In today’s interview, I get to speak with Board Certified family physician, Dr Ken Berry MD, who you may remember from our previous interview “Do Doctors Lie to Their Patients?” where he shared some of his “Tennessee truth bombs” about our health and nutrition.
Today, he is back to share his thoughts on the increasingly popular carnivore diet, its benefits, and why he personally chose to go carnivore.
Ken is very passionate about helping people understand how to use diet and lifestyle to get the health they want.
Before his recent switch to the carnivore diet, Ken was on the meat-heavy side of the ketogenic diet. He believes the two diets are very much related; with the carnivore diet simply being a subset of the ketogenic diet on the all-meat side of the spectrum.
If you know someone who is interested in learning more about the carnivore diet benefits, why we shouldn’t be afraid of eating more meat, and why the EAT-Lancet guidelines are wrong this interview is for them.
I enjoyed this interview with Ken as he shared some more of his Tennessee truth bombs regarding the EAT-Lancet Commission guidelines and where the agreed upon consensus comes from. He explains why meat is good for us, and why the more people sharing their diet results there are, the more valuable information in terms of healthy diet there will be available!
Special thanks to Ken for joining me on the show. Enjoy the episode!
Show Notes with Timestamp Links
Highlights of what we talk about during the interview:
Click on one of the timestamp links in the brackets to jump to that point in the interview audio[00:19] – Introducing, Dr Ken Berry, who is a Board Certified family physician. His practice focuses on prevention and optimisation care – in particular, for treatment of obesity and other chronic diseases caused by the standard American diet. [Biohackers Lab tip: you may remember him from an earlier episode: Do Doctors Lie to Patients?] [01:27] – Ken believes the carnivore diet is just a subset of the ketogenic diet; he simply dialled the diet in further to where he needed to be, based on his ancestry, metabolic health, gut bacteria etc…, to feel the best he can. He also believes that somewhere on the ketogenic spectrum (between vegan and carnivore) is the perfect diet for everyone. [04:06] – Ken received his 23 DNAandMe results (showing he had more Neanderthal DNA than about 96% of the population). Armed with information from Dr Shawn Baker MD, Amber O’Hearn, and Mikhaila Peterson, as well as Dr Michel Eades, he decided to try carnivore. [05:32] – Eating a keto diet already resulted in benefits for Ken, but the carnivore diet saw further improvements to chronic heartburn encouraging him to keep going. Ken explains he still has coffee, eggs and seafood as well as a bit of good quality cheese, cream and grass-fed butter. [08:24] – Having turned 50 years old recently, Ken decided to start lifting weights to try challenge the notion that you can’t build muscle on the keto diet. He will be posting pictures monthly on his Facebook page, to see what happens. [10:23] – Is an all meat diet a long-term solution for Ken? He explains he is very open-minded, always reading and refining, but for the foreseeable future he will remain somewhere on the ketogenic spectrum; on the meat-heavy side. [11:53] – Ken explains how he feels better now than he did when he was in his thirties. He was inflamed back then and could not tell what he was sensitive to like he can now. He emphasises people should try to do the best they can and the best they can afford. [14:01] – EAT-Lancet Commission; Doctors are now saying we need to eat a tiny amount of meat every day. Are we being lied to? Ken explains how these guidelines are decided and why they are flawed. [Biohackers Lab tip: a second, updated edition of Ken’s book: “Lies My Doctor Told Me” will be available in all book stores in about a month, with chapters dedicated to meat; the lies doctors tell about meat and red meat causing cancer.] [20:04] – Will there soon come a time when we will be able to buy human kibble? Ken explains how the big food and pharmaceutical manufacturers have a vested interest in this sort of advice from EAT-Lancet, going forward. [22:19] – Ken believes trying a cyclical carnivore diet is a rational approach. He has patients who do extremely well on vegetable heavy keto, others need to move further into the red meat spectrum. He explains how his wife, Neisha, is 85-90% carnivore, which is much more than she ever thought she would be. [Biohackers Lab tip: Listen to Kelly Hogan’s interview, for some more common concerns women have regarding this diet + eating protein]. [27:32] – Ken discusses coming to keto with old dieting paradigms with regards to calories and portion size. The ketogenic diet is about biohacking your hormones and bringing them back into sync and the carnivore diet high in protein and fat allows for more satiation. [28:30] – Online, Neisha talked about her modified carnivore diet, (also called hypercarnivore) where 80% of the diet is animal protein. Different variations of that will suit different individuals better, people don’t have to feel guilty about eating greens. [30:35] – Ancestral component: Ken believes the DNA and the gut microbiome are two wildcards that could be important considerations when choosing the ideal diet. Keto is a good foundation from which to experiment from. [33:01] – Meat quality, does it matter? Ken believes it matters less than the fact you are eating a lot of meat. [35:08] – How much meat should we be eating? Ken’s advice is to buy the best quality meat you can afford but you can still be carnivore without the most expensive cuts. Fatty cuts are usually cheaper, which is perfect for carnivore. [36:48] – Ken lives in the deep south of the USA, with good access to meat. He predicts the more EAT-Lancet tries to implement higher taxes etc., more people will start having animals in their own backyard with more local butcheries popping up. [38:17] – For the sake of transparency, every six months Ken draws a huge panel of blood work; he posts it on his Facebook page to show how this diet is affecting his health. [42:30] – For those people who are interested in learning more and following Ken: search Dr Ken Berry on YouTube, Facebook (live with his wife Neisha, every Sunday night at 7pm, taking questions) or Instagram. He is also on other social media such as twitter.
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