What is the carnivore diet?
In its most extreme form, the carnivore diet includes nothing but animal products like meat, poultry, fish, and eggs; and water. Whether this falls under your #dietgoals or your worst nightmare, much confusion and controversy exist around this diet.
In its strictest form, the carnivore diet excludes fruit, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, and even herbs. But more moderate advocates will include spices, herbs, and small amounts of butter, cheese, and other dairy products.
What are the purported benefits of the carnivore diet?
Derived from the belief that most chronic illness stems from our consumption of carbohydrates and sugar, the carnivore diet is meant to be a return to the way our ancestors ate–and curb the development of chronic disease. Of course, this does have its benefits, as it completely eliminates the amount of refined sugar, omega-6 fatty acids, and refined vegetable oils.
But the carnivore diet goes a step further, as its proponents claim that it also helps treat anxiety, rheumatoid arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. The carnivore diet can lead to weight loss in some individuals, at least initially, as protein is far more satiating than carbohydrates. Further, protein helps increase metabolic rate, allowing the body to burn more calories while at rest.
What are the pitfalls of the carnivore diet?
If bacon for breakfast, turkey for lunch, and beef for dinner don’t sound like your preferred palette, then you’ll be happy to hear that the studies on this diet are lacking, and the benefits are anecdotal at best.
With critics worrying about nutrient deficiencies and the high fat, protein, and sodium content, the carnivore diet is not intended for individuals with renal or gallbladder dysfunction or for those with high cholesterol. Additionally, the carnivore diet is low in fiber–a necessary nutrient for digestion that may contribute to colorectal cancer if absent.
What does a carnivore enthusiast say?
According to integrative health practitioner and biomedical student Pedro DoAmaral, the carnivore diet has its place in the field of nutrition but it certainly isn’t for everyone. Further, Pedro explains why, when he eats a carnivore diet, his supplement requirements shift drastically, as well as his energy levels, and cravings.
Whenever I’m carnivore, I have a complete almost disgust for trying so many different supplements at once. I just need a few things, maybe some magnesium, potassium, maybe a little bit of theanine, and I’m good to go.– Pedro DoAmaral
About Pedro DoAmaral
A biomedical and biotechnology student at Keiser University, Pedro DoAmaral is an integrative health practitioner.
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