Episode 2

The Carnivore Diet and Myths

Published on: 10th October, 2021

The Carnivore diet is the most extreme of the low-carbohydrate diets, with its expressed point that humans did great on a diet of flesh and evolved to eat a diet high in fats.

While we cannot make up what people ate in the past, we can see about the diet of the Yupik’s of Alaska.  These people have been studied extensively by the Center for Alaska Native Health Research (CANHR) at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks who partnered with Genetics of Coronary Artery Disease in Alaska Native people.

First the CANHR found that Alaska Natives who ate processed meats (hot dogs, lunch meat, fried chicken) had higher triglycerides. Those Yupik’s who consumed lots of omega-3 fatty acids and ate lots of meats with saturated fats developed coronary artery disease. As much as we like to get our omega-3 fatty acids from the sources, and few in the world eat as many as the Yupik’s, that cannot protect you from coronary artery disease in the presence of the over-consumption of saturated and trans fatty acids. It further showed that, at least for the Yupik’s, consuming processed meats, and meats high in saturated fats like beef, pork, lamb and chicken with skin was not healthy for the Alaska Natives.

The Carnivore diet excludes greens and berries, however sea greens and berries are a large part of the traditional Yupik diet. The diet that they have is high in marine mammals, fish, game animals, greens and berries that provide high levels of fat soluble vitamins (A,D,E, and K) as well as iron.

The Biotruth of the Carnivore Diet:

A biotruth is a logical fallacy, usually found to be a misunderstanding of evolution. In this case the idea that early human ancestors were meat eaters and that the adaptation of cultivation of crops led to chronic disease.

When CT scans were looked at from 137 mummified remains from four geographical regions, ancient Egypt, Peru, the Pueblo, and Unangan from the Aleutian Islands were examined they found atherosclerosis in all of them. 

Interpretation: Atherosclerosis was common in four preindustrial populations including preagricultural hunter-gatherers. Although commonly assumed to be a modern disease, the presence of atherosclerosis in premodern human beings raises the possibility of a more basic predisposition to the disease.”

It should be noted that those were diverse diets from those who ate primarily marine mammals and fish to those whose diet was composed primarily of vegetation with little meat.

The Myths of LDL

The low carbohydrate community propose that LDL isn’t an issue with heart disease. This flies in the face of the recent article in JAMA looking at 34 clinical trials and finding that lowering LDL-C not only decreased the risk of heart disease, but all causes of mortality. While the low-carb crowd likes to point out how sugar indeed has a role in development of heart disease, they quietly forget to point out that diets rich in meats are overwhelmingly an issue.


Fork U is part of the Your Doctors Orders network of podcasts and is hosted by noted physician and surgeon Dr. Terry Simpson.

Fork U is produced by Simpler Media and is recorded in the studios of ProducerGirl Productions.  



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About the Podcast

Fork U with Dr. Terry Simpson
Learn more about what you put in your mouth.
Fork U(niversity)
Not everything you put in your mouth is good for you.

There’s a lot of medical information thrown around out there. How are you to know what information you can trust, and what’s just plain old quackery? You can’t rely on your own “google fu”. You can’t count on quality medical advice from Facebook. You need a doctor in your corner.

On each episode of Your Doctor’s Orders, Dr. Terry Simpson will cut through the clutter and noise that always seems to follow the latest medical news. He has the unique perspective of a surgeon who has spent years doing molecular virology research and as a skeptic with academic credentials. He’ll help you develop the critical thinking skills so you can recognize evidence-based medicine, busting myths along the way.

The most common medical myths are often disguised as seemingly harmless “food as medicine”. By offering their own brand of medicine via foods, These hucksters are trying to practice medicine without a license. And though they’ll claim “nutrition is not taught in medical schools”, it turns out that’s a myth too. In fact, there’s an entire medical subspecialty called Culinary Medicine, and Dr. Simpson is certified as a Culinary Medicine Specialist.

Where today's nutritional advice is the realm of hucksters, Dr. Simpson is taking it back to the realm of science.

About your host

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Terry Simpson

Dr. Terry Simpson received his undergraduate, graduate, and medical degrees from the University of Chicago where he spent several years in the Kovler Viral Oncology laboratories doing genetic engineering. Until he found he liked people more than petri dishes. Dr. Simpson, a weight loss surgeon is an advocate of culinary medicine, he believes teaching people to improve their health through their food and in their kitchen. On the other side of the world, he has been a leading advocate of changing health care to make it more "relationship based," and his efforts awarded his team the Malcolm Baldrige award for healthcare in 2018 and 2011 for the NUKA system of care in Alaska and in 2013 Dr Simpson won the National Indian Health Board Area Impact Award. A frequent contributor to media outlets discussing health related topics and advances in medicine, he is also a proud dad, husband, author, cook, and surgeon “in that order.”