Dr. Stephen Phinney: Is it safe to eat an all-meat diet? Is it healthy?

Dr. Stephen Phinney: Is it safe to eat an all-meat diet? Is it healthy?

November 2, 2019 23 By William Morgan


So next question is coming
from Travis,
and he’s asking: What is the
research on completely
carnivorous diets of all animal
products?
I think the first thing that comes
to my mind is what –
the Stefansson experiment?
Yeah, there were two Arctic
explorers
…ate meat for a year…
…ate meat for a year…
Who lived among the Inuit
Who lived among the Inuit
in the Arctic as explorers
and came back, and said,
we could live without vegetables –
fruit
we could live without vegetables –
fruit
and vegetables – for
and vegetables – for
a couple of years that time
and not get sick.
And that was when vitamin C was
discovered
as the cause of scurvy.
Everybody knew that it took away
vitamin C for
four months people would develop signs
of scurvy, which aren’t subtle.
You know your teeth can’t lose,
your joints swell up
and hurt. You have these little
black spots
where you have bleeding in the skin
called pickle hemorrhages.
So a group of researchers has said
this is not possible
and they basically locked them up in
a hospital. It was a mental hospital,
Bellevue Hospital in New York City,
and followed them for
three to five months,
locked up.
And when they didn’t develop scurvy
they said: OK you can
move to an apartment down you’ve got
to come
every day to get checked.
And they did this diet of just meat
and fat.
Now they weren’t eating the same
things they had in the Arctic,
because,
you know, they didn’t have seal,
and a seal blubber,.
Yeah, slightly different meats.
…caribou, and so on.
Ao they were using market meats at
the time
this was in the 1920s.
But both of them remain very healthy
for that whole year.
But realize that both these these
people (A) they got to choose
what they ate as long as it was from
meat
and fat,
so they could have organ meats
and things like that.
And they had basically been trained
by a group of people who lived for
at least 50… the modern Innuit
have lived
in the Arctic for, I think
archaeologists say,
18,000 years.
And so they had to try
empirically to figure out what to
eat more proportions
to eat.
And so
that’s different than maybe what –
if we – if somebody just
said I’m just going to eat meat.
They made not eat enough fat.
They may not make their own broth.
They may not follow
those tenets as closely
as the Aboriginal cultures
did.
So there were a lot of lessons that
that
these Aboriginal cultures probably learned.
And we,
as you know of European,
you know Western civilization,
may have discounted the value of
those
things.
Especially in respect to minerals.
My concern,
we see a lot of
problems with sodium
potassium and magnesium
intakes in people who casually go
on to a low carbohydrate diet
and that particularly concerns me if
somebody is not eating vegetables
because that’s
where a fair bit of the magnesium
and potassium that our
patients eat – that’s where it comes
from.
So if one doesn’t eat vegetables
then it puts more
responsibility on that person to get
enough
of those minerals from from the
animal
sources
and that may be an issue
around making one’s own broth,
around making one’s own broth,
particularly bone broth.
particularly bone broth.
And again it’s not sticky a few
bones
and some water and boiling for an
hour –
cooking it long enough to get
those nutrients out of the bone
and into the broth.