As the Carnivore Diet picks up speed with people feeling better, healing disease, and performing at new heights, the largest segment taking the plunge – by far – are people going from Keto to Carnivore.
It has become the natural progression. Bad diet to Keto to Carnivore.
And while the Keto and Carnivore are similar in many ways, there are some critical differences that people need to be aware of when making the transition.
Unlike going from a SAD (Standard American Diet) to a Ketogenic diet where getting “fat-adapted” can be a tough transition to get through, those going from Keto to Carnivore are already fat-adapted.
Yet, going from Keto to Carnivore often results in “Round 2” of the “Carnivore Flu.”
The Carnivore Flu
In going from Keto to Carnivore the transition symptoms are not about getting fat-adapted or switching to a fat-based metabolism or using ketones for energy.
If you zoom out and look at both diets the glaring difference is vegetables.
A typical ketogenic diet consists of a lot of vegetables. And removing these can cause some side effect. And it’s not because of any vitamins or minerals or antioxidants they might contain. It’s the fiber.
In the Carnivore Diet there are no plant-based foods. And thus, no fiber.
As you might expect, this results in many people experiencing a significant change in bowel movements.
A major function of the colon is to reabsorb water. Since fiber does most of this work in a diet high in plant-based foods, the colon gets lazy. It quits doing its job. It’s like a muscle that hasn’t been worked out. It gets weak.
Going from a Ketogenic Diet to a Carnivore Diet results in a drastic change in fiber intake. And since the colon hasn’t gotten a good workout in a while, and is now being asked to do its job, it’s lost some of its capacity. It needs to “on-ramp.” During this “on-ramp” water gets through. Loose stools are common.
Fiber isn’t there to absorb the water and the colon needs time to re-build its “water-absorbing-muscles.”
This “on-ramping” of the colon can take several weeks.
So not only are loose stools common, so are infrequent bowel movements.
Meat is absorbed extremely efficiently in the small intestines. Not much goes to waste.
Many people mistakenly think they are constipated when in fact they just aren’t making as much waste.
After a time, stools normalize, become firmer (though soft is still common), and more regular. But this “regular” tends to me a more infrequent regularity schedule.
Fiber Part 2
Fiber is food for bacteria in the large intestines.
Bacteria love fiber. They ferment it and create the gases that make you unpopular at parties.
Removing fiber makes some of these bacteria unhappy. There is research that shows that the microbiome can signal hunger and cravings as the bacteria do everything they can to get you to feed them before they die.
We know very little about the microbiome. Most of what’s written is pure speculation. Research is lacking. But this is a “re-balancing” of gut microflora – I’d argue – is probably a good thing.
This leads us into the next transition symptom.
A nice, but dangerous, feature of the ketogenic diet is that food can be made to taste like SAD foods.
Artificial sweeteners abound.
Because of this many people never beat the addiction to sugar and carbohydrates. They can’t imagine black coffee. Stevia is a major food group for most ketogenic dieters.
Completely removing these can result in some strong craving signals.
Luckily, meat is delicious, and crushing these cravings with steaks isn’t that terrible of a sacrifice.
In fact, you may experience the next step in cravings.
Meat. And wanting more and more.
Many people that come from a Ketogenic Diet are use to maniacal measuring, counting, and testing.
They track macros, calories and ketones. They restrict themselves and their diets to extreme degrees.
And even though they eat a “healthy” diet, many are malnourished, depleted in vitamins and minerals, calories and cholesterol, protein and pounds.
In this state, when they are told they can eat meat until satisfied, without measuring or monitoring, the flood gates break loose.
The body craves the nutrition, and their brain relaxes from famine mode to feast mode. It can take weeks, months, or longer until the appetite regulates.
This can result in weight gain to the surprise of many. And this weight gain can lead to fear and back to restriction.
This is a mistake.
The key is to let the appetite re-regulate and normalize. Let the body fuel up on the nutrition it needs and desries. Be in it for the long haul.
After a time the appetite regulates and the cravings disappear. In fact, all you will want to do is eat a steak. Everything else seems non-satisfactory.
This is when amazing things start happening. Fat starts to melt off. Muscles begin to bulge. Diseases disappear. The brain is bolstered. You can go long periods of time without eating or thinking about food. There is a new found freedom in what seems a very restricted diet.
On the flip side, some people experience a lack of appetite.
Meat is satiating. Protein is satiating.
This can lead some people who transition from Keto to Carnvore to under-eat.
Then comes the fatigue. The low energy. The crabby mood.
The key is to eat.
Early on, hunger is not the only signal to listen to as to when to eat. If you are tired, dragging, crabby – eat.
Making the Switch from Keto to Carnivore
The two major transition symptoms in switching from Keto to Carnivore are bowel changes from a lack of plant material and fiber as well as appetite swings. Being aware of these and having a game plan and commitment to overcome these issues is key to a successful transition from Keto to Carnivore.
In the “Ultimate 30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” there is a list of common symptoms and what to do about them. There is a section on “What to Eat” and “What to Avoid,”“Supplements,” and perhaps most importantly, at the end there is a “WARNING” about how not to mess it all up.
And if you need further help in making the switch from Keto to Carnivore you are more than welcome to join the private facebook group “Carnivore Corner” or leave a message in the comments, or shoot me a message on instagram, or whatever work best for you.
Before going carnivore, most people have experimented with various diets. Going from Keto to Carnivore is one of the most common paths. You probably wouldn’t be considering a carnivore diet if you didn’t have that curious experimenter mentality. The one that searches for answers, bucks the status quo, and calls their own shots.
Good for you.
You may have experimented with adding fats to foods if you’ve done keto, things like adding butter and MCT in coffee, or tried intermittent fasting protocols (IF), and take numerous supplements.
I’ve done them all.
If you are like me, you probably have an idea about how many calories you should eat, what macro ratios to follow, how often and how much to eat.
Our natural tendency is to instantly want to modify, measure, and manipulate a new diet to what we have learned and tested to be best.
We want to experiment with The Carnivore Diet but we want to add in our own flare like:
Supplements (vitamins, ect…)
With the Carnivore Diet, you absolutely don’t want to do this.
Believe me, no one was more analytical than me.
No one was more worried about getting fat than me.
It’s the skeleton that’s always hanging in my closet.
That said, these diet methods that I and many others have used should not be used with the carnivore diet initially. They interrupt the body’s ability to interpret hunger and natural satiety signals, which often results in not eating as much as the body needs to properly deal with adaptation and healing.
There are many metabolic processes that need to be adequately supported in regaining proper homeostasis and surviving the adaptation period.
Many people feel very hungry when starting, yet are afraid to eat. Afraid of getting fat. Believe me, I understand.
It is common for people to need to eat twice as much when starting as they eventually do once their systems have healed. This could take 30 days or 3 years.
The adaption period is different for everyone. Adaption is not like a light switch.
It’s not like you will either be fully adapted or not. Different systems take different amounts of time.
For example, it may take your gallbladder 2 weeks to onramp to a high fat diet where you finally can get off the toilet (unless you take the necessary precautions..) but your testosterone may be in the toilet for 6 months until it is roaring again like a 17 year old male. Females – this is equally relevant for hormonal rebalancing.
Once hormonal systems have re-balanced in proper homeostasis for thriving, you’ll be glad you hit the “reset” button.
If you are worried about fat gain, tell yourself you are doing an experiment (I think you should give yourself 90 days).
The First 30 days = Adapt (Level 1)
The Next 30 days = Heal (Level 2)
The Final 30 days = Thrive (Level 3)
If you want to go back to diet restrictions after the experiment, do so.
I even have a “tinkering” method for carnivores who are thriving, yet want to get “carnivore cut” – you can – I’ll help you, but lets get healthy first.
Hunger talks in many languages like feeling weak and tired, or irritable and depressed, or via poor concentration and brain fog.
Listen to the body.
Take the hint – Eat.
It’s the solution. It’s the cure.
The thriving carnivores I know threw out all worry and preconceived notions about diets, supplementing, caloric needs, macros, and dogma…and ate meat until satisfied.
They errored on the side of eating too much rather than not enough.
It is common to have some cravings early on, but these go away.
However, if you try and tinker – they likely won’t.
If you’ve done keto or LCHF or you name it, you are probably aware of the amount of mad cravings, hunger, and intervention tricks that go on.
I would know – I was a master at them.
Almost everyone I know that uses forced protocols to reduce food intake, to try and curb cravings, rides an unsustainable rollercoaster that never ends.
They never come to realize what it actually feels like to overcome metabolic dysfunction.
It feels amazing.
For my first physique competition, I got very lean. Competition prep is the definition of food and calorie restriction. It’s “controlled starvation.”
After the competition, I was going to let my self have a treat.
I didn’t know about the psychological impact from extreme food restriction.
It is nearly impossible to stop at a treat.
With “one treat” the flood gates burst opened. My body fat was higher 3 days after that competition then when I started the prep 16 week earlier.
I didn’t know it at the time, but this is extremely common among bodybuilding/fitness community.
Interestingly, I see this exact same thing with keto/LCHF/ZC/Carnivores that use methods of forced restriction. Eventually they give into “one treat” which is never “one treat.”
Besides what is mentioned in this report, don’t interfere with your body’s natural rebalancing until you’re healed. Once healed, I tell people they can loosen up with “tinkering tests” because they KNOW what it feels like to be healed. So they KNOW if their tinkering has positive or negative impacts.
Supplements are not only NOT needed, but they will interfere with restoring your proper homeostasis including vitamin and mineral levels.
You are going to need to ignore common held beliefs around daily requirements of x,y, and z.
Here’s the thing: daily requirements for a SAD diet can’t be strapped onto a carnivore diet. When you add sugar and plants to a diet the body has to compensate and external supplementation might make sense to balance and help the assault from these foods. This does not translate to someone on a carnivore diet. Proper nutrient blood levels in a carnivore necessarily must be different than non-carnivores.
I already know – you’re going to be tempted to continue taking your MCT, BPC, whey protein, collagen, creatine, BCAAs, beta alanine, caffeine, magnesium, zinc, B vitamins, fish oils, D3, C, and probiotic – but do an experiment – set them aside.
Don’t Start If…
If you aren’t willing to eat enough meat to stay satisfied without manipulation, you should not start a carnivore diet.
Not to sound like an infomercial, but the carnivore diet cured these all for me.
The carnivore diet has cured the incurable. Meatheals.com, World Carnivore Tribe and r/ZeroCarb are teeming with 10s of thousands of people who have reversed serious health conditions.
It’s almost too good to be true.
Carnivores are doing the exact opposite of all mainstream nutritional recommendations.
If your friends and family still look at you like you’re eating chloroform when you gobble down steak and eggs…This article is for you.
Here are the 16 reasons why the carnivore diet works so well.
What is the Carnivore Diet?
First off, what is the carnivore diet?
The carnivore diet centers around a simple equation:
Meat + Water = Health
The carnivore diet is a high fat, high protein diet where you eat only animal products. Yes, that’s right. No more grains. No more sugar. And no more vegetables.
It’s also a variation of the Ketogenic diet as cutting out the carbohydrates will put you into ketosis. This may sound wacky at first. But there are 16 scientifically backed benefits, that are too good to ignore.
The carnivore diet took the world by storm when Shawn Baker appeared on the Joe Rogan podcast. He is an orthopedic surgeon and athlete. Dr. Baker is in his 50s and is absolutely ripped. He recently set two indoor rowing world records and he attributes his success to the carnivore diet.
Other prominent advocates include Mikhaila and Jordan Peterson, the clinical psychologist. Both have reversed lifelong autoimmune and mental health issues with the carnivore diet.
Carnivore Diet Benefits: 16 Reasons It Works
1. The Carnivore Diet Cuts Out All Added Sugar
I’ll start with one of the least controversial points. Sugar isn’t good for you. If you still think sugar is okay to eat, that’s almost as bad as thinking Santa is real.
Sugar is damaging for four main reasons:
It can stick to cholesterol particles, which can lead to atherosclerosis
It’s highly glycemic. Sugar spikes insulin and can lead to insulin resistance over time.
When metabolized, it produces AGEs which lead to aging, chronic disease and diabetes [*]
Glucose is oxidatively stressful, causes inflammation and can produce reactive oxygen species [*]. Oxidative stress plays a role in almost every disease.
A study of 29 people found that those consuming just 40 grams of added sugar had an increase in inflammation, insulin resistance and weight gain [*].
Glucose can also feed tumor growth. This is explained by the Warburg Effect, which determined that cancer cells depend on glucose to grow [*]. Unlike normal cells, they cannot use Ketones. Just like you, your tumor cells are addicted to sugar.
Sure, some foods obviously have sugar that most people try to avoid: candy, sodas, gatorade, coffee with added sugar.
But it’s also hidden in a number of common foods people eat. Corrupt food companies have snuck this toxic crap into tons of foods to make them taste slightly better.
It’s not just junk food. Beef jerky, almond milk, coconut water…you name it. They all have added sugar.
And fructose is even worse than glucose. Fructose is like a missile that goes directly to the liver where it’s converted to fat.
It is 20x more likely to cause fatty liver than glucose alone.
2. The Carnivore Diet Can Cure Leaky Gut
Do you have:
Skin issues like eczema or acne?
Have you been extra irritable this week?
Are you bloated?
It turns out they may all have a similar cause. Leaky gut.
According to Zsofia Clemens at Paleomedicina, 90% of people have gut issues. Gut health is related to everything.
Leaky gut is a condition when the tight junctions of the small intestine open and allow proteins and toxins into the bloodstream.
The small intestine is ~50% of your gut. It is responsible for 90% of food absorption and has the largest mass of immune cells in your entire body [*].
Everything you eat directly touches this vital organ. And it’s very vulnerable.
The only barrier protecting what you eat from your bloodstream is just a single layer of mucous in the gut, linked together by proteins [*].
But this barrier can be broken, which creates gaps between the proteins in the cellular layers of your gut [*].
When the barrier breaks, toxins and proteins can invade the bloodstream causing your body to freak out. It’s like a bartender catching an underage drinker inside.
Your immune system is mobilized to expel it, which creates inflammation. Similar to when somebody gets kicked out of a bar, everybody stops and takes a look. Nothing functions properly in that moment.
If you have incessant chronic issues, this could be why.
So far, the carnivore diet has been one of the few clinically shown ways to reverse intestinal permeability and the attendant consequences.
Paleomedicina in Hungary has used the carnivore diet to completely reverse intestinal permeability. They’ve taken ‘incurable’ diseases like Type 1 Diabetes, Crohn’s Disease and metastatic tumors and used the power of steak to destroy them [*] [*]
3. The Carnivore Diet Removes Refined Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are converted to glucose in your body (sugar). Many foods on the bottom of the food pyramid are no different than candy. Thanks again for your services USDA!!
Refined carbohydrates are especially harmful. They’re processed carbohydrates that have had the few good bits stripped out of them. In contrast to a whole grain, a refined grain has had the bran and germ removed which house all the nutrients.
Because all the fiber has been removed, refined carbs are digested very rapidly and cause major blood sugar spikes.
This can lead to insulin resistance over time, especially when consumed with fat. In this study, an Asian population with a diet high in rice developed insulin resistance [*]
Refined carbohydrates also damage the gut. Sugar and carbohydrates are fermented by the gut and colon which can exacerbate GI issues and lead to leaky gut. This is why a well established treatment for IBS, recommends low carbohydrates to starve your bacteria [*]
Over time, refined carbohydrate consumption has been linked to inflammation and obesity [*].
Refined carbohydrates also increase blood triglyceride levels, which is a risk factor for Type 2 Diabetes and Heart Disease [*]. Fat hanging out in your bloodstream is a sign that something is seriously off.
Eating pasta is no different than eating straight sugar. Seven ounces of cooked spaghetti has the same amount of sugar as 4 12 oz cans of pepsi.
4. The Carnivore Diet Cuts Out Most Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates range from simple sugars to complex carbohydrates. But even unrefined carbohydrates can be bad for you. Many forms of starch, for example, raise blood sugar as much as eating glucose [*].
Below are some reasons why cutting out all carbohydrates may be beneficial (yes, even the “healthy ones”):
High carbohydrate diets can lead to insulin resistance, especially if combined with fat [*]
Insulin resistance is an energy overload problem, whereby your cells become unresponsive to insulin’s action. They refuse to stuff more energy into the cells and thus insulin levels remain persistently high.
This is generally caused by eating a substantial amount of highly glycemic carbs and fats together. The carbohydrates shut off fat burning, and the fat you eat goes directly to your storage.
As a result, you’ll have both high levels of energy in your bloodstream and cells that are packed with energy. Your pancreas pumps out more and more insulin, but the cells throw up a middle finger and refuse to let any energy in. This cycle occurs over and over until insulin levels in your bloodstream persistently rise.
Your body is at war with itself.
All in all, insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia have played a role in more deaths than WW1 and WW2 combined.
The carnivore diet is the most effective way to reverse insulin resistance.
If you want to live longer, you need to lower fasting insulin levels.
6. The Carnivore Diet Removes Toxic Vegetable oils
There were two disastrous consequences of the Food Pyramid…also known as the “Lets Turn Americans into Lab Rats and Feed Them Food That Enriches Procter & Gamble Experiment”.
Hopefully this can convince you that cutting out vegetable oils is one of the most important things you can do for your health.
Vegetable oils are one of the main vehicles that have driven our health off a cliff.
What are vegetable oils? First off, they’re not vegetables at all. A better name would be industrial processed seed oil sludge. They’re actually made from seeds and not vegetables.
When the AHA — i.e. the mouthpiece for Procter & Gamble — persuaded us that natural, delicious and healthy saturated fats were actually bad for us, we had to turn to polyUNsaturated fats.
And this was great for the big consumer companies. The seeds were traditionally a waste product, so they were cheap. Nobody knew what to do with them, and somebody had the twisted idea to turn them into cooking oils.
The manufacturing process is appalling [*]. It entails pressing them at high pressure and using toxic solvents like Hexane to extract the oil. If watching this video doesn’t dissuade you from eating them I don’t know what will.
It looks like something you’d be paid millions to eat on Fear Factor. Not an everyday staple in your diet.
The concentration of this toxic sludge has skyrocketed in your diet.
Soybean oil consumption increased 1000x in the 20th century. Linoleic acid now is 8% of calories. All because the USDA told us the foods we’ve been eating for millions of years are “bad for us” and we should replace them with this garbage.
What are the consequences of this shift? Just about every disease can be linked to vegetable oil consumption. Everything from Alzheimer’s to Cancer to Heart disease.
Most importantly, it turns out that the bad cholesterol, “LDL”, is only bad when it’s damaged by unsaturated fats [*].
Saturated fats increase HDL, the “good cholesterol”
Scientists have now realized LDL particle size matters more than total LDL number. Diets high in saturated fat and low in carbs increase LDL size (which is a positive) [*]
High fat diets leads to ketosis and reduces oxidative stress and inflammation.
Because saturated fats don’t have double bonds, they’re more resistant to oxidative damage [*]
Saturated fats have a glycemic index of 0
Lastly, studies continue to debunk the myth that saturated fat causes heart disease. This review from 2014 looking at 76 studies, found no link at all between saturated fat and heart disease [*].
8. The Carnivore Diet Increases Nutrient Density
Nutrients are vital for all cellular function. They play a role in everything from growth to immune support, to brain function. Many also have antioxidant properties that can protect against diseases like cancer and Alzheimers. [*] [*].
But most people are extremely deficient in vitamins. Some common ones are below:
Vitamin D: 77% of American’s are deficient in Vitamin D [*]
Vitamin B12: 3% of adults over 50 have extremely low vitamin D levels. 20% have borderline deficiencies. [*]. Amongst Vegan’s and Vegetarians vitamin b12 deficiency is much more common
Vitamin A: Vitamin A is only found in sufficient amounts that your body can absorb in animal products. It’s likely that if you’re not eating enough animal products, you’re deficient. Deficiencies amongst children and women are the most common. Approximately 127 million preschool-aged children and 7 million pregnant women are vitamin A deficient. [*]
Iron: 25% of the world is deficient in iron [*]. Anaemia is even more common amongst vegan
Calcium: Over 20% of moen and 10% of women over 50 are deficient in calcium [*]
Zinc: 1.1 billion people are deficient worldwide [*]
This paints a disturbing picture. No wonder chronic disease is so prevalent. Adequate vitamin intake is necessary for optimal function.
The brain is a micronutrient hungry organ and deficiencies tend to make their mark there.
For example, this study showed that Vitamins C and E can reduce oxidative stress in the brain and the rates of neuronal death [*]. Vitamin E intake tends to be lower in Alzheimer’s patients [*].
Zinc, another mineral many are deficient in, is critical for brain growth, serotonin synthesis and dopamine transport. Iron is also necessary for dopamine synthesis [*]. These minerals cannot be found in abundant quantities in plant products.
Meat and animal products have the most and most bioavailable form of every nutrient. If the entire world was on the carnivore diet, there would be no nutrient deficiencies.
Remedying these issues will extend longevity and health.
9. Intermittent Fasting
Intermittent fasting isn’t a pivotal part of the carnivore diet. Nor is it prescribed. But people naturally tend to find themselves eating in a shorter window, which brings tremendous health benefits.
Dietary recommendations have destroyed your health by changing both:
(1) what we eat and
(2) when we eat.
If you want to improve your health, you need to restore both to your evolutionary ways.
We’ve already covered what to eat. What about when to eat?
In the early to mid 1900s, most people only ate 3 meals a day. But in the late 1900s, people started to eat 6-7 times a day. Doctors recommended many small meals to “speed up your metabolism”.
Guess what? The only thing that’s speeding up is how fast you give money to big cpg and big pharma companies.
You can only get energy from two sources: Food or body fat. But you can’t get energy from both at the same time. When you’re getting energy from food, this is called the fed state. When you’re getting your energy from body fat, this is called the fasted state. Insulin regulates this process.
When you eat insulin levels increase, which signals to your cells to suck in energy from your bloodstream. And when you sleep, insulin falls, telling your body to use stored energy to run your vital organs. This is why you don’t die when you sleep.
But most people are eating all day, and not giving their bodies enough time to lower insulin levels and burn body fat. In fact, it takes ~12 hours to lower insulin far enough to actually burn body fat. But instead, most people shut this natural process off by eating a high carb meal first thing in the morning.
Instead, start intermittent fasting. Leverage your 8 hours of sleep time fasting and skip breakfast. Eat in an 8 hour window and fast from dinner to lunch time.
Intermittent fasting is restricting your feeding to a window less than or equal to 8 hours. Pretty much the exact opposite of what all American’s do today.
Fasting is extremely beneficial. It has been shown to:
Your body can use two types of fuels: glucose (from carbs) and ketones (from fat).
Everybody on the carnivore diet is in ketosis to some extent. When you stop fueling your brain and body with glucose, fat needs to take its place.
Triglycerides (fat molecules) cannot be used as fuel for all cells, so the liver converts some to ketones to be used instead. Beta-hydroxybutyrate is the most prevalent one, making up 70-80% of ketones in the blood [*].
Choosing between glucose and ketones is like deciding between rocket fuel and sludge that produces a massive amount of toxic waste.
Beta-hydroxybutyrate is a much better fuel than glucose. It has major benefits:
Upregulates FOXO genes which regulate oxidative stress, insulin sensitivity and influence longevity. [*]
Ketones improve mood and have antidepressant like effects [*]
BHB reduces oxidative stress in the brain and may be beneficial in preventing neurodegenerative disease [*] [*]
BHB lowers inflammation and blocks NLPR3 inflammasome [*]
Increased fat loss while preserving lean muscle mass and performance [*]
Ketones can slow tumor growth by starving them of their preferred fuel, glucose, and lowering IGF-1 [*]
Ketones are almost like a horcrux for health. On the carnivore diet your ketones will usually be around 0.5 millimolar and higher.
11. The Carnivore Diet Increases Cholesterol
This may sound counterintuitive. The carnivore diet tends to increase cholesterol levels. And that’s a GOOD thing.
Scientists and doctors have cholesterol ALL wrong.
There’s no such thing as “good and bad” cholesterol. What’s bad is when your cholesterol gets damaged (or oxidized), and your immune system traps the damaged cholesterol in your artery walls.
Well, on the carnivore diet, you tend to have big fluffy and healthy cholesterol. It’s only when you damage LDL particles with sugar and vegetable oils, do they cause issues.
Additionally, LDL plays an indispensable protective role. LDL is protecting you from disease, not causing it.
LDL can actually bind to pathogens so that the immune system can expel them. When you have inflammation, LDL tends to increase because your body uses it as a protective mechanism.
So, the reason it’s high in those with heart disease is because LDL binds to pathogens! It’s getting rid of damage so that it doesn’t spread
LDL cholesterol doesn’t actually cause heart disease. Inflammation leads to heart disease and high LDL.
So low levels of cholesterol isn’t necessarily a good thing after all. This may explain why Zoe Harcombe found that there was a negative correlation between total cholesterol and mortality when she examined data from 192 countries.
We’ve had our eye on the wrong ball for far too long. Trying to lower cholesterol was completely counterproductive AND it persuaded people to eat foods that actually cause heart disease.
Cholesterol is also vital for brain health. The brain makes up 2% of our body weight, but stores over 20% of our cholesterol.
Weird that our brains are hoarding something that’s so damaging…right? How stupid of our brains!
This shows how backwards our perspective on cholesterol is.
The brain clearly needs cholesterol. Numerous studies show that those with low cholesterol levels have poor mental health and cognitive function.
This study showed that amongst those > 85, low cholesterol was associated with impaired memory [*].
Low cholesterol also damages mental health, which may explain the startling rise of mental health issues today. Low cholesterol is associated with an increased risk of suicide and increased depressive symptoms [*] [*]
You should celebrate your high cholesterol on the carnivore diet. Not fear it.
Many people try to add things to become healthy. The next big superfood. Exercise. Juice cleanses.
But often times the best way to improve is by removing your negative habits. The beauty of the carnivore diet is that it’s addition by subtraction. It first and foremost removes all the junk in your diet.
The first step to health, that I enumerated above, is asking yourself what do you NOT want to do. No refined cabs. No vegetable oils. No antinutrients. Etc.
And then you can start to figure out how to selective add to improve yourself.
There are a number of benefits to this.
The first is that removing things tends to not have side effects and unintended consequences. Whereas adding things does. But big corporations and big pharma can’t make money from removing things, hence why it’s rarely recommended as a strategy.
A lot of complicated things don’t need to be. It’s made to seem that way so people don’t notice it’s truly bullshit.
13. The Carnivore Diet is Simple
“Nothing is more simple than greatness; indeed, to be simple is to be great.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify.” – Henry David Thoreau
One of the biggest benefits of the carnivore diet is how simple it is. Simplicity is about identifying what is essential and eliminating the rest.
Food doesn’t need to be complicated. Most diets require a degree in “making shitty foods taste good” and suck up time and energy. Even on Keto, for example, people spend time counting their fat calories and devising ways to make their healthy dishes taste like the unhealthy ones they’re addicted to (like cauliflower pizza).
Sure, that’s fun. But food doesn’t need to be so complicated.
The more time you can free up from eating and thinking about food, the more you can spend energy on things in your life that are high ROI (return on investment).
The carnivore diet eviscerates this paradigm. Steak. Eggs. Beef liver. Beef Tallow. Cast iron pan. What other way of eating can be complete with just 5 things? NADA.
Instead of spending hours preparing your meals and thinking about food, you can read a book. Start a business. Hang out with loved ones. Do the things that actually matter and use food as medicine to optimize your energy for the things that really matter.
14. The Carnivore Diet Increases Your Protein to Energy Ratio
Ted Naiman has described and popularized the protein to energy ratio of foods as a determinant of health. 85% of American’s are overfat, and according to Ted eating a low protein to energy diet is the reason why.
For millions of years of evolution, humans never had to worry about eating too much energy (carbs & fat). Protein was abundant from animals, but they were fairly low in energy.
Now in one grocery aisle you can pick up more energy than hunter gatherers had in a year. Our brains are wired to stock up on energy, and grocery stores tap into this evolutionary programmed desire.
The reason the protein: energy ratio is important is because humans have a strong protein drive. Strong is putting it lightly. If we don’t get enough protein, we keep on eating and searching for food until we do.
So if you’re not getting enough protein, you continue to eat until you satisfy those needs. You overcompensate by eating too much energy. Think of this like a drunk person at the end of the night at a bar. You’re desperate and will go for anything.
This is exactly what happened. Now thanks to the introduction of big CPGs weapons of choice — sugar, flour and vegetable oil — all abundant energy sources – energy has gone up massively compared to protein
Now, over 40% of Americans don’t get enough protein [*]. It’s fallen to 10% or less of calories.
But, without knowing it, humans search for 15%+ protein intake. When we lower it, even just slightly, our body massively overcompensates with lower satiation and increased carbohydrate and fat intake. This study showed just a 1% decrease in protein led to 14% increase in CHO + Fat intake [*]
The reverse also happens. That’s why the fastest way to lose weight is to increase protein. This study showed that a 5% increase in protein led to a 3 TIMES decrease in fat mass [*]
This study showed that 100% OF PEOPLE eating 30% of calories from protein reversed pre-diabetes
But this will never be mainstream because there isn’t much money to be made in telling people to up their protein. The carnivore diet increases protein and will eviscerate body fat.
No wonder why people are so fit on the carnivore diet.
15. The Carnivore Diet Removes Inflammatory Vegetables
Everybody knows that vegetables are good for you. But as we’ve seen over and over again, just because people believe something doesn’t mean that it’s true.
Despite all of the other ridiculously controversial parts of the carnivore diet, this somehow tops it. Many vegetables are BAD for you.
Vegetables don’t want to be eaten, of course. And over millions of years of co-evolution with insect and animal predators they developed defense mechanisms.
Almost every vegetable has a toxin in it that can be irritating. The table below summarizes some of the toxins that you can find in plants.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussell sprouts and cauliflower produce sulforaphane when cut or chewed [*]. Sulforaphane can be damaging to health and even cause cancer [*]. Sulforaphane also competes for Iodine and can cause hypothyroidism [*].
Nightshades have alkaloids which damage fat and carbohydrate metabolism and DNA function. Limes, carrots and celery have photosensitizers which can irritate animals when they go in the sun. Reservatrol has been shown to inhibit androgen precursors [*]. Polyphenols can cause DNA damage [*].
There are also a number of what are referred to as anti-nutrients in vegetables.
Phytates, in both beans and tortillas, inhibit zinc absorption [*] and decrease nutrients’ bioavailability. If you consumed zinc with black beans, you will absorb only about half the zinc.
Cutting out vegetables was a game-changer for me and for many others.
For most people, you’ll probably be okay because you’re adapted to eliminate the compounds from vegetables.
But if you already have a damaged gut and autoimmune system, the vegetables can exacerbate this immune response and make problems worse. Try without them for 30 days.
16. The Carnivore Diet Increases Your Discipline
Successfully taking control of your diet gives you much more than physical health. It trains discipline.
To counteract all the prevailing influences of society and eat the carnivore diet, requires a tremendous amount of willpower. Every single person and being around you will try to push you in the other direction.
But your conviction, independent research and discipline will lead you to optimal health, while your doctor continues to be overweight and get rich from prescribing people disastrous medications.
Losing weight and getting fit will give you much more than a better body:
A long term mindset
Get fit and change your life
Ready to Start? Carnivore Diet Meal Plan
You’re starting the carnivore diet. You’re ready to supercharge your health and change your life.
Whether you’re just annoyed by vegans or trying to cure a chronic illness, the carnivore diet can be the remedy.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not someone who can slurp down 2 bowls of pasta and a beer and feel totally fine the next day. If you are, well screw you, I’m jealous.
It can be a big change to move to such an extreme diet. But the benefits you’ll experience will help to push you through.
Carnivore Diet Two Week Meal Plan
Ready to start? Here’s a two week meal plan to get you healed and to olympic level strength in just 14 days.
The carnivore diet is centered around fat, muscle meat and beef liver. These foods together will transform you into a warrior. They provide all the nutrients you need in their most optimal quantities. But most importantly, they will reduce all the inflammation in your diet.
Does eating extra fat via Fat Bombs and Bullet Proof Coffee make you fat? Here’s the short answer. Yes and no. If you are slender, then eating fat will not make you fat. If you are obese/ overweight then yes, eating more fat will make you fat. Let me explain. The answer, of course, has nothing to do with calories (an entirely outdated and useless concept) and has everything to do with physiology. Let’s back up a bit.
Under a ketogenic/ Low Carb High Fat diet, people are encouraged to eat the large majority of calories as fat. Generally, they should eat real food, until full. Some people have taken this to mean that they should add extra fat to everything they eat – witness the popularity of ‘Fat Bombs’ – treats or foods with very high fat content or Bullet Proof Coffee – coffee with the addition of extra oil (MCT, coconut etc). There has been some people who find this slows down weight loss and others that feel it does not. What’s happening?
Insulin is the major driver of weight gain. When you gain body fat, the body responds by increasing secretion of a hormone called leptin, which tells the body to stop gaining weight. This is a negative feedback loop, designed to prevent us from becoming too fat. This is a survival mechanism because obese animals who cannot move properly will get eaten. This is also one of the reasons why people say “We are genetically programmed to eat everything in front of our face” or “We are programmed to get fat, but food was scarce before” are completely idiotic mistaken. So why doesn’t it work for us?
Insulin and leptin essentially are opposites. One tells our body to store body fat and the other tells it to stop. If we continue to eat fructose, causing insulin resistance and persistently high insulin, then we will also persistently stimulate leptin. Like all hormones, a persistently high hormone level leads to downregulation of hormonal receptors and the development of resistance. So persistently high leptin levels eventually leads to leptin resistance, which is exactly what we see in common obesity. So, lean people are leptin sensitive and obese people are leptin resistant.
Let’s now think about the physiology of eating dietary fat. Remember there are only 2 fuels for the body – you either burn sugar or burn fat. When you eat carbohydrates or excess protein, it goes to the liver, through the portal vein and stimulates insulin, which tells the body to start burning sugar, and store the rest as glycogen or fat. Dietary fat, on the other hand, does no such thing. It is absorbed in the intestines as chylomicrons, goes through the lymphatic system to the thoracic duct and directly into the systemic blood circulation (not the portal circulation of the liver). From there it goes into the fat cells to be stored. In other words, the fat does not affect the liver, and therefore does not need any help from insulin signaling and goes directly into fat stores.
So, doesn’t that mean that eating fat makes you fat? No, no at all. Let’s take the lean person (leptin sensitive) first. Remember the story of Sam Feltham’s 5000 calories/day experiment? He ate an enormous number of calories per day, and still did not gain weight (53% fat, 10% carb). As you eat lots of fat, it will get stored into fat cells, but insulin does not go up. As fat mass goes up, leptin does as well. Since the lean person is sensitive to leptin, he will stop eating in order to let that body weight go back down. If you force-feed him, as Sam did, the metabolism ramps up to burn off those extra calories.
Now, the situation for the obese, leptin resistant person. As you eat lots and lots of fat, insulin does not go up. However, that ‘fat bomb’ does indeed go directly into your fat stores. You respond by increasing leptin levels in your blood. But here’s the difference. You body doesn’t care. It is resistant to the effects of leptin. So your metabolism does not go up. Your appetite does not go down. None of the beneficial weight loss effects of eating that ‘fat bomb’ happens. And yes, you will need to eventually burn off that extra fat you’ve taken in.
The practical implication is this. If you are lean and leptin sensitive, then eating more dietary fat, like cheese, will not make you gain weight. However, if you are trying to lose weight, and have some problem with obesity/ insulin/ leptin resistance, then adding extra fat to your meals is NOT a good idea. Once again, you can see that we do not need to go back to that outdated, and useless notion of calories. Obesity is a hormonal, not a caloric imbalance.
What can you do instead? Well, eating more carbs is not a good idea. Neither is eating more protein. Nor is eating more fat. So, what is left? That’s what we call fasting.
At this point, you might worry about nutrient deficiency. That is why so many people talk about nutrient density. How can you get the maximum nutrients for the minimum calories? This is muddled thinking. Why do I care? Ask yourself this – are you worried about treating obesity or nutrient deficiency? If you choose obesity, then worry about obesity. You don’t need more nutrients, you need less. Less of everything.
If you are instead worried about nutrient deficiency, then treat the nutrient deficiency, but let’s be clear – THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE TREATMENT OF OBESITY. If you are worried about, say, Vitamin C because you have scurvy, then by all mean, take foods dense with Vitamin C. But it will not make a bit of difference for the treatment of obesity. The issue of obesity and the issue of nutrient deficiency are completely different. Do not confuse the two. I treat obesity, not beriberi disease. So I worry about reversing hyperinsulinemia/ insulin resistance/ leptin resistance. If you are leptin resistant, then no, adding more fat does not make you lose weight. Fat bombs, for you, are not a good idea.
I think quite a few people misunderstood the point of this post, and think I suggest a low fat diet. No, I suggest eating a low carb, high fat diet until you are full when you eat. This is the point – if you have 2 choices:
A – Eat LCHF until full.
B – Eat LCHF until full, and then eat more butter, oil, BPC and fat bombs
You should choose option A. I would have thought that this is common sense, but apparently, many people choose option B thinking it better.
Source: Article by Dr. Jason Fung (https://thefastingmethod.com/who-needs-to-avoid-fat-bombs-and-bpc/)