Carnivore (All-Meat) Diet – Latest Research Included

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A Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that excludes most food items made from plants, such as fruits, vegetables, beans, and meat. Adhering to the Carnivore Diet means that a person is solely dependent on the products of animals to satisfy all or a majority of their nutritional requirements.

The Carnivore Diet is popular with those seeking to lose weight and treat medical conditions like diabetes. Although there are a myriad of health issues associated with this type of eating, some believe it is a good idea.

This article offers an in-depth look into the Carnivore Diet and tells you everything you should know about it, what it entails, how to adhere to it, and how this unique diet affects your health.

How To Follow the Carnivore Diet

While the Carnivore Diet has only recently become a rage, Scientists have been intrigued by this low-carb method of eating for many years.

There are numerous stories of scientists mimicking the traditional meat diet from Arctic or nomadic communities in the early 1700s. For instance, in 1797, the doctor John Rollo successfully treated people suffering from type 2 diabetes by recommending a diet consisting primarily of fat and meat after examining the low-carbohydrate diet of indigenous people from St. Lucia. After discovering that a low-carb diet helped those suffering from diabetes, it was a standard treatment method for treating this disease before the introduction of insulin.

The Carnivore Diet we know today was popularized by Shawn Baker, M.D., who wrote the book The Carnivore Diet in 2018 after discovering that a meat-based diet helped his health. This variant of the Carnivore Diet advocated for the total elimination of all plant-based foods and a total dependence on animal products such as seafood, eggs, and full-fat dairy products.

Certain Carnivore advocates adhere to a strictly Carnivore Diet that only includes animal-based food items, while others adhere to less strict versions that allow small quantities of plant-based food, including low-carb vegetables.

However, many people who adhere to Carnivore diets receive the majority all their energy from animal products as well as other animal-based foods.

Foods You Can Eat

While there are various versions of the Carnivore Diet, most people adhering to this eating plan consume animal-based foods, for example:

  • Meat: Steaks, pork bison, ground beef lamb and venison
  • Organ meats include the liver, kidneys, and heart
  • Poultry: Duck, chicken and turkey
  • Seafood: Sardines, salmon and mussels, clams, and shrimp
  • Full-fat dairy means full-fat yogurt, cheese, butter, and yogurt
  • Eggs: Full eggs and egg yolks

Alongside animal-based meals, Carnivore diets permit seasonings such as salt, pepper, herbs, and spices.

A 2021 study that contained information about the food intake of 2,029 people who follow Carnivore diets showed that red meats such as lamb, beef, and venison were the most consumed food items, followed by eggs and other dairy products that are not milk-based. The study also revealed that more than 50% of participants consumed coffee at least once a day.

Foods To Avoid

The Carnivore Diet is a diet that provides the majority of all their energy from animal-based food sources. While less strict versions of the diet are offered the following food items are generally restricted or eliminated by those who adhere to this eating plan:

  • Fruit: Apples, berries, and grapes. Bananas, bananas, avocados, peaches, and berries
  • Vegetables: zucchini, potatoes as well as broccoli, asparagus and greens
  • Grains and products made from grains, such as bread, quinoa, pasta, rice, and noodles
  • Seeds, nuts, and nuts: almonds, peanut butter, cashews, pumpkin seeds
  • Beans Chickpeas, Black beans, kidney beans, lentils
  • Snack food and sweets: Chips, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and sweets
  • Sugary beverages: Juice soda, sweetened coffee drinks, and energy drinks

Water is the drink of choice for those following the Carnivore Diet, though many people who adhere to it also drink coffee and tea as part of their routine.

Some people also will allow a small portion of vegetables that are low in carbs, such as zucchini and greens.

What Are The Benefits?

At present, there is only a small amount of research on the health benefits of following a Carnivore Diet.

However, there's ample evidence to suggest that diets with very low carbs may benefit the health of certain people, like those suffering from type 2 diabetes.

While there aren't any strict guidelines regarding the ratio of macronutrients in the Carnivore Diet, it can generally be described as a very low-carb, high-protein diet. Research suggests that specific low-carb diets, such as keto diets, can be beneficial for specific ailments. However, it is essential to remember that very low-carb diets don't mean identical to those of the Carnivore Diet, and only a few studies show this Carnivore Diet improves health in any way, mainly.

The Carnivore Diet may offer a few advantages.

May Improve Blood Sugar Regulation

Low-carb diets are beneficial for improving the health of those who suffer from diabetes. They are low in carbohydrate-rich foods, which have the biggest impact on blood sugar and insulin levels.

If a person follows the Carnivore Diet, their carbohydrate intake will be lower, and their blood sugar levels and dependence on diabetes medication will probably reduce.

In the 2021 study, which included data on the diet intake of 229 people who were following Carnivore-style diets over nine or 20 months, the researchers discovered that those who had type 2 diabetes saw decreases in the amounts of hemoglobin (HbA1c), a long-term indicator that measures blood sugar levels and significant reductions in their medications for diabetes. In fact, of the 262 people with type 1 or 2 diabetes (T2DM), 84% stopped taking the use of diabetes medication or orally, while 92% of people who had T2DM quit using insulin.

Although these findings are encouraging, further research into the safety and effectiveness of the Carnivore Diet is needed. It is also important to keep in mind that it is possible to manage diabetes successfully with less restrictive diets, like vegan diets or more flexible low-carb diets, which are much more beneficial for overall health and more attainable to adhere to for the long haul.

May Promote Weight Loss

A Carnivore Diet eliminates many foods and beverages that contribute to weight gain, like ultra-processed foods and added sugar. Since this diet plan is low in carbohydrate-rich foods and, therefore, high in protein, the most filling macronutrient, it's possible that the Carnivore Diet will promote weight loss, at the very least in the short term.

In the study of 2021 mentioned earlier, participants saw significant decreases in their body mass index (BMI)—a measurement of fat in the body calculated based on weight and height—after a transition to the Carnivore Diet.

Although this is great, it is essential to note that the Carnivore Diet is highly restrictive and probably unsustainable for most people. Similar diets, including one called keto, have been proven to be effective in quick weight reduction. However, diets that exclude certain nutritious foods, such as keto, tend to be difficult for people to adhere to. Most evidence suggests that their effectiveness is similar to other less restrictive weight loss plans in the long run.

That means that although following the Carnivore Diet may promote quick weight loss, diets with more diversity that are easier to follow will be just as efficient for long-term weight loss and healthy weight maintenance.

Other Possible Benefits

Participants in the 2021 study reported that adhering to a Carnivore Diet improved their overall well-being, mental and physical health, and certain chronic medical conditions.

This could be because the Carnivore Diet may exclude foods and drinks that can cause poor mental and physical well-being, including processed foods and added sugars.

However, remember that the people who were part of the study were taking a Carnivore Diet for nine to 20 months. It is unknown how this Carnivore Diet impacts long-term health and risk of developing diseases.

In the end, more research is needed to know precisely how the Carnivore Diet impacts overall health.

Risks and Side Effects

While those who support the Carnivore Diet suggest that this method of eating may help reduce weight and improve quality of life, There are a number of negative aspects to this method of eating.

First, the diet is very restricting and eliminates foods believed to boost health and provide essential nutrients, including fruit and veggies. A diet that is low in fruits and vegetables has been repeatedly linked with the risk of getting illnesses, such as heart and cancer, and the risk of death overall.

A diet high in processed and red meat is also associated with an increased risk of developing a variety of diseases, such as breast cancer, colorectal cancer, colon cancer, and heart disease.56

Another issue concerning The Carnivore Diet is the environmental effects of a diet with a high proportion of red meat and other animal products. Research has shown that the production of red meat is a major contributor to the emission of greenhouse gases and can have an enormous impact on climate change and global warming.

Additionally, A diet that is low in plant-based food sources can cause uncomfortable side effects such as constipation and fatigue, as well as low mood, nutritional deficiencies, and much more.

Sample Menu

Here's a rough example of what a person following the Carnivore Diet might eat on an everyday basis:

  • Breakfast: Eggs and bacon
  • Lunch Cheeseburger patties and Hamburger patties
  • Snack: Sardines
  • Dinner: Steak

Be aware that people who adhere to a less restrictive Carnivore Diet may include some foods, such as low-carb vegetables.

A Quick Review

The Carnivore Diet is a highly restricted diet that's become increasingly popular with those who want to shed weight and reduce the health of their patients, such as type 2 diabetes.

While there is no evidence to suggest that following this diet may result in weight loss or improvement of blood sugar, there remain significant concerns regarding the long-term health effects of this type of diet.

Consuming a Carnivore-based diet for a long time can increase the risk of several serious health problems like colorectal cancer as well as heart disease.

If you're looking for a more secure and scientifically based method to improve your health, you should consider an easier-going diet rich in foods that have been proven to boost overall health, like those on the Mediterranean food plan or a more relaxed low-carb diet.

Live Healthier
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