Carnivore Diet | 16 Reasons It Works (+ Benefits and Meal Plan)
Acne. IBS. Rheumatoid arthritis.
Not to sound like an infomercial, but the carnivore diet cured these all for me.
The carnivore diet has cured the incurable. Meatheals.com, World Carnivore Tribe and r/ZeroCarb are teeming with 10s of thousands of people who have reversed serious health conditions.
It’s almost too good to be true.
Carnivores are doing the exact opposite of all mainstream nutritional recommendations.
If your friends and family still look at you like you’re eating chloroform when you gobble down steak and eggs…This article is for you.
Here are the 16 reasons why the carnivore diet works so well.
Table of Contents
16 Carnivore Diet Benefits
1. The Carnivore Diet Cuts Out All Added Sugar
I’ll start with one of the least controversial points. Sugar isn’t good for you. If you still think sugar is okay to eat, that’s almost as bad as thinking Santa is real.
Sugar is damaging for four main reasons:
- It can glycate and stick to cholesterol particles, which can lead to atherosclerosis
- It’s highly glycemic. Sugar spikes insulin and can lead to insulin resistance over time.
- When metabolized, it produces AGEs which lead to aging, chronic disease and diabetes [*]
- Glucose is oxidatively stressful, causes inflammation and can produce reactive oxygen species [*]. Oxidative stress plays a role in almost every disease
A study of 29 people found that those consuming just 40 grams of added sugar had an increase in inflammation, insulin resistance and weight gain [*].
Glucose can also feed tumor growth. This is explained by the Warburg Effect, which determined that cancer cells depend on glucose to grow [*]. Unlike normal cells, they cannot use Ketones. Just like you, your tumor cells are addicted to sugar.
Sure, some foods obviously have sugar that most people try to avoid: candy, sodas, gatorade, coffee with added sugar.
But it’s also hidden in a number of common foods people eat. Corrupt food companies have snuck this toxic crap into tons of foods to make them taste slightly better.
It’s not just junk food. Beef jerky, almond milk, coconut water…you name it. They all have added sugar.
And fructose is even worse than glucose. Fructose is like a missile that goes directly to the liver where it’s converted to fat.
It is 20x more likely to cause fatty liver than glucose alone.
And fatty liver can lead directly to insulin resistance.
In this study, subjects were given 25% of their calories as kool-aid, sweetened with fructose or glucose for 8 weeks [*].
2. The Carnivore Diet Can Cure Leaky Gut
Do you have:
- Skin issues like eczema or acne?
- Have you been extra irritable this week?
- Are you bloated?
- Autoimmune issues?
It turns out they may all have a similar cause. Leaky gut.
According to Zsofia Clemens at Paleomedicina, 90% of people have gut issues. Gut health is related to everything. No wonder why our health is so shitty.
Leaky gut is a condition when the tight junctions of the small intestine open and allow proteins and toxins into the bloodstream.
The small intestine is ~50% of your gut. It is responsible for 90% of food absorption and has the largest mass of immune cells in your entire body [*].
Everything you eat directly touches this vital organ. And it’s very vulnerable.
The only barrier protecting what you eat from your bloodstream is just a single layer of mucous in the gut, linked together by proteins [*].
But this barrier can be broken, which creates gaps between the proteins in the cellular layers of your gut [*].
Research continues to implicate leaky gut in a very wide array of chronic diseases. Why?
When the barrier breaks, toxins and proteins can invade the bloodstream causing your body to freak out. It’s like a bartender catching an underage drinker inside.
Your immune system is mobilized to expel it, which creates inflammation. Similar to when somebody gets kicked out of a bar, everybody stops and takes a look. Nothing functions properly in that moment.
If you have incessant chronic issues, this could be why.
So far, the carnivore diet has been one of the few clinically shown ways to reverse intestinal permeability and the attendant consequences.
Paleomedicina in Hungary has used the carnivore diet to completely reverse intestinal permeability. They’ve taken ‘incurable’ diseases like Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease and metastatic tumors and used the power of steak to destroy them [*] [*]
How does the carnivore diet cure leaky gut? Two main ways:
- It reduces inflammation, which reverses gut microbiome imbalances
- It is the most nutrient rich diet on earth, which heals the gut.
- It removes foods that pry the tight junctions in the small intestine open like Lectins and Gluten
If you want to learn more about how the carnivore diet reverses leaky gut, read more here.
3. The Carnivore Diet Removes Refined Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in your body (sugar). Many foods on the bottom of the food pyramid are no different than candy. Thanks again for your services USDA!!
Refined carbohydrates are especially harmful. They’re processed carbohydrates that have had the few good bits and pieces stripped out of them. In contrast to a whole grain, a refined grain has had the bran and germ removed which house all the nutrients.
Because all the fiber has been removed, refined carbs are digested very rapidly and cause major blood sugar spikes.
This can lead to insulin resistance over time, especially when consumed with fat. In this study, an Asian population with a diet high in rice developed insulin resistance [*]
Refined carbohydrates also damage the gut. Sugar and carbohydrates are fermented by the gut and colon which can exacerbate GI issues and lead to leaky gut. This is why a well established treatment for IBS, recommends low carbohydrates to starve your bacteria [*]
Over time, refined carbohydrate consumption has been linked to inflammation and obesity [*].
In this study, just 50 grams of refined carbs from white bread, lead to higher blood sugar levels and inflammation. It also found that women with a higher glycemic diet had 2.9x the risk of inflammatory death [*].
Refined carbohydrates also increase blood triglyceride levels, which is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease [*]. Fat hanging out in your bloodstream is a sign that something is seriously off.
Eating 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.
It’s processed crap that’s directly converted to sugar and the consequences are no different.
4. The Carnivore Diet Cuts Out Most Carbohydrates
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”):
- High carbohydrate diets can lead to insulin resistance, especially if combined with fat [*]
- Many whole grains are loaded with antinutrients, like lectins
- Carbohydrates halt fat burning because of the insulin response. The more carbohydrates you eat, the less body fat you burn.
- Getting to < 50g a day allows you to burn fat and enter ketosis. Ketosis has a number of health benefits, described below. Fat is a less oxidatively stressful fuel than glucose [*]
- All carbohydrates break down into glucose, which can produce some of the negative effects mentioned above: AGEs, glycated LDL particles, insulin resistance, etc. [*]
- Carbohydrates and fiber are fermented by the gut, which can exacerbate gut issues like IBS
5. The Carnivore Diet is the Best Way to Reverse Insulin Resistance
Good news and bad news.
Bad News first….
Insulin resistance is related to almost every chronic disease:
It may not cause them all. But at the very least, persistently high insulin levels exacerbates them.
Good news: you can reverse insulin resistance. And reversing it is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Insulin resistance is an energy overload problem, whereby your cells become unresponsive to insulin’s action. They refuse to stuff more energy into the cells and thus insulin levels remain persistently high.
This is generally caused by eating a substantial amount of highly glycemic carbs and fats together. The carbohydrates shut off fat burning, and the fat you eat goes directly to your cells.
As a result, you’ll have both high levels of energy in your bloodstream and cells that are packed with energy. Your pancreas pumps out more and more insulin, but the cells throw up a middle finger and refuse to let any energy in. This cycle occurs over and over until insulin levels in your bloodstream persistently rise.
Your body is at war with itself.
All in all, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have played a role in more deaths than WW1 and WW2 combined.
The carnivore diet is the most effective way to reverse insulin resistance. Why?
- Cutting out the highly glycemic carbohydrates powers your body off of ketones and increases insulin sensitivity [*]
- Cutting out fructose increases insulin sensitivity
- Certain plant antinutrients like lectins can bind to insulin receptors and make you more insulin resistant
- Vegetable oils cause insulin resistance [*]
- Protein is satiating and high protein diets burn body fat, which reduces insulin resistance [*]
- People generally intermittent fast on the carnivore diet, which increases insulin sensitivity [*]
If you want to live longer, you need to lower fasting insulin levels.
6. The Carnivore Diet Removes Toxic Vegetable oils
There were two disastrous consequences of the Food Pyramid…also known as the “Lets Turn Americans into Lab Rats and Feed Them Food That Enriches Procter & Gamble Experiment”.
- Substituting carbs for fat in our diets
- Persuading us to eat toxic vegetable oils instead of natural saturated fats
Hopefully this can convince you that cutting out vegetable oils is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Vegetable oils are one of the main vehicles that have driven our health off a cliff.
What are vegetable oils? First off, they’re not vegetables at all. A better name would be industrial processed seed oil sludge. They’re actually made from seeds and not vegetables. Below are some common ones:
When the AHA — i.e. the mouthpiece for Procter & Gamble — persuaded us that natural, delicious and healthy saturated fats were actually bad for us, we had to turn to polyUNsaturated fats.
And this was great for the big consumer companies. The seeds were traditionally a waste product, so they were cheap. Nobody knew what to do with them, and somebody had the twisted idea to turn them into cooking oils.
The manufacturing process is appalling [*]. It entails pressing them at high pressure and using toxic solvents like Hexane to extract the oil. If watching this video doesn’t dissuade you from eating them I don’t know what will.
It looks like something you’d be paid millions to eat on Fear Factor. Not an everyday staple in our diets.
How’d this shift happen?
In 1900 heart disease was rare. By 1950 it was killing more men than any other disease. Ancel Keys and the AHA blamed the entire heart attack epidemic on butter, a food that was falling in consumption.
Meanwhile vegetable oil consumption went from 11 pounds per person per year to 59.
As a result, of the fear he created, soybean oil consumption increased 1000x in the 20th century. Linoleic acid now is 8% of calories. All because the USDA told us the foods we’ve been eating for millions of years are “bad for us”
What are the consequences of this shift? Just about every disease can be linked to vegetable oil consumption
Vegetable oils cause all of the following:
- Insulin resistance
- Heart disease
- Heart disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Leaky gut
Most importantly, it turns out that the bad cholesterol, “LDL”, is only bad when it’s damaged by unsaturated fats [*].
So here’s how the story goes:
- Step 1: Get everybody to eat hydrogenated vegetable oils under the guise of health
- Step 2: See massive heart disease increase
- Step 3: Blame it on butter and natural fats, and tell people to eat MORE of the vegetable oils
- Step 4: Pharma, doctors and CPG companies profit. The individual loses.
This sums up the last 100 years of health.
How do vegetable oils cause so much damage?
Unlike natural saturated fats, these oils are unsaturated and have more double bonds. Getting slightly more technical here: poly unsaturated fats have two or more double bonds — hence “poly”.
This makes them much less stable. It’s why butter is a solid at room temperature and canola oil is not.
The double bonds allow oxygen to sneak in and oxidize the fatty acids, particularly when heated. When “oxidized” they produce free radicals. Free radicals are electrons that play a role in every known disease.
They are unpaired electrons looking to find a match. In the process of doing so, they restructure every single cell they come into contact with. Think of them like a drunk person in a singles bar.
Cooking foods in vegetable oils blasts them with these free radicals which can destroy every cell in your body.
If you’re not convinced yet, here are some more studies.
Vegetable oils are very high in omega 6 which can disrupt our natural omega 6 : omega 3 ratio. This causes inflammation and is implicated in almost every disease of civilization: cancer, heart disease and diabetes [*].
The Sydney Heart Health study which was a randomized control trial that was supposed to support the AHA’s hypothesis ended up showing the disastrous consequences of vegetable oils. The group that replaced saturated fat with vegetable oils had a 62% higher death rate [*]. Of course this was buried.
This study showed that mice had DOUBLE the risk of cancer when fed corn oil [*].
Vegetable oils also destroy the brain,. One of the toxic biproducts of them is 4HNE. It has been shown to increase oxidative stress in the brain and destroy the nerve cell highways called microtubles [*]
Because of Ancel Keys these vegetable oils are found everywhere. Everything from salad dressings, to pasta, to cereal and chips all are loaded with these vegetable oils. You’d be hard pressed to find anything without them in a grocery store.
The AHA told us that saturated fats would clog our arteries and that vegetable oils could come to the rescue. But all this did was rescue Procter and Gamble who was the largest purveyor of these oils.
Nature doesn’t make fats that are bad for us. The foods that destroy lives are those that are mass produced in factories.
There are now so many ingrained interests in ensuring this ball keeps rolling down hill. The people making millions selling these “heart healthy oils”. The doctors treating the consequences of the damage. The pharmaceutical companies making drugs to dampen the blow. There are way too many Mercedes and private school educations on the line here to turn this ship around.
But each of uf can change our own health by avoiding these toxins at all costs.
7. Carnivore Diet Increases Natural Saturated Fat Consumption
Despite the prevailing dogma, saturated fats are associated with longevity.
Saturated fats are those that have carbon atoms saturated by hydrogen atoms. This makes them stable and much less oxidatively stressful than unsaturated fats.
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.
People in Hong Kong consume 695 grams per day of meat. Holy steak Batman. That even puts Ron Swanson to shame.
At that rate, you’d expect them to be practically rolling down the street and dropping like fleas from heart disease. But they actually have the world’s longest life expectancy at 84.5 years [*].
This study pictured below depicted similar results. Saturated fat intake is negatively correlated to heart disease in Europe.
This can be explained a number of ways:
- Increased saturated fat intake tends to reduce carbohydrate consumption, which really causes heart disease
- Saturated fats tend to be higher in fat soluble nutrients, Vitamins A, D, E and K. Increased Vitamin K intake is associated with lower rates of heart disease [*]
- Reduced vegetable oil consumption
- Half of the fat in your brain is saturated. It is indispensable to cognitive function.
- Caprylic acid, a saturated fat, strengthens the immune system [*]
- Saturated fats help build hormones [*]
- Cell membranes are 50% saturated fat
- Saturated fats increase HDL, the “good cholesterol”
- Scientists have now realized LDL particle size matters more than total LDL number. Diets high in saturated fat and low in carbs increase LDL size (which is a positive) [*]
- High fat diets leads to ketosis and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
- Because saturated fats don’t have double bonds, they’re more resistant to oxidative damage [*]
- Saturated fats have a glycemic index of 0
Lastly, studies continue to debunk the myth that saturated fat causes heart disease. This review from 2014 looking at 76 studies, found no link at all between saturated fat and heart disease [*]
Eat like the people in Hong Kong,
8. The Carnivore Diet Increases Nutrient Density
Nutrients are vital for all cellular function. They play a role in everything from growth to immune support, to brain function. Many also have antioxidant properties that can protect against diseases like cancer and Alzheimers. [*] [*].
But most people are extremely deficient in vitamins. Some common ones are below:
- Vitamin D: 77% of American’s are deficient in Vitamin D [*]
- Vitamin B12: 3% of adults over 50 have extremely low vitamin D levels. 20% have borderline deficiencies. [*]. Amongst Vegan’s and Vegetarians vitamin b12 deficiency is much more common
- Vitamin A: Vitamin A is only found in sufficient amounts that your body can absorb in animal products. It’s likely that if you’re not eating enough animal products, you’re deficient. Deficiencies amongst children and women are the most common. Approximately 127 million preschool-aged children and 7 million pregnant women are vitamin A deficient. [*]
- Iron: 25% of the world is deficient in iron [*]. Anaemia is even more common amongst vegan
- Calcium: Over 20% of moen and 10% of women over 50 are deficient in calcium [*]
- Zinc: 1.1 billion people are deficient worldwide [*]
This paints a disturbing picture. No wonder chronic disease is so prevalent. Adequate vitamin intake is necessary for optimal function.
The brain is a micronutrient hungry organ and deficiencies tend to make their mark there.
For example, this study showed that Vitamins C and E can reduce oxidative stress in the brain and the rates of neuronal death [*]. Without adequate intake, the brain is susceptible to damage. Vitamin E intake tends to be lower in Alzheimer’s patients [*].
Zinc, another mineral many are deficient in, is critical for brain growth, serotonin synthesis and dopamine transport. Iron is also necessary for dopamine synthesis [*]. These minerals cannot be found in abundant quantities in plant products. .
Inadequate Vitamin and mineral intake can also lead to cancer. Without proper nutrient intake, DNA mutations are more common. A deficiency in any of the micronutrients: folic acid, Vitamin B12, Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, iron, or zinc, can cause your DNA to break.
According to researchers, folate deficiency causes breaks in DNA in approximately 10% of the US population [*]. This is why there is increased colon cancer risk if you’re deficient in Vitamin B9.
The results are crystal clear. You need to optimize your diet around nutrient intake and quality.
The best way to do so? Eat abundant amounts of animal products and remove anti nutrients from your diet that block mineral absorption.
Meat and animal products have the most and most bioavailable form of every nutrient. If the entire world was on the carnivore diet, there would be no nutrient deficiencies.
Remedying these issues will extend longevity and health.
9. Intermittent Fasting
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.
Dietary recommendations have destroyed your health by changing both:
(1) what we eat and
(2) when we eat.
If you want to improve your health, you need to restore both to your evolutionary ways.
We’ve already covered what to eat. What about when to eat?
In the early to mid 1900s, most people only ate 3 meals a day. But in the late 1900s, people started to eat 6-7 times a day. Doctors recommended many small meals to “speed up your metabolism”.
Guess what? The only thing that’s speeding up is how fast you give money to big cpg and big pharma companies. And how fast you develop insulin resistance.
You can only get energy from two sources: Food or body fat. But you can’t get energy from both at the same time. When you’re getting energy from food, this is called the fed state. When you’re getting your energy from body fat, this is called the fasted state. Insulin regulates this process.
When you eat insulin levels increase, which signals to your cells to suck in energy from your bloodstream. And when you sleep, insulin falls, telling your body to use stored energy to run your vital organs. This is why you don’t die when you sleep.
But most people are eating all day, and not giving their bodies enough time to lower insulin levels and burn body fat. In fact, it takes ~12 hours to lower insulin far enough to actually burn body fat. But instead, most people shut this natural process off by eating a high carb meal first thing in the morning.
Instead, start intermittent fasting. Leverage your 8 hours of sleep time fasting and skip breakfast. Eat in an 8 hour window and fast from dinner to lunch time.
Intermittent fasting is restricting your feeding to a window less than or equal to 8 hours. Pretty much the exact opposite of what all American’s do today.
Fasting is extremely beneficial. It has been shown to:
- Reduce inflammation [*]
- Increase insulin sensitivity
- Promotes fat loss [*]
- Increases cognition, memory and focus
- Increases autophagy, the natural cellular cleansing process [*]
- Increases BDNF, which upregulates neuronal creation and maintenance
- Improves immune system
- Starves bad gut bacteria
- Can improve autoimmune symptoms like RA and Crohns [*]
10. The Carnivore Diet Gets You Into Ketosis
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.
Triglycerides (fat molecules) cannot be used as fuel for all cells, so the liver converts some to ketones to be used instead. Beta hydroxy-buterate is the most prevalent one, making up 70-80% of ketones in the blood [*]
Choosing between glucose and ketones is like deciding between rocket fuel and sludge that produces a massive amount of toxic waste.
Beta hydroxy buterate is a much better fuel than glucose. It has major benefits:
- Upregulates FOXO genes which regulate oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity and influence longevity. [*]
- Ketones improve mood and have antidepressant like effects [*]
- BHB reduces oxidative stress in the brain and may be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative disease [*] [*]
- BHB lowers inflammation and blocks NLPR3 inflammasome [*]
- Increases endogenous antioxidant production [*]
- Ketones improve insulin sensitivity [*]
- Increased fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass and performance [*]
- Ketones can slow tumor growth by starving them of their preferred fuel, glucose, and lowering IGF-1 [*]
Ketones are almost like a horcrux for health. On the carnivore diet your ketones will usually be around 0.5 millimolar and higher.
11. The Carnivore Diet Increases Cholesterol
This may sound counterintuitive. The carnivore diet tends to increase cholesterol levels. And that’s a GOOD thing.
Scientists and doctors have cholesterol ALL wrong.
There’s no such thing as “good and bad” cholesterol. What’s bad is when your cholesterol gets damaged (or oxidized), and your immune system traps the damaged cholesterol in your artery walls.
Well, on the carnivore diet, you tend to have big fluffy and healthy cholesterol. It’s only when you damage LDL particles with sugar and vegetable oils, do they cause issues.
Additionally, LDL plays an indispensable protective role. LDL is protecting you from disease, not causing it.
LDL can actually bind to pathogens so that the immune system can expel them. When you have inflammation, LDL tends to increase because your body uses it as a protective mechanism.
So, the reason it’s high in those with heart disease is because LDL binds to pathogens! It’s getting rid of damage so that it doesn’t spread
LDL cholesterol doesn’t actually cause heart disease. Inflammation leads to heart disease and high LDL.
So low levels of cholesterol isn’t necessarily a good thing after all. This may explain why Zoe Harcombe found that there was a negative correlation between total cholesterol and mortality when she examined data from 192 countries.
We’ve had our eye on the wrong ball for far too long. Trying to lower cholesterol was completely counterproductive AND it persuaded people to eat foods that actually cause heart disease.
Cholesterol is also vital for brain health. The brain makes up 2% of our body weight, but stores over 20% of our cholesterol.
Weird that our brains are hoarding something that’s so damaging…right? How stupid of our brains!!
This shows how backwards our perspective on cholesterol is.
The brain clearly needs cholesterol. Numerous studies show that those with low cholesterol levels have poor mental health and cognitive function.
This study showed that amongst those > 85, low cholesterol was associated with impaired memory [*].
Low cholesterol also damages mental health, which may explain the startling rise of mental health issues today. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of suicide and increased depressive symptoms [*] [*]
This chart below shows the correlation between cholesterol and a depression score. A perfect negative correlation.
You should celebrate your high cholesterol on the carnivore diet. Not fear it.
If you’re interested in cholesterol on the carnivore diet, read more here.
12. The Carnivore Diet Works Via Negativa
Many people try to add things to become healthy. The next big superfood. Exercise. Juice cleanses.
But often times the best way to improve is by removing your negative habits. The beauty of the carnivore diet is that it’s addition by subtraction. It first and foremost removes all the junk in your diet.
The first step to health, that I enumerated above, is asking yourself what do you NOT want to do. No refined cabs. No vegetable oils. No antinutrients. Etc.
And then you can start to figure out how to selective add to improve yourself.
There are a number of benefits to this.
The first is that removing things tends to not have side effects and unintended consequences. Whereas adding things does. But big corporations and big pharma can’t make money from removing things, hency why it’s rarely recommended as a strategy.
A lot of complicated things don’t need to be. It’s made to seem that way so people dont notice it’s truly bullshit.
13. The Carnivore Diet is Simple
Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great. Ralph Waldo Emerson
Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify. Henry David Thoreau
Nature is pleased with simplicity. And nature is no dummy. Isaac Newton
One of the biggest benefits of the carnivore diet is how simple it is. Simplicity is about identifying what is essential and eliminating the rest.
Food doesn’t need to be complicated. Most diets require a degree in “Making shitty foods taste good” and suck up time and energy. Even on Keto, for example, people spend time counting their fat calories and devising ways to make their healthy dishes taste like the unhealthy ones they’re addicted to (like cauliflower pizza).
Sure, that’s fun. But food doesn’t need to be so complicated.
The more time you can free up from eating and thinking about food, the more you can spend energy on things in your life that are high ROI (return on investment).
The carnivore diet eviscerates this paradigm. Steak. Eggs. Beef liver. Beef Tallow. Cast iron pan. What other way of eating can be complete with just 5 things? NADA.
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.
14. The Carnivore Diet Increases Your Protein to Energy Ratio
Ted Naiman has described and popularized the protein to energy ratio of foods as a determinant of health. 85% of American’s are overfat, and according to Ted eating a low protein to energy diet is the reason why.
For millions of years of evolution, humans never had to worry about eating too much energy (carbs & fat). Protein was abundant from animals, but they were fairly low in energy.
This is why hunter-gatherers ate nose to tail. They needed the minimal fat stores that existed in the bone marrow and brains.
Now in one grocery aisle you can pick up more energy than hunter gatherers had in a year. Our brains are wired to stock up on energy, and grocery stores tap into this evolutionary programmed desire.
Plants store most of their energy as carbohydrates, from carbon in the atmosphere. Animals store most of their energy as fats.
When animals eat plants, they take the nitrogen from them and store them as protein to build up their own bodies. This ratio between the protein and energy they store is the protein to energy ratio.
The reason this is important is because humans have a strong protein drive. Strong is putting it lightly. If we don’t get enough protein, we keep on eating and searching for food until we do.
According to Ted Naiman:
“we will eat and eat until we get enough protein and minerals. If you are eating a food that is very high in energy but low in protein and minerals, you will have to overeat energy to get enough protein-and your body stores that excess energy as fat”
So if you’re not getting enough protein, you continue to eat until you satisfy those needs. This usually means you’re eating too much energy.
This is exactly what has happened. Over time we domesticated plants and figured out ways to increase the energy of foods. Protein, partially because it’s expensive, was diluted in our diets. We now have hybrid, GMO, cross bred, zombie foods designed to satiate our energy needs.
This is humans throwing up a big middle finger to evolution and trying to manipulate it to our advantage. But it has backfired.
Back when we were hunter gatherers we ate a very high protein to energy diet. But now thanks to the introduction of big CPGs weapons of choice — sugar, flour and vegetable oil — all abundant energy sources – energy has gone up massively compared to protein
Now, over 40% of Americans don’t get enough protein [*]. It’s fallen to 10% or less of calories.
But, without knowing it, humans search for 15%+ protein intake. When we lower it, even just slightly, our body massively overcompensates with lower satiation and increased carbohydrate and fat intake. This study pictured below showed just a 1% decrease in protein led to 14% increase in CHO + Fat intake [*]
The fastest way to lose weight: Increase protein
This study showed that a 5% increase in protein led to a 3 TIMES decrease in fat mass [*]
This study showed that 100% OF PEOPLE eating 30% of calories from protein reversed pre-diabetes
But this will never be mainstream because there isn’t much money to be made in telling people to up their protein.
Beef ribeye and eggs are perfect foods. They are close to 1:1 protein : fat grams which is 70% / 30% by calories.
No wonder why people are so fit on the carnivore diet.
15. Humans are Carnivores. We’re Meant to Eat Meat
Without consistent access to animal source foods, it is unlikely that we would have evolved into the dominant, blog reading, twitter trolling and highly social primates that we are today [*]. And now we require those nutrients.
During our evolutionary journey into the sapiens we are today, there were some plants growing here and there. But most were extremely fibrous and we couldn’t convert the fiber into fat for energy.
To make matters worse, there were around 500,000 years of ice age where plants did not consistently grow and we hadn’t yet invented fire [*].
We needed a consistent source of energy, which plant food couldn’t have provided without fire and a large colon.
The most available source of energy were gigantic animals – megafauna – that lived at the time. These animals’ fat fulfilled our energy needs without carbohydrates, fibrous vegetables and overpriced smoothies at our disposal.
Productivity hacks aren’t just a modern phenomenon. Hunter gatherers tended to eat more of the foods that provided a higher return of calories vs the time required to obtain the food.
The table below shows the energy yield of different foods available. As you can see, the top 8 are all animals [*].
A study found that 47% of Vegan’s in Switzerland were deficient in Zinc, while only 10% of Omnivores were [*]
Our bodies cannot manufacture everything we require to function. We must get certain nutrients from food.
There are three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, and fat. And there are four classes of micronutrients that are essential. [*]
- Vitamins such as A, B, C, E, K
- Minerals such as Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Sodium, Iodine
- Fatty Acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6)
- Amino Acids such as Isoleucine, leucine, etc.
So when we’re looking for healthy food, what we should be concerned with is nutrient density , energy supply, and any adverse side effects.
But we’ve been so thoroughly brainwashed by Ancel Keys and the USDA that everybody knows meat is unhealthy, especially compared to something like kale.
It turns out that red meat, one of the most feared foods, is the most bioavailable source of nutrients.
It contains all of the protein, nutrients and fat we need to function – in just the right proportions. Also, many of the nutrients in meat are easier to absorb than their counterparts in vegetables.
This isn’t a coincidence. It’s because humans are carnivores.
A properly constructed carnivore diet, consisting of beef steak, beef liver and eggs is 100% nutrient sufficient.
Animal products are the only sources where we can get all our macro and micronutrient needs. Vitamins A, B12, D and K2 — nutrients that we cannot function without — are not prevalent in sufficient amounts in plant foods.
As weird as it sounds, steak and beef liver are really the pinnacle of a balanced diet.
We could survive off of animal products alone. The same cannot be said about plants or carbohydrates.
Modern grains, on the other hand, don’t have enough of these nutrients. You’d have to eat 27,000 calories on a traditional diet to get nutritional requirements. [*]
That’s a lot of Pringles.
Like a machine, humans require the right fuel to function properly. If you try to poor Vodka in a car to make it run, you’ll be looking for a new one soon. If you try to power a human being off of processed foods, pringles and pasta, you’ll be left with an obese, diseased and decrepit human.
If you power a human based on what they’re made to eat, it will have superpowers in comparison.
16. The Carnivore Diet Increases Your Discipline
Successfully taking control of your diet gives you much more than physical health. It trains discipline.
To counteract all the prevailing influences of society and eat the carnivore diet, requires a tremendous amount of willpower. Every single person and being around you will try to push you in the other direction.
But your conviction, independent research and discipline will lead you to optimal health, while your doctor continues to be overweight and get rich from prescribing people disastrous medications.
Losing weight and getting fit will give you much more than a better body:
- A long term mindset
- Work ethic
Get fit and change your life
Ready to Start? Carnivore Diet Meal Plan
You’re starting the carnivore diet. You’re ready to supercharge your health and change your life.
Whether you’re just annoyed by vegans or trying to cure a chronic illness, the carnivore diet can be the remedy.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not someone who can slurp down 2 bowls of pasta and a beer and feel totally fine the next day. If you are, well screw you, I’m jealous.
Countless times I woke up feeling like I had just been run over by a steamroller after the wrong meal. Eyes red with eczema flare ups and an impending date with my toilet.
I was tired of it. I was always tired in general.
It was time for a change. The carnivore diet cured me of these issues.
It can be a big change to move to such an extreme diet. But the benefits you’ll experience will help to push you through.
What Foods to Eat on the Carnivore Diet?
What is a perfect food?
Diets should be optimized around three things:
- Energy: Fat / Carbs
- Nutrient density: Micronutrients
- Lean Mass Gain: Protein Targets
(I’ll assume that everybody on this diet is trying to gain lean muscle mass. It is one of the most important ways to improve health and extend longevity. If you’re not yet, start now.)
Because of the ruminant digestion process, beef checks all three of these boxes.
Consuming a cow is the best and most bioavailable source of every single nutrient.
Fatty cuts of steak have a perfect fat:protein ratio and high nutrient density.
Beef ribeye has equal grams of protein and fat, which equate to about 70% fat and 30% protein by calories. This ratio is close to our hunter gatherer ancestors who ate anywhere from 20% – 35% of calories from protein [*]
A common issue on this diet is not getting sufficient fat. I recommend at least 65% of fat in your diet, but usually closer to 75%.
If you’re eating too little fat, you may suffer from what Viljammur Stefannson called rabbit starvation, which can result in headaches, lethargy and diarrhea. [*]
You want to look for cuts of beef that are close to equal grams of fat and protein.
The best cuts of beef to eat are:
- Ground beef
If you’re on a budget, go for the ground beef and roasts over steak. However, experiment with fat intake because with ground beef you may be getting substantially less fat.
Compared to other animals, ruminants and beef have a better omega 6 : omega 3 ratio which affects inflammation. Pork bacon has 8000mg of Linoleic acid whereas there is only 159mg for beef.
Beef is also much higher in almost every single nutrient than pork bacon.
This is a controversial topic, but you need to be eating organs on the carnivore diet. Optimal nutrition comes from eating an entire animal, nose to tail. One part of it does not contain sufficient nutrients.
This should make sense intuitively. A full animal contains all the nutrients it needs to function. Eating the full animal provides us with all of those nutrients. The closer to humans the better…okay let’s stop there.
Beef liver is nature’s multivitamin. It’s by far and away the most nutritious food you can eat. It stores and filters some of the most important nutrients.
Beef liver is packed with Vitamin A, B, C, K and other essential nutrients for the brain.
At first I was terrified of eating beef liver. There were horror stories about the taste.
But adding it to my diet, supercharged my energy and made my skin look better than someone fresh out of botox treatment.
Carnivore Diet Two Week Meal Plan
Ready to start? Here’s a two week meal plan to get you healed and to olympic level strength in just 14 days.
For a more comprehensive version of this meal plan and answers to FAQs, check out this article.
Carnivore Diet Week 1 Meal Plan
Carnivore Diet Week 2 Meal Plan
Adopting the carnivore diet was the best thing I ever did for my health. It’s not a fluke that it works so well.
The carnivore diet has supercharged the health of 10s of thousands of people. Change your life today.
If you’re interested in the carnivore diet, join my Facebook group Carnivore Nation. I also post daily on twitter. If you’re interested in a more comprehensive guide, sign up for my weekly newsletter for FREE access to the 30 Day Guide to Mastering the Carnivore Diet below.