If you have recently come across the term carnivore diet and have been taken aback for a second with the idea of consuming an all-meat diet, you aren’t alone. The carnivore diet has been around for some time now. But it found itself with new popularity when Joe Rogan, a famous comedian, tried this diet and claimed that it helped him lose weight.
The carnivore diet has been critiqued in the past by dieticians and nutritionists since the diet is extremely restrictive and puts you on an all-protein diet. This severely limits your nutrition intake and restricts fiber, believed to be an essential nutrient for your digestive system. The diet pushes grass-fed meat and supports the elimination of carbohydrates.
So should you follow this diet, and if yes, how long can you exclude fiber and carbs from your diet? How long do you need to follow the carnivore diet to see its effect? The following article will recap the carnivore diet for you while answering these crucial questions. Let’s get started.
The carnivore diet is as simple as it sounds. While on this diet, you are only supposed to eat animal food and products. Things like fruits, vegetables, bread, or grains can take a backseat when you are following this diet. The carnivore diet is essentially the opposite of a vegan diet.
Some fitness influencers have theorized that humans do not need plant-based food to survive, and carbohydrates are non-essential macronutrients. Basically, we need fats and proteins to survive, but we don’t need carbohydrates in the same way. The concept of this diet is an evolution of the keto diet in some ways and stems from the idea that people are suffering from inflammation and gut issues because of the rise in the high carb diet.
The carnivore diet is a restrictive diet that helps you lose weight faster because you shift your primary energy source from carbohydrates to fats. Your body goes into ketosis, a mechanism through which your body starts using stored body fat for fuel. This promotes weight loss while your body burns its own fat for energy.
Along with that, fat and protein are full-filling and can help you go for long durations without thinking about food. Studies have also demonstrated how becoming fat-adapted tends to improve your hunger hormones. This also helps in regulating your overall appetite.
Another significant benefit of the carnivore diet is a decrease in inflammation. Carbohydrate-rich foods tend to exacerbate inflammation. Processed foods, vegetable oils, and some plant nutrients have been linked with inflammatory responses in the body. The carnivore diet eliminates carbohydrates from the diet, resulting in fewer aches and pains. Protein-rich foods are also a good source of collagen that can boost cartilage health.
The only rule of this diet is that a person should eat foods from animal sources. A few people decide to eat only one type of meat while others include different types of meat and dairy products into their diet. Apart from that, there are no specific rules about your daily serving size or calorie intake. You can eat however many meals or snacks per day.
Some of the foods you can eat are salmon, chicken, beef, lamb, turkey, white fish, pork, and organ meats. Some people also eat heavy cream, butter, bone marrow, and cheese.
Carnivore diet enthusiasts emphasized eating fatty cuts of animal proteins to reach your daily energy requirements. The diet also encourages you to drink water and bone broth while cutting down on coffee, tea, and any other drink made from plants.
There are no specific guidelines as to how long you are supposed to follow the diet. Proponents of the carnivore diet have claimed to see its benefits within one to two weeks of following this diet regimen. However, according to health experts, there are several downsides of the carnivore diet that can be harmful in the long run.
The highly restrictive nature of the diet comes from the idea that we don’t need other food groups to survive. Our ancestors lived on animal meat, and avoiding carb-laden food led to less inflammation and heart diseases. Carnivore diet enthusiasts theorize that our bodies function at optimal levels when it’s fueled by proteins and fats.
A popular advocate of the carnivore diet, Shawn Baker, a former orthopaedic surgeon, shared success stories of the followers of the diet and claimed that it helped them reduce pain, lose weight and achieve overall better health.
However, there are some side effects that you can experience while following this diet. Since the carnivore diet doesn’t include fiber, a common side effect of the diet could be experiencing some dietary issues while your body adapts to your new diet. However, these issues tend to resolve once your body gets used to your new eating habits within a few weeks.
To put things in perspective, Joe Rogan said that consuming the carnivore diet for a month helped him boost overall energy and lose weight. However, a significant side effect of the diet was experiencing explosive diarrhea for the first two weeks. He went on to state that going on with the diet could have ultimately led to worse digestive issues; hence he decided to stop the diet for the time being.
Rogan’s stomach woes are likely associated with the lack of fiber in the carnivore diet. Moreover, there are no scientific claims.
The carnivore diet is an all-meat diet that excludes any plant-based food. The proponents of the diet claim that the carnivore diet can help lose weight and reduce inflammation. However, there is not enough scientific research to back up these claims.
Some advocates of the diet claim to have been following the diet for as long as seven years. However, others have not been able to stick to the restrictive diet for more than a few weeks. If you decide to follow the carnivore diet, listen to your body and respect its needs.
Dr. Rashmi Byakodi is a health and wellness writer who aims to spread awareness about health through her words. With her medical background and a passion for writing, she has been creating health content on various platforms. Dr. Rashmi believes that with the right knowledge and a healthy lifestyle, we can combat many health issues, and she strives to spread the same through her blog posts.
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