Do plants contain toxins? A friendly debate with Alex Leaf

A certified sports nutritionist and personal trainer, Alex Leaf holds a master’s degree in Nutrition from Bastyr University. He is a full-time researcher at involved in updating the supplement database, editing ERD articles, and blogging about nutrition. Alex also teaches young minds about human nutrition and functional medicine at the University of Western States. He enjoys blending the scientific aspects of nutrition with the pragmatic realities of life to help others achieve their goals.

Time Stamps:

0:08:26 Podcast begins, opening thoughts

0:11:36 What are the biggest contributers in the human diet that contribute to disease?

0:14:31 What do I think is the most optimal diet for humans?

0:20:11 What was the purpose of writing my book: the Carnivore Code

0:23:56 What does Alex think is the most optimal diet for humans?

0:27:26 Humans are omnivorous, but they primarily lean carnivore rather than herberviore

0:32:16 What is the most compelling evidence that meat is not harmful in the human diet?

0:35:26 Indigeous tribes do not care about fiber or coating meat in herbs and spices

0:37:56 Why animal food consumption is no less healthy than a vegan diet

0:45:56 Epidemiology is flipped in Asia regarding meat consumption and health outcomes

0:47:26 Alex’s reasoning for why meat should be included in the human diet

0:51:16 Green tea extract only affects markers of oxidative status postprandially: lasting antioxidant effect of flavonoid-free diet:

0:56:26 No Effect of 600 Grams Fruit and Vegetables Per Day on Oxidative DNA Damage and Repair in Healthy Nonsmokers:

0:58:16 I don’t believe that the compounds found in plants are not uniquely important for humans, and we can get the same benefits from meat

1:07:56 When you include plant foods that have high amounts of antinutrients, it results in descereased absorption of healthful micronutrients from animal foods

1:15:41 Are phytochemicals (in general) benign, beneficial, or harmful?

1:19:26 Health-Promoting Phytonutrients Are Higher in Grass-Fed Meat and Milk:

1:23:51 Thoughts on phytochemicals, fiber, and antinutrients

1:27:56 Tannins can inhibit protein and micronutrient absorption

1:33:11 Concentrations of thiocyanate and goitrin in human plasma, their precursor concentrations in brassica vegetables, and associated potential risk for hypothyroidism:

1:36:06 Question for me: Do I think meat causes colon cancer?

1:37:56 Red meat and colon cancer: A review of mechanistic evidence for heme in the context of risk assessment methodology:

1:42:11 We need to ask the question: why are we eating plants (and negatively affect our health) when we can get the same benefits by eating other foods like animal foods?

1:45:36 Why eat red meat when we can get everything from fish and poultry?

1:54:16 We need to consider plants on a toxicity spectrum

2:01:26 Have Ariel or Alex tried animal-based or carnivore?

2:05:56 Closing question for Alex: do you think it’s possible that mainstream thinking around nutrition could be wrong?

2:09:56 Closing question for me: if plants are a net negative, how could so many studies point in the direction that vegan (or primarily plant-based diets) are healthy?


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