Each and every day there is a new trendy diet, a few months ago I was invited to a Facebook group about the carnivore diet, after being in that group for a while I saw different people reporting different results about this diet.
After watching those results I decided to investigate a little bit more about this diet and this is what I found out about the carnivore diet.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
In a few words, the carnivore diet is a dietary plan that involves eating just animal meat for all your nutritional needs.
There are no plant-based foods, like fruit or vegetables, or any processed carbohydrate foods like cereals and grains.
The diet is also known as a zero carb diet, or all meat diet, and is classified as a high protein diet. A full, or strict, follower will eat just meat and only drink water.
Whereas, others may include drinks like coffee and tea, or other sources of fat like dairy products.
It is the complete opposite of the plant-based diet or a vegan diet and you can say that it is a cousin of the ketogenic diet.
What to Eat
As I said before carnivore diet is primarily an animal meat-based diet. This means you can eat 100% meat only when on the diet.
These are the foods that you can eat in the carnivore diet
Meat. Beef, fatty cuts of steak, and red meat are the staples to this diet. Since you aren’t consuming any carbohydrates, you should be getting the bulk of your calories from fattier meat to ensure you’re getting enough calories to maintain stable energy levels.
Dairy. Technically dairy coming from animals like milk, butter, and cheese are allowed on the diet but many carnivore dieters try to limit dairy since lactose intolerance has become increasingly common.
Animal Fat Products. Lard, tallow, and other animal-derived fats are encouraged to be consumed on the carnivore diet.
Fish. Any type of fish is allowed although fattier cuts of fish like salmon and halibut are preferred.
YOU SHOULD AVOID:
- This is a low-carb diet, so the main food you should avoid is any food containing carbohydrates. From candy to vegetables, any carb source is 100 percent restricted from the carnivore diet.
- All supplements should be avoided. The theory behind the carnivore diet is that all of the nutrients and minerals your body needs to thrive are contained in animal foods.
History of the Carnivore Diet
Basically, the carnivore diet has been there since the beginning of time, in early civilization, there were societies that mostly eat meat and milk only.
But if we take a closer look at what our ancestors ate, there are multiple populations throughout different ethnic and geographical backgrounds who have adopted a carnivore diet for multiple generations.
- Nomads from Mongolia thrived on meat and dairy.
- Masaifrom East Africa whose primary diet consisted of meat and milk.
- Gaucho Brazilians consumed mostly beef products.
- Russian Arctic Chukotkawho nourished their population with fish, caribou, and marine animals.
- Canadian Inuitswho lived solely on walrus, seals, whale meat, and fish.
Many of our carnivore ancestors not only survived but also displayed strong health markers.
I was raised in Tanzania wherein in the north part of the country you can find a lot of Masai people and in my entire life, I never saw a fat Masai also they are one of the strongest people you will find.
Difference Between the Ketogenic Diet and the Carnivore Diet
Both the ketogenic diet and the carnivore diet allow fats and proteins while completely eliminating carbohydrates.
But the carnivore diet takes it one step further and is considered to be more restrictive to the already prohibitive ketogenic diet.
With the ketogenic diet, you are still encouraged to eat large amounts of plant foods along with non-animal fat-dominant foods like nuts, coconut oil, and avocados.
The ketogenic diet emphasizes a high fat intake while eating a moderate amount of protein. This is because the main goal is to start using ketones as a source of energy.
Some dairy foods are not permitted on the ketogenic diet because of the higher carb content, it’s permissible on the carnivore diet as long as it’s derived from animal sources.
Benefits to the Carnivore Diet
Many of the benefits that come with eating a meat-only diet are similar to the ketogenic diet. This could be due to the complete restriction of carbs and allowance of higher fat intake.
The Health Benefits of the carnivore diet begins with many people having a decrease in inflammation as they are not eating junk foods on a consistent basis.
This, in turn, helps them recover better after a workout, helps them decreases the risk of disease, and also allows their body to function better at a cellular level.
#1: SIMPLE WAY OF EATING
Much of the intrigue to the carnivore diet is due to its extremely simple protocol. Everyone knows what food comes from animal sources and what doesn’t.
#2: IMPROVED DIGESTIVE SYSTEM
Fiber has been a staple in just about every diet and has been promoted as a way to improve your body’s digestive system.
#3: MENTAL CLARITY
Similar to the ketogenic diet, carnivore dieters experience an increase in focus and mental clarity almost immediately.
#4: DECREASED INFLAMMATION
One study compared inflammation markers between low carb, a high-fat group to low fat, high carb group for 12 weeks.
#5: FASTER WEIGHT LOSS
If losing weight is your main goal, adopting a meat-only diet will help you maintain steady levels of blood sugar due to a lack of carbohydrates.
#6: IMPROVED TESTOSTERONE
Diets that are high in fat have been proven to increase testosterone levels.
IS THE CARNIVORE DIET SAFE?
This isn’t a 100% black-and-white yes but since it’s very similar to a ketogenic diet, the carnivore diet appears to be safe for most people.
One of the concerns people have is having an increased risk of heart disease due to the saturated fat content of a meat-only diet.
Carnivore diet online communities
There are many online communities on the carnivore diet, some of them include:
Facebook groups: Carnivore Diet
Reddit subreddit: https://www.reddit.com/r/carnivore/
Blog: Meat Health
Personally, I never tried this diet but I have seen people who tried it with amazing results that make me want to try it in the future.
I don’t believe in eating only one type of food, I don’t recommend eating plants only or eating meat only, I think our body needs different types of food to keep working smoothly.
If do you want to try this diet my recommendation is that check it out first with your doctor or a dietitian and see what they recommend.