Carnivore diet a ‘terrible idea’ (2024)

Carnivore diet a ‘terrible idea’ (1)

April 5, 2024 — Some social media influencers are promoting a so-called “carnivore diet” made up almost entirely of animal products such as beef, butter, and eggs, claiming that it has cleared their skin and helped them get in shape. While the diet may help people lose weight in the short term if they cut out foods high in sugar and refined carbohydrates, it may have long-term health consequences, said Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Walter Willett in a March 30 CNBC article.

By skipping fruits and vegetables, people likely won’t get enough fiber in their diets, which can affect gut health. They also will miss out on carotenoids and polyphenols, substances with antioxidant properties that have been linked to lower risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer. Animal products also contain high amounts of saturated fat and cholesterol.

In addition to the potentially adverse health effects of the diet, Willett, professor of epidemiology and nutrition, noted that industrial production of animal-based foods is harmful to the planet. “There’s also the issue of justice that basically the Global North—Europe [and] the United States—cause most of the problems with climate change that we have today, and this sort of perpetuates that.”

For all these reasons, he said, the carnivore diet “sounds like basically a terrible idea.”

Read the CNBC article: Fitness influencers swear by the ‘carnivore diet’—it’s ‘basically a terrible idea,’ doctor says

Photo: iStock / Hakase

Carnivore diet a ‘terrible idea’ (2024)


What are the bad results of the carnivore diet? ›

By skipping fruits and vegetables, people likely won't get enough fiber in their diets, which can affect gut health. They also will miss out on carotenoids and polyphenols, substances with antioxidant properties that have been linked to lower risk of chronic diseases such as Type 2 diabetes and some types of cancer.

Why did Paul Saladino quit carnivore? ›

But in a recent interview with podcaster Thomas DeLauer, Saladino said that after five years on the carnivore diet his testosterone levels tanked. He also believes the diet is the cause of his sleep issues and joint and muscle pain.

Why do I feel so bad on a carnivore diet? ›

In the carnivore diet, fats become a primary source of energy. If you're not accustomed to a high-fat diet, this sudden change can result in feelings of nausea or even vomiting. This happens because your gallbladder and pancreas, responsible for producing bile and enzymes to digest fats, need to ramp up their activity.

Why do people quit the carnivore diet? ›

Health practitioners and individuals alike have contributed to the dialogue about the carnivore diet's sustainability and nutritional adequacy. A diet devoid of plant-based foods could potentially lead to deficiencies in certain vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

What is the downfall of carnivore diet? ›

High in fat, cholesterol, and sodium

Given that the carnivore diet consists solely of animal foods, it can be high in saturated fat and cholesterol. Saturated fat may raise your LDL (bad) cholesterol, which may increase your risk of heart disease.

What happens if you eat carbs on a carnivore diet? ›

Do the carnivore diet and carbohydrates mix well? Digestion problems can arise if you eat carbohydrates on the carnivore diet. This can result from a spike in blood sugar, which can cause heartburn, bloating, or nausea, affecting how food is digested.

Why did Joe Rogan quit the carnivore diet? ›

Rogan shared with Huberman, “The problem that I had with pure carnivore was that I workout very hard.” The main issue with this diet that the podcaster faces is his struggle and low-energy with his workouts. He continued, “And when I workout very hard with pure carnivore. I was struggling. I din't like it.

How long did Joe Rogan do the carnivore diet? ›

On his Instagram account, Rogan shared that after 30 days on carnivore “lots of aches and pains went away” and that he'd seen “improvements in my vitiligo.” He also describes how carnivore supported stable energy, weight loss, and improved mental health.

What did Jordan Peterson eat on carnivore diet? ›

Dr. Shawn Baker's carnivore diet includes chicken and fish and limited dairy products like cheese. The Jordan Peterson diet, however, includes just ruminant meat (beef, bison, lamb, and goat), salt, and water. Nothing else.

What are 3 disadvantages of the carnivore diet? ›

Risks of the Carnivore Diet
  • Heart Disease. ...
  • Vitamin and Mineral Deficiencies. ...
  • Digestive Health Issues. ...
  • Complications for People With Certain Conditions.
Apr 12, 2024

Is carnivore diet bad for your heart? ›

Following the Carnivore diet long-term could increase your risk for a number of serious health conditions, such as colorectal cancer and heart disease.

Is carnivore diet bad for gut health? ›

Potential for kidney damage: Excessive protein consumption over a long period could strain the kidneys, especially in those with pre-existing kidney conditions. Impact on gut health: The lack of dietary fiber may negatively affect the gut microbiome, potentially leading to constipation and other digestive issues.

What do doctors think of the carnivore diet? ›

Velasquez notes that as a registered dietitian, she wouldn't recommend this diet to anyone because of the very high intake of red meat, which is “one of the leading carcinogens that we consume regularly. Several cancer studies have alluded to a high consumption of red meat and increased risk of colon or rectal cancer.”

Do you still poop on carnivore diet? ›

It may sometimes cause constipation. The diet is contrary to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans , which emphasize the importance of fiber for good health. Some may worry about becoming constipated due to this diet's lack of fiber.

What happens if you don't eat fat on carnivore diet? ›

Meeting your fat carnivore diet macro goals will protect you from protein poisoning. If you eat too much protein and not enough fat you will get protein poisoning. This condition occurs when your liver can no longer upregulate urea synthesis needed to metabolize protein.

Are there negatives to the carnivore diet? ›

However, red meat, high in saturated fat, is also allowed on the diet. Saturated fats can cause inflammation. Additionally, a high-protein diet (such as the carnivore diet) can be harmful to the kidneys—and can even promote gout and kidney stones.

How long should I stay on the carnivore diet? ›

How long should you do the carnivore diet? With no short- or long-term research on the effects of this diet, it is inadvisable to eat only meat for extended periods of time, because you'll deprive yourself of essential nutrients.

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