Is the Carnivore Diet right for you?
Prepared by Nutritionist Jade
We are all familiar with the contemporary diet guide about getting our daily servings of fruits, vegetables, and grains. But there is a new trending diet that is on the rise, one that turns the conventional nutritional standard upside down, also known as The Carnivore Diet.
A carnivore diet consists of eating 100% animal foods with no fruits, vegetables, bread, grains, nuts, or seeds. This way of eating originates from the idea that our ancestors primarily lived on a diet rich in meat and fish.
There are many self-reported health benefits as presented in a study done by Lennerz et al. in 2020. A total of 2029 middle age respondents who were primarily motivated by health reasons had reported consuming a carnivore diet for 14 months and experienced improvement in overall health such as weight loss, increased energy levels, improved digestion, and reduced inflammation.
However, this study has many limitations and its data with regards to health improvement should be interpreted with caution. The reported health claims are based on a short-term trial and most who tried the diet are motivated by a strong desire to lose weight or to address an autoimmune condition. Followers of such specific diets tend to engage in other healthy behaviours, such as regular exercise and stable sleep patterns, which may also have considerable effects on their overall health status.
This diet may be suitable for people with severe food allergies as it is a form of elimination diet with many commonly known food allergens like nuts, wheat, and soybeans being excluded. However, carnivore diet is not the only way to do an elimination diet. People with certain health conditions should avoid this diet. For example, people with kidney disease should avoid high-protein diets like the carnivore diet.
Due to lack of research on the long-term safety or risks involved with the carnivore diet, one should always consult a registered dietitian or physician who has knowledge of your health concerns and medical background before trying out an extreme form of diet.
Lennerz, Belinda S., et al. (2021) Behavioral characteristics and self-reported health status among 2029 adults consuming a “carnivore diet”. Current Developments in Nutrition 5.12: nzab133.
Kirwan, Richard, et al. (2022) Limitations of self-reported health status and metabolic markers among adults consuming a “Carnivore diet”. Current Developments in Nutrition 6.5: nzac037.