Health Benefits Of The Carnivore Diet

September 27, 2023

The carnivore diet is one of many new trends in the dieting realm. With autoimmune diseases and other issues affecting so many, individuals are beginning to look closer at what they are eating. Individuals are learning there is a strong link between the foods they eat and their overall health. Often, changes to a diet can exponentially enhance the life of someone suffering from a disease. The carnivore diet is an easy one to follow with its focus on eating mainly meat. But what are the benefits? Start reading now to understand the health benefits of the carnivore diet.

Simple Way Of Eating

This diet consists of high fat and protein intake and little to no carbohydrate intake. As its name states, most meats are suitable to eat in this diet, including beef, pork, lamb, organ meats, poultry, and fish. Fattier cuts of meat are preferred as the high-fat content suppresses hunger for more extended periods. Because of this, snacking between meals does not typically happen. Some agree any animal product is allowed such as cheese, yogurt, bone broth, lard, milk, and grass-fed butter, as these items have more carbohydrates than meat alone. Fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and nuts are not approved and can negatively affect the health benefits afforded by this diet. Different from diets requiring macro counts, the carnivore diet is a straightforward way of eating.

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Improves The Digestive System

When restricting fruits and vegetables, one is also restricting dietary fiber. Fiber is not digestible but helps push food through the digestive system. However, for those with chronic conditions like Crohn's disease, fiber can irritate the intestines leading to extreme discomfort, bloating, pain, and even blockage. Fiber is known to limit the body's absorption of certain vitamins and minerals.

Furthermore, tests have shown reducing fiber in a diet has proven effective at relieving constipation in those where the cause is unknown. Since the carnivore diet includes very little fiber, the adverse effects of it are minimized. The carnivore diet actually improves the digestive system.

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Mental Clarity

Mental clarity is a feeling of alertness. Since the brain is about sixty percent fat, it makes sense clarity and focus are enhanced on a higher fat diet. Essential fatty acids are needed for the body and brain to function properly and must be obtained from food. Omega-3 fatty acids are especially important for brain development, and grass-fed beef and oily fish are good sources. Essential fatty acids are important in making chemical neurotransmitters. Protein benefits the brain in the same way when broken down into its amino acids. These neurotransmitters allow the cells of the brain to communicate and carry out the functions of survival.

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Reduced Inflammation

Chronic inflammation conditions are prevalent and often cannot be felt or seen. They can lead to serious illnesses like heart disease, cancer, diabetes, and certain autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis. Reducing inflammation that might not be obvious is incredibly important for long-term health. Omega-3s have been shown to help reduce inflammation. Certain vitamins have the potential to reduce inflammation as well. Retinol, for one, is a form of vitamin A abundant in animal products such as milk, liver, red meat, and fatty fish. Vitamins B6, B9, and B12 are others that fight inflammation and can be found in foods like fish, beef, and eggs.

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Burns Fat Faster

Many individuals who practice the carnivore diet do so to improve their quality of life rather than to lose weight, which is often an unexpected side effect of this very restrictive diet. For the most part, the body uses carbohydrates as its primary energy source. With the carnivore diet, carbohydrate intake is severely restricted, requiring the body to find an alternative source of energy. The body is then forced to burn fat stores for fuel, and this is called ketosis. Maintaining ketosis on the carnivore diet is simple due to the fact individuals cannot consume carbohydrates. Thus, the body burns fat faster than it would on another diet.

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Claims To Regulate Blood Sugar

Most everyone grew up with the stern admonition to eat their vegetables. Conventional wisdom and food pyramids make fruits, veggies, and grains foundational while advocating limited meat intake (and lean cuts, at that). The carnivore diet not only upends this scheme, but it also eliminates almost every food derived from a plant source. More than a low-carb diet, this diet relies exclusively on animal fat and protein. While this eating regimen has not yet received the scientific attention it is due, anecdotal evidence indicates glucose levels stabilize as carnivorous eating takes hold. Informative websites promoting the all-meat eating plan bear numerous, enthusiastic testimonies from insulin-resistant patients who finally assumed control over volatile blood sugar readings. Of course, there is abundant research demonstrating even moderate carbohydrate restrictions will benefit unstable blood sugar. As an essentially zero-carb diet, however, the carnivore diet can address even the most stubborn insulin resistance that elevates glucose. Its claims to regulate blood sugar have substance and validity, and deserve an objective analysis.

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May Help With Mood

Many who have adopted a meat-only diet report significant improvement in their emotions and cognitive function, bolstering claims that this way of eating may help with mood. A twenty-something Canadian, Mikhail Peterson, overcame severe depression and anxiety (not to mention lifelong rheumatoid arthritis) after being on the diet. Psychiatrist Georgia Ede, while recognizing the individual nature of dieting and physiology, reports vast improvements in sleep, mood, and mental focus for herself and several carnivorous patients. She further argues the presence of carbohydrates in the diet leads to glucose peaks and valleys, the latter instigating the release of stress hormones. According to research, these hormones, cortisol, for example, are present in surplus, a host of mental problems can follow, including depression, anxiety, memory and concentration disruption. The greater an individual's sensitivity to carbs, the more likely a zero-carb plan is optimal in addressing the underlying cause of these conditions. Even critics of the carnivore diet acknowledge an undeniable connection between nutritional intake and emotional (as well as intellectual) wellness.

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Low-Residue Diet

Residue refers to undigested foods and its primary representative is fiber. So, a low-residue diet is a low-fiber eating plan. It is sometimes prescribed by physicians to improve irritable bowel disorders like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Diarrhea and stomach cramps are also subject to improvement through low-residue eating. Since the carnivore diet is fiber-free, it can well be classified as low-residue. However, the two are not identical. Low-residue allows many high-sugar and high-carbohydrate foods (all from plant sources) as long as they are peeled or otherwise reduced in their fiber content. Even grains are allowed, provided they are highly refined. These are the sorts of foods carnivorous dieters would most often avoid. Aside from coffee, tea or a few no-carb condiments, carnivores eschew these edible materials lest their healthy gains be rolled back or otherwise rendered void.

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