Over the past month I’ve been experimenting with and seeing great results from the carnivore diet. Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’m a constant guinea pig for new diets, but with this one, popularized by Dr. Shawn Baker M.D., I may have found the one that sticks.
The Carnivore Diet sounds extreme to some people. Maybe it’s because we’ve been told by our parents and the government that we need to eat our fruits and veggies before we leave the table. Or maybe the pendulum swinging toward the plant-based movement has influenced our perception about meat being healthy.
Dr. Baker addresses this head on when he asks, “Why is it that every wild animal that eats meat as part of its diet doesn’t suffer from the chronic diseases that modern humans do? How can a food source that is ubiquitous throughout the animal kingdom and has been clearly eaten by humans for millions of years now suddenly be toxic to only humans while every other animal is just fine?”
I can hear the alarm bells going off in your head. “But what about cholesterol? Fiber? Kidney damage from protein overload? Vitamins and minerals for Pete’s sake!!?” According to Dr. Baker, and backed by hundreds of his case studies (Dr. Baker moderates a Facebook group of over 40k carnivore disciples), these concerns pale in comparison to the massive benefits of an all-meat diet.
I want to pause here to point out that a major reason many people have success on diets in general isn’t just because of what they are eating, but also what they aren’t eating. If your diet is a departure from eating fast food, binge drinking, and never skipping dessert, then you can expect good things when you cut all those out.
“Researchers have identified a relationship between strength and health span and life span. A diet high in animal protein supports maintaining and building strength.”
But the carnivore diet has another significant advantage over other diets: it supports strength building. “Researchers have identified a relationship between strength and health span and life span. A diet high in animal protein supports maintaining and building strength,” says Dr. Baker.
I am a sample size of one and yes, I am also biased as a strength coach, but I can say from my personal experience thus far that this is my favorite diet I have ever experienced.
As a person who has mitigated sugary binges with excessive amounts of exercise, I find my sugar cravings to be all but gone on the carnivore diet. I also find the carnivore diet lends itself naturally to intermittent fasting, as the high amount of protein and healthy fat leads to prolonged satiety. This frees up time because I cook less meals and cooking is simpler in general. Bloating, gas, and eczema symptoms are at an all-time low.
“After reading The Carnivore Diet, not only do I not view meat as detrimental to our health, I view it as a powerful health food.”
As my mentor Liam “Taku” Bauer likes to say, we each need to make dietary decisions based on our own individual beliefs, needs, and desires. Can a person meet their nutritional needs on a purely plant-based diet? Absolutely. Does it take significantly more time and effort? I would also argue yes, absolutely.
I will continue to do my research about the environmental effects of meat production (which could take up any number of additional blog posts), but after reading The Carnivore Diet, not only do I not view meat as detrimental to our health, I view it as a powerful health food.
By: Jesse Schmidt
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