The Carnivore diet is really gaining in popularity since Shawn Baker appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast. The Carnivore diet is the complete elimination of all plants and processed foods, eating only animal based foods such as meat, fish, eggs and dairy. Some people cut out eggs and dairy too depending on their sensitivities and symptoms. The thinking behind the Carnivore diet is that you are removing:
- Inflammatory foods such as grains and sugar.
- Plant toxins that can reduce nutrient absorption such as oxalates and lectins.
- Vegetable oils that are high in omega-6 and cause inflammation.
What is included is nutrient dense food that the human body is able to easily absorb and gut healing can take place. There’s a huge online community of people who have had incredible results with the Carnivore diet and have reversed conditions such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Type 2 Diabetes, Eczema, Mental Health Disorders, Food Addiction and many more.
It has been shown that meat eaters have much lower rates of anxiety and depression compared to non-meat eaters and low carbohydrate and ketogenic diets are effective in reducing food cravings and binge eating disorder. A recent study also found that a high fibre diet can exacerbate rheumatoid arthritis through the presence of prevotella copri. The high amounts of fibre in the diet led to microbial alterations and intestinal inflammation. Although a carnivore diet is not used in these studies, they do show the benefits of eating meat, reducing carbohydrates and that fibre is not always beneficial.
In a case report, a Palaeolithic ketogenic diet was used to treat Chrohns disease after standard treatment had been unsuccessful. The diet consisted of animal fat, meat, offal and eggs with a small amount of honey and after only 2 weeks the patient was able to come off their medication! There is actually a clinic in Hungary called Paleo Medicina that uses the Palaeolithic Ketogenic diet to treat all kinds of diseases such as cancer, type 1 diabetes, epilepsy and many more. Another success story is Mikhaila Peterson, who is well known for overcoming severe autoimmune and mood disorders through eating only beef and there are many other stories just like hers.
Whilst I don’t think the Carnivore diet is ideal, for some it may be necessary and for others, it can be used as a tool to restore health and reduce fragility and intestinal permeability so that we are able to introduce other foods back into the diet.