What Exactly is the “Carnivore Diet,” and Should You Follow It? 

The carnivore diet, in which one consumes only meat and products derived from animals, is advocated with the assertion that it is advantageous to one’s health. However, this trend in eating habits is probably not good for your health, according to the writing of an authority. The majority of the data that supports the advantages of a carnivore diet comes from personal experiences. 

The Claims That It is Good for Our Health

The Paleo and Atkins diets are just two examples of popular dietary movements that encourage high protein consumption and low carbohydrate consumption. On the other hand, the carnivore diet appears to take this trend to its logical conclusion. 

What Exactly Does One Eat on a Carnivore Diet?

The carnivore diet, true to its title, consists solely of the consumption of meat and other products derived from animals. 

Although there is no actual definition of this diet, those who follow it recommend eating foods such as red meat, pork, chicken as well as other types of poultry, eggs, fish, and seafood. Cheese and yogurt are examples of low-lactose dairy products that can be included in the diet. In most cases, foods derived from plants are not permitted. This means that you shouldn’t eat any fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, or seeds. 

The following is an illustration of some of the foods that you might consume on a typical day: 

  • Breakfast consists of fried bacon and eggs (without toast) 
  • Lunch: A lamb burger (with no bun) 

Use this list of real-life experience, interview discussions, everyday tips, and expert insights to give yourself a break from the hectic pace of your day. 

Are There Any Potential Health Benefits Associated With This?

The simple answer to that question is no. 

It is possible, at least in theory, to obtain all of the necessary vitamins and minerals from foods derived from animals. As an illustration, slender red meat is an excellent source of iron, zinc, and vitamin B12, whereas oily fish is an excellent source of essential fatty acids, including omega-3s. 

But if you only eat meat from animals, you run the risk of not getting enough of specific minerals and vitamins in your diet, especially if your diet isn’t very well planned. This is especially true with regard to vitamin C and folate, the primary dietary sources of which are fresh veggies as well as grains that are unprocessed. 

A carnivore’s diet is notable for its lack of dietary fiber, which is a crucial omission. A diet that is low in fiber can enhance a person’s risk of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers. This presents a problem. 

The Australian Guide to Healthy Eating suggests consuming food from the following 5 core types of food: fruits, veggies, cereals, lean meats, and dairy products. This will help prevent any nutritional deficiencies. 

Is It Harmful to Your Health to Do So?

Most likely. 

The majority of the evidence that this diet has benefits is anecdotal, meaning that it is based on individual perceptions rather than scientific proof. 

A recent article found that adults who tried to follow a carnivore diet for at least six months reported higher levels of overall satisfaction and better self-reported health.  The fact that participants in the study were asked about the degree to which they enjoyed a diet that they had voluntarily chosen to follow means that we cannot draw many significant conclusions from its findings. We are aware that both the quantity and quality of the protein matter when discussing diets that are high in protein in general. 

According to research that has been conducted, maintaining a high protein diet for an extended period of time (at least six months) may impair the ability of our liver, intestine, and kidneys to detoxify ammonia. Ammonia is a waste product that is produced by our body during the digestive process of protein. 

For instance, a randomized controlled trial lasted for a year and investigated the effect that protein has on kidney function. Researchers gave adults either an Atkins diet, which consisted of consuming 30 percent of their total energy intake as protein, or a control diet, which consisted of consuming 15 percent of their total energy intake as protein, which was similar to the diet consumed by the average South African. 

The clinical trial found that adults following the Atkins diet had a higher clearance of creatinine (a byproduct of protein digestion) after 12 months on the diet, but not after 24 months. This may imply that over time, the kidneys became less able to flush out possibly hazardous byproducts of excessive protein, which ultimately led to kidney damage. 

Even so, there aren’t many long-term experiments because there is a restricted food selection, the high price of meat, the recurring nature of several high protein diets, and worries over whether or not it would be ethical. 

Having said that, proof from large and long-term controlled studies tells us that diet rich in red meat and processed meats boost our risk of cardiovascular disease as well as a wide variety of cancers. Although it’s possible for one person to maintain a carnivore diet for months, or perhaps even years, without experiencing any negative health effects, it’s highly unlikely that this will be the case for everyone. 

How Much Meat is Considered an Excessive Amount?

Ingesting 2 grams of protein or more per kilogram of body weight each day is generally considered to be the benchmark for defining a diet as high in protein for an adult. 

This equates to 160 grams of protein on a daily basis for a man weighing 80 kilograms. And what does it look like to consume whole foods that contain 160 grams of protein? It’s about the same as eating six lamb chops of medium size every day (550g of meat). 

When we contrast this with the guideline recommendations, we find that the Australian Dietary Guidelines suggest a maximum of 455g of cooked lean red meat consumption per week for the average adult (or 65g a day, similar to one small lamb chop). Consuming less than 350 grams of cooked, unprocessed red meat on a weekly basis is recommended by the Heart Foundation, particularly for the health of the heart (50g a day). 

So, What Exactly is the Decision?

The most compelling pieces of evidence suggest that the healthiest diet for humans is one that emphasizes the consumption of whole plant – based foods, such as fruits and vegetables, along with a modest amount of meat that is lean and unrefined, as well as poultry and fish.  Because of this, the diet that originates from the Mediterranean region has become synonymous with a balanced diet. 

If you are thinking about going on a high-protein diet, it is strongly suggested that you first discuss your plans with a qualified medical expert, such as a certified practicing dietitian. 


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