19-02-2022 / Health and Fitness

Carnivore diet plan

The carnivore diet is a change in the lifestyle which eliminates all plant foods and depends on animal foods (meat, eggs) and animal products (milk and other dairy products) as the main source of energy.

Carnivore diet plan
Manasa Krishna PerumallaManasa Krishna Perumalla

Manasa Krishna Perumalla

B.Pharm, Research Associate

Table of content

Introduction

The carnivore diet menu consists of zero carbs and only meat. The Carnivore Diet is also known as the Zero Carb Diet or the All-Meat Diet.

There are many reasons why you might want to follow the carnivore diet like weight loss, immunity booster, increased insulin sensitivity, improved mental health, recovering digestion problems. 

What is a Carnivore Diet?

  • Eating only animal foods that exclude all plant foods like vegetables, fruits, seeds, grains, legumes, and nuts.

  • Like most carnivore (meat-eaters) animals, you are encouraged to eat only animal foods and animal products.

  • The carnivorous diet menu includes animal foods like meat, fish, poultry, and animal products like eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt and other dairy products. 

  • In short, the carnivore diet includes food that walks, flies, and swims. A carnivorous diet menu is the absolute opposite of a vegetarian diet.

  • The Carnivore Diet is a low-carb diet that helps the body to burn fat for energy instead of carbohydrates. This process is called ketosis and it can be achieved by eating a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet like the Carnivore Diet.

  • People claim that the carnivore diet can cure heart disease and other chronic diseases like diabetes. But there is no scientific evidence to support this. 

There are different types of carnivore diets based on the amount of meat consumption

3 Different types of a carnivore diet 

Depending on the intake of animal foods, animal products, and plant foods the carnivore diet is differentiated into:

1. Standard carnivore diet

In this carnivorous diet menu, you are allowed to eat all types of animal foods and animal products including dairy. 

2. Adjacent carnivore diet

The adjacent carnivore diet involves some plant foods of your choice. 10 -20% of plant foods and 80-90% of animal food and animal products are included in the adjacent carnivorous diet menu.

You can include plant foods like roots and fruits only avoiding the green and leafy vegetables.

This selection of plant foods in the carnivore diet plan helps you avoid allergies.

3. Strict/Only carnivore diet

The carnivore diet plan of strict carnivore diet eliminates all the plant foods and dairy. This carnivore diet plan is also called as Lion Carnivore Diet comprises meat, water, salt.

This type of carnivore diet eating out is the most limiting process removing all intolerant foods giving you a chance to control metabolic health and essential nutrient intake.

But this carnivore diet is rich in animal fats that may lead to nutrient deficiencies and health issues in meat eaters.

Food list of a carnivorous diet

Carnivore diet plan

Have a look at foods to eat and avoid during the carnivorous diet menu

Foods okay on a carnivorous diet menu

  • Animal foods: Carnivore diet plan comprises meat, lamb, pork, goat in the animal foods section.

  • Seafood: Meat eaters can include fish, shrimps, prawns, crab, shellfish, oysters, sardines, anchovies, scallops in the carnivorous diet menu.

  • Poultry foods: Turkey, duck, goose, quail, chicken can be part of the carnivore diet plan.

  • Eggs: All types of eggs in the quantity necessary can be used in the preparation of a carnivorous diet menu.

  • Dairy products: The carnivore diet plan is permitted for only low-lactose foods like hard cheese, butter, heavy cream.

  • Seasoning: All herbs and spices are allowed in the carnivorous diet menu.

Foods to avoid on a carnivorous diet menu

  • Vegetables: Elimination of all the plant foods and green vegetables and leafy vegetables. So you are prohibited from their health benefits too.

  • Fruits: No fruits are allowed in the carnivore diet menu.

  • Nuts and seeds: These plant foods are omitted, even though nuts and seeds contain omega-3-fatty acids which help in the control of heart disease.

  • Legumes: Legumes are rich in fiber and are strictly removed from the carnivorous diet menu.

  • Refined sugars and pulses: Refined grains and sugars as well as their products like candies, bread, deserts are all absent in the carnivore diet menu.

12 Health benefits of the carnivore diet menu

12 Health benefits of the carnivore diet menu

There are many health benefits with the carnivore diet plan which include:

1. Carnivore diet effects on inflammation

The carnivore diet plan helps in the control of inflammation and to eliminate uric acid - formed in the joints that leads to gout.

2. Carnivore diet effects on autoimmune disorders

The carnivore diet plan supplies you with glucosamine, chondroitin sulfate, and gelatin that is useful for bone flexibility and cartilage restoration which supports joint pains and many autoimmune disorders like arthritis.

3. Carnivore diet effects on toxins

Antioxidant efficiency is increased by the carnivore diet eating out, which also improves detoxification that aids in the cleaning of the liver and digestive system.

4. Carnivore diet effects on cell production

The carnivore diet plan promotes an anti-aging effect, through boosting cell rejuvenation and slowing the natural aging process.

5. Carnivore diet effects on mental health

The health benefits of carnivore diet eating out include- improving mood and cognition by supporting the nervous system, increasing mental clarity, and reducing depression.

6. Carnivore diet effects on the stomach/microbiomes

Gut health is maintained by improving digestion. The replacement of vegan microbiomes with fat microbiomes increases fat burning and adaptability to fatty meats. The all-meat diet helps in the treatment of leaky gut and food intolerances.

7. Carnivore diet effects on teeth and bones

The meat diet maintains the health of teeth and bones with the help of phosphorus. Supplying with constant essential nutrients and minerals increases the collaboration of bone minerals and dental health.

8. Carnivore diet effects on diabetes

The meat diet reverses the insulin resistance causing insulin sensitivity thereby helping the diabetic or prediabetic patients in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

9. Carnivore diet effects on metabolism

High energy levels are provided during the carnivore diet eating out with increased glycogen metabolism and enhancing the growth hormones.

10. Carnivore diet effects on immunity

The carnivore diet plan boosts the immunity of the cells to maintain health and avoid harmful bacterial and viral infections. Also helps in the increase of body defense mechanisms.

11. Carnivore diet effects on the skin

The collagen in the meat diet develops elasticity, smoothness, and moisture promoting youthfulness. Increases the growth of nails and hair.

12. Carnivore diet effects on weight loss

The omega-3-fatty acids promote weight loss and increase the metabolism of the body. The carnivore diet eating out increases the metabolic rate of fats and proteins in the body due to the absence of glucose.

The whole diet process of weight loss works on the metabolic rate and calorie count of what we consume. 

Health benefits of carnivorous diet in weight loss

The occurrence of ketosis in the carnivore diet helps you to gain more energy by burning the fat reserves of your body leading to reduction in body weight.

The ketosis adaptation in people makes them feel full and so they eat less leading to weight loss. The decrease in meal intake eventually causes more weight loss during a carnivore diet plan.

Till now, we have gone through the foods included in the all-meat diet and health benefits of carnivore diet. Now let’s prepare a sample carnivore diet menu to follow-

Carnivore diet plan

Here below is the carnivorous diet menu for a week, repeat the same for the whole period of the carnivore diet plan.

Carnivore diet plan

You can change the menu plan or the ingredients based on the availability, budget and taste. 

Role of fiber in carnivore diet

Let's talk about need of fiber in Carnivore diet

Fiber in general is obtained from plant foods and is unbreakable in the human stomach because of the presence of cellulose. There are usually 2 types of fibers: 

1. Soluble fiber

This is found in plant foods like fruits, legumes, oats and oat bran which absorb water and slow down digestion.

2. Insoluble fiber

  • The plant foods such as vegetables, grains, pulses and cereals, bran, stone-ground corn, brown rice are rich in this fiber. This helps in easy bowel movement.

  • Fiber has been believed as the main source for increasing our  bowel movement and preventing many health issues like constipation, heart diseases, diabetes and colon cancer. Even though many studies are conducted and there is scientific evidence proving this, there is a limiting factor - as the epidemiology of each individual differs in the study trail.

  • As meat eaters rely only on animal foods and animal products alone, is there a need for intake of fiber from plant foods? Let's find out

  • In a carnivore diet the fiber is not necessary for meat eaters separately. Fiber does have certain health benefits like reduced blood sugars, blood pressure, bloating, weight loss, maintaining colon health, microbiome regulation and regular bowel movement.

  • But it is not a compulsory need as it has no essential nutrients that contribute to the growth and maintenance of our body.

  • There is enough fiber in a carnivorous diet that promotes good bowel movements.

  • Then you may think, why does the practice of carnivore diet without fiber cause constipation? 

  • In the initial stages of adjustment to a carnivorous diet menu, you may face constipation due to gastrointestinal changes. In some cases, meat eaters may also observe diarrhea due to digestive issues. 

  •  As a fact, fiber does not help in bowel movement. Plant foods are mostly made of cellulose which is indigestible by meat eaters like us and so the body tries to evacuate it. It's similar to the unwanted pulp we separate from the juice. The body excretes the indigestible cellulose matter which causes the free bowel movements.

So, is it ok to avoid fiber in a carnivore diet? Yes, because fiber does not have any calorific value for humans. When you are following a carnivorous diet menu, there is enough fiber in the carnivore diet to promote gut health.

Cuts of meat and Its importance in the carnivorous diet menu

Why is it important to select the perfect cuts of meat in the carnivorous diet menu? Even if meat is considered good for your body, finding the perfect cut of meat helps you achieve your desired result.

The grade, color, price, marbling, the right cuts of meat are some important things to be followed by all meat eaters before purchasing the meat for any carnivorous diet menu. 

Carnivore diet eating out begins with the selection of perfect cuts of meat. 

The different cuts of animal foods have different nutrient value; different cuts are stated below:

Cuts of meat in CHICKEN used for carnivorous diet menu

Cuts of meat in CHICKEN used for carnivorous diet menu
  • Neck

  • Back

  • Breast

  • Wing

  • Tenderloin

  • Drumstick

  • Thigh

  • Tail

Cuts of meat in LAMB used for carnivorous diet menu

Cuts of meat in Laamb used for carnivorous diet menu
  • Head

  • Neck

  • Shoulder

  • Breast

  • Rib

  • Flank

  • Loin

  • Sirloin

  • Leg

  • Foreshank and hind shank

Cuts of meat in PORK used for carnivorous diet menu

Cuts of meat in Pork used for carnivorous diet menu
  • Snout

  • Head

  • Ear

  • Jowl

  • Neck

  • Clear plate

  • Boston butt

  • Picnic ham

  • Back fat

  • Loin

  • Spare ribs

  • Bacon

  • Leg or Ham

  • Hock

Is the carnivore diet worth a try?

The carnivore diet has many health benefits as mentioned above. If you are a meat eater or someone who hates eating vegetables on a daily basis, the carnivore diet would be a good deviation. 

Plant foods are believed to provide all the essential nutrients required to our body like vitamins, minerals. But plant foods contain oxalates, lectins, glycoalkaloids, goitrogens, cyanogenic glycosides, phytic acid, flavonoids, salicylates which when consumed in high doses may lead to many health issues and medical problems. 

Some of the health issues include:

  • Gastrointestinal problems like irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut syndrome, diarrhea

  • Autoimmune disorders like psoriasis, asthma

  • Impaired thyroid function

  • Neurological disturbances

The carnivore diet eliminates all the plant foods and the diseases associated with them. Animal food is rich in high protein and saturated fat which are major components of our body. A meat diet helps you feel more energetic and boosts your immunity to fight diseases. 

Nutrients present in animal foods and animal products

Animal food and animal products contain many essential nutrients which makes them more beneficial and how they promote a solution to many health issues. 

Here is the list of essential nutrients present in the low-carb diet and their benefits:

Vitamins in Carnivore diet and their health benefits

Vitamins in Carnivore diet and their health benefits

Health benefits of B Vitamins in carnivore diet

Among all the B vitamins; Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2 and VitaminB12 are available in the carnivore diet.

Health benefits present in Thiamin vitamin of carnivore diet

Thiamin helps to promote growth and maintain health in combination with other B-vitamins. It aids in the regulation of metabolic rate to produce energy by consumption of carbohydrates. 

Thiamin is found in the meat of pork, lamb liver, wild salmon, and fish.

Health benefits present in Riboflavin vitamin of carnivore diet

Riboflavin in animal food helps to promote iron absorption and utilization in the blood. And is also necessary for the conversion of tryptophan to niacin which helps to maintain the nervous system.

The rich sources of riboflavin are present in lamb liver, poultry, milk, yogurt, and cheese.

Health benefits present in Cyanocobalamin vitamin of carnivore diet

Also known as Vitamin B12 is essential for the synthesis of DNA, the primary component which supports the cell nuclei to carry genes. The deficiency of vitamin B12 will lead to pernicious anemia. Vitamin B12 is not found in plant foods.

Veal, lamb liver, lamb, fish, oysters are animal food sources of vitamin B12, and cheese, egg yolk are animal products rich in vitamin B12. 

Not only B vitamins, Vitamin A and Vitamin K2 are also available in the carnivore diet menu-

Health benefits present in Retinol vitamin of carnivore diet

Vitamin A is also known as retinol which usually helps with our normal vision is present in the carnivore diet menu. Milk and liver are good sources of vitamin A.

Health benefits present in Vitamin K2 of carnivore diet

Vitamin K2 promotes bones, heart, and brain health as it inhibits blood calcification. It stimulates bone marrow in the production of our stem cells.

The deficiency of vitamin K2 will lead to the cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

Animal foods like lamb liver, chicken, and animal products like cheese, butter, egg yolk are rich sources of this vitamin.

Let's discuss about the other essential nutrients available in the carnivore diet menu Health benefits in minerals of carnivore diet:

Health benefits of Zinc

Zinc is involved in the control of blood glucose levels, learning ability, prevents coronary artery diseases, and regulates the metabolism of our body. 

Deficiency of zinc may lead to erectile dysfunction, reduced sperm count in adult males, and behavioral problems in children. 

Health benefits of Heme iron

This is the mineral found in red meat that helps in the formation of our RBC, transport of oxygen, aids immunity, supports cognition and metabolism.

Deficiency of iron leads to anemia, insufficient iron, reduced RBC, pancreatic and kidney cancer.

Health benefits of Lysine

Pork meat is a rich source of lysine which is an essential amino acid. It promotes the production of human growth hormones. It maintains fertility in females. Reduction of stress and anxiety and even schizophrenia.

The deficiency may lead to infertility and health issues like PCOS in females.  

Health benefits of Copper

Copper helps in the production of RBC and maintains the cells of the immune system and nervous system. It plays a major role in bones and connective tissue formation. Acts as an antioxidant in the reduction of free radicals preventing the damage of DNA.

Copper also aids in iron absorption. 

Organ meats like kidneys, liver, oysters, shellfish are good sources of copper.

Health benefits of Phosphorous

Meat is a rich source of phosphorus and helps in the maintenance of DNA, bones, and teeth. Also helps in the filtration of waste from the kidneys and reduces muscle pain. 

Animal products like milk, cheese are the key sources of phosphorus.

Health benefits of Selenium

Selenium supports cognition, immune system, and fertility functions. Thyroid hormone metabolism, protection of the body from infection and damage, and DNA synthesis are maintained by selenium. 

Pork, lamb, chicken, fish, shellfish, eggs, milk, and yogurt are good sources of selenium.

There are some amino acids, enzymes  and chemicals too in carnivore diet menu that contribute in health benefits, such as

Health benefits of Coenzyme CoQ10

This coenzyme supports the production of ATP adenosine triphosphate in your cells. ATP is the main source of energy generation in the body. As a potent antioxidant, it inhibits cancer. It is a powerful anti-fatigue factor and deficiency may lead to decreased sperm motility. 

Organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart; muscle meats like pork, lamb, chicken; fish like trout, herring are rich animal food sources of CoQ10.

Health benefits of Taurine

Naturally occurring chemical called an amino sulfonic acid. It controls major functions in the heart and brain. It benefits by reducing blood pressure in the heart and calming the nervous system.

Meat, fish, and eggs are the best animal food sources of taurine. 

Health benefits in amino acid Carnosine

Carnosine acts as an anti glycating agent by helping in the mitigation of renal disease, atherosclerosis, and Alzheimer’s disease. Carnosine works as a scavenger of oxygen-free radicals.

It is one of the potential anti-aging molecules.

Animal food like turkey, lamb, pork, chicken are top sources. Animal products like eggs, milk, and cheese have carnosine in them.

Carnitine is found majorly in red meat. In heart patients, it helps to prevent the ischemic attack of cardiac muscle. In diabetic people, it helps in reducing glucose and inhibits peripheral neuropathy. It regulates the metabolic rate and supports anemia. 

Animal food is the only source of carnitine.

Health issues of carnivore diet

  • The carnivore diet menu includes foods that lead to high cholesterol levels.

  • Heart diseases are caused due to the presence of fatty meats in the carnivore diet menu.

  • Increased blood pressure is another health issue observed in many meat eaters.

  • The animal foods cause some digestive issues which will cause bad breath. 

  • The increased intake of animal fat through the carnivore diet menu led to diarrhea.

  • Leg cramps are caused due to consumption of excessive red meat that releases nitrates.

  • Nutrient deficiencies are common in meat eaters as they solely rely on animal fat for amino acids and fats.

  • During the adaptation phase of the carnivore diet plan: headaches, nausea, irritability, lack of focus are prominent.

Take home points

  • The adaptation period may cause some abnormal symptoms like constipation, diarrhea. 

  • It’s ok if the carnivore diet doesn’t work for you. 

  • This diet is not good for people who have an increased risk of heart diseases.

  • Taking advice from a dietician and nutrition will also help for balanced diet maintenance.

  • Have blood tests to find out if there occurred any nutrient deficiency.

  • There is no scientific evidence that fully supports these benefits.


FAQ on Carnivore diet plan

1. Does a carnivore diet plan help in weight loss?

Ans. The carnivore diet is a zero-carb diet that  helps to reduce weight loss.

2. How should I start the carnivore diet?

Ans. It is simple to start a carnivore diet, just eliminate all the foods except animal foods and animal products.

3. Is coffee allowed during the carnivore diet?

Ans. Only water and bone broth are encouraged during the carnivorous diet.

4. What are the harmful effects of a carnivore diet?

Ans. Carnivorous diets on long term consumption can cause health issues like heart disease.

5. Who is restricted to follow a carnivore diet menu?

Ans. People with chronic kidney disorders ,liver damage, who have cholesterol sensitivity and heart disease.

6. Can we take antibiotics on a carnivore diet if necessary?

Ans. Yes, you can take antibiotics as they do not get affected by the animal food.

7. Do we need fiber in the carnivorous diet?

Ans. In a carnivorous diet, fiber is not a necessity to be included in the menu.


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