The carnivore diet is one of the most controversial diets yet. Its followers, however, are very categorical about the immense benefits it brings to their health and wellbeing. What about it makes it work? This article looks at its key proponents in an attempt to find out why it is effective, where some other diets have failed.
The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. It excludes all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds.
Its proponents also recommend eliminating or limiting dairy intake to foods that are low in lactose — a sugar found in milk and dairy products — such as butter and hard cheeses.
The Carnivore Diet stems from the controversial belief that human ancestral populations ate mostly meat and fish and that high-carb diets are to blame for today’s high rates of chronic disease. Other popular low-carb diets, like the keto and paleo diets, limit but don’t exclude carb intake. However, the Carnivore Diet aims for zero carbs.
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The carnivore diet has been touted to cure the incurable. Health sites like Meatheals.com, World Carnivore Tribe and ZeroCarb are overflowing with tens of thousands of people who have reversed serious health conditions.
It seems almost too good to be true, right?
We will delve into the reasons why the carnivore diet works so well.
Sugar is one of the most controversial topics. To sum it up, sugar is bad for you. Here’s why:
In a study conducted, it was found that from consuming just 40 grams of added sugar, people had an increase in inflammation, insulin resistance and weight gain.
Glucose is also speculated to feed tumor growth. The Warburg Effect explains that cancer cells depend on glucose to grow. Very unlike normal cells, cancer cells cannot use Ketones.
While glucose is considered to be bad, fructose is considered to be even worse as it goes directly to the liver where it’s converted to fat. It is twenty times more likely to cause fatty liver than glucose alone. A fatty liver can lead directly to insulin resistance.
Leaky gut is a condition when the tight junctions of the small intestine open and allow proteins and toxins into the bloodstream. So far, the carnivore diet has been one of the few clinically shown ways to reverse intestinal permeability and the attendant consequences.
How does the carnivore diet cure leaky gut? Three main ways:
Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in your body (sugar). Here are some of the negative effects of consuming refined carbs:
Eating refined carbs such as pasta is no different than eating straight sugar. Seven ounces of cooked spaghetti has the same amount of sugar as 4 12 oz cans of Pepsi.
Carbohydrates range from simple sugars to complex carbohydrates. But even unrefined carbohydrates can be bad for you. Many forms of starch, for example, raise blood sugar as much as eating glucose.
Below are some reasons why cutting out all carbohydrates may be beneficial (yes, even the “healthy ones”):
Insulin resistance is related to almost every chronic disease. Though it might not cause all the conditions, its presence exacerbates them. Some of these conditions are: Heart disease, 62% higher cancer mortality,160% higher gastrointestinal cancer mortality, Prostate cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, Aging, Inflammation: Elevated CRP and IL-6, Acne
The good news is that you can reverse insulin resistance. The carnivore diet is the most effective way to reverse insulin resistance in the following ways….
If you want to live longer, you need to lower fasting insulin levels.
Despite the prevailing dogma, saturated fats are associated with longevity.
Saturated fats are highly beneficial to health. Your body cannot function without them. Diets high in natural saturated fats are associated with longevity. Hong Kong, for example, consumes more meat per capita than any other nation in the world, but they actually have the world’s longest life expectancy at 84.5 years.
Studies continue to debunk the myth that saturated fat causes heart disease. A review from 2014 looking at 76 studies, found no link at all between saturated fat and heart disease
Intermittent fasting isn’t a pivotal part of the carnivore diet. Nor is it prescribed. But people naturally tend to find themselves eating in a shorter window, which brings tremendous health benefits.
Intermittent fasting is restricting your feeding to a windowless than or equal to 8 hours. This is a direct contradiction to what many American’s do today.
Fasting is extremely beneficial. It has been shown to:
Your body can use two types of fuels: glucose (from carbs) and ketones (from fat).
Everybody on the carnivore diet is in ketosis to some extent. When you stop fueling your brain and body with glucose, fat needs to take its place.
Here are some major benefits of going into ketosis:
In the complexity of life, food doesn’t need to be complicated. The carnivore diet involves just eating meat, meat, and more meat. This makes it easier to stick to as there are no meal plans and measurements.
If you have tried everything to help you keep in shape and manage chronic conditions you might have, maybe it’s time you tried the carnivore diet. Its basic mechanisms make sense and are likely to cause some positive effects in your state.
However, if you have a chronic disease, like diabetes or heart disease, talk to your doctor before trying an extreme diet like this one. Do not follow the carnivore diet if you have any level of kidney disease.