What is the Carnivore Diet?
The Carnivore Diet is exactly what it sounds like. You get to eat like a carnivore!
It cuts out all plant-based foods and focuses on pure meat and other animal-based products.
Vast majority of carbohydrates come from plant sources so this diet is virtually zero-carb.
Is Carnivore Diet healthy?
When the Carnivore Diet became popular for the first time a few years ago, many people thought it was mad.
Traditional dietitians and nutritionists were clutching their pearls and promising a rapid demise for anyone who’d dare to try it!
But we now have a great deal of anecdotal evidence to suggest that Carnivore has plenty of health benefits. It appears to be especially beneficial to those with food allergies and auto-immune diseases.
There is a theory that some people are highly sensitive to oxalates and other potentially toxic compounds in plants. These sensitivities can manifest as allergies and auto-immune symptoms. For those people, cutting out plants leads to immediate and obvious health improvements.
But what about vitamins and minerals?
We are told that plants are the main source of micronutrients. Get your five-a-day to stay healthy etc
But animal-based foods are just as rich in vitamins and minerals, and some are more so.
You can still get everything you need on Carnivore.
One point of confusion is Recommended Daily Values for vitamins (called Nutrient Reference Values in Europe). They prescribe one-size-fits-all quantities for each vitamin.
These guidelines are based on decades-old science and most importantly, they were developed for people on “standard diets”.
If you do Keto, Carnivore or Fasting, your micronutrient needs change dramatically. You will need more of certain micronutrients – electrolytes are a common example. And a lot less of others, especially those involved in carbohydrate metabolism (like some vitamins B and vitamin C).
Is Carnivore Diet unnatural?
It’s actually a lot more natural than the “standard Western diet” with its ultra-processed foods and everything available all the time, with no seasonal or geographical variations.
Whereas the Carnivore Diet mimics our ancestral species-appropriate way of eating. Before agriculture, our ancestors would depend on hunting for subsistence for long periods of time.
What’s actually unnatural is our current over-abundance of plant foods and carbohydrates.
What can I eat on the Carnivore diet?
All carnivores eat meat, but some only eat the meat of large, ruminant animals. So lots of ribeyes and ground beef!
You can also have chicken, pork, and seafood. But these meats don’t tend to have as much fat.
Fat is something you want to aim for on the Carnivore diet as it will be your main source of fuel.
Eggs are another staple for carnivores, as is butter.
You can have cheese and other dairy if you choose. But some people avoid dairy as it can be inflammatory.
Pros of the Carnivore Diet:
- Weight loss
- Lower blood sugar
- Improved insulin sensitivity
- Prevention or reversal of metabolic diseases
- Better brain function
- Reduced inflammation
- Appetite control
- Reduced food allergies
Cons of the Carnivore Diet:
- Very restrictive
- Harder in social situations
- Carnivore flu symptoms in the beginning (same as Keto flu but more severe)
- Oxalate dumping symptoms in the beginning (fatigue, joint pain, rashes)
- Digestive upset is also possible in the beginning
What is the Lion Diet?
The Lion Diet takes Carnivore to the max. Basically it’s just what it sounds like, you eat like a lion.
Meat of large, ruminant animals (such as beef, lamb, goat, bison, deer) and water only.
The biggest benefit of the Lion Diet is the simplicity. It could not get any easier than eating meat and drinking water!
It’s great for people who have food allergies or high inflammation.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that it helps people with severe metabolic diseases to manage and sometimes reverse their illness symptoms.
Thinking of trying Carnivore?
Find a Carnivore coach and give yourself the best chance of success!