Have you ever thought about what it would be, like to consume meat and animal products? No fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts or seeds? Just sticking to meat, eggs, cheese, butter and perhaps some fish?
If this idea seems strange to you you're not alone. Most individuals believe that a rounded diet consists of a variety of plant based foods and that solely relying on animal products would be detrimental to one's health and uninteresting in the long run.
However, what if I were to inform you that there is an increasing number of people who firmly believe in the carnivore diet as the way to enhance their well being, mood stability, energy levels, weight management capabilities and performance? These individuals claim benefits from eliminating carbohydrates and fully embracing an all meat approach.
In this article I will delve into what the carnivore diet entails. I will explain how it operates and outline its advantages well as drawbacks. Additionally for those who're curious, about trying it themselves I will provide guidance on getting started with this dietary approach.
What is the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet is an eating plan that focuses solely on consuming meat and animal products while excluding all other types of food. It is also commonly referred to as a zero carb diet or an animal sourced foods (ASF) diet.
Advocates of the carnivore diet argue that our ancestors predominantly consumed meat and fish attributing today's rates of diseases to high carb diets. Some known supporters of this diet include Shawn Baker, an orthopedic doctor who claims to have alleviated his arthritis, depression and athletic decline by exclusively consuming meat. Another notable individual is Mikhaila Peterson, a blogger who shares her experience of reversing disorders, depression and anxiety through following the same dietary approach.
However, it's important to note that there is currently no evidence supporting the claims that the carnivore diet can effectively treat or prevent any conditions. The only study conducted on this eating plan was a survey involving 575 self reported followers who expressed satisfaction and reported experiencing positive effects. Nevertheless, due to limitations associated with this study, it cannot be considered as conclusive evidence.
How does the carnivore diet work?
The carnivore diet is centered around excluding all sources of carbohydrates from your meals. This means avoiding fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and any processed foods containing sugar or starch.
By doing this you compel your body to transition, from using glucose (sugar) as its fuel source to utilizing ketones instead. This change is similar to what occurs during a keto diet but taken to an extreme level.
When there is a low amount of glucose in your bloodstream your liver produces ketones. These ketones can be utilized by organs and tissues as an energy source. Additionally, ketones are believed to possess inflammatory properties and provide neuroprotection.
Supporters of the carnivore diet argue that consuming animal based foods supplies all the nutrients for optimal health and performance. They assert that meat should be a staple in the diet since it contains high quality protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals and other bioactive compounds.
Furthermore, they claim that plant based foods are unnecessary or even detrimental to health. Their argument revolves around plants containing anti nutrients, like lectins, phytates, oxalates,
And gluten, which can potentially hinder digestion and mineral absorption.
They also mention that plants have the potential to cause allergies and immune system reactions in individuals. Nevertheless, these assertions lack backing. There is no evidence to support the notion that consuming animal based foods can fulfill all requirements or prevent any illnesses. On the contrary, ample evidence exists indicating that incorporating a range of plant based foods into your diet can decrease the likelihood of developing chronic conditions, including cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity.
What are the benefits of the carnivore diet?
Although there is a dearth of evidence certain individuals claim to have encountered advantages by adhering to the carnivore diet. These purported benefits encompass;
- Weight loss: Including a variety of foods in your diet, such as meat and animal products can be beneficial for weight loss. You may also try Shred Fat Burner to support your weight loss. Consuming these protein satisfying options can help reduce calorie intake and increase feelings of fullness. Additionally the protein content aids in boosting metabolism and preserving muscle mass.
- Improved blood sugar control: Cutting out carbohydrates from your diet has the potential to reduce your blood sugar levels and enhance your body's ability to respond to insulin. This can offer advantages to individuals dealing with diabetes or prediabetes who find it challenging to control their blood sugar through medication or lifestyle modifications.
- Reduced inflammation: Cutting out carbohydrates from your diet can also help decrease inflammation by reducing stress and the production of cytokines. Inflammation plays a role in the development of chronic diseases, including arthritis, asthma and inflammatory bowel disease.
- Enhanced mental clarity and mood: Cutting out carbohydrates from your diet can have benefits beyond physical health. It can actually enhance your brain function. Mood by boosting the production of ketones and maintaining a balance of neurotransmitters. Ketones act as an effective source of fuel for your brain cells while neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin play a role in regulating emotions and motivation.
- Increased energy and performance: Cutting out carbohydrates from your diet can also have an impact on your energy levels and overall performance. It does this by enhancing the functioning of the mitochondria which are like the powerhouses of your cells and by promoting breakdown, for energy. These combined effects can greatly enhance your endurance and strength.
What are the downsides of the carnivore diet?
Following the carnivore diet comes with its share of risks and challenges. There are drawbacks to consider when adopting this eating plan;
- Nutrient deficiencies: Relying solely on a diet of meat and animal products may increase the likelihood of experiencing deficiencies particularly if you exclude organ meats, seafood and dairy products from your meals. Some essential nutrients that you might be deficient in include vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, folate, calcium, magnesium, potassium and fiber.
- Digestive issues :Consuming a diet solely based on meat and animal products can lead to problems, like constipation, diarrhea, bloating, excessive gas and unpleasant breath. This occurs because of the alteration it causes to your gut microbiome. The gut microbiome refers to the community of bacteria and microorganisms residing in your system. It plays a role in functions such, as digestion, immunity, metabolism and even mood regulation.
- Social isolation: Limiting your diet to meat and animal products can pose challenges when it comes to socializing with individuals who do not adhere to their eating habits. It may become challenging to dine out at restaurants, participate in gatherings or enjoy meals together with your loved ones. Moreover, you might encounter disapproval or mockery from those who fail to comprehend or support your preferences.
- Long-term health consequences: Consuming meat and animal based foods may also impact your long term well being, in a way. It has not been substantiated that following a diet can effectively prevent or cure any diseases. In fact research suggests that excessive consumption of meat and processed meats can heighten the likelihood of developing conditions like type 2 diabetes, cancer and even mortality.
How to get started on the carnivore diet?
If you're interested, in giving the carnivore diet a try here are a steps you can follow to get started;
- Consult your doctor: Before embarking on any diet plan one as drastic as the carnivore diet it is crucial to consult with your doctor and undergo a blood test to assess your current health condition. Additionally, make sure to inform your doctor about any medications or supplements you are currently using as adjustments or discontinuations may be necessary.
- Choose your animal foods: When following the carnivore diet it's important to prioritize types of meat and animal products. Opt for grass fed pasture raised meats whenever possible as they generally offer high nutritional value and have a smaller environmental impact compared to conventional options. Additionally, incorporating organ meats, like liver, kidney and heart into your diet is recommended as they are packed with vitamins and minerals that may be lacking. Seafood such as fish, shellfish and seaweed are also choices due to their abundance of omega 3 fatty acids, iodine and selenium. While not necessary, dairy products, like cheese, butter and cream can provide some variety. Enhance the flavors in your meals.
- Plan your meals: The concept of the carnivore diet is straightforward. Putting it into practice can be quite challenging. To successfully follow this diet it's important to plan your meals in advance to ensure you have a supply of animal based foods and avoid any temptations, from compliant foods. Additionally, you may find yourself needing to cook more than usual since most pre packaged foods contain carbohydrates or other ingredients that are not allowed on this diet. To add flavor and variety to your meals feel free to use spices, herbs and sauces; just be mindful that they don't contain any sugar or starch.
- Track your progress: Following the carnivore diet can greatly influence both your body and mind making it crucial to keep track of your journey and pay attention to how you're feeling. To monitor your progress you have options, at your disposal; using a scale to measure weight, a tape measure for body measurements a blood glucose meter and ketone meter for monitoring sugar and ketone levels or simply maintaining a journal where you can record subjective experiences such as hunger levels, energy levels, mood fluctuations and quality of sleep. Additionally taking before and after pictures can help you visually observe any changes in your appearance as you embark on this diet.
- Experiment and adjust: The carnivore diet is not a one size fits all solution. It's important to personalize and tweak your choices based on your preferences, objectives and outcomes. You might discover that you feel better, with varying levels of fat or protein in your diet.
The carnivore diet is an eating plan that focuses solely on consuming meat and animal products while excluding all other types of food. Its premise is rooted in the belief that our ancestors primarily relied on meat and fish for sustenance, considering plant based foods unnecessary or even harmful to our health.
Advocates of the carnivore diet argue that it can aid in weight loss, better blood sugar regulation, reduced inflammation, improved clarity and mood well as increased energy levels and performance. However it's important to note that there is currently no evidence supporting these claims. Furthermore, following the carnivore diet can be quite challenging and poses risks. It may lead to deficiencies, digestive problems, social isolation and long term health complications.
If you're intrigued by the idea of trying out the carnivore diet for yourself it's crucial to consult your doctor and undergo a blood test to assess your existing health status. Additionally, careful consideration should be given to selecting animal based foods for your meals. Planning ahead of time, monitoring your progress closely and being open to experimenting with adjustments in your diet are all aspects to keep in mind.
Nevertheless, it's worth mentioning that the carnivore diet isn't suitable for everyone. You might discover that adopting a sustainable approach incorporating a diverse range of plant based foods can yield similar or even superior outcomes. It's also possible that you might find enjoyment in consuming more than meat and animal products as part of your choices.
Food serves not as a source of energy. It also brings joy and reflects our cultural identity.