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Shawn Baker, MD: How the carnivore diet plan saved my life

The world’s most controversial carnivore reveals to Unfiltered how a decade of health issues prompted him to experiment with different nutritional approaches before finding a panacea with his interpretation of the carnivore diet plant. He also reveals why he is adamant eating nothing but meat could help millions of people fix their chronic health problems where Western medicine has failed
Dr Shawn Baker, MD
Dr Shawn Baker, MD

Dr Shawn Baker, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon, the best-selling author of The Carnivore Diet, world champion athlete, and the Chief Medical Office of Revero, which provides personalised care for metabolic and autoimmune conditions. He is a leading authority on nutritional therapy and raising awareness about how it affects chronic disease and speaks internationally on the subject. Follow him on Instagram and X. Visit carnivore.diet.

Dr Shawn Baker: Why I started the carnivore diet plan

Unfiltered sat down with Dr Shawn Baker, MD, author of The Carnivore Diet, to discover what prompted his initial interest in carnivorism, what made him take his tentative first steps into following this dietary approach, and why he’s emerged as one of the world’s most ardent advocates of the nutrition strategy.

This transcript has been taken from our video interview with Dr Shawn Baker, MD. It has been edited for clarity and brevity. You can watch the full video interview here.

You’ve followed the carnivore diet since 2016. What prompted you to try it?

It was the culmination of about a decade of experimenting with nutrition to try to improve my own health.

I think that started probably in my early 40s when I got to the point where despite prodigious exercise – I was a world champion athlete – I was most likely developing metabolic disease. And I didn’t like that.

As a physician I should be able to figure this out, so I experimented with all different types of different dietary strategies and over time I kept reading and learning about [the carnivore diet plan].

I came across a bunch of people doing it all the time, which I thought was absolutely crazy. But I was curious enough to actually try it myself.

I meet people that have used the carnivore diet plan for the resolution of every single medical condition you can think of”

Dr Shawn Baker, MD

How was your first experience of the carnivore diet plan?

I started doing a day or two here and there and then I progressed until I got to about a 30-day stretch. And at the end of the 30 days it was remarkable to me how good I felt.
It was really, literally, the best I’d felt for as long as I could remember, certainly several decades.

I ended that experiment, went back to a more “normal” person type of diet and I immediately felt worse and I didn’t like it. So I said I’m just going to go back on this [carnivore diet plan]. And so that was the genesis.

So then I wrote a book about it. Now I spend most of my day talking about nutrition and I meet people that have used this [carnivore diet plan] for the resolution of every single medical condition you can think of. It’s been a fascinating, fascinating journey. 

What’s the first reaction you get when you tell people you only follow a carnivore diet plan?

It depends on the circles I’m talking to. A lot of people ask me what I eat. They want to know when you look pretty good, you know?

Most people I encounter these days honestly know who I am and know what I’m about. Every once in a while I’ll be out socially and it’ll come up in a discussion. That’s when there’s usually some look of surprise. Most of the time people want to know more about it. I’m sure some people are thinking that this guy us is a whack job, but as far saying that to me, I don’t really hear that very often to be honest. 

What are you typical daily meals when following a carnivore diet plan?

Today, so far I’ve had a steak, and I have a steak for dinner. In the last seven years my diet has been probably 97% red meat, particularly beef. That’s no exaggeration.

Sometimes I’ll have some eggs. Sometimes I’ll have a few dairy products. Sometimes I’ll have various other types of meat, such as some seafood, some lamb, some pork. Chicken? Maybe one or two times in the last seven years, that’s it.

But it [the carnivore diet plan] isn’t a religion for me, so occasionally I have something that is not “carnivore”. Maybe a piece of cake or a piece of fruit or something like that. But the regularity in which I do that is so insignificant – it might be once a year, twice a year, maybe. So completely insignificant for all intents and purposes of my diet. So it’s beef. That’s it for the most part. 

I never crave sugar… I just want to eat steak”

Dr Shawn Baker, MD

On the rare occasion you eat a slice of cake or some berries do you suffer any ill-effects?

It depends. Again, I don’t do it very frequently. I do remember one time I had a piece of my kid’s birthday cake and I was sick – I literally got sick. And then six months later, it was another child’s birthday and I had some cake and I was totally fine.

I don’t usually consume much [sugar]. It might be a bite of watermelon or something like that.
My partner will be eating something and she’ll say, “You gotta have a taste of this – it’s so good!”, and I’ll take a bite. Usually that has no impact on me.

The reason I don’t consume [non-carnivore food] on a more regular basis is because I simply don’t want. I don’t crave it.

You never have any cravings for foods not on the carnivore diet plan?

I don’t paint myself into any kind of particular ideological, or almost religious, corner. But I’m not going to eat something I don’t want to eat and honestly, at this point, I just want to eat steak.

It might seem weird to some, but that’s what I look forward to. I look forward to every single time I sit down and have a steak. To me it’s a very enjoyable experience. I get a lot of pleasure out of it.

People think it must be so boring but think about the “rewards” you think you’d get from eating foods like pastas and pizzas. Sometimes when you eat them [afterwards] you know it wasn’t good, you know?

I don’t feel the same level of satiation and enjoyment that I get out of [eating streak], which I think is the more appropriate food to eat.

Listen to our full audio-only podcast interview with Dr Shawn Baker on Spotify

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