The carnivore diet

. 3 min read

First there was paleo, then keto, and now carnivore. When it comes to ways of eating, the options are endless, and fad diets come and go on a regular basis. Keto was the thing of 2018, and now it seems that people eating according to a subset of keto, the carnivore diet, are emerging from all directions - for example Mikhaila Peterson and Dr. Ken Berry. So what the hell is a carnivore diet?

The carnivore diet literally, true to its name, means that you only eat meat. The term meat in this case includes beef in any form, pork, chicken, and seafood. If it used to be a living animal, it's meat. (It's important to clarify this since eggs aren't meat - an egg was never a living animal.) You can cook and season the meat as you like. Some use only salt. Some, like Peterson, eat only beef and salt and drink only water (and the occasional shot of bourbon) due to their health conditions, but that's just one way of doing carnivore. You can eat only chicken or seafood if you like.

The carnivore diet differs from the vegan diet quite obviously - since vegans obstain only from all animal products, they're almost the exact opposites - but how is carnivore different from paleo or keto?

In the paleo diet, you only eat food that the early paleolithic hunter-gatherer human could eat: products he could find in nature as they are, either by picking a plant (unfarmed vegetable) up from the ground or down from a tree or by catching a wild animal. This basically means meat and vegetables, no dairy, no processed foods, some berries, little fruit. In the keto diet, you eat somewhat like the paleolithic caveman, but limit your carbohydrate intake of the day to 20 grams. This means you can eat meat and some vegetables, excluding starchy ones and most if not all fruit. Some keto dieters also include dairy products in their diets, differing from the paleo style.

In the carnivore diet, you eat in a way that resembles the keto diet, but cut out the vegetables and the possible dairy. It's a subset of the keto diet - you eat only meat. No vegetables. No dairy. No butter. Just meat and seasoning.

So the question rises - why would anyone in their right minds be a carnivore?

Firstly, if you have health issues, by eliminating everything from your diet safe for meat you'll cut out all possible allergens as well. No one is allergic to meat. If your symptoms go away, you can try introducing some vegetables back one by one, seeing if some of them make your symptoms come back.

Secondly, as you're probably concerned about vitamins, it's suggested that meat contains everything you need, especially if you consume different parts of the animal. And fiber? Perhaps fiber isn't as vital to your system as we've lead to believe. The fat in meat helps keep things on order in your gut.

Thirdly, and this comes from personal experience as I've been experimenting with the carnivore lifestyle for about a week now: all your cravings will go away, you'll feel more positive and optimistic about life, and eating once or twice a day is enough. Food tastes more delicious than in ages - even better when I was doing just keto - and it satisfies completely. Cooking only once or twice a day supports intermittent fasting and reduces time spent in the kitchen. I myself eat 200 grams of ground beef with 2 slices of chicken bacon for breakfast (around 1 pm), and 200 to 300 grams of chicken wings for dinner. It sounds like too little energy for a person my size and activity level, so I tend to sprinkle the wings with olive oil and have some homemade mayonnaise with the beef for extra energy. And it's been great.

So that's carnivore! For more information, you can visit Mikhaila Peterson's site, Dr. Berry's YouTube channel, and perhaps also watch this rather entertaining YouTube video, explaining the carnivore diet and the mechanics behind it.

It may not work for you, but if what you're doing now with respect to eating habits isn't allowing you to live optimally, it could be worth a shot.