Why are you doing the carnivore diet

Carnivore Diet: Plan, Benefits, and Experience With Zero Carb

Carnivore Diet | healthy | Advantages | Keto | Food | Don’t | Plan | Side effects | Conclusion | FAQ | Studies

Ever since Jordan Peterson, clinical psychologist and professor at the University of Toronto, and his daughter Mikhaila reported on their breathtaking experiences in Joe Rogan's podcast, the Carnivore diet has been on everyone's lips.

Accordingly, you may have heard of people who have seen significant improvements in body fat to depression to autoimmune diseases with a Carnivore Diet plan and you want to try it too.

If so, this is the article for you. In this post I explain the scientific background of the Carnivore Diet and show you examples of nutrition plans to make it easier for you to get started.

What is the Carnivore Diet?

As the name suggests, the Carnivore Diet is a pure carnivore diet. Accordingly, Carnivore relies exclusively on animal products.

Basically, it's a more restrictive take on the ketogenic diet that is where most of its proponents descended. This is why the Carnivore Diet is often referred to by its followers as the logical next step after keto.

Compared to the keto diet, it is even lower in carbohydrates and therefore also puts people into ketosis, which has enormous health benefits.

That is why it is also called Zero carb or Meat-only diet designated.

At first glance, that sounds a bit radical, especially since the Carnivore Diet is the exact opposite of all mainstream dietary recommendations.

We are constantly being advised that we limit our meat consumption and eat whole grains and vegetables.

For example, star director James Cameron tells us in his controversial documentary Game Changers on Netflix that vegan diets would make us healthier.

He had withheld from us that he and his wife had invested huge amounts of money in the largest pea protein factory in North America with their Verdient Foods Inc.

Carnivore, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of these dietary trends. The aim is to remove industrial foods from the menu.

If the general view of a healthy diet is correct, why have metabolic diseases only increased particularly sharply in this millennium?

For example, more than half of the US population already suffers from pre-diabetes (Menke et al. 20151).

If the masses were always right, we would only be surrounded by well-trained multi-millionaires.

In any case, you would certainly not have ended up here if you had followed conventional nutrition tips.

Is the Carnivore Diet Healthy?

While a carnivore diet plan is a radical approach, it can most likely help more people overcome nutritional problems than any other diet.

Why?

The Carnivore Diet is the ultimate elimination diet.

Not only are there hardly any people to whom meat can cause digestive problems, but the Carnivore Diet Plan also bans all those substances that can cause problems in the gastrointestinal tract:

  • Lectins
  • Oxalates
  • FODMAPs
  • Phytates
  • Glycoalkaloids
  • Salicylates

However, it is not just physical ailments that the Carnivore Diet can counteract.

Because of the elimination of these problematic antinutrients from our second brain - the gut - the diet is known for improved mental health.

In addition to the clinical psychologist Jordan Petersen, the psychiatrist Dr. Paul Saladino has been on the Carnivore Diet for several years.

Saladino not only reports that he was able to help his patients with a Carnivore Diet plan, but lives the Carnivore Diet himself.

Accordingly, the range of complaints that the Carnivore Diet can help with, according to experience reports, is wide:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Acne and skin irritation
  • Listlessness
  • diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Joint pain
  • Cardiovascular disease

Some people start the Carnivore Diet because of weight cessation or other ailments that a low-carb or keto diet did not fully cure.

Others, in turn, have from Dr. Shawn Baker is an orthopedic surgeon and athlete who even holds world records. He is possibly the most famous advocate of the Carnivore Diet.

Baker blames the Carnivore lifestyle for its exceptional energy and athletic performance.

Many people want to follow this example, which has triggered a real hype about extreme nutrition and its benefits.

Potential Benefits of the Carnivore Diet

So far there are no well-founded studies on the Carnivore Diet itself. Hence, their much-cited benefits mainly come from testimonials from people who have tried them.

In addition, you should always consult a doctor you trust before making such a drastic change in eating habits.

Although the Carnivore Diet has not been explicitly studied, studies exist that could scientifically explain its benefits and health effects:

1. Improved gut health

The Carnivore Diet eliminates plant-based anti-nutrients that are indigestible. Therefore it is inter alia. Lectins are no longer possible to damage the intestinal wall and trigger infectious and autoimmune diseases (Haupt-Jorgensen et al. 20182; Sturgeon et al. 20163).

2. Less inflammation

According to a study, low-carb, high-fat diets like Carnivore help obese people reduce inflammation. In addition, in contrast to a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet, it was also possible to reduce body fat (Ruth et al. 20134).

3. Easier weight loss

Carnivore promotes satiety, puts you in ketosis and helps you burn over 300 more calories per day (Sumithran et al. 20135; Ebbeling et al. 20136). Since carnivores like keto can also easily be combined with intermittent fasting, it can lead to even better weight loss in the long term.

4. Lower risk of diabetes

Since the Carnivore diet does not contain carbohydrates, it helps to keep blood sugar levels stable throughout the day. In studies, particularly low-carbohydrate diets regulated blood sugar levels so well that type 2 diabetics were able to discontinue their insulin medication (Westman et al. 20087).

5. Better heart health

The myth that meat caused heart disease because of saturated fat had to be refuted by health officials. According to studies, saturated fats reduce heart disease and stroke while increasing carbohydrates (Hite et al. 20108; Mozaffarian et al. 20049; Siri-Tariano et al. 201010).

6. Younger skin

Carnivore is high in zinc, DHA, vitamins A and E and free from refined carbohydrates. This could be the main reason why a study on indigenous peoples found that acne occurs exclusively in Western civilization (Cordain et al. 200211).

7. Fewer kidney stones

With a carnivore diet, you automatically forego oxalates. These are plant-based anti-nutrients that can bind calcium in the kidneys, which promotes the formation of kidney stones (Han et al. 201512).

8. Mental clarity

People who follow a Carnivore diet plan consistently report mental clarity as ketones have neuroprotective properties and the brain prefers them to carbohydrates (LaManna et al. 201013).

9. Increased testosterone levels

According to one study, men who followed a low-fiber, high-fat diet for two months were able to reduce their testosterone levels by 13%, while they were able to lower their estrogen levels by up to 28% (Dorgan et al. 199614).

10. Simplicity

Last but not least, Carnivore is probably the simplest diet. You don't need any exotic instructions for this, you buy different cuts of meat and eat when you are full. In the end, you don't have to count calories or calculate macronutrients either.

Carnivore Diet Plan

So when you've had enough of complicated diets where you constantly need new recipes, shop for new ingredients, portion out meals and weigh them, the Carnivore Diet can help.

You can easily improve your health by avoiding processed foods and anti-nutrients, or you can achieve your fitness goals through adequate protein intake without dietary supplements.

In summary, the Carnivore Diet has three essential components:

Therefore, only solid food that is part of the animal kingdom is served on the table. For its advocates, Carnivore is more of a lifestyle than a diet, especially since it has helped alleviate long-standing mental or autoimmune diseases.

Nonetheless, the extreme diet is not suitable for all people.

Keto vs. Zero-Carb Carnivore Diet

Hardly any carbohydrates are eaten on the Zero-Carb Carnivore Diet. However, eggs, offal, shellfish and especially dairy products can contain traces of carbohydrates.

In contrast, the keto diet contains more carbohydrates, as only so-called net carbohydrates are counted.

This means that fiber is subtracted from the total of carbohydrates as it is not absorbed by the body.

Carnivore, on the other hand, goes one step further and removes all plant-based foods from the diet plan.

Anyone who practices the ketogenic diet must also pay close attention to the macronutrients to ensure that the ratio of fat, protein and carbohydrates is correct.

In the Carnivore Diet, however, there is no prescribed macronutrient ratio. Due to a lack of carbohydrates, you will also burn fat as your primary source of energy. This metabolic state is again called ketosis.

In this context, consuming too much fillet meat could be a problem with the Carnivore diet. Without the protective portion of fat, protein can significantly increase insulin levels (Nuttall et al. 199115).

In any case, the storage hormone inhibits fat burning (Meijssen et al. 200116).

In addition, there is a hybrid of both diets called Keto Carnivore.

At Keto Carnivore, carbohydrate-free, non-animal fats such as olive oil, coconut oil, MCT oil or avocado oil are allowed.

Sometimes Keto Carnivore even consumes high-fiber vegetables such as spinach or cabbage. In addition, a carbohydrate-free fruit is allowed - the avocado.

In addition, unsweetened almond milk is allowed. Since cow's milk increases blood sugar enormously, this is a smart move.

While many people use sweeteners such as stevia or monk fruit extract on the Keto Carnivore diet, I can only advise against them.

Although these options are sugar-free, they affect insulin levels (Tey et al. 201717).

In addition, not only artificial, but also natural sweeteners such as stevia can negatively affect the intestinal flora (Ruiz-Ojeda et al. 201918).

Carnivore Diet Foods List

One of the essential characteristics of the Carnivore Diet is its simplicity. Because of this, the list of foods you can eat on the Carnivore Diet reads relatively simple:

  • beef
  • Lamb
  • pork meat
  • Chicken
  • Duck meat
  • Offal
  • fish
  • seafood
  • Animal fat
  • bone broth
  • Bone marrow
  • Eggs
  • Low-lactose dairy products
  • salt
  • water

Cattle are the ultimate food source for the Carnivore Diet advocates.

Why it is like that?

Ruminants are the perfect herbivores. Your digestive system has four stomachs for good reason. This is why they are able to ideally absorb nutrients from plant sources.

Ruminants are able to eliminate plant toxins from their digestive system so that the food we eat is free of them.

Cows can even render glyphosate, a pesticide that is on everyone's lips due to its negative health effects, almost harmless.

The European Food Safety Authority (European Food Safety Authority or EFSA) to the conclusion that sheep and therefore lamb do not suffer any significant health impairments from glyphosate (EFSA 201819).

The same does not apply to pork or chicken, which is why they do not have the same role in the Carnivore diet. In addition, these animals run the risk of being heavily medicated.

Anyone who knows regional cattle breeders who also do not primarily feed soy and maize has a clear advantage.

As a pure carnivore diet, the Carnivore approach aims to eat animals sustainably. If an animal is slaughtered, the entire animal should be eaten and nothing should be thrown away.

This premise counteracts the biggest mistake people make today when consuming meat - focusing on fillets.

Eating offal, skin and bones is not only more sustainable, but also provides a full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, amino and fatty acids, which are essential.

Accordingly, 100g of beef liver already cover the daily requirement of vitamins A, B2, B3, B6 and B12 (*).

Don’ts on the Carnivore Diet Plan

Now that we've just discussed the cornerstones, let's play it safe and eliminate all those foods that have the potential to cause health problems.

Therefore, avoid the following on your Carnivore Diet plan:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • Cereals and baked goods
  • Nuts, seeds and legumes
  • Vegetable oils
  • Sauces
  • Dairy products containing lactose
  • Chemical additives
  • Sugar and sweeteners

Since there are hardly any differences between sweets and modern fruits from a biochemical point of view, fruits must be eliminated from the Carnivore Diet plan.

In the fructose metabolism, the liver converts the sweet molecule into alcohol and stores it as fat - a finding that is comparatively new (Tappy and Lê 201020).

For this reason, the worldwide consumption of fructose and not alcohol is responsible for the lion's share of all fatty liver diseases (Angulo et al. 200221).

In contrast to fruits, many vegetables are much more likely to live up to their image as suppliers of nutrients.

Nonetheless, due to plant toxins, they must be avoided.

It is even more urgent to avoid vegetable and seed oils, as they can not only be full of lectins, but also consist mainly of inflammation-promoting omega-6 fatty acids.

The texture of animal fats is also more suitable for frying, as saturated fatty acids cannot oxidize in the process.

Dairy products are a hot topic. Milk from northern European cows contains casein A-1 instead of the milk protein casein A-2.

During digestion, this casein A-1 is converted into a lectin-like protein called beta-casomorphine, which is believed to cause autoimmune diseases such as type 1 diabetes in particular.

That is why it makes sense to prefer southern European dairy products such as parmesan. In addition, goat or buffalo dairy products cannot be affected by said mutation.

Nonetheless, those who want to lose weight with Carnivore should keep their hands off milk or yogurt, as lactose is strictly speaking sugar and will help you gain weight.

Strict carnivores also avoid sausage products that contain unwanted additives.

How to start the Carnivore Diet Plan

Getting started with the Carnivore Diet is straightforward. With this Carnivore Diet Plan it will be easy for you to become a carnivore. In addition, you will quickly find your own preferences due to the simple diet.

After many people switch from keto to carnivore, they are aware of the benefits of intermittent fasting for ketosis. Therefore, the suggestions for breakfast on this Carnivore Diet plan are optional:

day 1

  • Breakfast: Feta omelette
  • Having lunch: Fried lamb chops
  • Dinner: Mackerel from the oven

day 2

  • Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with pasture butter
  • Having lunch: Roasted pork belly
  • Dinner: Ground beef with fried egg

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Soft eggs
  • Having lunch: Tuna steak
  • Dinner: Roasted Chicken Liver with Ghee

Day 4

  • Breakfast: Fried egg with bacon
  • Having lunch: T-bone steak
  • Dinner: Sardines and hard-boiled eggs

Day 5

  • Breakfast: Anchovies and fried eggs
  • Having lunch: Fried salmon with skin
  • Dinner: Chicken hearts with pasture butter

Day 6

  • Breakfast: Eggs with fried bacon
  • Having lunch: Chicken legs out of the tube
  • Dinner: Prawns with ghee

Day 7

  • Breakfast: Tuna with feta
  • Having lunch: Roasted veal liver
  • Dinner: Rib eye steak

Basically, the Carnivore Diet Plan - the fatter the pieces, the better. And that is especially true for fish. Ultimately, we want to absorb the highly potent omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA, which are not found in plant-based food sources.

Also, lean pieces on the Carnivore Diet plan are complemented by healthy fat. In addition to butter and ghee from the hay milk cow, goose fat, organic lard and pasture cattle tallow are good choices.

Still, it's easy to get started on the Carnivore Diet. If you love steak, you can also have it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Nonetheless, due to the nutrient density, I would keep taking offal on the plan.

Side effects of the Carnivore Diet

Common side effects of the Carnivore Diet are all too well known to those who have tried the ketogenic diet or intermittent fasting.

Still, you don't need to worry right away, as a staple on any Carnivore diet plan can help.

Keto flu

When you start the Carnivore Diet, your metabolism goes through significant changes that can have a number of health benefits.

Since Carnivore is a zero-carb diet that can limit carbohydrate intake even more than a ketogenic diet, the effects of metabolic changes may occur more quickly.

But that also has an advantage. If so, the body learns more quickly to burn fat as the primary source of energy.

With a low insulin level, the zero-carb diet forces the body to break down its carbohydrate stores and thereby flush out bound water and electrolytes.

In addition to energy, the hormone insulin also stores salt in the body (Brands et al. 201222).

Therefore, on a Carnivore diet, the kidneys flush out more sodium. For this reason, you need more salt to feel good, especially when switching to a carnivore diet.

In short, as with the keto diet and fasting, this sodium deficiency is the main cause of headaches or dizziness, which is why these symptoms are often referred to as the so-called "keto flu".

I therefore like to use coarse-grained pink Himalayan salt from the mill and salt as I wish.

Since this natural salt has no chemical additives such as anti-caking agents and has not been bleached, I think it is a better choice.

With this in mind, don't be afraid to listen to your body and give it salt when it asks for it.

Salt also takes away the bitter taste from food and is a natural antagonist of sugar. While sugar consumption promotes insulin resistance and storage of body fat, salt increases insulin sensitivity and instead helps with weight loss (Sakuyama et al. 201623).

That is why salt is also a natural remedy for food cravings.

Cravings and mood swings

When the body switches to ketosis, there are long-term benefits, but short-term side effects.

If you have previously preferred to burn sugar as an energy source, withdrawal symptoms could quickly become noticeable.

Ultimately, sugar is eight times more addicting than cocaine (Lenoir et al. 200724).

The comparison to drug addicts may sound radical, but it's not far-fetched.

Since sugar is an easily available form of energy, the body gets used to this fuel very quickly, and if it suddenly disappears, it will quickly crave it.

Because of this, jumping out of a Western diet can be tough, which is why many carnivores start with the ketogenic diet as an intermediate step.

Such a significant change in diet can cause mood swings.

One of the main reasons for this is that your body is initially struggling to get all of its energy from fat. The best solution to sweet cravings is to increase your intake of healthy fats instead.

Therefore, you should never base a Carnivore diet plan on lean fillet pieces. This mistake is all too often made with conventional diets.

In addition, sweeteners are not a solution either. In addition to the fact that they increase insulin levels, they fuel cravings even more.

Have you ever wondered why so many overweight people consume light drinks?

A good reason for this could be that the reward center in the brain is stimulated by sweet taste, but no glucose arrives due to calorie-free sweeteners (Yang 201025).

Compared to a conventional diet, the metabolism of the Carnivore diet is significantly changed.

Against this background, can't a purely animal diet lead to insufficient amounts of some nutrients?

Vitamin C and Scurvy

First and foremost, vitamin C immediately comes to mind. It is one of those few vitamins that are more commonly found in plant sources. In addition, vitamin C has been so heavily advertised in the past few decades that we can hardly forget about it.

A simple solution would be to eat sweetbreads at Carnivore. Just 200 grams of a ruminant's esophagus cover the daily requirement of vitamin C.

In addition to other offal such as liver, heart and brain, simple skeletal muscle meat also contains a small amount of vitamin C.

Many Carnivore Diet advocates report feeling great despite their primarily steak diet.

Can a lower daily requirement be sufficient for Carnivore?

As with keto, the human metabolism changes with the Carnivore Diet compared to the Western standard diet. It's not just a low-carb, but rather a zero-carb diet.

In addition to more efficient fat burning, this also has advantages for vitamin C intake. Because vitamin C and glucose have a very similar molecular structure, they compete for glucose transporters in the body.

With a high concentration of glucose, the absorption of vitamin C by the transporters is blocked (Liang et al. 200126).

Conversely, this means that the body can absorb vitamin C better the fewer carbohydrates are consumed.

Accordingly, another study says that cellular uptake of vitamin C is inhibited by high blood sugar.

This goes so far that the high glucose concentration in diabetics can be responsible for tissue scurvy (Cunningham 199827).

Scurvy is a vitamin deficiency disease also known as C avitaminosis.

Probably due to the fact that it can improve vitamin C absorption, meat consumption is known as an ancient home remedy for scurvy.

In addition, indigenous peoples who traditionally take a carnivore diet, such as the Inuit before their westernization, are not known to have suffered from scurvy.

Other nutrients and fiber

Even if people report that they don't eat anything but steak, I wouldn't just go to the butcher and buy only fillet steaks or pork chops.

At Carnivore, anyone who alternates not only between types of meat and fish, but also between various offal and bones, can receive a range of micronutrients that he or she would not have expected.

Accordingly, offal is packed full of nutrients such as A, B, D and E vitamins, copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, potassium, folic acid, selenium, or choline.

Since beef liver is the most nutritious food, there is hardly a micronutrient worth mentioning that it does not contain - see for yourself (*).

Anyone who occasionally sprinkles heart, bone broth, brain, sweetbreads, fatty fish or fish roe will receive a concentrated load of antioxidants, collagen, vitamin C, DHA and EPA.

Nonetheless, muscle meat also contains such nutrients - just not in such large quantities.

Accordingly, a Carnivore diet plan can result in a full range of nutrients, which also surprised me personally.

That sounds good at first glance. But what about the healthy fiber?

Fiber is a double-edged sword when it comes to healthy eating. While nature intended plants to make it easier to consume, isolated fiber is by no means helpful for digestive health.

An unnatural dietary fiber supplement can result in constipation at most. According to recent studies, too much fiber can cause constipation instead of fighting it (Ho et al. 201228).

In plants, fiber prevents unhealthy high blood sugar and insulin peaks during digestion (Chandalia et al. 200029).

But this effect is obviously not necessary with a zero-carb diet. That is why nature has not provided any dietary fiber in meat.

In contrast to vegetable sources, the body can absorb nutrients from animal sources far better due to a lack of antinutrients.

In addition, the saturation effect of fat and protein clearly beats those indigestible plant components.

My experiences with the Carnivore Diet

While there are no dedicated long-term studies on the Carnivore Diet, it could be beneficial for some people.

This is particularly the case when there are mental, intestinal or autoimmune problems that could have their origin in the diet.

Ultimately, Carnivore is arguably the most effective elimination diet. This is also the main reason for positive testimonials.

I tried a strict carnivore diet for four weeks and could not find any loss of energy compared to a ketogenic diet.

What Carnivore improves in my experience is gut health.

For lack of all indigestible antinutrients, such as B. FODMAPs or lectins, the intestine reports no more complaints or flatulence.

Who, after the strict elimination diet, large amounts of gluten-containing foods, such as If you eat pasta, bread or beer, for example, you are guaranteed to notice a dip in mood.

In my opinion, the main challenge of the Carnivore diet is the supply of high quality meat or fish, which makes it difficult in the long term.

Nonetheless, I would always prefer Carnivore to a vegan diet. Why?

I have no problem with a plant-based diet. However, the fact that the vegan trend is always being abused to produce more and more unnatural industrial foods that harm our bodies is more than worrying.

Carnivore Diet Plan FAQ

How Much Meat Should I Eat Each Day on a Carnivore Diet?

There is no counting calories on the Carnivore Diet - you eat when you are full. The main benefit of the diet is the elimination of potentially harmful plant toxins as well as processed foods.

Will the Carnivore Diet Get You Into Ketosis?

As long as you do not gear your Carnivore diet plan to low-fat fillet meat, you will always be able to achieve the metabolic state of ketosis.

Can you build muscle with the Carnivore Diet?

As Dr. Shawn Baker shows, muscle building is favored by Carnivore, since high quality proteins are supplied naturally. However, you also have to train.

Can i eat processed meat?

While some people will eat charcuterie while doing this, strict carnivores won't. With a perfect Carnivore diet, no processed products and preferably pasture-raised meat are eaten.

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