Let’s imagine your meals for a particular day this week, a plate of bacon for breakfast, a sizzling steak for lunch and a juicy beef burger patty for dinner. Does this sound appealing to you? Well, this is what the carnivore diet usually looks like, and you can eat these meals guilt free when you follow it. The only quirk is that there won’t be any side veggies or burger buns or even any type of processed cheese on your burger. If you can live without these extra ingredients, the carnivore diet will work well for you.
The carnivore diet is also known as a zero-carb diet, carnivorous diet or the all meat diet and has one simple principle; you can only eat meat. Essentially, you are supposed to eat almost nothing other than meat for every single meal every day as long as you are following the diet. This diet will not dictate your portions, calories, food timings or macro percentage. You are allowed to eat whenever you are hungry and as much as you need to feel full. There are certain gray areas that a follower of the diet can customize according to their preference.
For instance, some people add ingredients like cream or cheese to their diet while others place a complete restriction on consuming anything other than meat. According to the guidelines of the diet, you may eat animal sourced food that includes meat, eggs or dairy. You can consume as much protein and fat as you must from these foods, but carbohydrates should be excluded from the diet.
The carnivore diet is especially beneficial because of the carbohydrate-eliminating factor. There are certain places around the world where people actually survive on zero carbohydrates and instead eat according to the carnivore diet. It is not because they are following a fad diet but is a practice they have followed for as far back as they can remember. It might sound extreme to you when you think of surviving only on meat, fish, etc. with absolutely no grains or such carbohydrates. This is mostly because your usual diet includes grains as a staple and you’ve been told that they are healthy for your heart. However, research shows that the introduction of refined carbohydrates is what caused a huge increase in the rates of diabetes, hypertension, tooth cavities and atherosclerosis in people. This is why a lot of people these days try eliminating carbs from their diet.
Another major factor is that excess carb consumption is a major cause of weight gain. To be honest, eliminating carbs will work for some people while for some it may not. You can adjust your diet accordingly to suit your body’s needs. Reducing carbs in your diet will aid you in weight loss and other health issues, but it is a macro that needs limiting and doesn’t always need complete elimination.
Many studies have been conducted to see the effects of a low carbohydrate diet on people. These show that reducing carbs helps to enhance mental performance, increase physical endurance, support digestion and also reduce inflammation in the body. A low carb diet is also really good for cardiovascular health. Another benefit is that it boosts energy while unhealthy food cravings are reduced. All these factors together show that the no-carb carnivore diet can improve health and reduce weight too. This diet is just one of the more hardcore versions of low-carb or high-fat diets like Paleo and Keto diets. In this carnivore version, instead of just reducing carbs, there is a complete elimination of this macro from the diet.
The carnivore diet has cultural precedence as we mentioned earlier. For instance, in Eskimo groups, their diet mostly consisted of a fish, walrus or whales as a high-fat animal sourced diet. Even in the Masai region of Africa, the diet consists majorly of meat with milk. These people have shown to have very low levels of bad cholesterol and low rates of cardiovascular diseases as well.
If you want real researched proof about the effects of the carnivore diet, there are unfortunately not enough long-term formal studies completed yet; however, there are many thriving communities online that you can go through to find out more about the real-life effects of this diet.
A lot of the people who have followed the carnivore diet leave testimonials or comments on how it worked out for them. You can always use these to judge if the diet suits your needs or not; however, ultimately, the best way to know for certain is to follow the diet yourself and experience it. The diet can be quite tempting if you are not a fan of salad greens but love your portion of meat.