The carnivore diet. Eat meat, drink water.
With no vegetables, fruits, or carbs, the carnivore diet is reaching fad/cult status as a nutritional strategy that some swear by...while many wave off as unscientific and unsafe. While it may be easy to glance at the headlines and think "Now, that's just crazy", we remember when intermittent fasting received the same mixed reactions in its infancy. In true HVMN fashion, we will look at the available data, anecdotes, and theories before closing the book on the carnivore diet.
Geoff: Travis, thanks for coming by the HQ at HVMN.
Travis: Thank you. I was in town this week for a work project and it all worked out.
Geoff: I want to get into carnivore, but before we move on to that topic we should just talk a little bit about the history and development of ketogenic diets. And I think you mentioned that originally the most popular use case around a hundred years ago was treating drug resistant epileptic children. It sounds like the use cases really expanded from there. And perhaps useful for the audience here to just give the sense of my background. I personally cycle in and out of a ketogenic diet, where some periods of time I will eat carbs and especially when I'm doing more endurance exercises. It's not because I'm skeptical of long-term sustained ketosis, it's more of a lifestyle and just shifting my goals for certain types of outcomes. And I think within the broader HVMN Community there's a lot of people interested in fasting and low carb diets. And I guess like the way I approached ketogenic diets was coming through fasting, actually. So, I started doing intermittent fasting, so it’s fasting for 36, 60 hours; and one of the endpoints of fasting is raise my ketone levels, right? Because you basically plowing through your glycogen reserves, turning ketones.
Travis: Switching metabolic states.
Geoff: Yes, and my interest in ketogenic diets occurred when I say, okay like can you almost get the best of both or double down the benefits of fasting? You can't fast forever that's called starving, you die. But can I compound the benefits of being a state of ketosis that you are stacking a fasted state with a ketogenic diet and cycling in and out of that.
I would say that I think for a lot of these disease or therapeutic uses, there's like a lot of potential with ketogenic diets.
Like I think researchers are doing a really good job just showing RCT data on; or I guess it's not necessary RCT’s, like open labeled like studies but like there are reducing hemoglobin A1C numbers or reducing, you know the need for insulin. So, things like that's being public, that's like real work there. I think there's emerging data on, it can be useful for glucose in or insulin control type ones. I think you mentioned cancer. I think there should be a disclosure that some forms of cancers do use fat as a source of energy. So, if you have that type of cancer.
Travis: The cancer application is complicated. It’s not just do keto and there's some bunch of other conditions.
Geoff: Exactly. I hope we can like tease out some of these nuisances not just provide like a blanket statement on just cancer, which is very complicated. It is a disease that has been intractable in killing a lot of people. So, it's a very serious disease. But I think the nuisance there is that a lot of cancer tumors are very glycolytic, use glucose as energy.
Travis: And glutamine which is an amino acid, I think.
Geoff: Amino acid. So, it stands a reason that if you shut down the availability of glucose, you can suppress tumor growth. And I think there is some animal work and I know that Dom D'Agostino and Tom Siegfried are doing good work in that area.
Travis: That's who I know the most. There's also Eugene Fine and Dr. Richard David Feinman in Brooklyn. I actually met Dr. Feinman like six months ago or something.
Geoff: Okay. I'm curious, he’s using ketogenic diet?
Travis: They're trying to do like a small study where I think they have people on who have cancer do keto and not really sure what their outcomes are. They have like an experiment.com website or something where you can kind of run like a crowdfunded science research; and they had an anonymous investor put a bunch of money towards...
Geoff: It's a question worth understanding. Right? Like I think I know a lot of our community members are just doing it. I mean do they based it basically on mechanism; they are just treating themselves or eating keto and then of course we can stand and doing chemotherapy in the standard practice and it seems like it's working for them, right? But I think the caveat is that there are I think some forms of brain cancer, glioblastoma, that do use fat or ketones as fuel, so if you have that form.
Travis: No, GBM's are the best to cure with keto.
Geoff: I think there might be some solids like, there's some glioblastomas are very amenable towards the ketogenic diet. I believe some cancers including brain cancers do use fat as fuel. So, you don't want to sort of pour the other fuel on that fire.
Travis: Did you hear Tom's Siegfried’s theory or maybe Dom's podcast on Peter Attia's show? He talked about how he originally created a hyperbaric chamber; measure cells and hyperbaric oxygen chambers, and see how they reacted. And then he ended up calling Tom and was like, “Hey, I just figured out how to kill cancer cells, just like using hyperbaric oxygen.” And Tom has posted an article called Press Pulse.
Geoff: It's a stacking ketogenic diet.
Travis: With like some drugs that block like glutamine; and basically, the ketones protect your cells from damage and then the lower glucose state kills the cancer.
Geoff: Using ketones as energy; the oxygen also is antithetical.
Travis: Somehow, they're like destroying the cancer cells and then you can do this therapy like twice a week.
Geoff: I'm personally interested also, just from a business perspective, on something like ketone ester; we could just jack up your ketone levels really quickly and acutely. So obviously a lot of work still to be done just on press pulse and all these therapies, ketone ester will play a role on that that would be interesting to understand. Right, what else? I think there's interesting work with ketogenic diets with Alzheimer's and Dementia. I think we've talked about on this program Alzheimer's as type 3 diabetes. And what other disease states where there's potential? I mean there's animal work showing increase in longevity. This was in the Buck Institute. A cyclical ketogenic diet was extending lifespan on mice; those seem to be pretty obviously important pernicious disease that are facing the country. Obesity, metabolic engineering, you're talking about that. Anything else in terms of just like hot spots that I mean, it sounds like you have to like this whole list out. Anything else were missing here?
Travis: Amy Berger just posted article about gout and I crossed posted it into the r/gout today and they all hate it. Like, you can't tell us to change our diets, it's all genetics and stuff. I think the biggest problem with the keto idea is that everyone calls it a fad diet. Like a brand-new thing and therefore they basically bring it down before they even really think about what it means.
I just think so many of our chronic diseases are caused by metabolic issues just burning sugar for 50 years. It's just not healthy.
I mean the real question is what do we evolve on? What diet did humans like get to this point? How did they eat? And it's pretty obvious, like you look at any factory or any standard American diet today, and you see that everyone is eating tons of processed carbs. And grains, and sugar, and seed oils, and fruits and vegetables; that didn't even exist a hundred years ago. So, I'm not really sure why that advice is being pushed as the healthy diligent advice to follow; if it's pretty obvious that it didn't exist a hundred years ago.
Geoff: I think that's an interesting sociological observation and perhaps I'm overweight on this being based in San Francisco and Silicon Valley; but it seems that there are more and more people with no formal nutrition or physiology backgrounds, but folks coming in from the mathematics or physics or computer engineering.
Travis: Yeah, perspective.
Geoff: And that's my background as a computer scientist, and I believe you're a computer engineer as well, right? Folks cut from our cloth are applying our engineering training and our systems thinking or system engineering approach towards humans.
Travis: Just doing critical thinking. Approaching it as if like we have no traditional knowledge. I think nutritionist and dietitians and doctors, they've all been taught these flawed paradigms that weren't really based in fact. And if you talk to most of them today, they all push very plant heavy diets with lots of carbs. They still think the brain needs a hundred thirty grams of carbs a day. Like, well what happens if you don't eat for three days, you just die? No, no one on Naked and Afraid doesn't die in three weeks. Well eating one snake, you don't need carbs. They're not essential.
Geoff: I don't make enemies with nutritionists and doctors. I think there are a lot of good people in this professions that are being at the forefront. Like Jason Fung, like doctor Priyanka Wali; whose San Francisco based clinician and was also helping prescribing ketogenic diet. So, I think hopefully do good work on the community and the grassroots side; and we also have more and more people from the medical community come on board as well. I think I am one to punt again.
Travis: I do want to get more doctors. I'm just saying everyone defers to the old advice and it all makes it seem like keto diets are not healthy because they have tons of saturated fat; and we all know that clogs your arteries. Saturated fat isn't even solid at 98 Degrees, how could it clog your arteries? Makes no sense.
Geoff: Some of these old hypotheses are getting knocked on. I'm sure you've saw some of the Dave Feldman's work with LDL.
Travis: Cholesterol code.
Geoff: Yeah, check out cholesterolcode.com. I think it helps demystify some of the conflation or the associations with LDL that don't really net out to something that's causative. I personally agree with kind of that philosophy now in terms of lipids that LDL and of itself is not an interesting biomarker for cardiovascular risks. I tend to look at triglycerides and HDL and then inflammation like CRP C-reactive protein; and then they mention insulin and in blood glucose that paints overall picture of what I care about in terms of understanding my blood lipids.
Travis: And then the granddaddy of them of all is CAC test, calcium artery coronary? Coronary Artery Calcium. That's been pushed a lot by Ivor Cummins and Jeffrey Gerber they wrote a new book called, Eat Rich Live Long. It came out this winter.
Geoff: There just seems to be more of a causative effect there rather than correlative. Epidemiology studies that are just.
Travis: We dealt with this like week ago, low-carb mortality study came out. Epidemiology, and they split everyone off into groups by how many carbs a day. And then I found these teeny tiny little hazard ratios that are like too small really show you anything; and they're actually saying that low carb causes all these problems. That's epidemiology. You can't make causation statements out of that.
Geoff: By definition, you can only make correlations or association claims.
Travis: And how can you explain how most every time a ketogenic diet is actually tested it was way better; the low-fat diet.
Geoff: I think we can get really into the weeds here. But I want to kind of pick this back into carnivore - carnivore diets. I think you mentioned a little about how look at the food that humans ate as we evolved. And this is something that I've been experimenting with; personally, hearing a lot of interesting anecdotes of people having success with carnivore diets just today. I think we're just on Twitter. People kind of making fun of Michaela Peterson around eating carnivore diet. It's kind of random why she's a random not random, but like it's kind of like we're kind of were known as like a fasting advocate. It's kind of random that we're kind of thought leaders here while your kind of on the forefront of talking about keto in carnivore. We sometimes find ourselves in these positions. We try to do the best we can with the platform that we have. There is something in the waters here where this is hitting some nerve. Let's unpack that and maybe the first place to start is how did you personally get into carnivore?
Travis: Somehow, I found Dr. Shawn Baker on YouTube like last August and he was talking about his n=1 study. He's basically saying we have this website; we can have people try a 90-day carnivore experiments and log their own data and then create our own science through it. And I was like, “wow that makes so much sense!” If we're going to do food frequency questionnaires through Harvard, why not just give you an online app as you do your own food frequency. I mean all these people already track everything they eat in myfitnesspal, all these diet apps. Why can't we turn that into data?
Geoff: Have you seen the food questionnaire at the Harvard?
Travis: Oh, yeah, they're terrible!
Geoff: It's like ridiculous how bad. It's like, how many times do you eat chocolate in the last month? Once or twice? Three or four? It's like I don't even know what I ate yesterday, you know.
Travis: It was like and there's so many things like what kind of chocolate? How much sugar was in it?
Geoff: Yes, I think if you look at the all the questions and you’re like how the hell do you make any conclusion from this really, really coarse data set?
Travis: And the bias is also shown a lot to if they start saying, “oh how much saturated fat stuff that you eat?” And they kind of make it seem like it's a bad thing and people might put like. It's hard to track. I think it's been shown that you don't know how much you're eating unless you're weighing it out. It's like hard to eyeball these things. Or like that low-carb mortality study they calculate it out and everyone apparently was eating 1600 calories a day, which is like a starvation diet. It doesn't work if you give it to men for like six months and they like go crazy. So obviously that doesn't make any sense then.
I really wish we could get away from epidemiology. I really think it's been used basically, as a way to prop up industry; to prop up marketing.
And big food has basically been like, well if we create a study that tells everyone what we want them to hear and they'll buy our products because they think it's healthy.
Geoff: Someone said something that I think reflects. Well, it's kind of a Ouija board where it's just like interpret statistics, statistics, statistics. Like what's the other saying that like just lies and statistics, right? I don't want to dissed epidemiologist too hard here. I mean, there's probably some valued you can gather work but let's make sure that we're not over extrapolating the data. I think it's probably a safe thing to say, there's educate people around to have the mass media just spin low confidence epidemiology study into; hey, low carbs killing you, and that's where it gets really really out of hand.
Travis: People don't know how to read science. So, they see epidemiology like, “oh, wow! This is pure group.” I mean, it makes a lot of sense if you're just reading it and yeah go these people were studied and he didn't eat that many carbs and then he died. It makes sense. And then I can extrapolate that into keto with like a no-carb diet. But you are asking me about carnivore, right?
Geoff: Yeah, before that detour there. Carnivore. So, Shawn Baker, n=1.
Travis: Yeah, the first time I really heard of people being carnivores. I was like nah, I think I should just say keto because I think it's like.
Geoff: And you already been going keto for like five, six years solid.
Travis: I knew it was crazy. I knew it could get extreme, and I didn't want to embrace it. So, I kind of ignored it. Gary Taubes talks about this guy who went to the Arctic and live to the eskimos for 10 years; and he lived on their diet over those 10 years for like total of five years. And Gary Taubes talks about that a little bit in his book. So, I have always known that that's possible. But I never really wanted to embrace it because I felt like the keto message wouldn't benefit that much from the more extreme side. Oh you should just eat meat. But now I think I've changed my mind on that. I think it's almost better to push carnivore and then say like; and then I don't have to get in to get low carbs, and ketones, and measuring percentages, and all this stuff like macros, like protein.
Geoff: Supplements that you think.
Travis: You can just say eat fatty meat and drink water and it's like that’s it.
Geoff: It came from an animal you can eat, otherwise forget about it.
Travis: You can have eggs and cheese and seems like most people gravitate toward eating beef or lamb. So, I always knew that was like the crazy thing; and I tried to prevent myself from getting there, and eventually I gave in and tried it’s like yeah, this is actually better.
Geoff: Out of curiosity, you tried it and it's like even better than how you felt on to the standard keto?
Geoff: It would be helpful for the audience and for all our education here. What did you typically, on a ketogenic diet; and then when you went full carnivorous, what did you cut out? Or what did you add?
Travis: I mean, I just cut out broccoli and salads; and basically, any green sides that you might get for lunch. You were like lettuce on like a burger wrap. Eating keto a burger.
Geoff: You’re doing some greens, with your sautéing with olive oil.
Travis: Right, or like how its saute like an onion and peppers; and bacon fat; and like one of my favorite things. I do like vegetables. Don't get me wrong. I really do. And I think they do add lots of amazing taste of food. I'm just not convinced I need to eat them anymore. And I'm kind of curious whether they do more harm than good. I think if you start at that null hypothesis, you say how do we know for sure whether something is good or bad for us, and then you just jump to the conclusion that it's good for us you might skip over all the reasons it's bad. And I think the common nutrition advice, that today is basically been saying, we want you to eat less junk food and we think that meat is bad for you because of the saturated fat and cholesterol. So the only thing that's left for you to eat is more fruits and vegetables. And that fiber and all that eating is going to keep you full all day; and I don't really think that's true. And I think eating plants introduces all these new chemicals into our body that just haven't really evolved to handle yet.
Geoff: Your argument there is that the modern vegetable is very, very different.
Travis: Modern vegetables, most of them come from wild mustard. One plant, like it's kind of like the wolf being turned into many different breeds of dogs, right? It's the same. Broccolini, kale, brussel sprouts; they're all the same plant and it's just like why do we need to eat this one plant, many different types? Why is variety good?
Geoff: I think that's a good baseline. So, devil's advocate a lot of the concerns when people eat a carnivore diet, is it gut microbiome shifts? You need fiber to actually be able to poop. Clearly, if you've been eating carnivore for last year, you can still poop and all of that.
Travis: I really haven't gone.
Geoff: That's kind of cool. So yeah, what is the response there? I mean, how do you engage on that side where the common engagement is? Look you need fibers. You need sort of the plant material to allow your gut microbiota flourish. And so, I really have to make a lot of micro nutrients that your body needs.
Travis: I think it's really like basically simple advice that seems to make sense if you think about it. But if you become a little critical of it, it kind of falls apart. So, you think of fiber as just more bulk and you're eating it; and then it's just kind of acting as like a bowling ball that goes through your gut and just pushes everything in front of it; and then helps you stay regular in some way.
The couple studies that have actually been done on fiber, whenever they removed it out of the diets of constipated patients, their constipation actually went away.
So why don't you ever hear that in like common and news media? It seems like fiber is always suggested to help your digestive system when actually removing it helps it. One of the most influential guys that change my mind on this, I always just assumed fiber is healthy and I just think.
Geoff: That's generally how I think about it. I think it can only help people think about it fibered. You can't have too much of it kind of a thing.
Travis: Yeah. Well if we didn't evolve eating it; and there's all these people with Crohn's disease, and ulcerative colitis, and IBS, and all these digestive issues; and they're all being told to eat more fiber and they're not getting better; and there's clearly something wrong with this advice. And the guy that changed my mind, he wrote this book called Fiber Menace and he also has a website called gutsense.org. Almost like the entire book is like on that website. His name is Konstantin Monastyrsky or something.
Geoff: So, you're really pushing the argument that humans and not really evolved eating any fibrous or really plant material.
Geoff: Your thesis is that we evolved as basically close to carnivores.
Travis: Yeah, and we only switch to omnivore when we’re starving or if we have a famine. Eating plants, gathering them very intensive; it takes a lot of work. And then you get like this little starchy thing that you have to boil.
Geoff: Yeah, if you think of like the choleric density of these things.
Travis: Berries only come into season for a week or two in the whole year. No one's living off berries their whole life.
Geoff: Right. And then not all vegetables aren't these like nice, juicy.
Travis: Yeah. They're really hard to eat and get rotten; bugs get in them. They might be high up on a tree. They might be hard to access. And then like when I asked paleoanthropologists like, what plants did people eat? And they don't really know, it just kind of say like some because we've seen like.
Geoff: Yeah. I mean, this is having a discussion here. I mean you could say, okay what do chimps eat? What do our closest animal relatives are; monkeys, gorillas. They’re eating.
Travis: Yeah, but our most recent common ancestor, probably five or six million years ago. And chimps today eat five percent meat; if they have access to lots of fruit, and they can basically spend the extra energy to do riskier hunting. And not super high percentage of their hunts are successful. But when they are, they basically tear a monkey in part and then eat it raw.
Travis: And it's like amazing to see. I've seen videos of chimps hunting monkeys in the trees. They use social communication. They plan it out a little bit. And it's like, I could understand how if you take this basic course out of hunting skills and extrapolate it back into humans, like we can plan really well.
Geoff: Actually, your argument is that the successful chimps are hunting and they're getting better and better at it. And the thesis is that humans were the next level, even better at socio dynamics in hunting and there is more and more meat.
Travis: Yeah, that all basically came. The hard part is the forests in Africa where our pre-human ancestors evolved. It's hard for fossils to be fossilized there. Like pretty humans to be fossilized. It's because it's very moist and wet and anything that falls to the ground is going to rot. So, we don't have like a ton of fossil evidence to see like what early humans looked like. I think that we are probably some kind of ape human eating mostly plants; and then we're able to develop a small carnivore practice. And then basically the forests were dying out, and the planes were coming in; and all these ruminant animals were living out on the planes, eating the grasses and being hunted by lions, and you know giant predators. So, I think these early humans left the forest and started scavenging these dead kills left behind by lions. Maybe they could bash open like a brain cavity and eat the brains out of like a.
Geoff: Like hyenas. Scavenge out.
Travis: They could also maybe catch fish in like a dried-up pool. They could get clams in the natural leaks there. And any time you can add more protein to your diet and more fat; it's so much more energy than glucose.
Geoff: That’s definitely energy. That’s something that, yeah.
Travis: Digesting fiber is a ton of work.
Geoff: I mean, we can't digest fiber.
Travis: Yeah, we can't digest fiber but cows can, and gorillas can; and these animals have developed really specialized guts that are meant to really only eat plants.
We basically made a trade where we said, "Ok, we can now rely more on carnivore to get our food calories, and in doing so we can use less energy on our own digestive system and have more energy for our brains."
And if you watch like any animal out there hunting and you are in a safari, right?
Geoff: Yeah. I was recently in Tanzania.
Travis: Carnivores aren't just fast and big and strong, they're also really cunning. They need to use intelligence. They need to sneak up on their prey. They need to get an ambush out; and all these skills mean they are really thinking, what is their prey going to do when they see a carnivore like run away? Or freeze?
Geoff: Yeah, that's kind of interesting. I mean one thing that struck me on safari, as I was in Tanzania doing the northern circuit, was that if you're a ruminant like a gazelle elephant, giraffe. They're constantly eating, they like do not stop eating.
Travis: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Geoff: And it stands to reason. I just look really, struck me like these are some of the biggest animals like hippos. They are massive. There's eating like grass, and how do you produce so much mass from such low-density nutrition. I guess it's like you're eating all the time and digesting all the time.
Travis: And you're basically employing microbes in your gut to turn fiber into free fatty acids. Actually, I think some ruminants are actually in ketosis themselves because they're generating so much fat from these microbes.
Geoff: Lactating cows.
Travis: Yeah, they're not really. And they're not really burning glucose, they are not eating like tons of fruit.
Geoff: Well, I think that's one thing you mentioned. I think this also applies to some of the skeptics here, which is that the fiber serves as a substrate for the microbiome of the gut flora to ferment and turn into micronutrients fatty acids. And I think the argument is that okay if you have no fiber. You're killing off your microbiome flora; and there's more and more data showing that there's connections between the microbiome with the brain, and other parts of the organs. Yeah, you bring your hole gut into disarray.
Travis: I always thought of like the microbiome as like the end of the digestive system. Right? So, if we really needed plants and we really needed our microbiome; and if you went on a meat only diet, you should die basically pretty quickly. That's not the case for me. That's not the case with any of the other carnivores I know. So, really what happens is we have all certain types of bacteria and they thrive in different environments. So, if you're eating lots of plants and lots of fiber, you'll have lots of bacteria that will be happy and munch on that kind of food. You stop feeding them, they're going to say; okay, we don't have anything to eat. And then they're going to die.
Geoff: Die and we're going to be replaced.
Travis: Yeah, and you're going to have to excrete all that bacteria; and then new bacteria is going to come in and thrive in your meat only digestive waste.
Travis: So this book I read, Fiber Menace. He talks about kind of like how the digestive system works. I'll just kind of go through it because I think it's really interesting. So first of all, our teeth anytime you add grains or sugar to a human population, they get cavities. So, the eskimos had zero cavities, any pre-Western tribe that didn't eat grains or sugar had no cavities; and they were just eating meat. So, I think that means that we evolved to have healthy teeth like it doesn't make any sense till you die because you can't even chew anything or eat anything.
Geoff: Right. You may argue elephants don’t their teeth either, they’re just eating carbs.
Travis: Yeah, but they've evolved to eat carbs and they have a different kind of teeth that has adapted to that environment.
Geoff: Okay fair enough. I mean, could you make the argument that like, it's refined sugars.
Travis: Yeah, it's refined sugars.
Geoff: Yeah. So, I think it's probably uncontroversial to say refined sugars. Yes, for sure causing, these carries, and these cavities.
Travis: Fiber also ferments in your teeth to and bacteria gets release lactic acid; and that dissolves your tooth enamel and gives you cavities.
Travis: So, that's the first part then you swallow your food, and gets into your stomach; your stomach basically turns your meal around for like 4 to 6 hours and turns it into this stuff called chyme. And your stomach has a pH of 1 or 1.5 super acidic. And they've done studies; and they looked at all the other animals in the animal kingdom, and the most highest-level carnivores have the lowest pH levels. So, it makes you wonder if we have like.
Geoff: Definitely some smoke, definitely some smoke in the gun.
Travis: And the other thing is like for us to maintain such a low ph, it's a lot of work for our body to do all the chemical reactions to maintain that state. And now it has to protect the rest of the stomach from the acid, means like a really good membrane. It's not like an accident. Basically, there's a reason why we have a strong stomach.
If we did evolve as scavengers that turned into big game hunters, it can make a lot of sense that we lived on meat, we ate bones, we ate bone marrow, we ate rotting meat.
So, after the chyme gets digested, this dock opens up and it gets pushed into your lower intestine and your gallbladder, releases enzymes that digest the flat bile; and all that acid does a good job of killing any bacteria that were on the plants. But it also turns me into pace basically, so like in the small intestine it moves through and there's like a see some organ that is part of the small intestine; and it's super small and basically doesn't get used at all in our digestive system. Whereas in herbivores that eat tons of fiber, it's like a super important. And apparently when kids have their appendix removed, it's because fiber has gotten inside of it and inflamed it; and cause a issue that causes it to need to be removed. So, this book recommends like should not feed fiber to your kids and doing so gives them all sorts of digestive issues.
Travis: And we still don't know what causes type 1 diabetes, right? It's an autoimmune issue.
Travis: What if eating fiber cause type 1 diabetes? Like that would be amazing.
Geoff: I mean not amazing because I ate some fiber.
Travis: Most people do and that's the thing.
Geoff: I mean, I think this is not, this is outside my wheelhouse but this is interesting. I think it's worth further reading where you know, I think we're clearly open-minded here having this conversation; like me personally experimenting with it.
Travis: Do you know the original reasons why fiber is recommended?
Geoff: I do not.
Travis: So, there is this guy named Sylvester Graham in America, and he was like a Seventh-Day Adventist Christian; kind of like a cult, like a smaller sect of Christianity. And they had this idea that there is a temperance. Guess there was a woman named Ellen G. White, and she had some dreams or visions, and basically thought that eating meat was like basically makes you horny and then you're more likely to sin so you should eat.
Geoff: It’s probably true, right? Because you have all this protein. All the testosterone.
Travis: Yeah, it’s definitely true. I mean, it makes people fertile. Yeah anyone who’s had a keto baby knows that. So, Sylvester Graham I could see dies in 1851, and then this other guy was born in 1852 named Kellogg; Francis Kellogg, founder of Kellogg's. So, he basically takes his advice and spreads out this fiber myth that eating lots of fiber prevents your sexual urges. He had all sorts of weird ideas.
Geoff: Is that the original text? Oh, it’s interesting.
Travis: Yeah, and now it's being used as, and he was like recommending circumcisions and carbolic acid on clitorises to prevent masturbation, you know. It's just amazing. So, there's basically a very deep religious ideology behind eating plants.
Geoff: I can kind of buy it for like that seated some notion there; and write scientists and nutritionists were like; okay, let's actually got some additional data on this. And I don't think there probably like religious fanatics. I wanted to, you know reduce libido and population by think, but that's seated the notion of why this is helpful and people wanted to confirm what was already there.
Travis: They created all these hospitals and nutrition centers, and they basically pushed out this idea. They would basically spread the church's message by spreading nutritional advice and this woman named Lenna Cooper, in 1917, founded the American Dietetics Association. The dietetics industry that didn't exist before 1917 and then a vegetarian founded it.
Geoff: Diabetics or dietetics?
Geoff: Okay. What does that mean?
Travis: They just focus on diet.
Travis: It's like a new tribe of dietitian.
Geoff: I think I was getting confused like Dianetics.
Travis: No, no, no. I haven't seen that yet. But there's like a deep vegetarian bias that is pushing plants and fiber onto most of the society. And the good woman to follow, if you're interested more about this is Belinda Fettke, the wife of Gary Fettke, who's a surgeon in Tasmania; which is silenced because he was giving low-carb nutrition advice to his patients who would come in and say like I've got like an inflamed knee. And he’s like; oh, you could use.
Geoff: Sound like Tim Noakes.
Travis: Yeah. Tim Noakes or like Shawn Baker. Yeah. It's like they banned him, they sent secret emails; and I like this guy is doing low-carb diets and we can't let this affect our industry.
Geoff: That’s interesting. I mean, I think that's definitely worth investigating more into. I'm actually just curious. I wanted to like drive it back towards things that you're actively seeing something that we can just sort of comment at first hand here; where clearly the carnivore community is getting a lot of attention. I was reading you know, The Guardian article. That’s probably like a year, a year and a half ago; was writing about fasting. And I remember you being quoted for that article, and I literally was like fast forward, it's like the same kind of tone.
Travis: Did Olivia right that?
Travis: Olivia Solon.
Geoff: Yes. Well, I think so.
Travis: She called me and I did an article back in February.
Geoff: Yeah, for carnivore.
Geoff: And I remember one of our community members, Lily who is in the fasting community also, was quoted in the guardian article. And it's kind of the same I think bemused, maybe a little bit dismissive, like confused, these guys are crazy people kind of a tone. I'm curious like how has it been to from your lens the growth of carnivore? Are you also the mod of zero carb?
Geoff: How has that grown?
Travis: So, I actually know a ton of back info on the growth of zero carb. Basically, its entire history. One of the main guys in the movement was this guy named, the bear. He was the sound guy for the Grateful Dead, and he did a zero carb diet for 53 years until he died of a car accident on LSD.
Geoff: So, zero carb is not necessarily…
Travis: Zero carb is a carnivore diet.
Geoff: Okay, so it means carnivore.
Travis: So, it was basically the diet name he gave it, and called it; and then the carnivore community kind of adopted it. Because most people talk about low carb diets, keto, and stuff; and then this is saying like a play on words. Or what happens if you do zero carb?
That means zero fiber, zero sugar for you, zero grains; really what it means is zero planet.
So, like really just eat animal products. And right now, I don't know what to call it. I like the zero carbs terminology, but I also think it causes a lot of problems. When you say it to someone it doesn't make any sense, right? What do you eat? Oh just meat. Like, ok.
Geoff: I think carnivore is funny.
Travis: I think carnivore. Yeah.
Geoff: It's obvious.
Travis: Yeah, I like it. It's obvious. It's in your face. It's like makes a statement and then it says like: wow! okay, you really are eating meat. You're serious. Where zero carb is like a play on words on the little carb community.
Geoff: Okay, so this bear guy.
Travis: The bear? Yeah, he writes all these blog posts on like these old forums; and they create this zero-carb diet, and all these people start doing it. And then like 10 years ago, they started making Facebook groups. So, one of the first ones was named zeroing in on health. This guy named Charles Washington runs it, he's a marathon runner and he's been doing a zero-carb diet for 10 years; really just eating muscle meat for 10 years. So, when I first heard from Sean about zero carb carnivore, I joined all these Facebook groups and I was curious like why; (a) there were more than one and; (b) like what the message was.
Travis: And the idea of really wasn't to like focus on keto. Don't worry about your macros. Don't do pee strips and stuff. Just stop eating plants. Eat a lot of fatty red meat, and you'll figure it out. And it was just kind of like refreshing advice to hear, compared to like the keto crowd; just like very scientific and very like you always have to talk about which plants are acceptable on keto.
Geoff: Yeah, maybe a part of that guilty member of that norm where I'm like finger sticking, and watching my ketone levels.
Travis: Right. Like, oh man! just stop all that like just move on, you know. And I heard about this fiber menace thing; and then once I question fiber I was like; okay, I'm basically good to try this carnivore. I experimented for a couple weeks over last year, from September to January. And then Shawn Baker is on Joe Rogan in November, and that blew it up.
Geoff: Think that was the catalyst?
Travis: That was the catalyst. Yeah, because Joe Rogan has millions of subscribers; and very interesting mix of people. He went on there and I knew that would blow up.
Geoff: Where you a moderator at that time?
Travis: I was already a mod of zero-carb.
Geoff: And how big was it before?
Travis: It had 10,000 subscribers last summer, and has 50,000 now; so, it went up 40 thousand people in a year. Which is amazing. So, there were these Facebook groups; there’s zeroing in on health; and then there's another one called principia carnivora. Zeroing in on health is very blunt and direct. So, some people go in there and they say: oh, I'm cutting out plants for the next three weeks; people are like: get out of here! You're not in the diet like you need to just eat meat and water. So, it has a very strict reputation, and if you like that you can stay in there. And then anyone who disagrees basically gets kicked out, they don't last. So, I kind of like that but then I also like was curious to ask deeper questions. So, I joined principia and the mod there is named Michael Frieze, and he just wants good discussions. Basically, you know, he realizes people aren't always going to do it. You're, more or less, mostly a carnivore; but you can ask like more deeper question.
Geoff: Yeah. I mean, I understand it. Right that sounds reasonable.
Travis: But there wasn't really like a group that was all about newbies; like brand new people, brand new diet. But both these groups had people that have been doing it for five or six or ten years.
Geoff: You came in as a mod. You're like, hey! I'm an experienced mod.
Travis: Yeah, right. I was like, yeah, I've been doing this. I can help you guys out. I can help this redesign it and stuff. Reddit has gone through a big change over in their design of their website. So, I've basically overhauled these subreddits to use this new design; adding in all this new flair and making it like really accessible and easy. Hopefully pretty, I've kept changing keto science. I've changed the icon like four times in the last couple months. I think I'm finally happy with what I have now. So, I wrote this giant like intro post to him; and all the other people that have basically talked about nutrition on Joe Rogan as like a opener. And I knew that he was going to be honest, like a month in advance I wrote up all these texts things. And I wanted to get people interested from keto and keto science, and other. I like Joe Rogan's I've read it and stuff and be like: hey, this guy's going to be on and he's going to blow your mind. And sure enough he blew a lot of people's minds. The podcast is number 1050, really recommend everyone to watch it. Shawn is like a really, nice guy and he's like when you hear him like you understand how honest he is, and how afflicted he is by the current status quo.
Geoff: Yeah. Ever since I’ve watched most of that.
Zhill: Shawn is coming on soon.
Geoff: Shawn is coming on? Yeah cool. I just remembered I just hearing him speak. I mean, he's just like the older gentleman who is probably in the 50’s.
Travis: 51. 250 pounds, 6 foot 5 and he's breaking records on the mass.
Geoff: And then what is the reception been since sort of like the break out from Joe Rogan? I know that there's been discussion. I met a Fortune writer who wrote about the Bitcoin carnivores. I think the creator of Z cash.
Travis: Yeah. Zooko.
Travis: Zooko is the ex-husband of Amber L. O'Hearn, who's been researching keto diets for 20 years. He's also like a computer science, works there but has done her own research. And she's been doing carnivore for like eight years, I think. And she has a couple websites that are really useful. There's one like a 30-day guide, what I use to get into it.
Geoff: Into keto?
Travis: Into carnivore. Kind of like have the tools just to read it. There's actually a lot of good websites. There is one called zero carb zen, this woman named Esme runs it; and it has really good interviews with long-term 0 carver's. For someone to adopt this diet, a lot of times, they really need pretty bad problems.
Travis: I don't really have many problems that needed 0 carb fix, but a lot of people have really bad digestive issues. You know, they are always constantly worried about having diarrhea they can't control. Autoimmune issues because..
Geoff: I mean, I don't discount their anecdote, right? It's a pretty restrictive diet. I don't see how they're making money if I'm eating carnivore.
Travis: Yeah, right.
Geoff: So, you got it going and you're seeing results. Like there's something that's interesting signal there. I'm curious in terms of the RCT question. I think another big devil's advocate is, okay, great!
There's some interesting signal here. Why aren’t we doing RCT science?
Are we just going to see that same kind of trajectory hoarseness sit around in the community; and people are going to just adopted see good results tell more and more stories until science is still more?
Travis: Yeah. I think I'm going to be more pretty grassroots for a while. But I think the community is also backed up by keto science that like really shows the metabolic benefits of being keto and really anxious to ask a question. What if we evolved in keto? What if keto is a natural state of humanity. And I think that's basically where I am now, I'm pretty sure that's the case.
Geoff: It's interesting pieces like that's outside my wheelhouse per se, but I only get to unreasonable hypothesis to understand more about. I’m just curious, are you tracking biomarkers now?
Travis: Me? Personally?
Geoff: Are you doing lipids from like keto?
Travis: No. No.
Geoff: So, this is pure subjective.
Travis: Yeah, pretty much purely subjective. I check my weight a lot, and I can fast basically for a day, if I want. So, I like being a hundred fifty-four pounds. Like I feel really good there. Like this zen-like state; and if I eat like a really big meal, I can go up to like 157, 159 even; but then I might not eat for like a day or have a small meal or something right and I cycle back down. I really think of my fat stores as like a battery that I can add more juice to if I need.
Geoff: You just need metabolic fat adapted. Even if you’re fasting or eating standard keto. I mean for seven years in into this experiment, I mean you are very adaptive in using your fats.
Travis: You have 40,000 calories, fat that you can burn and it's not like you have to switch to burning it. You can just use it right away.
Geoff: Are there people in the community that are very biometric driven? I think part of how this is going to be more and more widely accepted is just people showing data. Again being a devil's advocate here, I could imagine that someone on a vegan diet would say trust me I feel awesome. And you're like, I don't have reason to believe you.
Travis: Show me your blood work.
Geoff: And show me here data. And then I feel like a scientist and as engineers, there’s something here.
Travis: I want to collect data. I want to do like an RCT on carnivore. I wanted to see kind of, if you have groups of people doing keto with zero carbs, but only fiber. You’re like a fiber supplementation and then really see if fiber is useful or not when you just feed it to carnivores. Maybe you could give them 50 grams of sugar and see how that affects them, if they can still stay in ketosis or whatever. And if there's long-term nutrient deficiency, which are I think much harder to measure like even vegans; who they have like a five-year store of vitamin B12; and then like after that they really start getting sick and because there's such a big delay there, they can feel healthy for a long time and they're so in their zone that they can’t escape it.
Geoff: I think it's a good point and I think that probably conflates some of the benefits of on either side. I think because you're vegan diet, or a carnivore diet, or even a keto diet are pretty restrictive. I think in general, you're probably just fixing your diet from like the standard Western diet. But doing something that is like restrictive. I think, people are seeing a short-term bump just from cleaning out processed carbs.
Travis: That's always my first message.
Travis: I make a lot of graphics for Twitter and stuff just because I like it.
Geoff: I think it's like I want to make sure, I think the nuances like you're going to see a short-term bump by just being thoughtful about your food; and I think by just having a diet you're seeking to going to just be more thoughtful and then from there I agree with you. Okay, I think with vegan diets; like you don't have essential amino acids that are primarily from whole proteins, which come from meat. I mean it's much harder to have essential fatty acids. I mean, it's possible, right? But, got to be eating specific.
Travis: Even the pills you eat aren't like bioavailable. They need fats to be absorbed. So, it's like, or their anti-nutrients implants that prevent absorption.
Geoff: Similar concerns for a carnivore, so doing a little bit of research as I'm doing this carnivore experienced personally. A lot of people are eating liver, kidney, organ meats, helped ease into it. So, some of the concerns are, do you get scurvy? Well, like I think liver has a lot of vitamin C, right?
Travis: Well, so scurvy can be cured by fresh meat and that was a factoid that Steffenson talked about in his book like hundred years ago. But no one ever picked up on it. And the only message that survived was that like citrus fruits and roots are like the only way to prevent scurvy; because they thought they were eating meat on these boats, but it was dried salt pork. That wasn't fresh.
Geoff: It is Vitamin C in the…?
Travis: I think there's a different form. It's like a collagen and like fresh meat and because you're not burning carbs you need way less vitamin C.
One of the drawbacks of burning a lot of sugar is like you need more vitamin C; and like you pee out a lot of the vitamins that you eat because of some metabolic processes.
So, if you're on carnivore, you need far less of it and what you get out of meat is good enough.
Geoff: I get it, right. I mean the reason the British sail with lime is that probably a lot easier to store fresh limes on naval warship, than having a bunch of cows, right? So, I understand why.
Travis: They aren't even fishing though. If they just have like they're prepackaged salted pork and bread.
Geoff: It stands to reason why people focus on the Citrus. It's just not practical to eat fresh meat all the time when you're on a Navy warship, but today now we have refrigeration and we can actually probably do it.
Travis: But like, the vitamin C, I think it's like one of the biggest scandals because every fruit juice company is saying great big source of vitamin C; but they're also saying eating 20 or 30 grams of sugar in every cop. And yeah, if you're eating so much sugar you're going to need a lot more vitamin C, but if you don't have the sugar then you don't need as much. They're basically selling sugar with the label of vitamin C.
Geoff: Yeah, I do sense the community and the broader public is getting around to it. I think people start realizing a lot of juices are equivalent. Soft drinks, at least what I sense something.
Travis: At least I thought of it when I was like a teenager and like chugging orange juice.
Geoff: I know I drank a lot of calcium enriched orange juice, that what my mom buys.
Travis: Yeah, Tropicana was just delicious.
Geoff: Yeah, Tropicana, calcium enriched orange juice.
Travis: I’ll go downstairs and grab orange juice, and I get like acid reflux at night and I'd be like, why is this? I thought this was healthy.
Geoff: Maybe to make this a little bit more actionable.
What are some of the common pitfalls are on carnivore?
For the listeners out there, who are curious I think maybe to give you a sense, you know been cycling out of the keto, I would say fairly expert on understanding how to do this properly. Having done ton of finger sticks and knowing all the methodology here, and I didn't find any reason to be skeptical around a carnivore diet. Like I would have no fears on a carnivore diet being harmful for me, especially on a short term. So, it's like, okay, let's play around with this and see what it feels like. And obviously, it's just a few days in, I don't expect to see any massive changes; but it seems pretty similar to like how I feel on a keto diet.
Travis: Yeah, I think it's very similar.
Geoff: I haven't been measuring as much recently. But you know, I imagine, you know my ketones are elevated, feel fairly sharp; don't have really like the crashes of being insolent carb cycle. I bought a bunch of rib eye steaks from Whole Foods and got my
Travis: $13.99 a pound?
Geoff: The bone in is 12.99. Anyways, it’s overly detailed here. So, I got some like Ribeyes. I have some eggs. I got some smoked salmon; that's going to carry me for at least a few days. But what are the other pitfalls or other considerations? What else should people be thinking about? Got some bacon, I haven't used it yet.
Travis: Ok, big things are: I find most people eat two or one meal a day, so pretty much always skip breakfast and then have like lunch or dinner; and basically have time restricted feeding. I call it intermittently feasting.
Geoff: Opposite of intermittent fasting.
Travis: Yeah, you really try and eat like big meals out of pound of meat per meal.
I find most people eat two to three pounds of meat per day.
So that usually is like a pound at lunch and then like a pound and a half for dinner; and most people like they started and they think it's a diet, and then they eat the lean protein chicken that they're used to, and then they're hungry and they feel crappy. Because they're not getting enough fat but I think people that have been in keto for a while are much easier to convert because they get it.
Geoff: Like I'm trying to eat some of the fatty cuts.
Travis: Right. So, you're already thinking that fat is good. So, but people going from like standard American diet right to carnivore, which some people do do, it's like a tough transition to say like: oh, wow, I can actually eat like four patties. I went to McDonald's today, and I got 6 patties.
Geoff: Patties only?
Travis: Patties only. Quarter Pounders and I've got like three cheddar cheeses and it was delicious. I mean, I don't need a bun. I don't need ketchup. There's a lot of debate over like what spices are allowed, but I think most people use high-end garlic salt pepper and then like some herbs and stuff. But, really anything more than like a pinch, it's like discouraged.
Geoff: How about organ meat? I need to figure out a local butcher that has that stuff. I mean, totally game. I just haven't figured out how to buy it yet.
Travis: Apparently grass-fed liver is the tastiest. Whereas like grain-fed livers are basically trying to deal with all this sugar in the body and they can't do it and then they get sick and they get.
Geoff: There's issues in foie gras?
Travis: Yeah, that's like the foie gras
Geoff: Fatty liver from the goose.
Travis: But there's a big debate over whether organ meats are necessary. Some people swear by them, other people haven't had them in 20 years.
Geoff: Are you eating organ meats?
Geoff: You’re just eating ground beef.
Travis: Ground beef, some steaks, and fish, and lamb; I love lamb as a nice game meat, but it also has great fat content and it's almost always grass-fed.
Travis: Bacon. Pork Chops.
Geoff: What kind of seafood? Like clams, soft shellfish?
Travis: Yeah. Like shrimp, wild salmon, some of that fish on sale at Whole Foods. And
Maybe try out halibut or cod or something, just fry it up in butter. It's like the easiest meal.
Yeah. I've done a bunch of polls. And so, the big group I also mod is where all carnivore tribe. I spend most time modding that.
Geoff: On Facebook.
Travis: That's now 18,000 members. So, we started right before the beginning of the year, 2018. And Shawn had this idea, he's going to make January World Carnivore Month; and I was like, that's perfect! I want to get people on this diet. I really think it can help cure a lot of problems; and I don't think it's going to kill you in 30 days; and if you can try it and enjoy it; and get some good feedback out of it. It's going to spread, so I joined that group and Shawn ask like: hey, I need some moderators for this group any takers? And I applied and got in, and we've basically been the fastest growing carnivore group on Facebook. So, to compare zeroing in on health as 21,000; principio has like 17 or 18,000. Maybe we just pass them. I'm not sure. Almost everyone that's in our carnivore tribe is fairly new carnivores. They might have been doing keto for a while, but they are new to the carnivore concepts.
Geoff: And then the pulling in terms of organ meats. How does that sit?
Travis: I published like 20 polls that are around in the group or like the last year. I have a Reddit post on it. Organ meats, most people don't eat them. It's much more of a minority.
Geoff: Like 10, 20 percent.
Travis: Yeah. It's a pretty small percentage. I think people think that they're necessary because they have more nutrients. Question is, do we really need more nutrients? And the other issue is recommended daily amounts. I have all been taken in just a couple people; we're on high carb diets. So how do we really know that amount of percentages of all these different?
Geoff: So, I think there's already enough controversy aside from the carnivore around like
Travis: We need to make a new, like a new set of guidelines of like really what do we need? I'm just still not very convinced that we need to eat or get meats.
Geoff: Interesting. Okay, so maybe you're saying that maybe I'm overthinking it.
Travis: I think it is and my message is if eating more organ meats is going to prevent you from doing carnivore, don't let that stop you. If you like them, try them out.
Geoff: Okay, which didn’t stop you like I'm not gonna die. I know, I've literally not eaten for seven days, but I did pass it for seven days before and for multi days. So, I know that like; I'll be okay if I just eat some steaks, I don't have any organ meats. Okay, that's interesting to hear and people have been not eating organ meats.
Travis: So, there's this guy named Joe Anderson. He's 60 years old; I think today actually very recently just turned 60. And he's been doing a carnivore diet for 20 years. And he basically figured out all the stuff on his own 20 years ago; and his wife had all sorts of really crippling problems. And eventually they figured it out and she was one of the first meat heal stories; and she looks super lean now and really healthy and just like the perfect woman.
They have two kids; one is 13, one is 11. And these two boys have been raised on an all meat diet their whole life.
Geoff: The crazy experiment.
Travis: So, I want to hear more from these kids. The problem is Joe kind of got scared off by vegans ten years ago, when this was all new. And now that there's a lot more publicity and support. I think he could kind of be a really great voice for the community.
Geoff: Yeah, it's an interesting experiment. This is like crazy case study like carnivore from birth. Like, oh wow!
Travis: Carnivore from birth. Yeah, that's what almost every Eskimo is doing anyway.
Geoff: Yeah anyway, so maybe as we sort of wrap the discussion here. I'm convinced that a carnivore diet is sustainable for a reasonable health span. Where I have open question, and I think this is open science. Is this optimal? Or if it's optimal what kinds of used cases is this optimal for? So, for example, it seems that for certain types of athletic events like, Ethiopians are East Africans super high carb diet seems to do well for like the marathon distance events. If there's interesting arguments that people that are keto doing endurance events just as well now.
Geoff: But I'm actually curious is there applications of carnivore, that it is more optimal than a keto or a vegan or diet; and I think some of these stories will give us more and more case studies that show what signal there is?
Travis: Anyone that keto can help, carnivore can help too. Because that is keto. And that myth that eating lots of protein kicks you out of keto isn't really true. Guess the glucagon prevents that process.
Geoff: Glucagon releases glucose. It's an opposite hormone insulin.
Travis: Yeah, right.
Geoff: So you’re saying that glucagon, which releases glucose from your liver stores. Well.
Travis: It won't kick you out of ketosis, like everyone says. Professor Benjamin Bikman.
Geoff: Yeah, we've spoken to him on the phone before.
Travis: He has a good talk on low carb down under that kind of defuncts that myth.
Travis: So yeah, anyone who might be helped on keto; cancer, gout, type 2 diabetes, type 1 diabetes, mild cognitive, Hermann, Alzheimer's, dementia, autism.
Geoff: I mean, I'm actually curious like are there stories were like the people are feeling better than normal? I mean like besides the therapeutic use cases.
Travis: Beyond keto?
Geoff: Sick people to normal.
I'm actually just curious, especially with my personal interests...are people seeing strength gains?
I think some of the interesting things that Shawn Baker seems to just personally embodies; like he's breaking world records as a carnivore.
Travis: Yeah. Actually, I think it's hard to say.
Geoff: Like you're elevating testosterone production or growth hormone because you're eating so much protein. And I'm just wondering is there that kind of sentiment in the community?
Travis: The overarching like sentiment I've seen is that carnivore is better than keto, but when it comes to measuring why it's really hard to say. For one, you have no carb cravings because you're not eating carbs, you’re not eating plants, you're not a junkie keto food that imitates real food or modern food.
Geoff: Yeah, that's one thing that I think I'm skeptical about. I actually like all the keto meal replacement stuff.
Travis: I mean, I understand why they exist.
Geoff: Yeah, and I think there's a role, there’s a purpose for them; but I’m getting more and more skeptical about. It's a lot of these. Yeah and again, going back to process.
Travis: Right and it's like, I just want to stick to meat. But now, like the new thing I've been studying, is like digestive health and autoimmune issues. There's this intestinal permeability where your intestines are preventing most of the food from coming across these membranes into your bloodstream.
Geoff: Like gut leaking.
Travis: Yeah. Yeah like leaky gut. But some of them are getting through because we’ve been inflaming our guts for so long. Eating all this fiber, all these refined grains; and our digestive systems haven't adapted to handling all this. So now I'm really trying to target autoimmune diseases; eczema, psoriasis, skin issues and rheumatoid arthritis. The biggest thing that people talk about is joint pain, goes completely away, back pain.
Geoff: If that works for everyone. That would be huge.
Geoff: Last topic I want to bring up is, the media and environment who touched on it a little bit. I mean, where do you think this goes? What is it like being a spokesperson of the movement? What do you think of the media attention around it? Are you amused by, like it's obviously kind of troll.
Travis: Yeah. Yeah. It's kind of troll like I think, even with fasting I knew it was like half real science that is there, and half kind of troll-y.
Geoff: Right. I'm curious on how you kind of see it being in a similar spot?
Travis: I collected a bunch of articles that all talked about the carnivore diet. I mean, I've been in a couple of them, but there's a lot. I want writers to really think about what convinced us to do this diet. I'm doing it because there are scientific reasons to do it. I'm really questioning most of the nutrition advice out there. And I think I have really good reasons to do that because I understand the history of; if you have like a scientific fact and then you debunk the original thing that created the fact, you've debunked the fact; but because the fact was told repeatedly for 60 years everyone believes it's true and nothing will change your mind. It's kind of like how the anti-vaccine thing happened right, like that one guy published a study, it was a fraud. And then everyone lash on to it and now it's like.
Geoff: A real thing.
Travis: A real thing. Yeah, so the same thing with fruits and vegetables; and same thing with high carb diets, low fat; all these issues. And they get ingrained in culture and then everyone thinks they know what's going on. And honestly, I'm not surprised by the media, kind of expect it. Things take time to change.
Nothing gets changed in a year. There's no way eighty percent of Americans will be eating a carnivore diet next year, it’s not going to happen.
Shawn says, he wants to get the carnivore group up to a hundred thousand people by next year. I think it's pushing it but it will come down to the right media exposure when someone really goes in and asks; well, like could this actually be healthy? And instead of asking like a plant-based dietitian that's going to say, you need fiber for all these reasons that don't make any sense. Ask paleoanthropologist asked like could, or humans really carnivores? Like what evidence is there that we ate a lot of plants? Like what evidence is there that we ate even 20% of our diet is plants? And if there are like all these open questions that say like; well, I don't know maybe humans did of all these carnivores for a million and a half years; and only resorted to eating plants when they had famine, or starving, or whatever. Then I think that would really change the discussion. But everyone is basically going in; Oh, this diet is crazy and extreme and wild.
Geoff: I’m going to characterize and kind of ridiculous people and troll them a little bit, right?
Geoff: Excited to keep experimenting with the carnivore. I think it's personally fascinating, I think it’s interesting implications and diet nutrition probably. So excited to keep track of the different communities in your work. So to wrap up here, where do people follow you and what's the best way to keep track?
Travis: So, I've become a big Tweeter in the like the last nine months, never used Twitter before, and I've never really understood the point. And now I follow all these doctors and scientists in the low carb movement; and then like 10% of them are kind of becoming carnivores and now that's like the new thing. I think a lot of people are kind of bored with keto; like yeah, we know it's true, we know it makes sense, we know it helps. What's the next step? I mean keto doesn't solve a lot of autoimmune issues. It's still introduces all these plants into diets. Don't know for sure whether a good thing. And now that I think there's good reasons to be skeptical that plants are really good for us. And oh, so my Twitter at is, Travis underscore Statham – S T A T H A M. I'm a moderator at our keto science on Reddit; so, you do reddit.com slash R. And then each subreddit is basically like a group dedicated to a certain topic; there's keto science and zero carb, also just looking at keto and seeing the amazing transformation stories there. There's also a carnivore subreddit, it has like only a thousand subscribers; and definitely focus on the zero carb subreddit, its way bigger and way better moderated, I guess. The carnivore one.
Geoff: Of course, you're running it.
Travis: Yeah. Sometimes people go on the carnivores thing and I'm like; oh there's only six hundred people here like what the heck, but zero carb is really the secret name of carnivore. And then you can find me in any of the three Facebook groups; zeroing in on health, principia, but mostly all carnivore group, world carnivore tribe. You can message me on Facebook. Getting a ton of friend requests since I was on Good Morning America; still haven't really decided if I'm just going to accept everyone or I guess that's it for social media.
Travis: I want to spread the movement out and willing to help anyone out if they have problems so you can always ask me. I have tons of graphs, graphics, and diet charts, and all these things. I’ve made of a graphic of all the books that influence me to get here; and all the books that, I know at least if I read it, and they kind of back up my points; are on my reading list. I don't want anyone to look at this and think it's completely crazy, there really is good research. You just got to read it.
Geoff: And I agree. I wouldn't be doing it if I thought it was this complete just diet gurus doing some crazy shit. Something interesting. I'm excited to continue to experiment and learn more, and get more conviction, either way. I mean clearly, it's not gonna comfortable that's not going to be negative. And then it's like okay can this be positive?
Travis: Yeah, be positive I would like to see some more bad results from carnivore. It's a rare thing. I haven't seen that many. A lot of times, it's just comes down to like not having enough electrolytes or not eating enough. Most people seem to have do really well on a carnivore diet. We know that seems to heal people and it's not like a new idea was employed by doctors in like the 40s and 50s; or this guy named Blake Donaldson, employed in New York practice; William Banting did a low carb diet in 1864. They used to treat type 1 diabetics with a low carb diet in 1921; until they invented insulin like the next year.
Geoff: I mean, yeah, check out hashtag meat heals, right?
Travis: Yeah, check out hashtag meat heals, go in meatheals.com, and just read the stories. I know they're anecdotes. And I know everyone should question anecdotes, but these are some amazing things and people have been getting really amazing results compared to keto. And I'm honestly not really sure why, like maybe you fiber really is as bad as.
Geoff: Or for certain subtypes of people, right? Like I think clearly a lot of science to be done, but a lot of work to be done; but continue to do the good work of just educating people. I mean, I think that no matter, what I think should be just a part of open discourse, right? Like you have an interesting point of view. You have your bringing data to the conversation, you’re challenging the existing dogma. I think that's generally valuable, right? If that ends up being the wrong dogma at least you’re pushing people to have their true dogma. Maybe this is the true way to eat. I think that is yet to be written. So Travis, thanks so much for taking the time to dropping by.
Travis: Thank you, Geoff. Peace.
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