Carnivore Diet for Gut Health?

What is the Carnivore Diet?

“Eat meat, drink water – At its heart is a focus on simplicity rather than complexity, subtraction rather than addition, making this an incredibly effective diet that is also easy to follow.”

No fruits, vegetables, plant-based spices, oils, or seasonings.

A lot of the accounts that I stalked on instagram or in the blog forums (meatrx.com), were accounts of people dramatically changing their lifestyles from eating highly processed foods in addition to alcohol (aka the standard American diet) to just eating meat, fish, and eggs. People claim that the Carnivore Diet will:

  • Improve gut health
  • Cause weight loss
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Reduce inflammation
  • Increase testosterone levels
  • Prevent nutrient deficiencies

Benefits

It’s easy to follow. And in case you need support, you can get a coach for $18 at meatrx.com to help support you through your carnivorous endeavors.

Reduced appetite. Protein is one of the most satiating macronutrients. Eat more protein and you will feel full!

Cons

It is very restrictive. When it comes to weight loss, a higher protein and lower carbohydrate diet can lead weight loss because you are reducing calories and eating more satiating foods. However, the Carnivore Diet is a dramatic and more restrictive way to do it. Denying yourself blueberries at breakfast seems a bit extreme to me. And forget your morning coffee, water only!

You are missing essential nutrients. We know that fruit and vegetable intake is important for reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and research supports that phytonutrients from plants protect our DNA. Long-term, that means protection from cancers and all-cause mortality.

Animal products contain a lot of saturated fat, and it’s believed that both of these compounds can increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.. A recent systematic review concluded that diets high in saturated fatty acids led to negative effects on the gut microbiota.

Why it will improve your gut health (temporarily)

Improving gut health is one of the biggest benefit claims that people report after committing to the carnivore diet.

When someone has gut issues, they start to notice they are reacting to foods like gluten, coffee, alcohol, dairy, and even fruits and vegetables. By reducing these foods and eliminating the discomfort caused by low grade inflammation, no doubt it will make people with an unhealthy digestive system feel better. The problem is that we are not getting to the root cause. When I work with clients, we remove certain triggers with the goal of re-introducing these foods to include as many and hopefully all of the foods.

Takeaways

Like any highly restrictive diet, the carnivore diet can help you lose weight and reduce symptoms of poor gut health, but I would argue that It is unhealthy to follow long term.

Eliminating any food group, temporary or long term, is likely to trigger an unhealthy relationship with food.

As a dietitian, my goal is to improve the health of my clients while including MORE foods into your diet, with subtraction only ever being used as a temporary stage to heal the gut.

In great health,

Erin

Published On: January 25, 2020Categories: Gut Health, Diets

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