Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Diabetes? The Truth Is Complex

When you start to eat a carnivorous diet you should always understand your health and any issues that could arise. If you listen to the media and plant-based businesses they may try to scare you off.
Josh Koop
February 17, 2020

One of the more frequent "parrot" points made from Vegans and other plant-based activists is that meat "causes" diabetes. They warn that you should avoid red meat and a carnivorous diet because it will lead you to the development of Type 2 diabetes, nothing could be further from scientific truth.

Does a carnivore diet cause diabetes in humans? There are no studies available on human nutrition that can definitively state that this is even plausible. Humans have existed on meat since the dawn of humanity itself, while epidemiology studies may correlate this there are too many confounding variables.

Why then do all these people including the media and plant-based diet folks complain about meat causing cancer? It comes down to a lot of dogma rooted back to the old "saturated fat is evil" and the continued need to push our society in a vegan and plant-based direction.

Why Do People Blame Meat for Diabetes?

It started with a few studies which showed that there was a correlation between meat consumption and diabetes. These were from epidemiology studies which were based on self-reported consumption of foods and compiled together.

The problem which comes from these studies is there is always a large amount of confounding information and no control group will ever exist for nutrition. Many of those confounding issues are that the meat-eaters were more likely to smoke, drink, and have more lifestyle risks.

Since we can never have double-blind metabolic ward studies that would provide controlled answers to these questions we need to use more N=1 self-studies.

The researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) conducted a systematic review specifically to distinguish between types of meat. Their review found that eating processed meat was associated with a 19% higher risk of type 2 diabetes.

What isn't typically spoken about is that the researchers did not find any higher risk of diabetes among individuals eating unprocessed red meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb.

Carnivore Diet and Type 2 Diabetes

If there is one solid thing the carnivore diet can do for people with or moving towards being type 2 diabetic is control of blood sugar and enhanced visceral fat loss. A meat-based approach helps to keep your blood sugar levels perfect and allows for fewer insulin needs and typically movement to no insulin needs in many cases, as always speak with your physician before lowering or stopping insulin shots.

Video on 10 Things You Need To Know On Type 2 Diabetes From Dr. Ken Berry

A very large proponent of the ketogenic and carnivore lifestyles, Dr. Ken Berry is a practicing physician who has helped a great many people get their health back.

What Are The Benefits Of A Carnivore Diet For Type 2 Diabetes

There is a good chunk of solid benefits to following a carnivore diet when you are trying to prevent or manage type 2 diabetes. These range from better weight management and fat loss to lowering overall inflammation levels, better control of your blood glucose, and moving into ketosis can help with brain fog and overall fatigue.

Fat Loss, Specifically Visceral Levels

The carnivore diet is very helpful at helping you drop the very harmful levels of visceral fat you store around your midsection, this is the most deadly fat you have on your body! One thing that happens when you cut away the processed foods in favor of whole meats is better health and a chance for your body to start using up the visceral fat.

Reduction in Overall Inflammation

When you consume carbohydrate your body has a large level of inflammation which results in the storage of additional water. When you cut the carbs you lose water weight but also your body starts to heal from the consistent inflammation it has been living with for years and possibly decades.

Many people report that long-standing aches and pains all disappear within months of starting their carnivorous diet. This is true as if they reintroduced carbs the aches and pains came back again.

Stabilization of Glucose Levels

One issue which plagues many people eating a Standard American Diet is blood sugar levels, for many they are chronically elevated. The healing can't start until the glucose levels get under control, your first step towards getting healthy is to get control.

One good way to understand how you are doing is to use a blood glucose monitor to understand how impacted you are, before the diet to after. Our choice of monitor is the Dario Glucose Blood Monitoring Kit, due to being able to be directly inputted to your phone whether iPhone or android.

Less Brain Fog and Fatigue From Being in Ketosis

Ketosis happens when you lower your carbohydrate intake below 50g for most people. The best part of ketosis that most speak of is about is the lessening of a "brain fog" where many will report they have better focus than ever.

In addition, since your in ketosis, your body has the ability to utilize body fat for energy. This means you have more consistent energy available and this typically helps remove the 2pm energy lull which happens with most when they eat carbohydrates due to blood sugar highs and then lows.

What Are The Drawbacks Of A Carnivore Diet For Type 2 Diabetes

While there is a chunk of benefits, in the beginning, you will need to be prepared for the loss of carbohydrates that your body will crave. The change in diet can lead to some abrupt changes which can limit your blood sugar.

Risk of Hypoglycemia

Hypoglycemia generally means low blood sugar levels which can happen in the first weeks due to removing carbohydrates from your diet while your body learns to enable the ability to create it more efficiently from fat and proteins.

Hypoglycemia is a very real problem for some people which will take some adjustment if you continue to eat foods while starting your carnivore diet you should have fewer chances of this occurring.

Curing for Type 2 Diabetes - Does a Carnivore Diet Cause Diabetes
Some ways to help you with Type 2 Diabetes

Carnivore Diet Insulin Resistance Improvement

Insulin resistance will improve dramatically and with the change to a carnivore diet. This is due to your blood sugars finally getting more under control and allowing yourself to heal. The ability of your body to work through your visceral fat will allow you to start getting more healthy.

Final Thoughts

Taking the plunge to a carnivorous diet can be a little nerve-wracking due to the way the media and others perceive it. They will more than likely look at you like you are crazy, maybe even tell you it will end in you having a heart attack.

This is why you need to be more understanding and open to learning as this family and friend related stress may stop you before you ever even start. Don't fail to launch yourself into incredible health, instead show them what they are missing and be the key to more people learning to break free of the "societal norms".

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!

One final word from Dr. Berry on the many things people get told when they have diabetes which can cause them a world of harm.

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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