The Carnivore Diet: Is it Healthy For the Human Body?

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The carnivore diet has been quickly gaining momentum as a legitimate diet plan based solely on animal-derived foods. In other words, a vegan’s worst nightmare. The carnivore diet consists of lamb, chicken, beef, seafood, butter, eggs, bison, pork, organ meats, broth, ghee, and dairy. Many people follow a low dairy-based carnivore diet to limit lactose intake, while some dairy lovers indulge more heavily. No fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, grains, legumes, or bread is often the general rule of thumb.

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The philosophy behind the carnivore diet is based on the notion that human beings have been eating some variation of this diet for thousands of years. Many claim that the human brain and body thrive on these types of foods. When famines occurred long ago, foods such as root vegetables and berries would be eaten as necessity. However, the first option was always animal-based foods according to proponents.

Many advocates make the point that our bodies thrive on high protein, moderate fat, and low carbohydrate. Some argue that getting the majority of our calories from protein and fat provides several benefits. Steady, sustainable energy, longer-lasting satiety, and less insulin spikes. Since animals convert nutrients in their bodies, they may be absorbed more effectively some believe. Many also argue that consuming too many plant-based “anti-nutrients” can inhibit proper nutrient absorption.

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Thousands of studies also prove that there are many phytonutrients in plants that have extremely valuable benefits. On the other hand, due to depleted soils, altered farming practices, and overuse of toxic chemicals, fruits and vegetables aren’t as healthy as they once were. Unfortunately, even organic farming has over 40 toxic chemicals approved for use. Here are some of the reported benefits of this rapidly growing diet:

Weight Loss

A diet rich in animal-based nutrition can be very filling without requiring high calorie meals that carbohydrate rich diets can. People often mention experiencing good results for fat and weight loss on the carnivore diet. Many have also reported a more sculpted look to their body. This diet seems to blend especially well with exercise routines. Without the body using sugar as its primary energy source, the desire for constant snacking dramatically decreases. Studies also verify the accelerated fat loss from high protein diets, although they aren’t ideal for everyone.

Diabetes & metabolic syndrome

A growing number of people have proclaimed the carnivore diet to be ideal for those with diabetes. After a period of time, they claim that their blood sugar fluctuations improve. Evidence shows that that losing weight can improve pancreatic beta cell function. It may not the wisest plan to omit plant-based medicine and nutrients, but cutting out certain types of sugars will certainly have tangible benefits.

The Carnivore Diet & Inflammation

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This is perhaps the benefit that surprises people the most. It is often claimed that meat and animal-based foods promote inflammation. However, according to those that try this diet, it’s the exact opposite that occurs. Many people have real evidence to back up this claim with testing for markers such as C-reactive protein. C-reactive protein is an incredibly important biomarker for inflammation and one of the best predictors of heart disease.

Carnivore Diet & Mental/Emotional Balance

While eating this type of diet probably won’t cure mental or emotional disorders, many rave about its ability to impart greater mental clarity. There have also been reports of a lower level of anxiety and depression while on the carnivore diet as well. This has yet to be tested clinically, but the high level of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, fatty acids, and low sugar intake may be partially responsible for this effect.

In addition to the aforementioned benefits, people have reported gastrointestinal relief, increased testosterone in men, healing of skin problems, and less rheumatic pain. The improvements in pain are likely due to phasing out oxalates, sugar, nightshades, and other inflammatory compounds. While eating a balanced diet is certainly the best plan, many people are deeply enjoying getting in touch with their primal roots.

It’s important when considering a carnivorous or omnivorous diet to purchase food from companies that consider animal welfare. Supporting ranches that treat animals with care is better for the environment, your body, and helps stop cruel practices. Make sure to test your kidneys and mineral levels on a high protein diet. A diet heavy in only red meat may supply too much iron and not be an ideal approach to this diet.

Balance is absolutely critical with any dietary program. Although this is more of an extremist type approach like veganism, such an opposing diet plan was inevitable. It should be intriguing to see how this plays out with veganism and carnivore-based eating flourishing in the same era.

References:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19158228/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3253466/