“You can’t do the carnivore diet, you’ll get scurvy!”
I’ve heard this way too many times. People are terrified of adopting the carnivore diet because of the scurvy boogeyman…
The carnivore diet may have massive benefits. People that have followed the carnivore diet have
- Dropped weight faster than a vegan drops $16 on avocado toast
- Cured depression
- Rejuvenated skin
- Experienced limitless energy.
What the carnivore diet teaches you is that the food you eat permeates every aspect of your life. Diets aren’t just for weight loss.
Simply: you are what you eat. You’ve been fed bowls of bullshit. And they don’t even taste as good as Frosted Flakes.
It’s time to throw them in the trash and start fresh.
In this post I’ll discuss some benefits you may experience with the carnivore diet.
Carnivore Diet Benefits
Here are some of the potential benefits of the carnivore diet. If you’re interested in how it works so well, check out the carnivore diet science here.
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
One of the biggest benefits of the carnivore diet is how simple it is. Simplicity is all about identifying what is essential and eliminating the rest.
Food doesn’t need to be complicated. Most diets practically require a PhD in “making shitty foods taste good,” sucking up valuable time and energy. Even on Keto, for example, people spend countless hours counting their fat calories and devising ways to make their healthy dishes taste like the unhealthy ones they’re addicted to (I’m looking at you, cauliflower pizza).
I mean…look at this meal plan below? We’re not Michelin Star chefs!
Instead of spending hours preparing your meals and thinking about food, you can read a book. Start a business. Hang out with loved ones. Do the things that actually matter and use food as medicine to optimize your energy for the things that really matter.
#2 The Carnivore Diet May Support Positive Mental Health
The carnivore diet may improve your mental health and mood. At least it did for Brett.
Recent science shows that the prevailing approach to mental health is ALL wrong. Pharmaceutical companies and doctors have persuaded you that mental health issues all arise from chemical imbalances.
But the truth is that mental health issues stem from inflammation, nutrient deficiencies, and too many hours wasted playing Fortnite…
The carnivore diet may help with these issues (although I can’t promise it will make you stop playing video games all day).
Studies continue to reveal that low serotonin levels are not the cause of depression . What is? Elevated inflammatory markers .
Inflammation elevates proteins and cytokines in your blood like CRP and IL-6. Studies have shown that patients who don’t respond to depression medication, for instance, tend to have elevated levels of CRP .
This is why the carnivore diet has reversed depression and mental health disorders for so many people. Brett Lloyd, for instance, was prescribed dozens of different medicines over the course of 25 years. None worked. But the carnivore diet cured him in 25 days.
How? The carnivore diet can reverse inflammation by cutting out all the junk you’re intolerant to: such as seed oils, fructose, glucose, and even many vegetables (like nightshades).
Ketones, like beta- hydroxy butyrate, help to reverse inflammation . And the carnivore diet puts you into ketosis.
By contrast, diets high in carbohydrates increase inflammation .
Then the carnivore diet also tackles nutrient deficiencies that all exacerbate mental health issues.
Many of these nutrients are absent from plant foods. Guess what? Without animal foods, you may be deficient. .
#3 The Carnivore Diet May Supercharge Your Energy
I’m not exaggerating when I tell you that …the Carnivore Diet turned me into the Energizer Bunny. Literally. I might as well have grown grew bunny ears and started playing the drums…
Why? Studies show that inflammation and nutrient deficiencies can also lead to fatigue.
Nutrients aren’t just those things on the back of your food label. They’re fuel for mitochondria. When you don’t get sufficient amounts of protein, vitamins and nutrients, your body slowly sputters to a halt.
Deficiency in nutrients — many found predominantly in animal foods — can lead to fatigue.
This study found that people with chronic fatigue have low levels of carnitine . The best source of carnitine? Red meat.
Furthermore, the foods you’ve replaced your red meat with may be throwing a wrench in your mitochondria engine as well.
For instance, studies have found that people with fatigue have higher levels of omega 6 fatty acids . The seed oils you’re eating instead of “dangerous saturated fats” are loaded with these omega 6’s.
Lastly, ketones are superfuel for your brain. They have more ATP per gram than glucose, for instance. And they lead to more efficient energy usage. Why would you submit power your brain to with glucose sludge when you could power it with high- octane ketones?
Beef liver is one of the best sources of nutrients in the world. It substantially increased my energy levels because of the B vitamin content.
#4 The Carnivore Diet May Increase Weight Loss
The carnivore diet may help you lose weight. Studies show you gain weight for two main reasons:
(1) your insulin is always elevated, locking your body fat in storage mode
(2) you eat processed foods that throw off your innate satiation mechanisms.
The carnivore diet eviscerates these issues.
First and foremost, it reduces insulin levels by removing all foods on the Mount Rushmore of glycemia.
A Virta Health study on the ketogenic diet revealed that 94% of subjects with Type 2 Diabetes were able to eliminate or reduce their insulin dosage after starting the diet.
Body fat isn’t just a fashion statement – it’s supposed to be stored for later energy use. But when insulin is perpetually elevated, body fat is locked into storage.
When insulin levels fall, the opposite happens when it falls. You shed body fat for fuel.
The second punch: cutting out processed junk and powering yourself off of protein, fat and ketones will reduce your hunger. You’ll be more satiated, even at a lower caloric intake.
This study, for instance, found that simply eating processed foods increased caloric intake by 500 calories a day .
This is why people on the carnivore diet are losing 50+ pounds, even without exercise. It’s simple – your calories are more filling and more efficient.
#5 The Carnivore Diet May Rejuvenate Your Skin
Acne and skin issues are not natural. They’re diseases of western civilization – that’s why a 2002 study found that 0 out of 1200 Kitavan Islanders of Papua New Guineas examined had acne. While over 90% of 16-18 year olds in Westernized societies do .
It pains me to say, but the truth is that I myself wasted thousands of dollars on acne meds and countless hours trying to dissect my pimples like a surgeon.
When in reality, all I needed to do was change my diet.
I bet the house on Proactiv, only to be dealt a losing hand every morning I woke up with a face full of acne. I thought Proactiv was god’s gift to earth, only to be let down when it made things worse.
Remember the phrase “you are what you eat?” Your skin is made of what you eat. If you eat junk, your skin will be junk. If you eat good foods, you’ll have good skin. If you eat porcelain, your skin will look like porcelain…… okay, maybe not.
You break out because you have inflammation and nutrient deficiencies that increase sebum production. Both of these things cause a hormonal explosion that results in a big, red, white head exactly when you need it least.
The carnivore diet can fix these issues. It provides you with copious amounts of acne- zapping vitamins and can reduce inflammation:
- Vitamin A (if you eat beef liver): Vitamin A is one of the most important nutrients for your skin’s health.
- Vitamin E
I mean, look at these results.
How do you think my skin looks so good?
#6 The Carnivore Diet May Support General Health & Wellness
Insulin resistance is related to almost every disease :
It may not cause them all. But at the very least, persistently high insulin levels exacerbates them.
Good news: the carnivore diet may be able to help maintain proper blood glucose levels.
By increasing protein, cutting out high- glycemic foods, and removing the weapon of mass destruction that is vegetable oils, you’ll remove the worst offenders.
#7 The Carnivore Diet May Support Gut Health
The carnivore diet may improve your gut health.
The carnivore diet removes the weapons of mass gut destruction:
- Plant defense chemicals: Glutens, Lectins and Dairy
- Other FODMAPs
Whereas most others ways of eating advise you to increase them.
Let me dig in
Plain and simple. Fiber is not good for your gut. You’ve been misled. When humans evolved from herbivorous apes into the Homo genus we gave up colon size in favor of brain size.
You cannot digest fiber. This is why when you eat substantial amounts of it, you need to load up on the Charmin toilet paper…it just comes out the other end. Yet somehow people still claim it’s good for your gut, despite your body crying out for help.
It’s like thinking that an oil leak is good for a boat because it’s cleansing. The gas and diarrhea are signs that something is wrong.
This study pictured below shows that reducing fiber actually reduces issues. This isn’t an error – on the right side of the graph, you can see that there is zero occurence of digestive issues when fiber is removed .
In 2019, I wouldn’t be surprised to see gluten used in hostage situations. “If you don’t give us $10m, I will force you to eat one bite of this gluten.” The gluten fear has gone wild. But for good reason.
Gluten is the arch nemesis of your gut. Gluten increases zonulin production, a protein that breaks apart the tight junctions in your digestive tract . It’s almost like little scissors for your gut lining.
A study conducted on subjects 61 subjects showed improvements in autoimmune disorders, IBS, bloating, brain frog and even depression when removing gluten.
Many people, especially those with celiac disease, can be intolerant to gluten.
Studies show that once gluten is removed from the diet, serum zonulin levels decrease, the intestine resumes its baseline barrier function, the autoantibody titers are normalized, the autoimmune process shuts off and, consequently, the intestinal damage (that represents the biological outcome of the autoimmune process) heals completely .
FODMAPS are a broad class of carbohydrates, notorious for causing digestive issues. Think about that next time you’re waiting for the bathroom stall and want somebody to get out faster. “Quit it with the fodmaps!”
What are they? FODMAPs are fermentable carbohydrates that the bacteria in your gut love to feed on .
Many doctors recommend carbohydrates for gut health because they feed gut bacteria.
But issues like IBS are actually caused by bacterial overgrowth. If you feed these bacteria it can inflame your gut further.
This is why a well established treatment for IBS, recommends low carbohydrates to starve your bacteria .
Casein protein introduces inflammation in the gut for many people. Many people are also intolerant to lactose and dairy, triggering additional inflammation.
Dairy is also high in FODMAPs.
Plant Defense Chemicals
Plants are full of endogenously produced chemicals that conspire to damage your gut.
#8 The Carnivore Diet May Support Testosterone LEvels
Testosterone is like a bank account of male greatness. But in today’s world, it’s collecting overdraft fees because it’s practically bankrupt.
Testosterone levels have collapsed in men. This study shows that each decade, the average testosterone level in men is falling by ~10%
Many people just associate testerone levels with male bodybuilders or Barry Bonds. However, Testosterone doesn’t just help you hit home runs — it’s critical for your health. Low testosterone is associated with:
- Low energy
- Low libido
- Low strength
If you’re a man, testosterone should not be a secondary afterthought.
Like the other issues above, it’s from eating junk and deficiencies in essential nutrients.
- Refined carbs
- Vegetable oils
- Environmental toxins
- Endocrine disruptors
- Obese people
And too little
- Red meat
- Weight lifting
Together, both carpet bomb your testosterone levels.
How can you restore it?
First, cut out the junk above. Sugar, vegetable oils and refined carbs all are kryptonite for your Testosterone levels .
Gaining fat also reduces your testosterone . And as we all know too well, if there’s one thing that America knows how to do well, it’s gaining weight.
You also may be deficient in many of the cofactors optimal testosterone requires. Protein, Vitamin D, Vitamin A and cholesterol all help to increase your testosterone levels. Four nutrient deficiencies ubiquitous around the world.
Once again, cholesterol should not be feared. It should be embraced. In fact the only thing high cholesterol is bad for: people who want weaker men.
#9 The Carnivore Diet Can Improve Your Sleep
The usual suspects are destroying your sleep. And the carnivore diet can help to reverse those issues.
Ketones Improve Sleep Quality
Ketones, the magical elixir you produce from fat, may improve sleep quality.
This study of 18 children showed that REM sleep was significantly improved on the keto diet .
Additionally, Ketones increase GABA, a neurotransmitter . You know all those nights when you’re sitting up in bed with your mind racing about your terrible boss…or all the groceries you forgot to pick up…or how you just want to go to sleep and can’t. Think of GABA like an off switch for your brain.
In one study, people with insomnia had 30% lower GABA levels .
Sugar Destroys Sleep
Sugar wrecks the quality of your sleep and increases inflammation. This study linked sugar to more restless, lower quality sleep .
Diabetes and hyperglycemia are also associated with insomnia
Next time you’re biting into that delicious Hershey’s bar, think about the tossing and turning that comes with it.
Inflammation Causes Insomnia
If your diet is full of junk, you may be highly inflamed. Your immune system is always on call fighting off the carbohydrate and vegetable insurgents.
Cytokines, which regulate immune system function and are elevated when you’re inflamed, are linked to trouble sleeping .
The carnivore diet may reverse this inflammation.
Remember that time the government told us to stop eating meat and replace it with carbohydrates and seed oils: i.e. nutritional sludge?
Well as a direct consequence, most people are deficient in many of the nutrients you require for sleep.
Vitamin B6 is linked to insomnia, because it aids in the production of melatonin. And is only found in copious amounts in beef liver .
Vitamin B12 regulates your circadian rhythm. Another nutrient not found in vegetables whatsoever .
And Zinc and Iron improve sleep quality. Two nutrients that are prevalent in their most bioavailable form in animal foods
#10 The Carnivore Diet May Support Immune Function
Do you get sick all the time? Your immune system is like an army. And nutrients are it’s weapons.
Would you send the US Navy Seals into enemy territory with water guns? “Man down man down. Oh wait he’s back up, he wiped the water out of his eyes. Retreat retreat!”
That’s equivalent to depriving your immune system of the nutrients from animal foods.
Zinc, Vitamin A and Vitamin D are all critical nutrients for your immune system that most people are deficient in.
In fact, vitamin A was originally nicknamed the “anti-infective” vitamin almost a century ago because of its importance in normal immune functioning (*).
The organs of the immune system need a constant supply of vitamin A to produce cells that help to fight off infections in the body. Research shows that vitamin A reduces infection and death of many serious illnesses including tuberculosis, pneumonia, measles, and malaria (*).
Whenever I’m getting sick, I load up on beef liver which tends to help my virus — maybe because it can’t stand the smell of the liver?
#11 The Carnivore Diet May Support Heart Health
For most people, reading this will be like hearing that cigarettes are good for your lungs. Far too outlandish to believe.
However, it turns out that not only is red meat not bad for you heart, eating a carnivore diet may actually help.
First off, recent studies have debunked the farce that saturated fat causes heart disease:
This landmark study in 2015 showed no association between saturated fat and mortality, cardiovascular disease or type 2 diabetes .
These three other meta analyses confirm the same:
- Meta analysis of 350,000 people showing no association between saturated fat and heart disease
- Meta analysis of > 500,000 people from 32 observational studies
- 2009 meat analysis
Frankly, believing saturated fat still causes heart disease is like believing that Nicholas Cage movies cause kidnappings.
There is no biochemical mechanism whereby saturated fat could cause heart disease. Whereas maybe Nicholas cage actually did cause kidnappings when people went searching for the National Treasure. Nonetheless…both are implausible. The point is that correlation is not equal to causation…and this is where everybody went astray.
Saturated fat also has a number of benefits that can benefit heart disease:
- It increases HDL, the “good cholesterol”.
- It increases LDL particle size.
- Saturated fat is loaded with nutrients like vitamin k2 reduced calcified arteries by 50%.
Has this been studied? Sort of. The lyon heart study showed that a mediterranean diet improved outcomes for recurrent myocardial infraction and all cause mortality, despite no reduction in LDL.
The PREDIMED trial showed that an energy unresistrcted mediterranean diet supplemented with olive oil achieved a 30% reduction in cardiovascular events with 7500 high risk patients. Why does the mediterranean diet owrk? Because it cuts out a lot of junk and adds nutrients. It’s not because of the few remaining carbs, that’s for sure.
The carnivore diet is like a new and improved Mediterranean diet. It’s like the minor leagues of diets and the Carnivore diet is the big leagues. You can still get by in the minors. But, let’s be honest, you’re not getting a Nike endorsement from AA baseball.
Ready to Start?
Adopting the carnivore diet was the best thing I ever did for my health. It’s not a fluke that it works so well.
If you’re interested in a more comprehensive guide, sign up for my weekly newsletter for access to the 30 Day Guide to Mastering the Carnivore Diet below.