Is Carnivore Diet Worth It? An Analysis of the New Diet Fad
Meat, salt and water, that’s all
We are living in times of extreme diet fads. The newest one to join the ever-growing list is the carnivore diet. It has become a trend in a short while like keto diet once did, and even celebrities are trying it. But like all good things, the diet has some side effects that have made people rethink of adopting this diet. So, is the diet worth it, or you’ll be wasting your time trying it? Let’s find out.
What is Carnivore Diet?
As the name suggests, the carnivore or zero-carb diet consists of eating only animal-based products like pork, beef, seafood and poultry. Some people might also include milk, dairy and eggs to the diet. In essence, the carnivore diet is the exact opposite of a vegan diet as no plant-based food sources are consumed.
The Controversial Introduction
The diet was popularized by a former Orthopaedic surgeon, Shawn Baker who is based in New Mexico. He published The Carnivore Diet in 2018. Interestingly his medical license was revoked before that. It was revoked in September 2017 due to “failure to report adverse action taken by a healthcare entity and incompetence to practice as a licensee.” New Mexico Medical Board revoked it.
There is a historical precedent to the carnivore diet as certain tribes like Eskimos or Inuit that lived in cold climates used to live off animal fat and blubber throughout the year. They rarely had any plants, but this diet helped him even though they didn’t get any vitamin D. Such diets have existed for hundreds of years.
People who follow the carnivore diet also think that this diet plan can help you lose weight and burn fat fast as you will feel full while getting sufficient nutrients. The diet can also help you build muscle and heal autoimmune conditions. Another benefit of the carnivore diet is that it’s quite simple. You have to eat meat all day, that’s it.
Is It Healthy?
Yes, there is no doubt about the fact that the carnivore diet is healthy. It will help your body to get ample iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and protein. If you stick to lean protein, it can help you lose weight if you pair it with simple exercises. It might also help boost your heart health. A carnivore diet can also help heal autoimmune diseases as you eliminate all food intolerances. Also, fat is brain food, so if you have a high-fat diet and eliminate all food triggers, it can help with boosting brain health and improving your mood.
The Other Side of the Story
You don’t need to stick to a carnivore diet to eliminate food triggers, lose weight, boost your brain health and improve your mood. You can do all that by removing highly processed foods and sugars.
Like every diet plan, carnivore diet also has many side effects. If you eat only meat, your body might be deprived of several vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fibre. The lack of fibre and plants can lead to the risk of cardiovascular disease as you depend on high amounts of saturated fats. The lack of fibre could also cause extreme constipation, and the lack of glucose could lead to low energy. Also, a carnivore diet could overtax your kidneys as they have to process high levels of protein and sodium. Another side effect of the carnivore diet is that it might impact your social life (as you can’t enjoy all the foods available at social events) and your taste buds might not be satisfied (maybe intermittent fasting is a better option here).
It is a fact that though many tribes survived on a diet similar to the carnivore diet, it is also a fact that tribes that lived on predominantly plant-based diets were among the healthiest of that time. The logic is simple. Decades of research has proven that plants provide a lot in terms of health and longevity to humans.
Even Joe Rogan, popular podcast host and comedian has admitted that sticking to carnivore diet helped him to lose weight and made him feel more energy, but it also led to severe diarrhoea for first two weeks as the diet has low fibre, a vital nutrient for digestion.
All in all, it can be seen that the benefits of a carnivore diet are not nearly enough when compared to the health issues it can cause.
The information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a qualified health professional regarding any inquiries you may have about medical concerns.