Should You Eat Like a Carnivore? Experts Aren’t So Confident

The carnivore diet seems to be everywhere on social media these days. The trend has grown a loyal following of people claiming many benefits of the meal plan, but experts and nutritionists aren’t so sure. Are these followers actually helping or hurting their health?

Eating Like a Carnivore

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The carnivore diet focuses exclusively on eating animal products, eliminating all plant-based foods. Its current popularity has been fueled by social media influencers and certain health trends.

How the Diet Started

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The carnivore diet started rising in popularity because of claims that the meal plan could have significant health benefits. What started as a trend with a small following has quickly risen because of supporters claiming to have impressive results.

Influencer Endorsements

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Social media influencers have played a major role in popularizing the carnivore diet. They often share their personal success stories, many of them claiming to have converted from veganism, showing off their dramatic weight loss and health transformations.

Basic Principles of the Diet

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The carnivore diet is pretty simple: you can only eat meat, fish, and animal-based products occasionally. This means all other food products, including vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and seeds, are excluded.

A Meal on the Carnivore Diet

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A typical breakfast might include steak and eggs. For lunch, many of these participants would have grilled chicken, and then enjoy a serving of salmon or pork chops for dinner.

How a Carnivore Snacks

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When not eating a slab of meat for a meal, followers can enjoy beef jerky, pork rinds, or hard-boiled eggs for their snacks. These options help those on the diet to stay satisfied between meals.

Nutritional Composition

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The base of this diet is building a high-protein and fat, no-carb lifestyle. While diets like keto and paleo limit carbs, the carnivore diet aims to keep you full for longer by promoting food choices with no carbs.

Reported Benefits

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Followers have reported benefits such as weight loss, increased energy, and improvised mental clarity. Some also have claimed to experience reduced inflammation, improved blood pressure, and better digestion.

Weight Loss Claims

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The most common motivation behind trying the carnivore diet is weight loss. Typically high-protein, low-carb diets in general can help people to curb their appetite, leading to fewer overall calories consumed.

Energy Levels

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Advocates of the diet say it provides them with steady energy throughout the day. This is attributed to the lack of blood sugar spikes from carbohydrates.

Mental Clarity

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Some supporters have claimed that they have better focus and mental sharpness. They claim this comes from the natural high energy levels of protein-rich eating.

Simplified Eating

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Overall, the carnivore diet simplifies meal planning and eating out. With fewer food choices and complexity in meals, grocery and cooking can become more straightforward.

Social Media Buzz

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If you’re interested in reading testimonials and meal ideas, look no further than Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok. Many content creators are sharing their progress and tips, building a supportive community around the diet.

From Diet to Lifestyle

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Although technically considered a diet, many on social media are converting to the carnivore lifestyle. Rather than consuming this high-protein, no-carb diet on a limited basis, they are choosing to eat this way in the long-term.

Expert Concerns

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Many nutrition experts are skeptical about the diet’s long-term health effects. They worry about the lack of essential nutrients that are found in plant-based foods and believe the limited studies claiming there are benefits may not be showing the full-picture.

Nutrient Deficiencies

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Vitamins and minerals are both important parts of a healthy and balanced lifestyle. Without plant-based foods, this diet is lacking in fiber and the other mineral contents of plants.

Heart Health Risks

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The high consumption of red meat and saturated fats is especially concerning for followers’ heart health. Critics are concerned that it may increase cholesterol levels and risks of heart disease, as well as kidney disease and blood pressure.

Digestive Issues

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Fiber is essential to controlling digestive problems, like constipation and bloating. The long-term following of the carnivore diet could negatively impact dieters’ gut health.

Balanced Diet Debate

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Dieticians are emphasizing the importance of a balanced diet that includes all food groups. They argue that diversifying food intake is the best way to ensure overall health.

The Carnivore Cost

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Aside from health concerns, meat is typically more expensive than most plant-based products. The carnivore diet could be a risk to not only your health, but your wallet.

Popular, but Controversial

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The carnivore diet is rising in both popularity and controversy. While some people have reported benefits, many experts are still warning about the potential risks and advising those considering the diet to consult with their doctors before making the switch.

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