Myths About Eating Meat and Following an Animal-Based Diet Part 2

Myths About Eating Meat and Following an Animal-Based Diet | Part 2

Here is the transcript for our latest podcast:

Joané  0:34  

Hi, everyone. On today’s podcast, we’re doing part two of Myths About Eating Meat.

Jonathan  0:42  

So we’re going to be busting some myths.

Joané  0:45  

Yeah. So well, let’s just start with the first one, shall we? Plant-based meat alternatives are healthy.

Jonathan  0:56  

Yeah, I think that’s not really meat, you know? So it’s not really a myth about meat, it’s about plant-based alternatives. Yes. But people think that “okay, that counts as meat because it looks like meat.”

Joané  1:13  

Yeah. Well, the myth is that you should eat less meat and replace it with these fake plant-based meats, like the beyond burgers. 

Jonathan  1:23  

And yeah, so this is like one of the myths that we have is an absence of meat in the equation.

Joané  1:28  


Jonathan  1:29  

And it being better. 

Joané  1:30  

Yes. That as well.

Jonathan  1:33  

Yeah. It’s hard to believe that people can, in one breath, say processed foods are bad for you. And then also say: “You’ve gotta eat this processed fake meat?”

Joané  1:50  

Yeah, I think we’ve been told for years: “eat whole foods, limit processed foods.” And then nowadays, they’re telling us to stop eating one of the simplest foods, which is meat, and replace that with something that, you know, had to be made in a factory and is very heavily processed. And they had to get all sorts of ingredients from different parts of the world to make it. And that’s healthier. So you can’t say: eat whole foods but eat those fake meat. It doesn’t make sense.

Jonathan  2:32  

Yeah. So that’s a bit of hypocrisy. I guess there are people who aren’t really worried about processed foods also recommending it. But yeah, I just noticed a lot of people who also would advise that you stay away from processed foods would be like: “These Beyond Meat burger patties or sausages or whatever are so good.” And you’re like: No, they’re not. They’re not made to, you know, make you healthier. Like that’s not their design. People think that like “Oh, yeah, by reducing your meat, you’re going to improve your health.” But we can pretty much say that that’s a myth. 

Joané  3:15  

Yeah, definitely. 

Jonathan  3:17  

And so, when you’re now eating this burger, you got to realize the people who made it don’t really care about health. They actually just care about making money. And they feel like they can use fairly cheap products like soy to make up the bulk of their product and sell it at a premium price. Because you know, now it’s the latest health craze. And so, they’re not really concerned about health. And if you look at the list of ingredients, it’s very long. It’s just an indication of how processed it is. And meat is one ingredient. So it’s like if you have a steak, the only ingredient you need to worry about is beef. That’s the only ingredient

Joané  4:03  

Yeah, you don’t have to worry about soy or grains or chickpeas, legumes. And yeah, people think that these are healthy foods. Like “eat beans and lentils” and “soy is good for you” and people are drinking soy milk and eating tofu and thinking that they’re being healthy but you know, these plant foods actually have compounds in them that affect your health. I mean soy is high in phytoestrogens, which can interfere with your hormones and I mean, now people are joking that you get soy boys because so many men and boys who have had a lot of the soy in their lives, you know, have higher estrogen levels and it has an effect.

Jonathan  4:56  

They tend to be more fat: wider hips, more developed nipples. Yeah, it’s quite scary.

Joané  5:07  

It’s quite sad, you know. And if you look at some of the baby formulas that they give little babies contain soy, you know, and so many bad ingredients. And so they start them off young.

Jonathan  5:22  

Unfortunately, yes.

Joané  5:24  

Oh, and I’m just thinking there are children out there where the parents might be vegan or vegetarian or on their way and now they’re having meat-free Mondays in the house and giving their kids these plant-based soy meat alternatives, and giving them soy milk and just loading them with phytoestrogens.

Jonathan  5:49  

Yeah, I mean, the meat alternatives are bad, in my opinion. And the rule of thumb I generally go with is if you know every ingredient that’s in your food, and you can explain where you can find it in a natural setting, then it’s probably pretty safe to eat.

Joané  6:12  

Yeah, and if you can consume it fairly easily.

Jonathan  6:16  

Yes. So yeah, obviously, there are things in nature, like if you ate the wrong mushroom, or a poisonous plant, or whatever (cause most plants are not really good for eating), but if you ate something that was wrong, you’re gonna have a bad time. But as far as it comes to, like, if you’re now in a shop, they’re not gonna have anything in there that’s not edible. Like, yeah, lentils and soy can really disrupt your digestive system and your hormones and things like that, but they are at least edible.

Joané  6:55  

Yeah, yeah. That’s if you cook them properly. Can’t you die if you eat a kidney bean that isn’t cooked?

Jonathan  7:01  

If you eat raw kidney beans, you can die.

Joané  7:05  

Yeah, well, these plant foods like legumes and nuts and soy have anti-nutrients in them, you know, they have phytates and oxalates. And they make it harder for your body to absorb certain nutrients like iron and magnesium and calcium, you know. So now you’re thinking you’re doing something that’s good for your health. You’re eating this fake meat patty, but it actually contains so many anti-nutrients that are making it hard for you to absorb some of the nutrients in the “meat”.

Jonathan  7:45  

And that’s just the whole foods. It’s also made out of different stabilizers. You know, it’s got a lot of ingredients when you read it, and you’re like: “what is that?” You know? And so my point is like, I’d rather someone ate beans, or soy, or whatever, and they cooked it themselves. Rather do that than eat the fake meat burgers.

Joané  8:12  

Oh, yeah. The fake meat burgers are just sad. And those sausages… every time I go to the store, and I see them, I just wanna burn it.

Jonathan  8:23  

Yeah. And everyone thinks: “Oh, you know, this is the way of the future.” But if you look at how things are going financially for these companies, and their sales at the moment, it is looking really bad.

Joané  8:35  

Yeah, it’s not that promising. 

Jonathan  8:37  

I feel like the public is catching on to the fact that these aren’t that good. And, you know, I think more people are learning that it’s not that good for you. And so, they just go with the normal meat.

Joané  8:50  

I think maybe when it first came out, there was a hype around it, and people wanted to try it. Then they realised: “Oh, this is not the same as the real thing. And I’ve tried it, and I’m over it”. And that’s the thing. Yeah, your plant-based people, your vegans, they probably love it. They probably buy it. But they’re not the majority of the population.

Jonathan  9:15  

They might want to say that “but we won’t save the world.” And it’s like, yeah, your dream of the future might not save the world, either. Yeah, no one really knows 100% how to save the world. But I can tell you now that eating fake processed meat patties is not the way to save the world.

Joané  9:34  

No… or the way to be healthy. Like it definitely isn’t the way to take care of yourself.

Jonathan  9:40  

And that’s a good place to start. If you want to save the world. You’ve got to first save yourself so that you can help save the world.

Joané  9:47  

Yes, like I think in yoga, and in that whole world, they have this thing… I think it’s called ahimsa: do no harm to others, or do you no harm. And a lot of people use that as an argument for going vegan because you’re not supposed to do any harm. And then I heard somebody ask some person who’s quite respected in that world about it and should you be vegan? And he said: “Well, if the diet is doing harm to your body, then it does not apply, then it’s not ahimsa (whatever it is that they call it)”. So it’s like, the whole idea is to do no harm. But if you tried to not do harm, but you’re harming your body, then that’s not good. And then you’re failing. So I think that’s a cool way to look at it.

Jonathan  10:42  

Yeah, it’s, you know, it can be interpreted in many ways because it’s a very broad thing: do no harm. But I would say first, do no harm to yourself. Yes. And there are plenty of people who have demonstrated that going fruitarian or vegan is not really good for them. You can see their deterioration is quite rapid and very stark. It’s very hard to skip over. It doesn’t happen as much with vegetarians because they’re still at least getting eggs and dairy. But with vegans, it can become quite notable, especially in men. Because men, if they can’t supplement the shit out of what they’re lacking in their diet, then they start showing deficiencies much quicker than women, where women are able to store a lot of the more essential minerals and vitamins for a longer period of time. So just look at the men that go vegan and keep a close eye on them… you’ll start seeing issues arise.

Joané  11:46  

Some you’ll see sooner than others.

Jonathan  11:50  

Yeah. And obviously, there’s gonna be guys out there who are able to get all the amino acids and all the extra micronutrients and stuff that they need from a vegan diet, but just then ask them: What is your supplemental bill?

Joané  12:06  

And what is your digestion like? Because if you have to eat enough to get all the nutrients that you need, like a vegan diet as a lot of fibre in general, and if you know to eat a lot of beans and nuts and grains and stuff to get everything you need in a day, what is your digestion like?

Jonathan  12:28  

Yeah, and I mean, you might do well for the first month or two, because it’ll almost be like a fast, but I don’t think you can really get a vegan diet really well from a whole foods diet. I feel like you have to do a lot of processed pea proteins and powders and flowers and all that kind of stuff to really make it doable. Yeah. And we just said earlier how processed foods generally aren’t healthy for you,

Joané  12:59  


Jonathan  13:01  

But in order for your body to be able to get all the nutrition it needs, you might need to turn to processed foods if you’re really adamant about being vegan. 

Joané  13:09  

Yes, definitely. So on to the next one. On to the next myth. And the next myth is: meat is bad for your kidneys.

Jonathan  13:22  

Uh-huh. Guilty by proxy. It’s like: “Oh, you eat some meat or some protein, and your kidney function goes up. That must mean it’s putting strain on your kidney.” It’s like “Oh, wait, maybe it’s helping stimulate your kidney to do what it needs to do to actually do its job.”

Joané  13:43  

Yeah, that makes a lot of sense.

Jonathan  13:46  

I mean, like, you know, “when you exercise, it increases your heart rate. Nooo.” But it’s like: Oh, wait, that’s your heart’s job. It’s supposed to be able to handle that. So you’re telling me now that if using the same logic, you recommend that exercise is a bad idea because it increases your heart rate? Just like saying: Oh, yeah, eating protein increases your kidneys filtration rate, but that is a good thing.

Joané  14:17  

Yeah, cuz what do they do is they test for albumin and GFR in your urine? 

Jonathan  14:31  

They’re trying to figure out the rate at which your kidneys are filtering things. And there are other tests that I can’t remember the names of on the top of my head that are more accurate at actually testing your kidney function. But they aren’t a standard test for kidney function. And you’d have to specifically ask for it to get it done. So if you’re worried about your kidneys, there is a test out there where you can actually test your kidney function, but it’s like “oh, the fact that Protein meal increases the rate of your kidneys is saying that is bad. It’s like saying: “Oh yeah, exercise increasing your heart rate is bad.” So I’m like: if you’ve got bad kidney function, it might be due to a lack of protein. Yeah. If your kidneys are underperforming, you might not be getting enough protein. And if you could actually get some proper animal protein, it might save your kidney from low function.

Joané  15:29  

Yeah, I feel like meat always gets thrown under the bus because I’ve heard so many times in my life that meat is bad for your kidneys. And since you’re mostly carnivore (like, yes, you have fruit every now and then. But you’re mostly carnivores), So many people have warned me that you should be careful about his kidneys and cholesterol. That’s another myth. But yeah, careful with his kidneys. And then what I find funny is people will say, “oh, be careful of meat because it’s bad for your kidneys”, but they will consume a ton of oxalates. Somebody can stand with a green smoothie in hand telling you meat is bad for your kidneys. Do you know what is bad for your kidneys? oxalates. You get it in a lot of vegetables like leafy green vegetables, like spinach, you get it in nuts, beetroot, cacao… There are so many sources of oxalates in plant foods, and when they bind to like calcium, it forms calcium oxalate crystals, and you can get kidney stones. Kidney stones aren’t caused by meat. So it’s like, people will say “careful meat is bad for your kidneys”, but they will eat a lot of oxalates in their diet. 

Jonathan  16:51  

Spinach, sweet potato, and almonds are very high in oxalates.

Joané  16:59  

People will have big salads and smoothies and you know, just all the oxalates… all the oxalates.

Jonathan  17:05  

So that is more likely to give you kidney issues. But yeah, it’s not the only way to get kidney stones, but like 80% of kidney stones are oxalate, calcium, kidney stones. And so, if you’re getting a lot of oxalates in your diet, you increase the chance of you actually getting a real problem with your kidneys. Don’t listen to the person saying “oh, look out for your kidneys” when you get no pain, you get no problems urinating, you don’t have any signs in your urine, you don’t have pain in your kidneys. There’s no sign of any issues eating meat. But then if you end up in hospital for kidney stones, because you’re on a high-oxalate diet, you can actually see like “Oh, you ate this thing and it led to the stones that formed in your kidney.” Yeah, like that’s a very clear sign that it’s doing something bad to your kidney. But people will be like: “Oh yeah, if you have too much protein, you’re going to, you know, damage your kidneys. And I’m just like: we haven’t had a case where someone’s ended up in the hospital from eating too much meat. Because their kidneys aren’t functioning well. Like you can do too much salt, you can do a lot of things that will put a lot of strain on your kidneys. But meat is not one of the things that will actually cause a problem for your kidneys. And that’s why this is clearly a myth. 

Joané  18:44  

It’s clearly a myth. The next one is that meat and organ meats cause gout.

Jonathan  18:54  

Well, n=1. I had gout and then I started only eating meat and it went away.

Joané  19:00  

Ah, see, so you know first-hand that this is a big fat myth.

Jonathan  19:07  

Like I’ve got first-hand experience. Yeah. Like if you have gout pain in your toe and you’re just like “what the hell?” And then at that point, the only thing I was really eating was sweet potatoes and meat and other sorts of nuts. And so, I was already kind of paleo, animal-based.

Joané  19:32  

You were eating a lot of oxalates actually, I remember this.

Jonathan  19:36  

Exactly. So I wasn’t eating a dirty diet. I wasn’t eating junk food. I wasn’t eating McDonald’s, or pizza, or anything like that. And I still had gout in my toe. And then I cut out all the oxalate foods and the gout went away. Yeah. And it’s just like: Oh, just like the kidneys, guess what can cause gout… oxalates.

Joané  20:02  

And alcohol and fructose are also big contributors. And I always find it funny because most of the people I’ve seen in my life with gout were overweight, middle-aged or older men who would drink quite a bit of alcohol, consume a lot of sugar. But then they get gout. And now it’s red meat.

Jonathan  20:28  

Yes, yeah. Blame the meat for what else you eat.

Joané  20:32  

Yeah. And I’ve actually been reading The Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino. I was reading where he spoke about gout and what actually caused it and he said insulin resistance causes gout. And we joke that all roads lead to insulin resistance.

Jonathan  20:50  

Yeah. Well, oxalates can cause gout. Yes, but the majority of gout cases are from insulin resistance.

Joané  21:02  

Yes. And then, you know, a high amount of fructose in your diet is not gonna help with that.

Jonathan  21:10  

Because that will also fuel insulin resistance.

Joané  21:13  

Yeah. And then why there is this meat myth is because meats and organ meats contain purines that break down into uric acid, then if you get uric acid build-up and that can cause gout.

Jonathan  21:26  

Yeah, but that you see, like I said, so you get the uric acid gout, and you get the oxalate gout. You can get it by eating what people consider a healthy diet because if the oxalate builds up in your joints, it can be painful. Yeah, and form crystals. And they are painful when your joint moves. But then you get the uric acid gout, which is the one that’s linked to insulin resistance. And so, insulin resistance is what’s causing your body to not be able to process that uric acid properly. And so, it’s like: why blame the uric acid when it’s a natural part of your body’s cycle? It’s a necessary thing. Like without uric acid, you’re in big trouble, health-wise. And so, you don’t want to cut out the uric acid, you just want your body to be in a healthy state to be able to use the uric acid for what it’s supposed to.

Joané  22:21  

Yes. And the body will usually excrete excess uric acid. And your levels usually will stay at normal.

Jonathan  22:30  

Yeah, if you’re not insulin resistant, or you know, becoming insulin resistant, then you won’t have an issue with uric acid and got,

Joané  22:39  

The next myth is that meat ages you fast.

Jonathan  22:47  

This is one of the trickier myths to try and just bust because ageing and longevity are some of the trickiest subjects.

Joané  22:57  


Jonathan  22:59  

But we will do our best.

Joané  23:00  

We will do our best. So, one of the reasons why people say that meat ages you faster is because if you eat meat and high protein, and you get leucine, the amino acid in meat, then it triggers mTOR, which is the mechanistic target of rapamycin. And it triggers growth in your body, basically, from what I understand.

Jonathan  23:34  

Yes. And so, if you stimulate mTOR too much, you then age rapidly.

Joané  23:44  

Yeah. Isn’t mTOR kind of like the opposite of autophagy? Yeah, so if you stimulate mTOR too much, then you don’t go into autophagy, which is your body’s natural cell-recycling process, which is very important for ageing. It kind of clears all the damaged cells that can cause inflammation and stuff in your body.

Jonathan  24:07  

And this is why you hear so much about intermittent fasting nowadays. Yeah, because it’s trying to get people to have a better balance between autophagy and mTOR.

Joané  24:17  

Yeah, because fasting will stimulate autophagy. And then eating will stimulate mTOR. And what I find funny is people keep focusing on amino acids like leucine and high protein, but insulin stimulates mTOR. If your insulin levels go up, which you know carbs will raise the most, then that will trigger mTOR. So people will say: “oh, beware of meat because of mTOR while they’re eating a bowl of pasta.

Jonathan  24:53  

And injecting himself with insulin.

Joané  24:57  

So, if you’re going to raise your insulin level, you know, that’s gonna trigger mTOR. So okay, what’s worse? Okay, so you can have a meal as somebody who eats mostly corn or just a piece of steak, yes, it’s gonna stimulate mTOR. But what if you had a piece of steak with chips and stuff? So now you’ve got all the amino acids, plus a lot of carbs, and now that raises your blood sugar. That’s going to increase your mTOR even more because most people aren’t like you. Most people aren’t carnivores, or like carnivore-ish. So, most people, when they consume protein, it’s usually with carbs. And often, it’s with the carb that, you know, is rapid digesting (and fried chips). Yeah, like fried chips. And I mean, we can get into vegetable oils and how they also contribute to insulin resistance. That’s just a really bad formula. Um, but you’re blaming the meat, but you have this processed carbs or high glycemic carbs with it, and you know, it, like it all contributes, and you don’t want to never stimulate mTOR. You have to stimulate it. It’s important for growth, but as you say, you just want a balance between having high levels of mTOR and being in autophagy.

Jonathan  26:29  

Exactly. So the whole mTOR argument coming from a vegetarian or vegan, who’s talking about ageing, generally looks at like any mTOR is a bad thing, because any mTOR is ageing. But for you to get any kind of growth and development, yeah, mTOR is the only way to do it.

Joané  26:52  

You’re not going to build muscle without mTOR. Yeah, you’re going to lose muscle without mTOR. And if you’re worried about ageing, then keeping your muscle and building muscle should be one of your biggest priorities. It should be your biggest, I feel.

Jonathan  27:08  

Yes. And so, if someone tells you that mTOR is bad, that is basically like saying: “Yeah, being able to exercise and build and grow and you know, get fitter, and stronger and faster is also a bad thing. Yeah, because you cannot become a better athlete, runner, etc. without it. Any athletic endeavour requires mTOR. If you could somehow restrict someone from ever producing mTOR, they will not become an athlete. It will be impossible for them to become an athlete, they will become like a human skeleton.

Joané  27:52  

And I mean, well, this myth is about ageing. If you think about sarcopenia, which is age-related muscle loss, you know, it is a big problem and something that people need to watch out for. So, now if you’re not getting enough mTOR, you might lose even more muscle. It’s going to be harder for you to maintain the muscle you have when you are older. And if you actually want to build a little muscle when you are older. Good luck with our mTOR. But you know what also stimulates mTOR? Strength training,

Jonathan  28:22  

Exercise. Without mTOR, you won’t be able to do any athletic endeavour.

Joané  28:28  

Yeah. So if you’re saying, “Don’t eat meat, because you stimulate mTOR”, then it’s like, “Okay, well, then you can’t exercise because it stimulates mTOR. Yeah, and I mean, if ageing is what we are worried about here, well, strength training, resistance training is incredibly important for ageing. You know, if you want to still be functional when you’re older, be able to pick up stuff and not break a hip, being stronger will help. Strength training will improve your bone density. It will just help you so much later in life. But Oh, no. If you’re worried about mTOR, then you can’t do strength training.

Jonathan  29:04  

Yeah, exactly. So it’s such a crazy idea that you need to now completely cut out mTOR. Yeah, the caveat is, yes, there’s a lot of bodybuilder bro kind of guys out there who would say eat multiple meals a day, and like, eat early in the morning and late at night. And like basically, the only time you don’t eat is when you’re sleeping. And that’s not good either. Because now you’re not allowing autophagy to become a part of the day and that’s why we talk about the balance. And you need to have that balance between autophagy and mTOR. And you want to be in that healthy middle zone. You don’t want to be completely cutting out mTOR from your life because then you will look old and frail very quickly and you don’t want to be stimulating mTOR all the time, because then you have a much higher chance of getting something like cancer. But your chances of getting cancer if you keep the balance is probably way less.

Joané  30:13  

Yeah. So oxidative stress is another trigger of mTOR.

Jonathan  30:51  

Which is also triggered by exercise. 

Joané  30:51  

I mean, oxidative stress is triggered by obesity, diets that are high in processed foods, radiation exposure, cigarettes, tobacco products, alcohol, some medications cause it, pollution, exposure to pesticides or industrial chemicals. So people blame the meat, but they won’t talk about all these other things that also stimulate mTOR.

Jonathan  30:58  

Yeah, so the reactive oxygen species… it’s probably a much shorter list for what doesn’t. But yeah, obviously, things like smoking will create a lot of reactive oxygen species. And that’s why you can see when people smoke, they age pretty quickly.

Joané  31:05  

Focus on that stuff first before you want to blame meat.

Jonathan  31:07  

Yeah, meat would maybe even help you look young if you quit smoking. And, you know, start eating properly to probably look younger.

Joané  31:10  

Yeah. And it will give you the amino acids you need to build muscle so that you don’t have to struggle with sarcopenia.

Jonathan  31:15  

Yeah, and I mean, even just collagen… Collagen is super important. So if you’re not getting any proper animal collagen in, your body won’t have much to work with to try and keep your skin looking younger.

Joané  31:24  

And the rest of your joints like healthy. Yes,

Jonathan  31:25  

So not only looks-wise but functionality wise, your joints and your ligaments and your tendons are going to be weaker without collagen, which you will get in meat.

Joané  32:02  

Definitely. So our last myth for today is that red meat causes cancer. Now, I put it here, because we just spoke about mTOR. And that is one of the reasons why people say that red meat causes cancer, because mTOR, you know, stimulates cell growth. And what happens with cancer is that the cell does not stop growing, and it just keeps growing. And so then people say, “okay, beware of mTOR”, because you don’t want to get cancer. But as we’ve just said, we just listed so many things that trigger mTOR that could then increase your chances of cancer. But then people stop eating red meat because they don’t want cancer. But you know, it’s not the red meat. It’s all the pollution and maybe you’re smoking, maybe you add alcohol. Maybe it’s your cleaning products exposure.

Jonathan  32:59  

Yeah. And this is one of the most common myths. Yeah. And it’s because a lot of people who get cancer are generally unhealthy. People in Western society are not concerned about their meat consumption. But they’re also not concerned about their doughnuts, fast food, processed food, pies, you name it. You’re not concerned about consuming any of those things. And so, you can’t now just lump meat into that category, just because the people who are generally unhealthy also eat meat. It’s like guilty by association

Joané  33:44  

Isn’t it called unhealthy user bias? Yes,

Jonathan  33:47  

That’s a confounding variable in many studies.

Joané  33:51  

So because people are told that meat is bad for you, and so many people believe it, a lot of people are just saying: “No, I don’t care about that. I like meat, I’m just gonna keep eating it.” But those are probably more likely to be the people that you know, they’ve heard alcohol is bad for them, but now “I’m not gonna care about that. I’m just gonna enjoy this alcohol and enjoy my life” Some people are more likely to do other things that are bad for them if they think that they’re going against what society is being told. Is that a good thing?

Jonathan  34:22  

Yeah. So in places like Japan, where the narrative is that wealthy and successful people eat meat, you see the opposite correlation. So a lot of the “meat causes cancer” studies are all epidemiology studies where they are looking at large numbers of people with pretty shitty data. Like they fill in food questionnaires. But now all you’re doing is just correlating and correlation is not causation. And so, yes, there is a correlation. In Western societies, the correlation between people who eat meat and cancer. But if you now go east to an Eastern society like Japan, you now look at their epidemiology and you see the opposite effect. So now, there is a correlation between meat consumption and a reduced risk of heart disease and bad health and insulin resistance. So you need to explain why it works in one society and not in the other. And in Japan, the thing that is prized the most is very fatty meats. So it’s not just like, “oh, they eat lean tuna”, it’s like “no, they eat wagyu.” You know, say you’ve really fatty beef that if you go and look at videos of, you know, restaurants and stuff like that, in Japan, there’s a lot of restaurants that basically are trying to advertise that they’ve got the best, fattiest meat. And it’s like a really big thing there. And so, how do you explain that red meat causes cancer when you see the opposite correlation in other populations that eat red meat?

Joané  36:10  

Yeah, try to explain.

Jonathan  36:13  

And, yeah, if you want to look at a more indigenous, sort of example, the Hadza basically only eat meat. Yeah, they’ll eat some tubers. But they just literally chew it and spit out the fibre. They’ll eat honey, they’ll eat fruit. Some of the tribes that have sort of started eating more flour and maize meal are starting to get health problems. But the ones that are still quite uncontacted, and don’t get too much interaction from modern society that are just eating meat and what I basically listed, have almost zero incidences of cancer. They’re out in the sun all the time. So basically, they do all the things that you would say would cause cancer, they eat their meat like that’s the centre of their diet. They char it, so they cook it on an open flame. They’re always out in the sun, for extended periods of time. And, you know, they don’t eat any sort of antioxidants specifically. You know, they don’t do any sort of, like supplements or anything like that. They live a very natural way of life, and none of them get cancer. So, you know, explain that.

Joané  37:38  

Yeah. Well, you just mentioned them cooking on an open flame. So some people say that when you cook meat on the fire, and if you cook it at higher temperatures, then it produces chemicals that can cause cancer that are called  Heterocyclic amines (HCAs). And so yeah, if it’s like charred, then it’ll have that and people say that’s carcinogenic.

Jonathan  38:08  

I think it can be if you’re metabolically unhealthy

Joané  38:10  

Yeah. So I mean, if it’s something that you’re concerned about, you just, it’s the way that you cook the meat. So just don’t char the meat, you know. Don’t cook it at really high temperatures.

Jonathan  38:21  

But we have a population that is a very good example of only eating meat that’s got tons of heterocyclic amines.

Joané  38:33  

And if you cover the meat with barbecue sauce or something beforehand, then you have all the sugars and stuff around it, then you get way more… like people put stuff on it to help it get charred.

Jonathan  38:45  

Exactly, yeah. So if you’ve now basted your meat and then char it, you’re getting much more of those HCAs than you would have just with the meat and salt.

Joané  38:58  

Yeah. And I mean, people eat things like burnt toast, like grilled vegetables or charred vegetables. Like you see those black lines on those food photos.

Jonathan  39:07  

Yeah, and that’s gonna contain HCAs. Yeah. And so, you know, don’t just point the finger at meat, it’s the way you cook it. So if you really believe in your heart of hearts that HCA is a problem, there’s a way to avoid it and eat meat. But my opinion is that I don’t think that heterocyclic amines are a big issue. Yeah, if you’re living a healthy life, and um, you know, you basically living a balanced lifestyle, and not eating too much crap and smoking and drinking a lot and not getting enough sleep.

Joané  39:46  

Yeah, like maybe the issues you get from the meat that’s charred would be okay if you didn’t have all these other things that, you know, influenced your body in a bad way.

Jonathan  39:57  

Yeah, so maybe it might just be something that’s beating the dog while it’s down. Yes. But if the dog’s not down, if you’re not unhealthy, then I don’t know if there’ll be a problem.

Jonathan  40:25  

Yeah. What I just find interesting is that you’re told the way that humans have been cooking, since forever, since we discovered fire is the unhealthy way, and then the ways that we haven’t been cooking with for that long, those are the healthy ways… Back in the day, when we were hunter-gatherers, or whatever, we wouldn’t be able to steam our foods and do things like that… maybe in China.

I suppose there were kind of traditional ways like slow cooking stuff and smoking stuff. Oh, smoking. How many HCAs will you get from smoking meat? Smoking meat is probably one of the oldest ways of preserving and cooking meat. But yeah, there were a lot of ways of cooking meat probably way back in the day, but the simplest way and the way that most of the indigenous people we see today is they literally just throw the whole animal on the fire (like that is the original way of cooking meat).

Joané  43:28  

They don’t baste it in barbecue sauce first.

Jonathan  43:31  

Yeah. And if you want to say: “oh, but people only lived to the age of like 30 back then.” You are very wrong.

Joané  43:40  

Yeah, because they take the average, and they had a lot more infant deaths.

Jonathan  43:44  

Yeah, if you’re living in the wild, obviously, you’re gonna have a lot of infant mortality. That’s why humans tend to be able to have a lot of children. Because, you know, back in the wild, the odds of all of them surviving was very rare. And that brings down the average. Human lifespans have not changed for 1000s of years. 1000s. So literally, we know that people lived past 100 for 1000s of years.

Joané 44:18  

Well, what do you think about the World Health Organization classifying processed meats like bacon, salami, and ham as a group one carcinogen, because that’s what I’ve heard a few people say and that some studies might show where they say it’s processed meat that causes cancer or can cause cancer… not necessarily, you know, just fresh red meat.

Jonathan 44:45  

Anything can cause cancer, anything. Like if you look at all the things now, they’re like: “Okay, sunblock can cause cancer.” You know, it’s like, oh, wait, I thought sunblock was supposed to save you from cancer, but now they’re saying that the wrong sunscreen can give you cancer, soap can cause cancer, like anything can give you cancer. And I think anything can give you cancer because if the underlying metabolic structure is dysfunctional, your chances of something in your environment triggering cancer goes up. So maybe, maybe there is something to processed meats because maybe there’s an ingredient there that is not an evolutionarily appropriate ingredient to be consuming. Maybe it’s an additive or something. Yeah, maybe there’s something that they put in there. That’s not the best idea to be consuming large amounts of.

Joané  45:38  

Maybe there’s a reaction during the cooking process with some of the additives and stuff, we don’t know.

Jonathan  45:42  

Yeah. We can’t say for sure. But what I can’t say for sure is that the study looking at that was just correlating. Yes. It’s not actually a clinically controlled trial where they had a randomized group of people with a placebo group and all that stuff. You know, you’ve got to make sure there’s a control and that hasn’t been done. That study hasn’t been done. So you can’t say for sure. But as soon as you want to say something like: “oh, this causes cancer”, you’re almost always going to have an argument. Yeah. Because there are so many things you can draw an association to cancer with.

Joané  46:21  

There are hundreds of cancer triggers and whatever. So then it’s like everything, as you said, so I don’t think it’s fair to try to isolate one thing.

Jonathan  46:33  

Unless it’s insulin resistance. 

Joané  46:35  

All roads lead to insulin resistance. I still want a T-shirt that says: correlation does not equal causation. 

Jonathan 46:43  

It will go over the head of most people I know. 

Joané  46:45  

But the intelligent ones will get it.

Jonathan  46:48  

Yeah. So yeah, it’s good. As you can see, cancer is a very complex subject. Yeah. telomere length comes into play, your metabolic function comes into play, how often you go into autophagy comes into play. And so, you can’t just say: “this causes cancer.” Yeah, you can’t. When there are too many factors, you can’t just point out one. And you also can’t now say that the meat is the root cause if there are so many other things that are associated with it.

Joané  47:23  

Didn’t you tell me that the only animals that get cancer are the ones we feed?

Jonathan  47:29  

Us and the ones we feed? Yeah, it’s more like modern diseases. So they are the only animals that get obese and get heart disease and cancer. But there are theories that animals do get cancer. But then with whales, there’s a theory that their cancers might get cancer and then their cancers cancel out their cancers. So it’s very hypothetical. But as far as heart disease and insulin resistance, we and the animals we feed are the only ones that get that.

Joané  48:07  

Well, we are animals that we feed ourselves. We are animals that we feed.

Jonathan  48:11  

Yeah, so cancer is a bit more tricky. But heart disease and insulin resistance definitely affect only our pets and us. Yeah. And maybe there are some wild animals that are living off our scraps, but that’s still living off our scraps.

Joané  48:29  

I saw a cat that loved eating doughnuts. It was just wrong. It was a very fat cat.

Jonathan  48:35  

A fat cat.

Joané 48:36  

The cat was an addict.

Jonathan  48:40  

And yeah, this is the thing… like, you’ll say: “oh, you know, my poor dog is obese. It’s obese and has got arthritis, and it’s got all these things”, and it’s like, oh, wait, but in a normal setting like a natural setting, dogs don’t really get that.

Joané  48:59  

And what’s funny is when somebody’s dog is overweight or has diabetes, then they go to the vet or the pet shop and they buy super expensive special dog food (like diet dog food and for arthritis), but you’re giving them this grain-based pellet thing. Like where in nature will a dog have pellets? No, they would eat meat. Cats eat meat. They hunt… and now you’re just giving them pellets. It’s like, oh, they might be unhealthy because they’re not eating an appropriate diet. You know, we’re well aware that animals in nature have particular diets. It’s like, whales eat this. sharks eat that and feed on almost anything. 

Jonathan  49:45  

Sharks eat almost anything. 

Joané  49:47  

But they still have a diet. It’s just a varied diet. But most animals have a particular diet that they follow. You know, it’s just so weird for me that with dogs, we went so far against the natural diets and way of eating.

Jonathan  50:02  

If you want to feed your dog a very natural diet, it would be a diet that consists of animals, like small animals. Chickens would be on the menu. And maybe a pack of dogs would take down an antelope or some sort of, you know, hoofed animal. And they would eat lots of rodents. You know, so dogs can get away with eating plant-based foods… like it is possible. But is it their natural optimal diet? No,

Joané  50:40  

No, definitely not. If I get a dog one day, it’s gonna be a carnivore puppy. Because just in case the cancer thing is true, I don’t want it to get cancer because I gave it a shitty diet.

Jonathan  50:55  

Yeah, it’s like the pellets are convenient and they last a long time and they’re easy to store. And so, you’re basically slowly poisoning your dog for convenience.

Joané  51:10  

Yeah, just because you don’t want to deal with real meat and stuff.

Jonathan  51:16  

Yeah, you’re increasing your dog’s chances of getting allergies, joint problems, you name it… all the diseases that you know, heart disease and all those kinds of things. Diabetes is much more likely to happen to your dog if you don’t feed them a meat-based diet.

Joané  51:35  

Yes. Well, that was an interesting end to our myths about meat part 2 podcast.

Jonathan  51:43  

Yeah, I’m just like, I don’t know why more people don’t realize that the two most popular pets are carnivorous. Yes. As if those animals were hanging around because we were eating so many vegetables (sarcasm).

Joané  51:57  

Yeah, that’s actually very true. They probably realized that because we were really good at hunting and killing big animals, like “Hey, if these people kill a mammoth or something, there’s gonna be some scraps”. There’s gonna be some scraps and I just picture a little Jack Russell…

Jonathan  52:15  

There weren’t any Jack Russell’s, but it would be a small canine like a wolf-like creature. Yeah, and then the friendliest ones were kept and bred with, and that’s the story of dogs. Cats also sort of came in, because we’d store a lot of grain. So cats are more new to the scene. And they loved to eat the little critters that were eating the grains. 

Joané  52:43  

Yeah, if you’ve got a mouse problem, like, if you have mice in your pantry or a rat.

Jonathan  52:50  

Cats will still beg from humans. 

Joané  52:54  

They’re smart. They know we’ll feed them.

Jonathan  52:57  

I’m just like, if we were eating a more herbivorous diet, we’d have things like rabbits and something like, you know, more vegetarian-based begging for us to feed them. But I think if, as you said, if we have a kill, those creatures will be hanging around there hoping to score a meal.

Joané  53:18  

And I mean, they use hounds, like dogs, to help them hunt. It’s like a team effort. Man and his best friend take down deer.

Jonathan  53:27  

Yes, dogs were used for hunting. That was a very useful niche. And so yeah, you’ll think like: “oh, what do pets have to do with health?” And it’s like, no, they are actually sort of just a clue to what’s happened in the past. And what happened in the past is a clue to what you can do now to fix your health for the future.

Joané  53:46  

Yeah, well, it’s like Ken Berry always talks about the proper human diet. I think that’s what his next book is gonna be called. But that just made me think: Oh yeah, dogs actually have a proper diet that they would have in nature, you know, and we’ve taken them away from that. What is the proper human diet?

Jonathan  54:06  

Definitely not vegan.

Joané  54:10  

But yeah, that was part two of myths about meat.

Jonathan  54:14  

So hopefully, we busted the myths and you won’t be scared of meat anymore.

Joané  54:20  

Yeah. Oh, yeah. And if you eat meat, don’t be scared of red meat. Because a lot of people eat meat, but they stick to fish and chicken and then they say: “oh, you know, I’m sticking to the lean meats and staying away from the red meat.” Eat the red meat.

Jonathan  14:37  

Yeah, I’d say red meat is healthier than chicken and pork. 

Joané  14:42  

It’s far superior. Eat a steak. 

Jonathan  14:45  

Or some lamb chops. Anyways, until next week, bye.

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