Today we welcome a post by guest author Ashleigh VanHouten, health and nutrition journalist, public speaker, certified health coach, and host of the Muscle Maven Radio podcast. Here, she explains why we’re missing out if we’re only eating boring boneless cuts of meat from the grocery store, and makes the case for eating nose-to-tail, for both our health and for our enjoyment. Her new cookbook, It Takes Guts, is available for preorder and hits the shelves in late October. “It’s good for you and for the planet – and it’s easier and tastier than you think!” – Ashleigh VanHouten Modified excerpt from It Takes Guts, shared with publisher permission. If I had a dollar for every time someone told me, “I just can’t get my head around eating [insert type of organ meat here] because I didn’t grow up eating it,” I could retire now and live out the rest of my days eating animal hearts on a beach somewhere — but I have a secret for you. I didn’t grow up eating organ meat, either; I grew up eating cereal and bread and chicken breast, and while I always gravitated toward animal products, I certainly wasn’t eating liver or sweetbreads. But as someone who has dedicated their career to researching, studying, and experimenting with nutrition, I believe strongly that one bite of something new won’t hurt you, and it just might open up a whole new world of pleasure and health. It’s a fact that organs are generally the most nutrient-dense parts of an animal, so if we can find fun and creative and even subtle ways to enjoy them, we’re winning. And by eating the whole animal, we’re also honoring and respecting the beings who sacrificed for our dinner plates by ensuring none of it is wasted. I wrote my nose-to-tail cookbook It Takes Guts because I am passionate about honoring the animals we’re eating, and enjoying the full bounty of delicious and healthy options available to us. As the saying goes, the way you do anything is the way you do everything, and I believe we should all be approaching our plates, and our lives, with a sense of adventure and enthusiasm. Here’s a quick breakdown of some of the reasons why eating organ meats is a good idea: It’s Sustainable It would be wasteful to buy a huge house and use only one or two rooms, right? Adopting a whole-animal approach reduces waste, and buying from local farms and butchers helps decrease the carbon footprint created when meat is brought to you from far-flung places. In the process of breaking down an animal, less than half of it will usually end up as boneless cuts, or the type of meat you normally pick up at a grocery store. Much of the rest is bone, hide, blood, and organs – the latter being the most nutrient-dense part of the animal, which we are essentially giving away to then eat the less nutrient-dense muscle meat! If you’re reading … Continue reading “Why We Should All Be Eating Organ Meats”
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering a pair of questions from readers. The first one comes from the comment section of the excerpt from Paul Saladino’s new book: Can a seafood-only carnivore diet work? Will it miss anything? Is there anything to watch out for, add, or consider? The second one comes from the recent post about exercising during a fast. If someone’s trying to gain muscle, should they prioritize eating protein after a fast-breaking training session, or should they keep the fast going?
Folks, I’m excited to bring you this book excerpt from The Carnivore Code. Author Dr. Paul Saladino is one of the best informed thought leaders and advocates of the carnivore diet. Paul uses his experience in functional and traditional medicine to devise a holistic picture of healing. I think you’ll appreciate his detailed, well-researched, and measured approach to presenting and analyzing evidence. We’ve reviewed study after study that’s correlated red meat consumption with mortality risk, atherosclerosis, heart disease, and more. Paul takes the topic to task in The Carnivore Code, hopefully proving once and for all the true physiological cause of these conditions. You can purchase a copy of The Carnivore Code here. Enjoy the excerpt. Few things conjure more fear in the hearts and minds of the general population than the big, bad cholesterol monster and the associated trepidation that red meat will cause our arteries to become filled with plaque. After all, we’ve been told by cardiac surgeons that when they scoop plaque out of the arteries in our heart or neck, it looks just like animal fat, eggs, or butter. In this excerpt, we’ll debunk the notion that eating animal meat, fat, or organs is bad for our heart and blood vessels and slay this final beast once and for all. We’ll see that these false notions have been based on more misleading epidemiological literature and how interventional and mechanistic studies tell a very different story. Come, brave adventurers, our destiny of discarding unfounded ideologies and reclaiming the vibrant health of our ancestors awaits! The Basics of Lipoproteins and Cholesterol The word “cholesterol” is often used colloquially to refer to all of the lipoproteins in our blood, but technically, cholesterol is a steroid backbone type of molecule that is used to make all sorts of vital compounds in human physiology. Our body makes around 1,200 milligrams of cholesterol every day for many important purposes, including the proper formation of all of our cell membranes. The fat we eat is absorbed from our intestines and packaged as triglycerides with dietary cholesterol into a type of lipoprotein known as chylomicrons, marked with apolipoprotein B48. These particles circulate in the blood stream, dropping off their contents to cells of the body before becoming chylomicron remnants and being taken up by the liver. In medicine, the term “total cholesterol” refers to the sum of all the cholesterol molecules in the blood and is usually measured directly in laboratory tests. In order to know how much of this cholesterol resides in the different lipoproteins, these must be measured individually. Most current lipid testing measures HDL, LDL, VLDL, and triglycerides directly, but older assays measure only some of these and must calculate LDL, which you may see written as LDL-C. For this reason, many previous research studies have looked at total cholesterol levels rather than LDL. Historically, elevated levels of total cholesterol have been assumed to correlate with elevated levels of LDL, and unless triglycerides are extremely elevated, this is generally a reasonable … Continue reading “Will Red Meat Cause Your Heart to Explode?”