Around Fiber
Saladino addresses common misconceptions about dietary fiber, emphasizing that it’s not as essential as widely believed. He cites studies indicating that reducing or eliminating dietary fiber can alleviate constipation and its associated symptoms. Rogan and Saladino discuss personal experiences with diets high in fiber, noting the unexpected and often unpleasant gastrointestinal effects.
A Critique of Modern Cardiology
The conversation turns critical of the mainstream cardiology field, as Saladino expresses concern about the oversimplified focus on lowering LDL cholesterol without considering broader health contexts. They discuss the challenges faced by cardiologists who step outside conventional wisdom and the importance of considering individual metabolic health when evaluating cardiovascular risk.
Saladino’s Personal Health Metrics
Saladino shares his own health metrics, revealing an LDL level significantly higher than what’s considered “normal” but accompanied by high HDL and low triglycerides. He discusses his zero arterial plaque, challenging the notion that high LDL is inherently dangerous. Saladino advocates for a more sophisticated approach to understanding cholesterol and its role in the body.
Closing Thoughts: A Call for Nuanced Health Understanding
In the final third of the episode, Rogan and Saladino explore the intricacies of human health, questioning long-held beliefs about diet, exercise, and cardiovascular health. They emphasize the importance of context, individual health markers, and a willingness to challenge conventional wisdom. The conversation provides a thought-provoking look at how ancestral eating patterns and modern medical understanding can inform healthier choices in our lives.