Interview with Shawn Baker, M.D.

shawn baker

I interviewed Shawn Baker, M.D., a surgeon, athlete, and advocate of zero-carb eating. He was a power lifter, played rugby, and competed in the Highland Games earlier in life, and now at the age of 50, he holds world records in indoor rowing. Lately he’s become known for advocating an all-meat (zero-carb) diet. We discuss how he trains, the use of steroids in athletics, and why he gravitated to a zero-carb diet, among other things. I appreciate Dr. Baker taking the time to talk with me.

(P.S. Please excuse the echo on my side of the interview. Dr. Baker’s side is fine though.)

Here’s the interview in podcast form. Download.

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  1. Mellie Walks says:

    YES! Wonderful interview! I kept finding myself nodding my head in agreement with everything he said! I totally agree. Beef and lamb works best for me too! Thank you for this!

  2. paul rivas md says:

    Good stuff, might be a little extreme, but still kudos to anyone that concerned with their health and well being. Which leads me to this, apparently the American Psychiatric Association has a name for people like us, they call it orthorexia nervosa, which is an ” obsession on proper nutrition which can lead to serious medical consequences”. If that’s the case then I should be in a straight jacket. Got to love it !

    • tom says:

      …. and what would the shrinks recommend? A scientifically illiterate “balanced diet” no doubt, what ever that means. That is what my former doctor told me anyway, with arrogant cocksure certainty. Long live my fellow meat eaters!

  3. KetoDeb says:

    I really enjoyed this interview. The best part was the lack of authority in Baker’s responses. Very quick to say, is it this or is it that: we don’t know. So unlike the unshakeable ( and erroneous) certitude of veg proponents.
    Dr. Baker walks the talk. A very impressive person with a rich personal history.
    And your interview skills are first rate.
    Thanks for posting.

    • P. D. Mangan says:

      Thanks, KetoDeb. I’m not sure I specifically noticed that before, but you’re right, Shawn Baker is refreshingly non-dogmatic, and doesn’t use his medical authority as a cudgel against people he disagrees with.

  4. Bill says:

    PD, I have not commented on this interview and I notice that so far that so far only 3 people have done ( apart from yourself ).

    I started watching the pod cast and then at 15 minutes had to stop. And then I noticed it is 55 minutes long.
    Ummmm I simply don’t watch or listen to pod casts that long. I am a reader. I can read and take in ‘text’ far quicker than ‘watching’. So I rarely do it.

    None of this is a comment on your guest or his way of doing things.

    • P. D. Mangan says:

      Hi Bill – I rarely watch or listen that long either, and I take in text quicker too, but lots of people watch vidoes and listen to podcasts. That’s why everyone does them now. If it were up to me, I would just write.

      You certainly can’t please everyone. One way or another, they’ll criticize what you do.

      • Nick says:

        I have to agree with Bill; I’m not sure I’ll be able to make it through the whole thing. Any chance of a transcript, at least parts of it? I suppose I could run it through voice recognition software, but I don’t know if that works well or not.

        6’5″ & 240#…remind me to be polite if I ever run into him.

        • P. D. Mangan says:

          Rhonda Patrick is in roughly the same category I’m in (health and fitness, anti-aging), makes hour-long videos, and she earns almost $14,000 a month through her Patreon. Do you guys know how much work I put into this site? How much work I put into interviewing Dr. Baker? Do you think I’m going to go to all the trouble of lining up the interview, preparing for it, videoing it, and posting, for a 15-minute clip?

          • paul rivas md says:

            I hope you stick around PD. After reading your archives I’ve come to believe that you know 100 x’s more about health than any doctor that I know

          • P. D. Mangan says:

            Thanks, Paul.

          • Ole says:

            I’m in line with Paul. Although I don’t agree with everything you write PD, I enjoy reading your blog. The stuff you have written about iron, was an eye opener for me. I started donating blood a year ago, and ferritin levels are now significantly lower and within a healthy range. Keep up the good work!

          • Nick says:

            I’m sorry, Dennis!

            I might have had an idea that you put a lot of work into the podcast, but I clearly didn’t THINK of that before posting my stupid, ill-conceived, selfish whine above. I was also too thick to pick up on the “you can’t please everyone” part of your response to Bill and consider how what I was then about to ask would come across.

            I certainly didn’t mean to criticize — was just being thoughless and selfish. I apologise for that.

            I’ll repeat publicly what I told you in email a while back: I owe you a huge debt of gratitude for the things I’ve learned here. You have led to a direct improvement in the quality of my life (also my wife’s), and I’m so lucky to have found this great resource. I hope you’re enjoying personal rewards from knowing that you’re doing ground-breaking work that actually helps people. And that you’re reaping some financial reward for all your hard work.

            From convincing me to listen to and understand how carbohydrate restriction actually does work, to intermittent fasting and autophagy, and then of course the obvious: how to exercise properly. I owe you a lot — thank you for your hard work and time.

            I don’t think I’ve ever said it, but congratulations on how far you’ve come yourself with your fitness and health. Your own story is impressive and worth congratulating, not just the work you do in sharing what you’ve learned for others’ benefit.

            Another thing to praise you for is your willingness to accept reasonable criticism and adapt to change. I forget where exactly it was, but there were a couple of discussions (value of organic & another interview you did) where you accepted that your previous stance was maybe worth reconsidering in light of reasonable challenges. That’s a great thing, and helps to build trust in people like me that show up here as skeptics.

            Even if you don’t forgive me my stupidity, I hope you continue on with the great work you’re doing.

            I’ve got time before the gym today, perfect time for me to listen to my first ever podcast. (BTW the audio’s fine, I didn’t notice an echo.)

            Thanks again for everything.

          • P. D. Mangan says:

            Hey Nick, no apology necessary. I just get frustrated sometimes and was feeling it particularly that day I wrote that. Unfortunately I don’t take criticism terribly well, and I need to work at that. What’s difficult is trying to see a way forward here. Several people whose advice I value tell me that I’m just giving away everything for free in my articles, and give people no reason to buy my books. Then when I try videos or podcasts, those don’t seem to excite people either. When I try to explain the science behind something, I get complaints that it’s too difficult and few people want to read it, and when I try to write simpler, I bore myself.

            I also have a longstanding interest in pharmacology, which I studied in grad school, hence my articles on rapamycin, berberine, metformin, and so on. But I’ve found that not many others have an interest in that. Basically, if you write in this area, you have to talk a lot about losing weight if you want lots of readers.

          • Nick says:

            So we should criticize you more, to give you some practice at it. Got it!

            Nah, really, I may go overboard with the praise, but that’s because a shortcoming of mine is not giving others kudos & compliments often enough. My dear (not departed) mother told me I needed to work on that when I was younger, and so I’ve tried to work on that ever since.

            I’ve got Muscle Up and Dumping Iron, which were *very* easy to read, as a somewhat-educated layman. I.e., college education in engineering, some interest in the sciences. So I think you’ve hit a great balance in your writing with them.

            I say you write your articles here as deeply technical as you like, to satisfy your own interests. Don’t spend too much extra time explaining basics for readers less versed than you, and see if it has an effect on your readership, maybe.

            How much of the store to give away, or just free samples…that must be a tough call to make.

            The Patreon thing is new to me, I’ll look into it. Or I could just buy more copies of your books.

          • P. D. Mangan says:

            Regarding Dumping Iron and Muscle Up, by the time I wrote them I’d figured out a thing or two about writing. People complained that Stop the Clock was too technical. When I went back and looked at my previous supplements book (my 2nd book) I was disappointed and hence decided to write an all-new version.

            Regarding Patreon, I really hate asking for money and do it reluctantly. however, lots of others are doing it and in fact basing their careers on it, like Rhonda Patrick. Dr. Jordan Peterson of U Toronto is another and he’s currently pulling in nearly $60,000 a month on Patreon. I’m not in his league but I will compare myself to Patrick.

  5. Ole says:

    Well, Shawn is certainly rouge, to say the least….

    But he might actually be onto something here….. Perhaps these hormetic compounds in vegetables are not really that good for us at all. At least not through supplemental megadosing. But again, thats the nature of hormetic compounds. It is the dose that makes the poison:

  6. Bill says:

    Hey PD, you are doing a great job with Rogue Health…Intelligent, clear information is your strong suit ! So much stuff I have learned here…And for that my thanks…

    And just to confirm it, today I read this report on HIIT

    It confirms what you have been saying even since you started.. with Rogue Health,…….But years later.
    Keep doing what you do so well mate… It’s great service to us older men…And yesI have all 4 of your books here on the shelf…

  7. Gail says:

    I am only half way through the video, but I had to pause it to say that I feel like I’m watching one man who is 50 and one man who is 40 — not 60+ and 50! You’re both testaments to good health! (And thus to your diets…)

    This is the first I’ve heard about the zero carb diet and am excited to start research on the topic. I am a meat lover and mostly low carb eater so I’m very curious to find out more. When invited to someone’s house for dinner and asked “is meat okay with you?” I say “are you kidding, I could eat meat 3 times a day, every day!” And I mean it 🙂

    Coincidentally, for the past few weeks I’ve been busy hunting for no grain, no carb, no potato and no starch foods for my two cats. This past year they had both been experiencing urinary and digestive issues — and as I’ve learned, it turns out that as obligate carnivores, cats are pretty much being systematically harmed by common additives such as brown rice, potatoes, tapioca, peas, chick peas, etc.. Food companies are to blame: some use them for typical filler/cost cutting and some use them with well meaning (though misconstrued) intentions “if it’s good for humans, it’s good for cats.” Well, now I’m thinking “hmm, it’s probably really not good for humans either!” It’s taken hours and hours of searching online to find maybe 3 or 4 prepared foods that are as close to all meat as possible. They’ve been eating the new food for two weeks now and they are getting more and more healthy!

    When I saw that the video was an hour long, I too was wishing I could simply read text, as I am an avid reader by nature. But, I must say hearing both of your speaking words adds a lot of depth to the subject. And like I said, you cannot argue with your appearance and fitness! Something that sorta comes across in pictures, but not like this video. So thank you for taking the time to present this on your website!!

    I’m not sure the couple of people who commented about the video meant to upset you… but I’m sorry that it did… Hopefully you’re making decent money and are making a good living from your website and books! You can’t possibly know how many people you are helping, but there is a formula of some sort that says for every positive comment/experience, there are X amount who are silent but have also been helped. I wish I remember the exact ratio :-). The point is, you’re helping people. A lot of people! And sadly, you might not never know the true numbers…

    Thank you for your efforts! Now back to the video!


  8. Ed S. says:

    Awesome interview. Thank You!

  9. René says:

    Excellent as usual!
    I just finished your interview and liked it a lot. Keep up the great work and don’t let negative people stop you. There is so much health bullshit out there, your work is literally the only reliable source I trust. Regarding Patreon: You really should make the possibility to sponsor you on patreon more prominent on your side. I only stumbled over it per luck!

  10. Dr Jhafi says:

    Thanks a lot for helping. This was really very informative

  11. Bill says:

    I appreciate you putting your things on Youtube because
    I can run them at 1.5 or 2 times speed and save lots of

    Very good interview with Shawn. Thanks

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