Top 7 Carnivore Diet Books
There are plenty of resources about the carnivore diet online, including blogs, online communities, and podcasts.
Whether you’re a carnivore diet enthusiast or you’re merely curious about it, you can also learn more by looking into books. We’ve curated our 7 favorite carnivore books below, from modern bestsellers to historical texts in the 1930s that are still referred to today.
Check out the list here:
1. The Carnivore Diet by Shawn Baker
Read if: it’s your first book about the carnivore diet.
For a light-hearted yet informative overview of the carnivore diet, we’d recommend this as the first book to dive into. Dr. Shawn Baker is a pioneer of the carnivore movement, and his book “The Carnivore Diet” has been paradigm-changing for many. Despite delving into the science behind eating carnivore, his tone is approachable and easy to understand.
The book starts with Baker talking about his life story as well as his credentials. As an elite athlete and surgeon who has served in war zones, Baker brings a wealth of experience to his writing. He then describes our current public health situation and the modern diet problems before showing how humans evolved to eat meat. Incorporating scientific studies as well as multiple success stories, he goes on to show how the carnivore diet can help with many common health issues such as obesity and diabetes. Finally, the last part of the book focuses on practical tips for adapting the carnivore diet, including how to purchase and store meat.
2. The Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino
Read if: you want to know all about the science behind eating carnivore.
Dr. Paul Saladino’s “The Carnivore Code” is another classic book that practically every long-term carnivore has heard about. Compared to Dr. Shawn Baker’s “The Carnivore Diet,” this book has a more technical focus. Dr. Saladino references hundreds of studies, and each chapter is dense and packed with information, to the point that you might have to reread it a few times to absorb the content fully. Once you’re done with this book, you’ll have a much deeper scientific understanding of how exactly the carnivore diet affects your body.
Part of the book’s popularity can be traced to Dr. Paul Saladino being a major figure in the carnivore world. He also runs his own podcast called Fundamental Health. An intriguing point that Dr. Saladino makes in “The Carnivore Code” is the phytoweapons in plants. Although the plant-based diet is typically thought of as the healthiest one, his book explains why this might not be true–and why plant fiber might not even be beneficial.
3. The Big Fat Surprise by Nina Teicholz
Read if: you’re worried about eating meat and fat.
This award-winning book landed on the top lists of The New York Times, The Economist, Forbes, and The Wall Street Journal. That’s because it makes a claim that seems to be controversial, going against common assumptions about nutrition: dietary fat can actually lead to improved health. It also indicates that a low-fat diet that has been prescribed to the public for decades is a significant contributor to the epidemic of chronic diseases today. Considering that people have been constantly told to stay away from meat and fat, this is a surprising revelation.
Teicholz, an investigative journalist, demolishes the arguments against dietary fat one by one. Her most devastating expose explains the flaws in Ancel Keys Seven Countries Study, which became the basis for advocating a low-fat diet. As a result of a nine-year investigation, this book is heavy on graphs, studies, and statistics. Still, it remains an engaging read that shows how much politics and bias have distorted what we know about nutrition.
4. Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price
Read if: you’d like to know about the merits of ancestral diets.
Weston Price is among the most common names you’ll hear mentioned by scientists and authors in the carnivore, paleo, and keto movements. As a dentist in the early 20th century, Dr. Price was alarmed at the cavities and dental problems that seemed so prevalent among his patients. To see if this was unique to Americans, he decided to visit isolated groups of people around the world, ranging from New Zealand Maori to African tribes and North American Indians.
“Nutrition and Physical Degeneration” was written in the 1930s to sum up his travels and findings. After conducting several rigorous tests and comparisons, he concluded that modern or processed foods such as sugar, vegetable fats, and white flour led to worse health. In contrast, those who stuck with their indigenous foods remained largely healthy. What makes this book especially striking is that Price also carefully documented his findings with photos of different people. Those on the indigenous diet had much better teeth, and their children even more well-defined facial structures.
5. The Fat of the Land by Vilhjalmur Stefansson
Read if: the firsthand account of an Arctic explorer sounds interesting.
The term “carnivore diet” might have been coined recently, but the actual history of all-meat diets extend far into the past. Vilhjalmur’s Stefansson’s “The Fat of the Land” is one of the oldest books on the list, published in the 1950s, but it’s a stunning firsthand account of an Arctic explorer who interacted with tribes and conducted an experiment to eat like them.
As an anthropologist, Stefansson lived with the Inuit and Eskimo people for years, and he noticed a peculiarity among them. They were generally healthy, unplagued by illnesses like diabetes and heart disease–and yet they mostly ate meat. Stefansson found this intriguing, so he decided to do a publicized experiment. Along with another explorer, he would eat only meat for a year. Despite the expectations of doctors and scientists at the time, the test results for their kidneys and blood pressure came out fine. Stefansson continued to practice the carnivore diet for the rest of his life, even eating only butter at parties sometimes.
6. Good Calories, Bad Calories by Gary Taubes
Read if: you’re hoping to lose weight.
Similar to Nina Teicholz’s “The Big Fat Surprise,” Gary Taubes tackles the low-fat, high-carb diet in his book “Good Calories, Bad Calories”–and shows how it has a counterintuitively negative effect on health. As the title hints at, the book distinguishes between good calories and bad calories. Calories are usually thought of only as numbers–if you eat more calories than you burn, you lose weight. As a result, the standard model of dieting focuses on decreasing the overall number of calories consumed.
However, Taubes explains that there’s a more complex mechanism behind this–and it might be why losing weight can seem complicated. The main point of his book is that the quality of the calories matters more than the quantity. Refined carbohydrates such as sugar, bread, and potatoes cause our bodies to produce more insulin, and the carbohydrates are stored as fat. On the other hand, eating a huge number of meat calories will not have this effect–Taubes refers to beef as “healthy calories.”
7. The Carnivore Cookbook by Maria and Craig Emmerich
Read if: you’re looking for carnivore recipes.
Aside from the nutrition behind the carnivore diet, it’s also essential to know how exactly to practice eating carnivore. Although many of the books above give concrete advice and even recommend meal plans, “The Carnivore Cookbook” by Maria and Craig Emmerich is still one of the most practical resources that you can have. While the first part of the book gives a scientific explanation of the carnivore diet, most of it is devoted to recipes.
The carnivore diet may consist of fewer ingredients than average, but you might still be wondering what to do in the kitchen–and how to keep it varied for regular eating. This book presents more than 100 full-color recipes involving meat and animal fat. It even divides recipes into four levels, with the first level using only beef and salt and the second level incorporating other kinds of meat. With this book, you can quickly plan what you’ll be eating for the next few weeks or months.