While the idea of the carnivore diet might seem odd to some, an animal-based diet has a lot of health benefits to be excited about. The diet is low in inflammatory foods, plant toxins, antinutrients, and processed junk. It’s great for people who want to manage insulin resistance and it has helped a lot of people with autoimmune conditions drastically reduce and even eliminate their symptoms.
So does the carnivore diet work? It depends on what your goals are and what you’re hoping it will do for you,
Here are a few things we believe the carnivore diet works well for:
The Carnivore Diet Works for People With Autoimmune Disease
If the outcome you’re looking for is a reduction in autoimmune disease, like ulcerative colitis or inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes, psoriasis, multiple sclerosis, or systemic lupus, definitely give it a try.
The carnivore diet is probably the most effective intervention currently available for people suffering from these types of diseases. Even though there are no clinical trials or studies done on using the carnivore diet to treat autoimmune disease, the case studies are undeniable, and if some humans have success reversing type 1 diabetes or rheumatoid arthritis using an animal-based diet, it definitely warrants giving it a try if you have an autoimmune issue.
The Carnivore Diet Works for Those Wanting to Improve Athletic Performance
For athletic performance goals, it might be more effective than a conventional diet for you, but, you’ll have to go through an adaptation period with decreased performance in order to get to a point where you’ll see improvements.
The Carnivore Diet Helps Identify Food Intolerances
One of the most powerful functions a carnivore diet can serve the average person with is as an elimination diet.
Suppose you want to find out what your own personal tolerances and sensitivities to food. In that case, nothing works better than a 30-, 60-, or even 90-day‘ carnivore cleanse with a mindful reintroduction and monitoring of foods you introduce. A carnivore cleanse involves consuming only meat, salt, and water for a certain length of time. I have completed a 30-day carnivore cleanse, and it was really easy.
I then was able to introduce one thing at a time to see how it reacts to my own system. The information I gained after the cleanse was very interesting and it would have taken a much longer period of eliminating and reintroducing foods to gain the equivalent amount of information.
The Carnivore Diet Can Help You Get Into Ketosis
If you follow a carnivore diet (the kind where you limit animal sources of carbs like milk, yoghurt, or honey), then it can help you get into ketosis. This diet will really prevent your carb intake from creeping up with popular keto foods that still contain carbs like nuts and avocado.
You do need to choose your animal foods wisely if getting into ketosis on a carnivore diet is your goal. Lean chicken breasts won’t do. On a ketogenic diet, you want to consume a moderate amount of protein and a high amount of fat. Choose fatty cuts of meat like lamb chops, ribeye steak, ribs, and fatty fish. Eat your egg yolks. If you’re going to throw any part of the egg away other than the shell, let it be the egg whites.
You can add butter if you like, and I highly recommend getting things like beef tallow and solid pieces of fat from your butcher. You can render it down to make your own cooking fat, bake it until you get crispy rinds, ask your butcher to make you fatty sausages with it, etc.
I could dive deeper into the subject of ketosis and how a carnivore diet can help you get into ketosis, but I think it’s best that you check out this article by Carnivore Aurelius, which is called: “Does the Carnivore Diet Put You In Ketosis?“
So Does The Carnivore Diet Really Work?
Absolutely. Hopefully, these three instances I used as an example will illustrate that the carnivore diet works and it can work in many different ways according to your own goals and needs.
How Long Does It Take For a Carnivore Diet To Work?
The length of time for a carnivore diet to work for each individual is dependent on individual differences in age, genetic variability, lifestyle, and the diet leading up to the start of the carnivore diet.
For example, a young person, who does intermittent fasting and followed a ketogenic diet before starting a carnivore diet, will adapt a lot faster compared to an older person, who eats simple carbohydrates throughout the day and gets the majority of their food from fast-food franchises.
I’m not saying that the carnivore diet won’t work for the second person, only that it will take longer for them to adapt to the change in their diet and lifestyle and for them to feel like the diet is now “working” for them.
The way genetic differences play a role in choice of diet is still being studied, but I’d bet that there is not enough genetic variation to make an animal-based diet unhealthy for anyone and that genetic differences predict more your ability to tolerate plant sources of nutrition.
How Long Do You Need to Do The Carnivore Diet For it to Work?
The minimum amount of time I would suggest trying a carnivore diet for would be at least a month, but I do think that 60-90 days is probably more effective because the half-life of certain plant compounds in the human body can be months, so to get the best sense for how you would feel completely plant-compound free will take more time.
Making the Carnivore Diet Work for You
You have to make this diet work for you.
- Make sure you eat enough fat, as it will help you feel satiated, adapt to the diet, and see results.
- Include organ meats to make sure you get as many nutrients as possible. Liver is particularly high in vitamin A and is a great source of folate and vitamin C.
- Consume enough salt to keep your electrolytes up.
- Don’t try to restrict your calories but eat until satiated.
- If you don’t feel well on a zero-carb carnivore diet, try adding animal-based sources of carbs like honey and dairy.
We highly recommend giving the carnivore diet a try and seeing if it works for you. You can also try a carnivore-ish diet, where you mostly eat animal foods but will add in some other foods like fruit, root vegetables, coffee, etc.
Make the carnivore diet your own and make it work for you.