CARNIVORE – IS IT THE WAY TO GO?
So, you've been hearing about the Carnivore Diet lately and are curious if it's something you should try.
You're not alone! The Carnivore Diet has been gaining popularity in recent years as more and more people are swearing for its health benefits.
You have Jordan Peterson claiming it cured immune diseases in his daughter and himself… You have Paul Saladino and “Liver King” convincing everyone that meat, organs, and bones are the way to go.
But what is the Carnivore Diet, exactly? And is it right for you? Keep reading to find out!
The carnivore diet is a trend that's been gaining popularity in recent years, and it's not hard to see why.
After all, who would want to eat nothing but steak and bacon all day?
But there's more to the carnivore diet than just satisfying your inner carnivore. This way of eating is based on the belief that evolutionarily, humans are meant to eat meat and that consuming other food groups is unnecessary.
Proponents of the carnivore diet argue that meat is an excellent source of nutrients and that it's more satiating than other foods.
Originally, the carnivore diet excluded any and all plants and fruits.
The primary sources of food that this diet allows, are:
Lean and fatty meat
However, there is one fatal flaw to this way of eating, which we’ll talk about in a second…
But first, let’s briefly explain why this approach to nutrition may be beneficial for many people.
The Importance Of Protein
It's no secret that the average American diet is woefully inadequate when it comes to nutrients.
The usual modern-day diet usually leaves us with insufficient protein, and as we all know, protein is important for normal functioning and recovery.
The body needs protein to build and repair tissues, make enzymes and hormones, and maintain fluid balance.
When we don't get enough protein, we can experience a number of problems, including muscle weakness, fatigue, slowed wound healing, and difficulty concentrating.
With the rise of the carnivore culture, however, more and more people claim they feel amazing on just animal foods.
And well, this could be because:
Those people have started meeting their daily protein needs
They have excluded heavily-processed, low-nutrient junk foods
Though we don’t necessarily advocate the carnivore diet, it is perhaps the best “fad diet” because of the foods included and foods excluded.
Speaking of excluded foods…
What Does Carnivore Forbid?
If you’ve wondered what it is to eat like your ancestors, you are now one step closer to the answer…
Carnivore is a way of eating that forbids most plant foods and seed oils, instead of focusing on meat, organs, and other animal products.
While it may sound extreme, proponents of the diet claim that it has a host of benefits, including improved digestion, reduced inflammation, and increased energy levels.
However, as this approach started being analyzed more and more by actual nutrition scientists, it became clear that it lacked something of high importance…
The biggest downside to the pure carnivore diet is that animal foods contain essentially zero fiber!
Dietary fiber is a type of carbohydrate that the body cannot digest. Though it sounds like something you might want to avoid, dietary fiber is actually an important part of a healthy diet.
There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber dissolves in water and forms a gel-like substance. This type of fiber is known for its ability to lower LDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
On the other hand, insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water and passes through our digestive system intact for the most part.
Insoluble fiber is known for its ability to regulate blood sugar, alleviate constipation and regulate digestive health, as a whole.
All in all, multiple studies have shown that adequate fiber intake decreases the risk of cancer, CVD, & mortality by 7-10% per 10g increase in fiber. [1, 2, 3, 4]
This is perhaps the reason why the carnivore diet eventually evolved into a diet that allows root crops, honey, and fruits…
With this in mind, we can say that the current carnivore diet isn’t really entirely carnivore - It’s an approach that basically tells you to exclude processed junk food, but still consume animal products and fruits.
There is still much to learn and experience about the carnivore diet and its long-term effects.
But, from what we know so far, it seems that this way of eating could be beneficial for some people.
If you are thinking of trying a carnivore diet, do your research first and consult with a healthcare professional.
And remember, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition – what works for someone else may not work for you, so find what you can stick to in the long term and stay consistent with that!