Here is my take on the Carnivore Diet and my summary of Mark’s main points:
Firstly (in my opinion) there is a massive elephant in the room with this diet – AKA the planet and the destruction we are doing to it by raising cattle, livestock, fish etc to meet our insatiable appetite for meat and dairy products (see this latest New Scientist Article on the destruction to the planet meat and dairy is doing via the resulting Nitrogen). I’m no angel here (I sell collagen and bone broth powders which come from cattle), but a diet that goes out of it’s way to drastically increase meat consumption is playing with fire in my humble opinion.
Putting the environmental concerns to one side there seems to be no evidence of detrimental effects to health of following the Carnivore Diet. However this comes with 2 big health warnings – (i) As it is a new diet there is no long term data only anecdotal evidence, (ii) We have no populations on earth (living or historically) who solely ate meat. Every high protein tribe etc also ate berries, milk and other plants in small proportions.
Here are Mark’s (and my) top 10 recommendations if you decide to dip your toe in the water and follow the Carnivore Diet:
Include Eggs in your diet. They will give you choline which is good for brain health, and vitamin D. Eggs are packed full of nutrients and relatively low in carbs anyway.
Eat nose to tail – this means consuming liver and other offal along with your meat. These supply key nutrients that meat alone cannot provide. Our ancestor hunter gatherers ate the whole animal.
Include Seafood in your meat diet – Oysters provide Zinc, Salmon and other fatty fish provide Omega 3’s and fish livers provide Vitamin D. Whole tinned Sardines provide necessary calcium (via the bones you are eating). These vitamins and hormones will be missing from a solely cattle meat diet.
Buy the best quality meat, fish and eggs you can afford. This is not the time to skimp as the difference between the nutrients provided from grass-fed (and organic) meat versus industrial farmed meat can be vast. Avoid the chlorinated chicken!
Eat some Nuts & Mixed Seeds – 2-3 Brazil nuts will provide selenium, and a small handful of nuts and mixed seeds will provide essential oils for your brain and some fibre.
Take a break once or twice a week – give the planet a break and also your body some rest. This can be in the form of intermittent fasting or by eating only vegetables and salads once or twice a day. Mark notes that eating meat will keep your mTOR switched on constantly which is not good for your body long term.
Add spices to your meat – these will act as antioxidants against the charring of the meat and will also add other nutrients.
Use the bones from the meat to make Bone Broth or buy this ultra clean bone broth – this will add necessary collagen to your diet. which balances out the high levels of methionine from the meat.
Monitor your health – short term you may feel great but long term stripping out every carb from your diet may have effects on your body (we need carbs for our tears). Listen to your body!