DM= Dr. Joseph Mercola
NC= Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride
Meat stock, we make with the joint of meat or a big lump of meat and some bones added. It has to be raw meat and raw bones. If you have a leg of lamb, joint of pork, pig‟s trotters or pig‟s feet, lamb feet, pork‟s head – pig‟s head makes a beautiful meat stock – or if you have some games such as sausages, pheasants, pigeons, or any other game (now is the game season certainly in the Northern Hemisphere), whole birds and giblets (are very important as well), hearts, livers, necks, heads, feet of the bird, cook that for two to three hours.
Add salt right at the beginning, because salt helps to draw nutrition out of the meat and bone into the bouillon and into the meat stock. Add some black peppercorns. Crush them slightly with mortar and pestle, because they conceive the taste of the bouillon with some lovely substances, which stimulate the production of digestive juices in your digestive tract. With black peppercorns and salt, you don‟t need to add anything else. That produces a clear delicious stock. It‟s very, very delicious. Particularly, chicken, game, and birds produce the most delicious stock.
You can just drink that stock. That meat stock can be kept in the fridge for two weeks usually quite nicely, particularly if you keep it in the pan that you cooked it in. The pan is sterile; there‟s no bacteria introduced in there. You can always take a portion of it. Make a soup with it by adding vegetables and cooking them in meat stock, or just simply warming it up and drink it as a nice warming drink with your meals.
DM: How long would you cook the vegetables?
NC: For soup? It‟s half an hour. Half an hour is usually enough to make them really soft and well-cooked. That‟s the soup.
In the first few stages of the introduction diet, drinking meat stock with breakfast, lunch, and dinner is important, because these cups of hot meat stock provide all the building blocks for your enterocytes in your gut lining, which is for healing and sealing your gut lining. That is a healing and sealing food.
Then after you have eaten the meat that you have made this meat stock with and you‟re left with the bones, put those bones in the freezer. Just have a large bag going in your freezer, where you keep adding these cooked bones from your roasts, soups, and from making the meat stock. You don‟t throw away the bones, because we haven‟t cooked it long enough to really get much nutrition out of the bone itself. The bone is still very, very hard after that kind of cooking. Once you have accumulated a large bag of these frozen cooked bones in your freezer, put them into a slow cooker or into a large pan.
I recommend that if you have a tubular bone there, smash it in half with a hammer or some other heavy instruments, so that the bone marrow is exposed and can go into the meat stock when you‟re cooking it, or you can get it out later on. So open it up. When you‟re buying bones, ask the butcher to cut the tubular bone for you in half, so you can get access to the bone marrow.
DM: Are there any specific bones that you‟d recommend, if they‟ll go to the store and find them organically? I mean, what seems to be the best choice of bones to make this bone stock or bone broth with?
NC: The beautiful bones for bone marrow in particular are the beef bones of the pelvic girdle and the upper part of the animal‟s legs. Large tubular, plus the amount of bone marrow you get out of it is beautiful. But generally speaking, any bones are good. They all have different possession of nutrients and minerals. They will contribute differently.
DM: Are those bones available in the typical butcher? Because I don‟t think they sell them separately. They just throw them away normally.
NC: I know. They go for the production of pet foods.
DM: Oh, interesting.
NC: That‟s right, animal food, soap production, and some other industrial processes. But if you befriend the local butcher or just talk to your butcher – they‟re human beings – you‟ll be surprised with what you can find out when you talk to them.
NC: You will find that you can get it. My local butcher, for example, when I buy some meat from him, he gives me a huge bag of bones for free.
DM: All right. [Laughs]
NC: Because they throw them away anyway. [Laughs]
NC: And quite often, he would also throw in a huge slab of inner abdominal fat from lamb, beef, or pork. That‟s the most valuable fat that you melt in your oven to melt the liquid fat out for cooking later on. So, you have lamb fat or beef fat from the insides of the abdomen of the animal. This is fat that cushions the kidneys, bile, and the liver. It‟s very valuable. It has a lovely fatty acid composition.
DM: How do you cook with it?
NC: With the fat?
NC: You use it for frying and for roasting.
DM: Oh, okay.
NC: When you roast your vegetables, they need to be swimming in large amounts of fat. What I recommend to people with cooking fats is to collect the fat from every roast that you make. Pour it through a sieve into a glass jar. If you collect every day like that, you will finish up with a collection of jars in your fridge with different fats – a bit of beef fat, lamb fat, pork fat, duck fat, goose fat, and chicken fat. They all have different flavor and nutritional composition.
They‟re all very, very healthy and beautiful. These are the only fats that you use for frying, roasting, baking, and all your cooking purposes.
Every jar like that will have a little bit of jelly accumulating at the bottom. That‟s the very concentrated meat stock. It‟s beautiful. It has a fantastic flavor and a very good nutritional composition. So, when you roast your vegetables next time – if you have a prepared mixture already of vegetables in there – just empty one of those jars together with the jelly into the tray, and mix all your vegetables with it before roasting. The jelly will give the vegetables a beautiful flavor, while the fat will soak into the vegetables and make them delicious and far more nutritious for you and your child. It‟s far more satisfying.
Animal fats are the most valuable fats for us to eat on the GAPS Diet.
DM: Most likely – perhaps you can respond to this – I would also argue that they have also been the most vilified, the most evilly condemned fats, and almost all the traditional health experts have warned about avoiding saturated fats and eliminating them. My guess is that most people listening to this have previously thrown those fats away.
NC: I know. I‟m sure. These are the fats that are most prized in all traditional communities. If you remember your grandmother, I‟m sure that‟s what she was doing before we all got brainwashed by our mainstream nutrition and mainstream medicine. The idea of vilifying animal fat comes from the food industry, because they‟re a competition for one of the most profitable items for the food industry.
These are vegetable and cooking oils. These are extremely tremendously profitable. These are also the number one cause of cancer, heart disease, autoimmunity, malformation in babies, learning disabilities, psychiatric disorders, and neurological conditions. These are the most harmful things you can put into your mouth, because they‟re highly processed. All the fatty acids in them are mutilated by the processing of these oils. They just pollute your body, and they cause disease. Nobody should be eating cooking and vegetable oils. Nobody should be buying them and nobody should be cooking on those.
DM: It seems that it‟s mostly as dangerous as margarine. You know, there‟s this whole low-fat myth that started decades ago and that people are coming out of. Many people started to realize that butter is healthy compared to margarine, but they don‟t really understand that these processed vegetable oils are just as bad, and they really need to get back those animal fats and replace it with those.
NC: Absolutely. Margarine is made from vegetable oils by hydrogenating it, and by making it more solid. That‟s even more processed, even more damaging to health, and even more poisonous. Margarine is equals to poison. You must not eat it at all.
Animal fat are very stable. In their fatty acid composition, they‟re very similar to the fatty acid composition of our own fat in our own bodies. They‟re the most physiological, natural, and normal fats for us to consume.
If you look for the ultimate health food for human beings, that is the human breast milk. There is no other food parallel to human breast milk for a human baby, and not only for a human baby. If you look at Greek mythology and other ancient texts, breast milk was provided for people who were debilitated by disease, warriors severely wounded in the battles, or children who were ill.
They found that breast milk was an absolute panacea for all sorts of disorders. It restored vitality. It restored life in the person, whether it‟s an adult, an elderly, a child, or a baby. Because the breast milk has such a beautiful composition of nutrition, it doesn't need digesting. It goes directly and is absorbed very quickly. It just builds, nourishes, and restores you very beautifully.
If you look at the fatty acid composition of the human breast milk, it is very similar to the beef fat, lamb fat, pork fat, duck fat, and goose fat. It‟s very, very different from any vegetable oil, olive oil, or from any other plant oil.
Plant oils are not suitable for human physiology. In fact, they don‟t feed us at all, even if they‟re cold-pressed. They act more as cleansers and detoxifiers, just like what all the plant matter does for us.
DM: Would you expound that definition of plant oils to coconut oil and avocados?
NC: Coconut oil and avocado oil is very similar to plant oils. It is very similar to walnut oil, hemp oil, and other oils. It acts more as a cleanser and more of a detoxifier in the body rather than a builder or a feeding substance. It‟s the same with olive oil and all other plant oils.
Coconut oil is more saturated. In fact, it‟s the most saturated fat on this planet. It is far more saturated than lamb fat, beef fat, pork fat, chicken fat, goose fat, or duck fat. In fact, all fat – strictly speaking from a chemical point of view – is not a saturated fat at all. It is monounsaturated, because the majority of fatty acids in it are monounsaturated fatty acids, where the saturated fatty acids are the second in the group of fat. While coconut oil is the most saturated fat on this planet, it is a plant oil, and saturated fatty acids are good for us.
If you ever see a heart that has been removed from an animal, from a lamb, beef, or anything like that, you will see that the heart is surrounded by large layers of fat. It‟s a very hard fat. When they analyze that fat, it‟s almost entirely saturated, because the human heart almost exclusively uses saturated fatty acids as its source of energy. That‟s its energy store. That‟s why it‟s encased in it as an adaptive ladder. That‟s what it is. The heart will use it for energy production.
Saturated fatty acids are not only good for us, but they‟re also the main source of energy production in the human body. They‟re our only true cells in the human body that use glucose molecules for energy production, and that‟s the red blood cells and the brain. The rest of your body – your muscles, your bones, your liver, your spleen, your lungs, your digestive system, your skin, and all the rest of your organs – uses fats as a source of energy.
There is another profanity that has been propagated by the food industry in the population, and that is we derive our energy from sugar. That idea comes from the producers of energy drinks, which only do harm in the body. They don‟t do any good, particularly for sports people who are training.
The vast majority of all cells in the human body use fat as a source of energy. Saturated fatty acids in particular are the bulk of that fat. They are the most important sources of energy for us, and not only energy, but also structure. It is the saturated fatty acids that give a solid and firm structure to our tissues.
Without saturated fatty acids, we would be flabby like a jellyfish or something like that, because it is the saturated fat that gives this stiff structure to our tissues in the body. So, they‟re not only good for us, but they‟re also essential for us. These are the most important fatty acids for us to consume. Animal fats are the most natural fats for us to consume. They are the most compatible with human physiology and with the structure of the body.
This is such a contentious issue during my work in my clinic and every time I start talking about the fats in the diet. GAPS people have to consume large amounts of fats, particularly people with psychiatric problems, because the human brain is largely fat. About 70 percent of the dry weight of the brain is fat. It‟s a very high fat organ, and it‟s an extremely hungry organ. At least 25 percent of all nutrition floating in your blood is sponged up by the brain. It‟s a terribly hungry organ. It requires huge amounts of fat and protein all the time to rebuild itself and structure itself, because the cell regeneration process is very active in the brain. The brain renews itself just like the gut lining, the immune system, or like anything else in your body does.
What I see, what we see, what neurologists and other scientists see in people who go for a low-fat diet and people with psychiatric disorders – depressed people, manic-depressive, schizophrenic, and other psychiatric problems – when we do MRI scans and PET scans of their brain, we find that their brains have shrunk. Literally, the matter of their brain shrinks, because the brain is starving. It needs building blocks. It needs fat and proteins. It needs to eat meat and fat. The kind of fat that it requires are the lamb fat, beef fat, chicken fat, duck fat, and goose fat.
DM: That‟s really interesting. Now, from my research, I have just concluded that most people are designed to thrive on 50 to 70 percent of their diet as fat. I‟m not sure if that's a number that you‟ll agree with. But if you agree with that, what percentage of that fat should be derived from animal versus plant?
NC: Well, I disagree with it.
DM: Okay, all right. [Laughs] What are your recommendations?
NC: Again, our science is trying to prescribe to us what we should eat and in what proportions. That's completely wrong.
NC: The final authority is your own body.
NC: If you feel you could desire to eat a large amount of fat right now, go ahead. Eat all the crackling on your pork. Eat all the fat on your lamb. Eat all the skin on your duck or goose, if that‟s what your body desires right now. Whenever that desire has stopped, it means your body has satisfied the nutritional need for that particular fat, so stop. But if your body is in a cleansing mode, for example, if at the moment it doesn't need feeding but it needs to clean something out, The fat will feel repulsive to you.
NC: You wouldn‟t even want to touch it. Even the smell of it will be repulsive to you. You would want to eat an apple, an avocado, a large low-fat salad, or something like that, because your body needs cleansers. It needs plants. It needs to clean out. But once it has cleansed that something out, which it‟s dealing with at the moment – and we may never know what exactly it‟s dealing with – tomorrow or the day after tomorrow, you might kill for a roasted duck, a lamb chop with all the fat in it or something like that.
Listen to your body. Nobody can prescribe to you how much fat you should have in proportion to protein, carbohydrate, or anything like that. It has to be your body. Your body is the final authority. It‟s infinitely wiser than any scientist, book, doctor, or anybody at all.
DM: I think you have to be tremendously foolish to disagree with those statements. I absolutely agree with them.
What the question becomes is that if you‟re not in detoxification mode, you‟re stable, you‟re not having any disease symptoms, and you‟re listening to your body, what do you think is the range that someone should be consuming? The reason I ask is because we have gone through this low-fat diet phase. Obviously, when you exclude fat, you have to replace it with some other macronutrient, and typically that was done with carbohydrates, which I believe is largely responsible for much of the obesity epidemic and for a lot of the chronic diseases that we‟re seeing.
If you‟re going to take the carbohydrates – the dangerous carbs, the processed foods, grains, and those types of food – out, you have to replace it with something that you‟re going to replace with fat. Is it your supposition that most of that fat should be animal-based, plant-based, organic, or “listening to your body” principle?
NC: Most of it – more than 95 percent– needs to be animal fats.
DM: Wow. That‟s what I was looking for. [Laughs]
NC: It‟s 95 percent animal fats. Yes. I recommend using olive oil, traditionally made, cold-pressed. It‟s important that it‟s cold-pressed, because plants have beautiful oils, which are very fragile. They‟re unsaturated, so they‟re very fragile, very easily damaged by oxygen, heat, light, and other influences. That is why Mother Nature locked these fats in a very complex cellulose structure of plants. When we eat a whole plant, nut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or when we munch on a lettuce – a good quality lettuce feels oily, it‟s got a lot of many of unsaturated fat.
NC: We get these very fragile, very delicate, fully unsaturated fatty acids in their natural virgin state. In that state, they are very good for us, but our body needs only a tiny amount of them. It doesn‟t need much at all. It needs only a very tiny amount – no more than three, five, or seven percent perhaps – of this oil. Again, because they‟re not so much structural; they‟re cleansers. They detoxify us largely.
DM: That‟s very interesting. I guess the practical implication of that – certainly from my experience – is that these plant oils are much easier to consume. They‟re just more “convenient,” I guess that would be the best term. So, do you have any practical recommendations on how one can more easily incorporate these animal fats into their diet, because they typically require a lot of food preparation time?
NC: If you‟re eating out, then ask them to cook your food in lard or in butter. Butter is always available in any restaurant. They always serve butter in the kitchen, if they don‟t have lard.
NC: But at home, the most practical thing to do, I say, is to collect fats from your roast. Do roast regularly and collect fat from your roasts. If not, traditional butchers usually throw duck fat, goose fat, or pork dripping. Just stock up on that, or you can stock up on coconut oil. That‟s a good oil to cook on as well.
DM: It doesn‟t fall on the 96 percent category because that‟s a plant oil.
NC: It is plant oil. You can use that, but again, it isn't clear how much feeding and building coconut oil actually does. It certainly cleanses and detoxifies. It has many antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral substances in it. It‟s a great antiseptic as well. Since the coconut oil is saturated, I would imagine that it does a fair bit of feeding the body.
DM: Okay. I think it‟s very useful as a brain fuel. There is evidence that suggest it does it in Alzheimer‟s.
NC: Yes. But what I can recommend to many people and many patients in my clinic who say that “I can‟t find any goose fat or pork dripping commercially,” I tell them, “Go to your butcher, and ask them for that lard of inner fat from the abdomen of the animals.”
DM: That‟s the pearl I was looking for. That‟s the pearl. Okay, ask the butcher for the fat.
NC: They usually don‟t charge for it, if you bought some steak as well.
NC: If you pay them for something.
DM: Let‟s go to the process: you go to the butcher, ask for that inner fat, then you prepare just like what you've described earlier?
NC: You bring it home. Don‟t do anything that can‟t be frozen.
NC: Just put it in the roasting tray. You want a deep tray.
NC: You want a deep oven tray. Now, put it in the oven at about 120 degrees centigrade. I‟m not sure that is in Fahrenheit. [Laughs]
DM: Well, 100 degrees is 212, so it would be about 250, 270, or something…
NC: It‟s something like that, on a fairly low heat. You don‟t have to put it on a very high heat. Forget about if for about four or five hours. You can even leave it overnight.
NC: Then in the morning, you will find that the slab itself turned into something very thin, crispy, and crackly that your dog will appreciate it very much.
NC: But it will be swimming in this full tray of liquid fat. You can just pour it into glass jars. Put them in the fridge. They can be kept for a year.
DM: Wow, so that‟s the trick. Then the way to consume that is to cook your vegetables with that.
NC: Yes. You roast your vegetables in it. You fry your eggs in it. You can do any frying or warming up. Liberal amounts or a couple of tablespoons full of this fat goes into the frying pan, and then everything else goes in. So all your cooking is done on that.
You can bake on it as well. When you do your baking, there‟s this easy baking made with nuts and seeds, which you‟ll grind into flour consistency. We use that instead of flour. Fat is always required in the mixture. You can use any of these animal fats. They will give a lovely flavor to your baking.
DM: Wow. That‟s what exactly I was looking for. Because the challenge that most Americans have is they‟re consuming these dangerous carbohydrates, so the challenge is what you‟ll replace it with. That way that this seems is like a magical recommendation! [Laughs]
DM: It‟s a great source of calories. It‟s got too many times as much calories as carbohydrates.
NC: Yes. Calories don‟t matter at all. The whole idea about calories comes from a very simplistic, silly idea from our wonderful nutritional science, where they compared the human body with a heat combustion engine. What a silly idea! How can you do such a thing? [Laughs]
NC: We are not a steam engine, are we?
DM: We‟re not.
NC: We are infinitely more complicated human beings.
NC: Tremendously more complicated. We do not use calories the way a combustion engine would use calories at all. There‟s no parallel or whatsoever. So, forget about calories. They have no relevance to human metabolism whatsoever.
The fats that you are consuming are structural. Animal fats are structural. They will go into your bones, teeth, muscles, heart, and brain. They will build you. They will rebuild your structure. They will get rid of your osteoporosis, low muscular tone, the inability to exercise, heart palpitations, and all sorts of other problems with your heart. They will get rid of your asthma, because lungs are very fatty organs. They love saturated fats. They require huge amounts of it to be able to expectorate, to clean themselves, and to lubricate themselves, so that you don‟t get dry cough, asthma, or any other colds, flu, and whatever that you get. These are structural fats.
You see, animal fat is that something that builds your body and structure. They have no relation to fat in the body, to obesity whatsoever. These fats do not go into your fat. Eating fat does not translate into becoming fat or whatsoever. In fact, you will find the more fat you consume, the thinner and leaner you become.
DM: That makes perfect sense.
NC: I would like to add one more thing here, Joe.
NC: Some people who are particularly focused on their weight and on being slim – and people who exercise a lot – find that when they stop eating the GAPS Diet and they weigh themselves religiously every day, they found, “I‟m getting heavier! My scales are showing that I have put on two, three, or five kilograms.” But I‟m telling them, “What about the shape of your body? Has that changed?”
They‟ll say, “No. I still fit into the same clothes.” I‟ll say, “What‟s happening in your body is that you have osteoporosis.” Many people, including children, young people, and people in their 30s or 40s suffer from osteoporosis in our world – particularly people with damaged gut flora who are unable to digest and absorb their food properly. Their bones are thin. They‟re translucent on X-ray.
When you go on the right diet and you start eating fats… Your bones are made out of fats to a large degree. Your teeth are made out of fat to a large degree in their structure. What you find is that your bones are becoming heavier. They‟re rebuilding themselves. The osteoporosis is going away, so your bones are becoming heavier. Those kilograms that you put on and that your scales are showing are your bones healing themselves and getting rid of osteoporosis. Rejoice and be happy about it, rather than weighing yourself every day and worrying about it.
DM: Terrific. I think that‟s one of the most important information that you shared with us, the way that it practically increased the bone and then the information about the bone marrow. Could you just repeat that, so that we can sort of emphasize the importance of it? How you go to the butcher, have the fat that you‟re asking for, and the fact that you can typically get it for free if you‟re buying your meat there.
NC: You ask for fat from the insides of the tummy of the animal. It can be lamb, beef, or pork. Usually that fat gets either thrown away or goes to some industrial purposes, so the butchers don‟t get any profit from it whatsoever when they deal with an animal.
You want a butcher who actually deals with the full carcass of the animals or the gizzard thing. If they don‟t do it themselves, they can get it for you by ordering, so order it. That will be quite a large slab depending on what animal we‟re talking about. In a lamb, you‟re talking about two feet by one foot.