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What Is Paul Saladino's Diet? All You Should Know

Paul Saladino is a 45-year-old physician who introduced a new version of the Carnivore diet and aimed to help individuals reach their ideal weight and improve their health conditions. This article will introduce Paul Saladino’s diet as an effective diet, especially for those who like to add fresh fruits to their Carnivore diet with a suggested meal plan.

What Is Paul Saladino's Diet? All You Should Know
Highlights
  • Paul Saladino is an American physician and advocate of the Carnivore diet.
  • His diet focused on animal-based foods like the standard Carnivore diet, but the difference is honey and certain fruits like banana and mango are allowed in this diet.
  • Nutrient intake in this diet should be optimized based on your ideal weight.
  • Paul Saladino’s diet can help you with weight management and digestive health.

Who Is Paul Saladino?

Paul Saladino is an American physician, author, and advocate for the Carnivore diet. He graduated from medical school at the University of Arizona and completed his residency at the University of Washington in Seattle. After residency, he attained a board certification as a Physician Nutrition Specialist.

He's known for promoting his version of the Carnivore diet that mainly includes animal products, like meat and animal fat, but allows some plant-based foods.

His ideas have sparked interest in the health and nutrition communities. Saladino argues that focusing on animal products can provide essential nutrients and unique health benefits.

So, let’s find out what the diet exactly is and what Dr. Paul Saladino achieves with it.

Learn More: Joe Rogan's Carnivore Diet: Benefits, Side Effects and Food List

Chris Lilly, Pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q:

"A Carnivore Diet, which consists solely of animal foods, can help reduce inflammation, improve mental clarity, and promote optimal health by eliminating plant toxins and focusing on nutrient-dense animal products."

What Is Paul Saladino's Diet?

Paul Saladino's diet is based on what he considers the most optimal foods for humans. At first, Paul Saladino only focused on animal-based foods, but in 2020, he experimented with incorporating honey and fruits like pineapple and mango into the Carnivore diet.

Through this experimentation, he discovered that adding fruits and honey to the diet can add many benefits, like contributing to hormone balance and better sleeping.

According to Saladino, plants' roots, stems, leaves, and seeds are their defense mechanisms, and the plants don't want humans to consume these parts. Instead, he believes that fruits are what plants want us to eat, as they provide for us. Here are the rules and goals of his diet.

Rules

The most important rules of Paul Saladino’s diet include:

  • Animal Products Only: This diet emphasizes consuming only animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, and dairy.
  • No Plant Foods: Plant-based foods, including vegetables, grains, and legumes, are generally excluded. Only certain fruits like bananas and mangoes are permitted.
  • Focus on Red Meat: Red meat is often emphasized in this diet as a primary source of nutrients, including protein, fat, and essential vitamins and minerals. Of course, white and dark meat are allowed on this diet, but the main focus is on red meat and organs for their nutritional density.
  • No Processed Foods: Processed foods, especially those with additives, preservatives, and artificial ingredients, such as packaged snacks like chips and cookies, are generally excluded.

Learn More: White Meat vs. Dark Meat: Which One Is Better for You?

Goals

  • Improved Digestive Health: This diet aims to alleviate digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The absence of certain plant fibers, such as those found in beans or certain vegetables like broccoli, can help improve gut health.
  • Weight Management: Paul Saladino diet aims to help you with weight loss or weight maintenance. The emphasis on protein and fat can lead to positive changes in metabolism. One of the main changes is ketosis, which is when the body burns fat for energy. This breakdown of stored fat can lead to fat melt and weight loss.
  • Reducing Inflammation: Paul Saladino's Carnivore diet eliminates certain plant-based foods, such as foods containing lectins (found in beans and grains), oxalates (found in many vegetables), and phytates (found in seeds and nuts) that can cause inflammation.
  • Simplify Eating Habits: Paul Saladino Carnivore is an elimination diet that focuses on only certain types of food and enables fast and easy meal planning.

These goals are achievable only if you know what and how much to eat.

Learn More: Jordan Peterson’s Diet: What Is It and What Are Its Results?

Chris Lilly, Pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q:

"The Carnivore Diet, popularized by Dr. Paul Saladino, emphasizes the benefits of consuming only animal products for overall health and well-being, arguing that it can help with weight loss, mental health issues, and autoimmune conditions."

Things Paul Saladino Eats on His Diet

Paul Saladino's diet consists of meat, organs, fruit, honey, and raw dairy. He suggests 2 main meals at 10 AM and 4:30 PM and a small meal for breakfast at 6:30 AM in the following amounts [1]:

  • Meat: For every 100 lbs (about 45 kilograms) you weigh, try eating at least 1 pound (0.45 kilograms) of meat daily. It can include any low-carb, high-fat, and high-protein meat, but 80/20 ground beef is recommended.
  • Organs: Try to eat around 0.5 ounces every day (about 2-3 ounces per week). Include a variety of organ meats like heart, testicle, bone marrow, tripe, kidney, spleen, pancreas, brain, intestine, and more.
  • Raw Dairy: A few ounces of raw cheese and 10 ounces of raw milk are recommended.
  • Fruit and Honey (Carbohydrates): Honey and fruits like papaya, banana, pineapple, mango, and avocado are recommended as sources of carbohydrates in this diet. You can calculate the amount of carbohydrates you need based on the following table:
Activity Level Carbs (g) Low Carbs (g) High
Low (0-3 hours) Goal Body Weight * 0.7 g Goal Body Weight * 0.9 g
Medium (3-6 hours) Goal Body Weight * 0.8 g Goal Body Weight * 1.1 g
High (6-12 hours) Goal Body Weight * 1 g Goal Body Weight * 1.5 g
Very High (12+ hours) Goal Body Weight * 1.2 g Goal Body Weight * 1.7 g

Also, Paul Saladino has a very strict approach to plant-based foods and avoids most of them.

Learn More: The 20 Best Carnivore Diet Websites [Free Carnivore Sources + Blogs]

Things Paul Saladino Avoids on His Diet

Most plant-based foods are not allowed in Paul Saladino’s diet. In general, seeds, leaves, stems, or roots of plants are the parts that Paul doesn’t eat. Only some fruits are allowed. Here’s why:

Mushrooms

Mushroom produces a mycotoxin known as agaritine, which is known to be harmful to humans, for it binds to DNA and causes various forms of cancers like liver and bladder cancers [2].

Grains

  • Grains: Grains contain digestive enzyme inhibitors, phytic acid, which prevents mineral absorption, and lectins that can damage the gut and may contribute to autoimmune illness [3].
  • Granola: Granola is a mixture of seed oils, processed sugars, nuts, and oats. They’re all plant-based and high in carbohydrates, which can cause weight gain and blood sugar spikes if consumed in excess.
  • Oats: Oats are full of lectins (can damage the gut), phytic acid (prevents mineral absorption), oxalates (plant toxins that can cause many health issues like kidney stones), and digestive enzyme inhibitors [4].
  • Rice: Different kinds of rice, especially brown rice, contain arsenic, an element that comes with many health concerns like bladder and lung cancers and cardiovascular issues [5].
  • Bread: Different kinds of bread contain gluten, which can cause a leaky gut by opening tight junctions. Gluten can also pass into breast milk and affect infants.

Learn More: Can You Eat Avocado on a Carnivore Diet? What About Avocado Oil?

Chris Lilly, Pitmaster at Big Bob Gibson Bar-B-Q:

"Paul Saladino's approach to the Carnivore Diet suggests that many people can see improvements in mood, cognitive function, and energy levels by eliminating all plant foods and focusing exclusively on animal-based nutrition."

Leaves

  • Kale, Broccoli, and Brussel Sprouts: These vegetables contain compounds, such as sulforaphane, that may interfere with iodine absorption and act as pro-oxidants, which can trigger excess glutathione (a powerful antioxidant) production with potential negative effects like bad thyroid function [6].
  • Chard: Chard is extremely high in oxalates, which are involved in the formation of kidney stones and, like beets, are linked with joint pain, fatigue, and neurological issues [7]. 

Beans

Beans, including peanuts, lentils, and chickpeas, contain lectins, like phytohemagglutinin (PHA), which can cause food poisoning if undercooked. These lectins may contribute to gut issues, inflammation, autoimmune conditions, and neurological problems [8] [9].

Nightshades

  • Tomatoes and Eggplant: This family of plants contains lectins (carbohydrate-binding proteins) that appear to cause/ worsen autoimmune issues in many individuals. Also, these plants contain solanine, a glycoalkaloid with toxic consequences for humans [10].
  • Potatoes: White potatoes contain solanine and chaconine, which are toxic glycoalkaloids and are highly toxic to humans and other species. Also, potatoes are high in carbs, which is not aligned with the Carnivore diet rules [11].
  • Hot Peppers/ Chili: They can cause opening gap junctions and decrease TEER (trans-epithelial electrical resistance) and zonulin release. All of them together can extremely harm the body’s immune system [12] [13].
Harvard Health Publishing:

"There is limited research on the long-term health effects of the carnivore diet. While some individuals, like Dr. Paul Saladino, report benefits such as weight loss and improved metabolic markers, concerns remain about the potential risks of such a restrictive diet."

Nuts

  • Nuts: Nuts contain phytic acid, oxalates, and digestive enzyme inhibitors, which can interfere with nutrient absorption and digestion [14].
  • Peanut Butter: It’s full of lectins and digestive enzyme inhibitors that damage your gut and cause dysbiosis [15].

Plant Oils

  • Seed Oils: These oils have a lot of omega-6 linoleic acid, a type of polyunsaturated fat (PUFA), which can harm the membrane of mitochondria, signaling scarcity in the body, leading to weight gain, and promoting the development of metabolic and chronic diseases [16].
  • Fish Oil: You don't need fish oil for omega-3 on an animal-based diet. A 2021 study found that high doses of fish oil can cause risks, including higher rates of atrial fibrillation, and it can go rancid in capsules or liquid forms [17]. It's better to get omega-3s from fresh animal fats like tallow and egg yolks.
  • Olive Oil: This oil is better than seed oils but still has 12-14% linoleic acid content, which is high, as it may cause health issues like inflammation when consumed in excess. Also, many olive oils aren’t good quality and are easily oxidized. Instead of olive oil, you can use egg tallow [18].
  • Avocado Oil: Like olive oil, avocado oil has 12-14% linoleic acid, and many of these oils are low quality because they are cut with vegetable oils. Instead of this oil, you can use butter or tallow.

Roots

  • Beets: The nitrates in beets contain digestive enzyme inhibitors, lectins, and too much phytic acid, which can limit the absorption of important vitamins like phosphorous, magnesium, zinc, calcium, and selenium. Additionally, beets are high in oxalates, which cause the formation of kidney stones [19].
  • Turmeric: Turmeric root is full of oxalates and curcumin, which can cause negative effects like nausea [20].
  • Garlic: Garlic is a bulb, so it’s a root. It can cause malabsorption of essential nutrients and serious damage to the gut [21].
  • Onion: Onions are high in fermentable carbohydrates, known as FODMAPs, which can cause digestive issues.

Seeds

  • Chocolate: Chocolate is a roasted plant seed from the cacao fruit. It contains oxalates and lectins, which can disrupt the balance of your gut microbiome and cause gut inflammation [22].
  • Coffee: One of the main chemicals in coffee is caffeine, which is a methylxanthine compound that most people love, but it can cause erratic blood sugar levels. Also, coffee beans contain pesticides, such as acrylamide (a potential carcinogen and neurotoxin), mold toxins (mycotoxins), and substances that can block opioid receptors, which usually control pain, reward, and addictive behaviors [23] [24].
  • Quinoa: It’s full of saponins (chemicals that induce leaky gut), phytic acid (binds minerals), tannins, and other digestive enzyme inhibitors [25].
  • Flaxseed: Flaxseeds and flaxseed oil have compounds called phytoestrogens, including lignans, which can disrupt hormones, which is a concern for both men and women, as it can lead to issues, such as hormonal imbalances, reproductive challenges, and interference with the endocrine system [26].
  • Soy: Soy is rich in phytic acid, which can bind minerals in your gut and prevent absorption. Also, this acid can’t be removed by cooking. Another mineral in soy is phytoestrogens, which are compounds that can disrupt hormones. Try not to use soy in the form of tofu, edamame, or natto, either [27] [28].

Celery

Celery contains furanocoumarins, which can accumulate in the skin and cause damage when exposed to sunlight, leading to inflammation [29].

It may seem like a strict diet, but starting Paul Saladino's animal-based diet can have positive impacts on many aspects of your health.

Learn More: Can You Eat Honey on a Carnivore Diet? The Best Honey for the Carnivore Diet

Journal of Clinical Lipidology:

"The Carnivore Diet, advocated by figures like Dr. Paul Saladino, may improve lipid profiles in the short term, but the long-term effects on cardiovascular health remain unclear and warrant further investigation."

The Benefits of the Paul Saladino’s Diet

Paul Saladino diet can help you in many ways, including:

  • Improving Nutrient Density: The diet emphasizes the consumption of animal products, which are rich in essential nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and proteins.
  • Eliminating Plant Toxins: By avoiding plant-based foods, you can stay away from harmful minerals present in certain plants, such as lectins and oxalates [30].
  • Helping Weight Management: This diet, which emphasizes animal products and limits carbs, can help you lose or control your weight.
  • Supporting Autoimmune Conditions: Individuals with autoimmune issues might find relief in this diet, as it removes potential triggers found in certain plant foods. For example, some people with conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or psoriasis have reported improvements in symptoms, such as joint pain, skin flare-ups, and overall inflammation [31].

Despite these positive effects, Paul Saladino’s diet can cause some temporary side effects in some individuals, especially at the beginning of the diet.

Learn More: What Is The Gary Brecka Diet? How to Follow The 30/30/30 Method?

Paul Saladino's Diet Side Effects

  • High in Cholesterol: When you start the Paul Saladino diet, you may experience a minor increase in cholesterol levels due to consuming foods high in cholesterol. But the point is that there are two kinds of cholesterol: good (HDL) and bad (LDL). Paul Saladino’s diet only increases the HDL, which is good for the heart. Also, the fat will be burned by the body for energy and won’t be stored [32].
  • Micronutrient Deficiencies: Some may believe this diet causes nutrient deficiencies by eliminating plant-based foods. Well, it’s not totally true because you can get all the essential nutrients from animal-based products and even supplements (if needed) [33].
  • Risks for Certain Individuals: Certain people, including those with chronic kidney disease, sensitive to dietary cholesterol, and specific nutrient needs like children, pregnant or lactating individuals, may not find Paul Saladino’s diet suitable. Changing eating habits for these sensitive groups can be risky, and they need to consult a healthcare professional first.

Learn More: Carnivore Diet and Cholesterol: Everything You Should Know

To help you get started, we have provided a sample 7-day meal plan for Paul Saladino’s diet.

Dr. David Katz:

"A diet exclusively composed of animal products, such as the one promoted by Paul Saladino, is highly restrictive and may pose risks related to the lack of essential nutrients found in plant-based foods."

Paul Saladino Diet 7-Day Meal Plan

Here is a sample 7-day meal plan for the Paul Saladino diet. You can always modify this plan according to your needs and goals, but remember that you can only include the foods allowed in this diet. You can also check Carnivore diet recipes to learn how to make easy and yummy dishes.

Day 1

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs cooked in butter, 1 tbsp honey
  • Lunch: Grilled steak
  • Dinner: Cooked salmon fillet

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Omelet with cheese and sausage, 1 avocado
  • Lunch: Ground beef cooked in tallow
  • Dinner: Lamb chops and bone marrow

Day 3

  • Breakfast: fried eggs, 1 medium banana
  • Lunch: Chicken thighs with skin
  • Dinner: Shrimp cooked in butter

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with cheese, 1 tbsp honey
  • Lunch: Beef burger patties
  • Dinner: Cooked tuna steak

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Sausages, scrambled eggs with heavy cream, 1 slice pineapple
  • Lunch: Duck breast cooked in duck fat
  • Dinner: Beef ribeye steak

Day 6

  • Breakfast: fried eggs, 1 small papaya
  • Lunch: Pork chops
  • Dinner: Halibut fillet with skin, bone broth

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Chicken liver cooked in ghee, 1 medium banana
  • Lunch: Veal cutlets
  • Dinner: Grilled sardines

The following table shows the average protein, fat, calories, fiber, carbohydrates, and sugar you can get from the above 7-day meal plan.

DaysProtein (g)Fat (g)Calories (kcal)Fiber (g)Carbohydrates (g)Sugar (g)
1 82 92 1094 7 22 16
2 89 106 1151 13 23 5
3 96 67 1134 6 29 15
4 88 78 1104 5 21 16
5 86 77 1146 4 28 17
6 81 68 1157 4 20 13
7 89 65 1138 7 28 16

Learn More: Carnivore Diet Meal Plan: Your 30-Day Free Beginner Guide

Summary

Paul Saladino’s diet is one of the best diets if your goal is weight loss, reducing inflammation, and improving health. Despite other low-carb diets, in Paul Saladino’s diet, you are allowed to eat some fruits based on your needs and ideal weight.

Also, consider consulting a healthcare professional to check your health conditions regularly and set your diet needs and goals based on that.

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