What About All Of These Claims That The Carnivore Diet Cures Chronic Health Problems
Bloggers and Instagrammers claim that, in addition to weight loss, the carnivore diet can cure a variety of ailments, from sinus and skin issues, to arthritis and depression .
But again, those are all anecdotal claimsthere are no actual studies on the carnivore diet, so its impossible to say for sure what the health effects are, good or bad. It could be the placebo effect, but it also could just be the result of weight loss,” says Langer. It literally has no logical explanationits not based in science at all.
Langer also stresses that just because one person goes on the carnivore diet and has healthy blood vitals and reduced symptoms of a chronic condition, doesnt mean that this will be true for everyone.
Some people can eat more saturated fats and be okay, so that could be a reason their blood pressure and cholesterol are within the healthy range, she says. They also may have neglected to mention that theyve lost weight, which in itself will make your blood pressure and cholesterol go down. They also may just be lying.
Drawbacks Of The Carnivore Diet
There are a few things to be aware of if you want to try this diet. The first thing is that this diet is usually only recommended for the short term.
Because it avoids all plant foods, including fruits, veggies, herbs, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, this diet could lead to nutrient deficiencies, including important vitamins like the B complex vitamins and vitamin E.
Its also possible to develop deficiencies in major minerals like calcium and magnesium and micronutrients, such as chromium and iodine.
Deficiencies can lead to side effects. Some side effects people experience when going on the Carnivore Diet include the following:
- undesired weight loss
The gut microbiome relies on a process known as saccharolytic fermentation, which is the process of breaking down carbohydrates, such as vegetables. This process helps to produce butyrate, propionate, and acetate, 3 short-chain fatty acids that are critical for a healthy gut environment. Specifically, butyrate helps to prevent leaky gut by maintaining the integrity of tight gap junctions, clears ammonia, and helps with metabolism. Propionate plays a role in T-cell mediated immunity. And acetate is used for cholesterol synthesis and lipogenesis. Saccharolytic fermentation relies on prebiotic fibers, such as inulin and oligosaccharides.
You can do a few different things to avoid these side effects. Keep reading for some tips for success:
What Does Fat Cycling Do A Couple Of The Big Rocks
- Your basal metabolic rate drops
- You expend less energy when you exercise
- Your daily activity outside of workouts tends to decrease because you have less energy. Youll find you move around less.
So as you lose weight, you have to continue reducing how much you eat in order to keep seeing results. You can only reduce calories so much.
Example: Lets say you start a 2,000 calorie a day diet & lose weight steadily for a while. Over time, you might find that stops working. So you cut back to 1,800 calories to kickstart weight loss again, then you plateau, then you have to reduce to 1,600 & so on
This is called metabolic adaptation. So all you chronic dieters out there that cant lose weight & gain anytime you eat above 1200-1500 calories, this is what has happened. You must reverse diet to fix this.
2. Fat cycling may help regulate hormones affected by fat loss.
Intense dieting messes with your hormones. Specifically: Leptin, Thyroid hormones, & Reproductive hormones
If youre trying to lose fat, leptins a particular concern. Leptin is released by fat tissue, & plays a key role in hunger & metabolic adaptation.
This lil higher fat, higher calorie break, might also make it feel easier to adhere to a lower calorie intake on low fat days. As with any diet, consistency & adherence are key!
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Should You Consider The Carnivore Diet
Patton doesnt mince words when it comes to this question.
In my opinion, no.
If youre a believer in everything in moderation, this diet isnt for you. The best diet is one thats balanced and includes a variety of different foods from several food groups.
It really is about finding a balance in whats right for you.
What The Carnivore Doc Says About Obesity And Weightless
There are a few pages dedicated to weight loss and obesity in the book, The Carnivore Diet by Dr. Shawn Baker. Dr. Baker looks at obesity as a malnutrition problem.
He says when on a Standard American Diet the body is loaded up with carbs and garbage foods that it really causes issues with hormones, enzymes, and ultimately malnourishment.
Plus the overconsumption of calories plays a major part in the obesity factor.
So, do people lose weight because calories are cut on a carnivore diet?
He sums it up by saying, Yes, for some people that certainly is what occurs. Meat tends to be pretty darn satiating to most people. Many people struggle to eat much meat, particularly when they start the carnivore diet, and they lose weight.
He further says, early weight loss is due to water weight coming off, particularly if a person is switching from a high-carb diet. Carbs stimulate insulin to the greatest degree, which leads the kidneys to hang onto fluid that is often stored with glycogen.
The cool thing is that Dr. Baker recognizes the potential health benefits of the carnivore diet as the real gaol and weight loss is the complimentary benefit.
He says, If you approach this diet with the focus of weighing a certain amount or fitting into a certain size of jeans, then you will likely struggle. Its not that those things wont happen, but they are secondary to improvements in nutrition.
Nutrition precedes health health precedes body recomposition.
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My Carnivore Diet Food Exceptions
There are many levels of the carnivore diet. Some people choose just to eat beef, water and salt and some choose to add in a few exceptions to make this transition a bit easier. I am one of those people. The following is a list of foods I have decided to add into this experiment. Not everyone could or should do this, but I am choosing to.
Coffee – I blend mine up with butter, heavy whipping cream and a scoop of collagen
Lemons & Limes – I use them to flavor my water in order to encourage me to drink more
Spices and Seasonings – There’s NO way I was going to do this without some flavor
Sparkling Water – I drink flavored sparkling water which I know can spike insulin, but this is a choice I made
Some Sauces – Buffalo sauce, steak sauce and mayo among other low carb sauces are used in moderation
Is The Carnivore Diet A Good Idea For Bodybuilders
Yes, the carnivore diet is a good idea for bodybuilders and strength enthusiasts because it provides large volumes of protein, vitamins, and minerals.
At the same time, it loads you up with tons of energy to power through your training.
If you take a gradual approach to switch your diet away from plants and towards only meat, then you should notice a corresponding shift in how much more physical power and endurance you have available.
Now, this is a lifestyle choice that will raise a few eyebrows.
But when you can demonstrate results through increased muscle mass and strength, youll soon put the critics in their place.
At the same time, its not something to be committing to for the rest of your life, but if you work through my recommended cycles, then you can achieve significant results within weeks. For more info, I recommend you do a quick Google search for Dr. Shawn Baker.
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How To Measure Progress
Kelly Also Highly Recommends Finding An Online Zero Carb Group:
I would just recommend to give it 30 days and to find a support system like the Facebook groups Zeroing In On Health, Hip2Keto Community, or Zero Carb Health. At the end of 30 Days, simply evaluate how you look and feel. How does your skin look? How are your food cravings? How is your energy level?
Most people see weight loss, mental clarity, more even moods, glowing skin, a total loss of sugar cravings, higher energy levels, better sleep, and reduced inflammation. If you dont feel better at the end of 30 Days, just return to whatever you were doing before. Nothing lost, nothing gained. But thats not usually what happens. If youre looking for even more support, you can join me over on my YouTube Channel My Zero Carb Life
While many can safely follow this diet, its important to note that everyones body, lifestyle, and preferences are COMPLETELY different it might not be for everyone.
Listen to your body, consult with your doctor, and do what works best for you! Meat-cha later!
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High In Protein & The Protein Leverage Hypothesis
Humans have a protein drive. But protein has been massively diluted in our diets because it is one of the most expensive inputs. Carbohydrates and fats have been dumped into our diets over the last 30 years, but protein has not increased.
Now, over 40% of Americans dont get enough protein . Its fallen to 10% or less of calories.
But, without knowing it, humans search for 15%+ protein intake. When we lower it, even just slightly, our body massively overcompensates with lower satiation and increased carbohydrate and fat intake. This study showed just a 1% decrease in protein led to 14% increase in CHO + Fat intake
One of the fastest ways to lose weight: Increase protein
This study showed that a 5% increase in protein led to a 3 TIMES decrease in fat mass
Experts Weigh In: Some Pro Some Con Some Alarmed
Among low-carb experts, the carnivore diet is controversial.
Low-carb neuroscientist Rhonda Patrick, PhD, is concerned about the potential for negative gut microbiome changes and the risk of micronutrient deficiencies. What is attracting someone to try such a restrictive diet without any published studies or long-term evidence? Why would you do it? she said in an with Joe Rogan. She said the most common reason seems to be trying to influence ongoing autoimmune conditions.
Psychiatrist Dr. Georgia Ede supports a trial of the diet. In her popular Diagnosis Diet blog and in this Diet Doctor video exploring whether vegetables are truly necessary for health, she concludes there is no clear scientific proof that we need to eat vegetables at all. She told participants at the 2018 Low-Carb San Diego conference that she was currently trying a carnivore diet herself and, so far, was experiencing positive results, such as improved sleep, steady mood and resolution to her migraines and night-time leg cramps.
Dr. Ted Naiman says he has now had many patients who have done 30-, 60-, and 90-day trials of the carnivore diet, with generally good results and normal labs. However, he has been finding that longer term, the diet may be more concerning. Ive now had a small handful of patients who were doing this longer than six months who have reported vague fatigue. The lab workup in these people is usually normal except for very low folate levels, below the normal range.
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All The Saturated Fat You Consume On The Carnivore Diet Will Increase Your Risk Of Heart Disease
Sure, it’s possible to eat a carnivore diet made up of primarily lean cuts of meat like skinless chicken, pork loin, lean seafood, and fish rich in unsaturated fats. But, let’s be real, the chances of completely avoiding butter, cheese, and fatty cuts of meat is extremely unlikely hardcore carnivore dieters tend to post pictures of meals that contain plenty of steak, bacon, and fried eggs.
The problem? These tasty cuts of meat are very high in saturated fat, which the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends limiting to less than 10 percent of your total daily calories. This is because, as the American Heart Association explained, saturated fat consumption can raise your “bad” LDL blood cholesterol and increase your risk of heart disease. Additionally, dietary fiber is what helps combat this effect. The carnivore diet is pretty much a recipe for disaster as it calls for consuming more saturated fat and no dietary fiber.
Hormones Play An Important Role In Losing Weight
For all calories to be equal, we must assume that all foods have the same impact on our bodys functions and hormones. This, unfortunately, isnt true. A common example is an alcohol. It would make no sense to say that 100 calories of vodka have the same effect on our body as 100 calories of chicken livers. 10% of the alcohol gets processed in our brain, making us drunk. The rest is processed in our liver, leading to liver disease.
Different foods have different effects on our bodies, regardless of calorie count.
We have hormones that tell us when its too hot, too cold, when were tired, and when its time to sleep. But why doesnt our body have hormones that stop us from eating ourselves into obesity? Well, we do. But certain foods block these hormones.
Our bodies have hormones that regulate our weight and tell us when to eat when its time to stop, and when to start burning fat and not muscle.
Lets cover these hormones:
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Get Access To The 30 Day Guide To Mastering The Carnivore Diet
DISCLAIMER: The goal of Carnivore Aurelius is to educate and motivate others to take charge of their health. I am not a medical doctor, registered dietitian, or qualified to give individualized recommendations regarding health, nutrition or fitness. All views expressed are based on my own personal research and experiences. For specific health-related questions, please consult your doctor.
Your Cholesterol Will Probably Increase On The Carnivore Diet
First, let’s get something straight: Eating a lot of dietary cholesterol doesn’t necessarily increase your LDL blood cholesterol. Experts used to think this was the case and recommended eating less than 300 milligrams of cholesterol per day. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans removed this recommendation, though advised “individuals should eat as little dietary cholesterol as possible while consuming a healthy eating pattern” .
It’s well-established that eating foods high in saturated fat can raise your LDL cholesterol levels. One 2019 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that increased consumption of both white and red meat can raise your blood cholesterol, which obviously spells trouble for people on the carnivore diet.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, having high LDL cholesterol raises risk for heart disease and stroke, two of the leading causes of death in America. And without fiber to combat the effects of cholesterol in the body, carnivore dieters may just be playing a dangerous game.
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On The Carnivore Diet You’ll Be Eating Way More Meat Than Is Recommended
Something people might find appealing about the carnivore diet is the lack of rules pertaining to how much you should eat, Amy Gorin, registered dietitian nutritionist, told Women’s Health. Presumably, you just eat as much as you want, whenever you’re hungry. Some carnivore dieters eat up to 4 pounds of meat per day. That’s way above the daily recommendation of 2 to 6.5 ounces of meat. Of course, eating that much meat also gets expensive: 4 pounds of sirloin steak costs around $34. Even if you go for cheaper meat, like ground beef, you’ll be spending around $19 per day.
Eating that much meat also has some negative environmental impacts. “Meat production is the primary source of methane emissions, a greenhouse gas 86 times more potent than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period, and beef cattle produced over 70 percent of it via enteric fermentation belching and farting in 2016,” according to the Sierra Club. Eating meat especially as much as 4 pounds per day can lead to a massivecarbon footprint.
Your Blood Pressure Might Go Up On The Carnivore Diet
The American Heart Association defines high blood pressure, also called hypertension, as having systolic blood pressure of 130 or above, and/or diastolic blood pressure of 80 or above. Having high blood pressure can damage your heart and circulatory system, and is a significant contributor to heart attack, stroke, and other serious health problems.
This is bad news for folks on the carnivore diet. Increased meat consumption, particularly red meat consumption, has been linked to increases in blood pressure, according to the AHA. Americans already eat a significant amount of red meat 76 grams per day on average but people on the carnivore diet are likely going to eat far more than that.
For reference, a hamburger patty delivers around 4 ounces of red meat, and a single serving of steak is 3 ounces. In short, it would be very difficult to keep red meat to a minimum on the carnivore diet.
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