Carnivore Diet Pros and Cons: Take On Dogma

The carnivore diet is gaining traction in quite a few dietary circles. But what effects does this diet have on your health? What are the carnivore diet pros and cons, is there any huge wins for an all-meat, zero carb diet? Pros Cons Helps naturally eliminate sugar and carbs Can be monotonous Aids weight loss […]
Josh Koop
April 14, 2020

The carnivore diet is gaining traction in quite a few dietary circles. But what effects does this diet have on your health? What are the carnivore diet pros and cons, is there any huge wins for an all-meat, zero carb diet?

ProsCons
Helps naturally eliminate sugar and carbsCan be monotonous
Aids weight lossImpacts the microbiome
Easy menu and food choicesThere is no enough scientific research on its long-term benefits
Increases testosteroneMight cause digestive problems
Eat as much as you wantIncreases the risk of colon cancer

Let’s dive into the benefits and risks that a carnivore diet can have on your health and habits!

Advantages and Benefits of the Carnivore Diet

The carnivore diet is becoming increasingly popular among anybody that likes to experiment with innovative ways of eating. Its short-term benefits are obvious and include rapid and steady weight loss. 

Testimonials report being happier, fitter, and able to focus for longer. Alongside cognitive abilities, this lifestyle can help with depression symptoms and reduce inflammation. 

Let’s get a little in-depth and dive into a carnivore diet and the benefits of this way of life. 

Pro and Con lists in note pad - Carnivore Diet Pros and Cons

Helps to eliminate sugars and carbs

Any diet out there has gray areas of food that you can or can't eat. The truth is that no matter how much you try to stick to the rigid portions and rules, it’s easy to fall for the occasional cheat day and end up giving up the diet altogether.

This situation is common as we seemingly can’t do without carbs, sugars, and, worst of all, processed food.

These items are everywhere in supermarkets and are a daily temptation while on a diet. If you find yourself struggling to eliminate candy bars, sweets, and cakes from your diet, the carnivore eating plan can help.

There is no question on whether a specific energy bar or smoothie is acceptable, as your menu will be limited. As you remove these harmful foods from your diet, you will see instant improvements!

Helps you lose weight and gain clean mass

While exploring your options, you must have found out that the carnivore diet does not require any calorie or portion counting. Or maybe this reason is what drew you to this lifestyle in the first place! 

The question you might have is if this strategy will really help you lose weight. You will be glad to know that yes, in the short term, an all-meat diet shows impressive results. These changes in your body happen due to:

  • Cutting out sugars, carbs, and processed foods
  • Your body burns fat through ketosis
  • It is much harder to have a high-calorie intake on this diet (more on this in a minute).

Makes your weekly food shopping run easier

The menu of a carnivore is limited to a few items, which mostly include meat, organs, fish, eggs, bone broth, lard, and, occasionally, dairy. If you have been spending money and time on hours-long shopping trips, this diet can help you focus on fewer, yet higher-quality products. 

The added bonus is that this diet won't require much meal prepping and planning. Just get your food ready as you are getting hungry! It is also easier to accomplish on a budget than many people will believe, many see it as more expensive but this is just an assumption.

Increases levels of testosterone

While there are no studies conducted specifically on the effects of a carnivore diet on testosterone, there is some evidence supporting that you can expect an increase! 

Scientists have been researching the outcomes of other low-carb, low-fiber, high-protein, high-fat diets. The testosterone levels of the participants increased by over 13%. Moreover, other studies connect the high consumption of fats with higher testosterone levels.

No need to count calories and portions

One of the main principles of the carnivore diet is that you can eat as much as you want until you are full! This feature is undoubtedly an anomaly if you compare it with the other dozens of diets out there today. 

However, eating more in this diet is not a synonym for weight gain! Indeed, even if you overeat at dinner, chicken only has 239 calories per 100 grams and beef only 250.

Moreover, the meat will cause you to feel full much faster compared to carbs or plant-based foods. Ultimately, this diet promotes a much more natural way of eating.

Risks and Cons of the carnivore diet

While you might already be in love with the carnivore diet, some essential downsides are worth considering before signing up for this lifestyle. Here is a rundown of the ones you should keep in mind.

There is a lack of studies on its long-term effects

First and foremost, uncertainty. The carnivore diet has been a great lifestyle choice for many users. Of course, it is helpful to lose weight, feel sharper, and even drink less coffee. 

However, there are not enough studies that support the idea that it is viable on a long-term basis. Indeed, within a few weeks of changing your eating habits, some essential changes in your body, digestive system, metabolism, and microbiota are visible. 

While they might be beneficial for one to three months, some scientists argue that the human body needs a variety of food groups to thrive. 

Can be monotonous

As we have mentioned above, the list of foods that are allowed while following the carnivore diet is limited and purely animal-based. 

This issue is the leading cause for giving up on it. If you are looking for a 1-month fad diet to get rid of a couple of extra pounds, it might not be a huge problem. However, for anybody that is thinking about a radical lifestyle change, eating the same ten ingredients on repeat might feel overly restrictive.

Creates a less varied microbiome

Every food group or ingredient that we ingest is processed and absorbed by the microbes that compose our gut microbiota. The microbiota composition changes depending on the environment and diet. 

When you start your carnivore journey, you effectively only need fewer types of microorganisms to break down animal flesh. These limitations cause the reduction of prebiotics. The prebiotics in your gut microbiome creates short-chain fatty acids (SCFA). 

In turn, these microorganisms are responsible for regulating the production of hormones and programming the immune systems. These developments in your gut can significantly impact your physical and mental well being. 

Can cause digestive problems

The first few weeks of the carnivore diet have threatening names such as the Trough of Despair — and for a reason! 

This adaptation phase can last anything between a few days and several months, depending on the individual. During this period, it is common to experience constipation, diarrhea, nausea, sleep issues, and increased sweating. These symptoms tend to fade away once your body has become used to the new lifestyle.

Might increase the risk of colon cancer

While weak, there is specific evidence that red meat can increase the risk of colon cancer. However, the real threat lies in the fact that meat tends to increase the levels of IGF-1, a substance deemed by many studies as cancer enabler. 

Final Thoughts

As we have seen, there are several pros and cons to consider before jumping on an all-meat lifestyle. While the carnivore diet might be extremely beneficial in the short term, there are not enough studies to support the long-term advantages it claims to have. 

If you are looking for a method to lose the extra kilos before summer, being a full-on carnivore will allow you to reach your goals much faster and without having to count calories and portions. 

However, if you are considering a 360-degree lifestyle change, you should explore the effects of it on your gut and health beforehand.

If you read this far you are amazing! I would love to hear from you in the comments below if I helped you gain knowledge and useful information, additionally I would like to know if I got anything incorrect that you believe should be researched more and updated. As always to get the word out please join our new Carnivore Rx group on Facebook and share this out on social media!

Sources

To the Carniovore Dieters Who Will Settle for Nothing Less Than Quality Meats

I have used ButcherBox now for going on nearly 3 years as finding meat that isn't raised on candy or junk like corn isn't easy. Instead of spending hours searching to get the best quality I have chosen to have ButcherBox deliver me high quality meats, from Ribeyes, Brisket, ground beef... Others may choose chicken with all cuts from whole to breasts, thighs, and more Then add in my side favorite which is heritage pork that tastes sooooooo much better than any store bought pork I have ever had.
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