Food And Nutrition

Carnivore Diet: Benefits, Food List And Risks

There aren’t solid evidence that supports the claim that the carnivore diet can help treat health issues. It may be unsafe for some people. This diet doesn’t offer health benefits like fiber and plant mix.

There are claims that this diet aids in weight loss, mood swings, fish and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. which means no legumes, rice, fruits, nuts, veggies and seeds.

what is carnivore diet?

An image of carnivore diet

This diet mainly contains meat, fish, and other animal foods like, eggs, and certain dairy products. which means no legumes, rice, fruits, nuts, greens and seeds.

It’s dietary value also requires ruling out carbs. Unlike other popular low -carb diets, like the paleo and keto diets, which limits carbs. Carnivore diets aims for zero carbs.

An American Orthopedic doctor named Shawn Baker , is quite popular for being the supporter of the diet.

He points out testimonials from people on how it can treat anxiety, obesity, diabetes, arthritis, depression , and so on. However, there hasn’t been quality studies to help support the claims of the benefits of the carnivore diet.


The carnivore diet completely removes carbs, which also means high-carb foods such as, cakes, pastries, cookies, and soda will be eliminated from ones diet.

These foods are really low in proper nutrients and are often high in calories. Therefore, it is better to reduce your intake of them in order to achieve a healthy and balanced diet. Foods that are high in sugar should be avoided by those with diabetes, as they can spike blood sugar levels. As a matter of fact, limiting the consumption of refined carbs and sugary foods is often recommended to control diabetes.

Nevertheless, it is not necessary to completely rid carbs from your diet to manage diabetes as the carnivore diet requires. what’s recommended is actually eating smaller amounts of wholesome high-fiber carbs that won’t cause a spike in your blood sugar.

So in as much as the fact that, undergoing a carnivore diet would prevent you from eating unhealthy carbs, it still wouldn’t be advisable to completely erase carbs from your diet.

Risks of the carnivore diet

Due to its high-confined nature and total elimination of the majority of food groups, there are many downsides to it.

1 . It may increase LDl and heart disease risk

Given that the diet consist mainly of animal foods it can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat may raise your LDL (bad) and cholesterol, which may increase your risk of a heart disease. However, some recent studies have shown the connection between the intake of saturated fat and heart disease risk may not be as people believe

In spite of that, consuming high amounts of fat may be bad for you because no research has been done. The health effects of solely eating animal food are not known, so you should proceed with caution.

Also, some processed meats like bacon and breakfast meats contain high amounts of sodium. So eating a lot of these foods can lead to excessive consumption of sodium, which can increase your blood pressure. It can also cause kidney disease. and other negative health outcomes.

2 . No fiber content in a carnivore diet

Fiber is a non digestive carb that promotes gut health and a healthy bowel movement and is found in plants. And on a carnivore diet you would have to rule out plants. Which would also mean no fiber intake. But fiber is very important for the successful balance of bacteria in your gut. In fact, a poor gut health can lead to a number of health issues and may even cause colon cancer. Overall, following this diet may harm your gut health.

3 . Lack of important nutrients in a carnivore diet

Multiple food groups exist for a reason, they each provide us with a range of nutrients. But depriving ourselves from these nutrients in animal and plant based food is not advisable. When we eat from only one food group,no matter which one, can be a problem.

So, limiting yourself to eating only one meal can cause you to to run low in certain nutrients like vitamin E and vitamin C.

A MPH and RDN dietian (liz-weinandy ) at the Ohio State University Wexner, advices to not completely stick to one food group, so we don’t miss out on other nutrients.

The Food List Of The Carnivore Diet

Here are the foods you will be eating: Red meat (lamb, pork and beef), and you will need to include the fattier parts of the meat , so you’ll take in more calories.

other meal options include

  • fish
  • eggs
  • butter
  • salt and pepper
  • poultry
  • water
  • lard
  • bone marrow
  • bone broth

Foods to avoid

All foods that do not come from animals are excluded from the diet

  • vegetables
  • nuts
  • bread
  • fruits
  • pasta
  • alchohol
  • grains
  • legumes
  • seeds

Frequently asked questions

Who should not eat the carnivore diet?

If you’re prone to disordered eating, you should avoid this or any fad diets.

Also, anyone who has a chronic disease, like diabetes, or heart disease, should proceed with caution and talk with their doctors , before taking on an extreme diet like this one.

Lastly, make sure you don’t follow this diet if you have any level of kidney disease.


Does it help with weight loss?

There is no disputing that all that protein is highly satiating, which could help curb overeating. Furthermore, there is a snacking on this diet, so it can eliminate mindless eating says Schimdt

She says “you don’t mindlessly eat chicken breast. it’s very a very palatable, but you don’t end up licking your plate”

She also mentions that your body may not enter into a state of ketosis on the carnivore diet. Eventhough, ,many believe that your body will burn fat for fuel rather than carbohydrate, it’s not a gaurantee. It’s a misbelief that all you need to do is severely limit carbs to enter a state of ketosis . But too much protein can lead to an increase in blood sugar and insulin levels and it can drive you out of ketosis.

Letting yourself only indulge one type of food is not the way to go to lose weight.

Take away

The carnivore diet is extremely restrictive and only allows you to eat meat, fish, eggs , and small amounts of low-dairy.

Many people believe it can help with weight loss, but there’s no reliable research to back these claims. Not to mention, it is high in fat and sodium and contains no fiber or beneficial plant compounds and will be difficult to maintain.

Overall, it is unreasonably restrictive. Eating a balanced diet with a variety of foods is more sustainable and would possibly offer you more health benefits.

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