844-SOS-PETS (767-7387)

The Carnivore Diet: A Meat Based Diet Fad or Here to Stay? 

As an animal naturopath, it may seem peculiar for me to discuss a meat based diet like the carnovore diet. However, this eating regimen closely aligns with my dietary preferences, making me feel my best. Additionally, I have been feeding my dogs this way since 2000, long before the carnivore diet gained widespread popularity. So, now I eat like my dogs! The only difference is that I cook the food, and they eat it raw. Dogs are carnovores so this is the food their digestive system is designed for. If you do not agree that dog;s are carnivores like many do, please read this article. 

The carnivore diet, also known as the all-meat diet, is a nutritional plan that focuses on consuming mainly or solely animal products such as beef, fish, pork, and poultry. This restrictive diet prohibits plant-based foods, grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and dairy products. First, the idea seemed absurd to me, and I confess that I was skeptical when I first heard about it. However, as a researcher who is open to unconventional ideas, I am always intrigued by things that I don’t fully comprehend but that others speak passionately about. I entered my investigation expecting to discover evidence that would disprove this seemingly unusual eating regimen.?

What is the Carnivore Diet?

The carnivore diet is based on the belief that humans do best with minimal plant-based foods and maximum animal-based foods. Supporters of this diet argue that it is an optimal way of eating that promotes both good health and weight loss, as it is similar to the way our ancestors used to eat.

The diet was popularized in recent years by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Shawn Baker, author of the book “The Carnivore Diet.” It draws inspiration from early humans who existed on meat and fish for survival before the advent of agriculture. 

The carnivore diet also overlaps with the paleo and keto diets because it excludes carbs and focuses on proteins and fats. However, it is far more limiting than these other low-carb plans.

Claimed Benefits of the Carnivore Diet

Proponents believe the carnivore diet provides the following benefits:

  • Weight loss – By avoiding carbs and limiting food choices, calories are theoretically reduced.
  • Reduced inflammation – Plant-based foods often contain fiber and anti-nutrients that can potentially irritate the digestive system, while animal-based foods do not have these elements.
  • Increased mental clarity – Maintaining stable blood sugar levels by reducing carb intake can help prevent sudden drops in energy.
  • Disease prevention – It is believed that meat-based diets can lower the risk of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. In my study on raw feeding, I have observed significantly fewer cancer cases compared to the statistics that are mostly based on dogs fed with kibble since that is the majority of dogs’ diet. The reported cancer incidence is around 60-70%, which is a staggering number, while I have observed less than 10%. With the right diet. 

According to nutrition experts, many of the claims about this diet lack robust scientific research. Online discussions about it are often dominated by anecdotes and speculations. The reason for this is that there is little to no interest in spending money on research based on natural products, as there is no financial gain for anyone except pet owners who can save on pet care expenses.

What Do You Eat on the Carnivore Diet?

Followers of this diet eat mostly fatty cuts of red meat. Other animal foods like poultry, fish, eggs, bone broth, pork, lamb, and offal are permitted. Dairy like cheese and butter is allowed by some carnivore dieters. 

All fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds and plant-based oils are eliminated. The only approved plant food is spices used for flavor.

Meals tend to consist of simply prepared meat and fish. Some example meals are:

  • Steak or burger patties
  • Salmon or tuna steaks
  • Roasted chicken 
  • Bacon and eggs
  • Bone broth soups

Many carnivores supplement with vitamins and minerals to offset nutrient deficiencies from a lack of plant foods.

Challenges and Criticisms of a Meat Based Diet

Like any other diet, some people may not support an extreme meat-based diet due to its potential drawbacks and criticisms.

  • Lack of fiber – The absence of plant foods can disrupt the gut microbiome and cause digestive issues like constipation without careful management.
  • Nutrient deficiencies – Vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium and potassium are lacking compared to a balanced diet. Deficiencies may cause conditions like anemia.
  • Kidney strain – Excess protein taxes the kidneys to excrete waste products and may worsen pre-existing kidney disease. Those with kidney issues should not follow this diet.
  • Cardiovascular concerns – Heavy meat intake is linked to increased risks of heart disease, stroke, and mortality in large observational studies.
  • Weight regain – The highly restrictive nature makes permanently sustaining this diet challenging. Weight often returns after resuming normal eating habits.
  • Disordered eating – For those with a history of eating disorders, this restrictive diet can trigger orthorexia and unhealthy relationships with food.
  • Environmental impact – Meat production requires far more land, water and energy than plant crops. The carnivore diet is not environmentally sustainable for global populations.

Overall the carnivore diet lacks scientific research into potential long-term safety and efficacy. Most nutrition experts do not recommend following it.

Trying the Carnivore Diet

Those who wish to attempt the carnivore diet should take precautions:

  • Consult a doctor – Discuss potential nutritional risks based on your health history. Monitor for vitamin deficiencies.
  • Supplement wisely – Consider taking a multivitamin and consuming bone broth for micronutrients. Get enough electrolytes like salt.
  • Include organ meats – Rotate in liver, kidney, brain and heart for nutrient density.
  • Drink sufficient water – Stay hydrated to ease digestion and support kidney function.
  • Transition slowly – Move stepwise from standard diet to low-carb to full carnivore to allow your body to adapt over weeks.
  • Listen to your body – Discontinue if you experience fatigue, headaches, constipation, changes in mood or cognition, or other warning signs.

 

The Bottom Line on Carnivore Diets

If you follow the carnivore diet, you eat very few carbohydrates, a lot of protein, and no plant-based foods. However, some people who disagree with this approach say that it could have several risks and there is only limited clinical evidence to support the supposed benefits. Because of this, many health professionals advise against sticking to this diet over the long term because it could lead to nutritional imbalances.

Additional information and reading:

The best book on this subject is in my opinion:

The Carnivore Code: Unlocking the Secrets to Optimal Health by Returning to Our Ancestral Diet by Paul Saladino MD

https://amzn.to/3q2rY4j

This book uncovers the unsettling reality about what is commonly called “healthy” food, which we’ve all been led to believe is necessary to sustain optimal health. As a researcher, I found it both enlightening and intriguing, as it confirms that healthcare information is one of the most deceitful aspects of public education.

Disclaimer:

The suggested benefits of this supplement product are based on research and anecdotal evidence and are provided for informational purposes only. They should not be construed as medical advice or a substitute for professional healthcare consultation. Individual results may vary, and the efficacy of this supplement has not been confirmed by FDA-approved research. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Always consult a qualified healthcare professional before making any changes to your diet, exercise routine, or supplement regimen, particularly if you have any pre-existing medical conditions or are taking medications. The manufacturer and seller of this product disclaim any liability for any adverse effects or consequences that may arise from the use or reliance on the information provided herein or the product itself. This product does not come with any warranty, either express or implied.

Thomas Sandberg CSAN, CCNC, AADP

Thomas Sandberg CSAN, CCNC, AADP

Thomas Sandberg is a board certified animal naturopath and carnivore nutritionist. He founder of Long Living Pets Research Projects, a 30-year observational study into raw-fed dogs and cats. Thomas also consults in animal naturopathy, including the prevention of chronic diseases and longevity using all-natural modalities. With more than 20 years of experience with hundreds of cancer cases, he has a deep understanding of why so many dogs and cats get cancer today and how we can lower the risk significantly.

Need help with your pet?

Do you have health issues that you cannot resolve with conventional therapies? Are you looking for a natural approach to help your pet live a long healthy life?

This is possible, and what I do. My approach is to restore the immune system in dogs and cats so they can achieve homeostasis. That is the best protection against pathogens that can lead to diseases.

 

join long living pets research projects

This is the World’s Longest and Largest Observational Study into raw fed dogs and cats. Thousands of dogs and cats are participating. We will follow these dogs for their entire life and report and document their lifespan and health.

If you feed a raw food diet you are welcome to participate in the study.

More here

Long Living Pets Rescue and Rehab CenterLong Living Pets Rescue and Rehab Center adopt pets that are scheduled for euthanasia and heal them holistically.

If you want to learn more and help share this project with others…

More here