Shawn Baker

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Shawn Baker
Potentially edible!
Food woo
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Fabulous food!
Delectable diets!
Bodacious bods!
Anecdotal evidence is still evidence and it is a hell of a lot more relevant to an individual than an epidemiological study.
—Shawn Baker[1]

Shawn Baker is an American former orthopedic surgeon, anti-vegan activist, bodybuilder, carnivore diet advocate, cholesterol denialist, pseudoscience promoter, and internet troll. Baker claims that if people are afraid of red meat or avoid it in their diet, then this is a sign of mental weakness and such people have been "programmed" by a secret cult that wants to control them.[2] In December 2022, Baker posted that on average he eats 3 steaks a day and in total has eaten 7,000 steaks in the last 7 years.[3]

Baker is often cited by the carnivore diet community as being a strict carnivore who only eats animal foods, however, he has admitted to eating berries and also enjoys birthday cakes on occasion.[4][5][6]

Baker's social media followers have noted that in his videos, apples and bananas can be seen in his kitchen.[7] Baker has responded to this by claiming that they "probably" belong to his son and that he lives with four other people. Baker claims to to eat a 99% animal-based diet[7] but the real figure is probably around 80%.

In February 2024, Baker admitted that he doesn't know the long-term health effects of a carnivore diet.[8] Despite this admission he spends much of his time on social media making health claims about the diet. He has also admitted that his social media posts are "for entertainment purposes only in many ways", meaning that most of the content he posts is not to be taken seriously.[8] Baker charges $150 for a 30 minute online consultation about the carnivore diet.[9]

Baker is the Chief Medical Officer and Director of Revero Inc, a virtual care company which aims to "reverse autoimmune and other chronic diseases by addressing the root causes".[10] The Revero Treatment consists of a low-carb diet (less than 30grams of carbohydrates daily), primarily sourced from animal fats with some fruits and vegetables.[11] A monthly description including access to the app costs $199.[12]


In 2018, reports circulated that Baker follows a dangerous all-meat diet,[13] is nicknamed the "Carnivore King", and has a cult following on social media platforms.[14] An online interview featured Baker eating sixteen fast-food burger patties; he described this as a "normal meal" that he eats.[15]

Baker believes that anecdotal evidence is more important than scientific research. He makes stupid anti-scientific YouTube videos claiming that vegetables are bad for health and that there is bias to believe they are beneficial.[16] He spends much of his time trolling vegans on Instagram and Twitter for a reaction as well as a roundabout way to promote his business, MeatRX, which he has chosen to focus on rather than practice medicine.[citation NOT needed] As of November 2022, Baker had a net worth of $250,000 as a result of his MeatRX business, which has changed its name to Revero.[17]

Baker, despite having practiced medicine (as a surgeon no less), is actively against mask mandates for the COVID-19 pandemic, despite having claimed he's not anti-mask.[18][19] He argues people should be free to make their own choices, even if their choices adversely affect their community by spreading the COVID virus.[20] He even tweeted relating the mask mandate in response to a pandemic to a totalitarian government in the book 1984.[21] He also posted an Instagram post comparing Vietnam's low obesity rate to low COVID cases, even though the reason for Vietnam's low cases is because they initiated a strict lockdown when the pandemic began.[22][23]

Not on a strict all-meat diet[edit]

Shawn Baker admitting to eating fruit on his YouTube channel in 2024
Maybe once in awhile I have, you know, have some berries again you know, and then to see how I do with that. I mean there's nothing wrong with that.
—Shawn Baker who eats berries on his carnivore diet.[4]

Several websites reported in 2018 that Baker was eating a strict all-meat diet.[13][14] This has now been disproven as Baker consumes dairy, eggs and fruit. In a 2020 interview Baker stated that he is not dogmatic about a 100% carnivore diet and that "Most people end up eating what we call carnivor-ish, so they eat meat about 90 percent of the time and they have other foods they enjoy the other 10 percent, and it works pretty well."[24] The idea that Baker only eats red meat is not true. In his personal life, Baker eats lots of cheese and eggs, sometimes with his steaks.[25] Baker also allows his children to eat dairy, fruit and minimal processed sugar:

While Dr. Baker is a happy carnivore dieter, he isn’t a zealot and doesn’t push people on an all-meat diet. For example, he doesn’t push his three kids to be a carnivore, but he favors them eating meat first, and if they’re still hungry, they can eat cheese, eggs, or a ketogenic dessert. He also lets them eat fruit and dairy but minimally processed sugar.[26]

A strict carnivore diet is not sustainable long-term, Baker doesn't eat only meat. He is known to eat up to 18 eggs per day.[2] He also eats fish and yoghurt.[7]

Once in a while I’ll have some fish, bacon or some dairy. And very rarely I might have a piece of fruit or a slice of birthday cake.
—Shawn Baker in November 2022.[6]

Baker has admitted to eating berries, birthday cakes and also uses spices, so he is not a strict carnivore.[4][5] He describes his diet as 99% animal-based[7] but the real figure is probably around 80%.

In February 2024, Baker admitted in a video on his YouTube channel that he had experimented with fruit on his carnivore diet.[27] This contradicts his claim from March 2023:

Fruit is in no way part of the Carnivore diet! As the guy who literally wrote the original book using the name Carnivore diet, fruit is not there! If you want to add fruit to your diet and you tolerate it, that’s fine but don’t mislead people and call it “carnivore”.
—Shawn Baker criticizing fruit on a carnivore diet but doing it himself.[28]


Baker has spoken at many events and on podcasts to debate the carnivore diet. In May, 2023 he was a speaker at a panel discussion "Do we need to eat plants?" at the seventh Public Health Collaboration (PHC) in Sheffield, UK.[29] The Scientific Advisory Committee of the PHC are personal friends of Baker such as Chairman David Unwin (a well known low-carbohydrate diet advocate), so the charity is hardly a neutral source.[30]

In Febrary 2024, Baker debated plant-based doctor Garth Davis.[8] In the debate Baker stated that he does not know the long-term health effects of a carnivore diet:

I don't know if it's going to either prevent or increase the likelihood of some disease, cause we just don't have the data that shows that.[8]

Medical license[edit]

The New Mexico Medical Board ordered the "voluntary and permanent surrender" of Baker's medical license in 2017. "This action was based on failure to report adverse action taken by a healthcare entity and incompetence to practice as a licensee."[31] Baker claimed the reason he lost his license was because he opted to help his patients through lifestyle interventions rather than perform profitable surgeries for the hospital where he worked. As a result, the hospital where he worked did a review of his cases, which he called a "sham". The files related to Baker's license case are sealed, so there is no way to corroborate or counter his claims.[32][33][34] However, Baker himself has never publicized the files related to his hearing, despite claiming to be the one wronged by his state's medical board. Baker's license was reinstated with stipulations in 2019.[35] However, despite his license being reinstated, Baker has yet to find employment as an orthopedic surgeon.[citation NOT needed]

Inconsistent criticism of epidemiological studies[edit]

Baker is known for his opposition to epidemiological studies but in 2021 started supporting such studies if they are being done on the carnivore diet (see below). In 2017, Baker dismissed epidemiological studies as leading to "massive bias and poor assumptions".[36] In 2019, he gave a lecture "Evidence Based Nutrition?" for the Low Carb Down Under event. Baker stated that epidemiological studies are useless because they cannot assert causation and have potential confounding factors. He said that no long term randomized controlled trials have ever been done on human diets and that anecdotes of people eating meat-based diets are more reliable than epidemiological studies.[37]

In February 2020, he again criticized such studies for being inaccurate:

We know these epidemiology studies are based on food frequency questionnaires, which ask you to remember what you think you might have eaten over the last six months. They’re notoriously inaccurate.[24]

Carnivore study[edit]

In November 2021, a Harvard study based on self-reported data from 2029 adults was published for the first time on the carnivore diet.[38] The study is essentially useless by Baker's own criteria as it was self-reported (taken from a social media questionnaire among adults self-identifying as consuming a carnivore diet up to 6 months). It was not a long-term study or controlled. Questionnaires are a commonly used tool in epidemiological studies which Baker has criticized but he had no problem with it being used in this case because the study was on the carnivore diet.

Baker has since promoted the study on Twitter and his YouTube channel as making carnivore diet history and advertises it as some kind of scientific breakthrough.[39][40] Baker also claims he had personally pushed for the study to be done and was waiting for 3 years for it to happen.[40] Baker has not talked about any of the limitations of the study but continues to criticize epidemiology studies being done on plant-based diets as biased and useless. Baker's bias and contradictory beliefs about epidemiology studies were noticed by some of his Instagram and Twitter followers.[41]

An alarming result of the study was the elevated LDL-C and coronary artery calcification (CAC score) increase by almost 50%.[38][42] However, Baker had misrepresented the results of the study on Twitter as decreasing CAC.[39] Baker has since deleted his tweet.

Conflict of interest[edit]

See the main article on this topic: Conflict of interest

The Harvard carnivore diet study in the "acknowledgements" section thanked "Shawn Baker and Travis Statham for input in developing the survey instruments, online distribution of the survey, and critical review of the manuscript", yet on his social media accounts when advertising the study, Baker does not reveal this.[38] So Baker has conflict of interest with the study. The social media questionnaire that was given out to its participants were from "(World Carnivore Tribe, Facebook, 23%; Instagram, 18%; r/Zerocarb, Reddit, 7%; Zeroing in on Health, Facebook, 5%; Twitter, 5%; other, 42%)". World Carnivore Tribe is a Facebook group operated by Shawn Baker.[43] Not only was the data self-reported it came from entirely biased sources.

Personal health[edit]


In 2018, Baker reported some of his blood work test results in an interview with paleo diet advocate Robb Wolf.[44] However, he conveniently did not mention his LDL-C level. With the traditional Friedewald equation his LDL-C was estimated as a whopping high 149.2 mg/dl.[45] The optimal guideline level of LDL-C is less than 100 mg/dl.[46][47] High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) increase the risk of atherosclerotic disease, this is a scientific fact that Baker denies.[48]

Baker argues that cholesterol levels vary between days of the week, even though cholesterol is typically measured from fasting blood in order to account for such variation.[49]

Testosterone levels[edit]

Baker's blood work showed his testosterone levels were abnormally low. Baker claimed this is because his testosterone receptors are extremely sensitive so he doesn't need as much testosterone to maintain his muscle mass.[44] However, in 2021, Baker's blood work showed his testosterone levels were normal and he since made up a new reason, that testosterone levels vary depending on the time of day you get your blood work done, even though the normal range of testosterone is pretty wide (270-1070 ng/dL) to account for such variances.[50]


In the same interview with Robb Wolf, Baker's hemoglobin A1C were in the pre-diabetic levels range. Baker once again made an outrageous claim: that his red blood cells live longer than the normal 3 months for most people, which leads to an overestimation of his hemoglobin A1C levels and that he is not actually prediabetic.[44]

Baker's fasting glucose was 127, also in the pre-diabetic range. Baker claimed he's extremely "insulin sensitive" even though insulin is responsible for removing glucose from the bloodstream. He then referenced "Adaptive Glucose Sparing", which is a concept used in the low-carb community about insulin insensitivity rather than insulin sensitivity.[44]

Twitter ban[edit]

Baker was banned from Twitter in July 2021.[51][52] He has since created a new account and is back on Twitter daily.[53] His original account has since been reinstated.

Views on LDL cholesterol[edit]

Baker has said that high LDL cholesterol is not problematic on the carnivore diet as evidence shows that high-LDL reduces all-cause mortality.[54] Typical followers of his diet have claimed their LDL-c is between 250 and 300 mg/dl which is dangerous and likely to increase risk of CVD events. Baker ignores the strong evidence that LDL-c causes atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD). The European Atherosclerosis Society have stated:

Separate meta-analyses of over 200 prospective cohort studies, Mendelian randomization studies, and randomized trials including more than 2 million participants with over 20 million person-years of follow-up and over 150 000 cardiovascular events demonstrate a remarkably consistent dose-dependent log-linear association between the absolute magnitude of exposure of the vasculature to LDL-C and the risk of ASCVD; and this effect appears to increase with increasing duration of exposure to LDL-C.[55]

The medical consensus to reduce heart disease risk is that optimal LDL-c should be less than 100mg/dl and those with heart disease or many risk factors, below 70 mg/dL.[56][57]

Baker ignores the fact that normal LDL-c is actually 20-40 mg/dl.[58] There is no atherosclerosis below 40 mg/dl. A 2022 review in the American Journal of Preventive Cardiology reported:

Humans were never meant to harbor the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) levels that are now commonplace. In one series of 147 full-term neonates, the average LDL-C was 20 ± 10 mg/dL. Despite the extraordinary rate of development and need for myelination, even neonates need very little LDL-C. The fact that animals, non-human primates, and humans who maintain low cholesterol levels from early in life have very little atherosclerosis all suggest that a ‘normal’ non-atherogenic LDL-C level is 20–40 mg/dl. That is of course difficult to achieve in a modern society and, as described herein, is not necessary for most people.

Based on the log-linear relationship of LDL-C to the hazard ratio for an acute ASCVD event, the LDL-C level where no excess risk occurs is approximately 38 mg/dL or 1 mmol/L [64] (Fig. 1). This value is consistent with the LDL-C levels observed among hunter-gatherer populations. In the Framingham Study, the average LDL-C of a man presenting with an Acute Coronary Syndrome (ACS) is approximately 150 mg/dL. In the Cooper Center Longitudinal Study, even when LDL-C at baseline was < 100 mg/dL, there was a continuous rise in risk for Coronary Heart Disease (CHD) mortality over a mean follow-up time of 26.5 yrs. Hence, it is crucial that exposure to atherogenic lipoproteins be dramatically reduced early and over the long-term.[58]

The lower the LDL-c, the lower the risk and fewer complications of atherosclerosis.[58][59] Studies have found that people with LDL-c of 150 to 160 mg/dl have a significant increased risk in the prevalence of atherosclerosis.[60]

Baker's claim that low LDL-c increases all-cause mortality is more likely to be a case of reverse causality. Baker dismisses this explanation but there is a lot of evidence in the medical literature that supports it. Alan Flanagan who has reviewed many studies concluded:

In the UK Whitehall Study, low cholesterol levels were associated with increased risk in the initial analysis. However, by excluding the first two years of follow-up from the analysis, there was no longer any association between low cholesterol and cancer risk. Tornberg et al. examined both cancer incidence and mortality relative to blood cholesterol levels over 18-20yrs, and found that the relationship between low cholesterol levels and cancer incidence and mortality was strongest with the first two years of follow-up. This data corroborates a pre-clinical, cholesterol-lowering effect of undiagnosed cancer. The study found that cholesterol levels measured closer to the time of death from cancer (i.e., mortality as an outcome) were lower again than cholesterol levels measured before the time of a diagnosis (i.e., incidence as an outcome). This finding is important, as the stronger association of lower LDL-C with cancer mortality rather than cancer incidence confirms a pre-clinical metabolic effect of underlying cancer; i.e. LDL-C begins to lower prior to diagnosis and continues to be suppressed with active disease. This time-course relationship eradicates the potential for a causal relationship between lower cholesterol and cancer incidence. Meaning, low LDL-C does not cause cancer.

Thus, the apparent relationship between low cholesterol levels and increased mortality risk is primarily one of reverse causality. Therefore it is underlying metabolic dysfunction related to latent disease which explains the risk of death, not the low blood cholesterol levels. This is confirmed by the evidence that naturally lower LDL-C levels are associated with lower all-cause mortality risk across the lifespan in genetic studies. And it is corroborated by the lack of evidence from deliberate, pharmacological lowering of LDL-C of any increased cancer or all-cause mortality risk compared to untreated patients.[61]

Baker is known to cherry-pick from studies, for example he dismisses reverse causality but some of the papers he cites comment that "we cannot rule out the possibility of reverse causality".[62]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Anecdotal evidence is still evidence and it is a hell of a lot more relevant to an individual than an epidemiological study by Shawn Baker (11:32 AM — 28 Feb 2019) Twitter (archived from June 15, 2019). The amount of comments that agree with him is astounding.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Let’s talk about eggs!!
  3. Shawn Baker on Twitter. Shawn Baker.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Dr. Shawn Baker
  5. 5.0 5.1 How much French toast can I have on a Carnivore diet
  6. 6.0 6.1 Shawn Baker. Twitter.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 Shawn Baker admits a lot of fruit is in his kitchen
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 Opposing views: shawn baker (debates expert plant based doctor).
  9. Dr. Shawn Baker, MD.
  11. Frequently Asked Questions.
  12. Get the personalized care you need to address the root-cause of your chronic disease.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Please do not try to survive on an all-meat diet. Popular Science
  14. 14.0 14.1 Olivia Solon, They mock vegans and eat 4lb of steak a day: meet 'carnivore dieters'. The Guardian, 11 May 2018.
  15. Behind the Scenes with Dr. Shawn Baker
  17. Shawn Baker Net Worth.
  18. SBakerMD on Twitter, 15 December 2020.
  19. BustaArmov on Twitter, 17 December 2020.
  20. SBakerMD on Twitter, 24 November 2020.
  21. SBakerMD on Twitter, 23 February 2021.
  22. shawnbaker1969 on Instagram, 22 February 2021.
  23. Manisha Mirchandani, How Did Vietnam and Cambodia Contain COVID-19 With Few Resources?, 27 December 2020.
  24. 24.0 24.1 Dr. Shawn Baker On The Carnivore Diet/, 3 February 2020.
  25. shawnbaker1967 on Instagram, 1 July 2021.
  26. Paul Nganga, Spotlight On Dr. Shawn Baker. Archived from, 2020.
  27. I added fruit to my carnivore diet, here’s what happened!.
  28. Dr Shawn Baker on Twitter.
  29. Panel Discussion - Do we need to eat plants?
  30. Scientific Advisory Committee
  31. Actions taken between July 1, 2017 through September 30, 2017. In the Matter of the Application of Shawn Mark Baker, M.D. New Mexico Medical Board.
  34. Stipulation and order for voluntary surrender of license and permanent restriction on reapplication, In the matter of Shawn Baker, M.D. New Mexico Medical Board, Case 2017-038.
  35. Dr Shawn Baker - the state board voted to reinstate his licence by u/Eleanorina Reddit.
  36. SBakerMD on Twitter, 28 October 2017.
  38. 38.0 38.1 38.2 Belinda S Lennerz, Jacob T Mey, Owen H Henn, David S Ludwig, Behavioral Characteristics and Self-reported Health Status Among 2029 Adults Consuming a “Carnivore Diet”. Current Developments in Nutrition, 2 November 2021.
  39. 39.0 39.1 Harvard Carnivore Diet Study is now Live!! 84-100% elimination of diabetic meds, well tolerated with minimal side effects, LDLUpwards arrow, HDL Upwards arrow, Trig Downwards arrow, weight Downwards arrow, avg CAC score Downwards arrow, 6 months to 28 years! Well tolerated and high level of satisfaction by Shawn Baker (6:06 PM · Nov 8, 2021·) Twitter (archived from 9 Nov 2021 21:55:08 UTC).
  40. 40.0 40.1
  41. shawnbaker1969 on Instagram, 8 November 2021.
  42. The_Nutrivore on Twitter, 8 November 2021.
  43. #66: The Carnivore Diet – Broadening the Discussion with Dr. Shawn Baker., undated podcast.
  44. 44.0 44.1 44.2 44.3 Episode 385 – Dr. Shawn Baker – Carnivore Diet and Dr. Baker’s Blood Work., 13 March 2018.
  45. All Meat Dieter's Blood Test Results
  48. LDL-C: lower is better for longer—even at low risk
  51. Shawn Baker Banned on Twitter
  52. Kevin Bass vs. Shawn Baker
  53. ShawnBakerMD on Twitter, 27 September 2021.
  54. Carnivore Diet Raises your LDL Cholesterol?
  55. Low-density lipoproteins cause atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease. 1. Evidence from genetic, epidemiologic, and clinical studies. A consensus statement from the European Atherosclerosis Society Consensus Panel
  56. Cholesterol Numbers and What They Mean
  57. Lipid Panel
  58. 58.0 58.1 58.2 There is urgent need to treat atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease risk earlier, more intensively, and with greater precision: A review of current practice and recommendations for improved effectiveness
  59. How Low Can You Go? New Evidence Supports No Lower Bound to Low-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol Level in Secondary Prevention
  60. Normal LDL-Cholesterol Levels Are Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in the Absence of Risk Factors
  61. Low Cholesterol & Increased Mortality Risk?: Clarifying the Confusion
  62. Association of change in total cholesterol level with mortality: A population-based study