Topic: Two Carnivore Science Papers
Carnivore Diet and Health Effects
Can a Carnivore Diet provide all essential nutrients?
FYI - As an experiment in 2017, I followed a strict carnivore diet for an entire year… eating nothing but animal-based products. My experience was positive and if I were still living alone, I’d still be a strict-carnivore for simplicity, ease of grocery shopping, and food preparation. Here is a search for “Carnivore” on my blog if you’re interested.
I am still a ‘full carnivore’ most days but I’m not dogmatic about it, I’ll eat a few plants occasionally, low carb veggies, fruits and berries.
Now… on to the science papers!!
Behavioral Characteristics and Self-reported Health Status Among 2029 Adults Consuming a “Carnivore Diet”
I am really excited to see this study! I hope to see more and more Carnivore science papers in the future!
Initial observation, I am not a big fan of ‘self-reported’ data… humans and their perceptions can be influenced by their own biases. If you doubt this, read up on the placebo effect in drug studies.
The mind is a power thing.
Under “Methods” section…
“A social media survey was conducted March 30 to June 24, 2020 among adults self- identifying as consuming a carnivore diet ≥ 6 months. Survey questions interrogated motivation, dietary intake patterns, symptoms suggestive of nutritional deficiencies or other adverse effects, satisfaction, prior and current health conditions, anthropometrics, and laboratory data.”
So this is a survey of what people say in social media? … ummm, I think that’s even worse than a health questionnaire sent to people to be completed in the privacy of their own home.
I’m just saying, what people say publicly… on Facebook, Twitter etc, may differ from what they would say in private.
“Prevalence of adverse symptoms was low (<1% to 5.5%). Symptoms included gastrointestinal (3.1–5.5%), muscular (4.0%), and dermatologic (1.1–1.9%).”
and then this…
“Participants reported high levels of satisfaction and improvements in overall health (95%), wellbeing (69–91%), various medical conditions (48–93%) and BMI (from 27.2 [23.5–31.9] to 24.3 [22.1–27.0] kg/m2). Participants with diabetes reported benefits including reductions in BMI (4.3 kg/m2, 1.4–7.2), HbA1C (0.4%, 0–1.7), and diabetes medication use (84–100%).”
The study mirrors what I’ve read, seen and experienced myself.
As noted earlier, I am a HUGE fan of the Carnivore Diet, so while I may not like the study design, I do believe the results are generally accurate.
Note: If you have tried a truly low carb, ketogenic diet and didn’t quite have the improvements in health you were expecting, I strongly encourage you give a strict carnivore diet a try.
Having said all that… I think it’s only fair to point out the limitations with the study.
Public peer pressure and group-think can affect how people not only perceive their results but can also pressure how people report the results on Social Media.
When literally 100’s or even 1,000’s of people are jumping in with success stories … some people could be less likely to self-report a negative reaction.
There are also those with an anti-meat bias who may be quick to claim a failure.
Next Carnivore science paper… batter up!
Can a Carnivore Diet Provide All Nutrients Humans Require to THRIVE?
My own experience tells me the answer is ‘yes’, and the personal experiences of several people I know (and trust) who have THRIVED on a carnivore diet long term confirm my own experiences.
And I have a science paper by Amber O’hearn that suggests that an animal based diet can supply all the nutrients humans need, to not only survive… but to thrive!
Here is the study link to the full text in pdf form.
Here is a summary graphic from the study.
Steve Note: If you go by the “Recommended Daily Allowances” or RDAs, I’ve been allegedly deficient in several nutrients for 12 years!!! … without any known side effects or symptoms.
… and yet somehow during those 12 years, I was able to wean off of drugs and insulin while maintaining truly normal weight and truly normal blood sugars… and I truly THRIVE!
Translation: Either the nutrient amounts reported in foods are inaccurate or the human body’s actual nutrient requirements are inaccurate… or both.
I vote for both. :)
And here’s the conclusion:
“Every essential nutrient can be found in Animal Sourced Foods (ASF), but not always in high levels in commonly eaten ones. Some nutrients are rarer than others and may require planning if the goal is to guarantee meeting established recommended daily allowances.
Because of systematic differences in metabolism and food matrix contexts, requirements on a carnivore diet may likewise differ systematically. Historical and clinical data suggest that all acute micronutrient needs can be met without plants, but long-term consequences are unknown.
Calcium levels in particular may be compromised over time, and merit further study, especially in order to disentangle effects of acidity, bone growth stimulation and interacting nutrients.”
The human body does not require dietary glucose to survive, nor thrive!
The human body does not require fiber to survive, nor thrive!
All the nutrients required by the body can be found in animal products.
This is what I tell everyone if a conversation turns to diet:
if your current diet requires you to take drugs to survive, give a truly low carb or ketogenic diet a try.
if you are currently on a low carb or ketogenic diet and you have NOT achieved all of your health and fitness goals … give a ‘strict carnivore’ diet a try. <3
Until next week… take care everyone!