Dietary trends seem to come and go like passing fads these days, but a few stick around and gain a strong following of people who genuinely feel their new diet has improved their health. One of these is the carnivore diet, but not everyone’s convinced.
So, is the carnivore diet bad for you, or are the health benefits real? In this article, we’ll explain why carnivore diet is bad in some people’s eyes, and debunk some myths around this diet and the effects it has on both your mental and physical well-being.
If you’re new to the carnivore diet, or if you’re still deciding whether it’s right for you, this article will help separate fact from fiction and give you the honest, science-backed information you need to make the most informed decisions for your own personal health needs.
How the Carnivore Diet Works
Before we discuss why carnivore diet is bad for some people, let’s break down the diet itself. Basically, the carnivore diet focuses on removing many of the unnecessary, harmful, processed foods that the modern Western diet relies on.
Instead, it strips things down and takes us back to a more primal time, focusing on foods our ancestors ate and foods that our bodies were originally optimized for. It follows some of the same principles of paleo, but there are also many carnivore vs paleo differences.
Ultimately, the carnivore diet is centered around meat, fish, eggs, and certain dairy, and excludes fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, and other plant-derived foods.
But is the carnivore diet safe? What are the pros and cons of carnivore diets? Now that we’ve covered some of the basics, let’s take a look at why carnivore diet is bad in the eyes of some, and what you need to be aware of before starting a carnivore diet.
Why Carnivore Diet is Bad: Potential Challenges and Risks to Be Aware Of
Like any diet, the carnivore diet comes with some potential challenges and risks. But is the carnivore diet bad for you, truly? Let’s explore different elements of the carnivore diet and what you need to know to stay safe and healthy.
Nutritional Deficiencies and Imbalances
One of the main concerns with the carnivore diet is the risk of nutritional deficiencies. By excluding plant-based foods, followers may miss out on essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins (such as vitamin C), antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Over time, this can potentially lead to deficiencies, which can cause various health issues in the long term. Luckily, it’s fairly easy to avoid this situation by understanding your nutritional needs and investing in the right supplements for carnivore diets or trying a carnivore adjacent diet.
Impact on Digestive Health and Gut Microbiome
Plant-based foods are rich in fiber, which plays a pivotal role in maintaining healthy digestion and nurturing a diverse gut microbiome. The absence of fiber in the carnivore diet can lead to digestive issues such as constipation and may disrupt the delicate balance of gut bacteria.
On the other hand, too much plant fiber can impair the digestion of other essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals. Some people actually see improvements in their digestion after switching to the carnivore diet, so it really depends on your body’s unique needs.
Purported Long-Term Health Risks
While short-term effects of the carnivore diet may include improved energy and weight loss, the long-term health implications of sustained carnivore dieting are less clear. As more research is performed in the near future, we’ll develop a better understanding of the long-term effects of the carnivore diet.
Social and Lifestyle Implications
Let’s be honest - any type of strict diet can impact your social life. It makes it more challenging to go to restaurants, your friends might be hesitant to cook for you, and not everyone will understand why you’re doing what you’re doing.
However, the most important thing is that you’re doing what feels right for you. Find restaurants that have carnivore diet options, invite your friends over and cook for them, and keep some healthy meat snacks on hand so that you don’t have to miss out when others are eating.
Your budget is definitely something you need to factor into the carnivore diet. High-quality meat, particularly grass-fed and organic varieties, can be quite expensive. That said, a cheap carnivore diet is possible without sacrificing your diet’s quality.
Plus, you’ll find you save quite a lot of money by not buying carnivore diet fruits and vegetables, plus other staples like bread, grains, and soda which won’t be on your carnivore diet shopping list. Take the time to find some carnivore diet meal ideas that align with your budget.
Tips For Overcoming Challenges and Offsetting Risks
So, you can see why carnivore diet is bad in the eyes of some people. There are concerns about its long-term health effects, its ability to cause nutrient deficiencies, and its impact on your social life and bank balance.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to make your transition to the carnivore diet smoother, and get past some of the challenges and risks associated with the diet. Follow these carnivore diet hacks to get started!
Adopting a Balanced Approach Within the Carnivore Framework
Although the carnivore diet may seem quite restrictive, it’s important to keep it as balanced as possible. Don’t forget to include eggs - nutrient powerhouses that are so versatile and delicious at any time of the day.
If you’re struggling with the restrictiveness of the carnivore diet, try to get more creative. Try these carnivore snack ideas to keep you fuelled throughout the day, and explore different cooking methods to liven up your new diet.
Incorporating Essential Nutrients: Supplements and Varied Meat Choices
Including a variety of meats, organ meats, seafood, and animal-derived fats can offer a broader spectrum of essential nutrients. Additions like bone broth can add diversity to the diet while staying without breaking the rules.
If you’re concerned about how much meat to eat on carnivore diet, don’t forget that you can also get your nutrients from certain dairy products, including some cheeses. The best cheese for carnivore diets is low-sugar options like parmesan, mozzarella, and cottage cheese.
Monitoring Health Markers and Consulting Healthcare Professionals
Regular health check-ups and monitoring of key health markers become crucial on the carnivore diet. Periodic blood tests to assess nutrient levels and other vital health indicators can provide insights into any deficiencies or health concerns.
Because of the relationship between the carnivore diet and cholesterol, it’s also important to monitor your cholesterol levels, especially if you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease.
Make sure your doctor is aware of your new diet so they can help you understand which tests are necessary, which nutrients to focus on, and how to enjoy the benefits of the carnivore diet without sacrificing any elements of your well-being.
Gradual Transitioning and Listening to Your Body
If you’ve been consuming a traditional Western diet, switching to the carnivore diet can certainly be a shock to the system. It’s normal to experience some short-term side effects of carnivore diet, which may include flu-like symptoms, constipation, and irritability.
Generally, these symptoms are relatively mild and resolve within a few weeks as your body adjusts to its new diet. Staying hydrated and getting plenty of rest can help you deal with the adjustment as smoothly as possible.
It’s also important not to suddenly throw away everything in your fridge and immediately switch to a 100% carnivore diet. Instead, make the transition gradually. Start by cutting out processed foods and sugars, then grains, then fruits and vegetables.
Most importantly, listen to your body along the way and do what feels right for you.
Benefits of Carnivore Diet: Does the Upside Outweigh Potential Downside?
The carnivore diet may seem like a scary proposition, but it doesn’t have to be! With the right planning and preparation, you can transition to a diet that can unlock a whole host of health benefits.
So, is the carnivore diet good or bad? It challenges some of our traditional conventions around nutrition, and there are some surprising benefits of carnivore diet, which we’ll discuss next.
Weight Loss and Metabolic Health Improvements
So, what does a diet of mostly meat do? Although there are keto vs carnivore differences, they are similar in that they are both very low in sugar and carbohydrates. How many carbs on carnivore diet? Because meat is so low in carbs, your carb intake becomes almost zero.
The absence of carbohydrates, particularly refined sugars and grains, can also lead to reduced insulin spikes and better management of metabolic conditions like diabetes. While you can’t use the carnivore diet to reverse diabetes entirely, it can be a valuable tool in managing the disease.
Simplicity and Ease of Meal Planning
Yes, the carnivore diet is restrictive, but it’s also straightforward. With a focus primarily on animal-based foods, meal planning is made easier and less time-consuming than diets involving diverse food groups.
Potential Benefits for Autoimmune and Inflammatory Conditions
Carnivore diet inflammation is another important benefit of this diet. By eliminating inflammatory plant-based foods from your diet, you can improve digestion and reduce chronic inflammation, which in turn lowers your risk of certain cancers, diabetes, and auto-immune disorders.
If you suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory bowel diseases, or certain inflammatory skin disorders, the carnivore diet might be your ticket to reduced inflammation and relief from painful, frustrating symptoms.
So, is the Carnivore Diet Good or Bad?
So, is the carnivore diet good or bad? At the end of the day, it’s exactly what you make it. If you take the time to carefully plan your meals, learn about your nutritional needs, and ease yourself into the carnivore diet, you will likely enjoy its incredible benefits without the downsides.
On the other hand, if you rush into the carnivore diet and don’t take your nutritional needs seriously enough, your experience with the diet may not be as positive.
When done properly, the carnivore diet can help you achieve elevated cognitive function, improved energy levels, weight loss, reduced inflammation, and even better protection against certain cancers.
Closing Thoughts on Why Carnivore Diet is Bad and How to Make it Good
Hopefully, this discussion has shown you why carnivore diet is bad in the eyes of some, and what you can do to avoid some of the risks and challenges associated with this diet.
By varying your choices of meat, adding seafood, eggs, and certain low-sugar dairy products, and supplementing your diet with essential nutrients, you can unlock the incredible health benefits that this diet can deliver.
Also, make sure you’re staying fuelled throughout the day with the best 0 carb snacks from Carnivore Snax. Our meat chips are buttery, melt-in-your-mouth delicious, and made from 100% grass-fed, regeneratively-raised meat.
Designed for convenient snacking on the go, our lightweight carnivore chips are available in an incredible range of flavors, including ribeye chips, steak chips, lamb chips, beef chips, brisket chips, chicken chips, and pork chips.
Set yourself up for success on the carnivore diet with our tasty, nutritious meat-based snacks!