Last Updated on August 26, 2020
Does the carnivore diet work for weight loss?
You can find a lot of good information on this topic by reading Chris Kresser online. He provides excellent, balanced information about several diets, including keto, paleo, and carnivore diets.
A carnivore diet is built around beef, lamb, pork, chicken, fish, and eggs. In some cases, dairy is also included to a limited extent.
I heard from several viewers on my YouTube channel that the carnivore diet is the way to go. I’m sure that it can be helpful in the short-term, but I think a long-term carnivore can lead to problems.
If we go way back, there are no groups of people who lived solely on meat. That type of eating pattern didn’t exist. It’s a fallacy to think the carnivore diet the the “natural” human diet. That is simply not true. Chris Kresser writes exceptionally well about that.
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For example, the Canadia Inuit would go to great lengths looking for lichen, berries, and other foods they could use to supplement the seal meat they ate. Most tribes have always foraged for carbohydrates to eat in addition to meat.
It’s a myth that our ancestors lived by roasting huge steaks over open fires.
If you look at what a carnivore diet does to your gut over the long term, the colon will lose out a bit. Meat is almost always exclusively digested higher up in the GI tract. As a result, there is not much residue left in the stool. It’s also a very low fiber diet.
It’s been shown that within 48 hours of starting a carnivore diet, the gut microbiome starts to change. I don’t like that at all.
For those people who promote the carnivore diet, I’d like them to show me someone who has been eating like that for forty years. I’d want to know what their gut looks like. What is their blood pressure like? How are their liver and kidneys doing? How has their heart managed all that animal fat?
I’ve been following the Mediterranean diet for forty plus years, and my heart and circulation are in fantastic shape.
I believe meat is an important part of the diet, but it should be consumed in small amounts. I think the carnivore diet can cause problems with vitamin and minerals levels over the long-term. I would worry about calcium, magnesium, and manganese, to give a few examples.
With my vegan patients, many will add some dairy or lean meats back into their diet after five years or thereabouts. Their B12 levels had become so low that they were starting to feel sick.
I think that the carnivore diet would also be hard to tolerate for more than five to seven years. I couldn’t stomach eating meat for breakfast for the rest of my life.
The carnivore diet may be an effective way to lose weight in the short-term, but I think the keto diet is a better option. If you wanted to do the carnivore diet for a short period, then you could slowly add some vegetables and fruit when you reach your weight-loss objective. But, for overall health, an all-meat diet is not the way to go.