The Truth About Eating Plant Foods - with Dr Anthony Chaffee The Hart of Health Podcast E47

The Truth About Eating Plant Foods – with Dr Anthony Chaffee | The Hart of Health Podcast E47

We interviewed Dr Anthony Chaffee for our podcast! Dr Chaffee has more than 20 years’ experience doing the carnivore diet and we were really excited to hear his thoughts and pick his brain. In this podcast, we talk about using plants as medicine, food addiction, Parkinson’s disease, introducing first foods to babies, and more.

Here is the YouTube version of the podcast:

You can also check out the podcast transcript below.


0:40: Using plants as medicine

08:07: Addictive foods

23:46: Using sugar/honey for performance

28:20: Using salt for performance

29:38: Troubles digesting fat

36:11: How Dr Chaffee would approach Parkinson’s disease

38:50: Getting the vagus nerve cut

40:47: Consuming coffee with or without Parkinson’s

44:33: Stockholm Syndrome and bad tastes

49:59: Introducing foods to your baby

Joane  0:00  

Hey, everyone, on today’s podcast, we’re interviewing Dr. Anthony Chaffee.

Jonathan  0:05  

He’s a medical doctor specializing in neurosurgery. And he’s a former all-American rugby player,

Joane  0:10  

He has a lot of experience with a carnivore diet, over 20 years to be exact.

Jonathan  0:16  

In this podcast, we’re not really going to go into his background and story as much as we’re sort of just going to get on with the questions we found really interesting. And if you want to get to know him a little bit better, you can always check out his YouTube and Instagram channels, linked in the show notes and mentioned at the end of the podcast.

Joane  0:36  

Yeah, we hope you enjoy the show. 

So the first question is, what are your perspectives on using plants as medicine, like using plants temporarily for medicinal purposes?

Dr Anthony Chaffee  0:50  

I mean, anything used medicinally, temporarily, that’s fine. We’ve been doing that for, you know, 1000s of years. And so, that’s okay. And just like any medicine, you don’t take medicine on a daily basis. So that’s the thing is that well, no, but garlic is good as it as an antibiotic. Great, do you have a bacterial illness? You know, like, “no” “okay, well, then don’t eat garlic.” Right. So you wouldn’t take antibiotics if you didn’t have a bacterial infection, right? And so, that’s how I think about it as well. So medicine is just a poison that confers more benefit than harm in a certain situation, right. But outside of that situation, it’s just causing harm. Okay. so you know, if you’re out in the woods, and you have a problem, and you know which herbs will help with that problem, you know, sure. When you’re outside of that scenario, and you don’t have a problem, obviously, you shouldn’t be touching them. But also, this is the difference between naturopath and, you know, traditional Western medicine. Like naturopaths would say: “Well, you should have the plant like foxglove, that contains digitoxin, because maybe there’s other things in that plant that are helping with that”, but they can’t tell you what they are. And they also can’t tell you what dosage is all times, you know, three ounces or two grams of leaf, okay, but how has it grown? What soil? What conditions? Was it dry? Does it need to be fresh? All these different things matter. So you don’t actually know what you’re getting. And you certainly don’t know your dosage. And so, you know, you have to contend with that as well. Whereas if you’re taking a pill as a medicine, you will hopefully be able to trust that this is exactly what you’re getting. And dosage, you can be much more accurate with that. And you’re also not bringing along the 10s of 1000s of other chemicals that exists in that plant that you’re not trying to get as well. So, yes, with with an asterisk. Yeah.

Jonathan  2:48  

So you want almost naturally derived medicines that have been sort of dosage controlled for medical applications?

Dr Anthony Chaffee  2:58  

Yeah, exactly. I mean, at some point, these things could be beneficial if you’re in dire straits. But it would also be probably better to try to get that in pill form when you know exactly what you’re getting. It’s not coming along with other things as well.

Jonathan  3:17  

Yeah, I agree pretty much exactly with that.

Joane  3:20  

I used to be that person that thought everything natural was better. So I’d always look for the more natural or alternative to everything. But then as I learned more about all the plant toxins, I started wondering, “maybe it’s better to just take the standard pill, because you don’t know what other toxins and like chemicals you’re getting in the plants, where the medicine was more controlled.” So I stopped believing the natural alternative is always the better one.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  3:48  

Yeah, exactly. And that’s something that people still argue that you should get this in its natural form. But you know that that plant isn’t making that chemical to help with your heart disease. It’s actually making that chemical to screw with your heart and mess it up and probably give you a heart attack. And you take too much digoxin will give you a heart… you will have an arrhythmia and you will die. And so, it is a very tight window where it benefits you and it only benefits you if you have a specific problem. And outside of that problem, it’s going to cause harm. And again, it’s coming with a whole host of other harmful medicines/harmful chemicals as well. And you know that that argument is like, “well, it’s natural.” It’s okay, so is arsenic. And yeah, it’s not necessary. Just because it’s natural, it doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

Jonathan  4:42  

And yeah, so often, people will say the entourage effect, you know, and like “Oh, if you don’t take it in its fully natural form, you’re going to lose out on all these other compounds that are supposed to like be synergistic”, but I don’t think anyone can say that. So certainly, and they sort of have to actually maybe isolate each of the entourage components and look at them individually before they can actually make that claim.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  5:06  

Yeah, well, that’s exactly right. And I spoke to someone who’s a naturopath and just sort of pointed that out… and they said, well, like, well, you know, it’s probably better to get to do that and to get it in its natural form, because there might be other compounds that actually work synergistically to bring it to, you know, better efficacy. And I said, “Okay, well then be a scientist and isolate them and see what they are and see what dosages work better in combination with digoxin digitalis.” You know, that’s what you do. And that’s what people did. With foxglove, they noticed that sometimes people use these herbal substances and helped in these certain circumstances or someone said, “Okay, what’s in there that’s doing that?” And they went out of the 10s of 1000s of chemicals in there, they isolated out that one, they found the thing that was healthy. And maybe there are more. Okay, find those two. There are ways of doing this. We’ve been doing this for 100 plus years.

Jonathan  6:06  

Yeah, great. I also think that some plants might make a compound that just coincidentally interacts with us in a specific way, like with THC in cannabis, where the plant is using it as like a sunblock. And it just happens to interact with our endocannabinoid system. And, you know, then obviously, people enjoy that, but it’s just a coincidence that the plant is using it to protect itself from ultraviolet radiation, and it happens to interact with our systems.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  6:39  

Yeah, well, that’s exactly right. I mean, these plants didn’t, first of all, the plants existed long before we did. And so, you know, we’re not in the Garden of Eden, you know, God didn’t put these plants down here, so that we could live in the bounty of his… you know, they were here before us, they’re probably going to be here after we’re gone. And they develop these chemicals for completely different reasons. And you’re right, it’s a coincidence that they work with us, you know. Think of caffeine… caffeine was developed long before humans existed. And it’s developed as an insecticide, you know, to kill insects that are trying to eat it, and certain ones that aren’t resistant to it. And we’re far enough away from insects that it’s not quite working the same way on us. Or maybe it’s a similar way, but because we’re a lot bigger, it’s not having that same effect. It’s having a different effect. It’s, you know, lighting up our energy levels a bit. And so, we liked that effect. We also liked the effect of opium and opiates. And that helps in certain ways. But I’m fairly sure that the poppy plant didn’t make this just to make us feel good. That’s not why that plant exists. Plant exists, because, you know, it exists. And it’s doing this for some other protective measure.

Joane  8:07  

I still want to get a t-shirt that says “coffee is a gateway drug.”

Dr Anthony Chaffee  8:12  

Yeah, that’s a good one. 

Joane  8:15  

Because a lot of people don’t realise, they’ll judge people for taking drugs and stuff but then they’re addicted to coffee, and they have to have caffeine every day. Otherwise, they won’t survive. And they can go through hectic withdrawal symptoms, if they stop it.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  8:28  

Yeah, same with sugar. Yeah, at least that one’s starting to become more and more recognised. Like, we know caffeine is a drug and people just accept it like, yeah, okay, you know, but it’s not that big a deal. Because it just gives you a little bit of a lift, and that’s not that bad. Okay, well then just do a mild amount of cocaine… a little bit of a lift, you know. And people think that substances are only as bad as the high it gives you. But, you know, there are a lot of things that don’t even get you high and just kill you, you know, like cyanide, arsenic, you know, so that’s not a very good measure of the damage it’s doing to your body, it’s just the measure of the interaction with your brain in your body to give you to elicit some sort of favorable response. But that’s not the damage it’s doing. You know, that’s just actually the part that you like. And opiates, opiates make you very, very high. And they are very addictive, but they aren’t actually chemically damaging to our bodies in the way that alcohol is. And we have people put on long-term opiates for chronic pain issues that have been in bad accidents for decades, decades and decades. And you know, they are addicted to this and they have, you know, not only habit forming but addiction forming and even if they weren’t in pain, they would probably enjoy taking this stuff, but actually quite a lot of people, once they’re able to get out of pain, they come right off. So that’s actually, I think, contentious as well. But apart from the addiction side of things, this isn’t really damaging your body physically like alcohol does. And so, if you look at sugar, which is addictive in the similar way as heroin, but breaks down in your liver into the same byproducts as alcohol, and it causes similar damage as alcohol: fatty liver disease, cirrhosis, diabetes, heart disease, even implicated in cancer and Alzheimer’s, and more, then, you know, and sugar gives you a little buzz. You look at kids, and they’re ramping around, they’re just all hyper and crazy. They start crashing down or freaking out and screaming “I want candy” or whatever. And then they have to give these kids biscuits just to, you know, shut them up. And you know, that’s an addiction response, that’s withdrawal response. And that is actually damaging their little bodies to a similar extent as alcohol, you know. That’s actually worse, but it’s not getting us as high as heroin. But we think that heroin is worse, but I don’t think it’s as straightforward as that. You can certainly damage yourself by doing a bunch of heroin, but it’s what you’re doing to pursue that addiction that’s really harmful, you know. Before, when you can just buy the laudanum and different opiates at a drugstore, the addiction rate and the abuse rate and the overdose rate were actually much lower, and people would just sort of use this stuff in the background, and maybe it would mess up their life, and they wouldn’t be as productive. But they weren’t having to commit crimes and prostitute themselves and use dirty needles to try to do this, because it was much more available and much more cheap. And so, they didn’t have the same problems. Now you have those problems, because you’re really trying to get high, you’re really chasing this high, and you have to do sort of damaging things to get that effect. But the opiate itself isn’t actually doing that harm. Physically, it’s the meta effect, the meta phenomenon, like what you’re doing to get that high as opposed to high itself.

Jonathan  12:12  

Yeah, I feel like the maybe the unfortunate thing about sugar is, at least for humans, the unfortunate thing about sugar is there’s like not a lethal dose, really. And so, people don’t really take it seriously. Like with caffeine, if you have too many milligrams in a given amount, you can actually have lethal effects from it. Where I don’t know if there is sort of a lethal dose of sugar. You just sort of get fatty liver or, you know, other issues over time from taking sugar over and over again every day.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  12:48  

Yeah, I mean, I think there’s probably is, you know, an upper limit there that you will need to use for everything and even water, they tested that, you know, half a century ago or more and they have things that would not pass the Ethics Committee these days, you know, just spiritually, basically force feeding water into rabbits till their blood in their cells got so diluted that they couldn’t function and they just shut down and died. And then sort of extrapolating that out to an animal our size, they estimated it would be about 50 gallons of water. You drink 50 gallons of water in a day to die from drinking water. Right? And so I’m sure there’s something. I’m sure there’s a number up there, but it’s probably very high and something, you know, unrealistically high. Like I’ve eaten 10 pounds of gummy bears in like a day and a half when I was a kid and that didn’t kill me, you know. I don’t know, you’re gonna be hard pressed to even have sugar take someone down but long term, you will get serious serious damage and that will kill you. That will make you die young. And a slow poison is still poison. And if you’re dying decades early, you’re still dying of that poison.

Joane  14:09  

Well, a lot of people don’t take the whole sugar and food addiction thing seriously. But I’ve known people who are addicted to drugs and alcohol and the behavior is super similar because I’m like a complete sugar addict, food addict, like I started binge eating when I was six years old… it’s the first time I remember doing it, but it’s a lot of the same behaviors like you’ll hide food, eat in secret, you get so desperate for the next fix or something. And I’ve spoken to a lot of people with food issues, and a lot of them have confessed to hiding food, eating in secret, hiding food in our house, lying to their partners about how much they’ve eaten. And this is bad behavior because you were talking earlier about why people will be willing to commit crimes to get their next fix. But even like, okay, eating sugar, that’s not illegal, but people will still get this really secretive behavior. And about two weeks ago, I was at somebody’s house and their child wanted another cupcake. And they already had like two. And the mom said, “No”. And the next thing I know, the child stole a cupcake from the fridge and was trying to eat it in secret. So that kind of secret of behavior around sugar can start from a really young age. If you say, “No, you can’t have sugar”, they’ll try to find a way to do it and just hide it a lot of the time. But sugar is “not a drug.” 

Dr Anthony Chaffee  15:29  

Yeah, no, I used to swipe gummy bears. Or gummy worms. Like I always loved gummy candies. And yeah, and my mom had a stash of these things. And she had them hidden. They were only for treats. You know, if we did something good that she likes, maybe reward us with something like that. And so, I ended up finding the stash somewhere. And I just grabbed a handful of it. And just like stuffed them in. I’m just like, desperately trying to eat this before anyone saw. I ate too many of these things clearly. So there was an obvious gap in the gummy bears hoard. And my mom saw that and she was furious. “Let me smell your breath now.” But yeah, you do that, and you just found it, you know, and like, the kid with his hand in the cookie jar, like “I need this”, you need to fix that, you’re going to break the rules. And you’re going to tempt fate by getting this now. Not everyone, other people have more self control. But, you know, it’s one of those things that that sort of behavior should raise some warning flags, you know, and if you start looking at things within that context, it starts shaping up more and like, yeah, that does seem like an addictive sort of response and behavior towards these substances. And I think that’s exactly what they are.


Yeah, well, even now, because I’m quite animal-based. I was kind of doing the more Paul Saladino way of eating while pregnant, I was doing meats and fruits, and then I had some dairy products. But anytime I eat something sweet, I just want to eat more and more of it. So I have a hard time controlling how much fruit I eat. And for the past month, I cut out all fruit because I noticed the baby would get cramps (because I’m breastfeeding) if I ate fruit. So that, for me, obviously, is reason enough to stop the fruit. And she seems to do well if I have. So it’s just meat and I’ll have some goat’s milk and maybe some goat yogurt. But if I have the milk, then I just want more and more of it because it’s like the sweet thing in my diet. So I want to transition to like nothing sweet and see how that goes. But I just don’t want to lose weight too quickly and have that affect my milk supply, or like put my body through a lot of stress. Because that can also affect the milk supply. I thought of gradually trying to reduce it until I’m pretty much like zero carb. But it’s funny, like even just the milk will make me want more and more and more of it.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  15:29  

Like raw milk, sometimes I will have that. And I will just end up polishing the whole thing off in like 20 minutes, so I just won’t be able to stop. I will have one glass, I’m like, “Ooh, that was really good. Maybe just one more” and then I’m just like, I just have, you know, the gallon of milk with me on the couch, just drinking out of it and finishing it off. And it’s like every time I bought raw milk, like this is not gonna last the day, or last the hour. And yeah, they get that sort of sweet response. And that’s the problem with that sort of approach and having some honey and fruit. Well, it’s okay, you know, people saying that it’s alright. And if you’re metabolically healthy, it’s okay to have something that makes you metabolically sick. Because that’s what it does. It does make you metabolically unwell. So saying that, “Oh, it’s okay. If you aren’t quite there yet”, you know, is the same as saying, “Well, if you don’t have cirrhosis of the liver, it’s okay to drink”. It’s like, well, yeah, but no, this thing, it’s not okay to drink, you are going to cause harm. And if you do it too much, you’re gonna get that serious problem that you’re worried about. And you know, and as you found out yourself, when you have and when you expose yourself to an addictive substance, you know, it may start off with some here and there. But, you know, the addictive substances have a way of becoming a little becoming all the time. And, you know, even you know, even Dr. Saladino, when he first started doing this, he was eating like a pretty, you know, a base amount of carbohydrates from fruit and honey, it’s steadily built up, and it’s getting just a little bit more and a little bit more, a little bit more just sort of creeping up and creeping up and creeping up. And he’s making justifications for why that is and physiologically, not only okay, but necessary, you know, and so, I’m just not convinced, you know, and I’m certainly not absolutely not convinced that we need any of this stuff. I haven’t had that in years, years and years and years. And, you know, every now and then, I’ll indulgence in milk, but that’s like once a year, you know. And so, I mean, it’s not even every year, you know, but there are so many populations that have never eaten a carb that didn’t come from meat their entire lives and living generation after generation. And they’re not having any of these serious problems that are being attributed to not eating carbohydrates, and the ketogenic movement has been around for decades. I mean, like Atkins, you know, he was saying, “don’t eat more than 10 grams of carbs a day”, like 10 grams of carbs a day is almost nothing, you know, and so

 That’s basically, you know, keto, even some keto people say up to 20 grams a day is okay. And so Atkins was even less than that. And there was a bunch of people on this, there’s a bunch of people doing keto for decades now, they have not had these problems, they have not had electrolyte issues, they have not had hormonal disruptions, they have not had thyroid disruptions, like some people have, and they got these things, you know, in a year or two, so that doesn’t make sense. Because there are people that have been zero carb for far longer than that, and they haven’t had that problem. So there’s something else going on. And whatever that is, I’m not claiming to know what that is. But it is something else. It’s not the carbs, because I have not been eating carbs for far longer than that. And I don’t have any of those problems. And I’m not the only one. There’s, there’s millions of people around the world in Western countries who have been doing keto for decades, or at least several years, and then obviously, entire populations going back to time immemorial, don’t eat carbs. So I’m definitely not convinced that you have to have carbs. And when you have someone who comes to a carnivore diet, or even keto, and a lot of people come to us because they’re metabolically unwell. And because they’re overweight, and then someone says, “Oh, yeah, you can have some fruit and honey, actually, you know, you need it, it’s okay. It’s totally okay. But it’s good for you”, and they go “awesome”, and they just started having some fruit, and they end up having a lot more fruit, and then honey on everything, and then more and more sugar, and then they started eating carbs, and then they’re back eating, you know, pizza on the couch, you know, and they put all the weight back on, and all their illnesses come back. And I’ve had, I couldn’t even count how many people have come to me and said, “That’s exactly what I had”, they followed that advice. And they said, like, “oh, this will be fine. And I started off with a small amount, and it turned into a large amount within a matter of months. And then they were back to square one.” And then going, “Okay, I really need to just just hammer this home”, so as to what you’re doing and trying to get sort of off that stuff. Because I mean, look, it’s affecting your kid, you know, there’s no question now. But that has things in it that are bad. You know, it’s like if you’re eating that, and that’s going through your milk and your child is suffering from it. Case closed, you know, even if that doesn’t happen to other people, it’s happening to you, it’s happening to your kid out of the house, you know what I mean? And so, you’re not going to lose your milk, if you eat enough, but you do need to eat enough. And so you know, just make sure you’re filling up on meat every day and eating to the point that it’s just like, meat is nothing “I don’t want… I don’t have an appetite for this anymore. You know, as long as meat tastes good, you should keep eating it until it stops.

Joane  23:44  

Yeah. That’s good. And it’ll be fine.

Jonathan  23:46  

Yeah, so one thing obviously I’ve actually, over the years, been like mostly meat only: meat, salt and water for years. Yeah, for quite a while now. And the only thing I noticed with introducing honey and stuff like that was it almost had a performance-enhancing sort of effect on my hockey and my ultimate Frisbee. But yeah, that’s obviously not saying that it’s completely no side effects. But I just noticed that I could maybe get one or two kilometers more in a game because I track myself with the GPS for every hockey game, for every ultimate frisbee game that I play. And so, I’m monitoring how many kilometers I do. So I noticed I could get one or two kilometers in an hour’s hockey game more if I had that little bit of honey, even like a tablespoon of honey before a game gave me like an extra kilometer of running. Not saying that, you know doesn’t have any negative effect but I just noticed that there was a little bit of a performance-enhancing benefit. 

Dr Anthony Chaffee  24:47  

Yeah, might as well do a couple of lines. Do a couple lines of coke before the game too, I’m sure you’ll do a lot better. Smoke some meth, you’ll have the game of your life, I’m sure but that’s neither here nor there. But also, you know, realistically, if you take something like that, and it sort of hypes you up a bit more sure, maybe you have a bit of an edge and you go out and you sort of hit it and you’re working harder. You can already work harder, you can push yourself, you just self motivate, and you just go like, “everything I do is a dead sprint, everywhere I go, everywhere I’m moving in this place is at maximum velocity, no matter where I go”. And that was the mentality I had when I played rugby on carnivore. And every drill that I did, everything I do is at absolute maximal top speed. And I’m gonna win every single drill, every single race, every single fitness thing, everything. I will always be first and I made that commitment to myself, and I pushed myself I couldn’t complete that, at first, but I went as hard as I could. And if I lost something, I still gave it my all and because I was pushing myself so hard, because I was only eating carnivore, and I was recovering so fast, I was soon able, I mean, within a matter of two weeks, I was able to beat everyone and every drill, and every race, every time. And so even if it’s like on the 10th set of some big massive sprint circuit, and you know, I’m gonna get someone who’s just been half assing it the whole time, and then they really go after it to try to beat me, which they would do, because they knew that I was trying to do that. And so, they would try to, you know, try to beat me, I would smoke them. And like that was without, you know, and that was like, about after two weeks. And then in games, it was like: game days are still fitness days. And so everything I do is a dead sprint, you know, I go and hit somebody, nail it, I’m bang, I’m up on my feet, and when it’s dead sprint to the next one, and just go, go, go, go go. And so, you can train yourself, you know, maybe giving yourself a bit of honey, it gives you that big kick and it will, but just like a cup of coffee will or just like you know line of coke will obviously, not that same extent, it will just sharpen you up and just “Okay, let’s go”. But you can do that yourself. And you can train yourself to just just go as hard as you can, every single time. And biochemically, you’ll be better able to do that. And you’ll be able to go much further. Because you’ll have an unlimited supply of energy, you will always be able to produce more. Whereas once you eat honey, is a spoonful of honey and going to you know, knock you out, spike your insulin enough so that you aren’t able to mobilize ketones and blood sugar after that”, I don’t know, I guess it depends on how big your spoon is. But it can and it will increase your insulin to a degree and that will curtail your energy production and mobilization. So at a certain point, you’re going to gas out. And maybe you’re not doing it in the length of these gains, you will at some point. And if you don’t do that, and you just self-motivated and be like, “everything I’m doing is just balls to the wall.” And I’m just saying, I’m just going to just kill people this entire day and everything is in your head, like everything I do is at top speed, you’ll absolutely crush your honey record. No doubt about it. 

Jonathan  28:18  

Okay, I’ll give it a go.

Joane  28:20  

Although some people say if they take half a teaspoon of salt before they exercise, they also experience a performance-enhancing benefit. So a lot of people who’ve reduced their carbs will just make sure they get enough electrolytes and salt before they exercise. And that gave them quite a boost as well.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  28:38  

Yeah, I’ve heard that as well. I was talking to a guy Nate Clipsal, who is like a powerlifter. He does, like powerlifting competitions in Nevada. And he set like, you know, several state records in that app since going carnivore, and as you know, steadily improving and getting stronger and stronger and stronger. And he said that when he goes to a competition, like, for some reason, just putting, like half a spoonful of salt right before he does a really big lift, gives him a bit of an edge. I don’t know why. It’s interesting. I think that, you know, if people are interested in doing that, you can just gauge yourself and just see if that makes a difference. It could be entirely placebo. You know, it could just be like, “Oh, am I gonna do this?” “Yeah, I had a great time” Could be, I don’t know, physiologically, why that would be but I think it’s perfectly reasonable to try and if you find a benefit from that, go for it. Yeah.

Joane  29:38  

So we have another question: If somebody has trouble digesting fat, what would your recommendations be to make it easier?

Jonathan  29:46  

Yeah, because I had a person that I met who was saying that every time they eat red meat, they almost get diarrhea like crazy. And I was thinking that maybe they are having difficulty sort of absorbing or digesting the fat and then sort of going straight through them. And so, I wanted to know, what would help that person?

Dr Anthony Chaffee  30:10  

Yeah, potentially. Were they trying carnivore or are they just at any time eating a mixed diet?

Jonathan Hart  30:15  

Yeah, they were basically trying to be vegan. And then every now and then, when they cheat and have some meat and they’d say like, “oh my word I got such diarrhea”, whatever,

Dr Anthony Chaffee  30:27  

Well, you know, there’s several answers to that. And it all depends on how they’re eating. You know, if they’re eating that with fiber, and with plants and things like that, and not just having a steak, depends on what you eat with it, it changes how your body’s able to process food as well fiber’s going to delay and stop the absorption of all sorts of things, and you have a lot of plants and protease inhibitors and other sorts of inhibitors on your digestive enzymes, that will stop you from being able to digest these things properly. And that’s a baseline. And if you haven’t been eating fat for very long, you haven’t been eating high protein, actual bioavailable protein, then your pancreas isn’t going to be tuned up to expel a lot of lipase and protease enzymes to break these things down. And so, it’s gonna say, like, “Well, where’s this coming from?”, It’s going to start going. And now if they kept eating meat, you know, day after day, their body would respond and their body would be able to then make the requisite enzymes. But if they’re so infrequently eating this stuff, that they’re never giving their body a chance, because your body doesn’t just make a whole bunch of random chemicals, just because it’s very efficient… These things take energy. And if you just squander energy, you die, that’s the way of the world in the wild. And so, you know, it’s something that we see. I mean, think of it this way: you want to go the other direction, you go on a carnivore keto diet, you know, people say that “Oh, this makes you insulin insensitive, it’s actually damaging you, you’re becoming almost like a pre diabetic”, because when they go back to eating carbs, and do like a glucose-tolerance test, they basically drink a sugary drink. They get this big spike in their blood sugar. And I’ll look at this, you know, your body’s just not handling this. But the thing is that, your pancreas, if you’re not eating a bunch of carbs, keeps your insulin levels very low. Whereas if you’re eating carbohydrates, it actually produces a lot of insulin, and it just keeps it in beta islet cells ready to go because it knows you’re going to need it. And it’s an anticipatory creation of this insulin, and if you don’t use it, eventually, it’ll just get reabsorbed and it won’t be used. But if you are eating carbs all the time, then it has a lot of it ready to go. So you eat a bunch of carbs, right, and you don’t get much of a response when you’re still sensitive to it. And so, you know, when you’re not eating carbohydrates for a long time, you don’t have that, that insulin ready to go, you’re gonna fail your glucose tolerance test. But the next time you eat, you’ll have glucose tolerance tests, or eat sugar or carbs, you will have much less of a reaction. And it will get down to normal very quickly if you start eating carbohydrates again. So it’s the same sort of thing in reverse, your body is just used to eating certain things, it’s making enzymes and things like that requisite to break down those certain things, it could certainly be the fat as well, just not being able to absorb the fat. I mean, they should have some bile ready to go, though. And so, that at least should be there. But if you don’t, if your lipase isn’t coming out and breaking this stuff down properly, well, then, you know, they’re not going to be small enough for the bile to emulsify and turn it into micelles and then get absorbed into the lymph as chylomicrons. So it’s not going to be possible to do that, even if you do have bile. So I think it’s a combination of things there. But in that particular case, that’s what that sounds like. But if they kept eating meat, they’d be fine. Especially if they didn’t eat fiber and plants and other poison with it.

Jonathan Hart  34:35  

If someone’s had their gallbladder removed, does it affect how you should eat your fat? Should you try and space it out? 

Dr Anthony Chaffee  34:44  

Yeah well, it can. And for people that don’t have a gallbladder full stop, then yeah, they’ll probably have to space out their meals because their liver will still create bile, that doesn’t change, but it’s not going to be stored in the gallbladder. So it’s not going to be concentrated there and then squirted out when needed. And so, you’re going to need to… it was always going to just be dripping out sort of constantly, just slowly sort of trickling out into your small intestine. And then you’re just going to have to sort of eat fat throughout the day and sort of catch what’s there. And then later on, when it sort of builds up a bit, do it again. But some people make what’s called a pseudo gallbladder, which is just an outpouching of the common bile duct. And it actually just sort of sits there and hanging like a gallbladder. And it works very similarly. And so, sort of interesting, you know, but it’s kind of cool. But they don’t need to do that. So you’ll see people that have their gallbladder taken out, and they can eat, you know, OMAD, and just a big, fatty steak and just fill themselves. They don’t have any problems. They don’t get diarrhea or anything like that. And so, yeah, that would be those cases, but not everybody forms that. I don’t know what you’d have to do to help stimulate that. But I think it just happens, you know, I’m sure something triggers it. I don’t know what that is. I don’t know if you could replicate it, but some people get lucky. If you’re not in that camp, then yeah, if he just spaced out your fatty meals throughout the day? 

Joané Hart  36:11 

Oh, that’s very interesting. So if you were to be diagnosed with Parkinson’s, like tomorrow, what would you do? Like what would your game plan be?

Dr Anthony Chaffee  36:21  

Well, I think I’m already doing it really, you know. There’s not too much else I can do, is just, you know, not be exposed to things that are going to exacerbate that, like lectins or sugar or other sorts of harmful neurotoxic chemicals. And, and give my body, my brain exactly what it needs, which is saturated animal fat, and cholesterol, which is what my brain is made out of, and what’s important to my brain and my neurotransmitters and, and that’s sort of the best I can do. You know, people on a ketogenic diet, there are studies showing that having actually higher cholesterol, higher saturated fat intake is protective against Parkinson’s. And there are certainly studies looking at lectins, tracking up the vagus nerve going into the brain and breaking down the substantia nigra. And being one of the culprits in one of the many culprits of Parkinson’s, if you’re not eating those lectins, so those aren’t going up and damaging things. But there’s a study, and I always forget, but I think was like the Netherlands, they sort of were tracking that phenomenon and of lectins going up, and they’ll sort of theorize and later proven that lectins actually do track up the vagus nerve from the GI tract and to the brain. And so, they just cleverly said, “Okay, how can we observe this? And they had a lot of people that got their vagus nerve cut for whatever reason, quite often was for ulcers, and they cut those and so, you wouldn’t produce as much acid. And so, they looked at these people over the course of like 30 years or something like that. And they found that the people that had gotten their vagus nerve cut had Parkinson rates reduced by 66%. You know, it’s kind of interesting. So, yeah, I just have to keep doing what I’m doing. I’m kind of hoping that because I’m doing what I’m doing, I’m not going to get Parkinson’s in the first place. That’s the hope, but I don’t think I’d change anything. I don’t think I’d do anything different. Yeah, just keep avoiding bad things and keep giving my brain what it needs, and sleeping and getting a lot of sleep. That is what I would change. I’d cut out this nonsense of only getting four hours of sleep at night, because I’m working all the time. Just be like, nope, nope, my brain is more important than this. So yeah, just quit half the things I’m doing. And yeah, just get more sleep.

Jonathan Hart  38:50  

Yeah, my grandfather on my mother’s side had that surgery where he got his vagus nerve cut. So I was just wondering, is there any other effects from getting it cut? That’s probably negative. 

Dr Anthony Chaffee  39:06

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. So the vagus nerve is one of your most important cranial nerves. And it has so many effects on the whole GI tract. I mean, there’s like entire chapters in textbooks over that, you know, and probably entire textbooks just on that. So the vagus nerve has a lot of function, and a lot of communication with your gut. And so, you know, cutting it, it’s not a great thing. I don’t think I haven’t actually looked into like, what are these long term effects 30 years down the track, what are these guys doing? I’m not too sure. I know they’re getting Parkinson’s less. So that’s good, but I think it’s gonna come with a lot of other problems as well. But you know, these are for people that were getting such bad ulcers, that they’re getting multiple ulcers and they were getting perforated ulcers and you know, getting perforated ulcer through through the wall of your stomach, you need major open abdominal surgery to fix that. You could spill stomach acid into your abdominal cavity that can start breaking down and digesting and damaging your other organs and popping holes. And then I mean, it’s really, really bad news. And so you know, it’s life threatening and set without emergency surgery. And then you’re really banged up as a result of that. And so, if you keep getting these things, it’s just like, okay, whatever happens afterwards, it’s got to be better than this. And so, yeah, it definitely comes at a cost. That’s a very important nerve.

Jonathan Hart  40:42  

Yeah, it’s quite an extreme thing to do. 

Joané Hart  40:47 

How do you think consuming coffee can affect somebody with Parkinson’s? Because we know somebody who has Parkinson’s and they went on an animal-based diet, they still eat fruits and stuff, but they already saw a lot of improvements. But they have a few cups of coffee a day.

Because now they’re mostly decaf. But at first, they saw the caffeine was making it worse, and then the decaf is better. But I was just wondering, even decaf coffee, if you had any idea if it could affect it?

Dr Anthony Chaffee  41:22  

Well, it was decaf coffee, I don’t know particularly about Parkinson’s, but it will have a lot of pro-inflammatory chemicals in them. And that’s why it’s so bitter. That bitter taste is your brain telling you “There’s something bad in here, spit it out.” And, you know, so it’s going to cause inflammation, which can certainly affect your brain negatively. And just like what affects the rest of your body natively, what that does, specifically on Parkinson’s, I don’t know of any studies that go into that, or say one way or the other. But anything that you didn’t evolve on, anything that’s going to have these sort of toxins in defense chemicals, it’s not going to be good for you, and whether or not it directly impacts your Parkinson’s or your diabetes, or whatever issue you’re dealing with, it’s not going to be good, and it’s not gonna be optimal. And so, if you’re in a situation where you have Parkinson’s, you have some other sort of condition, really, you need to focus on what is optimal, you know, maybe, you know, you or I could get away with sub optimal, and most people around the world do get away with suboptimal for a certain period of their life, and then it catches up with them. But when you’re outside of that, and you actually have a full-blown diagnosis that you really need to buckle down and be much more careful about things. And so, I think that, either way, it would be much more beneficial to him to just just get rid of it, try and swap it out just for some other hot drink, even like hot water. Exactly, it’s fine. It’s that sort of comforting, hot, warm drink that you’re getting, it sort of warms you up from the inside, that is quite nice. I’ve actually tried it. It sounds weird, it sounds like it would just be horrible, but it’s actually really nice. It’s really comforting. So sometimes I’ll be at the hospital, waiting for a case and people will be getting coffee, and I’ll just get a cup of hot water, it’s actually really nice, or hot, like beef broth or bone broth. And, you know, if you just substitute out that warm drink for something that’s not causing direct harm, and then you gotta realize about decaf coffee is that there’s, there’s sort of only two ways of getting the caffeine out of the bean. And one of them is using steam, and it’s where steam the stuff out and reduces the amount of caffeine but it doesn’t eliminate it. And also, there are 150,000 other chemicals in coffee too, like what are those doing for you? Just removing caffeine is probably the least of your worries. And so, if you do that kind of decaf, it’s still partially caffeinated. And the other way that will definitely get all the caffeine out is by using formaldehyde, you know, which is what they inject in cadavers to set the proteins and, you know, make them go to the dissection anatomy lab and not rot. So, I don’t know. And then you can’t wash all of the formaldehyde out of there. So you’re either getting a bit of caffeine or a bit of formaldehyde. Choose your poison. And I choose no poison, thank you. So yeah, that’s sort of where I landed on that. But yeah, you know, it’s not just the caffeine, there are other stuff in there that you don’t want.

Jonathan Hart  44:33  

I found it amazing how humans can put up with a bitter taste just to get that effect of the caffeine.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  44:42  

Or alcohol. I remember trying some alcohol when I was a kid. I was just appalled. You know, just taste like dead fish. So, it was horrible. And you know, and then you sort of have chased that effect. You know, like you said, and then you start getting an acquired taste for it. And, you know, in short, start noticing like, as far as horrible tasting things go, this isn’t as horrible, therefore, it’s good. Like tequila, what I’ve noticed with tequila is that the mark of a good tequila is that it tastes as little like tequila as possible. So the less tequila tasting it is, the better the tequila is like, Okay, well just don’t drink tequila that because just tastes bad. And, and I sort of think of it as as like Stockholm Syndrome. You know, like kids at first will hate vegetables. They’ll hate all these things. They try coffee like, “Oh, my, that’s horrible. And then eventually, they just get brow beaten and abused by what’s good for us, good for… “you have to, it’s good for you.” And eventually, they’re like, “oh, yeah, no, I like it”. And I think that is like Stockholm Syndrome, you fall in love with your abuser, you know, because you’ve just been told so many times, like, “this is good for you. This loves you.” And it’s just like, you know, that’s what like abusive husbands do and be “Oh, no one’s gonna love you like I do. And if you tell a couple, I’ll kill you and all that sort of stuff.” And then you’re like, “oh, no, it’s okay, I actually like it when he hits me.” It’s like, “No, you don’t. Stop that. This isn’t good for you.” And it’s the same with the broccoli. It’s like, “I like broccoli.” No, you don’t. Stop it.” You know, if you remember back when you’re a kid… I remember back when I was a kid and broccoli is like the least offensive vegetable I’ve ever come across, you know. And yet, I distinctly remember as a kid hating it. And just not wanting anything to do with it. The only way my mom could get me to eat it is if she made cheese sauce and just covered it. And cheese, that was the thoughts like “Well, fat’s bad for them, but they have to have the vegetables. And it’s the only way to get them the vegetables they have to have.” Totally opposite. Totally opposite. And that was the only way I’d eat it. And I’d take the broccoli and dip it in the sauce, just suck the cheese sauce off of it. And then like, pretend like I was taking bites of it, just so I can get as much cheese as possible and do as little broccoli as I could. No, it’s terrible, terrible stuff. And so, you know, when you’re a kid, you’re more in tune with your genetics. And your tastes are more refined. We think that our tastes are refined as adults or you get your adult taste, your adult palate. Now really what you’re doing is you’re beating down your senses. And so now spicy food is not just offensive. It’s, it’s like “Oh, yes, I appreciate this sort of whatever”. No is bad for you and kids thinking like, “Oh, that’s bad.” And you’re really getting hit with the full force of this stuff. Because they haven’t, you know, abused themselves to such a degree that they desensitize yourself to that abuse, but it’s still abuse.

Joané Hart  47:45  

Trust your child’s instincts, if they say no, they don’t want a food, there’s a reason.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  47:51  

Certainly, yeah, exactly. Like certainly with bad things. You know, if an infant isn’t going to eat something, if it’s just like “no”, you know, then that should tell you something. You should not be eating that, you know. You shouldn’t be using your kid as a canary in the coal mine. But, you know, you should at least pay attention to that. Now something tasting good, there can be an outlier, like sugar’s an outlier, carbs are mildly sweet. They’re not that, you know, whatever. But you know, fructose is very sweet. And that’s because we think that, you know, plants contain fructose didn’t have anything that was severely toxic to us would kill us that day. And so, we could get a quick hit of energy and we could survive. And so, we recognize that as something, a safe quick hit of energy that we could use in extremity. But long term is causing serious harm like metabolic syndrome, weight gain, and short term, it’s kicking us out of ketosis. It’s putting us into fat-storing metabolism as opposed to a fat-burning metabolism. It’s addictive. And it also changes your hunger signals, and it makes you overeat. So it has short- and long-term consequences. But if you’re out in the wild, and you’re starving, you sure eat an apple, you know, that’s probably the safest thing around you. But, you know, so that can be an outlier. So kids maybe have something sweet but sometimes, those things are too sweet. And I know they’re being raised carnivore and they’re sort of a few years old and so it has something sweet and just like they don’t want anything to do with it is too sweet. Doesn’t taste good. They’re just like “No, no, thank you.” I’m sure they could become addicted to it. You know, I’m sure you can get in here. There’s that little Indonesian kid, they smoked three packs of cigarettes a day, like a year and a half old, and it’s like “That’s appalling.” You know, I’m sure it tasted disgusting at first and now it gets severely addicted and is going after it but you know, if something tastes bad, then it’s definitely bad for you. And if a kid is just saying “Absolutely not, that’s not getting near me” on their first exposure to it as like an infant trying solids for the first time, you know that you should just stay away from it?

Joané Hart  49:59  

Well, we’re quite excited about introducing foods to the baby’s diet one day, but certain family members are quite stressed about it because they’re like “You can’t give meat as the first food for a baby.” And then we’re just like, “Why not? That’s what you would have had back in the day.” Somebody told me you have to start with rice porridge. And you have to start with things like butternut and fruit purees. So certain people, they’re quite stressed about it and worried about our child. But we don’t want her to develop a really big sweet tooth, we would like to introduce meat and stuff like that first. And sure, later, if she has a piece of fruit after a year or two, hopefully she won’t want it because it’d be too sweet. But that’s going to be quite interesting, like battling against people trying to convince us…

Dr Anthony Chaffee  50:49  

You get to do what you… get to deal with your kid as you want. And as long as your kid’s thriving, then there’s no legal recourse. So they can, you know, they can keep it to themselves, really. And now, I mean, obviously, you know, what are the Inuit doing? You know, what are the nenet doing? Or the Maasai doing? What are they giving their kid? You know, first of all, it’s obviously not new, because we’ve been doing this for millions of years. But this isn’t all that new, just in modern-day society. Like if you look at their ads and their papers in the 1950s talking about how, you know, beef, and like ground beef and things like that are like the best thing to feed your kid as a first food. Because, you know, it has all the nutrients it needs, has all the fat that’s required, has a lot of energy. And as you know, and it will absorb like 98% of the meat today, even as infants, they will absorb like 98% of the meat that they eat. And so, way less diapers, first of all, just that’s a win. And it has all the nutrients that they need. So that was actually common knowledge back in the day. That was common practice. You know, before all this, this vilification of meat came in the 1970s and 80s, my great grandfather was a doctor. Yeah, he’s born in 1875. He lived to be 100 at home, you know, didn’t ever go to a nursing home or anything like that. He was 100 years old when he died. And, you know, he was still, to date, the youngest ever graduate from Columbia medical school in New York. And he actually started at 16 and finished his six-year program in four years, and he finished at 20 and New York State law was that you couldn’t start your residency training until you were 21, so he went home and just hung out for a year like the original Doogie Howser and was a doctor but couldn’t actually practice yet because he was too young. And then went in and did his surgical residency at Bellevue Hospital. And, and was, you know, just a surgeon in World War Two and or sort of World War One. And, you know, help with that. His father was British, so he actually joined the British army when that broke out. So even before America joined the war, and he was frontline doctor in the trenches, and, you know, and the medical wisdom of that time of that era that he told him, my mom was his granddaughter, my mother, was that, like, juices from the roast was like the best thing to give a kid as a first sort of weaning food, because it has a lot of, you know, iron and a lot of nutrients that you need, and it tastes good and gives them that sort of like, “What is this? What is this food you people talk over? This is amazing.” And you start it gives them that you don’t have that taste for blood, and then they start liking that they’re like, “Okay, well now what is that?” And they see that and they smell that? And I’m like, “okay, yeah, I want that.” A friend of mine, who was my roommate in medical school, she’s raising her kids pure carnivore, she had carnivore pregnancies. And these kids are absolutely just healthier than anything. And they’re not only doing well, they’re thriving, and they’re beating all the milestones by months, you know, so they’re developing far faster than anyone else. I mean, literally off the charts. And those kids have only ever eaten meat their whole life. And she’s only eating meat during breastfeeding. You know, basically their whole life up until the first daughter was three months, she was having mostly meat and a bit of oats and then dropped the oats and then the kid really took off after that. And you know, her daughter you know as, a one-year old, like not even speaking much, when she was cooking dinner and cooking steak, she gets so excited. She’s in her high chair sort of slapping the table, freaking out. And people will be over dinner going like, “Whoa, she’s getting really excited.” Like, yeah, she really likes her meat. And, if she thought my friend was like taking too long and just sort of talking and dawdling around and not getting things cut up and served to her fast enough, she’d get really angry. And she’d start pointing at the meat and saying “that, that.”

You know, like, “cut it out and get that in me now.” Yeah, and get upset. Because she’s never had a problem feeding your kids. Not once has she had a problem, not once has she had picky on what to eat then, you know, crying at dinner, none of that. Never. Anytime they’re cooking meat. They’re just and this little son, she sent me a video of the two of them eating and had this little kid, which is like a year and a half, sit like a bobblehead doll. And he just had this chunk of steak in his hand. And she’s like, “Yeah, it’s good. I’m just like, currently, he’s just ripping up this huge chunk of steak. It’s no problem.” And, you know, so yeah, don’t worry about all that. And, you know, they’ll see your kid is going to be thriving, and she’s gonna be extremely healthy, she’s going to be going past all the different milestones, and just fast as anything, and they’re gonna have to rethink, you know, their view on these things. Hopefully, they’re rational enough to sort of see the evidence in their own eyes and logical world. That’s a fluke or something like that. Some nonsense like that. You know, but you’d be fine either way. So, you know, just be careful, because people will try to feed them sweets behind your back, which is disgusting to me. I think it’s like “What are you doing giving my kid drugs?” “Why would you give my kids something bad?” People are like “Oh, it’s not that big of… just a sweet… Oh, they like it.” Yeah, they’d like coke too. You know, so don’t give kids drugs. And, also, don’t give my kids something that you damn well know that I don’t want you to give. And so someone does that, you just gotta cut them out and be like, “Fine, look, if you’re not going to follow the rules around my kid, you’re not going to be around my kid.” Yeah. But out, you know, and people tend to toe the line after that if they actually, you know, are interested in family members wanting to see their niece or their granddaughter, you know, or cousin or whatever. So, yeah, I’m sure you’ll do fine. But yeah, there’s just people out there that do silly things. So just watch out for that.

Jonathan Hart  57:39  

Yeah, well, that’s such a contrast from the story I heard my friend telling me the other day. They’re actually also staying in Australia, just north of Melbourne. But they were saying that their first food that they gave to their child, I think at that point was seven months old, and they gave avo as the first food and almost none of that ever got eaten. It basically just got smushed around. And it was like, no, no, there was very little eating. It was more just like playing with it. And not actually. So it’s quite interesting to see that contrast between trying an avo as the first food or meat as the first.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  58:16  

Well, yeah, because they gave the kid playdough, they didn’t give them an actual, you know, meal. And so, kids just like “okay, this is fun. This is paste. This is cool.” So eat it. Like “why would I eat my playdough?”

Joané Hart  58:29  

Well, yeah, first food idea. That’s pretty cool.

Dr Anthony Chaffee  58:34  

Definitely, well look, think about it this way: Try to think of a single mammal on Earth that after they wean off milk, eat anything, except what the parent and what the grownups eat, right? When they wean off milk, they eat whatever they’ll eat for the rest of their life. Right? Whether it’s meat or grass, or eucalyptus or whatever. Yeah, no, that’s another story too. That’s disgusting. You know, all these plants are very hard to digest, even for, you know, a gorilla is like they can’t actually get everything they need out of it. They can’t get all the B12 that they need out of it, actually make the B12. But then it’s past the area of their gut that can absorb the B12 and so they actually have to eat their own feces even as adults to actually get more nutrients out of their food is really gross. That just tells you just how, even this animal that’s evolved to eat these plants, it’s not perfect. They still have to eat their feces in order to, you know, actually get nutrition out of it. Koalas as well. It’s so gross. I’ve actually seen a video, it’s appalling. But like the baby koalas, their guts aren’t developed enough when they’re young to break down this horrible eucalyptus plant. And so, they actually have to eat the feces of their parents, which are only partially digested either, as called fecal pap. I only came up with that horrible name, but it just sounds appalling. And so, they do that and they’re just eating this stuff, you know, fresh out of the, you know, smoothie maker. And it’s absolutely appalling. And, you know, that’s what they got to do just to be able to get nutrition out of it. But that’s the thing, when they’re off milk, they’re eating the plant or the meat that they’ll be eating as an adult with a bit of help from their parents in the case of the koalas. But, but that’s it, you know, so it’s like, “Well, it can’t be good for kids, you have to eat something completely outside of the species as the first meal, and then go back to a species-appropriate diet afterward. Like, why would that make sense? You know, it doesn’t make any, it doesn’t make any sense. And sorry, where’s the rice pudding in the North Pole? You know, and like someone didn’t tell all of the people in Siberia, the nenet in Siberia that they needed to actually, you know, move somewhere that they could grow rice in order to give their kids that, you know, every year, you know, because otherwise, you’re gonna die. What are you gonna do? And yet they don’t. And so, you know, it doesn’t matter how brilliant your theory is, and it doesn’t matter how smart you are, if it doesn’t agree with the experiment, it’s wrong. So you have to do this. And yet, when people don’t do that, it actually works better. So you’re wrong.


*You can find Dr Anthony Chaffee online at:

Instagram: @anthonychaffeemd

YouTube: Anthony Chaffee MD

TikTok: @anthonychaffeemd 

Twitter: @anthony_chaffee


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