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The Carnivore Elimination Diet

Using the Carnivore Diet as an Elimination Diet

The Carnivore Diet as an Elimination DietSome people regard the Carnivore Diet as an Elimination Diet. An elimination diet excludes foods in an effort to identify allergies, intolerances, or other problematic foods.

Since the Carnivore Diet removes plant-based foods it removes nearly all potential offenders including problematic lectins, oxalates, alkaloids, salicylates, and many others.

In this regard, the Carnivore Diet is the ultimate elimination diet.

It’s congruent with what we are designed to eat and it removes the unnatural foods that have infiltrated our diet.

Doing a Carnivore Elimination Diet for a period of time, if you continue to experience any issues while eating a meat-based diet, is a great idea to help identify potential offenders.

Carnivore Elimination Diet Protocol

Many people view the Carnivore Diet as an Elimination Diet, however, taking even this to a more “extreme” elimination is a great way to find any offending foods in the animal kingdom.

The most common foods that can give people problems are certain kinds of meats like pork, eggs, and dairy. Testing these foods out of the diet, and bringing them back in can be a good strategy to fine tune your Carnivore Diet.

After 30, 60, or 90 days of focusing on animal-based foods. You can remove everything except ruminant meat (beef, elk, deer, bison, ect.), water, and salt. Red meat is congenitally the safest food. And creating a solid baseline of only red meat can create a foundation in which you can test other foods against to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

Start by doing this carnivore diet elimination protocol for 30 days or until you feel a really solid foundation and homeostasis.

Then when testinging other foods you can start by:

  • Testing in other meats like pork and chicken
  • Test in eggs
  • Test in dairy
  • Test in “others” – like coffee / tea

When testing these foods, it’s best to test in one at a time, and just with red meat.

Here’s an example:


After 30 days of just beef, salt, and water you try adding back in pork and notice ill symptoms, keep it out of your regular diet. If you test back in dairy, like cheese, and notice bloating – cut it. You may try adding eggs back in, and you feel good with them and like having them as a side. Keep them. You may try having your morning coffee again, and enjoy it. Add it back in. Personalize your plan.

The best way to do this is to do a complete carnivore elimination diet, and then only add back in 1 “test item” at a time using ruminant meat as your baseline to test everything against.

However, there is a problem with viewing the carnivore diet as a whole as an elimination diet.

The Problem

The Dose-Poison Conundrum

“The dose makes the poison.”

This is a famous saying, and for a good reason. There is a lot of truth in it.

Where this gets tricky is that people respond to the same doses with very different effects. Low doses can obviously poison some people and seemingly not affect another.


If someone with Celiac disease eats gluten, the consequences are clear. They have severe GI distress. While someone else may just feel slight intestinal distress. While another may feel no ill effects at all.

A huge issue most of us face is the insidious nature of these toxins. We don’t get immediate and evident feedback. They are “silent toxins.”

These silent toxins can gradually increase gut permeability, quitely cells become insulin resistant, oxalates secretly accumulate. And then “suddenly,” seemingly out of nowhere, we end up with an autoimmune disease or diabetes.

Fat Accumulation

On average, the American adult gains two pounds per year. After one year it’s not that noticeable. By the end of the decade you are “overweight.” But since culturally we’ve redefined this as the new normal, we just consider this extra weight as “healthy weight”. And then seemingly overnight, you are obese, with diabetes, high blood pressure, and on several prescription medications. (r, r)

The Grey Zone

There is this grey zone. It blinds us. Because, frankly, it’s hard to see.

On one side of the zone, the body handles a toxin just fine – perhaps even a hormetic argument can be made that dealing with some of these toxins makes us stronger, like some argue about the sulforaphane in broccoli.

On the other side of the zone is the cumulative impact of daily toxins. They build up. They do damage below our conscious noticing.

Drink a few beers and you’re fine. Drink a few beers every night, day-after-day, week-after-week, year-after-year, and the damage done to the liver is not even close to appreciated.

In one sense, someone with Celiac disease who suffers severe digestive distress when eating gluten can consider themselves lucky. They know the dramatic, immediate adverse effect of eating food incongruent with their body. The red flag is loud and clear.

The vast number of people who eat gluten think they are just fine. And since we’ve come to believe that some digestive distress is completely normal, we don’t think twice about the potential gut damage it is doing. Blind to the insidious harm.

Grains make up over half the food consumed in the world. (r) We are exposed to these toxins on a continual basis, meal after meal, day after day, year after year.

False Negatives

With an elimination diet you gradually add back in other foods to your diet. And if you feel “fine” with them, then it’s generally considered “ok” to eat them.

And since you didn’t have a reaction to it – it’s considered a “negative” response.

But as we just saw, many of these foods are insidious. Eat it once and you are fine. Eat it day after day and you think you’re fine. And then “suddenly” the harm finally rears its head as a chronic disease. It was a False Negative.

False negatives are the rule, not the exception, with food today. We eat truck loads of sugar, meal after meal, day after day, and we think we feel fine. It’s not until we are obese with diabetes and multiple prescription medication do we finally realize that maybe all the sugar wasn’t harmless. Maybe it was a False Negative.

False Positives

Just the opposite of a false negative, false positives are also a problem.

On the opposite side of the spectrum are “false positives.”

This means you eat a food, feel terrible, and thus conclude that food is troublesome and to be avoided. But this can be deceiving.

For example, many vegans have turned to the carnivore diet to reverse health problems. When they start eating a high fat, meat-based diet, they often experience GI distress. It would be easy to conclude that “meat is disagreeable with me.”

There can be a painful transition period into the carnivore diet. Yet this would be a “false positive.” It seems bad, when really the body is adapting and healing.

It’s like after being sedentary for 20 years and then hitting the gym. The pain felt as soreness the next day isn’t a negative – it’s a false negative – it’s a good thing as the body is getting back in shape.

A False Negative and False Positive Combined

Oxalates are a perfect example that combines a “False Negative” and a “False Positive.” You can eat oxalates and not have symptoms (the “False Negative”). But they bioaccumulate in tissues over time.

If allowed to continually build up, these oxalates can form extremely painful crystals resulting in joint pain and kidney stones.

It’s not until you stop eating them that the body can finally get rid of the oxalates that have built up. This “oxalate dumping” is often tremendously painful.

It would be easy to conclude, “when I eat oxalates I feel fine (the “False Negative”), but when I removed them I feel terrible” (the “False Positive”). But that false positive is just the body purging a toxin.

But because the causative source is so far removed from the onset of pain, it’s hard to see that it was the habitual oxalate consumption that was the culprit.

How to use the Carnivore Diet as an Elimination Diet

In “The Ultimate 30-Day Guide to Going Full Carnivore” you’ll notice the emphasis on getting adapted and creating a homeostatic baseline.

After this foundation is created, it’s easier to identify false positives and false negatives.

But even at this stage there can be false positives/negatives.

After doing the Carnivore Diet Elimination Protocol you may decide to test coffee back into your diet. Coffee has plant-toxins, it’s a natural insecticide, and it’s a food that when people add back in, it’s not an occasional thing but typically a daily indulgence. And it’s usually not just one cup…

Again the dose is the poison.

This is why coffee a risky addition, and something to test in / out on an ongoing basis.

On the flip side, you may be just fine with coffee, you may handle the toxins with ease, and it may not have any negative short term or long term impact. Some things are close to impossible to determine. So keep in mind, if a health issue creeps up, maybe re-do the Carnivore Elimination Diet protocol and see if you can identify it. It’s a tool in your toolbox.

Flexibility vs Relapse

The restrictive nature of the Carnivore Diet makes people hesitant to think of it as a long term way of eating. People want to “live life.”

So it’s easier to view it as a short term elimination diet to unveil troublesome foods. But there are other ways to implement the Carnivore Diet and “live life.”

Some people use the Carnivore Diet as their “baseline” diet – their daily normal – and then allow themselves to deviate on occasions.

For some people this allows the flexibility for long term success. For others it is a recipe for relapse.

For others, one bite can be just one bite. And a flexible approach to the Carnivore Diet gives them the freedom they need to succeed long term. You have to know yourself.

The Carnivore Diet as an Elimination Diet: Conclusion

If doing the Carnivore Elimination Diet protocol keep in mind false positives and negatives when adding back in foods. It can easily lead to reverting to previous eating habits and succumbing to sugar and carb addictions.

That said, it can be a very useful tool for some people. As an elimination diet, it can help uncover the worst offenders.

For those that feel too restricted, instead of viewing the Carnivore Diet as a short term elimination diet, it may be more helpful to adopt a “flexible” approach. While this may lead to relapse for some people, for others it can provide the flexibility for long term success. Again, it’s essential to “know thyself” as Socrates would say.

The dose is the poison.

Socrates also was well aware of this, as he was sentenced to death by just a touch of poison hemlock – a deadly plant toxin in the carrot family.

So if you choose to use the Carnivore Elimination Diet protocol remember when adding back in foods, false positives and negatives can trick you. Doses can be insidious.

If you want to learn more about how to use a carnivore diet as an elimination diet, and how to tailor a meat-based diet to you, and what works in your life, for your goals, I highly recommend watching the Meat Health Masterclass:

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  1. Thank you… I’m also into fitness and was going to keep a whey protein shake and more important a scoop of creatine after my workouts. I want to get ripped but I’m afraid this diet will make me skinny. Can I actually gain muscle on a carnivore diet while cutting the 1 whey protein shake and scoop of creatine out after the gym?

  2. I just started the Carnivore diet 2 days ago and I’ve been drinking jasmine green tea with a packet of stevia. Like 5 cups per day! So no more tea? Also I’m allergic to fish so how can I get my omega 3’s? Not walnuts so how? Thanks Oh for my calcium I’m doing cheese or full fat yogurt

    1. Hi Matt, I’d highly recommend reading the 30 day guide which you can download on this website – where I talk about “grey” area foods such as tea.
      Meat has omega 3 fatty acids 🙂

  3. Interesting article. I started in carnivore from more keto type but all pretty rapidly. Been carnivore about 10 days. But I am having explosive diarrhea. I have looked into histamine/mast cell or maybe oxalate dumping. I have tried culturelle (one strain probiotic mast cell stabizer), DAO sup, digest enzymes, and a few vitamins like Bs,D etc. after just DAO last night I have been the worst. All or most of the symptoms are GI related. Any suggestions?

    1. Have you read the 30 day guide by chance?
      This isn’t uncommon, and there are some suggestions in there to help through this adaptation phase.

    1. Hi Brenda – I’d highly recommend reading the 30 day guide where I talk more about “grey” area foods as well as more processed meats.

  4. Kevin what do u think about coffee enemas as part of the way back to health mcs, fibromyalgia, cfs, peripheral neuropathy, osteoarthritis..
    Also when i started the diet about 6 months ago i was about 15lbs underweight and am now another 10 lbs down: continue to have problems with ibs (mainly diharrea on this diet and prior diets mainly constipation) as seem to have trouble digesting fat (thinking of adding some mct oil which would be anti diet but read that shorter fat chains are be easier to digest and get my fats up that way). Also using about 200 mg of pure oxbile supps after each meal to help digest but still the runs). I need to reverse weight loss and gain some weight (do 3 meals a day with 11 hr spread no snacking using about 2.3 lbs meat per day mainly beef but definitely pork (eliminated pork for about 1.3 mo but did not help). I need better digestion and more weight as beginning to think this woe may not be good for people who start already underweight. Any of comments from yourself on this would be very much appreciated. thank you

    1. I have no experience, and frankly, don’t know much about them.
      My intuition leads me to believe that just eating properly is going to take care of these issues on it’s own, so how useful these actually are, I don’t know.

      If you’ve tried ox bile and lipase and then tried weaning off them (that’s where I’d start) – taking them too long can also cause issues – so I’d be sure to decrease the amount over time.

      If you think fats are the issue, I’d stay away from rendered fats.
      Personally, I wouldn’t supplement with MCT and I think you might find that this exacerbates the issue.

      Regarding the weight loss, I’d just focus on eating more over time (it becomes easier over time as well), and resistance training is a good thing to accompany this.

    2. Hi Ronaldo, I’m also beginning the C. Diet under weight, over a stone under, I’ve struggled to keep around 8 stone at present, I should be at least 9 stone. Even as high carb based, or mixed omnivore my weight fluctuated between 7.11-8 stone not sure what that is in lbs/kgs unless converted. but anyway my weight had always fluctuated up and down a pound a day,, So far almost 2 weeks into the diet, I’ve only lost a couple of pounds, and I do eat a lot of fat,, and Eat Liver twice daily also, alternating chicken an OX,, lots of Fatty pork, some ground beef, Pork Scratchings to fill in the gap,, fingers crossed this will fix my metabolism, digestion, organs, body and I will start gaining weight soon 🙂

  5. Great article and very good info! I love reading your work, it really helps me stay motivated to keep going with this way of eating.
    I was wondering if you could share some info on the carnivore diet and brain fog? I have been off of my meds for 18 months now after being on them for roughly 14 years, antidepressants and ADD stimulants, and I’ve had constant brain fog and depression ever since. I have turned to the carnivore diet, meditation and exercise to heal my brain as I don’t want to go back on the medication. Do you have any information about how the Carnivore Diet may help with this? Thanks.

  6. Hi there!

    I’m finishing week 3 of a level 3 carnivore diet here, and what I want long term is to eat a consistent level 1 diet with the variety of meats as the ‘spice’ to life.

    I have various severe allergies, to nuts, sesame seeds, and I have no interest in any of those items. I am also allergic (though not quite as severely) to most seafood/fish, with small sardines/anchovies and tuna as the known exceptions. What I want is to use a strict carnivore diet to allow my overly active immune system to calm down and heal. The hope is that I may be able to eat more seafood options, for both variety and to achieve the nose-to-tail consumption goal for complete micronutrient coverage.

    Do you know anyone who might know more about my very specific situation? Any success stories or people with similar desires? NYC-based allergists who think outside the box? Might be a long shot, but boy would this radically change my life.

    Thank you!

      1. Kevin, thanks so much for your reply here. I have joined your facebook group, and I will post this again there. I did post this to a couple other facebook ZC/carnivore groups, but I must say it’s a bit overwhelming with there being so many. I’ll definitely prioritize your group moving forward.

        I appreciate the support! This site is an incredibly helpful resource.

  7. This is a good layout of info. As you know, people get very owner minded about their way of eating. In the face of facts, people still want to deny the reality of a lingering sickness due to their food choices. I like the fact you point out grass fed and grass finished. The proponents of very tasty meat think that we are better off with tasty grain finished in the last two weeks before slaughter meat. I just have a strange hunch that me, a severely grain and starch intolerant man, does get an internal allergic response. We are led to think that animals eat and process other stuff besides grass. Processed or not, do you Kevin Stock, feel that added non-grass food to a cow’s or steer’s diet may impede the health of food sensitive people? Thank You. Art

    1. I do – I know of several case reports of people that thrive on grass-finished meat, but grain-finished meat gives them intestinal disturbances.

      I think for most people, the difference between grass-finished and conventional is miniscule and likely not worth the worry (or the $$$ in many cases) – but for some people it does matter.

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