Carnivore Diet

By Justin Carmel, PT, DPT

The Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet, is also referred to as “the all meat diet”. It is a diet plan that advocates eating only animal based foods.  These animal based foods include meat, fish, and some dairy. The goal of the carnivore diet is to limit carbohydrate intake to the lowest levels possible. Additionally, another goal is to have high intake amounts of protein and fat.  Credit for the carnivore diet goes to Shawn Baker, a former Orthopedic Surgeon. Since then, a number of low carb devotees, including Joe Rogan and Mark “Smelly” Bell . 

Meats included in the Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet includes a variety of different meats.

Definition Of The Carnivore Diet

Contingent upon who you ask, the definite guidelines for this eating style can vary significantly. Some variations allow dairy and a few plant based options. Other stricter versions call for the complete elimination of all dairy and plant based foods.  The carnivore diet is often compared to the paleo diet, which originated on the notion that our diet should mimic our early ancestors more closely, thus consisting of more meat and fish and less high carb and processed foods.  

Proponents of the carnivore diet believe that a diet high in carbs and processed foods is harmful to our health. They believe such foods are a significant contributor of modern chronic diseases like obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.  Many of these carnivore diet advocates believe that complete elimination of carbohydrates from our diet can help. It can treat anxiety, depression, auto-immune diseases, and ultimately result in more fat loss.  However, despite these claims, nutrition research at this time does not fully support these claims and the exact role of carbohydrates in health is not quite so black and white. 

What Vegetables Van You Eat On The Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet comprises almost entirely of animal-based foods, including meat, fish, eggs, and low lactose dairy.  An individual adhering to this diet may also use honey, salt, pepper, and zero-carb seasonings.  Additional foods, including fruitsvegetables, grains, high lactose dairy, sugars, and plant-based oils are completely excluded from a true carnivore diet. 

Does The Diet Work

Backers of the carnivore diet claim that it has numerous health benefits. One such benefit is that it helps enhance the human body’s natural functions.  The diet advocates believe it can have a positive effect. It can help with body weight reduction, depression, anxiety, diabetes, skin complaints, pain, digestive issues, and arthritis. 

For arthritis lifestyle changes and home remedies READ THIS ARTICLE.

Many individuals who decide to try the diet want to lose weight, and according to an article in The European Journal of Nutrition, low carb diets work on the notion that reducing blood sugar levels cause the body to enter a state of ketosis, or fat burning. The belief is that this state of ketosis results in weight loss. 

However, it may be more likely or at least easier to prove that the carnivore diet works for weight loss in the same way that many other diets do, which is by the elimination of certain unhealthy foods.  Because the carnivore diet excludes carbs, it’s followers do not eat unhealthy foods. Such unhealthy foods include cakes, pastries, fries and cookies.  Any healthy eating plan will generally recommend against eating calorie dense foods with little nutritional value such as these.  Cutting these foods out completely is helpful. This will encourage weight loss and overall health gains, regardless of whether an individual follows an animal-based diet. 

Side Effects

The limiting nature of the carnivore diet leaves entire food groups out of an individual’s diet. This eliminates many of the vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients they provide.  Vegetables, fruits, and grains contain fiber, which are essential for healthy digestion.  The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has also found that dietary fiber can help protect against colon cancer and other colorectal adenoma.  

According to some research, eating red meat and processed meat is associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease and diabetes, however an added health risk may stem from the type of meat that a person eats.  For other individuals with chronic kidney disease, following a strict high protein diet might be particularly damaging.  Limiting dietary variety could also be particularly dangerous for pregnant or lactating people, whose nutritional needs are unlikely to be met by an animal based plant diet alone.  Other more disagreeable side effects of the diet include constipation, headaches, bad breath, explosive diarrhea, and flatulence. 

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