T Nation

Carnivore Diet - Thoughts?


#1

Hi Paul

I’m curious if you’ve looked into or tried the Carnivore Diet and have any thoughts? It’s something I’ve thought about trying because of how simplistic it is and because of the anecdotal evidence I’ve seen online, but the benefits seem too good to be true (so they probably are), but they’re not just coming from faceless internet trolls either. For example, Jordan Peterson was on Joe Rogan’s podcast listing all of the health benefits he’s seen from the diet, which I thought was pretty compelling, but at the same time, he was adamant that nutrition is outside of his expertise and these were just his personal observations.

Anyway, I’m just curious what your thoughts are on the subject.

Thanks!


#2

Not a fan of it myself because I can’t eat that way. I’ve looked into it and there’s a lot of good personal stories but that’s going to be like any diet. Those people could sustain it and liked it.


#3

Paul has weighed in but I wanted to continue the discussion a tad.

I think the diet essentially plays into the harcore mentality so many people like to adopt, particularly in the fitness crowd… What more harcore than low carb? Keto, bitch. Pffft… you think THATS harcore? I’m full on carnivore. Next it will be Warrior Carnivore where you only eat your meat in a 3 hour window.

Certain individuals can handle different foods better than others, so I would never say the carnivore diet is “bad” or whatever, but I just cant see how eating some healthy plant products would degrade your health. Maybe thats not the claim of the diet, but to me eating “carnivore” just seems needlessly restrictive and possibly detrimental… However its a viable option if for some reason your psychology needs that level of rigidity or enjoys eating in that manner.


#4

I just feel as though eliminating WHOLE FOODS in any diet is often not a sound paradigm to adhere to. Call me crazy but I just THINK that eating veggies cannot be bad for you…I could be wrong.


#5

Yeah exactly. I think the main appeal is just to seem more hardcore or extreme, and how its associated with the results you get.

Want EXTREME results? You have to do an EXTREME diet! (obviously not, but you get the idea)

Some people might find they are attracted to that style of eating (Jamie Lewis and the Apex Predator Diet come to mind, but even he doesnt do that anymore), but unless for some reason your body and mind revolt against veggies, they provide so many benefits that its probably a bad idea to exclude them on ideological grounds.


#6

Thanks, this is basically the conclusion I’d arrived at myself. I was just curious if others that had tried it or more read up on it had any additional thoughts. Particularly you, Paul, since you seem to be ahead of the curve on nutritional issues (like the use of ketones) even though (iirc) you have never followed a Keto diet.


#7

Cave men would have eaten things like nuts, greens and mushrooms. Given the high nutritional value it makes no sense not to eat these foods.

All meat diet would lead to gout I would think.


#8

Jordan Peterson (and his daughter) have done the diet bc of fairly serious health issues. They experimented and discovered that it was the best diet for them. It definitely doesn’t mean that it’ll be great or healthy long term for the average person. It has apparently fixed some of their health problems though, and a guy in the UK cured his type 1 diabetes with it.


#9

If a diet isn’t sustainable, I don’t consider it a viable option. Anything that produces drastic results over a short period of time will eventually yield the opposite result. In my opinion, of course.


#10

Agree, if you can’t eat like that for 10 years it’s not a good diet.


#11

I was zero carb/carnivore for 6 years or so. I had phenomenal results. Clarity in thought, energy out the wazoo, and weight was controlled almost effortlessly. Other benefits included no more pain in arthritic knees and fingers. I had been taking ibuprofen several times daily for pain and glucosamine/chondroitin for joint support. I went carnivore and the pain was gone. I began that road when I was looking into methods of controlling my then husband’s newly diagnosed Type II diabetes. Interestingly he was never on board like I was, though he had so much more at stake. Embarrassed to admit, though, I was one of the fanatical newbies when I first discovered that way of eating. Like I thought everyone should be eating that way. I’ve since come around to a better understanding. Individual nutritional needs require individual tweaking. None of us came down the same nutritional and genetic road to where we are now. Makes no sense to me now to prescribe one diet for everyone.

The last few years I’ve cautiously added in whole foods like some nuts, leafy greens, and low carb veg. My guy now seems to have a need to give me some variety, though I love the simplicity of just meat at every meal. So he prepares it and I eat it. He’s still very supportive and keeps my sides to my liking. Thing is, I love food, but I hate eating. It’s such a bother. And I hate cooking. So the simpler and easier mealtime is, the better for me.

My mistake with regard to lifting was thinking that if all I was eating was animal protein, that it would be enough protein, in general. For me, that was not the case. Once I added in some whey protein and some creatine, I started getting the results I wanted from the effort I was putting in to my workouts. Since I have a decent baseline now, if I eat something and get achy knees or knuckles, I know to stay away from what I ate that caused it.


#12

Different diets can come and go in your life at different times. A “diet” (whereby you are eating less than your body needs) is by definition unsustainable, but they are necessary for fat loss.

Your “diet” (the stuff you eat every day) should be something that produces health and is easy to stick t long term though.


Experiences with Carnivore Diet/Eating Strategy?