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Shawn Baker: Quacks like Liver King helped my carnivore crusade

The author of The Carnivore Diet reveals to Unfiltered whether the outlandish actions and statements of the most controversial meat-only advocates on social media, including Liver King and Carnivore MD Paul Saladino, have helped or hindered his educational efforts to better inform the general public on his perceived benefits of eating nothing but red meat
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.

Liver King helped popularise the carnivore diet

Unfiltered sat down with Dr Shawn Baker, MD, author of The Carnivore Diet, to discover whether he believes other big name carnivore enthusiasts on social media, including the Liver King and Carnivore MD Paul Saladino, have helped or hindered his efforts to better educate the world on the benefits of following a meat-only nutritional approach. And his thoughts might surprise you.

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’re one of the the leading global proponents of the carnivore diet. There’s two other names that are intrinsically-linked with carnivorism: Paul Saladino and The Liver King. They are both far more controversial and polarising figures than you, and the Liver King has had other controversies, not least in his performance-enhancing drug use. In your view have these two figures helped or hindered public information and awareness of the carnivore diet?

I think the net effect has been has been positive. Yes, I agree it’s a double-edged sword. You get people saying he’s [Liver King] taken steroids and is lying about that stuff. He’s acting like he’s eating massive amounts of liver when it turns out he was probably lying about that stuff too. That obviously hinders him. Ultimately he’s hurt his own reputation, right?

But it has brought a lot of more people into the animal-based, meat-centric world. What I say is that sunlight is the best disinfectant. So the more people with eyes on it, we’re looking and seeing what’s really happening. You’re seeing results are pretty good. You don’t have to go far to see people that are raving about the benefits they’ve had on a meat-based diet. So that has been a good thing.

This is what the media does. Five or six years ago, when I was first starting out, they tried to paint me as some extremist. The only reason I’ve been proposing it [the carnivore diet] and advocate it is because I am unequivocally convinced of its benefits in many cases, and I think it’s something that the world needs to know about.

Early on, even before Liver King, what they [mainstream media] would show [about the carnivore diet] was housewives eating raw brains. That’s the corner they try to portray, like you’re a cannibal or something.

And I’m here saying, hey, it’s ground beef and an egg. It’s very normal type foods that most people wouldn’t be at all concerned about. It’s very simple. It doesn’t have to be this extreme stuff.

You don’t have to be eating, you know, baboon testicles once a week or anything like that. But they [mainstream media] don’t want to show that. They don’t want us to be reasonable people. They want you to be some wacko crazy, you know, right-wing, even Nazi racist [nut-job].

But if anybody really listens to me, I’m very nuanced about it. I’m very much non-zealot-like about this. I say if it works great. If it doesn’t go do something else. It’s [the carnivore diet] not the only way to get healthy. There’s plenty of ways to get healthy, but it is one option.If you eat blueberries with your steak, I don’t care. Whatever’s working for you is fine.

Some people need to be more exclusionary. I think there is a definite role for a very tight elimination for [some] conditions. I’m generally a pretty middle of the road, pretty laid back, non-extreme guy.

You’re 57 years old and in phenomenal physical shape. Is this really just a combination of the carnivore diet and great training? Or is there a Liver King expose coming for you in which it’s revealed you’re on a cocktail of steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs?

No, there won’t be. What I will say though, and I’m going to be clear about this, the reason I’m in shape is because I train. I don’t care what your diet is, [training] is the biggest factor.

I don’t care if you’re on vegan diet, carnivore diet, Mediterranean diet, whatever, training is going to be the biggest factor. I train my ass off and I’ve been doing it for 35 years now. I plan to do it for the next 50 years, God willing, if I live that long.

have always competed as a drug-free athlete. I’ve always been vocally opposed to [performance-enhancing drugs] because I think it’s cheap, quite honestly. And then fortunately, as I’ve gotten older, I don’t feel like I need any of that stuff [testosterone-replacement therapy]. I’m stronger than 99% of men my age. If I got on drugs I’d be bigger and stronger, that’s true. But my sexual function is totally fine. I wake up with an erection every morning, so I don’t need any of that stuff. I don’t want to take that.

I’m very critical about testosterone replacement for men because I think most men, particularly the younger guys we see in their twenties and thirties, start taking this stuff almost always as a consequence of being metabolically unhealthy.

Garbage lifestyle, not getting any sleep, drinking beer, staying out too late, not exercising, a crappy diet.
If you just fix that, spend a year getting in shape, you wouldn’t need this testosterone replacement stuff.

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

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