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What is the Carnivore Diet?

The Carnivore Diet consists entirely of meat and animal products, excluding all other foods. It’s claimed to aid weight loss, mood issues, and blood sugar regulation, among other health issues.

 

 

 

The Carnivore Diet is a restrictive diet that only includes meat, fish, and other animal foods like eggs and certain dairy products. It excludes all other foods, including fruits, vegetables, legumes, grains, nuts, and seeds. Its proponents also recommend eliminating or limiting dairy intake to foods that are low in lactose — a sugar found in milk and dairy products — such as butter and hard cheeses.

The Carnivore Diet stems from the controversial belief that human ancestral populations ate mostly meat and fish and that high-carb diets are to blame for today’s high rates of chronic disease. Other popular low-carb diets, like the keto and paleo diets, limit but don’t exclude carb intake. However, the Carnivore Diet aims for zero carbs.

Shawn Baker, a former American orthopedic doctor, is the most well-known proponent of the Carnivore Diet. He cites testimonials from those who follow the Carnivore Diet as proof that it can treat depression, anxiety, arthritis, obesity, diabetes, and more. However, no research has analyzed the effects of the Carnivore Diet. What’s more, in 2017 Baker’s medical license was revoked by the New Mexico Medical Board due to concerns about his competency.

Foods to eat

The Carnivore Diet includes only animal products and excludes all other foods. Specifically, someone on the Carnivore Diet can eat:

  • Meat: beef, chicken, turkey, organ meats, lamb, pork, etc.
  • Fish: salmon, mackerel, sardines, crab, lobster, tilapia, herring, etc.
  • Other animal products: eggs, lard, bone marrow, bone broth, etc.
  • Low-lactose dairy (in small amounts): heavy cream, hard cheese, butter, etc.
  • Water

According to some proponents of the diet, salt, pepper, and seasonings with no carbs are allowed. In addition, some people choose to eat yogurt, milk, and soft cheese, but these foods are typically not included due to their carb contents.

Here’s a five-day sample menu for the Carnivore Diet:

Day 1

  • Breakfast: eggs, chicken and turkey sausage links
  • Lunch: lamb roast, chicken liver, pork chop
  • Dinner: flank steak, scallops cooked in butter, a small glass of heavy cream
  • Snacks: bone broth, turkey jerky

Day 2

  • Breakfast: shrimp, eggs, a small glass of heavy cream
  • Lunch: strip steak, tuna fish, beef jerky
  • Dinner: lamb chops, scallops, beef liver
  • Snacks: a small amount of hard Cheddar cheese, bone broth

Day 3

  • Breakfast: eggs, salmon, turkey sausage
  • Lunch: beef tips, pork chops, mackerel
  • Dinner: turkey burger patty, a small amount of Parmesan cheese, bone marrow
  • Snacks: hard-boiled eggs, shrimp

Day 4

  • Breakfast: trout, shredded chicken, bacon
  • Lunch: beef meatballs, small amount Cheddar cheese, salmon jerky
  • Dinner: crab cooked in lard, filet mignon
  • Snacks: sardines, beef jerky

Day 5

  • Breakfast: eggs, bacon, sardines
  • Lunch: turkey burger patty, salmon jerky, beef tips
  • Dinner: filet mignon, crab, chicken liver
  • Snacks: a small amount of Parmesan cheese, jerky

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