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The Carnivore Cure: Is It Worth Trying?



The Carnivore Cure: Is It Worth Trying?


It seems that there is always a new fad diet out there, whether it’s Keto or Atkins, or something else entirely. You may often encounter claims that certain foods are “ruining your health” or are causing you “bloating and distress.” It is important to remember to always take these claims with a grain of salt, as nutrition misinformation is rampant. The viral Carnivore Diet is no exception.


Where did this diet come from? Social media stars like the Liver King, Joe Rogan, and Shawn Baker are huge promoters of this diet. At first, they received a lot of backlash, with many people questioning how this diet could possibly be healthy. The Carnivore Diet consists of eating only animal products such as meat, fish, butter, and eggs while excluding foods such as legumes, fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, and seeds. The theory behind this diet is to go back to “ancestral living”, which includes surviving on just meat and fish. Proponents of this diet also believe that today's high carb diets are the reason for chronic diseases and health problems.


The “purpose” of this extreme diet is to rid the body of inflammation, with some testimonials saying it has relieved symptoms of anxiety, depression, arthritis, diabetes and more. However, it should be noted that there is no scientific research backing these claims. Weight loss does not have to be a goal of this diet, but consuming this much protein in a day along with cutting out multiple other food groups may lead to weight loss as well.


Let’s check out a typical day of eating on the Carnivore Diet according to the Chomps (brand) website: 


Day 1

  • Breakfast: Steak and eggs

  • Lunch: Salmon and fried pork

  • Snack: Cottage cheese

  • Dinner: Ground beef patties

Day 2

  • Breakfast: Feta cheese omelet

  • Lunch: Chicken thighs with cheddar cheese

  • Snack: Chomps beef sticks

  • Dinner: Ribeye steak

Day 3

  • Breakfast: Poached eggs with bacon

  • Lunch: Tuna and hard-boiled eggs

  • Snack: Sardines

  • Dinner: Bone broth and roasted chicken


As you can see from the meal plan above, these food items are all animal product-focused. This diet has been glorified for being “clean” and healthy, but it is important to keep in mind that meat products pack quite a bit of fat, especially saturated fat which can be harmful to our health if over-consumed.


There are limited scientific studies backing this diet. Dietitians have made statements on the carnivore diet saying it could cause a lack of vital nutrients, but we can not deny some client's testimonials when it comes to reduced inflammation and/or weight loss. One reason that this diet could potentially lead to decreased inflammation is simply due to the fact that you are only eating one food group, and processed foods are typically not allowed on the diet. Also, since so many foods are off limits, a lack of variety paired with a high-fat and high-protein diet naturally leads to a decreased calorie intake. However, does this mean that the Carnivore Diet is a good (or even a healthy) way to decrease inflammation and lose weight? 


My opinion is that the Carnivore Diet is unnecessarily restrictive, and because of this, I cannot recommend that a person do the Carnivore Diet. You can reach your goals and live a healthy lifestyle by eating a much more varied diet, and when you include plant foods in your life, you reap the well-studied benefits such as reduced cancer incidence and a longer lifespan. Just because a few people claim that the Carnivore Diet works for them doesn’t mean it’s healthy in the long term. I would much rather a person focus on consuming lean proteins (chicken, fish, tofu, eggs), whole grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds to ensure they are getting the most nutrition possible. If you would like guidance on how much you need of these foods, please don’t hesitate to reach out.


In summary: a diet that has variety is the best! Being so restrictive can cause extra unnecessary stress around food. Please reach out to a dietitian for professional advice if you find yourself struggling with food and eating habits.



Further Learning


For more insights into nutrition and healthy living, tune into my podcast RDs vs BS, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and www.rdsvsbs.com. Stay tuned for more tips in the coming months!


I’m currently offering a free nutrition intro session to all new clients. If you’re interested in improving your nutrition in a way that lasts, sign up for a session through my website below.


Instagram: @emily_rd_


Written by: Gabby Romero 




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