Pros and Cons of the Carnivore Diet
The effective management of food intake with all the necessary macronutrients and micronutrients is needed to contribute to good health. With a wide range of food choices, most of us make our eating habits complicated, leading to chaos in health issues.
As we prioritize health, and the current world revolves around the term ‘diet,’ which is wrongly understood as ‘eating less food’ than required. The word ‘diet’ implies giving habitual nourishment to the body by a balanced intake of food.
The carnivore diet is one of the most followed diet regimes as it aids in faster weight loss. A carnivore diet is an animal-sourced diet, which adheres to eating only meat foods with zero percent carbs. Let us discuss some pros and cons of the carnivore diet that can help while following this diet.
Pros/Advantages of the Carnivore Diet
The carnivore diet helps to stay away from refined carbohydrates high in calories and low in beneficial nutrients. It is a known fact that sugary foods are closely associated with the risk of diabetes and other health issues.
Various advantages of the carnivore diet are:
1. Weight Loss
A study says that a diet low in carbohydrates, like that in the carnivore diet, aids in diabetes prevention and is useful for weight loss. A “low-carb, high-fat” diet is beneficial in long-term prevention and control of the progression of type-2 diabetes.
2. Nutrients to Live and Thrive
Proteins are the source of most of the amino acids that are essential to help with the nutrients that the body needs. Research says that meat and meat products are a good source of essential amino acids. Lysine, histidine, and phenylalanine are such amino acids present in meat that helps to carry out various physiological functions in your body.
3. Reduces Inflammation
According to a study, being on a high-fat and low-carb diet for three months lowered C reactive protein levels, an indicator of inflammation in the body.
4. Increases Satiety
Protein foods increase metabolism, keep you satiated, and burn more calories. A study reveals that the consumption of protein-rich foods increases satiety and keeps you away from binge eating and craving for carb foods.
5. Improved Testosterone Levels
The Evidence says that men who followed a high-fat and low-fiber diet could surprisingly find increased testosterone levels compared to those on a low-fat and high-fiber diet.
Carnivore Diet and its Side Effects
Every diet might not be suitable for all individuals; similar is the carnivore diet. While incorporating a new lifestyle and eating habits, the metabolism gets changed. The body needs a specific amount of time to get accustomed to the new diet or lifestyle. Whether they are short-term or long-term, some individuals who follow a carnivore diet might experience a specific set of symptoms as the body becomes deprived of glucose.
It is quite common to notice various side effects during the adaptation period of any diet. Some of the common side effects resulting from a carnivore diet are nausea, headache, vomiting, fatigue, constipation, dizziness, insomnia, and fluid imbalances. Most of the time, you might experience any one or more side effects during the initial days of following the carnivore diet.
Carnivore Diet: Major Adaptations That the Body Sees
1. Fluid Imbalance
The carnivore diet results in fluid and electrolyte imbalance in the body. It indicates that the body lacks essential micronutrients that are needed for your cells to function as usual. You can observe a massive weight loss during the initial few weeks of following a carnivore diet as the body begins to shred a lot of retained water. As the glucose levels drop, your body will start to utilize the glycogen reserves.
2. Hormone Fluctuations
You can notice changes in hormonal levels, primarily cortisol, resulting in mood swings and irritability. Initially, when your body lacks sufficient carbs, it indicates the signs of starvation, thereby increasing the cortisol levels, which in turn tries to elevate the body’s blood glucose levels.
While you begin the carnivore diet, you will quickly start noticing something vital is missing, which is sugar from carb sources. You are more likely to crave carb-rich foods during the first few weeks of the carnivore diet. It mainly occurs as your body is struggling to get the energy from stored fat in your body.
Tips to Benefit From the Carnivore Diet
- Increased consumption: It is quite common that you would eat more meat or animal-based foods during the initial days of the diet to catch up with the same volume that you eat while having a variety of foods.
- Stay hydrated: It is essential to get enough hydration to the body as the diet removes a lot of retained water from the body. The carnivore diet can reduce sodium levels, and you might get dehydrated. Staying hydrated helps you get rid of constipation, which is common with high-protein diets.
- Go on supplements: While following a carnivore diet, your electrolyte support might be a little more complicated as the body might not get sufficient minerals. To adjust the electrolyte balance all day, you can include mineral supplements while following this diet.
- Get enough sleep: If you are ‘dieting’ with any specific diet routine, it is essential to get enough sleep for the body to ease with the nutritional adjustments.
- Stay physically active: To improve digestion and experience the results of the carnivore diet, being physically active plays a crucial role in speeding up the results. Staying active and sweating more helps to flush out the toxins from the body.
Carnivore Diet: It’s Negative Side
The carnivore diet restricts eating many types of food groups. Thus, the diet may cause a deficiency of some vitamins, micronutrients, and other trace amounts and essential minerals. Nutritional deficiencies that arise from being on a carnivore diet can show a significant impact on health.
Health experts often discuss the carnivore diet’s concerns that meat consumption for the long-term can cause deficiencies in sodium, potassium, and magnesium.
Also, it is believed that fiber is essential for the healthy digestion of food. Vegetables, fruits, and grains are a good source of dietary fiber. Our body lacks fiber while on a carnivore diet. According to research, dietary fiber protects from the risk of developing colorectal adenoma and colon cancer.
A high protein diet is known to damage the health of the kidneys. A study reveals that reducing protein intake in people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) slows down the disease progression, which delays the need for dialysis therapy.
Some evidence says that eating unprocessed and processed meat preserved using sodium or other preservatives increases the risk of coronary artery disease (CAD) and type 2 diabetes.
Health experts and researchers believe that consuming fruits, vegetables, and whole grains provides essential dietary fiber that keeps you away from being constipated. Since a carnivore diet lacks necessary dietary fiber, it might lead to constipation in a few people.
The carnivore diet is one of the most effective diets that give fast results of weight loss. Although it is an overly restrictive diet, the carnivore diet’s high-protein nature helps you keep satiated for a longer time, and the diet is backed with several health benefits. By following a strict diet regime and all the necessary precautionary measures like drinking an adequate amount of water, staying physically active, and having proper sleep, you can reap the best benefits from a carnivore diet.