Rabbit starvation or protein poisoning occurs when someone overeats protein and not enough fat and carbs. There’s a lot of debate behind this topic, and many people believe there’s no such thing as too much protein, while others advise against eating large amounts of protein without supplementing it with fat.
So, is rabbit starvation real, what causes it, and how do you prevent it while eating a zero-carb carnivore diet? Well, in this post, we’ll talk about;
Let’s get started!
Protein is one of the three macronutrients, and although it’s essential as it helps our bodies build new tissue, too much can cause negative side-effects, especially when eaten in high amounts and without much carbs or fat. And since we carnivores don’t eat any carbs, we rely on our high-fat consumption to prevent rabbit starvation.
Rabbit starvation is caused by eating lots of protein without supplementing it with enough fats. And most carnivores and keto dieters that fall into the trap of not eating enough fat don’t even know it.
The foods that are the biggest culprits include;
Rabbit is the leanest of all meats since it only has 8% fat. Chicken breast is also another common culprit with only 11% fat. In contrast, beef has 34% fat.
It’s easy to see how someone on a carnivore diet who’s mainly eating chicken, turkey, lean steak, and tuna can suffer from rabbit starvation since there’s barely any fat for your body to use.
Fun fact, most survival guides actually advise against consuming rabbits when it’s the only food available since it causes more harm than good.
Now that you know which foods to limit let’s look at the dangers of rabbit starvation.
The symptoms of rabbit starvation include;
And the process behind these symptoms is fairly straightforward. When you eat protein, the liver converts it into glucose, and when needed, you can burn it for energy. But your liver can only safely process a certain amount of protein. And when you eat more protein than what the liver processes, it strains your liver and causes a buildup of amino acids and ammonia.
Your liver now needs to flush out byproducts into your bloodstream, which causes these uncomfortable or even deadly side effects.
Another dangerous side effect of rabbit starvation is gallbladder issues. Bile is made by your liver and stored in the gallbladder. This bile is needed for the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K. But the problem is, fat triggers bile production and when there’s no fat in your diet, your gall bladder can dry up, causing gallstones and other gallbladder problems.
And after a while, doctors might need to remove your gallbladder, which can cause an array of other issues like;
Now that we know what the dangers of rabbit starvation are let’s cover how to avoid it.
If you’re eating like a carnivore and you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, there are countless methods you can use to lessen the side effects of rabbit starvation. Some methods include;
Fat is what’s going to balance out your protein to fat ratio, and my favorite fatty meal is bacon and eggs.
I like to think of eggs as nature’s multivitamin as it has almost every nutrient you need to survive, and they contain 5 grams of fat which means if you eat 5 eggs a day, that’s 25 grams of fat. They’re also delicious, and you can make them scrambled, fried, or poached. So eggs are definitely the first food I’ll turn to.
But nobody likes eating eggs without something to compliment it. And what food compliments eggs better than bacon? It’s the perfect carnivore breakfast and I’ve even eaten it for dinner since it’s easy to make and delicious. And the good news is that 3.5 ounces of bacon contain over 40 grams of fat! So by simply eating bacon and eggs for breakfast, you’re getting more than enough fat to supplement your protein intake.
But if you start getting bored of bacon and eggs, consider other fatty meats like ribeye steaks, sardines, ground beef, and pork belly.
If you’re experiencing rabbit starvation symptoms, you should avoid all foods that mainly contain protein like chicken, turkey, and even whey protein shakes since it’s basically pure protein.
I’m not saying these foods are bad, but when recovering from rabbit starvation, avoid them since they can worsen your symptoms. Rather get your protein from sources that contain a lot of fat like eggs, bacon, ground beef, and fatty fish.
And if you consume dairy, opt for the full version and not the fat-free or 2% fat version.
The reason I left this option last is that this might not apply to all carnivores. If you’re a strict carnivore and you don’t fry your foods in plant oils, then the other steps above will do. But if you want to speed up your recovery, add coconut oil to your meals since it contains a ton of fat.
Coconut oil has several health benefits since it contains MCTs or medium-chain triglycerides, which is like gold for your brain. But it also includes a lot of saturated fat, which can help balance out your protein to fat ratio more quickly than fatty foods can.
Again, if you’re not a strict carnivore and you love coffee, consider adding a tablespoon of coconut oil to your coffee as it contains over 14 grams of fat. So if you drink 5 cups of coffee per day, that’s over 70 grams of extra fat without even eating another meal.
Rabbit starvation is surprisingly common since most people tend to gravitate towards leaner cuts of meats. This can cause surprisingly dangerous side effects. But by simply eating more fat and less protein, you’ll kiss your rabbit starvation symptoms goodbye.
Rabbit meat is lean since it only has 8% fat, so if you consume it for an extended period without supplementing it with fat, you’ll start experiencing rabbit starvation symptoms. But if you’re eating it every now and then, it shouldn’t cause any harm.
The average person can survive approximately 10 to 12 weeks on only rabbit meat before it starts causing complications. However, this doesn’t mean it’s bad. Like with any other food, you can’t survive on only one food for an extended period.