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What is the Carnivore Diet?

What is the Carnivore Diet

“What is the Carnivore Diet?”

Maybe you’ve heard about it – this diet where you can eat as much meat as you want and watch as fat falls off, muscles grow, autoimmune diseases disappear, and you discover your ultimate body and health with ease.

The Carnivore diet was featured on Good Morning America and written up in the NY Post. It’s been discussed on the biggest podcasts in the world like the Joe Rogan Podcast. Some call it a fad diet. Others believe it’s the answer to our crippling health. Here’s what you need to know.

The carnivore diet is a way of eating where you eat animal-based foods only. Just meat.  No plant-based foods allowed. No fruits. No vegetables.

It sounds contrary to the advice of every health “expert” over the last 50 years.

It sounds “too good to be true” or flat out absurd.

But the results are speaking for themselves.

How to Start the Carnivore Diet

The Carnivore Diet is deceptively simple.

Eat Meat + Drink Water = Carnivore Diet

It’s a diet based on animal foods. Plant-based foods are off the menu.

Animal-based foods include: Beef, Lamb, Pork, Poultry, Fish, Eggs, Dairy*, Organs and more.

what is the carnivore diet

You can eat steak with a side of bacon, not broccoli.

Foods that are not included on this diet include: vegetables, fruits, seeds (nuts, beans, and grains), or roots like potatoes or leaves like spinach.

It’s not just a low carb diet like the Atkins diet or the popular high fat, low carb Ketogenic diet.

There is no counting calories or macros. You just eat meat until satisfied and drink water to thirst. You throw out the measuring cups, the calorie trackers, and the scale, and let the diet work its wonders.

Is the Carnivore Diet Safe?

“Don’t I need vitamins and minerals like Vitamin C as well as antioxidants from plants?”

“Don’t I need fiber and what about all that fat and cholesterol?”

“Isn’t all that protein dangerous? Doesn’t the brain need carbohydrates?”

There are a lot of questions that come with a meat-only diet. (FAQ page here)

Plants are rooted in the ground. They can’t fight back with claws or flee. So they deter predation via “chemical warfare.”

Plants contain phytochemicals that are natural toxins designed to deter bacteria, fungi, and predators from eating them. Plants do not have human health in mind. They care about survival.

To make matters worse, in our industrial society, we take these plant parts and refine and process them, thereby concentrating these plant poisons in flours, vegetable oils, and sugars – the staple ingredients of our lives.

An eye-opening revelation for many people is the fact that we are all on a plant-based diet – we just don’t know it. Pretty much everything you eat that isn’t meat, is derived from a plant.

You might be wondering, “Don’t I need to eat fruits and vegetables?”

There is zero research that shows humans need plant-based food. On the contrary, new research suggests that humans ate a diet almost entirely of meat for millions of years.

We need protein and fat, and we need vitamins and minerals. But not only does meat contain all that we need, but it has this complete nutrition in forms and ratios that optimize human health without the harmful antinutrients found in plants.

Meat provides such complete nutrition that no supplements are necessary on the Carnivore Diet.

Most plant-based foods are incomplete nutrition. The bioavailability of what vitamins and minerals they do have is often far worse than animal-based foods. In addition, plant-based foods contain “antinutrients” like phytic acid for example that further inhibit absorption of crucial minerals like Zinc, Iron, and Magnesium.

What is the Carnivore Diet: Food List

If it’s animal-based it’s on the menu.

Red meat is your go-to dish. Ribeyes have superior nutrient density compared to chicken breasts. But if it’s meat it’s ok. So you can have steak and eggs for breakfast, burgers for lunch, and a roast for dinner.

what is the carnivore diet foods

Seafood is also on the menu.

There are some “grey” areas that some carnivores include, while others omit such as eggs and dairy as well as coffee and tea. It’s best to test the diet with and without these foods to see how you do.

What is the Carnivore Diet: Benefits and Results

There have now been thousands of people eschewing plant-based food and subsisting on animal-based foods only. And their weight loss and health recovery stories speak for themselves.

Hundred-pound fat loss stories are common place. Autoimmune diseases disappear. Anxiety and depression cured. Skin cleared.

There is even an abundance of wild “too-good-to-be-true” anecdotes like hair color returning, elimination of body odor, and no longer getting sun burns when following the Carnivore Diet.

There are countless stories on how this diet has changed people’s lives but here’s a sample of what people experience.

  • Fat Loss
  • Muscle Gain
  • Autoimmune Recovery
  • Digestive Health
  • Testosterone / Libido Health
  • Mental Clarity
  • Simplicity of Diet and Life (freedom in food like I’ve never experienced)

Through my research, my results, and the results of so many others, I arrived at 2 conclusions:

What is the Carnivore Diet: Conclusions

  1. We humans are designed to eat a meat-based diet. Period.
  2. Meat, especially red, fatty meat, is health food.

Yes, this is contrary to what we’ve been taught. But following the “guidelines” has led to epidemic health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Based on the results following the food pyramid recommendations, questioning these “guidelines” is the only thing that actually makes sense.

The Carnivore Diet: Meat Health

The mission at Meat Health is simply to share what’s possible as well as the science behind what humans are designed to eat. Because when we eat in congruence with our design, amazing things happen.

We’ve been fed nutrition dogma, taught to follow the food pyramid, and told to listen to misguided guidelines that have resulted in unprecedented, skyrocketing epidemic levels of disease. And there are special interest groups that want to keep us on this plant-based diet.

I’m convinced though.

Meat = Health

Meat Health Masterclass

If you want to learn more about why Meat = Health, and “what’s wrong with plants,” or how to do a meat-based / carnivore diet to forever change your body and health, I highly recommend watching the Meat Health Masterclass as your next step to a new you:

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  1. Hey Dr. Stock,

    Quick question, are you able to season your meat as long as the seasonings are carb free? Like some salt and pepper? I’ve been on the carnivore diet for about a week now and had a strange sensation where I felt a “pop” in my head. I don’t think it’s anything serious as a few hours have passed and haven’t any other symptoms develop like a headache or dizziness. But I’ve been using salt and pepper to season my meat and wondering if possibly that is causing my blood pressure to rise from the sodium and maybe caused that “popping” sensation. I didn’t think I was consuming that much sodium since I only eat about once, maybe twice a day now and I’m not seasoning my meat any more than normal. But is it possible that without fiber from nuts and vegetables that the sodium isn’t being flushed out as quickly as normal and building up in my bloodstream?

    I’ll probably visit the doctor soon, as I feel somewhat intoxicated or “high” since that pop, but I figured I’d ask to see if that’s a common experience on this diet. Besides that, this diet has changed my life, already my Crohn’s symptoms are completely disappearing, my sleep is returning to normal and besides this recent incident, my brain for completely went away.

    Thank you for your time!

  2. One last question Kevin. I am currently on the grass fed beef from a local farmer salt and water level after doing a easier level first for a month.

    everything is going fine I’m eating steaks roasts ground beef patties fat liver and kidneys all grass fed my main issue is skin rashes worst part is upper back shoulders it’s sore to the touch and gets very red. Other spots my chest and stomach area and my arms will get red if I scratch em very easily from I’m assuming histamine problems.

    What do you recommend I do. I wanna finish the 30 days like this. I figured eating a pound of kidneys a week would be beneficial due to DAO in them.

    Thank you for your time

    1. I Brendon, sounds like “keto rash” a symptom that isn’t uncommon when people first start entering deeper levels of ketosis. It tends to abate as the body gets more efficient at using ketones. One thing you can try is going higher protein and a bit lower fat (this also can have consequences like decreased energy). Of course, adding some carbohydrate to the diet would also likely make it go away, but would slow the body’s rate of adaptation if you intend to stay meat-based / ketogenic long term.

  3. Whenever i eat meat my ketone levels drop below 0.5 then about 3 hours later it goes back up to roughly 1.0-1.5 do i need to eat more fat with the meat? Should i start eating extra fat trimmings on the side or does it not matter?

  4. Also Can i eat beef organs grass fed on level 3?

    1. You can, but in some (rare) occasions, it is certain organs (or too much of them) that give people issues, so it may be a smart idea to at least go a short time period without them, and try bringing them back in.

      1. Should I be focusing on staying in ketosis ?

        1. In the 30 day guide I discuss this, so I’d recommend starting there, but unless for a medical condition, I don’t think it’s something most people should over-worry about.

  5. For level 3 is salt okay?

    Level 3
    The Level 3 protocol consists of:
    BEEF Only (ideally grass fed and finished) + Water

    Doesn’t mention Salt.

    1. Hi Brendon, I’m sorry about not being more clear about this! Yes – most people should keep salt in for Level 3 (and all the time).
      There are a few people who swear by removing salt but I think for the vast majority of people this is not a good idea. And if you do want to experiment without salt, I wouldn’t do it until 100% adapted, and then I’d slowly wean off. But again, I don’t think most people should do this.

  6. Hi Dr, thanks for this useful site.
    I’m trying to transition on a carnivore diet to fix my health, but i’m struggling with two major issues: super high cortisol throughout the day and stinging pain on left side of my back, below the rib cage, especially when i’m sitting.
    Can you help me understand why and what can i do? Thx!

    1. Are you doing cortisol testing? Or is it a self-diagnosis? If you haven’t read the 30 day guide (you can download it on this website) – I’d start there – it will give you a bit more foresight into transitioning.

  7. Hey Doc, fellow dentist here, doing the whole30 currently with my fiance and loving the results. However, I always questioned the no limit on carb intake for the whole 30 and when I eat a potato with dinner I get back to that bloated feeling. I’m going to transition to carnivore in February and go from there. At 28 I’m already seeing high bp and lowered test. Stress w our profession coupled with a really poor diet in 2019 brought my body to a place I’m not willing to go back. My question for you is do you feel that there is a big difference in quality of meat. I have the privilege of being able to afford high quality meats. But I’d like to take it a step further and try to live off of wild game and fish. Do you have any research or stories of a difference between this and store bought meats. I also have raised my own chickens and ducks so I would like to start that back up again. Happy Drilling!

    PT “Why didnt cavemen need dentists”
    ME “They just ate meat, unless they broke a tooth then I bet they wish I was around”

    1. Hi Brett, great to hear a fellow dentist going to dive into carnivore!

      While there is a difference in meat quality (i.e. grain finished vs grass finished) the differences tend to be quite minor (from a nutritional standpoint – an ethical/environmental discussion – is another discussion).
      If you can find that high quality meat and afford it, I’d go for it!

  8. So as someone that suffers from high blood pressure, and I’ve always heard that excessive amounts of red meat will elevate the bp. What or how has the carnivore diet shown in the effect on hypertension? I understand weight loss will help with this issue as well. Honestly my ultimate goal is to lose weight, and get off the medication, but my fear is the high blood pressure and it runs in my family and have had several family members stroke out.

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