The carnivore diet is a highly restrictive high-protein diet that focuses on one thing alone: Meat.
That's right; if you're diving into a carnivore diet, all you're going to have is meat, just meat, and only meat.
Other foods like fish and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products can also be game, but all other food groups like fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds are all off the table.
Of course, because of this absolutely rigid diet routine, a lot of health experts and nutritionists came to the conclusion that the carnivore diet isn't the best diet for human health and wouldn't advise anyone to embark on it.
The reason being that the benefits of more balanced high-protein diets are just better overall but still, the carnivore diet has a small but strong and dedicated group of followers, (some of them being famous people) around the world.
so before we dive into the pros and cons of this diet, here are a few things you should know about this meat-only diet.
The carnivore diet allows zero carbs.
It's called a meat only diet for a reason.
Unlike some other high-protein, low-carb diets, the carnivore diet allows zero carbs but rather only live meat and other animal products.
A lot of celebrities and athletes follow this diet
It may come as a surprise but a lot of famous people only eat meat.
on the list of famous people on that have least gotten on the carnivore diet train include Shawn Baker, Joe Rogan, Jessica Biel, the Liver King, and James Blunt although some of them have gotten off that ride after some rather unpleasant results.
safe to say this diet isn't for everyone!
Some studies show that the carnivore diet can help with weight loss
Studies show that you could lose a substantial amount of weight when you eat only meat due to a number of reasons.
for one, protein meals are highly satiating: Proteins are dense meals and all that protein or meat is enough to keep your stomach full for a long time and eliminates the desire to snack in-between meals.
Foods You Can Eat On The Carnivore Diet
If you do decide to go on a carnivore diet, here's what you're going to be putting on your plate:
Red meat: Animal protein like beef, pork, and lamb.
Organ meats: Liver, tongue, brain, heart, etc.
Sauce made from blood drippings
Salt and pepper
Foods Like Milk, Yogurt & Cheese May Be Okay on the Carnivore Diet
Animal byproducts like milk, yogurt and cheese can be thrown into the mix to balance the rigidity of the diet.
Pros of the carnivore diet
Can help with weight loss
As stated earlier, the carnivore diet can help you stay on track with your weight loss goals and even help you reach them faster.
This is mostly because proteins are highly satiating and drastically reduce the urge to snack between meals which substantially reduces your calorie intake.
Proteins can also help increase your metabolic rate, allowing you burn even more calories
It's easier to enter ketosis on a carnivore diet
It's much easier to enter a of ketosis on the carnivore diet because your body is burning even more fat for fuel rather than carbohydrates.
No carbs, less fat
Since the carnivore diet has a zero carb policy, it eliminates sugary foods and carbs like cookies, cakes, breads, candy, and such.
These foods usually have very little to no beneficial nutrients and are often high in calories so we can see how taking them off the table completely could do some good.
Could be good for diabetic patients
Foods containing high sugar can be an issue for people with diabetes, as they can cause rapid spikes in insulin levels.
Cons of the carnivore diet
Increased risk of heart disease
One of the major concerns by many experts are about the risks of saturated fat from processed meats like fatty steaks and bacon which also contain large amounts of sodium.
This also happens to be one of the main concerns with the keto diet and experts suggested that people on a carnivore diet replace sources of saturated fat with unsaturated fats in order to lower their risk of heart disease.
Zero carbs, and absolutely no vegetables or fruit...the carnivore diet consists of solely meat and that alone cuts out an abundance of nutrients and vitamins gotten from other sources.
The World Health Organization (WHO) describes a healthy diet as one that includes fruits, leafy greens and vegetables, legumes, nuts, and whole grains and — foods that are sources of carbohydrates and prioritize unsaturated fats, like fish and while limiting saturated fat gotten from fatty meat and butter.
Places stress on your kidneys
Metabolizing high amounts of protein at a time can also put a lot of stress on the kidneys and this fact cannot be avoided when one is on a meat only diet.
The carnivore diet at its core is extremely restrictive. And when you omit entire food groups from your diet, there’s bound to be consequences.
Can cause digestion problems
The carnivore diet is super low in fiber, which is much needed for digestion and the absence of which will lead to frequent constipation and can even cause more severe gut health problems along the line.
Hard to see through
The nature of the carnivore diet makes it hard enough to follow through and a lot of people don't see it to the very end.
A large number of people who try the diet are motivated by a strong desire to lose weight, address an autoimmune condition or to take it up a notch after trying either the paleo diet or keto diet.
Not ideal for people with certain conditions
If you have a pre-existing chronic condition, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or any history of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases then you should definitely stay as far away as possible from this diet.
Even the absence of sufficient fiber in the diet as well as a lack of antioxidants like vitamins C and E make this diet a no-go for people with weaker immune systems and gut health problems as well.
Is the carnivore diet safe?
While it has its perks the truth is for this diet, the cons outweigh the pros and while on the carnivore diet, things can go south fast.
The carnivore diet is certainly not for everyone and the number of people, famous and otherwise who dropped it along the way speaks for itself.
Before you embark on this journey it is important that you evaluate your past medical records as well as your family history and even seek professional medical advice before you start.