Over a month ago I made a conscious (and unconscious) decision to stop eating land meat, and get my B12 and protein from seafood, eggs, and fermented dairy.
However, a few weeks later, my blood test results revealed a dangerously low B12 (even if I was Paleo and eating offal for 5 years), and a non-alcoholic fatty liver (that Paleo never cured). Obviously, I started digging, and then it was obvious that my B12 deficiency comes because of my destroyed by celiac disease, gut. Supplementation will probably be needed for life.
However, for the non-alcoholic fatty liver, the situation was complex. Why was Paleo never cured it? Why did I feel much better after I cut out almost all saturated fat from my diet? Was the conventional low-fat “wisdom” correct, and the Paleo doctrine wrong?
Well, what I found out by researching, was that in order for the liver to lose its fatty-ness, it requires lecithin components, particularly choline. Humans only take a small amount of choline via their diets, and the rest is synthesized in the gut. So since I was eating liver once a month or so, and 2-3 eggs daily, which are the primary nutrition for choline, why didn’t I have enough choline?
Well, here’s the kicker: choline requires B12 and methionine in order to get synthesized. A substance that I was (and still am) very short of. Additionally, choline requires other components to get synthesized, that are found only in meat. So I’ve added all these supplements to my daily regiment, and with my new, lower-fat and higher carb Pegan diet, I’m now losing weight without much effort. I eat fewer calories than I used to, without being as hungry as I always was. I’ve lost 7 lbs in a month.
However, methionine, choline, and other B vitamins become a bit of a nuance to just get from pills. I don’t want to be getting 8-10 pills a day. It’s not safe in the long run. So, I’ve decided to add some offal and bone broth back into my diet. Offal every Sunday, and bone broth once or twice a week in soups, to heal my gut further. If I find wild salmon heads, I rather go with salmon for fish broth, but it’s not easy to find these wild. It’s easier for me to find pastured buffalo bones instead, and offal from pastured goats and lamb.
I’m also looking at other, low-fat meat options out there: e.g. game, alligator, turtles, insects etc. I have found that Dr Cordain’s original Paleo diet, which was a moderate fat diet, is healthier than Rob Wolf’s version of high-fat Paleo. The Paleolithic people would eat game, not chickens that are selected to be fat, or are raised with hormones. Game meat, is always lean. I spent years under Wolf’s and Sisson’s version of Paleo, but now I see the wisdom in Cordain’s version — at least for me, with a Balkan ancestry. The only thing that I don’t agree with Cordain is his strict stance against legumes, something that both Sisson, Kresser, and even Wolf now accept as edible.
Finally, I consider offal and bones a more ethical approach to eating land animals, because these animals were not killed for their offal, they were killed for their muscle meat. I would also consider eating a chicken or a goat from my family in Greece, since I know that they are 100% pastured and extremely healthy animals that live good lives. Yes, I understand that I’m piggybacking on the existing status quo by doing so, but I rather be healthier with minimal guilt, rather than be unhealthy with no guilt. I’ve gone in to many surgeries and pains in life (and things haven’t even settled down yet in terms of my health) to give priority to animals instead of myself. So I choose the middle way: reduced land meat intake, primarily offal, from good sources.
So this is where I’m heading towards now: seafood 2-3 times a week, and land meat / offal once a week, plus some supplementation. I hope I have my health fixed by the end of the year, and continue improving in the year following. I have 55 lbs to lose.