Carnivore Diet – Generally, a healthy diet program involves all elements of food, including fruits and vegetables. Interestingly, there is one type of diet that actually ‘forbids’ the consumption of these two sources of fiber, namely the carnivore diet.
The carnivorous diet is a strict diet that consumes only animal sources of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, and certain dairy products. This diet program does not involve other foods, including fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. This meat-only diet is claimed to promote weight loss, improve mood, and control blood sugar.
However, the main reason for increasing meat consumption was not referring to its benefits in losing weight, but as an alternative to reducing carbohydrates. People who try the carnivore diet believe that high-carbohydrate diets are the cause of chronic disease. They also think that carbohydrate intake that is not accompanied by regular exercise can produce fat.
That’s why too much intake of carbohydrates can gain weight quickly. As a result, carnivore dieters believe that not getting carbohydrate intake can reduce fat intake in the body.
In general, a carnivorous diet will eliminate the consumption of plant foods the diet and only consume animal protein sources.
Several types of food are usually included in this diet, including:
- Butter, and
- Bone marrow
People on this diet are also advised to drink water and bone broth. However, drinks such as tea, coffee, and other drinks made from plants are not allowed.
Unlike other diet programs, this “meat-eating” diet does not have specific guidelines regarding limits on calorie intake or portion sizes.
This diet only suggests eating as often as desired based on the type of food recommended.
Each diet program has its benefits or goals. Here are some of the benefits of the carnivorous diet that the perpetrators believe.
1. Lose Weight
The main goal of the carnivore diet is to lose weight. The reason is, protein intake helps you feel full longer after eating. This can reduce calorie intake from other nutritional sources so it is believed to help you lose weight.
In addition, the consumption of beef and other low-fat proteins can increase the metabolic rate. As a result, the body will burn more calories. Therefore, a high-protein diet allows you to feel full and eat fewer calories. It’s just that, the effect of changing this diet only occurs in the short term.
2. Control Blood Sugar Levels
Besides being believed to be able to lose weight, the carnivore diet is claimed to be able to control blood sugar levels. This is because this diet “alienates” carbohydrates, including cakes, candy, and other high-carbohydrate sweet foods. Consuming too many sources of carbohydrates and sweet foods can certainly trigger spikes in blood sugar levels. Therefore, limiting refined carbohydrates and sweets is important in controlling blood sugar levels.
Even though it is considered to be able to lose weight quickly, the carnivore diet saves so many risks for many people. This risk arises from eating patterns that only focus on consuming protein sources and do not follow balanced nutrition guidelines.
Here are some of the risks of consuming more high-protein foods and avoiding other important nutrients.
1. Chronic disease
One of the risks of a carnivore diet can occur is causing various chronic diseases, such as kidney problems and heart disease. How not, this diet only consists of animal protein sources that contain high saturated fat and cholesterol. Meanwhile, saturated fat increases bad cholesterol (LDL), which increases the risk of heart disease. In addition, several processed types of meat, especially bacon or sausage, have a fairly high sodium content. Consuming too much sodium is known to increase the risk of high blood pressure, kidney disease, and other health problems.
2. Does not meet nutritional needs
Not only does it trigger the risk of chronic disease, but a carnivore diet has the potential to prevent the body from getting enough nutritional needs. Meat and other sources of animal protein are classified as nutritious. However, that does not mean that meat is the only food that needs to be consumed. So, a diet that only focuses on protein causes the body to lack nutrients. Conversely, a diet that involves plant foods can reduce the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes. Therefore, excessive consumption of meat without being accompanied by the intake of other nutritional sources is not recommended.
3. Digestive problems
Given that meat does not provide the fiber needed to smooth the digestive process, a carnivore diet can trigger problems in the digestive organs. Fiber is a complex carbohydrate that cannot be digested and is good for improving the work of the digestive organs. This type of carbohydrate can only be found in plant foods (from plants). Lack of fiber is often associated with constipation problems and can interfere with intestinal health. This turns out to weakens the immune system and triggers the risk of colon cancer. Compared to the benefits, the carnivore diet saves more risks to your body’s health. What’s more, this diet program does not offer an effective nutritional balance to maintain the ideal body weight.
Hence, it is important to consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting any diet. This aims to help find out the type of diet that suits your health condition.