If you want to try the keto diet but don’t think it’s hardcore enough, then the carnivore diet is the latest healthy eating fat you need to try.
What is the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet is exactly what it sounds like: You eat meat — and only meat (save for the occasional egg and some dairy). Unlike the keto diet that limits carbohydrates to only 30 or so grams a day, this diet involves literally zero carbs.
The carnivore diet food list is simple: You can eat meat from any animal, including beef, pork, chicken, turkey and fish. Organ meats are often encouraged, but you should process them as little as possible.
"Most of the time I ate grass fed ground beef or bison as that was the most affordable along with some fish and some organ meat," Andy Lindquist wrote on Medium of his carnivore diet food list.
"Some varieties of carnivore diets include milk, cheese, butter, eggs, coffee, spices, salt, and seasonings, while other carnivore diets only include meat and water," NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist Rob Arthur tells Metro.
So if you’re going to adopt the all-meat diet, you need to be comfortable with eating the same things over and over.
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"Regarding taste things did start to get repetitive after a while but when you see the results happening it is a bit easier to get over," Lindquist added in his post.
Carnivore diet results
Speaking of seeing results, what kind of carnivore diet results are people experiencing?
Arthur said the people who get the best carnivore diet results are those who suffer from "digestive problems, autoimmune issues (like fibromyalgia and rheumatoid arthritis) or other health issues that are exacerbated by fiber or other bioactive compounds found only in plants," he tells Metro. "You might think of the carnivore diet as one flavor (no pun intended) of elimination diet."
Lindquist dropped about 10 percent body fat and got to a 32-inch waist after being on the diet for 90 days.
"I lost 30 pounds in 90 days and experienced no ill health effects or nutrient deficiencies," he wrote. "I felt fine the entire time and I did not notice any significant improvements in my mood or mental health as some people experience."
Is the carnivore diet healthy?
Devotees of the carnivore diet say you can get all of your nutrition from a diet full of meat, but not everyone is convinced.
"If you completely remove vegetables and fruits from your diet you are going to deplete your body of phytonutrients, like lycopene, resveratrol, allicin, beta carotene and lutein," Jason Piken, an NYC-based chiropractor and nutrition coach, tells Metro.
"Not only will you miss out on phytonutrients, your microbiome will also suffer,” he adds. “There are beneficial microbes that live in your intestines that play a huge role in our overall health and many studies have shown that plants and fiber are vital to the health of our gut microbes."
There are plenty of anecdotes on short-term success of the carnivore diet, but the lack of concrete scientific studies into the effects of the carnivore diet mean we don’t know the long-term effects of an all-meat carnivore diet.
If you still want to limit carbohydrates but want to eat other things besides meat, the keto diet is one option.
"The ketogenic diet is low in vegetables but they are still a part of the program," adds Piken. "I will challenge anyone to find me research that states that removing plants from our diet is a good thing."