Tl;dr: meat = good. The rest = bad.
Hey, this article was originally published in my old blog in 2020. Now, it’s 2022, and things have changed.
I have effectively failed the carnivore diet.
This doesn’t change the fact that I stand by everything written in this article.
As you are about to find out, nutrition is a tricky business.
Table of Content
Click to expand/collapse
- #1 Plants Are Toxic and Dangerous
- #2:The Digestive System
- #3: Evolution
- #4: The Current Tribes Diet
- #5: Allergies
- #6: Sugar
- #7: Human Teeth
- #8: Basic Nutrition Science
- #9: The Results
- #1: Meat and Cancer
- #2: Proteins and Kidneys
- #3: Cholesterol Is Bad For Your Heart
- #4: No Vegetables Will Give You Scurvy
- #5: Potential Downsides and Risks of the Carnivore Diet
- #6 Why Do We Lose So Much Weight So Fast on a Carnivore Diet?
Homo Sapiens arose around 350 000 years ago. About 25 000 years ago (at the earliest), the first men became sedentary and practiced agriculture.
They shifted from a meat-based diet to a plant-based diet, likely due to herd exhaustion (they hunted mammoths to extinction).
The most important impact that this shift in diet had was a decrease in brain size.
This isn’t surprising as our digestive system resembles much more that of a carnivore than a herbivore: small cecum, quick process, acidic stomach, and an inability to digest fibers.
It is supposed that anti-nutrients in plants lead to severe auto-immune diseases, which can be cured with a carnivore diet.
The carnivore diet is a diet made out of meat, fish, and eggs exclusively. It is important not to mistake it with:
- The animal-based diet: a diet based on animal foods only (meat, fish, eggs, butter, yogurt, milk, cheese etc)
- The carnivorish diet: a 95% carnivore + butter, yogurt, or some vegetables.
- The lion diet: a diet made out exclusively of red meat (beef, lamb, goat, etc)
This article is split into three parts. First, I explain below in nine points why I think we got nutrition all wrong. In the next part, we’ll debunk some health myths together surrounding the “dangers of meat”.
Finally, I’ll tell you how I discovered and adopted this all-meat lifestyle, and why you probably shouldn’t.
None of what is written below has been “invented”. It all comes from sources I have read.
Most of the time, I linked these resources. If not, you can find all the information (and more) in the book The carnivore diet by Dr. Shawn Baker, the book Carnivore Code by Paul Saladino, MD, or Carnivore Cure, by Judy Cho.
Check out my article on resources for more resources!
Disclaimer: This is no dietary advice. I am not a licensed medical practitioner and I only know as much as I read.
Should you try out the carnivore diet, make sure you do not suffer from any condition that could worsen on an all-meat lifestyle. Always consult a licensed professional before undertaking any dietary change.
Let’s dive into it.
Part One: Nine Reasons Why Your Diet Should Be Based on Meat
I know it’s crazy.
We have been told so many times to “eat five fruits and vegetables per day” by so many “doctors” and “scientists” that this very fact is the hardest to swallow.
However, it makes perfect sense when you understand the broader picture.
Let’s start by establishing that the purpose of all living beings, be it animals or plants, is to keep their species alive.
To do so, nature gave to every living creature a defense mechanism against predators.
For animals, most often than not, this mechanism is running away. Sometimes, it is fighting with claws, poison, teeth, arms, or even, poop. This is the famous “fight or flight” response.
Plants don’t have this luxury to fight, neither flight.
They can’t run away. They can’t fight with claws either.
As a result, the only way for them to fight predators is to manufacture powerful chemicals that will attack those that eat them.
These substances are called anti-nutrients. They decrease the absorption of nutrients by your stomach and make you feel sick when you eat the plant so that you stop doing so.
We only know about a small fraction of chemicals present in plants.
In all of the biggest pharma labs around the world, scientists work relentlessly with plants to isolate their complex molecules and test them to treat diseases.
The problem is that these anti-nutrients are not accounted for by current nutritionists.
Studies have reported that the volume of man-made pesticides spread on plants is much LOWER than natural pesticides manufactured by the plant itself.
And since plants have existed much, much before we did (about 450 million years ago), they had all the time in the world to perfect their defense mechanisms against predators.
So when we think we’re eating the plant, it is the opposite that happens: the plant is eating us.
Then we may ask, why are we actually eating them?
Well, we don’t.
We only eat a very small percentage of all the plants that exist, and as we will see below, most of the plants we eat have been domesticated and mixed to become edible.
Vegans may fear GMOs, but almost all fruits and vegetables we eat today are the results of gene manipulation that happened over a span of about 13 000 years.
And even that wasn’t enough!
Most plants still need to be detoxified through pealing, cooking, boiling, fermenting, processing, and more.
Very few plants can be consumed as such from nature, and when it is the case, the plant is more often than not an evolved version of what it was originally.
After all, had we been made to eat plants, we would have had a stomach to digest them in the first place.
#2: The Digestive System
Let’s start by establishing something even vegans can’t deny: the human stomach cannot digest fibers.
It can’t, which is why vegans poop three times a day.
Fibers SPEED UP (and not “improve”) the digestive process because the stomach gets rid of these harmful components as soon as possible.
How is it with other animals?
The cow, one of the “veganiest” animals ever, has four stomachs and a three days digestive cycle.
First, the cow eats the grass and swallows, then the grass gets digested the first time, then comes back in the cow’s mouth and the cow chews on it for one or two days, then the grass is finally digested, after a…96-hour digestion process.
That’s how a digestive system made to eat plants looks like.
However, I admit that it’s difficult to conclude anything about the human digestive system since we are not close to cows.
So let’s have a look at the chimpanzee.
The chimpanzee, an omnivore (eats animals, fruits, insects, and leaves) has, for example, a big great intestine, a smaller small intestine, and a big cecum where leaves come to ferment to allow for easier digestion.
For humans, it is the exact opposite. Consider the image below (we compare humans to gorillas, which are slightly different than chimpanzees).
We have a small large intestine, a big small intestine, and a very small cecum.
It is further reported that while some apes don’t digest fibers well (among which is the chimpanzee, despite its different stomach), some other apes have a digestive system much closer to the cow’s which allows them to be happy herbivores, like the gorillas.
Finally, the human stomach’s acidity measured in pH, is 1.5, one of the highest acidic stomachs in the animal kingdom.
What does an acidic stomach do best?
Don’t believe me? Then run a test on yourself.
Do you ever feel bloated after eating a lot of vegetables or fruits? Most likely, yes.
Now, try once a meal with only meat.
You won’t feel any of these symptoms, and digestion will go smoothly.
Another effect that has been noticed with carnivore people is the number (and amount) of pooping: it is almost insignificant.
I practice bowel movement once every 7-10 days, and what I poop is always very little compared to when I used to eat a rich carbohydrate diet.
That is because the absence of anti-nutrients we talked about in the first point makes absorption of food much easier. Furthermore, the absence of fibers does not stimulate bowel movement as much. Finally, there is very little in meat that the human body does not absorb.
Better absorption means less waste, and if you add to that the absence of fibers…you significantly spare on toilet paper!
It has been shown that a bunch of Australopithecus at some point started eating meat.
After all, meat was available everywhere at all seasons, while plants (the digestible ones at least) were scarce, low-nutrient dense, and were not available at all seasons.
Furthermore, there were no possibilities to check for a plant’s safety: a red berry could have been comestible just how it could have been deadly.
While herbivores can recognize the plants they eat by instinct, we recognize our food visually: they usually run away as we approach.
As we transitioned out of a plant-based diet to a meat-based diet, animal foods helped boost the brain, which got bigger and Sapiens/Neanderthals (they later split) appeared.
There is a direct correlation between the period when we started eating meat and when the brain started growing.
Furthermore, this growth of brain size is the biggest and fastest of all of history.
As such, while Australopithecus’ brain size was about 1100 cm3, the Neanderthals (big carnivores that went extinct about 40 000 years ago) had a brain size of about 1750 cm3 as it was about to go extinct.
If this proof that meat is based for us is not enough, here’s another one, much more troublesome: brain size started to shrink about 20 000-10 000 years ago.
Our Homo Sapiens’ brain is only 1400 cm3 and lost 25% of its size compared to Neanderthals.
And what happened 20 000-10 000 years ago?
The agricultural revolution.
Now, it is interesting to pause and reflect.
Neanderthals, a big carnivore, went extinct as Sapiens started domesticating plants.
If you have read Harari’s masterpiece Homo Sapiens, you know that big animals always went extinct as humans were moving territory.
One of them is the mammoth and luckily, we recently discovered some giant mammoth traps, confirming that mammoths (and highly probably other big animals) were hunted down for their meat, and did not disappear out of nowhere.
We can therefore propose the following narrative: as humans were spreading, meat became scarce because they were eating and hunting faster than animals could reproduce.
Neanderthals died of hunger while Sapiens had but no choice to start eating plants, which they later domesticated during the Neolithic.
As Sapiens ate foods that weren’t tailored to his needs, brain size, height and health drastically decreased, and only modern medicine and lifestyle have allowed humans to gain back on body size.
The brain, though, kept its slow shrinking phase.
About 340 000 years ago, Homo Sapiens appeared and shared the planet with Neanderthals. They were both hunters. For 300 000 years, life was great, no government, no police, no vegans, food was plentiful and the air was pure.
About 40 000 years ago, food started running low.
Sapiens, to avoid hunger, started eating plants and ended up domesticating them while Neanderthals pursued their carnivore lifestyle.
The Neanderthals eventually all died out with their big brains while Sapiens’ were shrinking.
The sedentary lifestyle bored Homo Sapiens to the extent that they started studying their environment, building villages, writing laws, waging wars…until today.
While science has not validated entirely this theory, it is getting more valid as time goes by.
Has the sedentary lifestyle made us evolve?
It would make sense.
The nomadic lifestyle was full of adventures and comfortable: the cavemen worked about 25 hours a week, lacked nothing, life was safe, and nobody was lonely.
They had no reason to do anything else than they had been doing for 300 000 years. When food went scarce though, it created such a change of dynamism in Sapiens’ society that we ended up with what we have today: a tired, sick, neurotic, suicidal, auto-destructive, and depressed society.
Should this theory be valid, this period of decadence famously theorized by Oswald Spengler or Michel Onfray would not have started a thousand or so years ago, but about…20 000 years ago with the agricultural revolution.
It would further mean that what we mistake for a cultural decadence actually is a species decadence induced by food.
Species annihilation would be final and complete once carnivore humans would go back to the diet of their ancestors the Australopithecus: veganism.
The species would eventually disappear due to weakness, as their size, strength, and intelligence decrease.
Does it seem too crazy to believe?
#4: The Current Tribes Diet
The Inuits and the Masaï have both the particularity to eat very little plants and plenty of meat and have an impressively low rate of about any western diseases: diabetes, cardiovascular problems, cancer, obesity (these four usually go hand in hand).
Vilhjalmur Stefansson didn’t think so.
In 1928, after he discovered the all-meat diet of the Eskimos, the Icelandic explorer decided to prove that an all-meat diet was healthy by spending a year eating just meat, under observation at the hospital.
And so he did.
After a year, the results were clear: he was perfectly healthy and lacked no vitamin (see below for questions about vitamin c).
The key to the diet, he discovered, was to not cook the meat too much as to keep the vitamins inside, and to eat a lot of fat because the body can’t run on protein alone.
The most common allergies on the planet are tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, wheat, soy, fish, cow milk, eggs.
See any meat here?
Fish and shellfish can be expected because we didn’t evolve in water.
As for cow milk, humans are the only species drinking milk from another animal, which is unnatural.
In fact, only Europeans can digest milk due to the fact that we have been drinking it for 13 000 years.
Cow milk allergies mostly exist where there are non-European people.
Plants though, even though we have been eating them for about 15 000 years, are still giving allergies.
Why would nature ask us to eat something that ultimately kills us?
After all, what food do you think humans are most unlikely to be allergic to?
Books in ten volumes have been written on the negative effects of sugar on the human body and the topic is so large that we are not doing it any favor by putting it in one section only.
Therefore, I’ll be brief.
The body uses two types of energy sources: carbs (sugar, glucose, fructose…are all carbohydrate, simple or complex, and have the exact same impact on your body) and fat.
It can also use protein, but transforming protein into energy is expensive and inefficient.
When you eat carbs, your stomach is going to break down these carbs in glucose.
This glucose is going to go to your bloodstream and your liver will start creating insulin to tell your cells to absorb this glucose.
The cells will subsequently use this glucose as energy.
If there is too much energy (you ingested more carbs than needed), some cells will transform the glucose into glycogen to use when you’re not eating: glycogen is a short-term energy source.
The rest of the glucose is transformed into triglyceride, which is in plain English, fat, and a long-term energy source.
That’s it, it’s not more complicated than that.
So, does it mean that if you don’t eat sugar, you don’t get energy?
No, it doesn’t.
The body can run on a second source of energy: fat.
Fat is created whether by transforming the glucose as we have seen, or by eating…fat directly.
This is why it is highly recommended for carnivore people to eat a lot of fat, otherwise, they may run out of energy.
But so, how does the body use fat for energy?
When your body runs out of glycogen, it will start using its long-term fat stored in tissues. Your liver will transform that fat into ketones. Ketones have been shown to be a much higher quality energy source for the brain.
Your body enters a state of ketosis when it starts creating ketones.
The best way to enter ketosis is to fast.
This isn’t surprising that so many religions prescribe fasting to purify the soul.
Ketones have been shown to immensely help with mental clarity and other mental issues.
He who does not eat sugar benefits from this clarity almost all the time.
He who fasts benefits from it even more.
This explains why the Buddha was at the beginning, a huge fan of fasting to increase his mental capabilities.
Today, fasting is used to treat different eating and mental disorders, and greatly benefits your body.
To summarize, sugar is a lower-quality energy source for both the body and the brain.
When one eats too much sugar, one gets fat, which subsequently creates more blood pressure and cardiovascular problems, insulin is triggered too frequently and cells become insulin-resistant which leads to type 2 diabetes: there is so much sugar in the blood that cells can’t take it anymore.
Furthermore, sugar plays a role in concentration, depression, anxiety, the fact that cancer cells joyfully feast on sugar to develop (cancer patients are now fed a ketogenic diet, yet still considered “dangerous” by many MD), sugar decreases the strength of the immune system, decreases vitamin absorption (the cells that move vitamins around also move sugar around, and they take care of sugar first), attacks your teeth, causes gum disease, increases stress, increases inflammation, and much, much, much…much more.
There is no positive effect of sugar on your body, besides giving low-quality energy.
“But what about complex carbs”, you may think.
No difference, as you can see!
Complex carbs are similar to simple carbs, except that they take more time to be digested and hence don’t spike insulin as much.
As a result, if you want to improve your health, we can reasonably conclude that you should cut on carbs as much as possible.
And which foods do you think contain zero carbs?
Is it vegetables? Is it bread? Milk?
It is meat, fish, eggs, and water.
And nothing else.
#7: Human Teeth
Have you ever seen an animal with braces?
That’s because animals eat a diet nature shaped them for.
Since we switched our natural meaty diet for a plant diet about 15 000 years ago (the shift was slow to spread, as explained by Chris Ryan), our whole physique has been impacted. We grew smaller, became weaker, our brain size decreased, and finally, our teeth went all crooked.
The need for braces is not recent. While modern orthodontics was invented by a French scientist in 1728, we have found traces of braces going as far back as…Ancient Egypt!
It’s not surprising.
About ten years ago, there was a shift in how scientists interpreted the evolution of the human skull.
It has now been confirmed that the reason why so many humans suffer from having teeth crooked and need their wisdom teeth withdrawn is because of a change of diet.
Meat is much more difficult to chew than vegetables. I eat twice a day, but it takes me one hour at least to eat my 750 grams of meat at each meal. This is because chewing meat is a long and arduous task.
While I am lucky to use a knife and a fork, cavemen did not have this chance. As such, I believe that their mouth must have been enormous in order to be able to eat the meat they were hunting.
I briefly went through a period of my life when I ate with my hands only. I quickly gave up because cutting the steak with my teeth hurt so much that I had to use a knife again.
The pressure we used to apply to chew meat made the jaw big. As we moved away from meat to focus on plants, we didn’t nearly need as much strength to chew. As a result, the size of the mouth decreased…but the number of teeth stayed.
Today, most people have too many teeth compared to the size of their mouth. This is why they need braces or have their teeth removed.
One team of orthodontists though, started to think differently: the Mew.
The Mew is a family of British orthodontists. When they started to put braces on their patient, they noticed that over the years, the teeth almost always ended up crooked anyway.
They figured out that braces were just fixing the cause of a problem whose origin remained unknown. So they set out to find out why most humans had their teeth naturally crooked.
They quickly understood that bad postures and a vegan diet were responsible for this unfitted development of the jaw. They created a therapy that consists of tongue exercises, a change of diet, and a better posture.
And this is how they managed to fix their patients’ jaws without the need to apply braces.
A big jaw makes you look more attractive than a long face, cavemen had big jaws and were mostly eating meat, and a change of diet from meat to vegetables has decreased the size of our jaws, making surgery and braces almost obligatory.
Where does that lead us?
Back to meat, and away from dumb vegetables.
#8: Basic Nutrition Science
I have kept the best part for the end.
As amazing as it is, few scientists and nutrition enthusiasts actually focus on what is inside food to choose their preferences.
We’re still conducting studies where two scholars feed people food and watch what happens afterward, with a complete disdain for all variables that cannot be controlled.
When you look at what’s inside foods, when you compare the bioavailability (percentage of nutrient absorbed in the stomach) of meat and vegetables, when you know what humans need and what’s inside plants and animals…the vegan narrative falls apart completely.
We have already outlined how harmful plants were due to their natural defense mechanisms. Let’s now have a look at how amazing animal foods are.
Consider the images below.
As we can see, not only does meat contain more nutrients, it also has higher bioavailability, and is free from all of the anti-nutrients and other chemicals present in vegetables.
The results don’t lie.
#9: The Results
The website revero.com is a great database. You can find 8000+ scientific articles, 60+ books written over 200 years, and read results from people having abandoned many of their medicine (most of them being for auto-immune diseases) and kicking ass now that they eat a carnivore diet.
This last point is the most important.
We can speculate on the past as much as we want, seeing actual results is actual science.
Carnivores feel, look, and have better test results than when they were on any other diet.
Unlike the idiot vegan diet, the carnivore diet is NOT ideological. It is science-based. It is empirically based. And it is entirely explained and justified.
But what about the vegan diet?
As you can expect, the results are not glorious.
The crazy Youtuber Sv3ridge made a series of videos called “Veganism, the epitome of malnourishment“. It’s not really scientific, but it carries the point almost better than this article does.
Anna’s analysis has made a long video analyzing the fact that twenty-three (!!!) vegan influencers quit due to health concerns and conditions.
Finally, basic science has debunked over and over again that vegans and vegetarians are more likely to suffer from bone fractures, depression, stroke, lack of nutrients, infertility, and everything else we do not know yet about the dangers of veganism.
Finally, a vegan diet will unlikely provide you with enough B12, calcium, iron, and high-quality proteins.
Yes, there is a difference between animal-sourced proteins and plant-sourced proteins.
I’ll let you guess which ones are better.
Part Two: Myths and Q&A
Maybe you heard in the past that meat gives cancer, that it raises your “bad” cholesterol, that eating only meat will give you scurvy, or that the surplus of protein will destroy your kidneys.
We will address each of these myths in this section.
#1: Meat and Cancer
Maybe you heard that the WHO some years ago declared that meat gave cancer. Amazingly, they have since retracted that claim (but mainstream media weren’t naturally going to talk about it).
Let’s be clear. Meat does not give cancer. However, I don’t expect you to eat up this statement without any explanation. So let me explain how this conclusion was originally made up.
When a study on the effects of diets is made, scientists round up a bunch of people and ask them what they eat then look at whether these people get cancer or not (the alternative being to feed mice in a laboratory, but even that is not 100% reliable).
In the case of meat, the results showed that people that ate meat more often had cancer while vegetarians and vegans had it less often.
Their natural conclusion was that vegans and vegetarians were healthier.
Unfortunately, that was a big mistake.
There are two reasons why meat-eaters appeared unhealthier.
The first reason is the social-economic factor. Vegetarians and vegans fit into the same social class: medium-high middle-class income, politically center-left, practice sport, very rarely smoke, and lead an overall healthy lifestyle.
Vegetarianism is in the extreme majority of cases, a lifestyle adopted by health-conscious people that believe what they read in magazines.
People that eat meat don’t live this way.
They usually don’t really take care of their health, smoke, and enjoy life without any restrictions. As a result, they end up with cancer more often than others.
If you smoke, don’t do any sport, eat junk food, and drink alcohol, you can eat as much meat as you want, this won’t compensate for your poor lifestyle choices.
When researchers at first saw this, they didn’t investigate it further and just screamed “meat=cancer”.
But as we are about to see, it’s not that easy.
The second reason concerns cancer cause: it is nearly impossible to trace it.
Cancer can be caused by an excess of sugar, by alcohol, nasty air, chemical products, genes, fried food, radioactivity, stress, lack of sleep, lack of physical activity, lack of social relationships (yes, you are more at risk to die of cancer if you got no friends) and much, much more.
Furthermore, it has been shown that cancer cells developed much quicker when the patient ate sugar than when they did not. As such, since there is no sugar, chemicals, or anti-nutrients in meat, it is very unlikely that meat gives cancer.
#2: Proteins and Kidneys
In the post-WWII world, the medical community noticed that a high-protein diet worsened kidney functions…of people that had malfunctioning kidneys.
They interpreted it as “proteins hurt kidney” and we all know what happened: “don’t eat fat, don’t eat protein, eat carbs and be obese, sick and depressed” was the subsequent message.
What these scientists failed to understand was that eating proteins when your kidney malfunctioned was the equivalent of running a marathon with a broken leg: it will make the problem worse.
However, should you have well-working and solid legs, running the marathon will only strengthen them.
As such, it has been shown that the classic 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight is a very low protein limit and that, for the most athletic of us, one can go up to 3-3.5g of protein per kg, although you’d need to eat a crazy lot to reach this point!!
#3: Cholesterol Is Bad For Your Heart
Cholesterol isn’t bad. In fact, most of the cholesterol in your bloodstream comes from your liver.
What is cholesterol exactly?
Cholesterol is a type of fat part of the building blocks of your body that needs to be carried around by lipoproteins.
You have two types of cholesterol. The “good” cholesterol (called HDL) and the “bad” cholesterol (called LDL). None of them are actually bad since they are equal.
When the lipoproteins leave your liver, they are called LDL and when they go back to your liver, they are called HDL. HDL is “less dangerous” because your liver will take off the cholesterol to expel it so it doesn’t build in your arteries.
You need cholesterol to survive. To acquire it, you can whether eat it (in red meat, eggs) or your liver produces it, which means that when you eat more cholesterol, your liver produces…less of it.
Why do people have too much cholesterol then?
Well, it’s not the right question to ask because there is no such thing as too much cholesterol.
Cholesterol becomes dangerous when it builds up in your arteries (especially coronary arteries) and plugs them.
And guess who is responsible for that?
Sugar not only increases the amount of LDL and decreases HDL in the body, but it “carbonizes” cholesterol that subsequently builds up in your arteries.
Blood pressure increases and you eventually die of a heart attack.
Should you decrease your consumption of sugar, you’ll decrease your LDL and make cholesterol less dangerous.
Should you completely abandon sugar consumption, your arteries will be as clean as a whistle.
#4: No Vegetables Will Give You Scurvy
This question ultimately treats whether there is vitamin C in meat and the answer is yes: there is vitamin C in raw beef, livers, and fish.
Not a lot, but enough to survive veggies-free.
What happens in a condition of a normal diet is that the molecules that move VC around in your body also move…sugar around. If you eat sugar, you decrease vitamin absorption.
Furthermore, when you decrease vegetable consumption, you decrease anti-nutrient absorption and so increase vitamin absorption as well.
Finally, people with a carnivore diet eat a lot of collagen, produced by our body from…VC. As such, you need less of it.
Conclusion: you need much less VC on a carnivore diet than you do on a normal diet (recent science estimates we need about 10 mg, compared to the recommended dose of 75-90 mg).
#5: Potential Downsides and Risks of the Carnivore Diet
Unlike vegans, carnivores are mostly honest about the risks of eating an all-meat diet.
Science has not yet confirmed some health-related questions that we will talk about below and that present potential risks.
The first mystery concerns ketosis. Ketosis is a state when your body burns fat for energy instead of using carbs.
While we know that ketones are a higher quality energy source, we do not know if there is a risk to be permanently in ketosis.
The tribes we have talked about do not seem to suffer from it, nor do long-term (20+ years) carnivores.
The second risk is the lack of fiber. Studies have shown how fibers participate in the equilibrium of the gut by feeding certain bacterias.
A “rich gut” may have a positive effect on your brain.
Should you choose to stop eating fibers, these bacterias may die and endanger the equilibrium of the gut.
That’s the theory.
If you ask me though, since fiber is non-digestible, I don’t see why we would need to eat it.
Furthermore, fiber makes you poop a lot, and every time you do so, you take off bacterias from the gut which subsequently needs to regenerate, hence fragilizing the gut (check out @syltabor for her story).
As such, the latest trend to repopularize humans’ gut is a feces implant. I sh*t you not (pun intended), there are people undergoing surgery to have someone else’s poop introduced inside their gut.
If you’re looking for a business idea, a poop bank will make you rich.
We freeze sperm already, so why not poop?
Needless to say that a poop transplant does not apply to carnivores, since both the easiness to digest meat and the rare bowel movement frequency naturally enables the gut to regenerate.
Finally, the third risk is a lack of micro-nutrients only found in plant foods and a lack of other nutrients that are not present in a necessary amount in meat alone (depending on what type of meat you are eating).
Selfhacked.com pretends that a carnivore diet leads to 17 nutrient deficiencies. This is unlikely. However, this all depends on how you go about your diet. If all you eat is processed meat, your diet is not healthy. If you eat fresh cuts of beef, pork, and chicken, you are unlikely to have any problem.
It also depends on whether you include organ meats or not. Some of them, like liver, are extremely rich in nutrients and are the real superfood (not to eat every day though, as it is high in vitamin A). Some people do well without organ meats, but I am more and more persuaded that other people need it.
Mark Sisson outlined that the likeliest nutrient deficiencies you are risking are potassium, magnesium, and folate. These can be taken care of by incorporating fish, liver, and dairy into your diet.
#6: Why Do We Lose So Much Weight So Fast on a Carnivore Diet?
At first glance, it doesn’t make sense.
1 gram of fat has more calories than a gram of carb.
I personally eat many more calories on carnivore than I do when I ate a normal diet.
And yet, I lost 6kg in 8 weeks when I started my keto journey.
So, how can you lose weight on carnivore despite eating more calories and reaching a stable weight at the end?
Actually, it turns out it has nothing to do with calories, but with hormones.
When you eat carbs, your body triggers insulin so your cells absorb the sugar.
As it turns out, insulin is a hormone that signals the body it needs to keep and store fat.
-> getting rid of fat becomes harder.
When you don’t eat carbs, two things happen at the same time.
- Insulin levels decrease -> your body can get rid of fat
- Glucagon levels increase.
Glucagon is a hormone that signals to your body it’s time to burn fat.
As a result, not eating any sugar helps you lose weight very fast.
Part 3: What to Eat on a Carnivore Diet?
If you do a real, hardcore carnivore, you’re only allowed to eat animal products.
You may think it’s highly restrictive, but it’s not.
You can eat:
Then you can eat:
- Any type of seafood
And then you can eat:
- Chicken eggs
- Duck eggs
- Emu eggs
- Goose eggs
You can also eat processed meat if you’re sure that the processed meat is only meat.
Sausages, for example, often contain other stuff than meat.
Then make sure you eat enough salt and enough fat.
I also recommend you supplement magnesium as everyone lacks magnesium, no matter their diets.
If you struggle with constipation, read this article.
Part 4: How I Discovered the Carnivore Diet
As extraordinary as it is, sugar was originally why I went on an all-meat diet.
I was a huge sugar consumer in the past and saw instant benefits when I quit.
As a kid, I was eating cereals with plenty of sugar inside, and I was myself adding more sugar to them.
Then one day my sister told me to replace sugar with Nesquik, and so I did.
I was so addicted that I could eat up to four bowls of cereals per day, emptying a liter of soy milk within twelves hours and the maxi Nesquik box within two weeks.
On top of that, I loved chocolate and was eating a lot of it.
So sugar had been destroying my mind and body since I was born, and I didn’t know it.
It was probably between June 2018 and September 2018 that I first heard about the carnivore diet through Jordan Peterson on Rogan.
I was extremely disappointed.
Vegans extreme-left were a regular target of Peterson and I thought that he had adapted his diet as a way to annoy his detractors.
I thought it was ideological, that one thing Jordan Peterson had risen to fight.
It is only later that I heard he had gotten it from his daughter, which was extremely sick and was now feeling much better.
Symptoms she had cured were, among other things, depression.
And so I went to check her blog, which at the time, started with saying that the food pyramid was a lie.
I immediately dismissed it as a conspiracy theory and forgot about it.
Some months later, I moved to Colombia hoping to feel better.
But I didn’t.
Neither two years and a half of therapy, the girls, the country, the delicious food, or the weather were getting me out of this latent depression and anxiety.
As I was sitting in a giant mall over the city, Peterson came back to my mind.
A diet, after all, was the only thing I hadn’t tried.
Since diet affected physical health, I thought, maybe it was also affecting mental health?
Maybe this girl was onto something?
I went back to check her blog, it was the 28th of May 2019.
The next day, I gave a try to the paleo diet first and I felt much better.
Over the next few weeks, I started eating much more meat, vegetables, and dairy.
Not thinking I was able to quit chocolate altogether, I started buying 100% cocoa chocolate with little sugar inside.
About two or three weeks after I started my diet, the shop had run out of 100% chocolate, so I bought 83% chocolate.
As I took a bite, my mind went nuts and I ate half the tablet.
The next day, everything had come back!
Low self-esteem, low confidence, depression, anxiety, and endless complaining.
I was shocked!
Fortunately, I was lucid enough to be able to understand what was happening to me and not to identify myself with my feelings.
That’s how I understood how terrible sugar was. That’s how I understood carbs were the real enemy.
I eventually adopted a carnivorish diet in October 2019 and finally, a zero carb diet (only meat, eggs, fish, and water and nothing else, no coffee, tea, beer, alcohol…nothing else) on the 17th of April 2020.
I went on a lion diet half of January 2021.
What I can say though, is that since I kicked sugar out of my life end of May 2019, it has been radically transformative.
I never went back to my therapist and I started doing stuff I had always been scared to do.
I could wake up without hating myself.
The anxiety was gone.
I was no longer stressed about the future.
It took me more than a year between hearing about the carnivore diet for the first time and adopting it.
In between, I have read, read, read, and read because it seemed too crazy to be true.
I was brainwashed by mainstream media (I was reading the Guardian at the time lol), by the fake food pyramid, and by this plant-driven society.
Yet, here I (and many other people) am.
Much healthier, and much better.
I’d say that the biggest drawback of the carnivore diet is that you become highly skeptical every time you hear the government or Bill Gates are part of an initiative.
I no longer trust anyone with anything. If the nutritious lies are so big…where else are we being lied to?
The Bottom Line
It is impossible to lead research on humans and to control for all variables without locking people up in laboratories.
As such, I’ll be the first one to admit that most nutrition science is garbage, which many scientists will also be happy to tell you.
Strictly speaking, we don’t know for sure what diet is best, even though the majority of the few scientific quality proofs we have tends to lean towards meat.
So, what do we do in this case?
We base ourselves on the testimony of random people that eat these extreme diets: vegans and carnivores.
Indeed, vegans and carnivores are not so different from each other. They both want to have the best and healthiest diet to reach their highest performances and take care of the planet at the same time.
Vegans and carnivores lead a very similar lifestyle, except for one variable: food.
Comparing their respective health is, therefore, one of the best scientific arguments we have to understand the effects of plants and meat on the human body.
At this game, vegans are clear losers.
Most of the time, a vegan’s journey into veganism goes like this: they feel super good the first year (no sh*t, they quit McDonald’s) and from the second to third year, their health starts deteriorating.
The community is telling them that it is because “they are not doing it right”, that taking 5 pills of vitamins per day because “modern agriculture robbed veggies from their nutrients” is not enough and that it is all in their heads.
Then, if they are a bit smart, they realize their diet is simply not healthy and they quit to save their lives.
Amusingly, a lot of them go completely carnivore after their failed vegan experience (on Instagram, @syltabor, @food.lie, @mikhailapeterson experienced veganism then turned carnivore, @alyseparkerr quit veganism and experienced with carnivore for 30 days, @humantimothy quit veganism altogether, then bodybuilder @jonvenus quit as well, and there are many more on the restoration health vegan recovery group.)
We have yet to hear about a similar case of carnivores turning vegans.
History taught that all great discoveries started with one person against the mainstream narrative.
In this case, it was probably the opposite that happened.
One day, someone said meat and fat were really bad for health and everyone believed it.
The avalanche of obesity, cancer, and other diseases should be an alarming sign that what we think we know about nutrition is plain wrong.
I have read an article recently in mainstream media about the “identification of a gene to treat obesity”.
You won’t believe me, but to control the trial, researchers fed mice…a McDonald’s diet.
If this isn’t intellectual terrorism…it is at the very least, scientific dishonesty.
In case you skipped through the entire article to read the conclusion, there it is.
I can therefore only encourage you to be open-minded enough and defy, as Columbus or Copernicus did in their time, the established narrative.
It took me a lot of time, trust, and reading before I completely cut sugar off my diet and this decision may have been one of the most influential decisions of my life.
I hope that thanks to this work, you too will start questioning a bit what you are told.
Alternatively, you can always check out this video.
Post Scriptum: Why Shouldn’t You Go on a Carnivore Diet?
I am not insane. The carnivore diet is crazy. It requires extreme discipline to maintain it. Few people have the mental strength to actually follow it.
As such, I want to be clear: I do not encourage people to go on carnivore, simply because they rarely need it.
The carnivore diet is a diet made for people struggling with
- Crohn disease
- type 2 diabetes (can also reverse type 1 diabetes, very recent science, stay tuned!)
- leaky gut
- thyroïd malfunction (Hashimoto syndrome)
- joint pain
- food craving
- seizure attacks
- Lyme disease
- muscle cramps
- reproductive system issues
- weak digestive system
- and more
Should you not have any of these problems, don’t go carnivore. Eat vegetables, dairy, fruits.
My sole and only piece of advice is to decrease processed foods, seed oils, and sugar as much as you can. These are the worst foods for your health, and you will only feel better if you cut them off.
A healthy diet is not so hard to follow. And it shouldn’t be.
My Diet Today
I am no longer carnivore, but keto.
I eat olives, tomatoes, mushrooms, cucumbers…
My diet is 65% based on meat, fish ad eggs, and the rest is vegetables. I also drink beer.
Ultimately, keto is the best diet for me.
Find here why I failed carnivore, and my journey through all of these diets.
You should now find out what’s best for you.
I want to say a big thank you to @nutritionwithjudy, @maxlugavere, and @ketogenicgirl for the use of their material. Go follow them on Instagram.
Go check their blogs:
Subscribe to my bi-weekly newsletter and I'll send you a list of the articles I wrote during the two previous weeks + insights from the books I am reading + a short bullet list of savvy facts that will expand your mind. I keep the whole thing under three minutes.
Oh, and you'll also receive a hidden article for new subscribers only!
How does that sound?